Thursday, November 26, 2015


Regular readers here may, and I say "may" because I don't preach much, know that I am sort of anti-gun.

That is to say that I don't see the reason for anyone in this country to own a Russian assault rifle or anything of that type.

But hunting guns, real hunting guns, like single-action shotguns and such are permitted in my world.

Not much else.

Sorry, gun aficionados.

Which brings me to my youth.

My very young youth.

September 23rd, 1944, to be exact.

I am four years old and kneeling on the left, apparently holding onto a pheasant.

My 11 year old brother is to the right and our wonderful dog, Honey, is to the right of him.

My grandfather, B.W. Taylor, is standing on the left and my father, F.B. Taylor, is second from the right.

We have all been on a pheasant hunting expedition with what appear to be good results.

Years later, I went hunting for prairie chickens once with my dad and we discovered that I was a natural, crack shot. 

But I didn't pursue it.

Incidentally, today would be my father's 112th birthday.

And, yes, it is Thanksgiving.

But seriously I am thankful for the relatively good health SWMBO and I enjoy and for the many friends and family enjoying this festive day whereever they are.

Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


As I begin to write this the temperature outside is at 50 degrees F and the Weather Gods say it won't go much higher today.

Or for the rest of the week.

Typical winter "cold snap" with high temperatures in the 50's, here in the Central Highlands of Arizona.

That beautiful red maple in the front yard has lost nearly all of its leaves now and what remains are curled and dried up and ready to fall.

SWMBO and I spent a couple of hours a few days ago raking and gathering up the leaves that were littering the yard.

We love our trees in the spring and summer and early fall when they fill the yard with shade and color.

We hate them in the late fall when we have to rake up leaves.

And at our ages we gaze longingly at our various neighbors that have yard services that bring crews of men with those damnably noisy blowers and their rakes and quickly clean up their properties.

Ah well. That's a convenience of the present day I guess. Our parents never had such services.

But we didn't have rules that prevented us from raking the leaves into a big pile in the street and then burning them either.

I can still conjure up the pleasant smell of burning leaves.

But I guess we don't have that smoke as a health hazard any more.

So it goes.

And tomorrow is the big day: Thanksgiving.

SWMBO still clings to tradition and insists on fixing a huge feast for the day.

Although I heard her tell her sister on the telephone yesterday that this may be the last one she does.

She's been cooking and baking and preparing for a couple of days already.

A freshly baked apple pie sits temptingly on the kitchen counter.

I will whip out a pumpkin pie today to stay with tradition.

But tradition be damned - no turkey this Thanksgiving.

I like turkey (and enjoy telling and re-telling her how when I was a kid we had a turkey on Thanksgiving, another one on Christmas and yet a third on New Year's Day!) but she is not fond of it and I don't really care any more.

So we will dine on one of her specialties and a meal I love - stuffed pork tenderloin.

The "other white meat."

It will be accompanied by all kinds of other dishes and one VERY non-traditional appetizer.

We had read an article about the French chef Julia Child recently and her Thanksgiving dinners.

The article said Ms. Child didn't cook "fancy" food at home very often, even when she had guests. Just plain simple food.

Good, but simple.

For example she wouldn't prepare a fancy appetizer to be consumed with pre-prandial drinks.

She'd just put out several dishes filled with goldfish crackers!

That appealed to SWMBO so she had me pick up a small package of the bar-food specialty at the grocery store yesterday. And that will be her appetizer as a tribute to Julia.

And really, it's the meal that counts, right?

Oh, one more thought.

I got an email this morning from a minimalist web site that I read from time to time.

He was talking about reclaiming Thanksgiving from the merchants who open their stores for the Christmas shopping rush as early as midnight on Thanksgiving Day.

He said "Only in America do we wait in line and trample each other for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have."

Actually he noted that stores are now opening all day on Thanksgiving and one merchant is even calling the day before as Thanks-getting Day!

As I said before, times have changed since I was a kid.

And not always for the better.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


"All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth . . ."

Catalyst and his boys, Troy and Scott, in North Dakota around 1970.

Poor Scottie had lost a tooth or two.

Check out those trousers I'm wearing.

No, they are not pajamas.

I don't remember them but they must have been something from the hippie shop.

And before beard but showing off some mutton chops.

Man, the styles we all went through.

Saturday, November 21, 2015


Blackwell was feeling a wee bit chilly the other day but he found a perfect spot to warm up and be comfortable.

Lying on the base of the cat tower with his head and front paws in the warmth of the sunshine coming through the patio window.

Yes, I am a smart kitty.

And the Lord of the Manor.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Man, these weeks are flying by faster and faster, it seems.

Oh, well, let's look for some humor.

I guess you know what that means.

When you see the cat, the edition of the Friday Funnies is over.

Have a great weekend, peoples, and always remember to laugh.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


I don't usually do a second post on Throwback Thursday but when I do . . . .

I was looking at Facebook awhile ago and noticed a picture of an old television news producer friend of mine from years ago, Rocket Rod Haberer, coming out of a directors' meeting.

I commented that he was wearing a NECKTIE!

Rod wrote back that he wasn't sure he'd even know how to tie one these days.

My mind went PING! 

I remembered a thought I'd had as I was trying to go to sleep last night: I wasn't sure I even knew how to tie a necktie any more since it had been decades since I'd worn one.

I told SWMBO about this and she said I had one necktie left but she thought the last time I'd worn it was at my granddaughter's first wedding.

That was 19 years ago!

And then there's this: for some reason some of the lyrics to a song from my youth have been running through my head today.

(That's called an earworm, by the way.)

I hadn't thought of those word since I was a mere kid but I looked them up.

Listen . . . . and maybe YOU'LL get an earworm, too!

You're welcome.


Mid 1980's - Ajijic, Jalisco, Mexico - on the north shore of Lake Chapala.

This was my best friend during my Mexico days (well, next to SWMBO) - Walter Nixon.

Native of Harlingen, Texas - long time resident of New York City.

Proudly wearing his Garrison Keillor-approved Powdermilk Biscuits t-shirt, Walter was attending the annual chili festival.

And no, I don't think it was Pepsi he was drinking from those cups.

For those longtime readers of this blog you may remember that Walter was the father of reknowned Broadway, television and movie actress Cynthia Nixon.

He was very proud of her.

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.