so, i decided to reposition major furniture in my office, to achieve the following results:
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.
in the process of trying to figure out how the studio stuff was hooked up, i thought i had completely disconnected every audio connection from my computer to the amplifier… and yet, i seem to be able to play music from my computer, and hear the sound through the speakers… which would seem to indicate that there is a new/different/as-yet-undiscovered audio connection that i have overlooked somehow… (possibly the HDMI connection from the monitor, but how does it get to the amplifier??? 😕) but, unfortunately, the cables from the computer to the amplifier are accessed from the back, AND under my desk… which is REALLY not ideal… i’ve got to figure that out.
this may involve a trip to ikea and possibly a new desk, as the one that i have is a repurposed ikea table.
the reason i want to figure out how my studio works (again), is because i have recently discovered jamulus, which appears to be an audio interface that is designed to be used over internet. i realise that there’s some pretty hard physical constants that make audio connections… let’s say difficult… over long distances, but, apparently, distances less than 50 miles or so the latency is tolerable, and they get around the rest of it, sketchily, by having everyone listen to the server, and not the actual sound coming out of your instrument, and… well, i haven’t been able to busk the past couple of weeks (HVAC stuff), and i’ve been going nuts, because there are new songs that we’ve been talking about, but we can’t get together and rehearse because i have to be at home to let the workers in… and now i’ve got jamulus installed, and (apparently) working… all i have to do is hook up a microphone, which i do, but… no sound… and thus began the task of figuring out how the studio is set up.
there’s another thing i tried to get set up, but couldn’t, because of a lack of installation instructions. JamStud.io actually advertises “jam online without latency”, despite the fact that, as far as i know, scientists are still stymied by the speed of light 😉 which makes it impossible to have an audio connection without more and more latency as the distance increases… but, hey… if i could get it installed, i might be using that, instead.
i’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. 🙄
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’Talso 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. 😒
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.
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.
Symbolic Coach Lines
Economy Whining (or “Economy Whinging” for a more “european” look)
Quipping for Christ
Teachers With Tentacles
Lowest Quality Price Tools
Best Jumbo TV Happiness
Overgrown With Underbrush
Hair Salon and Ankle Clinic
Lowest Price on Pubic Hair
Ceremonial Bread Fights
Rain City Racists
Your Safety is for The Lates
Worship Your Dick
An Imaginary Housing Community
We Make Hydraulic Noises
Bruch, Beeler & Giday, Attorneys at Law
War To Salvation Church
Can I Ask A State Trailer Park?
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.
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. 😞
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… 😉)
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…
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”. 🤬
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…
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. 👍😉
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. 👎😒
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.
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…
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…
Wendy’s House of Pho
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?
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before!
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.
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…
which would, then, be completely and totally overwhelmed by the absolute chaos of the other tracks.
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.
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 brainwashedinfluenced 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”. 😈
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. 😉
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.
this is my office. it’s also the music room.
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…
last month i was going crazy, so monique took me to see the National Wild Horses Monument in quincy.
it was on the top of a bluff overlooking the columbia river, in eastern washington.
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…
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.
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!
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??? 😭
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… 🤣
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… 🤩
#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…
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
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…. 😁
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.
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.
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.
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…
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… 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.
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…
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.
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…
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.
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… 😒 😟
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.
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:
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.
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…
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… 😉
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:
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:
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
a close-up of the Spoils Of War, with the Cloud Chamber Bowls in the background, and the Diamond Marimba in the foreground
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: 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! 🐉
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. 😒
before = three notebooks and a file folder full of music, weighing approximately 40 to 50 pounds.
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… 😉