Friday Fry-up

  1. Don’t recall any dreams from last night. Odd. Frees up about an hour of time spent thinking about my dreams. Has my dream reservoir gone dry?
  2. Went out on a shopping expedition yesterday, Albertsons and Bi-Mart. Our prey was cat food and fresh fruits and veggies. All saved one was masked up, although several wore their masks with their noses exposed. Do you not get it, man? Yes, I know, there’s psychology, perceptions, fears, and lies at work there. Just ask Herman Caine. Sorry, cheap shot. Ask Rep. Gohmert (Crazy-TX) instead. He’s the latest flag-bearer for the nonsense brigade.
  3. Florida friends tell us that people there don’t act like there’s a pandemic going on except to put on masks to enter stores, because the stores require them. Then I read an article about a study that said, yes, as expected, young adults and teens are working and clubbing, then going home and infecting more vulnerable people. It’s trending up everywhere.
  4. Going to have social-distancing brunch outside at friends’ house this AM. Just the two couples will be present. I’m ambivalent about it. Like them, but do we need the risk? I am resentful, too, as my wife (with perceived mocking tone) said to friend on phone, “Oh, he’s not doing anything.” Hello? Writing? WTF. She then said, “Oh, don’t tell me I’m interfering with your schedule.” I’m sounding bitter, so I’ll stop.
  5. Okay, I am bitter.
  6. Our fire warnings were raised to extreme today. Humidity has dropped to 15% and we’ve had several days of triple digit highs. We’re in a mild trough today, with an overnight low of 58 and a forecast high of 94 for today. Worrisome as dozens of wildfires are already burning.
  7. Stay safe, everyone. Wear masks and distance.
  8. Gonna get some coffee now and try to write like crazy, at least one more time.

Friday’s Theme Music

Weather – hot. Summer: hot. City: hot.

Three entertaining songs about the heat, city, and summer. It’s like a tradition for me to ply ’em in my head as the city heat addresses my body.

Billy Idol, “Hot in the City“, 1982.

Hot Child in the City“, Nick Gilder, 1978.

And “Summer in the City” ,1966, The Lovin’ Spoonful.

Enjoy the heat. That is all.

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.

Sundry Sunday

  1. Typing with one hand is a challenge. Fortunately, my right hand is dominant, and it’s okay. Also fortunately, this isn’t permanent. Tedious process, though. Seven hundred words a day is my current limit. Meanwhile, the muses are running amuck with story ideas. I considered (and haven’t discarded) the idea of writing with a pen in a notebook. Anything to keep the tales moving, hey?
  2. Haven’t been drinking coffee. First, wanted to rest and sleep. Second, read to avoid caffeine to promote healing broken bones. So, no coffee, no alcohol, and no chocolate. Had dropped the latter from my diet after I discovered what it does to my prostate. Thinking about drinking coffee tomorrow, as I’m weaning myself off the Percocet. Only had one Perc today, three yesterday. Four are prescribed.
  3. My walking has declined. Been spending most of my time abed. Reached eight thousand steps for the last three days, ten thousand on the last two. I have a long way to go.
  4. Poor spouse. She’s doing such a terrific job, doing everything, and complaining. This is my fifth trauma in our fifty years together (boyfriend and hubby). In order, cut off tip of my toe, mono, broken neck, dislocated wrist, and this. She should’ve vetted me better. In fairness, I had mono when stationed in the Philippines, and she wasn’t with me. One trauma a decade average; is that normal?
  5. The cats on that first night and morning were so sweet. I usually feed them. With daybreak, I asked my wife to do that, but the cats refused to go and eat. She brought the food in to them. Nope; they weren’t eating. Wasn’t till I got up a few hours later that they ate. Number one and two cat continued to stay with me through the day. Their loyalty and concern flatters me.
  6. I feel for the rest of America, enduring a heat wave. Our temps are brushing ninety in Ashland, quite bearable, as night temps fall into the mid-fifties.

Wednesday: Four Things

  1. The weather continues to provide talking points. The temperature been as up and down as a roller coaster this year, and often plays the contrarian. Today’s high on July first, when we normally anticipate nineties and beyond, will be seventy-seven. Not that we’re complaining; just commenting. It’ll be a good day to paint some more walls once I’ve finished my writing.
  2. My annual urology follow up went well yesterday. Peed fine, no issues. All this was initiated by some trouble in peckerville traced to enlarge prostate in previous years. No follow up actions required. I’ve tried to become more mindful as I’ve matured. Now I’m being more mindful in my peeing. Of course, my mind must riff on the old Caddy Shack Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) meme: “Be the ball.” I’m trying to be the pee.
  3. I think one of the reasons for my success with peeing was decreasing my sodium levels. I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure (230/130) during my pecker issues. I’d noticed my sodium was a little high on my blood work (141 mmol/L), so I began checking out sodium levels of whatever I was eating. Definitely an OMG experience. Can’t believe the amount of sodium in processed foods, condiments, salad dressings, and the like. The sodium in canned soup was at surreal levels. So was anything with cheese and any sauces. After reading and verifying it on my blood test results, I recognized that I also needed to increase my potassium levels. Learning that magnesium can draw sodium out, I also increased my magnesium levels (hello, bananas!). The other thing that I’d learned affecting my enlarged prostate gland was chocolate. When I ate more than a little chocolate, my stream diminished. So, chocolate was severely curtailed. Another negative influencer is gluten. Controlling my gluten intake and monitoring it, I verified to my own mind that gluten causes me to bloat and swell. The final element was increasing my water to help flush sodium out. Amazing how it’s all interconnected. I appreciate having the net to help me learn, and sites like WebMD.
  4. Cautious Independence Day planning is afoot. Friends have a tradition of consuming root beer floats while watching the fireworks from their deck. They like us; we like root beer floats, so we’ve become part of their tradition. Looks like we’ll do it again this year, while social distancing, just three couples. There will be floats, but not fireworks.

Got my coffee. Ready to write, but the first requirement will be to update the bible for The Constant, which is the current novel-in-progress. Then I’ll write like crazy, at least one more time.

Capricious Fates

Yesterday was cooler outside — eight-eight F — a drop of ten degrees from the day before and night from the one before.

Summer had arrived. Temps are night were falling to sixty, fifty-nine, but it was often seventy by ten AM and quickly climbing.

We have a gas fireplace. Standing by it yesterday, I felt the heat from its pilot radiating out and thought, time to turn that puppy off. So I did.

Clearing their throat, Nature declared, “Hold my beer.”

It’s my custom to keep windows open at night. A wind was blowing through the night, bringing what felt like Arctic air. Getting up, I closed all the windows and thought about turning on the fireplace.

Made me smile. The capricious fates had fooled me again. It’s like, if you study something expensive to buy, and finally pull the trigger, it’s bound to be on sale immediately after you take position.

I guess Alanis Morissette expressed it better in “Ironic”.

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.

The Edge

Smiling as he raised the blinds, he gazed up at the sunshine. “Alexa, what’s today’s weather?”

“Right now in Eugene, it’s fifty-eight degrees with mostly sunny skies. Expect more of the same throughout the day, with a high of sixty-eight, and a low of thirty-seven. Enjoy your day.”

A heartbeat of sadness passed. He’d been hoping that she would say his name, as she’d been doing once in a while the last few days. Like yesterday, she said, “Have a great Sunday, Richard.”

That little bit had meant so much, more than it probably should, but it was the little things that kept him back from the edge during these days of isolation, and the edge seemed just a little too close today.

“Alexa,” he said in a softer voice, “how’s our weather today?”

He waited, hopeful for the answer.

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