September 9th, 2016

Yá’át’ééh abíní! (“Good Morning” in Navajo)

We are moving into the part of the year where I find myself deeply saddened. We are approaching the 15th year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks in NYC, DC and Pennsylvania. It seems that each year a little more information makes it’s way into the daylight. It is the default of every bureaucracy to withhold information so as to delay the enviable second guessing that always accompanies hard decision making. This year I have learned enough to commend George W. Bush for good performance in a terrible situation. George’s finest hour was when he visited the pit to inspire disheartened search and rescue teams to continue with their horrible duty to find and remove the remains of over 3000 people and 7 buildings. Rudy Giuliani also should be commended for his leadership on the ground in NYC. Don Rumsfeld’s first role in 9/11 as a stretcher barer was a unsung until 2011 when a Pentagon photographer products were declassified. In hundreds of interviews and two books, the former Secretary of Defense failed to mention that he was a first responder into the burning Pentagon building minutes after the attack to rescue injured before the Emergency Services teams could arrive on site. I become tearfully speechless whenever I contemplate the courage and character demonstrated by everyone aboard United 93 as they forced their captures to kill everyone on board but no one else. Not to take anything away from these people who did so well in a time so dark for all of us, but Americans are a great people who inspire leaders to greatness in every endeavor.

I was working at the NMCI Network Operations Center on Coronado Island. We were considered critical participants and were allowed on the base. I have spoken to many audiences under various circumstances in my life, but the impromptu team meeting we held for the NMCI folks that day was the most difficult I have had to make. Our services were infantile so I wasn’t sure how much we could help or even if we would be asked to help out here in San Diego but I wanted us to be ready if we were called. So we organized shifts, meals and other logistics to get us through those first terrible days. Everyone had tears in their eyes.

And another thing :

I had the opportunity to see Will Smith this week on late night TV and I though he had a brilliant take on our country’s recent racial tensions. He added a perspective that is important to consider. Things are continually improving in terms of race relationships in our country. I am old enough to remember growing up in the south with segregated bathrooms and water fountains. Cultural Change is a process and we are processing our world as best we can. Some go faster than others. Some will have to die off and others will have to be born for us to fix this all the way. That is going to be frustrating but the recent events are keeping the need to work on it on the table and we are talking about it. I was struck by the wisdom of this relatively young man.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Watching “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” is an wonderful experience. There is so much to learn that it cannot be done in one sitting.
• I learned that Longmire is starting back up! Thanks Donna!!! Netflix you rock!
• I learned that I miss journalling. I think I was much more productive when I took the few minutes each day to collect my thoughts. I also wish to write some letters so look out distant friends… I may be using my pretty stamps again.
• I learned that I could sell my beautiful old walnut Taylor guitar on Ebay. It took three listings but I got close to what I wanted and she got a new home in Minnesota with a nice man named Dan.
• I learned that our friend, Steve the Parakeet is fully integrated in his new home in Jamul, CA. I called his new owners to see how the boy is doing. He now lives in his own room (not in a cage) with several other Budgies. I am told by Sarah, his new human, that he still enjoys screaming at political commentaries on TV.

Website Update
• A “New” Vocabulary quiz!
• I added another quote or two to the UJT Kitchen Drawer – “If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy. … Truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.” Bob Marley from the Guitar Chord Song Book

Writing and Painting Update:
• Painting still is a step too far this week. I have my paints and easel set up outside and a sketch started but did not progress from there. I am still attempting a painting project for my Christmas gifts this year but time is running short.
• I have done it now..going into full editorial mode to push to the end. I have

• With all the recent health stuff and scary tests the docs put me through, I kind of took stock in where I would leave things if I stepped off the mortal train any time soon. I was unhappy to find that I probably hadn’t organized my stuff such that it would be easy to sort out and deal with. Tippy and I did a will back in 1999 or 2000 but it hasn’t been updated nor is does it help with planning for situations where one or both of us might be incapacitated. So I did some checking and found that we should have a Living Trust that owns all of our assets and articulates our wishes should when we die and if we become incapacitated in the process. With a well excited trust everything you leave can be distributed exactly as you wish with being encumbered by the costs, taxes and delays provided during probate or if you are unable to act for yourself. There is simply no logical reason why everyone shouldn’t have a living trust. It is not free but if you own real property or real estate or have dependents the return on the investment and peace of mind you can obtain from your investment in getting a trust done is substantial. Unless you believe you should give more of your assets to the government and delay the benefits of your life work being provided to your heirs you should get a trust done now. Not every lawyer is a trust attorney. Trusts are specialized and if done wrong, you stuff gets sent to probate anyway. Distributing your entire accumulation of assets without delay and expense is a high stakes endeavor. Do your research and find a lawyer who has the experiences and focus to do trusts well, preferably as a specific practices vs. a bolt on service provided when the divorce business is slow. Also doing the work is hard. You have to identify and document everything you own and everything about how you want to live when you cannot speak for your self, who you want to distribute your assets to upon your death and who you want to oversee those actions on your behalf.
• I am an articulate man but it is difficult for me to express the distain I feel for the two main political parties and how they have denigrated and infected our political process. They have achieved completely marginal performance by our legislative branch and both candidates for the most powerful office on the planet. A political party decided, not an election or a court or a law, that the United States Supreme court should remain one justice short for purely political reasons! We should file a class action malpractice suit against the specific individuals who have decided not to perform their duties as elected officials of the Congress of the United States. But it wouldn’t be heard in time to fix anything and the taxpayers would have to pay for their legal defense!!! And don’t even get me started on the election! I hate this election!!! I swear sometimes through all the noise, I can almost hear each of them saying, in turn, “Yeah but I don’t suck nearly as much as the other guy.” I thought Matt Lower did a shitty job talking about what the media thinks versus what the American people really should be learning about from these candidates but I forgive him in that I wouldn’t really want to talk with either of these two people up close.

Music Update:
I am sorry about the typos last week. When I was updating the site this week I found all these messed up title entries. With the holiday my musical selection kind of got compressed into Thursday morning. I am heading out a Estate Seminar so I had to work it early. I hope you like the selection:

• John Denver – Mother Nature’s Son — A deep cut from his Rocky Mountain High album. I think you have to be a certain mood or head place to fully appreciate this song. I guess I got to that place often enough.
• Rolling Stones – Waiting On A Friend – This is a great old song that reminds me of a dear great old friend. This song has one of my very favorite sax solos on it.
• Joe Robinson – Chatterbox – I have featured Joe (Tommy Emmanuel’s discovery) a few times on UJT radio but never this song. It so tight and light. A deep cut from his Birdseed album.
• John Lennon – Mind Games – From the Vinyl!!!! This election seems to be a complete dedication to the study of how arrogance and entitlement can reach a new height of social acceptability while real people are really hurt. The Dallas Morning News endorsed Hillary this week..which says a lot more about Trump than Hillary I am afraid.
• James Taylor – Yellow and Rose — This one was on UJT radio in early 2015 but I needed to hear it again. Its just such a beautiful song. “Everything changes for the strangers on the shore…”
• Matchbox Twenty – I’ll Believe You When – Another gem from their, “Exile on Mainstream” album.
• Stevie Wonder – Don’t You Worry ‘Bout a Thing – From the Vinyl!!!! Another gift from the gospel according to Brother Stevie’s,”Innervisions” album. Truly, an amazing record for all time.
• Ima Robot – Greenback Boogie — I first heard this as asnippet intro used on the TV show, “Suits”. It caught my ear and would not let go. I hope yo like it too.

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!