Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
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Journal   September 2005

Happy little Kayden

September 30
   Sleep has not come calling this night and morning. There is a lot on my mind. Change. What to do and where to go? Mike Daily took me into Seattle yesterday to retrieve an office chair. When we got back to my house I said that he could use the chair in his Studio 04 recording studio, so it worked out for both of us. I just missed running into my friend Aaron when we were downtown because there was a fire drill going on in the building that housed my chair and so we didn't cross paths. I am going to need his help learning sign language so we can teach Kayden.
    I had the bad salmon blues last night. I ate the fish that bit back and it kept me up all night. We are at the weekend once again and it is hard to keep track of the days. I had a good talk with Christopher yesterday about life in general. He is a good guy to talk with and he seems to be learning to roll with life's punches. That is a good thing to know. I am signing up for the next class.

September 29
The days are going by so fast. We need to find a way to stay home with Kayden. I picked him up from daycare and his eyes were puffed up and all red. The lady said yes he cries all day every Wednesday. He wants to be picked up but this is daycare. What a crap way to raise children we have established. There are a lot of creature comforts that I am willing to forgo to change this present circumstance. The little MP3 I recorded at 4 am was a happy little boy singing to himself and I picked up a very upset camper which upset me.
Chani just called me from Alaska. She sounds excited and was telling me that the season change takes place drastically over just a few days. She then informed me that she was outside and snow was falling. It is funny when I think of her in her little snow suit when she was a baby. I could plant her in the snow like a flower and she would be happy as could be. Munching snow and making angels. It seems like only yesterday, really. How many lifetimes do we live in one life? A lot I think. Now I am listening to Kayden sing in my studio and looking at his smiling face at the top of this page. He is napping on the couch. It took a long time to calm him down after I got him home.
   Gia came over for dinner and she and Andie visited in the kitchen and drank some cabernet, I goofed off in the studio and waited for Kayden to wake back up. They talked about Gia's up and coming date with the young man from the railroad. We can't wait to hear how that goes. It was good to have the company and Andie is so nurturing she is happy have dinner with her friend and have some girl talk time. Friends are the best. It was a relaxing evening with a little sound editing, some guitar playing. I spoke to Jimmy Culler and he had a good time away for his birthday and is doing the quit drinking routine for a while. And that is the way is was and is today.

September 28
   The coolness of the morning calls us to rising and then a whole day slips away. There is so much going on in the world. God bless the people in the way of hardship, natural or man made. We had four days when the water was off and so was the power and that was two years ago and to this day every time I turn on a light or step into the hot shower I am thankful. When I was at the airport in Denver and Dallas I saw hundreds of men and women dressed in desert gear. They were being redeployed to Iraq. It was as if I was at a large funeral. One very young lady was in the restaurant where I stopped for a sandwich. She was about three sheets to the wind and talking very loudly. "We're going back to Iraq. We are going to do some f***ing shots. We are going to get f***ed up. We're going back to Iraq man." She looked over at a group of young soldiers at the table next to hers, they were drinking Bud Lights. She called them Puss's. It was solemn every where I looked ; they sat on chairs, they sat of the floor, they walked aimlessly and mostly in silence. I am not sorry that I delete all the e-mails I get asking me to support this war and forward it on. Bring our troops home and let those people have at each other like they have always done and always will do. We don't live on the same mental planet. Fight terrorism in the book of Bush means steal oil, and lie to the Amer'can people. I loved hearing him say "People are going to have to make sacrifices." What our sons and daughters are not enough. While he and his pals get fat off the slaughter we are all sacrificing with wounded hearts and souls as we watch our country be lead down a road that we may not be able to recover. But faith can bring down mountains and faith can rebuild lives. We are in this together and we will have to learn to help each other more and realize that the government does not really care about those outside the inner circle and the amount of falsehoods they spread seems to be limitless.
  Enough of that. While we have these good days I am soaking them up for the happy thoughts we will all be called on to use in the future. I see my grandson smile and I think this is so good. I see Sarah come out to see us and give Liz a birthday present and remember when she was a little one. At four o'clock this morning I recorded Kayden chattering away and I am going to make a sound bite so you can click on his picture and hear it. I also got a note from Chani but she didn't give me much in the way of info. We miss her face. Josh spent the evening in the studio with Mike and jammed on his Stratocaster and the new tube screamer pedal he just got in Texas. We are busy getting ready for the winter that is suggesting it won't be too far away. It is a beautiful day in Washington. It is good to be home.

September 26  2am             Happy Birthday Jimmy and Ron
A.    It is a new day. I am so grateful every time I get to say that. So much has happened to me in just 3 days that is amazing. I have met some incredible people while I was in Dallas. The whole story began with Josh telling me that the Freedom band was going to be flown to Texas to do a concert with Buddy Miles, It was to be at a coliseum that held 10's of thousands of people and was to take place in just a few weeks. My first thought was how do you promote that in such a short time. I could find no publicity on the Internet. Andie and I decided we would go to the event and take Kayden. Over the next few weeks I spoke with Freedom a number of times and details kept changing. Nothing was solid so we ran out of time to book us a flight. Later, close to the date of the gig he was promised a ticket for me. It finally went through the night before I was to leave. The chaos continued throughout the weekend after I arrived in Dallas.
B.   I had an easy flight to Denver and although I was slated for a 4 and a half hour lay over I was able to get back on the plane I arrived on and fly straight through. The hotel was out there in the Boonies, a $30 cab ride from the airport. Freedom and Josh met me out front. No one had yet to see the promoter so I was checked in on Freedom's credit card. We enjoyed the afternoon and evening visiting, eating and drinking and talking about the show which was to be at the Intercontinental Dallas Hotel in the Ballroom. There was to be a full production video crew, sound crew and three bands. Tran-Zen-Dance, Buddy Miles and Freedom. The boys had seen the show room and they said it was spectacular. We were all excited but a little nervous that the "man" had not shown up.
   That evening in the bar I met a fellow who introduced himself as Sanford and who was passing out flyers which turned out to be for the show. He talked to me about playing on Sunday for another outdoor venue. I guessed he wasn't watching the news because Hurricane Rita was headed our way and it was to be stormy and rainy all weekend. He was talking a bit crazy and gave me a number to call, which turned out to be his number, I was very tired and don't recall what he said but my cell phone dropped the call. Sanford got in my face a bit saying I hung up on his boss. All the time it had been him I had been talking to on the phone.
   The next morning I spoke to Freedom and it turned out that Sanford (not his real name) was the promoter. He put all the rooms in his name and later the band left with him for a sound check. It turned out they went on errands with Dan, the bass player, racing behind them in a van trying to keep up. That was the beginning of the insanity of it all. I would like to say at this point in the tale that I met some of the finest people I have met in my life, my ticket was provided and my room paid for by Scott, so thank you for that. I loved meeting Buddy Miles and his manager Ema . I am not sure she realizes that I am Freedom and Josh's Papa. I am also Rob's Papa by adoption of the heart.
  Back to my tale. Scott thought he was funny pretending to be someone else to everyone and he continued the facade with me insulting me in the middle of the lobby prior to the concert saying I hung up on his boss and I can't keep putting people off. I was so mad I could have spit nails. We rode over in a limousine and arrived at the hotel. Problems were already in play. The sound people would not unload their trucks until they were paid in full. That didn't happen but they eventually brought in the rest of the gear. The show was to start at 7 pm. I believe the first band went on at 9 pm. There was no one in the place but the band, sound and film crews, relatives of the band, the executive producer and his daughter Sophia who is an angel. The film crew discovered a bit into filming that Scott returned their contracts unsigned. This lead to a comment by a friend of the crew that maybe the sponsor was a fraud and would not pay. This is hearsay on my part. I was out in the lobby playing the grand piano while Buddy Miles band was setting up. Scott came out the door of the ballroom and began to swear and scream at this young man telling him, in between "f" words to leave and that he was a member in good standing with the community and how dare he call him a fraud. He verbally assaulted this person with abusive language and threats of suits. I was trembling all over from shock. Then he turned to me and said "How are you Burt?" and walked away. The young man came over to me and said "You must be with the band, I am really sorry." I said, "So am I." A few other guests were told to get the "f" out of there and there was ranting and raving. We were all empathetic of the vast amount of money being lost since there was no one in the audience. The bands however were professional all the way and all I can say is the audience that did not come missed one hell of a show. I was proud of everyone on the artistic side of things. I also think that Scott did an amazing job of putting it all together. He didn't handle a lot of things when everything went south. I don't believe, especially in this industry, that you can treat people the way he did. Members of the Freedom band maintained their courtesy towards Scott even after everything that transpired and even in the face of the fact that, at least for now, they were not going to get paid. I was so very proud of them. Once I get the details of names of the sound company and film company, I will post a link because they were incredible, the best I have ever seen. The boys played their butts off even though they didn't get on the stage until 1:45 am and everyone from the other bands had left and it was only Scott, Ema, Tani, Natalie, Christina, Sophie and me. They put out the love enough for 20,000 people.
  So now I am home, the boys are home. Their hotels and tabs were covered. The other band got burned on their hotels and it is my understanding that no one got paid. We are talking tens of thousands of dollars. Will it happen? I hope so. I believe the intentions were good. But one must pay what one promises no matter what else happens. God bless the people I met. It was wonderful to hang out with my sons. What an adventure. Dallas Show


September 25                Happy Birthday Liz
  This day has come and nearly gone so fast. We were up and at 'em and off down the road. We went to lunch for Mexican food which is one of Liz's favorites and we shopped at the mall. It just kept going between travel from Texas and the whole trauma of that experience I failed to get a good page up for Liz today on her 18th birthday. It was good to spend the day together. Kayden, Andie, Liz and I went to the new Alderwood Mall and shopped around. Liz is trying to work it out now to go out to an 18 and older club in Seattle to go dancing. Yikes for old dad. It is good to be home and yet now I am missing my sons. Life! As I look at the little treasure of a life that Kayden is I am even more thankful for Liz. I have been so blessed in so many ways. The years have flown by me. I was so proud to see all my sons on stage in Dallas playing their hearts out. That is a story for later and you had better make some popcorn and lean back because it will take some time to tell. I just know that music is what they are supposed to do and I wish I could be involved someway in helping that happen and be there to watch it. But it seems like a minute ago Liz was taking a bath in the sink at Sun Mountain Lodge and we video taped her. She was about three. She turned to the camera and me and said, "Hello. I'm naked." I asked if that was her Native American name and she said "No, I'm Elizabeth but I'm naked." and splashed a hole bunch of water out onto the floor. I said "My that is a long name." Now she is a grown young woman getting ready to go out dancing. Where did the time go?

September 24
I am very tired but not quite to bed yet from the show. We arrived back here at the hotel at 4:35. I am really fighting a cold. So I will take a break but here are some terrible pictures. I was running the recording console so I had to shoot from the side with poor light. Dallas Show


September 23
  We went down town to Dallas last night and saw the Blues Travelers in concert. They rocked. My friend Aaron would have enjoyed that show.
I haven't heard from any one today. It is past noon now and they are all still sleeping I guess. I had a little nap by the pool this morning for about a half an hour. I talked to Randy Fickel last night. He is outside Denver and I said I would let him know if my flight is changed and I have some time so we can visit in Denver for a few hours. The hurricane hasn't shown any effects here as yet. It is smog overcast but otherwise sunny and warm.
   I miss you girls and boy. I am on the 11th floor looking out over the freeway and a steady stream of cars heading in both directions. I went to Albertsen's last night to get some water for Christina and the place was packed. People were frantically buying supplies and strangely they seemed to be things like Doritos and Potato Chips and water. All the gallon and two gallon jugs were gone. I bought the last two six packs of a water I haven't heard of before. I love Aquafina but it cost more for a six pack of that water than it does for a six pack of the best micro beers. It was nuts in there. The hotel is full now and so is every other one in Dallas. There are lots of people here with dogs. I guess because those people evacuated the coast they are allowing them to have their pets here. I am going to check and see if I can fly back early after the shows are done. I really want to be home for Liz's 18th birthday. It is a big deal. She has grown up good. I talked to Kayden on the phone when I called. I heard him gurgling back. Andie said he was smiling. It is good to be with my big boys but I miss my little boy a lot. I miss my Andie and I am here because of her encouragement. I miss Liz too. I won't be playing at the Cafe de Paris tonight. I am taking the night off.

September 22
I am on a flight to Dallas from Denver as I write these notes. I am already terribly missing Andie, Kayden and Liz. I was able to stay on the plane that I left Seattle on when I was originally scheduled to have a four hour lay over in Denver. I met a nice lady named Rosy at the ticket counter and she put me in seat 5B. It was a good surprise. I have to say that this flight on an Air Bus, on Frontier Airlines has been one of the most comfortable and hospitable I have ever had. I just wish Andie and Kayden were here. The pressure is changing drastically in the cabin so I imagine Kayden would be screaming about now. I will be arriving about the same time as Rob, Josh, Tani, Christina and Dan although they are on another airline and I don't have their cell number with me. It is an adventure. I will be okay. I can always hang out at the airport. One good thing about flying for me is that always leads me to pray fervently, especially on take off, landing and upon encountering turbulence. That is a good thing I guess. Ever time I survive a flight it is a little testimony that prayer works. Spirit is watching.

September 21
   I haven't talked to Rob or Dan yet for details but I will tonight and Josh and Christina are at the house so I will find out more about what is happening in Dallas. I joked with Andie and said they shouldn't have gotten me a ticket. Now Hurricane Rita is headed towards Texas. Just my luck.
I have felt bad about Andie and I not going together to Texas so I have not spent much time thinking about it. Now I am asking what should I take? Kayden changes in a few hours, what will happen in a few days. Freedom just called and he doesn't have his tickets for he and Natalie and there is no ticket for me. Busy day I have to run.

September 20
   I heard from Josh and he is excited about going to play in Dallas. I am sad that we got a single ticket for our family but glad for the chance to see the band play. I didn't get to visit Freedom while he was here rehearsing as I was busy doing my own musical thing. Sometimes I wish the boys would come out to where I am playing and share their music with my friends and fans. I feel like my music doesn't matter to them. It is just how I feel, I hope it isn't really true. But they say it is often the case with your own family that they don't see the value in who you are and what you do. It brings to mind the importance of not looking outside yourself for validation. If you do, sometimes you will get validated, but most times you will just be ticketed and fined emotionally. It is also true that if you go looking for snakes you'll find them. That is what my Uncle Willie used to say. I would add that if you are looking for snakes you may think you see them when they aren't there. A negative outlook makes a negative filter for the eyes and far too often situations are interpreted inaccurately as bad when they are not. I have this technique mastered so it is probably time for me to try something new. Like Josh said "No one ever went blind looking on the bright side." Amen to that.

September 19
   It was a great weekend. The music was fun and on Sunday we went to the Tullalip Casino to see The Hardline perform. It is quite a show they put on with lots of music from the 70's, a lot of disco and a lot of people on stage. There was a huge crowd. I think their favorite songs were the ones in Tagala. The audience was heavily populated with Filipinos and they went crazy when the band played songs in their native tongue. We sat through two hours of the show and when we went out into the Casino they were still going strong. We had really came to see and hear Anna because we heard her sing at Provinces on Friday night. The sound person was challenged and it was frustrating the way the volume fluctuated but the band sure had a lot of energy. It actually sounded better out in the Casino.
   Later we ran into Jimmy Culler and he gave us lessons on the slot machines and Andie won $90 and I won $20 and we headed for home. Now look it is already Monday and the start of a new week. I am spending a lot of time in twilight dreaming about what to do next in this life. It is time for a big change and I am not sure what that is. Parenting a new life at this point is a huge change from our plans over the last several years and I am still trying to absorb that fork in the road. Thank God for life. Whatever it brings, as long as we are breathing, there is a chance to make it better.

Self trust is the first secret to success. Ralph Waldo Emerson

September 18
 Sunday and sunny, now that is a good combination. It is good for Christopher and Phyllis who continue with the garage sale saga. Pretty soon they will have to go to their neighbors and ask for item donations so there will be something to sell. Hey we have a Gazebo full of stuff. I saw that two hurricane are headed towards Florida and the Keys are being evacuated again. I guess if you live there you should build removable hurricane panels that bolt on and off. I was wondering since all these people are buying plywood to board up windows, what do they do with it after the storm? Just make them once and even make them pretty and pull them out like Christmas ornaments at Christmas. Honey can you bring out the hurricane windows please? Sure, right away. I would like to see some where warm for a while. When Manolito joins us I feel like I have been to the beach. It was a good week end and I am listening to the mini disc recordings right now and there is some very good stuff on it. Don Quijano and Anna played and sang and I am listening to that right now. There were a lot of smiles going around the room last night and you can hear it on the recording. That is the way it should be. I was so tired I could hardly stand up but I felt full and refreshed by the end of the night, weary but content. That is what I am talking about; do what you love and it is good for you.


September 17
  It was packed out at Provinces last night and we had a fine time. Christopher, Jimmy and I played almost none stop. Kathy and Dale we celebrating their 25th anniversary. Lars was there with his friend Lisa, both of them from Spokane. Our friend Chris was there to celebrate his birthday and so was Elaine. I love when people share that day with us. I am a tired old traveler today and I tried to nap before my double shows tonight but it did not happen. Oh well. The great thing about music is that is gives you back the energy you spend making it. That is good for I will need it tonight when Manolito, Jimmy and I play following my two hour solo gig at Cafe de Paris. Thanks to everyone who made the show.

September 16

A. Walking Kayden in the backyard this afternoon I had what will always remain a very happy moment. I was singing him a song I learned from Cree Elders which has the feeling of Hey Hey Hey Ya Hah Hey Ya Hah. Kayden had his back on my chest and was looking at the sky, one hand on my right cheek like he always does when I am giving him a Pontiac ride. All of a sudden Kayden started singing "Ah Ah. Ah Ah." Really loud right along with me. I was laughing and singing and he was just pumping out the volume and suddenly he started to snore. I looked down at him and sure enough, he had sung himself to sleep.
  I heard from Josh and he got a new Stratocaster today. Now he just needs an amp and a POD and he will be set for a minute. I went to the music store today too, probably about the same time he did. I was looking at Stratocasters too but I ended up buying a cowbell, a shaker and a cabasa. Go figure and to top it off, I went there to buy a little precision tuner like Josh has. That is what keeps them in business.
   Bush is making a speech tonight but I feel like they did in the Lord of the Rings when they said "The white wizard approaches. Do not let him speak for he will put a spell on us." Lies pour out of his mouth and you almost can believe him. He is held up by a huge power but it is not God in my opinion. It is not God. I can't listen to him any more. He is a constant call to say the Serenity Prayer though, so he is good for something.
B. I just have to say I goofed and listened to a bit of the bush speech and he took responsibility as if he was doing something noble that he didn't have to do. I find his audacity truly amazing. What would you get if you crossed Bush with a stump? A jump in IQ.


September 15
 Tuesday night we went to the Hurricane in Smoky Point for a jam session and it was a good time. Jeff Lorimar played lead guitar with us and he was smoking. What a great player. I thought it would be just Mike and Jimmy and me but Jeff stepped up and rocked us all out. There were some wild and funky dancers on the floor. We only played four tunes but it was a hoot. I am definitely getting too old for all this. I think it is time I fall back into the mellow stuff. However one of the things I love about writing songs is that the songs provide a vehicle for good soloists to shine. My favorite part of performing live is listening to soloists interpret the songs. I am part performer and part audience when I listen to people solo like Christopher Nickels, Jimmy Culler, Ron Llinas, Scott MacGougan or Manolito Fuentes. I have to remember to play my guitar because I get carried away listening.
  Freedom flew into town last night so he is drying his feathers and I hope to see him tonight. Josh and Christina did a drive by on the way to the band house. I am battling some bug so I just went to bed and stayed there until this morning. I am guessing I won't be going to Dallas since I can't get a confirmation on hotel, gig venues and times. If something goes sideways I would be holding tickets to Dallas. What the hell would I do with them? I get queasy just thinking about being in the same state where Bush lives. Yuck! Type the word failure in Google and see what comes up.
I am proud of and thankful for all of my family, both related and adopted, and thank God for them everyday.

September 14
  Kayden Anthony scuba dived and hang glided at 2500 feet before he was even born. How awesome is that? Liz did not know she was pregnant at the time. He scrolled across my laptop keyboard with his tiny hand and clicked on the Fire Fox icon and went on the Internet at the age of two months. At three months old he went to the Hurricane to see me play music at a blues jam. I have the blues a great deal of the time, but I am not a blues man. Jimmy Culler was trying to make everything come together since I was in one of those famous bitchy mur-rah moods. God bless my family and friends for putting up with me.
  I talked to Freedom who talked to Buddy Miles on the phone tonight and he said they will be writing a song together to aid the victims of Katrina. We would like to fly down to Texas to see the show. Isn't life grand.
   And our friend Gia, who has known true love, the closeness of a soul mate, the quiet conversation of some one who saw you, who has been loved for who you are by someone who saw the beauty on the outside and the inside. You were blessed beyond measure. Sometimes those who are blessed big are given heavy burdens. But so very many people are given heavy burdens without the benefit of having known a soul mate at all. So many people's lives are cut short by tragedy and they move on to the other side while the rest of us are left to deal with life on our own terms without the half that made us whole. Hold the memories near you and take them to your heart and try to keep on caring because loving is an art. Some life long blessings are compressed into a very short time. Wrap them around you and use the memory's light to help you find your way down the road to tomorrow. We will be there for you if need us. We all do the best we can. What else can we do?


September 13
   It is interesting that the more years that are behind you, the faster the ones in front of you go past. That is the way it seems to me anyway. There are many changes going on in the world. I am tired of the arrogance of Bush and his pals. I just read Michael Moore's letter to all the people who voted for Bush. I am not going there this morning. I am thankful for that little smiling face I see each day. I am thankful for the joy I see on the face of Andie when she is holding Kayden. I watch Josh play and hear him developing his singing and that makes me smile. Sarah makes a point to bless us with her face now and then and that is good. Liz is in a pretty mellow space at the moment and that is a good thing. She doesn't leave a lot of room for boredom around our house and has always kept us on our toes. I am thrilled for Freedom, Josh, Rob and the Tribe to hear they are going to perform in Texas and all the possibilities that might await them on that journey. I am happy that Chani is in her happy Alaskan home. Freedom continues to bless me through his music and his phone calls. I am happy to have the players in our band and to make music and help each other through the hard times when they come. There are many blessings in a single day, just acknowledging them sometimes sands the rough edges of our lives. God bless.

The enlightened man eats when he is hungry and sleeps when he is tired. Zen Saying

September 12

  I like to keep a good stock of Starbucks in the freezer and I discovered on Sunday that we apparently have a coffee bandit because I was missing several bags of coffee and we found a bag stuffed with coffee by our back door. Not cool. I have for a limited time, a source of free coffee so I am trying to stock up for a national emergency, or coffee shortage. In a few weeks that source will be gone. Guess I will have to booby trap the coffee bags or replace the Starbucks inside with Folgers, that would teach them.
  Christopher wrote me an e-mail to tease me and ask if a few hurricanes are going to make me change my mind about moving to Florida. I don't know what to say. We need warmth but with the Bush men in charge it will probably be tropical around here in a few years.
  Josh got a call from the Freedom Tribe drummer, Jim, to say the band is going to be flown to Dallas to open for Buddy Miles at an amphitheater that holds 20,000 people. Freedom is flying up to begin rehearsals the week after next. I hope and pray it is real because that is a great band and I look forward to seeing my sons on stage together at a big venue like that. It is so exciting.
   I get to see Sarah today. We are having a get together this morning. Yea!

In the name of God, stop a moment, close your work, and look around you. Leo Toystoy

September 11
  Last night Faith got to go to Teatro Zinzanni's and she loved it as much as we did. Yea!
  Patrick stopped by for a few days and so did Josh & Christina. The weekend has slipped away without a real music time for Josh and I. Friday night I felt like I was in a computer war as I tried to dial in the software to record Josh and Phil. The score was computer 3, Greg 1. Sometimes it is magic and sometimes not. Patrick did so much work around her that we will be forever grateful. I was just happy to have him visiting since we have been concerned about how he is doing. He lives in Belgium, and as any one who spends time living abroad, getting back there and out of this country is a big concern. Still he is family and we love his company. Josh is doing the football Sunday thing in the back room. I guess Christina is too though she doesn't strike me as a football fan. I am heading into the studio as soon as I pass Kayden back to Mama Andie. For now he is asleep on my chest and I like that a lot.
  9-11 This date will never be the same for any of us, will it? As I bounce my grand son on my knee I am thankful for his and my life and for the chance to continue to grow and slowly become a little more aware with the passing days. I pray for the ease of suffering for all people and that more good will will come to light. The darkness is the media's friend. We can make a difference with each light we shine, with each spiritual candle we light. Flashlight brightness is described by the number of its candle power: 1,000 candles. We have candle power too with our voices and our songs and our prayers. At times it seems hopeless, especially when we see so much evil go unpunished. This new law which sets murderers free and continues to usurp the rights of good citizens troubles my heart. It is truly as if stupid spray has been dispersed generously to our law makers and politicians. If a man carries a concealed weapon in a bag on his bicycle and rides around taunting some one, attempts to ram the other person with the bike to cause them to grasp the vehicle and there by imply assault, if he fires without warning and kills that person, do you think that his intentions were any thing else than murder? One does not set forth on a bike ride with a 357 magnum concealed in a bag with anything other than murder on his mind. If this person goes free it is cause to believe there is a hell for him and the those who passed the laws that made that travesty of justice possible. It will be near by the well heated room for our present administration and its buddies. If I were to end up there in hell it would be no small comfort to see them in the fire and maybe even throw on an extra log or two. In memory of 911 let's pray for peace that our men, women and equipment come home and that we stop invading other countries and get back on track as ambassadors of good will, peaceful warriors.

September 10
  The rains have come. The weather difference between counties is eerie. I was in Seattle on Friday and it was overcast but not raining. I called Andie and she thought Jesus was returning. Hail was falling and thunder was shaking the house, winds were high and the down pour of rain was torrential. Jesus didn't show up that day though and I walked to my car with no need for an umbrella. It has been pouring down rain this morning. Rain like tears falling mourning the losses from hurricane Katrina and the cluelessness, or is it evil, of the guy in charge. He and his wife have truly shown in the last week how much the American people really mean to him. If they are good old boys who have lined his campaign pocket, he cares a lot and they can do no wrong. As for the rest of us, just watch the TV. My jaw is still sore from my chin hitting the table when I heard him say, when referring to inept handling of the disaster in the gulf states, "What went wrong?" He was really clueless and, as one senator put it, dangerous. Never before in history was there so much advanced warning of what was coming and look what happened. It is ironic that Wall Mart was delivering truck loads of food, water and ice before anyone else. Why? Because they staged the goods in truck trailers and just had to hook them to a truck and hit the road. God help us. Lady Bush said something to the effect that these people in New Orleans were already poor so maybe this is a blessing. A blessing? God help us.


September 9
Life,the great circle. I hold my little dog spot and see her aging like me, like us all. I look at Kayden, brand new with his whole life before him and see the circle at its beginning. I think that when you get older you realize more and more how quickly life is passing by in front of your eyes. Your friends, your family, all people mean more. I cherish this baby time with Kayden. It reminds me of the wonder of all these wonderful grownups who call me dad, whose diapers I once changed, whose little tiny bodies I once held in my arms. I really recalled those times the other night when Sarah was sitting with me on the sofa, her head on my shoulder and her hand in mine. It is good to be a dad.

God bless us every one, let there be something left when Bush is done.
This person that bankrupted every business he was associated with seems intent on doing the same thing to our country. Bring our troops and gear home because thanks to this administration's policies we are going to need them to defend ourselves. I have to wonder if people have taken dumb potions if they still believe the lies that come out of the mouth of that man. God bless us everyone.

Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death. Earl Wilson

September 8
Yesterday was Kayden's first trip to daycare. I wasn't happy at all but Andie said he light up like a Christmas tree when he saw the other children and he was quite happy to be there. He was fine when I picked him up and brought him home. We both want to stay home with him so badly. They grow up in the wink of an eye. Don't they Faith? Happy Birthday.
 I had a very nice visit with Sarah Maria yesterday. She was being the good auntie to Kayden. He is getting teeth so he is fussy but still cute as can be. Sarah has reddish hair now and it is quite long. She has had a great variety of styles over the years. She is looking particularly beautiful right now. We would like to see her add a few pounds to her tiny frame. I am carrying around a lot of extra that I would happily pass on to someone else.
Jimmy Culler came by last night and laid down some tracks. It was a fun recording session and visit. He ran into Ralph Waters who is an excellent old school country singer song writer. I guess Ralph was critiquing my writing pretty hard. On the up side he said for all of my songs that aren't very good, I have a few great songs. It only takes one. I wish I knew which one and where to send it.

September 7
   The evening came and went without me working in the studio. The good news is that Sarah came to visit and stay for a few days. Freedom called and gave me his new phone number and to tell me the Ashland show was great. Sarah is editing film footage from Teatro ZinZanni. We had family movie night and watched The Incredibles together. It was nice to snuggle on the couch together. Liz modeled her new clothes for us. She is excited that today is her first day back at school. I did think about recording and I did think about mixing. Jimmy was supposed to stop by but didn't show. We were going to go to the jam in Smoky Point but he didn't mention it on the phone and neither did I. I was happy to stay home. We continue to be absorbed with the news of what is happening in the gulf states after the hurricane. This morning I listened to reports of the expectation of 4 more hurricanes this season. Needless to say I have abandoned the idea of moving to the sunshine state. It is a sad decision as I turn my collar to the morning chill and reflect in silence on the coming winter, but one we can live with literally.

When you don't talk, you hear yourself better.

September 6
  Fall is calling and so are the leaves. I did some more work in the yard and continued the clean up that Andie's cousin Patrick started. It was sure nice to just hang around this weekend. I worked in the studio and got the jam session recorded on the computer from the mini-disc recorder. I also did some preliminary mixing of Rio de Janeiro Blues. I think it should be on the CD. I am really zoning in on wrapping up this project. Dale Fuentes called yesterday and reminded me that it has been almost a year. I looked at the date on Rio and it was January 5, 2005. Yes, it is time to wrap it up. Five copies of Room with a View went to Dale and Mary's friends and they were disappointed that it didn't sound like they style I play solo. I will have to get them copies of Gone to Yesterday I guess. Dale said, "No, just finish the new CD." Okay, we will.

September 5
   I have a sleeping piggly wiggly on my chest. He can't decide if he wants to be asleep or awake.
I was just thinking that if we could charge interest on passing the buck over how the aftermath of hurricane Katrina was handled we could probably pay off the national debt. Wouldn't that be grand? If we could get George to pay a service fee for milking Americans, if we could tax some of his pals and if we could fine him for lying we would be back to the time when we had a budget surplus. Wouldn't that be grand?
  We sit in our homes warm and dry and once again are shown on TV how quickly everything can go away. Andie is the smart one who always says we should be prepared. Katrina convinced me that we had better be able to take care of ourselves because at least for a while no one else will. What will our network be for helping and being helped by friends and family? Pray like it all depends on God but prepare like it all depends on you. Keep your sense of humor because laughter can keep us from losing our minds.
How long does it take to get a response out of a bush?
It depends on how long it takes to find the bush and get it out of the woods, what is in it for the other bushes, the status of the shrubs seeking a response and if there is enough sun to be shady or at least five days. Be ready.


September 4
    Brain freeze. Nobody home. Vacancy. Watching the news throughout this weekend has left me with swollen eyes and an aching heart. So much for Georgie's home land security. There is better response in 3rd world countries. George was distraught walking through the wreckage, after all he missed his tee time and was forced to interrupt his 5 week vacation. That is probably why there was 5 days of inaction, that and they needed time to figure out how he and his buddies could get even richer with contracts for the clean up. Bring our troops home now where the national guard can do the job it was meant to do; protect our homeland and help in natural disasters. I think, thanks to our commander in chief, as a country we have little face left to lose in the eyes of the rest of the world. Still the hearts of the people in this land are strong and when we unite there is nothing we cannot overcome. If we pray together God will helps in spite of the ineptness of those "in charge."

September 3
  I wish I could understand baby speak because baby has so much to say this morning. His smile lights up our world. I am thankful to wake up, take a bottle out the fridge , heat it up and feed him while Andie was taking a hot shower. When we have a storm and lose power it takes a while to stop flipping switches to turn on the lights. But just the lose of electricity and water the quality of live takes a nose dive. Thank God for the basic needs and the creature comforts. May we someday have a world in which no one in our human family is without them. Have to run, Kayden is packing his pampers.
September 2-B
  I heard someone talking as I walked down a public corridor today and it made me wonder. Where are all the troops in New Orleans and why are people being put in stadiums and not is tents where there could be a bit of privacy and shelter. Troops can put set up a base in hours. Is it because our army is not in our country but in Iraq and Afghanistan? I think it is appalling the amount of time it is taking to rescue people. While thousands are stranded without food, water and shelter the governor of Louisiana is ordering officers to "shoot to kill" to stop looting. Are we, as a country, so degenerate that we really care that much more about materials that can be replaced by insurance than human lives? Apparently so. What does the rest of the world think as they look on at how quickly our high life style turned medieval in the face of this national disaster. How civilized are we, really? On the news they say rescue efforts are being suspended to focus on stopping the looting. That is another example of governmental decision making and why the term government intelligence is an oxymoron.
  I was at the car dealership today getting a tire fixed and as I sat in the waiting room I saw the three guys in the room were enthralled in a show about racing home made hot rods. I had just left a sandwich shop thanking God I could walk into a place and buy a sandwich. There we were all watching the news about the fires starting, rapes, murders and chaos in New Orleans. As I was leaving the commentator said that at last relief trucks were heading in with supplies. I wanted to get more details but the race watchers out numbered me three to one. You wonder sometimes what is true and what is just political hype on the news anyway. I know I don't believe the sincerely when I see Bush with some homeless soul posing for his photo opportunity to show how much he cares about us. It there ever was a time to pray, this is it. But who will answer? To whom do you pray? What we see on the TV is not the way, the truth and the life. Is it?
I don't think the Lord is heavily made up, wears a Rolex and 3 cans of hair spray, and calls for a check that will buy you a bit of Heaven. But I do believe he is out there and that he hears us when we ask for help and for so many of us that is when we pray. Under circumstances that are so desperate they call for "Oh, God, help me." At least it is a prayer. So, Oh God help us, please.

September 2-A
   I missed a call from Chani yesterday. She is back in Alaska and when I called her back at the Tattoo Shop, she was already gone. Maybe I will get to talk to her today. I am really looking forward to the weekend. I may get together with some old friends to play some music for fun.
   We were going to go away but it is so busy on the highways and the cost of gas is ridiculous, so we will probably hang around the house mostly. I have plenty to do in the studio. Again I listened to the news about the hurricane aftermath and thought of how fortunate we are and how quickly all of our possessions can disappear. Survival is a whole different thing than we are used to in our day to day living. The instinct to survive does not bring out the best in a lot of people. I just hope the aid starts getting where it is needed down there. I think we are all left speechless by the amount of destruction. I heard it referred to as "no less than Hiroshima several times, a sad comparison. Why is it that mankind, and I mean man kind, seek war and destruction through out history. For all our weapons and technology we are still no match for Nature and its power. God bless the victims of Katrina.

September 1
   We watched the special on New Orleans and Andie said this may be the tribulations. It certainly is for those people. It makes you want to get on a plane and go down and try to help. Every peaceful day that passes does not go unnoticed. When I can spend two hours holding the baby and watching him sleep while sitting in our living room I am a rich man. Thank God for running water, fresh food, a dry bed, work, play, music, family and friends to love. God bless all those people suffering and help us help them make it through. Prayers are powerful tools. Let's use them.
   Gia don't be stranger, I mean don't be a stranger. We miss you.
  I was watching Josh and Kayden last night and it made me smile. Kayden just chatters away at Josh. The baby loves to talk and study the mouth of whoever is talking to him. You can tell he wants to have control of his little voice. We lost our sign language book so I am going to buy another one today. He is getting dexterous and he has already managed to sign that he is hungry. He makes a wild effort of stuffing his whole hand in his mouth but it is a gesture that is readable to grand parents as sign language. Josh lights up talking to him. Josh also talks to Saria while she is still in Christina's tummy. He is going to be a loving papa.

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Greg Murat (mur-rah)  
  Singer-Songwriter  Guitarist