An ad in time?

Spokane NAACP’s 99th Freedom Fund Banquet.

FOR THE LAST three years, I’ve donated the design for the local NAACP’s annual fundraising banquet souvenir booklet. The back story is that four years ago Marianne and I were invited to attend the banquet by a friend and former colleague at Sacred Heart. It was a sparkling gala, filled with Spokane’s movers and shakers, turned out in their finest.

The souvenir program, however, was so badly thrown together I felt embarrassed for the organizers and volunteered to design their future booklets. Reparations, I call it, and as such owe them a new design every year for, approximately, the next 500 years.

The organizers always insist I put in a small quarter-page ad for myself, although I have nothing of interest to advertise. Awkward. This year though, I think I got it right and wanted to share it with you.

As you may or may not know, the UN Council on Climate Change—a consortium of the world’s most distinguished climate scientists—recently released a report unequivically stating that humanity has twelve years left to seriously transition from fossil fuels or cross a tipping point into an irreversible climate cataclysm. Within decades of that, certainly less than a century, civilization will collapse and most, if not all, of humanity will die excruciating deaths along with most creatures living today.

Curiously, no one I know is talking about it. Seems we can’t be bothered. The few comments I hear on the media echo the denials of the oil barons and their amoral minions. It’s a strange alternate reality where even everyday evidence doesn’t matter (Hurricane Michael anyone?) and well-established, peer-reviewed, scientific facts and projections are considered too controversial to mention in social gatherings.

I’m sickened by the likelihood we will destroy this miracle of a living earth due to complacency, but I can’t stop it from happening. I do what I can to raise awareness—write letters, make calls, attend rallies, participate in activities—but have little impact, even among friends. I wonder sometimes why I bother. I have no children; when I die, I’m gone. For those with children and grandchildren, whose lives they would give their own for today, this apparent indifference to the unimaginable suffering they will endure in the future is beyond my comprehension.

So I made this little ad for the banquet program. Maybe it will help. Who knows?

Bodhi Bumper Blessings

A good reason to outlaw car bumpers?

OCCASIONALLY a thought bubble floats by that looks and feels like it could be a bumper sticker. For some time, years even, I’ve resisted the urge to foist any of them on the world. In a moment of weakness, I have formatted a few to foist upon you. Was that wise, I wonder? Only time, and you, can tell…

Porch Fest Postscript

Summer Ends on a Good Note.

On Nick and Michele’s porch in the emerging West Central neighborhood. Nick took the photo.

TWO sets. Two gatherings. People actually stopped, sat and listened! For an entire hour! That’s a rare treat for an old, unknown singer-songwriter in this relentlessly accelerating era of information assault.

As they say, support the local arts. It’s easy. You don’t even have to feed a musician. Just listen!


Spokane Porch Fest

A New Kind of Festival!

SPOKANE PORCH FEST is an intimate and relaxed performing venue literally on someone’s front porch! For those who don’t know, Spokane porches are spectacular. Most homes in the city’s core were hand-built a hundred years ago, in cozy neighborhoods lined with sidewalks designed for strolling.

Marshall Peterson came up with the brilliant idea of utilizing them for concerts a few years ago and was kind enough to offer me one this fall for an hour-long performance—and maybe more.

Circle your calendar: 3-7pm Saturday, September 15th

Exact time and porch will be announced about a week out. Meanwhile, please block out the date and times.

Hope to see you there!



Ode to How It Is

When death comes to call

A FORMER colleague is visiting Spokane over the weekend. We had worked together on the Palliative Care Team at Sacred Heart many moons ago. She is now the Medical Director at a hospice in Indiana and we got to talking about her new job; as we spoke, I was transported in the Way Back Machine to a former time, place and space. While back there, this poem appeared.

Parental advisory: It’s about death and dying.

Having had stage-3 cancer twice along with a supposedly irreversible and terminal post-op complication,* I’ve become well acquainted with death. I’d say we were old friends when we first met in this lifetime.

I think this poem is for anyone whose body has scheduled a preliminary meeting with him. If so, I hope it’s helpful.

And so it goes…

*We got it reversed through non-medically-sanctioned means. Medical science knows a lot, but it doesn’t know everything.

Puzzle Pieces Falling Into Place

Making an unbroken record…

IT’S BEEN several months since I had to basically start over before I could continue recording more Songs of the Month. It happened like this: I semi-willingly upgraded my Mac OS (you know how that can be—upgrade or else) which made my Logic 9 recording program not only obsolete but actually disabled. POOF, it was gone. For only $200 I was back in the game with Logic X, which was just like the prior version only completely different in every way possible.

My late-life red convertible sports car. Also converts analog audio to digital. Try that with your Porsche Boxter…

Okay, fine. Now that I’m in over my head, why stop there? So, I added a complex new outboard audio magic box (see blog post below), upgraded my mic preamp and digital converter thingy, and got a couple of plug in software gizmos to add some sonic secret sauce—and then all I had to do was learn how to use all this insanely technical stuff.

Retro gear software plug in. Hey, it was good enough for the Beatles!

Well, a few months of crunching through manuals, watching tech videos till my eyes bled and trying this, that and the other with mics, adapters, sliders, dials and switches, and I actually feel ready to start up again.

So standby for a new “Song of the Month” in early September. Just in time for school.