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Mittwoch And More

April 15th, 2020 20 comments
Flight testing the Phantom 3 Standard

Flight testing the Phantom 3 Standard

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

My Phantom 3 Standard is about to find a new home so I thought I’d fire it up an reacquaint myself with its vagaries so I can show Justin, our chef, how to fly it.

Justin and the kids leaving the facility

Justin and the kids leaving the facility

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Yeah, its been a while since I flew this bird so it took me a minute to figure it out. It doesn’t use Ocusync as a flight system like the more modern birds do. That said, once I got back on board it worked perfectly. Justin’s going to love this UAV if he can keep the kids from crashing it.

Meanwhile one of the blessings about living where I do is that it is a sparsely populated tri county area and I’ve got 126 acres of my own to play on not to mention the Farmer’s Market in Athens which brings up the next subject… fresh lamb. Ok… so we got the lamb last Saturday (baaaah) and grilled it last night… gotta love the grill. Vanessa made the crudités:

That's what I'm talking about

That's what I'm talking about

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Then my main course:

Lamb, new potatoes, roasted red peppers and flat bread

Lamb, new potatoes, roasted red peppers and flat bread

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

What’s not to like. Notice Dad’s old Phillips radio. It’s over fifty years old and today is still the source of my NPR news in the morning.

Yep, only 28 degrees this morning, but the grass is still growing

Yep, only 28 degrees this morning, but the grass is still growing

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Every night is movie night here at the Fur Peace Ranch. The other night we saw Unorthodox on Netflix. I always meant to read the book and now I think I will. Four hours well spent. I’m also revisiting The Strain. I loved it the first time around, and it seems truly timely today… vampires notwithstanding.

The ladies settling in for  movie

The ladies settling in for a movie

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

OK… Smiles is working on building a bridge across the mighty Shade River so we can easily hike the rest of our property. Good stuff in this time of personal limitations.

Now… Saturday the 18th of April another grand streaming show from our very own Fur Peace Station.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_bV3AKkEPW8&feature=youtu.be

As always… be there… or be square… and stay well!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Venues Tags:

Another Evening From The Fur Peace Ranch And Easter Sunday

April 12th, 2020 24 comments
Alone at the Ranch. The POW/MIA flag is in tatters. Waiting for the new one to come.

Alone at the Ranch. The POW/MIA flag is in tatters. Waiting for the new one to come.

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

So here it is on an overcast Easter morning. Our family celebrated Passover in our own way here at home. Vanessa and her sister Ginger took Easter to their mom, Virginia who is in a rehab facility recovering from a fall. The girls will be outside Ginny’s window with decorations, signs and well wishes. That’s just how it is here in Southeast Ohio and I imagine everywhere there are people with common sense.

Well, we had our second edition of our Saturday Night WWC concert series last night and we had a great time sending it out to through the ether. I want to thank Myron Hart for leaving his lair in Johnson Hollow to do sound and production and Andie Walla for leaving her infant son at home with dad to do for us what she does so well: direct and produce video! Our daughter Izze ran the long shot camera again and did a pro job. Thanks Izze! Of course major thanks and kudos go to Vanessa, without whom none of this would be possible. Love you girl… always! Our Ranch Manager, John Hurlbut made the 20 some mile trek from his home on the other side of the county to Join me for a song. I’ve have to pleasure and honor to accompany John over the last who knows how many years. Tonight he and I wanted to play a song honoring John Prine, may his memory be a blessing. We picked Angel From Mongomery. Many thanks for this John… on many levels brother. I’d also like to thank the many folks who donated money last night. We will use this to keep the production going until the war is over. Your collective generosity is muchly appreciated!

OK… here’s the set list:

Jorma Kaukonen 2, 2020
#2 Of The Quarantine Concert Series
Live From The Fur Peace Ranch
Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, April 11, 2020

1. Second Chances
2. Ice Age
3. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
4. Trouble In Mind
5. Living In The Moment
6. Sleep Song
7. Genesis
8. Angel From Montgomery with John Hurlbut
9. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
10. I Am The Light Of This World
11. What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
12. Embryonic Journey (using my original J-50. Guitar and mike. no electronic BS)

That’s about it for this grey Sunday. We’ve got some fun stuff to break out next Saturday and I’m sure we’ll be chatting as the week evolves.

Stay well…

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

A Trip To The Market On State Street

April 11th, 2020 22 comments
Doing what we must...

Doing what we must...

Selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

Saturday morning… our daughter Izze is still asleep. (Every night is movie night here. Night before last was Dogma. Last night was Inception.) Nessa and I climbed in my truck and we headed into town to Farmer’s Market on State Street. I’ve take some motorcycle rides and gone out to fill up the truck when cheap diesel manifested itself, but this was the first time I was around other people besides my immediate family. Interesting to say the least. It was more than orderly with everyone keeping their distance.

Good food, good meat. Getting late...

Good food, good meat. Getting late...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Nessa is a vegetarian but she still knows where to find the good stuff… and this is the place for good stuff. Today, steaks… and from another booth, lamb chops. One of the many blessings we get from living here (aside from not being surrounded by people in times like these) is that ‘farm to table’ is a way of life not an expensive specialty. Moving right along, masks or not, we all seem to recognize each other. I ran into Nessa’s sister Ginger in time for a cheery ‘Hello!’

We've got to start meeting like this...

We've got to start meeting like this...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Shopping done, we stopped by the Donkey where I got my usual double shot of espresso. Gotta support the places that are still open!

OK… tonight… Another free streaming show from the Fur Peace Ranch at eight o’clock.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wTLGKvG4U0

Be there or be square.

Obsessed?   Nahhh...

Obsessed? Nahhh...

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts, Venues Tags:

Friday Moving On…

April 10th, 2020 15 comments

John Prine’s death took us all by surprise even though I guess in retrospect we might have seen it in the wind. Rest in peace John… your work here on earth may done but we will be wrapped in your spirit for a long time. What a powerful legacy although I imagine that’s a small consolation to his surviving family. Your are all in my prayers.

There’s no good time for bad news and that bad news put some of my daily ruminations on hold, so I will take this opportunity to release them from their confinement.

Almost a week ago Nessa and Izze and I climbed into our truck on a beautiful day and drove to Athens town for some takeout from the Casa Nueva, our local ‘Counter Culture’ Mexicanesque restaurant. My two favorite times to eat at the Casa are breakfast and dinner. I’m not really a lunch guy except when the Fur Peace Ranch is in session, of course. I tend to be a creature of habit so my breakfast order is almost always their scrambled tofu (which is totally awesome in utterly unreplicatable at home), a side of their more than killer bacon, dry wheat roast and whatever their homemade jam de jour might be. Eating breakfast out is a social event for me so the takeout b’fast is not on my to do list. Dinner, however, is another story. At the Casa I always get the #3 dinner. I’ve been ordering this for twenty years. It’s a chicken enchilada with black bean sauce, rice and a small cheese empanada. I forget what the girls got but with take out in hand we got back in the truck and drove over to the river by Parks Hall and found a socially distant spot under a blossoming cherry tree.

Great day for a picnic

Great day for a picnic

Timed selfie by Vanessa Kaukonen

It’s chilly here today. There was a freeze warning last night. Big change from the high seventies/low eighties you see in these pictures. Ah, April… gotta love it!

Anyway, back home Vanessa ( the four leaf clover whisperer) found what might have been the first emerging four leaf clover in our little yard.

Bingo... it is found!

Bingo... it is found!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I did get several really good motorcycle rides in while the weather wasn’t bone chilling and there was almost no traffic on the highways and back roads. Not a big surprise but thoroughly enjoyable.

It’s Friday as I write this and tomorrow will be #2 Of The Quarantine Concert Series, Live From The Fur Peace Ranch. I wanted to research some lyrics for some tunes I haven’t done in a really long time. I needed to check out some lyrics and the info I needed was unintelligible on youtube so I went down to the old studio behind our house and started looking through my CD collection. I needed a tune from Too Hot To Handle. I was halfway through the Jorma/Hot Tuna/Jefferson Airplane CD collection when… there it was! The Too Hot Too Handle CD almost jumped in my hand!

Awesome!

I opened the jewel case… it was empty. Good grief. I’m sure that album is somewhere on line, but I couldn’t find it. I went to my vinyl shelves. I never got rid of any of my vinyl so these records (and they are records) go back over fifty years. Anyway, right under my hand as I pulled back the Indian bedspread that keeps dust off all this stuff was the Too Hot To Handle LP with the shrink wrap intact.

In living color...

In living color...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

I thought about playing the cut I needed on Dad’s old Denon turntable via the Marantz pre-amp on it’s way through the Austin and Michaelson TVA-1 power amp with the JBL 4312’s as a final destination but what the heck. I took the LP up to the house, cut the shrink wrap off and put it on the Rega turntable through the NAD Stereo Receiver 7155 with the music reaching my ears via a matched set of Polk Audio speakers. The speakers and the NAD came to live with us when my dad passed away in 1997. That gear still sounds great. Anyway, I heard the song and got the missing verse I needed. (I’ll be doing this tune on the show tomorrow night so I’ll be back later to talk about it.)

Vinyl… cool. Brings back memories of when listening to music was a appointment experience. Finding the sweet spot… digging the stereo imaging, the whole sonic deal.

OK Nuff said for now. If you haven’t done so, please subscribe to the Fur Peace Ranch YouTube channel. It doesn’t cost a darn thing and the numbers really help us out.

Here ya go:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wTLGKvG4U0

Catch you in the internet ether…

Stay well!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Time

April 8th, 2020 22 comments

We were watching a movie with our daughter last night. It was an old Brad Silberling flick called City Of Angels with Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan. Sort of a 90’s piece about living and dying, love and loss. I wasn’t sure whether our teenager would grok this flick but at the end I think she dug it on some level.

As the movie was winding up and coming in for a landing I heard a gasp from Vanessa on the chair next to us. ‘John Prine just died…’ And then nothing. I was and am, profoundly moved.

Of course John’s music has been a part of our lives for a half a century, more or less so in a way I felt like I knew him. In the early 90’s when the Kaukonens had just moved to Meigs County we forayed up to Columbus and saw co-bill with him and Nancy Griffith. It was delightful. I remember he was digging in on a little finger picking vignette between verses and he looked out on us in the audience with a sly smile and in a sotto voce stage whisper he confided in us all. “Pick it John!’

Good stuff, and a nice memory.

My first meeting with John was at the Love For Levon Save The Barn Benefit on October 3rd, 2012 at the Izod Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey. There was a massive aggregation of amazing talent there that night and I found myself sharing a dressing room with John Prine and Alain Toussaint. There I was in a room with two men whose music had helped to garnish my path in life.

It was an amazing moment. Alain was gracious but regally distant and that was more than OK. John and I started to talk and in that moment for some reason, I felt like he might have been one of my old friends from the neighborhood in D.C. where I grew up. We talked about this and that and I remember that I told him about the Fur Peace Ranch and how much I would like to see him up at our place. I think we talked about motorcycles too. Well, that’s how I remember it so I’ll just say that’s just how it was. We would see each other one more time at Merlefest down in Wilkesboro, North Carolina. I would not see him again.

Somehow, I see a point in all this. Why should the death of someone I really barely knew affect me in such a profound emotional way? Last week I got an email from a friend from the American School where I studied back in Manila in 1957. An old friend Donnie C. had just passed away. Donnie was one of the first people who befriended me when our family was posted to the Philippines in 1956. As a Foreign Service brat, those first moments in a new post always seemed life threatening. She made me feel welcome. As time passed we all went our own ways and the last time I saw her was in 1963 at Mills College in the East Bay of San Francisco. I always wondered what happened to her as we sometimes do with old friends we don’t see, but I never followed up on it and life happened between then and now.

Momentary intersections that sparkle like diamonds in the long road of an almost eighty-year-old man. As I write this I am having coffee here at the Fur Peace Ranch in the midst of trying times. We are all surrounded by a world-wide pandemic… WW C as I choose to call it. Regardless of national allegiance or any other artificial boundaries we choose to tribalize ourselves with, we might have come in on different ships, but today we are all in the same boat as they say. With death truly becoming a more than a noticeable part of our daily life how can I pick who to mourn? Well, there are plenty of candidates to pick from so maybe it’s just being touched in a random way by the hand of time… and maybe it’s just bathing in the reality that time is all we have until it’s gone.

The COVID-19 virus is taking so much from all of us, but for us older folks… it’s taking time. It’s putting a full stop to all those things we think we might get to one of these days, calling this person… writing that one… whatever, all those things that might never get done because the universe doesn’t wait for good intentions.

Well… John and Donnie are just two examples for me of this malaise… this inertia. Some things that are put off will always be left undone and that too, is just the way it is.

From Connie Kaldor’s Thin Thread

‘Life is a thin thread
It’s a thin little hand on a hospital bed
It’s all of the things that you’ve left unsaid
Life is a thin thread
Its a fine line between loving and not
Between holding it back or giving all that you’ve got
Feeling you’re free thinking you’re caught
It’s a fine line’

There is still a lot left to do!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Sunday Morning Getting Up…

April 5th, 2020 32 comments

With apologies to Kris Kristofferson 🙂

Neighbor Donnie's field...

Neighbor Donnie's field...

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Indeed life has been disrupted for the world in these days of World War C, but for some life just goes on. It’s little hard to see in the picture above taken from my back porch but here’s the deal. I was pottering around the Ranch getting ready for the live stream last night and I heard this noise. ‘What the heck is that?’ I thought. I looked down over my little road to the A-Frame and there was my neighbor Donnie on his John Deere discing the field. Part of that field is ours but we don’t do anything with it so we let him farm it. Anyway, those of us who live in the country immediately recognize the sound of a full sized tractor… not one of those fancy riding mowers with a hydrostatic drive. Yep… if the cows are going to eat, silage must be planted virus or no virus. It just reminded me yet one more time how fragile our time on this planet is. Yeah, it’s all well and good for those of us who have ‘non-essential’ jobs to shelter in place while someone else does our shopping for us, keeps the power and water on and delivers stuff from Amazon Prime. As we grains of sand get shaken in the cosmic sifter, it will be interesting to see who’s left at the end of the day.

In the meantime, I’ll take the win… and for us here at the Fur Peace Ranch the win was pulling of our first live stream concert during the Pandemic. Big thanks to our videographer, Andy Walla, who left her husband and infant son at home to direct the show from the ‘flight deck’ backstage. My good friend Myron Hart who is always there for us and our daughter Izze, who ran one of the cameras. As we all know here, the real captain of this ship is Vanessa and she was and always is everywhere making sure everything works. If you’re one of her Facebook buddies, then you know about the mask projects she has been into with the help of her sister Ginger and her mother Virginia.

Anyway, here’s the set list from last night’s show:

Jorma Kaukonen 1, 2020
#1 Of The Quarantine Concert Series
Live From The Fur Peace Ranch
Fur Peace Station
Darwin, Ohio
Saturday, April 4, 2020

1. San Francisco Bay Blues
2. Heart Temporary
3. Blue Railroad Train
4. Been So Long
5. Sea Child
6. In The Kingdom
7. Good Shepherd
8. Brother Can You Spare A Dime?
9. Let Us Get Together Right Down Here
10. Water Song…

oops, and Barbecue King in there somewhere… 🙂

Thanks for the good questions you sent me via Vanessa. Sorry we couldn’t get to them all… more next Saturday.

Big kudos to all those out there in the ‘real world’ keeping our society staggering along. Medical pros, first responders, folks on trucks, in the service sector… hey, I could go on and on. You are all appreciated.

That’s about it for now. As always…

More will be revealed!

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Set Lists, Thoughts Tags:

Saturday Morning

April 4th, 2020 49 comments
Saturday morning at our place

Saturday morning at our place

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Well here it is Saturday morning and indeed… it is a new day. Had a lovely morning walk with Percy, our manly Chihuahua and Maverick, the Big Guy, walked himself. A new day today, as it is every day. Took a few steps back before moving forward, some outstanding early morning breaths in the frosty 36 degree weather. Moving right along indeed. My David Flammang J-35 will get the call to serve tonight although I will have two old friends on stage with me for inspirations. You will see my 1958 J-35… the guitar that my musical identity sprung from and my 1936 Gibson Advanced Jumbo. (Well, this one was made in 1997) This is the guitar I cut Blue Country Heart with. Never had electronics… never will. Anyway… I’m fired up.

Morning light on the Station Stage

Morning light on the Station Stage

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

There are still many things in life to look forward to. This may be a small one, but I’ll take the win.

Have a great day all, and see you tonight on the stream.

Here’s the link again. Be there or be square.

The Fur Peace Station awaits!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75XiVQiWvlM

Ahhhh

Ahhhh

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

Moving Right Along!

March 31st, 2020 38 comments

Our daughter Izze and some friends got together in front of a friend’s house and, standing six to eight feet apart sang her Happy Birthday. That’s what I’m talking about. Now she’s hiking in the woods. Over the weekend I did some hand mowing in the yard.

Took a while to get it started, but it did start!

Took a while to get it started, but it did start!

Foto by Vanessa Kaukonen

It’s really early in the season, so yard work is still fun.

The forsythia edging the parking lot in full bloom!

The forsythia edging the parking lot in full bloom!

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

Moments like this are an opportunity to pass on things one should have passed on a long time ago.

My grandfather's chair...

My grandfather's chair...

Foto by jorma Kaukonen

My grandparent never threw anything out and never got new furniture, no matter how uncomfortable the old pieces might be. When they passed away in the early 70’s these chairs went to mom and dad and pretty much lived in the garage. When mom and dad passed away in the late 90’s they came to live in our garage. They have now gone to live with our friend Maureen and hopefully they’ll find a place in her Air B ‘n B. That’s progress.

Sunday was Vanessa’s birthday and she and Izze and I went to town an went for a socially distanced walk by the cherry blossoms by the river and then, it being such a beautiful day I came home and took a drone tour of the empty Fur Peace Ranch environs.

All we're lacking is people...

All we're lacking is people...

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

The trees will green out soon

The trees will green out soon

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Today our videographer Andy Walla came by as well as my good bud Myron Hart and we set things up in the Fur Peace Station for a live streaming concert that I’m planning to give from the FPR stage this Saturday night. That would be the fourth of April. I’ll be sure to keep you all posted on this and to make sure that you have have the correct link. I’m very excited about this. Even though our theater will be empty I’ll be playing from the stage, using the PA etc. etc. I hope you will be there to hear me play and probably blather on.

Myron and I... socially distant but still friends!

Myron and I... socially distant but still friends!

Socially distant selfie by Myron Hart

That’s about if for today.

For us… so far so good…

Hope it’s that way for you too!

PS Here’s the link for Saturday’s show:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75XiVQiWvlM

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch, Thoughts Tags:

The Week That Was With Warren Haynes & The Boys

January 25th, 2020 20 comments
Myron and Me on the plane...

Myron and Me on the plane...

Selfie by Myron Hart

Monday last Myron and I saddled up and headed down to Runaway Bay to join the rest of the Hot Tuna gang, Warren Haynes (who was ramrodding the show) the North Mississippi Allstars and more.

A little bit of sun

A little bit of sun

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen

The weather came and went, but what the heck… it wasn’t snowing.

The trio... in aspect and attribute

The trio... in aspect and attribute

Foto by Phil Jacobs

(Think Jack Vance, ‘To Live Forever.’)

Hot Tuna 1, 2020
The Electric Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
And Justin Guip
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1. Letter To The North Star
2. Been So Long
3. Walkin’ Blues
4. Talkin’ Bout You
5. I See The Light
6. Living Just For You
7. Bowlegged Woman
8. Can’t Get Satisfied
9. Sea Child
10. Watch The North Wind Rise
11. Hit Single #1
12. Good Shepherd with Luther Dickenson
13. Encore: Baby What You Want Me To Do? With Luther Dickenson

Luyther sits in on Good Shepherd and more...

Luther sits in on Good Shepherd and more...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then Warren graciously dealt the Tuna gang in.

Big jam...

Big jam...

Foto by Phil Jacobs

Then Jack and I did a duo…

Good times...

Good times...

Foto by Suzy Perler

Hot Tuna 1, 2020
The Acoustic Duo
Jorma Kaukonen & Jack Casady
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Tuesday, January 21, 2020

1. That’ll Never Happen No More
2. Vampire Women
3. Come Back Baby
4. I Am The Light of This World
5. River Of Time
6. Death Don’t Have No Mercy
7. San Francisco Bay Blues
8. How Long Blues
9. I See The Light
10. Keep On Truckin’ Mama
11. Sleep Song
12. Good Shepherd
13. Encore: Trial By Fire

The loveliest night

The loveliest night

Foto by Jorma Kaukonen…

Then Tuna was scheduled to play an electric set… but we beat the rain by going indoors and playing an ‘acoustic’ set in the dining room… with drums.

Hot Tuna 3, 2020
The Acoustic Trio
Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady
& Justin Guip
With Govt. Mule
Runaway Bay, Jamaica
Wednesday, January 22, 2020

1. True Religion
2. Hesitation Blues
3. Serpent Of Dreams
4. Barbeque King
5. Nobody Knows You When You’re Down & Out
6. Trouble In Mind
7. I’ll Be All Right Some Day
8. Too Many Years
9. Keep Your Lamps Trimmed & Burning
10. I Know You Rider

Yep… rain notwithstanding, it was a really good time.

Tomorrow Hurl and I are heading to Sanibel Island for two weeks of Fur Peace Ranch Winter Workshops On The Road.

More will be revealed…

Just A LIttle More in 2020

January 7th, 2020 18 comments
The Captain contemplates himself and the Labyrinth

The Captain contemplates himself and the Labyrinth

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Here is it January 7, 2020. The whole family has been sick since we got back from Florida. It is indeed that time of year. Seems like I’m on the back side of it today… thank goodness. Not much has been getting done except getting the kid to and from school and volley ball. Being a parent seems much more significant than the music business!

Thanks to the idiots in this world, there are many more drone regs in the offing and lots of geofencing and firmware updates which I did yesterday. Today I initialed everything and flew both my birds successfully.

If it were greener, it could be the Shire.

If it were greener, it could be the Shire.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

It was below freezing this morning but it warmed up and the dogs are enjoying some outdoor time. I’ve been playing my new Flammang guitar and loving every minute of it. I’m going to upload one more drone shot and get back to doing some picking.

Lovely, lovely day.

Lovely, lovely day.

Drone shot by Jorma Kaukonen

Hopefully I’ll be able to get back into the gym after dropping the kid off at school.

Categories: Diary, Fur Peace Ranch Tags: