November 3rd, 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 250 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Pumpkin carving is not for sissies. Pumpkin guts everywhere and slipped up cuts changing your design. Oh well, I hope the little candy monsters appreciate the effort, if not the result.
• We had our fair share of Trick or Treaters this year. I have been designated, “Halloween – Candy – Passer – (uter” at our house. I really enjoy greeting the princesses, pirates, goblins and super heroes that ring our bell. Then we have to hide any candy left over (I always buy too much) for Christmas Stocking stuffing. Ain’t Life Grand!
• November 3rd is the 307th day of 2022. Just 53 days till Christmas! Today in 1493, Christopher Columbus first sights the island of Dominica in the Caribbean Sea; On this day in 1888, John Willis Menard (R-Louisiana) was the first African American elected to the United States Congress. Because of an electoral challenge, he was never seated: Today in 1911, Chevrolet officially entered the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T; In 1935 on this day, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected President of the United States; Today in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit, a dog named Laika; Today in 1964, Lyndon B. Johnson is elected to a full term as U.S. president, winning 61% of the vote and 44 states, while Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time, casting the majority of their votes for Lyndon Johnson; U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the “silent majority” to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies on this day in 1969; The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been secretly selling weapons to Iran in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon today in 1986; Today in 2014. One World Trade Center officially opens in New York City, replacing the Twin Towers after they were destroyed during the September 11 attacks;Charles Bronson, American soldier and actor was born today in 1921; Born today in 1933, Ken Berry, (AKA Capt. William Parmeter, F Troop) American actor, singer, and dancer also born today in that same year,  Michael Dukakis, American lawyer, academic, and politician, 65th Governor of Massachusetts; Dylan Kate Capshaw, American actress and producer was born today in 1953; Born today in 1955, Phil Simms, American football player and sportscaster; Dolph Lundgren, Swedish actor, director, producer, screenwriter, and martial artist was born today in 1955; Born today in 1970, Jeanette J. Epps, American aerospace engineer and astronaut; Tim McIlrath, American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1978; Annie Oakley, American entertainer and target shootert passed away today in 1926; Henri Matisse, French painter and sculptor died today in 1954;  And lastly, Sondra Locke, American actress and director passed away today in 2018.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week two for our Vocabulary Quiz
• Last week for our Musical Trivia Quiz
• I added two new recipes this week – Roasted Potato Wedges and French Onion/Chicken Cordon Bleu.
• The Home Page quote this week is supposedly from one of America’s most beloved movie characters Forrest Gump. He said, “You’ve got to put the past behind you, before you can move on”. I cannot believe it has been more than 28 years since I met Forrest. For me it was a fable vs just a story. A story is entertaining but not necessarily valuable. A fable is wisdom wrapped in a compelling story. I found Forrest to be a bright light of wisdom with something for everyone if you listened.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I worked on both my new stained glass project and did some painting, as well this week. It feels good to be creative again,
• 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.

Anyone who knows me, has heard me go on and on about what a lucky man I have always been, Hell. I wrote a book about it! I am sure many just chalk my proclamations of good fortune is just some sort of whopper-jawed conceit or bragging. But I am sincere in my appreciation of universe’ gentle treatment of my sorry butt. You can be and probably should be humbled by your good fortune. Especially in a world that shares its misery, both real and imagined,  in a nanosecond. I am passionate about my beliefs and have tried to live in between the lines of my own coloring book. And again, I feel very fortunate to have done so for so long.  So take stock in the good in your life, let the past drift away as it should and look forward to tomorrow.

Music Update:
For me music is salve to our existence’s bumpy parts. It helps us celebrate the loss of a love and the joy of a new things. We use it to express our devout love of our particular God. While I do not like all genres of music but like that all genres of music help make life a little richer for all genres of human beings. I think music is fundamentally the best thing to come out of opposable thumbs. Here are this week’s selections for you.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   ZZ Top —  Tube Steak Boogie — This was a big hit for the furry faced boys from Texas.  I have yet to see a ZZ Top video that I did not like. This song was released in 1981 on their  “El Loco” album. Did anyone else notice Billy Gibbons on the Fox network crime drama show, “Bones”? Billy played Angela Montenegro’s dad and kept popping up during the series at various points. He did a good job but it felt like a gratuitous plug in from way outside the program’s story.
• Shane Smith and the Saints – Dance the Night Away  — I first heard these guys in 2016 and have been in love ever since. Just some great songs played and sung well. I love the fiddle on this one. This is from their album,  “Coast ”released in 2013.
• Evanescence – Call Me When You’re Sober — Its been a couple years since my younger brother, Mike turned me on to these folks. There is just such a fine mix of sweet harmony and hard edges that it compels me. It’a from their 2006 release, “The Open Door”. This week Mike celebrates his birthday – Happy Birthday Bro!
•   The Jimi Hendrix Experience — Voodoo Child (Slight Return) — From the vinyl!!!! This is another solid chunk of cosmic goodness that fell off into our world. This song is from his 1968 release,  “Electric Ladyland”.
• Simon and Garfunkel — For Emily, Whenever I Might Find Her (Live) — I believe this was recorded at a live show at The Granada in 1967. The song was first released in 1966 on their “Parsley, Sage Rosemary and Thyme” album. Written by Paul Simon, this may just be one of the most beautiful songs I have heard. It turns out Emily was a fictitious person, a vision of who Paul hoped to meet someday. I wonder if he ever found his Emily?
• Sinead O’Conner – Nothing Compares 2 U — This shaved headed Irish woman commanded our attention with her evocative voice and phrasing. She protested the Catholic Church’s handling of child abuse by tearing up a picture of he Pope on Saturday Night Live and some other protests that lost a lot of her audience in the 1990s. This was her biggest hit. I wasn’t surprised to find out that Prince wrote the song. He was very prolific and wrote a lot of songs for other people. This is a cut from her, “I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got” released in 1990.

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!