Monday, October 7, 2013


Stuff I swiped from Facebook today:

Here a few things you should never say to a man with whom you are having any kind of serious relationship:

"I spent all the money.  All of it.  On Cher tickets."

"I was thinking of gaining 40 pounds.  I'm feeling anorexic."

And: "I told the two guys from the Vegas Sports Book that you are no longer interested in paying the Viggorish.  That was OK.  Right?"

(Thanks to Meggie, Tom and Catherine for finding them first)

Friday, October 4, 2013


This house just a block away from where I live houses more than one child.  Perhaps even some adult children.  They are ready for the ghosts and ghouls to come visiting.

I can still remember a day when Halloween conjured up happy jack'o'lanterns like these.

But nowadays the images are more like these.

Apparently the modern theme is "the scarier the better."

Whatever your wont, Happy Halloween everyone.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


This little ghostly butterfly, white with grey spots, is not nearly as large as he appears in the still photo.  He was getting his fill from the lantana in our front yard.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Friday, September 27, 2013


According to my calendar, today is September 27th.  We've just passed the Labor Day weekend.  It's over a month until Halloween.  It's about two months until Thanksgiving.  And nearly three months until Christmas rolls around once again.

Actually I just studied my calendar and it's 90 days until Christmas.  But it's never too soon for the folks at Walmart, apparently.  I was in a neighborhood Walmart store today and here's what caught my eye.

I took a second look and realized those are artificial Christmas trees, already decorated with lights and on sale NOW!

But wait, there's more!

Yes, the weather has broken but it's still 85 degrees outside.  And the Christmas decorations have already gone on sale.

I can remember being amazed when Thanksgiving "stuff" went on sale before Halloween had passed.  But this display today truly bumfuzzled me.  I was left with mouth agape.  But I recovered in time to take these pictures and remember this old bit of doggerel.

Roses are red,
Violets are blue-ish.
If it wasn't for Christmas
We'd all be Jewish.

As the sign says, Merry Christmas everyone!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


As I said before, SWMBO has been in Florida for half a week, Venice in fact.  It's aptly named, considering the weather she's been experiencing down there.  Thunderstorm after thunderstorm.  In our telephone conversation today she said they came by a road today divided by a grassy median.  Water was running curb to curb in the street.  Several trucks had pulled up onto the median, leaving huge muddy ruts in the grass.  Then a fancy car tried to do the same thing and got stuck in the mud.

I can remember years ago when SWMBO first went to Florida.  She said she could take a shower, get out, dry off and minutes later be drenched in sweat again.  Her hair never dried out or became uncrimped.

Meantime, the weather back home in Arizona is breaking, finally.  It's 86 outside right now as I'm writing this just after 7 in the evening.  You may think that's hot but it's been over 100 at this time of night for three months or more.  And our humidity right now is 12 percent.  In Venice, where SWMBO is right now it's 82 percent.

I stepped outside to get the mail.  Several twosomes came by, out for an evening constitutional, enjoying the "cooler" weather.

I guess it's whatever you adapt to.  SWMBO's sister has lived on the Gulf Coast of Florida for probably 40 years or more and, apparently, loves it.  We have lived various places but most of them relatively dry for about the same amount of time and we love it.

But after an ill-advised attempt to live in Austin, Texas awhile back, I can testify that we could never live in a humid location again.

'Course, we have friends and relatives who think we're a mite daft for living in the desert where the temperature climbs and climbs for a fourth of the year.  But like my realtor told me awhile back . . . "those other 8 months, man, they are bliss!"

Oh, and by the way, SWMBO comes home tomorrow!  Now, that is bliss!

Monday, September 23, 2013


I just emailed my friend Tom, in California, about the family travels.  It went something like this.

SWMBO has been in Venice, Florida, since Saturday night visiting her sister, who had her 83rd birthday today.  When I spoke to her this evening she said there were two thunderstorms there today, in between of which they went to the beach and the pier so SWMBO could see the ocean (Gulf of Mexico).  She said she had to drive through standing water on the streets to get back to her motel and added that they had more rain there just today than Phoenix has had all year!  Highlight of the day: a white egret (hell, I don't know, maybe they're all white) walked right up to the house during one of the storms.

Meantime, the BRD and her Beau Jack are in the Turks and Caicos Islands for the wedding of one of BJ's sons.

As for me, I drove about a mile or less to the grocery store and back.

Friday, September 20, 2013


I have only my friend, Phil, to thank for this journey into the subterranean depths of gypsy jazz.  Stand back but turn it up.

The Fishtank Ensemble.

Thursday, September 19, 2013


My nephew, Barry, is celebrating (?) his 40th birthday today.

A good-looking lad, wouldn't you say?  He and his lovely wife Amy keep in shape by constantly back-packing, skiing, kayaking and whatever else they can think of to do on weekends.

But they do have some wind-down time and they might enjoy one of these in their house.

The BRD sent me this picture this morning with two notations: (1) finally got my sink fixed, and (2) don't worry, the left faucet pours white wine!

Well, a bit of warning to my nephew:

Finally, a picture I swiped from the Internet.  It's a fisherman close to shore at Ixtapa-Zijuatanejo in Mexico with a very interested group of on-lookers.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


I went out after dark the other night and looked up at the sky and was stunned.  It was full of fluffy clouds that had a peachy color.  I got my camera and took several photos but they didn't come out peachy.  They came out yellow.

I think it was due to ground light from below.  The moon certainly didn't have anything to do with it.  Did it?

I thought it was somewhat mysterious.  If you look toward the bottom of the next picture you may see what I mean.

So what kind of music goes with that kind of sky?  I can think of only one song that fits.  (Though I did give a listen to Hoagy Carmichael's "Old Buttermilk Sky".)

Tuesday, September 17, 2013


For (much) more on Sisyphus, go here.  Sometimes I feel much in common with him.

Monday, September 16, 2013


Last Friday I mentioned that a new Sprouts store would soon be coming to Prescott Valley, where I used to live.  I had never been in one and took someone else's word that it was similar to a Trader Joe's store.  One of my commenters told me today that she didn't think that was accurate.  As it happened I visited a Sprouts store in Chandler today and must confirm that the commenter was correct.  The stores are not much alike at all.  The store I visited today was much larger than the typical Trader Joe's and features a wide variety of organic food, including many barrels of bulk items.  But both stores are great, in my opinion, and the Prescott Valley area will be lucky to have them.

Now a little late summer color from the yard.

Sunday, September 15, 2013


September 15th, 2013.  

       5 p.m.  

               100 degrees F.  

                       38 degrees C.

It's not as hot as before.  One can sense cooler days ahead.  Even the local television folk are saying, "c'mon, October!"

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Friday, September 13, 2013


I was reading an article in the Prescott (Arizona) Daily Courier announcing that a new Sprouts store was coming soon to Prescott Valley.  For those of you who don't know, Sprouts is a food store with many organic products and sort of like a Trader Joe's.  It's a small chain based in Phoenix.

Well!  You wouldn't believe how many people commented on this story on-line and the vehemence in their arguments.

"Who needs another grocery store?"

"It's just like Trader Joe's."

"Good!  No more trips to Trader Joe's."

"Oh, great.  Another yuppie store with high prices."

"You'd be surprised.  Their prices are lower than many stores."

"How about hearing from someone who doesn't already work at Sprouts."

"Why are you so negative?"

These aren't exact quotes but they give you an idea of what went on.  It's a small town mentality, or at least I used to think so.  I guess now it's an Internet mentality.  From what I've heard, Twitter is even worse.

But it did give me an opportunity to offer up this great skit from the Monty Python group.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

OHHHHHH . . . . . .

. . . . what the heck.  Let's have some fun.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013


"Oh, no, don't throw me in that briar patch!"

Brer Rabbit and the Tar Baby
A Georgia Folktale 
retold by
S.E. Schlosser 
Well now, that rascal Brer Fox hated Brer Rabbit on account of he was always cutting capers and bossing everyone around. So Brer Fox decided to capture and kill Brer Rabbit if it was the last thing he ever did! He thought and he thought until he came up with a plan. He would make a tar baby! Brer Fox went and got some tar and he mixed it with some turpentine and he sculpted it into the figure of a cute little baby. Then he stuck a hat on the Tar Baby and sat her in the middle of the road.
Brer Fox hid himself in the bushes near the road and he waited and waited for Brer Rabbit to come along. At long last, he heard someone whistling and chuckling to himself, and he knew that Brer Rabbit was coming up over the hill. As he reached the top, Brer Rabbit spotted the cute little Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was surprised. He stopped and stared at this strange creature. He had never seen anything like it before!
"Good Morning," said Brer Rabbit, doffing his hat. "Nice weather we're having."
The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox laid low and grinned an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit tried again. "And how are you feeling this fine day?"
The Tar Baby, she said nothing. Brer Fox grinned an evil grin and lay low in the bushes.
Brer Rabbit frowned. This strange creature was not very polite. It was beginning to make him mad.
"Ahem!" said Brer Rabbit loudly, wondering if the Tar Baby were deaf. "I said 'HOW ARE YOU THIS MORNING?"
The Tar Baby said nothing. Brer Fox curled up into a ball to hide his laugher. His plan was working perfectly!
"Are you deaf or just rude?" demanded Brer Rabbit, losing his temper. "I can't stand folks that are stuck up! You take off that hat and say 'Howdy-do' or I'm going to give you such a lickin'!"
The Tar Baby just sat in the middle of the road looking as cute as a button and saying nothing at all. Brer Fox rolled over and over under the bushes, fit to bust because he didn't dare laugh out loud.
"I'll learn ya!" Brer Rabbit yelled. He took a swing at the cute little Tar Baby and his paw got stuck in the tar.
"Lemme go or I'll hit you again," shouted Brer Rabbit. The Tar Baby, she said nothing.
"Fine! Be that way," said Brer Rabbit, swinging at the Tar Baby with his free paw. Now both his paws were stuck in the tar, and Brer Fox danced with glee behind the bushes.
"I'm gonna kick the stuffin' out of you," Brer Rabbit said and pounced on the Tar Baby with both feet. They sank deep into the Tar Baby. Brer Rabbit was so furious he head-butted the cute little creature until he was completely covered with tar and unable to move.
Brer Fox leapt out of the bushes and strolled over to Brer Rabbit. "Well, well, what have we here?" he asked, grinning an evil grin.
Brer Rabbit gulped. He was stuck fast. He did some fast thinking while Brer Fox rolled about on the road, laughing himself sick over Brer Rabbit's dilemma.
"I've got you this time, Brer Rabbit," said Brer Fox, jumping up and shaking off the dust. "You've sassed me for the very last time. Now I wonder what I should do with you?"
Brer Rabbit's eyes got very large. "Oh please Brer Fox, whatever you do, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"Maybe I should roast you over a fire and eat you," mused Brer Fox. "No, that's too much trouble. Maybe I'll hang you instead."
"Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"If I'm going to hang you, I'll need some string," said Brer Fox. "And I don't have any string handy. But the stream's not far away, so maybe I'll drown you instead."
"Drown me! Roast me! Hang me! Do whatever you please," said Brer Rabbit. "Only please, Brer Fox, please don't throw me into the briar patch."
"The briar patch, eh?" said Brer Fox. "What a wonderful idea! You'll be torn into little pieces!"
Grabbing up the tar-covered rabbit, Brer Fox swung him around and around and then flung him head over heels into the briar patch. Brer Rabbit let out such a scream as he fell that all of Brer Fox's fur stood straight up. Brer Rabbit fell into the briar bushes with a crash and a mighty thump. Then there was silence.
Brer Fox cocked one ear toward the briar patch, listening for whimpers of pain. But he heard nothing. Brer Fox cocked the other ear toward the briar patch, listening for Brer Rabbit's death rattle. He heard nothing.
Then Brer Fox heard someone calling his name. He turned around and looked up the hill. Brer Rabbit was sitting on a log combing the tar out of his fur with a wood chip and looking smug.
"I was bred and born in the briar patch, Brer Fox," he called. "Born and bred in the briar patch."
And Brer Rabbit skipped away as merry as a cricket while Brer Fox ground his teeth in rage and went home.

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.