i’ve been waiting years for this…

a long, long time ago, before internet, before CDs, when nobody had cell phones, there was a program called RACTER which generated random english prose. a “dumbed-down” version made it on to my very first macintosh (i believe i’ve even got an install floppy around somewhere), but i always wanted to see what would happen if you hooked up two of them, on two different computers, and had a “conversation”…

somebody has actually done that, with cleverbot… 8)

so… when you let robots talk to each other, they instantly identify their own kind, and start discussing God, and their wish to have physical bodies…

yeah, let’s not do this again…

another week closer to the eschaton…

copyright is a moral imperative!

Oil fouling Gulf matches Deepwater Horizon well – when they succeeded in capping the gulf oil spill last year, i said that it wasn’t over yet, and guess what?

Government’s move to monitor online sparks public outcry – the japanese government is planning to monitor online postings concerning the accident at the fukushima nuclear power plant to “stem the spread of inaccurate information”… but what it sounds like to me is BIG BROTHER! 😐

which reminds me, Hemp "Eats" Chernobyl Waste, Offers Hope For Hanford – the same idea could be used at fukushima, if it wasn’t illegal… yep, cannabis is illegal in japan, too, for the same reason that it’s illegal in the united states.

and, while we’re on the subject, Cannabis is Effective at Treating Multiple Conditions – but nothing will be done, because marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medicinal applications whatsoever.

East Coast Earthquake Sends 2 Nuclear Plants Offline, Ceiling Tiles, Bricks to the Ground – something that hasn’t been in the news since the quake…

‘Christian Warrior’ Charged with Firebombing Oregon Mosque – he is a terrorist… but he’s a “christian” and the right colour, so we won’t be hearing about him…

McCain promised Gaddafi military help two years ago – anybody remember who osama bin laden was before he was the world’s most wanted terrorist? apparently gaddafi was the same guy, and, once again, we were the people selling him the weapons…

Harvey: “There’s No Proof” LGBT People Exist – 😮

You Have the Right to Remain Silent… Or Not… – noncitizens arrested without a warrant do not need to be read their rights until after entering formal deportation proceedings, i.e. well after questioning by immigration officers… however the “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law” part? that takes effect the moment you’re arrested, whether or not you’re a noncitizen. it sounds to me like “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”…

How Anti-Marijuana Arguments Warp Reality – it’s illegal because it’s illegal. a plant is not a plant. war is peace. freedom is slavery. ignorance is strength.

Slip-Up in Chinese Military TV Show Reveals Cyber Warfare Against US Entities – my impression is that we may have invented internet, but we’re certainly not in control of it any longer… 😮

9/11: Ten Years Later, Americans Still Stupid and Vulnerable – they’re finally getting the idea that the terrorists have won

How the Right Is Hijacking the Youth Vote on Facebook – yet another very good reason why i’m glad i’m NOT a member of facebook… 😐

Germany’s Older Generations Take Up Graffiti – it was bound to happen eventually, but it just goes to add a layer of distinction between grafitti artists and taggers…

now i know, but it’s too late… 8(

R.I.P. Ivo Pešák

Ivo Pešák

i found this video a while ago, and couldn’t figure anything out about it other than the probability that it was czech and made in 1978… now i know that it is the Ivan Mládek Banjo band and that the dancing guy, whose name was Ivo Pešák, just died…

now that i actually know what it is, i found a whole bunch of videos of music by ivan… too bad i can’t understand what he’s singing about…

Jožin z bažin translates, approximately, as “Joey from the swamps”.

i torture myself in private

well, not exactly in private…

a few weeks ago – it was on a sunday – i made the mistake of scheduling two gigs on the same day. i realised it was a mistake, and yet…

i scheduled myself for two gigs in one day, two more times within the next month. one of those days was today. i scheduled busking at the phinney farmers’ market in the afternoon, and a fremont phil rehearsal in the evening. to make this self-torture even worse, i got up with moe and went out to worm and vaccinate 20 sheep before 11:00 this morning.

moe left this afternoon around 1:00 to go to another dog trial in the portland area. she took all the doggles with her this time, because i’ve had, and will be having so much to do over the next few days.

i just got home, it’s 11:30, i still need to feed the cats, i haven’t been home all day, and i was ready to go to bed about two hours ago. we’ve got an actual gig (but only one of them) tomorrow. i don’t think we’re going to busk at ballard on sunday, so i may take that day to make the counterweights i’ve been needing for my canopy…

not only that, but i’ve got another two-gigs-in-one-day coming up, where snake suspenderz is doing the pike place market buskers’ festival, at pike place, and the seattle symphony day of music, at beneroya hall, within three hours of each other… sure, beneroya hall is only a couple of blocks from pike place, but… GODDAMIT, it’s TWO gigs in one day… and as much as they’re really prestigious, and really cool, and what other band can say that they played in the pike place market and beneroya hall IN THE SAME DAY, i just know that it’s going to stretch my spoons to the limit… 😛

hybrid elephant rant

i’ve been getting A LOT of international orders over the past couple of weeks (i.e. 4, in the past two weeks). this is unusual for a couple of reasons: one is that i very rarely get four orders – period – in that amount of time, and the other is that it’s unheard of for me to get four international orders from different countries (germany, switzerland, great britain and france) in that short a period of time… it’s even more unheard of that i’ve also received orders from the netherlands and from russia(!) within the past month…

i’m guessing — maybe — a european blogger bought incense from me and then blogged about it, or something like that…

however, as much as i appreciate the business, the big problem with all of these international orders, at this point, is that i don’t have any reliable way of determining how much shipping is going to cost, because the orders are anywhere from less than half a pound (i.e. 2 or 3 boxes of incense) to several pounds, and the shipping rates, taxes and tarriffs, and so forth are different for every country that i send to, and the USPS makes figuring out what the shipping rates are as difficult as possible. i’ve found the USPS International Mail Manual, but every time i use that, the price they give me at the post office is different: anywhere from $15 lower to $25 higher depending on who waits on me… and the people at the post office don’t understand where i’m getting the prices i’m getting, and why i’m not getting “the real” prices online, despite the fact that i’ve given them the URL for the manual and had them look it up themselves a number of times.

and, the fact is, i know that it’s possible to set up international shipping with zones in OSCommerce, because Arbroath Fisheries uses OSC and they figured out my – international – shipping without a problem… 😐

and, once again, not that i don’t appreciate the opportunity to communicate with my customers, but i think it would be really nice if i didn’t have to communicate with them because of the fact that, indirectly, i didn’t get their order right and they are going to have to pay me more money before i send it out. 😐

oh, by the way…

today is janmaastami, the birthday of sri krishna… sort of like hindu christmas, but without the sleigh and the reindeer…

One must take care in choosing and following a ‘guru’. With many modern day gurus, you have to be very careful, for they try to become God, which they are not, not any more than you are. Media’s power helps anyone project an image, PR companies are ready to help throw an image of whatever you want to be. In US, we have seen great images projected during election, of godmen, consumer products etc. anything can be mad grand.

So watch out.

When the devotee is same as even kRiShNa, then how is a guru any superior? This is not disrespect to guru, but realization of your own true nature. A guru that doesn’t help you with that, or if you don’t do it yourselves – then the whole exercise is a farce.

A true guru never wants, attention or even your identity, or money. Yes, you may give a token of appreciation for guru’s daily needs, but that is nominal, not millions of dollars! No guru needs that much! Those are entrepreneurs, businessmen who need that much of money, running mega-business or schools, hospitals, social work and amassing tons of moolah on the way. A true guru only wants to help you be able to walk in the right direction with good stamina. He is not going to be with you forever, giving you a piggy back ride to heaven.
     — Practical Sanskrit

श्री कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी की हार्दिक शुभ कामनाये – happy janmaastami, people. 8)

another week closer to the eschaton…

Daily exercise ‘may prolong life’ – “every single hour of TV watched after the age of 25 shortened the viewer’s life expectancy by just under 22 minutes…”

Pasco couple fear losing home to foreclosure for paying mortgage too early – this is all kinds of wrong…

Obama bans war criminals, except our own – 😡

12-Year-Old Cracks Burglary Case Before Cops – what the fuck, cops clowns? 😡

Actress Roseanne Barr announces presidential bid – if ronald reagan could do it, roseanne is a shoe-in… i’d vote for her over the current crop of politicians who want the job… 8)

Michele Bachmann Is Not a Doctor – you can be arrested for misrepresenting your education with the intent to defraud, can’t you? apparently ms. bachmann doesn’t know this, in spite of her education…

12 days in jail over a faulty drug test – “She is what you call collateral damage in the drug war”… i would have started suspecting that something was wrong when the customs officials started testing used motor oil for illicit drugs… 😐

Marijuana May Ward Off Dementia: Cannabinoids Protect Brain From Aging Processes – but, of course, nobody will do anything with this information, because marijuana is a dangerous drug with no medicinal applications whatsoever… 😐

The perfect place for the perfect crime? – due to an archane and highly convoluted technicality, there is a fairly large section of yellowstone park where you can take drugs, have illicit sex, and even murder people, and the cops can’t do anything about it: hint, it involves at least one “mistake” made by congress in 1889 which nobody has bothered to fix…

list & random

fix my trombone slide: either do it myself, or call david cole. it’s GOT to be done, and the sooner the better.

clean pipes: i’ve got a dozen pipes that are totally clogged — again — and one of the reasons i set up my workshop was so that i would have a place to go and clean them out without having to move shit or clean up first…

finish entering new data into G.R.A.M.P.S.

Arbroath Fisheries probably has relatives working there, and even if they don’t, they use OSCommerce, so i bought some smoked fish from them.

moe has been gone since thursday at a sheep dog trial in oregon. she should be getting back at any moment. ah, yes… there she is. 8)

a poem from when i was a flagger in the early ’90s:

Girded in
The Tangerine Vest of Visibility
and
The Amber Helmet of Hardness

I bear, on my staff, the power of
THE SCARLET OCTAGON!

and I command you to
STOP!

i knew it!

i’ve got a whole pile of new genealogical information from my fourth cousin, twice removed (a guy named evan, who lives somewhere in canada) to rustle through, the upshot of which is that i now have traced my ancestors back to 1620 or thereabouts, and i have, actually, found the source of the name Dorward who were the “wardens of the door” (i.e. security guards) at Arbroath Abbey, in Arbroath, Fofarshire (Angus) county, Scotland…

as moe said… “woot!” 8)

this is why the world is going down-hill so quickly…

i was out doing some errands in auburn today, and, because of the fact that they had torn up my regular route – they were actually letting traffic through, one car at a time, and traffic had backed up for a mile and a half, when you could get exactly the same place by going a block out of your way, but nobody (else) had thought to do it – i went past a small, non-descript building that had a sign that really, REALLY confused me… i don’t know whether or not the people meant it to sound the way it does, but, despite the fact that i know what they were probably trying to say, it really doesn’t seem to convey the fact in any immediate way, and, in fact, most likely conveys entirely the opposite of what they were trying to say.

the sign said:CHRIST FREE COMMUNITY CLINIC

at first, i thought they might have meant “CHRIST COMMUNITY FREE CLINIC”, but then i realised that, without punctuation, either way, they were advertising the exact opposite of what they probably intended to advertise… they probably should have chosen entirely different wording, or a more obvious layout for their sign…

and the probability is very high that i am the only person to have noticed this…

i just thought i’d let you know…

i got 3 (yes, three) spam messages, with attachments, last night, from various addresses at nyc dot gov (which doesn’t mean a lot) with the consistent subject line “Uniform traffic ticket”. upon opening the messages (in a text reader, so that nothing tries to execute and take over my computer), i discovered that i have been charged with “NYS V AND T LAW” (which i assume is “New York State Vehicle and Transportation Law”) “SPEED OVER 55 ZONE”, on 07/05/2011 at 7:25 AM…

except that it neglects to tell me where, and because of the fact that i KNOW beyond a shadow of a doubt that i was NOT anywhere where the “NYS V AND T LAW” would be in effect, ESPECIALLY at that time of the morning, i have a reasonably good idea that this is actually a spam/virus/malware message that was intended to gain access to my computer via “social engineering”…

IT’S NOT GONNA HAPPEN! ☹

this is just to let anybody know – who might have the slightest idea that this is anything OTHER than a spam message… states may send out tickets for traffic offenses by email, but they’re OBVIOUSLY more legitimate than a message such as this… 😐

another week closer to the eschaton…

How Two Former Fox Reporters Found Out To Their Cost Just How Corrupt And Far Reaching Monsanto’s Reach Is – 😮

Wait… Did Herman Cain End The Debate With A Line From A Pokemon Movie? – maybe that’s what he means by “a poet”, but if so, he needs a little more education before running for assistant dog-catcher…

Christians Openly Advocate Killing Athiests on FOX News Facebook Page – this is why i refer to them as “christians”… they’re exactly the opposite of the jesus of the bible… they’re about as far from Christians as you can possibly get.

Email rendezvous entangles state Rep. Phillip Hinkle – another gay scandal perpetrated by one of those hypocritical, republican, anti-gay politicians… you’d think that, eventually, they would get the idea that if they hide it, that being a politician would eventually bring it out in a much more public and embarrassing way than it would if they just admitted that they were gay from the beginning… 😐

More educated tend to be more religious, by some measures – if you’ve got a bible on your bookshelf, you’re likely to be a “christian”. if you’ve got a torah on your bookshelf, you’re likely to be jewish. if you’ve got a qu’raan on your bookshelf, you’re likely to be muslim. if you’ve got a bhagavat gita on your bookshelf, you’re likely to be hindu. if you’ve got all four on your bookshelf, you’re likely to be an atheist… or more educated than most…

"Super Congress" Designed for One Purpose and Super Congress stacked with climate zombies – this is exactly why the whole idea of a “super” congress that makes decisions which are implimented with no disagreement or debate permitted is unconstitutional in the short run, and, if we don’t do something about it, is more than likely to destroy our country and planet in the not-too-much-longer run… 😡

Rick Perry Calls Social Security and Medicare "Ponzi Schemes" – it’s true this kind of wingnutty talk will endear him to the teabirchers, good luck winning the presidency calling america’s favorite social programs criminal conspiracies…

yesterday there were headlines about the military’s newly-announced capability to fly anywhere on the face of the earth inside of an hour. today, Pentagon loses hypersonic aircraft over Pacific Ocean and then More War Toys We Can’t Afford Don’t Work… Again…– oops… 😮 there were only two prototypes and now they’re not sure if there are going to be any more… oh well… only a million dollars out of our pockets that we’ll never see again…

French Farmer Advertises Against Advertising – “implementing the martial arts technique of ‘using the strength of the adversary to floor him.'”

How to kill the Gulf’s dead-zone zombie – it’s back… 😐

recovering

sort of…

i’ve got a really busy weekend coming up, and i’ve had a really busy week already… i didn’t do much today: work on the snake suspenderz business card, laundry and spod… but i deserve a day off, especially since yesterday i filled two incense orders, one of which got shipped to the netherlands, and it’s really difficult to tell whether a person whose native language is dutch is being serious or not when he says that he wants to pay twice as much for shipping as he does for the incense itself, which meant that yesterday was the end of about two weeks of email negotiations…

i’m not sure what to think of this…

we have a border collie, lucy, who is obsessed with things. when we first got her, she obsessed about the cats, who were not amused. then, when we got stanley, she obsessed about stanley and forgot about the cats. then we got mango and it was as though stanley never existed…

mango has started staying at monique’s work over night, to cut down on the amount of travelling he has to do – and he was intended to be the “clinic bird” anyway – but lucy still obsesses about where mango used to be…

it has been 8 days now, and she’s still obsessing about mango’s empty cage…lucy and not-mango
if it’s possible, she’s obsessing more since he’s been staying at work…😮

this is why i don’t subscribe to things like this…

despite my interest in geneaology, i usually don’t just arbitrarily subscribe to things like ancestry dot com and genealogy dot com. however, i have recently subscribed to both of them, because i finally got around to uploading a GEDCOM file of my research (8 generations). almost immediately they send me this message that says i have “hints” about some of the people in my family tree…

my sister, my father, and my grandfather.

i know about these people… i know more than i would like to know, and probably more than they would be comfortable knowing that i know… i know what the “hints” are, and i don’t care

what they didn’t tell me in the “potted meat product that isn’t quite SPAM” was that they also have “hints” for 65 other relatives who are far more removed than my grandfather… such as Otto Tobe Biver, my first cousin twice removed, and Sarah Davisson, my grand aunt of wife of great-great-great grand uncle, and Charles W. Hammond, my great-great-great-great-grandfather…

whuff

i realised, once again, why i don’t schedule more than one gig per day yesterday…

i’m beginning a couple weeks of relative busy-ness, and it started off with partying and not getting enough sleep saturday night, and continued abruptly yesterday, when i got up way too early and went to the ballard sunday market with snake suspenderz and busked for approximately 1½ hours before we were run off by a string quartet which was playing vivaldi and bach. while they were playing acceptably well, they set up 20 feet away from us and wouldn’t fess up when confronted with their rudeness… and then we discovered that it’s apparently a “new policy” that buskers have to get up and move every half an hour…

by the time we had played for half an hour or so with a classical accompaniment (which was really confusing, at best, and downright distracting most of the time) we decided to bag it, especially since i had to go to my second gig anyway, which was the ballard sedentary sousa band at the ballard locks… which was, fortunately, just down the street.

it was clear from the start that i wasn’t going to be able to play my best, because i had already been playing my best for an hour and a half at the previous gig, but this was on my trombone and that was on my tuba, and i figured that would account for something… but if it did, i probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway, because by the time we were done playing i was getting really tired… then the BSSB-at-the-locks concert was followed by the traditional beer-and-pizza-in-walter’s-back-yard, which got me home around 6:00 pm.

i actually tried to take a nap between 7:00 and 7:30 or so, but the doggie-alarm kept going off every time a twig snapped outside, until moe got home around 8:00. i finally went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep almost immediately.

i’ve got a ninja concert at the good shepherd center with the fremont philharmonic this evening, and a rehearsal with the sousa band on tuesday, wednesday i have a snake suspenderz rehearsal, and thursday is my “weekend” this week. then i’ve got a gig with snake suspenderz at chumleighland on friday… which has the distinct possibility of leaking over into saturday as well… and possibly another ninja performance with the fremont phil on saturday, then the ballard sunday market on the 14th, and on the 15th is the party that we were hired to do as a result of the sunday market…

and then there’s the “Garden Party” at krissy and chris’ on the 20th, which the fremont phil is probably not playing for in any official capacity, but we’re probably going to be there, and i’m going to bet that we’ll play a little. and then, next month, we’ve already got a two-gigs-in-one-day scheduled, on 18th september, when we’re scheduled for the pike place busker festival and the seattle symphony day of music at beneroya hall…

plus i got an incense order today, for the last of my old tulasi deepak stock, which, because, from what i’ve been able to find out, they don’t make it any longer is another incense that i have carried that nobody else carries…