Monday’s Theme Music

The records are in and it’s official: April was our rainiest on record. So, that’s good news.

But we’re still in a drought because so many previous years were dry.

Weather and climate change are as fascinating and challenging to contemplate as politics and quantum entanglement.

Today is Monday, May 9, 2022. An impressive sunrise, blasting around clouds, giving those dark boys silver linings, was struck at 5:56 this morning. The sundown show will start at 8:19 PM. Today’s high is expected to be 47 F, just five degrees from where we’re at. Storms are expected throughout the week, including today. Snow and rain showers are possible tomorrow.

All this weather had me singing “Stormy Monday” as recorded live by the Allman Brothers Band waaayyy back when. The neurons were taken by surprise; they were singing other things, filling the morning mental music stream with amazing melodies, but I called an audible. They’re still resisting it, so I’m about to blast it to impress upon them how serious I am.

Stay positive and test negative. Endure, succeed, thrive. Have some coffee. I know I will. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Sounds have come tapping. Cue “It’s Raining Again” by Supertramp.

Light rain sporadically spits down on this Wednesday, the 27th of April, 2022. The temperature is at 44 F and a high of 60 is possible, they say. They also said it wouldn’t rain today.

Sunset is expected at 8:06 PM while sunrise came and went at 6:12 AM.

I have guitarist Joe Walsh with “Rocky Mountain Way” from 1973 cranking it out in the morning mental music stream. This one came out during a dream. I’d been startled awake by a cat checking to see if I was alive (“No, I was just sleeping, damn it”). The dream featured mountains, as my dreams frequently do. When I thought about those, the neurons hit the play button. Out came Walsh.

I’ve always enjoyed the song, playing it too often and too loud in my youth. It was a regular staple in high school art class as well as my part of my vinyl rotation at home and on 8 tracks in the car. Never got to see Walsh live in concert, except when he was with the Eagles on the Hell Freezes Over tour in 1994. The way I wrote that, it sounds like he died, but he’s still alive. I just checked. At least, that’s what the net claims.

Stay positive, test negative, etc. Can’t believe a Republican called for Dr. Fauci to face a shooting squad and be executed. Further, that said Republican was cheered by other Republicans. That party has lost its ever-lovin’ collective mind.

Here’s the music. If you guessed that I’m now going for coffee, give yourself a gold star. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Sunshine blazed into the valley at 6:19 AM, kicking out some of the chillier air and chasing the clouds and night away. It’s now 40 F, and the clouds have scurried back into view after recovering from Sol’s surprise. We’ll be ranging up to the upper fifties this AM before sunset at *drumroll* 8 PM this evening.

Mom is in surgery today, back in PA. She’ll be 86 this year, has emphysema and a pacemaker, and suffers a swollen foot because sixteen lymph nodes were removed a few years ago, along peripheral neuropathy. This surgery is to remove a large fatty deposit. She says it’s been bothering her for years and it’s gotten worse, so my thoughts circle toward her as the sun moves through the day and she goes through the process.

Today is Friday, April 22, 2022.

The neurons have “Manic Depression” by Jimi Hendrix (1967) swirling through the morning mental music stream. It’s a writing thing. A friend was celebrating his 90th birthday. His son is my friend and was an editor with one of the big publishing houses back at the century’s rollover. He suffered health issues and had to quit, and since has written one novel (that he hates) and is now trying to write again. He helps take care of his parents and their home, though, so that’s where his energy goes. He was speaking of his frustration while he was writing, trying to put it all together in something coherent, compelling, and worthy.

Out of that conversation, my neurons brought up the opening lines to “Manic Depression”:

Manic depression is searching my soul
I know what I want
But I just don’t know
How to go about getting it

Feeling, sweet feeling
Drops from my Fender’s fingers
Manic depression has a-captured my soul

h/t to

Stay positive, test neg., etc. I feel the need for caffeine. Here’s the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Rain drops tune up on windows and vents for a melody I don’t recognize. Wind chases the cats back into the house’s security. The sun crested the southeast ridges at 6:22 AM but sunshine remains a wan, flighty element. Our temperatures will range from 46 F to 54 and back down again before the sunset show at 7:58 PM.

Today is Wednesday, April 20, 2022 — yes, 420. A lot of people have fun with this aspect of calendaring, you know, the code for marijuana or cannabis consumption, but it doesn’t move me much. I’ll probably joke with friends about it later.

I watched a fun drama, Metal Lords (Netflix), about high school boys pursuing a quest to be a heavy metal band. Lot of entertaining references to metal throughout helped, but there was strong acting and directing, and solid production values. While the usual high school tropes permeate, they’re lightly employed, because, come on, the usual tropes of bullying, social awkwardness, hormones, and cliques, do exist in RL HS, DB Weiss, who brought Game of Thrones to HBO, also deftly delivers some intelligent nuances to the tropes. I enjoy it and recommend it.

Anyway, the movie left me with a taste for a favorite of mine when I was on puberty’s cusp. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath (1970) is in the morning mental metal music stream. Hope you enjoy it. Speaking of taste, my tastebuds are yearning for a little black magic brew. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, etc. Cheers

An Easter Memory

Preparing for an Easter brunch with friends prompted my neurons to pull up a memory. I was young, in my crewcut years. Honing in on the period, I was living in Wilkinsburg, PA, attending Turner Elementary School on Laketon Road, and going to my grandparents’ house in Irwin for Easter. So, it was 1964 and I was seven going on eight.

Dad was in Turkey or Greece on military assignment. He and Mom were divorced, and she was now a single mother working as a Bell Telephone operator, raising me and two sisters. I was the middle in this child sandwich. Mom and my Dad’s parents coordinated an Easter visit, probably so Mom could work the holiday and get the extra pay. She went all out that year, buying us new Easter clothes. It was a suit for me – blue and cream houndstooth jacket with a smart dark blue vest which matched my dark blue pants. I wore a clip-on tie. Black and white photographic evidence exists somewhere, but they’re in boxes on shelves in the garage that require an expedition along the lines of an archaeological expedition looking for a lost civilization, so it’ll need to hold for another day. On that Easter morning, we found three enormous baskets waiting for us. We were spoiled children, so there were large chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, peeps, marshmallow eggs, hard-boiled eggs which we’d dyed the day before, and a large coconut chocolate egg, all in pink, yellow, and green baskets with fake green grass made out of fine, shiny plastic. After discovering our baskets, we hunted for eggs around the apartment and then dressed in our new duds. My Uncle Bill, Dad’s youngest brother, picked us up in his brown Plymouth Fury and conveyed us to grandma and grandpa’s where we dined with all the area aunts, uncles, and cousins. Grandpa prepared his favorite, a ham. He baked one whenever he had a chance. (Uncle Bill would trade in that Fury in a few years and buy a year-old dark green Dodge Charger that had me and my friends drooling on its vinyl bucket seats. It was such a cool car.)

Mom joined us after dinner. The adults told us to go play or watch television while they gathered in the dining room for card games, focusing on the traditional family favorite, Tripoli. They were all smoking back then – Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, Kent, Kool. Several adults enjoyed beer such as American lagers like Iron City and Stroh’s, but whiskey sours were also very popular.

Yes, it’s my favorite memory. Smelling a Pall Mall or one of those other cigarettes whisks me right back there. It’s rare that such smoke touches my nose in these days. As for those beers, I found them light and tasteless. Over in Japan, I often indulged in beer from Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, I drank whatever was brewed in that country, but they had some excellent offerings everywhere. By the time I returned to the US, the craft brew industry was booming.

Today, though, brunch with friends outside, with the sun shining and laughter ringing across the yard, will be another favorite memory. Another favorite, but of another kind. Nobody smoked cigarettes. No alcohol was consumed. A potluck brunch, salmon was served with grilled asparagus along with several sorts of potato dishes, delicious quiches, fruit salad, and cinnamon muffins.

It’s a long, long way from Pittsburgh, PA, in 1965 to Ashland, OR, 2022.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today finds us at the juxtaposition of winter and spring and the week called Thursday, April 14, 2022. Snow on the mountains is a hopeful sign for us in our drought-struck state while the buds and flowers remind us of spring’s promise of life and growth.

Sunrise was a solid showing of light and warmth at 6:32 AM. Showers have drifted away, the clouds moving on for the moment, muttering about, “maybe coming back later,” perhaps after they go off to chill and have something to eat or drink, maybe even coffee. Although just 41 F right now, the sun’s presence makes it feel warmer to me. A 44-degree high is all they say we can hope for before sundown at 7:51 PM.

Reading the news, I can’t stop the conclusion from jumping into my head that Putin is a terrorist. “Don’t you dare join NATO, or I will nuke you,” he metaphorically shouts in his cold, threatening tone. Isn’t that the way of war, though, “don’t do that or we’ll do this,” pressing an escalation of tension with fear and the threat of violence. If not a terrorist, he’s certainly a bully. I know, the U.S. has its own version of bully tactics, too. At least we haven’t overtly attacked another nation recently.

The neurons have planted “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison in the morning mental music stream. Released when I was fourteen, its slide guitar, rhythms, and lyrics mesmerized me. Yes, I know of the later copyright infringement action and the obvious connection between “He’s So Fine” and “My Sweet Lord”. While “He’s So Fine” is an excellent song, its lyrics and slide work didn’t have me sitting there listening again and again.

Stay positive, test negative, drink coffee, wear a mask as or when needed, and get the jabs as, when, etc. Sorry about the coffee bit; it just jumped in there because it’s that time. Not trying to influence you or anything, no, about the promise of what that hot, dark beverage can do for the body and soul, no, not at all.

Here’s the music. Look – sunshine! Hey, it’s raining. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

The day has pivoted, the world has turned, the calendar page is flipped over to Friday, April 8, 2022. Our weather has turned, too, dropping about twenty degrees. The sky is a study in conflict of blue, white, and gray. But, hoo-rah, we’ll have some rain showers today.

It’s 53 degrees F out there, according to my desk weather station. A high of about sixty is guessed at. Quite windy right now, as the air moves the trees and drives the cats back into the house. Sunrise was at 6:42 AM. Sundown will fall about 7:44 PM.

The neurons pulled a song out of 1973 and stuffed it into the morning mental music stream. It’s apparently related to the words, ‘the night time is the right time’. From that grew the Status Quo song, “Caroline”. If you’re not familiar with it, this is a rocker, children. Sadly, I don’t think I’ve heard it played anywhere for about thirty years. Had the album on vinyl but didn’t replace it on CD. Sad face. Nice version played during Live Aid 85. Like the addition of the piano, which the original song lacked.

Stay positive, test negative, say it with me. Mask as needed, vax as needed. Here’s the music. Guess where I’m going now? If you said the bathroom, you’re wrong. I’m heading for the coffee. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Sunshine petered into our valley for an hour and then the sun crested the mountains like a shining spring bloom.

Hi. Today is Saturday, March 33, 2022, or April 2, for the purists. We’re already at 52 degrees F today after the sun hit the valley with its warm light at 6:52 AM. The sun will ride our sky until 7:38 PM, pulling our temperatures up to a high of 66 F. No rain today; not a cloud in the sky right now.

The neurons continue having fun with me. This morning, out of nowhere, and I’m serious about that, it came from nowhere, they began singing a song called “98.6”. Released when I was a child, I had to search for who sang the song and the year. I was clueless about both. I know it sounds like a humbrag — and yeah, it is — but music is usually weirdly fastened to me via space and time, like details about who I was and where at the time I regularly heard the song, friends’ reactions to it, etc., along with the artist. But for this one, I knew I was a kid, and the lyrics were just sucked up. Of course, the lyrics are smooth and easy, following a simple rhythm, so I suppose that’s understandable. Turned out the song was released by Keith in 1966. I was ten. Such a different sound to pop in that era, innit?

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the jabs when needed. We are searching for another booster, and we’re still masking when in stores, etc. We’re not alone in that, either.

Here’s the music, which means it’s coffee time. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

It’s midweek. Wednesday. And half of March of 2022 has passed on. It’s now the 16th. The news is pretty much the same. War is going on. Russia is being expelled from organizations. Threats are being aired. Trump issued a statement full of lies that have been repeatedly debunked. But he can’t change his nature as a liar. And people still believe him. Look up to him, etc. Meanwhile, another strong quake hit Japan and tsunami warnings were issued. Just what’s needed to feed our anxiety fatigue.

The Earth kept spinning. The sun ‘came up’ and will ‘set’ again, 7:21 AM and 7:18 PM, respectively. Almost to twelve hours of daylight here, and I feel it, brothers and sisters. The temperature is now 37 F but we expect 67 F today. While yesterday gave us slashes of rain followed by shocks of sunlight, today’s clouds hoover like faded giants on our northwest horizon. It’s sunny, people.

A wide range of songs are being played by the neuron jockeys in today’s morning mental music stream. I’m going with the Yes cover of Paul Simon’s “America” from 1972. Friends did not get this one; everyone I knew at that point asked with different degrees of doubt, suspicion, and surprise, “Do you like this?” It wasn’t until I met Scott a year later, in another state, another school, that I discovered another person who knew it and liked it. This particular version is an intriguing recording of them recording the song in the studio. Wonderful seeing that talent at work in such young people.

Hope you like it, and the sun is shining for you, and you’re safe, healthy, and happy somewhere. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, when needed, and get the vax and boosters. I’m off to coffee so I have a fresh cup while listening to the song. Then back to writing’s sanctuary, where the madness is cranking up. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

My body and mind are not happy with ‘springing ahead’. “Why’d you do that?” they asked about setting the clocks ahead. “We was perfectly fine, wasn’t we?” Grammar is a little weak between them.

Today is Sunday, March 13, 2022. That’s right, Sunday the Thirteenth. Bad luck for some. Not a good day to spring ahead with our clocks, as we did. Not much fun with these digital critters, either, you know, the kind where you must hold a button in to advance it, and if you miss, you have to keep going until you come around on it. Like, “Here it comes, get ready to let go. Too soon, too soon. A little more, a little more.” That’s on the house thermostat and the cars’ clocks. I punch in the numbers on the range and microwave’s digital clock, then stand there, watching my Fitbit, waiting for its digit to change, then punching the ‘Set Clock’ buttons on both devices while shouting, “Now!” in my head. So much work for a worn-out idea.

Sunrise came after seven today, because, you know, clocks, at 7:25 AM. It’s a dreary sort of rainy spring day, 45 F know, going up to 52 F. Had a lovely one yesterday, although it got a little variable. One minute, it’d be so warm in the sun, people be busting out of their jackets, sweaters, and sweaties, while the next minute finds them pulling them all back on. Up, down, go zippers, searching for the sweet spot. Wasn’t to be found.

Sunset arrives after seven, 7:16 PM.

I was out walking in the pleasant weather yesterday. The neurons did a songdance that summoned a 1971 Rolling Stones song called “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”. It’s a very rock and roll song of the kind hitting the vinyl in the late sixties and early seventies. I remember that I went about doing those lyrics from it for a bit. People thought me odd. I’ve always been real fond of the jam that came with it for the final four or five minutes. Those familiar notes stayed with me as I crested ridges yesterday and checked out the valley.

Stay positive, right? Keep testing negative. Wear a mask if needed, when needed, as needed. Don’t let complacency take you down. Get the vax and boosters when needed, as needed, when you’re able, right? Here’s some rock for your ears. I’m springing ahead for coffee. The neurons need it.


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