June 8th, 2024

“ 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 at the end of hostilities.  It has been 857 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • About a century ago, I was working on a major compute pursuit team which involved spending a lot of time in Herndon, VA. So much time, that it made sense to rent a corporate apartment that I shared with 2 other EDS managers. Tom Heckroth is a chef! He cooked amazing meals for us in our little appt. Jack and I bought the booze and Tom cooked the meals. It was a great arrangement for a year or so. After we won our Herndon deal, Tom took off for the Far East and  as far as I know has been there ever since. This week after years of disconnect, Tom responded to a UJT Update! He is now retired and living in the Philippines. He loves area and his retirement money affords a nice lifestyle. That makes 2 old friends of mine living in the PI.
    • You can find out all about today’s history here.

This week’s Website Update: 

    • This week was a soup week around here. Over the weekend I made the Creamy Roasted Tomato Soup with Reuben sandwiches. On Monday night I tried a new Chicken-Lime Tortilla soup with Grilled cheese. Yum! 
    • The Home Page will have two quotes this week. They bothcome from former President Harry S. Truman: “Whether discrimination is based on race, or creed, or color, or land of origin, it is utterly contrary to American ideals of democracy”.And, “ Do your best and History will do the rest.” Harry’s daughter wrote an outstanding biography of her father. Harry was a bit pompous perhaps but was also a principled leader who fearlessly faced some of the most difficult decisions in history. I didn’t agree with all of them but I always admired how this little shoe salesman from Missouri stepped up to the toughest job in the world.

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

    • Well so far, our vertical garden is doing well. The red leaf lettuce has struggled (only one made it) but all but one of the green leaf lettuce plants are happy.  The marigolds have not bloomed yet.
    • I finished putting on the lead came border on the tulip. Now I just have to add the hangers, scrub all the flux off and patina.


    • “The Road Not Taken” is a great poem by former President Kennedy’s favorite poet, Robert Frost.  My friend Tom, sent me a wonderful photograph of a view from some property he owns in the Philippines. It is breathtakingly beautiful there. I have said many times over the years and it is still true, I am an exceedingly lucky man who has lived a life pretty much free of regrets.  That doesn’t me I do not power “the road not taken” from time to time. I think about all the sights, smells, sounds, and context I may have missed along my chosen journey. But I do no regret those things for I have friends who have done them and shared their experiences with me. I have books that have taken me forward and backward in time. I have enjoyed plays and cinema that helped me feel the things that may be felt in those contexts that I cannot get to. So perhaps the luckiest ting I have every known is how to read, enjoy my friends and remain grateful for what I have had all along.

Music Update:  

For your listening pleasure. This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Grateful Dead — Hell in a Bucket   From the Vinyl!!!1 By the time this song was released in 1987 on their “In the Dark” album I was already a long-term, card carrying Deadhead. All of their albums are special for me in different ways. “In the Dark” was a joyous reprieve for Deadheads because Jerry had been so sick, no one really expected him to record again. But they put out this amazing record and went back to touring.  I have seen them play live many times. Thousands of my kindred spirts singing at the top of their lungs, ..”at least I am enjoying the ride….”.
    • The BeatlesBeing for the Benefit of Mr. Kite — This was a favorite own from one of my favorite records, “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” released in 1967.
    • John Mayer –  Walt Grace’s Submarine Test, January 1967 — This is a song from a great album from John, “Born and Raised”
      released in 2012. “…. When you are done with this world, the next is up to you”. This song always makes me cry with a special kind of joy.
    • John Mellencamp — Longest Days— This is a great song about the days we spend at the smaller end of the hourglass. There is something magical about John’s raspy vocals that move me. This one is from his album, “Life, Death, Love and Freedom” released in 2008.
    • Maria Muldar — Midnight at the Oasis — I remembered this one in a dream this week. This song is a flashback for me. I loved the sound. Released on her self-named debut album, this song featured some great players .. Jim Gordon on Drums and Mark Jordon plays the acoustic guitar on this great tune from 1973.
    • Bobby McFerrin — Don’t Worry, Be Happy – From his, “Simple Pleasures” released in 1988. It kind of infectious. And some dame good advice. I cannot help but smile whenever I hear this song.

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!