Thursday’s Theme Music

A sibilant swishing announced that Thursday had arrived. Moving with the dignity of a powerful superyacht, it pulled into August 4, 2022 and docked. Although people crowded about to see the day, most were ambivalent. It’s Thursday, yes, but really, that meant that it’s closer to Friday, Saturday, or Sunday for most. A few deeply rooted pessimists said, “That just means it’s closer to Monday.” Apparently, they’re not Monday fans.

Sunrise painted a pretty summer dawn at 6:07 AM, all green sky and blue trees and grasses, then realized it had it reversed and fixed it. Sunset is planned for 8:27 PM in our valley, unless something goes wrong. Even when it goes wrong, they immediately alter reality so that everything seems right. We’re left feeling like something is off, something is different, without ever being able to point to one thing and say, “That’s it,” and settle our confusion.

Temperatures are milder on this day, 59 when I got up at 7:30 ish, and now 70 F two hours later. A high of 34 C is expected this afternoon. We’ll see what they’re like. Most of the nineties I’ve met are friendly but some appear to be hotheads.

Our air quality has improved. We were cruising through yesterday afternoon at around 118 as shown by Purple Air. Then, at about 5:30, the readings all through the valley plummeted to the range of 2 – 20 and remained low since. Must be that a low has jumped into the area, shifting the wind patterns.

I had a dream last night. Wasn’t nearly as inspiring as MLK Jr’s dream, that I recall. Little is recalled except that I saved a little brown dog and gave it to some children. It’s germane for the day’s theme music because upon waking from that dream, The Neurons began playing “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd (2020) and have it looping through the morning mental music stream. I didn’t ask for further details from The Neurons about why that song is playing. I know their game. They’ll tease, mock, and smirk, but they won’t explain. It was the theme music in April of 2021 but I’d need to drink my coffee to find another one today.

The coffee has landed. Stay positive, test negative, wear masks as necessary to take care of you and yours, etc. Here’s the music. Stay safe, wherever you are, and have a better one. Cheers

Saturday’s Wandering Thought

On the one hand, the sky’s smoky haze incubated worrying questions about the fire’s location size, growth, and containment. But the smoke blocked the sun and kept the temperature in the low 90s F, granting relief from the previous broiler level days.

Fire, smoke, heat, he just hoped the animals, lands, and people all stayed safe. He crossed his fingers to amplify his hopes.

Another Military Dream

We were going into another country on a commercial aircraft. A warning was issued to us before we boarded: it’d be a crazy landing, with a steep approach. We were all military, dressed in drab olive-green flight suits or green and brown woodland camouflage uniforms. It was a packed aircraft. We were going in as part of a disaster recovery mission.

We were on the aircraft and notified that the descent was beginning. The aircraft abruptly corkscrewed right and down, throwing us around in our seats. It suddenly flattened out. As people commented on the unusual and steep approach, we hit the ground and bounced hard. Rain had slicked the ground outside. We slid off the runway and across wet pavement before slamming the left side, where I sat, by a window, into a building.

I expected explosions or wreckage, but the aircraft continued forward, sliding along with its left side against the building. I saw a dead man fall out of a doorway and then we rocked to a halt. As we filed out of the aircraft, a number of people talked about the landing but always with the proviso, “Well, at least no one was hurt.” I was contrarian. “What about the people in the buildings? I saw at least one dead guy.” As I looked for him, I thought that he may have already been dead before we landed, as he looked stiff and bloodless.

Carrying bags, we went up into a building and were assigned rooms. I was given A233. While others were clustered around the same area, looking at the numbers, I realized that mine was far away. Grabbing my bags, I said, “I know exactly where it’s at,” and went down a hall and directly to my room. Dropping my bags off, I returned to the central office where we would be setting up.

Personnel were crowded into the room. A lieutenant colonel was walking around, speaking as he did, and was clearly drunk. He said, “I think we need a fire.” He then set pieces of paper on fire and put them on my desk. As this was transpiring, I said, “Sir, I don’t think it’s a good idea for you to start a fire in here, especially on my desk.” I headed up there as I spoke, simultaneously looking for somewhere to put the fire, something to put it out with, and reaching it from the officer and the desk.

Dream end

Friday’s Theme Music

Today is Friday, August 27, 2021. Had some issues figuring out the day yesterday. Thought it was Wednesday. Had a Wednesday vibe. My wife’s comments abetted the Wednesday vibe. But it cleared up. I’m flying right now. Because, you know, it’s important what day of the week it is…isn’t it? Well, that’s how I was raised. Chores, school, vacations, holidays, work, it’s all built on the calendar.

Sunrise was at 6:31 AM. Sunset will come at 7:53 PM. Temperatures will range into the low 80s F today. They claim that our air quality is good today – first time it’s hit that mark in weeks – but the looks and smell don’t align with a good reading. I kept the kitties in and the doors and windows closed.

I’ve been thinking about the 1900s today. Started with wars. Progressed to a pandemic. Then the dust bowl struck. Obliterated millions of acres and displaced families. Thinking of all of that due to comparisons with now. The 2000s. Started with war. Then COVID-19 struck. Half of the western U.S. is suffering drought and fire. (Might be a little hyperbole there.) Thousands are being displaced.

Also been thinking about the Rolling Stones. Of course. Watts, their drummer, passed away. Long life. I think he would say he had a good one. Better than many, for sure. His passing has prompted me to listen to Stones music. A universe of Stone songs are out there. I’ve used many favorites as theme music already. What to do? How ’bout “Living in A Ghost Town” from last year. Fits the general mood. Smoke casts a ghostly pall over my world. COVID-19 lockdowns and smoke slash unhealthy air forces cancellations. Businesses are closed or hours are reduced. Activity slumbers. Why not, right?

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax, celebrate life, remember that it’s Friday. Time for coffee. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Dream Confrontations

Last night feature dream was in two parts. Both were about confrontation and communication.

The first had me and my wife visiting some people who may’ve been the wife’s distant relatives. Children and cats were strongly featured. Other than me, my wife was the only adult.

According to the children’s excited chatter, I’d arrived in a Ferrari, which, yes, I acknowledged with a smile. That impressed them. The place, a home where the children lived, was sprawling and one story, aging but in respectable condition, a modern-form-follows function shape. The children, probably eight to nine years old, three to four in number (I never got a good count on them), sandy haired and white, showed us around and helped us settle in. Cats were playing and running around, busy supervising it all. On a command from one child, all the cats hurried to one room, found a space, and settled down. A child closed a glass French door on them. I looked in at the cats on perches, seats, and sofas. There were at least five but there might have been seven. All were long haired.

Being discreet, I opened the door to visit the cats. The door’s round brass handle broke off in my hand. I attempted to stick in back on, but it’d been sheared, so that was impossible. Still, deciding I’d be able to get back out, I closed the door. After circulating and visiting with the cats, who were all well behaved and friendly, I went to leave. The door handle mechanism fell completely out. I decided to bring this to the children’s attention. When they didn’t grasp what I was talking about — that the door was broke because the handle had come off and the rest had fallen out — I asked them where their parents were.

Now, though, it was time to go. I had a speaking engagement and my wife and I were lunching first. With a dream shift, we were in an Asian city. Sitting outside on a leafy plaza, we were enjoying ourselves when I noticed black smoke in the sky. The smoke distracted me as the column grew thicker. I told my wife, “I think that’s our hotel.”

An explosion rocked the area. As everyone reacted with gasps and shouts, I could see that an upper floor of our hotel had exploded and was on fire. I told me wife that we should go back to get our stuff if we could

We joined others watching the hotel entrance. People were queuing to enter, so we got in line. A stocky Asian man in a red vest and white shirt was manning the door, controlling who entered. The line snaked forward until it was our turn. He asked for papers, some evidence that we were staying at the hotel. I had papers in my rear pocket so I reached around to get them out. The movement caused my arm to tremble.

The doorman demanded in a brusque tone to know why my arm was shaking. His tone and question outraged me but I answered that I’d broken the arm and it was still rehabilitating, and certain movement still caused me problems. With my wife trying to calm me, we went back and forth in rising tones about it, with the doorman implying or me inferring there was something sinister about me having a shaky arm. After we were admitted and walking away, I heard him say in snarky terms, “Oh, look at the strong man going away.” I turned to go back to have words with him.

The dream ended.

The Crashing Dreams

What does a smoking motorcycle, a Mustang without brakes, and a double-decker tour bus have in common? Well, they were all part of my dreams last night.

In the first, I stepped out of my house and walked down the street. What’s striking for me is that this is my real house and street, where I’ve lived for the last fourteen years. My neighbor, who’s resided beside me that entire time, was on his motorcycle with his girlfriend. (Said neighbor typically has six to nine motorcycles in his garage.) This one was a gray bike with a sidecar (which he does not own). I paid little mind to them other than to wave, as they, talking and on the bike, passed, heading down the hill. But I heard her say, “It’s smoking.”

Watching, I agreed; the bike was smoking. I couldn’t tell where the smoke originated.

Backward, they came back up the street. I thought he wanted to say something and prepared to tell them that they motorcycle was smoking, but after passing me going up the hill backwards, they went down back down the street trailing growing plumes of gray smoke. As they reached the bottom, the motorcycle burst into flames. The then rode back up the hill toward me.

The dream ended.

In the next one, I was at home with a female friend. We were chatting as we sat on the sofa. I asked her if she wanted something to drink. I offered cranberry juice, beer, wine, and, of course, water. Before she answered, my wife came home.

Several people, including children, were with her. One man carried a complicated toy. As this all happened, a Ford Mustang appeared. An older model, it’s on golden jacks to hold it up. Parts are strewn around it. Someone says, it’s a project car.

I played with the complicated toy. A basketball-sized light grey sphere, it had multiple buttons. Pushing some caused wings and wheels to extend or retract. Pushing another caused videos to play in a small screen.

After playing with the sphere, I checked out the Mustang. Its wheels and tires had been removed. Despite that, I got in with intention of moving it forward a few feet, as it was blocking things. I did move it by releasing the parking brake, but then discovered it wouldn’t stop. With the guy yelling, “Stop, hit the brakes,” while running behind me, I gently came up to a stop against a square metal rod that was sticking up.

“Why didn’t you stop?” he wanted to know, catching up.

“This car has no brakes,” I answered. Though it was still on jacks (how the hell it rolled forward, I have no idea), I pointed out that the brakes had been removed.

Despite that, he insisted, “It has brakes,” though I kept pointing at the empty wheel wells and telling him, “No, it doesn’t, look.”

I finally walked away from him in exasperation. My female friend was standing close by. “Oh, my God, I forgot your drink,” I said. “What would you like?”

“I’m just leaving,” she replied.

I then realized the guy and the Mustang was gone. “Where’d they go?” I asked my wife. “He doesn’t have brakes. It’s not safe. We need to stop him.”

The dream ended.

Next, I’m driving on a narrow street through a town. Though it’s two lanes, it’s extremely narrow, crooked, and uneven. A white, older van tries to pass me. He swerves dangerously close as he does. I speed up. Ahead is a double-decker tour bus. I can’t believe it’s on these streets. It’s swaying back and forth, threatening to tip over to one side or the other.

I want to pass the bus. I can’t because the white van is in the other lane. The white van turns off but the road has narrowed to one lane. I can’t pass the bus now. As I feared, it wobbles hard right. Falling against a building, it crashes to a halt, blocking the road.

The bus is leaning against the building. I stop. First, I need to see if everyone is okay. Second, I want to get pass this bus and go on.

I enter the bus. I’m on the top level. I find that it’s actually three levels. I call out, “Is anyone hurt?”

Various replies come back. Many say, “No,” but some say, “We’re alright.” Others say, “Are we there yet,” and “We’re hungry. When are we going to eat.”

I explain that I’m just checking on them, I’m not part of the company, but someone will be coming along. Meanwhile, I work my way to the front of the bus and then down the steps. Once down, I exit the bus and leave.

End of dream.

Varmints Underfoot

Thudding and thumping announced something had broken into our home’s foundations the other night. I’ve now learned a mama skunk and her kits have taken up residence.

So, first, damn.

Second, well, hell, there’s not much we can do.

Lot of people will chorus, “Get rid of them!” Sorry, not our style. Just as I don’t kill spiders, I tolerate things like a skunk family under the house.

It’s a temporary reprieve for them, sure. We discussed, why would skunks suddenly take up under the house? These are mobile kits, not newborns. Well, given conditions — heat, winds, drought, then fires, smoke, and unhealthy air — they’re acting just like humans, finding a place to hide and weather the days. We don’t have the right to chase them back out into that crap when we don’t want to go out there ourselves.

So, I grit my teeth (and sometimes vigorously stamp my feet), imagine the damage being done, and wait until the weather clears and the kits are older. And, perhaps stupidly, we put out water for them.

Yeah, I’m a terrible homeowner, but I’m trying to be a decent human. I know, it’s a bit of a humbrag post, isn’t it? But it’s something I needed to discuss with myself.

Just bear me, okay?

Today’s Ashland Air

A graph is worth a lot of description.

Outside the home office window. Not a peak of blue, and nothing of the forests and mountains beyond the line of houses across the street. Ground visibility is about two hundred yards. Photo and graph was as of 10:30 AM, September 11, 2020.

By the way, this wasn’t technically a wild fire. It started as a grass fire and consumed urban areas. It wasn’t the forests on fires; it was the cities.

Fickle Winds

I wrote about our local wildfire this morning. The fire was put out, so huzzah! Some homes destroyed…

I went on with my normal life for about an hour. I then turned back to netborhoods for fire updates and experienced heavy shock.

The fire had spread north. Going from less than a hundred acres, it was now over a thousand acres. While the wind had dissipated in our area, it stayed strong elsewhere. Pushed by the wind, the fire was spreading along the Interstate 5 corridor on the southern side.

Highways were being closed. Smoke filled the air…north of us. Neighborhoods, businesses, hemp farms, and wineries were evacuated. School classes were canceled.

Tuning in to other news revealed that numerous other fires were burning fast in southern Oregon, forcing evacuations, closing roads, destroying buildings, chasing wildlife. Central Point, Eagle Point, to the west, areas to the northeast two hours away.

Sifting through the news, I realized how fortunate we’d been. The fire started about three and a half miles away. A fortunate wind saved us, to the detriment of others.

The wind is still out there, though. All of Jackson County is at level one: be ready to go.

I packed some things in the car, just in case. Fickle winds can’t be trusted.

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