April 18th, 2019

“Ni sa yadra” “Good Morning Y’all!!!” to you all in Fijian, a Malayo-Polynesian language spoken mainly in Fiji( I threw in the Y’all part for color commentary).

This week I learned some stuff:
• Today, April 18th is INTERNATIONAL AMATEUR RADIO DAY, 3,000,000 amateur radio operators (Ham Radio) are taking to the airwaves to celebrate International Amateur Radio Day. I was almost 19 years old, when visiting Guantanamo Naval Base for refresher training, we got a day off. The old timers on my boat talked about calling home for almost nothing from the phone exchange. Back then every minute of talking long distance cost money. So calling home was rare for a young E2. Anyway, I found out it was so cheap because most of the distance was covered by the Military Auxiliary Radio System (MARS) radio network who connected from where you were to where they were by short wave radio, so any tolls charged were just local calls. It was like you were using a phone booth (another concept that has passed its time) in your own home town. The free part was cool, but after every statement you made into the phone, you had to say “Over”. So my call, was something like, “Hi Mom. Over”. “Hi Son. Over”. “I got a chance to call for free. Over” “Oh that is nice! Over” “How is every one at home? Over” “Well Grandma’s ankles are still swelling a lot and your brother is struggling with his World Lit class. Over” and so on .. it got pretty tedious pretty quickly but was also kind of fun. Thanks to all the Ham Guys who made that possible for the kids serving far from home.

Website Update:
• Last week for the new Vocabulary Quiz!!
• 2nd Week for the new UJT Music Trivia Quiz.
• This week I went old school on y’all! The first is a desert that was created by the colonist in New England. If you like pumpkin pie you will like this Indian Pudding with a scoop of ice cream on top. The second dish is the original Valencia Chicken and Bean Paella. Today, Paella has become a wonderful seafood extravaganza on rice. But originally it was developed by the farmers of Valencia, Spain. It has the traditional rice component but they added two types of beans and used just chicken as the meat component. I tweaked it some but it came out wonderful. I have a 24 inch Paella pan that I use on a ring on my stove and I recommend if you are going to do this dish that you have one too ..very few non-stick frying pans have the capacity to hold this recipe for 6-8 people.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I managed to complete some paintings this week. I started on a few more too. Started the Flamingo’s body in Ceramics Class.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• In my old age, I find myself so damned polite! I was wiping down my bathroom sink area to remove the water that inevitably sprays around the sink and I knocked over a cologne bottle and apologized! It occurred to me, that I do this a lot… apologizing to inanimate objects for bumping into them, getting them wet with the hose, stepping on them.. the list seems endless. So far, none have forgiven me.
• There is a daycare playground next to my watercolor class. As kids will do, sometimes they get a bit rowdy in their non-stop celebration of happy or sad. The sounds that they make always make me smile even if I cannot see them. But I am amazed at the reactions of some of the other geezers! Some, “tisk tisk” muttering about the lack of supervision or just scowl about “back in my day…” Its like they are angry with the kids for being kids. Kids are the hope of our future. I want them to celebrate every moment of discovery and wonder that they can for as long as they can. I just hope some selfish adult doesn’t mess that up.
• A while back I thought that I had got to drinking too much. So I stopped for a month. It was good but it was also good to have a couple of cocktails after dinner the other night too. I may work it like that …maybe have some drinks for a week and take 4 weeks off. Just to see what that is like.

Music Update:

The music I choose for our weekly UJT Radio program is a mix of happenstance, nostalgia and discovery. Some times a happy listener will point out something they heard. Other times it will just be something I heard via NPR or some other public forum. And sometimes, I ever peruse the “Other Listeners Bought” section below an album I like in iTunes. In any case, I hope you like these selections as much as I do.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• Franks Sinatra — It Was a Very Good Year — This one flew by me this week and I was filled with all these emotions. Of course, I love the song and that magic voice. But I remember he was about the only music my mom liked and we heard it often as young boys growing up. Looking back, I think my mom learned to drink listening to Frank sing about earlier and happier times.
• David Feder — Madeline Maive — From his “The Time in Between” album released 2004. This guy has been playing up down the keys in bars for years. Even with all my times in the Keys, I never got to see him and in fact, only found out about him from Carl Hiaasen, the author, who I follow on FB.
• Mark Knoffler — One Song at a Time — This is a song from his newest release “Down the Road Whenever”. The quality of this man’s music just keeps growing. This is his 9th solo album and every time I listen, I fall a little more in love with the mindfulness of the lyrics and subtleties of his guitar.
• Peter Gabriel — Don’t Give Up (Live) — This is one of my favorites by Peter Gabriel. This is a story inspired when Peter saw a book of photos of the American Depression, He saw parallels in Margret Thatcher’s government in the mid 1980s. Peter sings the story and Kate Bush sings the harmonies of encouragement. This one comes from his “So” album released in 1986.
• Shawn Mullens — Beautiful Wreck — I have always been a big fan of Shawn ever since I first heard, “Lullaby” back in the 90s. I also have loved and have been a beautiful wreck during my life. So this song struck a chord in me. This one comes from his “9th Ward Pickin’ Parlor” released in 2006.
• Kate Bush – Babooshka – I remember hearing this song somewhere along the way but not much and not for long. I just love her clarity of vision and commitment to make her own music. This is a song of a wife testing her husband by adopting a new persona and trying to seduce him. If you ever see this video, you will probably think she is crazy. Maybe she is but she is also very, very talented.
• J.J. Grey & Mofro — Every Minute — I discovered these guys below the iTunes list of Shawn Mullins songs in the “Listeners Also Bought” section. This is just a great song about living every minute (I am a big fan of that philosophy!) from their album, “O’Glory” released in 2015.

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!