July 2nd, 2020

“राम राम (raam raam)!”, or “Good Morning!” in Bhojpuri, a Bihari language spoken mainly in parts of north-central and eastern India. It is Day 105 of the California Lock Down with the governor’s parameters for continuing to relax limitations with new rules have been exceeded. Our return to normal has been paused to some degree across the state.

Returning to normal around our house after the almost back to back birthdays and father’s day. So I am back in Zoom class and watching a lot of You Tube videos on Stained Glass. There are truly no end in terms of diversity of content, ideas and creativity available to us all via You Tube.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Did you know that lightening strikes in India apparently more than any where else? I had no idea. In recent days over 100 people have lost their lives due to lightening strikes in eastern India. In 2018, over 2300 people were killed by lightening. Many of the victims are farmers tending to their farms as a monsoon approaches.
• A good friend of mine suggested a book that I am really enjoying. And the discussion and treat the times we live in but the context is timeless as he provides a number of historical examples of the issues. The book is called, “Talking With Strangers” by Malcom Gladwell. I love books that make me think about things from a different perspective.
• July 2nd is the 184th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 176 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1698, Thomas Savery patents the first steam engine; In 1822, Thirty-five slaves are hanged in South Carolina, including Denmark Vesey, after being accused of organizing a slave rebellion; Twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 kidnapped Africans led by Joseph Cinqué mutiny and take over the slave ship Amistad today in 1839; On this day in 1890, The U.S. Congress passes the Sherman Antitrust Act; In 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight; On this day in 1962, the first Walmart store, then known as Wal-Mart, opens for business in Rogers, Arkansas; on this day in 1964, vil rights movement: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places; In 2002, Steve Fossett becomes the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon; In 1877, Hermann Hesse, German-born Swiss poet, novelist, and painter, Nobel Prize laureate was born; Thurgood Marshall, American lawyer and jurist, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States was born today in 1883; Imelda Marcos, Filipino politician; 10th First Lady of the Philippines was born today in 1929; Dave Thomas, American businessman and philanthropist, founded Wendy’s was born today in 1932; Nostradamus, French astrologer and author died today in 1566; Ernest Hemingway, American novelist, short story writer, and journalist, Nobel Prize laureate passed away today in 1961; On this day in 2012, Vladimir Nabokov, Russian-born novelist (most famous for “Lotlita”) and critic passed away; And finally, we lost Jimmy Stewart, beloved American actor on this day in 1997.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• A “New” Vocabulary Quiz!!! WhoooHooo!!
• Last week for the “New” UJT Musical Trivia Quiz.
• This week I decided to make home made Fajitas. I put the recipe for my Fajita Spice mix on the UJT.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• This week I have practicing stained glass skills (read broken lots and lots of glass). I am trying to build my very first panel.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• We all live busy lives. There are jobs to go to or schools to attend, shopping, social events and lots of other things that distract us. When we come home we can relax and enjoy our families as the rush by. One of our busiest members of our gang, took advantage of the cheap ass airfares to go visit family. Even though we mostly got to see her coming or going to her school or jobs, her absence has made our base a little wobbly and less stable. We miss her. We need to get used to it because she is going off to another college whenever the schools open back up for in-person attendance.
• The birds are back!!! Or maybe a new family has moved into our little bird house. The exact same kind of little Wren mom and dad are flying in and out delivering food for their rather noisy brood. It’s very cool to have helped out another species that shares our planet.

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:
• Dire Straits — Your Latest Trick — From the Vinyl!!! As chance would have it, I got the opportunity to see these guys in Dallas on their 1985 “Brothers in Arms” tour. I had never heard this song before. I was just totally blown away.
• Jimmy Buffett — Semi-True Story — The great story teller makes me smile every time. I belong to a JB fan group on FB and someone posted a question… what is JB’s funniest song? Amazing response so I guess I am not the only one who smiles. This one is from his “Beach House on the Moon” album released in 1999, written by Coral Reefer Bandmate, Mac McAnally.
• James Taylor — Yellow and Rose — This one is a deep cut from “Hourglass” released in 1997. To me this is just a wonderful example of the magic of James’ song writing. His phrasing is impeccable. Check out the lyrics.
• Bruce Springsteen — Dancing in the Dark — I always loved this song. Speaking of great songwriting!!! This was a huge hit from his “Born in the USA” released in 1984.
• The Moody Blues — Story in Your Eyes — The Moody Blues played really cool grown up rock and role. Their sound was sooo full and spiritual to me. This one is a cut from their, “Every Good Boy Deserves Favour” released in 1971.
• Ambrosia –You’re the Only Woman —  From the Vinyl!!!! Next week is our 47th wedding anniversary. The best day of my life was when we found each other by chance in 1973. This one came from their album, “One Eighty” released in 1980.

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!