November15th, 2018

“ Mir-mëngjes!” Wishing you a “Good Morning” in Gheg Albanian, an Albanian language spoken in Serbia and Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, northern Albania and Bulgaria !!!

Our country celebrated its 99th Veteran’s Day without making much progress in creating a world where sacrificing our youngest and brightest citizens to wars is unnecessary. I am grateful for all of the sacrifices that our military service men, women and families make in defense of our country. I wish our government put as much energy protecting our veterans from homelessness and suicide as it does making political gestures about border control. Our veterans have earned the right to be a priority of any administration. We owe them. Please join me in challenging our political representation to make our veterans’ needs a priority.

Stan Lee used to come over to my house on rainy days with his gifted friends and allowed me to hang out with them for awhile. Although I was not as addicted to Stan’s comic books as I was to Arthur Conan Doyle or Ian Fleming, I enjoyed them just the same. After a long life and multiple cameos in some of our most popular movies, Stan has left for that part of space that can only be reached one way. AntMan and Thor can’t visit this place or maybe they are the only ones. I am not sure. Thank you for all the characters and stories that you provided us, Stan. RIP.

This week I learned some stuff:

• November 15th is a NATIONAL BUNDT DAY National Bundt Day, also known as National Bundt Cake Day is observed every year on November 15. I always loved Bundt Cakes … They are the true non-conformist of the baked items community!

Website Update:

• Last week for the “New” Vocabulary Quiz.
• New Music Trivia Quiz.
• Given its starting to get cold out there for most of us, I have added a new soup recipe for you all this week. You will find my, Ginger Chicken with Bok Choy in the UJT Things to Eat pages.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I am pretty sure that Grandpa Stories might never be finished! Every time someone reads some of it ..they point out things that I should fix.
• I mentioned that I was encouraged by my two new ceramic projects so this week I attempted two new pieces. They promptly kicked my butt!


• For the past 10 years or so I have been avoiding the plastic bags that groceries and other stores give out so freely. Too many end up killing millions of sea creatures in one way or another. Every one should switch to reusable shopping bags. But if you are just starting out doing that I have a few tips: 1) Buy your reusable bags at cool stores. No one should be forced to advertise Walmart by using their dumbass blue bags. Go for the gusto – Whole Foods and Trader Joes have lovely selections of colorful reusable bags that any fool would be proud to tote. 2) Put your bags back in the trunk when you empty your groceries into the fridge or pantry. If not, you will be enjoying a HUGE selection of bags in a very short period of time. I think I am going to bring some of my extras to the store with me next time and when the bonehead in front of me goes to buy more of the plastic ones, I will just give them my extras. If I give away about 2 bags every time I go to the store, I should be down to the 4-5 bags I need in about a year. So quit bitching, buy your bags and save some sea critters. It’s the right thing to do!

Music Update:
Here is another musical smorgasbord for you to feast upon. I know that not every dish will be your favorite but I hope you will sample it all.
Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.

• Bob Schneider — Metal and Steel — Another deep cut from his, “Lonelyland” album released in 2001.
• New Riders of the Purple Sage — Henry — I discovered these guys about the same time I learned about the Grateful Dead. I was in the Navy and enjoying pharmaceutical stay-cations:)
• The Rascals — A Beautiful Morning — This one was the first single released as “The Rascals” rather than the Young Rascals. It was a big hit for them in 1968.
• Jewel — Down So Long — From her Greatest Hits album released in 2013. I remember the first time I saw her, It was in a video filmed in the NYC Subway.. very cool.
• Matchbox Twenty — These Hard Times — Another great cut from their, “Exile on Mainstream”.
• Bruce Springsteen — Mary’s Place — I would love to meet Bruce at Mary’s Place. This one is a deep cut from his album, “The Rising” released in 2002.
• Atlanta Rhythm Section – Spooky — This one of the songs that was on every juke box in all 3.2 beer bars on Hampton Blvd. outside of NOB Norfolk. I took my first liberty after getting to my ship and bought my civilian clothes at the Big O.
• Tommy Bolin – Teaser – This one should scratch your heavy metal axe itch alright. This the title cut from his “Teaser” album released in 1975. As a teenager Tommy played lead for a band that was opening for Led Zeppelin. He replaced Joe Walsh in James Gang and later Richie Blackmore in Deep Purple. Tommy was a prolific studio player and song writer. Tommy would be found dead in a Miami hotel just a year after he released “Teaser” … such a shame. His brother Johnny Bolin still plays drums for Black Oak Arkansas.

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!