The Eleven September 2019

The Eleven – September 2019

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Creek near Carson, WA
I hope you’ve been having a great Summer. If this is your first time here, welcome! I’ve been writing this newsletter, The Eleven, since 2008 – that’s right, 11 years! How time flies ūüôā This month I want to share with you some thinking I’ve been doing about world/neighborhood change – the concept is basically issues vs. candidates.
There are many ways to effect change in our world, and boy does it need changing. From logging old-growth forests in the PNW to climate change, we have our work cut out for us. There seems to be mostly one path towards change that is encouraged in our society and that is getting behind a candidate or political party. If that’s exciting to you – by all means – I do think it’s a valuable service – especially voter registration and voting! And, the type of work that is involved in politics is not for everyone. It can often be confrontational – and I think the biggest problem might be our inability to get behind leaders. Leaders are people and people are fallible. We want perfection in our leaders and it’s just not going to happen. So, we get stuck trying to get behind Warren, Sanders, Harris, or a local leader and then feel disillusioned when their humanness is revealed. For some, it’s no matter, and they’ll keep on fighting for their candidate(s). For others, though, there seems nowhere else to go where one can make a difference. I think issues are a great place for many people to put their energy.
The Case Against Leaf Blowers by Singer
I’m going to use an example that I’ve been working on for the past year. Eliminating gas-powered leaf blowers (GLBs). If you’d like to receive news on this topic,¬†click here¬†.
About a year ago I met Michael Hall at a candidate meet and greet for Joanne Hardesty who was running for Portland City Council (she won!). Michael had just written an article I’d read about gas-powered leaf blowers and raised the issue in this meeting. That led to our meeting and Michael invited me to join a group of people who meet at his house every 2 weeks to discuss what we can do to eliminate GLBs in Portland and beyond.
There are a lot of interesting aspects of meeting together as a group (homemade baked goods being one of them!). There is a lot of warmth, shared vision, and a chance for group members to shine, successes, challenges – just like with a candidate running for office. The difference is that if one stays with the issue there’s a real chance that something can be changed. Long-time readers of this newsletter know that I’ve been involved in societal change for most of my adult life.

How to use to effect Neighborhood Change

I posted an article about my love of and why it’s useful a few years ago. Since then, my thinking about has changed and grown. I see Nextdoor as a much more powerful tool for neighborhood change than I did in the past.

Read more

Working on an issue rather than via a candidate or party really is a completely different thing.¬†Here are some issues¬†I’ve been working on at the neighborhood level. There is something about working with a small group, too. So, if any of this has resonated with you and you have room and interest in your life to make a difference at some level in society, pick an issue and see what you can do. If you’d like to discuss which issue might make the most sense for you to get involved in,¬†please write me¬†and let’s talk.
On a personal level, I’ve been doing a bunch of yoga lately. I got to visit Breitenbush for 3 days last week, which is one of my favorite places on Earth. Last weekend I attended Epic Jam #2 in Carson, WA ( pic @ the top ) – and got in some great playing with some of my favorite musicians. This week I get to hear one of my musical heroes – Martyn Joseph, of Wales, perform in a house concert and Dave Bromberg on Saturday! Btw, I didn’t make it to Burning Man this year – though after attending so many years sometimes it feels like I’m there while the event is going on ūüôā
Here comes Fall. I hope life is treating you super fine.
Keep in touch and let me know how things are going.
PS – If you want to keep up with politics I’ve found an interesting channel. Robert Hubbell of LA writes an interesting newsletter 5x a week and I’ve been very inspired by it. For instance, he encouraged people to put in their email signature lines with this note:
Visit to register to vote and to learn about voting requirements in your state. Tell a friend.
If you go here, you can subscribe to his newsletter. Like mine, you can hop off at any time.

The Eleven August 2019

The Eleven is my monthly newsletter for friends and family.

It comes out on the 11th of most months. You can sign up for it, here. Archived past versions of The Eleven, are over here.

Beloved Festival by Carlton Ward
Hello from the¬†Beloved Festival year 12 (photo above by Carlton Ward). I’ve been attending this one every year and it just keeps getting better. On Sunday, the 11th, 2019, it will be a late morning after a very long night for many of the attendees.
Before I start with a review of the last couple of months – please take a moment to donate to Amy McGrath¬†who is running against Republican Senator Mitch McConnell. Donate any amount. You’ll feel better after that.
Well, it’s been quite a full time on my end these past months. The main reason I didn’t send out an 11 for July was that I was busily preparing for the Oregon Country Faire. Here are some highlights from recent travels around the area.
June: Summer Solstice Healing Retreat @ Breitenbush – my 24th year. I started attending this event in 1995 when my friend Shelley G. asked if I wanted to travel from my new home, Seattle, and volunteer for something fun in Oregon. I had no idea how influential this event, Breitenbush, and the family I’ve met there would be in my life. It’s a sweet gathering where we all offer healing workshops for one another and I get to play a ton of music and sing my heart out. This year was, as they say, “the best solstice ever!”. Come join me next year – send a note¬†to be alerted when tickets go on sale (usually in April). It’s one of the most cost-effective ways to visit Breitenbush, too.
June: World Domination Summit: This was my 2nd year attending this incredible conference.¬†My write-up from last year still stands as an accurate reflection of what this is all about – how to live an extraordinary life in a conventional world. But this year I really dove deeper and tried harder to understand what was going on. And, I offered 2 meetups of my own to fellow attendees. Yes, it’s an incredible group of people from all over the world coming together for a week sans cynicism and sarcasm. And, when that happens, and people are there to learn from one another and collaborate on each other’s projects and personal growth – incredible results occur. I’m still in awe of my experience this year and bought a ticket for the final year, 2020. This is probably the most expensive ticket that I bought this year, but the price was worth it for just one day. Join me next year!
July: 2 weeks later I was helping out in the Wileyware booth at the Oregon Country Fair – 50th Anniversary. I finally realized that what I do at OCF is visit friends old and new in a 5-day long conversation-fest. I played music naked at the Ritz on Friday this year, which is certainly fun. And the Wileyware gang is a blast – our annual cocktail party on Thursday night featured many of my favorite musicians – Steve Bennett, Timothy Michael Shaw, and Katie Sontag. Overall, one of my best Faires ever. Then, it was home to rest for a couple of days before the …
Northwest String Summit or, Strummit as it’s known. This was my 4th year attending Strummit and I have to say it was one of the best musical highlights of my life. The quality of the music is very high – it’s mostly jam band/bluegrass – which I love. Think Danny Barnes meets Yonder Mountain String Band meets Dark Star Orchestra meets a bunch of traveling bands that you’ve never heard of who are full of such heart and stories it makes you wanna cry with joy. See below for some links to the Saturday night Yonder Mountain set and music by SideBoob (a collection of all of the women who play the festival who are available to play at the time appointed). Their outfits were incredibly outrageous this year. Strummit has some work to do to improve – some of the same issues I note in my review above from 2018 are still prevalent. I’m particularly concerned about the amount of time bright spotlights are focused directly on the audience and I’m working to try to get this across to whoever is running the mainstage lights. I’m mostly discussing this in the Strummit FB group. Btw, it would be great to have more friends at this event next year. Come dance with me!
August:¬†This past weekend my friends and I played @ Destin and Kellie’s wedding. That was delicious and fun – here’s a picture of me with Mt. Hood behind from Husum, WA!
Albert in Husum 2019
Then, there is the ongoing work with¬†QuietCleanPDX! I’m meeting with a group every other week to push for a ban on gas-powered leaf blowers. Check out our¬†Resources¬†page. If you want to stay abreast of what we’re doing¬†click here¬†and that will automatically add you to our email list on that topic.
I’m also still busy trying to protect and increase Portland’s tree canopy. I organized a group to go see Canopy Stories, recently, and that was fun and educational. If that topic interests you, join us in a group on Facebook.
There were also some community-building activities – I instigated a fun 44th Ave. SE block party on 8.2.19. It was the first time some neighbors who’d lived on the block for years had ever met one another. And, the mix of generations was awesome to experience, too. On another day I gave a lesson in “birthday autoresponders” to 2 local 13-year-olds while their parents watched. I’m trying to figure out how to pass along the knowledge I have about social media and email marketing to the next generation – because they are powerful tools if used well. I’m also playing way too much online chess on Just one more game…
Like you, I’m pretty upset about the gun violence that’s been happening. It’s the fault of Republicans and especially President Trump – that is where the blame lies – and I hope you’re excited as I am to throw them out of office in 2020. They are also responsible for our inaction on climate change. Until they are gone we can all keep speaking out and working on issues and for candidates who speak the truth and do not support white supremacy. I do have hope – and will continue speaking out.
In the meantime, I think it’s also important to take care of our health – physical and emotional. Do what you have to to get enough rest; drink water, and stay connected with friends and family. We will weather this storm – let’s do it together and laugh, cry and live in the world we want to see – NOW!
Take care and happy Summer.
PS –¬†Here’s a great set of music¬†by the Yonder Mountain String Band from this year’s Strummit.¬†And Sideboob’s show¬†– all the women who played at Strummit.
PPS – If you like the work I do in the world please take a moment and post a review in one of the spots below. This is something I asked of business connections, but I’d love it if you’d say something you would. Thanks!
If you are willing, I’d love your review on the following platforms. If you have a Constant Contact account a review in the¬†Constant Contact marketplace¬†would be fantastic.
If not, a review on, Yelp!, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google , would be welcome Рthank you!
I hope you’re having a great Summer.
Albert Kaufman
PS – if you leave a review in 5 of the 6 places –¬†let me know¬†and you will receive something¬†very¬†fun.


9.11.18 The Eleven

The Eleven 9.11.18


Well, how about that – Summer was here and now it’s waning! Booo! I hope you had a great one – quick – write me back and tell me something fun you did this Summer!

I had a pretty great Summer. Lots of music festivals (¬†see below for 2 reviews¬†) – mixed with trying to keep up with work and clients + tons of neighborhood activism! It all went well – I’m still digesting all of the experiences/people (that’s me & my music buddy, Alex down there)/camping/music/new songs/new friends/and a chance to continue saying goodbye to¬†Ben Bochner¬†– through a series of concerts, tributes and learning his songs.¬†Here’s the most recent show I was a part of¬†– with Tim and Karly at Artichoke Music.
If you’re a long-time Eleven reader you’ll know that I’m a huge proponent of focusing on population growth. The Portland Mercury had¬†an article¬†about the work of¬†The Voluntary Human Extinction Movement (VHEMT), recently. I’ve been a supporter of VHEMT since I learned of them in 1995 – our motto is¬†”¬†live long and die out¬†“. A while back I digitized a short, never-released film called¬†Thank You for Not Breeding¬†– by Nina Paley which shows¬†VHEMT‘s founder Les Knight and underscores the population issue in a clear way. It has 4 cute animated shorts, too. Nina, btw, is showing a new movie called¬†Seder Masochism¬†which I’ve been watching the creation of. Really neat stuff.
Thank You For Not Breeding - a short film by Nina Paley
Register to Vote
Give this a watch if you like movies and learning about an important topic.
Like everyone I’ve been paying close attention to (DO NOT LOOK AWAY) the shenanigans of the Republican party as they continue to lie, cheat and steal their way through 2018. I’m hoping, that donating and working towards mid-term elections in November will change the tide of our politics and hopefully send a message to the rest of the world that people can still count on the United States to be a rational actor on the world stage. I encourage you to work to make sure you and your fellow citizens have access to voting throughout the country. Republicans have been doing everything they can to steal that right for many years and that’s why we’ve had the politics; the Supreme Court; and the tax cuts for the rich that we’re suffering under now. Climate change is coming on strong and Republicans are not doing what’s necessary to protect us (or other species) from the worst of it – so, vote accordingly¬†. I am talking to everyone I know about encouraging those who don’t normally vote to start making the effort – this has to do with all of us – ask everyone you know if they’re¬†registered to vote and if they plan to vote and talk about it. If you want to talk to me about it – great, write me back! For those in Portland, I’ll be hosting a voting party a few days after we get our ballots in the mail – join in – it’s fun to vote together as a group and I suspect we’ll have a candidate or two in the house to say hello.

Btw, local elections matter more than ever this November. This election features some initiatives and candidates that need your backing (and stopping) and attention. Democratic Governor, Kate Brown is facing a tough re-election. She’s a great governor. I’ll share my voting recommendations in a future 11. And, feel free to dip your toes deeper in the water. Politics can be great fun – it’s a good way to meet people who care and often who end up running things. What’s the next baby step for you? What’s in your way?

Out of all the things I did this Summer I think the most inspiring had to be the¬†World Domination Summit (¬†WDS). I am finding that’s what I’m chewing on right now. I’d love you to join me there next year. It’s currently got me thinking about changing my dating strategy and upping my game in that arena. I’ve been doing OK Cupid for a while, but I think I might follow¬†Dustin Main’s example¬†and put up a special web page and tell you about it. If you’d like to help me get the ball rolling, please¬†send me a testimonial¬†about Albert ūüôā Thanks.

WDS has me thinking about who I am and what I have to offer in the world. Sometimes life is like that – you do something and that provides you with a mirror view of yourself. The me I experience when I’m around a lot of motivated and enthusiastic world-changers is different than my day-to-day life experience. Anyway, I’m still chewing and I’ll have more about this going forward. I do know for sure it’s helping me in my weight and fitness goals and I’m excited to see what areas it helps me to improve. Recommendation: attend a Meet-up group.
I have a lot more to say, and this feels like a good time to say goodbye. It’s Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. I wish you a sweet one – we celebrate with apples and honey (give it a try!)

Take care and keep up your good work.


Strummit 2018

Here’s my review of Strummit 2018. This was my 3rd visit to the festival and I think I’m on board for more more more! Here are some of the highlights and some suggestions to make the festival even better. Well before the festival began this year…

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Beloved 2018

This was Beloved Festival’s 11th magical year. If you know me at all, you know that 11s are a big part of my life. From my newsletter ( The Eleven) to my birthday (the 11th of May) – 11’s are key.

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L12 at OCF 2018.jpg
Here’s my Summer Schedule with updates in Green.
  1. July 11-15 – Oregon Country Fair, yes, of course ūüôā For OCF, I’ll be part of Booth L12,¬†Wileyware¬†–¬†So much fun – really the Oregon Country Faire is one of the best celebrations on the planet. Join the family.
  2. July 19-22 –¬†Northwest String Summit –¬†I’d¬†love¬†company for this ūüôā (I have tix) – I really think this is going to be a fun time this year. Many who would normally attend will be shaking their tushes off at the Gorge (Phish) – so, I anticipate a smaller crowd and the lineup is spectacular. Come and camp with me!¬†Super duper fun I will be going back in 2019 for sure. Come with me! See my review above.
  3. July 25th –¬†Come Sing Along with me¬†at the Tiny Caravan Hotel on Alberta Street – I’ll be doing some songs by Ben Bochner and there will be s’mores!¬†Fun, and I hope to be back in 2019. Robin Jackson’s band is¬†playing on¬†9.11.18¬†– should be fun!¬†(See¬†Tiny Caravan¬†below – also a place to host a group for a few nights).
  4. Picnic & Singalong with Albert @ Taborspace – Wednesday night August 1st – 6-8¬†–¬†One of the sweetest nights of the Summer. Go, Taborspace! We raised money to preserve the belltower.
  5. Pickathon¬†–¬†August 3-5 – Maybe (up for company!) –¬†Here’s my review of Pickathon 2017. I’m open to company for 2019.
  6. Beloved, August 10-13 – yes! Year 11 – how could I not? – I have tickets, come! – Is #12 important to you? Next year will be the 12th year. Unless I’m in Kyoto, Japan viewing the Japanese gardens there, I will be attending Beloved. Join me!
  7. Singing Alive – August 24-27 (very likely) –¬†YES. YES. YES. Personal music highlight of the Summer was here – possibly top5. Late-night jams on Saturday night – to this song.
2019: World Domination Summit, yes. Vancouver Folk Festival – desire.
if anything above strikes you and you’re interested in joining me –¬†please write¬†and let me know!
Making More Music Together – YES!
After many great years playing @ PSGW I feel ready to catalyze Oregon Guitar Camp. And, one in Maui, too. For more info and/or to offer help Click here.
I’m convinced that playing music together is one of the best ways to change the world. I hardly ever feel as optimistic and moved as when music is involved. Join me!
Guitar Lesson #1 with Albert Kaufman - Beginning Folk Guitar
kmhd 89.1fm enjoy jazz.png

The Eleven – July 2018

You Bet Your Sweet Bippy – The Eleven – July 2018

Here’s the Eleven for July 2018 – We find ourselves at a crossroads right now. We have an opportunity to make good decisions and save ourselves and future generations (and other species) from living in a complete hot mess or we can choose to move further toward the BBQ. I suggest we take simple and drastic actions to move towards the light and a future of life and comfort. Here are a few thoughts;
Trees: Trees are the lifeblood for us Рwe should have a worldwide moratorium on any further cutting of any trees Рparticularly native ones that haven’t been cut or burned in a long time. This especially includes urban trees. How about a worldwide pact that no urban trees are cut moving forward and we attempt to work around them and treasure them as they provide us oxygen without which we cannot live? They also do a lot of other good besides being beautiful to look at Рshade, taking in carbon dioxide, and water management Рall are big pluses in the tree category. Let’s not cut another one down Рthe simple action is for you to cut no more trees; plant new ones and work on keeping trees standing. Join our effort by clicking here. Thank you.
Second. There are way too many people on this planet. This is the truth. There are simple actions we can all take to ensure a planet with fewer people on it. Making sex ed available to all ages and making it a priority Рwill not only give us more intelligent people but will also lead to people choosing smaller families and thinking about when to procreate rather than being mindless about it. Along these lines Рmaking sure that contraception is free and easily available will go a long way in making healthier societies Рit also honors women and will make childbirth less dangerous around the world as we invest heavily in reproductive health across the board. Some have suggested that no one have children at all for a while Рwhich in 5 years would shrink us naturally by one billion people. That would be incredible Рimagine a less crowded world. Let’s work towards that.
Between these two issues – prioritizing trees and working towards a smaller population will lead humanity (and perhaps other species) towards a future where the air is still breathable and the planet is still habitable! What small action can you take today to make this happen? And what larger, global actions can we also accelerate? Thanks for playing your part.
Have a great Summer – Albert
PS – Here are some great pics from¬†this year’s Breitenbush Summer Solstice Healing Retreat¬†by Jef Murphy
PPS – see my write up from WDS 2018 and info about my gig on 7.25 in Portland

Here’s my Summer Schedule – I’d love your company

Join my list for¬†Tagging Along with Albert at the Last Minute¬†ūüôā
  1. July 11-15 – Oregon Country Fair, yes, of course ūüôā For OCF, I’ll be part of Booth L12, Wileyware
  2. July 19-22 –¬†Northwest String Summit –¬†I’d¬†love¬†company for this ūüôā (I have tix) – I really think this is going to be a fun time this year. Many who would normally attend will be shaking their tushes off at the Gorge (Phish) – so, I anticipate a smaller crowd and the lineup is spectacular. Come and camp with me!
  3. July 25th –¬†Come Sing Along with me¬†at the Tiny Caravan Hotel on Alberta Street – I’ll be doing some songs by Ben Bochner and there will be s’mores!
  4. Picnic & Singalong with Albert @ Taborspace – Wednesday night August 1st – 6-8
  5. Pickathon¬†–¬†August 3-5 – Maybe (up for company!)
  6. Beloved,¬†August 10-13 –¬†yes! Year 11 – how could I not? – I have tickets,¬†come!
  7. Singing Alive РAugust 24-27 (very likely)
if anything above strikes you and you’re interested in joining me –¬†please write¬†and let me know!
Albert @ SSHR 2018
Summer Solstice Healing Retreat this year at Breitenbush. Such a lovely time with family and friends! Photo by Jef Murphy. This is a picture of me facing the setting sun on the summer solstice!

Making More Music

After years of attending PSGW¬†I’m finally feeling the umph to organize an Oregon Guitar Camp. And, one in Maui, too. If you’d like to get alerts as these are organized (or better yet, help organize them with me ūüôā Click¬†here.
I’m convinced that playing music together is one of the best ways to change the world. I hardly ever feel as optimistic and moved as when music is involved. Join me!
Maui Beach


The Eleven – September 2016

The Eleven – September 2016

Exodus from Burning Man 2016
Leaving Burning Man 2016 – I am not in this picture
As fate would have it, I chose not to visit the playa this year. At the last minute – I got the ticket and the needed parking pass – but I was missing a few things (mostly the umpf!) to make it there for year 15. Instead, I stayed in Portland and worked on myself. And my business. I think just at the time that these thousands of people were stuck in line for 9-11 hours trying to leave Burning Man I realized something important about myself. I’m talking about it with friends – it’s partly a blind spot that I’ve been hearing about over the years – and I am realizing it’s time to address it. It’s a new way forward for me which I’m excited about. I’ll probably say more about this on my blog and share more as things clarify – feel free to write and ask if you’re curious – or, you can just wait and hear details as I move forward.

It’s me moving more into my masculinity.

A while back I reached out to workshop leaders who teach at Breitenbush. A few of them wrote me back, and one invited me to come and take his workshop. So, as you’re reading this I’m at Breitenbush taking Claude Stein’s “Natural Singer” workshop.
Speaking of music, I’m continuing to have fun with my Song a Day series. ¬†There are 120 songs cued up and ready for you if/when you’re in the mood!
I hope life is treating you especially well today.  Happy eleventh!
Dance Campout 2016 photo by Peter Rubens

Our Ecstatic Dance Campout 2016 – photo by Peter Paul Rubens

Click here for a larger version of the photo
****I’m doing a free¬†webinar this Thursday, 9.15 which you might find interesting – I’m showing off the tool that I use to make these newsletters.*****

The Eleven, April 2016

The Eleven

The Eleven for April 2016