Welcome to Sunday, September 26, 2021. Sunshine folded through a starling’s egg blue sky at 7:01 AM. Twelve hours and one minute later, the sun will roll back out today. Our air quality is good after slipping into the moderate zone yesterday. Temperatures are wonderful, a low of 52 F overnight and a high about 79 this afternoon. No wind, no rain. Rain is anticipated tomorrow. It feels like a perfect day. After the summer’s smokiness, we’re all loving it. I think fall is becoming my favorite season, mostly because summers have become so miserable: hot (frequently over 100 F), dry, smoky.
Talking politics this morning with our houseguest. She’s as progressive as us, but she has some staunch conservative sisters. So she experiences frustration. We ended up talking about the anti-vaxxing movement in Florida. They are adamant against vaccinations with multiple reasons given. Some claim ther — and elsewhere — COVID-19 is overblown. A hoax. No worse than the flu. You’ve probably heard these things. Second, they don’t trust the vaccine. Unsure of long-term effects of the vaccine. Or, it’s the mark of the beast. Nevermind that the long-term effects of COVID-19 are growing rapidly clearer. Survivors aren’t always left without problems. But while doubting the science and decrying the vaccines, they’re eager for the monoclonal antibody treatment for anyone who gets COVID-19 because they’re not vaccinated against it. The bizarre logic quilt is dizzying. Dismaying.
So, we agreed, we need patience. After that, “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses from 1989. The song doesn’t apply to this situation. No. This power ballad is about a rocky relationship between a man and a woman. But its weary undertones fit well for this political era, the virus, national divisiveness, and the struggle to find the political will to achieve cohesive action. So it fits IMO.
Stay positive. Yes, it can be hard. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed, and get the vax, and boosters when available. Have some coffee. Hope you have an enjoyable day. Cheers
Punched the clock at sunrise, 6:50 AM. “Punched the clock.” Wonder if that’s one of those expressions that date me? I imagine they still have some timekeeping device at factories but don’t know if they use that term as part of the current vernacular.
Sunset is tentatively planned for 7:22 PM. Making it tentatively in case something happens between now and then. Don’t laugh; this is 2021. Strange things happen. Part of the whole 2020s vibe happening.
Today is Tuesday, 9/14/2021. We’re doing better with the air, still, causing a seasonal burst of optimism. Forecasts call for rain; the pulse takes up a raggae rhythm at the prospect. Highs are again expected to be in the low eighties. Overnight temps are falling low enough that the current house floofs, warmth and sun-lovers all, are staying in more often, finding somewhere to curl up and floofze away the time.
I have a song called “Roxanne” circulating the mental music stream today. No, it’s not the song by The Police. Nor is it “Rosanna” by Toto. This is a 2019 prap, or p-rap, (pop-rap) song by Arizona Zervas. That one chorus keeps playing.
All she wanna do is party all night
Never gonna love me, but it’s alright
h/t to Genius.com
Never saw the video until now. Has a Groundhog Day vibe to it. I assume that you understand that I refer to the movie and its theme of a day being repetitively experienced for reasons beyond our ken. Maybe I assume too much. Movies are pop-culture. What’s known and relevant to one segment is wholly unknown to another. The movie was released in 1993, and it’s American. Yet, with global communications, streaming, and re-runs, I would bet that it remains well-known. The movie’s concept of a day being repetitively experienced is a motif familiar to many during COVID-19 days. It’s how often seems as outside contacts and experiences are narrow and limited.
Here’s the music. Be safe, stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. I’ve gotten the vax. Now I follow “Tales of the Variant” and “Wonder About the Booster”. Cheers
First, standard warnings. The outside air is unhealthy. Recommend you avoid going outside. Don’t exert yourself outside. People with respiratory issues should take additional precautions.
COVID-19 positives cases remain high as vaccination rates continue to wane. ICUs are full. Wear a mask when outside your home, especially when in stores and restaurants. Social distance. The library is closed to browsing but there is front door service.
Welcome to Thursday, September 9, 2021.
It’s similar to Wednesday and Tuesday. Many of us wonder, when will this stop? The smoke. COVID-19. Drought. Water shortages.
Sunrise was at 6:44 AM. Sunset will be at 7:33 PM. Saw a big red-orange ball in the sky late yesterday afternoon. Purported to be the sun. And darkness did gather when it disappeared. So, cause and effect, must’ve been the sun.
Temperatures today will remain warm but not hot with a forecast high in the mid to open eighties.
A Wham song is rooted in the morning musical mental stream. This is a dream’s influence. I’m still sorting the dream. The song is “Everything She Wants” from 1984. I respect Wham and George Michael but their music wasn’t the sort I generally paid mind. But my female friends and wife looked their music so I heard it often. I’m still piecing together why it was in my dreamscape’s musical score.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the music and there’s my coffee. Cheers
We have landed on Tuesday, September 7, 2021. It’s not unexpected. Having been alive and conscious for most of the previous days, I have determined that the days follow a numbering sequence that begins when a new month arrives and then increases by one digit increments. As for the date, this society follows a norm that prescribed a standard order: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. Once it reaches Saturday, the pattern begins again with Sunday. It can be quite complicated. Fortunately device and paper trails have been created to help us track these parallel systems. On top of those days and dates, there are twelve months. Twelve months comprise one year. Oddly, there are three hundred sixty-five days, which correspond to the planet’s trip around the sun.
Sunrise came yet later again in this area. Apparently, this is part of that journey around the sun. Sunrise was at 6:42 AM. Sunset, coming earlier, will be at 7:45 PM. This is an area which experiences warmth during this season of year. Temperatures will be in the low nineties. It would be pleasing, with the sun and clouds, were it not for the dense smoke and woody smell afflicting the nostrils and eyes when outside. Being free of smoke and pollution is taken as a given for so many; we don’t realize how spoiled we are until we lose it.
We went grocery shopping this morning. A big shop. Enough food to last for a few days. We went during vulnerable hours at Costco and Trader Joe’s. Picked up some favorites and restocked essentials. People were masked for the most part. One unmasked woman kept my wife’s attention. Said wife fumed at the women. Why is she shopping without a mask during the vulnerable hours. There are numerous reasons why she might not have be masked at the store at that hour. I didn’t comment.
“The Look” is drilled into my mental music streaming structure, insinuating itself as a loop. This came about because my wife gave the maskless female shopper “The Look”. My wife’s look isn’t anything like the look mentioned in the song. The bouncy song is about a young female’s mesmerizing ways. My wife’s look is more about driving a stake through someone’s heart. But when I saw my wife give it, I started thinking about the song. Now the 1989 song by Roxette is on infinite loop. To release it requires me foisting it off on another. Don’t know why; that’s just how quantum music works. Apparently, once a song is released, someone, somewhere, must be playing it either in their head or physically. The more popular the song, the greater number of people doing this. Consider it musical quantum entanglement.
Stay positive and test negative. Wear a mask and get the vax. If you don’t believe in masks and COVID-19 vaccines and believe you know better than medical professionals about how to treat your COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home and do it, then. Why entangle others with your pseudo-knowledge? Here’s the music. Back to my coffee. Cheers
Greetings! Happy Labor Day in America! This is a holiday in the U.S. It’s one of the three-day weekend holidays. This was Congress’ gift to the country — particularly the travel industry — in 1968 as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act.
It’s September 6, 2021. Monday, of course. We’re not doing anything special for the holiday. Wildfire smoke and COVID-19 (and the current Delta variation that’s so virulent here in southern Oregon right now) have muted it for us. Might be different if we had family close to us.
Sunrise arrived at 6:41 AM. Sunset, when the Earth turns away from the sun, will come at 7:36 PM. And I think I need to go back and fix an assertion I made on a previous post that we’ve gone below twelve hours of daylight per day. Blame it on a lack of coffee. Or a lack of cogent thinking. Or poor math skills. Temperatures continue to rise but we’re not hitting crazy levels, topping out in the low nineties. AQI for this morning is 163, Unhealthy. We haven’t had a day rated as Moderate since August 25. They’ve all been unhealthy or extremely unhealthy since then, a fact known in many areas out here in the U.S. western states.
Rickie Lee Reynolds died. 72 years old. Heart attack. He was the Black Oak Arkansas guitarist. Black Oak Arkansas was a southern rock band with some glam influences in their stage performances. They came out with a cover of “Jim Dandy” in 1973, while I was a high school junior. Weirdly, I’d encounter this song often on diner and NCO Club jukeboxes for many years. And I’d play it. Which exasperated my wife. She doesn’t like the song. But it’s a throwback, innit?
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, avoid crazy cures like ivermectin, and get vaccinated. Have a enjoyable Labor Day, if that applies to you. Gotta get my coffee. Here’s the music. Cheers
Welcome to Saturday, September 4, 2021. Here in Ashland, smoke veils a cloudy spread. We’ll probably see 80 F in our area. The sun arose at 6:39 AM. Pearlescent hues on the cats and walls. Sun fade will be at 7:40 PM. The window of daily sunshine is closing.
After a week of noisy news, my soul seems spent. People are enduring some hard times in the U.S. from coast to coast, Canada to Mexico. Fires and flooding, hurricanes and tornados. Lies and more lies. And, yeah, COVID-19. People who otherwise fasten their seat belts, go through security with shoes off, without water, passing through metal detectors, who otherwise agree that public safety and security are important now can’t wear a mask. Others remain vaccine hesitant. They have their reasons, we’re told, and shouldn’t be mean to them. Meanwhile, others still find time to be racist and cruel. Murders and abuse continue.
I sort of chuckle, though. I’m reading HIlary Mantel. The Mirror and the Light. About Thomas Cromwell and that period. England. Henry VIII. Anne Bolyn’s beheading. Henry’s other wives. Conflict with the Pope. Empires and kingdoms. Dukes and ladies. The church and the state. Wars. Among it all, the poor, the starving, the diseased. We are better off now. I think where my disappointment builds is that we could be so much better. We should be so much better. Guess I watched too much Star Trek as a child.
Muse filled my mental music stream with “Uprising” from 2009. Specific lyrics.
They will not force us
They will stop degrading us
They will not control us
We will be victorious
h/t to Genius.com
Anyway. Test negative. Stay positive. Wear a mask as needed. Get the vax. Please. Here’s the music. Enjoy your day. I’m gonna enjoy my coffee. Cheers
September flourishes. Not. Yet, maybe. I feel like a pet chasing the little red dot as I pursue time and life. Damn if it isn’t quite elusive.
Today is Thursday, September 2, 2021. Sunshine began its warming, illuminating trend, red, gold, and orange through thin gray smoke, at 6:37 AM. The sun’s flight away, if like yesterday, will be a dirty peach at around 7:43 PM. The cooling trend given us by the seasons changing continues. High yesterday was only seventy-nine in my niche of existence. Today should be just 80 F. The cooler weather brings the cats in. That pleases me. I don’t like them being in the smoke. They have their own minds about where they go and what they do, though. They know how to floofnipulate me.
I’m reading of a number of disasters this morning. Flooding. Ida. New abortion law in Texas. SCOTUS ruling on it. Caldor Fire. Other wildfires. Smoke pollution. Tornados. COVID-19 deaths. Just the U.S. news so far. Well, it includes accusations about Afghanistan. Yes, we’re leaving a screwed up country after twenty years of war, many lives, and a huge chunk of money. Somehow, though, that becomes Biden’s fault. I mean, he has been in office for almost eight months. Eight months out of two hundred and forty, give or take. Yes, I see the reasoning.
Anyway, I end up with “Wasteland” by 10 Years (2005) in my morning mental music streaming. It’s a song about intentions. Inspired by someone dealing with drug addiction. We could easily make the case that the U.S. — even the world — is dealing with addiction. Addictions to greed. Money. Power. War. Addictions twist and malign intentions. Inculcate bad habits, policies, and practices. Bad results follow.
Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask. Get the vax. Unless your addictions to death, suffering, and hatred stop you. Here’s the music. Gonna go get some coffee. Don’t call it an addiction, though. Just a friendly relationship. Cheers
- Slippage in my personal use is about losing track. Time. Lists. Progress.
- Slippage is heavy when I’m writing. Clocks disappear from my LOS when I don the writing hat. I’m in that other world. Following characters. Contact tracing cause and effect. Studying dialogue. Typing, typing, typing, typing. Surprise overcomes me when I discover that I’ve been at it for an hour or two. My ass is sore. Numb. Coffee gone or cold. I’m hungry. Writing usurps everything. I feel satisfied when I’m done. And starving to do more. But other matters call.
- Because I have lists. Tasks. Chores. Necessary Actions for Modern Life. Balancing accounts. Paying bills. Buying food. Cleaning litter boxes. Talking to people. Socializing. It’s all so draining. Give me the damn keyboard and leave me alone.
- I tend to avoid writing long posts for these reasons. Keep it short and simple. Use energy for longer stuff for my writing projects.
- I feel like I’m suffering from low energy. Might have to do with the smoky situation outside. I peer outside the window and catch the sunshine and blue sky and become happy. Look forward to a walk. An hour later, the smoke has closed its tentacles on the street. Blizzard-like visibility develops. Step outside. Smell the stench. Feel the nostrils sting. The sinus headache begins. Eyes dry out. Energy fizzles. Spirit implodes.
- Could also have to do with COVID-19. We — our county — is one of the nation’s hotspots. As prominent anti-vaxxers and mask deniers sicken and die with COVID-19, my county’s citizens continue protesting. Masks are not effective, they claim. COVID-19 is not serious in their estimation. The vaccine can’t be trusted. These positions make going to the stores or anywhere else a daunting effort. We mask. Others don’t. Stores don’t enforce masks. They know they’re impotent against the unmasks’ illogical, contrarian positions. Wearying is an understatement.
- Beyond writing, struggling to do the things expected to keep the house and body clean and neat, and the modern demands of being responsible, I spend time reading. Finished Klara and the Sun (Kazuo Ishiguro) last week. I really enjoyed it. Loved the simplicity. The straightforward minimalism. Handed it off to my wife. She took it up and gave me the book she’d finished: The Mirror & The Light (Hilary Mantel). The styles between the books are so different. As are the stories being told. One is futuristic, science fiction. The other is historical fiction. Each are greatly entertaining. My wife wasn’t as fond of Klara as I was. Too much minimalism for her.
- Reading The Mirror & The Light keeps calling me back to C.J. Sansom and his Mathew Shardlake series. Not surprising in retrospect. Both cover the same English period from similar points of view. In many ways, it’s just like picking up two books of any other genre and reading and comparing them. Of course, that’s one reason why I like Lincoln in the Bardo so much or The Underground Railroad. Hard to find books that compare favorably with them. Likewise, how Louise Erdrich is able to tell stories with elegant prose and yet be gritty always amazes me. For crazy story-telling along the lines of ‘look-what-you-can-get-away-with’, I look to Lincoln & Childs and their Pendergast series.
- I’m also an information junkie. We subscribe to the NY Times and several other online periodicals. I must always be aware of time while pursuing information. It isn’t enough to just read their articles; no, I must find other opinions and sources to vet what’s being put out there. Then, of course, there are a dozen bloggers who I enjoy following. Always must track them and their latest.
- I have three cats. All ‘rescues’ or strays. Came to me for a visit and stayed for a life. Tried finding their people. In one case, Papi (our ginger tabby), we knew who the owners were. They left him behind when they moved. Deliberately. Cocksuckers.
- Boo, though, is problematic. Don’t know what went on in his past but it left mental and emotional scarring. Arthritis affects him. PTSD, too. Anything new – smell, sound, visitors, anything – sends him into a frenzy. He snarls and hisses at our other cats. His coat is matted. Embarrassing. Sure it’s not comfortable nor healthy for him. But we’ve only reached the point that he can be petted without hissing or snapping at us. Slowly introducing him to a brush. S-L-O-W-L-Y. Yet, he seeks me out. Sleeps against me. Comes to me for attention and food. Sleeps at my feet when I’m at my desk writing.
- TC — Tucker Cat — meanwhile has matured wonderfully. Went from battling with Boo to gracefully indulging his needs. Walks around him without disturbing him. He, too, sleeps with me. Loves it when I sit down to read. Is beside my laptop now as I type. Where he frequently is during the day.
- On my list of things to do is call my parents. They are divorced. Dad is remarried. Mom has a live-in fiancé . One lives in Pennsylvania. The other is in Texas. Both are retired with health issues. I worry about them constantly. They take appropriate precautions but still. You know, right? Yeah, you get it.
- My wife’s health also worries me. She’s suffered from RA for over twenty years. Wasn’t originally diagnosed, of course. No, that required over a decade of treatments, blood tests, imaging, and doctor visits. She loves exercising and dancing. She’s suffering a flare that’s truncated her ability to do those things. It also gives her foggy brain. She struggles to remember. Spell. Abstract concepts give her problems. So dismaying watching her decline. She’s more social than me. Since she can’t go out per usual (RA, smoke, COVID-19), I’m her conversation partner. I’m not particularly interested in socializing and conversing. Particularly when I’m writing. She’s become fond of Reddit streams such as Am I the Asshole and Facepalm. Feels compelled to share them with me. She’s also almost obsessive about local COVID-19 news and trends and must share them as well.
- Circumstances have curtailed my walking routines. Had a long streak of averaging 11.3 miles per day. I woas driving toward twelve. Then COVID. Then, smoke. I sometimes mask and go for a walk but always preferred walking when I had concrete destinations. Coffee shops to write was my standard. I do miss those days. My average has declined to nine miles per day. Most of it is running in place in the house, which just is not as entertaining.
- Enough of a break. Time to return to writing like crazy. But first, another cup of coffee, please. Black, of course. Cheers
Sunday arrived like a Monday morning, on time and as expected. Cool and smoky.
Today is August 29, 2021. This is it. If you vowed to do things during August — clean cupboards, fly to the moon, bake a cake for a friend, write a novel — you better find the go button.
Sunrise settled its glowing blanket over our dried out brown and green valley at 6:33 AM. Sunset will be 7:49 PM. Our high temperature will be in the mid nineties.
We have a few warnings for you today for Jackson County, Oregon, including Ashland. Excessive heat warning, so don’t go outside. COVID-19 is still raging out here, climbing to levels that bring the national news services to the area to write stories about how bad it is in hospitals, so don’t go anywhere without your mask. Also, the air is rated unhealthy to extremely unhealthy so don’t go outside unless you must. Masking is suggested. Also, don’t exert yourself too much while you’re out there. A red flag warning has been issued for fires, so you know, be careful and don’t use power tools outside. Finally, there’s a drought still underway, so don’t waste water. Other than these stipulations and limitations, feel free to go nuts.
My mind started the morning with pieces of dreams. Most of them evaporated, leaving me to look at fragments and wonder what was going on there, sort of like we do when ancient ruins or old family photographs are found. Then, I thought about “Friends”. Have you heard about this? It was a television show about a gang of people – a brother and sister, and, well, their friends and room mates, and work and relationship entanglements presented in a humorous way. I believe it’s called a ‘sitcom’. On NBC in the states for a while. It’s also been on reruns sometimes after it went out of production. Anyway, I was thinking about the friends’ parents. Liked how the parents were written into their lives and relationships, and the actors who played the parents, but I was thinking mostly about Chandler’s father, played by Kathleen Turner.
Whew. Got that out of my system. I then checked out the landscape, thought about the situation, and concluded, Jesus, get me out of here. That prompted the Gospel song turned rock hit, “Jesus Is Just Alright” to kick off in the morning’s mental music stream. After re-acquainting myself with the DC Talk version and the Byrd’s version, I went back to the Doobie Brothers and pulled a recording of a live version off the net. The song doesn’t have many words. You can learn them quickly, I think. So feel free to sing along.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as necessary, get the vax, and be careful out there. Here’s the music. You listen while I go get my starter fluid, aka, coffee. Also need to turn on the air purifier because it smells like smoke in here. Cheers