January 13th, 2022

“Demal”, or “Good Morning!”in Breton, a Celtic language spoken in Brittany in the northwest of France.

Today is sort of a happy sad day for me. Today would have been my moms 92nd birthday and my friend Jack’s 71st. I am grateful for having had the time that I did with them and sad that time had to end. I miss them both a great deal. I think I had known Jack about 4-5 years before I found out that he shared the same birthday as my mom.

December 6th came and went without insurrection. I am glad that milestone is past. I cannot remember anything I ever said that was positive relating to Dick Chaney or Karl Rove. I have always considered both to be of the same ilk – self promoting, sanctimonious, clever but ultimately wrong in about every way imaginable about what is best for our country. Having said that, I was surprised and heartened to read their public denunciation of the December 6th insurrection and all of its perpetrators, organizers and the ideology that makes such actions seem appropriate even briefly. Well done, Dick and Karl!

This week I learned some stuff:
• It’s not any sort of New Year’s resolution. It’s just a personal a serious commitment that happen to coincide with the new year. I am changing come of my behaviors. I am researching healthier ways to spend my time and support my health. Learning what to do or re-enforcing what I know to he the best choices for me, will help me put those practices into place that make me feel better and enjoy my time more.
• Jessica, BJ and I started a new Bonsai Class together this week. We were afraid that BJ might not be able to attend but testing after his bout with Covid shows him to be negative once again. I really enjoy beating up little trees with my family.
• I began a new painting last week. One of Chris Spain’s beautiful images inspired me to restart my creative engine with paper, pencil and watercolors. Thank you Chris.
• January 13th is the 13th day of 2021. Just 355 days till Christmas! Today in 1849, the Colony of Vancouver Island was established; In 1888, the National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.; Today in 1910, the first public radio broadcast takes place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci is sent out over the airwaves from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; On this day in 1935, 90.3% of voters in Saarland s wish to join Nazi Germany; Today in 1942, Henry Ford patents a soybean car, which is 30% lighter than a regular car; On January 13th, 1966, Robert C. Weaver becomes the first African American Cabinet member when he is appointed United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development; On this day in 1982; Air Florida Flight 90, a Boeing 737 jet, crashes into Washington, D.C.’s 14th Street Bridge and falls into the Potomac River, killing 78 including four motorists; In 1990 on this day, Douglas Wilder becomes the first elected African American governor as he takes office as Governor of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia: Salmon P. Chase, American jurist and politician, 6th Chief Justice of the United States , was born today in 1808; Today in 1919, Robert Stack, American actor, was born; Michael Bond, English soldier and author, created Paddington Bear, was born today in 1926; Mary Ann McCann, University of Miami Dept of Pharmacology Associate Professor, AMA Subject Matter Expert on Poisonous Plants and Orphan Drugs was born today in 1930; Richard Moll, (AKA Bailiff Bull Shannon from Night Court) American actor, was born today in 1943; On this day in 1951, Jack Keller, EDS leader and good friendwas born; Today in 1960, Eric Betzig, American physicist and chemist, Nobel Prize laureate was born; Julia Louis-Dreyfus, American actress, comedian, and producer, was born today in 1961; Liam Hemsworth, Australian actor was born today in 1990; Wyatt Earp, American police officer, passed away today in 1929; Today we lost James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet in 1941; And finally, Magic Alex, Greek electronics engineer and sound wizard for The Beatles, passed away today in 2017.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week three for our vocabulary Quiz!
• A new Musical Trivia Quiz! WhooHoo!!!
• I have a new recipes but its not quite ready for you this week. Using our monthly installment of my sisters Eat2Explore subscription, we made a dish from Sweden this week. We really liked the meatballs with pickled cucumbers and zucchini and potatoes. Very tasty! I am working up the Pickled Cucumber recipe with my tweaks.
• The Home Page quote is from President Abraham Lincoln, ”In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• As I mentioned before I started a new painting and have begun to lay out a new perhaps more ambitious stained glass project. I am building a stained glass panel to replace the curtains in our bathroom.
• Grandpa Stories is once again making progress towards being republished. I have my pen and magnifying glass out and are finding crap I thought was already fixed:) Jess got me a whole page magnifier so it might go quicker.

• This week a fella named Donald Fagan celebrated his 74th birthday. There are probably maybe 25 “greats” of my generation and people will debate endlessly over who is on that list but I would wager that almost all of them would include this man and his running mate Walter Becker. They started out as part of the Jay and the Americans touring band in 1970-71 and then went on to all manner of success as Steely Dan and solo artists. Thank you for all the wonderful music Donald and Happy Birthday!

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:
• Evanescence — Across The Universe — This is one of the prettiest covers of this iconic Beatles song that I have heard. From their album, “The Bitter Truth” released in 2021. Thanks Brother Mike!
• Waylon Jennings & Willie Nelson — Mama’s Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys — For me this is just pure redneck music with a smile. I love their duet and it’s just a great song from their album, “Waylon & Willie” released in 1991.
• Don McLean — Vincent(Starry Starry Night) — A sweet love song about one of my favorite painters. This is the other famous cut from, “American Pie” released in 1971.
• Dire Straits — Why Worry — From the Vinyl!!!! Just a very pretty song that is even more impressive live. This is from their “Brothers in Arms” album released in 1985.
• Rob Thomas — Fire on the Mountain — I really like this song alot. This is a deep cut from his solo release of 2009, “Cradleson”.
• Steely Dan — Black Cow — This is one of my all time favorite cuts from one of my all time favorite albums, “Aja” released in 1977. Seems like a huge jump from back up organ for Jay and The Americans to this level of music in just 6 years!

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!