Raggin' Piano Boogie

 

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

Use the links to the left to read a past Month or Year... and then there is always your Backspace to return to a past page.

October 18, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I went out to drop off flyers for the upcoming Veterans day event at my dentists office. At one of the spots the car would not start. I was in a cancer hospital parking lot. I called my friend Alex to ask if she could come give me a jump hoping it was not more serious. Then I found a guy in a truck parked across from me. He gave me a jump and I went on my way to the Rescue Mission to create music for the dinner making sure I parked the truck with the front end facing out. Good thing because it would not start when I was finished creating music for the dinner. A volunteer gave me a jump and one of the guys staying there said he'd put money on it being the battery. I told him last time it started I saw black smoke come from the filter. He said to put some oil in with a little engine cleaner. Off to the auto store I went. They checked it and said it was in fact the battery. The sales guy was curious about the Traveling Piano so I spent some time showing it to him. My contributor who has been supporting me has no money these days but told me to use an emergency credit card if ever needed. This was the first true emergency as it cost $250 for the battery, cleaner and oil. It is excruciatingly emotionally draining to use someone else's money knowing that it will create debt for them. And... it always amazes me who glitches along the way work out. How people come into my life like the guys who gave me a jump, the one who troubleshooted the problem, the store being still open, my patrons contribution...

October 17, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I was really beating myself up today. It was the only day in a long while that I have had free without a commitment. My plan was to sepnd the day in nature but I got up to late. Then, I could not get off of social media ranting. Before the sunset I did get to the mountains to enjoy a little bit. They are only thirty five minutes away. As soon as I got out into the field with the silence I realized how much noise I had been creating in my head. Wow, the peace of mind, silence, seeing how much Mo loves it as I do, we both hiked and sat on a rock for a while. We both really needed that.


October 16, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I spent six hours in the dentist chair today while a crown was made and put on. Two teeth were filled and four bottom teeth where capped. How amazing that a dentist would do this for me. Two weeks ago a tooth was extracted for a future implant. Next week my top teeth will get done. As far as giving... this dentist and I are on the same page. She believes in giving to her community through service verses sending money to a charity. She has a digital machine that creates 3d images of the tooth and then the machine forms a crown in ten minutes, bakes it in fifteen, and then it is ready to insert. The machine costs the price of a house and will not make money for Dr. Cat but she wants to make her customers happy and give them one day service. This, verses the old style of taking pictures and then waiting for two weeks to have them made and then coming back for another appointment to have them put on. Dr Cat at is having a special dental day on Veterans Day offering free dental care for all vets.



I am helping her promote the event. Some of her regular customers are registering and even though she will lose money as a result, she told her customers she will still give them the free service but on another day as to not take away time from new people signing up for the promotion day. As of today she only has two spots left, over forty people have signed up already. There will be two dentists and three hygienists working from eight in the morning to five in the afternoon. So that no one is turned away she will honor "all" of the overflow people with an appointment on another day and if need be, set up another whole day of freebies to make sure everyone is included and gets free service. Is this a WOW or what!!! While she was working on my teeth I was in awe of how interested she was and how much she enjoyed what she was doing. She was humming much of the time, constantly attentive to my needs and creating the teeth was truly an art for her.



I felt so safe I actually fell into a semiconscious state of sleep. Tonight I realized a habit I did not know I had. I run my finger nails through a space between my teeth several times an hour. Now there is no space there and I now realize how much that space had bothered me. I knew it when I looked in the mirror but still it, never quite registered. Even though I was exhausted when it was all over I had to go express some gratitude. I drove over to the homeless area of the city to create music where a dinner is served every Tuesday night. Several people from last night were there and got onto the piano to play. Every week someone who has seen us over time and who has been too uncomfortable to come up and play some piano... they eventually feel safe enough to give it a try. I am living with a feeling of awe that this dentist has contributed so much of her time, expertise, effort, equipment and office assistants to help me pay forward the Traveling Piano journey. Pearly Whites Dentistry

October 15, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

A cold snap has happened. It feels really, really good but I think about all the homeless people sleeping on the ground and how cold it will be for them. Mo and I drove to an area called "The Field" as we do every Monday and the environment warmed my heart. I am so very thankful that people care for each other. Many usually people who bring food and necessities every week... they were loaded with blankets, sleeping bags and warm clothing to share. My usuals got into the piano to have there weekly session of playing around with music and then it got dark... fast. I've never seen as many people tonight and there were a lot of angry people around. Someone stole a carry bag from the cab of my truck. Luckily, they did not see my camera under it. They got an old big thermal bag which I will not need now that the weather is turning cooler. But still, it irked me. It happens, having things stolen from time to time is part of the deal concerning where I choose to hang out.


October 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was a lay low day. Mo and I babysat my neighbors dog Koda. He's a six month old German Shepherd pup now larger than Mo with uncontrollable energy. All he wants to do is play with Mo. For periods of time Mo engages and then during other periods he tolerates incessant nudging and then sometimes when he has had enough, he lets Koda know. Then Koda lays next to him with his paw just touching Mo to be connected. I made rice kripsy treats, a lot of them and unfortunately they will not be around for very long because I cannot control myself. Not only are they good, they are mommy food. My mom used to make them as special treats and she made them, Oh so Good!

October 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was a day for me to hand out flyers for two events. The first, for my friend Alex's Non-Profit fundraiser next week. Alex has been including me in her life of musical friends and events, giving me a feeling of getting connected with a scene here in Las Vegas other than working on the streets doing outreach with homeless people. Any opportunity to help her is just full of gratitude for me. And then, the dentist who is paying forward major dental care services for me without cost... so I can continue paying forward my work with the Traveling Piano... she is having an event on Veterans Day where her office will be providing dental care for vets without cost for the entire day. On foot, Mo and I dropped off flyers at local businesses of every type. I'm not the "spring chicken" I used to be doing this stuff but I am very grateful for what I can do and for people who come into my life with personal support. Then there is one special person who pays my rent and a few others that fill my gas tank twice a month. I live 100% on contribution. Never with tips from the truck, fees or commercial affiliation.

October 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

After creating music for about six hundred people coming in from the streets for dinner at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, Mo and I raced down to the University of Las Vegas where there was an Art Walk. My friend Alex was playing music there. Alex is having a fundraiser next week for her non-profit. It is called Notes With A Purpose and creates musical out reach programs for at risk and underprivileged children and young adults in the community. I was there to hand out invitations for the fundraiser and sell it to people. I have not done that type of thing for a long, long time. It was exhausting. I become a passionate maniac when promoting anything in a positive way. It brought back memories from this journeys beginning when I was pursuing Oprah Winfrey's support. I had garnered by myself... 32,300 signatures in 33 days. It was a petition of support for Oprah to help me fulfill my Wildest of Dreams! Lol, yes I really did that and can prove it partly from the blog on this website.

October 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I guy named Paco who I met randomly on the street the other day joined Mo and I at the Las Vegas Mission Center for dinner and he got to see what I do and for who. He is an intense guy from many mixed backgrounds, a disabled Iraqi veteran who is passionate about getting people out to vote. I hope to join up with him for the next few weeks going into neighborhoods to get people to VOTE with the Traveling Piano. Being political is a social responsibility. It always has been but now more than ever. As a child I was taught to not talk politics and vote privately. Now I realize that was a manipulative, an ingrained tool for authoritarian behavior and thinking. Speaking out politically in todays world is a must... if you care about humanity and people as a whole.

October 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Las Vegas has some of the best musicians in the world, home grown. In the near future this city will be seeing a remarkable rise in visitors who want to experience the arts and culture that this city has to offer just as much as the casinos. I've been feeling a steady growth in a city wide sense of community since I arrived almost two years ago. Wow! In December it will be two years!!! Tonight I went to a composers showcase mostly for local musicians. It was a night of high caliber musicianship and a variety of styles right up my ally. I feel inspired to help raise the community from the bottom up through its musicians. Music is a great equalizer for all people to relate with from differing communities and mindsets. Always, I look to include different musicians on the Traveling Piano as well as those who have never before created music.

October 09, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Took Mo for a walk leaving through my back alley, midnight. The area was completely trashed with garbage, papers, crap... more than I've ever seen. A jerk had emptied the trash bins without cleaning up. I was pissed off while thinking, "what can be done, it was someone mental, thank God I don't have to clean it up." We returned from the front sidewalk because I did not want to see it again. Heard someone rumbling around back there, so I went back ready to tear into whomever. It was a homeless guy cleaning up the area. He said "its just a few who make it bad for all of us." 90% of homeless people care about the cleanliness of their surroundings as well as areas used by others. I see random people cleaning the streets up after others all the time. People need to know this. Today I went around dropping flyers off for a dentist in the area having an event on Veterans day giving free dental care for all vets.



It is the same dentist that has been paying her work forward with my teeth to help me to continue paying my work forward without cost for others. Along the way while visiting veterans apartment buildings, state buildings, the library, post offices, etc... we met people with the Traveling Piano. As the sun set we stopped at a place where dinner was being served on the street for people and created music there. Someone asked for me to play at their church festival and that is always a dilemma. I told them as I know the person... if they had been inclined to make a contribution over the last few months even as small as twenty bucks on my website, then... they would have had my time, effort, talent and I would have gladly given obligation and/or expectation for the request. But as it presently stands, no less than six hundred an hour would create some interest. Lol, it is what it is. I know most people will not understand that from my point of view. They don't need to.

October 08, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The weather, what a relief!!! The sun is not as strong, the temperatures are cooling down, I'm being able to work again. Of course I was working through the heat of summer even though it felt like I was not. At the field where we are on Mondays, people love Mo so much. His presence alone brings joy to the world. Myself, I realized as I have periodically before through the years, but now specifically seeing as I visit the same spots on the same days with the same people... that, those who get onto the piano to play repeatedly... I need to give them attention for that time period. I've been getting lazy.



When they get onto the piano to play, I just say "go at it" and leave to do other things in the immediate area as they know from past weeks what to do for themselves. Some people want to be left alone and others want attention. But deep down, everyone wants attention so, even if they are in their own space my just being there in their presence without interference is important. This journey is not just about giving people a piano to play. It also involves relationship, interacting with the people paying... creating fun, friendship and respect... reassurance and validation... empowerment and inspiration.

October 07, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I've been freaking out a little, lost... adrift. Financial issues are building... ah, its a life story for most people, eh? Financial security has always been and always will be probably, an issue from time to time. Some times more than others. I must re-register the Traveling Piano truck with the Dept of Motor Vehicles because as a vintage vehicle I'm about to go over the milage limit for the year. The insurance for the truck is coming up and then there are ongoing expenses. GoDaddy is trying to rip me off hundreds of dollars by raising my website fees. There is much more, and I could go on and on. It is a dilemma for me when it comes to keeping it real with my life. People so much want for me to have it nice and they want to feel nice through my life and its work. So the tendency is to want to keep it all upbeat but thats just not the real me. I'd rather people see "all" of me. I need for people to see all of me, it is selfish to an extent. But mostly and at the bottom line, my intent is to be helpful for others. I am not out to entertain or to specifically make people feel good. I am out to contribute to life on as many levels and in as many ways as possible for everyone while trying to be as joyful as possible with it all.


October 06, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The temperature is now in the 70's during the day here in Las Vegas... down from the above 100's for months! I celebrated by going for a hike with Mo in the desert! We needed that, equally. We found a little space away from everything where no one would find us and just sat inside a mountain of rock. I took some pictures and am appreciating that I can do that as my eyesight has been fading through time. There were clouds and even a rain shower through sun. Before heading out this afternoon we stopped at a neighborhoods shop yard sale and played a couple of songs. When the hike was finished later I did not feel like creating music for anyone at all... but then stopped at a lookout on the main road on the way back. While recording some music, people of course came by and we had some fun.



There was a wedding at the other end of the parking lot and the idea of hiring out the Traveling Piano for weddings surfaced. Going back to work and getting paid so much less then what I used to get paid for... with more work needed than ever before as I am much older... I just don't know. With the truck now old and beat up, I know I cannot command as much compensation as in the past, especially when my price had been built up to what it was through twenty years of performing. If it could be fun there is a little part of me that would want to do it... but I cannot find that fun for myself, by myself. Did all that, done it and had burnt out so bad that I wanted to end my life and that fact... created the journey as it has been.

October 05, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Playing for the dinner at the Las Vegas rescue mission today really brought my state of mind from rage and anger into a loving, thoughtful, peaceful and appreciative state of mind. With all the destruction to my countries social system, our way of life, the deceit, disrespect and down right evil happening as well as the confusion and gas lighting of vulnerable minds by trump, his cronies and people who just don't care about anyone but themselves supporting him... when I began to create music today, it was like an automatic button had been pushed through people all around me. All the shit transformed into a sense of normalcy that I needed very much. It is amazing how the truth of spirit can function in all its glory through the worst of our minds thought and transform our minds into the reality that is our being in all the best of ways.

October 04, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Mo and I were at the rescue mission today for the dinner, usually about six hundred meals are served. As I played, I watched many people physically responding to my music. They sat with their eye's closed soaking it in. With some of the music they moved to the rhythm. I watched them respond with physical movements without knowing it. Never in my life would I have thought my playing of music would affect people internally. It is healing for them. Damm, never in my life did I think I would be creating music without thought. Being able to just automatically infusing my spirit with the environment and choosing how to interrupt it musically is just awesome. When I used to perform in the old days I remember the music creating dance moves for people but I was never able to appreciate that fact.


October 03, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a very slow day for me today. I've been thinking how there are tools I now have in my life that I draw from. I began in life with only a few tools that worked. Most were dysfunctional for me. Now, I have many and the dysfunctional ones, I have learned to benefit from. The strongest tools come from friends through the examples of how they have lived their lives. There are friends who's lives I witness and have not met who influence my life. Then there are friends who I relate one-on-on with on a regular basis. Most of the influential friends in my life have passed on. Traveling Piano dog Boner he was also a huge example for how I live my life, as is now Traveling Piano Dog Mo. My parents each gave me different tools, the best and worst. The strongest tool I have in life is sharing though gratitude.


October 02, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Well, finally it is done. I had my tooth extracted and felt very good in the hands of the doctors. An implant and fillings will be next. Mo is an unbelievable amount of support for me. Pearly Whites Family Dentistry ...I've been feeling good about this place and how thorough they are with their work. The extraction was not bad although the tooth would not let go of my mouth! There was a significant amount of wiggling and pulling. The fact that I had no sleep over the anxiety of having it done, and all the work I did yesterday at the field and for the anniversary of the Las Vegas massacre, playing music there... all that kept me pretty calm as a result of exhaustion. I was going to get a picture of myself in the dentist chair for this blog but as time goes on I'm less interested of taking pictures to document every little happening in my life. I slept all day. The mountains today in the distant were more beautiful than I can ever remember seeing today. Maybe because it was early morning and I am never up early!

October 01, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a tough day for me, the anniversary of the worst mass shooting in the history of the USA. Almost 851 innocent people shot and maimed, 58 killed here in Las Vegas. There has been a small healing park created and the city was making a big show there. Music, cameras, lights, media #hashtagging that it was all about the city and the park being in the newly renovated arts district for the sake of those affected, blah, blah, blah... I wanted no part of it even though I did need a respectful, quiet place to be with people. I'm sure there are not many people reading this blog now after all these years who know my history with gun murder and mass killings concerning this journey. Bottom line... at these hoopla events you will never see messages such as "We Can End Gun Violence." You'll see every scapegoat way to say people care that avoids actual caring to prevent it from happening again. So I had a tea shirt made saying, "We Can End Gun Violence" and wore it while we created music for our weekly commitment at the field. A friend modeled it for me so I could take a picture. After the field I drove to the Mandalay Bay casino area where it all happened.



I had to use a tremendous amount or restraint in dealing with fucking nationalists riding around in their pickup trucks waving flags as if this was a fucking party for them to get drunk for. I had to deal with jerk offs dressed in Americana clothing and carrying flags, looking like slick NRA types thinking they are hot shit. Mo and I found an empty street nearby and I just sunk into my soul and created music with my eyes closed for the sake of humanity as a whole and people revisiting the incident with friends in the distance. Someone came by while I was on the piano and wanted to pay me to use my music as they filmed for a television show on the discovery channel with all their flags. I asked them what time it was. It was a few minutes before the actual shootings. I told them "no, do not bother me now, show some respect, maybe if those flags you all are waving were at half mast I would have been interested." Afterwards, I walked among a couple hundred of them with my tea shirt on saying "We Can Stop Gun Violence." Mo and I stood in their mists saying nothing and they did not know how to respond. I say, if you really care... do something more than say it, or wear hats promoting a city strong... while leaving the vulnerable to die.