June 18th, 2020

“Güete Morge!”, or “Good Morning!” in Alsatian, a Germanic language spoken mainly in Alsace in northeast of France. It is Day 91 of the California Lock Down with the governor continuing to relax limitations with new rules here. Another young black man, Rayshard Brooks, was shot by police three times in the back as he was running away last Friday in Atlanta. It had been ruled a homicide and protests turned violent on Saturday. Appropriate, after the fact, actions have been taken by authorities but protests continue everyday through out the county. Are we learning yet?

While all that was going on last Friday, I had a wonderful 68th Birthday! I am grateful to everyone who took the time to wish me well. We had a great dinner – of course, my favorite Paella Mariscos de Abuelo (Grandpa’s Seafood Paella)! I got to cook it on my new grill, on my new Grill Island too. Our Paella pan, just fits under the cover. I simplified the recipe and the new, less complicated, version tastes as wonderful as the old one did so I updated it on the website. One of my birthday presents was a new kitchen gadget. This thing seems to do everything – air frying, roasting, rotisserie, dehydrating and about 12 other things. Its kind of scary but I will give it a try.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am not precisely sure why but after my birthday last week i just started to ping old friends from my past. In many cases it has been a while since I have heard from them or they from me. So I sent out some emails, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc (but Homey don’t do no Tweetin’ Y’all!). Anyway, I am happy to report that friends I have made throughout the world and my life seem to be doing well. Of course, we can never find them all but in this day and age, you can find most. I remember key events we shared both personal and professional that seemed to forge a connection, kind of surprising at the time, that has lasted all these years. I may not have as much money or toys as some of my geezer peers, but there are other kinds of wealth.
• I got to see a video about racism by Steve Gross, who is the founder of the Life is Good Kids Foundation. I was very impressed with the content and intent of this short video. I have thought of myself as an optimist. Professionally, I often found the many comments about my expectations being too “pie in the sky” or unrealistically aggressive in scope or timing to be reassuring. I used to be very fond of the allegory about eating the elephant. “How do you eat an elephant? If it is the right elephant, one bite at a time. Life can be unreasonable but with the optimism and courage to attempt the difficult or seemingly impossible we would still be living in caves. So watching this video, was heartening for me. He treats Racism as trauma and from that context spells out specific steps that parents can use to help their kids deal with it much more effectively than my parents were. I wish my Mom had seen this video. I was eleven years old when I the ugliness of racism entered my life. I has started selling newspapers after school at a traffic light not far from our apartment. There were four of us at the intersection, Me and 3 “colored” kids each manned a corner. After a good day of sales we were denied entrance into a hamburger shop, Royal Castle. I was furious! I wanted my mom to make that man serve us the birch beer, She told me that I had to let it go. That some people were just that way, no matter what she said. It was part of life. This the first time, I realized that my mom couldn’t fix everything that needed fixing. I never went into that Royal Castle again.
• June 18th is the 170th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 195 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1812, President Madison, signs the declaration of War against England begins the War of 1812; Charles Darwin receives a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that includes nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin’s own, prompting Darwin to publish his theory; Susan B. Anthony is fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 presidential election today in 1873; On this day in 1940The “Finest Hour” speech is delivered by Winston Churchill; Today in 1948, Columbia Records introduces the long-playing record album in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City; In 1979, the United States and Solviet Union sign the SALT II agreement; On this day in 1983, Astronaut Sally Ride becomes the first American woman in space; Born today in 1901, Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia; Red Adair, American firefighter famous for inventing and executing innovative methods for extinguishing oil rig fires was born today in 1914; Barack Obama Sr., Kenyan economist was born today in 1936 and Today, Sir Paul McCartney celebrates his 78th birthday.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week 2 for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Woohoo a “New” UJT Musical Trivia Quiz !!!!
• As you mentioned earlier, I have updated the the Paella Mariscos de Abuelo. I Give it a try. This week, I made my granddaughter’s favorite, a very hardy Beef Barley Soup. I have been making this soup for years but I hadn’t written it down. It is posted on the website now.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I still haven’t gotten back into painting much. I even missed my virtual watercolors class via Zoom. I enjoy hanging with those folks even if I am not painting as much but the world got in the way this week.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• My entire life I have been impressed by mother nature’s ability to outfit all her creatures with special gifts and talents to make their life possible. The smarts of dolphins and killer whales, the social organizations of Elephants and ants. And us humans, being able to learn and understand the world well enough to endure in spite of ourselves. But I would like to make a suggestion that when a geezer reaches a ‘certain” age, that they be outfitted with 2 more arms and hands. You seen things I did quickly without assistance, now seem to require additional tools and we need the hands to hold them. For example, replacing a faulty GFI receptacle in my kitchen this week, would have taken much less time if was able to have a hand to hole the magnifying glass, and another one to hold the flashlight in addition to the two actually doing the work. Does anyone know where mother nature’s suggestion box is?
• Most of you know that when I retired from EDS, I covered my religion, I was there when PCs made their industrial debut. I even led migrations from that mean old nasty big iron IBM mainframes to the,” it’s damn near free” Windows for Workgroups/NT based client server platform. You know before we got cloudy. Hehehe! I digress. Anyway, I went from being a devout Windows guy to a disciple of all things Mac. I am glad I did it and even with the fairly substantial learning curve, I have never regretted the move. Part of that process was finding Mac stuff and peeps to support me. At first, I was bedazzled by the Apple Store glitz and geniuses but that faded rather quickly. Then I found these boys near where I used to live in Hillcrest called, DC Computers. They are a MAC integrator turned MAC Superpower in San Diego. The refurbish all the of the Mac gear the take out when the upgrade Lawyers, schools and other big Mac users and sell the refurbished gear really inexpensively. Plus they load up the machines with all kinds of software goodies and stand by what they sell. Since then I have purchased or helped others purchase, like 10 big Mac desktops, 2 Mac Minis, a couple MacAir Laptops, iPhones and other assorted stuff like additional memory, a terabyte of SSD space, etc. I was having trouble with the charging port on my iPhone 7 and contacted them to see if they did that kind of repair. They said they did but more often then not the port just needed a thorough cleaning. Well, I took it to them and they were able to fix up while I waited (How long can you survive without your phone hmmm?) at no charge. I am pretty sure that whenever I do anything with an Apple device, I will go to these guys.

Music Update:

Another tiptoe though the archives to share some things you might missed or never have heard or at least not heard recently.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• David Bowie — Space Oddity — Growing up David was on the fringes of my musical world but some how this song won me over and I followed his music. This was the title cut from his album released in 1969.
• Al Kooper, Mike Bloomfield & Steve Stills — It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry — This is a deep cut from the iconic, 1968 album, Super Sessions. This cover of the Bob Dylan tune, is from the Al Kooper/Stephen Stills side of the album right before, “Season of the Witch”.
• Fleetwood Mac — As Long As You Follow — This song was one of two new songs added to their 1988 release, “Greatest Hits”. Written by Christie McVie and her then husband, Eddie Quintela, featuring the guitar work of Rick Vito.
• The Rolling Stones — Start Me Up — “Tattoo You” was released in 1988 and blew us all away. The Stones just keep doing it. This was actually an abandoned cut from their earlier, recording for “Some Girls” and finished in time for “Tattoo You”. I would gets the opening cords on this song maybe one of the most recognizable in history.
• Lynyrd Skynyrd — Gimme Three Steps — Last week’s. “Sweet Home Alabama” got me in the mood for some more Skynyrd. The first Skynyrd album was just magic. Almost every song was a hit. I always had a special feeling for this one. Maybe because as a young man I was a “… feller with hair colored yellow..”.
• Marc Cohn – Walking In Memphis —  From the first time I heard this song it just locked into my head and stuck. I really need to listen to other stuff by this guy sometime but I never have gotten past this one. Maybe I am afraid hearing more will ruin it for me:)

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!