Monday, June 30, 2008

Visit from a Small Child

Been a nice extended weekend. My grandson came to visit and how he has grown. It wasn't all that long ago that we had seen him,but between then and now he shot up about three inches. I know because we marked the wall last time he came over and he has shot past that mark.

Ate at a Mexican restaurant, have to work on the salsa, but he does like the rice, beans and cheese. He is a good eater and mama feeds him good food. I wish I had the boy's energy, he goes full tilt right up until nap time and then it is back at as soon as he is up. It is fun watching him figure things out - a little scary as well, he is a quick study.

Well, have some ribs on the grill so I better go take a peek and make sure everything is going as planned...

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Mute Monday: Summer

"The Bees of Summer"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Monsoon Come

Been off the grid for a bit, just seems like it is one thing after another and before you know it the whole week has slipped by. The Monsoon season now officially starts on 15 June and we have had a tease, clouds poking up into our part of the desert. We did get some storm activity, but unfortunately it was a dry storm - all lightning and no rain. This resulted in the Ethan fire on the Gila Indian reservation, not far from where I live. Far enough that the fire is no threat, but close enough we can smell the smoke and saw ash falling. That, high winds, and flooding are the biggest threats from our monsoonal storms. When a high and a low are in just the right position they drag moisture up from Mexico and we get some pretty fierce storms popping up.

I included some pictures I took a couple days ago, the fire was pretty intense at the time and formed its own cloud from condensation, sometimes called a Pyrocumulus. It was hard to pick the regular clouds from the smoke, in fact.

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!!!

The "Smokey" Mountains


Moon Rise

Monday, June 23, 2008

Moment of Silence

Thanks for the laughs, George!!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

The US Isn't Sinking, but the Rats Are Lined Up on the Railing

I was watching a show last night talking about how America has changed, that perhaps the magic is gone and that is directly attributable to the lack of leadership this country has had for a long while. We haven't had an able leader since Roosevelt, and the country started its decline the farther we got away from the impact of WWII. We are no longer united, no longer have a viable government, and have lost all credibility with the rest of the world. We had our shot at being a superpower and have fumbled the ball. Things continue to worsen and I do not believe any of the current presidential candidates, indeed any of the current parties can save America. The majority has fallen under the power of the dollar, developed a “me first” anything for a buck attitude - pushing to get themselves, their special interest group, their race, their religion to the head of the line and get their fill from the trough. We've gone from a melting pot where folks pushed together for a common goal and the common good to a loose collection of people each pushing for their own supremacy. This may be the end of days for our country. The economy is shot, a large part of the food supply is underwater, and Bush and his cronies are doing their last world tour playing basketball with Eastern Europeans and trying to shore up Bush's failed Middle East policy.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Summer Again

Happy first day of summer. Summer isn't what it used to be, back when I was just a phosling - school would be out and I and my friends were all footloose and fancy free. Days were sent as cowboys or soldiers roaming the neighborhood and fighting off the other kids, or all getting together to go catch butterflies in the meadow across form our house. Tiger swallowtails, monarchs, cabbage moths, and many others filled the sky above that meadow. It is no longer there, fallen prey to another developer and home builder. The school took what was left and turned it into baseball diamonds. Kids don't have anywhere to chase butterflies anymore.

I can remember sitting in the limbs of a friend's apple tree he and I eating the green apples while we discussed how bored we were. Funny, looking back I wish I could feel bored in the summer again. I miss those innocent joyful times where the only responsibility was to be in before dark and the only challenge which game we were going to play or if it was our turn to be the Indians or the Cowboys. Seems as though we have come along way in stealing the childhood from our kids, forcing them to grow faster then ever.

Maybe I'll just go outside and sit under the lemon tree and reminisce today...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

4 the Birds

Roaring hot here today, the temps rose up to 112. Even most of the birds were grounded except for one vulture who was playing in the thermals generated by the heat.

Two Juncos Chillin' Out in the Shade

Turkey Vulture for Little Lamb

Saturday, June 14, 2008

MUTE MONDAY: Old Men and Happy Father's Day

Friday, June 13, 2008

New Olympic Sports

Same old stuff every Olympics, some questionably female steroid enhanced East German swimmer leaving a ring around the pool, Gunter grunting as he hefts 2000# over his incredibly small noggin, or some Kenyan running full bore around a track as if he is chasing a bowl of gruel. Boring!!!!!

To spice things up a bit and get people to actually watch the crap on TV, I recommend finding some new sports and making some old one more exciting.

The Marathon

Long and boring. To make it more challenging and shorten things up a bit the runners should have to all run behind 10 Beijing taxis inhaling the exhaust that comes from an untuned engine with none of that emissions crap on it.

The Turd Fling

My brother and I actually came up with this while cleaning up dog shit in the back yard. You need along handled shovel and from there it is like the shot put or hammer toss, only with dog turds in the scoop. Grab the shovel by the end of the handle, swing in it in circles and let the shit fly. You go for distance and accuracy. We could get it on a neighbor’s roof three doors down. There’s just something inspiring about a load of shit arcing gracefully thought the noon sky on its way to visit the neighbors…

Jart Joust

Jarts, for those of you too young to remember, are lawn darts. The real ones had metal points and would stick into the ground. The new liberally motivated ones have some crappy bean bag weight on the end so no one gets hurt. Where’s the fun in that I ask?? Once again my brother and I developed this game – we would stalk each other around the yard and when the right moment came toss a jart. I took one to the chest, and became the first and only casualty in the game. To be honest, the points were rather dull, so you had to really heave ‘em to do any damage. For the Olympics they’d have to be sharpened some. 10 points for a wound, 50 points for a kill, a total of 100 points for the gold.

Baby Seal Beating

Ok, this is somewhat controversial, but that is what the Olympics is all about. If the Greeks would have known about seals, they’d have included this in the first Olympics for sure. The seals are released and the athletes have to club and skin as many as possible in an hour time period. The one with the most pelts wins, though they can pick up points for style… The beauty part of this sport is they could make the Louisville Slugger the official bat of the Olympics – think of the advertising revenues!!

BB Gun Free Style

Yet another game invented by my brother and me. Each athlete gets a BB gun and a tube of BBs. Points are awarded for originality of target, accuracy, amount damage to public property, and distance. My brother would have got fifty points for popping a robin way on the other side of the neighbor’s yard. Dropped it like a bad habit with only a basic Daisy air rifle, most amazing shot I have ever seen. Our freestyle game was ended when mom caught me shooting starlings off the power lines behind the house and took the gun away. There are lots of other things we could do to make the Olympics more fun. Take the mats away from the whussy gymnasts and pole vaulters, putting sharks in the pool with the swimmers, stuff like that. I’ll bet you have some of your own ideas. Someone has to do something because watching the Olympics on TV is about as stimulating as watching bowling on TV. I have to gouge my own eyes out to make it stop.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Great Weekend

Got to visit the grandpuppy, always fun. She is such a good girl and really loves grandma. She gets really wound up when she spots Mrs. Phos.

Aside form puppy antics we got to see Li Li's market, no relation ot LeeLee as far as I know. It is a quasi-cultural market with foods from all over the world, mostly Asia, but there was a Mexican Aisle and a Dutch Aisle. Not quite sure how the Dutch got involved unless it was through their adventurism in SE Asia in the early days. The market featured tanks of live fish, tubs of live crabs and an amazing produce section (what the hell is that thing??). I walked in tot he store and was completely overawed - couldn't figure out where to turn first! We have a branch of that market near us so I am anxious to check that out. I don't want to drive to hell and gone across town to buy a couple of stalks of lemon grass. I did bring back some ginger - couldn't resist it was so fresh, a fire ring for my big wok, some Schezwan peppers, and some Dutch licorice.

In fact in answer to Indigos 6 random facts meme:

I have a passion for Dutch licorice, the Zacte Zote Drope (forgive the spelling). I'd worked with a Dutch Major and he got me hooked

I think the Queen of the Netherlands is hot , I have a picture of her hanging in the computer room

I believe our form of democracy is a failed experiment and needs to be reinvented

I think it is time for us to pull out of Europe, Asia (especially Korea), the middle East and elsewhere to concentrate our own problems and let the countries in those regions deal with their own. I do not believe in isolationism, just that countries need to be responsible for their own problems. We seem to be quicker to respond to Typhoons overseas than we do disasters in our own country.

I anger quickly

Nothing anyone hasn't heard before, I suppose but there you are.

Fish with Heads at Li Li's Market

The Grandpup Taking a Well Deserved Break

Monday, June 09, 2008

Fish Heads

Didn't have time to do Mute Monday justice as I don't like using other people's pictures as a rule. So my topic of the day is FISH HEADS.

Fish heads, fish heads
rolly polly fish heads
fish heads, fish heads
eat them up yum!!

From the song "Fish Heads" by Barnes and Barnes

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Visit With the Grandpup

Spending some quality time with the grandpup, so I am going to be out of pocket for a bit...

Friday, June 06, 2008

D-Day 6 JUN 1944

The beginning of the liberation of Europe...

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

So What Now?

I’ve done a double-nickel and now have to figure out what to do next. An awkward age at best, too young for the senior discount, to old to fool myself into believing I am middle age, unless I am destined to live to 110. I’m not sure I’d want to live that long to be honest, I am not sure why I am still hanging around in the first place. It is time to look back at things I’ve done and I have done a lot, not all pretty, set no records or scaled any mountains, but there is a lot of experience there. It amazes me sometimes to think of all the things I have seen, the events I have had a hand in, the places I have been, all the stuff I know now and all the stuff I am eager to find out about. I susp3ect that is what keeps me going; the curiosity about what comes next.

There is a chunk of metal and wires up on Mars at the present time digging holes in the Martian dirt as I write this. I remember the first leap into space and later the grainy black and white photos sent back of the moon’s surface. As a youngster I toured a computer – it took up an entire two story building and only did payroll and inventory, the same functions the calculator that fits in your shirt pocket can do today. If you were diagnosed with cancer during the time of my childhood, you might as well start digging the hole, now there is a better than average chance you can survive – there is an even better chance detecting the cancer in the first place before it gets so far along no one can help. We’ve all come so far in so many ways, yet have so far to go.

What would I like to do? Go back to school. There are so many interesting things, so much I want to know about I doubt my curiosity will ever be satisfied. I want to study the arts, science, writing, journalism, music, everything and anything I can lay my hands on. I want to be the old coot everyone sees while sitting in the corner of the student union drinking crappy cafeteria coffee, a tall stack of books lying on the table next to me.

But I suppose I will just keep on working to pay for the house, the car, all the practical things that come with trying to live life. Who knows, maybe I will hit the lottery and my next blog will come from that corner in the student union.

Sunday, June 01, 2008

Mute Monday: Beauty, in the eyes of the beheld...