March 14th, 2019

“Hyvää huomenta)” “Good Morning !!!” to you all in Finnish (suomi), a Finno-Ugric language spoken mainly in Finland by about 5 million people.

I did my taxes. Never a fun process but this year’s Turbo Tax for Mac is wobbly. I found all sorts of “unadvertised features” and had to force quit he app on more than one occasion. But I “gotterdone”…

If you have seen this exchange, you simply must. Democratic Rep. Joe Cunningham (S.C.) blasted an air horn at a recent hearing to demonstrate how “disruptive” seismic air gun testing can be for marine animals. In a House Natural Resources subcommittee hearing Thursday, Cunningham pulled out an air horn, blasted the device and asked Chris Oliver, the assistant administrator for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries, whether he found the sound to be disruptive. This Trump Administration official had just testified that Seismic Air Gun Testing for oil under the ocean was safe for marine life. The Congressmen demonstrated that 10 seconds of an air horn in their environment was disruptive and we don’t depend on sound for our food and communications. He also explained that the Seismic Air Guns are 16,000 times louder than the air horn he just used. Mr. Oliver agreed that might be disruptive but equivocated that mitigations were put in place to “minimize” marine life proximity to the air guns. Yeah? How would that work, Mr. Oliver? Did we paint lines on the ocean floor and tell the marine life to stay out because we need oil to power our Humvees?!!

This week I learned some stuff:
• Today is National Write Your Story Day! Oh this one is special. I think everyone has a duty to write down or tell all of their stories to their kids and grandkids before they pass on. It is a meaningful exercise (both happy and sad depending on your life) for you. This story telling is time tested and honored way of teaching your history and wisdom to those that follow. Have you ever had the thought, “If I knew then what I know now…”. Well, today is the day when you can give that gift to your kids, grandkids and friends. Don’t make it daunting. Just write down the funniest thing that ever happened to you before you were 12. Just one story. Think about it and that will lead you to the next and the one before and so on…. Pretty soon you have a life time of things you can share. You will never be any younger or remember this stuff any better than you do right now. Just do it! You won’t be sorry, I promise.

Website Update:
• 2nd Week for the new Vocabulary Quiz!!
• New UJT Music Trivia Quiz. Woohoo!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• This being an “artist” thing ain’t for sissies. I mean those fun moments, in spite of your many limitations something hits the paper pretty much as planned are as much fun as they are surprising. They almost make you forget the anxious and seemingly endless hours of fear and loathing over whether this flower needs one more dab of dark or just crumple it up and throw it in the fire. Afraid as you go to sign the thing, that it may not be done. And it seems that so many around you can do it in their sleep without a worry. Ohhh I hate them! Those folks who worked all those years to get this good, only to make it look easy for those of us less,, er.. talented and skilled. I better let this go .. I am working up to a big whine!
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Is there anything weirder that the perky voice of an automated Help Desk Nazi? She wants you to enter your secret decoder number to “make sure that we get you to the right expert to help you” (meaning to find out what you did wrong). “Oh not that way, you have to enter the number on your keypad… not talk into the phone Silly!” As she ends each insipid non-helpful script line an a high note that reminds me of Betty Boop, you can almost smell her smug automated breath as she defends her turf like a mamma bear. She is just making damn sure that their “experts” aren’t necessarily disturbed by a paying customer that might have stumbled over a quality problem using their perfect product. GRRRR!

Music Update:

This batch is about as eclectic as I get. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• New Riders of the Purple Sage — Gypsy Cowboy — From the Vinyl!!!! This is the title track for their second album released in 1972. Legend has it that some of these guys started out as roadies for the Dead and started to play together doing sound checks before Dead concerts. Jerry Garcia sat in on their first album and Donna Godchaux sang back up vocals on this one.
• Snead O’Connor — Nothing Compares — This lady had such a incomparable voice but the brains of drunken Irish gnat. I had forgotten how pretty her eyes are. This was her biggest hit, released in 1990 on her album, “I Don’t Want What I Can’t Have”. Not many realized at the time that this song was actually written by Prince and was written for one of his side projects, “ The Family” on an album of the same name.
• The Indigo Girls — Closer to Fine — In 1989 Emily Saliers and Amy Ray, The Indigo Girls, were nominated for a Grammy for the Best New Artist but lost out to Milli Vanilli! This one comes from their album, “The Indigo Girls”. Emily Saliers said that this philosophical song was inspired by a visit with her family to rustic cabin in the Vermont Woods. Sounds pretty fine to me.
• Rick Fines – In the Arms of What Will Be – This guy is just so special to me. Every song I have heard by him has impressed me. This is another cut from his 2006 release, “Solar Powered”.
• The Thorns — Think It Over — This is from their album “The Thorns” released in 2003. Just a pretty song filled with wonderful harmonies.
• Little Feat – Rad Gumbo – From the Vinyl!!! This is another great song from their 1989 release, “Representing the Mambo”. Like every Little Feat release, this record is just filled to brim with well crafted and very very tight music.
• Dan Fogelberg — Be On Your Way — Such sweet gentle music could only come from Dan. This is a deep cut from his 1972 release, “Home Free”.

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!