July 7th, 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 131 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

My old guy karma is still hanging in. I ordered some moss to place on some of my bonsai soil and instead i got about a 5’ tall Eastern Hemlock Tree. They said I could keep the tree and are sending the moss I ordered. In the wild these bad boys get up to 100’ but this one is as big as it is going to get. If I can get to live:)..

This week I learned some stuff:
• I have been honey-doing my old butt off this week. I replaced the locks on the garage side door. I repotted a hyacinth and did all my bonsai maintenance. I potted the Hemlock and I fixed the toilet paper holder in our bathroom. It took about 8-10 times longer than it should have but I “gotter-done”.
• I have been suffering at the hands of the Spammers of the universe. I have an app on my Mac that works well to stop messages I have identified as spam but that didn’t stop them from clogging up my mail on my phone. I did all the unsubscribe stuff they offer but I have learned that clicking on the Unsubscribe button on the bottom of spam email really translates into, “ Please sell my email address to as many other spammers as possible. Anyway, I got to thinking on it and contacted the support team that manages my mail services and worked with them to update my spam filters at the mail server and WALLER! Woke up on 4th of July a man free from the ravages of spam. If you have a similar problem, I suggest you contact the support team for your mail services provider and see if they cannot help you. Another tip: When you are asked for your email as a prerequisite to chatting with Home Depot or other commercial sites, just enter “nomorespam@please.com” or some variation that suits your humor. There program is just doing format checks. You will be able to the chat and no one will every contact you.
• I was trolling thru Tubi last Friday and came across, “ The USS Indianapolis”. I knew the story of the Indianapolis as I think and hope every sailor if not every American knows. It was not taught in my history class that covered WWII in south Florida but I love to read and love to study history in particular so I knew the story before Robert Shaw told the story as part of Jaws. Fearless Nick Cage took on the role of Captain McVay in this movie and he does a great job of portraying one of Americas greatest unsung heroes. It was an emotional experience for me which is a tribute to the movie but mostly to the men of the USS Indianapolis. My tears were for both survivors and those that perished during her sinking and after by the sharks.
• July 7th is the 188th day of 2022. Just 180 days till Christmas! Today in 1863, the United States begins its first military draft; exemptions cost $300; Today in 1865, four conspirators in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln are hanged; In 1898 on this day, US President William McKinley signs the Newlands Resolution annexing Hawaii as a territory of the United States; In 1928 on this day, sliced bread is sold for the first time (on the inventor’s 48th birthday) by the Chillicothe Baking Company of Chillicothe, Missouri; Today in 1946, Howard Hughes nearly dies when his XF-11 reconnaissance aircraft prototype crashes in a Beverly Hills neighborhood;US President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs the Alaska Statehood Act into law on this day in 1956; Today in 1980, sharia law is instituted in Iran; Today in 1981, US President Ronald Reagan appoints Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female member of the Supreme Court of the United States; The New York Court of Appeals rules that women have the same right as men to go topless in public today in 1992; Ex-US Army soldier Micah Xavier Johnson shoots fourteen policemen during an anti-police protest in downtown Dallas, Texas, killing five of them. He is subsequently killed by a robot-delivered bomb today in 2016; Today in 1908, Satchel Paige, American baseball player and coach was born; Born today in 1907, Robert A. Heinlein, American science fiction writer and screenwriter was born: Born today in 1913, Pinetop Perkins, American singer and pianist; Margaret Walker, American novelist and poet was born today in 1915; Mary Ford, American singer and guitarist was born today in 1924; Today in 1927, Doc Severinsen, American trumpet player and conductor was born; Hank Mobley, American saxophonist and composer was born today in 1930;Today in 1940, Ringo Starr, English singer-songwriter, drummer, and actor was born; Today Shelley Duvall, American actress, writer, and producer was born in1949; Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, British writer died today in 1930; Veronica Lake, American actress passed away today in 1973; Today in 2001, Fred Neil, American singer-songwriter and guitarist passed away; And lastly, today in 2006, we lost Syd Barrett, English singer-songwriter, guitarist and founding member of Pink Floyd.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week 3 for our Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!! Yeah!!!!
• I was able to come up with a new recipe for Grilled Sweet Potatoes, Slow Grilled Ribs and Sriracha Maple Brussel Sprouts. I also revised an old favorite recipe of mine and loved the updated results. I hope you enjoy White Trash Hash Rev. 2. Yum!!
• The Home Page quote this week is from an unknown source. I heard it in dialog of the movie, “USS Indianapolis” but could not find the source. I think it is beautiful in it’s simplicity. “It is not the challenges we face that define us. It his how we face them.”. Every life has obstacles. We choose to let them stop us or not.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I planted a freebie Eastern Hemlock this week. Keep your fingers crossed.
• I have started another painting of one of Chris Spain’s amazing images. This one has a lone blue chair sitting in the sand when the tide is out at dawn. So beautiful, I hope I can do it. Thanks Chris.
• Ever so slowly. Step by Step… 🙂 I continue to race through my stained glass project at a glacial pace. This week, I picked the glass for the prototype piece and glued the templates for cutting.
• 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:
• John Cougar Mellencamp — Cherry Bomb— This is one of my favs from the Boz!! This comes from his “Silk Degrees” album released in 1976.

• Rupert Homes — Escape — 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!

• Elvin Bishop – Fooled Around and Fell in Love – This one was Elvin’s biggest hit. Produced by Billy Szymczyk who also produced the Eagles, B.B.King, The J Geils Band, Joe Walsh, etc. I love the songs, Elvin just does a great job on the guitar on this one. I really love this lead. Billy is an interesting guy because he wasn’t into playing music he got his audio training as a Sonar-man in the Navy. This from Elvin’s 1975 release, “Struttin’ My Stuff”.

• Nickelback – Far Away – Another romantic song that resonates with me. This is a deep cut from their, “All the Right Reasons” album released in 2007. One of my favorite love songs.

• The J. Geils Band — Freeze-Frame – Kind of the theme song for the 1980s, I think. This is the title track of their 1981 release.

• Derek and The Dominos — Little Wing — This is a great cover of Jimi Hendrix’ song. Eric and Duane do an amazing job on this tune. This one is one of my favorite cuts on one of my favorite records, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs” released in 1970.

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!