April 28th, 2022

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine. I have decided to maintain the UJT will focus on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities. It has been 63 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

I think I have the solar thing figured out. If we start the night with full batteries and conserve (no dishes or clothes washing) we make it to morning with ~48%. When the sun takes over charging the batteries and powering the house. If we can make it to sundown with 95% charge we will not have to use the SDG&E grid until it rains.

My youngest child just celebrated her birthday, yesterday, sort of. Because of her daughter’s school and work schedule we kind of celebrated a lot of it last weekend. I won’t disclose her age here because it will just make us both feel old. I love celebrating my kids birthdays. It gives me a chance to reflect on how proud I am of them both. We don’t talk about it much but my daughter works soooo hard taking care of us. As my wife and I become, how shall I put this? Less productive? Lets just say we spend a lot more time with doctors and doing what doctors tell us to do, than we do cooking or cleaning or going to the pharmacy or doing stuff for ourselves or others. Not only that! But the working conditions! She has to contend with two grumpy old farts too self centered at any given moment to realize how much we need her help just to live as well as we do. I am and will always be very grateful for Jessica’s help, even if she keeps rearranging my cut up ice tea lemons in the refrigerator so I can’t find them 🙂 Happy Birthday Babygirl… Mom and Dad love you!

This week I transitioned from Pulmonary Rehab two times a week to my SilverSneakers support routine at LA Fitness. I do functional weight training and 30min cardio M, W and F. I am going to try Yoga classes on T and Th. I think that this will help my breathing and heart health improve and maybe even loose some weight.

In this week’s, “Good Stuff” newsletter was a great story about innovating ways to protect people and wildlife from each other. For the Barabaig people in central Tanzania where approximately 50% of the worlds lions live. The lions pose a threat to people of the tribe and their livestock. So for the tribe, killing lions was a mark of courage, bravery and profitable. A conservation group called, Lion Landscapes worked with the tribe to try to look at the lion differently. They formed a group of young men, Lion Defenders, who track the lions in their area to make sure the herds, herders and community are safely kept separate from the lions. I thought this was brilliant!

Mark Twain left us 110 years ago this week. Like all writers he was a complicated man. But he possessed such skill and grace with his writing as to remain relevant and even vibrant over a century later. I still reread his books and feel like I grew up with Tom Sawyer, Becky Thatcher and Huck. Thank you Mr. Twain!
This week I learned some stuff:
• April 28th is the 118th day of 2022. Just 250 days till Christmas! Today in 1611, the Pontifical and Royal University of Santo Tomas, The Catholic University of the Philippines was established, the largest Catholic university in the world; Today in 1869, Chinese and Irish laborers for the Central Pacific Railroad working on the First Transcontinental Railroad lay ten miles of track in one day, a feat which has never been matched; In 1881 on this day, Billy the Kid escapes from the Lincoln County jail in Mesilla, New Mexico.; Today in 1945, Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci are shot dead by Walter Audisio, a member of the Italian resistance movement; In 1967 on this day, Boxer Muhammad Ali refuses his induction into the United States Army and is subsequently stripped of his championship and license; Today in 1973, The Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd, recorded in Abbey Road Studios goes to number one on the US Billboard chart, beginning a record-breaking 741-week chart run; Today in 2004, CBS News released evidence of the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse. The photographs show rape and abuse from the American troops over Iraqi detainees ;Born today in 1908, Oskar Schindler, Czech-German businessman(Schindler’s List- who saved over 1200 Jews from Nazi occupied Poland): Born today in 1912, Odette Hallowes, French soldier and spy; Harper Lee, American novelist(To Kill a Mockingbird was born today in 1926; Anthony Quinn, Mexican-American actor was born today in 1915; Ann-Margret, Swedish-American actress, singer, and dancer was born today in 1941; Born today in 1926, Tommy Caldwell, American bass player for Marshal Tucker Band passed away today in 1980;And lastly, today in 2021, Michael Collins, American Apollo astronaut who stayed aboard the space craft while his cremates walked on the surface of the Moon, passed away.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week 2 for the Vocabulary Quiz
• A new Musical Trivia Quiz!!!!
• No new recipes were posted on the UJT this week.
• The Home Page quote this week is from this week’s Good News newsletter. I apologize for my confusion between authors last week but it really was Aldous who I quoted, just not the book tittles I associated with him. Another famous author Stephen King said, “Get busy living or get busy dying”. See how I did that, I didn’t mention any titles of his books. Ha!

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I have adding more colors and layers to Lori’s Barn and Chris’ Sunset in the mangrove images. I also am still experimenting with the neurographic images. I am not in love with it yet.
• I have slacking off lately on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I need to carve out some time this weekend for some more chapters.

• This week noticed that specific smells give texture to my world. Some cause me to reflect on earlier times. The smell of baking bread is like that. When I was a child we would travel some 25 miles from our apartment on SW 8th St in Miami to Montego St in Cutler Ridge where my Grandma still lived. In those pre-interstate days (the Pametto Expressway was just starting to be built), we traveled US1. US1 runs from Fort Kent, Maine to Key West, Florida. At our age, traveling that far was excruciating, especially since my mom would not let us listen to the radio. “A good time to talk”. Most of the time my brother and I would just fall asleep on the way home and sleep until South Miami (about 10 minutes from home). Holsum Bakery was located right on US 1 in South Miami. As you passed it in a car, the world filled with the most wonderful baking bread smell and wake us up knowing we would be home soon. Like my youth, Holsum Bakery is long since gone but the memory lingers. Another smell that is kind of rare to run into today is Patchouli. As a young hippie in the late 60s and early 70s it was a very popular “non-establishment” scent. I always loved it for its very distinctive aroma. There were lots of mysterious stories of its origins – supposedly ancient Egyptians but in fact it was weathly Europeans who accidentally discovered Patchouli in the early 19th century. The “Silk Road” had opened up Indonesian and Malaysian silk markets to the west. Silk Scarves were the rage in Paris. Known for its moth and vermin deterrent elements the scarves were wrapped in the dried leaves of a Carrément Belle bush, native to Indonesia and Malaysia. Parisian merchants discovered that many of their scarves were not being purchased for their color or patterns but for their scent. Until1917, only the wealthiest of European’s used the powerful essence mostly in potpourri before François Coty produced his famous perfume, Chypre, which brought the mainstream. The youthful rebellion in America adopted it and spread it far and wide. I can detect its bewitching scent anywhere at any time and I always try to figure out who has it on. It still evokes that conspiratorial flavor in me when people used patchouli potpourri to hide the smell of the smoking dope stash in their sock drawer. 🙂

Music Update:
Today UJT Radio also returns to its normal waltz through my musical archives with an eclectic selection for you. I am really pleased with this mix. I hope you are too.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Dishwalla – Counting Blue Cars — This was the very first song I ever heard by this band. I love their music and was amazed that although I had featured Diswalla on numerous UJT playlists, this song was somehow overlooked. This is from their 1995 release, “ Pet Your Friends”.
• Bonnie Raitt — Just Like That — This is the title cut from her new album, “Just Like That” that came out this month. One of the UJT faithful let me know. This is her first album in over six years. Well worth the wait!
• Kris Kristofferson — The Silver Tongued Devil and I — This one of my favorite songs by KK. This song This is the title song of his second studio album. It was released in1971. For me, this the national anthem for rascals of the highest order everywhere. It reminds me of some of my favorite people.
• Blodwyn Pig – Dear Jill – From the Vinyl!!! This was a great blues band formed by Mich Abrams, who was the original guitarist for Jethro Tull. This is from their 1969 release, “A Head Rings Out”.
• Joe Walsh – Analog Man — Joe Walsh has been a favorite ever since i heard Funk #49 about 1,000 years ago. This one is from his eleventh solo album released back in 2012. Boy he still has the chops!!!
• The Kinks — Celluloid Heroes — The Kinks captured my spirit back in 1964, when my 12 year old self was just learning to dance but dance my ass off I did. We all got older and this might be their last hit. This one was written by Ray Davies. This was released on thier 1972 release, “Everybody’s in Show-Biz”.

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!