Tuesday, January 6, 2015


After a day or two of snowy weather last week, the back yard looked like this.

But cold weather and snow never last very long in Arizona and today, with the temperature in the 50's for the second day in a row, most of the snow is gone.

Last week, the front yard looked like this.

And today . . .

Well, ahem.  The difference comes in the direction the house faces. The front yard lies to the north and is protected from the low-hanging winter sun by shade from the house.  The back yard is nearly fully exposed to the sunlight so the snow disappears there first.

All of which won't make a darned bit of difference next August.

Last week when we were having our snowy, cold days the rest of the country was enjoying mild weather.  Today it's just the opposite. Down here in the southwest corner of the country, it is usually warm and storms like last week's occur rarely.

Which made me think of something else that has irked me for a time. Take a look at this map of the United States.

Take a look at Texas.  How do people get away with saying that state is part of the Great Southwest?  To me, it looks like it's in the South, an area that more aptly should be named the Southeast.  And when I lived in Indiana, that part of the country was called the Midwest.  Who do they think they're kidding?  Indiana obviously resides in the eastern third of the country. Seems like they should say it's in the Middle East.  But then that could be confusing, too, (said the old grouch as he went off to bury himself in his maps.)

Monday, January 5, 2015


Now it's starting to look like a beard.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


Here are a couple of the famous Victorian houses dating back to Prescott's early days.

This one was built by Henry Goldwater, an uncle of the late Senator Barry Goldwater.  He came to Prescott from Yuma, married a school teacher who raised money from the Carnegie's and local residents for the town's first library, ran a cigar store on Whiskey Row and worked with his brothers in their eponymous store just down the hill from this house.  He was also somewhat of an inventor but he moved on, to California.

The house is now a vacational rental.

Saturday, January 3, 2015


There are many ravens in this part of Arizona.  Many people mistake them for crows but there is a distinct difference.

This one was perched on a light fixture when I passed by.  He was so brazen as to stay there even as I stopped and took his picture from only a few feet away.

Inside the community center I showed the photo to the young lady working the desk and she told me it was one of a pair that apparently have roosted on the roof.  She said she had looked up ravens in a text and learned that they are generally monogamous and mate for life.  

That can mean around 20 years for ravens in the wild though the famous birds that live at the Tower of London have been known to live for 40 years.  I remember seeing them there and hearing that because of the lore that if they ever leave the British Empire will fall the ravens wings are clipped so they can't fly away.

Our ravens, with their loud calls, seem to have no inclination to leave.

No.  Nevermore.

Friday, January 2, 2015


Here it is, folks, your brand new 2015 edition of the long-running, sometimes funny Friday Funnies.  We begin a near year with a look back at the last one.

A New Year's Day hangover.

Hey!  Who left the cat out??!!!

Have a great weekend, a fantastic 2015 and keep chuckling!

(And thanks to contributors and to those from who I stole!)

Thursday, January 1, 2015


A friend sent me a couple of pictures that were taken in the Red Rocks near Sedona, Arizona yesterday or today.


In this dusty and creased photo from 1961(?) the young Lothario was putting the moves on a cute secretary at the YMCA in Minot, North Dakota.  Maybe the madras shirt put her off.  Or the Obama ears.  Suffice it to say that nothing worked.  Nice smile, though.

We had more snow during the night and this morning, at the start of 2015, a white winter wonderland greeted us.

But something . . probably a bunny . . had been snooping around in our front yard during the night.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014


Happy New Year!


Once upon a time I worked for a radio and television combine in North Dakota.  One of the radio announcers, Bill Drilling, who I've long since lost track of, coined that phrase - celestial dandruff - to describe snowfall.  There were plenty of times to use that term in North Dakota. Not so many in Arizona.  But today, on this last day of 2014, we have a fairly rare winter storm beginning.

Regular readers of this blog will know there's a town and a mountain range out there but a whiteout has eclipsed them this morning.

Closer to home . . .

"I took the road less traveled."

The snow is forecast to continue through tonight and tomorrow with an expected total of 6 to 12 inches in the area.  That changes New Years Eve plans for lots of people, including the BRD and her Beau Jack.  They have decided to stay in and celebrate around a warm fire. We, too, will be home and warm though we gave up plans for going to New Years Eve parties many years ago.

But for those who may be celebrating a little too much tonight, whether home or away, here's something to begin the New Year.

Dr. Taylor is a distant relative of mine.  My father and grandfather discovered him in 1948 when they made a trip back to New England searching for ancestors and their descendants. This doctor was also an amateur genealogist and later sent us an extensive family tree, tracing the Taylors back to Yarmouth, Massachusetts in 1630.

And, apparently, he got some of the drunks off the street.

Have a safe and happy new year, folks.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


SWMBO took a couple of photos of our big black cat, Blackwell, enjoying a partial sun bath this morning.

Even with his black fur coat, he seeks out the sun shining through the patio window every morning and soaks up the warmth.

He seems to have about the same attitude as SWMBO when a camera is pointed in his direction.  Unsure of what is to come next, a bit surly about being the attention of that dratted "thing".

Not so when I took a close-up shot of him the other day as he was in his favorite cold weather spot.  On my or SWMBO's lap.  One cannot take a seat in the recliner without Blackwell hopping up to revel in the warmth of another body and usually, go to sleep.

He looks kind of mean in these photos, especially with his cropped ear which he got from a lady veterinarian's helper who, being told he was feral, thought he would be outside and offered that as identification.  She asked me if I wanted his ear "notched" and I said yes, thinking they would just take a tiny snip out of it.  I was horrified when I saw what they had done.  

But Blackwell took it all in stride and, in spite of the "look" in these photos, he is a sweetheart. My buddy or as SWMBO says when he follows me around the house, "here comes your dog."

Monday, December 29, 2014


The Monday Morning Update.

Still a little patchy.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Saturday, December 27, 2014


The BRD, her Beau Jack, SWMBO and I had our Christmas day brunch/dinner at the Prescott Resort & Conference Center.  

Afterward, the wife and I toured the Gingerbread Village, an annual display of handcrafted dwellings made from gingerbread and candy.

The entries are judged.  This next one got a blue ribbon.

My favorite (I guess I'm still a kid at heart) part of the display is the electric train winding its way through the exhibit, including a tunnel.

There was even one entry based on the famous or infamous Gunfight at the O.K. Corral.

Since the Resort is owned by the Yavapai-Prescott Indian Tribe, I didn't see any Indian-fighters.  Or, in our PC age, would that be Native American-fighters?

Friday, December 26, 2014


Here's to Christmases Past, including the one in 2014.  I hope you all had a festive and happy time.  Now let's get on to the business at hand.

On the other hand . .

And . .

It is then that I call in a true expert.

Now regular fans of Oddball's Friday Funnies know that I always conclude with the cats.  Not this week.  I thought this next one was so funny it had to be my ultimate this week.  Enjoy.

Like the lovely lady, keep laughing, folks, have a wonderful (if chilly) weekend and as always, thanks for the contributions.