Monday, September 30, 2013

*Happily Ever After*

So, having finished the 30 day photo challenge, our hero and his pony called Corona rode off into the Arizona sunset to live Happily Ever After.  

Wild Ponies of Arizona

I got to ride a beautiful Pony in Wickenburg Arizona.

This Mule was a gentle and beautiful animal that the owner just loved. 

Junkyard Guard Donkey

My Naaayhbors

Beautiful Spotted Pony

Pick a pony and ride.

Nice little Pony

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Decisions, Decisions

  It’s no secret that as a Republican for all of my adult life, I have opposed Obamacare going back to when they called it Hillarycare.   I’ve known that our American healthcare system needed some changes to make it more affordable but, the Affordable Healthcare Act did nothing to lower any of the costs.  The Democrats refused to even consider things that would have lowered the costs like Tort Reform and allowing health insurance to be purchased across state lines because they were “Republican” ideas.   So in the end, we got an extremely huge and expensive, partisan bill that NO Republican could vote for.   It isn’t any surprise that now that it has been implemented it is a complete disaster.  We saw this coming.

  A few years ago, in a campaign style speech, Former President Obama blamed “Uncle Tim, who’s been watching too much Fox News OANN” for the epic failure of Obamacare.  I am the "Uncle Tim" who is destroying Obamacare by watching Fox News OANN too much.  In fact, I have a Fox News OANN coffee mug that I drink coffee (not Starbucks) out of while watching Fox News OANN.  

  When I first heard on Fox News OANN that Obama was putting the blame for the epic failure of his signature legislation totally on my shoulders, I thought cool!  I don’t want Obamacare and about 73% of Americans don’t want it either.  I took satisfaction in knowing that all I had to do was watch the same Fox News OANN that I have been watching for 18 years now and Obamacare would be doomed.

  Other thoughts then crept into my head.  Questions arose like:  Is it fair that one man has all this power over the Health Insurance of a great nation?   What about the 12% of Americans who support Obamacare?  Am I starting to get bored with watching Fox News OANN?  Do I need a new toothbrush?  Can I make some money out of this?

  I have actually developed some anxiety over being  named The Great Obamacare Slayer by the former President, so I would like to hear from you.  I want you to tell me if I should continue to watch Fox News OANN every day and rejoice in single handedly causing the demise of Obamacare or should I change the channel to CNN Fake News and allow Obamacare to flourish as a great unselfish act of citizenship or should I ask the former President to pay me $728,000.00 for switching the channel to CNN Fake News?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Poison – I didn’t do it!

I know what you’re thinking.  No, I didn’t poison these little guys just for a photo.  Relax, they’re all fine.  They saw me setting up the pic and insisted that I put them in it.  They thought it would be funny.

Have you been to Irv's Penguin Emporium?

Here's my buddies Chipster and Georgy from the “Poison” picture.  As you can see they're both fine.

Here’s my buddy T chasing breakfast.  He’s always hungry. 

On the same day I took the “Poison” picture, Georgy organized as craps game while I was out.  Good thing my wife didn’t catch him. 

Ugly Christmas Sweaters


Monster Deal

Sunday, September 22, 2013

The One That Got Away

  Don’t call me Ishmael.  I will not respond for my name is Commodore Agent 54 and I have a fish tale to tell.  I’m actually not a sea-fairing man despite serving in the United States Marine Corps.  I spent 4 years on Marine Air bases.  The first time I actually went aboard ship was as a civilian for my Honeymoon cruise. I  boarded the Nordic Empress, with my current wife Carol.  It is Carol who plays a pivotal role in this story.

  I don’t know how I acquired my love of salmon.  Is it in my heritage or something I picked up in the Marine Corps, I cannot tell you.   All I really know is that any way it is prepared, I always enjoy salmon.  Carol is keenly aware of this fact.

  Carol is very proficient in the galley.  She takes pride in creating complete meals that please her spouse.  Carol will at times, take risks and try new things that usually turn out well.  So, on a Monday Carol bought a $9.00 piece of salmon with the idea of saving it in the freezer for a Friday feast.  Anxious to try a new recipe, she awaited the end of the week. 

I do not go into my own freezer.  I have learned.  I will forego the ice cream sandwich to preserve my well-being.  In the past when I was young and dumb, I would open the freezer door only to have something frozen solid spring out at me like a coiled Cobra and then tumble toward my naked feet in an effort to break one of my toes.  No, I do not go into my own freezer.  I have learned.

  Friday came and I occupied my living room TV chair in anticipation of the creation of a meal fit for a Commodore.   Carol asked me “honey have you seen the fish?”  Like a true smart ass I replied “No, nothing has swum by in a while now.”  Carol said “I can’t find it.” “Would you take a look?”  I hesitated at the thought of taking on the dreaded freezer.   After a moment, I realized that I still had my titanium toed work boots on.  I could check the freezer in relative safety.

  Before I got near the dreaded freezer, I spotted something fishy atop the refrigerator.  “What’s that?”  I said hoping that I was wrong about what I thought it was.  Carol reached for it, grabbed it and on the way down it dripped on her.  “Ewwww” she cried as she dropped it on the counter.  There it was.  The $9.00 piece of salmon that I had anticipated eating had been sitting on top of the freezer since Monday.

  Carol was crushed.  She had tried to rearrange and repack the evil freezer to make enough room for the fish and then she forgot to actually put it inside.  Her plans dashed by an act of her own stupidity, she began to sob.  As Commodore, I had to console her.  “It’s okay dear, Taco Bell is open” I said.  Carol sobbed and said “I wasted a nice $9.00 piece of salmon.  I was going to,,,” I cut her off.  “Let it go dear and so it won’t be a total waste, this fish shall now and forever be known as The One That Got Away”    We will tell this story to our children and our children’s children and it will become an everlasting source of levity for future generations enduring on into infinity.

  That is my tale true as can be, of The One That Got Away from the deep blue sea.


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Viking Pep Talk

I tried to help the Vikings in 2013.  It didn't work out so well.  Ahh,,,Maybe this year?  

Agent 54 here again.  Only 2 weeks into the NFL season and my Minnesota Vikings are facing playoff elimination after losing close games to the Lions and the Bears.  I listened in to an interesting conversation designed to address this problem.  Check it out:

 Scene:  Christian and Samantha Ponder’s home.  The telephone rings.

Chris:  Hello

Leif Eriksson:  Hello, am I speaking to Christian Ponder of the Minnesota Vikings?

Chris:  Yes you are, who is this?

Leif:  I am Leif Eriksson, also known as Leif the Lucky.  I hail from Greenland by way of Norway.  I am a fan of your Minnesota Vikings.

Chris:  Oh, well thanks.  You know we have fans all over the world.

Leif:  Yes, I’m sure that is the case.  I want to talk to you about the season so far.

Chris:  Well, we had a couple of close loses on the road but, I’m sure we will bounce back.  There still is time.

Leif:  Yes, Lions and Bears can be quite challenging prey.  When my people hunt Lions and Bears we also have an 11 man team.  We use 5 archers and 5 hand axe men.  The 11th man carries the finest, sharpest spear our craftsmen can make.  It is the job of the Spearman to lead the hunt, to direct the other men and to deliver the final killing blow by throwing the spear through the heart of the prey.

Chris:  So, you had your own Quarterback too.

Leif:  Quite, and It was my honor to be the Spear-man for my village’s team.  I learned that it takes great qualities of character to lead the team to a successful hunt.  You must show leadership and inspire confidence in your men by making the correct decisions with split second timing and never showing your fears.

Chris:  Wow, that sounds so much like the NFL.

Leif:  Yes, they are very similar except you don’t eat your vanquished opponents.

Chris:  Thank God for that.

Leif:  Thank Odin.  So, I want to tell you that I have all the confidence of Thor, the God of thunder, in your ability to lead your village team to many successful hunts in the future if you can demonstrate your leadership and command of the team.

Chris:  Well, I found your story very inspirational. I’ll certainly do my best to lead the Minnesota Vikings on to victory in the Superbowl. 

Leif:  Good Luck and may Odin’s favor be upon you.

Chris:  Thanks, good bye.

Samantha Ponder enters the room.

Sam:  Who was that honey. 

Chris:  It was Leif Eriksson and we had a great conversation.  He’s a big fan.

Sam:  Who?  Have you been drinking?

Scene:  Eric the Red’s condo where he and Leif are hanging out and drinking Heinekens.

Eric:  So son, do you think he bought it? 

Leif:  Oh yeah, you watch, there will be a big improvement next week against the Cleveland Browns.

Eric:  Good.  Say, didn’t we used to dig a dead fall with sharp spikes in the bottom and cover it with brush and then chase the Lions and Bears into the pit when we hunted them?

Leif:  Sure father but, that doesn’t fit the NFL and it’s actually kinda boring.  I took the liberty of Bullshitting young Christian Ponder.

Eric:  Hey, whatever works, praise be to Odin.

Leif:  Praise be to Odin.

Holy cow!   I can’t wait to see next weekend’s Browns vs Vikings game.  We’re gonna win for sure with an inspired Quarterback leading the way.  Go Vikings!

Mega-Super Project

The One That Got Away

Are You Ready for Some Football?

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Conversations from Punnsylvania

  Agent 54 here again.  So, my wife said “honey I’m a little dizzy” and I said “I know but, I married you anyway”.  I was trying to imagine a funny conversation that Agent 54 could listen in on when it hit me that many of my real conversations, however brief are very funny. I know from funny and I'm funny.

  My wife was torturing me on Labor Day with another Romantic Comedy (chick flick) starring The beautiful and talented Sandra Bullock and dumbass Englishman Hugh Grant.  After a few minutes of casual observance, I stated that “this flick would be better with the sound off”.   I said “So, she works for him, what’s her job, keep him from being an asshole?  “She’s a lawyer” Carol responded.  I said “I think it’s going to take more than a Lawyer.  I think he needs a doctor, lawyer , an Indian Chief and a Rabbi”.  “Shut up and eat your bagels” Carol barked.  “Yes Dear”  Nothing wrong with this movie that a few car chases, some explosions, a pole dance or two, a Lunar landing and some gun shots wouldn’t fix, I thought quietly to myself.

  I saw something about a book titled 50 Shades of Grey .   My wife called it “mommy porn”.   The main character is Christian Grey.  I guess if I was the main character in a book, because I have IBS it might be titled 50 Shits a Day.  My wife musically said “Dump to da dump, to da dump to da dump, dump, dump”.  Was that funny?  I usually know from funny.  I think she may have made a funny.

Nuttball with Football
  My wife likes sports and I drive her nutz with my wisecracks when we watch games.  I see a player named Shaw and I’ll say “there’s Ric Shaw, he’s in the travel business in the off season. 

  Watching NASCAR I asked her “don’t you think Jimmy John’s sandwich co. should sponsor NASCAR Champion Jimmie Johnson?  “Shut up and finish your sandwich” said Carol.

When we watch football it’s like Punnsylvania in my living room.

   University of Pittsburgh Quarterback is named Savage.  Just before halftime they had a chance to score.  I told my wife “ the coach has to turn Savage loose”.

  I saw some NFL news and I said “the Jets just signed QB Brady Quinn because they think he can win and they threw QB Graham Harrell into the trash barrel.

 Watching Purdue vs. Notre Dame football game.  I told Carol that Purdue missed the field goal.   She said “the chickens missed it”.  I said “yeah, they clucked it up”.

  One Purdue player is named Bob King.  He has  a cousin who is a good golfer named Par King.  His other cousin is a Norseman named Vi King.  He has a skinny cousin who is wicked smart named Thin king.  They say his sister is a drunk and a real dog named Bar King. His other sister is a terrible dancer named Twer King.  His Pirate cousin is the lookout on the crows mast.  Name is Sea King. 

  I saw a player named Herring.  Something fishy about him.  A. Hunter plays for Purdue.  His first name is Antelope.  His brother B. Hunter is on the team.  Yes he is Bear Hunter.  Their cousin is T. Hunter.  That’s right, Treasure Hunter.

  Did I tell you about the cajun family that goes by the name Ting?  The twin brothers were One Ting and Same Ting.  We had a party but, we didn't invite them.  We had no Ting. 

I apologize. 

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Group Session

  Agent 54 here again.  You know, my NSA only spies on Americans for their own good and our own amusement.  We're all on the same team here. You should Trust us!  Let’s listen in on my friend Dr. Goldbloops, as he conducts a group session for the wives of sports team mascots.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Hello everyone.  Welcome to this group session.  Some of you know each other and some are new so I would like everyone to introduce themselves when they want to share with the group.  Who would like to share first?

Everyone looks at someone else.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Mamma Bear, you’ve been here before why don’t you start?

Mamma Bear:  No.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Please, just to get us started.

Mamma Bear:  N-O-E, I said No, what part of no don’t you understand?

Dr. Goldbloops:  Please, for me.

Mamma Bear:  Boy, you getting on my last nerve.  Oh, shut up. I’ll do it.  Hey, I’m Mamma Bear of the Baylor Bears.  My husband’s Pappa Bear and we got a 5 year-old cub named Baby Bear and I ain’t got nothing to share cuz things is goin great in the Bear’s den.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Oh, that’s good news.  Last time we talked you were having a problem with a blonde woman.

Mamma Bear:  Yeah, Goldilocks but, that bitch ain’t never comin back.  I ripped some of that yellow hair out her head and put it on the frige with a Baylor Bear team magnet.

Mrs. Badger gives Mamma Bear a high five.

Mrs. Badger:  Damn strait!  Bitch learnt about messing with people’s pourage.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Well, you know I don’t condone violence as a solution to conflict.

Mamma Bear:  Yeah, well don’t knock it till you tried it.

Mrs. Badger gives Mamma Bear an even higher five.  Tell him Mamma!

Dr. Goldbloops:  Let’s hear from somebody new now.  Mrs. Spartan, would you like to share something?

Mrs. Spartan:  Oh dear, well, I guess that’s why I’m here.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Just relax, take a breath and tell us who you are and why you are here.

Mrs. Spartan:  Okay, I’m Sue Spartan and my husband is Sparty Spartan of the Michigan State Spartans.  I guess we had a fairytale romance.   I think all of us here are attracted to the strong, silent type and Sparty is so handsome and looks so good in his uniform, it was love at first sight.

Mrs. Badger:  Boooorrriinnggg!  Get to the point, lady.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Ladies please don’t do that.  Let’s all listen politely please.

Mrs. Badger slumps in her seat and looks out the window.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Mrs. Spartan, please continue.

Mrs. Spartan:  Oh, well the trouble started soon after we were married.  At first it was just rumors and then I noticed something, something stinky.  I tried to ignore it the first time but, it happened again and again.  Finally I said something to Sparty.  He pointed to the car and opened the hood and pretended that was where the stink was coming from and he was fixing it.

Mrs. Badger:  Yeah, I know where you comin from I heard them rumors too.  Michigan State is the Fartin Spartans.

Mamma Bear:  Oh lawdy, honey you got you a stinker.

The other ladies bust out laughing but, Dr. Goldbloops is not amused.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Ladies please!  Mrs. Spartan what happened when you finally confronted Sparty about this problem.

Mrs. Spartan:  Well, it got worse and worse until he would cut one lose anywhere we were and laugh about it.  He thinks it’s funny.

At this point the other ladies are having a hard time holding back the laughter.

Mrs. Spartan:  I mean Dr. Goldbloops, we don’t even try go to church anymore.

The other ladies crack up again.  Mrs. Spartan snaps at them.

Mrs. Spartan:  It’s not funny ladies.  Look, I keep a Yankee Candle in my handbag at all times (as she pulls the candle out of her bag) look, Apple Cinnamon.

The other women are now howling with laughter.  Mrs. Badger has slid off her seat and is rolling on the floor.

Dr. Goldbloops:  Okay Mrs. Fart-uh Mrs. Spartan, I want you to go to Walgreens and find an over the counter product called Bean-O and see if that works for Sparty.   If he doesn’t want to take it, try grinding it up and mixing it in with his food.  You can put some in the salt shaker too.

Dr. Goldbloops:  (to the group)  I think that’s enough for tonight ladies.

Mrs. Badger:  (almost choking with laughter) Yeah Doc, that’s all I can take.

Mamma Bear:  (wiping tears of laughter from her eyes)  Yeah, good one Doc.  See ya next week.

Agent 54 here again.  Wasn’t that fun!  See what great value you get for your tax dollars.  I love my job.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Bruins Flush Hornets

  Agent 54 here again.  I don't often get to tell Hockey stories.  Most people don't want to hear it.  Truth is that if you haven't played, it is hard to relate.  Take my word for it, Hockey is the coolest thing God ever created.  I wrote this up and sent it in to the local paper after our series victory.  It is one of the few things I sent them that they didn't publish.  My friend Joe requested that I post it.   

  In a first round playoff match-up of the Penn-Jersey Hockey League, C division, The Roto Rooter Bruins eliminated the Hornets 2 games to none Monday night at the Flyers Skate Zone in Bethlehem.

  The Hornets had “bugged” Roto Rooter for 3 years, consistently getting the best of them in the regular season and the playoffs.

  Things started to change when the Bruins faced the Hornets for the first time during this season.  The Hornets came into that game undefeated but Roto stopped their winning streak.  The Hornets got revenge in the next meeting, and that set up a dramatic playoff series.
Game one was a close and tense affair that seemed to have the Hornets up by a goal for most of the game until Paul Hockman scored on a Penalty Shot to tie the game at 3 all in the second period.  The game went into overtime and after a close call on a rush by Scott Richardson of the Hornets, Roto Rooter’s Ed Morris buried a wrist shot to give them thrilling 4-3 victory.

  Game two was even more dramatic.  The Hornets built a 3-0 lead after two periods and it looked like they would force a game 3.  However, Roto Rooter, lead by Jason Moorehead mounted an unbelievable come back capped off by Moorehead’s game winner with just 2.1 seconds left in regulation.  The final score was also 4-3

  Roto Rooter’s emotional post game celebration was a mixture of the joy of winning and relief of not having to face the Hornets for a deciding game 3. 

Agent 54 at the Ice Palace.
  After the brief celebration both teams displayed true sportsmanship by shaking hands and congratulating each other on a well played game.  It was a hard fought and thrilling series and will only serve to build up the rivalry in the future between the two teams.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Butterfly, Tiger & Nature

  My wife actually took this pic of a Swallow Tail Butterfly softly hopping from flower to flower illuminated by the Arizona sun in a Hummingbird - Butterfly Park near our home.  Notice just a touch of red on the bottom of the wing.

Carol took this picture of a Tiger too.

I took this picture of my favorite Cactus "Rusty" on South Mountain.

This Great Blue Heron lives at the lake behind my apartment.

You can see Green or Greenback Herons there too.

Arizona Wild Ponies

Double Rainbow in my neighborhood

My neighbor's cactus bloomed today. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Superstition Mountains of Arizona

Agent 54 took this while hiking in the Superstition Mountains of Arizona.  I don't know how I timed the light so perfectly.  Maybe I was being guided by a higher power.

These spires are huge.  The tallest one on the right is about 175 ft. or more.
Can you feel the power of this photo as I do?

A view from the Lost Dutchman's State Park across from the old mining town of Goldfield Arizona.

This is the Green Boulder.  Can you see the tiny people at the bottom of the Rock?

Looking back from The Basin at Goldfield Arizona.   Goldfield was once a booming mining town.

This is what they call "the Basin".  It is the official trail end and it was formed by an ancient lava flow.

I call this the Bunny Rock.  Does it look like a Rabbit to you?

Another neat looking rock formation along the trail

The Flat Iron peak stands majestically above the Siphon Draw.  The distinctive light colored band can be seen for miles around.

I recommend visiting the Superstition Mountains of the Tonto National Forest of Arizona for terrific hiking and breathtaking views. Google Lost Dutchman's State Park for more info.

My friend took this picture of me standing in front of the Whitlow Dam on Queen Creek in the foothills of the Superstion Mountains of Arizona.

In this picture you can see the top peak in the back of the Lost Dutchman's State Park in the distance in the left center of the picture.  Weaver's Needle is in the right center of he picture.

Looking back from the top of he dam at the water collection area.

A very young Diamondback Rattle Snake crossed our path.

Looking up at earthen dam from water collection area.