Wednesday, June 29, 2011


So... I'm no longer playing with Jamie Green... (if you want to hear more about that, contact me personally as I don't want to put any of that u[p on the web). Once again, I'm being pushed a bit to be more intentional regarding my music. That is a good thing, except it does require a bit of discipline and investment of time. In the meantime, I'm looking for opportunities to play with/for others. Wish me luck and keep your eyes and ears open for more of my music which hopefully will be coming soon (ish).

Thursday, June 23, 2011


We visited the Gettysburg battlefield today... it has been a long long time since I was there and most of the details had receded into some dark corner of my brain.

It was a painful day... My daughter, Alexis, remarked that places have memories. The memories of this very beautiful place were horrific. Some 163,000 soldiers met over the three day battle. Total casualties, killed, wounded, or captured, were 23,000 for the Union and 28,000 for the Confederates. My wife's great grandfather was wounded at Pickett's Charge and later died from the wound. So much death. So many families torn apart. So much pain. I found myself wondering why we have not learned.

We saved the last part of our visit for the Eternal Light Peace Memorial. As I drove up to the memorial I found myself dreaming that someday we might learn the lesson of that horrible battle. We parked just behind a car with multiple bumper stickers. The first said, "Everything I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11." The second was a "terrorist hunting license." The third was a painting of the framers of the constitutions with the label, "Right Wing Extremists." There was a fourth I didn't really look it. And of course an NRA sticker.

I didn't talk with the driver. I didn't see the driver. I have no idea what kind of person he (I assume the driver is a "he") is. I do have to wonder how a person can frame the world in terms of those bumper stickers. More importantly I couldn't help but think of him in terms of the numbers of people who fought and died at Gettysburg. And to read those words in front of a memorial to peace...

Monday, June 13, 2011

Mac 1

Back in April I posted a piece about switching from a windows pc to a mac. The key piece pushing the move was that I wanted a laptop with firewire for recording. I couldn't find any windows laptops with firewire and I looked hard. And my laptop was getting more and more unstable and problematic. Well, I did it. I bought a 13.5" Macbook Pro with an I5 chip and 4M of ram. It arrived last Friday and I've begun moving data etc. to the Mac. Here are my first impressions...

1. The Mac is no easier or more intuitive than windows. Indeed, there are lots of things that I could do on the pc much easier and quicker. Now, there are surely some things that I haven't figured out on the Mac... but they are not obvious or simple.

2. The slight differences in the keyboard are frustrating. I really miss the end, page down, etc. keys. The different uses of the control vs. command keys are just a matter of learning and becoming accustomed to the differences.

3. The hardware of the Mac is stellar. The computer is elegant, fast, and seems just really, really, really well designed and outfitted. Of course, for the price, it should be. Did I say fast? I mean really fast.

4. Software remains to be decided... I have been using Open Office on the PC for a while but haven't been completely happy with it. Just out of principle, I have been trying to move away from Microsoft for a while. So... I purchased Iworks... that may have been a mistake. Office may have been a smarter choice to make the transition to the new platform easier. I do need to be aware that we use windows at work.

I HATE Itunes. I don't like the interface. I don't like what it seems to have done with all of my files. Did it actually make additional copies of every music file? It sure looks that way. Safari is eh. I used Firefox on the PC and may try the Mac version.

5. Everything seems more difficult to tweak.

6. It is nice to not have the virus worry... although I have to say that I'm not entirely sure that I trust that.

7. I have a windows smart phone that I still have to figure out how to get it to talk with the mac.

So... what would I say to someone thinking about the switch? Only if there is something that you need to do that you cannot do on your current platform. There are differences but I don't think they are nearly as significant as the Mac true believers would tell you. It is more like learning a different language than moving to a new universe.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


why does blogger keep randomly inserting in my blogs? I found 3 in my previous blog... after I posted it


family stuff - Alexis d

Tuesday evening, Alexis and I played a short set at Songwriters at Play in SLO and had a wonderful time. It was so much fun to dust off some material we haven't played in a long time, to relearn some tunings (we did one song in DGDGCD), and just to share that experience with my daughter. We have two more gigs coming up that I'm also looking forward to - we open for John Batdorf at the Cambridge Drive Concert Series tomorrow (June 3), and then on Sat, June 4 are participating in a fund raiser for Robert Postel.

Also, this week, I finally got an old VHS tape of Alexis and I playing on a local television show in Albany, NY from about '99 transferred to a digital format. I'm hoping to put a few of the performances up on youtube... I'll let you all know when that happens.

I love playing with Jamie Green and I love playing with the church band and sitting in with other folk but I have to say there is something really special about performing with my daughter... If you're in the Santa Barbara area, come by and check us out.