niaga gniksub

i’ve been sort of worried about busking with my tuba at the pike place market, because — in the distant past — they have had “problems” with people who were not actual musicians playing trumpets and other loud brass instruments, indiscriminately, with very little skill, and taking no regard for their neighbours. this unfortunate occurrence caused the people in charge (the “Pike Place Development Association” otherwise known as the “PDA”) to completely ban all “brass instruments and horns”…

what they mean, of course, is all brass instruments “with a cup mouthpiece”, because brass instruments with a reed mouthpiece (i.e. saxophones) have been allowed all along… which is REALLY STUPID, because you can make a lot louder, and more unpleasant sounds with a reed than you can with a cup mouthpiece…

which, of course, leads us to the real reason brass instruments are banned, which is because, in the distant past (i.e. before any of the current PDA staff were born), one or two individual people were being SO obnoxious (with their brass, cup-mouthpieced instruments) that the PDA had to do something, but it had to be something that didn’t look like they were targeting one or two individuals, so that they wouldn’t get sued by those individuals when they found out.

it’s kind of like that story about the scientists who were studying group behaviour in monkeys, where they put a monkey in a room with a ladder, and at the top of the ladder was a banana… it turns out that the story is an urban legend, but the concept comes across: now, the 2nd (or 3rd, or 54th, who knows) generation of PDA staff is convinced that any brass cup-mouthpiece instrument, played by anyone is going to be the equivalant of a marshall stack cranked up to eleven, and totally blow everyone away for half a mile in any direction.

and, it’s my impression that, ever since then, there have been “whingers” among the vendors at the market, particularly on the “Joe Desimone Bridge” section, who — encouraged by the attitude of the 54th (or whatever) generation PDA staff who have never, actually, experienced a loud “brass” instrument — complain to the PDA if someone has an instrument that looks like it’s going to be too loud… which has resulted in the PDA deciding that you simply can’t busk at the bridge spot on saturday — which is the best day for busking — even with instruments which are not banned… 😒

i’ve been busking at the market a few times since i got my permit, but i haven’t busked at the bridge spot, because i’m worried that, despite the fact that the PDA assured me that they are “experimenting” with allowing tubas (no trombones, baritones, or trumpets, though), and they did, actually, sell me a permit despite the fact that i told them i didn’t play anything else that is allowed, one of the whingers on the bridge will take offense at my tuba and i’ll go back to being on the “banned instruments” list again.

that all changed today.

i busked with hobbit for an hour at the bridge this morning. we made $9.50 each (which is not very good), and then we went up to the clock spot and joined jack and dave for another hour, which netted us $35 a piece, which is a lot better.

then, because it was REALLY cold, i decided that i was going to go home. as i was going back to my car, i had to cross the joe desimone bridge, and TWO vendors asked me if i was done playing music. when i said i was, they asked me when i was going to come back…

they want me back! 😎

they don’t like any buskers (particularly the bad ones, which, according to them, are most of them), but they want me back!

and i wasn’t even playing the melody!!

maybe i shouldn’t worry about the whingers on the joe desimone bridge so much any more… 😉

interesting

the past few weeks (maybe as much as a couple months) i have been getting anywhere from 4 to 24 “porn spam scam” emails per day — you know the ones, where the guy claims to be a “hacker” who has “taken over” your computer, is emailing you “from your own email address”, doesn’t speak english too well, and demands some random amount in bitcoin to prevent him from revealing your “pornographic indiscretions” to “everyone on your contact list” (😒) — and i have been reporting EVERY! SINGLE! ONE! to their upstream provider, and to the bitcoin abuse web site… but for the past couple of days, i have noticed that the constant stream has dropped off considerably: two days ago, i received two messages, yesterday i only received one, and, so far, today, i haven’t received any.

i also noticed that, a few days ago, i started seeing specific SpamAssassin rules that are targeted towards the porn-spam-scam racket (bitcoin address recognition and “from:” address spoofing are the two big ones), but considering the massive influx of porn-spam-scam messages over the past couple of months, i would have expected a much more gradual drop-off.

aaaannd…

tomorrow is the sousa bash, in the evening. i may go busking in the morning, but i haven’t decided yet… in a way, i really want to get out there and make myself more known to people who might call me for sets later on, but another part of me says that it rained most of the day today, and it’s probably going to rain tomorrow, which can be aleviated by rain-gear, but it also means that there will be fewer suckers paying audience members out there… and tomorrow is the return to standard time, which means that 9:00 am comes at 8:00 tomorrow… or is the other way around… i can never remember, and it always takes me a week or so to adjust, every time. 😕

only a white man could come up with the idea of cutting two inches off of one end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end, and selling it as a bigger blanket.
     — some Native American wise guy

🍄 one mushroom today: 14 total. running low. need more…

this “microdosing” is starting to really bug me, in a way. i REALLY want to take 100 mushrooms or more, but i don’t have 100 mushrooms to begin with, and even if i did, i don’t have the time or the setting to be able to take that many without freaking out… i was talking with norma at trolloween about mushrooms, and she was saying that she really doesn’t like feeling “altered”… and i realised that i do, REALLY like feeling “altered”. microdosing does what it’s supposed to do, which has made my life a lot more tolerable recently, but it also reminds me, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! i do it, that i’m not really doing what i would like to be doing. a trip to the mushroom fields outside of mount vernon may be in order. i literally know where they grow ’em… 😉

workshop workshop workshop

the title is an imitation of stanley, who enjoys saying “workshop” with no context.

this, however, has context, so it’s not as amusing.

i fixed an alto saxophone for a colleague this afternoon. i started on it on monday, prepared the neck for a new mouthpiece cork, and then discovered that 3 of the 4 pads it needed were ones that i didn’t have… 😒

so i ordered pads, which arrived today.

three of the four pads were also on the left-hand side keys. the high F key is normally activated by the palm of the left hand, but it has a rocker underneath it, which is activated by the high F auxiliary lever, which is part of the left-hand stack, and activated by the left index finger… and the high F rocker was bent WAY out of whack, so that you couldn’t actually activate the high F key with the high F auxiliary lever.

so, as well as having to replace the pad on the high F key, i had to completely remove the left-hand stack, and the side E key, which is activated by the palm of the left hand, in order to adjust the high F rocker.

that was easy enough, but, because of the fact that i don’t actually work on as many saxophones as i used to, i had to assemble, and disassemble the left-hand stack no less than three times, in order to get the jigsaw-puzzle of keys to get to fit together in the right way…

saxophone
saxophone

i had to get the B♭ bridge under the F# bridge, which is part of the right-hand stack, and i had to get the C key, which has an actuator that goes behind and above the other keys of the left-hand stack, installed correctly, and i had to get the side E key under the top of the left-hand stack, but above everything else, which meant that i had to carefully install the side E key with the left-hand stack in place — minus the top two keys — but not held in place by the long steel that goes through the hinge-tubes of all the keys.

i ended up not having a problem, once i figured out how to proceed, but it was a hassle, putting it most of the way together, and then remembering that something had to go underneath the keys that i had just installed, and having to take all the keys off again to fix the problem.

it was definitely worth the $100 that i’m going to charge him.