October 19, 2017

“Jó reggelt (kívánok)” My mother visited Budapest with my Grandmother in the 1960s. She thought it was the prettiest place that saw in there whole trip to Europe. I have always loved the food but haven’t made it there, yet.

Happy National Seafood Bisque Day !!!October 19 is a great day for all of those who love seafood and especially for those who love the creamy variety of soup that celebrates the mighty flavors of our little crustacean buddies who give their all for our lucky pallets. Hoorah I say, Hoorah!!!

As I start my weekly excursion of thoughts and experiences with you all this morning, I am immersed is the sweet aromas of my red sauce simmering on the stove outside my office. I truly love that smell. I remember as a boy, smelling it as I came in from fishing. It meant my mom was going to cook up some of her amazing spaghetti for her two scrawny boys with appetites like lumberjacks. All during the say, my brother, Pat, and I would be sneaking spoonfuls to “taste” and give mom some advice on ingredients (which she naturally ignored). Is there a smell of cooking that takes you back to that time and place as well? I hope so, I always find those visits so pleasant.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I re-learned how to figure our the degrees of slope in a ceiling. As you might imagine, it has been a few semesters since I had geometry. To be fair, it has been many semesters since I had a need for anything I learned in geometry but finally I did. I am installing a ceiling fan in our master bedroom. The installation instructions provide of an angled ceiling but to make sure I had a long enough “down pipe” (that is ceiling fan installation jargon fro the tube that fastens the fan itself to the bracket in the ceiling). If the angle is steeper than 10% I need a longer down pipe.
• I learned that replacing a tub spout can be deceptively easy. The deceptive part came to me when my grandson took his shower and shared it with my office downstairs. Some days it just sucks to be me!

Website Update:
• The links up for hurricane relief will stay a bit longer. Remember Walmart will match every dollar donated with two dollars for Puerto Rico.
• There is a new recipe this week – Try out the Mexican Twice Baked Overstuff Potato! 
• This is week 2 for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This week the site features lyrics for “Who Will Save Your Soul” from Jewel. Enjoy!

Writing and Painting Update:
• I struggled with the new chapter for Artifacts this week.
• I started a new pastel project for class, then missed the class again this week!
• No painting so far this week. I got one percolating but nothing has it the paper yet.

• The idiot in the White House is digging us a hole and will not stop digging. To make sure Obamacare fails for political reasons, SCROTUS has elected to stop the United States Government from living up to its financial commitments. Federal payments to cover subsidies planned in the original law for 5 years to give the insurance companies the time to normalize the premium mix in the transition to all citizens having health insurance. The law requires the insurance be subsidized for those that qualify for the full duration of the transition period. So here is what his decision means: All those paying full unsubsidized premiums can expect their premiums to increase to cover the subsidies. The insurance companies only other choice is to opt out of that marketplace. I suspect the people who will be hurt the most are those who can least afford it… Seniors on fixed incomes, low wage earners and some middle class families (only where their insurance carriers choose to do the right thing and stay in the marketplaces). He has no plan. There is no thought behind this action. Its pure politics and self-serving arrogance.
• SCROTUS also reneged on the commitments that the United States made to the international community with regards to the IRAN nuclear agreement. Again, he has no plan and sent it to congress where those bozos can screw it up. Again, for the sole purpose of scoring political points.
• Lastly, SCROTUS also reneged on the United States commitment to the “Dreamers”, children of undocumented aliens that were born in the United States. People who currently pay taxes, serve in the military and attend our school and colleges. Again, he has no plan and sent it to congress. Those bozos cannot find the ass with both hands. They have failed to develop any kind of legislation of any kind since the first Obama Administration. This mess will not solve quickly.
• The weirdest part of this is the fact that we, the people in the country, who actually think and care about something other than ourselves, are severely limited as to what we can do about it. We can protest, write letters, march and complain. But does anyone think that SCROTUS cares about anything other than the sounds of his own voice. Even if he is impeached, then Moronic Mikey Spence sits down in the big chair and spews his bigoted, “God Almighty, you best be a white christian if you are gonna live here!!!”, messages of hate. “moral correctness” and superiority. A recently poll asked Americans to describe our president in one word. The word that a majority of those polled chose was, “strong”! The second most popular response to the survey? “Idiot”. So the morons are still in charge.

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Jewel — Who Will Save Your Soul — This lady blew me a way the very first time I heard her play. I think she is one of our very best songwriters. It also amazes me that she is Atz Kiltcher’s, little girl. Atz, you may have seen on Discovery’s “Alaska, The Last Frontier”. He still lives up there with his wife Jane (not Jewel’s mom) and his two sons.
• Lynyrd Skynyrd — Gimme Three Steps — The first Skynyrd album was just magic. Almost every song was a hit. I always had a special feeling for this one. Maybe because as a young man I was a “… feller with hair colored yellow..”
• Crosby, Still, Nash and Young — Helpless — From their, Deja vu album, this is a great Neil Young tune and the harmonies are so sweet.
• Stevie Wonder — I Wish — From Songs in The Key Of Life album (disc 1), this was always one of my favorites even though it wasn’t a big hit commercially.
• Janis Joplin — Summertime — This week I heard a woman sing like Janis. I couldn’t remember her name when I was trying to figure out what the feature this week. Then I realized that at least part of what I liked about hearing her was that I still miss Janis after all these years. I even miss hearing all the mistakes that Big Brother made playing behind her.
• Robert Plan & Allison Krauss — Your Long Journey — Robert Plant keeps making a bigger musical footprint! This time his pretty voice is steeped in harmony with Allison Kraus singing this old Doc Watson tune. This is from their Raising Sand album.
• Grateful Dead — Friend of the Devil — From the Vinyl!!!! This one comes from way back in 1970. It is a favorite of mine from their American Beauty album. This just one of 20 or so standard songs they would sing at almost every concert. Once, I was staggering out of a Dead concert and someone asked me how I felt (or to be honest, it might have been more like, “Are you ok?”). I remember smiling and saying something in dead-speak (which we were prone to do for 3 days or so after attending one of these things) like, “ I am just blossoming in blessed exhaustion”. Or I might have replied, “I have no idea.” Both answers occurred to me and both, would have been true.
• Steve Winwood — Back in the Highlife Again — This is the title cut for Steve’s 1986 release. I love that James Taylor does the harmonies on this album so well often you cannot tell there is more than one person singing.

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