less than a week until OCF… why am i paralyzed with anxiety? 😒

officially, less than a week until OCF, and i’ve been accomplishing a lot, but i feel like i’m headed for doom… my list of things to take to OCF is about 80% complete and prepared, and i’m already getting things staged to load up the car on monday, because the probability is very high that we (moe, me, and three dogs) are going to leave EARLY tuesday morning, and go some place remote, where there are few people and fireworks… because we have a dog who is afraid of fireworks

she, literally, hides, when people shoot guns, in the distance, which is a fairly common occurrence around these parts, and we’ve learned that, if we go somewhere remote, we can have a good time and the dogs don’t get so stressed out.

i’ve got most of the camping gear assembled, and about 90% of the music stuff assembled (including the harmonic flute/electronics, and the foghorn). pretty much the only thing i haven’t packed yet are my “working clothes” (costumes) and my “mundane clothes” (for hiding in large crowds), a few essential items, and the hats, which i haven’t even decided what i’m going to bring yet…

i ordered a “capsule filling machine” the other day (it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow), which SHOULD make it easier to fill capsules… which is a good thing, because 1) i have a (new) connection to more psychedelic mushrooms, and 2) i already have one person who wants to buy some, and another person who is interested, but hasn’t committed yet, and filling the capsules by hand is time-consuming, messy, and wasteful. i still marvel at the fact that what was one of my favourite illegal drugs, when i was in my 20s, is, in my 60s, on the verge of legitimacy, and widely praised for it’s qualities.

monday was the “panic rehearsal” for the pre-OCF panto — usually the “panic rehearsal” gets finished at 23:00 or thereabouts, because it’s SUPPOSED TO BE the last complete runthrough before the fair… it’s usually, also, the FIRST complete runthrough before the fair, which it WAS NOT this time… and it actually got out at 21:00 instead, which is when it is supposed to be finished. tuesday, i had an alto sax to work on, which went far easier and faster than i anticipated. the alto belongs to one of the members of the fremont phil, who is going to OCF, so it was important that i got it done post haste, and i delivered it to him on tuesday evening, at the sousa band rehearsal… because he’s thinking about joining the sousa band, because he’s got a serrusophone, and various other things that would fit right in to sousa’s music. 😉 wednesday i went busking with thaddeus. we didn’t make that much ($17 a piece), but it was enough to cover parking with some left over, and it’s kind of difficult to compare with the last time we busked, which was at the fremont solstice festival, where we busked for 3 hours and made almost $100 a piece. but, while we were busking, thaddeus got email from the PDA, asking us if we want to play for another “sunset supper” in august. thursday (today) i went to my circus class, rode my unicycle for the longest time i have EVER ridden it, TWICE, and rode in a complete, 360° circle, TWICE, but i totally forgot that i was going to take some medication from home (for moe’s mom’s dog, her name is lacey, but we call her “the unicorn”), stop by the clinic to pick up more medication for moe’s mom’s dog, and deliver both of them to moe’s mom before my class. 😖 so, AFTER my class, i went to the clinic to pick up the most necessary medication, and delivered that to moe’s mom… she can wait a few days for the other one.

tomorrow, i’ve got to get the last few, essential items for the fair, and i might take mushrooms, if everything works out… because i really need to “not give a fuck” for a while.

impending OCF 🍄 post

i am on the verge of deciding that i am going to “microdose” mushrooms at OCF: .25 grams EVERY DAY for the period of time i am there, to get more control of my mood… i have been feeling TREMENDOUSLY depressed, and anxious about going, despite the fact that i also know that OCF has been one of my all-time favourite things, in the past, and i’m afraid the depression and anxiety are going to control my actions… so, if i take .25 grams of mushrooms every day, it will give me the “twinkle” that i desire, and reduce my depression and anxiety, without making it so that i can’t function as a part of a group which has been assigned to do two performances a day for three days.

i may take a few extra 1 gram capsules to spread around, or to eat myself, if i’m feeling adventuresome… 😈

impending SACBO update

SACBO officially starts tomorrow, but it generally involves a caravan to various weird places around seattle, and, because of the fact that the caravan is done by a different person, and the people participating don’t always have radios, or ways to contact the “leader” in case they get lost, there is a lot of chaos, usually involving lost people being followed by other art cars because “they should know where we’re going”, or “they should know where they’re going”, or something like that, which isn’t actually the case about half the time… and, not having a radio myself, i opted out of the art car caravans a LONG time ago. i’m going for the actual festival, though, which is saturday and sunday. i’m taking my canopy, busking gear, and my harmonic flute and affiliated electronics, and MAYBE some incense, if there is enough room and i’m not too lazy. thaddeus is supposed to show up saturday for busking activities, but i’ll probably be on my own sunday.

i got a new tuba hard case. it is smaller than the previous case, which is both an advantage and a problem: the advantage is that it is smaller, and somewhat easier to lug around, but it doesn’t have a handle on the end, as the old case did, which makes lifting it a bit more difficult. and, the fact that it is smaller also means that there isn’t the separate case, inside, to keep mouthpieces, my tuba strap, and polishing cloths, which is a problem. it also doesn’t have wheels, and is a more rounded shape at the bell end, which means that it only fits on my folding hand cart one way, and it is the wrong way… but it cost $950, which means that i’ve got to get creative to solve these problems, because i’m not just going to send it back and look for a tuba case somewhere else. a lot of the cases don’t fit the instrument (particularly those sold by amazon(⁇⁇), sweeTWATer, and others), or cost WAY too much to order, wait for delivery, discover that it’s for a “right-hand bell” tuba, and send it back… it turns out that the ONLY place to buy a case for a conn 2J is allied supply — the same company that i have been ordering musical instrument parts and materials from for… <mumble, mumble> 30-some years — and i actually have an account with allied… so i ordered it from allied, and instead of paying $1800 for it from a local retailer, i paid $550… and another $400 for shipping… 😧

it came in a BIG box!! with a lot of plastic packing materials that couldn’t be recycled, so i put it out with the trash last night, and some time during the night, bears came and raided our trash can, spreading plastic packing materials all over… 😒

i actually, successfully, “microdosed” mushrooms last weekend. it all started on saturday, 230527, when the BSSB played at folklife. apparently, at some time during my stay at the TREMENDOUSLY CROWDED seattle center grounds (which included several people who wanted to take pictures with me, because i was wearing my fancy band outfit), i was exposed to COVID AGAIN, and i tested positive on 230528. 😒 unfortunately, we had scheduled a birthday party for moe’s mom on the 28th, which got cancelled… and then moe got COVID, as well… 🤬 ultimately, we put off the birthday party until 230611, two weeks later (when both moe and i were testing clear), but i woke up on the 11th in an absolutely FOUL mood, and moe was also feeling under the weather and disagreeable… so i took 0.05 grams, just as moe’s mom was getting here… not enough to really get me off, but definitely enough to change my mood… and, sure enough, it changed my mood. it was moe’s mom, so i wasn’t exactly exuberant or anything, but i wasn’t snapping at everybody and hiding in my office. my case of COVID was mild: i probably wouldn’t have even noticed i had it, if i hadn’t tested. and the good part is that now i’ve got “natural immunity” for the next 2 or 3 months, which means that i WON’T get COVID and not be able to go to the oregon country fair, AND, even if i get exposed at the fair, the probably is fairly high that i won’t get it at the fair, either… i hope… 😉

lars kirmser

1985 Lars (Larry) Kirmser
1985 Lars (Larry) Kirmser
Lars (Larry) Kirmser was the instructor for my classes at the tech school, between 1984 and 1986. at the time, he was pushing 50 with at least 20 years experience in the musical instrument repair industry. among his vast experience was several years working for one of the top flute manufacturers (emerson deford, maker of the emerson flute, and the deford flute), and he even designed a common flute that is still in use today.

it’s a little difficult, for me, because when i was in his class, everyone called him “Larry”. he didn’t change his name to Lars until after i left the class. one of my favourite examples of this was when a guy named greg (who was a “goof-off, screw-up”, if there ever was one) had just started in the class, and was working, alone, in the “woodwind and guitar” section of the classroom — which was where we kept a lot of equipment that could, literally, tear your hands off if you weren’t careful. i had been working there, with him, until moments before, when i went back to my desk for something. greg was working on the stationary belt sander with a very thin piece of wood… and, as i was turning around, i heard this loud BANG from the wood shop, and greg came out holding his hand, which was bleeding profusely, and shouted “LARRY, I GOT A BOO BOO!!”… greg was carted off to the emergency room and showed up to class the next day with his hand in a bandage… he was carted off to the emergency room more than once, the most serious of which was when we had to move the 50-gallon drum of potassium cyanide, which we used to strip silver plating, from its old, rusty, metal drum to a nice, new, clean, blue plastic drum… and greg tried to start the siphon by mouth… 😒

i was a 30-something with high hopes and a burning desire to learn a trade of which i could make use (as compared with the study i was already doing at the monastery, which was guaranteed to benefit nobody, except — possibly — me…) and i did, for several years. i did musical instrument repair for 5 years, in two different periods, for “The Music Shoppe” in bellingham, and i worked for about a year for “Mellowoods And Music” in friday harbor, which included being “on call” for the friday harbor traditional jazz festival, in 1991. during the time i was in lars’ class, we, as a team, restored an ophecleide that had had an unfortunate encounter with a truck: it had fallen out of the back of the truck, and then the truck had backed over it, flattening it completely… and we also worked on a very strange instrument that larry brought in one day, which he had bought from a pawn shop in downtown seattle. it had been painted neon green, and had a flared bell (which we later determined was from an unfortunate trombone), and had been sitting in the pawn shop display window for 50 years. after stripping off all the paint, and disengaging the unfortunate trombone bell, we discovered that it was, in fact, a heckel-biebrich, stritter system contrabassoon, one of the first 20 or so ever built.

a more recent picture of lars
a more recent picture of lars
at the time, i was REALLY in to drawing things (as can be seen by the cartoon on the left), and, between 841004 and the end of 1985 or so, i produced technical drawings for at least 7 different instruments i worked on, including a 3-push-rod AND a 4-push-rod bassoon, an oboe, at least 3 different flutes (bundy, gemeinhardt, and emerson), and a holton, rudy wiedoft model alto sax… now that i know lars isn’t going to publish a book with my drawings as illustrations, i MAY break the seal on the original drawings, which have been sealed (as a hedge against piracy) since they were drawn.

i lost contact with him after i graduated and went back to bellingham, and, when i moved back to seattle, finally, he was no longer at the tech school, none of his students were around any longer, and nobody wanted to talk about “it”… i never determined what “it” was, with any detail, although “it” might have had something to do with the FUMTU surrounding another student, dan oberloh, who was supposed to graduate around the time that i did, and was already gearing up to open his own shop, soon after graduating, only at the tech school’s (and larry’s) expense. my recollection was that larry found a whole bunch of “stolen” tools and materials in oberloh’s tool box, although it was undoubtedly a lot more than just that. at this point, he may be a good technician, but as far as i’m concerned, he is unprincipled and unscrupulous, and i would NEVER take my horn to oberloh. i got back in contact with lars a few years ago, when i had my trombone slide rebuilt, of course, i took it to the Music Trader, which is the shop he opened up after the tech school. since then, he has also gotten to know my Conn 2J C tuba, which i inherited from Hokum W. Jeebs.

lars died 230126 in his sleep. i just found out about it yesterday. 😢

damn it! all of my friends are dying! 🤬

naturally… 😒

they SAID they were going to deliver HPO Aparajita on friday, but, friday came and went with the shipment leaving east midlands airport (UK) at 21:45…

saturday, i was awoken at 07:41 in the morning with a text message saying that additional shipping fees were due, and they would ship the items back to india in 5 days if it wasn’t paid. 😒

they never said anything about “additional shipping fees” when they sent me the shipping information, last week… 🙄

but they were only $42, so i paid them, which updated their web site to say that “payment is received and recorded for shipment related fees”, at 07:47, but nothing since then…

apparently DHL shuts down, completely, on the weekends… nobody is available at customer service, their “chat bot” is limited in what it can do, packages don’t get delivered, packages don’t get transferred… if it’s in the air at 23:59 on saturday, there’s a crew to land the airplane, but it’s my impression that there isn’t a crew to unload the airplane until monday morning. 🙄

since then, i have gotten three different answers from their “chat bot”, which include “your shipment label has been created, but the shipment has not been turned over to DHL yet”, and “your shipment is on hold in cincinnati, awaiting payment of shipment related fees”… which are contradictory, and, most likely, completely untrue… 😒

and i can’t talk to an actual human about this until monday, which won’t do me any good because, at that point, i’ll be able to get updates from the web site. 😒

according to the web site, it cleared customs at 03:13 in cincinnati, and it was placed on hold in seattle, which, hopefully means that i will get my aparajita early on monday… 😒

and the guy said he was going to send it this way, this time, so that there wouldn’t be such a hassle, like there was the last time i ordered incense from him… 😒

campbell global

we went to the Campbell Global Snoqualmie Tree Farm today, pretty much square in the middle of the humungously vast, unpopulated area surrounded by skykomish, grotto, baring, halford, index, big bend, gold bar, startup, sultan, woods creek, monroe, high rock, duvall, novelty, lake marcell, stillwater, carnation, pleasant hill, fall city, snoqualmie, north bend, riverbend, tanner, ragnar, and garcia. we walked 4.5 miles, 2.25 up and 2.25 down from approximately here (which is where we parked the car), we left home at 0830 and arrived back around 1500. we saw things like this:

230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm
230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm
230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm
230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm
230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm
230601 campbell global snoqualmie tree farm

as i frequently do when i am hiking in the deep forest, i picked up and packed out litter. one piece of litter i picked up was a rainier beer can that was before they introduced the integrated opening tab (i.e. it had a separate opening tab that would cut your feet if it was encountered barefoot), but after they started marketing “all aluminum recyclable cans!” which, i would guess, places it somewhere between 1970 and 1974… far away from pretty much anything that one might consider “civilized” by any stretch of the imagination, and i find litter from when i was a teenager. 😒

230601 40-year-old litter
230601 40-year-old litter
230601 40-year-old "PLEASE DO NOT LITTER" litter
230601 40-year-old “PLEASE DO NOT LITTER” litter
230601 40-year-old "All Aluminum Recyclable Can" litter
230601 40-year-old “All Aluminum Recyclable Can” litter