Sunday’s Theme Music

The Neurons stuck “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” by Chicago into the morning mental music stream. I think the group may have been the Chicago Transit Authority when the song was recorded. It’s from 1970, when I was fourteen, instilling thoughts about what year it is and how old I am. The song was delivered when I looked to my wrist to check my Fitbit for the time. ‘Lo, it wasn’t there. Apparently, the FB faked me into believing all was well. Then its symptoms returned. I charged it and charged it again but had to remove it from my wrist because it was going off every three seconds — notification — which becomes v — notification — intrusive to m — notification — processes.

Yes, the Fitbit is no more. I thought about searching for DIY repairs. Had done that tentatively. Maybe later. Maybe I’ll purchase a new one. I don’t know. It’s too early to talk about replacing it. Plus, there’s the irritating issue of how to dispose of this technology piece without contributing to further environmental damage. Yes, it’s small, but it all adds up.

Sunday, July 31, 2022, finds us shrouded by smoke, sent to us by the McKinney fire a few miles away on the California and Oregon border. Truly nasty smell. You can’t breathe it, so keep the pets in and close up everything. Mask up when you’re outside or suffer the consequences.

The cats were very cool about being kept in. When I responded to their request to go outside with an explanation about what was going on with the heat and smoke, they replied, “Oh, that is very distressing to hear. Thank you for your concerns about our health, Michael. We appreciate it.” Then they groomed themselves and went to sleep.

What do you think we should call that fairy tale? Because that’s what that story was.

No, the cats took being kept inside like Mel Gibson screaming for freedom, constantly and persistently, hour after hour. OMG. The floof people insisted that they’re free animals, meant to roam the outdoors except for eating, having bowel movements, drinking water, and snuggling with humans. Oh, and playing with toys. Oh, yeah and catnip — mustn’t forget catnip — and looking out the window, observing people like a spies following troop movements.

Today’s sunrise was at 6:03 AM and sunset is at 8:31 PM. It’s presently 26 C outside. The high will ‘only’ be 99 F, which is much closer to our usual average. It’s supposed to cool for the rest of the week, dropping to 90 at one point. Of course, the hot weather has generated thunderstorms galore, adding to the wildfire threat, given the looonnnggg drought and the dried-out land that we’re enduring.

Stay positive and test negative and take care of yourself and your people and animals. I’ll try to do the same. Coffee? Yes, stat. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Saturday’s Wandering Thought

On the one hand, the sky’s smoky haze incubated worrying questions about the fire’s location size, growth, and containment. But the smoke blocked the sun and kept the temperature in the low 90s F, granting relief from the previous broiler level days.

Fire, smoke, heat, he just hoped the animals, lands, and people all stayed safe. He crossed his fingers to amplify his hopes.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Just after sunrise at 6:02 AM, the sun began clearing the mountains and threw unmistakable blood-orange light through the windows. Smoke hazes and clots the air. Wildfires are burning somewhere. We can smell it. Our AQI has jumped to 90 around our part of town, 117 downtown, two miles away. Either the fire is nearby, or the winds and terrains are lifting and channeling it in our direction.

Good morning! Today is Saturday, July 30, 2022. One more day and then July is history. On to August.

Yesterday reached 112 F at our house. That was my home weather station’s reading. The net claimed 109. Alexa agreed. At 8:30 AM, it’s 81 F. The humidity has gone up. It’s only 39% but it feels heavier. Today’s high is expected to reach 106 F before sunset @ 8:32 this evening. The overnight low was 75 F last night.

That overnight low staying so high hurt. We kept waiting for the air to cool down outside so we could open doors and windows. It finally dropped below 90 at 11 PM. Yes, some relief. Then a skunk struck. Maybe two. The house was re-sealed for an hour while the winds scrubbed the odor away.

The heat affected our big black and white cat, Tucker. He’s older, and older cats struggle to deal with extreme heat. I brought him in, dampened a washcloth with cold water, and rubbed him down a few times. He really enjoyed it and is quite energetic this morning, with a strong appetite. Now, he’s resting by my right hand, providing editorial guidance. Papi, of course, is all, “It’s cool. I’m good.” I keep an eye on him. He appears to be telling the truth.

The Neurons are playing “Lovesong” by The Cure in the morning mental music stream. They’d started with “Friday I’m In Love” and then segued into “Just Like Heaven” before launching “Lovesong”. I asked them, “What’s with the medley? What do you know that I don’t?” They, sipping their espressos, snickered and replied, “Ho, ho, a lot.”

“Lovesong” came out in 1989. I was still in the military, in Germany, then, and found I really enjoyed the song’s moodiness. Hope you enjoy it on this July Saturday, 2022.

Stay positive, test negative, and take care of yourself, yeah? Sure. Back to reading. Back to writing. Back to a cup of coffee. Then, things to do. It’s Saturday, you know. Cheers

The Writing Moment

He and the muses were kicking around what to do at this juncture in the novel. Four hundred pages in, it’s a critical point. Lot of reveals to be brought to the story. He needs to get it done but doesn’t want to rush or force it. He’s mindful, too, yeah, this is the first draft. He’s still learning the story. Don’t overthink things.

He ended up spending time over the last four days editing and revising, working his way through the first two hundred pages while his mind dances with approaches to what comes next. Trust yourself, he urges himself. Don’t get cocky, he reminds himself, but also don’t get depressed, and don’t fail into a trap of overanalyzing what you’re doing. Write what you want to read.

He really enjoyed most of the story but then, he felt severe disappointment with one stretch. Why, that’s absolute crap, he told himself. It was not what he wanted to read. He wouldn’t read it. It needed to be treated like a deep infection.

That understanding came but also fertilized recognition that a new approach was needed for this aspect. Weirdly, he felt optimistic that he had a grip on it.

Or maybe not weirdly. He’s a writer, and that’s what they do, always believing, I got this.

Good for Something

My home weather station claims the air outside is now over 112 F. Alexas says it’s 108 F in Ashland, as does Accuweather on the net. It’s a good time to be not outside.

The heat is good for something as long as you’re protected and a person of leisure, as I claim I am. Just finished reading The Killer Angels, All Systems Red: the Murderbot Diaries, which is the first book of the Murderbot Diaries, and Suspect by Robert Crais.

The 1974 historical novel¬†by¬†Michael Shaara, The Killer Angels, interested me for three reasons. One, it won the Pulitzer Prize. Secondly, Joss Whedon said that this was the novel which inspired a seriously entertaining and short-lived series, “Firefly” and its subsequent movie, Serenity. The browncoats among you will understand. Third, The Killer Angels is about the Battle of Gettysburg, and I knew little about that battle. In truth, I know little about most battles. Battles aren’t things which I’ve studied.

It was a gripping novel, full of powerful scenes and descriptions, lively with emotions and the complexities that a battle during the American Civil War needs to have. Much of the POV was Lee and Longstreet’s perspectives, along with Chamberlain, but others were portrayed. It’s a well-written book. How much is true? I vetted a great deal, but you know how it can be when dealing with history.

After that, All Systems Red: the Murderbot Diaries was a fast, quick, easy read. Martha Wells created an entertaining, pitch-perfect character and delivered a delicious setting and plot, all quite deftly, seamlessly accomplished. It won high awards and deep praise, and deservedly so. I’ve added volumes two and three to my library hold list.

Then, whoa. If you’re going to read Suspect by Robert Crais, brace yourself for a fast-paced and tense experience. This is the first Robert Crais novel which I’ve read, and I’m going to search for more. Hold on, though, if you decide to read it. Kind of like reading The Lovely Bones by Alice Seybold, this is not a light read. It’s gritty and intense. Prepare to pause for some deep breaths.

With those three completed, the sum of my week’s novel reading, I turn now to Blood Grove by Walter Mosley. I know what to expect from him and believe that my run of reading entertainment will continue.

Stay safe, y’all. Cheers


Floofnimical (floofinition) – An animal who seems hostile or malevolent.

In use: “Many animals, when first encountering humans, seem floofnimical — especially if sick or injued — but people find a steady, patient diet of soft words, healthy food, and some space for the animal to relax often causes a one eighty in the animal.”

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