October 6th, 2022

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice in the end of hostilities.  It has been 222 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• It’s been an anxious week for me. I am heading into this PET scan and meeting with the Radiation Treatment consult with a positive outlook and just a bit of angst. I will let you know what happens.
• October 6th is the 279th day of 2022. Just 79 days till Christmas! Today in 1884, the Naval War College of the United States is founded in Rhode Island; On this day in 1927, “The Jazz Singer”, the first prominent “talkie” movie opened; Today in 1973, Egypt and Syria launch coordinated attacks against Israel, beginning the Yom Kippur War; In 1976 on this day, dozens are killed by the Thai army in the Thammasat University massacre; Today in 2007, Jason Lewis completes the first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth; George Westinghouse, American engineer and businessman, founded the Westinghouse Air Brake Company was born today in 1846; Born today in 1951, REO Speed Wagon’s Kevin Cronin, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer; Anwar Sadat, Egyptian colonel and politician, 3rd President of Egypt, Nobel Prize laureate was assassinated today in 1973; Nelson Riddle, American composer, conductor, and bandleader passed away today in 1985; Bette Davis, American actress passed away today in 1989; Denholm Elliott, (AKA Marcus Brody from Raiders of the Lost Arc), English actor died today in 1998;  Ginger Baker, English drummer (Cream & Blind Faith) passed away today in 2019; Eddie Van Halen, Dutch-American guitarist, songwriter, and producer died today in 2020;And lastly, today in 2020, we lost Johnny Nash, American singer-songwriter (I Can See Clearly Now).

Website Update:
This week:
• A New Vocabulary Quiz !!! !Yeah!!!
• Week 2 for our Musical Trivia Quiz
• My cooking struggled this week. I have made the Turkey Burgers for my family 3 times. The first time the burgers came out perfect and were delicious. Last night’s repeat had consistency issues. Some of the patties just fell apart. The only thing I did differently was I had to defrost one of the pounds of ground turkey in the microwave and that made it much juicer than usual. I will try again. The taste is right on and they are better for you than beef.
• The Home Page quote this week is from one of my favorite humans, Fred Rogers, “You rarely have time for everything you want in this life, so you need to make choices. And hopefully your choices can come from a deep sense of who you are.” In other words, don’t choose your life by what is “normal” or expected or that pleases someone else. Our choices in life should be based entirely upon our own core values – who we are.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I finally finished the “Never Ending” Stained Glass Project! YEAH!!! I am happy about all the lessons I learned doing this one and everyone seems to like the finished product, But whenever I look at it, all I see are the flaws.
• My prize Bougainvillea bonsai took a big hit a week ago. Some dastardly worm ate every single leaf off the tree overnight! He was very sneaky and didn’t even set off the Ring alarm on our front porch!! Anyway, I had to remove all of his naked branches and am keeping my fingers crossed that he is not so pissed that he will die. I feel like a father who let down his child! I also did other assorted tree maintenance and potted the second weeping willow stick:) The first one appears to be doing well so far.
• I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.

I miss newspapers! We have always taken the paper except when we lived in Europe. When the kids were little, every Sunday, my wife and I used to get our coffee and go back to bed to read the Sunday paper.  In Germany my wife and I would get up early Sunday mornings and go to the Flughafen to visit the American Airlines Admirals Club to read all the English newspapers. I got addicted to the Wall Street Journal back in college when it was a requirement for my first computer class. Our professor said computing is worthless if it doesn’t meet a valid business need. She thought all programmers should have a business context to their work. I personally think that CNN killed printed news reporting. News presentation became less of an information transfer on a wide variety of subjects on a local, national and international basis. Now we are presented a more limited width and depth emphasizing the sensational and entertaining. “Learning” the news has became a communal activity spent in front of the TV. Well, no more newsprint fingers but I feel the loss of something more.

Music Update:
Once again, I drag you all through the dusty attic of my eclectic musical moments. I try to put together something for everyone but sometimes I miss and have to settle for just pleasing myself.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   King Crimson —  I Talk to the Wind — This is a fellow mellow cut from their first album, “In the Court of the Crimson King” released this month in 1969.  Greg Lake did the vocals, Ian MacDonald did the flutes with Micheal Giles on drums. It’s hard to believe this song is on the flip side of the metallic driving sound of “21st Century Schizoid Man” .
• Joey Alexander — Ma Blues — For me this is a flashback to the old stereotypical jazz ensemble – big full bass, piano and drums.  This is from his “My Favorite Things(Deluxe)” released in 2015. I think Joey might be my favorite Indonesian jazz pianist.
• Tommy Emmanuel  — La Visita — Tommy has been featured many times on UJT radio but not recently. This beautiful piece comes from his “Endless Road” album released in 2005.
•   Steely Dan — Chain Lightning — You just gotta get jazzing sometimes .. Do you know what I mean? Katy Lied was such a great album – so many incredible cuts to celebrate. Every time I listen to it, I want to order another Colada of Cuban coffee and reset the Backgammon board for another game under the banyan trees in Miami. What a way to deal with the high humidity..
• Dishwalla – Every Little Thing – This one of my favorite “obscure” bands. This is a sad one from their, “Opaline” album released in 2002. For me, it’s all about continuing to reach out for someone and watching them get farther and farther away.
• John Prine — Paradise — We said our goodbyes to John in April 2021.  The first time I heard this song, a young fella from Colorado covered it in a little bar called, The Red Mule on Olney St in Norfolk, VA. I fell in love with the song and during a break he told me it was from John Prine. I hope this came true for John, “… let my ashes float down the Green River Let my soul roll on up to the Rochester dam I’ll be halfway to Heaven with Paradise waitin’…” Paradise is a cut off his debut album, “John Prine” released in 1971. Thanks John!

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!