April 23rd, 2020

“Nyob zoo” or “Good Morning in White Hmong, a Hmong-Mien language spoken mainly in Laos and Thailand.. It is Day 35 of the California Lock Down (i.e. Shelter in Place order + Face Masks are Required in Public).

Today is the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. I wish us all, “Ramadan Mubarak” (happy Ramadan) and Ramadan Aman (safe Ramadan)! Since my retirement, I do not get many opportunities to interact with practicing Muslims but if you do, take a moment to wish them one of the expressions above or even, “Kareem Ramadam” (a generous Ramadam).

Did you see the Grammy Tribute to Prince this week. If not, I think you missed a really good show. Looking back on the fascinating individual, his interesting career and amazing talent (he played every instrument on his entire first album!).

This week I learned some stuff:
• We have a tradition in our family. When its your birthday, you can have any birthday dinner you want. Jessica is celebrating her birthday next week and her stated preference was to have a full dresser Standing Rib or Prime Rib Dinner, complete with horseradish sauce. There are just 2 places in San Diego, I will buy prime beef at and one of them is clear across town, so I went on “oldguy hours” to my nearby Costco. I was picking out the size roast I wanted to cook and just for S & Gs I decided to check out what a whole boneless Ribeye might cost me. Turns our that for about $50 more give or take, I could purchase a whole ribeye. Of course, would have to take it home and butcher it myself. Well, I did it. I watched a great deal of YouTube to figure out the best way to do it. I also consulted with the hunter in our family, Sean on how best to store the meat once butchered. We got our roast for Jess’ dinner dry aging in the fridge, another roast of about the same size, a nice 1.5in ribeye steak for each of us and enough ribeye beef for a stir fry dinner, as well. We won’t know for sure if it was good idea until the roast comes out of the oven but everything looks great and it was kind of fun to do as well.
• April 23rd is the 114th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 251 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1967, Russia launched into orbit, Soyuz 1, a manned spaceflight; In 1985, Coca Cola, launches its New Coke to an overwhelmingly negative response and the original form was back on the market in less than 3 months; On this day in 2005, The first ever YouTube video was published; On this day in 1813, Stephan A. Douglass, was born and would become the democratic presidential candidate who lost to the Republican, Abraham Lincoln; April 23rd was also Shirley Temple’s birthday; In 1936, American musician, singer-songwriter, Roy Orbison was born; Today is also the 6 Million Dollar Man’s (Lee Majors) birthday; In 1960, Valerie Bertinelli, joined the party; Timothy McVie, the infamous Oklahoma City Federal Building bombing mastermind was born; On this day 1616, William Shakespeare, exited the stage; Senator Sam Ervin, democrat from North Carolina who liked to refer to himself as just an old country lawyer departed; Boris Yeltsin, Russian President passed away today in 2007; Flying Burrito Brothers’ base player and songwriter, Chris Ethridge passed away today in 2012.

Website Update:
• Last week for the “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• Week 2 for the UJT Musical Trivia Quiz !!!!
• No new recipes this week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I finished staining the backyard fence and the little bridge that crosses our Koi Pond and chose not to attend my virtual watercolors and ceramics classes. I do have a painting in mind and will pluck up the courage to practice ruining perfectly good glass this week. Next projects include: Rebuilding the backyard dinner table (tile and wood); replacing the security light by the Garage Door; Weeding the area around the pond; Root pruning and replanting some of my bonsai trees; Hanging the new House Number sign and redoing the downstairs bathroom(repaint, replace damage moldings and replace the bathroom cabinet set; and so it goes…
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Everywhere you go you hear the “Were all in this together” mantra since all this CONVID-19 stuff started. We have always been in this life together!!! Does it only count when everyone realizes equal, non-negotiable risk? Are we only in “this” together when homeless, wealthy, educated, ignorant, pious and sinners suffer from the same vulnerabilities? Only when the weakest links in the chain of human relationships can be deadly to others, do we take action to help them meaningfully? Is that it ? Wow! What does that say about our value systems? Is that the world we want to leave for our kids? We really have much to learn from this moment.
• Riddle me this? How long does it take a regulation old fart to learn a new password? Recently, Apple decided to protect me by making me change my local Mac password. Seemed simple enough. I made the change and have gotten to enjoy a new 3 step login process: Step 1: Wake up the machine and type in the old password; Step 2: Vigorously slap forehead and exclaim,” DoH! Dumbass!; Step 3: Type in my new password. Repeat. The answer to the riddle: I don’t know yet!

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:
• Crosby Stills, Nash and Young — Cowgirl in the Sand — This one come to us from their iconic live album, “4 Way Street” released in April, 49 years ago! God, I am sooooo old !
• Matchbox Twenty – These Hard Times – This one is from their album, “Exiled on Mainstream” released in 2007.
• Bruce Hornsby — Fields of Gray — This is another great song for our times. He is just one of my favorite song writers and musicians. This one comes to us from his, “Greatest Radio Hits” released in 2003.
• Hotei — Immigrant Song — This cover of the famous Led Zeppelin song may not make everyone smile. But to me feels like the song got remodeled not repeated and I find that interesting. This one comes from their, “Electric Samurai (The Noble Savage)” album released in 2004.
• Jimmy Buffett — African Friend — A beautiful, sentimental song about wonderful things that happen in life like strangers meeting by chance and becoming friends. This one comes from his “Son Of A Sailor ” album released in 1978.
• Andy Grammar — Fine By Me — I have no idea how I came to know about this guy but I think it might have been a happy accident. I know some of my purist friends will scoff at how closely his music seems to fit certain commercial stereotypes but I just like what he does. This one comes from his first album, Andy Grammar” released in
• Alannah Myles – Black Velvet — Well, I have featured this one before but it came up on rotation this week and moved me, just like it always does. I really enjoy the guitar work too. It’s an iconic song from a silky sweet Canadian singer. I love the line about, “… little boy smile… ”. This has been her biggest hit to date, from her first album, “Alannah Miles” released in 1989.

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!