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 finished and we are putting all our stuff back and reorganizing it as we go. Whoopeee!
• The Prostate Adventure continues… We haven’t scheduled the CT scan and simulation session that is a prerequisite to starting radiation treatment.
• December 15th is the 349th day of 2022! Just 10 days till Christmas! Today in 1910, Italian American food cart vendor Italo Marchiony receives a U.S. patent for inventing a machine that makes ice cream cones; Gone with the Wind (highest inflation adjusted grossing film) receives its premiere at Loew’s Grand Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia, United States today in 1939; On this day in 1941, German troops murder over 15,000 Jews at Drobytsky Yar, a ravine southeast of the city of Kharkiv; Also today in 1961, Adolf Eichmann is sentenced to death after being found guilty by an Israeli court of 15 criminal charges, including charges of crimes against humanity, crimes against the Jewish people, and membership of an outlawed organization;The American Psychiatric Association votes 13–0 to remove homosexuality from its official list of psychiatric disorders, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1973; The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 spent to stabilize it, without fixing its famous lean on this day in 2001; Gustave Eiffel, French architect and engineer, co-designed the Eiffel Tower was born today in 1832; J. Paul Getty, American-English businessman and art collector, founded Getty Oil was born today in 1892; Max Yasgur, American dairy farmer and host of the Woodstock Music & Art Fair was born today in 1919; Also born today in 1933, Tim Conway, American comedian, actor, producer, and screenwriter; Born today in 1940, Nick Buoniconti, American football player and sportscaster; Carmine Appice, American drummer and songwriter was born today in 1946; Born today in 1949, Don Johnson, American actor; Tim Reynolds, German-American singer-songwriter and guitarist was born today in 1957;Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota tribal chief passed away today in 1890; Fats Waller, American singer-songwriter and pianist passed away today in 1943; We lost Wolfgang Pauli, Austrian-Swiss physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate today in 1958; Walt Disney, American animator, director, producer, and screenwriter, co-founded The Walt Disney Company passed away today in 1966.

Website Update:
This week:
• Week two for the Vocabulary Quiz
• Week three for the Musical Trivia Quiz
• I tried a new BLT+ Pasta Salad recipe that I came up with last weekend when I saw these colorful veggie rotini noodles. Very Tasty!
• The Home Page quote this week is from Winston Churchill, “All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope.”.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
•  This week was consumed by recovering from our renovation work at our house.  I (with my daughter’s help) was forced to finally address my pack-ratted-self in clearing out the no longer used, the no longer needed and twenty-some years of tax documents. I gave a whole box of colored pencil and pastel materials to a friend.  Then spent all evening shredding tax documents until my shredder overheated. I did manage a little work on the stained glass project but no  painting got done this week.
• 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.

I bought a Christmas wreath at Costco this week. It is beautiful and well built. I try to buy one each Christmas. This year their wreaths seem particularly lovely or maybe my hormone treatment is getting to me. It has pine cones and genuine simulated holly berries! Anyway, this years wreath came with a warning/disclaimer, “This product is not edible for humans or animals.” Another episode of the all too frequent realization that we just have too many lawyers in this world and they are dedicated to protecting dumb-asses who would eat their Costco Christmas wreath after the holidays! I think we should start paring back the trend and let natural selection take them out .. If they eat their wreath and die…wish for good insurance not out of court settlements. Just saying…

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

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   Joe Walsh — Life’s Been Good — Who knew that crazy rocker out of Detroit was going to go the distance!!.   This one is from his album, “But Seriously Folks… ” released in 1978.
• k.d. lang  – Wash Me Clean — This is a deep cut from her iconic album, Ingenu released in 1992. She has one of the best voices in the business.  
•   Allman Brothers — In Memory of Elizabeth Reed — This is a great instrumental song from their, Live at Fillmore East” album released in 1971. Dicky bets wrote the song after visiting Rose Hill Cemetery in the band’s hometown of Macon, Georgia. He named it after a headstone he saw for Elizabeth Jones Reed Napier (1845-1935). Dicky spent a lot of time with his guitar in Rose Hill. Originally, he was going to name it for a girl he knew but after a published comment from Duane Allman, it wouldn’t have been gentlemanly.
• The Beach Boys – Wouldn’t It Be Nice — This was the song that hooked me on the Beach Boys way back in 1966. This was a huge hit off of their “Pet Sounds” album. I was hanging with a surfing family where even the Dad and Mom surfed the pitiful waves of South Beach. To be brutally honest, I was much more interested in their 14 year old daughter and their 1965 VW Camper. I even got to go on road trips to Cocoa Beach where the waves got over 12 inches high. I learned about Zinc Oxide, Surfer Knots and the Beach Boys.
• Dan Ar Bras — L’ennui du roi — Boredom of the King, seems like a fitting song to start with this second week of lockdown. This lovely song comes from his 1976 release, “Douar Nevez – Terre Nouvelle”.
• Dan Fogelberg — Souvenirs — Just one of the prettiest poems and songs, I have ever enjoy. It’s just an intimate view that only Dan could give us. We lost Dan in 2007 to prostate cancer. The world is a little sadder for his passing. This is the title song from his 1974 release.

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!

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