March 26th, 2020

“Dobro jutro! ” or “Good Morning” in Bosnian. It is Day 7 of the California Lock Down (i.e. Shelter in Place order). Just me and 40,000,000 of our closest friends not getting together but I don’t take it personally.

Well I finally got all of the stained glass to my house! and it is stashed in its new GHF (Glass Holding Facility) that I had to build. It is also forcing us to rethink our garage and workbench set up. Being in lock down has enabled me to get after some outstanding maintenance issues that I always managed to find something else to do. I cleaned out our gutters, power washed the fence. It seems 20 years behind bamboo does not help with the cleanliness. I am prepping to re-stain the fence one color. Since the last UJT, I have managed to end up with 2 additional projects. My list keeps growing!.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Mother Nature kicked butt out here this week. The Blizzard that some of you are experiencing now started out as some pretty serious rainstorms here in San Diego. The glass topped dining table we keep out back was shattered when the wind caught the umbrella which for a little was anchored to the stand under the table enough to lift up and break the glass (Ding! New Backyard Dinner Table project!)
• I learned that you can make decent oatmeal cookies without all the primo ingredients we have gotten so used to having in abundance such as butter and white sugar. I was able to swap out the half portion of butter with greek yogurt and the white sugar by using all brown sugar. They were still quite good but a bit chewier than my more crunchy normal ones.
• I visited a Stained Glass shop this week to get just a couple of the things that were not in my inheritance, I was amazed at the some of the pieces that they had.
• March 26th is the 86th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 279 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1931,Ho Chi Minh founded the Communist Youth Union; In 1934, The UK introduced a driving test; Today in 1942, The first female prisoners arrived at the Nazi Concentration Camp at Auschwitz, Poland; On this day in 1945, Americans successfully defeat the Japanese at Iwo Jima; In 1982, ground is broken for the Viet Nam Memorial in Washington, DC; The bodies of 39 Heavens Gate UFO cult members were in a house in Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego, CA on this date in 1997; On this day in 1874, Robert Frost, American poet and playwright was born; William Westmoreland, American General was born in 1914; Sandra Day O’Connor, American lawyer and jurist was born on this day in 1930;American actor, Leonard Nimoy, was born in 1931;Nancy Pelosi, politician and speaker of the house, was born today; One of my favorite Canadian-born actor and comedian, Martin Short, was born on this day in 1950; Raymond Chandler, American crime novelist and screenwriter passed away on this day in 1959; In 2003, American politician, Senator and Ambassador, Daniel Patrick Moynihan passed way today.

Website Update:
• Week 2 for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!! (The Crowd goes wild!!)
• I added a new recipe for Korean Mandu Soup, which was really good by all accounts. Generally speaking, the soup was must more liked than the Hungarian Kelbasa dish we had another night.

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.

• Our old teapot was retired this week as it finally became a safety issue. Our lovely little teapot had managed to get overheated a few times by some aging ne’er=do=well who forgot to close the lid so it would whistle. I named our replacement teapot (yeah and I also apologize to furniture when I bump into them), Conni, as she joined the family the day we all got locked down in Covid-19 quarantine. Conni was a bit shy at first with little or no whistle to speak of but this morning, she sang out loud and proud, “Your water is ready to put into the french press now!” I was so proud.
• I got emails from my watercolors and ceramic teachers saying they were going to carry on via online conferencing. The watercolors class could work that way but the ceramics class will struggle. Most of us keep our clay and projects at the school (where the Kilns are) and i suspect a ceramics class without clay or tool might not be too informative but what the hell, we will give it a try. I also found an adult Life Long Learning class on Stained Glass too. If we ever get out of lockdown and most of us live through it, I will give it a try.

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:
• Dan Ar Bras — L’ennui du roi — Boredom of the King, seems like a fitting song to start with this second week of lockdown. This lovely song comes from his 1976 release, “Douar Nevez – Terre Nouvelle”.
• Eminem — Love the Way You Lie (feat. Rihanna) [Clean Version] — This is a relatively untouched genre for UJT Radio and I understand that many will choose not to hear this one but I hope you will check it out. The poetry is impressive. This one came to us via the Songs For Japan album released after their terrible earthquake and tsunami in 2011.
• Blitzen Trapper — Thirsty Man — Another great tune from this outstanding band. This one comes from their 2013 release, “VII”. Check it out.
• The Derek Trucks Band — I’ll Find My Way [Live] — A live version of a great song! From their 2006 release, “ Songlines”.
• The Droge and Summers Blend – Sad Clown – Shawn Mullens led me down this path. It’s a good one from their 2009 release “Volume One” .
• Led Zeppelin – Your Time is Gonna Come — This is from their debut album with the Hindinberg Disaster depicted on the cover , released in 1969, “Led Zeppelin”. They just blew us all away!
• Ludwig Van Beethoven — Symphony No. 3 in E-Flat Major, Op. 55 “Eroica”: III. Scherzo: Allegro vivo — Ah Ludwig .. just gets me! Crazy long hair! This version comes to us from Moscow RTV Symphony Orchestra & Vladimir Fedoseyev but was composed in 1803.

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!