Thursday, June 28, 2012


The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) affirmed the constitutionality of the Affordable Health Care (OBAMACARE) act today.  That is, of course, the law offered by President Obama (POTUS).  About half of the citizens of the United States (COTUS) applauded, the other half - including Congresswoman Michele Bachmann (LOONEYBIRD) of Minnesota were apoplectic.  (Hmm, I wonder if apoplexy is treatable under the new law.)  The noted Supreme Court expert (SCOTUS-EX), Jeffery Toobin, apologized for his earlier prediction that the law would be found unconstitutional and his criticism of the government's attorney.

The House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor, (SMIRKER), who wears a snide expression on his face when he's announcing his totally political acts, said there would be a vote in the House on July 11th to repeal the law.  That is headed for failure, even if the radical Tea Party Republicans do vote to repeal.  It probably will not even be brought to a vote in the (thankfully) Democratic Senate.

The Republican candidate for President, Mitt Romney (CLUELESS) misstated many aspects of the bill and said he would repeal it on his first day in office if (and today he did say "if") he's elected.

Meantime, some of the loudest opponents of this so called "socialized medicine" turn out to be folks who've been cashing in on Veterans Administration healthcare (socialized medicine) for decades.

As the comedian Yakov Smirnoff is fond of saying, "what a country!"

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


I'll just bet you've missed the bird pictures, haven't you.  Well here's one of two.

This is a pair of Mourning Doves.  We seem to live in the midst of a covey (?) of them.  They are all over the place.  I sort of like them but then they don't perch right over my bedroom window.  SWMBO says their mournful but monotonous call drives her crazy.

Incidentally, note the spelling.  Some people refer to them as Morning Doves.  Uh-uh.  Not correct.  I don't know why they seem so mournful but I have described them previously as one of the stupidest birds around.  Maybe they know of their reputation and are expressing their unhappiness.  Whatever it is . . here is a video of one "cooing."

Like I said, I kind of like them.  But when you've heard that sad cry perhaps a couple of hundred times, it can get on the nerves.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


As some of you may have heard, it gets hot in Arizona in the summertime.  107 in Phoenix yesterday with 110 only a few days away.  It's not that hot where we live but as I've gotten older I've found that a high temperature in the 90's is too much for me.  All of this is by way of explaining the following picture.

The BRD (Beautiful Rich Daughter) and her Beau Jack were invited to a party at some friends' home yesterday beginning at 3 p.m.  That is nearly the hottest part of the day and for some unknowable reason the hosts have no air conditioning or even a swamp cooler.  So what do you do?  You go late (they went about 5 p.m.), wear minimal clothing, and try to stay outside.  This is what the BRD did at the annual Gin and Tonic Party.

She said she borrowed the hat from another guest for the photo.

Beau Jack also dressed, uh, minimally.

That's proof it was hot.  It's the first time I've ever seen that old cowboy in shorts and sandles!

Saturday, June 23, 2012


I have to tell you . . . I can only understand a few words of this song but I admire the musicianship and the incredible energy.  Turn it up and put on your dancin' shoes.

When I used to want to hear some rockin' piano, I'd turn to Jerry Lee Lewis.  But after watching this I'd have to say ol' Elton could give The Killer a run for his money.

Oh . . and this is from a concert in Tokyo . . to explain the Japanese titles on the screen.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Wednesday, June 20, 2012


We had a little taste (test) of the "good old days" last night.  When I turned on the t.v. to watch the evening news, the picture was wobbling in and out.  Same on the other t.v.  Then I noticed the lights were flickering.  As I noted yesterday, it was hot and this was about the time the working stiffs were coming home from work and cranking their a.c. down.  I suspected a brown out.  About 15 minutes later it became a black out as everything electric in the house ceased to function.  Our neighbor had told us there were police cars and a fire truck a few blocks away and she wondered it that had anything to do with it.  So I hopped in the car and drove to where the police had a street blocked off.  A big fire truck was standing by and a power company truck also was there.  Obviously something had gone wrong in an open field and one of the cops confirmed that whatever was going on there had caused the power outage. 

So when I got home, good ol' SWMBO had pulled a water purifier out of the fridge, loaded a bunch of ice cubes into an ice bucket and was mixing drinks with a warning not to open the refrigerator or the freezer until this all got sorted out.

We had our supper from a fast food joint out of the outage zone and sat out on the back patio remembering the days when we lived in Mexico and the power would sometimes go out for hours and hours.

But last night about 9:30, after a 3 hour outage, the electricity came back on solidly and all was well.  It took a little time for my computer modem to catch up but eventually everything was restored to normal again.  As I indicated yesterday, that air conditioning sure felt good when it started up again.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Tomorrow is the first day of summer but the weather has already heated up here in Arizona.  It's in the mid to upper 90's here but we're in the mountains at over five thousand feet.  Down in the desert (not much of that left) of Phoenix and Tucson, it's approaching 110 daily.  Thank goodness for air conditioning.

Bring on the monsoon.  There already has been one haboob (dust storm) in Phoenix.  That usually means the summer rains are not far behind.

(By the way, I swiped the picture from the National Weather Service.  Thanks, guys and gals.)

Monday, June 18, 2012


I've just watched the new video of "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy".  I can remember watching the first version years ago as it played on PBS after coming over from the BBC.  In that one, Alec Guinness was remarkable playing the very understated George Smiley.  In the new one, Gary Oldman is equally remarkable playing that part.  The movie is a superb telling of a period during the Cold War when word came that there was a Russian mole high in the British Secret Service and the struggle to locate and identify that mole.  If he really existed.  If you can take the slow pace of a thinking man's spy thriller, this is a great movie which I highly recommend.

This is Alec Guinness as Smiley.

And this is Gary Oldman playing the same role.

Sunday, June 17, 2012


In spite of the growth of Prescott Valley, this is still farm and ranch country.  So one of the events at this year's P.V. Days celebration weekend is a tractor pull.  Here are some of the competitors.

John Deere and International Harvester.  Familiar names.  I'm not sure what this one was, other than older.

Of course all of that hard work conjures up an appetite.  And here's what's for sale to satisfy that.

I have had beef jerky but I don't think I ever tried "gourmet" beef jerky.  I wonder what has been added to it.

Friday, June 15, 2012


As I said the other day, I've been reading the four volume (so far) biography of Lyndon Johnson by Robert Caro.  But late today, in Volume Three, I read something that I believe needs repeating here today.  It concerns conversations between Johnson and Hubert Humphrey in 1951 and 1952, both men then United States Senators.  Johnson had taken Humphrey under his wing and these conversations occurred.

"...Johnson would, evening after evening, play variations on the same theme:  "Your speeches are accomplishing nothing," he would say.  Humphrey should learn to compromise.  "Otherwise, you'll suffer the fate of those crazies, those bomb-thrower types like Paul Douglas, Wayne Morse, Herbert Lehman.  You'll be ignored, and get nothing accomplished you want."  Humphrey, the man who had refused to compromise, not only came to believe this -- "Compromise is not a dirty word," he would say.  "The Constitution itself represents the first great national compromise" -- but to believe it with all the fervor of the convert, the convert who is the most enthusiastic of believers.  Not only, he was to say, was compromise not a dirty word; those who refuse to compromise are a threat; "the purveyors of perfection," as he came to call them, "are dangerous when they . . . move self righteously to dominate.  There are those who live by the strict rule that whatever they think right is necessarily right.  They will compromise on nothing. . . . These rigid minds, which arise on both the left and the right, leave no room for other points of view, for differing human needs. . . . Pragmatism is the better method."  The fact that some of his fellow liberal senators were to come to look upon him as, in his own words, one of the "unprincipled compromisers" bothered him for a while, he was to say;  "it doesn't bother me any more at all.  I felt it was important that we inch along even if we couldn't gallop along, at least that we trot a little bit."

Could that not be read on the floor of the House during a joint session of Congress, read at every Tea Party meeting, published on the front page of every newspaper, recited on CNN, MSNBC and Fox News until the message gets through?

No, I doubt it.   But at least I'll do my part.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


Prescott Valley is about to have it's annual celebration, known as Prescott Valley Days!  It begins this evening and the carnival is set up and waiting for business.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


I've been reading Robert Caro's series of books on the life of Lyndon Baines Johnson.  I'm a little less than halfway through the third volume.  SWMBO keeps saying "why would you ever want to know that much about that man?"  I wonder, myself, some times.  There is a ton of minutia about him.  But . . . it's fascinating.  LBJ was an amazing man, a genius politician, a charmer, one of the nastiest politicos I've ever read about, a man who abused men and women who worked for him but engendered their loyalty for decades.  He was a wounded man who needed absolute command of those around him.  Freud would have gone crazy analyzing him.

From his earliest days, he had decided he "would be" President of the United States some day.  He knew that the way to do it was to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, then the Senate, then (perhaps) the Vice-Presidency and finally the ultimate prize.  His attention was focused constantly on his upward journey and he was mightily distressed when the way seemed to be slowing down.

I have spent many days in the fantastic LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas.  It is a wonderment.

One has terrible confusion in reading of his life.  One minute he is a terrific public servant, the next he is a wife-abusing, staff-abusing monster.

I think Shakespeare would have had a great joy trying to define LBJ.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Big fat robin.

Big dumb dove.

Big dumb birdwatcher.  (You can't see them looking at the ground, goofball.)

Wow!  That light was not nice to my hair color.  Going grayer.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Remember when we were kids?  Bath night usually was Saturday night.  I guess my mother thought we'd look clean for church the next day.

But it was only once a week.  Now I have friends that shower two or three times a day!  What's their problem?

Anyway these guys will take a bath any chance they get.

Another rascal arrived a few seconds later.  I believe it's a different robin since I saw three at once in the yard and this one appeared to be much more cautious.  I shot a video of him, too, but I have tried multiple times over a couple of days and can't get it to load. 

So you'll just have to imagine him.

And don't forget your bath.

Thursday, June 7, 2012


Well, looky here, my old buddy Tom has given me another award.  This one is "The Illuminating Blogger Award."

Well now, Thomas, thanks for the award.  You can read Tom's writing and see some of his photos at his blog Light Breezes.

By the way, the award was created by C.J. at Food Stories.

Now, a random fact about me: I am older than most of you but still have most of my own hair and it's only looking gray under harsh fluorescent lighting.

I am supposed to nominate five other people for the award.  Let me start with Kitty at Kitty Kat Photography.  An English lass with remarkable photographic skills.  You'll like her photos.

Then from across the pond to right here at home.  A blogger in my very own town, Judy at Prescott Area Daily Photo.  Again a fine photographer with a great eye for finding the unique pictures.

Then there's the irrepressible Cupcake Murphy at Odd, Good, True.  Her take on life is simply hilarious and you'll enjoy her "tales" of Cooper, the family pet and actor.

Now we venture down to the land of Oz.  Meggie is a Kiwi but has lived in Australia for years.  She's had a tough last year but maintains her sense of humor (and outrage) at her blog Life's Free Treats.

And finally, I'd like to nominate a fairly recent addition to bloggerdom, Jager at You've Got a Lot to Learn.  Jager (that's an assumed name) is opinionated, sometimes foul-mouthed, but comes up with some remarkable blog postings.  Try him.

O.K.  I've done my duty.  The rest is up to you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Thursday, May 31, 2012


A few days ago the fabulous Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay celebrated it's 75th anniversary.  I have fond memories of the construction through the photographs of my father's brother, Zenas Howland Taylor.  He lived in San Francisco for many decades and he and some buddies watched the construction from their "swimming camp" just down the coast.

This is my Uncle Zenas at the beach.

And this is the beginning of what was the famous Golden Gate Bridge over San Francisco Bay.

As you can see from the photographs, only the huge suspension towers were in place at this point.  None of the cable had been strung nor the roadway built.

The members of this swimming club had their own construction project underway on the beach.  Using driftwood and construction material that floated onto shore, they were building their very own "camp" for protection from those nasty Northern California winds.

This was the 1930's, the glory years for that Band of Brothers.

A few years later, Uncle Zenas had put on some weight and was looking good on one of his many visits to one of his favorite places for climbing and camping out - Yosemite National Park.

These pictures came to my attention after his death.  But they help me to remember my favorite uncle.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012


This may not seem odd to you but it is rare when all three of our cats occupy the same territory.  Muggles and Blackwell are normally all right with it.  Muggles and Jazz are all right with it.  Muggles and Blackwell are definitely NOT all right with it.  Blackwell takes Jazz' spite in stride but if he's in the area Jazz usually wants to be somewhere else.

That's why SWMBO was stunned this morning when all three chose her bed for a mid-morning nap.