March 8, 2018

“Maayong Buntag” A fine “Good Morning” in Cebuano as spoken in Northern Mindanao, the largest of the Philippine Islands.

We had some dreaded winter. I was forced to turn on the heat 2 times this week and put on my trusty Grateful Dead hoody. Burrr!

The hardware on my humidor is giving me fits. I do so wish the good folks at Dunhill had been more diligent in their selection. A man’s humidor should not be a consumable. It should be built to last and function past the life of its owner. This particular box was not so constructed. I have managed to correct the finish issues with the wood and I think the new finish will survive well past the estate sale. It is the cursed handles and key hole cover that are giving me fits. I had to invest in some carving tools and chisels to adjust the size of the recesses for the handles. Unfortunately for me, the dimensions were too close to tell until I had failed to get the screws to fasten. Now, I have had to apply wood putty to the affected area and have chiseled out the material that was keeping the new hardware from being recessed correctly, Once the putty had set I will re-drill the screw holes and finally be able to fasten the handles correctly. The key hole is wholly different problem. I have not been able to find a simple flat keyhole cover anywhere in my www searches for cabinet hardware. So I may actually be forced to manufacture the replacement keyhole cover from a piece of sheet bronze. The shipping costs 5 times as much as the piece of bronze!

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned that Micheal Keaton got his acting debut at WQED, the Public Television station in Pittsburg on the Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood show. I got to watch the 50th Anniversary of the show on PBS this week. It was amazing to me!!!I learned that Yo Yo Ma and his son have only accompanied each other on cello and piano two times, both on Fred Rogers’ show. Fred Rogers was a one man force that affected so much good onto so many lives. He taught us all that we were unique and special. He told us about anger and other strong feelings. He showed us physical disabilities and how they didn’t define the people who had them. Mr. Rogers made it ok to talk about families and divorces. He always seemed to be talking directly to you. Fred Rogers was my hero and is one of my favorite humans.
• I learned how to use these new (at least to me) “pat” pastels this week. The material is the same thing as in the traditional chalk pastels but they are placed in these little plastic containers and have a system of applicators and sponge tips that fit them to use in applying the pastel pigment to the paper. Its less messy than traditional crayon kinds of pastels. The pigments seem comparable. The applicators and sponges are a bit cumbersome…at least so far.
• March 8t his National Proofreading Day !!! To celebrate, proofread all the emails you get today and send back marked up corrections to the authors and ask them to pay it forward!!! Won’t that be fun! (DONNA FRANO!!)

Website Update:
• 2nd week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• I added two more recipes for you guys this week – I included sort of a generic crepe batter and a very nice pasta dish for you this week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I sketched out the canvas for Chewy’s portrait in my office on a rainy day last week. But cannot seem to put a burst to paint yet.
• The very weird ceramic remote control holder now enjoys its under glazing. This week I am going to try to make the brown wood grain and begin working on my next ceramics project (trivets) this Friday.

• The Bad Alexa has left the building! Shipped it to the Alexa Burial Grounds which appears be in the wilds of St Louis, MO (try to say that with a straight face!) So any time (after 7-10 business days) we should be getting our new Alexa! `

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program.

• Bob Dylan — Shelter From The Storm — Always one of my Dylan favs. He has given us so much music and poetry. This version was released on the Songs for Japan album.
• Amy Grant — Its You I Like — From Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. This was one of the songs that he sung to the kids to make sure that understood that who you are is not what you have or don’t have.
• Taylor Swift — Mean — This is just a great song!!! I LOVE her banjo playing. I featured this on UJT Radio back in 2016 and figured it was time to hear it again!.
• Les Paul and Friends — I Wanna Know You — Oh! That dear old guitar playing reprobate, Mr. Lester Paul sure has some fine friends! Beth Hart sings this on this one and Neil Schon wails with Les on this ride. Enjoy.
• Electric Light Orchestra — Evil Woman — These boys took their fancy highbrow instruments and music degrees and doubled down on the music industry. I loved their music from the very beginning but not everyone flocked to their very different sound. This was a big hit for them. Jeff Lynne wrote this one for their 5th album and released it in 1975.
• Stevie Wonder — Boogie On Reggae Woman — From the Vinyl !!! This is on my of my favorite cuts off of one of my favorite albums of all time. This one comes from his 1974 release of “Fulfillingness First Finale” but their are so many great songs on that album it is truly tough to pic a favorite.
• Steve Miller Band — Slinky — This is a wonderful little instrumental from Mr. Stevie Guitar from Plano Tx!!! Its so tight! This one comes from their 1986 release called, “Living in the 20th Century”. This is one of those short little songs that you wish was longer.
• The Allman Brothers Band — Ramblin’ Man — This one comes from their “Brothers and Sisters” album released in 1973. Dickey Betts wrote this one and it features some fine guitar harmonies between Dicky and Les Dudek, playing the parts that Duane would have had.

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!

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