February 2nd, 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 343 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

• We have had a tough week. Especially for my daughter, Jessica. She found a beautiful and sweet little girl puppy at a rescue for us. We got her home and she was just petrified from the first moment. We literally couldn’t get her out of frightened=stiff mode – to eat, to explore, for food, water, or treats (even tried bacon the first night). She was not having any of it. So we had to ask the lady to pick her up. I hope she is adopted into a home with other dogs as I think that is the only way she will be happy. But poor Jess was stuck with dealing with IT ALL. I will let you imagine the consequences when a dog won’t go outside to potty. For three days, Jess was being nipped at for trying to move the puppy from her frozen spots and cleaning up the mess a completely fearful dog can make. The only thing puppy- like this little girl did was chew up my glasses when I camped out on the couch trying to keep her company. The lady says she has what thinks is a better match for us. 

• The Prostate Adventure continues.  If the puppy adventure was not stressful enough Jess and I are making our pilgrimage to La Jolla every day to get my ass Zapped. Most of our appointments are for outside the rush hour traffic window but not all of them. We made it through my first week of daily radiation treatments and nothing important has fallen off. Yet. And so it goes.

• Wednesday, our national celebration of Black History Month began. I am sure everyone is tired of hearing me blather on about the importance of the book, “1619”. If you haven’t read it, then I don’t think you can truly understand the foundation for much that divides us today. At least, until I read that painful focused history, I was educated ignorant. As a nation, we need to understand the wrongs slavery has wrought in our grand democratic experiment.  We must take ownership of our true history. Then we can recognize that many of these same wrongful practices persist in various forms today. As it is many of us, do not even recognize that our inheritance from our forefathers, the gap between the races, was an error in judgment. It was a flaw in our wonderful foundation that weakens us still. It did not need to happen then and must not persist from our generation forward.  This is a good month to read, “1619”, don’t you think?

• February 2nd is the 33rd day of 2023! Just 334 days till Christmas! Today in 1653, New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated; Alexander Selkirk is rescued after being shipwrecked on a desert island, inspiring Daniel Defoe’s adventure book Robinson Crusoe today in 1709; On this day in 1887,  in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, the first Groundhog Day is observed; Also that same day but in 1922,  Ulysses by James Joyce is published;  Serum run to Nome: Dog sleds reach Nome, Alaska with diphtheria serum, inspiring the Iditarod race today in 1925; Today in 1989, the last Soviet armored column leaves Kabul; F. W. de Klerk announces the unbanning of the African National Congress and promises to release Nelson Mandela today in 1990.  Today in 2005, the Government of Canada introduces the Civil Marriage Act. This legislation would become law on July 20, 2005, legalizing same-sex marriage; Frederick William Vanderbilt, American railway magnate was born today in 1856; Also born today but in 1882, James Joyce, Irish novelist, short story writer, and poet;George Halas, American football player and coach was born today in 1895: Howard Deering Johnson, American businessman, founded Howard Johnson’s today in 1897; Today in 1905, Ayn Rand, Russian-born American novelist and philosopher was born;  Ellen DeGeneres, American comedian, actress, and talk show host born today in 1958: Born today in 1932,  Robert Mandan, (AKA Chester Tate from Soap) American actor;Dale T. Mortensen, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1939;Born today in 1942, Graham Nash, English-American singer-songwriter and guitarist; also born today in 1947,  Farrah Fawcett, American actress and producer; Brent Spiner (AKA Start Trek’s Data), American actor and singer was born today in 1949; Born today in 1954. Christie Brinkley, American actress, model, and businesswoman; Miami Vice’s Switech, (AKA Michael Talbott), American actor was born today in 1955; John L. Sullivan, American boxer passed away today in 1918; Sid Vicious, English singer and bass player died today in 1979; Today, Bert Parks, American actor, singer, television personality; Miss America telecast presenter passed away in 1992; Donald Pleasence, English-French actor (AKA Blofeltd in James Bond) passed today in 1995; And lastly, we lost Gene Kelly, American actor, singer, dancer, and director today in 1996.

Website Update:

This week: 

• Last week for our Vocabulary Quiz

• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!! Yeah!!!

• This week did a lot of cooking but didn’t add any new recipes but I did correct my recipe for Kare Kare and uploaded the changes.

•The Home Page quote for this week comes from the late great Unknown,  The truth is the truth even if no one believes it. A lie is still a lie even if everyone believes it.”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:

•  I did some work on my stained glass project. 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.


This week the United States Secret Service released a report on mass shootings between 2016-2020.  From what I read it is pretty much good, “Just the Facts, Mam” report (i.e. no nasty automatic weapons are to blame for everything).  The summary of the summary I read was that most of the time there are signs. These are not spontaneous acts.  Most of the perpetrators have significant emotional and financial stressors. No community is immune to these events. The best way to protect ourselves is to watch out for the signs and get the potential perpetrators’ help before they act. You can read the summary here.  This situation is a choice being made. Could it be any weirder, that all these innocent people are dying and the citizens of the most powerful nation on the planet appear to lack the will to stop it?

Sometimes it just doesn’t fit. That is a tough lesson for a problem solver to learn. This week we attempted to adopt a puppy from a rescue. She was the sweetest dog but from the moment she laid eyes on us, she was petrified. She was great with the cats but with humans not so much. She wouldn’t eat. drink or move from whatever spot she found that she was “safe”. On top of all that she would poop- her anxiety-related diarrhea whenever we attempted to move her anywhere other than her selected safe spot. I felt so sorry for her and my daughter Jessica. Jess had worked so hard to make our home a puppy paradise and had to clean up all the messes. We learned that she really needed other dogs to feel safe. The rescue lady came to return her to her pack and brought us another one of her charges – a neutered male about a year and a half old named Charles. He thinks we are great:) He needs to be re-housebroken and bond with the cats (who seemed to love the puppy but not Charles so much).  Three days in and everyone is adjusting pretty well (except the cats) so far. Jess is the total hero in this endeavor. What started out as a sweet gesture intended to please an ailing father has turned into a huge pain in the but. I honestly do not know where she gets the energy and strength to juggle all she does for us.

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: 

•    Steve Miller Band — Kow Kow Calqulator — I always have been impressed by these guys. This was the first record after Boz Scaggs left the band so it was kind of scary for die-hard SMB fans. It was also before Steve’s music enjoyed commercial success.  I especially love Nicky Hopkins sitting in on piano on this deep cut from their, “Brave New World” album released in 1969. Paul Ramon (aka Paul McCartney), played on a number of tunes on this album.

• Jimmy Buffett — Twelve Volt Man — This one is from his“Songs You Don’t Know By Heart” that Jimmy made with his daughter, Delany filming. This is an old-time favorite of mine. As much as I loved it when it came out in 1983) on One Particular Harbor, this elderly version makes me smile with a tear in my eye. 

•   Paul Simon — You Can Call Me Al — From the Vinyl!!! Paul Simon has been a force in the music business for a long time. This was the single from his 1986 release, “Graceland”. I heard this song as the soundtrack for a video with Chevy Chase. It’s a great song that kind of grabs you and won’t let go.

• Jack Johnson — Questions — This song comes from his very unique album, “Sing-A-Longs & Lullabies For The Film Curious George” released in 2006. I love how Jack sings with his guitar..kind of like a note-for-note spiritual duet. Jack has a way of saying stuff in his music that always makes me think.

• Kim Carnes — Betty Davis Eyes — This one goes out to our old Pug dog, Sake. We kind of inherited her in Texas and took her with us to Germany, Switzerland, and finally, California. Our little rugby ball-shaped creature with her skinny little legs tagged along making our lives happier, more interesting, and better. I held her as she closed her big old Betty Davis eyes the last time after she finished her 14-year run. Kim Carnes only had one hit as far as I know but whenever it comes up on the radio, I smile a sad little smile for my old friend, Sake. Did you know? Actress Bette Davis was 73 years old when Kim Carnes’s version became a hit. She wrote letters to Carnes and songwriters Weiss, and DeShannon to thank all three of them for making her “a part of modern times” and stated that her grandson now looked up to her. After their Grammy wins, Davis sent them roses as well. This version of the song was released in 1981 on her “Mistaken Identity”.

•   Bruce Cockburn — Foxglove — One of my favorite haunting songs that Jimmy Buffet introduced me to was his cover of, “Pacing the Cage”. Once I figured out JB hadn’t written it, I started checking this Cockburn guy out. He is one of these players that has been around but you never heard of him. He is a gifted guitar player and songwriter. He reminds me a bit of James Taylor. This is a very pretty instrumental by a songwriter known for his excellent and thoughtful lyrics. This cut is from his, “Speechless” album of guitar instrumentals released in 2005.

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!