Friday, August 28, 2015


Some people just need a laugh more than others.

Who are they?

You'll just have to guess.

To the anonymous "them" I dedicate this edition of The Friday Funnies.

That's it, friends, all the humor I could find this week. Thanks for the contributions, have a fantastic weekend and always, always, remember to keep laughing.

Thursday, August 27, 2015


The young news director on the "Hello, Dolly" set in Hol-ly-wood in the 1960's.

This was an era when attendees to the Radio-Television News Directors Association (RTNDA) were wined and dined by corporations.

(He's thinking "This is a long way from Bismarck, North Dakota.")

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I've shown people this picture in the past and they always ask if I went to Vietnam.

The answer is "No".

This photo was taken at the entrance to Hope Village, near Weimar, California, in the early 1970's.

It was a camp set up to house Vietnamese refugees who had fled their country after the War came to an end. 

My photographer (the late, great Howie Shepherd) and I had gone there because John Wayne had offered some land of his in Arizona to house some of the refugees. We had heard that the former premier of South Vietnam, Nguyen Cao Ky, was at this camp and that he had been talking with Wayne. So we flew over to Sacramento (on a milk run that stopped in San Diego and Los Angeles before getting there), rented a car and drove to Weimar.

We arrived in the early evening, checked into our hotel, and then with nothing to do until the next day, looked at a map and promptly drove to South Lake Tahoe, about 100 miles away. 

Well? Isn't that what the network boys would have done?

Next day, after little sleep, we interviewed the former premier.

His wife was very pretty but he didn't seem thrilled to meet me.

Next we flew home to Phoenix, did our reporting and a few days later another photographer (Tim Terrific)* and I flew again to California where we interviewed John Wayne. Now THAT was a thrill.

The Duke was dressed in seersucker slacks and a camel hair blazer and was incredibly gracious with the two young guys from Arizona.

He offered us coffee and a great view on the bayside patio of his home in Newport Beach.

In spite of this photo where he seems to be about to say "isn't it about time for you guys to get outta here?" he was curious about Tim's camera and even invited us to go view his operation where he was trying to turn old discarded tires into oil. (There was a shortage going on then.)

We didn't scare him or Premier Ky off but the refugees never did settle on Wayne's land in Arizona and Ky ended up running a liquor store in southern California.

But it was a great week for some visiting newsmen from Arizona.

* - Tim is now a vice-president of a different television station, apparently still trying to rise to this level of grandeur.

Monday, August 24, 2015


Why do we love our pets? 

Ah, let me count the ways.


Yes, I do love my cats but Catwoman?  That's a different story.

This is my Blackwell, who follows me around the house and lies near me.  Even now he is under my desk right next to my feet.

He'll probably stay there as long as I am here.

Is that love?

It seems to be although it could just be because I feed him and he's ever alert for that.

Now Muggles, on the other hand, is more SWMBO's loyal companion.

While somewhat more independent, as cats normally are, she does stay close at hand wherever her mistress lights.

She will come to me at certain times for a bit of petting. A very little bit of petting.

But she's basically SWMBO's cat.

The BRD lives with her constant companions, three (yes THREE) cats and a dog. 

A few months back she, who is a talented artist in many media, began experimenting with photographs, turning them into art portraits.

She's done several in this semi-surrealist manner.

You might like one done of your pet.

If so . . .

So ends today's commercial message.


Sunday, August 23, 2015


You fellahs probably can relate to the following song as well as you ladies can.

As I am trying to simplify my life I began last night going through a huge collection of cassette tapes. If you can't remember (or never knew) what those were, here's a picture to help you.

I discovered one I had been seeking for years. I had the plastic case for it but the tape had gotten separated from it at some point in the past. 

But, surprisingly, last night I located it shortly after I began this project.

It's called "Songs From An Aging Sex Bomb" by K.T. Oslin.

Now, I've never been totally into country music but I loved the songs on this tape, which came out about 1987.  And especially the song that became the Country Music Association's Song of the Year for 1988 - "80's Ladies."

I found a video of it on You Tube so here it is. Enjoy, ladies (and gentlemen.)

It's a little melancholy but I can remember a number of those "80's ladies" myself.  Good times!

Saturday, August 22, 2015


I have my lifelong friend, Dr. Jim, to thank for alerting me to this video via a Facebook post. It's so amazing I decided to post it on Oddball.

And it's a great piece of music.

Friday, August 21, 2015


Yes, yes, they're back.

And just in time, too, I'd say, judging from what I see on the evening newscasts these days.

Reminds me of that old tune by the Kingston Trio - "there's hurricanes in Florida, and Texas needs rain" etc.

But forward into the battle we march!

And if you DO think of something funny, pass it along and remember, always remember . . . keep laughing!

Thursday, August 20, 2015


Today's Throwback Thursday post has two purposes. 

First, as always, is to show you some photos of lives in the past.

But this week it's also to offer some relief to those of you suffering in blistering heat this summer.

So we begin with a photo of my late father from many decades back as he handled a regular chore he was used to around our home in North Dakota.

Do you see how deep that snow is?

He had to shovel a path just so he could get out of the house!

(I'll bet you're feeling cooler already, aren't you.)

Okay, let's flash forward a couple of generations. Here's a photo of my nephew, Dr. Barry, as he descended into the Grand Canyon on a visit.

You undoubtedly have noticed two things.

There is snow there so obviously this little camping and hiking trip was undertaken in the winter!

And secondly, he's wearing shorts! 

Obviously hoping that the temperature will rise as he gets lower into the Canyon.

Now just to show you that Dr. Barry is not totally in control of his senses, here's another photo of him on ANOTHER winter vacation.

Those white spots are snowflakes. He's up in the Boundary Waters area of Northern Minnesota, or someplace like it, skiing.

In a snowstorm!

Now, I don't want you to get the impression that he's the loony one in the family.

Here's a picture of his brother, Tim.

He'd been out skiing in Washington.

Now I've had a little fun with these boys but I love both of 'em. 

I just can't figure out why neither one of them took after their dear old uncle, who knows what to do when the weather turns cold and snowy.

He heads for somewhere warm.

Preferably near an ocean.

Where the locals now how to fix a fine piƱa colada.

Or at least where he can grab a cerveza in the sun.

(Now, don't you go makin' fun of my beads. They might be sacred.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


My friend, the Rufous Towhee, was back at the bird bath catching a drink recently.

My California Hoosier pal, Tom C., noted with a name like Rufous Towhee, he sounds like a blues man from Memphis.

He certainly drinks like one.

And his distinctive call sounds like one, too.

This morning I got a couple of better pictures of him.

When he knows (somehow) that I'm photographing him he doesn't stick around long.

Here he's about to depart.

Up at the hummingbird feeder, I caught one yesterday but his wings were moving so fast he's pretty much a blur.

Back at the birdbath it's a constant parade in the mornings and evenings.

The goldfinches, who nearly always come in pairs.

A damned dumb dove.

And an interloper of a different species.

Oops, just spotted this fellow on the flagstone beneath the birdbath.

Waiting for spillage, no doubt.

Never a dull moment in Catalyst's back yard.

Tuesday, August 18, 2015


Yup. Those are the Alps.

Innsbruck, Austria. April '85.

The beer elevation may have contributed to my gaiety.

Monday, August 17, 2015


This is kind of like forcing you to sit through our vacation pictures.


How often do I get to show off a photo of my great-granddaughter?

Confronted with a cake on her first birthday, Alexis did what anyone would do. 

She piled right in.

And if you're wondering where she got that bright red hair, take your pick.

Here she is with her mother, Kayla, and dad, Russell.

I think you can see why I couldn't resist nicknaming him Rusty when he was about the age of his daughter.

Sunday, August 16, 2015


A quiet and restful day.

Alternating between the Diamondbacks game and the PGA Golf Championship on the t.v.

S-l-o-w-l-y reading the New York Times.

Probably a nap somewhere in the afternoon.

Watching the clouds and hoping for rain. Fruitlessly, probably.

Day dreaming.

It's what a Sunday should be.