Thursday’s Theme Music

Happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and the nation north of the U.S. I send them wishes for a joyous celebration and greater success and prosperity.

Today is July 1, 2021. A Thursday. Pale gold burnished the upper reaches of hills, trees, and mountains at 5:38 AM. It’ll fade away into night at 8:51 PM. Sunshine will deliver us to some mild heat — the low nineties — today. Smoke comes and goes to the valley from the Lava Fire by Weed, California. If you want to see the fire, head to Mount Ashland, just outside town, which offers a panoramic view of the smoke. Flames are visible at night.

The deepening drought delivered another depressing blow. Water limitations and drought meant the blueberries didn’t come in at our favorite u-pick-em site. We’d been doing this for over a decade. It’s one of our Ashland traditions. The blueberry owners are trying to keep the place alive and hope to see us all next year.

Also canceled for the second year is the July 4th Parade. COVID concerns, yes. Planning needed to start months ago and where we’d be now was too uncertain to plan. The fireworks are canceled. I’ve become ambivalent about fireworks. Loved ’em as a child. Now I understand what they do to the land and animals. Sadly, this year, the drought is too intense to risk fireworks. Locals are still reeling from Ashland’s near miss last September. Yeah, near miss, not quite. Two thousand homes were destroyed on the north edge of town. Talent and Phoenix were reduced to smoky piles of rock and wood in many areas, gutting the towns physically and emotionally. With those emotional scars still vivid, many are relieved that the fireworks won’t take place.

Without too much surprise, I bet, I introduce a song about summer, called “Summer”. By War, it was released in 1976. Some may claim that 1976 was a simpler time. It may’ve been for many. For others, it was a time like the rest, working to feed yourself, working to beat the heat, playing to relieve the stress, doing what you can as you face an uncertain future. Who sang, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always near”? That’s right, Jim and the lads, back in another century. I used to sing, “The future’s uncertain and the end is always clear.” Made me sense to me

Anyway, here’s “Summer”, a mellow reflection on the hot season. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

The slide began on a Tuesday, June 22, 2021. Sunrise at 5:35 AM was one minute later than the previous day. This depressed Michael. He could see the tunnel forming that would lead inexorably to the coldest, shortest day, which meant the longest, darkest night.

Brewing coffee, he shook it off. Summer was here! At 9:00 AM, the local temperature was 78 degrees F. Thunderstorms and clouds offered some refuge from the heat. They’d only be 94 today before the Earth’s turn shifted them from the sun at 8:51 PM. The thunderstorms might bring wildfires, though. Fingers crossed…

He began humming “More Human Than Human”. Humming it until he began singing, soto vocce, “Yeah. Yeah.” The White Zombie song came out decades before. When? Yes, back when he retired from the military in 1995. He’d been amused hearing it. The song title is lifted from one of his favorite movies, “Blade Runner”, based on a favorite book, “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” He often thought of that slogan while slogging through corporate meetings in subsequent years. The start ups. Then Tyco. ISS. IBM. “More Human Than Human” encapsulated the misleading slant corporations bring to their marketing.

It was a depressing way to begin the day. Brewing more coffee, he turned to writing. Even if not a successful writing day (which was always iffy), writing was a distraction, his personal drug.

“Be positive,” he told himself. Test negative, his mind answered. Wear a mask when needed. Already got the vax. The state — his adopted state, Oregon — was almost at seventy percent.

Fingers crossed. It was becoming his personal slogan.

Monday’s Theme Music

76 degrees F at 8 AM. Will probably be a warm Monday.

June 21, 2021. This is it: our longest day. That’s the accepted norm. I like the long periods of daylight, so, sigh. Not looking forward to the shorter days of daylight. Sunshine initiated ‘the longest day’ with its faint streams at 5:35 AM. It’ll cease at 8:51 PM. Between those hours, high temperatures in the upper nineties will be enjoyed. It’s interesting that today’s sunrise is a minute later than the last two days, but sunset is later. Result of all these rotations, revolutions, and tilt in play, yeah? Fun to imagine us streaking through the solar system around Sol, along with our planet siblings, while the whole arrangements itself is whizzing through the galaxy and the galaxy is racing through the Universe.

“Summertime Blues” by Eddie Cochran occupies the AM mental music stream. The song was released when I was two but received a lot of airplay throughout my youth. Although the song is about the misery of a teenager with a summer job, I’ve always been enamored of that line, “There ain’t no cure for the summertime blues.” A gaggle of acts have covered the song, including The Who and Brian Seltzer, but I’m loyal to that original. It popped out of memory and into active thought as I finished painting yesterday and contemplated my next summer task. Wonder why. Heh.

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

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Up early. (Well, early-ish.) (With le chats.) Opened the back door and ventured into the cool air (well, coolish, low seventies, but it’s a relative thing, innit?) and clear blue sky (well, clear-ish and blue-ish, save for the marring brung in by wildfire smoke to the south and east, gentle nudges to check the wildfire updates). Birds were speaking but it was quiet (well, quiet-ish, as cars’ motoring punctured the mo’ — again, again, again). Thought of the world sit, rolling into longing for where I was and where I preferred to be.

Here’s a song from another time which I think evokes those senses, “The Boys of Summer” by Don Henley and Mike Campbell, with Campbell on guitar, from 1984. By coincidence, it captures the sense of summer, 2020: “Nobody on the road, nobody on the beach. I feel it in the air, the summers out of reach. Empty lake, empty streets, the sun goes down alone.”

Hmm, seems like an -ish kind of day…

 

Thursday Trifles

  1. Yes, I’m watching what’s happening 280 miles up the road in Portland and the Feds in there under Trump’s orders. Yes, I’m angry. Yes, I’m proud of Portland’s citizens and Oregonians pushing back. Bottom line for Trump: I believe it’s another ego play for him, but I also think he’s trying to energize his campaign and drive headlines away from the mounting COVID-19 deaths. I also think it’s a poor strategy for him. We’ll know in November.
  2. Went shopping at Trader Joe’s and Costco today during elderly hours. All were masked and polite but the stores were pretty lean with customers on this warm summer Thursday. Yeah, I’m not complaining. Our bills startled me: $142 and $195, all food and staples. Then again, that’s most of the groc shop for the month. We’re saving half our monthly income because we don’t go anywhere. Small blessings, right? I’ll take them.
  3. We’ve reached our summer temps. A gentle rhythm has begun. Temps stat in the low nineties and slowly rise to 100, then drop to the low nineties again; repeat. This goes on for five to seven days. It cools to high fifties to seventy at night. We throw the windows and doors open, chill the house overnight, then seal the house the next morning. The office is the warmest room, so we run a small fan in there. We’ve yet to run the air con, knock wood.
  4. Our house floofs are loving the weather. Sleep all day in a comfy place, come in for dinner, then patrol the darkness, kibbling through the night.
  5. Unfortunately, with the summer weather come lightning strikes in the mountains and wildfires. We get smoky air and worries. Ten fires were covered in the news. We  have organizations and well-trained people to deal with it, for which I’m grateful. We stay concerned about them and their health and safety. Talk about some brave, essential people. I put them on that list.
  6. Got my coffee. You know what that means. One-handed typing is slow going, but I think my muses are flourishing with the slowdown. I’m enjoying the slow train, too, and how my pace lets more unfold. Okay, onward: I’m going to go write like crazy, at least one more time, but slowly.

Had a rona moment, calling today Tuesday when it’s Saturday. I mean, Thunesday. Whatever.

Summer Lines

Sunshine got its say today.

Brought its rays out to blaze and bake.

Said, “I don’t plan to go away

Till I make you sweat and pay.”

Chill wind taking off some time,

going away to somewhere fun personified.

Said, “I’m not gonna tell you lies.

Gonna let sun bake you into fries.”

Day went on with its life.

Took the sun and wind in stride.

Said, “Don’t pay them none of your mind

Stick with me and we’ll be fine.”

Night came and it all settled down.

The three others went off like they were clowns.

Night mused, “It’s all quiet now.

So let’s get up and party down.”

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Yesterday was in the mid-nineties. Today we’re looking at ninety-eight to one hundred degrees. Heat warnings out, etc..

Can’t complain too much. Had a scorcher back in May, and thought, oh, no, here comes the heat. But June turned mild and rainy. Different from what we usually get, and tres acceptable.

I’m not an air conditioning fan. Prefer not to run it in the house. Seems like a sledgehammer approach to things. I don’t usually run it in the house until the temp inside goes to eight-three. To do this, I cool the house at night, right? Sure. Everyone’s with that. But last night didn’t cool too much (seventy at eleven) (that’s degrees at o’clock PM). The house was comfortable through and it’s comfortable now, but, well, we’re looking at eighty by eleven (temp/time, AM).

Speaking of time and clocks (or writing about them), I was thinking about counter-clockwise. I was following some instructions which used that statement. Which cause wonder, what’d they say before clocks about turning things? I suppose, reflecting on technology, not many things were turned before clocks, and they just said, left or right.

Also, though, kids. Their clocks are digital. Aren’t they? Are they? Don’t have children, so I don’t know what’s in school, and whether that’s still taught. Kind of assumed it wasn’t, since they’re dropped the whole cursive writing business.

But if they’re not shown standard round clocks, being told about turning something counter clockwise must cause a minor brain freeze.

Back to the music. For today’s heat, the theme is “Heat Wave” as covered by Linda Rondstadt back in the last century. The original song was excellent, and there are many terrific versions, but Linda’s version popped up in 1975, so I associate it with driving around and partying as a young adult.

Let’s go with it.

Ch-ch-changing

Changing seasons

changing times

changing clothes

changing rhymes

 

Changing mind

changing ways

changing hours

changing days

 

Changing tastes

changing drinks

changing food

changing links

 

Changing sea

changing skies

changing clouds

changing eyes

 

Changing hope

changing dreams

changing plans

changing schemes

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Talking with other Ashlanders yesterday, we all mentioned how pleased we  were that smoke, wildfire, and hot weather hadn’t dominated and smothered us as it has the last several years. Remembering last year, I mentioned that it’d seemed like a particularly cruel summer. Afterward, walking away, Bananarama’s song, “Cruel Summer” (1998), splashed into my stream.

Seeing that some believe that summer is over, citing that school has started, the weather feels like it’s changed, or that Labor Day (US) has passed, I think it a good song for the middle of the week during one of the last weeks of official summer.

 

 

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