the date is up

hipy papytoday is the fifth anniversary of my starting this blog. for the record, i’m still SO GLAD i got away from LiveJournal, despite the fact that i have a lot of friends who still use it.

i haven’t switched out the system on my computer yet, primarily because, after flipping out yesterday, it has settled down again, and isn’t producing the kind of errors that were making me think about switching distributions… but i’ve still got the debian live disk, and i’m just waiting for an excuse to wipe the whole system and try another one.

i’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning up my workshop. i have a lot of empty glass bottles waiting to be made into bongs on my main workbench, and a whole bunch of painting stuff left over from the summertime on my jewelry-making workbench, which i cleaned up to the point where i can actually work on both workbenches. i’ve got a whole bunch of things that could be made into earrings or pendants, but no real motivation to make anything out of them, despite the fact that the holidays are rapidly approaching.

BBWP patches

also, after having a number of difficulties getting emails to and from the lady who actually did the work, i now have 10 Big Boys With Poise jacket patches which i’m going to distribute to the other Big Boys (and other people) at monday’s rehearsal.


i’ve “backed out” a number of adjustments that i made to my computer’s “appearance”, and that “appears” to have “fixed” whatever problems i was having with the email database… at least, so far today, i haven’t seen the “Retrieving folder contents” page, which was a common occurrence yesterday. at this point i strongly suspect the "GTK+ Appearance" changes, because i’ve made pretty much every other change with no consequences, but when i mess around with GTK+, my system goes wonky…

i suppose it’s sort of understandable, since i am using KDE and not GNOME, but if it was really that wonky, i wonder why they put it in to begin with. 😐

ON THE OTHER HAND… the debian live disk looks REALLY pretty on my mac, and usually the live disks don’t do very well on my mac… it even started a wireless network connection without too much difficulty… options, options… πŸ˜‰


so, abruptly, and for no very obvious reasons, my email client – which has been Kmail/Kontact for at least the past four years – has suddenly decided to be extremely slow reading the database – it puts up a “Kmail – Retrieving folder contents: Please wait…” page instead of displaying the selected message, sometimes for minutes at a time, sometimes actually crashing the program – combined with, randomly putting up a “Conflict resolution” error message that says that two different versions of a particular message (so far it’s been messages that i’ve already moved to the trash) exist, and wants me to determine which version of them to keep. also, it has taken up to five minutes to send an email message. i hit the “send” button, and the message just hangs there, not being sent to the “Sent Mail” folder, but i can’t edit it, or cancel sending, or do anything with the kontact interface until the message has disappeared.

this combined with the serious problems i have been having with amarok that are already fixed in the next version, which won’t be made available unless i upgrade the system to the next (non-LTS) version, have forced me to consider the option of switching distributions.

i have been considering debian for a long time: it is the operating system on which ubuntu/kubuntu is based, and it is one of the more stable distributions that i know of… but it is because they don’t update it as frequently. i’m not exactly sure where they are compared with what i need today, but i can’t imagine that they’d be too far behind where i am now. i already use a bunch of debian system-level controls instead of the ones provided by kubuntu, because i know they work better. i would have to learn how to install KDE, because, in spite of everything, i’m still the most comfortable with a familiar interface, but i get the impression that it’s really not that difficult.

ETA: it comes with KDE already installed, as one of the options, and after reading through the installation guide, it doesn’t seem like it would be that difficult to install. i’m downloading a live disk of it now. πŸ˜‰

coincidence, or… ?

through a series of events so unlikely that the only place it could have happened is the internet, my memories of a long-forgotten friend has surfaced, and i’m only partially sure of what the right direction to head would be in this case.

while browsing my RSS aggregator, i found an article through MetaFilter about "The Truce On Drugs" which mentioned (along with many other things) a guy from humboldt county named Mikal Jakubal.

a long time ago, when i was living at The Madhouse, in bellingham, another person who also lived there for a short period of time, was this guy who was described by one of the founders of Earth First as “a walking action”. to say that this guy was an “environmental activist” is sort of like describing Mickey Mouse as “a cartoon animal”. it was through him that i learned about my love of doing things like destroying logging machinery that i find deep in the woods, driving metal spikes into the old-growth trees that i come across, picking locks and other less specific kinds of general mayhem.

the name of this person was mike jakubal.

whether or not these two people are the same person remains to be seen (actually, if the picture on his web site is anything to go by, my guess is that the probability that they are the same person is no less than 75%)… but, at the same time…


more new incense! 8)

Incense!! 8)i went out today, and when i arrived home, i discovered that the mail delivery person had been there, and left me a note that said i had a package that was too big to deliver, and that it could be picked up at the post office (that is the 3rd closest to our house, but that’s another matter entirely). so i went down to the post office, where the korean person i talked to behind the counter informed me that, because of the fact that i received the notice today, the probability was very high that the package wouldn’t actually be ready for pickup until friday.

meanwhile, i could actually see the package on the shelf behind her… i mean, usually a package from india is pretty distinctive, and this one had bands around it that said “INDIA POST” in large, distinct, english and devanagari letters…

i said why didn’t she go and take a look anyway, and, so she went back to the shelves where the packages were, and, after staring at the package for about five minutes, she realised that it was mine… and then she spent another five minutes checking the serial numbers on the package against my drivers’ license, and having me hand write my address into their little touch-screen pad (which i deliberately made as illegible as possible), before handing over the 40-pound package.

which, naturally, was full of really high quality incense from india… 😎

Incense!! 8)
with my logo printed on them!
(yes, it’s on purpose)

ooh! aparajita… AGAIN!

aparajita from sri satyanarayana parimala
the real, authentic Aparajita Special Herbal Durbar, made by Sri Satyanarayana Parimala Factory

so i finally got in touch with someone from mavana regarding where to obtain authentic aparajita on this side of the world. they wrote me back and directed me to Wonder India (they have a couple of different URIs, but nothing is there), and they sent me a bunch of samples, including, most significantly, a box of AUTHENTIC aparajita special herbal durbar manufactured by mavana, doing business as the Sri Satyanarayana Parimala Factory in mysore.

notably, they are NOT cauvery, and have nothing to do with them… which makes me really wonder what is the situation with intellectual property in india, because the incense i got from mavana, today, is, substantially, the same incense that is produced with the same name by cauvery as well… 😐

however, and this is the big difference, this company is located in the united states, and has a relationship with mavana/sri satyanarayana parimala, and they CAN get, essentially, unlimited quantities of real, authentic aparajita!

and they are a lot less likely to rip me off, send me less product than i ordered, talk in some weird, foreign language, and all that other stuff that has frustrated me so much in the past.

date: up

now that the battle of the computer is fading into the background, i actually have time to rant about other things. there’s still a few things that are wonky about the new operating system: amarok still has problems when i first start it up. it doesn’t show all of the current track’s tags until i “nudge” it a little bit, and when i close it down, i select “File -> Quit” and it quits, but it also shows a crash error shortly afterwards… i’ve tried to report the crash error (because it happenes EVERY time), but they say it’s fixed in the next version… which won’t be available for kubuntu 12.04.1 (Precise Pangolin) but is currently available for kubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) which i am not going to upgrade to, because it is not a “Long Term Support” version… also, for some unknown reason, amarok gives up and has to be restarted. it’s frustrating, but nowhere near as frustrating as playing multiple tracks at the same time, and not stopping when i select “File -> Quit”, which is what it had started doing prior to the system upgrade…

Snake Suspenderz played a gig at Wine World yesterday, as a part of our “official duties” as the “Official SACBO Band”. we played for 3 hours, and got “paid” with pizza, munchies, and all of the wine or beer we could sample. we should definitely play more frequently, but getting the entire band together is a chore i don’t want to undertake myself, because it would get really frustrating, really quickly, and then i wouldn’t want to do it any longer. 😐 we have upcoming shows on 1st december, 2012 at the drawing jam at the gage, and 10th january, 2013 at Smokin’ Pete’s Barbecue, but prior to that, our last gig was in august at the can can, and we haven’t all been in the same room since then, before yesterday…


i’ve got to start notating titles somewhere. i thought of a really good title for something today, and, because of the fact that i didn’t write it down, i don’t remember it any longer. the probability is no better than 50% that i will remember it in the future, so it may be lost. if i had written it down somewhere, it would still be here. 😐

WOO HOO!! 8)

i’m not exactly sure how, but i got my sound working on my computer! 😎

i think at least part of it is because the buttons in kubuntu 12.04.1 don’t actually look like buttons. they don’t have any clue that they can be selected, and don’t have outlines or anything that make them look like they can be selected… they just look like little icons. once i discovered that they are, in fact, buttons, i pushed one and, voilá!! my sound worked again!

unconditional victory has been achieved in the battle of the computer! πŸ˜€

veteran’s day, 2012

Alexander's Castlei went to port townsend for a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show (which was held at the Legion Hall, on the corner of Monroe and Water) yesterday. because of the fact that i have spent a relatively huge amount of time in port townsend over the years (and it’s a beautiful place to spend time), i went early and poked around at fort worden, which is where i spent a majority of the huge amount of time that i spent there.

there have been A LOT of changes since i first came there, and a majority of them have occurred within the past few years, when i was not paying attention. they had the coastal defence command station on battery hill open for the first time since i have been comming there, and i actually got a chance to walk around inside a part of the fort that has been blocked off, sealed up and posted with big signs warning of nasty things that happen to people who ignore them, since i first started coming there. they have also done a lot of “re-landscaping” which includes cutting down a lot of the undergrowth and trees in the main part of the batteries, which were practically invisible previously. under normal circumstances, i would have a problem with state park people just randomly cutting down trees, but it was really interesting to see a lot more of the fort as the people who inhabited the place 100 years ago saw it.

two metal tanksof course, i went to the entrance of the cistern, where Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel was recorded. the first time i went there, it was totally covered by trees and undergrowth, and there was a brick “chimney” that came up out of the ground, with a manhole cover on top of it, and it was really easy to “break in”. a number of people already had, and the cistern was full of “satanic” grafitti and garbage, but the accoustics were AWESOME, and i resolved to get back in. several years later (mid-1980s) i took The Stairway Jam to fort worden, but by that time they had covered the entrance with the two huge, rusty metal tanks, and we weren’t able to get in. the tanks are now placed to either side of the chimney, which has a concrete lid, a steel door and a lock on it: considerably more difficult to get in, apparently the tanks were not enough of an impedence for people to get in and trash the place. fortunately, there are other places at fort worden that also have incredible accoustics.

for the record, i have played my trombone, my orchestral flute and my didjeriflute in various underground rooms at fort worden, and i know of no other place in the world with accoustics like that. it’s incredible. 😎

The Bald Man is ubiquitous!then i went into port townsend proper, to the legion hall at the corner of Monroe and Water, and found The Bald Man… if i didn’t know where the bald man was coming from, i might be a bit confused, dismayed, or even paranoid, but because of the fact that i know that the bald man is a direct offshoot of stuff that i did, personally, i find it rather amusing… and i know that my son will probably keep doing this for as long as he lives, as well, which gives me a small amount of immortality. πŸ˜‰

i know i have mentioned it before, but i’m really amazed that i am actually a part of the New Old Time Chautaqua. these people truly ARE my “karass”, and it is just driven home to me even more forcefully every time i play with them.

Psilocybe semilanceata

Psilocybe semilanceata spore prints

Psilocybe semilanceata spore-prints. i found about 100 of them at moe’s sheep field. i’m absolutely positive that there are more out there… 😎

it was REALLY strange to be finding, and picking mushrooms with other people, doing other things, in the same field… usually, if there’s the first hint of other people in the field, i usually take my mushrooming activities elsewhere… this time, moe, and the actual owner of the field (whose name is jim) were also in the field, talking about sheep… it was really difficult for me to continue (despite having found a hoard of mushrooms) and not walk, slowly and deliberately, in the opposite direction…


ELECTION: obama won. i didn’t vote for him, but i’m glad that he won, because mitt romney is a gold plated asshole.

washington legalised cannabis and gay marriage, and elected a democratic governor, which are good things. in spite of the fact that i was torn on the cannabis issue, i couldn’t bring myself to vote against something that i have been encouraging others to vote for, for most of my life.

COMPUTER: i rescued my genealogical information by writing to the GRAMPS-users mailing list. i also rescued my address book, although i still don’t know how… i haven’t even come close to rescuing my old email, but that’s a relatively low priority, and if it never comes back, i won’t be too disappointed… although Kmail is still acting somewhat strangely. it may be because of “features” with which i am not familiar, yet. HOWEVER i still don’t have ANY sound from my computer, and it’s beginning to get frustrating.

HEALTH: i may be am probably getting a cold. moe has been sick for a couple of days, and i’m beginning to feel like, possibly as soon as tomorrow morning, i will also have a cold… i suppose it’s what i get for sleeping in the same bed as a sick person. 😐


i got my genealogical research back! πŸ˜€

i was looking at the .gramps file… i should have been looking at the .gramps subdirectory of my (backed-up) home directory.

instead of starting up gramps and making a “new” database, what i should have done is moved the old .gramps folder into my new home directory. because of the fact that i started gramps before i knew that, i already had a .gramps directory, so i found the old one and over-wrote the new directory.

of course, once i had the up-to-date version of the database open, i went in and told it where the new location of all my media sources were, and it said “oh, look… correct information… munch munch munch…” and it was back up and running in no time…

AND the new version of gramps has a “Create Backup” option, which saves ALL of the information, so i don’t have to freak out again… πŸ˜‰

the sound still doesn’t work, but i’m on the trail of tracking down a solution, and i’m already futzing around with possibilities for retrieving my email, address book, and rss feeds… things are looking up.

holy crap!


somehow i managed to lose about ¾ of the genealogical research i have done over the past four years or so…

and, yes, i thought that the files that i needed were a part of the backup that i had been making every two weeks for the past four years… apparently they were not… 😐

and i still haven’t got my sound working, in spite of the fact that i reinstalled from scratch…



i’m installing clean. it’s too much of a hassle, and i’m too old and tired to be FUCKING around with a machine that doesn’t do what i want.

BUT unlike last time, i only lost my address book… and all of my old emails back to 2009 (which is the last time it happened). and, because of the fact that i backed up all of my email directories, i MAY not have even lost them, but if i did, so be it. it wouldn’t be the first time.

sigh… i knew it was going to come to this eventually… 8/

the time has come, the walrus said, to talk of many things. of shoes, and ships, and sealing wax, of cabbages and kings. of why the sea is boiling hot, and whether pigs have wings…

no, no, no… that’s not right… 😐

the time has come to upgrade my computer from kubuntu 10.04 (Lucid Lynx), which was the last LTS version of kubuntu, to the latest LTS version of kubuntu (12.04.1: Precise Pangolin), because the version of amarok that i am currently running (2.4.0) will no longer upgrade, and it has decided to do EXTREMELY STRANGE things, like playing multiple tracks at the same time, and not stopping playback when i select “file -> quit”…

this is being posted from my mac, as my linux box begins the upgrade process. the last time i went through this, several years ago, it took four days before my linux box was working correctly. i’m hoping that, this time, it will be a more painless process.

we will see.

ETA: the system upgrade seems to have gone okay, but i’m still having difficulty getting my mail to migrate. there’s apparently a known problem with migration to kmail 4.7, but mine is (now) 4.8, and it is still giving me a “Migration of kmailrc has already run, not running it again” message, after failing to run a migration. i’ve deleted and re-created my akonadi/mysql configuration, and have discovered a web page that has a description of a possible solution, but i’m still waiting for my most recent backup to open so that i can retrieve the old mailboxes (i knew this was going to happen, so i backed up all of my mail directories) and re-deposit them in the new “correct” place…

also, i still haven’t tried the new amarok yet, but i’m pretty sure it couldn’t be worse than multiple tracks of everything from wildman fischer to karlheinz stockhausen playing all at the same time.

ETA x2: i think i may do what i planned originally, which is to wipe the disk and install a clean system, instead of upgrading… the new version of amarok doesn’t work at all — or, rather, it plays music files, but no sound comes out of the speakers… i’m pretty sure if i installed clean, this would work the way it’s supposed to… 😐

trolloween afterglow

that was, probably, one of the best trolloween celebrations i have ever attended… and i think it was primarily because of the fact that i wasn’t trying to do two things at once (i.e. playing in the band and being in charge of a vegetable sacrifice). not only that, but when i pulled up, yesterday — after having delivered our non-functional TV to the place where Bowling For Computers was taking place — the first person i ran into was a guy named michael, who was my assistant for the vegetable sacrifice! 😎


121031 pumpkin by john cornicello
photo by john cornicello

of course, michael was multi-tasking (much like i would have been under circumstances like have existed in the past), and had a prominent rôle as one of the “clowns doing The Hustle“, later on in the performance, but his presence and help was much appreciated.

the vegetable sacrifice went off more-or-less as planned. it was a fair amount more chaotic than it has been in the past, despite the fact that macque didn’t have to coordinate the band into the mix. i was the 3rd performance in the show: the 1st performance went off without a hitch, and the 2nd performance, while a bit long and significantly confusing (at least from my point of view), went off without significant (i.e. “noticable from the audience”) glitches. between the performances, there was, apparently “somebody” (remedios rapoport? i know she was there…) singing the introductions in a pseudo-“Wagnerian-Opera” style, who, also, took a bit longer with the introduction than i would have liked.

and i forgot to mention that, under normal circumstances, the public would have been encouraged to join in the sacrifice with their own vegetables, but, so be it…

i read the last quarter of TBOT, ending with the phrase “and death to jocks”, whereupon i passed the paper that i was reading from to michael, and drew my sword.

in spite of all of the practice that i put in, when it came down to actually hacking into the pumpkin, the sword broke (the pommel broke off of the tang, just below the hilt) and i had to shove the pumpkin off of the stage to reveal the halloween candy, which, much as i suspected, was immediately pounced upon by a hoard of costumed, ravening pre-doodlehums. 😎

also, for the first time (i believe, ever) i managed to persuade hobbit to attend, and he ended up with the safety vest and radio that wouldn’t have shown if i wore them (because my cape would have covered them), and we all went to the red door for beer afterward.

i woke up this morning, extra early (7:30), and took moe’s car to les schwab, where they said they were going to fix the brakes, but when i got there, they told me that they can’t scan the ABS system unless the ABS warning light is on — despite the fact that, when they were talking with moe on the phone yesterday, they said that it wouldn’t be a problem, even if the ABS light wasn’t on — so they said they couldn’t fix anything and that i should take it to the dealer. 😐 so, while i was taking it to the dealer, i stopped to get coffee and discovered that my wallet was not in my vest, where it normally is, which, very quickly, put a damper on pretty much anything else i was planning on doing away from home today…

but despite all of the furor this morning, the afterglow from a successful vegetable sacrifice meant that the customer service people at les schwab didn’t have to deal with my rage over the fact that they said “there is nothing wrong with the car” when i know that there is…

i’ll catch up with them later. πŸ‘Ώ