June 29th, 2023 

“ 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 483 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

I punted on the original design for the stained glass project. I finally got the templates done and when I did, I decided that I didn’t want to see that window(s) every time I entered our bathroom. So I came up with a new design. Still a sunflower but centered in the window with a clear textured glass border to allow light to come in and much smaller pieces comprising the window. In addition, this new design solves some logistics issues of getting and shipping the size glass the old design called for. I am excited. 

This week I learned some stuff:

    • The Grits saga continues. I made the grits and packaged them in individual baggies. I used one in my normal breakfast with mixed results. Unlike the nasty instant grits, these grits are much more inclined to clump and I spent 10 minutes or so de-clumping them, The instant grits also have some chemically induced butter flavor that the stone ground version lacks. I am going to keep trying them but between the cost, the hassle of cooking and then prepping for eating and then the resulting flavor/texture. I am not sure I am going to make his particular healthy change.
    • For the first time in decades, I actually slept longer than 8 hours! From what I have learned at Cardiac Rehab, this is a very big deal. I have to admit that I do feel better – perkier generally with more energy. 
    • June 29 is the 180th day of 2023. Just 185 days till Christmas.  On this day in 1952, the first Miss Universe pageant is held. Armi Kuusela from Finland wins the title of Miss Universe in 1952; Today in 1956, the Federal Aid Highway Act of 1956 is signed by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, officially creating the United States Interstate Highway System; Today in 1971, prior to re-entry (following a record-setting stay aboard the Soviet Union’s Salyut 1 space station), the crew capsule of the Soyuz 11 spacecraft depressurizes, killing the three cosmonauts on board. Georgy Dobrovolsky, Vladislav Volkov and Viktor Patsayev are the first humans to die in space; Today in 1972, the United States Supreme Court rules in the case Furman v. Georgia that arbitrary and inconsistent imposition of the death penalty violates the Eighth and Fourteenth Amendments and constitutes cruel and unusual punishment;  Vincent van Gogh’s painting, the Le Pont de Trinquetaille, is bought for $20.4 million at an auction in London today in 1987 in London, England; Today in 2006, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that President George W. Bush’s plan to try Guantanamo Bay detainees in military tribunals violates U.S. and international law ; Today in 2007, Apple Inc. releases its first mobile phone, the iPhone; Josef Ressel, Czech-Austrian inventor, invented the propeller was born today in 1793;  William James Mayo, American physician and surgeon, co-founded the Mayo Clinic was born today in 1861; Today was  Slim Pickens, American actor and rodeo performer birthday in 1919; On that same day, Gary Busey, American actor was born but in 1944; Colin Hay, Scottish-Australian singer and guitarist was born in 1953; Elizabeth Barrett Browning, English poet and translator  passed away today in 1861; Jayne Mansfield, American actress  died today in 1967;  Tim Buckley, American singer-songwriter and guitarist died today in 1975; Bob Crane, (AKA Col Hogan) American actor passed way today in 1978; We lost the great Lowell George, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer today in 1979; Lana Turner, American actress passed away today in 1995;  Rosemary Clooney, American singer and actress  died today in 2002; Carl Reiner, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter passed away today in 2020;  Donald Rumsfeld, American captain and politician, 13th United States Secretary of Defense died in 2021;Finally, we lost Hershel W. Williams, American Marine Corps warrant officer, last living Medal of Honor recipient from World War II in 2022. 

This week’s Website Update:

    • Week 2 for our Vocabulary Quiz !! Yeah!!
    • Last week for our Musical Trivia Quiz 
    • This week I updated a recipe for Slow Cooker Jamaican Beef Curry. I simplified it and adjusted the cooking time to work for working families. I also created a reasonable facsimile of Southern comfort food that I have loved all my life. “Sausage Biscuits and Gravy.  This version removes some salt and bad fats but still tastes good.  I have updated the Caribbean Coconut Beef Curry recipe too. The previous one was too complicated and wasn’t suitable for setting up the slow cooker and going to work- it had to be monitored and was ready in 2.5 hours. We liked the new version a lot.
    • The Home Page quote for this week is from, Alexander Dumas Jr.,  “The difference between genius and stupidity is:  genius has its limits.”  

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

    • Completing the stained glass templates last week helped me decide to dump my original design and start searching for better examples of what I am trying to do. 
    • I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters. This might be becoming a habit! 


    • I have really embraced my Cardiac Rehab. I enjoy the tired sweaty feeling I used to get every day walking 3-5 miles before work. I have taken it slow enough so that I haven’t been crippled the next day by muscle pain. I joined Planet Fitness using Silver Sneakers (no charge) and will transfer my workouts to that facility when I am done.  Each Week, I either up the effort (resistance on the elliptical or increase weight on my dumbbells) or extend the duration of the aerobics or reps with weights. I mix it up too. For instance, I might increase my resistance and shorten the duration of aerobics for less time while I increase the weight i am using for strength training. I am embarrassed to share the values but they are increasing.

Music Update: 

Another week of joy and music to share. Enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Lawrence Huber — Little Wing — I always loved this song and I love LJ’s cover. This is from his album, “Catch LJ Live! released in 2000. 
    • Crosby Stills Nash & Young — Cowgirl in the Sand  —  For me, there are few live albums that capture the essence of a musician as well as “4 Way Street does for these guys. This song is a cut from their 1971 live recordings at Fillmore East in NYC.
    • Joni Mitchell — Big Yellow Taxi  — This is a great live cut of Joni with Tom Scott and the LA Express backing her. This is from her “Miles of Aisles” album released in 1974.
    • James Taylor  —  Enough to Be On Your Way — A sad song of loss and celebration from the master storyteller. This one is from his wonderful album released in 1997, “Hour Glass”.
    • Bob Marley and The Whalers  — Exodus —  This is just very tight reggae music. This record was released in 1977. 
    • Daughtry — Life After You — This one came up on rotation and caught me by surprise. I LOVE that line, “.. All that I am after is a life full of laughter…”. There is so much to like in this song, at least for me. This one comes from their, “Leave This Town” album released in 2009. 

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!