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.

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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.

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 – 7.11.17 The Oregon Country Fair (OCF) Revue


Happy 11th. I just returned from the Oregon Country Faire (OCF) and I can still feel the dust in and on me. Fairy dust. Dust of connection – dust of love. OCF is one of the most special events I participate in – it’s a chance to watch a group of humans growing; changing;¬†aging; celebrating and coming together as a large village. I see a lot of the same faces year after year and one of my joys is spending the day wandering aimlessly until I meet a friend or make a new one. Here are some highlights from his year:

1. The little girl (3) who decided I was the right person to play a game of “fall into/onto Albert” – and her parents who graciously allowed it to unfold beautifully.

2. Hours spent in the Ritz (pictured below) – a collection of showers, saunas, a glorious fire pit and often live music – the large collection of naked people – singing together in the sauna; wandering the big open area and standing laughing in the sunshine – it’s a highlight of every day at the Fair for me. It’s also the perfect place to share village news.
3. My pals at Camp It doesn’t Matterhorn: a wonderful gaggle who come together each year to help my friend Marcia Wiley build and run a great booth at the Fair:¬†Wileyware, booth L12.
4. Serendipity; amazing food; laughter; staying up late; trying new things; giving and getting lots of touch (this year I brought my massage table – a definite PLUS!); playing music at Otter Camp; dancing to music at nearby late night music happenings; James; fair magic; the guy who approached me with a big hug – mistaking me for someone he thought he knew and then, after some conversation inviting me back to his camp for a cold beer on tap in the middle of the woods; natural bug spray; the amazing crafts at Fair – WOW! – seeing some of my¬†clients¬†‘ booths and hanging out with them; great food! – quieter¬†music along the pathways; hanging out with friends on the sweep crew; the many ideas that came to me about how to live life fully. Getting to a place of a really quiet mind on Saturday – that was pretty interesting. Here’s a little taste via video…
5.¬†We have a group of teens in our camp from out of town (Seattle). I met another group of Fair kids who knew their way around and sent them as a gift to our booth to take our teens out – that was a fun match-making ūüôā – watching said group walk arm in arm – giggling, back into the Fair about 5 hours after I’d set this match in motion.
It’s important that we have these gatherings and this year’s Fair felt very important for this community. Partially to re-group given the current political climate… It’s a group that comes together to make magic. To teach each other life skills. To pass along the skills that we have around communication; organization; kindness; and long-term relationships – and practice them. And MAKE MISTAKES!
This Fair taught me once again that¬†you just can’t help make mistakes¬†when you are trying new things and pushing past your comfort zone. It’s just about impossible when you’re surrounded by so many people and various depths/types of relationships – not to make mistakes. I think that’s one of the challenges in our society – that’s it’s somewhat easy and safe to stay in one’s cocoon – stay behind the laptop; stay in one’s life and just get by. The Fair invites us to get out of our comfort zones (it’s probably closer to how people who live in villages live) – it presents us with the opportunity to make and test out new connections rapidly. As that’s happening we all get stressed and balls drop and balls are juggled exquisitely, too! This is how we learn. I did my fair share of magic and messes this year and I look forward to coming back next year to do it all again.
I feel so grateful and thankful that the Oregon Country Fair exists. Thank you wise and wonderful Eugenians (mostly) who spend countless hours, blood, sweat, tears, and money to make this available to people. As I heard on the path a number of times – Oregon Country Fair forever!
I received good advice from friends at the Fair to put it out to my community that I am single and seeking a partner.¬†Here’s my OKC profile¬†– if you know someone you think I’d be a fit with, please let me know!
Happy 11th!  Happy Summer!

2023 Write-up.

Happy Earth Day 2017

Earth Day 2017 


look for the tulips
Spring in Portlandia
Here’s my monthly newsletter – The Eleven. This month I had recently returned from a trip to Maui and missed the 11th. How perfect, Earth Day is here and it’s often when I like to send something out so … howdy! ( Thx, to Larry Lawson for his encouragement).
You like Pictures/Stories?   Maui 1, Maui 2, Maui 3, Maui 4.
You like activism?
1. Seven Steps to becoming a Citizen Activist By Nick Licata РShort Version
2.¬† Book Review: ‘Becoming a Citizen Activist
3. Buy Becoming a Citizen Activist
4. Nick Licata was one of the first political candidates I ever worked for and donated to. He was one of the most progressive members of the Seattle City Council and continues to do great work. 
I just had lunch with one of the creators of this bit of goodness. She gave me a coloring book and a set of Nasty Women stickers! 
Have a great Earth Day – join me in tikkun olam – healing the Earth. One of my projects, Farm My Yard, could always use support.
Happy Earth Day!
Hemp Oil
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Get in touch if you’d like a hand promoting your business, non-profit, political candidate, progressive cause, yourself, an idea – Or, to tell me your latest news!

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.*****