Category Archives: art, music, theatre

hermanic phlooote

moe got me a “hindu drum machine” for xmas, and i’ve been playing around with it, but it assumes that you know what you’re doing, and a lot of the labels are in devanagari script… and, while i can read devanagari script, i still don’t know how to make sense of the words that it is trying to convey. don’t get me wrong, it’s an AWESOME gift, and i am going to play the hell out of it, but i’ve got to learn a little bit more about what i’m doing first… not to mention the fact that it doesn’t have a way to hook it up to batteries (yet)…

so, along those same lines, i got an “app” for my “tablet” (it STILL seems really bizarre to me that people say it that way, but… it doesn’t matter) called “iTabla Pandit”, which is, basically, the same “hindu drum machine”, but it’s also got a couple of tambouras and a shruti box, all of the labels are in roman script, there’s an obvious indicator when the taal repeats, and the entire thing is tunable, both individually (you can tune both tambouras separately from the tablas and the shruti box, OR you can tune all of them as a group [which is what i did]).

and it sounds AWESOME with the harmonic flute, by itself, with no electronic help at all… i’m getting ready to test it with electronic “oomph” in the park down the road (because it’s not raining and the sun is out for a change). hopefully something fun will come of it.

ETA – 230208 1500 PDT — yup, it’s a good one… i’ve got to figure out how to run sound from my tablet into my amplifier, but the harmonic flute is quiet enough that i can do without it for outdoor performances. 😉👍👍

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. 😞

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.

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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. 😒

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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. 🗡🤬

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).

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.

🙄

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.

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.

what the…?

i don’t know for sure, because i don’t know what it would be like if i HADN’T taken mushrooms a week ago, but i will say that it’s PROBABLY a good thing i took mushrooms a week ago, because the intervening week was depressing beyond belief.

last tuesday, which was also our 24th wedding anniversary, when i was IN THE MIDST of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i EXPECTED (considering how weak and impotent the immediately previous psychedelic experience had been), i got a text from moe, which said that some unknown thing had happened to rye (currently, our most senior dog, at 11½ years), and he was having trouble walking, moving, and standing — quelle horreur!!

220624 injured rye
220624 injured rye
when moe came home (still in the midst of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i was expecting), rye was barely recognisable: he was curled up and bent over like a dog that was in SEVERE pain, he could barely walk, and he couldn’t even manage the two stairs leading from the garage to the back yard. they had done everything they could at moe’s veterinary practice to alleviate his pain, but they didn’t have a clue, and when they sent his x-rays out to a specialist, there was still no clue why he was in pain, so thursday, he had an MRI, and had surgery on his neck THAT DAY, because it was that emergent. 😱

the neurologist said that they were suprised the dog was walking at all. 😟

he came home from the hospital friday, and has been recovering ever since… which, basically, means that his movement is severely restricted: he lives in an ExPen, in the living room, full time, except for 4 or 5 bathroom breaks every 24 hours, and he sleeps in a kennel in monique’s office. it’s going to be two weeks before he will be allowed to go up and down stairs again, so moe has moved all of her stuff downstairs for a couple weeks.

SINCE THEN, i have had to deal with, suddenly, being in the middle of rehearsal season (rehearsals wendesday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, and so on) which i haven’t experienced AT ALL for two years, AND i’m going to the oregon country fair, for the first time in two years, which TERRIFIES me, even though i really want to go, AND (oh, joy), we’re getting a NEW PUPPY WHILE i will be at the oregon country fair… which means that, when i get home from OCF, we’re going to have a disabled dog, and a new puppy, AT THE SAME TIME

😩😰

i am running low enough on spoons that i actually cancelled busking this week, because i have a rehearsal later that day, and i’m pretty sure that if i went busking, i would be totally useless by the time the rehearsal came around.

quite apart from it being EXTREMELY WEIRD to be high on mushrooms while dealing with emotional people (who don’t know i am on mushrooms), and a severely injured dog, and quite apart from the fact that i am committed to doing something (OCF) that simultaneously terrifies me and is something i REALLY want to do, this entire sequence of events has not been particularly easy or enjoyable for me… 😒

and i’m REALLY not sure how i would have been able to handle it if it were NOT for mushrooms.

just realised…

this year will be the first year that i have been going to the oregon country fair in which i have had ENOUGH cannabis! it’s legal in oregon, and i have a medical permit AND i still have more than a pound of buds from last year’s harvest… 😎

of course, it’s still prohibited by the fair, but everyone knows how much that is enforced. 😉

happy “ride a unicycle” day!

220515 salamandir on a very small bicycle

okay, so it’s not a unicycle… but i’m free-mounting at least once for every 15 minutes of practise… and it’s not often that one gets to ride such a tiny bike. 😉

behind me, you can see hannah, riding a unicycle, between two bars. she is probably no older than 7 or so, and i WATCHED HER learn more on the unicycle, TODAY, than i learned in two years!

it’s so inspiring having young kids in the same class as old geezers.

annual moisture festival…

i got my MF check today… 😒

  • 2022, 15 shares, $750 – $50 per share
  • 2021, 4 “virtual” shows, i played for 2 of them, no payment.
  • 2020, 17 shares – cancelled at the last minute, because of the imminant pandemic.
  • 2019, 13 shares, $520 – $40 per share
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…

as always, they included a note that says “Please don’t approach this as a paid gig or a money-making booking, because there is no financial guarantee…” blah, blah, blah…

the fact is, the moisture festival is STILL one of my “top paying gigs” every year, and the fact that i’m on SSDI doesn’t matter.

at the same time, $50 a share is as high as it’s been since i started keeping track… i wonder if this means that i’m one of those people who has been making money because of the pandemic? 😒

snakez alive busking

220511 Snakez Alive, busking at the Pike Place Market
The team of Thaddeus Spae (banjitar) and salamandir (tuba) performing at Pike Place Market, 5-11-22. Thaddeus said he has a street performance badge since 1975, while salamandir has one from 1978

220511 Snakez Alive, busking at the Pike Place Market
The team of Thaddeus Spae (banjitar) and salamandir (tuba) performing at Pike Place Market, 5-11-22. Thaddeus said he has a street performance badge since 1975, while salamandir has one from 1978

photography by david carlos

the end of (another) era…

the last performance of the 2022 moisture festival happened last night. it was the last performance (that we currently know of) in hale’s palladium, EVER… the palladium has been sold, and there is no word on whether or not the “new owners” (whoever they may be) are interested in continuing to rent their former beer warehouse to a bunch of crazy hippies for a month, every year.

the largest, longest-running comedy/variety showcase IN THE WORLD is now looking for a new venue… rather like Teatro Zinzanni (a long-time moisture festival ally), which has been looking for a new venue, on and off, for 20 years. 😒

in 2004, the moisture festival was held, for the first time, in rev. chumleigh’s circus tent in downtown fremont. it was two days: the fremont philharmonic was to play the first day, and the zebra kings were supposed to play the second day, but because of the fact that the zebra kings were nowhere to be found, and most of the fremont philharmonic was backstage when the show was getting ready to start, the fremont phil played both days. at the time, i was under the impression that the moisture festival was going to be a “one off”, because i couldn’t imagine the city actually allowing us to set up a tent in a parking lot all the time, but little did i know that, already, there were plans being made.

the fremont phil, at the time, consisted of fred hawkinson, on trombone, the leader of the band, and the composer of most of the tunes we played; jeremy reinhardt on baritone and flute, and the composer of the rest of the tunes we played; ted lockery on trumpet, pam mcrae on clarinet, sasha malinsky and alan… um… i don’t remember alan’s family name, on drums (they alternated); john cornicello on keyboard, and myself on E♭ tuba. we were just off playing for billion bunny bash, and the cirque de flambé shows at magnusen park, but before fred quit the band. i remember, specifically, people not being able to find ANY of the zebra kings, and it being about five minutes before curtain when they asked us if we wanted to play, i also remember A LOT of chaos, disorganisation, and people running around like headless chickens… something which never completely went away, even after we moved to the palladium.

the first show in the palladium was when it was still being a beer warehouse: pallets of kegs, empty beer bottles and cans, A LOT of beer, porta-potties for public toilets, and a significant rat problem were among the first recipients of the moisture festival shows. the second year (the first year in the palladium, which would have been 2005) was four days, i believe, and the start of the tradition of the “marathon”, which was, the last show went on until there were no acts left who “wanted” to perform. the first marathon lasted until midnight, and from that time on, until we decided that it was getting to be a bit too much, the marathons got longer, and longer… and longer… and LONGER… the last marathon (year 6 or 7, possibly) started at 9:30 pm and lasted until 6:30 am the next morning… and we STILL had acts that wanted to perform, but some of us had to go to work in the morning, and ALL of us were so tired that we couldn’t see straight. after then, we decided that the tradition of the marathon had outlived its purpose. 😉

after year 2 (the first year in the palladium), i was more convinced that we were going to establish a yearly event.

the moisture festival started expanding after year three or four, i think… primarily because of the fact that, during one of the burlesque performances, an arialist had a “strategic costume malfunction”, ripped off her costume, and continued the performance entirely naked. the audience LOVED IT, but mike hale (the owner of the palladium) was a “christian” and was completely scandalised, although he made it sound a lot more like he was concerned about the city ordinance regarding “titties and alcohol”. 😉 he threatened to have the entire event shut down unless we found another venue for the more “suggestive” shows. 🤣

i made the programs for year 7. year 9 the programs went online, because that way it would be easier to modify them, when (as happened in previous years) an artist cancelled at the last minute, or changed their schedule without notifying anyone. and it made excellent use of the new domain and web site that the event had just purchased. 😉

the 2020 moisture festival was all set to go when the pandemic hit, and it was unceremoniously cancelled at the last possible moment. the 2021 moisture festival was four days of online presentations. i took part in two of them, but it was so totally “not the same” that it was entirely forgettable.

the moisture festival WILL continue… we now have the infrastructure and the network to insure that. what is still in question is how that continuance will take shape.

whatever happens, despite my near-constant griping and moaning about individuals associated with the moisture festival, there will be nothing, EVER that even remotely compares to the moisture festival, as it has been.

🤬

i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬

one week of moisture festival down, one fluffing session complete (also, a term used in vaudeville, to describe preparing the awaiting audience outside the theatre for the show they are about to attend: getting them “in the mood”… 😉), and one more week to go… it’s kinda sad that this is probably going to be the last show in the palladium (and, possibly, the last moisture festival, ever), but it’s good that we were the band that had two weeks this year. i realise that i have been complaining, almost every previous year, that other bands were getting more of the limelight, but it’s good that it worked out this way, and i can say that i’ve been a part of the moisture festival ever since the beginning, when we did the show in rev. chumleigh’s tent in downtown fremont…

i’m getting totally fed up with the former owner of our house: ron zeising, general contractor and owner of a “home improvement” business, who thought that, because he was a general contractor, he could make “improvements” on his (now our) house “on the cheap” and skirting (or outright ignoring) building codes. recently (last month?) we paid $6,000 to a HVAC specialist to rip out and replace ALL of the heating ductwork in the house, because poor design (by ron zeising) meant that most of the heat from the very expensive, top of the line furnace (which was one of the selling points of the house), was going into the crawlspace, and the heating bills were through the roof.

of course, ron never had a problem with the heating bills, because, despite the fact that he had an expensive, top of the line furnace AND a heat pump, which provides central air conditioning as well, ron heated the house with the wood stove, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… 🤷

we just had the last workman leave from rebuilding the “retaining wall” under our deck… and it’s a good thing, too, because, if we hadn’t, the deck would have eventually fallen off. now it is a good deal less likely to fall off, but in order to make it secure, it still needs some work: when it was in the process of being built, ron zeising just piled large rocks, bricks (including half of someone’s chimney, and a large cylindrical concrete footer for a post), and random construction rubble, next to the house, covered it with a thin layer of topsoil, and then built a deck over it… concrete pillars, on top of a thin layer of topsoil, and construction rubble… 🙄 it’s as though he thought that, because of the fact that he was a general contractor, nobody would ever question the work that he did, so he just. didn’t. care. 🤬

however, end result: we got a nice, new, secure, sturdy retaining wall, a couple of new raised beds to grow vegetables, and A LOT of new concrete under the deck pillars(!)… 👍 and yet another $6,000 chunk taken out of our checking account. 🙄

MF: one week down, one to go

220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
as the moisture festival enters its third week of 2022, they have been testing EVERY PERFORMER, EVERY DAY, and so far, NOBODY has tested positive… and there has been only one person associated with the festival who has tested positive, independant of the MF testing, and he tested positive BEFORE coming in contact with anyone from the festival…

and, as everybody has been saying, it’s really great to have a LIVE audience for whom to perform…

but i’m still terrified… not enough to stop me from plating, but enough that it is definitely making a difference in my performances: i totally screwed up the melody for Godfrey Daniels’ tune yesterday… i played the first few notes correctly, and then got totally lost and confused. i picked it up again, a few measures from the end, but, as ALL of my other performances of this tune have been exemplary, that one was a major embarrasment. 😒

one of the unintended results of playing the moisture festival is that i haven’t been able to spend as much time on “twit-turd“, with the immediate effect being that, when i logged in, this morning, there were TWO events which were “trending”, about which i knew absolutely nothing… and the more i read, the less i understood about both of them. 🤨 i’m not giving up on it (because, honestly, it’s the most contact i’ve had with people on the fringes of, and completely outside “my community” since i gave up fecesbook), but, once again, i am forced into a position where i have to examine whether or not these “social media platforms” are, really, good for me… and i get the very strong impression that the answer will be “no”. 😒

not that it’s any great surprise…

sunday (yesterday)

i THINK i MAY have learned to free mount my unicycle! 👍

i went into the last class for this session about 15 minutes early, because i wanted to “practice” before class actually started. i free mounted almost immediately, and then did a couple more “almost free mounts” — i actually mount the unicycle, but i have to abort before i ride away: i figure it’s a “real” free mount if i can pedal at least twice, all the way around, before having to abort, and these were less than two complete rotations — then class started, and i got down to actually doing it… and i was able to break the limit of ten free mounts (after which i said i wasn’t going to count any longer) before the end of class. 👍👍

THEN, i went home to find moe out in the front yard, pulling weeds, and i asked her if she wanted to see me free mount the unicycle, and she said yes… AND I DID IT! 😎 THE FIRST TIME!! 😎👍👍👍👍

now i really have to get started on my flaming tuba… it won’t be long now. 😉

then, later on, i went to Fyodor Karamazov (tim furst)’s wedding party, to play my tuba with a group of musicians who were SPECIFICALLY chosen to play at this party, two days ago. it was a wedding, so there were A LOT of speeches, which meant that we didn’t play music as much as i would have liked (because we had to vacate the building before 1:00 am, otherwise the police would show up), but, strangely enough, it didn’t affect my payment in the least… and, because of the fact that there was ZERO traffic at 1:00 am, it only took me a half-hour to drive home…

but, apparently, i misplaced my regular reading glasses, after the show, so, in order to read the computer screen at a reasonable distance (as compared to a foot away from my face, while squinting), i’ve had to commandeer the glasses that i usually keep in the workshop… they’re the same prescription, but they’re a lot more chewed up, because i use them in the workshop. hopefully the regular ones will show up soon, because glasses are expensive, and i’ve “lost” too many pairs of glasses recently (which means “in the last 5 years”). 😒

rejoice!

they DIDN’T break the screen of my tablet, which means that i picked it up TODAY, and it charges, just like it should! 👍 now i KNOW i’ll be able to use it for the moisture festival!

and, speaking of moisture festival, i got a call YESTERDAY to determine if i was up for playing in a band for tim furst (fyodor karamazov)’s wedding TOMORROW, and, naturally, i said yes… because i haven’t played music for long enough that if i were a normal person, i probably would have forgotten how to do it by now… and the fact that they’re paying me $100 doesn’t hurt… 😉

also, i ordered 12 dozen boxes of Sugandha Shringar Gold incense, from india, at the beginning of march, and i just took delivery of what moe calls “a big box of incense” (but i know better, because i have gotten “BIG” boxes of incense, in the past, and they were more than HALF AGAIN as big as the one i got today)… but it’s for an “old time” incense, which has been around for AT LEAST 50 years, and it’s somewhat rare.

but it is a PRIME example of how “those indian people” use sanskrit… well, okay, devanagari, because hindi is written with the same alphabet, and i don’t really know which one they’re thinking of when they do this… but the insence is called “Sugandha Shringar Gold”, which it says on the english language side of the box. on the other side of the box is what one might assume is the name of the incense in hindi (or sanskrit), written in devanagari letters. if you don’t actually read devanagari letters, you might assume that it is the hindi, or sanskrit equivalent of “Sugandha Shringar Gold”… it says “सुगंध शृंगार गोल्ड” except “sugandha” is already a sanskrit (and hindi) word that means “incense”. “Shringar” is a place name, of a place in india… and the rest of the name? “गोल्ड” is the word “gold”, spelled out in devanagari letters — “GOLDD” — and they do this ALL THE TIME! i’ve seen NUMEROUS boxes of incense, and other things, which have devanagari writing on the box, but are, basically, the english words, spelled out in devanagari letters. they don’t use the hindi words, or the sanskrit words, they use ENGLISH words, spelled out phonetically, using devanagari letters. 😒

irritating!

here we go again… 🙄

i’ve got a zoom class this evening, a telehealth appointment tomorrow, and a moisture festival rehearsal on saturday…

… and my tablet decided to stop charging this morning. 🤬

i got in touch with the technician that replaced the charging port (odd that this seems to happen on an almost yearly basis… odd indeed… 😒), and informed him that it had quit charging again, and he said i should bring it in. so i left an hour earlier than normal, and headed up the east side of the lake to redmond, where the technician confirmed that it was, indeed, a faulty charging port, said that they would fix it on warranty, and ordered the new part. 👍

problem is, i’m fairly sure he DIDN’T also order a new screen at the same time… and this particular model of ipad is NOTORIOUS for screen breakage when you have to open it up FOR ANYTHING… kinda like they had to do last year (and the year before) when they replaced the charging port. it turned into a two week job, during which time the screen of my tablet was BROKEN, which precluded me from using it for ANYTHING… 😒

and that can’t happen this time, because i have zoom classes, telehealth appointments, and moisture festival rehearsals AND PERFORMANCES in the next three weeks. i can get through the rehearsals and performances with my old-school hard-copy music, and the zoom classes and telehealth appointments THEORETICALLY can take place on my phone, but it will be at least three levels of hassle that i would rather avoid, if i had the choice. 😒

moist moisture

the moisture festival is, tentatively, back on the schedule this year. the phremont fill is taking weeks two and four, the sancapators are taking week one, and i don’t know who is taking week three, but it’s probably the naked truth.

moist fest rehearsals are happening, with a surprisingly large number of “replacement” musicians: euphonium, guitar and flute are all new to the phil this year. guitar has played as a substitute for us in previous moisture festivals, and flute plays for the sancapators, so she’s already familiar with the chaos that usually happens. euphonium is a guy from bellevue who i probably know from high school — he went to samammish at the same time i was at interlake — who just moved back to bellevue a couple years ago, and i recruited him from the sousa band. euphonium’s name is tony, and flute’s name is cate. i don’t remember what guitar’s name is, despite the fact that i’ve met him, and played on the same stage with him, fairly many times in the past. (ETA: it’s chris, which is why i don’t remember it… he just falls into the category of “another chris” and gets promptly forgotten, because there’s another chris in the same band… 😒)

despite our regular guitar, stuart, not being available this year, he’s still the fluffing liason, and he’s already said that i and whoever else i can get to play, are welcome to come in and fluff on april 1st. the pike place market has lifted its mask mandate, which means, when the weather gets nicer, i’m probably going to start busking again. for sure with thaddeus, and i’ve got a fantasy of busking with thaddeus on his “banj-itar” and kiki on her “banjo-lele”… it would be a plethora of not-quite-banjos that would add a lot of extra “oomph” to the group.

cirque du soleil

a couple of friends bought moe and i tickets to see the cirque du soleil show “Allegria”, which we used today. i have seen “Saltimbanco”, and “Volta”, and i think i like this one best of all. it is, apparently, “Allegria 2.0”, which is a reboot of the show they did from 1994 to 2013, which, according to moe, was “why there weren’t as many set pieces and why there was a lot more acrobatics…” and, indeed, there was A LOT more acrobatics than i have seen at previous cirque shows. there were stacks of 3 people in several of the acts, and EVERY. SINGLE. ACT. had some variety of “death defying stunt”, from the stack of 3 people that “fell” into a bunch of long poles, which were being held on the shoulders of other guys, and ended up with two of the stack of three people standing ON the poles… and a 4-way “tumble track” that had 8 people bouncing and tumbling over the top of each other… and the guy with the german wheel that started with the wheel flat on the ground, and he got it up and rotating SIMPLY BY exherting momentum with his feet…

220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler - photo by moe
220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler – photo by moe
and the guy that juggled two fire batons, which he lit by passing the fire from one end to the other with his mouth… and the people that did the 3-dimentional acrobalancing dance, hanging from wires in the ceiling… and the contortionist/hand-balancer that, i think, may have been in the moisture festival a few years ago… and the flying trapeze artists… oh my! i don’t know what the original “Allegria” show was like, but this one BLEW. ME. AWAY!

literally… there was one of the “entr’acte” scenes, with clowns, where they created a literal blizzard of confetti that completely engulfed the people who were sitting close to the stage (which included us)… and then, after they had done a little dance with leaf blowers, to get the confetti off the stage, they had people who ran sheets up, over the heads of the front rows of seats, and they blew the confetti on to the sheets, which were, presumably, gathered up and recycled for the next show… there was A LOT of confetti…

and i got a souvenier collapsible velvet top hat, which is something i have wanted for a very long time. 😉

VEWPRF/year-end stuff

i’m slowly rebuilding my music collection. today i added two tom zé albums, from the early 2000s, which are “no longer available” — meaning “the only place to find them is on discogs. one is an album i had pre-cloud-drive-disaster, called “Estudando o Pagode (Na Opereta Segregamulher e Amor)“. the other is one that “just happened” to be available from the same vendor, from two years earlier, in 2003, and it’s called “Imprensa Cantada“. both of them appear in several tom zé anthologies, but the original CDs have artwork that is NOT included in the anthologies, and, especially in the case of tom zé, the graphic artwork is almost as important as the musical artwork in the overall scheme of things. i should be getting another Gogol Bordello CD pretty soon, also

we’re giving away the last piece of ikea furniture that we own, that is NOT shelves, tomorrow… which should be interesting, as we currently have three days worth of snow on the ground, and only a few tire tracks of people driving past our house. it’s the king-size storage bed frame, which means that now we’ve got the adjustable bed frame on the 4-inch legs that it came with (rather than on the 2-inch legs, on top of the storage bed), no storage under the bed (currently), and no headboard (currently). the plan is to get some other form of storage, and a headboard… and, possibly a dresser and nightstand to replace the ones i inherited from my grandparents in 1980-something.

moe is getting “stem cell treatment” on her knees on thursday [UPDATE: WEDNESDAY!!] (hopefully the roads will have cleared enough by then that i can drive out of the neighbourhood). this is to (hopefully) “cure” her bum knees, which currently have no meniscus. if everything goes according to plan, this is going to create “new” padding between the bones in her knee. naturally, “insurance” won’t pay for it, and the only other option — total knee replacement — isn’t happening at the moment because the orthopedist that moe has been seeing is fat-phobic, and won’t operate until she’s lighter than she’s ever been in her adult life. 😒… so the (veterinary) clinic is paying for the whole procedure(!!). alledgedly, it’s going to be a couple of days of being “pretty out of it”, followed by a couple weeks of “light duty”, and then it will develop into an “up to 80% improvement”, which is A LOT better than where she’s been for the past few years.

i’ve managed to stay a lot more insulated from the standard xmas “celebration”, this year, but it’s primarily because of the pandemic, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending any time in the forseeable future, barring a miracle of some sort… and, as we all know, miracles that involve anti-vax mask-holes, and the right-wing, republican’t, fascist, white-supremacist IDIOTS that currently make up slightly less than HALF of the population of this gawd-forsaken wasteland, are, for all practical purposes, totally unheard-of… but, on the plus side, almost complete isolation for the second year in a row, has made it so that i have only had to listen to one, partial rendition of “feliz navidad” this year, so i can’t say that’s all bad.

and i got a theremin for xmas! 😎

blirk

i wasn’t doing anything else, so i spent the day decarboxylating the trimmings from my harvest, in october (more technical information), so now the whole house smells like weed, and i am REALLY high…

so, naturally, while i was waiting for my timer to go off, i made a pretty good rhythm track for the music i talked about a while back, and now it sounds like this:

i still can’t quite get my mind around the fact that it’s 100% legal… astounding!

kick in the brain

1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract

from before the wayback machine… these tracts that i just found, were prototypes for smaller versions, which were originally designed to counter the “occult” graffiti i found in an abandoned house in the woods near bellingham… the same house i found the tail coat, which i still have (although it’s been substantially modified, at this point)… the house was obviously a place where teenage doodlehums gathered to do illegal and/or immoral things, and i wanted to “enlighten” them by leaving bizarre literature in their abandoned hideaway. it was in a section of fairly dense, second growth forest, on the outskirts to the northeast of bellingham… there were some neighbourhoods east of there, along alabama street, but the place where the railroad had been was, basically, second growth forest. not even a driveway to the house. the house was two stories, but when i was there, the second story was not safe (although i did go up there, a couple of times), and there was a well-house with a working well… and about 50 feet beyond that were what used to be a railway. it was a perfect place for teenage doodlehums to gather, mark up the walls with “satanic” graffiti, smoke pot, write graffiti about smoking pot, and dream about having illicit sex with their imaginary girlfriends.

i figured they had probably heard all the standard propaganda from the “christians” (the “satanic” graffiti was all the evidence i needed), and this was back when i was full of fire to enlighten the masses, so i came up with a number of tracts which were left in the abandoned house, in phone booths (remember them?), and traded for chick tracts at the local storefront ministries that bellingham had at the time. the first version of these tracts was originally published in 1987. one of the later versions was published in 1992.

now, the place where the abandoned house was, is a neighbourhood of slightly-more-upper-class tract houses with a trail that, 75 years ago, was a railroad that served the logging community in that area.

derp

since 22 november (a week ago monday), i have gotten 8 incense orders, and i’m back to almost $500 in my bank account, after having been, basically, wiped out in june. i sent out the final incense of the month to my first two incense of the month clients, which means that i have, officially, been doing the incense of the month club for a year, now. my business is as strong and as vital as it has ever been, and i am beginning to rebuild from the cloud disaster in june, but, every day i realise there’s another picture, or document, or bit of information, that i HAD on my old cloud drive. i’m still reeling from the loss of approximately 50% of my music collection. 😒

i’m learning to free mount on the unicycle, which is an important step in learning to ride the unicycle while playing the tuba. i have to be able to mount with no hands, not holding on to anything except the tuba, and i have to be able to ride away, while holding the tuba, without falling down. at this point, i’m ALMOST to the point where i can mount the unicycle with no hands. at this point, i can mount the unicycle with a pole in my left hand, to help me balance. if everything goes EXACTLY RIGHT, i can ride away after a couple seconds of wobbling and balancing on the pole. also, i am pretty sure i have learned how to turn left… which is important. turning right is a lot easier. i’ve been able to turn right for a while now. it turns out, turning left involves looking left, preferably at where i’m intending to go, and adding a little bit of extra “oomph” with my hips at just the right time. who would have ever thought that riding a unicycle would involve looking as much as it involves balance?

tittles

Symbolic Coach Lines
Christian Trees
Economy Whining (or “Economy Whinging” for a more “european” look)
Quipping for Christ
Teachers With Tentacles
Lowest Quality Price Tools
Best Jumbo TV Happiness
Gummy Whores
Overgrown With Underbrush
Hair Salon and Ankle Clinic
Lowest Price on Pubic Hair
Ceremonial Bread Fights
Fart Stand
Rain City Racists
Jutled Boxes
Your Safety is for The Lates
Worship Your Dick
An Imaginary Housing Community
We Make Hydraulic Noises
Bruch, Beeler & Giday, Attorneys at Law
Sage’s Gulag
Jalapeñes
Stortch
Smarmy Pants
Self Hostage
Flimflam Phloem
Acceptable Bones
War To Salvation Church
Can I Ask A State Trailer Park?

yawn, again…

back to nothing happening again…

my harvest is curing, but the trimmings aren’t drying as fast as i would like them to. i’m pretty sure that if i took the screen off of my office window (which i am not currently using anyway), i could speed up the drying process. maybe i’ll do that today.

i went to a concert with moe and her friend lora, a couple days ago. i was chosen at the last minute to substitute for lora’s husband, who said that a concert might jeopardise his recent sobriety (and he was an AWFUL drunk, so i totally agree), and, also, because, that way, i could drive and lora and moe could talk. 😉 it was the first time i have done ANYTHING that “public” in almost two years, and it felt really weird. it felt weird going to the tacoma-dome, and being in the (relatively light) crowd of people getting into the venue… i wore a N95 mask AND my cloth mask, and kept my hands in my pockets as much as possible. it felt weird sitting in the row of seats with a totally strange (masked) woman so close that she was touching my arm, for the two and a half hours of the concert. a majority of the people were wearing masks, but there was also food and drink available, and a significant number of people thought it was “okay” to wear their masks incorrectly (under their nose), which made me feel like they could have easily taken it off and not felt guilty about it. it felt weird, and creepy, and, when i got home, i felt like i had been swimming in other peoples’ cooties. i took a long, hot shower after the show.

the concert was jackson browne and james taylor, with both of whom i am, more or less, unfamiliar. with jackson browne, there were a few songs that, once he started singing, i went “yeah, i know that song” (although there was one that moe said “if you were alive in the ’70s, you know this song”, but i didn’t), and even a couple that i knew most of the lyrics to, but, honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that i was hearing them at a show that featured jackson browne and james taylor, i wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was a jackson browne song… hell, i was under the impression, prior to the concert, that jackson was a black man, because that’s the way i always imagined him. that’s how ignorant i was. 😕 james taylor was only a little better, in that i knew that he was white, and i knew a few james taylor songs — all of which they played, of course 😒 — but with both of them, i never had time to listen to their songs because they were INTENSELY popular, so much a part of popular culture, and, particularly, because, james taylor was married to carly simon, and was addicted to heroin…

i never had a thing for carly simon, but i figured that if he were that famous on his own, and he was married to carly simon, then i’m guessing there was something more than “love” involved in the process. 😒

besides which, at the time, i was a lot more interested in the music of morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, and karlheinz stockhausen, who were — and are — A LOT more interesting… 😉

but the musicianship was outstanding — james taylor was backed up by steve gadd on drums, and bruce fowler on horns, both of whom played with frank zappa — the music was good, the lyrics were as “woke” as i remembered them to be in the ’70s, and more “woke” and more “blunt” for the newer songs, james taylor is no longer married to carly simon, or addicted to heroin…

but i would still have much preferred to see a concert of music by morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, or karlheinz stockhausen. 😉

they started up my unicycle class again. it meets for the first time on sunday, which is also halloween. i have to figure out a costume in which i can also ride a unicycle… also, now i have a much higher possibility of learning how to turn left before the end of the year.

i ordered two “performance masks” on the 5th of october, and they still haven’t been shipped out… but it’s just as well, because it has been raining a lot, particularly over the past few days. the pond has water in it, again, but it’s still drastically low.

yawn

nothing has been happening.

nothing has been happening politically, nothing has been happening socially, nothing has been happening musically, nothing has been happening in regards to the COVID virus… i now have A LOT of “free” time: every other week i have a one-hour appointment with kate, and every week i have my one-hour circus class, but that’s it. 😩

i’ve been spending a lot of time hiking on taylor mountain.

i shipped out two incense orders, today. i’m averaging between two and six orders a month, and, before i got cracked a few months ago, i actually had over a thousand dollars in my bank account… but then i got cracked, and spent it all on replacement hardware and a pile of recovered, possibly useful data.

i have expanded ZIP files for about a tenth of my fonts collection, from the recovered data. mostly TTF files, and just a small fraction of the fonts i used to have. fortunately, my recollection is that my entire >10,000 font library is backed up on CD, somewhere… i’m sifting through the rest of the recovered data slowly, and more or less randomly: it’s totally discouraging to look at this huge pile of recovered data, which took me a couple decades to accumulate, but which is now many, many schrödinger’s cats with random file names, EVERY ONE OF WHICH has to be opened to determine whether or not it’s corrupt, and if it’s not, what general pile it goes in, which all have to be sorted again, later on, and then, probably, sorted at least once more before they’re back in more-or-less the place where they’re supposed to be. 😒

so, it’s something to do, but, literally, i would rather be doing ANYTHING else… 🤬

i ordered some “performance masks” from J.W.Pepper a few weeks ago. they were back-ordered (without my knowledge), and, when i talked to a customer service drone on monday last week, i was assured that they would be shipping out later that week, but i still haven’t seen or heard anything. they’re called “performance” masks, because they look like you’re wearing a mask, but, in reality, the mask has a hole in the front, that your mouthpiece goes through, which makes it practically useless as an actual mask… but the new rule at the market is that the only buskers allowed MUST BE masked, so it’s either wear a “performance” mask, or don’t busk. 😒 but i can’t busk at all, until the “performance” masks are delivered, and, as far as i can tell, at this point, they’re still on back order, and who knows when they’re going to arrive. 😞

blowing my own horn

now that i’ve got a functional cloud drive, i am going through and replacing what i can of my lost music collection, including music that i produced myself.

i have four St. Fred albums on bandcamp, and the only one of those four that were lost on the old cloud drive has not been replaced locally, and that album is The Church of The Pleistocene, which, naturally, means that it has been a few months since i heard it last…

i downloaded it today, and listened to it… and it has held up pretty damn well, considering that it was released in 2018… and i REALLY liked this track, number 14, called “Lamentations”…

in the same way, there are also nine albums of music by And More on bandcamp, which i haven’t heard for even longer (why listen to music i made 30 years ago? i just have it because i made it 30 years ago) and that, too, has stood the test of time admirably. the track is called Pfisteria:

i still laugh when i listen to this… 🤣

(that’s how i know it’s finished music, if it makes me laugh… 😉)

interesting

i’ve been playing around with “yellofier electrified” on my tablet, for the past few days, and i came up with this vaguely spooky “music box” tune which i really liked:

then, because i didn’t have anything better to do, i exported it from electrified, and imported it into audacity, where i doubled the track, and then set one stereo pair to play back 10% slower than the other stereo pair…

and the result was an EVEN BETTER version 👍

oh, alright… 😒

this is an update. what i’ve been doing:

busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉

ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.

hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.

hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬

hope? — dashed?

sorting through the mess of recovered data is heartbreaking.

i’m finding all sorts of stuff that, once i actually see (or hear) a bit of it, i know exactly what it is, and i’m starting to get things organised enough that, some of the time, i even have a place to put it, once i’ve discovered what it is…

but, then… everything doesn’t come crashing down, but…

i haveHAD a CDR album called “We Bore 2“, which was one of my favourites. it was produced in 2003 by Toast & Jam Records, which has, since, gone out of business, and their web site is now a japanese porn site… it was a “various artists” compilation of electronic, experimental, glitch music, and it was AWESOME!

i found a .RAR archive with the .mp3s for “We Bore 2”, and i was, like, “COOL!”… i expanded the archive, and put it in the place it had been taken from in my collection, and went on to the next archive.

today, for the first time, i actually LISTENED to “We Bore 2″…

yeah, all the tracks are there, but track 1 is NOT what was there the last time i listened to “We Bore 2″… and track 2 is also the same way, to a lesser extent… and track 3 is pretty messed up… and track four is mostly there, except for a patch in the middle which is totally missing… and track 5… and track 7… and track 8… and track 9… 😭

pretty much all of the tracks have something wrong with them…

and i can’t get another copy of the CD, because i originally downloaded it as a .rar file…

and, i’m pretty sure (given the huge quantity of .rar and .zip files that got recovered) that more than a few of them are going to have exactly the same problem. 😭

ETA: all is not lost… well, for “We Bore 2” anyway… it turns out i actually have the original CDR for this album… but i’m fairly sure that is NOT going to be the case with a majority of the .rar and .zip archives i have…

sumbunal

i found sumbunal of my music collection, on a huge stack of CDs and DVDs (possibly two, i haven’t checked thoroughly, yet) which i had stashed in the garage, in a cabinet in front of which i have stacked 4 huge cartons of incense… so, naturally, it was the absolute LAST place i thought to look. this appears to be my music backups from 2002, or thereabouts, until 2016 or 17 — when i “moved everything to the cloud” — which means that the part of my collection that isn’t backed up, is, very likely, music that i have on CD (which i can re-rip, if necessary) or music that was in a .zip or .rar archive… and, strangely enough, not many of the .mp3s that are on the recovery disk actually made it, but there’s probably 90% to 95% of the .zip and .rar archives that appear to have made it through… meaning that, when i opened the archive with ark, it opened and didn’t tell me that the archive was corrupt most of the time… 😕 i don’t completely understand how that happened, but i’ll take it.

and, to be honest, there are more than a few albums where i was able to download all but one track from the backup disk (for whatever reasons), so i’m really glad that i actually have as many CDs as i do, because that makes it a lot easier to go back and re-rip one track from an album.

it’s been more than a month since i played music through my stereo speakers. i spent ALL DAY today, listening to music and uploading gigabytes of music to the new NAS. 👍😉

and, TOMORROW, i’m going BUSKING!!! 👍😎👍

i got the data

good news: i got back (most of, as far as i’ve been able to tell, so far) my IOTM club records, including, most importantly the records of who paid when, and what they have received.

bad news: i’ve checked the largest adobe illustrator documents i can find, and they’re all corrupt, which means, very likely, that the artwork for my car is no longer, and when i get a new car (which might be a lot sooner than i expected), i will have to come up with new artwork for it.

i still have A LOT of files to evaluate… like more than a week, of solid 8-hour days, doing NOTHING but evaluating files… possibly as much as a month of 8-hour days. 😒

and that’s NOT listening to music and watching videos… that’s opening files, to make sure that they’re not totally corrupt, and listening to no more than 5 or 10 seconds of the music or video, to make sure that they’re not TOTALLY corrupt, and then rough-classifying the file based on the contents i’ve seen… and then going to the next file in the list.

which, of course, is leaving me with files where all but the last 5 or 10 seconds of music or video is corrupt, but the rest of it is fine, which is almost more frustratingly irritating than if the entire file was corrupt. 🤬🤬

also, more bad news: there were NO .ogg, .flac, .aif or .aup files recovered AT ALL, which means that NONE of the music that i have recorded since 1983 made it. 😢

i MAY still have the cassettes on to which they were originally mixed down, but they haven’t been played for at least 20 years, and i don’t hold out much hope. ken may have some of my stuff, because he is a music hoarder, and i have played music with him since 1985 or thereabouts, but he lives in bellingham. and i can download .flac files from bandcamp for all of the CDs i have made, except for the one that was made right after my brain injury, which isn’t all there on bandcamp… 😒

but, at this point, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging, and i strongly suspect that i’m going to have to re-rip ALL of the physical media i own, which is another couple of months of solid 8-hour days, at least. 😒

and that doesn’t even begin to address the HUGE quantities of music of which i have purchased and downloaded ONLY electronic copies, like the 40+ albums from ergo phizmiz which i have been collecting for AT LEAST 20 years.

it feels good to have created a way out of this mess, but it’s heartbreaking to think of how much quality work i have done that has been lost. 😢

ETA: i don’t know whether this is as good news as it could be, but i got a zip file full of business logos from my web designer, and there are a couple of high res graphics that are, basically, what i used on my car… and i actually found a couple of .eps files (which, i believe, are vector, and native to illustrator) of the graphic on my car… i haven’t checked, yet, because it’s late, and i really should be in bed, but, well… 😒 AND i am, officially, buying a new car (a hybrid, hyundai ioniq), which means that i’ve got to move my graphic, anyway.

woo… and hoo… 😒

they’re starting the process of “permitting” buskers at the pike place market (i.e. they’re starting the process by which one applies for a “permit” to be a busker). 😒

because of COVID, they’re not actually allowing buskers at the pike place market… yet… but they’re starting the process of permitting them, so that when they get the okay from the health department, buskers can, officially, “return” to the market. 😒

but, if my memory serves, they’re only allowing tubas on a case-by-case basis, they’re not allowing any other cup-mouthpiece brass instruments of any kind, regardless of how quitely they’re played (but loud, obnoxious, reed-mouthpiece, brass saxophones are perfectly fine), and they’re not allowing ANY electronic amplification of any kind, for any reason. 😒

oh yeah, i forgot… technically, the “official rules” say “MUTED” tubas… i don’t actually own a tuba mute. very few tuba players i know own a tuba mute. tuba mutes can cost $300. i don’t know of a NON-tuba-player who can even describe what a tuba mute looks like… i’m not going to buy a tuba mute just to play at the pike place market. i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. tuba mutes are ridiculous! 🤬

not only that, but i no longer have a busking partner. 👎😒

so, do i apply for a permit, or not? 😒

😲

so, for some time now, i have wanted to make a reproduction of The Stele Of Revealing, and i got started the other day. but very quickly, i realised that, if i want to make it a “good enough” reproduction rather than a reproduction that would only look good if you didn’t look too closely, i would need to know the original dimensions, and have a reasonably accurate idea of what the heiroglyphs look like, and what the other artwork looks like, and i would, then, need to reduce them from their original size to the size that i ended up deciding i was going to make it — approximately a 40% reduction.

because i’m an artist, i know that, usually (in the absence of photocopiers, or proportional cameras), the tool used to make miniature reproductions is a proportional divider. i have used them before, know what they look like, and know that they can be very expensive. i didn’t want a really expensive one, but i also did not want something that somebody (most likely me) made out of plywood, because it wouldn’t be accurate enough, so i went to ebay, and discovered the exact tool i needed — from the picture, i deduced that it was, largely, the same tool i used in high school, when i was first learning about proportional dividers.

210515 proportional dividers
210515 proportional dividers

they arrived in the mail today. they are… um… not what i expected.

what arrived in the mail was a finely machined set of proportional dividers with sharpened tool steel points, and an engraved scale for both circles and lines. it is stamped “J.H.Weil & Co.” and it came in a velvet-lined case with antique gold writing on the outside that says U.S.C.E., which i take to mean U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… my impression is that, under normal circumstances, this could be as much as a $200 tool, but, because of the fact that it appears to be a vintage, military tool, it could be worth a lot more… this is a tool that is, pretty much GUARANTEED to be accurate to at least one thousandth of an inch… and it cost me less than $50!

so, i just wanted to give a shout out to Next Stage Vintage… they suprised the hell out of me! thank you! 😉👍

and i am going to use it to reduce The Stele Of Revealing… 😲

Evolution Control Committee

“What Would You Think If I Sang Autotune” by Evolution Control Committee.

“Whole Lotta Royalty Payments” by Evolution Control Committee.

i found this book in a “little free library” today… i’m having a lot of fun imagining what it COULD BE about… 😉

The Complete Book Of Meat
The Complete Book Of Meat

victory is mine!

210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe

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. 😒

210421 eyebrow hole
210421 eyebrow hole

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… 😉

the irritating story of the non-standard screw sizes… 😒

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. 👍

except…

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. 😒

meh festival

the “moisture festival” started yesterday. i’m “in” it, as the tuba player for the sancapators and the fremont philharmonic, so, technically, i’m “in” two shows, but i’m not actually in them, and neither is anybody else. basically, this year, the moisture festival is four shows, on april 1, 2, 3, and 4, and they’re all videos that are “streamed” online — which, somehow, means that you have to buy tickets to see the shows “live”, and after a certain period of time, you won’t be able to see them any more, whether or not you have bought a ticket, but it, somehow, doesn’t prevent you (or, at least, me) from downloading the videos to my own computer, once they have been “streamed”, which, somehow, gets around the limitations that they put on them…

there is a lot of modern technology that i haven’t caught up with… i still haven’t completely figured out “podcasts” (apparently you have to have a “podcast license” now? ah, i see: it’s only if you want to play stuff that other people have copyrighted… why bother? 😕), or “streaming”, in spite of the fact that i have already been in one “streaming” performance, and two more are coming up very soon… and terminology like “based”, “stan”, and “ratio” still elude me… but i might as well get used to it, because it’s only going to get worse as time goes on… 😒

we’re having our first post-vaccine house party tomorrow. my understanding is that it’s going to be everybody who works at monique’s clinic (because they’re all vaccinated) coming over to get drunk and sing karaoke… and eat, and have our first official fire in the fire pit… and, then, sunday, after the final moisture festival, a couple of friends (who are also vaccinated) are coming over for dinner… things are… nope, they’re not getting “back to normal”, but, at least, i’m not having to live in fear of republican’t “christian” anti-vaxxers as much. 😐

Add title

snow is mostly gone… there’s still some large piles, where whoever it was that ploughed our street piled it up at the head of the road, and in the ditches, but everywhere else, it’s gone.

210222 gutter overflow
210222 gutter overflow

i had to take a ladder out and climb up to clean out the gutter, in front. it had collected a bunch of tree detritus and, what with all the melting snow, combined with torrential rain, the gutter was totally clogged and overflowing into our driveway… it all ran away from the house, though, and once i cleared the obstruction, the downspout did what it was supposed to do, so that’s good.

i’m the default tuba player for the SANCApators at the moisture festival, this year. the moisture festival was cancelled, at the last minute, last year (because of COVID), and this year, instead of having live performances, they’re releasing some videos of performers that would have been live, except for COVID… and their regular tuba player is ill (no word on whether or not it’s COVID) and can’t make the videos that they asked for from the musicians, so i got tagged. last week i got the parts, and the tracks to play along with, so i practiced for a few days and sent the videos to “doc” sprinsock, so that he can combine them with everyone else’s videos and — hopefully — get some reasonably “together” music out of the whole deal…

When I’m 64 tag – tuba part

but i’m not holding my breath… particularly with the thing that said “Rock” for the style, but the backing track was played as straight as an arrow, with no “swing” or “rock” stylings at all… and that’s what i played, because there was no way to “swing” a part that hadn’t been recorded to “swing”, so… i’m not holding my breath. we’ll see what happens when everybody else’s videos are part of the mix. 😖

no word on the phremont fillharmonic’s addition to the chaos, yet. i contacted kiki last week, and she said she’d heard about it, but is waiting for further instructions from “the powers that be”, whoever that is.

and i think the antidepressant may be working. i’m not sure i agree with georgia doctor, who wanted to boost my prescription back up to the level that was causing me frantic anxiety and restlessness, plus she wanted to add ANOTHER antidepressent — lexapro — to the mix. at the time, i wasn’t sure whether it was working or not, so i said i’d rather wait on the new scrip until i had a better idea of whether the current one was working, and she agreed to hold off… which is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is reinforcing personal boundaries.

and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯

because of her accent, i asked where she’s from, and she said she’s from “africer”… but i can’t imagine a psychiatric nurse-practitioner who has never heard of psilocybin. i said that the “common” name for them is “magic mushrooms”, and she immediately started ranting about heroin and cocaine, and said that it’s possible that they contained psilocybin… 😕

so i still don’t have any solid information about the interaction of bupropion and psilocybin, which is a little scary, but within tolerable limits. and actual mushrooms are still a ways off, yet, so there’s still time to gather more information.

but the fact that there’s some “good” stuff happening in my life seems to indicate that something has changed.

hrmph! 😒

i get my second covid vaccine a week from thursday (210218), but i’m scheduled to play my first concert in a year on saturday the 13th (9:00 pm, streaming to fecesbook, eventually posted on youtube), and, wouldn’t you know it, cliff mass, the only meteorologist moe believes, is predicting 12 inches of snow, starting thursday and lasting AT LEAST through saturday…

and if it snows, it’s almost guaranteed that i won’t be able to make the concert… 😒

a number of things have happened, part 2

a number of things have happened since the last time i posted this — which, admittedly, was less than a week ago, but they’re significant enough to warrant another post.

the first is that i have now attended three weeks worth of circus classes. today i walked the entire length of the tight wire, backwards, with a pole in only one hand… and when i reached the end, it was a surprise. i thought i had two or three more steps to go. yay! go me! 👍

i talked with jo, the coach, about foot juggling, as well… she said they’ve got the doohickey that you lie on to do foot juggling, so… 😉

also, i got confirmation that my spore order was received, and i got confirmation that my order was shipped out, ANDthey’re arriving friday!!!

(woo hoo!!!) 😉

so, i am feeling A LOT more positive, and i still can’t tell whether the medication is having any effect…

AND

it is my understanding that i probably shouldn’t take mushrooms while i’m taking bupropion, because mushrooms are a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and there’s some danger of an adverse reaction to the inhibition of the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine that bupropion does… and i’m not sure how to ask dr. akinyele about this, because of the legality issue, combined with the fact that she’s far enough away from me that she doesn’t have any concept of the political climate of the region in which i live.

(but the spores will be here friday, so i’d better figure it out pretty soon…) 😉

a number of things have happened

a number of things have happened over the past couple of weeks, which disguise whether or not the medication i am taking is actually working. those things are:

  • the actual innauguration of somebody other than donald j. trump, and his actual leaving of the white house without having to be handcuffed… although i’m still hoping that they’re coming later… because he deserves them. 😒
  • i actually GOT the first COVID vaccine (before they ran out of doses 😒) on monday, and i have the second dose scheduled for 18th february.

and the fact that i had to rely HEAVILY on my disability weighs heavy on my conscience. if i had NOT emphasised my disability, i would probably not have gotten the vaccine until march or april, and the fact that i got it means that someone else, possibly someone more deserving, did not get it — and won’t until who-knows-when, because they ran out and nobody knows when they’re going to get more. 😒

  • SANCA opened up for classes! yay! circus! 🤡🎉🎊 i’m getting my regular circus workout again! i had NO IDEA how much that meant to me!
  • the fact that i got my first covid vaccine makes it more likely that i’m going to go out and do stuff like busk, and… HEY! my friend stuart, the guitar player for the fremont phil, is starting up a monthly “dagger moon” concert, and wants me and my harmonic flute to start the whole thing out. bonus! 👍
  • i’ve found what appears to be a reliable source of spores. 🍄 i sent away for 6 spore syringes, four 🍄 of cubensis 🍄 🍄 and two 🍄 of cyanescens. 🍄 i hope to be growing my own mushrooms very soon. 🍄🍄🍄

so, i’ve been taking this “medication” that’s “supposed to” inhibit the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine” in my brain — but who knows for sure what it really does… not even dr. akinyele is 100% sure — but which also causes all kinds of wonderful side effects — which were to the point of intolerable until we reduced the dose, and are still perceptible although not as emergent…

seriously… they prescribe a “medication” among whose side effects are ANXIETY, to treat… ANXIETY… next thing they’ll be telling me is that homeopathy works… 🙄

and i can’t tell whether the “anti-depressent” effects of this medication are improving my mood…

or if the external effects of four years of overt #drumpf and a year of hiding out from covid are finally starting to wear off.

creativity…?

i recorded the tuba part for a collaborative effort to create the panto 2020 “Welcome Song”, but since we can’t actually meet to rehearse, we’re recording the parts, which, presumably, will be together enough that they will be able to be combined together, and then emailed to the people who have come to the pantos in the past.

i experienced the clarinet part, and the “click track”, which was kiki playing the song on the ukulele and singing, along with a metronome. without the click track (which, i’m assuming is the ultimate goal), the clarinet part and the tuba part ended up staying together… mostly… and the times when it seemed like we were going to lose the beat, miraculously, found the beat again in a lot less time than it would have taken if we had been in a live rehearsal.

but it’s really weird playing the tuba part without all of the other parts, only knowing that they will be put together at a later date.

Heirophany
Heirophany
there’s a possibility that thaddeus and i are going to resurrect “Heirophany”, which is me playing the harmonic flute and twiddling with electronic gadgets, and thaddeus playing guitar, and twiddling with electronic gadgets. we released a 12 minute long single — with a fantastic cover, which is a picture of a ‘cello on fire 😉👍 — a couple of years ago, and then didn’t do anything else, but, at this point, we can do it “socially distanced”, and i’ve even been thinking of designing a mask for the harmonic flute, anyway, that will make it so that i can play when it’s windy… only, now, it’s so that i can play while i’m masked… and it’s something where we can play for other people, and, potentially, make some money at it at the same time.

#drumpf still hasn’t conceded, and his lawsuits are getting tossed out as fast as he can file ’em, but, ultimately, i think he’s going to try to make an end run around losing the popular vote and the electoral vote by “declaring” the election invalid, refusing to accept the results, and going to the supreme court (which he has stacked with sycophants) to make the final decision. he has made statements within the past 24 hours that include “just get rid of the ballots”, and “there will be no transition”, and “biden can’t enter the white house without proving that his ballots are legal”, which don’t make it sound particularly like he’s intending to go anywhere. and, while i would like nothing better than to watch as he was dragged out by his heels, kicking and screaming like a three-year-old having a tantrum (which, i have no doubt, would happen, if it came to that), i seriously doubt that any president that comes after that would have any chance of pulling the country back together again any time within my lifetime, i don’t care who he is, or how fast he impliments universal health care and universal basic income.

the end of an era…

Snake Suspenderz – Even Your Best Friends Won’t Tell You

Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey

Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company

Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake

sketch, the drummer for snake suspenderz, died in april of 2019, shortly after the moisture festival, which put an abrupt end to our performances as a band, but there was intense talk of finding another drummer for a few months. a couple of options were tossed about, and one got far enough that we ended up saying that we were going to contact her… but i’m not sure we ever did… i didn’t hear anything about it…

and then COVID happened, and, basically, everything got cancelled, and so nothing was done about it…

and now hobbit has decided that he has to move to kalamazoo, because that’s where his partner, lucifer, has to move, because she has to take care of her mother. lucifer and hobbit both worked at the market, for a large part of their income, and the market has, well… basically, been shut down, except for a VERY few day stall vendors, the high stall vendors, and the restaurants.

even bavarian meats, which has been in the market since before i was born, has closed up shop.

but, because of the fact that hobbit is moving away, there will be no more snake suspenderz, no more peanut envy, no more accidental rhino, and no more busking for me, at all, unless (until?) i can find someone else who plays a treble, chord instrument (strings, keyboard, accordion), who wants a solid bass line… or if i can find places to take my harmonic flute where they won’t chase me away after five minutes… 😢😒

i met hobbit in 1995, when i went to work for micro$lop. he and i were hired helpdesk geeks, and we got together because we also played music… and then it turned out that he and i knew a lot of the same people, and eventually we figured out that, about 15 years before that (1985 or thereabouts), we had been at the same party, at danny shadygrove’s place, and hobbit and my sister (who i didn’t know was there) shared a shower together… at the time we worked at micro$hit, we also played in a band called PropellerHeads (this was before the software called Reason, which was originally made by a company called “Propellerheads” came to be), and, using different instruments, the same people (me, hobbit, and malcolm “malcat” atterbury) were also in a band called Peanut Envy both bands were in existence, more or less, until around 1999, when we all went our separate ways. then hobbit and i met up again in 2004 or so, after my injury, when i started playing with snake suspenderz, an already existing band which was sketch, hobbit, thaddeus and a bass player whose name i don’t remember (because i never actually met him, he had moved away by the time i came on board). i started busking with them shortly afterward. and, when sketch died, hobbit and i resurrected Peanut Envy, and busked as a duo by that name until… march of this year.

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair
190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair

mump…

both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.

there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:

MEOW
MEOWS
MEOWED
MEOWING
HOMEOWNER
HOMEOWNERS

i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…

honer’s meow…

there’s a title.

titles

Flimflam Phloem
Gunko
Ham Maze
Vàsqueeze
Wendy’s House of Pho
Self Hostage
Acceptable Bones
War To Salvation Church
Can I ask a state trailer park?
No Tw Eeze About It
AI Pastor At Your Door
Are you happy now?
Overachiever Acadamy
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before!
Blasphemy Attorney

WEAR EVERY HUGO THEIR YOUR

this is more what i was thinking about

i’ve done some more work with this and now it seems to be going more in the direction i was intending… but it’s got a bunch more work done to it, so i would expect it to at least be different than it was before, and, apart from some more glaringly obvious differences, for the most part, it is the same piece of music… and i like that.

Seven Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined (with a subliminal message)

as you can probably tell, instead of being five tracks, it is now seven, and it has had the addition of the subliminal message, which is somewhat more complex than i originally imagined. the seven tracks are “This is the day”, “The problem with growing boys”, “Sing to jeezis”, “WWJD radio”, “It ain’t over yet”, “Veggie tales – the selfish song”, and “I’m a little weenie”.

yes, i was trying to make a statement with the choice of tracks. no, that is not the subliminal message. keep guessing.

all of the tracks are heard forwards, and only once, with the exception of “It ain’t over yet” which is heard once reversed, and once forward, at the same time. all of them have had significant modifications to their pitch, speed, tempo, and/or a combination of those things, in order to fit them within the required parameters.

still more…

this is not finished, and it’s sort of not going where i intended, originally, but i like it anyway.

originally, i intended it to be A LOT more chaotic, and incorporate at least twice as many source tracks, and then i intended to put a “subliminal message” into it, which you could only hear if you sped the track up about 500 times, and muted all the other tracks…

and played it backwards…

of course, this would be impossible to do, because of the chaotic nature of sound, and the fact that i intended the subliminal message to be on its own track, and whispered, and then stretched 500 times, which would render it, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as silence…

homeopathic music…

which would, then, be completely and totally overwhelmed by the absolute chaos of the other tracks.

bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability.

and what ended up happening, instead, is that the strange stability that is produced by bounded chaotic mixing appeared a lot sooner than i expected, and it sounds completely different than what i had envisioned.

as i said, i like it, but it’s not what i originally set out to create.

and, don’t worry… i haven’t put the subliminal message in yet, so you can relax. 😉

music is frustrating some times, but it never ceases to be fun…

or at least distracting…

anyway, what i’ve got so far is called
200811 Five Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined

which is fine for a “contemporary classical” piece of music, but probably not what this is going to end up being called.

Honour is bestowed on those who deserve it

don’t “honour” anybody, even your parents, if they don’t respect your freedom to be unique. 🐉

more new music

Honour Is Bestowed On Those Who Deserve It

ETA 200811: it’s different today than it was yesterday. if you listened to it yesterday, but not today, flush your cache and listen to it again. it’s different.

at this point i’m going to have to start planning a release, eventually.

Blob Lardstone

ETA: bonus track also using bob larson sound sources: SATAN!

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

Emergency

171007 stairway

Θέληση

No Turning Back

AAAAAAHHH!!! NEW MUSIC!!!

so, i got a bunch of “christian” kiddie records on freecycle. they were actually CDs, but there were about 20 of them, and, usually, i collect these things off freecycle, to protect actual children from having to be brainwashed influenced by them. if they’re really awful, or if i think they have useful sound-source material, i rip them, and, then, usually, i shred and/or recycle them.

this is what happens when i think they might “have useful sound-source material”. 😈

it’s called No Turning Back and it makes me laugh… a lot

pitchers

string ball
string ball

this is my current string ball. it’s about 5 years old, and it already looks different because i’ve added string to it. i use a very loose definition of “string”: there’s some metal cable and a fair amount of plastic in there as well… it’s a “string-like” ball, in that regard, but at this point nobody would know unless they actually unwound it… which, under the worst of circumstances, is very unlikely.

in the past, i have been the owner of a couple of string balls that were considerably bigger… one was big enough that, when i was holding it in my lap, you couldn’t see my head. i’m hoping that this one will reach that size, or bigger, eventually. 😉

outside our new house
outside our new house

our new house has a whole bunch of interesting things that were left behind by the previous owners. i get the impression that i would NOT have gotten along with them in the slightest (they were #drumpf-supporters), but this is one of the things they left behind. it’s better that way.

office
office

this is my office. it’s also the music room.

office
office

music & computers
music & computers

this is the music room part. i’ve got my piano and my sythesizer set up, for the first time since i got married (which was 22 years ago), and, because of the fact that i bought a mixer in the interim, i now have it set up so that i can use the synthesizer (a yamaha DX7) as a synthesizer AND as a MIDI-controller. as a MIDI-controller, i’ve got old, familiar Reason on my laptop, and i’ve got a bunch of stuff that’s MIDI-controllable on my tablet, which i haven’t played with at all, because i haven’t had room to set it up. i got the DX7 a SuperMAX+ upgrade a couple of years ago, which was also after the battery died, so i’m going to have to learn how to use it all over again from scratch, and i’ve got to reload all of the stock noises (which i’ve got, thanks to a MIDI-controlled patch library on my laptop), but that’s part of the “fun” of COVID19 lockdown… i’ve got the time to do that sort of thing…

this is the result of the “shakedown-cruise” of the audio studio, called The Diambola Mikado Fun Pack Mix #1*. it’s made from ONE of the samples in The Diambola Mikado Fun Pack by Ergo Phizmiz, which is taken from his work, called The Diambola Mikado.

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA

last month i was going crazy, so monique took me to see the National Wild Horses Monument in quincy.

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
it was on the top of a bluff overlooking the columbia river, in eastern washington.

milestones
milestones

milestones
milestones

i don’t know why this photo came out so fuzzy, compared to the other ones… but, unfortunately, it’s the only one i got of this particular milestone, so you might have to squint to see it…

200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA
200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA

the other day i had occasion to wander through Celebration Park in auburn. when i first lived in auburn, in the early 1970s, what is now celebration park was a huge, essentially vacant lot that had some abandoned businesses on it. nobody wanted it as residential property, because it was in the flight path for the airport. at some point, in the distant past (before 1960) i think the property had been an airfield, or something like that, but, by the time i got there, that was long gone, as well. in the ’90s, when i was in bellingham, the city bought the property and created celebration park, but it still has a lot of the same aspects that made it a vacant lot, including a lot of wooded areas where homeless people camp, and drug addicts shoot up…

which is where i found this… interesting… little tidbit.

200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA
200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA

200704 Ross Lake
200704 Ross Lake

on the 4th of july, we went on a road trip, so that the dogs wouldn’t freak out because of all the fireworks. we went through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and saw this waterfall.
BOUNDED CHAOTIC MIXING PRODUCES STRANGE STABILITY!

i have been around the sun 60 times
i have been around the sun 60 times

my 60th time around the sun was celebrated on saturday. never, in my wildest imaginations did i ever think i was going to be 60 years old… in fact, my imaginings never exceeded age 40, which means that i’ve been living new and unimagined territory for 20 years now.

we celebrated by having a “gathering” in our back yard. kiki, sasha, stuart, d. barnes and jesse, his son, and hobbit and lucifer, his… partner? i’m not sure exactly what their status is, but they’ve been together for 1719 years or so… and they all brought musical instruments, and we had a “jam session” in the back yard. monique made the german chocolate cake (my favourite), and cupcakes with raspberry butter cream frosting, made with raspberries from our back yard…

it was good to see those folks, after such a long time, and it was really good to play music with them.

* i am MORTIFIED! i read the title as “The Diambola Mikado” and named my piece “The Diambola Mikado…” and then i find out that the name is actually “The Dimbola Mikado”… i’ve already released my mix, and even presented it to mr. phizmiz — who didn’t say anything, which makes me wonder whether he’s just being polite, or whether he didn’t notice… oh GAWD, whatever am i to do??? 😭

creativity… at last!

i finished a sculpture, yesterday.

i’m tempted to call it “Sweet Darling”, because that’s what the first, random person i didn’t know said when i showed it to her…

200625 sculpture
200625 sculpture

but it’s not particularly appropriate, and she was a high school music teacher for 30 years, so it may not be an entirely accurate critique…

200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up

maybe “Bob”-o-phone, or Tele-“Bob”… 😉

the date of up

today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. i got monique a yellow rose tree to replace some of the cat-killing lillies that are in our front yard… or possibly to screen the (finally finished, two months late) fence from the outside dogs… who HATE the fact that, when they come to fence-fight, our dogs go inside, or don’t go inside, but don’t fence-fight, and get TREATS for not fence-fighting… i suppose i’ll let her decide where to put it, but those are the two spots i would choose.

as i said, the fence is finally finished… only two months later than it was supposed to be, but it makes SO! MUCH! DIFFERENCE! i actually watched DJ come up on the front porch (nobody was home but me), and when he got no response, he went around the side of the house, came across the 6-foot fence, and DID NOT come up on the back deck, or start hammering on the sliding glass door! 👍 seriously, i feel sorry for the kid, because his parents are totally overwhelmed, and have only the slightest clues how to deal with an autistic kid… and, apparently (i haven’t actually seen anything, but i’ve heard WAY more than enough to get a good idea), part of the way that they DO have of dealing with him, involves a fair amount of yelling and hitting… 🙁

i still haven’t found a place that i can walk, comfortably, when i’m on mushrooms, but, because of the fact that we’re, essentially, surrounded by state forests, watersheds and suchlike, i’m sure that i’ll find something, eventually. it’s been tough, though, particularly with the voluntary quarantining, social distancing, and constantly decreasing supply, i’ve been wanting to take mushrooms A LOT more than i have, recently.

i’m making a sculpture out of found objects, in a disused gohonzon that i’ve been carrying around for AT LEAST 20 years. so far i’ve used two 11 balls from two different sets of pool balls, a single, spike-heel, patent leather shoe that i found in the parking lot of the hospital where my father-in-law died, a grey ball from a track-ball-mouse-thing, several random pages from a gideon bible, a pair of reading glasses, a couple of old, but new-in-container antenna decorations from ivar’s fish and chips, a fishing lure, a couple of random vacuum tubes, a bunch of organ stops, a bright green, micro-fibre duster, and various parts of an old telephone… and liberal quantities of hot glue. it’s almost finished, but i still have to figure out what to make the “mouth” out of, and i’ve got to take apart the phone to get the cradle for the receiver out of it, because that’s the part that i’m using. i’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks now. it feels strange to be “creative” after such a long time. but it feels strangely like home. it’s really good to have a workshop that i know where everything is (even though i’m still unpacking stuff), and not have to move stuff out of the way, or figure out where to put the other unfinished projects before starting.

it’s taken almost four years, but i think the united states is beginning to realise that, possibly, electing drumpf may have been a mistake… although we didn’t ACTUALLY elect him, the electoral college did that, but that’s an entirely different story. and it’s taken the fact that drumpf WAS IMPEACHED, along with 150,000 needless deaths from COVID19 (and climbing hourly) because of his incompetence, constant, blatantly overt lying, corruption and crony-ism, and weeks of protest over dramatically increasing police brutality… and we’re still not getting rid of him and reversing course on everything he put in place, we’re just talking about the possibility that, maybe, it might have been a mistake to elect him. 😠

and it doesn’t look like, if he’s actually voted out of office in november (which there is still a signifiant probability that he won’t be, for one reason or another), it’s going to get significantly better any time soon, despite the fact that, IF he’s voted out of office, the replacement will be a democrat. joe biden is the presumptive democratic candidate, and the only reason why joe biden is looking AT ALL good, at this point, is because drumpf is looking so PHENOMENALLY awful. joe biden waffles too much on things like cannabis and “black lives matter”, is less than exemplary in his recollection of his personal contributions to history, has a tendency to get confused and/or forget what he’s saying which, some have said, is a precursor to dementia, and he has a creepy, huggy, kissy, fondling attitude towards, especially, younger women and girls, that makes my skin crawl. 😖 unfortunately, from my point of view, the only logical candidate is vermin supreme, and if this weren’t such an important election for drumpf to LOSE, i would vote for him without reservation.

moisture?

due to the current almost-pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID19, the moisture festival has been “postponed indefinitely”.

it’s probably a good idea, since washington state is one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak in the united states — as of the last time i checked, there have been between 12 and 14 deaths from coronavirus in washington over the past week — and we’ve got people travelling in from, literally, all over the world, so postponing the festival is definitely the right thing to do…

but panic and disinformation, both of which are running rampant, currently, are just as, if not more dangerous than the coronavirus itself. and, naturally, both have been massively exacerbated by the dimwitted orange buffoon who currently occupies the presidental office…

just more reasons why i wish i had died when i had the chance… 😒

moisture + anhedonia

now there’s 18 and possibly 19 shares: Peanut Envy is going to be fluffing at least one night, and there’s a rumour that Snake Suspenders — as a trio, or, possibly with a fill-in drummer — is going to get at least one stage slot.

and, i never, in a million years, thought i would be able to say this, but i have been, essentially, commanded to take mushrooms, by what passes for a doctor in my life these days… except for the fact that it’s been snowy for the past couple of days, and more rain is forcast; my house is falling apart — currently everything that is usually in the closet in the master bedroom, is in the living room, while the closet is gutted down to the studs and rebuilt, to get rid of the mold and moisture problems; and, friday, moe is scheduled to leave for (ETA: 200117 – denver) orlando (or some gawdawful place like that) and won’t be back until wednesday.

which means that, taking my thursday unicycle class into account, it’s entirely likely that a week from friday is going to be the first day that i have to take mushrooms. 😒

moisture

2020, officially, 17 shares for the phil, plus whatever shares i get for fluffing…

we’re FINALLY getting the second week, instead of some other band…

and they still haven’t decided that ettinger’s band is just going to do all four weeks, which indicates that there’s still someone with their head screwed on straight who’s in charge, although who knows who that person(s) might be…

we’ll see what it all shakes out to once it’s over.

  • 2019, 13 shares, $520 – $40 per share
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…
  • 2010, 13 shares, $520 — $27 a share
  • 2007, ?? shares, $820
  • 2006, ?? shares, $790

the meat play

i don’t remember exactly when this was, but it was the last year i participated in Drunk Puppet Night, which, i think, was in 2007 or thereabouts (the earliest link i could find was 070111, but that was after at least one successful performance in 2006). the place was the Columbia City Theatre, the other voice was Josh Okrent, the MC was Noah Mickens, and the video was shot by some nameless, but highly inebriated person from the audience, and stabilised by Rob D’Arc:

the original version, They’re Made Out Of Meat, by Terry Bisson, was published in Omni magazine, in 1990.

calm, still no storm… weird…

still calm, still a few “false positives” which are easily dealt with, and forwardable almost immediately… ‼👍 but no “bitcoin sextortion” spam since 191202… and the record is currently held by 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ, who i last heard from on 191127, who spammed me four hundred eighty-seven times

spam assassin has, apparently, figured out a regex (or something) for capturing bitcoin addresses, so after 191127, there have been no bitcoin sextortion spams that have NOT been labeled as ***SPAM*** by spam assassin, which makes them a lot easier to filter out.

but it’s weird, because, even though it has been almost a week now, waking up in the morning and NOT having two or three DOZEN spam messages to process makes me nervous that something else may be happening to all of those messages, and, potentially, legitimate messages, as well, and i have no clue what may be happening to them, because nobody other than me is even aware of the fact that they’re not there any longer. 😕

we started the panto. it’s Jack and The Beanstalk… i don’t remember whether this is the first panto we did, or the second panto we did, way back when we first started doing pantos, 17 years or so ago… but it’s largely the same script: different actors but the same characters… and no simon, but he hasn’t been involved since he got drunk, did something which he wasn’t supposed to (sexual harrassment? stealing stuff? something that only drunk people do… 😒), and was banned from the palladium, a few years ago. we did the first four of 20 performances, last weekend, and only missed one music cue: half the band started a half a measure before the other half of the band, and none of the singers came in at the right point, but we recognised it almost immediately, and kiki said “wait, can we start that again?” and everybody came in on cue when we tried it again… and there was one place at the end of the panto, where the giant chops down the beanstalk, and the ogress (represented by a puppet) falls from the castle in the sky, along a zip-line, to the back of the palladium. but, this time, the doors to the castle opened, but no ogress came out… so we just continued, where the ogress (this time, the real actor) then “falls” back up to the front of the stage, and has a few lines… and then the puppet ogress decided it was time to fall… 🤣

but, all in all, the panto is going well.

music

there’s this guy who makes music that i really like. he goes by Dominic Robertson, or Ergo Phizmiz, and he’s REALLY prolific: he’s got AT LEAST 40 CD-length albums, plus a whole bunch of soundscape/radio-theatre-like stuff, including a 12 hour 45 minute piece called The Faust Cycle which i haven’t listened to in its entirety because… well, it’s 12 hours long

he wrote me to say that he is “running this radio station at the moment” at Wolverton FM, and wondered if he could broadcast my CD from 2015, I Breathe At It, which i put up on bandcamp and promptly forgot about… 🤩

i didn’t really forget about it, because i always carry a few copies of the physical CD with me, especially when i’m busking, but i forgot i put it on bandcamp, which is, sort of, the way bandcamp is supposed to work… sort of…

the only thing better than writing music and playing it on the radio yourself, is writing music and having it played on the radio by an artist you respect, because he really likes it… 🤩

before the mushrooms kick in…

#drumpf is in the midst of impeachment, but it doesn’t appear to be making a whole lot of difference (thus, the mushrooms), but there have been some good things happening.

i have been getting A LOT of incense orders: 13 since the first of october, compared to 5 or fewer per month from january to september. also, i’ve gotten more orders from england and germany, since the first of october, than i have in the entire year previous. i still don’t entirely know what’s happening, but the end result is that i’ve now got more than $4,000 in my hybrid elephant account… which is somewhat startling…

191102 moe
191102 moe
last weekend, moe and i took a mini-vacation to san diego, for one night. ostensibly, moe had to rack up enough airline miles to qualify for “gold status”, because she has been travelling A LOT recently — mostly because of her newfound notariety as the author of a revolutionary book on animal behaviour — which, naturally, means that i have to stay at home and look after the pets.

seriously, folks… i’m married to a famous author! this week, she’s staying at a hotel in times square! it’s probably about as close to famous as i’m ever going to be! 😎

so moe decided that she would find a pet sitter and we would go off on our own (which i really appreciate). she chose san diego because she has been there before, and i haven’t, but i realised that san diego is the home of not one, but two outlets of the Village Hat Shop, which is where i bought my red fedora, and it is also home to the naval amphibious base coronado, which is a building shaped like a swastika.

i saw where it was when we were flying in, but i didn’t actually see the building because we were at too shallow an angle, and you pretty much have to be directly overhead to actually see that it’s shaped like a swastika…

so we flew to san diego to go hat shopping. i bought a pork pie made out of paper (a paper pork pie), and exhibited a great deal of self restraint becauuse i really wanted to take home about half the shop.

we actually stayed on coronado island

Hotel del Coronado - you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.
Hotel del Coronado – you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.

we stayed in a hotel room that is so “far above our station” that i almost got a nosebleed. 😉

and we flew home the next day, which was sunday.

i went busking yesterday, which was good, despite the fact that we only made about $20 a piece for 2 hours of busking. today i took two packages to the post office to ship out, and went to the dispensary, where i spent it all on weed and weed-related products.

and no w m y jmushrooms have kikckedk in ahd i heeed to be g oijn go ut for a wal,,k oris oemething lll…. 😁

2019 panto banner

5’x7.5′ 2019 panto banner, normal-sized cat, for scale.

i got the green light to print the banners on tuesday. this is thursday…

i’m REALLY impressed: they took our artwork (me, norma, and mimi) and printed it at 300dpi on a 60″x90″ banner, and they did a GOOD job of it in a VERY short period of time: i sent them the artwork on tuesday, and, according to their web site, they had everything done and it was shipped by wednesday evening… it didn’t actually get to me until thursday morning, but even that is a lot faster than i was expecting… and two 5’x7½’ banners for $155 is astounding… seriously, i was expecting them to be at least $155 A PIECE… 👍‼‼

update to the update.

chris came over to talk about printing.

he actually convinced me to make some minor changes to the back of the postcard: i changed one typeface to bold, and increased it by one point.

it was more than i should have done, but i wanted to seem like i was giving in to at least one of his demands.

and the only reason i didn’t tell him to take the finished files and make the changes himself is because i’ve worked with him for a long time, and, allegedly, he’s my friend.

but, honestly, it seems like he has drunk the kool-aid a little bit on this one.

however, one way or the other, the postcards are currently at the printer, so no further changes can be made. and, as they’re getting 5,000 of them, there’s a good chance that there won’t be a second run.

still don’t know about the poster. leah has already printed some — who knows how many — so there might not be any more. 😒

i should update this thing again…

the most recent thing is that i have “volunteered” to help make the artwork that is going to be used for this year’s panto: the program cover, poster, postcard and banner. i put “volunteered” in quotation marks because it was presented as a fairly straightforward job that has turned into a nightmare of emails between me and norma, on one side, and leah and the steering committee — who pretty much don’t know what they’re talking about — on the other side… which i would very definitely NOT have “volunteered” for, if i had known about it ahead of time.

it started with me and norma. we, plus mimi, produced the artwork for last year’s panto (to great success, i might add), and we started out to make it largely the same…

then leah got involved. leah is the “publicity manager” this year, and she has very specific — if not outrageously wrong — ideas about how the artwork should appear. leah also set a deadline of october 3rd for all of this to be done, so that i could send it to the printer so that we could have posters and postcards by the first week of october.

on the first round of feedback in which leah was involved (third week of september), one of her “suggestions” was

Remove the Fremont Players website and keep the brown paper tickets (if people google us, they will find our web site)

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

she also wanted me to remove the fremont players’ graphic logo, remove the year, reduce the amount of text, and “integrate other stylistic suggestions from the steering committee”, who, like i said before, have NO CLUE what they’re talking about.

so, norma and i ignored about 90% of their suggestions, did what we could to placate leah (including taking the graphic logo off the front of the postcard and putting it on the back, faded behind the text so it’s “not noticible”, and, after a few more “back-and-forths” which didn’t include leah, we came up with what we thought was finished artwork.

meanwhile, on october 1st, leah wrote to me, asking how much it would cost — PER POSTER — to print them. this is a very complex question, which has a different answer based on whether you are using a small, local print shop (like the kind i worked in for 20+ years) or a large, nation wide printing house (like the kind i use these days), and if you are using a large, nation wide printing house, how much posters cost depends on whether you want a small number or a large number.

i tried to explain this to leah, but she was more concerned with the fact that

If I’m reading this correctly, 150 posters cost $210 but 250 posters cost only $40 more and ordering 4000 postcards is $465 but 5000 is $125 cheaper??

to which i responded “that’s right.”

i know, it’s weird, but it’s how large, nation wide printing houses do business, and it appears to work for them. you can’t get different specific-size jobs unless you’re willing to pay more than you would if you get an amount that the printers produce, which is usually more than you want, but “per poster” it comes in WAY cheaper than if you get a different, specific-size job.

so, she approved the artwork on october 2nd, and on october 3rd, she said that i should hold off on contacting the printer, because she wanted to see if it was possible to get an exact size job for a cheaper price.

to which i responded

yes, you can probably get cheaper prices from somewhere else, but keep in mind the quality of the printing i provided last year: posters on 100lb gloss stock, and postcards on 16pt gloss stock with UV coating. i’m pretty sure you’re not going to get anywhere close to the same quality anywhere else, for anything close to the prices i have quoted.

which was ignored… 🤦

a couple of days later, she wrote asking for the high res files, because she had found a “digital printer” (read “photocopy shop”) who would do EXACTLY the size job she wanted for half the price (on much lower quality paper, but she doesn’t know the difference).

so i uploaded them to dropbox, and washed my hands of the whole deal. 😒

it turns out that she had something printed — i still don’t know whether or not she used the correct files (if i had actually been there, and she had shown up with printing from the wrong files, i would have walked out and never gone back… 😒), but my guess is that either she didn’t use the correct files, or she whipped something together in microsoft publisher (or something like that) and used that instead.

then, on october 9th, i get a request for more changes to the postcard. apparently, now, they actually want the date on the front of the card.

i respond by telling maque that they have the high res versions of the artwork, and that they are welcome to make whatever changes they like to the card, BY THEMSELVES, because i am done with this job, and there is a very good likelyhood that i will not be available to “help” again next year, or going forward, because i felt like it was too much work for too little actual gain.

then, yesterday, i get a call from chris huson. he wants to meet me to discuss why i am so upset with the printing process. actually, he SAYS he wants to “discuss further changes” to the postcard, but i nip that in the bud right away.

i explain exactly what i (and mimi and norma) did, and exactly what leah did. i show him emails from leah. i show him the finished artwork — which he says doesn’t look like what leah had printed. i explain about the confusing pricing, and the quality differences, and how none of this seemed to make a difference to leah.

it turns out that leah actually asked chris to take over managing the artwork portion of the job. given what chris already knew about leah, and about the fact that i was upset about the way this whole thing was working out — AND because chris is on the steering committee AND the board of directors, he made the executive decision to take over managing the production of the artwork.

he’s coming over tomorrow to finalise the “already finalised” artwork, to talk about run amounts, and the schedule of when we might have things.

——

from the time i was born until the time i finally escaped my parents’ house, when i was 20 or so, the primary message i received, over and over, was that i was not good enough, that i would never BE good enough, and that, unless i worked VERY hard at “being normal”, nobody would ever like me.

it wasn’t always very subtle, but that was the underlying message, regardless of what i did: they said they were “proud of me” when i won awards, but they refused to do anything to help me win more awards, and shot me down every time i thought i might be able to succeed at doing… pretty much anything…

and when i wasn’t winning awards for playing trombone, or doing magic shows, i didn’t even have a name: i was “the crummy child”. oldest by 6 years of four children, the other three of whom were born two years apart, starting when i was 6, then 8, then 10, when they got old enough to realise what was happening, my siblings called me “the crummy child” as well. when my first younger sister was born, i quickly faded into the background. after that, the only times anybody noticed me was when i was winning awards or when i was getting into trouble.

——

this whole business of working with leah brought all that back in one fell swoop: regardless of how good the art was, it wasn’t good enough. 😠

it has begun to be worked out, now that chris is more involved than he was before, but i’m still quite shaken, and stirred up (at the same time) by this whole fiasco.

art coming…

i’ve had this bizarre feeling… like i’m about to create something.

i’m not sure what it’s going to be yet.

i’ve put together some outrageous beads that are begging to be made into something exotic and elaborate.

i’ve also got the feeling that, perhaps, i’m going to do something in the workshop… where i’ve already got at least two art projects that are in the process, but haven’t been actively worked on in a year or more. i also keep feeling like i should be carving something, possibly wood or stone, but, again, i’m not sure exactly what it’s going to be.

i don’t get this feeling often.

it’s like an itch on my back that i can’t quite reach: the more i scratch around it, the more intense it gets.

and…

and, like magic, the final decision has been made that we are, in fact, NOT going to yakima.

100% guaranteed, no changing our minds this time, no going back, it’s finished, done, over, the decision has been made.

the guy sent us the contract. it doesn’t have any of the changes that we discussed when we were in salem, and he hasn’t even tried to answer any of the questions we had, or addressed any of the demands we made after coming back from salem.

so, we’re not doing the yakima gig.

period.

PHEW!!!‼‼‼

meanwhile, my compact mic stand arrived, which means that now i can take my tuba, and my rolling tote, and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE, with AC power not required. i can also take my harmonic flute and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE…

my 8’x8′ bright red pop-up canopy arrives tomorrow, and that, combined with the massive quantities of aluminet shade cloth that monique just acquired for me, means that i can set up a rudimentary stage with some protection from the wind and rain.

on the other paw, we had an okay set, and an OUTSTANDING set at the pike place market today. the okay set brought in $9 a piece, and the OUTSTANDING set brought in $29 a piece.

we only did one day’s worth of performing, for twice as much time, when we were in salem, where we brought in over twenty dollars.

i agree with hobbit, that performing for the casino, where deni actually works, would be an outstanding gig, but he’s SO FUCKING DISORGANISED that i doubt it’s ever going to happen in reality.

arf! 🤬

the word that i just got is that we are, indeed, going to yakima.

i don’t have any more details, yet, however:

1) the guy who complained about us not being colourful enough is eric. eric is the guy we were supposed to contact when we got to salem, but when we got there, and called his number, we were informed that he no longer works for the oregon state fair, and we should call someone else.

2) eric is also the guy who was supposed to be responsible for procuring the signs that didn’t exist at the oregon state fair, a fact which cost us a fair amount in tips that didn’t come in because (as was clearly demonstrated) people didn’t know that we were NOT being paid a substantial amount by the fair to be there and entertain them. to counteract this for yakima, we demanded to be paid $2,000 if yakima had signs, $2,200 if they didn’t have signs, and $2,500 if they said they would put up signs, but don’t actually do it.

3) deni apparently “went to bat” for us, and got us hired in spite of eric’s complaints that we weren’t colourful enough. whether or not this means that the issue of the signs (see item 2) that we put into our list of demands (or, for that matter, ANY of our list of demands) has been met remains to be seen.

part of this is because hobbit is so broke that busking to bring in some money NOW is more important to him than clearing up questions such as this. i trust hobbit — more or less — so i’m fairly sure that he wouldn’t deliberately put me into a situation which, ultimately, would leave me screwed, but, because of the fact that he’s so broke, i can’t be 100% sure, and even if i was 100% sure that hobbit won’t screw me, i still have significant reservations about deni, and i’m actually fairly sure that eric would deliberately do things to fuck with me, knowingly or not, simply because he has done so in the recent past. 🤬

so… whee… we’re going to busk for 10 days in yakima. woo. 😒

hopefully it will be more “productive” than salem was.

woooof…

so the feedback that we got from deni, regarding the oregon fair was that we “weren’t colourful enough”…

190902 not colourful enough
190902 not colourful enough

this is a selfie i took on the last day of the fair.

i was wearing my red hat, blue sunglasses, a rainbow tie-dyed hawaiian shirt, a multicoloured tibetan vest, a kilt with a bright purple band, PLAYING A TUBA AND SITTING ON THE GROUND‼‼‼

if this isn’t “colourful” enough for him, i’m sorry, but that’s all i can do… 😒

we’ve emailed deni with our “list of demands” for the yakima fair. he hasn’t responded.

he has until thursday, which is a week before we would have to leave for the yakima fair.

if he doesn’t respond before then, we’re not going, which would be 100% fine with me.

if he does, we’ll have to see what he has to say about our list of demands before we’re going to decide.

i’m not holding my breath.

woof!

i got back from the oregon state fair yesterday. things went as follows:

we left at approximately 10:00 am, the morning of thursday, august 22nd, on our way to salem, oregon. on our way, before we got to the I5-I205 split, just north of vancouver, washington, we stopped to meet deni, the guy who hired us to busk. we picked up a preliminary check for $500, and got some advice concerning our appearances — “shave yer scruff, this is a family-oriented show”, and “be colourful”, were the gist of it. there was no inkling of how absolutely pointless this would be, but we were blissfully ignorant, and pressed on.

we got to the fairgrounds and almost immediately discovered that the guy we had been told (by deni) to contact, was no longer working for the fair, and we should contact another guy, who turned out to be joe, but he wasn’t available, so we proceded to our hotel.

the hotel had two criteria: it had to be “convenient”, and it had to be “cheap”. it was both of those things. we were, literally, less than a mile and a half from the fairgrounds — i walked almost the entire distance the first morning we were there, and didn’t realise it because i decided to go back before the road curved around so that i could see the fairground. it was also “cheap” in that it cost less than $900 for an 11-night stay with two beds… but it wasn’t particularly clean: the kitchenette and the refrigerator had mysteriously consistent yellow stains, the shower-curtain rod looked like someone had tried, and failed, to do pull-ups on it, the shower curtain itself was infested with black mold, the sheets and towels were stained, and the staff that i interacted with, with the exception of the lady who checked us in, and a different lady who checked us out, were surly and inconsistent, yelling at us for smoking on the breezeway outside our room, but smoking, herself, in an area that has a sign designating it as a “no smoking” area. for a hotel that had two criteria, however, it fit the bill adequately, and we didn’t spend much time there, apart from sleeping, anyway.

we were supposed to show up at 10:30 am, friday, for indoctrination an important meeting with joe, where we were going to be shown the fairgrounds, the “green room”, get our ID badges and parking permit, and other important stuff. the GPS told us to take 17th ave. to the “red gate”, but 17th ave. was blocked off with a sign that said “vendors exempt”, and we had been told that we were “vendors”, so i pulled around the barricades and was immediately confronted by a harried woman with blonde hair, who said i couldn’t go that way. i said “we’re vendors”, to which she responded, “you can’t go this way” and proceded to give us directions that took us, essentially “around the block”, so that we were approaching from the other direction. we thought it was a little odd, but we didn’t have our ID badges or parking permit, so i said “fuck it” and drove around the block… and, it turned out, that it was, in fact, to the other end of 17th street, and we encountered the “red gate” almost immediately… but we didn’t have a parking permit, so the drone wouldn’t let us park in the VIP lot, which was where we had been told to park. we parked along the street, and inquired at the “red gate information booth” — it said so, with a big sign that could be seen from the other end of 17th street, which caused similar sorts of confusion for two more days, until i decided not to deal with the situation any longer, and drove around the block without even stopping to discuss the matter with the harried looking woman any longer. eventually, we were told, that 17th street is only one way, during the fair, but there weren’t any signs indicating that, and there were other vehicles travelling the “wrong direction” on 17th, but, apparently, WE were “not supposed to”… which is one of the reasons i gave up trying to get a reason out of anybody…

anyway, we parked, and, eventually, met up with joe and brian, a magician, who had also been hired by deni. there was supposed to be a third guy, pug, but his car had broken down somewhere outside of salem, and he was still trying to get there, so we did the orientation without him. joe piled all of us onto a “gator” — basically a large, motorised, all-terrain tractor/cart thingy — and showed us some places we could, potentially, busk. he also showed us the “green room” which was an unlocked and unguarded room at the back of the stadium, where he said we could store our instruments…

fat chance…

dole whip
and then he took us back to the red gate, and gave us our parking permit and our ID badges, and set us free to decide where we were going to busk for 4 hours. we decided on the last place we looked at, which was across from a dole whip booth, in a place where, we figured, we would get A LOT of traffic, and we were not disappointed… however it was also right behind the big stadium, and about 50 yards away from another stage — the Spirit of Oregon Stage — both of which had EXTREMELY loud bands at what seemed like random times, sometimes overlapping, and, while we COULD busk there, we, literally, couldn’t be heard most of the time…
JIGGLE FOOT!!!
and that’s not to mention the “Jiggle Foot” devices — enormous, brightly coloured feet, barrels, or logs, in which one puts quarters in order to cause a platform attached to a “magic-fingers”-like thing to jiggle, allegedly “rejuvanating” your feet. we had to do some creative re-imagining of how the jiggle-foot devices were plugged in, in order to have enough power for our amps, and for the jiggle-feet. and then one of them broke: first it jiggled REALLY LOUDLY, and then it stopped working at all, which caused many people to complain about it, which caused the fair security guards to come around, discover our creative re-imagining, and summarily unplug our amps, so that, even when there weren’t bands playing, we couldn’t be heard above the crowd noise.

and then, joe disappeared, and was replaced by britanny, until saturday the 31st, when he showed up again.

Howlin Hobbit and Washboard Willie
Howlin Hobbit and Washboard Willie
somewhere in the chaos, hobbit heard some music that he found familiar, which, it turned out, was being made by a fellow named washboard willie, who hobbit busked with at the pike place market, 30 years ago. every day after that, we were visited by washboard willy and his rig, as they wandered by.

we put up with the noise until sunday the 25th, when we requested a different place to play, as we were pushing what we thought was an 8:30 closing time (which turned out to be incorrect, yet another screw-up), and we had only JUST completed our “contractual obligation” of 4 hours of busking. we were given the opportunity to busk under a tree, in the vicinity of a “dippin’ dots” booth and the booth of a hmong fabric artist, and right under the uphill slope of the northwest terminus for the “fair lift”, the oregon state fair’s answer to the “sky ride” from the washington state fair. there wasn’t quite as large a crowd of people constantly going by, but at least we could play without getting blasted away by disco turned up to 11…

Peanut Envy on the Fair Lift
Peanut Envy on the Fair Lift
monday the 26th was a lot more relaxed. we had the pop-up, but we didn’t need it, because of the shade from the tree. i asked, and was informed that they “would allow” us to take our instruments on the fair lift, so, tuesday, we did our first set on the fair lift, which was kind of amusing, although it was more than a little cramped.

Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift

by wednesday the 28th, it was pretty clear that we weren’t making ANYWHERE NEAR as much in tips as we could have been making at home, at the market, so we made some signs to encourage people. that was when we found out that, in spite of the fact that we had been assured otherwise, and we had actually submitted a “publicity photo” for them, there actually WERE NOT signs at the gates, indicating our presence, and suggesting that people who encountered us give us money in exchange for us entertaining them. the signs that we made, made the difference between $17 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance — which is worse than the worst day i have EVER had at the market, by a long shot — and $97 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance, which is an adequate day at the market for 2 hours of performance… but it still wasn’t a lot, which was really discouraging.

apart from not making very much in tips (a little more than $500 total, for 11 days, which works out to about $5.96 per hour, per person), the rest of the fair was pretty uneventful. we settled into a routine of doing a half hour set, with a half hour break, and then four 45-minute sets separated by half hour breaks, and then finishing with a half hour set around 6:00 pm… except for sunday, the 1st, when we were feeling rested enough that we had decided to play a 7th set, because joe (remember him) had said that we were okay until 8:45, when all the entertainment crew would be required for a fire show… but we had just started the 7th set, at 7:15 pm, when a different guy showed up and said that if we didn’t pack up and load out RIGHT THEN, that we wouldn’t be able to load out until 11:30, because of the fire show…

and, after that, we never saw joe again, so we don’t know why it happened that way… but it was just another frustration that made me VERY glad to get back home.

and then, on monday the 2nd, hobbit started losing it. i am sure he was tired, and fact that he has the worst case of sleep-apnea i have ever heard, AND his diet (which consisted largely of whiskey and cigarettes) probably didn’t help matters, but, during our first set, hobbit started out playing his ukulele and singing, and then sort of faded out, started singing gibberish, and then went to sleep… THREE TIMES!!! the first time, i thought it was kind of an odd thing that i had never seen from hobbit before, but by the third time, i was seriously concerned that he was having a stroke or something, so i flagged down a roving EMT, who put hobbit through his paces, and tested his blood pressure, which was 180/90. there wasn’t much he could do, and by that time, hobbit was complaining he was really okay, so he went away, and came back a couple hours later to check. hobbit really was okay, but i’ve kind of got a short fuse when it comes to potential brain injuries.

by the time tuesday came around, i was really glad to leave our sleazy hotel and get back to my own bed.

and, if everything goes the way i think it will, we (meaning hobbit and i) will do it all again, in yakima, in a couple of weeks…

whee…

fump

anhedonia has made me ambivalent about the fact that i am leaving on thursday for 11 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Oregon State Fair in Salem.

then i’m returning home for a couple of weeks, and then i’m going to Yakima for 10 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Central Washington State Fair.

i’m getting PAID(‼) $825 for oregon and $750 for yakima, plus half of whatever we make passing the hat (because real buskers can actually do that), which we have been recommended to do about every 15 or 20 minutes. we’re working (in oregon) from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm, but they only want 4 to 5 hours of busking in that time period. we have to pay for a hotel room in oregon, but a hotel room is included in yakima.

i got some more mushrooms from macque, and i got a whole bunch of encouragement regarding growing mushrooms from macque (who is, apparently, an expert. who knew?) and from rossi, who is an art cartist and the friend of ranger’s, who i got the mushrooms from last year. i’m taking some to salem. who knows whether or not i will be motivated to use them during the time i’m gone…

in other news, i got a pair of blue sunglasses, because looking at the world through 💩-coloured glasses was making me REALLY depressed, despite how much i liked them — and how many of my clothes matched the 💩-coloured sunglasses… but i really like the blue sunglasses even more, despite the fact that they’re not polarised, which makes driving in the bright sunlight a little difficult.

Mother People


(it’s an .ogg file. if you don’t have the proper codec for it by this time, fuck you.)

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you…

Do you think that I’m crazy?
Out of my mind?
Do you think that I creep in the night
And sleep in a phone booth?

Lemme take a minute & tell you my plan
Lemme take a minute & tell who I am
If it doesn’t show,
Think you better know
I’m another person

Do you think that my pants are too tight?
Do you think that I’m creepy?

Better look around before you say you don’t care
Shut your fuckin’ mouth about the length of my hair
How would you survive
If you were alive
Shitty little person?

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you

Do you think that I love you…
Stupid & blind?
Do you think that I dream through the night
Of holding you near me?

Lemme take a minute & tell you my plan
Lemme take a minute & tell who I am
If it doesn’t show
Think you better know
I’m another person

TITTlES

Toad Finder of Renton (there’s a recurring theme around toads that i find interesting)
Smurf Academy
I Brainwash Cats
Mexican Junk Food
Smarmy Pants
YART
Made In Vagina
Antique Fitness
Retina & Macula – Attorneys at Law
Swank and Brumbles
Baby Jell-O
All You Can Eat Tobacco Bar
Free Flu Shot – 10% Off
Buy 8 Gallons Of Subway Diesel
Now Hiring Deep Fried Turkey
Toads Schmoads
Toad Mop (see what i mean?)
On Site Manatee
16-Foot Walls And Tape
Orgasmic String Cheese
Slims Pie Meeting
Yard Onion
  PUN
  CHA
  COP
NOHEGGERS
Vanilla Quicksand
Why Waste Good Garbage
Kids’ Smoke Shop
Now Hiring Topsoil Mulch Truck Drivers
Shite The Road
Scum Ball
Hey Look! Toxic!
இது ஒரு மாட்டின் பின் புறத்திலிருந்து வருகிறது.
Meaty Produce
We Rent Small Toads (more toads)
Ginger Snoop
Bleach For The Moon

i did it

i finally went through all of my photos and found a “some random hippie” photo for every year from 2004 until the present, with the exception (for some, as-yet unknown reason) of 2010. the current trend of a picture in the mirror began in 2009.

Some Random Hippie, 2019
Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2015
Some Random Hippie, 2014
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2010 – apparently doesn’t exist… 😕
Some Random Hippie, 2009
Some Random Hippie, 2008
Some Random Hippie, 2007
Some Random Hippie, 2006
Some Random Hippie, 2005 (with Schmootzi The Clod)
Some Random Hippie, 2004

some random hippie, 2019

fair was fair:

i didn’t camp where i wanted to (right next to the stage), because my tent was too large, so i camped where i was last year, which was down in the gully behind the stage; i connected with people i only see once a year, including the bearded guy from the mighty tiny puppet theatre, whose name i don’t remember; we didn’t play at the ritz (again), however i took three saunas and got 4 tokens, one from the hat after the show (i now have 35 tokens);

2019 OCF 50th anniversary
2019 OCF 50th anniversary
i connected with the hat-lady, who said that her life had fallen apart, and then she wasn’t sure i would like my (wonderful, amazing, outrageous) hat, which is why it took her eight months to send it to me… i told her she doesn’t know me very well, and gave her many hugs to reassure her that i do, indeed, love THE HELL out of my WONDERFUL, AMAZING, OUTRAGEOUS HAT — 😍 — i stayed up way later than i should have, multiple days in a row, and i only slept through one cue, i didn’t take any pictures, because, for the most part, they would be the same pictures i have taken since i first started going to the fair, i gave away 60 “Step Into Panto-Land” buttons, mostly to people who have no idea what it meant, the electronics for my harmonic flute decided to malfunction in a way that i have to be at home to fix, so i didn’t play my harmonic flute more than a little bit, although i learned how to play another style of end-blown flute, and i’m really excited to try new stuff with PVC as a result, i was part of the group that was disinvited to the memorial service for dead fair family (the whole Fremont Players troupe was disinvited, after having exchanged numerous emails with the people organising it, which indicated that we would, indeed, be a part of the program, prior to the fair), and i don’t know why, nor will i ever, probably…

nobody knows what happened to the totem pole, that i talked to, and one person told me not to bring it up. 😒

however, barring other, cooler things happening at the same time, i’ll more than likely go back again next year. i’m still open to other suggestions, however. 😉

some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019

Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011

bleah…

i’ve been under the attack of anhedonia and depression. my mushrooms have lost their potency: the last time i tried, i took 6 of them and they had, essentially, no effect at all. i connected with a person at SACBO — ranger’s connection — but she is only one step closer to the source… although she did mention that starter kits are available on ebay, and that they practically grow themselves, so that’s worth looking into.

part of the reason i have been so depressed is because of what i call the “political situation”: that is, drumpf and his latest atrocities. it just keeps on getting worse, and, when i think there’s no way he can get any worse, he blows the world away with the magnitude of his atrocities… and his republicon base of supporters get upset about a black disney princess and a pair of nike sneakers, but totally ignore the concentration camps and the gestapo Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, not to mention the totally inept people, including his own children, he’s put in charge of such things as education, housing, healthcare and the environment. it’s literally going to take us 100 years JUST to fix his fuckups, and that’s not taking into account the fact that the world is already in a crisis mode. it’s almost as though everything i’ve ever fought for throughout my entire life has been eliminated by this orange babboon in less than 3 years, and replaced with climate-change deniers, corporate stooges, forced-birth and anti-vax controversies, and so-called “christian” love, which is only for the so-called “christians”.

drumpf spent $92 million, which he appropriated from the national parks department (🤬), on a “military parade” in washington DC, complete with tanks and a flyover by the blue angels and “airforce one” — which, of course, wasn’t “airforce one” because the #SCROTUS was on the ground, observing the flyover… and the tanks were stationary, because, apparently, if they had moving tanks, they would have destroyed the streets and damaged the lincoln memorial… but the only people who could view this were his donors, because everyone else had to pay to get in… and then it rained, HARD and everything was postponed. the photos and videos i’ve seen show a very few thoroughly wet people and drumpf giving a long, boring, confusing speech that one writer i read compared to having been written by artificial intelligence, and a retired admiral said that it was on the level of an 8th grade history lesson… and the live video feeds from the top of the washington memorial, and the lincoln memorial were inexplicably shut down and removed from the whitehouse dot gov address, apparently to cover up how few people actually attended this debacle.

so, basically, we, the american people, threw away $92,000,000,000 on an egotistical, childish, boorish, dictator-emulating orange rapist with the IQ of half a rock, instead of addressing the concentration camps, or the homeless issue, or the healthcare issue, or… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

as can be well imagined, despite my love for exploding things, i take little interest in such activities in celebration of this country, this year… which is, also, at least partially, because of the fact that we now have a dog who is totally terrified of fireworks, AND a next-door neighbour who is prone to setting off a ton of fireworks which ignite their lawn, and other suchlike wonderful things. 😒

OCF is 5 days away, and i’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. by this time, we’ve usually had one run through, and have some rough idea of how long the show will be. this year, we’re nowhere close to that, despite the fact that we started out with a working script, which we created 15 years ago, when we did this show (Jack And The Beanstalk) the last time. and we’re still missing two songs, one of which is probably not going to make it into the show for OCF.

and, on top of everything else, MAD magazine is shutting down! PBLFLLT!! 😠

art? jewelry?

i made a necklace that i’m particularly proud of:

190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace

190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace
190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace

i can’t decide whether it’s art, or jewelry… or possibly both… and spiritually oriented, as well: the “penis” is a sivalingam, and the “testicles” are a gauri shankar, which is two naturally-joined rudrakshas.

it doesn’t have any real “traditional” meaning, at least not as far as i know, so it may represent what they call “cultural appropriation”, but, if it does, i don’t care, because it doesn’t represent that to me. to me it represents all of the best that can be represented by Ṣíva and Ganeṣa… and it looks awesome, and, perhaps, a little bit silly. 🤪 there is more about gauri shankar and sivalingam available for those who may be interested.

i might be convinced to sell it — maybe, at some undefined future time — but i think i would charge at least $500 for it… maybe more. 😉

Continue reading art? jewelry?

add new

it’s june.

when it changes to july, we’re going to have to go to OCF and put on something resembling a show for the folks.

usually, by this time, we’ve got a finished script that the cast has been rehearsing for a few weeks, and most of the music, which the band has been rehearsing for a couple of weeks.

this year, they JUST got the script finished a few days ago, they just got their characters a few days ago, they still have to make all of their costumes and props, and the band has NO music — which has to be completely rewritten from scratch, even though we’re doing a panto that we have done in the past, Jack And The Beanstalk.

and, as far as the band goes, as far as i know, we don’t have enough people to make the band more than a rhythm section, and, MAYBE a saxophone, or a bassoon… or, possibly, both…

the only thing i know, for sure, that is already planned and in the works, is a memorial parade for simon… thrill… walking over uneven ground (not even going to try marching) with a tuba, slung from an over-the-shoulder strap while trying to manage music on a lyre… 😒 😟

OCF is going to be interesting, this year…

glurdge…

  • 2019, 13 shares, $520 – $40 per share
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…

once again, i am encouraged to “donate” my shares to the continuation of the moisture festival.

not likely. 😒

buskingniksub

190511 salamandir, by jon leach
190511 salamandir, by jon leach
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
190511 salamandir, up close
190511 salamandir, up close

busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.

the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬

seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.

my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.

on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.

and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…

i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒

anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.

when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.

but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:

Pig Pin card
Pig Pin card

i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth:
ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool!
Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas.
ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit.
Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it.
ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”.
Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them.
ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again!
Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊

allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…

and learning to ride a unicycle.

so, i’m taking a unicycle class at SANCA.

i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…

although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…

i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…

the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.

so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?

“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg

i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.

although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉

420 update

i’m getting closer and closer to divesting myself of all of my web hosting clients. i’m hoping that my last day of hosting anybody except me, and people directly related to me (i.e. my wife and son) will be 190430. i’m still trying to get two domains off my server, and then there will be one, which i don’t know whether they are going to find a new server, or whether they are just going to let it die. either way, it’s SEP and i don’t have to worry about it…

although i am… 😒

we came back from the beach. it rained a lot. i planned on taking mushrooms, but it rained, so i didn’t. i did spent a lot of time sleeping… and other passtimes:

190408 drawing
190408 drawing

like drawing…

190408 picture
190408 picture

although the dog moved by the time i took the picture…

and, given that it’s the first time that i’ve drawn anything other than doodles since my injury, i kinda like it…

then, we came home, and went to a concert by The University of Washington Harry Partch Ensemble, with authentic Harry Partch instruments:

190413 Harry Partch Instruments
190413 Harry Partch Instruments

the instruments are the Cloud Chamber Bowls, the Adapted Viola, the Adapted Guitar III, The Kithara II, the Spoils Of War, the Bass Marimba the Harmonic Canon, the Surrogate Kithara, the Diamond Marimba, the Marimba Eroica, the Koto, and the Chromelodeons I and II

190413 Spoils Of War
190413 Spoils Of War

a close-up of the Spoils Of War, with the Cloud Chamber Bowls in the background, and the Diamond Marimba in the foreground

190413 Modified Viola music
190413 Modified Viola music

it’s STANDARD NOTATION!!! just sub-scripts and super-scripts to define the microtones and the rythmn… i never would have guessed… but, at the same time, when you’re already working with music that is THAT DIFFERENT from what we, in the west, think of as “normal”, i suppose it’s a lot easier to not have to learn a new way of notating that “abnormal” music, as well…

it turns out that the current Harry Partch Foundation is located at the UW, and all of his instruments are housed there. again, i never would have guessed, but… wow.

i told monique, when we walked into the concert hall, that they had not played a note and i was already ecstatic.

i started my third session of my circus class. it’s a “basic circus skills for handicapped adults” class — mostly people with parkinson’s — but, because of the fact that i took to unicycle, i started a unicycle class, as well:

190419 my very own unicycle!
190419 my very own unicycle!
at first, i borrowed a unicycle from one of monique’s co-workers, but it was too short, so i went on craigslist and bought an almost-new, used unicycle, that was exactly the same size wheel but a longer seatpost, that is now my very own, personal unicycle.

i have this vision — my training from the flybottle class would say “fantasy” — of what i want to do with the unicycle: there’s this guy, in portland, who is known as “The Unipiper”. he rides around portland, on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for a long time. i’ve got all the necessary materials to make a flaming tuba. all i have to do is learn to ride a unicycle, and i can be “The Tubacyclist”.

i hope to be relatively stable on the unicycle by OCF this year. i’m GOING to do this! 🐉

hrmph!

i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.

during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.

i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.

and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.

now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒

annual moisture festival rant

the 16th annual moisture festival starts tomorrow. i am playing in the following performances:

ETA: i have been offered another fluffing spot, thursday, march 21st, at 6:30 pm. thanks, stuart! 😉👍

  • thursday, march 14th, 6:30pm to 7:15pm – fluffing
  • thursday, march 21st, 6:30pm to 7:15pm – fluffing
  • friday, march 22nd, 10:30pm – snake suspenderz
  • saturday, march 23rd, 10:30pm – snake suspenderz
  • wednesday, march 27th, 7:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • thursday, march 28th, 7:30 pm – fremont philharmonic
  • friday, march 29th, 7:30pm & 10:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • saturday, march 30th, 3:00pm, 7:30pm & 10:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • sunday, march 31st, 3:00pm & 7:30pm – fremont philharmonic

which amounts to:

  • 2019, 13 shares…
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…

this year, the SANCApators get two weeks… they didn’t even ask us, AGAIN (fuckers), which makes me wonder, once again, if they’re trying to edge us out. last year, and the year before that, it was the naked truth that had two weeks… what, do they not even remember that it was The Fremont Philharmonic Orchestra, AND NOBODY ELSE the first year of the moisture festival? do they not even remember that, if it hadn’t been for the fact that we just happened to be “hanging around” back stage when they discovered — AT THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT — that they didn’t have a band, the second night of the first moisture festival, that they WOULDN’T have had a band, the second night of the moisture festival!?!?!? 😠

but if someone were to mention it, then the likelyhood is VERY high that we wouldn’t have ANY performances in the next moisture festival… 😒

(fuckers) 😠

before & after

before
before

before = three notebooks and a file folder full of music, weighing approximately 40 to 50 pounds.

after
after

after = one 8½"x11½" tablet, weighing approximately 2 pounds.

and ALL of that music takes up only a tiny fraction of my local storage… 292.5MB out of 256GB, so there’s plenty of room for more, as well! 😎

when going places with my tuba and/or my trombone, this is definitely several steps in the right direction! 👍😎

although i’m probably still going to take the big purple notebook (on the bottom of the stack) with me, when i go busking, because when i’m playing for nickels and dimes, i don’t want to have a $1,500 tablet on my music stand where anyone can grab it and run off… 😉

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex
by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226
download here

a step forward

new ipad
new ipad
the fedex package finally arrived, which, of c(o)urse, meant that i went to the fedex distribution centre and forced them to let me have it there, rather than waiting for them to pull their head out of their ass and hire a full time driver who learns where my address is, instead of using a different contractor who doesn’t have the first clue — EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! 😠

anyway, i’ve got it more or less set up. i set it up as a new ipad, rather than transfering all of my old apps to it, which meant that i had — and still have — some finishing touches to add, most notably, the noisepad app, which requires a hard link to itunes in order to upload new sounds, but the version of itunes i have on my ancient macbook pro is several versions out of date and won’t recognise my new equipment, and even if it did, the ipad only has a USB-C plug, and my macbook only has USB-A plugs… so i’m probably going to have to use moe’s machine to get around that.

the big benefit is that i can display full-size, 8½”x11″ pages, which is 90% of my music, and the other 10%, which is more than one 8½”x11″ page, i can get a bluetooth foot-pedal page-turning gadget for about $50.

new ipad
new ipad

AND i’ve already got a fairly substantial portion of my music already “on the cloud” — i.e. either dropbox or my own, personal cloud-server — which means that, under the best of circumstances, i won’t even have to load my 256GB disk down with music files… although i might want to keep files on the ipad anyway, just in case i don’t have network connectivity, as i would (not) at the oregon country fair… 😉

and, after all, loading it down with music is the principle reason i bought a huge-ass tablet anyway… 😉

Blob Lardstone

Blob Lardstone – 190119, by Ralph Ewggleigh

this is my interpretation of the introduction to a cassette by Bob Larson, a toxically obnoxious evangelical so-called “christian” radio preacher who bills himself as “the real exorcist”, with whom i have been interacting, on and off, for the better part of 40 years. he, too, is likely a member of my karass, because, despite my repeated attempts to get him out of my life, he keeps popping up, and i keep responding to him.

"holiday" season

dont fuck with santa claus
dont fuck with santa claus
this would be a good time to re-read the VEWPRF rant that i posted in 2008, because… well, it just is. that’s all.

the panto started last weekend, and it was good. it wasn’t great, but, for the first shows, it was better than average by a few steps, and it definitely has the potential for being great… especially after a couple more weeks of actual “rehearsal” 😉 i actually played most of the notes correctly, played a few notes that i have never been able to play before (low F, E and E♭), and they were audible and (most importantly) in tune, and i only got lost/confused/missed cues a couple of times, and it wasn’t because i wasn’t paying attention, like it usually is… which is good. there are a few physical sound effects: the ratchet, siren whistle, thunder sheet, bar chimes, slide whistle, that sort of thing, and there are a few electronic sound effects: horse whinney, squeak-stomp-splat for the donkey stepping on the ogress/mouse… and i’m thinking that i can probably come up with a better sword fight sound than the one i’ve got currently, which is bashing two metal spatulas together.

pike place market

181120 salamandir & howlin' hobbit
181120 salamandir & howlin’ hobbit

this picture was taken by a guy people know as “kurt vonnegut” — because he looks a lot like kurt vonnegut, apparently. i don’t know, because i barely remember the guy who took the picture, i was concentrating on the music so intently. i think his real name is davey, but i’m not sure.

Joe Desimone Bridge
Joe Desimone Bridge

this is the joe desimone bridge at 7:30 in the morning, before anybody gets there. at noon there are, literally, thousands of people passing through this space… and only a tiny fraction of them seem to notice the buskers… 😕

the "original" starbucks at 7:30 in the morning
the “original” starbucks at 7:30 in the morning

this is what they call the “original” starbucks. it’s not really the original, because the real original is about two blocks away, on western avenue, below and to the south of the joe desimone bridge… but it’s not there any longer, having moved up to pike place in the early ’80s (i think). but they still have the “original” signage and store livery… and, at 7:30 in the morning they have a crowd of 20 or so people inside: the rest of the pike place market, more or less, looks like the previous picture of the joe desimone bridge, but at 7:30 in the morning, the “original” starbucks (which isn’t even the original one) has a crowd. at noon there is a line that stretches down pike place, of people waiting to get into the “original” starbucks…

and they don’t even have that good coffee… 😒

tourists are WEIRD. 😕

niaga gniksub

i’ve been sort of worried about busking with my tuba at the pike place market, because — in the distant past — they have had “problems” with people who were not actual musicians playing trumpets and other loud brass instruments, indiscriminately, with very little skill, and taking no regard for their neighbours. this unfortunate occurrence caused the people in charge (the “Pike Place Development Association” otherwise known as the “PDA”) to completely ban all “brass instruments and horns”…

what they mean, of course, is all brass instruments “with a cup mouthpiece”, because brass instruments with a reed mouthpiece (i.e. saxophones) have been allowed all along… which is REALLY STUPID, because you can make a lot louder, and more unpleasant sounds with a reed than you can with a cup mouthpiece…

which, of course, leads us to the real reason brass instruments are banned, which is because, in the distant past (i.e. before any of the current PDA staff were born), one or two individual people were being SO obnoxious (with their brass, cup-mouthpieced instruments) that the PDA had to do something, but it had to be something that didn’t look like they were targeting one or two individuals, so that they wouldn’t get sued by those individuals when they found out.

it’s kind of like that story about the scientists who were studying group behaviour in monkeys, where they put a monkey in a room with a ladder, and at the top of the ladder was a banana… it turns out that the story is an urban legend, but the concept comes across: now, the 2nd (or 3rd, or 54th, who knows) generation of PDA staff is convinced that any brass cup-mouthpiece instrument, played by anyone is going to be the equivalant of a marshall stack cranked up to eleven, and totally blow everyone away for half a mile in any direction.

and, it’s my impression that, ever since then, there have been “whingers” among the vendors at the market, particularly on the “Joe Desimone Bridge” section, who — encouraged by the attitude of the 54th (or whatever) generation PDA staff who have never, actually, experienced a loud “brass” instrument — complain to the PDA if someone has an instrument that looks like it’s going to be too loud… which has resulted in the PDA deciding that you simply can’t busk at the bridge spot on saturday — which is the best day for busking — even with instruments which are not banned… 😒

i’ve been busking at the market a few times since i got my permit, but i haven’t busked at the bridge spot, because i’m worried that, despite the fact that the PDA assured me that they are “experimenting” with allowing tubas (no trombones, baritones, or trumpets, though), and they did, actually, sell me a permit despite the fact that i told them i didn’t play anything else that is allowed, one of the whingers on the bridge will take offense at my tuba and i’ll go back to being on the “banned instruments” list again.

that all changed today.

i busked with hobbit for an hour at the bridge this morning. we made $9.50 each (which is not very good), and then we went up to the clock spot and joined jack and dave for another hour, which netted us $35 a piece, which is a lot better.

then, because it was REALLY cold, i decided that i was going to go home. as i was going back to my car, i had to cross the joe desimone bridge, and TWO vendors asked me if i was done playing music. when i said i was, they asked me when i was going to come back…

they want me back! 😎

they don’t like any buskers (particularly the bad ones, which, according to them, are most of them), but they want me back!

and i wasn’t even playing the melody!!

maybe i shouldn’t worry about the whingers on the joe desimone bridge so much any more… 😉

aaaannd…

tomorrow is the sousa bash, in the evening. i may go busking in the morning, but i haven’t decided yet… in a way, i really want to get out there and make myself more known to people who might call me for sets later on, but another part of me says that it rained most of the day today, and it’s probably going to rain tomorrow, which can be aleviated by rain-gear, but it also means that there will be fewer suckers paying audience members out there… and tomorrow is the return to standard time, which means that 9:00 am comes at 8:00 tomorrow… or is the other way around… i can never remember, and it always takes me a week or so to adjust, every time. 😕

only a white man could come up with the idea of cutting two inches off of one end of a blanket, sewing it onto the other end, and selling it as a bigger blanket.
     — some Native American wise guy

🍄 one mushroom today: 14 total. running low. need more…

this “microdosing” is starting to really bug me, in a way. i REALLY want to take 100 mushrooms or more, but i don’t have 100 mushrooms to begin with, and even if i did, i don’t have the time or the setting to be able to take that many without freaking out… i was talking with norma at trolloween about mushrooms, and she was saying that she really doesn’t like feeling “altered”… and i realised that i do, REALLY like feeling “altered”. microdosing does what it’s supposed to do, which has made my life a lot more tolerable recently, but it also reminds me, EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! i do it, that i’m not really doing what i would like to be doing. a trip to the mushroom fields outside of mount vernon may be in order. i literally know where they grow ’em… 😉

workshop workshop workshop

the title is an imitation of stanley, who enjoys saying “workshop” with no context.

this, however, has context, so it’s not as amusing.

i fixed an alto saxophone for a colleague this afternoon. i started on it on monday, prepared the neck for a new mouthpiece cork, and then discovered that 3 of the 4 pads it needed were ones that i didn’t have… 😒

so i ordered pads, which arrived today.

three of the four pads were also on the left-hand side keys. the high F key is normally activated by the palm of the left hand, but it has a rocker underneath it, which is activated by the high F auxiliary lever, which is part of the left-hand stack, and activated by the left index finger… and the high F rocker was bent WAY out of whack, so that you couldn’t actually activate the high F key with the high F auxiliary lever.

so, as well as having to replace the pad on the high F key, i had to completely remove the left-hand stack, and the side E key, which is activated by the palm of the left hand, in order to adjust the high F rocker.

that was easy enough, but, because of the fact that i don’t actually work on as many saxophones as i used to, i had to assemble, and disassemble the left-hand stack no less than three times, in order to get the jigsaw-puzzle of keys to get to fit together in the right way…

saxophone
saxophone

i had to get the B♭ bridge under the F# bridge, which is part of the right-hand stack, and i had to get the C key, which has an actuator that goes behind and above the other keys of the left-hand stack, installed correctly, and i had to get the side E key under the top of the left-hand stack, but above everything else, which meant that i had to carefully install the side E key with the left-hand stack in place — minus the top two keys — but not held in place by the long steel that goes through the hinge-tubes of all the keys.

i ended up not having a problem, once i figured out how to proceed, but it was a hassle, putting it most of the way together, and then remembering that something had to go underneath the keys that i had just installed, and having to take all the keys off again to fix the problem.

it was definitely worth the $100 that i’m going to charge him.

bleh 11

#drumpf. 🖕 the less said about him, the better.

🍄 one mushroom yesterday. i went out for a walk and had pretty much the entire “trip” while i was out, which wasn’t very much. depression sneaking back in, but not in unmanagable amounts… yet… fewer mushrooms every time this happens, and eventually i’ll run out. hopefully i will have either wildcrafted, or obtained some more by then, but who knows… they are illegal, after all, even though my doctor counsellor recommended them… 😒

trolloween on wednesday. i’m doing sound effects, which means bullroarer “pre-show” and thunder for the first part of the show. nothing else, which means that i’ll be able to actually haunt fremont, for the first time ever… i’ve been a part of the show at the troll, and the dance afterwards many, many times, but i’ve never gotten to go on the haunt… mushrooms? it’s possible… but i think i’d have to find a place to crash in town, if so. i’ll ask macque…

so, in the realm of the computer, i’ve decided that, if i tiptoe around this version of kubuntu, it works 95% of the time. i have, literally, changed the way i interact with the computer interface, in order to prevent it from crashing on a more regular basis: kontact/kmail/akregator — which used to be a relatively stable part of the distribution — has become something which works if i DON’T do things like try to open links in akregator using the middle mouse button (right click and choose “open in external browser” works, though, which is annoying), or forward a message, about half of the time (which is something i do on a regular basis when i’m reporting spam). and kubuntu, itself, has got some annoying bugs which i don’t know to whom to report… which, in itself, is annoying… when i boot the computer, the desktop wallpaper appears to be set to “blur” around the background, even though when i look at the configure panel, it’s set to “solid color”, and when i set it to “blur”, nothing happens, but if i, then, set it back to “solid color”, lo-and-behold, it suddenly displays with a solid colour background. and, because of the fact that it’s part of the system settings, i don’t have the first clue who should get the bug report.

and i’ve, basically, given up on amarok. i love the interface, but the fact is, my music is on a disk that isn’t mounted at startup — because it is a NAS, mounted via WIFI — and amarok refuses to see it. i haven’t figured out how to get it to mount at startup, and it appears that the amarok user list is, for all intents and purposes, dead… which is really annoying.

on the other hand, i’ve figured out a way to play the music on my NAS from my phone, my tablet, and from the linux box, at the same time, using the same application, which is VLC media player. i don’t love the interface, but it’s definitely better than nothing, and the fact that i can play my music, basically, anywhere, without having to make copies of it, should make the copyright drones happy.

and i found the disks containing approximately 10,000 fonts, left over from when i worked in a print shop… and i can get around 90% to 95% of them to work on both my mac and my linux box, also from my NAS, which makes sharing documents a lot more reliable.

gniksub

busking at the pike place market(!) today. in two hours of playing, i made $55… in ones, fives and quarters. it was a fairly good couple of hours, considering that i only knew three or four of the songs that we played, and was improvising/faking it for the rest of them. i gave my phone number to three “band leaders”, so there’s a pretty good chance i’ll get called again some time soon.

before today, i have never busked with my tuba at the pike place market, because their official policy is “No devices for electronic amplification of any sound are allowed. No horns, brass instruments, or drums are permitted…” which pretty much makes it impossible for me to even think about busking there… but, apparently, they’re “trying out” tubas, because there are a lot of tuba players who objected to their policy. i was one of two tuba players at the market today, and the other guy (conn 15J, 3-valve, B♭, i think his name is jim) was, according to one of the other buskers (he played soprano sax, tap-danced and sang) looking at my tuba like it was a woman… damn right he was looking at my tuba with lust. it’s an instrument to be lusted after, and i’m glad that someone else recognised it for what it is. 😉

and, by the way, soprano sax is not only a “horn” but it is also made of “brass”, and it has been allowed all along. it’s only “horns with cup mouthpieces” that are banned, and it’s ACTUALLY “horns that are played “inconsiderately”, and make problems for the neighbours”… which has come to mean anything that anybody THINKS is too loud, regardless of what the instrument actually sounds like… although, these days, strings and “woodwind” instruments get a pass, and brass instruments (with the exception of tubas, as noted before) are completely banned.

the last time i was permitted to busk at the market was 1982, which was before the current market manager (the one who sold me my current permit) was born. back then, you didn’t have to buy the permit, and there was only one market manager. now there are a bunch of them, and talk about the left hand not knowing what the right hand is doing… 🤦 i’m glad i got my permit, but i’m going to leave dealing with the authorities (meaning the market manager(s)) to someone else, because i already don’t like it at all…

if it’s not already obvious…

bullroarer!

181014 bullroarer
181014 bullroarer

finished, working prototype bullroarer.

it “cycles” the way it’s supposed to: it spins as far as it can one direction, and then spins back the other direction automatically, while i spin the whole thing one direction all the time, thus making the characteristic “bull roar” noise. i made it out of plywood, to test the theory. i’ve got a chunk of really dense hardwood that should make a better, louder noise.

SUCCESS! 👍😎

idea

thurible
thurible
recently, i’ve been incensing the neighbourhood.

i’ve been taking my thurible outside (because, realistically, that’s the only place i can use it without setting off my smoke alarm), drinking beer, smoking pot, listening to frank zappa, and burning frankincense, benzoin and copal resin — rather like the ethiopian family that lived next door to us, where we used to live, in renton, did…

although i’m reasonably sure that the ethiopian family didn’t smoke pot, drink beer, and listen to frank zappa… 😉

but, basically, i really like burning incense, i really like burning frankincense, because it has the scientifically-proven ability to calm my anxiousness, and i really like “sharing” the good smells with my neighbours… whether they like it or not… 😈

which got me to thinking, yesterday…

i also REALLY like playing music for people. particularly, i really like playing my overtone flute at the oregon country fair, where people passing by have the possibility of hearing my music, but not knowing exactly from where it may be coming.

so, i thought, why not combine the two, and put together a “performance” or a “concert”, or something like that, where i set up somewhere, incense the whole place, and play my overtone flute?

it would have to be an outside venue, because nobody would want “concert” like this inside, where it would be extremely likely to set off smoke alarms, but that’s okay, because if it’s outside, there’s more of a possibility that people will experience the scent and not even be able to tell from where it’s coming… possible places are greenlake, volunteer park and gasworks park.

i would probably also want to set up a sign, or something, letting people know what i’m doing… but it would also be interesting to do that sort of thing without any clues, just to see how people might respond…

rⒾⓅoff…?

i present, for your musical enjoyment, Mexican Dance, by George Gershwin:

written in 1923, it is subtitled “Tomale o I’m Hot For You”.

it is suspiciously similar to Golliwogg’s Cakewalk, by Claude Debussy:

which was written in 1913… 😉

new madness from veneta

in sanskrit (the ancient language of india), छेल (chela) means “a devotee”, and मेल (mela) means “a festival”, so छेल मेल (“chela mela”, TWO WORDS) is “a festival of devotees”.

the band of north american kalapuya “indians” (otherwise known as “native americans”) called chelamela is ONE WORD

the following pictures illustrate the fact that, at the oregon country fair, “CHELA MELA MEADOW” is TWO words… well, three, if you count the word “MEADOW”… 😕

chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela
chela mela

i wonder if anyone else knows this. according to their own definition, this is CULTURAL APPROPRIATION!!

oh no… 😕

sombunall of the not-“native-american” artwork at the ritz is back in place, but the totem pole is nowhere to be found, and nobody knows what’s going to happen to it. the “archaeology” group (which was behind the lady who raised all the fuss last year) is still there, and still thinks we shouldn’t even have an oregon country fair, because it’s on “indian ground” (seriously, they’ve excavated a 10,000 year old camas oven from the bank of the long tom river, so there have been humans around that area for a LONG time) but the lady behind all the fuss last year was nowhere to be seen, as far as i could tell, and nobody was talking about indians feeling put out by the fair.

we didn’t play at the ritz. they didn’t make new tokens this year, so i only got one — last year’s design — in lieu of hat money, on saturday.

the fair was fun, and i’m not giving up on it, but it’s definitely time to find another therapeutic gathering in which i can get involved.

this year i took four pictures to make up for the fact that i missed a few years previously:

some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018
some random hippie, 2018

these were taken in order, on thursday, friday, saturday, and sunday. i also wore a djellaba and a red kufi (to piss off the cultural appropriation crowd), but i didn’t take pictures of that

Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2017

the mac
the mac
there is a new “pirate ship” next door to the morningwood odditorium, called “The Mac”, which produces macaroni and cheese in ENORMOUS bowls. i ate there four times. they also had smoked salmon mac&cheese, and bacon brocolli mac&cheese. yum.

tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude
tiny frog with a big attitude

sunday afternoon, i found a tiny frog trying to get into my tent.

on the way home, i drove up highway 101, and stopped in newport, where i got the business card for the company that made moe’s kite that broke. now all i have to do is find the stay that broke, measure it, and send them the measurements, and they’ll make a new one for it.

when i left the fair, i ran “off the map” with my GPS, almost immediately. i tried using waze, as well, but i didn’t have reception or connectivity until i got to lincoln city. then, when i got to astoria, i turned left, instead of following the default GPS and turning right, and i got the “return to the route” message no less than TEN TIMES, before it figured out where i was going… it’s a good thing one of us knew where they were going. 😉 on the other hand, waze looked at where i was going, and figured out a new route almost immediately.

it’s weird that this post is allegedly about OCF, and the parts that i get the most amusement out of are the parts where i have left the fair. oh well… 😕

i was forced into a fecesbook moratorium, because of the lack of connectivity. it was partially deliberate — i didn’t take my tablet, and couldn’t use my phone for anything except a camera, pretty much all week — and i’m thinking very strongly that this is a good excuse to abandon fecesbook all together. it’s awful, it doesn’t do anything to improve my mood, and the only reason i was there, to begin with, was because it’s the only way to get booked at the ritz… but now that job has been foisted off on someone else (or not, i don’t care), and there’s no obvious reason to continue wasting my time with it.

OCF… woo…

i leave for OCF in seven days.

we’re probably not going to do a show at the ritz this year. it is primarily because we haven’t rehearsed any of the music that is not directly related to the show (Puss In Boots) with this iteration of the philharmonic, which includes two members that haven’t played with us for a couple of years (naoyuki on cavaquiño and flute, and brandi on vibraphone), and one completely new member (harlan on bandoneon, concertina and toy piano). once again, kiki has decided to be a cast member, which means that she’s not available to be the conductor, which falls to stuart, who has, in the past, said that he doesn’t want to be the band leader any longer. the result is that we have had NO rehearsals, which means that we’re basically going to be sight reading any preshow and intermission music, and, basically, we’ve decided that we would be, essentially, doing the same thing with a ritz show, and the ritz is definitely NOT a show that we want to do a halfway job of playing.

so, we’re not playing the ritz for the second time in three years…

i’ve become a lot more ambivalent about the oregon country fair the past few years. it seems as though there has been a lot of politics and negativity introduced in the past few years, that, with the already heavily persistent “hippie-mall” vibe, has turned the oregon country fair into a totally different beast than it was 10 years ago… of course, 10 years ago, i was still a relative “newbie” to OCF, and there were, no doubt, a lot of things happening that totally went over my head because i was still focusing on the hippy-love, twinkly lights, and the “hippy-potamus”…

i remember, distinctly, “cutting out” without checking with people, before everyone had finished breaking down the stage, last year, because i was so tired of the hippy-griping and general bad feelings that had been going on pretty much all weekend. not from my group, specifically, but from the fair, in general. a lot of it had to do with the ridiculous accusations of “cultural appropriation” that were flying around. if that happens again, this year, it may be my last year of going to the fair for a while.

which, of course, means that, along with everything else, i have to find something new to replace the medicinal high that i used to get from going to the fair. 😕

moisture festival ?

4 fewer shares than 2 years ago.

½ as many dollars as 2 years ago.

😕

according to the producers:

None of us producing this annual event ever wants to reduce the share amounts, in fact, we have done our best to try to increase the amount we pay you and some years we have been fortunate to be able to pay more for shares.

yeah, right…

2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
2017, ?? shares, $480
2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
2015,
2014,
2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
2011, 14 shares…

but, once again, according to the producers:

Please don’t approach this as a paid gig or a money making booking because there is no financial guarantee… You are likely to get a token amount of money, but it will be more of an honorarium than a fee

at one time, not too many years ago, the moisture festival was the single highest paying gig i had all year. 😕

bleh – Friday, 130517
on the other hand… – Friday, 120511

maque asked me to build a bullroarer

maque asked me to build a bullroarer. i may have gone a little bit overboard…

i built a 30″ bullroarer. it’s big enough that i had to order special rubber bands to finish it. then, when i realised that i had to wait for the rubber bands to be delivered, i went crazy and spent two days going various places searching for a suitable alternative.

180506 30 inch bullroarer
180506 30 inch bullroarer

it’s a lot quieter than i expected. i’m going to have to build a smaller one, like this:

to see if smaller helps it be noisier.

the residents

180409 The Residents
180409 The Residents

i saw the residents a few years ago, at neumo’s on capitol hill. at the time, randy (the lead singer) said that carlos, the drummer, had decided that, after 40 years, the “rock-and-roll” lifestyle wasn’t doing it for him, and he quit, which was why there was only three of them.

they seem to have found a new drummer, as well as a mysterious figure dressed in a cthulhu mask who sat there for the entire show and didn’t do anything.

they did a lot of their “Elvis” and “Two American Composers” songs to the tune of a lot of their “Train Wreck” and “The Ghost of Hope” songs, and there was some weird stuff about dreams with fabulous animated graphics displayed on a huge ball, so that they were even more distorted.

The Dream, part 1
The Dream, part 1

it was REALLY loud, but, unlike most of the other “rock” concerts i have attended, it wasn’t so loud that i couldn’t hear the lyrics (except when they didn’t want me to), and my ears weren’t ringing after the show, which impressed me.

take-away from the 2018 moisture festival

here’s what i want:

i want a tablet that has a USB interface (or not, depending on its disk size) that is approximately 9″x12″ or thereabouts, on which i can store ALL of my music (and, potentially, music for everyone else in the band, as well). if it has a USB interface, then i can have different bands on different flash drives. if not, different bands go in different directories or suchlike. my understanding is that there is an “automatic page-turning” app that one operates with a remote using their feet, but my impression is that most PDF readers switch pages with a swipe, which is pretty much what i do already, anyway…

that way i won’t have to carry around 40 pounds of music, as well as my tuba, music stand and chair…

180325 tom noddy and the littlest gymnast
180325 tom noddy and the littlest gymnast
the second week of the moisture festival — the one that i played in, with the fremont philharmonic — is over. it went really well, i played a majority of the right notes, didn’t drop my music, or lose tunes, made a majority of my cues, kept ALL of my music in alphabetical order, except for the tunes that were “officially” part of the show, so i could find things instantaneously when things changed abruptly without warning…

which they INEVITABLY do at the moisture festival.

hacki and möppi were there, tom noddy was there, sandy was there, frank olivier was there, peewee and joanne (barry and yvonne, couple #69) were there… i saw people that i only see once a year, at the moisture festival… it was the 15th anniversary of the longest running comedy/varieté showcase IN THE WORLD (and my 15th year as a performer in the moisture festival), and hardly anybody mentioned the fact that the palladium is up for sale, and there’s a possibility that whoever buys it will not honour the contracts that events like the moisture festival (and the panto) have with mike hale… but, at least for now, things are happening in a more or less normal, for the moisture festival, way. who knows what’s going to happen next year… apparently somebody does, but it’s not me, and whoever it is, isn’t saying anything.

Le Boudin

Le Boudin, otherwise known as the Marche de la Légion Étrangère, by Guillaume-Louis Bocquillon, otherwise known as Wilhelm, is the official march of the french foreign legion.

it is played at 88 beats per minute, instead of the more standard 120 beats per minute. this is because they’re the french foreign legion, and THEY CAN. the result is that, in the bastille day parade, the foreign legion appears last, because they march so much more slowly than all those other military organisations… i’m tempted to call them slackers, but the words to the tune actually call the belgians “slackers”, so i’m not sure if it’s entirely appropriate.

however, the sheet music for this piece of music is proving surprisingly difficult to find. the composer, Guillaume-Louis Bocquillon, otherwise known as Wilhelm, is, apparently, unknown to most people. the french foreign legion, itself, only mentions him in passing. the place i discovered the composer’s name was actually Flute Tunes dot com, where the only part available is a transcribed flute “solo” part.

i’m trying to find the music, because it would be a fantastic march to be played by the ballard sedentary sousa band. i have experienced no joy at the places i have checked, so far, which include j.w.pepper, the petrucci music library and bandmusicpdfs dot com.

bleh

new year blah. had dinner at the akers’, went to bed at 10, and listened to the neighbours blowing stuff up and frightening the animals until two in the morning.

#SCROTUS #drumpf threatening to blow up the world… again… among other, somewhat less horrendous alternatives… blah, blah, blah.

panto blah, sickness blah… i’m actually just starting to feel relatively normal, after having the season’s cold compounded by being around panto people who all have similar colds, for about a month. the panto, itself, is as good a show as we’ve ever done, considering that we’re doing the same show, cinderella, with essentially the same script as the one we did 10 years ago. however, they’ve sold the palladium and nobody’s told me what they’re going to do with the moisture festival, for which they’ve already scheduled the bands: the philharmonic is one of them, snake suspenderz is not. 😕 blah… everybody’s acting as though the moisture festival is happening, but nobody seems to care where it’s theoretically going to happen. it would be great if we could continue using the palladium, but if we’re not, presumably someone has started making arrangements to have it somewhere else.

bleh.

otamatone! オタマトーン 😊

i’ve wanted one for a long time: pretty much ever since i first read about them on internet, a few years ago. but i’ve never bought one, because it seemed too frivolous… and i’ve read some really negative reviews of them, that made me think they are not very well built, and so forth.

but this a gift, and it is from my lovely wife, so, of course i want it… and, actually, it plays pretty well — for a “novelty” “toy” that doesn’t have notes marked on it… it will definitely be an honoured member of my sound-effects collection, if nothing else… 😊

otamatone オタマトーン
otamatone オタマトーン

not only that, but the guy on the package (who, i assume, is Novmichi Tosa, the inventor of the otamatone), is wearing a wrist watch with an old-school telephone dial on it:

wrist watch with a telephone dial... what does it do?
wrist watch with a telephone dial… what does it do?

bleugh…

i’ve been sick for the past couple of days. i hope i’m going to be well enough to perform in cinderella on saturday, because that’s when it starts. dress rehearsal is tomorrow, and i haven’t even marked all of the sound effects or where to use them, so it’s going to be touch and go. i should be well enough to make rehearsal tomorrow, but i’ve already loaded the first batch of sound effects into my car. i’ve still got a huge box, plus the bell, which has it’s own stand…

i’ve volunteered to play trombone for a SANCApators performance at Teatro ZinZanni in redmond, in february. reheasals start during the run of cinderella, but the sancapators rehearse during the week, and cinderella is on the weekend, so there won’t be any conflict.

#SCROTUS #drumpf just reduced the size of two national monuments, Bear’s Ears, and Escalante, in utah, to about half of their original size. he wants to eliminate all national monuments, completely, and open the areas for oil drilling and mineral exploration. it’s probably illegal, and there’s already at least one lawsuit filed over it, but that won’t stop him from running rough-shod over it while he has the chance. DAPL has already sprung a couple of leaks, and there are lawsuits over that, as well, but you can’t put oil back in the ground, once it has been extracted… and spilled. meanwhile, there’s a rumour that democrats are going to force a vote to impeach him soon, but as long as the republicretins are in the majority, it’s not going to go anywhere. there’s eventually going to be action from special prosecutor mueller – he just subpoenad Deutsche Bank’s records concerning #drumpf’s accounts, and those of his family (although faux/fake news/jay sekulow (of the ACLJ, a “christian” hate-group) says that he hasn’t), which, allegedly, was the line across which, if he stepped, #drumpf had vowed to fire mueller, but it just happened this morning, so there’s no news on whether he will actually follow through. my personal opinion is that, if he fires mueller, i’m going to start fomenting revolution, and i’m not alone. on the other hand, if he doesn’t fire mueller, then he can definitely be more easily impeached, because his criminal activities, not to mention his treason, will be much more obvious… but once #drumpf is impeached, we’re going to have to impeach pence, and ryan, and the whole list of “republicans all the way down” before anything is going to change… and the only other option is for mueller to declare the 2016 election null-and-void, because of #drumpf’s treason and collusion, but, by then, it’ll be too late to do it over… and it’s never been done before, so nobody’s really sure whether or not it even CAN be done…

i want to be the person he shoots

update

story pole update –according to what george braddock says, they didn’t have any native assistance during the design part. i think that’s horse-shit, but george is one of the people who would know, so i’m torn… although i’m leaning heavily in the direction of horse-shit. also, david lewis, the cultural anthropoligist from the confederated tribes of the grande ronde, obviously doesn’t know that there actually were haida people involved, and that they’ve got the blessing of both haida and kalapuya elders. not only that, but the kalapuya, who are native to the area, didn’t have permanent art, because they were nomads, so it’s not really any kind of cultural appropriation. it sounds very much like this guy is in the camp of the lady who is behind this whole thing. 😐

so, anyway…

i got back from OCF, which, apart from the fact that my email was screwed up when i left, and nothing had been done about it by the time i came back, was excellent. i left on tuesday the 4th, and returned on monday the 10th, got bit by at least 50 different mosquitoes. they were huge and ravenous this year, pretty much the same as always, but they definitely dissappeared by thursday. i don’t know whether or not it had to do with the incoming throngs of people, but there was a definite difference between the clouds of mosquitoes surrounding me on wednesday, and their dissappearance on thursday.

chela mela
chela mela
the big conversation this year was around “cultural appropriation”, specifically the “cultural appropriation” perceived by a few, very vocal, “native american” (or not) people who aren’t even associated with the fair, when The Ritz (one of my favourite places about the fair) after 5 years of carving this EXQUISITE “story pole” outside the ritz, in a very public way, decided to raise the pole.

that’s it…

the “native americans” (or not) decided, after 5 years of public carving, without saying a SINGLE WORD, that the ritz raising their “story pole” is “cultural appropriation”.

first of all, i don’t actually know anything (which is the way 90% of the fair is run, from the beginning). all i pretend to know is what other, very passionate, people, some of whom actually do “know”, have told me. but what they say is:

the lady that’s behind the cry of “cultural appropriation” is a “troublemaker” and has been for many years. she may or may not be native herself and she has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the fair, but she has made an “anti-story-pole” web site and invited other “native american” groups to rally behind her standard. a small number have actually done so.

the ritz, in response to this lady’s blandishments, have COMPLETELY REMOVED ALL of the “native american” art from the premises, taken down the boiler that had native american artwork on it, that was prominently placed at the entrance, flipped over a fence that had native american style carvings, and replaced it with “vanilla” art, taken away 90% of the T-shirts, tote bags, bandanas and other merchandise that had “inappropriate” artwork, and minted new tokens this year, as well as taking the story pole off site for the fair.

at the same time, elders from a variety of northwest tribes, including the native kalapuya tribe, and elders from standing rock, have blessed the ritz, said that the artwork, and the ritz itself, HONOURS native traditions, and that this whole “cultural appropriation” fiasco is totally unimportant, considering how many actual issues of grave importance there are facing native americans, and society at large, these days.

finally, my own opinion is that ART IS CULTURAL APPROPRIATION. people like picasso (or was it banksy?) have said “IMMATURE ARTISTS IMMITATE. MATURE ARTISTS STEAL.” ever listen to “jazz”?

not only that, but having studied, and tried to imitate, northwest native artwork, i can tell you, from personal experience, that it’s not easy at all. the guy who carved the story pole wasn’t native, himself, but he obviously had experienced and expert native assistance, as well as YEARS of personal experience, to make a story pole that looked as authentic as it did, despite having elements that would NEVER HAVE APPEARED on an authentic native pole…

which it was never presented as being in the first place! 😕

so i was intrigued when i read a blurb that was posted in “Xavanadu” (what used to be called “The Craft Lot”, outside Morningwood Odditorium), concerning why the fair decided not to raise the story pole this year. it said, among other things, that there were a band of the kalapuya tribe called “chelamela”.

i haven’t yet met anyone who knows for sure, but it was always my impression (and the sign above supports the idea) that “chelamela” was a sanskrit compound word: छेल (chela) means “a devotee”, and मेल (mela) means “a festival”, so छेलमेल (chelamela) is “a festival of devotees”.

the idea that there may have been a band of kalapuya indians called “chelamela” is intriguing to me — suspicious, but intriguing — especially considering all of this “cultural appropriation” furor that is currently going on.

apparently, it’s true… who knew? 😉 so, the next question is, who “culturally appropriated” who, here?

there wasn’t a single day in the week that i was there, when i wasn’t involved in a PASSIONATE discussion about this issue, with MANY people. it made for a REALLY INTERESTING fair…

😕

north trotter's
north trotter’s
above, is “north trotter’s” on wednesday. it’s about a mile from Morningwood Odditorium: to get there, i had to walk through fields called “Xavanadu”, “Miss Piggy”, “North Piggy” and “Kermit” to get to the “Cabal Crossing”, which is where i signed in. by friday, this ENTIRE FIELD was filled with cars. near the center of the photo, in the background, you can see a structure that marks the beginning of the exit road. on the other side of that structure is another, similar sized field, “The Dead Lot” (named for a Grateful Dead performance that happened in 1989(?) in the lot), and beyond that is another similar sized field called “Outta Site”… which is where i parked my car this year. there is a shuttle, called “F.A.R.T.S.” (Fair Area Rapid Transit System) which i had to ride if i didn’t want to walk.

bird
bird
this was the bird that was over the dead lot, one of the times i decided to walk.

anagrams of Oregon Country Fair
anagrams of Oregon Country Fair

a huge load of hippie crap
a huge load of hippie crap
on wednesday, someone delivered a huge load of “hippie crap” to “xavanadu”. they eventually assembled it all into this. at night, the “roots” lit up with rainbow crawling LEDs.

Godfrey Daniels
Godfrey Daniels
he was my next door neighbour. 😎

more huge loads of hippie crap
more huge loads of hippie crap
more huge loads of hippie crap. at night it lit up with rainbow colour-changing LEDs.

some random hippie, 2017
some random hippie, 2017
what’s wrong with this picture? 😉

Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2016

yawn

nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.

moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.

the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. 😐

SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.

squeeeeeee!!

okay, whenever i get personal email from a “famous artist” who i really admire, i get a little verklempt.

a few years ago, i discovered this really weird, really prolific artist, who called himself Ergo Phizmiz, and, since then, i have accumulated approximately 40 individual downloads from him, all of which i really enjoy.

recently — within the last 6 months or so — he decided that the “Ergo Phizmiz” persona had run its course, and started releasing music under a much more “normal” sounding name, Dominic Robertson. i bought his most recent release, and he wrote me to thank me:

Just a quick note to say thanks very much for buying my recent releases on Bandcamp, most appreciated indeed.

feeling encouraged, i wrote back:

i have 40 downloaded albums by Ergo Phizmiz and/or Dominic Robertson, and i enjoy all of them. 8)

i am a musician as well, and play a variety of different instruments:

https://salamandir.bandcamp.com/ – by myself
https://saintfred.bandcamp.com/ – mostly by myself, but different instruments
https://and-more.bandcamp.com/ – with a friend, since the early 1980s
https://snakesuspenderz.bandcamp.com/ – with three friends, and totally different instruments

i also play with the Fremont Philharmonic, a 9-piece wind band that started out as a circus band, many years ago… but they don’t have anything recorded…

keep making music. it’s the only “real” thing there is! 8)

this was his reply:

Thanks a lot Salamandir. Lovely to meet you, going to put my feet up later and tune into you and your hybrid elephants.

squeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! 😁

although, to be honest, i probably wouldn’t have paid as much attention to him at first, if he had been dominic robertson… a lot of my initial attraction to him was that he made wonderfully weird music AND was called “Ergo Phizmiz”…

blue moon

this is the second time i’ve played at the blue moon, and the third time i’ve actually been in the blue moon… the first time i was in there, in the early 1990s, which was before i played there the first time, i went there to meet an old friend, who proceded to borrow $20 from me, and then i never saw her again.

Snake Suspenderz at The Blue Moon tavern in the University District
Snake Suspenderz at The Blue Moon tavern in the University District

i figured that if it cost me $20 to make sure that i never see her again, it was probably worth it.

sigh, i guess i’d better update this thing again…

not much has been happening, except for the world slowly blowing up because of the inanity of #drumpf.

i’ve finished one week of moisture festival performances, with the phil, and snake suspenderz actually has a rehearsal (our first one in more than a year), on wednesday, three days prior to us going on stage on saturday, for two more moisture festival shows. the moisture festival is over on sunday. i keep wondering why i do this, and i am still wondering why i do this, unlike my previous predicition.

there are a few more snake suspenderz gigs coming up, for a change…

apart from that, it’s pretty much rehearsal season.

i found a new dispensary, fairly close to my house — commencement bay cannabis — which appears to have high quality material for insanely low prices… like, for the price of an ounce in a number of other places i have been to, i can get TWO ounces at CBC. current fave is Cinex.

rehearsal season

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival in a couple of weeks. the ballard sedentary sousa band starts rehearsals for the 2017 season tomorrow. we start the season may 28th at the folklife festival. and snake suspenderz has gigs at the moisture festival, a winery in woodinville, and the blue moon in april.

things continue to get orders of magnitude worse in drumpf-land. at this point, if he were to disappear today, we would have approximately 10 years of cleanup to do before the society got back to “normal”… and there’s no way he’s going to “disappear” until at least next year. at this point, there’s an equal chance that he will destroy the world, or i will die before then. 😡

sickness and depression

i’ve been “sick or not” for a week now, and it’s really starting to get on my nerves. i don’t “feel” sick, but if i don’t take immune boosters and/or if i work too hard i get a sore throat and really congested. it never really comes on strong and takes hold, but it also doesn’t seem to want to go away any time soon. i’ve been taking immune boosters along with my 5HTP, and i can feel it helping, but it’s apparently not enough to make the “sickness or not” go away completely. combine that with depression that has been increasing or decreasing in intensity, but never actually going away, ever since #drumpf was elected, and it makes for a really difficult time merely existing in the world.

i’m playing for a burlesque show at the substation in ballard on march 7th, and then a week of moisture festival performances with the fremont philharmonic starting on march 22nd, plus 2 moisture festival performances by snake suspenderz on april 8th, and a gig with snake suspenderz on march 22nd in woodinville that pays $125 an hour, cash…

but i would still prefer it if i died, or, even better, if everybody else died, except for moe, the fremont philharmonic, snake suspenderz, the people with whom i’m doing the burlesque show, the significant others of the aforementioned people… and, MAYBE a few audience members…

plotz

drumpf continues to be a gold-plated asshole. his “muslim/immigrant ban” has been halted, temporarily, but he’s still building a wall, continuing with construction of two major oil pipelines, removing restrictions on coal companies dumping waste into streams, removing the affordable care act, blatantly censoring publically funded government entities like the parks department, the department of agriculture, NASA, and the environmental protection agency, firing people who resist him, and filling all available government positions with his cronies, who he has been encouraging to do similar things. he has gone on record opposing environmental restrictions by saying that his “friends” have businesses and they can’t borrow… 😠

i am getting an upgrade on the hybrid elephant web site. should be ready monday, with no down time. i’m wondering how long i can do this before i have to go out of business. reluctantly, i’ve spent about $1,000 on my web site in around a year, and i am pretty sure the web site hasn’t provided me with a commensurate amount of income. 😒

panto check came in. $100 less than last year. i’m not sure why, but it’s still the single greatest source of income i have for the entire year. next up is moisture festival. i know of at least a week’s worth of performances with the phil, for sure, and i know that snake suspenderz is “in”, but there’s still no clue how many shows, and/or whether or not we’re going to be a “show band”. i really need to find a new band and/or get us playing more frequently. 😐

puppies are still alive. mother (sis) is also still alive. the puppies have turned into alligators, so when they’re not actually feeding, sis has to wear a t-shirt or something to prevent the puppies from biting her tits off. we’re going to either visit, or to pick up a puppy (depending on as yet unknown other circumstances) on the 11th, and if we don’t pick up a puppy at that time, presumably we’re going to pick it up on the 17th… and then moe is going to some conference, somewhere, and i’m going to be left by myself to take care of three adult dogs and one 8-week-old puppy… thrill…

twerk

the third of four weeks of panto performances finished today. i’m confident that Rapunzel Stiltskin is the best panto we have done in the fifteen years that we have been doing pantos. we’ve got one more week, four more performances, and it can only get better from here.

i got a kurt weill songbook yesterday, and i intend to write arrangements for the phil, which, hopefully, we can work into moisture festival performances in some way or another. unofficially, we have been offered the second week of performances. once again, unofficially, the “old boy network” is still trying to replace the phil with their buddies, but they still haven’t done more than replace the last two weeks of bands with people who are part of the network, which, strangely enough (because the phil has played every moisture festival since the beginning) doesn’t include the phil. snake suspenderz hasn’t been offered anything, as far as i have heard, which is odd, because the guy who supposedly books music for the festival said that he had more gigs for us… two years ago… needless to say, i am less than enthusiastic about participating in the moisture festival this year.

moe is going to visit the puppies again on friday. at this point, 9 puppies are doing great, and the health of the mother, Sis, is improving massively, although there are still some mysterious deficiencies that are still eluding everyone. at this point, everyone agrees that everyone is going to survive, which is considerably different than the opinion a week and a half ago.

moe’s father and his piano

moe’s father died, suddenly, in late october. his funeral was last saturday. some would say “fortunately”, i had two panto performances that day, so i couldn’t go. however, one of the things that was an upshot of moe’s father dying was that moe inherited his piano. so, we now have a fairly decent spinnet piano in our house… or, rather, it will be a fairly decent spinnet piano when we get somebody in to fix the dead keys and clean out the bird-seed and spider-webs. in order to fit it in our house, we had to completely clear out the “office/guest-bedroom” which hasn’t been used as either for a couple of years. the office had a double bed, and a reclining chair that turns into a single bed, along with all of my inventory from hybrid elephant, most of my sound effects (i.e. the ones that i don’t have at the panto currently), a trombone, three trumpets, two soprano clarinets, an alto clarinet, a guitar, a whole bunch of home-made instruments, two huge bags of air-pillow packing materials, a cosco-sized bundle of paper towel rolls, three sleeping bags, and a bunch of other miscellaneous stuff. we got up fairly early yesterday, cleaned out the room and the hallway leading to it, and then we, along with moe’s step-brother, took delivery of a piano. also, because of the fact that it was superfluous, we freecycled the bed… and then we loaded up the back of moe’s step-brother’s truck and made a dump run with a bunch of brush and old lumber.

initially, i was hesitant about bringing the piano into our house, because i was under the impression that it was one of those upright pianos that you see in old western movies, that people stand, lean on, and put their glasses of beer on top of. this piano is actually about half that size. it’s about 3 feet tall, and 24 inches deep.

so, now, instead of an “office/guest-bedroom”, we have a “music room/guest-bedroom”. i’ve already moved in my bach trombone, my fender-rhodes piano, my DX-7, my E♭ tuba, my Sandviker’s Stradivarius musical saw, and my didjeriflute. the theory is that, eventually, that will be a place where we (meaning moe, too, whether she likes it or not! 😈) can go and IMMEDIATELY play music on a variety of instrumets, and the most preparation we might have to do is take an instrument out of its case. it will also be very beneficial for me, when i am transcribing music and need a keyboard. and, because my laptop is portable, i can easily use it to do all kinds of recording and editing and, using my DX-7 as a MIDI controller, i can even use my laptop as an instrument… 😎

Your Gold Teeth II

Your Gold Teeth II

Who are these children
Who scheme and run wild
Who speak with their wings
And the way that they smile
What are the secrets
They trace in the sky
And why do you tremble
Each time they ride by

Throw out your gold teeth
And see how they roll
The answer they reveal
Life is unreal

Who are these strangers
Who pass through the door
Who cover your action
And go you one more
If you’re feeling lucky
You best not refuse
It’s your game the rules
Are your own win or lose

Throw out your gold teeth
And see how they roll
The answer they reveal
Life is unreal

केच्छुप्

our “three weekends in a row of performances” with the sousa band is over. snake suspenderz played a moisture festival gig in redmond last week…

redmond was a trip. i haven’t been there in a long time… probably not since stlabs moved from redmond to factoria, which (according to my handy-dandy chart of when things happened) was approximately 1998… i may have been there once since then, but… wow, things have changed A LOT since the last time i hung around there. the obvious thing i noticed right away was the overwhelming number of indian and asian families i saw. definitely different than 1998, that’s for sure.

and that’s not to mention the huge mall that has suddenly appeared where there used to be woods…

i’ve been more than ordinarily depressed for about a week. i’m convinced, at this point, that the only reason i’m able to recognise it is because of the 5-HTP i’ve been taking. it doesn’t stop the depression from happening, but it gives me a degree of separation from it, so instead of being bogged down with depression, i can say “oh, i’m depressed” and continue living my life, more or less. i’ve met (finally) with a person who may become the replacement for ned. she’s REALLY young (like, possibly, still in her 20s) but it seems like things will work out, which will probably help the bouts of depression when they happen in the future. it’s likely, however, that the lack of such a person is only exacerbating the depression this time.

one of the three-weekends-of-performances-in-a-row was at deception pass, a place i haven’t been to since approximately 1991. it’s really surprising to me how much i can remember just by going to a place, when i hardly remember anything without actually seeing the place.

160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass

the picture above is the underpinings of the deception pass bridge. i climbed across the bridge, beneath the road surface, a whole bunch of years ago, before they put up the sign that says “Climing on bridge is prohibited”. unfortunately, when i got to the other side, the only place to get down from the bridge is on the top of a concrete pylon that’s about 25 feet above the ground… which, of course, meant that i had to climb back across the bridge to the place where i could get off without breaking my neck.

160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass

ho hum, default new entry title…

returned from OCF yesterday. logged into farcebook this morning and was immediately confronted with political stupidity and people making fun of human failure. we weren’t able to play at the ritz this year, despite my being in contact with the booker through farcebook for two years now. i’m seriously wondering whether or not this experiment with “social media” is worth the hassle.

however, interestingly, i only went to the ritz twice, because it rained on saturday, but, in spite of not getting booked to play this year, i ended up with three ritz tokens, and actually got to play one song with stuart’s band, choro loco. i played cuica:

cuica
cuica
cuica
cuica

i went to OCF last tuesday. the mosquitos were ravenous, and numerous… and HUGE! i got bit a lot tuesday and wednesday. thursday they calmed down a bit, and by friday they were all concentrating on the tens of thousands of other people who had just arrived. wednesday i slept for most of the day, which was luxurious, but somehow i wish there had been more activity.

there weren’t as many pictures, but they were memorable.

there were also a few pictures, not included, of daylight, close-up shots of the pedal-powered scroll saw i want to make.

2016 some random hippie
2016 some random hippie

other years:

2011 some random hippie
2011 some random hippie
2012 some random hippie
2012 some random hippie
2013 some random hippie
2013 some random hippie
Morningwood Odditorium, with the back of David Barnes' and Julia Kingrey's heads
Morningwood Odditorium, with the back of David Barnes’ and Julia Kingrey’s heads
my tuba, at Morningwood Odditorium
my tuba, at Morningwood Odditorium
Strangely stole my phone
Strangely stole my phone
found on monday
found on monday
found on monday
found on monday

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

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

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

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

grumph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

nope!

when i logged into my email this morning, one of my messages was from salamandir.bandcamp.com, from a guy named zach lincoln, who was, alledgedly, a “booking representative” from afton. this was the message he sent me:

> I wanted to reach out and see if you’re up to talk about some shows I’m
> putting together. Who’se the best person to contact about booking your
> act? I have a few dates every month around washington, my next open
> date is May 21st.

exciting, right? i have only had this music on bandcamp for a few months, and already i’m getting inquiries from someone who wants to book my act… i should be fired up…

but i’m also suspicious.

so, i wrote him back with a couple of alternate dates (i’m going to orlando on the 23rd, which is cutting it a bit close for my tastes), and i texted thaddeus, who has quite a bit more experience in the business of booking gigs than i do, and asked if he had ever heard of this guy. he said no, but sent me a link that might be appropriate.

zach wrote me back almost immediately with instructions on how to get started with afton, but i read the link that thad texted me first — http://www.wicasta.com/blogs/is-afton-live-a-scam-any-worse-than-venues/ — which, basically, says that if afton isn’t a scam, it is doing a lot of the things real scammers do, and the only way i should sign up for it is if it’s more important to me to play than it is to get paid.

it’s pretty important to me to play music, don’t get me wrong. and, given the choice, i would rather be playing music than just about anything else, pretty much any time, but it really disturbs me to be playing music for free when everybody else around me is getting paid for my playing music. in fact, that is one instance where i would, probably, NOT prefer to be playing music. i know a whole bunch of people, and at least two or three of them would probably come to see me play at a real venue, but if i have to do all of the marketing as well as playing music, then i would much rather do it on my own, than provide money for bookers and venue-owners but not myself, especially when i would be surrounded by other musicians who are in the same boat i am in.

so i wrote back to zach, asking if what i read in the article is true or not. the first response i got, when i was responding to his initial inquiry, came back within 5 minutes of my sending it, but i have now been waiting 4 hours for a response, and it hasn’t come yet… and i get the very strong feeling that it won’t come at all, which is an indication to me that what i read in the article was, in fact, spot on, and zach was hoping that i didn’t know that because it is so exciting to be contacted by someone who wants to book your act…

THEN i started actively poking around to see if i could find out anything more about this guy. conveniently, bandcamp gave me his IP address, so i plugged that in and discovered that zach wrote to me about booking gigs in washington from an IP address that’s located in Maspeth, New York… 😡

afton may or may not be an actual scam, but if it’s not, it sure isn’t trying very hard to differentiate itself from things that are, actually, scams.

that got me wondering… i’m pretty sure he never, actually, listened to any of the music at salamandir.bandcamp.com… i wonder what he would do if i actually showed up for one of his performances and played what i usually play on the didjeriflute…

so far…

i’m done playing moisture festival shows with the “show band” for this year. i still have a few other moisture festival related shows coming up as “artists” this year, with snake suspenderz: we’re playing the volunteer party, three “on stage” appearances, and at least one “fluffing” (where we entertain the audience waiting outside the theatre, before the performances start) that are still upcoming.

i’m waiting to see whether or not the band that is taken up the last two weeks of shows as the “show band” is any good before i make a firm decision, but there’s a good chance that i will be bowing out of next year’s moisture festival performances all together, if things don’t work out. i’m just getting way to tired of watching other people become part of the “old boy network” with a fraction of the input that i have made to the festival, when i am not even considered for that network, in spite of the fact that i’ve been in it since the beginning. it’s getting to be the same way with the oregon country fair, as well. i’ve never been a person that appreciates “old boy networks”, and these two things have been grating against that dislike for quite some time now. there are definite advantages to both, but, if not soon, definitely eventually, i’m going to have to bow out of both, because, fundamentally, i dislike the way they take advantage of me without offering sufficient benefits.

at the same time, i want to create a new act for next year’s moisture festival, that is a sextet (or larger group) that plays bach or mozart or something like that, on nose-flutes. so my feelings are definitely conflicted.

then there’s this…

5 types of swastika buttons
5 types of swastika buttons

i think i may have found a way to market these online so that people will be able to get what they want without having it be a random selection chosen by me. it’s difficult, because no two buttons are exactly the same, but i discovered, quite by accident, that there are five different general categories that they fall into. i suppose, if i wanted to get really technical, i could separate them even further into a predominant colour, but i think that may be a bit more complex, because then it would be possible, theoretically, for someone to come up with a colour and category that doesn’t exist, and that would be embarrassing.

they are all swastikas: category 1 buttons have more of an abstract swastika, because you can’t actually see it, but if you can look beyond the borders of the button, you might be able to imagine where it would be. category 2 buttons are a little less abstract, but it’s still not a visible swastika, although it might be easier for some people to figure out where it is. category 3 buttons have at least one definite swastika. category 4 buttons have at least three definite swastikas, and category 5 buttons have EITHER no less than 6 swastikas, OR at least one swastika, and a significant area where there are no swastikas.

they’re all $1.00 or more a piece… i say “or more” because if people want to pay more for them, i won’t complain. 😉

arf…

i’m well and truly into the midst of rehearsal season: we’ve been rehearsing the fremont philharmonic for 3 weeks for a week of shows at the moisture farcetival, we’ve been rehearsing snake suspenderz for a week for a gig at the château, a recording session with deb seymour(!), three moisture farcetival shows, and a moisture farcetival volunteer party, and next week rehearsals for the sousa band, whose first gig will be while i am in orlando.

and, speaking of orlando, this evening, i made, and paid for, the reservations for my trip from seattle, to orlando, to warrensburg, to seattle between may 23 and june 3. this is the first trip i’ve taken where i’ve had to fly, by myself, for my own enjoyment, in my entire life. i haven’t flown anywhere since the big bois with poise went to san francisco in 2012, and i haven’t been on the east coast since i went to boston when i started at software dot com in 1998… and then i was working (actually, i slept through most of the training classes, because i had stayed up until 4:00 in the morning drinking beer with spods), so i didn’t get the chance to see that much… and this is sort of the opposite corner of the continent…

i guess i’m officially starting to get “excited” about going on this trip…

but the visa signature conceirge service, in the process of giving me options for the trip, gave me the option of flying from orlando to kansas city, by way of… wait for it… seattle. yes, they tried to make what would ordinarily be a 3 hour non-stop flight into an 18 hour trip back home, with a 9 hour layover. really! 😕

flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness

tee… 😊

so, i got Roxy, The Movie on DVD for xmas. i finally got around to watching it this afternoon. during the last song, The Bebop Tango, i recognised this audience member, erstwhile named “Carl”…

"Carl", Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, Frank Zappa - Roxy, The Movie
“Carl”, Chester Thompson, Tom Fowler, Frank Zappa – Roxy, The Movie

this is the person i now know as Thaddeus, a LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time ago (8, 9, 10 December, 1973). here’s the whole performance:

the bewlay brothers

in the mid-1980s, i lived in an apartment with randy, who was a david bowie fanatic. i was not, at the time, because i had been brought up listening to jazz, classical, and contemporary classical music, had been heavily involved with jazz, marching and concert bands and orchestras, and, basically, “didn’t have time” to listen to “inferior” music made by “talentless” artists.

but, at the same time, i was also beginning to suspect that everything i had learned about “christianity” was not only false, but that there HAD to be another alternative to what the “christians” were ranting about. i had read some of the works of Aliester Crowley, and been able to make exactly zero sense of it, and started heading for other religions to fill the gaps.

then i heard this song, and a few others like it, and they helped me to realise that sometimes, in order to comprehend the deeper meanings of things, one had to read more than what was on the surface…

pantoo

panto started yesterday. 4 shows in and it’s already the best show we’ve ever done, despite the fact that the two fairy tales that we mashed up (Hansel & Gretel and Goldilocks & The Three Bears) are not very strong stories in and of themselves. i ordered a metal slide whistle because my PVC one has finally bit the big one. i also sold a single LP album for $200 at discogs.

updated

nothing much has happened since the last update:

i got an app for my tablet that will do what i want it to: it’s a drum-pad-sequencer gadget that has a built-in sampler, so i’ll be able to sample a service bell, and a whip, and whatever else i need and have them electronically reproducible on demand. it will do a number of things, including decreasing the amount of crap i’m going to have to haul, be volume-controllable, be fail-safe, and that sort of thing. it probably won’t work so well for the oregon country fair, but that’s a ways down the road yet. it’s kind of amusing to me, primarily because this is very definitely NOT the purpose for which it was intended to be used… but, to quote frank zappa, i, truly, don’t care.

two weeks until the panto starts. get your tickets now, because they’re going fast.

monday, this week (151123) was Church/State Separatation Day, and also Fibonacci Day.

i’ve been listing a lot of old vinyl for sale on discogs recently, and i’ve been selling a surprising amount of it. i’ve even gotten an inquiry about the album whose “recommended price” is close to $250, which surprised me a lot.

i’ve been taking 5HTP as a mood controller for a couple of months, and it seems to be having some effect. it doesn’t decrease the amount of depression, but it does put me in a space where i can observe the depression, rather than being affected by it… as much… i’m not sure whether this is an improvement or not, but it’s something… interesting, perhaps…

thanksgiving was yesterday. the world is fucked: climate change is upon us, there have been shootings and bombings all over the world (including a new one, today, when a 40ish-year-old, white male shot up a planned parenthood branch), people are getting stupider and they’ve got stellar education in how to do it, because the stupidest ones of all are the ones that they want to elect as the next president… humanity, as a species, is killing itself off in astounding numbers, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better any time soon. i have never wanted to do it, but i’m afraid i’m going to have to apologise to my son for bringing him into a world that is dead set on destroying itself. yeah, i’ve got good health, good friends, and good eats, but hitler had them too, and so does donald trump. but instead of assuring that everyone can have them, we’re more interested in keeping syrian refugees out of our country and giving people who are truly insane, the power to start the next world war. it’s time for some more realistic holidays that aren’t based on religion, coercion and genocide.

so i’ve got good reason to be depressed.

and, now that “thanksgiving” is past, there’s going to be a headlong dash into the pile of crap that is the most materialistic portion of the entire year, which decreases the probability of my getting any less depressed any time soon a lot more.

😠

okay, i am so pissed off at one particular person at the moisture festival that i can’t even think straight, and i haven’t been able to think straight for 3 days, but if i say what i really feel, then the probability is very high that i, at least, will not be invited back to play the moisture festival ever again, and while that seems like a good thing now, i would undoubtedly regret that decision eventually, so i’m going to keep my mouth shut…

with this one exception: the person who i am pissed off at, is the most inconsiderate, short-sighted, no-talent, "good-ol’-boy" ass that ever existed, and i am REALLY glad that, apart from the moisture festival, i have no contact with him, because if i did, it would undoubtedly get very unpleasant for both of us.

stuff & nonsense

i brought home the glass bong that i made in the previous post, and now have two glasses in the annealer, waiting for me to pick them up. 8)

the fremont phil has a gig on friday, which is tomorrow. i’m probably going up to b’ham to visit with kenyth on saturday. maybe coming back saturday, maybe sunday… haven’t decided yet.

saturday is also frank zappa day, and international talk-like-a-pirate day. a week from saturday is festa italiana for the BSSB. the thursday after that (which is the first of october), snake suspenderz has a gig at the chateau retirement center. maybe they’ll remember to pay us this time.

there’s a video that goes here, but it’s taking forever to upload, so i’ll put it in later.

Harmonic Flute

the following is the rant that i’m going to put in the liner notes of the CD… which is why it will probably change at some point in the future.


the harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. it was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing that i rescued from a construction site dumpster. i have been playing it for about 35 years. i have taken to calling it a “didjeri-flute” because when people see me playing it, one of the comments i hear most frequently is “didjeridu”… which is not correct (and, at this point, i find it somewhat annoying): it’s a harmonic or “overtone” flute, hornbostel-sachs number 421.111.11:

4 – aerophones
42 – non-free aerophones
421 – edge-blown aerophones
421.1 – flutes without a fipple
421.11 – end-blown flutes
421.111 – individual end-blown flutes
421.111.1 – open, single, end-blown flutes
421.111.11 – without fingerholes

a didjeridu is another very simple instrument, but to make a sound on a didjeridu, you use your lips to buzz into the open end, which causes the vibration in the tube, and use your breath, tongue and voice to modify the vibration. on a harmonic flute, you blow into the open end, which is modified by having a notch carved in it, with a leading edge that has been sharpened, to make the tube vibrate. without question, it is an instrument that requires very precise breath control, but that’s it: there’s no buzzing, and no tongue or voice involved at all. in this recording, the sound of the harmonic flute was fed through a boss digital delay, and a roland cube amplifier. the recording also features a brass temple bell.

the harmonic flute makes different notes based on the harmonic sequence: the first note, or “fundamental” is quiet enough, and hard enough to produce, that i don’t use it on this recording, but i can play it. sometimes it i can play it loud enough that other people can hear it as well. the second note, or “second partial” is an octave higher than the fundamental, and it is heard fairly frequently in this recording. the “third partial” is a perfect fifth above the second partial, the fourth partial is an octave above the second partial, or a perfect fourth above the third partial, and it continues along a known and predictable path from there. there are no holes in the walls of the flute, or “finger holes”, the harmonic flute has two holes, one at either end. the only way to control what note you are playing is to be able to control your breath.

other, similar flutes include the fujara, which is a fipple flute with an air-pipe and fingerholes, the quena, which is shorter, and has fingerholes, and the shakuhachi, which also is shorter, and has fingerholes.

the recording was made in an empty room with solid concrete walls about 1 foot thick, about 20 feet wide by 50 feet long by 15 feet high, with an open door at either end. the entire room, and the surrounding hallways on either end, are completely underground, and buried by 25 feet or so of earth, with bushes and trees on top. the room was one of the gunpowder storage rooms for one of the mortar bunkers at fort worden — (insert historical information about ft. worden here) — now that it is no longer being used for destructive purposes, it has absolutely fantastic accoustics, and i have wanted to record there for many years.

that’s more like it…

this is an “incomplete” track: it has the front and rear stereo pairs from my recording device, which was right in front of me, but it doesn’t have the front and rear stereo pairs from thaddeus’ device, which was about 10 feet away from me, facing the wall of the room…

however, this is pretty much exactly what i was looking for, and there’s around an hour’s worth of new tracks with which i can play around… 😎

ketchup

i isolated 10 “good enough” tracks from the raw files, but none of them were more than 6 minutes, and i wanted at least one that was 10 minutes or more, so i’m going back to fort worden next tuesday to try it all again. i’ve also bought a recording device of my own, which should make things more interesting, if nothing else.

i woke up the other day and tried to log in to my email account and discovered that everything was offline, and when i went to the host provider to determine why, i discovered that my account had been suspended because they received a spam complaint about me… except that, when i looked at the complaint they received, i recognised it immediately as one that i had sent to an upstream provider a couple of days before, and what they had done was forward it to the upstream provider on the “From:” line, instead of reading the headers to determine that they were, in fact, the people responsible… and, because of the fact that i NEVER receive spam complaints, they arbitrarily suspended my accounts, instead of reading the headers to determine who was actually responsible. 😕 since then i have received about 10,000 spam messages, in 1000 message increments, from people whose php servers have been compromised such that, simply by reading the headers and knowing where to click, i can actually see the spammers online interface on the compromised server…

but I was the one whose account was suspended for spamming. if it weren’t for the fact that i’m still recovering from my bout of changing host servers every few months, a few years ago, i would seriously consider switching, but… in spite of everything, the host server i currently use has been better than any of the others that i have found, for the price.

by the way, here is the place to get your email headers analysed, and here is the place to get information about the IP numbers you’ll get from analysing your email headers. basically it’s the same thing that spamcop used to do. i suppose there’s a way to automate it so that i don’t have to go through all the steps to figure out who gets the LARTs, but i like getting my hands dirty, because i know it’s being done correctly this way. 😏

i have a gig next saturday with the fremont philharmonic at “dudefest” and another gig on sunday at the peace arch in blaine with the sousa band. i’m probably going to spend sunday night in bellingham… depending…

exciting new thing

i’m really excited about my new project, tentatively called “I Breathe At It”, which is me playing my PVC long-flute/didgeri-flute/harmonic-flute in the bunkers at fort worden. here is a sample track:

we’ll see if that works… if not i’ll figure out something else… 😐

whaddaya know… it works. 8)

listen for the bird sounds… there were barn swallows nesting in the passageway outside of where we were recording.

150804 fort worden barn-swallow nest
150804 fort worden barn-swallow nest

this is so cool!

i’ve knowingly been around this building for 45 years, but i’ve never actually been inside the Women’s University Club in seattle, until yesterday, when the ballard sedentary sousa band played there. it’s been there for 90 years, or thereabouts, and has been the venue for many a ‘hoity-toity’ event presented by the rich, upper-class women of seattle… and now it has also been the venue in which the BSSB has played, which either means that their standards are slipping, or that the BSSB has moved up the ladder, in our social circles, by several rungs… 😉

but the photo below is not that… it is about 3 blocks away, right next door to the building i lived in (according to the handy-dandy chart of when things happened) between 1996 and 1997, at terry and east union

seriously, this is one of my favourite places in the entire city, and i would live there again in a cold second, given the opportunity… there’s nothing like waking up in the morning, walking a few blocks, and being able to eat breakfast at the pike place market before starting your day… 😎

when i got to the women’s university club, i played, as i was expected to do, but i then learned about the fact that, in 1927, John Philip Sousa had actually been a guest of the women’s university club, and they had his signature in their guest book! so, of course, i had to take a picture of it…

150729 John Philip Sousa autograph

of course, because of the fact that i took it with my cell-phone, it’s kind of blurry, but hey… it’s a real piece of history, that i’m a part of, because we actually got to sign the very same guest book! 😀

now that things are…

now that things are in a state which could be referred to as “normal”, if such a concept existed (which it doesn’t, but that’s a discussion for another time), i actually have the time to update this thing…

so, OCF happened: six shows in three days, with the completely predictable “no complete rehearsal, with everybody present, until the opening show”, which went surprisingly well despite everything, and worked out, once again, to be universally applauded as “the best show we’ve ever done”. the saturday that was my “birthday” included playing at the open mike and a show for naked hippies at the ritz, which has some really cool “added extras” this year, including the ability to record our set on professional level equipment, which dramatically increases the probability that there’s actually going to be a CD later in the year… 😉

there are pictures, but they’re still on my phone… and the only real disadvantage this year was the fact that i didn’t get to spend my “birthday” with my sweetie… 😕

immediately upon getting home, however, things took a turn to the chaotic side and that’s what i’m recovering from more than anything… although the fact that i’m coming off a week of unreality at OCF may, at the same time, contribute to my ability to get through the following week of chaos, and, basically, leave me with absolutely no spoons to spare, and in a really, really strange mental state.

i played a gig with snake suspenderz at ida culver house in ravenna, which is right across the street from the former home of a woman i used to work with (which has now been turned into condominiums) who was my supervisor before mike cummings, and i believe her name was laura culver… but i’m not sure, and i’m no longer in contact with anyone who might know… and it’s pointless anyway, because the real point is that the company who engaged us, ERA Living, has, once again, stiffed us in a way that i AM NOT going to allow to happen again: basically, they had me fill out the necessay paperwork back in may, and they STILL haven’t presented a check to me for the performance that happened on thursday… and it’s now saturday… not only that, but when i got there, i was told that we would also be fed, however when we approached the guy who was laying out the food, we were told that we “had to wait until the rest of the guests were served”… and when we finally got done playing, there was no more food. 😠

and that’s not to mention that there were actually two separate groups engaged — “snake suspenderz” and “hobbit and hare” — and they paid us for one hour, in spite of the fact that some of us actually performed for two hours…

and when i approached the lady that had hired us, and said “we didn’t get fed, and we didn’t get paid”, i had to hound her every step, while she tried to sidestep the issue and blame it on everyone else for an extra 30 minutes, before she agreed to go to an ATM and withdraw the money from her personal account.

once again, this is an upscale retirement home in a trendy, gentrified area north of the university district, where the residents have gold-plated nametags, which is run by a corporation that regularly deals in hundreds of thousands of dollars (at least), and they appear to have no regard for the musicians they “hire” to entertain their high-paying residents… they wouldn’t treat a caterer like this… hell, they have a caterer on staff (which didn’t improve his attitude when we wanted to eat, however), but they feel perfectly justified in STIFFING THE BAND, because anybody can blow through a heavy collection of plumbing and make sounds that are acceptable to old people… 😠

and even if (as i was repeatedly assured would happen) the check does arrive on monday, the fact is, i filled out their fecking paperwork IN MAY so that they would be able to present me a check on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and it DIDN’T HAPPEN… AGAIN!! 😠

which leaves us in a difficult position indeed, because the people for whom we are playing both LOVE us, and, decidedly, AREN’T the ones who are (or, apparently, aren’t) paying us. if we refuse to play, the old people suffer… 😕

anyway, the day after, i had my “annual wellness check” with dr. wacka-loon, which went more-or-less as expected, and then we had eleven friends over for “game night”, which, by the time it started i was already out of spoons, and was able to hold on only through liberal application of various mind-altering substances… all of which, surprisingly, are now legal, in spite of everything. 😉

post OCF…

and despite the fact that the “real” world expects me to hit the ground running, i still haven’t quite managed it… i’ve already tackled, more or less, an erroneous water shut-off notice and ⅔ of a confirmation for a snake suspenderz gig that’s happening on thursday…

more later, but for now: two major advantages to being at home, rather than camping out at the oregon country fair: flush toilets that are mere steps away from my current location, instead of significantly used porta-pottys that are two blocks away, and refrigerated, artesian well water instead of warm, chlorinated tap water that has seen the inside of a tanker truck. 😛

damn, that’s supposed to be a disgusted face with its tongue stuck out… i’m going to have to work on that… 😐

and that’s not to mention driving for 5 hours, and unpacking from a weeks worth of camping… i still have to do several loads of laundry, put my camping gear away, and take a shower…

another advantage: cold beer. that is all.

OCF and heat

this is my official pre-OCF post for 2015, among other things.

it has been SO FUCKING HOT for the past couple of days that i haven’t been able to run either of my real “computers” except for a couple of brief periods when i had to set up a trial wordpress instance for AVBT, and then produce some simple graphics for the site. it’s been hot enough that, if i keep my computers running for more than a couple of hours, they start acting funny… and, to be honest, i don’t blame them. it’s a good thing this is a holiday weekend, and even better that we don’t have to go on a one-day road-trip to portland — the mother-in-law and her housemate are not throwing a party this year because the housemate has had another stroke recently, and isn’t in any shape to do anything but smoke cigarettes (which is what caused the first stroke), and convalesce in her air-conditioned house…

on the up side, i’m almost ready to go to OCF again this year. there have been the standard rumours of intense heat, bugs, tight camping, changes in the layout of the fair, and other stuff that may or may not actually be things that affect me… this year, for the first time since i actually started going to the fair (2004), simon will not have to put up the stage (the stage was made into a “permanent structure”, like the ritz and the main stage, last year) which means that he’ll have more time to hang around and get drunk, which may or may not be a good thing, especially since he actually has a speaking part (The Ringmaster of The Ding-A-Ling Brothers Circus) this year.

amazingly enough, i may actually post on this blog from the fair this year, because i have several technological “helpers” that i have never had before: i have a solar charger for my phone and tablet, i have access to a secure cloud storage device, and i am definitely going to take my phone, and probably going to take my tablet to the fair this year… i can just imagine sitting out in the woods and updating my blog… all i need is a wifi password, which i know they have, i just don’t know what it is… yet… and, actually, i don’t even need that, because my phone is also a wifi hotspot… it’s amazing, scary and incomprehensible, all at the same time…

until then, i’m hunkering down in my hole beside the fan, not having access to either of my “real” computers, reassuring the dogs that it will all be over soon (they don’t believe me) and hoping that by next week things will be somewhat cooler. 😛

and while i have been typing this, i got a text-message from that same mother-in-law, who informs me that she’s getting some cannabis plants tomorrow… and, yes, she lives in a place where it is currently legal on the state level… this is another thing that’s amazing, scary and totally incomprehensible, at the same time… 😐

new antique music by somebody else…

once again, i would like to offer my utmost gratitude to my wife, who made it possible for me to own the awesome music notation software called Sibelius. it has made processes like this take so much less time than doing the same thing “by hand”… and it’s not something that i have to imagine, as i have actually done projects like this “by hand” in the past, and it was so tedious and drawn-out over, literally, months, that i no longer do such projects… conversely, this project in it’s entirety, took 5 weeks to go from “a gleam in my eye” to having finished parts and a recording… and 4 weeks and 5 days of that were waiting for the score to arrive from the publisher. 😎

so, there’s this march in honor of Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment written in 1881 by Thornton Barnes Boyer, which we’ve been trying to play with the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band for several years now, and getting nowhere… primarily because of the fact that there are several different “arrangements” of it scattered across the 35-odd musicians in the band, which have several differences which, while not major, definitely mean that playing it as an ensemble is a lot more difficult. and that’s not to mention that it is in the key of E♭ minor (six flats, for those of you who may not know), which, for a community band with players of all abilities, is asking a bit too much…

but that may or may not be the issue, as i discovered at a recent BSSB rehearsal that, in fact, there are two different “arrangements” of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March just in the trombone section, and that they are enough different that playing the two of them and expecting it to sound even reasonably coherent was impossible, as one of them had the “Trio” in an entirely different key all together.

a little bit of research revealed the fact that there are several different “arrangements”, which include adding harmony and ornamentation to the trio, changing the key of the trio to the relative major, and changing the location of the “Da Capo”, all of which were made long after the original composer, TB Boyer, had passed on, and nobody could decide which of the many different arrangements was “best”. one thing that they all agreed on, however, was that the original piece had been published by J.W.Pepper.

a tiny light bulb appeared over my head, as i realised that i actually own a 100-year-old musical instrument with the J.W.Pepper logo stamped on it, and i actually know where J.W.Pepper has a branch location in tukwilla…

so, i went to J.W.Pepper and asked if they still carried the original version of Joyce’s 71st NY Regiment March, not arranged by anyone, and, bob’s-yer-uncle, they have it. not only that, but they have a version of it that has been transcribed for modern instruments, which is really an issue when you realise that what constitutes a concert band has changed pretty dramatically in the past 120 years: no saxhorns, no helicons, no ophecleids, quinticlaves or clavitubes, no serpents, consistent woodwinds, a tuning note that is several cents higher than it was, etc., etc., etc…

however, they sold the publishing rights to some other company, which only prints copies on demand, so i had to wait until they printed a copy… just for meeeeee… 😊

i got it the other day, and entered it into the aforementioned, AWESOME MUSIC NOTATION SOFTWARE (which took all of 5 hours, stretched out over a couple of days) and transposed it down a half-step, into D minor, which only has one flat!

my impression is that it will be much easier to muddle our way through, now that we’ve all got the same arrangement, and it’s in a key that doesn’t twist our brains while we’re trying to learn it… 👍

and, because of the fact that the software also outputs in sound formats, i have been able to hear what it’s going to sound like (more or less) to make sure that all the parts are correct BEFORE i print them and hand them out to people!

Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment March

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the moisture festival is over for another year (although macque said that he would consider adding another moisture festival in november)… we’re going to see The Hacki Ginda Show — The Last Laugh & Then auf wideresehen on saturday, which will be the first time i will have seen the audience view for the famous 3D act that i played tuba and sound effects for in the moisture festival. i feel a lot better about the moisture festival than i have in the past, at this time. it may be that what i’ve heard about the more evil aspects being based more on stupidity rather than maliciousness may actually be true… or it may be that my years of griping about the bands may have actually made a difference. one way or another, i’m a lot more relaxed and at ease concerning my participation than i have been in quite some time.

in the process of managing a farcebook account for frank zappa, i have successfully reconnected with a guy who i have known since we were in third grade. if this were the ONLY thing farcebook were good for, that would be sufficient… however, i recently read a post by a friend of mine who discovered that, if they’re not specifically blocked, other farcebook users, and 3rd party apps have access to a whole list of stuff farcebook “knows” about you, like your bio, birthday, family and relationships, interests, religious and political views, websites, whether or not you’re on line, status updates, photos, videos, links, notes, home town, current city, education and work, activities… which means, basically, that i’m not going to put anything personal into farcebook, apart from pictures of my cat.

but, at the same time, i’m really excited about reconnecting with joe. we met when i lived in buffalo, new york, and we did magic shows together. we were actually good enough that, when we were in 7th and 8th grade, we actually went back to the elementary school that we had gone to previously, and did shows for them… something that, basically, wouldn’t be allowed at all in this “modern” age… and i still remember this one show we did where we asked for a volunteer from the audience, and the kid who came up was named Kimo Popohadjopolis… and i even remember how to spell it, because we gave our volunteers certificates with their names on them, as souveniers… i lost touch with him when my parents moved back to seattle, when i was 12 or thereabouts. he’s still a magician, currently working for Universal Studios Harry Potter in Osaka… 😎

also, another really cool thing that happened to me: once again, about the time i was 12 or so, i read this amazing story about this guy named Tom Noddy, who had a job at the San Francisco Exploratorium blowing bubbles. i was entranced by the idea that anyone could actually get a job blowing bubbles, and i vowed that eventually i would have a job like his… and now Tom Noddy is my farcebook friend, and when i told him that story, he said he wished people would stop telling him that story, because it reminds him of how old he is… 😎

i suppose this is the only time i’m going to have to update this in a while…

so the moisture festival starts this week. i’ve got a sancapators rehearsal on wednesday, and then i play with the sancapators on thursday. then i’ve got a fremont philharmonic rehearsal on saturday. then starting a week from wednesday i play, with snake suspenderz, one show each wednesday, thursday and friday, three shows saturday, two shows sunday and one show monday. then i’ve probably got a fremont phil rehearsal on saturday, april 4th, and on wednesday the 8th i start all over again, with the phil, one show each on wednesday, thursday and friday, three shows saturday, and two shows sunday. my recollection is that last year i got sick on one of the days that i played with the sancapators, and spent the rest of the festival recovering. i’m going to try to avoid that this year, if at all possible.

moe broke a tooth few weeks ago, while she was on her way to las vegas, and then she broke another tooth about a week later, which she had pulled about a week ago, which resulted in dry socket, a very painful condition that i would have preferred she NOT have to suffer. she went to the dentist today to get her crown made, for the original tooth she broke, and she’s got another appointment to have some other work done in a couple of weeks. it makes me really glad that i’ve got indestructable teeth (seriously, ever since i was a kid the dentists i have gone to have shooed me out of their office as quickly as possible so that they can get actual, paying customers in their chairs, and some have been rather obvious and rude about it), but i wish she didn’t have to go through all this, because i know how painful it can be. 😐

i splurged and bought a USB turntable that actually works (compared to the sony turntable that i had, which appeared to work, but didn’t, in some extremely significant ways that weren’t actually evident until almost the end of the project), and re-started on the process of rendering all of the remaining vinyl in the house (which is a surprisingly small amount at this point) into a digital format that can be played on “today’s” devices. i’m rendering the vinyl albums into .flac format, for burning onto CDs, .ogg format for playing on my desktop, and .mp3 format for playing on my phone and tablet… of course i’m also thinking of how this whole project can be monetized once i’m finished with my own projects, because i can’t be the only person with a hoard of obsolete but desirable music… 👿

some jehovah’s witlesses just came by our house. it’s the first active evangelisation attempt we’ve had on the house in a very long time. the last time i was taken off guard and actually took their line of drivel for a minute before i ejected them from the property, but this time i was alerted (thanks to zorah, who barks at anything that moves, so i had to be a little aware, as well), and i met the guy on the front porch and told him that i wasn’t interested in his drivel before he even had the chance to say anything. i went back in the house and, while i watched, four more people in a car drove up, so i went down to the driveway and said, very clearly and slowly, “Tina Chopp is God! Praise her OR DIE!!”… i suppose now they’re going to call the police on me, but it was worth it. 👿

by the way, this post is at least partially because my sister posted that she and her husband are “not very exciting people”… the reason you’re not very exciting people is because you don’t try hard enough… 😛

growl

we had a snake suspenderz gig at the old-folks home in renton this afternoon.

we have actually been hired by this particular old-folks home for four gigs throughout 2015. this is the second one. the third one is in april, and the fourth one is in october.

you would think, because of the fact that THEY KNOW WE’RE COMING, that they could pull their corporate head out of their ass for long enough, as they agreed before the previous performance, to get us FUCKING PAID ON TIME… 😛

but if you thought that, you would be wrong… AGAIN… 😛

and, as we experienced the last time, if we simply refused to play, our audience, which has absolutely no control over the redistribution of wealth, would be the ones who suffer. 😡

rehearsal season is here

monday i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal. tuesday i have a sousa band rehearsal. wednesday i have a fighting instruments of karma rehearsal. thursday i have a snake suspenderz gig. sunday, a week from today, i have a fremont phil gig. wednesday week, i have a fighting instruments of karma rehearsal… then the moisture festival starts…

oy… 😐

hrmph…

yeah, i’m still here…

i was cleaning up in the workshop today and i found the keys to the thule box, which i had to have new ones made several months ago when i wanted to use the thule box for something and couldn’t find the keys. they were sitting on the surface of my secondary workbench, under a massive pile of other projects (at least 5, going back to last summer) which either got abandoned, or the detritus from finishing never got cleaned up. i didn’t finish cleaning up, but i made a significant start. maybe tomorrow.

i’ve got my DX7 on my desk, because i want to work with reason to find some synth voices that i don’t have to tweak, so that the next time i go to bellingham i’ll have something ready to play live. about half of the time that i spent playing music last week was actually tweaking the voices to get something that didn’t sound like it was part of a pop song. i would use the DX7 voices except for the fact that the internal battery is dead, and i have to take the synth completely apart to replace it. fortunately the battery is really common (i have a couple of them that are still in their blister pack), but replacing it is something that i think i want to have help with, much in the same way that i needed help replacing the brake pads in my old car… not that i don’t know how to do it, but someone who knows how to do it to make sure that i don’t do things incorrectly, and to help if something breaks.

this is after taking my piano to bellingham, in the hopes of being able to use that, but one of the first things that was done to it after i left was that one of the tines was broken (number 50) and, until a replacement is found, the piano is currently in storage in the attic, which is doubtless a lot safer place for it than where it was, under the window in my living room.

but, as much as i would like to, the probability that i will be going to bellingham in the next few weeks is low, because of the looming moisture festival and its surrounding chaos.

the moisture festival is approaching at an appalling rate, and i am, once again, playing in three out of the four bands at the palladium: The Fighting Instruments of Karma, Snake Suspenderz and The Fremont Philharmonic. i have rehearsed and/or played with snake suspenderz (or significant portions thereof) and the fremont phil enough recently to know that we’re probably going to do okay, but we could use more rehearsal, and i haven’t played with the FIOK enough to be absolutely certain that we need more rehearsal, but probably aren’t going to get it. i’m still ambivalent about my participation in the moisture festival, but my vocal ranting has been dissipated somewhat by the inclusion of snake suspenderz in the lineup of show bands… but i didn’t donate $100 last year to get a star on the wall, like i did two years ago, and, unless the “stipend” is well above where it was last year, it’s not likely that i’m going to donate this year either.

today has been a banner day for people or robots trying to crack my shit… once again, i will advise you that if you try to login using anything other than the correct username and password, you get two attempts and then you are IP blocked for two weeks. after that, you get two more attempts and then you are blocked for a month. here’s a final hint: the username is NOT admin. 😛

shriners

so, we went to wilsonville, yesterday, to play for a bunch of shriners. rather predictably, we ROCKED THE HOUSE, which, also rather predictably, resulted in the entire band being, essentially, offered membership in the shriners club.

from what i’ve been able to ascertain from external sources (google), it normally takes an "average" male person about four to eight months to achieve the status of "master mason", which is the requirement for joining the shriners. this is, of course, lacking the essential "recommendation" without which none of this is possible anyway, and it’s definitely a “men only” club, as, as far as i have been able to tell, there aren’t any female masons of any variety – females are not "allowed" to become masons, and have to make due with "The Order of The Eastern Star" or some such other nonsense.

among the "requirements" for becoming a mason of any variety, once we’ve done away with the gender and recommendation requirements, is that one has to believe in a "Supreme Being"…

that’s not a problem for me, but i suspect that it’s a matter which the masons might take exception, given the opportunity… or, at least, the masons with whom i am most immediately familiar, i.e. the "master masons" of the Al Kader shrine center — as an aside, i must notice the distinct similarities between "Al Kader" and "al-Qa’eda"… while they probably think that they are about as far away from the term "terrorism" as one group of people could get, my impression is, whether right or left, an extreme is still an extreme… and, in my opinion, they are, most definitely, extreme, in more than one way.

but, back to the issue at hand…

the requirement that one "believes in a "Supreme Being"" will, i’m fairly certain, begin to rub people the wrong way. i “believe” (have absolute knowlege, which i can’t “share” with anyone, even if i wanted to) in a “Supreme Being” who both exists, and doesn’t exist, at the same time; who is both personally, intimately involved in the minutest details of everyday life, and doesn’t care about you, or me, or the evil that is being done in the world, or anything else… when it can be said to exist at all.

requiring this kind of God to be capable of being labeled “male” or “female” is pointless, meaningless and a waste of time. this kind of God, can (if it can be said to exist at all) be male, female, all-sex and no-sex, all at the same time…

which raises a distinct question when the "Illustrious Chaplain" commenced yesterday evening’s celebration with a prayer to “father god”, which was echoed with vehement reverance by a lady who was standing next to me, who kept saying “praise jeezis” over and over during the prayer…

it is this kind of behaviour which makes me suspicious of the shriners, especially when they make a point of saying things like “While our backgrounds and interests may be diverse, what binds us together are shared values…” there have been too many times in my past where that kind of language meant “what binds us together are shared values, which if you don’t happen to share, in whatever detail, we are bound to make your life more miserable than it already is”…

this was driven home to me when i was thinking about postulating to the clampers, a few years ago, and discovered that, among other things, the people that i would have been forced to hang out with were the most foul-mouthed, disrespectful, low-life, ignorant rednecks i have ever had the pleasure of meeting. while the al kader shriners are definitely not the clampers, or the eagles, it appears to me as though the only significant difference is the amount of money in their checking accounts, and the fact that there are more elected civic officials in the shrine temple than there are in the clamper hall.

okay, so, ASSUMING that we can overcome that hurdle, the first degree is apprentice, which is all about moral character… and if i don’t “believe” in the same kind of “supreme being” that they do, it comes as no surprise that i don’t have the same morals they do… except that i do, for different reasons, which are going to be another big hurdle to overcome. to top it all off, there is a catechism that i am already, really NOT interested in memorising, because, if nothing else, i have limited enough brain-cells as it is, and i’m very likely going to be A LOT more interested in using them for memorising other bits of useless trivia which i’m not going to be able to use in six months. if joining their club with the cool hats means memorising anything i don’t already know, then i’m probably going to give their club with the cool hats a miss. sorry.

so, once again, ASSUMING that we can overcome those hurdles as well (the word that i was given last night is that we could “very easily become shriners”), one of the aims of the organisation is to have a group of people with whom you feel comfortable hanging out. i have that! i don’t need an artificial organisation that claims to be oriented towards the arts and sciences when i am part of an extremely natural, non-organised group of people whose entire lives are a part of the arts and sciences… and i feel comfortable hanging around with them, whereas i’m very definitely NOT comfortable hanging around with a bunch of fat, filthy rich old men, horny, sleazy young men who want to be fat, filthy rich old men when they grow up, and their “ladies”… the reason we ROCKED THE HOUSE last night was because there wasn’t another musician in the house. sure, there were people who had played musical instruments when they were in school, 40 years ago, and people who play musical instruments as a hobby, but there wasn’t a single current member of a band or soloist in the entire house, with the exception of Accidental Rhino. i really don’t want to join a club just so that i can play for their events… my impression is that i wouldn’t get paid as much or as frequently…

honestly, this club with the cool hats doesn’t really have much that attracts me — cool hats and cool jewelry are about it — so why… fucking why am i so drawn to them? 😐

now that i actually know where it’s going to be…

it’s been on my schedule for 6 months or more, but now that i actually know where this gig that we have this weekend (yes, we’ve actually got a gig on valentine’s day) is, i feel a bit more comfortable writing about it…

about… what? six months ago? something like that… anyway, about six months ago, hobbit pinged me and asked me if i was going to be available for a gig in oregon on valentine’s day. i said yes, pencilled it in, and promptly forgot about it until about two weeks ago, when i promptly remembered we had a gig coming up that i didn’t know anything about, and had a minor freak-out… especially because i had somehow gotten the idea that it was near eugene, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except i didn’t know whether we were planning on spending the night somewhere, or what.

hobbit’s response to my freak-out was to schedule a rehearsal for tomorrow, and a “pre-rehearsal” with me, today, to write out a couple of new charts (because i now legally own Sibelius!! 😎 ), and during our meeting today he informed me that it is not in eugene, but in wilsonville, which is much closer, at the Al Kader shrine temple.

so i’m spending the day travelling to and from portland to play at a shrine temple on valentine’s day. fortunately, i’ve got a patient and tolerant sweetie who has agreed to go out to dinner with me on friday, in exchange for her going to las vegas for a veterinary conference next week. the shriners are paying us $200 a piece, plus another $50 for gas, and in exchange, we are going to rock their house, figuratively speaking, for three hours.

i’m sort of ambivalent about shriners… they wear cool hats, these particular shriners have excellent taste in music, and my grandfather (who died before i was born) was a shriner at the mohammed temple in peoria, illinois… but i’ve never been one to pay much attention to other people’s “mystic”, quasi-religious rites, and there’s a sheen of “better-than-you” “old-boy’s-network” slime over the whole deal, which is the main thing that caused me not to postulate to the clampers, and has been a major “thing” to get over in the process of going to burning man and OCF as well. as it is, i’ve got plenty of fezzes, most of which are not shrine fezzes (and one which was made by the company that makes shrine regalia, but with no emblems on it), and i plan on supplying fezzes to my fez-less band-mates use… and, maybe, i’ll get a chance to talk to an actual shriner about my grandfather.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Accidental Rhino

J.W. Pepper

Tenor Hornin a post called fezorocity and antique brass…, from 100911, i wrote of obtaining an antique tenor horn, around 100 years old, stamped with the J.W. Pepper logo. i actually did some research online and found pictures of similar horns from around the same era.

i immediately featured the horn in an educational post entitled “THE "RIGHT WAY" TO REMOVE A STUCK BRASS MOUTHPIECE“, in which i used it as an example of a stuck mouthpiece and the correct way to remove it.

120502 tuba triothen, on 120502, i posted a composite photo of me playing three different tubas, one of which was that same horn with the J.W. Pepper logo. at the time i was under the impression that it was more or less a “mid-west” and/or east coast company.

little did i know… 😎

140331 salamandir at the moisture festivalit turns out that there’s a branch of J.W. Pepper in tukwilla, just down the street from ikea. i went in there today and immediately felt like i’d been there all my life… they had racks of catalogued sheet music all over the place, a rack of batons for sale on the desk, and a friendly dog who greeted me at the door.

i ordered a copy of the piano score for Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel, which should be here next week, and i’m going to take the horn with me. 😎

ketchup

for those of you who may be trying to guess my administrator password, good luck… seriously… you can start with not trying to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, because either one will get you banned for 6 hours (the first time). and it doesn’t matter how many IP addresses you use, you’ll still get banned if you try to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, so you may as well give it up.

they finally got the check to us on saturday, which is sooner than they told us the last time, but four days later than they originally agreed upon. it’s really bizarre, because the audiences love us and ask us when will be the next time we’re coming back, but if the “MAN”agement doesn’t get it together to pay us on time, there aren’t going to be too many more shows like this.

i’m deep into rehearsal season again. the panto starts on 13th december and the fremont philharmonic is playing for the fremont lenin lighting/festivus celebration on 5th december. we’re rehearsing twice a week for the panto, we still haven’t got all the music, or finalised who is going to play (or not) for which shows, i just created yet another “new” mailing list for the players, and, already macque has had to delete one address and add another one because of some fiasco in which he’s involved.

my mother-in-law (who may be reading this) came to visit last week, so that she could accompany moe to the fleetwood mac concert. i’m not a big fleetwood mac fan, so i drove them to the venue and then went to the Poodle Dog, which i used to frequent when i was a cab driver, in the middle-1980s. as far as i could tell, the only thing that has changed about the poodle dog is the computer screens in place of the cash register, and the wide-screen flat-panel televisions in place of the CRT screens above the bar… even the smell was the same. we arranged to go to a friend’s birthday party with the M-I-L, as well, but, as we were on our way out the door to go to the party, she fell and fractured her wrist in three places, causing her and moe to be in the emergency room until 3:00 in the morning. she was wondering why i seemed to be expressing a desire not to be in contact with her, and this is the reason why. she’s way too fragile to be an ongoing part of our (meaning mine and moe’s) life. she’s always going to be moe’s mom, so i’m always going to get along with her, more or less; really, it’s not as though i don’t get along with her, like i don’t get along with my parents, but i also don’t want her to put herself into situations where she’s going to get broken. we’ve experienced enough broken-ness without her adding to the batch.

phgnaw… 8P

snake suspenderz did another gig for ERA Living on tuesday. we knew about it several months in advance, and “submitted the appropriate paperwork” so that we would (alledgedly) get paid on the day of the performance.

as is becoming rather common with gigs for ERA Living, we were not paid on the day of performance. they apologised profusely (like they did the last time) and assured us that we would be contacted the next day concerning payment.

we were not contacted. 😛

last night, i wrote a “carefully worded” email to the lady that books these gigs, and told her that, in the future, if we are not paid on the day of the performance, we WILL NOT perform!

this morning my email box is full of apologies from people i don’t even know, and assurances that we should expect a check “early next week”…

my impression is that we submitted the appropriate paperwork A MONTH AGO so that we would get paid on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and this whole business of having to wait another week because they didn’t cut the check on time is HORSESHIT

ESPECIALLY since they’re not paying us enough anyway… seriously, these gigs are for upscale retirement homes where the residents get gold name-tags, and there are huge fireplaces, libraries, catered food whenever they want, and so forth… they can afford to be paying us $600 for two hours (which is what we ask for, AND GET from other places) out of petty cash, but they only budget $400 for these gigs, and absolutely can’t go any higher…

on top of that, they consistently SCREW UP and aren’t able to pay us even $400 on the day that we perform, despite the fact that we get everything set up with them a month in advance… 😛

but if we refuse to play, the old folks who make up the audiences get whatever other groups want to bend over for their money, and, honestly, the old folks really enjoy the music we play…

i wonder how many catered dinners they would have if they didn’t pay the caterer the same way they’re not paying the musicians? 😛

bluh

i was up until 1:30 this morning… i had a snake suspenderz gig at a benefit for the moisture festival, which didn’t get out until 10:00, which meant that i didn’t get home until about 11:30, and then i spent 2½ hours preparing and uploading a bunch of files for a guy from the moisture festival… i probably didn’t have to stay up that late, but it took me a while to realise that, despite the fact that my computer said that they uploaded almost instantly, they were actually taking a considerable amount of time to upload (because they were actually fairly large files), and i deleted them and started over several times because it was late and i didn’t realise that, in reality, they weren’t uploading instantly.

there were a bunch of chautauquans at the gig last night: stephan freelan (formerly freeman) was the stage manager, and nanda was there — all five of them this time (there were only four of them when we performed on vashon last week). there were a lot more folks there, but stephan and nanda are the only ones whose names i can reliably remember…

moe has been in spokane since wednesday… alledgedly, this is the last of her travelling out of town for a while (she claims that she doesn’t have to travel again until january), which, if it’s true, would be a very good thing indeed.

NOTC

141019 vashon island amanita muscariai played with the fighting instruments of karma in mt. vernon on friday, olympia on saturday, and vashon island on sunday. i left my top hat in mt. vernon, but i didn’t notice it until saturday, when i was in olympia and getting ready for the show… so i had to go to mt. vernon to pick it up today. for all the time i lived in mt. vernon, the first time i have ever been in the lincoln theater was friday…

141019 vashon island amanita muscariaon vashon, i arrived very early… we caught the 9:10 ferry, and we weren’t actually supposed to show up until 12:00, so i got a chance to wander a little bit on vashon, and i found a whole bunch of amanita muscaria… truly a cup of wonder… i took a bunch of pictures…

141019 vashon island amanita muscaria
141019 vashon island amanita muscaria
141019 vashon island amanita muscaria

i’m seriously considering applying to go on tour with the chautauqua next year. it starts with performances at the oregon country fair, and (this year) procedes to southeast alaska during the three weeks immediately following the fair. it sounds like A LOT of fun, and it would be a great way to re-connect with a bunch of people from my karass with whom i have been out of contact for far too long… 😎

nooze

i went to bellingham saturday, and came back today. there are a number of interesting developments that came about as a result:

apparently there is a “bullet shuttle” that runs from downtown bellingham to downtown seattle and back, that only costs $11… which means that there’s a good chance that i will be taking it to bellingham, and/or whitley will be taking it to seattle more regularly, for the purposes of, basically, getting And More back together. along the same lines, whitley and kamalla have offered to house my keyboards in their house, which means that when i go to bellingham, my keyboards will be set up and ready to go, and when i’m not there, other people will be playing them. the piano (which is missing three tines) has been packed up in a box and sitting behind the couch for about 7 years, and before that it was in a box in the hallway… i haven’t actually had it set up since we moved in to this house… so putting it to good use again is most desirable, and this seems like a prime opportunity.

while i was on my way to bellingham, yesterday, i took sort of a detour through mount vernon, so that i could go by the places i used to live. while i was in mount vernon, it started to rain, and then, quite suddenly, it started to rain so hard that, after slowing down, and slowing down, and turning my windshield wipers to their highest settings, i still could not see, and was forced to take refuge in a parking lot for about half an hour, until the rain let up. as i was pulling out of the parking lot, i saw a building across the street that was, literally, pouring water, tens of gallons a minute, from all of the downspouts… and the streets were flooded in several places, to the point where, when i had to drive through a flooded part, i was concerned because it was over the floorboards of my car… i haven’t seen it rain that much in that short a period of time more than once or twice before in my entire life.

the main reason i went to bellingham in the first place was that kenyth’s 80th birthday was last week, and i went to deliver a birthday present (Operation Mindfuck) on monday. while i was there, i heard that there was going to be a music jam (which is what they’re calling the stairway jam these days), and it was suggested that i come up for it, so i did. another thing that we discussed while i was there was the fact (in my opinion) that kenyth really needs a wikipedia page… a fact that is complicated by the fact that kenyth has kept absolutely ZERO archives of the work that he has done, class notes from classes he has taught, personal correspondence, and that sort of thing, and further complicated by the fact that, to be a wikipedia page that isn’t deleted immediately, a lot of the information posted has to be backed up by stuff that is publically available from internet, which, in this case, would be practically impossible in anything like a realistic way. the upshot is that i am going to help the community of people who want to see this happen, by registering a domain (how about http://KenythFreeman.dance/ or http://JosephPFaddlefum.name/ or something like that? 😉 ) and pointing that domain name towards a blog that i can set up, and then give to the people who actually know what content there is, and can organise it the way it’s supposed to be.

on my way back, today, i mostly took surface streets, and only hit the freeway once or twice. i was north of burlington on what i think was Highway 99, and i found the new location of “The Music Shoppe”, which was a place i worked a couple of times a VERY long time ago: the first time was right after i graduated from the tech school, and ended when i got fired for telling sam, the owner, that the “chemical tank” that he bought, ostensibly to “dip musical instruments”, was full of the chromic acid that he bought and then discovered he couldn’t use because it’s carcinogenic (and, generally, only used as a “bright dip” for brass instruments before they are buffed and refinished), and it was beginning to leak, because it wasn’t really a “chemical tank” but, rather, a stainless steel dairy tank with a bright brass stopper… and the chromic acid was dissolving the bright brass stopper, because, well… chromic acid dissolves brass… 😐

anyway, the second time, he actually subcontracted my musical instrument repair business to repair musical instruments for “The Music Shoppe”, and that ended when he refused to pay me for an instrument that i had fixed, that his customer had refused to pay for. basically i said that, until i got paid i wasn’t going to fix any more instruments for him. he said that he hadn’t paid me because his customer hadn’t paid him, and i pointed out that his customer was HIS customer, and that MY customer was him, but that didn’t seem to make any difference. they apparently moved from their shop in the fountain district in north bellingham, some time in the past, and they are, as of 1st november, moving in to burlington. i left Operation Mindfuck in the front door for them to find when they open up tomorrow. 👿

The Church of The Pleistocene

this is very quickly becoming “an album”… it’s not there yet (i only have 330.3MB on disk, and i want to fill it up, as much as possible, so there’s room for quite a bit more), but what is already there is definitely shaping up in quite a satisfactory way.

because of the fact that i have a backlog of almost-finished, and finished tracks that don’t have a home yet, i actually just added three more tracks to this, which now puts me up to 15… which is still only half of the disk, but this really isn’t about how much stuff is on it so much as it is about the quality of the stuff that’s on it.

i know when i’ve created music that i really like when i don’t even have to be listening to it for it to put a smile on my face… really… and this has the extra, added bonus of, when i am listening to it, i spontaneously erupt in laughter, or experience shivers going up and down my spine.

i’m particularly proud of Lamentations:
which causes me to bounce up and down and emit squeals of evil glee whenever i hear it. it’s an incomprehensible, gnome-like beginning which very quickly devolves into utter senselessness, out of which comes a definite pattern, which, again, fades into gibberish, which slowly resolves into a preacher talking about jerusalem. this is due, in part, to my receiving my complete “Thru The Bible In 5 Years” USB stick, which is packed full of fun noises with which to play around… 😎

yesterday

yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

no, no… that’s not right…

yesterday i got up early enough to be in magnolia by 8:00 so that i could sit by the side of the road for three hours while i waited for the magnolia seafair parade to happen around me… with me as the tuba player in the SANCApators. because of the fact that i was the tuba player, there are no pictures — of me or anyone else — that i took, but i’m pretty sure there were pictures taken of me by other folks, because i wore my kilt, a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, my tall hat-of-many-buttons, and my steampunk goggles. carrying an enormous tuba in a parade, dressed in that costume, was definitely an experience… unfortunately it was an experience for everyone else, because i was too busy trying to play the parts and keep more-or-less in line with the six other members of the band… 😐

this is the second seafair related parade that i have participated in this year. i didn’t go to greenwood, because my car isn’t “finished” yet, but i’ve been in chinatown, magnolia, and, in a couple weeks, briar…

next weekend is august 9th, the day that will live in infamy… because i have three different gigs scheduled with three different bands, in three different cities…

i’ve got the festival of the river with the fighting instruments of karma; i’ve got the ballard locks gig with the ballard sedentary sousa band; AND i’ve got the huson’s garden party with the fremont philharmonic… ALL ON THE SAME DAY… 😛

i’m going to make the fighting instruments gig, because they are actually paying the chautaqua $10,000 to do the show, so the chautaqua wants to give them their money’s worth… i may be able to make the garden party, which starts at 7:00, if everything goes as planned and i am able to leave arlington by 6:00, and i encounter no traffic in everett or seattle…

… now i need a place to hide away, oh i believe in yesterday.

music

i found the web site put up by Dave Gannett, who is my unwitting mentor in all things tuba. dave is the tuba player for Uncle Yoke’s Black Dawgs, a dixieland band from kissimmee florida, the artist behind Tubas From Hell, and one AWESOME tuba player. my first experience seeing him live was at the Friday Harbour Traditional Jazz Festival in 1991, where he played The Flight of The Bumblebee — at the correct speed — on his sousaphone. when he finished the piece, he had it rigged up so that he blew smoke and flames out of his bell on the last note…

i knew i had found a mentor at that moment… 😉

also, two more tracks for The Church of The Pleistocene, thanks to my recent re-acquaintance with Dr. J. Vernon McGee of Thru The Bible Radio Network. i listened to Dr. J. during my ill-fated time as a taxi driver, just before the birth of my son. the main reason i listened to him was because, at the time, taxi cabs only came with AM radios, and the music on AM radio was AWFUL… Dr. J. Vernon McGee wasn’t an awful lot better, but at least i got familiar enough with his distinctive ‘twang’ to make music out of it thirty years later…

How Firm A Foundation (A Tribute to Dr. J. Vernon McGee)
We Don’t Like Things Like This