it’s time to get that negative horseshit off the top of my blog… 8/

OCF is fast approaching. today is the 26th of june, and i leave for OCF on the 5th of july. instead of driving, this year i’m getting a ride with michael marconi. the fremont philharmonic has several changes in personnel, and hasn’t had a single rehearsal. allegedly, we’re going to have two rehearsals with the cast members who haven’t already gone to the fair to set things up, and allegedly we’re going to have one or two rehearsals without the cast, presumably to rehearse for the ritz, which we haven’t heard from yet… in fact, i’m going to write to matt now…

i’m really trying not to stress too much about not having any rehearsal, but i guess what i’m saying is that, despite the fact that i know it won’t do any good, i’m stressing about it anyway. i’ve got two new pieces of music out of who knows how many more, and there’s a good chance that we won’t be able to rehearse this, even once, with the entire crew, until thursday evening, before we have to start performing on friday morning. it must be worse for kiki, since she is actually writing the new music. fortunately, it’s for the oregon country fair, so even if we totally screw up, it’s highly likely that nobody will notice.

i’m having the hybrid elephant web site re-designed. i decided that it would take a lot less time for someone who already knows how to use all of the new technology do it than it would for me to learn how to use the technology, and do it myself. it’s still not exactly what i want, but we’ve already put a method of payment in place that doesn’t involve paypal, so that’s a really good trade-off… and, while it is not exactly what i wanted, it largely has all of the things that i want, more or less where i want them, it’s got some really cool new features that i didn’t have in the old site (starting with a SSL certificate, so no more doing business over an unsecure network), it uses wordpress and woo commerce, so it will be really easy to add on to, and it’s going to be A LOT easier to keep up to date, so i won’t have to do this whole thing again in 5 years…


i emailed the band (snake suspenderz) a month ago regarding playing for the party after SACBO was over. all of the band members except hobbit said that they could do it. hobbit wanted to get paid. the people putting on the party said they couldn’t pay, in fact the party was supposed to be a fund raiser (i.e. NOBODY was getting paid).

after going through three weeks of increasingly tense back-and-forth action, we finally agreed, tentatively, to perform at the party, which i announced to the organiser a week ago.

SACBO came around, and the first day (saturday, two days ago) was intermittently rainy and overcast. hobbit showed up for about an hour (long enough to get stoned) and then took off, before the fair was open, without playing anything. sketch didn’t show up at all. thaddeus and i busked, alternately playing swing music a la snake suspenderz, and “experimental” music, with me playing the didjeriflute, and thaddeus playing his guitar with interesting effects pedals. we made around $30 each, which wasn’t that bad.

yesterday was sunny and beautiful. hobbit showed up again, but sketch didn’t show up until almost 2:00. we played, first without sketch and then with him, but not very energetically or enthusiastically, and with considerable breaks between the music. at the end of the day, we had made about $10 each. i donated mine to hobbit, because, three or four years ago, i said that if the “take” from busking was $10 or less, i would donate it all to hobbit, because he needs it more than i do.

and then, hobbit said that he wasn’t going to the party, because he wanted to play with his new video-editing software (which he had been ranting about all day), and sketch said that he wasn’t going to the party, partially because hobbit wasn’t going, and partially because, simply, he “didn’t feel like it”…

which, of course, means that, now, the people who organised the SACBO after-party are pissed off at me, because i promised them a band and then backed out at the last possible moment.

alledgedly, snake suspenderz has another one-hour performance at the château in renton in september, but it was my impression that we have already done all of the château performances, and despite the fact that somebody said they would confirm the dates for me, nobody has yet.

it used to be that snake suspenderz would play, somewhere, even if it was the ballard sunday market, at least twice a month. however, it seems to me as though, ever since hobbit moved to lynnwood (about 10 miles to the north of downtown seattle), it has become more and more difficult to convince him to do anything other than busk at the pike place market, which, of course, i can’t do, because the market doesn’t allow my tuba, because it’s made of brass. i find this odd behaviour for hobbit, primarily because i live 25 to 30 minutes south of downtown seattle, and i’m up there all the time for various different rehearsals and performances, but i’m getting the idea that it’s one of the things that makes hobbit what he is.

it is my distinct impression, at this point, that snake suspenderz may not be a band any longer, and that i should be looking for other people with whom to play music.

thaddeus wants to form an electronic/experimental group with me, which is definitely an interresting concept (i keep thinking that it would also be a good way to entice ken to come down from bellingham and jam with us), but that’s more of a fantasy than anything else at this point, especially since thaddeus is preparing to go on a road-trip to play in Oberon Zell‘s emporium in california (among other places) in a couple weeks.

i am aware of the fact that there are more musicians than the ones that i know, even in seattle… i mean, i know a lot of musicians, but i don’t know all of them, by any stretch of the imagination. what i really need to do is to find a bunch of musicians who all like to play the kind of music i like to play, who also have a desire to play music for other people in exchange for money, and who don’t have the mental/emotional/social difficulties which are way-too-typical of the current batch of musicians i know.

fInaLLy! but 😠 about it anyway… not very enlightened of me, is it?

i ordered a book on december 26, 2014. it was supposed to be delivered in june of 2015. in may of 2015, the publication date was delayed until december of 2015, and in november, it was delayed again, until some unknown point in the future.

i started getting notifications that it was being printed around the end of may, 2016, and it was actually delivered on june 10, 2016.

because there was no place to leave seller feedback, i posted the following as a product review:

i waited from December 26, 2014 to June 10, 2016 for this book to arrive. yes, that’s right, it was on order for a year and a half, and was delayed by amazon twice.

it’s a good thing this is as great a book as it is, that’s all i have to say.

their response, which i just received by email, was as follows:

Your review could not be posted.

Thanks for submitting a customer review on Amazon. Your review could not be posted to the website in its current form. While we appreciate your time and comments, reviews must adhere to the following guidelines:

We encourage you to revise your review and submit it again.

but, the problem is, that when i follow their instructions for leaving seller feedback, as listed here, i get to step 3 and THERE IS NO FUCKING “LEAVE SELLER FEEDBACK” BUTTON!!!!!!! 😡

160610 amazon fuck up
160610 amazon fuck up


so, i made it to orlando and warrensburg and i got back without too much difficulty.

i got to orlando, and went to Wonder India, which is, truly, an international warehouse of all things india. not just incense, but packaged food products, housewares, clothing… if there is a local indian shop in the united states, it is probably supplied by Wonder India. the guy who i have been working with, one Karan Manglani, apparently quit his job without telling anyone, and i don’t know what’s going on with their “info@” address, but i got the name and phone number of the guy who i’m supposed to call. i haven’t yet called him, but i will soon, ’cause i’m running low on aparajita.

then i went to joe’s house, but joe wasn’t there and his partner looked like he had just woken up (it was fairly early in the morning), so i went to the beach, which, for orlando, means “out of town”. i headed east, and saw signs pointing to cocoa beach, which i’ve heard of, so i headed that way, but i took the wrong exit and ended up in titusville, instead of cocoa. titusville is the home of the world-famous canaveral national seashore, and, as it was still fairly early, nobody except a few naked people were present on Playa Linda, where i meditated for a few hours.

canaveral national seashore 160524
canaveral national seashore 160524

then i had dinner at the world-famous “Dixie Crossroads” in titusville, which was okay seafood, but it didn’t hold a candle to west-coast seafood. even ivar’s has approximately equivalent food. makes me wonder, a lot…

dixie crossroads 160524
dixie crossroads 160524

i went to epcot with joe the next day. joe is an old man, which is saying a lot, because joe and i are the same age. it’s kind of like rick: i keep on thinking that they are the same people i knew a long time ago. they are, but they’re both a lot older now, and that means that they’re not in the best of health. i am also not in the best of health, because i have experienced a brain injury, but apart from that, i haven’t suffered the ravages of old age like my friends rick and joe have.

EPCOT, actually an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow – which i didn’t know, previously, was laughably outdated. the exhibits looked almost exactly like they were made in and for the late ’70s or early ’80s, and the geodesic dome wasn’t anywhere near as big as i had envisioned.

EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with faux “northwest native” decor
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with a minimum of tourists
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “german” village
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “chinese” village

it was really good to see joe again, and we made arrangements to have dinner before i left.

Joe Zimmer 160525
Joe Zimmer 160525
joe and salamandir 160525
joe and salamandir 160525

i had planned on spending a week in orlando, but with joe not being as available as i had first assumed, i was left with a few days that were, essentially unacounted for, so i spent the next day traveling to saint petersburg to visit a friend of monique’s, and her husband, who live in a hippie paradise, and had the cannabis that i was, by this time, severely lacking to make my trip tolerable. we also went to the dalí museum, which was OUTRAGEOUS!!! i saw the originals of the following artwork, and A LOT more. 8)

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln - Homage to Rothko (1976)
Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (1976)
Lobster Telephone
Lobster Telephone

the tourist map that was provided by the hotel was printed upside down, i.e. “north” on the map was printed at the bottom of the map, as you held it upright, which i didn’t figure out until the day before i left. it was terrifically confusing, because i drove what i thought to be “south” on the map, for most of the day, before i ended up in Eustice, which is north of orlando, and i could not, for the life of me, figure out why until after i had returned to the hotel. joe informed me that this is because “tourists don’t want to go north from orlando”, but my impression is that orlando, generally, is a city that is one, big, enormous strip mall, from one end to the other, and anywhere would be preferable. seriously, i only found one indian restaurant, a hare-krsna related joint that was vegetarian, and closed. i’m relatively sure that there are other indian restaurants, but… come on, orlando… really??

on the other hand, orlando has some really cool stuff, which includes lizards (which i was unable to get photos of, despite the fact that they are endemic), trees that look like this:

160530 orlando
160530 orlando

and plants that grow in peoples’ front yards which look like this:

what is this plant? 160530
what is this plant? 160530

and wild birds that look like this:

what are these birds? 160530
what are these birds? 160530

all of which was very interesting, and would have been moreso if i had remembered to bring, or buy once i was there, sunscreen… unfortunately, i didn’t think to do so until the day before i left, which meant that a lot of my meanderings were at night, which means fewer photos.

puyallup” is no longer the most confusing place name i have ever experienced:

Thonotossasa, FL 160530
Thonotossasa, FL 160530

then, i flew from orlando to kansas city, missouri, where i rented a car and travelled to warrensburg, missouri. the first thing i noticed was the traffic lights in the middle of what would, ordinarily, be a freeway… and what appear to be “state highways” that, apparently, have names like “AA”, “BB”, “OO”, “X”, “Y” and “PCA” with no logical progression.

i met rosemary, my great-aunt, who i have never met “IRL” before, which was an interesting experience, essentially being included in her extended family, simply because we are related.

salamandir & rosemary 160531
salamandir & rosemary 160531

we actually had the time to go to Tightwad

Tightwad, Missouri - 160601
Tightwad, Missouri – 160601

and Racket

Racket, Missouri - 160601
Racket, Missouri – 160601

and we went to the (abandoned) Marshall Cemetary outside Knob Noster, to visit my great-great-grandparents’ graves

Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862
my great-great-grandfather, Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862

i also went to visit John William “Blind” Boone Park, in warrensburg

John William "Blind" Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO - 160602
John William “Blind” Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO – 160602

and i also visited the Johnson County Historical Society, where i got even more information about my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents.

then i flew home

Mount Rainier, from Kennewick - 160603
Mount Rainier, from Kennewick – 160603

i returned

i returned yesterday. yesterday was mostly sleep, because of the fact that the previous three days didn’t have enough of that particular commodity.

tonight we are hosting game night, so today has been, thus far, filled with laundry, weed whacking and mowing the front and back yard, and cleaning the parrot cage. then i’m going to take a shower.

the trip was a lot more fun than i had been expecting, once i worked out what was actually going wrong.

more soon. probably tomorrow.