September 23rd, 2021

“ބައްއަޖޖެވުރި ހެނދުނެހް(Ba’ajjeveri hendhuneh)”, or “Good Morning!” in Maldivian, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in the Maldives and on India’s Minicoy Islands.

It is my goal to provide clear, presentable, and wherever possible, concise information within the weekly UJT Updates I provide to you. Upon occasion in the past, well, if I am to be truthful, almost every single week, I embarrass myself with shoddy workmanship in the crafting of the update. I hope that from this week forward, your weekly update will have reduced wordsmithing flaws and better readability. I purchased a new powerful toolset that will help me reduce the Spelling. Grammar and Readability errors in this document.
PBS has a new Ken Burns’ documentary that started streaming this week, “Mohamed Ali”. I watched the first episode this week. I remember riding the roller coaster of adulation to condemnation with almost everyone else. The white kids who were only just learning life for “the negroes” differed greatly from theirs. A lot of the story takes place in Miami and Miami Beach where I was growing up. The shots taken of places where Cassius did his road work no longer exist – every inch consumed in some developers’ plan.

Our yard is virtually complete. A small area remains to be worked in the very back. We have deep green grass front and back, the new mulched flower beds, upgraded irrigation technology and clear crystal clear pond. It looks really beautiful!

This week I learned some stuff:
• If you have Roku, check out streaming, “Grace Under Fire” staring Brett Butler. It was a sitcom in the mid-1990s about a single mom raising 3 little kids on her own. I had forgotten how funny it is and how many actors who later became famous had bit parts (ex. John Goodman). Her escape from her alcoholic wife beating redneck ex-husband is a great backdrop for her hilarious comedy. The show’s writing is incredible. Ironically, Brett’s inability to overcome her own addictions got the show canceled after 5 seasons.
• September 23rd is the 266th day of 2021. Just 94 days till Christmas! Today in 1779, John Paul Jones, naval commander of the United States, on board the USS Bonhomme Richard, wins the Battle of Flamborough Head; On this day in 1808, Lewis and Clark return to St. Louis after exploring the Pacific Northwest of the United States; In 1962, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts opened on this day in New York City; Houston Astros’ Jim Deshaies sets a record, striking out the first eight batters he faces against the Los Angeles Dodgers on this day in 1986; Today in 2004, over 3,000 people die in Haiti after Hurricane Jeanne produces massive flooding and mudslides; Walter Lippmann, American journalist and publisher, co-founded The New Republic was born today in 1889; Mickey Rooney, American actor, singer, director, and producer, was born on this day in 1920; John Coltrane, American saxophonist and composer, was born today in 1926; Today in 1835, Les McCann, American soul-jazz singer and pianist, was born; Marty Schottenheimer, American football player and coach was born today in 1943; Ron Bushy, American Iron Butterfly’s drummer, was born today in 1945; Today in 1949, Bruce Springsteen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born; Liz Murray, American inspirational speaker, was born today in 1980; Sigmund Freud, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist, passed away today in 1939; Chief Dan George, Canadian actor, author, and poet, Josie Wales companion, Lone Watie, passed away on this day in 1981; And finally, Bob Fosse, American actor, dancer, choreographer, and director, died today in 2016.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our “new” Vocabulary Quiz
• Week 2 for our “new” Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week I updated my Arroz Con Pollo recipe for the UJT site. Its more complicated but like this version much better!
• This week’s Home Page quote comes from a trailer from Clint Eastwood’s new movie, “Cry Macho”. In the scene, Howard, the boss, is calling Clint’s character, Mike Milo, a has-been, drunk and pretty much useless. He finally notices that Mike is not responding. He asks, “Ain’t you going to say anything??” Mike replies in his unperturbed growl of a voice, “Howard, I have always thought of you as a small, weak and gutless man but, you know, there’s no reason to be rude.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• Life distracted me this week, again. I have made no progress on my art projects! I have been working on my Bonsai trees this week… Repotting, pruning and’s fun to beat up little defenseless trees:)
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• I have been lallygagging a bit this week. As our bed saga takes yet another turn. I have mentioned that one of the delivery companies contracted by one of the bed manufacturers to pick up the mattress returns. Unfortunately, the also took a mattress that wasn’t on the manifest. We caught the mistake hours after they left and contacted the company which began a 3 month runaround. After dealing with at least 15 different “customer service types, their supervisors and managers, exasperated, I contacted the BBB. This particular BBB is in NJ. They replied that this company had a 4F rating, which means run screaming from the room before you ever do business with them. They suggested we connect with the State of NJ’s Consumer Affairs Office. Who, after just 3-4 weeks, send me a note saying that they had passed the case to Middlesex County Consumer Affairs. Who also consumed another several weeks before notifying me that this issue did not come under their purvey. It is clear. I will not get my $618 or the mattress back. In spite of my best effort, I will not prevail in the end.

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:
• Elton John — All the Young Girls Love Alice — This one is a deep cut from his wonderful “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road” album. Hmmm, it got little air play even on the FM dial.
• Billy Joel — Piano Man — This one always takes me back to when I was a 17year old car park at my best friend’s dad’s restaurant. It had a piano bar, and I got to know a real Piano Man. He drove a cherry 1955 orange Chevy with a 427 engine. It always amazed me he knew so many songs. This is the title cut from his album released in 1973. Later in life, I knew another Piano Man by the name of Sid. But that’s another story.
• Hayes Carll — The Love That We Need — I do not know where I got this song. It might be one of those songs on iTunes on that, “if you liked this one, try these” section. But the bottom line. This is a cut from his “Lovers and Leavers” released in 2016. I like it. All of it. It’s ust a song done well.
• Bonnie Raitt — Nick Of Time — Its been a bit a while since i featured this beautifully written song. The best part is that same beautiful lady sings and plays it. This is the title cut from her 1989 release. It is one of my all-time favorite tunes.
• Bruce Springsteen — You’re Missing — I think Bruce wrote this one for the people who lost family in 9/11. If you listen to the words, you can feel their loss on that terrible day, or at least I can. This is a deep cut from his “The Rising” album released in 2002.
• The Thorns — I Told You — This is from their album, “The Thorns” released in 2003. The Thorns, Matthew Sweet, Pete Droge, and Shawn Mullins only produced the one album, but it was a great one. This is a pretty song of wonderful harmonies. I love the guitar work, as well.

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!