November 2, 2017

“Bonghjornu” When you visit Corsica next, remember to greet the people you meet with this hearty, “Good Morning!” and you will not go wrong.

I hope you all had a lot of Trick Or Treaters come by your house. The past few years have been a bit peeked in terms of turn out. Do you all carve a pumpkin? We always do. When the kids (and I mean all the kids) were younger we might carve a pumpkin for each kid.

Happy NATIONAL DEVILED EGG DAY !!! November 2nd was set aside to recognize those lovely little Whores deVours that delight us all on picnics or at holiday family dinners. Did you know that deviled eggs are also known as Egg Mimosa, stuffed eggs, salad eggs or dressed eggs?? The first know reference to “deviled” eggs appeared in 1786. So have a deviled egg today… its patriotic!!!

Jess and I completed our Red Cross Adult First Aid CPR/AED certification courses. So if any of you geezers trip off the line around us, we got you back. I recommend that everyone have some one certified in your household ($84 at your local Red Cross – for a 2 year certification) and don’t forget to down load their First Aid and Emergency apps for your phone.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I hate the terrible sadness I feel when I am faced with the eminent near certain demise of my dear friend, Chewbacca. Tears roll down my cheeks, I breathe in short gasps, trying not to sob as I comfort him. Knowing his pain will continue to grow and never leave him unless I help, does not lessen mine. I make the calls. It is too painful for him to be moved so I arrange for the vet to come to him. His face grey with age as he tries to rise up one more time to greet me. I do not want to say goodbye to this sweet old soul.
• You must turn on the AED before you plug in the leads so the automated assistant is ready when you are to do its testing and provide its recommendations for shocking. I also learned that if you heart has stopped the AED will not recommend Shocking (just do CPR). I was surprised about that.
• Do you know what a BumpStock is? Without getting all technically gooey on you, a BumpStock is an “accessory” that one can attach to a rifle that uses the rifle’s kick or “bump” as the mechanism to enable almost machine gun-like firing speeds. An illegal automatic weapon fires 98 rounds in 7 seconds. Using BumpStock equipped rifles, the Vegas shooter fired over 90 shots in 10 seconds. He had over a dozen rifles with this BumpStock accessory. BumpStocks are legal to buy accessories (~$99 online). And they will stay that way if the NRA is successful, again. The NRA states it will support a “regulation change” to oversee the sales of BumpStocks. The DEA has announced that no federal regulations have jurisdiction over accessories. This is purely another NRA tactic to get this issue lost as the news moves away from the Vegas Shooting and our “leaders” in Congress become enamored with other shiny objects (like the NRA’s campaign contributions). So this NRA “supported” solution will not be effective, nor for that matter ever implemented. We need congress to recognize that this needs to be fixed as a law like any other automatic weapon law. I urge you to contact your Congressional representatives and instruct them to pass a law banning BumpStocks from sale, ownership and use within the United States. If you aren’t sure about what to do.. watch this video. You can just cut and paste this message into your Senator’s and Representative website email system and post it on your FB and Twitter Accounts: “Pass a law banning BumpStocks from sale, ownership and use within the United States. Do not let the NRA win again!”. Then watch, what does your government leaders say or do? Let that be a guide about how much they care about their constituents
• Bias is subtle and unavoidable. It is in all of us to varying degrees. That doesn’t mean it is a good thing, It almost never is, in fact. To over come one’s own bias is difficult; it calls for true and sincere vigilance. The first step is to forgive yourself. You and I and everyone else are inundated with biased messages from the moment we are born. Its all part of our indoctrination of “normal”. That does it mean we have live forever with the limitations imposed by our own bias. Here is an example of bias in action: Recently, I included in the UJT Kitchen Drawer a new item about our weekly poker game – The GLCSP&L Society. I was trying to inspire others to form their own groups to spend time with some of their favorite friends on a semi-regular basis. Recently, some things changed about our group and I thought I would update the item to reflect the changes. When I reviewed the clever repartee that I had inflicted on you all earlier, I was a surprised by what I found. The entire paragraph was a probably relatively harmless act of misogynistic bias. There is no part of GLCPSL intent, philosophy and implementation that prohibits women to participate. It has been my experience that women joining groups can perhaps (certainly) improve the functions intended. But that is not what the words said. In a storm of giddy testosterone, I managed to denigrate perhaps the best part of humanity with absolutely no intent to do so. I am ashamed of myself and proud that I caught it. I have fixed it and hope you will check it out. And perhaps more importantly take a few minutes to go online and test your own bias, I was surprised by what I learned when I did it. No matter what you learn about your own bias, I encourage you to take a minute and try to connect your bias to someone you know and care for. If you are able to do that, I think that you will be inspired as I was to try to prevent your bias from limiting your life’s fullness in the future.

Website Update:
• This week I found a pretty cool quote about risk.
• I added a link to the Las Vegas Shooting and a request about BumpStocks.
• I added an updated version of my “Life’s Other Shore” and a new poem that I wrote awaiting the vet for Chewy called, “Backyard Silence”.
• I tried some new recipes this week. One is a breakfast/snack time oat meal thing that our family just loves. The other is a nice refreshing salad.
• Houston, we have a New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• This week I also added the lyrics for “September Grass” from James Taylor. Enjoy!

Writing and Painting Update:
• I worked on the Pumpkin Painting.
• I wrote another chapter in Artifacts this week, 3 poems and 2 short stories (for City Beat Fiction 101 Contest).
• I missed my pastel class this week but should hit the rest.

• Every Viet Nam era Vet (whether they served in country or not) finds it impossible to watch Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s “The Viet Nam War” series without crying during every episode. Wide ranges of emotions – anger, sadness, horror, shame, pride and pity all mixed up inside overwhelm them.
• There was this one image from the Las Vegas Shootings that haunts me like the Kent State photos did for years. There were two clearly young and clearly dead women laying together on the pavement in the flickering Vegas lights. Everyone who could, had run away and left them. All I could think about was my daughters or grand daughters watching a concert happily one moment and in the next, lying there among the discarded cups, hot dog wrappers, face down in the black bloody tarmac. The more we learn about this guy and the other shooters in this seemingly endless parade of gun violence, we must realize that the old NRA slogan: “Guns don’t kill people. People kill People.” is a total pile of bullshit. When the people are flawed, it IS the guns that kill people. There are just too many flawed people in America to risk having so many weapons of such horrendous capabilities available to them. We need one set of stronger and well enforced gun laws to protect ourselves from ourselves. Far more people have died at the hands of American citizens with guns than any reasonable person would accept. The question is: How many more have to die before we demand change? I passed my limit a long while ago. What’s weird about this is that the Columbine High School Massacre was over 18 years ago and we were all horrified. We lost all those little kids and teachers at Sandy Hook Elementary Shooting was 5 years ago this coming December 14th. And we are still just talking about doing something!!!

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program:
• Fats Domino — Walking To New Orleans — We lost Fats last week. Still living in the 9th Ward even after Katrina. This was one of my favorite Fats tunes.
• ZZ Top — Pearl Necklace — The Beard boys could get a bit risqué upon occasion. If you don’t no what I am talking about… well, never mind. None of the “normal” folks knew what this was about. It was kind of one of those “Louie Louie” deals.. We would just sing along and snicker.
• Jackson Browne —Tender is the Night — This boy can turn a phrase! … Always loved this one from his,” Lawyers in Love” album
• Steppenwolf — Born to be Wild — From the band’s, “Crash” album. These boys are just Soooo Tight!! This is a deeper cut from that great record.
• Joe Walsh — And the Band Played On — This is a great cut from his Analog Man album.
• The Beatles — Fool On the Hill — This one comes from their Magical Mystery Tour album.
• James Taylor and Micheal Brecker — Don’t Let Me Be Lonely Tonight — This is just a sweet old song played well. Breaker’s sax is very cool on this one.
• James Taylor — September Grass — This one has been featured on UJT Radio before but its just such a great song!!! For some reason, I always get choked up and tears in my eyes. Its strange; its a song about all thing I will miss when I am gone. I couldn’t help but plug it in again. This and the one before are from JT’s “October Road” album.

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!

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: