August 6th, 2020

“Dzén dobri!”, or “Good Morning!”in Kashubian (kaszëbsczi), a West Slavic language spoken mainly in Poland. It is Day 140 of the California Lock Down with the governor’s attempts to return to normal continue to be rolled back further everyday as the numbers warrant.

I got a job that starts on Wednesday. It seems like a year ago, I saw some notice about the government needing census workers. I thought that would pretty interesting so applied and Surprise! Surprise! They decided I would be interesting to hire. And then Covid-19 entered our lives and everything went on hold until now. By the time you get this on Thursday, I will have already attended my Orientation class. More to follow next week.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Its a fact. I am slowing down. I have to ask my grandson to do many of the things it seemed I could do for myself not so long ago. He is learning do to stuff he didn’t know and probably wish he didn’t know now. I had to get my granddaughter to open a stubborn jar the other day. I get winded pretty easily these days just puttering around the house doing my chores. We all know it will happen if you live long enough but inside I still think I am that tall lanky kid that has always been too stupid to know he couldn’t or shouldn’t do something.
• August 6th is the 219th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 141 days till Christmas!). Today in 1862, The Confederate ironclad CSS Arkansas is scuttled on the Mississippi River after suffering catastrophic engine failure near Baton Rouge, Louisiana; At Auburn Prison in New York, murderer William Kemmler becomes the first person to be executed by electric chair today in 1890; On this day in 1926, Gertrude Ederle becomes the first woman to swim across the English Channel; In 1944, Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb “Little Boy” is dropped by the United States B-29, Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning; On this day in 1965, US President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965 into law; In 1991, Tim Berners-Lee releases files describing his idea for the World Wide Web. WWW debuts as a publicly available service on the Internet; In 1995, NASA announces that the ALH 84001 meteorite, thought to originate from Mars, contains evidence of primitive life-forms; In 2012, NASA’s Curiosity rover lands on the surface of Mars; Alfred, Lord Tennyson, English poet was born today in 1809; Susie Taylor, American writer and first African-American Army nurse was born today in 1848;Hoot Gibson, American actor, director, and producer was born today in 1892; Dutch Schultz, American gangster was born today in 1902; Lucille Ball, American actress, television producer and businesswoman was born today in 1911; M. Night Shyamalan, Indian-American director, producer, and screenwriter was born today in 1970; Richard Bong, American soldier and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient died today in 1945; Rick James, American singer-songwriter and producer died today in 2004; And finally, Marvin Hamlisch, American pianist, composer, and conductor passed in 2004.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Week 2 for “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• A “New” UJT Musical Trivia Quiz!!!WoooHooo!!!
• This week I tried out an interesting recipe for a Dreamcicle Cheesecake and it was wonderful. Not something I would have every week but if you know anyone that enjoyed the old Good Humor Dreamcicles, this would make a lovely birthday cake. I also captured an old timey favorite dish that I hope you might enjoy,”Meatball Stroganoff”.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• This week I have attended a couple of Zoom watercolor classes. I finished my second stained glass project. I was putting black patina on all the seams and inadvertently pushed to hard in one section and cracked the most difficult piece of glass! I will give the thing as a present then fix it. I started a new one. This one will be done with Lead Came instead of foil with is completely different.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• The PVC gods have smiled upon BJ and I and our 3 or 4th fix worked!! Yeah!! Now the valve next to the one we replaced has started to leak 🙁 Oh well…It will have to wait till i get my work schedule.
• I was fixing another wayward sprinkler and was in a squatting position and when I attempted to stand up I pulled a muscle or suffered some kind of injury to my knee or calf muscles. It seems to be ok unless I twist in any direction or try to do stupid tasks like put on my boxers. I will schedule a doctor’s visit once I get my work schedule sorted out. I know its better than the alternative but it sucks to get old past your sell by date! “I foresee you will be a brave Jedi in the ER planet of torture for dummies!”

Music Update:

Once again, your fossilized DJ takes you on another tiptoe though the archives to share some things you might missed or never have heard or at least not heard recently.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Cake — Never There — Another tune that my brother Mike turned me on to. I heard it for the first time watching their video. Very incongruent! They have kind of a new wave vibe in the music but the YouTube video has a country and western thing going. But somehow it just works. Recently, Mike has pointed out a number of new music tunes that worked for me. This one is from their 1998, “Prolonging the Music” release.
• Hiss Golden Messenger – Lucia – This guy kind of reminds me of Bob Dylan in the early days. His simple song kind of pulled me in. This one is from his “Lateness of Dancers” released in 2014.
• Santana — Can’t You Hear Me Knocking (feat. Scott Weiland) — This was a cut off his compilation album, “ Guitar Heaven: The Greatest Guitar Classics of All Time (Deluxe Version) released in 2010. These covers are great as are those Carlos chose to contribute to them but I am not sure I agree with the “Greatest” Label. I think they are all great but the greatest… I would have a couple of other choices to that list.
• Al Dimeola, John McLaughlin, Paco DeLucia — Guardian Angels — From the Vinyl!!!! I think any list of the top 20 Guitar players in the world, these guys would be prominent. This cut is from an amazing live session that was captured in 1981 called, “Friday Night In San Francisco”.
• Joey Alexander — Ma Blues — I am not sure if you have ever heard of Joey. He is from Indonesia and taught himself to play jazz piano starting at the age of 5 by listening to his dads favorite records. This cut is from his truly great first album, “My Favorite Things” released in 2015 when Joey was 11.
• The Doobie Brothers — South City Midnight Lady — From the Vinyl !!! Like an old friend stopping in for a visit. I got a chance to remember how much I loved the Doobies before MM. Don’t get me wrong, I love Micheal’s music but it was a big change for the band. Anyway, this one is a deep cut from their 1973 release, “The Captain and Me”.

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!