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.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


Spotted on my stroll around the neighborhood this evening . . .

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Rainy morning.

Sunny afternoon.

Friday, October 16, 2015


That music!

Do you hear it?

Is that "Hail to the Chief"?

No, no, no.

It's "Hail to the Friday Funnies!"

And to the continuing saga of how cats and dogs stay warm.

The control on the left is set to "Toast the Cat".

These little rascals are risking a slow burn.

The rest of these, cats AND dogs, are looking for warmth in the light.

Then there's artificial light.

And THIS cat even climbed into the lizard's cage to share his warm light.

Before we go, a reminder about the upcoming Special Day.

Still laughing?


Have a great weekend!

Thursday, October 15, 2015


It's finally over and for the first time all week we're smiling!

The 1984 Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas.

(For those who care: left to right, Photographer Gary Stafford, Reporter Ron Talley, Producer Al Macias, Photographer Howard Shepherd, Photographer Wally Athey, Anchorman Kent Dana, Producer Bruce Taylor)

We all miss the late, great Howie, gone long before his time.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


When I was a younger man I liked to get on top of things.

Like buildings.

It started, I believe, when I was a little kid.

I liked to climb trees.

I had a favorite place in what I called "the big tree" in a weedy alley a few houses away from ours in Stanley, North Dakota, where I grew up.

I would climb up there and, sheltered and hidden by the leaves, sit for hours, some times reading a book, some times just looking out over "my realm" and living in my imagination.

Some years later I became an amateur radio operator and climbed on various roofs to string antennas.

Being up on roofs never lost its fascination for me.

The views from above were fascinating to me and made me feel somehow powerful.

I remember once in Phoenix during an evening with friends, Timmer and Beaner, I climbed to our roof to get a better look at a distant lightning storm.

My wife and my friends refused to join me and only got me to come down when I "needed" a cigarette.

(I smoked in those days as did everyone else.)

But old age and the infirmities it brings have put a stop to my climbing.

So this rang a bell with me.

As one of my heroes, the late Kurt Vonnegut, would say - "so it goes."

Monday, October 12, 2015


Our neighbors are having their house painted.

The painting crew arrived this morning, set up ladders and began work.

Here's what I'm faced with. (Be sure to turn up your volume.)

Right now they're sanding various surfaces with some kind of power tool.

I sort of remember the good old days when the painting crew would arrive with a boom box blasting music out into the neighborhood.


Sunday, October 11, 2015


SWMBO hates what I call "Beverly Hills" yard care.

She thinks shrubbery should grow in a natural state, with only occasional trimming of the wild or outlying branch.

She hates this:

Like many plantings around our library and city hall, these have been trimmed into these square shapes.

I must agree with her: they don't look natural.

But still, they're kind of neat.

I call them Beverly Hills yard work because of a walk I took in that tony area of Greater Los Angeles once many years ago.

I was in town for a convention but decided one day to take a walk around in the residential enclave to see what was there.

(At the time I had lived all of my life in the Dakotas and this Beverly Hills was pretty strange in appearance to me.)

I was walking along, checking out the big mansions but also marveling at the lawns and the shrubbery, all of which looked to me like they had been manicured with a nail clippers.

Imagine the surprise of this naive North Dakota boy when a police car pulled up beside me and an officer asked me just what I thought I was doing.

We had a conversation, I think he looked at my driver's license, saw that I was from Dakota and politely informed me that this was an exclusive conclave and people got nervous about some stranger walking around looking at the big houses.

Even though I was dressed in a suit and tie.

But I guess my attire and manner pegged me as . . . . . a square.

Some times it's good to be a square.

Saturday, October 10, 2015


Living in a household of two self professed "political junkies", I could not avoid the chaos and craziness playing out in Congress this week.

While the editorial cartoonist Horsey sees the so-called "Freedom Caucus" in the nation's House of Representatives as rampaging Huns or Visigoths, I could not help being reminded of the good old days of the John Birch Society. 

Back in the 1960's that group of far-right-wingers was running amok in politics and they were parodied by the Chad Mitchell trio in this catchy folk tune.

So relax, folks.

As always, this too shall pass.

Friday, October 9, 2015


Since so many of you liked a recent post called "Hiding in Plain Sight", here are some more for you.


This first one is tough but if you keep staring at it, you'll eventually get it.

For all of you animal lovers, that's all folks! Have a great weekend and keep grinning!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


The mid-1940's near Williston, North Dakota.

My dad trying to catch a nap.

Me and my cousin Bonnie trying to keep him awake.

Happier days.

For us.

And for Williston, now the epicenter of the Bakken oil field.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015


Yesterday was a wet day in our environs.

Certainly nothing like what happened in South Carolina.

More of a sprinkling than a downpour. 

But a chilly, gray day.

I had a conversation with a checkout lady at the grocery store. 

She said it looked cold outside. 

I said it wasn't really cold, but maybe "coolish". 

She settled on "brisk".

Whatever it was, the couple of days of temperatures in the 60's and 70's must have prompted the BRD to head for the kitchen.

Her skillet cornbread looks pretty darned good.

She said it was yummy.

Let's hear it for "brisk" weather and what it produces.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Slim and trim in 1971 at a rental cabin. 

Kentucky Lake.

In . . . . Kentucky, of course.

We arrived after a 300 mile drive from Indianapolis, only to learn we were in a "dry" county. No hootch for sale!

Next day we drove to Paducah, across the county line, and found the biggest, best, most fully stocked liquor store we'd ever seen.