September 1st, 2022

“ 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 in the end of hostilities.  It has been 187 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• 1619. Do you know the significance of that date? I didn’t until after my 70th birthday. That fact shocked me. I have always been a student of history, ancient and contemporary. But I didn’t know that date. In August of 1619 the first people kidnapped in Africa were sold into slavery into Jamestown colony in what would become the United States of America. These 20 or so individuals were traded for provisions for the crew of the White Lion to return to Europe. From that day to this our nation has been struggling with its racial identity. Wikipedia describes The 1619 Project as “… a long-form journalism endeavor developed by Nikole Hannah-Jones, writers from The New York Times, and The New York Times Magazine which “aims to reframe the country’s history by placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of Black Americans at the very center of the United States’ national narrative.” For me, it has been a paradigm shift. Do you remember your vernacular from the 70s? A paradigm shift is an important change that happens when the usual way of thinking about or doing something is replaced by a new and different way. I loved our country’s narrative as I studied as a boy and a man. I just had no idea how incomplete and manipulated my education has been. This book changed how I feel about the founding of our country and subsequent history of our country to this day. I learned of all the hidden events, people and contributions made by the descendants of the ~450, 000 kidnapped Africans that were brought into the US during the years that practice was legal. Unlike my previous belief that our leaders, for the most part, endured the glacial pace of change for black Americans. They governed in the best interests of “white” Americans to the exclusion and expense of “black and brown” Americans. This is not an easy read, but if you are brave enough and willing to endure the ever present anger, pride and outrage that permeates almost every word of this document, you just might be able to complete your education. This book is well researched, fact filled and accompanied by short stories and poems I am arty sure you have never heard before. I hadn’t. I do not like most of what I am learning in this book. I do not like the “Us and Them” dichotomy clarifications that are ever present within these pages. But that does not mean I don’t need to know these things. Fair warning – several of my “historical heroes” did not fair well in the glare of this additional perspective.

• September 1st is the 244th day of 2022. Just 1 days till Christmas! Today in 1878, Emma Nutt becomes the world’s first female telephone operator when she is recruited by Alexander Graham Bell to the Boston Telephone Dispatch Company; Today in 1897, the Tremont Street Subway in Boston opens, becoming the first underground rapid transit system in North America; In 1906 on this day, The International Federation of Intellectual Property Attorneys is established; In 1914 on this day, the last known passenger pigeon, a female named Martha, dies in captivity in the Cincinnati Zoo; On this day in 1923, the Great Kantō earthquake devastates Tokyo and Yokohama, killing about 105,000 people; Today in 1934, the first Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer animated cartoon, The Discontented Canary, is released to movie theatres; Switzerland mobilizes its forces and the Swiss Parliament elects Henri Guisan to head the Swiss Armed Forces (an event that can happen only during war or mobilization) on this day in 1939; The Old Man and the Sea, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Ernest Hemingway, is first published today in 1952; Today in 1974, the SR-71 Blackbird sets (and holds) the record for flying from New York to London in the time of one hour, 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds at a speed of 1,435.587 miles per hour (2,310.353 km/h); The Beslan school siege begins when armed terrorists take schoolchildren and school staff hostage in North Ossetia, Russia; by the end of the siege, three days later, more than 385 people are dead (including hostages, other civilians, security personnel and terrorists) today in in 2004; Today in 1875, Edgar Rice Burroughs, American author was born; Born today in 1877, Francis William Aston, English chemist and physicist, Nobel Prize laureate;  Today in 1907,  Walter Reuther, American union leader, founded United Auto Workers was born; Rocky Marciano, American boxer was born today in 1923; Born today in 1931, Boxcar Willie, American singer-songwriter and guitarist; Ann Richards, American educator and politician, 45th Governor of Texas was born today in 1933; Conway Twitty, American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1933; Lily Tomlin, American actress, comedian, screenwriter, and producer was born today in 1939; Russ Kunkel, American drummer and producer was born today in 1948; Don Blackman, American singer-songwriter, pianist, and producer was born today in 1953; Ethel Waters, American singer and actress passed away today in 1977; Jerry Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actor passed away today in 2008; Alfred Kinsey, American biologist and academic died today in 1956; Truman Capote, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter died today in 1984; And lastly, today in 2015, Dean Jones, American actor and singerpassed away.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week Two for the Vocabulary Quiz!!!!!!
• Last week for the Musical Trivia Quiz!!!
• No new recipes were added this week.
• The Home Page quote this week is actually a quote from one of the smartest people ever, Anonymous, “A mistake that makes your humble is better than an achievement that makes you arrogant”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• This weekend I an planning to work on my bonsai. I need to prune and rewire some and plant a cutting or two.
• The new stained glass design eliminates all the of tiny pieces my old clumsy hands were struggling with. I consolidated 5 really small pieces into one. Keep our collective fingers crossed that this works.
• I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.

This week’s weird stuff is about the MRI experience. Getting an MRI is nothing like getting a CT scan. It is very loud and the sounds are like the original Star Trek TV show phasers. If your Doc decide that is the best way to diagnose something, the alternative exploratory surgery. It was the strangest medical test experience I have had so far. I find out later this week what we learned physiologically.

This week Robert Crumb celebrated his 79th birthday. For those of you may not be familiar with him, he is a celebrated Cartoonist. I might go so far to say that he invented the “adult cartoon” in such magazines as Zap Comix, The Furry Freak Brothers, Fritz the Cat, Mr. Natural to name but a few. My theory is that the loyal readers of Mad Magazine graduated to these some times hysterical, usually socially unacceptable and prolific publications. Most of them were intentionally promoting bad taste, or inappropriate behaviors as a mode of 1960s rebellion against the establishment. Having said all that, he is a gifted cartoonist who fit perfectly into the genre.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

• Soundgarden — Black Hole Sun — This song will not be enjoyed by many but I have always liked it. This was a pretty big hit for them from their fourth studio album released in 1994, “Superunknown.

• Bonnie Raitt — Cry on My Shoulder — I really like the song. It a deep cut from her iconic album released in 2006,“Nick of Time”. Most people recognize her great skill with the guitar but this song highlights her extremely beautiful voice.

• Micheal Hedges — Spare Change — This us another wonderful song by someone I had never heard of before now. The guitar work and interesting composition are the highlights of this song. It was released from his 1984 release, “Arial Boundaries”.

• Toto — Rosanna — From the Vinyl!!!! This has always been one of my favorite Toto songs. This one is from their Toto IV released in 1982. There music is just so tight!

• Venice —Thinking Out Loud — These brothers and cousins made a record of fearless covers like this one from Ed Sheehan called, “Brunch Buffet”. There beautiful harmonies always make me smile.

• Robin Trower – Daydream – This is a pretty song played and sung well. This one is from his 1973 release, “Twice Removed From Yesterday”. I fell in love with Robin the first time I heard Procal Harem’s “Lighter Shade of Pale”.

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!