July 29th, 2021

“ Sabahınız xeyir”, or “Good Morning!” in Azerbaijani, a Turkic language spoken mainly in Azerbaijan. .

I finally got my new Driver’s License/Real ID this week. It was a bit of a challenge this time around. California asks you if there have been any changes in your health over the term of your last license. Anyone who is over the age of 50 or so, should either say yes or check the box that says, “I am a Liar and need strong rigorous examination immediately”. I got to tell them about my macular degeneration problem. I had a note from my doc and then I had a form from my doc and then I was given a driving test to make sure both my doc or I should have checked the box mentioned earlier. I passed and was given my new license. I am glad that California does this. I think they should also test everyone for competence, both mental and physical, to own and operate other lethal weapons, like guns, for example.

This week I learned some stuff:
• At my age, sometimes it’s a bit difficult to sort through, is this new pain “normal old guy stuff” or injury or illness? I have been struggling for years with a gifted ability to generate calluses on my feet. A problem much exacerbated by my insistence on being barefoot at home most of the time. It has been years since I spoke to a doctor about it. Coincidentally, I had noticed that sometimes in the mornings when I first get up and on my feet, that my right foot hurts just in front of the heel. So off I went to the foot doc. We have known each other for 20 years or so but now it occurs to me that every time I have seen him he has hurt me somehow. The first time he removed my toenails as the fungus I picked up when overseas was never going to go away as long as it had my nice toenails to play with. Yeah, It hurts! This time, he confirmed that there had been no major medical breakthroughs on dealing with callused feet and gave me some cream to put on before showering. He told me my heel issue was called “Plantar Fasciitis” and was a common old guy deal. He have me a huge shot of steroids (yeah that hurt too) in my heel, some excises and recommended icing it down a lot. As I got on with my day, my heel where he shot me, hurt worse and worse. Then later that night I tried one of the exercises and was almost reduced to tears. An intermittent issue before now is making me hobble around like a guy with Planter Fasciitis!
• July 29th is the 210rd day of 2021. Just 149 days till Christmas! Today in 1836, the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France is inaugurated; Today in 1899, the First Hague Convention is signed; Today in 1921, Adolf Hitler becomes leader of the National Socialist German Workers Party; Today in 1957, The Tonight Show – Tonight_Starring_Jack_Paar premieres on NBC with Jack_Paar beginning the modern day talk show; On this day in 1958, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signs into law the National Aeronautics and Space Act, which creates the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA); Today in 1965, the first 4,000 101st Airborne Division paratroopers arrive in Vietnam, landing at Cam Ranh Bay;Today in 1967, off the coast of North Vietnam the USS Forrestal catches on fire in the worst U.S. naval disaster since World War II, killing 134; enito Mussolini, Italian fascist revolutionary and politician, 27th Prime Minister of Italy, was born today in 1883; Jim Marshall, English businessman, founded Marshall Amplification was born on this day in 1923; Neal Doughty, American keyboard player, founder of REO Speedwagon, songwriter, and producer was born today in 1946; Today in 1951, Dean Pitchford, American actor, director, screenwriter(Footloose), and composer was born; Ken Burns, American director and producer was born today in 1953; Vincent van Gogh, Dutch painter and illustrator passed away today in 1890; We lost Cass Elliot, American singer today in 1974; And finally, Perry Mason, aka, Raymond Massey, Canadian-American actor and screenwriter passed away today in 1983.

Website Update:
Restarting the cycle this week:
• A New Vocabulary Quiz!!!!
• Last week for our “New” Musical Trivia Quiz!!!!
• This week I wrote down new recipe week although I have been cooking this dish for quite awhile. I call it Tacos de Abeluo (grandpa’s tacos).
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from George Eliot, “Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I have started to design two stained glass arches that will hang over our living room windows. My oldest grandson measured them for me and I have picked out a design. I need to transfer it to a true scale image that I can print on Card stock. I also need to watch some more You Tube videos on using lead came instead of foil. I finally got a copy of my classmate’s home town in China. I will start on the sketches adn painting soon.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• My youngest child likes to tell a funny story about how one day she came running into the house hot and thirsty, picked up her dad’s glass of ice water and gulping down the contents. She ended ended up consuming several very surprising gulps of vodka. Once she had stopped gasping for breath having vacated the liquid fire in her throat she looked at her dad with some sort of expectation of remorse or contrition. But, alas his only advise as he helped her catch her breath, “That will teach you to bogart someone else’s cocktail!” Looking back we all giggle but you must admit, that there is some pretty good advice!
• I recently heard of an old live aboard sailboat in my area coming up for sale at a reasonable price. It has been a dream of mine to have a sailboat since I was teenager. This one just popped up on my radar. I haven’t seen it yet but who knows maybe then next UJT will be sent from aboard the USS Minow:)
• Having flashbacks again! We didn’t really have any air-conditioning post divorce under $100/month apt that was my world until I was 14 or so. Living without AC is not that much of a hardship for me here in San Diego but it’s hard on the wife and our other older pets. We get our new fangled HVAC installed this week. My wife will no longer be a prisoner of the cooled master bedroom!

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:
• Evanescence – Call Me When You’re Sober — This group was discovered for me by my younger brother, Mike. There is just such a fine mix of sweet harmony and hard edges that it compels me. It’a from their 2006 release, “The Open Door”.
• Rea Speedwagon — Keep On Loving You — I always have been impressed by these guys. This is a deep cut from their, “Business As Usual” album released in 1982
• Donald Fagen — Slinky Thing — From the Vinyl !!! You might have to turn this one up. I am not sure if I got the input volume right but am too busy and too lazy to got back and rerecord it again digitally again. This one comes from his 2012 solo
release, “Sunken Condos”.
• Maroon 5 – This Love – From the Vinyl !!! This one was a big hit from their album, “Songs About Jane” released in 2002.
• Bruce Springsteen — Streets of Philadelphia — Bruce tells so many stories with his music and he tells them so well. This story of a Geoffrey Bower’s confrontation with his own death from a disease that is trying to kill an entire community while also dealing with the injustice and prejudice in his workplace. Its an academy award winning sad song written for a great movie.
• Emerson, Lake and Palmer — Lucky Man — This one is from their first album, “Emerson, Lake and Palmer”, released in 1970. This was written by Greg Lake when he was 12 years old. It also features my first experience with a Moog Synthesizer, which blew my little chemically messed with teenage head away.

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!