September 22nd, 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 208 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• The results of my biopsy confirmed an earlier diagnosis of prostate cancer. My particular beastie has a very aggressive reputation. Of course, like almost all of these things, “we will know more when we do X”. X=that critical information you need to make decisions on what to do. So we are scheduling X and Y while we consider our options. In this case, X is a PET Scan. The Pet Scan will tell us if any of my lymph nodes have cancer cells present and usually takes some time to schedule, even urgently. The Y in this case is a radiation therapy consult which generally takes more time than you would like, just in case. As I understand it now I have the following options: First, is surgery = a prostatectomy. Not recommended in my case because of the placement of the tumor in relation to a nerve bundle. Radiation therapy is the preferred path by the doctor – there are 3 kinds of varying methods snd durations. My doctor recommended the same treatment as the John Hopkins paper I read online. It’s a 6 day targeted radiation treatment. The X information has to be available to choose which radiation treatment is best. Of course, there is always the Do Nothing option. This primarily reserved for situations where the treatment, after treatment quality of life and the expected duration of the remission do not equal the life, etc of just living with the beastie as long as I can. Perhaps for others this is an unacceptable option. Those with life milestones yet to realize. But I have lived a rich and full life. I have regrets but they are few. If the choice is to continue to enjoy something like I have now or endure a longer period of life albeit painful or burdensome – Then doing nothing will work for me. But first let’s get X and Y done!
• I may have mentioned planned improvements to our mental health support systems in the US previously. They have created and implemented a nationwide network of support facilities to support people in mental crisis situations – in addition to mental crisis support for the general population they also offer specializations for suicide and veterans, The contact number is 988. This has been a long time coming and should reduce many of the deadly mental health events we have seen rising so precipitously over the past decade.
• September 15th is the 258th day of 2022. Just 100 days till Christmas! Today in 1835, HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galápagos Islands. The ship lands at Chatham or San Cristobal, the easternmost of the archipelago; Today in 1776, Nathan Hale is hanged for spying during the American Revolution; In 1941 on this day, the Jewish New Year Day, the German SS murders 6,000 Jews in Vinnytsia, Ukraine. Those are the survivors of the previous killings that took place a few days earlier in which about 24,000 Jews were executed; On this day in 1948, Gail Halvorsen officially starts parachuting candy to children as part of the Berlin Airlift; Today in 1991, the Dead Sea Scrolls are made available to the public for the first time; Jeremiah Wright, controversial American pastor, activist and theologian was born today in 1941; Born today in 1947, Norma McCorvey, (AKA Jane Roe) American activist; Today in 1956, Debby Boone, American singer, actress, and author was born; Beth Catlin, American autistic savant was born today in 1958; Born today in 1960, Scott Baio, American actor; Tom Felton, (AKA Malfoy) English actor was born today in 1986;Shaka Zulu, Zulu chieftain and monarch of the Zulu Kingdom passed away today in 1828; Dan Rowan, American actor, comedian, and producer passed away today in 1987; Irving Berlin, Russian-born American composer and songwriter passed away; George C. Scott, American actor, director, and producer died today in 1989; And lastly, today in 2003, we lost Gordon Jump, (AKA The Big Guy, WKRP’s Arthur Carlson) American actor.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week 2 for our New Vocabulary Quiz
• Last week to do our Musical Trivia Quiz
• Jessica is the star cook at our house this week. She made us an excellent Couscous with Chicken Dish and more of her wonderful stir fry Teriyaki this time with Shrimp.
• The Home Page quote this week is from my favorite brilliant two different colored sock wearing geniuses, Albert Einstein, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking that created them.” I cannot criticize his foot apparel as I seldom wear any but it is an interesting paradox – A man can understand more about the universe that his wardrobe might indicate.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• This week was focused elsewhere – new backyard furniture and medical stuff so all artwork was postponed.
• 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.

Last Friday after my doctor’s call about the biopsy results, I felt a bit parched so I decided to have a cocktail and watch an old movie. As it turned out Hulu was featuring the first Predator movie where the alien’s hunting grounds are in a South American jungle. The scenery alone is breathtaking. The effects are very effective. The cast and screen play are a bit iffy. Arnold, plays the American Army rescue team leader, who speaks with a fairly thick German accent, “Dutch”. And only member of his team to survive the alien hunting spree. But as I was toasting my 70 years of reasonably good health, I realized that movie is probably the only one where 2 cast members go on to become state Governors – Arnold Schwarzenegger of California and Jesse Ventura of Minnesota. It may have happened before with Regan but I don’t think so. So what do you say? How weird is that!?

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

• Men At Work- It’s a Mistake – Another Colin Hay tight song for you all. This one comes to us from their album, “Cargo” released in 1991.
• Little Feat — Dixie Chicken — I have always loved “the Feat” (in all their variation of personnel) and this one might be the first Feat song I ever heard. It’s the title cut from their third studio album released in 1973.
  • Animals – House of the Rising Sun – One of my first favorite songs that I knew was about something secret or “adult”. This was the title song from their 1964 release.
 • Talking Heads – Once in a Lifetime – This band and their music scratched a very persistent itch for most of us. They were so different but compelling to listen to. This is the title song from their 1980 release.
• Don Henley & Bruce Hornsby — The End of the Innocence — This is the very moving title song from Don Henley’s solo album released in 1989. Don’s iconic voice with Bruce’s magical keyboard work is so beautiful, we almost forget the amazing sax break in the middle by Wayne Shorter. They both play this song at their concerts and I have been lucky enough to see both but this is the only way I have heard them see it together. Life is good.
• Tab Benoit – Broke and Lonely – Most of us have been there but few managed to get it into a Cajun blues tune. This is a great cut from this “Medicine” album released in 2011.

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!