does anybody know what kind of bird makes that noise?
ETA: Catharus ustulatus otherwise known as Swainson’s Thrush. thanks, moe and her facebook. 😎
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.
i 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. 😉
once 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…
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. 🙂
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… 😎
a couple of weeks ago i said the time was right for some new art. i know what that art is going to be… and, if things go the way i expect them to, i will probably be able to make some money from it, as well. 😎
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… 😉
i 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.
first, 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… 😉
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.
after 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… 😉 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.
i 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…
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… 😐
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)…
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.”
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! 😐
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
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
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)
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
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)
1984, 1984, 1984, 1984, etc.
this is to confirm that i did, in fact, buy a dozen whoopee cusions on this date. no, i won’t tell you what they’re for.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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/