Friday, March 13, 2015


Oh, drat! I hate when I have to tell you that it is Friday the 13th. A day filled with omens and portents and all that bad stuff.  "Twaddle!", says I.  "Superstititous twaddle!" Let us not be fearful of a simple date on a calendar. Let us march forth into the fray, fearful of naught! Let us go into battle armed with smiles on our faces and carrying with us . . . THE FRIDAY FUNNIES!

I'm not so sure who "IM" is (didn't catch that, didya?) but I'd avoid him.  Or her.

Let us not forget, this was the week that we were able to spend a ridiculous amount of money on yet another amazing new technology item.

That guy looks like John Goodman, doesn't he?

How much money does one need anyway?

I mean, after the first million.

I saw Princess Kate on t.v. last night and SWMBO reminded me that she was "expecting" a baby soon.  "The Spare", y'know.

Me? It's nearing Saturday, the usual day when the Bible Beaters begin ringing our bell.  But, expecting them, this year I've got a secret weapon.

There is nothing like a cat to set them right.  Right?

That's all, folks.  Keep smiling and thanks to all of my contributors (and victims of theft.)

Oh, and if my little attempts at humor offended anyone, what did you expect?  It's Friday the 13th!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

ThrowBack Thursday

Mexico Days - Guadalajara - the 1980's.

A couple of cats - Our newly acquired Chulapay and I - buddies.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


As yesterday's post implied, the nearing of Spring brings growth to the land. But it's not all in our plant life.

The StoneRidge Development, where I live in Prescott Valley, is growing also.

Electrical cables are being hooked up, presumably to serve that new home abuilding on the ridge in the background and many more beyond it.

On another ridge another home is being finished. And you can see a road being scraped up the hillside beyond it, preparing for more construction.

Nearby a lot has been scraped relatively level and workmen are preparing the site for another home.

Eventually I suppose it will all look like that hilltop in the distance. And more homes will be built downslope, as well.  The beginnings of a road are already there.

Meanwhile, turning the camera just a bit to the right, you can see the golf course that winds over hill and dale and amidst many of the homes . . already built, abuilding and planned for the future.

Continuing down StoneRidge Drive we come upon Prescott Valley Crossroads, a 600,000 square foot shopping development.  It currently houses Sam's Club, Dick's Sporting Goods, Sprouts, TJ Maxx, Ulta, Chase Bank, Home Depot, Hobby Lobby and many smaller shops and fast food restaurants.  Another one is on the way.

This pile of concrete will morph into a Chipotle restaurant soon, scheduled for a June opening.

A bit further along is this building, which will house a Men's Wearhouse (menswear), Sport Clips (a men's hair salon), and MattressFIRM (a mattress firm).

So, yes, Spring is on the way and so is growth in Prescott Valley.

Monday, March 9, 2015


According to the calendar, the first day of Spring is only 11 days away. I'm sure that is fantastic news to the snow- and ice-bound of you. And for my fellow baseball fans, the regular season is now less than a month away. I can't wait.

All of which is prelude to an update on the flora outside my window.

The Redbud tree is full of buds that are, appropriately, red.

Actually I'd call the color sort of a magenta but a Magenta Bud tree just doesn't sound right. And I didn't name the darned thing anyway.

Beneath it, the Oregon Grape (which SWMBO had originally called a holly bush because of the leaves) is blooming with bright yellow blossoms.

Eventually those will turn into blue berries, though not blueberries.

The plant guides say they're edible but neither I nor my good friend Stephen, who lives in Oregon, have had the courage to try them. We shall designate them as decorative.

Other shrubs out front are beginning to bloom, too, so maybe Spring really is on the way.

Sunday, March 8, 2015


SWMBO has a Christmas cactus. It's so-called because the edges of the leaves are sharp and spiny . . .

. . . and because the plant is supposed to be full of red blossoms at Christmas.

But hers is reluctant.  She may get one blossom at Yuletide or none.

I'm beginning to think it's a St. Patrick's Day cactus because as that holiday approaches, the plant is revving into high gear.

Keep in mind that is only one blossom, shot from several angles.

But a couple more buds are about to burst, promising more "Christmas" glory in March.

Happy St. Nicholas and St. Patrick's Days!

Saturday, March 7, 2015


This post is intended to appeal to your sweet tooth. 

If you like chocolate.

And, if you don't, what the heck are you doing here anyway?

I've been baking a little recently.

A week or so ago I created a delicious chocolate cake with a rich chocolate frosting. 

Unfortunately I didn't photograph it.

But we ate it.

Yesterday I tried another new recipe.

Here is the result.

It's called a chocolate truffle pie.

If that doesn't sound rich enough for you . .

. . you have to try a piece with vanilla ice cream and chocolate sauce.

Believe your eyes and my words.

It's rich enough.

Friday, March 6, 2015


Fiorello LaGuardia was a legendary mayor of New York City back in the 1940's. Lesser known is that he went to elementary and high school in Prescott, Arizona while his father held a position as bandmaster at Fort Whipple.

So why, on this bright, sunny Friday, do I bring up this tad of history? Because during a newspaper strike in New York while LaGuardia was mayor he became famous for reading the comics on the radio. If you're too young to have heard of this . . you could look it up, (i.e. Google it).

All of which is prelude to the true business of the day: the Friday Funnies!

I know what he means.  It's enough to drive one to drink.

That's a little pessimistic. Let's get some relief from our friends, the cats.

Guess the cats and I are all feeling a bit cynical today.  But it's a beautiful day in the neighborhood, let's get out there and enjoy it. Thanks to all of my "contributors" and keep smiling, everybody.

Thursday, March 5, 2015


If you want to see what a really good camera can do, take a look at my blogger friend Judy's picture today of one of the owlets at the nearby Home Depot. I'm more than a tad jealous.

Judy and I trade compliments back and forth and her telling me that my picture of the snow-covered mountains and the "snowbow" of the other day was neat prompted me to place it as my banner shot today.  Thanks, Judy.

But the real purpose of today's blog is to remind you that it is ThrowBack Thursday.  I'm featuring before and after pictures of yours truly.

The first one was taken in April of 1985 contemplating the multi-colored Mediterranean Sea at Monaco during our only (sniff)  vacation trip to Europe.

Thirty years later, just a week or so ago, the same (much grayer) guy in an equally pensive mood at the Red Raven Restaurant in Williams.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


It has been noted, on this blog and elsewhere, that cats have an innate wisdom that the human species may not share.  For example, this video was shot earlier this week.

Those white flecks in the air?  That is snow, my friends.  In Arizona, where the sun shines well over 300 days a year.

Now, while that snowburst . . and most of the day . . rain was occurring, human beings were outside walking the streets and sidewalks. With their dogs! In freezing (well, it seemed freezing to me) and extremely inclement weather.

And where were our two cats during this weather disaster?

Sharing the foot of a bed for their warm afternoon nap. That's where.  I rest my case.

By the way, a little later I (stupid human that I am) ventured outside to take a photo of the snow-covered mountains and found, to my surprise, a snowbow. That's like a rainbow and it's just barely visible at the left of this picture.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015


My neighbor, Lori, tipped me to something special over at our nearby Home Depot store. It was way up near the roof over the garden section.

No, it wasn't the stuff in those big cardboard boxes.  It was what was ON one of those boxes. Take a closer look.

That's right. It's an owl. According to one of the store employees, he (or she - how the heck do you tell which is which, anyway) is part of a couple that has lived in the store for six years, ever since the store was built.

Each year the female gives birth to an owlet. Or two. They stay with the parents until the old folks have taught them to fly. Then they get kicked out to go find their own (Home Depot store) nesting place. The store employee said they even provide a birthing box for them.

But this year was special. The parents didn't have one baby.  Or two. They brought THREE little owls into the world.

 Actually, they're not so little.

So here they are, posing for their group portrait.

The store employe I spoke to said the threesome has been viewed by many, many store visitors. But the young owls seemed relatively unfazed by all the attention.

If I was the kind of guy who would say such a thing, I might say they don't give a hoot.

But, of course, I wouldn't say that.