Thursday, June 8, 2017


We had a plumber here today to take care of several problems with our new abode.

He was professional, young and said he loved his work.

We liked him and certainly were pleased with his work.

SWMBO finally got to do a load of laundry, the toilet no longer runs all the time, nothing drips and the kitchen faucet is brand new and works like a champ.

Small things but it means a lot.

So our life is settling down.

These beautiful white peonies beautify our living room.

In case you can't tell, they're silk.

In other words, fake.

But they're gorgeous just the same.

I think this earlier picture, taken without a flash, looks even more like an oil painting.

My newly-hooked-up indoor/outdoor thermometer says the temperature outside is 93 degrees Fahrenheit.

But it didn't feel that hot when I was out on a breezy afternoon looking for a place to put it.

Anyway, the temperature inside is a very comfortable 77.

SWMBO is taking a nap and I think I'm gonna have a little lie-down too.

We watched much of the Comey hearing on the television this morning.

As one of my friends said afterward his impression is that the Russians interfered in our election and Trump doesn't care.

And, at least, Senator John McCain of my state should have his car keys taken away.

So it goes.

Sunday, June 4, 2017


So we hired professional movers.

And they were pretty darned good.

But it turned out that I moved a lot of stuff on my own.

And at my age (middle late 70's) it turns out that my body doesn't react the way it did 40 years ago.

As I said to Judy (the vaunted SWMBO), I don't remember getting bruises like this when we moved in the past.

She said something rude like "you ain't the young guy I married, lo, those many years ago."

And I'm not.

Because of atrial fibrillation, and a pacemaker/defibrillator, and cholesterol and whatever problems my heart has decided to have (through ABSOLUTELY no fault of my own), I'm on blood thinners, as well as a number of other drugs.

And the blood thinners alone result in splotches like this from the nearest touch.

There's not any real pain, other than the pain of not being the movie-idol leading man of my youth.

But they sure leave their mark.

But don't cry for me, Argentina.

This, too, shall pass.

And maybe I can someday get back to taking photos of visitors to our birdbath once again.

Friday, June 2, 2017


Gentle Readers, I have returned, just like Dougie McArthur.

And you thought the Friday Funnies had faded into torpor.

Ye of little faith.

So we have moved to a much smaller site.  Our garage is full of boxes and other stuff, some of which will be sold in the future.

We have downsized.

Our bodies are wracked with pain even though we had professional (VERY professional) movers.

So we, like you, I suspect, deserve a few good laughs.

And, with that, I wish you all a moving (heh) weekend full of fun and frivolity.

And always, whatever the pain and strain, remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, no)

Wednesday, May 31, 2017


For those of you Gentle Readers who've missed it (how couldya?), the great and wonderful SWMBO and I are moving to a new much smaller home tomorrow.

We moved a bit of stuff into the garage today with the help of the BRD.

But tomorrow is the Day of the Big Truck.

And the professional movers.

It's been stressful and achy and at times explosive in temperament.

But we've been through it before.

(Gawd, how we've been through it before.)

So we will survive.

I don't know when I'll be back on line.

It may be as soon as tomorrow evening.

It may be later.

But I shall return.

(Who said that?)

Stay tuned.

Monday, May 29, 2017


Like Tom I too can remember when Memorial Day was known as Decoration Day.

It usually involved a visit to a cemetery or what we called in my small North Dakota town "the graveyard" to put flowers on the resting places of those who had gone on before.

There were only two in my family who served during World War Two.

My mother's brother, Connie, didn't make it home from his service in the Pacific.

The ironic story I've heard is that he drowned while swimming off of Leyte, in the Philippines, while waiting for a troop ship to take the boys home.

And my father's brother, Zenas, who was well past draft age when he volunteered and spent his service time in Burma and India.

"Zeke", as some in the family called him, came home from the war and spent the rest of his life in his adopted home of San Francisco.

After his death his ashes were scattered in the ocean off a beach where he spent many happy times.

Flash forward a few decades and a few wars and our grandson Russell (or Rusty as I've always called him) served in Bosnia, Iraq and Afghanistan over the period of several terms in the Army.

He's pictured here with his lovely wife, Kayla.

On this Memorial Day we thank all of them and the millions of others for their service to their country.

Friday, May 26, 2017


Ah, another week, another seven days of shocking stories from Washington (and Montana).

This was the week where El Trumpo went to tussle with the NATO ministers.

The mind of Catalyst is reaching the saturation point.

So, Gentle Readers, let us ignore all of the political folderol and get on with something important: the Friday Funnies!

That Texas girl has some interesting arm candy.

O.K. dear friends we are nearing the end of today's run and I just wanted to give you one truth to concentrate on this weekend.

And with that metaphysical mystery I wish for you an entrancing weekend of frivolity and fun.

And always remember: keep on laughing!

We move to new quarters next Thursday so the appearance of next week's Friday Funnies are impossible to predict at this point.

But we'll be back . . . eventually.

Now then, here kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh yes . . . you're coming too, Blackwell!)

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Some of you who know how I worship at the spikes of the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball team and how I consequently share the same message back and forth with my buddy Baseball Steve - "Have I ever told you how much I hate the Los Angeles Dodgers" - may be surprised . . . nay, astounded . . . to learn that once upon a time in a previous life I was a fan of those damnable Dodgers.

I'm not sure how it happened but I became a fan in the mid 1940's of the old Brooklyn Dodgers as I was growing up in faraway North Dakota.

Everyone else in my family, for whatever reason, rooted for the Cleveland Indians.

But my team was the team of Jackie Robinson.  

Of Pee Wee Reese.  

And Gil Hodges.  

And Duke Snider.  

And Carl Furillo.  

And Johnny Podres.  

And Carl Erskine.

Funny how I can remember the names of so many of those heroes of my youthful days.

I continued to hope for the glory days for "my" Dodgers as they abandoned Ebbets Field and Brooklyn for the Hollywood lights of Los Angeles.

It lasted until the team was sold to an Australian, for gosh sakes.  

The hated Rupert Murdoch, who has other sins on his black record.

Fortunately for me that was in 1998 and coincidentally was the same year that the Diamondbacks came into existence.

And since I was a longtime resident of Arizona the switch was easy, even after 50-some years of cheering on the Boys in Blue.

But ten years earlier, though I was then living in Mexico, I was still rooting for the Dodgers.

Yes, those Dodgers.

Those were the Dodgers of Kirk Gibson and Orel Hersheiser and I was very proud of them.

Now . . . they're just those Damnable Dodgers.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Yesterday's post about the bold, daring and never-stopping DK prompted a tip from Jager in the comments:  "Get your motor running.  Steppenwolf"

Once I looked that song up on You Tube and listened to it I knew it was the perfect refrain to follow the DK birthday post.

Monday, May 22, 2017


Did you ever think, "I wonder what my life would be like if I ever lived to 85?"

Well those of us still around are getting closer and closer to that age.

For instance a friend of mine who I'll refer to as DK.

She just celebrated her 85th birthday and a lot of family surprised her at a gathering.

As you can probably figure out that little lady in the black top and white trousers in the center of the picture is DK.

She thought she was just going to a daughter's house for a barbecue.

But another daughter suddenly appeared.

And then her son and a grandson.

And then another grandson.

And on and on until this happy crowd had assembled around the matriarch.

Now you might figure that is enough excitement for any person.

But you have to hear the rest of the story.

You see DK and a friend had just returned the day before from a trip that took them to London, then on to a Viking cruise ship on the Danube River which took them to Budapest, Bucharest and many points in between.

And this is a lady who was on another cruise a few months ago that took her to Cuba!

DK is an adventurous woman, all right, and when she finally passes on, (many years in the future, most likely), I think they'll have to confiscate her passport and nail the coffin shut!

Happy Birthday, pal.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Saturday, May 20, 2017


Some of you Gentle Readers may remember my post (link here) about Webb Chiles, a 75 year old man in the midst of his 6th circumnavigation of the globe in a small (24 foot) sailboat.

Well I am pleased to relay that he has successfully sailed from Durban, South Africa (having started off from New Zealand a year ago) to Saint Helena island in the mid-Atlantic; thence on to St. Lucia island in the Eastern Caribbean for a week's respite.

And around two weeks ago he set off again and has made port in Marathon, Florida.

The last leg of his journey included many days of happy sailing and the tough old buzzard posted this photo of himself enjoying one of those days.

(Apologies, Webb.  I lightened the picture somewhat to better show off your glowing grin!)

As I have said before you can read his own account of his adventures, misadventures and plans for the future here (Webb Chiles log).

As he takes a break from his journey all I can say, once again, is "Well done, sailor!"

Friday, May 19, 2017


Yeah, I know, you're all saying, "Where is he?  Where are our Friday Funnies?  I know he's old but do you suppose he died?"

So I answer, "I'm here.  They're here.  No, I haven't.  Yet."

Even the great ones start slowly some days.

As for those "old" comments, I can do those myself.

So let me just get some breakfast here.

All right, are you happy now?

Are you smilin'?

That's the right spirit.

Now just maintain that special elan (you can Google that) and have yourselves a splendiferous (or that) weekend.

Oh, and always remember to keep laughing!

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Uh-oh, he's been up to something again.)

Thursday, May 18, 2017


I have chosen today to give all of you (and us) a break from my stories of moving and show you a little of Arizona's beauty.

This is Watson Lake, which sits between Prescott and Prescott Valley.

It is actually a reservoir, as I'm sure the Arizona writer Katie Lee would call it.

That is how she twits the lovers of Lake Powell, near the border with Utah.

But reservoir or not it doesn't detract from the natural beauty of that blue, blue water on a sunny day.

Just a few feet away and looking a different direction one can understand why this area is called the Granite Dells.

The granite outcroppings are perfect for scaling either by amateurs or paramedics practicing their skills.

If you are of a certain age it is easy to remember the cowboy actor Tom Mix and his horse Tony galloping around this area.

Long, long ago.

It's a great place for boating or birding or a picnic or for hiking the four mile trail around the lake, though this old man has never tried the circumnavigation.

And the Peavine Trail even links all the way to Prescott Valley.

(Watch for rattlesnakes!)

Now, with apologies to Marlin Perkins, so ends this edition of Wild Kingdom.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017


We signed a lease for the "next" home today and learned to our great surprise that the rent is $50 less than we had previously thought!

😁   😁

Does that look like a couple of happy campers?

Every fifty bucks helps these days.

Moving day is set for June 1st but it looks like we'll gain access to the duplex a few days before that so we can begin taking small things over and storing them prior to moving day.

Tonight, acting on a suggestion from SWMBO that I had already been thinking about, I moved my printer from a stand on the left side of my desk over to the right side of my desk top. 

That frees up some more space and it's actually going to be handier than it has been.

(I am, after all, right-handed.)

((The teensy-tiny bit of dust on the top of the stand in the first picture is entirely of my doing, having absolutely nothing to do with SWMBO or her house-cleaning abilities.  Don't judge.))

I am getting more and more enthused about down-sizing.

As my friend Scott, aka "Low and Slow" from the Flight Plan blog, told me "It's a pleasant, stress-free way to live."

And when you're a couple in your late 70's/early 80's, it is definitely time to down-size.

And so . . . the beat goes on.

(Remember these two youngsters?)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


We finally got a walk-through of the home we'll be moving to at the end of this month.

It's a small duplex.

We'll be in the one on the left.

The two-car garage will be a godsend for storing boxes and furniture until we can decide what goes in and what does not.

As I said this is a smaller duplex than the one we lived in for a number of years up until 2013.

All along we've said we're downsizing and we will be forced to somewhat, though most of what we've become comfortable with will fit.

The present tenant showed us through the place yesterday.

He's nearly all moved out so Judy got a chance to take a good look and see where our "stuff" will go.

Tomorrow we sign a contract, presumably for a year's rent, and soon (we hope) we'll be able to begin moving some of our stuff over there.

In just over two weeks a moving crew will come and move us entirely over.

We feel somewhat relieved, somewhat anxious, but some of the pluses are a gas fireplace in the living room, ceiling fans in each of the rooms and a larger patio than we had anticipated.

As I said repeatedly to Judy last evening, "it will work out."

Friday, May 12, 2017


On this not-so-happy Friday there is a garage sale going on at the rear of my house, Judy and I are looking forward to a quiet but feastive (yes, I did spell that the way I meant to) evening to celebrate her birthday and people are asking "why aren't we rioting in the streets?"

In relation to what's been going on in Washington this week I can only thank a Roman dramatist named Plautus, who in the second century BC must have been looking far into the future.

He coined the term "tragicomedy".

Be that as it may, today is Friday and it is my job to try to lighten the mood so let me begin.

I hope you feel a tad better now and that you'll always remember to keep right on laughing.

It doesn't matter if people stare at you.

Now I hereby decree that you all get out there and have a wonderful weekend.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .