December 9, 2021

“Уипчэдыжь шІ”, or “Good Morning” in Adyghe, or West Circassian, a North West Caucasian language spoken mainly in the Republic of Adygea in the Russian Federation.

I know I am a good person because my iWatch tells me so, every time i get off my dead butt enough or wash my hands well. Life is good!

We are ramping up Santa’s workshop to production mode this week. I love doing stupid little things for all my friends. Just something personal that hopefully shows my love for them.

I mostly didn’t agree with Bob Doyle’s politics and I never voted for him. That does not mean that I did not admire and respect the man. To me Bob Doyle was a gentleman and a true statesman in the finest sense of the word. This world is a poorer place without his character and grace. RIP Senator Doyle.
Frank Zappa was a paradox. A perfectionist musically, shameless in his flaunting of edge lyrics and sounds but always perfect in execution. The Mothers of Invention were joined by some of the premier musicians of our time to endure the pain of participation in Zappa’s world. We lost Frank 28 years ago this week.

Grandpa Stories is another step closer to republication. I have completed my automation/artificial intelligence assisted edits! Whoopee! Now I am going to begin my read throughs in print. This may take more time than last time because I intend to do it right this time and my eyesight is not what it used to be. Adjusting for my macular degeneration tires my eyes more rapidly and the watering forces me to stop. But after a rest, I can start over. Jessica, has volunteered (poor child!) to re-read it for me as well. Every so slowly step by step…
It’s a sad week at our house. When I had the new filtration put into our aging pond, the pond guy told me that we had too many Koi for the size pond we have. Jessica found a Koi Rescue outfit and this week they came out to pick up our excess fish. It was tough, like trying to figure out which of your kids you are going to send the orphanage!! The man was nice. I was able to say,”good bye and bon voyage!” to the eight Koi fish he is rehoming for us. We checked and these folks are very picky about placement. They also send former parents videos of their fish when they are settled into their quarantine tanks.

This week I learned some stuff:
• A week into the “Get Back” viewing (I finished the second episode). For me, this viewing experience is very de ja vu. A century or so ago, I worked with a band who rehearsed all the time. I think that is a mark of a good band – to care enough about your audience and any music you cover by other artists, that you practice the songs until you got them right and repeatable. The band I was associated was like that. Rehearsals were so much like what I saw on Get Back. Lots of tangents, jokes, smoking and cussing. The personalities of course are different but more than once, I was struck by the thought, “If they would just quit fucking around, they could get this down.” I don’t any of us realized it at the time, but the “fucking around” is just part of the process. We played covers of Steely Dan, Beach Boys, The Beatles to name a few. But we also wrote, practiced and played original music as well. Those collaboration moments were my favorite part of every rehearsal. I am not sure everyone will enjoy reliving The Beatles fucking around mixed with collaboration as much as I do, but I hope so.
• I have been lost in Medicare Enrollment this month. I finally got it figured out I think. This year we will spend about half of what healthcare cost us last year. I get to use the same UCSD docs, plus i get dental, vision and hearing benefits. Whoo Hoo!
• December 9th is the 343th day of 2021. Just 15 days till Christmas! On this day in 1872, P. B. S. Pinchback becomes the first African-American governor of a U.S. state- Louisiana; On this day in 1946, the “Subsequent Nuremberg trials” begin with the “Doctors’ trial”, prosecuting physicians and officers alleged to be involved in Nazi human experimentation and mass murder under the guise of euthanasia.; In 1948, the Genocide Convention is adopted; General Electric announces that all communist employees will be discharged from the company on this day in 1953; Today in 2008, the Governor of Illinois, Rod Blagojevich, is arrested by federal officials for crimes including attempting to sell the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama; Hermione Gingold, English actress and singer was born today in 1897; Grace Hopper, the American admiral and computer scientist, who designed COBOL, was born today in 1906; Today in 1911, Broderick Crawford, American actor, was born; Tip O’Neill, American lawyer and politician, 55th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives, was born today in 1911; Born today in 1916, Kirk Douglas, American actor, singer, and producer; Redd Foxx, American actor, was born today in 1922; Judi Dench, English actress, was born today in 1934; Dick Butkus, American football player, sportscaster, and actor was born today in 1942; Jakob Dylan, American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1969;Ralph Bunche, American political scientist, academic, and diplomat, Nobel Prize laureate, passed away in 1971; US Senator Paul Simon, American soldier, journalist, and politician, 39th Lieutenant Governor of Illinois, passed away today in 2003; And finally, Gene Barry, American actor passed away today in 2009.

Website Update:
This week:
• A new Vocabulary Quiz ..Yeah!!!!
• Week two for Musical Trivia Quiz
• I have a new recipes for you this week – Grandpa’s Pecan Bark. I love all things Pecan now I get to bark too!
• The Home Page quote is given to us by Mississippi John Hurt, ”Don’t die till your dead.” Seems like good advice at any age.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• No change on the painting or stained glass front this week.
• Grandpa Stories is once again making progress towards being republished (See above).

• As you all know, I have always been a huge fan of Taylor Swift as and entertainer and a shrewd business woman. She made history this week, again. In a bid to take control of her songs from the record company, she re-recorded Red and released a “Taylor’s Version” of the album. I have listened to a couple of cuts and to be honest, I cannot tell the difference. But there are also 9 new never released songs that she wrote and recorded during the time she was making, “Red” plus a 10minute 31 second version of “All to Well”. Taylor’s Version of this song broke Don McLean’s song, “American Pie” for the longest song to ever top Billboard’s Top 100 list. Taylor sent Don some flowers. Oh and another thing, to hear the 10 minute version of the song, you have to buy the album. I told you .. shrewd!
• And another thing! What pin head at Apple thought it was a good idea to remove the “ People who bought this song also bought:” section from iTunes!!! In my case, it was a great way to find music that felt like the song in my head that I cannot use on UJT Radio because, I already included it this year. (Did you ever notice that?) Anyway, I would peruse, the usually double rows of similar songs often finding a new gem or a new to me gem in the process that scratched that itch for me. Well, all I can say to the person who made that decision, “I hope all the elastic fails in your underwear!” So there!

Music Update:
Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Taylor Swift – All too well – This the Taylor’s Version mix from her 2021 re-release “Red (Taylor’s Version)”. This her remix of he original song not the new 10 minute version.
• Al Stewart — On the Border — From the Vinyl!!!! This is a deeper cut from his 1976 release, ‘ Year of the Cat”. Peter White’s Spanish (acoustic) guitar is delicious! It reminds me of Paco De Lucia.
• Allman Brothers — In Memory of Elizabeth Reed — This is a great instrumental song from their, Live at Fillmore East” album released in 1971. Dicky bets wrote the song after visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in the band’s hometown of Macon, Georgia. He named it after a headstone he saw for Elizabeth Jones Reed Napier (1845-1935). Dicky spent a lot of time with his guitar in Rose Hill. Originally, he was going to name it for a girl he knew but after a published comment from Duane Allman, it wouldn’t have been gentlemanly.
• James Taylor — Mexico — This is just a nice fun song anyone can sing along with. It always make me smile. This is from his, “Hourglass” album released in 1976.
• Alan Parsons Project – Can’t Take It With You – One of my favorite musicians singing and playing one of my favorite tunes. This is from his album, “Pyramid” released in 1978. In the back of my mind, I think I knew Alan was part of the who Apple Records set up with The Beatles but until I watched, “Get Back”, I had no idea the “brains” behind the whole “Let It Be” experience and products were George Martin, Alan (assistant engineer) and Glyn Johns. Phil Spector did the final mixes and overdubs.
• Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention – Montana – This song was a cut of their 1973 release, “Overnight Sensation”. I didn’t know till years latter that Tina Turner and the Ikettes sang back up on this cut.. uncredited. Tina also sang the female parts of Dinah Moe Hum.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!