Sunday, December 31, 2006

The Sun Shines upon Tiny House

Party Weekend.

Lots going on this weekend. We attended a birthday party this afternoon at the Rail Road park.  There was some rolling stock, a steam locomotive, and an enormous model train layout on display.  There was also a scaled down train that folks could ride in a circuit around the park.  You’d think I would include some pictures of the wonderful old rail cars and the engine, but that would be tough to do as I forgot my camera.  I hate when that happens.  

My daughter-in-law flew into town for her baby shower tomorrow. There’ll be no pictures of that either, not because of my forgetfulness this time, but rather I doubt the women will want me to hang about. Not sure what I will do during that time, but there is a Willams-Sonoma store not far away.  I can enjoy an unescorted trip to a cooking supply store – there is danger in the air, basically from Mrs. Phos choking the living shit out of me later for spending all the money I will undoubtedly spend.

Meanwhile we have custody of our daughter-in-law.  I made up some lumpia, braised a couple sirloins and we spent he evening catching up.  Huskies were happy to have her here as well, especially when she tossed them some of her jalapeño popcorn later in the evening. I wish there was time to have the whole family together, I love having Tiny House really come alive with the kids. Odd how I spent most of their teen years hoping the kids would finally leave the nest and now that they are gone I miss them so very much.  Must be another one of nature’s tricks on ol’ Phos, sort of like the hair/no hair thing.  

Hope your New Year is off to a good as start as mine.  All the talk of doom and gloom, each new year actually holds promise, much as the lottery ticket I bought – I might be a millionaire, at least until I check the ticket, so this year may hold hidden bounty and happiness. Fortunately we have more control over the upcoming year then we do over the lottery so it will be up to us as to how it goes. Meanwhile, I will just enjoy your company on the trip. Happy New Years all!

Friday, December 29, 2006

When you are tired some things seem more reasonable

I have mixed feelings concerning Saddam’s impending execution.  Part of me feels the best punishment would be to put him back in charge of Iraq at this point and then pull all our troops out. I do hope no one is out there hoping his execution will actually make a difference one way or the other. We always seem to hold on to the Risk Game fantasy that if you capture the leader or the capital (AKA the Flag) the war is over.  

Might get a police scanner so I can listen to the police hauling in the drunks tomorrow night. Despite TV ads and the police even letting everyone know check points will be out they still haul in thousands. One more reason Arizona is A number one stupid!!

Finally getting some rain, but it has to rain harder to wash the debris away so I don’t have to rake the gravel in front.  

I simply must get more sleep…

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Eating Your Way Through the Holidays

Holidays in the Southwest

Every region has its own traditions, whether it is over the river and through to woods to grandma’s house in the one horse open sleigh, or in our more temperate weather cocktails amongst the cactus.  I foreswore snow after leaving Germany, though was lured to New Mexico – the part of NM I was in, though considered part of the Southwest, has snow.  Anyway, now safe at lower altitudes on the verge of the great Sonoran desert snow is something mothers use to frighten their children into behaving, as in “When I was bad my mother would leave me out on the snow for the wolves.”

The lack of snow is great, but another SW tradition is even better – Tamales.  Many Southwestern families get together in the kitchen and make tamales as part of the holiday festivities. The Christmas tamales generally have a piece of black olive in them.  While a Yankee I craved cheeseburgers, which accounts for my lithe physique, but now that I have adopted the SW my tastes have changed and I have become a tamale addict.  Mrs. Phos shocked me to my very core the other day when she told me she didn’t like tamales.  That may well be a big a sin as adding beans to chili in Texas. I still shudder at the words.  Pork, chicken or beef with green peppers wrapped in a masa cocoon and steamed in a corn husk – what’s not to like about that?  Hell they don’t even need sauce, though I wouldn’t refuse a tamale with a nice red chili sauce over the top.

You can have too many tamales, but they freeze well so no worries. I was really fortunate in that some friends  of my wife and I observe the tradition and also know that I never met a tamale I didn’t like. So I have had plenty of tamales to help me through the holidays. I would trade tamales for snow any day!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Resolutions Schmesolutions...

Yep, that time of the year again, the time to make a bunch of vows that’ll you’ll have broken before the clock strikes 12:10 New Years night.  I have decided to forego making any resolutions this year, mostly because according to the Discovery Channel we are all toast anyway.  Whether it be a rogue asteroid, Super Volcano (my favorite), some plague or Jesus has just had enough and decides to pull the plug on the human experiment, we are at the end of days.  The Discovery Channel isn’t very forthcoming on when the end will come, though it will probably be the minute I get in the bathroom – that is when the phone always rings, anyway. In a way I guess it is best we don’t see it coming. One pastor being interviewed said man would come together in love and forgiveness and help each other to survive. Yeah, that could happen – better check that powerball ticket while your at it, we can’t even get along when it is sunny out.

So forget the gym membership that’ll last until the next morning when muscles you didn’t even know you have seized up in a flash of blinding pain, or the promise to diet lasting until you discover that lost quart of Chunky Monkey ice-cream in the back of the freezer (wouldn’t want it to go to waste, there are people starving in [insert name of country your mother always used when you were a kid here]).

Have a great New Year, and don’t sweat the asteroid – you never hear the one that gets you!!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Wild Life of Tiny House or Dingoes on the Loose

Christmas can be a tough time at best, relatives coming, getting the roast on in time, wondering how many Santa Ties one will receive this year – but it is even tougher when spent amongst  a pack of Dingoes.  We have three in Tiny House for the holidays so I decided to observe them in the wild doing… well, whatever it is Dingoes do.  No babies were eaten in production of this documentary …yet.

The Pack - you have to be quick with the camera or you get partial Dingoes

The Elusive Alpha Dingo

Cunning Dingo eyes

In Search of Food

Entire Pack on Alert After Detecting Noise in Kitchen...

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas from the Tiny House

A Tiny Tree for a tiny house...

Here's wishing you all a Happy Christmas. Posting may be a bit spotty through the holiday...

Santa Phos

Friday, December 22, 2006

More Ruminations from the Tiny House

Wx Report

More clouds today but no rain yet. I was hoping to get a little help from Mother Nature and not have to run the sprinkler, but the oleanders ain’t lookin’ so hot. I never thought I would be in a place where you had to worry about plants in the winter, much less see any. If you travel to Eternally Curious’s page you will see pictures of the evil white stuff. We do get snow in Arizona, but it is up in the mountains where I don’t have to bother with it and if I get the insane notion to see snow I can look to the North and say, “Yep, that’s snow all right”. There are folks that view snow as some sort of playground and they are welcome to my share, though I am not sure I appreciate people skiing on something I will be drinking next summer.

The Environment

Arizona has come up with a solution for the pollution. You hope that the wind picks up and blows it out of the valley. That is their only fix for the problem. It is funny how people here complain about the “brown cloud” in one breath and then whine for more freeways in the next – even our governor, a democrat, has taken the same stand. I probably harp on AZ being the stupidest state too much, but I think the fact that even the governor doesn’t see the connection between the freeways and the brown cloud makes a case for the organization that gave us the gold for stupid. It is all about the money, unfortunately, so the government is going to give lip service to the problem and the builders and developers are going to continue their rape, pillage, and plunder.


We just finished with the congressional/senate crap and now we are starting on the Presidential race. It is no wonder few vote – people just get tired of the continuous campaign noise. I have a fix.

- Every politician gets a two year term – no more, no less, from President to the dude that makes the coffee for senate hearings.

- No friends, relatives, or supporters may be appointed to any position in the government. All must take an exam and provide a resume showing their qualifications for the position they are applying for. This way you don’t wind up with horse racing touts as FEMA directors and ambassadors that can’t speak the language of the country to which they are posted.

- They have to have served the country in some other capacity, given something of themselves for their country to demonstrate they have a stake in the country beyond filling their (or their cronies) pockets.

- Each candidate will be given two hours of TV time to explain his or her position. That is it for campaigning. The continuous shoveling of shit will no longer be allowed. Along with this if they are caught lying about their qualifications or make any promises that aren’t kept they automatically recieve 10 years hard time in the Federal pen (the pound 'em in ass kind, not "Camp Cupcake").

- No candidate may spend more the $500 on campaigning. I had heard that the money put into campaigning for this next presidential race will top the 1 billion dollar mark for the first time. I think that money could be spent more wisely. Also it will give the little guy who hasn’t sold his soul to some corporation or foreign government an honest shot at the job.

- If they fail to represent their constituents, they may be fired by the citizens and deported.

- No more lobbying, period dot. Anyone caught attempting to influence any politician along with any office holder accepting gratuities will dropped from the top of the Washington Monument.

Crap, the post is way too long and no one will read it…

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Only a Little Paranoid

There is a conspiracy.  They watch me at the grocery store and take note of the products I like – then they quit stocking them.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

So Who Can Sleep at a Time Like This?

Blogging has come a long way from Skyler the teenage love-puppy looking for love in all the wrong places.  It has become a community of ideas where one can express their feelings, advance their culture, show compassion, or showcase their art.

Speaking of art, I have always been intrigued with printmaking, to the point of taking courses in mono-print and intaglio.  There is just something about the smell of the ink and the feelings of awe and reverence when in the presence of nearly a ton of steel that is the press. There’s the thrill of rolling the paper through and throwing the blanket back to see what you have created, though it is not always a pleasant surprise and there is no going back in some cases. I believe /t. has captured the essence of printmaking in a digital medium.  He has some exceptional examples on his site codepo().  If you get a chance head on over and let your eyes have a treat.  

There are some Blogs, such as Blogs get Slaughtered where one can let their hair down a bit (if, unlike me you have hair) and not worry about someone playing the yellow card/red card soccer penalty crap. Some one panned Timmy’s site recently and I fail to see the purpose behind being so malicious (part of that is probably because it is 3 in the morning and I can’t see much of anything). I come across sites I don’t like from time to time, but with a click of the mouse I move and don’t feel the need to publish some judgmental crap on their short comings.  If someone takes it upon him or herself to critique Blogs they need to enroll in a two step program: Step one, move out of mom’s house; Step 2 find something more constructive to do with your time.  

The bottom line is hit the links and enjoy the ride…  

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Drive of the Living Dead

The expiration date on an Arizona Drivers license is so far in the future you could potentially drive your own corpse to the graveyard.  People that can barely stand can still drive the streets of our not so fair city - there is just something unnerving about seeing a man climb out of the driver’s seat and reach back in for his walker.  It may well be time to re-examine “The State of Stupidity’s” License restrictions.

While driving here, one invariably gets sandwiched between Mr. 2fast and furious and a dude who is most likely dead and just forgot to drop over.  2Fast and furious feels the need to climb in your backseat as you are trying to give grandpa weaver plenty of room, not an easy task at 25MPH.  It doesn’t help that I travel the main route between town and Sun City (AKA “God’s waiting room”) so there is a high probability of grampage and since it is a main road, Mr. Tokyo Drift in his piece of shit 77 Acura with the straight pipe finds it a convenient drag strip.  The police won’t generally make an appearance until it is time to pick up the pieces after the grampy/Race car pile up.  I am not criticizing the police, they are just spread too thin to slow the assholes down, or take the keys away as the case may be.

There will come a time in the not too distant future where I will (gladly) hang up the keys.  Everything I need is nearby or I can buy it over Internet. There is really no where I care to go. I understand the drive to maintain independence, no pun intended, but I think one has to face facts at some point, preferably before becoming a hood ornament on one of the many speeding gravel trucks.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

One if by Land, Two if by Sea

I had promised FairScape I would light a candle for her.  I believe she can get better and I light these with the bright hope she will recover and spend many years blogging her poetry.  

Sometimes it is all fun and games

LP11 may have a point, perhaps I need to post some fun things as it is Christmas and all. First, my wife has become a biscotti junkie. This makes it easy to figure out what to give her for birthdays and holidays. My son-in-law is an incredible baker (not as good as you Jin, of course) and these are the biscotti he made up for his dear ol’ mom:

Now for a contest. Everyone loves contests!! There’s no prize, other than the satisfaction of outwitting 85 pounds of black and white fur. See if you can find the husky in the laundry. It is a little known fact huskies are the chameleons of the dog world, masters of camouflage, so don’t be upset if you can’t spot him. I call this game “Hidden Husky Leaping Laundry”. It’s like those crappy word searches only with dogs.

No? Maybe a little closer...

All right, you aren't treally trying, are you? One more try:

Our little girl was a pouting because she didn’t get her picture taken so I figured I better keep her happy:

Saturday, December 16, 2006

What did you Expect

Went out to day to pick up a few things – that was a mistake.  I keep hearing the economy has slowed, well you wouldn’t know it by the looks of the stores today.  Even the bookstore was mobbed and that’s saying something in a state voted stupidest in the union.  

I think I set a record – I only came out of the bookstore with one book in my hands.  I think the crowds threw me off my game.

I have read quite a few books recently but have yet to offer up a review. I have read several books on World War II and so far they have been worth the effort. One of them, “The Rising Tide” was by Jeff Shaara and it was a big disappointment.  I think he tried to cover too much ground in one book – the North Africa campaign and the drive into Italy is too big in scope to be manageable.  

One other covers the Battle of the Bulge and so far it is the worst account I have ever read. The Author apparently decided to buck the trend and not talk with any of the surviving participants. Sometimes I get the feeling authors are just trying to cash in on a trend.  The Bulge is actually a Christmas story in that the conflict ran through the holiday. We are coming up on the 62nd anniversary of the battle, though after trying to make it through the checkout at Target I think it may still going on...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Pining for the fjords

Sometimes in life we have an experience that shapes us, becomes an indelible part of who we are. Though we go on to other things, deep inside we are still part of some greater thing wrought by that past experience. At times it saddens me that things change and I can’t help reflect on how much miss it all.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

More Notes from the Tiny House

So Long Pete it's Been Good to Know You

If you're blue and you don't know
where to go to why don't you go
where fashion sits
Puttin' on the Ritz
Different types who wear a day
coat pants with stripes and cutaway
coat perfect fits
Puttin' on the Ritz
Dressed up like a million-dollar trooper
Tryin' hard to look like Gary Cooper (super duper)
Come let's mix where Rockefellers
walk with sticks or um-ber-ellas
in their mitts
Puttin' on the Ritz

1 For The Grazers:

I vandalized a Popeye 50th Anniversary poster I stole from a website to make a label for a can of spinach...

List of things that can give you the shits:

Long sea voyage
Scallions (maybe)
Any restaurant with the word "Taco" in the name.

Get a Head Start on that Holiday Depression

Trying to work up some enthusiasm for Christmas - no luck so far. I have to look back and try to figure out when holidays all turned to shit for me. They haven't been any fun in a long time. Even the coming of Santa Christ doesn't thrill me anymore. As I said last year when Christ comes he brings an asswhipping (AKA the end of the world) with him, when Santa comes he brings toys. Pretty easy choice.

Everyone get in on the act

There was a news article about a Rabbi that wanted an airport to put up a Menorah display to go with their Christmas tree. The airport responded by taking the trees down (they have been since put back up – this must really make the poor working stiffs that have to schlep the tree happy). I don’t view the tree as a particularly Christian symbol. If it had been a nativity scene I could see the Rabbi’s point. Sometimes we can’t have everything we want so maybe its best to at least let some folks have a little enjoyment without having to make some sort of statement. Some individuals make it their sworn duty to suck every drop of fun out of the world.

One Final Note:

I am for some unknown reason unable to post on all sites - Hammer is one. I will keep trying - if you haven't heard from me in a while I just can't post to your site.



Friday, December 08, 2006

The Minute You Turn Your Back

I don’t know where Nanuk has gotten to, but I think this guy had a hand in his disappearance. BTW, Happy Pearl Harbor Day.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Land of the Lost

I confess that I am still reeling from Arizona winning top honors in the Stupidest State competition. I would have thought there were several more likely candidates in the lower 48, but apparently I was wrong. Unfortunately, taking a good hard look around understand why Arizona took the gold in the Stupid Olympics.

Some of the warning signs of advanced stupidity in AZ are a big following for NASCAR, large attendance at the “Country Thunder” music festival, and the demand for more freeways while complaining about the huge and apparently (to most residents) mysterious brown cloud hanging over the valley. The just don’t get the connection. Other signs include voting a smoking ban in to law that was backed by a cigarette company and tearing up the delicate desert with quad-runners in the name of recreation.

Yes it appears Arizona and evolution has given rise to a new subspecies of Neandrafuque, Homo dumbassis commonly known as “Phoenix Man”. Forget the fence along the Mexican border. Fence in AZ before Phoenix Man migrates into neighboring states looking for cheap cigarettes and tattoo parlors that feature tats of the Zig-Zag man thereby causing the average IQ of their state to plummet. New Mexico is already walking a thin line.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

December Again

Checking the Camp Northstar Weather Dial, I noticed it was that time of year again. Yep, time to throw sheets over the citrus to keep the frost off and write that letter to Santa. I was lucky enough to snap this shot of him as he left the squadron kid’s party Saturday.

Thought I would fess up a couple shots of color from the back forty (forty inches, that is) at the Tiny House.