Wednesday, December 23, 2009

...and a Very Merry Christmas to All!!!

We had our Christmas snowfall a day or two early; by December 25, all the white stuff in the neighborhood will be gone, though it remains on the mountains.

However, I'm simply too old (and don't bend easily enough) to be building my own snowman. Which is why I couldn't resist this sign when I wandered Whiskey Row with the DIL this afternoon.

This is Frosty, the popcorn man! Do read his vital statistics below -- impressive. You wouldn't want that 200 pound popcorn ball to fall over on you!

This being my last post before Christmas Day, I just want to wish everyone of you to enjoy a wonderful holiday. Eat, drink, be merry!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Ride 'em, cowgirl!

A small sculpt on display in the main entrance to the Sharlot Hall Museum. One has to wonder about that cactus problem that the horse is suffering.

Note: posting will be sporadic for the next few days. The Sson and his family -- all four of them -- arrive sometime tomorrow. They'll leave shortly before the New Year weekend. And, the day after Christmas, the dotter and her dotter arrive from Alaska. I expect to be busy, but pictures will definitely be taken...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

The big Christmas bazaar

I don't know how many different non-profits were there today with their wares, but the Sparkes Activity Center was full of tables that were full of goodies, seasonal or suitable for gifting. To give an idea of the range of groups present: the snowmen above were made by members of the Gourd Patch, a club of gourd fanciers, while the gingerbread tree ornament below was on sale at the Heritage Park zoo's booth.

Other holiday wares that caught my eye: the Christmas clock (above) and the flurry of white handkerchiefs (below).
But there were also a handful of "paintings" made by elephants! Huh? Apparently kids from one of the local charters are raising money for a trip to Thailand (see below) and loaded up on exotic items from that SE Asian nation.

Above, just one of the tee shirts from the Highland Center collection -- very unfortunately, I had already bought a nature tee for the Sson (who collects), though I did find suitable tops for the SDIL and the grandson.

Miss Kitty has a new tee and a sweat shirt -- perhaps to celebrate the move of their cat house to a new location on South Alarcon. Also on display (and/or sale), two cat quilts. The fine example below was a prize in a drawing.

Other handmades for sale: quilted items above, and old-fashioned rag dolls, below.

Chris Hoy was there to promote his book, proceeds of which all go to the Elks Opera House renovation. The dressy ladies below were also promoting the Opera House -- seems to me we always have somebody in historic costume at civic events in Prescott, though I didn't see any cowboys today.

Other giftables -- a wooden panda and Indian jewelry, the latter on sale by the Smoki Museum.

Perhaps my favorite of all the items on the floor -- earrings made from feathers of the Heritage Park peacocks. Already I'm kicking myself for not buying the set! I'll be sure to make the big bazaar scene next year -- this was great fun!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Small lobby, neat pieces

The St. Michael Hotel lobby is not a place for gathering nor, really, for just sitting to watch the passing parade, unlike, say, the Hassayampa Inn. For that, you have to move next door into the hotel's bistro. However, the few pieces of period furniture populating the small area were certainly worth a picture or two.

Neat chairs, though they wouldn't stand up under regular use by the Sson or any of the other young men that used to visit us back in Chicago. Definitely not designed for hotel usage. (I don't remember just how many chairs we lost over the years to everyday wear and tear from young guys who just have to wiggle, lean back and do all those other things that loosen joints and otherwise destroy perfectly good furniture).

On the other hand, stop to admire this ornate credenza. I think that it would hold up well to a legion of youths climbing on it, kicking it and otherwise abusing it. All except for the drawers -- those handles would go in no time at all.

Undersea Volcano: New video from undersea exploration shows how a volcano burbles up at depths of 4000+ feet. Eerie stuff.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


'S funny -- though I remember Betty Boop from my childhood, I never considered her a Big Deal. In fact, I never thought too much about her cartoons. And so here I am, at 80+, seeing all these Betty Boop items around town. Geezers remembering their childhoods, maybe? But not if they're like me. What can I do but turn to The Google to find out, maybe.

What I discover, primarily, are sites selling 1300+ Betty Boop items. (Here, here and here). Plus the cartoons. Wikipedia, of course, has an extensive article, though I didn't really get an answer to: Why Betty Boop in the 2000s? However, it did note that marketers rediscovered Betty Boop in the 1980s, and "Betty Boop" merchandise has far outdistanced her exposure in films, with many not aware of her as a cinematic creation. Much of this current merchandise features the character in her popular, sexier form, and has become popular worldwide once again.

Aha -- so that's what it was; when I was a little girl, Betty Boop was a sex symbol, a cartoon for the grown-ups, not really for the kids. And that appears to be her current appeal, as well, tho my memory puts her in the same class as the dumb blonde with a cutsie, high-pitched voice. However, I still marvel at how such an iconic figure gets dredged up from the past to take on a new life. I guess all I can do is buy one of these bright R.E.D. fleece blankets and curl up with a ghost of yesterday.

Local Linkage: The folks at Love Field, our local airport, have instituted a blog, Prescott Aerospan, which, in turn, is promising a series of articles about Prescott area aviation history. Another local blogger, Jenny Williams, who writes as Geek Dad at Wired magazine, has posted a 3-part interview with local SF author Allen Dean Foster.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A pair of big boring bits

Last night's post reminded me that I did have, somewhere in my big iPhoto folder, good pictures, in focus pictures of those great big bits used to make great big holes in the ground. The pix date from a couple of years ago, about the time all that work was going on out Iron Springs Road. As I recall, the best of the shots were made by the Sson.

I'm sure that in the great scheme of things, these drill bits are ho hum -- no oil wells or sample cores from Antarctic ice, for instance. But I still find them impressive.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caged borer

By this time, everybody should know the drill: whatever is first in line in front of the lens is where the camera will focus. Which results in pictures of twigs instead of birds in trees. Smushed bugs on the windshield instead of purple mountain majesties. And a chain link fence instead of earth moving equipment with a giant borer attachment. Nonetheless, the combination makes for an interesting picture as a placeholder while I go prep the house for the Merry Maids, arriving first thing in the morning. Getting ready for the much-anticipated Christmas invasion.

Monday, December 14, 2009

More storm aftermath

A crane looked out over Park Avenue this afternoon. A downed tree, my neighbor told me, urging friend Patty and me to cut the Scrabble game short and hie out to the car to go take a look. Which we did. The view from the alley showed 1) a lop-sided Arizona cypress that appeared to have lost most of its limbs on the left side and 2) another cypress whose upper trunk may have been broken off.

Here's the scene on the Park Avenue side of the historic mansion. As best we could tell, a huge trunk was squashing a car that's hiding behind the crane. If you peer past the crane (below), you might get a better view of the tree that lost the top of its trunk -- a side show to the main action.

This is the downed tree trunk -- and, below, the remaining stump.

Piles of slash all over the place -- and firewood for the taking (below). When did the tree topple? No idea, but I'm sure that the high winds earlier this week played a major role.

Those winds did a job on a shed at our cottage down in Wilhoit, as well. The roof blew into the lot next door, the former walls were all over the place...

And file cabinets that haven't been opened since the LH and I moved to Arizona were left standing, lonely, in the cold. Thanks to Chris for the photos.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Early Prescott

This curious representation of "historic" Prescott hangs near the entrance desk at the Sharlot Hall Museum and is called "Prescott -- 1864-1924". The title caught me up short, but then I spent a little time studying details to discover the painting is chockablock full of anachronisms.

For example, there is a handful of motor cars in the midst of horseback riders and pack mules. There is also a streetcar, marking this street (below) as Gurley.

The old Head Hotel shows up moved to the NE corner of Gurley and Cortez Streets.

Frontier Days plays out on Cortez Street, with the stand on the Courthouse Plaza. Whiskey Row is on the opposite side of the original Courthouse (below).

Yes, there was a railroad train evident at the north end of town, but the hydraulic gold mining (below) actually happened in Lynx Creek, quite a few miles distant from the Courthouse.

Ah, if only I had anticipated how that one picture (top) was to be used! I would have made a number of closer shots to maintain decent detail.

Winter Wonderland: The dotter was out with her new camera and has just posted the results -- beautiful pictures of hoar frost build up by Alaskan fog on the trees. Gorgeous.
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