Archive for October, 2008

Yes on Prop 2!

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

In general, I’m not a big fan of the whole California proposition system.  I don’t really feel qualified to make budgetary decisions and feel like a lot of the propositions are downright scary.

But I am excited about a particular proposition on California’s November 4 ballot — Proposition 2.  It requires that farms allow all animals to lie down, turn around, and stretch their limbs.  This is currently not the case in many factory farms, particularly in the raising of chickens, beef for veal, and in the gestation of pigs.  I visited a factory farm my freshman year in college and was really saddened by the pigs in particular.  They spent their whole lives in cramped, indoor cages and were so sad and unhealthy.  It was heartbreaking.

The proposition is remarkably short and clear.  It states,

…a person shall not tether or confine any animal, on a farm, for or the majority of any day, in a manner that prevents such animal from:

(a)  Lying down, standing up, and fully extending his or her limbs; and

(b)  Turning around freely.

That’s it!  You can read the proposition in it’s entirety (four pages) here.

The arguments against the proposition seem very weak to me… basically they fear increased food cost and cite worries of increased salmonella contamination.  The argument that allowing animals to lie down and to turn around is a health hazard is absurd.  Search “egg laying chicken health factory farm” on google to see how unhealthy chicken factory battery cages are.

So I am leaning strongly toward voting yes on Prop 2.  More information is available at the CA Voter Invormation Guide website.

If you disagree, please let me know why in comments below.

Hiroshima at the Rrazz

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

Just finished a weekend of fun performances with Hiroshima at the Rrazz Room at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco.  Also had a chance to stop by my 10 year Stanford reunion while in the bay area.  It was great seeing faces I haven’ seen since graduation and reconnecting with classmates.

I also stopped by Chen Design Associates for a meeting and saw a prototype of the CD packaging for our new album “Ume in the Middle”.  I’m really excited about the new album and I’ll be posting more info as our release date gets finalized.

Tomorrow I’m headed back to LA and will be preparing for YOBU and working on the two recording projects in the works.  More soon…

Debian gnu/linux knowledge-base

Sunday, October 12th, 2008

I use Debian gnu/linux for all my computing needs.  I absolutely love it!  It’s powerful and stable and because it’s Free Software, my only limitation is knowledge.  The more I know, the more I can do!  (To learn more about Free Software, see

However, there is a quite a lot to know.  Using only Free Software has required I learn a lot and get good at using Google.  In these searches, I often stumble upon other people’s tips and tricks, answering just the question I’m facing.

So with the hope that others might stumble upon something useful, here is my “gnu/linux knowledge-base”.  I’m no guru, so your mileage may vary, but please don’t hesitate to contact me with questions (kris at OnEnsemble dot org).


Byron’s Bottled Water Operas

Sunday, October 12th, 2008
Kidnapping Water

Kidnapping Water

I was in Seattle last week visiting On Ensemble’s good friend, Byron Au Yong.  I got a chance to see his art installation at the Jack Straw Media Gallery.  It’s a dark room with a ring-shaped light sculpture in the middle.  Tracks from Byron’s Bottled Water Operas play through a four-channel sound system.  The effect is really great.  If you’re in the Seattle area, and need a moment to step out of the ordinary, drop in to sit for a while in the dark room.

Although the installation doesn’t take such an explicit stance on the issue, I for one used my time there to think about how silly bottled water is.  I am an avid proponent of tap water.  Here are a few additional links about the downside of bottled water:


Friday, October 10th, 2008

Hi all.  I spent the last week in South Lake Tahoe with TAIKOPROJECT.  Actually it’s been just me and Courtney.  We presented 14 lecture/demonstrations for about 10 different schools!!!  I’m exhausted, but it’s been fun.  The kids have been great.

It’s beautiful up here.  Reminds me a little of home… except it’s about 3,000 feet higher, so I can really feel the thin air up here.  Hard to breathe!

Here’s a pic of me pretending to fish with bears (conveniently with my “KUMA” t-shirt) made out of moss.  The leaves are changing too.  This area is called Sorenson‘s where there were many aspen trees.  So pretty!

It snowed today!  Bryan and the rest of the gang are driving up tonight for our public show tomorrow.  It’s being put on by Peggy Thompson and the Tahoe Arts Project.  Thanks for everything Peggy!

Don’t forget about On Ensemble’s concert coming up in less than a month!!!

See you in LA!

The world might be coming to an end…

Monday, October 6th, 2008

But our FoundatiOn Team still comes through! We’re up to $5001 and are only $2020 away from this year goal! We’re on pace to set a new fund raising record for the FoundatiOn Team!  A huge thank you goes out to our newest FoundatiOn Team members: Alysse Itatani, Russel Baba & Jeanne Mercer, Bonnie Peterson, Debbie Taylor, Tadashi Kameda & Laura Masunaga, Carol Ono, Jon & Diane Bergstrom, Mikko Henson, Jerry & Carol Baba, Gabriel Ishida & Kara Motonaga, Linda Kimura, Chris Tin, Dan & Chris Kubo, Donna Cole, Joyce & Tuan Tran, Rick & Jan Babington and Kathryn Cabunoc!

Cordelia’s first phone call

Monday, October 6th, 2008

My little niece made her first phone call.  Little did we know she was a prankster.  Check out the end result…


Natori: What’s in a name?

Saturday, October 4th, 2008
Kris w/ Iemoto Katsaburo and teacher, Katsuyukie Sensei

Kris w/ Iemoto Katsusaburo and teacher, Katsuyukie Sensei

Maz and I have finished the bulk of our lessons here in Japan. Negotiating the etiquette of the Japanese traditional music world and living up to my teacher’s high expectations is always a bit nerve wracking. But this time in Japan has been particularly useful and a major step for me as a player.

This has to be the most work I’ve ever done for a single piece of music. But it’s looking like we’ll be ready for Yobu on November 8!

First a word on Maz…

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