Friday, December 7, 2012


This is one of the reasons I like living in Arizona.  I snapped this photo early this morning as I was running out to buy a paper.  It's December 7th, there is no snow and the sun is shining.

Of course there are others who don't agree with me.  An article the other day said the states has been in drought for 15 years now.  But this little town keeps growing (housing starts are up) and new businesses are opening and the constant question remains "How do people make a living here?"

Sort of hidden, there are several large employers here and I expect a lot of people work in them.  Their salaries apparently keep the service industry going as more and more restaurants (mostly fast food types) keep opening.

But back to the weather.  It's just past 11 a.m. now and the temperature is 46.  The high today is forecast at 64.  There's no snow.

And it's December 7th.

I hope you're happy wherever you are.

Oops, I've been letting you down recently without my Gratuitous Critter photos.  Let's see what we've got for today.

Ah, how about this one.

"Good to the last drop!"

Thursday, December 6, 2012


SWMBO bought a new bed yesterday.  The guys came and delivered it and set it up today.  When they left and she looked at it, she said "It's so high!"

Yes, it is.  With the rolling frame on the bottom, then the box spring, then the mattress . . . this sucker must sit nearly three feet off the floor.  I told her she'd need a stepladder to climb up into it.  But she said, other than the oxygen deprivation, it is comfortable.

Meantime, Blackwell was just trying to see if he'd fit under the behemoth.

Sweet dreams up there!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


It's a sad day for jazz fans.  News came that the legendary pianist Dave Brubeck has died at the age of 91.  He was the leader of the Dave Brubeck Quartet for many years and that was how I first saw him.

I was a college student in North Dakota in the 1950's and learned that the Quartet was performing at a Minnesota college a little more than a hundred miles away.  I had to go see him.

I can still remember at one point during the concert, his saxaphone player Paul Desmond put down his horn and left the stage.  Then the bassist, Eugene Wright, left.  Then Brubeck stopped playing, turned around and leaned back against the piano as the drummer, Joe Morello, played a very lengthy solo.  Finally Brubeck turned around and began adding chords and the other two players returned and finished out the number.  Sure, it was a little bit schmaltzy but it was effective.  The crowd loved it.

Now the rest of the story, as someone used to say on the radio.

I was the co-editor of my college newspaper.  I managed to get backstage to meet the legend by telling one of the guards that I was "the editor of the newspaper" and wanted to interview Brubeck.  I was amazed when he showed me to the area where the Quartet was preparing for the concert.  And Brubeck graciously gave me an interview.

Once that was done he and Paul Desmond posed for a photo with me (in my very collegiate sweater vest) and my co-conspirator, Phil Perry.

Needless to say, we were thrilled to meet our idols and, yes, I did do an article based on the interview.

I attended at least two more Brubeck concerts over the years and always loved his music.  But that first time was a real treat.  Brubeck was a musical genius, I believe, and I'll miss him.  From a performance a few years after I originally saw the group, here's one of their most famous pieces from that era - "Take Five".

Monday, December 3, 2012


Remember the old Yellow Cabs?  Or the black British cabs?  All it took was a glance to know that was a taxi.  But nowadays?  Apparently they can be any color under the rainbow.

And while I'm at it, Taco Bell doesn't look the same anymore either!

(grump, grump, grump)

Sunday, December 2, 2012

SHEEEE . . . . IT!

Well, that didn't work so we're going to have to go back to the old system, folks.  I'm really sorry but there's just no other way that I know.

Some advice.  Take it slowly and just look at one letter at a time.  If that doesn't work, just put in anything and the tool will give you another word.  Sometimes the second or third one is easier than the first.

I apologize.  God knows I'm sorry but I just have to do this.

Stay with me.  Please.  I need you.


NO, WAIT!  I may have another solution.  This one requires me to approve comments.  I'll try that.  Hang in there.


Once again, I have been having trouble with spam to my account.  It's grown to dozens of comments a day.  I don't want to put the mystery word system back on the blog so I've attempted to put a filter in to catch and delete them.

It is designed to stop comments and email from an account named "Anonymous".  But I notice that some other commenters use that term.  So, please change your ID so your comments don't get blocked also.

Thanks and sorry for the hassle.


Steve Benson, the editorial cartoonist for the Arizona Republic, took a shot at the governor this morning.

I must agree.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


What is the younger generation doing these days?  Well, here's what some of the brighter ones are doing.

Now for something for those of you of a slightly older generation, here's one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite singers, Lyle Lovett.  (Warning: one line in the song is not proper for sensitive audiences.)

And with that we come to Saturday's Gratuitous Critter Photo.

"Nice pony."

Friday, November 30, 2012


Well I told you my plans to move to Phoenix had aroused great interest in the blogger community.  Why, just today I received a video from my good friend Tom way out there in California's Central Empire.  He always has good advice.

Well now I had to ponder on that for awhile.  But eventually I decided the best thing was to just ask the question I was havin' trouble with.

Just a couple of good ol' boys havin' some fun on a cold Friday.

So now here's today's Gratuitous Critter picture.

"Those human beings are sure strange!"

Thursday, November 29, 2012


I hadn't realized when I posted yesterday and mentioned that SWMBO and I are considering a move to Phoenix what a splash that would make in Blogdom.  

We lived in Phoenix from 1972 to 1987 and enjoyed the city, if not so much the summer heat.  But we're retired now and can stay inside when it gets hot so we're ready for it again.  We've been here in Prescott Valley for 16 years (hard to believe) and have about exhausted the restaurant scene and the social scene.  So, in our grayer years of our dotage we decided to opt for Phoenix once again.

Other than probing via the Internet, we have not really begun to explore where we'll live except we're thinking somewhere in Central Phoenix with easy access to the Light Rail line.

Rest assured we'll keep you posted on our new home.

Now to the BRD.  She and her Beau Jack were on vacation last week.

When they need some kickback R and R, their favorite place has become Cancun, Mexico.  It's warm, it's comfortable to them and it's wet.  Possibly a little too much wet from time to time.

But who am I to say?  SWMBO and I spent about 4 and a half years living in Mexico in an earlier retirement and loved it.  We'll probably visit ourselves some time in the future.

And so it goes.

Now . . . as to the Gratuitous Critter photo for the day . . . play on, my friends, play on!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


Sometimes life gets busy and you forget all about your real obligations until someone sends you an email asking about your health and welfare.  Such a thing has just happened to me.  I ran out of politically astute or witty things to write about on my blog and so I've been absent for a few days.  But fortunately for me I have some friends out there in Blogdom who care enough to write and inquire.

Such a person is my friend Scott, a.k.a. Lowandslow, from the blog Flight Plan, which you can link to along the right side of my pages.  I got "the email" from Scott last night.  I wish to assure him and any others of you that I am fine, just a little frazzled with decisions about buying a new car, moving to Phoenix and all the "stuff" that comes along with those decisions.  But my health and attitude is A-OK and I'll try to do better on inhabiting this blog.

In the meantime, I'll share with you an image the BRD sent to me this morning.  It's titled "Waiting For the New Dog" and it shall be today's Gratuitous Critter photo.  Enjoy!

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Just when I thought I'd given up the Thanksgiving tradition of long hours in a kitchen to make a 20-minute-meal, along came one of those pictures from the bacon-goes-good-with-anything people.

Now that's an idea.  Probably not a very good one for someone who already has a Pacemaker, though.

By the way, I guess you've all probably heard by now that Larry Hagman has died at the age of 81.  Hagman was working on the latest iteration of "Dallas", playing his iconic J.R. Ewing once again.

So long, Larry, it was good to know you.

I saw something interesting in my little town the other day.  Workmen were putting up one of those big fancy new signs at Tim's Toyota Center.

But what struck me as odd was what was going to top off the sign.

Bucky's Casino and the Yavapai Casino are nowhere near the Prescott Valley Town Center.  They're a half dozen or so miles down the road on the Yavapai Apache reservation near Prescott.  So why are we advertising them?  It's a mystery, though I'm thinking maybe they paid for the whole sign.

The stars of today's Gratuitous Critters photo certainly are confused.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I think Thanksgiving turkey feasts like we had yesterday are a thing of the past for us.  I still feel stuffed this morning and I had a miserable night.  Couldn't get to sleep for the longest time, rolled and tossed, then had a dream in which President Obama was defeated for renomination for a second term at the Democratic convention by the current President of France, Francoise Hollande.  I can't figure out where the hell that came from but I remember Obama was mad about it.

But back to the feast.  In spite of people who say "Oh, turkey.  There's nothing to it."  But you have to start several days ahead and the day of the feast is a minefield of timing all the various dishes.  Our turkey breast was done way ahead of time as was the dressing which left a short period of heightened activity to get the sweet potatoes and the Brussel sprouts ready before the other stuff got cold.

And then comes the ultimate insult.  After hours, or days, of preparation, it's all over in about 20 minutes!  You wait and wait, nearly dying from the wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen, then you sit down and shovel the food into your mouth and almost instantly it's all over!

Next year, I think we'll either ignore the day all together or go to a restaurant for a lesser celebration.

As for all the artificial bonhomie . . .

And then there is the day after shopping, which actually began on Thanksgiving itself this year.  I am not a shopper so I avoided the mass hysteria and downright nasty behavior by the crowds going for those one in a million sale items.  But it certainly can leave a bad taste in one's mouth to observe the unruly crowds on television.

Bah! Humbug!  Now we've got Christmas to get through.

Thursday, November 22, 2012


The turkey.

The dressing.

The gravy.

The plate.

The salads.

And the pie.

It's extravagant.  It's too much.  But it's delicious.  And it's only once a year.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


I am thankful today for many things.  But most of all I am thankful that I can  . . .  once again  . . .  listen to and share with you this great story from our old pal, Arlo Guthrie.  Happy thanksgiving and enjoy.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012


In case you didn't know, Thursday is Thanksgiving Day.  It's the annual day of feasting, overeating and napping between football games.  This year I volunteered to do the turkey (breast), the dressing, the sweet potatoes and the gravy.  The real cook in the family will do the rest.

So today I began the early prep work on the dressing, which involved tearing up two loaves of bread.

Does that look like a lot of bread to you?  It sure does to me.  It's going into the turned-off-but-with-the-light-on oven for 24 hours now to dry.

SWMBO assured me that the bread will shrink once the wet ingredients are added and she reminded me that I love dressing.  I can eat it hot or cold.  I can eat it in a sandwich.  I can eat it with a spoon standing in front of the refrigerator.  So lots of dressing will be okay with me.  

Tomorrow the bread will be combined with two pounds of breakfast sausage, celery, onion, eggs and a bunch of spices.  Then it will be refrigerated until being baked Thursday.  

I don't know about you but I'm getting hungry.

As for today's Gratuitous Critter picture, I think this guy is just looking for a snack.

"I'm lookin' for food in all the wrong places."

Monday, November 19, 2012


Last month I posted about a sculpture created at Bronzesmith in Prescott Valley.  Here is that post.  While the clay sculpture, hopefully to be finished in bronze and stationed in front of the Town Hall, was based on a painting by Western artist, writer and publisher Bob Boze Bell, I failed to name the sculptor.  She is one Deb Gessner and you can read more about her and see her picture at Boze's own web site, here.

My apologies go to Deb for not identifying her in my earlier post.  She is, quite obviously, a very talented sculptor in her own right.

Sunday, November 18, 2012


From The New Yorker:

And then, there's today's Gratuitous Critter picture.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012


It seems Arizona's senior U.S. Senator, John McCain, is becoming more and more loony as every day goes on.  Here's what Dylan Byers of POLITICO reported today:

Hill reporters seem to be testing Sen. John McCain's patience.
Yesterday, Sen. McCain told a reporter that his question was "one of the dumbest questions I've ever heard." 
Today, when asked by CNN's Ted Barrett why he had missed a classified briefing on the attack in Benghazi, Libya, he responded thusly:
"I have no comment about my schedule and I'm not going to comment on how I spend my time to the media."
Asked why he wouldn't comment, McCain grew agitated: "Because I have the right as a senator to have no comment and who the hell are you to tell me I can or not?”
When CNN noted that McCain had missed a key meeting on a subject the senator has been intensely upset about, McCain said, "I'm upset that you keep badgering me."

ALERT:  Watch for McCain to check into a rehab center soon to get his emotions under control!!!
Once again, today's Gratuitous Critter photo resembles the angry Senator.

"Will you idiots just leave me alone!!!"