Sunday, December 28, 2008

Wintertime in Santa Cruz 3

Spent yesterday tasting some fine CA wine and walking the cellar of a
new small-batch winery near Holly's parents' house. I asked if he had
any of his own wine that he'd made in his famed garage. I tasted brand
new Zin, Napa Cab, mountain Syrah and tons of others. We must have
wandered for a couple hours, he and I.

I walked out with 2 2005 Napa Cabs of his that was made from expensive
grapes harvested around Thanksgiving that year! They ended up throwing
away 75% of what they bought. So I have a feeling that this will be a
very good wine.

Wintertime in Santa Cruz 2

Wintertime in Santa Cruz 1

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Friday, December 19, 2008

Thursday, December 18, 2008

And just like that...

...the sun comes out.

In Absence of You

I'm quite proud of the album we just wrapped up. I produced Christine McCrudden's debut record, In Absence of You, and it's now available for download on her website here.

Some new wintertime music...enjoy. I mean, it's not a Christmas Album. But it's releasing just in time for your holiday drive. Oh, and order the whole CD since Holly did the art work.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Christmas Card Photo

Sorry, we won't be sending out Christmas cards this year. So here's a
snapshot of our winter wonderland from the street.

Wet Floor

This afternoon I brved blizzard-like conditions to get a couple
cappuccinos. Looks like others had done the same.


It's really snowing outside. A couple inches sticking so far. And apparently it's supposed to last through the day into tomorrow.

Here's a shot Holly took out the window upstairs...

First Snow

Saturday, December 13, 2008


One of my favorite SNL sketches of all time...

I, (not) Artist

I have been wondering these past weeks if I'm less of an "artist" and
more of a "sloppy engineer who doesn't respect rules if they are

I have been aware, for a very long time, that I am very left-right
brained. I'm an 8 who is locked up by empathy and people-pleasing. I'm
a walking paradox.

And this helps make sense of my feelings of fakeness around "real
artists" and of course around non-rule-breaking types as well.

I'm not talking about the definition of artist that says everyone is
one. Of course I know I am one in some sense.

But I'm not an Artist. Or at least I don't fit nicely into that
category. Which–as soon as I'm ready to pat myself on the back for–I
realize that it also means I hardly ever do anything way better than
anyone else. I'm not specialized or really uniquely gifted.

I'm not even particularly interested in reading artist (or even
musical) publications. I don't read books about business or branding.

I'm kind of a professional poser. Holly is a much truer artist than
I'll ever be.

This isn't some pity party at all. Just a strange semi-public
recognition that I make my money in a field that I only sorta swim in.
But it's a convenient category to slip into for some time while I get
my shit together.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Almost Done

One coat of clearcoat laid. One more to follow.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


This morning they came to power washthe floor, essentially arresting
the chemical reaction. The clearcoating will enhance the colors even
more while sealing the floor as well.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Staining the Floor

Chris came back today andbput some Mustard Seed stain down. This
evening, we decided to add some Potter's Wheel. Should end up fairly
terra cotta-ish. Tonight this dries as it chemically reacts with the
cement. Tomorrow he'll rinse the floor with water and lay on 2 coats
of clearcoat. Mmm.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Staining the Basement Floor

Chris came over today and groundboff about 110 pounds of concrete to
prep the floor for staining tomorrow. I'll post pics as we go.

The basement is almost finished!


Holly and I are excited to be part the team crafting CONSPIRE! It's gonna be a quarterly publication, seasonally informed, and distributed communally for the most part (that is, you need to know someone who knows someone who knows someone to get it).

Anyway, it's call for articles, artwork, images, poems, short stories, photographs for the first issue. Stuff is due into the editorial team by Jan 9th I believe.

Read below for the "official" call for entries...

Call for visions and voices in our premier issue.

Spring 2009 (March) : Resurrection Stories

At the core of all Christian belief is this bizarre, astonishing, and absurd claim: That someone who was executed and killed came back to life three days later. Most of the time it seems that church folks allow that belief to be a safe, abstract spiritual idea without really grappling with its claim on their lives.

Does the resurrection of Jesus actually have an impact on our lives, personally and communally? Have we felt resurrection in our own experience? Has the resurrection story transformed the way we lived into certain situations or utterly changed the way we looked at our options? How?

Have we gone through real deaths – losing someone we loved, bathing and embalming
the loved one’s body marked by brutal violence, or feeling our hopes and possibilities crushed – only to come out at the other end, more alive and on fire with hope?

Or is resurrection the ultimate Christian mind-game--a story so hardwired into us that we are programmed to find resurrection whether or not it is actually there. Are our resurrection stories a placebo to cover up meaningless suffering and loss? Do we call things resurrection when what we actually mean is that we have gotten over some death and moved on?

This inaugural issue of Conspire! will launch around Easter, 2009. In it, we invite you to share your musings on resurrection. Your stories may come from your personal life, or from the life of your community, or from the world around you. How have you experienced world-shattering hope, good news that turns you upside down and changes your life Рand is more than a spiritual clich̩? Maybe resurrection happens in sly, subtle ways (after all, only a handful of people saw the risen Jesus!). Maybe resurrections are there all the time Рbut we finally learn to open our eyes to see them.

We are looking for various kinds of materials:

Articles: Articles can range from 200 to 1,500 words. We are looking for material that is personal, engaged, provocative, challenging – not scholarly, not too heady, but neither too simplistic or pious. Most articles should relate to the specific theme of the issue, though we will occasionally consider others as well.

Artwork and Photography: Do you have an eye for the visual image that compels our attention, draws forth deep resonance in our spirit, unveils the unseen beauty around us – or maybe is just cool? Let’s see what you have –maybe it fits in our pages.

Poetry: Do you weave words that yield the shock of beauty, the jolt of insight, the opening of new awareness? Send something our way – no long epics, please, no piety set to verse.

Short Fiction: Are you a spinner of yarns that probe the human condition, that navigate the interstices of meaning and mystery in our experience? Maximum of 1,500 words.

Reviews: Are there some great books, films, art, blogs, or other media out there that can spark our imagination, challenge our paradigms, empower us in our subversive revolution of love? Let us know – in under 500 words. (Note: Reviews do not have to tie into the theme of the issue.)

The deadline for submissions is January 9, 2009.
Send manuscripts, queries, ideas to:

No large image files, please. Small, low-res jpegs, or links to online galleries.


Conspire! is a quarterly publication that shares stories of community, revolutionary love, and creative new visions. Conspire! stubbornly insists that small, daily acts of faith, conviction, and integrity can change the world.
Since Conspire! is just starting, we are not able to offer compensation for articles at this point – but we certainly will provide you with a subscription!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Holly's New Blog

That's right. Holly has a real blog now. Not just our Pax blog or her art blog. It's hers.

And she's turning 30 this month. Oh, and she's the shit, so check it.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Showing Our Holiday Colors

Caprese salad and Neighbors over for dinner. Mmm. And it's 32 degrees

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Good Ole Days

Oh wait, I took this pic this morning!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

The Kindness of Strangers

Last night was really fun. We grabbed an okay dinner at Cava and the
headed to The Aladdin. We arrived as the opened was clearing stage.
Sweet. Oh and as a side note to my SF friends, we found free parking
about 100 feet from the venue. That is unheard of back in The Bay.

So we find a seat. This will be the first OTR show we will see that
doesn't require us to stand. Ah...for an old man like me, I am very
appreciative of this.

Just before the show started, I went back for a second glass of
Rioja...or was it a Sangiovese? And the bartender remembered me and
gave Holly a free glass on the house. Nice!

After some conversation with those around us, the show started. It was
basically the same show we as a year ago but with great pedal steel /
electric guitar player. About three songs in, we were out of wine
again bummer.

The folks next to us who we had been talking with got up to get drinks
and came back with two bonus glasses of wine for us! "Welcome to
Portland," they said.

Wow. I just love it when stuff like that happens.

Monday, December 01, 2008


Just like a true believer, I am truly skeptical of all that I have

More Like Fall Every Day

Europe Anyone?

Holly, Pax, and I will be taking a 6-week trip to Europe from the beginning of March through mid-April. It'll be part family vacation (with my extended family), part chance to see friends, and all pilgrimage (as usual).

Right now, we're hoping to spend a good deal of time in Paris (with great friends), see French wine country (but where to begin?!?), do a week on Costa de Sol (with my family), and then possibly revisit Switzerland or venture out to (N) Ireland or perhaps even Croatia.

Here's the deal: We're still mapping out our itinerary and we're trying to keep all reasonable options open. We will be traveling with our 2 1/2 year old, so...

But, we're wondering if you either 1) Have a place/people you suggest we connect with or 2) Would be interested in hosting some form of The Cobalt Season show or 3) Have free lodging that you'd like to share. :)

Can you dig? Email me or comment here please.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Portland Sunset

I hope to take many of these. Perhaps I'll even try for a sunrise as
well. Well...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

From Tree Farm to Front Room

All in an afternoon. It's been so great to have family and friends in
town. We live a rich life indeed.

Gettin' Our Tree

Tis The Season

I might be a day late, but my contribution to Make Something Day is
traditional egg nog. True, it won't be ready until Christmastime, but
it's a process begun now. And it's coming on the heels of an amazing
Amber I brewed for Thanksgiving. Yah, I'm in the zone.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Got My New Shoes On

I seldom buy myself new clothes. Part of it is simple non-neccesity
and part of it is cheapness. I can throw down tons of cash on a nice
meal, but you'll almost never see me sporting expensive
clothes...unless someone has given them to me.

Well today, after putting it off for many years, I bought myself a
nice pair of boots. Inspired by all my man-boot wearing friends, I
joined the ranks of the fashionistas. Well, my socks still droop and
I'm still wearing boxers from college and these pants have holes near
no mans land. But they do match the nice H&M sweater Craig-Lora gave me.

Yah, I'm The Shit.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thanks Nelson

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, "Who am I to be brilliant?" Who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking So that other people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us: it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, We unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, Our presence automatically liberates others.

I know many folks have referenced this, but it comes back to me from time to time as I reflect on the guilt and fear that keep so many of us shackled. The self-hatred that we carry for knowing our influence in the world.

I have had conversation after conversation about the place of the educated, middle-class white American male in this world. There is so much grief around our history.

But is refusing power better than using power? Aren't all great movements of the people realized when they found their found their voice...and their ability to influence. Isn't that why we tell story? Because we feel that we must influence one another? Perhaps that sounds a bit strong, but...

True, influence for power's sake is a most dangerous place, but ought we deny the soil beneath our feet? It tell us where we stand. And we must not lie to ourselves.

So where do we go from here?


They Frame Our Memories

Haunting My Kitchen With Brilliant Light

More Ghosts

Ghosts in Our House

The light has been falling in beautiful ways around the house.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Cloves Smell Like Fall


Who bought us a gift subscription to this magazine?

Ryan Sharp

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Back to Work

It's fun to be back, producing other artists. If you're a singer-songwrite who's looking for a hand recording a record, hit me up. And check out some of the stuff I've done for other artists here.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seattle Sunset

Washington Countryside

I'm taking a 3.5 hour ride on Amtrak to Seattle to spend 5.5 hours
there and return home after dark. Hoping to be inspired by Mr. Pete
Rollins, connect with a handful of folks, read some of Middlesex and
look out my window and (hopefully) see Mt. St. Helens.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Two nights ago, I slept like crap. And then I woke up vomitting.
Holly's dad (who is with us this week) caught the bug as well.

So yesterday I was in bed all day. Aching, feverish, queezy. Finally
started to feel better around 7pm. Crashed just after.

And this morning, Boom! Holly's got it too. I still feel heavily
drugged on Tylenol PM.

I hate getting sick.

Ryan Sharp

Monday, November 10, 2008

Sunday, November 09, 2008

The Weather

I thank the Infinite every day that we have sun. I am looking forward to the rainy season, but I also know that once it's here, it won't be leaving quickly.

The last few days have had very, very slight showers followed by sunny afternoons. So yesterday, we bought a tree and a few shrubs (yes, now I have shubbery). We planted them as well as some blueberry bushes in the back. They already look beautiful.

This is the smoke tree we bought...

Saturday, November 08, 2008


Yet another meal from Pine State. Yum. So grateful they're a block away.