August 5th, 2016

お早う / おはよう (ohayō)! (A fine Japanese “Good Morning” )

Well, I had the two interviews last week. It was exciting and enjoyable to be talking about new missions. I had forgotten how much I love being connected to a large endeavor. I am not sure when or if I will hear from these two companies but it was quite pleasant feeling desirable professionally again. It seems so terribly vain to say so but these engagements, cause you to relive and re-feel some of the joy of past accomplishments as you explain your track record. In doing that, you gain a probably unhealthy sense of leaving a trail or legacy of memories and milestones that seemed to have faded as I sat on my ass in retirement. I enjoy what I do for SDWS but it does not scratch some of the same itches in my soul as working on large enterprise change has in my past. So maybe I will start looking again.

This week I learned some stuff:
• My old dog Chewy keeps teaching me stuff. He has become a backyard troll. He will not willingly enter the house for any reason now. If he is forced he will do anything to escape and express his displeasure such that my wife or daughter (the perpetrators of the forced insertion in the house) experience the joy of stepping in a puddle that they weren’t looking for. He is cantankerous and unkempt. His abundant fur seems to attract the fallen wisteria leaves like a powerful magnet which definitely enhances his Troll-like appearance. He is perfectly happy to spend his day lazing under the arbor just out of reach of the hot southern California sun in between his patrols of the parameter.

Website Update
• 2nd week for the “New” Vocabulary quiz!
• I added another quote or two to the UJT Kitchen Drawer
• There is a new side dish recipe for Easy Cheesy Please-y New Potatoes in the Things to Eat section

Writing and Painting Update:
• I have reassembled all of my painting stuff and set up the easel out back. I am quivering on the edge.
• My new editor, maybe, has returned from holiday and is clearing his backlog.

• Do you ever find yourself talking out loud to yourself? I do and I have known many others who do as well. I just never thought about it too much. I have always done it, even as a boy. Even when I was fairly young I would do it after discussions or disagreements with others. I would say right out loud, “You know, I should have said…” all those arguments you only think of after you have lost. I don’t seem to do that as much now. Maybe I don’t loose as many or maybe i just better at accepting defeat or maybe, just maybe I can’t think of any better arguments later any more. No, today’s out loud conversations that could have taken place entirely inside my cranium seem to be more coaching in nature. I offer advice to me or double check if I really want to do the next dumb-ass thing that I am contemplating. But sometimes I will admit, I just blurt out appreciation to myself about something that makes me glad to be alive – the sight of a puppy or a random child playing almost always works; an exquisitely restored VW bus does it too and of course, sometimes the beauty of a scene or a young woman will inspire me to brief commentary almost always to my embarrassment. The “why” of it still escapes me. These discourse in most cases could and rightly should take place inside the complete privacy of my head, perhaps accompanied with a smile or a sad continence on my face. But no, these expressions and often conversations are openly shared with the universe or perhaps just overheard by a faithful dog who will respond usually with that cocked head look that we love so much. That look perhaps is reason enough not to change even if I don’t understand why I do it in the first place. Now, talking to the dog, is a whole other conversation.

Music Update:
I want to encourage each of you to pass me any of the great music that you might have heard. This week I feature a couple of really suggestions from my daughter, Jessica. Just reply to the UJT Update email or send me a text or smoke signal. Whatever works for you! I look for and try to share the best music I hear each week. I think this week’s selection is spectacular and I hope you do to.

• Carl Verheyen Band – New Years Day — My friend George turned me on to Carl. Listening to this song with my eyes closed is very intoxicating for me like a very very fine wine, a well aged scotch or perhaps some of that sweet Thai Stick from the 1970s. The guitar work is impeccable as always but I think its the vocals that lead me over the edge so happily on this tune. This is a cut from CVB’s “The Road Divides” album but there is also an even more impressive version out there that features Robben Ford.
• George Benson – White Rabbit – I always loved this break out song for Grace Slick and the Jefferson Airplane and for years and years I didn’t know anyone had covered it. I found this cover by George and was fascinated by his almost big band interpretation. George floats his amazing guitar work through and around some amazing horns, flute and piano played against a jazzy bolero may not be for everyone but I liked it a lot. George is still out their playing, amazing given that he started playing professionally at age 11 in 1954.
• John Mellencamp – Longest Day — There has always been something special about John. There is a texture to his voice and a magic to his descriptions that take me right there where he is. Its as if I can see through his eyes sometimes. This one is from his Life, Death, Love and Freedom album released in 2008.
• Funkadellic – Maggot Brain (Alternative Mix) — Eddie Hazel’s amazing guitar work shines though on this shorter version (only 9:32!) of the title song from their 3rd album, a 1971 release. The full Maggot Brain is over 10 minutes long and was named number 60 on Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitar songs. For me, this music is timeless. I can close my eyes and let it take me away. Thanks Jess!
• Moody Blues – Lovely to See You (Live) — This is the title cut from their 2005 tour album(when I last saw them). From the moment I first heard this song, I began to smile. Its such a complete and wonderful sentiment of just greeting an old friend that you share a bond that connects you on sight for your entire lives. Whenever I hear those opening chords and I am immediately connected to that warm feeling that is given to me whenever I get the gift of your company.
• Gary Clark Jr. – Things Are Changing (Live) (Solo Acoustic) – My daughter Jessica turned me on to this guy after she saw his opening for the Rolling Stones. I love his lonesome solo style vocals and on this tune in particular his beautiful guitar.
• Little Feat – Texas Twister — From their “Representing the Mambo” album, this cut really showcases Paul Barrere’s guitar work and vocals. Iffn’ this one don’t get your butt to shaking then you need to turn it up 🙂 “.. How long is this ride? Well, how long can you last….” 🙂
• Cold Play – Oceans — This is a deep cut from their Ghost Stories album. Its a very ghostly song and so pensive. Something about it grabbed me and just would not let go. The sensation was kind of like a soul massage … not pleasant per say but refreshing in the end:)

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!