December 16th, 2016

Sabahınız xeyir!! (“Good Morning” in Azerbaijani to you!)

I have almost sent all my mailings into the logistics system for delivery. I think I have one more trip to the postal place to finish up. Santa’s bake shop has finished for this year. Changing cookie recipes presented its challenges to my materials estimating techniques. I am happy to report that we have socked in all of chocolate chips, flour, brown sugar and walnuts that might be needed in 2017 already:) The cookies are tasty and with a new packaging technique, I hope they will arrive as cookies and not baggies of crumbs.

Have formerly switched to “weird old guy at Christmas” mode. I am wearing my Santa hat whenever I leave the house. It makes people smile which in tern makes me smile which kind of has been the goal. Don’t forget to thank all of the people in uniform that you meet for their service and wish them a happy holiday. Holiday’s can be tricky for our Sailors, Marines, Soldiers, Airmen and members of Coast Guard. Not all of them can get home and many maybe experiencing their first Christmas away from their homes, families and friends. So take a moment, walk the 10 or 20 feet out of your way at Walmart or the grocery store to just say the words and smile as best you can. They can take it.

The political clouds keep darkening as Trump continues to ramp up his cadres of Death Eaters to take over the Ministry. The optimist in me tries to remember that this just another pendulum swing and horribly messy chapter in our young democracy’s history. The rest of me just keeps muttering, “This is really really gonna suck!” It feels kind of like waiting in line to get the hugely expensive 4 year root canal and colonoscopy package I bought at the flea market.

This week I learned some stuff:
• I learned postal rates for shipping the packages that cost me ~$120 last year made it to $160 this year.
• I learned again, that getting old is not for the fragile of spirit. Another friend’s had to return to the hospital for an extended stay of past warranty work. The prognosis is good for continued aging and decline but the process is not fun. Keep a good thought for those of us who seem to find stuff falling off or breaking regulary this holiday.
• I am happy to report my renewed love of Stephen King’s mind is almost all consuming at this point. I have managed to outfit the entire next Vocabulary Quiz from my recent SK readings. Hemingway may still be the champ of clear concise prose but my boy SK taint no piker either. Reading and in fact, rereading parts of his primer on writing is not only fun (for an English book) but helpful as I have pretty much made all of the mistakes he has described so well. I am enjoying his promotion of the craft using the analogy of a Carpenter’s took box. H actually talks out loud about things like vocabulary, grammar rules, sentence and paragraph structure. Ha! Even Earnest in his worst days of DT’s never had the balls to take on that kind of subject matter and make you want more.

Website Update
• Last week for this Vocabulary Quiz!!
• No new quotes this week – I was baking!

Painting Update:
• I notified the SDWS Board of Directors of my resignation. I received a very nice thank you and everyone understood my need to reprioritize around painting and writing for 2017 and beyond. I am very glad I did my part for SDWS for the past 5 years but I will not miss it. I look forward to remaking my little office into that of a writer and painter lost in his craft.

• Darth Vader has orange hair and skin under the mask and cloak.
• I am sooooooo looking forward to Star Wars: Rouge One that comes out today. Howerver, the cheap ass discounted matinee shows are not until next Tuesday though – Drat!
• I am sure there was something else weird that happened this week but it was just too weird to remember I guess.

Music Update:
Santa did not have the radio on this week in the bake shop so I didn’t get to collect as many tunes as I normally do but I think some of these will make you smile:
• Eric Clapton and Tracy Chapman – Give Me One Reason — This is just a great blues tune performed live and so sincerely by two of the best. Eric really is loving playing on this one.
• Jude Cole – Compared to Nothing – Jude Cole is one of the very best unrecognized singer/songwriter turned producer that you may never have heard of but I hope you have (at least from this here UJT Radio thang!) This is just another beautiful example of why I love this guys music so much from his, View from 3rd Street” album.
• Led Zeppelin – Black Mountain Side – This an acoustic deep cut from the first Led Zeppelin album. Its just Jimmy Page doing magic on a Gibson J-200 acoustic six string in London in 1968.
• Lionel Richie – Love Will Find A Way — This one comes from Richie’s supremely successful Grammy Album of the Year winning, “Can’t Slow Down” album release in 1983. This one is just a nice tight piece of music.
• Neil Young – Heart of Gold – Well you knew I couldn’t deny my inner hippy love child simple pleasure seeking self for long. My love of this song goes back the the first time I heard it in Norfolk Va back in 1972.
• Alanis Morissette – Everything(iTunes Originals Version) — She sings from a place few of us are ever honest enough to look at in ourselves. Face it, we are just complicated beasties. Lets just love all of us and call it a day.
• Seal – Don’t Cry — From the Vinyl!!! A beautiful song that reminds me of gliding down the autobahn in the cold German winter with its foggy greys in our Sliver Open Station wagon. I would always be playing this song loud and singing along (the best that I could). I am sure I embarrassed myself terribly to my family and the other German drivers but I still cannot make myself care about that when I hear this wonderful song.
• Steely Dan – Night By Night – From the Vinyl!!! I seem to remember Somerset doing this song but that could be just a wishful hallucinations. But I would swear in court that I can remember John, George, Roberto and Larry harmonizing with George wailing on Walter Becker’s part. Any who…always one of my favs from “Pretzel Logic”.

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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