October 27th, 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 243 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• This week I learned that my daughter can cook a wonderful melt-in-your-mouth yankee pot roast. Yum!!!
• The PA (prostate adventure) continues. This week I was grateful to help my son, Sean, celebrate his 47th birthday! I also was able to complete my poll worker Orientation and Training without issues. I enjoyed being a poll worker last time and I am glad I am able to do it again.
• One of my great pleasures as a registered old guy is our semi-weekly poker game. We got to do one this week and I had a great time. My poker buddies were supportive and just being with them helps me enjoy life more. Besides this week I was at the big “weener” cashing out at the end of the night at $44! WhooHoo!! 🙂
• October 27th is the 300rd day of 2022. Just 58 days till Christmas! Today in 1904, the first subway opened in NYC; On this day in 1954, Benjamin O. Davis, Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force; Today in 1962, Major Rudolf Anderson of the United States Air Force becomes the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance plane is shot down over Cuba by a Soviet-supplied surface-to-air missile; Also in 1962 on this day, By refusing to agree to the firing of a nuclear torpedo at a US warship, Vasily Arkhipov averted nuclear war; Today in 1988, Ronald Reagan suspends construction of the new U.S. Embassy in Moscow due to Soviet listening devices in the building structure; Today in 2018, a gunman opens fire on a Pittsburgh synagogue killing 11 and injuring six, including four police officers; Theodore Roosevelt, American colonel and politician, 26th President of the United States, Nobel Prize laureate was born today in 1858; Born today in 1913, Joe Medicine Crow, American anthropologist, historian, and author; Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet (“Do not go gentle into that good night”) and playwright was born today in 1914; Born today in 1920, Nanette Fabray, American actress, singer, and dancer; Ruby Dee, American actress and poet was born today in 1922; Born today in 1924, Bonnie Lou, American singer-songwriter; Warren Christopher, American soldier, lawyer, and politician, 63rd United States Secretary of State  was born today in 1925; Today in 1926, H. R. Haldeman, American businessman and diplomat, 4th White House Chief of Staff was born; John Cleese, English actor, comedian, screenwriter and producer born today in 1939; Simon Le Bon, English singer-songwriter(Duran Duran) was born today in 1958; Born today in 1967, Scott Weiland, American singer-songwriter (Stone Temple Pilots); Rudolf Anderson, American soldier and U-2 pilot passed away today in 1962; Tom Dowd, American record producer and engineer died today in 2002;  And lastly, Lou Reed, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, producer, and actor passed away today in 2013.

Website Update:
This week:
• A New Vocabulary Quiz ! Yeah!!!
• Week two for our Musical Trivia Quiz
• No new recipes this week.
• The Home Page quote this week is supposedly from one of America’s most beloved authors and humorists, Mark Twain. He said, “The more I know about people, the better I like my dog”. I say supposedly because there is only word of mouth evidence that he made the statement. It certainly sounds like something he would say.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I actually worked on both my new stained glass project and did some painting as well.
• 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 am sure most of you know that I have enjoyed a love hate relationship with Facebook. It is the only social media thing I participate in and often shut it off because it has made me uncomfortable in my designation as a member of the homo sapiens family of creatures inhabiting or should I say, infesting our planet. On the other hand, it can provide some hope that even these limited creatures can show flashes of brilliance. I am just afraid that the flashes are much like the ones we get from Lightning bugs or Humboldt squids. When studied long enough our brilliance seems to be short lived and painfully shallow. I know this is horrible generalization as are all such broad brushed character assassinations. And I apologize for any one of us splashed by this harsh opinion of our species. But I remember back to my high school biology class and the distinct memory I have of understanding how species became extinct and why. I remember thinking that if they could not adapt quickly enough, they kind of “deserved” to become extinct and be replaced by a more adaptive species. I don’t recall all of the indicators that should have caused the various species to adapt – moving to new places, changing food gathering methods, etc. But I remember enough to feel like we are not adapting fast enough to save ourselves. Some combination of nostalgia for the way things were and opportunistic greed is prohibiting us from responding fast enough to climate change. Back in the 1970s, I remember some of the earliest Earth Day materials that predicted pretty much what we are seeing now in terms of weather and natural disaster severity and frequency. I also remember that the increases from here were faster and even more deadly. Last year, NOAA estimates the US alone incurred over $145 BILLION in weather related damages. Since 1980, the US has incurred over 338 weather related events that produced over a BILLION dollars in damages. The totaled cost of these events exceeds $2,295 TRILLION. You may find the specifics at this NOAA site. Yet our country continues to resist, delay, procrastinate and generally fail to take a leadership role in addressing this global problem that will continue to cost more lives and dollars on an increasing basis year in year out. If that upward trend is accurate (it is true), how will we pay for these losses because the loss of life and capabilities will certainly impact our ability to respond. It is hard for me to be terribly optimistic. I simply do not understand it at all. How do you feel about it?

Music Update:
Once again, I managed to hose UJT Radio by not saving the updates that I made to the UJT Radio page. The page you saw last week was the same as the 10/13 update. So last week’s playlist(10/20) is now this week’s (10/27) playlist. I am sorry for the confusion. I work hard to bring you these selections. I hope you enjoy them.

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!