December 6th, 2018

“ Aloha kakahiaka!!” Wishing you a “Good Morning” in Hawaiian.

We had some more rain in San Diego and the dreaded cold of winter has us in its grasp. At night time, it has gotten down to a frigid 43 and some days it doesn’t even get to 70 as a high! Burr! Time to break out my winder uniform. Most of the year I wear cotton gym shorts, sneakers and a Sea Dog t-shirt. But when it gets frigid like this, I switch to sweat pants and a Grateful Dead or Sea Dog hoody. Adjust and adapt!

This week I learned some stuff:

• December 6th is St. Nicholas Day!! We celebrate the life and the unselfish giving of this third century saint. He sold all his belongings and gave the money to the sick and poor.
• Have you seen, “One Strange Rock” on National Geographic Channel, narrated by Will Smith?? I just discovered it a couple of weeks ago and I am so impressed. I especially enjoy the explanations, insights and anecdotes from our astronauts. And heaven forbid, I think I am learning stuff that I never knew about our planet! If you haven’t seen it check it out. If you don’t get that channel, Google it and I think you can watch online.

Website Update:

• Last week for the “New” Vocabulary Quiz.
• New UJT Music Trivia Quiz!!! Whoohoo!!!
• I watched another Create TV show called, “How to Cook Well with Rory O’Connell” the other day and saw him make this wonderful Plum Tart with Praline Cream. Now, I know this may shock many of you but I am Tart virgin. That is to say, I have never made a tart in the kitchen. So this was a first for me. It turned out really good with the caveat that one should always make their puff pastry dough as opposed to buying some from Trader Joe’s. Honestly, making the puff pastry is the most complicated part and its not that complicated. You can find it the UJT Desserts page. Try it.
• I have been making real decent meat and bean Chili for a lot of years but never wrote the recipe down until now. You will find Grandpa’s Fine Ass Chili in the Main Course page of the UJT. This ain’t no sissy “have with your dinner” chili. No Sir! This here Chili is da Main Event! Enjoy!
• Last week, I also added a really tasty chicken recipe for you all but forgot to tell you about it. The Roasted Coriander Chicken recipe is on Main Courses page for you.

Writing, Ceramics and Painting Update:
• I have decided to continue to publicly embarrass myself by posting the lack of progress I have made on getting Grandpa Stories re-published, until it is done.
• I did some painting and writing this week. Inspired by some very positive feedback from my Writers Workshop group about my poem, “On Being Wrong”, I managed to write four more this week and will present them at the next workshop.

• I am a new user and I must say, the post office has created a pretty useful tool. I was trying to determine if any of their flat rate services would meet my needs and I found that the post office flat rate services are perhaps the best shipping deal out their for packages weighing less that 2 lbs. They even provide the box or envelope to use at no additional charge! 2 Day Priority seems to be the way to go Baby!
• After my disappoint men with “One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel Garcia Marque, I moved on to another book that received amy accolades in the Great American Read titled, “The Shack” by a new author, William Paul Young. Contrary to its predecessor, this book grabbed me from the very start. I found the writing so compelling that I almost wanted to stop reading at one point in the story because the writing had moved me such that I was feeling the protagonist’s pain as my own. I am glad that I kept going. I am now about 2/3s through and so far am enjoying everything I am reading. I am not a religious person by nature so I feel compelled to warn you that this is a religious story. I understand that there is even a movie out based upon the book. Maybe I will see it after I finish the book.

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.

• Spoon — The Underdog — My daughter reminded me of this cool song this week. This band has so much gaining on! On this cut they sound so much like Billy Joel from the “Piano Man” days. This one comes from their “Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga” album released in 2007.
• David Pack & Steve Perry — A Brand New Start — This one comes from David’s solo album, “The Secret of Movin’ On” released in 2006.
• Funkadelic — I Miss My Baby (1972 Version) — From their incredible “Maggot Brain” album released in 1972.
• Shawn Mullins – Ferguson — Soulful tune that is not about the terrible riots in Ferguson, Mo. After a police officer who had killed an 18 year old black man was not indicted by state courts in 2014 but I think it was inspired by that event. This is a song about the whole horrible history of slavery in the United States and how the pain just goes on and on. This one is a deep cut from his “My Stupid Heart” album, released in 2015.
• Sheryl Crow — The Perfect Lie — Another great cut off her, “Wildflower” album released in 2005.
• Bob Dylan — A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall — Somewhere in the middle of this song I fell in love Bob Dylan’s poetry and forgave him his unremarkable voice. He has given us a lifetime’s full of great music. This one came from his, “The Freewheeling Bob Dylan” released in 1963.
• James Taylor — You’ve Got a Friend — This was probably his first big hit or one of them anyway. It is a Carol King song, sung so well at just the right time for so many of us searching for the meaning of very important things. This one comes from one of my all-time favorite records, “ Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon” released in 1971.
• Tim Flannery — Words Unspoken — This is a pretty song sung well in that fine troubadour style mastered by this talented ex Major League ballplayer. This one comes from his, “Travelin’ Shoes” album released in 2009.

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!