28 March 2007


How come they do not have a spot in your dishwasher where you can wash your chopsticks? I use chopsticks fairly often ... I have 8-10 really good sets ... and I cannot wash them in my dishwasher because they fall through every spot you can put them.

Can I be the only person in the U.S. who uses them?

It is now Sunday evening, I wrote the drivel above on Thursday or Friday I think.

The weekend was far too short, as usual. We went to the club Saturday (day) and then came home and watched movies. Today, we went to Reid Park for the "Tucson Cleaner Air Festival" and then went shopping at Sam's Club and then stuffed ourselves with some Pat's Chili Dogs. You must understand, Pat's is not just a hot dog place, it is and has been a Tucson tradition since about 1948. The chili dogs come 'hot' or 'medium' and the medium ones are fairly hot. They also have fries, chili fries, shrimp, chicken and even a Big Pat's burger ... which is two patties, onions, mustard, pickles and hot chili with beans on a bun. such a great big delicious mess .... they are wonderful.

Any-hoo .. as they say ... I am sated, and sitting at my 'puter. I have a newly acquired (but released in 1995) CD on and am enjoying it to the hilt. It is High Strung Tall Tales by
Adrian Legg. For those of you who don't know the name... he is one of the greatest finger pickers extant. He was voted 'Guitarist of the Decade' for the 90's by Guitarist Magazine
and won the Guitar Player's Readers Poll as Best Acoustic Fingerstyle Guitarist for "93, "94, "95 and "96. Pretty fair hand, I'd say.

I should be doing some computer work for my job, but I feel like just kicking back and doing nothing as it were. I am going to open a Shiner Bock and listen to Adrian and to another newly acquired CD James Hand's The Truth Will Set You Free. Hand is a 54 year old from Waco who is releasing his first national CD. It was produced by Lloyd Maines and Ray Benson (Asleep at the Wheel). He is sort of like Hank Sr, Ernest Tubb, Lefty, and all those Texas musicians of the 50's, only he is here and now. He writes his own music, and sings really well ... nothing like the crop of young Country(??) guys out there now-a-days. On a scale of 1 to 10, he rates at least an 8 1/2 in my book.
And I do not give out 10's as you know.

I will make an early night of going to bed, I am half way through William Safire's In Love With Norma Loquendi. I assume you all know that Safire writes about the English language (as spoken in America) and that norma loquendi is a Latin phrase that means (roughly)
the standards of grammar as established by a language speaker's actual custom and or usage.

Speaking of language ... I made a Mexican guy at the look up
Margarita in the dictionary today. He didn't believe that the word means pearl. Almost a verbis ad verbera (from words to blows). I remembered it from the Latin phrase margarita antes porcos (pearls before swine)

Anyway, as I was saying, I want to get an hour or so of reading done before going to slumber land tonight.

All of you have a good tomorrow and a better day after.


27 March 2007


Well, here I am again ... or still ... or something. I am as happy as a working man can be I guess. Just paid bills (on the computer, like everything else I do). I have a few bucks left over for Shiner Bock and gasoline, I have fresh ink cartridges in the printer, and some new paper in the feed. Just got my prescriptions in the mail from the V.A., and they just played Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Joe Ely and Cross Canadian Ragweed on Radio-i-o. The Shiner is cold and I ate the leftovers from that Trout recipe that I sent you. I don't think that I put it on the BLOG though. Oversight on my part.

Cajun Trout

4 whole trout, 1 pound each, cleaned with heads and tails removed
1 (16-ounce) bottle A-1 Steakhunter Cajun marinade
1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes with green pepper, celery, and onion
1/4 teaspoon Wright's liquid smoke
1 tablespoon Tony Chachere's seasoning (or more, if you're like me, you can even some add liquid sauce, like Red Devil or Tapatio)
1/4 cup real crumbled bacon
Butcher twine, 12 pieces, 6 to 8 inches long
8 slices THICK CUT bacon

Set up grill for direct cooking over medium heat. Oil grate when ready to start cooking.
Place trout in large zip-top bag and cover with marinade; reserve 1/4 cup of marinade for sauce. Marinate for 30 minutes.

In a small saucepan, combine reserved marinade, tomatoes, liquid smoke, Cajun seasoning, and crumbled bacon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes; set aside.

Lay 3 pieces of butcher twine horizontally on a sheet pan, evenly spaced. Lay 1 slice of bacon vertically on top of butcher twine. Place 1 fish on top of bacon slice. Top fish with another slice of bacon. Tie each piece of twine so that you have 3 knots securely holding the fish in place. Repeat process with all remaining fish.

ON GRILL: Place whole fish on grill. Cook for a total of 15 to 18 minutes, turning every 3 to 4 minutes. Watch for flare-ups from bacon slices. Remove from grill. Untie twine from fish. Top with Cajun tomato sauce and serve warm.

INDOOR: Prepare and marinate trout as directed. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Place prepared trout on foil lined baking sheet. Roast fish for 30 minutes.

There ... it's on here.

Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah .... counting my Tuesday blessings. Hilda just called and she said she loves me ... crazy girl. Now there's a good song on Radio-i-o "Delta Lady by Leon Russell", had almost forgotten that one. Anyway, the weather today was so-so, pretty breezy ... 25-35 mph this afternoon, almost as bad as being in Texas. Will be great sleeping weather tonight ... down in the mid 40's. Cousin Dean would call that sweltering heat... but it suits me fine. It was about 78 here today, fairly nice spring weather for us desert rats.

I hope that everyone out there is having a great week, a great March (almost over) and a fabulous 2007 so far.

26 March 2007


Finally, ..... a short Monday at work (less than 9 hours). I got home at 1615, pretty early I'd say.

I've been trying to do a little bit of personal writing this past weekend, and will attempt to continue during the week. I write here of course, but most of my east coast friends don't read the BLOG. They want me to write to them, even though they do not often write back.

Oh, the soul of one who needs to write
it is in constant turmoil I know
you wish that your words were read
but that is not the reason they exist
they pour out of your fingers
because you cannot keep them inside
the keyboard is easier than the pen
and so, your few words become many
you write what you know,
or what you suspect
or merely .. what you think
at times you write well
and at times, poorly .. or worse
persons who live alone
seem to write more often
it is like having a conversation
better than talking to yourself
but that's what you're doing
it is not a conversation
it is a monologue
screaming at the walls really
cheaper than a shrink
but not often as rewarding
cleansing is a process
that words never help
or in my case they don't
but still I type
(do people still say type?)
typing class is now 'keyboard skills'
so ... "still I keyboard?"
doesn't have the same ring
but I digress
but, ... don't I always

Everything is nebulous in life. Yesterday's dreams are today's realities and tomorrow's memories. Fantasies are reality to some, and reality is fantasy to others. Belief patterns change with the slightest breeze and nothing is in vogue for long. The least travelled path becomes the interstate and the older highways become the least travelled paths. I stumble about, constantly searching, rarely discovering ... but believing in myself and in others. Others are searching also, but we find different truths and experience different realities.

Oh well, enough philosophy ... the oven is cranking away at my evening repast and I want to look in on the Food Channel.


23 March 2007


rain beating down, but not beating me down
I'm hanging out and hanging around
just kicking back, and life I've found
is staying home, not out on the town

white wine and dark bock beer
smiles are glowing, ear to ear
got good restaurants 'round here
great company, all full of cheer

like Rachel Ray, I'm getting by
hello world, I'm the guy
can't top me, don't even try
going like hell, until I die

writin' some verse, hummin' a song
folks like me just get along
we all know right from wrong
and right here is where we belong

this killin' time is not a crime
making up my silly rhyme
spreading lies from time to time
spending a dollar and savin' a dime

things are running though my mind
reality is hard to find
but I'm not in a bind
and life is really being kind

Friday morning

0600 hours. Still raining here in the desert. Been raining most of the night. Snow topping the Catalinas ... they look nice. Bad day to have to go to work ... good day for lying around the casa. But, I have no choice ... so, I'm outta' here I guess.

22 March 2007

poem ???

the desert rain
intermittent and light
bringing freshness in it's wake
surprising how the entire desert
responds so quickly
to small amounts of moisture

in other places
rain is expected,
or seen as a nuisance
here in the desert
it is life itself

on the eastside of Tucson
had a small dose last night
it's pouring steadily

booming claps of thunder
disturb the soothing drizzling noise
of runoff from the roof

our summer rains,
in the desert
are the life of the region
winter and spring rains
are special bonus gifts

we enjoy our rains
whenever they appear
even though some folks
have never learned
how to drive
on rain drenched streets

I shall sleep good tonight
and rain noises
are much better
than sleeping pills
or counting
those leaping wooly creatures

to sleep
perchance to dream

hopefully quiet dreams

of my cowboy heaven
or times long past
or things that never were
and never shall be

farewell ...
until my next visit to the keyboard


19 March 2007

Mexican jokes

I have forwarded several Mexican (wetback) jokes of late. They are similar to Aggie jokes (Texans know what I'm talking about), Polish jokes, black jokes (years ago), Bubba jokes, etc. Only the names have been changed. I am forwarding them to persons of Hispanic ancestry also ... they get a big kick out of them. Most of the Mexican/Hispanic/Latino people that I know are hard working Americans, most are veterans and all are proud of their heritage ...... and they understand the threat that illegal immigration is having (especially in my adopted state) and also the inherent humor in a lot of it.

I did not ask if anyone was offended, I really don't care. I am not offended by Redneck jokes, and I was born and raised a redneck. In fact, I know a lot of the people that Jeff Foxworthy (and others) are talking about. In fact, I am related to most of them. If we cannot laugh at ourselves, then we are in sad shape.

Well, it's been a 12 1/2 hour day and I need to rest ... there are a couple of good books on my night stand and I'm gonna' go open one.

Have a great week ... and hug someone, you'll both feel better.

18 March 2007

Sunday night .. and beyond

Nothing new, just kicking back and thought I'd tickle the keyboard a little. Our high temperature here in Tucson was/is supposed to be about 90. I have seen three thermometers in the last hour (it's 1600 hours right now) that ALL had readings of 95+ ... one had 98. It is fairly warm, even to an old desert dude like me. There is little or no air moving at this time, which makes it sort of stuffy. But ... it's a hell of a lot better than our recently passed cold weather. I just returned from the pool and must put some lotion on my old drying out skin. Must keep the wrinkles away you know.

I have some pork chops cooking ... I watched Guy's Big Bite (Guy Fieri) on the Food Network today. He cooked some mashed potatoes with Sofito today that are a must to try this week. But, I had (in the house) everything needed to cook his Cuban Pork Chops with Mojo .... well, I actually had to go to Safeway and get some watercress and an avocado or two. The entire house smells like some great restaurant... I have seen people walking by who sniffed the air and nodded in approval. I have been sitting outside in my camping recline chair sipping some wine. I have them cooling at the moment and shall eat a bit before I finish this scribbling.

It is now 1700, ... dearest cousin Dean, you must try these pork chops ... and do not change anything (at least the first time you do them) they are superb .. I am sated. I had them with a spinach salad with artichoke hearts, slightly tinged with EVOO and a small sprinkle of Tony Chachere's. Tell me (via e-mail) if you read this ...., God !!!! these are good. A good white wine, an Italian Soave or a good dark beer like Shiner Bock will really pull out all the nuances of this dish, in my opinion.

1 cup plus 1/4 cup orange juice, divided
1/2 cup plus 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, divided
1/4 cup vinegar
4 (1-inch-thick) bone-in pork chops
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 tablespoons kosher salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon dried oregano
3 tablespoons canola oil
1/4 cup chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup watercress, for garnish
1 Roma tomato, chopped, for garnish
1/2 avocado, sliced, for garnish
In a gallon-sized resealable plastic bag, combine 1 cup orange juice, 1/2 cup lime juice, and vinegar. Add pork and let it sit and marinate for about 1 hour in refrigerator.

In a small mixing bowl, combine all dried spices. Pat the pork chops dry with a paper towel and rub with the dry spice mixture.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over high heat. Place the pork chops in the pan and sear on 1 side until brown. Flip over and turn the heat down to medium-low. Tony's note: Add the following ingredients in between the chops, not on top of the meat. Add onion and saute for 2 minutes. Then add the garlic and continue to cook until garlic begins to brown. Pour in the remaining 1/4 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup lime juice, and white wine. Simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced and begins to thicken. The chops should be cooked through.

Remove the chops from pan and put on a warm plate. Continue to reduce juices in pan by half. Pour over the chops and serve immediately.

Garnish with watercress, tomatoes and avocado.

Love from the desert ... Peace !!

17 March 2007

Saturday Morning

It is Saturday morning ... early ... I am washing clothes and watching an extremely historically inaccurate western on the TV. It is Comanche Territory with McDonald Carey. It is about Jim Bowie ... of Louisiana ... and the Comanche Indians of Texas (who dress like Dakota Sioux) ... filmed in Sedona Arizona .... it's the 1830's, the costumes are strictly 1880-1900 and the movie town is kinda of 1880's. Maureen O'Hara is the first liberated woman of the west I guess, ... owns the saloon and is the bank president. Typically 1950 western I guess.

The Air Show is in town this weekend ... we have the Blue Angels this year and not the Thunderbirds. Hilda and I will go tomorrow. The skies above Tucson have been really loud and busy the last couple of days.

I have to catch up on all my chores today, go to the library, buy groceries, etc. I have been really lazy of late.

I just finished reading a good article about my friend Dr Stanley McGowen, written by Stephen Stainkamp, I may forward it to a couple of friends. Stan says that the article deals mostly with what he's done since his accident and never touches on some things that he remembers fondly ... like our days in the Tombstone Wild Bunch, fighting each other in front of crowds. We had some truly great times in the 70's ... if a little juvenile and stupid at times. We lived life to the fullest, and often beyond. It is great to look back on, but I am not certain that I'd actually want to relive those years. It is an absolute wonder that we are alive at this juncture in time. We drank too much, partied too often, took too many chances and all in all lived precariously on the edge. We wrecked vehicles, collectively and individually, and drove much too fast ... often well over the legal limits of inebriation. God, or one of his lessor and more forgiving angels surely watched over us. We did not do anything bad to others, just had fun ... we'd survived Viet Nam and thusly we were 10 feet tall, bulletproof and would live forever. Hell, I'm 61 and a half and Stan will be 60 next month .... we have lived forever almost.

But do not write off "Valdez and Buttermilk". As the poets said, "we have miles to go before we sleep" ... "and we shall not go gently into that sweet night". But one day, if there be a heaven, he and I shall ride good horses through green fields with forests and rivers between us and the horizon and deer and bear shall fall from our rifle's crack. We shall eat venison cooked over mesquite and cold Shiner Bock shall magically appear from our saddlebags. Back at the ranch house ... several evenings a month ... our old and dear friends shall visit, singly and in groups. There will be much talk of old times, laughter shared, boasts spoken and lies told. Good food shall abound with beer, wine and whisky on the side board. Stan will have 20-20 vision and I shall possess the gait of a 20 year old. Everyone has a vision of heaven ... and mine has nothing to do with clouds, halos or wings. You can keep your streets of gold. my heaven has no streets. It is filled with conifers, mesquites, aspens and Texas red oak. It has God's creature in abundance ... but just enough people to make it habitable. The mountains are crisp and cold, the streams free running and clear and the veranda on the house is low, shady and filled with rockers. The Lord is just and loving ... and a cowboy at heart.

Love from the desert

14 March 2007

Now, I can't shut up

I have just finished work, showered and I now have RadioioAcoustic on the computer and I am attempting to relax a bit. There is a stuffed game hen in the oven and wine is chilling. I guess I will drive my blood pressure up until my doctor screams.

The doctors want me to give up salt, alcohol (all types), caffeine (even diet sodas), exercise regularly ... the only kind I can do is the stationary bike, so they say "buy one", yeah right! .... and not eat any fried food or high caloric food, eat lots of salads and fish and no sweets. Realistically .... who wants to live that damn bad? They frown on gravy, bacon, sausage, too many eggs, biscuits or kaiser rolls ..... they say a high fiber breakfast cereal with skim milk would be better for me. Fat damn chance, is all I can say!!!

O.K., the healthy life is out ... so what are my chances? I gave up my Cuban and Nicaraguan Cigars two years ago, didn't smoke that many ... one or two a week with wine or while playing golf. My beer consumption has been cut to about 15-20% of what it used to be. I mean, really, how long do I want to live? My stupid knees,
at times, makes me think that 61-62 years old is plenty . I'll be 62 in November. But then ... why deprive the world at large of a curmudgeon of my caliber any time soon? I could probably make a fortune hiring myself out to parents to use as a bad example to their kids ... whadda' ya think?

Well, that's enough morbid bitching for a while I rekon. I need to do that sometimes and get it off my chest. I work mainly by myself all day, come home and spend the evening by myself, sleep by myself and so sometimes I need to sound off to others.

I haven't written any poetry of any type of late (see other BLOG entries) and little or no political commentary ... and Hillary and her big mouth are just outstanding fodder for anyone to write about. One thing that I will say ... quickly ... she is all over George W for his staff's firing of all those federal lawyers. Her and her husband Slick Willy fired a lot more than that and also cut their ties to lawyer friends who went to the pen in their behalf or because of ties with Clinton interests. I really hate very few people .. but she is one. She wouldn't know the truth if it bit her in her unattractive ass.

Well, must watch the History Channel or the Food Network. Have a good week and a better weekend.


13 March 2007

Some thoughts .. again

When I was a small kid, I remember looking at high school seniors and I remember thinking that they were so suave and grown up and had a great outlook, awareness and chance at life.

When I was a senior in high school, I found that the majority of them were shallow and not too smart and that a lot of them were self centered assholes with no idea of what life was about. They cared little and knew little about what faced them in the future. They also had little or no knowledge of what our government was or how it worked. They also ... and this is even worse now ... had no knowledge of our history ... mankind's or the United State's.

Now I am ancient (61 1/2 years old) and I look at high school seniors and see, for the most part, 17-18 year olds with a 5th grade intelligence / awareness and a follow-the-herd mentality. The boys (again, for the most part) seem to want to be "Black Gangbangers and/or Players". They only want to be COOL and have lots of STUFF. They certainly do not want to work to earn it ... they feel it is theirs BY RIGHT, and should be available to them gratis.

I have actually stopped patronizing fast food (and other) establishments where multiple body piercings and tattoos are in evidence on the workers. This is my choice. I just am not comfortable with any of these folks preparing or serving me my food. This may be prejudiced behavior on my part ... but it is what I feel. I actually do not feel like eating if my waiter or waitress has eyebrows, tongues, cheeks, chins filled with strips of metal.

These are our future leaders in business and politics and in the military. Can a person who wears their pants below the cheeks of their ass with 6-8 inches of their underwear showing ... or has multi-colored hair and tattoos and multiple body piercings be expected to become someone whom others (besides individuals of the same ilk) want to follow, listen to or look up to?

I have become my parents !!! Is there any chance that any of this kids have ANY CHANCE of becoming their parents or hopefully their grandparents?

At times like this, I miss the voice, spirit, and opinion of my late friend Beau Chantz.

The Desert Dude has ranted ... feel free to reply.

12 March 2007

Just Stuff

I am doing Excel spreadsheets for work, and I got REALLY bored. I work all day long then I come home and do work "for free". I am really dumb I guess. But, we (read I) need the information in a readily accessable format so that I can understand what we have, where it's at, and what I have to replace it with. Perhaps it will pay off in the future or perhaps I am Don Quixote tilting at windmills.

I have been re-reading things that I read years ago to understand what the term "classic" means. Tonight, I am rereading Poe ... poetry mostly, not Murders in the Rue Morgue and such. You know ... The Raven, Annabelle Lee, et al. My plans are to go through some Hemingway, Tolstoy, Fitzgerald,Thomas Wolfe, Tennessee Williams, ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, etc.

Dean ... you seem to have access to eclectic info .... I am looking for a poem written by Eric Robson (Robison ?) Dobbs ???? called 'When the Ecstatic Body Grips' ... I think:

As much as I can remember (I read it 40 years ago):

"When the ecstatic body grips
it's heaven with little sobbing cries
Lips are crushed on hot blind lips
I read strange pity in your eyes
That you in you that I love best
masterless still, still unpossessed

Da-da-da-da and so forth

Last Phrase:
and the world is shrunken to a heap
of hot flesh straining on a bed"

I read it in the library in Danville, sometime back in the Pliocene era .. or maybe earlier. I was young once you know. I think that when Cain killed Abel ... I was called for jury duty. I am so old, that when Hilda and I go out to eat ... they make me pay in advance.

Well, better get back to the stupid Excel spreadsheets. Or better yet, lay down and read some Edgar A. and relax.

Have a great day and a better week.

11 March 2007

Back Again

I have been absent from this BLOG for a while. Old age and health are my only excuses. My knees has been giving me fits, and when I am not working I have just been resting them up. I spend the hours of 5PM to 6AM resting so that I can work the other hours. My creative juices have taken a back seat to the knee pain and so has my communication via e-mail, the BLOG, and even via my phone. I find myself doing "mindless" activities of late ..... listening to radio-i-o on the computer, POGO games, et al. Even my (often called) phobia about organization is kaput... my poor computer desk is full of piles of assorted stuff. Both recliners have clean clothes stacked on them, et al. At least the sink is free of dishes and the counters are clean ... health is important you know.

I am not sick, ill or uninterested ... just getting lazy sort of. I haven't received any 'real' e-mails in many moons but I do enjoy the forwarded jokes, funnies and other stuff.

I assume that these doldrums shall pass, especially since high temperatures are returning to the desert. I always feel much better when I can go to work in shorts and a short sleeved shirt. I certainly have felt, of late, as if I have nothing to say via the BLOG and have my doubts whether I ever did. Perhaps I need to change my reading material and that something will pique my interest once again and give me reason to think and food for thought.

I hope that everyone out there is well and getting along fine. We here in the desert arehealthy and still making a living.