Hello from Jenkintown, PA! I'm back East visiting my family and our cabin in Sumneytown, PA. It's the place on Earth where I feel most at home and so I've had a dream for a while - to spend my birthday there! Well, unless there's a tornado, I'm there now! That's the view from the patio earlier this week.
One thing about being out here is noticing how different things are in PA compared to Portland, Oregon. I've had a theory for a while that things like having legalized cannabis and a Blue legislature are having an impact where other places feel like they're falling behind. I feel that when I'm out here. It's hard to really put my finger on, but I bet others are noticing this, too. Places that are more progressive feel like healthier places - my guess is people live longer and there's less stress. There's probably even more going on - I wouldn't be surprised if there's an education gap happening, too.
Meanwhile, you may have noticed that there was no 11 during the month of April. Last month I was traveling with my brother, sister and 3 cousins (Dan, Sarah and Rachel). We traveled to Kansas City to hang out together for a long weekend. It was a blast - and there is evidence of the fun, here . I never thought I'd enjoy Kansas City, but it turns out to have quite an interesting history and has encouraged my love of jazz even more.
Then, back in Portland I dove back into my work with a group to eliminate gas-powered leaf blowers. With help I developed a website for the effort and we're making progress. Check it out - bring this effort to where you live - it turns out that the soup that these machines kick up is possibly lessening everyones' lifespans (not to mention the sound pollution and the health of the operators! Not good!

If you're ready for a break from the serious - give Reggie Watts a try . He's one of the most interesting cutting-edge comedian/poet/musicians I know of and I've been really enjoying his work for years.
Here are a couple blog posts I wrote recently - the first is an on-going project I'm very excited about
Friends Nextdoor

How to build a group of friends using Nextdoor and other online tools. Problem: It's nice to have a group of local friends - the closer in proximity, the better. Here's a path I'm using towards that end. Enjoy

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Card Decks I Admire

Here are a variety of decks that can be useful for creating closer connection among you and friends and family. See what you think.

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by the way, one reader pointed out to me that it's not just me obsessed with the #11 - here's a whole town that has 11 on the brain!
On the political front I'm still advocating for a couple bills in the Oregon Legislature - go SB 861 (makes it so that you don't have to put postage on your ballot when you mail it back) and HB 2007 - has to do with lessening the amount of diesel particulates in our already terrible Portland air...On the national front, I have to say something I've bumped into that's keeping me sane and hopeful is an almost daily newsletter called Through the Looking Glass . If you want to receive it you send an email to the author Robert Hubbell @ . And, I'm pleased to see all of the brave Democratic contenders who will run against the Republican candidate in the 2020 presidential election. I don't have one favorite - I like a lot of them and in combinations (Warren/Harris, anyone?) - but for now I feel like my efforts are better served continuing to push back against Trump & Co.

If you're curious about my schedule for this Summer - I outlined that in the March 11 , and not much has changed :) Except it seems that Singing Alive is the same weekend as the ecstatic dance weekend. I'll most likely be at Singing Alive as I'm prioritizing making music. Esp. after reading this article about how attending live music events lengthens one's lifespan :) I figure playing music has got to be even better!

Well, that feels like a great place to stop. It's an interesting thing - balancing visiting the East Coast while keeping a life going on the West Coast. I've never felt it as starkly as this visit. All of the community-building activities I've been doing in PDX are really paying off these days - my life there feels full. So much so, that I decided to cut my visit to the East Coast short because there are some things I really want and need to attend to back West! HB 2007 , for instance :) And, I have 3 house concerts that I'd like to organize. If you're interested in joining my house concert list, please click here and that will sign you up.

I hope life is treating you well. Happy birthday to me. It says 58, but I still feel a lot younger :)

My Dad just asked Alexa to play Gordon Bok - he's an artist I grew up listening to. That's a cue to head back into the living room and hang out with him - you don't get to hang out with your 83-year-old Dad every day :) Here's a song Dad sings a lot , btw.

Much love,