August 12th, 2021

“ Wa penduka ”, or “Good Morning!” in Herero (Otjiherero), a Bantu language spoken in Namibia, Bostwana and Angola.

This driving me crazy! Getting a vaccine is not a political decision. It is a medical decision. It has been made to be political because it suits the interests of those who prosper from fear, hate, derision and divisiveness. I am old enough to remember my polio vaccine and the little round scar on my arm. I also remember going to school with children, who, for whatever reason, didn’t get vaccinated in time, strapped into their braces dragging their damaged limbs to class. So let’s stop talking crap and making this something it is not. Protect yourself. the people you love and strangers you have never and will never meet. Get your shot and wear your mask.

This week I learned some stuff:
• My reporting of getting through my physical exam unscathed and may have been exaggerated or at least premature. I hadn’t realized that my doc ordered a urologist’s (just like neurologist only the other end) work up for me. Which had the effect of simply postponing the dreaded finger wave. So I ended up with dignity less that intact and a blood test that includes a PSA that is too high and testosterone that is too low. According to my doc, we just need to reset in a couple of weeks to confirm the results are not a fluke. Not precisely sure what all that means yet, so stay tuned.
• August 19th is the 231st day of 2021. Just 128 days till Christmas! Today in 1812, American frigate USS Constitution defeats the British frigate HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada earning the nickname “Old Ironsides”; Today in 1934, the first All-American Soap Box Derby is held in Dayton, Ohio; Today in 1944, Liberation of Paris: Paris, France rises against German occupation with the help of Allied troops; Today in 1945, Viet Minh led by Ho Chi Minh take power in Hanoi, Vietnam; On this day in 1953, the CIA and MI6 help to overthrow the government of Mohammad Mosaddegh in Iran and reinstate the Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi; Today in 1964, Syncom 3, the first geostationary communication satellite, is launched. Two months later, it would enable live coverage of the 1964 Summer Olympics; Today in 2017, tens of thousands of farmed non-native Atlantic salmon are accidentally released into the wild in Washington waters in the 2017 Cypress Island Atlantic salmon pen break; Today in 1871, Orville Wright, American engineer and pilot, co-founded the Wright Company ; Malcolm Forbes, American publisher and politician was born on this day in 1919; Gene Roddenberry, American screenwriter and producer was born today in 1928;In 1951 John Deacon, English bass player for Queen and songwriter was born today; John Wesley Hardin, American Old West outlaw, gunfighter passed away today in 1895; We lost Groucho Marx, American comedian and actor today in 1977; Linus Pauling, American chemist and biologist, Nobel Prize laureate passed away today in 1994;Tony Scott, English-American director and producer died today in 2012; And finally, we lost, Dick Gregory, American comedian, author and activist on this day in 2017.

Website Update:
Restarting the cycle this week:
• A “New” Vocabulary Quiz!!!!!
• Last week for our “New” Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week I have a couple of new recipes to share. I made a very tasty Andouille Pappardelle Casserole and a Spinach Antiposto.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from Mahatma Gandhi, “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I have yet to start to painting “Chen’s Bridge”. I also have what I need for the arches I think but again, I have not gotten far.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• This week I woke up at 3:00 am one morning with the thought that I might not being doing that – waking up – for a lot longer. Of course, no one knows these things but for the first time in my life, I contemplated my life without me in it. It was a sobering (not that I drink any more but you get the idea) moment. Recently, I have been entertaining a number of sort of long term improvement projects. For example, our backyard design is 20 years old and it shows. The pavers need to be reset, wisteria root and limb pruned and there is the pond. The pond liner has lasted at least 8 years longer than most and probably should be replaced. The waterfall and pond have given me a lot of pleasure over the years. Darrian loves the koi, named them all and feeds them everyday. But in terms of real estate value they are a negative. On top of that, dealing with it after I am gone will be a huge pain in the butt for those left behind. So it probably makes sense to get rid of it now. And if the pond and waterfall must go, then I want to be the one to do it so I can make sure our koi are provided good homes. Additionally, I have been contemplating being an even better planetary citizen by investing in the elimination of grass entirely on our property, in favor of water stingy landscaping. But again, this approach is much more appealing if I was here to fight the fights with the HOA. And again, the ROI would probably be negative upon the resale of the property. I plan to be around for a lot longer if I can but I woke up realizing that I need to think about things as if I can’t. It’s a kind of “Plan for the worst and enjoy being wrong” kind of thing and a new way of thinking for me.

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library. I have to tell you, I always enjoy doing the UJT Radio playlists. I feel a little like Johnny Fever on WKRP in Cincinnati but this week’s line up had me from beginning to end! I hope you enjoy it too, “my peeps!”

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• The Beatles – Michelle – Every time I hear this song I think about and thank George Martin. He somehow got the boys to put together “Rubber Soul” and it simply changed everything for every one… It was cold, something like 66 degrees that day in December, 1965 when I heard the record for the first time.
• Yes — Roundabout — They released this one way back in 1971 on their “Fragile” album. Steve Howe and Jon Anderson wrote this when they were on tour in Scotland. Steve Howes accoustic opening is just Magic Music!
• Taylor Swift — peace — All grown up is our girl. This is a thoughtful song of magic moments of brutal clarity. This one comes from what I am sure will be referred to as her, “prolific pandemic period” someday. This one is from her “folklore” album released in 2020.
• David Pack — Biggest Part of Me — This one is a favorites from Ambrosia’s 1980 release “One Eighty album” redone as a solo cover by David on his “The Secret of Movin’ On” released in 2006. I think I like this version even more that the original and that is saying something! I particularly love David’s guitar work on this version and his voice is still impeccable.
• Phil Collins — Take Me Home — I just get lost singing this song. This is one of those road trip, roll down the windows, crank it up to the max and just belt it out to the steering wheel with Phil songs. Right out there in front of God and everyone at 80 miles an hour…just one of those life fulfilling moments … “ So take, take me home ..” from his 1985 release, “No Jackets Required” album. Thanks for the smiles Phil! “ No, I, I, don’t mind … “
• John Mayer — Queen of California — I really like this nifty little tune John gave us on his 2012 release, “Born and Raised”. I just love his guitar work on this one! And Chuck Leavell does something nice on piano towards the end too.

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!