October 10th, 2019

“Јакшылыкту таҥла (Ĵakšılıktu tañla)” or “Good Morning!!!” in Altay, a Turkic language spoken mainly in the Altai republic and Altai Krai in the Russian Federation

Our brains are so amazing! Many of my artistic celebration originate in those first moments of wakefulness in the mornings. I also remember things lost in hustle and bustle of normal living. Sometimes those things are just informational – where kept something I couldn’t find or something. Other times they are emotional – I wake up from what seems like a long conversation with my Mom or Dad or Brother, all of whom have passed on. I also seem to recall some of my many colossal failures in personal or business life as if there is another lesson to learn. In almost all cases, I carry these thoughts through my morning absolutions and their vividness only starts to fade as I drink my first cup of coffee. Sometimes I will sketch something or draft a poem or capture a reciepe to try for the UJT. In all cases, it seems I am enjoy much more than my waking life. In away, I guess that means I am living a longer, richer life that the years on my driver’s license.

Our old doggie, Georgie, escaped to the park at the end of our street again. A fairly large population of bunnies lives down in the low scrub bushes on the hill. Now days, whenever she does that, she comes home much worse for the wear, hobbling around in pain for every lengthening periods of time. Still, she is sure to make a dash for it if she gets another chance. I used to chalk this up as an acute case of “dumb ass” on her part but now I am not so sure. I am convinced she understands that her rabbit hunts is going to hurt. So far, she chooses the pleasure of being that silly puppy hoping and jumping through the bushes on a doomed Bugs Bunny-esque quest to “Kill the Wabbit! Kill the Wabbit!” one more time. For Georgie, it is worth the price she must pay afterwards. I am reminded of Carlos Castaneda’s “Teachings of Don Juan” concept of personal power and how it exists for all living things.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned that Dave Mason is an amazing guitar player! We got to see Richie Furay (Buffalo Springfield, Poco) and Dave Mason and his band last night. What a tremendous show! Loved singing along with every song and Dave’s versions of All Along the Watch Tower and Low Spark of High Heel Boys were just outstanding!!!
• I learned that Words with Friends is just not worth it any more. They have added so much more advertising between words that it has become tedious and not much fun. I am enjoying Wordscapes by Peoplefun. You are only competing with yourself but it moves along faster and keeps my rusty old brain from locking up… mostly. So if we have been playing WWF, I have resigned my games and deleted the app. Sorry.
• I just seemed to have lost my ability to generate the habit to walk each day. I know if I do, I will meet my goals faster, feel better (after I get used to it) and in the end live a longer healthier life. Maybe next week is the week!?
• (Sorry! When this UJT was put together I thought this Thursday was the 12th and I am too lazy to redo this part for the 10th.. enjoy) October 12th the 285th day of the year (only 77 days till Christmas!). In 1492, Columbus set foot in the New World, namely the Bahamas; 1792 the the first Columbus Day is celebrated in New York City; President Theodore Roosevelt renames the }Executive Mansion” The White House; in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance is recited in US Schools; on this day in 1960 Nikta Khrushchev pounded his shoe on the desk at the UN, protesting a Philippine assertion of Soviet aggression; In 1932, American comedian and author, Dick Gregory is born; Dean Acheson, 51st US Secretary of State died on this day in 1971; Musician, songwriter and actor, John Denver crashed and died on October 12th, 1997.

Website Update:
• A “New” Vocabulary Quiz!!!! Yeah!!!
• Last week for our “New” Music Trivia Quiz
• This week I added a new (to me) Fried Chicken recipe. While I pretty much hate deep frying anything, but if I am gonna do it, I want the chicken, (I think it would work for fish too but haven’t tried it yet), to be very crispy and yet moist inside. This recipe did that for me.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• The old door painting that I started last week has come along nicely (shout out to Mark Smith for the great and timely critique and suggestions!). I working on a painting from the Jury Room sketch of some cool birds and also completed a new Flamingo painting this week. I am going through my photo albums from when we lived in Europe to see if anything catches my eye.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• The Jury Duty sketches inspired some nice work and kicked up my enjoyment factor pretty far. I am painting looser and freer than I have done recently. Life keeps finding a way for me to feel more of it and enjoy more somehow. Reminding me again, that life is not all about the destination, but finding ways to enjoy the ride.
• This week 49 years ago this week, I was about 2/3s of the way through Navy bootcamp and Janis Joplin died alone of a heroin overdose in a Hollywood motel. Two of her friends had disappointed her. They promised to visit her that Friday night and just didn’t show. The heroin dealer sold uncharacteristic pure and therefore, more potent smack that week and Janis was one of several of his customers that overdosed. Her death was ruled accidental. Jimi Hendrix died in much the same way just 15 days earlier in London. I remember hearing the news of Janis’ death on the tinny little AM radio someone had turned on in the “Smoking Lounge” in our barracks. I was so saddened by our loss. I loved her music and had seen her once, in concert with Big Brother and the Holding Company. I wonder what she would have done with another 49 years.

Music Update:

This week, I have created another very nice collection of song samples that I think celebrate life in a grand way! We lost Ginger Baker this week. Ginger was the drummer for Cream. If you do a Google search on “Super Star Drummer, Ginger will pop up every time. Not to say that their weren’t other great drummers (Remember “Let There Be Drums” by Sandy Nelson?) before and after Ginger became famous, its just that the label stuck for him after Cream. Ginger Baker was 80 years old. RIP Ginger!

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Cream – Badge — This comes from Creams last album,”Goodbye” released in 1969. Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker were all supposed to come up with an original song for “Goodbye” but Eric was struggling so George Harrison helped him out with the lyrics and the song’s famous bridge. In fact, Eric misread George’s handwriting of “Bridge” and thought that the song was named, “Badge” and it stuck. Oh and a drunk Ringo Star came in and gave them the line “… bout the swans that they live in the park”.
• Les Paul and Johnny Rzeznik— All I Want is You — Johnny Rezenik was the co-founder, guitarist and front man for Goo Goo Dolls. The maybe my favorite version of this U2 song. It was released as part of a great compilation of songs from the 2005 album, “Les Paul & Friends: American Made – World Played”.
• Janis Joplin — Me and Bobby McGee — This wonderfully sad song was recorded 3 days before her death and was released on her posthumous album, “Pearl” in 1971. It was her only number one single.
• Johnny A – The Wind Cries Mary – A lot of really great players have covered this song – John Mayer, Jamie Cullum, Riche Sambora and others. This version is a guitar instrumental, This was released on Johnny’s 2004 release, “Get Inside”. The song was originally released on Jimi Hendrix’s “Are You Experienced” album in 1967.
• Neil Young — After the Gold Rush — This week, my friend Mark, had his Spotify set to a Neil Young playlist and I got to revisit a number of my favorite Neil Young songs. This was one of them. It was recorded in Neil’s Topanga Canyon basement and features an 18 year old Nils Lofgren, on piano. This one is the title song for Neil’s 1970 release.
• Jimmy Buffett – Gravity Storm — This is a wonderful tune from one of my favorite JB albums, “Off to See the Lizard” released in 1989. Having a long standing inclination to a dubious behavior, I have had to hunker down and battle a gravity storm or two in my time. Some of them were so strong they not only effected my ability to ambulate reliably but seemed to even slow or slur my speech!!!
• Frank Sinatra — The Girl from Ipanema — From his remastered “Nothing But the Best” album released in 2013. There is just something magical about Frank’s voice.

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!