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New Year's Eve chez Bob

| It's required to celebrate New Year's Eve in some fashion, and for several years now we have done it with a nice dinner and watching Anderson Cooper playing straightman to the madcap antics of Kathy Griffin in Times Square on CNN.  more

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Out with the Old Year, in with the New Year

| The New Year is typically a time for optimism, for turning over a new leaf, for making a fresh start. Not so now. It's hard to be optimistic when so many awful things happened in the last year and when 2016 looks like it will get worse — much worse — before it gets better. If it gets better.  more

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Here we go again

| In southeast Oregon is a wildlife refuge established by Teddy Roosevelt in 1908 as "a preserve and breeding ground for native birds," the 19th of 51 such refuges established by Roosevelt during his presidency. At the time it was one of only six west of the Mississippi (US Fish and Wildlife Service).  more

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Hard times in the newspaper business

| Faithful readers will know that I often illustrate my articles with editorial cartoons. The sad news is that newspapers are cutting back on these editorials in a picture.  more

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A big green lie

| This morning I noticed that one of the vanity lights in the guest bathroom was out. Normally I would replace all the bulbs in a set at the same time, but I only had one extra bulb so I put it in.  more

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Powerball mania

| Powerball mania has overtaken the nation with over a billion dollars up for grabs in tonight's drawing. Count me in.  more

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Rs: It's the apocalypse -- NOW!

| I tuned in to the 6th Republican debate last night from Charleston, SC. Oh, my! The GOP has become a party of Little Red Hens. The sky is falling! The sky is falling! The sky is really falling!  more

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She's baaaack!

| Just when you thought the Republican nominating contest couldn't possibly get any more bizarre and divorced from reality, Sarah Palin emerged to prove you wrong!  more

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Showdown in Iowa

| Monday night's Republican debate was high drama. Would Trump show up, or wouldn't he? And if he didn't how would that affect the debate? Now we know.  more

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Superbowl 2016

| Beginning in 1999, a group of friends has been getting together somewhere for the Super Bowl every year, with the exception of two years. While this was Super Bowl 50, it was Super Bowl Party XVII.  more

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Scalia is supremely dead

| Within hours of the announcement of Scalia's death at a resort in Texas, with the body hardly cold, the battle over his successor erupted in full force.  more

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Oscar party 2016

| The usual suspects came over for the annual Oscar watching party.  more

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New generation of email threats

| In the last month or so, I have been inundated with a new type of email threat.  more

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April 1st

| I had a wonderful idea for a great April Fools Day put-on. But I got sidetracked and never wrote the piece.  more

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Opera in the Park 2016

| We know just the perfect spot from which to watch, and at 7am Réal was there to stake claim and guard it from any poachers. He was the very first person at the park!  more

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Fare thee well gathering

| Kenny and Richard will soon be leaving for the northland, and they invited the usual suspects for dinner on Sunday evening.  more

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Politics 2016: Fear and unfavorability

| The 2016 presidential campaign has been going on, seemingly, forever. Starting with over a score of candidates, the race has narrowed, squeezing out most of the crazies but leaving deeply flawed front-runners on both sides.  more

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Ted & Carly's horrible, no good, going-nowhere, toxic adventure

| So what do you do if you're losing the campaign for your party's nomination and have almost no chance of winning? Why, you pick a running mate, of course!  more

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Another birthday!

| It's that time again. Thankfully there's no cake with candles, because nobody needs that kind of conflagration!  more

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How does my garden grow?

| It's harvest time in my garden. I picked a basketful of juicy red tomatoes this morning. Yum!  more

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Trump the nominee

| They said it wouldn't happen. All of them. They said Donald Trump would never win the nomination.  more

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Memorial Day 2016

| Nothing so soberingly reminds us of the true meaning of Memorial Day than seeing the rows and rows and rows of gravestones at Arlington Cemetery, each decorated with a small American flag.  more

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We got the Power

| At least once a year Ken tries to get us to go to a baseball game, and last evening we succumbed to peer presssure.  more

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Ray passes through

| My friend Ray passed through over the weekend on his annual migration between Florida and a house in the mountains near Mendocino.  more

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Fourth of July 2016

| When in the course of human events, it becomes necessary to have a holiday, let it be a feast.  more

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Here we go — the Republican convention

| It's time to talk about The Donald. Tomorrow the Republican National Convention will formally get underway, and by the time it adjourns on Thursday, the Grand Old Party, the party of Lincoln, will have become the Party of Trump. He has pulled off a coup politique that everyone said he could never do. Famous last words: "Donald Trump will never be the nominee...."  more

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"I alone"

| If you're not scared yet, you weren't paying attention. The Party of Trump (POT) served up four days of visceral angst, ending with an 80-minute screed leading to the claim by its nominee, Donald J Trump, that "I alone" can fix the myriad plagues that beset us.  more

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Next up — the Democratic convention

| Next week the political circus moves to Philadelphia to annoint Hillary Clinton the Democratic Party nominee for president. The Trumpicans set such a low bar at their convention, that the Democratic convention has to look good by comparison.  more

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More damn emails

| The Democrats held their convention in Philadelphia and, to no one's surprise, nominated Hillary Clinton to be their presidential candidate to go up against Donald Trump. But more damned emails threatened to derail the best laid plans.  more

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A marathon of roadrunners

| The number of roadrunners that I see varies from year to year, just a few some years, other years, quite a few. This year a veritable marathon of roadrunners has made my front yard a regular stopping place on their daily rounds.  more

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Sometimes the unexplainable just happens

| On Wednesday, an utterly inexplicable thing happened. When I tuned in to MSNBC on my TV, the audio was fine, but the video was replaced by a browser search-results screen.  more

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Maks and Val — their way

| Friday evening, the usual suspects went to Riverside to attend the penultimate stop on the dance tour of Maks and Val Chmerkovskiy, famously known for their performances on Dancing With the Stars.  more

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How can they say things like this with a straight face?

| As is my wont, I was reading opinion pieces in the Washington Post this morning, including one by Marc Thiessen that included a sentence that simply astonished me and left me wondering how in the world could anyone say such a thing without growing a Pinocchio nose.  more

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Creepy ad for Infiniti Q60

| Infiniti has an ad featuring Kit Harrington that is enjoying heavy play right now. Frankly, I find it just plain creepy.  more

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Power to the people — old people

| In July, the Social Security Administration announced that as of August 1, a username and password would no longer be sufficient to log in to one's account on the Social Security website. Users would be required to provide a cell-phone number where they could receive an 8-digit code that would be required to complete the login.  more

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It's my lucky day!

| This morning I received a wonderful email from a banker in Cambodia, offering to share with me a big pile of cash left in an account by a rich client who died intestate.  more

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"Day one, my first hour in office, those people are gone"

| Last Wednesday, Donald J popped off to Mexico to visit with Enrique Peña Nieto, the president of Mexico. Although they met behind closed doors, the two of them later appeared in public to make public statements.  more

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Cellphone nation

| Michelle Obama ventured out on the campaign trail to stump for Hillary Clinton with a speech at George Washington University. When she came out on stage, every hand went into the air, and in every hand was a smart phone recording a picture or a video.  more

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Back again!

| And they did! Jim and Angela decided to come to the desert for a weekend, now that both of them are retired and free to gad about.  more

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LA County Fair 2016

| For several years now, we have gone to the Los Angeles County Fair — AKA "Pomona Fair." This year was no exception. How could you not go? Admission on Senior Wednesdays this year was $0. Free.    more

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Right track, wrong track, off the track

| Much of the commentary about this election has cited the high level of dissatisfaction with the general direction of the country, often characterized by saying that people feel the country is on the "wrong track," and use this as an explanation how Donald Trump can possibly be doing as well as he is.  more

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Did you watch the vice-presidential debate?

| On Monday, the two vice-presidential candidates faced off in the first and only vice-presidential debate of this election season. Thank goodness for that "only."  more

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Meet me in St Louis

| The second presidential debate was held last night in St Louis. Just when you think this election can't become any more bizarre than it already is, events prove otherwise.  more

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We're being driven to hell in a handbasket

| This is the sorriest election in my long lifetime. Although we are forced to endure three more weeks of it, there cannot be more than a handful of resolutely undecideds who want it to continue. Sane people just want to get it over with and get on with life.  more

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The third debate — the White Knight vs the Prince of Darkness

| Hillary Clinton strode onto the debate stage dressed in all in white, a veritable white knight come to battle the Prince of Darkness. She masterfully provoked him to lose his "presidential" act and reveal himself once again as simply unfit to be president.  more

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Poor Rudy needs an adjustment

| After the 9/11 attacks, Rudy Giuliani, then mayor of New York City became known as "America's Mayor." Now he's just another loud, unhinged defender of all things Trump.  more

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And the survey says...

| This morning an email from our old friend Reince Priebus, head of the Republican National Committee, popped into my inbox, beseaching me for "Critical Election Day feedback." I was only too happy to oblige.  more

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Trumpest in a teapot

| My, oh my! My inbox runneth over. Somehow I have gotten onto the Trump email distribution list, and according to some of the emails, I am "a dedicated, loyal, and extremely generous supporter."  more

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Apple country

| When Fall comes, we always head up to apple country in Oak Glen. Beginning last year we discovered that it is much more pleasant to go on a weekday rather than the weekend.  more

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It's October — Surprise!

| On Friday, FBI Director James Comey dropped an intentionally explosive device into the presidential campaign by sending a vaguely worded letter to Republican committee chairs, saying that "the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation" [of Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server].  more

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Hail the quail

| The looming election is too distressing to think about, so let's talk about quail.  more

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The other Paul Williamson

| Faithful readers will remember that I have on occasion commented on the fact that there is another Paul Williamson who lives in the desert.  more

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Comey calls off the hounds of the FBI and the market reacts

| Sunday, FBI Director James Comey sent another letter to Congress, this time telling them that they had reviewed the emails found on Anthony Weiner's laptop and had found nothing to change their original conclusion that Hillary Clinton had not committed chargeable crimes.  more

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Palm Springs Pride 2016

| This past weekend was the annual Gay Pride Festival in Palm Springs. As in recent years the festival took over downtown streets on Saturday and Sunday, and the parade on Sunday started uptown and ended at the festival downtown.  more

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Now what?

| On Tuesday, the electorate chose Donald Trump to be the next president of the United States, sending shockwaves around the world and leaving pundits and late-night comics alike grasping and gasping for something to say. On Wednesday morning, half the population woke despondent, depressed, even fearful.  more

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Thanksgiving 2016

| As is now traditional, the usual suspects assembled Chez Paul to give thanks, otherwise known as a day of gluttony.  more

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Cruise 2016: Cabo San Lucas

| The usual suspects are always looking for an excuse to cruise, and we found that Princess Cruise Lines offers a 5-day cruise from Los Angeles to Cabo San Lucas and back. Bear in mind that when Princess says "5-day" they really mean "5-night."  more

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Palm Springs Festival of Lights Parade 2016

| The annual Palm Springs Festival of Lights parade is the first Saturday in December. It's a time to join thousands of festive people out on the streets on a winter's evening.  more

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Riverside Festival of Lights 2016

| The Mission Inn in Riverside organizes a weeks-long Festival of Lights to celebrate the holidays. Although Riverside is only an hour away, I have been to Riverside only once, so last night Réal and I went over to check out this event.  more

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Bloody hell, I say

| After months of waiting, I finally got an appointment with a rheumatologist to look after my right hand. After an extensive head-to-toe examination, he declared that he would order some blood tests and sent me off to the lab.  more

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Christmas 2016 chez Paul

| The usual suspects, minus one, observed Christmas with the usual round of revelry and feasting. The "minus one" is Bob, who is spending Christmas in France with his nephews.  more

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