July 26th, 2018

“E안녕하십니까 (annyeong hashimnikka)” Wishing you a fine “Good Morning” in Korean.

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

Do you remember when your children were infants? Do you remember how they gripped your fingers with their tiny transistorized hands? How their tiniest cry broke your heart and who their smallest laughs made you smile so hard your face hurt? It was a miracle that they and you were there at that moment. About a billion things have to go right to bring another life into this world. We kind of take it for granted. But is nothing short of a miracle. And that is just the beginning. From there you go through your development together. As parents you are daunted by the complete lack of knowhow and you have this incredible being entrusted to you. You cannot prepare for their adoration nor can you ever live up to their expectations. But you try, with all your heart you try to be the person that they believe you to be. You try to be that smart. You seek to be that brave and noble. Dreading the enviable moment when you will be neither as smart or as noble as they expect you to be at that moment. You fight your flaws with all your might. You want them to be the kind of people who you wished you were. And then they grow up and are everything you had hoped they would be. It humbles you and surprises you that such spectacular people came from the world you tried to give them. I am so grateful for my kids. I am so proud of the people that they have become and the children that have built. Your children and your grandchildren are your redemption! Celebrate your family everyday!

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is NATIONAL Coffee Milkshake Day!!! We really needed one of them. So go get your besets most luscious Cold Stone MONDO Coffee Milkshake and drink it too fast and get that MONDO brain freeze that only happens when you truly love the ice cold favorite treat. Enjoy it till it hurts! Take a few deep breathes and repeat.

Website Update:
• Last week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• A New “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !!!
• Added some recipes this week – Miso Marinaded Skirt Steak and Fried Chicken Sandwiches – Yum!

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

• Pardon me while I vent a bit! While SCROTUS is off picking trade war fights with our allies, that only “help” the tiniest slivers of our economy and hurt just about everybody else, his spineless cohorts in Congress are proposing a 12 BILLION DOLLAR band-aid to help their farmer constituents. American farmers have publicly and repeatedly voiced their desire to compete globally and sell their products in a free market. They do not want government handouts that will add to the massive deficit that the moronic new tax policies that are creating for our children to pay off. Just when you thought this narrow-minded, bigoted, self-centered, miscreant moron president has damaged us enough, he does it again. Oh and look up “Hippocrite” in the dictionary and see Mitch McConnell’s smiling face. After stalling the previous administration’s judicial nominees to criminal levels, Mitch has NOW decided that the judicial appointment process “the highest priority of the Senate”! For those of us not paying attention, that means that SCROTUS and his ilk will appoint the most judges in the entire history of the US in one term (GOD!!! I hope it is only one term). Am I the only one gagging here???
• Most of you know that we planted a vertical “Pallet Garden” this year. We have enjoyed all of the lettuce and cilantro. The watermelon has just kicked into gear – no melons on yet but the vines are longer. We planted peppers on top – jalapeño, serrano, pablano and plain old green pepper plants. They all have fruit growing and lots more blossoms. Our scallions are ready and we are having tomatoes on our salads tonight even though our potted tomato came down with a pretty bad case of Tomato Blight:( So this weekend, my grandsons and I are going to replant some lettuce, add some spinach and multicolored kale to the pallet. I also got a variegated bougainvillea that I am going to start as a bonsai tree. WeeHaa!
• Asa told me about a story he heard back in Texas that amazed me. He said a man had a Trump sign in his front yard and reported that it had been stolen on three different occasions. So he rigged up some sort of electrical circuit that would shock the person taking his sign. Sure enough, the Trump sign-napper stopped her car in front of his house, hopped out and was attempting to remove the sign when she got a big shock. I am not sure what happened after that but the whole episode served as a clarification of why I was never all that comfortable in Texas. First, Why on earth would anyone have Trump sign in their front yard??! Secondly, why in heavens name would anyone what to steal the “I am an idiot” (Trump Sign) badge out of the man’s front yard. And lastly, it seems you would have to be a Trump supporting idiot to boobytrap your dumbass sign with potentially deadly force. Hmmmm ..Maybe California isn’t far enough away…

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.
• Iron Butterfly — In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida — This blast from the past taught us all how to “head-bang’ while slapping the dashboard. My friend Dino, had this sweet ride, a 1966 GTO, golden with Hurst Select-A-Shift and a bitchin’ 8 Track. We would almost go airborne to this song flying around the streets of Miami. The band was started in 1966 in San Diego. Darryl Deloach arranged to have the band practice in his parents garage on Luna Ave in San Diego’s Claremont neighborhood. The song’s name was actually a wine induced slur of “ In the Garden of Eden” by the lead singer, later they thought it was cool and kept it for the recording. Seems like a good move in retrospect.
• Steppenwolf — Magic Carpet Ride — As long as we are in the neighborhood, I thought we might visit with another great classic that inspired so many smiles when we were prettier than wise. Band leader and lead singer, John Kay lead the charge up the rock roll hill into history for Steppenwolf on their album, “The Second” released in 1968.
• Dan Fogelberg — Souvenirs — From the Viny!!!! I featured this lovely poem on UJT a couple of years ago now but needed to play it again. I always thought that this song was about the prettiest song that Dan gave us but he gave us so many pretty songs its really hard to say. Its a beautiful tune filled with the melancholy sweetness that his music always filled me with .. kind of a sad joy. It is the title track from his album released in 1974.
• The Beatles — Hey Jude — This was the fab four’s greatest hit. It topped the billboard charts for 8 weeks. I never will forget seeing them play it on top of Apple Studios in London on that cold blustery January morning in 1969.
• The Rollings Stones — You Can’t Always Get What You Want — I always thought that his song was the Stones response to Hey Jude. They could be pretty competitive. In any case, the Stones 1969 release of their “Let it Bleed” album.
• Micheal Hedges — Spare Change — This Grammy Award winning New Zealander guitarist is just haunting. I never even heard of him until almost a decade after he passed in a traffic accident. This one is from his “Arial Boundaries” album released in in1984.
• Cold Play — Speed of Sound — These guys have always impressed me. This was one of the first songs I heard from this band. I liked it a lot. This is from their album, “X&Y” released in 2005.
• The Who — Magic Bus — This is another “head banging, dash slapping, ear bleeding loud, 8 Track flashback from my youthful rides in Dino’s golden Goat. This comes from their, “Live at Leeds” album recording their performance at the University of Leeds on Feb 14, 1970. The album was released in May. We always loved the song but in this live version they bring in bits from some of their other great music, like Tommy and just kicked our butts. It was good to be young. If you really want to feel it, you got to turn the bad boy up for this one.

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