General Updates

Watching, walking, reading, writing, cats…that’s my world. Oh, and the wife. And eating and sleeping. And games. Cleaning house. Shopping. Can’t forget Wordle, Spelling Bee, and Sudoku. And two DIY projects. And keeping up with the news.

All family except my wife are several thousands of miles away. Literally on the other U.S. coast. We’re on the west and they’re on the east. Visiting under COVID conditions is problematic. The best way would be to drive across the country. I supposed we can pile the cats into the car and do that. I don’t think it would be a pleasant trip for cats or humans.

  1. We’re watching The Expanse. When Amazon began airing the final season, my wife proposed that we watch the series from the start and then indulge in the final season. It’s worked well. We find ourselves speaking in Belter slang after watching an episode. We limit ourselves to one per night.
  2. Also on the watch list is Anxious People, Cowboy Bebop, Bordertown, and Undercover on Netflix, Myth Quest on Apple +, and Third Watch and The Rook on The Roku Channel. Vera and Would I Lie to You are back in play on Britbox, and PBS offers us Around the World in Eighty Days (a rebooted series with David Tennant) and the new season of the rebooted All Things Great & Small on PBS.
  3. We just finished Upright, an Aussie series about a man with issues taking an upright piano to Perth, and Firebite, another Aussie original, with an interesting twist on vampires. These came to us via AMC+, along with Ragdoll, Kin, and Stella Blomkvist. I usually keep three to four channels on subscription per month. I rotate the subscriptions. I figure, why not? A monthly subscription usually costs between one and two coffee drinks or beers. Not bad, to me. Funny, but the most expensive subscriptions are from Showtime and HBO Max, and they usually have the least enticing fare. I watch for them on special. Amazon and Roku both chase new subscribers with deals. My AMC+ subscription this month and my Showtime subscription last month were both just $.99 for the month. Very good deal.
  4. Reading is a constant. I’m now reading Binti by Okarafor and Bewilderment by Powers. Both are beautifully written. Just finished were Harlem Shuffle, When We Cease to Understand the World, Fortune Favors the Dead, Find You First, When We Were Orphans, Hell of a Book, and Telephone. Ondeck is an old Jack Vance novel bought at the library for $1, Louise Penney, Caleb Carr, Amor Towles, and others.
  5. My average walking distance per day remains 11.2 miles. I range from 75 to 80 miles a week. This warm weather, my improved ability to walk and run in-place while reading or watching television, and the longer periods of daylight, all contribute to the sustained average. Also, there’s nowhere else to go with COVID still playing hot and fast.
  6. Despite all my walking, I have gained weight. Twelve pounds. Gads. The discovery shocked me. Beginning to work on the plan to whittle that off. Just don’t like carrying it.
  7. I did put together one jigsaw puzzle this year. I did start it last year, though. I enjoy them, but they absorb me and steal focus. So, no. I reluctantly set them aside.
  8. My poor fur friend, Boo, continues to cope with his cancer. He’s a mess. A mass on his jaw keeps him from eating properly. It’s a challenge for him and me. I’m his primary caregiver. He often drools after eating and can only eat small portions at a time. But he’s still trying, so my wife and I will keep trying. I crunch his grain-free kibble and make it into a sort of chunky soup as his favorite. His drooling means that we chase after him with tissues to catch the drool. It’s hit and miss, as we’re not up twenty-four hours a day. The hardwood floors take hits and require mopping a few times a day. I put several towels down for him to sleep and eat upon. Those are changed each day. We wash several loads of Boo material each week. We wonder, how long can he go on like this?
  9. The other two cats are doing well. They give Boo space, which he and I appreciate. Tucker and Papi are endearing characters.
  10. Still editing The Constant, my novel in progress. Halfway through the process. I’ve begun the next novel in that series. Working title is Fiveland. Couldn’t help myself. Was reading Bewilderment when the next novel’s plot and opening both slammed into me. Trotted on in and wrote the first chapter and began sketching the plot and story in my mind.

That’s all my happenings. Hope you’re all staying busy and healthy out there. Drop me a line. Let me know. Time to return to writing and editing like crazy, then go for a walk. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Sunny and windy, and a little chilly are my first descriptors for today. Add in a weak sun — all things being relative — and a thin layer of fading white clouds, and our current axis and place on the Earth, and you arrive at a winter day that’s 46 degrees F and will get fifteen degrees warmer. Sunrise came for us on this Tuesday, January 25, 2022, at 7:31 AM and the setting will come at 5:16 PM.

I have an old song by the American Breed rolling around in the morning mental music stream. The American Breed had a hit with “Bend Me, Shape Me” in 1968. I was twelve, living in a suburb of Pittsburgh, PA known as Penn Hills. Going to Washington Elementary School. We took buses to and from it every day. My best friends were my cousin, Rick, who lived up the street, along with Bruce, Curt, and John. The five of us hung around a lot in those early years. I had crushes on Vicky, Joy, and Marla, very smart and pretty girls. I was learning the guitar then with dreams of being a rock store, but I didn’t have the focus and discipline to keep playing. I’d rather daydream, read, draw, or play sports.

Ah, good times. Groovy times. Don’t know what prompted all that to spirt up out of my head today. But there it is. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vaccine and boosts. Oh, and watch out for Opposite Day. Yes, today I Opposite Day in the U.S., but don’t take it too seriously, you know? Here’s the music. Guess I’ll get the coffee. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Today is Monday, January 24, 2022. Happy anniversary to you, if it’s your anniversary. Happy birthday, I wish you a lifetime of increasing joy and happiness.

The sun’s slow-mo chase, pushing night back as the earth did its spin, began in our valley at 7:32 AM. Night’s turn to chase day will begin at 5:15 PM as the spin takes the sun out of our sky one more time. Now 37 degrees F, it was 35 degrees, with a projected high of 62, making it pretty much a repetition of yesterday. Yet, the mild pleasant weather is a worry; yes, it’s nice, but we need the snow, WE NEED THE SNOW. Otherwise, it’s gonna be another hot, dry summer coping with wildfires and water rationing.

I experienced five dreams last night that I remember. I typically remember two to four. Normally two are sharp and the others are more like photos that aren’t in focus. This time, all five were sharp. Amusing to me. “You’re a busy head at night, aren’t you?” I told myself. I typically awaken — usually because a cat has done something — take care of the cat, recall the dream, think it over, and zip back to sleep. Last night remained SOP. Two of the dreams were military things, which, yawn, I wrote about without giving them much greater thought. I posted about the tornado dream, but also dismissed the two erotic dreams. Been having those more frequently. Weird to me because I’d think that’d be contrary to expectations, that I’d have fewer erotic dreams as I age instead of more. Something to add to the research list.

Today’s morning mental music stream song is “Found Out About You” by the Gin Blossoms from 1993. That song and Lenny Kravitz’s “Are You Gonna Go My Way” were playing in my head after one of the erotic dreams, first one, and then the other. I asked my mind, “What exactly is going on in there? Are you doing drugs behind my back?” My mind assured me that it was not doing any drugs except a beer once in a while along with my daily caffeine. “Okay,” I replied, “but I have my eye on you.”

Here’s the music. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vaccine and boosts when you can. Gotta go get my mind its fix. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

We have sunshine, getjer sunshine here.

Awakening on a sunny Sunday morning — which is what this January 23, 2022, is — always triggers happiness in my soul and childhood memories in my mind. Sunday was a day of rest and play. Yes, sorry, we weren’t churchgoers, except for Easter and Christmas. But I still worshipped the spirit of the outdoors and childhood, dressing fast, downing a bowl of cereal — my favorites were Wheaties, Raisin Bran, and Grape Nuts — and then spilling outside. Sometimes you’d wander outside and discover a neighboring friend doing the same. So you’d join up and ask the questions: “What do you want to do?” “I don’t know, what do you want to do?” We’d usually find something by heading down into the woods where the creek flowed, pulling out sports equipment, or jumping on our bikes. If not, I’d retreat to the house to read and draw.

Today’s sun invasion commenced at 0732 Local. The sun will retreat at 1714L. Temperatures stayed balmy yesterday and last night, which pleased the royal clowder. They went outside and the youngest stayed out. This morning’s temp at sunrise was 39 F. It’s since perked up to 53 and we expect to hit 61. Of course, the dry conditions keep us worried: please snow in the mountains, we tell the weather. We need that snowpack increased.

Today’s song is “I Think I Love You Too Much” covered by The Jeff Healey Band (1990). The song hit the morning mental music stream after I’d clicked through movie offerings the night before. I was interested in seeing all the great new movies the streaming service was offering. One of these was Roadhouse from 1989. Wasn’t real fond of Roadhouse but I liked Jeff Healey’s Band and their playing. I’d bought his album, Hell to Pay in 1990, and played it often, enjoying the bluesy rock sound. But this specific song then came after a floofnag kept pestering me for more — more food, more attention, more of everything — last night. My wife said something like, “He just loves you.” Flippant and exasperated, I replied, “I think he might love me too much.” The mental Alexa then announced that she was playing, “I Think I Love You Too Much”. And here we are.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vaccine and boosters when you can. Here’s the music, there’s my coffee, and here we go. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Another day arrived. Called Saturday, January 22, 2022, it was laden with promise and dread, hope and weariness, much like other days. Daylight broke around 7:33 AM. A narrow stretch of white clouds, like snakes spotted slithering away, caught the first eastern light, gray, pink, and silver. Frost huddles in shadows as the temperature hung around 32 degrees F. The temperature has since marched briskly up to 37. The sun counsels us, don’t worry, we’ll get to the mid-fifties today. Then the sun will slip away (about 5:13, they say), and we’ll head toward midnight and a fresh new day.

Sarah McLachlan’s 1997 song, “Building A Mystery”, is the mental music stream’s morning inhabitant. A dream dialed the song up. Dreams enriched my slumber all night. The song was the final component of one dream that involved my wife, me, nekkidness, and a search for clothing in another person’s house. The song’s enigmatic words about an individual — perhaps a fucked-up man, which often is used to describe moi — was a nice echo to the dream’s fading scenes and is a good choice for today’s theme music.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed (make it an N95, if possible), and get the vax and booster jabs. Now you wait here. I’ll fetch the coffee. Here’s something to soothe your psyche while you wait. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

We’re talking Friday, January 21, 2022. Fog and sunshine play games outside. The sunshine came in at 7:34 this morning. The fog crept in afterward, holding temperatures down around 39 as the sun is kept at arm’s length. But the fog is expected to take a bow and leave, freeing the sun to warm up to the upper fifties before stealing away at 5:10 this evening.

I have Avicii’s song, “Wake Me Up” from 2013, racing around the morning mental music stream. Avicii died a few years ago, when he was 28. That fact ties in well with the day in general. It’s one of those mornings for me when I feel less like I’m living and more like I’m enduring. Ironic for me, as life on a personal level isn’t too bad, other than a cat with cancer. No food or income insecurities. I do wrestle muses for fun, and they sometimes leave me aggrieved, but mostly, my angst is for others. Learning of others’ bad news, reading news pieces, and following politics can debilitate any soul. COVID-19 tales, whether they be about stats, sickness, death, or misinformation, is a fountain of weariness.

But there isn’t any waking up from these matters. This is life. These days will pass. Greater things will come along. Well, fingers crossed that they will. Knock on wood.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vaccines when you can. I’m gonna go have a cup of coffee now. You stay and listen to Aloe Blacc sing Avicii’s song.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Ah, Thursday’s floof is full of food, moping around with little to do, washing off their paws and face, showing off their furry grace.

Today is January 20, 2022. The sun’s daily visit commenced at 7:34 AM and will stretch to 5:10 PM. During these hours, meteorologists project that the temperature will rise from its current vicinity of 48 degrees F to a high of 58 degrees F, giving us another warm winter day. We really need snow on the mountains to build up the snowpack. Time to break out some snow dances.

I was out walking yesterday, enjoying sunshine and fresh air since it’s here, in our little city, and began playing a favorite writing variation of what-if. This what-if project involved walling the city and unfolding ideas about why it would be walled. Naturally, alternative timelines are involved, such as creating a medieval kingdom for this area, or walling and doming it in the future.

The activity summoned forth the spirit of Sting. His 1985 song, “Fortress Around Your Heart”, began playing, where it remained in the morning mental music stream. I always enjoy how he enunciates ‘city’ in various lines, such as, “It took a day to build the city”.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vaccine and booster when you can. Here’s the music. I’m afraid I must go find the coffee. Think it’s in the kitchen. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I have the Blues Traveler singing and playing in Wednesday’s morning mental music stream. I ask myself why this is so. It started with “Run Around” before drifting to “Hook” and finally, “Most Precarious” from 1997. It was a commuting song, you know? A tune heard on the radio while driving to or from work, or to go shopping. I lived in the SF Bay Area at that time, in a little town called Mountain View. I worked in Menlo Park, which was just a bounce up Highway 101. Traffic on that short trip usually ate forty-five minutes to an hour twice a day, morning and evening, so there was time for songs on the airwaves. Dreams, of course, took me to that time period on the git. A co-worker from the life era showed up in a dream. Makes me wonder what’s going on in their life. Googled them but nada was found.

Today is January 19, 2023. The sun’s promise of warmth and light broke into my reality at 7:35 AM. The sunlight will do its goodbye at 5:10 PM. Mild and dry weather still dominates us. The low was 41 F and the high will be about 55 F, depending upon where you sit in the valley, and how shadows enfold you. It is now 46 F.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask to meet needs, and receive the jabs as you can. Here’s my coffee, and here’s the music. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Warning: this is Tuesday. It is no longer Monday. Nor is it yet Wednesday. It’s certainly not Friday. Also, it’s January. And it’s the year 2023. Oh, wait, it’s 2022. My bad. And it’s the eighteenth. In a way, the date is like sandwich ingredients; you put it all together and see what you have.

Sunrise overtook our valley slot at 7:36 AM and will pass on at 5:08 PM. First light found the temperature to be 31 F. It’s climbed ten degrees since then and expects to climb another twelve before we fall back into shadow.

I heard Lil Nas X and his song “That’s What I Want” from 2021 on the radio the other day and took up singing it to my cats this morning. It’s a good song about desire, hope, and loneliness. I felt it was useful to sing to the cats. They were gathered, waiting for food. I know what they wanted. But I was being perverse.

These days I’m way too lonely
I’m missing out, I know
These days I’m way too alone
And I’m known for giving love away but

I want
Someone to love me
I need
Someone who needs me
‘Cause it don’t feel right when it’s late at night
And it’s just me in my dreams
So I want
Someone to love
That’s what I fucking want

h/t AZLyrics.com

Love the video, don’t you? Football teams in pink and blue uniforms, same sex athletes making out in the locker room.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the jabs as needed. I’m off for coffee. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Monday found me. It wasn’t a hard search, apparently; Monday found me in bed, still in dreams up to my head. Told me she’d come back in a while, but I just closed my eyes and slumbered.

It’s January 17, 2022, which means there’s only about nine months until the holiday seasons begin for 2022. It is also Martin Luther King Day in most parts of the U.S. Labeling it a holiday seems misguided, given his spirit of service and change, and his assassination. Many reference it as a day of service, an opportunity to meditate on equal rights and justice, and how to help one another. Meanwhile, the sun rose as expected, striking my sliver of existence with sunshine at about 7:36 AM. Temperatures were hovering around 30 F then. They’ve jumped up as the sun scaled the sky. The temperature is now 47. We expect to feel 57 before sunset closes the sunshine down at 5:06 PM.

I awoke with a Santana medley swimming through the morning mental music stream. Carlos has been around a few years as a talent and has given us some impressive tunes. After sorting through them and singing one to a cat, I’m going with “Evil Ways” from 1969. I was singing it to Tucker in a joking manner — “You’ve got to change your goofy ways, kitty, before I stop petting you.” Just a little give and take between two loving animals, me and the feline.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the jabs when you can. Meanwhile, I’ll get some coffee when I can; I feel a bit sad that I’m dependent on this brew that’s dependent on such energy waste and ill treatment. Sigh. Here’s the music. Take care.

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