Monday, December 31, 2012


Looking out to sea from 2nd floor

It started raining at about 3:30 this afternoon, very lightly at first but now it's a nice, steady downfall. Not too heavy, but enough to probably wash out the evening's entertainment down on the malecon. This is surely a disappointment to the puesto owners who were relying on thirsty revelers. But for us old stay-at-homers who want a good night's sleep, we can do without the disco and the disk jockey who loves to hear himself sing!

Looking to the front door

Front garden
We managed to get in a quick trip to the morning market before things began to get cloudy and cold. Came away with two big shopping bags filled with these beautiful veggies and some lovely sweet strawberries.

green beans, red potatoes, tomatillos, mushrooms, limes, 1/2 head cauliflower, tomatoes, oranges

sweet and jucy!

I'm reading, for the second time, "Midnight's Children" by Salman Rushdie.  A perfect read to curl up with on a cool, rainy day.  Right now I have to go put on a long sleeved shirt!

Prospero Año to all.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

welcome to the first world

We went in to Manzanillo today, first to the airport to drop off Marie's daughter and son-in-law who had been here for a week emptying out her house and taking care of "post-Marie" business.  Then we went to the big shopping center to do some marketing and to drop in to Telcel to see if we could get a USB modem stick for our internet use.  The young woman behind the counter was utterly stumped by the appearance of a Mac, but we brought the stick home, put it into the machine and, PRESTO!  We've got internet.  After being at the mercy of TelMex for almost a month with no results, this little magic wand works just fine.  Of course it only lasts for a month (30 days) and then it has to be recharged, but it costs just about as much as the TelMex service does and, best of all, it actually works.

So there will be some photos put up and more posts in the days to come.  Right now I have so many emails to read, past blog posts to catch up on, to say nothing of "news" to read.  ¡Hasta mañana y con mucho feliz!  Estoy muy contento.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

feliz navidad

I send you greetings from the balmy, breezy south.  The sea is sparkling out there in front of me, the palms are gently swaying (while the coconuts drop all over the place), and some beautiful Christmas carols are on the Bose.  Of course, I'm not at home but if I were, that's what I'd see and hear.  I'm again over at Jack's and the best I can do from my vantage point is the sea and the palms.

G'daughter Emily is visiting her mother up in Walla Walla.  Alex sent this wonderful picture; the best Christmas treat I could ask for.

Unless, of course, it would be this.

This is turning our to be a very tough Christmas for me, the saddest I've spent since my father died in 1979.  With my sandbox pal and fellow traveler gone it's just not much fun. Her daughter is here and we have been having a fine time exchanging stories, good memories, and laughs.  But it just ain't the same.

To one and all, I hope this day finds you in fine fettle, ready to celebrate the beauties of the season with family and friends.  May the New Year bring you peace.  May it bring us all Peace.

Friday, December 21, 2012

friday update

Here are just a few little tidbits to fill you in.

1.  No internet
There is still no internet in our house and, if the chefe at Telmex is to be believed, there will not be any.  The server for our little town is full up; no open slots.  And there are no plans for an additional server.  So anuyone coming here expecting to have access is going to be out of luck.  I wish the gent who waited on me two weeks ago had told me this in the first place.  Now I have to go back and have them disconnect everything and refund our money.  I am, as you can imagine, not happy about this.  We may be able to rig us something with Neighbor Nelson when he arrives in January.  Until then, it's Jack's porch once or twice a week.

2.  Mother of all colds
I've been sick for four days with probably the worst cold I can remember.  So I will miss Dago's tonight, alas, but Mr. C said he would go down and order some shrimp and bring them home.  Of course I haven't eaten anything either, and don't really want to, but that might be a treat.

Other than those two events, nothing much to report.  Long, warm, laxyt days, cool nights.  Starting to cough; gotta go home.

Friday, December 14, 2012

still no internet

We are still waiting for our internet connection ~ it's now been over a week and I can't imagine what the hold-up is.  I'll call again this afternoon although what work gets done on a Friday afternoon here, two weeks before Christmas?  Not much.  The local library will close today and not open again until after January 3rd.  Gloria, the "librarian" who sits at her desk and does crafts which she then uses to decorate the lobby, works from 1 PM-6 PM (maybe) and clearly needs 3 weeks to recover from her daily grind.

We've almost got everything unpacked and put away.  Mr. C finally opened his suitcase and emptied the contents on the bed so he could sort and refold all his various T-shirts and shorts.  Both of us have decided we're leaving almost all our clothes here since we'll be flying down next year and want to travel light.  Or at least that's the current plan.  But the trip down was so easy that maybe . . . we'll see.

Lovely dinner party last night.  Met some new residents.  Saw old friends.  The season  is beginning on a happy note.  Dago's tonight.  If i don't have internet there will be no opera tomorrow and it's Aida which I don't want to miss.  Listen to it for me, OK?

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

more flea, less market

Monday's tianguis revealed that there is more call for used stuff ~ clothing, tools, furnishings ~ than there is for food. There are about 100 stalls in the 6-block stretch of the market. There are about 10 food stalls; the rest are given over to a huge variety of other goods.  Mr. C did manage to find himself a new pair of shorts for 50 pesos, about $4.

 My favorite market stall is still there, offering up great vegetables at ridiculous prices.

We bought beautiful green beans, a cauliflower head, lettuce, peppers, carrots, onions, cucumbers, strawberries and, of course, some of these beauties for our Sundlay morning treat.

Yesterday we sent in to Tecoman to pay our annual bank trust. This little chore can take anywhere from 3 days (last year) to l0 minutes (this year) depending on the teller you get. This year we got the same woman who finally solved her co-workers' befuddlement last year so it was just a breeze. We're now all paid up for another year. Still no internet at home. Maybe today. I have photos waiting to be posted but this connection at Jack's is not very reliable so I figure I've tested it's strength enough.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

quick update

Just a quick update.  I'm sitting on Jack's terazzo so I can get his signal.  We should be up and running tomorrow.  It's hot and humid but still wonderful to be here.  We have finished comida at Fernando's puesto ~ excellent fish as usual.  Before we went down we managed to get all our Christmas lights up, the creche set up, more tables and chairs arranged.  The garden looks pretty good but needs work, mainly because the iguanas are eating everything that's in bloom.   Tomorrow is the first tianguis  of the season.  I had my first glass of fresh orange juice of the season, too.

After I get internet in my own house I'll put up some photos of various things.  Meanwhile, I feel a siesta coming on . . .

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

six down ~ we're here

No internet yesterday in Tepic so I couldn't update my faithful readers.  But I am now sitting in Jack's living room using his connection since ours will not be up and running for several days.  We have to go into Tecoman tomorrow to visit Telmex and put in our order.

Anyway, back to our trip here.  We left Tepic at 6:30, had a speedy, smooth trip to Guadalajara, stopped briefly at CostCo, and made it to our front door at 2 PM, with a 1 hour time change, so it was actually 1 PM.  A big part of the 2-lane portion of the freeway is now 4-lane, which speeds things up appreciably.

The beer is cold, the fruit is ripe, and chiles picadillo are hot and just waiting for our dinner.  Welcome to the tropics!

Monday, December 3, 2012

four down, two to go

In case you're interested, something has happened to the communication ability between my camera and this LapMac.  I will have to wait until I get to a place where I can spend some "quality time" figuring it out before I put up any pix I've taken so far.

Easy drive from San Carlos to Topolobampo today.  We decided to bag Los Mochis and come right here to this old, somewhat seedy hotel that we like so much.  We couldn't get our usual room so had to settle for one without double exposure but with very clean floors, more comfortable beds, an almost silent air conditioner.  It's hot ~ mid-80's ~ so the air is a real treat.

No action on the road except for three or four army/federal police checkpoints that we were waved through.  Hardly any traffic on the toll route, Mex 15.  It's like driving on I-8 from San Diego to Casa Grande; fast, smooth, deserted.

Tomorrow it's on to Tepic, a good 8-hour drive but still on the toll roads.  We'll leave early, get there around 3 PM.  More from there.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

three down, three to go

Here we are in San Carlos after another easy drive, this one from Tucson.  We got through the border details faster than ever; about ten minutes to park the car, get the passports stamped, visit the loo, get in the car and go.  No questions, no paperwork, nobody interested in looking in the car.  The only slow down the whole time was due to extensive road work just south of Nogales.  We got to the hotel ~ the same one we've stayed in for the past 11 years ~ about 12:30.  Took our usual room, the one with the biggest 'fridge, and then took a good look around.  Boy, this place has sure fallen on hard times.  The kitchenette has no dishes, pots, pans.  The towels are almost transparent.  There are no blankets on the beds, no patio furniture out on the balcony, and the function of the toilet is iffy at best.  We have surmised that the owners/management have decided to let the place fall down and then sell the property to a developer for high rise condos.  That's what's going up all along this beautiful stretch of beach.  There is a gigantic condo building just to the west of the hotel, built about 5 years ago.  We are the ONLY guests as of now, although more may come later.  We also went into town for gas and the whole place looks down at heel.  This is primarily a hang out for gringos so the downturn is a bit strange.  I don't think it's the time of year; this is when the Mexican beach season is in full swing.  Right now it's warm, sunny, very light breeze; just perfect.  Who knows if this place will be here when we return in May.

Tomorrow we'll head south of Los Mochis or Topolobambo.  It's another short-ish day, probably about five hours of driving.  So far, so good.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

two down and four to go

We made it to Tucson in good time; not much traffic on a Saturday morning.  Left La Jolla at 6 am, arrived here 2  pm.  Settled in our usual hotel that has a BIG refrigerator so we can re-chill all our ice chest contents.  We had a lovely stay in that little jewel of a town where I spent five of my "formative" years.  Breakfast with friends at that fine old dowager hotel, the La Valencia.   A walk with P's beautiful goldens, a nice stroll down Girard Street, and an early dinner at Manhattan, a quiet and cozy restaurant.  Then home, early to bed, and up at 4:30 am to start the day.

Later this afternoon we're going to visit two another Bishop's classmates for what I know from experience will be a talk-filled dinner.  Back here, early to bed, and tomorrow to Nogales and the Mexican border.  Next post from San Carlos.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

one down, five to go

Greetings from La Jolla, from the desk of our hostess.  We left home at 6 am this morning and raced down the length of our great state.  Got here at 2:30, tired and stiff.  I have a couple of photos to post but have to wait until I can use my own machine.  Plans for our brief visit include breakfast with friends tomorrow morning, probably some window shopping in the afternoon, depending on the weather, someplace tasty for dinner tomorrow evening, and then we're off to Tucson on Saturday morning.

We had good weather most of the way, with some fog and heavy mist at the highest elevation over the Grapevine and again in the LA basin.  The great thing about this drive is that from the I-5-405 junction to Oceanside, there's a car pool lane and if you don't drive 75 MPH you'll cause a pile up.  We were through LA before we knew it!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

here and not here

It's less than 24 hours before we start off on our annual Great Mexican Adventure.  The house has been cleaned, everything washable is now clean, the electric blanket is on the bed, the 'fridge cleared out of mystery contents.  Car is stuffed ~ I thought this would be a light year ~ and gassed and ready to make the long, six-day trip.  And this is the absolute last year we're going to drive down.  Next year Alaska Airlines will have the honor of transporting us.

My desktop computer is littered with photos of our splendid Thanksgiving in Bozeman so here they are.

Thanksgiving Eve snowstorm

Front deck resort on Thanksgiving afternoon.  Better than Aspen!

The table

The bird
The carrots
The dressing (with chorizo and fennel and mighty good, too!)
The pies
The next generation
We also had brussels sprouts, mashed potatoes and green beans but somehow those pictures got lost.  But enough is enough.

This is a particularly pretty time of year here in the northern valley.  This is our beautiful Chinese Pistache tree in all of its autumnal glory.  These trees are all over town and along the highways.  They make for a stunning sight.

After today's heavy rains and wind, it is almost bare.

So that's about it for past history and current events.  We're off at 6 am tomorrow, destination La Jolla.  Two days there, then to Tucson for a night which will include dinner with friends.  We'll cross the border at Nogales on Sunday morning.  Three and a half days of driving and we'll get home on Wednesday.  Chuy is already planning the chiles picadillo for our dinner.  I'll do my best to post along the way.  I am planning that it will be completely uneventful.

¡Hasta luego!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Hadjabi, party of 5

Who, you may well ask, are the Hadjabis?  I really have no idea except that they had reservations on this morning's flight from BZN to SLC and didn't make it.  Why is this important to me?  Because we got two of their five seats!  There were five non-revs waiting to board the 6:25 am flight to Salt Lake.  The gate official called twice for the Hadjabis to get a move on and get to the gate because the door was going to close in 10 minutes.  We all looked at our watches and waited.  At five more minutes the gate official announced it again and urged the H's to step on it if they wanted to make the flight.  Three minutes, two minutes, one minute and still no H's.  We got the nod and all rushed to get seated and off we went.  Thank you Hadjabis, wherever you are and WHOever you are.

Made it to SLC early, found our SLC - SMF gate and again waited to see who didn't show up.  We got seated, me in Business Class, Mr. C. in an exit row with more room.  Easy flight across the snow covered mountains, down into the valley tule fog for a bumpy landing.  But we're home safely after a very splendid Thanksgiving trip.  I have photos to put up but they're all on the lap top so I have to transfer them first.  Caitlin had told us that flights for the rest of today and tomorrow were packed so we feel lucky to have made all our connections.

Now it's the big push to get out of here by Thursday morning.  The car packing begins tomorrow, interspersed with housecleaning, pedicure and massage.  I'm getting in the mood.

Overheard on the airplane.  Two women sitting in front of me were on their way to a business meeting.  One was discussing something about a third person.
Woman on the left:  "I don't think I know who she is."
Woman on the right:  "She's the one with big ears and the striped hair."
Woman on the left:  "Oh yes, I know who you mean."

How could she not?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

at the museum

Sorry I didn't get this put up last night but there was just too much going on.  So back to our visit to the Museum of the Rockies yesterday morning.

That's Big Mike in the front. Of course the first thing we headed for was the dinosaur display, complete with sound. Most of the fossils in this show were found around here and the foremost expert on dinosaurs, Jack Horner, is a local.

Then we strolled through the Indian displays (no photos allowed) and on into the display of 19th century sheep and cattle ranchers' lives, complete with their wagons, implements, and great photographs. These beautiful baskets were in this section.

Next was a stunning collection of contemporary furniture made by artists from Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. The craftsmanship was so beautiful. I particularly liked this "dressing table" made of cedar, juniper, euclapytus woods with carved elk horn knobs on the lower drawers and on the doors. The two doors swing open to reveal a mirror.

This gem is a portable fly tying box with scads of tiny drawers for all the necessary gear.

We moved on to an interactive show, supposedly for children, about both the construction of and the destruction of buildings. Andrew had a great time constructing a trestle while I watched a video about how to blow up old or damaged buildings.

No pre-Thanksgiving celebration would be complete without yet another trip to the market, which we did.  Then home for lunch, reading, resting until it was time to go out to dinner at Ted's for bison whatever.  Delicious, as usual.

Today has been spent in the kitchen, baking pies (Mr. C and I), prepping the stuffing (Cait and Andrew ~ it doesn't go in the bird), cranberry sauce (Cait).  The dogs have done a great job of hoovering up anything that drops.  The bird is thawing in the garage, the brussel sprouts, carrots and yams are ready.  Mike will make the cornbread to add to Cait's stuffing tomorrow, along with a pecan pie. 

The bad news in all of this is that Alex is down with a very bad cold and has opted to stay in Walla Walla and not drive 8 hours is what is turning out to be not very great weather.  In fact, we are expecting snow tonight.   It appears we are not going to have everyone together has we had so hoped.  But the important thing is that she recover!

To everyone, a very Happy Thanksgiving.  I hope that you are spending it with those you love ~ family and friends.  We certainly are!

Monday, November 19, 2012

clear and bright

Today dawned bright and sunny . . . and cold.

The sun poured into the kitchen and I took this picture of Zeke as he basked; he looks like a little old man!

Huck had spent yesterday out with Mike and Andrew hunting pheasants.  I think he was still tired; he's usually very exuberant but was a bit more subdued.

We heard from Alex that she is battling a bad cold so her attendance on Wednesday may be iffy. We went into town to do the shopping for things she was to bring; carrots, brussel sprouts, sweet potatoes, etc. She'll let us know tomorrow if she's going to come.

Nice invigorating walk with the dogs this afternoon.  Then tomorrow we'll make a trip to the Museum of the Rockies to check on the resident dinosaurs; Andrew has never been there.   Tomorrow's dinner is taken car of:  Ted's for bison.  

Sunday, November 18, 2012

greetings from . . .

Beautiful Bozeman.  Yep, we made it from the everlasting valley to the everlastion hills and on to glorious Big Sky country without any hang up.  It took six hours from door to doorl.  The flights were full but we still got on.  Thank you Delta for being so wise as to hire my daughter.

The approach to Bozeman; Bridgers in the background.
We got here in time, picked up Cait's car and drove home.  Who was there to greet us?

The adorable, sweet natured, really big and hairy Zeke.

It's cold and grey with snow covering the meadows and hills.  We even had a bit of a snow flurry as we were finishing lunch.

If you look carefully you can see the snow flakes against the dark trees across the street.

We are about to sit down to a lovely dinner with Cait, Mike and Andrew, with Zeke and Huck ready to hoover up anything that drops.

It's wonderful to be here.  More tomorrow.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

bozeman, maybe

Tomorrow morning we'll show up at the airport with our standby passes and hope for the best.  There are two flights daily; one at 6:30, one at 10:30.  If we don't get seats on either of those ~ and Cait reports that it's going to be tight ~ it will be back home to try again on Monday.  Or Tuesday.  Or . . . If we do get seated, it will be off to Salt Lake where we then have to try to get a seat to Bozeman.  There are more flights but the planes are tiny.  We've been mulling over other options; take the Greyhound for a 12 hour ride that leaves at 8:15 am which would mean an overnight?  Rent a car and drive which takes 8 hours so that would mean an overnight somewhere along the way as we probably wouldn't get away much before noon.  But perhaps we'll be lucky and get seats all the way without any problem which puts us in Bozeman before noon tomorrow.  Andrew is already there; smart boy actually bought a ticket.  We'll hope for the best but prepare for the worst.  At any rate, our luggage will be having a fine time in Bozeman no matter where we are.  Then we'll have to figure out how to get it back.

Friday, November 16, 2012

doing colin firth

I've been having a little fling with Colin Firth in the last few days.  I watched these two splendid movies and I recommend both.  First was "A Summer in Genoa."  Keep the tissues handy, tho.  Beautiful scenery, lovely story of parents, children, the world, and trying to put it all together in the midst of terrible grief.

The second was "When Did you Last See your Father" with the wonderful Juliet Stevenson and Jim Broadbent lending support.  Again, parents, children, the world, etc.  Not bad scenery, either, of the green and rolling English countryside.

That's going to be about it for movies before we go.  I am going to keep my instant watch on the Flix so I can catch a film while in Mexico.  Most American film DVDs for sale have been dubbed into Spanish without subtitles and although I do just fine in a hardware store, machine gun Spanish in a movie is still more than I can handle.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

pleasure and pain

First the pleasure.  Here it is:  "Mountains Beyond Mountains" by Tracy Kidder.

This non-fiction book, in Kidder's usual elegant, eloquent style, is about Paul Farmer, a doctor who has devoted his life to bringing medical services to the neediest among us in such places as Haiti, Peru and Russia. A wonderful read.

The bad news: something very freaky has happened to the mail program in Firefox on my computer. So I am now using Safari; so far, so good. I need to have a one-on-one with g'son Andrew. The good news there; I'll see him this coming weekend. The bad news; I'm not taking this computer.

I know, I know, with all the ills of the world I should worry about my mail program? And the ills just keep coming, don't they?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

the great countdown

The countdown starts tomorrow. One week until we take off for Bozeman for Thanksgiving. This is what it looks like at Cait's house today.

From the front deck

From the back deck

We are looking at a long range forecast of much better weather for T'giving week; way up into the 40's. But it sure is beautiful right now.

Two weeks from today we return home to finish packing for the trip south.  The house looks like a staging platform for some great migration.

First boxes
We'll be here five more days after returning from BZN, long enough to get the car packed and the house cleaned, for me to get a pedicure and do any last-minute shopping for must-haves.  Then it's off on another (and, we've decided, our last) great driving adventure through what many consider hostile territory but by now we think of it as just long and mostly boring.  Our house sitters (two young lawyers ~ she is a clerk for a federal judge, he landed a job with a firm in SF) move it right away so Dorothy won't be alone.  We expect to arrive at the beach by early in the first week of December.  I'll be sure to get Chuy to cook up some chiles picadillo for our arrival.  See, I'm already getting in the mood.  So it's back to the packing . . .

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


I didn't think it was going to be possible. And I certainly didn't think it would happen so fast. We knew by 8:15 PM here in California. But it happened. I am elated. It's 11 PM here. Time to go to bed and worry about the "other side" tomorrow. At least the court is safe for another four years.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

better late . .

My friend DM posted this on her blog a few days ago. I know it's late in the game but still I thought it worthy of publication here.

Don't neglect to vote. It's too important.

Thursday, November 1, 2012


I get this poem out once a year and pass it on for your enjoyment. It's one of my favorites. As I look out the window in my office I see grey skies, trees and vines shedding their leaves. I'm wearing cords, a sweater and a jacket. The heat is on in the house and we'll have a nice fire in the fireplace tonight (unless it is a NO BURN day, a new nanny-state prohibition inaugurated today by our fair City Council).


 by Thomas Hood

 No sun--no moon! No morn--no noon! 
No dawn--no dusk--no proper time of day-- 
No sky--no earthly view--
No distance looking blue-- 
No road--no street--
No "t'other side the way"-- 
No end to any Row--
No indications where the Crescents go-- 
 No top to any steeple--
No recognitions of familiar people-- 
No courtesies for showing 'em--
No knowing 'em! 
No mail--no post--
No news from any foreign coast-- 
No park--no ring--no afternoon gentility-- 
No company--no nobility-- 
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease, 
No comfortable feel in any member-- 
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees, 
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds, 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

last year a bumble bee . . .

this year, a crocodile. Neighbor Toby came over to show me his Halloween costume. He was, unfortunately, much more interested in whatever was on the other side of the garden so he wouldn't look at the photographer. But please note the costume's tail.

We were glued to the telly watching the Giant's outdo the Tigers and I'll tune in to watch a bit of the victory parade tomorrow.  But right now we're completely immersed (no pun intended) in l'affaire Sandy.  I've been in touch with family and friends on the east coast who could be in harm's way but all have reported they are fine.  Our sailing crowd all live in Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia and New York.  Patty and Jon live on the Chesapeake and took to higher ground for a night.  Betty and Bob live on the 21st floor of a condo on the banks of the Potomac and they were worried that enough wind might blow out their windows.  Mary and Oliver live near Boston and only got some rain.  Janet's in upstate NY and is probably getting hit right now.  Heard from Kaley; she, Rob, Ruby and Grampa Tom in Guilford, CT, decided to hunker down in the basement and wait it out.  Liz in Baltimore is wet but safe.  I'm sick of hearing how this mess will/won't/might affect the election.  I agree with the President:  the people in the storm areas are the ones we need to think about.  The election will take care of itself.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

say cheese!

I've been looking for a new camera for two years.  The most important feature for me is a View Finder.  Most of the photos I take are in glaring light.  It's always glaring at the beach.  So I needed a camera that had a feature where I could "peek" at what I was taking and not have to use a screen that I usually couldn't see.  I trolled the internet, checked out camera articles by those who seemed to know what they were talking about, scanned ads in various magazines, consulted with g'son Andrew who has some glorious big, expensive rig, and finally settled on a Panasonic Lumix FZ47 Full HD.  I have no idea what all those strange numbers and letters mean but this is the camera of my (albeit modest) dreams.  It arrived today and I am slowly working my way through the manual.  I am guessing the author's first language is not English and he/she has a PhD in Camera from MIT or Cal Tech.  There's a lot of verbiage about what such and such a button or setting will do but not a word on how to find it or set it or use it. This is my first photo with my new toy.

What, you might ask, is that?  It's a tree face that decorates a big shade tree in front of a house in the next block.  It's permanently there, not just for the spooky holiday coming next week.

Here's the next one I took:  a red sage bloom on the shrub in the back garden.

 I am going to have a fine time with this new camera, if I can figure out how to use all its bells and whistles.  I am on page 50 of the User's Manual.   I will press on, however, until I have mastered it.  For now, it's just great fun to experiment.

Go Giants!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

good, better, best

I watched this very good movie yesterday. Two tissues.

The President was much better on Tuesday night. I agree with Jeff Greenfield that if Obama had done as well at the first debate the election would be over by now. Alas, we must soldier on for another 3 weeks. Vote early and often.

Saving the best for last. Daughter Cait flew over from Bozeman for a short visit. She got in late last night; caught the last flight to SMF from SLC. Haven't really seen her yet but I know she's over there in the guest room. Unless I dreamed the whole thing. We have a couple of days to get caught up.

Weather warm here again.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

news from the dog house

I am still in deep recovery after the President's no-show performance in the first "debate" which wasn't any kind of a debate I've ever seen. Joe lifted my spirits somewhat but not enough to propel me to the keyboard. But this photo of G'dog Zeke is worth a post!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

the weather map

Here in the valley we have had unseasonably hot weather; it was 100º on Tuesday, 95º yesterday, and will be 89º today. It's still pool weather and here we are at the end of the first week in October.

Meanwhile, in Bozeman, take a look at Cait and Mike's front deck.

They got their first snow of the season on Tuesday night.

Reports from Walla Walla are that it's cooling down; currently 48º, down from 80-something last week.  Time to pull out the sweaters and long pants.

For us, it's still shorts weather, although it is reportedly going to drop into the low 80º's over the weekend.  It will actually be a relief to have a bit of cooler weather.  

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

how's this for a turnout?

This is a shot in Caracas, Venezuela of a political rally for Henrique Capriles, running for president against Hugo Chavez. Estimated to be 2 million people. Not one single "incident" was reported. Election is this coming Sunday.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

a real literary treat

A couple of years ago I read this novel by C. J. Sansom and really liked it. His "man" is Matthew Shardlake, a hunchback lawyer in the employ of Thomas Cromwell. Dissolution is the story of the closing of monasteries in the 16th century. There is a murder of one of Cromwell's emissaries and Shardlake is dispatched to find out what happened. Sansom has written four more Shardlake novels, including Dark Fire which purports to tell the "real" story of the downfall of Cromwell. What has gotten me so excited about these novels is the discovery that the Library of Congress now has them on digital format which means I can lose myself in the excellent prose of the author and the exploits of Mr. Shardlake. I highly recommend these stories for both their historical settings and Sanson's fine story telling skills.

Friday, September 28, 2012

friday at the movies

Ultimately a very satisfying movie with some complicated moral issues we have to grapple with. Good performances by Denzel Washington, Clive Owen, Jodie Foster and Christopher Plummer. Initially I was not so sure I would like it or finish it. But I got hooked. If you actually put in a personal appearance at your bank you might be wary. But I recommend it anyway.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

got books?

Look what I found on my morning walk! It's on the front lawn of a house in a neighborhood a few blocks away on our usual route. At first I thought it was an über fancy mailbox. But no! It's a little library filled with books. The idea is you take one, leave one. It's called The Little Free Library. It's not locked up so you can browse the "shelf" any time. This is such a great idea! Gina (walking partner) took one look and decided she had to have one. Our neighborhood will soon have its own Little Free Library and it will be right across the street.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

on the bedside table

A new title on the bedside table:  "The Memory of Running."  Not about running.  Excellent read.

In the September 17th issue of The New Yorker, an excerpt from Salman Rushdie's newest book, "Joseph Anton:  A Memoir."  Also reviewed in today's Arts section of the NY Times.  And an interview on Charlie Rose last night.  Lotta good stuff.  Especially in these perilous, tumultuous times.