November 12th, 2020

“સુપ્રભાત (suprabhat)”, or “Good Morning!” iin Gujarati, an Indo-Aryan language spoken in India, Bangladesh, Fiji and many other countries by about 46 million people. It is Day 238 of the California Lock Down. I got tested for Covid-19 after my time as a poll worker and the results were negative. I can now take myself out of self quarantine just as I switch from my summer uniform(Shorts and T-shirt) to my winter one (Sweatshirt and Sweat pants). It go all the way down to 48 degrees ..buurrrrr!

This week we elected a new President. I learned a great deal from this election. I was amazed and appalled that the results we so close. To me this does not bode well for our future as a nation. Unlike his predecessor, Joe Biden wants to heal the wounds and unite America again. However one of the lessons, that I learned from this election is that we are not the people I thought we were. A large portion of Americans value power over others higher than fairness, honesty and freedom for all. They would turn our democracy into a theocracy where anyone who doesn’t look, believe, and support their beliefs, should be hated, ridiculed, demonized, ostracized and killed, if need be. A great number of Americans don’t care if an individual lies, cheats, dodges their military obligations and taxes as long as he says what they want to hear. To begin to come back from this dark place our country has become, we needed to overwhelming repudiate the despicable evilness currently in power. But we didn’t do that. The results of this election are that, as a nation, we willing to let hate, dishonestly and evil not only persist but thrive in our country. That fact frightens me for the world our grandchildren will inherit from us.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am not sure if anyone will remember but a while back I mentioned The Happiness Museum and The Museum of Happiness and the various paths looking into them took me down. Well, I signed up for their news letter and this month they spoke of actions we can all take to live happier lives – adopting a new approach towards “To Do” lists, learning the biology of kindness (it really is good for you) and putting your well being on the front burner.
• Working at the polls was actually pretty cool in that learning to do new stuff that matters well, feels good. Towards the end of the very long voting day I started to feel a bit peaked. Its probably just old-guy-syndrome but just in case, the next morning I visited nose swab land and set up a bed in our living room (now someone lives there!). This is my second test and hopefully it will be negative as well. After the election, our team decided to get together for a drink next Saturday. Just goes to show, if you are not very careful, you will meet nice people!
• Our wonderful old bed is just that – Old. Like most of us old things we droop where we should be firm and its gotten to the point where it bothers us. So off to bed shopping we go. We like our bedroom suite so we are just looking to replace the innards not the outnards. Technology has advanced a lot since the straw was stuffed into our current bed and so have the prices. But we are sneaking up on it.
• November 12th is the 303rd day of the year (because 2020 is a leap year – but there still only 43 days till Christmas!). Today in 1933, Nazi Germany withdraws from the League of Nations; On this day in 1936, The San Fransisco – Oakland Bay Bridge opens; Today in 1954, Ellis Island ceases operations; In 1958, a team of rock climbers ascended to the Nose of El Capitan in Yosemite National Park for the first time; On this day in 1970, The Oregon Highway Dept attempts to destroy the rotting corpse of a Sperm Whale by blowing it up resulting in the infamous, “Exploding Whale Incident” which resulted in large pieces of blubber to fall on buildings and cars; Today in 1971, President Richard Nixon orders the return of 45 thousand American troops as part of his Vietnamization program for the war; In 1981, space shuttle Columbia becomes the first reused manned spacecraft in history; Today in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee publishes a formal proposal for the World Wide Web;; In 2001, September 11 terrorists are making final preparations for the World Trade Center and other attacks; Auguste Rodin, French sculptor and illustrator, created The Thinker was born today in 1840; best known as Stella from 1951’s film, A Streetcar Named Desire, actress Kim Hunter was born today in 1922; Grace Kelly, American actress and later Princess Grace of Monaco is born today in 1929; Charles Manson, American cult leader was born today in 1934; Booker T. Jones, (of Booker T and the MGs) American pianist, saxophonist, songwriter, and producer was born today in 1944; Anne Hathaway, American actress was born today in 1982; Gram Parsons, American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1946; William Holden, American actor ( died today in 1981; And finally, Stan Lee, American comic book writer, editor, and publisher passed away today in 2018.

Website Update:
This week we made the following changes:
• Last week for our New Vocabulary Quiz.
• A new UJT Musical Trivia Quiz!!!!!!
• This week I have added a couple new recipes for you folks – Roasted Chicken with Cilantro Gremolata and Sunday Beans.

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• I have designed a new stained glass piece that I am going to start this week.
• This week I managed to attend one of my watercolors classes.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• I know some of you folks disagree with my conviction that Donald Trump is perhaps the very worst thing to happen to our country since the founding father decided to put off the slavery issue till after the country was formed, in order to get the constitution done. I find the procedural manipulations by that chinless weasel Mitch McConnell and his ilk disgusting and the resulting Supreme Court appointment equally so. This is another case where basically good people justify their amoral actions by pointing to the result – by any means possible. I also feel that some have had to work very, very hard to overlook the gapping flaws between what has been said and what is truth and what they believe is right. As I complete this week’s UJT Update we still don’t know if Trump is gone yet. But one thing is for sure, given the closeness of the race, the crumbling of America is continuing. If Trump wins, the pace will be much, much faster.

Music Update:

Once again, your fossilized DJ takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my library. This week features a number of, perhaps more eclectic, favorites that I hope you will enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Joe Walsh — Life of Illusion — This is another great tune Joe released it on his solo album “There Goes the Neighborhood” released in 1981.
• Peter Gabriel — Don’t Give Up(Feat. Kate Bush) — This is a beautiful duet by two very creative folks. This is a bonus cut from his 10986 release, “So”.
• Matchbox Twenty — Parade — This is a very cool cut from their 2012 release “North”.
• Loggins and Messina — Angry Eyes — This is a blast from the past. A deep cut off their first album, “Loggins and Messina” released in 1972 .. you know when we were all young and going to state that way!
• Jimmy Buffett — He Went to Paris — This is a cut from his, “A White Sport Coat and a Pink Crustacean” album released in 1973. I think I got this version from a greatest hits release in the 80s but it is one of my favs from JB.
• Pink Floyd — Comfortably Numb(Live) — This one comes from their 2000 release, “Is There Anybody Out There”. One of my all time favorite Floyd songs.

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!