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.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Date: mid to late 1987
Location: Big Mama's, Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico
Personality: One Happy Expatriate

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday, August 26, 2014


Today is Primary Election Day in Arizona.  But if you are a Democrat, as I am, it doesn't mean much.  For example, in the governor's race there are six Republican candidates vying for the nomination.  On the Democrat side there is just one.  In Yavapai County, where I live, there are four Republican candidates for two seats in the State House of Representatives.  On the Democrat side, just one.  For a member of the Blue Man party, life in a predominately red county can be frustrating.

Still I voted.  And I have the sticker to prove it.

There are more independents than Republicans or Democrats in Arizona now.  They may be leaning left because one news story I read this morning said only 6 percent of them had requested early ballots.  With no, or very few, races on the Democratic side of the ballot, they may just be sitting this one out.

The real test will come in November, at the General Election.

By the way, I have a friend in Phoenix who registered many years ago as a Republican.  I berated him loudly until he told me he did it so he could vote in the Primary Elections for the weakest Republican candidate.  I wonder how many like him are out there.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sunday, August 24, 2014


This was one of my mother's favorite piano pieces.  I doubt she'd have appreciated Victor Borge's introduction of it as the Moonlight Son-of-a-nata.  I liked Borge but I also like the serious performance of the Moonlight Sonata by Beethoven.

Saturday, August 23, 2014


A small water park in normally hot and dry Arizona.

Friday, August 22, 2014


Yes, it's that time of the week again.  Brace yourself, first for a failed Ice Bucket Challenge.

Now, if you've stopped laughing at/with that poor girl, let's get on with it.

SWMBO has been telling me for years that I should watch my nutrition and eat more healthy foods.  So . . .

And for dessert . . .

Have a great weekend, folks, and remember - keep a smile on your face.