May 23rd, 2019

“Guuten mòrgont!” “Good Morning !!!” to you all in Cimbrian, a Germanic language spoken in parts of northeast Italy.

The Jacarandas Trees have just started to bloom in San Diego! You can see their beautiful purple/blue flowers brighten the skyline everywhere and seeing that lifts my spirits every time. Spring has come!

I got to spend a fun afternoon with some special folks this weekend. If you are very very lucky, you have certain friends that no matter how big the gap in time or geography between you, you reconnect with just as soon as you see them. Sure you talk of old times but that’s not the greatest portion of what you share together. Most of the time its just silly banter that pings from one to the other as the drinks and wings pass by. I am grateful to have found such remarkable people to become friends with.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Today is WORLD TURTLE DAY!!! Turtles are more than 365 species of turtles found the world over. These are pretty much beloved by everyone and have found their way into parables, mythology and all forms of popular media. Take a Turtle to lunch!

Website Update:
• As you know I have been struggling with the website too I used to maintain UJT. When both my provider and the product owner of the tool spent so much time politely blowing me off, I got over it and moved on. Of course, for you, our trusted UJT denizens, this means that it is Construction Season under the Blue/Purple blossoms. I will be changing all of the UJT summary pages one way or another. For example, instead of selecting from nice rows of named buttons to link to recipes, we will now click an image of the dish. Just click on the pic and whamo-smacko-TADA!!! You are there! Others will changed into lists (i.e. UJT Updates of the past). This is a lot of work. I have to convert all the existing summary pages and I have a large back log of work (from 11/18/2018!) so it will be parsed to be done as soon as I can. For now I have done the Main Courses page and started on the UJT Update Archive (2018 is done). I added both to the New Stuff menu, so you can see what it will be like.
• A New Vocabulary Quiz … Yeahhhh!!!
• Last week for the UJT Music Trivia Quiz, Again !!!!
• I made Caribbean Stew this week for the first time. I was v very tasty. I also kicked it up a notch for our trusty green friend, The Cabbage or as the Friench say, Le Cabbaaaage :). Check out the Grilled Cabbage recipe.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I am still working on the pantings to capture Chris Spain’s wonderful photographs in watercolors. I am getting close but the hardest part about painting for me, is determining when “Done” is. I will attempt to assemble the Flamingo this weekend. If it works I may post the image on UJT.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• We are really perfecting our global ability to talk past each other. Countries have been working on it for years and now the American political system has totally succumb to this practice. All the different sides believe if they keep talking, perhaps louder or more frequently, they will achieve their goals independent of any consideration as to what they are saying is anywhere near to truth or fact. So entrenched are we in our own opinions that I think we have lost the ability to discern between our opinions and truth or worse yet, the desire. For me, it seems like an inevitable, completely predictable, certainty, that the very wealthy will continue to shrink in population and the economically less fortunate will continue to grow. As the economic balance shifts the despair grows until the horror of civil ware makes sense once again. This function has been performing its cycle throughout history. We cannot seem to avoid it for too long.
• This week I was reminded of two quotes from two very impressive men in history. The first was from Senator Daniel Patrick Moynahan of New York who said, ‘Every one is entitled to their own opinions but not their own “facts”. The four term democratic Senator was also an advisor to two Republican presidents and was also appointed, by Republican presidents to State Department Ambassador posts in India and finally to the United Nations. Winston Churchill was the strength of England during WWII. He enjoyed the admiration of world leaders and the distain of his liberal party opposition. Like Moynhan, Churchill had the uncanny ability to turn a memorable phrase spearing the heart of the matter like a javelin. While attending a social occasion, his conversation with Liberal Party MP Bessie Braddock was overheard by one of his body guards and widely reported. Braddock accused Churchill of being disgustingly drunk, to which Churchill replied, “My dear, you are ugly, and what’s more, you are disgustingly ugly. But tomorrow I shall be sober and you will still be disgustingly ugly”. Known for being able to lift his countryman from the depths of despair during the war, he also could insult with brutal clarity.
• For my final weirdness of this week, I started a project to capture the history of my adult life (from the time I could drive – not years or maturity) in terms of the cars that I have driven. For me at least is a very interesting exercise because what I drove has always been meaningful to me in one way or another. I have no idea what I will do with this assemblage of historic rides when I am done but I hope to enjoy the trip.

Music Update:

I hope you all enjoy this week’s musical selections. With John and Joe McAndrew’s help, I found two “new” records to add to my collection. I now need to capture them digitally and add them to our UJT Radio mix. But, alas, I have slept and showered a couple of thousand times since I last used my digital turntable and associate software, so I will need some time to train myself.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• The Beatles — Within You Without You — This is the Fab Four’s tribute to Krishna or at least the idea of Krishna. I have always thought of this as one of the most beautiful songs on Sgt. Peppers.
• CSN&Y — Right Between the Eyes — This is a great live cut from their live “Four Way Street” released in 1971.
• Vance Joy — Who Am I — This one comes from his 2014 release, “Dream Your Dreams”.
• Don Henley & Bruce Hornsby — The End of the Innocence — This is the very moving title song from Don Henley’s solo album released in 1989. Don’s iconic voice with Bruce’s magical keyboard work is so beautiful, we almost forget the amazing sax break in the middle by Wayne Shorter. They both play this song at their concerts and I have been lucky enough to see both but this is the only way I have heard them see it together. Life is good.
• Dave Mathews Band — Mellisa (Live) — Greg Allman joined DMB “Live at Piedmont Park” released in 2007 for this reprise of the Allman Brothers Band classic.
• Boxing Gandhis — Roll — This is a really cool soulful reprise of about 3 or 4 R&B genres in one song. Very tight and very nice .. from their 1996 release, “Howard”.
• Little Feat – Fat Man in the Bathtub – From the Vinyl!!!! You will be wanting to turn this bad boy up till either your ears bleed or the neighbors arm themselves. This is the song that began my love affair with the Feat. This is from their iconic live album, “Waiting for Columbus” released in 1979. Yeah! Gimme more cowbell Y’all!

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!