Saturday’s Theme Music

Saturday’s solar beatdown began at 5:39 AM on July 3, 2021. Seemed like the previous beatdown had only finished. My house saw 101 F again yesterday. The sun started early and stayed sharp. Temps remained high late into the evening — 83 F at 11:30 PM. Smoke from the Lava Fire (by Weed, California), had dissuaded me from opening windows and doors as is my wont to cool the house in the evenings. Not a fan of wildfire smoke, but in fairness, it’s not very nice to me. Sunset today, when we’ll theoretically gain some relief, is due at 8:51 PM, if the cosmic scheduler is correct.

Musically, I’m inclined to revisit an Eagles song. The cats inspired this. Two of the three house floofs were sitting a dozen feet apart in the great room’s dining section. I was walking through, speaking with them about generalities. You know, how was your night, you’re looking good, anything big planned for today, want some coffee? They were listening, with Boo, the bedroom panther occasionally saying something back to show he’s paying attention while the ginger youngblood, Papi (aka Meep) watched me while casting glances toward Boo. The two don’t get along.

They also don’t get along with Tucker. He’s a burly, long-hair, long-tail, black and white beast. The house alpha cat. He took at that moment to execute a mad dash. He does these with a guttural cry that reminds me of Mel Gibson shouting, “Freedom,” in Braveheart. The floors are wooden in this part of the house. So here comes Tucker from out of the hallway in the general direction of the home office with his cry of freedom, claws and paws madly scrambling as he builds speed and skews into different directions.

The entrance took us all — Boo, Papi, and me — by surprise. I reacted with a bark of laughter. Boo and Papi reacted with, “OMG, a berserker, flee, flee” panic. This meant cats whirling to get out of the way, feet scrambling and sliding on the hardwood floor.

That’s when I started sharing “Life in the Fast Lane” (1977) with the floofs. I was amused; they were not.

Stay positive, test negative, wear masks as slash if slash when necessary to protect yerself and others, and get vaxxed. I will note that Oregon reached the 70% vaccinated mark yesterday, July 2, 2021. In honor of V-O Day, stores and restaurants are fully open sans restrictions.

Here’s the tune. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

The time was 5:34 AM. Sunshine trickled over the hills and through whatever gaps the world offered, heralding the commencement of another day in Ashland, Oregon. Heat began its trickle a few hours later. Temperatures trickled into the seventies by the mid-morning and whispered about going into the mid-nineties.

It is Father’s Day in the U.S., June 20, 2021, a holiday officially recognized in 1972, a news moment that passed by my teenage head with little notice. I have no FD plans other than the standard Sunday through Saturday routines. Coffee, writing, some work around the house, maybe a short drive somewhere, perhaps more house painting before sunset is called at 8:50 PM. Dad is alive in Texas. I see him every few years. He calls me on my birthday and whenever he goes back into the hospital. He’s gone numerous times this year. Despite a young enthusiasm for Lucky Strikes and Camels, he didn’t see much of a hospital until he struck into his eighties. Now he’s a regular. I’ll call him later today. Did send a card. We’ll talk about cars and military service. It’s our common ground. He’s on his third marriage. This one has stuck, as they’ve gone past twenty years.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers are in my mind with their 1981 song, “The Waiting”. “The waiting is the hardest part.” Yes, waiting to write is the hardest part for me, getting torn away from it by other requirements. No how life was planned. Didn’t have a plan, TBH. I was just winging that mutha.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get a vax. We’re almost at sixty-nine percent in Oregon, edging toward seventy jab by jab. The waiting until then…well, you get it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

If you heard a sharp screeching sound earlier this week, it may have come from our area. The seasons hit the brakes on the weather. We had been warmly progressing toward summer. Nice weather, if you can get it. But then, some power shouted, “Hit the brakes! Reverse.” Temperatures scaled down the thermometer overnight, taking us into the mid thirties. Rain stormed in. Clouds unfurled, mocking the sun’s 5:45 AM arrival. While the sun is expected to hang until 8:30 PM, the temperatures won’t go much over fifty, they say. Enjoying the rain, though, and the snow in the mountains. We haven’t had enough of either. Give us more, please.

This is Thursday, May 20, 2021, in the valley where Ashland is homed, where I am homed. Our vaccination rate keeps climbing (knock on wood). We’ve climbed over fifty percent of peeps with at least one shot. Our local Family Y has set up a J&J one shot clinic, no appointment needed, all day when they’re open. As with most of these things, it’s not advertised well. All of my local friends and acquaintances are fully vaxxed, but I tell them so they can tell others. Pitter-patter, let’s get ‘er at ‘er, and get this thing done.

Reading about why people aren’t getting vaccinated brought Tracy Chapman’s 1995 song, “Give Me One Reason”, to mind. Vax hesitancy usually falls in four groups. Dominating it are those individuals who don’t believe that COVID-19 exists or have convinced themselves that it’s not that bad. A lot of them defiantly demand, “Give me one reason.” But, what’s the use? You don’t believe the news stories about survivors and deaths. What one reason can I give that’ll change your mind? I fear that if you’re one of those people, your mind won’t be changed until you’ve personally experienced COVID-19 hell.

For the music, I’ve selected a collaboration between Chapman and Eric Clapton recorded in 1999. It’s a different take, a little fatter on Chapman’s gem of a song. Stay positive, test negative, mask as necessary, and get the vax. Please. Here’s the music.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Welcome to the day, by international standards, which is the fourth day of the week, Thursday. We count Sunday as the first day of the week in my house, so Thursday is the fifth day of the week. Regardless, it is May 13, 2021. Sunrise, by scientific observation, came to Ashland at 5:52 AM and sunset will follow at 8:20 PM. Outside, we’re expecting a dry, warm, spring day, with temperature pushing into the lower eighties.

We saw 40 new cases of COVID-19 in Jackson county yesterday, continuing the roller-coaster trend. Our seven-day average has declined to thirty. Thirty-six percent of Oregonians are fully vaccinated. Almost fifty percent have had at least one shot.

Dreams were of a wide variety last night. They featured a great deal of domesticity like shopping and house-cleaning, but also trended to having broken machines (like vacuum cleaners) and broken remote controls. Must go through the debrief about what it’s all about.

Today’s music choice comes from Chris Rea. Released in 1986, “Let’s Dance” was a small hit in the U.S. for him but made into the top ten in several other countries. I always like the jaunty tune. Feels optimistic. That summarizes my mood: optimistic.

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

Friday’s Fumblings

  1. The more that I’m writing, the worst that I sleep. I dream more when I’m writing more, too. Yesterday produced a great writing session, a miserable night of sleep, and a flotilla of dreams.
  2. I think that I sleep worst when I’m writing more because more of my brain is engaged in the writing process. The writing is consuming more bandwidth; shutting it down at day’s end is problematic. I keep writing while I’m doing other things, including trying to sleep.
  3. The good news with the novel in progress is that the characters escaped Arsehold at last! How surprised me, but was totally in tone with the rest of the book. This is, of course, when writing is most fun and rewarding.
  4. I always worry about saying too much about writing these days. I don’t want to jinx it when it’s going well, you know? Don’t want to scare off or anger the muses. I never elaborate to others about what I’m writing any more. It’s a novel; it’s meant to be read. I don’t want to explain it; I want people to read it. Sometimes it’s hard to stay true to this as excitement about the story, characters, and concept bubble up and make me happy. I guess I’m an eternal optimist that these stories and novels will come to be in people’s hands someday. Really, though, I write for me and have a good time doing it.
  5. I’m subscribed to HBOMax and enjoying several shows. Nevertheless, I have a complaint about the service. Every time I select it, the first thing that comes up is, “Who is watching?” My name is right there on top. It’s the only name. Below it are options to add other profiles or to add a kid. Seriously? Why must I answer this every friggin’ time? Just accept, I am the one watching, and get on with it. If I want to add someone else, I can go into options or the account, you know. It shouldn’t, I suppose, but it irks me to no end.
  6. COVID-19 vaccinations are increasing among friends and family. I know ten people who have been vaccinated. Three different states – Oregon, Texas, and Pennsylvania – are involved. All who were vaccinated except one were seventy plus years old. The one exception is in her forties and is in the healthcare industry, although she’s in research. Both vaccines have been employed among this small sampling. None have reported significant adverse reactions beyond a desire to nap and mild fevers. Let me know how your vaccination goes, please.
  7. My wife and I are a year apart in age, which adds another spin to our vaxsit. I’m sixty-four and a half. I turn sixty-five in July. I’ll be eligible. But do we want to do it if we can’t do it at the same time? Part of our formula about whether and when is that I have hypertension and she has RA. I suspect that we’ll be included as part of a group that’s fifty years and older later this year, making our one year difference moot.
  8. I mentioned oatmeal in another post, and the huntress commented on oatmeal. Her mother made it very thin. Soupy thin. I think of that as gruel. Yeah, I know it’s not the same. While that’s how my wife eats it, I’m not a fan of it. I make my oat meal so thick, it’s almost a soft cookie.
  9. I grew up putting brown sugar in my oatmeal. Well, it started as white sugar but once I had it with brown sugar, the game was done. I then learned to add raisins and nuts. Now I put all manner of things in my oatmeal. I currently add cranberries and walnuts in my oatmeal, and granola as a topping. I like the contrasting crunchiness and flavor.
  10. When I was first served oatmeal at my wife’s house while in my teens, they surprised me by adding butter and bacon on top. I’d never heard of such a thing! That surprised them, because that’s how they always ate it. Adding bacon and butter to my oatmeal wasn’t something that I adopted. My wife doesn’t add it to her oatmeal, either.
  11. The world seems weirdly calmer with Joe Biden in office as President. Is this my imagination? Am I just reading less news? That doesn’t seem to be the case. Have news outlets shifted how they’ve reported? Perhaps. Or is it that there’s less bad news, or it’s being less reported, or not catching my eye… Maybe we’re just in an intermission in the bad news cycle.
  12. Or maybe it’s some sense of numbing of normalization to bad news. Locally — specifically, in Jackson County, Oregon — COVID-19 positive cases have been declining. We haven’t had triple digits in several days. We’re trending down, but we trended down in November. Then we had a Christmas spike. Meanwhile, people aged 20-29 are the most positive cases here, but those aged fifty and older dominate the hospital beds, inline with what’s been seen elsewhere, and what’s generally expected.
  13. Okay, got my coffee, actually my second cup. No mid-morning treat to go with it. No cookies, pastries, or doughnuts. Nevertheless, time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

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