Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I made these banana-blueberry muffins back on August 4th.  But I liked them so much I decided to try them again.  This time I left them in the oven about 8 minutes longer and the tops browned a bit more.

The first ones I made were delicious.  So are these.  For some reason the banana flavor comes out a bit more.  SWMBO said of the first ones that the banana seemed wasted because she couldn't taste it.  At any rate, I'll probably make them again some day.  After I lose the pounds from this batch.

Here's the recipe so you can make your own.  Let me know how they turn out.

Banana-Blueberry Muffins

1 stick butter
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 bananas, mashed
1/2 cup milk
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen

Heat oven at 350.

Cream butter and sugar, add eggs, mix in bananas and milk.  In separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and cinnamon.  Add moist to dry ingredients and mix only until batter is moist.  Carefully stir in the whole blueberries.

Spoon into greased muffin tin and bake 25 minutes.  (I added about 8 minutes to that this time to brown them more.  Altitude can have an affect on your baking.)

Monday, August 27, 2012


SWMBO began by making her trademark bruschetta and slicing and lightly toasting a French baguette.

Then to Trader Giotto's (Joe's) Lobster Ravioli.

Beautiful plump red and white packages.

Once cooked, a sauce for them was prepared.  Chopped garlic and parsley, a little olive oil, lemon juice and lots of butter.  (Thank you, Julia!)

Finally the finished product.  The cooked ravioli, drizzled with the sauce, accompanied by the bruschetta-topped baguette slices and a glass of nice white wine.


Saturday, August 25, 2012


Oh, gawdddd! 

The Diamondbacks lost to the Padres again tonight.

The Dodgers have acquired a huge number of aces from the Red Sox.

Tiger Woods had a kind of lousy day at The Barclay's.

Maybe I'll just quit sports altogether.

But then what would that leave?


Oh, god.

The Republicans start their convention Monday in Tampa by adjourning until Tuesday afternoon because of Tropical Storm/Hurricane Isaac.  At least Vice-President Joe Biden called off his campaigning in Tampa during the convention.  That would have been a bit nasty.  And, as he said, the G.O.P. has enough on their plates the next week.

I still believe President Obama will win the election in November.  Maybe that's because I can't imagine a White House with Milt Romney in charge.  I don't think a country's government can be run like a business.  Especially like a cut-throat business empire the likes of which Romney ran. 

The people have to be considered.  Taken care of when they can't take care of themselves.  A Mormon should know this, judging from the special on NBC last night. 

But I just don't believe Mitt Romney has any real sense of the vast middle class in this country.  I know huge numbers of the middle class are supporting him.  But I can't imagine what they're thinking, what they're hoping for.  Romney is a millionaire, with millionaire friends.  And those people forget about the people who aren't millionaires.

I know this doesn't make a lot of sense.  But I've had some vodka tonight and basically I'm just emptying my brain.

So, forgive me.

And please vote for the Democrats in November.

And pray for the Diamondbacks, if that is your thing.

Friday, August 24, 2012


I fear my Arizona Diamondbacks season may be nearly over.  Yes, they still have nearly 40 games left to play and they are in reach of their division leaders.  But.  They seem to have lost the will.  Tonight they were thrashed by the lowly San Diego Padres, 5 to nothing. 

Earlier today it was announced that their color announcer, Mark Grace, had taken a leave of absence for personal reasons.  That came after he was busted in Scottsdale for Driving Under the Influence (of alcohol).  That was the second time in two years for Mr. Grace.  He was driving a vehicle that did not have one of those interlock devices that doesn't let you drive if your alcohol content is too high.  Supposedly that was part of his terms for his last bust a year ago.

This compounds the mystery of where is Daron Sutton?  And why?  The broadcast voice of the Diamondbacks has been missing from the microphone for over two months.  The club says he's been suspended for an unexplained reason.  Sutton early said he hadn't been suspended but needed some time to work out a personal problem.  Neither of these two explanations hold water.  Rumor is it that he was suspended because he insisted on wearing a suit and tie to broadcast numerous games and the club wanted him to wear a team polo shirt.  Is that ridiculous?

Another rumor is that Sutton is trying to negotiate a contract with a new team.  Vin Scully is very near retirement with the Dodgers and that position would tempt Sutton, whose father pitched for them for many years.  But, as we've already said - who knows?

So, the Diamondbacks stumble along.  Manager Kirk Gibson is pissed, reportedly, about his team's uneven performance.  But in this type of environment, who can tell?

There are way too many who's with this ballclub.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


When I posted a call for help with a printer problem earlier today . . that help arrived promptly from a reliable source.  I should have known just to email him first.  But, hell, I needed something to blog about anyway and I hate to bother him as he is busy in his new career.  Where once he was an IT professional (and you'll have to ask someone what that means because I've forgotten) . . he made an early life course correction and is now heavily engaged in the culinary industry.  I expect someday he will become a captain of industry.  But thank you, Tombo Check, for taking time from your busy day to help out an old friend.

Mr. Check


Okay, calm down.  It's not like there's a dragon at the gate.  Or for my Republican readers (are there any???) that a hurricane is expected to strike Tampa the same day the Republican National Convention is scheduled to start there.  God's will?  (Heh-heh.)

No, my problem and need for help is much easier than that.  It's about my printer.  I have an HP Officejet 6300 All-in-One machine.  It does faxes, it makes copies, and occasionally, it prints.

You will notice, I said occasionally.  I have found through days and days of experience that each time I want to print I have to go into the software, find Printer Preferences and reset nearly every page.  It always says "Custom Printing" on the Printing Shortcuts page.  I have to change that to "General Everyday Printing".  Most of the other pages have "Type New Quickset Name Here".  I have to change that to "Default Print Settings."

Once I've made the changes, I tell the machine to print something and it usually works like a charm.  But the next time I want to print something, I have to go in and make all those changes again. 

Seems to me there ought to be a way for me to lock those changes in so I wouldn't have to change them every time.

Any wizards out there with a solution?

Monday, August 20, 2012


Just a variety of photos, most taken from our driveway.  Feel free to put your own names or dreams on them.

Sunday, August 19, 2012


SWMBO outdid herself tonight.

First, chopped veggies.

Then, a spice rub.

And a Julia Child.  That is, lots of butter.

The veggies were for a Cajun rice recipe.

The spice rub coated both sides of a couple of catfish filets.

Next, to the barbecue grill, to heat up a black iron skillet.

And then the fish get blackened.

By the way, do NOT try to do this part on your stove.  I don't think any fan, other than an industrial kitchen fan, can keep your smoke detector from going off if you do.

And, at last, it's on the plate and on the table, accompanied by a large ear of corn on the cob, a salad and a nice glass of wine.  Bon appetit!

Lest anyone be surprised, it was all delicious.

Saturday, August 18, 2012


Just when you think it's safe to go out in your backyard, a new face appears on the scene.

I suspect she is trying to catch a bird.  The other day when we first spotted her, she was lying in the shade directly under the bird bath.

As to the he/she determination, could any critter with a face as sweet as this be a guy?  I think not.

I had just read that a cat with rings around its tail is a trait tracing back to its feral ancestors.  This cat is beautifully marked all over.

But she will NOT become part of our family.  Enough is enough. 

However, she is welcome to the back yard.

Friday, August 17, 2012


Just to show you that not all blues music has to be blue, here's the master himself, B.B. King.

Then there's sort of a mixed blues.  Hard to tell whether this one is happy or sad.  From a long time back, Loudon Wainwright III.

Then there's a virtuoso performance by a great Texas blues shouter, Miss Janis Joplin.  I warn you . . some of you may not like this.  She is definitely over the top on this one.

And finally, one of my favorites - Miss Francine Reed - performing with the Lyle Lovett Large Band.  Wild Women Don't Get the Blues.

It kind of reminds me of the motto embroidered on a throw pillow in the office of Helen Gurley Brown at Cosmopolitan magazine - "Good girls go to Heaven, Bad girls go everywhere!"

Have a good weekend, folks.

Thursday, August 16, 2012


We had to have Jazz put down a few weeks ago.  She had become incontinent and nothing we tried seemed to help.  If you've ever had an incontinent pet, you know the agony of having to clean up after her once or more every day.  So, after 8 years we tearfully said goodbye.

Jazz was our box-cat.  Any empty box on the floor became a home for her.

Even ones she couldn't get all of herself into.

She liked to jump up and stretch out on the back of my chair and if I invited her, she'd come down to my lap.

I don't know what she was thinking when she curled up in a bathroom sink one day but I know if we had turned the water on that scowl would have gotten fiercer and she would have fled.

She was a good little cat.  And she stayed little all her life.  As Blackwell evolved from a scarred up tiny kitten into a big, brawny male cat . . she seemed to grow more and more terrified of him.  But that's over now and we will remember our sweet Jazz.

So now it's time for the crocodile tears to end.  After all we still have two cats.

Big old Blackwell.

And his playmate, the lovable Muggles.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


If you're a fan of some outrageous humor, as I am, you should check out Odd, Good, True which is written by my pal Cupcake Murphy.  She has a weird but very satisfying sense of humor and a beautiful dog named Cooper who is prominent in her posts.  Tell her I sent you.

Speaking of outrageous humor, there's the Romney-Ryan ticket, giving employment to comedians everywhere.

If you like your politics a little more hard-edged, check out Flight Plan by Scott from Dallas, Texas.  He's a true 2012 Angry Young Man.

Look at Dana's dinner from last night.  As I commented, it even looks good to a carnivore like me.  Yum!

Speaking of dinner, SWMBO just informed me that I'm making these to go with her chicken tonight.

Those are called Crispy Smashed Potatoes.  You can, as I did, find a recipe for them here.  Mine won't be as pretty as these because I'm using white potatoes.  (or is that "potatos?"  Damned Dan Quayle got me confused.)

O.K.  That's enough for today.  I have to rest up now for my stint in the kitchen later.  La-ti-dah!

Monday, August 13, 2012


Comes Monday and I'm usually desperate for something to blog about.  Some Mondays and some other days, for that matter, I just don't post anything.  But today I was in Prescott and got a look at the location of the Bird Cage saloon, Pearl's Place Cafe, and the Prescott Food Store - all of which were destroyed in a fire on Whiskey Row May 8th.

The view is from the parking garage looking toward Montezuma Street.  Once the three businesses were cleaned out of anything worth salvaging, the building was demolished.  There's no word yet on whether the three businesses will rebuild on the site, locate somewhere else or just forget about it.

* * * * *

Now, on a lighter note, please enjoy this video.

Sunday, August 12, 2012


The Olympics are over!  Now can we get back to reality, NBC?

That is - "America's Got Talent" and "Stars Earn Stripes".

Actually I had my Olympic moment this afternoon when I accidentally turned on NBC in time to see the last few miles of the marathon race.  An athlete from Uganda beat two Kenyans for the Gold.  Now, that's entertainment.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012


The perfect way to get your guy to eat his salad.  And the bowl.

And it's low carb - bacon, lettuce and tomato minus the bread!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


It's always a pleasure to find a new young singer.  A splendid surprise yesterday was hearing Susie Arioli for the first time.  She's a Canadian singer based in Montreal and she has a great touch with jazz standards.  She's tough to find in the United States so enjoy.

The second find is a beautiful woman named Melody Gardot.  She wears dark glasses nearly all the time because of effects from a terrible accident in which she was struck by a vehicle while she was bicycling.  You can learn more about her by going here.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


For those of you (from yesterday's comments) who miss or may have missed Emma Peel from The Avengers, television program . .

In her fighting leathers

with her partner, John Steed

Unrequited romance always seemed in the air

And can one wonder why.

The initimable Diana Rigg, as Emma Peel.

By the way, at 74 she is still acting, most recently in The Game of Thrones on HBO.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


The answer to yesterday's riddle is "animals."  Two horses, one man, one hog.

Oh, sure, a chorus of voices sang out.  "Fraud!"  And yes, you're right.  The correct answer, as nearly everyone knew, was "steed".

The first . . two steeds, or spirited horses.

The second . . British actor Patrick Macnee, who played Major The Honorable John Wickham Gascoyne Beresford Steed MC, OM, more popularly known as John Steed in the television series The Avengers.

And the third . . one I didn't know until yesterday . . the Honda Steed motorcycle.

So, my readers appear to be smarter than the old Catalyst.  Congratulations, all.