Further Friday Frustrations

  1. Besides COVID-19, the drought and the threat of wildfires, we’re wondering about how the crazy worms will affect us.
  2. I’m also concerned that I’m not cheugy.
  3. Well, not that concerned.
  4. I’ve been accepted by Medicare. As a military retiree of a certain era, I’m covered by Tricare. Tricare requires me to get Medicare A and B when I turn 65. That happens in July. I applied when I became eligible. A few days later, I was accepted. Meanwhile, I receive phone calls, emails, and snail mail from individuals and companies offering to help me navigate making my Medicare choices. It’s another industry. Everything becomes an industry, and as you reach certain milestones, they make you aware of it. It used to be that my junk mail was all about buying a new car, shopping for clothes, or taking vacations. Now it’s about hearing aids, funeral services, Medicare, reverse mortgages, and Viagra.
  5. Of course, there’s a few new industries afflicting all of us who own a home or car. We receive regular phone calls about our car and home warranties. In our house, we don’t answer the phone unless we recognize the number. The other industry that’s aggressively chasing us is insurance against our water pipes bursting in our yard. A WaPo article says, in essence, yeah, it’s another scam.
  6. I think one of my cats has short-term memory issues. Whenever Boo encounters our other cats, Papi and Tucker, he reacts like, “OMG, who the hell are you?”
  7. To mitigate the fire threat in our town, a ‘firewise’ program has been established. Basically, don’t use any bark mulch on the ground. Don’t grow any flammable plants within five feet of the house. Store wood products that you might have at east thirty feet from the house. Trim back all branches so they’re not touching the house or close enough for flames to leap from the tree to the roof. Get rid of wooden decks, wooden fences, conifers and blackberries. Walking around Ashland, I can see that the program has made little progress. We were affected by a fire last year. There were actually three fires on the same very windy day. All three were started by individuals. The firewise program can’t address the wind or deliberate fires.
  8. They also tell us to keep your plants watered so they don’t dry out and become fuel, but we’re in an extreme drought, so hey, there’s little water to water plants. The only option appears to be to pull out all your plants except those of a desert variety and put small stones or pebbles in your yard to help reduce moisture. Of course, I’m also exploring polymers that are supposed to help the soil retain moisture.
  9. Delivering decorative bark (or mulch) had become a growing industry. Go to any hardware store’s garden area and there’s bags and bags of variations. Blower trucks will load up and come to your house and spread it for you with a giant reverse vacuum cleaner. Now, I suspect a new industry, to vacuum it all back up, will begin taking root.
  10. I thought that killer bees and murder hornets were bad. Now we can add crazy worms to the list of things nature has devised to make the world more interesting. The MSN story says, “Pick one up, and you’ll see why, as the creepy-crawly jerks, writhes and springs out of your hand. (It may even leave its tail behind, as a grim souvenir.) And now, scientists are finding the wrigglers have spread to at least 15 states across the U.S.” They resemble regular worms and are bad for the soil.
  11. I have a crazy cat. I really don’t want crazy worms.
  12. My wife is on her weekly coffee clatch call. Pre-COVID-19, they’d meet after exercise class every M-W-F. Their pandemic compromise is to meet every Friday after exercise class. They have a good time. Lots of laughing. I hear her now talking about her sagging breasts and my drooping scrotum. I’d told her that my sack hung in the water in the hotel toilet during our visit last week. Disgusting, right? Once you feel and know it, you can take action by not sitting all the way down. This is another reason why I prefer to stand and pee, even though I’m cursed with a forked stream. Aging. There’s always something.
  13. Haven’t smelled any skunk for over thirty days, yeah, knock on wood. I’m superstitious that way. Haven’t smelled the skunk, or sighted one, but my wife reports that she heard a thump last night for the first time in weeks. Time to block the entry (again) and see what happens. I would mount my camera but it has quit working. I’ve not been able to reset it and connect it nor receive any images from it. I don’t want to buy a new one because, waste. We’re such a throw-away consuming society. It’s frustrating.
  14. Being cheugy doesn’t offend me. And, from what I understand, I am cheugy. Apparently emerging from TikTok, cheugy is the new ‘square’, a way of saying something is passé, or out of it. Tres important, right? I’m bothered by too many other things, like crazy worms and skunks under the house, to think about being trendy.
  15. Got my coffee. Time to go write like crazy at least one more time. Before the crazy worms get here. We’re already full up on crazy. Even bought a warranty. It was offered on the phone.

The Two Dads Dream

I encountered two versions of my father in a dream last night. One was younger, as I remember him from when I was a child. The other was middle-aged. I was also middle-aged. Both were energetic and in good-humor. Against the backdrop of having two fathers, I was starting a new job. Young Dad provided me a place to stay during orientation, a new car, and new clothes. He also provided menus for me to order food. I was sort of laughing at the offerings, telling him that they weren’t necessary, but also thanking him.

The new car was a white Alfa-Romeo convertible, a Spider similar to what was in The Graduate. Although I didn’t see myself driving it, I parked and was walking into the airport. That’s where I seemed to be working. Others I knew were working there. I was shown around and told that I wasn’t working ‘on the floor’, but in a management position. I asked to see my office but we ran out of time for the day.

I then encountered middle-aged Dad and chatted with him about the new job. I was excited about the new job. Middle-aged Dad asked me if I needed a place to stay, money, or clothing. Telling him no, my Dad was covering those things for me, I took him to my new home. My young Dad was there. I introduced the two but they were not enthusiastic about the other. I told each not to worry, that both were important to me. Middle-aged Dad left. I went to settle into my new digs, which was upstairs from where my young Dad lived. I moved all my new clothing up there. One outlandish white outfit blew me away. It reminded me of the outfit that Elvis Presley wore on his television special, Aloha from Hawaii. Holding it up, I said, “I’m not going to wear this.”

Young Dad called up the steps to me. He said that he’d had a bunch of dinner menus. “I noticed that you got rid of all those,” he said. “I guess you didn’t think they were healthy enough or something.” No, I didn’t get rid of them, I replied. As I was unpacking, I discovered a white binder. Its ornate cover said, “Dinner Menus”. It was like one of those binders of menus found in hotels. “Here’s your dinner menu binder, Dad,” I called down to him.

That’s where it ended.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

“Wednesday, Wednesday. Can’t stand that day.”

Yes, happy humpday, April 14, 2021. I have nothing against Wednesdays, myself. I enjoy Wednesdays. It’s a nice midpoint. I guess I’m a ‘week is half-done’ sort of person.

The sun snuck up on us at 6:32 AM and will shy back behind the planet at 7:51 PM. The weather is strolling away from winter, gaining more spring confidence everyday. Green thickens in the trees around us and adorns the rolling hills. Although it’s now 49 degrees F, we expect the thermometers to see 73 before beginning its evening descent.

I found myself singing a 1982 song. I dreamed of a Porsche 911 SC, which was produced between 1978 and 1983 (yeah, I looked it up to confirm what I recalled). Thinking of the car and the years the model was produced led me through the memory vaults. I recalled that I lived in Texas in 1978, having been assigned there in the military after I returned from the Philippines, then got out, moved to West Virginia, went back into the military a year later, was assigned again to Texas in 1979, and then ended up on Okinawa by 1981. The song that came to mind then was “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and enjoy the music! Cheers

A Key Dream

The dream began with me buying a Porsche. A 911 SC model, which would make it between 1978 and 1983, it was dark blue – ‘Sunoco blue’, in my mind, after the color used by Penkse/Donahue in the late 1960s and early 1970s (on, for example, the Ferrari 512 they raced at LeMans/Daytona or the Porsche 917 used in Can Am racing in the first year) with a tan leather interior. Very classy and clean to me, even though it had right rear quarter panel damage. Seeing it, I made an offer, which was accept. I paid $10,000 for it, transferring the money via Paypal. After driving it home, I told my wife. She was pleased with the purchase. I told her I was going to have the body repaired. I wasn’t certain whether I’d keep it or sell it after that, vacillating between the options.

Penske Sunoco Ferrari 512, LeMans, 1971

After parking the Porsche at home, which was a sort of compound of buildings, I walked around, preparing for guests. They were already arriving. Someone needed a key. I had a spare that they could use to unlock a door. As I gave them that key to use, I noticed several emergency keys were by the doors, often hanging above the door. I told others that I didn’t think that was very smart. While, yes, it was convenient to have the keys there in case you forget the key, outsiders might come, see the keys, and use them to get in when they’re not supposed to.

I entered the main house where most guests were congregating. Dad was there, taking measurements for a project. He and I had a discussion about what he was doing, and more importantly, why he was doing it at that time, since the guests were arriving for a party. He replied that it would only take a little bit, and besides, the contractors were there.

Yes, the contractors were there, in the foyer by the front door on the other side of the crowded living room. I told them that Dad was taking measurements. The contractors, two men, were testy and impatient. Dad began calling out numbers. Hearing them, I repeated them to the contractors, telling them that those were the numbers they needed. Dad kept doing this, but the party noise was increasing, making it difficult to hear, and the contractors were slow to start writing the numbers down, forcing me to remember and repeat the numbers. As Dad kept moving around, calling out numbers, guests began acting as intermediaries between him and me, listening to the numbers when he called them out, then coming to me to tell me the number and where it was from, which I would then give to the contractors. This all struck me as pretty hilarious.

The dream ended while we were in the middle of doing this.

A Short Car Dream

Don’t quite know what to make of this dream. This dream was all close first-person POV. A friend was with me but I never saw them, just heard them laugh or swear. I don’t know who it was. I’d purchased a new car, a unique, exotic collectible of sorts. (I never did clearly see the car in the dream). I’d acquired it at a large outdoor option. After purchasing it, I was inside, driving it, following a similar car. The car ahead came to a stop sign. Like me, it was turning left, according to its flashing signal. Nothing was coming, but it didn’t proceed. Impatience growing, I beeped to get them to move. The driver flashed me the finger, but then drove. I pulled up to the sign. As I stopped, a second hot rod pulled up alongside me on my right, then ran the stop sign and turned left in front of me, highly pissing me.

I turned left, drove a short way, and pulled in to park in a designated slot. I saw the first driver and their parked car but didn’t comment or take action. Throngs of people were moving in both directions. After parking my car, I picked it up and started carrying it under my arm. As I did, I saw a young woman coming toward me. She had a strap around her shoulders which was attached to her car, which was hanging on her back. I said, “That’s what I need to get. I can carry my car with me and leave my hands free. I won’t even need to park. I’ll just take my car with me wherever I go.”

A Riddle In A Dream

I had a dream in which I ended up wondering, while in the dream, if I’d dreamed what I was thinking. I’ve gone similar routes to this before, but this one ended up as a laugher to me.

I was racing at LeMans in a D type Jaguar. The race had just begun. My co-driver (name not given, never seen), had qualified us, putting us at the front of the grid (but not pole). I was starting the race for the team. I managed a great start, and was battling for the lead.

From my point of view in the open cockpit, another driver and I raced our cars down a long straight, engines screaming, car shaking and vibrating around me. Taking the car to the absolute limit, holding it there, I edged my car’s nose ahead past a competitor on my right.

Now for a surreal bit. There was a small, bright green, bean bag hanging to the left along the straight. Whoever reached the bag and pulled it down was the leader of the first lap. I raced toward it, pulling ahead of the other car. Veering left, I threw my hand up and caught the bean bag.

Wasn’t over, though. We were hurtling toward the final corner. My competition wasn’t making it easy for me. They were holding back to brake at the last second; they also had the inside line, the true racing line. Coming up on the corner, I counseled myself, “Wait, wait,” watching the competitor. When he finally braked I told myself, “Now, brake, downshift, turn.”

I guided the car into the turn. Teetering on the edge of cohesion, the car progressed through the long righthander. Then I was through, in the lead, leading the first lap of LeMans. Jubilation roared through me as crowds cheered me on.

Then, as the segment ended, I pulled into victory lane.

I’d won the race.

Still in the dream, I was stunned. I’d won LeMans. As it was a D type Jag, that was in the fifties. Sitting before my computer, I searched on “Seidel Wins LeMans”.

Then, I thought, hold on. I couldn’t have won LeMans in the fifties; I wasn’t born until 1956.

And in the dream, I wondered, did I dream that? It seemed so real.

As I was about to tell this to my wife, she brought a tall white man and his daughter into the room. I was like, “Excuse me, WTF, who are they, why are they are?” My wife brushed aside my questions.

The child went to play. The man joined me. Reading a newspaper on the desk beside me, he scoffed. “Mansfield is in trouble.” He scoffed again. “I’ve seen this happen before.” He blithered on about some other companies who’d been in trouble. “They’re going to need help. Search for Mansfield and help.”

I did as he directed. I was only typing with one hand, however, and kept screwing up the search. Then, dream shift, I’m in a writing class with other students. The instructor is telling us about four elements. I’m taking notes.

A man comes in and calls my name. He wants to know if I’m okay. “Yes, fine,” I reply, puzzled. The teacher tells the man that I seem fine, why is he interrupting the class to check on me.

“Because he sent a message that said ‘help’ on a computer,” the man replied. “We received his message.”

Realization rising about what happened, laughter spilled out of me. I explained that I’d been trying to do a search on Mansfield needing help but kept screwing up.

Two other men, stocky, with crew cuts, in suits, solemnly brought stacks of books to me. “What are these?” I asked.

“Help books,” one man replied. “You sent so many messages for help, we thought you could use these books for help.”

End dream.

A Rainy Dream

I was with some others. They remained misty and uncertain, voices on the periphery of my awareness.

We were to drive three identical Cadillac automobiles. Cream and brown two-toned sedans, I knew them as late 1940s cars, a model called ‘Sedan de Ville’. I was to be the driver of one of these three large cars.

Sheets of silvery rain were soaking the world outside the building where we talked, striking down visibility whenever I looked out a window. I knew we were in a city. We were addressing a large, electronic map. It showed the route to follow in thick dark green on a yellow background. Part of the discussion was about what to call our exits. Studying the map, I somehow came up with Jo Three, which struck me as funny. I explained why it should be called that and why it was funny but those details are lost to waking me.

Before leaving, white brunette women dressed in 1950s fashion presented each driver with two loaves of freshly baked warm bread. These loaves were set on the back shelf behind the rear seat, on on each side, in all three cars. I happily went about, checking the loaves, verifying what they were (rye, marble rye, whole wheat, etc.), and that each loaf was unique. Satisfied, I confirmed my loaves were where they should be, climbed behind the car’s massive steering wheel, and set off.

Rain still hammered the streets and sidewalks, denuding color so that everything resembled sepia photographs. With no wind, the rain fell straight down. Although it was day, street lights were on. The straight multi-lane roads were in good condition. Traffic was sparse. The place seemed familiar.

I saw a woman walking along a sidewalk under an umbrella. I knew her. I thought she was upset and decided that I needed to speak with her, and that I would offer her a ride. As I caught up with her, she was under an underpass at an intersection, waiting to cross the street. She crossed; I turned left, pulled alongside her, and wound the passenger window down. As she didn’t stop, the car continued parallel to her, propelled by the idling motor.

Leaning across the street, cold as mist came in the open window, I called, asking her if she wanted a ride, speaking loudly over the rain and the car’s engine. She declined, telling me that she enjoyed walking in the rain. I then apologized to her and told her that I understood why she was upset. She replied that she wasn’t upset, and that’s not why she wasn’t accepting a ride. She had been upset but now she just appreciated being alone, walking in the rain.

I accepted her answer and drove off. As I did, I looked back in the rearview mirror and watched her walking on the sidewalk in the pouring rain, getting smaller as the distance increased.

Sean Connery, Me, and A Cat In A Dream

We were ordered into a car. My companion, a male, was up front in the passenger seat. Top down, the convertible car began speeding along.

I said, “Is it my imagination, or do I detect from the motion that this car is going backwards?”

No answer came. As I processed that null response, I said, “Is this a Rolls Royce?”

The driver was looking back over his shoulder. He was in the right hand front seat. Looking back as he did verified for me that we were going backwards — I couldn’t see over the sides of the car to be sure.

The driver was Sean Connery. As that registered, I debated, Sean Connery or James Bond?

I gathered that we were going backward around a cloverleaf exchange and then accelerated straight onto a highway. At that point, Connery executed a handbrake turn, reversing us 180. We now traveled in the correct position.

After a time, the car was pulled over. Telling us, “See you later,” Connery hopped out and waved good-bye.

My companion — a short, elderly white male — and I were relieved to be free of Connery and have position of our Rolls again, because we needed to turn the car in. Problem was, that wasn’t the car that was expected, and the company would be upset. We traveled back to the turn-in location where a tall, white man in a suit greeted us. After hearing our problem, he said, smiling, “No problem. I can make this go away.”

Some paperwork was processed. As that went on, I checked some physical records. These tracked my health and activities. I was shocked to discover they were marked SECRET in the standard stamp at the top. It flummoxed me to think that those innocuous records were marked secret. I then also discovered my CIA identification, a rueful reminder of the secret world I inhabited.

The tale man returned. “Slide your company card through this card reader.” I smirked at the expression, company card, but did as told. “Your bill is twenty-four dollars,” I was told. As I reacted, he added, “It’s been paid.”

My original companion and I went off in another car. Exiting the building, a young black male stopped us. “You’ll need this to get back in.” He handed us a laminated blue card with black grease pencil writing on it. As he walked off, I called out, “No, we don’t need that, we already have one.” I held our original up, showing it to him, and then flipped the other to him. It sailed like a flying disc.

He caught it without effort. “That was impressive,” I said.

He shrugged. “I do that all the time.”

“How many times a day?”

“At least three.”

That impressed me. My companion and I drove off.

Dream shift. I was on vacation, walking toward a river. Bending down as I reached the roaring, turbulent river, I rubbed a cat’s belly. Wondering who this friendly feline was, I investigated and discovered it was my own ginger mini-puma. As I talked to him, he rolled around and then stood and stretched.

I was worried. We were over a mile from home. “What are you doing here, so far from home?” I asked the cat. In response, he trotted ahead of me, as though he and I were journeying together.

The cat splashed through some water. I crossed onto a natural rock bridge. Standing over the raging white water, I saw something scything through the water ahead. I couldn’t say what it was. Then a bird attacked me. I swatted it away. Another bird then attacked. This bird latched onto my leg. As its claws dug in, I beat it until it released me. Realizing that two birds attacking me was unusual and guessed, they’re probably protecting nests in the rocks around me. With that conclusion, I hurried on.

Dream end.

The Mall Dream

A dysfunctional, post-apocalyptic world had arrive in the U.S. It wasn’t extreme. Shit had happened. Infrastructure and governments were failing, oil and gas were limited, food and water were scarce, and security was precious.

Somehow, I’d taken over a large mall.

I established myself as its ruler and then set up a society to live within it. I’d managed to make it secure, acquire food and drink, and we were generating power. Details aren’t available.

Friends of different times in my life heard of it. A large horde of them arrived as refugees. Everyone from childhood to the recent past were represented.

After greeting them outside on a sunny day, I took them in, assigning them spaces and familiarizing them with basic concepts: everyone works, no physical violence or abusive behavior, and respect one another. Break one of these, once, and you’re gone.

They quickly settled in. One favorite old friend, Don, became de facto representative of that particular group. He ended up hanging out with me a bit. They had suggestions for improvement. I thought them good and adopted the suggestions.

Meanwhile, I had two Mazda Miatas and gas for both. Both were green but different shades, with the new one being darker, almost forest green. I often drove the older one around. On this day, I decided to take the newer one for a ride. I invited Don along.

But first, I went around pissing on the mall floors. I pissed copiously, everywhere. I was then ready to go, but then regretted pissing everywhere. “I shouldn’t have done that,” I told Don. “I need to clean that up.”

Don, his cheerful, relaxed self, answered, “Don’t worry about it. We got you covered.” He pointed out there, where everyone was already mopping up my mess.

That’s where it ended.

Floofsday’s Theme Music

Good Night. Today is Floofsday, March 32, 2021. Sunset is at 7:01 AM in Ashland and sunrise will be at 7:45 PM. This morning’s temperature is 75 degrees F but we expect to cool down some, reaching 51 by late tonight.

Yesterday’s walk was gloriously perfect. Sunshine burst through, heaving the heat into the high seventies while a mild breeze countered the worst effects. Trees and flowers are blooming, spreading colorful shapes, threading the air with sweet scents. Lot of walkers were out in the hilly streets where I was roaming. Most of us weren’t masked but shied away, keeping proper distance plus.

This situation kicked the 1985 Dire Straits song, “So Far Away”, into my conscious music stream. “So Far Away” was on Brothers in Arms, the album that included “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”, two of my favorite Dire Straits tunes. Stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, I played that album a lot that year, driving my Mazda around the southeastern United States on temporary duty assignments in the Air Force or going north — a straight shot up I-77 — to visit family.

I thought the song works as a theme song for this day. Last April seems so far away. Although we’re marking progress toward the pandemic’s end, a return to normalcy also seems so far away.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

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