What Was I Thinking

My new trimmer came yesterday.  I saw it on TV and I ordered one probably about a month ago.  I used to get my hair cut every six weeks, because I don’t like looking scraggly, but with the Covid around, I only had one haircut last year and that was in August.  I don’t go any place, so I figure that I can get away with not having my hair look that good.  I am not very happy with my new trimmer and I may not be using it again, except I do like the way I can use it on the hair that grows on my earlobes, because it works much better than a scissor or trying to use my nose hair trimmer there.

I did a decent job and my cousin helped me trim the back of my neck, which was very thoughtful of her.  I took the guard off so I could trim my sideburns, which had grown very long and then I put the trimmer down to see how it came out.  My cousin picked up the trimmer, not realizing that I removed the guard and she cut a patch of my hair that went all the way down to my scalp, so now it looks like I have a hole in my head in that spot that she cut.  She apologized, but the damage was done and it is not all that noticeable, but unless I want to cut all of my hair down to the scalp, I will just have to wait for it to grow back.  Several strands of long hair are covering up the bald patch, so it is not the worst thing that has ever happened to me.  However, I am going to declare a moratorium on doing any more self-hair styling for now.

Written for FOWC with Fandango –Moratorium.

All Aglow

‘Dedicated to the One I Love’ is a song that was written by Lowman Pauling and Ralph Bass and it made the charts for the North Carolina R&B vocal group the 5 Royales in 1958.  The Shirelles took it to #3 on the Hot 100 in 1961 and the Mamas & the Papas reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1967 and they also reached #2 on the UK charts with this cover.  The Turtles’ ‘Happy Together’ kept the Mamas & the Papas from reaching #1.  The 5 Royales were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015, but no members of the group were still alive at that time.  This song mentions that “the darkest hour is just before dawn”, which is an expression that Winston Churchill memorably used saying “the darkest hour” to describe the period of time Britain stood alone against might of the German and Italian armies in the early years of the Second World War.

This was an unusual song for the Mamas & the Papas, because Michelle Phillips sang lead vocals instead of their usual female lead vocalist, Mama Cass Elliot.  The Mamas and Papas version is much slower and that style really worked better for this song.  This song has become a symbol of love and hope for many people over the years, reminding anyone who can’t be with their loved ones of the strong bond they still share even across time and distance.  It is not easy on either party when one of them is away from their significant other, but if someone would whisper a little prayer for me and tell all the stars above that they love me, I would glow with warmth and excitement for them to return to me.

While I’m far away from you my baby
I know it’s hard for you my baby
Because it’s hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn

Each night before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love
(Love can never be exactly like we want it to be)

I could be satisfied knowing you love me
(And there’s one thing I want you to do)
(Especially for me)
And it’s something that everybody needs

While I’m far away from you my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
Because it’s hard for me my baby
And the darkest hour is just before dawn

If there’s one thing I want you to do especially for me
Then it’s something that everybody needs

Each night before you go to bed my baby
Whisper a little prayer for me my baby
And tell all the stars above
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated (to the one I love)
This is dedicated to the one I love
This is dedicated (to the one I love)
This is dedicated
This is dedicated

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Glow.

Turbulent Tranquility

This floating in air routine that I do, helps me to reach an untroubled state that is free from other disturbances.  Up here in my attic, there is a place where the laws of natural gravity seem to be repealed and gravitational anomalies allow me to soar above the floor for a few seconds, before bringing me back down with tranquil streams of air.  This is my special place where I can take a few deep breaths and then focus on the problems in this turbulent world.  I know that am I perfect, someone who always thought to be just out of reach, out of their league for many, and only attainable by a few, but eventually I will be somebody’s soulmate and they should stop at nothing to have me in their life, as I am not a unicorn.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #103, for FOWC with Fandango – Unicorn, for February Monthly prompts – Turbulent tranquility and for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Many Other Few.

I Have Always Been Unique

When I was born, my parents always told me that I broke the mold, because I was a one of a kind and that there would never be another person just like me.  I always thought of this as a good thing and I never wanted to be like anyone else.  I enjoyed being authentic, a genuine bona fide person, and this allowed me to do my own thing.  I have always been able to stand out in the crowd because of the confidence I gained while I transpired to handle many different circumstances.  I can proceed, act, or do things in the manner that I choose or desire and I enjoy being distinct, separate and different from others.  Most people have never encountered anyone like me before, because I am special in my own way and if anyone calls me unique, I take that as a compliment.  I try to stay true to myself at all times, resisting the temptation to become fake, as I keep it real.  My unique personality has allowed me to let the let the Sun shine in and shutter out the darkness and despair, keeping negative things from getting into my life.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Unique, and for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Shutter.

Be Happy Live Longer

I am a city person, I have always have been one and I will always be one.  I am healthier because I have been exposed to a lot more people being a city slicker.  I am able to avoid getting sick, because I have built up a genetic advantage through exposure because I have been subjected to more variants of things that are contagious and this made my body more resistant to just about any disease.  I always told myself, “You ain’t gonna get me sick.”  This has become a mind over matter thing for me, as I know my body has the ability to heal itself, but it only cooperates when I am happy.  If I pig out on cookies and ice cream or start guzzling down a lot of beer, my body is more willing to cooperate, because it sees me as being happy with who I am.

If my body sensed that I was missing something in my life, or my romantic relationship had taken a wrong turn and that I was not feeling sexually satisfied, or if things were not going so well at work, or if my life lost purpose or couldn’t get in touch with my creatively, or I was not fulfilled and happy, or my financial stability was taking a dive, because I am stressed about money, my recuperation would take much longer.  From this I have learned that if I want to be healthy that I must make myself happy first.  Thus, if I had to change jobs, or divorce my spouse, I was going to do what ever was necessary to make myself feel better.  It didn’t have to always be that drastic, as many times my situations improved just by talking things out.  I could tell my boss why I was unhappy or go to marriage counseling with my wife.  When I started making better lifestyle choices, I found out that this counteracted with any stress that I was going through, because my body is a mirror of how I live my life, wow I bet that would make a great meme.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Meme, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – City.

Well Water

A breakdown in domestic water supply caused the town leaders to consider new alternatives and they made an appointment to talk with the well water sales engineer today.  When Mr. Jones arrived, they asked him what type of guarantee they would get for their money, if they decided to invest in this well water system technology.  Mr. Jones said that he would need a retainer to do a study and depending on what information came from that, then he could give them an estimate.  Mr. Jones told them, “Since you can’t see ground water, we have hydrologists on staff that utilize scientific methods to find water, but this can be a crap shoot and sometimes your neighbor may have water and you won’t.  We will have some test holes drilled and check our records that we have acquired for all the holes that were drilled in this area and that should give us something to go on.”

The mayor spoke up and said, “How much of a retainer do you require to get started and instead of equivocating the issue, tell us the chances on a scale of 1 to 10 that you will be able to hit pay dirt or us hitting rock bottom and this project becomes a money pit that runs us completely dry.  Ten would match up with us having to pay a minimal amount of money and would yield a vast water supply that would last us for years to come and one on this scale will have you run out of here on a rail.”  Mr. Jones replied. “Do you want me to calculate the cost of water treatment, just in case there may have containments present?”  The mayor said, “Yes of course”!  Mr. Jones said, “Well in that case, I am going to need a retainer and you can make the check out to the We Dig Wells company.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Instead, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Neighbor, and for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #168 – A breakdown in domestic water supply.

The Red Barn

New England settlers didn’t have enough money to paint their farms, so they found a cheap way to protect the wood on their barns, by mixing skimmed milk, lime, and red iron oxide to make a red, plastic-like coating.  This coating protected the wood and kept their barns warmer in the winter.  In 1867, manufacturers began preparing paint with chemical pigments.  Red became the most famous among farmers because it was the cheapest.  My sister got married on June 30, 1974 and my dad invited a good friend of mine Cliff Moorhead to the wedding and to show his gratitude, Cliff said that he would create a painting for my dad.  My dad gave Cliff a 4′ x 8′ sheet of plywood and he asked Cliff if he could make a scenic painting of a red barn similar to what Dale Nichols was famous for painting.  If you desire, you can view some of Cliff’s work here: https://cliftonmoorhead.wixsite.com/cliffhome

The painting hung in our screenhouse, and I used to sleep under this painting every night.  I used to dream that the barn was Mickey Hart’s Barn, a place where I had heard became a clubhouse for the Grateful Dead and their crew.  From the Mars Hotel was the seventh studio album by the Grateful Dead had an illustration of a hotel set in a Martian landscape, but on the back cover of this album it showed an illustration by Mary Ann Mayer where the members of the Grateful Dead mutated into a selection of cartoon alien species while they were watching a little TV at the hotel.  I got this idea from being stoned every night and looking up at that painting where the Grateful Dead would be dressed as aliens, that they could have landed a flying saucer like spaceship in the field near this barn and that they were walking down the dirt road to jam at Mickey’s barn.

I gave Cliff some money to paint in the spaceship and the alien Grateful Dead band members walking into the barn and he did a great job on this, but unfortunately, I don’t have anything to show you what he did.  My dad liked to throw stuff out and he liked the painting much better before the Grateful Dead landed on it, so one day he gave it away.  I can try to delight you with this video of ‘China Doll’.

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Delight.

Sing No More

The Grateful Dead recorded 13 studio albums, well 15 if you count the solo albums Garcia and Ace and most critics consider their 1980 Go To Heaven as the worst, followed by the 1978 Shakedown Street.  Coming in at third-to-last is Built To Last from 1989, although I have seen this ranked as their worst studio album on some lists, with critics saying that they were they were clearly out of steam as a studio band by the time this record was cut.  Brent Mydland was the keyboardist on the last three studio albums, the 1987 In The Dark, Go To Heaven and Built To Last and many people felt his style was not a good match for the group, anyway Built To Last would prove to be the band’s final studio record.  A lot of people jumped on the Grateful Dead bandwagon after the success of ‘Touch of Grey’ which cracked the Top Ten and brought the group int Mainstream America, but when they started work on their last album, the band stepped into the studio unprepared on the new songs.  Built to Last became a disappointing end to the band’s admittedly inconsistent studio career, as the Grateful Dead were definitely a much better live band.  Following Built to Last and Mydland’s death, the band would enter their final lineup adding Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby on keys.  The Grateful Dead would spend the next five years touring and never released another studio work.

On the Built to Last album the title track song is ‘Built To Last’, which was written by Hunter and Garcia and sung by Jerry.  It is kind of rare as the Dead only played it 18 times in concert and there is not much written about this song, but I like Jerry’s voice and Robert Hunter came up with some good lyrics as always.  The song is about healing, hope, reconciliation, and reflecting on your life knowing that the past can’t be changed.  The first chorus contains the line, “Three blue stars rise on the hill”, which is most likely a reference to Alnitak, Alnilam, and Mintaka the bright bluish stars which are known as Orion’s Belt, and these three blue supergiant stars are hotter and much more massive than the Sun.  I am not sure about the rest of this chorus, “Sing no more now just be still, All these trials soon be past, Look for something built to last”, but I am certain that it is not about Donald Trump, as he was only built to be a one term president, that is if he makes it that far.

Hunter gets back to nature for the next verse with, “A wind held by the collar, Yes, a cloud held by the breeze, You can walk on coals of fire, But sometimes you must freeze”.  Many of the lyrics seem relevant to what is going on in politics today, “There are times when you offend me, And I do the same to you, If we can’t or won’t forget it, I guess we could be through”, as Republicans are asking Democrats to ignore Trump’s crimes and they want him held accountable.  This song calls out for things that are built to last, like time itself, sunshine and darkness while years roll by, or something built to try, like the concept of democracy.

Another verse, “There are times when you get hit upon, Try hard but you can’t give, Other times you’d gladly part, With what you need to live”, is also very poignant although I have never been hit upon, but I am sure that happens a lot to hot girls.  People with stubbornness will try hard but never give and I am extremely inflexible on some issues.  When Fandango was running out of toilet paper last March, as I was all stocked up from shopping at BJ’s before the pandemic and I was willing to send him some, gladly parting with a necessity to help out my good friend.  There is a lot of wisdom contained in these lyrics, “Don’t waste your breath to save your face, When you have done your best, And even more is asked of you, Fate will decide the rest”, as nobody knows exactly what the future holds and therefor you shouldn’t worry about tomorrow.  In Chorus 3 we have, “All the stars are gone but one, Morning breaks here comes the sun, Cross the sky now sinking fast, Show me something built to last”, which I think means that time is a series of events which marches on and everyone should get with the program.

There are times when you can beckon,
There are times when you must call.
You can take a lot of reckoning,
But you can’t take it all.

There are times when I can help you out,
And times when you must fall.
There are times when you must live in doubt
And I can’t help at all.

Chorus 1
Three blue stars rise on the hill
Sing no more now just be still
All these trials soon be past
Look for something built to last

A wind held by the collar,
Yes, a cloud held by the breeze
You can walk on coals of fire
But sometimes you must freeze

There are times when you offend me
And I do the same to you
If we can’t or won’t forget it
I guess we could be through

Chorus 2
One blue star sets on the hill
Call it back you never will
One more star sinks in the past
Show me something built to last

Built to last till time itself falls tumbling from the wall
Built to last till sunshine fails and darkness moves on all
Built to last while years roll past like cloudscapes in the sky
Show me something built to last or something built to try

There are times when you get hit upon
Try hard but you can’t give
Other times you’d gladly part
With what you need to live

Don’t waste your breath to save your face
When you have done your best
And even more is asked of you
Fate will decide the rest

Chorus 3
All the stars are gone but one
Morning breaks here comes the sun
Cross the sky now sinking fast
Show me something built to last

[etc through choruses again]

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Series and for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Sing.

Water is the Most Beautiful Liquid

Early man was worried about many things, but one concern was their fear of dying of thirst, as man can only survive a few days without water.  Living in groups made it necessary for man to devise ways to measure water because they had to share the resource and they would only be allowed to drink so much, as the rest of the tribe needed this substance to survive.  Early man learned how to share handfuls of water with the rest of the tribe and this was probably how primitive man first measured a defined volume of liquid.  When early man was near a stream or lake and they got thirsty, they bent down and cupped their hands to drink water, and they stopped drinking when their thirst was met.

Ancient man used animal skins for clothing and they learned that skins could be used to hold liquids.  The first receptacles that were used for water drinking vessels were probably made from the hides of goats.  This invention allowed early man to tote water with them when they journeyed away from their villages.  Around 8000 BC, people in the Middle East started making pottery.  They had made baskets before which were useful for gathering, but they could not hold liquids.  They built bonfires to heat clay to high temperatures so all the water would be removed from the clay which caused it to fuse together giving it strength as it hardened and setting the shape.  These pots were undecorated and expendable, they were created simply as a means to transport liquids, and sometimes were only used once and then they were disposed of.  Earthenware drinking vessels eventually replaced skins for drawing and holding water, once man discovered the art of making pottery.  Our ancestors eventually learned how to trade goods or services and this made it necessary for man to develop standards.  Over time standard size cups and bowls to hold water came as a result of this and that made it more convenient to drink, sell and trade according to liquid volume.

The Minoan Civilization in Crete that flourished from 2700 BC to 1450 BC became aware of certain technologies relevant to water.  Numerous very advanced and wonderful water and wastewater systems, including aqueducts, cisterns, filtering systems, rainfall-harvesting systems, terracotta pipes for water supply, fountains, baths, sewers, and toilets were available in several Minoan palaces.  The palace had at least three separate sophisticated liquid management systems, one for supply, one for drainage of runoff, and one for drainage of waste water.

As early as 1500 BC, the earliest known clarifying apparatus was invented by the ancient Egyptians as they discovered the principle of coagulation.  To clarify water, the Egyptians reportedly used the chemical alum to cause suspended particles to settle out of water.  Once the impurities settled, the top layer of liquid was siphoned off using wick siphons and then the purified water was stored for later use.

Around 585 BC, Thales of Miletus, a Greek philosopher, proposed that water was the fundamental substance of the Universe.  Thales observed water being plentiful everywhere, contained in the soil beneath us and in the air above and even plants and animals contain water.  Thales saw how water was transformed in its three phases (solid, liquid and gas) which made him belief that all things come from water.  Around 400 BC, Democritus of Abdera another Greek philosopher could explain all facets of everything in existence within the physical world.  He knew that the water atoms continually roll over one another creating a liquid form.  Aristotle was one of the earliest writers to specifically mention underground rivers, and he believed that springs originated from rainfall.   He said, “Experiment has taught us that sea-water when converted into vapor becomes potable, and the vaporized product, when condensed, no longer resembles sea-water.  Wine and all liquids, when vaporized, turn into water.”

Written for FOWC with Fandango – Liquid.

The Sure Thing

I woke up in 2021 caught in an intimate relationship and I guess that I just got used to having her around.  When we met, she told me that there was no need to romance her, as she was a sure thing.  I became distracted by her beauty which was mesmerizing, but romance was one aspect that I certainly wanted to have in a relationship.  I wanted more and I turned into a basket case because I started ignoring the ignorance of this situation.  I wanted to kiss her and she insisted that wasn’t necessary, so we argued constantly till I got tired.  She looked just like Elizabeth Taylor and I asked her if we could go up on the tin roof with a blanket where we could be like street cats making love.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Distracted, for the Daily Spur prompt – Aspect, for FOWC with Fandango – Intimate, for Linda G. Hill’s ‘Life in progress’ JusJoJan January prompt – Caught, for January Writing Prompts – Ignoring the ignorance, for Ragtag Community – Blanket, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #167 – I woke up in 2021, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Tale Weaver hosted by Michael prompt – A basket case, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tired Tin More and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Mesmerizing.