Wednesday, December 21, 2011


I had a brief email conversation with a friend in California this morning.  I started by asking, rhetorically, when I've been gone from the state in which I grew up, North Dakota, for decades . . why do friends and family who still live there ask me when I'm coming "home".  My answer?  I AM HOME!

Growing up in North Dakota meant long winters of frequent subzero temperatures and snow and ice everywhere.  I moved to Arizona and continue to live here because I love the climate.

People say "but don't you miss the change of seasons?"  No, I don't because I have the change of seasons right here where I live.  Now granted, about half of my 33 years in Arizona were spent in Phoenix and it does get unbearably hot there in the summer.  But other times of the year it is heaven on earth.

And have I mentioned the Grand Canyon?  One of the great wonders of the world is only about 100 miles from where I sit typing these words.  Since I reached Senior Citizen age and received my Golden Age passport, it doesn't even cost me anything to get into the park, as many times as I want.

So don't ask me again, folks, I am home.  Home in Arizona.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011


I've been noticing a building under construction on the edge of Viewpoint in our town.  This morning I drove over and asked a workman on his break what it was going to be.  A new Mormon Church, he said.  Looks like it will be a big one.

At least it's providing some jobs in the community.

Monday, December 19, 2011


Much has been made of what good lives our three cats and the BRD's three cats have.  Much of that comes (perhaps jealously) from dog owners.  Well the BRD's three cats share the home with a dog, too!  As some of you long time readers know, his name is Wrigley, or Wrigs for short.  And just offhand, I'd say he has a pretty good life too.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Saturday, December 17, 2011


This is how Mr. T (for Taz)(for Tasmanian Devil) spends a lot of his days, playing with his little man doll.

Ah, I know he's here somewhere.

THERE he is!

Oooops!  He threw me!

Are you looking at me?

Gotcha, you little rascal.

Man, oh, man, all that work made me thirsty and someone left the kitchen faucet on.

The cat belongs to the Beautiful Rich Daughter.

The photo credits are due to She Who Must Be Obeyed, who was house sitting Mr. T and his two siblings.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


This is Glassford Hill.  Once upon a time it was a volcano.  You notice we don't call it a volcano.  Or a mountain.  Just a hill.  It's part of what separates Prescott Valley from Prescott.

And this panorama shows Prescott Valley and a great cloud formation in the distance, beyond what is supposed to be a park some day.  Right now it's just pastureland.  As you can see.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


For those of you concerned about the old Catalyst's weather, here's the real dope.  The heavy snow was in the mountains around Prescott and about 80 miles away where Flagstaff got around a foot.  But here?  Just a dusting.

It did rain much of yesterday but it only turned to snow around 9 or 10 last night and then moved off.  So, while it's chilly and wet outside, very little snow.

Monday, December 12, 2011


Now before you go gettin' all melancholy, listen to brother Greg Brown.

The rest of you . . . have a nice day!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


I watched the latest Republican debate last night.

Mitt - I'll bet you ten grand.

Newt - If you'd beaten Ted Kennedy . . .

Michelle - Newt Romney.

Ron - Abolish everything.

Rick P. - Who knows?

Rick  S. - I'm against everything.

And I thought "is this the best they can do?"

Then I watched our president on 60 Minutes tonight.  And I thought "why is this man trailing in the polls?"

And I thought "Presidential politics is the most ridiculous race in life."

In case you haven't figured it out by now . . . I support the re-election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.

Opponents may now state their case.

Saturday, December 10, 2011


So, Ebenezer Scrooge (before his epiphany) isn't scary enough for you?  Well then, consider Krampus.

Please take my best wishes for a very scary Christmas!

Friday, December 9, 2011


We got our Social Security information for the coming year in the mail today.  Hooray!  Next year we're going to get a COLA - a Cost of Living Adjustment.  But we've changed insurers for our Medicare prescription drug coverage and the premium will be taken out of our Social Security checks before we ever get them.  However, that information hadn't caught up to the SS people yet so it was not reflected in our new figures.  So I took the monthly totals and subtracted what will be deducted to give me a new figure.  Then I added mine and SWMBO's together to get the total of what our monthly checks will be.  Then I did the same with this year's figures and once I had a real total there, I subtracted it from next year's total.  And it's a nice round figure: $50.00.   Fifty bucks a month for the two of us.  That's our Cost of Living Adjustment.

That will just about pay our new Internet Service Provider for hooking us up to the big wide world.  But it won't do anything for the increased costs of food and gasoline.  'Course, gasoline prices have been dropping over the last several months for us.

So we'll scrimp and live, as it seems we almost always have, from paycheck to paycheck.  We're not poor, we're not homeless, we're not hungry.  So we'll be okay.

And there's always that Powerball ticket.

Gee, I wonder who those guys are.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


Today is Pearl Harbor Day, when Japan launched a surprise attack on the U.S. Naval Fleet docked in Hawaii.

The U.S.S. Arizona was struck, exploded and sank.

The body of the ship was left where it sank and today is a memorial.

For the United States, the sneak attack was the beginning of our entry into World War Two.  For more than 2,300 sailors at Pearl Harbor it was the end of their lives.

As President Franklin Roosevelt said then it would be a day that would live in infamy.  And it remains so today . . . 70 years and many more wars later.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


With the temperature climbing all the way up to 35 degrees I think only members of the Polar Bear Club would take to the water today.  Except for the ducks in this picture, who seem to be enjoying it just like a day in August.

 They must have one heckuva insulation system to brave those waters.

Monday, December 5, 2011


Glassford Hill, above and back of the Granite Dells.

Sunny skies today but not very warm (in the low 30's).  But around my home, the snow and ice was melting.

Meantime, one old member of the family was still grumpy about the snow and the cold.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Wasn't it just yesterday that I said I wouldn't bore you with any more snow pictures?  Well that was yesterday.

You think that's funny, do you?

Oops, who left the deck chair out?

Since none of our cats go outside any more, this must have been a visitor during the night.  Probably that pretty calico that's been hanging around.

For those of you who can't believe there is ever snow in Arizona, here's a photo of my indoor/outdoor thermometer at 8 o'clock this morning.

Again I must remind you that we don't live in the low desert of Phoenix or Tucson.  We're at about 5,100 feet elevation and some 80 miles from Phoenix.  Right about now, Phoenix is looking pretty good to me.

Saturday, December 3, 2011


On this lazy Saturday I could show you more pictures of more snow.  We had a fairly good covering from our second storm of the week early this morning.  Maybe an inch or two.  As the temperature rose, the snow began to disappear and now it's pretty spotty out there.  But I figured you've seen enough Arizona snow for awhile so . . .

This is Jazz, after an infusion of catnip.  Cats, if they like it and not all cats do, are drawn to it, eat a bit then lie down and roll in it.  Sort of a contact high, I guess.  Eventually they go into this semi-catatonic state until it wears off.

Now Jazz and Blackwell don't get along.  Normally, all the big black cat has to do is look at Jazz and she begans to hiss and snarl.  On this day, he came over and, typically, sat down about 18 inches away, seemingly just to irritate her.

Jazz scowled at him but that was about all.

When Blackwell got bored and headed for his food bowl, Jazz relaxed once again into her catnip haze.

Friday, December 2, 2011


Yesterday, as a winter storm was building:

Even the cattle, in spite of their wooly coats, looked cold.

Today there is a little more snow on the ground and the sky still looks threatening.


During the most recent hullabaloo about Herman Cain, I emailed a friend of mine and asked him what he made of it.

My friend emailed back saying Cain was toast.  Cain's presidential chances, he said: None.  None.  None.

Thursday, December 1, 2011


I decided to test my skill with the camera last night by (trying) to photograph the moon.

What I learned is that, even with a tripod, I am not very steady with my camera.  But that ineffectiveness can provide some interesting shots.  For example, I suppose I could pass off this next one by saying I had gotten a great shot of Saturn.

Sure I did.  With my tiny point-and-click Nikon Coolpix camera.

But my next photo has me confounded.  I thought there was a man in the moon but this picture sure looks like a cat in the moon.

I guess I'd better stick with macro photography.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Hooray!  I got a check in the mail today.  It was my share of the settlement in the lawsuit of Brice Yingling d/b/a Alamo Auto Sports and Andy Scott vs. eBay, Inc.

Before I go any further let me say that I have no idea who Brice Yingling, Alamo Auto Sports or Andy Scott are.  I do know who eBay is, though, and I used to sell books there.  According to the letter accompanying the check my payment was calculated on fees I paid between April 21, 2005 and August 26, 2009. 

I do remember selling some old auto magazines on eBay and it probably was during that time period.

At any rate, I'm glad it's finally over.  Here's my check amount:

Just in case you can't figure that out, here is the amount in the corner of the check.

You've got it - nine cents. 

I got a check for nine cents.

In the mail.

In an envelope with a "First-Class Mail, Presorted" designation printed on it. 

According to the GOOGLE, that cost 39 cents.

To send me a nine cent check.

What a country!!!