What lies ahead in 2013?

I filed one more unemployment claim Sunday.  The question in my mind is whether that will truly be my last claim for an unemployment payment, at least for a while.

Am I being told that December 29 would mark the end of my unemployment benefits because of this “fiscal cliff” nonsense?  Or is it because I’ve exhausted my benefits for good?  I’ve seen and heard some conflicting information.  Either way, it’s not comforting.

2013It makes me wonder what’s ahead for us as we prepare to start a new year.  We can only hope for better days ahead.

Just to clarify things a bit for any of my more regular readers out there, there was a span of a few weeks this fall where I did try my hand at selling cars — went through close to two weeks of paid training, sold a brand new vehicle the first day that I was set loose to start selling — but it quickly became evident that was not the answer, at least not then and there.

I’ve been back to looking for a better job ever since, and while the prospects have been more promising since the car sales shot fizzled — there’s still one good-paying job that I’ve interviewed for where I’m hopefully still in the running — the competition for any job is so fierce and the need for perfection in qualifications is so intense, it can rattle the nerves.

One job that a friend gave me a lead on recently would have been ideal for my skills and my experience, and my thinking was that there wouldn’t be that many people with the same kind of skills and experience vying for the position.

I was wrong.  Over 120 people applied for that job.

Almost two weeks ago, I went to a job fair at a customer service business and ended up with a job offer the same day.  That job doesn’t start for another three weeks, and it doesn’t amount to much better pay-wise than unemployment.  If nothing better comes up before that job starts, we’re still left hoping that we can get by until and once it does start.

So I keep searching, and we keep hoping, and we keep praying.  What’s ahead for us in 2013?  Even if I do end up sticking with the customer service job, will it be enough to keep us in our home?  I know all too well there are more than a few people out there with honest jobs who don’t earn enough to hang on to their homes.

<sarcasm> No pressure. </sarcasm>

What’s ahead for us in 2013?  I wish I knew.  I hope it’s good.  I hope it’s a better year for a lot of people.  We’ll do the best we can here to usher in the new year tonight.  We’re grateful for the good things we’ve seen in the past year.  But still …

We yearn for better days ahead.  Here’s wishing a happy new year, to all of us!

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Reaching a goal, and then some, through the web

Lester Chambers and his son Dylan got up in the wee hours of the morning the day after Christmas and went for a limousine ride.

The limo took them to a television studio in the San Francisco area, where they appeared live on the CNN morning show “Starting Point.”

Projecting the CNN interview on a wall.  (Photo courtesy Dylan Chambers)
Projecting the CNN interview on a wall. (Photo courtesy Dylan Chambers)

That’s the kind of Christmas holiday it’s been for Lester and Dylan, over just a three-day span.  It’s turned into a publicity whirlwind, and there’s plenty of mile-wide smiles to go around because of it.

It all started with the launch of the Kickstarter project with Lester and Reddit.com co-founder Alexis Ohanian on December 11.  The project — to record a new album of music with Lester and his band, The Mud Stompers — gained traction quickly, and after reaching the $9,000 mark (toward its minimum goal of $39,000 by January 9), it tripled in less than a day thanks to a shove on Reddit and sharing the video of the interview Ohanian conducted with Lester on YouTube.  That video now has over 514,000 views on YouTube alone.

Dylan and Lester Chambers' story on the front page of CNN.com
Dylan and Lester Chambers’ story on the front page of CNN.com

By that time, the campaign had gained enough momentum and enough attention that CNN came calling to set up an interview with Lester, Dylan, and Alexis.  The interview appeared on the front page of CNN.com in a prime spot, all the way through Christmas Eve as parents were logging into the worldwide web to track Santa’s progress.

CNN.com:  On Web, “Time Has Come” for ’60s singer

That article remained at the top of CNN.com’s tech stories for a while, before dropping down to the third-highest tech-related read on the site.  That article helped push the Kickstarter campaign well over the minimum goal before the sun had even gone down at “Mud Stomper Headquarters” in the Bay Area on Christmas Eve.

Christmas had come early for Lester and everyone associated with him.

And then came the limo ride the morning after Christmas, with Lester and Dylan’s faces beaming via satellite once they were in the studio and the cross-country interview went live.

By the time the day after Christmas was past, that minimum goal of $39,000 had been eclipsed by over $13,000 with 13 days left to go in the fundraising campaign.

It’s going from a Merry Christmas straight into a Happy New Year, with the belief that there are good things yet to come.

It’s all a part of that “old school” with Lester combining with the “new school” from Alexis to prove a few points in the age of the Internet — creativity and artistry is still in demand; people are willing to come together in a worldwide community and show they will reward those who have that gift to entertain us through that creativity and artistry by making a personal investment; they want the rewards to go to those who’ve created that art, not so much to the “middle man”; there’s a lot of caring folks out there, which means there’s hope.

It’s a feeling that goes back to that spirit of “love, peace and happiness.”  And it’s all in the modern day.  “Old school” meets “new school.”

Dig it.

‘Tis the season for miracles

I’m asking for forgiveness from anyone who reads this blog on a fairly regular basis, and I know there are some who’ve said that it’s something they look forward to reading daily.  For that, I am very grateful.

I ask for forgiveness because I haven’t been writing here as frequently as I’d wanted to ever since reaching my goal of publishing at least one new blog post on a daily basis for a full year back on November 10.  I haven’t been writing as frequently because there have been times when reaching another goal — finding a decent job — has been all-consuming.

This has been quite the interesting year, filled with more wild ups and downs like we’ve seen in the past couple of years.  The ups have been fabulous.  The downs have been … challenging.

christmas 2007
christmas 2007 (Photo credit: paparutzi)

Now, we’re about to celebrate another Christmas.  It’ll be the second straight Christmas we’ve celebrated while having our family’s future left with a big question mark hanging over it — the question being, what’s in store for us as we enter another year?  But it’ll also be the second straight Christmas where we’ve seen wonderful acts of thoughtfulness, selflessness, kindness, and generosity rise up to make our holiday brighter.

It’s times like these when I’m very proud to call our youngest son Grant our own.  He’s been working away from home and staying with his grandparents since last summer, and he’s been determined to save up some money to share with his family so we can exchange some gifts this Christmas.  He’s a thoughtful young man.  That’s a great gift.  He was able to come home last Friday night to spend Christmas with his immediate family.  That’s a great gift for us as well, because he is deeply loved and missed by all of us here when he’s away.

It’s times like these when we’re glad to have other relatives and family members doing all they can to contribute to making this a better season of giving for us.

It’s times like these when I’m so grateful for anonymous friends who give us gifts to help us through, contained in cards like one we received on December 8 that included a bit of scripture from Isaiah 40:11 …

“He will tend his flock like a shepherd;
He will gather the lambs in his arms;
He will carry them in His bosom,
and gently lead those that are with young.”

The timing was perfect for that.  I needed that bit of scripture on that particular day.  It gave me hope and strength to carry on, right on through to this day.

As I said, this has been a year with some fascinating “ups.”

I have been blessed with some gifts of new and fascinating friendships, as well as renewing old ones even more.  That all started at the very first of the year with a trip to California — meeting some wonderful people and getting to know them a bit more online and joining in efforts with them to help a mutual friend named Lester as he’s struggled with his own challenges — and the year’s ending on a fascinating note in that area as well, seeing the launch of a fundraising project that still has just over two weeks to go yet it’s less than $2,000 away now from a very important goal.  There’s a true spirit of giving there as well that has been heartwarming.

It’s been a wonderful year to see our oldest son Curtis reach a goal that has been a part of his life for years now — getting the chance to go to Washington, D.C.,  and work as an intern.  He’ll be leaving just after the start of the new year and be gone for four months.  He’ll be greatly missed, but our pride in this goal that he’s reached is tremendous.

It’s been a year in which our daughter Alicia has continued to grow into a lovely young lady, who — at the age of 13 — still believes in that saint of Christmas (and why should anyone break that spirit in her when that kind of belief is exactly what’s needed through times like we’ve been living through?), and she thinks not so much of herself but of others in need … right down to writing a letter asking for the power of God to give her Dad a good job as his most-desired Christmas gift so her family can be truly, deeply, consistently happy again.  You can’t take that away, not through times like these.  I love that gift of innocence that I see in Alicia.

I continue to give thanks on a daily basis for the gift of my lovely wife as well.  If I were to ever have to live through challenging times with a partner, I’m grateful that I was blessed with a partner like Amy.

So, here we are in Utah.  It’s the afternoon of Christmas Eve.  The snowstorm that has been predicted to provide a white Christmas has arrived.  Our family is gathered together to celebrate a joyous birth.  The fact that we are gathered together as a family is one of the greatest gifts that I could ask for.  Through the challenging times that we’ve seen in over a year — and there have been many coming at us in various ways — we have stayed together.  Not all families can say that through challenging times, and I’m proud and happy to say that we have been able to stay together, that our youngest son wanted to come home so badly to celebrate with us and contribute to making this holiday a special one, and that there will be warmth in our home in various ways as we celebrate a gift that was given to us so long ago.

We as a family need a miracle, in the coming year and always.  We all need a miracle.

I still believe that miracles can happen.

AN AMY’S ANGLE SPECIAL: “The Perfect Tree”

EDITOR’S NOTE:  The following was originally published December 23, 2008, at http://www.amykmillersstudio.com.

By Amy Kathleen Miller

When I was searching through photos for painting ideas, I came across one with a cowboy riding his horse, pulling a mule with a tree on the mule’s back.  It looked so serene in that scene.  It makes me think about the shows where people had to ride out and cut down their own tree.  Most of the people in those early days usually didn’t have enough money to purchase presents in the local stores, or maybe they were not close enough to a store.

This painting makes me think about shows or movies depicted in those times, such as “Little House On The Prairie” or “Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman,” where people were snuggled down with their families with the winter winds blowing outside their homes, where they opened homemade gifts for their families.  Their meals weren’t always store-bought either.

Today, most of our gifts are store-bought and Christmas has become a commercialized thing rather than celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, who had come to this Earth to rescue this world from being forever condemned.  So the thought I would like to leave with all who read my articles is this:  Remember what we are really celebrating, the “reason for the season,” not who gets the nicest gift but that our family, our children are saved through the blood of Christ and the remembrance of Christ’s birth is what we should be talking about with our kids the most.  There are some families who enjoy having birthday parties for Jesus’ birthday.  There are families who love to read the story out of the Bible.  There are those who love to help other families in remembrance of God’s love and the fact that that love needs to be shared in a world that is lost.

I want all who read my articles to know that I care for each and every one of them.  And I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

“The Perfect Tree” By Amy K. Miller (All artwork Copyright 2012, Amy K. Miller’s Studio — ANY UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION OR REPRODUCTION IS PROHIBITED)
“The Perfect Tree” By Amy K. Miller (All artwork Copyright 2012, Amy K. Miller’s Studio — ANY UNAUTHORIZED DUPLICATION OR REPRODUCTION IS PROHIBITED)

Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media

Sandy Hook: A week later, predictability sets in

Six-year-old Emilie Parker will be laid to rest tomorrow in Ogden, Utah, just over a week after her vibrant young life was taken all too soon in the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.  Hers is just one of way too many funerals that remind us of what happened last week.

Many of Emilie’s relatives are from the Ogden area, and she spent a part of her life growing up there.  Emilie has become one of the memorable faces of the Sandy Hook slayings.  Her father’s statement after the shootings has become one of the memorable moments of that tragedy.

The desire to show compassion for others affected by the tragedy is being followed up by predictability.  We’re seeing many of the same responses out of the Sandy Hook tragedy that we’ve seen in any tragedy that comes close to it in scope.

It’s so predictable that the cartoon strip “This Modern World” has even given us a template to use for the next mass shooting, and every single one after that.

this modern world

There’s nothing silly about this.  This is the way it is, totally predictable.  A period of time was given after the Newtown shootings before the debate began anew.  People concerned about the manner in which first grade students and educators were gunned down and asking the question of why military style weapons are even so readily available to use in cases like these are accused of “politicizing.”  Then it turns into the argument of the various forms of weapons that could be used — after Sandy Hook, the old “baseball bat” argument was the first one I saw being used, asking whether we should ban baseball bats — and from there it turned into jabs at what should be considered “assault weapons,” jabs used by many gun advocates.

Muscle cars kill more people with their horsepower and speed, so should we ban all muscle cars?

Rocks could be considered “assault weapons,” so should we ban rocks?

Meat tenderizers could be used as “assault weapons,” so should we ban meat tenderizers?

I’m seeing it all.  So predictable, it’s like clockwork.

Now comes the response today from the National Rifle Association’s Wayne LaPierre that every school in the nation should have armed volunteers patrolling every school, every nook and cranny, every playground.  For that matter, let’s make sure we have armed volunteers at every business, every post office, every shopping center, every movie theater, every restaurant, every church, every sports arena, every day care center … let’s just have guns everywhere people might be.

Predictability.

We get into arguments about what constitutes an “assault weapon” while forgetting the fact that a first-grader at Sandy Hook was shot at least 11 times.

Eleven damn times.  Is it asking the shooter too much to at least reload?  Is that taking away the shooter’s right to more lethal kills?

Is that a cold-hearted question?  Maybe.  But how much compassion is there when a first-grader’s body has been riddled by up to 11 bullets, and we end up getting into pissing contests about what constitutes a damn “assault weapon” more than we show concern for the victims and their loved ones?

Let’s not just look at the issue of guns, let’s look at the entire picture.  Let’s look at the issue of mental health care, and how much more difficult it is to get decent health care than it is to buy a weapon that can be used to gun down innocent lives by someone badly in need of that mental health care.  Let’s take a look at how desensitized we’ve become to the growing violence around us, and why we’ve become so desensitized.

Let’s take an honest look at what drives the fear and paranoia that’s beginning to overwhelm a growing number of people, enough to feel the need to stock up on weaponry more with each mass shooting, each “Black Friday.”

And, yes, for God’s sake, let’s put the issue of guns on the table and — whether Wayne LaPierre wants to talk about them or not (he refused to take questions in his statement today, and if he refuses to take questions in his appearance on “Meet The Press” this Sunday it’ll make for fascinating viewing) — make them an important part of the discussion.

Let’s break out of that predictability, the kind of predictability that can be found in videos like the one below from “ThePatriotNurse” that’s a gun advocate’s wet dream.

Watch out, there’s a tyrant right behind you!  And that tyrant could be disguised as a first-grader!  It’s all a conspiracy, I tell you!

So damn predictable.

Here’s one thing we can do to break out of that predictability:  Remember the victims, at all times, and show compassion for them before reaching for the nearest soapbox in “full defensive mode.”  Maybe then we can get serious about finding some real solutions so people like Emilie Parker can live a truly full life, instead of having that life snuffed out much too soon.

Merry Christmas! Closing in on a Kickstarter goal

It’s been just over a week since I wrote about the project on Kickstarter for soul/rock/psychedelic/gospel musician Lester Chambers of The Chambers Brothers, and there’s been some amazing progress in the last day or so in reaching his goal to record a new album.

Publicity photo of the music group The Chamber...
Publicity photo of the music group The Chambers Brothers. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The goal is to reach at least $39,000 on Kickstarter.com by January 9 just to reach the amount of money it would take to cover recording expenses.  Today marks 20 days left in the campaign, and Wednesday was a big day for the project.  By the end of the day on Tuesday, it had raised just over $9,000.  By the end of the day on Wednesday, it was over $29,000.  As of this writing, it stands at $32,219 with 1,331 backers.

There is some happiness in the Bay Area over that.  There is some great joy.  It helps to make for a merry Christmas indeed, and there’s still time to reach even greater heights.

Adding to the excitement has been the fact that Alexis Ohanian — a co-founder of the social news and entertainment site Reddit.com who’s partnered on the project with Lester — posted the video of his interview with Lester Wednesday on YouTube, and it’s already gotten close to 160,000 views.

There’s also talk of CNN looking at doing a story on Lester’s campaign, with a portion of the proceeds from that campaign to be given to the Sweet Relief Musicians Fund to help other musicians like Lester to meet his financial needs for things like health care or just basic living expenses.

It also warms the heart to see some of the comments made by backers on the project’s comments page …

Lilah Montgomery Smith about 15 hours ago

“Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full — pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.”

Thank you all from the bottom of my own heart… you all ROCK!! It doesn’t matter what you give, it matters how you give and I’m just so floored by everyone’s love and compassion. It is so uplifting to SEE that people still “get it.” Be well, be blessed and Merry Christmas!

This, my first Kickstarter project to back, has been keeping me up at night since I first randomly came upon it.

I’m so excited to say that earlier today, with funding right over $9.000.00, I decided to just give it a rest and to fully believe that good hearted people would come together and support Lester. As I am typing this, we are ONE DOLLAR away from $23,000. If I’ve ever had faith in Humanity – it is right this second. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to everyone involved!! WOOHOO!!

Spoke too soon – now at $23,019!

Best Christmas EVER!

Axel Fredrik Hansson about 22 hours ago

Proud to support definitely. First reason for me to start backing up projects.

Matthew Katz 1 day ago

Great project, I can’t wait to see the project come to fruition. I’m also looking forward to seeing the t-shirt!
Happy Holidays

That’s just a sampling of the kind of spirit that’s behind this project.  And here’s nearly 30 minutes’ worth of video showing the kind of talent that would be on the album, with Lester and The Mud Stompers playing on a Bay Area television show in recent months.

How high can this campaign go?  There are more than a few people anxious to find out.

That makes for a happy holiday.

What can happen when life interrupts football

There was an NFL game on NBC last night, and it was a doozy.  The San Francisco 49ers were ahead of the New England Patriots 31-3 at one point on the Pats’ home turf before New England went on a tear, rallying for 28 unanswered points to tie the game at 31-all before the Niners pulled away again for a wild 41-34 win.

Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut
Official seal of Newtown, Connecticut (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

But there was something else going on behind the scenes early on while that game was going on.  There was a memorial service happening in Newtown, Connecticut, for the victims of Friday’s shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  President Obama spoke during the service.  NBC broke away from the football game to broadcast Obama’s speech.

I’ve been in and around the media for the better part of my life now.  I know how decisions can be made when it comes to making a decision to interrupt the broadcast of a football game to show a presidential speech instead.  And I feel very comfortable — without having spoken to anyone at NBC — in saying that the President of the United States is not the one making the call on whether a major television network should show his speech or a football game.

I feel very comfortable in saying that NBC itself made the decision, based on the mood of a nation after 27 people were shot dead in Newtown with 20 of them being under the age of 8.

That fact didn’t seem to be factored in by a bunch of people who saw fit to take to the Twitter social media stream during the interruption of the broadcast and vent their anger over the fact that their viewing on that particular channel had been cut.

Their venting wasn’t pretty.  And it was captured for all to see — identities and all — at the site Deadspin.com.  Some of it was racist.  Pretty much all of it contained vulgarities directed at the President, seeming to think that it was his call that NBC interrupted the first quarter of the broadcast to show the speech.

Don’t say you haven’t been warned if you decide to click on the link below to see for yourself.

“Take that n***** off the TV, we wanna watch football!”

Yeah, it’s a free country and people are free to speak their minds and all.  That also leaves people free to feel the brunt of a backlash when their true colors show for all the world to see.  If you want to know what I mean, try getting into Twitter, look up the IDs of the people who vented their anger about the interruption, look at their accounts (if you can) and see the responses they got.

Yeah, it’s a free country.  And may that banner ever wave.

I know the story behind this one. I know this story very well. This is a story worthy of prayers … a lot of prayers. Prayers for hope, prayers for healing, prayers for strength, prayers for miracles. It’s all needed. My friends need them, as many as they can get.

I Shutter at the Thought!

Broken and torn, shattered
shards of dreams and promises litter the floor
inflicting new pain as we step through the memories
progress, hindered by repetition of the unknown and the unwanted.

Agony, punctuated by tears
what happened? why this? why him? please wake up!
this isn’t where we’re supposed to be
remorse for what has been lost, fear of what is to come.

The loved and the loving
stand helpless and unappeased
watching lives dissolving in torrents of wet grief
mouths incapable of finding words to match the depth of the heart.

Trust, believe and fight, fight, fight
there is a plan, a purpose not yet revealed
counsels echo through the hours in the struggle for hope
and he reaches out to touch the hem of a beautiful cherished robe.

– December 10, 2012

AN EXPLANATION

Last August, on the eve of my birthday, we learned that my partner of…

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A shooting spree in Connecticut, a nation in mourning

Another mass shooting, with 26 people gunned down.

Really?

Twenty of those victims were children, ages 5-10.

Can it be possible?  Is it really possible?  Have we as members of the human race become that numb to the senselessness of it all?

Scenes from Connecticut shooting via elitedaily.com.
Scenes from Connecticut shooting via elitedaily.com.

Not all of us have.  An old friend of mine called me long distance from California this afternoon, just to talk about it — just to talk to someone, to share his thoughts.  The tragedy hit my friend very hard.  He’s a parent himself.

Twenty children dead.  It doesn’t seem real.

They included children young enough to still walk to school with their parents, before it becomes “not cool” to walk to school with your parents.

Amy and I have been those parents, walking a child a few blocks to their school, holding their hand, dropping them off at the door and leaving them there, believing they’re in a safe place, believing that nothing can harm them there.

We’ve had those children trusting in us to leave them in a safe place.  Trusting in us … to leave them … in a safe place.

We’ve left our children in what we believe is a safe place, believing we’ll see them when their day is done, getting them back with us at home, safe and sound.

One of the last places we ever expect to see 26 people gunned down is at an elementary school.  We never expect 20 of the victims to be children between the ages of 5-10.

We’ve seen it at a high school.  We’ve seen it at a movie theater.  We’ve seen it in shopping malls.  We’ve seen it at a place of worship.

An elementary school?  Really?  Are we as a human race becoming that immune to it all?

Not all of us.  A nation is in mourning.  This one stings badly.

What’s the answer?

Alexis Ohanian: Lester Chambers’ “time has come”

Lester Chambers was able to touch Alexis Ohanian‘s soul last March.  Now, they have formed a kind of partnership designed to prove some skeptics in the music industry wrong.

lester and alexis
Lester Chambers and Alexis Ohanian (Source: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1195088551/lesters-time-has-come-today)

They make up an intriguing pair.

Lester is 72 years old.  He and his siblings made up The Chambers Brothers, the popular rock/soul/psychedelic/gospel music group from the 1960s and ’70s that played at huge events with the likes of The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf and more, famous for songs like the anthemic “Time Has Come Today” and their cover of the classic “People Get Ready” with Lester handling lead vocals.  Once The Chambers Brothers faded from the global spotlight (but not without “Time Has Come Today” living on through multiple uses in film, television, and advertising) and once Lester began experiencing health problems, times became hard for him.  Lester is more “old school.”

Alexis is 29 years old.  He’s an internet entrepreneur, activist and inventor.  His claim to fame has come as being a co-founder of the San Francisco-based social news and entertainment website Reddit, which was acquired by Condé Nast Publications in October 2006 and for which Ohanian serves on its board of directors.  In 2007, Ohanian launched Breadpig, an “uncorporation” that produces merchandise and gives the proceeds to charity.  In 2010, Ohanian helped launch the travel search website Hipmunk, where he acts as an advisor.  As an activist, Ohanian spoke out in late 2010 and early 2011 against Congress’ Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) and the Senate’s Protect IP Act (PIPA), helping to lead the internet grassroots campaign that eventually overturned the two bills.  Ohanian spoke to members of Congress, and helped launch the national anti-SOPA/PIPA protests that took place on January 18, 2012, which included a massive blackout of major websites such as Wikipedia, Google, and WordPress (which this blog participated in).

Alexis Ohanian is very “new school.”

In early March of this year, Lester, his wife Lola, and their son Dylan put together this sign, had Lester hold it in front of his face, took a photo of it, and shared it on social media.

lester sign

The photo turned viral.  Reddit helped it to become viral.  It got the attention of Alexis Ohanian.  It stayed in Ohanian’s mind.  And now, he and Lester Chambers have joined up to make a statement.

The activist sides of Lester Chambers and Alexis Ohanian have combined to make a statement when it comes to the music industry, and now they’re leaving it in the hands of the music listening public and Lester’s legions of fans to help right some wrongs and give something back for the joy that Lester and The Chambers Brothers have given to the world for many years.  But it goes beyond that.  In Lester’s case, it goes toward helping other musicians like Lester who have found themselves struggling.

Just don’t think of it as charity.  This is not a handout.  It’s not a form of begging.  In this age where people can download all kinds of entertainment for little or nothing, this is a way fans can purchase music that’s already been recorded and buy a stake in a future recording of Lester Chambers and his current band The Mud Stompers, a recording that’s also planned to feature the famous Tower of Power horns, Lenny Williams, Zakiya Hooker, Ant Dog, and the Marin City Choir.

On Tuesday of this week, Lester and Alexis launched a fundraising drive on the platform Kickstarter, hoping to raise at least $39,000 by January 9 to cover the cost of recording a brand new album of music performed by Lester and his friends.

Through Ohanian’s Breadpig site, part of the proceeds would go to Sweet Relief Musicians Fund — a non-profit charity that has helped Lester in many ways through his hard times.  Lester is wanting to “pay it forward” through the organization that’s helped him to survive, and Ohanian is providing him with that outlet.

More information on the recordings and merchandise available to those who make a pledge, a video, and links to make a pledge can be found at the link below:

Lester’s Time Has Come Today

A link to the event’s Facebook page can be found at the link below:

Lester Chambers’ Time Has Come on Facebook

A link to Lester Chambers and The Mud Stompers’ new and evolving website can be found at the link below:

Lester Chambers and The Mud Stompers:  Welcome to Our House

Think of it as “old school” and “new school” combined, kind of like the new-found friendship between Lester and Alexis.  It’s more like how it used to be when you’d go to a record store and plop down money for an album or other merchandise, only this way the “store” is right at your fingertips on the worldwide web, and this would make anyone making a pledge an “investor” in something that can give them endless entertainment.

As Alexis Ohanian says toward the end of this video, it gives people a chance to “do it all like you give a damn.”