April 27th, 2017

Buorre idet !! (“Good Morning” to you all in Lule Sami spoken in Norway and Sweden.)

Today, my youngest and bestest girl child turns 39 for the first time. I am so proud of the nice people both my kids have become. It seems it has fallen to Jess to try to take care of her tottering geezer parents more frequently that any of us would like to admit. Happy Birthday Jess and thanks for helping us out so much!

Kindness and Charity. This week I have once again been graced with observing these traits Americans are noted for in action. I was with my poker buds taking our dinner break and picking up some Mexican take out near where we play. When it came time to order, one of the bubbas, ordered like 3 burritos. I didn’t really notice as I was holding forth with some of the normal poker buddy repartee waiting for our order when his order came out in a bag about 3 times bigger and heavier than mine. He probably wouldn’t have mentioned it but one of the other guys asked. He said, oh whenever I am going in a fast food place or 7-11 or something like that, I will pick up something for any homeless people I notice going in so I am going to give those guys a burrito. Walking back to the game, each of us shared some of the things they did along the same lines. Listening, I was kind of proud of the boys I hang with. Later in the week, I heard another great story about a 1st Class airline passenger giving up their seat to a service woman too. We should celebrate these random acts of kindness every chance we get because I don’t think anyone realizes, with all the negative stuff we do hear about, just how much nice things are done for each other for no particular reason. If we all do whatever we can and recognize every good thing everyone else does then we will all live in a much warmer world. Also if each of us always tries to pay it forward, we can change the world.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I learned that one of the Morning Doves that live in our back yard has simply no fear of Chewy. He walks around the sleeping old dog with impunity, even pecking at his food. if left out. Well, this week he got a surprise. He was walking around our sleeping backyard sentry when Chewy woke up startled. I am not sure if the bird actually touched him or just made too much noise but Chewy jumped right up and then it was the bird’s turn to be startled. The Dove burst into frightened flight, knocking over a broom (which fell on Chewy) and flying through the open sliding door into the house. We opened all of the doors in hopes he would just fly back out. Hours later, he tried to fly out a glass window and kind of stunned himself and we captured him. fittingly I think, in one of my Grateful Dead sweatshirts and took him back outside. He flew off with all but his dignity intact. I confirmed his full recovery a day or so later when he perched on the little bridge over the pond and “Cooed” at our ever vigilant backyard guard dog.
• I learned that one of my favorite characters in history was even more interesting than I had understood. This week a I caught the first episode of Genius on National Geographic Channel. Geoffrey Rush portrays Albert Einstein just as I have always imagined him to be – kind of a cross between Charlie Chaplin and Darth Vader. It was a bit disconcerting how Ron Howard uses flash backs all through the episode but I enjoyed it thoroughly. It is a 10 episode series, so I am looking forward to chapter two.

Website Update
• Whoo hoo!! A new Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• I also added a new quote to the Kitchen Drawer for you to ponder: “ Two things are infinite: The Universe and Human Stupidity. And I am yet not sure about the universe”. Albert Einstein
• This week I have added the lyrics for “The Long Way Around ” by Jackson Browne and “Amie” by Pure Prairie League for your sing-a-long pleasure.

Writing and Painting Update:
• In my still life painting, I struggle the most with perspective. This has been a problem for me all along and it is not limited to allowing the viewer to see into a painting (things get flatter or more oblong in the distance) but also with size perspective (objects being appropriately sized compared to each other. I am not sure I will ever get it right but I am sure I will keep trying.

• Another beautiful spring morning in a long life of living. I am grateful for the moments I share with the opening fragrances of new flowers and the fluttering of this year’s butterflies. The warmer weather even gives my “Rumatiz” a reason to pause. So do yourself a favor today, find a pretty place to just sit and be in springtime… you know you only get so many of them.

Music Update:
This week’s UJT Radio selections feature some new people for me that I wanted to share with you:
• ZZ Top — La Grange— Sometimes you just gotta kick out the jams and let it all go:) Crank it up, perhaps drink too much and let it go… practice your apologies in the mirror.
• Toby Keith — Baddest Boots — This one gave me a surprised smile, when it came up in my music rotation. It reminds me of a time when I got my first pair of grown up boots when I was like 16. George Gomez found them first but it was love at first sight for me, His were black but I went right out and got the brown version. Looking back, they were kind of a cross between regular loafers and short firemen’s boots – the kind with the big wide tops. They only made sense if you were gonna tuck your pants in or wear bell bottoms. George and I both wore bell bottoms on our skinny asses. Anyway, I like this silly song about a boy and his boots, I hope you like it too.
• Pink Floyd — Have A Cigar — From the Vinyl!!!! This is a great old tune from their “Wish You Were Here” album.
• Jackson Browne — The Long Way Around — This song is another great cut from his, “Standing in the Breach” album and was featured on UJT Radio a little over a year ago. But when it came up on my rotation this week, I had to include it again. To me its just a great song that says so much about our times so subtly. I also like the weird heavy bassey sound that permeates this tune.
• The Alan Parsons Project — You Can’t Take It With You — Alan Parson’s was a great album producer having worked on Abbey Road and Dark Side of The Moon as well as Ambrosia and the Hollies records. He teamed up with Eric Woolfson to create what I call producers music. Thus The Alan Parson’s Project was formed creating music driven by the producers with pick up teams of artists. Anyway, they created some amazing music from the 1970s to the 1990s.
• Pure Prairie League — Amie — From the Vinyl!!!! This ones comes from their remastered, “Bustin Out” album. Sweet harmonies make me smile. Great singalong song!!!
• Ed Sheeran — The a Team— A past feature on UJT Radio but it is such a beautiful song about a tragic life, it felt right to play again.
• The Lumineers — Charley Boy — There is something hypnotic and comforting about this band’s sound. It pulls me in and makes me listen. This was a deeper cut from their debut album, “The Lumineers”.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree — URL: http://www.jfmccann.com