another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

Next Up: Enemy Expatriation Act; Would Strip Americans of Citizenship For "Hostilities Against the United States"

When they took the fourth amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
    I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
    and I can say nothing about it.

… but that will not stop me from saying stuff about it anyway! ๐Ÿ˜›

This Is a Test… (And Too Many Americans Are Failing) – if the united states is to be turned into a plutocracy, our collective ignorance is an absolute necessity.

Oakland Police Violate Their Own Policies and She Dialed 911. The Cop Who Came to Help, Raped Her. and Federal judge gives an Arkansas car passenger $1 after he was tasered by cops, even though he committed no crime and Two brave policemen shoot 43-year-old woman in the back with tasers – who needs foreign terrorists? we’ve got home grown police officers terrorists right down here…

How Much Do Music and Movie Piracy Really Hurt the U.S. Economy? – if you said “between $200 and $250 billion per year, and is responsible for the loss of 750,000 american jobs”, you’d be wrong. those numbers are made up out of thin air by people who do not have the “us economy” in mind.

Could magic mushrooms help the fight against depression? – as nice as this sounds, there’s going to have to be some substantial changes in federal law before it gains any ground at all… ๐Ÿ˜

we’re gonna be on television! 8)

we don’t know that 100% fer sure yet, but the probability is exceptionally high… 8)

i went to the big bois with poise rehearsal/filming last night, and despite the wind and rain, i got “dressed up” in my duck kilt and buckets and spun fire with the rest of the bois, in front of a camera. at one point, we even dug out our dongy-hats and short-dudes boobs and went for the full burn – i burned the inside of my left arm when i tried to do a forward weave and forgot that my boobs were there… and they were still on fire… ouch!

the official audition is this saturday, the 4th, but because of the fact that our act involves fire, we probably won’t be asked to actually audition (which is why we filmed the act), but they expect us to show up in costume for the interview… 8)

whee! we’re gonna be on television! 8)

FKB parade &c.

so i was recruited to play sousaphone for a parade this afternoon, which was to drum up publicity for the Flying Karamazov Brothers shows at ACT theatre starting on february 2nd.

it was rather like the time, a couple of years ago, when i played sousaphone for the fighting instruments of karma and discovered that i knew about ¾ of the people in the band from other places: from bellingham, primarily, but i had played in various different groups with a whole bunch of people who were also in the fighting instruments of karma. i remember thinking, then, and my experience today only solidifies that thought, that this is my karass…

not too bad a karass to be a part of, with the new old time chautaqua, rev. chumleigh, the flying karamazov brothers, cirque de flambe, etc., etc., etc… ๐Ÿ˜‰

i have “reading” glasses, and “seeing” glasses, but because of the fact that the lyre for my sousaphone is so close to my face, i can’t even use the “reading” glasses to read the music when i’m playing sousaphone, so i have to not wear any glasses at all, which is fine for reading music that is 6 inches from my face, but lousy for actually seeing were i’m going or what’s around me. apart from blurs, i was totally blind for the parade… they found a 15-foot-tall banner from somewhere which was supposed to be carried in front, but because of the fact that it was 15 feet tall, it didn’t fit on the sidewalk, and they had to carry it in the street.

we went to the pike place market and held up traffic by parading the wrong direction on pike place. then we did a “show” under the clock for about five minutes, while people who looked suspiciously like policemen on bicycles nervously cased the crowd. i saw a whole bunch of photographers taking what appeared to be pictures of me, but because of the fact that i couldn’t actually see, i’m not sure. one thing for sure, i didn’t take any pictures of my own.

after the parade, i picked up a sousaphone from thaddeus, which i’m going to fix in exchange for him giving me (conditionally) a BBb tuba that used to be Hokum’s… and i really hope that i’m actually going to be able to fix that sousaphone, because i really want that tuba, but also because i haven’t actually worked on a brass instrument for quite some time, and i don’t have a lot of dent removal tools. fortunately, the majority of the “fixing” appears to involve soldering braces that have come loose, and/or re-aligning tubing that has come un-aligned… which i think i can do, more or less… fortunately, i’ve got a ringer, in that i’ve got a professional musical instrument repair technician who specialises in low brass to help me if i get stuck.

on my way home, i was driving down I5 north of the west seattle freeway, and i saw a newish honda civic with a license plate that said “GANESA”… the guy obviously wanted my license plate, but i already had it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

aparajita again again again

so the guy from india (is name is sugam dhall) hasn’t responded to my email message concerning the discrepancy in quantity between what i ordered and what i was delivered, so i stripped out the domain name from his email address and plopped it into my browser… and it didn’t work. ๐Ÿ˜

if the domain doesn’t work, there’s a really good probability that the email server doesn’t work either, which could explain why i haven’t heard anything from sri dhall in almost a month…

so, i went to the console, and typed in whois and got another email address for him (and, oddly, discovered that his domain name expires on my birthday), so i wrote to that one as well… we’ll see how that one works out… of course i probably won’t hear from him until monday, considering how 11:30 am friday, here, is 1:00 am saturday, there


170 boxes of aparajita arrived today… but i ordered 240, and i haven’t heard anything from the guy in india since he said he would send me the tracking number three weeks ago… which he never did… ๐Ÿ˜

at this point, i’m satisfied that the incense i’m getting is the authentic aparajita, but if the guy in india starts jerking me around with quantities, i’m not gonna be very happy…

<gong>SPAMMMMMMMMM!</gong> (and not the fine potted meat food product)

so i got this fine potted meat food product spam message today, which read:


We are in the process of promoting a website about drug and alcohol rehabilitation. Would you be open to the idea of placing a text link ad on this page:

We hope to hear from you soon, so we can discuss rates and other pertinent details.


Stephanie Harper

first of all, categorically, NO!!! i AM NOT interested in doing business with anyone who uses spam as a marketing tool, regardless how appropriate it seems on the surface…

but then i looked at the message a little more closely… you see that part about “promoting a website about drug and alcohol rehabilitation”?

did they even READ the page at, or were they just trolling for pages whose titles seemed appropriate… ’cause if they actually read the page, they would quickly realise that i am not suggesting that people who use alcohol or drugs go into rehabilitation, but the opposite… i am proposing that ALL “drugs” be legalised, which is an entirely different ball o’ wax…

the message also had a toll-free phone number and a web site link (which i have removed, because i don’t want anyone to get the idea that i support what they’re doing), so i called “Stephanie Harper” and got a computerised-voice answering service that said there was “NOBODY AVAILABLE. TRANSFERRING TO VOICE MAIL.” but i didn’t leave a message because there’s a very strong probability that they’ll ignore it anyway, and i don’t want to waste my breath. i then went to the console, and did some arcane and mystical things to discover that the domain is “owned” by a company called “Domains By Proxy” whose motto is “Your identity is nobody’s business but ours.®“… in other words, they don’t want to tell you who they are…

if i were running a company that marketed web sites by “directed mail”, i would want people to be able to find out about my business. sure, there’s the web site link, but that’s what i say about who i am, not what other people say about me… and, if i were a legitimate business (which, because they market using spam, it isn’t to begin with), i would give a way to get in touch with me that doesn’t involve a WHOIS privacy company. i did a more conventional google search and discovered that “Stephanie Harper” is, sometimes, “Valerie Elden”, or “Ella Easton” or “Derek Holden”, and they’re searching for all kinds of pages on which to put their filthy dreck, using the form

We are in the process of promoting a website about (X). Would you be open to the idea of placing a text link ad on this page: (Y)?

We hope to hear from you soon, so we can discuss rates and other pertinent details.

and they make a habit of randomly spamming, because i found a number of pages, from a number of different web sites (both legitimate and less-than-legitimate) saying, essentially, the same thing this one does, i.e. WTF, spammers? i also discovered that, despite their fancy looking front page, their “web site” has only two pages and is powered by wordpress… not the way to make me believe that they’re a legitimate company doing legitimate business with anyone… ๐Ÿ˜

it’s OVER!

FINALLY our power was restored about 9:30 pm last night… now i’ve got a week’s worth of ketchup to complete (going and getting my (repaired(!!!)) shoes, and the template made from them, going and getting the leather to make a new pair of shoes from the template, various different things related to the sousaphone that i was supposed to fix last week, etc., etc., etc.…) plus i have to practice for the filming of the Big Bois With Poise that’s happening on friday, and the parade (for which i’m going to be playing my own sousaphone) on saturday, and various other things that i couldn’t schedule because we had no power…

so, i’m gonna be kinda busy for the next few days… there are actually pictures of the storm and it’s resulting chaos, but they’re going to have to wait until i get my house in order again.

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

The U.S. Government Funded the Iranian Terrorist Group Which “Found” The Documents Upon Which the Warmongers Are Relying – hmmm… this sounds vaguely familiar… and the US does have a long history of using forged documents as an excuse for war… ๐Ÿ˜

SOPA Shelved Indefinitely, Obama Succumbs to Pressure, Issues Official Veto Threat – while obama was right this time, my impression is that once it isn’t an election year, SOPA, in one form or another, will return with a vengeance.

World Peace Hanging by a Thread – for a former leader of a country at odds with the united states, fidel castro sure seems like he’s got his shit together…

One In Three U.S. Warplanes is a Robot; 7,494 Drones and Counting – EFF filed a Freedom of Information Act request in april of 2011 for records of unmanned aircraft activities over domestic soil. not surprisingly, the DOT so far has failed to provide the information, which indicates that they’ve got something to hide… ๐Ÿ˜

and this is the reason why… 8/

tuesday i posted that when it snows around here, EVERYBODY FREAKS OUT… and this is the reason why: wednesday morning, around 5:00, our power went out, and has yet to return. thursday, our neighbour’s sixty-foot evergreen tree took a header into our front yard, narrowly missing my car and blocking the driveway up to the house… the neighbours are nowhere to be seen. moe thinks they may have moved into a hotel. friday moe went out to mcdonalds (free WIFI), and had to wend her way through the neighbourhood, being alert for downed power lines and fallen trees… everything in our refrigerator and freezer is no longer good, with the exception (i think) of a few things we’ve had packed in snow in the back yard. yesterday we went to a friends’ house, where we took showers and checked email… today we went to another friends’ house, where, according to PSE’s Service Alert Map there are multiple outages in our area, but if i read their cryptic map symbols correctly, they’re working on our neighbourhood at this very moment… althogh we didn’t have electricity when we left the house. the neighbours behind us, and to the north of us have had power for two days, but their houses are on military road, which is a major thorough fare. we, on the other hand, are at the end of a gravel road that you have to drive down another gravel road to get to… and, while our next-door neighbours may be on a major thorough fare, we are in a place where the UPS driver pretty regularly can’t find us, and our mailbox is two blocks away because the postal service doesn’t know where we are either… i regularly have to “talk people in” who get lost trying to find our house…. so, hopefully PSE isn’t just shining us on, and they really are working in our neighbourhood, but i’ll believe it when i see it. ๐Ÿ˜•

and even when the electricity does come back on, we still have to deal with the sixty-foot evergreen tree across our driveway.



it doesn’t snow that often around here, which means that when it does, EVERYBODY FREAKS OUT. i grew up in buffalo, new york, where they have up to seven feet of snow, from october to may every year… i learned to drive in the snow before i could actually legally drive… and i don’t mind the snow as long as i don’t have to go anywhere (like today)… but it’s more because i don’t have to watch out for other people who are FREAKING OUT than because i don’t like driving myself. i took the dog for a walk and fell down on my way down the driveway, but because of the fact that i had actually prepared for it, it was more of an entertaining aside than a serious fall.

the picture was taken up the street from our house. there was approximately six inches of snow, and it was sleeting when i took it. according to the NOAA weather report, it should all be gone by tomorrow…

ETA: 2:15 pm – it’s already warming up, and while it’s not snowing any longer, it’s really foggy and the bush next to the driveway is collapsing under the weight of all the wet snow in its branches…

another week closer to the eschaton…

My Guantรกnamo Nightmare – Lakhdar Boumediene was a childrens’ humanitarian aid worker with the red crescent until the united states government decided that he was a terrorist, kidnapped him, and held him in gitmo, where he was tortured for seven years until somebody noticed and he was released… and that was before the president signed the law allowing such things. last week i posted about some OWS protesters who were arrested for speaking in public… i wonder what happened to them? ๐Ÿ˜

Free Speech Is On Thin Ice and Critical Thinking Is Unpatriotic

When they took the fourth amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
    I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
    and I can say nothing about it.

… but that will not stop me from saying stuff about it anyway! ๐Ÿ˜›

Doomsday Clock Moves 1 minute closer to midnight – “Two years ago, it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed.”

Grow Up, Ron Paul – as much as i like his libertarian take on cannabis, i have too much concern for people and the environment to treat him as a serious contender for president.

Ten Years At Guantánamo Bay By The Numbers – and it doesn’t look like it’s going to close any time soon, thanks to the people who promised to close it deciding not to anyway… ๐Ÿ˜

Santorum Supports Accused Child Molester Sandusky – and this guy wants to be our president?

Homeland Security monitors journalists – hello clown-land security goons… i am a terrorist! ๐Ÿ˜ Anarchy is America’s solution

While U.S., Afghans, NATO Condemn Marines Urinating On Dead Taliban, Right Wing Says ‘I Could Care Less’ – my guess is that it’s going to get an awful lot worse before it starts to get better again… probably not within my lifetime, and likely not within my son’s lifetime… ๐Ÿ˜

however, i want to examine the word desecration a little more closely. according to the dictionary definition, to “desecrate” something is to “divest it of its sacred or hallowed character or office”. the people on whom the marines were urinating, according to the video, were “dead taliban”, although it’s not clear whether they were actual taliban fighters, or dead civilians that were caught in the crossfire, but either way, were they doing something – other than being human – that would have meant that most people would consider their behaviour “sacred or hallowed”? and if they were, actual, taliban fighters, who, presumably moments previously, were trying to kill those marines, would their behaviour still be considered “sacred or hallowed”? probably not, but the geneva convention prohibits “the desecration of bodies of people killed in war” so if their behaviour wasn’t sacred, at least according to the “people who make the rules”, then the only remaining thing that could have been sacred about them was the fact that they were human. exactly the SAME KIND of human that were the marines who were desecrating their bodies.

let me see if i’ve got this straight: human beings are sacred, but the geneva convention prohibits the desecrating of people who have been killed in war… so the geneva convention doesn’t make human beings so sacred that it’s not okay to kill them – which, if the human being is sacred, would be the ultimate desecration… in other words, only DEAD people are sacred… before they die, they’re free game, but once they’re dead, you DON’T TOUCH their bodies without respect for the divine…

something is seriously fucked up with the society that would make this kind of rule, and think that they made war “okay” because they have rules like this. ๐Ÿ˜›

Dumb As A Rock: You Will Be Absolutely Amazed At The Things That U.S. High School Students Do Not Know – perhaps this is why we’re plunging headlong towards the eschaton… it certainly isn’t slowing us down any.

The Greatest Truth Never Told – this guy is saying pretty much exactly the same thing that i’ve been saying for years… maybe someone will pay attention to him.

Google, what were you thinking? – this is the reason i’m suspicious, to say the least, about anything having to do with google. to me, a company whose motto is “do no evil” deserves watching a bit more closely than other companies, and this is exactly the reason why.

hobo nickels

120103 hobo nickeli’ve mentioned hobo nickels before, but i figured i’d give you an idea of how they are made, since one of the first things everybody says to me when i give them one is “oh, did you make this?”

this is how i made them. enterprising people among you who may not be willing to risk my not giving you a hobo nickel myself (which, itself, is, actually, fairly rare) can use these instructions to make your own, with the full and complete assurance that i don’t care, although i do think that anybody who goes through this much effort for such little actual payback is kind of loopy.

also, i apologise in advance for the poor quality photos: it is difficult to use a hand to steady the camera and take pictures when you have to use two hands to hold up the tool and the piece you’re working on, so that the light shows through the kerf just right… look at it this way: 50 years ago, you wouldn’t have photographs this good, and 100 years ago there wouldn’t be any internet to read this on, so the poor quality photos are pretty good in comparison.

1) get a jewelers’ saw, a good supply of #2 or finer blades, a hand-vice, and a whole bunch of nickels. the newer and cleaner the nickels are, the better the end result will look, but it really doesn’t matter. #2 blades are fine enough that they will cut without jamming, but remove material at an acceptable rate. larger blades remove more material, but they also break more easily and don’t twist as well. finer blades don’t remove as much material, but they offer more control, especially in tight corners, although they break way more easily, and don’t last as long.

2) get a solid workspace, with a way to solidly anchor a hand-vice. i use my bench vice with the jaws separated about 2 inches, and hold the hand-vice so that the jaws stick out over the end of the bench-vice jaws. adjust the hand vice so that the nickel slides in easily, and can be gripped easily, but releases when you release the hand-vice. this is important because when you are cutting, you have to adjust the orientation of the nickel without putting the saw down, which would require an extra hand with which human beings are not, sadly, equipped.

also, i work sitting down, but which ever way for you is most comfortable to work, be prepared to take breaks, because cutting is exacting work.

3) drill a hole in the nickels with a drill bit that is small enough that it leaves both the bust of jefferson, and the edge: hobo nickel manufacturing this is the place where you insert your #2 saw blade, before you clamp it into the saw… yes, you cut the background out from the inside… ingenious, isn’t it? 8)

4) cut all the way around the bust of thomas jefferson as close as you can, hopefully without cutting into thomas jefferson, or giving him weird facial appendages… unless, of course, you want to make the writer of our declaration of independence into a deformed frog-elephant. if that’s what you want, i have no control over what you do, and, as i said before, i truly don’t care

5) this is the difficult part: when you have cut all the way around the bust of jefferson, go back to the original hole, and cut around the inside of the nickel. the reason why you do this isn’t immediately obvious, but once you’ve tried to cut around the inside of the nickel from the other side, you’ll know why. basically, it’s because you have to have some way of stabilising the nickel while you’re cutting, and if you start from the other side, all you have is the rim of the nickel, which isn’t very much, especially when you start cutting it out. the only way to avoid this is to be ambidexterous enough that, when the time comes, you can just switch hands (which, obviously, means re-orienting the hand-vice as well) and do it right handed. if you can do that, then you can ignore this step, but even before my brain injury, when i really was ambidexterous enough to do that, i still couldn’t get beyond taking a few strokes with the saw and having to replace the blade because i broke it again

hobo nickel manufacturing hobo nickel manufacturing

6) rejoice, ’cause you’ve done it too!

hobo nickel manufacturing hobo nickel manufacturing

be prepared to break A LOT of #2 saw blades getting started… for that matter, be prepared to break one or two blades per nickel for a while. it’s tough getting your fingers trained to cut in the right place without twisting or flexing the saw enough that the blade breaks. fortunately, they’re not expensive. ๐Ÿ˜‰


i had my first, tentative experiences with SAAS over the past couple of days, and i can say, without hesitation, that if this is the direction computing is headed, i’ll get off the train here, because SAAS SUCKS!!

i was using the RVSiteBuilder that comes with my cPanel-powered web-hosting package. while cPanel does a very good job of making sense of the arcane unix commands i would have to be using instead, rvsitebuilder makes the job of creating valid html templates for web sites almost impossible.

for example:

i wanted to put in my own header, so i uploaded the graphic, which automatically got placed in the template i was working on… however, i come to find out that the SAAS has automatically converted it, resized it, and buried it under three html layers, so that when i “right-click” and choose “view graphic”, instead of getting the graphic i want, i get a thing called “headergraphic.gif” that’s one of those transparent, 1×1 pixel monstrosities, that gets resized to whatever you need. when i finally gave up on the thing, and dug my graphic out from underneath all that other crap, i found out it was resized in the html, which causes it to load more slowly, because the browser has to load the whole thing, and then figure the dimensions and resize it on the fly.

i told it that i wanted a template that is 1000 pixels wide, but because of the fact that the header graphic was resized, i had to narrow the template to 800 pixels. then, when i tried to add sidebars, they were the wrong size…

the css was so confused… there were five different css files, three of which weren’t being used at all, but, because of the fact that the index had linked to them, they had to be loaded with the rest of the template. the remaining two were full of selectors that had transparent, 1×1 pixel graphics as background colours… not just one or two, but ten or twelve different selectors and classes. there were a fuck-TON of javascripts (read “security vulnerabilities that advertise a site willing to be exploited”) that weren’t being used, as well as a huge pile of “stock” graphics which weren’t being used at all.

to make matters worse, it was just assumed that one (in my case, me) simply knows how the software works… that is, when it works… ๐Ÿ˜ i actually had to start my “project” three times because the SAAS “froze up” and i had to quit the browser and re-start in order to go forward… if you have an application running on one server, that’s sending instructions to a machine that’s connected to another server over open internet, you’re GOING to run into problems when the server on which the application is running QUITS RESPONDING… ๐Ÿ˜›

and when the software was working, it gave cryptic and/or ungrammatical clues about what needed to be done next… several of the workspaces that i worked through had “Save” buttons that were different sizes and colours, and were located in inconsistent places.

if i were testing this SAAS, i would not give it a passing grade, however, unfortunately, i get the very strong impression that this isn’t going to go away. that impression is only accentuated by the fact that, when i was working as a tester of network-enabled software, i logged many, many, MANY bugs against such SAAS, and, for the most part, those bugs WERE NOT FIXED and the software was released to a population of users who didn’t care that the email software didn’t work because they were too busy playing angry birds (which does work).

by the way, i “rolled my own” template for the new neighborhood acupuncture clinic in ballard/fremont, and it works and validates (thank you very much), and it took me half as long as doing sort of, but not exactly the same thing with an application that is supposed to make it easier

another one

i don’t really know why anybody would be tempted to try kopi luwak, but if anybody was ever curious, there’s a new-ish article from sprudge that says that it’s not anywhere near as good as people claim it is, which includes a coffee judge saying things like “One of four cups was moldy and another single cup showed phenol. I tasted band-aids, iodine, and oyster.”

bleah! ๐Ÿ˜•

not only that, but apparently the increased demand (damn internet!) has created an industry where they catch and cage civet cats and force-feed them coffee cherries in order to create the supply needed to sate the palates of these would-be coffee gourmets… not exactly my cup of… well, coffee… ๐Ÿ˜

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

NYPD Arrests Anyone Who Speaks: This Would Be Used as War Propaganda if NY Was Foreign and Had Oil – OWS protestors are arrested for speaking in public… seriously, where’s my country? ๐Ÿ˜›

Why the NDAA Now?1) They are saying that the military/corporate complex is in charge, and electoral politics mean nothing; 2) They are warning those who would criticize our foreign or domestic policies that the consequences of excessive criticism could land you in jail for the rest of your life, or that it could be fatal; 3) They are saying that our civilian judicial system is now subordinate to military control and domination; 4) They are telling the American people that dissent is dangerous, and outside the law; 5) They are informing the world that the true masters have stepped forward from the shadows to demonstrate that Americans are no more in control of their own government than the citizens of any fascist regime in the world; 6) They are reinforcing the concept that we are in a perpetual state of war, and that there will never again be periods of peace; and, 7) They are saying that obedience, and not democracy, is the order of the day.

There’s Something They’re Not Telling Us… and Defiling the Constitution, Betraying the Founders and Can the US Government be Trusted as Judge and Jury in NDAA Indefinite Detention of U.S. Citizens? and Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Into Law – obama – a former constitutional law professor – cannot be trusted to uphold universal human rights standards and the rule of law.

Police State 2012: No Need to Wait, Itโ€™s Already Here – the people hold all the power. no amount of illegal surveillance or police state gadgets will ever hold back an engaged, informed public that recognizes their own power.

Santorum’s ‘Freedom’ is Pretty Much Slavery and Santorum targets blacks in entitlement reform – and this guy wants to be our PRESIDENT⁈⁉ ๐Ÿ˜›

ACLU Asks Court to Stop Missouri Library From Illegally Censoring Minority Religious Websites – the library director “said she would only allow access to blocked sites if she felt patrons had a legitimate reason to view the content and further said that she had an obligation to report people who wanted to view these sites to the authorities.”

Russian Protesters Use Art as Act of War – hmmm… maybe we should use that idea domestically as well…

CVDazzle – is an interesting looking method of circumventing computer facial recognition, using the same principles as dazzle camouflage.

Dallas teen missing since 2010 was mistakenly deported – it seems a bit abnormal to me that they would deport a 15-year-old girl with no identification, without at least trying to figure out who she was first. one way or the other, the colombian government refuses to release her from the detention facility where she is being held for some unknowable reason… ๐Ÿ˜

FDA Claims Walnuts to be Illegal Drugs – apple-jacks and froot-loops, however, are not… ๐Ÿ˜ก

another week of performances finished

we’ve got one more week of panto left this year. i say this every year, but this year’s show is probably the best show we’ve ever done: the jokes that are supposed to go over the kids’ heads do so with much more accuracy than they ever have, and the fact that there are more than one dyed-in-the-wool brits add to the illusion that we are doing a “traditional” british panto… and we’ve even got a “I Am The Very Model Of A Modern Major General” style “patter” song, which, despite the fact that ours is a “musical” and not an “operetta”, lends a very distinct “Gilbert and Sullivan” air to the show… i would say that if G&S defines the “high end” of panto, this year’s show may have qualified us for the extreme low end… which is about what we were aiming for anyway… 8)

also, Big Bois With Poise has got an audition for America’s Got Talent… of course we won’t win, but the objective is to get on television. chris is friends with a talent scout for the show, and they’ve already seen some of the (second- or third-rate) youtube videos (that there are more than one is a surprise to me, but whatever) and they’re very enthusiastic about getting us to audition… of course we can’t actually do our act for the audition, because they don’t want to set the hotel where they’re holding the auditions on fire, but they said that they want us to show up in costume, and then they’ll show a (first-rate, yet to be made) video of our performance.

i’m getting together with chris on tuesday to talk about doing some graphic design for his new(!) acupuncture clinic, which is not far from the palladium. i’m not sure where, because he hasn’t sent me the address, yet, but presumably he’ll take care of that before it becomes a problem. also i’ve got a tentative (we don’t know when yet) appointment with cedar, who needs some new business cards, and i’ve got a preview in to katy, who also needs new business cards (her old ones had the word “Inpisre” spelled wrong, which isn’t a thing that an educator of small children should have on her business cards).

oh. my. GAWD!

i have never liked paypal, and i have been trying for quite a while, to find a way to get around having to use their services for ANYTHING… and this is exactly the reason why:

PayPal Requires Destruction Of Antique Violin

I sold an old French violin to a buyer in Canada, and the buyer disputed the label.

This is not uncommon. In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them. Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless.

nevertheless, PayPal, in their “infinite wisdom”, apparently decided the violin was a “counterfeit” and instructed the buyer to destroy it (search for the word “destroy”) rather than sending it back to the seller to get his money back… which the buyer did.

i’m sorry, but this is inexcusable. at this point, i still don’t have a reliable alternative to paypal, but it’s coming VERY soon… the less of my money these PIRATES take, the more i will like it. ๐Ÿ˜›

what have i been doing the past few weeks?

120103 hobo nickelafter the panto ended for 2011 (it starts again on saturday, and runs for two weeks. get yer tickets now ’cause they’re selling out fast!) i got started making some hobo nickels. they’re not classic hobo nickels, of course, but they’re in a similar vein… and, hey… they’re only a nickel… and, as long as you don’t try to use the result as “currency”, they’re perfectly legal. 8) i broke most of my jewelers’ saw blades on the first couple of them, getting the technique right and re-adjusting my fingers. i went out to tacoma screw, to get more jewelers’ saw blades, and they didn’t know what i was talking about. i went to rockler, and they had them, but i’m not sure they’re the right ones, because they say they’re only for wood… and they’re 28 teeth per inch, and i’m pretty sure that the ones i need are more like 35 to 50 teeth per inch… i’m pretty sure that if i made the trip to hardwick’s, in seattle, that i’d be able to walk in and say i needed extra-fine jewelers’ saw-blades and they’d point me towards a bin of ’em… i went in there one time, and i said i was looking for a vice, and the guy asked me if i had considered smoking… ๐Ÿ˜‰ i made nickels like this A LOT, between 1986 (when i got out of the tech school, and realised that i could make them) until 1994, when i started having to limit my workshop space because of where i was living. they just kind of faded into past memory, and were only re-realised a few weeks ago.

i put in the order for another 20 dozen aparajita on the 15th. i still haven’t heard anything, but they are making the incense to order (SQUEEEEE!!!) so i’m not being as paranoid about it… i’m still being paranoid (after all, it’s sort of a natural state of existence for me), just not as much. i’m probably going to email again on friday if i still haven’t heard anything by then.

120103 swastika coini got this good-luck token in the mail the other day. it’s a little bit bigger than a US quarter, or a little smaller than a US half-dollar. i didn’t remember where it came from, at first, and because of the fact that i bid on it at ebay, it didn’t come from anybody i knew, or from an address with which i was familiar, which was pretty exciting, until i remembered where it came from.

after having gone to meet her, i figured out where the lady who knew who i am knows me from: she knows me because i am associated with Howlin’ Hobbit… although she was really disappointed when i didn’t drive up in my elaborately-painted art-car she was just as happy to take a picture of me wearing my hippy-hat

we spent christmas eve driving: we got up around 5:00 or so, and drove to salem, oregon, then we drove north and stopped just south of portland, then we drove into portland and visited a couple of different places before heading back, around 7:30 pm… by the time we got home, i had had about as much driving as i could stand for a while, so i spent most of the rest of xmas at home, being a hermit-crab. we took our annual trip to double-bluff off-leash dog-park on new-years’ day, and got there just as a polar-bear swim was getting over, which was kind of odd, because normally we are the only ones there on new years, and this year there were huge crowds of people, and music blaring… and an ambulance…

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

TSA โ€˜Spot Searchesโ€™ Expand To Union Station

When they took the fourth amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
    I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
    I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
    and I can say nothing about it.

… but that will not stop me from saying stuff about it anyway! ๐Ÿ˜›

President Obama Signs Indefinite Detention Bill Into Law – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ that’s it: i’m not voting for him again.

The American Fascist Sandwich: Indefinite Detention and Internment Camps – ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

The Return of Waterboarding? – three candidates said without hesitation that they would authorize waterboarding as an interrogation technique… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Occupy Rigged Elections: A Call for the Second American Revolution in 2012 – When candidates emerge who support the positions and demands of the 99 percent, the more certain we can be that our elections will be rigged.

Can Juries Ignore โ€˜’Immoral’ Laws by Nullifying Them? – short answer: yes. longer answer: you’ve got to be careful, because the gummint doesn’t want you to know that juries are supposed to dispense justice, and not just to “uphold the law” – which means a jury has the ability to strike down unjust laws, if the laws are unjust. an example of how the gummint prefers an ignorant jury? the 79-year-old chemistry professor who has been charged with “jury tampering” because he has been standing outside the federal courthouse in lower Manhattan, providing passersby with pamphlets. see above.

You Won’t Believe How Corrupt, Lazy And Stinking Rich Our Congress Critters Have Become – “when it comes to federal elections, the candidate that raises the most money wins about 90 percent of the time”…

Bradley Manning hearing ends with no clear sign of harm done to U.S. – last week i posted about US citizens beginning to disappear because the government has decided that it’s okay now, and it would be my guess that manning will be one of the first people to have this happen to him, especially now that the government has, essentially, admitted that they had no reason whatsoever to keep him in isolation at gitmo for over a year… ๐Ÿ˜

If You Canโ€™t Beat Them, Enjoin Them (From Voting) – across the country, state legislatures and governors are pushing laws that seek to restrict access to the voting booth, laws that will disproportionately harm people of color, low-income people, and young and elderly voters. for example: 93-Year-Old Tennessee Woman Who Cleaned State Capitol For 30 Years Denied Voter ID – “Thelma Mitchell, who was delivered by a midwife in Alabama in 1918, has never had a birth certificate, but when she told that to a drivers’ license clerk, he suggested she might be an illegal immigrant.”

Sea Shepherd Intercepts the Japanese Whaling Fleet with Drones – how’s that $3 million taken from the tsunami disaster recovery fund working out for you now, eh’? my guess is that the sea shepherds are going to do better this year than they have previously, despite all the new tech the japanese government throws at ’em. ๐Ÿ˜‰

US eyes first BP criminal charges over Gulf spill – it’s over, but it’s not finished yet…

Christmas: Brought to You by Chinese Slave Labor – this is why i don’t buy stuff to give as xmas gifts… and it’s one of the main reasons i’m a hindu.

Tweeting the word ‘drill’ could mean your Twitter account is read by U.S. government spies – i don’t have a twitter account (although i used to have one, i never used it and cancelled it a long time ago) however; ‘illegal immigrant’, ‘outbreak’, ‘drill’, ‘strain’, ‘virus’, ‘recovery’, ‘deaths’, ‘collapse’, ‘human to animal’ and ‘trojan’… i know a guy who is retired NSA, and from what he has said, i’m pretty sure that they’re “tracking” me anyway, as i make no bones about using words like “I AM A TERRORIST” in posts like this (hello NSA 8) ), but i don’t care… let them ‘disappear’ me… i’d like to see them try. ๐Ÿ˜