November 4th, 2016

Nii’óóke’! A fine Arapaho “Good Morning” !

We are back from our trip to Texas. It was a great visit and we both enjoyed the chance to spend time with our son and his family. I started walking again. I didn’t walk every day but I did manage to get my walks up to about 40 minutes and 2 miles. I have been digging out of the back log of stuff at home since we arrived but will start again over the weekend.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned that Dallas can be lovely. We enjoyed living in North Dallas for a lot of years but to be honest I at least never found the city all that inviting. It seemed to me that all the houses seemed the same and everyone was coming and going without really knowing each other. My son has found a little neighborhood that contradicts my earlier assessment. Highland Village near Lewisville is a beautiful area with lots of trees, parks and all the houses are different from one another:). Beyond that, he knows all his neighbors and his young children can ride their bikes to the park without dealing with major thoroughfares.
• I learned that the Cubbies can be World Champions. My Mom turned me into a Cub fan many years ago. When we would visit her in Chicago in the summers, she always would include an afternoon at Wrigley Field to sing in the 7th inning stretch with Harry Caray as we watched some visit beat our Cubbies. My son Sean and I watched most of the series together in his garage with our stogies and Scotch or Irish Whiskey. My little bro Mike would be texting me like crazy the whole game. I am not a stats guy and do not invest in memorizing every name like my Mom was. I would just happily root for my “lovable loosers”. Well, the boys did good and persevered. Even during the last game, in my hear of hearts, I was afraid someone or something would snatch our Cubbies victory away but they did it after all. Now I have to get a pennant and make a pilgrimage out to Newport News to visit Mom one more time.

Website Update
• A very knowledgeable web design expert happened to review the UJT as part of his assessment to determine if he wanted to become a volunteer for SDWS. His assessment wasn’t as flattering as it was accurate. This little adventure was put together to provide easy access for my friends to hopefully find something that might make their day a little better. It is insecure, filled with content and technical flaws and yet, hopefully still can provide a smile or two when visited. I try to make UJT as interesting and correct as I can.

Writing and Painting Update:
• More GPS edits from Noah to do. I will going through them next week. I also and doubling down on my painting project but not progress on either while in Texas.

Weird-Stuff-O-Meter:
• Could anything be weirder than our election this year? We completed our ballots while in Texas and got emails confirming their receipt. This election has been so horrifically unpleasant, I just want it to be over now.
• I think I mentioned in the impromptu UJT update done from Texas, that I got a warning for speeding from the nice Highland Village Officer ( I almost said nice lady cop!). It was an epiphany of sorts and I started to practice doing the speed limit in all my travels. When I returned home and continued this practice I found it even harder to do. I have to concentrate differently more on my driving speed than on getting by people and looking for ways to avoid slow ones. It feels weird to be speed law abiding:)

Music Update:
This week’ selection is a pretty eclectic mix of music. After I returned home and made several runs to the store and SDWS, I heard some songs that I hadn’t heard in a long time. I hope you enjoy:
• Wham – Everything She Wants — Wham was too pop or teenybopper for many I know but from the first time I head George Michael, I knew that there was something special happening.
• George Michael and Mary J. Blige – As – This is just a cool song! This tune is one my favorite Stevie Wonder songs from his Key of Life album. They do it very well in this 2012 duet.
• Grateful Dead – Shakedown St. – From the Vinyl!!!!! One of my favorite GD songs! This is the title track from their 1978 album. Bob Hunter and Jerry Garcia collaborated on so many great songs. I hope you enjoy this one.
• Jimmy Buffett – Chason pour les petits Enfants – This is a pretty little song from his Volcano album. Its a fairy tale set to music but I always loved Jimmy’s ability to send messages through his music, in this case. “ why can’t we all just get along and enjoy our differences together”. Well, maybe that’s just what I feel whenever I sing along with this pretty little minuet.
• Neil Young – Rockin’ the Free World — This one comes to us from Neil’s 1989 Freedom album. Just Neil doing his whole Rust Never Sleeps vibe. You get it and like it or not, I never met anyone in between.
• New Riders of the Purple Sage – Glendale Train – Before the Grateful Dead, Jerry Garcia used to hang out and play gigs with a rather interesting character by the name of David Nelson (no not Ricky’s older brother). They both wandered around and formed different bands. NRPS included some of the original GD members on their first album but slowly became their own sound. I like this story about the benefits and perils of train robbery a lot. I hope you do too.
• Steely Dan – Chain Lightening – A deeper cut from their Katey Lied album. Its a yummy, jazzy, classy tune that fills me with that special magic Steely Dan vibe.
• Lifehouse – Walking Away — I featured this one a year or so a go but it came up this week and still impresses me. I love the guitars and vocals and how they interplay with the strings in the background. If you get a chance, google the lyrics. Its a sad song but the poetry is beautiful.

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!

James
Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com