Category Archives: art projects

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.

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.

😲

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… 😲

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.

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.

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

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?

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. 😉

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.

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… πŸ‘Ώ

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. πŸ‘Ώ

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… πŸ˜›

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… πŸ˜›

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.

okay

so the idea that i had for art the other day has taken on an entirely new, and monitarily positive aspect…

but i should start from the beginning, since this is being told for the first time.

idea factoryi was sitting in my workshop the other night, and i had just finished a beer, and i realised: i have diamond-tipped drill bits, and a bench motor, and i know how to use them: it wouldn’t take much to take this otherwise useless empty beer bottle and re-purpose it for my own, moist, innermost desires… so why don’t i modify this beer bottle, and make an entirely new, “useful item” out of it.

so, i drilled a hole in the bottle, and rumaged around in the boxes of miscellaneous bits and pieces i have (quite well organised, mind you) until i found a glass pipe stem and a collet that the pipe stem goes through, that was left over from a water-pipe from years ago, which didn’t make it…

and i quickly discovered that i had drilled the hole in the wrong place, so, of course, i had to drink another beer, so that i could try it again. πŸ˜‰

the second ideaonce i got it right — and verified that it was, indeed most exactly correct — i started casting about for empty bottles likely candidates, and quickly came up with the first idea, which turned out to be an empty bulleit burbon bottle… which is part of the hoard of empty whiskey bottles i have been inexplicably saving for about a year and a half, not knowing exactly why i was doing it…

now i know… 😎

i figure i can easily retail devices like this for $25 to $50, or wholsale them for $10 to $20 a piece. so, i went to the pike place smoke shop and told them that i could drill holes in bottles, and wondered how much they would pay me for finished beer-bottle water-pipes. they were very excited to learn this, and it turned out that i don’t even have to hand over finished water-pipes. they are just as happy to receive bottles that have holes drilled in the right places, so that they can put in their own doo-dads and mark them up the way they want. they said they would pay me $10 a bottle, for regular ol’ beer bottles, and left the door open for negotiation on “specialty” beer bottles… which i am assuming includes the antique grolsch bottles, the “Arrogant Bastard Ale” and the “Dead Guy Ale” bottles…the third idea

and it also means that the really fancy ones, like the bulleit bottles, and the fancy italian water bottle and stuff like that can be finished and retailed at my own web site for whatever i think i can get for them. πŸ™‚

so i dug around and actually produced 10 “regular ol’ beer bottles” — although i’m not certain that they won’t take the “new” grolsch bottle and the “Hobgoblin” bottle as “specialty” bottles (to be honest, if they do, i DON’T CARE) and drilled holes in all of ’em… i actually drilled holes in 13 bottles, but i broke three of ’em, because i was being impatient and working with tools that were almost worn out… diamond-tipped drill bits wear out really fast when they’re used for a project like this. i figure ⅜" and ½" diamond-tipped drill bits are going to become sort of like #2 jewelers’ saw blades, in that i will always have a whole bunch of them, and about half of them are going to be worn out, or almost worn out.

now all i’ve got to do is alert my beer-drinking friends to save their bottles for me… 😎

Stanley says "chirp"
Stanley sez “chirp”

it’s time for art

there’s some kind of art brewing inside of me. i’m not exactly sure what form it will take quite yet – it could be music, or graphic art, or sculpture of some sort, or an as-yet-unrealised combination of the two or three, or it might be some new, different kind of art that i haven’t tried yet. i don’t know what it is yet, i just know that it’s there, waiting for the right time to make itself known.

i think this is one of the most frustrating times to be an artist… you know that the art is there, but you don’t know what form it will take yet. i imagine that it’s somewhat like a what pregnant woman feels prior to giving birth… minus the labour pains and suchlike… πŸ˜‰

shooze

birkenstock athensi am fairly bizarre… maybe you already knew that, but if you didn’t, there it is. one of the ways i am bizarre is that i have worn exactly the same style of shoe, more or less, for the past 30 years. when i was born, i had some congenital difficulties with my legs and feet. i don’t know very many details, but i do know that i had my right leg in a cast from the age of 6 months or so, until i was about a year old, which meant that, among other things, i didn’t crawl: i went straight from “creeping” to walking, and, thus, didn’t get the crawling that is so necessary to a normal baby’s development. i also had to wear “orthopedic” shoes and a brace at night, to “help straighten out” my feet, and i was forced to do pointless excercises (stand facing a wall, and do “push ups” against the wall, while keeping my heels on the floor) until i was about 5 or so. even with all that “help”, i managed to destroy just about every pair of shoes i owned, by “running over” them on the outside, until i found the birkenstock athens.

when i find something that works, i tend to stay with it until i have to change… that’s why i’m bizarre.

i have owned three pairs of athens sandals, one pair of brown, and two pairs of black, in the past thirty years. i have gotten them “recrafted” — which, in “birkenstock terminology”, means grinding off the rubber sole, separating the leather uppers from the old cork footbed, and putting on a new cork footbed and covering it with a new rubber sole — uncounted times. the brown pair finally bit the dust last year, when the leather straps broke. then one of the black pairs came back as “un-recraft-able” from the birkenstock repair guy, and i was in a quandary…

i had known for some time that birkenstock had officially stopped making the athens style sandal a number of years ago. in fact, the 2nd pair of black ones that i bought, i had to order them from europe, because they had discontinued the style in the united states, and that was almost 15 years ago. so when my second pair of birkenstocks came back as “un-recraft-able”, i jumped into action.shooze

shoozefirst, i called birkenstock central to make sure that they really don’t have any more, and while i had them on the phone, i asked them about making my own, using an “un-recraft-able” pair as a template. they had never heard of such an idea before, but definitely encouraged me to see if i could do it… of course i already knew that i could, but that way they can’t complain… πŸ˜‰

i went to mcpherson leather supplies in the international district, and bought enough leather for three pairs of sandals (and spent all of $36… if this works out the way i think it’s going to, i’m probably going to go into the business of making obsolete birkenstocks for bizarre people). i also had the “un-recraft-able” ones traced by the birkenstock repair guy, so that i had a template.

then i cut out mirror images of the template (one for right, and one for left), which i intend to take to the birkenstock repair guy, who will put the cork, footbed, and buckles on for me, and voilá… a new pair of “athens” sandals.shooze shooze
8)

what have i been doing the past few weeks?

120103 hobo nickelafter the panto ended for 2011 (it starts again on saturday, and runs for two weeks. get yer tickets now ’cause they’re selling out fast!) i got started making some hobo nickels. they’re not classic hobo nickels, of course, but they’re in a similar vein… and, hey… they’re only a nickel… and, as long as you don’t try to use the result as “currency”, they’re perfectly legal. 8) i broke most of my jewelers’ saw blades on the first couple of them, getting the technique right and re-adjusting my fingers. i went out to tacoma screw, to get more jewelers’ saw blades, and they didn’t know what i was talking about. i went to rockler, and they had them, but i’m not sure they’re the right ones, because they say they’re only for wood… and they’re 28 teeth per inch, and i’m pretty sure that the ones i need are more like 35 to 50 teeth per inch… i’m pretty sure that if i made the trip to hardwick’s, in seattle, that i’d be able to walk in and say i needed extra-fine jewelers’ saw-blades and they’d point me towards a bin of ’em… i went in there one time, and i said i was looking for a vice, and the guy asked me if i had considered smoking… πŸ˜‰ i made nickels like this A LOT, between 1986 (when i got out of the tech school, and realised that i could make them) until 1994, when i started having to limit my workshop space because of where i was living. they just kind of faded into past memory, and were only re-realised a few weeks ago.

i put in the order for another 20 dozen aparajita on the 15th. i still haven’t heard anything, but they are making the incense to order (SQUEEEEE!!!) so i’m not being as paranoid about it… i’m still being paranoid (after all, it’s sort of a natural state of existence for me), just not as much. i’m probably going to email again on friday if i still haven’t heard anything by then.

120103 swastika coini got this good-luck token in the mail the other day. it’s a little bit bigger than a US quarter, or a little smaller than a US half-dollar. i didn’t remember where it came from, at first, and because of the fact that i bid on it at ebay, it didn’t come from anybody i knew, or from an address with which i was familiar, which was pretty exciting, until i remembered where it came from.

after having gone to meet her, i figured out where the lady who knew who i am knows me from: she knows me because i am associated with Howlin’ Hobbit… although she was really disappointed when i didn’t drive up in my elaborately-painted art-car she was just as happy to take a picture of me wearing my hippy-hat

we spent christmas eve driving: we got up around 5:00 or so, and drove to salem, oregon, then we drove north and stopped just south of portland, then we drove into portland and visited a couple of different places before heading back, around 7:30 pm… by the time we got home, i had had about as much driving as i could stand for a while, so i spent most of the rest of xmas at home, being a hermit-crab. we took our annual trip to double-bluff off-leash dog-park on new-years’ day, and got there just as a polar-bear swim was getting over, which was kind of odd, because normally we are the only ones there on new years, and this year there were huge crowds of people, and music blaring… and an ambulance…

another weekend of panto performances…

i keep meaning to make some hobo nickles for holiday gifts. they only cost a nickle and people really appreciate them. look it up. i may post pictures, if i get around to making some… eventually…

another weekend of panto performances start tomorrow. i have to be there at 1:00, which means i have to leave around noon, and i probably won’t get home until 10:00 or so… then it’s the same thing on sunday, only* i have to be there at 11:00, so i’ll probably leave around 10:00, and i’ll probably end up getting home around 7:00 or 8:00.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*this is the reason why i keep my schedule on my computer, rather than in my head… 😐

swastika t-shirt

Original ManWoman T-Shirt
Original ManWoman T-Shirt on przxqgl

i’m causing trouble again…

people generally (in this area, at least) don’t seem to mind me wearing or displaying swastikas as long as they’re not obviously “hakenkreuz” related (i.e. they’re “different” colours than were used by the not-zees), but my new shirt will challenge those preconceived notions about colour somehow being related to meaning…

maybe i ought to make some flash cards that say things like BLUE and YELLOW
to illustrate my point even further for those who still don’t get it (and i’m positive that there will be a few of them)…

i really admire the artists at 0100101110101101.org

somehow, the artists at 0100101110101101.org invaded a rather up-scale art exhibit with art that wasn’t what the up-scale art exhibit’s curator thought it was. “The piece has been shown for over a month, and nobody questioned its authenticity or worthiness.”not dieter roth artwork

Dieter Roth never made this work, it’s a fake. We invented it one evening in a bar with our friend Corazon Del Sol, and put it together the next day. We bought all the stuff on the internet: an old glass jar, a vintage cork and lots of flies (yes, you can buy flies online), and sent the work to the unaware curators.

THIS SHOULD BE news! 😐

1984

the night of saturday, 31 december, 1983 to sunday, 1 january, 1984 was one in which i had the late night shift at the college radio station, KUGS-FM 89.3. the show was called “The Radio Program That Doesn’t Exist” and, as “The Voice In The Night”, i played a mixture of offbeat album rock and extremely bizarre stuff like the shaggs and the passion and transfiguration of a post apocalyptic eunuch.

but this particular night i had something special in mind: the David Bowie classic, Diamond Dogs. and i timed it precisely so that the song 1984 started the moment the new year happened.

i don’t know if anybody else remembers this, but i was just listening to 1984 and i remembered this…

Someday they won’t let you, so now you must agree
The times they are a-telling, and the changing isn’t free
You’ve read it in the tea leaves, and the tracks are on TV
Beware the savage jaw
Of 1984

They’ll split your pretty cranium, and fill it full of air
And tell that you’re eighty, but brother, you won’t care
You’ll be shooting up on anything, tomorrow’s never there
Beware the savage jaw
Of 1984

Come see, come see, remember me

We played out an all night movie role
You said it would last, but I guess we enrolled
In 1984 (who could ask for more)
1984 (who could ask for mor-or-or-or-ore)
(Mor-or-or-or-ore)

I’m looking for a vehicle, I’m looking for a ride
I’m looking for a party, I’m looking for a side
I’m looking for the treason that I knew in ’65
Beware the savage jaw
Of 1984

Come see, come see, remember me

We played out an all night movie role
You said it would last, but I guess we enrolled
In 1984 (who could ask for more)
1984 (who could ask for mor-or-or-or-ore)
(Mor-or-or-or-ore)

1984, 1984, 1984, 1984, etc.

miscellaney

so far, the new-old host provider has been doing an outstanding job, although he just installed suPHP (ostensibly to keep an eye on potential spammers) which requires all of my PHP files to be set with their permissions at 644. unfortunately, that leaves the two configure.php files in my store open to attack. hopefully he won’t object to a couple of PHP files that are set to 400, otherwise there’s going to be yet another host provider switch again in the near future. i applaud his keeping an eye on potential spammers, but opening everything up like that is another thing entirely. all in all, though, for a guy who i moved away from because he was going to raise my rates by over 300%, he’s doing an exceedingly good job.

i’ve got an appointment to meet with bill, one of my clients, this afternoon at 3:00, and i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal at 7:30.

supposedly the soon-to-be Ganesha The Truck is going to be handed over to me at some point in the next few days. it’s red, which, naturally, means that i’m going to paint the names of Ganesha in blue, so that it will be the most difficult-to-read colour combination. i’m going to try to get all 1008 names of Ganesha on the car this time, which means i’ve got to figure out how to write smaller, but i’m not 100% decided on what it’s going to look like yet, because i haven’t actually seen the truck yet. there’s also a possibility that i’m going to use a range of blues and purples. the truck currently doesn’t have a canopy, which is going to be one of the first things that changes once i get my hands on it, and i’m probably not going to start on the artwork until the canopy is in place. it’s a good thing i’ve got another car to drive temporarily (moe’s friend micah’s father, curtis, is keeping his jeep at our house while he winters in florida, or philadelphia or some place like that, and he said we can use it as much as we like as long as we look after it and wash it every now and then), because Ganesha The Car apparently decided that it really is dead: i was going to drive it around the other day, and i got in and turned the key… and nothing happened. so i turned the key off and on again, and there was a dismal clicking noise, followed by more silence. so i cycled it again and there was more clicking and this time it started. i figured, as long as it was running, i’d drive it around, so i went up to the post office in milton, about five miles down the road. i went in to the post office, and when i came back and tried it again, it was the same thing – nothing, then clicking, then, finally, it started up. i just had it tuned up a few weeks ago! this is not supposed to be happening! fortunately there’s the jeep, so i don’t have to figure out some other way to get to my rehearsals. at the same time, i find it really interesting that the mechanic said that it wouldn’t pass inspection, and practically the next thing that happens to the car is that it decides to give up the ghost. it’s been a good car, and i’m very strongly thinking about attending the electric vehicle workshop at south seattle community college and turning Ganesha The Car into an electric car, so that the artwork will continue on the road for a while.

further information about snake suspenderz @ the palladium so far is that we’ve been confirmed for the 8:30 to 10:00 slot, but we’re supposedly going to be sharing the slot with another band (Bakelite 78) and we haven’t heard back from them yet, so we don’t know whether we’re going first or second.

tweebit

okay, now that the “holiday” season is passed, i’ve got a lot of things to catch up with. i’ve got to file my annual excise tax, which means going through all of my invoices and receipts from last year, and filling out some web-form which i inevitably have to call for help to complete because of some technical screw up or another. i also have to get started on re-doing the hybrid elephant web site, which means, among other things, i’m going to deliberately ignore the fact that it’s been more than a month since i updated the counters on the pages with the most hits this month, because, hopefully, by next month they will be replaced or moved anyway. i’m also going to have to call ian to talk with him about the web site in general.

snake suspenderz is working on it’s new CD with me as the tuba player. we’ve got another recording session on wednesday, and another two or three after that, at some yet-to-be-determined time. it’s projected for release sometime in january, though, so it won’t be too long. i’m also going to push hard this time for the fremont philharmonic to record a CD – especially since i now actually know someone who does that sort of thing.

printer

my colour inkjet printer hasn’t died after all, it just had a dead USB cable – which i have never experienced before. also it needs new ink cartridges, but, i think that if it gets that, it will work again, which would be really cool, what with the new button machine and all. i spent most of today making a variety of buttons to sell at the solstice festival.

link dump

Inflatable Electric Cars – the wave of the future… if you can wait until they’re commercially available…

Giraffe milk, meat confirmed kosher – a long time ago, my mother used to go to an “exotic meats” butcher, and get things like hippo, rhino, giraffe, elephant, and other suchlike, unlikely meats, but not tell the rest of us what we were eating until after we ate. now i can be assured that, at least when we were eating giraffe, the meals were also kosher.

Hints of ‘time before Big Bang’ – more evidence that the creationists are wrong.

Dispatchwork – a group of artists went around Bocchignano, a village near rome, and made patches for the decrepit brickwork out of lego blocks.

All Indicators Point to a Softening of America’s Harsh Marijuana Laws – it’s about time, but i’ll believe it when i see it.

Good News – well, good headlines pasted over regular depressing news. i must admit, when i first clicked on the page, it made me feel really good, but once i clicked one of the links, i went from feeling good, to confusion, to depression very quickly.

Pictures of a Rocket Car from Los Angeles Metblogs

yes, i’m still here…

Hybrid Elephant @ The FSM

it’s just that i’ve been really depressed, and not much is happening in my life recently. i went to the fremont sunday market (flying spaghetti monster) last weekend, and made $80. i’ve got a banda gozona rehearsal thursday and a performance saturday (cinco de mayo, oddly enough, on 1st may… oh well). i got an inquiry about whether or not i ship internationally and i’ve decided that i really should post that on the web site somewhere, so it’s more obvious – yes, i ship internationally, but (for example) to the UK i have to require $25 USD extra to cover shipping costs, which, for most people that order incense from me, would be more than their total order. in general i recommend that if it’s not a domestic order, that the customer should order at least $100 worth of product, or to find some place “closer to home” from which to order.

i’m slowly making progress on my most recent stencil project, which is a picture of gurdjieff. after toying around with various ideas and size possibilities, i finally cut it out – it took two tries, because the first one i got confused and cut out one of the eyes in reverse. it’s taken a while, but it looks like it will do. now i’ve just got to figure out where to paint it where i won’t get caught arrested

gurdjieff stencil

i’ve been really depressed recently, because i’ve been dealing with DVR for the past few months and just came to the point where they’ve finally decided that they can’t help me make Hybrid Elephant more profitable. one of the ways they said they might be able to help is by helping me work out some sort of out-building on our property that i can use as a workshop/recording studio – i had in mind a 20 foot shipping-container-sized office, which would mean less time spent constructing it and more-or-less guaranteed working things like lights and electricity… but after stringing me along since january they’ve decided that they can’t (or, more likely, won’t) help me, because Hybrid Elephant is not “niche” enough, and too “fringe” for their liking…

so if any of you want to buy me stuff to make me happy, Middlesex University Teaching Resources would be a good place to start… they’ve got all kinds of geeky stuff. anything would be fine. surprise me.

other than that, here’s a link dump from the past few days:

John Cleese reports on laughter – appropriately enough…

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies – this person took the concept that any food can be made better by adding bacon to one extreme… and before you say “eew” think about it a little bit… it actually sounds pretty good, and i’m tempted to try it.

McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate – meanwhile, the world continues on it’s way to hell.

The very first McDonalds commercial – meanwhile, the world continues on it’s fast track to hell-in-a-handbasket… 8/

The Trailer to Chemical Wedding – which is coming in may. this will either be a total misrepresentation of uncle al, or it could be very interesting.

A Closet Of Curiosities – which is a music blog courtesy of my old friend spreznib, with whom i hope to be making our own music soon.

ignorant savages!

Ganesha The Car has been kicked out of another parade – only this time it was early enough that i didn’t actually drive to the parade. it still irritates me that people can be so outrageously ignorant.

i sent the following description to the 4th of july parade coordinator in everett

a 1996 mazda protege with a prayer consisting of the first 100 names of the
1008 names of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, written in
sanskrit all over the outside, and a Ganesha Yantra on the roof. in sanskrit,
the name of the prayer is “Sri Ganapatisahasranaamavalih” which means
the “1008 names of Ganesha”

photos and a more complete description can be seen at
http://www.hybridelephant.com/ganesha.html

NOTE: PLEASE LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AND DESCRIPTION ON THE WEB SITE CAREFULLY.

the car has two swastikas on the back corner panels, and a swastika on the roof.

IN CONTEXT, THESE SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS SYMBOLS OF NAZI HATRED!

the swastika and the six-pointed star (commonly called by its jewish
name, “magen dawid” or the “star of david”) in combination, are ancient
symbols of Ganesha, and represent good luck, peace and love. the combination
bears a similar meaning to the “taijitu” or “tao symbol” from china.

the swastika and the six-pointed star have meant good luck, peace and love for
at least 5000 years, and they still mean it to this day, despite the people
that claim the swastika means nazis. IT DOESN’T, THEY’RE WRONG!

it is because of ignorant people less than 90 years ago that the swastika has
come to mean anything other than good luck, peace and love.

this car is, among other things, my way to reclaim the swastika from those
ignorant few who have turned it into a symbol of hatred, and return it to its
original, beneficial meaning. IT WORKS!

i have postcards, the back of which contain an explanation of why the swastika
is not what most american people erroneously think it is, which i am willing
to hand out to people at the parade, but i have also been kicked out of
parades in the past, because of people who refused to understand, and i would
like to avoid that if possible.

this is the response that i got from them:

Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate your detailed
description and respect your views. However, we are unable to fund your
participation in our parade due to the sensitive and controversial
nature of some of the symbols on your car. I am very sorry and wish you
the best of luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Laura Baird – [email protected]

the response came back quickly enough that i get the impression they didn’t even look at the web site, and they certainly didn’t have time to look at the photos… 8/

blah

i had another acupuncture appointment today, and once again he put needles in all five fingertips of my right hand. he even told me that the middle fingertip point is called “old dragon”, which is a little amusing considering “the bird” flies from the middle finger. he also said that, in china, the sensation i got when i wriggled around last time and “agitated” the needles in my legs, is what they go for with all the needles, but he doesn’t do that because most western folks can’t handle it. i could probably handle it as long as i knew it was coming, but even i have limits, and for me, the fingertip needles are that limit… although i will say that i have a lot more sensation in my fingertips now than i had before the treatment.

i’m going to the fremont sunday market again tomorrow. i hope to be a little bit better prepared than i was last week. i got a bunch of milk jugs which i filled with sand to use as weights to hold down the canopy – they said that they require 20 pounds per leg, and the milk jugs only weigh 12½ pounds, but i’m hoping for at least 2 more jugs, and possibly 4 more, to join them later on.

DVR didn’t call me, rather as i suspected. i’m going to call them first thing monday, but they’re very quickly losing credibility with me. i already have low expectations about what any government agency can do for me, and when they say they’re going to do something and then don’t, it confirms my low expectations, regardless of how rosy the outlook has been in the past.

i’ve been looking at grafitti stickers recently, and have some interesting ideas, including a picture of george gurdjieff and a picture of aliester crowley, posterised and rendered in black and white. i know exactly what pictures i want to use. it may be that the pictures get stencils made out of them as well. i’ve got a whole bunch of spray paint left over that’s waiting to be used for something nefarious.

moe and i are going to maneki this evening to help one of her friends/co-workers celebrate their birthday.

random miscelaneous

i finished the other one of moe’s holiday gifts today, and i took pictures, but they’re going to have to wait until after the holidays, because of the fact that she might be reading this. the other one is dependent on our getting into the bobs concert on saturday, and if we don’t then it will be her birthday present instead of a holiday gift. the other gifts i have to wrap are for moe’s grandmother, and it’s okay if she reads about them…

i’ve been avoiding places like malls, and grocery stores and suchlike pretty much all the time this year, because i know that the “christmas” music and overabundance of battles between “christians”, jews and muslims these days would bring me down considerably. i’ve been doing a pretty good job of avoiding all of that “stuff” ever since thanksgiving, which has resulted in my not being so overwhelmed with rage at the phony “peace on earth, goodwill towards men” attitude that, without question, will abruptly disappear once december 25th passes. i used to make a habit of going to the solstice grand dance, in bellingham. i actually went to it for long enough for it to become a “tradition” (which, according to what i’ve heard, is seven years), but since i moved to seattle, i haven’t been back to bellingham for the holidays at all, and i kind of miss it. the fremont solstice feast was sort of a stop-gap, in that it was a big social gathering that, at one time, i might have been interested in turning into a “tradition”, but i’ve actually avoided it the past few years, because the politics involved with being involved with it are a little oppressive. i like the idea of celebrating panchaganapathi, but there’s so much “christian” holiday “spirit” permeating my life that it’s difficult for me to break free for a 12-hour meditation, much less for 5 of them.

a little music: The Avant Garde Project has a plethora of music by john cage, harry partch, morton subotnik, pauline oliveros, luciano berio, and other heros of mine. i’m currently downloading The World of Harry Partch, but almost everything there looks interesting enough to download. oddly enough, i only found about the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC file format) comparitively recently. it’s kind of weird that i would be so stuck on MP3, when there’s a free, lossless format that i could be using instead, and at this point, the only reason i’m not using FLAC or Ogg Vorbis exclusively is because my iPod is still running the proprietary iTunes software (which doesn’t support either .flac or .ogg format files) instead of the free, opensource Rockbox software (which does) instead.

as always, there’s much more that i can’t remember… when i sat down and started typing i had at least 5 different subjects that i intended to discuss, but i can only remember three of them, so there will probably be more later.

hybrid elephant, non-incense stuff

i’ve got a potential client, the society of veterinary behavior technicians, who wants a (as in “one”) 24″x30″ white foamcore sign, printed in three colours, black, green and purple. so far, i’ve gotten five estimates, from around $55 (for 2 colours) all the way up to $90, with most of them falling between $60 and $75. i’ve also discovered that it’s fairly easy to buy foamcore, canvas, grommet machines, and other sign making materials from a variety of web sites out there, which makes me want a vinyl cutter more than ever. some day…

also, i’ve got a postcard order from eva funderburgh, who got postcards from me earlier this year. this time she wants 1000 4/4 matte cards with an aqueous coating on one side… and, wouldn’t you know it, the old mac has gotten to the point where i can’t even rely on photoshop to work correctly most of the time. it’s now, officially, time for 1) reinstall the old operating system (clean install), or, possibly 2) install a newer operating system (OS10.4), or even 3) install the new hard disk that i got during the last battle of the computer, and install, but at that point i’m not sure if i’m going to install the old system or the new one. one step at a time, as always, but i don’t hold out much hope for the mac at this point… it’s a good thing i got linux working as well as it is… 8/