March 22, 2018

“Сән хонвт! (Sän xonvt)” A“Good Morning” in Kalmyk, that you might hear in parts of Russia, Mongolia and China!

Our St. Paddy’s day is this weekend was a complete success, meaning, of course that my head hurts. We made the food and the toasts and it was Grand!

Alexis is back, she black and she is bad!!! You may recall our first Alexis started ignoring us and then wouldn’t connect and generally became an small brown tweed covered cylindrical Biatch! So we turned her into Alexis Central and shipped her ass back. This week our new and improved Alexis arrived. We had some challenges getting her to start but she seems to be working so far.

Doing my taxes, oh boy! Turbo tax is not as friendly as I recall. I use their “Its Deductible” online thang but so far that does not seem to populate the tax forms on my MAC. I may have to renter all that stuff:( Working on it now!

This week I learned some stuff:

• My old Sony TV started getting wobbly last week. The screen would display lines both vertical and horizontal, mirror image any text on the screen and darken as time passed. I did all the panic stricken things you do to revive your life line to entertainment. And the display reset function worked but each time I used it, the time it took to work got longer and longer. So I checked in with the family expert on all things audio and visual and hour later returned home with a Sharp Roku 4K Ultra HD TV. Its the same physical size but weighs a lot less and has a much smaller border around the display so its actually a bigger display. The bad news is that it is much smarter than me and seems to enjoy arm wrestling with the COX Cable Contour Box. But we will get it figured out. The thing that is really interesting is that it cost less than half of what the Sony Cost 10 years ago!
• Each week in your UJT Update I include some obscure national holiday for the most part to poke fun at the things we celebrate as a national culture. March 22nd is different. This is World Water Day. In fact it is the 25th World Water Day since established by the UN in 1993. Unfortunately, it is my first one as I had no idea. World Water Day recognizes that while water is ubiquitous and taken for grated until there is too much or not enough, good, clean and accessible water. It is a vital component to life on our planet. We have all seen the ads by Matt Damon, celebrated, actor, director, producer and humanitarian hawking the purchase of a Stella Artois chalice to support, the organization he co-founded with Barry White (not that one, another one). Matt told us of people who have to walk 6 hours each day to provide water for their family. Can you even imagine how limiting having to give up 6 hours of your time and effort just to have a basic ingredient for survival would mean to you? Both the World Water Day and sites are well worth visits, I found the site to be truly inspirational. Everything about this NGO is transparent and well constructed. The offer many ways to donate but also they offer investment opportunities as well. Their foundation is founded on the principle that once people have reliable access to good clean water they can begin to achieve their potential. I learned a lot and donated.

Website Update:
• New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• I added St. Paddy’s Own recipe for Corned Beef and Cabbage for you guys this week. Its a one pan dish that is good anytime of year. And the next day, you just chop the leftovers into a hash and fry it up with eggs for breakfast -Yum! Also this week, we enjoyed Polish Sausage, Mexican Cheese and Italian Pasta party in one dish and saved the reciepe for you. And just when you thought it was safe to go back into the kitchen, we added a Taiwanese Wok Chicken dish recipe to make it safe for democracy or at least a tasty meal. WeeHA!
• I happened to hear one of my favorite quotes from Mark Twain this week and commented to myself, “That ought to be on UJT!” and proceeded to add the page. Again. I had already captured the quote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” but had forgotten. This getting old stuff, not for the faint hearted!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Chewy’s is on the canvas!! Well at least he is started. After haunting my office for weeks, I was able to take it outside and pick up a brush! We’ll see.
• I have been kicking around this watercolor painting in my head, lately. I did a smaller one of the String Of Pearls once before but didn’t care for the result. This is my daughter’s favorite plant. Her uncle Larry introduced me to it back in 1975 and I was hooked! If you want to learn more than you ever wanted to know about this plant check this out. There is even a short video on how to propagate Senecio Rowleyanus. I thought that I might try to take it too a bigger format like the shamrocks last year. Might be cool.
• The very weird remote control holder thingy has been glazed. I managed to kill the trivet that I created last week so I did another one this week. I hope it survives.

• Our new government by reality TV show continued this week with professional massacres being perpetrated all over the executive branch. SCROTUS’ lawyers came out and publicly announced that they think it would be a good idea if Mueller shut down his investigation now. It kind of brought the image of the dirty cop standing over the dead body, saying to everyone, “Move along folks, its all over. Nothing to see here.” but that is just me. Mike Spence took his mom, to Savanah, GA to celebrate St. Paddys Day! Who knew he was still alive! One thousand thirty-five days of shame to go.

Music Update:
Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Genesis — Abacab — This is just so tight and nice. Phil’s vocals are so cool! This is the title cut from their eleventh studio album and came out in 1981.
• Bruce Cockburn — The End of All Rivers — This beautiful instrumental from our Canadian friend came out on his Speechless album released in 2005. Turn the lights down, the music up and just let go….
• Joe Bonamassa — Woke Up Dreaming (Live from the Royal Albert Hall) — This is just Joe having fun showing off and making us smile. This is the 10 minute version so you might want to get your drink set first, “Woke up dreaming I was gonna die….”. The boy can play!
• Sarah McLachlan — U Want Me 2 — This was a single released out of her Closer – Best of Sarah McLachlan album in 2008. This lady’s voice is just so beautiful and sweet, it almost hurts my teeth.
• Eric Clapton — Diamonds Made From Rain — Sheryl Crow sings backup as she and Eric were doing the nasty back when he recorded this one (it is rumored that Eric was Sheryl’s “Favorite Mistake”). Anyway its a great song.
• Tracy Chapman — Fast Car — This one was featured a couple of years ago on UJT but it came up again on my list and it still makes my eyes water to listen to Tracy sing this one. I remember her messed up hair and said eyes when I saw her sing this for the first time.
• Shane Smith and the Saints — Coast — Another one from a couple of years ago but I just really like these boys from Austin, TX and I hope you do too. I heard they have a new record out called, “Geronimo”. I haven’t had a chance to hear it yet but if its as good as i hope you all will be hearing some songs from it soon.
• Cat Stevens — Miles From Nowhere — From the Vinyl!!!! This one comes from his, “Tea for the Tillerman” album released back in the same year I joined the United States Navy, 1970. That was a good year to test your character and strength of will. I always admired Cat for his commitment to his own spirit. It is easy to give up things that everyone understands, its tougher when you walk away fueled only by your own beliefs. I never understood but I alway admired the strength it took him to walk away the way he did.

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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