September 27th, 2018

“Emesiere” Wishing you a “Good Morning” in Efik, a Benue–Congo language spoken in Cross River State in southern Nigeria.

There is still time to Vote for your favorite reads!!! The Great American Read is still running. I am still voting. Are you? You only have until October 18th to vote for your favorites!!!!

From time to time, we loose touch with people who matter to us. Its not purposeful, but it happens. I have spend decades with holes in my life put there by the absence of someone close to me. The only thing that assuages that ache of absence, is the joy you feel when you find them again. Since I have found some long lost friends, I try to be vigilant on keep the contact functional even when a busy world intrudes. So I encourage every one to send out little check-in pings to make sure you are still connected. I am doing that now. Trying to check in with a few old but distant friends to make sure they are alright.

Vote Damn It!!! We have seen what happens when only the morons show up. Study the candidates and measures on your local, state and federal ballots BEFORE you enter the voting booth!. In 2008 we had a 60.4 % turn out, in 2012 62.3% of eligible voters did their duty as citizens but in 2016 that dropped to 57.5. I think the dip between 2012 and 2016 were mostly voters with an IQ greater than 100. Here in California, I think they do a pretty good job of disseminating information ahead of the vote. I imagine your state probably does the same thing. I know we have 845 days of shame remaining but these midterms could be extremely helpful in reducing the damage being caused by SCOTUS and his ilk if we elect the right people. To do that we have to all vote. Whether it is easy or more difficult in your state, make the effort to educate yourself and then VOTE!

This week I learned some stuff:

• Today is NATIONAL CORNED BEEF HASH DAY!!! National Corned Beef Hash Day is observed annually on September 27. Making corned beef hash is a great way to use up leftovers. I love corned beef hash in the morning with a couple of eggs (even if it is that canned stuff that looks a great deal like dog food!).

• I imagine that every one has seen the movie “Independence Day” staring Will Smith, Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman. I have seen it many, many times, but no matter how often I see it, the President’s speech in the back of the Humvee before the volunteer pilots go off to battle the aliens in the air, makes me cry. “We will no longer be consumed by our petty differences”. When Randy Quade’s character flies his faulty missile into the primary weapon finally bringing down the alien craft, leaving his children fatherless but very proud for the first time in their lives my tears flow again. Why do some things like this remain so emotive no matter how many times you experience them?

Website Update:
• Its week two for our New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• The last week for the “UJT Music Trivia Quiz” !
• This week I added a recipe for Penang Beef Curry. Yum!!!

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• Last week I restarted my classes! And I have gotten a spurt of creative juices and have painted 3 watercolors since my first day back to class!

• There is simply no more important role that one can get to play than that of a parent. No other human endeavor will humble you as much, teach you as much or cause you as much anxiety and self doubt. We have the physical ability to procreate before we even have the slightest hint as to what it means to bring another innocent soul to this life. No matter how old or self-sufficient your children become, you always worry about them, wish you could take some of the sting out of the lives they are living and wishing them happiness even when you have almost nothing to do with arranging that. Sometimes the best thing to do for your kids is nothing. Too much help or help delivered early deprives your kids of the indelible wisdom only obtained by falling down and getting back up. It has taken me all my life to learn that you give your kids the tools to find their joy and then having to endure watching them strive for it. Life is Grand! But it ain’t easy.

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.
• Matt Kearny — Annie — A special pretty poem to music. This one comes from his 2009 release, “City of Black and White
• Led Zeppelin – Black Mountain Side — A clever acoustic song from their first album released 1969. I got this record the day it was released in Miami. My girlfriend at the time, a blond sweetie by the name Yolanda had just moved to Miami from California. She loved the music a lot longer and more than she did me.
• Good Old War — Over and Over — One of these lads is related to one of my poker pals from GLCPS&L. They do some lovely harmony. This one is from their, “Come Back as Rain” released in 2012.
• Taylor Swift — Wildest Dreams — This young lady reminds me a lot of Madonna, not so much her voice but the way she attacks her craft with passion, patience and puts everything in to her product. This one comes from her 2014 release entitled, “1989”.
• Lifehouse — Easier to Be — Another deeper cut from their album, “Lifehouse” released in 2007. The guitar work on this one is so tight.
• Michael Jackson — Billie Jean — Probably Michael’s biggest commercial hit from his magnificent release, “Thriller” from 1982. His is a tragic story but his music, especially his collaborations with Quincy Jones is memorable.
• Matchbox Twenty – Bed of Lies – This a deep cut from their “Mad Season” album released in 2000. I love this songwriting both lyrically and musically.
• The Zombies – Time of the Season – This is a remaster version of the original recordings, released in 1968 on their “Odessey and Oracle” album. I remember this being a hard song to dance to.. not really slow but not fast either so it was a great time to go out to the car and smoke a doobie 🙂

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: