September 9th, 2021

“Quid agis mane?”, or “Good Morning!” in Latin, an Italic language that was spoken throughout the western Roman Empire until 480 AD. That continued to be used as a language of international communication, scholarship, science and the Roman Catholic Church until the 18th century, and remains the official language of the Holy See and the Roman Rite of the Catholic Church.

Tomorrow, September 10th, is Suicide Prevention Day. If you know anyone who’s struggling in the US, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Outside the US, the International Association for Suicide Prevention provides contact information for crisis centers worldwide.

This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. From my perspective, we lost a lot more innocence than the horrible loss of nearly 3,000 victims of these horrible attacks. Again from my perspective, “we” have never owned up or even attempted to remove our part of the root cause that made those actions to seem like reasonable decisions by anyone. Our country helped create these desperate enemies. And more recent events prove that we still haven’t learned our lesson. How many Afghanis do we think we could we describe as neutral about America today?? I suspect that virtually every Afghani has a story about some blunder or other, intended or otherwise, that American’s perpetrated on their family somehow. We were wrong when we started fighting in Afghanistan and we were wrong in the way we left it. I am very much afraid that some desperate soul created in between, will find a creative way to hold us accountable that will kill even more innocents. Again.

This week we have had some serious goings on around here! After months of procrastination and policy tug-a-wars with the HOA, I finally backed off my plan to remove all of the sod from my yard and replace it with water friendly California native landscaping. My HOA wants lawns. I gave in so we are having our sprinklers upgraded to the newest tech, the sod replaced both front and back, getting both the Wisteria and the Crepe Myrtle pruned and getting our sea of pavers leveled, reset and bounded. We are also cleaning out and adding filtration to our pond this week. The bad news is that the pond guy says we have to many Koi for our sized pond. He told me about a Koi Rescue outfit. So we are reducing our herd!

This week I learned some stuff:
• There is a sky above the Wisteria arbor in my backyard! It looks so naked!
• Colonoscopy prep is NOT for sissies!! Ugghh!
• September 9th is the 252nd day of 2021. Just 107 days till Christmas! Today in 1776, the Continental Congress officially names its union of states the United States; Today in 1791, Washington, D.C., the capital of the United States, is named after President George Washington; Today in 1850, California is admitted as the thirty-first U.S. state; The first computer bug being found: A moth lodges in a relay of a Harvard Mark II computer at Harvard University on this day in 1947; Today in 1956, Elvis Presley appears on The Ed Sullivan Show for the first time;Today in 1972. a Cave Research Foundation exploration and mapping team discovers a link between the Mammoth and Flint Ridge cave systems, making it the longest known cave passageway in the world; Leo Tolstoy, Russian author and playwright was born today in 1828; Colonel Sanders, American businessman, founded KFC was born on this day in 1890; Cliff Robertson, American actor was born today in 1923;Today in 1941,Otis Redding, American singer-songwriter and producer was born; Joe Theismann, American football player and sportscaster born today in 1949; John McFee, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer was born today in 1950; Today in 1966, Adam Sandler, American actor, screenwriter, and producer was born; John Singleton Copley, American-English colonial and painter passed away today in 1815; Catfish Hunter, American baseball player passed away on this day in 1999; And finally, we lost, Edward Teller, Hungarian-American physicist and academic, “The Father of the HBomb” died today in 2003.

Website Update:
Restarting the cycle this week:
• A “New” Vocabulary Quiz WhooHoo!!!
• Last week for our “New” Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week I am adding a recipe that I have made before but never captured for the UJT site.
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from a gag writer by the name of Gary Apple. It caught on and has been ascribed to a lot of smart people. “Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.” .

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I was again distracted this week getting cat scans, O2 started and various projects around the house. I haven’t made any progress on my art projects 🙁
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• This week I read a new book that I really enjoyed. I am not sure other places do this or not but San Diego has a program called, “One Book One San Diego”. It was established 15 years ago by a partnership between KPBS, The San Diego Public Library and the San Diego County Library. With every one reading the same book we create a shared experience in the community. I have enjoyed conversations about these books with total stranger so it works at least at some level. And there is a good chance that everyone will read at least one good book each year! This year’s book is, “Being Heumann” by Judith Heumann.” I fell in love with Judy’s completely unique perspective on my life. Judy’s story is told from the perspective of an infant made a quadriplegic by polio and growing up at roughly the same time as me. She described my life from the perspective of an intelligent woman in a wheelchair. I remember my Mom teaching me not to stare at people with disabilities as staring was rude. I was curious but always afraid of being rude I was afraid to approach any of the disabled kids I came across. Reading this book, I regret that limitation, a lot. Judith’s memoir puts Grandpa Stories to shame on a lot of different levels. If you want to be impressed, ashamed and experience the out of body experience of living life from Judy’s perspective, I highly recommend this book. One last point to consider: As medical techniques improve and our lives get longer there is a very good chance that each of us might experience life from a disabled person’s perspective before we are done. The work that Judy and the people she tells us about in her memoir, have given us a much better chance of retaining autonomy when we are disabled some day.
• This week’s CNN’s Good News newsletter came with a shameless cute animal video as always but this beastie was so friendly I just have to share it with you all. Spoiler alert, if you are not ready to smile and “aawww” do not click this link!

Music Update:

Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library. I hope you enjoy!

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Marshal Tucker Band — Can’t You See — I have been lucky enough to see these boys live back when this was a new song. Another great suggestion from Brother Mike! It’s from their, “Searchin’ for a Rainbow” album released in 1975.
• Johnny A — The Wind Cries Mary — One of my all time favorite songs done by yet another guitar master!! This comes from his 2004 release, “Get Inside.
• The Doors — Riders on the Storm — From their “LA Woman” album released in 1971. LA Woman was released in April and Jim Morrison was dead by July. It was a favorite of the bar bands of Alongapo and Subic City in the Philippines. You would hear it everywhere until curfew.
• Charles McPherson — Darn That Dream — I have been watching and reading Harry Bosch episodes and he is a huge jazz fan. A couple of years ago a good friend of mine and his wife attended a concert featuring this great Alto Saxophonist. When it came up today, I just felt like it had been too long since I heard it. I have always loved the Sax! But Mulgrew Miller’s piano kind of takes over this piece in the middle. This one is from his, “Come Play With Me” album released in 1995 and it features Charles, Mulgrew, Santi Debriano, bass and Lewis Nash on drums- a band of titans of jazz!
• Bob Dylan — One More Cup of Coffee — This one is a haunting song from an album of haunting songs. This week, I learned that Bob has been painting all these years as well. From what have seen is artwork is as superb as his poetry and songwriting! This is from his 1976 release, “Desire”.
• Bob Seger – Katmandu – This is the last one in the turnstile for this week but it is by no means uncelebrated. This comes from Bob’s first of 10 consecutive platinum records, “Beautiful Loser” , released in 1976.

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!