Another new day has arrive, just twenty-four hours after the last one. I think we’ll call this one…Merlin. If not Merlin, then Wednesday, March 31, 2021.
Sol came creeping over the Ashland hills and mountains at 6:55 AM and is now bathing us with warming sunlight. Watch for Sol to slip away around 7:35 PM. Temps yesterday didn’t get as rosy as promised as we struggled to break 55 degrees F. Claims are out that we’ll strike seventy plus today. We’ll see.
We’ve been watching and enjoying NG’s third season of Genius. This year is all about Aretha Franklin. After finishing the episode about the 1972 two-day recording sessions for her Gospel album, Amazing Grace, we again watched the 2018 documentary about making it, for comparison. Robert Altman was on hand filming it back in the day. Technical difficulties prevented it from being completed. When it was finished, Aretha Franklin would not allow it to be released. It stayed on the shelf until after she passed. Then Spike Lee took it up and brought it the public.
Comparisons between the fictionalized events and the real thing were illuminating. To us, the Genius series attempted to show a larger schism between Aretha and her father, Rev. Franklin, than what existed. Just seems that way but we could be wrong, given the small windows which we use to witness their relationship. It was a treat watching and hearing such a talented person sing. though. What a voice.
That delivers us to today’s theme music. While thinking about Aretha Franklin, I recalled one of her later hits. I realized that her 1985 song, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” is perfect for this era of Zooming meetings, exercise classes, birthdays, weddings, and the many other gatherings we’ve been stopped from doing in person. I’m not the first to recognize that. The comment section is full of others calling this the Zooming anthem.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and keep on Zoomin’. Cheers
Time for a rant. It’s been a while, right? I like to think of myself as Old Faithful, bursting forth with new complaints on a predictable schedule.
I studied my to-do list this morning.
Schedule Mazda for service.
File income taxes.
Get coronavirus vaccine.
Buy condolence card.
I’d filed the income taxes so I marked that off. The condolence card needed to wait until I went out later.
Dad was back in the hospital. I decided to put that off to do other things that required less exertion.
I haven’t had our Mazda serviced in a year. Putting it in context, though, in the period between March 2020 and March 2021, we put about twelve hundred miles on the odometer. No warning lights are illuminated. I figured that as long as the car had oil and was functioning, I wasn’t going to rest taking it to a dealership or service station for routine stuff. This is also my philosophy for my body.
Then an email arrived from Mazda.
MICHAEL SEIDEL, LET US TREAT YOUR MAZDA.We warmly invite you to enjoy complimentary Mazda service. Our factory-trained technicians are looking forward to providing the Full Circle Service and unmatched experience you deserve.Take advantage of this special, limited-time offer, available until April 30th, 2021. Contact us for details about this exclusive offer and schedule your appointment today.
THIS COMPLIMENTARY MAZDA SERVICE OFFER1 INCLUDES:•Oil change & tire rotation•Enhanced vehicle cleaning service*•Take the wheel of a complimentary loaner Mazda while we perform maintenance on your vehicle•Full Circle Inspection and vehicle health report card1 Service up to a $75 value. Offer valid for redemption by qualifying VINs at participating Dealers. Not transferable. Limit one (1) complimentary service offer. No cash value. Offer period is March 1, 2021 – April 30, 2021. Contact participating dealer for complete details.
That’s a pretty good deal. As I had things on the schedule (or so I told myself), I tagged the email for later action.
Right now, I felt the COVID-19 vaccination was a higher priority. I’m 64 and lack the underlying conditions that render me a higher priority. That means I’m not eligible for the vaccination yet. I’m retired military member, sometimes called ‘a vet’. The Military Times just had an article informing us that all vets could get the vaccine at local VA facilities. Cool beans, right? That was followed up by a local television channel with a story telling us the same thing. Okay, I would call and request an appointment at my local VA facility in White City.
I’d bookmarked the news article and brought it up now.
“Even veterans who are not currently enrolled, we want you to call that number and we will do our best to get you enrolled so you can have access to the vaccine.” Christina Cellura who is the Chief of Staff for White City SORCC said.
To make an appointment, call 541-826-2111 extension 4440.’
I called the number and waited for the moment they told me to enter an extension. It didn’t come.
After listening to a laborious list of options, I selected 6 for COVID-19 information. Thus began a long, breathless recording about what I can and could do and how the VA would help. About two thirds of the way through, it said, ‘To make an appointment for a COVID-19 vaccination, call 541-826-2111 extension 4440.’
I looked at the number I’d dialed, confirming, that’s the number I dialed. Hanging up, I repeated the entire process, verifying that the number I’d dialed was telling me to call the number I’d dialed to make an appointment.
It seemed like either a cruel joke or terrible, circular logic.
Disppointed with that, I went to the Mazda email. I clicked on the link provided, as directed. I have an account there — I always take my car there, like a good soldier — so all my information was populated. I kept waiting for them to tell me about the deal, or to inform me that I wasn’t eligible.
They didn’t mention the deal.
Dismayed, I confirmed the appointment. Maybe they’d mention the deal in the confirming email.
Next on the list would be to call Dad.
The way things were going, I wasn’t ready to take the chance.
Wearing a black arm band…again. Another mass shooting in the United States took place in Boulder, Colorado, where a 21-year-old man killed ten people at a grocery store.
Here comes the cycle. We’ll hear about hearts and prayers. Then people will say, “Now is not the time to talk about gun control.” The NRA will launch a publicity campaign. We’ll hear that Biden (again) is coming for your guns. Gun and ammo sales will rise. Arguments will rage about whether automatic weapons should be readily available to anyone and the meaning of the Second Amendment. Then, finally, something will happen: there will be another shooting. The cycle will begin again.
Today is Tuesday, March 23, 2021. Doesn’t look much different in the sky, where pearlescent white clouds flirt with bright blue and sunshine soaks us.
Sol appeared at 7:09 AM over the Ashland sky, and will depart at 7:23 PM.
Dreams again dictate my music preference for the day’s theme music. I dreamed about a wedding, so Billy Idol’s “White Wedding” leaped into the morning’s mental musical mash up. But I’ve done that song a few times. I instead convinced myself to feature “Eyes Without A Face” from 1984. It’ll do.
Try staying positive. COVID-19 news is mostly good in the United States. Some hotspots remain. We’re in danger of new spikes because of complacency and carelessness, but vaccinations are progressing, despite some people fearing it because they’re anti-vaxxers, or because they believe something like Bill Gates is using the vaccines to chip and follow them, or that COVID-19 is overblown or a hoax, and that millions around the world haven’t died or aren’t hospitalized. Try staying positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax.
The cats, my wife, and I agree, it’s pretty outside today. Take spring greenery and sunshine. Splash some gray and white clouds against the sky. Load up a brush with snowy white and slather across the land. Result: a snowy and sunny late winter day. That’s despite a temperature floating around 37 degrees F.
It happened abruptly. I let Boo the Bedroom Panther out at 10 PM. I let him back in at 10:15. There wasn’t any snow in evidence at that time, your honor. Thirty minutes later, my wife announces she’s going to bed to read, and why is it so bright outside? Ah, snow.
Today is March 6, 2021, a Saturday. Solrise was at 6:38 AM. Soldrop will be at 6:07 PM in southern Oregon. For those of you who collect days, you know that this is a unique one. There will never be a day like this again. For some reason, that prompted the Wayback Machine to spooled up some Talking Heads.
Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Same as it ever was… Look where my hand was Time isn’t holding up Time is an asterisk Same as it ever was…
My cousin, Glenn Seidel, passed away, ending his cancer fight. A genuine nice, caring person, his death is one that makes you question life’s mechanics. I wish he’d never suffered cancer; he’d watched his mother and younger sister fall to cancer. It’s good that he’s no longer suffering, though. Watching the suffering, unable to do more than mouth platitudes, is the struggle for me when a friend, relative, or pet is suffering and dying. No, it’s not about me; the survivors always mourn. It’s about what he — what they all — went through before reaching the point of death. Here’s to Glenn.
Weather is on my mind. We’re contemplating a move east. Why? Summer weather here in southern Oregon has become a litany of summer suffering: wildfires, or smoke from wildfires suspend or kill activities and travel. Drought requires water restrictions, which is enforced via capitalism: if you have the money, you can buy the water. Depressing, right? But our winter is comfortable, remarkably snow free and freezing free. Moving east to Ohio or PA would mean plunging into that stuff.
Watching Texas suffer from lack of planning for cold weather brings deep sighs of frustration. Save some pennies, increase profits, but when the shit hits, you’re wickedly unprepared. It’s sadly now the GOP way. Yet that ‘save some pennies, increase profits’ mantra holds fast against critical thinking. It’s always the poorest classes who suffer most, of course.
Since I’m on politics, will the righteous right-wing notice that President Biden, a Democrat, immediately reached out to help states, whether they’re ‘red’ or ‘blue’? Doubtful that they’ll notice; doubtful that they’ll remember. Yes, experiencing a strong cynical streak today.
We worry about the animals along with people, you know? We hope the animals are warm and safe, too. The logical response is, this is life; suffering is inculcated as part of the formula. Death is a natural ending. Still, I hope for the best. Guess I’m an unrepentant optimist.
Writing (knock on wood) continues going well, which continues to scare me. There’s a burst of jubilation as a major chapter is completed. After a pause of reflection, anxiety strikes as I face the ever-present, ever-daunting question, what next? That question always pulls me back into the puzzle that’s called writing a novel.
I’m watching more foreign television shows that are in their native languages. I run in place and watch television to wind down at the day’s conclusion. Usually do two to three miles between 10:30 PM and midnight. Bad dubbing draws cringes and winces, which are disruptions to the entertainment. Don’t need it. Instead, I watch television in German, Icelandic, Norwegian, French, etc., eyes glued to the captions. We like how characters appear in television from other countries. Characters in the U.S. TV land are typically pretty people with pleasant lives and mild challenges to their principles and decisions. Typically, matters are quickly resolved, with little complications. There are exceptions. The characters in stories in other nations are less pretty, less glamorous, and more natural. Yes, they’re more like me. Fortunately, watching foreign television seems to be a growing streaming trend. A great selection is available.
One exception in U.S. television that I continue to admire is “The Wire”. Watching it for the second time, finishing season four, the levels of excellence in production values, acting, character development, plots, and story arcs all still impress me. It’s been several years since I first watched it, yet so many of the people and story-lines remain memorable. It’s a gritty show, but you end up rooting and crying for so many.
Finished reading/read six books last week. I’m mastering the jogging-in-place-while-reading process. Five of the books were fiction, the other was non-fiction. Reading does enhance/intensify my writing process. Hungry for more books now. One is on hold at the library, so I need to head that way, but also research more to add to my list. I’m reading mostly crime and speculative fiction while I’m writing my science fiction/speculative fiction novel.
With running in place augmenting my walking and other exercise, my 28-day average remains over 12, coming in at 12.41 for this cycle, with a best day of 14 on February 7.
It’s raining outside. My cats are in and asleep. One sleeps on my feet as I type, keeping me warm with his weight. Another is in the foyer, curled up on the bench, a paw over his eyes. The third is stretched out on the guest bed like a ginger throw. Their presence and the knowledge that they’re safe and comfortable reassures me against awareness of the world’s pain.
Now, time to go eat lunch. Then it’s back to writing like crazy, at least one more time. Stay safe, please. Cheers
Good morning. Welcome to Thursday, February 11, 2019. It’s already 40 degrees F outside, cloudy as a warm front drives in, with highs in the upper fifties. Today’s sunrise came at 7:13 AM. Sunset is expected at 5:38 PM.
What I’m watching: Second Impeachment Trial of Donald J. Trump, Day 3. Days 1 and 2 were riveting.
Today’s music came from listening to music (novel, I know). Released by the Doobie Brothers in 1972, the writer of “Listen to the Music”, Tom Johnston, said the motivation for the song was world peace. That makes it a good theme song for any day of the year.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, try to exercise, drink moderately, eat well, laugh often, pray occasionally, and live all the time. Here’s the music.
Sunrise was at 7:15 AM on this mildly winter Tuesday. Sunset will come at 5:36 PM in Ashland, Oregon. The temperature has already climbed to 37 degrees F and a high of 55 is anticipated.
Today is February 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases continue to drop in our county. Yesterday, we had only eight. Deaths are scaling back, too, with no new ones reported yesterday. Jackson Country remains in the extreme category, though. People walking along the streets often don’t have masks outside of downtown. Everyone in a store is masked. I haven’t been to a restaurant or other business, so I can’t address them. Vaccinations for those eighty and over begin this week.
I was thinking of 1991 this morning, collateral product to dream reflecting. February of that year, I arrived in my new duty station at Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale. I didn’t know that it would be my last duty assignment, that I would decide to retire after a few years. I’d been part of a spy unit in Germany in my previous tour; when the Berlin Wall came down, the mission went away, and the unit was decommissioned. I volunteered to go to the Gulf for that buildup but was denied. I instead rotated back to the states.
Hitting the Bay Area and the United States were new experiences, again. I don’t recall specific music when I arrived in the Bay Area. I remember that it was pouring rain, an end to a drought. Onizuka was a few acres dominated by the Blue Cube in the middle of sprawling aerospace company facilities. I’d gone from working with C-130s to working with satellites. In Onizuka, there was no flight line, a first for my military career; all the platforms I worked with were thousands of miles away in space. There would be no more daily roar of aircraft taking off.
Anyway, I looked up some songs from 1991 as I thought about it. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak jumped out at me. No special reason; it’s just a reflective song for a reflective moment.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and look forward. Other times are coming. The one constant is change.
25 degrees F when I got up at a few minutes ‘afore seven. Up to 30 now, a positive movement. We expect a high of 52 and the blinding progressing through an unmarred blue background will probably make it happen.
Today is Sunday, February 7, 2021, called Super Sunday because it’s the first Sunday in February. I don’t know the history of that. Our charming sunrise was 7:18 AM. Sunset is expected at 5:33 PM.
Plans are afoot for today. We went shopping for fresh produce this morning. I’m thinking of going for a walk, need to write — yes, need — and I want to call Mom (yes, been too long). I’ll also watch the Superbowl championship between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady — oh, I mean the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I got no skin in the game so I should I enjoy it.
Besides that, I’m reading. Also following Qanon theories about what’s happening with Trump. I read that after the impeachment trial, he’s gaining super powers and will vanquish all the evil from America.
My wife, hearing that, wondered, “Do they ever look at him?” I explained to her that what she and I see is a disguise to fool us into thinking he’s an overweight, out of shape, rapidly aging man. True believers have special glasses that allow them to see the real him. These special glasses also allow them to see other truths that escape the rest of us. That’s why the fake news media doesn’t fool them…
Had a song in my head as I was shopping. I always remember the words wrong, but I know this, so I indulge myself. The song is “Kids in America” by Kim Wilde. That 1981 release is the only song of hers I know. I always think the words go, “Listen to the music go ’round”. That’s why it was in my head this AM; I was being a bobble head, listening to the music in my head go round.
BTW, did you see Phoebe Bridgers on SNL this week? Didn’t think much of the first song, but the second song, “I Know the End”, slowly drew me in. I had the captions on so I was reading what she was singing. As she sang, she gained a mysterious smile. Then, as the music went higher and faster, she started screaming. She ended by beating her guitar against the monitor. My wife was unimpressed (“I want music I can sing with or dance to”) but I was fascinated. Going to watch it again.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Then listen to the music go round.