Wednesday, November 18, 2015


These pictures, as well as the new header photo, were all taken on Monday, when it snowed much of the day here in the central highlands of Arizona.

The snow is gone now as temperatures have risen once again but it made a nice contrast with the fallen red leaves from our maple tree while it lasted.

Last year I think we had maybe one or two snow days all winter.

This year, with el niƱo lurking off the Pacific Coast, we've been promised more.

We shall see.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


London Bridge (reconstructed) at Lake Havasu City, Arizona.

Catalyst, my late uncle Zenas Howland Taylor, SWMBO.

Probably sometime in the 1970's. (Check the dandy 35 mm camera around my touristy neck.)

Monday, November 16, 2015


Views around my yard this morning upon rising.

But now the sun is beaming brightly and the snow won't be here long.

This time.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Autumn is a time of beautiful color in the trees as they change hues with the colder temperatures.

Lori Down the Street took this photo of the red maple in front of our house a few days ago.

Curiously it was on the same day that I had stepped out to photograph it.

I like the contrast with the golden leaves of the tree next door.

Meantime the tree just outside my den window has lost a good portion of its leaves already. Soon they will all be gone until spring.

The Weather Gods tell us a cold front is headed our way tonight and tomorrow and there is even a possibility of a bit of snow.

But don't tell SWMBO's Christmas Cactus about that.

It is blooming.

Just like the local merchandisers, it seems to be pushing the season.

But we are thankful for its beauty.

With its many buds, it may just stick around for Ye Olde Noel.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


It was 32 degrees F. this morning when the finches began arriving at my freshly filled birdbath.

One or two even got into the bowl to take a quick spritz bath.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

On a more serious note, what can one say about the horrific actions in Paris last night except to condemn them.

I was born in 1940 and grew up in the 1950's. In spite of the worry over "the bomb" and war in Korea, it was a much calmer time.

I did not agree with our "adventure" in Vietnam but even with all the lives lost in that misguided war, the 21st Century is turning out to be so terribly much worse.

The crazed terrorists who turned a beautiful city on end must be dealt with. Not the ones who committed the acts of carnage. They're apparently all dead, most by their own hands. But the ones who inspired them, in Syria or Iraq or wherever they are hiding.

In the meantime today I join citizens from all over the globe who shed a tear and join hands with our grieving friends in Paris.

Friday, November 13, 2015


Oh, no, it's that day that triskaidekaphobians fear.

Yes, I will say it.


All right.

Got that out of the way.

Now, Onward!

That last one is more serious than usual for our Friday fun.

It may be a good one to end on.

Oh, yeah, you want the cat closer.

Well these cats want FISH!

Have a great weekend, everybody, and remember: always leave 'em laughin'!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


1983 Rocky Mountain Emmy Awards, Phoenix.

Television star Jan D'Atri got an Emmy but I got a drink and a chance to Photobomb her. 

Very nice and beautiful young lady.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


When SWMBO and I did our "grand tour" of Europe in 1985 we planned it so we would be in Paris for my 45th birthday.

I mean what's better than celebrating your birthday in April in Paris.

I don't remember the day but I do remember the evening.

In our walks around the city we had spotted a restaurant with what appeared to be a nice windowed dining room on the second floor right across from the Paris Opera.

But when we went there that evening, the waiters would not allow us to go upstairs. 

Instead we were seated at a table right next to the kitchen door, the only people in the room.

Probably the worst table in the house.

Since we spoke only a few words of fractured French and the staff spoke no English (or at least claimed they didn't) we never learned why.

The menu was totally in French and we ordered blindly.

When SWMBO named her selection, the staff tried to talk her out of it.  

But she got her back up and insisted.

It turned out to be tripe and she gamely and stubbornly struggled through most of it.

Well we were disappointed in my "fabulous" French birthday dinner.

No, we were pissed.

But the next day we were wandering around the Seine across from Notre Dame and encountered a restaurant on a barge anchored on the river.

So we entered and were seated, along with many other lunchers.

Again the menu was totally in French.

But the waiter proceeded to translate the entire carte into impeccable English for us.

I had a delicious warm onion tart with bits of ham throughout the sauce that enveloped it.

Judy and I promptly declared that meal to be my official birthday dinner. 

In April. 

In Paris.

And now you know . . . the rest of the story.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I have my computer (a desk top PC, not an Apple laptop) back and it's working.

Sort of.

I turned off the monitor earlier and then it wouldn't come back on.

I finally solved it by pulling the power plug on the tower for awhile and then plugging it back in.

I don't know why that worked but it did.

So, now I have a temporary solution.

The damnable machine was at the "doctor" today while I was at a doctor appointment.

He said it was now fine.

Just a loose connection, he said.

I'll leave that to you to determine where it was.

So I'm back.  

For awhile. 

Or I may be.

In the meantime, here's my old machine, vomiting its guts out.

Sunday, November 8, 2015


Yup. After I finally got my computer working late yesterday afternoon and trying for a couple of hours to find some of my old programs, I took a break to watch the news on t.v., have my dinner and drinks, watch a bit of television with SWMBO.

When I went back to the computer the monitor was black.

This didn't surprised me as this new (to me) Windows 7 program tends to put the machine on a little break if the keyboard hasn't been activated for awhile.

But then I couldn't get it to light up again. Nor would the machine turn off when I pushed the power button.  Not until I pulled the power cord.


That disturbed my (non-)sleep but when I got up this morning I approached it with new confidence.

My mistake.

The problem, whatever it is, had lingered and is lingering still.

So I'm back to working on SWMBO's laptop.

She said a moment ago, "you still beat on that thing like you're still using a typewriter."

Maybe that's what I should do to my computer.

With an iron bar!

Saturday, November 7, 2015



With a new computer because it wasn't my power supply, it was my motherboard that ceased to function.

And after a long and trying day I finally got the damn thing working fairly reasonably but now I have to learn Windows 7.

It's always something.

Or, as I told my wife, it's just one damned thing after another.

More later, after a few nips from the vodka bottle and a cheeseburger, maybe even some sleep.

Regardless of the learning curve, it's good to be back.

Friday, November 6, 2015


No, I have not ceased to exist.

No, I am not ill.

Nor injured.

My computer is sick.

Its 4-month-old power supply ceased to function and it's in the shop seeking repairs.

I'm typing this (slowly) on SWMBO's damnable laptop.

(I hate laptops.)

Have patience.

I shall return.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015


Autumn and the indications of winter are definitely present here in Arizona.

The land of scorching heat has taken a turn for the cooler weather we will have for a few months now.

Yesterday was a day of constant rain showers and intermittent, though brief, sunshine.

The big tree in our front yard has become its name - a red maple.

It contrasts nicely with the green and gold leaves of other neighborhood flora.

The view toward the mountains is framed with those colors.

I couldn't help but think of my California plein air painter, Lana, when I gazed at that view.

Further north in Flagstaff there has been a light dusting of snow.

Old Man Winter is not far away, I fear.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Do I have a couple of friends named Timmer and The Beaner?

Yes, I do.

Here we all four are in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, waiting for a train.

Timmer's real name is Tim, The Beaner's is Jeanne.

And no, we weren't waiting for that train to rob it.

Tim and Jeanne were living in Denver and we had come up from Phoenix to take a train over the mountains to Glenwood Springs for a little spring break.

Time? Some time in the early 1980's.

Monday, November 2, 2015


Today, November 2nd, is a public holiday throughout Mexico and in many other countries around the world.

It is a day chosen for people to honor the memories of their deceased relatives and friends.

It is traditional to build private altars, called ofrendas and to decorate graves with sugar skulls, marigolds and favorite foods and beverages of the departed.

Relatives bring their own food and drinks and music, often spending the night at the cemetery in a sort of melancholy picnic atmosphere.

These pictures were taken at the cemetery in Ajijic, a small village on the north shore of Lake Chapala where we first lived when we made our excursion to Mexico.

It was an interesting and somewhat macabre introduction to the native culture for us.

I have since read that the origins of the holiday date back thousands of years to indigenous peoples and an Aztec festival dedicated to a goddess.

Sunday, November 1, 2015


Yesterday being Halloween, a number of service employees around town wore their costumes to work.

For instance, this jungly mail carrier.

I don't know that giraffes wear sunglasses but never mind.

Here's a "wonder-ful" young lady.

A local hair salon had a number of costumed cutters.

And a grocery store yielded a few more.

This lady went all out with her princess dress and wig.

You may have noticed that all of the tricksters were women.

Well, not quite all.  There was this scary guy in the meat department.

As for trick or treaters last night, our doorbell only rang twice.


More candy for me!

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.