Raggin' Piano Boogie


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

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August 16, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

The good news of the day is that Mo is back to being able to jump onto the bed... into the truck remains to be seen. Someone suggested he might have diabetes as they know a dog that had hind leg problems because of that. My job is to not go into a fear of loss that he is dying and to simply observe in order to know what to do next. I went to the dentist and decided to not get my tooth pulled. As it stands, I'll live with the dull pain and hold off until I can't hold off any longer. As I do not have insurance and cannot afford for them to put me out, they will pull the tooth with nothing but local anesthesia. Ugh, big time. So today I got my teeth cleaned for the first time in fifteen years! The dentist was amazed at how good my teeth are considering... After that I drove with Mo to the mission to create music. There seemed to be a whole new crew of people coming in for dinner from the streets, over four hundred. You would be amazed at how many families eat there. The dinner started late so people who waited outside at the end of the line were turned away because I suppose they can start late but cannot end late.

I felt sorry for those turned away that had waited, especially when they still have food. Not right. Every time, people appreciate my being there and I feel grateful to be able to do it. Back at my room I'm dealing again with next door neighbors who are mental and have substance abuse issues. The last three tenants that occupied the room next to me have been evicted and management is going to complain because I complain too much? They need to address the problem of who they rent to. I can feel trouble enough to call police very soon and that makes be feel very afraid. Also, they might evict me for complaining. It has been done to others in the past. No sane person can live with insanity and we all are in very close quarters. The neighbors have yapping dogs that are driving me crazy while they are passed out in the room. I keep telling myself, "you've been through serious trouble with at least five neighbors in the past, you should be used to it. Do not be afraid." Problem is I cannot afford to live anywhere else so I just don't know what is going to happen. Nothing new with that! There are many aspects of this place that are perfect and it is a situation I cannot imagine finding anywhere else.

August 15, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Last night these guys we met wanted to know when we would be back as they really wanted to come back to hear more music. So, Alex and I agreed to go back Calico Basin at midnight tonight. Neither of us wanted to go but I am very responsible with stuff like this and Alex followed my lead to be nice. Being back in the desert night air with the silhouettes of huge mountains and their shades of color, the deep blue sky with sharp bright stars with billowing white clouds... and being alone in the silence, nothing can compare. Alex played music, I played music, her dog Koda who is a puppy was feeling rambunctious and Mo just chilled on the front cab seat of the truck. Mo as of yesterday has lost the ability to use his hind legs to jump into the truck and also up onto our bed.

I've always known he would eventually have problems because a beagle should not be bred with a bulldog. As a result his front legs work one way and his hind legs work another. Just below the surface of functioning I am totally freaked out, a little sick to my stomach, afraid and can cry at the drop of a dime in thinking about his life ending. Nothing... can compare in my life ever, to the love I have and the need for Mo, specifically Mo... in my life. And I have to keep my spirits up for his sake because his sensitivity and empathic nature with me is acute. He knows and reacts to how I am feeling exactly as I feel. The good news is that he was able to jump up onto the bed tonight. I don't know what is going on and just need to observe and not project.

August 14, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

My sleep schedule is feeling ok as there is no chance I can be going out in the sun and heat right now during he days anyway. Night time is the only time to be active outside. I was about to go for my usual downtown walk with Mo and my friend Alex called and mentioned she was thinking of taking Koda out to Redrock. I thought about it being ten at night and ten degrees cooler, the stars, the quiet, Alex on the piano... so we all went out together with my lounge chair and a bottle of wine for Alex. We ended up at Calico Basin with mountains around just us. It felt magical with the stars out. Alex played some Bach with Koda on the piano while I laid in my lounge chair looking at the stars with Mo in my lap. As she began to play I instantly began to cry.

Everything was so beautiful and as my eyes adjusted to the darkness, all the stars in the universe began to open up to me. Then Mo and I took a walk through the desert while Alex kept creating music. After we came back Mo and I jumped onto the piano while Alex and Koda went for a walk. A few cars arrived to hang out at about midnight and I knew they were interested so of course I invited them over for a Traveling Piano experience. I know how special it was for them and I felt really grateful to be able to share them. Really, I had no choice, it is what I do, my passion. While driving back to town I was thinking how Alex has been on the Traveling Piano more than anyone else and in more situations than anyone else after all these years.

August 13, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I slept until 2:30pm and needed that. With the temperature at a hundred and ten every day there is not much I can do so whether I'm working until five am or five pm does not matter. But... Mo and I did go to our weekly commitment at a place called "the field" where a dinner is served to people living on the streets and basic necessities are shared. It feels like morning when I do it having just waken up a few hours before so I have a lot of energy and can handle the heat. I've got it down to a system with putting an umbrella together for shade until the sun goes down and it was a very easy time. There are several people I've been getting to know and it feels good that people know me and feel safe around me. There are a few kids as well as adults that get on the piano every week now for a few minutes, the same people.

There is a couple and mother who I thought had a place to live in but today found out they have been homeless for a year and take a two hour bus ride to get to this place every week.They sleep in a field in Henderson, Nevada. Sometimes they go for dinner at the mission where Mo and I go to create music every Thursday and Friday. I had a talk with another guy who just shows up every week to volunteer and we talked about not getting too sucked into the energy and life style of people who live on the streets. At night Mo and I took our usual walk downtown and handed out a few gatorades to people laying on the sidewalks. With the mind of humanity getting seriously warped, taking care of people especially strangers is the way to go. No question about it. We need to care for each other now more than ever before.

August 12, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

What is happening in the world weighs on my mind heavily every single day. Sometimes I dream about it all night long. Knowing what I can do, will do and cannot do to help people and the world now takes constant, conscious practice and awareness. I know who I am and what I do is significant. As a child I was taught never to think that way as it would not be true, and I would be boasting. As an adult, having accepted myself and my significance it can be a burden because of the responsibility involved. Still, there is nothing but gratitude and appreciation in my heart as a result of it all. Being away from my place for three days babysitting my friend Alex's new dog with Mo has turned into a wake up call of how complacency is a killer for me in every way. I am sure age plays into it but trying to function in a different environment even for three days was excruciatingly difficult. I must stay active in pursuing my life because I've never been interested in withering away into nothingness from a result of complacency.

August 11, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Being tired now at this point of my life not only includes a fuzzy mind with little physical energy... everything hurts... my head my body, everything! Lol, we left from babysitting my friends puppy for three days. After midnight I came back to my place and collapsed from lack of sleep. I had a piano to practice on all three days and could not do it. Mo... he is also tired as Koda the puppy was on top of him incessantly nipping, pronouncing and jumping. It is a german shepherd who is growing so fast, it is already larger than Mo in just four months. I did some picture processing and spent time online with political issues. The cox internet I was using at my friends house kept blocking the vpn I use and I was too lazy to try and circumvent it so, I used their system I was astounded by the different search results... much more religious and pro-trump propaganda like more than fifty percent here in Las Vegas. They were search results I was not looking for along with the usual ad offers. The internet is becoming more censored according to who is paying off who, controlling or manipulating who. God help us.

August 10, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I took Koda with us to the mission center today with little sleep from last night. Dealing with a new puppy is a lot of work! Koda's momma Alex, will be returning from her trip tomorrow. Dogs, well behaved dogs and puppy's that is... are very therapeutic for people and the people I've been hanging around with over the last year need a lot of therapeutic-ness. Loving playful pups can really help with human spirit. I get therapy myself not only through Mo but through my musical improvisations with eyes closed and in a total escape... musical notes running through my fingers. Sharing the Traveling Piano with others is more than therapeutic... words cannot describe the importance and need of it for me.

August 09, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Playing at the mission very week here in Las Vegas is strange. My mindset, sometimes on automatic with my intent set, the routine... automatic. It still feels new after more than a half year. There was no automatic or routine for so many years. Some people who live on the streets and come to the mission, I watch them sit for as long as they can just to listen to the music. One guy came up to me and said my playing was fantastic but complained that there was too much circus music as in the Ragtime and Boogie Woogie. I was a little curt in the way I responded to him but thought afterwards how amazing that so many people prefer my improvisation over any other kind of music. Before he left, he came back and apologized. I constantly remind myself how difficult it is for people living on the streets in this heat and in general with the present state of the world. Empathy and compassion are huge tools for use these days when dealing with people for whatever reason.

August 08, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was sort of a lost day. I mean, every day I get things done but today, nothing of significance. I went to the dentist and mixed up my days as much as a week and a day. They are going to pull my tooth because I do not have the $1500 to fix it. Mo and I went to meet some friends and babysit puppy Koda for a few hours, my friend Alex's dog. Mo is a good mentor for him and Koda gives Mo some exercise. They like to chew on each other while rolling and tumbling each time they get together. With the temperatures averaging a hundred and ten everyday... there's not much we can do to get exercise. Even at night its dry and a hundred degrees although better than humid and a hundred degrees!

August 07, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I went to get my tooth pulled today because I don't have the money to fix it. I mixed up the appointment time. It is a week and a day from now. By then I hope the antibiotics I've been taking will kick in, to kick out the infection and buy me more time so I don't have to get it pulled. There is one good thing about the brutal heat we have been living in. I cannot remember the last time it was under a hundred degrees during the day. I'd go as far as to say a hundred ten! There is a small pool where I live and I no longer like cold water. I can go into this water everyday no problem as it is like hot bath water, lol! I enjoy it for about a half hour all by myself at night with Mo. Tonight, someone spooked him and he gave a good long and loud hound yell.

He knew it was wrong as I called him over. My dog is so amazing in how he will be totally submissive when told to be and with no fear of me. Also, I am constantly amazed at how as he gets older he keeps getting sweeter and softer in spirit. We communicate often through humor. I wish I could describe it and/or people could see it. He plays dry humor with me in reactions and responses and for himself as well as from me. Damm, I hardly slept last night thinking about the tooth then had to get up early to have my apartment stove fixed so I thought I'd be able to get to bed early especially after a walk in the heat after the sun went down and... its almost 4am and I'm still awake. Physically, there is practically no energy to be had but mentally... I am wide awake.

August 6, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Today was... at "the field" day and I could feel people suffering more than usual from the heat but... everyone improved as the sun went down. Seeing as I am beginning to know people from seeing them weekly I now see people swing through their phases of being sick verses healthy... whether it be mental, physical, spiritual or a mixture of those three, it makes me feel sad when I see someone I like not feeling well. I can only hope they will bounce back and so far they usually do. But when they are looking sick... wow, they look really sick. I'm talking about people who are living on the streets. The police were around doing whatever they do and therefore the numbers of people were smaller. That meant there was some food left over so I filled the back of the Traveling Piano with it and came home to give it to neighbors in the complex where I live. I enjoyed tonight with my community and about fifteen people got onto the Traveling Piano to play music and explore. It is beginning to become part of a weekly routine for several people. I even had a little time to record some music for myself.

August 5, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I had a meeting out in Summerlin, Nevada which is only a few minutes from Red Rock Canyon so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to record more music because I did not get enough done yesterday. I've been looking on maps everyday concerning the wildfires burning in California hoping and figuring out the smoke would not be coming this way. I figured wrong. Last night I sensed the haze might be smoke but today... definitely smoke and its going to be around in this intense heat for awhile. I did not let it stop me but by the time I left the area I had a headache and was very tired. It is bringing back memories of 2015 when I was staying in Lake Isabella, California. Living in smoke is not fun... at all. Mo and I headed for a favorite overlook in the canyon to record some music and I don't know why I make plans to record when I know there is no chance of that happening because of people who want to interact with us. Deep down this is what I want, to interact with people. I know this and it is why I go there. Part of me wants to deceive myself into doing it because it feels egotistical and selfish to fulfill my desires. I know that is just bad tapes playing in my head from childhood and they are one hundred percent incorrect.

Also, I know the energy it will take which I tell myself I don't want to put out. This all the while knowing I'm going to do it anyway and feel forever grateful and happy and full of joy from it. The way I must wrap my mind around my own thoughts and actions to do what I want to do is ridiculous. Ha, it is what it is. So... there was a lot of, "this is the best thing to happen all day", "I've been down this road a thousand times and today with you this is without question the best', "thank you, thank you, thank you", "you are the best part of my trip", "this is awesome, so awesome", etc... so... that was all just very fulfilling, validating and reassuring for my life. On the way out, I stopped along the road about a half mile off the main road where everything was silent and dark. I recorded my music to the stars that were so bright they shined through the smoke. Mo hanging with me, it was just perfect. Strange, how I've been thinking about the very spot as I've driven past it for over a year and it took this long to try it out. Now when I want to go create music in the dark just me and Mo, at anytime... I have a place to do that.

August 4, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

I woke up feeling amazingly insecure and then got it together to drive out to Red Rock Canyon as the Las Vegas astronomy group was holding an event for the community. Sure, I wanted to look through some good telescopes but the real reason I went was because we could stay in the park until ten at night. Usually the park closes at sunset around 8pm. We pulled up to a spot where I had been once before with no people so I could record some music for the website. That did not last long because the music could be heard in the distance and it began to draw people which led to Traveling Piano experiences. My friend Alex found us with Mo's new buddy Koda who is only four months old. Koda got onto the piano with Mo for the first time. Mo is so amazing with how he agrees to share his spot on top of the piano. The only thing that bothers him is how the attention is not all his.

Mo shows that displeasure by refusing to look at the camera for a picture. I need to catch him looking on the fly. Sometimes he just outright refuses to look, lol. I had to turn some people away because I wanted to go look through a telescope. I think it is something you need to take your time doing... like sitting and staring and contemplating that you are looking at Jupiter, a little white ball that is 600,000,000 miles from the sun. As I walked back to the truck I thought about how much more interesting it would be for me to go exploring the bottom of the ocean where I can experience earths reality more. Being in the cool breeze of the dessert, in the dark, in the silence with Mo and my music... just, wow! It is a very healing situation to be in. Connecting with people through that just creates a pure joyful, bliss. The mountains at dusk with their pastel shades of pink and grey, it was surreal.

August 3, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Saw a dentist today. To fix my tooth the crown needs to be taken off, and a half root canal worked on, with the tooth next to it... $1500. My insurance will pay for a cleaning and to pull the tooth only. So I guess if I break my arm Medicaid won't fix it, but... will cut it off for me and dress it nicely. Looks like I'm going to have my tooth pulled as in somewhat lose my chewing ability. First, I'm going to try for a miracle with some antibiotics. It was my first time to a dentist in ten years. Then Mo and I went back to the Las Vegas Mission center for our Friday commitment which is always good. There was a church group there volunteering with a musician member who they thought could just tell me to move off the piano seat and let him perform. Ha... not. First of all you ask, don't anyone assume they are just going to take my seat for themselves. Next... I put a huge amount of energy into this commitment and I've been with it one hundred percent for over a half year. Mostly though, when people try to do this they are not about any humility, they are just out to perform, not share what they have to offer for others, its mostly ego and that ain't gonna happen on my time, tied in with my agenda. The kid started with acting like he was interested in me until he could slip in that he wanted to play. Then he literally tried playing on top of my playing he was jonsin' for the piano so bad, lol!

I just couldn't give in even though I am a huge giver. His agenda was not pure enough for me. Just like when certain people do work for Jesus, in the name of Jesus. Jesus wants them to give of themselves not because he says they must give of themselves. He wants them to give... for themselves not for Jesus. Do you get that? If giving is from obligation and expectation... its not from a place of truth and humility. That church can schedule their performing member on any of the other of the five days when I am not there each week. On the way out I saw cases of water they had brought for people. All over the clear plastic holding the bottles in the cases were bible verses scribbled in black magic marker, verses with the word "Repent" written in large letters. Lol, that is so obnoxious to throw on people having a tough time in life. Nothing like using and insinuating guilt to indoctrinate, eh? What bullshit! Mo and I had fun at the mission and afterwards... the downtown First Friday event that I "used" to play at in my neighborhood. For over a year I've been sitting with the Traveling Piano on my neighborhood corner for my neighbors where nothing else is going on. I told myself to skip it tonight with the temperature a hundred five in the dark, after playing at the mission... and being emotionally drained from the dentist venture... it would have been too much.

August 2, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

Thank God for commitments... these days, ha! All those years without commitments on the road free wheeling it, the no commitment life style was great... when I had the resources to do that. Living in one place... the no commitment life style is not so easy as complacency and distraction and my mind where I go to play while forgetting that most of the toys are broken sometimes... can really create a mess for my world. Mo and I headed for the Mission Center to create music for about 600 people coming in off the streets for dinner today. With the fact that every person living on the streets is the truest of individuals, when they interact with me, the shows of appreciation, care, fun, friendship and respect... it is never the same... each person is different in their way and I am always constantly amazed with gratitude.

August 1, 2018

Las Vegas, Nevada

It was a strange day. I can't use the air conditioner for my truck because it is so old. Mo and I drove around for hours in a hundred and fifteen degree heat with car wind and waiting for traffic lights looking for a dentist. All I need to do is drive up to a place and see what it looks to know whether I want to go inside. They were all store fronts, disgusting and dirty and commercial from the outside. So after a few hours Mo was not able to take the heat anymore... back to my place and I worked on Traveling Piano processing, researching a dentist, etc... (which I found and made an appointment for on Friday hoping I can get through my ache and pain till then) In needing funds... I have a way to create a non-profit but that is just opening up a business which is not a problem except that it would be the end of the Traveling Piano. The dynamics would change there is no way around the fact that non-profits have agendas to make money in order to work.

My way, the way this journey has been successful for all these years is to not have any other agenda except for fun, friendship and respect funded through private, individual contribution nothing official, no bureaucracy. If I go into sponsorship, a non-profit or anything else... all the last twelve years will be negated. People will assume with their thoughts, what are used to and have been conditioned into thinking. The Traveling Piano is difficult now for people to understand in seeing that no money is exchanged with it and there is no organizational agenda. People will by nature apply a non-profit or business route to the entire last twelve years. For the first ten years ninety five percent of the funding came through my own money. The last few years ninety five percent has been through one contributor who's funds are quickly running out. I know, I'm all over the place but... do you know what the worst thing about Las Vegas is? The traffic lights! You wait at them forever, worse than anywhere else I've been in the country. But think about that. If traffic lights are the worst thing... this is a pretty terrific city to live in.