Saturday, September 13, 2014


It's a special Saturday treat.  (or not)  

This is some of my favorite music.

and . . .

and also . . .

and then, there's . . .

Yes, I know about "The Thrill is Gone" and I love it but I like that one, too.

And if you're still with me, a change of pace . . .

and I haven't even really got to the jazz or some of the country yet.

Now laugh if you will but I grew up on this on television . . .

Let me tell you, I could have been (was) a great disk jockey on one of those free-form radio stations.

Friday, September 12, 2014


You probably heard on the news about Phoenix highways flooding after a 3 to 5 inch rainfall this week.  It was awful.

Speaking of strange occurrences with critters . . .

Life can be confusing sometimes . . .

Ah life.  The people around us.  Kinda weird, actually.

But I shouldn't be critical.  After all, they're just like us.

In times of trouble, pet owners always have someone to lean on.

Dogs for unconditional love, cats for silent wisdom.

Thanks to my contributors.  You know who you are.  Have a great weekend, folks, and keep chuckling.

Thursday, September 11, 2014


Me and my first mentor in broadcast news, the late Bob MacLeod.

Early 1960's, KFYR-TV, film editing room

Bismarck, North Dakota

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Recent rains in Arizona have caused some flooding in low lying streets and in desert and mountain washes but the result, on a beautiful sunny day in Fain Park in Prescott Valley has been a very full lake.

Over by the dam that forms the lake, water was trickling over the top as opposed to the heavy rush of water from a few days ago.

And below the dam the water flowed down Lynx Creek, on its way toward the Agua Fria River.

In the early 1890's, there was a hydraulic mining operation in this canyon.  Water was pumped uphill through this pipe to wash gold from the sediment in the Bradshaw Mountain foothills down to be separated.

A closer look at the pipe today revealed animal tracks.  Racoon, perhaps.  Something was apparently using the pipe as a bridge through the canyon.

Lynx Creek is called the mother lode of Arizona gold mining and panners are at the creek every day trying for that one big find.  I now live within about two miles of the creek and go into the city across a bridge where cars are parked along both sides of the road every day; their occupants down below on the creek with their pans and their hopes and dreams.

As for me, I just love the sound of the falling water at the dam.


Gerald Wilson, a jazz trumpeter, arranger and band leader, died Monday in Los Angeles at 96.  He began with Jimmy Lunceford's band in 1939 and went on to work with Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Sarah Vaughn and Stan Kenton.  He also worked in pop, blues and country with Bobby Darin, Nancy Wilson, the Platters, B.B. King and Ray Charles. Here is his band performing a Miles Davis classic, Moment of Truth.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Phoenix, Arizona is situated in the Great Sonoran Desert.  There are no sand dunes.  It's not that kind of desert.  But it is arid.  Annual rainfall is around six inches.  That's six inches of rain in an entire year.  

But this year has been different.  Partially due to a hurricane that's been hugging the coast of Baja California in Mexico, it's been raining in Arizona.  A lot.  The official weather station at the airport measured more than 3 inches of rain just yesterday.  Another weather spotter in Tempe, which is part of Greater Phoenix, reported nearly five inches.

In the desert and in a huge city covered in concrete in many areas, there is virtually no place for the water to go.  So early morning drivers today faced scenes like this, on an Interstate Highway on the west side of the city.

That scene was repeated numerous times around the huge Phoenix area.  Several freeways had to be closed by the flooding.

All in all, it is a very good day to stay home.

By the way, we are high and dry, about 80 to 100 miles northwest of the Phoenix area.  Well, high but not exactly dry.  It's been raining here, too.  Some street flooding has been reported in Prescott but where we live, in the foothills of the Bradshaw Mountains, we've only had occasional showers recently.

Sunday, September 7, 2014


It doesn't happen very often, when your kids are scattered.  But my big brother had all four of his, husbands, wives and assorted grandkids "home" for the Labor Day weekend in Minot, North Dakota.

My brother, Wayne (age 82!) is in the green shirt in the back row just right of center.  His sons, Larry, brown shirt on left, from Minot; Tim, white goatee and cap, back row, Snohomish, Washington; Barry, seated behind his wife, St. Paul, Minnesota; and his daughter Loretta, behind Barry, Minot.)

Apparently they had quite a feed at Larry's house with food he grows and apparently raises.

Barry's wife, Amy, shows off a horseradish plant.

The boys (Tim, Larry and Barry) plucking chickens.

And an assortment of Larry's home-grown potatoes.

Unfortunately I have no photos of the finished product but with the cooks in that family, I'm sure it was delicious.

Happy belated Labor Day!

Saturday, September 6, 2014


SWMBO and I drove to Prescott the other day to try out a new restaurant.

As you can assume, by the name, it's a bistro built around wine. Lots of wine.

We shared a bottle of Sledgehammer Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa with our meal.  There was a Thursday special when we were there - $25 for a bottle of wine and a cheese plate.  We decided on that but split a wonderful sandwich before the cheese plate. A prosciutto panini with brie, baby spinach and fig spread on ciabatta. It was wonderful and accompanied by homemade potato chips.

I'm sorry.  I was too interested in the food to remember to take a photo.

The cheese platter also was scrumptious, with fontina, cheddar, strawberry slices, blueberries, nuts, seeds and crostini.  We should have been full but we decided to finish our repast by splitting a dessert of the day - an immense piece of strawberry banana bread pudding with a dollop of whipped cream on top.  It was very rich and the two of us couldn't finish it.

Our waitress was excellent and accomodating and the chef came out of the kitchen to our table for a bit of conversation.

Our judgement was "we'll be back!"

Though it's located in a strip mall at Frontier Village it's beautifully decorated and is a quiet and welcoming place.  

You can learn more by visiting their web site here.

Friday, September 5, 2014


O.K.  One-two-three.  Get ready to be amused.

Wait a minute, isn't this September?  Oh, yeah, I forgot.  I've got some readers in the Southern Hemisphere.

Had a new contributor this week.  Thanks, Deb.  And all you others. And the ones I stole from.  Have a great weekend, folks, and please. Please.  PLEASE.  Keep on laughing.

Thursday, September 4, 2014


50 years ago yesterday, Arizona U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater launched his campaign for President from the courthouse steps in Prescott.  The anniversary was marked by a gathering of friends last night and a visit from the Senator's son, Barry Goldwater Jr.

I didn't attend though I covered the Senator through the years.  I went to Washington from Phoenix in 1974 or 1975 to cover the events surrounding a reunion of staff and friends.  It was billed as the 10th annual anniversary of Goldwater's non-inauguration.  I managed a handshake with then-President Gerald Ford.

I have many fond memories of Goldwater, though we didn't often share a political philosophy.  But he was a good man.

This picture is from a visit he made to North Dakota during his 1964 campaign.  I was a news reporter in Bismarck then and am standing just behind him, visible over his shoulder.

One added item, if you don't mind.  One of my colleagues at KFYR Radio at the time was a young (weren't we all) disc jockey named Dan Brannan.  Regular readers of this blog may recall my infrequent references to him as Danny Bananas.  Yesterday in Bismarck, Dan was honored by the North Dakota Broadcasters Association with the Pioneer Award.  Congratulations to him.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


There are some words here, sung by the man who also plays the trumpet.

The incomparable Chet Baker.

A remarkably talented man whose career was cut short 26 years ago by the ravages of heroin and cocaine.  It makes me . . almost blue.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Those of you who have been regular readers for some time will know that the BRD is my wife's Beautiful Rich Daughter.  She recently changed her Facebook profile picture and she looks so good (in spite of those hideous cowboy boots) that I decided to share it with y'all.

Pretty damn fine, eh?

Monday, September 1, 2014



You might well ask how I'm spending the long weekend.

Am I off to the shore?  Or the lake?  Or the mountains?

Well.  No.

I'm spending the last holiday of summer as I spend most of my other days.

Like a sloth.

Or a lizard in the sun.

Ho hum.

Is it time for my nap yet?

Friday, August 29, 2014


Q:  What is easier to make fun of than a blonde?  

A:  A California blonde!

Have a mirth-filled weekend, folks.  Hey!  For those of you who haven't reached the golden age of retirement yet . . it's a THREE DAY WEEKEND!  Enjoy it and keep laughing.  It will add years to your life.