Wednesday, October 5, 2016


We turned the furnace on for the first time yesterday.

The house had grown cold with the lower temperatures outside and the heat felt good when it began blowing from the vents.

It's a pleasure of this time of year in our climate.

You might be surprised to learn that here in this part of Arizona we actually have four distinct seasons.

Spring and autumn are my favorites.

When winter comes, we will have cold temperatures and possibly even a little bit of snow.

But if it does snow it usually disappears within 24 hours as the sun works its magic.

As I write this, SWMBO is outside, trimming tree branches and pulling weeds.

Her family going back many generations have always been gardeners and though she says she is through with all that she still has to get out and do the scut work from time to time.

For appearances.

Sometimes I pitch in but it's usually only under duress.

I'm not a fan of yard work.

The photos are of a couple of sculptures at the rear of our public library.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016


Yesterday evening I heard the news that my beloved Arizona Diamondbacks had fired their General Manager and their team Manager and I wondered if my buddy Baseball Steve had heard the news.

So I picked up my phone and called him.

When he answered he sounded very down and like he was sick.

I asked him "what's the matter, you sound terrible."

He said "I just woke up."

"What?" said I, "it's 6:30 in the evening!"

His response was so surprising that I had to ask him to repeat it.

"I'm in France!", he said.

Well it turned out old smiling Steve and his wife Debbie were in Normandy.

(Cheerful Steve always smiles for my camera.)

Well I told him the news about the D-backs because he hadn't heard and, at his request, filled him in on the latest news on the presidential election campaign.

(He said the wi-fi had gone down at his hotel.)

Well I was stunned by two things.

First, that Steve and Debbie were in France.

Second, that I had called his cell phone and he answered it in France.

I can remember the days long, long ago where you asked an operator to place your long distance calls and then waited for her to call you back when she had (finally) made the connection.

And it was expensive!

Nowadays I guess it's just part of my monthly phone plan.

By the way, Judy and I have been to France, too.

She snapped this photo of me in Paris but some big old tower kind of ruined the picture.

That was 31 years ago last April.

Monday, October 3, 2016


The "Savannah" just to the east of us is changing color once again . . from green to gold.

As to how it became the Savannah, you might want to read this post.

Here's some of what gives it its golden hue.

Kinda pretty when you get up close, isn't it?

Sunday, October 2, 2016


But, in case of emergencies, there is yet another wet solution.

Saturday, October 1, 2016


This is a combination fruit and vegetable plant that has come to us from Mexico - the prickly pear cactus.

The green pads are the vegetable, in Spanish Nopales.

The round reddish balls are the fruit, in Spanish Tuna.

Both are edible but if you are doing your own harvesting, you will want to be careful.

There are some very visible long spines but there also are tiny, invisible glochids that are far more irritating and difficult to remove from the skin.

This plant is growing at the edge of the road in my neighborhood and I have no intention of getting any closer to it.

Friday, September 30, 2016


Gentle Readers, (and I hope you are both gentle and readers) it is time once again for something important.

To celebrate AUTUMN!

Yes the cooler temperatures have arrived and yard work has returned.

But I'll try to keep you amused, at least for today.

There.  I think that's enough for today.

Once again I must express my sincere gratitude to all of my contributors whose sense of humor is as off-kilter as my own.

Tomorrow is October 1st so I want you to get out there and buy lots and lots and lots of candy for those upcoming Halloween trick-or-treaters who won't show up at your door so you'll have weeks and weeks and weeks of time to enjoy it yourselves!

(I love this time of year and its attendant fetes!)

But above all, Gentle Readers, have an exhorbitant weekend, such that you'll be the envy of your neighbors and always remember to keep laughing!

(And use lots of exclamation points.)

Here, kitty-kitty.

(Oh, for crying out loud, are you still fawning over her?)

Thursday, September 29, 2016


Let me show you how we covered elections 50 years ago.

This was part of the election night studio at KFYR-TV in Bismarck, North Dakota in 1966.

In the upper right you see news reporter John Warren and sports director Roger Higgins (drafted for the night) waiting to go on the air and report returns.

A runner has just hand delivered returns from one of the local precincts and a couple of gals are busily toting up the results on hand-operated adding machines.

The bald-headed man is Evan Lips, a state senator and former mayor of Bismarck.

He shouldn't have been in that position but as a highly decorated university football player and ex-Marine, nobody was going to tell him to get out of the way.

Here's a view of our interview and telecast area with Bob MacLeod and I readying for a broadcast.

The "fancy" sets were designed and executed by the station's art director, Claire Anne Holmberg, who is checking the AP and UPI wire service machines with Wes Haugen in the background.

That big scoop in the upper left was a very hot television light.

In this picture I'm interviewing a local businessman, Thomas Kleppe, who was in the process of being elected to Congress.

He later served as head of the Small Business Administration and Secretary of the Interior.

It was a simpler era back in the 60's.

(KFYR-TV had only been on the air for 13 years.)

I still have many memories of those early days and the crude but complicated way we covered political events in the state's capitol city.

Nowadays the roof of the building is covered with satellite and microwave dishes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Tuesday, September 27, 2016



May 4, 2009.

Watson Lake boulder area outside of Prescott, Arizona.

The day I discovered my legs were no longer fit for clambering around on uneven surfaces and making quick, short hops to get down off of them.

I was 69 years old and trying to get down off these rocks without killing myself made me feel like I was 100!

I no longer had spring in my step.

It was a sobering discovery.

Now I'm 76, my goatee is even whiter and my legs are even weaker.

Damn! I hate these travels.

Monday, September 26, 2016


Just one man's opinion, of course.

Saturday, September 24, 2016


Back in April of this year I wrote a post about my meeting with the legendary lumberjack, Paul Bunyan.

You can read that post and see picture of our meeting here.

Today I can report, for any of you Gentle Readers who may have doubted my story, that the newspaper of record, the New York Times, has authenticated the "history" of Paul Bunyan in Minnesota.

You can read it here.

And that may be all you will ever hear about Paul Bunyan on this blog.


Friday, September 23, 2016


It's time!

Yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes, oh yes!

Time once again for the Friday Funnies!

I can read your thoughts out there, Gentle Readers.

You're thinking "how does he do it, week after week?"

It's all because of y'all and your generous contributions.

So let us commence.

Awright, enough!

Gotta save some for next week.

Have a super-duper weekend, everyone, and remember to always keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, dear)

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Wednesday, September 21, 2016


I was cruising around on You Tube last night and ran across a guitar solo by Mark Knopfler that was called "the best guitar solo of all time."

That's pretty big praise.

Especially given the wealth of great guitar players in the world.

I think of B.B. King, Les Paul, Keith Richard, Prince, Chet Atkins, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix and, of course, Eric Clapton.

That's just to name a few.

There's no arguing that Knopfler's work is of a lesser tier.****

The creator of the legendary band Dire Straits is a marvelous finger-picker.


But is that the best guitar solo of all time?

You decide.

**** I put four stars because this was a MAJOR error on my part.  What I meant to say was "There's no arguing that Knopfler's work is NOT of a lesser tier."

That's an awkward way of saying that he's right up there with the best of 'em and that's what I meant.

If Mark Knopfler reads this blog (yeah, sure) he has my sincerest and most embarrassed apologies.

Meantime, some good answers in the comment section.  

Keep 'em coming.

And yes I have heard of Leo Kottke.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


A few years ago, SWMBO and I took a drive over to visit our friends Tom and Lana in California.

The occasion was one of Lana's many art shows.

As you can see, Lana experiments in a variety of styles.

Notice the frames on this wine-inspired collection are made of wine corks.

She's also a champion bread baker.

Her husband, Tom, is a colleague from many years ago in Indianapolis radio.

Here he's explaining something to Griff, another friend from those radio days.

Of course if you visit friends who live on the coast you have to check out the ocean.

Naturally, I found some of the avian life of interest.

And there were some wonders of the mammalian world to view.

Elephant seals come, year after year, to this same spot to spawn their young.

It makes for a very popular tourist attraction.

It may have been California but these Arizona heat-dwellers found it a bit on the chilly side at times.

As usual, this dry-land person never wanted to leave the seashore.

Good friends, wonderful hospitality, a great visit.