Wednesday, January 27, 2016


I posted yesterday a photo of days gone by when I used to climb around on rocks.

SWMBO can tell you, and we have the pictures to prove it, that I was known for going to the edge of precipices, clambering around on boulders in streams, taking chances on my footing.

But those days are gone as I approach the end of my 75th year on the planet.

My knees aren't as flexible as they once were.

My balance isn't near what it once was.

So after a couple of slightly scary incidents in recent years, I've taken to doing whatever outdoor activity is on my agenda with a hiking stick.

I stick to the trail system in our development.

They call them "trails".

For the most part I call them "sidewalks".

Occasionally I walk down to this small park a short distance from where I live.

It's not much.

Just a circle of grass and on this particular day it was looking gloomy under cloudy skies.

But it does have an advantage I never would have thought of in my more physical days: several park benches to rest on.

Several of my Gentle Readers commented yesterday on their own difficulties with age.

Tom, in California, says he sticks to trails nowadays as his knees and ankles seem more tenuous.

Steve, in Germany, said heights never bothered him when he was younger but now they do.

It seems that we're all growing not just older but actually "old".

I was thinking about this after I woke this morning but was still clinging to the warmth of bed and the futile hope that I might go back to sleep.

Oh well. I still have my window next to my desk and I can still watch my birds as they come to the bird bath and the tree above it.

This little goldfinch, if that's what it is, seemed to be warming himself in the sun of a brighter day recently.

Newcomers here think winter is over as the temperature rises into the 60's.

But those of us who have lived here for awhile know that Old Man Winter can surprise us over the next couple of months.

The day SWMBO and I opened our bookstore, back in 1996 after a very mild winter, a snowstorm dumped several inches on us.

That was in the first week of March.

I had envisioned a nice day snuggled down amidst my books welcoming eager customers.

Instead I spent much of the day shoveling the sidewalk in front of the store and we took in less than 30 dollars.

Nowadays, I'd hire some kids to do the shoveling and it would probably cost me $30.

So it goes.

Monday, January 25, 2016


Does this fuzzy picture of your hero appear to show him somewhat perturbed?

Could be.

Why you ask?

Because while climbing around in the Granite Dells of Prescott, Arizona, he got himself stranded in the rocks.

Not really.

I did get down okay but I don't do that anymore.


Carolina Panthers 49
Arizona Cardinals 15

Sunday, January 24, 2016


Ah dear Gentle Readers, you are a spectacular Sherlockian crew.

I had many great suggestions for what was pictured in my puzzle photo yesterday.

Some of you were so close as to almost name a winner.

But not quite.

The answer to the puzzle picture was something more mundane.

It was the pattern on a box of facial tissues.

I might say it was as plain as the nose on your face.

But I wouldn't.

So, here it is.

Here's a box of a different color.

All done to make your bathroom vanity or bedside table look more appealing.

Saturday, January 23, 2016


I imagine you are all busy keeping track of the Snowcopalypse '16 along the eastern seaboard of the United States.

To someone who spent the first 29 years of his life in the Dakotas, most of that in North Dakota within 50 miles of the Canadian border, I'm not all that impressed.

But be that as it may.

With snow and ice and cold dominating the television screens it seemed like a perfect time for you to figure out what is depicted in this photo.

Make your guesses.

I'll have the answer for you tomorrow.

Friday, January 22, 2016


Yassuh, yassuh, yassuh, it's that time of the week again.

Time to cozy up to something (someone) warm and try to preserve your body heat.

Well, at least in some parts of the world.

It is forecast to be sunny and 63 here today. (heh-heh)

Hey, if I've irritated some of you so far, I have a solution.

But since (at least to my knowledge) there is no Champagne truck yet, there is another way to go.

Or . . .

All right.


Try as best you can, Gentle Readers, to have a delicious weekend, keep laughing and, above all, stay warm.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thanks to all my contributors with a special thanks to Seattle Lori this week!

Thursday, January 21, 2016



I must be getting old.

I almost forgot to post today!

So let's go back.

Way back.

Way, way, way back.

To when I was slim enough to wear a shirt with horizontal stripes.

I can't tell you when the photo was taken. 

Some time in the early 1980's, I believe.

That's me on the right.

The good looking guy on the left is my son, Scott, who came for a visit with us when we lived in Phoenix.

He is not to be confused with Judy's son, Scott, who just visited us recently.

Just one of those strange coincidences of life.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016


For the second time this week our yard had a visit from what appears to be a local.

No, not the cat.

It's the shadowy image behind him and the sage.

Aha! He's nearly out from behind his cover.

Still keeping a wary eye on me, shooting through the window.

But I suspect he sees me.

And then . . .

. . . the full profile.

Just after that photo, he hopped through the gate and went on his way.

I saw him, or another member of his family, later when I went out for a walk.

In case you didn't know, that's the Arizona Roadrunner.

And contrary to some opinions, it's NOT the State Bird of Arizona.

That's the Cactus Wren.

It is, however, the State Bird of neighboring New Mexico.

Go figure.

And for all of you cartoon watchers, I'm not sure where Wile E. Coyote is right now.

Probably shopping at the Acme Corporation.

*Post title suggested by SWMBO

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


About to board a train enroute to Salzburg, Austria in April of 1985.

A ticket taker at the Tower of London tweaked us about our bush jackets, commenting "On safari, are we?"

But they were very useful with their multitude of pockets.

We loved Salzburg, especially for the chocolate and for the coffee.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Well the scene is set for the National Football Conference championship game next weekend.

Arizona vs. Carolina.

I just hope the Cardinals team that won quickly in overtime last night will meet the Panthers who went scoreless in the second half today.

Meanwhile condolences to the Packers and Seahawks fans.

There's always next year.

And special condolences to my Gentle Readers who have no time for sports.

Saturday, January 16, 2016


I wrote earlier in the week about Judy's son coming out from Indiana for a visit.

He flew back home yesterday.

But he took us out for dinner at The Palace in downtown Prescott the other night.

I kid him a bit about his hair loss but he takes it well.

We had a good meal and more chatting with his sister, the BRD.

Our waitress was a little cutie and I couldn't resist taking a photo of her.

Judy and I don't go out at night very often and we hadn't had a chance to see the Christmas lights on the courthouse square just across the street from Whiskey Row, where the Palace is located..

Fortunately they hadn't been taken down yet.

Much of that lighting is due to a fund raiser Tommy Meredith puts on every year before the holiday.

Tommy is the owner of the Jersey Lilly Saloon above the Palace.

This year was his best ever as he raised over 30 thousand dollars for the holiday lighting.

Prescott is a neat little town with a lot of good people.

It was fun to visit once again.

Friday, January 15, 2016


Yea, though I travel through the valley of Republican political debates, I shall attempt to find some humor in life.

There now. That wasn't so hard after all.

Have a scintillating weekend, Gentle Readers, and always remember to keep chuckling, chortling and guffawing.

Here Kitty, Kitty . . .

Thursday, January 14, 2016


I have related in this blog some of the adventures and misadventures of my career in radio and television through the years.

But you should know, it wasn't always serious business.

This is a lighter moment at the Republican National Convention in Dallas, Texas in 1984.

Catalyst, then Senior Producer for KPNX-TV, Phoenix; now retired.

Jim Benneman, then a Washington correspondent for the Gannet News Bureau; now television anchorman, KCNC-TV, Denver.

Al Macias, then a producer/assignment editor for KPNX-TV, Phoenix; now News Director, KJZZ-FM, Phoenix.

Tracey Lyons, then a Washington correspondent and producer for the Gannet News Bureau; last I heard, Senior Producer, NBC Nightly News.

All of that talent but still a bunch of wild and crazy people.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016


Recently, the tree above the bird bath was coated in snow.

But, as I've often said, snow doesn't last long here in the High Desert of Arizona.

And it wasn't long before the sun began to do its work.

The moisture formed by melting snow began dripping and I watched the drops hit the bird's basin.

The snow cat in the background also was watching.

Drop by drop the white stuff began to disappear.

I know what you're thinking.

"Catalyst has too much time on his hands."

Or maybe, "Watching snow melt is like watching paint dry."

Both expressions may be true.

So be it.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016


The Hofbrauhaus in Munich, Germany

Great city, great beer, great barmaids carrying three or four of those big ones in each hand.


Monday, January 11, 2016



We have a visitor this week from Indiana.

When we asked him yesterday what he calls himself, professionally, he responded "I'm a carpenter. A wood butcher."

He is much, much more than that.

He runs his own contracting company in the Indianapolis area and does jobs on restaurants, offices and private homes throughout the state.

He loves his work and he sometimes has to stand to explain a technique.

He has followed in the footsteps of his grandfather and become a very well-known and respected success.

Oh, yes, and he's Judy's oldest offspring.

There's amusement there but also pride in that mother's eyes for her son, Scott Bolton.