Kilo Charles Six VHU: I received my first Amateur Radio licenses in January of 1991 at the age of 49. As a kid in the mid-west I had a radio shack in the wash house, an outbuilding where the women folk did laundry; it was filled with old Atwater-Kents, Philcos, Crosleys and whatever else I found in the junk yards. I'd go there at night and sneak cigarettes. I could bring in WSN in Nashville, Tennessee, XERF Del Rio, Texas and other far off stations. I could bring in some DX (foreign stations) on 41 meters and some hams on 40. The aerial was a run of wire I thumbtacked to the peak of the house roof some ... May 18, 2008, 5299 reads


Janine Brown: An Excerpt From An Artist's Journal: I These paintings are a road.  No, it is a road these paintings are on: the buying of the paper, the place to work, the drawing, the hanging up and the putting down, into the portfolio and out of the portfolio, a little more work, another trip to the art store; thinking: the painting or the road? The thing and the process: the gallery, the showing, the slides, the mats, the portfolio, the viewers, the comments.  Where, what is this road? The shapes, the forms, the colors, composition.  It is not a picture of the road. It is the road. Like life. It is not the breakfast, the ... Feb 10, 2009, 4343 reads


Give Back What Was So Clearly Given To Me: Conversation with Matthew Kowalski On June 26, an artist will hang 16 abstract paintings in a bustling downtown restaurant in Oakland, Calif., preparing for a one-man show. To passers-by, the scene probably will look routine. But the artist is Matthew Kowalski, and his story is anything but ordinary. Kowalski was a homeless drug addict and alcoholic who lived on the streets of San Francisco for 27 years, battling addiction and mental illness. At age 42, he decided to get sober and began the long journey toward recovery. Today, Kowalski, 54, is a certified addiction counselor and professional artist. He is healthy, sane, ... Jul 13, 2010, 6231 reads


Interview with Peter Kingsley: Remembering What We Have Forgotten  Discovering the writings of Peter Kingsley (In the Dark Places of Wisdom, Reality and now A Story Waiting to Pierce You) reminded me of what a mystery it is to be alive. One is always forgetting this, especially in this era of science's stupendous discoveries and the seemingly daily advance of techonology. True, things are changing so fast today it's hard not to feel baffled. But it's progress, right? Isn't the double helix of DNA known, the human genome mapped out? Aren't quantum physicists now "talking with the mind of God"? And isn't it just a ... May 21, 2011, 59533 reads


Bhutan's Gross National Happines: A Conversation with Anne Muller I first met Anne Muller at one of’s planning meetings. It was a surprise since I hadn’t expected anyone outside our usual group. Anne Veh introduced Muller, telling us her friend had recently returned from a photographic project, something about “gross national happiness.” About what? My attention suddenly piqued. In fact, I felt a little disoriented. It happened that our meeting was being held at Leah Perlman’s Happiness Institute, a name I still wasn’t quite used to.      “Gross national happiness—did I ... Aug 15, 2012, 3527 reads


A Conversation with Jane Wodening: Doors of Perception Anne Veh told me about Jane Wodening. She told me Jane wrote about animals, about the intimate life of nature around her. That her writing was like no one else she knew of. Then she thought. "Well, maybe Barry Lopez." Anne spoke about Wodening with both fervor and reverence. She was planning to include Jane's books in a big exhibit at the diRosa in Napa, California. Maybe Jane would come out from Colorado. It turned out she did and I got to meet here at photographer Linda Conner’s home in San Anselmo. I remember being struck immediately by ... Aug 1, 2012, 9843 reads


Combat Papermakers Drew Cameron and Drew Matott: An Interview in Two Voices Papermaking is an art of transformation. Papermakers recycle local plants, old clothes, and rags—break them down and reconstitute the fiber as paper. In a radical new version of “swords into ploughshares,” papermakers Drew Cameron, an Iraq veteran, and Drew Matott, an activist artist, have taught 100s of war veterans to slice up their combat uniforms and to transform them into paper. Cameron and Matott call their process “liberating rag” and the fiber that results “combat paper.”      Invented in 105 AD in the court of the Chinese ... Jun 7, 2011, 20061 reads


Steve Karlin and Susie Bear: Over the past year Pavi Mehta, Chris Johnnidis and I have been visiting a wildlife sanctuary in Half Moon Bay to listen to and record the remarkable animal stories and personal journey of founder, Steve Karlin. Sitting on his back porch one day last spring, Steve casually alerted us to the piercing cries of a young red-tailed hawk above and motioned us, mid-sentence, to look beyond the fence at a bobcat moving stealthily in the tall grass. To be in Steve’s company is to be reminded that the vast play of nature is all around us, and visible if only we cultivate our ears to hear and ... Nov 22, 2013, 29968 reads


Three Short Pieces: The Post Office; Time-Sensitive; Reckless Abandon The Post Office I have an incurable love for lines at the post office. This is a luxurious indulgence, I know. The kind important people can ill-afford. But I am comfortably insignificant. Nothing catastrophic happens to the world when I am made to wait for indefinite periods of time, so I am at liberty to love these lines and the speed of molasses at which they move. They give me opportunity to admire the cheerful competence of our postal workers. How brisk and good-natured they are. Even the curmudgeons among them, the ones who speak sharply, criticizing sloppy packaging, pointing ... Jan 23, 2014, 21743 reads


Half a Mile from Taos Pueblo:      Walking a dirt road about a half mile from the Taos Pueblo I happened to meet an old man who lived there and was walking home. I had a paper bag with two chocolate covered donuts in it, so I offered him one.      As we walked we bit at the sweet treats and talked about one thing and another. But you know how it is when you look ahead of you on a long stretch of road in hot summer and you see the undulations of heat flowing horizontally in the distance? Well I was seeing that and, even though we spoke only of casual matters, I was sensing something ... Oct 26, 2016, 1926 reads


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712801 views

The Dumpster      “We can’t use these. They look like ... Read More 130530 views

Cotton and Silk Vorbeck quilt, detail I’m working on the last panel of a pair of ... Read More 6311 views

Remember to Remember - Nicholas Hlobeczy I had the pleasure of getting to know the late Nicholas Hlobeczy over a ... Read More 88203 views

A Conversation with Silas Hagerty I met Silas, a young man in his twenties from New England, at a ... Read More 56869 views


A Man Impossible to Classify One of my first experiences in San Francisco was of being flagged down by a ... Read More 712801 views

Interview with Bill Douglass—Jimbo's Bop City and Other Tales At the time I'd first gotten to know the widely respected jazz musician Bill ... Read More 359605 views

Greeting the Light It was thanks to artist Walter Gabrielson that I was able to get in touch with ... Read More 290661 views

Interview: Gail Needleman Gail Needleman teaches music at Holy Names University in Oakland, California. ... Read More 179272 views

Interview: Stephen De Staebler John Toki encouraged me to interview his old friend and mentor, sculptor Stephen ... Read More 149062 views