Category Archives: Uncategorized

mump & stuff…

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born on Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. my ancestors from that time period were from the area around knob noster, missouri which is about 150 miles southwest of florida.

whoopie…

in spite of my desire to avoid the news in general, sometimes it slams you in the face and forces you to pay attention. this happened 20 minutes away from my house, but after a similar incident in seattle not too long ago, which put the whole state in an uproar, as though the two apparently unrelated events were cause and effect. my personal opinion is that there are very good reasons to get that angry with police officers in general, and they are not “completely innocent” regardless of how good they seem to be from time to time, but if nothing else these kinds of things are further indications that the world is, in fact, going to hell in a hand basket and there’s nothing that any of us, as individuals, can do about it except to sit back and watch in horror. of course, as a society we could do something about it, and there’s always that chance, but i don’t hold out much hope that we’re all going to be able to, literally, change our minds about so many things all at once. some of us could, there is no doubt, but getting most, if not all people to just change their minds like that is almost impossible. i’ve been told, by people i trust, that it’s going to get decidedly worse before it has a hope of getting any better at all, and that’s the primary reason that i simply don’t pay attention to the news most of the time. it’s not that i don’t care, it’s that i’d rather spend my time thinking about more positive things.

i have a rehearsal tonight, a rehearsal tomorrow, a rehearsal wednesday, a rehearsal thursday, the lenin lighting at the center of the universe (except that music will be provided by the Fremont Philharmonic, not the yellow hat band) on friday, the drawing jam at the gage academy on saturday and a free day sunday. then it’s the same thing again except that there’s also a free day a week from friday and an acupuncture appointment followed by two performances of alad’din a week from saturday and another one a week from sunday. my guess is that it’s going to be a couple of weeks of carefully conserving and spending spoons, otherwise there’s likely to be a meltdown before then.

the end(?) of a holiday weekend

i just got done dropping my mother in law off at the train station for her trip back to portland. she got here on thursday and it’s been a little tough to handle her actually staying at our house for longer than a few hours, because she’s… well… my mother in law. it’s a lot better than having my parents stay at our house, in fact i would probably draw the line well before my parents actually were able to come to our house, but at the same time, i had to be really discrete about, for example, smoking pot in the privacy of my own house for fear of “offending” her – despite the fact that she used to smoke pot herself (as claimed by moe). it’s okay, though, because i get the very strong impression that if it weren’t for the sake of “keeping up appearances” there is a very strong probability that i would be getting my mother in law stoned – which, itself, is something that i am almost tempted to try (just once) to see what it is like.

another thing that i found really bizarre is that, once moe had gone to bed last night, my mother in law pigeon-holed me and forced me to talk about “spiritual” things for a couple of hours last night. usually this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but i had to choose some of my words a little more carefully than i would otherwise have had to, because i didn’t want to say anything that would either be misinterpreted – which, with her, is fairly likely under the best of circumstances – or offensive to her, which i probably wouldn’t hear about directly from her, but indirectly through moe, at a later time, when the offense had had the chance to sink in and become a lot more permanent than it would be if she just spoke up about it at the time. i ended up making reference to The Looby from The Book of Lies, and 777, neither of which i could find (although they were right in front of my nose all the time, which is probably a message of some sort) to a person who believes in a weird combination of catholicism, “spirits and angels” and “native american stuff”, without mentioning that the author of said books was pretty much the exact antithesis of the beliefs she holds. basically i tried to keep it as “light” as possible, but even then it was really difficult not to laugh when she told me about the “psychic” she knows, who has apparently been engaged by the local police department, or the other person she knows who teaches “crystal gazing” and how she has taken her class and has a couple of “crystal balls”. i know that truth is relative, that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and that anything is possible, but at the same time, the idea of my mother-in-law getting spiritual inspiration from gazing at a crystal ball is sort of amusing.

in the midst of entertaining my mother in law (which was actually moe’s responsibility most of the time) i created www dot twankey dot com – laundry online – for the widow twankey (email address widow@twankey.com), as a part of Alad’din and The Magic Lamp show coming up in a couple of weeks, and Fremont Players dot com which is currently a mirror of twankey dot com, but will eventually be an easier-to-remember and more colourful version of this page. it was actually kind of interesting to actually buy the new domain – which had never existed before – and then create web space for it, design a new page, post it and have the page show up at the new domain which had never been there before. it’s something, i suppose, that people have been doing to the web for a while, but it’s something new and different for me, and it was really interesting to actually do the whole process and watch the non-domain name suddenly and magically turn into an actual, real-live domain.

my workshop, DVR and SSDI

so the clarinet is done and all that’s left to do with it is locate the person for whom i’m doing it. i wrote her an email yesterday and she didn’t respond. i wrote her another one today laying out my schedule for the next four days and now it’s up to her. if i don’t hear from her in a week or so, i’ll just freecycle it to someone else… or, for that matter, the fact that it was given to me and remains unclaimed means that i can legally sell it on craigslist or something like that. my impression is that there are always a bunch of people who need a clarinet, if you know where to look.

which reminds me, i need to make up some flyers that advertise woodwind repair services and distribute them to the local public schools and music stores. i figure as long as i’ve spent the money to create this workshop, maybe i can use it to make back some of that money. after all it’s not just a one way street…

i got an amusing letter from DVR today, referring to my failed attempt to convince them that my business plan was a sound enough investment that they should help me out by building me a workshop. it says “if you would like DVR to review updated records or if you would like to discuss your current situation” that i should call this lady. i really want to call her up and tell her to fuck off and die, because they weren’t willing to help me, but now that i’ve actually qualified for SSDI, i’d be willing to bet that they’re trying to get their fingers in my pie. i’m probably going to call and talk to her, and i probably will not be as blunt as i am here, but i’m not sure, which is the reason i haven’t called her yet.

fun

bundy clarinetthis has been a fun day.

i got a clarinet from freecycle, and i’m really glad that i got it before anybody else, because it has had a broken key that would have driven the cost of repairing it up over $100. this is also one of the reasons that i recommend people who “know a little bit about musical instrument repair” don’t try to fix their instruments themselves. the clarinet was worthless with the broken key, and the most common way of “fixing” it that i have seen on other instruments i’ve worked on over the years has been “superglue”… which not only doesn’t work, but then I have to clean up the superglue from the key and the instrument before i can get down to the task of actually fixing it. the progress has been posted, and the rest of it should be finished and posted tomorrow.

also, i found more erzatz “Tina Chopp is God” material on cafepress, so i sent them a DMCA notice last week – not expecting that they would respond, and not being sure what the procedure is once they didn’t respond – and today i got email from a “content usage associate” who said

Thank you for your November 16, 2009 notification regarding the possible infringement of your rights by a user of our service. In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, we have prevented the user from using the images on products for sale through their store.

geez, if i had known that it was that easy, i would have written them a long time ago, because various people who aren’t associated with the Church of Tina Chopp have been profiting from our God for at least 5 years. it’s enough to make me want to see if it might be possible to market Tina Chopp myself, since i now can.

and there’s a couple in california who is using cannabis – very successfully, i might add – to treat their child’s autism. will wonders never cease…

taking it easy… for a change.

after the combined stresses of having my web server go down and the IPv6 fiasco on my local computer, i was feeling pretty wound up yesterday, but i’ve found that going to a gig with la banda gozona and playing some really difficult but energetic, challenging and fun music on my trombone (i’ve switched to trombone from sousaphone, becase another reliable sousaphone player showed up, and memo wants to “shame” the other trombone player into actually playing the written notes more of the time, especially during performances where he has a tendency to “take a solo” at inappropriate times), along with fixing the direct cause of that stress, would appear to be exactly the right thing to do to alleviate said stress. the result being that i feel more relaxed this morning than i have in a long time. my computers are working, i actually got an incense order during the time that the local computer was down, business is doing well, i’m playing a lot of music with a whole bunch of different groups, i’m caught up enough with the projects that have been on hold for 4 years because of a lack of workshop space, that now i’m coming up with new project ideas and thinking of things i can make for people as gifts. also, there’s a clarinet needing repair that appeared on freecycle, so i’m going to pick it up this afternoon, fix it, and freecycle it to some other deserving person.

and, to make matters worse, i’ve found a PDF-scanned “DIY” book from the early ’70s that has a whole bunch of ideas for simple, cheap, portable living spaces that fit right in with the dome project fantasy that i’ve been playing with ever since i got back from burning man last year for a long time. maybe it’s time to start actualizing some of this fantasy play… 8)

this is a really strange place in which to find myself… i’ve always had this… not fear, although it amounts to the same thing… of fantasies, because deep down, i know that they are fantasies, and fantasies don’t exist in reality. but i’ve been playing around with the philosophical idea that opposites are an illusion for a while now, so maybe it’s time to try seeing what it would be like to actually make my fantastic ideas into real things.