September 30th, 2021

“Aloha kakahiaka”, or “Good Morning!” in Hawaiian, a Polynesian language spoken in Hawaii.

One of my UJT cohorts is an old editor of mine. He gently busted me for my continuing failure to republish Grandpa Stories. I so appreciate it when I get feedback that helps me regain my course and heading. I was also flattered that this person 1) actually read the UJTs; 2) thought enough about my work to respond and encourage. Thank you Noah! I am on it. Inspired, I put my last edit of GPS through my new AI toolset to see what I could learn. Like Noah, this tool not only points out opportunities to improve readability, typos, etc. but it also teaches as it does so. Though editing is my least favorite task in writing, I’m back at it again. It feels like visiting an old friend.

More progress on the home front. We are still finishing the yard. We postponed the pruning of the Crepe Myrtle until February because she has gone dormant. Painters are crawling all over the outside of our house. I am too much of a chicken to take on disruption that painting inside would cause.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I recommend everyone write a memoir as a salve for the soul or a celebration of your trek through this life before you die. If you choose to write anything serious, I highly recommend that you invest in a subscription to ProWritingAid. As stated previously, it is a powerful, useful tool set that teaches as well as corrects.
• September 30th is the 273rd day of 2021. Just 87 days till Christmas! Today in 1791, the first performance of Mozart’s opera The Magic Flute takes place two months before his death; On this day in 1882, Thomas Edison’s first commercial hydroelectric power plant (later known as Appleton Edison Light Company) begins operation; In 1888, Jack the Ripper kills his third and fourth victims, Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes; The Cunard Line’s RMS Mauretania makes a record-breaking westbound Atlantic crossing, that stood for 20 years on this day in 1909; Today in 1935, the Hoover Dam, astride the border between Arizona and Nevada, entered service; NBC broadcasts the first televised American football game today in 1939; Today the 1947 World Series begins. This was the first series to be televised, include an African-American player, exceed $2 million in receipts, see a pinch-hit home run, and have six umpires on the field; The US Navy commissioned the USS Nautilus, the world’s first nuclear-powered vessel today in 1954; On this day in 1980, Xerox published ethernet specifications working with Intel and Digital Equipment Corporation; Ann Jarvis, American activist, co-founded Mother’s Day, was born today in 1832; Buddy Rich, American drummer, bandleader, and actor was born on this day in 1917; Truman Capote, American novelist, playwright, and screenwriter, was born today in 1926; Today in 1928, Elie Wiesel, Romanian-American author, academic, and activist, Nobel Prize laureate, was born; Johnny Mathis, American singer and actor, was born today in 1935; James Dean, American actor, passed away today in 1955; Mary Ford, American singer, guitarist, wife, musical and radio show partner of Les Paul, passed away on this day in 1977; Edgar Bergen, American actor and ventriloquist died today in 1978; And finally, Stephen J. Cannell, American author, screenwriter and producer, died today in 2010. My wife and I met Stephen and Marcia while on vacation in 2000. He was a very down to earth, friendly and talented man who gave us several autographed copies of his novels. He had severe dyslexia but considered it an asset, as he felt it caused him to think and write differently than most.

Website Update:
This week:
• A “new” Vocabulary Quiz
• Last week for our “new” Musical Trivia Quiz
• I didn’t come up with any new dishes for you. Maybe next week?
• The Home Page quote comes from one of my favorite fallible, irreverent rascals in history. Winston Churchill was always ready with a wry comment for consumption. Churchill was often right. He also celebrated being wrong as part of the process of change and growth. “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; It is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• No change on the painting or stained glass front this week. The painters’ coming forced us to do some serious house cleaning on our plant population. My grandson and I watched in horror as she sentenced several plants we were trying to save to death.
• Grandpa Stories is once again on track to be republished.

• The bureaucratic gods were unkind to me again this week. My health insurance company customer service rep told me they covered my $3000 portable O2 concentrator expense. Then they denied the claim. But they thanked me for the feedback on their customer service rep and will update their training! After losing the bed fight with the devil scum, Metropolitan Warehouse and Delivery, Inc.
I was hoping for a win. “Sometimes, I feel, like I’ve been tied to the Whippin’ Post…. Tied the Whippin’ Post … Oh Lord, I feel like I am dyin’…” Then again, “All things must pass… None of life’s stings can last… “.

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:
• The Allman Brothers Band — Whipping Post — From the vinyl!!!! This one is a brilliant demonstration that Greg Allman may have the best blues voice in the biz. It comes from their iconic “Life at Fillmore East ” album. Its a very long song that ends too soon.
• George Harrison — All Things Must Pass — This the title cut to George’s triple album release in 1970. It was George’s first solo album. George Martin produced it and it featured so many great songs, all of which I thought were uniquely George. It featured some of the best non-Beatles musicians in the business. Derek and the Dominos formed during the All Things Must Pass sessions.
• Melissa Etheridge — I’m the Only One — This lady and Cat Stevens were the reasons I got an Ovation Guitar. I loved the bright crisp highs, but it proved to be a difficult guitar to play for me. This is a great song. It has a good beat and a lot of soul! This was a big hit from her “Yes I Am” album released in 1993.
• Derek and The Dominos — Got to Get Better in a Little While — We last heard this covered admirably by our friend Joe Bonamassa on his “Live from Albert Hall” album. But this is the original, released in 1970 on “Layla and Other Love Songs”.
• The Beatles — Getting Better — Sgt. Peppers will always be one of my very favorite musical experiences – every time I play the album! That’s pretty incredible, considering this song is now 54 years old!
• Les Paul & Steve Miller — Fly Like an Eagle — This is from their album, “Les Paul & Friends: American Made – World Played” released in 2005. Steve’s dad was Les Paul’s best man when Les and Mary Ford got married. At the beginning, you can hear little Stevie playing in the studio and Les encouraging him. I think it’s a pretty cool bit of music history. This is my favorite versions of Steve’s big commercial hit. The interplay between Steve’s and Les’ guitar playing is incredibly crisp and clean.

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!