K-con One

My wife – K – was on the other side of the room on her Apple laptop, grousing about the state of the world. News about Trump, COVID-19 (and something about lying), and his supporters triggered an angry explosion. “I’m tired of this. I have no sympathy for any of them today.”

I looked over at her. “So what K-con are you in?”


“Yes, it’s like DEFCON, you know, defense conditions that the United States employs. DEFCON 1 is the highest state of military readiness.”

Yes, she knew about them. I was in Air Force command and control for twenty years. She’d heard me talk about LERTCONs, DEFCONs, EMERGCONs too many times.

“Would K-con 5 be my normal level?” she asked.

“No, K-con 5 would be when you — “

Realizing I was walking myself into a trap, I stopped. I’d been about to suggest that K-con 5 would be when she was happy and easy-going. I’d been about to observe that she usually stayed in K-con 4, or maybe higher. Anyone who’s been married for over forty-five years, like us, knows that the other has moods. Hell, most people discover this about their partner in the first year, if not the first month, after marriage.

She realized what was happening. Her eyebrows went up, her warm brown eyes grew big, and a grin split her face.

Looking around, I jumped up. “What was that noise? I better go see.”

I hurried out of the room to the sound of her laughter. Yes, I’m a coward, but I’m no fool. If she’s in K-con 1, those nukes are armed and ready to fly.

Let her target someone else.

Alice Floofer

Alice Floofer (floofinition) – Floofmerican hard rock band formed in 1964 in Arizona. Needing a gimmick to draw greater attention, the group changed its name to Alice Floofer, with the lead singer eventually following suit, becoming the first singer to be named after their floofsical act.

In use: “One of Alice Floofer’s largest and earliest hit songs was “Floof’s Out” in 1972, a song about the end of the school year, whose use in floof culture keeps it alive and meaningful.”


Floofventory (floofinition) – An animal’s wary assessment of a situation.

In use: “Sitting down, the stray dog conducted a floofventory of the person calling him and the outstretched hand offering food, and then carefully approached and accepted the meal.”

Today’s Ashland Air

A graph is worth a lot of description.

Outside the home office window. Not a peak of blue, and nothing of the forests and mountains beyond the line of houses across the street. Ground visibility is about two hundred yards. Photo and graph was as of 10:30 AM, September 11, 2020.

By the way, this wasn’t technically a wild fire. It started as a grass fire and consumed urban areas. It wasn’t the forests on fires; it was the cities.

Friday’s Theme Music

A dull red sun is struggling to light the morning, but smoky air lays siege to the sunshine.

This is morning. The windows are closed tight. Per government and health experts’ recommendations, we stay indoors and avoid outside activities. The air is unhealthy. If you must go outside, wear masks…

Yeah, not going into all the smoke and COVID-19 mask-wearing comparisons. That knotty logic against wearing masks, no matter what, is beyond my pre-coffee mind. I cannot help but think that this smoke and unhealthy air is going to cause a COVID-19 spike. See, in my limited and uninformed view, the smoke will affect our lungs, eyes, mucus members, sinuses and airways. We’ll sneeze and cough to eject the offending particles. That greater and more frequent force will launch more COVID-19 particles into the air. Those without masks, well, are more exposed. Additionally, the smoke will impact our bodies, creating or feeding underlying conditions, increasing vulnerabilities that the novel coronavirus will exploit. Finally, as people are being forced together to shelter, potential super-spreader events are being created.

But that’s just me, and my fiction-writing mind.

Back to the music. This sun color kicks in songs about the sun. The old pop tune “Red Rubber Ball” (The Cyrkle (had to look that up), 1966), about a relationship and taking new positive energy from the sunrise, doesn’t quite work for me for this situation.

No, I think it’s more of a somber, reflective, “Tequila Sunrise” morning.

Here are the Eagles with their 1973 song.

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