Today’s Chat

I queried Bing’s AI about catfood this morning. I read Gulp by Mary Roach. In it, she mentioned (that I recall) that catfood doesn’t taste like we think it does, especially to us, but also to cats. I decided to ask Bing’s AI. Didn’t impress me. Here you go.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Hello to all you deceivers and believers, along with the in-betweeners. That’s something Willie Nelson sang about.

Despite everything that happened in everyone’s lives, at least in this reality, the world has continued spinning, bringing us to Saturday, April 8, 2023. Despite those pronouncements about day and date, nature and the world outside of humanity goes about its business. Date and day and time doesn’t matter to it. We’re the believers, deceivers, and in-betweeners worrying about it.

The sun lightened the sky at 6:42 this morning. The world will spin Ashlandia into darkness at 1944, as far as we know. It’s 45 F now but 66 is possible, the weather goobers tell us. Mind the rain, it’ll be in and out all day, dismaying the cats, who were counting on sunshine.

Today’s song comes from getting out of bed. As the light in the room grew louder, I said to myself, get up, get up. That shifted to rise up, but memory of a dream was preoccupying my energy. Toward the end of that contemplation, The Neurons slipped “Run” by Snow Patrol out of 2004 into the morning mental music stream. “Light up, light up, as if you have a choice.” That brought a chuckle up. Staying in bed isn’t an option. Words to write and books to read were waiting, along with coffee and feed.

Then there are the cats, talking about me as if I was dead, conversing with one another, “Is he alive?”

“I don’t know. I’m gonna put a claw to his cheek and see what he does. Oh, yes, he’s alive.”

I guess I owe getting up to the cats. Well, they’ve been fed and released to the backyard where the hunt for sun entertains them.’re Stay pos. Coffee is ready so I’m gonna rise up and get a cup. There’s also vegan blueberry scones. Home made by my SO, who remains on a baking kick. I’m the beneficiary. Care for one? They go well with coffee. If you’re not a scone’r , she also made vegan chocolate chip muffins, which also go well with coffee. Plenty here and I assure you, they’re terrific.

Here’s Snow Patrol’s power ballad. Cheers

Thursday’s Wandering Thought

The phone rang. It was about a pie.

Not just any pie. Apparently Costco offered a pie which weighed almost five pounds. What? Peanut butter and chocolate, it sold out fast.

Friends had gone to an early doctor’s appointment. After that, they made it to Costco at its opening time. One rushed back to the pies. Only four of these remained.

They called his wife. Tell Mikey — their pet name for him — to come over and get a piece of pie. He needs to try it. He’d not heard of it but his wife convinced him to go. They cut him a large piece because the thought he had a big appetite. He ate part of the piece after dinner.

Yes, chocolate. A mousse, it seemed like. But also peanut butter. Both flavors were distinct. Good crust, too, but man was that bugger sweet.

As sweet was that his friends thought of him and wanted him to have a piece.

Very, very sweet.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Scintillating sunshine sprawls across Ashlandia. I’m out of bed with the thought, must be after eight with all this sunshine. No, it’s seven. That’ll change tomorrow.

I ask Alexa for Ashlandia’s weather. “Thirty-six with fog,” she tells me. “Rain showers throughout the day.” I study the clear blue sky as she finished, “High of 56.” I see no fog anywhere in the valley or the hills and mountains. Machine is smoking something again.

Sunrise was at 6:30 this morning. Sunset will be at 6:13. It’s Saturday, March 11, 2023.

We took a friend shopping yesterday. Macular degeneration stops her from driving herself and her husband is extremely limited with multiple health issues, including COPD. He’s always on O2. Took her to Target, Trader Joe’s, Costco. She tipped us with a nine pack of Charmin from the package bought at Costco.

Also stopped at the latest sensation, Crumbs, a cookie place. Bought a five-dollar gourmet. Good cookie, tasty and quality, but not worth five dollars. Also not the most expensive cookie I’ve ever eaten.

With all that sunshine surrounding them, The Neurons came up with “Sunshine”, a 2021 song from OneRepublic. It’s a bouncy tune about sunshine and good vibes and making efforts to change things and be pos.

Runnin’ through this strange life
Chasin’ all them green lights
Throwin’ off the shade for a little bit of sunshine
Hit me with them good vibes
Pictures on my phone like
Everything is so fine
A little bit of sunshine

[Verse 1]
Crazy lately I’m confirmin’
Tryna write myself a sermon
You just tryna get a word in, life is not fair
I been workin’ on my tunnel vision
Tryna get a new prescription
Takin’ swings and even missin’ but I don’t care

I’m dancin’ more just a little bit
Breathin’ more just a little bit
Care a little less just a little bit
Like life is woo-hoo!
I’m makin’ more just a littlе bit
Spend a little more to gеt rid of it
Smile a little more and I’m into it


That’ll work for today’s theme music. Like the song urges, smile a little more, care a little less. Be pos. Coffee is served. Here we go.


The Break-In Dream

I began with my wife, in our home. This place was a townhome which reminded me of our RL HMB townhome where we lived 1999-2005, but with some odd differences.

I was in the living room because I was certain I’d heard a noise. I was investigating to see if someone had broken in. As I walked around, checking to see if anything was stolen, I realized the door to the garage was open. It wasn’t before.

I walked that way. My wife stormed out of the bedroom where she’d been sleeping. “Someone broke in,” she said. She went to the garage door and rushed down the steps.

I followed, overtaking her as we left the building. We were at its rear, all grasslands, with a few trees, bordering a river. My wife said that she didn’t see anyone and went into the house. I kept looking, picking up a large stick as a weapon, because I might need to protect myself.

I spotted two couples on the riverbank. Teenagers. I called to them. They ignored me. I headed their way. They moved off, careful to never look at me. This kept on for sometime before I gave up.

Darkness overtook the land. I was more than a mile from home. Rain was falling. I decided it would be easier to get to the street and follow it home.

I reached the street. A small brown dog was trying to cross it but was afraid of the traffic. It wasn’t much but I understood the dog’s fear. “Come on, I’ll help you,” I told it.

It came to my side. As we looked, it started across the lane. I saw a car’s yellow headlights coming toward us from the left. “No, not yet,” I said to the dog. “Come back.”

The dog did. We watched that car pass. There was a median strip. I told the dog, “Come on.”

The dog and I crossed to the strip. It stayed with me as we waited for traffic to pass and then went on.

I trotted along in the rain, the dog beside me. I saw no collar on him or tags, and talked to him, asking questions. As we crossed one street, he suddenly turned left and took off in a run. Going home, I guessed.

I turned right and crossed the street. I was home now. It was daylight. The rain had stopped, and I was dry.

I went into the house and armed myself with some hard plastic tubing. My wife was making dinner. I heard a noise from the garage and went to investigate.

A Filipino man was there. Seeing my plastic tubing, he became withdrawn and acted like he was leaving. I asked him, “Who are you? Why are you here?”

He said he had something to give me and held out a hand. I recognized a manuscript. “No, thank you,” I said. “You need to go.”

He took my hand and pressed the manuscript into it. I sighed. “You want this published?”

He nodded with eager smiles.

I repeated, “You need to leave. I’ll go with you and show you how to get this published.”

We went to his house. His family were waiting for his returned. They crowded back when I came in. Getting on his computer, I explained how to self-publish and the query process and how to submit to publishers and agents. He nodded, indicating that he understood.

I returned home. My wife asked where I’d been. Dinner was getting cold. Putting the tubing aside, I explained what had happened as I sat down to eat.

Dream end.


She brought me a small white plate.

Two dark pieces nestle on it. I stare at them, then shift the stare to her.

I had been smelling them since I came into the house after my coffee house writing session. Chocolate.

K is on a diet. Today is day 30. She is allowed to add one thing today. She added vegan honey to her breakfast amaranth. Now she waits three days to see if there’s a reaction. If a reaction — pain, a flare, stiffness — is experienced, that item is banned from her diet. Forever. Then she resets for a few days and adds another item. If no reaction is felt, she adds another item and waits three days. So it goes.

This means that she can’t eat what’s on the plate.

She’s hosting book club next month. The moderator opted for something lighter for March. Lessons in Chemistry. Bonnie Garmus. Kay is making vegan brownies studded with chocolate chips. These are vegan chips from Trader Joe’s. Vegan butter was used. This is a test batch. A Ghirardelli mix was used.

“Taste these,” she tells me. “Tell me what you think.”

She can’t have them. Diet. Two of the Ashlandians in the book club are vegan.

I force myself to eat a chewy, gooey vegan brownie.

“Wonderful chocolate taste. Not too sweet. Greasy,” I announce. That makes sense to her. There was something about the vegan butter melting and then measuring it again. She didn’t do that. “And they’re not done enough.”

“Five more minutes?”

“Maybe just three.”

She nods. She’ll make another test batch this week.

They go great with black coffee on a winting Ashlandia afternoon. An entire tray waits for me in the kitchen.

I’ll need to pace myself or it might be death by chocolate.

Moonday’s Theme Music

I was out walking yesterday afternoon, slow-baking in the sun. My informants told me that the temperature was 51 F. Telling self, “This is nice,” I thought I’d extend the wall. With a magician’s swiftness, clouds blocked the sun. “Damn, it’s cold,” self said. A icy wind knifed through me. Drizzle followed. Three minutes after enjoying a fine, sunny walk, I was heading home out of the drizzle.

This is Monday, Feb. 6 of 2023. It’s a boom sort of day. Initiated early dark hours after rain began shortly after the witching hour, curtailing an hour later. Then – boom – clouds split, and here comes the moon, reflecting powerful white light from the sun. Sweet. Following up at this AM, 7:19, boom, sun kicked shine over the horizons into Ashlandia. While it’s sunny now, 37 F, weather spies tell me it’ll rain later, with a high of 56 F before the Earth turn takes Ashlandia’s sun away.

Yesterday was a good day for moi on many fronts. Wordle in two. As Wordlebot said, that was really lucky. Excellent writing and editing time, knock on wood, an enjoyable walk, followed by a pleasant dinner of fish with roasted red potatoes and broccoli. Dessert was flax chocolate cookies while we watched episode of The Last of Us.

My wife had none of that dinner or dessert. She continues her anti-chronic pain diet. No sugar, no salt, no processed foods. She’s on the section where in addition to certain raw veggies, quinoa, and sweet potatoes, she’s allowed kale, coconut water, buckwheat, and green smoothies. How much longer she’ll continue this is unknown, but she likes how of her RA pains and flares have gone into remission. I make my own meals while she makes her, and I’m careful not to bring in anything that might tempt her. She has strong willpower and discipline. It’s been over a month and she doesn’t show signs of flagging.

The Neurons are singing a song featured as my theme music before, “Cheap Sunglasses” by ZZ Top from 1979. Not sure what enticed The Neurons to begin playing it, but I always enjoy it. Love how the vocalist, Billy Gibbons, enumerates this woman’s features, concluding, “What really knocked me out were her cheap sunglasses.” Oh, yeah.

Stay pos and enjoy the moonday. I’ve had some coffee but I’m up for more. Here’s the music. ZZ Top was always a fun concert. Cheers

The Running Dream

A young man once again in my dream, thirty-something, I was staying at a sprawling hotel, enjoying a reunion with friends. Suite doors were open, and we were freely intermingling, chatting, drinking, eating, whatever moved you at the moment. Coming into one unit, four RL friends, military officers not seen in over thirty years, told me they were going for a run and asked me to come along.

Well, I protested, I’m not in running gear and I have nothing suitable to wear. Another old friend came up with something, though, so I agreed to go running. The newcomer was going to, so he waited for me to change. The others, meanwhile, jogged away. As I continued changing, the other guy announced he was going to start running now, too, because he didn’t want to fall too far behind. “Go on,” I answered. “I’ll catch up.”

I was almost done changing by then, and I started jogging a just a few seconds after he began. I caught him quickly.

We were running outside but on the cement balcony that connected our rooms, which were located on the inside of a courtyard. As we ran, we frequently had to dodge non-runners, people go in and out of rooms or standing and chatting or eating. I saw many friends among them.

We were catching the others, but I was impatient with the slow pace. When the opportunity came, I surged forward. Catching the first four easily, I went around them and set out at a faster speed. They laughed, shouting that I was a showoff and predicting that I’d soon tired out. But I found the running invigorating. As I rounded a corner and turned right, I saw a long, straight stretch empty of people, and pressed myself into a higher gear. I was almost flat our sprinting. People were talking about this and watching.

Sweat plastered my hair down and slathered my face. My breathing was hard. The running felt good, so I decided to run as fast and hard and long as I could. Entering into an all-out sprint with others cheering for me, I finished a lap and caught the first running group and passed them. I felt that I couldn’t go much longer and slowed, but then told himself, no, you’re not done, you have more, and forced myself into a max sprint again. I managed to complete another lap as the others stopped and returned to the room where we started. As I finished a third lap, drenched in sweat and cheered on by almost everyone, my original four friends shouted, “Stop running, you show off. It’s time to eat.”

I ran into the room and stopped. Talking about how much I was sweating, they were laughing. Others came in and urged me, take a shower, but someone pressed a plate of food on me, saying, “I made this for you. Eat.”

I started eating. Dream end.

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