February 3rd,  2024

“ 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 at the end of hostilities.  It has been 710 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff: 

    • I hope you all can overlook my spotty attendance but since the last UJT Update, I have had a new set of challenges and found some new tools to help me with some of my pre-existing ones. For the past few weeks,  I had what I think is technically referred to as the “coughing phlegmy crud”. Being incarcerated on my couch, I was able to “enjoy” uncounted hours of social media, YouTube, and TV reruns. In addition to confirming the scary state of American politics and democracy, I was able to learn a lot of new recipes, new tools for low-vision or blind people, and several accessibility features available with systems I already use. So feeling like shit does not necessarily prohibit productivity if you include lots of naps and medications.
    • 2024 is a leap year so we get to enjoy one more day of February. Moron what I learned about later. February 3rd is the sixth day of the year with just 352 days till Christmas. You can find out all about December 28th in history here.

This week’s Website Update:  

    • No updates to the quizzes this week.
    • No recipes this week but I may try some for next time.
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from Unknown:   “The trick is to care about everyone without caring what they think.     

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

    • No ceramics classes, painting, bonsai, or stained glass since I got sick. Having said that I intend to return to Ceramics Class today.


    • Last Wednesday marked the first day of Black History Month. We need a month because, for most of us, it is like a completely new avenue of learning- we simply were not told the truth or at least the whole truth. I  didn’t understand the context of MLK’s references in his speeches as I do today. To be completely honest, I am pretty sure none of my white school history teachers knew the truth either. In any case, our pandering, simpering congressional body tried to placate the masses by creating Black History Month. We should teach them and ourselves a lesson and use it to understand our country better. Then tell your children so they can tell their kids. 
    • I know from time to time we all wrestle with some sort of flu, cold, or crud but my observation is that it sticks with me longer than it used to. It also seems to immobilize and weaken me more than when I was younger. I am feeling much better than I was before. My coughing has reduced to a couple of times/day versus the almost non-stop coughing fits I had before. So get to an urgent care or your docs at the onset of symptoms. Don’t “read the wave” thinking it will be all better in a few uncomfortable days. It probably won’t. Drink lots of water and try to steer clear of any vulnerable people in your world. 
    • One of the other by-products of my illness is that I stopped shaving. I now look like the world’s tallest Papa Smurf!!  My old electric shaver is not up to this mess, so I ordered one of those new-fangled Harry’s razors with 14 blades to address the matter. I hope I don’t chop my face off!

Music Update:  

This week I waxed nostalgic. I somehow got hooked up with this Facebook Group that is all about the music of my younger years. So this kind of thing may happen more often as their posts result in flashback smiles. 

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

    • THE Allman Brothers Band    Mellissa—Always one of the most beautiful songs they do. I  got to see them do it in their 1972 release, “Eat a Peach”.  This song has a story.  It was Gregg Allman’s first attempt at songwriting. He wrote it when he was stuck away from home with the band and felt lonesome.  As the story goes, the song was written but he couldn’t come up with a title until one day several weeks later it was his turn to do the grocery run for the apartment the band was staying in. The closest place was a small mom and poop shop. The owner appeared to be babysitting her toddler granddaughter while running the store. The child wandered out of sight and her grandma started calling her name worriedly. “Mellissa! Come back here! Greg said he could have kissed the old lady but didn’t want to get arrested right after he finished his first song.
    • John Cigar Mellencamp — Crumblin’ Down —  This guy kind of blew us all away when it hit the airwaves.  This is from his 1983 album, “Uh Huh”.
    • The Tedeschi Trucks Band  — Midnight in Harlem — I feel bad about the limited showing that UJT Update Radio has played from this band for you.  I guess  I fell in love hard with the 2-3 selections I made for you dating back to 2016. Anyway, this is a great song from their 2011 release, “REvelator”. I will try to do better.
    • Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band— Fire Lake  — This one is such a great tune from one of my favorite albums by these guys. Released in  1980, “Against the Wind” just stole our hearts.
    • Molly Hatchet — Flirtin’ with Disaster —  This is the title song from their second album echoing across time to us from 1979. I don’t remember ever hearing another song from these boys but I sure did love air guitar-ing my ass off to this one:) One of those great singing-to-the-steering wheel road trip songs.
    • New Riders of the Purple Sage    Whisky— Some of these boys started as roadies for The Grateful Dead who would play during sound checks with Jerry Garcia sitting in. This is a catchy little butt shaker from their second great album released in 1972 called, “Gypsy Cowboy”.

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!