March 4th, 2021

“Ertiriňiz haýyrly bolsun”, or “Good Morning!” in Turkmen, a Turkic language spoken in Turkmenistan and a number of other Central Asian countries. We have been in some form of lockdown for about a year now here in California We are still trying to catch up from the dip in vaccine supplies. My second shot has been pushed out to March 10th. We have a new vaccine in the mix so maybe we can get to “Herd” immunity sooner than expected. Some states have already started to unlock preventions for COVID thereby putting the rest of “The Herd” at risk. I sure hope we are luckier than we are smart!

Some time ago, a conservative friend of mine, recommended Donald Rumsfeld’s book, “Known and Unknown” to me. So I got the book but didn’t really expect it to be my “cup of tea” so to speak. However, I read and enjoyed the book. I was right in thinking that there is very little the former Secretary of Defense and I would agree on, I was glad that I did. I learned a lot from that book. This week I finished Barack Obama’s book, “A Promised Land”. Whether you agree with the President’s politics or not there is a lot to learn from this book. Rich with details and yet, so matter of factly down to earth, this book provides tremendous insight on one of the toughest jobs in the known galaxy. There is a lot of history leading up to his election and presidency up to the raid on Osama Bin Baden’s Pakistani compound. You get all of the goods, the bads, and the funnys that happened during what many feel was his metric rise to power. But more importantly you get a sense of a thoughtful man who is pretty much what he says he is including the scars and warts. I enjoyed it immensely.

Life is strange. In the last years of their lives my dad, mom, brother and I would only chat sporadically. Some adult kids make the call each Sunday to each other or to there parents. We never did that. We would catch up on holidays and in between at various points but it wasn’t a regular scheduled thing. But whenever we did connect I would bask in the moment as if they were never going to end. But like Jack’s passing I felt the world get a little less when I could no longer make that call, or visit or write. I find myself thinking, “wait till I tell Pat or Mom or Dad or Jack about this”, as if i still could. It’s like a chilling breeze passes me as I think of the ones who have passed and then remember they have gone. Which seems pretty often as its hard for me to imagine my world without them.

This week I learned some stuff:
• March 4th is the 63rd day of 2021. Just 302 days till Christmas! Today in 1628, the Massachusetts Bay Colony is granted a Royal charter; On this day in 1675, John Flamsteed is appointed the first Astronomer Royal of England; Today in 1789, in New York City, the first Congress of the United States meets, putting the United States Constitution into effect. The United States Bill of Rights is written and proposed to Congress; On this day in 1791, Vermont is admitted to the United States as the fourteenth state; Today in 1897, John Adams is inaugurated as the 2nd President of the United States of America, becoming the first President to begin his presidency on March 4th; Today in 1861, The first national flag of the Confederate States of America (the “Stars and Bars”) is adopted;On this day in1933, Frances Perkins becomes United States Secretary of Labor, the first female member of the United States Cabinet; In 1966, In an interview in the London Evening Standard, The Beatles’ John Lennon declares that the band is “more popular than Jesus now”; On March 4th, 1985, the Food and Drug Administration approves a blood test for HIV infection, used since then for screening all blood donations in the United States; Today in 1877, Garrett Morgan, African-American inventor ; Knute Rockne, American football player and coach was born today in 1888; T. R. M. Howard, American surgeon and civil rights activist was born on this day in 1908; TodayPaula Prentiss, American actress was born in 1938; Richard Manuel, Canadian singer-songwriter, pianist and lead singer for The Band passed away today in 1986; John Candy, Canadian comedian and actor passed away today in 1994; And finally, Gary Gygax, American game designer, co-created Dungeons & Dragons passed on this day in 2008.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week two for our New UJT Vocabulary Quiz!
• New Musical Trivia Quiz !!!! This time I went with all lyrics questions. See how well you do? According to Pinerest I am Rockoloigist because I got 100%. So there!
• This week I didn’t develop or post any new recipes.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I finally start back to work on my stained glass projects this week.
• I missed my watercolor classes this week but i did order some new mediums I am looking to try!
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• February was Black History Month. I always learn stuff I didn’t know during heritage months. Did you know that 7 months of the year are assigned a “history or heritage” for a part of humanity. All except January, February, July, August and December. The LBGQ+ people got both a Heritage month (October) and a Pride month (June). I guess the unassigned months we can use to remember the people that have denied the unique values of those assigned months and the dignity of humanity in any flavor.

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On – This is the title cut for a great concept album released in 1971. It kind of reminded me of standing on a balcony listening to your neighbors party. I love the sax too.
• Jimmy Buffett — A Pirate Looks at Forty — Kind of a theme song for this old reprobate. I always had this feeling that I just was born in the wrong century somehow. This one comes to us from his 1974 release, “A1A”.
• Matchbox Twenty — Push — This one comes from their debut album, “Yourself or Someone Like You”, released in 1997
• Steely Dan — Josie — This song takes me back to hot southern Florida nights with too much recreational behavior. I had just gotten out of the Navy but still hadn’t learned that you can never go home.. too much has changed while you weren’t looking. It comes from their album, “Aja” released in 1977.
• Bob Dylan — Mozambique — Its been awhile since Bob hit the UJT airwaves. This is a great tune comes from his iconic, “Desire” released in 1976. The writing of “Mozambique” allegedly started as a game, to see how many rhymes for “-ique” Dylan and Levy could find.
• • Tommy Emmanuel — Angelina — This is a beautiful instrumental from his “Endless Road” released in 2005.

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!