Saturday, October 31, 2015

Friday, October 30, 2015


Most of the rest of these are signs on actual businesses.

Or they've been Photo-Shopped.

I think that last one is my favorite.

But then, of course, there is the obligatory cat cartoon, this week featuring a couple of "Lion Kings" and a little (or big) poke at Chicago baseball fans.

So ends this week's hilarity. Thanks to my contributors and theft victims who make these weekly forays into fun 'n' games possible.

Have a great weekend and keep smilin', Jack.*

*old comic books reference.

Thursday, October 29, 2015


In 1981, President Ronald Reagan nominated Sandra Day O'Connor to the U.S. Supreme Court.

She had to then go through a Senate confirmation hearing.

Since she was from Arizona, KPNX-TV in Phoenix sent a crew to Washington to cover it.

Photographer Wally Athey, reporter Ron Talley, anchorwoman Linda Alvarez, field producer Bruce Taylor.

We were on top of a building which housed the editing facilities and the satellite uplink we rented. I think there was a view of the Capitol somewhere in the distance.

A quiet moment of conversation between Talley and Taylor in the hallway outside the hearing room.

Here's a little tale about Ron Talley. His real name is Ron Thompson but when he came to work at KTAR-TV, the station had an anchorman named Ray Thompson.

So they changed the young reporter's name and he became Ron Talley for evermore.

The station also changed its name, later becoming KPNX-TV.

Oh, and Sandra Day O'Connor?

She was confirmed and spent 25 years on the high court.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


A long time friend, Seattle Lori, wrote after yesterday's blog to say that she didn't know I had interviewed John Wayne.

I thought sure I had bragged told her about it.

But here's the proof, from 1975 on his back patio overlooking the bay in Newport Beach.

"C'mon, don't touch my knee!"

"Timmer, Is this guy really a reporter?"

"Isn't it about time for you to leave?

Incidentally, again in reference to yesterday's post, Timmer  . . who took these pictures . . wrote and said it wasn't his first trip to California but probably his first trip to Newport Beach.

Now reversing course a bit, here are some more pictures taken at various places on the Mexican Pacific Coast where Hurricane Patricia came ashore this week.

These were all taken when we lived in Mexico during the 1980's.

One of my first friends in Mexico, Bob, and, yeah, I was probably just as skeptical about whatever he was telling me than I appear to be in the photo.

The previously mentioned Philomena, proprietress of Los Pelicanos bar and restaurant in Melaque and, Judy noted below this picture, "story teller".

One can only wonder what story she was telling this time but since she was holding a gun on us we listened politely.

Boat-mates Bea and Harry with my beautiful bride.

B and H are wearing their "sand dollar" t-shirts in reference to the name of Harry's boat, Sand Dollar II. I'm not sure what happened to Sand Dollar I.

Harry whistling a new companion to attention. He had a way with parrots. And with people.

Before he retired to the "yachtie life" in Mexico, he was some kind of nuclear engineer in New Mexico.

We went sailing a couple of times on Harry's boat.

Great guy, gone now I think.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


A gray California morning in 1975.

Enroute to Newport Beach to interview John Wayne, driver/photographer Tim suddenly turned off the highway with an "Okay, we've got to check out this beach!"

(It may have been his first time in California, I'm not sure.)

So we made a quick stop at Huntington Beach State Park to look at seaweed and shells in the sand.

And then back to work.

Sunday, October 25, 2015


Hurricane Patricia, curiously, made landfall between Manzanillo and Puerto Vallarta near the beachside town of San Patricio.

While there was damage, some of it serious, there appears to have been no deaths or grave injuries.

Which, considering the size of the hurricane, is a miracle.

As I have said on more than one occasion on this blog, Judy (SWMBO) and I lived in Mexico for nearly five years back in the 1980's in a sort of early retirement.

When I was asked what I was doing down there at such a young age (late 40's) I always replied that I was conducting intensive research into the effects of tequila on the average American male.

We lived most of our time down there in Guadalajara.

But we spent a lot of time at the Pacific coast, right where Hurricane Patricia came in.

San Patricio is the only town by that name in Mexico and, therefore, has one helluva St. Patrick's Day fiesta. We were there for one such celebration.

There is an adjoining town known as Melaque and it's always a problem knowing which town you're in.

Whichever it was, we met up with a bunch of old and new friends, many of them "yachties", as the people who live on their boats and cruise the coast are called.

The evening drinkathon was held in a beachfront bar and restaurant called Los Pelicanos, run by a feisty and funny woman named Philomena.

But the next day, her bar had been converted with a makeshift altar placed across the opening to the beach and a priest was there celebrating mass.

It was a special service for the fishermen and they gathered on their boats just off shore to listen to the priest's words.

Afterwards the priest boarded a dinghy which was pushed and rowed out so he could go from boat to boat sprinkling them with holy water and blessing them.

In spite of our hangovers it was a moving experience.

Just up the coast a short distance is Tenacatita Bay and several small fishing villages.

We spent time in one of them, La Manzanilla.

One day when I was walking on the beach I noticed an excited crowd looking at the water.

A school of fish had come in close to the beach and several fishermen in boats had surrrounded them with a net.

People from the village rushed to help the fishermen bring in their catch.

The fish were dumped into a boat on the beach and covered to keep them from spoiling in the sun while the townspeople waited to sell their huge catch to the local co-op.

I bought a red snapper for a ridiculously low price and took it home for our dinner.

The other direction from San Patricio-Melaque lies the town of Barra de Navidad. 

It, too, is a great place to watch the sea. And the gringos who stare at it.

Judy captioned this photo "Bruce refuses to leave the beach until the sun sets."

A short time later it did.

In spite of what you may hear from some of our U.S. politicians, during our time in Mexico we found the great majority of the Mexican people we met to be warm and friendly.

I am sad for the troubles they face now in the wake of this hurricane but I know they will take it in stride and quickly return to their normal lives.

With smiles on their faces.

¡Buena suerte, amigos!

Saturday, October 24, 2015


This is something you usually see over the coast.

Any coast.

But not usually in Arizona.

After a rainy day, as the sky was clearing, a low cloud or fog bank clung below the mountains but just above the city.

Whatever the cause, it made for a nice view and some nice photo-ops, as we old television people say.


Always fascinating.

Friday, October 23, 2015



Another week has slipped/sped by.

Another Friday has rolled around.

Another chucklebox has been opened for you.

Prepare yourself.

And with that cheery thought we fade off into the setting sun.

In the meantime, thanks to contributors/theft victims and please, please keep on laughing.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


In 1963 I was a young, wide-eyed, Marlboro-puffing television reporter in Aberdeen, South Dakota.

Early in the morning of September 14th, I was awakened by a telephone call from UPI Movietone in Chicago asking if I had any film of the quints they could buy.

I was then made aware that five new babies had come into the world on that day - the Fischer Quintuplets, the first surviving quintuplets ever born in the United States.

A large part of the national and international news media soon swarmed the small town, many of them coming from only a short distance as they had been in Bismarck, North Dakota, covering a speech by Bobby Kennedy.

The rest of that time is a mystery lost in the shrouds of time. I can only remember a few incidents.

But it did launch me into a new job in Bismarck and many more adventures in a career that lasted some 30 years.

The picture above was taken as we, the media, waited for a news conference to begin in St. Alexius Hospital, where the four girls and a boy were born.

After only a few years of publicity and attention by the Pope and President Kennedy, among others, the quintuplets retreated to a quiet life with their protective parents and the SIX other children in their family.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Vice-President Joe Biden says "No, I won't try to make this lovely blonde the next First Lady."

Paul Ryan says "Maybe, I'll be your next Speaker of the House but only if you let me have my way on everything."

It's been an interesting week.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Visiting Chicago in 1971 to see my sons.

Kicking back on the grassy lawn near Lake Michigan outside the Adler Planetarium.

Monday, October 19, 2015


The day started with fog.

By the time SWMBO fired up the barbecue grill, the sky was gray, the wind brisk and the day crisp.

Was this, then, the end of grilling season?

On this final(?) day the menu featured bone-in chicken breast.

The chef said she sprinkled the raw chicken with smoked paprika, which promptly burned.

I said "Hey, blackened chicken breast . . it's a treat!" (Thank you, Paul Prudhomme.)

And, you know what?

It was great, giving a tasty sharpness to the chicken. We both liked it.

On the side potatoes gratiné made with store-bought shredded potatoes, some French cheese, cream, seasonings.

If it WAS the end of grilling season (for this year), it was a great way to go out.

(If it wasn't . . . what are you gonna do next?)

Thank you, chef.