January 24th, 2019

“Buenas dihas” Wishing all a fine “Good Morning” in the Guam dialect of Chamorro, an Austronesian language spoken mainly on the island of Guam, and also in the Marianas Islands.

This week our nation celebrates the 90th birthday of our preeminent civil rights leader, Rev. Martin Luther King. As a teen and young man watching Dr. King’s protests and speeches challenging the status quo and embarrassing those that clung so hard to such blatantly racist norms, I was impressed. His unflinching devotion to inspiring America to peacefully change its institutions and social mores to get closer to our forefathers’ ideals for our nation was inspiring. It inspired some to find the courage and take the risks necessary. In others it inspired renewed hatred. Dr. King and his methods gave me such hope for our generation. Helped me to reject the notion that violent revolution was the only effective means of change. When James Earl Ray shot Rev. King at the the Lorraine Hotel in Memphis, TN, I was almost as horrified as when JFK was shot. The aftermath was terrible and Dr. King would have been disappointed by the violent reaction that followed his killing. As with JFK’s assignation, lots of conspiracy theories emerged. No one believe that an escapee from prison could find, shoot and two months after the shooting, escape the US to London where he was arrested without significant support resources. LBJ ordered Attorney General, Ramsey Clark to investigate but nothing was released to support those theories. Of course, like the Kennedy assignation, records were sealed until any miscreant or idiot of significance would be dead. An act that never fosters much confidence in the current investigations’ findings. Another terrible act that probably achieved the intended consequences. America was deprived a inspirational leader at at time when our nation was examining itself and seeing terrible flaws made visible by the acts of Dr. King and his followers and the Vietnam War.

Every once and awhile we get a little flier in the mail telling us what we cannot put into our recycling bin. Most of the time I just ignore it and put whatever I think “should” be recycled in that blue bin and feel all kinds of good about being a good planetary citizen. I WAS WRONG! I have been guilt of a number of shitty planetary citizen behaviors. First of all to protect our Recycle bin in the citizen from getting nasty (because I have been putting a lot of unclean things inside it, we have gotten into the habit of putting plastic lawn bag liners in and then putting the whole bag into the recycle bin. What I didn’t know is rather than opening the bag and sorting what is in it, the recycling center just THROWS ALL BAGS found in recycling INTO THE LANDFILL TRASH without any sorting. Damn! I also found out that a lot of things I think “Should” be recycled are not. So even if they had been sorting my stuff much of it would have gone into the trash. What is a well intentioned nincompoop such as myself to do?? Well, education helps. I found a good resource to help me understand what I can and cannot recycle and search for alternatives to plastic in the first place. Check it out so you can stop being a well intentioned “Nicompoop”! (oh! I just love that word!) Go to this site (My Plastic Free Life) to learn more was you can reduce your plastic footprint. Not all of the suggestions will be workable in your life but many are and just learning about what is possible will help us think about trying to reduce plastic in our lives.

This week I learned some stuff:

• This week I got reacquainted with illness. The last time I had a bad case of the flu was 2011. It was nasty then and is nasty now. This time I thankfully did not have the horrendous fever that made me so miserable but the coughing, sneeze and generally crappy feeling was in full force. I seem to be getting better but it seems to take longer every time.
• We get a “3fer” on January 24th! We get to celebrate NATIONAL COMPLIMENT DAY, NATIONAL PEANUT BUTTER DAY and NATIONAL BEER CAN APPRECIATION Day. We should all make each other our best PB&Js, complement each other’s efforts and together, celebrate the great day in 1935 when beer was first sold in cans. Credit for the first beverage can goes to the Krueger Brewing Company of Richmond, Virginia. The first ones were made of steel and weighted almost 4oz.! Do you remember Poptops? I remember stepping on them and cutting my foot (Yeah, I know Jimmy wrote the song but I was bleeding!) and making chains of pop tops that were good for absolutely nothing.

Website Update:
• One more week for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz.
• New UJT Music Trivia Quiz!!! ( I lied last week, I was too sick to do the research but I promise it really is a new quiz!)

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I missed my classes last week. I mean I really missed them in addition to not attending. I really hated to miss seeing the progress on my classmates work in painting and clay. I want to finish my Flamingo but I am not sure I will have time before the semester ends.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.


• There was nothing notably weirder this week. Maybe it was because I was sick but even strange felt normal.

Music Update:

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• The Kinks — Celluloid Heroes — Their special sound wrapped around Ray Davies descriptive lyrics. Released in 1972 on their , “Everybody’s in Show-Biz” album.
• Grand Funk Rail Road — Heartbreaker — This one comes from their first album,“Grand Funk Railroad” released in 1969. All the songs on the album were written by the lead guitarist, Mark Farner.
• Adele — Make You Feel My Love — This come from the compilation “Songs for Japan” album released in 2011.
• The Who — Summertime Blues (Live At Leeds.1970) — A great song that we first listened to on my friend Dino’s golden GTO’s 8 Track – when the track changed at full volume you could dislocate a shoulder :).
• Extreme – When I’m President – A deep cut from their, “Pornograffitti” album. What the hell – Nino couldn’t be worse than what we have now.
• Moody Blues — Higher and Higher — This is a live version of one of my favorite tunes by the Moodys. We got this album at their concert in Escondido about 6 years ago. Originally this song was from their, “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” album, released in 1969.
• Savoy Brown — Sunday Night — Sweet swinging blues by a completely unsung band. From their, “Looking In” album released in 1970.
• Badfinger — Baby Blue — I remember when this came out there was a huge rumor that it was the Beatles in disguise. From their “Straight Up” album released in 1971.

Did you think about the invitees to your deserted island? Tough call huh?

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!