April 11th, 2019

“Mino gigizheb” “Its A Good Morning !!!” to you all in Ojibwe, an Algonquian language spoken in the parts of Canadian and the USA.

This new fasting method seems to be working. I seem to have lost about 13lbs since the 11th of March. I have a long way to go.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Today, April 11 has three national holidays that I am vested in. It is National Submarine Day. I have connected to our submarine navy since I was a young guy. I never served on a sub I have been on a day shakedown cruise. Once. Those boys and girls earn their money! I have written Technical Repair Standards, managed logistics for submarine overhauls and had a number of bubble heads for friends over the years. The men and women who server their country down below have upheld a very high standard of courage and performance for over 100 years now. It’s also National Pet Day!!! Pets give us all some richness! They are good drinking buddies and never tell anyone your secrets. Give them an extra treat today! The last holiday that I want to mention is our National Cheese Fondue Day! If you ever have a fondue it will make a nice warm cheesy spot in your heart and stay there.

Website Update:
• Vocabulary Quiz!!
• A new UJT Music Trivia Quiz Yeeaahhhh!!!
• This week we tried a recipe for untried fresh Chile Rellenos that we really liked. In pursuit of this dish, I was called upon to shamelessly swipe Emeril’s recipe for Southwestern Spice which I also added shamelessly to our recipe pages.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I caught the flu bug and missed many of my classes this week. I did start a new painting of one of Chris Spain’s nature shots.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Serendipity – the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way. I started this weeks UJT kind of lost. But I got an email from a friend telling me about a great concert that he attended with his lovely wife, mentioning that one of the performers they saw was great saxophonist from San Diego. As a dabbler in Jazz, I had never heard of Charles McPherson. In learning about Mr. McPherson, I found out that he played with Clint Eastwood on Mr. Eastwood’s film about Charlie Parker. I also found that Mr. Eastwood is a high quality piano, drum, guitar, harmonica and sax player in is own right. So I checked him out too and as I did, I thought of all these great songs that I knew had wonderful sax parts. I was curious how my list matched up with global opinions so I searched the web. No big surprises until I found this song listed, “The Saxophone Song” by a lady named Kate Bush. Kate Bush is a very prolific songwriter, by the time she was discovered by David Gilmore at 14, she had already written over 50 songs. Gilmore financed the production of the demo tape that got her signed to EMI. Her music will not be for everyone. But there is something for everyone in her music. In addition to Gilmore, she has lots of very influential fans among them Elton John Tori Amos and Peter Gabriel to name but a few. Elton John attributes her duet with Peter Gabriel released on his “So” released in 1986 as saving his life by giving him the strength to become sober. I am impressed and attracted to the courage and commitment that this lady has vested in her music and vision. There is a 59 minute BBC documentary on her life available on You Tube if you are interested. ANYWAY… a tip from a friend led me down this saxophone path which led me to Kate Bush. Ain’t Life Grand!

Music Update:

Got into a “saxy” mood this week. I hope you enjoy.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• Charles McPherson — Darn That Dream — A good friend of mine (like there is another kind!) told me about a concert that he and his wife attended featuring this great Alto Saxophonist. I have always loved the Sax! To me it was alway such an expressive instrument. Anyway, my friend told me that Mr. McPherson, now in his 80s lives in San Diego and that I should try to see him play. I will. I also found a connection to Clint Eastwood’s film “Bird”. Charles played a number of Charlie Parkers pieces.
• Clint Eastwood — End Title — From his “Changling” sound track album released 2008. Like everyone else on the planet, I have been a fan of Mr. Eastwood for a lot of years as an actor and director. I had no idea that he has studied musical theory in college or that he has played the piano since he was 6 years old. He has also managed to pick up guitar, drums, harmonica and saxophone. This song is brings an image to me, of a brightly color fall leaf, floating down a stream for some reason.
• Pink Floyd — Us and Them — Probably on of the most influential rock and roll songs that feature not one but two saxophone solos. Dick Parry, studio musician, is featured on this great song written and performed by Roger Waters and Richard Wright.
• Gerry Rafferty — Bakers Street — This one comes from his “City to City” album released in 1978. The single got to number 1 in the UK and 2 in the US when it was released. I always thought that without the sax played by Raphael Ravenscroft on this song it would have never gone anywhere. Urban legend has it that the session musician was paid only £32 for session and the check bounced!
• Rolling Stones — Waiting On a Friend — This has always been one of my favorite cuts from Tattoo You released in 1981. The sax solo on this tune is from the great Sonny Rollins with Nicky Hopkins is on piano.
• Kate Bush – The Saxophone Song – I had no idea. This is an amazing woman songwriter, choreographer, and performer from the UK. She has been living almost a parallel life in another dimension just out of sight and sound from me. She is so brave and has such extraordinary gifts. They even did a BBC documentary about her. This is a deep cut from her “The Kick Inside” album released in 1978.
• Men at Work — Who Can It Be Now? — This cut from their 1981 release, “Business As Usual” prominently features Greg Ham’s saxophone.

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!