Sunday, November 27, 2011

Baby's First Birthday







A few photos from the event. She was very neat with her personal cake, just poking it now and again. As you can see by the gift wrap, Dora the Explorer was featured in a number of her presents.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Two Things to Celebrate


I wish all of you a happy Thanksbuddy. May you have more than enough to eat and spend the day in convivial company.

This is also the first birthday of my granddaughter, Sofia. Hard to believe she's walking already and starting to talk. May this be the first of a hundred more, baby girl.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

By Popular Demand


Ok, only Bill Crider asked, but he's pretty popular, isn't he? What he wanted to know was which books I bought in Tucson. Bear in mind I had very little room in my suitcase or there would have been more:

GUNS OF ARIZONA, by Charles N. Heckelmann. A Magnum Easy Eye edition. It's about cavalrymen and takes place in Arizona, so I couldn't resist.

FORT STARK, by Wade Everett. Cavalry, Apaches, and a fort. Also takes place in Arizona.

TWO PISTOLS SOUTH OF DEADWOOD, by Merle Costiner and NO MAN'S BRAND, by William Vance. An Ace Double, which I bought for the Constiner novel. I'll read the other, too.

SLOCUM AND THE LOST COMMAND (Slocum #331), by Jake Logan. More cavalry, and I may know the author of this one.

WARRIORS OF THE PLAINS, by Karl Lassiter. Historical novel based on Fort Bent and the fur trade days. I do know the author, albeit slightly.

LONGARM AND THE VANISHING VIRGINS (Longarm #245), by Tabor Evans. I do know this author and this shortens my list of his Longarms by one. There was another of his at the same store but I rejected it for a badly creased cover.

TRAGG'S CHOICE, by Clifton Adams. This has nothing to do with the police lieutenant from Perry Mason. I'm trying to amass as many Westerns by Adams as I can.

That's it. A cowboy shirt, some postcards, and two model kits found in thrift stores round out my souvenir shopping.

The pinup is here just because I like them.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back From the Desert


Last night I returned from six days in Arizona. The purpose of the trip was to let my mother and granddaughter meet. I also spent a few hours with writer Steve Mertz, who's great company. We explored a brace of book and thrift stores and ate the only Mexican food I had down there. I also went to Tombstone again, despite forecasts of thundershowers. It rained all the way there and most of the way back, but we had a respite from the wetness most of the time we were in The Town Too Tough to Die. On the return leg we saw a van full of people stopped by a Border Patrol wagon and a cop car. It was dark so we couldn't see what transpired, but a good guess would be that they busted some illegals. Que lastima.

I've never had so much trouble finding my way around as I did in Marana, north of Tucson. Some highway department genius decided to mark the north-south freeway as east-west, and I was turned around the whole time I was there.

We couldn't find the motel when we arrived, tired and grouchy. The map directions from the computer were wrong and the Best Western we sought sold out to Comfort Inn a week earlier. There was no notification and no sign advising people of the change. The room wasn't bad, especially if you like train whistles throughout the night.

A family of javelinas lived by the motel and one evening they chased my daughter's fiance down the street. I wish I'd witnessed that.

Finally ate at a Golden Corral. *Gag, choke* Second worst chunk of steak I've ever had.

Finally ate at a Cracker Barrel. My advice: Avoid the chicken and dumplings. At all costs.

The weather was mild, with temps usually around the mid-70's. I went into a number of stores that had their heaters going during what was to them a cold snap.

It's good to be home.

Friday, November 04, 2011

Bambi Attacks Again



At about 1:15 pm today the pair of blacktail deer pictured here wandered into my front yard. This past summer I showed a photo of a buck who was in the cul-de-sac where I live. Now, he and his mate have come onto the property. At one point the doe was right outside the kitchen window (located in the front of the house) to nibble on an evergreen. I was about 15 feet away, inside. You can't tell from the picture, but the one closest to the street is the male. He has a long spiked antler on the right and a forked antler on the left. My younger daughter took the picture on her phone/wayback machine. I also saw our local hummingbird twice this week after an absence of over a month. I love when this happens.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

How to Anger a Slot Player


I went to my usual haunt, The Emerald Queen Casino, today. I like to play Quick Hits, the slot game on which I've won jackpots of over $1700 and $1600 recently. I was having no luck with the machine on the right so I thought I'd move to the one on the left. To explain, there are four machines. Two on the right of the row and two on the left, with two Asian-themed games in between. So, I approach the one on the left and discovered a woman is playing both of them on that side. She asked me if I wanted to play and I said yes after a little hemming and hawing. She was down to 29 cents on one of them so she moved over and gave me that one. I had a few good spins, including one for $30 and one with five Quick Hits for a tad over $25. These are progressive machines and the pot for the Quick Hits grows as the machines are fed money. There's also a minimum amount with which each jackpot starts. For example, five Quick Hits is $15, Eight is $1500. I hit seven, which paid around $175. Not a great payout (someone else must have hit it recently for the payoff to be so low), but it was great to see the woman who'd turned the slot over to me seethe with envy. She was less than gracious when I thanked her for giving up the seat.