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Rescued from a kill shelter in Manteca, Petey Pumpkinhead III entered our lives 7 years ago. Abused by a previous owner he was skittish and nippish. That changed with love, affection and attention.

He was a majestic furry orange tabby. His coat emitted a perpetually lovely fragrance. He had the sexiest strut with an ever present erect tail and endearing behind.

Petey had simple needs. Belly rubs topped the list. He loved resting in his backyard igloo. He would prance out when I entered the yard and open wide for belly rubs and rolly polly.

He bonded with Klimey who also was rescued from a shelter. Klimey loved licking Petey and taught Petey how to love back. They were inseparable.

Petey-Weedy (as we called him) evolved into the sweetest and most gentle of companions. When hungry, he would jump into bed and delicately place his paw on my face. No histrionics, just a love tap and breakfast was on.

He loved sleeping inside the space between my legs or alongside the curve of Clara's thigh. His body language suggested the most delicious of dreams. He also had the squeakiest yawn when awakened.

Petey had a ravenous appetite and wore his weight well. That changed last October when he dropped 2 pounds in short order and was diagnosed with congestive heart failure.

He continued to lose weight but his sweet demeanor never changed. Although not a lap cat during his youth, lately I would place him in my lap in the back yard and we would stay together for long periods. These were cherished moments. Klimey would join us and stay by Petey's side.

Strong medication was required every 8 hours to dissipate the fluid in his lungs. No matter how much lasix was dosed, it could not stay on top of the progression of his heart disease.

Last week Petey hit a low point and could hardly breath. He hadn't eaten for 2+ days. We upped the lasix and he recovered miraculously. His breathing appeared normal and he started eating - but only food fresh out of the can. He ate more than he had in months. He had playful sparring sessions with Klimey, tons of rolly polly and belly rubs, his tail was erect and he slept next to my face the other day.

Today he had a good appetite in the early afternoon. I didn't see him the rest of the day. When the thunder rumbled and the rain came pouring down I went outside.

He was in the igloo. I tipped it and he ran inside. But something was wrong.

His breathing was labored. Petey could not catch his breath. He had breathing attacks before and I had feared the worst, yet Petey always persevered.

An hour or so later when Clara came home, Petey's condition had worsened. When he walked from under a table to lie down in the litter box that was an alarming signal. I picked him up and he let out a cry. Petey went under the bed where Klimey was and continued to make anguished yelps.

We left him alone. Petey soon emerged and we put him in a blanket by the heater.

He wanted to be left alone.

Petey-Weedy barely could walk and stumbled out the bedroom and down a few steps to the cat door. Somehow he pushed himself through. The igloo was two feet from the door.

We let him be.

An hour later Clara checked on Petey.

His fur was gorgeous. His body still warm.

But Petey had passed.

He never made it to the igloo.

Moti has been missing since Sept 2014.  On Jan 23, 2015 while walking in McClaren Park a cat resembling Moti emerged on a tree branch above a thicket of bushes. This brightened our hearts as Clara and I imagine Moti as a feline Tarzan.  Clara wrote the below poem before we confirmed the cat was not Moti.

Moti Sighting
by Clara Hsu

Who sits on a branch
above a field of thorns?
My cat. My cat.

Who listens to his names
and twitches his ears?
My cat. My cat.

His looks have changed since autumn
from living wild and eating mice.
We’re trespassing his kingdom
that can’t be bought
 any price.

Running streams.
Catnip on the hills.

Oct 2018 Tangents Greece Music Tour
9/15 spots filled
Email tangentsgreecetour@gmail.com

Oudist Haig Yazdjian performing during the recently completed Tangents Greece Music Tour where the Tangents group saw 12 concerts featuring a who's who of Greek musicians in 17 nights.

The 2017 Tangents Greece Music Tour recently ended and the reviews are coming in:

"It is truly amazing how Dore put together this trip. The production of 12 concerts in a foreign country itself is a remarkable feat, but the entire whirlwind trip was a finely crafted miracle."   Elaine Schwimmer

"The Greek Tangents Tour was probably the highlight of my year. My wife and I have traveled a lot together and this trip was the most informative, entertaining and mind-blowing of the year."   Mike Bannister

"My overall impression is that this was the most amazing, fantastic vacation we’ve ever been on.  So much music, so many incredible sights, great people to meet and get to know, and so much about a country I knew little about before I left, despite having listened and danced to Greek music for many years."

"You did an amazing job putting this tour together, and we are very happy that we decided to do it.  It was worth every penny, and I’m so glad our money was used to subsidize all these wonderful musicians, who can’t make a decent living in their own country.  I also really value getting to know so many Greeks, and hearing their perspective on their country; so much better than just being an ordinary tourist just taking in the sights."  
Nora Primitera

"I had a fabulous time on Dore’s maiden Greek adventure. This is a trip like no other, with such a variety of musical encounters, pristine beaches, fabulous food, sights and sounds in this amazing, puzzling country that your head will spin—in a great way.  Highly highly recommend this trip!"
Hilary Winslow

"Wow, Dore hit this tour out of the ball park! Every concert has been different and amazing, with a great variety of musical styles and venues.  It's exceeded all of my expectations, and that's tough, considering the standard that Dore set on the Turkey tours."
Ron Scudder

More Testimonials

2017 Tangents Greece MusicTour Itinerary in Review

Songlines Music Travel
(click for details)

Shares the Tangents philosophy that nothing beats experiencing music at its source.

2018 Trips:

Argentina - Get Tangoed!
February 9-18, 2018

Japan - Tradition & Diversity
March 18-28 2018

US - American Deep South - NEW!
April 11-21 2018

Morocco - Essaouira Gnawa Festival
May/June, 2018

Colombia - Bogota, Medellin and Cartagena
August 2018

China - A Musical Discovery
September 2018

Gaza Facts

Click link above to get facts about Gaza, a collaborative project by Jewish Voice for Peace Bay Area (JVP-BA) and the Council on American-Islamic Relations San Francisco Bay Area (CAIR-SFBA).

Physicians for Human Rights – Israel (PHRI); The only Israel based NGO providing medical assistance to Gazans. Click above logo to donate.

Click below for the withdrawn 2017 UN report:
“Israeli Practices towards the Palestinian People and the Question of Apartheid”

Saturdays 11p on Tangents, 91.7 fm SF, webcast/archived at

You can subscribe to Gaza Corner as a podcast by accessing this feed URL.
(for iTunes users the menu item is "File / Subscribe to Podcast...")

Gaza Corner includes news and opinion from the Middle East (and beyond) often ignored by the mainstream media followed by music from the relevant country or culture.

Gaza Corner was originally conceived to focus attention on relieving the humanitarian crisis in Gaza which has been under a severe blockade imposed by Israel since 2006.  Gaza Corner has evolved to include the Middle East, Magreb, Kurdistan and Turkey.

 Click headlines below for full stories. 
Headlines are sometimes retitled to more accurately reflect content.

Gaza Corner 11/4/17

The war in Syria has been won by Assad's forces. But the war is not over as evidenced by the governments's continued bombing and siege of so-called "de-escaltion zones" which are more aptly described as starvation zones.

note: audio will be posted within 72 hours of broadcast.

New Amnesty Report:

‘We Leave or We Die’: Forced displacement under Syria's 'reconciliation' agreements

Amnesty International on Syria:
‘Surrender or starve’ strategy displacing thousands amounts to crimes against humanity 


"While the Syrian government’s stated aim has been to vanquish opposition fighters, its cynical use of ‘surrender or starve’ tactics has involved a devastating combination of sieges and bombardments. These have been part of a systematic, as well as widespread, attack on civilians that amounts to crimes against humanity,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“You need months before you die of starvation. The air strike attacks were a different story. You could die from a piece of shrapnel in a fraction of a second. Nobody was protected from the air strikes and shelling. Civilians, rebels, buildings, cars, bridges, trees, gardens etc. were all a target,” one Aleppo resident told Amnesty International.

(Amnesty International, 11/13/17)

Marked for ‘De-escalation,’ Syrian Towns Endure Surge of Attacks


A resurgence of deadly attacks by pro-government forces in so-called de-escalation zones in Syria, including a triple airstrike on a busy marketplace that killed more than 50 people, is undermining an agreement seen as a crucial step toward ending the six-and-a-half-year civil war. 
(Nada Homsi and Anne Barnard, NY Times, 11/18/17)

The Syrian Civil War Is Decided


Al Assad has won the war, but that doesn't mean the war is over. 
(Charles Glass, Stratfor.com, 10/25/17)

Syria: shocking images of starving baby reveal impact of food crisis

After death of one-month-old Sahar Dofdaa, aid officials warn of catastrophe and say many more children are at risk

One-month-old Sahar Dofdaa weighing less than 2kg and ribs protruding under translucent skin died soon after this photo was taken in Syria’s Eastern Ghouta, where a crushing regime siege has pushed hundreds of children to the brink of starvation. Sahar's mother was also undernourished,
leaving her unable to breastfeed her child.
Photograph: Amer Almohibany/AFP/Getty Images


“Today eastern Ghouta is suffering from the worst kind of criminality,” said the activist Raed Srewel. “Thousands of children are in danger, and if there is no international movement or a UN initiative to resolve this, the consequences will be extremely dangerous and Ghouta will become a humanitarian catastrophe.”  
(Kareem Shaheen, Guardian UK, 10/23/17)

In besieged Syrian ‘de-escalation’ region, children dying of hunger as aid is reduced to trickle

A Syrian infant suffering from severe malnutrition is carried 
by a nurse at a clinic in the rebel-controlled town of Kafr Batna, in the eastern Ghouta region on the outskirts of Damascus. (AFP-JIJI)


Eastern Ghouta is one of four “de-escalation zones” set up in May under a deal between backers of rival sides in Syria’s devastating six-year war.

But food supplies still rarely enter the region, where medical officials say hundreds of children are suffering acute  malnutrition. 

(AFP, Japan Times, 10/23/17)

Before Syria’s War, This Place Was an Oasis. Now Children Are Starving.


Much of the world stopped caring about Syria a long time ago. But you are not most people.

We need to raise $150,000 to help feed 3,400 besieged families—more than 13,000 people—for a month.
We can write a different story for thousands of hungry children in Syria. 

$50 can help feed a besieged family in Syria for a month.

Please give today. 
(Ben Irwin, Preemptivelove.org, 11/7/17)