September 2nd, 2016

Goeiemôre Môre! (“Good Morning” in Afrikaans)

Well, the world is a little dumber and not quite as funny this week. We lost Gene Wilder. I, for one, am so grateful for the joy watching him ply his craft gave me as I know I am richer for it.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Being a retired old fart in the midst of college students and other light sleepers has presented unforeseen challenges. Old guys don’t necessarily have to stay on a specific schedule. Sometimes the volume of my late night television watching has disturbed the few hours of sleep the kids get. So not really wanting to limit me night time activities to just reading and also not wishing to make touch glasses tougher through sleep deprivation, I set about finding a way to fix it. I searched the internet for a turn key solution but most of those involved headphones or extraordinary amounts of money. So I kind of came up with my own thing. I thought if I could convert the audio of my TV to bluetooth and placed a bluetooth speaker right next to me (across the room from the main tv and its speakers). I could deliver reasonable sound to my ears but deprive those trying to sleep the noise of my nocturnal movie time. Well, originally, my idea was to turn the speakers on the TV down while controlling the volume locally at my bluetooth speaker but the good folks at Sony put a kibosh on that idea but still I have a reasonable solution in place for a $106 price tag. A good day!
• Lately, I have been catching up on my Westerns. I got see some John Wayne movies, Deadwood the HBO series and the Longmire series. I have also read about 3 or 4 of the Longmire books and have decided to add Wyoming to my bucket list. If you haven’t read any of Craig Johnson’s Longmire books I highly recommend them. I have heard that Peter Dexter’s Deadwood is a great book as well but just ordered the Large Print edition from Amazon Smile so I will have to let you know.

Website Update
• Last week for the “New” Vocabulary quiz! How did you do?
• I added another quote or two to the UJT Kitchen Drawer as well as a new recipe for Social Media Meatball Lasagna 🙂

Writing and Painting Update:
• Painting still is a step too far this week. I have my paints and easel set up outside and a sketch started but did not progress from there.
• Opening up this editorial box again is a little frightening. But I really have no choice as I cannot let go until Grandpa Stories is “good enough” to sear as the cosmic bread crumb it was intended to be. I also have been thinking about the other book ideas I have had percolating so maybe the character building aspects of another bout of editorial “bliss” will get me back into those adventures. Oh I do love a good story.

• As I come up with different recipes, I capture them and add them to the UJT but I also print them and put them into a plastic sleeve and subsequently into this blue binder that I keep in my kitchen. I am kind of a wing-it kind of cook where precise measurement is generally less precise and more “artistic”. Also depending on available ingredients, the actual content may be amended as I cook the same dish the next time. If the results are spectacular (or less so), I will take out my recipe and make notes and then update the electronic version, upload it to UJT and print it to replace in my notebook and so on. Well, this poor notebook had been so abused as to have packing tape wrapped around it in several directions just to keep the sides on. I had to replace it and it gave me a chance to re-organize and update the deal. Somehow the whole thing was kind of like reliving those moments when I figured out how to make some dish. It was joyous and rejuvenating. If you have some kind of system like that I highly recommend a good spring cleaning with new dividers and notebook. It will do your soul some good.
• Even at a “certain age” my youngest child cannot stop abusing her animals! This week saw her putting Georgie in this very strange and colorful horned hat. The poor dog looked completely mortified and kept trying to take her head off to remove the device. Even as a young child, Jess would dress our dog in tutus, her moms bathing suits or nighties and even paint their toenails. Timmy unlike Georgie never quite figured out that this was not good for his Karma. As our children, we loved them unconditionally but one wonders where such tendencies are passed in the DNA message chain.

Music Update:

Another great week for music. I hope you discovered some new song or rediscovered an old song that maybe means something new to you.
• Shawn Mullins – Soul Child — For you a young blonde guy, this man sure feels soooooo soulful. Amy Ray of Indigo Girls found and mentored Shawn back in Georgia when he was considering a military career in the Army. I am glad he made that turn. This is a deep cut from his 1998 album called Soul Core. He has a newer album called, “My Stupid Heart” which I also think is spectacular (I love the Resonator guitar work on Ferguson!)
• Vance Joy – Riptide – This guy is an interesting contradiction. I love his whole gig right down to his inappropriate ukulele and most excellent lyrics.
• Alanis Morissette – Ironic (iTunes Original’s Version) – I will always be grateful for this lady’s reminder of language abuse and to my buddy Jack for introducing us.
• Warren Zevon – Keep Me In Your Heart – This is a cut from Warren’s last album, “The Wind”. I am not sure why I didn’t know Warren passed away in 2003. Reading about his life and his passing, I was struck by his life long relationships with some of the best songwriters, musicians and authors of my time. He would definitely be one of my special dinner guests.
• Bonnie Raitt – Marriage Made in Hollywood — This is a cynical song about the jaded way some lives can be lived. The lyrics are poignant and the music as always from Bonnie, impeccable. This is a deep cut from her wonderful, “Slipstream” album.
• Styx – Come Sail Away (Edit) – From their, Grand Illusion album released in 1977.
• Men At Work- It’s a Mistake – Another Colin Hay tight song for you all.
• Nickelback – Should’ve Listened — From the vinyl!!!! I featured this song on UJT Radio a couple of years ago. Its a deep cut from their, “Long Road, released in 2002.

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!