Reason to Rock

In the early 1960s big-band swing dances declined and gave way to rock ‘n’ roll, as the large size of these groups made touring very expensive and complex, compared to small, 3-5 member groups that came later.  Teenagers were still listening to music that was sweet and soulless, manufactured pop with a beat for crooners such as Bobby Vinton and Bobby Vee.  In 1958, Link Wray’s ‘Rumble’ was banned from the airwaves because it was a whole new sound and people did not like stuff that was different.  The same year, Bobby Darin, was relaxin’ in the tub and he found out that there was a party goin’ on.  The older hollow-body electric/upright bass eventually began to slink away into obscurity, as the curious new Fender bass guitar was first seen in the hands of Lionel Hampton’s bassist Roy Johnson who waxed on its ease of playing and transporting as well as its tonal presence on stage.

Pop music was blended with country when Lynn Anderson had a big hit with Joe South’s ‘Rose Garden’.  Jimmy Buffett never blew out his flip flop because he needed some new Summer footwear, as he stepped on a pop top, which can be dangerous when you are drinking one Margarita after the other, and having trouble finding the salt.  In 1967, the 1910 Fruitgum Company had their most successful chart hit with a song based on a children’s game ‘Simon Says’.

Music would be changed forever with the advent of Jimi Hendrix.  The Spanish Castle Ballroom which was constructed in 1931 and located outside Seattle had served as a popular venue for young aspiring musicians and other men of mystery since its inception.  The club started changing during the time when a young Seattle musician named Jimi Hendrix started frequenting this place along with his Gibson amplifier.  Jimi always had his amplifier in his car and when a band that was playing at this club had a problem with theirs, the skinny black kid went to his car, to snag his amp, and loan it to the group, if they would give him permission so that he could play on stage along with the band.  Lots of bands blew their amps in those days, so many would let him play with them as long as he loaned them his amp.  Hendrix’s lingering fondness for Seattle’s music scene is indicated by the fact that years after he left the Northwest he penned ‘Spanish Castle Magic’ in tribute to his days hanging out at the old roadhouse.  The club was demolished in April of 1968, roughly a year after the release of this nostalgic tune.

It’s very far away
It takes about a half a day to get there
If we travel by my, dragonfly
No it’s not in Spain
But all the same you know, it’s a groovy name
And the wind’s just right
Hey!
Hang on my darling
Hang on if you want to go
Hear it’s a really groovy place
It’s uh, just a little bit of uh, said uh
Spanish Castle Magic
The clouds are really low
And they overflow with cotton candy
And battlegrounds red and brown
But it’s all in your mind
Don’t think your time on bad things
Just float your little mind around
Look out! Ooh
Hang on my darling, yeah
Hang on if you want to go
It’s a ha, as you can see
A really groovy place
It’s just a little bit of
Spanish Castle Magic
Yeah baby, listen
Yeah, It’s all in your mind babe
Ow! Yeah
Hang on my darling, hey
Hang on, hang on if you want to go
Oh girl, that’s right baby
It’s a, a little bit of
Spanish Castle Magic, hey
Little bit of
Spanish Castle Magic
Hey, I can’t sing this song
Yeah baby
Get on baby, yeah
It’s all in your mind
Little bit of daydream here and there
Oh, yeah, oh, hey!
Everything’s going to be alright

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Slink, for the Daily Spur prompt – Fruit, for FOWC with Fandango – Tub, for May Writing Prompts – Men of mystery, for Ragtag Community – Snag, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Problem Ease Whole, for GC The Main Aisle and Sue W Nan’s Farm Weekly Prompt – Summer footwear and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Rose.

The Day Before Easter

‘Twas the day before Easter, she laid in her bed
Thoughts of bunnies swirled around in her head
No dreams of dragon scales, just eggs, candy and toys
She was listening to a tune by the Back Street Boys
The egg hunt was soon and eggs she would gather
She could go on for hours with all of her blather
The bunny ears were a subtle innuendo that she was ready
Her excitement kept building up till she felt unsteady
She got up from her bed and walked around her room
She looked out her window and the lilies started to bloom
She loved this holiday and she was known to hem and haw
She saved a carrot for the Easter Bunny and yes it was raw
Today she would watch the film Easter Parade
Help her mom color eggs and drink lemon aide
The whole day long, she felt fine
She coughed at bedtime, was this a sign
She got sick that night and never got her basket
Covid-19 entered her bosom and she is in a casket
I miss you

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Blather, for the Daily Spur prompt – Tune, for FOWC with Fandango – Innuendo, for Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda’s Go Dog Go Café Midwest Fantasy Tuesday Writing Prompt – I miss you, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Nekneeraj’s Photo Challenge #317, for May Writing Prompts – Dragon scales, for Ragtag Community – Bloom, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Raw Film Sign and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Bosom.

Signs from the Sky

Jim said to Charlotte, “You don’t need a weatherman to tell which way the wind blows and although the clouds are constantly changing, there are clear images inside of all of this chaos that seems to be pointing to our destruction.  It is a fine day, so let’s grab a blanket and find a quiet spot outside where we can relax while we examine the sky above for clues.  We can explore the shapes of the clouds to gain a special meaning from them, and see if they will reveal something special just for us.”  Charlotte said, “Are you still tripping on that acid that you dropped last night, or have you decided to take up the lost divination skill of aeromancy?  You are right though, as we should get outside today, because I am tired of being cooped up and listening to that windbag president spewing out his meretricious words that only cause me frustration.  Give me a minute to change into my running shoes and then I will be ready to check out the foliage, as the landscape from our front window has changed from dull browns and drab tans to swirls of pink, yellow and green in a matter of the past few days.”

Jim said, “OK babe, I will feed the hamster and then I will wait outside for you while I check on the birch tree to see how it is doing after I pruned it earlier this year.  Today is Memorial Day and the beaches have opened, but with nearly 50,000 cases of Covid-19 across Florida, I don’t think that we should risk it yet.”  Charlotte said, “Oh yea, it is Memorial Day, as I often forget what day it is since this pandemic struck.  I try in earnest to stay awake concerning this situation, but then I get lost in a sea of statistics and as I begin to hesitate, all I want to do is get more sleep.  We should go to the park and watch the parade and I could put together a picnic basket, but only if you agree to heft it around.”

Jim said, “You know that I hate parades, the marching bands and everything that goes with them and it probably stems from that first job that I had, where I was required to scoop up all the horse poop after the parade was over and that was pure misery for me.  People are so messy and they often say don’t cry when life hands you lemons, but they never consider the lemony liabilities.  Let’s just go out in the back yard where we won’t need to wear our masks and it will be quiet enough for us to hear the sounds of the wind passing through leaves on the trees, or it is possible that even the grass may carry some sort of message.  I’ll grab a joint for us to smoke and you could put on that gossamer blouse that looks so pretty on you.”

Just then, the sun turned to darkness, and the moon to blood, and Charlotte said, “We won’t be getting any signs from the sky today, or at least I won’t, as I am not going out there” and then the heavens opened up and it began raining.  Those poor people that are having their parade rained on, I feel so sad for them.  I guess the good news is that we didn’t get our blanket wet.”  Jim turned the TV back on and he saw that Trump was tweeting sexist taunts and personal insults against prominent female Democrats, including Hillary Clinton and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Jim said, “Speaking of wet blankets, that orange dude is up to his old antics again, I really think that the hydroxychloroquine that he is taking has messed up his mind.”  Charlotte said, “You are being too kind, as he is nothing more than a shortcut to disaster and his brain is the equivalent of what a child has.”

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Heft, for the Daily Spur prompt – Equivalent, for FOWC with Fandango – Shortcut, for May Writing Prompts – Lemony liabilities, for Ragtag Community – Gossamer, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Misery Kind Frustration, for Linda G. Hill Life in progress What Day is it Anyway?, for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Acid and for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Wordle #191 hosted by Yves – Earnest Awake Foliage Aeromancy Meretricious Shoes Running Birch Hamster Smoke Sleep Hesitate.

Wuhan Lab

Someday, this will be over– only remembered like some half-felt and fading nightmare.  We should have never been messing around with this deadly stuff in the first place.  We were working with bats, collecting and testing samples from wild bats and eventually identifying them as the source of the pathogen.  I can’t count how many dark caves I was in, but it was a lot as my co-workers had given me the title of “Bat Woman”.  I was searching for a SARS-like virus in bats that had the potential to jump directly to humans and resisted treatments used against SARS.  My brother was bit on the neck by one of those nasty blood sucking bats and I wanted to save his life and I was way more than knee deep into this and I wasn’t going to settle for anything less than a cure.

My brother was very sick within a day after being bit, but he was cooperative and he let us draw all the blood that we needed from him for testing purposes.  Our lab was set up for containment and we had all the necessary Personal Protective Equipment that we needed to block anything from escaping, or at least we thought that we did.  With all of the lab workers hidden under gowns, gloves and masks, it looked like we were getting ready to pull off a heist.  Someone dropped a vial of infected blood on the floor and we were under the assumption, that if we cleaned up the spill and disinfected the area, that we would all be safe.  We were wrong as the infected blood seeped into the air ventilation system like a tidal wave and everything was infected and we were all going to die.  My brother could no longer talk but he was able to scribble down some words on a scrap of paper which read, “This is a punishment from nature, for us acting without using our noggin”.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Heist, for the Daily Spur prompt – Assumption, for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie First Line Friday hosted by Dylan, for FOWC with Fandango – Block, for May Writing Prompts – Knee deep, for Ragtag Community – Settle, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Scribble Draw Scrap, for Rachel Poli I Read I Write I Create – Time To Write – Title and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Noggin.

Sinks with the Boat

You only need to know a few folding tricks in order to make your own vessel to navigate the water’s currents.  I wanted to watch my paper boat which I painted green, as it made its way out to sea, that is if it didn’t get stuck in those waterlilies.  I opened up a bottle of Yoo-Hoo, because I wasn’t able to get hold of my dad’s rum and I poured some of the contents onto the bow to christen my boat Sea Biscuit, but I was not sure if would sink or float.  I launched it in the creek just under the bridge and since my favorite toy was Gumby and I knew how much he enjoyed going on adventures, I put him in my boat.

Gumby was flexible enough to pilot Sea Biscuit past the waterlilies and he looked like a champion as he steered past the rocks that were jutting up, making a classic move around them that showed his skill.  The rocks created turbulent zones, but Gumby maintained control as he went past a frog that just grabbed an insect with his long tongue.  I ran through the field alongside of the creek and I almost stepped on a snake which made me fumble my candy bar, which I got from the market.  That sneaky snake was a master at deception, but I was sipping on subterfuge as I knew his camouflage was no match for me.

The water started flowing more rapidly and I could hear the water falls ahead and I wanted to have a good spot to watch Gumby plunge over the falls.  Gumby was my favorite toy, but I had grown tired of him and besides that my friends made fun of me for having a stupid toy that didn’t ever do anything cool.  Well this would be a cool end for him and it would make me happy to see him bash his rubber head and drown.  I would not miss him, or get the Blues from him not being in my life, but on the other hand we were friends for many years and he would not be forgotten.  I wondered if Gumby might be eaten by a lobster after he sunk with the boat.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Fumble, for the Daily Spur prompt – Champion, for FOWC with Fandango – Classic, for May Writing Prompts – Sipping on subterfuge, for Ragtag Community – The Blues, for Reena’s Exploration Challenge #136 prompt – Painted “Sinks with the boat” where we are supposed to write about any one line from her poem, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Field Skill Market, for Sue Vincent’s May 21, 2020 Thursday photo prompt and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Forgotten.

Circle K Cannabidiols

Marijuana laws are changing at a rapid pace across all 50 states, making many people a bit confused in these times.  Cannabidiol, commonly known as CBD, comes from the hemp plant, a cousin of the marijuana plant.  Selling CBD products is illegal, but buying them is legal sometimes.  Cannabis is a plant of the Cannabaceae family and contains more than eighty biologically active chemical compounds.  The most commonly known compounds are delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).  Both THC and CBD are members of a chemical family called cannabinoids.  Cannabinoids are plants oils, and cannabis comes packed with more than 100 versions of them.  THC is known for its psychoactive effects when consumed with cannabis, or marijuana and it produces what many people consider a “high,” or an altered state characterized by euphoria, pleasure, or heightened sensory perception.  CBD is nonintoxicating, as it does not cause you to get high, but it does have some medical benefits that will help people with anxiety and depression.

The 2018 Farm Bill says that cannabis plants and derivatives that contain no more than 0.3 percent THC on a dry weight basis are no longer controlled substances under federal law, thus hemp and its derivatives are now treated as agricultural products rather than controlled substances, but the FDA still has the authority to regulate these products.  That means hemp-derived CBD is legal in the United States unless outlawed at the state level.  The FDA has approved Epidiolex, Marinol and Syndros and selling unapproved products with unsubstantiated therapeutic claims is not only a violation of the law, but also can put patients at risk, as these products have not been proven to be safe or effective.

In Florida, possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and a maximum fine of $1,000.  Possession a stash of more than 20 grams of marijuana is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment and a maximum fine of $5,000.  Under the 2019 Senate Bill 182, medical marijuana is now permitted in Florida, if you have a prescription to use it for treating a condition.  The Florida Department of Agriculture has said it’s not legal to sell hemp or CBD in the state.  But Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried is pushing legislation currently under consideration that would make state and federal law consistent in dealing with CBD’s.  Police have been mostly hands-off in the meantime.  The few examples of police cracking down have been against retailers, not consumers.   Since June 2015, a new trend has taken root across Florida where several cities and counties have passed similar ordinances that give officers the discretion to replace arrests for possession of under 20 grams of marijuana with citations.

Canada can hold their heads high up, stand proud and exult in their new freedom, as recreational use of Cannabis was legalized in 2018 and the owner of the Circle K chain of retail stores, Canada’s multinational convenience-store business has announced that it is investing in Fire & Flower Holdings Corp., owners of the Fire & Flower Inc. cannabis retailer in Canada.  Fire & Flower offers a curated selection of hand-picked strains, in addition to apparel and accessories such as dab gear, grinders, housewares, and more.  Two of the biggest drugstore chains in the United States, Walgreens and CVS, will start selling CBD products in select states, according to media reports.  It seems like CBD’s will soon be everywhere, but you should always consult a doctor before giving it to a young boy or girl.

CBDs are people pleasers, but they can cause side effects, such as dry mouth, diarrhea, reduced appetite, drowsiness and fatigue.  If you are taking an oral CBD, the best way to make it work would be to hold it under your tongue or swish it around in your mouth before swallowing.  Listening to music while taking CBDs can make this a cathartic activity.  By taking CBD, you can get into the groove better as it is known to be an effective mood and focus enhancer, so it might be nice to take while you are playing Guitar Hero.  The chemical in CBD has the ability to affect our nervous system and it is becoming a magical, catch-all remedy that is being added to all sorts of products.  Some people are slathering CBD cream on their face as a moisturizer, because it has been found to reduce free radicals and help with the reduction of things like sun-induced aging.  Manufactures are producing an array of scented beard oils and balms, shave creams, and colognes that people can use for their personal grooming.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Exult, for the Daily Spur prompt – Hero, for FOWC with Fandango – Stash, for May Writing Prompts – People pleasers, for Ragtag Community – Fatigue, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Confused Boy Work, for GC The Main Aisle and Sue W Nan’s Farm Weekly Prompt – Personal grooming and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Cathartic.

Back to School

Not the Rodney Dangerfield movie, this post concerns what it will be like for students going back after the Covid-19 outbreak.  Since the coronavirus is transmitted through direct contact with respiratory droplets of an infected person (generated through coughing and sneezing) and individuals can also be infected from touching surfaces contaminated with the virus and then touching their face (e.g., eyes, nose, mouth), precautions must be taken to protect everyone.  9 out of 10 children are out of school worldwide and a school shutdown on this scale has never been seen before.  Distance learning is only an option for those students that have computers and Internet access.  Normally schoolchildren commonly experience learning setbacks every year over their summer vacation which tends to wipe out one or two months of their academic growth, but this virus is unprecedented and it is likely to have major and long-lasting implications on the K-12 education system.

When schools eventually reopen it will be in a different place with respect to where and how kids will learn.  All of the schools were shutdown without a plan being in place for students to keep up with their coursework at home, so will they all have to repeat a grade?  This will probably only happen to the low-income, low-performing elementary students whose parents are not involved with their studies, but every student will be missing something.  Not every teacher has the knowledge, ability and qualifications to effectively teach online courses and some of the veterans that are more set in their ways may feel ambivalent about this type of setting.

A number of public health officials have indicated that they expect schools will likely be able to reopen this fall.  Schools connect students with peers and mentors, channel youthful energy into productive pursuits, teach essential academic skills and knowledge, and give overwhelmed parents room to breathe and work.  I am sure that somebody has already developed an App so that teachers can take roll call for students in a virtual classroom setting, but they may need many more tools to get their job done properly.  The importance of temperature checks cannot be understated and PPE requirements must be put in place, but I imagine that scenarios will need to be developed for every time a child is coughing in class.

The school nurse will need to be wired for more children being sent to them.  The school cafeteria may be a thing of the past as students might be eating their lunches inside of the classrooms.  I guess that more teachers will be required, especially is class size is going to be reduced, so that students can maintain proper distancing.  We are in uncharted waters, so some type of maneuver will have to be put in place to protect the students that go to school by bus.  We still don’t know enough about this pandemic to predict what will happen when the schools reopen and who will be at fault if a student get ill while in school.  We will all cherish the days before this virus changed everything and the frequent handwashing and sanitation procedures that will require us to wipe down all of the glass, metal, plastic and wood surfaces on a daily basis.

Written for Sheryl’s Daily Word Prompt – Maneuver, for the Daily Spur prompt – Fault, for Eugi’s Weekly Prompt – Cherish, for FOWC with Fandango – Ambivalent, for May Writing Prompts – Wired for more, for Ragtag Community – Call, for Di’s Three Things Challenge prompt words – Tools Wood Job and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Understated.