Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


On our recent visit to "the Valley" we visited one of my favorite places - the Phoenix Art Museum.  I told you about the Hollywood Costumes exhibit last Saturday.

Here are some other photos I took in and around the museum.

Monday, June 9, 2014


We had our appetites' whetted by seeing a segment on the Valley's PBS station's program, "Check Please", about a bar/restaurant called "The Garage".  It actually is a former garage and the sign out front is from the car-fixing days.  Inside, it is decorated somewhat eclectically.

A bicycle hangs from the ceiling at one point.

Where we sat, a huge propellor is mounted on the red brick wall.

But what we came for was the food and we weren't disappointed. We started with an appetizer of a tiger shrimp cocktail.  Two for each of us but they disappeared so fast I failed to get a photo.

Then Judy had the chili dog with waffle fries.

I selected the patty melt with onion rings.

Oh, yes, a couple of pints of amber ale sweetened the experience.

"The Garage" - nice place, great service from a constantly smiling Tony, good food, good drink.  We couldn't finish our sandwiches so we boxed up the leftovers and popped them in a cooler for our trip home and enjoyed them for a light dinner.

Should you find yourself in Phoenix and looking for a place for either lunch or dinner, you might want to try it.  It's just west of 16th Street and Bethany Home Road.  Salut!

Sunday, June 8, 2014


If so, you might try a Red Hot Poker!  I have a photo.

The gals down at the Prescott Valley Nursery assure me that's the correct name for this plant.  Although it also is known as a torch lily or a tritoma.  Technically it is a Kniphofia.  It was named after Johann Hieronymus Kniphof, an 18th Century German physician and botanist. Don't think he ever made it to Arizona but his plant did.

The blossom only lasts for a few days but the lower part is an evergreen and stays year-round.

And that's your botany lesson for today.

Saturday, June 7, 2014


While down in "the Valley" this week, SWMBO (Judy) and I stopped at the Phoenix Art Museum to see a special exhibit.

"Hollywood Costume" features more than 100 costumes from a century of film making.

The exhibition was originally curated by the Victoria and Albert Museum of London.  The Phoenix Art Museum showing, which runs to July 6th, is the second showing in the United States and the final showing.  Once it closes the costumes will go back to private owners and studio archives.  So it's a great chance to see costumes from some famous movies.

One can envision Elizabeth Taylor in this costume from Cleopatra.

Or Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in "The Iron Lady".

Right next to this much flashier costume worn by Streep as Donna in "Mamma Mia".

Glenn Close wore these costumes as Cruella De Vil in "101 Dalmatians".  You will notice the video screens where the characters' heads would be.  They play videos of the actual actors.

Warren Beatty's costume worn for the lead role in "Dick Tracy".

Some other gun-toters from "True Grit".

And Marilyn Monroe's iconic dress that blew up over a New York subway grate in "The Seven Year Itch".

There is much more and, if possible, you'd be well-advised to pay it a visit before it goes away.

Friday, June 6, 2014


My friend, Steve, enjoying one of my jokes.

And finally, the cat.

Have a spectacular weekend, folks!

Thursday, June 5, 2014


A 44-year-old Selfie.  Yikes!

No, not me.  I was only about 30.  But the photo is 44 years old.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014


Those of you who may have watched the television series "House" are then familiar with its star, British actor Hugh Laurie.  But Laurie is a Renaissance man, who also includes music in his catalog of versatility.  He has now recorded two C.D.'s of mainly blues music in the New Orleans style.  And he's been touring for a year or more with a group known as the Copper Bottom Band.  Last night they were in Mesa, Arizona, at the Mesa Arts Center and SWMBO and I were lucky enough to be in attendance at their concert.

First the stage is set.

Then the band appears and begins a bit of drum and bass work and then Laurie appears at the back of the stage and, when he is recognized by a roaring crowd, stops dead still and stares out with a blank expression and then comes forward and the show is on.

It continues for better than 2 and a half hours and three encore performances and a "God Bless You, Mesa" from Laurie before the exhausted performers call it a night.  The crowd is still left roaring for more.

Laurie is not only a wonderfully entertaining musician and singer but a marvelous actor as he mugs and stunts through the night.  And he has taught his crew well.

Photography was forbidden, though not obeyed by this amazingly appreciative audience but my (illegal) attempt to get any of the show failed to achieve my exacting standards.  But I wanted to give you a hint of what we saw last night so here, from an earlier show elsewhere, is one of the stellar (though, not necessarily bluesy) performances.  Laurie, with one of his amazingly talented backup singers, Gaby Moreno, doing El Choclo, or The Kiss of Fire.

A fantastic show, though for us older folks, a bit long.  

Still, if he comes to a town near you . . . GO SEE HIM!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014


O.K.  Here's something you always wanted to know.  Someone was curious about what really happens inside a dishwasher.  So this curious person put a GoPro camera inside and ran the machine. 


And now you know why this is called Oddball Observations!

Monday, June 2, 2014


Back in 1969 there was this quirky little movie with a cute, big-eyed blonde at the center of it.

Her name was Goldie Hawn.  This was her first movie and she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for it.

Earlier the "dumb blonde" had made her fame on the t.v. show Rowan and Martin's Laugh-In, frequently in a bikini and a lot of body paint.

Now you're wondering why I brought Kate Hudson's mother to your attention today.  

For precisely this reason.

I thought of her when I was photographing these "cactus flowers" the other day.

(Pretty sneaky way to get a picture of a blonde in a bikini into my blog, eh?)

Sunday, June 1, 2014


Just about a month ago I told you about the Century Plant and showed you photos of it's beginning and growth.  You can find that post here if you'd like to refresh your memory.  I'll be right here when you come back.

So anyway, the plant begins to put out clusters of blooms.


As you can see when you look closer, these are what I would call bloom pods.

These are the antepenultimate stage of this mighty but doomed plant.

Now we move on to the penultimate stage, where the red pods open and the true blossoms burst forth in a blaze of . . . surprise . . . yellow color.

Once the plant has fully bloomed it's bye-bye, baby.  The mighty Century Plant, having put on a fabulous show, will die.  As my friend Phil commented, it reminds him of the salmon in the Pacific Northwest that spawn and then die.

Saturday, May 31, 2014


It's been a quiet week here in Lake Wobegone.  NO WAIT, some other guy is using that line.  Sorry Mr. Keillor.

Well, it has been quiet around here though there is occasional activity in the menagerie that holds forth in my back yard.  As evidence, click on the link below.

All right.  In my constant Wild Kingdom-like search for interesting life on our planet, I must now venture forth.  Until we meet again, stay interesting.

Friday, May 30, 2014


Something new this week to kick off the Friday Funnies.  An actual video of the exciting activity around our birdbath and hummingbird feeder.  Brace yourselves.

O.K.  Take a minute or two to calm down from that and I'll proceed with the rest of this week's humor.

And, no, I didn't forget the cats.

Keep the chuckles going, folks, and have a great weekend!