September 10th, 2020

“K’abį́ nezų”, or “Good Morning!” in Chipewyan, a Northern Athabaskan language spoken in parts of northern Canada. It is Day 175 of the California Lock Down. Slowly opening back up, with new normal rules… haircuts, fitness centers and nail salons are opening.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day! The best thing we can do to prevent suicide is to learn the signs and act on them. If you don’t know what to look for or what to do, check out this site. The key thing to remember is that taking about killing themselves or hopelessness are serious indicators. While listening and getting help may be difficult and painful. It will not be as difficult or painful as wishing you had after their suicide.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am really enjoying talking to all of these people doing the census. Very few have been rude or discourteous. Even the ones who are not interested or don’t understand or don’t trust that doing the census is important, seem to tolerate my interruptions with some grace. Oh Snap! I hope I didn’t just jinx myself!
• The Great Left Coast Poker, Smoke and Lies Society had our first game since the pandemic started. It was just wonderful to hang with the bubbas again. We had our first game in our new Sgt. at Arms’ backyard and it was well appointed and attended.
• September 10 is the 254th day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 106 days till Christmas!). Today in 1960, at the Summer Olympics in Rome, Abebe Bikila becomes the first sub-Saharan African to win a gold medal, winning the marathon in bare feet; On this day in 1977, Hamida Djandoubi, convicted of torture and murder, is the last person to be executed by guillotine in France; In 2002, Switzerland, traditionally a neutral country, becomes a full member of the United Nations; On this day in 2008, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, described as the biggest scientific experiment in history, is powered up in Geneva, Switzerland; In 1852, Alice Brown Davis, American tribal chief of the Seminole was born; Arnold Palmer, American golfer and businessman was born today in 1929; Roger Maris, American baseball player and coach born today in 1934; Gunpei Yokoi, Japanese video game designer, invented Game Boy was born today in 1941; José Feliciano, Puerto Rican singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1945; And finally, Richard Kiel, American actor (he played Jaws in some of the dumbest James Bond movies ever!) passed away today in 2014;

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• A“New” Vocabulary Quiz Woooo Whooo!!!
• Week two for our “New” UJT Musical Trivia Quiz!
• I came up with a new dish this week that we enjoyed, Seared Scallops with Cherry Tomatoes.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• This week I managed to attend one Zoom Art Class with is actually more like a coffee club these days.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

Weird-Stuff-O-Meter:
• There is very little in my experience more fascinating that our minds and how they work. I recently had a friend who lives in Williamsburg, VA. tell me about his bout with the Corona virus on his own. That connected my mind to my experiences in Williamsburg over time. I have no idea why or how that happens but I followed the chain from when I first visited colonial Williamsburg, Va. with my little brother and my grandma when I was 9 years old. We stopped by using our AAA Triptik on our way home from visiting Washington, DC. I fell in love with the period and the place. Roll forward almost a decade later, I just just reported to my ship in Norfolk, in early December and saw my first snowfall. We were stood down for the holidays and I found myself with some time on my hands. A long liberty weekend with almost no money and everyone else headed home. So I hitched rides to the bus station and paid my $9 to get a round trip bus ticket to Williamsburg. It was a very cold wintery kind of frozen rain kind of day with a slate grey sky. I got off my bus in Williamsburg not too far from William and Mary College. I seem to recall seeing a notice about a guest house maybe at the bus station but I ended up at this beautiful house built in the late 1700s but a merchant. I arrived just before the downpour that soaked the city for the next 2 days. For $6, I was given a room with a big fourposter bed and a antique desk. The desk had all of these handwritten journals. I was amazed! These books were like looking into the daily life of a merchant living before the American Revolution. The hand writing was so perfect and straight. He talked of his business problems, good and bad investments, his family (he had 3 daughters). I was much more interested in the day to day stuff than the big moments. He was a very reluctant colonial supporter. I spent that soggy weekend in that room leaving only to go to a nearby pub for deli sandwiches in the rain. On Sunday, evening the rain stopped but the dampness and cold was thorough and I remember feeling as cold as I had ever felt walking to the bus station in my thick chorded turtleneck sweater and peacoat. By the time I boarded the bus back to Norfolk, my feet and the bottoms of my jeans were soaked and almost frozen. Thanks to the blast furnace bus heater along the floor, they were dry by the time we got to Norfolk bus station. I walked across Hampton Blvd and stuck out my thumb and got a ride to the D&S gate from a guy coming back from his long liberty too. All that clarity and connectivity all flashed through my half awake brain just from imagining my sick friend stuck inside in Williamsburg!

Music Update:

Once again, your fossilized DJ takes you on another tiptoe though the archives to share some things you might missed or never have heard or at least not heard recently.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Pink Floyd — Us and Them — Another classic tune from “Dark Side of the Moon” released in 1973.
• Tommy Petty – Good to be King – From his 1994 solo release, “Wildflowers”.
• The Who — Magic Bus — The first time I heard this album was on the 8 track in my best friend’s 1966 golden GTO. We would crank that bad boy up and drive out to the beach. My memories are some thing like that Beavis and Butthead clip where the boys are all in a car driving with their heads all bobbing to the music. This is a live version from their 1970 release called, “Who Live at Leeds”.
• James Taylor and Michael Brecker — Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight — This song has been covered I think by almost everybody. But I particularly like this jazzy version from JT’s “October Road” released in 2002. Michael Brecker’s sax is just wonderful.
• Steely Dan — Chain Lightening— Its been a while since I heard this song. I LOVE the guitar work on this tune. This one comes from their 1975 release, “Katie Lied”
• Robert Plant and Alison Kraus — Please Read the Letter — This is a sweet duet from an album full of them. This one comes from their 2007 collaboration called, “Raising Sand”. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

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!