December 7th, 2023 

“ Dobroho ranku”, or “Good Morning!” in Ukrainian, an Eastern Slavic language spoken mainly in Ukraine.  I have decided that the UJT will remain focused on Ukraine until we can all rejoice at the end of hostilities.  It has been 644 days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • My sprinklers are haunted! The old controller failed and wouldn’t water my lawn as scheduled. So I replaced it with another one. But the new one wouldn’t connect to the network or app. So I got a new, new one.  After adding a new repeater node to my wifi, I was able to connect to the network and their cool app. The wiring looked like crap and I rewired the valves to the controller.  And Wallah! All the sprinklers came on when we turned the water back on. So now the sprinkler valves that didn’t get controlled by the old controller and therefore, did not water the yard, now water continuously uncontrollably. I have been on the phone with the support people trying to solve the mystery. I cannot believe all the valves failed at the same moment. Stay tuned.
    • December 7th is the  341st day of 2023—just 18 days till Christmas.  Today is the 81st year we remember the tragedy of Japanese Navy planes’ attack on American forces in and around Pearl Harbor just before 8 am (local time) that Sunday morning. You can find out all about December 7th in history here.

This week’s Website Update:

    • A New Vocabulary Quiz!!!!  Week 2 of our Music Trivia Quiz for you.
    • I added a new recipe I thought that you might enjoy – Corn Casserole.
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from t Former President Jimmy Carter: “We become not a melting pot but a beautiful mosaic. Different people, different  beliefs, different yearnings, different hopes and different dreams.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass, and Painting Update:  

    • I glazed my first piece in my new Ceramics Class this week. Woohoo!
    • I  actually haven’t started cutting glass for my never-ending Stained glass project!! Yeah!
    • For better or worse, I often get my inspiration to paint in my sleep. Almost all of the results of those times are less beautiful than I had hoped but doing them sets something free inside.


    • Procrastination is what I do instead of the stuff I want done. I think this may be yet another unadvertised feature of growing older. It seems a recent phenomenon, perhaps enabled by my warranty issues. 
    • n my experience, personal and observed, humans often drool while sleeping. Some more than others and some only do it when they fall asleep in a chair – say at school on their desk. While I have had allergies, colds, and respiratory infections over the years, my nose has never run while I was asleep. Nor have I observed in my kids or grandkids growing u. How weird is that ???

Music Update:  

Here is a new batch of music for you to try out. 

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • Blind Blake — Police Dog Blues—Have you seen the Jack Reacher series on Prime Video? I have enjoyed it. This first season is based on the first Jack Reacher book by Lee Child. Anyway in the story Reacher gets off a bus, in the middle of nowhere Ga. to find out if Blind Blake r died there. He is promptly arrested and the story goes on. This was the first I had heard of Blind Blake. The finger-picking is amazing even if the recording is kind of rough. Blind Blake led the way for greats like Doc Watson and Ry Cooder. This song first appeared on “Detroit Bound Blues” released in August of 1928.
    • Genesis –  Follow You Follow Me  — This is the first single from the band when it was reconfigured as a three-piece group. It was released in 1978 on,” And Then There Were Three”.
    • Jude Cole – Believe in You – From Jude’s 1995 release, “I Don’t Know Why I Act This Way”. I love exploring this guy’s music. This song has such a subtle guitar rift gently through the song. It reminds me a little of some of the rifts Mark Knopfler weaves into his music
    • Jackson Browne –  Stay   “Running on Empty” was one of those rare records where I fell in love with every song. Released in 1977, Jackson was touring a lot and putting everything into it. This is a love song about living on the road.
    • Jethro Tull – Bouree  – This song always inspired visions of a royal court lounging around a feast with jesters and music. This is a deep cut from their second studio album,” Stand Up” released in 1969.
    • James Taylor –  God Bless the Child — This is a wonderful cover of a wonderful Billy Holiday song. It was a favorite of mine by Blood, Sweat & Tears. I loved David Clayton Thomas belting out the lyrics with those great horns behind it. This is from JT’s 2020 release, “American Standard”.
    • Micheal McDonald— I Keep Forgettin’ (Every Time You’re Near)— The first time I heard this song was when I saw The Doobie Brothers perform it in 1982. It was released on Micheal’s solo album released the same year, “If That’s What It Takes”. Micheal’s sister sings backing vocals. It a song about one of the pitfalls of trying to be just friends with old lovers.

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!