April 2nd, 2021
Haha .. Just fooling.. its really April 1st!! 

“Xeyírlí irte”, or “Good Morning!” in Tatar, a Turkic language spoken mainly in Tatarstan in the Russian Federation. Here in California Governor Newsome has updated our vaccination plan to open it to all Californians over the age of 16 by April 15th! The GLCPS&L society is plotting their next meeting already! Yeah!

A good friend of mine from Germany replied to last weeks UJT with great news about his newly earned “grandpaship” and his second one is on the way. This news reminded me that life goes on. I have been in a funk of one sort or another since I learned that my friend, Jack, passed away unexpectedly. Whenever a dark cloudy experience passes over my amazingly fortunate life, I try to learn something from it. I came out of this thing with Jack with one idea. The toughest part for me was the way I just lost track of my friend with no recourse to find out what happened. I would like to avoid that terrible foreboding that I felt before my daughter was able to find out that he passed. To do that, I am asking every one who receives the UJT to send me an alternative point of contact. Just the name, email and/or phone number of someone local who would know or could go check on your status if we loose touch. Please send your alternate POC in reply to this weeks UJT. I will respond with my alternative contact information. The purpose of this exercise to enable your friend (me) to check on you via alternative means ONLY if the normal contact methods for you fail. None of us are getting any younger and all of us want to spare our friends undue concern should we loose touch. This simple act will enable us to check on each other should the need arise. Please, I promise never to use or share this information with anyone and expect the same.

This week I learned some stuff:
• We got a chance to play “Exploding Kittens” and it was fun.
• I tried cold smoking again with a finer more sawdust like wood chips in the cold smoker. It worked much better but not without some challenges. I was able to smoke some chunks of cheese and 6 hardboiled eggs that tastes wonderfully smoky. Trying salmon again this week.
• April 2nd is the 91st day of 2021. Just 268 days till Christmas! Today in 1800, Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.; Today in 1902, “Electric Theatre”, the first full-time movie theater in the United States, opens in Los Angeles.; On this day in 1956, As the World Turns and The Edge of Night premiere on CBS. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format.; Today in 1972, actor Charlie Chaplin returns to the United States for the first time since being labeled a communist during the Red Scare in the early 1950s; Today in 1979, a Soviet bio-warfare laboratory at Sverdlovsk accidentally releases airborne anthrax spores, killing 66 plus an unknown amount of livestock.; Today in 1986, Alabama governor George Wallace, a former segregationist, best known for the “Stand in the Schoolhouse Door”, announces that he will not seek a fifth four-year term and will retire from public life upon the end of his term in January 1987; In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison today in 1992; Today in 747, Charlemagne, Frankish king was born; Hans Christian Andersen, Danish novelist, short story writer, and poet was born today in 1805; Jedd Clampit, Aka, Buddy Ebsen, American actor and dancer was born on this day in 1908; Today Alec Guinness, English actor was born in 1914; Jack Webb, creator of Dragnet TV show,American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter was born today in 1920; Today in 1934, Carl Kasell, American journalist PBS announcer and game show host, was born; Born today in 1942, Leon Russell, American singer-songwriter and pianist; Larry Coryell, American jazz guitarist was born today in 1943; Ida B. Wells, American journalist and activist (one of the founders of the NAACP) passed away today in 1931; Lynyrd Skynyrd bassist Leon Wilkeson, and songwriter was born today in 1952; Today in 1953, Hugo Sperrle, German Luftwaffe field marshal passed away; And finally, Tomoyuki Tanaka, Japanese director and producer of the Godzilla franchise passed away today in 1997.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Last week for our new UJT Vocabulary Quiz.
• Week 2 for our new Musical Trivia Quiz.
• I came up with a few new recipes and updated some old ones this week. I added Beef Vindaloo, Char Sui (Chinese BBQ Pork); Cold Smoked Salmon; BBQ Pork Fried Rice and BBQ Pork Egg Foo Young. I have included both new and updated recipes in the what has changed menu at the bottom of every page. I updated my recipes for It’s “Flied Lice, You Plick!” and Pad Thai. Both of these dishes are very tasty but I have to be careful not to over load the wok with too much rice or noodles at the same time. It is better to work in 2 batches – just divide everything in half and cook each batch. I think you have better control and flavor than trying one big batch.
• Once again, the quote of the week on the home page was not updated until Sunday. Sorry. Did I mention that my chief editor and proof reader drinks a bit? Well to fix this chronic problem, I am going to publish the quote here as part of the UJT Update. This week’s quote is from Mark Twain, “Never put off till tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.”

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 attended watercolor classes this week via zoom. I hope we can go back to the classroom soon.
• 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 saga in the replacement sleeping accommodations continues. We had the split platforms and mattress picked up by the company that handles returns. I was at the doctors and we inadvertently sent back a mattress that we got from another company. So we did some scrambling on the phone and they should bring back the wayward mattress soon.

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:
• Matchbox Twenty — These Hard Times — I must really like these guys. I sampled 8 of their songs on the UJT Update in 2020. This is another great cut from their, “Exile on Mainstream” that I haven’t featured since 2018.
• Venice — Mi Casa Es Su Casa — This cut from their 2013 release, “What Summer Brings”. This is just a really pretty tune.
• Tab Benoit — Sunrise — This one comes from their album, “Medicine” released in 2011. Just every “onced and A while…” you gotta have some Medicine!
• Blitzen Trapper — Stranger in a Strange Land — This selection maybe too eclectic for some but there is something about this band that resonates in me. This one comes from their 2011 album called, “ American Goldwing ”.
• Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing – From the Vinyl!!! Stevie Wonder has been amazing me for 30+ years! This one is from his iconic, “Innervisions” album released in 1973.
• John Lennon — Mind Games – From the Vinyl!!! This is the title track of John’s 1973 release. I am reading an interesting book by James Patterson, “The Last Days of John Lennon”. I just started it but it seems very interesting so far. For me the whole thing was so bizzare and tragic, I never once considered what might be going through the mind of the person who shot him. This book brings that perspective into it.

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!