March 19th, 2020

“Dobro jutro! ” or “Good Morning” in Basnian.

My fully pruned (or mostly fully pruned) Wisteria is blooming!!! Walking under the arbor is like walking into a wonderfully scented cloud.

The ides of March are upon us even if we are in quarantine. Keep the faith folks. But March also is the beginning of spring for the upper half of the planet anyway. I saw this YouTube clip that once again proves that no matter how lovely the art by human hand, Ma Nature kicks butt in the beauty biz!

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am such an Irishman!! I love the smell of simmering corned beef. I learned that the tricky part of cooking Corned Beef after it was brined is bringing it to a boil and getting the heat right so it would just simmer for hours covered. Even peeling potatoes and chopping cabbage are enjoyable St. Paddy’s day traditions around our house. I always thought it was funny, that my mom and grandma, both proud of their deeply German and Swiss heritage, took such joy in being Irish for a day.
• We have a dishwasher that is working and the shower value has been repaired after just 5 weeks of trying. Sheesh!
• March 19th is the 78th day of the year (leaving only 282 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1918, the US Congress established time zone and daylight savings; In 1931, Gambling is legalized in Nevada; Today in 1932, The Sydney Harbor Bridge is opened; On this day in 1943, Frank Nitti, the Boss after Al Capone, commits suicide at the Chicago Central Railyard; In 1945, Off the coast of Japan, a dive bomber hits the aircraft carrier, USS Franklin, killing 724 of the crew. Badly damaged the ship was able to make it back to the US under her own power; In 1962, Bob Dylan released his first album of the same name; In 1987, Televangelist Jim Baker resigns as head of the PTL Club due to a sex scandal. Jerry Fawell took over; In 2018, the last male northern white rhinoceros, Sudan, dies, ensuring a chance of extinction for the species; On this day in 1948, Wyatt Earp, American police officer was born; Earl Warren, 14th Chief Justice of the United States; Albert Speer and Adolf Eichman, prominent Nazi’s and confidents of Adolf Hitler were born on this day in 1905 and 1906 respectively;American actor, Bruce willis was born in 1955;John Delorean, American engineer and businessman passed away on this day in 2005; In 2008, author, Arthur C. Clark passed way today.

Website Update:
• A New Vocabulary Quiz…Yeeahh!
• Last Week for the new Trivia Quiz.
• I added a new recipe for Korean Mandu Soup.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I did some work on the VW van for the totem in class (fixed previous damage and added the roof). I did some painting but lack much enthusiasm for what I have been painting these days. Not sure when we will be able to return to class again.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• It took some doing but we both are signed up for Medicare!
• I got a freebie this week. “James Taylor’s Point Break: My First 21 Years” came out as a free Audible book. I hope you have received it… here is the link for you if you haven’t. If you are a life long JT fan, then the sound of his gentle voice, telling his story will make his story more personal for you. This story is intermixed with songs and his wonderful guitar work.

Music Update:

Another tiptoe though the archives to share some things you might missed or never have heard or at least not heard recently.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• The Clancy Brothers — Irish Rover — I think it might just be illegal to listen or better yet sing along with this song sober in Ireland. So hoist your glasses and catch up lads and lasses! Remember to belt out the chorus and the part about “Mic McCann…the Skipper of the Irish Rover”. And Smile in your bonny green sweaters, me dears!
• Blood, Sweat & Tears — God Bless the Child — This great old Billie Holliday tune was treated to BS&T’s big band sound and David Clayton Thomas’ wonderful soulful singing on their second album, “Blood Sweat & Tears” released in 1968. This record edged out The Beatles, “Abbey Road” for the Grammy for Album of the Year in 1969.
• James Taylor — God Bless the Child — I fell in love with this song back when Blood Sweat & Tears had it as a big hit. It was written by Billie Holiday and Arthur Herzog, Jr. in 1939. James included this song in his Point Break audiobook. This is the title cut for his new 2020 release.
• Kacey Musgraves — Family is Family — After hearing James Taylor’s book, this song seemed to have more of an affect on me. This one comes from her album, “Pagent Material” released in 2015.
• Nickel Creek – When You Come Back Down – About a hundred years ago, I got to see these folks in concert. It was wonderful! A great 3 piece band of players and I love their harmonies. This one comes from their first album, “Nickel Creek” released in 2000.
• Brad Paisely – Waitin on a Woman — This is a duet with Andy of Mayberry (Andy Griffith) came out on Brad’s, “Time Well Wasted” album released in 2005. There has always been something about Andy’s voice and accent. Ever since I was a boy, hearing Andy’s voice made me want to shut up and listen. It was special like Fred Roger’s but different.
• Leo Kottke — Standing in My Shoes — For me there is no way to confuse Leo’s voice or guitar work with anyone else’s. “Mudlark” was the first album, I ever owned by Leo and I think I maybe on my 2nd or 3rd copy by now. “Mudlark” was released in 1972.

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!