August 22nd, 2019

“Dumêlang” or “Good Morning!!!” in Northern Sotho (Sesotho sa Leboa / Sepedi), a member of the Bantu branch of Niger-Congo languages spoken in South Africa.

The good news about my warranty issue is that I managed to loose a pretty good bit of weight in a short period of time. The impressive combination of having absolutely no appetite and the discharge of any foreign substances (and perhaps a few unneeded organs)from my body has made a measurable difference. I was close before but now I have met my weight goal for me to start walking on a daily basis. I guess this is my silver lining for the particularly dark cloud that has been overhead for more than a week.

After years and years of paying way too much for cable TV, I cut the cord. I am now a blue slinger, which is way less expensive. Plus I get my PBS, Prime and Netflix content streamed as part of other services that I use. The content is different but cool. I got to watch Fred Dyer as Hunter again:)

This week I learned some stuff:
• Today, August 22nd is National Surgical Oncologist Day. Today we celebrate the accomplishments of every lifesaving surgeon who specializes in abolishing cancer! Surgical oncologists help to both diagnose cancer and cure it through surgery.

Website Update:
• Wooo Hooo!!!! A New Vocabulary Quiz!
• Last week for “new” UJT Music Trivia Quiz!
• This week I haven’t been able to try out some new recipes that I have. The little cooking that I have done has been tried and true favorites. Perhaps next week.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I didn’t get to paint anything much or create any ceramics. The new school schedule starts soon!
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Every week I fire this UJT Update thing out into the cosmos never really knowing if anyone ever reads them. Sometimes someone will respond with a kind word about the music selected or some obscure point that I made. But those are pretty rare. Last week was different…way different. I felt bad that I wasn’t able to update the UJT but felt compelled to let the cosmos know what was going on. I was surprised and humbled by the response. People that I literally have not talked to for years replied with good wishes for my recovery. When you do something like this week in and week out, you kind of just absorb the act as part of the fabric that is you. I never expected any response but I am very grateful to everyone. Not only did you make me feel better, but you also validated that sometimes even the silly self-serving acts of a geezer who has lost his purpose are indeed noted.
• A Bucket List. I never heard the term until the great movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman came out. This is a list of all the things that you want to do or experience before you shuffle off this mortal coil. Lately, I have had a lot of time to ponder my list. I am happy to say that my list only has a few items left but they are important to me. I am pulling the trigger in 2020 on one of those items: I plan to spend 25-30 days exploring New Zealand. It is a fascinating place with wonderful people, (plus a dear old friend transplanted rom Germany). I am doing my research and high level planning this week and perhaps working out a schedule for the trip next week. WeeHa!!! Just making the decision felt good. Whats on your Bucket List?

Music Update:

Once again this week, I have created a very nice collection of song samples that I think celebrate life in a grand way!

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Grateful Dead — Shakedown St. — From the Vinyl!!! I heard some talking head on TV describe this song as the band’s attempt to join the disco music genre. From my perspective, that is pure unadulterated horse shit but that’s just me. The Dead farted better music that disco in their darkest times. This is the title song from their fine 1978 release.
• Beatles — Nowhere Man — From Rubber Soul released in very far ahead of their time. This one John wrote, perhaps feeling a bit unequal to the task before him. He was under the gun to deliver a new song for the new record in 1965 and wrote this one in about an hour while the lads went for fish and chips.
• Tab Benoit — Medicine – I just love this sound!!!! Been awhile since I had me some of dat good ole down home Cajun cooking. Tab does it about as good as anyone. “Bring me my medicine baby…” from his 2011 release of the same name. You know, if I had just one more life to live and give, I might just be doing it in New Orleans!
• Billy McLaughlin — The White Bear — I am not sure how many of you will remember that when I first introduced Billy to the UJT radio audience, I mentioned he was just a kind of normal guitar guy who came down with a terrible disability (Focal Dystonia) that effected his hands. He got treatments but eventually accepted that his hands would never work like they did before. He then taught himself a new way to play guitar – tapping the notes on the fretboard instead of plucking or strumming the strings over the sound hole. It’s a very interesting and soulful sound to me. This one comes from his Stormseeker album released in 2001. Just really pretty music.
• Alanna Myles – Black Velvet — Well, I have featured this one before but its been a good while since I played it for you all. It’s an iconic song from a silky sweet Canadian singer. I love the line about, “… little boy smile… ”.
• James Taylor — Boatman — For me there is just something magical about what James does. Perhaps more than any of his peers, James seems to delight in celebrating the subtleties of being a live human being. This one comes from his wonderful, “Hourglass” album released in 1997.
• Asia — Bury Me In Willow — A introspective song from a great band that blew us all away back in1987. This one comes from their 2012 release, “XXX”.

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!