Sunday’s Theme Music

The Neurons stuck “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” by Chicago into the morning mental music stream. I think the group may have been the Chicago Transit Authority when the song was recorded. It’s from 1970, when I was fourteen, instilling thoughts about what year it is and how old I am. The song was delivered when I looked to my wrist to check my Fitbit for the time. ‘Lo, it wasn’t there. Apparently, the FB faked me into believing all was well. Then its symptoms returned. I charged it and charged it again but had to remove it from my wrist because it was going off every three seconds — notification — which becomes v — notification — intrusive to m — notification — processes.

Yes, the Fitbit is no more. I thought about searching for DIY repairs. Had done that tentatively. Maybe later. Maybe I’ll purchase a new one. I don’t know. It’s too early to talk about replacing it. Plus, there’s the irritating issue of how to dispose of this technology piece without contributing to further environmental damage. Yes, it’s small, but it all adds up.

Sunday, July 31, 2022, finds us shrouded by smoke, sent to us by the McKinney fire a few miles away on the California and Oregon border. Truly nasty smell. You can’t breathe it, so keep the pets in and close up everything. Mask up when you’re outside or suffer the consequences.

The cats were very cool about being kept in. When I responded to their request to go outside with an explanation about what was going on with the heat and smoke, they replied, “Oh, that is very distressing to hear. Thank you for your concerns about our health, Michael. We appreciate it.” Then they groomed themselves and went to sleep.

What do you think we should call that fairy tale? Because that’s what that story was.

No, the cats took being kept inside like Mel Gibson screaming for freedom, constantly and persistently, hour after hour. OMG. The floof people insisted that they’re free animals, meant to roam the outdoors except for eating, having bowel movements, drinking water, and snuggling with humans. Oh, and playing with toys. Oh, yeah and catnip — mustn’t forget catnip — and looking out the window, observing people like a spies following troop movements.

Today’s sunrise was at 6:03 AM and sunset is at 8:31 PM. It’s presently 26 C outside. The high will ‘only’ be 99 F, which is much closer to our usual average. It’s supposed to cool for the rest of the week, dropping to 90 at one point. Of course, the hot weather has generated thunderstorms galore, adding to the wildfire threat, given the looonnnggg drought and the dried-out land that we’re enduring.

Stay positive and test negative and take care of yourself and your people and animals. I’ll try to do the same. Coffee? Yes, stat. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

A sunny flourish and a burst of heat and the calendar was made redundant, useless. We knew summer was here. The weather announced it via blazing sun, clear skies, and a sharply scaling thermometer.

Tis Wednesday, June 22, 2015. Tis summer. Nonetheless, the sunrise was at 5:35 AM and sunset will be at 8:51 PM, about the same as the day before summer began. It’s 67 F right now, with a wonderfully friendly and sweet cool breeze tempering the sun’s attitude. The cats love it. I went with the two into the backyard. After some washing (I didn’t participate), they rolled around on the patio. A scrub jay arrived. They abandoned their domestic posturing and proclaimed they’re mighty hunters, so beware.

Somewhere in all of this, the neurons introduced CCR, aka Creedence Clearwater Revival, and their song from 1970, “Up Around the Bend”. It’s pretty straightforward rock and roll. I first heard it when I was fourteen, and the song still entertains me. Hope it entertains you as well.

Stay positive, and hopeful, even optimistic. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed, and take other precautions. Act like you care about your friends and family and be responsible. I try to, with mixed results, then I try again. Now the neurons are singing the coffee song. Here’s CCR. Oh, it’s lifted from Youtube and a show called American Bandstand. They’re having a dance contest. I love this look at 1970s era pop culture – TV, music, fashion, hair, dancing, all rolled into one scene. The music doesn’t start until about 3:42, but you might want to see what it was like, at least for some, for a moment, back in the day. In reflection, I guess today’s theme is nostalgia. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

It’s Memorial Day in the U.S., a holiday to respect and honor the military who died defending the nation’s honor, principles, freedom, and democracy. This is often done through parades, barbecues or grilling out, concerts, and sporting events such as baseball games and auto-racing. Oh, yes, there will also be car and furniture sales to celebrate the day.

Today’s weather fetches memories of other morning skies. Clouds with abstract shapes and ominous dark tones only permit brief snatches of blue skies and sunshine. It’s used to be more overcast in other places in the morning. In Mountain View, CA, and Sunnyvale, by this time of year, those clouds would all burn off by ten in the morning, a light breeze would begin its dance, and the temperatures would drift into low, pleasant seventies. Half Moon Bay was wholly different, with fog and overcast skies arriving, remaining until mid-afternoon. A break would be permitted then, tantalizing you with amazing ocean views before the clouds shouted, “Enough,” and shut back down. Temperatures would hover in the low sixties.

Back east, in western Pennsylvania, southern WV, and Ohio, the days were all over the place. Cloudy and chilly mornings weren’t unusual in this time of year. Nor was rain. But the temperatures would generally break out and climb into the seventies, and sometimes into the low eighties. Down in Florida, it’d be humid and sunny, much like the Philippines and Okinawa. Central Germany was more often like Half Moon Bay, featuring brooding overcast skies that didn’t really let the sun in or the air to get too warm.

Here, today, it’s 47 F. Rain is expected, along with a high in the low to mid-sixties. The sun began its warming attempts at 5:38 this morning and will close out its time in our valley at 8:38, granting us a full fifteen hours of daylight.

Today is Sunday, May 30, 2022.

I have a bit of music that the neurons snagged yesterday while I was out walking. A car pulled up to a red light where I waited to cross. The small SUV’s passenger window was partially down, and music was wafting out. As the car pulled away, I decided that the song being heard was “Carry On/Questions” from 1970 by Crosby, Stills & Nash, from the terrific album, Déjà Vu. Whether I correctly identified the song, the neurons started playing it in my head, along with other songs from the album. I humbly offer “Carry On/Questions” up to you as our theme music.

Coffee time. Stay positive, test negative, etc., and enjoy your day and your week. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

As the world turns, we clock the date and time, making it out to be May 19, 2022, Thursday. Hah. Cold spring weather has returned on us. 50 F, with a wind barking out of the mountain snow. Will only achieve 60 today. Although there’s sunshine out there, and the sun rise was at 5:46 this morning, thick towering clouds loom over the valley. They look like they plan to stay here until past sunset at 8:29 PM.

Fred provoked the neurons into playing today’s theme music. Fred is a NIP character. I’d just finished writing a section from his POV yesterday, and was walking, preparing to move on from the writing day. He still resided in me as I walked. Picking up on that, the neurons fed “Silent footsteps crowding me, sudden darkness, but I can see.” That’s Fred. The song, “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature” by the Guess Who (1970) took over the morning mental music stream. It’s okay, though, because Fred is still on today’s writing menu.

Stay positive and test negative. Don’t get complacent. Telling myself as much as you. Here’s the music. No sugar in my coffee, thanks. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Rain drops tune up on windows and vents for a melody I don’t recognize. Wind chases the cats back into the house’s security. The sun crested the southeast ridges at 6:22 AM but sunshine remains a wan, flighty element. Our temperatures will range from 46 F to 54 and back down again before the sunset show at 7:58 PM.

Today is Wednesday, April 20, 2022 — yes, 420. A lot of people have fun with this aspect of calendaring, you know, the code for marijuana or cannabis consumption, but it doesn’t move me much. I’ll probably joke with friends about it later.

I watched a fun drama, Metal Lords (Netflix), about high school boys pursuing a quest to be a heavy metal band. Lot of entertaining references to metal throughout helped, but there was strong acting and directing, and solid production values. While the usual high school tropes permeate, they’re lightly employed, because, come on, the usual tropes of bullying, social awkwardness, hormones, and cliques, do exist in RL HS, DB Weiss, who brought Game of Thrones to HBO, also deftly delivers some intelligent nuances to the tropes. I enjoy it and recommend it.

Anyway, the movie left me with a taste for a favorite of mine when I was on puberty’s cusp. “Paranoid” by Black Sabbath (1970) is in the morning mental metal music stream. Hope you enjoy it. Speaking of taste, my tastebuds are yearning for a little black magic brew. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, etc. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today finds us at the juxtaposition of winter and spring and the week called Thursday, April 14, 2022. Snow on the mountains is a hopeful sign for us in our drought-struck state while the buds and flowers remind us of spring’s promise of life and growth.

Sunrise was a solid showing of light and warmth at 6:32 AM. Showers have drifted away, the clouds moving on for the moment, muttering about, “maybe coming back later,” perhaps after they go off to chill and have something to eat or drink, maybe even coffee. Although just 41 F right now, the sun’s presence makes it feel warmer to me. A 44-degree high is all they say we can hope for before sundown at 7:51 PM.

Reading the news, I can’t stop the conclusion from jumping into my head that Putin is a terrorist. “Don’t you dare join NATO, or I will nuke you,” he metaphorically shouts in his cold, threatening tone. Isn’t that the way of war, though, “don’t do that or we’ll do this,” pressing an escalation of tension with fear and the threat of violence. If not a terrorist, he’s certainly a bully. I know, the U.S. has its own version of bully tactics, too. At least we haven’t overtly attacked another nation recently.

The neurons have planted “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison in the morning mental music stream. Released when I was fourteen, its slide guitar, rhythms, and lyrics mesmerized me. Yes, I know of the later copyright infringement action and the obvious connection between “He’s So Fine” and “My Sweet Lord”. While “He’s So Fine” is an excellent song, its lyrics and slide work didn’t have me sitting there listening again and again.

Stay positive, test negative, drink coffee, wear a mask as or when needed, and get the jabs as, when, etc. Sorry about the coffee bit; it just jumped in there because it’s that time. Not trying to influence you or anything, no, about the promise of what that hot, dark beverage can do for the body and soul, no, not at all.

Here’s the music. Look – sunshine! Hey, it’s raining. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Here we go, the end of the month, Thursday, March 31, 2022. About a quarter of 2022 has fled into history. Gray cloud layers in the west fondle the pines on the ridges. Broken clouds up north hover like an anxious herd ready to flee. In the east and south, smaller, tattered pats yield to sunshine and blue sky. Are you up for rain? It might come. Might not, too. Just be a brief spit, probably, if it does.

Sunshine trickled in at 6:55 AM. The sun will do the fade at 7:35 this evening. Temperatures hunker in at 44 F right now, with a cold, northern edge to it, like winter is saying, let me stay. A high of 58, not too ambitious, is possible.

I went out with the cats this morning to feel the air. They found sun pools and stayed. I shivered and slipped back in. Somehow, in that process, the neurons decided “Take Me to the Pilot” by Elton John (1970) fit the moment and inserted it into the morning mental music stream.

Stay positive, etc. Sorry, I need my coffee. Here’s the song. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

It’s Friday, March — no, FEBRUARY* — 25, 2022, another year marked by another war. Sunrise struck at 6:53 AM. The rays’ kisses lifted us from 23 degrees F to our present 33. We reached the upper forties yesterday and expect to see mid-fifties today before we turn our back to the sun again at 5:56 PM. Although the streak of pleasant weather in January and early Feb. were enjoyable, we’re all feeling more relieved to have this wintry weather and normal temperatures, and more snow on the mountains. Maybe, we think, fingers crossing, we won’t have such a hot and dry summer. Maybe food will grow properly, and the skies won’t be dark with smoke blocking the sun. Maybe…

War is on my mind, of course. Images coming from Ukraine show the low value and utter contempt the invading Russians display for human life, all for what? Some friends and relations hope that the images will bring an end to war or at least tarnish its image as a glorious pursuit. But world leaders like Putin have rarely been to war. “Forward, he cried, from the rear, and the front ranks died.” Pink Floyd nailed that didn’t they?

Songs in the morning mental music stream range from “Peace Train” by Yusuf Islam (formerly known as Cat Stevens), to “Warchild” by Jethro Tull, “Sunday Bloody Sunday” by U2, “Imagine” by John Lennon. But Edwin Starr’s powerful 1970 song. “War” says it well. It came to mind when the US was in Vietnam, and all the subsequent invasions and ‘military actions’ — such a polite expression — since. “War. Good God, y’all, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. Say it again.”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax and boosters, hold your breath and say your prayers for Ukraine and its people.

*Apparently the cats got on the kb and changed the date on me when I turned my back to drink some coffee. Thanks to the Huntress for pointing it out.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Rotating and orbiting as the planet has done for billions of years, we now come to February 2, 2022. A Wednesday, it may be memorable to many people for many reasons, but how does it compare to the past trillions of days? Our human lifespans are so short compared to the universe’s life scale that little of what we do is memorable in the cosmic sense. It’s why we narrow our focus down to our personal spaces and calendars. Contemplating the greater scale may well lead to nihilistic conclusions or heavy consumption of coffee, alcohol, or other drugs. Or eating disorders. So let’s just keep focus on our smaller but amazingly impactful days. They are impactful on us and that’s what builds our memories and experiences and skew our emotions.

Anyway, the sun ‘rose’ at 7:23 AM and will ‘set’ at 5:27 PM. I’ll drink some coffee and eat some food. I’ve already done some of the latter. You’re probably doing something similar, eating, or thinking about what you’ll eat, even considering, perhaps, who you’ll eat it with. Here in Ashland, it dropped to 28 F last night. Now it’s 36 with a high of 44 expected for the day. Dollops of congealed gray and white cloud float on the blue sky. We do not expect rain.

I haven’t done any of my daily games. They’ll come soon. I guessed my first word in Wordle in two guesses yesterday. On the other hand, it required all six in two games. Four other games took three or four. Yeah, I like Wordle. Getting it in two is luck. For instance, in the first game when I guessed it in two, the last two letters of my first guess were green. On a whim, I entered poppy as my second guess. That was the word. Yea for me.

Weirdly, I have a song called “If Not for You” living in the morning mental music stream. Bob Dylan wrote and recorded the song. Then George Harrison recorded it, followed by Olivia Newton John. I had the albums for the first two performers. I heard the ONJ version on the radio one day and then turned around and pulled out the vinyl 33-RPM album to listen to Dylan and an eight-track tape to listen to George’s version. Doing that back then in my bedroom in Pittsburgh somewhere around 1973 (all of the versions were out by 1971), I never imagined the technology that would allow me to sit at my computer and pull up the same songs. Trippy, innit? Just think of how it all might be in another fifty years or so, right?

Part of me thinks about memories like this and wonder why it stays so sharply in my memory today that I can look around that room from my vantage here and see and hear the details of my life then. A sliver of me muses that maybe there’s some cosmic entanglement taking place. Another facet of me shrugs and mumbles, who knows?

For today’s theme music, I’ve selected a recording of Dylan and Harrison playing it together. Makes me smile. Stay postive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax and boosters when you can. I’m off for coffee now. Looking forward to it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Hey, all you zombettes and zombois, we’re coming to you live from the overworld. Today is Wednesday, October 6, 2021. Rain is drying and fading after a night of water music. The drying process is slow. Fog and clouds break with reluctance, pulling apart and dissolving into white and gray blots as the sun musters heat and impacts the valley. Sun came up at 7:13 AM and will set at 6:44 PM. Its slant has shifted to the south, forcing it to climb over forested mountains before it can greet us. Where the eastern blinds blocked the summer sun, the autumn sun creeps in through the southern windows.

For temperatures, the thermometers are talking 48 F now. Forecasters are talking 60 later. I hazard it’ll be a few degrees higher. Say, mid-sixties. No more rain expected for today, though. It’s okay. The valley has reclaimed some of its emerald hues. Goes well with the fall leaves. Very becoming on the valley.

Grand Funk Railroad is inhabiting the morning’s mental music stream with “Into the Sun”, playing from their 1970 live album. I enjoyed the album; Mom despised it. My older sister, who was trying to be cool, did not like it. But I liked it loud. When the house was mine alone, I’d crank my air guitar up to eleven and push out some power chords.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the music. Follow me down memory lane. Hold up; must get my coffee first. Cheers

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