July 19th, 2018

“Emesiere” Wishing you a fine “Good Morning” spoken in Efik, a Benue–Congo language spoken in Cross River State in southern Nigeria .

The Great American Read is still running. I have not missed a day of voting.

Our grandson, Asa, came to visit this week. It has been a pleasure meeting the little man that walked off the SW flight early Sunday morning. Tippy is excited to the point of hurting herself. She has been busy cleaning and fussing over lots of details, wanting . In a way, it has been exciting for the rest of us to see her like this. It is almost as if she got a jolt of energy and inspiration. But we are all excited to see him.

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is not a NATIONAL Day of any sort that I can find!! I looked it up and July 19th has been left alone. Therefore, I suggest it be designated “National Contentment Day!!!! Remember, as Americans it is our duty to pursue, “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness”. We are a complex folk with a simple ambition. We seek contentment before we shuffle off this mortal coil. But contentment is a highly personal thing. For some it is the achievement of some personal goal or ambition. For some it is wealth, position or just a great secret fishing hole. For many it is an unknown and perhaps unknowable thing that we will know when we see it but not until. But I think that is a just little sad. From my perspective, it is “ok” if you do not know what that certain set of circumstances that give you that unmistakable sense of fulfillment but that doesn’t mean you should not achieve it. The danger is that it will come and you will only know when regret missing it. It was like that for me for most of my life. Moments of contentment was the best I could hope for. Those post-coital moments of deep abiding joy that you can only attain from true intimacy with your cherished partner. The joy of seeing some characteristic you have tried to impart in your children and get to watch as the act on it as their own. As wonderful as those moments have been, like life itself, true contentment cannot be limited to only moments external dependent on others, even those that are most important to us. No, I am talking about moments when you are totally alone but fulfilled of your own accord. I do not believe that self actualization can be humanly maintained for any great duration. Nor are they necessarily “once in a lifetime” events. In my experience, they are different and completely unique to the individual and can be experience in different ways throughout a life time. For the lucky ones, there are many such events. My most recent contentment moment was shortly after my 45th wedding anniversary. I was alone in my backyard in the early evening. The waterfall was making its lovely music and the wind was gently making the bamboo sway in the moonlight. I probably had had too much scotch but I decided to smoke the last Partagas Serie D Four cigar that my friend Jack had given me some five years before. The evening was spectacular in its typical San Diego repetitive climate way. I was at peace with the music of the waterfall that I had created, surrounded by the wisteria, bonsai and bamboo that I had planted. My heart reached out to those that I loved both past and present as I slowly smoked this special cigar. I slowly sipped the scotch that lubricated this moment into reality. I felt complete, warm and above all loved by those that love me now and those that have loved me in the past. I have suffered losses but they do not diminish the life I have lived. No, even though my parents are gone; my little brother has passed on and I have lost friends dear to me, I am alive now sharing this moment with them and all those that choose to make my life so rich now. So happy “National Contentment Day” !!! Let your contentment fill you with all the joy you have strived for as you.

Website Update:
• Week 2 for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Last week for the New “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !!!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I blew off all my classes this week. I had more important things to do.

• Wire Coat Hangers!!! There is some small confusion as to who actually invented this incredible device. An A.O. North from New Britain, Connecticut and Albert J. Parkerhouse of Jackson, Michigan both are credited with the invention of the wire version. Thomas Jefferson actually created a wooden coat hanger much earlier. This wonderful device has been repurposed to be many different things in my life – the antenna that connected our TVs at home to their networks and the music in our cars when this nasty little vandals had snapped off the built-in one. I have used them as fuses in emergencies and fashioned them into baskets and other shapes to hold things for us. I have used them to reenforce a lightweight aluminum foil tray in my barbecue and today, I created a hook to fetch the skimmer basket in my pond. What is you most creative repurposed coat hanger creation? 🙂
• Tie Dye Party!!!! Darrian got her old grandpa a huge Tie Dye kit (add t-shirts and water only). So in honor of Asa’s visit we covered our table outside, filled all our little bottles, chose our particular tie dye design and commenced. With a couple of Google search references we made our designed and commenced to create our masterpieces. It was a lot of fun. Each defending their selection as the dye was dabbed, drizzled, and soaked into our respective t-shirts. Asa also created some Tie Dye socks. It was a lot of fun:) A great family project to do together.

Music Update:
As always, I try to find something to make the UJT Radio mix work for everyone.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Steely Dan — Night By Night — From the Vinyl!!! This one comes from their, “Pretzel Logic” album released in 1974. It was one of the SD covers that the band I mixed sound for when I got out of the navy, Somerset did so well. I loved the song then and I do now.
• The Allman Brothers Band — Melissa — This is an old favorite of mine. I heard that Greg wrote this song after hearing Melissa’s grandmother call her named as he was waiting for coffee at a restaurant in Pensacola, FL in 1966 before he and his brother formed the band. It turned out to be Duane’s favorite song.
• The Doobie Brothers — Real Love — This cut was one of my favorites after Michael McDonald joined the band. This song was a hit single off their “One Step Closer” album, released in 1980.
• The Eagles — Tequila Sunrise — From the Vinyl!!!! In spite of the commercial success of their Hotel California album, my favorite Eagles record will always be, “Desperado” released in 1973. This cut always made me smile, with painful memories about my own tequila sunrises.
• Eric Clapton — River Runs Deep — The guitar work on this song is sweet and subtle. This one comes from his album, “Clapton” released in 2010. I heard some very sad news recently about Eric. He has reported that he is going deaf and he is having problems with his hands as well. He is still playing concerts but this may be his last tour.
• Louis Armstrong — What a Wonderful World — When this song was recorded in 1967, the president of ABC – Paramount Records would not let it be released in the US. I was released in Britain and became a number one hit. Most Armerican’s didn’t get to hear this song until “Good Morning Viet Nam” came out. I really fell in love with it from the first time I heard it in the movie. HBO has a Special, “Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind”. When I saw it last night, I was reminded of the song again. DVR the special it was really incredible.
• The Lumineers — Charlie Boy — This is a deep cut from their first album, “ The Lumineers” released in 2012. This is a sad song about war. The lead singer’s uncle Charley who was killed in Viet Nam.
• Tony Joe White — Polk Salad Annie — This is a flashback to my youth. I always like this song the same way I liked, “Bad Bad Leroy Brown” by Jim Croce. This one came from his 1969 release, “Black and White”.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com