April 2nd, 2020

“Buenos Dias! ” or “Good Morning” in Spanish. It is Day 14 of the California Lock Down (i.e. Shelter in Place order).

When I was 16, I worked in my friend’s dad’s picture framing shop near 8th St and 22nd Ave in Miami. I must have cut miles of glass that summer. But I am ashamed to admit that I just suck at it now. I am going to get my grandkids, to go to Lowes(they give a 10% discount to veteran shitty glass cutters!) and get some cheap-ass glass that I can mess up without feeling too guilty. I will describe the heart break of cutting really pretty glass. Glass cutting is a misnomer. It’s more like pissing glass off enough to control how it breaks. And it is also a lot like life – no-do-overs! Once you score glass badly, it is ruined for the purpose of that piece. Oh and to all those glass cutting fools that make it look so easy on YouTube! Phhippp!! They only show the perfect cuts! Off camera, you cannot see the mountains of failed glass pieces, they simply must have according to my research. I just know it!

This week I learned some stuff:
• We got our first delivered groceries last Friday. I set up a receiving station, were I can invite the delivery man to place the parcels without breathing on us and where we can disinfect, or repackage everything delivered. I did venture out during senior’s only hours to get some stuff. It was very strange. There is a desperation in people’s demeanors. I arrived a little early for the Costco senior hour and found a line literally all the way around the huge Costco building. My guess is that probably 15% of the people in line were over 60. I asked the lady at the door and she said they card everyone so all those not 60 will have to wait outside till senior hour is over. Hundreds of them all waiting for the last geezer to totter out!! It was messed up. I gave up and went to Walmart. Everyone at Walmart was wonderful and helpful and so were the folks at Lowes. No one made fun of the geezer in gloves and a mask.
• I have learned in my studies that there are 2 schools of stained glass crafts men and women. I am sure that most of them can work with either lead or foil but for the most part they seem to choose one or the other. I did find one endearing YouTube soul who captured my wannabe stain glass guy heart with her humble, yet no nonsense approach to the art. This lady is an unapologetic foiler. She starts her video by sharing a martini with her audience! You just gotta like her style! Check her out here.
• April 2nd is the 93th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 272 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1800,Ludwig van Beethoven leads the premiere of his First Symphony in Vienna.; In 1956, “As the World Turns” and “The Edge of Night” (AKA 1950’s housewife Crack!) premiere on CBS. The two soaps become the first daytime dramas to debut in the 30-minute format; On this day 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; In 1992, In New York, Mafia boss John Gotti is convicted of murder and racketeering and is later sentenced to life in prison; A spree shooting occurred at the Fort Hood army base in Texas, with four dead, including the gunman, and 16 others injured on this date in 1997; On this day in 742, Charlemagne, Frankish king was born; Walter Chrysler, American businessman, founded Chrysler was born in 1875; Buddy Ebsen, (known to many as “Jed Clampet” from the Beverly Hillbillies), American actor and dancer on this day in 1908; Jack Webb, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter was born in 1920; Marvin Gaye, American singer-songwriter, was born today in 1939; One of my favorite musicians, Leon Russell, American singer-songwriter and pianist was born in 1942; The great jazz guitarist Larry Coryell, American jazz guitarist was born today in 1943; Buddy Rich, American drummer, songwriter, and bandleader in 1987; In 2003, Lillian O’Donnell, the American crime novelist who introduced the first female police officer as a lead character in a crime novel passed way today in 2005.

Website Update:
• Last week for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• Week 2 for our New Musical Trivia Quiz (The Crowd sits back down)
• No new recipes this week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I have been punishing myself with breaking glass, garage projects (new storage in the ceiling) and this week I started staining my fence. Tuesdays are geezer showing days at Costco and Lowes so I will be making a run to get propane refills, glass and more stain for the fence. Not sure when we will be able to return to class again.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Well, there I was on the last night of the first week of lock down, watching my 3rd episode of “The Valhalla Murders”, my new favorite Icelandic dubbed cop show, when suddenly a new character enters the story and guess what? He looks just like young Jack Keller, renown colleague, running mate and erstwhile buddy of mine from my European EDS and Deutsche Bank adventures. I was stunned but in a mature, not-cabin-fever-istic way, I promptly texted pictures and screenshots to my wife, kids and of course, Jack. In this global pandemic new reality, they never tell you about the mental health side affects, do they?!! It seems especially sad, when you appear to be the first one crumbling! The good news is that, this morning I got an email with a link to a hummingbird snoring video that makes it all ok. I an NOT kidding! Check it out here.
• 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.
• Under the heading of “bored-shitless” I put the emptying of my Spam folder as item 1, It took almost 14 minutes do delete the 32,000+ messages I had accumulated since the last maintenance cycle- Sheesh! Item 2 – sent around a cute article about Orangatangs and Otters playing with each other at a zoo in Belgium. Worked on the following projects (just a little bit at a time so I don’t get done too quickly) – Staining my side of our wooden fence, installing new garage ceiling storage, learning to cut glass, using the all the tools and making my first stained glass panel and test driving cheap-ass scotch (in moderation, of course). I also plan to excite a plan to call every geezer I know to check in, make fun of them for not kissing every stranger that they can find like true noble brain dead pandemic solders that grew up in the 1960s and 1970s and generally do my best to make them smile for a few moments.

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:
• Dire Straights — Telegraph Road — My youngest bro is investing his lock down time in headphone joy and this is one of the songs he texted me about. We both love it. I hope you do too. We got this from their “Love Over Gold” album released in 1982.
• Casey Hensley feat. Laura Chavez — Ball & Chain — I have a confession to make. I love this version even more than Janis Joplin’s “Ball and Chain”. There I said it. In Janis’ defense, Big Brother was not the most musically gifted band ever assembled. This comes from their “Live” album released in 2017.
• Daughtry — Life After You — This one came up on rotation and caught me by surprise. I LOVE that line, “.. All that I am after is a life full of laughter…”. This one comes from their, “Leave This Town” album released in 2009.
• Dave Mason/Traffic — You Can All Join In — From the Vinyl !!! This is one of my favorite Mason/Traffic songs. It from their first album, “Traffic” released in 1968. It just seems sooo appropriate for our times. A song to celebrate the opportunity that we are all just different members of the same species trying to survive .. all of the rest .. and I do mean All of the rest is just noise and BS that keeps us apart …. Oh! And we might want to try to make survival fun for all of us. Just a thought .. they pass quickly,
• Bruce Springsteen – Countin’ on a Miracle – This is another great song from his 2002 release “The Rising” .
• Peter Frampton – Do You Feel Like I Do — This is a new live unplugged version from his “Acoustic Classics” album released in 2016. Its long like the original version but I actually like his guitar playing even more on this version. The boy still has chops!
• Good Old War — Not Quite Happiness — I recently heard some bad news about these boys. The band broke up. I really loved their sound.

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!