November 28th, 2019

“Кутмандуу таңыңыз менен!” or “Good Morning” in Kyrgyz, a Turkic language spoken mainly in Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia. Also for us Americans, “Happy Thanksgiving” to you and yours! We all have much to be thankful for and much yet to do.

This week’s progress on the back yard projects continues albeit at a rather slow pace. I take heart only in the fact that I have friends whose projects are moving even slower. Everything seems to take longer now.

We are getting excited about our upcoming trip to TX. We have to figure out where to get a wheel chair for some of our planned excursions but Jenny, Sean’s lovely wife has some very cool ideas for our trip.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I am becoming less and less appreciative of the Facebook thing. I am still grateful for the platform that enabled me to connect with distant people that I love – to track their progress through the galaxy. I have also connected to new people and their art as well. I learn things too – some good and others less so but still learning. For me, learning is the other interesting part of life (the main one is loving!). Anyway, this week FB treated me to a 1997 clip of the Howard Stern interview with James Taylor, where James played a cover of Woodstock. I was surprised that Howard recognized JT’s amazingly unsung guitar work. Anyway, check it out here.
• November 28th in addition to being Thanksgiving Day, 2019 is the 332th day of the year (leaving only 27s days till Christmas!). On this day in1582, in Stratford-upon-Avon, William Shakespeare and Anne Hathaway pay a £40 bond for their marriage license; In1895, the first American automobile race from Chicago’s Jackson Park to Evanston, Illinois. Frank Duryea wins the 54 mile race in approximately 10 hours; The World War II: Tehran Conference took place with U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and Soviet Premier Joseph Stalin meet to discuss war strategy in 1943; NASA launches the Mariner 4 probe toward Mars in 1964; in 1990, British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher resigns as Prime Minister. She is succeeded by John Major.; On this day in 1820, Friedrich Engels, German-English philosopher, economist, and journalist was born; Henry Bacon, American architect who designed the Lincoln Memorial was born in 1866; In 1929 Berry Gordy, Jr. , American songwriter and producer, founded Motown Records was born; Born in 1943, Randy Newman, American singer-songwriter, composer, and pianist; “Martin Clunes, Doc Martin” English actor, singer, and director was born in 1961; In 1859, Washington Irving, American short story writer, essayist, biographer, historian passed away; In1994, Jerry Rubin, American businessman and activist, stopped protesting; In 2010, Leslie Nielsen, Canadian-American actor and producer, after appearing in over 220 different roles in film and TV, left the stage.

Website Update:
• Week two for the “New” Vocabulary Quiz!
• Last week for the “New” Music Trivia Quiz.
• I put up a couple of new recipes that I think you might enjoy – a one pan Chicken With Potatoes, Scallions and Capers and Sesame Stir-fry Pork and Shiitakes.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• The house sign is finished but not mounted yet. It is not as nice as I had hoped but giving all the stuff I did wrong, I was a little amazed it came out as good as it did. I started working on some incense burners that I hope will be cute. I worked on this funky little pentagon box and started a new project this week.
• Grandpa Stories is still not re-published.

• Rejection. It’s never fun. I think inherently we all wish to seem valuable to any given situation or person. Having perhaps a great deal more courage than sense, I have taken on a lot of rejection over the years. As a registered old guy though it seems to sting a bit more. I guess that is because, as i bring more experience and knowledge to the table, logically, one would be more desirable than the young nimrod that I once was but that is not the case. I still want a mission but have been told to go sit on the bench again (never one of my desired states). The head hunter was nice and said that the it was the lapsed security clearance that kept his client from considering me for the role but I think it had to do with the dates of accomplishments on my resume. They can’t ask you how old you are any more but significant applicable accomplishments and years of experience doing the desired role spell out GEEZER pretty clearly. Ah well, that is the nature of the beast. It took me years to get this old.
• What is up with the fluid management systems in my life???!!! This week both the garbage disposal and the skimmer on the back of my saltwater tank started leaking. Then some water demon has possessed my pond pump and put it into schizoid mode. It will intermittently suck the filter dry and flow like Niagara Falls then hick-up and return to normal flow for about 10 minutes and then repeat. The first time it happened, it scared the crap out of me!Speaking of fluid management tasks, when was the last time you drained and flushed your water heater?? Huh, Huh?? Well most of us do it the first of never but if we want to be good planetary citizens and by that I use less of energy and help your old water heater last longer while you are at it, flush the sucker out every 6 months or so. I just takes a hose and a couple of steps that you can find online easy enough ..both your gas and your electric company will have the instructions on their websites. Or you could pay someone ..but over time your water heater gets less and less efficient and eventually breaks down under the weight of all this sediment that ends up in there. So have a water heater flush out party with your neighbors. Wouldn’t that be cute? A whole neighborhood wiht all these garden hoses hanging out of their garage doors, just flushing their water heaters like good folks’l do. Ain’t life Grand!

Music Update:

This week, having hosed the UJT Radio update for last week will carry last week’s selections until November 28th. Sorry.

Go to this week’s UJT Radio program.
• Dead & Company — The Weight (Live at Playing in the Sand, Riviera Maya, MX 2/15/18) — I love this cover of this sweet old song from The Band.
• The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice — This was the song that hooked me on the Beach Boys way back in 1966. I was hanging with a surfing family where even the Dad and Mom surfed the pitiful waves of South Beach. To be brutally honest, I was much more interested in their 14 year old daughter and their 1965 VW Camper. I even got to go on road trips to Coca Beach where the waves got over 12 inches high. I learned about Zinc Oxide, Surfer Knots and the Beach Boys.
• The Byrds — Jesus is Just Alright — I was so surprised to learn that The Byrds did this song before(in 1969) The Doobie Brothers made it a huge hit in 1972. Its a different version. The Doobies put in a break in the middle “….. Jesus is my friend..,”.
• The Cars – Good Times Roll – This song came out when we were living in a little bitty cracker box house in an iffy Newport News, Va neighborhood not to far from the Shipyard where I worked. I remember the place had a huge yard that became a huge garden in the summer. The kids used to like to find crayfish in the little water that ran along side our property. We would go crabbing with chicken necks and dip nets. When my little girl asked why the crabs made so much racket in the pot, I explained, “They Be Dancin!” I would ride my bicycle to college at night because most of the cars we had while we lived there were in various stages of broke most of the time.
• Josh Smith and Joe Bonamassa — Over My Head — A friend of my sent me a link with this guy playing some really nice blues guitar, so I got to looking for more and found this one. The boy has skills!
• James Taylor — Never Die Young — JT just doing his thing one more time. I always smile when JTs music comes up on my musical rotation. He keeps plucking my heartstrings sometimes its hard to listen without tears in my eyes.
• Cold Play — Speed of Sound — These guys have always impressed me. This was one of the first songs I heard from this band. I liked it a lot. This is from their album, “X&Y” released in 2005..

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!