Thursday, December 4, 2014


I told you on Tuesday there was a clue in the photo to today's post. My buddy Tom from California was the only one who correctly picked up on it.  No, it wasn't the 64 or 65 Chevrolet Impala.  It was the license plate.

That's an Amateur Radio Call license plate and those were my call letters back in the day.  I predicted my lifelong broadcasting career a bit early when I became a "ham" radio operator.

Here's a picture taken in one my many ham shacks over the years. I got my first license in 1955, as a 15 year old boy and held a series of licenses over the years.  I think this particular scene was in the basement of our family home in North Dakota though I can't be sure.  I've always been amused by the photo because it has all the air of a spy in his den in World War Two, getting some bombing coordinates to his confederates in the Allies.

'Course, I've always had a vivid imagination, too.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014


I don't know which it is - fog or a low cloud.  It rained here all night long and the car's windshield was taking a light mist when I was out about midday.

Whichever it is, it's hanging on the peaks and in the lower passes in StoneRidge today.

Kind of a nice break from all that damned sunshine and warm weather we get here.



For maybe the first time in my life I have won a contest.  You can read the details here.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


I have gently made fun of my friends in colder, snowier climes in recent days.  So I thought I'd give them a chance to get even.  This is a photo of my car parked next to my house in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1966.

When I left the house preparing to drive to work, I found that an overnight massive blizzard had left a snowdrift that completely covered the car.  I walked the mile or two through the continuing snow storm to get to work, where I remained for three days.

When the snow finally stopped and I was able to get home again I wielded a snow shovel and a broom for some time in order to dig out the rear of the car and access to the interior through a passenger door.  Then I started it and just backed it out of the drift.  A large portion of the snow clung to the top of the car as I drove slowly down the streets.  It must have been quite a sight.

You can read more about the blizzard here.  This is why I now live in Arizona!

By the way, there's a clue in the photo to my upcoming Throwback Thursday picture.

Monday, December 1, 2014


I decided a few days ago to grow out my beard.  I've had a goatee and moustache for a long time and I've had a full beard in the past but it's been awhile.  Since my goatee has turned nearly fully white I thought I'd seen if I have a white beard, as well.  It seems to be taking its own sweet time.

I trim the goatee down to make it more resemble the rest of the growth so I don't just look like a homeless person.

Back in my younger days it was all reddish-brown.

But over the years it has gotten more Hemingway-esque.

This time around I'm hoping for the Santa Claus look.

By the way, here's where it all began, back around 1970.

My first selfie!

I remember in 1991 when we were about to move from Mexico back to the United States and I decided my face would get us back across the border easier without a beard.  So I shaved it all off.  I was stunned to find my father staring back at me in the mirror!  I think I've had facial hair of some type or another ever since.

I'll keep you posted on the current crop.

Sunday, November 30, 2014


If you come from a Scandinavian family* you've probably heard about lefse.  You've probably heard about lutefisk too but that's all I will say about that.

Lefse is kind of like a flour tortilla only thinner.  Wafer thin.  It is made from mashed potatoes and other ingredients but the potatoes are the main thing.  Balls of the dough are made, then rolled out and grilled on a griddle.  There are various ways to eat them but I always liked the ones I ate with butter and sugar, then rolled up into a tube and munched.

In Minot, North Dakota, where my brother and a couple of his kids and their kids still live there's a lefse-making tradition nearly a decade in the making.  They and other members of the extended family who gather there for a Thanksgiving feast call it Lefsepalooza.  It occurs on Black Friday and takes the place of shopping.  Here are some photos of this year's activity, courtesy of my nephew Barry's wife, Amy Fredregill.

Barry shows off one of the finished products.  Next to him is Amy, rolling out another and behind her is the host, Larry and his sister, Loretta.  The event features personalized aprons for everyone.

You may also notice what appears to be a bottle of some adult beverage on the counter in front of Larry.  The event is held in his garage and one must have sustenance to keep one's bodily warmth up to par.

And here is the outcome of the day: 194 lefses!  Amy says that's LESS than usual because they increased the rounds to 14 inches.

A job well done by these descendants of Norwegian immigrants. 

*The maternal side of my family came from Norway many years ago to farm in the rich soil of North Dakota.  

I grew up eating lefse. 

And avoiding lutefisk.

Saturday, November 29, 2014


I know some of you folks have been fighting snow and ice and cold temperatures for days now, way ahead of the traditional first day of winter.

I just thought you'd like to know why I live in Arizona.

This is the street in front of our house on Thanksgiving Day.  We sat outside on the patio in shirtsleeves enjoying a 70+ degree sunny day before having our feast. And, no, it doesn't get too hot in the summer where we live.

But for the rest of you folks . . . here's Deano!

Friday, November 28, 2014


I trust you all had wonderful Thanksgivings and are recovering comfortably.  Today a very special edition of the Friday Funnies. It's my first pre-Christmas special and it's ALL CATS!  What a surprise, eh?  So without further ado, let's get to it.

And with that, a tip of the nog and/or wassail to you.  Many thanks for the contributions, have a great weekend, folks, and keep chortling.  

(I wonder how many of them noticed the name of the bar.)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Well, the big day is upon us.  Since it's also Throwback Thursday I searched my photo files for a Thanksgiving picture from my past.  I can't be sure if this one was from a past feasting day but it has all the qualities.

Presenting the Taylors.  Adults (left to right): Me, my older Brother Wayne, my Dad Franklin.  I'm holding Wayne's second son, Tim, and my dad is holding my second son, Scott.  Kneeling in front are the oldest boys, Wayne's Larry and my Troy.  We kind of look like toy soldiers, don't we?

And flashing forward to Thanksgiving 2014 . . .

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


Yesterday's post about Thanksgiving encouraged some debate about when it all started. Tom and Phil both weighed in with historical perspectives of the Great Southwest celebrating Thanksgiving long before the Pilgrims and Puritans of New England.  Tom noted a Feast of Thanksgiving in New Mexico in 1598 following an arduous exploratory journey north from Mexico.  And Phil reminded us all that Santa Fe was an established town in New Mexico by the time the Pilgrims landed.

But wait!

A couple of Florida scholars say the first Thanksgiving actually was celebrated by Spaniards in what is now St. Augustine, Florida in 1565. (Presumably in Spanish, one of the official languages of Florida these days.)

So the debate goes on and on.  But it first became an official government mandated holiday way back in 1941 when President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation (y'all remember legislation, don't you?) naming the fourth Thursday of November every year as the day we celebrate, eat ridiculously huge meals and, if we remember, give thanks.

And, so says Wikipedia and who would argue with them, modern day Thanksgiving goes back to those Calvinists in New England. Just never mind the Spaniards and Mexicans and Indians who went before.  

Kind of like how we tend to forget or ignore our history even today.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Just because a group of stupid lawless renegades took advantage of a grand jury decision to loot stores and burn others out or to the ground last night should not take away from our celebration of Thanksgiving.

There is no common ground on when our Thanksgiving holiday was first marked.  It is generally assumed that it was the Puritans in Massachusetts who initiated a feast AND A FAST marking a day of thanks for . . . well, I guess, letting them survive in this new and sometimes unforgiving land.

But that was 1621 in the Plymouth Colony.  History tells us that the widespread habit of a Thanksgiving harvest festival did not widely take hold until the 1660's in New England.


It is a day when families gather together . . in modern times . . to overeat, indulge our familial grudges and watch football on humongous television screens.  (For which we are all thankful.)

So it's two days away.  Our frozen turkey (breast) is out on the counter beginning the long thaw.  SWMBO is off today to an earlier than usual lunch with the BRD and then a stop at Trader Joe's to pick up whatever else is needed for our feast.  Somewhere in the next couple of days I have been commissioned to make a pumpkin pie although the "little woman" will make a ginger snap crust for it to reside in.

I don't know about you but I'm already getting hungry.

I'll have more on this subject tomorrow.

Monday, November 24, 2014


High noon in my part of Arizona and, while the sun is shining, it's a bit nippy outside.

BUT, the high temperature on Thanksgiving Day is forecast to be 72 degrees Fahrenheit.


How's your Thanksgiving Day going?

Sunday, November 23, 2014


I built and baked a Denver Omelet yesterday for the two of us for breakfast/brunch.

It came from a recipe in All Recipes magazine.  I didn't have the ham it called for so I substituted some bacon.  And I didn't have the green bell pepper so I substituted some mixed mini sweet peppers. But it was good and one of the best things about it is there's enough for not only Saturday but Sunday as well.  Bingo!  Two days breakfasts in one.

Now.  As we were finishing the second helping today, SWMBO said do you remember that I made this awhile back and you took pictures and blogged about it?  I had to admit my senior memory had lost it. But I searched and, lo and behold, there it was.  And only two months ago! If you'd like to see what I said then and get a better look at it, click right here.

Even so, I made it this time, all by my ownsome.  And again, it was delicious.

Saturday, November 22, 2014


Our beautiful red Maple tree . . . which someone told us recently is known as a Fire Maple around here . . .

. . has now lost nearly all of its leaves and is . . denuded.

Fortunately, at least for awhile, it has a neighbor that is in the height of it's golden haze before it drops its leaves.

All of which gives me an opportunity to post one of my favorite songs.  And, no, it's not Autumn Leaves.

That's the late (1942-1981) Harry Chapin doing one of his (and my) favorite songs.  Like those beautiful Maple leaves, I miss him.

Friday, November 21, 2014


I'm going to start off today with a lesson in Hollywood science in the form of a pie chart.

Now moving right along to another type of science - archaeology.

Here are a couple on politics.

Then, of course, there are the blessings of the season.

Feeling sorry for yourself yet?

Maybe if he was just a bit older we could offer him a jigger of rum!

Speaking of pirates . . .

Since Thanksgiving is nearly upon us and the Christmas season is barking at its shoes, I guess it's not too late for New Year's Day and those damned  inevitable resolutions that will have been made, some of you us may need a place for help with them.

And finally, lest they claw the furniture to shreds . . . the cats!

Thanks to many contributors this week.  Have a fruitful weekend, folks, and always, always keep laughing.

Thursday, November 20, 2014


Although the house is decorated for Christmas and my uncle, Zenas (far left) was visiting from San Francisco, this was a less than happy time.  I was 12 years old and recovering from surgery and a hospital stay for a ruptured appendix.  I still had a drain tube and had to be carried downstairs from my room to join the rest of the family.

Next to Uncle Zenas is my mother, my grandfather and my father. My older brother took the picture.

1952.  Not a very good year.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

HAPPY . . er . . MERRY . . er . . ???

Yesterday my blogger friend Judy posted this picture.  I thought the city of Prescott might be rushing the season a bit.  But then when I was in town, I noticed that the gang at the Jersey Lilly also had begun the festive celebration.

On his balcony overlooking the Courthouse Square, owner Tommy Meredith has his carol singers up and at 'em.

But we can forgive Tommy since he is the main impetus behind the fund raising every year to make sure the Square is lighted and decorated for Christmas.

Meanwhile, downstairs at the Palace Restaurant and Saloon an old west lookalike was maintaining a vigil.

We chatted about the decorations and he said the Palace would soon be sporting decorations as well.  

Merry Christmas, everyone, even though it's only November 19th and a week before Thanksgiving!  I guess it's never too soon to start in Arizona's Christmas City.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Sunday, November 16, 2014


To those of you who faithfully read my Friday Funnies, are you laughing yet?  Or still laughing?  Well, if not, take a look at this.

And thanks to the BRD for sending it to me.

Saturday, November 15, 2014


There are days like today when my mind is empty of ideas to write about or picture in my blog.  When I first rose this morning and looked out the window, it was foggy out over the savannah.

That's what SWMBO has named the open field or pasture or whatever down at the end of our street.  This picture was taken some time ago and doesn't show any fog.  That's because we live far, far away from the sea or any other large body of water and it very rarely is foggy.  All of which gave me the idea to take a picture for today's blog posting.

But by the time I got my coffee and had taken my morning pills and heated some water for SWMBO's morning cuppa and a few other things, I'd forgotten all about my plan to photograph the fog.  Plus the sun was up and it had probably all burned off anyway.

So.  Strike one.

I start each day by reading Mike Allen's morning Playbook from POLITICO.  That's a good way to get my blood going.  Then I scan the headlines from the New York Times and occasionally read an article or two.  Then I run quickly through my local newspaper and take a quick look at Facebook and read a few emails that have accumulated.  Then it's on to the most pleasant part of my morning: working three crossword puzzles on-line.  They're not very difficult, usually.  The first is called the Daily American Puzzle, the second from the Washington Post and the third from the Los Angeles Times.  The experts say working crosswords keeps your mind from slowing down.  I don't know about that but I know it keeps my stock of curse words intact.

I've recently subscribed to a site called Bloglovin, which keeps track of the 10 or 20 blogs I have over there on the right and updates the list whenever one of those bloggers posts.  That way I can read all the latest posts and keep up to date with my e-friends.  And then it has become time for me to write a blog post.  And nothing has stirred my imagination.  I check my photo file.  Nothing there.  So, what to do?

Now my wife, SWMBO, frequently tells me "you know you don't have to write something in that fool blog of yours every day!" Which probably just goads me to write something every day.  I love Throwback Thursdays and the Friday Funnies because I can always find some material for them.  But days like today?  Blank.

Strike Two.

But wait.  Here's another email from Bloglovin, a weekly one that suggests other blogs I might find interesting.  As I scan the list, I notice a similarity.  The 15 Most Surreal Travel Destinations, 5 Steps to Take When You're Burned Out, 13 Genius Tips For Decorating a Small Space, 10 Sunny Travel Destinations You Should Visit Before the End of the Year, 5 Days in Hawaii.

I get it.  I should just write or photograph a list of stuff.  I look around my den.  Ho hum.

Strike Three.

I guess I'll just have to settle for this.  It's something I found on the Internets, printed off and SWMBO framed for me.  It hangs directly over my desk and inspires me every day.