spiritual rant

good or evil, black or white, up or down, in or out… it’s all dualism.

and dualism is fine for everyday living. some might say that dualism is essential for everyday living. but i’ve been discovering more and more, recently, that the dual state is not the way to advance much beyond the everyday world.

and why would anyone want to advance beyond the everyday world? in my case, i want to advance beyond the everyday because the everyday world is BORING when it is not, actively, out to make my life difficult.

and, ultimately, dualism isn’t real anyway. everybody from zarathustra to jesus to yoda says, essentially, that dualism is the second stage, and there is one above that transcends dualism. the problem is that there is so much about religion that is adversarial, to the non-believer, to different sects of believers, and to different religions. in that regard, religion is also dualistic in nature. the problem is that, when one accepts one religion and rejects all others, basically, one is saying that they are not quite as atheist as the people who are wholely atheist, and when one is entirely atheist in their thinking, there are a lot of “mysterious” things that happen, more-or-less regularly, which they are totally incapable of explaining. both leave me wanting something more.

what it comes down to is that these “pairs of opposites” (to use the hindu term) are both exactly the same thing. good isn’t the opposite of evil, good IS evil. black is not the opposite of white, black IS white. there are always two sides to every coin, but it is the same coin… you can’t separate heads from tails.

this extends to people, as well. there are not 7 billion people on this planet, there is 1 person with 7 billion different manifestations. that is why people like jesus said “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25.40)

we aren’t all different people, we are all the same person. it doesn’t matter that you perceive a difference, when you slight someone, you’re doing it to yourself… which, i suppose, is one of the reasons why it is customary to be polite to people, regardless of which people-group you’re talking about, rather than running rough-shod over anyone who happens to get in your way. it is also one of the reasons why we feel sad or angry when something bad happens to us: that part of me which is also a part of you, is grieving that we would choose to do that to ourselves.

it’s the definition of the word namasté that puts it all together for me: namasté — there is a part of me, and there is a part of you, where, when you are there, in you, and i am there, in me, we are one being with no differentiation. i salute that place.

ASIDE this would make a GREAT magic trick: you show the audience a big coin (a silver dollar, or something similar), show them that it has both a “heads” and a “tails”. you invite a volunteer to put their initials on the “heads” side of the coin. then you procede to “do your magic” and separate heads from tails. you show the audience the coin, with the volunteer’s initials on BOTH SIDES. you then show the audience an entirely different coin, which has two “tails” sides, and no initials. then, with a little more “magic” you put the heads and tails back together, and show the audience one coin, with the volunteer’s initials on one side and “tails” on the other. talk to joe about making this happen.

knob not noster

i decided that i wanted an 8-ball knob on my shift-lever, replacing the boring, ordinary one that has the shift pattern engraved on the top.

i looked around a number of different places, locally, and discovered that the only place i could get a “regulation” 8-ball-sized shift-knob was a place where i had to order it, and then wait a few weeks until it came in — none of this “order on amazon and have it in four days” crap, this is an OLD SCHOOL customising shop which offers real 8-ball shift-knobs, not those dinky, small 8-ball-wannabe shift knobs that look cool for about 6 months and then wear out, here.

i knew i was probably going to have to match the threads on my car, so i went and measured them, and bought the proper size tap, while i waited for the 8-ball itself to arrive. it came in about a week ago, and, immediately i noticed that there was a big problem: the knob came with two plastic “inserts” and three set-screws that were supposed to hold it in place, but my car (which is a hyundai, with metric everything) not only wouldn’t fit, but i actually destroyed the proper sized plastic insert trying to get it to work.

i discovered that, to work with my shift-lever, with its metric threads, i would have to make a “shim”: i would need to get a brass rod the same diameter as the hole in the 8-ball (½"), and drill it out to the correct dimensions to accept a tap (10×1.25 metric thread), at which point i would drive the rod up into the hole in the 8-ball, drive in the set screws, and screw it in place.

first step, finding a ½" diameter brass rod. i figured i would go down to the local home depot and pick one up… but home depot doesn’t have ½" brass rod, and hasn’t had ½" brass rod for at least a year. no problem, i surmise… i’ll just go to mcclendon’s, they’ll be sure to have it. WRONG… they knew what i was looking for, but said that they stopped carring ½" brass rod when it became “too expensive”… 😕 i’m reasonably sure that i could have bought ½" brass rod at hardwick’s, but i would have had to drive into seattle for that, and i didn’t feel like driving that day… not only that, but with the information that brass rod had suddenly got “expensive” i wasn’t sure that hardwick’s would have it, and i didn’t want to drive all that way for nothing…

160422 brass shim
160422 brass shim
so, i ended up buying 8″-to-9″ (random length) of ½" brass rod online for about $5.00 (which is what i expected to pay anyway, so i don’t know what they were talking about at mcclendon’s… too expensive??), and proceded to start to drill it out, but very quickly discovered that it was going to take a REALLY long time to do it manually, if i wanted it to be anything like the quality that i would expect to have on my car… but i know a guy who owns a machine shop in the south end of downtown seattle! 🙂

so, this morning, i went down to his shop and made a shim of the proper size, with the proper machinery, and it, literally, took five minutes (and most of that time was setting up the machine), and now i have a beautiful, new, authentic 8-ball gear-shift-knob on my car! 😎

160422 8-ball shift-knob
160422 8-ball shift-knob

i would be doing a lot more of this kind of stuff if i didn’t have to wait around so long for materials to be delivered, that i used to be able to go down to the local hardware store and buy…

160422 8-ball gear-shift-knob
160422 8-ball gear-shift-knob

nope!

when i logged into my email this morning, one of my messages was from salamandir.bandcamp.com, from a guy named zach lincoln, who was, alledgedly, a “booking representative” from afton. this was the message he sent me:

> I wanted to reach out and see if you’re up to talk about some shows I’m
> putting together. Who’se the best person to contact about booking your
> act? I have a few dates every month around washington, my next open
> date is May 21st.

exciting, right? i have only had this music on bandcamp for a few months, and already i’m getting inquiries from someone who wants to book my act… i should be fired up…

but i’m also suspicious.

so, i wrote him back with a couple of alternate dates (i’m going to orlando on the 23rd, which is cutting it a bit close for my tastes), and i texted thaddeus, who has quite a bit more experience in the business of booking gigs than i do, and asked if he had ever heard of this guy. he said no, but sent me a link that might be appropriate.

zach wrote me back almost immediately with instructions on how to get started with afton, but i read the link that thad texted me first — http://www.wicasta.com/blogs/is-afton-live-a-scam-any-worse-than-venues/ — which, basically, says that if afton isn’t a scam, it is doing a lot of the things real scammers do, and the only way i should sign up for it is if it’s more important to me to play than it is to get paid.

it’s pretty important to me to play music, don’t get me wrong. and, given the choice, i would rather be playing music than just about anything else, pretty much any time, but it really disturbs me to be playing music for free when everybody else around me is getting paid for my playing music. in fact, that is one instance where i would, probably, NOT prefer to be playing music. i know a whole bunch of people, and at least two or three of them would probably come to see me play at a real venue, but if i have to do all of the marketing as well as playing music, then i would much rather do it on my own, than provide money for bookers and venue-owners but not myself, especially when i would be surrounded by other musicians who are in the same boat i am in.

so i wrote back to zach, asking if what i read in the article is true or not. the first response i got, when i was responding to his initial inquiry, came back within 5 minutes of my sending it, but i have now been waiting 4 hours for a response, and it hasn’t come yet… and i get the very strong feeling that it won’t come at all, which is an indication to me that what i read in the article was, in fact, spot on, and zach was hoping that i didn’t know that because it is so exciting to be contacted by someone who wants to book your act…

THEN i started actively poking around to see if i could find out anything more about this guy. conveniently, bandcamp gave me his IP address, so i plugged that in and discovered that zach wrote to me about booking gigs in washington from an IP address that’s located in Maspeth, New York… 😡

afton may or may not be an actual scam, but if it’s not, it sure isn’t trying very hard to differentiate itself from things that are, actually, scams.

that got me wondering… i’m pretty sure he never, actually, listened to any of the music at salamandir.bandcamp.com… i wonder what he would do if i actually showed up for one of his performances and played what i usually play on the didjeriflute…

miscellaneous ketchup

160418 selfie with swastika
160418 selfie with swastika

i’ve been reading about how micro-dosing with LSD or mushrooms helps to overcome farcebook addiction. i really need to give it a try, because my farcebook addiction is almost overwhelming.

moisture festival is over for another year. as with last year, i’m torn over whether or not i’m actually going to be performing in next year’s moisture festival. great people, with a few exceptions, but those few exceptions make life miserable for the period of time that i have to deal with them, and everybody else either ignores it or doesn’t know it’s happening. more details should occur around the time that MF decides to issue my check. i know for a fact that it’s going to be considerably less than last year. how much less will play a pivotal role in what’s going to happen next year.

we’re spending a week at the beach, in may. then i’m going to orlando and warrensburg. tomorrow is bicycle day, and the day after that is 4/20… unfortunately, i won’t have any of my own weed on 4/20, because of the blasted spider mites, but i’ll have plenty of mean green, because i can. 8)

my trip to orlando and warrensburg is slowly developing into a deep sense of foreboding and dread. i have absolutely no idea what to expect — seriously, i go from being really excited, to deciding that i’m going to cancel the whole thing as an expensive mistake — and, for sure, i’m going to be, either, in the presence of people who possibly don’t like me, don’t have time to deal with me, or i will be completely, 100% alone in a city halfway across the continent from anything like “safety” and “home”… the only reason i haven’t cancelled it is because i found out that Wonder India (the U.S. supplier of aparajita) has a branch in orlando, and, if nothing else, it’s only going to be a little bit more than a week, and i’m 51% certain that i can hold out for that long on my own, if it comes to that.

the enlightened rantings of a brain damaged freak