January 7th, 2021

Update: I had completed the updates to the UJT by the time SCROTUS invited his brainless minions to attack the Legislative Branch of our government but feel compelled to share my thoughts of todays events. For over four years now, we have listened to this man’s pandering to the ill informed, disenchanted and fearful parts of  our citizenry.  Now he has openly and directly incited an attack on his perceived political opponents attempting to carry out their legislative duties at the Capital yesterday. This man has demonstrated that he has no qualms at all about promoting himself above the best interests of our country.  Our shameful spiral into the darkest times our democracy has had to endure will not repair readily nor quickly.  To recover we must listen to each other to identify and remedy the root causes for our maladies.  America for all its greatness, has never been very good at taking responsibility for its mistakes.  It is my fervent hope that, together, we can learn from this one.  

“Mwaramutse”, or “Good Morning!” in Kinyarwanda, a Bantu language spoken in mainly in Rwanda. It is Day 294 since the first California Lock Down. We just started to vaccinate healthcare people this week. There are 12 days more days of national shame to endure (Inauguration Day!).

I really hope everyone had a safe socially distanced New Year’s Eve. Staying at home on New Years Eve has been our practice for a long, long time. The only exception that comes to mind is when we spent the evening walking around Geneva, with our friend Jack, looking for the city’s Millennium celebration. We never did find it. The predictions from the health care folks are pretty dire if we don’t behave ourselves.

I was given a very nice present this year – a 6 month subscription to Audiobooks. I have never tried it before but it just so happens, that my favorite library in the whole world has not added “Greenlights” by Mathew McConaughey yet. And I was interested so I used my new subscription. I just started it but I am very impressed. His overuse of lists is at once annoying and endearing simply because you can get a good sense of how his mind works. I am not sure if his book is such a different sort because it is derived from 35 years of journals or just because he is such a different sort. So far, I find his bravery, honest and insights refreshing and fascinating.

Ever since I lived in Europe, I have developed an appreciation for old. Old buildings, old countries, old traditions, etc. all intrigue me now. The latest manifestation is my appreciation for British cinema and television. They have perspectives we mostly overlook here in the colonies. I also love all of the beautiful estates, gardens, village life and such. I think you either get it or you don’t but it works for me. My latest UK entertainment is a series, I caught on Prime called, “ The Last Detective”. I recommend it.

This week on my all time favorite musicians celebrated his birthday. Stephen Stills turned 76 on January 3rd. Did you know he was born in Dallas, TX?

As you may know, my eldest granddaughter has become lactose intolerant. I try to remember but when I am in the throws of a cooking frenzy, I confess, I often forget. One of my ambitions this year, is to go through my cheesy, milky, and creamy recipes and try to work out a non-dairy version or declare it out of bounds depending how well the converted dish goes. As I work my way through, i will repost the updated recipes

This week I learned some stuff:

• I didn’t think it possible, but I am an even greater cold weather woos, than I thought i was. We are deep into the throws of another arctic San Diego winter where the temps drop into the low 40s-50s at night and struggle to get to 70 again before twilight. Oh the sun still shines, mostly but it’s a cold light. I have no idea how I managed to survive in Michigan, Indiana, Rhode Island, Virginia, Frankfurt or Geneva!! Burrrr!
• January 7this the 7th day of 2021!. Just 353 days till Christmas! Today in 1608, fire destroys Jamestown, Va and it went down hill from there with 80% of the colonists dying before 1610 when it was abandoned; On this day in 1894, Thomas Edison makes a kinetoscopic film of someone sneezing. On the same day, his employee, William Kennedy Dickson, receives a patent for motion picture film; Today in 1927, the first transatlantic telephone service is established from New York City to London; In 1948, Kentucky Air National Guard pilot Thomas Mantell crashes while in pursuit of a supposed UFO; On this day in 1954, the first public demonstration of a machine translation system is held in New York at the head office of IBM.; Today in 1999, the impeachment trial of U.S. President Bill Clinton begins in the US Senate; Zora Neale Hurston, American novelist, short story writer, and folklorist was born today in 1891; Charles Addams, American cartoonist, created The Addams Family was born today in 1912; Vincent Gardenia, Italian-American actor, who played Detective Ochoa in “Death Wish” was born today in 1920; Jann Wenner, American publisher, co-founded Rolling Stone was born today in 1946; Kenny Loggins, American singer-songwriter was born today in 1948; Nicolas Cage, American actorwas born today in 1964; Jeremy Renner, American actor was born today in 1971; Trevor Howard, English actor died today in 1988; Richard Hunt, American puppeteer (Muffets and Fragle Rock) and voice actor died today in 1992; And finally, Rod Taylor, Australian-American actor and screenwriter passed away in 2015.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week 2 UJT Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Last for the Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week I added 2021 to the UJT Update Archive as well as a new recipe for Herby Crispy Game Hens, that was rather tasty.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• My stained glass projects started up again this week. I have learned the secret to stained glass work. You can learn everything you need to know in a bout an hour then spend the rest of your life trying to do it correctly. And so it goes….
• This week I intend to sign up for my watercolor classes again!
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Once again, I learned that baking can humble the most prolific and semi-celebrated cook there is. I made another attempt to create a worthy Cinnamon Bun Apple Pie. The results were marginal. The crust was tough and relatively tasteless even with all the cinnamon, the filling was as indifferent as anything that can be made with good intent and fresh ingredients. Though back when hand I hope and was busily peeling apples for my filling, for a second there… just a second.. I thought I might bake something special. But alas was not meant to be.

Music Update:

Once again, your fossilized DJ takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library. My younger bro sent me some tunes this week that I am pleased to include in the mix. If you have any songs you want to share with the universe, just let me know the song name and artist and I will try my best to include it on UJT Radio. We are open for your requests!

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Disturbed — Sounds of Silence — This is one comes from my brother Mike and just blew me away. This is such a powerful rendition of this anthem to poetry and beauty. These guys have been together since 1994 but I never heard of them. They are primarily into heavy metal I think and I have listed to a couple of there other songs. There is something about this guys vocals that is so overwhelmingly powerful.
• Robben Ford/Susan Tedeschi — One Man’s Ceiling is Another Man’s Floor — This is another “new” musician (to me anyway) that my younger bro introduced me to this week. This cover of Paul Simon’s song is from Robben Ford’s “Truth” album was released in 2007. I have always loved Susan Tedeschi but like her husband, Derek Truks, Robben Ford is serious about playing his guitar! I am ashamed to admit my ignorance about this man! I got to looking into this guy, he has played with everybody who ever made great music in my generation. To name just a few – Joni Mitchel, Miles Davis, George Harrison, Larry Carlton, L A Express and Little Feat! He was named as one of the 100 Greatest Guitarists of the 20th Century by Musician Magazine !!! This will not be the last of his music on UJT Radio!
• Robben Ford – Revelations – I just couldn’t get past this one from Robben without sharing it with you. It is a beautiful instrumental that is just a bit jazzy maybe for some of you but I liked it a lot. This one comes from his “Talk to Your Daughter” album released in 1988.
• Bryan Adams – What’s It Going to Be — Been awhile since I heard anything from Bryan. This is a deep cut from his iconic “Cuts Like a Knife” album released in 1983.
• New Riders of the Purple Sage – Whiskey — Do you know what you need ?? You need to hear a nostalgic song celebrating the old Moonshiner Whisky Runner days sung and played by some converted roadies for an old hippy band!! Yep, that ought to do you just right. This one comes from N.R.P.S’s third album, “ Gypsy Cowboy” album released in 1972.
• Zephyr – High Flying Bird – From the Vinyl!!!! Zephyr was a little bar band out of Boulder Colorado, that featured some really beautiful players – Candy Givens on vocals and teen aged Tommy Bolin playing guitar, both of which have passed since. This cover of a great song written by Billy Edd Wheeler in the early 1960s has been done by about everybody, before and since Zephyr’s “Sunset Ride” album was released in 1972 but there is something in the way Candy Givens sings it that makes this version special for me.

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!