Friday, July 31, 2015


Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, it's gonna be a great day.

How could it not be?

Today we get the Friday Funnies!

Just to get the day started right, I'm going to lead off with my favorite this week.

I don't know about you but I think that's funny.

O.K.  Onward!

I think that one's my second favorite.

And speaking of cat . . .

Have a great weekend, Gentle Readers, and always, always remember to keep laughing!

Thursday, July 30, 2015


50 years ago today a bill was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson creating Medicare and Medicaid. It was signed in the Truman Library with former President Harry S Truman on hand.

In this picture taken at the signing are President Johnson, former U.S. Senator Mike Mansfield, Lady Bird Johnson, President Truman, Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and Bess Truman.

All of them are gone now.

But Medicare lives on to benefit the citizens of the United States of America.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


The monsoon has been returning to Arizona and there are rain predictions for my part of the state today and tomorrow. But I took a look at the radar predictions and, typically, while there are indications that there will be rain all around us . . it doesn't look like any of that necessary moisture will fall "on" us.

So I guess I'll have to use the hose once again to drop some water on SWMBO's new mint plant.

The plant sits in a pot right underneath the hose faucet so it gets a few drops whenever the hose is turned on or off and I spray some more on it when I'm filling the bird bath. So it appears to be doing well.

There's nothing quite like the wonderful smell of a freshly torn-off leaf and the taste of some diced-up in a fruit salad.

And then there are the words of a young woman poet named Lauren, whose work I found on the web.

"i was never a big fan of mint, but after you kissed me, with those sweet spearmint lips of yours, i was hooked."

Now that alone should make you want to start your own mint plant!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015


As promised last week, today we're going abroad.

Well, not far abroad.

Just across our northern border to Canada.

And in deference to our polite neighbors, NO SHORTS THIS WEEK!

Next week, we'll complete the trip.

Stay tuned.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Where would you rather live?

Los Angeles?

Or Phoenix?

Looks like a toss-up to me.

Saturday, July 25, 2015


My neighbor, Lori Down the Block, had a lucky break the other day. She has a nice fountain in her front yard, directly out from her kitchen sink where she does dishes. As she was doing that on Thursday she glanced up and saw this out the window.

This hawk had his eagle eye right on her so she ducked down and hurried to get her camera, then returned and snapped a couple of shots before he flew away.

It's probably a Cooper's Hawk. They seem to be prevalent to the area though one doesn't usually get this good a look at one.

She sent me the photos with great excitement and gave me permission to post them on my blog.

I used my photo software to crop them a bit and make the bird bigger on my screen.

Since these birds spend a lot of time in the air I'm not sure why his feet would be hot but he certainly seems to be enjoying soaking them in the cool running water of the fountain.

He may be a scavenger but he seems like a noble creature as he posed for his photo.

Thanks to my neighborhood Hawk Host and Photographer Lori for the quick work.

Friday, July 24, 2015



One - Two - Three - Prepare to be amused.

O.K. Gentle Readers and Friday Amusees. That's it.


Oh, the cat.

Nearly forgot.

Have a great weekend, thanks to my contributors/theft victims and always remember to keep laughing.  Ta-ta.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


What was called, back in the day (1972), the "glamour shot". It was taken at a professional photography studio in order to mark my arrival as a news reporter at was then KTAR-TV in Phoenix, Arizona. The call letters were changed to KPNX-TV some years later.

I don't know how glamorous this photo was, considering that weird Lincoln-esque beard I was wearing at the time. I do know that a couple of my bosses were against me wearing it because I was going to be on the air but no one had the courage to tell me to shave it off.

Nowadays, HR would protect it. And besides, facial hair is in once again.

Matt Lauer

Ron Burgundy

Stephen Colbert

David Letterman

Maybe I was just ahead of my time!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015


I said, in my previous post earlier today, Blackwell would enjoy his cubbyhole until he got bored with it. Or, SWMBO said, until it gets too warm. 

It must have because this is where I found him after I returned from an errand-filled shopping trip.

Yes, that's the big black blob up on top, several stories up from his bungalow.


SWMBO asked me to take some pictures of the grooves in the wood support post and ask your opinions. They used to be covered with carpet like the rest of the tree. But much clawing tore it to a frazzled mess and she eventually removed it. That didn't stop the cats . . . predominately Muggles . . . who then proceeded to claw the wood.

Now I know cats claw trees when they're outside.

But this looks like it could be painful.

Maybe inflict splinters in tender paws.

I think it should be re-covered with the available carpet just waiting for it. But SWMBO said she's not sure.

So she asked me to poll you, Gentle Readers.

Should the wood be re-covered with plushy carpeting or should it be left bare, as it presently is.

Curious Oddballs want to know.

Muggles, in the meantime, is snoozing through it on the couch.


SWMBO decided to clean up the garage today. This consists of her moving stuff around and coming, repeatedly, to ask me to move the car out, bring the garbage dumpster in, call a thrift store to see if they'd take an old 12 inch television set, warm up her cup of tea, etc., etc.

Now I don't mean to complain. I'm happy to do these things for her (us).

The last thing she asked was to bring into the house a tall cat tree that hasn't been used for years. It's in pretty ratty condition but the cats loved it once upon a time and the small scratching post in the house is in even worse condition.

So with some exertion unfit for a man of my years I brought the abominable thing in.

She told me to place it sort of over by the window and once I got it in place she said "that's perfect."

As I was leaving the room, knowing what I'd see, I glanced back over my shoulder.

Yep! SWMBO moved it. About a quarter of an inch. Oh, well, whatever makes her happy.

A minute or so later she came by my den to tell me that within five seconds Blackwell had jumped up into the cubbyhole in the tree.

He stayed put while I grabbed a couple of pictures. Looks like he's found his spot. At least for a short time until he grows bored with it.

At least it's better than the bathroom vanity. As I was walking down the hall this morning he came on a dead run, slipped into the bathroom and leaped up to the vanity right in front of me.

I yelled "Hey!" and he jumped down and took off for another part of the house. 

Just happy that I'm awake, I guess.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Have heart, folks, there are only four more.


I thought that would make you happy.

So, this week - - - Minnesota!

The home of the Golden Gophers!

Hang in there. Next week we're going abroad!

Monday, July 20, 2015


That big purple and green plant in my backyard is called a Rocketman Russian Sage. 


But looking at some macro pictures I took of its flowers I keep being reminded of rock candy.

I'm not sure why. 

I don't think I ever liked rock candy.

I know my teeth wouldn't like it these days.

SWMBO considers the Rocketman a pesky weed for about half of the year and once the pretty purple blossoms disappear she's out there with some sharp implement hacking the plant to the ground.

But the Rocketman doesn't seem to mind. 

It just comes back in the Spring, maybe fuller than ever. 

Without a tear on its face blooms.

Rise again, Rocketman.

Live on.

Sunday, July 19, 2015


Yes, the clouds were good to us yesterday. Oh, not these. These were shot a few days before and were much more benign. But the big dark ones coming in from the southwest yesterday (not photographed) brought mostly gentle rain off and on for several hours. A good soaking, as the old expression goes. From the looks of the radar, we may well get some more today. I probably won't photograph it. You all know what rain looks like. Well, unless you live in California, as some of my readers do. Sorry 'bout that.

One of the irritations that comes with the moisture, however, are these nasties.

That is a mosquito and I fail to see why nature created them. This one who landed on my Hawaiian-shirted ampleness quickly met his demise.

This is more my type of insect.

This stained glass dragonfly is one of several works of art in the lobby of my local library. I might even appreciate a mosquito if it was done in stained glass.

You've had your Friday Funnies for this week but I can't resist just one more which I discovered yesterday. Cartoonist Berkeley Breathed has revived his popular comic strip Bloom County after 25 long years of darkness. It couldn't have returned at a more opportune time, as you can see from this panel.

Happy Sunday, everyone.