The first CAFFEINE COMMUNION interview, with Ralph Leeseberg. Who will be next?

Ralph and I met at North Market Friday, December 1 for the maiden voyage of CAFFEINE COMMUNION interviews.


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My first experience with Ralph was back in the ’70s, as he fronted a local band, The Cockroaches, with a spirited vocal rendition of “Walkin’ the Dog.” More recently he performed with The Bead People, as well as now with The In Spirit Band at a monthly music gathering at the First Unitarian Universalist Church in Columbus. We share some common time and place, as we both “competed” in the infamous Norwich Marathon a few decades ago, and our list of friends-in-common probably number in the dozens.

I start these interviews with a fundamental question: WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR/WHAT PERSONAL VALUES ARE NON-NEGOTIABLE? 

RALPH:  Peace, love, compassion, kindness. Be the change you want to see occur, in the spirit of Ghandi. 


RL:  Don’t merely post your positive feelings on social media, just do it! Write positive songs.  Perform positive songs such as at the monthly chants with The In Spirit Band.


RL:  To write and perform songs that unite us emotionally.



RL:  I don’t deal with uncertainty, because I’m not uncertain.


RL:  Same as now, write more positive songs and perform to extend positivity to others.


RL: He is sure the pendulum will swing to an overall greater consciousness, one that has already begun and continues in progress, an Age of Aquarius. Aquarius as the “Water Bearer,” symbolically and eternally giving life and spiritual food to the world, washing away the past, leaving room for a fresh, new start, forward-looking, growth-oriented, concerned with equality and individual freedom. Ralph believes we are responsible for “carrying our own water, everyone is personally responsible for their actions.”

That mostly concluded our meeting.


Let’s schedule a meeting, SOON, to get acquainted and conduct your interview for “CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters with Paradigm Pioneers.”

Reach me with email at

or text/phone (614) 440-1445.

I look forward to meeting you.





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May I interview you for “CAFFEINE COMMUNION” publication?

cup coffee

So, what is “CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters with Paradigm Pioneers?”

It’s a meeting, face-to-face, one-on-one, over coffee or tea, in order to develop a relationship and respond to Larry Page’s challenge (speaking at the Singularity Founding Conference in 2008),

“I think we need to be training people on how to change the world.”

Let’s talk. What are you presently working on, and WHY? What’s your current project? How are you changing your world? How  are you dealing with uncertainty?

Let’s schedule an encounter, you and me.

E-mail me at or text/phone me (614) 440-1445.

Coffee shops await us.

Thank you.




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Retirement: So What Is a Pensioner To Do?


So, where have I been? Let me inform you.

My last day on the payroll at my employment of 8-1/2 years, WCBE 90.5 FM NPR, was July 28. A modest-sized pension set in, to augment a modest-sized Social Security monthly allotment, so I have enough to pay bills.

Three months passed before I changed my activity from that of my working days at the station. For nine weeks I returned to my desk almost daily, putting in 4-5 hours each as a volunteer so that the revenue stream didn’t disappear into the nether-net. Then we got to hire my successor, Johnny DiLoretto, and I worked shoulder-to-shoulder with Johnny, daily, for another 3-4 weeks, getting to know him much better and helping him with the technical aspects of scheduling underwriting announcements for broadcast. He’s a nice guy, really, and his presence adds further dimension to ‘CBE.

So, by the time we ended our Fall On-Air Fund Drive, my days devoted to ME-time got longer. I generally had few responsibilities that required me to show up at a specific time, and some days NONE! I could get use to this…get up with Sharon, see her off to work, listen to NPR Morning Edition as I sipped my dawn concoction of lemon juice/habanero/sea salt & maple syrup before coffee. I started to feel retired, untethered, like I’d won the lottery. I become a PENSIONER-ABOUT-TOWN.

What’s missing with this situation? Nothing. I am more than fortunate, with good health, enough funds to pay my cost of living, all three offspring living near so we dine together weekly, and time to do something meaningful.
My day’s routine includes reading the printed page (libraries are awesome), working out, reading, getting grounded and meditating, reading, developing tough calluses on the fingertips of my left hand trying to improve my guitar and mandolin picking, reading, exploring and admiring the architecture of my near-East Side neighborhood, reading, and volunteering. You may have heard of a local not-for-profit, Transit Arts. In addition to music and dance, there are visual artists doing impressive work. I’m helping these entrepreneurs get enough exposure to earn professional status. Wanna buy any?

But I’m on a quest. We all need something to be meaningful in our lives, a connection within our community. I’m starting an activity I call “CAFFEINE COMMUNION: Encounters With Paradigm Pioneers.” This entails setting up one-on-one meetings over coffee or tea and interviewing my guests about how they plan positive change in their lives, their networks, their community. The venues will vary among central Columbus coffee shops & eateries. Upper Cup, Roosevelt Coffee, Brioso Roastery, Café Brioso, Starbucks downtown, Hills Market downtown, Fox in the Snow, Bottoms Up, anywhere that I can walk to/bike to/COTA to, as I no longer own a car. When my auto died, fortuitously after I ended my employment, I realized I no longer need to own reliable transportation, so why spend time & money driving. Worse case, we have Lyft and Car2Go, so I’m not stranded, but I prefer leg-locomotion and public transportation.

I’d enjoy meeting you for a CAFFEINE COMMUNION interview. I’m easy to reach…phone/text (614) 440-1445, email or reply to this blog post. Thank you.

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“They tried to bury us. They didn’t know we were seeds.” —Dinos Christianopoulos, often attributed as a Mexican Proverb

bury-seedsThere is some conflicting attribution to this marvelous saying, but regardless, I post this in hopes of replies…WHAT DOES THIS SAY TO YOU?

For me, resilience. We’ve all seen green shoots sprouting through concrete, testimonial to the clarity of purpose, the strength of the genetic code, the irresistible forcing its way past the immovable.  It also suggests discipline, focus to avoid straying from the target.

Here you can learn more about the Greek poet Dinos Christianopoulos.

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I recommend this before your 50th birthday

diagram-of-the-large-intestineI just endured my third colonoscopy today…since turning 40.  I started this periodic diagnostic voyage to my bowels earlier than most, due to a family history of cancer that attacked colons first. My father passed at 53, his father not even 47. I have that gene, albeit latent to date.  But the doctor recommends you show up in the fetal position for your exam by age 50, male, female, family history or not…get scoped!  For me, hearing him proclaim the verdict of NO POLYPS was a new gift of a clean slate. And after 30 hours of preparatory fasting…a clean intestine to boot.

(kick in Uncle Tupelo 1994 St Louis)

But what I really want you to know about is those 30 hours before the procedure, starting the fast upon waking Thursday morning.  No special schedule that day, a typical weekday at an NPR station, beginning with a 45-minute cardio workout in my basement, followed by the ol’ shit/shave/shower, then my morning grounding/gratitude meditation…and off to a full day of public radio work.  But THIS day was different from others; a choice was upon me to NOT EAT.  Clear liquids. Then at 6pm a 16-oz highball of SUPREP, a tonic so vile I had to awaken at 5:30 the next morning for a second cocktail, just to be confirmed in my belief of how distaste-full it is. But at least I got to spend much of the evening in the privy.  A few hours later the taste changed more pleasantly as I was treated to a micro-dose of  “Twilight” anesthesia. Don’t remember.

However, let’s put this digression aside so I can get us on track.  The choice to NOT EAT. Well, I’m expanding the usage of “choice” here.  I did choose to volunteer for the colonoscopy, but that entailed a mandatory fasting so the medical team could keep the camera clean for the real-time video adventures. Think of this cleanse as an enema from the top down.

But the satori that struck me, mid-afternoon on the fast day, is how much I eat and how often I eat thoughtlessly.  Literally, eating without thinking. Without even experiencing hunger.  To prevent the act of popping a bite, I cleared my work space of all edibles. In doing so, I realized that I often blindly dine…if there’s food there I Hoover it up.  If my  metabolism was any slower I’d be rotund!

So…takeaway…I’ll try a fast, regularly, one day a week, perhaps Monday. Not for dietary purposes , but to enhance mindfulness.  By nightfall Thursday I really wasn’t so hungry. Ditto this morning.  After the procedure, en route home, we stopped in the freshly opened Creole Kitchen, Chef Henry Butcher’s new dining room on Mt Vernon. I ate, but I could have just as easily not.  My body felt good, closer to the bone and more aware, each cell knowing well its own neighborhood.  And I am so reminded of how we behave on automatic; I want to rein that in. I want to get back to mindfulness. mindfullness


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an·tic·i·pa·tion anˌtisəˈpāSH(ə)n/


1965 pro football “Bonus Baby” Joe Willie Namath eventually contracted a ghost-written autobiography titled, “I Can’t Wait Until Tomorrow … ‘Cause I Get Better-Looking Every Day,”which speaks to my overall application of the noun, ANTICIPATION.

Much more than the Carly Simon hit, or the Heinz  commercial viewed by millions of  sitcom watchers in the ’70s, for me, anticipation is that ephemeral tingling one skates on before  sleep, the precipice of unbound joy, Christmas eve, first sex.

Looking forward to local music events in early 2017, I cannot stand the fright that I might experience in the possibility of missing Jay Farrar’s only  Ohio appearance, Thursday, April 13 at 31 West in Newark.

Tuesday, March 7, on the 73rd anniversary of the birth of Townes Van Zandt, Eric Nassau will assemble scores of Columbus musicians for TVZ-11, the tribute show, again at Dick’s Den (Why Not) and again as a fund raising benefit concert for WCBE 90.5 FM Columbus NPR.

Finally, continuing to jog through TimFerriss’ new compendium of positive tactics, routines and performance-habits, TOOLS OF TITANS, my springboard into 2017. tim-ferriss-tools


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When do you strategize resolutions for the new year?
Do you intend for these self-improvements to begin January 1?                                12:00:01am?
What is it with this calendar thing so much of humanity worships?

As many do, I operate with this construct, the passage of time, and the planning of our future, using clocks and calendars as an agreeable life hack. Throughout my existence I have fallen submissive to time’s demarcations. In my attempt to both observe and ignore this flight of time’s arrow, I’ll depart tradition and start this annual ritual of my daily life tune-up on December 31.

My son Nathan gifted me Tim Ferriss’ latest publication as a Hanukkah present.


As we played our annual family round of dreidel, I rolled a “Gimel,” thus grabbing all the Hanukkahgelt as well as my new copy of Tim’s TOOLS OF TITANS.  This is an accessible collection of interviews with about 120 experts about how they enhance their life performances, how they became, and how they maintain their HEALTHY & WEALTHY & WISE stasis. And upon arriving home that night I began consuming this coaching. A joy for me is that this digest need not be read linearly; one can just pick it up and open at random to a particular post.

I publish this resolution, this promise to myself, now,  explicitly to crystalize the pledge, to put it public, to treat my intention with more resolve.  My capacity for emotional intelligence and my history of behaving indicates that I require personal reminders to stay positive, to keep filling my glass. Returning to a daily habit of reading inspiration off the physically-printed page is my chosen path.



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