Friday, March 14, 2014


Enjoy your life, folks, and have a fantastic weekend!

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I hardly recognize myself but that's me at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.  The convention mainly ran at night so I spent my days on the beach, which may account for that blond hair.  I can no longer explain why I smoked back then.  Or more important, why I wore a Nehru jacket!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014


So, whaddaya do when you go in to see your CPA and have your taxes done and you're thinking (dreading) you're really gonna get socked this year and instead he tells you you've got a big (for you, anyway) refund coming?

You want to kiss him, right?  But he has a full beard and a very messy office and a bit of a Monk-like personality (he pointed this out, I didn't) so you just sit there giggling like a lunatic.

Let's face it.  Good news is hard to handle.

So you begin to fret once you've left his office.  Did he figure it right? Can it be true?  Or will the friendly (?) old IRS come back on you months down the line and say, "Oops, sorry, there was a mistake.  YOU actually owe US a zillion dollars."

I suppose if that happens you could always claim insanity.  You could always blame it on your CPA.  Oops, he's left town, no forwarding address.

Nooooo.  We've only used a tax man for the past two years and he's done us well.  Last year we had to pay a bunch of money but that was okay because we earned a bunch.  This year the income went way down and, behold, so did the taxes.

So there's the secret.  Don't make a bunch of money.  Don't pay a bunch of money.

There's something to be said for poverty.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Monday, March 10, 2014


SWMBO was out manicuring our plum tree this morning.  Not for beauty's sake.  It was just that the low branches interfered with her getting to an outdoor faucet to turn on water to the hose.  She only clipped about three and brought them into the house to put in a vase. I thought that it looked very Japanese and having a designer's sense I added one of my Buddha sculptures.

The randomness of the branches, the light green vase and the serene meditating Buddha all seem to flow together in my mind.

But wait!

Another angle and another facet of Japanese art.  A cat!

Perfection!  All right, artists, shoot me down.

Saturday, March 8, 2014


It's curious how cats choose which of their humans they gravitate toward.  Muggles spends most of her time with SWMBO. 
Blackwell is MY cat.  He follows me around the house and any time I sit down he jumps up into my lap for a nap.  A lap-nap.  Like late yesterday afternoon.

Just about to doze off.  

"If only he'd stop flashing that camera in my face."

O.K.  I turned off the flash.  But then . . .

"Was that a bird just outside the window??"

It's always amazed me how they can come instantly alert out of a dead sleep when something gets their attention. Blackwell always looks directly at me as if for proof of what he'd seen or heard.  Or condemnation for disturbing his nap.

"Shame on you, human friend.  But I'll stay.  
Your lap is warm and comfortable."

Friday, March 7, 2014


O.K.  Pop the champagne.  This is my 1,600th blog post!

If you're drinking along, keep in mind this bit of wisdom.

And if you run out of liquid potables, help is on the way.

Actually to reach this number of posts means I was much younger back when this all began.  Now I'm just an old dog.

The rapid changes in technology have been hard on my cats, too.

Some cat owners are luckier than I am.  They get some help from their companions.

"Wowee!  Did you see that???"

Now, pardon this next little bit of xenophobia.

Here in Arizona, we have ways to make sure we don't have those kinds of collisions.  At least some Arizonans do.

I hope no one was offended.  This post by an old dog was all composed with a sense of humor.  As a friend from long ago that I just spoke with said:  "keep laughing and you'll live longer."

Have a fun weekend, folks!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Yesterday was a great day for contrails.

As we were heading home from running some errands, there were dozens of them in the sky at once.  I joked "Maybe Putin has launched an attack!"

Contrails, incidentally, are water.  You can learn more here.

Back home, some plum blossoms were getting ready to open to the sky.

And, apropos to absolutely nothing, do you know what a musician is? My friend, Meggie, in Australia posted this on Facebook the other day.

Sounds like that could have been written by the wife of a musician, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014


We DID go to El Gato Azul for our Mardi Gras/Fat Tuesday dinner last night.  However.  In spite of proprietor/chef Barry Barbe's offerings of jambalaya and gumbo and shrimp etouffee, we chose otherwise.  

"The Cat" is a small but culinarily adventurous restaurant.  It houses only six or seven tables though it's outdoor patio has room for many more and a stage for music, mostly jazz. It's still a little chilly for patio dining, though it was covered with a tent-like structure along with plastic sides and gas heaters and many others were out there.  But we preferred to be inside and were seated at a nice table.

Now I said culinarily adventurous.  El Gato Azul is primarily a tapas restaurant, tapas being small plates of appetizers.  But tapas in quantity can be a meal and that's what we chose.  Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures but I can describe our meal.

It began with a couple of very nice vodka martinis.  Our first "course" consisted of Mussels Cerveza (steamed with ale and herbs) and Baked Brie "Nachos" (pita triangles, warmed brie, with an apricot and Balsamic vinegar reduction sauce).  I liked both but SWMBO said she should have realized the Brie dish would be sweet and she doesn't like to mix savory and sweet, particularly at the beginning of a meal.

(But a couple of glasses of a very nice Malbec red wine helped comfort the tummies and the soul.)

Our second "course" consisted of Santa Fe Shrimp (chargrilled bacon-wrapped shrimp with a Chipotle sauce) and Jammin' Chicken (island spiced and grilled).

(Hmm, that Malbec was good enough for a second glass each,)

We were very pleased with our "meals", all of which we shared. The restaurant was busy, lively with New Orleans jazz on the speakers, one waitress wearing a bright green, sparkly skirt; chef Barry stopping by our table wearing his "fool's" hat.  I reminded him that I had interviewed him once for the radio station I was working for back when he was juggling four restaurants in town.  (Later, SWMBO and I calculated that was somewhere between 8 and 10 years ago!)  I asked him when he was going to open some more restaurants but he said his wife was limiting him to just one.

The one he runs has been a big success and we will return.  By the way, if you want to see all the tapas you can get at the Blue Cat, here is their menu.  The other side has a great number of entrees if you choose to go that route.  And if you're REALLY hungry you can begin with a couple of tapas, then choose your entree.  Just don't forget the martini and/or the wine.  Or you can order from their beer and ale menu and enjoy something like Moose Drool from Missoula, Montana, or Kiltlifter from Tempe, Arizona.

One added treat: here's a photo of the sunset I took from the car as we set off for the restaurant.  It was much more fantastic than the photo shows but still . . .

Tuesday, March 4, 2014


Happy Mardi Gras, my fellow revelers.  That's French for Fat Tuesday.  It's a day for sin and food and drink because tomorrow begins that l-o-n-g Lenten season of deprivation before we can get back to what we all love - food and drink and sin.

Oh I guess you could eliminate the sin if you're either religious or NOT religious or older than dirt, like I am.  To each his own.

I'm thinking about trying to convince SWMBO to go out for dinner somewhere that may be serving N'awlins food tonight.  I see where Barry Barbe has a Fat Tuesday menu at El Gato Azul in Prescott featuring shrimp etouffee, jambalaya and gumbo with maybe a few surprises.  On the other hand you can find recipes for just about anything courtesy of our friend The Google.  I found famed New Orleans chef Emeril Lagasse's recipe for shrimp etoufee HERE.  So you could make it at home if you have a lot of ambition and a quart of shrimp stock.

But I'm more inclined to let someone else do the cooking and I don't mean SWMBO.  Our friend, Diane, is stopping by for an hour or so tomorrow so SWMBO is cleaning house within an inch of its life today.

Well I've just discussed this with her and made a reservation for tonight at the aforementioned El Gato Azul.  I'll let you know tomorrow how it went.  In the meantime, laissez les bons temps rouler.  (That's French for the traditional New Orleans Fat Tuesday shout "let the good times roll".

(If your Spanish isn't too good - El Gato Azul translates to The Blue Cat.)

Monday, March 3, 2014


So, did you watch the Oscars?  I thought it was a fairly good show. Ellen DeGeneres was herself, funny in the beginning and at various spots through the show but some times a little tedious.  But.  "They" say it's the toughest job in show business so I guess I can cut her a little slack.  Folks on Twitter say the selfie she took with a pileup of the stars was the highlight.  What do you think?

What?  What?  Photoshop?  I have no idea what you're talking about.

Speaking of photos, I love this one of Senator Rand Paul waiting to go on one of those t.v. talk shows.

That takes me back to my days in television many years ago in Phoenix.  That was back in the day when anchormen showed up dressed like Paul is because the television camera never showed them beneath the waist.

(I'm pretty sure this picture is not Photoshopped.)

Sunday, March 2, 2014


Early this morning, it looked more like the moors of Scotland in my neighborhood.

But our old friend, Mr. Sun, was turning up the wattage to burn through the fog.

Soon enough the skies were clear, revealing a bit of a surprise at the top of the Bradshaw foothills.

Cropping that picture down a bit gave a better view of the dusting of snow atop the highest peak in the distance.

All in all, lots out there for this blogger's camera this morning.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


It rained a bit here yesterday and, while not much is falling, it is a rainy day today.  The photos though are from yesterday, beginning with a beautiful sunrise.

Later in the day some amazing clouds began forming.

As I said, we really haven't received much rain so far out of all this but it's been fun to watch the skies.

Speaking of fun, you have to watch this short video.

Friday, February 28, 2014


It's been a fun-filled week in my state as it became flooded with news media from around the world once again.  No, it wasn't a retrial of Jody Arias.  But it was almost that big.

By the way, Beau Jack is celebrating his birthday today.  I hope it won't be like this.

We're expecting a rainy weekend in Arizona.  But . . .

I'm up early today because I have to go in for some routine medical tests.  Part of establishing service with a new doctor.

The new doc didn't seem amused when I told him I'd lived my life like a very famous man.

Well, that's it, fo . . .

Oh, yeah, you didn't think I'd forget the cats, did you?

Have a great day and a fun-filled weekend, folks!