Current Reading: Fast Track Photography by Dane Sanders
Current Music: A Different Kind of Wild by Bill Deasy
Mood: Happy
Sounds: Printer
Smells: Coffee
Temperature: 32 degrees light snow
Thoughts: Music is Good for You – Link from Integration Journal



Be sure to check out Elizabeth's blog for our Saturday with San Mar Children’s home.

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 50 mm
ISO Speed: 100


I’m Number 51, AGAIN

I’m angry, it happened again…fifth year in a row; I’m number 51. People magazine just listed 2008’s fifty sexiest men alive. They never print, publish, promote or publicize number 51. Just an Oh-So-Close e-mail, yet again. Then I noticed that most of the men are members of the cult (oops) club (oops) church of Scientology, check out this list. At this point I can no longer stand being number 51. As of this moment I dedicate my ego and all my good-lookingness to the cult/club/church of Scientology. Move over Oprah, I’m jumping on your sofa.

Good reasons to become a Sciencetologist:

- They don’t go to war

- They only accept beautiful people

- You become automatically rich through osmosis or by the company you keep, or something like that.

- Tax exempt status – that’s why they only accept the rich

- Jenna Elfman (she’s pretty)

- Done the Christian/ Buddhist thing: Service to others, practice forgiveness, mindful of my actions, and I suffered. That is so two thousand year ago.

- Get to be immortal. Come on, that’s just cool.

- Story of Xenu is better than Star Wars.

- Sciencetologist lawyers kick ass

- South Park dedicated a full episode to satirizing Scientology – this only happens to famous and successful people. When’s the last time anybody satirized the Presbyterians?

- If Kurt Vonnegut would have conceived the idea of Scientology instead of L. Ron Hubbard nobody would have a problem with it.


First snow, autumn fall colors disappeared. Trees hibernate, beautiful and haunting standing strong as soldiers. Blue clouds lined with a pink hue fill the horizon. I am standing at a window resting on the wood seal frame looking out on the season. White-blanketed grass, cars dusted over and I listen to music as coffee brews.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 29 mm
ISO Speed: 1000


Completed – Peak Conditioning Project

Starting weight 171lbs (goal weight 165lbs)
Current weight 162lbs
Height 5’9
BMI 23%

After 90 days I can say that I am in the best peak condition of my life. This is what I learned. I have an enhanced sense of personal responsibility to stay in balance within mind, body, and spirit. Corinthians 6:19, “Your body is a temple.” This passage holds true. A temple on the outside, stand tall and strong on the inside it is a place of quiet prayer and meditation.

Week nine I wrote,

"At this stage I am seeing my body as a thought process. Meditation and prayer are equal to but not greater than diet and physical strength training. There is no difference between physical and mental effort. "

That’s it; the lesson learned is balancing the internal and the external of your body.

Lastly, what I learned is that it will take another 90 days for my ego to deflate. So if you see me flexing in a mirror or checking out my own reflection it’s ok to giggle….my wife does.

For more information see: Peak Conditioning Project (be sure to check out the sidebar links)
P.S. to read my previous posting on my PCP click here


5 Question Interview Series with Peter Kater

Peter Kater is a Multi-Platinum Selling pianist-composer, Kater, has received 5 Grammy nominations in the last 5 years and has scored over 100 television programs and films including 11 Off and On-Broadway plays. He is also a proud recipient of the prestigious Environmental Leadership Award from the United Nations.

Kater graciously agreed to take part in my ongoing “5 Question Interview Series

How long have you had an interest in healing music?
I think since I was a teenager I was attracted to playing music that simply made me feel "good". There was a lot of family stress, illness and death around me and suddenly my music veered from Rock and Top 40 to my own improvisations. And in playing these improvisations I felt I was somehow helping to bring myself into a greater balance and deeper peace.

What is healing music and methods for stimulating healing?
There are many theories around what healing music is. I've read many and studied a few. But it's my belief that the most poignant and powerful healing music comes when the composer or performer (in this case, me) is expressing from a deep place of healing, presence and peace. There has to be a huge degree of acceptance and inclusion energetically. The mind needs to take a back seat and allow what's "essential" to emerge. In a sense, one must access the "divine" from within and communicate it thru one's instrument.

What was the “click” (or) “it” moment of your life that you knew that healing music was a passion that you needed to explore and develop?
I never had that "click" or moment. I've always had a sense that what I do naturally and easily is in many ways my strongest and most unique expression. Even though I've explored and will continue to explore other forms of music and sound, my love for music that heals and brings peace to my Self and others will always be where I return to.

What inspires your creative process to write music for the sole purpose of healing? Better question yet, how do you know when music develops into healing music?
There's a certain kind of "listening" that's essential to creating what I would call "healing"music. I've always said that music is not really a "Creative" process. It's a "Receptive" process. People that pride themselves in being Creative are often coming from their ego and are trying to take credit for what naturally exists in all the Universe . . . Creation. Every moment of life and every aspect of life is miracle of creation. There is no linear or tangible explanation for how all this exists and why. Life, in itself is the ultimate creative act. And that includes every moment, circumstance, person and living thing. And since everything is alive you don't have to look very far for inspiration. I don't try and write music for the sole purpose of healing. I allow myself to be a vehicle for the expression of what's "true" in any given moment. And what's "true" is everything, not just the pretty stuff. But all life is an expression of light and dark, happiness and sorrow, birth and death. To deny one is to deny the other. One needs to embrace all of it to become whole.

Your current collaboration CD: “In a Dream” with Dominic Miller is transcendental music. It has quickly become one of my all time favorites. Do you think that you and Miller will have any future partnerships?

I truly hope that Dominic and I will do more music together. And I think we will. We have a synergy together that I think is very beautiful and interesting.

***Bonus Question***
How does a guy who is born in Germany and raised in New Jersey develop a passion for Native American music, which led to winning United Nations Environment Leadership Award?
I guess one step at time.


Current Reading: We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For by Alice Walker
Current Music: The Very Best of Echo & the Bunnymen
Mood: Existential
Sounds: Random noise
Smells: Coffee & apples
Temperature: 44 degrees
Thoughts: What if shadows could talk?


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 30 sec (30)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 34 mm
ISO Speed: 100


The World Must Be Ok

(48 hr of perspective)

3pm Election Day November 4, 2008 – I voted for the first time. No long lines, no lines at all, no campaign supporters pushing pamphlets at me and no protesting crowds. Only two college kids guiding me through the election process. Not sure if I feel a sense of pride or disbelief that my vote will effect change positively.

7pm sitting in a bar waiting on election results. I ordered a draft beer. The bartender places the mug in front of me with an orange wedge on the brim of the glass and charges me $4.80. The patrons are talking about the NFL, pizza, and cheap gas prices and I just ordered a five-dollar beer. The world must be ok.

Twenty-one months of following this election, I just acted on my civic duty and I sit alone in a bar drinking overpriced draft beer. Watching the lives of other people I open my journal to write. Loud crash of breaking dishes from the back of the bar kitchen bring the crowd to a hush. Smiles, giggles and a sense of – glad I didn’t do that to bring life back into the clientele. The TV channel is turned from election coverage to college football reruns – the world must be ok.

7:30 pm I write a letter in my journal to my daughter. I title it “Life”, it’s a love letter of sorts with lessons that I hope to teach her. A little boy runs into the table at which I sit. He and his family are sitting across the room from me eating pizza. He asks me “watch you doing?” “Killing time”, I told him. He responded, “ok” then he ran back to his family and his pizza. Left the bar to pick up my wife. She was at a coffee house attending a meeting. I walk to the coffeehouse and order peppermint tea.

8pm voting polls close on the East coast and the first election results are in.

11:01 pm Barack Hussein Obama is our new president elect. “We the People”, the ancestors of the founding fathers of the constitution chose hope and change for our country. It feels good. The world must be ok.

11:30 pm I check on our sleeping daughter; so cute. She rocks herself gently from shoulder to shoulder when she is sleeping and wiggles her bum sometimes. I smile and try not to giggle aloud. I stand over her crib and I think about how she will never have to understand that the world she fell asleep in is not the world she will awake to. The world has lost enough, for this brief moment the veil has been lifted.

6am Wednesday the 5th woke to a new world. The TV reports that the world likes us again, even the French. The planet celebrates the U.S. president elect. Russia moves their military forces towards Poland. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev delivered an aggressive speech against the US.

12 noon, lunchtime, decide to listen to conservative Rush Limbaugh right wing radio (the day after the election) for the first time. I thought it would be fun. I read The New York Times, The Economist, I listen to independent local radio and I am a fan of Al Gore. Basically I am the poster boy for all things tagged liberal fascist. Personally I always thought of myself as a conservative in lifestyle and liberal in my judgment towards others. I pay my taxes and if you want to marry a man, woman, dog or tree I do not care. Truth be told, I care if it is my dog but that’s it. After taking in some of their views you can call me a tree hugging liberal fascist. Upon my death I will stand in front of my God and let her/him/it judge me. Rush Limbaugh is loud and angry – we’re a socialist country now, shouts through my speakers. It amazes me how devoted his audience is when his job title is “On Air Personality”. Journalism is dead and we can’t even blame Rupert Murdock.

3pm listened to the Sean Hannity conservative right wing radio show. Hannity is hoping for the resurrection of Ronald Regan. Based on how the world has treated the teachings of the last successful resurrection I hope Regan stays dead; let him go the way of Buddha, his teachings have not been as badly distorted. This is what I learned from a couple of hours of conservative “entertainment” radio – if you want to be a Christian Cowboy listen in. The world must be ok.

8pm attended a lecture at Heinz Hall in downtown Pittsburgh with my father. Not sure why I always refer to Pittsburgh as downtown. The lecture is given by Paul Rusesabagina, the humanitarian of Hotel Rwanda. 6am I awoke to hope, 8pm I am listening to a talk about the genocide of Rwanda, Africa. I sit and take note of the living history in the flesh standing in front of me talking about the power of words and peaceful dialogue (to understand Hotel Rwanda read this…).

Rusesabagina talks about disturbing observers; people who only scrutinize the events but cause no change. Media, United Nations, Foreign Governments; none of them are peacekeepers or peacemakers. The phrase “never again” becomes again and again and again throughout history. In our current time we had the Holocaust of the Jewish people in Germany, the genocide of Rwanda and Darfur in Africa.

10:30 pm Walk out of the lecture hall never more aware of the birthright I have due to the soil I was born upon. Citizen responsibility towards a global perspective on civility, equality and human rights needs to be held by all.

11:30 pm flipping through late night news I hear the blurb “there is no more right wing politics, there is no more left wing politics, there is only forward or backward politics.” I like that.

1pm Thursday 6th I start writing this

3pm I complete writing: the world must be ok.


Abstract, City Night and Ambient

My wife and I took a late nigh stroll in Pittsburgh by the river. Long exposures, tripod equals some fun.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 1 sec (1)
Aperture: f/25
Focal Length: 70 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Murakami Tribute (of sorts)

Sunday afternoon, finished reading “Norwegian Wood” by Murakami. This was the last novel of his that I had yet to read. I enjoyed it. Four years ago I was handed “Kafka on the Shore” from a friend of mine that suggested I read this strange piece of fiction. I liked it too. I read the novel over the Christmas holiday, which, at the same time, I happened to be sick. Sitting alone when the rest of the world was celebrating the holiday I read Murakami. I became a fan.

Nowadays I wait for the next work of his to be published. I feel like a Murakami character myself, longing in a quiet existence for the new work to be released.

Prepared a pot of black tea, ate almonds and apple slices waiting for my daughter to wake up. Felt like listening to some music…turned on the ipod, Miles Davis “Kind of Blue”, the phone rang.