Saturday’s Wandering Thought

He read about the droughts in England, Italy, and France. Fires in France rage. Italy’s Po River is drying up. Meanwhile, toxic chemical waste in the Oder River in Poland and France is causing a huge fish die off. Drought has caused the River Thames source to move East.

Parts of Australia are suffering drought and low precipitation. A record heatwave in July baked the US. Wildfires burn in the US, including Hawaii, as fifty percent of the country experiences drought. America’s west is suffering from a record megadrought. Record floods caused massive damage in Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks. The Colorado River is drying up. Lake Mead is at its lowest level since 1937. Lake Powell is dropping to deadpool status, where the water level will be too low for water to flow from the dam. Flooding in Kentucky and West Virginia caused death and substantial damage. Investors are scrambling to exploit the exposed earth as glaciers melt and recede.

World food prices are going up as crops dry up and wither, weather disasters strike, and harvests shrink.

Reading all this news, he thought of Billy Joel’s 1989 song, “We Didn’t Start the Fire”. In Billy Joel’s song, they were at least trying to fight it. Too many now seem to be fighting against fighting it.

Monday’s Theme Music

We’ve been plopped into a Monday, in a very merry month of May, on a day — 23 — in a year — 2022. For most of us, it feels about the same as the day before, except, you know, the ones who lost something or someone the day before, or the ones whose crimes were revealed, whose cheating was exposed. Also different for those who awoke to gunfire and explosions.

Here in Ashland, the sunrise came at 5:43 and sunset will take place in our valley at 8:33 PM. It’s 57 F and a high of 77 is anticipated. Clouds? Yes, we have no clouds. The cats are happy. This is floof weather.

The morning neurons didn’t drop a song into my morning mental music stream. I went looking for one. I’d met to do this before, but one thing led to another, and the next thing that I knew, a few weeks had shot by underfoot. Remembering today, I sought out “Hey, Hey, Rise Up” by Pink Floyd. Released in 2022, it’s base on the Ukrainian anthem, “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow“, and features the Ukrainian singer Andriy Khlyvnyuk. David Gilmour wrote the song to support Ukraine and its people as they fight against the Russian invasion.

Stay positive, test negative, and so on. Rise up, vote, make a difference. Help set us on a better path, one where equality, freedom, and rights are respected. And yes, I’m pro-choice: her body, her choice. Not my business.

Forward, he cried from the rear. Forward. Now, I’m off for coffee. Can’t move forward without my coffee. Here’s the music. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Time is suddenly slowed for me. Like I was on Chronos Highway, speeding along, making, um, good time, when suddenly everything slowed down. Wonder how many others are feeling it?

Today is Friday, May 20, 2022. Sunrise spidered in through leafy boughs at 5:45 this morning. Sol will skedaddle from these environs at 8:30 PM.

It’s a clear sky, empty of clouds, but haziness hovers on the western horizon. Reflecting that clear sky, temperatures dropped to 35 F last night and sit at 42 now. We expect a high of 68 F. The cats are out digging the sunshine. I told them, “Don’t you put holes in the sunshine.” They were like WTF you talkin’ ’bout?

The neurons put nothing into the morning mental music stream. First no dreams are remembered, and then the neurons abandon their musical motif. Interesting Friday. Well, I lie a bit. The neurons did have “Time Is On My Side” sliding around the music stream for about seventeen seconds. I sat and wondered, what song should I put out there today? As I did, I came across a video of Tears for Fear playing “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” in 2022. With the primary elections in full swing in the U.S., Ukraine trying to fend off Russia, Putin threatening Finland and Sweden, Turkey saying “Nyet” to NATO, the GOP trying to undo established precedent and foster election corruption, and billionaires attempting to become trillionaires, I thought, “Why that’s a perfect song for this age and time, innit?”

Sure, the neurons said, yawning. Go for it. Which I did.

Regardless of the little neurons’ mood, I’m going for coffee. Care to come? Here’s the music while you decide. Cheers

An Easter Memory

Preparing for an Easter brunch with friends prompted my neurons to pull up a memory. I was young, in my crewcut years. Honing in on the period, I was living in Wilkinsburg, PA, attending Turner Elementary School on Laketon Road, and going to my grandparents’ house in Irwin for Easter. So, it was 1964 and I was seven going on eight.

Dad was in Turkey or Greece on military assignment. He and Mom were divorced, and she was now a single mother working as a Bell Telephone operator, raising me and two sisters. I was the middle in this child sandwich. Mom and my Dad’s parents coordinated an Easter visit, probably so Mom could work the holiday and get the extra pay. She went all out that year, buying us new Easter clothes. It was a suit for me – blue and cream houndstooth jacket with a smart dark blue vest which matched my dark blue pants. I wore a clip-on tie. Black and white photographic evidence exists somewhere, but they’re in boxes on shelves in the garage that require an expedition along the lines of an archaeological expedition looking for a lost civilization, so it’ll need to hold for another day. On that Easter morning, we found three enormous baskets waiting for us. We were spoiled children, so there were large chocolate bunnies, jelly beans, peeps, marshmallow eggs, hard-boiled eggs which we’d dyed the day before, and a large coconut chocolate egg, all in pink, yellow, and green baskets with fake green grass made out of fine, shiny plastic. After discovering our baskets, we hunted for eggs around the apartment and then dressed in our new duds. My Uncle Bill, Dad’s youngest brother, picked us up in his brown Plymouth Fury and conveyed us to grandma and grandpa’s where we dined with all the area aunts, uncles, and cousins. Grandpa prepared his favorite, a ham. He baked one whenever he had a chance. (Uncle Bill would trade in that Fury in a few years and buy a year-old dark green Dodge Charger that had me and my friends drooling on its vinyl bucket seats. It was such a cool car.)

Mom joined us after dinner. The adults told us to go play or watch television while they gathered in the dining room for card games, focusing on the traditional family favorite, Tripoli. They were all smoking back then – Pall Mall, Lucky Strike, Kent, Kool. Several adults enjoyed beer such as American lagers like Iron City and Stroh’s, but whiskey sours were also very popular.

Yes, it’s my favorite memory. Smelling a Pall Mall or one of those other cigarettes whisks me right back there. It’s rare that such smoke touches my nose in these days. As for those beers, I found them light and tasteless. Over in Japan, I often indulged in beer from Australia and New Zealand. In Europe, I drank whatever was brewed in that country, but they had some excellent offerings everywhere. By the time I returned to the US, the craft brew industry was booming.

Today, though, brunch with friends outside, with the sun shining and laughter ringing across the yard, will be another favorite memory. Another favorite, but of another kind. Nobody smoked cigarettes. No alcohol was consumed. A potluck brunch, salmon was served with grilled asparagus along with several sorts of potato dishes, delicious quiches, fruit salad, and cinnamon muffins.

It’s a long, long way from Pittsburgh, PA, in 1965 to Ashland, OR, 2022.

Friday’s Theme Music

Spring must be ready to take the scene. My sinuses said something is in the air. I guess it could be love.

We’re getting ready to ‘spring ahead’ on our clocks this weekend in the U.S. Spring ahead and win a prize: one hour of ‘lost’ time. Where will you subtract your hour?

Today is March 11, 2022, Friday, in weekspeak. The sun came for our valley at 6:30 this morning, bold, bright, and welcome, dragging warmth out the cold air and earth. Twas 31 at my house this morning but now the desk weather station claims it’s 49 F. We saw 60 yesterday and anticipate 67 today. Looks like good walking weather. Might even do some yard-tidying and weed pulling. The sun will take its light and warmth and go on at 6:13 PM.

Today’s morning mental music stream inhabitant is “Livin’ On A Prayer” by Bon Jovi from 1986. It’s cat music. Yes, it’s a repeat from back when the coronavirus kicked in on a massive global scale While Papi seems very recovered, singing a rousing rendition of “The Breakfast Song” this morning, (and more than one verse), sick cat, whose RN is Boo (our bedroom panther), seems to be losing his cancer fight. I raise a glass to all the sick and diseased, fighting wounds, diseases, sickness, and chronic pain, and their caretakers.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vaxes and boosters when you can, and send out some peace energy toward Ukraine and its people. Send them some hope that the invaders won’t kill or maim all of their people, that all of their buildings and lives won’t be destroyed, that Russia will stop this assault on their rights and lives. Pray for them if that’s what you do. Ask the Universe to make Putin come to his senses, or for Russians to rise up and rein him in.

That’s a lot to do. I’m gonna need more coffee first. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Good News

My cat Papi, aka Meep, Youngblood, the Ginger Blade, and the Ginger Flash, has been in the animal hospital for several days, suffering from concurrent inflammation of his pancreas, bile ducts, and liver, which is called traiditis. He’d not been eating, had vomited a few times, and wasn’t drinking water. After a few days of antibiotics, IV fluids, and rest, he finally ate last night and this morning. We can bring him home today.

It’s a relief. I shared the happy news with my big black and white boy, Tucker. “Good new, buddy. Papi is coming home.”

Tucker replied, “Who? What? What are you talking about?”

While Papi’s immediate threat has been countered, I’ll need to monitor his behavior and watch for a recurrence. Fingers crossed, this was a one-time thing, but you never know.

Thanks for all of your support. Look forward to bringing him home this afternoon at three. Just hasn’t been the same without him.

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