March 30th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 399 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

  • The Prostate Adventure continues. Ever so slowly, step bye step… 
  • Murphy is going to college!! He starts on Thursday. I for one will miss him during his two-week education period. 
  • March 30 is the 89th day of 2023. Just 278 days till Christmas. On this day in 1842, Ether anesthesia was used for the first time, in an operation by the American surgeon Dr. Crawford Long; Alaska is purchased from  Russia for $7.2 million, about two cents/acre ($4.19/km2), by United States Secretary of State William H. Seward, today in 1867; On that same day, in 1870, Texas is readmitted to the United States Congress following Reconstruction; Today in 1959, Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, flees Tibet for India;  The STS-3 mission is completed with the landing of Columbia  at White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico today in 1982; Today in 2017,  SpaceX conducts the world’s first re-flight of an orbital class rocket; Francisco Goya, Spanish-French painter and sculptor was born today in 1746; Today in 1820, Anna Sewell, English author (Black Beauty) was born; Vincent van Gogh, Dutch-French painter and illustrator was born today in 1853; Today in 1913, Richard Helms, American soldier and diplomat, 8th Director of Central Intelligence was born; Sonny Boy Williamson I, American singer-songwriter and harmonica player  born on the same day but in 1914; McGeorge Bundy, American intelligence officer and diplomat, 6th United States National Security Advisor was born today in 1919; Also born today in 1929, Richard Dysart, American actor; John Astin, (AKA Gomez Addams) American actor was born today 1930; Warren Beatty, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter was born today in 1937; Moody Bues’Graeme Edge, English singer-songwriter and drummer was born today in 1941;  Born today in 1945, Eric Clapton, English guitarist and singer-songwriter; Black Oak Arkansas’ Jim “Dandy” Mangrum, American rock singer;  MC Hammer, American rapper and actor was born today in 1962;  Born today in 1964. Tracy Chapman, American singer-songwriter and guitarist; Celine Dion, Canadian singer-songwriter was also born today but in 1968; Norah Jones, American singer-songwriter and pianist born today in 1979;  Philip Showalter Hench, American physician and academic, Nobel Prize laureate passed away today in 1965;  DeWitt Wallace, American publisher, co-founded Reader’s Digest died today in 1981;   James Cagney, American actor, and dancer passed away today 1986; And lastly, Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother of the United Kingdompassed away today in 2002.

This week’s Website Update:

  • Week two for our Vocabulary Quiz
  • Last week for our Musical Trivia Quiz 
  • This week I did create any new recipes for you. 
  • The Home Page quote for this week is from our old and wise friend, Anonymous.  It is more of a hopeful admonishment than a pithy turn of a phrase, “ The world is filled with nice people. If you cannot find one. Be one.” 

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:

  • Not painting yet but I am registering and preparing to restart my watercolor classes again. Seems like forever! I did get to pruning my bonsai trees and restarting my stained glass project this week. Progress!
  • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.


  • If you would like a glimpse into the uncharted, undisturbed beauty that was North America when Jefferson was president, you should read, “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen E. Ambrose.  This account of the Lewis and Clark expedition is derived from the journals of some of the members of the expedition and is so vivid in its descriptions of the flora, fauna and the world that existed then. You feel present as they face impossible decisions needed to find their way to a sea that none of them had ever seen before. If you are not interested in immersing yourself in the innocence that was North America at the turn of the 19th century, then you will not enjoy reading this book,  On the other hand, it seduced my imagination into experiencing breathtaking beauty, for the most part, is no longer available on our continent. Whenever I drive north from San Diego, I am amazed at how difficult the settlement of the left coast must have been for those explorers and those that followed.
  • Yesterday, March 29th, 2023, we celebrated the 50th year since US military forces left and the last American POWs were returned from the war in Vietnam. These sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, mothers, and fathers returned to an ungrateful nation ashamed of our country’s participation in a war poorly conceived and managed. These people, heroes, who gave their all and lost buddies in a war, not of their choosing. Unlike any war previous, these people came home to indifference and apathy at best and anger and hatred, as well. Thank you to all those who served their country during this difficult period of American history.  


Music Update:

Here we go again, following my musical taste buds through space. This week’s selection is derived from the extraordinary number of greats that share the same birthday- today. Enjoy:

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

  • Moody Blues  — Higher and Higher — This is the first full length song that was written by the band’s drummer Graeme Edge. Edge was usually the writer of short spoken-word interludes that appeared at the beginning and end of previous albums. In the recordings, they were usually recited by Mike Pinder. Happy heavenly birthday Graeme!
  • Sonny Boy Williamson  — Sonny Boy’s Harmonica Blues — This is from a wonder compilation live album, “American Folk Blues Festival” released in 1981. Happy heavenly birthday Sonny Boy!
  • Eric Clapton — Rocking Chair — Picking out an EC song to celebrate his 78th birthday is hard! In the end, I chose this one from his 2010 release, “Clapton” because it just seemed to fit the moment. EC wrote so many great songs over the years but this cover of Hoagy Carmichael’s 1929 release is wonderful. 
  • Black Oak Arkansas  – Race With The Devil — About a million years ago, I got to see BOA live. They opened for Jefferson Airplane or Canned Heat .. I cannot remember too well. But they knocked my socks off. Jim Dandy has this monster voice but everyone up on that bandstand was playing their ass off. This is the title cut from their 1977 release. Happy Birthday Jim Dandy!
  • Nora Jones  — Sunrise — This was Quincy Jone’s little girl’s contribution to the “Songs for Japan” compilation released to raise money for the victims of the terrible earthquake in 1988. Happy Birthday, Nora! 
  • MC Hammer – U Can’t Touch This — Another birthday boy today is Mr. Hammer. For me Hammer just blew up one fine day in 199O with his exciting can catchy mainstream rapping that delighted most and pissed of the rednecks terribly. I thought he was a totally commercial creation but I have to admit over time he wore me down. He reminds me of Grand Funk Railroad in the sense that the timing was perfect for their brand of music perhaps even at the expense of great talent or skill. Those boys did a lot with 3 chords just as Hammer did with repetition. This one is from his  1990 release, “Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ‘Em”.
  • Tracy Chapman/Eric Clapton — Give Me One Reason — Two greats that celebrate their birthdays on the same day. This is a wonderful live version from the compilation released in 1989, “A Very Special Christmas Live from Washington DC” .

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!