Thursday’s Theme Music

Fanfare: today is Thursday, September 23, 2021. Why the fanfare? Why not? This day and date is rarely afforded fanfare. Might be birthdays for some, wedding anniversary, etc. But for most, it’s just another day sneaking by, bold as daylight, little counted. Not the end of a quarter. Nor the start of a season. Just a part of the year going on. I think it deserves a little fanfare, a little recognition for being another average, ordinary day in existence.

Sunrise on this ordinary day of ordinary grace came at 6:59 AM. Sunset will be at 7:07 PM. Almost to that moment of balance between night and day. Temperatures were unexpectedly cooler yesterday. High of just 80 F. Felt weirdly warm in the house. Today’s weather is delivered more of the same.

Went and had beers with friends last night. Outside at a local brewery. Well situated away from others. Six of us. We’ve done this off and on through the last three months, smoke allowing. All of us are vaccinated. One’s wife has already received a booster. Works with the homeless. The servers are all masked.

We were there to enjoy the fresh air and some local brews. Three days in a row without smoke, everyone told one another, friend to friend, server to patrons, patrons to server. Isn’t it great? God, how it must suck to live in a devastated area. To have lost your home. Maybe animals. Possessions. We count ourselves fortunate but already begin looking toward next year. For the record, I drank Caldera Brewing Amber Ale. I don’t hesitate to recommend that tasty beverage.

I mentioned to the others that it’s been a long time since I rock and rolled. Was joshing, you know? No one recognized the line. Or said anything about it, at least. Not even a blink. But of course, it’s out of Led Zeppelin’s 1972 song, “Rock and Roll”. A fast-paced ditty that I thoroughly enjoy. Natch, overhearing me think of it, the mental switches turned it on in the morning mental music stream. Good song to have there. I will share it with you and thank the Gods of Rock for delivering it to us.

Although I enjoy the original studio song, I went with this recording of a live performance. I wanted to pause, consider the group and stage setting. Such simplicity. So small. Intimate. No monster screen televisions giving close ups to people five hundred feet away. No smoke. Lasers. Just the performers, stage, and crowd. Simpler time, then, yet, so much more complicated and different than the ten years before it. So it goes in the mirrors of life.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the tune. Rock on, brothers and sisters. Rock on.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Greetings from Terra.

Today is Wednesday, September 22, 2021. Fall is fully on us in my planetary niche. The sun poured liquid gold into the valley this morning at 6:58 AM. Sunset won’t come until 7:10 PM so we’re not really at equinox, yet. Not at that point when the daylight and night stand as equal. The pincers are closing, though. It’ll come soon.

Our air quality is still Good, but on the scale’s upper end of that part of the spectrum, ranging from the low twenties to the mid forties, with two places edging over fifty and into the yellow zone – Moderate. The region’s rains definitely helped the wildfire battles in Oregon and Nor Cal. It’s a relief that the rain came.

Temperature yesterday topped 90 F. Expect the same today. It’s easily endured with fresh air and temperatures cooling into the fifties at night. Yesterday also saw a windy morning. Drove the three house beasts inside. These cats are not fans of wind.

Which brought to mind a Gerry Rafferty song from the last century, circa 1978. As I surveyed the cats in their sleeping positions on living room chairs, I thought, look at them, sleeping right down the line. Naturally, my brain, acting like Alexa, said, “Playing Gerry Rafferty, ‘Right Down the Line'”. So it was the song entered the music stream and remains in the morning mental music stream. I don’t mind; the song refreshes memory from that year in my life — getting out of the military, going to college, owning a restaurant, working a second job, returning to the military — quite a year.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax, drink plenty of fluids and get some rest. Here’s the music. I’m off for coffee. Cheers

Thursday’s Theme Music

First, standard warnings. The outside air is unhealthy. Recommend you avoid going outside. Don’t exert yourself outside. People with respiratory issues should take additional precautions.

COVID-19 positives cases remain high as vaccination rates continue to wane. ICUs are full. Wear a mask when outside your home, especially when in stores and restaurants. Social distance. The library is closed to browsing but there is front door service.

Welcome to Thursday, September 9, 2021.

It’s similar to Wednesday and Tuesday. Many of us wonder, when will this stop? The smoke. COVID-19. Drought. Water shortages.

Sunrise was at 6:44 AM. Sunset will be at 7:33 PM. Saw a big red-orange ball in the sky late yesterday afternoon. Purported to be the sun. And darkness did gather when it disappeared. So, cause and effect, must’ve been the sun.

Temperatures today will remain warm but not hot with a forecast high in the mid to open eighties.

A Wham song is rooted in the morning musical mental stream. This is a dream’s influence. I’m still sorting the dream. The song is “Everything She Wants” from 1984. I respect Wham and George Michael but their music wasn’t the sort I generally paid mind. But my female friends and wife looked their music so I heard it often. I’m still piecing together why it was in my dreamscape’s musical score.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the music and there’s my coffee. Cheers

Slippage

  1. Slippage in my personal use is about losing track. Time. Lists. Progress.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. I tend to avoid writing long posts for these reasons. Keep it short and simple. Use energy for longer stuff for my writing projects.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. Enough of a break. Time to return to writing like crazy. But first, another cup of coffee, please. Black, of course. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunday arrived like a Monday morning, on time and as expected. Cool and smoky.

Today is August 29, 2021. This is it. If you vowed to do things during August — clean cupboards, fly to the moon, bake a cake for a friend, write a novel — you better find the go button.

Sunrise settled its glowing blanket over our dried out brown and green valley at 6:33 AM. Sunset will be 7:49 PM. Our high temperature will be in the mid nineties.

We have a few warnings for you today for Jackson County, Oregon, including Ashland. Excessive heat warning, so don’t go outside. COVID-19 is still raging out here, climbing to levels that bring the national news services to the area to write stories about how bad it is in hospitals, so don’t go anywhere without your mask. Also, the air is rated unhealthy to extremely unhealthy so don’t go outside unless you must. Masking is suggested. Also, don’t exert yourself too much while you’re out there. A red flag warning has been issued for fires, so you know, be careful and don’t use power tools outside. Finally, there’s a drought still underway, so don’t waste water. Other than these stipulations and limitations, feel free to go nuts.

My mind started the morning with pieces of dreams. Most of them evaporated, leaving me to look at fragments and wonder what was going on there, sort of like we do when ancient ruins or old family photographs are found. Then, I thought about “Friends”. Have you heard about this? It was a television show about a gang of people – a brother and sister, and, well, their friends and room mates, and work and relationship entanglements presented in a humorous way. I believe it’s called a ‘sitcom’. On NBC in the states for a while. It’s also been on reruns sometimes after it went out of production. Anyway, I was thinking about the friends’ parents. Liked how the parents were written into their lives and relationships, and the actors who played the parents, but I was thinking mostly about Chandler’s father, played by Kathleen Turner.

Whew. Got that out of my system. I then checked out the landscape, thought about the situation, and concluded, Jesus, get me out of here. That prompted the Gospel song turned rock hit, “Jesus Is Just Alright” to kick off in the morning’s mental music stream. After re-acquainting myself with the DC Talk version and the Byrd’s version, I went back to the Doobie Brothers and pulled a recording of a live version off the net. The song doesn’t have many words. You can learn them quickly, I think. So feel free to sing along.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as necessary, get the vax, and be careful out there. Here’s the music. You listen while I go get my starter fluid, aka, coffee. Also need to turn on the air purifier because it smells like smoke in here. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I hear raining ratatattating on windows and roofs but it’s a sound held only in my mind. Dawn has broken. 6:29 AM. A slow ascent of mothy light. Shows the smoky particles off well. Gives the sun that fine burnished red tone as it streams past curling tree leaves, through windows.

Drum roll. Today is Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Sunset will be at 7:56 PM. Daylight’s shortening period is accelerating. Minutes are sliced away on either end.

Our air quality ranges around 123 in some parts of town, 250 in other sections. Varies with elements. Wildfires rage around us, miles away, pushing their presence through smoky sunrises and sunsets, terrible air quality. Encountered a woman the other day who’d fled, evacuated. Lost her house from a fire down in California. Only two houses remain in her neighborhood. Enduring the smoke doesn’t seem as bad after hearing that. Still sucks, though.

Dreams aplenty last night. Kept my mind buzzy. From one came a string of CCR songs. “Long As I Can See the Light” led the string. “Stuck in Lodi” followed. “Lookin’ out My Back Door” closed the set. Other songs mingled after I rose and tended the feline gods. Reading news, reflecting upon attitudes and politics, I end up with a 2005 Audioslave song, “Be Yourself” in mind. I enjoy how the song splinters responses to the same situation, shows how different people function (or fail) in parallel during life. One minute is one person’s happiest; it’s also another person’s worse. We’re all living in Schrodinger’s box. We are alive or dead, happy and sad, alert and inert by the second. At least that’s how it feels until I get some coffee in me. Lyrics sample:

Someone finds salvation in everyone, another only pain
Someone tries to hide himself, down inside himself he prays
Someone swears his true love until the end of time, another runs away
Separate or united, healthy or insane

h/t to good ol’ Genius.com

Had a little coffee. Need a lot more. Be posi. Test negy. Wear the masky as needed. Get the vaxy. Enjoy the tune. Be yourself is all that you can do.

Cheese. I mean, cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, August 24, 2021. We’re into August’s last legs. September begins next week. Autum will take over in a few weeks. 2022 is hurtling toward us with comet speed.

Sunrise and sunset are 6:28 AM and 8:08 PM, respectively. Temps are lower. Just 60 F now. Expect mid-80s by the mid-afternoon.

We’re back to reality. Back home. In Ashland. Spent a week on the Oregon coast. Drove home yesterday. Coming south/east, smoke took over as the dominate feature, rendering trees and mountains into sketchy outlines, killing breathability, locking out blue sky and sunshine. Oregon, 2021: another year of smoke.

Yardwork needs tending. I’ll put on a mask and do it, though philosophical reservations pummel me. Is having a pretty yard really so critical when attaining it means risking your health. Hell, no, of course not. But, property values, the marketing forces reply. Image and impressions. Some suggest, hire someone. Sure, take advantage of another’s weak financial security and force them to sacrifice their health. Makes sense. Ah, but their choice, right? And they need the money. And there is capitalism’s doom loom in its essence.

The boys — Tucker, Boo, and Papi — are happy to have us back. Lot of love time spent with each yesterday. Heads were scratched. Purrs were issued. Comforting was done.

Had the Animals song, “It’s My Life”, in my mental music stream this morning. “Comedown” by Bush. Then Duran Duran replaced those with “Ordinary World”. Somehow, Lost Frequencies came through from 2015 with “Reality”. Just a matter of words with this light tune, really:

Decisions as I go to anywhere I flow
Sometimes I believe, at times I’m rational
I can fly high, I can go low
Today I got a million, tomorrow I don’t know

Stop claiming what you own, don’t think about the show
We’re all playing the same game, waiting on our loan
We’re unknown and known, special and a clone
Hate will make you cautious, love will make you glow

Make me feel the warmth, make me feel the cold
It’s written in our stories, it’s written on the walls
This is our call, we rise and we fall
Dancing in the moonlight, don’t we have it all?

h/t AZLyrics.com

Yes, I’m all over the map this AM. Happy to be home. Sad to be away from the ocean. Relieved my fur friends and home are okay. Appalled by the state of the air, the extended drought, the multitude of wildfires. Depressed by the break in routine, the inability to saunter to a coffee shop to write (see Air Quality, COVID-19 restrictions), humble that I have a life where I can make such choices.

Reality can be great. It can also suck. At the same time.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed. Get the vax. Have some coffee. Or tea. Wine. Whatever. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Sunrise, sunset, smoke, weak sun, high temperatures, COVID-19 spiking. Yes, this is Saturday, 8/14/21. Hope your Friday the 13th went well.

So the sunrise, sunset, air quality, and temperature numbers go 6:12 AM, 8:11 PM, 162 (very unhealthy) and 100 F, again. COVID-19 case numbers are in the hundreds in our county. Highest ever. Delta variant. Unvaccinated account fo over 98 percent, according one doc. Hospitals overcrowded. ICUs full. Emergency assistance sought from the state. Plans to put up field hospitals. COVID-19 deaths are also the highest ever in our southern Oregon county.

Our town, though, remains a small oasis. More were vaccinated. Wore masks. Took precautions. Most cases in the county originate in two towns that went heavy for Trump. Who eschewed masking with extreme contempt. Sneered at vaccines. Fighting to keep their children from being vaccinated or wearing masks. Yep, even while they have the highest COVID-19 case numbers in the state. I think there’s some moral there. If I could just put my finger on it.

Busy, busy, dream night. Cats contributed. Keeping two of the three in due to heavy smoke. Third, the youngest, is too adamant to be kept in. Paws at windows. Beats blinds. Screams for freedom. Raises a ruckus with the other two. Because I’m keeping the two older bois in, the pet door is closed. Hence my multiple sleep interruptions.

Anyway, while brewing desperately desired coffee this AM, I was pondering dreams. So real. Was that a dream or is that a memory? Wasn’t sure with some of them. Worried me about my state of mind. Anyway, from that arose a song by Mister John Lennon. “#9 Dream” (1974). When I heard it on the radio, I also heard the DJ saying that the song came to Lennon in a dream. But the word, “Was it in a dream, was it just a dream? I know, yes, I know, seemed so very real, it seemed so real to me.” Had never seen this video until today. Eye opening and thought provoking, IMO.

Study hard and stay in school. No, wait. Started on the wrong phrases, didn’t I? Guess it was a slip back to 1974. Test negative and stay positive. Wear a mask as needed and get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Yes, it’s Friday the Thirteenth of August, 2021. The sun’s limp gaze — too much smoke for it to be noticed, really — came on at 6:15 AM. Sunset, which has been a succession of fiery red orbs sinking into a hazy red horizon this week, will come at 8:15 PM. Yes, we have less than twelve hours of daylight going forward. ‘The days are getting shorter’.

Might cool off some today. Might rain. Thunderstorms are in the forecast. Not good news. We’ll listen and watch with collective bated breath to see if new wildfires explode. Already have so many going. New ones would not be welcomed.

Today’s high will be about 100, again. The thing with the heat dome is that the heat stays longer into the night. Midnight found us at 86 F last night. But with that smoke — the AQI has been red or purple — unhealthy or very unhealthy all week — opening windows will funk you up. We’re sitting at purple, 205, very unhealthy right now. Visibility is struck down. Like we’re in a fog. Except it’s smoke. Can see about three hundred feet. No upper horizon. No sign of the mountains and forests. Better than being in the fire, though, knock on wood.

Embracing the day’s superstition, I’m channeling “Superstition”. A Stevie Wonder composition, he hit with it back in 1972. Several have covered it since then, including Stevie Ray Vaughn. I went with a video of Stevie Wonder with Jeff Beck at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 25th Anniversary Show.

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

It’s the Sun, Stupid

Okay, boys and girls. Gather ’round. Time for another rant.

An older friend related a story. He was assembled with his fishing club to hear a futurist speak. The first subject was global warming and climate change. The futurist announced, “It’s the sun, stupid.” That was the whole of the discussion about global warming and climate change.

Yes, it’s the sun, stupid. Has nothing to do with atmosphere. Nor methane gases being released. Conveyor belt effects on ocean currents. Nothing to do with anything humans are doing.

No, it’s the sun, stupid. Why is the planet warming? It’s the sun, stupid. The sun warms the planet. Well, should other aspects of that be addressed? Like, why exactly is the sun warming the planet so much? Why are ocean currents destabilizing? Is there any relationship with the jet stream changing, and all the extreme weather events, the growing, deepening droughts, the record, soaring, high temperatures? Or what of the wildfires and bushfires, like the ones that devastated Australia, the western U.S., and now parts of Europe? No? This is all just the sun?

These issues weren’t raised. While not a close friend, I’m aware of his political views. He pooh-poohs Black Lives Matter. Dismisses other social justice and equality issues. Laments the changes we’re seeing in our society. Wants to return to ‘the old values’. He’s older than me. Entrenched in his beliefs. Fortified by Fox News and other conservatives. I know these things from previous encounters. I know that he doesn’t think much of climate change or global warming. It’s the sun.

Stupid.

End of rant.

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: