Thursday, July 28, 2011

Madera Canyon

Az. Buddy spent the morning in Madera Canyon. Very green but no running water in the stream.
Deer, lizards and birds. Lots of humming birds. Pink and blue and yellow flowers. And lots of tourist, birders and hikers.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Read Red - The Hypnotist & The lonely Polygamist

Read these Red Jacked novels recently. Very different. The Hypnotist was said to be in the same vein of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Seig Larson. NOT. The Hypnotist is written by Swedish Lars Kepler which is really a husband and wife team.
It is murder mystery, crime novel with a lot of violence. It is two stories, one in the present when the Hypnotist is helping to solve a
horrific crime. The other is 10
years prior when the Hypnotist got into trouble when his practice
turned wrong. I am not a mystery fan so it is not fair for me to judge this novel but for me it is poorly written and thumbs way down.

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall on the other hand was a delightful read. The best I have read in a long time. Not a page turner like the other book, but one where you turn the page with feeling of wanting more, not for it to end, but to stay with these very interesting characters. Golden Richards is a very ordinary man. A Mormon. And how he got to be one is very interesting. But he has 4 wives and 28 children. He struggles from day to day as a contractor to make enough money to provide for this family, to keep the wives content and help with the children. The story is told from Golden's point of view but also from the point of view of Rusty, the 11 year old son, soon to be twelve. Rusty lets us in on the problems of being one of 28. How do you get attention on YOUR birthday? How do you get any attention at all?
I have read several books about polygamy including Under the Banner of Heaven a non fiction reporting of Mormons with multiple wives.

IMO this fictional account gave me an over all impression of the challenges of plural marriage
with charm and humor.
I loved the story and the characters, so much that I ordered and am reading Udall's first novel, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Up date on AzBuddy

We now know that Buddy has Valley Fever, a common disease in the Southwest that effects both canines and humanoids. It comes from spores in the sand of the desert that are dredged up by building and also the wind. Buddy's condition presented with neurological symptoms of seizure, imbalance and general weirdness. Certainly frightens the owners. Since this was a possibility when he was in the ICU with seizure, the good vet Dr. Wilkonsin started Fluconazole, the medication that is specific for victims of Valley Fever, be it canine, feline or human. S0- It is what it is and we know what it is.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Arizona Buddy

Buddy Boy had a bad day yesterday. And heart wrenching for his owners. Started about 7:15 a.m. with seizures. Taken to the vet where he was taken into ICU under the care of a great vet and tech. Received oxygen, anticonvulsant drugs and cortisone. Stopped seizing but couldn't use his back legs until about noon.
We were able to bring him home late afternoon.

Wobbly this morning but eating and eliminating and had a short walk.

How hard it is on us when our pets are sick.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Lizard Caper

Woman lets dog out. But leaves the sliding glass door open.

Dog finds and chases lizard.

Lizard escaped into the house.

Slides under the door of the food pantry

Dog and brave lady search for the lizard.
Lady finds lizard with arms wrapped
around a wine bottle. Grabs and yes
the tail does come off. Then finds lizard
with arms wrapped around bottle of gin.

Lizard caught and released into the
wild of the backyard.

Monday, July 18, 2011

May's Counter - Chicken and Waffles

I have been hearing buzz about this restaurant on Speedway for some time. Boasts of buttermilk southern fried chicken and malt waffles. So when meeting my niece from Maranna this seemed like a good half way place. Indeed it was. Internet reviews were all over the place 1*to 5*'s. "Only have the chicken and waffle. Have anything BUT the chicken and waffle".etc etc. Menu listed many different combinations of chicken and waffles and a very good sandwich and salad and big food items. We ordered the Pattie melt, shrimp poor boy and a Maytag blue cheese and bacon burger. Also ordered the chicken
to take home and it was excellent. Passed on the waffle but would try it another time. Breakfast all day. A number of southern side dishes.

I recommend it and especially like that it is in the center of town.
On Speedway one block west of Country Club. Close to the Loft
for dinner/lunch and a movie.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Two movie reviews

Two movies in two days. Very Very different. The only thing they have in common is that they are not very good.

First is Larry Crowne. A romantic comedy with Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Mediocre acting, silly plot and too many very old jokes. Out of work, the middle aged Hanks character goes to Community College and there meets the teacher that teaches him how to "communicate" and 'changes his life'.
At best a 2** film. That translates into "OK" if just to get out of the heat.

The second is Tree of Life, Terrance Malik's long awaited cerebral movie with Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. This is probably the most confusing movie I have seen in a long time. The first 45 minutes + are a collage of beautiful photography of the universe, land and sea. The story is minimalist at best. Family of southern patriarch endure his cruelty while the viewer waits to see which son dies and why. The theme is predicted early on when the wife declares early that
Grace is undependable and Nature free. SO is this an anti religion movie? I don't know.
I am sure that there is a lot of metaphor and symbolism in the film but it escaped us. To quote another viewer " hollow piece of psuedo-art".
This is a 1* IMO meaning "don't bother" stay home and watch National Geographic and read The New Yorker's Fiction section.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Repair or Replace?

We live in a "disposable" world. The rich replace, the poor do without and the middle class are faced with the decision to repair or replace. Indeed many in Washington would like to dispose of the middle class. Had four things get broken in azbuddy's home lately. The dog, the large flat screen TV, the stove and the vacuum cleaner.

With the help of our great vet, Dr. T. Pescod, a couple of days in the vet intensive care, and a couple weeks of TLC we repaired the dog.

The large screen TV was another matter. We found in Lou's TV service a man devoted to his job.
He analyzed, probed, inspected and diagnosed the TV with great care. Took it back to the TV intensive care unit and it was saved.

We were tempted to replace the vacuum BUT didn't want what might be a perfectly good vacuum to be added to the land fill. Cathy's Sew and Vac will be able to fix it for $20.

The stove: That is another matter. And who needs a stove in the summer in the desert. A look around the kitchen reveals a crock pot, electric fry pan, microwave and toaster oven. That'll do.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two documentary film reviews

Two movies. Very different. Same message.

I Am is written and directed by Tom Shadyac of Ace Ventura and other dumb boy movies. After a major bike accident with broken bones and a concussion he recovers to ask two very important questions. What is wrong with the world and how do we fix it. The movie features numerous interviews and film clips from well known philosophers and world leaders who answer the question. They all agree that cooperation is more important than competition that leads to conflict. We are not genetically engineered for survival of the fittest alone, but to cooperate to bring happiness and success to the group. What is wrong with the world? I am. How do we fix it?
We cooperate, not compete.

The second movie is Buck. A documentary about the true Horse Whisper. Traumatized by child abuse from his father after the death of his mother, Buck was taken in by foster parents on a large ranch in Montana. After learning from mentors that the way to train horses is with kindness but firmness and consistency, Buck applies aspects learned from his difficult youth into dealing with difficult horses. Kindness, empathy does more that the traditional methods of breaking horses.

Both of these movies illustrate what is important in Buddhist teachings.
Simplicity, patience and compassion yield greater triumphs than does complexity, haste and anger.