trillium — picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed… so don’t. around here, they are T. albidum, T. ovatum, and T. petiolatum. all the ones pictured here are ovatum. 😉
today i harvested 19.5 grams of bud from my two small, stressed plants. i planted them in 2020, shortly after we moved. one of our neighbours gave me a couple of clones from the plants that he had, which had already started to bud. i put them under lights, and, basically, forced them back into vegetative mode by changing the lights and lengthening the cycle, which made them start sprouting malformed leaves. then they got even more stressed because i had them under lights in the uninsulated garage, where the temperature regularly got down into the upper 30s for a few months, and the plants started turning purple… which is something i have read about, but never actually seen before. i didn’t expect much, but 19.5 grams is nothing to sneeze at. and, if the state of my fingers after harvesting them is any indication, i’ve got some sticky bud here… 😉
post-inaugural smoke-test, indicators are high! 😉👍👍
oh, and it’s legal, AND i have a permit to grow up to 15 plants! 😎
also, the 5 button head screws referred to here, FINALLY showed up… they left pacific NINE DAYS ago… i could LIMP there faster! honestly! i could DRIVE from my house to pacific and back at least 500 times in nine days! do better, UPS. 😒
i got the nuts that fit the screws, i took the loupe part off the old, broken frames, and mounted it on the new, unbroken frames, with entirely new screws and nuts, and washers from the repair kit the denmat/perioptix people sent me. the new screws are TINY alan-key drive… mcmaster-carr doesn’t have philips-head screws that are 2-64… 😒 i don’t actually have an alan-key small enough to tighten them, but i’m pretty sure i got it tight enough with a wrench on the nut side. 🔧
ETA: it turns out i do have an alan-key that is small enough, and i did get it tight enough with a wrench… HOWEVER in my final look-over before i put it back in the box, i noticed something i hadn’t before, which is that the hinge is completely broken, and, while the repair kit they sent me has a replacement hinge, it’s actually the part of the hinge that is a molded part of the magnifier, itself, which means that i cannot fix it, because it is an integral part of the actual optical piece… replacement parts for which, i already know they no longer make. 😒
at this point, it’s still in one piece, and functional, so long as you don’t move the hinge around too much, but the hinge has already failed and cannot be repaired. it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart. 🤬
i also burned a hole in my eyebrow, when i was grinding down the screw so that it wouldn’t poke the wearer in the eye, and i put the frames on to test them too quickly after grinding… 😉
workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop…
there are quite a few nit-picky details i have left out, and some people who helped a great deal, who i haven’t identified, in the attempt to make this less overwhelmingly verbose. sorry.
a few weeks ago, moe asked me if i could do some improvised repair work on a magnifying loupe belonging to her clinic.
what she brought me was a perioptix loupe, which was originally mounted on a pair of safety glasses, the frames of which had broken… and then been not quite repaired (a number of times, apparently) with the surgical equivalent of duct tape.
seriously… why smart people with degrees, DOCTORS, think sticky cloth tape is an appropriate medium to affect the permanent repair of a broken surgical instrument, is WAY above my pay grade… 😕
she also brought me a set of oakley “safety” glasses (i’m not sure if they are actually SAFETY glasses, because you can remove the lenses, and replace them with shaded lenses, which were included), the frames for which would be an almost perfect replacement for the broken perioptix frames… except that the frames are a “skosh” thicker, and thus, the screws that hold the loupe on to the original frames are not quite long enough to fit through the test hole that i drilled in the oakley frames, when i accepted the project.
thus commenced the arduous and frustrating task of finding screws that would fit.
first thing i did was measure the screws. what i came up with is that the screws are NOMINALLY 2-64 threads — i say “NOMINALLY” because they’re REALLY small (although not as small as most pivot screws for most musical instruments), and when threads are that small, unless the manufacturing is INCREDIBLY precise, there are going to be not-quite significant, but noticible differences between what the “standard” is, and what appears “in practice”.
then, i started casting around for somebody who had the correct size screws, reasoning that i’ve already got washers and nuts for the screws, so, if i can find someone who has 2-64 thread screws that are A LITTLE longer, i can save having to buy nuts for them. i figured that places that sell optical equipment would be a good place to start, but they all said that 2-64 is “a lot bigger” than they use currently, and, also, if it’s optical, they measure things using metric, rather than imperial measurements.
after checking with a few optical places, i confirmed that the screws were 1) probably metric, and 2) WAY bigger than the screws that are used in MODERN optical devices…
the magnifying loupe is around 7 years old, and they have already stopped making replacement parts for it. 😒
so, i figured that it would probably just be easier to make the screws myself… because that’s a skill that i have…
however, musical instruments usually do things with imperial measurements (at least, here in the land of imperial meaurements), and i trained as a musical instrument repair technician: i don’t even HAVE a metric thread-pitch guage…
so i contacted a friend (the guy who rebuilt my trombone slide a couple of years ago), and asked him if he had a metric thread-pitch guage, which he did. i brought one of the screws to him, and he told me, with confidence, that it was a 2.4-52 metric thread.
as i said previously, unless the manufacturing is REALLY precise, there can be enough “slop” in the threads that it may actually fit in more than one die, so i went out to find a 2.4-52 metric die, so that i could make my own screws.
home depot and lowe’s, as expected, didn’t have it, and i drew blank expressions from the employees who i asked if they knew where i might get something that small. 🤷
mcclendon’s was a little better: they, too, didn’t have anything that smalll, but they suggested that i go to swift tools, in auburn, which “caters to machinists”. i went down there… and their showroom is closed, due to COVID. 😒 so i CALLED them (from the parking lot in front of their location), and said that i was looking for a 2.4-52 metric die…
and they didn’t know what i was talking about. 😒
they said that there AREN’T ANY standard metric dies that are 2.4-anything. if i wanted a 2.0 die, they had them, and if i wanted a 2.5 die, they had them, but they had never heard of a 2.4 die, and, while they could have one specially made, it would be expensive, and i would have to be sure that it was what i wanted before they could even start on that project, because it would be expensive, and if it wasn’t what i wanted, i would have to pay for it anyway…
reaching the end of my rope, i contacted another friend who has the ability to get just about anything, and, with A LOT of back-and-forth, arm waving, and measuring things with my micrometer-caliper (which measures down to .00001 inch), we determined that it’s NOT a metric screw, that the screw’s outside diameter is EXACTLY the standard for an IMPERIAL 2-64 screw (down to five decimal places) and that all of these people who had been telling me that it was metric were, probably, wrong.
he, then, directed me to the McMaster-Carr web site, where he gets a lot his weird shit, and, sure enough, they actually have exactly the screw i needed… so i ordered a package of five, and mcmaster said that it would be delivered on monday.
by the end of tuesday, i was wondering where my screws were. the UPS web site, apparently, doesn’t know where it is… according to the UPS site, the package left pacific (which is just down the road from us) last wednesday morning, and then the package vanished… the web site now says that it’s scheduled to arrive on friday 4/23, but it still has the package leaving pacific, on a UPS delivery truck, LAST wednesday 4/14, and it hasn’t been seen since, so i don’t hold out much hope. calling UPS is a lost cause: their automated “customer service” robot assured me that a real person can’t help me, if the package didn’t arrive, to contact the sender, and unceremoniously hung up on me without even giving me a chance to speak to a real person.
so, i contacted the sender, who, graciously, sent out another package of five miniature screws, this time by fedex, which arrived this morning. 👍
these screws are, guaranteed, 2-64 screws. the nuts that i have, which are the original, perioptix nuts, SHOULD fit…
but they don’t. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
perioptix, apparently, had PROPRIETARY screws and nuts made to mount their magnifying loupe, just to make things EXTRA DIFFICULT for anyone (like me) who has the audacity to repair one of their products, rather than just buying a new one. 🤬
fortunately, McMaster-Carr doesn’t JUST have screws… and, for some unknown reason, the screws were 5 for $10, but nuts that will fit the screws are 100 for $2.
they’ll deliver them (by fedex) on wednesday. 😒
i took a hit of LSD today.
it was one of two that have been in the freezer for AT LEAST 20 years, and maybe as many as 30… my recollection is that i actually obtained them during one of my “oh my god the world is going to end any day now, and i’ve got to have an emergency stash, just in case” phases, and has been hanging out in other people’s freezers when it wasn’t in my own, and when neither one was handy, it was on my altar in an airtight bag, in an airtight film canister…
but, it was AT LEAST 20 years old, and i really had no idea what to expect.
and, i just realised that i grossly underestimated how old those were… i think i got them after i lived in mount vernon, and before i moved to seattle, which was in the 1993-4 range…? gawd i’m old… 😒
i dropped at 10:00 am, and by 11:30 i was totally thinking it was a dud. then i got a text from lisa, who wanted to come at 1:30, and get their (well, not exactly “their”, but it’s a long and unrelated story) pressure washer, and, i decided that, if it was a dud, then it would probably be safe for me to drive to 4 corners, and refill their gas can (which i had almost completely drained, in my two day attack on the
slime front deck), and i did so, without any perceivable distortion… but by the time 1:30 came around, i was feeling a little something, and i figured, oh, well, delayed release, but it’s something… and by the time 2:00 came around, and lisa actually showed up… well, i had been sitting out on the front deck, talking to the hummingbirds. 😉
after she left, and against my better judgement (but i was high on acid, so pretty much anything i did would be against most peoples’ better judgements), i drove the 3 miles from our house to the back side of taylor mountain TRIPPING MY ASS OFF and wandered up taylor mountain for a few hours.
first, i came across this rock:
it was by the side of the path, not far enough out to be a hinderence or something to trip over, but about six inches from the outer edge of the path, and as i walked by, i suddenly became aware of the fact that that rock has been watching me, every time i walk that path, ever since i first started going there, about three months ago… that rock is AWARE of me… at which point i had to fight off a strong desire to turn the rock upside down, to see if that would affect it’s awareness of me, but then i realised that it would only make it more aware of me, because i was the person who turned it upside down.
then i went up to the washout, where road “A” doesn’t go through any more, and meditated for an hour or so, and played with the tube…
i REALLY want to get up there with my harmonic flute and electronic doodads, but it wouldn’t help an acid trip, and i’d just watch the lights blink, anyway (this alludes to one of the many, many times i took acid in the early 1980s, when i was in college, and thought i would try to make the synthesizer work… and i ended up hooking it up so that every light blinked in a random fashion, but made no noise, and then turned out the lights in the studio, and… you know the rest 😉).
then i walked up to the intersection of road “A” and road “H”, to the place where the beaver pond washed out road “A” (this is the “upper washout” on road “A”, the one i have been to before, is, apparently, the “lower washout”), where, at 4:30 in the afternoon, on a tuesday, i ran into a random guy and his dog, who were out for a walk…
this is like the time a few years ago, when i was on mushrooms at 5 Mile Lake Park, near our old house, and this random jogger came up and asked me if there were sharks in… the… freshwater… lake… 😕
he looked at his watch, and said that he was shooting for three miles, and he was only at two and a half, and walked on up the trail…
on the way down the hill, i recorded an instance of 4’33” which i uploaded to johncage dot org. you can listen to it here.
i made it back to my car around 5:30 pm, and drove the 3 miles back home. it’s now 7:30 pm, and i’m still high… if experience is anything to go by, i’ll probably be tripping until at least 10:00…
i guess it’s a really good thing i didn’t take the other hit when i thought the first one was a dud… 😉
i prefer the gentle, insistent urgings of mushrooms to the “kick upside the head” of LSD, but, when it comes to getting me “out of my mind”, either one of them will do the trick.