March 3rd, 2022

“God morgen”, or “Good Morning!” in Norwegian. I would also like to wish my good friend DD, “Lykke till” which is “Good Luck” in the same language. Enjoy your trip!

Everything you think know about the war on drugs is wrong. You think it was started and perpetuated to eliminate the societal affects of criminal use of drugs. It was not. It was started to further the career of a single civil servant. He successful created the ground swell that is resulted in one catastrophic negative impact after another on a global basis. I think it should be required that all American voters watch the ROKU Original Series called, “The Fix” narrated by Samual L. Jackson. Some people may question if all the show says is true. Even if a fraction of it is, it is stupid to perpetuate this horrible fraud on our country and the world when there are proven alternatives! After you watch, join me and fire off letters and emails to your representatives to take appropriate action.
We are prepping the homestead for the TX gang’s visit in a few weeks. When kids are little you prep for visits by putting dangerous or precious items out of reach. When your kids get older, you prep for visits trying to disguise what a slovenly geezer you have become by organizing all of the too much crap you have accumulated of the too many years. You do not want to scare these people into initiating old folks home proceedings for your ass just to get a jump on the mess you are leaving them! The biggest smudge on my “well organized” rep these days are the debris from all my various projects in various states of completion. Actually its just 3 states of completion – started (materials accumulated) – working (framework, tools and materials arranged purposefully) and completed (crap left over from when I finished but couldn’t face the clean up). I will say I have gotten better about the first one but have fallen down on the last two. Hence the multitude of activity – cleaning the back yard, the garage and my office (otherwise known as “Piles of Crap Central”. I think I will work on all this for say 30 minutes to an hour a day before I declare myself hopeless and find something else more interesting to be doing.

This week I learned some stuff:
• High blood pressure. I have had Hypertension as it is called by the grown ups in white coats for many years. I took a pill and it was “controlled”. I keep meaning to ask why my blood pressure mattered but managed to stay pretty distracted by the pesky living my life thing. I should have asked. Some time ago I mentioned that I had joined the Heartland study being run by Johnson & Johnson and Apple. To refresh our communal recollection, the purpose of this study is to find ways that technology can help geezers live longer, healthier lives. They got me an Apple watch and gave me an app for my iPhone and pushed me out the virtual door. The help me measure, track and understand what the information I am gathering means. To make it a little more interesting they give us lab rats some points that accumulate into gift cards as participation incentive. But there really is no need in my case. I am finding the whole thing fascinating and helpful. For example, this week I finally learned that high blood pressure is a disease and is a pretty important factor in things like stroke and heart attacks. The first number or Systolic blood pressure is the pressure inside your arterie3s when your heat beats. The Diastolic blood pressure is the pressure in your arteries when your heart is at rest.
• March 3rd is the 62nd day of 2022. Just 306 days till Christmas! Today in 1845, Florida is admired to the union as the 27; Today in 1891, Shoshone National Forest is established as the first national forest in the US and world; On this day in 1910, John D. Rockefeller Jr. announces his retirement from managing his businesses so that he can devote all his time to philanthropy; In 1913 on this day,Thousands of women march in the Woman Suffrage Procession in Washington, D.C.; Today in 1938, Oil is discovered in Saudi Arabia; Today in 1939, in Bombay, Mohandas Gandhi begins a hunger strike in protest at the autocratic rule in British India; Today in 1943 inLondon, 173 people are killed in a crush while trying to enter an air-raid shelter at Bethnal Green tube station; In 1969 on this day, NASA launches Apollo 9 to test the lunar module; In 1980, the USS Nautilus is decommissioned and stricken from the Naval Vessel Register; On this day in 1991, an amateur video captures the beating of Rodney King by Los Angeles police officers; Today in 2005, Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly an airplane non-stop around the world solo without refueling; Today in 1882, Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-American engineer and academic, invented the telephone was born: Born today in 1911, Jean Harlow, American actress; Doc Watson, American bluegrass singer-songwriter and musician, was born today in 1923; Mike Pender, English singer-songwriter and guitarist for The Searchers was born today in 1941; Snowy White, English guitarist with Pink Floyd and Roger Waters Band was born today in 1948; Also born today in 1959, NPR’s Ira Glass, American radio host and producers Today in 1982, Jessica Biel, American actress, singer, and producer was born; I Love Lucy’s Fred Mertz (AKA,William Frawley), American actor and vaudevillian passed away today in 1966; Danny Kaye, American actor, singer, and dancer passed away today in 1987;Ronnie Montrose, American guitarist, songwriter, and producer passed away in 2012; And finally, Roger Bannister, English middle-distance athlete, first man to run a four-minute mile died today in 2018.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our new Vocabulary Quiz
• Week two for our Musical Trivia Quiz
• I didn’t add any new recipes this week.
• The Home Page quote tis week is from Jimi Hendrix, ”When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I am painting again! But not as often as I should.
• Grandpa Stories is once again making progress towards being republished. Paper editing is no fun!

• Watching a lot of British and other shows set in Europe has reminded me how beautiful life is in places like Brighton, London, Bath, Provence, Paris, Amsterdam, Utrecht, Frankfurt, Cologne, Zurich, Basel, Geneva, Configion, Brussels, Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Majorca, Cannes, Menton, Athens, Livorno, Trieste, Roma, Naples, Lisbon, Toledo, Moscow, Antalya, Nice, Marcelle and all the other spots I have ventured into Europe. I loved our years living in Germany and Switzerland. For me it was a wonderful experience with a couple of bumpy spots that had nothing to do with where we were. Anyway, watching these shows reminds me of how much I took for granted living in those places. I should have been sketching and painting the entire time.
• We are getting our back up battery system (2 -Tesla Powerwalls) installed this weekend. Ironically, we will be without power for unto 6 hours on Saturday ensuring we will not suffer a power outage and can start living mostly off the grid. I am excited to be reducing my carbon footprint while solving my uninterruptible power supply problem in the environmentally (read not cheapest) cleanest way possible.
• Way back in the dark ages when I was attempting to first learn to play guitar, I would learn the chords to a song I liked and get so I could play the tune pretty well with the changes and breaks. But then something kind of magical and often horrifying would occur. I would leave the safety of the sheet music and wander into the unknown with my 3-5 new chords and finger picking. I would get lost in the beauty of the sounds that were coming from the guitar that had nothing to do with the song I was learning. I found this to be true with music for as long as I had access to an instrument. But lately I have realized that all my creative endeavors follow generally the same path with unfortunately or fortunately depending on your perspective and tastes, much the same results. I start down a path to recreate or at least mimic and image in my head or on paper somewhere. But once the pencil, pen. paint, clay or glass come into play all bets are off. The results often bear little resemblance to the original starting place but almost always end up in a new place that I am usually ok with in stead. I find that there are constraints only if you allow them to constrain you.

Music Update:
Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library. This week I have a lovely mix of new and old that I hope you will enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Snowy White – Bird of Paradise — You have heard this guy’s music for years. He is an English studio guy who has played with Pink Floyd and Roger Waters Band among others for years. But if you are like me, you never actually heard his name. His birthday is this week and to celebrate I thought I would share this title cut from one of his more popular solo efforts from his 1990 release. He is a very, very gifted guitar player.
• Lucius – Dusty Trails – My daughter Jessica also turned me on to these folks and I really liked them. Their harmonies and thoughtful lyrics are addicting to me. This one comes from their “Good Grief” album released in 2016.
• David Bowie — Space Oddity — This is his huge hit from, “David Bowie” released in 1969. His was an undeniable talent and vision. You didn’t have to like his music to recognize his brilliance.
• Venice — The Family Tree — Its been a while since I featured these boys on UJT. This is a happy/sad cut from their “Home Grown” album released in 2008. The harmonies are as beautiful as the song is sad.
• Neil Diamond – America — This one always brings a tear to my eye and puts a lump in my throat. I am not sure how all that works but some songs just take you away. It seems appropriate in these times to remember, that we ALL came from somewhere else and the mix made something very very special. This comes from his 1980 release of the soundtrack, “ The Jazz Singer”.
• Dave Mason — We Just Disagree — This song was written by the 12 string player in Dave’s Band, Jim Krueger. It was a big hit from Dave’s, 1977 release, “Let It Flow”.

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!