Heed not Steve


Here I am again.

My eyes stop on a woman.  She’s older, with a nice figure.  Otherwise, she’s unremarkable, except she’s wearing one red sock and one green sock and a loaded bandolier.  And she has a Heidelberg scar.  And she has a bright, blue beehive.  And her hair is bright pink.

She has lipstick on her teeth.

She sees me and snarls, “Take a picture.  It’ll last longer.”


I take a picture.

Then Manny, owner of Al’s Photo Emporium Kiosk, says, “Hey!  That ain’t free.  Put it back!”

So I put the picture back.  It’s a photo of the woman, dressed exactly as I see her, only without the bees.

And I don’t know.

I can’t help but feel I was set up.

there it is
a dog chases its tail
there it is


© Steve Mitchell 2015

Super Silly Long Wait Christmas Time Fun Prank

Okay, almost a year ago, I think in May or June, one of my coworkers retired.

We’ll call him Ron.

Also, in the fall of the year before that, another coworker had retired.

We’ll call him Don.

Ron and Don are both good guys and we had plenty of fun on the job.  I enjoyed terrible, terrible jokes with Don and silly, harmless, pranks with Ron.


Not long after Ron retired, I got an idea.

And here’s what I did.

I looked up both of their addresses.

Then I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

Then, finally, near Christmas, I sprang into action.

Using examples of their handwriting from a maintenance log, I roughly learned to copy Ron’s and Don’s initials.

Keep it simple...

Keep it simple… It’s a pretty good forgery, if I must say so myself!

Then I purchased two identical Christmas cards.

Retirees dig Hello Kitty, right?

Retirees dig Hello Kitty, right?

Then I addressed one card to Ron, from Don, and the other I addressed vice versa.

The card also has stickers!

The cards also had stickers!

Then, I mailed them, one to Ron and one to Don, and …


Hilarity ensued!

Or so I assumed.

The thing is, I had no idea how the joke played out.

Until today.

Today Ron stopped by work to say hello to everyone and so I asked him, “Hey, did Don send you a Christmas card?”

And he told me all about it.

After Christmas, Ron looked up Don’s number and called him.  Their conversation, roughly paraphrased from Ron’s account, went something like –

Ron:  I just wanted to see how you’re doing and to thank you for the card.

Don:  I didn’t send you a card.  

Ron:  I have it.  Is xyz123 your address?  Is your zip abc789?

Don:  Yes, but we don’t send out cards.

Ron:  It’s right in front of me. It’s your handwriting.  It’s a Hello Kitty card with stickers!

Don:  You sent me a Hello Kitty card …

Hooray! Maximum Prank Success!

Of course,  I ‘fessed up.  Ron had thought Don was just messing with him.  He hadn’t suspected me at all; although, he wasn’t surprised when he learned the truth.

Anyhow, it was nice to see Ron again and I’m glad I got to find out how my silliness went.

Also, it turns out Don meets occasionally with other postal retirees and he’s going to call Ron the next time they meet.  So, that’s nice.  My prank put them in touch.

And, Ron told me, when he meets them, he’s bringing the card.


hard sun –
too many days of


© Steve Mitchell 2015



arrows shoot through


© Steve Mitchell 2015

Don’t Judge

Hey, what do you call a vampire who officiates baseball games?

A vumpire!


What do you call spirits in rush hour traffic?



What do you call a werewolf with no hair?

A barewolf!

(We’d also accept Nair-wolf)


What do you call a Frankenstein’s monster who’s fond of wearing Hawaiian shirts and smoking the strawberry hookah?




It’s his name. He changed it.

Call him Alfonse.


© Steve Mitchell 2015

No More Sitting On It

Last week, I wrote about my desire to de-clutter and minimize the stuff I carry in my pockets.

The first step I took was to eliminate keys I don’t need to carry and to consolidate my work and home keys.  I put those needed keys in a nice, compact holder from Orbitkey.

Then, yesterday, the new wallet and the new knife I’d ordered both arrived.


First the knife.

I’d been carrying a Spyderco knife my wife gave me as a gift some years back, the Spyderco Tenacious.  It’s a great knife, but it’s just a teeny bit big in my pocket.  I initially carried it clipped in my pocket but I have to squat and stoop a lot at work and the top of the knife handle wore holes in my jeans.  So, I started carrying it loose.

Anyhow, I found Spyderco had a knife of the same design but just a bit smaller, the Persistence.  They had an even smaller model, but I like the bigger size for work.

Here’s some comparison photos of the Persistence next to the Tenacious.

clutterknifeclosedThe new knife is on the left.  I haven’t yet moved the clip to where I like it.  You can see the new knife is not much smaller, but that half inch difference feels much better in the pocket.  And the new knife weighs about an ounce less than the original knife.


New Spyderco knives are always very, very sharp.


Here the size difference is more obvious.

Now, the wallet.

The wallet is the reason I started looking to minimize in the first place.  I’ve carried a trifold for years and years.  I’m on my third or fourth one.  They get washed.  They get worn.

My wallet wasn’t too crazy thick compared to some mens’ wallets, but still, it was bulky and it didn’t fit well in my sporran when I wore my kilts and so I decided to get something slimmer I could carry in a front pocket and in my sporran.

I waffled a lot while trying to decide what to get.  Eventually, I decided I didn’t want a synthetic wallet.  I didn’t want a wallet with a money clip.  I didn’t want a wallet where the bills are held on the outside with a rubber or elastic band (although there are some nice ones I’d still consider.)

I finally decided on the Card ID wallet from Saddleback Leather primarily because of the many good reviews, the 100 year warranty, and the relatively inexpensive price.


It has an ID cutout in the front, along with a card slot.

It’s about 4 inches wide and 2.75 inches tall.  It’s maybe a bit more rustic looking than I originally wanted, but in person it less of an issue.


It has two card slots in the back and a center slot for cash. I carry photos of the family on my phone. It’s a brave new world …

Here’s how my full trifold compares to the empty Saddleback.


I’ve been sitting on that wallet for years …

Time to sort out all my wallet stuff.


The stuff on top I’ll carry. The stuff on the bottom I don’t need with me at all times.

Both wallets empty.

Both wallets empty.

So, into the new wallet goes: my driver’s license, a credit card, a debit card, a voter registration card, two health insurance cards, my motorcycle registration, about four bills, and my Costco membership card.

I left out two work cards (I’ll keep them in my toolbox), some retail reward cards, a couple of scraps of paper with jotted notes, and an expired debit card which I’d been inexplicably lugging around.

Kilroy was here ...

Kilroy was here …

I don't know that I go to Costco enough to make it worth carrying the card ... I might ditch it.

I don’t know that I go to Costco enough to make it worth carrying the card … I might ditch it.

The new wallet, full, is just about the thickness of the old wallet, empty.

The new wallet, full, is not quite the thickness of the old wallet, empty. 


That’s about that.

Operation De-Clutter – the Testing Phase is underway.

Arizona Renaissance Festival – Pic Heavy

Okay, so.  Yesterday, my family and I didn’t really time travel to the past.

Instead, we went to the Arizona Renaissance Festival.

We had a pretty nice time.

I don’t know quite how to describe the festival.  It’s dusty and crowded and a bit overwhelming.

And it’s not, especially, historically accurate.  The overall look is a romantic medley of medieval royalty and peasantry and faeries and pirates and Cavaliers and nomads and time travelers and ravers and barbarians and …. tourists.

There were plenty of other kilts, mostly on pirates and craftsman working the fair, but also on attendees.  Some of the kilt wearers, I could tell, used the fair as an excuse to go full Brigadoon.  Others, myself included, simply wore a kilt with tee shirts or regular street clothes.

Surprisingly, considering the captive crowd, the food was reasonably priced, as were many of the craft items for sale.  It was refreshing to see.

Less refreshing was the constant, faux British, street-performeresque, bawdy bids for attention.  From the first minute, we were bombarded with mugging, interactive performers and  ware-hawkers with loud, loud voices trying to make us laugh or pay attention or buy something.  Luckily, it tapered off as the crowds grew and the day wore on.

I enjoyed some of the shows, but others I avoided because they required too much audience participation and I have no stomach for shows which require audience participation.


I took a roughly a million and a half photos, but I won’t subject you to all of them.  I’ll just subject you to a large handful.

Here’s the front entrance:


front entrance

That was the King and Queen and the Royal Court up there waving to the entering crowd.

It was a warm and very sunny day, so Lucie bought a parasol.  She got the last one with the Dia de los muertos theme.


She’s more radiant than the sun.


Here’s me holding the parasol for a moment.


At the Renaissance Festival, no one looks twice at a man in a kilt with a parasol …


Here’s Cos, my older son, with some sort of barbarian.  He wanted a picture of her headdress to show an artist friend of his.

Barbarian Showgirl

Barbarian Showgirl

I don’t have a good photo of Alec.  He and one of his classmates ran off with their 14 year-old selves to have adventures most of the day.

Here’s more photos.

Musicians out and about:


That little harpsichord sounded pretty good.

I honestly don't remember what they were playing ...

I honestly don’t remember what they were playing … it wasn’t Greensleeves. 


From some of the shows:

London Broil (the name of the juggling group)  They were pretty fun.

London Broil (the name of the juggling group) They were fun.

Ded Bob is an Arizona Renaissance Festival institution.

Ded Bob is an Arizona Renaissance Festival institution.

That whip sounded like gunshots when it cracked!

That whip sounded like gunshots when it cracked!

Tartanic, bagpipe music with an awesome, thumping beat.

Tartanic, bagpipe music with an awesome, thumping beat.

The juggler Cale, with a C.

The juggler Cale, with a C.


And, finally, more photos out and about:


With my Sweetie.  Photobomb!


That dog cleaned up.

That dog cleaned up.

Another giant.

Another giant.

Medieval food court ...

Medieval food court …

They love them some tankards ...

They do love them some tankards …

Human powered rides.

Human powered rides.

A fashion class.

A fashion class.

Living statue.

Living statue.



As we exited the festival.  Our ride back to the present?

Our ride back to the present?



Be Excellent To Each Other

The family and I traveled to the past today.


We’re back now.

My feet are tired and I’ve got a teensy bit of sunburn. But it was a fun day.

I’ll tell you all about it.

But first, some more time travel – to the future!

Everyone, feel free to put on your time travel jammies, maybe drink a little warm milk, climb into your comfy time machines, and close your eyes.

That’s what I’m going to do.

And when I open my eyes, voilà!


Time travel!

See you then.

Good night!

Pleather and Plaid Going Nowhere Fast



Just a little punched up photo I took of two of Lucie’s mismatched boots on a plaid background.

Of course, it is.

Why wouldn’t it be?

Aaaannnd …

speaking, almost, of plaid, sort of …

This evening Lucie and I went to dinner on the spur of the moment.

I didn’t wear my kilt.  I didn’t feel like wearing my kilt.  And, really, it’s not so much plaid as it is tartan.  And the rest of this has nothing to do with pleather or with Lucie’s boots.  And the boots might be real leather anyhow.  I don’t remember.

But I digress.

We ate on the patio and enjoyed the weather and the food and each other’s company.

And, about halfway into our meal, I saw a patron in a kilt!

I never see other kilts.

Well, I did see one guy in a kilt on St. Patrick’s day.  And I was wearing mine too.  We shook hands and that was it.

But, anyhow, this evening it turned out there was a whole table of men in kilts.


Then I remembered; it’s the weekend of the Highland Games in Phoenix.

The games are only a couple of miles from the restaurant we chose.

Ahh, that made sense.


I left them alone.

I had mixed emotions about seeing a table full of comrades-in-kilts.

I envied them their opportunity to socialize with other kilt wearers, but, I’m an introvert, and just having kilt-wearing in common with a stranger isn’t enough to make me want to engage for any prolonged time.

No, Sir.

I had visions of pestering them with “Hey Guys!  I have a kilt too!  Only … I didn’t wear it.  So, umm.  Okay then!”

And even if had I worn mine, I’d still only have, “Hey Guys!  Look!  I’m wearing my kilt too!  So, umm. Okay then!”

And, besides, I was on a date with my Sweetie and I always love socializing with her.

Yes, I surely do.

And I’m tired of talking about my kilt, but I’m not finished.

I’ll wear it tomorrow when the family and I go to the Renaissance Festival because kilts are perfect for walking around and I have no doubt there’ll be other kilt-wearers in attendance and I’ll try to take pictures of the festivities.

I won’t wear a tankard.

But I will wear my boots.

So, umm. Okay then!

Observing Nature

first day of spring –
and George has an orange


© Steve Mitchell 2015


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