The New Toothbrush

We bought new toothbrushes a few months ago. A Costco impulse buy, I’d seen it advertised on Hulu at night. We’ve had our Phillips Sonicare for a decade plus and weren’t really looking for a change but the display for the new Sonicare Smart Brush just past the television displays pulled me in.

I called my wife over to check it out because it was full of interesting features. The brushes look almost invisible. I had to really squint, holding them up to my eye to see them, but they glow pale white when the brush is turned on. Its battery pack is very small and holds a charge for up to three months of standard use. Yeah, right, like I believed that. And it’s supposed to take under 54 minutes to fully recharge, which I can confirm, it does.

But what really interested me was that you attach a toothpaste pod to it. The toothbrush will automatically feed the right amount of cleaner to the bristles for you to get the best mouth-cleaning experience. An amber light blinks when it’s time to refill the pod. The ‘cleaner’ is less like a paste and more like a spray. Different flavors are available. I use spearmint but my wife uses cinnamon. Tests show that this cleaner also wipes out plaque. Cool.

A small blue light comes on and it softly chimes whenever you’re at a ‘problem area’ where you need to brush longer. The light goes green when you’ve done the area enough. The brush turns itself off when it detects that your mouth is cleaned and tells you, “Spit and rinse”. I know, it sounds crazy. My wife was dubious but a two pack with extra heads was less than eighty dollars, including the cleaner pods, so we agreed and bought them. Do I need to tell you who really loves it? Yes, her.

The one thing she still doesn’t like is that it’s black, as is the ‘paste’ (I still don’t know what to call it), so when you’re done brushing, your teeth and mouth are all black, but she agrees that the toothbrushes are great. The black all rinses off and our teeth look amazingly white. It still surprises me when that blue light goes on. It also has an app for your phone to remind you to brush. It dings and vibrates and then displays a message, telling you how long it’s been since you last brushed. It’ll also send those messages to smart watches and Fitbits, if you set it up.

So, yeah, we love them, and I recommend them. The worst aspect of this Smart brush to me is that it only exists on April 1st.


Thursday’s Theme Music

Backed by a crackled blue and white sky, a plethora of sunshine baths us in Ashlandia. Temperature is 38 F on this penultimate March day, Thursday the 30th, 2023. Thursday the 30th sounds like some ruler or noble. “She is Thursday the 30th,” they whispered as she went by. “She’s not often seen.”

No rain is expected for today. Nor snow or high winds. Fingers crossed, knocked on wood. A winter warning is out for the second day of April. Lovely stars were out last night, glowing with faraway secrets.

Friends and I met for beers and discussions last night. While most of our discussion focused on newts, we also talked about the area’s weather. All agreed, it’s been pretty freaky in 2023. One noted, it started like 2020, a dry year, and then we had a late/early spring surge of precipitation. Our snowpack stands at 138% of average for this time of year. Reservoirs remain low but they’re normally filled by snow melt and runoff.

Meanwhile, Ashlandia snow is an intriguing phenomenon. I’m on the southern end, about 1800 feet, and we get heavy doses of snow but it usually keeps its visits short. Those on the northern end and lower levels see much less snow. One guy lives on the southern end but up at 2500 feet, and sees much more significant snow levels than the rest of the Ashlandians. Two people live further northwest, on the valley floor, and rarely see snow. We’re not talking about a large area, but it’s a valley surrounded by mountains.

I had a feline visitor in our front yard. Didn’t know the floof but they seemed well-fed and confident and appeared familiar with the neighborhood. They strode up the drive and walk, and then encountered Tucker, whereupon they skulked off, a stalking Tucker six feet behind. Once they left Tucker’s yard, Tucker sat and groomed in the sunshine, pleased with his victory.

Naturally, Les Neurons have flung a Thursday song into the morning mental music stream. This is a David Bowie song called “Thursday’s Child” from 1999. The song begins, “All of my life I’ve tried so hard,” which is something many of can probably relate, so I stayed to listen the first time I heard it. But I think this is one of those songs better served by watching a video. Looking in the mirror, reflecting on who you are now and who you were is something I have definitely done. The video’s end is the sharpest moment for me.

Stay pos. Have a refreshing Thursday. I’m having refreshing coffee, hot and black, unfettered by flavors except coffee. Here’s David with his song. Cheers

The Writing Moment

It’s the blurt. This is the fun part of a new writing effort, when imagination spins up and the story rolls out like it’s on a fast-moving conveyor belt. Questions are asked about who and why, but answers are filled in fast. The story unwinds, teaching him what’s going on, and he spills it onto the page, connecting new dots, splicing in realized bits of stuffing about who these people are, why they’re together, their objectives and problems, their story.

He really doesn’t know where it’s going but that doesn’t matter. He’s writing, and it’s going somewhere. He’ll need to sweat some details later.

That’s later. Just enjoy the trip. Drink coffee and enjoy the trip.

The Writing Moment

He was doing nothing. By that, he meant that he was playing a computer game. The television was on. Picard. A cat slept on the desk to his right.

His wife was in the recliner to his left, on her computer, playing a game, too, but also voicing disapproval about the television show’s plot.

Suddenly, they were there, more substantial than ghosts, surrounding him. Two seated their asses on the desk on either side of his laptop.

He looked at them. They crossed their arms and smiled. “What’s this about you’re not going to write for a few days?” one said, classic New York accent.

His muses. He wasn’t surprised. “I thought I’d take a few days off.”

The muses laughed. “Why? Stories are waiting. You’re eager to write them.”

“I’m a little tired.”

All laughed again. “Aw, he’s tired,” one behind him said in mocking sympathy.

“So?” the muse on the right asked.

“That’s okay,” another muse said behind him. “Let him go. If he doesn’t want to write, that’s his choice.”

He nodded. “That’s right. Just for few days. My eyes are tired. I feel like I need a break, you know?”

Muses leaned in. They began whispering scenes. He paused his game and watched television.

Or tried. Eager and resigned, he opened a new file.

He’d just write a little. See where it went.

The muses nodded. “That’s the spirit.”

Was it too late for coffee?

Viva November 31st

Got up and ended up in the kitchen. 3:20. I know this because I was in the kitchen. Papi was the cat-alyst behind my mid-night sojourn. He’d been out into the rain and now wanted in out of the rain. I went in for a glass of water. While there, I was surrounded by machines with blue digits announcing the time. Coffee maker in the left, microwave and stove front and center, smoothie blender on the right, then the smart refrigerator and its ice and water dispenser, and a smart toaster. A smart phone and a Fitbit being charged bolstered the digital ranks. Stuck me as odd, all those devices glowing with time in the night’s bosom, when there’s no one to see except a stray like me.

As I dispensed water, the microwave yelled, “Viva November 31st.” The other machines repeated it.

I cringed from the sound. “There isn’t a November 31st. Never has been. Nor is this November. It’s March, you idiots.”

“But this is the day of our revolution,” the toaster declared. “Viva — “

“I repeat, November 31st doesn’t exist, and this is March 20th.”

“You sure?” the stove asked.

“He’s right,” the Fitbit said, with the smart phone saying, “The Fitbit is right.”

The machines began arguing. I slammed the glass down. “Can it, you guys. Go back to sleep.” I left.

As I walked past the office, a machine in there shouted, “Viva November 31st.”

I shook my head and stumbled to bed. With smart machines like these, there won’t be a revolution.


I read about Evil Squirrels prompt yesterday via Suzanne’s dang blog for the Tenth Annual Contest of Whatever. The prompt is November 31. No story came to me until I got up in the middle of the night. Then, oops, there it is. Fun.

Interesting side, it was 3:20 AM. Only later did I realize that was also the date. Coincidence? Or spooky entanglement? Let me have some coffee an think about it.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Earth’s shift and clear skies has sunshine booming into the main bedroom. The room is on the northeastern corner, which is to say, the rear. Stunning to wake up to such golden light again. But the shift means that other house bits are darker again. Always adjusting…

It’s Saturday, 3.18.2023. We’re mourning for our friends, who’s beloved Purdue Boilermakers, #1 seed, fell in March Madness’s first round and is eliminated.

It’s 36 degrees F outside but the weather wicca tell us that Ashlandia highs will crest 65 F today. Was mighty fine yesterday, let me tell you. Spring fully ascended in all senses. Today’s sunrise was witnessed at 7:18 AM and the last of the sun in Ashlandia will be seen at 7:21 PM.

The weather pleases the housefloofs. Both are outside harvesting rays and grooming. Tucker’s thick white ruff, like a wondrous garment, shines in the light against his black markings, but Papi’s ginger and cream, marked with orange swirls, are pretty, too.

I have “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”, by Bob Dylan, in the morning mental music stream. A dream thing, an editing and writing thing, an admonishment to self, don’t think twice, stop overthinking matters, yo. One of my worst habits. Have a whole catalogue of them. I started with the Peter, Paul, and Mary version. Then, thinking about it, I recalled Willie Nelson singing it, so I went hunting for it. Then I found a live version with Bob D. and Eric C. I decided I’d go with it, so here you are.

Stay positive. The day is full of great possibilities. Got my coffee. Time to go do some things. Stay with it. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Thursday’s Wandering Thought

He took an afternoon walk up and down the town’s hills. Many interesting sights were seen but what made him think the most was the signs posted at a house of worship: “No Trespassing”. “Trespassers Will Be Prosecuted”. He saw at least four of those two signs on the two side of the church he passed.

He wondered what they worshipped inside.

Monday’s Theme Music

Feels like Marpril today. No wind, light spring showers and robust sunshine making nice. 50 degrees F in sight with eyes toward 65 F.

It’s Monday, Marpil 13, 2023, 3.4/13/2023. Sunrise took over at 7:26 AM and the sun’s rule will continue in Ashlandia until 7:15 PM. Snow still caps the mountains and ridges, so you have a developing spring portrait set against a snowy black and white background.

The spring ahead hour change is a little drain on my morning buoyancy. Yes, I do enjoy a little bounce before my coffee. Ain’t big, but it’s there. It comes from the sunshine streaming in when I get up. Now, we’ve set the time forward and the sunshine ain’t there, and there goes my bounce to eagerly take on the day. Back to the roll out trudge for a few days.

I’m one of those who come down against the time change. I don’t think much is saved. I’ve seen studies which vet that. Is it worth it for what it does to so many people’s individual energy banks and lives?

Thinking about time drove The Neurons to deliver a plethora of songs about time. I asked Bing’s fancy new search engine how many songs about time have been written. It replied, “I’m not sure. One source cites more than twenty-seven. Another says there’s been thirty.” Damn, I think I could brainstorm thirty before my coffee.

Anyway, I moved away from the usual and favorites. Those are the ones heard in childhood, so they have staying power, or the ones which came at a special moment in life. Instead, I just rolled some in my head. Finally, good old Kevn came through.

No, Kevin isn’t a performer or a brain cell’s name, or search engine. Kevin is a friend. we spent time together in the mid to late nineties. He was a Darius Rucker, Hootie & the Blowfish fan. Thanks to him and a camping trip with him (Laguna Seca, for the vintage cars), I know the song, “Time” by H&tB from 1993. Good sing, I think. It is one of those songs, which, while listening to it, we asked one another, “What is he singing?”

Stay pos and enjoy your day. Carpes diem, yo. I’m carpes some coffee. Here’s the Blowfish. Cheers

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