Monday’s Theme Music

High white cirrus brush strokes marble the pale blue sky. Monday, November 11, 2022, begins with sunshine and 33 degrees F in my foot of the valley. Although autumn fashion still imbues most neighborhood, eau de winter fills the air. It’ll be 54 F today, and mostly sunny. Sunshine crept in at 7:08 this morning like a cat sneaking in through the pet door. The day’s final rays will grace us at 4:45 PM.

We’re planning our soups. Soups in winter is a household favorite. Post Thanksgiving, we’ll resume a soup a week. I listed my favorites. Top of the list is harvest soup, which is all roasted veggies with mushroom broth. Second is chicken white chili. Tortellini soup comes next. Black bean veggie chili fills the fourth slot followed by lentil in fifth. Nothing like soup and warm bread on cold days to fill you, and these are all healthy and filling. Their simmering fragrances are a lovely bonus.

Musically, The Neurons were influenced by another’s post. Jill shared a song by Mike +the Mechanics, “In the Living Years”. It traditionally makes me pause to consider my relationship with Dad. Not the best, nor the worse, but a damaged one and a fount for personal frustration. He and I try but there’s just too much piss in the snow to completed the connections. I’m from his first marraige but he has children and stepchildren from a few other marriages. Dad was in the military and finally living in the continental US when I was a teenager. Another one of Mom’s marriages was imploding so I took refuge with Dad. He married again in my high school senior year. I became an adult and was gone. You see how it is. He just celebrated his 90th birthday last month.

That song prompted memories of other M +tM songs. The Neurons began playing “Taken In” from their 1985 album. I had it on CD and played it while driving across the southeastern U.S. I did that a lot in that life era. While stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina, I deployed on temporary duty to Florida, Somalia, Egypt, and places in Europe. I’d drive to stateside places, but before deploying, I’d sometimes take my wife and cats up north to stay with her family, as I’d be gone a while, four to eight weeks. So there were the trips there and back to taker her home, and there and back to pick her up. I put 54,000 miles on the car in eighteen months. Besides music, I’d listen to books on cassette tapes from the library. They weren’t yet on CD in our base library. It was an interesting time of transition.

“Taken In” is a mellow song and was ideal as a vehicle to help past the day speeding down the highways. I’d never seen the video before, but I love the period touches — the phones, the clothing, the cars. Hope you enjoy the video and music.

Here we go. Got coffee and a plain blueberry bagel. A cat monitors my progress on my left. The other sleeps in another room, where sunshine slices in past the slats on the blinds, generating a cozy ambiance. Stay positive, test negative. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Into Saturday’s bloom of light we go! Despite the bloom, the 38 degrees F has the cats saying, give me a little warmth, sugar.

Today is November 12, 2022. We were out shopping yesterday. High inflation didn’t seem to keep anyone home on this holiday. Stores and restaurants were as filled as unopened cans of beer. Masks were worn by relatively few. We felt special having them on. We’re due for our next boosters next Friday. Looking forward to the happening.

Meanwhile, though we’re speeding toward Thanksgiving in the U.S., stores looked like Christmas exploded all over them. Other pieces of the holiday season such as Kwanza and Hanukkah were missing. As the wife noted, “Looks like they’re betting big on Christmas spending this year.”

Despite forecasts to the contrary, the sun got comfortable behind a fortress of clouds and let rain soak us. Good to have rain but snow on the mountains are what we need. Today again looks mostly sunny. 47 is the expected high, in Fahrenheit. The sun conducted its dawn blooming at 6:57 AM. The sun will close up shop and take away its light and heat bonanza at 4:52 PM, when the Earth spins our area away, crying as it does, “Away! Away with thee.”

Although sleep delivered a plethora of dreams, several of which involved bars, computers, and beer, I have a song called “I Wish You Love” inhabiting the morning mental music stream. Its presence flabbergasts me and The Neurons, technically referred to as satanistic boogerheads, are being surly and silent about it. I don’t know which version is in my head. I mean, yeah, it’s the English language version, but which performer? I know it’s female and a rendition as old as me. This is one of those songs that often turned up on Mom’s turntable during the winter season. Yes, we’re not in the winter season yet, and no snowflakes are falling. So, why dear Neurons, why?

Someday, perhaps technology will emerge with the means to tell us what our neurons are thinking.

Stay positive and test negative. I’m going for a coffee topoff, as there are mini cranberry cherry scones in the kitchen whispering invitations to eat them up. Here’s the music. Hope you know the song. If you don’t, let me introduce you. I ended up with the Judy Garland version, as I think it’s closest to the one in my head.

Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Veteran’s Day in ‘Merica. Today is a holiday, Veteran’s Day, in the U.S., so happy Veteran’s Day to my fellow vets. As they say, thank you for your service. My service wasn’t very hard duty, which I did for over twenty years before retiring. Many others followed darker and more tortuous paths. Lives were lost. Bodies and minds maimed. Not a pretty tale, and sometimes, their losses were based on false narratives. The history of war and what it does to combatants. My sincere appreciation and respect to you.

It’s Friday, 111122. That could be an elegant piece of arithmetic: 11+11+22. It’s climbed to 38 F. With the sun’s help, we’ll hit 50 F. It was fairly cloudless at daybreak, so dawn was a slow, spacious event, with sun’s official arrival pegged at 6:56 AM. As the world turns, the other end, aka sunset, will be at 4:53 PM. It’ll be mostly sunny today. The November snow has fled all but the highest of the high peaks.

Now, a little weirdness. I awoke with the Easybeats and their 1966 song, “Friday On My Mind”, in the morning mental music stream. I thought, I used that as theme music not too long ago, didn’t I, Mr. Neurons? Looking it up, I confirmed that I used it last year.

On Veteran’s Day of 2021.

I asked Les Neurons, why would I think of that song two years in a row on Veteran’s Day? They giggled like children playing a prank.

Well, just to show them, I decided that the song would not be today’s theme music. The Neurons soon helped me out with a new song. As I made my coffee and fed me cats, I was thinking about Veteran’s Day and my last days of military service in 1995. Click, The Neurons turned on a song I was listening to in those days, Foo Fighters and “This Is A Call”. Thinking of that beat and the song lyrics, I decided, yeah, that will work. “Good job,” I told The Neurons. “Coffee,” they replied. I snickered. “What was that? I didn’t catch that.”

The Neurons weren’t amused.

Stay positive, test negative, etc. I’m going to give The Neurons their coffee now, before they attack me. Have a good Friday, 111122.

Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

The autumn sky is doing an awesome impersonation of summer. Scanning down to the trees, snow still caps the mountains. Further down and we see the autumn leaves on trees. Then, lower, comes the hard frost. Looks can deceive unless you take in the full picture.

It’s 32 F now and feels like 30 but no fear, it’ll soon be 40, then keep going until it summits 49. Then we’ll ride back down into the cold valley for the night.

Sunrise heralded this gorgeous, clear, cold sky at 6:55 AM. The other end of the stick will come at 4:54 PM. This is Thursday, November 10, 2022.

My beer gang meet last night and discussed election results and other news, along with the books by Mary Roach. We also had two guests as teachers. We gave them $600 to fund three more microscopes, continuing our funding of their hands-on workshops. Last year, we gave them six, so they now will have nine. The teachers do a joint curriculum of biology and social students of their third and fourth grade classes. They also loan the microscopes to other classes. Next week, the high school robotic team will come in and pitch to them. We plan to donate $500 to them, as we have for several years. We’re also addressing a donation to ScienceWorks to support a new project for them, providing students with hands-on project management experience. For this year, we’ve donated $2500 to the causes, all from donations collected each week when we have beer. We’ve donated over $35,000 in the ten years we’ve been doing this, all to support STEM at all levels, which is being expanded to STEAM.

The outside weather (yes, tell me where else it would be?) reminds The Neurons of my high school years. Jump out of bed early, kick it to clean up and dress, then out to catch the 7 AM bus as the sun is rising. Cold, hard ground covered with ice and frost thrived in the shadow. Foot stamping and hands in pockets are rampant while the sun drags itself over the hills and trees, shifting from apricots to gold to white sunshine. Daylight pulls in just as the bus reaches the school after its six-mile run with all its stops.

That ground cements the memory, pulling up a 1973 out of memory’s rear end. “Cindy Incidentally” by Faces, which was soon Rod Steward and Faces, and then — well, you know. Rock history is heavy with bands that formed and then dissolved, whether they succeeded or not. I always enjoyed Faces and was dismayed that the album with “Cindy Incidentally” was on was their final. Rod went on to huge success, fluidly shifting toward a disco style during his lengthy solo career. But I liked the Faces’s bluesy sound. Oh, well. Change, right?

The specific lyrics which gave The Neurons the idea for this song was that piece that goes, “And your local papers run out of news.” That’s due to our conversation while imbibing our beer that we don’t have a local newspaper. It’s gone under after going through ownership changes. Nor is there a daily paper for neighboring cities. We depend on the net and broadcast media.

In late-breaking news, Mom has returned to the hospital. She has pain in her appendix’s region. Ironically, she was scheduled for a Saturday CT to ensure her appendix is healed. It was perforated back in early September, contributing extensively to her medical melodrama. Fingers crossed that the tough old broad — her term for herself — will pull through again.

Stay positive and test negative. We have music coming up, and coffee has arrived. Have a most excellent day. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Rain and clouds are projected to be narrow winners over sunshine in the valley. The Precipitation Coalition, as it’s called, will help keep temperatures down through the day and have promised that it will not exceed a 48 degree F high. It’s presently ten degrees less.

Among other news stories, this is November 11, 2022. Next: today is Tuesday. Sunrise was at 6:54 AM, and sunset will be at 4:55 PM, once again limiting daylight hours. Scientists are concerned that the hours of sunlight are dwindling in the valley, but disagreement remains about what to do about it.

Turning to music, an unaligned political faction known as The Neurons has been driving the morning mental music stream selection of late. However, in a break from the recent past, a video of Led Zeppelin performing at Bath in 1970 has surfaced and now rules the stream. Zep is performing “Bring It On Home”. The film and sound quality are stunning. A local man listening to it on his computer was asked why he was listening.

“Well, this is the music, the style of music that I grew up listening to when I was a teenager. Beyond that, though, the recording is just, it just brings back so many memories of that era that I identify with, like the hair and the clothing style, you know? I mean, um, it was an exciting time, a time of change, especially for young people like me. I mean, that’s who I was, a long-haired boy with big, floppy bell-bottom jeans and two-inch heels looking to rebel against the system, as I suppose we all do when we’re young. I was fourteen but my mustache and goatee were already coming in. This stuff is me.”

“Would you say you were a Led Zeppelin fan then?”

“Oh, yes, oh yes, definitely.”

“Who else did you listen to at the time?”

“Oh, you know, Argent, CSNY, The Who and Stones, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, like that. Too many to name, really. It was a wonderful era of rock. That’s why we started calling that period ‘classic rock’, you know?”

“Well, there you have it. This fan is happy about this find. Back to you in the studio, Chet.”

“Okay, thank you, Valerie. Next up. One local man has built his dream home. It’s probably not what you expect to find. These stories and more, coming up. Stay with us.”

Stay positive, test negative, and so on. My coffee is steaming in my mug, enlivening my nose with its delicious smell. Time to start giving it some sips. Have a better one. Here’s the music. I must admit, the camera operator’s focus on shoes is peculiar at time.

Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Well, I did my duty. I popped the time back. I initially screwed up, though, setting it back a thousand years because it was two in the morning, I was cat tired, and had been out bringing a cat in and looking at the moon when a BIG bear ambled through the neighbor’s yard. Suddenly, getting the cat into the house wasn’t a problem. By the time the bear’s sound registered and I looked and saw the bear, the cat had looked, seen the bear, told me, “See you,” and was back at the door, ready to go in. So my mind wasn’t all in on the attention needed to set time back. A few wrong buttons were pressed. No harm, though, I caught it as soon as I stepped out of the time booth and discovered I was outside because the house didn’t exist here back then. Back into the booth I went, hissing to myself, “Oh crap oh crap oh crap,” as I saw in my mind’s memory that I’d done centuries instead of hours. Thank Dogs I only pressed the one instead of the four or nine below.

A heck of a morning. How is your day going?

Today is November 6, 2022, a Sunday. It’s 36 F and sunny outside, a real treat of a fall morning. Rain is forecast for later, when the temperature is 51 F. Then the temp will drop and the rain will turn to snow, 8 – 14 inches in some places, but not mine. Sunrise bulldozed out the darkness at 6:50 AM and the day night shift will begin changover at sunset, 4:58 PM.

In my little morning tale, the part about setting the clock back was my imagination having fun. The bear and cat part were true. I went to the door to see if Papi wanted in. He was sitting there awaiting moment but was clearly interested in something going on out there. Asking him what he was looking at, I noticed the fantastic almost full moon, which was taken advantage of the clouds’ absence to spill light everywhere. Between that moonlight and the cold but fresh night air, I was entranced and went out onto the walk to take full advantage of it. That’s when the bear made their noises and picked up and slammed down a trash can. Fascinating as this was, I thought, oh my, is that the time? Papi and I went in as the bear headed on down the road. I think the bear was really showing off for my benefit, you know?

A 1972 EOL song is in the morning mental music stream. I first heard “10538” when I was sixteen years old. A crazy song, I wasn’t sure what it was about, doing some careful listening before some radio DJ finally illuminated that the song was about an escaped prisoner. My dream wasn’t about being a prisoner, yet this was the song that ended up invading my head when I was thinking about the dream this morning. The Neurons had to drill really deeply into the memory banks to find it.

Remain positive in your attitude and keep testing negative. If you do test negative, take appropriate measures. You know what that stuff is, right? Not like the whole COVID started yesterday. Not unless you’ve been time-traveling.

Here’s the tune. Got my coffee and going outside to enjoy some sunshine and liquid gold. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Cats woke me up before sunrise. “I want cat food,” they cried. Sleepfeeding, I did their bidding.

It’s Friday, November 4, 2022, the last Friday with Daylight Savings Time in the U.S. That requires an asterisk to note that it’s not so everywhere. Nevertheless, it’s true in my little reality slice. Reality seems to be like pizza, a little different for everyone, even though it may look the same.

The sun skimmed into our southern Oregon valley at 7:46 this morning, limning dark clouds, autumn trees, and dark green pines on snowy mountains before climbing clear of them and claiming the day. It’s 41 degrees F now but air currents, sunshine, and fronts will take us to 18 C.

The Neurons are playing “I Want Candy” in the morning mental music stream. This is a floofmage to the cats’ early morning demands for food. Mind, they made this demand with three bowls of kibble available. “It’s not the same as fresh food from the can given by your loving hands,” they purred.

Well, I know BS when I smell it, even when it’s coming from a smiling black and white furry face, and a sweet ginger and cream furred visage. Still, doing their bidding bought another hour of sleep.

“I Want Candy” has been around for sixty years. I went with a later version, by Bow Wow Wow, released in the early 1980s. A female friend of mine loved dancing to this version. Part of our gang, she’d jump up and run off to the dance floor when it came on, if we were out clubbing. If it came on at someone’s home, she curtailed whatever she was doing to dance and sing. Fun when someone enjoys a song so much. I haven’t seen her since 1984. Wonder how she’s doing?

Stay positive, test negative, get vaccines when you can. Here’s the music. The magic brewing magic has stopped its gurgling sound; coffee is ready. Interesting that in a world of pinging, beeping, buzzing, and ringing devices to notify us of important and trivial matters, something as critical as the coffee is done brewing is not announced.

Cheers

Sathursday’s Theme Music

Welcome to Sathursday! As sometimes happens, you come across a day which is supposed to be one, say Thursday, but feels like another, say, Saturday. Does this happen to you? Scientists and philosophers can’t quite account for this entanglement yet. Artists have a better feel for it, chiding people for thinking or even needing every day to be specific and exact. Why can’t hybrid days exist? Well, they do, sayeth the artists and poets. When they come, use them as you would any other.

Today is November 3, 2022, according to my cosmic sources. Sunshine dazzles the day in every way wherever you look. This is much different than yesterday. Yesterday’s weather declared, be ready for anything but hot and dry. Snow fell. Rain, sleet, hail. Just keep your head up, your coat on, your gloves nearby.

But now, the clouds have thinned and relaxed. Pine trees on the heights wear snow hats. Snow capes swath the mountains. Blue skies peek out past wispy dingy white and charcoal veils. Yet red flames and gold tiaras still crown many trees.

It’s 32 now, that’s degrees in Fahrenheit, and we’re looking for 46 F as the high. But the sunshine streaming through those windows, lighting up the rooms, delights my mind and causes a world of difference. Sunrise overruled the night at 7:46 AM. The sun’s presence will lord over the skies until 6:02 PM.

Now, for music. After another tumultuous night of dreams, I awoke with “Mr Bojangles” in the morning mental music stream. Don’t know if you’re familiar with the tune. It’s over fifty years old. Even though it’s been in movies, was a hit, beloved my many, and performed by several notables, I don’t hear it on radio or television these days. But since it’s in my mind, The Neurons pulled it out and put it on play. Exactly why is as clear as the clouds.

The Neurons went with the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band edition, which I fully understand. This was the one which marked me when I was a young teenager. Such matters aren’t easily displaced.

Stay pozzo, test nego, protect yourself as need be. If not for yourself, do it for others. Coffee has entered the cup and is steaming by my side. That doesn’t sound as poetic in typed words as it did within my mind, but we will go with it. It is Sathursday.

Here’s the music. Sing along, even dance to it, if it moves you. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Wednesday’s first light on November 2, 2022, arrived about thirty minutes before sunrise at 7:45 AM, pulling the curtain back on snow falling on autumn leaves. The whitening backdrop emboldened the full red and golden leaves dominating our area. The temperature was 1 degree C. Hopes are that the digital mercury will find 45 F. Tonight will drop to 29 F. Winter seemed to be declaring, “I’m taking November.” Summer was off and didn’t care. I haven’t heard a word out of fall.

The snow stopped by 8:15. None stayed on the ground at our elevation. Running errands yesterday, though, the hills and crests surrounding our village was rich with the stuff.

I broke out of a dream while darkness still soaked the land. Not much of the dream stuck around. Memory of it amounted to me dressing a woman, telling her to wear pink because it’ll highlight her caramel complexion and raven hair. While she was nodding and dressing, I recalled for her how I’d build a model of a Corvette when I was a boy and painted the car hot pink on a whim.

The dream naturally titillated Les Neurons about their song ideas. They fired up Prince’s 1983 song, “Little Red Corvette”. “Pink, red,” The Neurons declared, “It’s just a difference of degrees.” I’ve already used the song before and recounted that it came out while I was stationed at Kadena Air Base, so that’s all I’ll say here.

Stay posso and test negative. Nothing is guaranteed but it might help you and your family and community. Coffee, as black as the snow is white — it’s falling again — snow, not coffee — (can you imagine that? “It’s coffeeing, it’s coffeeing.” People would be out there with their mouths open, catching the coffee flakes…) — is available. You know where I’m going with this, don’tcha?

Here’s Prince (or the guy who was formerly known as Prince but that’s a whole other story) with a recording of an acoustic version done at a concert. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Bellowing, “I am here,” November stomped in. Rain fell. Temperatures fell. Snow flurries fell.

Sun rise came at 7:44, but with November’s presence, the sun became a meek shadow of itself. It’s 2 degrees C now but we expect a slow battle to 48 F before the sun surrenders to the situation at 6:05 PM. With no sunlight and tenuous daylight, we’re forced, for the first time in months, to turn on houselights to see in the morning.

Clarification is needed. The two baths, one lit by a window and a solar tube, and the other illuminated by a skylight, often needs a light turned on in the morning. So, frequently, does the kitchen outside of the summer months. Situated in the west facing side — yeah, ‘the front’ would be the technical expression — the kitchen’s western window doesn’t catch any morning sunlight, either. Not in the autumn, winter, and early spring. Those rooms typically need a light turned on, as does the laundry room. Windowless, it’s in the house’s middle.

But the office, with its huge windows, doesn’t usually need added houselights. Even though it’s also on the western side, it’s just drop the blinds and let in the daylight. Not today, friends, not today. The lights are on even in the office.

This is Tuesday, November 1, 2022. Change the calendar’s page and say good-bye to October. You might catch 2023 peeking around a corner. Give her a wave if you do. She’s coming. It wouldn’t hurt to be chummy with her when she arrives.

BTW, a winter storm warning is out, snow above 5,000 feet. Chain and snow tire season has landed.

Rain songs from multiple decades deluge the morning mental music stream. But the cold wins. Many songs oriented around the cold exist but The Neurons fell back on a Tom Petty favorite, “Out in the Cold”, from 1991. They’re moved that way by memory. 1991’s start find me stationed in Germany, ending a four-year duty as part of a covert intelligence unit. February, I arrived in the SF Bay area, out in Sunnyvale, California, and my new and final duty assignment at Onizuka Air Station. It was pouring freakin’ rain that day, the end of a drought that’d been plaguing the area. It was also cold, and that was the year in which Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers had a hit with this song. It’s a rocking band. Love Mike’s shredding on lead guitar.

I’ve used this song back in June, 2021. A cool morning, I wrote, and rainy. I had three cats then. They were out there with me as I enjoyed the rain and a cup of coffee. Two stayed out while the other went back inside with me.

1991 was also when the first Gulf War was going on. Remember that?

Stay positive, test negative, drink a warm beverage if it’s a cold day, stay cool if it’s a hot one for you. That’s what was always interesting about my travels, finding the new weather of the new location after touching down. The weather announced, “You are here.”

The coffee is also here, hot, black, and ready. Here’s the tune. Cheers

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