April 6th, 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 406 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

  • Again I will apologize for my many, many typos, word omissions, and other cerebral foibles that permeate the UJT site and all of its content. I fix them whenever I find them but as I am the founder of this feast of error, no matter how many I might stumble upon, there seems to be an endless supply. PLEASE if you see something, say something!!! This week, I found that the wonderful Eastern Carolina Fish Stew recipe omitted actually adding the bacon/smoked sausage back into the dish. Oh, man! Anyway, I fixed it and replaced the flawed version and it was tasty.  
  • Murphy is away at doggy college!! He is missed! His professors send us texts with pictures and it appears he is learning, happy and healthy. But the whole house is in Murphy withdrawals to varying degrees (the cats do not seem upset).
  • April 6th is the 96th day of 2023. Just 271 days till Christmas. On this day in 1808,  John Jacob Astor incorporates the American Fur Company, that would eventually make him America’s first millionaire;  Robert Peary and Matthew Henson become the first people to reach the North Pole; Peary’s claim has been disputed because of failings in his navigational ability, today in 1909; On that same day, in 1929,  Huey P. Long, Governor of Louisiana, is impeached by the Louisiana House of Representatives; Today in 1947, the first Tony Awards are presented for theatrical achievement;  the American League of Major League Baseball begins using the designated hitter today in 1973; Today in 1998,  nuclear weapons testing: Pakistan tests medium-range missiles capable of reaching India; A bus carrying the Humboldt Broncos junior ice hockey team collides with a semi-truck in Saskatchewan, Canada, killing 16 people and injuring 13 others today in 2018;  Edmond H. Fischer, Swiss-American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1920; Today in 1941, Phil Austin, American comedian, actor, and screenwriter was born; Marilu Henner, Greek-Polish American actress and author was born today in 1952; Today in 1960, Warren Haynes, American singer-songwriter and guitarist (Allman Brothers) was born; Tammy Wynette, American singer-songwriter passed away today in 1998;  Anita Borg, American computer scientist and educator; founded Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology died today in 2003; And lastly, Mickey Rooney, American soldier, actor, and dancer passed away today in 2014.

This week’s Website Update:

  • Last week for our Vocabulary Quiz
  • A new Musical Trivia Quiz !!!!!! 
  • This week I updated or corrected a recipe for you. 
  • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Kahlil Gibran,  Trees are the poems that the earth writes to the sky.” 

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.


  • I miss my body. I remember Grace Slick told us that the best way to grow old is to ignore it. We do not get a lot of choice about time passing and the effect it has on us but we can choose to pay no attention to it. Sort of. I admire Grace a great deal; first, as a gifted musician, vocalist, and songwriter and now as a painter but ignoring my old age has become less and less effective for me. It occurred to me this week, that the shows I enjoy the most contain things I can no longer do very well. The good news is that the life I lived included everything I ever wanted to do when I was able to do it. I feel sorry for those who were so busy being successful at building wealth, that when they were done, their bodies were unable to carry them to their dreams. Hell, it’s a chore for me to stand up straight, let alone run far and fast or jump or even slowly hike up a mountain. The idea of a 12-18  hour airplane ride is quite hideous for me no matter how much I might love the destination. I am pretty sure my days of driving long distances are in my rearview. I was always one of those annoying people who took their healthy good fortune for granted. In fact, I did a number of things that disrespected this beautiful tool we are given at birth. But nature in her gentle way is slowly pulling the rug out from under arrogant bastards like me. I understand that everything is nature is seeking balance. So I can accept that my decrepit current state is just the price I must pay for all the wonderful things afforded me as a  youngster and younger man. But even now, her gentleness abides … my eyes don’t see the details in my face such as the lines, hair growing in my ears (wtf!), or spots. My ears do not detect the frustration in the voices of the young people around me as they wait for me to hobble down the stairs or go to the bathroom for the umpteenth time or when they have to repeat what they said yet again so the geezer will get it. I feel a little ashamed of my younger self’s impatience with my grandparents sometimes. So maybe Grace got it right after all. There is not a lot you can do about getting old so you might as well keep on keeping on as best and as long as you can. 

Music Update:

Well, I was testing out my new ‘puter speakers (oh baby!) and the first test song was from Men at Work. What followed was a succession of six great songs from artists that start with the letter, “M”. Enjoy:

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

  • Men at Work – Overkill — These guys were sooo good! The music is so subtle. The guitar interplay between Colin Hay and Ron Strykert and I love the sax work by Greg Ham. This was a big hit off their 1991 release, “Cargo”.
  • Men At Work – It’s a Mistake – This is qnother Colin Hay tight song for you all. The guitar work is just fine on this tune This one comes to us from their album, “Cargo” released in 1991
  • Men at Work — Who Can It Be Now? — This cut from their 1981 release, “Business As Usual” prominently features Greg Ham’s saxophone. 
  • Michael Andrews and Gary Jules – Mad World — This is a spooky little cover of a Tears for Fears hit from the 1980s that was put together for the Donnie Darko soundtrack. Micheal Andrews is a San Diego musician … let us give up for the hometown boy:)
  • Michael Hedges — Rickover’s Dream — This is another great songwriter and musician that I never heard of until long past their stepping off the stage for the last time. I have no idea how I learned of Michael but I am glad that I did. This is a wonderful acoustic song that makes me think of Admiral Rickover .. the father of the modern submarine navy. I cannot imagine a connection but he is the only Rickover, I have ever heard of. This comes from his Aerial Boundaries album released in 1984.
  • Michael Hedges — Spare Change — This is a more electrified acoustic song with lots of interesting and spook overdubs…This is another cut from his Aerial Boundaries release. He played this fascinating harp guitar and wrote his music almost exclusively in unusual tunings. He died at 43 in a car accident with an unfinished album in the works. His friends, Graham Nash, and David Crosby finished it for him. 

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!