amis nah yeb stomb

yesterday i was supposed to go to marysville to pick up the business cards for MIVC from troy the printer. i was supposed to pick them up at noon, and i figured that saturday northbound would take me about an hour. at 10:30 – half an hour before i was supposed to leave – i get a call from troy, asking me when i was planning on being there, and when i told him noon, he said that he had neglected to get the business cards actually printed, and asked me if i could come tomorrow – which is today. of course that left me with nothing to do, but i said okay, because if i had picked them up yesterday he would have printed them, but he would have slip-sheeted them before cutting (so that the wet ink doesn’t offset on to the back of the card above it) and i would have had to un-slip-sheet them which is a tedious project that i would sooner not have to do anyway.

so, anyway, i spent yesterday processing photos of my inventory (which will eventually be visible on the Hybrid Elephant web site). about 9:00 pm i got a call from Howlin’ Hobbit who wanted to know what i was doing tomorrow morning. i told him that i was planning on going to marysville, but hobbit tempted me with busking at the Ballard Sunday Market, which sounded good enough to me that i changed my plans for going to marysville from morning until afternoon. i also packed three empty 5-gallon water bottles, because since i was going to marysville, swamp creek was right on the way, and i figured that way i could kill three birds with one stone.

i’m glad i did. i showed up in ballard at 9:30 am, and by 1:00 pm i was $50 richer. we played two extended sets, and made $150 between the three of us. sketch was, sadly, not present for some unknown reason – but in this case that was okay, because it was more money for the rest of us. also, i ran into fred, for the first time in several years, and mentioned that i would be interested in setting up a musical instrument repair shop with him, and he said he would call me. for a brief time there were two different trombones busking at the ballard market, a fact which i find to be somewhat unusual.

after we vacated the market, i went to swamp creek and filled my water bottles, went up to marysville and picked up cards from troy (it’s quite a drive, but he’s the only printer i know who is willing to do printing for me in exchange for computer technical support) and made it home by 4:00. i feel accomplished. if only every day could contain such accomplishment.

web thoughts

it has become increasingly obvious that i am going to have to do a major site conversion for Hybrid Elephant, and i’ve been examining different ways to go about it. i have been focusing, mainly, on learning PHP so i can duplicate the unfolding menus in the left hand frame, and re-doing the design CSS to eliminate the frames without losing their functionality. but learning PHP just so that i can duplicate unfolding menus seems to be a bit much – although not entirely unwelcome as a consequence, it may take me a couple years study to fully understand PHP, and i can find the unfolding menu technology other places in the mean time.

there is a WordPress e-commerce plugin that – i think – will cover the parts of it that i don’t already have covered, make the conversion to PHP a lot easier, and should make things like a database and photos a whole lot easier to deal with as well. there’s also something that i found out about as a result of my searching for wordpress and ecommerce, which is osCommerce, apparently an open-source online merchant system with all the bells and whistles.

HA!

There Probably Is has a rotating text header that says, among other things:

Think For Yourself!
Christians have always offered people opportunity to explore for themselves. We want to give you an opportunity to think for yourself. What’s missing from life when you take God out of the picture?

this is the same web site which belongs to the guy who claims to be a “spiritual leader” of a community, who has, so far, completely ignored my honest query to him.

this is exactly why i’m so frustrated with “christian” behaviour. i exist, despite your efforts to ignore me, and i won’t go away any faster if you pretend i don’t.

in other news, it’s all their fault: much to the chagrin of John Montagu, the fourth Earl of Sandwich, McDonald’s has patented the making of a sandwich.

whap!

since thursday i’ve filled an order for business cards for NBAC, and taken but not yet filled an order for business cards from MIVC, and filled an order for $50.00 worth of incense, which comes around to $207 and some change. let it continue!

VALIDATION!

if i needed more, here is yet more confirmation that hinduism is correct path for me, regardless of what the “christians” have to say about it: i emailed Rev. Evan Cockshaw, who is the genius behind "There Probably Is" and asked him why he hasn’t posted my "testimony” yet", and guess what?

he ignored me. of course…

it seems pretty typical for “christians” to ignore someone if they’re not immediately willing to accept the dreck they’re swimming in. on the other hand, as i’ve said before, the hindu teachers i have met – even the bogus ones – have taken delight in answering questions that would appear to be blasphemous to the normal “christian” mind. and even the bogus hindu teachers i’ve experienced are more entertaining than about 99% of the “christians” i have experienced.

also Societies worse off ‘when they have God on their side’

Continue reading VALIDATION!

hungary harrison “christian”

that’s where some guy ordered incense from today – budapest, hungary. he ordered $4.25 worth of incense, so i have to add $50 shipping for $4.25 worth of incense.

personally, i think he should know that it would be cheaper (and probably better quality) to buy it closer to home, but i think the problem is that internet makes normal people stupid. i have many examples of this: regan fraser, brendan fraser‘s brother, was my housemate at one point about 15 years ago, and when he found out that i worked with internet, he begged me to get involved in this scheme that he had to rip people off by accessing their bank accounts over internet. or the client that i currently have who is convinced that his virus protection program “is tired” of notifying him that he has a virus – he’s convinced that he’s got a virus, even though three different virus scanners have given him a clean bill of health…

someone turned me on to a whole pile of information about my great-great-great-grandfather and his descendants that are a part of my family, but not directly related to me. apparently such people include William Henry Harrison along with several other william henry harrisons (I through V, i think).

i submitted the following to There Probably Is dot com, and i really hope they actually post it, but i get the impression that they won’t.

Brief Biography
I am a Hindu Christian Dervish Buddhist Thelemic Tinite Antichrist Anarchist Tuba-Playing ? (??? – Canis nyctereutes procyonoides) with a Brain Injury.

Submit your story
I believe in God because … i was raised by parents who were largely agnostic. They may have had some religion, but if they did, they kept it to themselves. I attended a Unitarian church when I was small, but the classes I took were more along creative lines than religious ones, and I grew up thinking of “church” as more of a social club than a place for worship.

Then, when I was first starting college, I encountered people who claimed to be “christian” but were more like parrots than people in terms of what they told me about “christianity”. They couldn’t give me a good enough reason to believe, apart from pie-in-the-sky promises to which nobody in their right mind would pay attention.

I took a class called “Introduction to Personal Philosophy” which everybody informally called “The Fly In The Fly-Bottle” or just “the fly-bottle class” in which there was an assignment that caused me to change my mind. The assignment was “for a certain, set period of time (I chose a month), act as though there is an all-powerful God and see how your life changes.” As soon as I believed that there was a God, I was able to see Him everywhere, although He (and I use the term advisedly) was not what the “christians” said He was like at all. For one thing, He wasn’t always a “He” – sometimes She was a thought, or feeling, or a smell. I quickly learned that when coincidences happen – for example, I went for an entire week where the price of everything I bought ended with 84 cents – that is God communicating with me in a way that I didn’t immediately understand. Everywhere I looked, and everywhere I look to this day, I see God essentially “peering out” from behind everything, saying “Here I am!” There is no question that I have of God that He has not answered, and He guides my every step.

His name is Ganesha.

i guess i’m disappointed with them for discriminating against me, but at the same time, what did i expect from a “christian” web site?

hrmph…

so i’ve been looking at a lot of different sites recently having to do with SEO, and been i’ve been becoming more and more convinced that one of the primary reasons why i’m not bringing in more money from the web site is because it is based on frames. in fact, it has been based on frames for 7 years now, and hasn’t caused me or my visitors any perceivable difficulty so far, but it apparently gets in the way of search-engine crawlers, which negatively affects my google rating and results in my web pages effectively discriminated against when people search for them… which disturbs me, because i’m supposedly in business to make money, and a decision that i made 8 years ago (which was when frames were first being introduced to the web) is now getting in the way of my being able to do business more effectively.

all this has increased the urgency with which i am now modifying my web site, although at this point, the urgency is mitigated by my lack of knowledge of things that i could use to replace the frames. there’s a lot i can do with CSS which affect the way people view my pages, but there’s one thing that – i think – i’m going to have to do with PHP, and i don’t know PHP at all. although people have said to me many times that, if i can understand HTML and CSS, PHP wouldn’t be that difficult, it’s still a daunting task to learn an entirely new language and update my entire web site. the observant person will, of course, have recognised that there’s no time limitation on when i get it completed, but my response to that is to say that every day i don’t update my web site is another day where my google rating is negatively affected by the frames, and another day that people don’t find my web site in search engines, and another day that they don’t purchase things from me. obviously, i could hire some PHP-geek to redesign the entire site for me, but how would i pay for it? and, with what i can afford to pay, what guarantee do i have that my web site won’t suddenly appear as a spammer site and be pushed to an even lower rating in the search engines?

meanwhile, i figured out that i can actually build the structure of the dome that i want to build for a minimum of $200, which is almost do-able – if i want to “make do” with a wooden-frame dome – or a maximum of $400, which is a little bit out of my range at the moment, but shouldn’t be too hard to achieve within 6 months if i work at it – for a metal-frame dome. i built a model out of toothpicks and kneaded-rubber eraser, to see exactly how many frame-pieces i am going to need: 35 sections that are 4 feet 11.28 inches (8 foot radius time a chord factor of .61803), and 30 sections that are 4 feet 4.44 inches (8 foot radius times a chord factor of .54653) to build a 16-foot diameter 2V Icosa Alternate dome.

the only problem is that i keep getting catalogues from places that have stuff i really want to buy (and sell), and the result is that instead of having $180 in my bank account, i spent $75 on some ganesha murtis which should be delivered some time early next week.

but at the same time, i also got a business card order from NBAC, which should replace that $75, and it may even do so before the ganesha murtis are delivered.

FSM!

okay, this morning i got up and went to the fremont sunday market. it didn’t seem like a particularly outrageous day, and i was a little confused when 4:00 came around and everybody started packing up. i knew that during the winter they moved up the closing time from 5:00 to 4:00, but i didn’t realise that they had already done it – last week, of course, when i wasn’t there… but as i was packing up, someone came by and bought a small box of Ten Pyo, someone else bought a box of hakubai, and a guy came all the way from bellingham to buy 10 krishna musk, which added $70 to my total. it turns out that, all told, i made $180 – my best day ever at the FSM!

Requiescat In Pacem, Tuba Man

Ed McMichael

i went to the public memorial for ed mcmichael yesterday, and it was outstanding – of course i really wish that it wasn’t necessary, but ed would have loved it. i got to meet richard peterson, and kelsey, ed’s older brother. the SYSO alumni brass played (i would have played with them, but that would have meant bringing two instruments, and i already had enough to carry), the tuba choir – 13 tubas, of which mine was one – played and sounded as good as i would have expected a group which had been rehearsing for months to have sounded. i was interviewed by lori matsukawa from King5 news. the speakers, of whom richard and kelsey were two, said funny, poignant and entirely true things about ed, the videos they showed brought a tear to my eye, the music was excellent, all of the major sports teams gave ed a personalised jersey

but, you know, i would give all these things back to know that it had been a horrible joke and that ed was still alive somewhere, and chortling with perverted glee at having pulled such a fast one on the entire city. it wouldn’t surprise me an awful lot to learn that he had been planning all this for some time.

not likely. B/

meh!

the battle of the computer has begun again… 8/

i was finishing recovery from the battle of a couple months ago, and (finally) getting around to installing LilyPond. admittedly, the computer was a little busier than normal, because i also had firefox, openoffice, the gimp and my music player running at the same time, and the computer crashed. as i was already running late to get to a client’s place by 3:30, i figured i’d start the whole process over when i got home, so i just shut everything down and took off.

when i returned, at 10:30, i booted the computer and i had a bizarre icon in the “systray”-like thing in what passes for the task bar in kubuntu, which i discovered was the “disconnected” icon for the network manager. this was a little strange, but not entirely unexpected, so i got out the terminal and typed in ifconfig eth0 down and then ifconfig eth0 up, but nothing happened. i fudged around with some of my system settings to see if that did any good, but ultimately i couldn’t get it connected, so i went to bed.

this morning i got up early and tried to get the network connected, because i had to transpose a part for the ed mcmichael memorial that i am playing for tomorrow, and, as the network was disconnected on my main computer, that meant that i had to transpose the part on windows (which is the only other place that i have lilypond installed). so i fired up windows and, lo and behold, the “Local Area Network cable disconnected” icon was there, as well. 8/

so then i fired up MacOsX, which went out and found internet without a problem – naturally. but i then realised that the macs are connecting directly with the router via wireless, whereas linux and windows connect to the router by way of wires, which go through an ethernet switch. so, i unplugged linux from the switch and plugged it directly into the router, and it worked. 8/

so i’ve narrowed down what is wrong, and at this point i have ordered a new ethernet switch, which should be delivered in 3 days or so, but the only computers that currently have network access are the wireless computers (mine and moe’s) and linux – and, despite everything, i still haven’t gotten mac and linux to talk to each other. 8/

and, to make matters worse, i had to resort to using a flash disk “sneaker net” to ferry the transposed part from windows to linux, where i could print it.

i guess i should be glad i know how to figure out what’s wrong with this mess of wires and computer-junk, because if i didn’t, then i’d really be screwed.

random not dead people geekery

a few years ago i posted a form on the web that asks for bizarre and non-existent information from people who respond to it, which, when submitted, then emails me the results. i hid it on the web (no prizes for figuring out where) in a place where people who were looking at the link wouldn’t necessarily see it, and click it by mistake when they clicked a link to go somewhere else – my experience as a stage magician has helped me considerably when it comes to computers in general and this is no exception.

after getting the person’s email, name and “Period”, the questions it asks are:

Diagram A
Diagram A

1. Who is God?
2. THAT THAT IS IS THAT THAT IS NOT IS NOT IS THAT THAT IS THAT THAT IS NOT NO THAT THAT IS IS NOT THAT THAT IS NOT IS THAT THAT IS NOT THAT THAT IS NO THAT THAT IS NOT IS NOT THAT THAT IS IS THAT NOT IT?
3. Rstndxvrl bsntgrblr woognex; sneg kluppits gsmxdrb snt twzznrks splt fznig trook fsaabowntfsst. Aqno feblat aigs nxtmbbr wzzl vbnestrxr?

the fourth question is “Put a dot where you think you are on Diagram A” with a table cell containing “Diagram A” which is a plain white picture with no marking except a small word “Essex” circled with an arrow pointing to the left side of the picture. you can’t actually put a dot on the picture, but i’m fairly sure that doesn’t stop people from trying.

the final 2 entries are “Describe in detail. Be concise and specific. Give examples when necessary.” above a text box – where people usually write complaints about the fact that they can’t actually put a dot on the previous diagram – and the final text box says “Sign someone else’s name”.

occasionally i’ll get an email from someone who has stumbled on the quiz (which is deceptively titled “Qualification Examination”) and the responses look like this example, which i got yesterday:

email: [redacted]
name: Mammy
period: 23

1: Myself
2: yes
3: Vsr; grfner webttn vsblttr
5: it really is, isn’t it?
6: robert anton wilson

i updated the form today to ask where they came from and why, and i’m thinking about ways to ask something like “Explain your answer” after every question, without completely redesigning the form.

in other news; How to Make a Schadenfreude Pie

more mourning for a good friend

i went to the musicians’ memorial for ed mcmichael today. there were about 50 people with instruments, including 5 tubas (of which mine was one), about 150 to 200 other people, and the media photographers and video-technicians. the musical instruments were a mish-mash of everything, including a couple of banjos, an accordion, a complete string section (two violins, a cello and a stand up bass), a bass saxophone (from The Tempos, although the guy didn’t remember me or my father), two or three french horns, several trumpets, and at least one clarinet. we played some dixieland-style funeral music (“When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Second Line” and that sort of thing), and some of ed’s favourites including Amazing Grace, Ode To Joy, Tequila and the UW fight song (which is called “Bow Down to Washington”). i’m going to be a part of the public memorial on wednesday, and i might even get to play twice, once as a member of the tuba community, and once as an alumnus of SYSO, seeing as how ed and i were both part of SYSO during the ’70s.

i’m still really devastated that ed is dead, and that some nameless teenage doodlehums killed him. apparently they’ve caught another one (which makes three now, only two more to go), but even when they have caught all of them, that won’t bring ed back or make the rest of his friends feel any better. what the fuck, thugs?

happy birthday John Phillip Sousa and Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax

contrabass saxophone

today was the birthday of John Phillip Sousa (b. 1854) and Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (b. 1814), and in honour of those two illustrious gentelmen, the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band had their annual “Sousa Bash”, complete with a contrabass saxophone this evening. it was huge: quite literally one of the hugest brass instruments i have ever seen in my life. and it was brand new, as well: he just got it about 2 months ago. the guy said that it was manufactured in germany (although the engraving on the bell was done in somewhere-istan with drawings done by his daughter, which you can’t get on regular american-made horns without paying through the nose for it). he said that it cost the same as a new car, and they had to get a new car because the saxophone wouldn’t fit in their old car. the only bigger saxophone is the subcontrabass saxophone, or "tubax", which is a real monster, but it’s made by the same german company that made his contrabass.

the sousa bash went really well, although i admit i played the stinger at the end of “High School Cadets” in spite of the fact that there is no stinger at the end of “High School Cadets”. i wasn’t the only one to play the stinger on a piece that doesn’t have a stinger, though, so i don’t feel too bad. i’ve been playing enough the past couple of months that i could have played a couple more hours before my lip gave out. there’s apparently a fez in a carrying case for sale at st. vincent de paul in tacoma, which i intend to go and buy tomorrow – unless it costs too much, which, of course, i won’t know until i get there.