October 14 th, 2016

Moning tru!A fine Tok Pisin (I swear I am not making that up!) “Good Morning” greeting that you might receive in Papua, New Guinea)

We are on our way to Texas tomorrow. We will spend a few days with Sean, Jenny and the kiddos (I call this the training wheels phase). Then Sean and Jenny will fly off to Miami to enjoy a brief but hopefully fun second honeymoon/family visit with his Mom’s side of the family (This will be considered the grandpa and grandma full on spoil the kids and misbehave phase). Then Sean and Jenny will return home with another few days to have a lot of those, “What Grandpa meant to say .. fill in the blank?” conversations. This is what I call the damage control and therapy assessment phase of the visit. I am looking forward to seeing the critters again even in Texas:) I will try to put in a call to Marsha while I am there to see if can maybe share a cup of coffee or something while I am in the neighborhood!

This traveling also means that you all will be getting a couple weeks off from your weekly UJT updates…so just play amongst yourselves for a couple of weeks. The UJT will be coming back at you on November 4th.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned that in order to return my lung capacity to what it should be I need to stop eating after 6pm and loose a bunch of weight. To do that I have started to monitor and manage my food intake, increased my water consumption, began walking the dogs with Jessica each morning and stopped eating anything in the evenings. My son Sean and I will walk when I get to Texas. I had no idea what acid reflux was or how it effected me. I did know that I had successfully converted a pretty decent body into a Jahba the Hut like source of discomfort and bad health. So I am going to change that.
• I learned how to clean a squid. It is an amazingly interesting animal autonomically. Did you know that a squid has a “cellophane” skeleton that runs the length of its body? A squid’s skin peels off like the skin between the shell and flesh of an egg? It is better. When you clean squid for any dish, be sure and cut the rings thin (1/3-1/2 inch) if you make them bigger they will present more than mouthful challenge.
• I learned that when it comes to racial bias, I believed I again was equal in my inherent approach to both black and white people. My test results indicated that I have a slight automatic preference for while people which surprised me. Again, I cannot figure out the mechanics of how the test works but it is interesting. I will admit to growing up in the deep south when black and whites were treated very differently which I accepted as a fact of life. But I had a very dramatic event as a boy that set my personal discuss for all things bigoted. My experience as a boy selling papers on a street corner lead me to the discovery of how ugly and mean these forms of automatic hatred can be. So I disagree with this finding but then again subconsciously I just may not be the man I think I am. Check it out for yourself and see what you can learn: https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/research/

Website Update
• I just realized that I am about 3 weeks late doing the new Vocabulary List. I am sorry. I hope the new list is worthy after such a long oversight.
• I also added a recipe (Mexican Bow Tie Salad) and a new quote for you all.

Writing and Painting Update:
• Still working sketches. I am running out of time for my Christmas presents to be what I had planned. I need to get busy or move on to Plan B. At some point, I will have to actually get paint on the paper to meet some of my goals. Completed the edit adjudication for Part1 and am starting on GPS Part II.

• I had a deja vu moment this week while watching the PBS News Hour. Evidently, Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg has published a new memoir so the good folks at PBS elected to interview the 83 year old jurist. For me watching the interview was very erie. RBG’s physical presence is very similar to my own mother. Her demeanor and I suspect intellect are eerily similar as well. I think I will read the book. She has lived an interesting life. The year she obtained her law degree, there had never been a female judge appointed to any federal court. She explained that President Carter changed all that when he decided to nominate large numbers of women and minority jurists during his administration. RBG was nominated to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton on June 14th and a Republican dominate legislature approved her nomination on August 3rd. Do you remember when Republicans and Democrats actually felt an obligation to conduct the business of their offices? It seems like it has been a very long time.
• As you all know, Chewy made the move to Chula Vista with gusto. He claimed the back yard as his domain and literally has to be dragged into the house at night time. This is all fine and good except his coat has become a sea of mats that no amount of brushing can cope with. So I took him to the local puppy daycare and grooming service and they agreed that the best way to help Chewy was to shave him and see what is going on under the mats. Well I am glad we did because we found out that he had lots of skin irritations under all that hair. He is a much funnier looking but happier puppy today. And we have set a schedule with these folks to keep him in good shape:). But Georgie was surprised to see her cousin the Chewbacca return looking like some sort of interesting lion, with a little mane around his head, cute furry socks and a little ball of fur at the end of his tail.

Music Update:
I got to see Billy Gibbons doing a La Grange jam at Daryl’s House this week. (here is the You Tube link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3MbaGJN2ioQ ). Watching that boy doing it, just makes it look so easy and I am glad he has as much fun doing it as we do hearing it. Anyway, this week’ selection is a pretty eclectic mix of music:
• Fleetwood Mac – Rhiannon — This one of my favorite FM songs. Its a story about a Welch witch who lives inside a sweet welch maiden.
• Louisiana LaRoux & Tab Benoit – Midnight and Lonesome – Another Cajun blues song that you either feel or you don’t. There is just something in this genre that works for me. I hope you enjoy it as well.
• Venice – Home at Last – One of my favorite Steely Dan songs covered by one of my favorite 4 part harmony bands. I was unable to attend last weekend’s festivities but I know everyone there had a great time.
• Billy MaLaughlin – The Pond – Pretty guitar work that is just so peaceful and calming to me. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, lean back and let the sounds take you down that mental river like a leaf flowing to the pond.
• The Jimi Hendrix Experience – The Wind Cries Mary — I always love Jimi’s voice and this song features his vocals as much as his wonderful guitar work. This one was featured about a year ago but when it came up again this week, I figured we were ready for another Jimi fix. I was just entering my ‘Service Week (Week 4)” of Navy bootcamp 46 years ago when we got the news of his passing. He was just 27 years old.
• Frank Sinatra – Summer Wind – After seeing the 60 Minute’s interview with Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the associated flashback I had of my mom, hearing Frank’s clear clean voice seemed to fit my mood.
• James Taylor – Highway Song – A deeper cut from his 1971 Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon album. A philosophical explanation for the crazy life that boy has chosen. What ever his reason, I am sure glad he chose this path.
• Train – Feels Good At First — This one just kind of reached out of the darkness and shook me. Its kind of a metaphor for all the things in life. But remember, just because it feels good at first doesn’t mean it won’t feel even better later …years later 🙂

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com