Monday, July 6, 2015


There's an interesting collection of birthdays today. 

Nancy Reagan is 94. 

Della Reese is 84.

The Dalai Lama is 80. 

George W. Bush and Sylvester Stallone are 69. 

And, speaking of birthdays, the second trio of young warblers have finally left our front porch. Their parents built a nest atop one of the roof pillars.

Stupidly, when the first batch hatched and fledged, I didn't take the nest down.  So the mama bird, figuring she was popular, came back and laid three more eggs. Eventually the babies were born.

I said "stupidly" a few sentences back because while there are birds about, SWMBO refuses us to use the front patio, which has a table and a couple of chairs and is a thoroughly nice place to enjoy a cocktail in the evening.

These new chicks seemed to hang around the nest for an interminably long time before venturing out into the world.

So we hovered around the front windows watching for progress. When they finally fledged (one at a time) Blackwell joined us at the window staring intently at what he probably considered a tasty snack.

Their first day or two of freedom from their brothers and sisters is spent on our table or chairs, testing their wings and examining the world around them. For a short while they remain to be fed by their parents, as you can see in this short video.

Once they were all three fledged, I pulled the nest down and placed a brass vase in the spot to discourage further nest building.

But there are two more protected niches atop pillars so I took a couple of items from my brass Buddha collection and placed them on the other pillars.

As I told our friends, Rick and Lori from down the block, the porch is starting to resemble a temple! But as long as it keeps the birds from nesting. 

And, after three months of occupation by the warblers, I finally have my front porch back! Happy birthday, indeed.

Sunday, July 5, 2015


The monsoon has been good to us, rainwise, this year. It's been pouring here during the last hour. I would imagine there will be some flash flooding in the area but if people drive sensibly that shouldn't be a problem. And as the other day, here's what we'll have to look forward to once the rain stops and the sun peaks through the clouds once again.

I took this picture in our alley on Friday, which is garbage collection day, hence the rubber dumpsters cluttering up the view.

It's always nice to see a rainbow, even though that old Irish myth about a pot of gold at the end of one hasn't come true for me yet.

Friday, July 3, 2015


Friday Funnies fans, last week's common theme was such a raging success I decided to do it again. Actually my friend Lori who sent me all or most of those sent me most of this week's photos too. So for the Fourth of July weekend, let's go boating. Unless, of course, you live in California which has no water. (Well, there is that ocean, of course.)

Now since this is a story about adventuring on water, you might think my traditional closing cat shots wouldn't be available this week.

If you had thought that, you'd be wrong.

While this proves that a properly suited cat will take to the waves, here's a picture from Greece, perhaps reflecting the news this week from that sunny land of islands. Cats waiting for fishermen to unload their catch.

Now remember, even if you're not an American celebrating our national holiday, you can go out on a boat for the day, fishing or idling in the sun or exploring. Have fun and always keep laughing.

Thursday, July 2, 2015


SWMBO gets the honors this week.

From a visit to Florida Mexico some years back, that's her in the center surrounded by her sister, Treva, and T's husband, John.  

Always a good time in Florida. Except for the humidity.

CORRECTION: SWMBO saw this post on her computer screen and came in to tell me the picture was actually taken when John and Treva came to visit us in Mexico when we lived there. She says the photo was taken on the grounds of a hotel in Ajijic, Jalisco.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015


The grill was fired up again last night. And for those of you who say you don't like asparagus you have to try it grilled.

Accompanying it were marinated and grilled mahi-mahi.

The remainder of the marinade, also used to baste the fish while grilling.

My dinner plate. That's a brown rice-quinoa mix with the fish and 'sparagus.

I've said it so often I'm a bit red-faced to say it again but . . . yummers!


To those of you anxiously awaiting this week's Tuesday Travels post I apologize. In the furor and frustration over two trips to the computer repair office yesterday I forgot to post it. So, fans of my short shorts of 1988, here's the latest installment.

And to you snide commenters (you know who you are) making references to the length of my shorts, just you wait 'til I start posting my Speedo pictures!

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Here's the way the monsoon moved through our neighborhood yesterday for the second day in a row.

Once again there was thunder, lightning, torrential rain, some hail and water flowing in the street.

Muggles and Blackwell weathered the storm under the coffee table with their two humans.

Well, the two humans weren't under there but they were close at hand.

There was about a 55 minute power outage later when an electrical   transformer blew out, down the hill from us. A guy who I spent considerable time with today told me he was driving by when it blew and the light was as bright as the sun for a few seconds. Then it died down and he noticed lights in nearby stores flickering.

I spent quite a bit of time with him today because he was repairing my computer at his business. The power surge, apparently related to the transformer blowing, took out the power supply in my computer. He replaced that but when I got home I couldn't get the cordless optical mouse to work. After a couple of hours of fooling with it I finally went back to the repair shop and his assistant learned that the surge had also blown out all four USB ports in the computer. So, after a lot of hours of frustrating computer dealing and spending too much money that I don't have, I am finally back in business.

I will take his advice though. He said many people who have lost power supplies due to lightning strikes say "but I had it plugged into a surge protector."

He says if lightning can travel 12 miles in a second it can easily jump a little quarter inch gap in a surge protector. His advice? When a storm is imminent, unplug the computer from the wall. In future, I shall and I relay his advice to those of you in storm country.

Right, cats?

"Right on, daddy-o"

Monday, June 29, 2015


The 2015 monsoon has arrived. But don't feel bad for us. It's not one of those apocalyptic Hollywood-style thunderstorms. It's an annual event in the Southwest, when the prevailing winds switch from the southwest to the southeast which brings low pressure and moisture into the state. Following, as it usually does, a stretch of intense heat the season is welcomed by most Arizonans.

So yesterday the skies darkened, lightning flashed, deafening thunder cracked around us and those rain clouds overhead released their bounty onto the land. (Poetic, ain't I?)

More such storms are promised for the next few days, which could "put a damper" on the Fourth of July parades and fireworks shows and turn the Prescott rodeo into a mud bog.

So it goes in our annual monsoon season.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


One of the strangest food trends has been the resurgence of pimento cheese. Really! It's back in popularity. I found a recipe at the New York Times Food page to make your own. I showed it to SWMBO who said she remembered pimento cheese from her childhood, said the recipe looked good and volunteered to make some.

She did. It was good and like the commercial says it sits on a Ritz cracker just fine.

Make your mouth water? Here is a link to the recipe. My personal chef tossed in a pinch of Cayenne pepper at the end to, as Emeril Lagasse would say, "kick it up a notch."


Saturday, June 27, 2015


Definition - olio: a miscellaneous collection of things.

Today is the birthday of two Americans who ran for president. Ross Perot is 85. Bruce Babbitt is 77. 

You probably couldn't find two more diametrically opposed politicians. 

Babbitt is a tall Democrat who served Arizona as Attorney General and, for 9 years, as governor. He later became U.S. Secretary of the Interior and was twice considered by President Bill Clinton for a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court. He ran for president in 1988 but dropped out after disappointing results in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Perot is a pint-sized billionaire Texas businessman who ran for president twice in the 1990's. The first time he was an independent and the second time as the candidate of The Reform Party.

Both men were unsuccessful.

Speaking of businessmen running for president, there's Donald Trump.

And speaking of creatures trying for future glories, consider this one in my backyard.

Need a closer look?

He appears to be considering a high dive into the bird bath but I've never seen him there so he may just be checking it out.

The other night a different creature was checking out our patio lamp.

The praying mantis crawled briefly into the lamp but apparently decided it was too hot and came back out again. Fascinating critter.

O.K. That's all I've got today. Except for one last thought on the Charleston tragedy and its aftermath.

Friday, June 26, 2015

(the return of) THE FRIDAY FUNNIES

My fellow smartphone addicts, today's edition has a common theme. See if you can detect what it is.

It's an unhappy commentary on modern life with a funny slant. Thanks to my contributors, have a great weekend, pray for some rain in Arizona (and California) and remember to always keep laughing!