August 13th, 2020

“Hayirli tongi!”, or “Good Morning!” in Uzbek, a Turkic language spoken mainly in Uzbekistan. It is Day 147 of the California Lock Down with “Normal” face mask/distancing ” becomes part of our everyday life, like pants or shoes.

I completed my training (yes, its true, I can be trained!) and got my first list of census cases to interview. As I write this I am excited about the activity, the walking and talking to people and of course, seeing new places and such. I will see how i feel at the end of the day.
End of Day 1 – I had probably the very worst first day of employment ever!!! I was doing ok with my interviews just starting to get into a rhythm at this huge condo community and until I arrived at my next address and couldn’t find my Census iPhone. Everything we do is on the phone so I was stuck! I retraced my steps, tore my car and case apart but could not find it! I had to call my supervisor and the help desk to report it lost. The help desk reported that they had someone in my area turn in a phone they found in a parking lot. So all my not be lost but I wish it hadn’t happened like that. Oh Well! Day Two – on the bench waiting for my phone dilemma to be sorted out.

This week we “celebrated” the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima. The first (and hopefully only) atomic bombs dropped in war, caused over 129,000 deaths on Hiroshima and another 226,000 on Nagasaki. The casualties were mostly civilian and changed everything. We became the only species on the planet capable of killing everything alive.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am attempting to teach myself another method of doing stained glass pieces. I using the same pattern as my two attempts using the foil method so I can compare but the process and results. The good news is that I might, and I emphasize might, be getting better at cutting glass. I wasted about half as much on the second piece as I did the first one.
• August 13th is the 226th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 134 days till Christmas!). Today in 1918, women enlist in the United States Marine Corps for the first time. Opha May Johnson is the first woman to enlist; Major General Eugene Reybold of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers authorizes the construction of facilities that would house the “Development of Substitute Materials” project, better known as the Manhattan Project today in 1942; On this day in 1961, East Germany closes the border between the eastern and western sectors of Berlin to thwart its inhabitants’ attempts to escape to the West, and construction of the Berlin Wall is started; In 2004, One hundred fifty-six Congolese Tutsi refugees are massacred at the Gatumba refugee camp in Burundi; On this day in 1860, Annie Oakley, American target shooter was born; In 1898, The Cowardly Lion from the Wizard of Oz, Bert Lahr, American actor was born; In 1920, one of my favorite character actors, Neville Brand, American actor was born; Fidel Castro, Cuban lawyer, politician and15th President of Cuba was born today in 1926; Don Ho, American singer and ukulele player was born today in 1930;Valerie Plame was born today in 1963. Plume’s career as an American CIA agent ended with her identity leak was leaked by Dick Chaney’s staff. She left the CIA became author; H. G. Wells, English novelist, historian, and critic died today in 1946; One of my childhood heroes, Mickey Mantle, American baseball player and sportscaster died today in 1995; And finally, Julia Child, American chef, author, and television host who placed high end French cooking with in the reach of mere mortals, passed today in 2004.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Last week for “New” Vocabulary Quiz
• 2nd week for the “New” UJT Musical Trivia Quiz!
• This week I tried out a tasty recipe for Ginger Lime Chicken.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• This week I have attended a couple of Zoom watercolor classes. I finished my second stained glass project and started a new one. This one will be done with lead came instead of foil which is completely different.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• When I was a boy my mom’s best friend, Doren, used read the Sunday obituaries religiously. She knew whenever anyone who was anyone in the world or at least the Greater Miami area died and had an opinion on the value of most of their lives. I never did understand it, But I find myself doing the same thing each week in the UJT. Not really the obituaries but the events, births and deaths that occurred on that day in history. I really cannot describe how it makes me feel when I see the names of heroes or villains that have in one way or another meant something to me in my life begin and end. Our mortality is the great equalizer. The miracle of our birth is as miraculous as the inevitability of our last breath no matter if you lived heroically or villainously or lived a life of meager or extraordinary means. I guess I am grateful for all that I have observed and been part of in my life and perhaps reviewing others achievements, beginnings and ends helps me do that? I don’t know but I do enjoy writing it each week but admittedly, it is weird:)

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. Last week listeners got a big shock when they clicked on Oklahoma by Rob Schneider and got to hear Hells Bells by AC/DC. I apologize. The tool set I use to share the samples with you struggles sometimes and it will default to the first song in the library when that happens.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Mat Kearny — Here We Go (Acoustic Version) — This is a really nice version of a pretty cool song. This one comes from his 2009 release, “City of Black & White (Deluxe Version)”.
• Five for Fighting – 100 Years (Acoustic Version) – This song was their big hit single released in 2004. I love the lyrics and the music.
• Venice — What’s Done is Done — One of the things this Covid-19 has stopped was the local habit of having outdoor mini concerts in peoples yards that my friend, Joe McAndrew turned me on to a couple years back. The very first one was with this band and I have loved them ever since. This one is from their 2013 release, “What Summer Brings” and I think it is a little different than their more folky songs but it’s good one.
• Bruce Hornsby and The Noisemakers — On the Western Skyline — Bruce has been a favorite of mine for a long long time. This one is a live version of his first major hit. It is from their 2016 release, “The Way It Is – Live 2016”.
• Elton John — All The Girls Love Alice — Been awhile since I heard this one. Still makes me smile. This one is from his great 1973 release, “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road”.
• The Cars — Good Times Roll — This one put this kind of eclectic American band on the map. It’s from their debut album, “The Cars” released in 1978.

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!