October 20th, 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 236 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Last week, Robbie Coltrane (AKA Hagrid from Harry Potter) passed away. RIP Hagrid.
• The PA (prostate adventure) continues. I might have mentioned the MRI Study my doctor suggested. Well I had my MRI for the study this week and in the process signed up for another study (this is DNA study looking for genetic markers that are predictors for cancer and other diseases.  We have scheduled the Medical Oncologist for 11/16 so radiation should begin 2-3 weeks after that.  Seems that I have a good team.
• After consulting with my doctors, I signed up to be a poll worker again for the November election. I enjoyed it the last time I did it.
• October 20th is the 293rd day of 2022. Just 65 days till Christmas! Today in 1803, the United States Senate ratifies the Louisiana Purchase; On this day in 1941, thousands of civilians in German-occupied Serbia are murdered in the Kragujevac massacre; Today in 1944, Liquefied natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland and then explodes, leveling 30 blocks and killing 130 people; Also in 1944 on this day, American general Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he comes ashore during the Battle of Leyte; Today in 1947, the House Un-American Activities Committee begins its investigation into Communist infiltration of the Hollywood film industry, resulting in a blacklist that prevents some from working in the industry for years; The Soviet Navy performs the first armed test of a submarine-launched ballistic missile, launching an R-13 from a Golf-class submarine on this day in 1961; As part of the Watergate Scandal, “The Saturday Night Massacre”: United States President Richard Nixon fires U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Solicitor General Robert Bork. On this day in 1977, a plane carrying the rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in woodland in Mississippi, United States. Six people, including three band members, are killed: Christopher Wren, English physicist, mathematician, and architect (designed St Paul’s Cathedral) was born today in 1632; Born today in 1890, Aleksander Maaker, Estonian bagpipe player; Grandpa Jones, American singer-songwriter and banjo player was born today in 1913; Born today in 1925, Art Buchwald, American soldier and journalist, Mickey Mantle, American baseball player and sportscaster was born today in 1931; Born today in 1932, William Christopher, (AKA Mash’s Father Mulcayhe) American actor and singer; Jerry Orbach, (AKA Law & Order Detective Lennie Briscoe) American actor and singer  was born today in 1947; Today in 1950,Tom Petty, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer was born; l Greenwood, American keyboard player and founding member of the rock band Foreigner was born today in 1951; E. C. Segar, Viggo Mortensen, American-Danish actor and producer was born today in 1958; Born today in 1964, Kamala Harris, American politician and lawyer, 49th Vice President of the United States; Snoop Dogg, American rapper, producer, and actor was born today in 1971; Herbert Hoover, American engineer and politician, 31st President of the United States  passed away today in 1964; Ronnie Van Zant, American singer-songwriter died today in 1977;  Burt Lancaster, American actor passed away today in 1994; Jane Wyatt, (AKA Mrs. Anderson on Father Knows Best) American actress passed away today in 2006; And lastly, Bob Guccione, American publisher, founded Penthouse magazine died today in 2010.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz! Yeah!!!
• I created a new pasta dish using Turkey to make the meatballs. It was a big hit around here. I have been trying a lot of turkey dishes lately. I tried store-bought turkey patties this week too. They grilled up perfectly but my daughter says my homemade ones are more flavorful. Lastly on the turkey front, I made a recipe for Turkey Meat Stuffing for tacos, burritos and pablanos. Very tasty!
• The Home Page quote this week is a rather long one from one of America’s most committed stewards of human principles and poster child for “Walk the Talk”,  former US President, Jimmy Carter, “I have one life and one chance to make it count for something… My faith demands that I do whatever I can, wherever I am, whenever I can for as long as I can with whatever I have to try to make a difference. ”  That statement reminds me a great deal of my one bestest friends.  Although I am sure my friend would shudder with being put in any category occupied by a democrat.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I am continuing that new ambitious stained glass project in spurts with gaps. So it may take even longer than earlier expected.
• I also decided to do some watercolors starting this week.
• 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.

Last Sunday, I had a nice hour long chat with my eldest kid. He is incredibly busy with his business and being the great dad and special person that he also is. This time like almost every other time we get the chance to talk for more than a few minutes, I get off the phone grateful for the time we had together.  There is an old song by Harry Chapin that covers it pretty well. In spite of the absentee parenting I provided, my son makes time for his kids, extended family and I am happy to say, even for me. He makes it a point to regularly check in with his mom and sister too. I learn how I should have done it every day from my son. I should have trusted that if I made more time for the people I love, the business stuff would have been ok. I am not second guessing my choices at this late hour but watching my son, I have learned there might have been a better way. In any case, please stop whatever important things that you are doing to tell those you love how you feel and why. There is no need to learn a better alternative when you are at the end of the ride.

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:
•   Harry Chapin —  Cats in the Cradle — This is a song that makes me tear up every time I hear it. Harry and his wife Sandy wrote it and it was released in 1974 on his  “Verities & Balderdash” album.
• Bob Schneider —  The World Exploded into Love  — It seems to me that Bob is a little known but great songwriter.  This is from his  “Lonelyland ” album released in 2001.
• Crosby Stills, Nash and Young — Déjà Vu— This is the second studio album from these boys. This beautiful piece is the title cut from their album released in 1970.
•   The Moody Blues — Are You Sitting Comfortably? — This is a deep cut from their 1969 release, “On the Threshold of a Dream”.  This version is a live cut from their “Lovely To See You Again” live album that I got when I saw them last in concert. These guys combined excellent musicianship and song writing with classical and new technologies and just plain good story telling. The phrase, “Are you sitting comfortably?” was coined in a BBC production entitled, “Listen with Mother” that ran from 1950 to 1982.
• Shuggie Otis — Inspiration Information  — My friend Lou Lanni is a huge Shuggie fan. We were playing poker one night and talking as you do and he reminded me of some work that Shuggie did with Al Kooper, which I had forgotten. Shuggie is a great player and songwriter often compared to Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye and Sly Stone. This is the title cut from his 1974 release.
• A Flock of Seagulls – I Ran (So Far Away)  — This very popular spacey tune comes from their “A Flock of Seagulls” album released in 1982. “Aurora Borealis comes in view; Aurora comes in view-ewe ..”

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!