January 25, 2018

“Iterluarit” “Good Morning” in Greenlandic. Of course, it sounds different through chattering teeth.

As I get older and my warranty runs out, I find that I enjoy some of the same things I always did but enjoy them differently differently. For example, I still love to read but unlike when I was younger, I tend to focus on one book at a time. Earlier in my life, I would have on average, 5-6 books going at time. Usually it was a mix of fiction and non-fiction books. My reading distance eyesight is not what it used to be, even corrected my eyes get tired when I read for an hour or so. They get all watery and burn some. Now, I check out books from the selections of audiobooks available from the San Diego Library. They have such a great section of books and readers, I enjoy the experience a lot more than I thought that I would.

The GLCPS&L Society must relocate its meeting locations due the fact that our cigar store managed to loose its lease. We have located a viable alternative but now we must contemplate the messy business of moving our poker table to the new cigar store.

This week I learned some stuff:

• I am learning more the decisions and options surrounding Do Not Resuscitate or DNR Directives. While accompanying my wife to her Pulmonary Rehabilitation, they introduced this 5 Wishes approach towards ensuring your wishes are honored when you are in a medical state that makes it impossible or at least unreliable for you to make your wishes known.
• Today, January 25th is NATIONAL BUBBLE WRAP DAY!!! Not a good day to be hung over, but we can all join in that terribly and almost universally human fetish of popping all of the little plastic covered puffs of air in the entire 1,000,000 bubble sheet.

Website Update:
• Whoohoo! New Vocabulary Quiz!!!
• I added a recipe for you guys this week – Loaded Baked Potato Quiche. This quiche ain’t for no sissies!

Writing and Painting Update:
• I have almost finished a watercolor study of some peppers that I saw in the grocery story.
• My “newbie” ceramics class bonsai pots came out better than expected. That is to say, not very good. My new ceramic cuss jar is being fired this week and I am starting a new ceramics project this week.

• I just finished the audio book entitled, “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman. It was adapted for TV. I first read the real book. This time I listened to the audiobook version. It was enjoyable. Its funny but using audio books enables me to pick up on bad writing habits of some of my favorite writers. For example, I wish I had a nickel for every time Robert B. Parker used the word “said”! I have loved all of the Spenser novels and the others for years and years. When I was reading his books I never noticed this faux pas of overused words. In a strange way, this flaw makes his story telling even more impressive. The weird equivalent of not noticing the priest is naked because the sermon was so powerful.
• I have a friend who is going through some very hard times. He is pretty sure his long marriage is coming to an end. He feels helpless and victimized by changes in the one person who he thought would never be anywhere but by his side. I have known this feeling well in my life and my heart aches for him. He has worked so hard to get to the place where they could just enjoy life just as it all came crashing down upon him. I also feel unable to help much. My advice seems akin to do, “Do everything that you feel is unwarranted and unfair for as long as she likes and hope for the best”. My ability to help is further limited by my own demons. The best I can do is to try to be there when he needs someone to listen and help him consider things that may not be clear in the moment for him. It doesn’t seem like much, but I truly hope it is enough.

Music Update:
Click here for week’s UJT Radio program. I am sorry about the bad upload on Down By River last week. I hope I didn’t give anyone whiplash when Hells Bells came on. This was a week of discovery for me. A friend mentioned this guitarist that used to play for Wings back in the day. So I searched for his music in the iTunes store and found it wonderful. There is a really cool section below the list of songs of an artist or album you found on your search called, “Listeners also Bought” which shows you what people who like you found the original artist but then went on to buy other songs. Sometimes following those crumbs through the musical woods can be very interesting. Anyway, I hope you like this weeks samples.
• Lawrence Juber — In My Life — This is a cover of one of my all time favorite Beatles songs. This guy’s playing just mesmerizes me. I listen and go off to some pleasant place and when the song ends I find myself sitting quietly with just a little drool on my smiling lips.
• Doug Smith — Lost in the Here and Now — This is another amazing acoustic picker doing his thing. Sounds so effortless but knowing guitar players, its years of hours every day of trying and failing and trying some more. Its just beautiful.
• Michael Hedges — Rickover’s Dream — This one comes to us from 1984. Micheal died in an automobile accident in 1997 but not before he impressed the hell out of some of the best guitarists on the planet. Wikipedia lists some of the commentary from when he died. I was drawn to try on this one because Admiral Rickover is the father of the modern nuclear Navy and wonder if he even had dreams.
• The Doobie Brothers — Real Love — Michael McDonald changed The Doobies. Not everyone was happy with the results but as much as I loved The Dobbies before, they were a super group when they added Michael to the mix. Not only did his keyboards and voice add richness to their old songs, his songs and influences on their new music was incredible as well. I love this one a lot because its true, “Just one minute of real love…”
• The Cars — You Might Think — Released on their 5th studio album in 1984, The Cars won the first MTV Music Video Award for best music video of the year. Its also just a great old song.
• Bonnie Raitt — Right Down the Line — This lady just works it so good. This one comes from her Slipstream album. I really love the mix on this song. She punches up the percussion just right and just makes the who deal rock. Of course, Gerry Rafferty’s song is pretty good too with Bonnie’s guitar and vocals woven in for good measure.
• Jackson Browne — The Load Out — This one comes from his, “Running on Empty” album. I got to see him play this one a couple of times over the years. It always brings a tear to my eyes. I really cannot tell you why. There is just something about witnessing our greatest heres being human and vulnerable like the rest of us.
• Rolling Stones — Sympathy for The Devil — From the Vinyl!!!! Perhaps one of the most underrated guitarist of our time, Keith Richards amazing skills got lost in the astronomical fame of the Stones. Like Lennon and McCartney, Jagger and Richards shared credit for the Stones songs though for the Stones the lyrics were mostly the work of Mick and the music was mostly Keith’s doing. This was another one of those songs that oozed through every crack and struck fear in the hearts of zealously religious fathers of young girls everywhere. In addition to Keith’s amazing guitar work, I love the back up vocals on this song. There were two women singing vocals on this cut – Marianne Faithfull (Mick’s girlfriend) and Anita Wallenberg (who was Keith Richards’ girlfriend). I think it is Marianne Faithful who does that tremendous, “Heeyyyyy Right On…Its Just a shot away..” towards the end. Seeing this done live was a truly magnificent event.

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! Happy New Year !

Under the Jacaranda Tree URL: http://www.jfmccann.com