Wednesday’s Theme Music

With sunrise blinking in at 5:53 AM, today’s weather is a relaxed, mellow blend, clouds and sky, high against the upper eighties. Sunset is coming on at 8:41 PM in the valley, when darkness crawls in, dragging stars, moon, and cooler temps with it.

A cat inspired today’s music. I was still abed, struggling between alive and dead, lingering in that limbo state between being asleep and being awake. WHEN —

A sudden gallop on a hardwood floor, with a sliding sound that ended with a bang against the door, a cat did appear in the room, pausing for a moment to give himself a groom. THEN —

With a new battle cry (“Freedom!”) he was off again, racing around bed and then, galloping back down the hall, plowing again into a wall.

The time was 5:40 AM.

As I tried to sink back to sleep, I thought about the beast’s antics. And thought, maybe it was a jailbreak. Which, then, sometime later, kicked in Thin Lizzy with “Jailbreak” from 1976. Lovely song. Perfect for a big cat with an overactive imagination.

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

Thursday’s Theme Music

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and the nation north of the U.S. I send them wishes for a joyous celebration and greater success and prosperity.

Today is July 1, 2021. A Thursday. Pale gold burnished the upper reaches of hills, trees, and mountains at 5:38 AM. It’ll fade away into night at 8:51 PM. Sunshine will deliver us to some mild heat — the low nineties — today. Smoke comes and goes to the valley from the Lava Fire by Weed, California. If you want to see the fire, head to Mount Ashland, just outside town, which offers a panoramic view of the smoke. Flames are visible at night.

The deepening drought delivered another depressing blow. Water limitations and drought meant the blueberries didn’t come in at our favorite u-pick-em site. We’d been doing this for over a decade. It’s one of our Ashland traditions. The blueberry owners are trying to keep the place alive and hope to see us all next year.

Also canceled for the second year is the July 4th Parade. COVID concerns, yes. Planning needed to start months ago and where we’d be now was too uncertain to plan. The fireworks are canceled. I’ve become ambivalent about fireworks. Loved ’em as a child. Now I understand what they do to the land and animals. Sadly, this year, the drought is too intense to risk fireworks. Locals are still reeling from Ashland’s near miss last September. Yeah, near miss, not quite. Two thousand homes were destroyed on the north edge of town. Talent and Phoenix were reduced to smoky piles of rock and wood in many areas, gutting the towns physically and emotionally. With those emotional scars still vivid, many are relieved that the fireworks won’t take place.

Without too much surprise, I bet, I introduce a song about summer, called “Summer”. By War, it was released in 1976. Some may claim that 1976 was a simpler time. It may’ve been for many. For others, it was a time like the rest, working to feed yourself, working to beat the heat, playing to relieve the stress, doing what you can as you face an uncertain future. Who sang, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near”? That’s right, Jim and the lads, back in another century. I used to sing, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always clear.” Made me sense to me

Anyway, here’s “Summer”, a mellow reflection on the hot season. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

It’s a chilly Tuesday morning, April 20, 2021. I wanted to put the year as 2015. I don’t know what’s causing that faux temporal shift.

We had our first sun peek at 6:22 AM and expect to bade farewell for the day at 7:58 PM. It’s chilly because clouds are shading the edge from the sun’s influence. Still, 55 degrees F is better than, say, ten, twenty, or thirty degrees colder. The cats are eating it up, diving outside as the sun breaks, staying out in the yard, floofzing away, awakening when yard work or birds disturb them. 76 degrees was seen yesterday, which was great for walking, sitting outside in a chair reading, etc. I expect today to be about six degrees cooler.

For music, I’ve trapped an old Ramones song in my brain. “Blitzkrieg Bop” is a short but rousing ditty that came out in 1976. I’d always interrupted the lyrics ‘tight wind’ as ‘time wind’. I thought the idea of a time wind was really cool. “Hey, it feels like the 1960s blowing through here.” A little disappointed when I learned the true lyrics.

They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop

They’re piling in the back seat
They’re generating steam heat
Pulsating to the back beat
The Blitzkrieg Bop

Hey ho, let’s go
Shoot ’em in the back now
What they want, I don’t know
They’re all revved up and ready to go

They’re forming in a straight line
They’re going through a tight wind
The kids are losing their minds
The Blitzkrieg Bop

h/t to AZLyrics.com

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

Tuesday’s Theme Music

We’ve landed on Earth, Tuesday, Coffee 13, 2021. Coffeerise was at 6:34 AM and coffeeset is expected at 7:50 PM.

Sorry, have coffee on my brain. Was walking around the kitchen singing the old round to myself, “C-o-f-f-e-e is what I need. It’s a drink some people wake up with. That it makes you nervous is a myth. Slaves to a coffee cup, they can’t give coffee up.” I learned that thing in grade school. Sing it often as I make my coffee.

Speaking of singing, between the coffee song, I was singing “Dancing Queen” by ABBA, 1976. Except, I subbed coffee for dancing. “You are the coffee queen, fresh and strong, that’s why you’re in this song. Coffee queen, felt the heat from the coffee machine, oh, yeah.”

Tres popular, topping the charts in multiple nations, that song was relentlessly played everywhere in 1976. Disco club DJs loved it — or the dancing crowds did. This morning, it’s in me like a strong cuppa. So I share it with you, a magnanimous gesture on my part, to get it out of my head. You’re welcome.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and have a cuppa. Doesn’t need to be coffee, but it’s what I need.

Monday’s Theme Music

Welcome. Today is the first day of the second month of 2021, a.k.a. Feb. 1. And it’s a Monday. Sunrise was 7:24 AM and sunset will be 7:25 PM, for ten hours and one minute of sunshine, in theory, here in Ashland, Oregon. Currently sitting at 50 degrees F, our weather is comfortable mix of clear sky, clouds, and sunshine with the potential for rain, clear sky, and sunshine.

January, 2021 went by like whipped cream from a can, with a lot of hissing and noise but quick. After an attempted coup and a whole lot of lies from the outgoing POTUS and the GOP, a new POTUS was sworn in. With it comes a new era. Yeah, fingers crossed on that. I know, in many ways, it’s frustrating BAU, but some sense of our values and processes are restored. Having Trump gone and Biden in isn’t an elixir; work is required.

With all these changes, today’s song came as I turned over my wall calendar. Yes, I keep a wall calendar. It’s sentimental of me. Produced by a photography, it’s of the Group 7 Can-Am racing series, the racing I most fervently followed as a young teen.

Today’s song is “Turn the Page”. Originally written and recorded by Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band in 1972, it was released in 1973, but the 1976 live version is the cover I always turn to. Be positive. Test negative. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Move forward. Turn the page.

Here’s the music.

Friday’s Theme Music

Today is January 29, 2021, the first ‘last Friday of the month’ in 2021. Sunset was at 7:29 AM. Sunset will be at 5:21 PM. Outside, it’s 37 degrees F and slowly drying under a gray smeared blue sky. Looks like one of those days when it could get sunnier but it also could get cloudier and rainier. Ah, typical southwestern Oregon.

The last Friday of the month used to be significant in the organizations I worked for in the military and civilian worlds. Reports were requested on the last Friday of the month. Summaries were given. Expectations set for the next month. Funny how much revolved around the last Friday of the month.

Thinking of Friday, I thought a Friday song would be appropriate. First into mind on that note is always the 1975 Steeley Dan song, “Black Friday”. It’s reigned as a theme song a coupla times. So has “Friday I’m in Love” by The Cure (1992). Thinking a little harder on it, I came up with a few others, like Katy Perry’s song, “Last Friday Night” and “Livin’ It Up Friday Night” by Bell & James, which was a friend’s favorite back in the late 1970s. He’d sing that song every day of the week.

A cat interrupted proceedings, though. Talking to him, I mentioned that he was a wayward floof. Wayward kicked an old Kansas song, “Carry on Wayward Son” (1976) into the musical stream, where it’s gone into loopy mode. So, for your listening pleasure and my sanity of mind, here it is.

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

Thursday’s Theme Music

Sunrise came at 7:30 AM today. It’s 36 degrees F outside with hopes a high of 44 is realized. Not bad. Sunset will take place at 5:10 PM.

Today’s song choice came by way of Facebook and dreams. I saw something about the performers, the Bellamy Brothers, on FB several days ago. Living in southern WV for a time, where country music dominated, I was familiar with them. But then they had a crossover hit, “Let Your Love Flow”, in 1976. Wikipedia tells me that Larry E. Williams, a roadie, wrote the song.

It’s that song in my head this morning. I thought its presence was caused by my dreams. Partially was, as I wondered about my dreams and asked, “Is there a reason?”

There’s a reason for the sunshine sky
There’s a reason why I’m feeling so high
Must be the season when that love light shines all around us

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask and vaccinate. Here’s the music.

Secretly

The sun is beating on my head through my hat. I’m just the help. It’s a role that I enjoy.

Some.

“Boss me around, baby,” I do NOT say. I stay mute, gloves on hands, left arm in its removable brace, hoe nearby, spade in hand.

My wife is the master, planting her garlic for winter. She’s serious about her garden. Fresh bulbs had been procured, along with the right soil and fertilizer. Potatoes occupy the usual garlic winter home. A new one is required. “Somewhere in the sun,” she proclaims with steely vigor, looking around.

A song spurts into my head. Oh, hey. Did you happen to —

“We need to move the compost bins,” my wife declares.

We’re in the side yard, where most of the gardening is done. Boo, the backyard panther with a white star on his chest (like he’s sheriff) (guess, that would be a floofriff) moseys along toward us, talking as he comes. One compost bin (previously emptied) is moved to a new location. With this happening, Boo retreats to the backyard He wants nothing to do with work.

I shovel the compost from the full one to the empty one’s new location. The song resumes it secret playing in my head. Oh, hey. Did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world. And if you did, was she crying?

Yes, Charlie Rich is serenading my brain with “The Most Beautiful Girl” as I do as I’m told. (We’re now on breaking up the soil where the garlic is to reside.) I blame my mother for this song. While Charlie Rich’s voice and the accompanying music is coming off vinyl courtesy of Mom’s mohogany Magnavox console stereo, it’s Mom singing along along with Rich who is actually singing in my head. She used to frustrate me by singing this song when I was trying to talk to her about it. It was apparently funny to her. The song came out in 1973. I would turn seventeen that year. I’d left home a year or two before to live with Dad, but would return to Mom for major holidays. Dad, single guy that he was, didn’t do holidays.

Why did Mom sing that song to me? Why was I singing today? These the mind’s mysteries. At least, they’re my mind’s mysteries. I don’t know what goes on in others’ minds. I barely comprehend what’s happening in my own.

“Now I just need to water them.” My wife was finished. I was dismissed.

It was a good day. Time to go wash my wife’s car. Wonder what song will be playing?

Oh, wait, Rose Royce begins their 1976 hot song, “Car Wash”. I was stationed in the Republic of the Philippines when it was out. My good buddy Bopie introduced it to me.

At least this one is task appropriate.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Musically, I’m living in the past. Not surprising, is it? The music from the past is more connected to me. I used it to celebrate, grieve, love, and learn.

I was also inundated by it in the past. I commuted everyday and took long road trips by car. Although listening to talk radio, sports, and books on tape competed for my attention, many hours were devoted to pop music, including rock.

I don’t commute much any more. COVID-19 has truncated my traveling opportunities. So, I’m less exposed to new music via radio. I could turn it on in the house, but I generally maintain silence through the day. I’m writing and reading, and not interested in distractions. Which is what all those things were on long drives and morning commutes: distractions from the tedium.

Anyway, this morning found me channeling the 1976 Doobie Brothers song, “Taking It to the Streets”. This is a response to the presidential debates last night. “Oh, you. Telling me the things you’re going to do for me. I’m not blind and don’t like what I think I see.”

I always like videos of live shows, when I can, so I’m sharing a 1982 video of their farewell tour. The band’s energy can often be vicariously experienced, and it makes me smile to see them all young and vibrant once again, you know?

Cheers

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