Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist  

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Journal  July 2005

Kayden as a baby
Kayden 24 days 

July 30, 2005
    I received the e-mail we have been awaiting.
Hey dad. Just wanted to write and let you know that we got the results from the ultrasound today. Look's like we're having a daughter. As you can imagine, Christina is excited, and I am as well. It looks like her name is going to be Saria. We're not quite sure about a middle name just yet. Anyway, I love you guys and I will talk to you soon.
   Yea! We are going to have a grand daughter and I am sure she will be beautiful and received in love just as Kayden has been. Josh was one of the cutest kids in the universe. We are very happy with the news. Andie will be thrilled and I am sure she will be out today buying clothes for the little baby girl.
   We drove to the Tattoo shop yesterday and caught up with Chris and Chani. Chani came out to dinner with Andie, Kayden and I. She had eaten but we got to visit and she got to feed Kayden a bottle. She is looking good and in really good spirits. She seems to be learning something about her nature and mentioned something similar to what Budda once said. Sometimes it's best to maintain noble silence. There are times when we cannot control what comes out of our mouths and we cannot undo the damage that can be done by words. Sometimes it is best to not speak at all. I use the rule that works to avoid panic when scuba diving. Stop. Think. Breathe. It works above water too.
   Liz is helping me out by typing one of my old partial song lists. It has about 5 hundred songs on it and I tend to forget them if I don't cycle them through. So thanks to Liz for all that help. She is doing great and looks like she never was carrying a baby in her tummy.
   Congratulations to Josh and Christina.
   I mentioned that my guitar was lent out and returned but the capo was lost. I said that the act represented to me that I don't matter to that person. Well the capo was replaced and the gesture was not lost. It really meant a great deal to me. A small stone can make a great ripple. Thank you.

Sleeping sweertheart
Kayden 33 days

July 29, 2005
   What new thing is coming? More debris fills the yard as "clean up" continues. I told Patrick it would be a good idea to find a clean up service who will hall all the stuff piling up away while we still can move around the yard. We have some reluctance with pushing forward at this break neck speed when we have a new baby and no plan on what to do while our house is being built. Slow down you move to fast. I can see how much property gets claimed by blackberries and alder trees. We use a lot of that vegetation for privacy though. Oh yes, and for berries for pies.
   By some fluke we are not playing the Taste of Edmonds. I find that odd when the Delivery boys are playing four or more times and on all three stages. Look out for yourself. I guess I didn't bug Aaron, who works with Craig Cook booking the show, enough. I just said we want to play, please give us a slot. On the good side, Christopher, Mike, Jimmy and I are really tightening up on vocals and chemistry. I am looking forward to a great deal more playing. I think it works well and we had a really good session last night and probably finished up Where Can I Find Love. My face is sore from smiling and my tummy hurts from belly laughs. I won't really miss the Taste that much. In fact I am thinking of retiring from playing at Provinces. It may be time to back away and be scarce while I work on new material and develop the core band.
It sounds good anyway. Change is coming, lift the sails.

A bend in the road is not the end of the road, as long as you make the turn. Who knows?


July 27, 2005
   Patrick has taken down the trailer in our backyard. It was a storage unit. It was a home for Dad. It was a mess. We found that some local squirrels are probably not very happy with us as they had created a pine cone vault underneath the closet. We are trying to figure out how to return the stash to the nice squirrels since it looks like they put a great deal of effort into gathering all those cones not to mention chewing through the floor. It looks like and earthquake and tsunami hit the back yard, but it is steady progress towards tear down, clean up and new build on our property. It is starting to be exciting to think of having a new home. No real studio is figuring into the plan but that seems to be the trend, dream and disregard. I don't really care though. I can't compete with Mike Daily's resources and space for his studio, so I am going to retire and just do solo projects at Silent T.
   We got to see Josh and Christina very briefly as they passed through on their way to Bellingham which has apparently become their home. No ultrasound yet so we are still waiting to hear if there will be twins. I had hoped this new build wouldn't be a family thing that included some Murat's but I guess it won't. They have a good situation in Bellingham with Tenzon and I am happy for that fact. I wish Josh and I could the time to talk about what is going on in his life. There is good support in the household up north and sometimes it is easier to contribute and work and help in a home that does not belong to your immediate family. We are anxious to see an ultrasound and here how many new people are arriving.
   Andie has discovered the joy of playing cards on line with a high speed connection. She and Kathy have had a healthy competition all week and every time I pass she is playing someone new. Of course she is still able to multitask at the same time. She loves playing games and I so totally do not. I am glad she found an interactive outlet.
    Hey, Chani flies in today. I hope she will get in touch soon so we can see her in person. The family is always on the move it seems, but what a beautiful place to land for a time here in the great Northwest.

July 25, 2005
   I have slept a few hours and now begins a new week. I played for a wedding reception last night for over 3 hours straight. A great deal of the dialogue was in Russian so I couldn't understand what was being said. But the couple, Pavel and Eveana had been married for 25 years and they had just gotten remarried that day in a church. They were still in love like newly weds and told different and funny versions of how they met. The Cafe de Paris was packed. One of the things I found most impressive was that all the young people spoke Russian and several children came up took the microphone and recited poetry or sang traditional songs in Russian with pure unbridled enthusiasm. Their pride in their heritage was real. At the end of my marathon set as I was standing the bride grabbed me by the hands and danced with me while she thanked my for being there. It was an emotional evening, every kind of emotion.
   On another note, I heard Bush saying on the news that we need more "nucular energy, it's clean and safe." Maybe nucular energy is but nuclear energy, that is another story. It probably will be safe for the manufacturers after all the legislation gets passed to stop "frivolous lawsuits." Don't get me started.
   Best of all, I got to see my oldest daughter, Sarah, last night. She dropped Liz off after they spent the day at Wild Waves together. She snuggled up and ate some ice cream and fed Kayden a bottle before heading home. She had the biggest most beautiful smile on her face. It did my heart good. We were discussing Kayden's heritage and I think we were both thinking back on when she was just a wee one. Kayden was asleep on my chest and she said "He sure loves his grand papa". Then she snuggled up quietly with her head on my shoulder, my grown up little girl.

A small period of solitude each day is remarkably healing. Unknown (this person sure writes a lot of wise sayings)

For information on Sarah Maria's new feature length film, click on this link Movie.               

Baby sleeping, such a joy
July 24, 2005
   Sleeping cherub in my arms and the day quietly begins. In the last few days I have gotten calls from Freedom and Chani. Freedom was at work on a Saturday in Sedona to help make those house payments. He sounded in good spirits. Chani called from California and will be in town on the 27th of July but doesn't know when she will make it out to see us. She is going to do the story boards for Sarah's new film. She is quite excited about that project. We are all so independent but we have all the talent for a multimedia production company right in our own family. Film, art, music, recording, dance, photography, composition, web design, networking and programming are part of our talent pool. Hey, with Chani, we can even tattoo the artists we represent. How is that for well rounded?
   We heard from Terri and Aileen Fickel from Ohio last week. They are busy with life and haven't written back since I sent them an e-mail in reply. I think at sometime we will make a trip to Ohio to see the Fickels, our other family.
    It has been a Nostalgic week for me. I stumbled onto a website for my high school and it had photos from my yearbook. It was interesting to read about what happened to people after graduation. From my freshman to junior year I went to school in Germany but I could find very little on the school I attended. It closed in 1990. I had this yearning for history all week. We moved so much that I always lost touch with people I met through out my youth. What ever happened to Sandy Johnston from Killeen Texas who I met when I was in Germany? Whenever I look back and names start to pop into my head they include names like Sharone Fraser, Sharlene Evans, Rita Edwards who were all girls I knew in Germany. Go figure. I remember the girls. Rita married Smitty Brown after graduation and they moved to Ohio.
    I moved my senior year and I still remember how hard that was after all these years. A new school for the last year could have been bad if not for the kindness of Joyce Cohen and her family. My family actually moved again in the middle of my senior year and the Cohen's let me stay with Joyce's grandmother so I could graduate with my new friends. I have never forgotten that kindness. And all these years have passed. I looked at the reunion pictures Friday. It has been way more than two weeks since I graduated. I see people have scattered all over the country but many stayed at home and some married their high school sweethearts. We all moved on but though I lost touch with everyone from that time the good memories remain. They are good for a warm feeling on a chilly day. I look back fondly and wish everyone well as we all continue on our separate journeys through life. Go Blue Jays.

Wasn't it a time we shared? Wasn't it a love that we dared to feel with all our hearts and all our minds? Greg Murat


July 23, 2005
   I spent the better part of the morning holding Kayden and working one handed on Cafe de Paris website. I guess an extremely rude customer came into the Cafe who also had the misfortune to have poor vision and misread the hours on the website. I looked through ever page for the mistake. It wasn't there, so I took the hours off of ever page and made one page with large letters stating the hours for the benefit of those of us whose sight is failing. Some people venture out for the evening with the goal of creating misery for the people who are there to serve them. It is just a job, serving, it is not a statement of status. The server is not below the person being served contrary to what some people believe. In a word, if I may borrow the phrase "mean people suck." Crystal, the server, was so upset by the scene this person created that she reenacted the whole thing for me upon my arrival and said you have got to change the website. I said I already changed the hours. This is what often happens when you do a service at or below the cost of providing a service. Trouble. I was hard pressed to get over the bad vibes and the intensity of the encounter and enjoy my evening performing. My friend, the entrepreneur, Andrey came in for dinner with two associates and they added a nice lift to the evening. Now I am sipping Starbucks and listening to Kayden making his little native grunting sounds as he tries to shake off sleep having realized I put him down for a second. It is a lovely day in the neighborhood.
Mean people suck.

July 22, 2005
   The summer is racing by and there has been almost no summer weather. This morning I listened as rain fell once again. The air was a mixture of ozone, dust and moisture. Just last night Andie and I sat on the deck at Anthony's in the sunshine and had appetizers, conversation and some quiet time with just the two of us. That alone time together has seemed more and more rare so I really enjoyed it. I love the smell of salt water and the feel of the cool breeze off the sound. I love talking with my lady.
   Chani is coming home for a visit or to stay, who knows. I am looking forward to seeing her. She seems ready for a break. Patrick is busy tearing down the trailer and bulldozing us towards building a new house. With all the extended family and the way people like to come and stay, I think it would have to be a really big house to work. I cringe when I think of demolishing the studio and all the work that went into it. We definitely need to make a change though. Josh and Christina are back in Bellingham where they will be spending more and more time preparing to deliver what may well be twins.
   I am playing Friday, Saturday and Sunday this weekend. No wonder the weeks run together. I hope by next week we can get into some serious rehearsals and wrap up this CD because before you know it, it will be December and on and on we go. I would like to see us, as a band, out there doing shows. We have the band, we have the tunes. We need the stage. It would be nice to have a keyboard player.

Most people are so busy knocking themselves out trying to do everything they think they should do,
they never get around to do what they want to do. Kathleen Winsor Thanks Dale
There never seems to be enough time to do the things you want to do once you find them. Jim Croce

July 20, 2005
   I was so tired today I just did not feel like working on the website or doing much of anything else. I made it through the day with a great big migraine headache and then I went to Eric Helmersen's house and checked out his set up and studio. He is so full of passion for music. It is great to see. He picked up a drum machine. That is something I suggested when we were at Triad and I was happy to see him working with it. He has great ideas and I think he will be a prolific song writer.
   Tuesday night we kicked around some ideas for harmony on Trouble With Love. That was a lot of fun. I got a great surprise when I packed my guitar over to practice last night. I had lent out my old guitar and it came back with no capo. That is one of those things that makes me absolutely crazy. A capo is a great tool. It clips on the neck to change the key you are playing. It clips on the head of the guitar when you are not using it. How someone can repeatedly lose one over and over and over again dumbfounds me. They are about $22 with tax so it really is a drag. Not one has been replaced by anyone other than me. No wonder it keeps happening. I take it as a statement, right or wrong, and the message is not pleasing to my heart. It says "you don't matter." It says "I don't care about you at all." Oh well. No more lending it out.
   At rehearsal I was really out of it as I never ate any food that day. I don't even remember the evening really. I think I am due for a vacation. Maybe I will check into a sleep study ward. I could sleep and they could take funny pictures of me drooling and record all the scary sounds I probably make while sleeping. I would be happy just to sleep. Speaking of which I think I will.

July 19, 2005
Bring in the new, love will break through. Freedom

    I have been informed I need more retraining on the changing diapers. Andie said "I don't know what you are doing, but it isn't working." To illustrate the point, I was holding Kayden last night with my arms stretched out in front of my so I could see his face. He was looking at me intensely and with an expression of serious concentration. That is when I noticed that there was warm liquid running down my arms into my lap. I also noticed a little grunt that indicated the effort he had used to pee all over the place. He looked pretty pleased with himself. I handed him to Andie as the seams seem to hold better when she puts a diaper on him. The joys of grand parenting.
    Josh and Christina got home from Oregon last night. Josh was fairly noncommittal on the concert. He said he "tore it up" on guitar. And the most excited the people got the whole weekend was when the Freedom band played. It sounded to me like their performance was like a a George Harrison show as in" how many people can you fit on the stage at one time?" Five guitarists at one time along with bass, drums and vocalists. I wish we could have seen the show. The nature of things is consistently this: everyone of their shows is on a multiperformance weekend for me. Every single one so I have given up the notion of being able to see one in the near future. It seems our destinies are making music but never together. C'est la vie. I am due for some time on the beach singing and playing my guitar and watching the waves roll.
  Mike and I may get together for some vocal recording tonight depending how the old grandpa is holding up. I am getting as tired as an old dragon who is weary of how the world has moved on. But my guitar is my super hero secret. I simply have to pick it up and start to play and I am good to go for one more day.

July 18, 2005

   So begins a new week and I just read a little note that said "Look at life through the windshield not the rear view mirror." Ain't it the truth. The past can totally cloud our vision of the present. What we or others have done in the past is only part of who we are and what is happening now. I think we should all clear our perspectives and take a renewed look at ourselves and the people in each of our lives on a regular basis. We can learn from our successes and mistakes and we can make changes for the better. Our ability to do just that is part of what keeps us on the planet until we are done. In many ways we are all reflections of each other, both the good and the bad. As we set sail on this new increment of time there is new music to played, new feelings to be felt and another chance to reflect the awesome power of God that resides in each of us. Here's to us.


July 17, 2005
   It is a glorious and sunny day. I just put Kayden down for a nap and Liz and Andie are out working in the yard. Oops, he is awake with attitude. H e is studying me now and decided to give me a few seconds to type. Time is up. What is the sound of one hand typing?
    What news from the mark? It turned out to be quite a night last night. I finished my two hour set at Cafe de Paris and headed up to Provinces to find Manolito Fuentes, Ron Llinas, Christopher Nickels and Jimmy Culler ready to go. After a few initial glitches we were off and running on a nonstop musical marathon. We didn't really take much of a break the whole evening. Dee Roberson and Kelly Fossi also were there, and they each joined us for their songs and the music went the whole night. It was fantastic to have Dale "Manolito" Fuentes back. I have missed his playing. It was the first time he heard Christopher play and he liked it. The boys in the band blended the best they have so far. Christopher, Dale, Ron and Jimmy all sparkled. Phyllis, poet, wife and companion of Christopher, came down and Andie brought Kayden in so people could tell her how beautiful he is. Dale Fuentes just called to ask me if I know how much fun last night was? I do. Shaker Boy Dale was there keeping time for us. I brought my camera and then forgot to ask someone to take pictures for me so I got none. Darn! We had a great crowd the whole night. I am so thankful for nights like that when we are all right where we are supposed to be; making music just like God intended. I am snuggling my little grand baby. Life is good. I do have white sandy beaches and palm trees on my mind today. Dreams are nourishment for the heart and soul. Life is beaching.
I hope Freedom and Josh had a good concert in Ashland. We were with them in spirit.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. Nelson Mandela
Thanks Christopher

July 16, 2005
  I heard from Maria today and her husband Mike was off driving his jeep after having had a heart attack and just getting out of the hospital. He was given instructions not to drive. She was understandably upset. What can you do? We are with you Maria.  
  It was a fine evening at Provinces last night. It was a bit of an awkward start with Bass too loud issues, balance of sound and mix concerns and then everything fell into place. We did about a two hour first set and there was a nice mix, good dynamics and a good blend of instruments and voices. We were all working quite well as a team. Everyone was really on and the audience was very supportive and very entertained. Manolito will be down this evening. When he called to tell me, I was told him about a little about Christopher. I said "You are not going to believe this, but you have to tell him to turn up." He said "I don't believe it." I don't like when my ears hurt from volume, especially in such a small room and it just really felt good last night. There was no competition and we were interacting and laughing all night. We may have a crew tonight since I put out the word that Manolito is coming in. Last night we all plugged our instruments into the board and that works best because no one is too loud that way. We can blend all the sounds equally. That to me is the only way to go.
   Christopher came over and spent the afternoon sharing time and stories with me. Andie went shopping with Kayden and her mom. We talked about live, music, love and dreams. We had some laughs and shed a few tears too. We talked about being true to yourself and using your gifts. He and Phyllis are big supports of the music God has chosen to send through me. We share the desire to be comfortably independent beach bums. It is good to have friends and brothers to share our life and times. I played the Dream a Little recording Scott and I did and Christopher was busy figuring out the guitar part. Look at the time. It seems like I just got home and I have to dress and head out for two different shows tonight.
God bless Maria and open Mike's eyes so he will take care of himself for her if for no other reason. Thanks for the prayers for Phyllis, prayer works, she is much better now.

July 15, 2005

   Life will happen and will go on whether or not we involve ourselves in the process. Proactive behavior leads to more choices in the long run. Taking leadership is tough, but when it is needed, it is a lot easier than sitting idly by with gritted teeth and watching a negative outcome that could otherwise be avoided. I have fretted over leadership, especially in band situations. When there are problems I find it difficult to work them out and voice my concerns. Part of the difficulty is being so full of concerns with the day to day that addressing musical or band issues requires more energy than I have. Bands can be more work than a marriage because more people are involved. For the most part the concerns at this time are not too tough: time, number and role of the players, engagements, arrangements and commitment to a completion date on the CD and keeping it fun. It is a lot different than it would be if I were a dog on a sled team and looking at the puckered back sides of the dogs of the team in front of me. Thank God for that! That visual is enough to make me put on a captain's hat!
  On the family front, Josh and Christina said the doctor said that there is a high likelihood that she is carrying twins. I asked her if twins run in her family and she said yes. Talk about a great big welcome to parenthood. Double blessings. We will have luckily gone from no grand children to three in one year. They are off to Ashland to for the Freedom concert. Josh will be playing in the band again. Go Johnny.
Unless you're the lead dog, your view never changes. Unknown

July 14, 2005
  Sometimes things that seem out of control, changes that impact us which are outside our influence can cause us to take pause, to regroup or to turn and run. What changes are next? The old need for the feeling of familiarity is so many times the cause for each of us to stay stuck at some point in our life's journey. Indecision gets you no where. Action is a necessary element of change. Andie's cousin Patrick likes to quote the law of inertia. An object at rest will remain at rest unless force is applied. Life is a kick in the pants some times. A job runs out. A partner runs out. We are injured. We are ill. How blessed we are if we have someone to care for or to be cared for in those times of transition. That is also a huge blessing at times when everything is going along without wrinkles or ruts in the road. We can lift and be lifted by the love we carry in our hearts for others near and far. The power of love is like the power of prayer: invisible as the wind, stronger than a hurricane, as holy as a newborn is innocent. We face many changes ahead. Troubles go better with God, let's intervene on each other's behalf.
Retreat can move you forward.                  

Prayer Watch. Please say prayers for my sister Maria's husband Mike. He is home but still undergoing tests from his recent heart attack and may go back into the hospital. We agree to a speedy recovery and peace of mind.
Confound the perpetuators of violence.

July 13, 2005
  I was going to play a show Thursday night with my friend Mish but she just let me know it was canceled. She plays beautiful flute and I know it would have been a treat. Well, next time. No band rehearsal last night or this week most likely. This is my Provinces weekend and Christopher is home with Phyllis helping her to get well. I am not sure what Jimmy is up to, or Ron. I will be there and I am looking forward to it. It would be really cool if I could get my son Josh to come in and play some songs with me. Maybe his friend Phil Whitman or Mike could could show up too. {Andie just told me that Josh is going to Ashland for Freedom's show.} Playing at Provinces is like doing a living room concert with a lot of people who smoke indoors. It is very relaxed and sets tend to last two or three hours as it is just so much fun to play. I wish Larry Mason would come in some time and play spatula drums with us. He is a very very busy man and I won't hold my breath for that to happen. Jimmy says he will be in Friday. He says Saturdays are just too crowded.
    I was pretty tired at the end of the weekend but I would like to say that the boys in the band did a great job at the Air Show in Arlington. We missed Christopher and his happy energy but Ron played great and so did Larry and Jimmy.
    Music. To be young and as confident as many of the musicians I work with and record. Shy is not an asset in the world of entertainment. Not at all. There is still nothing like the joy of making music when every one lines up and works seamlessly together. Well, watching Andie holding Kayden or holding him myself, that ranks pretty high too. Seeing joy on my grown children's faces, that is in the top five blessings I count. Having people who care enough to pray for you. What is that worth? It is priceless. Priceless.
A person without humor is like a car without shock absorbers.

July 11, 2005
   Changes are coming, ready or not. Circumstances sometimes push us in new directions when we might other wise remain stuck in one spot forever. I have come to discover it is time for a new direction. I think Andie and I have realized that this is our home, gray rainy weather and all. When there are so many connections to people here it is hard to imagine going somewhere else and starting over. Andie loves Lopez Island but what would we do up there? I think it would be too isolated. I look at people like artists and musicians that have their studio in Camano Island and work well in that little community. It is too far away from everything else for me though. I really struggle with making changes. I am open to possibility. I am open. I am. Really. The Lord looks out for us.
   I need to contact Erik Helmersen. He recorded a few of my songs at Triad Studio and now has those songs on his web site for free down load without any writer and publisher credits. I am happy we did the songs but it is important to check with people before releasing their music and to make sure you include copy right information. Gone to Yesterday and Love is Kind are listed as Erik's New Tunes. I am sure he will fix it right away. His web site is He is on his way to much success with music. He is already there in that he gets so much joy from playing. That is what it is all about; making music and making it fun.

The broader you smile at your troubles, the easier you can swallow them.


July 10, 2005
   I have the Monday fog and even though I would like to skip the limitations of labeling the day I feel so darned tired that I have to put up my guard to ward off the Monday Morning Blues. I got some really good cuddle time with Kayden last night as he napped while I was holding him. That is such a great feeling, holding a sleeping child. A tiny new life so completely vulnerable is really a blessing. Like the rest of life, there are all kinds of angels to the experience but we are given something in our hearts and minds that makes us want to love, nurture and protect little people. It is how we all started out. Any baby who has time with Andie is blessed indeed. She is so loving. It puts a smile on my face listening to hear coo and talk to Kayden and he looks up at her with pure loving eyes and smiles. He knows his grand mama loves him.
   Andie's cousin Patrick is staying with us for a few days and he is a bundle of energy an ideas. He has us tearing down our home and building a new one on the spot. We built it verbally about 4 different ways this weekend. We have to regroup and make a clear plan. I am thinking why don't we build a green house for practice and then take it from there. Baby steps.


July 9,2005
   I had all these thought tonight, playing music, having fun, now it is many hours after I set out and I am just tired and chasing thoughts. I told Andie tonight that I am just about 30 years behind on processing my mistakes. I need some help keeping current meanwhile. She didn't disagree in the slightest. I think back on time and there are moments when my vision clears and I shudder as I get a different perspective on my past. Oh my God. It is funny how life is because I just had this thought this morning and it was accompanied by this feeling of needing to apologize to someone really bad. It was also the kind of feeling that would support the string theory. I got the feeling that a whole string of apologies are needed and awareness of that need is coming in only a little as a time. We all should be making amends where amends can be made. I was totally absorbed in this thinking when I looked at an old beat up camper trailer rig in front of me. I looked down at the bumper and saw a sticker that read: Jesus Loves You. And in little letters underneath it said: Everyone else thinks you're an asshole. Timing. I laughed so hard I thought I would fall out of my seat. What timing between my thoughts the sighting of that bumper sticker.
  I played my only show that I have ever done with Larry Mason today at the Arlington Airport, thanks to Jimmy Culler. What a great drummer and showman Larry is. The gig was for the annual Para-phenalia parachute manufacturing company where Jimmy has worked for 20 years. Ron Llinas played lead guitar and we rocked to the stunt pilots for an hour and a half. Jimmy Wright stepped up next and played that classic rock and blues that he does so well. Ronnie stayed up with them and they added a keyboard. They sounded great but I had to head off to Cafe Paris to play my gig.
    Chris, our friend via Jason and Blu showed up at that gig and stayed for the whole two hour set. We had a nice visit afterwards talking about recording , IT. , Music and life. It was a good evening all in all.
  Life often has many twists and challenges and all are not clearly defined. If we take a turn in the road it may take a lot of time to move further on the path that is ours. We move on, with both the losses and the gains. It we are lucky our life mates and partners are with us. Moving on is often hard but there is only one other choice. And it is not really a choice at all.

Lack of confidence is not the result of difficulty; the difficulty comes from lack of confidence. Seneca

July 8, 2005
 The week has come to the end as they say. There is a lot going on in the world and in our lives. More terror strikes in England. Mike, the husband of my sister Maria, just had a heart attack. He is going to recover and have to make some big changes in his life. Our love and prayers are with them and the people of London as well. Changes come suddenly and without warning so many times in life. I wonder about people whose lives are cut short abruptly. It could all be over in the blink of an eye. What are those next moments like? What happens to your consciousness, your awareness? I wonder if we realize we are dead when it happens. Some time after seeing the movie The Sixth Sense which contained the famous line, "I see dead people" I fell, hit my head and got a concussion. I woke up alone in a dimly light x-ray room with a sheet up to my neck. I looked around and thought, "Oh, crap! I'm dead." Then the orderly came in to take me back down to where Andie was waiting. I didn't tell anybody that for a long time as I felt pretty silly. I think it goes back to that glass half empty attitude. Today I am dead tired but happily going to play at Cafe de Paris.
  I spent a lovely evening with Sarah Maria last night. We had dinner and discussed the approach to a successful life as a person and as an artist. I streamed good advice out of my mouth all the while hoping I might actually hear and act on some of it my own self. In the end we retained our different perspectives and were happy to have had the chance to share them for an evening.
   If you are so inclined please remember Mike, Phyllis and Chani in your prayers tonight and have a great weekend.


July 7, 2005
   I got a call from singer song writer Erik Helmersen yesterday and he is anxious to continue with his song writing and recording endeavors. We should be getting together next week to spend some time writing and talking about what we do. Erik has a lot of support from his family and friends and is pretty much on fire with the passion to make music. That support is priceless. There is nothing that we cannot do if we believe in ourselves and have passion. Perhaps I should say, if we believe in ourselves and have passion, we can do anything.
   Christina and Josh showed up last night from Bellingham. You can tell there is another grand baby on the way. Yea. Josh went into the studio and proceeded to play a hauntingly beautiful new piece he is composing. He has such a way with chords and guitar melodies. He is yet another gifted soul who blesses our lives.
   Chani called and said she was in a toy soldier shop in California and she came upon a horse soldier next to Napoleon. It was Joachim Murat, our ancestor. He was Napoleon's Calvary strategist but he didn't come to a very good end. He was appointed King of Italy under Napoleon but Joachim decided he would rather go solo and so he cut ties with Napoleon and declared himself independent of France. Nappy didn't much care for that choice and brought Joachim back to France to face a firing squad. Being an officer with some control issues, Joachim insisted on giving the orders to the firing squad that killed him. He added one order that came just before the "Ready. Aim. Fire," and that statement has passed down through history. He said, "Don't shoot me in the face." There you go. That just goes to show you the long lasting power of our priorities and the affect they have on how we are remembered.

   I heard from Christopher and Phyllis is already making improvements, so thanks for the prayers. God is good. We need to keep Chani lifted up in prayer as she has injured her knee and is in a lot of pain. Thanks again.

If you put a small value on yourself, rest assured that the world will not raise your price.

July 6, 2005
I am like a field enfolded in fog this morning as Kayden had a restless night and Andie was caring for him and nobody got much sleep. Andie and Liz are shifting each other. The only problem is Andie can't sleep in if Kayden decides that is what he is going to do. I keep waking up by myself and that is not my favorite part of being a grand papa. I wish we had a time lapse camera running because he is growing like a weed. I swear his head has grown twice the size and he is trying to jump down and go jogging with his little knobby knees. Half the time I feel like I am wrestling a small alligator rather than holding a baby. But I am starting to get in shape from the effort of keeping him from leaping out of my arms. He is not shy about letting us know when he is unhappy. He has the cutest little scream, kind of like what you might hear if you wear lost on the moors in Ireland. Sleep. I need sleep.
   No songs are coming to me now. I have ideas jumping out of my brain and running off down the road because I haven't stopped to catch them. Time, paper, pen and a guitar are all that stands between me and a host of new tunes. Oh, and lack of sleep. Lord, lift us up.
   I would enlist some prayers for our friend Christopher and for Phyllis who is quite sick at this time. There is nothing like prayer for healing. Thanks.
Arrange whatever pieces come your way. Virginia Woolf

July 5, 2005
   The fourth is done and we are on our way to another day. Another day in a life. On TV yesterday I saw Bono singing Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with Paul McCartney. They had three people dressed and made up to look like the Beatles in Marching Band Uniforms playing French horns. It was kind of cool and a bit bizarre all at the same time. I remember when I first heard Sgt. Pepper's. It was in a record shop in Augsburg Germany. They would let you place an LP on the turntable and have a listen with head phones. I was mesmerized. I bought that album and I can't begin to guess how many times I listened to it. I was a drummer at the time playing in a band called The Family Jewels. I loved what Ringo Star did with A Day In A Life. I loved the whole LP although my least favorite was Within You Without You. It is funny how music can so completely transport you to another place and time. Sometimes that is a very good thing. There are times when the present, past and future all seem to run together. Some times it is hard to tell the difference.

The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time. Abraham Lincoln



July 4, 2005
   Happy Fourth of July! It started off nice with an e-mail from our friend Randy in Ohio. We have such good memories with our Fickel friends. It all started with me carrying a guitar by the pool in Cabo San Lucas and Randy asking if I played any James Taylor. From their many great memories came to be. Thank God for music or we probably never would have even met.
   Andie is out on the porch feeding Kayden, Liz is in an exhausted sleep from being up all night with the boy wonder. She is probably feeling more like a milk factory than a person right now. Last night we got a call to go over to Rob's for a BBQ but we had gotten back from Gig Harbor and I ended up falling asleep early. It was nice to get an invitation from Tannie. They were looking for Josh but he is in Bellingham until tomorrow or the next day. On this Independence day I was thinking about some things that Scott MacGougan said to me about independence. His take is that we need to be interdependent with each other individually and as a country with other countries but dependent on God. Good words of wisdom my friend. I agree. Still, we have to work as if everything depends on us.

July 2, 2005
  We spent an evening with our friends Scott and Deb MacGougan in Gig Harbor. Scott and I were able to spend a rare 2 or 3 hours in his studio tracking a song. Scott played acoustic bass, acoustic guitar and his old electric 12 string guitar on a tune called Dream a Little. There was a version of the song on a CD called Moving On. That was a limited edition unfinished project that I shelved because it was just too darned sad. It was a transition recording. Anyway, it is gone to yesterday now but it was fun to take a new approach to an old familiar Murrah song. I put the rough mix on the iPod page and will leave it there for a while. I am not much in the mood for writing, I am just going to rest and take it easy for today and tomorrow. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.
   Kayden was a bit on the rowdy side today and left me ready for a hand off when Liz and Andie returned from the store. He just couldn't seem to get comfortable or happy. I was glad to see them come back home. Andie would be content to hold him twenty four seven. That's Andie. If we are lucky in a partner, we shift the burdens back and forth, we share the joys and the sorrows. We share the grand parenting.

Champions know that success is inevitable, that there is no such thing
as failure, only feedback. They know that the best way to forecast the
future is to create it.
Michael J. Gelb

We have a responsibility to stand watch over one another, we are watchers, all of us, watchers, guarding against the darkness. Dean Koontz

July 1, 2005
  Freedom to live and freedom to be! I spent the evening at Triad Studios in Redmonds and it was great fun. It was nice to see such enthusiasm in young musicians and also to think that they have so much time ahead of them. Erik and I did Gone To Yesterday and Love Is Kind. He really knew Gone and sang his heart out. He is a bundle of boundless energy, I was just about overwhelmed by the intensity. John, his drummer had very good ideas. I think they could have waited 3 to 6 months to work up their material together before booking Triad. I think that going solo acoustic would have been my approach to Erik's first session. But it is all an educational process. I love his voice and his potential is limitless over time.
    The chief engineer at Triad, Eric Janko, and I had a good visit while Erik was recording. He did a great job of supporting the session and trying to keep it on track, keep the guitar tuned and adding humor to keep things light. He is going to dig through their archives. He said he may have the reels from the first Banana Brothers session at Triad back in 80's. He has tape from the Rail, The Allies, Junior Cadillac, Uncle Bonsai and tons of other "been and gone" bands that he declined to throw away and is seeking out the groups to get those reels to them. I was impressed with that concern of preserving archived art.
   Time flies and we are here in July. Blink your eyes and it will be autumn again. Kayden is changing daily. Andie shot some pictures last night but she didn't have a chance to get them to me yet. I will get them up when they are done. Blink and he will be graduating high school. May this day be filled with life, music and hope.

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  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist