September 13th, 2018

“Dobré ráno” Wishing you a “Good Morning” in the Czech Republic.

The Great American Read is still running. I am still voting. Are you?

This week we remembered that terrible day 17 years ago, when America was attacked in a series of aircraft highjackings that killed over 3,000 people in New York, Washington, DC. and Pennsylvania. Many of us watched in horror as the second plane hit the World Trade Center as it happened. We all saw the aftermath when the towers fell, the Pentagon burned and the wreckage was found in the countryside in Pennsylvania. We heard the stories of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. We learned how our government agencies had information that might have prevented the damage but that information was not readily available to all those charged with protecting our way of life. In addition to the loss of life, we lost some of our privacy, our rights to freely move about our country and some of our ability to live unafraid. Out of all horrible events, inevitably there are gains for the moment or perhaps even our futures. We came together as a country. We set aside our differences and aligned with our fellow citizens in NY, DC and PA. People in Canada took into their homes total strangers – stranded airline passengers until transportation could be arranged safely again. Hundreds of millions of people throughout the world, joined with us in sorrow and in solidarity against such senseless acts of horror. None of us will enjoy the innocence we lost 17 years ago but we can use what we learned to find the root causes for such actions and eliminate them where ever they exist. RIP to all victims of 9/11/2001.

Did you see the Stand Up to Cancer Special last Friday Night? I lost my dad and my baby brother to cancer. I was so impressed by the collaborative approach that they are taking. 100% of your donations are applied to cancer research and treatment development. If you can, please go to their website and give to save lives. After you donate what you can, get screened for cancer. Early identification is key to successful treatment. You can make a difference!

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is NATIONAL BLAME SOMEONE ELSE DAY National Blame Someone Else Day is always celebrated on the first Friday the 13th of the year. This year the lucky month is September!!
• I was trying to recreate a flan recipe that my friends mom used when I was a boy or at least something similar to the flan my wife used to make. But I undercooked the custard and didn’t create enough caramelized sugar for the bottom. I made a batch that needed to be microwaved to firm up. The resulting flan was marginal and disappointing. So I tweaked the recipe and tried again. And as the French say, “Waller!”.
• Unintended consequences. Those are the things that happen when you are trying to do a good thing (usually) and without realizing it, you end up hurting someone’s feelings. This has happened to me a couple of times over the years. Each time I was totally oblivious as to the harm I had caused and was completely shocked by the persons reaction. In every case, I was totally at fault, stricken with an acute case of DumbAss (for which there is no vaccine). When brought to my attention, I have apologized and tried to explain myself. I also try to learn an not make the same mistake again. I suspect there actually maybe more folks out there that my words or actions or failure to act have inadvertently made feel bad or insulted. If this is the case for you; I am terribly sorry and promise that I will try to not do it again.

Website Update:
• Whoo Hoo!!!! A New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Week 2 for the “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !
• This week I added some new recipes. I had some culinary flashbacks (they told us that could happen but not that the flashbacks might be tasty) to my early days living i Miami. Check out the new recipes for Cuban Flan and Bestec de Palomillia… Yum!!!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Last week I restarted my classes! It was good to be there even if my efforts have not been all that productive.

• Hurricane Florence! Anyone living or traveling to a destination between St.Augustine, FL to Kittery, Me should be tracking this storm’s progress. It is already a full blown Category 4 storm and is expected to intensify over the open Atlantic in the next few days. Our storm identification and tracking technology has gotten much better since my days as a boy in Miami but it is only valuable if you use the information to make good decisions. These kinds of storms are non-negotiable. They are going to go where they go and do what they will do. So track the storm here, and be intelligent with your choices, if you are going to be in its path. Keep a good thought for anyone in the path of this storm and all of the first responders.

Music Update:
Here is another musical smorgasbord for you to feast upon. I know that not ever dish will be your favorite but I hope you will sample it all.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Miles Davis — ‘Round Midnight — Miles covers this old Theionious Monk tune with John Coltrane on Sax in 1956. Miles took us all to a new genre of jazz. He defined cool on a generational basis. Switch to candlelight and let his mellow muted horn take you down to the mysterious places inside us all..
• Paul Simon – Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard — From the Vinyl !!!! – A completely silly song by a gifted artist who is not above self indulgence.
• Carl Verheyen Band — Floydian Slip — One seriously gifted musician. My buddy George Gomez turned me on to Carl. Thanks George!
• Eric Clapton — Cypress Grove — Eric doing on old timey dirty blues right out in front of everyone. This is a deep cut from his, “ I Still Do” released in 2016.
• Peter Frampton — Lines on My Face — I loved this song from the first time I heard it through headphones in my rack on Westpac with the good ship Outlet. Released in 1976, “Frampton Comes Alive” just blew us all away. I seem to remember something about Thai Stick …its fuzzy 🙂
• Bob Marley and The Wailers — Jamming — Just followed the smiles and eventually you will come to Bob Marley. This one was from one of the remaster compilations that came out in 2002.
• Culture Club – Do You Really Want to Hurt Me – This catchy tune our of transgender-land helped this British new wave or alt rock group’s debut album, “Kissing to be Clever” go platinum in 1982. Has anyone failed to scream, “Yes” at their radio when this tune was being so over played???
• Carly Simon — No Secrets — From the Vinyl!!!! The title cut of her first album released in 1972. A beautiful lady making beautiful music.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: