Friday, February 13, 2015


So it's Friday the 13th.  So what? Unless you're a fiercely true triskaidekaphobian you'll just laugh it off.  And laugh some more. Here's some help.

There!  That ought to take care of those superstitious fears.

Thanks for ALL the contributions (I still have a few to kick off next Friday) and remember this, folks: always keep laughing, no matter what the calendar tells you.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Once upon a time back in the 1980's, SWMBO and I lived in Mexico for a little over four years.  The BRD came down to visit us several times and once, in our inner courtyard in Guadalajara, I captured this picture of my two beautiful ladies in red.

It's no wonder I was smiling, as in this picture at my favorite place, the beach.  (Those aren't abs, they're ribs.  I got pretty skinny in Mexico.)

Ah the good times.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


We have always collected rocks and things left by the sea.  As I am approaching the three-quarters of a century mark on this orb, I am finding new interest in this detritus.  I have no idea where these things came from but I enjoy the shapes and patterns that have been formed by nature. There's a copper pot full of them on our back patio which my camera discovered the other day.

These artifacts have come from three seas - the Atlantic, the Pacific and the Mediterranean - over the years.  As well as various and sundry rivers, creeks, lakes and the like.  

There are a few sharp edges but the rolling of waters has smoothed the surfaces in most cases. I find pleasure in the smooth and unpredictable bends and the round shapes caused by the constantly flowing water. It is difficult to comprehend how something as soft as water can abrade the rocks into such curvaceous bodies.

And then there are signs of some forms of life which have etched the surfaces.

You can spend a long time on a warm afternoon contemplating this and trying to ascertain what came before.

It's a pleasant way to avoid the news of the world and escape into a reverie where more mundane things don't matter.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015


Yesterday the temperature rose to 71 here.  And we're a mile high in the foothills of Arizona. Not in the desert, where it was in the 80's. 

And this is February.  Early February.  As was easy to recognize when I watched the (Lyin' Brian-less) evening news last night which was dominated by video of huge piles of snow in Boston and warnings of another storm heading their way.

There's no snow here.  It's been 70 or above for three days or more now.

I grew up in North Dakota.  I was just having an email conversation with a friend who also grew up in that frigid snow-covered state. He remembered taking his wife "home" to meet his mother some years ago. It was at Christmas. They flew from Boston into Minneapolis, where it was 27 degrees below zero. Then they rented a car and drove to Bismarck. He said the temperature never climbed above 15 below. When they got to his mother's condo she had the thermostat on 80 degrees and a fire blazing in the fireplace. 

He and his wife now live in Southern California.

One of my first winters in Arizona I had my picture taken in a swimming pool, holding a glass of champagne and wearing a Christmas wreath on my head and a big smile. I sent it to my relatives in North Dakota. Like Queen Victoria, they were not amused.

So to you people in colder climes, I'm sorry. I know you're suffering and I know you don't appreciate hearing this type of crap from me, here in sunny and warm Arizona. 


I can't help it. 

I just can't.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Sunday, February 8, 2015


It is well known that the area where I live was inhabited a thousand years and more before the present residents arrived here.  Several pit houses have been discovered on the north side of Willow Lake and have been carefully explored, restored as much as can be and are now on display for amateur archaelogists and history buffs.

The remaining pits where the houses stood, beginning in 850 A.D., have been protected with concrete walls and steel ramadas. Sidewalks have been laid to allow visitors to view the sites without causing any damage.

Holes were dug in the ground to support tree limbs which in turn provided support for the roofs.  Only the earth excavations remain. Artifacts including pottery shards were removed and taken to a museum.

The larger pits were used for food storage.

Archaelogists have learned that the pit houses were occupied more or less continuously for about 200 years, from around 900 A.D. to 1100 A.D.  Then the Native Americans slowly abandoned the sites and moved away. The area was not inhabited again until the 16th Century, when the Yavapai Apache moved into the area.  They are still here, on a small reservation, but now with a large resort hotel and two casinos.

The earliest inhabitants had this view toward the nearby Willow Lake.

Of course the many houses on the other side of the lake came hundreds of years later.

It's an interesting site worth visiting to learn about some of our earliest visitors to this land called Arizona.

Saturday, February 7, 2015


. . . you can see forever.

Those snow-capped mountains hold the highest point in Arizona. They are the San Francisco Peaks, just north of Flagstaff.  The highest point in the range is Mount Humphreys, 12,633 feet in elevation.  By road, they're around 120 miles from where this picture was taken.  By air, probably 90 to 100 miles.

Zooming in you can get an even better view.

It helps bring them into view when there's snow on the tops.  In the summer the blue of the mountains tends to sort of melt into the sky.

And, of course, it helps when there's a clear, sunny day like today.

Shifting the camera to the left a bit, I can show you Willow Lake.

In spite of a wetter than normal January, the lake is still low.

Friday, February 6, 2015


You're laughing.  I know you are.  I can't hear you but I know it. Thanks to contributors and theft victims, as always, and keep a smile on your kisser, folks!

Thursday, February 5, 2015


Once upon a time, when I was living in Austin, Texas, I was out west of the city somewhere (Dripping Springs, maybe) and I stopped in the office of a resort along side a river.  The resort looked nice and I wanted to inquire as to the rates, thinking of maybe a weekend visit. As I was talking to the lady I nonchalantly said something like "I'm not from around here."

Her reply?  

"Yep, I could tell you was a Yankee!"

Now how do you suppose she could tell?

Wednesday, February 4, 2015


We keep our cats inside the house.  The older one may remember how we rescued her years ago from a rain storm.  She has no inclination to go outside.  But the younger one spent more of his life as an outdoor feral cat.  Though he was quite seriously damaged numerous times in fights with some other animal, he still longs for the free air and the adventure of the outer world.  He has managed to escape the house briefly several times but was quickly captured and returned to "his prison."  We nicknamed him "the escape artist." While he seems to have finally adapted to his confinement, I still occasionally find him sitting in a beam of sunlight, staring seemingly morosely at that exciting life outside the glass door.

I have thought of getting one of those cat harnesses and leashes but I suspect Blackwell would react to it like this cat did.

It's not easy, being the companion of an indoor cat.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


As I was looking through blogs of "my friends" last night, I ran across this picture on Judy's blog.  (I put "my friends" in quotes because even though I feel they are my friends, I've never met any of them except here in cyberspace.)  Judy is a wonderful photographer with an exceptional "eye" for seeing a picture before she takes it.

But her photo reminded me of a couple I had taken a few days ago from a second floor window of the adjacent Prescott Valley Public Library.

I had been struck by the expanse and view from that window but when I looked at the photo on my camera I realized there was a great sky shot out there.  So I changed the angle slightly and took a second photo, which shows a bit of the Prescott Valley city government building which Judy's shot shows in full.

With the angles and the curves and the many sculptures sited around the grounds, the Prescott Valley municipal center offers a variety of subjects for the photographer.

Incidentally, that green-roofed building in the distance is the Prescott Valley Police Department's headquarters.

Great sky, though.

Monday, February 2, 2015


O.K. The football season is finally over.  But baseball's pitchers and catchers report in just 19 days!

Yes, ladies and gentlemen, America's TRUE sport is not that far away. Let there be rejoicing in the land.  Arizona's Diamondbacks have a new team with some exciting new players, a new manager, a new general manager and new hope for the coming season.  I won't say "let's play two" but I will say "let's play ball!"

Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow today and predicted six more weeks of winter.  But that's in the east and the midwest.  Here in Arizona, down by the old ball park, it's a balmy 72 today, heading for the 80's by the end of the week.  It's SPRING time, folks.  Let's get out there and enjoy it.  And while you're at it, pick some fresh fruit for your table.

Sunday, February 1, 2015


Was the moon bright last night or not?  

Here are several pictures taken just before sundown.

Saturday, January 31, 2015


I was watching a Phoenix television station the other night and the anchorman said "Wouldn't you know it?  52 weeks of the year and the one where we have both the Phoenix Open and the Super Bowl in town and it rains!"

Of course, the football game is Sunday and is being played in a stadium with a retractable roof.  And it didn't rain hard yesterday and I watched some of the golf tournament and it looked like they played through it.

Still, here's how it looked through my window yesterday morning.

Not exactly the best day for shooting that new tourism video.

Friday, January 30, 2015


So here it is once again, folks, the end of a week and the beginning of a weekend.  What better time to irritate your fellows around you by staring at a computer screen and chuckling, chortling, outright laughing to yourself.  Launch mirth!

Well not me but someone I know.

So?  The cat's not hysterically funny this week?  Everyone deserves a break.

But for the others . . thanks to my (heh-heh) contributors and have a splendid weekend, folks. And remember, keep laughing!