June 28th, 2018

“Bundì!” Wishing you a fine “Good Morning” spoken in Friulian, a Romance language spoken in northern Italy.

The Great American Read is still running. I did better at remembering to vote this week. Making the UJT site my home page on my browser has helped me to remember to vote everyday.

Slicing the mountain of sweet onions needed for French Onion Soup allowed me to appreciate the smell of onion on my fingers for a days or so after the delicious soup was gone no matter how many times I washed them! I had not cut so many onions since, as a teen. I worked in the kitchen of the Golden Ram on Coral Way in Miami.

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is National Paul Bunyan Day !!!! This great old story of determination, strength, character and the pain of progress featuring Paul and his trusty blue ox, Babe deserves to be remembered. Maybe you could read the story to a kid or grandkid today ?
• Even though I can no longer play guitar, I still love the instrument. I still get, “Wood and Steel” which Taylor Guitar publishes every quarter or so. I was really excited to learn about their decision to chronicle their expansion into supply side of their business in Cameroon, West Africa. They are an ethical company looking to assure their own long term success by nurturing others. After a long history of being systematically pilfered by western companies, int took the people of Yaoundé, Camaroon a while to accept the new business principles that Taylor brought to the enterprise. Check it out here.
• I was always a fan of the Harry Potter books. I would be one of those who would be reading the new on within days of its release. But now I find myself just a huge fan of JK Rowling!! Recently, I have been enjoying her Cormoran Strike books, written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith. Additionally, I have come to look for and respect her world view, as well.
• I was sorry to hear of the passing of Koko, the low mountain gorilla that tried to teach us humanity her entire life of 46years. I suspect people may just remember Koko for her photo ops with her little kitten friend. I hope not because she also mastered over 1000 modified American Sign Language signs and taught us all to think of “lesser” species on a more reasonable basis. She showed us how she felt about things and what a rich her emotional life she possessed. RIP Dear Koko.

Website Update:
• 2nd Week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• New “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !!!
• Added some new recipes this week – Singapore Chicken Satay, French Onion Soup and Cauliflower Gratin. Yum!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I blew off pastel class this week.. I really am not sure why.

• I received another wonderful present for my birthday that was a pretty as it was surprising. My daughter Jess is a very precise woman. She is careful in following recipes in a way that reminds me of my grandmothers cooking. Both cook excellent meals but they are very careful with every ingredient. So I was surprised when she presented me with this very beautiful acrylic painting that depicts a tree. This painting depicts another gift from my daughter when she was a teen, “ The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein. The image and the way it was painted are beautiful. The only other artistic endeavors that Jess has participated in before was coloring. We sometimes sit as a family drawing in coloring books on a rare rainy day. Thank you Jess for the wonderful painting. It now proudly hangs in my office.
• I love rediscovering differences between the Harry Potter movies and the books. I am rereading the last book, “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hollows” where we are introduced to Tonks’ parents (a muggle named Ted Tonks and one of Bellatrix Lastrange’s sisters, Andromeda Black) as it is at their house that Hagrid and Harry crash their motorcycle. They have to take a Portkey to get back to The Burrow and the Weasleys. In the movie, we get to see all the amazing things that come out of Hermione’s purse but in the book we are treated to the packing of her purse and other preparations they make to search for horcruxes. The books are so rich with humor and details that were missed in the movies.

Music Update:
As always, I try to find something to make the UJT Radio mix work for everyone.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• King Crimson — I Talk to the Wind — This is a fellow mellow cut from their first album, “In the Court of the Crimson King” released in 1969.
• James Hood — Hydra — This is another cut from the Mesmeric double CD that we got at the show. The Hang is mesmerizing and does seem to relax me as I listen.
• Bonnie Raitt — Have a Heart — This one is a cut from her wonderful, “Nick of Time” album, released in 2005.
• Love — Seven and Seven Is — This is a short rapid fire song from an obscure band from their album, “Da Capo” released back when I was just 14, 1966.
• Traffic — Rainmaker — This one comes from their iconic “The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys, album released in 1971. Written by Steve Linwood and the much missed Jim Capaldi. Chris Wood plays the flutes and saxes on this one.
• Neil Young — Rockin in the Free World — This is another one of those anthem songs by our friend from Canada. This cut comes from his 1989 album, “ Freedom”.
• Savoy Brown — Take It Easy — From their very cool, “Looking In” album. released in 1970. Kim Simmons kind of sounds like Jerry Garcia on this one and I really like the guitar work by him and Lonesome Dave as well.
• Badge — Cream — This classic comes from what I always thought of as the first supergroup after the Beatles (yeah I know but it seemed that way to me at the time). This one comes from their Goodbye Cream album released in 1969. The song was originally credited to just Eric Clapton, but George Harrison helped write it and plays rhythm guitar on it even though for contractural reasons he is called, “L’Angelo Misterioso”. I actually got to see Cream perform it and was so disappointed. They played it perfectly but this was back in the bad old days when Clapton was a complete junkie on the road so basically he just leaned against the amp and played like a zombie.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com