Monthly Archives: November 2013

Fixing King John

FKJ_pcard_front(Community Matters) What’s more than loved it? I adored it. The Rude Mechs Fixing King James is one of my all time favorite Austin productions. Kudos to Kirk Lynn whose voice throughout the play kept me in stitches and Madge Darlington’s near flawless direction. Of course, with the all star cast, pretty hard not to hit that perfect storm of greatness – Jason Liebrecht, Florinda Bryant, Barbara Chisholm, Jeffery Mills, Adriene Mishler, Jay Byrd, Robert Faires, Tom Green, Lowell Bartholomee, and Robert S. Fisher – not to mention Peter Stopschinski’s score. Say it on closing night. Regret can’t see it again.

West Texas Winter Storm

(Community Matters) Friends in Ft. Davis were without electricity for three nights, four days. JP even, eventually, went to Van Horne and stayed at El Capitan. Marfa, Alpine & Valentine experienced loss of electricity for a day to several hours too.


Even little frosty came by for a swim!

Photograph by: Mark Knight Jr.,

Balmorhea Springs, TX 11/13

(hat tip: Jim Mauseth)


1463711_10201744054016462_1566317680_n(Community Matters) Tonight Steven and I had dinner with Nico; Saturday night w/ Ben & Avery – a meal which Nico helped me prepare. Loving the bountiful holidays.



rmatney(Community Matters)   Robert Matney: In early summer, friend and mentor Steven Tomlinson met me for coffee to visit about my melanoma diagnosis and treatment. He’d graciously volunteered at Beth Burns’ request to write and perform a monologue for one of the Matney vs Cancer benefit events she coordinated, and our get-together was a part of his research. continued

Climate Change Wiping Out Entire Country

kiribati(Community Matters) “This entire country is about to be wiped out by climate change. It won’t be the last … Drowning Kiribati “: “Kiribati is a flyspeck of a United Nations member state, a collection of 33 islands necklaced across the central Pacific. Thirty-two of the islands are low-lying atolls; the 33rd, called Banaba, is a raised coral island that long ago was strip-mined for its seabird-guano-derived phosphates. If scientists are correct, the ocean will swallow most of Kiribati before the end of the century, and perhaps much sooner than that. Water expands as it warms, and the oceans have lately received colossal quantities of melted ice. … [T]he 103,000 citizens of Kiribati may soon become refugees, perhaps the first mass movement of people fleeing the consequences of global warming rather than war or famine. …

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Inspiring Days

(Community Matters) Hard to complain about my days. The most rigorous are just keeping up with all the great people I get to meet. Yesterday is a super example. Started off meeting with a referral from Brett Hurt, Andrew Chen who’s building Greater Good Labs. He and three other Bazaarvoice veterans are passionate about helping the rest of us do and motive & empower others to do good; we’re gonna try their technology with a project next month. Then with the friend of a friend, James Chestnut. He’s recovering from a near death (hospice bound) brush w/ cancer and is realizes too many recovering from near death experiences don’t have housing options, so he wants to build solutions. Haylie Rudy made a pass by my office – always a pick me up to see her (reminder to talk about happiness and correlation with being in love). Then a meeting upstairs (showing off Capital Factory’s 16th floor) with Leadership Austin Emerge classmates Continue reading

Cheney: Political Karma

cheney family(Community Matters)  I don’t wish this kind of rancor on any family, and cant help but believe it’s karma. For a Cheney to complain about low blow political tactics musters crocodile tears at best. Politico: The Race That Broke the Cheney Family. 

F1 Grand Prix

(Community Matters) Austin partied heartily this weekend, hosted the Formula 1 Grand Prix at Circuit of the Americas. It’s second year, I don’t think either of us have yet been out to the track, but we hear only good things and lots & lots of our friends seemed to be having much fun over the 3 day celebration. There’s ceertainly the high-end, jet set celebrations (I notice the Ludus F1 Champagne Luxury Suite was available last minute for $175,000 for 24). Andplenty of friends attended and had a blast spending more modest amounts. I believe tickets range in price from $300 to $50k . Fortunately, worries of traffic gridlock didn’t materialize the first or this year – and Austin even concurrently hosted a UT-OK State game this weekend. We might just have to get out there next year.

austin f1

Forbes: 50 Philanthropists, Biggest Givers

forbes liberia(Community Matters) Who gave away the most cash last year

  1. Bill & Melinda Gates $1.9B
  2. Warren Buffett $1.9B
  3. George Soros $763mm
  4. Mark Zuckerberg $519mm
  5. Walton Family $432mm
  6. Eli & Edythe Broad $376mm
  7. Michael  Bloomberg $376mm
  8. Paul Allen $328mm
  9. Chuck Feeney $313mm
  10. Gordon & Betty Moore $250mm

12. John & Laura Arnold $204mm

18. Michael & Susan Dell $100mm

43. George & Cynthia Mitchell $40mm

What a spectacular list – don’t find myself envious often but this is a list I’d love to be on. Along the same lines, reading about How America’s Richest People Are Bringing Hope To The Eighth-Poorest Nation In The World. I only have one contemporary hero, Dr. Paul Farmer of Partners in Health, and Dr. Raj Panjabi of Last Mile Health just might be the second – appropriate that he is Paul’s mentee.

The Marfa Tryiptych: 3 Portraits of West Texas

(Community Matters) Last night Graham Reynolds & 13 fellow musicians performed the first of The Marfa Tryiptych: 3 Portraits of West Texas to a sold out, enthusiastic audience at the Crowley Theatre.


A rock star assembly of Austin musicians – in addition to Graham, Redd Volkaert (electric guitar), Ruby Jane (fiddle), Ricky Davis (pedal steel guitar), Adam Sultan (acoustic guitar), Alexis Buffum (violin), Elizabeth Warren (violin), Lead Nelson (viola), Hector Moreno (cello), John Mills (saxophone & clarinet), Shane Pitsch (trumpet), Wayne Myers (trombone), Utah Hamrick (bass) & Jeremy Bruch (drums). Love that Ballroom met Graham when Virginia Lebermann came to see Metropolis as a guest of Suzanne Deal Booth, who was my guest.

Graham has studied, listened to West Texas as he’s composing the tryiptych. He acoustically captures a sunset from the west edge of town, the rain in the Chihuahuan Desert, even the smells after the rain. Along with Graham, Redd, Ricky, John & Jeremy soar during the performance; we want to hear even more of Ruby. Would be interesting to hear her improvisation of the high desert town. An outstanding evening and promising beginning to Ballroom’s commission.

Marfa Public Radio interview of Graham

Santa Barbara

(Community Matters) Quick West Coast trip which started off as an NPR excursion, abruptly rescheduled so time to visit Molly & Peter Benson in Venice Beach, and Molly & I to see her parents in Santa Barbara. Tana & Joe Christie settling in just fine at Bonniemede. I loved staying at the Biltmore and dinner at the Coral Casino Beach & Cabana.


New Republic: Clinton and Warren

clinton warren(Community Matters) New Republic: Hillary’s Nightmare? A Democratic Party That Realizes Its Soul Lies With Elizabeth Warren

I’m afraid we’ve jumped to a sexist frame female leaders all too often have to contend with – the bitchy cat fight. I don’t trust the media to report on the relationship between celebrities, even less between two females.

Warren confidants note that the Senator signed a letter urging Clinton to run in 2016. And they are stressing that they didn’t seed the New Republic story..

Regardless, to avoid any potentially debilitating primary fights & because it’s what our country needs now, Secr. Clinton should articulate how she will aggressively pursue those gaming the system regardless of size, economic clout or pedigree, and that she’ll aggressively address climate change. The middle class, the poor and this planet have nearly collapsed under the rising inequality now inherent in our political system. Criminal investigation tools should be deployed in unearthing collusion between industry, politicians and agencies/regulatory bodies.