December 7, 2017

“Beyanî baş” is how you might be greeted in the morning by one of 30-45 million Kurdish people who live where Iran, Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey intersect.

My seemingly never ending battle with ATT to get my freedom continues. My last writing was optimistic. After hours of dealing with different help desk agents, I was finally placed in the hands of a highly capable supervisor who recognized that her team was not equipped in skill nor access to accomplish the task of releasing my device serial numbers from the clutches of the ATT network. She created Tier 2 tickets for my devices and assured me that I would notified when these devices were release from ATT’s network. I did get an email explain that they couldn’t process the ticket!!! So I am not on a quest to get to the supervisor’s manager… and so it goes.

Today is National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. My friend Larry’s Dad was a tugboat captain in Pearl Harbor on December 7th, 1941 when the United States was attacked by hundreds of Imperial Japanese fighters, torpedo planes and bombers. Over 2200 Americans were killed that day.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I watched the new Netflix Series, Godless and was impressed. It reminded me of the Deadwood series on HBO but with less profanity. I also finished the last season of Longmire. I am kind of sad about that. I know it was just a soap opera set in the west but I really engaged with the people the story and the scenery.
• I re-learned that I love giving gifts but hate shopping… again. I got some of it done early.
• In 1979, after the Shah of Iran (installed by British and US spy agencies) was deposed and the students following the Ayatollah Khomeini, I began to suspect that US behaviors in the Middle East may not have been a body of work to be proud of. In fact, the history of American policy in that region makes it hard to understand why anyone living there would ever trust America to do anything intelligent or honorable. Our policies there seem to express a deep and abiding lack of understanding of the culture or any regard at all for the people living in the region. The only actor on that stage that seems to have even more arrogant ignorance of the area and the history of the tribal peoples living their are the British. I am reading (actually listening to an audio book) by David Baldacci called, “The Camel Club” which also contains a lot of information that I had forgotten.

Website Update:
• This week I decided to return the UJT Home page back into the welcoming message it was before the hurricanes and shootings took over our awareness. Thank you for putting up with my attempts to help.
• This is the last week for the New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• Did you notice the amazing album artwork on the “What About Me?” lyrics page last week? I used to love the album covers and posters that the Grateful Dead, QMS, Jefferson Airplane, Blue Cheer, NRPS, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and Santana..and others used back in the 1960s.
• This week I added the lyrics from.”Take It Easy ” by Savoy Brown for your sing-a-long pleasure. This is another great example of 1960s-70s album artwork. Check it out.

Writing and Painting Update:
• I found a special “guesso” that will allow a watercolorist to paint on canvas when obtaining the canvas I need to do the acrylic painting of Chewy.
• I am working another chapter in Artifacts. This is a tricky or at least pivotal one, where I have to lay out ‘the plan for my characters’ and take the first steps.

• I apologize to any one I inadvertently offended with my little excursion into the uncomfortable subject matter parked in our respective chairs as we read this. I have no idea why I thought anyone else would be interested in this rather ubiquitous but unmentioned topic.
• Every week in assembling the UJT Update for you all. I go through this selection process to pick out the music samples to showcase that week. It is always a tough choice because the selections are so few and I love so many songs and different music genres. I try not to repeat but sometimes I am so inspired that I must. I hold myself to a rule of never repeating the same song in the same year. The weird thing is that sometimes I imagine it will be my last selection for you and for me that kind of makes it like the last set of a long show. I know that one day no matter how many “Click their Bics” at the end, the house lights will come up and stay on. So… enjoy the show!

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program: 
• The Zombies — She’s Not There — From 1965, this was the first song by this band that I really liked. It came up on the rotation this week and gave me some fuzzy flashbacks.
• Extreme — When I First Kissed You — This is one of the most versatile bands to come along. This one is from their “Extreme II – Pornograffiti” album Nuno Bentencourt appears to be channeling his inner Sinatra but I like it. I hope you do too.
• Savoy Brown — Take It Easy — A sweet little bluesy tune coming to us across the space-time continuum from 1970 for your listening pleasure. The guitar work is really lovely on this tune. The vocals remind me a lot of Jerry Garcia, whose voice always pleased me.
• John Mayer — Who Says —  This is song was written during John’s implosive time living in Tribeca and blowing up relationships with famous people all over the scandal sheets. He was doing the whole new rock star parade around the city with his entourage every night. In this song, he pushes back at those who were advising him to dial it back a notch or two. I loved the album that escaped out of this period – “Battle Studies”. I always like the song but the accompanying video did not help his message.
• Joe Walsh — Tend My Garden — From the Vinyl!!!! By the time I found out about Joe Walsh, James Gang had just released “Rides Again” that included this song. It was clear that this strange man from Detroit was something different. There was an unpolished sophistication that slipped out of the cracks and just made you stare. Jim Fox’s piano refrain on this one reminds me of our old friend Nicky Hopkins.
• Sade — By Your Side — When the Tsunami hit Japan and the musical community responded with “Songs For Japan”, I responded and downloaded the album to help out. I knew there were a few songs I would like (many I already had) but there were some very fine surprises. This song was one of them. I just loved it from the first time I heard it.
• Jimmy Buffett — Off to See the Lizard — This one is the title track for one of my favorite JB albums. He always finds the little kid in me and makes him come out to play when every I hear his music. I hope you still make sand castles on nice beaches at least in your soul when you are alone late at night and maybe you had a bit too much to drink. Go ahead, smile.
• Jimi Hendrix Experience — Red House — From the Vinyl!!!! This on is a live cut from a concert that I actually attended at the Miami Pop Festival in May of 1968. This album was released in 2013 and this is my favorite cut from it. I would love to share lots of details about the evening but I don’t seem to have any available. 🙂

That’s it… Do the best you can;  Laugh every chance you get;  And always remember …  The best is yet to come! 

As always, thank you for being my friend! 

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