September 8th, 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 194 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• One last comment about The 1619 Project, Its a lot like drinking from a depressing firehose. Even though it not an easy or pleasant read, I think all Americans should read it. You see, I bought the narrative that I was given in school. Further, I loved reading biographies of my favorite historical figures. I took pride that our country was founded by such monumentally principled leaders. I have learned since that I was deprived of “the rest of the story” as Radio commentator, Paul Harvey used to say. Certainly, any information about the negative context in which my “hero’s” acted was missing. I misunderstood so much that today, I feel duped by the propaganda. Our forefathers deliberately withheld 400 years of deliberate actions designed to continue and in fact enhance the postion of white people at the expense of the black American community. Bear with me for a moment – There are things we cannot know now. For example, we can not know what our society would be like today had these terrible and perhaps unforgivable injustices been known before I was born. If you read this book, you will learn that once “freed” blacks were legally controlled by laws designed to do so. Laws that did not apply to whites. If we had worked to remove this privileged perspective in white people how would our society be today. If we had worked to change the context of fear and bigotry of non-whites would our jails be so full of black and brown people today? We cannot know what the true cost of lost opportunity is for perpetuating such fundamental flaws in our country for hundreds of years. We are faced with the same dilemma that the German people faced after WWII when they could no longer deny what their government did What will our answer be today? What do we do now that we know? Will we try to perpetuate the lies of the past and allow their affect continue to inform our racial equity in America? Or will we pursue something more like Germany has done with his darkest past, All Germans know the whole story. Having that knowledge will inform their future as surely as our lack of understanding informs ours. I am afraid that denial and deceit will carry the day in our society. Read the book. You won’t like it but you need to know.

• September 8th is the 251st day of 2022. Just 107 days till Christmas! Today in 1504,Michelangelo’s David is unveiled in Piazza della Signoria in Florence; Today in 1565, St. Augustine, Florida is founded by Spanish admiral and Florida’s first governor, Pedro Menéndez de Avilés; In 1888 on this day, Isaac Peral tested the first battery powered submarine; Also in 1888 on this day, the body of Jack the Ripper’s second murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found; On this day in 1916, in a bid to prove that women were capable of serving as military dispatch riders, Augusta and Adeline Van Buren arrive in Los Angeles, completing a 60-day, 5,500 mile cross-country trip on motorcycles; Today in 1930, 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape; US Senator from Louisiana Huey Long is fatally shot in the Louisiana State Capitol building on this day in 1935; German forces begin the 872 day Siege of Leningrad today in 1941; Today in 1944, London is hit by a V-2 rocket for the first time; The landmark American science fiction television series Star Trek premieres with its first-aired episode, “The Man Trap” today in in 1966; US President Gerald Ford signs the pardon of Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office today in 1974;Today in 1900, Claude Pepper, American lawyer and politician was born; Born today in 1919, Derek Barton, English-American chemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate;  Today in 1922, Sid Caesar, American comic actor and writer was born; Peter Sellers, English actor and comedian was born today in 1925; Born today in 1932, Patsy Cline, American singer-songwriter and pianist; Sam Nunn, American lawyer and politician was born today in 1936; Guitar Shorty, American singer and guitarist was born today in 1939; Bernie Sanders, American politician was born today in 1941; Benjamin Orr, American singer-songwriter and bass player born today in 1947; Martin Freeman, English actor (best Watson ever!) was born today in 1971; Carl Weiss, American physician was killed today after assassinating Huey B. Long. He was hit by 60 bullets fired by Mr. Long’s bodyguards in 1935; Dorothy Dandridge, American actress and singer passed away today in 1965; And lastly, today in 2013, Goose Gonsoulin, American football player passed away.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for the Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!!
• I decided to mix it up this week, with some Hot German Potato Salad. It was very tasty. I made Ginger Sriracha Salmon for the first time as well.
• The Home Page quote this week is actually a quote from one my favorite authors that i discovered in the 1960s, Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American, poet, author and artist, “You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• Our weather has been so hot and dry, I haven’t done any of my outdoor stuff – the bonsais or stained glass. …
• 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 results of my MRI. The testing confirmed that I almost certainly have cancer invading my prostate. What kind of cancer? How aggressive will it spend in my body? What if any treatments are called for? All those questions must remain until I have a biopsy. Of all the cancers to get, prostate cancer is vernally the slowest to spread and usually is not fatal. So I am still a very lucky man. More weird stuff to follow!

I caught myself doing that old guy thing the other day. Have you ever asked someone for the time and they explain how to build a watch and why a sundial doesn’t work at night when all you wanted was the time. I was calling to make an appointment with a doctor and proceeded tell every event in my life leading up to that phone call. The young lady on the end of the line was so patient with me and we finally got the 2 minute task done in just 15-20 minutes. I watched it all happening and couldn’t help myself. I feel like such a Dweeb!

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Neil Young — Harvest — This is the title cut from my favorite Neil Young record. There are a lot of good songs but this title waltz has a special place in my heart. This was Neil’s fourth album and was released in 1972.

• Blind Blake — Police Dog Blues — Have you seen the Prime Jack Reacher series? I have enjoyed it. I read the book it was based on the first Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. Anyway in the story Reacher gets off a bus, in the middle of no where Ga. to find out if Blind Blake really died there. He is promptly arrested and the story goes on. This was the first I had heard of Blind Blake. The finger picking is amazing even if the recording is kind of rough. Blind Blake lead the way for greats like Doc Watson and Ry Cooder. This song first appeared on “Detroit Bound Blues” released in August of 1928. 

• Lucius — My Heart Got Caught On Your Sleeve — This is another wonderful song by these folks. You may remember back in March I featured their Dusty Trails song . You know me, sucker for harmonies! This is from their 2016 release, “Good Grief (Deluxe)”.

• James Wilsey — Insomnia — It has been over four years since I had heard this one when it came up on the radio this week. There is something haunting about this hillbilly sounding guitar player. This one was released on his “El Dorado” album in 2008.

• 10cc — Rubber Bullets — This was the first song I head by 10cc. This track is from their self titles (10cc) debut release in 1973. They went on to become famous for their “I Am Not In Love” but this funny little tune shows their musicianship more.

• James Taylor – Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight – This is a pretty song played and sung well. Its kind of jazzy and I love Michael Becker’s sax This one is from his 1972 release, “One Man Dog”.

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!