Tuesday’s Theme Music

Hard frost whitens bare ground. It’s 31 F (yeah, you know what that is in C) and sunny. Gorgeous, really, with a preternaturally blue sky. Our backyard’s flowering pear still houses branches full of leaves, but they’ve gone lemony yellow. The sunshine striking its upper reaches really brings the color to life.

It’s Tuesday, the twenty-ninth of November in the common era year 2022. Sunrise came at 7:18 AM. Sunset is planned by the forces of nature to finish daylight at 4:40 PM. In between, the temperature will rise into the forties and it might run. There aren’t any clouds so I have a jaundiced view to that but then again, weather.

I have “Heavy Is the Head” by the Zac Brown Band with the late Chris Cornell filling the morning mental music stream. The 2015 song reminds me of something in the late sixties/early seventies era of classic rock that might have originated with Black Sabbath, without the finer lead guitar Sabbath’s Iommi brought. I didn’t hear HItH much on the radio back in ’15 but heard it on television while I was traveling and stopping at places, which seemed weird. But it stuck. The Neurons brought it up today because I was teasing my number one cat after number two cat took a swipe at him, talking about how hard it is to be number one and rule the house. Heavy is the crown on that furry black and white head, which led to the song.

Stay pos, test neg, etc. Have a most excellent Tuesday, as they say. Time to say hello to a cuppa joe and shift the morning into a higher gear. Here’s the music.

Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

The window of opportunity for Sunday 11/27/2022, has opened. By the numbers 7:15, 39 F, 49 F, 4:42. That would be AM sunrise, current temperature under an off-gray sky, today’s high, and to close the day, sunset this evening. Snow warnings are issued for later this week but we’re not expecting anything like what hit New York earlier this month. Old photographs of the digital type remind me that we’ve had snow in October and November before, always wet, heavy stuff that didn’t stick around for longer than a fruit fly’s life.

We’re celebrating another friend. We learned yesterday that she passed on Wednesday night. An artist with three sons, she was 96. I’ve only known her for sixteen years, since she was eighty, but she enthralled me with stories about growing up in Klamath, OR. Her late teens had her decide to move to San Francisco to study art. She went to school and lived the life, falling in love, marrying, moving to Sunnyvale, raising three sons while zipping around in a red Triumph sports car. There were trips to New York and Broadway plays, and then her husband’s death, and her return to Oregon. All that happened before she was fifty. I so loved talking to her and enjoyed her spirit. Her mind had slowly trickled away in its abilities, leaving her puzzled about people’s identities and what was going on, and disassembling her ability to paint and write, but she always shared a fantastic smile. Her youngest son has been taking care of her for the last ten years in her house on the hill. Art and laughter used to fill it. It had become more and more silent in the last two years.

The microwave has gone offline again. I did the usual tricks to restore but they resulted in a no-go. So, a deeper, more prolonged process of troubleshooting and repair. So, in case I thought I might have some free time, I don’t.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday, oh boy. “Give me something to believe in.” read the label on the scratched light blue Volkswagen Beetle. The Neurons immediately kicked “Something to Believe In” by Poison from 1990. It’s a soft rock ballad about losses and inequities. As relevant today as it was back in 1990, noting the TV charlatans living in mansions, driving luxury cars and scamming money from people as the homeless crises rises. Bret Michaels wrote the song and was mourning the loss of friends as he wrote it and felt it when he sang it. You should check out the words.

Stay positive and test negative. Enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and beauty where you find it. Coffee has been consumed, and more will be consumed. Here’s the music. Cheers

Thanks-day’s Theme Music

This is it, the fourth Thursday of November, Thanksgiving in the U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt signed a Congressional proclamation declaring this is what we were going to do as a nation going forward. Before that, Thanksgiving was all over the place, sort of like Elon Musk and Twitter, an agent of chaos and close to unpredictable.

It’s November 24, 2022. Feels like spring is visiting autumn outside. Recognizing sunshine, the cats wanted out immediately. Their eagerness was rewarded by calm air hovering around 56 F on its way to a 65 F high. Gadzooks, what a treat. Sunshine invaded at a little before the 7:12 AM sunrise. Sunshine will hang out until 4:43 PM.

Thanksgiving is a day of deep planning for many families. Traditions are observed, new ones established. Martyrs are born as people go to extremes to satisfy their Thanksgiving commitments. Warnings are a newer Thanksgiving tradition as people point out which foods are vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, or contains eggs, dairy, or nuts. Mom and my sisters do Thanksgiving up, going over-the-top with their food. There’s turkey with stuffing and all the American food staples associated with that through the years of Thanksgiving, but also pasta dishes to honor the Italian side. Dessert and treats? My god, yes. Apple pie, and pumpkin, along with cookies, pretzels and chips, cheese trays with crackers and bread, relish trays, and, yes, cake and cheesecake. Leftovers are eaten for a week. Some things are frozen and eaten later in the year.

My wife and I celebrate Friendsgiving with a group. We’ve been doing this for a while and it’s become our Ashland tradition. I’m looking forward to it, as friends that I’ve not seen in months will be there. I enjoy their company and catching up with their news.

A friend of ours is breaking her tradition this year. She loves Thanksgiving and plays hostess to her extended family every year. This year, though, her newly married son invited her and hubby to his in-laws’ Thanksgiving celebration, an enthusiastically accepted invitation, with just one hitch: part of his new family’s Thanksgiving tradition is a visit to the family spa in the nude. About that, she is not enthusiastic. She is seventy years old and a radical mastectomy survivor. She’s not excited about others viewing her nakedness, age and mastectomy or not. She’s just not one to share her nakedness. We understand. As my wife said to, “Hell to the no. Nobody outside of you is seeing my body.” That’s a position she’s held since she was a little girl.

Today’s music comes out of a car ride yesterday. The song is called “Classic” by Cam and came out in 2020. There are lines in it which we enjoy: “Johnny and June, Chevy light blue (They don’t make ’em like this anymore), Bette Davis, Yellow pages (They don’t make ’em like this anymore).” When we first heard it after its release, we laughed, went home and confirmed that we heard right.

Well, if you’re read this post before, you know that The Neurons liked that and have kept it going in the morning mental music stream this morning.

This is a late post. I’ve had my coffee, as I spent the first hours cleaning up and doing dishes after my wife did her cooking last night. Stay positive and test negative. Hope you have a day with an outcome worthy of giving thanks. Here’s Cam with “Classic”.

Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

High white cirrus brush strokes marble the pale blue sky. Monday, November 11, 2022, begins with sunshine and 33 degrees F in my foot of the valley. Although autumn fashion still imbues most neighborhood, eau de winter fills the air. It’ll be 54 F today, and mostly sunny. Sunshine crept in at 7:08 this morning like a cat sneaking in through the pet door. The day’s final rays will grace us at 4:45 PM.

We’re planning our soups. Soups in winter is a household favorite. Post Thanksgiving, we’ll resume a soup a week. I listed my favorites. Top of the list is harvest soup, which is all roasted veggies with mushroom broth. Second is chicken white chili. Tortellini soup comes next. Black bean veggie chili fills the fourth slot followed by lentil in fifth. Nothing like soup and warm bread on cold days to fill you, and these are all healthy and filling. Their simmering fragrances are a lovely bonus.

Musically, The Neurons were influenced by another’s post. Jill shared a song by Mike +the Mechanics, “In the Living Years”. It traditionally makes me pause to consider my relationship with Dad. Not the best, nor the worse, but a damaged one and a fount for personal frustration. He and I try but there’s just too much piss in the snow to completed the connections. I’m from his first marraige but he has children and stepchildren from a few other marriages. Dad was in the military and finally living in the continental US when I was a teenager. Another one of Mom’s marriages was imploding so I took refuge with Dad. He married again in my high school senior year. I became an adult and was gone. You see how it is. He just celebrated his 90th birthday last month.

That song prompted memories of other M +tM songs. The Neurons began playing “Taken In” from their 1985 album. I had it on CD and played it while driving across the southeastern U.S. I did that a lot in that life era. While stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina, I deployed on temporary duty to Florida, Somalia, Egypt, and places in Europe. I’d drive to stateside places, but before deploying, I’d sometimes take my wife and cats up north to stay with her family, as I’d be gone a while, four to eight weeks. So there were the trips there and back to taker her home, and there and back to pick her up. I put 54,000 miles on the car in eighteen months. Besides music, I’d listen to books on cassette tapes from the library. They weren’t yet on CD in our base library. It was an interesting time of transition.

“Taken In” is a mellow song and was ideal as a vehicle to help past the day speeding down the highways. I’d never seen the video before, but I love the period touches — the phones, the clothing, the cars. Hope you enjoy the video and music.

Here we go. Got coffee and a plain blueberry bagel. A cat monitors my progress on my left. The other sleeps in another room, where sunshine slices in past the slats on the blinds, generating a cozy ambiance. Stay positive, test negative. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunshine is blending the clouds and blue skies into sweet fall melange. Winter temperatures jumped into the blend last night, taking us to 29 F. Up to 34 F now — feels like 3 C, the weather machines tell me — but it’ll rise up to 55 F later.

This is Sunday, November 20, 2022, the final Sunday before Thanksgiving celebrations begin and Black Friday officially starts. Our sun came around to see how we’re doing this morning at 7:07 and will abandon us like an old milk box at 4:45 this afternoon.

My latest flu & COVID vaccinations worked me over a bit yesterday. Squeezed my energy until I was an empty toothpaste roll. Hammered muscles into aching submission whether I moved or stayed still, and fossilized my joints. The cherry on top was a headache that circled front to back and up and down my cranium like it was trying to improve reception. Appetite remained great, but my mind was murky as coal mine slurry — Wordle was no fun — but bowel movements were unaffected. That was me in a webisode. All day was spent eating, writing, reading, and napping. So, not much difference from the usual.

Now I feel better than I did before the shots. What a difference twenty-four little hours can deliver.

The Neurons are all over that comment about a difference brought on by twenty-four hours. They’ve activated the morning mental music stream. The featured song is “What a Diff’rence a Day Makes” by Dinah Washington from 1959. I’m going instead with the upbeat version delivered by Esther Phillips. Her voice is so distinctive that it’s hardwired into memory. What isn’t hardwired is when song came out. Turned out to be 1975 according to the Wikipedia gang. I also learned that Esther Phillips died when she was 48, brought down by kidney and liver issues caused by drug abuse.

Must dash now. A cat is calling, and I am a flooftouch. Cup of coffee is also serenading me and you know it would be unkind to not say hello and spend some time with it. Stay positive, test negative, get vaxxes as needed. Here we go, Sunday, here we go.

Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Into Saturday’s bloom of light we go! Despite the bloom, the 38 degrees F has the cats saying, give me a little warmth, sugar.

Today is November 12, 2022. We were out shopping yesterday. High inflation didn’t seem to keep anyone home on this holiday. Stores and restaurants were as filled as unopened cans of beer. Masks were worn by relatively few. We felt special having them on. We’re due for our next boosters next Friday. Looking forward to the happening.

Meanwhile, though we’re speeding toward Thanksgiving in the U.S., stores looked like Christmas exploded all over them. Other pieces of the holiday season such as Kwanza and Hanukkah were missing. As the wife noted, “Looks like they’re betting big on Christmas spending this year.”

Despite forecasts to the contrary, the sun got comfortable behind a fortress of clouds and let rain soak us. Good to have rain but snow on the mountains are what we need. Today again looks mostly sunny. 47 is the expected high, in Fahrenheit. The sun conducted its dawn blooming at 6:57 AM. The sun will close up shop and take away its light and heat bonanza at 4:52 PM, when the Earth spins our area away, crying as it does, “Away! Away with thee.”

Although sleep delivered a plethora of dreams, several of which involved bars, computers, and beer, I have a song called “I Wish You Love” inhabiting the morning mental music stream. Its presence flabbergasts me and The Neurons, technically referred to as satanistic boogerheads, are being surly and silent about it. I don’t know which version is in my head. I mean, yeah, it’s the English language version, but which performer? I know it’s female and a rendition as old as me. This is one of those songs that often turned up on Mom’s turntable during the winter season. Yes, we’re not in the winter season yet, and no snowflakes are falling. So, why dear Neurons, why?

Someday, perhaps technology will emerge with the means to tell us what our neurons are thinking.

Stay positive and test negative. I’m going for a coffee topoff, as there are mini cranberry cherry scones in the kitchen whispering invitations to eat them up. Here’s the music. Hope you know the song. If you don’t, let me introduce you. I ended up with the Judy Garland version, as I think it’s closest to the one in my head.

Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Veteran’s Day in ‘Merica. Today is a holiday, Veteran’s Day, in the U.S., so happy Veteran’s Day to my fellow vets. As they say, thank you for your service. My service wasn’t very hard duty, which I did for over twenty years before retiring. Many others followed darker and more tortuous paths. Lives were lost. Bodies and minds maimed. Not a pretty tale, and sometimes, their losses were based on false narratives. The history of war and what it does to combatants. My sincere appreciation and respect to you.

It’s Friday, 111122. That could be an elegant piece of arithmetic: 11+11+22. It’s climbed to 38 F. With the sun’s help, we’ll hit 50 F. It was fairly cloudless at daybreak, so dawn was a slow, spacious event, with sun’s official arrival pegged at 6:56 AM. As the world turns, the other end, aka sunset, will be at 4:53 PM. It’ll be mostly sunny today. The November snow has fled all but the highest of the high peaks.

Now, a little weirdness. I awoke with the Easybeats and their 1966 song, “Friday On My Mind”, in the morning mental music stream. I thought, I used that as theme music not too long ago, didn’t I, Mr. Neurons? Looking it up, I confirmed that I used it last year.

On Veteran’s Day of 2021.

I asked Les Neurons, why would I think of that song two years in a row on Veteran’s Day? They giggled like children playing a prank.

Well, just to show them, I decided that the song would not be today’s theme music. The Neurons soon helped me out with a new song. As I made my coffee and fed me cats, I was thinking about Veteran’s Day and my last days of military service in 1995. Click, The Neurons turned on a song I was listening to in those days, Foo Fighters and “This Is A Call”. Thinking of that beat and the song lyrics, I decided, yeah, that will work. “Good job,” I told The Neurons. “Coffee,” they replied. I snickered. “What was that? I didn’t catch that.”

The Neurons weren’t amused.

Stay positive, test negative, etc. I’m going to give The Neurons their coffee now, before they attack me. Have a good Friday, 111122.

Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

The autumn sky is doing an awesome impersonation of summer. Scanning down to the trees, snow still caps the mountains. Further down and we see the autumn leaves on trees. Then, lower, comes the hard frost. Looks can deceive unless you take in the full picture.

It’s 32 F now and feels like 30 but no fear, it’ll soon be 40, then keep going until it summits 49. Then we’ll ride back down into the cold valley for the night.

Sunrise heralded this gorgeous, clear, cold sky at 6:55 AM. The other end of the stick will come at 4:54 PM. This is Thursday, November 10, 2022.

My beer gang meet last night and discussed election results and other news, along with the books by Mary Roach. We also had two guests as teachers. We gave them $600 to fund three more microscopes, continuing our funding of their hands-on workshops. Last year, we gave them six, so they now will have nine. The teachers do a joint curriculum of biology and social students of their third and fourth grade classes. They also loan the microscopes to other classes. Next week, the high school robotic team will come in and pitch to them. We plan to donate $500 to them, as we have for several years. We’re also addressing a donation to ScienceWorks to support a new project for them, providing students with hands-on project management experience. For this year, we’ve donated $2500 to the causes, all from donations collected each week when we have beer. We’ve donated over $35,000 in the ten years we’ve been doing this, all to support STEM at all levels, which is being expanded to STEAM.

The outside weather (yes, tell me where else it would be?) reminds The Neurons of my high school years. Jump out of bed early, kick it to clean up and dress, then out to catch the 7 AM bus as the sun is rising. Cold, hard ground covered with ice and frost thrived in the shadow. Foot stamping and hands in pockets are rampant while the sun drags itself over the hills and trees, shifting from apricots to gold to white sunshine. Daylight pulls in just as the bus reaches the school after its six-mile run with all its stops.

That ground cements the memory, pulling up a 1973 out of memory’s rear end. “Cindy Incidentally” by Faces, which was soon Rod Steward and Faces, and then — well, you know. Rock history is heavy with bands that formed and then dissolved, whether they succeeded or not. I always enjoyed Faces and was dismayed that the album with “Cindy Incidentally” was on was their final. Rod went on to huge success, fluidly shifting toward a disco style during his lengthy solo career. But I liked the Faces’s bluesy sound. Oh, well. Change, right?

The specific lyrics which gave The Neurons the idea for this song was that piece that goes, “And your local papers run out of news.” That’s due to our conversation while imbibing our beer that we don’t have a local newspaper. It’s gone under after going through ownership changes. Nor is there a daily paper for neighboring cities. We depend on the net and broadcast media.

In late-breaking news, Mom has returned to the hospital. She has pain in her appendix’s region. Ironically, she was scheduled for a Saturday CT to ensure her appendix is healed. It was perforated back in early September, contributing extensively to her medical melodrama. Fingers crossed that the tough old broad — her term for herself — will pull through again.

Stay positive and test negative. We have music coming up, and coffee has arrived. Have a most excellent day. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Rain and clouds are projected to be narrow winners over sunshine in the valley. The Precipitation Coalition, as it’s called, will help keep temperatures down through the day and have promised that it will not exceed a 48 degree F high. It’s presently ten degrees less.

Among other news stories, this is November 11, 2022. Next: today is Tuesday. Sunrise was at 6:54 AM, and sunset will be at 4:55 PM, once again limiting daylight hours. Scientists are concerned that the hours of sunlight are dwindling in the valley, but disagreement remains about what to do about it.

Turning to music, an unaligned political faction known as The Neurons has been driving the morning mental music stream selection of late. However, in a break from the recent past, a video of Led Zeppelin performing at Bath in 1970 has surfaced and now rules the stream. Zep is performing “Bring It On Home”. The film and sound quality are stunning. A local man listening to it on his computer was asked why he was listening.

“Well, this is the music, the style of music that I grew up listening to when I was a teenager. Beyond that, though, the recording is just, it just brings back so many memories of that era that I identify with, like the hair and the clothing style, you know? I mean, um, it was an exciting time, a time of change, especially for young people like me. I mean, that’s who I was, a long-haired boy with big, floppy bell-bottom jeans and two-inch heels looking to rebel against the system, as I suppose we all do when we’re young. I was fourteen but my mustache and goatee were already coming in. This stuff is me.”

“Would you say you were a Led Zeppelin fan then?”

“Oh, yes, oh yes, definitely.”

“Who else did you listen to at the time?”

“Oh, you know, Argent, CSNY, The Who and Stones, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, like that. Too many to name, really. It was a wonderful era of rock. That’s why we started calling that period ‘classic rock’, you know?”

“Well, there you have it. This fan is happy about this find. Back to you in the studio, Chet.”

“Okay, thank you, Valerie. Next up. One local man has built his dream home. It’s probably not what you expect to find. These stories and more, coming up. Stay with us.”

Stay positive, test negative, and so on. My coffee is steaming in my mug, enlivening my nose with its delicious smell. Time to start giving it some sips. Have a better one. Here’s the music. I must admit, the camera operator’s focus on shoes is peculiar at time.

Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Well, I did my duty. I popped the time back. I initially screwed up, though, setting it back a thousand years because it was two in the morning, I was cat tired, and had been out bringing a cat in and looking at the moon when a BIG bear ambled through the neighbor’s yard. Suddenly, getting the cat into the house wasn’t a problem. By the time the bear’s sound registered and I looked and saw the bear, the cat had looked, seen the bear, told me, “See you,” and was back at the door, ready to go in. So my mind wasn’t all in on the attention needed to set time back. A few wrong buttons were pressed. No harm, though, I caught it as soon as I stepped out of the time booth and discovered I was outside because the house didn’t exist here back then. Back into the booth I went, hissing to myself, “Oh crap oh crap oh crap,” as I saw in my mind’s memory that I’d done centuries instead of hours. Thank Dogs I only pressed the one instead of the four or nine below.

A heck of a morning. How is your day going?

Today is November 6, 2022, a Sunday. It’s 36 F and sunny outside, a real treat of a fall morning. Rain is forecast for later, when the temperature is 51 F. Then the temp will drop and the rain will turn to snow, 8 – 14 inches in some places, but not mine. Sunrise bulldozed out the darkness at 6:50 AM and the day night shift will begin changover at sunset, 4:58 PM.

In my little morning tale, the part about setting the clock back was my imagination having fun. The bear and cat part were true. I went to the door to see if Papi wanted in. He was sitting there awaiting moment but was clearly interested in something going on out there. Asking him what he was looking at, I noticed the fantastic almost full moon, which was taken advantage of the clouds’ absence to spill light everywhere. Between that moonlight and the cold but fresh night air, I was entranced and went out onto the walk to take full advantage of it. That’s when the bear made their noises and picked up and slammed down a trash can. Fascinating as this was, I thought, oh my, is that the time? Papi and I went in as the bear headed on down the road. I think the bear was really showing off for my benefit, you know?

A 1972 EOL song is in the morning mental music stream. I first heard “10538” when I was sixteen years old. A crazy song, I wasn’t sure what it was about, doing some careful listening before some radio DJ finally illuminated that the song was about an escaped prisoner. My dream wasn’t about being a prisoner, yet this was the song that ended up invading my head when I was thinking about the dream this morning. The Neurons had to drill really deeply into the memory banks to find it.

Remain positive in your attitude and keep testing negative. If you do test negative, take appropriate measures. You know what that stuff is, right? Not like the whole COVID started yesterday. Not unless you’ve been time-traveling.

Here’s the tune. Got my coffee and going outside to enjoy some sunshine and liquid gold. Cheers

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