Thursday’s Theme Music

“Out in the fog, the fog dancers begin moving. They only appear when it’s foggy. The thicker the fog, the more fog dancers there will be. They want humans to come out, walking in the fog, so the fog dancers can grab them and make them one of their own. If you become a fog dancer, you’ll dance for the rest of your life and never see sunlight again.

“That’s why I don’t go out in the fog.”

I don’t remember this, as I apparently did it on a whim, but my sisters insist that I told them this story when I was about twelve. My three youngest sisters said the fog terrified them for years. They said that I also said that adults know about this and that’s why they don’t go out into the fog. It worked well because Mom would always say, “Oh, I don’t like the fog,” and shiver whenever she looked out and saw fog.

As I said, the sisters claim that I told them this, and I don’t doubt them. Sounds like me. I think of it today because pretty deep fog is out there. Some trees and bushes look like fog dancers.

Remember the movie, The Fog? The sisters said that as soon as they heard of that movie, they remembered my tale.

It’s December 22, 2022. Just three days before the C holiday. And then, boom, the after Christmas shopping rush begins. It’s nutty.

36 F out there today, with timid sunshine squirming through the fog. S’posed to rain today. That’s the weather rumor. 49 F is to be our high before the sun peters out of the valley at 4:42 later today, just seven hours and five minutes after the sun kicked over the eastern mountains.

Got “Rockafeller Skank” by Fatboy Slim from 1988 occupies the morning mental music stream. I know exactly when The Neurons turned it on this morning. I’d raised the blinds, looked out and saw the fog. The Neurons responded to this by opening, “Right about now, the funk soul brother, check it out now, the funk soul brother.” Fog and funk. Sure, makes sense. I think The Neurons are losing it on some days, but I enjoy the song. Not many lyrics and easy to learn. I had a friend a few years after this song was released who always insisted, “That’s not really music.”

Stay positive and test negative.

Sunday’s Theme Music

It’s an auspicious Sunday morning. Fox Sports viewers are still reeling from an extreme closeup of Michigan’s Coach, Jim Harbaugh, delivered by a ref cam on television yesterday. Oh, the humanity!

December 4th has its hands around us. Mild weather in our valley is putting on airs. 40 F now, we anticipate a high that exceeds (or not) 49 F. Mostly cloudy, with the sun playing peek-a-boo with us, the ground is wet from nocturnal rain, and those clouds are saying, “Seriously, we might let loose with some water again. Don’t laugh. We mean it.”

DIY plans have gone awry. The microwave went out again last week. New parts were ordered. They arrived yesterday. Soon as I picked up that box, I knew the right parts weren’t within. The box weighed about eight pounds, which seems heavy for a door microswitch and a plastic switch holder. Emails were sent. Replies are awaited. The cats are watching the skies for carrier pigeons from customer service.

Other DIY plans are going well as new interior seals are put on the windows. Tiny measures like that make a huge difference. The house feels so much snugger and cozier. Yes, I did procrastinate on getting that done. It was overdue. I blame the cats for that.

With a weather break and the winds dissipated, both cats are out on sentry, one each covering the front and back approaches. News of a local cougar killing a pet cat has us on edge. Previous reports were out but this time, cyclists witnessed the cougar with the cat in mouth. That seems pretty accurate.

The Neurons have “Let It Roll” by Little Feat (1988) pumping through the morning mental music stream. It’s funny that this is the song that ended up there. Yes, funny, ha, ha. I was thinking of my novel in progress, pondering where the muses were going to take me. I feel like I have a blindfold on. They’re standing around me, giggling and smothering their laugher, telling me what to do. My response is, yeah, let it roll. Let’s see how it rolls out. But a number of artists come to mind when the song lyrics ‘let it roll’ go by. Foremost is usually BTO — yeah, Bachman Turner Overdrive for the uninitiated — urging, “Let it roll! Down the highway. Roll. Roll.” I speculate that the weather has The Neurons in a Germany state of mind. I was stationed in Germany for a few years in the late eighties. Weather there was often overcast. Seeing this weather reminded me of those German days. That’s when this Little Feat song came out.

Coffee time! Stay positive and test negative. Mask up as needed. Be smart about it. I know most are beyond weary. I understand. The vulnerable remain vulnerable, though. Sure, that’s their problem, right? Uh, huh. Sure.

Wait, the cats are clamoring for re-entry. Yep, the clouds came through. Light rain falls.

Here’s the tune. Enjoy. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

6:40 AM. I was outside looking for the sunrise. Cold and dark, no sign of sunshine stood out in the east. Sunrise was due at 7:20 but the impending event was being kept on the downlow.

Saturday, September 24, 2022, has been tagged. Less than a week of the year’s ninth month remains before 2022’s final quarter begins, the dreaded and dreamed upon fourth quarter. Dominated by the holiday season in the U.S., it’s a period heavy with sales, parties, and consumption. Yes, I don’t embrace the season with high spirits and open arms. But it’s the world we’ve created.

Meanwhile, it’s 45 F today, high of 18 C projected, sunset at 7:23 PM, providing us with twelve hours and three minutes of daylight.

Our family’s big news is Mom’s return home yesterday. First day went very well. She looks and sounds so much better, and ate well. Fingers crossed, knock wood, that it continues like this. Her foray through her inventory of daily medications stunned me. Morning, evening, night, sometimes taken multiple times a day, pills for everything were prescribed. Charts and pill cases keep it straight but it’s a mind-numbing collection.

I’ve tested negative for COVID now, but mild coughing and congestion continues. Did resort to two Tylenols last night, but no tissues were used last night, no cough drops consumed, only one glass of water down. Slow progress but progress counts. Other family members continue to test positive but everyone is feeling and doing much better.

Novel writing in this environment has been a challenge. I fight to eke out a page each day around the swirl of activity. Frustrating, yes, as thinking, attention, and continuity take hits.

“Chains of Love” by Erasure, a 1988 hit for them, occupies the morning mental music stream. The Neurons brought it up from the memory banks as I reflected on when to return home. Chains of responsibility, duty, concern, and love keep me staying with Mom in her home, but I have all of those out west with my wife and cats, who I miss. My wife and I exchange emails and speak on the phone. She’s doing well — they’re doing well. She says, stay as long as you want, as long as you’re needed. I’d like to go back to my beloved and to my routines, but these chains keep me here. It’s all metaphorical, of course. Leaving is my choice at any time. It’s another aspect of my fortunate life.

Stay positive, test negative, and so on. Take care of yourselves and your loved ones and community. Coffee? Not yet. The household is still asleep. Here comes the sun. Here’s the tune.


1988 Dream

I kept encountering an error message. Sometimes it was written on a printout: [Error 1988: Michael does not exist]. I saw it in emails and text messages. Sometimes it was also spoken in the same voice my Roomba makes an announcement: “Error 1988: Michael does not exist.” As this happened, I was hurrying down hallways, looking over my shoulder, and pushing on doors, trying to find one that opens, hunting for an exit.

But, in one sense, it was understandable. On vacation, a person who needs isolation and solitude, who enjoys writing as their escape and therapy, who is forced to spend almost eighty percent of their time with other people, will end up dreaming about escape.


The question is, why those numbers?

Sunday’s Theme Music

The basics are, it’s Sunday, July 17, 2022, 19 C with a clear blue sky. Sunrise was established at 5:49 AM. The world’s turning gives us an 8:44 PM sunset. They say the local high will be 89 F. For the week, we’re looking at highs in the high 80 F to low 90s rage, eminently livable.

Beyond those basics, it’s not looking good for local produce. The weather was just too wacky and misaligned from the growing season. Nothing showed up on our neighbors’ peach and cherry trees beyond leaves. No blossoms and fruit ever arrived. We’ve heard similar tales from others. The blackberries, which are generally plentiful, disappeared after a week. Meanwhile, heat and flooding is afflicting crops elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe is enduring a killer heatwave. Triple digit temps are challenge Texas’ and their ability to cope with increased heat. China is facing extreme heat. What are the connections to these things? Health risks. I suspect climate change, but this is one year. More data is needed. I suggest the patterns and data of other years clears the situation and shows the trends. But I’m not a scientist.

The Neurons planted Tracy Chapman’s 1988 song, “Talkin’ ’bout a Revolution”, into the morning mental music stream. The song’s genesis on this morning can be traced back to a Friday conversation about electric cars and their growing prevalence. As Le Neruons awoke, they caught on to someone commenting about a revolution, which brought up Chapman’s lyrics:

Don’t you know?
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like a whisper

h/t to

Got my coffee. I urge you to stay positive and test negative. Hard during our trip, honestly. While social spacing was the norm, recognized and respected at almost every venue and moment, the unmasked to masked ratios at most locations was about ten to one. Our traveling companions weren’t masked. But we — my spouse and I — were masked. But then, our traveling companions were not. So, while eating and driving, we were exposed. But to what were we exposed? Nothing? Or the virus? Which variation? My writing has ground to a halt because I’m not going to coffee shops to write. Frustration has reached eleven (see This is Spinal Tap for greater understanding.) Writing at home becomes debilitating as interruptions pile up and continuity is fractured.

Well, I must persist. He’re the music. Cheers

On a WP side note, WP kept removing ‘Talking ’bout A Revolution’ after I added it to the tags. Don’t know why, but it happened SIX TIMES.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Typical Tuesday for late April. Sun and clouds are pugilistic about who will rule the sky. The clouds were here first, they said, pointing out that the sun didn’t get there until 6:14 AM. “That’s the point,” the sun replied. “I’m only going to be here until 8:04 today while you clouds are coming and going as you please. Shouldn’t I have the sky while I’m here.” They were still arguing when the seasons came in and started putting in their points.

It’s April 26, 2022. Just five more shopping days until May 1!

I have the song “Mother” by Danzig (1988) circling the morning mental music stream. I was watching the new season of “Russian Doll” on Netflix, and they used the song. Well, the neurons reacted by saying, “I haven’t heard this in so long,” and latching onto it like a kitten taking a nipple. So here I am.

The song was a protest to labeling music for content and made a big splash when it arrived. As many noted, the labels warning children that there was sex and violence, or drugs mentioned in the song, prompted more interest in the music. As many told me later, “I didn’t even know “She Bop” by Cyndi Lauper was about masturbation.” All of that was part of a larger anti-pornography movement. Now, of course, we have the web, which casts a whole different kind of shadow over the world.

Stay positive, test negative, follow the CDC advice, etc. Here’s the music. A cup of coffee is summoning me to the other room. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

At first, I was contemplating a bland sky. One gray, undecorated sheet cake dominated, and had since sunrise at 6:24 this morning. Then, at ten, clouds tore apart and sunshine made a blazing, grand entrance. Twenty minutes later, clouds discreetly covered the sunshine once again. I think the day’s script can be summarized as ‘variable’.

Today is April 19, 2022, a Tuesday, as it happens. It’s 46 F now and the ground is wet with drying rain. Snow caps the higher ridges and mountains. Our valley’s high is expected to go no further than the low fifties, with most saying that it’ll be 52, but we might see 53 or 54, depending on small local shifts. Sunset will be at 7:57 PM.

I have the Traveling Wilburys in the morning mental music stream, a result of my wife relating a conversation about her coffee peers being ignorant about who the Traveling Wilburys were. The Wilburys were an ad hoc supergroup made up of Tom Petty, George Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, and Bob Dylan. The guys were friends, lived near one another, and come together as friends to make music, using guitarist and sound engineer Dave Stewart’s home (his kitchen, for a large part of it), as their base.

I shrugged off the others’ ignorance about the band. The coffee mob members are a few years older than my SO, music tastes vary, and much of pop culture depended upon what radio station your car was on and your commuting habits in the late 1980s. So, you know, not knowing about them isn’t a big shocker.

Anyway, a Wilbury favorite for me is “Dirty World” from 1988, where they play with words and consumer ideas. Lot of fun.

Here’s the music. I’m going to forage for coffee in the kitchen. Later, gator.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

We’ve reached another milestone, a day that ends in ‘y’. This one is a Tuesday.

It’s March 29, 2022, for those of you playing calendar bingo. Sunrise came at — ta da! — 6:59 AM. Sunset will be at 7:33 PM.

A weak sunrise was experienced, one like a cup of tea made with a tea bag that’s already serviced a dozen cups as tattered rain clouds still harrumphed across the blue. We had a few stretches of steady rain yesterday, one bit of that which hit five on the Floof Scale. I always use the Floof Scale to measure precipitation. A five meant, find cover, it’s coming down. Ten is head for high ground and hang on.

Average spring temperatures remain the norm. The digits sit at 48 F now. We expect 67 F today. Back out to weed this afternoon.

Today’s music was brought on by yesterday’s writing session. I’d been finger dancing on a kb for a while as the muses whipped my back and urged more writing, faster. Stopping for a breath, I discovered the digits said it was almost four PM. The day had slid past in a word sprawl. The neurons, catching on to my surprise about the time, began singing, “Time, time, ticking, ticking away,” repeating that chorus. They were testing me, of course. “The Last Worthless Evening”, Don Henly, 1988, The End of the Innocence, I told my neurons. To reward me for getting it right, they started playing the song, and now it’s stuck in the morning mental music stream.

Stay positive, test negative, and remain alert to what’s going on. Here’s the music. I’m gonna go treat the neurons to a cuppa java. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Dawn broke the darkness at 7:39 AM. Its light had been stealing in like a child sneaking up to take a cookie that they weren’t supposed to take. But it officially came at 7:39. The backside comes at straight up 5 PM.

Today is January 11, 2022. This will be the only day this year with that date. Make it a special day in honor of its uniqueness. Our temperatures remain warm, 40 F at dawn, 52 now, on our way to 58 to 60. A faded winter sky overlooks a fusion landscape of fall and spring, bare trees and new growth.

I have Steve Winwood’s 1988 song, “Don’t You Know What the Night Can Do?”, parading through the morning’s mental music stream, a reflection of a night of vivid dreams and contemplations about spectrums — the spectrum of time, life, and biology. How the night can change a mood is impressive. One can fall into sleep, awaken a zillion hours later and feel fantastic. Not what the night can do, per se: don’t you know what a good night of sleep can do?

In other news, scientists are using the idea of warm balls as a possible male contraceptive. There are some limits: “In the hotter tests of the experiment, however, the balls atrophied, and in some—depending on how much iron oxide was injected, and how hot the nuts got—showed “distinct black discolorations” and the testes were “severely damaged at 7 days.” If they were cooked above 113 degrees, the balls didn’t recover.” Imagine contraceptive underwear being offered for sale at Target as a holiday stocking stuffer.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax and boosters. Excuse me, I’m gonna refresh my coffee. Here’s the music, with a little Letterman and Schaffer. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Someone used a palette knife to spread white from horizon to horizon over our heads. A few dabs and streaks of black and dark blue were blended in to prompt wonder, will it rain?

It’s Friday, October 1, 2021. Time to turn the page on your calendar. Hold on while I do mine.

It’s also World Smile Day. Let’s give them something to smile about. Sunrise shuffled in at 7:08 AM. It’ll shuffle out as the world turns at about 6:53 PM. While here, warmth that’ll rise all the way to 76 F will be experienced. For now, it’s 56. Air is clear, though, with an AQI of…1. Huzzah!

With all this talk of smiling on the net — did you know that today is World Smile Day? — the morning mental music stream is pulling in songs that feature smiles and smiling as part of its lyrics. After a bit, I thought “Cult of Personality” (1988) fits the need. After all, we’re still suffering in the shadow of a cult of personality here in ‘Murica, where an ex-POTUS’s lies and general BS continues to pollute the political realm and freeze meaningful movement in multiple areas. I posted this Living Colour song back in 2017 as the theme song. I highlighted these lyrics from the song back then:

I sell the things you need to be
I’m the smiling face on your TV
I’m the cult of personality
I exploit you, still you love me
I tell you one and one makes three

They still fit.

Stay positive. Test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax and boosters. Here’s the music. Enjoy your day. Smile.

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