Raggin' Piano Boogie


HIS SPIRIT LIVES ON! ... BONER, THE PIANO DOG ... November 27, 1994 ... February 20, 2010

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July 31, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Oh boy, I have a tooth infection, have not been to a dentist in over ten years, have a dentist phobia, am going to have to go to a welfare dentist, this will be FUN. (he says sarcastically) I'm trying to hold out from going to a dentist hoping the pain will stop and that the problem is simply an infection in my head that will pass. At this stage of the game my work is to figure out how to enjoy life through pain. Fact is, life has been incredibly more painful than now. I'm realizing that when you get into your 60's... pain and suffering is optional but the opposite option for joy and contentment... takes constant diligence and work unlike ever before. Mo and I went to a park with my neighbor Alex and her dog Koda which was Koda's first time. That was fun in-spite of the temperature being a hundred in the dark with full humidity in the desert. Crazy!

July 30, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I pulled our wits together to hit the streets of Las Vegas. We headed over to a place called The Field where we have been going every Monday. The humidity was awful coupled with the heat being over a hundred degrees but... we did it and had fun I think because thinking... is not easy these days with the humidity and heat, lol. It is interesting now, the repetition of the same people every week taking their turn at the Traveling Piano for a few minutes each. A new routine is starting of how I handle everything, what I say, the attention I give, etc... There were some crazy neighbors of mine there who asked for a ride home and I said no... and a girl who asked for money. I must keep my boundaries clear and strong. I do not want to be relating to drug addict, crazy neighbors on any level more than saying hi when I see them. And not that I have any money to give anyone... if I started that well... word would get around very quick that the piano man is a potential source for not only funding, but theft.

July 29, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I almost forget what happens in a day by the end of it. Mo and got back from our monthly commitment keeping the energy nice and easy at the local food bank at Veterans Village on the Las Vegas strip while people were waiting around. We been doing it for over a year and a half. I am not ever going to ever post again a thermometer reading picture... I mean, once you've topped out, you've topped out. It is just that I am so amazed every time, that I can work in such heat. I was thinking how money could never motivate me to do this. It comes from a passion of loving what I do and... I'm good at it. And people need and want it and... I love to share what I have to offer with the world. Mo feels the same sense of accomplishment that I do. Sometimes I think and know I've said it before, damm... if these people can live in this heat then so can I. That constantly reminds me that together we all can get through anything.

July 28, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Every morning I wake up with Mo inches from my face looking at me with pleasure. He has a two fang, full grid smile and just sits there looking at me until I return it. Then I start rubbing his eyes for him as he likes that, the stronger the better. I don't know what thats about but when he was young that would be the first thing he does in the morning, rub his eyes with his paws. It feels good to him as well as massaging deep into his jaw line. Then as I come around to my life's intent for the day of fun, friendship and respect... we start wrestling in playfulness on the bed until I have a grip on joy enough to get up for coffee and to get his food. When I feed him always, he stops while I'm bending over to put the food down and gives me a bump with his nose as a thank you before he starts eating. I don't know where that came from either. He has just always done it. I do know what motivates it and think I wrote about it before. When he was a pup, the other dogs he was with would not let him eat and when he came with me, the bump began as a communication of gratitude. I realized that just a few years ago.

July 27, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been missing being on the road and being able to be outside during the days. It has been averaging between a hundred ten and a hundred twenty degrees out. My apartment manager had her last day today and that is good. The animals are going to be running wild. It really is interesting how the Las Vegas rescue mission commitment has entered into my life so I have two days a week on a good piano creating music for the same people I would working with on the streets in the sun. The truck and equipment have been frying in the sun. I use a sun cloth over it but still... the carburetor has been going for ever... and the heat affects it. Once I get the truck going I just keep giving it gas while it tries to die and backfires and dumps smoke out of the tailpipe... after a few minutes is gets going. One of these days this blog is going to stop because the computer is about worn out. I almost cannot process pictures as it is because the screen is so worn I cannot work with them. Thank God I have a lot to be grateful for. Onward...

July 26, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Well, two bombs dropped today. The first... my main contributor to this Traveling Piano journey cut the funds for the second time in the last few months and I am now living on almost half of what I lived on a few months ago. This months contribution will not even cover my rent. My provider does not have funds to keep me going as in the past. A half year ago I was living on a thousand a month and that has been for rent, gas and all my food and necessities. There are ten subscribers via paypal that equal a hundred a month. I might be the king of living on a low budget but the crunch is really affecting my ability to move around and my sense of security... I feel ok but the falling apart of the sort of partnership we have had affects me emotionally in a very sad way. I wonder if people knew I have no supplemental government income or savings they would be more likely to contribute, probably not. Then... my apartment complex manager told me that both she and the maintenance guy are leaving tomorrow! Ugh, ugh, ugh.

She has been whipping this place where I live into shape for a half year and we have had a great rapport. The maintenance guy has been very low key and has been great. Now another person will be coming into this sort of hell hole micro-studio complex I live in and holy hell is going to break loose with someone completely green to the dynamics of the residents and neighborhood. So anyway, Mo and I headed to play music at the rescue mission for people who come in off the streets to eat as we do every Thursday and Friday. I cleaned away all the dead roaches, hairballs and pieces of trash from around the piano so Mo did not have to lay in it all and then I went to work creating music. The gratitude and appreciation from people feels so good. When they come up to me it is like... I have no idea of what I just created. My mind was either all music in the moment or thoughts... usually of anger, frustration, insecurity lol... and it all comes out in the form of musical love. That is how God works through me in knowing the true base intent of who I am and what I want to project into the world.

July 25, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

There has been a lot of my friend and neighbor Alex in my life over the last week and a half. I have not spent much time with anyone in recent years. From baby sitting her dog, using her place to practice on her piano when she is away, going to her concerts, (she is a concert pianist) just hanging out... and tonight she took me to dinner at a Louisiana Kitchen called Lola's off the Las Vegas Strip for my birthday which was July 9th. We had some peel n' eat shrimp with cocktail sauce, a Leidenheimer's garlic bread basket, pan-bronzed catfish, cheesy (gouda) grits with a mushroom and andouille sausage ragout, country green beans with bacon and banana pudding to die for! What a treat. Mo joined us and sat quietly under the table.

July 24, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been thinking about a compliment from two days ago. The cellist from the concert I had attended heard me play and said my music reminded him of Keith Jarrett a known improvisational pianist. I remember first hearing Jarrett's music about one year into my improvising and it affected me on every level of being. Thank god I had not heard his music before I began improvising so that I know I am not subconsciously trying to copy him. Also from what Dan said, I'm really thankful that I still have that same energy going for myself after ten years! The concert was a duo with my friend Alex on the piano and I have also been thinking about what a great collaborator she is and how that is special a talent to develop. I've not had much experience in collaboration in my life. Wish I did. Tonight, Alex went out with me on a walk with her new dog Koda and Mo while I did my regular passing out of gatorades to people sleeping on the sidewalks around town. It is the first time anyone has been with me doing what I do and it felt very special. I was full of gratitude that she would be with me and learn more of what I am about by seeing me in action and that she would join me in it.

July 23, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Sometimes people from the streets call me on the phone. I give out a card with all my info and email address so people can get their pictures. Also, I use it as a sign of trust and respect when sharing info about myself. I rarely respond when they call to ask for help because I must set boundaries and limits. What I do is send up a prayer because I know they are confused and in need. The info is specifically for them to email me and get their pictures online. Mo and I went to our commitment at the field where everyone gathers on Mondays to share food and needs. The temperature was a hundred and ten which was not so much a problem. The humidity, that was a problem. The humidity is high here at this time of the year and so today was more crazy then usual with people trying to cope with it. One guy came up and thanked me for the music as it was soothing the energy on the street. Another guy after having a very positive encounter on the piano came back telling me he wanted his pictures removed from my camera.

Someone had told him I was going to exploit his being homeless. It is important to remember there are people who not only do not trust me, they do not want to trust me for whatever reason. He also gave me my contact information back. I told him to keep it as proof that I would not exploit him, that he could check it out for himself online. Trying to reassure him that I have no commercial interest or reason to promote myself by using other people... did not work. The bottom line was he felt worthless and did not want the world to see that. Wow, I would never put that message across. It is not what the journey is about and not a part of what I am about personally. I have always been fully aware of how I could capitalize off of the idea of being a "do gooder" or push buttons of "neediness" for personal gain. I've explained in detail on this website over the years many times why I do not take those routes. My route is that of nothing but respect. Also, it is not possible with the pictures I post to know who is homeless or not. The pictures are of people who live on the streets, neighbors, visitors, people who just happen to be passing by the area, volunteers, etc... there has never been a differentiation of who is who.

And also, there are many pictures of people I do not post online and many people who don't want their picture taken. I have no problem with that. But, people need to know when they are on my turf, and they say it is ok to take a picture, then it is mine and also, I say what is to be... on my truck. If they are not going to trust me, I don't want them on the truck because trust needs to be mutual for me. Anyway, for the rest of the time there, concerning that guy, I had to watch my camera and watch my back as well. Tense scenerios from time to time are part of of the package. I can count on one hand, the tense situations that have risen over the last twelve years. Out of fifty thousand experiences less than five possible bad ones... that is a pretty good record, eh? It was a good night and I feel like goal accomplished. I'm amazed every week, that I have the stamina, strength and desire to work with the Traveling Piano in this heat. As I may have said before, many of the people I spend time with are living outside in this inferno twenty four hours a day. I can do it for a few hours to show them I care. Also, when I present my days... I would like to inspire you to do something also... one-on-one with a stranger out in the world.

July 22, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I had some piano practice time, babysat my new neighbor dog Koda for a short period of time... most of the day was spent at a piano/cello concert recital in a wealthy Untied Methodist church in the Summerlin area of Las Vegas. Wowee... we are talking state of the art showcase, stage church with a nine foot grand piano that cost an easy $150,000 for just itself. Makes me wonder where all the money came from to build that church and what it is all about. The concert inspired me. I want to be around more people who inspire me in other ways than simply a spiritual mind. Lol, isn't that interesting that I would be in what is considered to be a spiritual setting that inspires me to create more of a material mindset?

I didn't take any pictures because I had some from last night. Mo came to the concert and he was just such a good boy. When our friend Alex appeared on stage he gave a whimper as in "hey, I know that friend." I clamped down on him and that was that. I'm working very hard in my brain to move forward in life with work verses being complacent until I am forced to move onward... or just simply dying. It literally feels like I can do anything I want but... my brain is having a difficult time getting out of the way to just let whatever is to be and/or it is having a difficult time clarifying anything enough to manifest the future.

July 21, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I attended a recital run through for tomorrow of my neighbor Alex who is a concert pianist with cellist Daniel Gaisford at the rescue mission in downtown Las Vegas. I sat in the back and watched the audience of people in recovery and how acute there desire was to take in the music and talent. You could hear a pin drop in the room full of desire to be respectful and appreciative. Addicts, alcoholics and those with some non-addictive mental illness from the streets... I so love people like this because the are individuals unlike those who are more conforming in society. They constantly surprise me with who they are as a human being, what they know, how caring they can be, smart... and their individual life experiences. People who struggle have a desire to please that I can relate to as I just celebrated thrity six years in recovery myself at the beginning of last week.

July 20, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

At the Las Vegas mission it was a fly-dive-bombing day. Between the heat, sweat, crud falling off people coming in from the streets and the food... aggressive, hard hitting flies were attacking my head almost the entire time while I was trying to create music! Lol... a young guy came up to the table next to the piano, sat down and closed his eyes. When he got up to leave he thanked me with tears in his eyes. It was very gratifying and moving for me. During the second dinner when the residents eat, I improvised none stop forty-five minutes. It was a challenge accomplished. When I was playing I realized I now have a piano belly. Figure it out. Its not good. Maybe there is still time to work on that even though I'm becoming an old man.

July 19, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

My neighbor Alex is away so I've been using her place. Washing clothes and doing some cooking and just "being" in a larger space. We've been babysitting her new dog Koda and I forgot how there is not sleep to be had in babysitting a young pup. I've been seeing into Mo's spirit more than ever before while we hang out with 3 month old Koda. Mo has been mentoring Koda with the ways of "being" in patience and tolerance as well as fun, friendship and respect. Mo never had any of that as a pup from other dogs.

He was abused by them so, it is interesting to see his true character reveal itself in spite of his rough beginnings. While creating music at the rescue mission today they started the meal prayer with saying they wanted to make a special prayer for all those living on the sidewalks. The room full of 500 people suddenly went from a large chatter and noise to almost complete silence for the first time ever. People are dying everyday all around us from the extreme heat daily between a hundred and a hundred twenty. I worked up a sweat playing the piano to the point that my clothes were soaked when I was done!

July 18, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It feels like Mo's life is slowing up. I know mine is. He is growing older with tenderness. I would like to grow older this way. We are going to spend tonight and tomorrow night at my friend Alex's place while she is away. She has a piano to practice on and a new pup named Koda only three months old. He is a German Shepherd pup and the only thing he wants to do is bite and chew everything. Mo is absolutely amazingly tolerant with him and I can see Mo clearly mentoring in dog life with play, how to signal when he wants to be left alone without scaring the little guy, walking, just hanging out... everything. I'm hesitant to call anyone a friend anymore because they all pass. I hope Alex, (she is a girl) that we can have a friendship that will grow through time. Take it slow and easy is the name of the game. So far when we have been relating, there has been mutual benefit in some way. When one friend needs the other more... thats when we shall see if any substance exists. Alex turned me onto the Las Vegas Mission Center as she has a musical non-profit and plays piano there as I do and... is a performing classical pianist with a doctorate in music! She has been awarded the first Las Vegas star of fame.

July 17, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I do not remember what I did today except for dealing with the heat and recover from working yesterday. Of course I'm always doing stuff. Processing pictures, Facebook is a real challenge as I am good when expressing myself using strong, emotional, passionate words especially when I am angry and I am as straight forward as it can get so when it feels appropriate and the responsible thing to do, I comment on posts and if need be tear people a new asshole. It is a challenge to not let it simply become a distraction and venting of anger from the actual issues at hand or my life in general. Around the rest of the world in many countries being political aware has always been built into people's conscious thoughts. Here in the USA it is now a must. Any days of complacency are over. I must remember to live in the present moment.

July 16, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Even though it was a hundred and ten degrees Mo and I went out to the field at dinner time to create our weekly consistency of presence for people through musical fun, friendship and respect. Every Monday night community gathers to also share food and necessities among each other. What gives me the strength to do it is in thinking how many of the people there are living in the heat, on the street twenty four hours a day! I can do it for at least a few hours. The fact that I did not get up until three in the afternoon helped because I just gather my wits and go full of freash morning like energy.

Seeing the same people over and over and feeling relationships developing (always with strong boundaries and limits) is interesting. It feels especially good to give those rejected by almost all of society some validation of human spirit. I see them walking around afterwards almost in shock that someone treated them simply as a human being. Experiencing people opening up to me more and more with what is going on in their lives and with who they are, I feel is very respectful and I'm up to the responsibility of honoring that respect.

July 15, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

As I dabble with distraction, the shocks, drama, horror, just everything wrong with the world and feel anger, hate, frustration, lack of patience and tolerance... I also need to bring myself into the reality of the present moment. There can never be anything wrong with anything in the present moment... in spirit, inside of myself without distraction from the outside. In spirit there is nothing but peaceful love and security. Does that sound crazy? Mo helps bring me to that place, every day. Caring about other people helps bring me to that place. Working on this blog with music, pictures and writing... brings me to the place and being in nature, always. In finding gratitude through all that... this is where the peace and security lays.

July 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I needed to get out and create some music with the Traveling Piano and to record music also for this website. Mo and I drove to Red Rock Canyon and found a new spot where there was total silence on an open area and we could be alone... with cloud cover so the sun would not kill us! That was very nice. After about a half hour of creating music we drove to an overlook spot where we met some people and then it began to rain. The timing for everything was perfect. The smell of the desert in the rain, driving through it (very rare over the last two years) and just enjoying the cooler, dark, stormy (with lighting) environment was refreshing to say the least.

July 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I woke up in a very bad head space. It included financial desperation. Then a friend called. After that a package arrived... contribution, a full box of luxury soaps from friends who live in Kentucky. My bad head space turned into a good head space. Not only are the soaps good quality which helps my state of mind, there were over twenty varieties and oh, how I enjoy a lot of anything! Mo and I headed to the rescue mission to create music and kept thinking how I must consciously allow people to enjoy me and the music... because in my head I do not want to enjoy myself. Its ok because I'm aware in order to work on that.

July 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I headed over the the Las Vegas Rescue mission to create music for people going there for dinner from the streets, about six hundred of them. I pray before I get out of the truck to get out of my head... my "stinkin' thinking" so I can focus on musical love, appreciation, fun, friendship and respect. People usually get all that in-spite of myself, my angers and dissatisfactions with the world. I think about how uncomfortable I was with the heat and humidity and my aches and pains and then I just go into my head to how unbelievably uncomfortable it is for my friends there living on the streets in the heat and humidity, dirt and how immobilized I would feel from getting up from the ground after having laid on a cement sidewalk all night. Somehow I need a break soon or need to create a habit of being able to force myself to have fun so I can keep doing this. When I was on the road for years I was constantly stimulated in both good and bad ways but still... stimulated to move forward. Bottom line, thank God for this venue I have found. I'm in the right place for my life. I know that and must continue to trust, keep the faith and find enjoyment in "place."

July 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I found a flat rock in Red Rock Canyon covered with amazing Lyceum. Mo and I chilled on it just laying around while the sun set for over an hour. It was easy because i had no energy to do anything else. Mo loves to dig a bed in the dirt to lay in. Sometimes my mind feels like it is on hold, other times it just is not there and then again there are times when I feel like I am on nothing but a squirrel cage in this world. Staying interested and inspired as well as empowered can be a lot of work. It is all self-created for me through a power greater than myself. Giving those qualities to others is not possible if I don't have them for myself through the grace of God, the universe or whatever. I find any there is... through gratitude and have been practicing with it all for a long time. Still, some days are better than others. Thank God I can create the time needed to work on it all and all that exists.

July 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been sleeping allot and into the afternoons. It feels a little like that is keeping me alive. Thank God I'm in a situation to get what I need. After tending to necessities I took Mo for a walk at Sunset Park after it got dark. My energy is really low these days except for when I am working. I know its age, the heat, what I have been eating which is crap... whatever I can get because I cannot afford any healthy food. Also just life in general, it has never been easy for me. The temperature went back to a hundred but when we were walking there was a moist breeze and it was seventy nine degrees. All that was needed was a little salt in the air with some ocean waves nearby! The grass was moist from the rain last night so I wanted Mo to be able to run around in it and of course he loved it. I love him. My birthday yesterday feels like five years ago, I vaguely remember it already.

July 9, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was difficult to get up this morning. I did not want to, did not feel rested, my body ached, living in air conditioning all the time is getting to me. I was telling myself to rest because I knew I was going out to my Monday commitment at a place called the field and it was one hundred twelve degrees out... and my 63rd birthday. I was semi-awake dreaming and the last thing I remember was someone calling me a pest. Lol, I thought I had best get up before my dreams continued to bash me with more negatives. I went through a gratitude list of 63 things I am grateful for. That did not work, oh well.

So Mo and I left for the field. I had told people last week that it was my birthday today so they would have something to look forward to and celebrate with me. It worked! Friends who live on the streets came to give me gifts they had like their food and water. They hugged me and wished me a happy birthday and several told me they walked from the other end of town to be there just because it was my birthday. That almost made me cry because they walked through that 112 degree heat. A young kid named Owen was having his sixth birthday and he brought me a little bag of goodies as a present, his mom brought a huge cake to share with everyone.

Another girl who brings food weekly for everyone made Hawaiian white cream frosting cupcakes for me. Before people arrived I got there early enough to put up the umbrella for shade from the sun. I was more worried about Mo than myself but after I got it up, I began to feel unsettled with my breathing. And then like a miracle as soon as I began to play, clouds appeared and covered the sun. A light breeze began. Father John who started this weekly gathering nineteen years ago appeared and gave a mass on the sidewalk as he does once a month. During the mass he thanked god for me, wished me a happy birthday and asked the congregation to do so.

After all was said and done and I got all my goodies back inside my room and the cover on the truck... oh my God it began to rain strong and steady. It has been like a half year since it rained last. And then I thought how the humidity would be awful with the heat. Nope. It has cooled down, my door is open and I am feeling and listening to the rain, the temperature in the 70's, wow... thank God!

July 8, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I went to meet up with some friends and since I was not far from Redrock Canyon decided to spend the last hour of daylight there. Having some Traveling Piano interactions was a sure thing and as the sun set and a light breeze began... relief from the heat! As well as local people, I met a few families traveling, well educated from Saudi Arabia, India and France. I had just been thinking how much I am becoming to prefer interacting with people living on the streets rather then people of higher social status and then today happens. I was reawakened to the fact that people are people no matter the social, educational or ethnic upbringing... if your a good person, your a good person. What is a good person? A lack of pretentiousness with a desire to be social, get along with others, unafraid of strangers with a desire to extend oneself through goodwill, grace, politeness, not afraid to smile and have a good time... after dealing with these visitors today oh, how I miss... not the "good" life... the "comfortable" life as in style.

July 7, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Could not get anything done today. My birthday is on Monday and I will be 63 years old. Sometime years I celebrate it other years not. I am aware that if I don't tell anyone they will not know to celebrate it with me. Last year I said nothing because I did not want to deal with perfunctory birthday wishes. A few weeks ago a group of people who live on the streets here celebrated a friends birthday by all getting dressed up together for the day. So... I'll be on the street on Monday and I told a few of them last week that I want them to celebrate it with me. I'm realizing that people need as many reasons to celebrate anything they can find to celebrate these days. My hope is to give them something positive to look forward to. Same on Facebook, I invited everyone to celebrate it with me in spirit.

Mo and I go out every night for a walk with 32oz gatorades that were on sale for .50 each a few months back. I carry them in backpack for people half dead laying on the sidewalks from heat exhaustion and who have a feeling of worthlessness. Last night I encountered a guy who said he felt too humiliated to accept it. Of course I pushed it on him because he was in such bad shape but it made me realize how I'm going to have to ask you for help to keep doing the community outreach I do with not only the Traveling Piano but with things like this nightly walk. It is totally needed. I'm not asking for money because I'm a good guy doing good stuff. I'm asking so you can say you are good, and doing good stuff. Please create a subscription for a few bucks a month through this website... Contribute

July 6, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I drove to the rescue mission for our commitment there every Friday. Today is the first Friday of the month and afterwards I usually work with the Traveling Piano on my street corner while an Arts District event happens few blocks away but... it was just too hot, like a hundred degrees in the dark hot with little breeze. This afternoon my thermometer showed past the recorded numbers at one hundred twenty degrees in the sun, downtown where I live. Instead, we headed over to my friend Alex's house where she was having a classical music jam as in a few weeks ago. I played the Maple Leaf Rag for them all and it just felt very strange having the need to hide my insecurity of being judged while at the same time making the decision not to care while at the same time trying to be honest with myself that I did in fact want to impress them so they would respect me and my abilities.

I was too chicken to do my improvisation because I knew it would not hold their attention, maybe next time I'll do it whether pay attention or not. It is an offering and if they cannot accept it in the spirit given... I don't need to reflect it for myself. I can't tell what they thought about my playing of the Maple Leaf Rag, should I care? Lol... They are all young, accomplished, working classical artists and... it is what it is. I enjoy their company so will continue to explore relationship through friendship as well as music. Also, I'll need to learn to become a team player and move past playing solo into a jamming situation. I'm the only one to have played solo. A life long issue...

July 5, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

There are people working to shut down the local park because they would rather have no people enjoy it if they have to deal with people who live on the streets trying to enjoy it. Gee... an empty park, no people allowed, it will raise property value and give the illusion of a more secure place to live? It really pisses me off but I don't have it in me to fight the greed, lack of compassion and empathy. Fact is... the homeless there clean up after each other all the time and the park closes at 5pm everyday. The property owners only care about the fact that they have to see them. And possible home buyers will see them as they drive by. I will NEVER share the Traveling Piano with these kind of people. While creating music at the mission center today, it was amazing, I guess it always will be for me to see people physically responding to my improvisation. I would play some Ragtime and Boogie Woogie and there would be no movement but when I went into the Improve they would sway and bounce. One guy came over to describe his experience of it. He felt like he was flowing on a river in a cool breeze with trees all around in the shade. Thank God for the good experiences in life!

July 4, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Wow, did I not want to get up today. I planned on going to a veterans apartment complex for a cookout they were having. After about an hour I got up and headed out. The temperature was one hundred two and it was not even noon. The place had a boom box going and the barbecue was a very structured event with rules and blah, blah. I did not see the guys who asked me to be there. In any case it did not work out and so I went to Circle Park in my neighborhood where I knew there was a tree that I could park under with shade. We spent time with people who live on the streets that spend their days in the park because its clean and green with the shade. They can also wash up in the bathroom there. I was appreciative that I could be with them and they were appreciative I was there. Without question I leveled the energy with my music into a super relaxed state for everyone in the shade, in the heat.

I also played a few Ragtime and Boogie pieces which people like to hear because it makes them feel a little entertained and impressed that I was there for them. A couple people got onto the piano and I ran into a guy I knew who had been at the rescue mission downtown. Afterwards, I went back to my place and waited for the fireworks right outside my door. That was VERY cool, and then Mo and I ran to Freemont Street to catch the fireworks there. There is a spot on the roof of a nearby parking garage and was thinking about how I was the only one there. I waited and waited until I realized there were no fireworks! They had them three days ago! Anyway, I'm glad I got to feel and make the 4th of July special for myself because with the way the world is going it might be our last. Lets pray I am wrong or just to accept what is. God, don't want to end this blog entry with that. I had a fulfilling day and I'm thankful for it.

July 3, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I just could not get it together to function as I would have liked today. Why? I could toss out twenty possibilities, mixtures of those, levels, etc... but instead of thinking about all that I simply tried to give myself a break and take it easy. That can be a challenge when I'm also wanting to beat myself up for whatever reason. Anyway I'm looking forward to celebrating Independence Day tomorrow, thankful that I live in a country where specifically the idea of Freedom of the Press can flourish. There is a reason the founders put freedom of the press in the very first amendment to the constitution, our Bill of Rights. There is room for all of us and for our divergent views under the First Amendment. As has been said, freedom of the press is the mortar that binds together the bricks of democracy... and it is also the open window embedded in those bricks.

July 2, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Damm! I did not get up until three in the afternoon partly because I did not get to bed until five in the morning. I needed the sleep as a result from the last two days walking and Traveling Piano work. Rest was needed for preparation to go out into "The Field" for my regular Monday commitment today. It was about a hundred degrees and setting up the umbrella for the sun was tricky but it worked. The umbrella is not going to last long because the winds here are strong and its a cheap umbrella but... it is what it is for however long. I'm amazed how the heat does not affect me when I'm working. I know it comes from my desire to help people feel good and validate their worth as well as to create some purpose for my life. Three boys have been coming every week with their grandmother and the time is turning into a piano lesson for them. They had their third lesson this week. A few volunteers are making sure I get some dinner, they put it on my front truck seat for later and I really appreciate that. One of the volunteers gave me a twenty dollar bill and I took it because it felt right. I also need it really bad for gas. Last night at Red Rock canyon I turned down three people who wanted to give me money because it felt like an exchange and that is not what the Traveling Piano work is about.

In fact an Israeli guy said... "this is our way and what we do" and I said, "well now your going to experience a new way, my way". Lol, its true... I want people to have an experience they will not get with almost no one else and that is... a stranger sharing some musical fun, friendship and respect without agenda or to get anything in return. The girl who made the contribution tonight is a Christian and totally pro-gun. Ugh, I hate when that happens. It is a very conflicting issue for me in how to relate pure and with purpose. Fact is for me personally the strongest statement I can make is not to relate and to tell them why. I am as passionate about guns as in, get rid of them... as I am passionate about my work in this journey. When the two passion collide well, I'm still figuring that out. It is not something that someone else can help me concerning how to create resolve. The answer can come from one place only and that is in the personal truth of spirit. I liken the situation to a mafia guy who has a wonderful family, is upright and moral with ethics and care for humanity except that he has one little problem. When it comes to business he kills people or does not mind if others get killed for work because that is what he does. When the issue is about life and death or about empathy and compassion concerning life and death... there is little room for negotiation.

July 1, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Just before dark I drove to Redrock Canyon and got to create and interact with people for about an hour with the Traveling Piano. With temperatures between a hundred and a hundred ten degrees I must squeeze work and play into small time periods. It would help if I was able to get up early but that is just not the case. Once it got dark I just pulled off the road outside the park and created some music for myself. Wow, that was enjoyable! Once back in the city I became totally exhausted and had to cut Mo's walk short because I was feeling seriously tired. I think the long walk from yesterday caught up with me along with the interactions today, the heat and my creating music for myself but still... I could not fall asleep until five in the morning!