Tuesday, May 2, 2017


Four weeks and two days.

That's how long we have left until our moving day.

It will be our 20th move since we've been married.

This should be an easier one as it's only across town.

The last one, three years ago, was from Phoenix, over 100 miles away.

This one will only cover a little over 9 miles.

SWMBO has been packing boxes for weeks and we live among them and empty cupboards for these last few days.

It's a thankless task and, at our ages, sheer drudgery.

Oh, hell, who am I kidding?

It's always been a pain in the . . . . neck.

But it has to be done and so we shall clamber through it.

The only one really worried anymore is Blackwell.

When he's not climbing into yet another empty box he walks around and observes the hurly burly with this haunted look on his face.

"You promise you won't forget to take me along?"

We promise, big boy.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


SWMBO and I were watching some cooking shows on television yesterday.

On two of them, the chef daintily built plates with teeny little slices of vegetables forming salads that were just oh so lovely.

"Silly food," my wife snorted.

But then.

A few hours later she built these two salads for our dinner meal.


Friday, April 28, 2017


Yes, I hear your pleading voices calling "It's Friday . . . show us something funny . . . pleeeeeeze!"

And I, the mighty Catalyst shall respond with the news that the Congress has approved a bill to keep the government open and operating.

For one week.

I agree with you Gentle Readers.

We do need to see something to lighten the mood.

That's it, dear ones, this edition of the Friday Funnies is complete.

Now have yourself a delightful weekend and always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, no, I forgot Cinco de Mayo is coming up)

Wednesday, April 26, 2017


Judy noticed this huge shrub tree blowing in the wind recently and commented that it is so heavy with blooms that it seems to be moving in slow motion.

It's one of the Red Tip Photinia's that has been allowed to "grow up" as opposed to being trimmed back.

It's become a safe home for untold numbers of finches and we can hear them singing like crazy at certain times of the day.

We got our new home confirmed yesterday so it appears we'll be moving (once again) five weeks from tomorrow.

We've been assured that the duplex we're moving to is one of the nicer ones in Prescott Valley so we're looking forward to relocating and settling down once again.

We hope it will be our last move but that's what we said three years ago when we moved in here.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


Thanks to all of the relatives and friends who remembered my birthday yesterday.

'Course I prompted many of those wishes with my blog post of April 24th.

And for those wondering what type of celebration I had I can tell you today that it all took place within the walls of our home.

I am extremely fortunate to live with one of the great cooks of the world so why go out to a restaurant, right?

Judy, aka SWMBO, started us off with a delicious new recipe for a fresh pea soup, topped off with Mexican crema and mint leaves.

Devastatingly delicious!

Then the main entrée . . . mussels and mussels and mussels, cooked and served in a garlic and white wine sauce.

Typical of the honoree, he forgot to take a photo until there were only the discarded shells left.

After a bit of rest in front of the television and Antiques Roadshow . . . (hmmm, I wonder why she chose that program) . . . the meal was topped off with wedges of a scrumptious carrot cake, my favorite.

Just another great meal.

Now as to my luck with the lottery, considering that it was my 77th birthday, I bought two tickets but we'll have to wait until tonight and tomorrow night to see how they'll work out.

Monday, April 24, 2017


Here's where it began.

A very young Catalyst with his mom.

And here's what it has led to.

A somewhat stunned Catalyst last night upon finishing a re-reading of George Orwell's apocalyptic opus "1984".

And today, Gentle Readers, your scribe became 77 years old.

The picture of Mom and I was taken in 1940.

I find it amazing to realize that I have lived in two centuries.

(Not through two centuries, you smart alecks!)

Incidentally, some of you younger readers may not be familiar with that term.

I was looking it up and found that Wiktionary says it may have derived from the name of Aleck Hoag, a 19th Century con man and thief.

But to get back to the present, I am feeling fine for my advanced years and fully expect to be around for a few more.

Oh, and the stunned look in the second picture above is due to what I perceive as the "message" of the novel as related to the current state of the world.

Y'all might want to read it.

Read it and weep, so they say.

As for today being my 77th birthday, that should mean it's a lucky day.

So I guess I'll go buy a lottery ticket.

Wish me luck!

Friday, April 21, 2017


Ah, Gentle Readers, it is that time of the week when we all put serious pursuits to the back burner and indulge ourselves in some joyous laughter.

Yes it is time once again for the Friday Funnies.

Several of the regulars who read my daily tripe soliloquies have done themselves proud by supplying me with fresh material.

So, without further ado, let's take a look.

All right, that ought to be enough to get your weekend off to a mirthful beginning.

Contribute to that feeling by always looking at the funny side of life and keep laughing.


Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(oh, man)

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Ah, esos buenos viejos días en la playa de México!

(Ah, those good old days at the beach in Mexico!)

And check out that six-pack!

Oh, okay, those aren't abs, they're my ribs.

In spite of the nearly-constant beer in my hand I lost weight in Mexico and kept it off until we returned to the land of fast food, or should I say FAT food.

Oh, those glorious good old days.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017


I was in to my cardiologist's office recently to have my Pacemaker checked.

The tech told me the battery was down to 3% and scheduled another appointment for three months down the road.

But he said if I began feeling more tired than usual I should call them.

I told him my wife and I are in the midst of yet another move to a location we're not sure of yet and I'm feeling tired most of the time.

But WTF, time is only a concept and we struggle on.

At least I have my Blackwell, who seems to sense that we might be moving and we find him perched atop moving boxes, hiding in a big bag of bubble wrap, or wandering around moaning.

As if to say, "Don't forget about me."

"Don't leave me behind."

As if we would.

And he is a comforting presence as he sleeps in his customary spot the minute I sit down in a chair.

We're all in this together, Blackwell.

Monday, April 17, 2017


We were surprised this week with an impromptu dinner invitation for Easter Sunday from our friends, Lori and Rick Down the Block.

They took pity on us after I mentioned in an email that my beloved SWMBO was just barely speaking to me.

(Moving is hell!)

And we leaped at the opportunity for a free meal and a day away from our troubles.

This is our hostess, the Legendary Lori from Down the Block.

And her husband, Rick, who was the Chef for the day.

After consuming baked ham, multi-colored (including purple) potatoes, veggies, bread, an awful lot of wine and a delicious lemon cake that Lori spent hours (picking out at Costco) preparing and we repaired to their front patio to watch hummingbirds, drink more (!) wine and chat.

I caught Rick, hands clasped in prayer, delivering his Easter sermon.

Actually he was overcome with laughter at one of my typically hilarious anecdotes.

Good friends.

It's what life is all about.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


So he says he still wants to ride his motorcycle.

But his wife says he's too old for that and to get something safer.

(Sorry about the glare on my windshield.)

Friday, April 14, 2017


Well, how about that - it's Good Friday.

I hope your Good Friday is better than . . . uh . . . you know.

Let me try to convey some pleasure to you (with not a word about moving or packing or imminent divorce or murder.)

'Tis the season for . . .

And, not to disappoint you, here it comes . . . the old classic.

Okay, Gentle Readers, I want you to have a fantabulous weekend and always remember to keep laughing!

Oh, and yes, have a Happy Easter!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

Thursday, April 13, 2017


Have I mentioned before how much I hate moving?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017



Maybe not.

Fooled you, didn't I?

Just a little mid-day nap.

Sunday, April 9, 2017


Quoth the raven "Nevermore".

Saturday, April 8, 2017


As I mentioned yesterday my wife and I paid a visit to the Japanese Friendship Garden, known in Japanese as Ro Ho En, on Thursday as we marked 46 years together.

The garden is designed as a place of serenity in the heart of a bustling major city.

An interstate freeway travels through a tunnel below Margaret Hance Park, named for a former mayor, just to the north of it but the quiet in the park would never let you know that.

On most days.

During our visit the serenity of the park was disturbed by a constantly circling police helicopter just above us.

Just before the chopper left the area SWMBO heard an annoucement from it stating that they had spotted some miscreant below and a canine unit was now pursuing him.

Life in the city.

But back to the garden.

The enterpiece is a huge pond shared by hundreds of koi fish and ducks.

At the top of the above photo you may be able to spot some tiny ducklings that appeared to be quite newly hatched.

I had noticed a pair of white swans swimming together but it was Judy's sharp eyes that noted they were not real.

They were styrofoam!

Nice touch, though, as they are quite well done.

There is a waterfall, surrounded by carefully handpicked boulders from near Congress, Arizona.

The largest, I believe just to the left of the falls, weighs 25 tons.

This huge tree started out as a humble ficus plant.

Another water feature is designed to resemble a burbling mountain stream.

A representation of a pagoda with its 13 levels which in Japan were a storage place for Buddhist relics.

And Shachi, a mythical fish with the face of a tiger (or dragon), which is used as a talisman against fire in his native Japan.

Here he has become the symbol of the garden.

Without police helicopters circling overhead, the Japanese Friendship Garden is a welcome place to escape the stress of the city for awhile.