Friday, December 12, 2014


Yes, I won't go away.  Here I am again with the confounded Friday Funnies.  First, an obligatory Christmas thought.

Next, we hear from a few celebrities.

For the dog lovers among you . . . don't leave them home alone.

And then there are my friends . . the cats!

Here's hoping you're fully charged for a great weekend.

Oh and by the way . . the actor and very successful Facebooker (he reportedly has more than 7,000 fans there) . . George Takei says what gets him the most likes, of course, are cat videos.

Keep laughing, folks, it will keep you young.

Thursday, December 11, 2014


A selfie in Monaco.

In 1985 Judy and I made our only tour of Europe, visiting seven countries in one month.  This picture was taken as we posed (smugly) in Monte Carlo, Monaco.  We were definitely above our class in this playground of the wealthy.

It is fitting that I post this photo today since there is a new heir to the throne of the Principality of Monaco today.  Actually there are two. Prince Jacques Honore Rainier and his twin sister Princess Gabriella Therese Marie were born yesterday.  Although the Princess was born first Prince Jacques is first in line of succession as the male offspring.

Here's a photo of the happy mom and dad.

They look more like they belong in Monaco than we did, I think.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


So anyway there was that rainy day.  Or two.  During it I raised a question of whether that was a low hanging cloud or was it fog. Almost to a man (and woman) came the answer.  It was definitely a lowered cloud nearly touching the earth.

But a day or so later came a new phenomenon, one that I love to see.  It's known as Ground Fog.  From a distance, you can see the cloud of fog (sorry about that) clinging to the earth with clear sunny skies above it.  It looks like this.

And more stunningly, like this.

In StoneRidge, where I live and where I shot these photos the sun had already burned off the fog.  But in downtown Prescott Valley it was still clinging on.  I can imagine that it was a dreary, gray sight there.  But from a distance and a bit of elevation it is simply beautiful.

Now to the subject of landmarks.  Yesterday I noted that the low cloud was even obscuring Thumb Butte in Prescott.  A couple of my commenters thought that was a funny name.  So let me explain.

It is pronounced Thumb, as in thumb, and Butte, as in Beaut.  And it's a volcanic plug that resembles, from a certain angle, an upraised thumb.  Take a look.

See, it's a photo taken from the side with the right side being the thumbnail and the left being the pad on the thumb.  Some early pioneer/gold digger/mountain man/cowboy, perhaps a bit hazy from some "likker" gave it the name back in the day. It has become Prescott's official landmark and appears on signs, stationery and in local business names. 

It is part of the Sierra Prieta range just west of Prescott.  Incidentally early cowboys called the range "the Sierry Petes".  And they are featured in a piece of cowboy poetry by the late, great Gail Gardner.

The Sierry Petes (or, Tying Knots in the Devil's Tail)
Away up high in the Sierry Petes,
Where the yeller pines grows tall,
Ole Sandy Bob an' Buster Jig,
Had a rodeer camp last fall.
Oh, they taken their hosses and runnin' irons
And maybe a dog or two,
An' they 'lowed they'd brand all the long-yered calves,
That come within their view.

And any old dogie that flapped long yeres,
An' didn't bush up by day,
Got his long yeres whittled an' his old hide scorched,
In a most artistic way.

Now one fine day ole Sandy Bob,
He throwed his seago down,
"I'm sick of the smell of burnin’ hair,
And I 'lows I'm a-goin' to town."

So they saddles up an' hits 'em a lope,
Fer it warnt no sight of a ride,
And them was the days when a Buckeroo
Could ile up his inside.

Oh, they starts her in at the Kaintucky Bar,
At the head of Whiskey Row,
And they winds up down by the Depot House,
Some forty drinks below.

They then sets up and turns around,
And goes her the other way,
An' to tell you the Gawd-forsaken truth,
Them boys got stewed that day.

As they was a-ridin' back to camp,
A-packin' a pretty good load,
Who should they meet but the Devil himself,
A-prancin' down the road.

Sez he, "You ornery cowboy skunks,
You'd better hunt yer holes,
Fer I've come up from Hell's Rim Rock,
To gather in yer souls."

Sez Sandy Bob, "Old Devil be damned,
We boys is kinda tight,
But you ain't a-goin' to gather no cowboy souls,
'Thout you has some kind of a fight."

        So Sandy Bob punched a hole in his rope,
        And he swang her straight and true,
        He lapped it on to the Devil's horns,
        An' he taken his dallies too.
Now Buster jig was a riata man,
With his gut-line coiled up neat,
So he shaken her out an' he built him a loop,
An' he lassed the Devil's hind feet.

Oh, they stretched him out an' they tailed him down,
While the irons was a-gettin hot,
They cropped and swaller-forked his yeres,
Then they branded him up a lot.

They pruned him up with a de-hornin' saw,
An' they knotted his tail fer a joke,
They then rid off and left him there,
Necked to a Black-Jack oak.

If you're ever up high in the Sierry Petes,
An' you hear one Hell of a wail,
You'll know it's that Devil a-bellerin' around,
About them knots in his tail.

                                             Gail I. Gardner, 1917

And that, as a certain radio commenter used to say, is the rest of the story.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014


One day last week we were having an unusual amount of slow steady rain.  But I had to go into Prescott.  Here's how it looked as I pulled into town.  Wet, drizzling, cold with a very low cloud even obscuring Thumb Butte.

On a day like that, once my obligations were taken care of, there was only one solution.

A seat at the bar at the Prescott Brewing Company where I'm a huge fan of their Petrified Porter and their Fish and Chips.

(The day got better!)

Monday, December 8, 2014


I promised last Monday (check back if you like) to keep you updated on the progress of my beard.  I'll try to remember to post a new picture each Monday.  Here is the one I took a few minutes ago.

The chin is filling in nicely around my goatee.  But the sides are groaningly slow.  'Course it's only been a bit over a week.  Time will tell.

By the way, I suppose I should apologize to SWMBO for this picture.  She thinks I look terrible in "gimmee" caps.  I usually only wear this one in the morning because my window faces east right into the sun and the cap cuts down on the glare.

Sunday, December 7, 2014


The BRD and her Beau Jack are spending the week in Kona, Hawaii.

Hence her acronym BRD: Beautiful Rich Daughter.

Since she has three cats that live with her, her mother SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed) is house- and cat-sitting for her for the week.  I was over there earlier today and took some photos of . . . yup, you guessed it . . . the cats.

This is Lilly, the friendliest of the tribe.

Her coat is so luxurious you just have to grab hold of her.  They ought to make women's coats out of fur like that.  She takes little urging to come up on the arm of the chair I sit in and ask to be petted.

Apparently she knows how beautiful she is.  She's always ready to pose.

On the other end of the scale is Mister.  Though he's the fattest solidest of the trio he is very shy at first and stays at arms reach.  

But eventually curiosity perhaps is too much for him and he relaxes. REALLY relaxes.

"Are you talkin' to me, buddy?"

And last but definitely not least is Jet, who is the most aptly named. He paces around like he runs the place and is difficult to photograph. Until HE relaxes.

The BRD is a nervous mother.  She asked me on her first day away to send pictures of the animals.  

I did better than that.  

I got a blog post out of it.

Saturday, December 6, 2014


What we had for breakfast yesterday.  And I finished off today.

Here's a closer look at the gooey crunchy goodness.

Unlike its appearance when it came out of the oven, it is NOT a baked octopus.

It's a special holiday treat from good old Trader Joe.  SWMBO blamed the "sugar rush" she claimed to have acquired from eating her share of it yesterday for the nap she had to take a short time later.  I fell asleep in a recliner with a golf tournament on so maybe she's right.  Or maybe, like so many of my friends claim, golf and baseball are so boring they'll put you to sleep!

Friday, December 5, 2014


Here we are again with what you've been waiting for ever since . . . yesterday.  It's the Friday Funnies!

If you don't remember "The Honeymooners" you'd better find someone older to explain that one.

This week the cats will just pop up randomly.

Wait a second.  Think about that one.

And with the StarCat and thanks to all of my contributors, I wish you a Merry Weekend full of laughs.  (Bet you thought I was going to say something else, didn't you?)

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.