April 11, 2021
The following is what was on the home page in March 2021:
Current projects include:
Rehearsing my Sonata in G with Valarie Howington, one day we will get to play it for you.
I have been working on a piece, The Gathered Meeting for a couple different ensembles.
And, another video music project with Michael Callan.
January 4, 2021
Got our COVID-19 vaxs today at the Wakulla County Health Department in Crawfordville, Florida. Everyone was so nice and professional – it was a wonderful experience. Even those arriving with a bit of anxiety were relaxed when it was all completed – and we had waited our appointed 15 minutes before being allowed to leave.
We started the day with a bike ride together – my usual loop, out the front way 2.5 miles to the St Marks Bike Trail up to Woodville, then back into the neighbor’s access road, and in through our back gate. It comes to 6.27 miles according to MapMyRide, it includes about 1 mile of sand roads, which today were in good condition after last week’s rain and a full day to dry out – sometimes they can get deep. I figure par for the ride is 40 minutes, the fastest I ever did it was 38 minutes, today was 41 which is good. Traffic was not bad, just a few vehicles passing us – people are almost always polite with bicycle traffic, I have only had two encounters with rude, getting run off the road type situations.
I played though my Sonata in G twice this morning, but have not recorded anything yet. Yesterday I attended a really fun jam session at Ben’s back patio – The Lab Cat’s with the Dog & Pony Show – it was a bit chilly, but it was sunny and we had a fire going in the bowl – a wonderful and thoroughly needed relief. It was the first time playing music with actual people since the Old Porch Swing date last month.
January 3, 2021
I did actually get the studio back in operation by 8pm yesterday. Since I’m heading out for a jam session this afternoon, I will exercise the studio tomorrow. YaY!
Also, we go to the Wakulla County Health Department for our COVID Vaccine tomorrow. I can’t help but feel that we are crashing the front of the line, but there is no reason to believe that anyone more deserving would get it instead. Statistically, a nearly 70 year old guy with a heart condition would be toward the front of the line, but we never felt particularly vulnerable mainly due to our knowledge of Homeopathy, but of course that doesn’t figure into anyone else’s equation – and we have been following the protocols of social distancing and mask wearing.
January 2, 2021, 10:30am
Going to set the studio back up today. A few weeks ago I finally broke down and bought an equipment rack so I could get rid of some other furniture that was taking up space and clear desktop space. That has worked wonderfully, but of course, in the process I took down the recording setup part of the studio. I plan to get that operational today, we’ll see how it works out 🙂
January 1, 2021
I have examined my ancestral heritage lately and know that there has never been great wealth in my heritage on either side of my family, but there has been a tradition spanning 300 years of stable family life and home ownership – the very elements that have been deliberately denied to those brought to this nation from Africa to labor in the fields, and to their descendants.
As one studies this history more closely it is found that the treatment of this imported labor was completely intentional and came in the form of Labor Policy. Racism is completely baked into US policy since Bacon’s Rebellion of 1676. The moneyed class learned then that the most effective way to keep the labor class dependent is to keep them disconnected from each other – if poor whites distrust and fear the other, labor will not be able to unify for the greater good. The moneyed class of that time cared nothing for the greater good – it was costing them. Thus began a system of racial classification in law. Laws against intermarriage appeared, and laws forbidding ownership of property and access to the courts.
Nearly 200 years later, and despite hopes for real change during the Reconstruction of the South after the US Civil War, it was doomed from the start. The wording of the 13th Amendment to the US Constitution did not end slavery as a practice, it merely moved it under the control of the criminal justice system.
Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.
It did not take long for White governments to figure out how to write laws that would easily make it possible to incarcerate Black males. Vagrancy statutes accomplished that task easily – once poverty becomes a crime, the rest is easy. After all, there was already a well practiced system of policing organizations whose original purpose was capturing and returning runaway slaves.
May we have a blessed New Year, and really, I do not plan to talk about this stuff all the time, but it is important.
To Begin a New Year, 2021
8pm – Dec 31, 2020
Jim’s Studio in the Woods, Wakulla, Florida
The assumption is that there may be something to say, a story to be told. What does it take to support a blog? Really need to write in it everyday – it’s a public diary.
I have come to understand that my family has never had any particular special privilege in this nation, except that of being white. Ancestors on my mother’s side had been landed gentry before the Scottish Civil War, but landless peasants in County Tyrone in northern Ireland before migrating to America in 1684. Descendants from that family became land owners in Washington County, PA in 1784 due to their service in the Continental Army during the war of independence from Britain. Others on my father’s side of the family, came from County Tyrone to southwestern Pennsylvania also in the 1790’s.
The native population of that region had been mostly driven out by then. There is some family lore about women seeing some Indians passing by in the back of the property through the kitchen window, but by then they were already a defeated people. There is nothing else in any of the family lore I have come across that speaks of any more interaction with the prior inhabitants of the land they lived upon. My people also had no interaction with Africans as far as I have heard.
I hear fireworks going off all around me. There is happiness in the thought that this year is now all but gone.
Dec 30, 2020
There are memoirs to write, music to present, conversations to be had. I have taken stabs at blogging before, and this is yet another. Seems with everything swirling around us there must me something to say.
Also this is part of a project to finally sit down to learn how to work WordPress. I have been paying hosting rent at GoDaddy for more than a few years now and have not ever taken advantage of all the neat stuff there is to build websites with these days, And, I have simply depended on all the html I learned in 1994. So, anyhow this page should be enabled for blogging before too many hours pass, I really have no idea what I need to do to enable it, but I spent years of my life figuring out exactly how to make stuff like that work so I have confidence:)