A challenge

I am reposting this little tidbit from Rob Brezney’s column this week. Two quotes, from Howard Zinn and Noam Chomsky. It pretty much sums up how I am attempting to live my life:

One of my heroes, radical historian Howard Zinn, said that pessimism
tends to become a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we relentlessly imagine the
worst possible outcomes, if we concentrate on all the things that are
falling apart and going wrong, it cripples our capacity to make
constructive changes. “To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly
romantic,” he wrote. “It gives us the energy to act.”
More from Howard: “What we choose to emphasize in this complex
history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our
capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places–and
there are so many–where people have behaved magnificently, this gives
us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning
top of a world in a different direction.
“And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait
for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of
presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in
defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”

“Optimism is a strategy for making a better future,” says Noam Chomsky. “Because unless you believe that the future can be better, you are unlikely to step up and take responsibility for making it so. If you assume there is no hope, you guarantee there will be no hope.”

It’s a process..

I spent a bunch of time over the last week trying to revive my little website. Since all of the work is done by me it takes such a long time, just like working in my garden and making art and music. Even though the wordpress format is relatively easy to work with I still find myself going around in circles trying to make things fit in a way that works best for me. Having a full-time day job also factors into me making any progress along with getting old and not having the same level of energy that I had in the past. But still I push on because stopping or quitting is absolutely not an option. I understand how people just give up in the face of all obstacles but it isn’t in my make up to throw in the towel. I will take all the time I need in order to make a thing happen. With that in mind, I’ll be playing on Thursday , April 2 at Ducky Waddle’s Emporium from 7-9 p.m. The shop will be staying open a little later that night during the Taste of Leucadia. Restaurants on the 101 in Leucadia will be offering tastings for the price of a ticket. Ducky Waddle’s will be offering food for thought and the sounds of cellotronica by yours truly.

Springing ahead

I’ve taken a few days off from work so I can prepare my taxes in preparation for our annual meeting with the accountant. In the process of all this I hope to squeeze in some gardening, glass work, music, exercise and a massage. The weather is incredibly warm and beautiful with a strong breeze which is nice as I’ve opened the doors and windows to give the house some air cleaning.

A little bit at a time

I thought I would be using this newer web/blogging format a lot more than I actually have. I guess it all comes down to the way I try to market or promote myself. It’s never too much but just enough to keep some sort of visibility out there in the world. Even though I’ve worked in marketing of other people and products, it’s never been my favorite thing. I’ve always been conflicted over adding to the never ending amounts of crap that gets pushed onto consumers and the marketplace. Does everyone really need to buy all this stuff even if it isn’t any good?  Ideally, it would be nice if things could happen organically and the cream would rise to the top but then we would all starve wouldn’t we? My main objection really is against mediocrity and striving for the lowest common denominator just because it will make money. I guess I’ll never be rich.

This coming Friday, October 18, at 10pm GMT which I think is 1pm PST, my music will be featured on the The Garden of Earthly Delights in a mix called Women’s Hour 5. It will be a lovely hour in which at least 5 of my songs will be mixed live with other cool women musical artists. Later the mix will be available for download for your listening pleasure anytime. My personal disclaimer is that I did not offer up any songs with vocals, they are all instrumentals. Most of the songs were written over the past 10 years when I first got my very own computer recording rig. Recording vocals has always been kind of a daunting task for me, even in a professional studio. The picture above is one of the ways I’ve tried to get vocals done at home.

Listen Live to The Garden



How you like these apples?

My apple tree has out performed itself this summer. I took this picture almost a month ago and we are still knee-deep in apples. I’ve made a lot of juice and given away bags of them. I’ve made a crisp but no pie yet. The plan is for a lot of jars of apple sauce and maybe apple butter. The Anna apple tree was developed in Israel in the 1950’s. It is a relative of the Golden Delicious and loves a mild warm climate. It’s perfect for our Southern California weather and is a great producer. They are delicious!

Charissa St. Clair

Jerry found this great little piano in a thrift store several years ago and I’ve been playing around with it as a part of my musical arsenal. Schoenhut is known for being the oldest and most popular maker of toy pianos. I have another toy piano made by Kiddie Keys and while it looks great ( a black baby grand) the sound is not a good as this little upright. I can actually play things in a proper key with this one. The piano also came with the perfect name taped to it. Charissa St. Clair must have owned it at one time.

Desert Morning

86 degrees on the way to 106 today. It’s dry, warm and quiet here. No ambient freeway sounds just the occasional plane flying into or out of Palm Springs and a lot of quail.

Carroll the cat

Carroll and his hat
Carroll and his hat

Cats lend themselves so well to the internet. It’s a curious thing. This is Carroll the Bengal Cat. He’s 8 months old and wears claw caps which makes him look like he has pink nails. He belongs to my step-daughter and lives in L.A. with two kids, a Dachshund named The Hat, Truly Scrumptuous the Shetland Sheepdog and Little Kitty, a black and white cat. The Hat seems to get the brunt of Carroll’s aggression because she is an easy target and about the same size as the cat. He also has a straw hat.



Hi Ho, Hi Ho

Just a brief posting before I head off to my “day job”. I started working at Whole Foods 2 years ago this month and while the job sometimes physically kicks my ass I love working there. In fact, these days I feel as if I’ve built up my endurance and am stronger and more calm and I’m not as achy as I was when I started. I’ve gradually been able to merge art and music back into my schedule and while I wish I could do those things full-time, for now it’s enough.

The flowers on this Coral Tree remind me of little crab claws. I don’t know which variety this one is but it sure is nice.