December 23rd, 2021

“mele Kalikimaka”, or “Merry Christmas” in Hawaiian.

This week we had the Winter Solstice, the first day of our northern hemisphere winter and the first day of the southern hemisphere’s summer. Our shortest day of the year!. Oh boy!

I ended up with a delivery of about 12 boxes of lovely graham crackers jousting with the Walmart website update. We tried to return them but it quickly got into the “Too Hard” category so we are donating them to the local food bank. It got me to thinking, what other perfectly good items are in my pantry that I am never going to use. We all have stuff like that. So today, my graham crackers and other stuff are making our way to the food bank to maybe do a little good.

I hope you have all your shopping done and you took the turkey out to defrost in the fridge (we are having roast beast this year). For any traveling to their Christmas, please be careful and safe. Work really hard to be nice to each other and everyone else to celebrate the season.

After Santa’s workshop closed this year, I got back to the paper edits on GPS.

Please join me and wishing one of my favorite musical geniuses a Happy 73rd Birthday – Alan Parsons, whose first credited record engineering credit was from The Beatles “Abbey Road”. He was 18. He went on the engineer and produce many of our all time favorite records, such as Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon”. Happy Birthday Alan!

This week I learned some stuff:
• Sir Rod Stewart and his son Sean, plead guilty to simple assault on a Breaker’s Hotel security guard New Years Eve 2019. There were a number of things that surprised me about this headline. First, I didn’t know that Rod Stewart was now a Sir! Secondly, I had no idea he also has a son named Sean. And lastly, how he got in and out of Florida without being accounted by my baby-sitter who has adored him forever. They paid a $675 fine and promised not to smack any more annoying security guards.
• December 23rd is the 357th day of 2021. Just 2 days till Christmas! On this day in 1783, George Washington resigns as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland; On this day in 1919, Women in the UK become full citizens when the Sex Disqualification (Removal) Act 1919 becomes law in the United Kingdom; In 1947, the transistor is first demonstrated at Bell Laboratories; Today in 1970, the North Tower of the World Trade Center in Manhattan, New York, New York is topped out at 417 metres (1,368 ft), making it the tallest building in the world; John Jay, American jurist and politician, 1st Chief Justice of the United States, was born today in 1745; Today in 1895, Joseph Smith, American religious leader, founder of the Latter Day Saint movement, was born; Richard Conner, American sergeant, Medal of Honor recipient, was born today in 1843; Born today in 1923, James Stockdale, American admiral and pilot, Medal of Honor recipient; Jefferson Airplane’s lead guitarist, Jorma Kaukonen, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, was born today in 1940; Tony Hicks, English singer and guitarist for The Hollies, was born today in 1945; Billy Gibbons, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer, was born today in 1949; Tim Hardin, American folk singer-songwriter and musician, was born today in 1941;Adrian Belew, American singer-songwriter and long time guitarist for King Crimson and many others, was born today in 1949; ack Webb, American actor, director, producer, and screenwriter, passed away today in 1982; And finally, obert L. Howard, American colonel, Medal of Honor recipient, passed away today in 2002.

Website Update:
This week:
• Last week for our vocabulary Quiz!
• A New Musical Trivia Quiz! Yeah!!!
• I have a new recipes for you this week. One of the Peruvian dishes worked out really well. I hope you will try Lomo Saltado. It was very tasty
• The Home Page quote is from Judge Roy Bean, law west of the Pecos, ”And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.”

Writing, Ceramics, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
• No change on the painting or stained glass front this week.
• Grandpa Stories is once again making progress towards being republished (See above).

• I read the news today.. oh boy! There is a new puppy in the White House. “Commander” will take his place among the other great first dogs like President Obama’s Bo (who passed away from cancer this past may). JFK had a pack of 9 dogs with him. Even Tricky Dick, had 3 dogs in residence (but not Checkers, she never lived in the White House).

Music Update:
Once again, yours truly takes you on another meander through the dusty cobwebs of my music library.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
• Jose Feliciano — Felis Navidad— This song was a huge cross over hit for this Puerto Rican performer and songwriter. It was the title cut for his 1970 release and was released on a cassette! You remember cassettes?
• Vince Guaraldi Trio — Linus and Lucy — I pretty much grew up with Charlie Brown. I loved their Christmas Specials long before any ever heard of “The Great Pumpkin”. This is from the 1965 sounds track of the Charlie Brown Christmas Special.
• James Taylor — Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas — This is JTs version of any old favorite from his 2006 release, “James Taylor At Christmas (Bonus Track Version)”.
• Mitch Miller and The Gang — Winter Wonderland — This is another blast from my past. I remember putting on Mitch Miller on our first phonograph, and to “Sing along with Mitch”. This was their “Holiday, Sing along with Mitch” album released in 1961.
• Gene Autry — Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer — There have been many great artists that have sung this children’s Christmas classic but no one does it quite as good, Gene Autry was a quite a guy— rodeo cowboy, singer, movie star, songwriter, entrepreneur, baseball team owner, a WWII transport pilot and a 33rd Degree Mason.
• Jimmy Buffet – Happy Christmas (War is Over)– This cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono Band’s wonderful single, was released on JB’s “Christmas Island” album in 1996

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!