The Zombie

He held his breath. Listened. Turned toward the sound. Looked for escape. Too late.

Sounds increased. Growling. Snarling.

Zombie.

A hiding place was needed.

Nothing was in the room.

Weapon, then. A defense.

Twisting, he crashed through the kitchen, jerking open drawers, pawing through contents. Snarling became a roar. The zombie burst in and rushed him.

Grabbing his coffee mug, he spun. “Here. Coffee.” His hand shook as he held out the steaming cup.

The zombie stopped. Accepted the mug. Breathed in the aroma. Took a sip. Sighed.

“Thanks.”

Turning, she shuffled out with muted growls.

Friday’s Theme Music

Flooding in Europe. Wildfires all over the U.S. west. Record heat waves. Drought. COVID-19 cases spiking. It’s too much for a Friday. I’m going back to bed.

Today is July 16, 2021. Bad news sometimes seems overwhelming. Dark stories past those headline blares paint scenes of death, destruction, and despair. Unless you’re wealthy. Then it’s woo-hoo, life is grand.

Daylight hours seems to be drawing down fast. Maybe it feels like that because of dark news. Sunrise was at 5:49 AM. Less than fifteen hours later will come sunset, 8:45 PM. Temperatures are at least down. Feels chilly with temperatures in the mid sixties this morning. The sky is clear, though, and we’ll probably see 90 F again this afternoon. Although forecast to have a high of 84 yesterday, we saw 93.

I’m always disappointed when Alexa is wrong about the weather. She’s never apologetic about it. Never mentions getting it wrong.

Today’s song is by 311. “Amber” (2001) is about the color of someone’s energy. My energy had been high. Then came irrigation drip problems disrupting my plans, requiring digging to learn what has gone wrong. While doing that, the song came unbidden to mind. So, here we are.

Stay positive — you know, as I do (hah!) — test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Here’s the music. I’m going to go get my coffee. It won’t necessarily lift my spirits but will inure me against feeling so damn down. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunday, June 13, 2021. The sun shouldered in at 5:34 AM with small shafts of light and a few shards of warmth. Bird talk sputtered and fizzled. Cats stalked their kibble and complained.

Showers are expected today. I took one early. Shaved. Washed hair. Temperature is currently 75 F. We expect 81 today. Sunset will come as the world turns at 8:48 PM. Shopping, eating, reading, writing, cutting grass, and very important, drinking coffee will take place between now and then.

My mind is playing Dire Straits and “Sultans of Swing” from 1978 for me this morning. No clear reason is recognized why that song is playing. I was out of the service when this song was released. After moving back to where I’d graduated high school, I bought a restaurant and was going to college. A few months later, crippled by the local economy and dwindling personal finances, I was back in the service and heading west to San Antonio, Texas, on a new assignment. The break in service was a year to the day. I learned a lot in that time. Once back in the military, I ended up staying for sixteen years, completing a twenty-year career. Traveled a lot, mostly the United States, Asia, and Europe, a little northern Africa and the Middle East. Meet some terrific people.

Stay positive, test negative. Come on, get the vax. Let’s get on with it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

The Earth rolled over. The sun’s first feeble rays hove into view.

5:34 AM.

“Morning has broken. Like the first morning.”

Too early for nonsense.

Thought processes were engaged. Thursday? No, Friday. June something. Eleventh. Still 2021.

Rain fell outside. The sunshine drooped. Clouds barged in. The heater kicked on. Cats slumbered. He would slumber on, too. What time was sunset today? Eight something. 8:47 PM, he remembered, eyes closed, breathing deepening. He returned to his dream. Better there anyway.

Dream songs enter. “All I want to do is dream.” “All the leaves are brown, and the sky is gray.” “These dreams go on when I close my eyes.” “Sweet dreams are made of these. Who am I to disagree?” “Runnin’ down a dream. That never would come to me.” “Dream weaver, I believe you can get me through the night.” “Dream on.”

He sleeps and dreams. Awakens. Half-hearted sunshine lights the bedroom. Coffee, he thinks. The list. Things must be done. He heads into the bathroom. Songs walk with him. “Stray cat strut, I’m a ladies’ cat.” “In the year of the cat.”

The coffee pot beckons in the kitchen. Sunshine withers to a softer shade of pale. Let it rain, rain, rain. Raindrops keep fallin’ on my head. The sky is crying.

He sips his coffee. Enter Ringo Starr. “It don’t come easy. You know it don’t come easy.” Uriah Heep responds. “This is a thing I’ve never known before, it’s called easy living.” Charlie Daniels strikes back with “Uneasy Rider”. He needs to write. “Paperback writer,” the Beatles sing. A truck rolls back outside. “Truckin'” by the Grateful Dead begins. 1970. He heads for the other room. “It’s raining again.” Supertramp. There’s a song for every thought. “I think we’re alone now.” “Do ya think I’m sexy?” “You better think. Think!” “Did you think it’s alright if we leave the boy with Uncle Ernie?”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get that vax.

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.

Friday’s Theme Music

Here it is, Friday, the first in the merry, merry, month of May. It’s Friday, May 7, 2021. It’s Mother’s Day this Sunday in the U.S. My card has been sent off, the notes prepared for the call on Sunday to Mom. I don’t think she’ll be doing anything special for Mom’s Day. Three of my sisters live in Mom’s region and generally celebrate holidays together. All of them are moms, and two are grand-moms, and Mom is a great-grandmother. But this is 2021, where COVID-19 continues its reign. They used to all go out to brunch somewhere together for this holiday. I suspect that Mom’s daughters, grand children, and great-grands, will bring food and flowers by for Mom and will visit with her a few at a time.

Clouds moved in yesterday, delivering chilly overnight temperatures but no rain. The sun’s first showing was at 5:59 AM, but did little to warm us, so far. We’ll see what happens between now and 8:17 PM, when Sol announces, “See you tomorrow,” but general consensus is that the highs will be in the low to mid-sixties.

Alarming news came out regarding rain and water for our area. We’re in an extreme drought. Weather conservation and curtailment actions have yet to be enacted locally. They always take a ‘wait and see’ approach until it’s a crises, which serves no one. The area depends heavily on the TID, and the city has been told it’s not getting as much TID as last year. Forty percent has been cut from one contract, while one hundred percent has been cut from the second. Local reservoirs and dams are at bleak levels. I’m breaking out my rain stick. It scares the hell out of the cats, but anything that can help must be done.

Of course, this might be the wrong way to go about it. “Wrong Way” is today’s music choice. At its core, the 1997 Sublime song is about a fourteen-year-old prostitute whose only family is ‘her seven horny brothers and drunk-ass Dad’. The is song is rife with references to doing things the wrong way as the singer rescues her but then mistreats her, himself.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. That seems to be the right way. Time for my coffee. Cheers

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