What’s On Virginia’s Mind?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on April 23, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/p38Pt0-wO

mnemonic link here:  http://urlet.com/earn.managing

Even though Humboldt County faces all the problems that other communities face around the globe – climate change, economic globalization, economic inequality and instability, not enough GOOD jobs, and also specific local problems of a defunct resource extraction economy in transition, Virginia Bass has chosen in her first commercial ad of the campaign to simply attack her opponent as a “slacker.”

Are we to take this as a sign of what is really in the mind of Virginia Bass as she sits up there on the podium deciding the shape of our lives in some significant ways over the next 20 to 40 years?   The most important reason that we should vote for her is because her opponent is a “slacker?”

I can dispose of this stupid argument easily.   Without rancor.   Lets just compare Kerrigan’s achievements at age 33 with Virginia’s achievements at age 33    OK that’s done.

I have lived through these kinds of campaigns once or twice in my life.   In junior and senior high school.  Let’s grow up and discuss some issues.


have a peaceful day,

~please forward~



Rate Virginia’s Virgin Voter Ad:  http://humboldtpolls.wordpress.com/2014/04/23/rate-the-virginia-bass-virgin-voter-ad/


Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 15, 2014 by highboldtage

You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 13, 2014 by highboldtage

one of my favorite biblical quotes

Leviticus 25:35-37 ESV /

“If your brother becomes poor and cannot maintain himself with you, you shall support him as though he were a stranger and a sojourner, and he shall live with you. Take no interest from him or profit, but fear your God, that your brother may live beside you. You shall not lend him your money at interest, nor give him your food for profit. “

Houseboats for Mixed Housing in Eureka

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on April 12, 2014 by highboldtage

If we utilize our marinas to berth some houseboats we could berth 1,000 houseboats there and grow the low income housing stock for Eureka.   1,000 houseboats in the marina = 2,000 new customers for Old Town businesses.   It means a houseboat building and maintenance industry on Humboldt bay.   It could be started right now.
A planned Sausalito.  Make sure there are nice boats and humble boats.  Mixed community on the water.
Of course there would be impacts on the bay, you would have to connect the boats to city sewer.   But you could grow the population and low cost housing stock of Eureka easily and quickly and create a whole new industry (houseboat building and maintenance)  on Humboldt Bay.  Without heavily impacting the land.
have a peaceful day,

The Excess Energy Tax is Economic Suicide for Humboldt County – Turn Out the Lights

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 3, 2014 by highboldtage

Yesterday I sent you my analysis from 2012 about the Arcata excess energy tax.
A couple of months ago I sat in a room with a genius who schooled me about the importance of building resilient communities through the concept of import substitution.
This is a nice way of building local economies by identifying things that are used locally but imported and then substituting if possible locally manufactured goods for the imported ones.
Now there is this proposal for an “excess energy tax” which is being sold county wide as an environmental issue.
What it is economically is, is “export substitution”, it is the hollowing out of our local economy.    It is the exact opposite of “import substitution.”
Lets assume that there are 1.000 indoor growers in Humboldt now.   After the tax, these people will leave.  They will sell their houses and relocate to another county or state.   Real estate values will drop by at least 10%.
But the most pernicious aspect is that we will turn a net positive inflow of dollars into a negative flow out of Humboldt County.   These indoor growers (I call them cottage industries)  produce a product that is both exported and used here.   After the tax they will be located elsewhere, but we will still be buying their product.   It will have gone from being a domestic product to an imported product.
And of course we will lose the direct inputs of these people and businesses into our local economies.
I get it that indoor growing uses electricity.   What kind of jobs do you propose for these people to do that pay $15 or more an hour and that don’t use electricity?  Factories consume electricity!  How many new little businesses will you have to “incubate” in Eureka, Arcata, Fortuna etc. etc to make up for the loss of 1,000 REAL small businesses, and where will that incubation money come from?
The only way that Humboldt to make up for this small business exodus would be for the big pot growers out in the sticks to ramp up their production.  Of course that could have disastrous  effects in the fragile countryside here and accomplish nothing as far as carbon loading on the planet.  Because the indoor growers will be growing in the next county or state.  That would solve the import/export imbalance but the big pot grows don’t provide any ownership or benefits to their workers besides agricultural jobs and trim jobs, all non-union and many of them low paying now.   This is not the old mom and pop days when family and a few close friends were invited over to trim the 10 plant harvest.  The same income inequality emerges.   Let’s get real.
These small business people, these entrepreneurs are my friends along with the working poor.   What am I going to say to them if I support a tax that will put them out of business?  How do you expect people in the city to make a living?  Working at Walmart?  We don’t all have 20 acres on a hilltop to grow fine sun buds.
And as a patient, a consumer of cannabis, you must know that I buy mostly from local small growers.  I can’t afford your fancy sun buds grown in Sohum or Mendo.  Those are all grown for export to LA and NY.   We cant afford that shit and its not offered to us on the streets of Eureka, where there is still no dispensary!  As a patient, we want more production to drive these ridiculous prices down, especially on the local market.
So this tax will impact us poor consumers here greatly.  As far as I am concerned this is a non starter and needs to be re-thunk.
So my question is.   What are you all thinking?
I understand the need to reduce carbon loading.  I get it that people don’t like grows in their residential neighborhood.  As an advocate for poor people I really get it that housing stock should be for people not manufacturing.   We have industrial areas of Eureka sitting abandoned.   Lets put the grows there if we don’t want them in the neighborhoods.
If you insist on this tax without accommodating real small business by moving them to the industrial areas you risk losing the support of several thousand locals whose living depends on small scale cannabis production.
have a peaceful day,

Have You Ever Run A Business?

Posted in Uncategorized on March 21, 2014 by highboldtage

You know as a an advocate for raising the minimum wage I get asked that a lot.

Sometimes its just some low info knucklehead repeating a phrase from Hannity and he thinks he sounds smart. He doesn’t sound smart. Sometimes its people who are sincere in their question, but their question is sometimes based on a faulty premise – that a left winger couldn’t possibly know anything about business – and correspondingly that right wingers must be naturally talented at the biz game.

Let me tell you that I have run a business. I have run a department in a big business for over 10 years, and each year I was required to show a profit or get fired. I had 50 employees. My payroll was almost $2.000,000 a year. I did all the hiring, firing, promotion, sales, marketing for my department without an assistant.

I can tell you more and I will. But I will also ask you, have YOU ever run a business? Come back soon.

I ran a department in a casino in Reno for years.   My department  was a gaming department, front line revenue generator.  In the 10 years with the company every other department manger changed at least once, (14 departments.)  The competitive environment was brutal, with 20  or more casinos vying for a limited customer pool.  I always had the highest paid employees.  Although the majority of my department jobs were entry level minimum wage jobs, I paid over minimum to start and I paid over market wages for good employees.  I had the fastest growing department of its type in the state for several years.

The secret to success in entertainment, hospitality, food, gaming, and retail  etc. etc. is in the employees!   There is very little difference between what you can offer the customer in goods and what your competitor can offer.  The difference will be in the level of service you can provide to your customers and that costs a little money.   Its worth it.   Yes I had to compete against the bottom feeders.  I did not get all of the low end trade, but I made up for it with a higher per average sale figure.   My per average sales were twice the industry standard in the market.  Why?  Because I found superstar sales people and I could hire them by paying 1 dollar over the minimum wage they were making working for a bottom feeder.

If you are running a clothing store, especially one marketing to teens, you are going to hire teens.   You can hire any teen for $8.00 an hour but you can also hire a couple of superstar teen salespeople for 11 dollars an hour and double your sales.  You are an idiot if you don’t see this.  Sorry.

Higher Wages Part of the Cost of Doing Business in A Lucrative Market

Posted in Uncategorized on March 14, 2014 by highboldtage

First we say to the business owner in Seattle/Tacoma or Chicago or the Bay Area or Los Angeles: “Even if we back out the entire cost of labor in our market, the cost of doing business would still be higher here than in many places. Yet you still choose to locate your business here.”

Then we say: “Let’s just back in a higher minimum wage and just acknowledge it as part of the higher cost of doing business here in our local economy, as “costs” are re-distributed to the poor as well. ”

See how easy it is? Most if not all businesses will remain here, because wage cost is only a small component of doing business, for most businesses.

Only businesses with a model depending upon mass low wage employment will suffer a loss in profits but they will probably not leave because they need a population from which to draw their work force.

Bubble Watch – We Are In A Bubble – Here’s The Evidence

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2014 by highboldtage

short link here http://wp.me/pbr9G-3YD

mnemonic link  here http://urlet.com/will.literacy

Tesla Motors.   The big news last week was a multibillion dollar mega battery factory to be built “somewhere in the southwest” by Tesla motors, on still to be borrowed funds.  The big leap is that this factory will produce little batteries just like the ones we have now, but it will produce “billions” of them for battery packs for the 35,000 cars Tesla thinks it will sell the next few years.  The idea is floated that utilities will buy these batteries by the billions to store off peak power, or that individual consumer adoption will destroy the profitability of the grid and thus the big power producers.  Want to bet on these?  You can.

Bitcoin.   Well I did a post here a year or two ago about bitcoin, a cool digital currency.  I still think its a cool digital currency.  I even think bitcoin or something like it has a future, I would use bitcoin or some digital currency if it were convenient for everyday purchases.  I probably would not store my savings in bitcoin.   I would use bitcoin as a tool.  Back when I posted the article a bitcoin cost $7.00, while I guess just recently it was trading for over $700.00?  Really, a 100 times increase in value in a year?  Lets remember that bitcoin is cool but its also a fiat currency.  No reason for wild variations in price, its backed by trust in pixels.

and there’s this:

“One of the world’s most respected investors has raised the alarm over a looming asset price bubble, calling out “nosebleed valuations” in technology shares like Netflix and Tesla Motors  and warning of the potential for a brutal correction across financial markets.

Seth Klarman, the publicity shy head of the $27 billion Baupost Group whose investment opinions have attracted a near cult-like following, said that investors were underplaying risk and were not prepared for an end to central banks reversing a five-year experiment in ultra-loose money.”


Margin debt is at or near all time highs http://www.cnbc.com/id/101479331

And from the Guardian UK


“The situation is even more worrying in the US. In March 2013, the Standard & Poor 500 stock market index reached the highest ever level, surpassing the 2007 peak (which was higher than the peak during the dotcom boom), despite the fact that the country’s per capita income had not yet recovered to its 2007 level. Since then, the index has risen about 20%, although the US per capita income has not increased even by 2% during the same period. This is definitely the biggest stock market bubble in modern history.”

five signs the recovery may be an illusion http://www.theguardian.com/business/economics-blog/2014/apr/06/global-economic-recovery-warning-signs-imf



market watch Europe’s hot new export deflation: http://www.marketwatch.com/story/europes-hot-new-export-is-deflation-2014-03-12

Why We Must Raise Wages

Posted in Uncategorized on March 8, 2014 by highboldtage

I have had periods in my life when I was “successful”, when I made income of $60,000 plus in the early 90′s.

I am a smart guy, with a A type personality, and I used to work very hard.  I was successful but in a way also an asshole.

But then things fell apart.  Until my health left me, I worked the last 8 years of my working life in minimum wage, temp agency jobs.   I worked as much as I could.  I had to be humbled in my own life to gain empathy for these lower wage workers who I now view as my brothers and sisters.

The truth is that no one can live on what has passed for the minimum wage in the United States, at least for the last several decades.  This doesn’t mean that you die right away.  It means, if you are a minimum wage worker that your life is in a slow downward financial death spiral.  The vise tightens a little more every week.  Every week a little more in debt, a little more of your meager resources used, a couple more friendships and family relationships stressed or burned.

Hopelessness and desperation and depression.  Anxiety.

Workers making minimum wage (or close to it) are losing their lives to a downward poverty spiral.  The employers know this as do the politicians.   The truth is that we low wage workers are disposable.  When we wear out and fall in our footsteps, there are more of us to step over our bodies and keep marching……to our slave labor jobs! When something (someone let’s remember) is viewed as disposable there is no reason to maintain them!

We are the cannon fodder in capitalism’s war against us and against itself of course.  We are the infantry and the civilian collateral damage all at once.

So you reach a point where you realize that basically these folks just want you to work yourself to death, suffer for a few months before you die so these health care vampires can suck the last of the resources out of your family, and then just fuck off and die because you’ve been replaced.

That realization, that epiphany, that is the point when things change.  I reached that point myself a few years ago.  How about you?

People need to be paid more than their replacement value or its a death spiral economy that will collapse and its looking like its going to be soon.

have a peaceful day, Bill

A People’s Initiative for a
$12.00 An Hour Minimum Wage for Large Employers

Blogging the 2014 Humboldt County California Elections

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 3, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here: http://wp.me/p38Pt0-q1

mnemonic link here: http://urlet.com/complains.chore

Humboldt County Supervisor District 4


Humboldt County Supervisor District 5


Eureka City Council Ward 1

Eureka City Council Ward 3

Humboldt County District Attorney


Eureka Mayor


Fukushima’s Radioactive Plume in the Pacific to be Tracked by Woods Hole

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on March 2, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here: http://wp.me/pbr9G-3XJ

mnemonic here: http://urlet.com/live.late

Fukushima Radioactive Plume to be Tracked by Woods Hole



Rise Up (And Raise Our Wages) – Electric Bill – Free MP3

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on February 10, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here: http://wp.me/pbr9G-3Xj

mnemonic link here:  http://urlet.com/live.late

Rise Up (And Raise Our Wages) listen on Box.net:


Rise Up (And Raise Our Wages)

copyright 2014 Bill Holmes


Feb . 8 2014
I can’t make it on what they pay
Get a 2nd job is what they say
I got three jobs and I’ll tell you what
I’m sick and tired I’ve had enough
Rise Up and Raise Our Wages,
Rise Up, Rise Up
Rise Up and Raise Our Wages,
Rise Up, Rise Up
40 hours don’t pay the rent
30 hours don’t make a dent
20 hours its killin me
Aint no hope for my family
They tell you to educate yourself
My degree is sittin on the shelf
These student loans are killin me
My only hope is a Jubilee.
repeat chorus and out.

The Equations of Revolt – “Someday Loans”

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on January 29, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/pbr9G-3Ww

mnemonic here:  http://urlet.com/tinkering.york

The United States government has for the last few years lent $80 Billion dollars a month to the richest people in the world (the bankers) in the form of interest free or very low interest rate loans. This is done simply by forcing the government (us) to purchase worthless bonds, and paying for them with real tax money extracted from us. On the one hand this gives the banksters plenty of money to speculate with and of course one of the main speculations is whether or not it will ever be repaid. Such fun!

On the other hand it debases the dollar especially overseas and this has driven the so called “recovery” in the US. [We have been allowed to purchase real goods with counterfeit money and it has given the US a temporary advantage.]  This is coming to an end with the arrival of revolution in the third and second worlds now. [It turns out that once people have been trickled on anywhere in the world they get upset]   There are real fears of global currency wars. Domestically this will mean inflation or collapse.

So 85 Billion is an 85 followed by nine zeros, yes? So in a year you get 85 times 12 = 102 followed by 10 zeros. That’s right the banksters are getting an interest free Trillion dollar a year loan from you. You are very generous and they thank you back by creating high paying and rewarding employment for you.

85,000.000.000 times 12 = 1020000000000

It might even be argued that in a mild inflationary environment, that such interest free loans might in reality be actually positive interest loans. We are paying the banksters to borrow money from us! Loan sharks? Nay!  We are loan minnows!  We are loan kittens!  We are Loan Angels!

Its really even sweeter because there isn’t really any timeline for repayment. Its like everyone agrees that the banksters owe trillions but no one (in government) is really clawing it back. Nay! Our corporate tax collectors and government enforcers of corporate law have the softest of mittens while at the same time they tighten the screws on the rights of real people!

So imagine if that trillion dollars was simply sent in a check last year to you, apportioned simply by population.
That would be over $3,000 for every mother, every child, every dad, every homeless person, every baby, every immigrant, every mentally ill person, you know – each and every one and all of us. If you are a mom and dad and two kids, well your share would be $12,000. Of course you would have to pay it back someday. But we understand that times are tough and your family is too important to fail. And you get the $12 grand with no interest. Life is sweet.

So let me repeat. Your family gets a check for $12,000 this year in the form of an interest free loan that you must repay “someday”. And if you blow it all, no worries! You’re gonna get another 12 grand next year!  This is not welfare.  You and your family are too important to fail.  If you fail all of civilization will fail.

Imagine that world in contrast to the trickle down reality we face today!

So now you see a little glitch in the market and riots in the Ukraine and Thailand. These are food riots spurred by global inflation due to our [ the United States] government’s actions. Now the FED must taper this bubble or there will be global currency wars. There will be pain either way.

These are the equations of revolt.

Electric Bill – 2014 – Acoustic/Eclectic/Electric

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on January 23, 2014 by highboldtage

2014 – Electric Bill

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/pbr9G-3VV

Bill Holmes – singer – songwriter – acoustic/electric/eclectic

I do somewhat obscure covers by great songwriters and I sing and record originals.

Contact Humboldt.organizer@gmail.com

Rise Up (And Raise Our Wages) listen on Box.net:


Rise Up (And Raise Our Wages)

copyright 2014 Bill Holmes

Feb . 8 2014
I can’t make it on what they pay
Get a 2nd job is what they say
I got three jobs and I’ll tell you what
I’m sick and tired I’ve had enough
Rise Up and Raise Our Wages,
Rise Up, Rise Up
Rise Up and Raise Our Wages,
Rise Up, Rise Up
40 hours don’t pay the rent
30 hours don’t make a dent
20 hours its killin me
Aint no hope for my family
They tell you to educate yourself
My degree is sittin on the shelf
These student loans are killin me
My only hope is a Jubilee.
repeat chorus and out.

Upcoming 2014 Appearances:

Feb. and Mar here in Eureka we have some nice sunny days sometimes but its really too cold to play outside so my outdoor shows will be limited in this period.


Mar 21 South Broadway Five Points (Broadway & Wabash)  approx. 430 -630

Music, talk, signs, marking 10 years of Illegal Aggression in Iraq


March 22    Fair Wage Café Labor Temple Eureka info@fairwages.org  442-7465


Aoril 18 Friday  Benefit for Move To Amend Arcata Playhouse Magician 630 to 8, music 8 until ?  Sarah Torres, Mad River Rounders, and Bill Holmes [Electric Bill].

Cosmic Comic Swami Beyondananda Brings His Evolutionary Up-Wising to The Arcata Playhouse Friday April 18 As a FUNDRAISER for Humboldt County Move To Amend

Get your tickets now!

Who Is the Swami? He’s the Only Political Guru to Channel Both Bulwinkle AND Elvis!

As anyone who follows the news can attest, we are living in serious times. The antidote? Serious laughter. Take it from the Swami himself: “The best way to overcome gravity is with levity.”

Swami Beyondananda brings his laugh-filled cosmic comedy show to The Arcata Playhouse on Friday, April 18, 2014 as part of his Wake Up Laughing tour.  Swami’s performance has been described both as “comedy disguised as wisdom,” and “wisdom disguised as comedy.” Which is it? Go see him, and then you decide.

more http://humboldtmta.org/swami-event


April 20 (420)  Sun Walk the Boardwalk for Herbal Freedom.   This may or may not be a musical appearance but I will be there to speak at least.


Appearances this year so far:

Mar. 22 Unitarian Church

Feb 1 Sat Clarke Plaza

Jan 26 Eureka Coop 10 to 1
Jan . 25 Clarke Plaza 1 to 4

Jan. 24  Storefront Tour  F St. Between 2nd and 3rd.  noon to 3

Jan 23 Clarke Plaza Lunch Outdoors Café Nooner   noon to 3

Jan. 18 Homeless Bill of Rights Demo Carson Park  2 to 5

Jan 17  Homeless Bill of Rights Demo Gazebo Old Town Eureka  noon to 2

Jan. 11 Fair Wage Café Labor Temple Eureka  noon to five

Street Music 101 – Rolling with Amplification – How It’s Done

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 7, 2013 by highboldtage

shortlink here: http://wp.me/pbr9G-3SR

mnemonic link here:  http://urlet.com/trials.tricky

I started off the summer wanting to upgrade my simple street music rig to be amplified, battery powered and portable, since I don’t have a car.  I wanted to switch to all amplified acoustic even on the streets since I had migrated to playing lots of club gigs in an amplified context, and I just wanted to do the same show on the street that I did in the clubs onstage.   So I started searching for solutions.

At the time I was just carrying my simple acoustic rig, a guitar, a tuner and a bucket to sit on.

My first try was to use an old Roland Microcube that I had picked up at a pawn shop back in 2008.   I first started using the microcube out in the Plaza here last spring, and in a few of the other Old Town acoustic sweet spots.  (Old Town Eureka is blessed with a few GREAT acoustic music venues.   I think its to do with the old buildings reflecting sound somehow, and perhaps just the right scale but I speculate.)

Well it is plain the the Roland is underpowered for the task of producing amplified vocal/guitar mixes outdoors.  Not that it isn’t loud enough, it is.  It really is a remarkable little amp.   Great if you are busking playing lead riffs because distortion is distortion right?   So you can crank these little amps but when you do vocals and acoustic guitars start to become distorted, shrill and thin.  Its partly because of the tiny 6 in speaker, but its also just 3 watts of power.

With these little amps there are a few things you can do though, and you can make your sound pretty decent.

First of all, use a mixer or preamp in front of the Microcube.   If you dial in just enough preamp to push the little Roland a little harder from the front end, you can get a much louder and less distorted sound out of it.   I would say if you are a singer/guitarist a mixer of some kind is essential to overcome the mic/instrument impedence differential.   That’s where the problem lies because it is hard to find a battery powered mixer that will work.      Rolls makes one for about $75.   Behringer makes one (1002b) but it has 5 mic inputs it is too big really for most busking applications and it costs about $125.    What made this possible to work for me was the Zoom A3 that I have reviewed here because it is essentially a two channel mic/guitar mixer with effects that is battery powered.   So I use the Zoom for a preamp pushed into the microcube and the sound is much improved.

Then the other thing you can do, and this is true of other small low power small speaker amps is that you can find a feature of the outdoor environment and use it for a horn.   For instance I often use the inside corner of a wall or some buildings and aim the little Roland backwards (away from the audience) and angled upwards towards the sky and building corners, to get the music in the air.  The stone or brick corner “horn” seems to add sympathetic bass to the content, and smooths out the harshness of the little speakers.   Listeners have the sensation of hearing your acoustic voice and guitar followed quite quickly by an echo from the horn, a little distorted still because it is still a tiny speaker, but people seem to process distortion differently in echoes than in direct sound.  It is almost as if we humans expect a little distortion in echoes.   People seem to find it a pleasant effecd, it is almost magic.    So give it a try.   Roland cubes, don’t forget the Peavey Solo it is 10 watts battery powered you can find them used for about 50 bucks.

Then there are a few battery PAs that you can use.   They are much more powerful than the Roland,  I use the AN Mini which cost about 180 dollars US.   Now it doesn’t have any effects, but it is a real 30 watt amp and it runs on 10 AA batteries, and I use rechargeables.  Since I use the Zoom A3 with the AN Mini as well all the effects I need are in the pedal.  This is actually  a pretty powerful rig and very portable.   But since the speaker here is also small, it is best to use these PAs the same way as the cube, that is aimed back and upwards towards a stone corner.

Roland makes a couple of battery PAs but both of them are overpriced and underpowered.   Roland makes great products but this line needs to be updated they have not kept pace with tech on battery powered gear.  The whole C ube line is underpowered now and out of date.

If you google for “battery pa” or “portable pa” you can find a few other options of small battery pas.   Samson makes one,  And there are a few that are very expensive.  Sampson XP40i is 40 watts and runs about $249 street http://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/XP40i/.   I haven’t heard  one but based on my experience this summer, it might just stomp all over one of the Rolands.  Prob not as quality built as a Roland, and no effects, but prob quite a bit louder.   The Cubes are only 3 or 4 watts and the AC is only 2 x 15 watts.    The 30 watt AN Mini is much louder than the Cubes.   I might have gone with the Samson instead of the AN Mini but the price was the difference for me.  $249 as opposed to 175, plus the AN mini uses AA batteries which is a plus for me, since I have rechargeables already.  .   The Samson uses a proprietary battery pack.  Samson makes a wireless version also the XP40iw for about 50 bucks more.    The Samsons do have a mini mixer built in, with one XLR input and one 1/4 in instrument input, while the AN Mini has only one quarter in input.   So the price difference is mostly the mixer and the mic preamp I suppose.  The Samson will most likely have the same small speaker problem that the cubes and the an-mini have, some harshness.  Use a corner for a horn with the Samson too if you need to.

Gemini Play2go mobile pa  advertised as 50  watts , 8 in woofer, 1 in tweeter.  199 dollars, built in battery.  may be issues with European charging cord.

mipro ma100 or ma10

alesis transactive  25 w

qtx qr12pa

are a few more that I have found but I haven’t tried them.

Also consider the newer NUX MIGHTY 8, it is about 7 watts, roughly double the power of a Roland Cube, well its a virtual clone of a cube but noticeably more powerful, new for $130 street.    Or a Peavey Solo.   I don’t know if Peavey still makes the Solo (not to be confused the with the Solo Bandit 112) but it is a 15 watt portable amp sometimes called the Solo AE and it runs on AA batteries, at 10 watts output.  You can find them used for around 50 to 70 dollars.  Crate also makes a smaller 15 watt Crate Taxi, and used to make a battery bass amp the Crate Bus but they seem to be pretty rare and discontinued.

Although I had found some workable solutions to my quest to be battery powered on the street I wanted to give the best show possible so I obtained a Crate TX50D which is a battery powered 50 watt acoustic amp.   It sounds great, and I will give a full review soon.  If you are serious about playing on the street and you have $400 to spend, and you don’t want to mess with building your own rig as described below, then this is the way to go.   The Crate is the rig that many pro buskers and world traveling musicians use.  Its simple, you use it then plug it in to charge it.  You don’t need a mixer or a Zoom pedal, it has a mic channel (xlr and 1/4 jacks) and a guitar channel.  It feels like  a real 50 watt amp, you can feel your guitar and vocals “hit the back of the room” so to speak.  I have gigged all summer with a 30 watt amp in a club and its plenty loud with a mixer or Zoom pedal pushing it, so this 50 watt Crate with 10″ woofer sounds pretty good.  And with the Crate there is no need for mixer, preamp or pedal.  It just remains to be seen how durable the amp  and battery pak will be.

Once I had decided to produce the absolutely best sound I could do, then I pursued  a dual strategy.  I would buy a Crate or something equivalent (I would find the best available off the shelf solution) and I would also try to build a 12 volt battery powered system in parallel.   Well after some research I bought the Crate.  It is really the best solution I have found in off the shelf gear for portable battery busking or playing.  The little Roland acoustic amps cost the same as the Crate but they are no where near as powerful   The Roland is really a 2 x 15 watt stereo amp, not really “30 watts” as it is advertised.  The Street Cube has the same problem    All the other amp companies who make battery amps make tiny amps, the Peavey  Solo is the most powerful at 10 watts (15 when AC powered)  with the exeption of Traynor, who seems to make a 40 watt battery amp but its hard to find.  [ed  traynor tvm50 ]

Now on to 12 volt systems.  Yes you can do it and its pretty simple.   You know if you google for 12 volt battery guitar amps (or variances of such) you will find people that have tried inverter power, and they got stuck in the woods with a dead battery and never tried it again.  They were using auto batteries, which you can do if you keep your car running.   Otherwise you need a deep cycle battery.   As a matter of fact I know peeps have figured this out down in LA because this fall when I was out playing in Eureka Old Town with my battery rig I ran into a beautiful young woman from LA who had her own hand built 12 volt battery street rig, and we had the same components that I had assembled.  She had a wonderful voice, she was up here visiting her uncle and scouting locations for a music video shoot.   So this is no big secret.

Here’s what you need.   You need a 12 volt deep cycle battery.   Its the deep cycle that’s important, regular auto and truck batteries are not well suited for this task.   The good news is that these deep cycle batteries don’t cost so much.   I am using a 35 AH deep cycle battery for my first (proof of concept) rig and it cost me $65 US.   These kinds of batteries are widely used now in wheelchairs, electric carts and solar arrays so they are plentiful.  I am not sure right now how big  a battery I need.  I want to be able for myself to play 3 hour shows and then be able to reliably recharge my battery within the 24 hour cycle.  So my 35 AH (AH stands for Amp Hours, a measure of the storage capacity of the battery)  may be too big.   I am going to test a smaller battery in my next rig.   But the key is the 35 AH works fine.  Look for the newer tech like AGM or gel-cel batteries because they are seale, maintenance free and you can charge them indoors.

You need an inverter.   You will be looking (in the US) for a 12v DC to 120 V AC inverter.  You will want one with two AC outlets.  For my rig I wanted to get the best sound possible, so I decided on a pure sine wave inverter.   There are several kinds of inverters, the cheapest put out square waves, then there are modified sine wave inverters and pure sine wave inverters.   I bought a 600 watt pure sine inverter for about 150 dollars US.   Here again I may have overdone it.  I wanted to get it right on the first shot, and I did.  It sounds great.   Now for my next test rig again I will go a bit smaller.  Maybe a 400 watt modified sine inverter I think I can find for less than 50 bucks.  I think that maybe bigger inverter = more audio headroom but I could be wrong about this.  I an on a learning curve for sure.  The problem with cheap square wave inverters is that they can produce 60 cycle hum into your music.  But its not a given.  If you are assembling one of these rigs and you have a cheap inverter give it a try, it may work without excessive hum if you are lucky.

You will need a charger.   Find a smart charger, your batteries will last  a lot longer.   Find one for less than 50 bucks.

You need a small amp that you will simply plug into the inverter.  If it is an acoustic amp or keyboard amp or small pa  with low impedance mic input(s) you are good to go.   If you are using a small bass amp or guitar amp (I like bass amps better for this usually)  then you will need to use a mixer or Zoom A3.   If you use a mixer you will mostly likely need to power it (since as I pointed out above battery mixers are not common) hence the usefulness of the 2nd AC outlet on the inverter.  Happily most inverters in this class do have two outlets, its  a detail though.

I like bass amps better because they are usually simpler and not full of effects that I don’t need (and do have to pay for.)   When you use a bass amp or guitar amp for vocals you usually have to roll off the bass and push the midrange a bit.   But that makes the guitar sound a bit thin so you have to adjust the guitar too.   But you can do it.  Of course I have EQ on the zoom pedal or mixer as well.  I am just saying that a bass or guitar amp is doable for this kind of act either on the street or in a small club if you use a small mixer and take the time to dial your sound in.  I want to sound as good on the street as I do in the clubs.  On the other hand, a few bass amps and guitars amps just sound crappy when used as a small pa, it has to do with how the circuitry or the cabinet and speakers are tuned.  Find another one, these kinds of old amps are plentiful and cheap.

So    12volt deep cycle battery  + inverter  + mixer + amp and you have a workable street rig.

Mine cost $65 for the battery, $150 for the inverter, and $60 for an old Peavey keyboard amp.   I don’t need the zoom pedal or mixer.  So this rig is loud, clear, portable battery operated, and    Toss in $25 for a pawn shop mic and stand and I roll for under $300.   And its modular.  If something breaks its replaceable off the shelf.

I bought a hand cart from Ace Hardware on sale for $15 and I bungee my rig to it and  I roll.

For my next test rig I will go to a smaller battery and a less expensive inverter, and I will see how it sounds.  I  will use the same mics and amp.  I may be able to shave $100 or more of the cost of the street rig.

Its true that some of these rig options will require a small mixer.   This week I bought a used alesis for 25 bucks which works or you can go up to things like the Zoom A3 which is $200 (but worth if if you can afford it).   If you must go really cheap without a mixer be patient and find the right keyboard amp.  You won’t need the mixer.  My current thinking is to find amps for this purpose at least 30 real watts up to maybe 50 watts, which I think is a good balance between clean sound power for acoustic guitar and vocals and power (battery) consumption.   I am going to test larger amps (a peavey KB100 or maybe a KB/A 60 if I can find one) and also a Peavey Bandit.   My current favorite is an old Peavey KB/A 30, which is bi-amped 30 watts into a 10 inch woofer and 7 watts into a tweeter.  It sounds great.  I don’t think you should go below 10 in woofers outside if you are a vocalist, unless you are going to play and sing really softly.   Probably 12 in will sound even better outside, that’s why I am going to try a Bandit.  Outdoors, you need to push some air with your speakers to sound good.  I did a farmers market last year outside with a 30 watt bass amp and the zoom pedal and it sounded great, in a block long outdoor venue.

You can do it too.

Remember get your music up into the air.  Music lives in the air and dies on the ground.

have a peaceful day,


update Well thanks to a wonderful musician named Heidi Joubert, I have learned about a new kind of battery amp (at least new for me) AER Compact Mobile CPM-AKKU http://www.musiciansfriend.com/amplifiers-effects/aer-compact-mobile-cpm-akku-acoustic-guitar-combo-amp they are spendy but do sound good on video. They are battery powered, 60 watts, twin 8 in speakers.  Basically  a high end battery powered acoustic amp.

update: I came across this video, this is an Aussie street musician and his rig is almost identical to mine, in concept. He is using a big Roland keyboard amp (I use a 40 watt keyboard amp) and a bigger battery than I do (he uses a 66 amp hour battery, but the bigger amplifier might require it) , and I have extended the handles of my dolly with two 6 foot lengths of 1.5″ pvc pipe so I can pull my rig rickshaw style down the sidewalk. Its a lot easier. :)

Here’s some good advice from a busker:


Here’s  an elegant approach to battery power sound:


Here’s a link to the FlatMax Studios Karaoke Mixer, runs on 9v or 12 v battery direct.


“Dragonfly” – Ellis Paul, Monica Taylor, Sam Baker, Chris O’Brien and Don Conescenti

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 19, 2014 by highboldtage


Uploaded on May 12, 2009

This song was written by Ellis Paul and Sam Baker, backstage at the Blue Door in Oklahoma City. This video is a performance of the song the night it was written and after the audience had left. It features Ellis Paul, Monica Taylor, Sam Baker, Chris O’Brien and Don Conescenti.

Here’s A Real Kerrigan vs. Bass Poll. The Times Standard “Poll” is Bullshit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on April 18, 2014 by highboldtage

The Times Standard has had a Bass v. Kerrigan beauty contest on their front page for a few days.

The poll is bullshit and the Times-Standard (our so-called “Newspaper of Record”) should be ashamed of itself for promoting this fraud.

You can “vote” as often as you like at the Times-Standard by clearing your cookies. Virginia Bass is always listed first. Bass had a huge accumulation of votes last night between 10 pm and six am this morning. This is a HOAX.

Below you will find a real POLL. You will be limited by cookie and IP address so you can only vote once. This will inhibit folks who wish to vote from libraries and other shared computers. So Kerrigan will lose some votes maybe. Its not a perfect world but below is a more perfect poll.

just for grins:

4/20 Is On Easter Sunday This Year! Stroll The Boardwalk for Herbal Freedom!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 17, 2014 by highboldtage

shortlink here:  http://wp.me/p38Pt0-pw

mnemonic here:  http://urlet.com/comparing.required

We gather in the afternoon around 3 pm or so at the foot of F st. on the Eureka Boardwalk.

At 4:20 we will stroll the Boardwalk between F and C Streets for Herbal Freedom.

Bring your signs or we will have some.  Bring some green cloth streamers.

This will be a big tent pro cannabis rally for all users of the herb cannabis and other herbs.

We honor all four uses of cannabis – spiritual, industrial, medicinal and recreational.
Below you will find some banners you can print and some information and pics from last years Stroll for Herbal Freedom.
have a peaceful day,

Organize a 420 Event in Your Town!


420 Walk for Herbal Freedom, Eureka Boardwalk, 2013

4/20/2014 Is Easter Sunday!

One idea we found effective last year was to tear some two or three foot bright green cloth streamers out of bolt end cloth, and tied them to fences, posts and trees.   They flutter nicely in the breeze.  I collected ours for re use this year.

Herbal Rights, Medicinal Rights, Constituti​onal Rights, Human Rights, the Commons of Humanity

The War on Cannabis is Unconstitutional, Your Constitutional Right to Cannabis

You and I have a Constitutional Right to grow, to possess, and to consume cannabis sativa and its variants.

Really you do.

I have pointed out to people in debates for years that it says right in the Constitution that you have a right to grow, possess, and yes! smoke cannabis sativa if you so choose. These people (some of them are well meaning but just ignorant) challenge me to point out the words in the Constitution that guarantee me the right to use cannabis sativa.

I tell them it is right there, right next to the words that guarantee them the right to manufacture, possess and consume alcohol. It’s right there, can’t you see it? Of course you can.

Because when the Constitution was ratified and the Bill of Rights was ratified the cultivation and processing and yes! the smoking of India hemp (cannabis sativa and its cultivars) was perfectly legal in the newborn United States of America. As a matter of fact, so was the production and use of alcohol. That is why a century later that miserable exercise in prohibition against alcohol required a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw alcohol. It would require a Constitutional Amendment to outlaw hemp as well. This has never happened.

It is time for the government to give up the war on hemp and move on. The War on Cannabis is Unconstitutional!

This fraudulent “war” has no moral basis.

We the People have the Constitutional Right to use cannabis in any one of its four uses: spiritual, medicinal, recreational and nutritional-industrial.

have a peaceful day,



As a human being I claim the right to use cannabis.  Its a plant.

My right to use plants is held by humanity in general as part of our commons and in perpetuity and my right preceded any state or local laws, any national laws, any Bill of Rights, any Constitution, any Declaration of Independence, any Magna Carta, any King Arthur, or any imaginary being that might want to take it from me.

I claim the right to chew the coca leaf and to make opium pod tea or to grow and use the nicotine bush, or to use the bark of the willow tree or the ancient herb Vervain.

I reserve the right to consume plant products to enhance my own personal spiritual advancement.

This is simple.

have a peaceful day,


and a link to last years event:  http://highboldtage.wordpress.com/2013/04/19/stroll-the-eureka-boardwalk-for-herbal-freedom-april-20-2013/

Here are a few free posters for you, u-print-em.  I like to print out a few of each to give participants a choice of printed signs, and I have a few markers and blanks for people who need to express their own thoughts.    Print these 11 x 17 on recycle card stock in b x w and they are pretty effective, and still look grass rootsy.















West, Texas, Fertilizer Plant Blast One Year Ago (VIDEO)

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on April 17, 2014 by highboldtage

Published on Apr 17, 2014

One year ago today a massive explosion at a fertilizer plant rocked the town of West, Texas.Jeff Tobola has just now released heart-stopping cell phone video he shot of the explosion.He says he waited until now out of respect for the victims and that he had a lot of friends killed in the blast.More from CNN: 15 dead, 120 homes destroyed


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