of birthdays & milestones & unrelieved nostalgia…

October, my favorite month… always. Also Erin’s (Shmoopy).
Nights on Venus celebrated its 7th year in existence on October 8th.
This past week, I celebrated my 61st birthday on the 16th.
This week, we celebrate Erin’s birthday tomorrow, the 25th. Happy Birthday, Shmoopy!

Sunday afternoon in the The ‘Cave Studio, Golden,CO… one corner of it anyway. Fender Strat “Buddy”, red Reverend Charger 290LE “Prince”…Reverend Rocco “Goldenboy” in the background…
Cosmo, hangin’ out at the other end of the studio, being good for the time being… not biting any guitar/MIDI cables or AC adapter cords.

…And congratulations to the Houston Astros on making the World Series for the first time since 2005 and congratulations to the Los Angeles Dodgers for making it to the WS for the first time in 29 years. We look forward to watching this series and it should be a good one. As my wife is a lifelong Dodgers’ fan – and rooted for my Texas Rangers in their two World Series appearances in 2010 and 2011 – that pretty much makes me a Dodgers’ fan. So… Go Dodgers! That all gets started tonight and did I read it right that the temperature is 101 °F. in LA today? Holy cow.

The current break in the action has given me some time to finally unroll the Persian rug that came from the old house back in Dallas in the studio. Shmoopy says it has lent a more “grown-up” feel to the room…

Coming up in another couple of weeks, on November 5th, Erin and I will celebrate our 1-year anniversary as a married couple. As I always tell her, “Hey, this is the longest I’ve ever been married,” which always elicits a sarcastic chuckle of the “hardy-har-har” variety ’cause this is my first time on the whole marriage thing (first and will be my only time I might add).

After that, the holidays will be upon us…
As mentioned earlier, Nights on Venus will be releasing a 3-song single just before Christmas, now entitled “Snow Day”.

The three songs on it are:
“(You Deserve A) Snow Day”
“Algorithm 12” and
“A Random Wave of Unrelieved Nostalgia”…
because during the sessions I was overwhelmed by… a random wave of unrelieved nostalgia, several of them in fact this year since we went to Dallas and as we prepare to go down there again. I’ll talk about that more next time…

Sky reflection on a Teisco Del Rey…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

“Everything popular is wrong.” – Oscar Wilde

 

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eclipse-mania!…

is in full swing. Right now we are just a couple of days away from what is probably the most anticipated event in at least a few years, possibly decades (think 2000, the Millennium?) – the total solar eclipse in America. As people will be traveling to points along the path of totality, getting to the event – wherever you are – is shaping up to be the “Mother of All Clusters” on the highways and byways. A few days ago Channel 7 here in Denver posted this graphic…

Courtesy of Colorado Dept. of Transportation (CDOT) and Channel 7, the Denver Channel.

600,000 freakin’ people… Hey, I told you Wyoming was booked up! And they will be on the road that day just here in this part of the country. In fact, that’s more than the number of people who actually live in Wyoming and call it home. Wyoming will double in population on August 21st. And I sure wouldn’t want to be heading up to Casper that day on I-25, usually a parking lot from Colorado Springs up to Fort Collins on good days… or Ogallala, Nebraska on I-76 and I-80, or on the road anywhere else. So we’re not.

Motel rooms have been booked up for months, the prices steadily going up into the stratosphere of motel room pricedom. It is a once-in-a-lifetime event – that’s true (although I do seem to recall we had a partial solar eclipse in the early 1960s when I was at elementary school in Dallas that day and we made pinhole cameras out of cardboard boxes to look at it safely). Services and restaurants in all the small towns along the path of totality will most certainly be overwhelmed for that one day. Business will be good, pumping some much-needed money into the local economy… and chaotic.

Path of the Total Solar Eclipse across America on August 21, 2017… Images courtesy of NASA.
The eclipse, brought to you by… Grease Monkey? No… don’t think so, and now apparently, they’ve run out of the free glasses.

It’s… ECLIPSE-MANIA!

A couple of links (please feel free to share):
From Space.com
And check this out…
Simulation of the eclipse in your area 

Here’s the deal: whether you’re in Caribou, Maine or Yuma, Arizona (or even in Nome, Alaska and Honolulu, Hawaii), you’re going to see something of the eclipse. In parts of Canada and Mexico as well. It may be partial, but it’s going to get dark. How dark depends on where you are. Here in the Denver Metro/Front Range area, we will have 93% totality… so it’ll be plenty dark. How dark? Well, after the Moon, the planet Venus is the brightest object in the night sky and currently it’s moving through the sign of Cancer; above 97% totality you should be able to see it. It’ll also get anywhere from 2-8 degrees (F.) cooler, depending on the totality of where you are.

Of course, when viewing the eclipse, wear the appropriate safety glasses/eyewear. Do NOT look at the eclipse directly or stare at it even with the glasses on. And it’s not a “Triple Dog Dare” moment.
Here’s an excellent post on this
.

Some new music from Nights on Venus from the new album…

So yes, the eclipse is a very big deal. This is perhaps one time where the hype surrounding an event is actually justified. Hopefully if you have paid a fortune for a motel room wherever you go, it will not be cloudy that day.

Astrologically, what could be the possible significance of the new Moon/total solar eclipse be in Leo? It depends mainly on the house placement and any aspects to other planets in the natal chart and also the progressed and solar arc charts. Since this is being billed as the Great American Total Solar Eclipse what possible significance would be suggested for the U.S. during this time? Let’s take a look at the chart of the U.S. for Monday…

Natal chart of the U.S.A., July 4, 1776, 5:10 p.m…. Snapshot of August 21, 2017 at 1:31 PM, EDT. The total solar eclipse… note the Sun-Moon conjunction (new Moon) in the 9th house (Click to enlarge).

It is interesting to note that this is only the 3rd coast-to-coast total solar eclipse in this country’s existence. The first two: 1776, when we declared our independence and became the United States of America, and in 1918, which marked the end of the first World War and when the short-lived League of Nations was formed.

In the Transit to Natal chart above, the Sun-Moon – new Moon – conjunction occurs in the 9th house at 28 degrees, 53 minutes Leo. Aspects to: natal Pluto in the 2nd house (inconjunct), natal Moon in the 3rd house, opposition (wide orb, but significant I think, so allowed), transiting Uranus, 4th house (trine).

Emphasis here is on the 9th house, which in the broadest sense represents learning on the level of identity – learning, or in this case, re-learning who we are. Applied to an entire country: learning/re-learning who we are as a nation. We literally have to decide who we are now at a time when we, as a nation, are at our most politically divided and polarized since 1860.

In an individual’s chart, 9th house integration would usually occur through philosophy, religion, higher education, travels and long journeys – anything that would expand (Jupiter as the natural ruling planet of the 9th and Sagittarius) a person’s horizons intellectually and their own self-awareness and of the world they live in. The 9th house also symbolizes the principles (or lack thereof) that a person was instilled with – i.e., the law or social/moral code. Again, Jupiter. In the chart of a nation, this would symbolize the law, the code of ethics that guides a country, and would play out in the sociopolitical arena and also represent, along with the sign on the cusp of the Ascendant, the “face” that nation presents to the world at large. So some of what I’m going to talk about here has to do with law and those principles as they have come to the forefront at this particular time of the total solar eclipse on 8/21 in the U.S.

Eclipses themselves symbolize or signify an ending and/or a beginning. Where a solar eclipse occurs in a chart generally sets the tone for the next 4-6 months depending on when the next lunar-solar eclipse pair happens. Eclipses are also harbingers of change, sometimes profound change, and I would expect that is what we’re going to see over the next 6 months through the lunar-solar eclipse pair in February, 2018. I would go so far as to say that this is one of the most important 6-month periods ahead in the life of this country – especially in light of the events of the last few days – as we have now arrived at a crossroads. There also seems to be widespread awareness in this country that we have reached a crossroads now.

This eclipse comes right as we have an existential crisis in government.

The first thing I’ll say about this is that if you think these last 7 months have been chaotic, and they have been, the next month has the potential to be even more so. And then things should gradually stabilize more by February, 2018. Given the events now that have happened since last Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, the ending indicated here by this eclipse, is that this current “presidency” will come to an end. Trump will leave, or be removed from office within the next 6 months. It also would not surprise me if he resigned as early as Monday, August 21st, the day of the total solar eclipse. Being the total narcissist he has shown himself to be, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that he would try to upstage this once-in-a-lifetime astronomical event just to draw attention to himself. This is one possibility signified by the eclipse. That he would resign would be the “easy” way.

The hard way? That’s where the aspect of the law comes into play. The Constitution provides remedies in times of crisis. Impeachment of course, is the one most people are familiar with, but that will take many months and does not guarantee removal from office. The most expedient way involves removal via Section 4 of the 25th Amendment. Trump has shown no interest in actual governing, only ruling, and he has nothing but contempt for the laws of the land. He thinks and acts as if he is above the law and also now faces several legal battles (e.g., the emoluments hearing on October 18th), in addition to the grand jury hearing on his alleged collusion with Russia to secure the election. In other words, the law is currently operating as it should, acting as a check and balance to someone who would run roughshod over it, but the laws of the land could be severely tested during this time and if Trump will not abide by them, then that becomes a constitutional crisis and a long drawn-out battle that this country, as we’ve known it, may not survive.  This is not hyperbole.

Thomas Cole (1801-1848): “The Course of Empire – Destruction”, oil on canvas, 1836.

I hope he will take the easy way. That would be best for everyone, including him. In a very real sense, Trump’s “presidency” ended the day he did not denounce and disavow white supremacists, the KKK, and the neo-Nazis.

What happens next is up to all of us. It revolves around some central questions: who are we as a country now? What kind of nation do we need to be and become? Certainly not the nation we’ve seen these last 7 months.

Also from the new Nights on Venus album…

Enjoy the show Monday. Be safe. ‘Til next time…

Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, which was released on July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”. Now available on iTunes, Bandcamp, CD Baby, and Amazon MP3.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and also the NoV Website.

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT
My two Reverends… “Goldenboy” on the left (a Rocco from 2002), and “Prince” (a Charger LE with the P-90 pickups from 2014) – not purple, but it came to me from Minnesota.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. He is available for personal astrological consultations. Contact via e-mail at carrington.ct@gmail.com

 

album released…

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something“, has now been released officially as of 7/23/2017, on the night of the New Moon in Leo. In a few weeks, the next New Moon… is also in Leo, which is something of a rarity, astrologically speaking, though it does happen every few years, and this is also the Total Solar Eclipse which will be occurring across the U.S. on August 21st.

Path of the Total Solar Eclipse across America on August 21, 2017… In typically American (exceptionalist) fashion, it is being called the Great American Eclipse. Image courtesy of NASA. Click on the image to enlarge.

I’ll be talking about that – what it might possibly signify for the next six months, astrologically – in the next blog post here in a couple of weeks, and yes, it IS a big deal. View responsibly, wherever you are. [Solar eclipses typically suggest the tone of events – in whatever house they occur on a chart for individuals or countries – for the next 6 months or until the next solar eclipse, which in this case, will be February 15, 2018.]

Erin and I will be here in the Denver metro area viewing the partial eclipse which will be fine. We’ll both be at work that day and it will get all dark and eerie for about half-an-hour. I had made reservations in Ogallala, Nebraska a while back (only because Wyoming was already booked up), then watched as the hotel jacked up the prices every few weeks, saw what we would be paying, until I finally cancelled, and now I see that Nebraska is sold out as well. I have no idea what the going rate is now other than exorbitant (also in typically American fashion, i.e., greed).

So for now here’s the album… available on iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and Bandcamp; you can listen to the full album here…

Or SoundCloud, full album here as well…

It is a Sunday afternoon right now and we are having a thunderstorm here in Golden – a good soaking rain which is always welcome in what is usually a dry summer, now as we head into August. Everything still looks green. Almost done with summer… thankfully.

The last couple of weekends we’ve gone up to Central City in the mountains… to see the opera. The Central City Opera is now in its 85th season at the opera house, a national historic landmark that was built in 1878. We saw “Carmen” by Georges Bizet, then Mozart’s “Cosi Fan Tutte” yesterday… both excellent productions. If you’re here in the Denver area during July and August, I highly recommend going up there to take in a performance. Year in, year out, they are at the very top of summer opera companies in the U.S. so go see them.

The Opera House in Central City, CO…

I am taking something of a break for the time being, but usually that never lasts long. Originally, “We Are All Haunted by Something” was to be a double album and there are 9 songs in various stages of completion that didn’t make it onto the album as released. I will be working on those, finishing them up over the next couple of months and hope to have 4-5 completed by mid-November to release as a follow-up EP sometime in December, possibly also as a 2-disc CD offering.

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something” has now been released. Includes the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_prince

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

 

 

 

 

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.

 

it’s (all) about time…

Time isn’t holding up, time isn’t after us…” – Talking Heads, “Once In a Lifetime”

Funny… All these years (since 1980) I thought that lyric – written by David Byrne – was “time is an asterisk“. Or, put another way: “time is an *…” where the ‘*’ was some kind of x factor or unknown variable. That was always kind of intriguing and carried a certain mystery about it. What would that phrase mean?

Maybe that time is extremely fluid and entirely personal.

The venerable Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, Colorado… Memorial Day, 5/29/2017. I practically lived here in the 1990s, especially when I actually lived in Evergreen for a few years, then worked here in the early 2000s. My friends and I used to joke about how when we all turned 60, in the far off distant future, we’d all still be going to the Little Bear, except now it’s no joke – I am 60 and I am still going to the Bear. Life’s little self-fulfilling prophecies.
The hike up Second Creek near Berthoud Pass and the view from the Broome Hut just below timberline.

Time is an asterisk could have been a song title on the soon-to-be-released new album in a couple of weeks since so many of the songs on there deal with the subject of time. “We Are All Haunted by Something” has gone to mastering in the time since I last posted and I apologize to readers for not posting during the month of June and being away for so long. It also kind of freaks me out a little that we are now past the midway point in 2017, that we’re 9 days into July, as this seems (to me) to be the fastest-moving year I can ever remember. Maybe other people have been and are feeling this too. This year just seems very accelerated, way too much. Erin and I have been hiking most weekends, working the rest of the time. Hiking and working, but now – for the most part – I can slow down a little. Only time won’t let me.

“But I tell you now… time is an illusion
Time… is not real
Time… is an illusion
Time… is the dividing line
Between what is true and what is not true
Between what is real and what is not real
Between what is so and what is not so
But who, I said who, who stands for time?
Who stands at the threshold of time?
Who decides what is true and what is not true?
We do, you and I…” – Todd Rundgren, “I Love My Life”

From our most recent hike yesterday on an absolutely perfect summer day, up Watrous Gulch near the Continental Divide at Loveland Pass. 14er Torreys Peak (14,267 ft.) is the high mountain in the center just a few miles away.

I think what we are most haunted by – even more so than our eventual demise in the physical – is time. Our perceptions of it, through the passage of time and we speak of its ravages (on the physical form), or when we feel like there’s never enough of it or alternately when we have too much of it on our hands.

“There Is Only Now” was the first song I recorded for what would become this album. Shortly after that, Prince died on April 21st. I had no idea then that his death would have such an effect on me. It literally threw me, my thoughts, back in time to the summer of 1984 and a very intense experience which his classic album “Purple Rain” was the soundtrack for. That was completely unexpected. Much of the new album was written and recorded during the time last year when I was revisiting a lot of memories and specific events from that summer 33 years ago now (e.g., “Ghost Towns of the 1980s”).

The final set list and sequencing:

Book of Detours
There Is Only Now
Speed of Life
The Indelible Imprint of Place
Llano Estacado
In Wilderness [Is the Only Sanity in the World]
I Just Wanna Fly Off to Iceland With U
Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)
Glamour: A World Problem
Relive Tomorrow… Today!
Ghost Towns of the 1980s
Hours Turn Into Years
Unusually Vivid Experience (UVE)
New Dark Age

The trail up Chief Mountain, Continental Divide in the distance.
My Old School, Steely Dan tribute band, at the Little Bear. They’ll be there again next Saturday, 7/15. Excellent band.

14 songs, for now… 14 months of work coming to completion. There are 4 more songs which didn’t make it onto the album but may be released as a sort of epilogue and EP by the end of this year. I took my time with this album; there’s more of a looser feel to it. And it comes out on July 23 – first available on Bandcamp and free for the first week (through July 29). A few more pictures from the recent hikes…

At the summit of Chief Mountain, June, 2017.
Toward the top of Watrous Gulch… 7/8/2017
Hiking up the trail on Second Creek, 7/1/2017.
The Watrous Gulch trail, Torreys Peak in the distance… 7/8/2017.
The “Shmoopies”, Second Creek… 7/1/2017

Until next time…

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…
Album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in July 23, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

The new album, “We Are All Haunted by Somethingis coming soon. Release date is set for July 23rd. 14 songs… including the 2-song single “Speed of Life” and “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”.

‘Til then, “Speed of Life“,Unearthly, Santos and all previous Nights on Venus albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on Bandcamp, CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_prince

Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

 

 

 

 

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter and Facebook.

 

homestretch…

As we move further into the spring of 2017, I’m currently finishing up the mixes on a couple more songs – “Hours Turn Into Years” and “Unusually Vivid Experience (UVE)” – for the new album, “We Are All Haunted by Something“, scheduled for release on June 24. This is the homestretch now. There are two more songs to go, to be mixed and pre-mastered, along with any remaining tweaks on the completed songs, by Memorial Day weekend, roughly a month-and-a-half away. I’m sweating this one out right now and hoping I don’t have to push the release date out another month or so. The album is finishing up on schedule but there have been some personal/family issues; I will have a better idea of where things stand next week after we return from our trip to the Big D… Dallas.

The Big D…

Well, that’s a little too big for me… and a little too warm/hot, a little too humid, flat, crowded, whatever… Nice pic though with the new bridge. Meanwhile…

Preliminary album cover for “We Are All Haunted by Something”, scheduled for release in June, 2017. This is the old abandoned Apache Motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico – shot taken in 2009. The image of the night sky is from Justin Marsh, added with his permission.

Although the sequencing for the album is not yet finalized – that’s next – the cover art and the songs for the album are. These are the ones that made the cut:

There Is Only Now
Speed of Life
Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)
The Indelible Imprint of Place
Llano Estacado
In Wilderness [Is the Only Sanity in the World]
I Just Wanna Fly Off to Iceland With U
Glamour: A World Problem
Relive Tomorrow… Today!
Unusually Vivid Experience (UVE)
Hours Turn Into Years
Ghost Towns of the 1980s
New Dark Age
bonus track (to be named later though I can tell you it is a cover song and it is well-known)

Further details about the bonus track, if it is to be included after the finished recording, will be divulged later, prior to the album release. For now, 13 finished songs over the course of the last year. And this project has now taken almost a full year going back to when it began the last week of April, 2016.

As for the album title, I’m not sure now when exactly the working title became what I was going to officially call the album when it would be released. I know it was very early on in the process as I was writing and recording the songs. And a lot of these songs seemed to organize themselves loosely around the theme of Time. The passage of time or a particular era of time can definitely haunt us because we’re very much influenced and bound by it. Also Place, which must be the reason why some places in our past we refer to as “old haunts”. I’ll revisit some of the process and thoughts behind what’s been going on for the last year and on this album closer to the release date.

What’s new? …Nights on Venus videos on YouTube are what’s new. They just kind of magically appeared, unbeknownst to me, which was a real surprise because I didn’t make them. Apparently YouTube did that and they’re up there, all 56 of them which is NoV’s released output to date. So check ’em out and thanks YouTube! Here’s one from the “Speed of Life” single, the B-side, “Confirm Humanity (I’m Not a Robot)”…

Oh, an update on the broken big toe (see previous post)… it’s pretty much healed at this point, just in time for hiking season.

At the trailhead to Linkins Lake…
"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

Speed of Lifeis the most recent offering from Nights on Venus. The 2-song EP was released on October 9, 2016 and is available on Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and iTunes.

Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Unearthly, Santos and all previous albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

Follow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter (@xlntsky).

 

time change from hell and the week that wasn’t…

Admittedly, I brought it all on myself.

I knew the time change was happening early this past Sunday morning at 2 a.m. – that awful annual ritual and unnecessary rite of spring known as the setting of the clocks forward 1 hour, losing an hour of sleep. Fall back, spring ahead. And so I stayed up ’til 1:30 in the morning, finishing up a song mix because I was just this close to having it done and I was going to get it done tonight. I did. It actually might have been closer to 2:00 when I came to bed.

The first noticeable effects of my late night in the studio were that I slept/stayed in bed until 8:30 (still thinking it was 7:30) which is something I never do. Our kitties, Maxx and Cosmo, were concerned. Getting up by 6:45 is pretty much the max limit for me on any day, every day, 365 days a year whether I’m going to work, whether it’s the weekend or I’m on vacation. Most of the time my attitude toward sleep is that of the late great Warren Zevon: “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” That morning I also didn’t meditate – something I do daily – and didn’t work out at the gym. Mostly I felt foggy, out of it.

Erin and I drank some wine later on in the afternoon and evening with dinner while we were watching a movie. At some point I bonked my left foot hard on the coffee table. It hurt like hell for a couple of minutes, then went away, and I didn’t think any more about it.

Monday morning, I woke up feeling even more foggy and out of it – went to work and felt strange all day. I felt even more strange after dinner so we took my blood pressure and saw that it was high. It hasn’t been high in months but then I’m also on blood pressure meds. I take another pill for it, we check the blood pressure a little later and it’s gone even higher. When it goes dangerously high about half-an-hour after that, I’m having some major-to-severe anxiety, I call the advice line at Kaiser as we’re having to consider a trip to the nearest Emergency Room. The nurse on the call tells me the doctor doesn’t think I have to go in. I schedule an appointment to see my doctor the next day.

By the time I get home Tuesday night, I’ve seen my doctor and she’s upped the dosage on my BP meds, for the time being; the toe is hurting even worse and in fact, turns out to be broken, and now everything in the immediate vicinity of the toe is starting to turn all sorts of colors in the red-purplish section of the color wheel. The toe itself is swollen, and this isn’t the little insignificant pinky toe we’re talking about here – this is the big toe… the “captain” of the toes (I will spare you the visuals lest it be the equivalent of somebody’s picture of what they’re having for dinner on Facebook – and hey, you need a food stylist for that to make it look good). We ice it down.

Erin and I are also supposed to go to Dallas this week for my Dad’s 88th birthday on Saturday. After the Monday night episode I make the call on Tuesday morning that we can’t go this week for the simple reason that we can’t be driving across West Texas where each small town that has a hospital is about an hour’s drive away from the previous one. If I have another pseudo-emergency with the BP or an actual real one… well, that won’t be good.

By Friday morning, blood pressure is fine, high normal range, but I’m hobbling around on a broken toe which in the end turns out to be the real/best reason for not going to Dallas this weekend – that, and Erin has been tired and exhausted all week, sleeping in late each morning, after the time change. We’ll go next month.

Last time at Copper Mtn. or anywhere else this year, end of February. Weather in March has been way too warm, windy, with very little snow… An abbreviated ski season this year, now done with a broken toe. Hiking season temporarily postponed as well.

This was the week that wasn’t, much of it due to this stupid annual changeover to Daylight Saving Time. I had never had it affect me like this and I learned the hard way this time. The first thing I’ll say about it is this: if you’re going to stay up late going into the time change – don’t. Not recommended and certainly not worth it. Respect the time change… at least while it’s still in effect.

The second thing is: it doesn’t have to be in effect. Most people are accustomed to it, but why? This prompted some inquiry into DST, the history and why it came into being. This is something artificial that’s been imposed on all of us and it affects a lot of people each and every year.

This is a known, quantifiable phenomenon that has been observed over the years. This small time shift can significantly raise the risk of health-related issues. A 2016 study found that the overall rate for stroke was 8% higher in the two days after Daylight Saving Time. The Monday and Tuesday after DST in the spring have also been associated with a 10% increase in heart attacks, according to a 2012 study at the University of Alabama Birmingham.

So here’s what research turned up… A brief history of Daylight Saving Time:

  • DST is used to save energy and make better use of daylight. It was first used in 1908 in Thunder Bay, Canada.
  • Germany became the first country to introduce DST when clocks were turned ahead 1 hour on April 30, 1916. The rationale was to minimize the use of artificial lighting in order to save fuel for the war effort during World War I.
  • Not to be outdone, “Fast Time” as it was called then, was first introduced in the U.S. in 1918 when President Woodrow Wilson signed it into law to support the war effort during World War I. The initiative was sparked by Robert Garland, a Pittsburgh industrialist who had encountered the idea in the UK. Today he is often called the “Father of Daylight Saving”. An industrialist, huh… well guess who this benefits?
  • Year-round DST, also called “War Time”, was in force during World War II, from February 9, 1942, to September 30, 1945, in the US and Canada. Again with the war stuff… it’s always about war.
  • From 1945 to 1966 there were no uniform rules for DST in the US and it caused widespread confusion especially for trains, buses, and the broadcasting industry. As a result, the Uniform Time Act of 1966 was established by Congress. It stated that DST would begin on the last Sunday of April and end on the last Sunday of October. However, states still had the ability to be exempt from DST by passing a state ordinance. And Hawaii, Arizona (most of the state), and parts of Indiana did just that.
  • The US Congress extended DST to a period of ten months in 1974 and eight months in 1975, in hopes to save energy following the 1973 oil embargo. Remember the lines at the gas stations back then?
  • The current schedule was introduced in 2007 and follows the Energy Policy Act of 2005, which extended the period by about one month (during Bush II). Today, DST starts on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November.
  • Daylight Saving Time is now in use in over 70 countries worldwide and affects over a billion people every year.

Questions that come to mind… DST saves energy, for whom? Who specifically benefits? And how much? What kind of energy are we saving here? Oil, coal? What are the costs to both workers and businesses in terms of down time due to health-related issues from the time change? Is DST best filed under the Nietzsche axiom that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger?

Well, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never liked Daylight Saving Time and I agree with Hawaii and Arizona (and parts of Indiana) – we don’t need it anymore. As more and more of our energy moves away from fossil fuels and is supplied by renewable sources, it’s time for DST to be gone. Permanently. Natural is best.

Here’s the latest mastered demo from the forthcoming album, “We Are All Haunted by Something”, due out on June 24, 2017. Another song about rampant and endemic narcissism, particularly as fueled by ubiquitous social media. The title comes from the Alice Bailey book for all you fellow metaphysicians out there. Happy listening… It’s disco! The halcyon days of the late 70s beckon…

GLAMOUR: A WORLD PROBLEM
(© 2016/2017 Excellent Sky Records/Nights on Venus/Craig Carrington Thomas. All rights reserved.)

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

Speed of Lifeis the most recent offering from Nights on Venus. The 2-song EP was released on October 9, 2016 and is available on Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and iTunes.

Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Unearthly, Santos and all previous albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_princeFollow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter

more new music… another preview from “we are all haunted by something”

Just a short update as I’m starting to finish up pre-mastering on all the songs for the new album, one about every other week now. A little more than half the album is done now, in its final state to go to mastering, but even at the above rate there may be some slippage on the release date of June 24th. Hopefully not but we shall see – I don’t believe in rushing things.

The latest is:
THE INDELIBLE IMPRINT OF PLACE / LLANO ESTACADO
(© 2016/2017 Excellent Sky Records/Nights on Venus/Craig Carrington Thomas. All rights reserved.)

This is a 2-minute preview of “Llano Estacado”, not the full song – I’m still tweaking it. The Llano Estacado is the “Staked Plains” in West Texas and eastern New Mexico and has been described as the “table lands between Austin and Santa Fe.” The Spanish explorer Francisco Coronado described the area as mostly “a sea of grass” in the 16th century. That’s true – it really is. And, other than the various caprock escarpments, it’s insanely flat. My Mom, no less eloquently, described it – on our yearly road trips in the mid-to-late 1960s/early 70s to Colorado through Amarillo, Dalhart, and Clayton – like this: “There’s nothing out here. It’s so empty… how can people live out here?” That always cracked me up… because somehow they did and still do.

The caprock, eastern New Mexico...
The caprock, eastern New Mexico…
Rabbit Ears Mountain, near Clayton, New Mexico... August, 2001.
Rabbit Ears Mountain, near Clayton, New Mexico… August, 2001.

Lubbock, Texas is the largest city on the Llano; I was there for 4 years, getting my undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University. I lived in Midland 2 hours south for a little while afterward. Between those two cities… some lifelong friendships, some good parties, knowledge acquired, a little worldly experience, constant wind, occasional dust storms, some not-so-good jobs, and a lot of bad apartments. I’ve spent a lot of time in this area, having living there, but mostly traveling through it over the course of 6 decades. For whatever reason, for me this area never becomes old. I love it. It may be tedious to drive through but it never gets old.

South of San Jon, New Mexico...
South of San Jon, New Mexico…

Places define us, shape us, change us, and any place we’ve lived leaves its indelible mark upon us.

"Speed of Life" single, released on 10/9/16...
“Speed of Life” single, released on 10/9/16…

Speed of Lifeis the most recent offering from Nights on Venus. The 2-song EP was released on October 9, 2016 and is available on Bandcamp, CD Baby, Amazon MP3, and iTunes.

Cover artwork for "Unearthly"... photo/design by CCT
Cover artwork for “Unearthly”… photo/design by CCT

Unearthly, Santos and all previous albums are available as MP3 digital downloads on CD Baby, iTunes, Amazon MP3, and the NoV Website.

goldenboy_and_princeFollow Craig and Nights on Venus on Twitter (@xlntsky),