March 25th, 2021

“Bouônjour à matîn”, or “Good Morning!” in Jèrriais (Jersey Norman), the variety of Norman spoken on the Channel Island of Jersey. We have been in some form of lockdown for over a year now. The CDC just relaxed social distancing to 3ft from 6ft. A Florida mayor has declared a state of emergency baed upon unsafe Spring Break behaviors. Here in California Governor Newsome continues to relax restrictions based upon empirical data and and expert recommendations. He plans to return the state to a modified normal by April 1st. According to the CDC my immunity should be in full bloom by March 30th. Yeah!

How did everyone adapt to Daylight Savings time? For some reason it seems more noticeable now that I am retired. I get up at pretty much the same time every day .. 5:30ish each morning but on that first Sunday morning I am turning on the lights.

This week I learned some stuff:
• We got a chance to play “Exploding Kittens” and it was fun.
• My first attempt at cold smoking salmon and cheese failed! The root cause is that the wood chips I got for the cold smoking device were too big to enable to slow continuous smoldering needed to cold smoke and it kept going out. All though after trying all day, I tossed the salmon, I have replaced those chips with a much more sawdust consistency wood chip and tried to smoke the cheese and some hard boiled eggs with the new configuration. Everyone seemed to enjoy the smoky cheese and eggs.
• March 25th is the 84th day of 2021. Just 275 days till Christmas! Today in 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh is granted a patent to colonize Virginia; Today in 1807, the Slave Trade Act becomes law, abolishing the slave trade in the British Empire; On this day in 1931, the Scottsboro Boys are arrested in Alabama and charged with rape; Today in 1957, the United States Customs seizes copies of Allen Ginsberg’s poem “Howl” on obscenity grounds; Today in 1965, Civil rights activists led by Martin Luther King Jr. successfully complete their 4-day 50-mile march from Selma to the capitol in Montgomery, Alabama; today in 1969, during their honeymoon, John Lennon and Yoko Ono hold their first Bed-In for Peace at the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel (until March 31); The European Union’s Veterinarian Committee bans the export of British beef and its by-products as a result of mad cow disease (Bovine spongiform encephalopathy) as of today in 1996.Today in 1754, John Barry, American naval officer and “father of the American navy” was born; Howard Cosell, American soldier, journalist, and author was born today in 1918; Gene Shalit, American journalist and critic was born on this day in 1926; Today Jim Lovell, American captain, pilot, and astronaut was born in 1926; Gloria Steinem, American feminist activist, co-founded the Women’s Media Center was born today in 1934; Today in 1942, Aretha Franklin, American singer-songwriter and pianist, was born; Born today in 1947, Sir Elton John, English singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor;Sarah Jessica Parker, American actress, producer, and designer was born today in 1965; Ida B. Wells, American journalist and activist (one of the founders of the NAACP) passed away today in 1931; Today in 1992, Nancy Walker, American actress, singer, and director passed away; And finally, Dan Seals, American musician (brother of Jim Seals of Seals and Croft and England Dan of England Dan and John Ford Coley passed away today in 2009.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week 2 for our new UJT Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• A new Musical Trivia Quiz !!!
• The grandkids decided to discover a new St Paddy’s Day cocktail this year. We came up with an intriguing beverage that we found tasty. Give an Irish Maid a try! It has been added to the UJT Cookbook! I also looked into Indian Restaurant hacks that allow you to create these very complex dishes in really compressed times. The key is having a good Indian Curry Base and premixed spices. I also added a new Indian dish, called, “Chicken Jalfrezi” to the UJT cook book, as well. Now something completely different… I added a recipe for Kimchi Fried Rice that my grandson.
• A while back I replaced the Countdown of Shame with my favorite quote of the week. Last week I forgot to do it until Saturday. Sorry.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I got stuck again on my stained glass project last week. But worked on it some more this week!
• I didn’t attend watercolor classes this week.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Have you seen the new commercial celebrating Women’s History Month by Hershey’s? It’s very clever in its use of kind of flashes reminding of us of some of our greatest “Hers” and “She’s”. I looked into it and Hershey’s has much to be proud of as an iconic American business. They have embraced and even promote all kinds of diversity within the company as well as in the community. You too can learn more about this impressive company and its social activism here.
• Our search for replacement sleeping accommodations continues. We have changed direction from our split controlled bed configuration and returned to the more traditional mattress box spring configuration. I hope this works because I am not sure what else is out there to try.

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Jethro Tull – Thick as a Brick – This is the title song for their release in 1971. I always loved this one.
• Steve Miller Band — Seasons — This cut from their 1969 release, “Brave New World”. This is just a really pretty tune.
• Toby Keith – I Love This Bar — This week this song came up on the magical iPhone musical rotation and I flashed back to a place that saved my life – Sids Bar on the corner of Bird Road and Ludlum in Miami Florida. It was the hole I crawled into to get well after a tough time in my life. During those dark days, many nights, the sun would wake me up sleeping it off in the back of Urge, my 1968 microbus. Those folks were good to me in a time when I just needed to be not to be alone.
• Tony Joe White — Even Trolls Love Rock and Roll — The most soulful white boy in the blues business. This one comes from his 1993 compilation album called, “ The Best of Tony Joe White”. Huh Y’all!.
• Shawn Phillips – Song for Sagittarians – From the Vinyl!!! My good friend Dean Chimerakis and his wife Mary Ann, turned me on to this music way back in 1973 when my boat, the USS Vogelgesang (DD-862), pulled into Port Everglades. It comes from his, “Second Contributions” album released in 1971. Shawn Phillips was described as “The best kept secret in the Music business” by famous rock promoter, Bill Graham. Shawn taught George Harrison his first lessons on the Sitar back in the sixties.
• Jerry Garcia — Sugaree – From the Vinyl!!!! From his first solo album. “Garcia” and one of my all time favorite Jerry tunes.

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!