Another Dream of Frustration

Yes, another dream about communications. Being in the military. And technology. Except it wasn’t the US military. Wasn’t the Air Force. I was part of a different military organization. Black or very dark blue — couldn’t tell in the dream — one piece uniforms. Like coveralls. Belted. Black boots. Caps. Insignia that was made up of diamonds and stars in silver and gold on epaulets.

Some disaster was eminent. Tidal waves, storms, and flooding. Another guy and I were trying to organize stuff. He outranked me but I was asserting my ideas. It had to do with displays. What should we put on the displays? What would be most useful? A tech informed us that we could have more than one display up concurrently. How many were the max? Four. Then let’s put four up.

A vision came to me about what we could do. I became animated with the idea. Was trying to explain and sell it to the rest, especially the man in charge. My exasperation expanded. How could he not see and understand this, blah, blah? I slowed down. Became patient. He began to grasp the plan. But whereas I wanted to display information about the weather, our readiness, etc., he countered, “Let’s put information about eggs up there.”

Eggs. I was taken so far back. “Why would you put eggs up there?”

“So that everyone knows how many eggs we have,” the man in charge replied.

“Why would anyone care about eggs? We’re a military organization. There’s a storm due to hit at any minute. Why would we put information about eggs up?”

But he was insistent. The dream ended with me turning away and walking off, shaking my head.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Good morning, fellow travelers. Our vehicles — body, planet — still appearing to be functioning or we probably wouldn’t be here, me typing this, you, reading it later. Or should we propose some Twilight Zone inspired theories about who we are, where we’re at, and what’s really going on?

Today, ‘they’ claim that it’s Wednesday, September 8, 2021. Smoky, again, in my area. Sunshine came red and dull through the haze at about 6:43 AM. It was a dark and gloomy sunset last night. Dark by 7:30 PM. Sunset today will come at 7:33 PM. Hope we can see the sunset for the smoke.

AQI is currently at 112, so it’s improved but still unhealthy. Present temperature is 64. Autumn is coming, bringing a high of 87 F to us here in the valley. Leaves are turning yellow on a few trees. The shimmering maples are beginning to do their thing, too.

I’m with Queen this morning. Another blogger sang “Some bunny to love,” on an Instragram post. Oh, terrible. But the song stuck to me like peanut butter on a spoon. I finally countered with “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” by Queen (1979). I so vividly recall when this came out and I heard it for the first time. Was at work. Then in the Air Force. Stationed at Randolph AFB, Universal City, just outside of San Antonio, Texas. Worked in the command post. It was by far the most unusual command post in my career. For one thing, we had windows. No other command post I worked in ever had windows. Windows are vulnerabilities that reduce security, you know. Also, this command post was on the first floor of the Taj Mahal, just left of the front entrance. Here’s a photo of that building.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Let’s be careful out there. Here’s the music. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

Thursday, June 24, 2021, found the sun’s first fiery fingers combing through the valley at 5:36 AM, silencing the night life, stirring the more noisy, numerous day life. With more thunderstorms yesterday and some meager sprinkles, temperatures fell again. Sol is expected to lift the temperatures back into the low to mid-nineties in our region. Right now, it’s 78 F and mildly humid. Sunset is expected at 8:51 PM.

We have a vacation planned for next month. Our vacations generally rank well with us in experience, and hold up well with memory. Most memorable are the ones that go wrong. Like, for instance, that time that we were living on Okinawa. We took space available seats — Space A is the lingo — on a military aircraft to Hawaii. Had a wonderful time. Space A took us south to Guam on a C141. Dark as hell in there. Seats bolted to the floor, facing cargo pallets and an engine. Box lunches — chicken, sandwiches, candy bars — sustained us. We landed at Midway. The base commander opened the small exchange and showed us around.

Meanwhile, a typhoon (as we called them then — this was in 1983) was churning around the Pacific. We made it to Clark AB in the Philippines (now gone) only to be hurried north. We were trying for our home base of Kadena on Okinawa, but the typhoon’s plans interfered. We ended up in Yokota Air Base, Japan, where the typhoon hunted us down, forcing us to shelter in place. Finally, the storm reversed direction and swung south, freeing us to head home, ending a ten day adventure. Not quite National Lampoon’s Vacation, but a lot of fun. And memorable.

So today’s music is “Vacation” by the Go-Go’s (1982). Test negative, stay positive, wear a mask, and get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunday, June 13, 2021. The sun shouldered in at 5:34 AM with small shafts of light and a few shards of warmth. Bird talk sputtered and fizzled. Cats stalked their kibble and complained.

Showers are expected today. I took one early. Shaved. Washed hair. Temperature is currently 75 F. We expect 81 today. Sunset will come as the world turns at 8:48 PM. Shopping, eating, reading, writing, cutting grass, and very important, drinking coffee will take place between now and then.

My mind is playing Dire Straits and “Sultans of Swing” from 1978 for me this morning. No clear reason is recognized why that song is playing. I was out of the service when this song was released. After moving back to where I’d graduated high school, I bought a restaurant and was going to college. A few months later, crippled by the local economy and dwindling personal finances, I was back in the service and heading west to San Antonio, Texas, on a new assignment. The break in service was a year to the day. I learned a lot in that time. Once back in the military, I ended up staying for sixteen years, completing a twenty-year career. Traveled a lot, mostly the United States, Asia, and Europe, a little northern Africa and the Middle East. Meet some terrific people.

Stay positive, test negative. Come on, get the vax. Let’s get on with it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

“Wednesday, Wednesday. Can’t stand that day.”

Yes, happy humpday, April 14, 2021. I have nothing against Wednesdays, myself. I enjoy Wednesdays. It’s a nice midpoint. I guess I’m a ‘week is half-done’ sort of person.

The sun snuck up on us at 6:32 AM and will shy back behind the planet at 7:51 PM. The weather is strolling away from winter, gaining more spring confidence everyday. Green thickens in the trees around us and adorns the rolling hills. Although it’s now 49 degrees F, we expect the thermometers to see 73 before beginning its evening descent.

I found myself singing a 1982 song. I dreamed of a Porsche 911 SC, which was produced between 1978 and 1983 (yeah, I looked it up to confirm what I recalled). Thinking of the car and the years the model was produced led me through the memory vaults. I recalled that I lived in Texas in 1978, having been assigned there in the military after I returned from the Philippines, then got out, moved to West Virginia, went back into the military a year later, was assigned again to Texas in 1979, and then ended up on Okinawa by 1981. The song that came to mind then was “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and enjoy the music! Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Welcome to Wednesday, March 17, 2021, where we’re donning green clothing, eating green food, and drinking green beer somewhere. I am wearing a green shirt, a conscious decision to celebrate. ‘Bout all I’ll do in honor of the holiday.

The sun showed itself at 7:20 AM this morning and is expected to disappear for the night at 7:20 PM. Brighter, sunnier, and calmer today, we’ve already crept into the low forties, and we’re expected to hit the mid sixties. This kid will be going for an afternoon walk.

Thinking of Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d go with an Irish rock band. Many of them have plumbed commercial and critical success and achieved international fame and fortune. But when I started thinking of this, I recalled Horslips singing “Trouble With A Capital T”. I know this song and band because when I was stationed in Japan in the early eighties, a co-worker was heavy into them and would sing this song to himself. Hearing him sing it, I asked what it was. I ended up in his dorm room having a beer listening to the Horslips, who he knew through an Irish cousin. He’d gone to stay with them in Ireland one year before joining the military and had seen the band live. After some struggle with memory about the band’s name and the song and some net searching, I found this video.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Here is Horslips with “Trouble With A Capital T”.

Back with Jeff Dream

Jeff and I were together. We ran together back on Okinawa. Had a good time. Haven’t seen him since then, so that’s thirty-seven years ago.

In this dream, Jeff and I were civilians but tasked with working on what seemed to be military plans. We were each given fat folders of information. A global map dominated a wall. A few older men sat along the edges of the room. I was ready to get to work, eager for the task, but others reminded us that it’s classified and we need to be aware of our environment. Yes, the room was open on one end and other people, who might not have the clearance, were walking and milling. Most were female.

We were told there were a few training meetings about protecting information and ethics that we needed to immediately attend. Carrying our enormous folders, we headed for the meeting rooms with others. Getting there required climbing a wall. That seemed to be optional but I decided I was going to do it. A woman noticed me going up and asked, “Who’s that going up? Why, that’s Michael. Good for you. I didn’t think you had it in you.”

Shaped like the letter U, covered in red, yellow, or green rubber, the holds were loose. Many fell out when you grabbed them. I had one arm pinning my folder to my body. With the other arm and hand, I pulled myself, support myself and then find holds for my feet. When I reached the top, I threw the folder up, then used both arms to leverage myself up the final few four to five feet. The top was flat. Getting down required me to jump down three large steps. Picking up my folder, I descended and hurried on.

The rooms were already almost full. I wasn’t certain which one to go to. A woman told me where to go. I saw Jeff by the front so I went to that room. Only two seats remained at the front. I took one of them by the podium. Jeff then gave a short talk. When it finished, we were given a beer break. I went over with others and asked someone at the front of the line to bring me a beer. They did that. I drank some of it before I was told it was time to go to the next meeting. Still carrying my folder, I headed for the assigned room. When I reached it, I was told, no, go work on your new assignment. Another man then showed me where to go. I entered a room where Jeff was waiting. We sat down and began to work.

Deer Grove Fields Dream

I’d arrived at a convention. Hugely crowded. I realized two events were being held simultaneously; one was some sort of military retirement celebration. The other was a writing conference. I was there for the latter.

I arrived alone but soon saw other writers who I knew. We milled and spoke together, trying to grasp where we’re supposed to go. I joked to others about the confluence, as I found the situation mildly humorous. We drifted apart, trying to find where to go. I wanted a place to sit down, wait for the crowd to thin out, and then find where I was to go. I was working on the impression that the military event had ended, and then the writing thing would begin.

I encountered a military person whom I knew slightly. I asked what was going on. He told me that the Chief had retired. Making small talk, I asked, “Oh, where was he stationed last?” “Deer Grove Fields,” the other replied, and departed. I’d never heard of that place and wondered if I’d heard right.

I saw another writing friend. She was wearing a blue skirt and a blue top. She mentioned that she’d met the Chief, describing him as a fascinating person. He’d been stationed at Deer Grove Fields. As we nodded and talked, I realized that she was clearing tables. Apparently she was working there.

Tables were all filled but it was a communal system with strangers sharing tables. Finding a place, I sat. Another writing friend, Jill, a small, older woman with short hair, was at the table. I knew that she’d just won an award for a story she’d written. After congratulating her, I asked what she was working on as I set up my laptop. She told me, “Nothing,” and then said, “Deer Grove Fields.” I realized that’s what the others had said but didn’t understand why she said it now. I assumed she was trying to remember something and when it came to her, she’d said it aloud. Then she said, “That’s where the Chief was assigned.”

The dream ended.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Sunrise was at 7:15 AM on this mildly winter Tuesday. Sunset will come at 5:36 PM in Ashland, Oregon. The temperature has already climbed to 37 degrees F and a high of 55 is anticipated.

Today is February 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases continue to drop in our county. Yesterday, we had only eight. Deaths are scaling back, too, with no new ones reported yesterday. Jackson Country remains in the extreme category, though. People walking along the streets often don’t have masks outside of downtown. Everyone in a store is masked. I haven’t been to a restaurant or other business, so I can’t address them. Vaccinations for those eighty and over begin this week.

I was thinking of 1991 this morning, collateral product to dream reflecting. February of that year, I arrived in my new duty station at Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale. I didn’t know that it would be my last duty assignment, that I would decide to retire after a few years. I’d been part of a spy unit in Germany in my previous tour; when the Berlin Wall came down, the mission went away, and the unit was decommissioned. I volunteered to go to the Gulf for that buildup but was denied. I instead rotated back to the states.

Hitting the Bay Area and the United States were new experiences, again. I don’t recall specific music when I arrived in the Bay Area. I remember that it was pouring rain, an end to a drought. Onizuka was a few acres dominated by the Blue Cube in the middle of sprawling aerospace company facilities. I’d gone from working with C-130s to working with satellites. In Onizuka, there was no flight line, a first for my military career; all the platforms I worked with were thousands of miles away in space. There would be no more daily roar of aircraft taking off.

Anyway, I looked up some songs from 1991 as I thought about it. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak jumped out at me. No special reason; it’s just a reflective song for a reflective moment.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and look forward. Other times are coming. The one constant is change.

A Snowy Military Dream

My first thought was, no, not another dream of being back in the military.

Didn’t start out like that. First, I was simply running along a dirt road. Ahead was my cousin. He’s taller than me but the same age. Seeing him, I pumped up my speed until I caught him. When I did, I realized that I was wearing shorts and a shirt but I was carrying my pants, and I was bare foot. That made me laugh. I told my cousin, “I think I need to put my pants on.” I stopped and put them on.

Then, there I was in my old camouflage battle dress uniform, heading to work. Another new assignment awaited me in the dream. I looked forward to it and was encountering people along the way, happy to see me there and wishing me luck. It was snowing, and the snow began piling up fast, encouraging me to tell others, “The snow is coming down fast. I better go now.”

I rushed through the snow but the going was increasingly difficult as the snow level climbed over my thighs, to my waist. Brilliant white, the snow was beautiful, though cold. Then I was in, at work, meeting my new team, eager to begin work. I was already seeing things that needed to be changed and started directing action, confident in what I was doing.

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