December 8th 2022

“ 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 in the end of hostilities.  It has been 285 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• The repair work on our house has begun. A couple of days into it our guy got sick and work stopped till Monday but then they came back with the vengeance.  The old wood floor is up and they are taping up to paint the two rooms today. Whoopeee!
• The Prostate Adventure continues…my radiation therapy doc met with us this week. I will have a calibration CT scan to teach the team and the automation how to target my cancer. It appears that my radiation treatments will not begin until after the new year.
• December 8th is the 342nd day of 2022! Just18 days till Christmas! Today in 1941, U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares December 7 to be “a date which will live in infamy”, after which the U.S. declares war on Japan; U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his “Atoms for Peace” speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world today in 1953; On this day in 1960, John Lennon is murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City; Also today in 1987, The Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty is signed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev in the White House; In 1991 on this day, the leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine sign an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States;The first case of COVID-19 in China was confirmed today in 2019;Eli Whitney, American engineer, invented the cotton gin was born today in 1765; William C. Durant, American businessman, founded General Motors and Chevrolet was born today in 1861; E. C. Segar, American cartoonist, created Popeye was born today in 1894; Also born on that day, James Thurber, American humorist and cartoonist; Born today in 1911, VLee J. Cobb, American actor; Sammy Davis, Jr., American actor, singer, and dancer was born today in 1925; Born today in 1933, Flip Wilson, American actor and comedian; David Carradine, American actor, director, and producer was born today in 1936;James MacArthur, (AKA Danno on Hawaii Five O) American actor was born today in 1937;Jim Morrison, American singer-songwriter and poet was born today in 1943; Gregg Allman, American musician was born today in 1947;Kim Basinger, American actress was born today in 1953; Also born on that day, Sam Kinison, American comedian; Vance Joy, Australian singer-songwriter was born today in 1987;Teri Hatcher, American actress was born today in 1964; Nicki Minaj, Trinidadian-American rapper and actress was born today in 1982; George Boole, English mathematician and philosopher (Boolean Logic) passed away today in 1864; Golda Meir, Ukrainian-Israeli educator and politician, 4th Prime Minister of Israel passed away today in 1978; We lost Slim Pickens, American actor today in 1983; Howard Rollins, (AKA TV’s In the Heat of the Night, Mr. Virgil Tibbs passed away today in 1996; American actorBob Bell, (AKA Bozo the Clown) American clown and actor left the stage on this day in 1997; And lastly, we lost a number of beloved Sesame Street characters (Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch. etc) when Caroll Spinney, American puppeteer and actor passed away today in 2019.

Website Update:
This week:
• A new Vocabulary Quiz !!!!
• Week two of Musical Trivia Quiz
• No new recipes this week.
• The Home Page quote this week is from Jimmy Buffett. He said, “It takes no more time to see the good side of life than it does to see the bad”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
•  This week was consumed by the renovation work at our house. I am continuing to work the stained glass project and hope to get some painting done before next week’s UJT.
• I am continuing my streak of slacking off on the paper edits of Grandpa Stories. I just haven’t carved out any time for more chapters.

Sixty minutes weirdness. There is this guy, Greg Carr, who made a buttload of money in technology and decided to go save Africa with it. I know it sounds outlandish but in 10 years the area of Africa he has focused on went from a war torn wasteland where millions of people and billions of animals were decimated over a decade of fighting to a beautiful example of just how Africa could be. I won’t try to regurgitate all I learned about this guy and the work he has done. I guess I wanted to point out, that the generation before mine and perhaps some of mine, those that were incredibly fortunate used to do good stuff with their money. They built schools, libraries, hospitals, donated to research, etc. The list is very long. But what is not on that list is spending money on self indulgences such as going to space just to say that you did it. This Carr guy is working on a vision that will include not only bringing back the wildlife to their prewar numbers but also lifting the people in and around the Gornogrosa National Park in Mozambique so that they can sustain themselves as stewards of the park.

I am fascinated by the diversity of birds that share the planet with us. Some months ago, the magic of the FB algorithm decided that I would enjoy daily doses of incredibly beautiful photos of these beautiful creatures from all over the world. Some of these birds are just breathtaking. I promise never to snicker when someone tells me their hobby is birdwatching. Even old farts like me can stop being idiots when we put our minds to it.

Music Update:
This week I am  celebrating my good fortune with some remarkable music.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   The Mamas and Papas — California Dreaming — To me this is some of the best harmonies of our time. This one is from their first album, “If You Can Believe Your Eyes and Ears” released in 1965.
• Blood Sweat & Tears – God Bless the Child — This is a great cut from their first self titled album released in 1968. I always thought that David Clayton Thomas had one of the best voices in the business.
•   Little Feat — Oh Atlanta — From the Vinyl!!!! This is one of my favorite cuts recorded on one of my favorite albums by one of my favorite bands. “Waiting for Columbus” is a live albums released in 1978 . I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.
• James Taylor — You’ve Got a Friend — A dear favorite song that takes me back to a simpler time in my life. This was a huge hit from his “Mud Slide Slim and the Blue Horizon” that was released in 1971.
• The Lumineers — Dead Sea — This is another great cut from their first album, “The Lumineers” released in 2012.
• Jackson Browne — You Love the Thunder — Jackson was at his most prolific in the years between 1973 (Jackson Browne) and 1983 (Lawyers in Love). This great tune is from “Running on Empty” released in 1977.

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!