June 30th, 2022

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine. I have decided to maintain the UJT will focus on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities. It has been 125 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I had the pleasure of spending a couple of hours with some friends after a several month long absence. Our poker group is going on 14 years of semi weekly play (till Covid). As Jimmy Buffett says, “It was a pleasure and a hellava evening!” Thanks guys!

This week I learned some stuff:
• It has been a very sad week for democracy and freedom in America. Overturning Roe vs Wade should never have happened. It only mattered because congress failed to do their job and represent their constituents in the 1960s and 1970s. By the time Roe v Wade was decided almost all of the states had revised or repealed their abortion laws. Even today, polls show that almost 60% of Americans do not think Roe V Wade was overturned. Some very smart people have architected a position of undue religious and race based influence over our government. The US government no longer performs its role effectively. This fact has damaged the foundations of our democracy and society in favor of a narrowed religious and racial views; Intentionally divides our population; Isolates our country further from its allies; And, the saddest part of all, is that we cannot seem to stop it from happening. History shows that truth and justice prevail but not usually before lots of people are harmed in one way or another. We must “endeavor to persevere1” as Lone Waddie (Chief Dan George) said in “The Outlaw Josey Wales”.
• Did you know what a group of Flamingos are called? I grew up in South Florida where Flamingos (real and plastic) were plentiful and popular but I never knew until this week. A group of Flamingos are called a “Flamboyance”. I used to thing a “Murder” of Crows was cool but I think the Flamingos have edged them out of the top spot.
• Our anniversary is coming up in a bit. I like to cook a special meal to celebrate our time together. Neither of us need anything, except perhaps to hire someone to help us get rid of all the crap we have accumulated. I might look into that for a present. Anyway, this year, I thought I would repeat a main course that was very popular a couple of years back – Chateaubriand. This is a fillet tenderloin two that makes a tasty and lovely centerpiece for the occasion. The mere mortals in attendance will just have to suffer through a nice fillet of their own. I have been studying it and it seems that the flavor of dry aged beef far exceeds that of wet aging (in the plastic) of any duration. We can air dry our meats at home in the bottom shelf (coldest) of your fridge. Wrap the meat loosely in cheesecloth and set on a wire rack for 3 days before cooking. You will be delighted with the difference in flavor and the way it cooks. The outside gets that wonderful flavorful crust and the inside is tender so as to cut with a fork. Yum! says the carnivore!
• June 30th is the 181st day of 2022. Just 187 days till Christmas! Today in 1864, President Abraham Lincoln grants Yosemite Valley to California for “public use, resort and recreation”; Today in 1882, Charles J. Guiteau is hanged in Washington, D.C. for the assassination of U.S. President James Garfield; In 1905 on this day, Albert Einstein sends the article On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies, in which he introduces special relativity, for publication in Annalen der Physik; In 1937 on this day, the world’s first emergency telephone number, 999, is introduced in London: Today in 1953, the first Chevrolet Corvette rolls off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan; The crew of the Soviet Soyuz 11 space craft are killed when their air supply escapes through a faulty valve on this day in 1971; Today in 1972, the first leap second is added to the UTC time system; Today in 1990, East Germany and West Germany merge their economies; The United Kingdom transfers sovereignty over Hong Kong to China today in 1997; Today in 1911, Czesław Miłosz, Polish novelist, essayist, and poet, Nobel Prize laureate was born; Born today in 1917, Lena Horne, American actress, singer, and activist was born: Born today in 1919, Ed Yost, American inventor of the modern hot air balloon was born; Robert Ballard, American lieutenant and oceanographer(discovered the wrecks of Titanic and Bismarck) was born today in 1942; Florence Ballard, American pop/soul singer and founding member of The Supremes was born today in 1943; Today in 1951, Stanley Clarke, American bass player and composer was born; Vincent D’Onofrio, American actor (Edgar the Bug in Men in Black) was born today in 1959;Today in 1985, Michael Phelps, American swimmer was born; Alberta Williams King, (Martin Luther King’s mother) Civil rights activist was shot and killed today in 1974; Chet Atkins, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer passed away today in 2001; Today in 2003, And lastly, today in 2003, we lost Buddy Hackett, American actor and comedian.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week 2 for our Vocabulary Quiz
• Last week for the Musical Trivia Quiz!!!
• I was able to come up with a new recipe for Miso Dressing. Yum! I have been working on some new ones for next week.
• The Home Page quote this week is from Rabindranath Tagore, a Bengali poet, philosopher, visual artist, playwright, composer, novelist and Nobel Laureate, who lived from 1861 – 1941 said. “The one who plants trees knowing that he or she will never sit in their shade has at least started to understand the meaning of life ”. I had never heard of him either but he is impressive. Go ahead, plant a tree!

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I added bonsai trees to the UJT Update artistic category. I think beating up on little trees is an art form. Right? Well coming out of my COVID haze, bonsai maintenance is all I had the energy for this week. Although Chris Spain posted another great shot in Facebook  that might attempt to recreate in watercolors this week.
• I finished up my attempt at capturing Chis Spain’s wonderful image of what I think is a Ibis in the mangrove. Not my best work but I loved doing it, especially the sky just after sundown or just before sun up. Thanks Chris.
• 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.


Did your mom ever buy Oscar Meyer’s Salami when she picked up your baloney? Mine did and I was never sure if the old girl got confused or just her mean streak showing through. There a very few surprises as horrifying to an eight year old than taking a big bite out of their “bologna” sandwich and hitting one of those huge peppercorn things the put into that salami!! After all the spitting, coughing and whining, I practiced my newly found skill in cussing. To this day, I never understood why they would put what appeared to be a bowling ball sized slice of peppercorn in their salami. Yes, kids, it can be a cruel world. I would start checking my bologna sandwich before biting. Just sayin…

Music Update:
This weeks mix is another reflection of the parts of life that mean the most.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Boz Scaggs — Lowdown — This is one of my favs from the Boz!! This comes from his “Silk Degrees” album released in 1976.

• Rick Fines — Half Full Cup — Oh man! This guy is just sooooo fine! I love the song and the picking. This is another cut from his “Solar Powered” album released in 2006. You have to listen to the whole song to hear all of its gifts!

• Steely Dan — Time Out of Mind — A sweet jazzy anthem to musical tightness!!! This one comes from one of their most unsung albums, “Gaucho” released in 1980. There are just so many fine nuances inside this particular 4:14 of time.

• Matchbox Twenty — Bed of Lies — This a deep cut from their “Mad Season” album released in 2000. I love this songwriting both lyrically and musically.

• Jackson Browne —You Know the Night — I featured this one over a year ago but I just had to share it again. Back then I didn’t realize that this was an old unpublished Woody Guthrie letter. If you haven’t done it already, so yourself a favor and read the words as you listen here. I also love the guitar work on this tune them so much. It’s just an amazing cut from his, “ Standing in the Breach” album.

• John Denver —Fire and Rain — This is the most beautiful covers of JT’s wonderful song. John’s sweet voice is always pretty but this showcases his great skill as a guitar player. He makes that big old Guild of his sing too. This one is from his iconic, Poems, Promises and Prayers” released in 1971.

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!