March 4th, 2016

Goedemorgen! (A Dutch good morning to you !!!)

I had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend and some new friends this week as the converged on San Diego. I am always amazed and grateful for the caliber of people have managed to find along the way. We may not see each other for years but when we do meet, its like I just went down the hall to get us some coffee. The connection is instantly established. This time I was also struck by how much I enjoyed the friends with them that were strangers only seconds before. It was a pleasure and a “hellava” evening.

I thoroughly enjoyed our after dinner discussion about our upcoming elections and the candidates. Even though the two of the new friends I made were from Australia, the felt just as strongly as many of us do about the travesty that is taking place in this year’s election. We (the US and because of our prominence, financial and militarily,the world), are being held hostage to our antiquated form of government and the limitations of the two party system that has arisen from those limitations. We agreed that when the two party system fails to deliver the caliber of leadership needed to govern this vast enterprise, then changes need to be made. If we go back to our founding fathers, we have lost our way and failed to adapt as they intended. Our government was always intentionally messy because it was intended to be participative. Representing the citizens of our large diverse nation is intentional in our form of government and was design to do so back when it took 6 weeks or longer for a letter or message to get from Charleston to Philadelphia and the mean education of the citizenry was elementary. In todays world where messaging is measured in nanoseconds and illiteracy is the exception versus the rule. The engagement and the participation of the citizenry should be adapted our representation accordingly. I would suggest the following changes:

Replace the current IRS code with a simple transaction based flat tax that taxes all transactions equally without any other consideration.
Establish a 2 term limit for all elected officials. This will eliminate the current fondness for perpetuating incumbency at any cost.
Eliminate the current form of the legislative branch. Replace it with a government function that supports citizen proposal development via interactive engagement and sponsorship.
Elected officials may only serve 2 terms in office. All candidates are nominated through the citizen proposal function and sponsored by acclaim. All political campaigns are limited to the same funding and will just utilize public venues for campaigning
Integrate voting with taxation. As part of the mandatory taxation process national office ballots are processed. Its just weird that we compel young men to register for drafts in times of war but no one is compelled to vote?
The Senate’s role would change to converting the citizen sponsored proposal submissions from the repretation function into implementable laws, approve appointees and budget for government services.
The Executive Branch would operate the government and implement the laws passed in accordance with the budget.
The Judicial Branch would continue to validate and enforce the laws passed and implemented.

It was an excellent discussion that started with an assessment of the candidates available, explored alternative candidates such as the Libertarians and their limitations and explored alternatives. No one had all the answers but all agreed that the government of the US was far too important to place into the hands of the current front runners from the current parties.

After that great start to my week, I spent the rest of the week down hard as the Flu came back to finish me off. Tippy had to come over to replenish my meds, soups and walk Mr. Chewbacca as I was incapacitated most of the week. My doc called in some Tamilflu this time and it seems to be helping at least to the point where I can get the UJT Update out for you all.

This week I learned some stuff:

I am beginning to reestablish some disciplines that I had let erode over the past several months. A daily schedule of activities, tracking to some stated goals and putting more focus on being productive in the use of my time. This has always been a constant function in my life but lately, it seemed my riddler had drifted some without specific coordinates to sail towards. I am not sure that I am where I need to be yet but it seems that I am getting closer.
Another good friend of mine chose to bring some more joy into my life this week!! Bruce Paddy, world famous great guy who also played keyboards in surf band, is a triathlete (with our other buddy Paul Dunne) and surfer .. acquired for me some Cardiff Crack ( this week. It came up in one of our poker games a while back and Bruce mentioned that the next time he was in Seaside Market he would pick me up some. I am completely strung out already plotting my next visit up the coast to Cardiff to acquire some more. I really cannot recall any time where I have been so instantly and completely in love with a dish. It is soon flavorful and tasty that I am almost unwilling to share any (even to taste) with Jess and her creepazoids! Thanks Bruce !!!

Website Update
A “new” Vocabulary Quiz.

Painting Update:
Slowly, step by step, I am making my way to the paints.

Writing Update:
More Re-reading and editing more GPS chapters. This next revision will truly be better… I cannot believe that I am still finding typos!!


Mitt Romney has started to campaign for Anyone But Donald For President. I applaud his willingness to state the obvious albeit late and with his usual limp delivery. Mitt has always been pretty much a political beastie so if he actively anti-campaigning we must all be very very afraid. Perhaps our electorate has gotten so ugly, malformed and malodorous that a candidate such as Donald Trump is an accurate reflection of the people we have devolved into. Are we, Americans, such self serving, frightened, mean spirited and lacking in character to really choose such a poor excuse for a human being to be the “leader” of the free world? I hope not, I really do.

Music Update:
I have kind of an eclectic mix for you this week. I hope you enjoy it:  

Eric Johnson – Song for George — Just a nice little guitar instrumental for your listening pleasure.

The Lumineers – Charlie Boy — This reminds me of an old Irish shanty song. Something about the spare voice singing harmony with the instruments resonates with me. But mostly its a sad song, about a sad time, Vietnam War. The song holds Kennedy to blame for going into that war. It was initiated by Kennedy but my understanding, he had decided to withdraw our advisor when he took that trip of Dallas and that LBJs first act as president was to tear up JFKs executive order to pull the advisors.

Dave Mason/Traffic – From the Vinyl!!!! Sad and Deep as You – This is a live cut of my favorite Dave Mason’s songs. “Lips that tell story… Lips speak too soon..”

Jude Cole – Right There Now — This is a sweet song about how sometimes you can connect with a moment in your past and feel that exact moment completely. For me all the dumbass things I did back then come clear in sharp relief and more often than not I get to chuckle over my good fortune that kept special people close and the devil at bay..when I am “Right There Now”.

Donald Fagen – Ruby Baby – This is one of my favorite cuts from one of my favorite records, “The Night Fly”. Its just so tight and well done. Its actually a cover of a very old tune written for The Drifters.

Derrick Trucks Band – Chevrolet (Live) — Some super sweet blues music from a new master of the craft.

The Cars – Good Times Roll – A flash back to the 1980s….in the last 1970s these folks seemed to roll out of Boston and over all of us. The found a mix of genres to make their sound and it worked until 1988 when they broke up.

Supertramp – Breakfast in America — This is another cut from the Davies and Hodgson song writing partnership that made the band so popular. This is the title song from their most popular album.

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!