- Slippage in my personal use is about losing track. Time. Lists. Progress.
- Slippage is heavy when I’m writing. Clocks disappear from my LOS when I don the writing hat. I’m in that other world. Following characters. Contact tracing cause and effect. Studying dialogue. Typing, typing, typing, typing. Surprise overcomes me when I discover that I’ve been at it for an hour or two. My ass is sore. Numb. Coffee gone or cold. I’m hungry. Writing usurps everything. I feel satisfied when I’m done. And starving to do more. But other matters call.
- Because I have lists. Tasks. Chores. Necessary Actions for Modern Life. Balancing accounts. Paying bills. Buying food. Cleaning litter boxes. Talking to people. Socializing. It’s all so draining. Give me the damn keyboard and leave me alone.
- I tend to avoid writing long posts for these reasons. Keep it short and simple. Use energy for longer stuff for my writing projects.
- I feel like I’m suffering from low energy. Might have to do with the smoky situation outside. I peer outside the window and catch the sunshine and blue sky and become happy. Look forward to a walk. An hour later, the smoke has closed its tentacles on the street. Blizzard-like visibility develops. Step outside. Smell the stench. Feel the nostrils sting. The sinus headache begins. Eyes dry out. Energy fizzles. Spirit implodes.
- Could also have to do with COVID-19. We — our county — is one of the nation’s hotspots. As prominent anti-vaxxers and mask deniers sicken and die with COVID-19, my county’s citizens continue protesting. Masks are not effective, they claim. COVID-19 is not serious in their estimation. The vaccine can’t be trusted. These positions make going to the stores or anywhere else a daunting effort. We mask. Others don’t. Stores don’t enforce masks. They know they’re impotent against the unmasks’ illogical, contrarian positions. Wearying is an understatement.
- Beyond writing, struggling to do the things expected to keep the house and body clean and neat, and the modern demands of being responsible, I spend time reading. Finished Klara and the Sun (Kazuo Ishiguro) last week. I really enjoyed it. Loved the simplicity. The straightforward minimalism. Handed it off to my wife. She took it up and gave me the book she’d finished: The Mirror & The Light (Hilary Mantel). The styles between the books are so different. As are the stories being told. One is futuristic, science fiction. The other is historical fiction. Each are greatly entertaining. My wife wasn’t as fond of Klara as I was. Too much minimalism for her.
- Reading The Mirror & The Light keeps calling me back to C.J. Sansom and his Mathew Shardlake series. Not surprising in retrospect. Both cover the same English period from similar points of view. In many ways, it’s just like picking up two books of any other genre and reading and comparing them. Of course, that’s one reason why I like Lincoln in the Bardo so much or The Underground Railroad. Hard to find books that compare favorably with them. Likewise, how Louise Erdrich is able to tell stories with elegant prose and yet be gritty always amazes me. For crazy story-telling along the lines of ‘look-what-you-can-get-away-with’, I look to Lincoln & Childs and their Pendergast series.
- I’m also an information junkie. We subscribe to the NY Times and several other online periodicals. I must always be aware of time while pursuing information. It isn’t enough to just read their articles; no, I must find other opinions and sources to vet what’s being put out there. Then, of course, there are a dozen bloggers who I enjoy following. Always must track them and their latest.
- I have three cats. All ‘rescues’ or strays. Came to me for a visit and stayed for a life. Tried finding their people. In one case, Papi (our ginger tabby), we knew who the owners were. They left him behind when they moved. Deliberately. Cocksuckers.
- Boo, though, is problematic. Don’t know what went on in his past but it left mental and emotional scarring. Arthritis affects him. PTSD, too. Anything new – smell, sound, visitors, anything – sends him into a frenzy. He snarls and hisses at our other cats. His coat is matted. Embarrassing. Sure it’s not comfortable nor healthy for him. But we’ve only reached the point that he can be petted without hissing or snapping at us. Slowly introducing him to a brush. S-L-O-W-L-Y. Yet, he seeks me out. Sleeps against me. Comes to me for attention and food. Sleeps at my feet when I’m at my desk writing.
- TC — Tucker Cat — meanwhile has matured wonderfully. Went from battling with Boo to gracefully indulging his needs. Walks around him without disturbing him. He, too, sleeps with me. Loves it when I sit down to read. Is beside my laptop now as I type. Where he frequently is during the day.
- On my list of things to do is call my parents. They are divorced. Dad is remarried. Mom has a live-in fiancé . One lives in Pennsylvania. The other is in Texas. Both are retired with health issues. I worry about them constantly. They take appropriate precautions but still. You know, right? Yeah, you get it.
- My wife’s health also worries me. She’s suffered from RA for over twenty years. Wasn’t originally diagnosed, of course. No, that required over a decade of treatments, blood tests, imaging, and doctor visits. She loves exercising and dancing. She’s suffering a flare that’s truncated her ability to do those things. It also gives her foggy brain. She struggles to remember. Spell. Abstract concepts give her problems. So dismaying watching her decline. She’s more social than me. Since she can’t go out per usual (RA, smoke, COVID-19), I’m her conversation partner. I’m not particularly interested in socializing and conversing. Particularly when I’m writing. She’s become fond of Reddit streams such as Am I the Asshole and Facepalm. Feels compelled to share them with me. She’s also almost obsessive about local COVID-19 news and trends and must share them as well.
- Circumstances have curtailed my walking routines. Had a long streak of averaging 11.3 miles per day. I woas driving toward twelve. Then COVID. Then, smoke. I sometimes mask and go for a walk but always preferred walking when I had concrete destinations. Coffee shops to write was my standard. I do miss those days. My average has declined to nine miles per day. Most of it is running in place in the house, which just is not as entertaining.
- Enough of a break. Time to return to writing like crazy. But first, another cup of coffee, please. Black, of course. Cheers
Thunderstorms passed through yesterday. A spritz of rain, some threatening rumbling, a bite of wind, done. Checked on new fires caused by lightning strikes. Nothing new found yet.
Today is Saturday, July 31, 2021, the final day of July, 2021. The year is half gone. Up in the northern hemi, daylight grows less. Heat still remains, though. And drought, out here in the American west.
Sunrise cometh at 6:02 AM. Sunset is at 8:31 PM. With more thunderstorms expected, our high is projected to top out at 95 degrees F.
A Mötley Crüe song pesters me today, leftovers from a walk the other evening. Caught up in my stride, enjoying a cool breeze, absorbed in writing in my head, I went further than planned. Suddenly, oh, it’s twenty minutes until sunset and you’re three miles from home. Turn about and start walking, dude. I kicked up my pace and did so, time to get home. Which led to home sweet home. Which invited in “Home Sweet Home” from 1985. This rock ballad features plenty of guitars, a touch of wistful piano, and strong vocals that range from soft, reflective humming to belting out, “Home sweet home”. The video depicts the rock and roll circus that so many of us think of when pondering the expression, ‘hard rock concert’. These bois were mos def into the glam.
Stay positive, test negative, wear mask as necessary, and get the vax. Wearing a mask seems like it has become more necessary once again. Case levels have leaped to April’s levels. Might even overtake those levels. Not surprising for here. Jackson County is a Trump stronghold. They eschew masking and vaxxing. My little town holds to both but it’s a destination spot for others. Tourism, you know? Interesting enough, we had to run an errand yesterday, sevenish PM. The vacant streets and empty parking spaces belied it being a Friday night. Were people voluntarily home, sick, or in isolation?
Here’s the music. Cheers
5:49 AM, 8:44 PM. Those are today’s times for the sunshow on Saturday, 7/17/21. Rise comes first, with a lethargic unveiling. Set comes later, a gradual withdrawal. Between those times, the sun will work its heat on us. Not too bad today, upper eighties to lower nineties. Forecasts say get ready for a new rampup.
Although the Bootleg Fire and numerous others still burn, our southern Oregon’s valley air is clear and ‘safe’. Went up and down yesterday. Down in the evening, which helped make a summer concert a pleasant time. Listened to a regional band, East Main Street, play covers of the Eagles, Beatles, CSN&Y, Seals & Croft, CCR, etc. You get the feel, right? Had beer, wine, drinks, BBQ. Celebrated birthdays. Wondered how many were vaccinated. But we were outside.
Today’s music is a Nirvana song called “About A Girl” (1994). My mind brought it up to entertain and distract me as I ambled around town yesterday. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers
The door to the sky opens at 5:35 AM. The sun’s first impact shades the night gray. Rosy yellows spread as the door grows further ajar. Tuesday, June 8, 2021, has begun its day in Ashland, Oregon. As always, jays acknowledge the event first. Crows add to the dawn conversation after a few minutes.
Air that seems related to fall is outside. Rain fell last night, dropping temperatures into the lower forty F. Thick, broken clouds mottle the blue sky. Temperatures are a far descent from normal, with highs just barely edging over sixty. So it’ll be, a spring fall day, until the door closes on the valley sun at 8:45 PM.
Today’s music of the walking kind. Hopefully dressed for summer, shorts and a tee, with a light fleece, an edgy wind knifes my bare legs, sending chills over my body as I do my thing yesterday. After just three quarters of a mile, smelling rain in the air, I call it and make the turn to home. Thinking of home brings a Delaney & Bonnie song out of mental retirement and into active thinking. Called “Coming Home” The song, made ‘with friends’, was released in the late sixties. It was one of my recurring songs as I traveled during twenty years in the military and then later in marketing for several years. Hope you enjoy it.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get that vax. Cheers
“Should I try to do some more? Twenty-five or six to four.”
That’s how it briefly felt (befuddled and dazed), trying to scope the time when a dream’s sharp end poked me suddenly awake. Turned out to be 2:33 AM. A trip to release some fluids was in order, followed by a need to add more fluids. Cats, curious about what I’m doing up, seeing an opportunity for a meal, cosied up with purrs and mips. I opened the back door and let cool mountain air and clear starlight seduce me for a few minutes before regular programming was resumed.
Sunrise on June fourth Friday of 2021 came a few hours later, 5:46 AM. We ended up over ninety F yesterday. The weather masters all insist that today will top out in the high eighties, same claim as yesterday, so I believe we’ll peek into the low nineties before the Earth’s movement takes the sun out of our sky at 8:43 PM.
While ambulating about the hills yesterday, “I Ain’t the One” by Lynyrd Skynyrd (1973) started playing in my mind. I’d been thinking about conspiracy theories, partly because, news, reading of the fiction and non-fiction type, and partly, you know, fiction writing. In fiction land, I’d just finished reading “The Searcher” by Tana French a few days ago, and am now into “The Long Way Home” by Louise Penny along with “A House in the Neighborhood” by Bob Mustin, enjoying them all. Before that lot, I’d read several Lee Child books from the Jack Reacher series, and a few by each by Jonathan Kellerman, Craig Johnson, and Keigo Higashino. Parallel to them, I read “The Grammarians” and just finished reading “The Fifth Risk” by Michael Lewis. Almost all these feature some conspiracy theory thinking. Happens naturally when things happen in fiction and explanations are tasted for what and why. Over in the non-fiction side, “The Fifth Risk” is about DOE concerns about the U.S. electric grid and the Trump administration’s approach to things. Their approach included conspiracy theories about what bureaucrats and political appointees are up to. An interesting albeit painful read.
I queried my head about what conspiracies have to do with “I Ain’t the One”. It took a while of noodling to realize that buried at the song’s end was the clue. Here’s the song’s final lyrics.
Got bells in your mind, mama
And it’s easy to see
I think it’s time for me to move along
I do believe
I must be in the middle of some kind of conspiracy
I muttered a bit at my mind about that feeble connection. I mean, come on, man.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and please get the vax. Cheers.
They went to the library
because three new books were on hold,
ready for pick up
and they’d finished six books
so they needed to be returned.
Then they walked around town,
enjoying the mild spring day,
before deciding to go to the Co-op.
Because it’d been so long.
While they were there,
they picked up sandwiches,
and locally baked pastries.
Then walked back up to the car
and got a library book each,
and walked through the breeze in the park’s sun and shade
until they found a picnic table.
Whereupon they sat,
eating and reading in silence
until two hours later,
when she said,
“I’m cold. Let’s go home.”
Today finds us at Sunday once again. I was just looking at the calendar, confirming that it’s April 25, and was surprised to realize there’s another Friday in the month. Just not paying attention.
The sun made it to Ashland at 6:15 AM and will make its departure at 8:03 PM. We’re getting close to almost fourteen hours of sunshine, which I do like. Like my cats, I am a sunshine fan. Don’t know how much sunshine we’ll see. The weather is continuing a drizzly, damp, chilly pattern. It’s 42 F right now, and we’re not expecting much higher. As I read on the net, the weather slowed down like a driver doing 75 in a 55 when he sees a cop behind him.
“Wedding Bell Blues” by the Fifth Dimension (1969) is looping through my mind. The great Laura Nyro wrote and originally recorded it. Her songs were hits by several others, like “Stoned Soul Picnic”, “And When I Die”, and “Eli’s Comin'”. She died way too young, 49, done in by ovarian cancer.
And while I like all those songs, I’m in the mood for something upbeat this morning. I challenged the mind for something. After a period of crickets singing and playing, the Foo Fighters crept in with “I’ll Stick Around” from 1995.
Upbeat? Up-tempo, I guess.
By the way, the three-day green-smoothie fast ended for me yesterday, day eight. Energy level just felt too low. Tired while walking, and didn’t achieve twelve miles for the day. Been a while for that. So I’m back on solids, and just finished a bowl of gluten-free oatmeal with peanut butter, cranberries, and pumpkin seed/flax granola.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax, including the second dose, if you’re going the Moderna/Pfizer route. Cheers
Just adding to the body of knowledge out there about what people experience with their COVID-19 vaccinations.
For background, I’m officially retired from active employment, white, male, and a few months short of sixty-five years old. I’m a little overweight at 185 pounds. I walk regularly and lightly exercise but lead a mostly sedentary life of writing, reading, and surfing the net. Yard work and house work gives me additional ‘exercise’. I drink beer, wine, and coffee, but haven’t had any alcohol since last Thanksgiving. Just worked out that way. I only drink one cup of coffee a day now, a nod to my prostate.
I don’t eat much meat but a lot of fruits and vegetables, in large part because my wife is a vegetarian. I’ve dealt with high blood pressure/hypertension throughout my life, but played softball, racquetball, and ran a few miles a day several times a week until I blew out a knee in my late thirties. With a daily dose of Amlodipine, my blood pressure hovers around 130/60, with a heart rate of 62. My usual resting rate is 55 to 58. I also suffer from an enlarged prostate gland. I’m on Flomax for that.
I received the J&J one-shot coronavirus vaccine on Saturday morning, just before eleven. I had no immediate reaction. Per guidance, I rubbed the injection area and moved my arm throughout the day. I ran in place in the house, accumulating my twelve miles, but generally took it easy, writing, reading, eating, and attending to my floof masters.
The next day, Sunday, I woke up feeling fantastic. It was like I’d been given a B-12 injection. Was it possible that they’d given me some kind of placebo? I wrote a chapter in the morning (about three thousand words), and did some editing. After lunch, I drove down to the library to pick up a book up for my wife. The sunshine invited me to take a walk, so I put on three miles. Returning home just before three, I prepared to do yard work. I thought I’d do a strenuous walk after that.
My wife reminded me that my thinking was wrong. “I hope you didn’t exert yourself too much when you were walking,” she said.
“I didn’t. It’s mostly flat down there. Just a couple mild hills.”
“You’re supposed to be taking it easy.”
“They say that even though you feel good, your body is working hard beneath the surface.”
I resigned myself to reading and surfing the net (and taking an incidental nap along the way). Running in place, I did achieve my goal of twelve miles but mourned that I hadn’t been able to take advantage of that fresh air and sunshine to break a serious sweat going up the steep hills around us.
Today, I feel good. Not as good as yesterday, more like just above my average. I have some stiffness and soreness on my left arm above the injection site. There’s no redness or swelling. My wife, who has an autoimmune disease, has experience similar symptoms, and reports that she feels fine.
That’s one of the maddening traits of this virus, though. Some feel like they get hit by a truck. Others feel nothing. Some suffer mild symptoms. As they say, your experience may vary.
It’s another day in Ashland, a Friday, March 26, 2021. Slanted sunshine spilled over the horizon at 0704. The sun will make its sky exit at 1930. Starting at cold — 32 degrees F at 0546 when the cats chatted about leaving the building, it’s now 40 and we expect to crunch up against 60. Not bad.
An old Cream song climbed into the mental music crease yesterday. Trudging up a hill, I turned to admire the valley view. ‘Our’ side, on the south, was deep into afternoon mountain shadows while sun stroked every hill on the opposite side, illuminating patches of snow in higher mountain valleys and the peak known as Grizzly. While I was in a residential neighborhood, the typical sounds were opposite. No crows cawed and other birds didn’t sing. Vehicle sounds were unheard. Just me, the pavement, the view. Into that arrived the 1966 song, “I Feel Free”.
I, I, I, I feel free
I feel free
I feel free
h/t to Genius.com
A pause to consider that phrase: ‘an old Cream song’. Is there any other kind when the group existed for two years in the late 1960s? Yes, they did get together two more times, but that was decades later.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax.
Hello. Well, we’ve done it, most of us in the U.S.A., at least, we’ve ‘sprung ahead’. Our clocks are set forward in accordance with whatever.
Today is March 13, 2021, a Sunday. Per Sunday requirements to relax if you can and eat if ya got it, cinnamon rolls with coffee were consumed. It’s 54 degrees F outside under a sky mocking the idea of ‘sunshine’ with large gray swaths. Rain veils are drawing closer but might yet swing away, tempted by some other valley spot. Sol popped up at 7:23 AM and the orb will drop beyond the horizon at 7:13 PM here in Ashland, Oregon.
A favorite walking song has infiltrated me today. The Who released “Baba O’Riley” in 1971. I was fifteen then. Having no wheels and an independent spirit, I walked or ran wherever I needed to go. I had biked but the bike was stolen. Finances didn’t stand up for a replacement. Walking was agreeable, and remains a favorite pastime. My wife doesn’t enjoy walking with me; she wants to stroll. I’m walking, damn it. Yes, there are times for strolling, such as when we’re shopping, but when you have a place to go, I’m all in.
The defiant beat and raucous sounds found in “Baba O’Riley” lends itself to my walking attitude. So, yesterday, up there on the street, looking across the valley at the fields, the song arrived in the mental music stream as a welcome companion. Thinking about it today, I discovered this interesting rendition of it. Hope you enjoy it as much as me. I enjoyed seeing my music heroes young and alive, into their music, one more time.
Test negative, stay positive, wear a mask when required, and get the vax. See you on the streets. Cheers