Sunday, February 28, 2016


I paid a visit to a trade show at the Prescott Resort yesterday.

I had expected to see a lot of leather saddles and the like but what I saw were raw and dyed leather and scads of tools for working with it.

These are hand made knives for working with leather.

The maker and dealer brought them from his home in Libby, Montana.

And those are tools for stamping designs in the leather.

There were saddle forms ready to be covered with leather and these fancy spurs.

There were a few finished products at the show.

This beautiful and intricate design.

And one of the attendees was wearing a great jacket which he showed off for me.

THOSE are some fringes!

As you might imagine there were a lot of western hats on heads throughout the show.

And it's hard to tell in the above photo but the gent on the left had a moustach with two strands that hung down six inches or more from his upper lip.

The three-day show was well-attended and included workshops for those interested.

Kind of makes one realize once again that the days of the Old West are not that far in the past.

Saturday, February 27, 2016


I always hesitate to say it at this time of year because of the area's history of March snowstorms but this year it looks like that may be beyond us.

I checked the forecast for the next 10 days and the high temperature is only expected to dip into the 60's one day.

So winter may be over.

The wild cherry trees would seem to believe that.

This is Jim and Nancy Jo's tree across the street from us.

They're from Devils Lake, North Dakota, and probably pretty glad of it.

Denny and Marty, next door to them, also have one blooming well.

So let us enjoy the beautiful weather we're having with temperatures every day in the mid 70's and maybe hope for rain (not snow) this spring.

Friday, February 26, 2016


This is a special edition of the Friday Funnies.

Special because it's dedicated to all of you oenophiles out there.

You know.


That one is good but I think this next one is my favorite.

All right.

Have a fine liquid weekend, Gentle Readers, and always keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.

Oh, no.

Have you been into the wine?

Thursday, February 25, 2016


This is about as far back as I can go.

My older brother and I when I was very young.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016


As I have written before, we have a variety of  birds that visit our bird bath just outside my den window.

A large number of them are the simple House Finches. The male of the species (I presume) is the most colorful with his rose to bright red breast.

The females are mostly bland grey with some brown or black markings.

But the most brightly-colored birds that visit are Goldfinches (I presume), with their intensely yellow breasts and throats.

But they are also one of the most nervous of the birds and it's hard to get a photo of them.

This is the best I could do recently.

Right now the tree above the birdbath is just bare branches but when it leafs out it will be much more difficult to spot birds perching in it.

I remember one evening in Guadalajara when we were sitting on the roof of an apartment building with friends enjoying a sunset cocktail when a flight of parrots (I presume) came swooping into some nearby trees.

Our friends told us that was a daily event at sunset.

(BTW, seems like there's a lot of damn presuming going on in this post!  While I enjoy watching the birds, I obviously ain't no ornithologist!)

Tuesday, February 23, 2016


I don't know about you but all of this Tuesday Traveling in my virtual world has worn me out.

Oh, all right.

I can hear the cries of dismay from the (my) electorate.

So here I am visiting the Grand Canyon of my adopted home state, the state I have lived in more than any other including my birth state.*

At first glance you may have thought I was holding the Royal Scepter.

Or perhaps a telescope.

I think it was a rolled poster, the subject of which I have no memory whatsoever.

That's what all this incessant traveling has done to me.

* - North Dakota: 28 years; South Dakota: 1 year; Indiana: 3 years; Texas: 2 years; Jalisco, Mexico: 4 years; Arizona: 38 years (and counting!)

This is intended for a cousin of mine in North Dakota, who whenever I speak to her asks "when are you coming home?"

My response has always been "I am home."

Monday, February 22, 2016


While brother Tom of Light Breezes was enjoying a gourmet meal, SWMBO and I were indulging in the kitchen and at the table as well.

Saturday, I made a Nigella Lawson recipe for Involtini which combines Greek and Italian flavors - thin eggplant slices rolled around a feta cheese and herbed stuffing, topped with tomatoes and mozzarella and baked.

Unfortunately, my camera stayed idle but here's a photo of Ms. Lawson's dish.

I fear her dish looks and probably tastes better than mine but then she's been cooking longer than I have.

Sunday's meal, prepared by SWMBO, was much better.

A chicken salad enlivened with candied ginger, apples, grapes, celery, green onions, celery dressed with a mayonaise-yogurt-apricot preserve sauce and accompanied by fresh-baked apple-oat muffins.

With the exception of the muffins, the master just threw that together out of her head.

And 60+ years of kitchen slavery.

I'm a rank amateur compared with those two ladies.

Saturday, February 20, 2016


On a day when political junkies are watching South Carolina and Nevada, a new issue has arisen in Great Britain.

The croissant!

What better way to start one's day than with the classic French pastry?

One British baker thinks he has the answer to straighten out his customers.

For his wimpy clientele he is making his croissants without the curve!

Read the story from today's New York Times.

Blasphemy, says I!

To hell with South Carolina!

To hell with Nevada!

With a sense of righteous indignation I say "Leave the croissant alone!"

Is nothing sacred?

Friday, February 19, 2016


The BRD watches the Comedy Channel on t.v.

At least she used to when Jon Stewart was hosting the Daily Show.

I just turn on one of the cable news channels.

Without further comment, it's yuk-yuk time again.

That's it, folks.

Once again, thank you to my contributors and theft victims.

Have a spectacularly humorous weekend, Gentle Readers, and always keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.

Thursday, February 18, 2016


How did this 1958 high school graduate . . .

. . . become this old pirate?

(Hint: Yo-ho-ho and a bottle of rum!)

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


And yes we are old now.

The Three Amigos I showed you in my blog post yesterday at a very early age got together for the first time in many decades yesterday at the annual Stanley (North Dakota) picnic in Mesa.

Two of them are now 76 and one (me) is fast approaching that age.

We've changed a bit.

All of us now wear glasses.

All of us now sport facial hair.

All of us are, how should I say, stockier.

But the expressions on our faces are much the same as they were 70 or more years ago.

You might wonder why a picnic for former residents of a small town in far north North Dakota is held every year in Arizona, more than a thousand miles away.

It's the snowbird factor.

Long ago, retirees from those cold, snowy climes discovered that the sun nearly always shines and it's nearly always warm down here as opposed to cold and snowy in their home environs.

So they began spending their winters here and migrating back north for the summers.

Such people are known as Snowbirds.

A number of them (like me) found Arizona so pleasant they moved here permanently and only go back to North Dakota for a visit or for a few weeks in the summer.

Hence, there is a large population of people here in February from that town in the center of the Bakken oil boom and an annual picnic was begun many years ago and it continues today.

Turnout is usually good and everyone has a great time.

As one grows old(er) it becomes more and more of a pleasure to see our former classmates and friends and catch up on their lives.

Even if, at first glance, we may not recognize them!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


I'm traveling today for the first time in a long time.

Heading down to the Valley of the Sun for the annual Stanley picnic.

That's a once a year reunion of residents from my home town - Stanley, North Dakota.

This year will be a special once since a childhood friend whom I haven't seen for 48 years will be attending.

Jerome Larson will join Jim Burbidge and I as these three amigos get together once again.

Just to prove that I haven't always been a "cat man", that's my dog, Honey, getting the adoration of (l to r) Jim, Me and Jerome.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have a fresh photo of the triad, minus the dog.

Monday, February 15, 2016


"Are you lookin' at me?"

"Well, are ya?"

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Saturday, February 13, 2016


The mercury has been climbing here in the Central Highlands of Arizona.

It got to 75 yesterday and, while early, it is promoting changes in the bird life.

For instance I saw what I think was a goldfinch at the bird bath this morning.

We've had them with their pale yellow breasts all winter.

But this one was brightly colored with a blazing yellow breast and nearly black back feathers.

Unfortunately I didn't get a photo.

But I did catch this red-breasted finch a bit later.

 After several drinks he seemed to be contemplating a bit of a dip.

He wasn't sure how cold that water would be but after a period of thought (do birds think, I wonder) he took the plunge.

He seemed to enjoy his time in the "swimming hole" but was quick to shake off his feathers when he got out.

Ah, spring time.