July 8th, 2021

“ Mi li’ote”, or “Good Morning!” in Tsotsil, a Mayan language spoken in the Mexican state of Chiapas.

I quit my job this week. After the hospital scare, being with my visiting grandchild and all the other things I would rather be doing with my time, I just couldn’t justify the trade off. I did find the work interesting but I have a lot of things I am interested in. The census bureau just didn’t get far enough up on the list. They are were very gracious and understanding. They are nice people doing an important function. Remember, things measured tend to improve.

Jimmy and Roslyn Carter celebrated their 75th wedding anniversary this week. I didn’t always agree with President Carter but I always have admired him as a true man of principle and for his courage in the face of great difficulty. I have read his book on fly fishing and got a glimpse into Roslyn Carter and the lives that they have had together. I wish them both the fondest of congratulations and truly believe that this world would be a much sadder place if they hadn’t worked so hard to make it better.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I have created a lovely menu for our 48th wedding celebration this Sunday and I thought it might be fun to print off invitations for all of the invitees (Jess, Darrian, BJ, Asa and of course, the quest of honor, my wife). So I had some card stock and started fiddling with different software to enable me to create the invitation and as it turns out to be another challenge, actually print them out. But I fought the righteous fight and all technologies fell before me is sublimation. Or I figured out how to make and print notes and envelopes on my new printer.
• As I said last week, it was great to have Chloe here for a visit. This week her big brother, Asa, makes his appearance. It turns out he had a couple of friends who are also out here for some summer fun so we will be sharing his time with them. This year has been so isolated, its great that he can catch up with his friends even if he does have to go a 1000miles or so to do it.
• July 8th is the 189th day of 2021. Just 170 days till Christmas! Today in 1776, church bells (possibly including the Liberty Bell) are rung after John Nixon delivers the first public reading of the Declaration of Independence of the United States.; Today in 1889,  The first issue of The Wall Street Journal is published; Today in 1932, the Dow Jones Industrial Average reaches its lowest level of the Great Depression, closing at 41.22.; Reports are broadcast that a UFO crash-landed in Roswell, New Mexico in what became known as the Roswell UFO incident today in 1947; Today in 1960, Francis Gary Powers is charged with espionage resulting from his flight over the Soviet Union; On this day in 1970, Richard Nixon delivers a special congressional message enunciating Native American self-determination as official US Indian policy, leading to the Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975; Today in 2011, Space Shuttle Atlantis is launched in the final mission of the U.S. Space Shuttle program; Ferdinand von Zeppelin, German general and businessman, founded the Zeppelin Airship Company  was born today in 1838;Louis Jordan, American singer-songwriter, saxophonist, and actor, was born today in 1908; Craig Stevens, (AKA Peter Gunn), American actor was born on this day in 1918; Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, Swiss-American psychiatrist and author was born today in 1926; Today in 1951, Anjelica Huston, American actress and directort was born; Kevin Bacon, American actor and musician was born today in 1958; Toby Keith, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actor was born today in 1961; Jaden Smith, American actor and rapper was born today in 1998; Betty Ford, First Lady of the United States passed away today in 2011; We lost Ernest Borgnine, American actor today in 2012; And finally, Ken Stabler, American football player and sportscaster, passed away today in 2015.

Website Update:
Restarting the cycle this week:
• A New Vocabulary Quiz!!!!
• Next week will get our new Musical Trivia Quiz
• I added one new recipe this week – Cold Noodle Salad with Peanut Dressing.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from Oscar Wilde, via my watercolor teacher, “Experience is the hardest kind of teacher. It gives you the test first and the lesson afterward.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• Well, we put the final touches on Chloe’s tulip project. I also wrote up some notes to help her on future projects and assembled a tool kit featuring everything she needs except glass and flux. I also returned to my other stained glass project. as well. I am going to try to get to my watercolor classes this week too.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• This Sunday my wife and I will celebrate our 48th wedding anniversary!!! We have had our ups and downs like most who have been together for that long I would guess. I have made so many mistakes its easier to identify the things that I did right. I got lucky. I picked the right person for me as soon as I saw her. Yep that about sums it up. If you want to be happy for a big part of your life, get lucky! Oh the other thing I got right, I had good kids. Of course, without their mom covering for me, who knows.

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Spoon – The Ghost of You Lingers — These folks are so fresh and amazing to me! This one comes from their album, “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” released in 2007.
• Vince Martin & Fred Neil – Lonesome Valley — As a boy, I sang in a few choirs and this was a staple hymn. I think singing it was the first time I realized death was inevitable. Tough stuff at 11 or so. I knew Vince Martin briefly when he was living in Coconut Grove and playing the Gaslight near the UofM. This is from their album, “Tear Down the Walls” released in 1964.
• Kings X – Black Flag — This one comes to us via my younger brother Mike. A song about inescapable bad times whose only remedy is acceptance and time. This is from self titled, “Kings X” album released in 1992. “Black Flag” had a special value to recruits in the 154th company doing their “16 Count Manual of Arms” on “The Grinder” in Orlando Florida one fine August day in 1970. The NRC had set a standard to protect recruits from their Company Commander’s displeasure. If the flag above The Grinder was green, recruits could enjoy hours and hours of uninterrupted training on the open asphalt. If temperatures exceeded 95 degrees, the flag was changed to Yellow allowing no more than 1 hour of training. The 71 members of our failing company marched out to The Grinder right after lunch under a Yellow flag. It was our 8th day of training and we did not do well during week #1. Sweat was pouring off us as the RCPO lead us thru our counts in the blazing sun, there were horrible smelling piles of evacuated lunch in front of several in our ranks. After 30 minutes or so, our Company Commander came out with a chair and sat next to us, drinking what appeared to be Iced Tea. You could feel the relief flow through the double spaced lines of sweaty exhausted young men when the Yellow flag was replaced by the Black Flag. The few other companies using The Grinder were formed up and began to march off. Our Company Commander picked up his chair and moved it next the RCPO. He then walked to the hut where the flags were posted, and set his empty tea glass on the stairs. He came back out to his chair and changed its direction. He faced it towards the company with his back to the flag and sat back down. I think that 2 of men, fell out almost immediately and 4 more had fallen out when he turned to the RCPO and ordered us to return us to our barracks for a smoke break before shaving training began on the roof. Our company won the next week’s performance flag and all the subsequent flags except for one when 9 of us had the flu. And for the record, that day out on The Grinder, I did get wobbly but didn’t puke or fall out. I have no idea why.
• Wham! – Everything She Wants – George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley were just kids but wow what voices! This tune, released in 1985, was a big hit for them from their, “Make it Big” album. It may be a bit cheesy for some but I always enjoyed it.
• Bruce Cockburn — Deep Lake — This guy amazes me! He writes such deep and penetrating songs and also happens to be a great guitar player. This beautiful meditative instrumental is from his “Speechless” album released in 2005.
• Train – Feels Good At First — This one is from their “California 37” album released in 2012.

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!