another social medium that i am avoiding…

i decided that i would try discord, since a lot of my friends have recommended it.

i went to discord’s web site, and clicked on “load discord in your browser”, only to be confronted with a page that said “we’ve noticed something strange going on” and wouldn’t go any further without verification, which involves entering my email address and password…

but, i don’t have a password…

this is the first time i have tried to login to the site. this is the first time i’ve ever even SEEN the site.



i’m guessing that it has something to do with some combination of the facts that i’ve disallowed all cookies, have my browser cache set to zero, and am trying to login using a VPN, but whatever… 🙄

i guess i’m not going to be on discord… oh well… 🤷

i had a really weird dream last night

i had a really weird dream last night. before my injury, i had bizarre, vivid dreams pretty regularly. since my injury, i have had less than a dozen dreams i could remember, and none of them have been as bizarre or vivid as they were before my injury.

i miss those dreams… 😢

nevertheless, the dream i had last night is another dream i have had in a long series of dreams, starting before my injury, that have involved a “house” that i have “lived in”, usually in the past, but sometimes, temporarily, in the present. it is an old, not very well maintained house, with victorian architecture, that has been “updated” at least once, in the past, before i lived there the first time. the “house” has at least 5 floors (sometimes many more than that), which include the sub-basement, the basement, the first, or ground floor, the second floor, and the third floor, and each floor above ground is more rickety and more falling-apart than the previous one. even under the best of circumstances, the house is an “abandoned” house, which, when it was first built, was a large, fancy house, but lost most of its “fanciness” a very, very long time ago.

last night, i was staying in the “house” with a bunch of my friends from cirque de flambé/fremont players, including one person — simon neale — who died a few years ago. in the dream, i know he had died, so i figured it must have been a “flashback” or something like that. at first, i was on the third floor with a bunch of random people (and at least 2 more floors above, which is why the “house” is so weird), and one of them wanted to move some large boxes down to the ground floor, and asked me if they could take the elevator. i told them that the “old” elevator still sort of worked, but that it was scary, because i remembered that, in another dream involving the “house”, i took the old elevator up, and it just kept on going up, and didn’t stop, once it reached the top floor of the house. i recommended the “new” elevator, which was in the front of the house, and had been installed comparatively recently, but which didn’t go up beyond the third floor, or down below the ground floor, but, because of the “house” being in general disrepair, i was skeptical that there was a path to the “new” elevator that would support the person AND the large, heavy boxes that they wanted to move.

then, i was on the ground floor, moving my stuff into a vacant room which i was going to occupy temporarily. i looked out the window, towards the back of the “house”, which was on an alley that i recognised as being in downtown seattle, in the early ’70s… in fact, it was one of the large, victorian houses on the opposite side of the same street that “The Monestary” (a gay disco club that was torn down in the ’90s) was on. there was someone backing a pickup truck into what looked like a parking space, directly behind the “house”, but which i knew was actually the buried roof of the basement, which was very definitely NOT designed to hold up a pickup truck… the truck went backwards, hesitantly, until it fell through the roof, and the whole back side of the “house” collapsed. i managed to find my way out of the “house”, which is where i ran into simon, who was dressed in his “captain hook” costume, from the panto “peter pan”. i mentioned to him that the house had collapsed because someone drove a truck into the back yard, but simon was having trouble with his “hook” prop, and said that i should find another way in.

it was at that point that someone sent me a text-message which caused my tablet to emit its characteristic “clown horn” noise, which woke me up. it turned out that the text message was from one of my friends from the cirque de flambé/fremont players, which confused THE HELL out of me for several hours afterwards.

micro-tuba!! 😎


240125 salamandir, frank, and two tuba cases.
240125 salamandir, frank, and two tuba cases.

the bigger of the two is still smaller than the original case i have for it. i bought the new case (on the left side of the photo, to my right) a couple of years ago, because the original case, while still good, was 50 years old, and not as solid as i would like… and it was HUGE!! the new case (shown here) is only about 25% smaller, but it is also brand new, and designed to fit the instrument better… but it’s still big enough that, when i put it in the back of my car, there is NO room to spare on either side… the micro-tuba, on the other hand, is small enough that i’ll be able to fit A WHOLE BUNCH of extra gear when i go to the oregon country fair this year… 😉

240125 salamandir and two tubas
240125 salamandir and two tubas

this shows exactly why the new tuba is needed: it has rotary valves, whereas the big tuba has piston valves, and, despite the fact that it is less than half the physical size of the big tuba, the little one plays in EXACTLY the same pitch. that’s right, other than the physical size of the instrument, there is no other difference!
240125 salamandir holding two tubas
240125 salamandir holding two tubas

yes, it is, in fact, possible for me to hold two tubas at the same time. if i had my other mouthpiece, i could probably PLAY two tubas, but not at the same time, because that would require me to have a ridiculously, and unrealistically, wide mouth. if the micro-tuba was the same size as the other one, i could probably still hold them, but i could definitely not play either one without putting the other one down.

i took it out busking at the pike place market, yesterday, and it sounds EXCELLENT! 👍👍

120502 tuba trio
120502 tuba trio

it may be time for me to revisit this idea… 😉

sigh… 🙄

moe has COVID… again… 😒 i probably do, too, but i haven’t tested, because i’m not doing anything until my sunday unicycle class, so if i’m still symptom-less then, i’ll test before going to class, and only go if i’m negative. moe tested before she left for work, this morning, and was negative, but she started noticing symptoms once she got to work, and tested again, with a positive result.

naturally, she found out that she’s sick on the last day before she has her weekend… and she has to cancel a mammogram and a massage tomorrow. 😒

i remember, in early 2020, before they found a vaccine, leading scientists and experts warned us that we had a pandemic on our hands, and that if EVERYONE wore a mask for a couple of months, without exceptions, we could get ahead of it… but #drumpf said that it would miraculously disappear, disbanded the federal pandemic response team, and started raving about hydroxychloroquine, and drinking bleach, and using infrared light inside the body, and enough people believed him that, here we are now, 4 years later, with hundreds of variants, and no end in sight… and i’ve got an extended family of neighbours, down the street, who STILL believe #drumpf’s lies! 😒

Professor Peter Schickele, head of the Department of Musical Pathology at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople

Professor Peter Schickele, head of the Department of Musical Pathology at the University of Southern North Dakota at Hoople, died yesterday, at the age of 88.

230117 The Art of The Ground Round, score by P.D.Q. Bach, autographed by Prof. Peter Schickele
230117 The Art of The Ground Round, score by P.D.Q. Bach, autographed by Prof. Peter Schickele
in 1977, or thereabouts (it was prior to my 18th birthday) the northwest chamber ensemble, or some group like it, gave a concert of music by P.D.Q. Bach, who was the composer whose music was the particular area of study of Professor Peter Schickele. they gave a party at some fancy bar/restaurant on the waterfront in downtown seattle, along with a scheduled “P.D.Q. Bach Compose-A-Like” contest, and Professor Peter Schickele was the guest of honour, and the judge of the aforementioned contest. i had been a fan of professor peter schickele for many years, i owned all of his albums (i think there were 4, at the time), and his book, along with the scores for many of P.D.Q.’s musical works, such as The Art of The Ground Round, and The Seasonings, and i was an AVID composer of… some might say “bizarre” music… however, at age 17, i was simply too young to get into a 21-and-older bar. however, i had a plan: a friend of my father’s was a member of the northwest chamber ensemble, and he got me into the bar with no questions about my age, where i entered a composition of my own, for left-handed sewer-flute and electronic tape. i actually made a left-handed sewer-flute, which had a faucet at the bottom, and part of the performance was opening the faucet, whereupon water would drain out of the extraneous tubing behind the head-joint cork. the performance went about as AWFULLY as any performance i have ever done, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong, with the exception of the water draining out of the faucet, which couldn’t have gone wrong because there was, literally, no place else for it to go, i actually only played about 4 notes on the “flute” part, the tape playback machine refused to work, and then it only worked intermittently… and yet, somehow, i won first prize in the contest. and the first prize was two tickets to the concert. the guy that won second prize had actually composed a legitimate, classical-style string quartet, in three movements. the second prize was a “genuine” P.D.Q. Bach “water-powered turntable”, which was a lawn sprinkler with a record platten attached to it with zip-ties. i got professor peter schickele’s autograph on several of the scores that are still in my possession.

he will definitely be missed. 😢


the front, passenger-side door-handle cover on my car broke the other day. i had noticed that it was coming loose for a few days, but then it got REALLY cold, and it just snapped off when moe was getting in the car to go to the airport, a couple days ago. in the process of figuring out exactly what broke, i nudged the broken piece a bit too vigourously, and dropped the broken-off piece into the interior of my car door… if it had not done so, there’s about a 90% chance that i would have just glued the part, reinstalled it, and been done, so, i went on youtube, and looked up instructions for how to remove the door panel, and instructions for how to replace the door-handle cover — which, according to youtube, are “made of chocolate”, a sentiment i wholeheartedly DISAGREE WITH, primarily because, if they were, actually, made of chocolate, they would be good to eat, and these things, while EXTREMELY fragile and apt to break if you look at them funny, are, very definitely, NOT good to eat… the guy gives the “official” hyundai part number, but it is the part number for the LEFT door-handle-cover, and i need the number for the RIGHT door handle cover (which, according to the dealer, is 82662 G2030)… and the only colour in which it is available is grey 😒 so i’m going to have to get it painted to match 😒 which means that the part ($25) and the painting ($75) by itself are going to cost me $100… i can probably put the cover on myself without a question, but i’m worried about the loose, broken part rattling around in the door, so i’m probably going to have to pay someone to take the door panel off and retrieve it… i started to follow the directions in the video, but got as far as “start removing the panel from the bottom — note the socket” and, while i found the socket, i pried fairly hard with a screwdriver and was unable to get more than about half an inch of the panel to barely loosen before it became almost impossible… and, well, i don’t want to actually BREAK anything, so i figure it’s a good idea to let people who actually know what they’re doing to dig around in the guts of my car door. and i’ve already talked to a place that will paint the grey part for me, and another place that will retrieve the part from the guts of the door (although i don’t know how much they’re going to charge me for that part).

harpy noo yer

tomorrow, moe is going to florida for her yearly dose of COVID of accolades from the national veterinary board, or something like that… she’s been invited back (i think) six years in a row, when the “NORMAL” practice is to only be invited back two years before having to “take a break”… which means, either, that my wife is, literally, outstanding in her field, or that the “system” is broken… but it also means that i have to take care of two of our three dogs. the youngest one, quill, is going to stay with our neighbour who is also a dog trainer, because she actually has the experience needed to keep an approximately one-year-old puppy in line, where i definitely DO NOT. the other two dogs get to come with me (or stay home), while i go to my unicycle class tomorrow, and maybe my circus class, wednesday. i’ve officially cancelled both classes, in case the dogs are recalcitrant, or in case i don’t feel like going, but i think i’ll do at least one of them, and at this point, it seems likely that i’m going to do the unicycle class, tomorrow, because i haven’t been in a while, and i really need to get back into it more regularly…

i’m buying a new tuba! 😎 i’m buying a new tuba! 😍 i’m buying a new tuba! 😜 i’m buying a new tuba! 😛 i’m buying a new tuba! 👍👍👍👍👍 as soon as moe gets home from florida, we’re going to take a road trip to yakima to pick it up! 😁


officially, the panto is over for another season, and we haven’t quite gotten started gearing up for the moisture festival yet… and i’ve found myself in another dilemma of my own making… 😒

wessex CC rotary valve travel tuba
wessex CC rotary valve travel tuba
during the last day of the panto, it all came together for me to realise that i would REALLY LIKE a tuba that has rotary valves, rather than piston valves. the tuba i’ve been playing on for a number of years now is a C tuba with piston valves that used to belong to Hokum W. Jeebs, and there’s ABSOLUTELY NOTHING wrong with it, except that it has piston valves… and, these days, especially with the fact that my right hand doesn’t work as well as it did before my injury, the piston valves have too much “throw” — there’s too much of a difference between the valves’ “open” position and its “activated” position — and it is getting more and more difficult for me to GUARANTEE that the valve is activated when it is supposed to be. rotary valves, in general, have less “throw” because they use the “up-and-down” motion to activate a rotor which rotates, rather than a piston which moves up-and-down, and the valve parts can be closer together, because the entire valve is oriented differently. i looked at the “woodwind and brasswind” web site, and discovered that a new C tuba with four rotary valves is between $10,000 and $14,000, which is WAY outside my range…

i mentioned this to one of my band-mates, who is also a tuba player, and he found (on farcebook) an advertisement for someone who is selling a used CC travel tuba for $1,800…

it’s REALLY a shame that there isn’t a “drooling face with eyes half closed” glyph in the emoticons block of unicode, because it would be REALLY appropriate here…

this is a CC tuba, the same as my current tuba, that is, physically, half the size of my current tuba, because it is wound up differently, and it has rotary valves, AND i can ALMOST afford it, at this very moment!!

however, it comes (if it comes at all) with a few very specific caveats, which i have been mulling over in my head almost constantly since i first found out about it. one of those caveats is that monique and i have this “agreement” these days, that if i want to buy a new instrument, i have to sell one of my old instruments… and i just happen to have an “extra” trombone, a trumpet, and a couple of clarinets, which have been sitting in their cases on a shelf in the garage ever since we moved, and i’m pretty sure i wouldn’t miss them if they went away. the other caveat is that it costs $1,800, and my bank account (well, okay, Hybrid Elephant’s bank account) only has about $1,300, which means that i would have to “borrow” $500 from the “household” account, and, what with xmas, and the foundation, and the washing machine, and, and, and… i’m not sure how well we can handle this… and, to a lesser extent, if i do end up “pretending” like i am interested in buying it, the guy and his tuba live in yakima, which means a road trip just to try it out and a long trip home with nothing if it turns out to be a bust…

ETA 240109 16:00.00 so it appears that i’m going to buy a tuba, as soon as snoqualmie (sdukʷalbixʷ) pass opens up again… at this point, everything has fallen into place short of my actually playing the thing… soon! 👍👍

sigh… 😒

the “holidays” are over, and things are getting back to “normal”, which means they’re getting back to boring, irritating, depressing, or some combination of the three, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much, if at all, for the forseeable future.

our sort-of “annual” trip to double-bluff beach happened, but it was complicated by high tides and the (also annual) polar-bear swim that happens at double-bluff beach at the same time, so instead of getting there really early (i.e. some time between 8:00 and 9:00), we got there after noon, and (naturally) there were A LOT more people who have the same tradition we do… plus there was an added new dog that has never gone to the beach before (quill), and an old dog (rye) who is now deaf and blind enough that he can’t distinguish between his own people, and other random folks with a dog, who also happen to be throwing a ball. the result was a walk on a crowded beach for about half an hour before we had all three dogs on leashes in a place where they’re supposed to be off-leash, because they were all acting up/out and we couldn’t control them. it ended up that we packed it in before we even got to the point where you go around the rock outcropping that blocks the view of the actual park, and about a mile and a half BEFORE the place where the rock ended up — which, now that i come to think about it, could be the last time i was there… 😒