Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Saying goodbye to a rainy day.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Just to prove a point . . .

And it's 9 a.m. and 77 degrees F. with a light breeze.  It feels wonderful.

Saturday, September 7, 2013


I was talking to my friend, Tom (of Central California) today and told him it had been overcast all day and was only 85 or 90 degrees.  He laughed and told me it was 81 where he was and they had the air conditioning on in the car.  I was reminded of something I should have posted before this.


1. You can say Hohokam and no one thinks you're making it up. 

2.You no longer associate rivers or bridges with water. 

3.You know that a "swamp cooler" is not a happy hour drink. 

4.You can contemplate a high temperature of 120 degrees as "not all that bad, after all it's a dry heat." 

5.You know that you can make sun tea outside faster than instant tea in your microwave. 

6.You have to run your air conditioner in the middle of winter so that you can use your fireplace. 

7.The water coming from the "cold" tap is hotter than that from the hot" tap. 

8.You can correctly pronounce the following words: "Saguaro", "Tempe", "Gila Bend", "San Xavier del Bac", "Canyon de Chelly", "Mogollon Rim", "Cholla", and "Tlaquepacque", "Ajo". 

9.It's noon on a weekday in July, kids are on summer vacation, and not one single person is moving on the streets. 

10.Hot air balloons can't fly because the air outside is hotter than the air inside. 

11.You buy salsa by the gallon. 

12.Your Christmas decorations include a half a yard of sand and 100 paper bags. 

13.You think someone driving while wearing oven mitts is clever. 

14.Most of the restaurants in your town have the first name "El" or "Los." 

15.You think six tons of crushed rock makes a beautiful yard. 

16.You can say 115 degrees without fainting. 

17.Vehicles with open windows have the right-of-way in the summer. 

18.People break out coats when the temperature drops below 70. 

19.You discover, in July, it only takes two fingers to drive your car. 

20.The pool can be warmer than you are. 

21.You realize Valley Fever isn't a disco dance. 

22.People with black cars or have black upholstery in their car are automatically assumed to be from out-of-state or nuts. 

23.You know better than to get into a car/truck with leather seats if you're wearing shorts.

24.Announcements for Fourth of July events always end with "in case of monsoon..." 

25.You have to explain to out-of-staters why there is no daylight savings time 

26.You can say "haboob" without giggling.

Friday, September 6, 2013


My remaining LP collection.

Right now I'm listening to the disc from that orange album cover on top - the 1959 Playboy Jazz All-Stars with selected performances from that year's first festival.  As I'm typing this the great Coleman Hawkins is riffing his way through "Body and Soul".  Sounds as good now as it did back in '59 when I was a sophomore in college.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


I went out to take a picture of our cloudy sky last night.  Here's what I got.

I have no idea what that streak of light is, or was.  I certainly didn't see it when I was trying to take the photo.

Muggles seemed completely unconcerned.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


How y'all doin' this Friday night?


It's only Wednesday?

Never mind.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013


These first three are courtesy of my friend, Danny Bananas.

Danny is a legendary in his own mind duck hunter.  But even he would not take a shot at this Chinese Mandarin duck, would he?

This Tibetan mastiff dog allegedly sold for 1.5 million dollars.  I wonder if that Chinese zoo bought it for their lion "lyin" cage.  Would they get their money back when the dog roared barked?

I presently live in a golf course community but there are no hazards on it like the one facing this golfer and caddy in Australia.  Don't worry, mates. They're just playing through.

And speaking of Australia, my good friend Meggie from Down Under gets the credit for this sign she discovered on the InterWebs.

A proper adage to close out this post.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Friday, August 30, 2013


I have been exchanging some emails with a long-time friend of mine in the past day or two.  He began it by saying the other day that he couldn't see any reason for the U.S. to attack Syria.  I responded along the lines of Assad being as bad as Hitler and the U.S. being the remaining super-power it has an obligation to at least stop his use of chemical weapons against his own people.  President Obama seems "hoist on his own petard", as someone once taught me many years ago.  In other words he said publicly that any use of chemical weapons would "cross the red line", requiring action by the West.  So now Assad has done just that: used chemical weapons to kill over a thousand of his own people, including women and children, many while they slept.  So can Obama NOT order a strike?  That would virtually gut his presidency, it seems to me.  But, as my friend points out and rightly so . . . what if the strike doesn't really accomplish anything and Assad continues to kill his countrymen.  Then what?  And what if Hezbollah in the West Bank and Gaza are joined by similar forces in Iran to attack Israel in retaliation.  I believe Israel can take care of itself and any war between them and Iran might have a positive side if Iran's nuclear weapons program is destroyed in the process.  I can't believe that either Jordan (which is already caring for over a million refugees from Syria) or the Saudis or least of all the Turks would side with Assad.  There are reports that Russia has sent warships toward the Mediterranean but would Putin actually start World War Three over this?  

It is a conundrum but a very dangerous one.  I believe Obama is being extremely careful in making his decision.  I hope he has luck on his side as well.

But enough of that.  Let's get back to that cat from yesterday.  He is, in fact, hiding in plain sight.  Let's have one more look.

The cat, with color that blends him into the landscape, is at the upper right, below the large cactus plant, the pathway and the rocks.  He is sitting up and once you see him you'll never miss him again.

Have a good weekend and, if you're a religious type, pray for peace.  The rest of us will hope for peace.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

HOW TO . . . .

How to turn raisins back into grapes.

How to drive your cat crazy.

How your cat will drive you crazy.

How to read your fortune in leaves.

How to make a blog post when nothing interesting or photogenic has happened in your life.


P.S.  If no one finds the cat, I MAY tell you tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


As I sat in my lonely writer's garret, contemplating my navel the state of the world, I wondered, wondered, what (on earth) shall I blog about today to make this world better, to improve on this day, to make my life just one scintilla worth living.  

Frankly, I was stumped.

But then I went to Facebook.

First, I learned that the "big thing" at this years Texas State Fair is . . . wait for it . . . deep fried Nutella.

Common decency prevents me from going any further with that recipe.

But then I found enlightenment!  Veracity!  Truth!


Now that should make your life more meaningful, as it did mine.

But wait!

There's more!

The Cat and Dog Small Containers Video!  Watch!  And Enjoy!

All right.  Just so you don't think I've totally lost my sense of right and wrong, there's this:

Good advice for everyone.  All the time.

(By the way, my thanks to Dana and Joyce for the tips on the videos)

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Our area of Phoenix finally got a break from the monsoon yesterday evening.  As frequently happens this time of year it began with a dust storm.

That view is looking south into the teeth of the haboob . . or "big dust storm".  The mountain range that marks the southern border of Phoenix has disappeared.

The sky becomes an ugly sort of brown as the visibility drops.  But then, after these long dry months, comes the refreshing rain accompanied by some lightning, quite a bit of wind and wonderful thunder.

Today is forecast to be clear, sunny and hot again but the possibility of more rain exists from Wednesday though the end of the week.  We can use it but at least now I can stop bitching about the lack of it.

Monday, August 26, 2013


SWMBO, the BRD, Beau Jack and I shared a meal and conversation the other day.  I had forgotten until I read Tom's post today about one of the conversational topics that came up.

It began with SWMBO relating how her novel-in-progress is based on a series of letters written by a far-off uncle of hers before and around the beginning of the 20th Century, i.e. the 1890's and up.  It is quite amazing that she was able to acquire the letters, that they had been kept in her family for over 100 years and that she was able to make transcripts from them.

This led to an admittance by Beau Jack that he had thrown away many letters and papers of his father's when he passed away.  SWMBO was appalled at the loss of this history and BJ acknowledged that he had kept his father's diary.  He also noted that he had kept a diary himself for a couple of years in his youth and he still had it in a filing cabinet.

But this conversation then led, on SWMBO's part, to the Internet and all of the blogs and photos that exist only on the Internet.  In the cloud world, I suppose.  She contended that some day all of these things will disappear - poof - as the Internet collapses or turns into something else.  And all of those digitally rendered images and words and thoughts will be lost for all time.  Unless they have been printed out and kept on paper.

I have read speculations about the death of the Internet or the World Wide Web as some new technology comes along.  Let's face it - these communications technologies, as we know them, are less than 30 years old.  And the amazing growth in technology and development is hard to grasp.  I can remember my first computer, a Commodore, I believe.  I thought I was in hog heaven when I had figured out how to hook it to my ham radio.  How long ago that now seems.

I recently began streaming data onto a television set and was somewhat surprised to find a Picasa program that had hundreds of pictures I had used over the years.  Many of them were worthless, used only to illustrate a long-forgotten point.  But there were others, too, of friends and family.  Photos that, for reasons of posterity (?) I would not want to lose.
But SWMBO and the others made me think - will that magical POOF happen while I am still alive or later?  Will my blog and photos live on after me until the great dissolve?  Will my handprints on the cave of existence be there years and decades and centuries later?  Or not?

And finally and somewhat wistfully this thought - will any one really care?  

Sunday, August 25, 2013


The weather forecasters have been predicting for days that this weekend would be filled with tropical rain and thunderstorms.  Something like this, I supposed.

About 3:30 Saturday morning, I was awakened by a fierce clap of thunder. With anticipation I went to the window.  I saw some heat lightning to the west but no rain falling.  I went back to bed expecting to be lulled into blissful slumber by the falling rain at any moment.

That was it for Saturday but the weathermen had promised that Sunday was really going to be the day for rain.  And it came.  I know that because I was out on the patio counting the drops.  Literally.  Not enough to dampen the ground even.

It has been cooler.  It appears today's high will top out at around 87, easily 20 degrees cooler than the other day.  The skies have been grey.  Or gray. (I never can remember which is which.)  But rain?  Never anything more than those random drops, so far.  This is the alleged height of our "Monsoon Season".  Not too monsoony, if you ask me.

But I will continue to have hope.  After all the football season is nearing and everyone knows one can only truly play real man's football in mud.

Friday, August 23, 2013


Even after all these years, even after a week of perfect idleness, even after losing my car manual, even after losing an expensive pair of sunglasses, I still love Friday nights.  I don't know exactly why.  But there are indications the weather is changing for the better.  There's a better than half possibility of rain, maybe even a thunderstorm or two this weekend.  When that happens the temperature drops even as the humidity rises.

In the news, the mayor of San Diego is finally resigning.  Syria is becoming more of a problem for Obama, with chemical weapons warfare breaking out and the opposition a hodge-podge of groups who don't agree with each other or with us.  Senator Ted "Crazy" Cruz of Texas wants to shut down the government unless he gets his way at defunding the Affordable Health Care law.

So there's really no reason to feel good right now but still . . .

So turn up the volume on your speakers, get into dancing mode and rock into Friday night with this song.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


It was sprinkling here awhile ago.  I went out and stood in the back yard.  I could feel an occasional drop but there wasn't enough to get wet.  Maybe this weekend or so the weathermen are proclaiming.

My yard men are now here cutting the grass.

It's only 98 here now as it's been overcast all day.  But now the sun is coming out.

I'm bored with this long hot summer.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Don't blame me.  This is a food truck in Houston.  The picture was sent to me by a (to be kept anonymous) friend.  Thanks, Frank.

With that, I'm flyin' West.

(In my mind, anyway)