April 15th, 2021

“Moghrey mie”, or “Good Morning!” in Manx, a Celtic language spoken on the Isle of Man. Everyone in our family has had at least one shot. I helped get our Great Left Coast Poker, Smoke & Lies society meetings started up again but managed to miss our first meeting in over a year! Late in the afternoon, I just slipped into pandemic dinner mode and forgot all about it.

Since I started this alternative contact request that would allow me to contact someone local to check on your well being should you ever fall out of touch, I found out about Fidelity’s “Trusted Contacts”. Evidently, there are some new regulations encouraging financial institutions to gather this information form their customers. You can learn more about Fidelity’s Trusted Contacts function here. I am still doing it for my own peace of mind. If you haven’t done so alreay, 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:
• Probably due to my half a century long exposure to TV police procedurals, I always equated “Pathologists” to coroner but actually pathologists perform literally all of the laboratory and analysis work for the medical profession. All of your blood tests, cultures, biopsies, etc. In fact, contrary to the impression I had, forensic pathology is just a very small sliver of the science of pathology’ delivered services. Who knew?!
• April 15th is the 105th day of 2021. Just 254 days till Christmas! Today in 1775, Samuel Johnson’s A Dictionary of the English Language is published in London; Today in 1783, Preliminary articles of peace ending the American Revolutionary War (or American War of Independence) are ratified; On this day in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln calls for 75,000 Volunteers to quell the insurrection that soon became the American Civil War; Today in 1865, President Abraham Lincoln dies after being shot the previous evening by actor John Wilkes Booth. Vice President Andrew Johnson becomes President upon Lincoln’s death; Today in 1892, The General Electric Company is formed; Today in 1912, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic sinks in the North Atlantic at 2:20 a.m., two hours and forty minutes after hitting an iceberg. Only 710 of 2,227 passengers and crew on board survive; Rand McNally publishes its first road atlas today in 1924; Jackie Robinson debuts for the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking baseball’s color line today in 1947; the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris in France is seriously damaged by a large fire on this day in 2019; Henry James, American novelist, short story writer, and critic was born on this day in 1843; Today Nikita Khrushchev, Russian general and politician, 7th Premier of the Soviet Union was born in 1894; Bessie Smith, African-American singer and actress was born today in 1894; Today in 1922, Harold Washington, American lawyer and politician, 51st Mayor of Chicago, was born; Roy Clark, American musician and television personality was born today in 1933; Wallace Beery, American actor (Long John Silver in Treasure Island), director, and screenwriter passed away today in 1949; Jean-Paul Sartre, French philosopher and author, Nobel Prize laureate away today in 1980; Greta Garbo, Swedish-American actress passed away today in 1990; Today in 1998, Pol Pot, Cambodian general and politician, 29th Prime Minister of Cambodia passed away; And finally, Joey Ramone, American singer-songwriter passed away today in 2001.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week 2 for our Vocabulary Quiz!
• A new Musical Trivia Quiz!!
• I managed to come up with some tasty new dishes for you to try – One Pot Mushroom and Leek Pasta and Roasted Broccoli and Sausage. We also smoked a nice pork butt for delicious results.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from another very interesting guy, Kurt Vonnegut.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I got stuck on my stained glass project again this week. Oh well!
• I didn’t attend watercolor classes this week via zoom. I hope we can go back to the classroom soon.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• I mentioned earlier that I blew it this week. Maybe I was distracted by our wisteria blooming its “viney” ass off or perhaps I was on pandemic auto pilot but after carefully arranging the first poker game in over a year(all of us have had our shots), I managed to just forget all about it. This is not the first evidence I have gotten that maybe I am slipping my clutch a bit. It’s kind of scary – check that – for a guy like me, Alzheimers is horrifying to contemplate. From what I have read on line my situation is probably just normal old guy stuff but you almost don’t want to know for sure. I will talk it over with my doc when I see her next week. Getting old is tough! But still better than the alternatives.

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:
• Warren Zevon — Excitable Boy — This one is another volunteer from my brother Mike. This is the title cut from his 1978 release. It was produced by Jackson Brown and this song features some great sax work by Jim Horn. Their are a lot of great players on this record, many of which were not credited.
• Evanescence — My Immortal — I am not sure everyone will like this one. It’s kind of spooky. But I think it is a great tune from their “Fallen” released in 2003.
• The Outlaws — Green Grass and High Tides — Another one coming to me from my bro. This is a great old tune from their first album, “The Outlaws” released in 1978.
• Steely Dan – Barrytown – From the Vinyl !!! This a blast from my past. The band I mixed sound did this one as a regular part of their sets. It was a great tune. This one comes from their “Pretzel Logic” album released the year out got out of the Navy the first time, 1974.
• Led Zeppelin — Dazed and Confused — For many of us this was the first song we heard from this iconic band. For me it was like magic. Kind of like getting a shock by liking the sensation. This is from their debut album, “Led Zeppelin”.
• America — A Horse With No Name(Live) – I always smile when I listen to this song. It never made any sense, it just felt good to sing along with the nonsense. This version comes from their “Here and Now” album released in 2007.

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!