Saturday, December 31, 2011

Startin' the New Year with....

n. "Javelina" or Collared Peccary. Toyassu tajacu. C and SE Arizona, New Mexico. Like a pig with a big head and shoulders. Roams in large packs. Can be aggressive, with tusks. Rough as that tree in the heading picture. So that's what's been passing through the condo grounds at night, huh? Wild pigs! I thought it was the neighbors partying all the time.

(Click on cartoons to enlarge.)

It's That Time Again!

And may all you resolutionaries stand firm in your commitments!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Well, well, well!

What a nice way to end the year! Over the last few days, the 10,000th page viewer visited this blog and I want to wish them all well and give 'em a very big THANK YOU for coming by! HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Signing autographs

Yours truly, ooly-dooly, hard at work signing books. My cap says "Be careful...or you will be in my next novel."

Enjoy the Christmas Day. Hope everyone got what they asked for and then some!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Santa Claus

How bless'd, how envied, our life,
Could we but 'scape the poulterer's knife!
But man, curs'd man, on Turkeys preys,

And Christmas shortens all our days:
Sometimes with oysters we combine,
Sometimes assist the savory chine;
From the low peasant to the lord,
The Turkey smokes on every board.
           Gay---- Fables

The Turkey will not be smoking on my board.
It will be HAM, BY DAMN!

May the joys of Christmas rain gifts upon Thee!

Don't forget the author signing at 114th Ave & Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ (Bell Mar Plaza) Barnaby Street Shoppes::

From 11:30 - 2:30 PM both days.

Dec 23: Ann Goldfarb, discusses her first two time travel mysteries for YA.
Dec 24: Brenda Heyward, inter-racial romance fiction writer.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Monsieur Gustave Flaubert

(Click on cartoon to enlarge.)

"What better occupation, really, than to spend the evening at the fireside with a book, with the wind beating on the windows and the lamp burning bright....Haven't you ever happened to come across in a book some vague notion that you've had, some obscure idea that returns from afar and that seems to express completely your most subtle feelings?"
                            ----------------Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary 

"Oui, M'sieur, that I have had. Subtle and not so subtle feelings, and vague and not so vague notions, uh-huh. About every time, no, by golly, every time I pick up a book and hear the wind, and sometimes the rain, beating on the window with the lights burning brightly, i get filled up, overcome, vastly excited, and all the other adverbs, and my mind fills with vague notions and subtle feelings, and I can't begin to tell you - such feelings, such notions! I'm overwhelmed as I open the book and make myself comfortable - on the floor, on the couch, in the chair, on an airplane, in a submarine, on the deck of a fine ship in the middle of the ocean! Wherever! I must read, I must read, my soul, my life, my everything is about to be expanded when I begin to read a book."

A hearty welcome to Albie to my blog. Check out his blog at:

Gila Monstuh!

(Click on picture to get normal sized cartoon.)

Gila monster: Am. A large poisonous lizard of Arizona and New Mexico, covered with bead-like orange and black scales. Carnivorous. Stays underground when too hot or too cold. You may pick one up if it has a nice, fat, swollen tail which means he is well-fed. Then again, he may object to being handled. Its venom won't kill you, normally, but you never know. Bites hard and may hurt, hell, it will hurt. There are only two poisonous lizards in the world, and this is one of them. The other one is Mexican and wears beads - the beaded lizard. I've lived in Arizona for about forty years and only seen one - at least, I think it was one. I didn't follow him to find out. They can jump FAST.

Sunday, December 11, 2011


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Gustave Flaubert, while writing Madame Bovary, believed that characters should reveal themselves in their actions not like the analyses of character used by Balzac. My feeling in this regard is to do what the story you're writing tells you. If you feel that long character descriptions enhances the writing and the story, by all means, put them in.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


(Click on pictures to enlarge)


Tiny bawbles in the wine.
Makes me innards feel fine,
An to me out'ards adds,
A tinge of red design.
                -------  Oscar

Away, you cut-purse rascal! you filthy bung, away!
by this wine, I'll thrust my knife in your mouldy
chaps, an you play the saucy cuttle with me. Away,
you bottle-ale rascal! you basket-hilt stale
juggler, you! Since when, I pray you, sir? God's
light, with two points on your shoulder? much!
               ------------  Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Ye Gods! Me mouldy chaps be not clean,
Surely, my love, you shall not thrust thy knife hence.
Who is it, I say, that plays the saucy cuttle with my fair damsel?
It is not I! It is not I!
Tell me! Tell me, dear wife of mine,
Who plays the saucy cuttle with thy fair body?
His  life! His life! I will scuttle his cuttle perchance to do no more.
                                                ---------- Oscar

No more, Pistol; I would not have you go off here:
discharge yourself of our company, Pistol.
                  ----------- Shakespeare, Henry IV, Part 2

Enough! Enough, I say, and lay off the wine from now on. Ye Gods, man!  

 I don't like it when somebody talks about me chaps!

All right! All right! Enough already!

Friday, December 2, 2011

What is going to happen?Revised author signings/cartoon

Esther, at the top of the pile of rocks, defending herself and her family was grabbed by Mahtoree, the Chief of the Sioux band on the wide, low, vacant, beautiful, hilly, grassy prairie in the middle of the night. This pile of rocks was supposed to be impenetrable and easy to defend and Ishmael had left the family there while he and his sons went looking for their animals the Siouxes chased away.

Doctor Battius had earlier escaped on his asinus, and then the old trapper, the bee hunter, the soldier escaped from the Siouxes just before Mahtoree latched onto Esther. Ishmael and his boys were on their way back to the pile of rocks, but will they make it in time? Will they evade the Sioux band? Will Esther be killed? Will her young girlfriends and the girls in the family be killed? Hurry up, Ishmael!

And that's where I was cut off in the story, The Prairie, by James Fenimore Cooper, as I sat in the car in the parking lot in front of Michael's while my wife bought some Xmas decos. I'm a little more than halfway through the book as I only read it when I'm stuck like this. I will have to pick up on page 240, Chapter 22, to find out the outcome of this bind they're in, but that may not be until next year, the way it's going. I'm surprised that I still remember what was going on before today. The little band of travelers, however, have not moved very much from the pile of rocks for many pages, in fact, they haven't moved very much at all since the beginning of the book. The writing style of Mr. Cooper requires beaucoup words placed in certain flowery terms and slows down my pace, but I say it is a well-written work and well-worth the time it is taking. Oh, woe is me! What will happen next? I can't wait.

The heading photo is more of northern Arizona country after a light snow. I think it is the Little Colorado River  before running into the Colorado, or it may be the Colorado before reaching the Grand Canyon.

Revised schedule of author signing at Bell Mar Plaza, 114 Ave &:Bell Rd, Surprise, AZ:

Dec 9 - Conrad Storad, 11:30 - ?
Dec 10 - Brenda Heyward, 11:30 - ? Fiction writer specializing in inter-racial romance stories
Dec 16 - Yours truly from  11:30 to 2:30 PM.
Dec 17 - Ellen Calvert, 12:00 noon 'til 3:00 PM, Ellen will share her young children's works

Enjoy the day. And this cartoon:

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cartoon Time/Author Signings

And a bunch of other things, too, but life is too dern short to dwell on it.

Upcoming author signings at the Barnaby Street Shoppes in Surprise, AZ, 114th Ave and Bell Road:

Friday and Saturday, December 2 and 3, 11:30-2:30:  Michael Murphy, author of Scorpion Bay and several other mystery books.

Friday and Saturday, December 9 and 10, 11:30 til ?:  Conrad Storad, author of the award winning Rattlesnake Rules, a children's fiction book.

Y'all come out and support these great authors by buying a book or two or three.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The West

For the next few posts, I'll be adding some of my hand-drawn cartoons and hope it livens up the narrative a bit.

Here's another one to scratch your funnybone:

HAHAHAHAHAHA!! On to more serious items. A-hem....

I received another one of those standard rejection letters wishing me luck in getting The Bloody Gulch published. The more I learn about publishing, the more interested I become in self-publishing. Anyway, those letters don't discourage me anymore, and I'm busy rewriting the novel. When it's ready again, I may give them one more shot at it, but the number of publishers seem to be dwindling or being more selective due to the pressure of e-books.  

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Final Bed Covers of the West

Here are the final few pics of my wife's handmade quilts:

There's that darn dog again. He never missed many photo ops.

And there's my cat, Guinevere. She took a liking to those clown teddy bears. She has passed on to the spiritual cat world.

Some of the pics were duplicated here, but I had to fill up the page. HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL!!!

Friday, November 18, 2011

More Bed Covers

Now that the West has modernized and gotten past using bearskins and other hides and buffalo robes, at least most people have, here's some more pics of my wife's handmade quilts:

The first one is a basket design.

And there are a few Christmas colors mixed in these:

My step-daughter and wife are holding up that one, above,  that's still in  the frame.

And that darn show-off dog had to get on that one.

It looks like I still have to post another group next time. (You can let go of my arm now, Mary.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Bed Covers of the West

The title of this post may be considered a trifle exaggerated, although the West certainly made their own bed covers in most cases in the last half of the 19th century. And this tradition still goes on as exhibited in these photos of some of my wife's quilts. I think she did a FANTASTIC job and would like to show off a few of them. The small town where I was born had its own "quilting bees" where  the women would get together in the church and put together  quilts, most of which were made for the beds of the poor and were more useful in the design than artistic. I've seen quilts these days that are designed by electronics and are really complicated, but these are all done by hand from patterns in the old-fashioned way.

This first one is shown hanging on the wall of our 'umble abode, partially covered by an old sewing machine table and my old-fashioned chair. The small painting on the wall to the right shows the White Dove of the Desert Church complex south of Tucson done by moi when I was into painting. It looks a lot better in the photo.

In this one the quilt is thrown over the couch and our dog, Bonaparte, now departed, had to jump on it and get his picture taken. Big showoff.

The next quilt is thrown over our bed and is made from a Hawaiian pattern .

Another one thrown over the bed.

This one was photographed in the backyard, being held by the wife.

Will add a few more next post. (Quit twisting my arm, Mary, you're goin' to break my shoulder.)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

More things to do out West in Arizona

First off, a big welcome to James D. Best to my group of followers. BUY MR. BEST'S BOOKS TODAY at, a fine writer of Westerns and Mysteries and an all-around nice guy. You can visit his blog and order books from there . Read his latest blog post about his stay at a dude ranch, interesting.

Second off, if you are not in Phoenix this weekend you will miss the racing at Phoenix International Raceway with all the NASCAR drivers, including Jimmie Johnson, Michael Waltrip, Greg Biffle, the Cope Twins, and many others. It's a sellout crowd, tickets are still available for the hillside, though. Good luck and don't have too many accidents, just one or two spectacular crashes to keep the crowd excited on the way to the track. I will not be there this year or next year or the year after that, nor did I go last year, the year before, the year before that, etc.

Third off, other things that are coming up:

1. The Arizona Wind Symphony, Nov 2, DARN, you'll have to wait 'til next year. It was a real windy blast this year, a regular "haboob" without the dust, just the wind whistling through the cactus and creosote bushes. Just joking. This is an 80-member concert band that put on a Latin Music Extravaganza this year in the Tempe Arts Center.

2. The Wickenburg Bluegrass Festival, Nov 12-13, The fiddle-on-fire-that-turns-the-grass-blue event 30 miles NW of Phoenix with some of the best fiddlers around.

3. 2012 Trappings of the American West, Prescott, AZ. Ninety artists from the West painting, bronzing, photographing things Western, Nov 12. Don't stand still or they will take your picture and paint a portrait and sculpt something in bronze about it, a record forever sacred in stone, er, that was bronze, I think.

And so forth, and so forth, and...... the beat goes on. So much to do, so little time.

(Thanks to the AAA mag Highroads again.)

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Things to do Out West in Arizona

Coming up is the Arizona Centennial Celebration and it has already started in some places. It is officially the Fourteenth of February Twenty-Twelve. Prescott, Arizona, is where it all began and it is still a lively place to visit and have a centennial good time.

If that doesn't appeal to you, try stomping grapes with your bare feet on the last weekend in July in Sonoita in southeastern Arizona. With all the wine-tasting and what-have-you it'll be a rip-roaring toot.

To listen to some soothing music try the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks festival, held every damn year. Next year's event will be announced sometime next May. Sedona recieved an inch of snow this week, but it will all be melted off by the next festival. Cool listening among the rocky vortexes.

And for all the old birds who have spent a lifetime wishing they lived in Arizona, its the Annual Buzzard Days, almost like the swallows returning to Capistrano, except the turkey buzzards are uglier than a 20-day drunken blackout. We all gather at the Boyce Arboretum on the road to Globe from Apache Junction to watch their arrival in March, and we do practically the same thing when they leave in September. What a hoot!

For the horse-watchers, bull-watchers, goat-riders, and calf-wrestlers there is the Payson Rodeo, one of the oldest in the West having been held for 127 years coming again the third weekend in August.  The broken-bone fiesta! Yahoo!

After that we can set out on the old Salsa Trail, eating our way through the towns of Safford, Pima, Thatcher, Solomon, Clifton, Duncan, Wilcox, and York. York?? Did the Duke of York ever visit the little town of York? Or is it named after NEW York? It might be, since I haven't heard of an OLD York. Or is that the sound you make after finishing the Salsa Trail? I sure hope not, cause I love the salsa, hot salsa, cold salsa, intermediate salsa-consuming training, you name it, it's the best covering sauce around.

If you survive that, you must visit the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show and see all the rocks for sale. These aren't the throwing kind, but if you haggle too long over the price you might get hit with one. Rates high in the rock world for something to do in the middle of winter and it's practically summer in February in Tucson.

If that isn't enough, there's always the peach-pit spitting contest in Queen Creek in May, the ostrich festival in Chandler in March, the Prescott Bluegrass Festival in June, and the exciting sport of the Blooms at Picacho Peak in the spring as they make their thunderous noise opening up in a display of a million colors and hues beginning in March and ending in May. What a cracking display!

And that's just for starters! Next post we'll have some more wonderful things to do! Maybe.

(Thanks to the AAA Travel Magazine, Highroads, Nov-Dec 2011 ed.)

Sunday, November 6, 2011

How I Began Writing Novels

I began writing as a time-killer after moving into this retirement community with nothing much to do. I finished up my family history and genealogy books and decided I'd try writing a Western. I trotted (trod) ran, went to B & N and picked out a book on writing novels, The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing by Evan Marshall of the Evan Marshall Literary Agency it says in "About the Author." I had some preconceived ideas about some stories lingering around inside my brain and this was the book that was going to tell me what I should do about it. Clutching it tightly in my grubby little hands, I returned home and began reading. If anyone could tell me how to go about it, this was the man. I read the intro, preface, prologue, what the book was about, and most of Chapter l, Part of Chapter 2, skimmed through Chapter 3 and to the end, put the book in my crowded bookcase and sat down at my computer my mind abuzz with all the do's, don'ts, and what-if's. Pushing all that aside, I whipped out about seven, eight, nine novels and rested with complete satisfaction, all done, finished, kaput. Easy as cutting into a cream pie (coconut) and shoving it into  the appropriate orifice.

It wasn't that I didn't follow the Marshall Plan, I didn't. I followed Oscar's Plan: Write a story and get it published. The first story was a 185,000-word novel, biographical in nature, and I sent it off to someplace. The someplace sent it back saying nice attempt, but we're not interested in this type. I was overcome with dejection, sadness, it just can't be, what were these folks thinking anyway, the Great American Novel rejected! Boo-hoo-hoo! I sent those letters to agencies, queries, I think they call 'em, telling them do something about this biggest mistake in writing history, take me on as a client. They got a good laugh out of that and sent them back, too busy, no action, too long, too short, not literary, try again.

Well, I'll show them, I'll break that novel up into three books, make the stories shorter, tighter, more action, and what-have-you, and sent them off again to different publishers. Of course, all three were sent back tout de suite with those honey-sweet rejection letters, we don't print this genre, thanks, needs more action, thanks, sorry, thanks, etc.

What's a feller to do?

I walked four feet to my bookcase, pulled out The Marshall Plan, read the complete Chapter 2, skimmed through Chapter 3, closed it, and walked back to the bookcase and shoved it in there somehow. AHA! I said to my wife, who wasn't listening and didn't give a damn anyway, and sat back down at my PC.

Five or six years later, I'm still sitting here. I arose from my chair, went those few steps to the bookcase, pulled out The Marshall Plan, laid it down in front of the monitor where I could see it as I type, and taking a good look at the nice pretty blue cover  said to myself, "One of these days, I'm going to have to actually read it - all the way through to the very end. It's such a nice book and lays it all out for me to follow. It has great advice, easy, how-to-do-it, instructions, simple definitions, great writing, easy-to-understand terms, a nice index. Whew! Just too easy."

And that's how I began writing. Now, if we can just move on to the second phase (I say with fingers crossed while praying to the Great Publisher in the Sky).
Thanks to Mr. Marshall for writing this fine and interesting book and I recommend it to all beginners with one caveat, you have to actually READ IT and FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

2011 Avondale Writer's Conference

The Second Annual Writer's Conference in Avondale, Arizona, took place last Saturday, and there was a nice turnout.
I would have taken some pictures, but not having a camera pretty well prevented that. My personal involvement was attending some of the lectures and eating lunch.

The first class was on "How to get your book published - No Nonsense Advice" by James Best, a local author. I enjoyed listening to Mr. Best tell us how to do this and came away with my head buzzing with ideas. I'll have to see if any of them work out. Mr. Best has written fiction and non-fiction and his fiction books are Westerns and Mysteries and sounded very readable. His titles include The Shopkeeper, Leadville, Tempest at Dawn, Murder at Thumb Butte, and The Shutmouth Society in fiction. The one non-fiction book is The Digital Organization. 

The Second seminar was "How to Develop Believable Characters" by Laura Brown. I found this class interesting and hope that I absorbed enough to put her ideas to good use.

Number three was "3 Deadly Sins that will Keep you from getting published," by Betty J. Webb, a local mystery writer and former Arizona Republic journalist. I appreciated Mrs. Webb's advice and will keep it handy in my mind when I get back to working on my novels.

And the fourth was "Starting a Web site" by Signe Nichols. I didn't get too much out of this one, since most of the items covered I had already known about, but it was still worth my time.

There was one more, but I decided to go home. That one was "E-pubication. What you need to know," with Carol Webb.

Oh, yes, there were several agents in attendance to pitch to, but none that promoted Westerns according to the pre-conference literature, so I passed up that chance. Maybe next time.

All in all, I would say that the day was well spent. Just have to put my new info to work.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

California and the Southwest III

I've been lost in a cornfield maze for the last three days. We picked up the great-grandsons from school and zipped out to Tolmachoff Farm to pay homage to the Great Pumpkin and went into the corn maze. Nothing like a good corn maze to put you in the mood for more California and the Southwest.

The header image is a pile of rock near Monument Valley with a light dusting of snow.

We'll now relate the life in California as it pertains to the West and come to a conclusion about whether or not California is part of the Southwest under Western traditions.

I must rely on David Starr Jordan for some more bullets to throw at you. In his book California and the Californians he writes: "A Western man," says Doctor Amos Griswold Warner, "is an Eastern man who has had some additional experiences." The Californian is a man from anywhere in America or Europe, typically from New England, perhaps, who has learned a thing or two he did not know in the East" [like gold mining, running cattle, holding up stages, robbing banks, etc. Blogger's note.] "and, perhaps has forgotten some things it may have been well to remember. The things he has learned relate mostly to elbow room, nature at first hand, and the "unearned increment." [What the hell ever that is. BN] [Oh, it's GOLD! What else? Just laying around on the ground for anyone to take. BN]

The things he has forgotten relate mostly to the law: "When men come into contact with men instead of the forces of nature, they mistake their own conventionalities for the facts of existence. It is not what life is, but what "the singular mess we agree to call life" is what interests them. In this fashion, they lose their real understanding of affairs, become the toys of their environment"......."The young man who is decent only because he things that someone is looking, would do well to stay away. The stern law of individual responsibility turns the fool over to the fool-killer without a preliminary trial."....."In short, California is a man's land, with male standards of action--a land where one must give and take, stand and fall, as a man."

Just like the rest of the West and Southwest, where men were men, survival of the fittest, as Darwin put it. "He can cinch his own saddle, harness his own team, bud his own grapevines, cook his own breakfast, paint his own house {whoever heard of painting a house, in those days? BN] ......."Following them [the gold hunters, BN] came a miscellaneous array of parasites and plunderers; dive-keepers and saloon-keepers, who fed fat on the oil of the Argonauts. Every Roaring Camp had its Jack Hamlin as well as its Flynn of Virginia, John Oakhurst came with Yuba Bill,.........and keepers of establishments far worse [than saloons, BN], toward which the saloon is the first step downwards; a class of so-called lawyers, politicians and agents of bribery and blackmail; a long line of soothsayers. clairvoyants, lottery agents and joint keepers, besides gamblers, sweaters, .........and other types of unhanged, but more or less pendable, scoundrels that feed on the life-blood of the weak and foolish." [I think he means the Criminal Element. BN] 

Who were these characters? Well, Jack Hamlin was Bret Harte's protagonist in his tales of early California, a very modest portion of which is quoted here from the California Digital Library: "There's an entire stranger downstairs, ez hez a lame hoss, and wants to borry a fresh one." "We have none, you know," said Mrs. Rylands, a little impatiently."

Now, that way of talkin' is exactly like other parts of the West. Whether or not the "entire stranger" was Jack Hamlin or someone else, I know not.

Yuba Bill was a characater in a movie entitled Salomy Jane, of 1914, written by Paul Armstrong and played by Andrew Robson. It was a WESTERN feature film based on the novella of the same name by Bret Harte.

And there were outlaws just like in the Old West like Joaquin Murietta and others. I refer you to William B. Secrest's book, California Desperados: Stories of Early California Outlaws in their Own Words, available from

So, there you have it, and why I came to the conclusion that California is part of the Southwest, a moot argument to begin with.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Climate and the Southwest Including California

I'm indebted to David Starr Jordan, a former President of Stanford, for his book California and the Californians and to Project Gutenberg where I found it. Mr. Jordan lays out the case for California being part of the Southwest, just read this and you will see what I mean:

"The climate of California is especially kind to childhood and old age."

See, that right there puts California in the Southwest, because the climate of the Southwest is the same. The years in between don't fit into this climate because by the time you take out all the disease, filthy conditions, unwarranted killings and early deaths, there is nothing left but childhood and old age (if a person is lucky). It's smooth sailing from there on out in California and the rest of the Southwest.

Mr. Jordan uses a quote by Bret Harte: "Half a year of clouds and flowers, half a year of dust and sky" to proclaim the virtues of California's climate, but he could have just as well be talking about Arizona, Texas, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, Kansas, Nebraska, and North and South Dakota, all in the Southwest according to the way some people see the Southwest. And you have to admit that most of these States, if not all, are full of dust most of the time, even in winter's depth, if not dirt dust, it's snow dust. Just like the Southwest, so the climate of California is exactly similar.

Here is a picture of a California cloud that was blown off course and ended up in Arizona across the border, It looks mighty similar to or maybe exactly like the others in the Southwest. Just to show that they are about the same, this one below drifted from the north, Utah, a part of the Southwest.

A mighty powerful cloud in its own right. Only one problem, from here, I can't tell if it's a raincloud or a dust cloud. The point is that it looks exactly similar to the one above, especially in its fluffiness and contours.

Mr. Jordan continues to write about the weather in California: "But with the dust and the sky, come the unbroken succession of days of sunshine, the dry invigorating air, the scent of the resin of tarweed" (I think he meant mesquite trees and creosote bush) "and the boundless overflow of vine and orchard." (I think he meant wine and grapes, typical of the Southwest). And he goes on and on to say, "If one must choose, in all the fragrant California year the best month is June, for then the air is softest,  and a touch of summer's gold overlies the green of winter." This compares favorably with all of the Southwest, including Arizona where June is the best month of the year, too, since it's the hottest, hot as Hades, where everyone stays indoors just like in North Dakota for the opposite reason, analogous to California. Here is a picture of that blue sky, a very familiar sight in the whole Southwest:

The month of June. Beautiful.

One more point on climate per Mr. Jordan: "The habit of roasting one's self all winter long is unknown in California. The old Californian seldom built a fire for warmth's sake. When he was cold in the house, he went outside to get warm." This is exactly like all of the Southwest, except the people in the Southwest didn't have houses. They had tepees, cabins, huts, cellars, etc., and never built a fire inside to prevent accidental destruction by fire. We had to go outside to get warm and besides, all the gunfights took place outside at high noon, so there was no reason to stay inside.

We can see now that California and the Southwest are geographically and climatologically contiguous, two-thirds of my argument proven.

A comment on this. I don't think Mr. Jordan ever visited Lake Tahoe in Northern California where they receive around a hundred and twenty feet of snow every winter.

 Next up:  A short post on people and freedom in California juxtaposed with the rest of the Southwest, maybe.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

California is Part of the Southwest

In some mysterious fashion over the next few blog posts, I will "prove beyond a reasonable doubt" that that area of the United States called California is in the Southwest. I mean the Southwest, the one we Western writers think of as being Southwest, you know, the traditional way of looking at things Western, e.g., attacks by Indians, stage robberies, holdups, shootouts, cowboys, Indians, poker players, and what have you.

The reason I bring this up is over the last couple months or so, that question was asked by a blog writer. I don't recall who or why the subject came up, but I can imagine that some people along the line have said  that California is not part of the Southwest.

First, being the foremost, is the geographic location. Some people think that California looks like this on a map of the U.S.:

But, to some other people, it looks like this:

Still others see it like this:

No matter how you look at it, California just doesn't fit in, but we'll see as the discussion progresses. Next up, the Climate.