Tuesday, May 5, 2015


Strange patterns cast by a hanging lantern.

The magic lantern itself.

Nighttime and some fanciful lights cause the mind to wander into the land of Arabian Nights.

Or something.

Monday, May 4, 2015


Over the past several weeks we have been banned from sitting on our front patio because a pair of Warblers had built a nest and begun a new brood. We have patiently watched the birds fly to and from the nest, perch on it and then, once the eggs that had been laid began to hatch, waited somewhat patiently for sights of the new babies.

One day recently I finally saw one of the new fledglings sitting on a table directly in front of our front windows.

It appeared fearless as I took many pictures through the window. It even stayed put as the watchful Blackwell got as close to the window as he could.

One of it's parents arrived with something for it to eat. 

It stayed on the table for a long time, stretching its wings, seeming to get the feel of its own body.

Eventually it flew to the ground where it stayed even longer as its parents fluttered back and forth around it. And then it flew away.

But a day later a second one appeared and the two seemed confused as they fluttered about. First one, then the other perched on a wire of lights hung for my party recently and there they sat, side by side.

Finally they were gone, off to find adventure in their new world.

And we got our front patio back. 

At least for awhile.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


Saturday at Mortimer Nursery in Prescott. What better welcome to spring than the showy iris.

It seemed like every color of the rainbow was featured in these gorgeous spring blooms.

All of this beauty in one tent under the auspices of the . . .

Nice job, growers!

Saturday, May 2, 2015


In Louisville, Kentucky, and throughout the world today is known as Derby Day for the running of the Kentucky Derby.

But in Prescott, Arizona, there was a different kind of pony show today, named for a different kind of racer.

It was the annual gathering of the Ford Mustang automobiles.

They gathered, aptly, in the parking lot of the local In 'n' Out Burger. The classic Ford automobiles were present in every color under the sun. Even pink.

That car is owned by a lady. If the color didn't clue you in, what she had under the hood would have.

Another car owner brought a little bit of automotive history to his car.

Other owners just relied on displaying good old muscle power under their hoods.

With a little help from the logo of the car.

The classic Mustang steering wheel looks kind of fragile by today's heavily padded standards.

There were also some Shelby Cobras on display.

Though this one with the classic lines wasn't one of the authentic originals, one car owner told me. It was being offered for sale for around $35,000. He said if it was an original the price would be more like $500,000!

The owner of this black beauty said it had been rebuilt to Cobra standards.

What I found amusing about it was what was stated on the placard in front of it.

Friday, May 1, 2015


On this May Day, we shall return once again to LAST Friday when my quiet home was invaded by this noisy group of lunatics, the Heathen Tabernacle Choir, intent on shattering the peace and celebrating my 75th birthday. (Sound up, please.)

The caterwauling cacaphony has died down now but the memory lingers on. Here then are mugshots of the participants.

The Choir Directors

The Conspirators

The American Gothics

The Laughing Lovebirds

The Honoree/Victim

As regular readers know I always try to end the Friday Funnies with a picture or two of cats.

But the one I rounded up wasn't having any of that red nose.

Fortunately I did locate his cousin who, while refusing the clown nose, did consent to dress up in party gear.

Once again I must thank my friends for "honoring" me with their presence.

But be advised, you other folks, should a red-nosed choir show up at your door, don't open it!

In the meantime, keep laughing!

Thursday, April 30, 2015


This one is a little fuzzy.

But it's a historial moment (for me at least). In a television studio at KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota, 1968, after an interview with presidential candidate and Vice-President Hubert Horatio Humphrey. 

From left to right, the late Bob MacLeod, Wes Haugen, yours truly, and Humphrey. 

We had an exclusive. 'Course there was only one other television station in town but still.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


He looks like something out of Jurassic Park.

This giant creature from the dinosaur era was caught haunting North Central Arizona recently. The horrifying creature appears ready to swallow up whole cities in a repeat of a terrifying science fiction movie.

But wait.

Let's back off a bit.

Maybe when I quit dreaming and show you his actual size he's not so terrifying after all.

Except to an occasional bug.

I caught him posing on a hand-sized rock just below our bird bath.

Waiting for a drop or two of water to fall.

There are many of them around the neighborhood.

But I doubt that any cities are in danger of being swallowed up.

Anyway, just think of that Geico gecko. Pretty nice guys.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015


The Courthouse Square in Prescott had a couple of celebrity guests recently.

No, folks, it wasn't George Clooney and his new bride.

It was BIG celebrities.

I don't know where Mickey Mouse was but that's Goofy! Looks like he may need to get on the exercise machine to take care of that pot belly.

Nearby another character was keeping an eye on things.

No doubt watching for careless smokers and others who might start forest fires.

At least he had the good sense to take it easy on a chair.

Smokey the Bear and Goofy the Dog were both on hand to mark Prescott's 2015 recognition of Earth Day.

Monday, April 27, 2015


Saturday some of my birthday gang and I took a little road trip which culminated in a visit to the Chapel of the Holy Cross near Sedona.

I was somewhat castigated for taking a picture and commenting this is how the amazing structure was able to be built.

But another one of our party who shall remain unidentified topped me as we were gazing at a mega-structure down below the chapel.

That's a single family home with a great view. My companion commented "That must be the home of the pastor!"

When no lightning bolts hit him or me, we chatted with one of the men working to guide traffic to parking spaces around the chapel. He told us the house was owned by a man from Phoenix and was estimated to be worth something upwards of 20 million dollars. He told us it cost a million dollars just to clear and grade the land before construction began. He also said the owner visits perhaps once a year and they hadn't seen him for about two years now. Meantime the waterfall keeps flowing into the pond.

Nevertheless, the views in the area are spectacular.

The forces of erosion over the centuries have created a phantasmagoria of nature. 

And we were lucky enough to be there when a cactus was in bloom.

Sunday, April 26, 2015


Well, it's over.

My 75th birthday party, that is.

I had virtually demanded that my four longest and best friends come to my home to help me celebrate it.

And they did!

Along with their soul mates.

Tom and Lana flew over from Cambria, California.

Tim and Jeanne flew in from Denver, Colorado.

Steve and Debbie drove up from Phoenix.

The BRD (Gayle) and Beau Jack came over from Prescott.

Friday night . . . we partied! Saturday the long distance out-of-towners and I did the tourist route, visiting Jerome, Cottonwood, Sedona and Oak Creek Canyon. After which we gathered at our home once again for more drinks and food and great conversation.

So here, from the weekend are some photos of the group.

Tim, a television vice-president and world traveler, from Denver

Jeanne, his wife and a legend in our time

Tom, an Indianapolis radio-t.v. impresario, now retired
and blogging in California

Lana, his wife, a beautiful multi-talented artist and bread baker

From Phoenix, my t.v. and baseball buddy Steve, 
his former flight attendant wife Debbie
 and from Prescott the BRD (who, aptly, looked beautiful)

And the Beau Jack, probably trying to sell Tim a house!

What is surviving to 75 (and beyond?) worth if one doesn't have good friends? I can't answer that because of this small group of warriors who have remained my good friends for decades. 

Tim said he was honored to be invited but I was truly the one honored by the presence of these great folks.

It was a grand party, nearly enough to make one break out in song.