May 19th, 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 84 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.
A kid I went to high school with is now a featured journalist with our home town newspaper, The Miami Herald. This week he published an article that predicts that the Ukrainian Invasion will be Putin’s downfall. Already the Ukrainians are becoming more offensive in the fighting. I suspect Russian atrocities on the ground have inspired a reserve of national will within the ranks just as the massive influx of western armaments are beginning to arrive in country. Russia has already lost more Russian soldiers and generals during weeks of fighting in Ukraine than it did over years of war in Afghanistan. Virtually, all income from the West has been shut off just as the war syphons off even more from Russia’s once robust economy. My classmate feels that it is a forgone conclusion that the Russian people will rise up and over throw Putin and his henchmen as the country goes bankrupt and all commodities become scarce. I hope he is right. But two things trouble me. At first, I didn’t understand Putins true motivation in this invasion. “Make Russia Great Again” has been an underlying theme in Putins’ movements for some time. We can all attest to the total crap available once your leaders appeal to our prejudices instead of thoughtful humanity. The second thing is we have no idea what lengths a desperate Putin will go to to maintain his hold on power. My classmate described the Ukrainian war as a “Proxy World War”. My deepest concern is that when faced with certain failure and ouster from office, is Putin enough of a sociopath to “go down fighting’ a real world war that includes nuclear attacks on his enemies? I am reminded that our country faced a transfer of power crisis when a desperate sociopath was deposed by the voters. But for a few patriotic individuals, our story could be very different today. Oh and by the way, None of the Leadership of that insurrection has yet to face any consequences for their actions. Again, just sayin….
Sometimes I don’t like what i hear on the news. Sometimes I get angered by the clear bias of the questions, phrasing and conclusions our so called newscasters use. I don’t believe it is the individual reporter is to blame as much as the “badness” that “News” has become. To be a tax exempt charity an organization must meet and maintain concurrence with a series measures used to ensure the people are not deprived their fair share of an organization’s profitability such as it is. I believe the FCC should create and maintain an empirical set of measures that any programing claiming to be a “News” Program must meet. If they are ever found to be operating outside that criteria, they loose the “News” designation and return to what they are marketed entertainment. Perhaps more stringent consequences would be applied if a conspiracy to mislead the viewers for some purpose could be proven. The same criteria would be equally applied to all programs claiming the “News” designation. I think that would go a long way to reducing if not eliminating the “fake news” misinformation being used as a tool to obtain or maintain political or financial gain. Fear-mongering should be preventable and punishable. Just saying….
This week I learned some stuff:
• I found a Root Beer Making Kit online. I am not a huge fan of store bought root beer. Recently, we discovered a restaurant next door to my favorite plant place, “City Farmers” that makes their own home made root beer. I used to LOVE A&W root bear in their frozen frosted mugs. We had a restaurant in South Florida Royal Castle, that sold Birch Beer in those same frozen frosted mugs for $.05 a mug. There was nothing better than the horror of that brain freeze after chugging down one of those mugs after football practices or a baseball game in the hot sun!!! About the same time I became a huge fan of what my mom called, “Brown Cows” which is “momspeak” for Root Beer Float (vanilla ice cream covered with root bear in a big tall glass. So when I saw this kit, I decided I would try it for myself. It seems simple enough. I will let you know how it turns out.
• May 19th is the 139th day of 2022. Just 229 days till Christmas! Today in 1536, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII of England, is beheaded for adultery, treason, and incest; Today in 1846, Mexico ratifies the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo thus ending the war and ceding California, Nevada, Utah and parts of four other modern-day U.S. states to the United States for US$15 million; In 1883 on this day, Buffalo Bill’s 1st Buffalo Bill’s Wild West opens in Omaha, Nebraska; Today in 1962, a birthday salute to U.S. President John F. Kennedy takes place at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The highlight is Marilyn Monroe’s rendition of “Happy Birthday”; In 1963 on this day, The New York Post Sunday Magazine publishes Martin Luther King Jr.’s Letter from Birmingham Jail; Today in 1986, the Firearm Owners Protection Act is signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan; Born today in 1890, Ho Chi Minh, Vietnamese politician, 1st President of Vietnam: Born today in 1914, Max Perutz, Austrian-English biologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate; Malcolm X, American minister and activist was born today in 1925; Jim Lehrer, American journalist and author was born today in 1934; Grace Jones, Jamaican-American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress was born today in 1948; ZZ Top’s Dusty Hill, American singer-songwriter and bass player was born today in 1949; Joey Ramone, American singer-songwriter was born today in 1951; Herry Potter’s Mum, Lily, A.K.A.Geraldine Somerville, Irish-born English actress was born today in 1967; Ogden Nash, American poet passed away today in 1971; Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, American journalist, 37th First Lady of the United States passed away today in 1994; And lastly, today in 2015, Happy Rockefeller, American philanthropist, socialite; 31st Second Lady of the United States passed away.
• Week 2 for our Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!! WooHoo!!!!
• No new recipes this week. But to back up the logic of “Never Say Never”, I was never a fan of salmon. I have tolerated some salmon burgers and a few other attempts to win me over but never truly enjoyed it. This week I simply grilled some skin on fillets and they were delightful!! Just olive oil, salt substitute and pepper… grill and eat. Yum!
• The Home Page quote this week is from one of my authors. Robert A. Heinlein said, “You can sway a thousand men by appealing to their prejudices quicker than you can convince one man by logic.”.
Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I am not happy with the first version of Lori’s Barn and have started a new sketch. My daughter thinks its good but the way I did the trees behind the barn did not work for me. I am still working on Chris’ Sunset in the mangrove images. I also am still experimenting with the neurographic images. I am not in love with it yet.
• 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.
Speaking of News: Sometimes I don’t like what i hear on the news. Sometimes I get angered by the clear bias of the questions, phrasing and conclusions our so called newscasters use. I don’t believe it is the individual reporter is to blame as much as the “badness” that “News” has become. To be a tax exempt charity an organization must meet and maintain concurrence with a series measures used to ensure the people are not deprived their fair share of an organization’s profitability such as it is. I believe the FCC should create and maintain an empirical set of measures that any programing claiming to be a “News” Program must meet. If they are ever found to be operating outside that criteria, they loose the “News” designation and return to what they are marketed entertainment. Perhaps more stringent consequences would be applied if a conspiracy to mislead the viewers for some purpose could be proven. The same criteria would be equally applied to all programs claiming the “News” designation. I think that would go a long way to reducing if not eliminating the “fake news” misinformation being used as a tool to obtain or maintain political or financial gain. Fear-mongering should be preventable and punishable. Just saying….
I am really pleased with this week’s mix. I find that the gift of music is that it can transport you instantly into that place where that piece became significant for you. Enjoy the Ride!
This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Ambrosia — Biggest Part of Me — From the Vinyl!!!! This is one of my very favorite love songs. This one comes from their album “One Eighty” released in 1980.
• Crosby Stills Nash & Young — Southern Cross — Another great Stills song teaching us about harmony and how the universe heals our wounds if we let it.This cut from their album, “Daylight Again” that came out in 1982.
• Dave Mason — Only You Know and I Know — From the Vinyl !!! This one was the song from Dave’s first solo album, “Alone Together” released in 1970 that captured my heart and made me a life long DM fan. I got to see Dave just before the pandemic and was astounded on what an amazing guitar player he is. I always loved his songs but never fully appreciated his instrumental skills until I saw him live. He is still touring and if he comes to your town make sure you get to the show. You will not be disappointed, unless you wanted to see him with hair.. you are too late… totally bald now.
• Eric Clapton/Santana — The Calling — This is a truly remarkable performance of these two Titans of guitar. This was captured on Santana’s 1999 release, “Supernatural”. This a long one filled with joy! Enjoy..
• Marc Seals – Highway Blues — I do love old timey jazz music. This is a short one by a University of Washington professor of Jazz Piano. This is from “Speaking Out” released in 1999.
• James Gang — Funk #49 — I have seen the boys sing this one many times. Its from his 1985 release, “James Gang”. I love a good song that leaves a mixed feelings tear in your eye.
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!