December 14th, 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 651days since Russia invaded Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:

    • I surrender! I am calling in a sprinkler system Jedi. This is just another brick in the wall between me now and the me I used to be.
    • December 7th is the  348th day of 2023—just 11 days till Christmas.  You can find out all about December 14th in history here.  I am not sure how many of you folks follow this link or use the Wikipedia site to bolster fuzzy memories or learn new things but I think that I cannot be the only one. I encourage you to donate the $2.75 they are asking for.

This week’s Website Update:

    • Week 2 of the UJT Vocabulary Quiz.  Last week to do the Music Trivia Quiz.
    • I added a couple of new recipes I thought that you might enjoy – Stuffed flatbread, Baked Haddock, and Fried Boiled Eggs.
    • The Home Page quote for this week’s wisdom is from Stephen Pinker: “The theory that religion is a force for peace does not fit the facts of its history.

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

      • My ceramics class learned another interesting technique this week. We learned about bacon! In Ceramics bacon is the term used for a specially prepared layered kind of clay that is used like a veneer on cabinetry. The result is that the piece has a swirling or checkerboard pattern added to the clay base you have prepared. I created a 7×7 in tray learning this one that looks pretty cool.
      • Jess and I cleaned our garage which afforded me another excuse to not work on my stained glass project.
      • This week’s dream-inspired creativity was centered on cooking.


    • This week I decided to stop driving at night. My MD has progressed to the point where my depth perception is dangerously flawed. I decided to reduce those consequences to furniture and locks for the most part and forgo the 4,891 lbs traveling at 70+ mph opportunities from now on. The worst part is that I can no longer drive myself to and from GLPS&Ls Poker games.  We are trying to find alternatives in terms of the timing or location of our games.  My daughter has offered to drive me but it would be another imposition on top of all the other things she does for me.

Music Update:  

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

This week’s UJT Radio Program:

    • The Beatles    Now and Then — This is a wonderful song written and sung as well as they ever sounded. It feels like a Christmas gift! Check out the YouTube video too. This song was written by John and recorded, resurrected, and enhanced by Paul and Ringo.
    • Alanis Morissette      Head  Over Feet — This quirky poet-songwriter kind of captured my heart with her deeply personal lyrics. This is one of those iTunes Originals but it comes from her 1995 release, “Jagged Little Pill”. This was a favorite of my friend Jack.
    • Simply Red  — Holding Back the Years   A beautiful blast from the past! Such a distinctive sound and wonderful lyrics! This is for their album, “Picture Book” released in 1985
    • Sade    Smooth Operator — Another great tune from the 1980’s! It’s true!! I am a seriously addicted smokey sax addict! This one was a huge hit from their, “Diamond Life” album released in 1984.
    • Chris Cornell   — Nothing Compares 2 U   I always loved this song but somehow it always made me sad. Written by Prince who overdosed in 2016, made famous by Sinead O’Connor who never recovered from her son’s suicide and passed away last July. This soulful cover by Chris is just so good!  Like me, most of you have heard Chris on countless songs with Soundgarden, movie tracks, and his beautiful solo work. We lost Chris to his lifelong depression in 2017, alone in a Detroit hotel room after a performance with Soundgarden. So a sad song, made even sadder. This is from his wife, Vicky’s curation of his music simply entitled, “Chris Cornell (Deluxe Edition)” released in 2018.
    • The Greg Allman Band — I Am No Angel —  I always smile when I listen to this song. I think Greg had one of the best blues voices in the business. For me this one is an anthem to rascals and all manner of bad boys with good hearts. Anyway, I hope you like it too. It’s the title cut to the band’s 1986 release.
    • Sarah McLaughlin — Song for My Father —  I promise every father wishes to be remembered like this. Such a beautiful song – written, played and sung superbly. This one is from her “Shine On” record released in 2014.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!