Thursday, June 22, 2017


My blog posts have become a bit mundane lately as I run the house while Judy is in the Rehab hospital.

But you know what tomorrow is!!!

Get your smiles engaged.

I just talked to the girl and she made more progress today.

She said she stood up several times between the parallel bars in the PT room this morning and was able to put a slight bit of weight on her leg.

And she had a shower and got her hair washed last night so she's feeling better.

After all these years she said vanity has flown out the window.

(But still no pictures.)

I've been arranging to give away several items of furniture that just won't fit into our new home and are too tattered or worn to be offered for sale.

Although I'm reminded of a story someone told me about putting an item out on the curb with a "Free" sign on it and it just sat there for a couple of days.

Then he put a sign on it with a price and that night somebody stole it.

One of the good things about the past three weeks is that I've lost about 11 pounds since the whole odyssey began.

But I don't recommend moving and then a wife with a broken leg for weight loss.

By the way, Gentle Readers, thank you all so much for your thoughtful comments and good wishes directed toward Judy and myself.

It means a lot.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


When I went to the rehab hospital today to visit Judy I found her, for the first time, sitting in a wheel chair with a smile on her face.

What a difference from yesterday.

She said she had been having Occupational Therapy today, which is designed to show you how to get around once you're home again.

Things like moving from the bed to the walker to the wheelchair and back.

She said she had much less pain during these exercises though she needed lots of help and can't put hardly any weight on her injured leg.

But she said she felt 75 percent better than yesterday.

What a relief.

So here's the first photo of the Lady.

Yeah, I know, it's not much.

But about her appearance, she's very modest.

This is the area of her forehead which hit the patio deck when she fell.

Friday night she had a huge goose-egg which has receded but the discoloration has spread out from the point of impact.

When she told the OT workers how much better she felt today they told her there would be some days where she would feel like she had backslid, to watch out for them and not to get discouraged.

The BRD returns from her vacation trip to New Orleans tomorrow.

Judy's fall occurred the day the BRD left and I had to answer her triumphant email of "We've Arrived" with the news of her mother's accident.

She wanted to immediately return to help in her mother's care but we both discouraged her from that, telling her there was nothing she could do at that point.

The women in my life are pretty remarkable.

Tuesday, June 20, 2017


Some of you Gentle Readers who I haven't informed may have been wondering about the absence of Oddball Observations and it's editor Catalyst since last week's Friday Funnies.

So let me tell you what's been going on.

Early Friday afternoon a man came and picked up all the empty boxes and foam and bubble wrap from our move and took it away.

We were elated to get even that much more space in our garage.

About an hour later, Judy took a step out onto our back patio where I was pulling up a sun shade, fell and broke her femur (thighbone).

I called 911 and got paramedics here, who took over, shot her full of some good drugs, loaded her onto a gurney, into an ambulance and took her to our local hospital.

Saturday morning she had surgery which resulted in what she calls a piece of rebar placed into her body.

After 3 nights in the hospital she was transferred yesterday to a rehabilitation hospital where she will reside for a week or two or three.

She is in intense pain whenever she tries to move her right side or put weight on that leg but that does not stop the medicos from putting her through PT (Physical Therapy).

I read on line today that a femur break can take 4 to 6 months or more to heal.

I am trying my best to do what I can, keeping the house running, the cats fed and watered, their litter pans emptied as well as (not a serious problem) feeding myself.

Frankly, Gentle Readers, it is all a pain in the ass.

But not as much pain as my beloved Judy is going through.

So, my friends, that's what has been going on.

Whatever you do as you age, don't fall, don't break any bones, and don't think that you may not do any of that.

I'll be here occasionally, as events allow me.

Friday, June 16, 2017


The heat is on, Gentle Readers.

The Weather Gods tell us it will be 95 today with the mercury steadily climbing day by day until topping out at 105 next Tuesday and Wednesday.

Now I know this is Arizona and we all here say "but it's a dry heat" but for my area, which is at around a 5,000 foot elevation, that is hot.

I'm just glad I moved back from Phoenix, where it is forecast to reach 121 by Tuesday.

And this is only June!

So with all that in mind let us start this week's edition of the Friday Funnies with this public service announcement from a cooler time.

So, with detente in the picture, we bid adieu to you.

Have an excruciatingly fine and cool weekend and always remember to keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Oh, come on, willya . . .)

Thursday, June 15, 2017


Earlier this week the prime time Tony Awards show was held and a long-time-ago acquaintance was an honoree and winner.

Television, stage and movie actor Cynthia Nixon won the Tony for Best Featured Actress in a play for her work in Lillian Hellman's The Little Foxes.

Frankly until the category came up I didn't even know she'd been nominated.

She's a much-honored performer.

This was her second Tony Award to go along with a couple of Emmy's and a Grammy.

She only has the Oscar yet remaining to give her the coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony).

Judy and I are always happy when we read something about Cynthia because we knew her many years ago.

It was during our 4-year sojourn in Mexico when I had met a man who became my best friend down there, the late Walter Nixon.

Walter was Cynthia's father and she used to come to visit him every year or so.

Here's Walter, Judy, Cynthia and I (behind the camera) having lunch one day on one of her visits.

She must have been in her early 20's in those days.

While she had been acting in New York City since she was 12 years old, Sex and the City was far in the future.

She was a quiet girl in those days and very kind to allow a photo with this presumptious friend of her father's.

Walter was very proud of her and so are we.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


"An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us."
--U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan

In the confusion of our move our flag has gone missing, packed away in one box or another.

If you can find yours, fly it proudly today and forget about political animosity.

At least for one day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017


Yes, once again the ol' Rock Springs Cafe has beckoned to some long-time-ago Channel 12-ers for a reunion lunch.

Seems like each time a get-together is held the crowd varies by one or another of the faces.

Today's gathering included two photographers and two producers.

The organizer of today's fĂȘte was the youngest and most recently retired of the group, Steve Torbeck, known to the Gentle Readers of this blog as Baseball Steve; known to others as a hard-working videographer.

On the other end of the age spectrum was a cowboy, rodeo performer, actor, golfer and television producer, the illustrious Karl Kindberg.

A newcomer to this group was another hard-working videographer (I know, we used to call them photographers), as well as holder of a number of other television jobs, Wally Athey.

And then, with apologies for the work behind the camera today, a producer who certainly will not be known as a photographer, your very own Catalyst.

(So enthralled with his companions that he forgot to take his own picture and thus had to snap one once he got home.)

All of us worked at KPNX in Phoenix, at times all at the same time.

All retired now.

All older, grayer, heavier, more wrinkled.

There were many stories of many others we worked with and a number of whom are no longer with us.

Good times.

Good guys.

Good lunch.

Let's do her again.

Monday, June 12, 2017


We had a plumber here yesterday to fix the last of a handful of problems (that should have been taken care of before we moved in) and Judy finally got the dining table cleared off.

I got my bedroom/den a little more organized.

We have started an area in the garage to place items that will eventually be sold.

Judy has re-arranged the bookcases in the living room, repaired a broken hand that one of our Aztec gods suffered in the move and emptied yet another big box.

The pile of empty boxes and bags of bubble wrap and piles of foam padding is mounting in the garage.

Someone will reap one of these days.

Finally, last night as the Tony broadcast was on the t.v. we enjoyed our first real made-from-scratch meal in our new home.

Tangerine-topped pork chops.

French-cut green beans.

Sauteed apple slices.

All of that and some mashed potatoes and gravy made a meal to bring a smile to the face of a German.

I couldn't eat it all . . . for the first time in memory!

Sunday, June 11, 2017


I was watching an interview with Bette Midler yesterday and she said she never, never, never looks back because it prevents her from looking to the future.

I agree with that philosophy though I cannot stop myself from looking back to happier times in the past and wondering what gloom my future will hold.

Bad Catalyst!

So if we can ever get our boxes unpacked or sorted out and the excess sold or donated or junked, maybe I can get on to the present and then the future.

In the meantime, we were sitting out on our patio last night, enjoying a cocktail, when we noticed this sky overhead.

As Judy and I and Hoagy Carmichael have always called it . . .

Friday, June 9, 2017


Golly-gee, Red Ryder, these weeks roll around so fast.

Here it is Friday again and my obligation as FunMaster has once again risen to the top of the Jobs List.

To add to my problems, last night I had an overnight test at a Sleep Lab.

And I couldn't sleep!

Who can't sleep at a Sleep Lab?


Came home at 5:30, climbed into my own bed and slept for 3 hours!

Old age and old habits, I guess.

Speaking of old age . . .

And we're off and runnin'!

I used to think the "Whale of a Sale" yard sale signs of our friend Lori (formerly) Down the Street were the best ever.

But this week she's got some competition.

All right, I'd better quit before I get into (any more) trouble.

Have a pleasantly quixotic weekend, Gentle Readers, eat well, sleep well and always keep laughing.

Here, kitty-kitty . . .

(Darn, he was just around here somewhere . . . . .)

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!)