Category Archives: bands

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230811 Goddess Kring
230811 Goddess Kring
cannabis update: all three plants, once again, are exhibiting strong female tendencies. i’m going to keep the two that are in the tent, in the tent, just to make sure. then, when the weather turns, and i move the outdoor plant inside, i’ll switch the light in the tent, move the clones in there, and move the flowering lights out into the shed, where the big plants can finish up. macque sez he’s going to come and get the rest of the cirque stuff out of the shed, so that will mean that i have even more space. there are now two clones: one came from the top of the outdoor plant, and it’s apparently doing fairly well, although it hasn’t grown very much. the other came from my neighbour, about a week ago. it is “train wreck”, but, at this point, i still don’t know whether or not it’s going to live. we’ve also talked about setting up an indoor grow, this fall, to replenish any shortfalls i may experience prior to then, which is fine with me. i’ve actually grown indoors a lot more than i’ve grown outdoors, so there’s that…

230811 salamandir and Goddess Kring
230811 salamandir and Goddess Kring
um… lemme see… .25g 🍄 230727, 230731, 230804, 230807, 230812, and 230814, snakez alive performances 230805 (gemma daggatt houseboat gig), and tomorrow, 230818 (PPM/sunset supper), plus regular busking at the market, on wednesdays, ganesha the car shown at the “Jet Blast Bash” 230805-06, briar sea scare parade 230809, 230811 at the Fircrest Residental Habilitation Facility in shoreline, and this weekend, 230819-20 at Fresh Paint in everett. at the briar sea scare parade, and at fircrest, i had the privilege of showing my car with Goddess Kring, aka Shannon Kringen, who is a local folk hero who performed strange art pieces on public access TV when i worked at micro$lop.

circus class cancelled today because of heat. i think i have successfully weaned myself off of twitter (which is now called “𝕏”, but it’s still at “twitter dot com”)…

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blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.

along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…

however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒

i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.

i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒

the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒

the end of an era…

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

Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey

Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company

Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake

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

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

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

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

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

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

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

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

calm, still no storm… weird…

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

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

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

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

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

music

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

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

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

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

and…

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

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

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

so, we’re not doing the yakima gig.

period.

PHEW!!!‼‼‼

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

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

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

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

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

arf! 🤬

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

woooof…

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

190902 not colourful enough
190902 not colourful enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

i’m not holding my breath.

woof!

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

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

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

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

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

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

fat chance…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

whee…

Mother People


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

add new

it’s june.

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

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

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

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

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

OCF is going to be interesting, this year…

hrmph!

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

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

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

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

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

the residents

180409 The Residents
180409 The Residents

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

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

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

The Dream, part 1
The Dream, part 1

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

bleh

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

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

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

bleh.

blue moon

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

rehearsal season

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

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

sickness and depression

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

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

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

plotz

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

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

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

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

twerk

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

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

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

ho hum, default new entry title…

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

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

cuica
cuica
cuica
cuica

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

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

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

2016 some random hippie
2016 some random hippie

other years:

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

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

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

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

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

grumph

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

so far…

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

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

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

arf…

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

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

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

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

flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness
flight weirdness

tee… 😊

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

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

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

pantoo

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

updated

nothing much has happened since the last update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

so i’ve got good reason to be depressed.

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

stuff & nonsense

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

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

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

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

now that things are…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

new antique music by somebody else…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Joyce’s 71st New York Regiment March

growl

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

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

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

but if you thought that, you would be wrong… AGAIN… πŸ˜›

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

shriners

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

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

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

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

but, back to the issue at hand…

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

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

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

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

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

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

so, once again, ASSUMING that we can overcome those hurdles as well (the word that i was given last night is that we could “very easily become shriners”), one of the aims of the organisation is to have a group of people with whom you feel comfortable hanging out. i have that! i don’t need an artificial organisation that claims to be oriented towards the arts and sciences when i am part of an extremely natural, non-organised group of people whose entire lives are a part of the arts and sciences… and i feel comfortable hanging around with them, whereas i’m very definitely NOT comfortable hanging around with a bunch of fat, filthy rich old men, horny, sleazy young men who want to be fat, filthy rich old men when they grow up, and their “ladies”… the reason we ROCKED THE HOUSE last night was because there wasn’t another musician in the house. sure, there were people who had played musical instruments when they were in school, 40 years ago, and people who play musical instruments as a hobby, but there wasn’t a single current member of a band or soloist in the entire house, with the exception of Accidental Rhino. i really don’t want to join a club just so that i can play for their events… my impression is that i wouldn’t get paid as much or as frequently…

honestly, this club with the cool hats doesn’t really have much that attracts me — cool hats and cool jewelry are about it — so why… fucking why am i so drawn to them? 😐

now that i actually know where it’s going to be…

it’s been on my schedule for 6 months or more, but now that i actually know where this gig that we have this weekend (yes, we’ve actually got a gig on valentine’s day) is, i feel a bit more comfortable writing about it…

about… what? six months ago? something like that… anyway, about six months ago, hobbit pinged me and asked me if i was going to be available for a gig in oregon on valentine’s day. i said yes, pencilled it in, and promptly forgot about it until about two weeks ago, when i promptly remembered we had a gig coming up that i didn’t know anything about, and had a minor freak-out… especially because i had somehow gotten the idea that it was near eugene, which wouldn’t be a bad thing, except i didn’t know whether we were planning on spending the night somewhere, or what.

hobbit’s response to my freak-out was to schedule a rehearsal for tomorrow, and a “pre-rehearsal” with me, today, to write out a couple of new charts (because i now legally own Sibelius!! 😎 ), and during our meeting today he informed me that it is not in eugene, but in wilsonville, which is much closer, at the Al Kader shrine temple.

so i’m spending the day travelling to and from portland to play at a shrine temple on valentine’s day. fortunately, i’ve got a patient and tolerant sweetie who has agreed to go out to dinner with me on friday, in exchange for her going to las vegas for a veterinary conference next week. the shriners are paying us $200 a piece, plus another $50 for gas, and in exchange, we are going to rock their house, figuratively speaking, for three hours.

i’m sort of ambivalent about shriners… they wear cool hats, these particular shriners have excellent taste in music, and my grandfather (who died before i was born) was a shriner at the mohammed temple in peoria, illinois… but i’ve never been one to pay much attention to other people’s “mystic”, quasi-religious rites, and there’s a sheen of “better-than-you” “old-boy’s-network” slime over the whole deal, which is the main thing that caused me not to postulate to the clampers, and has been a major “thing” to get over in the process of going to burning man and OCF as well. as it is, i’ve got plenty of fezzes, most of which are not shrine fezzes (and one which was made by the company that makes shrine regalia, but with no emblems on it), and i plan on supplying fezzes to my fez-less band-mates use… and, maybe, i’ll get a chance to talk to an actual shriner about my grandfather.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


Accidental Rhino

ketchup

for those of you who may be trying to guess my administrator password, good luck… seriously… you can start with not trying to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, because either one will get you banned for 6 hours (the first time). and it doesn’t matter how many IP addresses you use, you’ll still get banned if you try to login as “admin” or “przxqgl”, so you may as well give it up.

they finally got the check to us on saturday, which is sooner than they told us the last time, but four days later than they originally agreed upon. it’s really bizarre, because the audiences love us and ask us when will be the next time we’re coming back, but if the “MAN”agement doesn’t get it together to pay us on time, there aren’t going to be too many more shows like this.

i’m deep into rehearsal season again. the panto starts on 13th december and the fremont philharmonic is playing for the fremont lenin lighting/festivus celebration on 5th december. we’re rehearsing twice a week for the panto, we still haven’t got all the music, or finalised who is going to play (or not) for which shows, i just created yet another “new” mailing list for the players, and, already macque has had to delete one address and add another one because of some fiasco in which he’s involved.

my mother-in-law (who may be reading this) came to visit last week, so that she could accompany moe to the fleetwood mac concert. i’m not a big fleetwood mac fan, so i drove them to the venue and then went to the Poodle Dog, which i used to frequent when i was a cab driver, in the middle-1980s. as far as i could tell, the only thing that has changed about the poodle dog is the computer screens in place of the cash register, and the wide-screen flat-panel televisions in place of the CRT screens above the bar… even the smell was the same. we arranged to go to a friend’s birthday party with the M-I-L, as well, but, as we were on our way out the door to go to the party, she fell and fractured her wrist in three places, causing her and moe to be in the emergency room until 3:00 in the morning. she was wondering why i seemed to be expressing a desire not to be in contact with her, and this is the reason why. she’s way too fragile to be an ongoing part of our (meaning mine and moe’s) life. she’s always going to be moe’s mom, so i’m always going to get along with her, more or less; really, it’s not as though i don’t get along with her, like i don’t get along with my parents, but i also don’t want her to put herself into situations where she’s going to get broken. we’ve experienced enough broken-ness without her adding to the batch.

phgnaw… 8P

snake suspenderz did another gig for ERA Living on tuesday. we knew about it several months in advance, and “submitted the appropriate paperwork” so that we would (alledgedly) get paid on the day of the performance.

as is becoming rather common with gigs for ERA Living, we were not paid on the day of performance. they apologised profusely (like they did the last time) and assured us that we would be contacted the next day concerning payment.

we were not contacted. πŸ˜›

last night, i wrote a “carefully worded” email to the lady that books these gigs, and told her that, in the future, if we are not paid on the day of the performance, we WILL NOT perform!

this morning my email box is full of apologies from people i don’t even know, and assurances that we should expect a check “early next week”…

my impression is that we submitted the appropriate paperwork A MONTH AGO so that we would get paid on THE DAY OF THE PERFORMANCE, and this whole business of having to wait another week because they didn’t cut the check on time is HORSESHIT

ESPECIALLY since they’re not paying us enough anyway… seriously, these gigs are for upscale retirement homes where the residents get gold name-tags, and there are huge fireplaces, libraries, catered food whenever they want, and so forth… they can afford to be paying us $600 for two hours (which is what we ask for, AND GET from other places) out of petty cash, but they only budget $400 for these gigs, and absolutely can’t go any higher…

on top of that, they consistently SCREW UP and aren’t able to pay us even $400 on the day that we perform, despite the fact that we get everything set up with them a month in advance… πŸ˜›

but if we refuse to play, the old folks who make up the audiences get whatever other groups want to bend over for their money, and, honestly, the old folks really enjoy the music we play…

i wonder how many catered dinners they would have if they didn’t pay the caterer the same way they’re not paying the musicians? πŸ˜›

bluh

i was up until 1:30 this morning… i had a snake suspenderz gig at a benefit for the moisture festival, which didn’t get out until 10:00, which meant that i didn’t get home until about 11:30, and then i spent 2½ hours preparing and uploading a bunch of files for a guy from the moisture festival… i probably didn’t have to stay up that late, but it took me a while to realise that, despite the fact that my computer said that they uploaded almost instantly, they were actually taking a considerable amount of time to upload (because they were actually fairly large files), and i deleted them and started over several times because it was late and i didn’t realise that, in reality, they weren’t uploading instantly.

there were a bunch of chautauquans at the gig last night: stephan freelan (formerly freeman) was the stage manager, and nanda was there — all five of them this time (there were only four of them when we performed on vashon last week). there were a lot more folks there, but stephan and nanda are the only ones whose names i can reliably remember…

moe has been in spokane since wednesday… alledgedly, this is the last of her travelling out of town for a while (she claims that she doesn’t have to travel again until january), which, if it’s true, would be a very good thing indeed.

yesterday

yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away…

no, no… that’s not right…

yesterday i got up early enough to be in magnolia by 8:00 so that i could sit by the side of the road for three hours while i waited for the magnolia seafair parade to happen around me… with me as the tuba player in the SANCApators. because of the fact that i was the tuba player, there are no pictures — of me or anyone else — that i took, but i’m pretty sure there were pictures taken of me by other folks, because i wore my kilt, a rainbow tie-dyed shirt, my tall hat-of-many-buttons, and my steampunk goggles. carrying an enormous tuba in a parade, dressed in that costume, was definitely an experience… unfortunately it was an experience for everyone else, because i was too busy trying to play the parts and keep more-or-less in line with the six other members of the band… 😐

this is the second seafair related parade that i have participated in this year. i didn’t go to greenwood, because my car isn’t “finished” yet, but i’ve been in chinatown, magnolia, and, in a couple weeks, briar…

next weekend is august 9th, the day that will live in infamy… because i have three different gigs scheduled with three different bands, in three different cities…

i’ve got the festival of the river with the fighting instruments of karma; i’ve got the ballard locks gig with the ballard sedentary sousa band; AND i’ve got the huson’s garden party with the fremont philharmonic… ALL ON THE SAME DAY… πŸ˜›

i’m going to make the fighting instruments gig, because they are actually paying the chautaqua $10,000 to do the show, so the chautaqua wants to give them their money’s worth… i may be able to make the garden party, which starts at 7:00, if everything goes as planned and i am able to leave arlington by 6:00, and i encounter no traffic in everett or seattle…

… now i need a place to hide away, oh i believe in yesterday.

SACBO, OCF et cetera

we have three snake suspenderz gigs next week. tuesday we have a gig at horizon house, which we played for last year to great acclaim. thursday we have a gig at the university house, wallingford, which doesn’t pay enough and only wants “background music” for their art opening (they could easily afford to pay us twice the amount they are, out of petty cash, considering how swank and regal the place is, but it’s for a friend of a friend, so we can’t really say much). saturday we have SACBO, which is in a new place this year. apparently, in spite of the crowds of people who attend, the fremont solstice fair budget is on the “shoe-string” level, and they decided to use the parking lot that we have been holding SACBO in for the past few years as a “pay-for” concert venue, which means that SACBO has to move to the former sound mind & body parking lot. it’s good because there won’t be the possibility for loud interruptions, like what happened last year, and it’s a nicer location, with more shade, right next to the water.

this year will also be the 14th 16th anniversary (this is why my wife is always right and i am always wrong) of our wedding, which now moves into the class of things i have done for the longest amount of time in my life, including smoking cannabis and being a musician.

the fighting instruments of karma (for which i am now, more-or-less, the “official” tuba player) has a parade in which i am actually going to be “marching”, in darrington, on the 4th of july. moe says i “dodged a bullet” because her mom wants us to come down to portland for a barbecue on the 4th. i’m still not totally sure whether moe will attend or not (although i don’t see any reason why not), but at this point, i’m grateful for anything that puts distance between me and moe’s mother.

then OCF happens from july 8th (or 9th, at the latest) until the 14th. we are already scheduled to perform at the ritz, on saturday, 12th july, at 7:30 pm. if you’re interested, and in the area, i encourage you to come: it is, definitely, not to be missed. both kiki and sasha are cast members this year, which means that stuart will be the pro-tem leader of the band, we will have an alternate drummer (possibly) and at least one new player whose name i have seen bandied about in email, but have never actually met. the philharmonic still hasn’t had any rehearsals, and there is no new music, although some is rumoured to exist, at least in kiki’s mind… in other words, we’re coming into OCF with practically no rehearsals at all, and (at this point) no rehearsals with the cast… just like normal… i’m not even 100% sure what show we are doing this year (although i think it might be “Sleeping Beauty”)…

it’s gotten to be so much of a “tradition” that i’m not particularly worried any longer, but it still causes a small amount of stress.

meh

i’m still alive and kicking, however at this point, whenever i think about posting anything the “meh” takes over.

i played for NANDA‘s 10th anniversary in the balloon hangar at ft. worden, which is now called the “McCurdy Pavillion”. 35 years ago, when i first came across it, it was a mouldy, forgotten world war II relic, taken over by the navy, that had been officially abandoned for 10 years or so. it’s amazing what a little bit of paint and a few hundred thousand dollars can do to a place. i spent saturday morning re-visiting the sacred sound-spaces with which i have become so familiar over the past 35 years, played music with members of my karass, and slept in a motorhome in port townsend. if i had my way, i would have spent quite a bit more time exploring the subterranean vaults, but i had to get thaddeus back so that he could take care of his obligations. i noticed, however, that port townsend is a little more than an hour’s drive from here, which (on heavy traffic days) is not that much further than seattle, which has got me wondering why i don’t get out to port townsend more frequently.

along the same lines, i have been in discussion with eben, clayton and andrew (the leader, and the two other tuba players for the fighting instruments of karma, respectively), and it has been more or less decided that i am now the “official” tuba player for the SANCApators. SANCA is a place in georgetown that is most known for its “School Of Flight”, but offers a variety of classes for all levels, including “drop in” classes in trapeze (the idea of which makes me wonder a little). they have classes in a number of pursuits that, i think, would be both fun and “therapeutic”, such as tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and so forth… it would be interesting to take classes there, but i would have to be sure that they knew about my brain injury, and talk with them about how it would be accounted for.

i’ve got 3 snake suspenderz gigs in the next three weeks: one at horizon house, which we played for a couple of years ago, one at university house, wallingford, which i booked in spite of objections from hobbit, and one at SACBO. the day SACBO starts, i am also going to be showing off my art car at the LeMay Automotive Museum with a whole bunch of other “car-tists”.

through sheer, stubborn will and determination, i got the fremont phil booked at the ritz at OCF before OCF, for the first time EVER… now, instead of wondering when we’re going on, and not knowing until 15 minutes before it actually happens (like what happened last year), we know, ahead of time, that we’re going on at 7:00 pm, saturday, 12th july, and OCF hasn’t even started yet! now, insha’llah, barring unforseen (and 51% likely, due to HIF) other circumstances, we actually know when we’re going to be playing at the naked hippie sauna… 😎

bleh

the days keep going by.

i got my computer fixed by the kubuntu gods at Kubuntu Forums, where they are quite a bit better than just about anybody else at diagnosing and helping to fix any problems that one might have with one’s kubuntu system… and, by the way, it wasn’t the video drivers. the people who put together the update packages left out an important part of the desktop manager, and released a new update that had that important part in it the next day… πŸ˜‰ i suppose that’s what i get for using a free, community-based operating system.

it could be worse. i could be using <shudder> micro$lop…

moe returned very early friday morning, so the doggies have calmed back down to their standard level of chaos.

i’ve got a rehearsal later on this evening with the fremont philharmonic, whose moisture festival dates are april 2nd through april 6th. we’ve only had one rehearsal, we still don’t know exactly who is playing when, and there’s a WHOLE BUNCH of new music that we haven’t learned yet. then i’ve got a rehearsal with the SANCApators (which is eben sprinsock‘s other band) on wednesday. they’ve got two rehearsals, and then i’m playing with them at the moisture festival on march 23rd. then i’ve got a rehearsal with snake suspenderz on thursday. snake suspenderz is playing a private gig at a corporate party on saturday, and a public gig on sunday, at C&P Coffee in west seattle, if you’re interested in seeing us play: we’re doing a special performance with Katy Webber, who is a FANTASTIC jazz singer (who also played the part of Dick Whittington in the most recent panto)… snake suspenderz is also playing as a “pit band” at the moisture festival march 26th through march 30th. i don’t know if we’re going to have any “on stage” performances this year, but even still, i’ve got a total of 19 performances, which should make up for any loss that i experience due to the fact that i’ve gotten paid less per share than last year (grumble, mutter).

i’ve got a whole bunch more moisture festival performances this year than i had last year, and a combination of widely varying circumstances means that they’re actually taking snake suspenderz seriously this year, but if they maintain the new “tradition” of paying a smaller share than they did last year (which started last year), this will probably be the last year that i participate in the moisture festival in the way that i have been for the past ELEVEN YEARS now… πŸ˜› of course i don’t know that they’re going to pay less per share than they did last year, but at this point i don’t trust the board of directors to do anything rational any longer.

and before any of that happens, moe and i are going to heppner oregon again (like we did last year), and after that, we’re going to the ocean for a few days. we’re going to a place that DOES NOT have wifi, so it’s going to mean that we’re going to have to exist for a few days without our smart-phones, or ipads, or laptops… we’re going to have to do with kites, dogs, beach, and each other… like in olden times.

wump

we now have four completed performances of the panto under our belts. it’s going surprisingly well, considering that it’s only the first weekend. our houses have been sparse, but energetic, and i’ve actually got to the point where i’m playing more than 75% of the notes on the piece with which i’ve been having the most difficulty, i.e. the piece that is in the normally-totally-okay key of E♭, but because of the fact that it re-focuses my attention on the two fingers of my right hand (middle and ring fingers) which are the LEAST under my control, since my injury, it is a real challenge… but it’s getting better, because we’re only four performances into the run and i’m already playing >75% of the notes correctly, so i’ll probably have it after a few more performances.

i got out of the palladium shortly after the last performance of the day concluded, and was home by 6:00 pm, when i discovered that i had left my computer glasses at the palladium, so now i’m sitting as far away from the screen as possible, but not so far away that i can’t see the letters i am typing… sasha has my glasses, and i plan on retreiving them tomorrow, but it’s really frustrating typing and reading what i type without my reading glasses… getting old is a drag, sometimes…

moe’s father is in the hospital, and his wife is in montana (or some place like that) helping moe’s half-brother’s wife who has had premature twins recently — the deeper i dive in to the pool, the more moe’s family is like a television situation comedy gone horribly, and irretrievably wrong, really… but my family is not much better, despite (or, because of) the fact that i haven’t communicated with any of them for more than 5 minutes or so in thirty years… but that is a different story, entirely. in any event, moe’s father has nobody else to care for him, and the last i heard, the hospital was giving him a 50% chance, so moe has taken an emergency trip to portland to whip some doctors into shape and get her father’s wife back from wherever it is that she is, so that moe doesn’t have to do it any longer. end result is that i am here taking care of frank, zorah, the parrots and snake on my own, while moe is in portland for an indeterminate period of time.

wonderful… just in time for the holidays… 😐

misc.

i panicked

i got this silly little app for my smart phone called Yellofier which is presented by a pair of folks, one of whom is boris blank (of Yello). the app is, basically, a sampler with a bunch of preset effects and a bunch of preset samples, and a sequencer, all of which is obscured by an interesting, quasi-intuitive interface. i’m not sure i’m going to actually use it for anything, although there is already a group that has has released an album using it… or, perhaps, because of that fact… but it’s silly and fun, and it will give me something to do while everybody else is playing angry birds. here is an example of what i’ve been doing so far.

snake suspenderz has been pretty busy recently. we did a wedding, and we did a set for the chateau at valley center, and today we’ve got a moisture festival ( 😐 ) gig. who knows how long it’s going to last this time, but fun is fun, so why not go with it?

sibelius

the software, not the composer…

i bit the bullet and bought the academic version of sibelius 7… which cost $300, rather than the standard version, which has less capabilities, but costs $700 (a thing which i have yet to figure out, even though the capabilities that the educational version has are useless to me, because it requires that i have a network with at least one other installation of the educational version installed on it).

it actually took me a few days to make it “legal” because of the fact that moe’s WSU email address had been changed (since she graduated… oops!) and we had to work around that until she was able to phone the helpdesk and get things straightened out.

now that it is all legal and everything, i’ve gotta start actually learning how to use it. but it’s easy enough to use that, already, before i’ve even completed one of the FOUR two-hour tutorials it came with(!), i have been able to complete two lead sheets for beatles tunes that i copied from THE BOOK for snake suspenderz, and create a 6-part arrangement of a piano rag by scott joplin for the fremont philharmonic.

i still haven’t realised all of the goodies that this new, legal software holds in store for me, but i think it’s already well on the way to paying me back for the money i spent on it. 😎

snake suspenderz

i haven’t been writing that much about snake suspenderz recently, because we haven’t been doing that much as a group… except recently.

last night we played for a gay wedding. a couple of years ago, we played for this couple’s 40th anniversary, and, now that they’re actually able to get married (gasp), they wanted us back for their wedding. it was an honour, of course, and the only shame was that they had to live together for 42 years before they were legally able to get married. we got plied with many different varieties of victuals, beer and liquor, played up a storm (literally, not last night, but this morning) and walked away with $200 a piece. now all we have to do is find a gig like that every week, and we’ll be set.

it's still there... 8/today was the 2nd annual “Day Of Music” at benaroya hall… and the grammatical error that was in the bus tunnel is STILL there. i lived near there in 1998, when it was originally put up, and noticed it then, and sent several letters complaining about their shoddy attempts at proofreading to various different civic groups, but, as is obvious, nobody ever did anything about it, and my tax dollars are still going towards the mis-education of millions of metro riders every year…

but that was then, and this is now. i was given a “discounted” parking pass for the parking garage under benaroya hall, but it was for a “$3 discount” on the, normal $7 parking fee, and i figured that if i get there early and search around a little, there’s a good chance that i can park on the street for free, which i did: i parked four blocks away, on the waterfront, and dragged my tuba uphill six blocks, because there is no wheelchair ramp at the “Waterfront Steps”. it actually wasn’t all that bad, and i figured that i would find another way down later on. i showed up in time to watch the one man band who was on stage ahead of us, and during his time on stage the weather went from dry but cloudy to “car wash” status, and they actually told us that we might be delayed or cancelled, if it got too outrageous… which, of course, it didn’t, but that didn’t prevent me from playing a half-hour set with rain dribbling down my back… and they don’t call upright tubas “rain catchers” for nothing… 😐 and, of course, i wasn’t able to find a way down, so i had to walk three blocks out of my way, in the pouring rain, which, at that point, also included lightning and thunder, to get back to my car.

allegedly we have another gay wedding in tacoma, next month, that also pays us $200 a piece. thaddeus was connected to this gig by an old friend of his who books bands for events. maybe he should… um… i don’t know, let his friend know that WE’RE A BAND THAT NEEDS GIGS or something like that… and then, maybe it won’t have been nine months since our last gig… 😐

update

i’ve digitised 2½ cassettes by pliny. i don’t get to post any more of them until i get permission from him, ’cause apparently he’s paranoid. oh well… 😎

i’ve got a component-stereo cassette player on freecycle, but i’ve got one person who has expressed interest, so it’s probably already taken.

i’ve got a snake suspenderz performance at a rehab center in burien. it’s a private party, which means that i’ll be paid for it, but i don’t remember how much at this point. it doesn’t really matter anyway, ’cause i’m playing and they’re paying me. 😎

moe and i are going to a performance by ezra in honour of The PHBFH on the 17th. the place is TBA, still, but ezra sez we’re going to get notified by email before the performance, so we can be where it is. i haven’t seen The PHBFH since ezra graduated from college, which was a few years ago, but i’ve never actually talked with him about his mother, so this should be an interesting performance.

the 26th has a performance by the BSSB, but i’ll probably post before then.

oh, i’ve also got another colonoscopy scheduled on the 7th of june, and another snake suspenderz performance on the 14th of june at cafe racer.

also, moe brought home a dead hummingbird… it’s sad that it’s dead, but at the same time, it’s probably the only time i’m going to get to hold a hummingbird in my hand…moe brought home a dead hummingbird

⥣ .333333333333333333333333333333333333…

i’ve been noticing a distinctly moldy-like smell the past few days, but i haven’t found the source. then, this morning, moe mentioned that the kitchen floor was feeling a little soft, so i went down and looked, and sure enough, there was a leak in one of the pipes… so i spent $500 on a plumber at 11:30 in the morning on a sunday. he was actually the second plumber i called, because the first one was in church and not answering his cell phone. i know he was in church because his dispatcher told me he was. i guess going to church means that you don’t get paid on a sunday… 😐 the guy who finally came out recommended a complete repiping of the entire house, which would cost around $7,000. the thing is, i don’t know whether this house is worth it or not… after all, it was a “manufactured” (read “mobile”) home, installed in the early 1970s, which is currently under water with its mortgage… 😐

on the plus side, since the plumber went away, there has been a surprisingly dissipated moldy-like smell… and the leaky pipe may also have been the source of the windows sweating so much over the past couple of weeks…

regular fremont phil rehearsals have started. regular ballard sedentary sousa band rehearsals are starting on tuesday. regular snake suspenderz rehearsals haven’t started yet, which is probably not as bad a thing as it seems at this point, but my impression is that they’d better start soon, or we’re going to be in trouble, because we’ve got a number of performances starting in less than a month. next weekend, moe and i are taking a part vacation and part sheepdog trial in heppner, oregon starting friday and ending monday.

mystery explained!

i logged into my computer today, and discovered the following email message from r. carey, the artist behind orchid spangiafora:

I recently checked the discogs page for Tin Windows and saw your name listed in the “want this” list. I remember our correspondence from the 1990s and I wanted you to have a copy. I have no idea why Feeding Tube didn’t respond to your email. I’ll have to talk to them and make sure they are getting their mail. I got your post office address from a link on the hybridelephant site. You are (obviously) free to do whatever you like with the five copies, but I thought if you had some extras they might find their way to some interesting people. Anyway, I hope you enjoy it.

squeeeeEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€ πŸ˜€

pzfthqgler

i re-evaluated my bong-making facility, and modified it somewhat to accomodate some additions to the glass-bottle-drilling area so that i can actually fill the bottles with water while i am drilling them. apparently being full of water “stabilises the bottle on a molecular level” and makes them less likely to break. i haven’t really noticed that much of a difference yet, because i’ve only actually tried it with one bottle, but if i can break fewer bottles than i have been so far, it will be an improvement. i went to another smoke shop yesterday, and they responded positively, but didn’t actually buy anything. they told me to call again today, so i’m going to do that later this afternoon.

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival again. the first rehearsal was supposed to be yesterday, but, typically, it got cancelled at the last moment. the moisture festival will be 10 years old this march, and it’s actually smaller than it was last year. last year we had shows in four different venues, and this year we’re only filling two venues. it makes me wonder what they’re planning on doing with all the $100 “donations” they got last year, that they said were going to make this years’ moisture festival “something really special”… 😐

the fremont phil has 5 days of performances, which is two less than last year, which was three less than the year before… and i’ve heard some “rumblings” from the powers-that-be in the moisture festival that they’re thinking of getting entirely new bands next year… nothing official, at this point, but the fact that it’s out there is something to shudder about.

on the other hand, snake suspenderz is playing (on stage) two nights, on which i am also performing with the phil, AND we’re also “subbing” for stuart’s band, the Super 8s, one night as “the pit band” or “the house band” or whatever you may call it… so that’s something.

rick has been going through hell recently. it started when i dropped him off at the emergency room of good samaritan hospital (the same one i did my rehabilitation in, after my injury). he proceded to almost die and is now recovering at an “assisted living facility” in puyallup: basically it’s one of those “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” places, where 95% of the population is never going to be released… but at the same time, if rick were to be released, the only place he has to go back to is so moldy that it’s very likely toxic, and rick has a self-admitted ambivalence toward living in squalor… i remember thinking, as i was moving the boxes of crap from rick’s storage place to his house, that i could very easily be contributing to a future episode of Hoarders… i want to help, but i’m not sure how much good it will do… 😐 i’ve been taking him to various different doctors’ appointments, when he can’t arrange transportation, but i don’t know how much more i have in me.

moe went to florida for 8 days. i am at home with the doggies. i have a gig tonight, but apart from that, i’m relatively free, if anyone wants to do something… i have a meeting with den some time next week, allegedly, and i’ve got at least one recording session with the players/philharmonic some time soon… once again “alledgedly”…

my friend rick, who i helped move out of his storage locker a few months ago, wasn’t feeling well yesterday, and asked me for a ride to the doctor’s office, and then from there to the hospital, where he checked in for a few days. i haven’t been to valley medical for a while, and i have never been to the new emergency room that they built a couple of years ago. it was interesting to be back at the hospital where i underwent brain surgery, but it was only interesting because it was someone else, and not me…

also, at least part of the reason why i keep doing this is because things change, sometimes dramatically, between when i first hear about it, and when it actually happens. this years’ changes include the fact that snake suspenderz has been tapped for a house-band appearance, and there’s also the possibility of our performing for the volunteer party, as well. i still REALLY wonder what’s going on with the moisture festival, and REALLY wonder why RB is apparently booking acts again (it was my impression that tim had taken that over last year, because of “complaints” about RB’s scheduling fiascos), but i have gone, once again, from wanting to boycott the moisture festival, to probably being okay with it… but, once again, i’m fairly sure that the panto will eclipse the moisture festival as being the most highly paid gig i participate in all year, which was not what i expected to happen with the “world class” comedy/varieté venue in which i have been performing ever since it started, TEN YEARS AGO… 😐

so…

this weekend is the start of four weeks of panto performances. tickets are selling out quickly, but if you’re in the area, we are still accepting “friends and family” for the 15th december performances. tickets are available brown paper tickets, and if you choose the 15th performance and enter the code mushy peas you’ll be getting in for no cost.

if you’re not in the area… tough luck. πŸ˜‰

i played my sousaphone last month for the first time in around a year, and it went fairly well… now, the difficult part, is getting back to playing a C tuba. i thought it was going to be an easy transition, because i went from C to B♭ without any difficulty at all, but the difficult part is going back to C. i played the music for the panto reasonably well this summer, but, despite the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone last month, for one day, remembering the C fingerings is a REAL problem… 😐

and it makes it that much worse that the panto starts this weekend, and goes for four weeks… presumably, i’ll be playing the parts reasonably well by the time it’s done, but — of course — by that time, it’ll be too late. 😐

moe graduated from college on saturday — summa cum laude — and her parents are coming for her reception, which is on the same day that the panto opens, so i’m going not going to be able to make it, but i’m not particularly disappointed, as it will be a party with a whole bunch of people i don’t know, plus monique’s parents.

grawlf…

i’m getting more and more convinced that what i really SHOULD do is drop kubuntu all together, and install debian with KDE. kmail is still doing bizarre, but not really obtrusive things, like “forgetting” my password, and losing mail if i move the folder that it’s in somewhere else. amarok still randomly stops playing occasionally, and crashes rather than shutting down “nicely” EVERY TIME… there are all kinds of minor annoyances that have crept into kubuntu that i strongly suspect would not be there in debian, and with KDE, i wouldn’t have to learn new software. the only thing i’m skeptical about is whether or not i will be able to transfer my mail to the new system, and (once again) whether or not i would be able to get all of my genealogical data back… both of those things are items that i could have the answers to, if i wrote to the appropriate user groups, i just haven’t gotten around to it.

i had two gigs over the weekend: one with snake suspenderz at the gage drawing jam, and one with the sousa band at the phinney holiday festival. the gage was more or less as advertised, i.e. we sat in the back of the room and nobody paid attention to us, but there was no free beer this year. we made $50 a piece (because our drummer was not there). the gig at phinney was more crowded and chaotic than it has been in the past, because they put in an elevator and a fire-escape in the places where we used to fill up the hall, so they had to twist everything ninety degrees, which made the stage about a quarter of the size it used to be…

really, honestly, if they don’t provide us more roomy accomodations next year, i won’t be going. it’s crowded and chaotic enough already, but expecting a 40-piece band to fit in a room that is only big enough for about 75 people, and then cramming 200 more people into the space (most of whom aren’t even attending the concert in the first place), SIMPLY DOESN’T WORK… 😐

i’ve got a new web design client, for whom i’ve also (already) made business cards… and there’s a good chance that i will make at least 4 more business cards for him, and, once he gets is ducks in a row, there’s even a possibility that i will be doing a lot more printing for him as well. at this point, i haven’t done a lot with the web design part of it, in spite of the fact that he paid me what i consider to be A LOT of money up front which i haven’t even come close to spending yet… and it appears as though i may not have to do any of the actual design part of the job anyway. a member of the fremont players does web design “on the side” and knows A LOT more about HTML5 than i do, and, because of the fact that this guy has already paid me what i consider to be A LOT of money, i can actually afford to pay her $20 an hour to do the web design for me. 😎

date: up

now that the battle of the computer is fading into the background, i actually have time to rant about other things. there’s still a few things that are wonky about the new operating system: amarok still has problems when i first start it up. it doesn’t show all of the current track’s tags until i “nudge” it a little bit, and when i close it down, i select “File -> Quit” and it quits, but it also shows a crash error shortly afterwards… i’ve tried to report the crash error (because it happenes EVERY time), but they say it’s fixed in the next version… which won’t be available for kubuntu 12.04.1 (Precise Pangolin) but is currently available for kubuntu 12.10 (Quantal Quetzal) which i am not going to upgrade to, because it is not a “Long Term Support” version… also, for some unknown reason, amarok gives up and has to be restarted. it’s frustrating, but nowhere near as frustrating as playing multiple tracks at the same time, and not stopping when i select “File -> Quit”, which is what it had started doing prior to the system upgrade…

Snake Suspenderz played a gig at Wine World yesterday, as a part of our “official duties” as the “Official SACBO Band”. we played for 3 hours, and got “paid” with pizza, munchies, and all of the wine or beer we could sample. we should definitely play more frequently, but getting the entire band together is a chore i don’t want to undertake myself, because it would get really frustrating, really quickly, and then i wouldn’t want to do it any longer. 😐 we have upcoming shows on 1st december, 2012 at the drawing jam at the gage, and 10th january, 2013 at Smokin’ Pete’s Barbecue, but prior to that, our last gig was in august at the can can, and we haven’t all been in the same room since then, before yesterday…

paeudt

i actually took my art car to the rainier beach artwalk today, which is the first time since i actually put art on it, and i wasn’t planning on doing something else, that i have attended an “art car function” this year… and i was pleasantly surprised to discover that the art-cartists were paid $25 just for being there. 😎 i also brought my didjeri-flute and played for a while… sort of like at burning man, with no expectation of anything other than making weird noises for people. the weather was cooperative, and not windy enough that it was impossible to play, but there was no electricity, so the delay/amplification wasn’t there, and, as a result, i competed with the bands across the street for most of the time i was there.

and, while i’m on the subject, Snake Suspenderz, the Official SACBO Band, is playing at The Can Can in the Pike Place Market, tuesday 9/18 at 7:00. cover is $5.00 and we hope to see a lot of art car people there! 😎 the snake suspenderz site or buy tickets.

but i’m still struggling with a couple of tunes, which i don’t remember, in spite of the fact that i’ve attempted to play them a number of times recently, and vowed to remember what they were… i really need to start writing down stuff like like that, because my memory is CRAP… 😐 and that has been complicated by the fact that my band-mates don’t feel like checking and responding to their emails: there are two days between now and when we play at the can can, i have repeatedly requested a rehearsal, or some busking, or (preferably) both, since wednesday or so, and i have gotten mediocre and lack-lustre responses AT BEST from the other members of my band… and i’m feeling frustrated about it, because my performance is going to suffer if a rehearsal (at least) doesn’t happen before tuesday! 😐

but, back to my didjeri-flute ravings for a moment: i REALLY need to get out to somewhere where there’s a publically-accessible electrical outlet and no wind (the public space at crossroads mall immediately springs to mind. why? i don’t know, but there it is), and see how i do busking on my own. i’ve got to put together a “busking kit” sort of like the one hobbit has, which includes a tip container and a sign indicating that it’s there… i wonder if the broken wire music stand i “donated” to hale’s palladium is still there?

i’m still “brewing” some new art, as well. it may be that it has something to do with my didjeri-flute, but i’m still not sure. πŸ˜‰

oh yeah, we also rocked their world at cholmondleighland last saturday. we got raving reviews from avner the eccentric who said “If I have a pit, I want you in it!” and said that he’d put in a good word for us with tim at the moisture festival for next year! (WOO HOO!!)

music, video

i played with the fremont philharmonic at big red last night, and also played my didjeriflute for a “talent show”. then, this morning, i got up at an unreasonably early hour and went to the ballard sunday market, where i busked with snake suspenderz until noon, whereupon i went to the edmonds city park and played with the ballard sedentary sousa band.

the video is pretty much exactly what i wanted, but i really need to figure out how to work iMovie a little better, because it could be a lot better… i’m not sure if i want to make a separate video explaining how the flute is made and how to play it, or whether i want to re-make the current video with that information included… or even if i actually want to include information about how it is made and how it is played… i mean, i suppose anybody with a little imagination can probably figure those things out, but it’s kinda neat that, as far as i can tell, NOBODY has done this kind of thing, and made a video of it before. 😎

stuff

moe has gone to san diego for a week, to attend a veterinary assistants conference… which means i have all four dogs to myself for a week… fun…

i don’t mind the dogs as long as someone else takes care of them most of the time (i was raised around dogs from a very early age), but i’ve never liked taking care of them that much… and, with a dog who is a little more than a year old and still very much a puppy (apart from the fact that he is a border collie and currently stands an inch and a half taller than his mother), and another, ancient and decrepit dog who likes to bark, suddenly and loudly, at nothing, for no very obvious reasons, my patience is being severely tried, and moe has only been gone for two days…

i have two gigs on sunday (again), one with the ballard sedentary sousa band (at the ballard locks, at 2:00 pm), and one with snake suspenderz (on mercer island, at 7:00 pm), which means that i’m going to be gone for longer than rye’s bladder will hold out, so moe arranged for some friends to come over and give the doggies some “relief” in the evening… which is absolutely okay with me, given the circumstances.

i had the windows in my car tinted the other day, which is very good, because now, when people are “just walking by” my car, on sunday, instead of being able to look in the car and see my new, fancy tuba in the back, they won’t be able to see anything… however, in the process of applying the tinting film, the guy broke the passenger side rear window… or something, it worked the last time i tried it, but i haven’t used it since i bought the car, which is when i “tested it out” the last time. my impression is that when the previous owner pulled off the not-professionally-installed (i.e. defective) window tinting film, it left a whole bunch of residue which, subsequently, gummed up the motor… anyway, they couldn’t tint that window, because it wouldn’t go up and down, so i took it over to edgewood tire last night, and had them “cut the cable and insert a wooden wedge” to make the window “go up and down” — sort of — but, because of the fact that it was held in place with a wooden wedge, there would have been no point in locking the door, or (for that matter) tinting the windows in the first place, so i ponied up another $250 to fix the window, which leaves me with very little money… but money has been coming in at a surprisingly high rate recently… not very large quantities (with one significant exception), but frequently enough that i’m not too worried about how little money is in my hybrid elephant account at the moment… πŸ˜‰

hoorumph

yay! we’re going to be busking at the ballard sunday market tomorrow! πŸ™‚

hotmail.com, gmail.com, u.washington.edu and uw.edu have apparemtly decided that messages from the ballard sedentary sousa band mailing list (of which there are 40+ members, many of whom have addresses at the aforementioned servers) are spam… or something… 😐 the evidence i have is all of the hotmail, gmail and UW users mailing me complaining that they aren’t getting any mail from the band (despite quite a few messages being sent over the past couple of weeks), the messages being dropped from the mail queues — no reports have been sent they, and they don’t have anything in their “spam” box — and i’m not getting any feedback from their servers or the administrators thereof to indicate that i (being on the same IP address as sedentarysousa.com) have any problems whatsoever. there’s enough evidence to completly exonorate sedentarysousa.com, and compelling evidence to suggest that there has been a human error (or several of them) somewhere, but nobody’s willing to take the blame, so nothing is going to be done to fix the problem. 😐

tubaaaaaa! 8)

we went busking today, which went WAY better than i anticipated. there were even a couple of tunes that i got about halfway through before i realised that i thought i was using the E♭ fingerings (i.e. what would have been the wrong notes), but it sounded right anyway… and then i realised that, if it sounded right,then i probably wasn’t using the E♭ fingerings, at which point i tried to find my place in the music, which i had lost track of making all of these unexpected realisations, and when i couldn’t find my place in the music, i just played what came naturally and it sounded right… so i think i may have found at least part of the right connection which was screwed up when they started messing around inside my skull. 8)

and all of these realisations make me a lot more comfortable about going to OCF. after 7 shows in 3 days, i’ll probably be playing the C tuba as though i had been playing it my entire life… 8)

interesting

i recently found out that the person known as John Michael Greer, the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and reputed to be one of 21st Century America’s most noted occultists, is the same john michael greer with whom i went to college, between 1979 and 1981. i wonder if the way i feel about this is anything like the people who were personal friends of aleister crowley felt… i wonder if it’s even appropriate to feel this way.

snake suspenderz has a gig this evening at the horizon house, which is the same place that my elderly, brain injured client lives. i haven’t heard anything from him since a couple of months ago, when there was a problem with his power supply that turned out to be a motherboard issue, and then i stopped hearing from him… so i don’t know whether he got another computer, or what, but he doesn’t know that i’m going to be playing music there this evening, so things might get a little “interesting”…

SACBO is saturday. snake suspenderz is playing, and i may put some more paint on my car, depending on when snake suspenderz decides to show up, and whether or not the weather coöperates. the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow, so i may paint some more tomorrow, as well.

moe needs my help trimming sheep feet tomorrow… trimming sheep feet? and i’m supposed to be holding the sheep, while she trims their feet… we’ll see how that goes. πŸ˜‰

snake suspenderz has two gigs on sunday. we play in the early afternoon at the burien wild strawberry festival (which i attended with an art-car caravan, a few years ago, and was witness to the guy selling gold jewelry next to my car getting ripped off by a pre-teenaged doodlehum), and then, in the evening, we play at the can-can, along with the Wanderlust Circus, featuring my friend noah, from portland.

OCF is looming, and we haven’t had even one rehearsal. i don’t even know what play we’re doing… the princess and the pea? rapunzel? rumplestiltskin? a mash-up? this is definitely going to be an interesting year…

dammit drew…

schmootzi, joe, and three other people were shot and killed at cafe racer on wednesday.

snake suspenderz was supposed to play at cafe racer this evening… apparently thad has put in a call, but has no response.

which is not particularly surprising, all things considered…

the problem is that i’m a fair distance away, and don’t really want to venture out unless i know there is something happening this evening, because i’ve got to drive to portland and help put on a show tomorrow, for which we have not got the proper permits… 😐

why couldn’t you have chosen some other place and/or time to get killed? πŸ™

DEAD PEOPLE 8(

UPDATE:

schmootzi the clod has apparently been shot at cafe racer this morning.

at this point, all i know for sure is that two people are dead and three people were taken to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, but the two dead people haven’t been publically identified yet… although rumour has it that it was schmootzi and joe, the bass player for God’s Favourite Beefcake were dead at the scene.

the back of schmootzi the clod's headsalamandir & schmoozti the clod

it’s even more unnerving, because snake suspenderz is supposed to play at cafe racer on friday… πŸ™

↑ ⅕

get it? up… date…

well, i thought it was amusing…

i am feeling a good deal better, although i am still not back to 100% health, yet. i still have a lingering cough that comes up at random times, particularly whenever i lie down, but i’m a lot better than i was a week ago.

the brakes in my car have to be replaced, to the tune of $800. moe claims that this car is “nickle-and-dime-ing” me, but the previous car (of which she approved) had already cost me almost $3000 by this point in our relationship, including $1500 for a replacement transmission, and this car has only cost me $450, plus the proposed brake work, and it appears, in spite of the fact that i’ve had to replace the timing belt, and now i have to get all four brakes and wheel bearings replaced, that this is going to continue to be a functional car for a lot longer than the previous one was. and, because of the fact that it’s a honda and not a ford (or whatever the previous car was, i don’t remember), i can actually take it to jack to have the repair work done for (hopefully) cheaper than edgewood tire quoted me. i’m also going to try to enlist the aid of the friend who worked on my brakes the day i had my brain injury (although, again, hopefully, i won’t have another brain injury), which has the definite possibility of saving me a good deal of money.

i got a reply from the incense people regarding the meaning of the word “pieces” and, as i suspected, it was entirely due to the fact that they were translating from hindi to english. if it weren’t for the fact that i have to think about providing at least part of the money for my car, i would already have sent the guy $100 for incense. as soon as i actually get paid for the postcards i made last month, i will probably do that anyway.

we had a recording session with a real, live, professional recording technician, last night, which went outstandingly well, and we’ve got another session with him tomorrow night, which, if it goes half as well as last night’s session did, will make a real, live CD of the fremont philharmonic a lot closer to being actual reality than it has ever been before. also, friday is a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show in olympia, for which i have been recruited as a sousaphone player. it should be fun, if nothing else.

today is may day. everybody go home and don’t work. also, friday is Bongwater Day, for those of you who are interested.

aaaaaand, that’s a wrap!

the 9th annual moisture festival is history, and i’m currently wallowing in post-moisture festival exhaustion and depression, but i can’t let that keep me from doing stuff, because there is a lot to be doing…

moe came home yesterday and discovered that the thermostat had gone crazy and it was 91° in the house, which, combined with yesterday’s 60° temperature made it pretty damn toasty in the house, and no matter what she tried, the furnace simply would not shut off… so she killed the electricity, and opened all the windows, which meant that when i got home at 12:30, moe was asleep, having thrown off all the covers, and all the windows were open… which was really confusing, considering the weather the past few days… anyway, this morning i got up and researched getting our thermostat/furnace fixed/replaced. 😐

not only that, but i’ve got a computer to rebuild for my older, brain-injured client, which involves going over to his house and digging through the guts of his old computer to get part numbers, and specs so that when the computer i build for him actually gets to him, it will be compatible with what he’s already got… apparently just replacing the power supply wasn’t good enough. the power supply works, but the computer still doesn’t boot, and the guy who built the old computer says that the mother board is fried. he recommended getting an entirely new computer (starting at around $700) but i figure i can probably get a new mother board for around $250, build the computer around that, and save my (already low- and limited-income) client around $400.

and, i’ve got to go meet with the surly, moody son of the guy who got killed in the auburn top food and drugs last year, because he wants me to design a logo for his car-repair business… which would be fine, except that he wants to get this logo made into a rug, and he wants details about which i know absolutely nothing, so it’s going to be really interesting designing a logo that will both be to his liking, and be able to be made into a carpet… but the fact that i’m going to be doing work for him is good, because it means that i will be able to hit him up for some repairs on my car: the brakes are in need of new shoes, and there’s still this annoying loose-belt sound when i first start up the car in the mornings…

and snake suspenderz is gearing up again: we’ve got a gig at the can can on the 22nd, and, probably, we’re going to be busking at either the ballard or the fremont sunday market on the 15th, plus we’ve got a couple of rehearsals before then…

AND i’ve got a new tuba to figure out, because it is not the same as my old tuba… i imagine that a lot of learning it will be simply playing it and figuring out what the new fingerings feel like, but along with everything else, it’s going to be a major chore…

spoons… i don’t have them… πŸ˜•

today is the first day…

today is the first day that Snake Suspenderz is performing(!) at the moisture festival(!!). the fact is, i’ve been trying to get Snake Suspenderz into the moisture festival for four years… pretty much ever since i started playing with them… and since i’ve been a part of the moisture festival for nine years (i.e. ever since the beginning), i figured that it wouldn’t be much of a problem to incorporate my cronies into the huge mass of crony-ism that is the moisture festival… but it took my “losing my temper” and sending a ranting email to a couple of people who, presumably, don’t have any more control over who gets into the moisture festival than i do…

it’s another one of those instances that i rant about from time to time, where something that i want to do turns out to be an “old-boys club” and if you’re not associated with one of the “old boys” you CAN NOT get in… i know for a fact that i have ranted at least once in this blog about the oregon country fair, and burning man, both being events that are purposely designed to get people to stay away except under very specific circumstances… which usually involve large quantities of money, or sex (and not the pleasant kind) with the right people, and sometimes both. 😐

nevertheless, apparently my ranting to my peers was enough, and we got scheduled for two “inside” gigs, the first one of which is today, where we appear on stage and play our three-song, 10-minute “mini-set”, and then hang around until the end of the show so we can take a bow with the rest of the performers, and two “fluffer” gigs, where we play for 45 minutes(!) outside the palladium, for the crowds waiting to get in (in other words, “fluffing the crowd”, which is why they’re “fluffer” gigs)…

in other words, we’ve gone from playing no shows, to playing four shows, and two of them are basically us, and a captive audience of people who are already ready for a good time…

i don’t know exactly what i said, or exactly how i said it, that made the difference, but whatever it was, i guess it had the proper effect, because we went from having no appearances to having more appearances than most of the other moisture festival performers, including two 45-minute shows where it’s nothing but us, which is more than most moisture festival performers…

don’t get me wrong, i’m still extremely suspicious of “old-boy clubs” and refuse to get involved with them for the most part, because i dislike nepotism and crony-ism to the extreme, but apparently ranting and losing one’s temper is one of the ways to get things done when one is dealing with such things.

okay, here it is, all at once…

because the next few weeks are going to be tremendously busy, and i’m not sure how much time or energy i’m going to have for trendy computer gizmos…

i’m getting ever closer to finishing the repair work on thaddeus’ E-flat sousaphone, for which he intends to give me (on the condition that, when he absolutely NEEDS a tuba, it’s his) a BB-flat tuba that he is in possession of, which used to belong to hokum w. jeebs. i’ve finished the “hard” part, which was actually procuring the correct piece (the “mouth pipe” or “lead pipe” pictured here). the rest of the process, of course, is soldering everything back together… which i have done before, but it was a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, before my injury, and so i’m a little nervous about the whole thing… one of the good things, that i need to remember, is that this is thaddeus’ UGLY E-flat sousaphone, despite the fact that the lead pipe is brand new and shiny, and pretty much anything i do to it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s playable when i get done… and it WILL be playable, i guarantee that… 8)

then, i’ve been working with chris, who owns neighborhood acupuncture, making a business card, and i’ve been going back and forth with him for about a week. he keeps leading me to believe that he’s ready to send it off to get it printed, and then, at the last minute, there are a bunch of minor changes… which wouldn’t be so bad if chris was more accessible by email, but he’s not… he makes changes, and then he might not check his email again until tomorrow… and if he really needed the business cards “last week” (as he assured me, when i asked him), that’s not the way to get it done…

also, while i was in seattle dealing with the illusion that chris’ business cards were ready to send out, my elderly, brain-injured client called me with news that his computer suddenly quit working. from his (hazy, inaccurate) description of what had happened to his computer, i deduced that he was very likely having power supply issues. so when i was done at chris’, i went to capitol hill and took out my client’s power supply which i suspected had gone tits-up, and took it down to RE-PC, where i confirmed that it had, indeed, gone tits-up: the guy plugged it in, listened to the (annoying, high-pitched) noise it was making, and said that it had at least two blown capacitors. so i recycled the old power supply and bought a new one, which i’m going to put in tomorrow, after the snake suspenderz rehearsal.

AND there’s the moisture festival, which starts on thursday. i’m playing 13 performances over 24 days with the fremont phil, and 4 performances during the same period of time, with snake suspenderz, two of which are “fluffing” the crowd pre-show, and two of which are on the stage with the rest of the performers.

so, without further ado, i’m going to morph into my alternate personality, one of the busiest low-brass players on the west coast… 8)

the first of december

a year ago, paddy was still alive and i was getting ready for a litter of new puppies. now, paddy is dead, the litter is gone except for one huge monstrostity of a dog who is now as big plus half as his mother, but is STILL digging random holes in the back yard… πŸ˜›

the 4th anniversary of this blog was yesterday. also, yesterday was the one-year anniversary of the death of sri daya mata.

there’s still a week to go before the panto, this year, unlike last year when it was this week. i thank GAWD that we’re waiting an extra week this year, because in spite of the fact that we wrote it ourselves, we’re still not quite “up to speed” with the “new, improved” peter pan — it’s still the same basic story that we took to OCF over the summer, but there are several new “twists” to the plot that make the whole thing more understandable and flow easier. as far as i can tell, we do, indeed, have all of the music at this point, including a “patter song” á la Gilbert & Sullivan, which should make the show a good deal more entertaining than it was this summer.

the fremont phil is playing for the traditional, annual lighting of lenin tomorrow, and snake suspenderz is playing for the drawing jam at the gage art academy on saturday.

鮭汁

鮭汁

so i’ve been feeling really subdued since being cracked last week… despite the fact that it didn’t really affect me that much, and i recovered quickly and completely with no more hassle and upset than the crack caused itself, i just haven’t felt like communicating that much.

we have only just gotten started with the panto rehearsals, although my understanding is that the players have actually been working separately for some time. we’ve only got a few weeks before the show goes live, and it has been almost completely rewritten between OCF and now, so it would really be good if things were moving somewhat more quickly, but i imagine it will all work out in the end.

snake suspenderz has a gig at mosaic coffee house on friday, which nobody remembered until i made some comment about a week ago that i had this gig on my schedule… and, at first, it was dismissed as a hallucination until hobbit realised that he had, in fact, scheduled the gig. we were doing really well, had a whole bunch of gigs in a row there for a while, and were making regular money busking, but recently it’s gone downhill, and we haven’t even rehearsed since the middle of last month.

the sousa bash went off without a hitch, and the sousa band is now officially on vacation until spring, with the exception of the phinney ridge holiday festival, which i’m not sure i’m going to this year, because it is REALLY crowded.

busking

hat formerly belonging to Jon H. Stebbinsi got up at an unreasonably early hour this morning and went down to the FSM to busk.

while there, i found one of the vendors had a hat for sale for $10, that i couldn’t resist. it’s not a costume hat, it’s a real, authentic, merchant marine hat, that probably belonged to an officer. inside the hat was a little printed card that said “Return this Bernard Cap to:” that had the name, address and phone number of someone who was completely unknown to the person from whom i bought the hat.

i googled the name, and came up with some confusing results. googling for Jon H. Stebbins – the name as it is actually written on the card – gets no results, but it asks if i meant to type “John H. Stebbins” and gives a lot of nautical and marine references for that spelling. the one, glaring exception to this is the record of the courts opinion in reference to the case of U.S. versus Stebbins, from 2005, in which John H. Stebbins, Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army, raped his 6-year-old daughter, was convicted in a military court, and was sentenced to life without parole, plus a $75,000 fine. the opinion of the court was that he deserved everything he got…

however, if i just google Jon Stebbins, the first results i get have to do with the author of the book Dennis Wilson, The Real Beach Boy, The Lost Beach Boy and other classics…

i’m not sure either one of these is the Jon H. Stebbins that previously owned my hat, but if that’s the sort of people i’m going to find when i search for him, i think i’ll give it a miss…

it’s a cool hat, though… 8)

busking went really well, despite the fact that we were a trio (sketch had another engagement). we got a lot of really positive feedback from the people in charge, and made a fair amount of money at the same time. i could get used to this… 8)

Elwood Decker!

Elwood Decker -- Infinite Bliss And Eternal Peace To AllElwood Decker: A Path to God

Elwood Decker

i’m indirectly responsible for this… at least for the first one…

i originally heard The Bobs song “Elwood Decker” in 1996 or 1997, thanks to my my beautiful wife (who is THE Bobs fanatic), and immediately wondered who the hell he was… so i proceded to find out.

after some preliminary internet searching, i wasn’t able to find much about elwood, but i found a connection between elwood and a guy to whom i may be related, norm hammond. it turned out that norm hammond posessed all of elwood’s paintings, and it turned out that they had just hung a gallery showing in the old train station in oceano (the bobs changed it to nipomo, which is in the same neighbourhood, but more euphonious) of elwood’s paintings. norm sent me a bunch of reproductions, one of which is currently hanging on the wall behind me. i suggested that elwood really should have a web site, and norm said that he was working on several avenues to publicise elwood — at the time he was in the process of writing a book about him — but that he had never even thought of a web site. i suggested elwooddecker.com and (although i hadn’t expanded the business to the point that it is now) suggested that i could register it for him and build a web site. he said that he would think about it, but he was more interested in writing at that time. i haven’t heard from norm since then, but that’s okay, because it appears that elwood got a web site anyway.

i also put together a one-page biography of elwood, with one of the pictures of him that norm had sent me, and gave it to richard bob at the bobs christmas show, the last time they did the show at jazz alley (1997? 1998?).

of course that was some time before i got involved with the cirque de flambé and the fremont philharmonic, which would, eventually, get me to the point where i am friends and colleagues with matthew bob… 8)

classic picture

from 1201 3rd ave suite 2200
snake suspenderz played a 90-minute gig at Davis Wright Tremaine law office, on 3rd avenue in downtown seattle the other night. it was kinda weird, because there were a huge crowd of people, but they were not listening to us… seriously, we got more compliments from the wait-staff that were hired caterers than we got from the law-office-related people, and we didn’t get that many compliments from the caterers… it’s really strange to not get confirmation that we’re doing a good job… they paid us $400 in advance, and from what little i gathered, they were more than satisfied with the job that we did, but they didn’t say anything specific, and they didn’t say they were going to hire us again… which the guy whose party we played at last week, did…

the law offices occupied at least 5 floors of the office building, but we played in the entrance lobby on the 22nd floor, which had a classic view of the sound, and i couldn’t resist taking a few pictures… πŸ˜‰

ketchup

If you go to the Third World and find 100 people who have never tasted ketchup before, you find out two things: one is that people don’t actually like tomato ketchup, the other is that they dislike all ketchups equally.
     –Rob Young

i downloaded a whole bunch of music from Sharps a burning-man related dub DJ with whom i am related – he’s either my fourth or fifth cousin, either twice or thrice removed… i’m not sure about the particular details, but our shared ancestor is my great-grandfather… or great-great-grandfather, or something like that… i find it somewhat incredible that i am related to so many people, most of whom i don’t know, and that there are other people, some of whom i am related to, who know a lot more about my family, even though they are completely unknown to me, than i do. it’s also good to see that i’ve got relatives who are not my immediate family (who all seem to despise me for not entirely unknown, but entirely unrealistic reasons) who, never the less, have the same predilictions for artistic expression as i do. it is definitely very grounding for me. i keep having to remind myself that i – and everyone else alive – has 1024 great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparents, and the further you go back in time, the fewer people there are… eventually – and it’s a lot sooner than most people think – you’re bound to run into similar family relationships.

along similar lines, through another guy i met who is from whitecourt, alberta, i got a new pile of information about my mother’s family, and i now have more-or-less confirmed lineage back to the early 1600s, and a “home turf” in st. vigeans and arbroath, scotland. i’m still hoping that someone will come along and give me similar information about my father’s side of the family: i’ve only been able to trace them back to the mid-1800s, and, although possibly the father (or, possibly, grandfather) of the last guy in my current list was originally from “the old country” (whichever one that is), i don’t know anything about him… of course i am one of a long tradition from that part of my family, of oldest-children who have been estranged from their families for one reason or another, on top of the fact that the civil war put extreme pressures on family loyalties, and that part of my family was in the thick of the action on both sides of the conflict – which would mean that there are more-than-likely parts of my family history that were deliberately forgotten over the years.

i’ve been doing a lot of performances with snake suspenderz over the past couple of weeks. we’ve been busking at the ballard sunday market for a while now, and the past couple of weeks we haven’t been busking there, but we’ve made up for it by busking at the wallingford market on wednesday, and the interbay market on thursday… and hobbit and i went and busked at the phinney ridge market on friday last week. the fremont phil did a gig at the fremont outdoor cinema on saturday last week, and we’ve got another gig scheduled for the mobile food rodeo, coming up on the 17th… and the day after that, snake suspenderz is doing two gigs in the same day, at the pike place market and beneroya hall… and i’ve discovered that puyallup has a sunday market, which opens up the possibility of going to ballard in the morning and puyallup in the afternoon… 8)

i’ve also had a surprising amount of hybrid elephant business. i’ve got a button order in the process that’s 500 buttons, plus at least two international orders and at least two more domestic orders over the past few weeks, and another one just came in… but the reciept from paypal hasn’t come in yet, so it may not be a real order… ah, there it is… it’s a real order now… 8)

i torture myself in private

well, not exactly in private…

a few weeks ago – it was on a sunday – i made the mistake of scheduling two gigs on the same day. i realised it was a mistake, and yet…

i scheduled myself for two gigs in one day, two more times within the next month. one of those days was today. i scheduled busking at the phinney farmers’ market in the afternoon, and a fremont phil rehearsal in the evening. to make this self-torture even worse, i got up with moe and went out to worm and vaccinate 20 sheep before 11:00 this morning.

moe left this afternoon around 1:00 to go to another dog trial in the portland area. she took all the doggles with her this time, because i’ve had, and will be having so much to do over the next few days.

i just got home, it’s 11:30, i still need to feed the cats, i haven’t been home all day, and i was ready to go to bed about two hours ago. we’ve got an actual gig (but only one of them) tomorrow. i don’t think we’re going to busk at ballard on sunday, so i may take that day to make the counterweights i’ve been needing for my canopy…

not only that, but i’ve got another two-gigs-in-one-day coming up, where snake suspenderz is doing the pike place market buskers’ festival, at pike place, and the seattle symphony day of music, at beneroya hall, within three hours of each other… sure, beneroya hall is only a couple of blocks from pike place, but… GODDAMIT, it’s TWO gigs in one day… and as much as they’re really prestigious, and really cool, and what other band can say that they played in the pike place market and beneroya hall IN THE SAME DAY, i just know that it’s going to stretch my spoons to the limit… πŸ˜›

recovering

sort of…

i’ve got a really busy weekend coming up, and i’ve had a really busy week already… i didn’t do much today: work on the snake suspenderz business card, laundry and spod… but i deserve a day off, especially since yesterday i filled two incense orders, one of which got shipped to the netherlands, and it’s really difficult to tell whether a person whose native language is dutch is being serious or not when he says that he wants to pay twice as much for shipping as he does for the incense itself, which meant that yesterday was the end of about two weeks of email negotiations…

whuff

i realised, once again, why i don’t schedule more than one gig per day yesterday…

i’m beginning a couple weeks of relative busy-ness, and it started off with partying and not getting enough sleep saturday night, and continued abruptly yesterday, when i got up way too early and went to the ballard sunday market with snake suspenderz and busked for approximately 1½ hours before we were run off by a string quartet which was playing vivaldi and bach. while they were playing acceptably well, they set up 20 feet away from us and wouldn’t fess up when confronted with their rudeness… and then we discovered that it’s apparently a “new policy” that buskers have to get up and move every half an hour…

by the time we had played for half an hour or so with a classical accompaniment (which was really confusing, at best, and downright distracting most of the time) we decided to bag it, especially since i had to go to my second gig anyway, which was the ballard sedentary sousa band at the ballard locks… which was, fortunately, just down the street.

it was clear from the start that i wasn’t going to be able to play my best, because i had already been playing my best for an hour and a half at the previous gig, but this was on my trombone and that was on my tuba, and i figured that would account for something… but if it did, i probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway, because by the time we were done playing i was getting really tired… then the BSSB-at-the-locks concert was followed by the traditional beer-and-pizza-in-walter’s-back-yard, which got me home around 6:00 pm.

i actually tried to take a nap between 7:00 and 7:30 or so, but the doggie-alarm kept going off every time a twig snapped outside, until moe got home around 8:00. i finally went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep almost immediately.

i’ve got a ninja concert at the good shepherd center with the fremont philharmonic this evening, and a rehearsal with the sousa band on tuesday, wednesday i have a snake suspenderz rehearsal, and thursday is my “weekend” this week. then i’ve got a gig with snake suspenderz at chumleighland on friday… which has the distinct possibility of leaking over into saturday as well… and possibly another ninja performance with the fremont phil on saturday, then the ballard sunday market on the 14th, and on the 15th is the party that we were hired to do as a result of the sunday market…

and then there’s the “Garden Party” at krissy and chris’ on the 20th, which the fremont phil is probably not playing for in any official capacity, but we’re probably going to be there, and i’m going to bet that we’ll play a little. and then, next month, we’ve already got a two-gigs-in-one-day scheduled, on 18th september, when we’re scheduled for the pike place busker festival and the seattle symphony day of music at beneroya hall…

plus i got an incense order today, for the last of my old tulasi deepak stock, which, because, from what i’ve been able to find out, they don’t make it any longer is another incense that i have carried that nobody else carries…

miscellanty

i’ve been asked to make The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band web site look “more like the Sweetgrass Rods web site”… except, to me, with the exception of the specific content, the two sites are actually quite similar: similar layout, similar breakdown, similar navigation… without changing the actual content, i don’t see how i could make the sedentary sousa site look more like the sweetgrass rods site… it’s a mystery known, at this point, only to the client, who knows what she wants, but can’t always convey what she really means… which means that it truly is a mystery…

we had a snake suspenderz rehearsal today. we’ve got a few gigs that we are talking about, including one tomorrow night at an open-mike in white center (not exactly “white”, not exactly “center”). also, there’s another open-mike that’s looking for fresh meat, and there’s a “pretty much sure thing” for a SACBO birthday party, next april, which is in the works. we added another song, and worked on a few endings that needed work. there’s a good chance that we’ll be at the ballard sunday market this sunday. all it took was a little shove in the right direction to get this band up and running again… i hope it’s more than just a few gigs this time…

damn…

10,150 spam messages… over ten thousand IDENTICAL messages… 😐

what on earth motivates people to do that? it’s SO annoying, and all it does is result in the email address and IP address being blocked from further communication… why? does somebody pay them to do that? if not, then why? 😐

i went busking with snake suspenderz this morning. we played for a little more than an hour, and i made $30, which i think is adequate. we got rained out, which isn’t fair: last time we busked, there was a 60% chance of rain, and it cleared up and was nice and sunny. today, there was a 40% chance of rain, and we got rained out. somebody said that 60% plus 40% equals 100% but i’m not exactly sure if i follow their logic…

one of my web design clients has asked me, twice now, how to “delete a youtube video posted by someone else”… it would be amusing if it wasn’t so sad.

the can can

baby grampsthe show at the can can last night went exceptionally well, but i think that the exceptional parts were more because of disorganisation and lack of planning than anything else…

the can can was STUFFED with people, which was a good thing from our point of view, because our “take” was based on sales at the door, but i suspect that a large part of the reason why the can can was STUFFED last night is because we opened for baby gramps — which was a complete surprise to us. i had been lead to the understanding that we would be opening for He’s My Brother, She’s My Sister, and, indeed, they were there, and played after baby gramps. truckin' davethe main objection we had was that nobody had told us that we were opening for baby gramps… we had discussed an apparent discrepancy in what the booking person had told us compared to what they had announced on their web site – which was just us and HMBSMS – and we had prepared for the possibility that they had just been disorganised (the can can has just recently moved back in to their original location, after having temporarily relocated across the street to accomodate a construction project). and, apparently, when gramps was called by the can can (he does shows there on a regular basis), he was under the impression that it was as a favour to someone, but he didn’t know who…

but if someone had only told us that we would be opening for gramps, we would have talked it up a lot more than we did… which, for us, was pretty extensive, but if people had known that gramps was gonna’ be there, more people that we told would have actually showed up…

and, as an added bonus (for me, anyway) was that accompanying baby gramps on toy pianos was my friend truckin’ dave – this guy – who i have known since the early 1980s, from bellingham (a “bellinghammer”)… i had no clue that this guy knew baby gramps, although gramps introduced dave as “my friend from the ’60s”, so the whole evening was full of surprises for me… and it’s close enough that it could actually be considered a birthday present… πŸ™‚

busy busy busy…

let’s see… fremont phil rehearsals this week, monday and wednesday, tuesday was my 13th wedding anniversary, thursday held a fremont phil performance at a private “ice cream social” in richmond beach, and today was a sousa band performance at the king street station, commemorating the remodeling (which hasn’t actually happened yet) and reopening of the king street station, and to which i actually took public transportation from federal way (which is the closest actual bus station to my house)… really, $2.50 and 40 minutes from federal way transit center to the king street station makes taking the bus almost realistic enough that i would be willing to consider it… if it weren’t for the fact that, usually, i am travelling with my tuba and all my gear, which i’m sure they’d let me do on the bus, but i’m also fairly sure that it would irritate the hell out of certain passengers. tomorrow is pretty much open (although i’m going to go replace the tire that moe blew out on the freeway last weekend) and sunday looks like it’s going to be another snake suspenderz performance at the ballard sunday market…

that enough for ya? it’s not over… next monday i’m breaking the tradition of only having one rehearsal per day, and rehearsing (again) with snake suspenderz, as well as a rehearsal with the fremont phil, tuesday i have a snake suspenderz performance at the can can, and wednesday i’m back to one rehearsal per day, with the phil… thursday, next week, is far enough in the future that, to my mind, it doesn’t even exist yet, but by that time i will have expended enough spoons that it will be time for a couple of days break… we’ll see how it goes…

and that’s not to mention OCF, which is coming up very quickly, and this year’s panto, which is peter pan, for which we (still) don’t have all of the music, despite the fact that it’s going to go on stage for the first time in a little more than 2 weeks…

whuff…

so…

i expended A LOT of spoons last weekend, because it was the solstice festival, and snake suspenderz played both days, apart from the caravan on friday. i’ve uploaded a whole bunch of pictures, which i haven’t yet got all sorted out, so there’s very likely going to be more pictures uploaded eventually. of course, the fremont “solstice” festival actually didn’t occur on the solstice (something for which i’m sure our ancient ancestors would decry with loud voices), but that’s because us “modern” folks have to get up and go to work on monday… a tradition which, despite the fact that it recently included me, i have never been able to figure out…

but today is especially important, because it is also our 13th wedding anniversary, which means, traditionally, i’m supposed to give my sweetie lace – which would be nice and i’m sure she would appreciate it, but it’s also impractical and i’m not sure she’d ever use it for anything… the “modern traditional” gift is textiles, and we just got a new bed-spread recently (with zebra stripes), but i’m not sure what other textile items we actually need at this point – i’m sure clothes are on the list, but i’d really rather give my sweetie something more romantic than clothes…

and i’m more convinced than ever that the decision to get married was one of the smartest decisions i have ever made in my life, but that’s only because of the fact that i decided to get married to moe, and not someone else.

update

i’ve been working on a business card, but i’ve needed important things like the location of hi-res images and the names of the fonts and stuff like that before i can actually create anything… which means waiting for them to get back to me… of course, once i actually have all those things it took me about 15 minutes to put together a business card that is like the example they sent me, and now i’ve got to wait (again) for the customer to either approve the card, or make changes… and, being that it’s a business card for an artist, if there are changes, they’ll most likely want something exotic, unusual and expensive…

we had a snake suspenderz rehearsal on tuesday. it’s really great to play with the guys again, but i’m afraid that, once we’re through with the (one) gig that we’ve got scheduled so far (28th june, at the can can) the band will fade from existence again… and, as much as some people complain that it’s a “hobby band”, i get the very strong feeling that it could very easily be a good deal more than that. we’re going to be playing for SACBO on saturday and sunday. i have my canopy, and i’m going to be there anyway, because of my art car, so i figured what the hell… we can busk, and because of the fact that it’s the fremont solstice festival, we’ll probably make some money, and it’s a couple more “rehearsals” before we have to do it “for real” at the can can…

i decided that, because of the fact that SACBO is imminent, and because of the fact that the continued working existence of the current Ganesha The Car is still very much in question (it’s still working – touch wood – but who knows whether or not it’ll be working tomorrow, much less next week), i decided that i was going to put “freeform” art on it, and save the complicated design work for a car that i have confidence is going to last me a little bit longer. i haven’t taken any pictures of it, yet, but it vaguely resembles this drawing from my sketchbook. it’s not nearly as “artistic” (read “exotic and unusual”) as i would like it to be, but it will have to do for the time being.

we had a fremont phil rehearsal on wednesday. there was a rehearsal last week, as well, but i was in the middle of preparing for my colonoscopy last week, so i didn’t go to that one. the phil has taken off in a new direction, which is interesting and intriguing, and not entirely unwelcome. we’ve gotten a couple of new flutists, a new trumpet player and the baritone player and the EWI player from last year, who are all dedicated musicians and very interested in moving forwards with the group. we’re playing a private “ice cream social” near edmonds on the 23rd, and we’re sounding surprisingly good, considering the small amount of rehearsal we’ve had.

speaking of the colonoscopy, the results arrived yesterday. the other two polyps that i had removed were benign as well, and there’s nothing to worry about, but they want to see inside my ass again in two years, rather than the three that they told me originally, because of the fact that the polyps were there to begin with.

add it to your calendar!

it would be really nice if we weren’t playing to a “crowd” of three people, like we were the last time we appeared at the can can… so, come and cheer us on… and have a beer and some food as well. the can can is a cool place, despite the thin crowds…

Snake Suspenderz will be performing with He’s My Brother She’s My Sister at 8:00 pm at The Can Can, 94 Pike Street in the Historic Seattle Pike Place Market. Tickets are $5 at the door.

this is our opening night for the moisture festival

the moisture festival has actually been going on for a week, now, but tonight is the opening night of comedie/varieté at the palladium featuring the fremont philharmonic. we’ve settled on “whatever is your take on ‘formal'” for the uniform-of-the-day, and this is what i’m wearing:cam-whoring pre-moisture-festivalwe’re supposed to show up around 5:00 pm, i think doors for the first show are at 7:00, and doors for the second show are at 10:00… which means, conservatively, that we’ll be finished around 12:00 or thereabouts… which means that i won’t actually get out of there until 1:00 or so, and it usually takes me around 45 minutes to drive home, so i won’t be getting to bed until around 2:00 or thereabouts… and i’ve got the same schedule again tomorrow, only it starts with me getting to the palladium at 1:00…

busy, busy, busy…

by the way, for those of you who are wondering (and i know you’re out there), the altar cloth behind me is tucked up behind the box to keep it away from the puppy. there have already been several “near miss messes” that have involved the puppy, who wants to tug and chew on everything that hangs down, and the altar… i keep telling myself that he’ll grow out of it, but i keep wondering if he’ll do it before or after destroying my altar… 😐

The Residents – 18 March, 2011

chuck, randy, and bob - the residentsas you know, if you’ve read my blog for any length of time, my second favourite band is The Residents (my first favourite band is anything with Frank Zappa in it, but that’s another, entirely separate story). the residents played a concert at Neumo’s on the 18th of march, and i was there.

it is physically impossible to give you an idea of what it sounded like, because for 40 years, the residents have never played the same song twice and had it sound the same way each time, which is one of the reasons i find their albums a little iconoclastic, but it’s better than nothing. there is a lot of their music out there, in one form or another, on the intar-toobs, which saves a lot of disk space for me, because i don’t have to post them myself. they played a few songs that i recognised the words to, but even the lyrics were heavily electronically modified most of the time, so it was difficult to determine what they played… although i was kind of amused to notice that the read-out on randy’s (the vocalist) processor unit had names like “snake” and “old lady” and “rubber” and other things that seemed to indicate not only the sound that it made, but the title of the song as well.

chuck's keyboard stationi found a spot in the balcony, above stage right, behind “chuck”, the keyboard player, which was very interesting, because i got to watch him manipulating his instruments fairly well, in spite of the lighting. he had a 15″ mac book, with software i’ve seen before, but can’t immediately identify (something like digital performer, i think), a short keyboard with some sort of internal computer, an iPad with some software with which i am totally unfamiliar (having a considerable amount of disdain for the ipad in general probably doesn’t help the matter much), and a vaguely squashed-spheroid device with a use i was never able to figure out.

as an aside, i had temporarily forgotten that i now have a – TOTALLY FREE – G4 tower with a motorolla processor, capable of running OS9 and all of the goodies that i never thought i’d see again when i gave away my own mac a couple of years ago… time to get that up and running again… 8)

slow shutter speed randythe thing that really surprised me was that there were only three of them. apparently “carlos” decided, after nearly 40 years in the music business, that the rock-and-roll lifestyle wasn’t for him, and he returned to mexico to care for his aged, ailing mother… or something like that. nobody’s really sure of anything, since the residents have kept their real identities a secret since they started out, and have appeared in disguise for their performances. so now there are only three residents, “chuck” on “keyboards”, “bob” on heavily processed guitar, and “randy” on vocals, but it’s okay, because “carlos” – the drummer – was prone to taking extended drum “solos” at awkward points. i didn’t really notice the difference, because i’ve only seen them live one other time, and that was before my injury, so i don’t remember it that well.

they played for two hours, and then did a half-hour, three-song encore, and i came away with their new album, Dolor Generar. i was under the impression, when i downloaded the bittorrent a couple of years ago, that i had fairly close to all of their released work, but apparently i was wrong. the fact that it’s the residents to begin with makes me sort of wonder what the person who made the bittorrent was thinking when they labeled it “all of the residents released work”, but it’s the intar-toobs, so i probably will never know. i took a whole bunch of pictures, but only nine of them made it to flickr, because the rest of them are redundant, out-of-focus, or are otherwise defective.

the photos may have been defective, but the concert was outstanding. 8)

OY!!! 8P

after i logged off last night, our most senior dog – paddy, the one who scared me so badly a few months ago – who, despite the fact that she’s been in pretty good health for the most part, suddenly had a grand mal seizure last night. it wasn’t entirely unexpected (moe said she commented to one of the vets just the other day about the possibility), but once again it scared the holy hell out of me…

once again, i hope i don’t have another day like yesterday for a long, long time. never would be a totally acceptible option.

today was the second day of shows for the panto. today, we didn’t have a drummer. for the first show, he didn’t call or anything, and just didn’t show up. he’s put up posters and passed out flyers with the show times printed on them, and the show times are also available on the web site, and he’s always been late for, or entirely missed rehearsals, and we’ve had to wait to start the show because nobody knew where he was at least twice, so when he finally showed up, about ten minutes before the end of the show, it was the last straw, and kiki fired him… she said that it was the first time she had fired anybody, and as far as i know, it was the first time anyone has been fired from the fremont philharmonic, but he had it coming… you don’t schedule yourself for a show with “professional” musicians (is there such a thing? i still don’t really know for sure) and then just not show up for a performance without at least calling ahead of time (like i did for the show at the gage, yesterday)…

i’m about ready for the holidays to be over, and today’s only the 5th… 8P

OY!!

today was one of the most infuriating days i have lived through in a long, long time…

i woke up this morning and turned on my computer, and it wouldn’t connect to internet… wonderful… 😐 and, of course, it’s saturday, so the technical support goons at drizzle aren’t going to return any calls until monday anyway… so i fire up the mac, which – for some mysterious reason – is connecting to internet, and i log into my webmail account… and i discover three thousand messages with the same subject line in my inbox… and, of course, because of the fact that they’re IMAP (“Internet Message Access Protocol” or webmail), i can’t delete them all at once, i have to select each one… so i log into my spamcop account and discover fifteen thousand more messages with exactly the same subject line… and, once again, because of the fact that it’s IMAP and not POP (“Post Office Protocol”, or local mail), in order to delete them all, i have to select every one of them individually before i can delete them… and because of the fact that my drizzle webmail account is on drizzle, they’ve set things so that i can only see twenty messages at a time, which means that i can only delete 20 messages at a time, even after i have selected each one individually (because the “Select All Messages” button at the top of drizzle’s webmail interface conveniently doesn’t work… 😐

quite apart from everything else, i wonder why it is that people do things like that… the only thing it does is waste a whole hell of a lot of time, and infuriate people massively… it doesn’t actually do anything positive for your business, and in most states, it’s actually illegal (which doesn’t make any difference on internet, as long as you don’t get caught, but that’s not the point)… examining one of the messages i discovered that one of the reasons i got so many of them was because each one had been addressed to me no less than 7 times, so there’s a strong probability that whoever is responsible for this is a professional spammer that i have reported often enough that he’s angry with me and is doing it as revenge, but even that doesn’t work the way he would expect, because i reported every single one of his 20,000 email messages…

anyway, i delete all the messages i can (which turns out to be around 800) before i have to leave for the opening performance of the panto…

the way i’ve got it planned, i will get finished with the first show around 5:30, and then i have arranged for a cab to take me from the panto to the gage art academy, where i’m scheduled to play with snake suspenders until 6:30, whereupon i have arranged another cab to take me back to the palladium for the second show. if i hit all the stoplights just right i should have enough time to get back to the palladium for the 7:00 show, right?

except for the fact that the cab that was supposed to show up at 5:30 actually showed up at 5:00, and the guy said he couldn’t wait, and to call another cab… except that when i call, the dispatcher says that they can’t get another cab there for an hour…

so i call thaddeus (what did i ever do before cell phones were invented?) during my 10-minute intermission and tell him that i can’t make it… at the last possible minute, before i have to start the second act of the current show…

i REALLY hate having to bail on a show at the last minute, and i hate even more to have to bail on a show at the gage, because last year i got to ogle a lot of well-built naked models, play my tuba and i got a nifty picture out of the deal as well, but there was nothing to be done.

after that, though, things started to go better. i finished the second show and came home to discover that my computer had magically decided to work (i blame demons, and i’m probably right), which meant that all those spam messages hit my “second wave” of spam filtering and were deleted without my having to do anything. and, now that i’m home and don’t have to go anywhere until tomorrow, i reset the spamcop webmail application to display 1000 messages at a time and reported/deleted all of them in a lot less time than it would have taken me deleting 20 messages at a time…

and now, i’m going to bed.

hopefully tomorrow will be less frustrating… it would have to work fairly hard to be more frustrating than today was… 😐

beer good…

so lucy is pregnant again and we’re expecting puppies in the next few weeks. i bought a roll of linoleum for the floor, and most of the materials to make a whelping box. i didn’t get the materials to make a pig rail for it because i want to wait until we have a box that’s the right size.

the panto starts on saturday, at 4 and 7. in between, i’m playing with snake suspenderz at the gage for about half an hour.

i’d post more, but nablopomo has left me a little drained…

update

i didn’t have a rehearsal yesterday, because it’s the “sousa-torium” (i.e. the break between sousa’s birthday and march or so, when we start rehearsing for next year. also, i don’t have a rehearsal tonight, because kiki’s going to the memorial for george shangrow, and anyway, they’re changing the whole story around (big surprise) so they don’t need the band, which is good because i could use the time off. it will also give me time to design a xmas postcard for the BSSB, which we are going to try to do again this year.

i went to help out my brain-injured client again yesterday. he had somehow added a wiget that he didn’t want to his panel. he said he didn’t, but i certainly didn’t put it there, and he’s the only other person to have access to the hardware, so i tend to believe that he did it in spite of what he says. after talking with tamzin, who also has aged, brain-injured clients, i bit the bullet and locked the panel, so that he can’t do it again. it’s obvious that he doesn’t really know what he’s doing about half of the time, and to leave “secret” methods of modifying the interface does more harm than good. also, he apparently has a preference for the “kickoff” style menu, rather than the “classic” windows-style menu, which is a good thing to remember.

something went wrong with one of the stylesheets and suddenly the login page for my blog looked all wonky. the last time this happened was a couple of years ago, when my blog was hacked, so i was pretty worried. i checked, and the blog didn’t appear to be hacked in the same way it was before, but still: the error i was getting was “Failed to load login.css” and i could see that login.css was there, and i looked at it and it looked the way it was supposed to… so i went to the wordpress “support” site, which is probably good for some people, but i have never gotten a usable solution when i have gone there with problems with my wordpress installation. nevertheless, it’s a place to start, so i did. i waited two days and nobody responded to my query… 😐 so i then logged into IRC, went to #wordpress and asked there. the guy who (finally) responded asked if i had tried uploading the file from a backup.

d’oh!

once i had uploaded and replaced the stylesheet, everything went back to the way it’s supposed to be.

dio de los muertos and other gig-related ramblings

tapetei had a gig last sunday, a rehearsal monday and wednesday, another gig yesterday, and a gig today. i get sunday off (because our usual rehearsal space will not be available this week), then i have a rehearsal monday, tuesday and wednesday of next week.sugar skull the gig yesterday was for the dio de los muertos celebration at the seattle art museum. unlike most of the previous banda gozona performances i’ve been to, this one included my camera and i took some really cool photos, not all of which are related to dio de los muertos. but most of them are… the gig today is the ballard sedentary sousa band’s “Sousa Bash” for john philip sousa’s birthday. unlike previous years, when we have had an outsized saxophone and a standing-room-only crowd, or last year, when there was a major storm, the bridge closed, and we had to start a half-hour late because most of the band wasn’t there, this year promises to be relatively tame… although that was said before the performance, and a lot could change between now and 6:00 pm. the philharmonic is into full rehearsal mode for the december panto, which has been extended to four weeks this year.

busy busy busy…

another enjoyable evening at chumleighland

101030 monster mash posterso ¾ of Snake Suspenderz went out to Cholmondleigh-land (his actual site is here, but he’s got some sort of infernal device on his site that keeps crashing my new version of firefox – konqueror does okay, however, which makes me wonder what is really the problem). all in all, a quite enjoyable evening, although the hippie ineptitude factor seemed to be working overtime: we were consistently running late, and it wasn’t until 10:00 or so that we managed to get the live show over and start on the films. i managed to be able to break moe away from her homework and brought her along as well, which made the evening all the more enjoyable. we were joined on stage by the inimitable master payne and, of course, the reverend himself, although he didn’t “ascend a stairway of machetes, barefoot” because somebody ripped off all his machetes, so instead he walked a pathway of broken glass, barefoot. since the last time i was there, he has actually finished the rail-pup (a self-propelled closed-circut railway) which was even more fun in the dark – you’d be barreling along blindly, cranking to beat the band, and the track would suddenly curve and you’d be riding on two wheels trying not to fall over… not like the last time i was there, when the track wasn’t finished yet, and if you didn’t watch where you were going, you’d plunge off the end of the track into the undergrowth…

chumleigh and i have been doing what we do, more or less, for 35 years or so: in 1978 i was playing with a dixieland band, and we were playing for the last official “Fat Tuesday” celebration in seattle. unbeknownst to us (at the time), there had been a major riot in pioneer square the night before, so there were mounted police in riot gear everywhere, and most everyone else was sticking to the edges of pioneer square, and acting very dodgy, and here we were, this small band of incredibly young musicians playing happy music in the square, very surreal. then this guy came up to us and introduced himself as reverend chumleigh, and wondered if we had a job or worked anywhere, and offered us a job playing at the alligator palace in la conner. i was the only person that had graduated from high school at the time, but i didn’t know where la conner was, and ended up in bellingham. i didn’t actually meet him again until much, much later, in 2008. in the mean time, i worked as a fish packer, a migrant farm worker, a typesetter, spent two years in a tech school, and then worked as a musical instrument repair technician, as a typesetter (again) and as a computer geek before i had a brain injury and realised that what i really wanted to be doing all along was music, whereas chumleigh was playing with the flying karamazov brothers, being involved with the beginnings of the oregon country fair, and building a reputation as one of the biggest names in vaudeville…

definitely makes me wonder what would have happened to me if i had known where la conner was, back in ’78…

ETA: in poking around, looking for links to the alligator palace, i found this article from Frog Hospital, about fishtown, a place that i visited in the early 1980s, and another article, about robert sund, whose cabin i stayed in the first time i visited fishtown… which, while it doesn’t have much about chumleigh, brings back a whole bunch of memories…

gearing up for the holiday season

panto rehearsals start next monday, and are monday and wednesday until the performance starts, which is 4 december. for sure there is a banda gozona performance at the plymouth congregational church next sunday, and a possible snake suspenderz performance on friday, at chumleighland. then there is a banda gozona performance next thursday, at the SAM sculpture park, and a sousa band performance on 6 november (sousa’s birthday) at kenyon hall in west seattle.

oy… 😐

i just realised that i have a massive schedule conflict on 4 december: i have panto performances at hale’s palladium at 4:00 and 7:30, and i have a snake suspenderz performance at the drawing jam at the gage academy of art from 6:00 to 9:00… they’re both paying gigs… and last year i was actually the subject of a sketch by one of the artists at the drawing jam. i have to make a choice between playing music for a crowd of artists sketching naked people, or playing music for a crowd of british panto afficianados… what to do, what to do? 😐

sickness, music and a dog with wheels

i was sick yesterday, but i went to play with snake suspenderz at the pike place market busker festival which i managed to pull off without too much sickness. playing with two other, respected buskers, howlin’ hobbit and thaddeus spae was only made that much more of an honour for me because the pike place market preseveration and development association (the outfit which licenses buskers at the market) has decided, in their infinite wisdom to ban music played on electronically amplified equipment and… wait for it… brass instruments… which, of course, means that any other time of year, thad and hobbit can busk at the market, but i can’t. where’s the justice in that, ‘eh?

busker festivali wasn’t able to get any relevant pictures of snake suspenderz, since i was playing with them at the time, but i was able to get a picture of the amazingly fearless dog in a wheelie contraption that took the place of his hind legs, which apparently didn’t work all that well. i believe the dog’s name was Rover. most dogs that have encountered my tuba have an almost instinctive fear of it: i don’t even have to play it, but they want to keep about as far away from it as possible. rover was completely different, however, and rolled right up to it and gave it a thorough sniffing… and then rolled away in search of something more interesting. it was as though he hadn’t just encountered the most dog-frightening piece of musical equipment that i own.

i’m feeling a lot better today, and have made up for the fact that i didn’t eat anything at all yesterday, by eating twice as much as i normally do today. it’s kind of weird, because i’m still congested and coughing up wads of green goo, but i’m starving. if i had eaten this much yesterday, i would have been a lot more sick than i was.

i spent a lot of spoons being sick yesterday. i’m definitely feeling better, however i’m not back to normal yet. maybe tomorrow.

i was poking around on the web this afternoon, and i came across these albums that i had back when albums were made of vinyl. Banish Misfortune and The First of Autumn by Malcolm Dalglish and Grey Larsen. i was able to download banish misfortune, but the first of autumn, which has the song “I Don’t work for a Living” on it, which has been one of my five all-time favourite songs ever since i first heard it, is only available as either an LP or a cassette. i have a turntable, but i don’t have an amplifier and the software to turn a LP into something that i can play with modern technology. wait! there’s a CD version of it at malcolm dalglish’s web site. these are albums that i haven’t even heard for 10 or 15 years, and i can still remember how excited i was to find music like this when i first came across them, almost 30 years ago.

Frank Zappa Day!

Spirit of Frank Zappa returns to Baltimore
The rocker’s exploits are rooted in L.A., but a twist of fate sends a special statue to his hometown.

By Richard Simon
September 20, 2010

Reporting from Baltimore β€” You’re, like, totally not going to believe this but Baltimore declared Sunday ” Frank Zappa Day,” dedicating a bust in his honor.

Grody to the max.

Seventeen years after the rocker’s death in Los Angeles, Zappa drew a large, fittingly eclectic crowd to a ceremony in the city where he was born.

“It’s about time he got the recognition he deserves,” said Greg Stinson, 50, accompanied by his 16-year-old son Matthew, also a Zappa fan.

The festivities included a concert by Zappa’s son Dweezil and his band, Zappa Plays Zappa; a library exhibit, “Zappa’s Baltimore: Rebels and Iconoclasts in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”; and a temporary name for the street in front of the library, “Frank Zappa Way.”

“The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The bronze bust of the mustachioed Zappa β€” one of rock’s great iconoclasts β€” was donated by Zappa fans from Lithuania, which has had its own Zappa sculpture in the capital, Vilnius, since 1995. Although Zappa never visited the Baltic country, he was admired there for his advocacy of free expression as well as for his music.

Zappa’s widow, Gail, attended the ceremony, along with Dweezil and two other children, Ahmet and Diva. A group of Lithuanians flew to Baltimore for the event.

Among those in attendance was the chief judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. John N. Prevas, 63, a Zappa fan since 1966, called the bust “a wonderful symbol of Baltimore’s cultural heritage and the fact that Frank was such a paradoxical icon for freedom.”

“We’re glad that he was born here, and even though he didn’t spend much time here after the age of 10, we’ve always felt he was one of us,” he added.

Zappa, who died of prostate cancer in 1993 at age 52, spent much of his life in Southern California, where he and his family moved when he was 10. Zappa’s L.A. exploits include getting thrown out of the Antelope Valley High School marching band in Lancaster after he was caught smoking in uniform, and recording with his then-teenage daughter, Moon Unit, the 1982 hit “Valley Girl,” a riff on San Fernando Valley culture.

The Zappa bust might have ended up in Los Angeles β€” if not for a cultural attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius who happened to be from Baltimore. He suggested the city when the Lithuanian Zappa fans offered to donate the statue.

“I thought in L.A., it would kind of get lost,” said Carlos Aranaga, who was the cultural attache.

“Baltimore is the kind of the city that resonates with Zappa’s work,” he added, citing another iconoclastic Baltimorean, journalist and social critic H.L. Mencken.

The ceremony came 25 years after Zappa appeared at a Senate hearing to rail against censorship of rock lyrics and calls for an album rating system.

Though Zappa left Baltimore long ago, relatives there turned out for the dedication.

“I was a teenager the last time I saw him,” said cousin James A. Colimore Jr., 66, who came with his four adult children, who never met Zappa.

Colimore recalled “Frankie” visiting Baltimore and spending the summer at “Aunt Mary’s house” two doors away when Zappa was 16 and Colimore 14. “He came to Baltimore by train from California with” a stack of records that he played frequently, he said.

“He was cool back then,” Colimore said, recalling Zappa wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals when the East Coast was wearing jeans and high-top tennis shoes. He also recalled Zappa writing esoteric classical music on blank sheets of music paper with a quill pen.

Zappa has a street named after him in Berlin as well as an asteroid, Zappafrank, that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. He is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “rock and roll’s sharpest musical mind and most astute social critic.”

Asked what her husband might have said about getting his own sculpture, Gail Zappa responded: “Frank might have said, ‘Preposterous.’ ”

fezorocity and antique brass…

salamandir, hobbit, jasonfriday i played linda lee’s open mike at the gypsy trader café with hobbit, and while i was there, i met another open mike musician named marshall who had already finished off one 40-ouncer and was well into his second (he had finished the second and was well into his third by the time it was his turn at the mike) when we came in. he immediately fixed his bleary gaze on me and my tuba, came over, introduced himself, and proceded to gush over my tuba, and how he had a “miniature tuba” that was exactly like mine, which had belonged to his grandfather, which he had determined that i should want to buy, because it was exactly like my tuba, but little. i payed little attention to him, becuase he was drunk and because i always get people raving about my tuba at open mikes anyway, but i gave him my business card and thought no more about it.

it was really nice to play music with hobbit, and it made me realise even more acutely the fact that snake suspenderz has been on far too long a “break” and i’ve got to get back into playing tuba for some band, because i really miss it… and tuba isn’t much of a solo instrument unless you’re The Tuba Man

last night i (#32) went to a fez-up with hobbit (#8) and fez-monger (#13) at the elephant and castle, an upscale “british” pub (although despite the “british” ambience and decor, there wasn’t a single brit in the entire joint) on 5th avenue that has been there for at least 20 years, but i have never been in it before last night. once again, it was great to be out with hobbit and another fez-wearer in public, and the fact that it was the fez-monger himself added honour and prestige to the whole evening, even if i was the only one who noticed it.

i’ve been playing email tag with fez-monger for a week now, and i still can’t figure out where the link to order an “order of the fez” fez is. jason assured me that it was on the order of the fez web site, and he said that he emailed me with the information, but i haven’t received email from him, and the only mention of it that i can find on the order of the fez web site says that you should contact jason at fez-o-rama, and i can’t find anywhere on the fez-o-rama web site that even mentions the “order of the fez” fez. perseverance (or, possibly, perseveration) is key when approaching things like this.

Tenor Hornyesterday, before the fez-up, i got a call from marshall, who was still obsessed with the idea that i wanted to buy his miniature tuba. he gave me enough details about it that i was able to determine that the instrument he had was probably very simlar to this one. he said that it had “engraving” on the bell (which i later determined was actually stamped there, rather than engraved, but i can’t expect him to know the difference) that said “J.W.Pepper, Importer, Philadelphia and Chicago” and that it had a serial number #24320. i determined that it was most likely manufactured around 1910 by John Distin for J.W.Pepper – a company that is still in business. i called him back and asked him if he could send me pictures, but apparently he is not technologically savvy enough to do such a thing, so i made arrangements to meet him today, to take pictures of the horn so that i could do some more research on it.

at 2:00 this afternoon, i met with him on dearborn avenue in seattle, and what he showed me was almost exactly the same as the horn that i picked out on the web, and it looked like it was in pretty good shape, for a 100-year-old silver plated instrument. it had some problems, but none that were not almost immediately overcome-able by a person with a bit of intuition and the correct tools, so i offered him $75 for it, and came away with a pepper tenor horn that is currently in the workshop with penatrating oil soaking through 100 years of corrosion on the tuning slides.

once i get the horn playing (which shouldn’t take too long, because all it really needs is a good cleaning and lubrication, and to have the lead-pipe soldered down where it’s come loose), it’s very likely going to join my menagerie.

snoid

i discovered second use, which is a very dangerous place for me to know about, because it is replete with various objects which, while extremely cool (and some of them are also immenantly useful) are, for the most part, totally useless to me… there are a few things that i could definitely use eventually – like the tessellated fish paving stones, which would go well in the paver-patio which will eventually be where the deck that has yet to be demolished currently is in our back yard. there are also a lot of things like doors, and windows that could, potentially, be used in our house, but don’t have a specific purpose… and there are things like an upright piano, which have no immediate purpose, but it would be extremely cool to have, and other things, like an antique foot-locker (with “authentic moth-ball smell”) that i couldn’t resist buying in spite of the fact that there was a good chance that i would have to use it to move out of our house when moe discovers that i had purchased more “stuff” to cram into our tiny house – which was ironic, since i had a hauntingly similar discussion with the guy behind the counter at second use, concerning the pros and cons of “needing more ‘stuff'” in the house. in fact, there was a heated discussion about the new “stuff” that i brought home, and the first thing that moe said was “what ‘stuff’ is leaving the house in order to make room for the new ‘stuff’ you bought?” fortunately, there is a pile of ex-clothing that i can take to the second-hand store, and a large pile of blankets and bedding that will actually go into the foot-locker, which will then get stored in the loft of the workshop, so i won’t have to be moving out (at least not any time soon), and my guess is that as long as i don’t start patronising second use unsupervised, there won’t be any major problems. i discovered second use because that’s where snake suspenderz played on sunday for a couple of hours. i love those guys, and i’m just starting to reach my stride where tuba-playing is involved. there definitely has to be more snake suspenderz gigs soon.

Ganesha the Second is ready, finally, and, hopefully, i’m going to pick it up tomorrow morning… oh, my! i just realised that tomorrow is the day that moe flies out to atlanta for a week, for her conference/test thingy, which means that i probably will have to make other arrangements to pick up the car tomorrow. grr… 8/ moe is going to atlanta to speak at a vet conference, and to take a qualification test for a veterinary behaviour technicans’ organisation, neither of which i can remember the exact names. it’s really cool for her, though, because she’s actually getting paid to speak at the conference, which means that she gets a working vacation in atlanta for free. i’ll figure out some way or another to pick up the car.

i’ve got a couple of art car things coming up. unfortunately, i won’t be able to do the Great Peninsula Future Festival, because moe will be out of town, and the festival involves getting there before 9:30 am, leaving after 6:00 pm, or whenever the festival closes, and a ban on domestic animals, which means that the doggles can’t come with. on the other hand, the fact that the car is (allegedly) in running condition again means that i can go to Fresh Paint again this year, which is definitely on the schedule, because i got a $100 stipend just for showing up last year… πŸ™‚

spoons, etc.

yesterday i got up at an ungodly hour (6:30 am) and went to pick up my wanna-be-art-car from one repair shop, and drove it 15 miles to another repair shop where they’re allegedly going to fix it. on the 15 mile drive from one repair shop to the other, the car almost overheated, and smoke was coming out the fresh air vents when i arrived, but ganesha is in charge of this car, so if it’s going to be fixed, then it’s going to be fixed, and if it isn’t, there’s nothing i can do about it.

anyway, that left me in burien with no car. i had my bicycle, though it’s around 30 miles home from there, so i rode to the burien transit center and took a bus from there to international boulevard, where i transferred to another bus that was going to the federal way transit center, and from there i rode my bicycle the remaining 8 miles home.

when i got home, i turned around and went out again, to get an ink cartridge for my printer, so that everything won’t print green any longer, and i also went to the copy shop to get photocopies of the panto music of which i need multiple copies. then i came home again…

when i got home, i used the new ink cartridge to print an invoice, and packaged an order that came in the day before, and went out again to the post office to ship the order.

then i came home again, and searched for, and found a guy who would fix the free lawnmower that i got on freecycle the other day. he picked it up(!) last night.

today, i went to the bank to get cash for the guy who fixed the lawn mower, and when he delivered it(!), i mowed the lawn, taking a break in the middle to go out and buy a gas can and gas, because it ran out of gas and i didn’t have any because my previous lawn mower was electric.

then i got most of the rest of my gear ready for OCF. i still have to pack clothes, and there are probably some miscellaneous things that i haven’t remembered to pack.

i keep finding myself amazed at the fact that in a little more than a week there are going to be feral hippie children immitating the play that i only saw for the first time on monday, and that was an incomplete show, because all of the music isn’t written yet, and we’re still putting the final touches on the script… the final dress rehearsal for the panto here is tonight. i believe the people who aren’t going down early are having another rehearsal on monday, but the next complete rehearsal we’ve got scheduled for the panto is at OCF, a week from tomorrow evening before the fair opens on friday. i’ve still got to determine whether or not i’m bringing my saw. also i’ve got a pink bandana and a trumpet that i have to remember to take for katy.

tomorrow there’s supposed to be a banda gozona rehearsal, but it’s for a performance that i have to miss because of OCF, so i’m not sure whether or not i’m going to it. friday there’s the final BBWP rehearsal before the fire show the night of the fair opening.

as long as we hold it together, the panto this year has the potential for being the best show we’ve ever done. we’re doing a mash up of Red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs: they’re both fairly simple, short stories that have some similar characters – the big bad wolf, and the woodcutter, for example – and they’re both ripe for tweaking the plots a little bit (or a lot) so that they’ll fit together. of course we’ve got the standard gender bending and off-colour jokes which should go over the heads of the smaller members of the audience. if we don’t hold it together, well, it’s OCF, so the probability is very high that nobody will notice, or if they do, they’ll think we planned it that way.

okay, i’m here…

doughnut joustingi am totally exhausted from SACBO and surrounding festivities, and i’ve been pretty depressed most of the day (the morning after blues?), but i’m slowly coming around. it rained pretty much all day sunday, and there was at least a bracing dampness to the air all day saturday when it wasn’t actually raining. fortunately it cleared up for the actual parade, because i was very clear about the fact that if it was raining, all of my expensive electronic music production gear was going to stay in its respective boxes, which would have definitely put a cramp on our part of the parade. i didn’t vend sunday, but lack of motivation was only part of the reason. now that i’m fairly confident that the transmission on ganesha the car version two is going to last at least a year (because that’s how long the warranty on the new transmission that i bought for it lasts), i can turn my attention to the leak in the pressurised engine coolant system which causes the car to run really hot when it’s not on the freeway, smell funny, and requires engine coolant about every 4 days to a week. it’s annoying that i’ve had to put so much money into this free car to get it working reliably. about the most fun i had at SACBO was watching the doughnut jousting that evolved over the course of sunday afternoon. the crowds were really light because of the rain, but we were determined to make the best of it, which resulted in a couple of microphone stands and some coat hangers becoming targets on which were placed yesterday’s doughnuts, which were the target of jousters on bicycles, unicycles, wheelchairs, and pretty much anything else, armed with pool cues. i spent time with people that i only see once a year (mostly), was part of the centrepiece of the whole parade, and i was inducted into a secret society, the less said about which the better. fremont phil rehearsal tonight, BSSB rehearsal tomorrow, players rehearsal wednesday, LBG rehearsal thursday, BBWP rehearsal friday…

moe was at a sheepdog trial all weekend, and she won! she got a 92, and the person who came in second (who is also moe’s mentor and friend diane) got an 88. i’ll let her tell the story, but we’re all pretty proud of moe and her doggie. πŸ™‚ also, today is our 12th wedding anniversary.

it’s definitely rehearsal season…

BBWPlast week, monday i had a fremont phil rehearsal, tuesday i had a sousa band rehearsal, wednesday i had a players rehearsal, thursday i had a banda gozona rehearsal, friday i had a BBWP rehersal, saturday was the banda gozona performance at the seattle version of guelaguetza, and today i had a rehearsal of the beatles-simulacra-band for the solstice parade coming up on saturday. this week, monday i have a fremont phil rehearsal, wednesday i have a players rehearsal, thursday i have my choice of a banda gozona rehearsal (which i am going to miss, because it is in preparation for a performance at the solstice parade in which i am going to be otherwise engaged) or a beatles-simulacra rehearsal, friday i have a BBWP rehearsal, saturday i have the solstice parade, plus SACBO, sunday i have SACBO and a number of options, including vending… and then in a week, monday i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal, tuesday i have a sousa band rehearsal, wednesday i have a players rehearsal, thursday i have a banda gozona rehearsal, friday i have a BBWP rehearsal, and it continues from there until OCF.

i’m going to OCF with chris this year, and chris wants to get there on monday, which is earlier than i have ever arrived at OCF before. which means that i’m going to have to be extra prepared this year (i.e. no “making a run to town to get things i forgot” this year). we’ve already been scheduled for a BBWP performance at the friday night fire show – which we didn’t do at all last year, and there was such a furor because we weren’t there that they demanded to have us back πŸ™‚ – so i’ve definitely got my work cut out for me, learning the new rap, practicing my poi and my tassel-twirling and the fire-avoidance thing to think about. plus i’ve got to do some homework and come up with sound effects for the beatles thing. we’re going to be in a “Yellow Submarine” float, and they want some appropriate submarine noises, along with the actual keyboard stuff that i signed up for.

quick update

my host provider has decided that he’s going to stay in business for his existing customers but not take any new customers. it eases my concern about finding a new host provider immediately, but i’m still going to move eventually, because i really don’t like being jerked around like that. the first time you said you were sorry and i gave you another chance, but the second time it was entirely my fault, and i don’t want it to happen again.

The Beatlesin other news, my copy of The Beatles Complete Scores came in the mail today. this is a book that i have wanted ever since it was first published in 1989, and it’s 1136 pages of the actual music by John Lenon and Paul McCartney from the people who would know. this means that i can now work on arrangements of things like Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite for Snake Suspenderz without having to rely on somebody else’s frequently incorrect interpretations of what the chords are… and i can finally figure out the chords for Michelle, which i have been wondering about for 30 years… 8)

now, off to get denatured alcohol. i ran out yesterday and i need it to clean up the sticky residue which was not left by the lining tape on my car, because the packaging said that it didn’t leave a sticky residue, so, in spite of the fact that, when i pull the tape off my car, it leaves a sticky residue, apparently, it wasn’t left by the tape… 😐

oh yeah, i got email from someone who wants to interview “Rev. Guido DeLuxe” concerning the Church of Tina Chopp. she said she was interested in tracking down the truth behind the rumours… she was also born in 1988, which was well after the church had established its presence… i wonder what sort of gibberish i should spout in order to confuse her even more… hey, she wrote to me

푚??

the new Ganesha The Car is back in the shop because of a fuel leak. it should be ready today (ETA: it’s ready, i just have to go pick it up). i drove it for two days and went through a tank and a half of gas before i figured out what the problem was. hopefully it will get slightly better mileage now that it’s not leaking fuel all over the place. jack said he didn’t notice it because when he put gas in it he only put about a quarter tank in, and apparently the leak was higher up on the tank.

the moisture festival has started for me. i had a show last night, and i’ve got a show tonight, two shows on saturday and either one or two shows on sunday (typical moisture festival scheduling chaos), then there’s one or two shows(?) next saturday, a show the following thursday, friday, two or three shows the following saturday and the closing night performance on sunday 4 april. hacki’s back. he couldn’t get a visa last year, but he got one this year. this is the first year since the first year that we’ve had opening night somewhere other than the palladium. this year, opening night was last week at ACT theatre. we’ve also got four different venues this year – i get the impression that this is the beginning of the actualisation of the fantasy that they were throwing around last year. this year we’re having the comedie/varieté acts at the palladium, the burlesque (read "titty & ass") shows at ACT (because mike hale is a “christian” who doesn’t at all approve of exposed tits, despite the fact that the burlesque shows bring in the most money), and we’ve also got shows going on somewhere in georgetown and some others on vashon island.

i have been having a sharp pain in the joint of my left thunb for about a month. i went to see chris who spent several days poking me with needles, and that seemed to help, but once he quit, the pain came back over the course of several days. i went to see a hand specialist yesterday who said i probably have arthritis – i’m genetically predisposed to it; both my grandmothers had arthritis in their hands. she (the doctor) recommended that i take ibuprophen and go to a specialist that makes splints for when the pain gets intolerable. getting old sucks.

The Man In The Dark Sedan

I’m the man in the dark sedan and I have come to take your hand
I was sent down here to be sincere, truthful and steadfast
I came to say that judgement day of man has come to pass

I’m the man in the dark sedan and I have come to take your hand
You can follow me and I guarantee to take you far away
But we must leave before the eve of everlasting gray

I’m the man in the dark sedan and I have come to take your hand
You will leave this place and soon replace the names of those you know
With a brotherhood that has withstood the leeches and the snow.

okay, 2010 has actually started now…

the busy season started about 2 weeks ago. i’ve had a rehearsal for the fremont philharmonic, and a rehearsal for the fremont players every week, plus i’ve had a banda gozona rehearsal every other week, plus i’ve had a snake suspenderz rehearsal and/or performance about every other week (next performance is thursday at smokin’ pete’s barbecue, in ballard), the BSSB is starting rehearsals every other tuesday starting next week, and there’s a BSSB performance coming up in may, the moisture festival is coming up in a couple weeks, and after the moisture festival is over i’m going to have two rehearsals for the fremont players per week until the oregon country fair, which is in july.

on top of everything else, i’ve had an order of business cards to print, an order of stickers to print and i’m doing yet another re-design of the BSSB web site, which is about half done. i’m not gonna post a sneak peek until i get approval from the boss lady, liz… at which point, it may be a live site anyway. there’s not an awful lot of actual re-designing going on. more just moving stuff around and making it look “more grown-up” – whatever that means.

imogene cunningham

Fremont Sunday Marketwe had two people in the audience. thad’s new wife, ada, and halfway through the show, macque came in. there were more people on stage than there were in the audience. apart from that, it was a really fun rehearsal with a live sound system and a real sound guy running the board. if you didn’t come, although you could have, shame on you, and you missed quite a show. hopefully (for your sake) there will be more in the future.

FSM today. i started with $120, i spent at least $60, and i still ended up with about $160, so all in all, i would say that it was a fairly good day. i’m definitely going to have to do something about my boxes. i ripped out the handles of 3 of the 6 boxes of incense i brought today. the ideal boxes would be similar to the cardboard boxes i currently have (which are cartons intended for packing 12 tall glasses), but they would have stiffer inserts, so that things don’t get all mixed together at the bottom of the box, and they would have sturdier handles that aren’t so likely to rip out as the boxes are used. also i’m going to have to break down and invest in a price gun, because having to look up everything all the time is a royal pain in the ass, and i end up selling incense that should be $7.50 for $2.50 because i can’t find it in my price list, like what happened several times today. also i have to remember to bring stock for everything that i display, so that some guy doesn’t come in and ask for a Niruta Ganapathi, and the only one i have to sell him is my sample, like what happened today.

miscellaney

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

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

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

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

the shows, the bobs, and not being home on xmas

the shows went amazingly well this weekend. i’m getting the hang of playing my saw with a bow, but i’m not that good at playing actual notes yet. it may take a while for me to be that good.

we went to the bobs show last night at the triple door. because of the fact that i went directly from the panto and got there at 6:30, we got a table in the front row, which was extremely cool. amy bob stopped by before the show (and before moe got there), and moe got spit on by dan bob (who also said “don’t look up my skirt” to the lady sitting next to moe). they’ve been on tour for a month, so i haven’t seen matt that much since before the panto started, but i got the chance to talk with him after the show. i’d be willing to bet that, before we were married, moe had no idea that she and i would be hanging out with her favourite singing group… 8)

i wasn’t at home over xmas, which was okay (despite the fact that the window got stuck on the minivan and we had to drive home with the window stuck down and the freezing wind blowing in our faces for 3½ hours), but i really wish i had been at home, because the husons had a xmas party and i would have much rather go and hang out with the husons than where i actually spent xmas.

monday

mitnick security business cardnow that the second weekend of performances are over, i can catch up on my real life…

while the servers were down, i got a business card in the mail from Mitnick Security Consulting, LLC… yes, that kevin mitnick. in order to get this business card i had to send him, among other things, my IP address and the password to my system. i think it was a pretty good trade, myself.

the performances went really well this week. the only frisson that we had was when stuart wasn’t going to be there for the evening show and he took off taking pam’s music with him, thinking it was his. after a few frantic phone calls and pam playing half of the preshow with charts borrowed from other people, stuart showed up and traded books with pam, and everything worked out grand.

fez-o-ramai’m a little worried, though… now that clayton is playing with us, there’s more of a probability that eben will be able to copy music that jeremy wrote for the phil… music that he has currently said he doesn’t want the phil to play because he’s going through a publishing/copyright thing and doesn’t want to have extra copies of his music in places of which he is not aware.

after the show yesterday, i met up with hobbit, who is number 8 in the order of the fez. he and i (number 32) got together with jason (number 13) who owns Fez-O-Rama and his wife maya, and we spread some fezzerocity through downtown seattle last night… which basically involved meeting at the carousel in westlake mall, getting lost walking up to Von’s (a whiskey bar on 6th and pine) and talking about fezzes, internet, theatre and other stuff until 9:00 or so. i’m sorry to say that i had to borrow a fez from hobbit, because i hadn’t brought mine. also i need to get an “order of the fez” fez some day…

i’ve made some progress on finding a new host provider, but i’m still really mad about the fact that the current one wants to charge me almost 300% more, so i’m going to wait until i’ve calmed down a bit. i’ve found that, since my injury, if i rant about what i’m angry about when i’m angry i end up sounding like a drooling half-wit. besides, i’ve got an appointment with ned that i’ve got to go to now.

fläwmp

the first weekend of alad’din performances are behind me, and i now have a few days free until next week’s performances begin, which will most likely be filled with projects like finishing the insulation on the workshop, working on xmas gifts and other artistic projects, picking up my business cards, doing laundry, washing dishes, random web surfing and hiding out until all of the VEWPRFs are behind me.

saturday’s performances were interesting. there’s definitely a different “feel” about the philharmonic now that stuart’s not an “official” part of it any longer – in spite of the fact that he’s been there for every performance so far. it hasn’t been made plainly obvious what is going to happen with the phil at this point, but the probability that we will be going to OCF this year is still pretty high. whether or not it will be the phil, or another group with many of the same members is still a question. there hasn’t been any talk of changing the name of the group, but it’s very definitely a different group. we’ve got kellan, who is a college student trumpet player who is quite good, but isn’t as sure of himself as some of the more mature band members. on the other end of the spectrum, we’ve got clayton, who is playing euphonium, who is also in the ballard sedentary sousa band, and in la banda gozona (that makes three groups in which clayton and i both play). clayton is also an incredible musician who plays many different instruments in many different bands. i originally met him at the moisture festival a few years ago. he also is part of the fighting instruments of karma. we’ve also got a substitute guitar player, jacque, but he’s only going to be there for one show, and i’m not sure whether he’s actually planning on joining the band on a more permanent basis or not.

i have been playing my saw recently. i decided that i would actually purchase a bow for it, which is a totally different way of playing it than i have been used to in the past. my bow won’t actually be delivered until wednesday, but i have been making do with kiki’s bow, which she’s not using at the moment. with a mallet you get a much more bell-like tone quality and there is more room for error where you strike it than with a bow. as stuart said the other day, using the bow is the most difficult part of playing a stringed instrument as well.

sunday’s performance was a lot better than saturday’s, but there was only one of them, which is probably a good thing for a number of reasons: i was really tired because of two weeks of intensive preparing for a number of different shows, and also it was beginning to snow and i wanted to get home so that i wouldn’t be stuck later on. it turns out that most of the snow melted over night, and it’s actually supposed to be getting warmer over the next few days, so i didn’t go to marysville to get my musical instrument repair business cards from troy yesterday after the show, but i will probably go pick them up within the next two or three days. it was really amazing to have clayton playing the trombone/euphonium parts for songs that haven’t had them since jeremy and fred left the band.

once again, i am performing on new years’ eve in tacoma for the most money i have ever made in my life. thad & ada are getting married on new years’ day.

VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…

i’m getting fed up with the VEWPRF (primarily xmas) hype early this year. fortunately now i’ve got a gadget in my car that i can plug my music player into so i don’t have to listen to the radio. when i’m not listening to my own music, i usually listen to the classical music station, but even they are playing xmas carols far too frequently. i just got a package of CDs from india, including “Om Arunachaneswaraya Namaha” and “Ganesh Gayatri Mantra”, both of which are more than an hour of chanting, which should cover the period of time that i’m suceptible to going off on local “christians” too much.

speaking of which, Rudiments of Language Discovered in Monkeys – more indisputable evidence that evolution is real and the creationists are wrong, wrong WRONG, regardless of how much they claim that they’re “inspired” by “god”… if any further evidence was needed.

i feel a little guilty for going off at “christians” since i am a believer myself, but i accept that science probably has a lot more clear idea of what is going on in the world than the 2000-year-old myths of a society that i do not feel a part of. i don’t deny that those myths may have value to some people, but my impression is that they are far more detrimental to most people who claim to live by them than they would care to admit. and, largely, i can say the same thing about the myths to which i adhere, in spite of the fact that they are, for the most part, totally the opposite of “christian” myths. the difference, i think, is that i admit that my myths are myths, and act accordingly. sure, i occasionally do odd things like wear a tilak, but i’m not “religious” about it, and i certainly don’t let it go this far

we played for the lenin lighting on friday, and it was cold, but it wasn’t anywhere near as cold as it would have been in new york. i dressed for it, and kept my mouthpiece in my pocket when we weren’t actually playng, but there were a lot of complaints that it was too cold. the emcee was pat cashman… who?

Artists’ lawsuit: major record labels are the real pirates – it’s about time, but i think that $50 million to $6 billion may not be enough to get the message across. remember, we’re talking about warner, sony and EMI… and it is only canada. let’s wait to see if it’s effective, and then try something like it in the untied states. definitely a step in the right direction, though.

Continue reading VEWPRF, xmas, hinduism…

snake suspenderz at the gage academy of art

salamandir at the drawing jamlast night snake suspenderz played for the models at the gage academy of art’s 10th annual drawing jam. this was my second year at the drawing jam, but snake suspenderz has been there for five years, and “sketch” – our drummer – was an artist who wanted to “sit in” with the group at the drawing jam. a few years ago, snake suspenderz and the klez kats were sharing a set (as we did last night, because thad – our trombone player – is also the trombone player for the klez kats) and “sketch” was in the room drawing. when the klez kats drummer took a break, “sketch” asked if he could sit in with the suspenderz, and never left… in fact, last night, when our set was finished, “sketch” was off to find a room with still life models, or something like that. as we were putting our instruments away when we were done, i was presented with the picture at the right, which was drawn by Pat Haase – [email protected] – which was drawn instead of drawing the luscious naked model i was ogling instead of reading the music… weird… πŸ˜‰

i’ve got another gig this afternoon at the phinney ridge neighbourhood center with the ballard sedentary sousa band. the weather is looking particularly frightful, and the weather report was predicting snow yesterday, which didn’t happen… but today looks even more frightful than yesterday, so the probability is high that i will be driving around in the snow before the day is through.

update

happy 4/20. i’d be consuming more holy vegetable, but i still am terrifically short of breath and coughing a lot as a result of being sick still. i’ve been vapourising a bit and even that has been causing me to cough. i suppose i could probably make some ghee or something…

they’re putting on a new roof, so that it won’t leak any longer. it’s only about two years overdue, but there’s no point in complaining about it now. the dogs are being quiet, in spite of the roofers right over their heads, making all kinds of noises which dogs would definitely find suspicious. we’ll see how long that lasts.

the $300 withdrawal from my bank account has had a band-aid put on it, but it’s still an open and sucking chest wound. at this point i’m done talking with people until i hear from the bank concerning my contesting of the charges. moe has taken over talking with the people who actually withdrew the money, and considering that i never actually signed anything, combined with the fact that the first time i ever even heard about an “early cancellation fee” was when i checked my bank account on thursday, she seems to think that there’s a more-than-likely chance that there will be a positive (for me) outcome. we’ll see about that, as well… 8/

maybe i’ll go to the fremont sunday market on sunday. one way or the other, i could really use a day of doing nothing but making money, and there’s a good chance, since i haven’t been there in a while, that fremont will be itching for some new incense.

i got another order on the web site, but no corresponding order from paypal, which makes me seriously wonder about whether or not i’ve got it set up right. it should be that you confirm your order on my site, and then transfer to paypal’s secure server to complete your order, and of the three orders i’ve gotten since the site upgrade, two of them have confirmed the order on my site, but not completed their orders on paypal’s secure server. i wrote to one of them, but she was located in the UK and never responded. the new order came in on friday, from a guy in california, according to the site, but i never heard anything from either the customer or from paypal, so i don’t know what happened. the next step is to write to the guy and see what happened.

i’ve got to get my tabs for ganesha the car. also, i have a fremont phil rehearsal this evening.

hee…

i’m still sick. i went to see a doctor (i am uninsured, so it cost two arms and half a leg!) today. the good news is that i don’t have pneumonia, but i do have bronchitis, so now i have an inhaler (which cost the other half a leg) which is good for 20 days. the doctor said that i would probably be feeling better in a week or so, but that the inhaler would help me get through the banda gozona gig that i have on saturday, the fremont philharmonic rehearsal on monday, and the snake suspenderz gig on thursday. dr. wackaloon (no shit… okay, so he’s not really dr. wackaloon, but his real name is closer to “wackaloon” than you might think) said my blood pressure was a little high – 150/100 – my pulse was high and my oxygen level was low, so he told me to check my blood pressure again in a week, which is another reason to have a sphygmomanometer, one of which i have wanted for about 15 years. he also didn’t believe me when i said that my profession was “freak”. oh well.

random

i took Ganesha The Car to the shop today to get the automatic lock swich replaced, because it had stopped working. fortunately i didn’t have to pay for it, because of some design and printing that i had done for the shop earlier in the week. but it turned out that it wasn’t the switch that was broken, so now i have to take it back on friday so that they can take the door panel off and investigate the wiring. also, El Elefante HΓ­brido is apparently an article more or less about Ganesha The Car (from what my limited spanish plus a web-translator-thing tell me), but it’s too bad he tried to hotlink my image (which is how i found out about him). if i knew enough spanish, i would comment about hotlinking graphics, but i don’t, so i probably won’t do anything except be thankful for the traffic he’s sending my direction.

snake suspenderz has a gig at the skylark cafe on the 23rd, and earlier that day i’m meeting with the lawyer, because on the 24th is my hearing to determine whether or not i’m going to get disability. according to my impression, there’s still a 50/50 chance that i’m going to be approved, and if i don’t, it will be pretty much the same as it is now, but i’m under increasing amounts of stress because of it. then, on the 25th, i’ve got an art car show at magnuson park, which is either going to be really exciting or really relieving, depending on what happens the day before.

i got Bruno Bozetto’s “Allegro Non Troppo” on DVD, and i can play it on my mac, but the “Command+Shift+3” screen-capture function is disabled, for, perhaps obvious, but not very convenient reasons, which means that i’m going to have to figure out some other way to capture the picture of the snake that’s the primary character in Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”, which i want to propose as the snake suspenderz logo. i also got the 14 Sequenzas by Luciano Berio on CD the other day. i played Sequenza V (dedicated to the memory of Grock) for a juried audition when i was in college, and i know the guy, Stewart Dempster, for whom it was written. when i played it, there were two women in the jury who were trying, in vain, to suppress their giggles, and when it was all over, i whispered to them that it was okay to laugh, because it was written for a clown, at which point they cracked up.

along with the Odd Factoids (in the place of most news reporting, which is simply too depressing to read any longer), here’s a couple of links that i read recently:

God Hates Shrimp – the logical (if there is such a thing) response to God Hates Fags.

Cybersecurity Bill Proposes Unprecedented Government Power Over the Internet – yes, i am still a terrorist. get used to it.

Continue reading random

coming to the end of another moisture festival

i met ukulele dick at the moisture festival the other day. his “real name”, acording to his schtick, is Banjo Penis. i traded him a copy of serpentine for a copy of his ukulele dick cd and a copy of his “Dick Dujour” cd, Music to Scare Children by. i’ve been listening to them on and off throughout the day, and i must say, the guy is more than just a ukulele player. i also made buttons for him that say “Act Dorky, Live Forever”. i’ve got performances on friday and sunday for sure, and possibly saturday.

the big news, or maybe not so big if you hang out with the right people, i guess, is that circus contraption is breaking up. i have no idea why, but i can imagine, as with most artistic organisations like that, that there were some artistic differences somewhere along the lines.

other news: my SSDI hearing is the 24th. i’m approaching it with an interesting mixture of hilarity and dread. i got to see part of the forms ned was filling out earlier in the week, and he said about 10 things, of which i would think that 1 of which should be enough to get me on the “disabled” list in a perfect world, but because of the fact that the world is decidedly imperfect, i don’t know if it will help or not. we’re going to work on it some more after the moisture festival is over.

also i’m getting ready to be able to accept credit cards on hybrid elephant, but i’ve only gotten one order since i went live with the new site, so i’m wondering if i can’t put it off for another month until i get more of an idea about whether or not people are going to notice it.

despite the fact that i won the battle of the computer in record time – this time – i learned a bunch of things that i didn’t know in the process. the main thing i learned is that the intermittent quiet scratching noise coming from the computer is the power supply fan, which, instead of turning on and doing what it is supposed to do when power is applied, in fact, it rotates weakly, not anywhere near fast enough to be anything like the heat sink that it’s supposed to be, and intermittently emits a scratching sound that makes me think that it, too, is not long for this world.

fan fucking tastic… 8/

linux box is down. fortunately, i can switch to mac fairly easily, and the /home directory is on a separate disk from the main operating system, but i really don’t want to fight the battle of the computer again so soon after the last time. i’m a fair amount more prepared for it than the last time, but it’s still irritating as hell.

in other news, snake suspenderz played a gig at smokin’ pete’s barbecue this evening, which went well. tomorrow is my first day without a performance or a rehearsal in more than a week. i’m a busy musician during the moisture festival. two more weeks to go.

& stuff

me in 20 years

when you’re unemployed/unemployable/disabled, you get to a point where it doesn’t matter whether it’s the weekend or not. for me it comes down to working and doing what i do anyway, regardless of what day it is, or facing the possibility of even deeper depression because of the fact that i’m not really doing anything to bring income into the house. i’m a wage slave even when i deliberately try to remove myself from the cycle of wages and slavery.

along the same lines, i got a notice from the “Office of Disability Ajudication and Review” about my disability case the other day. a person who has never met me and knows nothing about me is going to decide whether or not i actually am “disabled”. thrill. if they decide that i am, then i’ll get disability retroactively from the time i first had my injury, a portion of which i will then have to fork over to the attorney who has sat there doing nothing for 2 years while the government decided to pull their collective thumb out of their ass and do something about it. if they decide i’m not disabled, then life continues exactly as it has been, except there is no further possibility of my being able to get disability from the government, ever. at this point, it’s still a 50/50 shot, which doesn’t make me feel particularly good about the chances.

meanwhile, i’ve been working hard on feeding the database, and i’ve run out of photos, which means that i’ve got to run another batch of product through the GIMP before going any further. i get the impression that i’m getting fairly close to being finished enough to go live with it, but there’s still darkness at the end of the tunnel. at this point, i don’t know if it’s because there’s still a long way to go, or if it will just be night when i reach the end.

the fremont philharmonic played at a benefit concert for HonkFest West at the Lo-Fi on friday. it went really well, despite having a substitute trumpet player. we had random dance/movement art going on while we played, including one piece that had a woman stripping, which was excellent. she said afterwards that she had only worked to a live band once before, and that we had blown them out of the water and wants to work more with us, which is amazing and exactly what i want to do – and it’s not because she’s a stripper, it’s because strippers always seem to have work, and if there’s money to be made, i wanna be a part of it.

moisture festival coming up. there’s a possibility that the circus contraption band has stolen april 1st from us, but i don’t know for sure.

flink

national kazoo day gig last night. it was a real pleasure to play music, but apparently there was some drama towards the end, after all the music had been played and we were packing up and getting out, but apparently not quickly enough to suit the owners of the cafe/theater. i was only partially aware of what was going on. i actually was already packed up and loaded out by the time it became a real drama, and i was outside, so i didn’t even see the drama part of it at all, but apparently sketch was given the bum’s-rush – after having just played a full set, and not having packed up all of his gear or gotten changed or even put on a coat.

we did sell three of our NEW CDs though! it’s so new that it doesn’t have a link anywhere yet… hobbit and thad were up until 3:00 saturday morning folding, gluing and shrink-wrapping the packaging… there will be a CD baby link when i get it. 8)

moe is having problems with the SVBT web site, which is being made infinitely worse by the fact that their host provider has its head so far up its ass that they’d need a team of spelunkers and several days to find it. i’ve been trying to help out, and i actually succeded in backing up the old web site and uploading the stuff that they had to replace it, but now, apparently the database is broken, the PHP experts on staff live in australia, and the web designer is being a 14-carat gold plated prick about the whole thing – but his prick-itude about it may be partially due to the fact that the host provider is being a complete, 24-carat solid gold pile of crap. it would have taken me 10 minutes on my host to do what it took me almost 3 hours to do, manually, one file at a time, on their host. i don’t want to seem like i’m bailing on moe, because if nobody else, i should support her, but at the same time, it’s not my job to fix SVBT’s wonky host provider, and while it is moe’s job, i personally believe that it would be infinitely easier to bail on the host provider and go with some place that actually, you know, provides a usable service….

along a similar line, i got an invoice from drizzle today, and, as i suspected, they’ve charged me again for the screwup that resulted in my account getting deleted and then restated, despite the fact that it never should have been deleted in the first place, which is THEIR FAULT!! and, of course, it’s sunday and they’re not there – i find it somewhat ironic that their automated billing service works on sunday, but nobody else does. it’s not actually going to be “funny” until they have acknowledged that they should not have billed me for something that wasn’t my fault to begin with, which, i suspect, is going to take a while.

slow progress

i’ve been steadily, if slowly, feeding the database. i haven’t done much with the actual site yet apart from changing the colour and making sure that i can get it to do what i want fairly easily. having not done any of it yet (which is why nobody is getting a sneak peek yet), i get the impression that it’s going to take a lot of work, but ultimately it will be very little to nothing that i haven’t done many times previously, and if everything works the way i think it’s going to, it has the option of being easy, or ridiculously easy. the more i work with this, the better understanding i have of why web sites and databases really should work together, apart from the fact that i know practically nothing about databases. it’s bizarre: i spent 5 years testing databases and database installations at three different companies, and i have installed and populated a bunch of different database software packages more times than i can count, but i never really understood how a database works, or why it is different from, for example, a spreadsheet. i wonder how much longer i can hold out before i really learn what it is that i’ve been doing all these years?

the snake suspenderz CD “Serpentine” is mixed down, we’ve decided on a track order, the cover and artwork has been designed and approved – complete with “What’s that on your floor? It looks like a dead mouse.” which has been a part of every recording that i have ever had my hands in more than just playing a part ever since i was just starting out as a musician. we had a rehearsal today, in preparation for saturday, to make sure that we could actually play the… stuff that we’ve been recording for the past month… which, of course, we could, but sometimes it’s nice to make sure, because you never know.

bleep bloop boing bing…

snake suspenderz is playing at the national kazoo day celebration on saturday. we’ll be playing at the back gate stage at artichoke music on hawthorne in portland. we spent all day today and completed mixdown of all 16 tracks, and we should have a stack of 50 finished, marketable CDs to take with us on saturday.

the fremont philharmonic is in full rehearsal mode for the moisture festival, and i may be playing tuba for the sanca-pators in the moisture festival as well: i heard from a couple of sanca-pators (clayton – who also plays with BSSB and banda gozona – and thaddeus – who also plays with snake suspenderz) that they might need a tuba player, so i wrote to eben, the leader of the sanca-pators – who also plays with BSSB – but i haven’t heard back from him yet. is that incestuous enough for your sensibilities? the fremont phil has got a few other gigs coming up, including a benefit for honk fest west at the end of february. allegedly we’re going to play in honk fest west in june as well, although my recollection is that we were supposed to play last year, as well, and then we cancelled out at the last minute.

moe got home saturday, and i took the doggies with me to the airport, so that they could see that she really was somewhere else and not just hiding from them for the past 2 weeks. they spent almost the entire time she was gone, and they were home, staring at the door and barking occasionally when they imagined that they heard her driving up, as though they were going to cause her to walk through the front door by sheer force of their doggie wills. paddy, our oldest dog now that allie is gone (she’s 11) lost 5% of her body weight during the time moe was gone. she ate all of her food, and i didn’t notice her acting strangely or anything, but moe said she looked thin, so she took her to the clinic yesterday. she doesn’t appear unhealty, but moe is extra careful with paddy, because they are as close to soul mates as a person and a dog can be.

banda gozona played at the central area senior center in a benefit for cascade peoples’ center last saturday, after moe got home. it was the standard oaxacan shindig, which meant a lot of food, a lot of music, a lot of people speaking spanish, and a lot of chaotic disorganisation. i’m beginning to start to get the hang of what we are playing most of the time. it’s only taken me two years of playing with the group. it helps that i’m not the new guy any longer.

moisture madness &c.

slow but steady progress on the web site. i’ve discovered Simple Template System, which is a method of creating templates with keywords instead of actual code. one way or the other, it’ll give me some added control over the site that i would have to learn a lot of coding stuff before i’d be able to do any other way. it seems really odd that i was on top of the game in terms of web coding 10 years ago, and now i would have to learn several new coding languages before i would be anywhere close to as competent these days. of course, back then i didn’t have my own business, and i wasn’t doing the work i had always dreamed of doing, so i guess i don’t feel too bad about not being as knowledgable as i once was.

moisture festival is upon us again, and there’s as much chaos and disorganised speculation about how things are actually going to get done as i have ever seen for this early in the process. at this point it appears that we have been tapped for 13 performances, two of which are “burlesque” and one is the panto. alledgedly the plan is to keep stringing them along because, alledgedly, the plan is to eventually have the moisture festival in multiple venues, and then we will have our own venue and do all of the shows for that venue, but that’s in the future. this is now, and the fact that we’ve got 12 performances that aren’t panto, compared with the zebra kings getting 16 performances, and most of the “burlesque” performances (the “variete” performances are pretty much evenly split between the fremont philharmonic, the zebra kings, the sancapators, and the other bands that are involved). personally, i feel as though it is a known fact that RB is not the best person to be figuring out who does what in which shows, and it’s already showing itself to be a bad decision that RB is in charge, once again.

the 31st, snake suspenderz is going to portland for the national kazoo day celebration. we’re getting together some time this week to have a listening/mixing party, where we also intend to finalise the track order. i’ve been on several recordings in the past, but this one is exciting in a way that those other ones weren’t so much: there’s a good chance that i’ll actually get paid for this recording! 8)

i went out and took a look at loudspeakers for my car. first i had to learn a bit of terminology: there’s a difference between loudspeakers and a public address system (or a PA), and further, there’s a difference between a PA system and indoor/outdoor waterproof stereo speakers. i get the impression that any way i want to do this, i’m also going to have to upgrade the stereo in my car, which won’t hurt my feelings too much, but it’s an extra, added $150 or so, depending on where i actually buy it from. at this point, i think what i’m going to do is buy my stereo upgrade from car toys, because they have a deal where any stereo system over $100 that you buy from them is eligible for free installation, and free is always good. then i have to make the decision whether i want a (mono) PA speaker – which i can get for $35 or so – or whether i want to splurge for the indoor/outdoor waterproof stereo speakers, which cost more and likely have to be built into enclosures which also cost more, but will sound a great deal better than mono.

obama has only been president for two days, so i don’t want to get all freaked out about what a good job he’s doing, but he’s already doing things like shutting down gitmo and putting all of bush’s “midnight regulations” on hold before they can be enacted. he hasn’t come out and said that bush should stand trial for criminal malfeasance, but it’s a step in the right correct direction, if nothing else.

moosehead – a great beer and a novel experience for the moose.

??? ????????? ???

we finished recording the rhythmn tracks for the CD today. all that’s left are a few vocal, solo and percussion tracks, and mixdown, and it will be a finished product! also it was farewell to eight years of political BUllSHit and the beginning of an entirely different kind of political bullshit, which will be equally opressive, but right now i’m so fucking tired of bush that anything else will be a pleasant and refreshing change for a short while. i got my order from the theosophical society bookstore, and i made an order from om imports for incense, incense burners and murtis. also, i’m going to start pricing loudspeaker systems for Ganesha The Car. i still have to work on rebuilding the web site, and feeding the database, both of which i have done shockingly little in the past week. banda gozona rehearsal on thursday, and a gig on saturday evening, after moe gets home.

diary of a tired geek

i had another session with the annoying/amusing client i have spoken of previously today. his printer wouldn’t work, and his flash plugin wouldn’t work – which meant that he can’t view the pornographic videos he watches all the time – and he wanted me to make sure that his operating system hadn’t “gotten tired” of alerting him to things… oh, and when a javascript popup window that said his computer is infected with a virus, and wouldn’t go away, he wanted me to reassure him that someone wasn’t watching what he was doing through his computer screen. he’s really annoying because i put things as simply as possible in order to help him understand, and then, when i begin to think he’s getting the idea, he comes out of left field with things like “i used to have a daily devotional icon on my computer [when it was running windows], and before you installed the new OS, i put it on my flash drive, but now it doesn’t work. can i get it to work?” and i have to begin again and explain that icons are not always the same things as programs, and just because you are able to transfer an icon from one computer to another (or, in this case, from one operating system to another), it doesn’t always take the program. sometimes the icon is just a pointer to the program, and even if it actually is the program, this does not automatically mean that it will work there. whereupon he says “well is it possible to get a daily devotional icon that does work?”… 8/ i know nothing about what this guy actually does on his computer, other than research spasticity (he actually had me set up a wikipedia account for him, because he wants to contribute), watch his “daily devotional” program, whatever that is, and view tons of pornographic videos, which he has me clear out of his cache once in a while. he’s really earnest in wanting to know more, and he appears to be fairly bright in spite of having a brain injury, but he doesn’t seem to get it enough that i wonder about him sometimes.

i also nailed up some chainlink fence material to the neighbours’ fence posts. it wasn’t a moment too soon. as i was nailing up the fence material, i heard an ominous crack and the fence gave way. it didn’t actually fall down, but now the only thing that’s holding it up is gravity and friction. my guess is that eventually there will be enough moss growth that the friction will give way and the entire fence will come down.

yesterday we had another recording session with snake suspenderz, which resulted in three tracks that are in the final stages of finishing, and one track that needs a bit more work (hobbit and thaddeus are getting together tomorrow to finish it up). when that’s done, we have one more session, and then a CD release party, or something like that. National Kazoo Day is on the 31st, and snake suspenderz is going to portland for that. there’s also rumours that we have a potential gig in eugene. among the new tracks that we recorded are a song called Serpentine, by howlin’ hobbit, and the standard Don’t Get Around Much Any More, by Duke Ellington.

monday i spent all day feeding my database and learning about CSS selectors and which bits of PHP to change in my new osCommerce installation. i got a whole bunch of the database finished, and got the site more or less into the shape that it’s going to have when it’s complete, but i still have a lot of mismatched headers, things that are showing up on one page but not on the others, or vice versa, bright colours (i’ve been changing things to bright colours so that i can see when things change more easily), and incomplete content to deal with. osCommerce is made for people who are a lot less web-savvy than i am, so figuring things out shouldn’t be too difficult. i think that, for most people, the most daunting part of osCommerce is the piles of PHP/HTML/CSS pages that they potentially have to edit, but it doesn’t bother me at all. actually, i’m a lot more concerned about the database, because i’m still not completely sure about the mechanics of the interaction between the database and the website. how much of it is database manipulation of PHP code, and how much of it is actually due to the effect that the PHP itself is having on the pages i see is still a complete mystery.

another deposit recently and my bank account is over $500 for the first time since i started the business – seven years ago! i’ve noticed that for the past 5 years or so, my bank statement for january is approximately twice what it was the year before, and it’s very definitely the case this year. in fact, it’s almost 3 times what it was last year. despite what the DVR drone said, i think i’m doing something right, and i’m really looking forward to next year as well.

i actually think i’m going to survive monique’s being gone without much difficulty, but i’m not so sure about the dogs. magick and zorah heard me drive up in the minivan today (which is usually moe’s car), and they lost it, and spent a good hour and a half staring at the door and barking trying to get moe to walk through it by sheer force of their doggie wills. it would have been a lot more amusing if i didn’t jerk violently (a lingering side effect of my brain injury) when they bark.

meanwhile, here’s what i have been reading about:
UCL records the sound of jelly wobbling – the university college in london has succeded in recording the sound of jelly wobbling in a soundproof recording chamber. i definitely went to the wrong school.

a little closer to home, YouTube video of man blasting couch with rifle shown at weapons trial – let’s see if i’ve got this straight: the guy thought he would celebrate the fact that he had this illegal firearm, and silencer, without a permit or anything, by filming himself without disguise or attempt to cover evidence that they caught him with, shooting up a couch close to his home, and then post it on youtube… if i were going to film myself identifiably using an illegal firearm to do something, i would be sure that the thing i filmed would get me arrested on it’s own merits, whether i filmed it or not. the fact that this guy thought he could take a film of him doing something illegal and post it on youtube is bad enough, but the fact that he apparently didn’t think about the fact that it might be a factor in getting him caught proves that this guy is stupider than most.

here we go…

moe left for florida today. she’ll be back in two weeks. whee… 8/

meanwhile, i think i’ve got enough to keep me busy: i’ve got to build a web site and populate a database. i’ve been going back and forth with liz since drizzle FUMTUed hybrid elephant, and there is a bit of worry about whether or not the drizzle affliction has effected sedentarysousa.com. liz also mentioned that she’d like to get the kosher red-hots web site on my host as well. i’m not sure how much, if any web design work will go into that one, but as far as i’m concerned, the less i have to do the better. i’m also thinking about installing AWStats on hybridelephant, because as awesome as my new host is, they don’t have the stats the way i’d like them to be, and AWStats does it for me.

then i’ve got more recording sessions with snake suspenderz. the most recent one generated 3 new tracks, as did the previous three as well, and if everything goes according to the non-existent plan we have set up, the one on tuesday will generate at least 3, and possibly 4 more. then there’s also the fremont philharmonic, which is starting rehearsals for a yet-to-be-determined if we do it CD, plus we’ve got an offer to perform cinderella again at the end of march, and we’ve got the moisture festival coming up, which we have to start rehearsing for pretty soon… like next week…

oh, yeah… i’m also responsible for three doggies who haven’t realised that moe won’t be home tonight like usual. hopefully they won’t turn into the obnoxious pests that they have a tendency to be sometimes. i’m planning on going to the fremont sunday market next week if the weather looks good, and i’m taking the dogs with me so that they don’t have to stay home alone for 12 to 14 hours. because moe’s not here, i’m planning on taking her car, which is a minivan and much more suited to carrying a huge crapload of stuff, and 3 dogs in relative comfort.

now, all i gotta do is convince myself that two weeks will go by a lot quicker than it seems like now. i hope moe has fun, and i’m glad that she’s going to this conference, because it’s good exposure for her, and she’ll build professional credibility by being seen there (if nothing else), but i can’t wait until she gets home.

tweebit

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

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

SNOWPOCALYPSE! OMG! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!1!

081221 snowpocalypse!

cinderella finished its second week of performances amid more snow than i’ve seen around here for a long time. it started snowing on thursday and finally quit yesterday, but there’s a prediction that it’s going to start up again tomorrow… i took the train from tacoma to seattle saturday (quite an enjoyable trip, by the way) and stayed at heather and stuart’s place saturday night. my windows computer is broken (again) – it appears to be the same sort of thing that it was the last time, in that it appears to be a power supply issue, so i’m hoping that i can replace the power cord (again) and everything will be back to normal, but i’m not holding my breath. i took my mac laptop with me on saturday and recorded both shows and 5 potential demos for the fremont phil, which i have since burned to a DVD (although i didn’t have to, because even with several gigs of space taken up by the recordings, i still had more than 120 gigs of free space left!!!). sunday i did another show, without a trumpet player, because our regular trumpet player, teacher ted, thought he was going to fly out early sunday morning (fat chance – all flights out of sea-tac were cancelled due to the snowpocalypse), and our substitute trumpet player, a high school student named shimpuku, was stuck north of lake washington. after the show, i got a ride home from macque and norma, who have a four-wheel-drive jeep with chains, which is a good thing, because the roads were almost totally impassable due to seattle’s having this weird thing about encouraging compact snow and ice rather than salting the roads. the national weather service prediction is for precipitation, most probably snow, at least 50% (and as much as 80%) of the time until thursday, and has predicted snow for 8 out of the past 10 days. we had around a foot and a half of snow, and had to dig the car out, and then dig the driveway out before we could go anywhere yesterday. when we finally got dug out, we went to buy tire chains for moe’s car, and on the way discovered that the car was overheating – or so we thought, it was actually the temperature gauge that died – not the thermostat, the temperature gauge in the instrument panel, fortunately, because if it had been the thermostat it would have cost several hundred dollars to fix, but because of the fact that it’s in the instrument panel, it’s actually safe to drive the car even though the temperature is wonky. of course, the first thing that happened this morning is that moe decided that it wasn’t snowing right then, so she would try to go in to work, and on the way she drove over something that broke the chains, so she had to stop the car in the middle of highway 99 (thank gawd she wasn’t on the freeway) and take them off, leaving her with a big, empty minivan with no traction, somewhere between home and mercer island at 6:30 in the morning.

anyway, the cinderella performances went amazingly well despite sunday’s lack of a trumpet player, and saturday evening, when we weren’t expecting anybody to show up, we actually had almost a full house, including a whole pile of noisy kids which was almost exactly like OCF. Fremont Philharmonic dot com is now in existence, but it doesn’t have much there at this point except for stuff that only applies to members of the fremont phil. also i’m talking with macque and bfly about consolidating all of the fremonstor theatrical organisations on one host.

a lot of new stuff

cinderella finished its first week of performances. there was a rumour that we were getting reviewed by the seattle times saturday night, but it snowed, and the reviewer didn’t pick up the tickets he called and asked for. of course that means either that he didn’t come, or he did come but didn’t want to alert us to his presence, which makes me wonder why he called and requested comps in the first place. apart from that, the performances are going reasonably well, no forgotten scenes, missing actors or long dead spaces. there have been a few missed cues and short dead spaces, but we haven’t actually performed this show since july, and we’ve got two more weeks of performances. unlike previous shows, i’m pretty sure we’re going to get it right several performances before we close.

snake suspenderz is supposed to be recording this week… snake suspenderz is actually supposed to be recording today, but we weren’t supposed to start until 1:00, and i’ve got to leave by 4:00 to pick up moe so that we can go to The Bobs show this evening, and besides, sketch already bailed for today anyway, so now we’re shooting for tomorrow. i still have to add snake suspenderz to my resume, and now i’ll be able to add another recording to my resume as well.

i really like my new host providers… no, i REALLY like my new host providers! their helpdesk techs have already been a lot more help than my previous host providers ever were (although somewhat more difficult to understand, because i get the impression that they’re outsourced to india, or mexico or some place like that): they’ve already helped me with importing a database, and fixing a CGI script, and apart from the fact that they provide several hundred times more disk space at less than half of the cost, they’ve also got a lot more user-based control panel, which means that i am the one in charge of creating and maintaining things like databases, domains and subdomains, FTP accounts, and so forth, plus they’ve got services like several different choices for a shopping cart, several different choices for marketing, including some of the most impressive web stats i have ever seen, and probably a lot more stuff i still haven’t discovered yet. this is going to make re-designing the hybrid elephant web site a lot easier! also, my impression is that part of the reason why they make it so easy is because it’s designed to be resold, and to that end, i’ve already got a couple of prospects for domains hooked up. also, i called and talked with ezra, and gave him 1gb of web space and talked about making a BaldManIsWatching.com or something like that, the idea of which he actually sounded really interested in discussing further.

also, really good potential news that may just be a fantasy at this point, so no details until it is more of a reality.

thweeth

Punk Rock Flea Market yesterday. made $50, which is not too bad, but had to spend $10 for parking, because i had to leave at 5:00 because of another gig. i figure 5:00 was about when i would have packed up anyway, but it was nice to have my car easily accessible, even if it was 3 blocks of one-way streets the wrong direction to pick it up once i was packed up. i had to drive about 10 blocks, including around one block twice because i got in the wrong lane the first time. it was really irritating, but i got through it somehow. and it was really nice to drive up, practically to the door, load out, and drive away, rather than having to carry my boxes downstairs, across the entire building – avoiding all of the other people who were also loading out, across the parking lot, and then having to wait while everybody else got loaded out and out of the parking lot before getting to go.

the other gig i had was at the gage academy of art, which used to be cornish, and before that was a catholic school associated with st. mark’s cathedral, on capitol hill. it was snake suspenderz doing two sets out of four (one set on, one set off) while another band, the KlezKatz, performed… with thaddeus, our trombone/guitar player). i wasn’t really expecting a lot from that gig, because i knew that the other snake suspenderz are dirty old men who love to hang out in a warm room and play with naked people just so they can ogle the naked people… well, okay, i’m one of those people too… and, goddammit, i wish that guy hadn’t put that empty easel right between me and the HAWT naked female model with dreadlocks and tattoos. i really didn’t have time to look appreciatively, because i was too busy playing, and by the time i was finished playing she had already put her clothes on again.oh well… 8/

anyway, through some SNAFU about which i didn’t get the entire story, thad actually cut me a check for $50 yesterday, so in all, i did pretty much exactly what i want to do ALL THE TIME and ended up $100 richer out of the deal. now if i could only have four or five of those days every month, i’d be fairly happy.

i got a phone call from fred hawkinson yesterday. he wanted to talk about the possibility of teaming up and getting a job in a music store, or, conversely, opening our own music store, with him doing brasswind repair and me doing woodwind repair. there’s nothing more than just the fantasy at this point, but the thought of actually doing musical instrument repair alone should be enough to keep my spirits up for a while.

now i have to go and play with the ballard sedentary sousa band for the phinney winter festival, and after that i might play with the banda gozona at a gig on alki point, but i’m not sure about that yet.

happy krampusnacht!

amis nah yeb stomb

yesterday i was supposed to go to marysville to pick up the business cards for MIVC from troy the printer. i was supposed to pick them up at noon, and i figured that saturday northbound would take me about an hour. at 10:30 – half an hour before i was supposed to leave – i get a call from troy, asking me when i was planning on being there, and when i told him noon, he said that he had neglected to get the business cards actually printed, and asked me if i could come tomorrow – which is today. of course that left me with nothing to do, but i said okay, because if i had picked them up yesterday he would have printed them, but he would have slip-sheeted them before cutting (so that the wet ink doesn’t offset on to the back of the card above it) and i would have had to un-slip-sheet them which is a tedious project that i would sooner not have to do anyway.

so, anyway, i spent yesterday processing photos of my inventory (which will eventually be visible on the Hybrid Elephant web site). about 9:00 pm i got a call from Howlin’ Hobbit who wanted to know what i was doing tomorrow morning. i told him that i was planning on going to marysville, but hobbit tempted me with busking at the Ballard Sunday Market, which sounded good enough to me that i changed my plans for going to marysville from morning until afternoon. i also packed three empty 5-gallon water bottles, because since i was going to marysville, swamp creek was right on the way, and i figured that way i could kill three birds with one stone.

i’m glad i did. i showed up in ballard at 9:30 am, and by 1:00 pm i was $50 richer. we played two extended sets, and made $150 between the three of us. sketch was, sadly, not present for some unknown reason – but in this case that was okay, because it was more money for the rest of us. also, i ran into fred, for the first time in several years, and mentioned that i would be interested in setting up a musical instrument repair shop with him, and he said he would call me. for a brief time there were two different trombones busking at the ballard market, a fact which i find to be somewhat unusual.

after we vacated the market, i went to swamp creek and filled my water bottles, went up to marysville and picked up cards from troy (it’s quite a drive, but he’s the only printer i know who is willing to do printing for me in exchange for computer technical support) and made it home by 4:00. i feel accomplished. if only every day could contain such accomplishment.

trolloween etc.

trolloween last night. it was awesome. i don’t know the plot of the story except that it was a classic “devil courts pretty young girl and gets beaten by virile young man” story. the awesome part is that we played at two different locations within 40 minutes of each other and we actually did it without too much difficulty, even with the extra added bonus of a nameless car parked in the middle of the parking lot that was supposed to be the stage for the second location. we simply got the audience together and lifed the car and moved it over to the side of the parking lot. i suggested that we should move it in between two columns at the end of the parking lot, where it would have been impossible to drive it away – which caused macque to say “i like how you think” – but there wasn’t enough time. my costume was a blue meanie, which is rather ironic since i am a tuba player, but the “band theme” costume was blue, so the blue meanie was appropriate. we played three songs at the first location, and then, while the audience (lead by a samba band whose name i don’t remember vamolá – brain injury) went off on the “Haunt of Fremont”, the band packed everything into a trailer and headed down to the final location, and we got set up and ready to play just as the audience arrived. a slight delay while the audience moved the car (with new york license plates), and we played 4 more songs as a part of the show, and then it devolved into a dance party, for which we also played. the fremont philharmonic has yet another new trombone player, which (surprisingly enough) is me – i played both tuba and trombone last night, which i suppose i could have been doing pretty much ever since i first joined the band if it weren’t for the fact that fred was the trombonist. but now that kiki (percussion and human-theremin) is part of band, she plays bass, and we don’t really have another trombone player. the band is going through another transmogrification, which is not over yet. the current contingent is tuba, clarinet, trumpet, sometimes sax, guitar, bass and drums. we’ve recently added a somewhat more reliable sax player who brought along a friend who is also a sax player (trombone, trumpet, clarinet, two saxes, guitar, bass and drums!) for trolloween – perfect for Thriller, which was one of the songs we played at the second location, under the fremont bridge. in spite of the fact that the current (sometimes) sax player who is currently a member of the band is an awesome player with a bunch of different saxes (he plays soprano in la banda gozona, he’s got an alto and a tenor that he plays with the fremont phil, and he just got a baritone), he just doesn’t show up enough to be a reliable member of the band. however, if we get the other two sax players, on the occasion where they all show up, we’ll have three saxes, which would be incredibly awesome indeed.

la banda gozona has a gig at the tacoma art museum tomorrow, and the Sousa Bash is thursday.

meanwhile the perils of machine translation and otto the octopus causes havoc.

cedarfest

i just got back from cedarfest. it was rainy, and i changed my mind a couple of times about whether or not to stay the night – i set up my camp, and the rain started coming down harder and harder, so i packed up my camp and decided that i would drive home late… then chumleigh invited me to a waffle breakfast in the morning, which was mighty strong temptation to stay, and finally the decision was made for me by a fellow who came up to me around 12:30 am or so and offered me a hashish brownie, at which point i decided that i would spend the night in my car. hashish has always been one of my favourite passtimes, and i haven’t had any in a long time. i didn’t get much sleep (i went to bed around 3:30 am or so, and got up at 8:30), but i slept fairly well and wasn’t all stiff and sore, like i sort of expected, seeing as how i couldn’t really recline the seat very far. i took my camera, but even with the flash, there really wasn’t enough light, and i only took two pictures because i was distracted playing music most of the night. it was sort of amusing being in the presence of people between the ages of 17 and 25 or so, who thought it was really cool that i was old as i was and still had insightful ideas about the future – or were getting totally plastered in a way that was a real reminder of what it was like when i was during my first couple of years of college. i tried to play my long-flute-digital-delay set-up a couple of times and succeded in almost shocking my nose off – seriously, it was a strong enough shock that it dimmed the lights. i plugged my (grounded) amplifier and my (ungrounded) digital delay pedal into the chaotic mess of extension cords and power strips that ran from the big top 100 yards or so to “the house,” and – big surprise – there was a grounding problem somewhere which made the microphone hot. when i held it up next to the flute embrochure, it touched my nose and shocked the hell out me, so i quickly decided to unplug everything and play “unplugged”. i really think that i could use the set-up to busk, as long as i didn’t have to rely on external power.

fremont philharmonic rehearsal tomorrow.

doobidge

somebody really has a lot of time on his hands. i got a huge pile of spam last night, around a thousand individual messages, all of which warned me of the upcoming financial apocalypse (as if i needed warning 8P ), which i dutifully reported, but i was sure that it wasn’t the last i heard from this particular spammer. then when i got up this morning, i checked and discovered another 3600 individual messages from this same spammer. i didn’t read them, but they all had the same subject line, and i am in the process of reporting them now. i’m pretty sure that someone at the source will notice eventually and cut the guy off, but if i got close to 5000 messages from this guy, i’m fairly sure that many, many other people got at least that many messages as well, which just goes to prove the “James’ Axioms of Spammers’ Beliefs” section of rule #3. i just hope this guy moves to rule #4 soon. someone needs to go after him with a big mallet… 8/

Snake SuspenderzcomicSnake Suspenderz took new promotional photos yesterday, with the backdrop of an old ’51 ford (which you can’t really see in this picture, but… oh well). another non-spam message i received when i woke up this morning was a message with the subject line “Cheap Photoshop Tricks”, from one of the other snake suspenderz, with the comic on the right, which he said was “humorously pompous”. we also recorded another song for our apparently upcoming new album “Rehearsal Tapes” called Daisy Fraser, by Howlin’ Hobbit

i discovered a genealogy program – Genealogy Research and Analysis Management Programming System (GRAMPS, tee hee) – the other day. with the little genealogical research i had already done a few years ago, along with this mighty tome called “DEWOODY RECORDS” that i have had sitting on my bookshelf for ages now, i put together an incomplete, but far more comprehensive list of my ancestors for almost 10 generations. i found my paternal great-great-great-grandfather (i have 8 of them), Charles W. Hammond, who was born in 1810 in north carolina and died at age 52 in johnson county, missouri – the real “old west” – and my great-great-great-great-great-grandfather (i have 32 of them) on my paternal grandmother’s side, William Woody, who was born some time around 1740 (ETA: some time between 1720 and 1724, in Kent, England). unfortunately, i don’t currently have any more information about him, but now that i know who he was, the likelihood that i will be able to find more information is considerably increased. it has a feature that outputs html, but i want to make it more complete and more secure before i show it off to people i don’t necessarily know.

the fremont philharmonic is going to be the house band for Cedarfest this weekend (no links, because there are none(?!?))… it’s apparently been happening for at least 4 years, on camano island. cedar is rev. chumleigh‘s son, who is apparently following in his father’s footsteps and becoming a huckster. the early show contains an “open mic”, so if there’s anybody reading this who is close enough to attend (i know that there are a few of you), you’re invited – it would be really cool to have And More there, for example. it starts at 4:00 pm saturday at 1624 E. Dallman Rd., Camano Island, WA, 98282.

this is getting really annoying

i still am not up and running with anything like the computer system that i want, however one of my computers, which i thought was completely dead, magickally came back to life, and wouldn’t you know it, it was the windoesn’t computer… which doesn’t have anything on it except 5 gigs or so of data (i used it as a depository, since it was the only computer that talked to both my Os9 mac and my kubuntu box without agonizing details that i never bothered to work out), cooledit and reason, and the browser which i am now using to manage the flow of emails i am getting for three different accounts. i will be really glad when i can use a POP mail client to do that, rather than having to keep everything all in one inbox.

meanwhile i am playing with yet another group of musicians, Snake Suspenderz, which includes my old friend howlin’ hobbit, and my new friends thaddeus and sketch. here is a sample of what we have been doing.

now i have to go mow the lawn dandelions in the front yard, and then i have to go to the clinic to help moe for a while, and then i have a BSSB rehearsal. hopefully i will have a real computer some time within the next few days and then i won’t have to rely on this out-of-date micro$haft monstrosity.

OCF 08 – a retrospective

milestonei left home for OCF at 6:30 am on wednesday. my first stop was the fred meyer’s in puyallup, which i got to before they opened, so i had to wait outside for 10 minutes or so until they got around to unlocking the doors. i got water, but neglected to get bug spray, a fact which i would intensely regret later. the trip down was relatively uneventful, however when i got off the freeway south of portland for a food and pee stop, i noticed that as soon as i stopped moving forward, the temperature in Ganesha The Car shot up to the red zone. i put some water in the radiator (which was completely empty) the temperature went back down to the normal range almost immediately, but it was a little frisson of anticipation that made life interesting.

before the fairi was actually able to get through the H.I.F. (Hippie Ineptitude Factor) surrounding checking in with little difficulty, but i didn’t realise that there is a big difference between asking and informing when it comes to announcing that your plan is to drive in to chelamela with a full load to be delivered to morningwood odditorium. if i had informed them of what i was doing, i would have been able to drive in without any problem, but because i asked if it would be okay for me to drive in, i was told that i couldn’t drive in without a van or a pickup load of stuff. so i waited for a gator (gaiter?), which is a motorised utility vehicle with a long string of carts that it tows behind it, to ferry my load to the stage. i then found a camping spot behind the stage, in the middle of a huge swarm of voracious mosquitoes which proceded to cover my back with about 5000000000 mosquito bites (of course, they chose the only place on my body where i can’t kill them or shoo them away, and where i can’t scratch). so i got my tent set up as quickly as possible, which was a chore, because it was hot and sweaty, which made the mosquito infestation even worse, and there wasn’t quite enough room under the bushes, so i had to incorporate the undergrowth into the structure of the tent, and got my stuff loaded into it, inflated my (new) bed, and then went back to the outside where i left my car, and parked in scoff-lot. i got finished with all the essential stuff around 3:00 pm or thereabouts, but because of the fact that the ritz was only open for showers (no saunas until thursday 8/ ) i had to put up with an extremely itchy night.

before the fairthursday was spent finishing the stage and wandering around gawking and taking pictures of the places that i knew would be full of people within the next 24 hours. it’s really odd to see nobody there, when you know that when everyone else sees it, they’re going to see everyone else as well. it really makes me want to come back in the winter, to see what the fair site is like when there’s really nobody there. i’ve got some friends in eugene that might actually make it possible for me to do that, at some point…

i also got attacked by huge swarms of voracious, bloodthirsty insects – something that very rarely happens to me – so i decided to go into town to buy bug spray… and ice… and beer… well, okay, the ice and beer were for other people, but i was going into town anyway, so i made the run so they didn’t have to, and that meant that i had beer when i got back. i blocked off my parking space in scoff-lot and told the guy at the gate that i would be back in half an hour, which i was. however, when i came back in, another guy told me that blocked spaces in scoff-lot were taken immediately, and that i should head for outta site parking, which is about a mile further down the road. this is where i learned the difference between asking and informing the people of what i am going to do. the next guy i came to (there were three or four of them along the road) i told him that i was going to scoff-lot. he told me that scoff-lot was full, and i said that was okay, so he let me get through. i drove up to scoff-lot right behind the tow truck, but because of the fact that i not only was able to say that i blocked a spot, but because of the fact that i was able to say that it was in row J, the guy let me in anyway – much to the chagrin of the people who were being towed to the dead lot, which is all the way at the far end of the site. and when i got to row J, what do you know? my spot was there, right where i left it… i am certain that at least part of this is because of the fact that i invoke The Remover of Obstacles ON my car, especially because, all the way back in, everyone was telling me that scoff-lot was full and the fact that i had blocked off a parking space didn’t make any difference.

still, it’s a LONG way from scoff-lot to chelamela when you’re carrying four bags of ice. stuart and i went back for the beer with a black plastic garbage bag, so that i wouldn’t have to carry it in alone, and so that we wouldn’t be stopped and potentially asked to share, which is definitely a possibility.

the discowe had a dress rehearsal thursday evening, immediately followed by a disco, which was an incarnation of the same un-namable evil that first manifested when disco was still popular, 30 years ago, so i took pictures of it from a distance, and then immediately left to go to the ritz, where i sweated out about half of the mosquito stingers in my back and got to feeling relatively clean again.

the lizard in the gazeeka boxfriday was the beginning of the fair for most “ordinary” people, which meant that it was the beginning of a working weekend for me. we did two shows a day, one at 12:00 noon, and one at 3:00 pm. on friday, we also did a 10:00 pm burlesque show. because of the fact that Big Bois With Poise were Short Dudes With Boobs this year, an act which doesn’t include fire, we opted out of the fire show. in spite of the fact that we didn’t use fire this year, they asked us to perform anyway, which gives you an idea of how intensely popular BBWP has become. the band really didn’t have much to do during the burlesque show (a fact which depressed stuart to the point where he said that if we do the show next year, we should ask for a specific slot to be an act, like everyone else, and then just vacate the stage rather than sitting there for the entire show), but because of the fact that i had BBWP duties, i also decided that it would be fun to be a part of the gazeeka box as well, so maque gave me a lizard costume and i was his ex-wife’s attorney, much to the amusement of everyone.

the cast and bandthis year’s panto is the traditional tale of cinderella, with the expected panto gender-bending, marginally obscene innuendo and horrendous puns. we’re getting good enough at this that this year we didn’t even have as many problems with the feral children who see every single performance and screw things up by anticipating lines and heckling us. at one point simon called a girl up onstage who had been anticipating his lines, and taped her mouth closed with gaffer tape, much to the amusement of everyone. the audiences absolutely despised the ugly stepsisters, who were played by chris huson and dan “the body” goodman. i actually heard him introduce himself to a group of tourists as ‘dan “the body” goodman’, which i found to be really amusing. we did actually get three new pieces of music on thursday at the dress rehearsal, and there’s still more to come, but presumably we’ve got a while to rehearse now that OCF is over. it was all 100% original, 100% new music, including a couple of pieces by amy bob.

i was standing in the food line at hospitality camp when a person i didn’t know came up to me and said “you’re salamandir”… i didn’t know what to say, so i said “yeah…” it turned out to be the mother of a friend of ezra’s from bellingham, who ezra refers to as “jordan(e)”. it seems oddly coincidental that i would have to go to the oregon country fair to meet a person who i know from bellingham, but oddly coincidental is a very good way of describing the oregon country fair.

friday was also my birthday. i’m 48 now, an age which i, in my wildest dreams, never imagined that i would actually reach. whoopie. 8/

saturday night the fremont philharmonic played at the ritz. i took off right after our 3:00 performance was over, and got there about 5:00, so i was well and truly sauna-ed by the time the rest of the band showed up, which was around 8:00. when i walked up, tuba in hand, i was met by a woman who said “NO tubas!” in an authoritative voice that i recognised immediately to be a joke, and, later on, i talked to lem and david, who were part of the ritz crew responsible for music. i was very suprised to learn that they don’t allow bands with drum sets to play. “at all?” i inquired, and they responded yes, which concerned me a great deal. it turned out that the guy who i thought was responsible for us getting to play, peter toms, aka professor petrol von huffenfuel, isn’t actually a part of the ritz crew, but the fremont philharmonic is apparently grandfathered in, so we weren’t kicked out for having a drum kit. i finally got around to arranging “Rubber Duckie” for the phil, and, of course, we played that. we also played “Il Ballon di Quaqua”, with a great effect. i talked to david on sunday and he said that he had frequently seen bands that had the entire ritz singing along, but he had never before seen a band that could get the entire ritz dancing. we also were offered a gig at a nudist colony near portland.

gnomesthe fair had to put up with an infestation of gnomes this year, which was amusing and frustrating at the same time: the gnomes were rowdy and rambunctious, and always getting into trouble. they broke in to our back stage area and drank all our tequila, and from there it went from bad to worse. they were ubiquitous. sunday, they were seen shaking down a vendor in the meadow, and when confronted, became belligerent… i think tricky bunny was a part of them, but i’m not sure, because they were wearing annoying gnome costumes, and avoiding my camera. also, i was walking up the eight saturday and i was accosted by a huge flock of people in flamingo costumes. they all gathered around me, honking and cooing and fanned me with their wings for about five minutes, and then flew off again. once again, it is my understanding that tricky bunny was a part of that as well, but i couldn’t tell. as i was walking away from the encounter, i wondered how one could take a picture of such an experience that would come anywhere close to reflecting what i actually experienced.

lightsi met a whole bunch of people, including positively stephie, who had vibrating massage bugs that felt really good on my mosquito-bitten back, and a family of neon people, the father of which works at adobe and will probably be looking for the pictures i took of them.lights

i saw a sign, of which i was not able to take a picture, unfortunately, which said “The Oregon Country Fair – Psycho-Spiritual Rejuvanation For Everyone”. it’s kind of ironic that i would see that, because i was talking with ned a week ago, and he was saying, based on what i have told him, that things like OCF are like medication for me, which is absolutely true. it’s just too bad that OCF only happens once a year. it’s even more ironic because i realised even more this year that an observation i made about OCF last year is also absolutely true, and that is that OCF is basically a big, hippie-oriented mall without the mall. it’s strange that i should get so much benefit from something that, at it’s lowest common denominator, is specifically designed to extract money from unsuspecting tourists.

there are a whole bunch more pictures which are the only things left of OCF 08. so go look at them… you know you want to…

blurgh…

it’s the end of june and i haven’t written about the oregon country fair yet… two more weeks…

so we’ve been rehearsing for cinderella twice a week, and the band has an extra rehearsal tonight. as far as i know, we still don’t have all the music, but i may be hallucinating. we have to learn “Do The Hustle” but i’m not going to learn it – i took a vow when i was in high school (when the song was still popular) that i would never learn the hustle, which i have never broken, and this performance is no exception. i’ll learn the chicken dance – which we also have to learn for this performance – but the line is drawn with the hustle. pam made this twisted suggestion that we play the chicken dance when we play at the ritz, and i totally agree: i can’t wait to see 300+ naked hippies doing the chicken dance.

a few weeks ago we changed rehearsal spaces for the BSSB. apparently, after warmly welcoming us to the crown hill baptist church a year ago, the baptists got a new pastor who decided that we weren’t “christian” enough for them, and so they summarily kicked us out, with very little warning. fortunately, the senior center at the good shepherd center was waiting for something like that to happen. the good shepherd center is closer by about 15 miles to where i live than just about anything in crown hill (although it’s still not in ballard, strictly speaking), and i’m already very familiar with the layout, because that’s where ezra went to the ballet school before the ballet school moved downtown. there’s an added bonus which i found about on the tenth, which was our first rehearsal there, which is that they also have a pancake supper from 4:00 to 6:30 on the second tuesday of the month, which, coincidentally, is the same night we have one of our rehearsals. i showed up early with my trombone and was ushered into the room where they plied me with food and adulation for being part of the band. not at all bad, especially since i wasn’t expecting it.

i’ve got a lot to do this week. the weeks are stacking up that way for me a lot at this time. i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal tonight, a rehearsal for cinderella on monday and wednesday, a concert with the BSSB on thursday in burien (for which i still don’t have more than a time), then moe and i are going to portland to visit my god-help-me-mother-in-law, then i have to be back in seattle for the traditional BSSB at the locks concert on sunday, next monday is the final cinderella rehearsal, next tuesday is a rehearsal for the BSSB, and then next wednesday i’m leaving for OCF.

last year i was really depressed when i returned from OCF. i don’t see any reason why this year should be different, but at the same time, i’m hoping that this year it won’t be so severe. the fact that i am going to burning man (and not having a brain injury) this year may help, but at this point i’m not sure how.

busy busy busy

i went to the fremont sunday market last sunday, and made $97, plus i got three orders for incense and one for a sivalingam necklace, as well, which was enough to finish paying off the button machine that i’ve been paying on for about a month now, so i got a new toy – a one inch button machine, which i have been dreaming about owning for close to 20 years, if not more. unfortunately, my colour printer has decided to quit working, so i’ve got to figure out what to do about that (the most obvious choice is to go to rePC and purchase another one, but there are other options as well).

cinderella rehearsals are in full swing, twice a week. we’ve only got 5 more rehearsals (one is tonight) before the oregon country fair. i plan on going down on wednesday and coming back monday.

the solstice parade and art car blowout are this weekend. i’ve still got to wash my car and it would be nice if i could figure out a way to play CDs in my car, because my ipod died, and i recently got a recording of a guy reciting Sri Ganapati Sahasranaamavalih (which is playing now) which would be really cool to play around Ganesha The Car.

FSM

Hybrid Elephant at the FSM

FSM today – i’m still quite amused by the similarity between the FSM and the FSM. as far as i can tell, it was completely coincidental, which of course, makes me thing that the Flying Spaghetti Monster has touched my life with his noodly appendage. i made $76 and paid for a space in two weeks.

the guy with the cool garment

i had a lot of people ask me about nag champa today, and, of course, i didn’t bring any this time. it’s actually kind of funny, because someone up the row from me (i suspect it was the tibetan booth) was selling the exact nag champa that i don’t carry, because it’s really poor quality incense – you can, literally, go down to your corner gas station and buy “Satya Sai Baba Nag Champa” in the blue box… let ’em carry it. it just means that i don’t have to carry it! also one lady asked about three roses, so i should probably bring that next time, as well. also, i had several people ask me what my FNORD bumper sticker meant… what does FNORD mean, anyway… i’ve been giving them a marginally straight answer having to do with worshippers of the greek goddess eris, but i’m not sure if that’s entirely correct, and i’m not sure that they really want to hear the real answer anyway.

the people across the street and down two or three booths from me make the most amazing garmentsit’s difficult to describe, so i’ll let this picture, and their web site describe it for me it’s a hakama, but it’s built with the functionality of a utilikilt.

cinderella rehearsals start tomorrow – for the fremont philharmonic – they’ve actually been going on for a couple of months for the players. it’s a little more than five weeks until OCF this year, and we don’t have all the music and we’re just starting rehearsals… it’s gonna be another OCF performance: full of sound and fury and signifying nothing. also, stuart says we have to learn The Hustle for the ballroom scene, but a long time ago, when the hustle was a “popular” song, i made a solemn vow never to learn the hustle, and i’m not sure i want to break tradition at this late date. besides… <shudder> it’s the hustle… eeewww!

Yoga leads to possession by devils? – i’m tired of these people who don’t know anything about yoga proclaiming unquestionably that it leads to dire and evil consequences… i wonder how many people hear this guy ranting without the first clue what he’s talking about, and because of the fact that he’s “Father Jeremy Davies, exorcist for the leader of Catholics in the UK” will accept what he says without question… also, i wonder about how many such people there are compared to how many hindus in the world…

Prostitution reform has little effect and Masturbate-a-thon are for the “christians” who are getting ready to berate me because of the previous comment.

Cat turns into woman in Port Harcourt, Nigeria – let me see if i’ve got this straight: three cats were crossing the road, when they were struck by a vehicle. one of them escaped uninjured, one of them was beaten to death, and one of them turned into a woman, who is being held by police at a hospital where they’re treating the injuries that she sustained while in the form of a cat… right?

Japanese man discovers woman living in his closet – what more is to be said? except why do unemployed people in japan get to have cell phones?

Continue reading FSM

moisture festival

i’m leaving for the moisture festival in about 15 minutes, and i won’t be home until after 2:00 am tomorrow. i have three shows today, one at 3:00, one at 7:30 and one at 10:30, plus the Big Bois With Poise is also performing at the 10:30 show this evening. i have two shows tomorrow, one at 3:00 and one at 7:30, and then there’s going to be a party (we’re not going to do the “marathon” performance at 10:30 this year, because it is a very silly thing indeed, and besides, a lot of us have to get up and go to work monday morning anyway), so i probably won’t be doing much blogging until monday.

see you then. as my japanese friends would say, ?????!

moisture musings

the 5th annual moisture festival is into it’s second week of performances, most of which feature the fremont philharmonic. we’re getting more into playing “other peoples'” music more, which is a good idea, i think. we’re also becoming “the” band for a number of performers like godfrey daniels, which is amusing since apart from the moisture festival, we’ve never performed with him as godfrey daniels. it’s much more mellow and laid-back backstage this year, but i think that part of that is because i am not responsible for the programs this year.

these are some of the links i’ve been perusing in the mean time:

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks Creationism – it’s getting pretty obvious that something is wrong with intelligent design when someone like the archbishop of canturbury comes down on the side of the evolutionists…

Hybrid embryos created in Britain – speaking of “intelligent” design…

Two-headed baby hailed as divine – and here’s how india deals with it. (NOTE: i am discounting the fact that this was published on 1 april by knowing that they don’t have april fools day in india. i may be wrong.)

Faeces hint at first Americans – new evidence further negates any “young earth” intelligent design explanations that i have heard…

Pregnant man tells Oprah: It’s a miracle – now this is something i’ve been reading about for a couple of weeks, and it is one of those rare instances when my wife and i disagree. i think it’s perfectly natural for a transgender man to want to have children, but my wife thinks… i’m not sure what she thinks. it’s “unnatural” or something is my guess. maybe she thinks the kid will grow up confused or something. but my point is that kids already grow up confused with “normal” parents, and both my wife and i are fine examples of that. if a kid has even an outside chance of having a relatively normal life, parents should be able to be parents without regard to what their genitals look like, and if, as in this case, the man is already pregnant they should be able to get medical care without having to go through nine doctors! my son is an excellent example of how someone with screwed up parents can have a much more “normal” life than either of their parents had.

The Hypocrisy Gospel: Get Rich for Jesus? – ever wonder why the religious conservatives adore the prosperity gospel so much?

finally,

Battle over Pot Possession in Alaska Is Back in the Courts – prohibitionists, once again, make some sort of lame excuse to overturn alaska’s legal home use of cannabis. they’re going to lose, of course, because their excuse is lame (“it’s not your father’s marijuana”, reefer-madness propaganda), but it’s got a lot of people upset in both camps.

Continue reading moisture musings

moisture venting

diemo

the moisture festival opening was last night. the fremont philharmonic played a grand total of 4 tunes, and then vacated the stage, while artists with artificial music, and artists who performed with the zebra kings performed for 2 hours. this was primarily because of RB deciding that we would play the first half, and then conveniently scheduling all the artists that had artificial music for the first half, while saying that the zebra kings (which includes RB himself) would play the second half, including hacki’s performance, and godfrey daniels’ performance, both of whose music we have actually been rehearsing for the past month, unlike the zebra kings, who sound as though they haven’t played together since last year. i really think that once they actually get a professional theatre manager, instead of RB – who is a contractor and a musician on the side, but is definitely not anything like a professional anything – the moisture festival will actually be fun to play. until then, there are, by definition, going to be problems that are a direct result of having the person making the schedule one of the performers as well.

also, the program this year is a joke compared to the program that i produced last year! they actually copied my format – they used a different title font (they actually used papyrus, a “distressed” font that i find particularly annoying), but everything about the format is essentially the same. they even used some of the same ads. also, they cheaped on the printing, which means that the greyscale graphics are at a larger screen density, and coarser than they were last year, and the “colour” cover is on cheaper paper, with no UV coating, and is only colour on one side – and i’d be willing to bet that they paid at least twice as much for it than they did last year. of course they didn’t post the actual schedule in the program, and included numerous warnings that the schedule can change at a moment’s notice. in general, i say “ha ha!”

i took a whole bunch of pictures, but only three of them are worth looking at, because the rest of them were taken from the back of the theatre, with no flash, which means blurry at best. i like the picture of diemo, though. i got down on his level and snapped the photo, and then i was able to turn the camera around and show him the picture, which was really cool. he seemed to like it, too… 8)

random busy

my appointment with DVR was tuesday, and i presented the lady with the business plan that ian and i came up with. rather like the term paper that ian and i came up with 20-some-odd years ago, it was 95% bullshit, but presented in a way that made the lady say that it was very impressive, and not entirely because, not too infrequently, the DVR interviews people who are disabled and interested in self-employment, but when they are given the task of coming up with a business plan, they don’t. the next step is later on this week (and if it doesn’t happen by the end of the week, i’m supposed to call her), when either she, or a business consultant calls me to arrange an appointment.

i must say, DVR has done a lot more for me already, just in my mood, if nothing else. most of the other government organisations i have worked with since my injury have said they would help, but very quicly demonstrated that, in reality, they weren’t interested in me at all. i’m not holding my breath yet, but what they have told me about what they do with what i have already done makes me think that Hybrid Elephant could actually be an income-producing venture in the not-too-distant future.

i’ve been in rehearsals for the moisture festival for a few weeks now. the fremont philharmonic has a new trombone player, silveradept, who i recruited on internet. i’m so glad i’m not doing the program this year. i don’t even know where they are with the program, but they just posted the (tentative) schedule on their website on monday, and the moisture festival starts on the 27th. for something that puts itself off as a professional show, they really aren’t that professional.

also, depending on which (of three different) bands you’re talking about, i have also been in rehearsals for Honk Fest West for a while, which is the 21st through the 23rd. the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band starts rehearsals next week, which is a good thing because they are also performing for Honk Fest.

stuff

i took a 24-exposure roll of pictures of the lunar eclipse the other day. none of them came out, which really disappoints me because i had ideal lighting – i was out in the middle of nowhere with no artificial light pollution – i had a SLR with a telephoto lens and a tripod, and no trees or anything like that, but i totally forgot about aperture and exposure settings, and so i ended up with 24 clear, not-a-speck-on-them negatives. i feel like a lousy photographer, especially because there were a couple of the pictures that i would have been really proud of if they had come out, but i couldn’t even hit one out of 24, and it’s all because i forgot something as basic as aperture and exposure. 8/

i’m feeling really isolated because i’m in my tiny, crammed-full-of-boxes office with the door shut because apart from the four dogs and three cats that we normally have, there are no less than three temporary dogs (two of which are going home tomorrow, thankfully), and they keep on chasing the cats in here, or coming in to “check up” on me every five minutes, which is really distracting. i’m trying to be nice to moe, because of the fact that she couldn’t really help it this time, but at the same time, seven dogs puts me just about over the edge, especially when i wasn’t really expecting it… so i isolate myself and hope that it doesn’t get to be too much before tomorrow morning.

i went to the “Seattle Freeze” this afternoon. i wasn’t sure whether i was going to freeze, or whether i was going to take pictures of people trying to interact with frozen people until it was time to freeze. i decided to freeze, which is a good thing because it was only for 5 minutes, and compared to the total number of people in westlake mall, the number of people who actually froze was infinitesimal. i took a few pictures, but the only one that is more than just a small crowd of people milling around is this one.

big dog, small car

the huge hairy shape in the back of that convertible is a dog, who was barking at passers-by.

my first acupuncture appointment of 2008 was this afternoon. the treatment was to make the tips of the fingers of my right hand less numb than they have been, and it very definitely worked, although it was also the most painful acupuncture appointment i have ever had. not only was there a needle in the top of my skull, but there were needles in the tips of all five fingers, and in at least two places on my shins, and they were in exactly the right position to hurt really bad when i tried to move over so that i would have some place to put my hand so that it didn’t hang off the edge of the table. ever since my injury my right hand has had the sensation of being asleep and having a heavy glove on all the time. it’s been going away very, very slowly, and at this point the only place that still feels like it’s asleep is my fingertips, but they’re definitely more “awake” since acupuncture.

i also got word that the Big Bois With Poise is going to be in the moisture festival this year…

the moisture festival… aah, the moisture festival.

this time last year i was frantically trying to get the schedule from them so that i could get the typesetting finished and get the printing done on their program, and not getting anywhere because they had their heads so firmly implanted in their asses (collectively), and by the time the moisture festival was over, i was so dissatisfied with the whole thing that i wasn’t sure whether or not i was even going to be a part of it this year. now that this year has actually happened, i’m still attracted by the fact that it was the single highest paying gig i had last year, and this year the phil is going to play more than we did last year (which still isn’t enough, in my opinion, but there’s not very much i can, or desire to do about it). i haven’t had anything to do with the people that made life so miserable last year (although the likelyhood that that will change is dramatically increased the closer to actual production time we get), so i don’t really know anything, but from what i’ve heard so far, the chaos that i waded through last year doesn’t even scratch the surface of the chaos that is currently going on, so the probability that the phil is going to play more, and/or BBWP is going to perform more is a definite probability.

time to take brownies out of the oven.

merry x-mas… 8/

i had a really depressing dream: i was in downtown seattle for something, but i was living in a homeless shelter and had practically nothing. the shelter was a big warehouse that had been divided up into “camps”, with walls about 4 feet high, so you could see over them fairly easily. the shower was a tiny space that was barely big enough to turn around in, and the plumbing was falling apart, so that if you adjusted the showerhead, the whole thing fell apart. i had just returned to the shelter from whatever it was that i was doing, and there was nobody there, which i figured would be an ideal time to take a shower, but as i was getting into the shower, a whole bunch of people that i didn’t know showed up and so i had to take a shower in the open, in the presence of a whole bunch of people that i didn’t know… and, of course, that was also exactly the same time that i discovered the fact that the shower plumbing was falling apart, so all the other people got wet and irritated with me.

moe and i went to see The Bobs at the Kirkland Performance Center last night, and some time between the time that we arrived and the time that the bobs took the stage, something (i suspect that it was the fog machine) invaded my throat and irritated it enough that it was difficult to swallow. it lasted most of the night, which didn’t help the dream any at all, and the result was that i woke up in a lousy mood this morning. it also didn’t help that we are going to portland today for x-mas with the in-laws. usually x-mas is a mellow time that we can get away from the normal, dismal miasma that we live in, but the fact that i woke up in a lousy mood today does not make me enthusiastic about going to visit moe’s extremely horrendously dysfunctional families, regardless of how mellow they are when they’re all together. i have developed the opinion that the in-laws base their lives on some sort of twisted television situation comedy, except that, as far as i’ve been able to tell, they don’t watch sit-coms on TV to begin with, and even if they did, the “comedy” writers for their show are on drugs or something, and their comedy isn’t anywhere near as funny as it would have to be to be tolerable as an actual family. the only thing that makes x-mas with the in-laws even remotely acceptable is that it’s not my own family.

the bobs put on an excellent holiday show, which was titled “Too Many Santas”. in spite of the title, it wasn’t an exact reproduction of their “Too Many Santas” CD, and actually contained a number of songs that i have never heard before, including “Imaginary Tuba” which was outrageous, and described my childhood quite accurately. it was really awesome to see matt in his venue, doing his stuff, rather than seeing him in my venue while i was doing my stuff, and i also got the chance to talk with richard and amy for a little while.

as i’m going to be in portland tomorrow, there’s a good chance that i won’t get the opportunity to post anything, but if the occasion presents itself, i’ll try to post something.

more puss in boots ramblings

the “more later” from yesterday was because silver adept suddenly appeared at my front door, with the intention of going to yesterday’s closing night performance of puss in boots. it was a packed house, and i mean packed in the same way that i have seen moisture festival houses be packed. there were at least 200 people, including at least 50 kids in the audience – the kids were rowdy and rambunctious and i almost had to reach over and smack one of them for taking the potato “stage dressings” and repeatedly thumping them on the stage during the performance. it appears as though the fremont philharmonic does, indeed, have a new trombone player in the wings, whose name is silver adept, contingent on my being able to round up a trombone for him to use. the adults in the audience included about 50 brits who shouted “look behind you!”, argued with the cast, and made it even more like what a british pantomime should be. matt was there again last night, and, once again, he forgot to bring along the object that i plan on giving to moe as a holiday gift. this would be a lot less of a concern to me if it weren’t for the fact that the bobs concert at the kirkland performance center on saturday sold out about 10 minutes before i called to get tickets, but matt assured me that if i show up early, they will likely release a few tickets prior to the performance, so we’ll be able to get in anyway. if not, i sent him my mailing address, and hopefully that will be enough. i’d say more about it except that moe may actually be reading this. apparently we are going to resurrect puss in boots for the moisture festival, so if you missed it, it’s coming back in march or april.

puss in boots

friday: 1 performance. we had a lot of fun, the audience was impressed and went away humming the tunes. we got a lot of compliments, particularly from the natural-born brits in the audience, who were shouting “look behind you!” the loudest of the entire lot.

saturday: 2 performances with a dinner break in the middle. they were better than friday’s performance, and the earlier performance had at least 40 people walk up to the performance, having never seen or heard any advertisements about what the show was. matthew bob, the director, was very impressed and was raving about how good the whole show was…

more later.

Puss In Boots

performance friday: a “little moisture festival” for a party for the company owned by Rick Steves. comments included “how are we gonna top this one?”, “it’s not possible to attend a better party than this!” “best company party ever!” and other enthusiastic comments from the audience. acts included “Bing Croonsby & The Mildew Sisters”, Godfrey Daniels, Henrik Bothe, Nanda and, of course, The Fremont Philharmonic as well as a number of other performers i can’t remember. we got a lot of compliments, as a band, from both artists and audience. simon interrupted my solo in the godfrey daniels piece, but apart from that it went quite well. we even got $30 apiece for being the band! 8)

performances saturday: i left at 12:30 pm and didn’t get back until around 12:00 am. we did two performances of puss in boots, with a two and a half hour dinner break in between (which was a chicken curry that everybody else was yumming over, but i thought was kind of bland and mild without much flavour… oh well). i bought 15 pounds of potatoes as a set dressing (we’re peasants), which is now in my car because we didn’t want to encourage the rats (i actually saw one, walking across the floor like it belonged there!) in the hale’s palladium beer warehouse. the first performance was almost a full house – which means that almost all of the chairs we put out had butts in them, not that the beer warehouse palladium was full – and the second show didn’t have any kids and was about a quarter of what the previous crowd was, but more enthusiastic. it seems like we’re really getting “the hang” of this panto thing, because the second show was actually really good, in spite of the fact that about half the cast was sloshed.

performance today: i’ve got to be there at 1:00, which means that i have to leave in a little less than an hour.

busy, busy, busy…

mal, one of the witnesses on my wedding certificate, has recently moved here from alaska, and he left his car in my front yard last weekend so that he could go back to alaska for the holiday.

6:00 am, moe gets up to go to work. i stay at home (like usual) and go back to sleep when she leaves. approximately 7:00 am, the dog barks, but as it’s the dog that irrationally barks at anything at all for no reason whatsoever, i tell her to be quiet and go back to sleep. around 8:00 am, i am woken up by the telephone. it’s moe telling me that mal called the clinic, wants his car, and that i should call him, which i do. i learn that the reason the dog was barking was because mal was knocking on the door of my house – and i wasn’t answering because i was asleep and not paying attention to the dog, who was obviously telling me that someone was at the door… 8/

so i get up and call the printers to change the delivery address on the two packages that are scheduled to be delivered here soon. i talk to a guy who tells me that he’s got to call UPS and make sure that he can, and he will call me back. then i get into mal’s car, with a minor hiccup when mal’s car alarm apparently won’t let me in (fixed by replacing the battery in the remote), and head up toward microsoft to give mal’s car back around 9:00 am. while i’m on the way, i call the printer again and tell them that i called and the guy said he would call me back, but didn’t. the lady says sure, they can change the shipping address on the packages, but it will cost me $10 per package, is that okay? i say, no, it’s not okay! she takes my order numbers and puts me on hold, and while i’m on hold, i get another phone call from the printer – which i assume was in response to the message i left them on friday – to get the physical address so that i can get my packages delivered…

sigh…

so anyway, i give the lady the proper physical address, i don’t have to pay anything, i called UPS and they’re on board with the whole thing, although they might have to deliver one of the packages tomorrow, because it was out for delivery when they got the change of address (which means that i have to stay home all day, on the off chance that they actually are going to deliver it today). i also made a few changes in the Ballard Sedentary Sousa web site, and had a terse but productive email conversation with liz about tomorrow’s recording session and what’s going to happen afterwards.

and i printed out godfrey daniels music from stuart’s web site so that i can play the tuba part at the party.

rehearsal tonight, recording session tomorrow, rehearsal wednesday… thursday and friday are free, so far, but there’s a possibility that i’m going to have to go whip a computer back into shape on one of those two days. then there’s the punk rock flea market saturday, and the Phinney Neighborhood Holiday Fiesta on sunday, more rehearsals next monday and wednesday, the party on friday, and then two weeks of puss in boots performances…

bleh

i’m anxious.

one of my postcard orders is supposed to be delivered tomorrow, and when i called UPS to confirm that, they told me that it was addressed to my PO box, and they don’t (or can’t, i’ve never been sure of which) deliver to PO boxes, and i can’t change the delivery address, only the sender can do that. so i put in a call to the printer and asked them to change the delivery addresses on both packages, but (of course) they were closed because it was saturday, and i probably won’t hear back from them until tomorrow… but that’s when the first package is supposed to be delivered, which means that i likely won’t get a package by way of UPS tomorrow.

i have a rehearsal tonight, at 7:00 pm at hale’s, but it’s only 11:00 am, and i’m antsy. i realise it’s the weekend, but there should be more for me to do, to keep my mind out of the worrying and depressing that i’ve been so apt to do recently.

fremont peak park

salamandir with the fremont philharmonic certificate

so we played for the official opening of fremont peak park. i was late, which is to say that i was supposed to show up at 11:00, but i didn’t actually show up until 11:45, thinking that we were supposed to start playing at 12:00, but actually what happened was that politicians and park organisers started talking at 12:15 or so, and we didn’t actually start playing until almost 1:30… and the street was closed, but after driving around for longer than it should have taken, i was able to convince one of the “we’ve got the road closed” people with safety vests, that i was a part of the celebration, so they let me through. i parked across the street, and was able to watch from the “bandstand” (which was a little terrace off to one side of the park, with an excellent view) as people gawked at my car and wondered what it says. there was a couple of people who were old enough that they probably remember when the swastika was just a swastika, but the old lady looked disgusted as she was walking away from it. the cake that they made for the celebration was an exact, scale model of the park, and was entirely edible. the terrace that the band had set up on was supposed to be reserved for the band, but unfortunately, someone gave it away to someone else before we got there, so they gave us other parts of the park instead. i asked if it was ethical to eat the park that they had just opened, and the guy said “you can have your park and eat it too”…

i got some decent pictures, but my picture of the band turned out to be a movie, which i didn’t take correctly and didn’t work. better luck next time…

fremont peak park

the fremont philharmonic is playing for the official opening ceremony of fremont peak park today at noon. it’s one of the only non-fremonstor things we have done since i have been a part of the band, it’s open to the public, and it’s free.

i’m kind of worried about how long the fremont philharmonic is going to last as a band. we’ve had three Puss In Boots rehearsals in the past 3 weeks, and there have been a grand total of 3 band members there. we have a string of performances in a month, we have new music to learn, old music cues to re-learn, and new music cues to learn, and most of the band (which, admittedly, is only 3 or 4 other people) haven’t even seen fit to call and say they weren’t going to be at the rehearsals… which doesn’t sound like it’s much of what i would call a “real” band. we’ve been talking about re-arranging some of the parts, as well, with me doubling on tuba, trombone and sound effects, and getting a bass player who also doubles on something (trombone?). maybe malcat could do it…

random bits of this and that

last night was the Sousa Bash, in honour of John Phillip Sousa‘s 153rd birthday, and, coincidentally, it was also Antoine-Joseph Sax‘s 193rd birthday. it went well, in spite of the fact that the west seattle bridge was closed for 3 hours, immediately prior to our concert, which made everybody, including a significant portion of the band, late. it was held at Kenyon Hall (formerly “Hokum” Hall), which, despite the fact that i actually lived in west seattle for a year or so, and have driven past it so many times i have lost count, i have never heard of it. it’s a good thing i know were it is now, however, as we apparently have the hall scheduled for the next 2 tuesdays in a row for recording.

it also makes me interested in talking to lou (the proprietor) about scheduling the fremont philharmonic there at some point…

<weird dream>
i was in this hotel in a big city somewhere, lots of glass, modern architecture, doing something, when these three guys with automatic weapons came in and started screaming and spraying bullets everywhere. fortunately i was off to the side, so i wasn’t a direct target, but also the shots that i did take were, apparently, fairly low velocity, and they were buckshot about the size of a dust-speck, so they stung, but they didn’t actually injure me – it was frightening, none the less, and everybody was cringing and trying to convince the guys to let them go. somehow i managed to find my way to an elaborate laundry chute which lead to the basement, but the guys were not letting anyone escape that way – despite the fact that there were three or more people that jumped down the chute that i saw. when i was getting ready to jump, one of the guys waved a gun in my direction and told me to stay put, so i didn’t jump, but i continued to work my way towards the exit, and i eventually managed to escape into the parking garage. at this point, i realised that moe had been there as well, but instead of going back for her, or notifying the police or something like that, i decided to get out of town by the most direct means possible and not tell anybody about the fact that this hotel was being held up, or that my wife was in danger. towards the end of the dream, when i was going out of town, it vaguely resembled 5th ave., in downtown seattle, except the buildings were all different, and if it was 5th ave. then the hotel that i was coming from would have been approximately where the westlake mall is, except that it was backwards, and a hotel instead of a mall.
</weird dream>

i also got another email from the 2008 art car calendar people, indicating some vague interest in knowing more about the swastika, and the meaning of my car, which, on the surface, sounds like i may have made an impression on them. i’m not holding my breath, however, because one of the questions they asked was answered in plain, clear language, in the blurb i sent them about the car originally, which makes me wonder if they even bothered to read the blurb in the first place, or they just had a knee-jerk reaction to the swastika.

The Fremont Players “Puss in Boots”

Who: The Fremont Players

What: β€œPuss in Boots” A Panto-style play, a British holiday tradition

When: (two weekends)

Saturday, December 8 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 9 at 3:00 p.m.

Friday, December 14 at 8:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m.
Sunday, December 16 at 3:00 p.m.

Where: Hale’s Palladium at Hale’s Brewery
4301 Leary Way NW, Seattle (Ballard/Fremont)

Tickets:
$12/adults
$6/kids 15 and younger or seniors 65 and better
Tickets available at the door and in advance:
www.brownpapertickets.com 1-800-838-3006

The Fremont Players present β€œPuss in Boots” as a play in Panto style – the lively, interactive entertainment for the whole family that has been an English holiday tradition for hundreds of years. Our hero Will is down on his luck – shafted in the will, bullied by sibs, way out of his league romantically, and now, he thinks his cat is talking. Whether or not your family has experience with hearing voices or imaginary friends, Will needs your helpful vocal guidance! The Fremont Players welcome your cheers, boos, ad-libs, and β€œLook behind yous!” as a part of the appeal for all ages. Of course, no panto would be complete without full musical orchestration. To that purpose, the Fremont Philharmonic has composed 99.9% original music and plays it with vaudevillian gusto. There will be refreshing snacks, soda and Hale’s Ales, too!

busy

i’ve got to mail a package, and then take some extra computer parts to re-pc, and then get to issaquah by 1:00 to pick up business cards for NBAC, and then go to north bend to deliver the business cards to NBAC, and then potentially, go to the bank and deposit the check from NBAC for the business cards. then i haven’t yet decided whether or not i’m going to go home, because there’s a Puss In Boots rehearsal at hale’s tonight at 7:00, and i think it would be more efficient to go directly there rather than going home first, even though the rehearsal is at 7:00. but if i go directly to hale’s from there, then i have to have my tuba and related goo-bah, which i have to think about now… and if i do end up deciding to go home, then my tuba will already be in the car.

but i’ve got an appointment with ned at 3:00, which i didn’t realise until just a moment ago, which throws a wrench in the whole scheme of things… 8P

i’ve got something going on every day this week: i’ve got a trolloween rehearsal with the fremont phil on tuesday, then trolloween on wednesday, then a day of the dead gig with banda gozona on thursday, and another day of the dead gig on friday, then i think there is a gig at meany hall with banda gozona on saturday, but i’m not sure (relevant messages came through in email during the time when my email/schedule was malfunctioning). then, next tuesday is john phillip sousa’s birthday with the BSSB (tickets to the sousa bash are sold out, but if you want to go, i can probably get you in, standing room only), and next friday is my high school 30th reunion planning (i’m OLD!), which i’m not sure i’m going to go to, because i didn’t get along very well with those people when i was in high school, and i can’t think of any reason, other than time, that i would get along with them any better now. then next saturday is a performance of the fremont phil for the opening of a new park in fremont. next sunday is WORLD ART CAR DAY, and it is also the veterans’ day performance of the BSSB at the north shore senior center, and then, theoretically, there is a recording session for the BSSB on a week from next tuesday.

something other than my goddam broken computer…

the fremont phil had a rehearsal for trolloween this evening. trolloween is going to be on a wednesday, and i’m not sure what time it’s going to start, but it’s going to be a variety show. we’re backing up either sandy palmer doing “sexual healing” and matthew bob doing an as-yet-undecided song, and we’re backing up gary luke who is juggling, and we’re supposedly backing up myron sizer, who is going to do “everything i do will be funky from now on”, and we’re backing up a woman who is doing a spell or something… i suppose if they want it, there can be a vegetable sacrifice as well, but they didn’t have time last year, so i don’t think they’re going to have the time this year… which is kind of depressing, but there will be so much to do at trolloween anyway…

i have a fremont players rehearsal of “Puss In Boots” tomorrow at 7:00 at hale’s, a BSSB rehearsal tuesday on crown hill, and a banda gozona rehearsal on thursday at memo’s.

moe hurt her back some time between last night and this afternoon, which is really frightening to me. she went to a border collie/sheep dog trial (got 1st place, even though she doesn’t own a border collie, and won a trophy), but was having painful spasms through the whole thing. if moe gets sick or something and can’t work, my impression is that we’re right on the edge of losing everything.

1056

i’m grumpy and out of sorts, which is odd since i just got back from OCF, which was awesome. there is a bunch of shit going on in my life currently, which OCF distracted me from for long enough that, when i was forced to go back to it, it really sucked. i’ll post about OCF now, and get to the griping about shit later.

blurdge

there are a bunch of pictures, and there are still a huge quantity that i have yet to process. there will be more photos over the next few days as i get around to it.

i got a ride to the fair from moe(!), but she had to leave on saturday, so i rode back with norma. we got there thursday and ended up camping behind morningwood, which was much superior to mosquito acres (sorry ducky), where i camped last year. it was completely shaded, so it was much cooler even in the hottest part of the day, there weren’t any mosquitos or yellowjackets or obvious bug sex, and it was about 10 feet from the backstage area, behind a “secret” door next to the band locker.

blurdge

the shows went extremely well. we had our first and only dress rehearsal on thursday night, did a run of six shows in 3 days, and came away with a solid script that is being expanded on by the entire cast. it was amazing, because even though simon and a few others didn’t completely know their lines, we were able to pull it off with a humour that the crowd found infectious, and those who didn’t have their lines completely ready by the first show were doing quite well indeed by the second show. the music was outstanding. there were songs by stuart, jeremy(!), kiki, and amy bob, and the audience invariably went away humming the tunes.

blurdge

BBWP performed at the “real” fire show (which is the one for the public, in kermit lot) again this year. it was huge. the backdrop was enormous, and there were around 1,500 – 2,000 people in the audience. i fell off my buckets about 5 minutes before we were supposed to go on, but, miraculously, i didn’t sprain my ankle again. i don’t like performing on an uneven surface when i’m doing BBWP, but if i hadn’t done it, there would only have been two of them, so i “took one for the team” and did it anyway. it was exciting, too, because i haven’t been practicing as much as i probably should, and as a result, my spinning got so erratic that i had to stop and start over again, which resulted in my burning all the hair off of the exposed area of my hips and crotch… very exciting indeed… it was also a miracle that the diaper i was wearing didn’t catch fire. it didn’t matter, though, because that’s part of the show – it’s supposed to be humourous, and it was. everything was good.

blurdge

the fremont philharmonic played at the ritz saturday night. apparently we have a standing invitation to play at the ritz saturday nights from now on, and it’s likely because the guy who is the ringmaster of ceremonies for the fremont solstice parade, Baron Von Huffenfuel (otherwise known as peter toms) is in charge of scheduling artists to play at the ritz. this, too, is a very good thing, because it means that we get into the ritz for free, and the ritz is one of my favourite places at the fair. during the four days i was there, i spent at least 8 hours in the sauna.

saturday night i discovered that my digital camera doesn’t necessarily have to flash, and if i tell it not to flash, that it has a significantly slower shutter speed, which makes pictures of things at night really interesting. chelamela meadow is one of those things: it is full of hippies with sparkly and twinkly toys, costumes and suchlike, of all kinds. also, there was one installation where there were a bunch of solar-powered lights that were hidden in metal sculptures, and a solar-powered fire sculpture that was really cool: it was about 8 feet tall, and consisted of an elaborate base on which there was a narrow tube that had fire dripping down from the top of it.

in a strange way, OCF is comparable to an enormous, outdoor, hippie-oriented mall: the main thing to do there is buy stuff, eat, go to concerts and watch the strange people. it’s interesting to me that i dislike malls as much as i do, and yet i feel totally at home at OCF… although i do tend to avoid the crowds most of the time.

i’ll probably write more, but now i’m going to do something else.