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Day dawned gray of course, but the sun prevailed and kind breezes stirred the old (new) growth woods around Michael O’Neill’s beautiful hilltop acres south of Seattle and somewhere in the vicinity of Bill Gates’ Dark Lair. In the just passed wee hours of dark night on the tour bus parked in big trees, the other Hawks own melancholy had swooped into the depths, pulling Paul L’s spirit from its penumbral proneness. Misery loves company, and needs it even more. So give of your time generously to the miserable. Or don’t. The chilly bus had warmed up around 4 a.m. and we all slept well. Morning. We can see clearly now. We checked out the O’Neill chicken coop and expansive vegetable garden. Michael cooked up eggs and taught us the subtleties of hillbilly golf on his lawn, then recorded us in his studio for a radio show. A generous man. Passage is complete.

South to Portland, which has late afternoon eco-traffic that looks a lot like L.A. anti-eco-traffic. We flirt with lateness but arrive with our patented mysterious unexpected promptness©® for our show at Music Millennium record store. The record store folks are nice, the crowd is appreciative. The band attempts to get collective haircuts but the $5 stylist next door is giving a perm that will likely take the rest of the afternoon. Katie W and Rob activate their scarily efficient cyber research team through iPhone interstate communication, and guide us to a very good Persian restaurant in Tigard, vaguely near and perhaps even adjacent to Portland. The reviews accurately warn of a strict and intimidating owner but we quickly win her over with our calculated politeness and country rock charm.

Where is Tigard? What spawned its existence? Lumber? Tin? Did it exist five years ago? Did it have a Barnes and Noble and Staples five years ago? Wherever we go, there are people. Lots of them. Lots of new stuff. If we were sensitive, we might feel a mild panicky claustrophobia. But we’re not sensitive. Are we sensitive?