May 7th, 2020

“góðan morgun! [gɔuwan ˈmɔrgʊn] ” or “Good Morning”in Faroese (føroyskt), a Northern Germanic language spoken in the Faroe Islands and Denmark. It is Day 49 of the California Lock Down (i.e. Shelter in Place order + Face Masks are Required in Public; some relaxing of retail business starting tomorrow).

It’s summer again in southern California with some very hot and very breezy days. I managed to capture a couple of start up veggies and herb plants so have planting a little bit. We got the stuff I needed to do the table in the back yard and put in a new security light on the side of the house.

This week I learned some stuff:
• We lost Coach Shula this week. He was 90 years old. I was growing up in Miami when he joined the newest failing expansion team in the AFL (before the merge) in 1970. I was only kid from Miami, aboard my vintage WWII destroyer then year the fish won it all in 1972 and cleaned up because none of the other guys believed they could go the distance let alone have the only undefeated season in history. Coach Shula turned our team around from the moment he arrived and in the process created a bunch of Hall of Famers. Thanks Coach! RIP.
• May 7th is the 128th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 237 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1664, King Louis XIV begins construction on the Palace at Versailles; In 1824, Ludwig von Beethoven’ Ninth Symphony debuted in Vienna; Today in 1915, The RMS Lusitiania was sunk by German submarie, U-20, killing over a 1,000 people; in 1900, the US makes Hawaii a territory; On this day in 1945,German General Alfred Jodi signs the unconditional terms of surrender, thus ending the war in Europe; In 1952, Geoffrey Dummer published the concept of the integrated circuit which has led to the development of computers; Today, in 1960, Soviet leader, Nikita Khrushchev announces that his nation is holding American U-2 pilot Gary Powers; In 2000, Vladimir Putin is ingaurated as Russian president; Johannes Brahms, German pianist and composer was born today in 1833; George “Gabby” Hayes, AKA Windy Hailaday, Hopalong Cassidy’s cantankerous side kicck,i was born today in 1885; American actor, Gary Cooper was also born today in 1906; Bill Kruetzmann, drummer for the Grateful Dead was born today in 1946; Eagle Eye Cherry, Swedish singer-songwriter, was born today in 1969; Douglas Fairbanks, Jr. American actor and producer, exited stage left on this day in 2000.

Website Update:
• Week 2 for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• A New UJT Musical Trivia Quiz !!!!
• I came up with a nice way to cook pork butt for you this week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I attended a watercolors “virtual class” it was nice to see my classmates and what they have been working on but I think I am going to stay focused on my projects.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• What is your favorite song? album? Artist? These have to be the toughest questions that I have ever contemplated. Never mind, why am I here on this planet? Is there a Heaven? What is my purpose? Hell, you can just make up answers to that stuff! But the serious challenge of choosing the best of something so vital to our lives as music, that is a whole other deal. The only way I can live with myself is to announce proudly, “I will tell you when I hear it !” or more often than not, “ I cannot choose just one!”.
• Like a sleeping giant, the United States in beginning to open its eyes and slowly return to something like normal this week. If we don’t have to go out we shouldn’t but they are opening some beaches, businesses for local use. I am not sure when long distance travel, tourism, etc. will return yet. Everyone wants to go back and the politicians say it’s ok but the science continues to warn of a threat of subsequent waves illness. Be smart and safe.

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:
• Adele — Hello — This was single from her third studio album, “25”. It was pretty well recieved and took Grammys for Song of the Year in 2017, Best Pop Solo Performance, Record of the Year and Producer of the Year (Greg Kurston). A pretty good song I think.
• Teitur — Sleeping With the Lights On — Found this guy through John Mayer. His full name is Tietur Lassen, a 43 Faroe islander who has won numerous Danish Music Awards and played for Queen. Like John, I liked his thoughtful song just seconds after I heard it the first time. This one is from his 2008, “Poetry and Airplanes” album.
• Alanis Morissette — Head Over Feet — This quirky poet songwriter kind of captured my heartfelt deeply personal lyrics. This is one those iTunes Originals but it comes from her 1995 release, “Jagged Little Pill”
• The Shins — A Simple Song —. The creative force behind virtually all of The Shins music is a guy named, Randy Mercer. He is lead vocals, guitar and songwriter. This song comes from their, “Port of Morrow” album released in 2012.
• Leon Russell — Stranger in a Strange Land — This one always makes me smile. I miss Leon, the world is a sadder place without him. This one was a deep cut from his, “Leon Russell and the Shelter People” album released in 1971.
• Steely Dan — Your Gold Teeth!! — “Katey Lied” released in 1975, was so far ahead of its time like most of these guys music. I love the deep jazz rifts right from the start. Besides, how many bands can get a song out with Gold Teeth in the tile!

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!