October 24th, 2019

“侬早 (nóng zō)” or “Good Morning!!!” in Shanghainese, a variety of Wu Chinese spoken mainly in Shanghai in China.

This week my son turned 44. Damn! That is old! Which means it’s official, I am a living fossil! I am as proud of my son as I can be and hope he has even more fun in the next 44 years!

This week the House passed a bill that will make animal cruelty a Federal Law! What does that say about us??!!! The citizens of the United States in 2019 need a law to deter people from being cruel to animals. Sorry folks, I just that is a sad commentary on us.. that such horrendously abhorrent behavior has gotten so prevalent and mismanaged at a local level that we have to muster Federal resources to address it. Hell, I don’t know maybe we always needed it but without the communications and awareness technologies we have today, we didn’t know it. Its hard to go long without hearing some terrible story of mistreatment going on somewhere. I do think that any somabitch that hurts animals on purpose deserves to be treated in the same fashion. Can we pass a law to send animal abusers to Columbian Prisons?? Still too good for them but it’s a start.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned WWII forced hundreds of young Russian teen girls and young women in to battle. They flew thousands of missions in what we like to call “crop duster” airplanes that were made of wood and paper. They were provided the latest in navigation equipment – a compass and map. And of course a bomb or two to drop on the advancing German army invading their home. One tracer round would turn these flying death trap planes into fiery flying death trap planes in seconds. All of their missions were at night so the Germans dubbed them, “The Night Witches”.
• Just over a year ago now, during a routine exam, my eye doctor told me that I had “dry” Age Related Macular Degeneration. He told me that it was not bad, gave me a grid to test my eyes with each month and told me to start taking AREDS vitamins. Well, I was much better at taking my vitamins than I was doing the grid, so when I went back this time, I couldn’t see the chart with my left eye. There was this blue grey blob right in the center of my vision. Because I didn’t do the grid testing each month and the slowness of the development, I just thought it was time for a new prescription for reading. I was wrong. My doctor is doing some more testing and then will figure out the treatment needed to slow and limit the damage AMD is doing to my eyes. Heredity, Obesity, High Blood Pressure and Diabetes are the leading indicators of AMD. But if you are over 60, you stand a good chance of getting this deterioration of your retina and your central vision that is incurable and irreversible. Take the time to learn about AMD here. Talk to your eye doctor. Download the grid and put it on your refrigerator and make a calendar entry to take the test each month. Early detection is the best way from preventing permanent incurable vision loss from AMD. I finally figured out why every one looks better at closing time:)
• October 24th the 297th day of the year (only 62 days till Christmas!). On this day in 1871 a mob of 500 people enter “Chinatown” and 17 Chinese immigrants were lynched in Los Angles, California; In 1911, Orville Wright remains in the air for 9 minutes and 43 second in a glider in Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina; On this day in 1926 Harry Houdini gave his last performance at the Garrick Theater in Detroit; in 1929, today was “Black Thursday” on the NYSE; In 1945, The United Nations Charter comes into effect; In 1979, Mother Theresa is awarded the Nobel Peace Prize; In 1947, Walt Disney testifies before congress naming Disney employees he believes are communists; In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower pledges US support to South Vietnam; On this day in 2002, Police arrest spree killers John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo, ending the Beltway sniper attacks around Washington, DC; FBI Agent, Melvin Purvis is born in 1903; 1926 Y.A. Tittle, American Football player is born; On this day in 2005, Rosa Parks passed away; and we lost Maureen O’Hara, Irish-American Actress and singer (beloved to many as Mrs. McLintok in the 1963 John Wayne movie, “McLintock”).

Website Update:
• Last week for our “New” Vocabulary Quiz!
• Week 2 for our “New” Music Trivia Quiz !!
• This week I didn’t add any new recipes.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I messed up the Street Sign, Again! But it may not be fatal. I will put it into the kiln this week. Not very happy with the paintings I have done using the Mission Gold paints yet. It’s an adjustment.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Every once in a while and by that not very damn often, I will go through a week without thinking, “Wow! That is just weird!”. This was one of those weeks. I don’t do news as much as I used to as I cannot stand the sound of SCOTUS’ name, insane commentary or even his damn voice so I don’t risk watching the news. Which everyone knows is a great source of weirdness in our lives. Anyway, in my desire to keep these UJT things interesting, I searched the web (another apparently inexhaustible source of weirdness) and found a weird website for you. After you click on the link (I promise not spam). Please try to answer this question: “What would possess someone to do the work, expense, etc…to create and maintain this site ?” Or if you want to practice your patience, please go here 🙂

Music Update:

This week, I have created another very nice collection of song samples that I think celebrate life in a grand way!

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Rob Thomas – Streetcorner Symphony — This comes from Rob’s “Something to Be” album,”released in 2005. I just think he is something special.
• Pink Floyd — Comfortably Numb(Live) — This one comes from their 2000 release, “Is There Anybody Out There”. One of my all time favorite Floyd songs.
• Bonnie Raitt — Cry On My Shoulder — This one comes from her wonderful, “Nick of Time” released in 1989 and making me smile every since.
• Shawn Phillips – Song for Sagittarians – From the Vinyl!!! My good friend Dean Chimerakis and his wife Mary Ann, turned me on to this music way back in 1973 when my boat, the USS Vogelgesang DD-862 pulled into Port Everglades. It comes from his, “Second Contribution” album released in 1971. Shawn Phillips was described as “The best kept secret in the Music business by famous rock promoter, Bill Graham. Shawn taught George Harrison his first lessons on the Sitar back in the sixties.
• James Taylor — Line ‘Em Up — Just a beautiful observation by JT of our times. This one is from his “Hourglass” album released in 1997.
• The Derek Trucks Band — Mahjoun/Greensleeves [Live] — This instrumental has a real honest to god Jazz thing working for it that kind of reminds me of the old Weather Report records we would listen to for hours. This one comes from their 2006 release, “Songlines ” album. Probably not everyone’s cup of tea.
• Steely Dan — Home At Last — From their “Aja” album released in 1977. I loved this album so much that I lobbied to have my daughter’s middle name be Aja but my wife wasn’t having it.

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!