August 31st, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice at the end of hostilities.  It has been 546 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • From time to time my son and I will discuss some news event or topic. We do not always agree but I am always impressed with his critical thinking and open mind. Recently, we discussed the Russian invasion of Ukraine. My son was under the impression that NATO or “The West” did something a reasonable person might consider provocative. As a reformed “news” junkie, I pretty much quit paying attention to mainstream “news” back when truth stopped being a prerequisite to publication. Everything that I hear from any source I try to verify with other sources before I take it on board. My son also enjoys a robust sense of skepticism and is not afraid to ask and attempt to answer hard questions.  Talking about life and stuff with my son is pretty much one of my greatest pleasures these days.
    • Hurricane Idalia is cutting across Florida as I finish this week’s update. Please keep a good thought for those in the storm’s path. 
    • Speaking of hurricanes…..looking back over the history of hurricanes over my lifetime, I have noted that when I was a boy, hurricanes tended to be low to medium intensity occurring every so often with some years without a landfall at least in Florida. But since 1975 or so, the frequency and intensity has steadily increased. I am sure it is related to global warming. I remember a saying I heard years ago, to fix anything first you have to recognize the problem. Seems to me that people who disagree with the science tend to deny the existence or expense of these storms and other escalating phenomena. They are “protecting” us from incurring “on-purpose” costs in favor of funding the ever-increasing recovery efforts.  That does not seem reasonable given that since 1980 the US alone has paid almost 2.5 TRILLION dollars! I at least recognize that as a problem. Now we can prioritize the efforts to eliminate the root causes and find mitigating remedies. 
    • This week was my last week of Cardio Rehab! I have learned so much and changed my behavior. They helped me come up with my personal plan to improve my health. The new plan calls for regular swimming or pool training, This will add a new dimension to my exercise routine. I joined the nearest gym with a pool and went home to change and found that I no longer had a bathing suit!  My last class was Yoga (chair yoga for old folks). My daughter, wife and best friend have been after me to try Yoga for decades. It took me a while to just give it a try. I am glad I did. My ongoing plan is as follows – S, T, Th – swimming; M,W, F – Aerobics and Strength Training; Saturday – Yoga. One hour each day and I intend to continue doing balance and posture exercises each day.  
    • August 31st is the  243rd day of 2023. Just 115 days till Christmas.  On this day in 1843, the USS Harmon (DE-878), the first U.S. Navy ship to be named after a black person, is commissioned.; Today in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales, her partner Dodi Fayed and driver Henri Paul die in a car crash in Paris; Nätti-Jussi, Finnish lumberjack and forest laborer  was born today in 1890; Arthur Godfrey, American radio and television host was born today in 1903; Richard Basehart, (AKA Admiral Nelson in Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea) American actor was born in 1914;Buddy Hackett, (AKA Marcellous Washburn,  Robert Preston’s sidekick salesman in The Music Man) American actor and singer was born today in 1924; James Coburn, American actor was born today in 1928; Noble Willingham, (AKA C.D. Parker – Walker Texas Ranger) American actor was born today 1931; Eldridge Cleaver, American activist and author was born today in 1935; Van Morrison, Northern Irish singer-songwriter was born today in 1945 as was  Itzhak Perlman, Israeli-American violinist and conductor; Rick Roberts, American country-rock singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1949; Born today in 1971, Chris Tucker, American comedian and actor :RJohn Ford, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter passed away today in 1971;  Frank Macfarlane Burnet, Australian virologist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate died today in 1985; Lionel Hampton, American pianist, composer, and bandleader passed away today in 2002  as did George Porter, English chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate;Finally, we lost Geronimo, British alpaca today in 2021.

This week’s Website Update:

    • Week two for the Vocabulary Quiz
    • Last week for the Musical Trivia Quiz 
    • I am testing a new Grilled Chicken recipe but not done yet. 
    • The Home Page quote for this week is from Mark Twain, “Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:  

    • More bonsai maintenance this week. I have another Juniper that BJ got me for my Birthday. I haven’t started training it yet. I might start it this week.  
    • I am actually getting busy with the stained glass project this week! I set up a workstation in the garage and am working on a new design.
    • I  did manage to get some more of the paper editing done on Grandpa Stories”. My goal is 3-5 chapters each week till it is done.


    • Ever since I saw 2001 A Space Odyssey and got a glimpse of how important it is to be polite to your automation. Every time I ask Siri or Alexa for some assistance I always remember to say thank you. Whenever, Forest, my car, warns me that I am edging out of my lane or someone is behind me in my blind spot, I always make a point of thanking him. Just seems like cheap insurance if you know what I mean. I am really not very clear on why I apologize to furniture whenever I bump into a couch, table, or chair.  I will have to ponder that one some more. 
    • I was in the South China Sea in 1976. My ship had just taken on stores and fuel from a tanker. The strangest thing was the milk. It came in this little triangle container that packed very efficiently and they did not require refrigeration! It turns out that was my first time to taste Soy Milk. It appears that cows’ milk is less available in the Far East. I must confess once I got used to the difference in taste and feel, I grew quite fond of it. We have tried a lot of alternatives to cow milk products a total failure, Butter is okay and of the Soy, Oat, Almond, and Coconut alternatives- I like the taste of Oat, Soy is ok, but Almond is terribly expensive in terms of ecological processing needs. Soy, Oat, and Almond are all pretty high in lectins (bad for you). Unsweetened Coconut appears to be the nutritious winner. 

Music Update:  

Here is a new batch of music for you to try out.  I went a little crazy as I kept hearing songs I wanted to share …so there are 8 selections for you to sample. Something for everyone. Enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Jimi Hendrix Experience  — Hey Joe —  I think this was the very first song I ever heard by Jimi. Somehow the phrase, “Hey Joe” came up over lunch conversation the other day and one of my friends had never heard this before. So turn it up Sally!! This is a cut from their, “Are You Experienced ” released in 1967.
    • U2 — It was a beautiful day  — Another favorite from one of my favorite bands. This one is the lead single from their.“All That You Leave Behind” album, released in 2000.
    • Mudcrutch — Beautiful Blue  —  This was Tom Petty’s first band. He played bass and sang. I think they were a great band that was not promoted as well as they should have been. They were not a commercial success, so the record company terminated everybody’s contract but Tom’s. They were together from 1970-1975 and again from 2008-2016; This one is from Mudcrutch II released in 2016.
    • Five for Fighting – 100 Years (Acoustic Version) – This song was their big hit single released in 2004. I love the lyrics and the music.
    • Jerry Garcia — Bird Song — From the vinyl !!! This one just popped up on the rotation. I am sure I have featured it before on UJT Radio but I went back as far as 2016 and figured if it had been that long ago, you all were in need of a Jerry fix. This one is from his first solo album, “Garcia” released in 1972.   
    •  Good Old War — Over and Over — I just heard that these boys broke up the band, Bummer! I love their harmonies. I hope they can get it back together. This one comes from their. “Come Back as Rain” was released in 2012.
    • Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers — The Long Race — From the vinyl !!!! I have always loved Bruce’s music for longer than either of us can remember. He started touring with these guys and recording the concerts. This is a cut from their,  “The Way It Is” released in 2016. I like it. All of it. It’s just a song done well.
    • MC Hammer  — U Can’t Touch This — Hammer Time! Been a while since I dusted this one off. This is his huge hit from his, “Hammer Don’t Hurt Em” released in 1990.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!