Tuesday, March 19, 2013


I spent all day today on the phone with tech support people trying to get my computer problems fixed.  I think they're o.k. now.  Just in time for a new ISP (Internet Service Provider, for you non-nerds).

All of this, of course, keeps me away from packing boxes.  I do have to hurl a few of them (that's a figure of speech) into the garage but mostly I've left all the grunt work to SWMBO.  Which is best since she will only find fault with what I do anyway.  Oh, that's not fair.  She's pretty good but she knows how she wants things done.

And I know how you women are reacting.  Dirty pig!  Uh, yeah.

But I do what I can and that's not very much these days.

There are three days left before we move.  SWMBO has finally agreed to have someone come in and clean the house after we leave, rather than come back and do it herself.  The BRD convinced her of that after, of course, I had spent weeks trying to convince her. 

So it continues.  There's really not that much to do but it will increase in velocity as the days shorten.

I'll keep you posted.

Monday, March 18, 2013



Was it always like this?

Packing, cleaning, telephoning, emailing, grunge!

I must say that SWMBO has been doing 90% of the packing.  She's starting to look a bit glassy-eyed.  

I have been on the telephone and the computer for much of two days.  My eyes are looking bloodshot.

We move Saturday.  5 days from today.  Will we make it?

Who knows.

Nearly everything we own is in boxes, hopefully carefully labeled so we can find everything when we get to our new destination.  It's only two hours away yet it seems like light years.

If I ever mention moving again, somebody, everybody . . . please slap me up side the head.

We've been in our present home for 12 years.  We had forgotten what a pain it is to move your entire household.  In the past, in a couple of moves, we just sold everything we could and moved the bare minimum.  This time, it's all going with us.


Sunday, March 17, 2013


A pint o' Guinness would go well with this:

Thursday, March 14, 2013


Finally!  I got a call from our realtor a short time ago and he said it is finally official.  We got our new home in Phoenix.  It's a three year lease rental and we've been on pins and needles for days now.  We'll make a trip to pay the deposits, get the keys and put a carload of fragile stuff in the house and take some measurements and then we'll be happy.  Here's a picture or two.

That's a raised patio in the back yard from which one can see a small portion of the nearby golf course.

I can remember many decades ago when my boss in Bismarck, North Dakota moved to suburban San Francisco to take a new job.  The thing he was most excited about, I think, was that he had a lemon tree in his yard.

That tree on the right in our new back yard is . . . a lemon tree!  And I'm as excited as he was.

Quite obviously we have a lot to do before we're settled in.  But stay tuned.  We'll keep you posted.


"Man, all this sitting around with everything in boxes, just waiting for something to happen, is driving me crazy!"

Wednesday, March 13, 2013


The BRD says cats always relate back to their jungle ancestors and will find a high spot on which to perch.  Blackwell has found his sleeping place, even after I moved it up a box yesterday.  He loves that pillow.

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Hard to say.  We have found the house of our dreams (temporarily) and have made an application to rent it.  We have submitted paper of various types.  And now we wait.  Our realtor had told us he hoped to have an answer for us by today.  Nothing.

SWMBO is confident.  I retain my normal pessimistic outlook.  But it is Sunday, after all, and in spite of my loving wife's confident assurance that realtors work every day of the week . . . we have heard nothing.

We have probably two-thirds of our possessions already in boxes.  Waiting.  Like me.  Waiting.

The place looks ideal.  It is very close to several shopping centers that will have nearly everything that we need.  Closer than we have had in some years.  It is a gated community.  It is nicely landscaped. It seems quiet.

But.  We wait.

Stay tuned.  I certainly will.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


I finally saw "The Master" yesterday, via Netflix.  Many who have viewed it ahead of me talked about the mastery of Joaquin Phoenix in his role.  While I thought he was good, I failed to see the mastery. What I did notice was his strange hands-on-hips posture and his equally strange tittering laugh when he seemed nervous about something.  His violent rages I did not understand, other than that they seemed an exertation of anger at how his "master" was being mistreated.  But that didn't seem to hold true as he abandoned him at several points in the film.

The silliness of the mental routines for Phoenix (and others) didn't hold true for me although SWMBO said it was very similar to the mind-bending employed by the leaders of the Scientology movement, which many say this movie is based on.  Since I have never studied Scientology, I can't say.  But the accusations of one person in the movie, a John More, seem to go to the narrow focus of the cult.  But, is it a cult?

Scientology certainly seems to be and the followers of Lancaster Dodd and his wife certainly seem to be.

But back to the movie.  Is it good?  I'd give it about a 5 on a scale of 10.  It's fascinating but it doesn't seem to provide any truths.

Hooray for Hollywood!

Monday, March 4, 2013


I watched a movie from Netflix today.  "$5 A Day" with Christopher Walken, Alessandro Nivola, and a very hot looking Sharon Stone.  Considering the movie was released in 2008, she is holding together very well.  Walken, of course, is the centerpiece of this entertaining story of a lifelong con artist.  Very enjoyable.

As is this Monday song.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


No luck yet in our search for a new home but we're headed back down to the Big Valley this week with our heads held high and hopes intact.  

Meanwhile . . . 

And one more . . .

Thursday, February 28, 2013


With SWMBO gone all week, house sitting with the BRD's 3 cats, our cats seem to have gone into hibernation, at least in the daytime.  Muggles sleeps all day on the foot of the bed and this morning I caught her in a completely relaxed and unguarded moment.

Blackwell, on the other hand, is enjoying our packing and stacking boxes everywhere.  He frequently goes to the top of a tall stack just to see what's there.  And I have no idea how he got to this perch in an empty bookcase, about four feet from the floor.

Good climbing and leaping skills, I guess.  And he gets down by himself when no one is looking!

Meantime SWMBO and I are off to Phoenix to look at several houses for a possible new home today.  Wish us luck.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Colonel Colonel asked yesterday (in a comment on my post) if I was goin' to Katmandu.  I responded that I wasn't but I might sing it.  Needless to say, while I enjoy the famous song by that name, there is no way I could sing it.  But the legend from Detroit, Bullet Bob Seger certainly can.  Turn up your sound, folks, and look out for the next more than 6 minutes of rock and roll.


I want to go to Annapurna
to watch the Annapurnans dance.

they’d let me dance
with them.

Or maybe they’d just say 

We really do believe
that you had better leave.”

(For some reason, this poem(?) created itself in my head last night.  I'd explain it.  But I can't.)

Sunday, February 24, 2013


Take your pick.  There's been a ton of talk in the media and elsewhere about the Sequester the nation is facing on March 1st.  But another important day is today.  In Arizona, at least.  This is the sesquicentennial of the Arizona Territory.  President Abraham Lincoln created the territory exactly 150 years ago today.  Joanna Dodder Nellans has written a fine article about the history in today's Prescott Daily Courier newspaper.

Darned if there wasn't a light dusting of white stuff greeting early risers today to mark the occasion, I guess.

But the sun is up and the snow is rapidly melting off and being blown away by gusty winds.

Meantime, the BRD and her Beau Jack leave this morning for California's central coast, where the high temperature is expected to be in the 70's most of the week of their vacation.

Oscar night tonight.  We've only seen a couple of the films that are nominated but here are my predictions, based on many articles I've read.

Best Picture - Argo
Directing - Steven Spielberg
Leading Actor - Daniel Day-Lewis
Supporting Actor - Tommy Lee Jones
Leading Actress - Jennifer Lawrence
Supporting Actress - Anne Hathaway

But, as all "predictors" are wont to say - "who knows?"

Saturday, February 23, 2013


I have neglected you, blogger friends.

I have just been reading your blogs, many since I have last entered my timeless thoughts.  Yours are very good.  Mine, not so much.

So, what have I been up to?  Today I watched a lovely movie, "Robot and Frank" with the excellent Frank Langella and the always delectable Susan Sarandon, among others.  I liked it.

And I have finally finished a book, "Telegraph Avenue" by the fantastic Michael Chabon.  I have no idea how he mastered the black lifestyle (good and bad) and "talk", but that he did.  He has already won a Pulitzer Prize (for "The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay") and this novel is, while trying at times, ultimately fascinating and lovely.  I recommend it.

We are still packing boxes full of our belongings.  Well, at least, SWMBO is.  I've kind of fallen down on it but I am trying to find a realtor or property management person in the Valley who will do us some good.  But it will happen.  Our move, that is.  Eventually.

The BRD and her Beau Jack are off to San Luis Obispo and environs tomorrow.  SWMBO is off to Flagstaff to spend Academy Awards night with a good friend and her annual party.  Then she'll return briefly on Monday before leaving to spend a week house-sitting (or cat-sitting, actually) at the BRD's house.

Speaking of cats, I took our beloved Blackwell to the Humane Society yesterday to have a microchip implanted in him and to have his toenails clipped.  As has been noted before, he is a bit of an escape artist (though he has, to date, always returned).  But the microchip will give us an added feeling of certainty that we won't lose him in the move.  He was very good, very brave through a long waiting period in a room full of dogs, some barking.  But I think he's glad to be home.

I have another movie to watch.  "Little White Lies", which SWMBO (who watched it today) tells me is a French movie with subtitles about a couple of couples who go on a vacation at the beach . . and all that brings to mind.  Hmmmm.

Food!  Two nights ago SWMBO surprised me with one of my favorite meals: Chicken piccata with pasta alfredo.  Leftovers last night.  Tonight, baked chicken and rice.  It's smelling delicious as I write this.  And salivate.  I have a New York steak thawing in the refrigerator for my "escape night" dinner.  Steak and baked potato.  Just for me.  Only when SWMBO leaves me alone for a night.

So it goes for we older folks.  Books, movies, food.  What else does one need.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Scottsdale, Arizona.

Yesterday afternoon.




Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Yesterday, I was in Mesa standing around talking to friends under sunny skies in 70 degree temperatures.  But I had checked the forecast and I knew a change was coming.  Just a day later, this was the scene as I was driving from Prescott Valley to Prescott this afternoon.

But as I said to one of my North Dakota buddies yesterday, at least in Arizona it doesn't last long.  A couple of hours later the sun was out and the snow was gone.

Incidentally I was watching a golf tournament that began today at Marana, just a bit north of Tucson in southern Arizona.  It started out cold with the players wearing stocking caps and jackets.  A bit later and as Jason Day put it, "First it started to rain, then it changed to sleet and then to snow."  The rest of play was called off for the day as about two inches fell in less than an hour.  Most of the golfers were incredulous and some of them had never seen snow before.

Just an average day in the deserts of Arizona.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013


As I promised you yesterday, I drove 110 miles or so to Mesa's Pioneer Park today for the annual Stanley picnic.  

I grew up in Stanley, North Dakota.  Many of the people of my home town are snowbirds in Arizona.  (A snowbird is a person who flees the northern climes during the winter to spend the cold, snowy months in some more civilized climate - like Arizona's.)  Some of them have given up on North Dakota altogether and now live in Arizona year-round.

At any rate, old friendships die hard.  So once a year those part-time residents of Stanley or former residents of Stanley gather in Pioneer Park for a picnic, or North Dakota pot-luck.

I last attended one nearly 40 years ago and since I have grown older and have a new car and am retired I decided to attend this year's picnic.

A childhood friend of mine, Jim Burbidge, was instrumental.  He planned to come from his home in Federal Way, Washington to spend time with his brother and sister and attend the picnic.  So we agreed to meet.

Here are the two jolly old codgers, both white-bearded.  Please note that Jim's hair is white, too, unlike mine.  But then he is 7 months older than I am.

Jim's brother and sister also attended.  Jack is my brother's age and I believe Jean is older still.

Jean always was a short young woman but to give you an idea of how short she is now, here's a look at the top of her hat.

When I showed that picture to Jean she said "How did you get that?"

I said, "Well, I am a little taller than you, Jean."

In fact, I didn't even have to stand on tiptoe and I'm just a shade over 6 feet tall these days.

And finally there was Stan Wright.  Stan has lived in Stanley nearly all his life and that life has been a long and fruitful one.  He has been involved in probably every good thing that has ever happened in that small community.  I can remember him as a grown man when I was just a tyke, which must put him at close to 90 now.  I kidded him today about his trombone.  (He's a musician, among his other talents.)  He said he has about three invites every week from some band or another asking if he'd like to sit in.  

Stan the Man.  A life well lived.

I met lots of other people from my home town today but had to be reintroduced to practically all of them.  I haven't seen them for decades and somehow they don't look the same.

My wife said, "Y'know what?  Neither do you!"


Monday, February 18, 2013


On a clear day, you can see forever . . .

Those snow-capped mountains are the San Francisco Peaks which contain the highest mountain in Arizona, Humphreys Peak at a little more than 12,630 feet.  They're about 80 miles away but on a clear day like today they are very visible.

I always think about the first people to come upon these scenic wonders on horseback hundreds of years ago.  I can't imagine what they thought.  Later the West was being civilized (sort of) and the mail had to get through.

Until the railroads made their way to the Pacific Coast, that job was left to a brave bunch of riders on horseback known as the Pony Express.  This sculpture is on a plaza in Scottsdale, which used to be known as the West's Most Western Town.  Nowadays it's more commonly known as Snobsdale because of all it's wealthy residents.  The New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as a desert version of Miami's South Beach.

The BRD has just returned from a trip to Florida for the 80th birthday of her father.  He surprised her at the airport with a beautiful bouquet of flowers.

And tomorrow I'm heading for Mesa (another suburb of Phoenix) for the annual Stanley picnic.  I'm sure you've all heard of it so I'll save further discussion until I get back.

Saturday, February 16, 2013


SWMBO told me a short time ago that Lady Gaga has had to cancel her current tour and is going to have hip surgery.  In spite of all the show biz Gaga is an excellent singer and I wish her well.

Meantime, I'm still gaga over Kat Edmonson, who eschews the show biz but is a wonderful singer and writer.

When I "discovered" Kat recently and SWMBO heard her sing she said she reminded her of the late Blossom Dearie.  Take a listen.

I must agree.  I think they're both great and quite comparative.  What do you think?