November 30, 2017

“Gudmoning” If you find your self Northeast of Australia and almost due north of New Zealand, you might be visiting the island nation of Vanuatu where they would greet you with this “Good Morning” from their Creole/English based language called Bislama. Look up middle of nowhere in your Funk and Wagnalls, the subtitle will be “Vanuatu”.

I hope everyone has recovered from their Thanksgiving dinner feast. I love cooking that kind of too big meal with way too much of everything that you love and that you know your family will love. Oh yeah and I love left overs too.

This week I took the last (oh I hope the last) step in extricating myself from the soul-less suffocating tar baby, known as ATT. I was able to move our internet, cable and home phone to COX a month or so ago and thanks to the black magic of Black Friday, I was able to wangle a great deal from T-Mobile to convert all six of our mobile service points to their service delivery model. Of course, in order to do that, I had to spend another 4-5 hours in a chat session with the Devil (AT&T Tech Support) because naturally, surprise! surprise!, I could not get direct access to the online functions of “MyATT” that would allow me to do the unlock and number porting on my own. THURSDAY AM UPDATE – Its still not over… ATT will not unlock the devices to complete the turn over 6 of the saga continues!

Today is National Mason Jar Day!!!! Today will actually be the very first day that we will celebrate the ingenious Mason Jar at the national level. It was on November 30th, 1858 that John Landis Mason was granted patent number #22186 for an “Improvement in screwneck bottles”. This creative solution made home canning a safe and effective way to extend the useful life of all kinds of fruits, vegetables and sauces. It also enabled a way for families to gather in kitchens all around our country to “put up” the bounty of their gardens and share with their neighbors. I have done some of this magic myself and enjoyed it immensely. Thank you, Mr. Mason!!!

This week I learned some stuff:
• I continue to be impressed with the Cox Cable Services we escaped to from ATT. This week their Contour solution was enhanced to include direct access to Netflix, so I no longer have to search all over for my little silver Apple TV remote to watch Netflix. Way to go Cox Contour!
• I re-learned that non-baking recipes are simply guidelines. One should always take creative license with even the best recipes based upon one’s own pallet and the ingredients available. I had some Queso Blanco left over and added it to my Parmesan Chicken dish. The results were delightful and cheesy! This is not true for baking. Baking is science where precision is to be valued – follow the directions precisely to obtain worthy results.

Website Update:
• This week I decided to return the UJT Home page back into the welcoming message it was before the hurricanes and shootings took over our awareness. Thank you for putting up with my attempts to help.
• This will be the second week New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Last week I added the lyrics for “What About Me?” from Quicksilver Messenger Service. Did you notice the amazing album artwork on the page? I used to love the album covers and posters that the Grateful Dead, QMS, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Cheer, NRPS, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Santana..and others used back in the 1960s.
• This week I added the lyrics from.”Reason for Waiting” by Jethro Tull and “Soul Child” by Shawn Mullins for your sing-a-long pleasure.

Writing and Painting Update:
• I have decided to re-do the Chewy paining in acrylics. I think the last work I did in acrylics was a portrait of Frederick, Chewy’s predecessor sitting on the landing of our stairs. Besides now I have to get some stretched canvas which means going to the Art Store!
• I am working another chapter in Artifacts. This is a tricky or at least pivotal one, where I have to lay out ‘the plan for my characters’ and take the first steps.

• Butthole Conversations! The fact is that if you are a human living on planet earth statistically you have hemorrhoids and will have to deal with them. Talking about them is embarrassing and distasteful. Not as much as listening to Trump or dealing with AT&T but its pretty high up on the OMG scale of (pardon the pun) “crappy” experiences. Most of us are too shy or silly to actually talk about it. If you do have the conversation, you will learn that there are two types and four “phases” of this malady – all of them more icky than the last. The treatments and terminology are just as embarrassing and “ewwwww”. You can enjoy sitting your fat ass in a tub (or specialized feature you can buy for your potty). There are a variety of mixtures used in soaking the “affected area” such as epson salts, witch hazel, apple cider vinegar and perhaps eye of newt. It is recommended that you do this for 10-15 minutes several times a day(Pardon but I have to go soak my “affected area” be back in 10 or so”). In between baths you get to smear creamy goos or gels on the “affected area” as well. And if none of that works you need to to contemplate the horrors of “banding” surgery. Most moms can snicker when they hear some old guy whining like this because getting hemorrhoids is usually unadvertised feature of pregnancy and child birth (all that pushing!!!). Of course, no one talks about it so they don’t get to snicker that much..
• Now that I am retired and painting more I find I get just as excited about going to the Art Supply Store as I used to get going to the Sears tool department (Or the modern equivalent – Harbor Freight Tools). I think going to the tool department was the male equivalent of the make up department at the mall store was for our female counterparts growing up. I remember seeing girls from school sitting on the stools with the make up ladies brushing their cheeks with stuff as I made my way to to the tool dept.
• We had another horror show in Egypt this week. Hundreds killed visiting their mosque. No one has claimed responsibility. I am finding that who claims responsibility for these things doesn’t matter so much. Its all part of the global “them” until they visit your church, or mosque or school. I believe that it will never be force that stops these things. It will be quiet conversations and agreement between men and women who have the character to inspire the people they represent to covet the peace agreed to more than the perpetual brutality of being “right” or “superior”.
• It sucks to get old. Its much better than the alternative, I think but that doesn’t mean it is easy. I won’t apologize for the pontificating I do here. My “old guy” railing against the injustice in the world seems fitting for my age and station. When I was my grandson’s age, I really believed that if we worked hard enough and committed ourselves, we would change the world. I suspect that is true but I wouldn’t know, we never did work hard enough or totally commit to those lofty ambitions. Did we? In fact, we haven’t changed anything other than the ability to commit atrocities and communicate them more efficiently than was ever imagined in 1970. We had such hope. But we were so ignorant and naive. I have lived a lot of years and been to most places on the planet. I am convinced that we have much more in common than what we allow to divide us. I hope I live to see the tipping point where we decide living together in peace is more important than having others live and believe just as we do. But I suspect that I won’t.

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Blodwyn Pig — See My Way — From the Vinyl!!!! This is deep cut from their “Ahead Rings Out” album, released in 1969. Mick Abrams, who was the original guitar player for Jethro Tull, founded this band when he wanted to focus on rock and blues and Ian Anderson wanted to go a different way. I love the bolero nature of this song.
• Jethro Tull — Reason for Waiting — This is one of my favorite cuts from their “Standup” album released in 1969. This acoustic marriage of guitars, strings and Ian’s flute is just lovely. Martin Barre, who replaced Mick Abrams, plays the guitar in this one.
• Tommy Emmanuel — (The Man With The) Green Thumb — From Tommy’s Endless Road album released in 1005 in the US. Close your eyes and let Tommy take you through his garden. You will enjoy the ride, I promise.
• Fleetwood Mac — Everywhere — This is song was written and sung by perhaps the less famous of FMs women, Christie McVie. Christie is a great singer/song writer in her own right and made the harmonies work so well for this iconic band.
• Shawn Mullins — Soul Child — I featured this song on the UJT radio a little over a year ago. This one is from Shawn’s “Soul Core” album released in 1998. It came up on the rotation this week and I just had to share it again. I LOVE this guy’s songs, voice and music!! This one that I LOVE to sing along with…. “You never know till you try…”
• Jewel — Stronger Woman — Another cut from this special songwriter. This one might be just too country for some of you but I have a fondness for stronger women. I just wanted to celebrate them because they might have a tougher row to hoe in this life.
• Genesis — Follow You, Follow Me — I always loved this band. They hit it big in the late 1970s and Phil Collins went on to do a lot of similar music into the 1980s.
• Barcelona — Time to Mend — This is another song from their “Absolutes” album released in 2007. These boys hail from Seattle and you can feel the coffee in their veins. “ Honest, trust me, ’cause I’ve been you before… “ – Yeah, I have felt that way before.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; And always remember … The best is yet to come!

As always, thank you for being my friend!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: