August 5th, 2021

“ Nyob zoo”, or “Good Morning!” iin White Hmong, a Hmong-Mien language spoken mainly in Laos and Thailand. America had its first Hmong America medal winner in the Olympics this week.

We are more efficiently cool at our house these days. We just replaced our fatally wounded 20year old HVAC with some brand spanking new (but not free) technology that smarter than all of us. Anyway, its cool. For sometime now, I have been looking into power source alternatives. We have solar but I learned that Tesla will NOT add its PowerWall solution to existing customers only to new solar customers. I have been looking into various generators (a messier, noisier, more maintenance intensive but less expensive but not free) solution set. My contact with Tesla pissed me off enough to go hunting and I found out that Nissan has partnered with Eaton to refurbish and repackage its Leaf EV batteries into affordable (comparatively) residential power storage devices. It had been bugging me for awhile, trying to figure out the sustainability of EV batteries… guess I found it. Seems like a good solution from the market brochures. I will let you know.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Gulp!! My annual physical is Friday. I am always afraid she is going to find something else important has fallen off!
• The sailboat I was inquiring about, sailed away. Alas t’was not meant to be.
• It is lovely having AC again. It’s so quiet and subtle. The old unit would rattle windows down the block when it kicked on in August.
• August 5th is the 217th day of 2021. Just 142 days till Christmas! Today in 1620, the Mayflower departs from Southampton, England, carrying would-be settlers, on its first attempt to reach North America; it is forced to dock in Dartmouth when its companion ship, the Speedwell, springs a leak; Today in 1816, the British Admiralty dismisses Francis Ronalds’s new invention of the first working electric telegraph as “wholly unnecessary”, preferring to continue using the semaphore; Today in 1861, in order to help pay for the war effort of the Civil War, the United States government levies the first income tax as part of the Revenue Act of 1861 (3% of all incomes over US$800; (rescinded in 1872); Also today in 1861, the United States Army abolishes flogging; On this day in 1884, the cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty is laid on Bedloe’s Island (now Liberty Island) in New York Harbor; Today in 1914, he first electric traffic light is installed in Cleveland, OH;Today in 1926, Harry Houdini performs his greatest feat, spending 91 minutes underwater in a sealed tank before escaping; American Bandstand, a show dedicated to the teenage “baby-boomers” by playing the songs and showing popular dances of the time, debuts on the ABC television network today in 1957; Today in 1974, President Richard Nixon, under orders of the US Supreme Court, releases the “Smoking Gun” tape, recorded on June 23, 1972, clearly revealing his actions in covering up and interfering investigations into the break-in. His political support vanishes completely; Neil Armstrong, American pilot, engineer, and astronaut, was born today in 1930; Rick Huxley, English bass player with the Dave Clark Five was born on this day in 1940; Rick Derringer, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer was born today in 1947; also in 1947, Greg Leskiw, Canadian guitarist for Guess Who and songwriter was born today; Carmen Miranda, Portuguese-Brazilian actress and singer passed away today in 1955; We lost Alec Guinness, English actor today in 2000; And finally, Toni Morrison, American author, Pulitzer Prize winner, and Nobel laureate passed away today in 2019.

Website Update:
Restarting the cycle this week:
• Week 2 for our New Vocabulary Quiz
• A “New” Musical Trivia Quiz!!!!
• This week I tried skirt steak in a new way – Skirt Steak Bulgogi. It was tasty inspite of the terrible quality of the meat from Walmart. Skirt Steak is a tougher cut of meat but flavorful. The stuff from wally-world chewed like it was still attached to the hide. Never again. But the recipe is a keeper.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from Margret Mead, “Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.”

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 and the paintings soon.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• I think every boy remembers his first tool purchase or gift. Sometimes it’s a play one made of plastic given by some aunt at birthday or Christmas. I am not talking about that one. I am talking about your first real screwdriver. You picked it out of bin and the only paperwork you got was a sales receipt. The one grandma told you not to run with because you could fall and poke your eye out with it. Today, when you buy a tool, it seems you get like 3 pages of things you can do with that tool that the lawyers for the manufacturer think you should know that they will not be responsible. Most are just plain stupid. “This item is not intended for rectal exams.” Or “If you place the plastic bag this item is wrapped in over your head until you suffocate, the manufacturer will not be responsible.” “This item is not intended for use in Exorcisms.” Yep, just another indicator that we have way too many lawyers in the world and too few people who can operate a screwdriver. Just sayin…
• This week I got a check in the mail. It was a settlement check from a refi I did like 15 years ago. It was in the amount of $.O6. I am pretty sure my online deposit at the NFCU will reject it for a faulty amount. I bet it cost hundreds to get that error found, corrected, reviewed, approved, printed, and mailed. Yep…way too many lawyers in this old world.

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:
• Shawn Phillips – She Was Waiting for Her Mother at the Station in Torino and You Know I Love You Baby but It’s Getting Too Heavy to Laugh — I think this one may win for the longest song title! It’s a great song sung with such power and finesse. It’a from his 1971 release, “Second Contributions”. Thank you Dean and Mary Chimerakis!
• Steve Miller Band — Kow Kow Calqulator — I always have been impressed by these guys. This was the first record after Boz Scaggs left the band so it was kind of scary for die hard SMB fans. I especially love, Nicky Hopkins sitting in on piano on this one. Paul Ramon (aka Paul McCartney, played on a number of tunes on this album. This is a deep cut from their, “Brave New World” album released in 1969.
• Mike and the Mechanics — Another Cup of Coffee — This is a remastered version of a deep cut from their “Beggar on the Beach of Gold”, released in 1995.
• Taylor Swift – State of Grace – This one comes from her Red album released in 2012. It’s a deep cut with some serious production mojo working. Her voice is so powerful and clear.
• Grateful Dead — Uncle John’s Band — This one is a favorite from a very long and deep list of GD favorites. This goes out to Edwardo who is loading groceries at Walmart (when he is not studying film making). He became curious about the Dead when he recognized a sticker on my car and asked me about them. Hope you like this one Edwardo!

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!