January 18, 2018

“Güete Morge” ! “When I lived outside of Frankfurt in Germany, we would often drive to Alsace or Strasbourg (I have never heard a German refer to it as “Alsace”) on the weekends. We would hear this “Good Morning” on our visits. Its a lovely German town in France with a beautiful cathedral!

Everything just got better for our wealthiest Americans. Corporations that they own or are invested in will see windfall profits (from significantly reduced federal taxes) not just this year but permanently (I wonder why the Stock Market has gone unsustainably crazy!?). Changes to the IRS 529 Program, intended to enable middle class Americans save and pay for their kids college with untaxed dollars will now allow the wealthiest Americans to pay for private elementary and high schools for their kids with tax free dollars. They will be the only ones who can afford to take advantage of tax protections as trump’s imbecile in Education removes any intelligent program in sight from public education. Oh and don’t forget that they will be able pass even more of their wealth on to their privately educated progeny without any estate tax burdens. Yeah, the wealthiest Americans and their corporate alter egos sure got their money’s worth out of this Administration. Of course, there will be that pesky 9.2 TRILLION dollar deficit to pay back but shucks, all these guys will be dead by then anyway.

I have a new life goal that should make the rest of my days interesting in a fragrant way. Over the years of Father’s Days and birthday’s I have amassed a rather large (20 or so) collection of colognes. I have to say that I really did like one or two of them. For the past decade or so I just reached into the pile and pulled out my trusty Old Spice. But this morning, I decided what the hell, I might as well try to get through these before my last bus arrives. So I have decided to anoint my old caracas wth a new scent each morning after my absolutions. I figure – two squirts or splashes a day…maybe 10 years, I will be back to just Old Spice. Not bad. Vive La’ Difference!

This week I learned some stuff:

• I am learning more the decisions and options surrounding Do Not Resuscitate or DNR Directives. While accompanying my wife to her Pulmonary Rehabilitation, they introduced this 5 Wishes approach towards ensuring your wishes are honored when you are in a medical state that makes it impossible or at least unreliable for you to make your wishes known.
• I am learning more about managing the UJT Website. This week I learned how to invoke one of Word Press’ integrated plugins on the site. I installed a “Days of Shame Countdown” (Time till the End of Trump Presidency).
• Did you know that, today, January 11th, is NATIONAL THESAURUS DAY!!! Woo hoo!! Ever since I became creative enough to try to repurpose papers written for one class to also meet the needs of another class’ writing assignment, I began to truly value the writer’s most important tool aside from his or her own imagination. Upon occasion my visits to the thesaurus have lead my stories in new directions as well. One never knows where one’s inspiration my come from does one! Anyway, find a new word for it today!

Website Update:
• Last week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• I added two new recipes for you guys this week – Chicken Skillet Fajitas and an interesting and tasty Sriracha Fridge Pickles.
• I added “The Countdown of Shame (Time till the End of trump’s term in office) to the UJT Home Page.
• I added a link to Motem Outdoor Gear’s Hiking Blog on Survival Kits to the Emergency Planning and Kit page. They have a great site full of resources, many of which apply to emergency situations that a family might encounter. Check it out here.

Writing and Painting Update:
• Its been very quiet on the writing front other than these bits I do for UJT content. I am working on a still life in watercolor but I haven’t fallen in love with the results so far. I glazed my wobbly looking bonsai pot this week and smoothed out the seems and such on my cuss jar project.

• My mom would have celebrated her 88th birthday this week had she lived. It is hard to believe that she has been gone for almost 12 years now. Thanks Mom. I never thought I would be the last one standing for our little family. Say “Hi” to Pat for me.

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program. Remember, UJT Radio does take requests for specific music or samples of artists or genres. You can make your request via email or if you prefer, use the Feedback page on the UJT.
• Phil Collins — Another Day in Paradise — This sad song seems apropos given the trump administration’s blind ambition to dismantle anything like a safety net for humans that aren’t old white and wealthy.
• The Lumineers — Submarines — This is a fun song from their album, “The Lumineers:
• U2 — Every Breaking Wave — This was the second single release from their 2014 “Songs of Innocence” album. These guys find a way to reach down into me and make me feel.
• Neil Young — Down By The River — This is another one of those anthem songs for me. As a young sailor on my own back in the sailor friendly days of Norfolk Va, hanging with my fellow non-conformist mix of friends, drinking too much Hallers Whiskey or Ripple Red and always ending up hungry, this was part of that sound track. 19 year old high jinx at their finest – waking up in the back of a van full of folks on beach near Ft. Story looking into the endless sand dunes, thinking that we somehow made it to a desert and that was a problem because we had to be back on the ship in two hours for Quarters. Giggling with Larry, on the stoop on Boissevain Ave about the little chick from the 3floor of our apartment building as we drank our wine in the darkness.
• Tab Beniot — In It To Win It — I was needing my cajun music fix this morning and my old friend Tab delivers. This one comes from his album “Medicine” Great song and good advice! This ain’t no time to be timid, son.
• The Killers — It was only a Kiss — I don’t think I have ever felt jealousy much. I have envied others their charm, beauty, skill or situation but it never reached what I think of as jealousy such as this song portrays. I have seen it in others though and it is very powerful.
• Dire Straits — On Every Street (Live Album Version) — If you ever get the chance to see these people Live, I highly recommend it. Their studio music is amazing but seeing them live was so much better. This one kept rising and falling ..the music rolled out over us like a tidal wave of beauty.
• Joss Stone — I Fell in Love With a Boy — Joss covered/converted this Jack White (The White Stripes – I Fell In Love With a Girl) from a head banger blurt zzz this sweet sultry song sung so well And I even love the bongos on this arrangement.

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! Happy New Year !

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com