Thursday’s Theme Music

Day six of the three-day green smoothie fast. Hello, it’s Earth Day. Happy Earth Day! It’s also Thursday, April 22, 2021. Huzzah.

We achieved sunrise in Ashland, Oregon, at 6:19 AM. Sunset won’t come until almost fourteen hours later, at 8 PM. Huzzah. We reached 72 degrees F yesterday and expect more of the same, what with a clear blue sky, loads of sun beams, and a current temp of 52. Huzzah.

I am quite hungry this morning. That prompted me to sing a bit of “Cheeseburger in Paradise” by Jimmy Buffett in my head. We eat Beyond Burgers in our household, which are plant-based burgers. My wife is a vegetarian. We also put vegan cheese on them. The side is usually a garden salad, but oven-baked tater tots often make the plate. Although, myself wouldn’t say no to a nice steak nor some roasted chicken. Yeah, for breakfast.

The 1971 Three Dog Night song, “Out in the Country”, came to me last night, though, as I gazed at the declining sunshine being flashed off the clouds in shades of pink and gold above the darkening, forested mountains. We’re out in the country, in a small town kind of way, a nice combination in a multitude of ways. I thought it would be a good song for Earth Day, so I post it here. It’s pleasantly green now. But…sigh, the rain has faded, the land is drying, and the heat is climbing. Much of it will soon turn brown. More will blacken with fire.

Or maybe not! Maybe not this year. Fingers crossed. Stay positive (boy, I’m trying – hope you’re better at it than me), test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

Wednesday Wuthering

  1. On day five of the three-day green smoothie fast. Yesterday, besides three green smoothies, I enjoyed a few celery sticks, four prunes, a boiled egg, a cup of cubed watermelon, eight raw almonds and a handful of raw walnuts. I feel great, so why not continue? Sure, I was constantly mildly hungry throughout the day. And yes, my stomach talks to me in squeals, growls, and grunts all day, too.
  2. Okay, I cheated and ate a protein bar in the mid-afternoon.
  3. Well, the credit card ordeal might be over. Brief recap: was given new cards after reporting fraud on the previous cards. New cards received and activated. Wife wasn’t given chance to set her PIN. We tested: her old PIN didn’t work. Neither did my new one work on her card. Calls were made. A new PIN was set to her. We tested it. Nope. So, I commenced to pursue a fix. After spending over an hour on the phone with three different credit union reps, calling the numbers they specified, etc., I was turned over to a person in the credit card payment division. She listened to the tale. “You’ve been calling the wrong number.” I’d been calling the number the reps had given me. She gave another number. I called it. PIN changed, at least telephonically. We won’t be certain until we use it.
  4. Makes me wonder, though, you know? Why did it take so long for that number to emerge? Why is there a different number? Customer service and focus continues to die a slow death.
  5. Ah, technologically. I have a telemedicine call tomorrow. Video with a new family nurse practitioner. Annual event, to renew my meds for BHP and hypertension. Did the hardware check yesterday. Couldn’t connect to the video. Whaaat? The webcam worked last year. Went through all settings for hardware, software, security, privacy, etc. All was as should be. Even said that website had been given permission to use the camera. So…?
  6. Searched the web for advice and ideas. Microsoft, Kaspersky, HP. Talked to Chatbots for support. Uninstalled, reinstalled, updated drivers, rebooted machine several times, installed new webcam software, checked the device manager, registry, and so on. After three hours, the hardware check claims it works but I get nothing. Tested it on Zoom. Nothing. Nothing, nothing, nothing, except exasperation and frustration. Tested it this morning, just in case. No change.
  7. Forums are a joke in this regard. Many people reporting the same issue. No solutions found that work. Hell, most solutions were the previously-tried solutions. Ditto, the search engines on every browser and search site tried. They all regurgitate the same results. Remember GIGO? Garbage in, garbage out. Yep.
  8. Screw it, is my final position. I can use the iPad, which would be tres small. My wife generously offered me her iPad. That might be the way I go.
  9. Dad is out of the hospital. He was in at least two weeks, but don’t have greater details. He’d told me, don’t call, I’ll call you in a few days. That was weeks ago. He finally called yesterday. Has issues with fluid in legs. Turn bright red, swell, blister, etc., Medicos finally concluded, yep, heart weakening, kidney issues contributing. Wasn’t surprised, as he’s had COPD for decades. Some pulmonary issues were bound to reveal themselves. He’s in great spirits, mind remains sharp. That’s a tale I hear with many, many friends, though. I see the signs, and know where he’s going. Not unexpected, as that’s where we all go. Primary questions are about how long he’s in this declining state, how much pain and suffering he endures, and what his wife and family will experience during this watch.
  10. Dad and I are both retired military. Twenty-year vets. We receive pensions and healthcare. He retired about twenty-five years before I joined. That makes all the difference. He’s not paying anything for care. Tricare covers everything for him. Then launched into a “no wonder this country is going broke” stand. My Tricare is good, but I have co-pays. Dad does not. I have monthly premiums. Dad does not. I pay a small amount for prescriptions; Dad doesn’t. He also lives in San Antonio. A large military and retired presence there helps him. I live in rural southern Oregon. Time, age, location: that sums up the changes, right? Oh, yeah, and people are living longer, healthcare is constantly evolving, and it all costs. For example, he now has five people coming in each day to help him with different functions, from PT and leg exercises to bathing. He is married, and his wife is there, but I know how hard it is for a spouse to be a care-giver. She’s but a few years younger than him and has her own issues.
  11. Dissatisfied with offerings from U.S. television, we now watch a lot of foreign stuff. Mostly European. Dramas and comedies don’t work well, but thrillers, mysteries, and procedurals do. We try American offerings. We find them shallow, formulaic, and simplistic. Pretty people with fake issues to enhance tension dominate. Cry us another, you know? Right now, we’re watching Swedish, German, French, Italian, and British offerings. Don’t have anything coming out of Canada that entices me, which is a surprise. Same with the Aussies. But this might be the streaming gap, you know?
  12. Watching foreign television shows, we’re often entices by the settings. The procedurals often take place on the coast, an island, or a lake. They’re beautiful, intriguing places. I told my wife that we should set up tours to these places. That would cost a mint, and it’s impossible during the pandemic. If I had to chose one, I’d go to the Stockholm archipelago where “The Sandhamm Murders” is set.
  13. Okay, have my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Congratulations! You have made it to today, which is Saturday, April 17, 2021. I salute you.

Sol’s day began when he came creeping around the window at 6:27 AM in Ashland. He’ll be stealing away at 7:54 in the evening. That’ll give us a long period of sunlight. I will say, though, I was up on floof business at 4:15 and was surprised by the amount of light already in evidence. Yesterday was a wonderful day. The sunshine bookjacked my plans. I ended up in the backyard reading, enjoying the 73 degrees air. It’s already 60.

We’re starting a three-day green smoothie fast today. My wife is a big fan of this process. She makes green smoothies for us every day. The shopping expedition on Thursday was for firstly and mostly procuring more stuffs for the green smoothies. Power greens, pears, and a wide variety of frozen fruits were acquired. We already had a bunch of the stuff; just needed more. Fingers crossed that we make it all the way. Should add that I allow myself an exception. Yes, one cuppa coffee, black, no sugar, per day.

Today’s music is just stuck in my head. Been going since my eyes first groaned open to see what was going on with the three floofketeers. There were mutterings among them along the lines of, “He’s looking at me,” “He’s standing too close to me,” “Stop looking at me,” “I was here first.” They are fur children.

So, the song. “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd was released in 2020. I sometimes think the title should be “Sve Yr Trs”. Guess the trs could be misconstrued as ‘trees’. That would be a good song: “Save Your Trees”. “Save your trees for another day.”

Sorry. Haven’t had any coffee. Or food. Smoothie is being prepared. I began making them. My wife came in and pushed me aside. No, I didn’t take it personally. Not at all. I didn’t stamp away muttering, “Fine. You make them.”

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

The Business Dream

I was running some kind of operation. I’m not certain if it was a small business or a unit of some larger organization; that never became clear. The place of business was sprawling and dark. I didn’t have many people working for me, perhaps a dozen. Things were stable and running smoothly, but tight.

A tall white man came to the place, looking for the manager/owner, which was me. He told me that he owned a business down the street. He expected a great deal of business in the coming days. Spillover business would be coming to me; he wanted to ensure that I was sufficiently manned for the rush. I bristled, brushing him off, telling him, we’re fine and it’s not his business. He went away for a bit but returned with the same message, imploring me to listen to him.

So I listened, thinking while I did, that I was already stretched thin. Putting more people on one shift would mean moving them from another and perhaps overtime. I didn’t want to risk overtime and schedule changes if this business wasn’t going to materialize, because I would take a loss.

I asked him, “How many do you think will come here?” He replied, “Forty-eight.” My workers were listening. Forty-eight struck us all as a significant amount. The other man told me that they would probably mostly order smoothies. I asked him more questions: what time of day was this rush expected? Would it be all at once or stretched out? He said that he didn’t have that information, that those were good questions, that he would need to check that and get back to me.

Dream ended.

A Packed Dream

I sorted out all the elements as a catalyst to remembering this convoluted nocturnal offering.

  1. Racing cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  2. The mother of a childhood friend in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  3. The television show Glee.
  4. My sports car that I drove in the 1990s.
  5. Co-workers from the early 2000s.
  6. A book store and change.
  7. The Vietnam war and the Huey gunship.
  8. Walking and driving.
  9. An embarrassing bathroom incident featuring an elderly Robert Duvall doppelganger.
  10. Sending a coded message.

It was a lot to take in. I dreamed this between 6 AM and 7:45, times that I was awoken to let Youngblood (Papi) out and in again. I was the same age, in my forties, throughout the dream.

Let’s begin the madness.

Started in traffic. I was in my black 1993 RX-7 R1. Highway was a undulating, rolling affair of six lanes filled with cars. It could have been El Camino Real along the Peninsula.

I saw bright cars up ahead. After some seconds of watching them accelerate and race through traffic, I decided that those were race cars. Downshifting, I accelerated to catch them, then I passed one; it was a 1966 Ford GT. Catching up with others, I saw a trio of Ford GT40s, then several Porsche 908s, a couple Ferraris, Porsche 917s in Gulf colors, and finally, Mark Donahue’s fabled Sunoco blue Porsche 917/30. Flabbergasted, I speculated, why are all these vintage race cars racing in traffic on a public road? Before I could fully catch them, a traffic light stopped me.

I was no longer in my car, but standing with a crowd of people, waiting for the light to change. It was a sunny day. When the light changed, we started walking forward. We were going up a large hill, paved, six lanes wide (three in each direction). A woman beside me said, “How do they expect us to walk up these hills when we’re not warned about them?” I thought that an odd complaint. Looking back, I realized I was having no problem with the hill, but everyone else was, and all were lagging far behind. Shrugging that off, I kept going.

Almost at the hill top, I turned into my destination, a shopping center. There was a book store that I wanted to visit. Entering, I hurried upstairs and then turned in what I remembered as the way. But it was changed; packed with books and bookshelves, tables and chairs, there were so many people and books that it was hard walking through. I gingerly managed to get through, then turned another corner, and found myself in a deadend.

I heard my name being called. As I wondered why anyone would be calling my name, I looked down and realized that my name was written on the tee shirt I wore. A young woman caught up with me. I recognized her as a co-worker from a company I worked at in the 2000s in Palo Alto.

She was asking me for information about a book. She knew some of the people I used to work with flew Huey Gunships in Vietnam. That baffled me; she didn’t work with any of those people. Also, those people were too young to have flown Hueys in Vietnam. A third man (black) came up, trying also to get through the book store. The three of us decided that there was only one door to take, so we would take it to reach the book store section that we wanted.

As we were about to leave, a black man hailed us. Identifying himself as the store manager, he told us that we couldn’t enter until people had left, because the store was too crowded. While we were talking to him, I looked out the window. Realizing where I was, I decided I would leave the store and approach the part I wanted from the outside. I took off to do so.

Now I was in a bathroom. I needed a bowel movement, so I copped a squat. People were watching me. One resembled an elderly Robert Duvall. Staring at me, he said, “Are you really going to do that here?” Thinking I was on a toilet, I replied, “Sure, why not?”

Then I realized that I was peeing on the floor. As I tried addressing that, I discovered that I was shitting in a urinal.

No, no, no! I was hugely embarrassed and recognized that I made an enormous mess. Well, hopping off the urinal, I found some paper towels and starting cleaning. Robert Duvall mocked me. “You’re going to clean this whole thing?” “Yes,” I answered.

My friends began helping me. As I cleaned piss off the upper walls, I realized that there was no way that I’d made all of this mess. Robert Duvall said the same. But I decided to keep cleaning until it was all clean, which I did with friends’ help. Robert Duvall grudgingly congratulated me on doing the right thing. I felt happy about that. Then my friends and I left.

I was out in a busy, busy place. I realized that a high-ranking military officer was coming here, but it wasn’t safe for him. I had a code that I could use to warn him off, but how would I get the code to him? It had to be surreptitious due to the situation.

I saw that some others were on a Zoom call. He was on that Zoom call, too, on the other end! I could write the code on a card or piece of paper and hold it up. As I worked, putting that all together, I did another assessment. Deciding that the threat had passed and the warning overcome by events, I left.

I was at my friend’s house in Penn Hills, PA. He wasn’t there, but his father was. He was coming down the steps as I was going up. I needed to wash my car. I crept into the house, a little concerned that I didn’t belong there, that I was invading someone’s private space. Upstairs, I found a bucket and soap and started filling the bucket with water at the sink. My friend’s mother (Lois) entered. The kitchen was messy, and another person was in there. I apologized for being there, stammering my way through that. She shrugged. “That’s okay. We’re making smoothies.” She held up two large glasses. Then she talked to the other person, asking him if they’d DVR’d Glee.

That threw me off. Lois had died in the eighties (cancer). Glee didn’t exist when she was alive. Neither did DVRs.

Leaving, I returned to my car (still my black RX-7), and then left to reach the bookstore.

Yeah, the end.

The Boom: the Sequel

To recap part one of The Boom, my wife was making smoothies when the beverage somehow became animated, escaped all containers and spread its raspberry-pomegranate hues over appliances, hardwood floors and walls. Clean-up wasn’t difficult. We thought the incident was over.

But now…here is ‘the rest of the story’….

I left the master suite’s hallway late Christmas day and headed for the kitchen. The weak winter sun had already abandoned us. Lights were required. I went to the switch plate. Four lighting systems were controlled from that location. I clicked two and glanced up to assess, was this enough light?

The sight that I saw left me gawking. “Oh, my, God.”

Our kitchen has a vaulted ceiling. It rises from about seven feet up past fourteen. A pattern of dried smoothie resembling Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other Pacific island chains was spread across the ivory ceiling at about the twelve foot altitude.

I regarded it for a number of minutes, considering what we’d initially seen, trying to reconcile the two scenes. The distances…the quantity….

Something like this needed company. I  hunted down my wife. She was in the snug. “Hey,” I said in Mister Casual’s voice. “We missed some of the smoothie spill.”

“Where?”

“You need to come see this.”

She went into the kitchen. I lagged behind her. She searched the floor and appliances. “I don’t see anything.”

“Look up.”

My wife did. She gasped. “Oh. My. God.”

“Yep. What the hell happened in here?”

Staring at the mess, my wife shook her head. “I don’t know. I can’t explain.” Bewilderment glistened in her eyes. “We might need to paint that.”

“We’ll see. Let’s try cleaning it first.”

It would need to be me cleaning it, or painting it, should it be required. My wife would never be able to reach it. She’s too short. With cats warily inspecting my activities, I got out the ten foot step ladder to begin the cleaning process and set it up in the kitchen. Climbing up to the third rung from the top, I surveyed the mess.

It was worse than we thought. From here, I could see that another wall – ten feet away and fifteen feet up – displayed the Aleutians. Smoothie was on the walls above the cabinets and above the small artwork over the window. Smoothie speckled the dining room ceiling another eight feet away in the opposite direction.

Unbelievable. Studying it all, I wished again for Dexter to come in and analyze this mess. Turning on the Denver and KC football game for companionship, I began cleaning. Soap and water was tried.

The mess chortled at my puny efforts.

I doused a section with Windex and scrubbed.

The mess sniffed. “Is that the best you got?”

I conducted an Internet search. Magic Erasers were tried.

Magic Erasers failed.

I returned to the Internet. Another cleaner was recommended.

I tried it. “No,” the smoothie mess cried. “I’m disappearing…oh, what a world, what a world.”

By the third quarter, I had it all cleaned. A slice of pumpkin pie with whipped cream was consumed to celebrate.

If you ever need to clean a berry stain from paint, I highly recommend OxiClean.

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