May 18th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 441 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

A couple of Father’s Days ago, I was walking through Lowes just as one of the managers was changing the sign on this rather huge stainless steel grill from $1499 to $599. I just had to ask why such a change. He explained it was the last one in inventory and they needed the space for the expanded summer grill inventory. So I bought it. The thing is that this wasn’t a roll-around in the backyard kind of grill. It was built in which is cool but at the time I had nothing to build it into. So I ended up building this appropriately huge Bar B Que island for it. Well, I am ashamed to say that I haven’t cleaned it since then. I decided it was a good task for this week. Let my summarize for you, cleaning this grill is like cleaning an Olympic-sized pool with a toothbrush! Uggg! But it is done and I feel glad!

This week I learned some stuff:

    • Have you ever cooked a recipe and when you saw the outcome, thought, “Oh, this not going to be good” and then found it to completely and impressively work?? That happened this week with the recipe my son Sean sent me. My tweaked version will be posted. But it was really good and really good for you too. 
    • Plumbing mystery! Turning on any cold water faucet in our house results in a few seconds of cold water followed by warm water. It is much more of a mystery than an impediment, at least so far. I called our plumber and they confirmed what I thought was the case… one of the mixing valves (one handle for a sink or shower) is leaking hot water over to the cold water side. Troubleshooting that bad boy will be long, complicated, and expensive. He also tested our water pressure and discovered it was faulty and our inside-the-house pressure was about twice what it should be.  So $500 later … 
    • This week, the State of Florida’s “Text Book” approval panel, rejected over 35% of the textbooks submitted by publishers for grades K-12. The primary reason was given as “inappropriate portrayal of white people, social norms, and the like. The details are sketchy but apparently “inappropriate portrayals” is truth. This is not good! Kids need to know history so maybe they won’t repeat it. 
    • May 18th is the 138th day of 2023. Just 227 days till Christmas.  On this day in 1553, playwright Thomas Kyd’s accusations of heresy lead to an arrest warrant for Christopher Marlow (poet, playwright and significant influence on William Shakespeare); Today in 1860, Abraham Lincoln wins the Republican Party presidential nomination over William H. Seward, who later becomes the United States Secretary of State; Today in 1896, – The United States Supreme Court rules in Plessy v. Ferguson that the “separate but equal” doctrine is constitutional; Evangelist Aimee Semple McPherson disappears in Venice, California today in 1926; Today in 1933 as part of his New Deal, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs an act creating the Tennessee Valley Authority; Mount St. Helens erupts in Washington, United States, killing 57 people and causing $3 billion in damage today in 1980;  A second photo from the Hubble Space Telescope confirms that Pluto has two additional moons, Nix and Hydra today in 2005; Today in 1872, Bertrand Russell, British mathematician, historian, and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate was born; Frank Capra, Italian-American director, producer, and screenwriter was born today in 1897; Today was Rick Wakeman, English progressive rock keyboardist and songwriter’s birthday in 1949; In 1970,  Tina Fey, American actress, producer, and screenwriter was born; Happy Birthday to Jack Johnson, American singer-songwriter and guitarist born today in 1975; On this day in 1889, John Cadbury, English businessman and philanthropist, founded the Cadbury Company passed away; We lost  Lester Flatt, American singer-songwriter and guitarist on this day in 1979; Bob Marley, Jamaican singer-songwriter and guitarist followed in 1981; Finally,  We lost Ken Osmond(AKA Eddie Haskel from Leave it to Beaver), American actor and police officer  who  died in 2020. 

This week’s Website Update:

    • Week 2 Vocabulary Quiz
    • This is the last week for the New Musical Trivia Quiz 
    • This week I abused two delightful recipes sent to me by my son Sean. He taught me how to make hummus and a wonderful Roasted Cauliflower dish as well. In the process, I also learned a nearly foolproof way to make soft-boiled eggs.  Yum! I also managed to come up with a tasty version of Mexican Mac Bake that works with or without cheese. As long as I was being crazy designing dishes that could be shared with dairy-intolerant people and still work for everyone else, I came up with something I call, “ Bad Boy Breakfast Sliders! Oh Baby!
    • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Randy Pausch, a computer scientist. lecturer and author of “ The Last Lecture”, “ I am going to be happy every day I have left, because there is no other way of life. You just have to decide if you are a Tigger or an Eeyore.” 

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:

    • I painted two more watercolor cards this week. Not particularly happy with either of them but at least I am wetting a brush after a long dry spell. 
    • I made real progress on my new stained glass project this week. I set up a  work area in the backyard (pieces are too big for my normal work area). I finished the templates for the main components. Next step buying the glass. I am excited by the challenge of a lead came (vs foil) and the sizes of the pieces. Keep your fingers crossed.
    • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters. This might be becoming a habit! 


    • Geometry! I actually didn’t mind that class in high school. I wasn’t good at it but manage to pass and ever learned what I thought was totally useless information. It was Algebra II, Trig and Calculus that really kicked my butt. But in fact, they were right when they told us we would be grateful for learning Geometry when we grew up. Well, I never managed to grow up but I did find it helpful in all the woodworking I have enjoyed and now in stained glass land. The sizing and placement of objects with a frame must be as precise as possible. I just whipped out my Pythagorean theorem to solve the problem of some triangles in my current project. Well, I remembered enough to Google it and use it once reminded of the details. 

Music Update: Another week of joy and music to share. It started it out with just one guitar instrumental and just persisted. Enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program: 

  •  Sheryl Crow — Letter to God —  Congrats to Sheryl getting into the R&R Hall of Fame! This is a great song from her 2005 release, “Wildflowers”.
  • Extreme — More Than Words — Recently, I caught a bit of a cover of this song by some very popular mainstream artists. This is a great song from their second album “Extreme II: Pornograffitti” released in 1990 
  • Ambrosia – Nice, Nice, Very Nice — From the vinyl!!!  This one is from his, “Live From their debut album, “Ambrosia” released in 1975. These guys were so tight! Reminded me a lot of Toto. 
  • Dead and Company — Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door (live) — I love the way these boys cover Bob Dylan’s classic from the soundtrack of Pat Garrett & Billy the Kid. It’s from their, “2016/07/09 Alpine Valley Music Theatre, Elkhorn, WI” album released in 2016. John Mayer is just amazing on this record. I love all the guys but when Gerry died I guess I never felt like they would find someone who would fit with their deal. I was wrong. 
  • Bonnie Raitt  — Nobody’s Girl — Bonnie is recovering from some recent surgery. She is just magic as far as I am concerned. This is a deep cut from her amazing album, “Nick of Time” released in 2005.
  • Taylor Swift — All Too Well (Taylor’s Version) — This is a deep cut from her Red album released in 2021. I am pretty sure like most great songwriters her songs are based up real events, people, and feelings. She is such a good lyricist! Her music paints a picture that my romantic soul wants to spend time with.