19 March 2019

Notes from a Jigsaw Puzzle Junky

Shirley and I have recently renewed our interest in jigsaw puzzles, as have some of our fellow Residents here at Westminster Village, Scottsdale,, so I was interested in learning the history of jigsaw puzzling.  Not being especially trustful of a Google search, I searched my own mind and found this:

Once upon a time, Og, the local Neanderthal artist, had just finished scratching out a reasonable rendering of the neighborhood Mastodon on sandstone (some say slate, but archaeologists aren’t too agreeable on the subject of the media used), when the baby of the family, Uzzle, grabbed it.  Before anyone reacted to the sudden display of agility by the toddler, the artwork had been tossed into the air (such an early display of hand speed!) and fell to the ground, which would ultimately be named Earth.  It broke into pieces.  Og, confounded by emotions of awe at the strength of his progeny and anger at the destroyer of his masterpiece, was about to kick the numerous pieces into a neighbor’s domicile (cave, to us).  However, his domicile mate, Egr, showing signs of her own degree of artistic talent, picked up the various sized pieces and proceeded to assemble them in proper order.  She had placed the oddly shaped pieces on a bed of soft mud, which quickly hardened (they were living in an area of dry climate soon to be named Ogizona), cementing them in place.  Egr quickly named this new creation, Egruzzle, unselfishly giving some credit to her offspring.  Centuries later, two archaeologists, Jigger and Sawdler by name, were amazed to discover this assemblage in a dark, dry cave (once considered a domicile).  Until carbon dating, and several visits to a local palm reader, the Neanderthal source was finally realized.  The secret of the origin of these puzzles, eventually named in honor of the two discoverers, has been a closely guarded secret – until now.

28 January 2019


I'm not surprised that Great Britain is pulling out of the EU.  When a country has to give up a good portion of it's sovereignty to a group of people who don't fully represent their culture and political philosophy, it's time to call a halt.

16 November 2018

Songs My Father Sang

My father liked to sing. Most of the songs were from the First World War, like "Give My Regards to Broadway", "Over There" and "Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag". But the one that I remember, because it was a humorous ditty, went like this:

I run the old mill over here to Reubensville
My name's Joshua Ebenezer Frye.
I know a thing or two,
You can bet your life I do,
They don't ketch me for I'm too darn sly.

I've seen Bunco men, allus got the best o' them,
Once I met a couple on the Boston train.
They says, "How be you!"
I says, "That'll do!
Travel right along with your darn skin game.”

Wal, I swan!
I mus' be gittin' on!
Giddyup, Napoleon! It looks like rain.
Wal, I'll be switched!
The hay ain't pitched!
Come in when you're over to the farm again.

There were a lot of verses to it, and I've heard it on the radio only once in my life, back in the 70's, by some folk singer whose name I never did learn. If you ever hear the number, let me know.

07 October 2018


We had several days of rain that came up from a tropical hurricane off the coast of Mexico.  It was welcome, even though it brought wind and flooding.  The total from the storm brought us up to the annual average, and over, in some areas.  Then this morning, I woke up at 4:45 to the sound of rain on the skylight and flashes of lightning and the accompanying thunder.  With the ground already saturated, there will probably more flooding and road closures.  Not a good time to be on the roads.  Stay safe, everyone.

30 September 2018

We Moved

   We moved last Monday to a new apartment.  We've lived at Westminster Village for ten years, so were eligible to have new paint and flooring in the old place.  Not looking forward to being displaced while all the redecorating was in process, we found that we could move into another unit.  There were several available, so we picked the next size smaller and set about deciding on the new decor.  Fortunately, the Marketing Director is an ace when it comes to decor, so we followed her advice.  The new wall color and flooring fit perfectly with our furniture.
   We scheduled a moving company, then began packing up what items we could move ourselves.  We took "ownership" of the new unit on Friday and began loading boxes on laundry carts.  Saturday began the transfer, which went on into Tuesday.  The movers hauled the big items - furniture and art work - and placed everything in place as we had planned it.  The one snag was that the 4-drawer file didn't fit in the computer room (I had measured everything two or three times!) so it went on the patio.  Wednesday, a Maintenance worker installed shelving in our storage closet off the patio, so we were able to put everything away that had been stuck out there.
   Art work is still not hung, but the floors have been "Swiffered" both wet and dry.  We know where almost everything has been shelved, and have been able to make breakfast without too much of a delay while we search for plates and coffee and such.  So tomorrow is the first anniversary of the first week in our new home and we are absolutely delighted to be here, facing east and greeting the sunrise.

06 August 2018

May 1988 - Moscow State University - Excerpt

"Freedom is the right to question and change the established way of doing things.  It is the continuing revolution of the marketplace.  It is the understanding that allows us to recognize shortcomings and seek solutions.  It is the right to put forth an idea, scoffed at by the experts, and watch it catch fire among the people.  It is the right to dream - to follow your dream or stick to your conscience, even if you're the only one in a sea of doubters.  Freedom is the recognition that no single person, no single authority or government has a monopoly on the truth, but that every one of us put on this world has been put there for a reason and has something to offer." - President Ronald Reagan.

07 July 2018

Unusual Smoothies

Shirley had some oral surgery two weeks ago and was put on a liquid diet.  The first thing we did was buy a Magic Bullet for making smoothies.  Since then, we've been trying all kinds of recipes.  There was the usual fruit and yogurt and milk.  Some with rice milk.  Then we branched out to cans of soup thinned with milk.  Another good one one was chicken pot pie and milk.  This morning it was a breakfast sandwich - half a biscuit, soft-fried egg, cheese and a slice of crisp bacon with a cup of milk.  She loved it!  Tomorrow may see a pizza smoothie.  No telling where we'll go from here until she sees the doctor next Wednesday.