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

Monday’s Theme Music

Clouds smothered the sunrise. Though we knew it was there and indeed, daylight emerged, clouds blemished the sun’s initial entrance at 5:34 AM. Indications are, we should get used to it. Charcoal etched clouds promised rain all Sunday. It didn’t come until night dropped. Saturday temperatures reached 80 F, Sunday, 76. Today the guess is mid sixties before sunset at 8:48 PM.

Today is Monday, June 14, 2021. With this unseasonable rain and cool temperatures, doubt that summer is almost on us is acceptable. We know summer is coming but this weather surprises us. We’ll take it, though. After winter’s mild snows, we’re starved for moisture to help allay the spreading drought’s impact.

Today’s song is pandemic and relationship driven. After being isolated together since March 2020 and married since August 1975, my wife and I sometimes have issues with one another. We often have issues. We get tired of our own routines; we tire of the other’s preferences and stances. In the midst of one of those, while discussing something inane – might have been a television show, might have been shopping – what shall we get, when shall we get it – lines from the 1983 Genesis song, “That’s All”, came into my head.

But why does it always seem to be
Me looking at you, you looking at me
It’s always the same, it’s just a shame, that’s all.

Stay positive, test negative, 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.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Season’s greetings from the Pacific Northwest. Today is Wednesday, May 5, 2021. But you knew all that already, didn’t you? Summer is creeping into the region. The sun was creeping over the horizon at 6:01 AM. The outside temperature is already creeping past 71. It’s believed the sun will creep out of sight at 8:14 PM.

The cats are enjoying the weather for sure. Out through the pet door (which I think would be a pretty good album title, or maybe a novel) before sunrise, they find places to flooze all day. Cool. Youngblood (formal name, Papi) likes the cushioned patio chairs. Boo (the big mini-Panther) prefers grass just in the shadow. Tucker stomps around to the front porch (“Ain’t no one getting past me”), curling up just off the porch, behind the pillar, under a bush.

Such warmth has stirred gardening aspirations again. My wife made the call yesterday. “We’ll grow lettuce, squash, and tomatoes. To the Grange!” Masks on, we stormed the nursery. Plants were selected, six-packs and pots purchased, plans were made. Fingers are crossed that we’ll have water. Meanwhile, the garlic is almost ready for harvesting, though my wife worries, “It’s thirty days too early!” Her giant onion is bolting. She’s letting it do so, figuring it deserves it after all it’s been through. The only worry is that we’ll have the water to, well, water the garden for the entire season. Fingers crossed, knock on wood, etc.

Musically, Ima on wavelength with a 1979 Talking Heads melody. Lyrics crept in like sunshine breaking through the clouds after a heavy afternoon rain.

This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey
I ain’t got time for that now

h/t to Genius.com

Yes, it’s time for “Life During Wartime”, which could easily be repurposed as “Life During Pandemic”. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get that vax. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Good afternoon. Today is Friday, 4/30/2021, the final day for April, 2021, in this reality. Your reality may vary. Today finds the sun clearing the horizon at 6:08 AM and hiding behind the other side at 8:09 PM, giving us a full fourteen hours of sunshine in southern Oregon.

Pacific Ocean sunrise, Gold Beach, Oregon, April 20, 2021

It’s a late entry. We’ve been ‘over’ on the Oregon coast. To reach it, we drive west across southwestern Oregon, dip south into some twisty motorways in northern California, and return north into Oregon, passing over mountains and through a Redwood forest.

We enjoyed a pleasant stay, in a hotel, our first overnight outing since the pandemic struck the U.S. hard in March, 2020. An entertaining interlude to the normal elasticity of our lives, it did find me thinking about changes as I walked the beach and discussed life with the crashing surf. Said thoughts prompted recall of a 1985 Foreigner song, “That Was Yesterday”.

That was yesterday
But today life goes on
No more hiding in yesterday
Because yesterday’s gone

h/t to Genius.com

Yes, life has gone on, but it still sometimes feels like it’s a surprise. It brings up thoughts of another song, “Where Have All the Good Times Gone”, by the Kinks. But I’ll stay with the more theatrical Foreigner tune, because it was the one that came up on the beach.

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

Thursday’s Theme Music

Glory to you and welcome. Today is the old U.S. tax day, Thursday, April 15, 2021, when taxes needed to be filled, or an extension requested (and even if you get an extension, you’ll pay penalties and interest on any taxes owed). The tax deadline filing date is slipped back to May 17 this year, so you got time if you need it.

Sunrise came to Ashland in southern Oregon — boom — at 6:30 AM exactly. Sunfade is anticipated at 7:52 PM. What a bright sun it is, too, already warming our cool mountain valley air to 55 degrees F.

Been out shopping this morning, the usual Medford supply run for food and treats. Restocked my coffee (we are saved!). Love that French Roast stuff.

My mind started noodling the old 10,000 Maniacs song, “These Are Days”, when I was masking up while I was out. By old, I mean, 1992. These are days we’ll remember, I’m sure. Those just being born will hear about it. Those gathering again at high school reunions in ten years will be talking about, as will those getting married, and those of us just skimming along, doing our thang. Makes it an apropos song for any time, though I wonder what they’ll say about these days in a hunnert years.

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

Floofsday’s Theme Music

Good Night. Today is Floofsday, March 32, 2021. Sunset is at 7:01 AM in Ashland and sunrise will be at 7:45 PM. This morning’s temperature is 75 degrees F but we expect to cool down some, reaching 51 by late tonight.

Yesterday’s walk was gloriously perfect. Sunshine burst through, heaving the heat into the high seventies while a mild breeze countered the worst effects. Trees and flowers are blooming, spreading colorful shapes, threading the air with sweet scents. Lot of walkers were out in the hilly streets where I was roaming. Most of us weren’t masked but shied away, keeping proper distance plus.

This situation kicked the 1985 Dire Straits song, “So Far Away”, into my conscious music stream. “So Far Away” was on Brothers in Arms, the album that included “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”, two of my favorite Dire Straits tunes. Stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, I played that album a lot that year, driving my Mazda around the southeastern United States on temporary duty assignments in the Air Force or going north — a straight shot up I-77 — to visit family.

I thought the song works as a theme song for this day. Last April seems so far away. Although we’re marking progress toward the pandemic’s end, a return to normalcy also seems so far away.

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

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Another new day has arrive, just twenty-four hours after the last one. I think we’ll call this one…Merlin. If not Merlin, then Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Sol came creeping over the Ashland hills and mountains at 6:55 AM and is now bathing us with warming sunlight. Watch for Sol to slip away around 7:35 PM. Temps yesterday didn’t get as rosy as promised as we struggled to break 55 degrees F. Claims are out that we’ll strike seventy plus today. We’ll see.

We’ve been watching and enjoying NG’s third season of Genius. This year is all about Aretha Franklin. After finishing the episode about the 1972 two-day recording sessions for her Gospel album, Amazing Grace, we again watched the 2018 documentary about making it, for comparison. Robert Altman was on hand filming it back in the day. Technical difficulties prevented it from being completed. When it was finished, Aretha Franklin would not allow it to be released. It stayed on the shelf until after she passed. Then Spike Lee took it up and brought it the public.

Comparisons between the fictionalized events and the real thing were illuminating. To us, the Genius series attempted to show a larger schism between Aretha and her father, Rev. Franklin, than what existed. Just seems that way but we could be wrong, given the small windows which we use to witness their relationship. It was a treat watching and hearing such a talented person sing. though. What a voice.

That delivers us to today’s theme music. While thinking about Aretha Franklin, I recalled one of her later hits. I realized that her 1985 song, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” is perfect for this era of Zooming meetings, exercise classes, birthdays, weddings, and the many other gatherings we’ve been stopped from doing in person. I’m not the first to recognize that. The comment section is full of others calling this the Zooming anthem.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and keep on Zoomin’. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Greetings fellow humans and all the rest of you. Today is Monday, March 1, 2021. Flip those calendar pages, if you still use them. I still do. Sunrise in Ashland today was at 6:46 AM and sunset is coming at 6:01 PM. It’s warming up outside with a current temperature of 48 degrees F on the way to an expected high in the upper fifties.

Music today is provided by Aerosmith. “The Other Side” was included in the album Pump in 1990. I was singing it yesterday first as part of my walking exercise, you know, just let me go to the other side of this steep hill, then I’ll go down. Next, it gained metaphorical properties as pandemic limitations struck. “Just let me get to the other side of this pandemic and back to a more normal life and also the beach.” Then the phrase, ‘the other side’, rose again as I thought about the novel in progress and the other one being revised. This was more aligned with the sentiment, just let me get through to the other side of this effort, when the initial draft of the one is finished and the editing and revising of the other is completed (at least for this go-around).

So it’s a threefer meaning kind of song on this late winter day. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Hello. Today is Wednesday, the forty-second day of 2021, February 17. 2021. Sunrise struck southern Oregon at 7:05 AM. It’s an assertive sun today, shining down on increased quantities of expanding greenery. Sunset will be at 5:46 PM. All that sunshine is exciting the floofs. Two — Youngblood and Black Beauty, aka Papi and Boo — are out there soaking it up. Not Tucker, though. Today is my wife’s exercise morning (M-W-F), and he likes being in on that.

The skunk declared war on something on Monday night. We were collateral damage as the smell spilled up into the entire house. Fortunately, yesterday was sunny and pleasant (the rain they said we’d get never came). We turned off the heater and opened windows. The skunk’s scent cleared. We went out for a drive. When we returned, she’d struck again. So, do-over, and success again. Then, 9 PM, we went grocery shopping for fresh produce. When we returned…guess what? Yep, she’d struck again. Geuss she was bored or something. This time we fired up the air purifier. That worked. Last night remained skunk free.

Today’s song jumped into the mental stream out of 1992. When I woke up and was still in bed, I thought, “I’m so hot.” Then, writing in my head, I noted, “I’m so excited.” About two minutes later, I said to myself, “I’m so hungry,” and hastened to make breakfast. “I’m so ready,” followed a short while later as I made coffee and then headed in to write. That’s when the Wayback Machine activated Nirvana’s song, “Lithium”.

I’m so happy
‘Cause today I found my friends-they’re in my head
I’m so ugly, that’s okay ’cause so are you
Broke our mirrors

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

Yeah, you know how it goes, right? Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight. Cheers

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