June 17th, 2021

“ Јакшылыкту таҥла (Ĵakšılıktu tañla)”, or “Good Morning!” in Altay, a Turkic language spoken mainly in the Altai republic and Altai Krai in the Russian Federation.

Its been a great week with our granddaughter Chloe here and my grandson BJ and I have our birthdays a week apart (me 69 and him 22). We had a joint celebration dinner at Ruth Chris!

This week I learned some stuff:
• Fate can be cruel! The day before Chloe arrived, our bird condo imported all the way from Texas went vacant. Last year, we had two batches so maybe another couple will move it before she returns to TX.
• Congratulations to Aukland, NZ for being declared the most livable city in the world this year!! It’s definitely on my bucket list.
• I have been doing some more experimenting with my smoker. This week I smoked some potatoes, some prime ribeyes and some tofu. Overall was not worth the trouble. Prime Ribeyes taste great anyway you do them, I think. And the Tofu tasted like smoky dirt. Just saying.
• June 17th is the 168 day of 2021. Just 191 days till Christmas! Today in 1579, Sir Francis Drake claims a land he calls Nova Albion (modern California) for England; Today in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal dies during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, will spend the next 17 years building her mausoleum, the Taj Mahal; On this day in 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrives in New York Harbor; Today in 1972, five White House operatives are arrested for burgling the offices of the Democratic National Committee during an attempt by members of the administration of President Richard M. Nixon to illegally wiretap the political opposition as part of a broader campaign to subvert the democratic process;Today in 1882, Igor Stravinsky, Russian pianist, composer, and conductor was born; M. C. Escher, Dutch illustrator was born today in 1898;Wally Wood, American author, illustrator (creator or Daredevil), and publisher , was born today in 1927; Chuck Rainey, American bassist was born on this day in 1940; Cyd Charisse, American actress and dancer pass away today in 2008; And finally, Rodney King, American victim of police brutality whose televised beating touched of the LA riots in 1991, passed away today in 2012.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Last week for the new Vocabulary Quiz
• Week two for our new Musical Trivia Quiz,
• No new recipes this week. I came up with a new dish I am going to try with my granddaughter but haven’t gotten it down as recipe yet.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from Red Skelton, “Any kid will run any errand for you, if you ask at bedtime.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• My creative gear box has been and still is stuck in neutral. I haven’t figured out how to push start this particular VW!
• I didn’t attend watercolor classes this week via zoom. I hope we can go back to the classroom soon.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Every Father’s and Mother’s Day is a happy/sad day for me. I am a very proud dad and grandad who believes that the best thing that I have done for our planet and species is helping my offspring to be the people they are now. And their kids have the makings of being even more impressive humans. But it is on these days, in particular, that I feel the loss of my dad and mom. Far from perfect like their kids, our parents were very admirable and very different people. They gave me so much and always did their best. I only hope, some special day in the future. that my children will look at my passing in a similar way.

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Quicksilver Messenger Service — Happy Trails — This is was a favorite of mine as a little boy watching Roy Rogers and playing cowboys and injuns. And later when I just could not wife that smile from my face in the 1960s. This is the title cut from their second album and was released in 1969.
• The Shins — Name for You — Another cool cut from their 2017 release, “Heartworms”. These guys are just tight.
• Shawn Phillips — Steel Eyes — From the Vinyl!!! This is another more illustrative cut of his song writing, guitar and yes, whistling skills. This comes from his 1971 release, “Second Contribution”. Here is a nice Factoid for you – It was Shawn Phillips who taught George Harrison to play the Sitar.
• The Beatles – Girl – This cut from Rubber Soul was a transition song from the schmaltzy teen drivel of the late 50s and early 60s to serious composition. The theme is still love but the quality of the music is so superior to earlier work. This was released in
• Steve Winwood — Higher Love (Full) — This is another song that makes me smile. This one comes from his fourth solo record, “Back In The High Life” released in 1986. Chaka Khan sings back up on this great song.
• Jimmy Buffett — Beach House on the Moon — From the Vinyl!!! Jimmy is one of my favorite story tellers. My generation’s answer to Mark Twain. This one is the title cut from his 23 album released in 1999.

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!