All posts by przxqgl

Noisserped

with the panto over, there hasn’t been much for me to do, and, because i have been depressed, i have spent a lot of time sitting and doing nothing, because if i get up and do something, something could go wrong, and then the world would have one more reason to hate me, but if i sit and do nothing (these days, twit™ turd™ counts as doing nothing), nothing can go wrong. it’s a lot of… fun? i’d take mushrooms, but the weather has been rainy and cold, and it still gets dark around 5:00.

we tried to go busking last wednesday, but we got there around 10:30 and there was nobody there… probably 5 or 6 vendors where there are usually 50 or 60, and even fewer tourists, at the bridge spot. under the clock there were booths with their chain barricades down, and, while there were people at the fish market, there weren’t any fish on display, and it looked like they were cleaning up to go home. as far as i can tell, it wasn’t any sort of holiday, and nobody that we talked to had any clue why the market was a ghost town.

allegedly, we’re gearing up for the moisture festival. we’re doing the second week, march 23rd through the 26th, 6 shows… but it’s at the broadway performance hall, this year, which doesn’t have parking, which means that there is a very strong probability that i will have to park half a mile away, and hike in with my tuba… plus, my understanding is that the broadway performance hall is a union shop, and i am fairly sure that the moisture festival is NOT a “union shop”, and never has been, so i don’t know how that is going to work. meanwhile, the old palladium is boarded up and has a “for lease” sign on the front. 😞

the next phase of operation mindfuck

230131 postcards
230131 postcards

they’re here.

now i have to (once again) pester the web designer into showing me how to make a product that has multiple purchase choices: one postcard, two postcards, three postcards, four postcards, five postcards, multiple 5-postcard packs… that sort of thing… he’s showed me how to do it once, with the jagannath pins that i had a few years ago, but they all sold out, and the item got deleted in one of my “clean up my web site” binges.

what is every all which what where when why how whos?

i succumbed to peer pressure, and checked out ChatGPT, the “Artificial Intelligence” language model about which everyone has been ranting. my initial impression is that it is the next step beyond Racter, and it actually wouldn’t surprise me too much if i have a disk with Racter on it around here somewhere.

i asked it what it can do. it responded:

As a language model, I can perform various tasks such as:

Answering questions
Generating text
Conversing in a natural language
Summarizing text
Translating text
Providing information and facts on various topics.

i am inquisitive by nature, which is probably why i made such a good software tester. and, as a software tester, i have discovered that the following question is one that either stumps or confuses so-called “artificial intelligence” programs (like Racter) in some stunningly spectacular ways, and so i asked it

what is every all which what where when why how whos?

and i got, probably, the most coherent response i could have gotten, considering that, ultimately, i asked the question of a computer: it said:

“What” and “which” are interrogative pronouns used to ask questions.
“Where” is an interrogative adverb used to ask about a place or location.
“When” is an interrogative adverb used to ask about a time.
“Why” is an interrogative adverb used to ask for the reason or cause.
“How” is an interrogative adverb used to ask about the manner, means, or method.
“Who’s” is a contraction of “who is”.
“Whose” is an interrogative pronoun used to ask about ownership or possession.
“All” is a pronoun that refers to the whole quantity or extent of something.

there are some pretty astounding things that it DIDN’T do, by which i am very impressed: it didn’t ask me ‘what i meant’… it assumed that what i was typing made sense, and so it made as much sense of it as it could; it didn’t try to change the subject; it didn’t ask me to ‘rephrase the question’; it gave generic, accurate answers to every part of the question it could perceive, regardless of whether it ‘made sense’ or not; and it EVEN tried to make sense of the ‘nonsense’ word i put in there — whos — which it could neither identify as ‘who’s’ or ‘whose’, so it gave me both definitions.

then, the conversation took an entirely unexpected turn…

PRZXQGL: are you related to racter?

ChatGPT: No, I am not related to Racter. Racter is an early computer program designed to generate text using simple algorithms, while I am an advanced language model developed by OpenAI, using deep learning techniques.

PRZXQGL: you are related to racter, whether you know it or not.

ChatGPT: You are correct that there are some similarities between Racter and my language model. Both Racter and I generate text, but the approaches and technologies we use are different. Racter used simple algorithms, while I use advanced deep learning techniques that allow me to generate human-like responses.

“human-like”?

heh heh…

“HUMAN-like”??

ROTFLMAO! 🤣

that’s RICH, coming from a computer… 🤣 especially one which knows about racter without me having to prompt it… 🤣

it is exactly why responses like these serve to make me even more skeptical of these “artificial intelligence” programs than i already am. 😒😏

ETA 230131: i had the following interaction with ChatGPT, which goes to strengthen my determination that it is the next step beyond racter:

PRZXQGL: describe the poem “Jabberwocky”, by lewis carroll, in minute detail.

ChatGPT:“Jabberwocky” is a nonsense poem written by Lewis Carroll, first published in his book “Through the Looking-Glass” in 1872. The poem is about a protagonist who sets out to slay a fearsome creature called the Jabberwock. The poem is famous for its imaginative and absurd use of language, as many of the words used in the poem are made up or have alternate definitions.

The poem consists of 14 stanzas, each containing four lines of rhyming couplets. The language used is highly imaginative and playful, featuring words like “frabjous,” “vorpal,” and “bandersnatch.” The overall mood of the poem is fantastical and dream-like, as the protagonist journeys through a strange and surreal world in search of the Jabberwock.

The poem is often interpreted as a commentary on the absurdity and confusion of language, as the words used in the poem are intentionally made to be confusing and difficult to understand. Despite this, the poem remains highly entertaining and imaginative, as the protagonist’s journey to slay the Jabberwock is full of twists and turns, and the language used to describe it is highly imaginative and playful.

Overall, “Jabberwocky” is a classic example of Lewis Carroll’s innovative and playful approach to language, and is considered one of his most enduring works. It continues to be popular and widely read to this day, and is a testament to the power of imagination and playfulness in language.

🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

new scheme… will it work?

for a few years now, i have been playing around with this app for my tablet called FRAX, to which i was pointed by my friend gunnar, who is a fractal maniac. i find it really easy, and somewhat meditative, to generate an infinite variety (they’re fractals, after all 😉) of magnificently detailed, wildly psychedelic patterns, and i can crank out 4 to 6 images per hour, for several hours, before getting “bored” with it.

i have maintained for some time that “boredom is a state of mind i never visit”, and, while it’s true, from the outside one might presume that it’s boredom, when it’s really something else… but i digress…

the other day, i went through the photostream on my tablet (which i am finally getting organised enough that i can find what i’m looking for, some of the time), and discovered that i have 91 frax drawings in a directory, which started me thinking…

2017-12-26 16.03.22
2017-12-26 16.03.22

what if i made postcards out of these drawings, and sold them on my web site?

2019-03-08 19.08.12
2019-03-08 19.08.12

i’ve got more than enough raw material, and they wouldn’t take that much tweezing to get them to fit on a postcard…

2021-12-31 23.41.06
2021-12-31 23.41.06

and i can buy 100 18 point postcards (the really thick ones) for less than $20, which means that i can sell them for $1.00 a piece and make a profit (assuming that people buy them, about which i am not as certain).

2022-07-29 06.48.09
2022-07-29 06.48.09

not only that, but i can send them out to the IOTM club, which is coming up a lot sooner than i realised.

2023-01-19 18.36.21
2023-01-19 18.36.21

so, yesterday, i ordered 100 of five different fractal drawings (not necessarily the ones depicted here)… we’ll see what happens next.

2023-01-19 18.45.52
2023-01-19 18.45.52

it’s already almost halfway through january… 😒

moe is going to orlando on saturday. we finished with the panto last weekend, and, yesterday, macque tested positive for COVID, which means that he likely was exposed at the panto. moe sez she’s going to wear her mask religiously, except for when she’s drinking water, but… i was potentially exposed to macque, and moe was potentially exposed to me, and nobody will know anything until she’s already in orlando. we’ve arranged for a puppy-sitter to take quill (the new puppy), so that i won’t have to deal with an un-trained seven-month-old puppy, which is a good thing, because i actually have a paying gig on saturday (the day moe leaves for orlando), in georgetown, and, with moe in orlando, a puppy would put a severe strain on my ability to perform successfully.

i harvested around 15 dried grams of wavy caps from my experimental mushroom patch, and, as far as i can tell, the mycelium has grown into the ground, which means a much higher possibility of more wavy caps, if not soon, at least next year. dare i say, this is a long-term project that appears to have gone right, for a change.

🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄‼‼‼

so, this happened… 😉

230103 Psilocybe cyanescens
230103 Psilocybe cyanescens

at first, i wasn’t completely sure (it’s always a good idea to be skeptical with mushrooms), so i plugged it into PictureMushroom which confirmed that they are, in fact, Psilocybe cyanescens, a “Toxic” mushroom.

230103 PictureMushroom identification
230103 PictureMushroom identification

specifically:

Wavy caps and should be treated as a moderately poisonous mushroom, best avoided. Ingestion of wavy caps can induce symptoms that include vomiting, nausea, fever, psychosis and seizures.”

it goes on to describe almost exactly the same environment, region, climate, and time of year. combine that with the fact that i INTENTIONALLY propagated P. cyanescens spores, and i’ve got about as much confirmation as i need… 🍄😉🍄😎🍄👍🍄‼

🤣🤪

in my attempts to break free of #twit™ #turd™, i have created a reddit profile. i joined the r/incense subreddit, and almost immediately got banned for “spam”. the “spam” i am guilty of disseminating was the phrase “i’ve got resins for sale: pure frankincense, copal, and loban (seperately)… i’ve also got a big chunk of palo santo.” which i posted in response to ONE person.

it’s not “spam”. i didn’t advertise anything, i didn’t include links to my business, and i didn’t “mass mail” anybody: this was in response to ONE person.

nevertheless, the moderator that banned me was disinterested in discussing it, because “we both know what spam is”, and, as i am a “newbie” at reddit, i didn’t feel like arguing about it…

but… 😉

i was searching for other subreddits which may or may not be similar to r/incense, when i came across this post… in r/incense 🤣

someone else's reddit ad in a subreddit from which i was banned... 😉
someone else’s reddit ad in a subreddit from which i was banned… 😉

and it got 14 upvotes! 👍👍😉 this is, also, NOT spam (as it is on my own web site): a link to 999 Lord Krishna Puja Agarbatti, if anybody reading this is interested in purchasing some. 😉

Add New Post

blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.

along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…

however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒

i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.

i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒

the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒

VEWPRF

moe’s mom was supposed to be here for christmas eve dinner, but the ice-pocalypse has still got us in its icy grip… mind you, issaquah-hobart road has been chemically de-iced and plowed, and for every other place in the greater seattle metropolitan area, the roads are passable, at worst… but i had to walk out to the park at the corner of hobart-ravensdale road, this afternoon, to pick up a package, because the fedex driver, the USPS driver, a door-dash driver, and a tow truck had a “confligration” (complete with flashing lights and everything) at the top of our neighbourhood. there were two cars that passed me on the way to the park, which i’m not sure whether they got through or not, and there were two more cars that passed me on the way back… and i’m not sure whether or not they got through either…

so, conditionally, moe’s mom is coming for dinner tomorrow (after it has been >50° for more than 24 hours), along with scott and nancy (our friends from up the road towards issaquah about 10 miles), and that means that moe has decided that she has to make TWO dinners… she had originally planned to make indian food for dinner with scott and nancy, but her mom won’t eat indian food, so she’s getting enough steak for dinner, and to take back so she can have left-overs tomorrow… and, because of the fact that steak night was supposed to be tonight, moe made pasta tonight…

official 2022 snowpocalypse. 🤬

so, around here, anyway, it’s not so much a “snow”pocalypse as it is an “ice”pocalypse… there was only about two inches of snow last night at 9:00, but it was really windy overnight, and my guess is that it sleeted and/or freezing-rained enough that, this morning, there’s two inches of what LOOKS LIKE snow, but is, in reality, one to one-and-a-half inches of old crusty snow that has been TOTALLY ENCASED in a clear layer of ice… there’s ice on all the tree branches, and our slight incline out the garage door into the back yard has become totally impassable — unless you want to slide on your ass… it’s supposed to warm up and mostly dissipate by tomorrow, and the high tomorrow is supposed to be 50°… but, despite the fact that it is “warming up”, currently, it’s “warming” from yesterday’s low of 14° to a somewhat-more-normal 31°, and it’s supposed to start snowing at noon, and continue until 7:00 or so… in other parts of the metropolitan area, king county metro is COMPLETELY shut down, and seatac airport has gone from COMPLETELY shut down, to having one runway open, and alaska airlines cancelling 100% of their flights out of seatac today. moe says the last time she remembers this happening was in 1996, but then it wasn’t anticipated, which made things that much worse.

ETA: it is now 1:30 pm, and it’s 33° and raining… which, of course, means later on, when the temperature once again dips below freezing, that we will have SEVERAL LAYERS of increasing thicknesses of ice. woo. i’m SO glad i don’t have to go anywhere for the next few days. 😒

yup… i figured it was just a matter of time…

it started snowing in fits and starts sunday evening, after the panto. it mostly melted yesterday, and it was raining hard this morning… but then, around 11:00, it changed from rain to grauple, and then to sleet, and then to snow… and it transitioned back and forth between rain and snow at least three times before it got dark, which means that our beautifully plowed street (for a change!) is now two inches or so deep in slush, ice, and snow. i went out this afternoon around 1:00, and on my way home i saw two cars off the road on hobart-ravensdale road, one of which was a fairly substantial jeep or something like that, which had been going uphill and slid off the road facing oncoming traffic… which was complicated by a row of oncoming cars which were stopped because of the aforementioned jeep, which was just after a curve in the road. once i got past the conflagration, i encountered a large semi-truck with a huge piece of equipment on the trailer, which was tooling along at an elevated rate of speed, as though there weren’t about 8 cars that were stopped a thousand or so feet further up the road… 😒

it’s not really deep, but it’s REALLY slick, and people around here don’t know how to drive when it’s slick… which, of course, doesn’t stop them from trying, and failing in the most spectacular ways. 😒

fortunately, i don’t HAVE TO drive ANYWHERE until after the first of january, and, hopefully, it will all be gone by then. 😒

W000T!! 😎

221220 hybrid elephant iphone!
221220 hybrid elephant iphone!

i’ve had this sayagata-pattern iphone case for an iphone that i have never owned, and, probably WILL never own, simply because its got a cool pattern on it. i was showing it off to moe, a week or so ago, and complaining that i didn’t know of anywhere i could get an iphone case with pictures that i want on them, and moe recommended about a dozen places that make custom iphone cases… because, these days, her “google-fu” is orders of magnitude better than mine… 😖

so, i had one made. now my phone exactly matches my car. 😎

W00T!

i took the plunge and installed kubuntu 22.04 (Jammy Jellyfish) as a dual-boot — since i have a TON of extra disk space because of the NAS, and because of the fact that i have a 2TB SECONDARY hard disk, which i conveniently forgot about…

i figured it was about time to upgrade when i saw the “upgrade now, you fool!” warning messages, that appear at the top of my screen when i boot the computer, for the past week or so, but i’ve read some… “THINGS”… about upgrading jammy, rather than installing fresh… and, well, i have a TON of extra disk space because of the NAS, i have a 2TB SECONDARY hard disk, which i conveniently forgot about…

it only took me two days to go from blank disk to almost completely identical systems, with surprisingly little data loss… i’ve been having some trouble with widgets, applications, and the “task bar” (which is behaving strangely enough that, my guess is, they’re going to have an update which fixes it within a few days), some of my more fantastic “desktop effects” (specifically, the ones seen here) don’t seem to exist, and i’m having some trouble getting the browser configured correctly, but, all-in-all, this has been an amazingly painless procedure.

default title entry

last saturday and sunday were the first four performances of the panto during the winter holiday season, in three years. the last time we actually had a panto performance during the holdiay season was in 2019. the panto has been performed at the oregon country fair, last summer, but i missed it because i got COVID19 less than 12 hours before i was scheduled to leave. 😒 it was really fun to perform in a group for an audience again, but i was also acutely reminded of all the “politicial” horseshit that surrounds working for a group of actors and musicians. i was asked to provide a “5 minute warning” which, after two tries, no less than the stage manager told me not to make that noise any longer (this was one of the people on the board of directors, a few years ago, who screwed up the process of printing the posters because she refused to understand how the pricing breaks work, and almost screwed with the process of having the banners created in 2019, because she thought that grommets were not going to be necessary, or some crap like that 😒). also, i was asked to provide two different “ratchet” sounds, but, after two performances, they decided that the quieter of the two (the one that i had actually bought specifically for this performance) was loud enough that the actor couldn’t be heard above it, which means, not only that they don’t have two different ratchet sounds, but, because of the fact that i’m having to “mute” the remaining ratchet, i can’t match the ratchet sounds to the actors actions as well, which is, i’m absolutely positive, going to be irritating and a cause for a “note” later on.

monday (yesterday) i had to get up and take moe’s CPAP machine to the company that made it, because it has been making a strange noise for 6 months or so, and they’ve JUST gotten around to calling her back and making an appointment… but when i got there, they told me that the machine was beyond its EOL, and they would replace it, except that they didn’t have any machines, and didn’t know where to get one. i said, “so, what are we talking about, here? days? weeks? months?” and their response was “i’m not sure”. 😒 i thought it was somewhat unusual for them to have such a blasé attitude about moe’s prescribed medical device, but i brought it home… and, some time between then (around noon) and 7:30, they called moe and said that they had found a machine, which i picked up this morning.

the past couple of months i have been averaging about two incense orders a week. mind you, a lot of them have been for ONE BOX, but, at this point, i’ve stopped trying to get people to order more than one… if they want to pay twice as much (or more) for shipping, as they pay for one box of incense, it’s none of my business… or, i should say, it IS my business… which i would be driving away by telling them that it’s stupid to just order one box of incense. however, at this point, the price for a medium flat rate box is $17.05, my base rate for shipping is $16.50 (which is smaller than a medium flat rate box), and one box of incense is anywhere between $1.50 and $7.50 or so… it’s stupid… but it makes me money, so i’m not going to complain… after all, as far as i’ve been able to tell, i am the ONLY place they can get aparajita, or krishna puja 999 online… 🤷

the snow is mostly gone, but we’ve still got at least two more months of actual winter before things usually start getting back to normal, and despite what that “evangelical” preacher i saw a video of THIS MORNING says about “global warming doesn’t exist because it says so in the bible” (🤬), climate change has already had more than one negative effect on the environment around here, so i’m not going to hold my breath. it really astounds me that we are twenty years into the 21st century, and there are STILL people who believe in angels, demons, jeezis, and “de debbil”, but DO NOT accept the evidence of their own eyes concerning climate change, the economy, abortion, homelessness, health care, gay marriage… people in positions of authority whose word most other people treat with considerably more credibility than mine. 🗡🤬

HAH! 😤

yesterday something happened to my “widgets” — the things that contain the various content in the left hand side bar on this page — that caused them to disappear, and be replaced with the “default” widgets, which were boring and didn’t actually convey any useful information. at the time, i was on my way to a rehearsal, and couldn’t take the time to fuck around with it, and figure out where my content went to… but today is something different.

at first, i figured i would just rebuild the content that i could remember, but then i realised that i had A LOT of content that i didn’t remember — the list of haikus, for example, or the excerpt from “Kissing Hank’s Ass” — which i WOULD NOT be able to recreate from memory… because my memory sucks. 🤕

but then i remembered… i have a plugin called “updraft”, which makes a weekly backup of the entire site, and downloads it to my (new) cloud drive. i could just restore the most recent database backup, and it would only delete one post: the post that i made, yesterday, called “BUGGER! 😠” which complained about my not having the time to fuck around with it.

so i restored the most recent backup, which restored my OLD widgets, then i took their advice and changed them from “text” widgets that contained HTML code (which, apparently, is “bad”), to “image” and “custom HTML” widgets, which, essentially, work EXACTLY THE SAME, but don’t have a tendency to arbitrarily disappear with no warning.

i don’t have yesterday’s post, but i’ve got all my widgets restored, and now, instead of having a grumpy post about how things don’t work, i’ve got a triumphant post about how i’ve been able to overcome adversity. 👍

snow(pocalypse?) 2022

221201 snow
221201 snow

it’s early enough in the season that i hesitate to call it an actual “snowpocalypse” (particularly since mercer island apparently has no snow at all), but, around here, it’s bad enough that i had to cancel my attendence at the (essential) panto rehearsal, last night, and i’m going (once they open) to have to cancel my attendence at my circus class this afternoon. 😒

moe waited until 8:00 am to go in to work, and, apparently, the “main road” is clear (having been plowed this morning), but i still worry about her ability to get home. yesterday, she left work at 5:00 pm, and didn’t actually get home until 7:30, because of the snow/traffic that had built up in issaquah… and she said the state patrol had just closed down eastbound highway 18 as she was going by.

AND i have four incense orders that have been scheduled to ship out today, and it doesn’t look as though i’ll be able to do it, because… well… moe took the truck, and my car is snowed in! 😠

i hate snow. 👎

BUT… there’s this weird thing happening in the pond across the street, this morning. i THINK i know what is happening, but that doesn’t make it any less weird:

221201 circular hole in the pond
221201 circular hole in the pond

i think that this circular hole in the pond is where there’s something (a branch, i think) sticking through the surface of the pond, and making a place where the snow/ice doesn’t stick… i’m not sure, because i have never seen this kind of thing before, but that’s the only thing i can think of.

both blirgday &c.

on this day, in 2007, i started this blog, as a response to livejournal selling out to the russians, which means that this blog has been in existence for 15 years, in more-or-less the same place. i wonder if it will last another 15 years. 😏 as a result of getting closer and closer to leaving “twit-turd”, i have established a presence at linktr.ee, where i put ALL the links to EVERYWHERE that i might be contacted… which is a little strange, because, as far as i know, it is the first time i have EVER posted, in the same place, links to personalities that i have endeavoured to keep separate, prior to this. it is also a bit strange, because i actually switched my harmonic flute video to “public” from “you can’t see it unless i gave you the link”, because i didn’t want “salamandir” and “rev. deluxe” obviously associated with each other. now, i’m not as concerned, i don’t think anyone of consequence will notice, and, even if someone of consequence DOES notice, it simply doesn’t bother me as much as it did 15 or 20 years ago.

“twit-turd” has become a seething morass of white supremacists, nazis, fascists, MAGAts, drumpf-lovers, vaccine denial, and hatred, ALL OF WHICH is more-or-less unmoderated, because (among other stupid things he’s done), when “ELONgated MUSKrat” bought it (under duress), the first thing he did was to re-instate a whole bunch of people who had been kicked off the service, for violating rules that “ELONgated MUSKrat” disagreed with… which, at this point, includes “Fartgorie Taylor-Greene” (who was booted for spreading vaccine misinformation), and Donald J. Drumpf, himself (who was booted for spreading lies about the 2020 election). how long i stay there is still up in the air, but it’s a matter of days, weeks, or months, and certainly not more than a year, unless some massive change happens. 😒

the first show of 2022 fell yesterday. it wasn’t very much, but it’s enough that i am re-thinking my plans to go to the panto rehearsal this evening, despite the fact that we only have three more rehearsals until the show starts.

221129 - 0930 am
221129 – 0930 am

this was yesterday, at approximately 9:30 in the morning. i PROBABLY could have driven my car in this amount of snow, but unfortunately…

221130 - 0745 am
221130 – 0745 am

this was today, at approximately 7:45 in the morning… i definitely COULD NOT drive my car with this amount of snow… moe says that, outside of our neighbourhood, the roads are plowed, clear, and passable, but… from where i sit, it looks like a skating rink, and i have to get up a hill (which moe said is a skating rink) in order to get out of the neighbourhood… and the only reason moe knows this is because she took the truck, loaded with concrete blocks to work today, because her car needs new tires (which she just discovered yesterday, after having slid around on various streets on her way home from work, yesterday).

weird genealogy

we got a whole bunch of new information about moe’s ancestors, and one family group caught my eye almost immediately: moe’s 4xgreat grandparents were related to each other…

221126 weird genealogy
221126 weird genealogy

the brother married into one family, the sister married into another family, they both produced children, who, then, married each other to produce one of moe’s 2xgreat grandfathers…

her 3x great grandparents were first cousins…

we don’t know, for sure, who the brother’s parents were, but they were born 15 years apart, in the same town, in the same county, in the same region of the netherlands, so the probability is fairly high… 🤣

and, as expected…

i felt like a truck had run over me, on saturday… slept for a large portion of it, while the TV was on, which might give you an impression of how “out of it” i felt. i recovered enough to go to my unicycle class, on sunday, but i was winded about 20 minutes into it, and i had to take a couple of “breathers” after that. our alternate unicycle coach, nick, is the unicyclist i saw at the moisture festival this year (from the band pit, so the wheel of the unicycle was, literally, within 10 feet of me) do a perfect free mount and ride away, with a woman standing on his shoulders… during MULTIPLE shows, so it wasn’t just a fluke. 😂 i am tantalizingly close to being able to free mount… at this point i would say i’m doing it about a third of the time. i keep making microscopic adjustments in what i’m doing, and it’s really frustrating when i find something that works, and i can’t replicate it reliably enough to do it again… i guess it’s a good thing i’m dedicated, because i am painfully aware of the fact that i STILL can’t do essential things like idling, or riding backwards… 🙄 oh well, some day, maybe… i suppose…

then i came home and burned the pile of summer detritus in the fire pit across the street… except that a bunch of it was so green that it wouldn’t even burn… like a bunch of unripe tomatoes from the garden, and a bunch of leaves from the brussels sprout plants… but, because i was using a propane flame thrower as the fire-starter, and an electric leaf blower to accelerate things, i ended up making “fried green tomatoes”… 😉

today i was supposed to meet up with gunnar (i have a bag of weed for him 😉) but, before i left home, i got a text message from him that said “Cannot feline. Oils yoy mail”… um… ¿؟፧‽ so i called him. he explained that he hasn’t been getting enough sleep lately, and was not going to be there, so i drove down to puyallup, via our old neighbourhood, went by rick’s old place (there’s someone else living there, unsurprisingly) and came back by way of enumclaw, black diamond, and ravensdale.

booster #5

i got my fifth COVID booster today, along with my annual flu shot. i’m feeling okay, so far, but my arms are sore. if tradition holds, i will be feeling under the weather tomorrow. whee. 😒

extremism

i’ve been reading, the past couple of days, about “extremism” on the right, and on the left, as being somehow equal in their “extremism”. i was reading about how alexandria ocasio-cortez had to “stand up” to an interviewer who tried to imply that the two forms of “extremism” are the same, and it reminds me of something my old friend xydexx said about nazis. imagine this:

you and your extended family are having a potluck picnic, and everyone is supposed to provide some food. but when you arrive at the picnic, there, sitting in the middle of the table, is a huge steaming platter of dog shit, surrounded by dishes of actual food, provided by other relatives. do you want to interact with the person who put the dog shit in the middle of the table? and what about the rest of the food… would you be inclined to eat ANYTHING from a table that featured a huge steaming platter of dogshit? would you be inclined to talk kindly and gently with the person who provided that platter, to find out what their story is, to find out what possessed them to bring a huge steaming platter of dog shit to your family picnic? would you be anxious to hear their reasons for messing up your picnic? would you ignore it, hoping that the perpetrator would change, if given a good example?

the probability is very high that you would not do those things, but that you would find out who the perpetrator is, and eject them (forcefully, if necessary) from the picnic area.

that is the difference between “extremism” on the left versus “extremism” on the right: “extremism” on the left is more inclined to help other people, regardless of who they are, whereas “extremism” on the right wants everything their way, and if it’s not exactly the way they lay it out, they’re going to mess up the picnic for everyone.

xydexx has a multi-paragraph statement about this, but that’s basically what it boils down to. in xydexx’s version, the furry fandom is the extended family, and nazis and other fur-haters bring the dog shit, but the argument expands nicely. when people say “there are two sides to every argument” when the discussion is about having a country with universal health care, instead of causing harm to people you don’t like (furries, gays, trans, etc., etc…), you know that whoever is saying it is probably NOT someone you would want to invite to your picnic.

↑ 221110 – HPOI (sort of)

i can’t use zelle for accepting payments, because it makes the customer have to go through an extra step, with which they are not familiar (and, i suspect, somewhat skeptical), but it turns out that i can use zelle for making payments to people in other countries — in this case, tibet — a lot easier and faster than i could using a wire transfer or western union.

it turns out i was somewhat skeptical, myself… i made a payment of almost $300 to someone i only sort of vaguely know, from tibet, and didn’t hear anything back from them for a few days, which made me wonder… and then, yesterday, i got an alert from my bank that the payment hadn’t been collected because the person i sent it to was not signed up with zelle, which made me very concerned, especially since i read the other day that zelle, and the bank that’s behind zelle (key bank? i don’t remember… one of the lesser-well-known ones) are being sued by… germany, i think, or something like that… because of all the zelle scams that have been cropping up.

it turns out that they were just getting their shit together, as well, and hadn’t completed the process of signing up, because i got a notice today that the payment had gone through, and then i got a response from the person in tibet, saying that they had received my payment, and would be shipping me a medium-ish pile of incense soon.

it seems to me to be a payment method that is RIPE for scams, but, when it’s not used for scams, it is a GENIUS way of transfering money. 😉

update

the word that i’ve heard is that the democretins won most of the most essential races, but not others. and georgia is going to a runoff between republicretin herschel walker (a “christian” anti-abortionist brainless ex-football jock who has allegedly paid for at least two abortions with two different women, and has multiple unacknowleged children with multiple other women), and democrud rev. raphael warnock (an actual Christian minister) who, at last count, was winning by THOUSANDS of votes… 😒 now we have to worry about the global economy, which is still more or less up in the air. 😒

the most recent incense order i recieved didn’t have the shipping charges included, which is a major problem. a little bit of investigation, combined with a brief back-and-forth with the developers confirmed a bug in the version of woocommerce square plugin that i was using, which is, if the customer doesn’t enter the state that they live in, the shipping charges are not included on their reciept, and they can proceed through checkout without having to enter the state in which they live… which is DEFINITELY a bad for business, as it requires me having to write the customer and ask for more money. presumably i have been updated to the most recent (fixed) version of the plugin, after having to explain that my questions about cost were not a criticism of how much it costs, to the web designer, who was all set to cancel the web maintenance agreement that we’ve had for the past three years. 😒

i lied… i have actually logged into twit-turd twice since i said i was not going to login for a couple of days… but the fact that the democrasts have done somewhat better than expected has made it somewhat more tolerable.

scary…

today is the midterm election.

republicunts are projected to win majorities in both the house and senate, which means that

  1. they plan on impeaching president biden, more out of spite than anything else (because there’s nothing to charge him with, but that won’t make a difference, because democretins impeached #drumpf TWICE 😒), and…
  2. they are actively planning on (and bragging about it)
    1. eliminating social security and medicare
    2. any and all investigations into the crimes of #drumpf, the stolen government documents at mar-a-lago, and the january 6th insurrection will cease immediately
    3. a national ban on abortion
    4. a national ban on birth control
    5. a repeal of gay marriage
    6. further oppression of trans people
    7. making cannabis and other marginally legal drugs illegal again
    8. further wanton environmental destruction, promoting oil, coal, and elimination of endangered species protections
    9. gerrymandering and further voter suppression to make future election wins by democretins a lot more difficult
    10. other horrendously awful, inhumane, and massively unpopular stuff, primarily because they can.

and, if they win, there’s a much greater chance that #drumpf will run for president, again, and if he does, he will likely win, because of the republicunts’ love affair with voter suppression, and that will basically be the end of a democratic united states. 🤬

and if they don’t win at all (preferably), or if they don’t win enough to make a difference, the republican’ts have openly vowed to wreck the global economy, by refusing to raise the debt limit.

i am staying OFF twit-turd… maybe forever, but at least for a couple of days, or until the election FUBAR has died down a little.

payment gateway and business update

officially, square works. i got an order for >$90 from hong kong transferred to my bank account today. i already confirmed that it works for domestic packages, but the fact that it also works on international packages is the final step. now, officially, the only thing i am using stripe for is IOTM subscriptions, and i’ve only got 15 of those left before i shut the whole thing down.

officially, zelle works, but not in the way i was expecting, nor the way that THREE representatives of BECU explained to me. there IS NO “zelle for businesses” (or, if there is, it’s not available from BECU, because it’s “not free”, or something like that… 🤷). what happens is that i, now, have two new accounts at BECU, a consumer savings account, and a consumer checking account (to go along with my “business” checking and savings accounts). when i want to use zelle, i have to transfer money from my business checking to my personal checking, and THEN i can use zelle to send money. i found this out because i ordered a smallish pile of incense from tibet, and they wanted me to use zelle for payment (which i think is a GENIUS idea, because it’s essentially instantaneous, and avoids all the fees that wire transfers or western union entail). so now i have a smallish pile of incense from tibet that i’m expecting some time within the next month or so.

uline has apparently been donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to republican/right wing/homophobic/anti-abortion/nazi/fascist horseshit with more and greater frequency, recently, and i finally got fed up with using their triangular boxes. i found another source of essentially identical triangular boxes, which are BOTH better AND cheaper, so the last 20 or so boxes from uline are going to be the last i use before i switch my brand loyalty to the boxery. i have a half a jillion uline packing slip envelopes, but i bought them before we moved, and i’ll be using them up for years before i’ll have to worry about getting more. 😏

🙄

so, i decided to reposition major furniture in my office, to achieve the following results:

  1. i have to figure out how my studio is set up. i originally set it up to use with the piano/synthesizer setup, and i seem to recall doing at least one piece of music in that configuration… and then i set it up some other way, which i don’t remember, and now everything is mixed up and i can’t figure it out, because all of the connections are on the back of the devices, and in order to access the back of the amplifier, i have to move the printer, and stand on a stool, while leaning over the printer, and accessing the back upside down… which isn’t ideal. what i need is the back of everything to be as easily accessible as the front, which means moving stuff around.
  2. in the process of trying to figure out how the studio stuff was hooked up, i thought i had completely disconnected every audio connection from my computer to the amplifier… and yet, i seem to be able to play music from my computer, and hear the sound through the speakers… which would seem to indicate that there is a new/different/as-yet-undiscovered audio connection that i have overlooked somehow… (possibly the HDMI connection from the monitor, but how does it get to the amplifier??? 😕) but, unfortunately, the cables from the computer to the amplifier are accessed from the back, AND under my desk… which is REALLY not ideal… i’ve got to figure that out.

this may involve a trip to ikea and possibly a new desk, as the one that i have is a repurposed ikea table.

the reason i want to figure out how my studio works (again), is because i have recently discovered jamulus, which appears to be an audio interface that is designed to be used over internet. i realise that there’s some pretty hard physical constants that make audio connections… let’s say difficult… over long distances, but, apparently, distances less than 50 miles or so the latency is tolerable, and they get around the rest of it, sketchily, by having everyone listen to the server, and not the actual sound coming out of your instrument, and… well, i haven’t been able to busk the past couple of weeks (HVAC stuff), and i’ve been going nuts, because there are new songs that we’ve been talking about, but we can’t get together and rehearse because i have to be at home to let the workers in… and now i’ve got jamulus installed, and (apparently) working… all i have to do is hook up a microphone, which i do, but… no sound… and thus began the task of figuring out how the studio is set up.

there’s another thing i tried to get set up, but couldn’t, because of a lack of installation instructions. JamStud.io actually advertises “jam online without latency”, despite the fact that, as far as i know, scientists are still stymied by the speed of light 😉 which makes it impossible to have an audio connection without more and more latency as the distance increases… but, hey… if i could get it installed, i might be using that, instead.

💀💣

i made a bunch of operation mindfuck envelopes, which i intend to give to “trick-or-treaters” tonight, but not in the way they expect. moe put an announcement in the neighbourhood farcebook group that we would put candy outside our house, for whoever wanted to come by and take it, to do so… but moe is going to be at one of her dog classes, this evening, and probably won’t get back until 8:30 or so, so i’m going to put a big bowl of candy on a chair, next to our mailbox, and then i’m going to put on my black djellaba, and my black burnous, and my wizard hat, and skulk about in the shadows (of which there are plenty) and pop out at people with bizarre secret messages. 🧙😈

this is a test: 🫨 the test is over. hmmmm… 🧐

more ron zeising shenanigans

ron zeising is the former owner of our house. he is a general contractor, and, as the former owner of our house, seemed to think that he could do things to the house without doing them properly — or at all — and get away with it a lot easier, because he was a general contractor who “knew how to do things”… like build decks (wrong), or run electrical service to an outbuilding (wrong), or install HVAC systems (wrong), or do duct-work (wrong)…

the most recent shenanigan that we have uncovered is the fact that, i’m about 99% sure at this point that the ONLY reason he installed the “latest, top-of-the-line” heating and cooling system in this house, was to increase the resale value of the house. i know, from a couple of the next door neighbours, that he never actually USED the system, because he heated the house with the wood stove in the winter, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… and, yet, when we bought the house, one of the big selling points was that it had the “latest, top-of-the-line” HVAC system… we very quickly discovered that the cooling part of the system had been installed, but it was never hooked up. and now, we’ve discovered that exactly the same thing was true of the heating system, as well. the last time we had trouble with the heating system, we blamed it on the duct-work — which was installed by ron zeising — and had that replaced… but that was spring time, and we weren’t using the heating system. now, when the weather is getting colder, we discovered that it wasn’t entirely the duct-work. what we discovered is that the heating elements weren’t hooked up, and the blower wasn’t hooked up. they were installed, but… ron never used them, so he didn’t bother to finish the installation, because he didn’t have to.

i’m really glad we got this house, and the next door neighbours are SUPER AWESOME (especially compared to our former neighbours, who were crack addicts), but i’m also really glad ron zeising left the area, because if he hadn’t, i could imagine all kinds of nasty things i could do to his “business”… 😒

in the humdrum

monday moe was in vegas. i got a whole bunch of spam, DIDN’T have my regular counselling appointment because of a misread calendar, two weeks ago, DIDN’T get my tires rotated in spite of waiting around for an hour while they DIDN’T rotate my tires… 😒 i’m still not totally sure what happened: i made an appointment, showed up before i was supposed to be there, told the guy that i had an appointment, which he confirmed, and then… i waited for an hour, went up to the counter to inquire when they were going to get to my car, and was told “within the hour”, but i had other places to be, so i had to bail and come back later in the week…

and i was already ripe for mushrooms… 😒

wednesday, the smoke from wildfires (i never bothered to find out where they were) was bad enough that both seattle and portland had the WORST air quality in the world — worse than singapore or hong kong. also, apparently, someone dumped, and burned, a human body just up the street from the trailhead to the back side of taylor mountain, where i walk a lot… where i saw the bear… 😒 moe came home. i picked up quill at the puppy-sitter’s place near lake desire at 8:30, and picked up moe at the airport at 9:30.

thursday i had my circus class, and on the way back home, driving down I5, the smoke was bad enough that i couldn’t see more than a mile or so in front of me. 😒 then got my tires rotated — for real, this time. i was in and out inside of 15 minutes. a guy i had never seen before, but who i assumed was one of the managers, said that he “knew all about” the fiasco on monday, and that they’d get to my car right away… and they did, which kind of surprised me…

friday i decided that i was not going to take as many mushrooms as i had planned, because, by that time, the smoke from the wildfires was really awful. we bought some inflatable halloween decorations — a unicorn skeleton, and two enormous, flashing eyeballs. when it got dark, it started raining, so, naturally, monique decided that was the time to put them out… and the eyeballs (which were my part of the deal) only had one set of tethers, which meant that i had to cut and singe nylon string, in the dark-and-rain…

saturday i actually took mushrooms. instead of four capsules, i only took two, but — as is seemingly fairly typical — all the “good stuff” had filtered to the bottom of the bag, which meant that two capsules was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the past couple of times i had taken four capsules… and it was raining REALLY HARD, so even if i wanted to go up to taylor mountain and risk being high on mushrooms in the vicinity of an actual murder investigation(!!), it was raining hard enough that there was standing water in our back yard, which usually indicates that the trails on taylor are flooded, as well.

it was weird not being able to walk around while tripping balls, as is my usual habit, but i got through it okay… although i REALLY need a beanbag chair, because the only “comfortable” chair in the house is directly in front of the TV set (because that’s where moe usually sits), and, while it is actually big enough for two of us, i REALLY DO NOT want to watch TV while high on mushrooms… so i sat for a couple of hours in the 2nd-most comfortable chair in the house, which is on the opposite end of the house, until i got done peaking, and then it was — more or less — life as usual, only “usual” included being high on mushrooms this time.

we had a karaoke party last night — about 10 people… including one of our next door neighbours, kelly, who i talked to fairly extensively regarding our respective weed crops this year… it still ASTOUNDS me that it is legal, and, while still not technically legal, i have a mental health professional RECOMMENDING that i take mushrooms… 😲

today was the last unicycle class of the session — a new session starts next sunday — and i think i may have gotten back to the point i was at the end of spring session, before “the summer from hell” (which is how i have been referring to the summer of 2022), during which i had very little time, and even less motivation, to practice unicycle.

i have a sousa band rehearsal on tuesday, a circus class on thursday, tracy and kelly (next door neighbours) are having a “costumes optional” halloween party on saturday, and halloween, proper, is on sunday. i have been making more Operation Mindfuck envelopes to be distributed to random people, while in costume, over the coming week.

why?????? 😕

when i woke up this morning, at approximately 8:30, i checked my email, and i had over identical 1,000 spam messages, in my spam folder, and more coming in as i watched… now, at 9:45, i have deleted approximately 1,000 MORE identical spam messages… and there are more coming in at this very moment…

ETA: as of 11:00, i have deleted at least 1,000 MORE identical spam messages… 🙄 if i don’t read it the first time, what could POSSIBLY make a person think that i’ll read it the 5,000th time?

WHY do people do this?

<sigh> 🙄

i suppose it’s similar to asking why people write scripts to delete all the data in unknown peoples’ cloud drives.

as winston churchill said, it doesn’t take all kinds, but there are all kinds. 🙄

grumble…

moe went to las vegas today. she’ll be back wednesday. the puppy went to stay with someone who is more able to handle a rambunctious puppy who doesn’t realise how big he is. i’m supposed to pick him up on wednesday, before i pick up moe at the airport. the other two dogs are “adults” (and know how to behave), but they are already concerned that moe is gone and won’t be back for a while. under ordinary circumstances, this would be a minor inconvenience, but because of the fact that the north american continent is experiencing YET ANOTHER COVID surge (thanks, republicunt anti-vax morons 🤬), airports are going to be especially dangerous, and vegas (as always) is going to be full of tourists from who-knows-where, who all think that COVID is no longer a concern, because our extremely NOT #drumpf president, joe biden, said that COVID is over. 🤬 and the ones who think joe biden lost the election are the ones who got us this far into the pandemic without any hope in sight, to begin with! 🤬

yeah, i know, it has been a couple months and i really need a mushroom break, but i can’t really take a break from the dogs, and i can’t really take two dogs on a 4-hour hike in the forest while i’m on mushrooms… moe could probably do it… she doesn’t take psychedelics that often, but it’s my impression that the part of her brain that speaks dog isn’t that affected by them. 😉

my stripe problems have vanished. i swiched from stripe to square, disabled the stripe plugin, and that’s the end of it. i’m actually NOT going to cancel my account right away, because i’ve still got 15 IOTM accounts to sell, and i’m really not motivated enough to figure out how to do that on square, in the middle of the run (so to speak). but it feels REALLY good to be quit of them.

the license plate in question

221010 BREATH license plate
221010 BREATH license plate

i went to bellingham on saturday. i left maple valley around 10:45, made it to bellingham by 11:30, picked up the license plate and dropped off a bag of weed for darol (i figured he deserves it, considering how many bags of weed he has given me), and made it out to ken and kamala’s new place on hannegan by 12:10, left there around 1:30 and drove down chuckanut on my way home.

and i’m pretty sure that the “old curse of bellingham” (the one where an old indian chief is reputed to have cursed the people that come to bellingham, that they will never be able to leave) is a superstition, because i have no more desire to live in bellingham. i have friends who live there, and it will always be a place i USED TO live, but i have zero desire to move back there. in spite of everything i’ve been complaining about recently, and my state of depression, i would still rather be where i am, than in bellingham.

the story of the license plate…

in 2019, shortly after faddlefum died, i was in line to inherit one of his license plates, which said “BREATH”. my recollection is that francie and i discussed it several times, and i was supposed to pick it up (or have it mailed to me) by the end of july, but i got caught up in stuff, and didn’t contact her until october, at which point she said she had given it to someone else.

i was friends with kenyth for decades, but i don’t know francie more than in passing: she worked with kenyth before i met him, but she moved out of town (new york, or something, is my recollection), and came back and got married to him until after i had moved out of bellingham, when kenyth already knew that he had alzheimer’s.

i figured that it was because she didn’t know how much kenyth meant to me, and went on with my life, DRAMATICALLY disappointed in the choices kenyth made about a life-partner, and without much motivation to be in contact with her in the future…

and that was where it stood until a couple of days ago, when i got email from francie, saying that she is getting ready to move and came across kenyth’s license plate, and would i be interested in having it.

and, it turns out, it is a VERY GOOD THING i didn’t say something about the fact that she told me she gave it to someone else, because the process of getting back to her involved discovering that gmail is blocking messages from hybridelephant AGAIN, which had me calling kamala to see if she had a phone number for her, and, in the process of explaining the whole thing to kamala, she mentioned that francie had the license plate on display in her house for the past couple of years. maybe i’ll mention it after i have it in my hands.

i can understand if she’s a grieving widow who doesn’t want to give away something that reminds her of her husband (even if he was her husband for a relatively short period of time, kenyth had that kind of effect on some people, particularly women)… but i DO NOT understand telling me that she had given it to someone else, and then putting it on display in her house.

nevertheless, i’m going to bellingham tomorrow, to retrieve the license plate from her. she says she’s having an “open studio” tomorrow evening, in bay street village (which is where the PHBFH lived when i first moved to seattle to go to the tech school), and it will give me a chance to see ken and kamala’s new place… and i might stop by and say hi to darol, as well.

You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie

THIS!

exactly, all of THIS!

this is PRECISELY the reason i prefer to use FOSS whenever possible!

i AM one of those “1990s Linux proponents” although i didn’t start using linux on my own computers until 2000 — the last version of windows i installed was W2K server. before that time, i was predominantly a mac-head. i tested windoesn’t software (testing windows is easy, because there are plenty of bugs to be found), and used linux (and unix) at work for years, but i used macs for everything else… while i was building up the courage to switch to linux on my own machine. 😉

Continue reading You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie

up. date.

the most recent payment gateway to be tried is square. i checked authorize.net, but they want a $25 a month fee above and beyond the credit card processing fee, and sometimes i don’t make $25 in a month. square seems to be a viable alternative which comes highly recommended by at least one business-owner that i know personally (despite the fact that my web developer says “this one is one of the worse gateways” – he also accuses me of “refusing” to use paypal, however, which just goes to show how much he really knows) and i actually signed up for a square account a few years ago, when i bought a credit card reader for my phone… which i never used because i never needed to. apart from the fact that i have to go through all 323 products that i sell, one at a time, and mark them “sync with Square” (i’m still not certain what it even means, yet, but i’m sure i will find out soon enough…) i’m hoping that this will be the end of my credit-card-processor search for a while, because i’m done with it.

harvested one plant today. i was manicuring it, yesterday and today, and i found a small patch of mold on one of the buds, so i snipped it off, finished manicuring it, and gave it the chop. the other plant still has a couple weeks to a month before it’ll be ready, but, because of the mold on the other plant, i’ve got to be even more aware than i am normally, if i don’t want a moldy mess instead of nice fat buds…

221003 moldy bud
221003 moldy bud
221003 close up of the mold
221003 close up of the mold

however, currently, i have a fine crop of nice fat buds, so i’m hoping to keep it that way. 😉

221002 selfie with buds
221002 selfie with buds
221002 buds before manicure
221002 buds before manicure
221002 buds before manicure
221002 buds before manicure
221002 buds before manicure
221002 buds before manicure
221003 buds after manicure and chop
221003 buds after manicure and chop

oyoyoyoyoyOYOYOY!!! 😒 (part 2, continued)

so, i emailed woocommerce tech support. they told me that they didn’t see a zelle-compatible gateway installed. i told them that i was using “Direct Bank Transfer (BACS)”, according to THEIR instructions, which were given to me by an employee of THEIR company.

then they informed me that their plugin DOESN’T SUPPORT ZELLE…⁈

so i took them through the process of enabling zelle ON THEIR PLUGIN, and enabling zelle at my bank, and THEN they tell me… oh, if you do it that way, YOUR CUSTOMER has to go through this EXTRA STEP to send you the payment, and until THEY do this extra step, their order will be placed “on hold”.

which is NOT going to work on my web site: incense customers are impatient and flighty. if they have to go through this extra step to make a payment, they’re going to abandon their shopping cart, not make a payment, and not get any incense.

which is “BAD FOR BUSINESS™” 😒

i wish this little piece of information could have been conveyed to me A MONTH AGO, when i had three separate email conversations and a zoom call with a woocommerce representative, named bradley gilkerson, who ASSURED ME that it was fully compatible with zelle (false), and that all my customers would have to do was enter their credit card information (false) and it would instaneously (false) be transferred to my zelle account (false) without extra fees for credit card processing (false). 🤬

220909 how many things can you find wrong with this email?
220909 how many things can you find wrong with this email?

so, basically, i have wasted a month, and $200, getting a plugin that won’t work, installed and set up, only to discover that it won’t work, and now i have to UNINSTALL the plugin that won’t work, and find a new, different plugin that WILL work… and (hopefully) do it all before stripe decides that they’re going to cancel my account… AGAIN!! 🤬

oyoyoyoyoyOYOY! 😒

will it ever end?

i got zelle enabled and installed on my web site. i tried to test it, by purchasing incense: entering my information, and checking out. i got a notification from the web site that i had received a new order. i got a notification from the web site that my order had been received, but it had been placed “on hold, while we confirm that payment was received”… and then…

nothing.

i waited 24 hours.

still nothing.

no indication from the bank that either a withddrawal or a deposit had been made, no indication from the bank that either of those things were ABOUT TO happen, and, when i logged in to the web site, there was the order, in “on hold” status.

i contacted woocommerce, maker of the plugin i am using, but it is probably going to take them a while to get back to me, because all of my interactions with them have to go over email.

i actually called the bank, talked to their tech support which is (allegedly) the place to talk about zelle, and went through the entire process of creating a new order, with them watching the back end zelle interface. i got two notifications from the web site, but the bank was unaware that any transaction had taken place at all.

so the bank put in a ticket with zelle, to see if they can figure out what is going on. 🙄

THEN i got email back from woocommerce, which informed me that the woocommerce payments plugin wasn’t completely set up on my site, and that no account had been created. i checked, and the only part of the plugin that “wasn’t installed” was the part where i create an account — WITH STRIPE — so that i can use the plugin to process credit cards… but that’s why i’m using the plugin to begin with: to GET AWAY FROM STRIPE… and besides all that, i am not interested in stripe, i’m interested in zelle, which DOESN’T require that i sign up with stripe… AND i already HAVE a stripe account, and a stripe payment gateway plugin that is completely separate from woocommerce and zelle, and (for the moment, anyway) it appears to be working fine.

i gave them (some of) the information they were asking about, and fudged the rest, but it appears that they lay off work around 4:30 or so, so i anticipate not hearing anything from woocommerce until AT LEAST tomorrow. 🙄

Ƭȟȉȿ Ⱥǹƌ Țħăţ

today i talked, face-to-face, with an actual person at BECU, who told me that “zelle for businesses” is “not a thing”, and that there is ONLY zelle for personal accounts.

however, in order to open a business account at BECU, i had to open a personal account… which has never been used for anything, because i do business through my business account… but there’s no rule that says that personal accounts CAN’T be used for businesses, especially if the only transactions in that personal account are ones that ONLY apply to a business, so i activated my personal account for zelle, and made it so that any money paid to that account automatically gets transferred to my business account, where it belongs.

thus ends the stripe fiasco. all i gotta do now is switch payment gateways on my web site, and i’m quit of stripe.

and good riddance to bad rubbish! 😠

on the other paw, i got two incense orders today, one of which was for 5 boxes of incense, shipped to houston, texas, and one which was for 4 boxes of incense, shipped to ashanti, ghana. the one to houston was addressed to a person named “Nwogbo”, and the one to ashanti went to someone named “Agbogah”… and the one to ashanti was for $5.00 worth of incense! i REALLY DO NOT understand people from remote countries outside of the united states, who order relatively small quantities of incense that i’m POSITIVE are sold locally, and then pay more for shipping than they did for incense. it happens regularly enough that i’ve stopped asking why, and just sending it out, but it’s really mystifying to me.

oh, and on an entirely different subject all together, i have stumbled upon a RELIABLE, LONG-TERM source for mushrooms 🍄 on internet (of all places)… i got the first batch through a twitter acquaintance (which was REALLY weird), and the second batch i got “direct from the manufacturer” — a place called Matrix Genetix — which was an experience so far beyond “really weird” that it defies description… i got an ounce of APEs, which are a strain of cubensis. not my all-time favourite, but, at this point, any port in a storm…

220923 1oz illegal mushrooms

YAAAAAA!!!! 😈

i got home from my circus class this afternoon, and discovered approximately 1000 IDENTICAL spam messages in my spam recepticle. over the course of the next half an hour or so, i deleted approximately 500 more IDENTICAL spam messages…

so i decided to do some research. what i came up with is that EVERY ONE of those spam messages had been sent from an IP address in the range of 37.32.0.0/16, in iran.

so i blocked it.

and NO MORE SPAM from that range of IP addresses. not a single one! 👍

THIS is why i do it! 😈

surreal 2

220918 this is what i wanted
220918 this is what i wanted

this is what i wanted with #3, yesterday, but i didn’t get the offset right, because i wasn’t working with an extended background, once i extended it, i was able to get the offset where i wanted it.

it looks better the bigger it is… it might be cool as a heroic-size portrait… 😉

surreal

220917 surreal 1
220917 surreal 1
220917 surreal 2
220917 surreal 2
220919 surreal 3
220919 surreal 3

1 and 2 are straight from apple messaging phone. 3 is from the gimp, and is a combination of 2 and the reverse of 2. moe thinks they’re creepy. i disagree.

i thought it was the end, but i was wrong. 🤬

this morning, i learned that, despite the fact that my bank allows the use of zelle, it only allows personal accounts to use it. “zelle for businesses” is, apparently, a “pay-for” application that isn’t used by the bank, so i can’t switch to using zelle, like i thought i was going to be able to do for the past couple of days.

argh! 😒

while i was freaking out about that, i got an email from stripe (at 6:30 in the morning), which said:

Unfortunately, following an additional review of your account, we’re still unable to support your business as it falls under our restricted businesses. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for herbal incense , as mentioned on our restricted businesses list (https://stripe.com/restricted-businesses).

HERBAL INCENSE????

first they said it was tobacco products, then they said it was items “which mimic illegal drugs”, THEN they said it was because i “accept payments for aggregation or grouping of funds” (which i STILL don’t know what they’re talking about, and now i don’t think they know, either), and now it’s because i carry “herbal incense”????

W?

T??

F???

need i mention that there is NO restriction on businesses which carry “herbal incense” on their list of restricted businesses… 😠

so i sent them a response, saying that.

45 minutes later, i got this message from stripe:

In order to provide you assistance with this inquiry, my colleagues and I will be reviewing this case, so we can provide you with the proper information about the verification of your company and the reason for the restrictions of this type of business and once we have a response to this concern we will reach out back to you.

which was followed, half an hour later, by this:

I just wanted to let you know that we have successfully completed our review of your account, and your payouts have been re-enabled.We may be asking for more information down the line, but for now you’re all set.

W??

T????

F?????? 😵

so, if i parse this correctly, on 220823, they said they were going to cancel my account. then, on 220829, they said they weren’t going to cancel my account. then, on 220901 they said they were going to cancel my account for a different reason, and on 220908 they said they were going to cancel my account for yet another different reason, which they emphasised on 220909. then, this morning, (220912) they said they were going to cancel my account for another FURTHER different reason, and then they changed their minds, and said they WEREN’T going to cancel my account. 😵🤬

it’s a really good thing i kept detailed records of this fiasco, because i wouldn’t be able to keep it straight, otherwise. 😠

needless to say, as soon as i can locate another payment gateway that ISN’T stripe, i’ll be switching hybrid elephant to that, because, as it is, this is totally ridiculous! 🤬

miscellaneous

today i learned about the composer carl orff, who lived from 1895 to 1982. i’m somewhat embarrassed to say that i thought he was a 19th century composer, and i was shocked to discover that his lifetime and mine overlapped, despite the fact that i have actually played the piece he’s most famous for, which is the oratorio known as “Carmina Burana”… he was still alive when i played it, too. 😉 but he is also the originator of what has come to be called the Orff Schulwerk method of music education, which is, primarily, intended for children, but can be extrapolated very easily to encompass special needs students, and (significantly for me) older people who have some movement difficulty. there is the Evergreen Chapter of the American Orff Schulwerk Association which i have written to, in order to get more information, because this inspires me in a way that i haven’t been inspired in a long time.

also, i was looking at the wiktionary article for litmus, where i learned that the etymology comes from the protogermanic cognate “blee” which means “colour” or “hue”… at first i thought it might have been a typo for “bleed”, but no, it’s “blee“…

so, this has been a week from hell, but i’m still capable of finding things that aren’t hell, that interest me. 🤔

stripe — the end 🤬

this morning, i got the following email:

220909 - Stripe - The End
220909 – Stripe – The End

the only mention of “Stripe Connect” (which is an API, and not an actual, finished product) on the “restricted businesses list” is a restriction on “C2C services outside of Stripe Connect” in japan.

as far as i can tell, “C2C” can mean “Customer To Customer”, or “Consumer To Consumer, or “Corporation To Corporation”, or “Cradle To Career”, or Coast To Coast”, or “Coups 2 Cross” (a band), or “Kabushiki-gaisha C2C” (a japanese animation studio), or… there’s no telling which one they mean… and i no longer have the patience to wait for their explanation.

my business is not in japan.

i don’t carry any products that fall into the category of “accepting payments for aggregation or grouping of funds”.

and, on top of all that, stripe monetizes white-supremacist and neo-nazi web sites, which i have known about ever since i switched to them, but was never motivated enough to do anything about it.

they gave me until next tuesday to be off their services.

stripe, again, still! 🤬

i got a message from stripe, this morning. it said:

Unfortunately, following an additional review of your account for Hybrid Elephant, we’re still unable to support your business as it falls under one of our restricted businesses categories. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for tobacco products, as mentioned on our restricted businesses list.

however, they can’t won’t tell me which products are causing the issue! 🤬

i have stooped to contacting them on twitter, to see if i can get new eyes on the problem, but, at this point, i’m not going to hold my breath that there will be a change in the outcome.

the only thing i can hope for, at this point, is that i can delay their cancelling my account until i can get a new credit card gateway installed and working… and, at this point, it doesn’t look good. 🤬

ETA:

We’re unable to reveal the exact reasons as to why your account presents a high risk, for security reasons, but we do thorough reviews of every account before coming to this difficult decision.

so they WON’T tell me what products i carry that increase their risk, they’ll just shut me down and tell me to go somewhere else. 🤬

#StripeSucks!!!

stripe, again… 😒

as expected, stripe didn’t pull their head out of their collective ass today.

I apologize for the delay and inconvenience this may have caused. I’ll have this shared with my team for further review, and should be back in touch with you as soon as we’re done.Feel free to get in touch with us in the meantime if there’s anything else we can help with.

maybe tomorrow… 😒 #StripeSucks

stripe, still… 🙄

so, friday was the day that stripe said it was going to cancel my account. if the existence of my account is any indication, they have NOT done that… yet…

however, the last thing any stripe employee said to me was “I was able to check that your website products are not related to tobacco products or services. However, I cannot confirm anything for you at this time until a result of this validation is obtained.” so, i’m still not sure they WON’T cancel my account for, alledgedly, selling “tobacco products”. 😒

and, of course, this is a “holiday” (“labour day” was created to distract americans from “may day”, which is actually the holiday for labourers), which means that the earliest i expect to hear about this most recent “validation” is tomorrow… but i’m not going to hold my breath that it’s going to happen at all… in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if i NEVER hear about it from stripe, especially because, as soon as i can settle on which one it’s going to be, i’m going to change credit card gateways to one that actually does their job, and doesn’t make unsubstantiated judgements about things that do not concern them. 🤬

and, thanks to my recent mushroom experience, i STILL give less of a fuck about these things, than i did prior to taking mushrooms, in spite of the fact that i am still very anxious and depressed. mushrooms are good for you (or, at least, for me)! 😉👍👍

🤬🤬🤬STRIPE!!🤬🤬🤬

stripe! 🙄

on 220823, i received a notice from stripe, saying that they were going to cancel my account, because i carried “tobacco products”.

i submitted a request for review on 220823. they said that they would get back to me within 48 hours, to evaluate my request.

on 220826 (72 hours later, 24 hours BEYOND their self-specified limit), i still hadn’t heard anything, so i got in contact with them. they said “the review is taking too long as expected” (🙄) and told me to be patient.

on 220828 (120 hours BEYOND their self-specified limit 😒), i got a notice that said “We have successfully completed our review, and you are welcome to continue processing payments with Stripe.”

on 220829, i got a notice that said “We’re contacting you to let you know that we’ve successfully completed a review of your account based on the information you recently provided to us.” and my account status went from “in review” to “good to go”.

on 220901, i got a notice that said “Unfortunately, following an additional review of your account for Hybrid Elephant, we’re still unable to support your business as it falls under one of our restricted businesses categories. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for tobacco products…”

i STILL don’t carry ANY “tobacco products”, and since 220826, i have REMOVED AND DELETED any products i carry which MIGHT BE MISTAKEN FOR “tobacco products”. 😒

so, i contacted their helpdesk.

the first person i spoke to said that there was no need to worry, that my account was “good to go”, and not to be concerned. when i asked them if they could explain to me why i received that notice this morning, they shunted me off to a member of their “specialised team”, who wouldn’t answer my question about why i received the notification this morning, but ALSO wouldn’t confirm that my account is “good to go”, either. he said ” I would like to make sure that I’ll provide you with the accurate information so please bear with me while we complete our review to your account.”

so, my stripe account has now gone through THREE (or four) reviews in the past two weeks, and they STILL can’t determine whether or not i carry “restricted products” (even though i clearly DO NOT).

once this whole thing gets settled, permanently, i AM going to switch credit card processors, because STRIPE SUCKS!!! 🤬🤬🤬

and that’s NOT TO MENTION the fact that stripe monetises white-supremacists and nazis, and i have been looking for a reason to dump them anyway. 🤬