Tuesday, May 24, 2016


When you're following one of these it's a good idea to keep your distance and have sharp awareness!

As I followed this student driver she seemed to be doing relatively well.

Monday, May 23, 2016


Yes, my new-found friend, the Mountain Jay, came back a few minutes ago.

But this time he didn't want a drink.

He wanted a swim!

Oh, yes, he did!

And he dares any bird in the vicinity to try to share the pool while he's occupying it.

What a rascal.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


A Mountain jay dropped in for a brief visit, showing off his colors.

Montana Mike says these are called Camp Robbers up in his part of the world.

Saturday, May 21, 2016


Away out here they've got a name
For rain and wind and fire
The rain is Tess,
The fire's Joe
And they call the wind Maria

That was the opening of a popular song by the Kingston Trio back in the 1960's.

Maria was pronounced not like the heroine of West Side Story - Mah-REE-ah, but as Mah-RIGH-ah.

Regardless of pronunciation, away out here where I live, Maria is a bitch.

I know.

I shouldn't complain.

And generally I don't.

After all, I am not plagued by hurricanes or earthquakes or ice storms or blizzards or tornadoes or (I am 80 miles from Phoenix and something over 4,000 feet higher) extreme heat or (I am 80 miles from Flagstaff and something over 2,000 feet lower) extreme cold.

But I do have wind.

Fierce, gusting wind.

The past couple of days there has been a High Wind Alert issued by the Weather Service for our area, with gusts of 50 miles per hour.

It's above 70 degrees and I sat out on the front porch for awhile this evening with a cool drink and watched the wind whipping the trees around.

It's supposed to die down some tomorrow.

Only 10 to 20 miles per hour.

Or more.

Don't trust the Weather Gods.

And don't sing me that damn song any more.

Unless you change the wind's name to Lucretia!

Friday, May 20, 2016


When I lived in Mexico I used to frequently lose track of what day it was.

I would ask SWMBO "what day is this?"

She would laugh because the answer was always the same.

It was always Thursday.

I don't know why that was unless it was an omen about the day we now know as Throwback Thursday.

At any rate, today is Friday and you know what that means.

The FRIDAY FUNNIES!!!! (he shouted loudly)

I assume, and I can only assume, that you are laughing hysterically by now.

So I'll leave you on that happy note.

Thanks again to all of my contributors and theft victims, have a fantastically satisfying weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Oh, and sorry I was late with these.

Here, kitty-kitty.


Thursday, May 19, 2016


When I started working in television back in the early 1960's, it was an entirely different world.

At the third station I worked for, KFYR in Bismarck, North Dakota, the news department consisted of two people, plus an announcer or two and a couple of part-time photographers that we had to share with the sales department.

And we were supposed to provide for the needs of an AM radio station as well as the tv station.

Later an FM station was added to the mix.

So we "newsmen" were the voices of the many daily broadcasts, we wrote and produced the newscasts, we shot and edited the film, we covered meetings and events and the police stations and sheriff's departments.

But since we were in the state capitol, politics and government often made up the bulk of our work.

In this photo, I'm the film photographer in the middle of the group of three.

Our cameras are all focused on the governor, William L. "Bill" Guy, as he comes into the legislature to give his annual State of the State address.

I find it interesting that three "photographers" are using the same basic camera but we each have our own way of gripping the device.

In the upper right corner of this picture, my boss at the time, News Director Larry Mills, is doing a live broadcast on radio of the event.

The fellow with the headset sitting next to him was an engineer.

One other thing I learned in those early days was how to shoot film while walking backwards.

That's me on the far right with my camera focused on Vice-President Hubert H. Humphrey.

He's walking with the governor's wife while the governor, on the left,  is accompanying Mrs. Humphrey, Muriel.

In the center is U.S. Senator Quentin Burdick.

In some ways it was a much simpler era.

In others it was vastly more complicated.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016


Sad news today.

Guy Clark has died at 74.

The New York Times referred to him as a Texas Troubadour.

And that he was, coming out of the group that included Townes Van Zandt and Jerry Jeff Walker.

He wrote many songs that other artists made hits.

One of my favorites was "Desperados Waiting for a Train."

I first discovered Clark when I lived in Austin, Texas.

I never saw him perform but I would hear his music on the radio.

Guy had a sense of humor that was displayed, for example, in this song that has been performed by many artists.

Guy, we'll miss you but we'll have your music forever.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016


Today's journey takes us to one of the wonders of the world, the Golden Gate Bridge.

(Photo by RyanJWilmot)

The bridge links the city of San Francisco, California to Marin County.

It was begun in 1933 and opened to the public 4 years later.

But I have a surprise for you.

The following pictures were taken in 1935, halfway through the construction.

The views of the construction of the bridge were taken from either Marshall or Baker Beach by my uncle, Zenas Howland Taylor.

He was an accountant for the city water department and along with a group of adventurous friends made his way down the bluff to the beaches where they would swim in the ocean, work on their tans and build constructions from driftwood and whatever else they found.

A sturdy group of young men were these.

But also a bit wacky as they escaped from their workaday world and camped out on the beach on their weekends.

(See. I'm not the first one in my family to go in for those short shorts!)

Monday, May 16, 2016


When I was a young 'un, I had to have my hair flattened down, my ears washed, a tie knotted around my neck in a shirt with a ridiculous collar and taken to church for Easter services.

Why on earth I was smiling through this torturous experience is something I surely don't know to this day.

I don't remember any chocolate bunnies in my youth though there may have been some.

After church finally got out (it was only an hour but in my Presbyterian church with its dour Scottish preacher it seemed to last forever), we came home to a baked ham dinner.

I still like baked ham.

If I ever had a chocolate bunny I haven't had one for many, many years.

But I spotted a real one in our backyard the other day.

I first saw him as I opened the blinds and pulled them back on the slider door in the living room.

I hurried around to my den and opened and slowly pulled the blinds back there and the dumb bunny just sat their, frozen, as I got my camera and took several shots.

Lori Down the Street, hates the bunnies because they eat her plants.

We have only a few herbs in a pot and I don't think the bunnies have found them.

Or they don't like them.

Anyway, I enjoy seeing the bunnies.

And none of them are missing their ears or their butts.

Though I've always thought that they seem about as smart as the damnable mourning doves that hang around, wooing and cooing.

Speaking of which, I wonder how many of you remember the Singing Cowboy, Gene Autry.

Sunday, May 15, 2016


After the phenomenal success of her dessert,

SWMBO graciously came into my hole den yesterday morning and requested that I make a loaf of my legendary whole wheat bread.

Knowing, as I do, that the bread machine does 95% of the work, I immediately agreed.

Those dark spots are not rot.

They are dried Craisins (cranberry raisins).

They still migrate to the bottom of the loaf but they're a tasty addition to the bread.

And nothing tastes better than homemade bread, right?

That's what SWMBO would tell you as she saws off the domed top, dabs it with margarine and digs in to the still hot product.

Personal goof: it is a day later now and I just realized I haven't even tasted it yet!

Saturday, May 14, 2016


When Tom and Lana were here Tom said "I don't know why you don't weigh 300 pounds with all the good food that comes out of your kitchen."

Well, yeah, I can understand that.  Or not.

Anyway, Judy has been back at it again baking a dessert that I found a recipe for in the New York Times.

(I love their food writing though SWMBO has been skeptical of some of their recipes.)

But she decided to try this one after the recipe had been lying around for a month or so.

It's called Lemon-Almond Butter Cake and Regina Schrambling offered a recipe she had adapted from one by Jody Adams, who runs restaurant Rialto in Boston.

SWMBO adapted the recipe further by using pre-made lemon curd from Trader Joe's.

Once she had everything mixed and ready to go into a spring-form pan, she called me in to ask my advice.

The mixture was quite thick and she wondered if she should add some half-and-half to lighten it up a bit.

I saw where the recipe said "scrape the dough into the pan" and said "No, I think it's all right the way it is."

While it was baking she expressed a bit of doubt because the daubs of curd topping the crust seemed to run into the center but I looked up pictures of it on the web and they all looked sort of like that.

So she took it out.

She said it didn't rise very much but later when we tried it, the unanimous opinion was something like "OMG! That's wonderful!"

So here is a link to the recipe.

And here is our finished product.

Under that crisp crust is an almost fudgy interior, rich with lemon flavor.

Thank you Jody. Thank you Regina. Thank you Judy.

It was exquisite!

Friday, May 13, 2016



Visitors, a landmark birthday, eating out, more activity than in a thousand years.

Frankly, we're wasted.

So (in case you didn't figure it out) Thank God It's The Friday Funnies!

That was just to make sure you were paying attention.

All right, that's enough hilarity for one Friday.

A special thank you to all of my contributors.

Hey, Gentle Readers, here's my wish for the day.

Have a stupendous weekend of resting up, don't forget to tell us about it and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty.

(oh, no . . .)

Thursday, May 12, 2016


One way to get rid of some of the past.

Peddler's Pass swap meet back when we were still driving the Blue Streak - a 1986-1/2 Volkswagen Quantum station wagon.

That car lasted us a good many years, through Mexico and back, before it gave up the ghost and was towed away.

I'm beginning to wonder when I'll be towed away.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A New Header

I really liked this photo by my friend Tom Cochrun and thought I'd share it for awhile.


I knew a guy once who used to say "the social rumble isn't restful."

Turns out he was slightly misquoting the originator of that aphorism, Mr. Satchel Paige, who actually said "the social ramble ain't restful."

We've just had a social rumble or ramble that only lasted about a day and a half but, for whatever reason, we were worn out when it ended.

It was fantastic to see longtime friends and we took it pretty easy, just sitting and talking the first afternoon and evening (along with prodigious eating and accompanying sipping.)

And the next full day was spent in an easy auto journey and a picnic (and some sipping) and dinner in a restaurant (and some more sipping.)

Now, Gentle Readers, you might think that we were drinking a lot.

Facts are that while we were consistently hydrated, we didn't consume like we might have in the good old rock and roll days.

No, I don't think any of suffered from any "hard rock" or "rolling stone" hangovers during the visit.

And it was kind of tough to say goodbye as we lingered outside their hotel, recalling just one more story from days gone by.

But it has taken both of us about a full day to get over the lethargy and tiredness that prompted some long naps and early bedtimes.

But, after all, these are the days of grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

As the first part of the wise Mr. Paige's quote advises: "Go very light on the vices, such as carrying on in society."

Probably good advice at any age.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016


By now, you're probably tired of hearing about our visitors from California.

But, one more time, because it fits into today's theme of Tuesday Travels.

We left home yesterday morning and drove over the mountain through Jerome.

Just before reaching that mountainside hamlet Lana and Judy posed for a photo at an overlook.

Then we drove on, through Old and New Cottonwood to the (not so, anymore) tiny town of Cornville.

Our destination, with these wine-lovers from the Paso Robles appellation, lay to the north along Page Springs Road, into the heart of one piece of Arizona Wine Country.

We stopped at the Page Springs Winery for a tasting, a bottle (thanks, Tom) and a classic French picnic, courtesy of SWMBO.

The winery is one of three in close proximity to each other.

Some of the wine is produced there, some comes from southeastern Arizona.

Tom and I took a bit of a walk down to a lower picnic setting just above Oak Creek.  (sound up)

A pleasant day, sitting in the shade, eating, drinking, gazing over the vineyards.