August 30th, 2018

“Selamat pagi” Wishing you a “Good Morning”in Maylay, spoken in Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand.

The Great American Read is still running. I am still voting. Are you?

We lost a great American this week to an aggressive brain cancer. Capt(USN) John McCain was a war hero and an American statesmen. We disagreed often and vigorously but I always respected his character and his sincerity. RIP John and thank you for everything you did and tried to to help your country.

Our watermelon vine has flowers on it !!! Keep your fingers crossed.

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is NATIONAL TRAIL MIX DAY!!! A couple of surfers from California supposedly invented in1968 when they combined peanuts with raisins but in his book, “The Dharma Bums” Jack Kerouac mentions the two protagonists preparing trail mix as planned meals for a hike. Why not make your own trail mix to celebrate? If you do, you are guaranteed to have all the things you like – nuts, granola, m&ms, raisins, craisins, sunflower seeds, and maybe even coconut flakes. You get the idea. Have fun with it!
• Every year I try to make something with my own hands to give as Christmas presents to my friends. It is challenging to try to come up with new ideas that are fun to do and fun to get. But I try. I just decided what I am doing for this years presents so I can get busy building them.

Website Update:
• 2nd week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Last week for the “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !!!
• This week I added a new recipe for Pasta with Tomatoes, Corn and Basil. Yum!!!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Next week we restart my classes and I cannot wait. It seems like forever since I have been.

• Our dog, Georgie is such an unique character. She is not as agile as she once was and I think she may have finally given up her rabbit hunting habits. She has taken to doing these long yoga pose type stretches when she gets out of her chair to see if the cat left any food in his dish. She is an excellent listener. Unlike many companions, she seems to understand me no matter how much scotch I drink. We also enjoy a good solid long howl on a weekly basis. Its good to have friends who will howl with you on occasion.
• I got the people who do HVAC vent cleaning in this week. I actually researched companies and methods. I settled on the method where they visit every vent and insert scrubber vacuum hoses into the vent for 20 feet or so (or where ever the next junction is). The cleaned out the dryer vent for the first time in 18 years (not good). It looked like about a pound of lint and other debris came out of it. It maybe the power of suggestion but both my wife and I commented on the difference after the cleaning. Its not something we ever thought about much before because we moved so much in our lives. But it is important for energy consumption and health reasons to get them cleaned. How long has it been for your house?
• In addition to John McCain we also lost Neil Simon, the wonderfully prolific playwright. It seems each week another child I went to Coral Gables High School with drops out of the list of active alumni. I never thought growing up that at some point in my life this loss of celebrities and acquaintances would be a constant factor in my life. Forcing me to reevaluate my life and visit memories long overlooked. In a way it makes every day on this side of the dirt more precious but also harder and lonelier for those of us who make it past another sunrise. And so it goes…

Music Update:
Here is another musical smorgasbord for you to feast upon. I know that not ever dish will be your favorite but I hope you will sample it all.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Herman and Hermits — Mrs. Brown You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter — This song was very important to me when I was about 12 or so. I saw them first on Ed Sullivan I think with the Smothers Brothers. “… Makes a bloke feel so fine…” I just thought that was so cool.
• Lady Gaga — Born This Way (Starsmith Remix) — Another refugee from the Songs For Japan album. This lady is impressive as well as well marketed.
• Lifehouse — Come Back Down — My love affair with this band continues to grow. This is another great cut from their “Lifehouse” album released in 2005.
• James Taylor — Never Die Young — JT just doing his thing one more time. He keeps plucking my heartstrings sometimes its hard to listen without tears in my eyes.
• The Animals — House of the Rising Sun — From their album, “The Animals” released in 1964. Another great song from the earliest days of my love of music. In many ways, in this song I discovered that I was probably going to be ok. Puberty is Hell!
• Alannah Myles — Love Is — This lady has something that just takes hold. Oh yeah and that voice !!! This one is from her 1989 release, “ Alannah Miles”.
• Bonnie Raitt — I Ain’t Gonna to Let You Break My Heart Again — This short, sweet, sad song of heartbreak is another beautiful cut from her “Nick of Time” album. It doesn’t hurt that Herbie Hancock is playing the piano on this one.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: