Wednesday’s Theme Music

The hump day cometh and the hump day goeth. Daybreak began at 5:34 AM in Ashland, Oregon. Most of the flowers have lived their life of color in my neighborhood, fading to leafy remains. Thanks to cooler temps — highs have dropped from the standard 90 – 100 degrees F days to low 60s — and a splatter of rain, lush greens dominate. Nightbreak (hey, we have daybreak) will come at 8:46 PM. We’re fast approaching that longest day, meaning the longest period of sunshine, in the north. In the southern hemisphere, they’re hurrying toward their shortest day of the year. Then, the northern hemisphere minutes of daylight will start declining while they start adding up to longer days south of the equator. It’s the great circle of seasons, the revolution around the sun.

Out walking yesterday, I encountered a handsome silver tabby. Meowing with urgency, they ran to me. A collared adult, a heart-shaped metal tag informed me the friendly feline was named Rajah. Rajah was very healthy and enjoyed my fingerwork. But a truck backing up sent Rajah racing back up the lawn he came down. I wrote Rajah’s phone number on my hand (always carry a pen — it’s my talisman), then wondered, what’s the name of this street, with an eye toward looking up lost cat reports on our local neighborhood posts. As I went through that process, U2 fired up “Where the Streets Have No Name”, a U2 fave of mine from 1987.

I wasn’t planning on using it for today’s theme music, but the theme of being in a nameless place in a dream where I was searching for a street sign came up in a dream. As I thought about that dream, “Where the Streets Have No Name” was revived in the mental stream.

So here we are. This is the official video of the song, with U2 playing on top of a building. Think the Beatles did that once. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

The door to the sky opens at 5:35 AM. The sun’s first impact shades the night gray. Rosy yellows spread as the door grows further ajar. Tuesday, June 8, 2021, has begun its day in Ashland, Oregon. As always, jays acknowledge the event first. Crows add to the dawn conversation after a few minutes.

Air that seems related to fall is outside. Rain fell last night, dropping temperatures into the lower forty F. Thick, broken clouds mottle the blue sky. Temperatures are a far descent from normal, with highs just barely edging over sixty. So it’ll be, a spring fall day, until the door closes on the valley sun at 8:45 PM.

Today’s music of the walking kind. Hopefully dressed for summer, shorts and a tee, with a light fleece, an edgy wind knifes my bare legs, sending chills over my body as I do my thing yesterday. After just three quarters of a mile, smelling rain in the air, I call it and make the turn to home. Thinking of home brings a Delaney & Bonnie song out of mental retirement and into active thinking. Called “Coming Home” The song, made ‘with friends’, was released in the late sixties. It was one of my recurring songs as I traveled during twenty years in the military and then later in marketing for several years. Hope you enjoy it.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get that vax. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

“Should I try to do some more? Twenty-five or six to four.”

That’s how it briefly felt (befuddled and dazed), trying to scope the time when a dream’s sharp end poked me suddenly awake. Turned out to be 2:33 AM. A trip to release some fluids was in order, followed by a need to add more fluids. Cats, curious about what I’m doing up, seeing an opportunity for a meal, cosied up with purrs and mips. I opened the back door and let cool mountain air and clear starlight seduce me for a few minutes before regular programming was resumed.

Sunrise on June fourth Friday of 2021 came a few hours later, 5:46 AM. We ended up over ninety F yesterday. The weather masters all insist that today will top out in the high eighties, same claim as yesterday, so I believe we’ll peek into the low nineties before the Earth’s movement takes the sun out of our sky at 8:43 PM.

While ambulating about the hills yesterday, “I Ain’t the One” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973) started playing in my mind. I’d been thinking about conspiracy theories, partly because, news, reading of the fiction and non-fiction type, and partly, you know, fiction writing. In fiction land, I’d just finished reading “The Searcher” by Tana French a few days ago, and am now into “The Long Way Home” by Louise Penny along with “A House in the Neighborhood” by Bob Mustin, enjoying them all. Before that lot, I’d read several Lee Child books from the Jack Reacher series, and a few by each by Jonathan Kellerman, Craig Johnson, and Keigo Higashino. Parallel to them, I read “The Grammarians” and just finished reading “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis. Almost all these feature some conspiracy theory thinking. Happens naturally when things happen in fiction and explanations are tasted for what and why. Over in the non-fiction side, “The Fifth Risk” is about DOE concerns about the U.S. electric grid and the Trump administration’s approach to things. Their approach included conspiracy theories about what bureaucrats and political appointees are up to. An interesting albeit painful read.

I queried my head about what conspiracies have to do with “I Ain’t the One”. It took a while of noodling to realize that buried at the song’s end was the clue. Here’s the song’s final lyrics.

Got bells in your mind, mama
And it’s easy to see
I think it’s time for me to move along
I do believe
I must be in the middle of some kind of conspiracy

Lynyrd Skynyrd – I Ain’t the One Lyrics | Genius Lyrics

I muttered a bit at my mind about that feeble connection. I mean, come on, man.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and please get the vax. Cheers.

Friday’s Theme Music

Good afternoon. Today is Friday, 4/30/2021, the final day for April, 2021, in this reality. Your reality may vary. Today finds the sun clearing the horizon at 6:08 AM and hiding behind the other side at 8:09 PM, giving us a full fourteen hours of sunshine in southern Oregon.

Pacific Ocean sunrise, Gold Beach, Oregon, April 20, 2021

It’s a late entry. We’ve been ‘over’ on the Oregon coast. To reach it, we drive west across southwestern Oregon, dip south into some twisty motorways in northern California, and return north into Oregon, passing over mountains and through a Redwood forest.

We enjoyed a pleasant stay, in a hotel, our first overnight outing since the pandemic struck the U.S. hard in March, 2020. An entertaining interlude to the normal elasticity of our lives, it did find me thinking about changes as I walked the beach and discussed life with the crashing surf. Said thoughts prompted recall of a 1985 Foreigner song, “That Was Yesterday”.

That was yesterday
But today life goes on
No more hiding in yesterday
Because yesterday’s gone

h/t to Genius.com

Yes, life has gone on, but it still sometimes feels like it’s a surprise. It brings up thoughts of another song, “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”, by the Kinks. But I’ll stay with the more theatrical Foreigner tune, because it was the one that came up on the beach.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get that vax. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today finds us at Sunday once again. I was just looking at the calendar, confirming that it’s April 25, and was surprised to realize there’s another Friday in the month. Just not paying attention.

The sun made it to Ashland at 6:15 AM and will make its departure at 8:03 PM. We’re getting close to almost fourteen hours of sunshine, which I do like. Like my cats, I am a sunshine fan. Don’t know how much sunshine we’ll see. The weather is continuing a drizzly, damp, chilly pattern. It’s 42 F right now, and we’re not expecting much higher. As I read on the net, the weather slowed down like a driver doing 75 in a 55 when he sees a cop behind him.

“Wedding Bell Blues” by the Fifth Dimension (1969) is looping through my mind. The great Laura Nyro wrote and originally recorded it. Her songs were hits by several others, like “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “And When I Die”, and “Eli’s Comin'”. She died way too young, 49, done in by ovarian cancer.

And while I like all those songs, I’m in the mood for something upbeat this morning. I challenged the mind for something. After a period of crickets singing and playing, the Foo Fighters crept in with “I’ll Stick Around” from 1995.

Upbeat? Up-tempo, I guess.

By the way, the three-day green-smoothie fast ended for me yesterday, day eight. Energy level just felt too low. Tired while walking, and didn’t achieve twelve miles for the day. Been a while for that. So I’m back on solids, and just finished a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with peanut butter, cranberries, and pumpkin seed/flax granola.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax, including the second dose, if you’re going the Moderna/Pfizer route. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Welcome to the last Friday of April, which is April 23, 2021. Sol’s initial appearance in Ashland was delivered by the forces of science and nature at 6:18 AM. Those same forces will cause its setting at 8:01 PM. Temperature-wise — because how the outside air feels is important to me — we’re seeing 54 F right now and expect, like yesterday, to creep into the low seventies today.

We’re on the seventh day of the three-day green-smoothie fast in the Seidel household. We realized on Wednesday that we were in danger of letting our Romaine lettuce go back. We buy it regularly for salads but we haven’t been eating salads due to the green-smoothie fast. So we chucked it into the green-smoothies. We knew it had a strong flavor. Pineapple, kiwi fruit, and bananas were piled in to overcome it. Didn’t work. That Romaine flavor totally dominated.

We’d also read online suggestions to try cauliflower in our smoothies. We bought fresh cauli Wednesday and will try that today. We already eat cauliflower chips and cauliflower-crust pizza, so let’s see where this takes us.

My theme music today comes from the cats. Tucker (the black and white enigma) was impatient for attention today (he was hungry), and kept talking to me and tapping my feet whenever I moved. I kept telling him, “Hold your horses, old son, I’ll feed you in a minute.” Not like we weren’t six feet from a bowl of kibble (which he did realize and sauntered over to eat). Anyway, hold your horses translated into the song by Of Monsters and Men, “Mountain Sound”.

The song was released in 2013. As I thought about it, I don’t think I’d ever heard it outside of the Ashland coffee shop where I used to go to write. I heard it every day there. I then learned of it when the song haunted some of my post-writing walks. Knowing nothing about the song caused me to pursue more info about it. Despite that, I’d never seen the video until today.

Hope you enjoy it. Stay pos, test neg, wear a mask, and get the vax. I don’t know about you, but staying positive is getting tougher in our area. After months of decline, we’ve reversed direction. Our seven-day average is up to 47. This sends my wife into an angry tirade. “What the fuck is going on? What’s wrong with these stupid people? What are they doing? I want names.”

I understand, because so do I. Stats show that it’s the young responsible for these increasing numbers. Grrrr.

Anyway, yeah, enjoy the music.

Post Vaccine

Just adding to the body of knowledge out there about what people experience with their COVID-19 vaccinations.

For background, I’m officially retired from active employment, white, male, and a few months short of sixty-five years old. I’m a little overweight at 185 pounds. I walk regularly and lightly exercise but lead a mostly sedentary life of writing, reading, and surfing the net. Yard work and house work gives me additional ‘exercise’. I drink beer, wine, and coffee, but haven’t had any alcohol since last Thanksgiving. Just worked out that way. I only drink one cup of coffee a day now, a nod to my prostate.

I don’t eat much meat but a lot of fruits and vegetables, in large part because my wife is a vegetarian. I’ve dealt with high blood pressure/hypertension throughout my life, but played softball, racquetball, and ran a few miles a day several times a week until I blew out a knee in my late thirties. With a daily dose of Amlodipine, my blood pressure hovers around 130/60, with a heart rate of 62. My usual resting rate is 55 to 58. I also suffer from an enlarged prostate gland. I’m on Flomax for that.

I received the J&J one-shot coronavirus vaccine on Saturday morning, just before eleven. I had no immediate reaction. Per guidance, I rubbed the injection area and moved my arm throughout the day. I ran in place in the house, accumulating my twelve miles, but generally took it easy, writing, reading, eating, and attending to my floof masters.

The next day, Sunday, I woke up feeling fantastic. It was like I’d been given a B-12 injection. Was it possible that they’d given me some kind of placebo? I wrote a chapter in the morning (about three thousand words), and did some editing. After lunch, I drove down to the library to pick up a book up for my wife. The sunshine invited me to take a walk, so I put on three miles. Returning home just before three, I prepared to do yard work. I thought I’d do a strenuous walk after that.

My wife reminded me that my thinking was wrong. “I hope you didn’t exert yourself too much when you were walking,” she said.

“I didn’t. It’s mostly flat down there. Just a couple mild hills.”

“You’re supposed to be taking it easy.”

Oh, yeah.

“They say that even though you feel good, your body is working hard beneath the surface.”

True.

I resigned myself to reading and surfing the net (and taking an incidental nap along the way). Running in place, I did achieve my goal of twelve miles but mourned that I hadn’t been able to take advantage of that fresh air and sunshine to break a serious sweat going up the steep hills around us.

Today, I feel good. Not as good as yesterday, more like just above my average. I have some stiffness and soreness on my left arm above the injection site. There’s no redness or swelling. My wife, who has an autoimmune disease, has experience similar symptoms, and reports that she feels fine.

That’s one of the maddening traits of this virus, though. Some feel like they get hit by a truck. Others feel nothing. Some suffer mild symptoms. As they say, your experience may vary.

Take care.

A Rainy Dream

I was with some others. They remained misty and uncertain, voices on the periphery of my awareness.

We were to drive three identical Cadillac automobiles. Cream and brown two-toned sedans, I knew them as late 1940s cars, a model called ‘Sedan de Ville’. I was to be the driver of one of these three large cars.

Sheets of silvery rain were soaking the world outside the building where we talked, striking down visibility whenever I looked out a window. I knew we were in a city. We were addressing a large, electronic map. It showed the route to follow in thick dark green on a yellow background. Part of the discussion was about what to call our exits. Studying the map, I somehow came up with Jo Three, which struck me as funny. I explained why it should be called that and why it was funny but those details are lost to waking me.

Before leaving, white brunette women dressed in 1950s fashion presented each driver with two loaves of freshly baked warm bread. These loaves were set on the back shelf behind the rear seat, on on each side, in all three cars. I happily went about, checking the loaves, verifying what they were (rye, marble rye, whole wheat, etc.), and that each loaf was unique. Satisfied, I confirmed my loaves were where they should be, climbed behind the car’s massive steering wheel, and set off.

Rain still hammered the streets and sidewalks, denuding color so that everything resembled sepia photographs. With no wind, the rain fell straight down. Although it was day, street lights were on. The straight multi-lane roads were in good condition. Traffic was sparse. The place seemed familiar.

I saw a woman walking along a sidewalk under an umbrella. I knew her. I thought she was upset and decided that I needed to speak with her, and that I would offer her a ride. As I caught up with her, she was under an underpass at an intersection, waiting to cross the street. She crossed; I turned left, pulled alongside her, and wound the passenger window down. As she didn’t stop, the car continued parallel to her, propelled by the idling motor.

Leaning across the street, cold as mist came in the open window, I called, asking her if she wanted a ride, speaking loudly over the rain and the car’s engine. She declined, telling me that she enjoyed walking in the rain. I then apologized to her and told her that I understood why she was upset. She replied that she wasn’t upset, and that’s not why she wasn’t accepting a ride. She had been upset but now she just appreciated being alone, walking in the rain.

I accepted her answer and drove off. As I did, I looked back in the rearview mirror and watched her walking on the sidewalk in the pouring rain, getting smaller as the distance increased.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Welcome back to another edition of Tuesday. Today is April 6, 2021. It’s coolish today, 42 degrees F, with mild threats of rain showers. Spring is enveloping our valley with blossoms, buds, and blooms. Tulips, daffodils, and star asters are abundant, setting senses aflame with their sweet fragrance and bold beauty. Ms Sun appeared at 6:45 AM in Ashland. She expects to spend the day with us before jetting out of sight at 7:42 PM. During that period, it’s anticipated that we’ll get warmer.

We’re scheduled for the J&J one-dose COVID-19 vaccination this weekend. Oregon had shifted eligibility. The lowered bar now includes us, folks in our lower sixties without children and minor health issues. Other states are including everyone over eighteen, so PROGRESS!

Dad remains in the hospital, experiencing edema. He and his wife were vaccinated against COVID-19 months ago. They’re not certain what’s causing the edema. He’s now been in there two weeks as they address built up fluid in his legs. Eighty-nine this year, he’s been medicating for COPD for years (after being a Lucky Strikes smoker (LSMFT), pipe smoker, and cigar smoker), along with minor kidney matters. He’s usually a good hospital patient, he tells me (and his wife agrees), but this visit has him on a low sodium diet. The limited food choice is making him cranky.

I woke up singing “In A Big Country” by Big Country this morning. Not infrequently, sunshine and sprawling green vistas summon this 1983 song to emerge from the deep memory well into consciousness.

Been writing like crazy every day. I’m closing on the end of the first draft of the novel-in-progress. I’m one who modifies and edits as I progress, tidying pacing and story, clarifying details, and sharpening focus as I go. I’ve also been reading a great deal, two to three books a week. Last week was Transcriptions (Kate Atkinson), Echo Burning (Lee Child), and Under a Midnight Sun (Keigo Higashino). This week, it’s The Night Watchman (Louise Erdrich), Circe (Madeline Miller), and The Sentinel (Lee Child with Andrew Child).

Still keeping up with my walking, too (knock on wood), achieving at least twelve miles per day, averaging 12.3 miles per day for the last six months. It’s a lot easier with the long days of sunshine and comfortable weather.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Got my coffee. Gonna go write like crazy, at least one more time.

Floofsday’s Theme Music

Good Night. Today is Floofsday, March 32, 2021. Sunset is at 7:01 AM in Ashland and sunrise will be at 7:45 PM. This morning’s temperature is 75 degrees F but we expect to cool down some, reaching 51 by late tonight.

Yesterday’s walk was gloriously perfect. Sunshine burst through, heaving the heat into the high seventies while a mild breeze countered the worst effects. Trees and flowers are blooming, spreading colorful shapes, threading the air with sweet scents. Lot of walkers were out in the hilly streets where I was roaming. Most of us weren’t masked but shied away, keeping proper distance plus.

This situation kicked the 1985 Dire Straits song, “So Far Away”, into my conscious music stream. “So Far Away” was on Brothers in Arms, the album that included “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”, two of my favorite Dire Straits tunes. Stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, I played that album a lot that year, driving my Mazda around the southeastern United States on temporary duty assignments in the Air Force or going north — a straight shot up I-77 — to visit family.

I thought the song works as a theme song for this day. Last April seems so far away. Although we’re marking progress toward the pandemic’s end, a return to normalcy also seems so far away.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

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