February 9th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 350 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Well, it seems everyone is settling in a bit more this week. Our Georgie is a very tough act to follow but Murphy is doing his best. Jessica is still running around after all of us like the Energizer Bunny but hopefully, that will lessen. 

• The Prostate Adventure continues.  We a proceeding with my daily radiation treatments. We have had some scheduling and traffic issues but so far so good. The Zapper people are so nice to me.

• I have an update on my “1619 Project” recommendation. A good friend of mine responded to tell me that there is a documentary series on Hulu. The video format may be less intimidating than the several hundred-page text alternative. Again, it is painful to hear but important. I should acknowledge that like all books that challenge the ‘status quo” of our understanding, this book has enjoyed its share of criticism primarily about some of the heretofore unheard-of conclusions that the War of Independence was fought to preserve the institution of slavery in the colonies. The fact that England had just abolished slavery in the homeland and that American commerce to that point was profitable primarily because the labor was a one-time capital investment is considered by some more conservative readers and historians as coincidental rather than precipitous. One cannot read the historical facts included as justification for the author’s conclusions without a sense of outrage that inspires the reader to, probably for the first time, consider that some of our most beloved historic characters were much more pragmatic than humanitarian. No matter what format you choose, I encourage you to absorb this perspective and make your own informed decisions. 

• February 9th is the 40th day of 2023! Just 327 days till Christmas! Today in 1865, after no candidate receives a majority of electoral votes in the US presidential election of 1824, the United States House of Representatives elects John Quincy Adams as sixth President of the United States in a contingent election; Jefferson Davis is elected the Provisional President of the Confederate States of America by the Provisional Confederate Congress at Montgomery, Alabama today in 1861; On this day in 1870,  US president Ulysses S. Grant signs a joint resolution of Congress establishing the U.S. Weather Bureau; Also that same day but in 1995, William G. Morgan creates a game called Mintonette, which soon comes to be referred to as volleyball: US Senator Joseph McCarthy accuses the United States Department of State of being filled with Communists today in 1950; Today in 1964, the Beatles make their first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show, performing before a record-setting audience of 73 million viewers across the United States; The United States Marine Corps sends a MIM-23 Hawk missile battalion to South Vietnam, the first American troops in-country without an official advisory or training mission today in 1965;  Today in 1971, Satchel Paige becomes the first Negro league player to be voted into the USA’s Baseball Hall of Fame; Halley’s Comet last appeared in the inner Solar System on this day in 1986;Thomas Paine, English-American philosopher, author, and activist was born today in 1737; Also born today but in 1773, William Henry Harrison, American general and politician, 9th President of the United States ; Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian actress, singer, and dancer was born today in 1909: Dean Rusk, American colonel and politician, 54th United States Secretary of State was born today in 1909; Today in 1914,Ernest Tubb, American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born; Joe Pesci, American actor born today in 1943: Born today in 1945, Mia Farrow, American actress, activist, and former fashion model; Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Russian novelist, short story writer, essayist, and philosopher passed away today in 1881; Bill Haley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist died today in 1981; Today,  Herbert A. Simon, American political scientist, economist, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate passed away in 2001;And lastly, we lost Chick Corea, American jazz composer today in 2021.

Website Update:
This week: 
• New Vocabulary Quiz!!! Yeah!!!
• Week 2 for the Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week did a lot of cooking but only added one recipe that I think you might enjoy Mexican Baked Eggs.  I also corrected my recipe for Stuffed Poblanos and uploaded the changes.
• The Home Page quote for this week comes from the late John Coffey in The Green Mile,  “I am tired, boss. Mostly I am tired of people being ugly to each other.”

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:
•  I did some work on my stained glass project.I had to stop and get some new gloves – too many cuts and burns:) I have also been thinking a great deal about painting.  The last time I painted anything was at Christmas time.   
• I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.

I know lots of dweebs and dweeb-ettes get all nostalgic about “the good old days”. But I am not one of them. The best things about my good old days were the music, the people, and the fact that I lived through them. To be completely honest, many of those good old days were hard and painful. Most of the hard and painful parts were self-inflicted but I hope I learned something. I still have the music, and most of the people, and am working really hard to make right now a part of my good old days. I have lived in a golden age of human discovery and accomplishment. I have witnessed the glacier-like pace of equality ebb and flow across our country for LBGTQ, women, and people of color and the discomfort caused by those increments in those currently less disenfranchised. I want to tell them, it will all be ok. There is plenty for everybody. Believe in ourselves and our future. And on my very best days, I do. 

Music Update:
This week I am celebrating my good fortune with some remarkable music that I hope you will enjoy:

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 
•    Peter Gabriel — In Your Eyes  — I dreamed about this song this week. Every time I hear it, I smile. I enjoy the way it makes me feel. This one is from his album, “So” released in 1986.
• Eric Clapton  — Spiral — This one is from his“ I Still Do” released in 2016. This is a musician’s lament that reminds me so much of my friend George Gomez. To me, Eric’s lyrics, guitar and voice all resonate with my memories of listening to George play. 
•   Jewel — You Can Call Me Al —  This was the first single I ever heard. It’s from her 1995 release, “Pieces of You”. It’s about one of the hard lessons we all learned in “the good old days”.
• Molly Hatchet — Flirtin’ With Disaster — This is the song from their second album echoing across time to us from 1979. I don’t remember ever hearing another song from these boys but I sure did love air guitar-ing my ass off to this one:) One of those great singing-to-the-steering wheel road trip songs. 
• Jeff Beck — Morning Dew — This old blues song introduced me to both Jeff and his frontman, Rod Stewart. This comes from one of the all-time great records released in 1968. This was his debut album! 
• Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – The Long Journey – Probably two of the best vocalists running around loose today somehow found each other for this wonderful duet album, “Raising Sand” released in 2007. This song was written by Rose Lees Watson with her husband Doc providing the music surrounding it. The story is that she was sweeping up the house one day thinking about all the people she had loved who had passed on. The original title was, “Your Lone Journey” and she said it was especially comforting to her when her own son, Merle, passed away. Here is a link to hear Rose Lee and Doc’s version. Rose Lee and Doc’s version was released on “Doc Watson and His Family” in 1963 and has been covered many times since..

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!