Sunday’s Theme Music

The time was 5:34 AM. Sunshine trickled over the hills and through whatever gaps the world offered, heralding the commencement of another day in Ashland, Oregon. Heat began its trickle a few hours later. Temperatures trickled into the seventies by the mid-morning and whispered about going into the mid-nineties.

It is Father’s Day in the U.S., June 20, 2021, a holiday officially recognized in 1972, a news moment that passed by my teenage head with little notice. I have no FD plans other than the standard Sunday through Saturday routines. Coffee, writing, some work around the house, maybe a short drive somewhere, perhaps more house painting before sunset is called at 8:50 PM. Dad is alive in Texas. I see him every few years. He calls me on my birthday and whenever he goes back into the hospital. He’s gone numerous times this year. Despite a young enthusiasm for Lucky Strikes and Camels, he didn’t see much of a hospital until he struck into his eighties. Now he’s a regular. I’ll call him later today. Did send a card. We’ll talk about cars and military service. It’s our common ground. He’s on his third marriage. This one has stuck, as they’ve gone past twenty years.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are in my mind with their 1981 song, “The Waiting”. “The waiting is the hardest part.” Yes, waiting to write is the hardest part for me, getting torn away from it by other requirements. No how life was planned. Didn’t have a plan, TBH. I was just winging that mutha.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get a vax. We’re almost at sixty-nine percent in Oregon, edging toward seventy jab by jab. The waiting until then…well, you get it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Sunrise greeted the valley at 5:34 AM on this Wednesday. Jays shouted about being the first to see it. A jay argument commenced about which jay shouted first. Weather will be more closely aligned to summer today. While it’s a cool 61 F now, forecasts and the sky’s demeanor point to temperatures in the mid 80s.

Today is Jun 16, 2021. Just a few days of spring remain. Also, you case you haven’t seen any ads on television or on the net, and haven’t gotten any emails about the subject, Father’s Day is coming up. Prepare accordingly. By the way, the sun will flee the valley as the world turns at 8:49 PM.

Our county of Jackson has met the threshold to be declared a moderate threat in COVID-19 terms. Cases and deaths are steadily declining. Still a max of six per table for inside dining at restaurants, but eight per table are allowed outside. Retail stores can go to 75% of capacity. Statewide, we’re at 68% of the pop being fully vaccinated. 70% is on the horizon.

“Land of Confusion” by Genesis (1986) boomed into my mental radio this AM. Not a surprising song for the day. Despite being dismissed in court, trump supporters continue to insist that trump won the election and that DJ will take office in August. No, there’s nothing in the Constitution that will cover this. Some 30% of Republicans believe this. DJT’s campaign is selling tickets to his inauguration event. The unreality is deep.

So, “Land of Confusion” works. Stay positive, test negative, get the vax, wear a mask as required, depending upon your vaccination status, city, state, and what you’re doing, and how many others in your party are vaccinated, whether anyone has recently tested positive for COVID-19, and what’s going on with breakthroughs. Here’s the tune. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Sunshine kicked the day open at 5:36 AM. Birds immediately entered talking and singing mode, testing new sounds. Cats continued as cats do. People variously leaped up to embrace the day, sighed and forced themselves out of bed, or whispered, “Just a little more sleep, please. Just a little more.” Those are a few of the ways the day’s beginning was addressed. It depended.

Planning was already underway to finish the day. Sunset would be at 8:42 PM. Many people find it easier to finish the day than to start it. For those struggling to get it going, caffeine often helps. Many imbibe it in tea or coffee. Some drink sodas. Adding sugar to the start up process enhances it for more than a few. It also can cause problems. People find that they’d consumed caffeine and sugar to get started. Now, at day’s end, they can’t stop.

Between those minutes when sunrise and sunset were declared, the day lurked. Many northern hemisphere areas have discovered that summer has arrived. Ways to beat the heat are conjured, just as ways to beat the cold were manifested back in the cold, dark months.

Today’s music choice is “Let It Rain” by Eric Clapton and Bonnie Bramlett, a song that came out on Clapton’s debut album to begin his solo career in 1972. Motivated by my preferences and needs, I’m thinking, let it rain, to the universe because my area would swallow fresh rain like a thirsty Steelers fan takes down a beer. After a couple days of high heat, we’d sinking into low heat. Highs are dropping from above 100 F or the upper nineties to the upper eighties. Leaves are turning brown and drying out. Hence my call, “Let it rain.”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as required, and get the vax. Masks are less and less required here. It’s a slow transformation. We’re like critters poking out heads out. Looking around, we tentatively remove masks. Eye others. Are they still wearing their mask? They vaccinated? The air is sniffed. Seems okay. We’ll see. We’ll see.

Here’s the music. Please enjoy. Cheers.

Thursday’s Theme Music

If you heard a sharp screeching sound earlier this week, it may have come from our area. The seasons hit the brakes on the weather. We had been warmly progressing toward summer. Nice weather, if you can get it. But then, some power shouted, “Hit the brakes! Reverse.” Temperatures scaled down the thermometer overnight, taking us into the mid thirties. Rain stormed in. Clouds unfurled, mocking the sun’s 5:45 AM arrival. While the sun is expected to hang until 8:30 PM, the temperatures won’t go much over fifty, they say. Enjoying the rain, though, and the snow in the mountains. We haven’t had enough of either. Give us more, please.

This is Thursday, May 20, 2021, in the valley where Ashland is homed, where I am homed. Our vaccination rate keeps climbing (knock on wood). We’ve climbed over fifty percent of peeps with at least one shot. Our local Family Y has set up a J&J one shot clinic, no appointment needed, all day when they’re open. As with most of these things, it’s not advertised well. All of my local friends and acquaintances are fully vaxxed, but I tell them so they can tell others. Pitter-patter, let’s get ‘er at ‘er, and get this thing done.

Reading about why people aren’t getting vaccinated brought Tracy Chapman’s 1995 song, “Give Me One Reason”, to mind. Vax hesitancy usually falls in four groups. Dominating it are those individuals who don’t believe that COVID-19 exists or have convinced themselves that it’s not that bad. A lot of them defiantly demand, “Give me one reason.” But, what’s the use? You don’t believe the news stories about survivors and deaths. What one reason can I give that’ll change your mind? I fear that if you’re one of those people, your mind won’t be changed until you’ve personally experienced COVID-19 hell.

For the music, I’ve selected a collaboration between Chapman and Eric Clapton recorded in 1999. It’s a different take, a little fatter on Chapman’s gem of a song. Stay positive, test negative, mask as necessary, and get the vax. Please. Here’s the music.

Monday’s Theme Music

Spring sunshine again bathes the valley this AM, with the sun beaming in at 5:48 AM and expecting to hang around until 8:27 PM. Today is Monday, May 17, 2021. Happy Syttende Mai! We’re helping Norwegians celebrate the 1814 day when Norway’s constitution was signed. Weather for Syttende Mai in Ashland expects to peak at 85 degrees F again today. It cools at night but rain would be nice, you know?

Today’s music is inspired by food. I know it’s not fashionable to complain about having food to eat, but I’m weary of our recurring menu. Yeah, I know it’s first world blues. Though nutritious and I’m grateful to have food, it’s gotten stale. This is amplified by the tedium of routines. I want other food in other places, feel me? Sure, you do. Thinking about this conundrum — I have food but I’m weary of the entrees — I began singing, “Day after day.” That triggered Bad Finger to rise from my mental recesses to sing along to their 1971 hit, “Day After Day”.

Maskwise, I’ve chosen to continue wearing the mask as I’ve been doing. Frankly, there’s a percentage of population who didn’t want to wear a mask, don’t want to be vaccinated, don’t believe that COVID-19 is an issue, and don’t care if others get it or die from it. That’s what I take from their actions and behavior, at least. I have no doubt that these people will lie and say they’ve been vaccinated and not wear a mask, and give more life to the virus. As I’m vaccinated, my primary concerns arise around breakthrough cases or being an unwitting carrier spreading it to others. I’ll give it ten days to see if we have a new spike, and if vaccinations continue at the same pace in the meanwhile.

My resolution about masking for now firmed this morning. The spouse was on her Zoom exercise class. This was prior to the actual class, when people were joining and chatting. One woman admitted to being embarrassed. Her adult son said he’s not getting vaccinated. His reason: he doesn’t like people telling him what to do.

So, stay positive, test negative, figure out what to do about a mask, and get vaccinated, for crying out loud. What an interesting expression that last is, you know?

Here’s the music. Ciao.

Sunday’s Theme Music

The daily can of sunshine was opened up on Ashland, Oregon at 5:49 AM on this Sunday, May 16, 2021. Said can will close at 8:26 PM. That sun comes with a mildly hot flavor. We expect temperatures in the mid to upper eighties in our part of the valley. All the clouds have departed to other areas, leaving us with blue sky as far as vision takes us.

Today’s theme music is “Changes” by Yes (1983). And why not? After a year plus of wearing masks, changes are suddenly being distributed.

Change, changing places
Root yourself to the ground
Capitalize on this good fortune
One word can bring you round
Changes

h/t to Genius.com

Stay pos, test neg, keep up to date on the changes, and get the vax. Enjoy the music, and your day. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Sunshine came busting in all ablaze at 5:50 AM this Saturday morning, May 15, 2021. Their twin, Sunset, is likely to sneak away at 8:25 this evening. Between, comes weather. Yesterday’s weather iteration brought us sunshine. 83 degrees F. Clouds. Thunder. Lightning. Cold air. Petrichor. Could today do the same? One never knows with weather. Fickle as a drunk, is weather.

Music today comes out of 1981. “Invisible Sun” by The Police struck a mental chord as I thought about COVID-19 statistics. That connection was made when I thought about government charts.

I don’t want to spend my time in hell
Lookin’ at the walls of a prison cell
I don’t ever want to play the part
Of a statistic on a Government chart

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

As for COVID-19 locally, we jumped back on for another ride up and down. 7-day average continues falling but then you get a day that leaps back into the forties and think, “Damn. Thought we were done with that.” Mask wearing is the topic. Is it safe without masks? Many declare they’ll continue wearing them while a large percentage immediately whisked their masks off. We’ll see what’s what in about ten days, I think. That’ll give time to see if people immediately stripping away their masks sends us a new spike of cases.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask when needed, and get the vax. Please get the vax. Please.

Friday’s Theme Music

At about 5:51 AM on May 14, 2021, the sun walked onto the Ashland stage and said, “Hello. Welcome to Friday.” Birds burst out in song. Cats and dogs yawned. Many people turned over and privately promised themselves, “Just one more minute of sleep.” The sun will continue walking across Ashland until 8:21 PM, sprinkling warm sunshine across people’s shoulders, animals’ fur, flowers, and others who ask for it. Vowing to keep it cooler than the past several days, the sun said, “Today’s high in Ashland will be about seventy-seven degrees.” Polite but scattered applause answered except for one woman who kept yelling, “Woooo!”

The mind channeled a 1975 Eagles song to the forefront. “One of these Nights” made it to number one that year. It came into my head last night because I was thinking about what I want slash need slash should do. I promised myself that I would, “One of these days.” That morphed a little sloppily into “One of these things is not like the other,” because of the things that I was addressing. But breathing in the cool dark air while admiring the stars and thinking about what’s out there, out came the Eagles song.

Stay positive, test negative, and get the vax. Wear a mask? Well, we’ll see. CDC and state guidance is changing in the U.S. Some are dubious. Others are exuberant. I slide the spectrum between the two.

Have an excellent day — or night — wherever you are. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Welcome to the day, by international standards, which is the fourth day of the week, Thursday. We count Sunday as the first day of the week in my house, so Thursday is the fifth day of the week. Regardless, it is May 13, 2021. Sunrise, by scientific observation, came to Ashland at 5:52 AM and sunset will follow at 8:20 PM. Outside, we’re expecting a dry, warm, spring day, with temperature pushing into the lower eighties.

We saw 40 new cases of COVID-19 in Jackson county yesterday, continuing the roller-coaster trend. Our seven-day average has declined to thirty. Thirty-six percent of Oregonians are fully vaccinated. Almost fifty percent have had at least one shot.

Dreams were of a wide variety last night. They featured a great deal of domesticity like shopping and house-cleaning, but also trended to having broken machines (like vacuum cleaners) and broken remote controls. Must go through the debrief about what it’s all about.

Today’s music choice comes from Chris Rea. Released in 1986, “Let’s Dance” was a small hit in the U.S. for him but made into the top ten in several other countries. I always like the jaunty tune. Feels optimistic. That summarizes my mood: optimistic.

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

Further Friday Frustrations

  1. Besides COVID-19, the drought and the threat of wildfires, we’re wondering about how the crazy worms will affect us.
  2. I’m also concerned that I’m not cheugy.
  3. Well, not that concerned.
  4. I’ve been accepted by Medicare. As a military retiree of a certain era, I’m covered by Tricare. Tricare requires me to get Medicare A and B when I turn 65. That happens in July. I applied when I became eligible. A few days later, I was accepted. Meanwhile, I receive phone calls, emails, and snail mail from individuals and companies offering to help me navigate making my Medicare choices. It’s another industry. Everything becomes an industry, and as you reach certain milestones, they make you aware of it. It used to be that my junk mail was all about buying a new car, shopping for clothes, or taking vacations. Now it’s about hearing aids, funeral services, Medicare, reverse mortgages, and Viagra.
  5. Of course, there’s a few new industries afflicting all of us who own a home or car. We receive regular phone calls about our car and home warranties. In our house, we don’t answer the phone unless we recognize the number. The other industry that’s aggressively chasing us is insurance against our water pipes bursting in our yard. A WaPo article says, in essence, yeah, it’s another scam.
  6. I think one of my cats has short-term memory issues. Whenever Boo encounters our other cats, Papi and Tucker, he reacts like, “OMG, who the hell are you?”
  7. To mitigate the fire threat in our town, a ‘firewise’ program has been established. Basically, don’t use any bark mulch on the ground. Don’t grow any flammable plants within five feet of the house. Store wood products that you might have at east thirty feet from the house. Trim back all branches so they’re not touching the house or close enough for flames to leap from the tree to the roof. Get rid of wooden decks, wooden fences, conifers and blackberries. Walking around Ashland, I can see that the program has made little progress. We were affected by a fire last year. There were actually three fires on the same very windy day. All three were started by individuals. The firewise program can’t address the wind or deliberate fires.
  8. They also tell us to keep your plants watered so they don’t dry out and become fuel, but we’re in an extreme drought, so hey, there’s little water to water plants. The only option appears to be to pull out all your plants except those of a desert variety and put small stones or pebbles in your yard to help reduce moisture. Of course, I’m also exploring polymers that are supposed to help the soil retain moisture.
  9. Delivering decorative bark (or mulch) had become a growing industry. Go to any hardware store’s garden area and there’s bags and bags of variations. Blower trucks will load up and come to your house and spread it for you with a giant reverse vacuum cleaner. Now, I suspect a new industry, to vacuum it all back up, will begin taking root.
  10. I thought that killer bees and murder hornets were bad. Now we can add crazy worms to the list of things nature has devised to make the world more interesting. The MSN story says, “Pick one up, and you’ll see why, as the creepy-crawly jerks, writhes and springs out of your hand. (It may even leave its tail behind, as a grim souvenir.) And now, scientists are finding the wrigglers have spread to at least 15 states across the U.S.” They resemble regular worms and are bad for the soil.
  11. I have a crazy cat. I really don’t want crazy worms.
  12. My wife is on her weekly coffee clatch call. Pre-COVID-19, they’d meet after exercise class every M-W-F. Their pandemic compromise is to meet every Friday after exercise class. They have a good time. Lots of laughing. I hear her now talking about her sagging breasts and my drooping scrotum. I’d told her that my sack hung in the water in the hotel toilet during our visit last week. Disgusting, right? Once you feel and know it, you can take action by not sitting all the way down. This is another reason why I prefer to stand and pee, even though I’m cursed with a forked stream. Aging. There’s always something.
  13. Haven’t smelled any skunk for over thirty days, yeah, knock on wood. I’m superstitious that way. Haven’t smelled the skunk, or sighted one, but my wife reports that she heard a thump last night for the first time in weeks. Time to block the entry (again) and see what happens. I would mount my camera but it has quit working. I’ve not been able to reset it and connect it nor receive any images from it. I don’t want to buy a new one because, waste. We’re such a throw-away consuming society. It’s frustrating.
  14. Being cheugy doesn’t offend me. And, from what I understand, I am cheugy. Apparently emerging from TikTok, cheugy is the new ‘square’, a way of saying something is passé, or out of it. Tres important, right? I’m bothered by too many other things, like crazy worms and skunks under the house, to think about being trendy.
  15. Got my coffee. Time to go write like crazy at least one more time. Before the crazy worms get here. We’re already full up on crazy. Even bought a warranty. It was offered on the phone.

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