Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Interesting guesses to yesterday's photo.

Here's a better view.


It's my mouse wheel.

Monday, September 5, 2016


Looks like maybe I need a new set of tires.

What do you think?

Sunday, September 4, 2016


Yesterday evening our visit continued with SWMBO's second purchase for the event: balloons!

Both of us had tried earlier in the day to blow up a couple of the balloons and though we stretched them and blew until we were in danger of a coronary attack we could not get them to expand.

We told the visitors that they probably needed a bicycle tire pump or some such device to get enough air into the dratted contraptions to make true balloons out of them.

Then James, the father of the two boys, took matters in hand.

And amazement once again!

As his face grew red from the exertion, the balloon slowly began to form, inch by slow inch.

After long minutes and perhaps a bit of wheezing he was able to lean back with the smile of a conqueror as he and the boys contemplated the result.

Great work, James, you showed us all how it's done.

The boys promptly left for the back yard where they indulged in wild and carefree (balloon) sword fights.

Saturday, September 3, 2016


We had company last night which included two handsome young boys . . . Brandon, age 9, and Liam, age 7.

At those ages, they could be our great-grandchildren, were they in fact related to us.

Prior to their arrival, SWMBO purchased two bottles of bubble blowing liquid.

When she brought them home, I scoffed that even at their youthful ages the pair would not, could not find this of any interest.

After all, these boys have been born into the computer age and undoubtedly each have their own digital pads with which they would be engrossed.

And they were.

Until the bubble solution came out.

What to my wondering eyes should appear but two young lads happily blowing bubbles and scampering around the yard, giggling merrily.

Once again, the old Catalyst was proved wrong in the light of his mate's wiser logic.

When they return this evening we'll see how the balloons go over.

Friday, September 2, 2016


Does it seem like every week I moan about how fast the days are going by?

Well, there is a flip side to that.

So with that bit of philosophy out of the way let us move right along.

Lots of contributions thefts recently.

All right, all right, all right, (thanks, Matthew McConaughey) I'll quit now, much as I know you'd like me to go on.

But first, thanks contributors theft victims; all of you Gentle Readers have a mah-vel-ous weekend;  and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .


Thursday, September 1, 2016


Looking back to the good(?) old days.

Who remembers . . .


telephones with a cord attached,

typewriters (and for that matter long hair and mutton chops sideburns),

BIG microphones and headphones for newscasters,

huge ham radio equipment,

looking at photos printed on paper and mounted in an album?

And who among you Gentle Readers remembers cursive writing?

And can still do it, legibly?

So many things from our past have been miniaturized, digitized, computerized or just lost altogether.

Can you remember?

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


I have spoken written here frequently about our monsoon in Arizona, that time of year when we get most of our rainfall.

This year, after a spotty start, it has been abundant.

And that produces this.

A beautiful greening of the landscape as far as the eye can see.

Normally this is dry brown brush but right now, for a little while, it makes one think of Ireland.

This (above) is the view of our savannah, so-named by SWMBO because of the golden pasture most of the year.

But right now it's all greened up, giving the rabbits and whatever else lurks there, a different sort of paradise.

Even the slopes of our (hopefully extinct) volcano(?) are swathed in green.

It is a beautiful period of the year and one can nearly forget that we live in the high desert for awhile.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016


Within Arizona's boundaries, that means one of two places: the mountains or the desert.

The mountains, of which we have many, are a favored location when the heat bears down on us.

The desert, of which we have a lot, is where we go in the wintertime, when it's pleasantly warm.

Back in the day, a group of us used to gather in the White Tanks, west of Phoenix.

It was raw desert and our guide and grilling master, John Alba, used to scout the area and find a prime location earlier in the week.

John was an outdoorsman and an expert at Dutch Oven cookery over coals.

A small pit would be dug in a cleared area, wood would be gathered from the desert and flamed until there was a hot bed of coals.

Then the pots would be placed and loaded with chicken and biscuits and beans and other goodies.

John would always make a big show of dumping an entire bottle (or two) of Tabasco into the chicken pots.

It somehow cooked off and the chicken was only a tad spicy.

We all wore hats and I came in a Che Guevara t-shirt just to bug John, whose politics were on the other side of the spectrum.

The cookouts were great fun, enjoyed by a wild bunch of friends.

Good times, good travels to the Great Sonoran Desert.

I would imagine that whole area has been developed now by an ever-growing Greater Phoenix.

Sunday, August 28, 2016


I am getting old.

In reality, I AM old.

From time to time I hear about someone having a birthday and it jostles me into the realization once again that I have reached the age where I can see the end of the road.

I don't mean to sound maudlin about it so let me tell you of some of the people whose increasing age has affected me.

A few days ago Sean Connery became 86.

Can that possibly be?

I still think of him as the dashing young James Bond.

But I realize that as I have watched him in a plethora of other roles over the years that he has been growing older.

Ten days ago another handsome actor, Robert Redford, turned . . . wait for it . . . 80!

No, I can't believe that.

The blonde, blue-eyed actor who played The Sundance Kid in a movie I have seen multiple times?

But I've seen him a couple of times recently, too, and that once-smooth face . . . isn't . . . anymore.

Today once again I was jolted into recognizing my advanced years when I learned that a friend of many years, who I have always thought of as kind of a young whippersnapper, recently celebrated (if that is the correct term) his 70th birthday.

And I am more than half a decade older than he is.

Recently I've been treated for an arthritic left hip (with good results I'm happy to add) though the doctor told me I'll probably have to have it replaced some day.

I joked that I was too old for such a procedure.

He responded that I was just about the right age for it.

Ah well.

One of the current candidates for President is 70, the other is 68 and tomorrow one of my U.S. Senators will mark his 80th birthday.

And he's running for another six year term.

Maybe the 70's are the new 50's.

Saturday, August 27, 2016


We had another period of thunder, lots of lightning and heavy rain at 4 o'clock this morning.

It woke us both out of a dead sleep.

We've had daily rain showers and thunderstorms for a week or two now in the midst of this monsoon.

Here's a look at one from the other day.

Addendum: Judy (SWMBO) just brought in the rain gauge she put out yesterday morning to show me that we have had two inches of rain in a 24 hour period.

That may not seem like much to many of you but it's pretty darned amazing for arid Arizona.

Friday, August 26, 2016


Yup, time marches races on.

It's Friday again.

Somebody sent me this week's Friday Funnies, I don't remember who, but they are all the product of a pretty darned funny sign poster.


Signs of the times, eh?

That last one is a hoot.

Okay, Gentle Readers, have at least a mildly amusing weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

And a special thanks to my contributor this week.

Here, kitty kitty . . .