December 2nd, 2021

“Բարի’ լույս: (Bari luys)”, or “Good Morning” in Eastern Armenian, a variety of Armenian spoken in Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Georgia and Iran.

For the first time in my foggy memory, I did not go into a coma almost immediately after eating Thanksgiving dinner. Every thing was the same – same menu, same never ending saying of grace, some stories from around the table, same portions. But unlike the preceding 60 some odd years before, I didn’t almost pass out face down in my empty plate. I was able to get up and move around. I had desert and stayed awake watching TV. Go figure.
Oh yeah! TV ! I tried to watch the Macy’s Day Parade on TV this year. The Talking Heads (parade commentators??) were so obnoxiously, cloyingly, nauseatingly “sweet”! I just couldn’t take the incipient drivel that flowed from each mouth in front of microphone! Though not a huge parade fan, I do not remember them being so gag-reflex challenging before.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I relearned how much distain I have for baking and how much admiration I have for bakers. Baking is chemistry! Each ingredient must be precisely added in the correct order, the correct manner and in the correct proportions to the other ingredients. Homely, don’ play dat way! I am less than precise perhaps the same way a hand-grenade is a less precise weapon than a sniper rifle. So my baking results are less than predictable. Which is an endless source of frustration as when it works I loved pretty much all things baked!
• December 2nd is the 336th day of 2021. Just 22 days till Christmas! On this day in 1697, St Paul’s Cathedral, rebuilt to the design of Sir Christopher Wren following the Great Fire of London, is consecrated; On this day in 1859, militant abolitionist leader John Brown is hanged for his October 16 raid on Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.; In 1865, Alabama ratifies the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, followed by North Carolina, then Georgia; U.S. slaves were legally free within two weeks; Following 19 years of Ford Model T production, the Ford Motor Company unveils the Ford Model A as its new automobile on this day in 1927; Today in 1939, New York City’s LaGuardia Airport opens; Andrew Carnegie, Scottish-American businessman and philanthropist was born today in 1835; In this day in 1954, The Senate votes 65 to 22 to censure Joseph McCarthy for “conduct that tends to bring the Senate into dishonor and disrepute”; On this day in 1970, the US Environmental Protection Agency begins operations; At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart on this day in 1982; Today in 2001, Enron files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy; On this day in 2020, the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs removes cannabis from the list of most dangerous drugs of the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs; Charles Edward Ringling, American businessman, co-founded the Ringling Brothers Circus on this day in 1863; Alexander Haig, American general and politician, 59th United States Secretary of State , was born today in 1924; Today in 1930, Gary Becker, American economist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate, was born; Harry Reid, American lawyer and politician, 25th Lieutenant Governor of Nevada, was born today in 1939; Born today in 1940, Willie Brown, American football player, coach, and manager; Lucy Liu, American actress and producer, was born today in 1968; Britney Spears, American singer-songwriter, dancer, and actress was born today in 1981; Aaron Rodgers, American football player was born today in 1960; Allen Wright, Principal chief of the Choctaw Nation (1866-1870); proposed the name “Oklahoma”, from Choctaw words okra and umma, meaning “Territory of the Red People, passed away in 1885; Desi Arnaz, Cuban-American actor, singer, businessman, and television producer, passed away today in 1986; And finallyGeorge T. Sakato, American soldier, Medal of Honor recipient passed away today in 2015.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our new Vocabulary Quiz
• A new Musical Trivia Quiz !!!!
• I have no new recipes for you this week.
• The Home Page quote comes from another of my favorite characters brought to us by former President Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• No change on the painting or stained glass front this week.
• Grandpa Stories is once again making progress towards being republished.

• I know of no one who is pro-abortion. To contemplate such a terrible consequence is horrifying to all reasonable people. Attaching a legal burden to the event never had the effect intended. These terrifying horrendous events continued illegally with even greater danger to women before they became managed as medical services. Doctors can refuse to provide that service. Patients guided by their beliefs can avail themselves of them or choose not too. Society can continue to cast its various opinions as to the character of those who use and provide these services. In a free society, everyone should make their own choices about their person – body and soul. It is not for me to say. I can wish for people to act in ways I see as “right” but it is not for me to punish them when they choose differently than I would hope concerning their own bodies. People who have alternatives choose to live homeless. Often when coaxed off the streets, they find themselves less comfortable in more “normal” housing arrangements. I wish it was different. It bothers me when I see their living conditions. I will continue to support all efforts to retrieve them from their situations on the street. I will search for remedies to the root causes for their choices. But I will not punish them for their choices. Abortions and Homelessness are both terrible consequences for the people involved and the society they share. Both of these terrible issues are best solved before the fact with remedial cause removal – education, early detection and treatment of mental illness and compassion. After the fact, the sad truth is there is just damage control. This week the highest court in the land is taking up another challenge to Roe V Wade. Roe V Wade is a legal precedent set because our political leadership lacked the courage to address the issue effectively. Just as they have failed to address immigration and racial injustice. It has fallen to the courts to govern the most difficult issues of our time. The court tries to create neat little legal boxes to fit our messiest issues and that will always fail to meet the true needs. We need courageous leaders, active participation of the people and above all, compassion for each other as we take on these terrible issues.

Music Update:
Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• The Beatles – Let It Be – This the 2021 mix for their last album together. It was released in a dark time of my life. I was lost, wandering around Coconut Grove, working in a gas station and sick of my life. Around this time I decided I needed a new challenge. I joined the Navy. Nothing has been the same since. This was the title cut for their 1970 release recorded in 24 days and played on the roof of Abby Road Studios. Be sure and watch, “Get Back” on Disney+. Here is the trailer.
• The Doobie Brothers — Real Love — Michael McDonald changed The Doobies. Not everyone was happy with the results but as much as I loved The Doobies before, they were a super group when they added Michael to the mix. Not only did his keyboards and voice add richness to their old songs, his songs and influences on their new music was incredible as well. This is from their 1980 release, “One Step Closer”. I love this one a lot because its true, “Just one minute of real love…”
• B.B. King — My Lucille — This is the great man’s tribute to his guitar. Written by Ira Newborn for a 1985 John Landis movie, “Into the Night”. I had the pleasure of meeting B.B. King and Lucille with about 30,000 of my closest friends on wonderful evening in Miami, Fl back in the day. This one is from “Six Silver Strings” released in 2007.
• Steely Dan — Daddy Don’t Live in that New York City No More — This is a deeper cut from one of my favorite Steely Dan albums, “Katy Lied” released in 1975.
• Dave Mathews Band – You & Me – One of my favorite DMB songs… and my tribute to Valentines Day… I hope every one falls in love young enough and deeply enough to have an afternoon of dreaming of the possibilities…and if your very, very lucky maybe a life time to find them all together. This one comes from DMB’s 2009 release, “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King”
• Donovan – Season of the Witch – Wow!! I always thought that Donovan wrote this song but I learned it was cowritten by a truly great but almost unheard of musician by the name of Shawn Phillips!! Me and maybe a couple hundred others have loved Shawn Phillips since the early 197Os. He has a great voice and is a gifted guitar player as well. He was the first one to give George Harrison sitar lessons! Patchouli oil, Sandalwood incense smoke, tie dyes t-shirts, day glow posters on the wall, beautiful carved candles and hand crafted leather belts holding up our worn bell bottoms on our skinny asses… this song brings it all back with a smile. This one is from his 1966 release, “Sunshine Superman”.

That’s it… Do the best you can; Laugh every chance you get; Always remember… The best is yet to come! As always, thank you for being my friend!