February 12th, 2016

Felix Valentino Dies! (A happy Valentines Day to you in Latin!)

San Diego is back to the 80s this week ! Whoohoo! I am such a cold woosie!!

Sunday is Valentines Day. Not to put too fine a Hallmark point on the whole thing, I actually think that celebrating love is a good thing. We should do more of it. Perhaps, and hopefully, we do with all our everyday actions but without the cards with words the other 364 days a year. Valentines Day has a long, murky and mysterious history. Generally speaking it is believed that the original Valentine (the Catholic church actually has 3 variations of martyrs with the name of Valentine or Valentinus so we can’t completely positive) was imprisoned by the Romans for helping Christians escape. It is said that he fell in love with a jailer’s daughter and send her a note before his execution that ended with the words, “from your Valentine”. Or so the story goes. In any case, don’t forget your Valentine this weekend.

The Super Bowl was last weekend. An epic defensive battle kept the scoring low and allowed a grand gentleman of the game to finish his storied career in style while a young pretender to the throne will withdraw from the limelight, perhaps adjust his ego and come back next year. Speaking of acts of love…Tippy, Jessica, Darrian and BJ all watched Super Bowl 50 with me in spite of having absolutely no interesting the sport, the outcome or the game. They all put up with my excited and agonized commentary but loved the commercials:) I will confess to bribing them with my kick ass ribs and macaroni salad:) It was a good time.

This week I learned some stuff:

This year is Leap Year! What are you planning to do with your extra day? Imagine, just like that, we all have one extra day to live!!! Oh Baby..make it a good day!
Garage Crap Multiplies!!! We rented a big old truck from Home Depot took one load to Goodwill and a whole other load to chemical recycling and the dump. We can see, if not exactly get to completely, the floor of the garage! Yeah!!!! Jess and I are working it
I still love reading biographies!! I am currently digesting the massive volume on our 3rd president, John Adams by David McCullough. Reading the descriptions of his life and times takes me back to when I was a lost lonely sailor in Tidewater who took a bus up to Colonial Williamsburg to spend a wet rainy weekend in a guest house room that came complete with the journals of the original builder of the 1760s house who was a merchant in dry goods with unerring ability to produce daughters while trying for a son. I stayed in his bedroom (though they had 11 children, his snoring assured him of his own room to sleep in). McCullough does such a good job I can smell the beeswax candles burning as I read.

Website Update
New Vocabulary Quiz this week.

Painting Update:
Didn’t make progress on painting project this week. But do not despair, I will work on my painting projects this weekend!

Writing Update:
I am working my way from top to bottom, (Yes Again!) on Grandpa Stories for the last time. The last time I got through it, I don’t know… I found mostly too many words to say too little.


Chewbacca chewed on my couch this week. I had some stuff that I needed to do outside the house that could not easily accommodate a doggy companion. They kept me away for longer than I have had to leave him before and he ate my couch. Now he is a 9 year old puppy but still … I feel like I am living through Turner and Hooch! I buy him lots of toys to chew on but he mostly takes them outside and hides them .. Grrr!
I am preparing to sell my guitars. My hands no longer can sustain chords and play. I was never any good but I loved the music that I did play from time to time and loved the instruments themselves. But this week I am starting to prepare them for sale perhaps to fund some bucket list adventure in the future. Its a sad time but music is too important to keep in a case year after year.

Music Update:
My USB Turntable is currently rejecting a new release of a Audacity software and proved to be to great a technical challenge for this old computer biz overhead weenie to overcome in order to bring you new new Venice music from my serial numbered vinyl this week but we have some rainy days coming. Still this is a good mix for your Friday:  

The Allan Brothers Band – Little Martha — From their Eat a Peach album. There was a rumor that Duane was killed in an motorcycle accident with a Peach truck in Macon, GA but actually it was a flatbed lumber delivery truck with a crane on it. Duane when asked about “The Revolution” he always replied that there was only evolution and that every time he is in Georgia, he “eats a peach for peace”. Skydog was a gifted player and a great collaborator who got amazing things from those he played with.

Bob Dylan – A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall — This is how I met young Bobby Dylan. His poetry superseded anything I had known and I actually liked poetry before I every heard of him. Such powerful imagery!

Steve Miller – Your Saving Grace – This is just a great collaboration by some fine ass musicians. Try to get past the craziness and listen to the performances by Steve, Nicky Hopkins, Ben Sidran and Tim Davis. This is the title cut of the album and is written by Steve’s long time drummer, Tim Davis.

John Mayer – War of My Life — I feature John fairly often on UJT Radio. I make no apologies! This boy is very versatile, skilled and talented. Unlike others with his kind of guitar skills, he plays the whole song and doesn’t get lost in his instrument. This one is just well done song that celebrates the struggles we all feel when we are second guessing ourselves.

Poco – A Good Feeling to Know – This is the title cut of Poco’s fifth album released in 1972. I alway loved the 4-5 part harmonies that was Poco’s trademark. Timothy B. Schmit ultimately became the bass player for the Eagles and his beautiful voice was featured prominently on their later albums.

Love – Always See Your Face — From their “For Sail” album released in 1969. Just a little band out of LA headed up by a fellow by the name of Arthur Lee. To be honest, the only time I ever heard these guys was when the radio over played ‘7 and 7 is” and when I visited my buddy Duane Tannenbaum’s house. Duane was a guitar player and a huge fan of Love. This song is one of the one Duane turned me onto one day in his black light lit, day glow painted garage/hippy hangout. Thanks Duane!

Miles Davis – ‘Round Midnight – Miles covers this old Theionious Monk tune with John Coltrane on Sax in 1956. Miles took us all to a new genre of jazz. He defined cool on a generational basis. Switch to candlelight and let his mellow muted horn take you down to the mysterious places inside us all.

Joe Bonomassa – Just Got Paid(Live from the Royal Albert Hall) — Another great performance by a truly gifted guitarist with a deep and wide appreciation of his elders. In addition to his own signature playing, Joe also weaves tributes to Jimmy Page’s licks throughout his rendition of this old Billy Gibbons/Bill Ham tune. This one is just a big ole (almost 11 minute) live kick-ass guitar love fest y’all!

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!