December 29th 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 299 days since Russia attacked Ukraine.

This week I learned some stuff:
• Not to be a Debbie Downer, but from my perspective 2023 sucked as years go. It seemed to me that we had lots of wrong and not much right in our attempts to make the world better. But last Saturday, I got my weekly, CNN Good Stuff newsletter and their recap of the years best stories lifted my assessment some. I mean Trump is still not yet making license plates in what I hope will be a really crappy prison. For the most part, we didn’t do as much as we could to help Ukraine. But we did meet a 105 year old tortoise named Jonathan whois still having a big time. Kidnapped children found their way back to their homes. An Australian zoo delivered Christmas packages to the animals this year. The human genome was finally mapped and we saw the Pillars of Creation using the Webb space telescope. And the real kicker uptick came from the amazing comeback that Coral Reefs are making this year.
• The Prostate Adventure continues… I have my CT/Scan Simulation scheduled for January 9th. This is the procedure where they compile all of the old guy geography data into a simulation program and tattoos on my body to direct the radiation therapy technician to point the guns to kill all the cancer in my body.
• December 29th is the 363rd day of 2022! Just 369 days till Christmas! Today in 1170, Thomas Becket, Archbishop of Canterbury, is assassinated inside Canterbury Cathedral by followers of King Henry II; he subsequently becomes a saint and martyr in the Anglican Communion and the Catholic Church; According to John Smith, Pocahontas, daughter of Powhatan leader Wahunsenacawh, successfully pleads for his life after tribal leaders attempt to execute him today in 1607; On this day in 1845, the United States annexes the Republic of Texas; Also today in 1913, Cecil B. DeMille starts filming Hollywood’s first feature film, The Squaw Man; The Luftwaffe fire-bombs London, England, killing almost 200 civilians during World War II today in 1940; Leaders of the Khmer Rouge apologize for the Cambodian genocide that claimed over one million lives today in 1998; The last known speaker of Akkala Sami dies, rendering the language extinct. today in 2003; Madame de Pompadour, mistress of King Louis XV  was born today in 1721; Charles Macintosh, Scottish chemist and the inventor of waterproof fabric was born today in 1766; Billy Mitchell, American general and pilot(father of the US Air Force) was born today in 1879; Also born today but in 1910, Ronald Coase, English-American economist, author, and academic, Nobel Prize laureate; Tom Bradley, American lieutenant, lawyer, and politician, 38th Mayor of Los Angeles was born today in 1917: Dina Merrill, American actress, game show panelist, socialite, heiress, and businesswoman born today in 1923; Today in 1936,Mary Tyler Moore, American actress and producer was born;  Moody Blues founder, Ray Thomas, English singer-songwriter and flute player was born today in 1941: Born today in 1943, Rick Danko, Canadian singer-songwriter, bass player, and producer; Ted Danson, American actor and producer was born today in 1947;Nancy J. Currie-Gregg, American colonel, engineer, and astronaut was born today in 1958; Today Jude Law, English actor  was born in 1972 ;Thomas Becket, English archbishop and saint died today 1170; Carl Spitteler, Swiss poet and academic, Nobel Prize laureate passed away today in 1924; We also lost, Benjamin Curtis, American guitarist, drummer, and songwriter today in 2013.

Website Update:
This week:
• A new e Vocabulary Quiz !! WhooHoo!!!
• Week two for our Musical Trivia Quiz
• This week I worked on a special Hot Cocoa and Spicy and Sweet Fish Kabobs. I will publish them when I think they are ready.
• The Home Page quote this week is wisdom from Sirius Black, “We all have light and dark inside us. What matters is the side we side we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.”. There is quite a lot of Serous wisdom sprinkled throughout Order of the Phoenix. I, at least missed most of it, as I was so engrossed in the story, But I recommend a re-read or viewing the movie again and I think you will find it rewarding beyond J. K. Rowling’s excellent story telling.

Writing, Ceramics, Bonsai Trees, Stained Glass and Painting Update:
•  I did a little more work on the stained glass project but no painting got done this week.
•  For Christmas, my excellent son and his family got me some real deal, no fooling from Japan, Bonsai tools. I took them for a test drive the first day it wasn’t raining after Christmas. Oh my my my..sweet!
• 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.


This week will probably always be a sad one for me for whatever years I have left in me. We lost my friend Jack Keller at the end of 2020.  So as you ponder your new year over cocktails, raise a glass to Jack.  Here’s to you my old friend!

Music Update:
This week I am  celebrating my good fortune with some remarkable music that I hope you will enjoy.

This week’s UJT Radio Program:
•   Dan Fogelberg  — Same Old Lang Syne —  This seems like a great song to listen to on a cold wet new year’s eve.  This one is from his album, “The Innocent Age” released in 1981.
• Mat Kearney — Never Be Ready — This is just another cut from a great album. When it came up on rotation this week, I was reminded of how much I liked this 2009 release, “City of Black &  White”.
•   James Gang  – Alexis(Album Version)  — This is a great cut off their first album after Joe Walsh left and Tommy Bolin came in on guitars.  It’s a tight song played well. Front their album, Bang, released in 1973.
• The Avett Brothers — No Hard Feelings — This is another truly sad song sung by the best sad song singers. This one is from their 2016 release, “True Sadness”.
• Moody Blues — Nights in White Satin  — This is one of their first big hits. It features birthday boy, Ray Thomas’ wonderful flute work. This is from their live album, “Lovely to See You Again (Live)” released in 2005. We bought this CD at their concert in Escondido.
• Joe Walsh  – Rivers (of Hidden Funk) — This is a deep cut from Joe’s solo album released in 1981, “There Goes the Neighborhood”. The guitar work  is subtle and excellent but it’s the bass that is featured as lead. Looking for some inspiration going into 2023, the lyrics to this song are worth looking up. Well done Joe!

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!