November 10th, 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 257 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Funny Daylight Savings Joke: Some guy bragging over beers with his pals – “Yep… made love last night for 63 minutes!  Thanks to Daylight Savings!.
• Enjoyed being a poll worker again this year. Election results – not so much. It seems to me that both political parties have adopted the strategy, polarize the electorate and then complain about the other guy polarizing the electorate. But maybe that is just me.
• Today is the 247 birthday of the USMC! Semper Fidelis! Thank you to my dad, and all the other marines who have served in this proud tradition. Tomorrow is Veteran’s day and our opportunity to remember, recognize and be grateful to all those who have served our country in the United States Coast Guard. Air Force, Army, Marines and Navy. Thank  you for your Service!
• November 10th is the 314th day of 2022. Just 46 days till Christmas! Today in  1775,  the United States Marine Corps is founded at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia by Samuel Nicholas; On this day in 1865, Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming one of only three American Civil War soldiers executed for war crimes; Today in 1871, Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika, famously greeting him with the words, “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”; In 1939 on this day, Finnish author F. E. Sillanpää was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature; Today in 1951, with the rollout of the North American Numbering Plan, direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service began in the United States; Today in 1954, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower dedicates the USMC War Memorial (Iwo Jima memorial) in Arlington Ridge Park in Arlington County, Virginia; The Hope Diamond is donated to the Smithsonian Institution today in 1958 by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston; National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts Sesame Street today in 1969; Today in 1970. the first time in five years, that an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia on this day in 1970; Today i n 1975, the 729-foot-long freighter SS Edmund Fitzgerald sinks during a storm on Lake Superior, killing all 29 crew on board; Today in 1983, Bill Gates introduces Windows 1.0; Germans begin to tear down the Berlin Wall on this day in 1989; Martin Luther, German monk and priest, leader of the Protestant Reformation was born today in 1483; George Jennings, English plumber and engineer, invented the flush toilet was born today in 1810; Johnny Marks, American composer and songwriter (Rudolf The Red Nosed Reindeer) was born today in 1909; Born today in 1919, Michael Strank, American sergeant and flag raiser at the Battle of Iwo Jima; Richard Burton, Welsh actor and singer  was born today in 1925; Born today in 1942, Robert F. Engle, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate; Greg Lake, English singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer was born today in 1947;Mackenzie Phillips, American actress was born today in 1959; Chuck Connors, American actor passed away today in 1992; Ken Kesey, American novelist (One Flew Over the CooCoo’s Nest), essayist, and poet died today in 2001; Jack Palance, American boxer and actor  passed away today in 2006; And lastly, Norman Mailer, American novelist and essayist passed away today in 2007.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our Vocabulary Quiz
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz!!!!  Yeah!!!
• I added a recipe for my version of Shepherd’s Pie. It was pretty quick and easy and very tasty. I hope you will try it.
• The Home Page quote this week is from one of America’s most beloved comedians when I was growing up, Red Skelton. He said, “I’ve put on a lot of weight… I only weighed six and a half pounds when I was born.”. I remember feeling a profound sense of loss when his show ended in 1970. I also loved his clown paintings. By the time he died in 1997, he had made more money from the sales of his lithographs than he did in all his years in television.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
•  With my poll worker gig, I wasn’t able to work on both my new stained glass project and painting this week.
• 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.

We are sneaking up on another Veterans Day!  I am grateful to everyone who served in the military in any capacity. I am also grateful for the opportunity the Navy provided me and millions like me – to grow up, to discover things about ourselves and our world we might not have known otherwise. Flashbacks on my days in the Navy, both in terms of being a sailor aboard a ship and a young man discovering the world on liberty. I was in a bad place, when I decided to join the Navy. Like so many of my generation, temptations were many, wisdom scarce and rebellion strong. But somehow I knew I needed a new path and the Navy seemed a good first step. I was right. While my entire generation rebelled against the establishment (especially the military) I saw how the Navy took 71 young men from all walks of life, races, education levels, poor and rich and turned them into a cohesive unit within weeks of joining. That taught me that you can learn if you are paying attention and everyone brings some goodness if you look hard enough. I have always said, getting out of the Navy was the happiest sad day of my life. Somehow I knew that few of my relationships with my closest shipboard friends would survive leaving the ship and returning home.  One by one, we lost touch in the coming years. Wherever they all are, I wish them well.

Music Update:
This week I am  celebrating my time in the Navy with some musical flashbacks I hope you will enjoy.  Music was a huge part of this sailors life and the following is just a sample of some of my favorites from that time.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   Santana — Black Magic Woman — This was the soundtrack from my first liberty after arriving on board the USS Vogelgesang (DD-862) (AKA The Voggie). This  was a cold rainy night, back when you had to be in the uniform of the day when leaving or entering the base. This song was playing out of the tinny speakers on Hampton Blvd outside of the NOB Main Gate where all the 3.2 bars and clothing stores were clustered.  It was released in 1970 on the band’s second album, “Abraxas”. A great song.
• The Doors  – Riders on the Storm  — This is the song I remember hearing playing live in the bars as I walked the main drag in Olongapo, Philippines. If some had put a gun to my head, I would have sworn that Jim Morrison had come back. But when I walked into the bar, it was a group of guys -all about 5 feet tall playing and singing the song perfectly. Ain’t Life Grand! This is a single cut from the Doors album, “LA Woman” released in 1971.
• Jethro Tull – Aqualung — This song was eve present in my world after its release as the title cut of one of the best records ever released. Released in 1971, it was their most successful album.
•   Peter Frampton — Do You Feel Like I Do —  My first copy of this record was obtained in Kaohsiung, China (Not that one, Taiwan) at a price of $.25. It was made terribly and survived 2-3 plays before scratching. But I loved “Frampton Comes Alive” released in 1976 while we were on WESTPAC. It was over 13 minutes long, this acoustic version is not quite that long.
• Grateful Dead — Truckin’  — I am pretty sure this was GDs greatest commercial success. In 1997. The United States Library of Congress recognized this song as a national treasure. I had heard the Dead’s Dark Star album and found it too strange even for me. By the time they released American Beauty in 1970, they had grown up a lot.
• James Gang  – Funk #49 — I discovered Joe Walsh and James Gang when I was aboard the Voggie in 1970 when I bought the cassette tape of  “James Gang Rides Again ” . I also got to see them when they toured. I think it was at the Hampton Roads Coliseum – a great show!  

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!