June 1st, 2017

Selamat pagi !! (“Good Morning” in Malay.)

Donna Frano thinks that all sentences should be followed by 2 spaces following the final punctuation prior to starting a new sentence. This standard would enhance readability and over all esthetics. As you will no doubt note. I can support Donna completely without actually self-editing. Forgive me again for being a slactivist, Donna

Do you want to change the world? Do you give to charity? Does the money you give achieve the result intended? How do you select the charities you give to? Why don’t our homeless charities end homelessness? I try to listen to TED Talks Radio every week because I have never been disappointed. Think about that. How many things can you say you attempt and never get disappointed. TED Talks is one of the very few things that I feel that way about. It is always interesting! Perhaps talk X might be more interesting to me that talk Y but neither will bore me or could I consider their content trivial or time-wasting. This weeks TED talk was on the subject of effective charities. If you give money away, you should listen to Dan Pallotta’s talk. While you are at it, leave your browser open and listen to Melinda Gate’s talk as well.

That fortune cookie I got in 1983 was right!! I did win something. Yesterday, I won a drawing at my local cigar for trying a new stick. I won a humidor pack of 5 Chateau Fuente Series stogies….woohoo!

This week I learned some stuff:

• I learned, again, that pulled pork sandwiches made from a nice pork butt cooked on the rotisserie of your own grill somehow tastes better on a hot Memorial Day than anything. Potato Salad, Watermelon, coleslaw with that fine North Carolina Vinegar Bar B Que sauce – oh my:)
• I learned, again, the stuff I have left if it doesn’t fall off, hurts much more often than it did when I was young and stupid. I was trimming my Crape Myrtle in my backyard to allow the flowers below it to get some sun. It was a bigger branch than I usually cut with these big pruning clippers and it was a tough hunk of wood. Anyway, I pulled and the limb pushed back and pop …my bicep in my right arm just blew up in a storm of pain. Now if I lift my arm or hold something in my right hand, I can do anything with as much pain as a want.
• It had been several months since I logged in to the San Diego Watercolor Societies website and this morning, I was truly impressed by the enhancements the new team has made to the site. For me the most exciting feature is the publication of the artist demonstration video from the Monthly Members meeting. This will allow members to take advantage of the learning experience even if they cannot attend. I sent a note congratulating the technical team and plan to be a regular visitor. If you are interested in watermedia based art, do yourself a favor and visit sdws.org.

Website Update
• Last week for the “new” Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This week I also added the lyrics for “I’m No Angel” as performed by the Gregg Allman Band, “Better In Time” by Leona Lewis and “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak for your sing-a-long pleasure.
• Added a recipe for my “Chili Like No One Is Watching”. It is just too tasty to miss, if you like chili at all.
• This week’s Interesting Human is Tu Youyou and the planet is a better place for this 86 year old Nobel Laurette who was born and raised in China.
Writing and Painting Update:
• I finished two new paintings this week. One is a portrait of my son Sean and the other is a still life where I captured an image my koi. I also worked on some others that I have had kicking around.

• It never seems to fail. I finally end up with a halfway decent painting and I just cannot decide if it is done or not. So I tweak it hear and there and end up messing something up. I need a conscience voice telling me, “Step Away From the Painting!”
• My grandson, BJ is graduating high school this week. He is looking for a summer job before he starts college in the fall. I know it sounds trite and cliche but it really does seem like yesterday that I was looking down at this beautiful baby boy who looked like he was going to have to grow into his head. BJ has been surprising me all his life with keen sense of humor and a quiet grace. Now that he is long and tall, he carries himself with the confidence gained by his blackbelt commitment to marital arts. Congratulations BJ! Remember this is just the beginning – how weird is that!!!
• I bought my first guitar as a birthday present the day I got out of the Navy in 1974. It was an inexpensive Degas, nylon six string that I got from Rambin Conrads in Norfolk, VA. In 11 days, I would have celebrated my 43rd year as a guitar owner and player. Well, technically I haven’t been able to play for more than a few minutes at a time for a while but yesterday, I donated my last guitar, effects box, guitar stands, tuners, strings and assorted odds and ends to the San Diego Veterans Center for their Music Program. They have weekly classes for their resident vets coming back from homelessness. I am assured that the stuff I donated will go to the class and the vets attending and that makes saying goodbye to my guitar life and all the joy it gave me a little less sad somehow.

Music Update:
UJT Radio features some sad goodbyes and other magic that I want to share with you:
• The Gregg Allman Band — I’m No Angel — This was a surprise hit in 1987 and the title track for his third solo album. I think Greg had one of the very best blues voices this world has ever known. This would be some sort of theme song for many of us. I am sure it was for him and me. The world is just a little less this week.
• The Allman Brothers Band — Whipping Post — This is the live recording of the boys playing at Filmore East on September 23, 1970 in New York City. This was the first time, I had heard Gregg Allman sing and play keyboards. I fell in love. Oh yeah, Duane and Dicky guitars, Butch and Jaimoe on drums with Barry providing the bass – they all did real real good too. 🙂
• Leona Lewis — Better In Time — From the, “Songs for Japan” released in 2011 in support of the survivors of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. This is a pretty song about living through loss and finding out that as impossible as it seems that you can find yourself happy again on your own.
• John Mayer — Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967— This is one of my favorite John Mayer songs. This one comes from his, “Born and Raised”. Its a story that always brings a tear to my eye and a catch to my throat as I try to sing along. Walt is a completely forgettable character with a dream that no one shares. But Walt makes his dream come true and I smile. It really does move me to smile this special tearful smiles that comes from believing in the impossible for the improbable but really feeling the truth of it all. Its a nice song that has been on the UJT before but not for awhile.
• Jamie Callum — All At Sea — I have featured Jamie’s music before on UJT Radio but when it came up on this week Apple magic shuffle it was like seeing an old friend coming down the road.
• Steve Winwood — Higher Love (Full) — This is another song that makes me smile. This one comes from his fourth solo record, “Back In The High Life released in 1986. Chaka Khan sings back up on this great song.
• Tears for Fears — Head Over Heels — TFT is a band either you get or you don’t in my experience. I instantly liked that sound and but I have known people who came to hate them in the same instant. This is from their 1985, “Songs From the Big Chair” album.
• Little Feat — Dixie Chicken — I have always loved “the Feat” (in all their variation of personnel) and this one might be the first Feat song I ever heard. Its the title cut form their third studio album released in 1973. Anyway, this one for me is all about the fun.

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: http://www.jfmccann.com