September 14th, 2017

“Mwaikaleni” That is a “good morning” you might hear in Bemba (Chibemba), a Bantu language spoken in Zambia, Congo and Tanzania..

Happy National Live Creative Day!!! Go do something creative while you are alive:)

We all watched and worried this week as another, even bigger hurricane headed for and then hit the state of Florida. Jimmy Buffett has a song, “Everybody has a Cousin In Miami” and its pretty true I think. We all have seem to have some connection to someone in the path of Harvey, Irma and now, young Jose. The great news is that while taking a pretty horrific path through the islands of the Caribbean, Irma didn’t take as many lives as a storm of her strength and size might be expected to take. She left a huge mess and it will take some time to recover but all things considered it could have been much much worse. In spite of the political crap being dumped on the science, I am pretty sure the folks in the Caribbean, south Florida, SE Texas and Louisiana probably feel comfortable that the science of global warming might, indeed be a fact.

We had an old friend in town this week. I was great seeing Jack Keller again. It has been awhile but he still acts and looks the same so the treatments are failing, I think. All kidding aside, I am a very fortunate person to have so many relationships that have the depth and richness that allows for a great deal of time between meetings and still have connections that start up just as if you had been apart a few moments. Though I could have forgone the ass kicking he gave us at the poker table before he slithered out of town.

This week I learned some stuff:
• My CSS/HTML class is kicking my butt but is also kind of fun in a painful self flagellating sort of way.:)
• I learned that my Writing Class starts 2 weeks after Labor Day… Sorry Joe!

Website Update:
• I added a new reciepe for, “Warm Spinach Salad with Chicken Livers and Bacon” for you. Though not all will appreciate this dish, those who do will enjoy it a lot.
• Several times over the years, faithful UJT readers will remember my mention of my poker buddies. We set up a semi-weekly game over a decade ago and through that vehicle, I have had some of my most enjoyable times. Well, this week I memorialized our game on the UJT site. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to take our template and turn into their own. If you are lucky enough to put the right butts in the seats, you too could know the joy of this kind of camaraderie. Check it out here.
• Last week for the New Vocabulary Quiz – Woohoo!!! It has been reported that there was at least one 10 out of 10 score on this one. Congrats you smart person you!
• This week I also added the lyrics for “Prayer for the Dying ” from Seal for your sing-a-long pleasure. Enjoy!

Writing and Painting Update:
• I did a couple of mini paintings to test the design of the image before I commit a half or full sheet to the cause. Starting back to class this week so I will be starting one or both later.
• I must admit to a feeling of pride when I visited the SDWS Gallery this week and saw my painting amongst all those great pieces.
• With Jack in town, I didn’t do much writing this week. Back on the horse once he heads out.

• Last week, I talked about how music can change my whole perspective and take me to some special place in my head, heart and soul, well so can excellent writing! Last week I also mentioned that I was enjoying reading Topper by Thorne Smith. I am again transported to the exact moment with Topper makes his private observations because Smith’s words left me no choice. I first read this book when I was about 13 or 14. I remember being stopped in my tracks by this passage then. Here is an excerpt from “Topper, A Ribald Adventure” by Thorne Smith first published in 1926.

“The Inn was built on sandy soil. The sea had once been there. If you looked between the trees in moonlight you could see the white patches of sand lying in the woods. And if you stood quite still and listened to the wind thrumming through the pines you could catch the echo of waves falling on vanished beaches. The sea had once been there. The rhythm of its surf still lingered in the air, and the healing tang of its salt blended with the smell of pine. All was silent in the woods. Nobody ever came to them now. No couples flitted across the patches, no whispering voices were heard among the trees.”

That, my friends, is some fine-ass-writing!!!

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Beach Boys — Sloop John B — One of my favorite all time BB songs. If you love sweet harmonies, you need look no further. I am not sure what they used for the bottom of this song but it kind of sounds like someone farting through a tuba:).
• Seal — A Prayer for the Dying — This is from the first Seal album. This album takes me back to chilly German mornings driving the Opel through the autumn leaves on my way to Amsterdam for the weekend. I truly loved singing to the steering wheel with this one. I hope you do too.
• Jethro Tull — Locomotive Breath— Here is a blast from the past that I hope makes you smile. Some seriously fine musical work on this one. Every one gets lost in Ian Anderson. He kind of takes the air out of the room with his monster talent but just listen to the music on this cut. The piano, guitars, base and drums are all just first rate!!!
• Barcelona — Falling Out of Trees — These guys have this really strange whole Cold Play/Dishwalla sound going but they carry it well. I really like them and I hope you do as well.
• John Denver — Fire and Rain — Recently a good friend of mine reminded me of this cover by JD. If anyone could sing this song prettier than James Taylor it would have to be John Denver. So many people forget that there was much more to John than Rocky Mountain High (as wonderful as that was). I love listening to the angelic sound of his voice backed up by that big old blonde Guild that he always played. This is a cut from Poems, Prayers and Promises released in 1971.
• Shawn Mullins – Lullaby — I have featured this tune on UJT Radio before. It is without a doubt Shawn’s greatest commercial success but that doesn’t make it bad. This song kind of reminds me of a male Sheryl Crow or as I think of it, “Beer Bottle Label Peeling Music”. But I truly do love this almost rockabilly ballad. I hope that you do too.
• Spoon — Eddie’s Ragga — These boys are so versatile and diverse. This deep cut is their bonus track version from their Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga album released in 2007. This kind of a punk rocker anthem is not my usual cup of tea but some how it just works.
• Rod Stewart – Young Turks — This one goes out to my baby sis recovering from her Irma visit. I figured this one would get her ass to shaking and put a smile on her face 🙂 You go girl!!

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!

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