This project page is for collection of original music created during the largest recovery phase of life so far–rebuilding my homestead.
~ The homestead was destroyed in May 2022 by the United States Forest Service. The culprits have been reassigned and moved. ~
Approaching two years homeless, hapless victims of the fire are still fighting tooth and nail for FEMA to make them whole again.
These tunes and songs will eventually become soundtracks for vlogs detailing the phases and stages of this project as it progresses.
TRACK 1: Fluehornet Serenade
This tune was inspired by a hornet building a nest in the fireplace last fall before the polar vortex descended over the land. The first 9.5 seconds of the track are just the hornet playing solo. No pitch adjustments whatsoever were applied to any of the recorded hornet sounds. Then starting with simple kick bass drum and a single shaker, musical elements are progressively wrapped around the serenade.
I'm dedicating this tune to Bryan, Jo Jo and Aaron who collaborated to add the final touch of essential gear to the recovery vehicle I've been putting together since mid September 2023. They worked hard to make it happen in a day while I cooled my heels in the waiting area of their brand-spanking-new, thirty-thousand someodd square feet of all climate-controlled workspace. It's a fantastic place to behold and a wholly pleasant place to compose a new piece of music. So that's what I did, and I'm not entirely certain the finished piece could have come out any better than it did if I had created it anywhere else, except maybe at my own home/studio, if I still had one.
Phoenix Tracks — Parcel Candidate One
So, yeah. Almost two years ago my own government burned me out of house and homestead.
Totally and unquestionably.
The house, everything inside and around the house, an entire old-growth, unspoiled forestland spanning hundreds of thousands of acres surrounding the homestead and everything living within that wilderness that could not escape the USFS-ignited inferno was all turned to ash, twisted steel, shattered and melted glass, heat-cracked concrete, and scorched bone and teeth (formerly wildlife–mostly babies unable to flee). And now who knows how much toxicity released from incinerated sundry chemical-laden items of modern manufacture (formerly vehicles, computers, studio equipment, power tools, appliances, etc.) subjected to tons of rain and snow since the fire died out is all now slowly but surely percolating into the earth and contaminating groundwater. The destruction continues unabated.
And I’m not the only one attacked by grossly incompetent, obscenely (if not criminally) negligent GS pay scale nincompoops who never should have been allowed to play with fire. Hundreds of others along the front range of the Sangre de Cristos were burned out, too. Their homesteads also completely decimated in the wholly-preventable conflagration planned and executed by the one-and-only United States Forest Service, now referred to as the Hermit's Peak/Calf Canyon Fire.
Granted, those GS pay scale nincompoops responsible for such massive destruction were some of the lowest paid in the nation, but that does not excuse their actions considering how severely irresponsible and improper those actions were. By any rational measure, they are nothing more than lame-ass arsonists which have since been moved and reassigned to ply their malpractice elsewhere in the nation with only their consciences guiding them onward through life. Some may feel regret, even remorse, and some may not, but none are suffering as horribly as their victims are. And even though nearly four billion dollars have been allocated to make victims whole again through the Hermit’s Peak Fire Assistance Act signed into law by President Biden almost a year and a half ago, FEMA is treating some, if not all of us like conniving, scheming malcontents undeserving of receiving compensation which makes us whole again via a claims process their own (former) program director so enthusiastically mislabeled “simple, fast, and fair”.
Those lousy USFS employees sucker punched us to the ground, leaving us gasping, homeless and increasingly distressed at every level imaginable. Now FEMA is ruthlessly kicking us all while we’re down and vulnerable.
At times it feels like it would have been better to have stayed and perished in the fire trying to defend my homestead than to have evacuated to live through its unavoidable aftermath. But I was too pissed off to do that. Way too pissed off.
So I started my own process. A complex, slow, fantastic process of recovery. A process requiring imagination, ingenuity and persistence—both personal and of others met and involved along the way—which has finally ignited this Phoenix Tracks Project.
And today it launches with day one of its primary subprocess: evaluating property parcels to find the ideal one to rebuild the homestead on.
Keep in mind that to date, FEMA has contributed absolutely nothing to enable or initiate this project. No funds. No useful guidance. Nothing. On the contrary, FEMA has and continues to ruthlessly inflict damage to victims’ lives by stalling incessantly and offering offensively insulting compensation determinations, thus dragging our agony out as effectively as any medieval torture master would.
The only people applying effective action to enable and increase chance of success of this project are all non-government, free-market, forward-thinking, innovative entrepreneurs and business operators. No charity organizations, faith-based or otherwise, have been or ever will be involved in the project. And luck (which I do not believe in) played no part, either.
Finding these unwitting positive-force-giving participants wasn’t all that easy, but through fortunate timing and by maintaining an open mind while effectively leveraging modern communications (mostly the World Wide Web), highly-skilled movers and makers were discovered plying their trades of progress delivering excellent products and services which have all helped tremendously.
Their contributions will all be woven into this account of the Phoenix Tracks Project as expression of respect and gratitude, and also so I can remember years from now. They are all positive forces I will be focusing on from here on out now that I’ve thoroughly aired out my grievances against the despicable villains who forced me into this situation. Demons which deserve no more attention here. May they all rot in their own putridity.
The first positive force givers are my parents. They began teaching me at age six how to swim/dive/hike/climb/camp/fish/cave/cookout and appreciate nature in general. Without that influence, none of this stuff I’m doing now would have ever occurred to me as a possible solution to my predicament. Other early-age positive forces were my maternal grandparents who triggered an interest in music making by putting guitars ordered out of the Sears & Roebuck Wish Book under the tree when I was seven. My father reinforced that by bringing home more musical instruments and stoically enduring the noise of my wild explorations on them. Never achieving a level of great accomplishment playing any of them hasn’t mattered. Making my own kind of music has served as life-long healing tonic—calming nerves, distracting attention from current-events crapola, and occasionally stirring glimmers of wonder and delight. Better effect than weed or booze, although I have enjoyed those, in moderation, too, since transitioning into adulthood.
Most recently, positive forces driving me onto this project trajectory begin with Alphabet Inc., then Mario, Janine and the rest of the crew at AT Overland in Prescott, Arizon. Growing sick and tired of being homeless for more than a year, I started seeking ways to begin rebuilding the homestead as soon as possible. I figured I needed a camper of some sort to live in while searching for a new parcel of property and then during homestead version 2 construction on it. While binge-watching truck camper review videos revealing all of the latest offerings, the YouTube algorithm unexpectedly guided me to one of Mario showing the Aterra Topper. It perfectly suited my needs without violating constraints (durability, color, size and total weight). Keeping an open mind I contacted my insurance provider to find out if temporary housing coverage could be used to purchase one of them. They assured me it indeed could be. So I ordered one, picked it up a few weeks later and spent the next four months outfitting it for use.
A final bit of gear installation happened late last month when Bryan, Jo Jo and Aaron collaborated to fit the truck with an airlift kit. A few weeks testing that exposed no faults or leaks. By early yesterday evening the rig was parked and leveled on the first candidate parcel—a nicely wooded lowland acreage with seasonal creek bisecting the contiguous parcel along its entire length and plenty of homesteading potential.
I would prefer something at a much higher altitude abutting public wilderness with numerous other outdoor recreation areas within a few minutes or a few hours driving distance. Still, for a first candidate, this parcel is pretty nice. And the USFS continues lurking in the higher, wilder places with full intent to burn again.
The owner of this parcel knows I'm still waiting for FEMA to get up off its ass and deliver fair compensation for my claim of indisputable losses. But that seems only to have instilled reassurance that I am serious about rebuilding my homestead and my life. That attitude makes me grateful that there are indeed still good people out here, ready and willing to be positive force givers.
TRACK 2: Flame-N-Funk
FEMA continues stalling and breaking its own IFR (what they are calling the assistance act rule enacted into law). The rat lovers are apparently incapable of performing their duties to least amount of IFR compliance, much less to any level demonstrating empathy for victims, or even to a degree of basic competence. So the state of funk the arsonists' flames have scorched me into and that FEMA seems bound and determined to ruthlessly prolong and intensify only swells. To quell their cruel burn, another tune emerges.