Thursday, December 25, 2014

American Eagle

     A bald eagle perched in a tall tree next to the house yesterday. Here he is.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Zoo Lights

When my girls were young we made numerous trips to the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium for their popular Zoo Lights exhibit. It is what it sounds like, the zoo is festooned with thousands of lights and people walk around and enjoy them. Some are sequential and give the effect of a bird flying from one tree to another, some are in shapes of animals, and many more just decorate trees and bushes.
     Tonight, Linda and I took my daughter Stephanie and granddaughter Sofia to see them, the baby for the first time. Usually the weather is freezing cold and the walkways icy, but we're having relatively mild weather right now and it was a perfect evening to go. Apparently most of Tacoma thought so, too, because the place was packed. Everything went smoothly until it was time to leave. The shuttle bus to the parking area was caught up in a massive traffic jam because one bonehead's car broke down. All in all, though, a good evening for us all.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     My daughter Kristine and Wyatt Earp at the OK Corral, Tombstone, Arizona Territory, 2008.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tiger Cubs

Tiger cub litter born at the Point Defiance Zoo. At 8 weeks old they made their public debut. 

Monday, December 08, 2014

I Remember John

     It's been 34 years since we lost John Lennon to an assassin's bullet. I still miss him and can only imagine what music he'd have made during those years.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

A Day That Will Live In Infamy

     Lest we forget, this is the 73rd anniversary of the Japanese sneak attack on Pearl Harbor. We lost 2300 men that day, 1177 on the USS Arizona alone. Today, seven Arizona survivors held their final official reunion. Two other survivors are too ill to travel. The men who attended the memorial vowed to return again next year even if the government won't support them. I hope they do.

Friday, December 05, 2014

Happy Birthday, Kristine.

     I can't believe my baby girl is 24 already. She's the sweetest, nicest kid you could hope to have and I love her madly.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Georgie

Every year at this time I memorialize two birthdays. One is George Armstrong Custer's. While known for his death at the Little Big Horn, he also had a sterling Civil War career. His actions at Gettysburg saved the day and possibly the war for the Union.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     Rather than post a picture of me or a family member, I thought I'd pay tribute to a show that gave me great pleasure when I was a lad, THE ADVENTURES OF SPIN AND MARTY. David Stollery (left) played Marty Markham, an orphan being raised by his wealthy grandmother who is sent to the Triple-R Ranch for the summer to learn how to be a regular boy. Tim Considine (right) played Spin Evans, a normal kid who, though disgusted with Marty's haughty ways at first, gives him the benefit of the doubt and eventually befriends him. Also in the cast were Roy Barcroft, Harry Carey, Jr., and J. Pat O'Malley. The idea of spending a summer at a horse ranch seemed like heaven to me and the show had humor, heart, and adventure to boot.
     Alas, the following year's episodes brought in that unbearable Disney staple Moochie and a plot about putting on a show with a girls' camp that suddenly appeared nearby.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Princess Sofia

     Princess Sofia in her castle, Nov 30, 2014. Six days after her official birthday she had a small party and she had to wear her princess costume. She's less enthusiastic about slippers.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Judy Crider, R.I.P.

     I'm saddened to report that Judy Crider has finally succumbed to the cancer she fought courageously for eight years. Here she is with husband Bill in 1980 at the Washington, D.C. Bouchercon. I'll always remember her for her serene presence and lovely smile.

photo: Arthur Charles Scott


     I hope you all have a happy and gluttonous Thanksbuddy. Go Seahawks.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sofia Is Four

     At El Toro for the baby's birthday dinner. Here, she wears the sombrero as the waiters sing "Happy Birthday."

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     Christmas, 1991. As you can see, I'm displaying my usual good cheer. That's Linda at the piano and the little head in the foreground belongs to her nephew, I think.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     I'm only going back about four years today. Here's a very young Sofia, soon to be a birthday girl.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day

To all my fellow vets, stand as tall and proud today as you did when you took your oath.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Throwback Thursday

I am especially fond of this photo, taken about 22 years ago, of the girls enjoying a game on the couch. The exuberance and joy of childhood really shines through.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Throwback Thursday

1992. Taking Stephanie for a bike ride. Hard to believe she has a baby who will turn four next month.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Happy Birthday, Stephanie

     How can it be that my baby girl is 25 today?

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Photo Credit: Arthur Charles Scott, EOTU

Bouchercon, 1982, San Francisco, California. The man on the left is rock star Tough Jim Gaston. That's me on the right when I wore contact lenses.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Photo Credit: Arthur Charles Scott

That's me on the left at the Milwaukee Bouchercon in 1981. I think the chap on the right is Bob Randisi. This was one of my favorite conventions, and my second mystery con.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     Arizona, 1985, a post-Bouchercon visit. Left to right: sister Denise, Mother Gloria, sister Wendy, and me. I don't know the names of the dogs.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday


     With the vote today that will decide whether Scotland becomes an independent nation or remains a part of Great Britain, I thought it appropriate to throw back however many centuries it was when this became the coat of arms for the Napier clan. The motto means "without stain."

     Do any of you have a family coat of arms?

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Kit of the Week Revisited

     Remember when I showed the box for the Heller ladybug model kit? Well, I bought it and earlier this week I completed the assembly.

     The finished bug measures about 3 3/4 inches (110 mm). Right now she's guarding a shelf of my Western paperbacks.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     This looks to be about 20 years old. I don't know why I bought those porthole glasses but they must have been the height of fashion at the time. My girls are Kristine (left) and Stephanie. You probably recognize the milieu as a photo booth. The first time I saw one you got four poses for a quarter. I think I paid $1.50 for this, and now they're about five bucks, but are in color. Ain't progress grand?

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

On this day in 1989.

Happy 25th anniversary to me and Linda. Someone needs an award for endurance.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     Talk about skinny, that's Our Hero in cousin George's room and that's George's dog Penny enduring my guitar work. I'm guessing this was taken in 1968, after I got back from Nam.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     I think this was taken in 1982. The place was Art Scott's house and the occasion was an apres Bouchercon party. The man with the camera is the late, great John Nieminski, seated on the chair is Walter Albert and the shaggy character in the foreground is Steve Stilwell. That's me on the right without glasses or breadbasket. I wore contact lenses for a few years but a severe eye infection while trying extended-wear contacts put me off them for good.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Instead of my ugly mug, how about a snapshot of my beautiful girls? This is from Easter circa 1995.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Throwback Thursday

     Summer of 1994 at The Horse Farm in Yelm, WA, which went out of business many years ago. I am astride Baby Huey, an equine of 17 hands. I felt like I was sitting in a second story window, but he was a friendly steed.

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Throwback Thursday

Here I am with daughter Stephanie and dog Spike circa 1992. Spike was the best dog you could ask for and Steph is now a grown woman with a baby of her own. Thankfully, those glasses are long gone.

I think I should have dusted off this photo before I scanned it.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

It Was 47 Years Ago Today, Too...

     Yesterday was the anniversary of the day we docked in Viet Nam. Today is the anniversary of the day we actually disembarked the General John Pope. I distinguished myself by falling down the gangway en route to the lower deck. Once there, and none the worse for wear, we climbed into landing craft and sailed to a dock in Vung Tau. Vung Tau was called The Riviera of the Orient at one time. I had a three-day R&R there once and I can see why. The beaches are exceptional. But we didn't have time to enjoy the beaches that day. We were trucked to an airfield and loaded onto C-123s--small, twin-engine transport/cargo planes.
     A little while later a crewman removed a plate in the floor and started kicking at something. It was the front landing gear, which wouldn't lower electrically. Gulp. Shortly after that the plane, which was in descent, veered sharply up and left. The pilot apologized. He mistook a dirt road for the runway of Xuan Loc International Airport. Great, I'm thinking, my first day in country and I'm going to be killed by our own people.  Well, we landed safely, loaded onto trucks, and convoyed out to Black Horse, a muddy pit in the middle of jungle and rubber tree plantations. That night we were serenaded by the sound of artillery shells roaring over our tents.

     The photo above is not of any of my company areas, though it's typical of the ones where I lived.

    The adventure had begun.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

It Was 47 Years Ago Today

The USNS General John Pope docked in Vung Tau, Viet Nam, with me and about 200 members of the 591st Engineer Company (LE) on board. The adventure continued after 19 days at sea.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kit of the Day

     I suppose most of you watched this wacky service sitcom in the sixties. It should have been no great effort for Revell to issue this tie in model kit of the PT 73. When Kennedy took office they dusted off the molds for an already extant PT boat, changed the box art to say PT 109, and made a new decal sheet. You would think new box art and decals would serve for this kit, too, but it didn't. The PT 73 was based on a Vosper, a British MTB (motor torpedo boat), which is what was used in the TV series. Later, the kit was issued as a Vosper MTB proper. Revell marketed the PT 73 from 1965-69. It included figures of McHale and three crew members. Current value for a PT 73 in fine condition is $75-100.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who Knew?

I didn't know Ford came out with a 2-seat Thunderbird until I saw one in the parking lot of El Toro today. A little look on line showed me that they'd been around since 2005, the 50th anniversary of the original T-Bird sports car. Neat.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Happy Anniversary Kristine & Jacob

A year ago today my baby girl married her high school sweetheart.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Throwback Thursday (After Midnight Edition)

I conked out in my recliner so I'm running late. Here's a well-armed Cap'n outside his sister's house in Columbia, Missouri, circa 1985.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

More Models

A German U-Boat.

The USS Saratoga, CV 60.

A U.S. Gato Class submarine.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

More Models

A Dauphine helicopter. The real ones are made in France and used by the US Coast Guard for rescue missions.

The USS Montrose, an armed freighter. I like this because my father's people live in Montrose, NY. And it's a neat model.

A Ford Flivver. Did you think they only made cars?

Saturday, July 12, 2014

USS Iowa BB-61, War of the Worlds, Snark Missile

     Some more models from my collection. They were all in the same file so I'm running them together. The Iowa and WotW kits assembled pretty easily, but the decals on the missile were a mother.