Okay, that’s enough, weather wizards. Gonna be 88 later today. Already 70 F. Let’s just put the pause on the rising heat.

Today is Tuesday, 6/6/23. Yesterday afternoon delivered us waves of thunder. When that begins, we eye the horizons and sniff the air, wondering if lightning strikes have started fires anywhere. Then you get on the news and net, searching for reports. Your mind actively engages everything for signs of fire. Is that haze over there? What’s causing that?

So far, so good, though, knock wood, release breath.

When I arrived home yesterday from the writing session, I glanced out to check on Tucker. He likes sleeping out front around the porch where he can move from sun to shadow to warm or cool himself as desired. He was asleep behind the front pillar. Two feet away from him was an adult doe. I let them be, of course, checking every half an hour. I imagine when she first arrived, Tucker quizzed her in floofish — name, species, intentions. She asked him for particulars about this him, this house, and the neighborhood. Then both chilled. Eventually, the thunderboomers seemed to put her on the move.

Papi, of course, was immediately shifted into the house when the thunder came. Papi no like loud noises. Thunder is second only to fireworks on that list.

I have the Thompson Twins with “Doctor Doctor!” rising into the morning mental music stream from 1984. Just came to me as I was puddlin’ around through morning tedium of feeding, eating, dressing. Not a bad song, so I let it stay (as if I have a choice). May as well use it for a theme song.

Stay pos and be comfortable. Hope all works out for you today. Here’s the music. I’m shifting into the kitchen for a little roasted bean water. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Okay, that’s it, we’re takin’ it up a notch.

It’s 60 degrees F. Monday, 6/5/2023. Temp is gonna git up to 86 F today. This gradual climb by day of sunny heat is pleasant, acceptable. Heat isn’t crisping us to overcooked pizza crusts within a minute. Cool morning breezes descend from the mountains, whisper, it’ll be okay. We appreciate it.

Noisy out there. Air is lousy with work machinery noises. Don’t know where it’s from or who are the villians. Stirred me to arise — “Arise, arise” — and make flapjacks for breakfast. I always enjoyed the word, ‘flapjacks’, from childhood till now. The works isn’t easily pulled apart for morning. Not one of those expressions which you hear and immediately understand. See, like ‘pancake’, you have two familiars: pan and cake. Sounds already. ‘Flapjacks’ also have two familiars, flap and jack, but neither make me think food on their own merits. That doesn’t change by putting them together.

Got “(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding” throbbing through the morning mental music stream. It’s a regular song in the rotation. Came to me while I was trimming bushes and doing odd jobs around the house. Far as I know, no particular activity or thinking was being done to cause The Neurons to say, “Hold up! We have the perfect song for the moment.” Nope, they just brought it on outta the blue. That’s how the mind sometimes works, hey?

While I was looking for a video to link, I saw another regular song I often hear in my head, “A Change Will Do you Good” by Sheryl Crow. As I listened to it for a bit, I saw that she’d done a version of Peace, Love, etc, so I dialed it up — yeah, I clicked on it. Her rendition became my choice for the day.

Be good out there. Be safe. Stay pos. Ima gonna pop down some coffee and go off with my wife to deliver Food & Friends. Then it’s on to writing, yardwork, housework, reading. Just finishing up reading Six of Crows. Really enjoying it.

Here we go. Let’s start with music and coffee. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Happy National Cheese Day! Yes, it’s Sunday, June 4, 2023, which, as all know in the US, is National Cheese Day. Yes, America’s founders, Washington, Adams, Franklin, and the like, loved cheese. They regularly ate cheese while working with Jefferson on the founding documents. Jefferson practically lived on cheese during those days. Whenever he got stuck, someone would say, “Get Tommy some cheddar.” One of the reasons why we have problems with the Second Amendment in the Bill of Rights was because of the Great American Cheese Shortage. They were trying to come up with the right words but ran out of cheese. Quoting T.J., he wrote in his journal, “I can’t think without my cheese. I crave colby so deeply that it plagues my dreams. Damn it all, when will we get more cheese?” Today’s conversations about gun rights may have been much different if they hadn’t run out of cheese. That’s also when the expression, “Cut the cheese”, was originated when someone passed gas.

I hope that cheesy tale didn’t curdle your spirit. Mozzarella with you, can’t stand a little weird humor? I know, calling it humor might be slicing it thin. Remember, just brieth and move on.

Yesterday went so well with the weather, we’re doing it again today. 60 F now, we have expectations to pop into the mid 80s F, a lovely summer prelude. More yardwork on the agenda. With all the late rain we had, the bushes and trees went nuts and need trimmed back.

Jimmy Eat World is in the morning mental music stream. I was taking in an eyeful of luscious full moon last night, recalling how, during cheese shortages, people looked up at the moon and saw cheese. “Oh, if only we could reach it,” they’d tell one another. “We’d have all the cheese we want.” Sometimes they built great edifices, like towers and pyramids, in an attempt to reach the cheesy moon, or climb the highest mountains. They’d come down from the mountains and people would greet them and ask, “Did you get some cheese?” But no; they usually came down empty handed, except one guy, who came back with some tablets. People were furious with him. “Tablets? We can’t eat those. We want cheese.”

Anyway, while taking in the moon, the night’s beauty took my breath away. From that, The Neurons began feeding different songs with the phrase, ‘take my breath away’, in it. There are a few, and my mind busied itself, eventually branching out to songs about breathing or with the word breath in them. Eventually, The Neurons rediscovered “Pain” by Jimmy Eat World from 2004. The song landed in the morning mental music stream and has been going ’round and around in it until now, when I free myself by offering it to others. Don’t know why, but that’s how it works.

Stay pos and carpe Sunday. Time for more coffee, don’t you think? Yes, The Neurons agree, it is. Here’s the music. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. Sunshine and blue skies. Presently on the mid side of 60 F, up from 52 F overnight, we’ll be hunting the mid 80s before the sun skirmishes with the falling night and carries us into a new day.

It’s June and Saturday, June 3, 2023, for more exactitude. The cats are loving this weather, right? Mostly out there sleeping in part shade, part sun. Seeing them out there, and I drift through memories. Tucker has always been a little strange about doors. He goes to the linen door, coat closet door, garage door, pantry door. A drawn out merow is issued. His meowing is either very loud or barely a whisper. No midpoint for him. When it’s a loud meow, he draws out the sounds and employs several syllables.

I ask, “What? You want into the <insert location here>?”

Head nod (yes, by him), mumbling mew sounds, a head tilt at the door in question, his look shooting from it to me, back to it, conveying his desire.

Head shake (yes, by me). “Okay, buddy.” Sigh. Door is opened. He heads in for investigation, sometimes dwelling in wherever for fifteen to twenty minutes. He’s old now, a long-furred black and white stray who chose to stay with us, showing up with matted fur and bad teeth almost ten years ago, I think. Need to check the histories to know with certitude. Point is, these demands have been incorporated in his behavior since his first year with us.

The Neurons planted “Happenings Ten Years Time Ago” into the morning mental music stream. 1966 Yardbirds song. Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page on lead guitars, I thought this song was so cool when I first heard it, one of those radio offerings that had me jumping for the radio and reaching for the volume knob. Never heard it much on the radio in the years since. Don’t know when I last listened to it. But this morning, walking out of dream sleep and into the other room to begin standard morning practices, the first lines broke out of memory and into conscious thought.

Meeting people on my way
Seemingly I’ve known one day
Familiarity of things
That my dreaming always brings

Happenings ten years time ago
Situations we really know
But the knowing is in the mind
Sinking deep into the well of time

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Wasn’t long after that before The Neurons delivered the song to a loop in my head. I think it’s a related-to-writing thing. I obsess over time, reality, and questions of what we know vs what happened vs what we think we know is one that in my novel writing. Memory is a mischief maker and history is written by the winners and then revised, leaving many of us floundering about it all. So here we be.

Stay pos. Coffee drinking has commenced. Big old cup is a quarter down already. Goes well with a cool summer morning on the patio, sunshine blazing down, cats washing in the green grass, jay yelling at us all from different perches as he surveys the yard and lands on chairs and trees. Could be a good day, you know?

Here’s the tune. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Made it to June — June, when a young man’s fancy lightly turns to — well, that depends on the young man. We’re all different you know. Some ask, “What’s love got to do with it?”

Now that I’ve reached June, I’ve set my sights on July. As was said in the military on performance reviews, “Set low goals and failed to achieve them.” A cynic’s coven, they were.

Sunrise was about 5:30 on the AM side of the day and the setting part will be on the B side after 8:30. Temperatures for the nocturnal portion dipped into the mid 40s F but we’ve strutted into the low 60s by now, making our way to the low 80s in Ashlandia. How do you describe a sky this blue, not smudge by dust, smoke, or cloud, just sun-kissed and beckoning?

This, ladies and germs, is Friday, June 2, 2023.

Re-installed the pet door last night for Papi’s use. T’was removed for the winter. Some trepidation clings to the decision. Cougar, you know, seen in these parts. Well, there are several ranging our town’s streets and yards. Wife suggested, “Put the pet door back on so that you can get some sleep.”

“Cougar?” I responded, a one word summary of the six sentences said to remind her of her worries about a cougar getting Papi.

“This will give him an escape route. He can run in through the pet door if he gets scared.”

Sure, in a perfect world, I didn’t answer. That assumes Papi lounges around the back yard, close to him, instead of chasing moonbeams around the block. It also assumes that Tucker doesn’t passive-aggressively sleeps in front of the pet door, blocking it. Whatever. I am like water.

Today’s song is a product of glancing at the TV and seeing something. That something — I don’t know what it was — prompted The Neurons to select Dire Straits and “Lady Writer” (1979) from the memory bins and play it through the night. It still plays in the morning mental music stream, a classic DS sound to me. Catchy tune, upbeat, with intriguing words. Hope it stirs something for you.

Speaking of stirring, I’m stirring to get some java. The coffee low level light is blinking, and a top-off is the cure. Stay pos and bounce into the weekend, wherever your are and doing. Here are the lads and the song.


Thursday’s Theme Music

Okay, we’re back. It’s about half past coffee on a T-day morning. June 1, 2023. Looks like we made it. Well done. Give yourself a round of applause.

48 F outside in Ashlandia. Sunrise was 5:37 AM, about when I was scolding Papi in exasperation as he sang about his need to be free, never mind the cougars. A cool morning after a chilly night. Sunny, with clouds like sailing yachts cruising the space between the horizons. No visible snow. Need to walk down the street and look east to the higher els to see that. The thermometer will percolate up to the mid seventies today before the sun show shuts down and moves on to bring us another day.

Big news riding the US headlines is the debt ceiling deal passing the House. Who voted for it, who did not, he said – she said, who are the winners and losers, who lost political capital, who gained it. Reading this, The Neurons scoffed, snorted, chuckled, and dished up Aerosmith from 1974, “Same Old Song and Dance”, into the morning mental music stream for my musical merriment.

Breakfast has been et, coffee is prepared, and the day awaits. First, think I’ll read a bit. Stay pos. Coffee diem. Or sumpin’ like that. Here’s the band and their music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Feeling under the weather this AM. The old nautical expression has always amused me. We never respond, “I’m feeling over the weather” when someone asked and we’re feeling pretty good. One of those expressions used that don’t have a corollary to it. It’s interesting how expressions like this shift from being used out in a ship or boat dealing with bad weather and feeling its effect to land folk getting out of bed and experiencing illness. People began using it on land, and it spread, becoming commonplace, and here we are.

It’s the last day of May of 2023. Feels more like the normal weather for the last day of April out there. Springy, with a 51 F temperature that will muster the will to hammer itself up to 73F. Cloudy as hell. The comparison with the antipodes of heaven is another of those expressions that entices me. “Angry as hell.” “Hungry as hell.” “Thirsty as hell.” “Poor as hell.” Hell really is the worse, isn’t it? But could it be one of those old Greenland/Iceland tricks. “It’s really so nice here, but we don’t want it to become overcrowded, so we’ll call it hell and make it out like it’s really bad to dissuade others from wanting to come.”

I asked the Bing’s AI chat where hell comes from.

“The word “hell” refers to the nether world of the dead or a place of torment for the wicked after death. It comes from the Proto-Germanic *haljō, meaning “concealed place” or “one who covers up or hides something”. It is related to the Germanic mythology of Hel, the goddess of the underworld. It has cognates in other Germanic languages, such as Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Dutch, German, and Icelandic. It originated in the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, around A.D. 400 – 1100 1.”

So there we have it. It’s a concealed place. Of course, Hades and the underworld gets involves from other religions and myths. How we express ourselves and what we believe are interesting blends and adaptations.

All that hell thinking so early AM has AC/DC singing “Hells Bells”. Released in 1980 as part of their comeback effort with a new singer, the bell tolling and song was a direct response to their lead singer’s earlier that year.

Alright, off to do other things like chug coffee to see if that lifts me. Stay pos, okay? Here’s the music. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

A cool spring morning, 65F, has settled on Ashlandia, where the men have beards and the children are above average. It’s May 20, 2023, a quiet morning. Activities are slowly cranking up. Summer unofficially started for many in the United States, kicked off the by somber sales, cookouts, and celebrations associated with Memorial Day. The needle on the thermometer will get tugged up into the upper seventies, and might even broach the 80s. As difficult to predict as whether the Biden-McCarthy debt limit bill will be passed.

There have been no more cougar signs in our sliver of Ashlandia. Papi and Tucker are still kept inside at night. Papi no like. He was better last night. Surprise, I fed him midnight-ish, which induced him to wash and sleep. Clever of me, isn’t it? I don’t know. He’s smart enough to manipulate me with what he’s learned.

My wife and I grilled out yesterday. Nada fancy. Portabella ‘shrooms, onions, asper-grass, squash, and red peppers, along with Impossible Burgers, our plant-based meat sub., coleslaw, and ranch style beans from a can. All were excellent. I’m not a great griller – my BIL and ex-BIL are both superb in that skill – but I muddle through. Yesterday’s muddle turned out great.

The Neurons have inserted “The Long Run” by The Eagles out of 1979 into the morning mental music stream. This is a direct result from reading political news and some personal projects underway. As so many frequently ask, “What’s going to happen? Will this work? What’s going to be the outcome?” To which frequently comes, “We’ll find out in the long run.”

Stay pos. Try to treat yourself better. Coffee drinking is underway, freshly brewed, black, untouched by cream or sugar, just the way it should be. Brekkie — oatmeal with cranberries, topped with granola — has also been completed. The cats have eaten and washed, and are now sunning. Here’s the music. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music


Monday. Memorial Day in the US.

Another pause to honor the military who died in one of our wars.

How each individual arrived in military service begins in a personalized way, and is shaped by their heritage and disposition, education and religion. Propaganda drove people, as did politics and the norms of the day. What it meant to be a man. What freedom and independence means, the rights of individuals and the rights of nations. Some lacked choice; their number was called in a draft. Too many times as lights came on in the aftermath, lies were discovered as well as crimes against humanity. Sometimes those crimes were never prosecuted. Apologies came later.

War is simple — kill more of the rest and undermine their war-making abilities — and complex. Besides tales of atrocities, amazing stories of sacrifice and courage are revealed. Some become legendary, immortalized in books, movies, statues. Others become a name on a plaque. The most fortunate come back, intact as possible.

I served for over twenty years, a kid who walked in on his own, signed up and stayed. What I’ll say of my military brothers and sisters was the same as I’d say for most gatherings. There were some amazing men and women, many average people, a few troubled ones, and some you tried avoiding because they weren’t going do abide by any law or moral code the rest of us used.

Multiple songs about war, the military, and all the matters which those terms encumber came up in the morning mental music stream. The one which stayed with me is “One Tin Soldier” from 1969. Gaining fame from its use in the movie Billy Jack, the song is two stories; one about a war of aggression by one kingdom against another that was fueled by jealousy and envy. The other story being told is about rationalizing bending morality and your code to achieve whatever goal is set.

Go ahead and hate your neighbor
Go ahead and cheat a friend
Do it in the name of heaven
You could justify it in the end

There won’t be any trumpets blowing
Come the judgment day
On the bloody morning after
One tin soldier rides away

h/t to lyrics.com

Stay pos. My coffee is here. Release the hounds. Time to chase another day.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Received some rain and thunder boomers yesterday afternoon. The house floofs took it in different ways. Tucker was all mellow, like, stop that noise, I’m trying to sleep. Papi came in and found a secure place beside me, remaining there, quiet and awake, until it was all over.

It’s Sunday, May 28, 2023. Spring pressed the rain button for Ashlandia one more time for today. Oh, the smell yesterday and this morning was wonderfully fresh, a restorative tonic for my senses. Clouds rule as far as my vision takes in. 64 now, we’ll be peeking into the mid to upper seventies by mid-afternoon, the weather jockeys say.

I was conversing with myself about a dream and its meaning, chuckling at a clear cliché which had been used. I scoffed at my dream manager. “Well, that’s not original.” Liking that, The Neurons kicked off “Come Original” by 311 from the turn of last century. I’d not heard the song in eons that I recall but then wondered, did I hear it somewhere in the background? Who knows with the mind, hey?

I’ve had brekkie, and some coffee. Time to launch the day in a serious way. Stay pos, yo? Here’s 311. Cheers

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