March 9th,  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 753 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • Last week I seemed to have focused mostly on what doesn’t work so well for me anymore. By Sunday, I was sick of my thoughts. I honestly have no reason to bitch or feel sorry for myself. I have had a great life and have enjoyed being able to do so much over the years – everything from auto repairs, woodworking, painting. writing and a host of other activities that I was just too stupid to know I shouldn’t be able to do them. For the most part, what I lacked in skills, I made up for by audacity and stumbled along until I met my goal. Things have changed. It seems everything I can do takes longer and I have to ask for assistance a whole lot more than I ever have before. I am trying to get used to the idea that I am going to be dependent on others more than before. It’s an adjustment but I have decided to file it under “New Experiences” and move on, grateful to another day  of new experiences.
    • You can find out all about December 28th in history here.

This week’s Website Update: 

    • I finally collected enough words for a new vocabulary quiz!
    • I tried a new recipe this week. I enjoyed q new Bok Choy recipe this week. I have enjoyed Bok Choy as an ingredient in dishes for a long time but it is just as good as a standalone side dish.
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from Mark Twain: “ Go to heaven for the climate and  hell for the company.     

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

    • My first attempt at using the potter’s wheel was a disaster! I have perhaps the best teacher in the world and I still messed it up!!! I will keep trying.
    • I am being forced by my limitations to give up some of my avenues of expression. I can no longer see well enough to write or paint. I am scheduled for a “low vision” consult to get assessed and create a toolset that will help me cope and transition to my new merman. Again I have no complaints! I enjoyed a very wide variety of activities for a very long time. I just have to start choosing from a shorter list.


    • Is there anything weirder than the United States Tax code??  I did our taxes with no painful surprises. It’s never fun but I always feel better when it is done.

Music Update:  

I used to just key off the last song played from my iTunes library. But now, I have gotten used to collecting songs I want to share over the week like i do Vocabulary words. It makes for a very eclectic list. Enjoy.

I have a pretty good collection of vinyl records but sometimes I have to use downloaded versions because the vinyl copy attended too many parties. In the case of Toto Iv, I am actually using my second or third copy of the record so its in pretty good shape.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Doobie Brothers   Taking it to the Street — This is just a great one! Michael McDonald just too the Doobies to a new place. This is the title cut for their 1976 release.
    • Michael Andrews and Gary Jules — Mad World — This song came out on the 2002 release of the “Donnie Darko Soundtrack”.  I always found it to be hauntingly beautiful.
    • Dire Straits Money for Nothing — From the vinyl!!! This song just blew us all away. Mark Knopfler and Sting collaborated on this song of a workingman’s view of the new MTV phenomenon of the time. Knopfler said that he got the idea from a visit to a hardware store in NY.  It was released on their 1985 release, “Brothers in Arms” and was the band’s most commercially successful release.
    • Blind Faith —Can’t Find My Way Home  —I this supergroup just took our breath away. This song was written by Steve Windwood. IT was released on their self-entitled album in 1969.
    • Tom Petty  — Runnin Down a Dream — Tom Petty learned to play guitar by taking lessons from Don Felder (Eagles) in Jacksonville, FL before anyone was popular. This is a cut from his first solo effort,”Full Moon Fever” released in 1989.
    • Toto  — Afraid of Love — From the Vinyl!!! This was released as a deep cut on their iconic “Toto IV” released in 1982.  There were so many great songs on that record it’s not hard to imagine this one got overlooked for the most part. Toto’s music was just so precise and tight.

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!