Category Archives: music

i have now, officially, replaced the lead-pipe on the ugly sousaphone

i added the last piece, which is the mouthpiece-receiver pipe, to the narrow end of the ugly sousaphone, and cleaned up the tons of old solder left on the instrument. now it’s just a matter of patching the split 3rd valve tube and installing a water key, and it’s a working sousaphone, once again…

i was able to cover the water key hole with my finger, and get the instrument to play… as long as i didn’t use the 3rd valve… 8)

ugly sousaphone project

it’s getting closer, ever closer! 8D

ugly sousaphone project

it’s good that i was a little nervous… it prevented me from doing stupid things like picking up hot metal with my bare fingers on more than one occasion… but it also was primarily because of the fact that, apparently, i can’t do things like “sweating” stuff like i used to be able to… it appears to be one of those “use it or lose it” skills that i haven’t kept up on… 8/

oh well, it’s airtight, and that’s really all that matters, when it comes right down to it.

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)

as may be obvious…

or not…

i have been rather busy over the past week, with rehearsals and preparations for my trip to san francisco. they said not to mention it on social networks or tell anyone why, so it’s still somewhat of a secret (although if you know me personally, you’ll probably have heard me mention it in passing).

the rest of the past week has been filled with transferring vinyl to digital. since i damaged your ears with some early “music” in which i performed earlier in the week, i figured it would be only just to undo the damage with some real, quality music, performed by REAL musicians…

Porgy And Bess: A Symphonic Portrait, by George Gershwin, arranged by Robert Russell Bennett
performed by the 1975 – 1976 Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra

hee hee hee… 8)

salamandir transferring vinyl
photo by Magick’s Mom

i’m not sure whether i should do this or not… not because i don’t want anyone to know about this, but because of what my friends, particularly, will think…

i dug out (literally) a recording of the first time i ever “improvised” a solo with a jazz band. this is from 1973, and it’s pretty obviously a middle-school band (junior-high, for people who live on the west coast), featuring me playing trombone.

Watermelon Man

now this was before i knew what it was to “swing” (and, apparently, the drummer and a few other players were similarly clueless), and i had help writing out an “improvised” solo, because i didn’t know how to improvise, but even taking those things into account, i think i did a pretty acceptible job…

what i’m doing

i got a turntable off of freecycle, and i bought a behringer phono-to-USB pre-amp, and i am currently listening to the National Geographic recording “On Parade – The Music of John Philip Sousa” which has not been played in over 30 years. i am not only listening to music i haven’t heard since i got rid of my turntable (which was built by my father, out of spare parts from several other projects) in 1980 or thereabouts, but i am transforming them into the next generation of music files: ones which you can reproduce on your computer… will wonders never cease… i still have a huge crate of vinyl LPs (most of which are crap) that i’m going to dig out over the next few days and have fun (or not) turning all of them into ogg-vorbis files.

8)

mrph…

today is the flying karamazov brothers show for which i earned free tickets in exchange for playing sousaphone in the parade last saturday. i was hoping to get together with dave cole this evening and discuss where to go with thaddeus’ sousaphone (pictures after most of the duct-tape was removedbleah! 😛 ), but i forgot about the FKB show until this morning… which now means that i won’t get to discuss the sousaphone with someone who actually knows what they’re doing (as compared to me, who theoretically knows what to do with a brass instrument of that size and lack-of-repair) until sunday… probably…

oh well… at least thaddeus isn’t in too much of a hurry to get it back… ’cause if he was, he’d be outta luck…

on the other claw, Big Bois With Poise has an audition for America’s Got Talent on saturday, which is complicated by the fact that one of the big bois currently has a fever and is in bed — probably because of all that rehearsing and filming in the cold, wet, windy weather a few days ago. however, we wouldn’t even have the audition if it weren’t for the filming we did, because our act involves fire, which is forbidden in the ballroom of the downton sheraton hotel (which is where the auditions are being held), so it’s not as bad as it could be.

FKB parade &c.

so i was recruited to play sousaphone for a parade this afternoon, which was to drum up publicity for the Flying Karamazov Brothers shows at ACT theatre starting on february 2nd.

it was rather like the time, a couple of years ago, when i played sousaphone for the fighting instruments of karma and discovered that i knew about ¾ of the people in the band from other places: from bellingham, primarily, but i had played in various different groups with a whole bunch of people who were also in the fighting instruments of karma. i remember thinking, then, and my experience today only solidifies that thought, that this is my karass…

not too bad a karass to be a part of, with the new old time chautaqua, rev. chumleigh, the flying karamazov brothers, cirque de flambe, etc., etc., etc… 😉

i have “reading” glasses, and “seeing” glasses, but because of the fact that the lyre for my sousaphone is so close to my face, i can’t even use the “reading” glasses to read the music when i’m playing sousaphone, so i have to not wear any glasses at all, which is fine for reading music that is 6 inches from my face, but lousy for actually seeing were i’m going or what’s around me. apart from blurs, i was totally blind for the parade… they found a 15-foot-tall banner from somewhere which was supposed to be carried in front, but because of the fact that it was 15 feet tall, it didn’t fit on the sidewalk, and they had to carry it in the street.

we went to the pike place market and held up traffic by parading the wrong direction on pike place. then we did a “show” under the clock for about five minutes, while people who looked suspiciously like policemen on bicycles nervously cased the crowd. i saw a whole bunch of photographers taking what appeared to be pictures of me, but because of the fact that i couldn’t actually see, i’m not sure. one thing for sure, i didn’t take any pictures of my own.

after the parade, i picked up a sousaphone from thaddeus, which i’m going to fix in exchange for him giving me (conditionally) a BBb tuba that used to be Hokum’s… and i really hope that i’m actually going to be able to fix that sousaphone, because i really want that tuba, but also because i haven’t actually worked on a brass instrument for quite some time, and i don’t have a lot of dent removal tools. fortunately, the majority of the “fixing” appears to involve soldering braces that have come loose, and/or re-aligning tubing that has come un-aligned… which i think i can do, more or less… fortunately, i’ve got a ringer, in that i’ve got a professional musical instrument repair technician who specialises in low brass to help me if i get stuck.

on my way home, i was driving down I5 north of the west seattle freeway, and i saw a newish honda civic with a license plate that said “GANESA”… the guy obviously wanted my license plate, but i already had it… 😉

wow…

okay, i’ve been REALLY busy over the past week, ending with a snake suspenderz gig and four panto performances in the past three days… which, oddly enough, has already resulted in my having, in my hot little hands at this very moment (well, not this very moment, because i’m typing – and that rather badly, because of the fact that my hands are cold – but you get the idea) cash and checks amounting to more than $250… and i’ve got another $100 being transferred to my bank account from paypal…

today i took an order from Rev. Mary, who called me on the phone this morning inquiring about aparajita… she didn’t say who she was, but she was raving about how much she likes it, and said that she wanted to buy 5 boxes. we talked for about half an hour about how much incense has changed since the 1960s and the “new trends” in incense. she then said that she would order from the site. when the order came in, it was for 12 boxes, which makes me think that it may be about time to contact that guy in india who has been spamming me with requests for the past year, who i finally convinced to shut up and go away…

anyway, back to rev. mary… i had no idea who she was when she called. i have since (obviously) discovered who she is and where she’s coming from. i’m rather amused that an old-time gospel preacher’s wife has latched onto my incense, but i’m not sure that she could be even more bizarre than i first imagined. she’s an old lady (the picture on her web site was taken at least 20 years ago, judging solely by what she sounds like), and it could very well be that she’s a “reformed” hippy, or, possibly one of those weird cross-breed hippies that took jeezis instead of LSD… or, she could be pre-hippy, a real old-time gospel preacher and just really like quality incense regardless of what religion its maker and seller belongs to, OR she could be really ignorant of everything (although how one could order incense from hybrid elephant and not come away with the impression that i might be hindu is somewhat beyond me, it may be that i am a little too close to the subject to be very objective) and has no idea that i’m not a “christian” as well…

anyway, she ordered 12 boxes, which means that i only have 10 left… and that’s including my “personal” stash…

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… 😛

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.

almost…

today i realised that i have almost a complete new albums worth of original music, and the only thing preventing me from releasing my fourth album of original music is that about half of the tracks don’t have endings…

so i got busy today and came up with endings for about 6 tracks, and put together a preview. it’s not completely ready yet, and there are still 5 tracks that still don’t have endings, but here’s a sample: Freedom by Saint Fred – ©2011 by Saint Fred/Hybrid Elephant Music, All Rights Reserved.

also, i “stole” a sample from the pile of unfinished “And More” songs i have lying around, and rearranged it so that it’s pretty much unrecognisable… i’m not sure whether i am going to include it with the rest of the album of original music because the original sample involves people other than myself, even though it’s altered enough that it probably wouldn’t be recognisable by them, even if they did hear it.

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… 😉

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… 😛

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…

parade

the parade was a parade…

i was signed on with the SANCApators as a temporary sousaphone player today. i got there with enough time to park my car close to the end of the parade route, and then walked with my sousaphone to the beginning of the parade route, which was a little more than two blocks. the actual parade route was from 34th and raye to 32nd and raye, but we went down 34th to mcgraw, and then down mcgraw to 32nd, and then back up 32nd to raye, so the parade route was about 8 blocks total.

it was supposed to start at 10:30, and i think it actually did start at 10:30, but it was almost noon before we started moving, and it was more like 12:30 by the time we actually “stepped off” and we didn’t finish until around 1:15 or so. i was actually really surprised that i was able to “march” (we weren’t really “marching” so much as “meandering”, but we were actually moving, which is a new experience for me, since my injury) and i actually was able to play most of the music in a more or less satisfactory fashion… and, considering that they were two relatively fast marches (Circus Days and Desert Patrol) i’m pretty satisfied with my performance overall.

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… 🙂

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.

The Shaggs!!

because of the fact that i worked the “late night” shift at a local college radio station for three years or so between 1980 and 1984 (KUGS 89.3 FM) i became familiar with a whole bunch of extraordinarily obscure music… stuff like “The Passion and Transfiguration of a Post Apocalyptic Eunuch” by David Snow, “Perfect Lives” by Robert Ashley, “Einstein On The Beach” by Philip Glass, music by The Glass Orchestra, The Nihilist Spasm Band and suchlike…

it is that experience, digging through literally tens of thousands of 33⅓ RPM vinyl albums, that has gone a long way towards forming my musical tastes today…

however there is one group, The Shaggs, that i’ve never quite been able to figure out, although i find their music fascinating… never been able to figure out, that is, until this afternoon, when i came across this video about the early years of The Shaggs at the BBC. now i understand: their music is the result of not being allowed to listen to popular music, until, one day, they were essentially forced to make “popular music” by a father who was obsessed and psychotic… they made a grand total of one album, “The Philosophy of The World”, and broke up upon the death of their father/manager because, as dot said, “it was embarrassing.”

get out there and watch the video now, because the BBC is only putting it up for a short period of time (and i can’t figure out how to download it, which is irritating). fortunately, i’ve got the album in my collection… one of the advantages of having the “late night” shift at a college radio station and having a collection of the weirdest possible music which no-one will notice when it goes “missing” from said radio station… 😉

That Song

That Song is a “jam”… i.e. “not a finished piece”. my recollection is that it was called “that song” because it was one that we played fairly frequently, but not one that we worked on enough that it had a “working” title… it was just “that song”…

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)

More And More…

this is some of my all-time favourite music, and it’s got me performing in it… 🙂

Yesterday’s Moustache from the album Sketchbook i remember at least 3 different jams that this was taken from, and it probably had some significant post-processing work as well – it’s not a “straight improvisation” but it’s reasonably close, given the number of separate tracks involved.

Cat Stretching which, i maintain, was originally called “Cat Torture On Mars” but was overridden by ken, who suggested the compromise title. i admit that there’s no evidence of this, but i still remember it, and i know i remembered it before my injury, so you can’t blame it on that… 😉

wow…

i went to bellingham for the first time in a while, yesterday. i didn’t stay as long as i would have liked, but it’s okay because it still gets dark really early at those northern latitudes, and besides which i was really tired and if i had stayed any longer i would have had to spend the night – which was do-able, but i hadn’t made arrangements, so i just came home last night…

but, the important part…

i visited a couple of friends yesterday, one of whom is my friend ken, with whom i have been playing music on and off for 30+ years, and while i was there, he gave me 7+ gigabytes of the 20+ gigabytes of music that we have made over the past 30+ years, most of which i haven’t heard for a long time, due to the fact that it was recorded on cassette, and i haven’t actually owned a cassette player since before i got married…

DAMN we’re good!

i’ve now got 7 complete “albums” and around 200 individual tracks which are, for all intents and purposes, ready to be put on CDs and distributed… and that’s only a small fraction of what’s there (we only had a flash drive and a limited amount of time to move files from his computer to mine). the current fantasy is that we’ll put the whole lot up on the web somewhere and offer low-quality mp3s for download for free, OR high-quality ogg files (or something like that) for a small quantity of money, OR a “generic” CD with “generic” art for a bit more money, OR a custom, one-of-a-kind CD with tracks that you choose, and custom, one-of-a-kind artwork for a bit more money.

i just realised, however, that ALL of the files that i got yesterday are Free Lossless Audio Codec (flac) files, which won’t play reliably on any of the “standard” music players for the two “major” platforms, so it’ll probably be a couple of days until i get representative samples converted to a format that you windows and mac people will be able to play… click on the title to hear the song… for now i’ll give you some sample titles to whet your appetite:

Acetylene – this is even more astonishing when you realise that we were improvising.
Satisfaction Factory Satisfactory, Dissatisfaction Factory Dissatisfactory
Yes! Ugly Sillymusic
Bach Whomp – this is the Bach Two Part Invention in C… really… 🙂
The Very Big Godot
Grump & Bind – another “improvisation” with very little added.
Tenor Leak Fellatio
Wraith Ugly – a pseudonym of mine, and a really funny piece of music. 🙂
Jazzbo Proctoscopy Parts I through IV – which is too long to post, but you get the idea…
Blind Green August
Encrusticated Preachment
The Word
Cholinesterase Inhibition

it’s my opinion that the titles are almost as good as the music itself… 8)

flurb

thanks to Howlin’ Hobbit, i was able to sort out the “hidden file” dilemma that i had yesterday – of course i could have edited the “live” version using vi, but i was feeling stubborn – and the immediate result has been that one person who has been spamming my web site for 3 days now is no longer able to. whee! 🙂

my popgun is defective. i bought an orchestral-quality popgun, and i have been popping enthusiastically for around 10 years, mostly at cirque de flambé and fremont players functions, but it has been getting harder and harder to get a reliable pop out of it. first, the ball-end on the handle stripped its threads, which is understandable, since it is made of wood. however, i glued it back in place and the glue holds for about 5 pops at which point the ball-end comes off again. gluing the ball-end is an annoyance that i have learned to live with, although there have been a couple of times where i nearly lost the ball-end over the side of a ferry, or that kind of thing. completely replacing it involves coming up with another hardwood ball, and then drilling and tapping it out to the correct thread to match the otherwise very sharp end of the handle. then, the end-cap that holds the cork in place so that it doesn’t go “pop” and shoot the cork across the stage, disappeared. at the time, fred was a member of the band, and he volunteered to make me a replacement end cap, because he had the necessary tool (a metal lathe). then the bottom cap retaining screw disappeared, but i was able to make a replacement, because i have a tap-and-die set for miniature screws. of course the cork itself has been replaced two or three times, and i’ve got a collection of replacements in my workshop… but the problem i’m currently having is more insideous: the plunger has worn down to the point where it doesn’t seal. now it appears that i have a choice: i can either figure out some way to make two, perfectly circular washers out of something like linoleum, that are exactly .125″ larger than the inside diameter of the tube…

or i can buy a new, orchestral-quality popgun

apparently i have the skills and a steady-enough hand (everything is a lot more free-form since my injury) to cut new bits of linoleum that will work, and i have a leather-punch in the workshop that has a big-enough hole that i was able to create a new, more effective plunger, and now POP!! and all is right with the world again… 🙂 which is a good thing, because i don’t remember where i got the popgun… there are a couple of possibilities (and i’m pretty sure i could order one online, which would take too long), but i know for sure that one of them has gone out of business…

i like tools that can be taken apart and fixed when they stop working. it’s so much easier and less expensive than buying a new one when the old one breaks… 🙂

ETA: so this morning i got an order for one box of green rose incense from india, of all places. unfortunately, i would be willing to bet that one get green rose incense in india for a lot less than i have to sell it for in the united states. not only that, but the shipping costs alone, to get it to india, are more than ten times what the incense would cost, by itself. i wrote back to the guy, but, considering that it’s from india, the probability is fairly high that he doesn’t speak english, or, worse, speaks “hinglish”…

why do people do this? what is it that prevents them from thinking these things all the way through before doing something stupid? i suppose we will never know…

i’ve been very productive today, and it’s not over yet. i fixed my popgun, built a pig-rail for our whelping box, and fixed our front door so it closes reliably without having to be “finessed”.

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.

another week closer to the eschaton…

i woke up this morning, and checked my email. i had 4,856 new messages, all with the same subject line, which included the word “MLM”… please stop sending me these messages. they’re not accomplishing what you think they are, they’re really annoying, and i’m about to block your country’s IP addresses because of it. there are better ways of doing… whatever it is that you’re expecting to be able to do by sending out 4,856 spam email messages… 😐

A piece of their mind – they share thoughts… in spite of the fact that they have two sets of eyes, one can “read” what the other is seeing, without actually seeing it… The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses has more, including a video… fascinating!

The Return of the Stoned Ape – smart people do more drugs because of evolution. now it all makes sense… 😀 and, while we’re at it, Smart people SLEEP LATE as well… so there!

and now, to more mundane topics…

Fnord33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True – fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord. beware, the paranoids are watching you. fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord.

The Information Super-Sewer: Will the Internet be Hijacked by Corporate Interests – funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from one’s anus to one’s mouth. also Final nail in coffin for Net neutrality?all 95 house and senate candidates who pledged support for net neutrality lost their races. what does this mean? it means that your unlimited, uncensored, unthrottled and open internet service will be going away as soon as the major corporations that now own internet are going to get to decide how much to charge you for how much access… which means that it won’t be too long before internet will be exactly like television, unless you can afford to make it better.

A Modest Proposal to Republicans: How to Trim the Budget – hint: it’s something that a republican would never think of…

Chomsky: US-led Afghan war, criminal – to date there is no evidence that al-qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks, and still we use that as justification to make war on a people who have their own problems.

The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World – copyright was never primarily about paying artists for their work, and trying to make it about that now is obfuscating the real reason, which is to make the distributors as much money as possible. copying is not theft, piracy, or anything else illegal, and the sooner we toss the current copyright law fiasco and start over again, the better.

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs – copying IS NOT theft! (my new mantra).

Bankruptcy of U.S. is ‘Mathematical Certainty,’ Says Former CEO of Nation’s 10th Largest Bank – yep… the end is coming, and it’s not looking like it’s going to be particularly pretty when it gets here.

Voters Approve Sharia Law Ban – meanwhile, fear, insanity and unreasoned reactionism comes to oklahoma, whether they like it or not… oh well, there are always 49 other states… 😐 meanwhile, it appears that Oklahoma Voters May Have Accidentally Voted Against Ten Commandments, Too – that’s what they get for being stupid and making nonsensical laws without thinking them through.

Details on PayPal’s Site Outage – they have been doing okay, despite the bad things that i continue to hear about them, but they apparently went down for anywhere from two to twenty four hours, depending on where you are, and so far they’ve not released any information other than to say “something broke. it’s fixed now, and we’re sorry.”

Google calls bug bounty hunters to YouTube, Blogger – $3,133.70 a bug seems like a lot, and i seriously doubt that their actual testers get paid anything like that. what this is, really, is an attempt by google to have volunteer “testers” hammer on their technology without having to pay them for doing so. then, when a “tester” discovers something, google can claim that they found it, pay the “tester” a minimal, one time fee and never mention the “tester” to anyone ever again… everybody’s happy, at least temporarily, and the big corporation profits at the expense of the american drone, who doesn’t notice because he’s too busy telling all of his friends how 733T he is… you can’t make a living on it, but it’s the american dream come true… 😐

Seagate squirts out rectal cleaning sprayno shit… 🙂

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: President Obama Visits Chicago and a Homeless Man Begs Him for Alms – no further comment needed.

Marijuana Legalization: Not If, But When – agreed, it’s just a matter of time, but it’s going to have to be the entire country, or it’s not going to work… and whether or not the entire country legalises it through a revolution or through a civil election still remains to be seen.

New Mother’s (False) Positive Drug Test Leads to Baby’s Removal… Poppy-Seed Bagel the Culprit – the only way to solve problems like this is to legalise all drugs, but if proposition 19 is any indication, even when we’re winning, we’re really losing… and while we’re at it, No reason for pot prohibition – when are we going to get the idea that the war on drugs is a collosal failure? not for the next couple of years, at this rate… 😐

not only that, but A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer’s disease pathology – the active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydracannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the key pathological marker of alzheimer’s disease. are we ready to legalise it yet?

Cargo plane bomb plot: passengers to face ‘ludicrous security measures’ – now that we have successfully prevented another terrorist plot from even reaching the country, of course, the logical response is to put more stringent measures in place to insure that innocent citizens are harrassed, poked, prodded, scanned and examined in new and unusual ways, to make sure that the terrorists don’t win again… oh, and by the way, Yemeni mail bombs suspect ‘had identity stolen’ – so we really don’t have any clearer an idea who did it then we did a week ago… swell…

For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance – they’re now searching your “crotchal” area, and they really want to get you to use the “Dick-Measuring Device” back-scatter imaging device, so be warned…

Pollution in China – this is why stuff is cheap in america. remember that the next time you buy something.

Obama may let CIA run more ‘hunter-killer’ teams roam abroad – this is premeditated murder and i question what the real intent is…

Why I don’t voteW? T? F? i can understand a multitude of reasons for not participating in the farce of elections these days, but basing your abstinence in voting on 1 timothy 2.12 is far beyond anything that i could possibly figure out…

McDonald’s furious after San Francisco bans Happy Meals – apparently they didn’t get the memo

Ram Dass Has a Son! – DNA tests confirm it, and ram dass is okay with it, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to cause a major uproar (like it has with other “spiritual” teachers), but it also is pretty much not what you would expect…

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? 😐

this is one of my five all-time favourite songs

I Don’t Work For A Living – Malcolm Dalglish & Grey Larsen

I don’t work for a living,
I get along alright without,
I don’t toil all day,
I suppose it’s because I’m not built that way.
Some people work for love,
And say it’s all sunshine and gain,
But if I can’t get sunshine without any work,
I’d rather stay out in the rain.

Give me a nail and a hammer,
And a picture to hang on the wall,
Give me a strong stepladder,
So that I won’t fall,
Give me a bottle of whiskey,
And a barrel of Strong’s best ale,
And I bet you I’ll hang up that picture
If somebody drives the nail.

this is from their 1978 album The First of Autumn, which i first heard at my friend deirdre’s house in 1980 or there abouts, and it very quickly became the song that inspired my life. at this point, thanks to my brain injury, i can honestly say that it’s pretty much true, too. 🙂

another week closer to the eschaton…

The City That Ended HungerBuckminster Fuller said that we, as a people, have posessed the technology for 50 years (and he said this almost 50 years ago) to create a world where nobody has to work to survive. Why Bother Working At A Job You Hate? and The RICH Economy are my attempts at changing the world’s consciousness, but it may be that Belo Horizonte, brazil’s fourth largest city, has taken it one step further. brazil has a number of other interesting features upon which i have commented previously.

meanwhile, back in hell america, Building sand castles on Florida’s beaches is illegal – this is how BP is hoping to make you think that the oil spill is gone.

What the TSA isn’t saying about Full Body Scanners and Your Right to Opt Out – Say “I Opt Out.” Every Time. – has an interesting URI – Don’tScan.Us – and is there to remind everyone that, when travelling by air, you have the right to say “I OPT OUT” when confronted with a TSA request to what amounts to a strip search. also Portable, rapid DNA analysis tech developed – Big Brother doesn’t care whether or not you have fingerprints, and is interested in your DNA instead… more orwellian doublethink: Welfare is Employment Rights are Privileges War is Peace Illness is Health Collapse Is Recovery

Judge orders lesbian reinstated to Air Force and yet the congress in it’s infinite wisdom has decided that, even though a judge also ruled that DADT is unconstitutional, they’re not going to do anything to change it at this time. correct me if i’m wrong, but the judge that said that DADT is unconstitutional basically said that it’s against the law for the military to enforce the law as it currently stands, and still, congress feels that it’s okay to leave the law as it stands, right? that settles it, our government, and likely the governments of the countries in the rest of the world as well (since they all cooperate with each other, more or less) is irreparably broken. it’s time for that major shift in the way people think that i’ve mentioned before to actually start happening now…

and, by the way, now there’s Irrefutable Proof the Bush Tax Cuts Were a Miserable Failure – and we’re still losing to these morons…

despite the fact that Yes on Prop 19 Holds Steady Lead, 47%-42%, in Latest SurveyUSA Poll, this is what supporters of prop 19 are up against: Ex-Drug Czar Bill Bennett: Showtime’s “Weeds” is “Damaging,” Jonas Brothers Should Fight Prop 19 – regardless of whether prop 19 passes or not, however, Federal judge rules Colorado’s medical marijuana law is no defense for US drug charges. california can legalise all it wants, but until the federal government changes its mind, people will still end up going to jail for smoking a joint. and, while we’re at it, T-Mobile Claims Right to Censor Text Messages – big brother just got a little bigger and a little less like your brother.

along the same lines, according to Chapter 69.51A RCW on Medical "marijuana" (which is actually called “cannabis”, but i’m not arguing at this point), apparently i wouldn’t qualify anyway… oh well… 8/

Twitter blames website upgrade for re-introducing XSS holehopefully, the last word on my battle with twitter and their most recent cross-site scripting bug… which is still gone on my machine, but presumably that’s because i deleted my account before this latest round happened, and when they re-introduced it, i didn’t have an account to infect any longer…

twitter… 😐 feh.

Trojan poses as skeleton key jailbreak utility – but it only works on iPhones… wait, what? 8) heh heh heh… i am so glad i’m not a mac-head any longer…

GoDaddy.com Goes on the Auction Block – recently i read a couple of articles detailing how a whole bunch (<200) of wordpress blogs hosted by godaddy got hacked. i don’t know whether selling godaddy will make things better or worse, but it’s one of the reasons why i don’t use godaddy to begin with.

IE captain flees Microsoft for Google – when i was first getting into testing software, back in 1996, i attended a planning meeting in advance of the release of IE3 (which was still crawling with bugs, in spite of bill gates’ claim that micro$not released “bug free” software), and chris wilson was there, although he wasn’t as “important” then as he later became. however giving up micro$hit for google is sort of a lateral move for someone who is allegedly as “important” as he is… and, given that he is ultimately responsible for such travesties as IE4 and IE6, i would think that google would have second thoughts about hiring him…

How do you copy 60 million files? – yet another reason why linux rocks, and you should use it and not that crap operating system from redmond.

Nuclear Winter And Peace – look… another article by Fidel Castro… you might get the impression that he’s actually changed the way he thinks recently, and that i agree with him now…

pubic schools billboardOops! Billboard spelling error creates embarrassment

The true history of the Koran in America – reports of qur’ans in american libraries go back at least to 1683, and the first qur’an to be published in america was in 1806, over 100 years later. both thomas jefferson and john adams owned one and read it frequently… just sayin’…

Pope’s astronomer says he would baptise an alien if it asked him – unfortunately, is not a joke… nor is this: Christian group declares jct 9 on M25 cursed, although it took me several readings to confirm that it was, in fact, totally serious… what?!?

Church of Body Modification – this has been the subject of a bunch of spam messages i have been receiving recently, but it’s a real thing, and it looks fairly interesting…

Fabrican – it gives the reference to “jeans so tight you must have sprayed them on” a whole new meaning…

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 — 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 — one of rock’s great iconoclasts — 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 — 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.

confused confusion

this morning i woke up convinced that it was thursday and it took until about noon or so before i was disabused of that notion. then i sat down with my synthesizer and played around with an idea i’ve been toying with for the past couple of days and before you know it, it’s 7:30 and i’ve got most of a piece of music finished. this is the result, which is considerably lower quality than the actual file, but i wanted to get it in less than 4mb to save space. i’m not sure it’s 100% finished yet, but it’s fairly close.

dreek

i bought some 1shot clear coat for the hood of my car. it works okay on the black – it does cause it to bleed this interesting brownish red colour, but i can clean that up pretty quickly. on the other hand, when i apply the clear coat to the gold ink, it smears – even totally dry ink – and it takes long enough to clean up that i won’t be able to clear coat the car, at least not before tomorrow, when i have a show in everett for which i’m being paid $100.

i’ve been playing around with a stencil design based on Śrītattvanidhi, but the stencils i have designed so far are too big for the media i have, and while i know that larger media exists, i still haven’t found a source for it. it’s coming really close to the end of the “create an art car in the open with no garage” season really quickly, and i haven’t got more than the hood finished on the car, which is a perennial source of frustration for me. hopefully the newly expanded workshop space will facilitate my attempts to make this a reality.

Renaldo & The Loaf – Hambu Hodo

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… 🙂

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. 🙂 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 🙂 – 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.

tah daaah!

hood finished!
finally!

i called maaco, and they said that it would cost around $200 to clear-coat the hood, depending on how the preparation goes. i told the guy that i would hesitate to spend that much on the car if there was something wrong with the engine, and my budget was around $100. he said that i should bring it by tomorrow, which i’m going to do, but i’m not expecting much. it’s possible that rick at edgewood tire has some suggestions, but i haven’t asked him.

i’m probably going to go get my tuba soldered tomorrow afternoon, or some time in the relatively near future.

i sent $500 to india for 20 dozen boxes of aparajita. i got an invoice for it, so i’m a little less suspicious than i would have been otherwise, but i still don’t know for sure that it’s going to be aparajita that the guy sends me. at this point, it’s wait and see, because i’ve already sent the money. there’s another incense retailer that’s going to buy half of the 20 dozen as soon as i get them, which is good, because i don’t have the space to store 20 dozen boxes of incense.

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

this is not a title

Extraordinary Rendition Bandthe world needs more girl sousaphone players…

my performances at Honk! Fest went off without a hitch, more or less. i got up at an ungodly hour (7:30) and made it to the first performance, at Casa Latina, by 9:00, where they didn’t know what was going on, and my ability to understand spanish is only because of my vague knowledge of french and latin, so i wandered around in the international district for 45 minutes or so until other honk fest/band related people showed up. we played for an hour, and then we had a break until 3:00, so i went and got breakfast and took a nap for an hour or so. the second performance was after the Extraordinary Rendition Band performed. the latino guy that’s standing in the background is someone from my band, and i suppose that i should probably know what his name is, because i’ve known him for a few years now, but i don’t… (is it yeba ignacio? i’m not sure…) i don’t suppose that it’s partially because he only speaks limited english, and i would only make myself look foolish if i tried to speak spanish…

DJ RX – White Lines is an interesting treatment of the song… in a lot of ways, it’s better than the original.

miscellaneous honk blat wak wak wak ungow

one doesn’t tend to notice annoyances that have disappeared, but i just realised that the guy who has been sending me spam with great regularity, at least once a month, for five-plus years hasn’t sent me a spam message since november of last year. i won’t claim sole responsibility for ridding the net of this annoyance, but i would be willing to bet that the multiple reports of his spam i made to the washington state attorney general’s office couldn’t have slowed down his departure too much.

the new Ganesha The Car is probably not going to be a car very much longer. there’s nothing wrong with it currently, but the transmission is on its last legs, and from what the people at the repair shop (not the repair shop from which i got the car, a different one) told me, the ’93 Mercury Tracer (which is also called a “Ford Fiesta Escort” for some unknown reason) is notorious for transmission and engine problems, and pretty much anything that goes substantially wrong with it will very likely cost more to fix than the car is worth. at the same time, i didn’t actually pay for the car to begin with, and the repair shop that i got it from will very likely do things like replace the transmission for far less than other places would, because we fall under the “friends and family” category with the owner of the shop – which is also part of the reason why i didn’t pay for the car to begin with.

in the short term, this means that i have even more impetus to create “temporary” artwork on the car, using paint pens instead of a brush and one-shot. daniel smith’s has a piss-poor selection of paint pens, but i picked up some black, and some gold pens. i’m hoping that i can find a wider assorement of colours somewhere else.

frustration is finding a bittorrent of something that you really want, and downloading 99.3% of it – with 8 “leeches” and a “seeder” who only logs in after midnight – before getting stuck and spending weeks repeatedly opening up your network to a DOS attack while you wait for the remainder to appear… all i need is 1.16 MB of information and then i’ll have the whole thing… is that too much to ask?

a guy advertised “Goldblatt drywall stilts. Rubber is good, but the straps are shot and some minor hardware needs replacing.” on freecycle, earlier in the week, and i responded, because i can probably fix the things that they have wrong with them, and then i’ll have a set of drywall stilts… unfortunately, i didn’t notice that the guy’s email host is christian.net, and the quote that automatically appended to the signature of my message was “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world. — Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), 1694-1778″…

he didn’t reply, so i sent him another message this afternoon. the quote that automatically appended to the signature of that message was “The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.” i still have recieved no response from him, but i get the impression that the probability of my recieving a response from him is miniscule at this point. oh well… if nothing else, i can post a wanted to freecycle for drywall stilts. if i’m really lucky, the same guy will respond… 😉

i’ve got to get up and go to a gig that banda gozona is playing for part of Honk! Fest West at 9:00 tomorrow morning. there’s another gig that banda gozona is playing at 3:00 pm as well, which means that i can’t even go home and get some rest between the shows. the music that we’re playing is all stuff that i know the tuba parts for quite well. unfortunately, i’m playing trombone for tomorrow’s gigs, and the trombone parts are really fast, with a lot of notes that range from E an octave below middle C to A an octave above middle C within a measure. i’m reasonably certain that i can play most of the notes, and i’m sure i can play all of the notes at a reduced speed, but the fact that there’s going to be at least one other trombone-range instrument (most likely euphonium, but another trombone isn’t out of the question) makes me a lot more at ease with this performance than i would be otherwise.

spoons &c.

i subscribe to a modified version of the spoon theory, and the past few weeks have definitely been ones in which i have pushed the limits of my spoons, traded one day’s spoons for another day, and that sort of thing. now that the moisture festival is over for another year, it is important that i rest up and gather my spoons for a spring and summer that looks exciting and frightening at the same time.

i am expanding hybrid elephant in a number of ways: i have gotten at least one and potentially three or more new web clients, which may mean that i’m going to need more web space eventually(!), and i have been talking with bfly about teaming up to teach some classes(!!).

i talked with dan from nanda about printing business cards and postcards for them.

i have also decided, now that moisture festival is out of the way, that i’m going to have my tuba “seen to” by someone that can re-solder the outside guard bracing that’s come loose, replace several missing braces that are currently being held together with zip ties, and tackle the third valve slide that is wider at one end than it is at the other, and is just waiting for me to bump it a little bit too hard in the wrong direction so that it will totally lock up and never move again.

i also have a new art car project to work on. i have every intention of putting all 1008 names of ganesha on my new art car, which, of course, will mean that i will have to write them a lot smaller than i did on the previous art car, which will doubtlessly mean more time spent on it. SACBO is in june, so that doesn’t really leave very much time…

happy Hunt-the-Gowk Day – you tell me…

considering the date today, i can’t tell whether the following products are a joke or not…

at the same time, it would explain a lot about “popular” music these days…

Turd Polisher Pro – a VST plugin for SFX Machine?

MF-401 Auto De-tune – an actual hardware device for your studio, from Moog Music?

makes me wonder what would happen if you pitted one of these against the other? would the result be interesting, or boring? would it create a perpetual motion machine or a time vortex? which one would fail first?

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.

i like that word ‘kleep’… it’s sort of like ‘telp’…

so the US copyright lobby is petitioning to put indonesia on the list of potential software pirates, because of the fact that its government supports open source software… if you don’t have your copy of linux and wordpress now, better get it soon, in case the US government decides that open source equals piracy.

i broke down and bought a price gun marker$125 for a little gadget that prints two lines of numbers on a price tag, and is designed to be used at inhuman speeds. presumably it will work, but i won’t be able to find out until after the weekend, because my mother-in-law is visiting for the weekend and her bedroom is also where i store the incense.

i’m playing for the “Vicars & Tarts” party at the palladium tomorrow (yes, we are taking my mother-in-law with us, which should be amusing). i am playing with a whole bunch of musicians i have played with before in various other configurations, but we have never played in this particular configuration, and there’s one guy, colin, who i’ve never played with before. it’s going to be colin on trombone, me on e-flat tuba and greg on b-flat tuba (two tubas! 8) ), roslyn on clarinet, joseph on saxophone, stuart on guitar and a drummer who stuart says i have met before, but i don’t remember who he is.

Continue reading i like that word ‘kleep’… it’s sort of like ‘telp’…

urk, kleep, pumg

i booted up my computer this morning and firefox told me it had an update for one of the addons, so i let it install, instead of starting firefox, it looks like it’s going to start, flashes a white screen for a moment and then crashes with no explanation. tried it a number of times in different ways, and no firefox. so i used another browser (konqueror) and i upgraded firefox (it’s supposed to tell you when there are updates, but it never has for me). now it looks like it’s going to start, flashes a white screen for two and a half moments, and then crashes with no explanation. i updated my software sources and updated my system (something which i haven’t done in about 2 months) and, lo-and-behold, there’s a new firefox in the updates, but it still doesn’t work.

i tried my mac, and it said “oh, look… there’s a firefox update. you want to install it?” to which i answered “yes” and it’s now installed, running, and works fine.

as much as i like linux, there are times when it can be really frustrating. i only hope that bill (my older, brain injured helpdesk client who is also running linux) doesn’t have the same problems i am having.

i tried running firefox from the terminal, and it gives me a whole bunch of UNKNOWN and ABORT errors that probably mean something to someone, but only indicate to me that i’m going to have to dig deeper to get to the source of the problem. 😐

i ran firefox -safe-mode from the terminal, and disabled all of my addons, and firefox started right up. i think it was the thing that looks up the flag of the country where the server lives, but it was a good excuse to dump a whole bunch of themes that i don’t use any longer, and a few addons that i used once and have been hanging around ever since version 2, and that sort of thing.

i got email from my router this morning, which says “TCP Packet – Source:63.245.212.23,54375 Destination:216.162.193.190,8081 – [DOS]”… i don’t know what it means, but judging by the fact that it says “[DOS]” (which i take to mean “Denial Of Service”) and there’s only one of them, i’m not going to worry too much about it. the drizzle guy said that IP space belongs to mozilla, so i am officially not going to worry about it.

regarding the NYC Musical Saw Festival, i actually got email from the Saw Lady, who is, apparently, the motivating force behind the musical saw festival, and i pointed her towards my saw case pictures. she said she’d add my name to the invite list, so that, on the off chance that i’m actually in new york city, and have my saw, i can come to the festival.

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… 😉

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 Híbrido 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.

more mourning for a good friend

i went to the musicians’ memorial for ed mcmichael today. there were about 50 people with instruments, including 5 tubas (of which mine was one), about 150 to 200 other people, and the media photographers and video-technicians. the musical instruments were a mish-mash of everything, including a couple of banjos, an accordion, a complete string section (two violins, a cello and a stand up bass), a bass saxophone (from The Tempos, although the guy didn’t remember me or my father), two or three french horns, several trumpets, and at least one clarinet. we played some dixieland-style funeral music (“When the Saints Go Marching In”, “Second Line” and that sort of thing), and some of ed’s favourites including Amazing Grace, Ode To Joy, Tequila and the UW fight song (which is called “Bow Down to Washington”). i’m going to be a part of the public memorial on wednesday, and i might even get to play twice, once as a member of the tuba community, and once as an alumnus of SYSO, seeing as how ed and i were both part of SYSO during the ’70s.

i’m still really devastated that ed is dead, and that some nameless teenage doodlehums killed him. apparently they’ve caught another one (which makes three now, only two more to go), but even when they have caught all of them, that won’t bring ed back or make the rest of his friends feel any better. what the fuck, thugs?

happy birthday John Phillip Sousa and Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax

contrabass saxophone

today was the birthday of John Phillip Sousa (b. 1854) and Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax (b. 1814), and in honour of those two illustrious gentelmen, the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band had their annual “Sousa Bash”, complete with a contrabass saxophone this evening. it was huge: quite literally one of the hugest brass instruments i have ever seen in my life. and it was brand new, as well: he just got it about 2 months ago. the guy said that it was manufactured in germany (although the engraving on the bell was done in somewhere-istan with drawings done by his daughter, which you can’t get on regular american-made horns without paying through the nose for it). he said that it cost the same as a new car, and they had to get a new car because the saxophone wouldn’t fit in their old car. the only bigger saxophone is the subcontrabass saxophone, or "tubax", which is a real monster, but it’s made by the same german company that made his contrabass.

the sousa bash went really well, although i admit i played the stinger at the end of “High School Cadets” in spite of the fact that there is no stinger at the end of “High School Cadets”. i wasn’t the only one to play the stinger on a piece that doesn’t have a stinger, though, so i don’t feel too bad. i’ve been playing enough the past couple of months that i could have played a couple more hours before my lip gave out. there’s apparently a fez in a carrying case for sale at st. vincent de paul in tacoma, which i intend to go and buy tomorrow – unless it costs too much, which, of course, i won’t know until i get there.

Violence takes iconic Tuba Man

i knew tuba man, although i knew him as ed, the guy who talked like john wayne… he and i were in the seattle youth symphony together, and we attended pacific northwest music camp for several years before it became the marrowstone music festival. my favourite recollection of ed was one year at the SYSO auditions, ed had gone to the other end of the building and was warming up in the stairway, and the people giving auditions had to ask him to shut up because he was playing loud enough that you could hear him all over the building. this is a sad, sad day for seattle. 8(

—-

Ed McMichaels aka Tuba ManViolence takes iconic Tuba Man
November 4, 2008
By ROBERT L. JAMIESON JR.

OLD-TIMERS who have seen it all say this is the worst year for Seattle sports.

The Mariners finished in the cellar. The Huskies, winless on the gridiron, exemplify college football futility. The Seahawks are in a tailspin. And the Sonics split, leaving a hole where the heart of Seattle pro basketball once beat.

To this list I pass along another loss, perhaps the saddest: Seattle’s most visible, beloved and melodic sports fan — Tuba Man — is dead.

Seattle knew Edward McMichael by sight or sound, the bespectacled guy with the wispy beard and floppy Uncle Sam and Dr. Seuss hats. For decades he breathed life into his shiny brass instrument, outside city sports venues.

On Oct. 25, police say, McMichael, 53, was near a bus stop in the 500 block of Mercer Street when thugs attacked, beating and robbing him after midnight. He was taken to the hospital for head wounds and was home recovering. But he died sometime Sunday or early Monday.

“We believe his death was directly connected to the assault,” Seattle police spokesman Sean Whitcomb told me Monday night. Gang and homicide detectives were handling the case.

Two juvenile suspects were in custody, and detectives are looking for three other people. “This is tragic,” Whitcomb said. Police are seeking the public’s help.

“Ed passed away overnight,” Ronny Chesvick said Monday. Chesvick works at the Vermont Inn, where McMichael lived. “Ed was a great guy. Funny. Friendly. Easygoing. We all loved him.”

When the Mariners made a storied postseason run in 1995, McMichael played “Happy Days Are Here Again,” outside the Kingdome. After the Sonics collapsed in the NBA playoffs against the Denver Nuggets in ’94, he played a dirge to match the shock that fans — rumpled and morose — felt as they staggered away from Seattle Center.

When the Seahawks surprised the world by rumbling to the 2006 Super Bowl, Tuba Man filled the air outside Qwest Field with musical ecstasy. Sports Illustrated called him a “super fan.”

Hundreds of thousands of Seattleites have walked by McMichael outside sporting events — and local stages. He loved to play outside the opera and theater houses. To play the tuba, he told me, was to be alive.

A native of the Seattle area, McMichael graduated in the early 1970s from King’s Garden High School. He was in the band at North Seattle Community College. He later brought his talents to one local ensemble or another, from Seattle Youth Symphony to Bellevue Philharmonic to Cascade Symphony.

He could have made a living in a band but chose to play for tips outdoors. Even in the rain, he would set a bucket at his feet for tip money, right next to jugs of his favorite drink, either V8 or Sunny Delight. Then he would purse his lips to his contrabass tuba — “My baby,” he called it — and create low, noble sounds.

McMichael appreciated when people would stop and listen, or leave a buck or two. But for him just meeting folks was the biggest reward. “That’s what I value most,” he said when I caught up with him last year. “People.”

In recent days, people wondered where he had gone. They hadn’t seen him outside McCaw Hall — his usual spot on opera nights. He wasn’t outside the Seahawks game Sunday.

Police said the five toughs who set their sights on McMichael also robbed and attacked two teens around the same time, asking for $5 and to use their cell phone. When the teens said the battery was dead, the attackers jumped.

The thugs also seized McMichael, who was “on the ground in a fetal position trying to protect himself as the group was kicking and punching him on the ground,” wrote a police officer who pulled up to the scene and saw the attack.

Two of the lowlifes, both about 15 years old, were caught. Three fled.

A police report said a ring snatched from McMichael’s finger during the sickening, ruthless violence was recovered. I wondered if it was his beloved 1979 Sonics championship ring, which he wore on his left hand.

McMichael was admitted to the hospital for a couple of days. A brother flew in from Florida.

Neighbors last saw him Saturday at his apartment. He had a warm twinkle in his eye but was very groggy from pain medication.

On Monday morning, his brother went to the apartment to take him to a doctor’s appointment, but he wasn’t in the lobby. So a manager went to McMichael’s room. She opened the door and found him lying peacefully on his bed, surrounded by sports clippings and memorabilia.

He was gone.

“Ed touched so many people,” said Meuy Saelee, the manager at the Vermont Inn, who — like sports fans, friends and strangers, young and old — will never forget him.

This quirky artist, talented as he was memorable, brought sweet music to big-city life.

Our Tuba Man.

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.

murf

FSM yesterday. i didn’t do so well – i only made $65 – but at least i made my nut. i finally got my phone working as a music player, and i rigged up some battery-powered computer speakers to be a portable music player for FSM. i discovered, however, that the music that was on my phone was “inappropriate” for the FSM… not that it was “bad” music, just “inappropriate”: i wouldn’t expect to be hearing The Residents (for example) in a shop that sold spiritual doodads, and my impression is that most people would actually be driven away by a shop that played The Residents anyway. fortunately i have about 2gb of specifically spiritually-oriented music (mostly hindu chants and suchlike), so i loaded them on my phone, so i’ll be ready the next time.

i’m still somewhat frustrated with the music player on the phone though. it only holds 4gb total, takes forever to update the library (especially when i have removed files), and updates the library every time i start the music player, even when i haven’t removed the card since the last time i started up the music player. also, it will only play .mp3 and .wma files. i don’t use anything that can create .wma files. i assume it’s windows media because linux will play .wma files with caffeine. and it won’t even allow me to put .ogg files on the card. apparently the act of initializing the memory card puts some kind of discriminatory software on it, because it says that it’s copying the files, but they never actually show up, even when i have it mounted on my computer. it will take .flac files, but they don’t show up on the music player, which isn’t too surprising. from what i’ve been able to see, apparently verizon, LG and micro$not are close pals… 8/

the size of the memory card really amazes me. i recall when an 80 megabyte hard disk was an electronic black hole, that i could throw files in for ever and not even come close to filling, and that 80 megabyte hard disk was the four times the size of my mac laptop, and had a SCSI interface to my computer. now a 4 GIGAbyte memory card is small enough that i have to be careful not to break it – or lose it – and it’s not even the smallest memory card – or the one with the most capacity – on the market these days.

i decided to do a major overhaul of the Hybrid Elephant web site, which involves updating every incense page with graphics of the products, and confirming that i actually have all the incense i’m trying to sell. so far there haven’t been any major catastrophes, but i didn’t know, for example, that there are several varieties of incense that used to be displayed on the site that i don’t actually have any longer, and i’m unable to get more. it’s gonna take a long time – which is to say more than a week – to get all the kinks worked out before i post the new pages, but there are already changes that you can see (or can’t see any longer) on the site, and there’s likely to be more as the next week or so progresses.

just got a confirmation for the Punk Rock Flea Market on december 6th. trolloween rehearsal tonight at BFD.

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.

update

as i said in a previous post, a lot of things have been going on. one of which is that my windows computer died, and i haven’t even been motivated to fix it, apart from possibly retriving the data that resides on the hard disk. i suppose at some point i’ll have to figure out something to create music on, but that shouldn’t be too difficult. the fact that my laptop died motivated me to create a database for hybrid elephant, which will streamline the process of ordering and invoicing considerably – up until now i’ve kept paper copies of all my orders and invoices, which i will probably still do, but this will provide a way to find a particular invoice, and give me a way to keep track of inventory that will automatically warn me when i get below a certain point so that i can order more, and a whole bunch of other things that i probably haven’t even discovered yet. and i’m going to start doing business with a supplier that i have known about for a few years , but have never ordered from, other than personal stuff – for some unknown reason, because they carry a lot of merchandise that i really like, is really authentic, would go very well with the stuff i already carry, and is insanely inexpensive.

Devotional shop in Kanchii found this image on internet, of a devotional shop in india, which really inspires me, but i’m not sure how realistic a business like this is in the united states. i have never been to india, but from everything i’ve read and every picture i have seen convinces me that india is my home, much more than the united states will ever be. i feel more at home with pictures of india than i am with real live united states.

i’m going to move my desk, my computers and the incense and murtis part of the business out into the dining room, and move the pile of boxes in the dining room into the office. this will do two things: first, it will put my computer out in the main part of the house, so that i can interact with moe more readily without having to stop what i’m doing and go in the other room, and second, it will give me more space to create a workshop of sorts, because i truly am going crazy not having a real workshop. the main part of the moving isn’t going to happen until after i come back from burning man, however.

yes, i am going to burning man this year, as compared to 2003, when i bought a ticket(!) and was all set to go, and then had a brain injury instead. actually i was out of the hospital in time to go to burning man, but i was still pretty fragile, and was having a lot of trouble speaking and getting around by myself, and moe (or somebody) would have had to go with me, to make sure nothing bad happened. i’m pretty sure that i can do it myself at this point, and not only that, but i’m getting in for free. i don’t know for sure how i’m getting there, yet, but all things will fall into place eventually.

i went to FSM on sunday and made $84, which is not too bad, but when i get started with this new supplier, i expect a dramatic increase in sales. i’ve been collecting ideas for buttons for years (i started my first button banner when i was 15 or so), and i actually sold about $10 worth of buttons, including five swastika buttons to an asian guy who said he collected them. moe is using the canopy next week, and the week after is the last week before burning man. i haven’t decided whether or not i’m going to the FSM that week (the 17th), but i’ve got a week or so to decide. i probably should go, because however i get to burning man, i could use all the money i can scrape together.

the punk rock flea market happened, and it because of the fact that i know the guy who runs the whole thing, i got to include my art car in my set up, which was considerably more space than i have occupied in previous PRFMs. i also discovered that apparently i am one of only four vendors that have been to all four PRFMs. i made $75, which is as much as i have made in the 3 previous PRFMs combined, which is enough to make me antipate the next one. i woulda posted pictures except i forgot to bring my camera. oh well.

the banda gozona has a rehearsal on thursday, but i’ve been so busy with other things that i haven’t been able to attend many perfornances with them this year. i’ve been recruited to play with yet another band, this one with my old friend hobbit, and my new friend thaddeus, called Snake Suspenderz. my first rehearsal with them is next monday. next tuesday there’s a BSSB rehearsal, and next wednesday is the briar sea scare parade, which is going to feature Ganesha The Car.

white center jubilee days

the name of the festival in white center is jubilee days.

i met rev. chumleigh, and remembered that 30 years ago, in february, around mardi gras, i was playing with a group of musicians the rest of whom hadn’t graduated from high school yet, and we were approached by someone who called himself rev. chumleigh, who offered us a job in la conner… and, being as how i was the only member of the band who had actually graduated from high school, i accepted and i took my tuba and headed north. and because of the fact that i had no idea where la conner was, i ended up in bellingham, and have never actually seen rev. chumleigh since then until today… when i related this story to him, he (actually) remembered who i was – which may or may not have been the truth, but it sounds good.

and, because of the fact that i am available pretty much any time, i also seem to have found myself on thaddeus’ “list”, which means that any time he needs tuba or low brass – or sound effects – i’m going to be one of the first people he calls.

music

moe is in new orleans, being honoured for being elected president of SVBT. whee! 8)

i, on the other hand, am playing for the white center festival (i don’t remember what it’s called) with a friend of a friend, named thaddeus, who is also someone who knows Rev. Chumleigh. i’m finding that, despite my injury and all of the difficulties that i’ve had surrounding it for the past few years, it hasn’t detracted from my spreading reputation as the outstanding musician who comes in at more or less the last minute and saves the show, and this is yet another example: i was contacted by thaddeus before fair, had the music delivered to me during fair (and most of it i’ve played before anyway), and rehearsed with the “rest of the band” today – and by the “rest of the band” i mean thaddeus, who is playing trombone, baritone, guitar, ukelele and other stuff, a drummer named andrew, and a “ringer” keyboard player (who is blind and knows every song ever written) named julie (i think vickie – brain injury)… and the festival is tomorrow and sunday… and i’m getting paid for it.

so i’ll be busy enough that i won’t even notice moe’s absence until she returns on monday.

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.

music and death

i’ve been having loads of fun the past couple of days with the 1.6 GB of tracks that my friend ken and i originally recorded during the mid-1980s until the mid-1990s, that we have always had plans to release as And More. the previous one (which i labeled in the categories, but nowhere else) is called Dermi with my overdub of something like a foghorn.

today, i’ve taken an entirely different route, and come up with Tina Does Not And, which is samples from two other tracks, “Tina Did It” and “Is Not And Does Not And” mixed together to create an entirely new composition.

i talked with the lady from DVR this morning. i told her that i was tired of hearing all about what i can’t do with the ideas i’ve put forward in terms of self employment. i said that either i want to hear some ideas for what i can do, or i want to be told, flat out, that DVR can’t help me, so i can forget about them and move on, because that’s what i plan on doing, regardless of whether they tell me that i can’t be self employed, or not.

she hemmed and hawed and beat around the bush, and didn’t come right out and say that DVR can’t help me, but she said that the way DVR is set up to “help” people is that, either they help people finding employment working for someone else, and give them resources to succeed, or they find one aspect of self-employment that a person can do, and find ways that they can succeed doing that one thing… for the rest of their lives! i said that if i had to do the same thing 40 hours a week for the rest of my life, that you might as well just kill me now, so she said she would write a letter explaining exactly why DVR can’t help me, which i plan on forwarding to my attorney who is representing me in my attempts to get SSI disability.

and the only reason i’m not depressed to the point of being suicidal about this is because i’ve been so caught up with new music! see? i can do it, regardless of what you say! 8/

umph

i’ve got a tenor sax to work on. pictures as soon as they’re taken.

i’ve also got 600MB of And More music to work on, but that’s probably going to happen after i get a good start on the tenor sax, and i’ll have to clear off my keyboard, which is probably going to take an hour or so, since i just cleared off my workbench and most of the stuff has gone into the place where, if i cleared off my keyboard i’d put stuff, so there’s bound to be a certain amount of shuffling stuff, and finding new places to put stuff, and even a certain amount of throwing stuff away (gasp) before any of that happens.

so, what you get until there’s more artwork to look at and listen to is a link dump.

Worshipping Shivling at Home and Energisation of Rudrakhshas need to be reformatted and uploaded to ? ??? ?????

Page2RSS – i get the impression that this is sort of like FeedBurner, except that it works with any web page.

Sign up to be a part of Spencer Tunick’s upcoming art installations. there’s one in vienna, and one in ireland.

The Bongo Project – a project to see if it is possible to communicate with TCP/IP using bongo drums… it is… at 2 bps. remember the 14K modem days? remember 2400 baud modems? this makes even a 2400 bps modem look blindingly fast.

ever hear of Fusarium oxysporum, otherwise known as panama disease? there’s a good chance that you’re going to hear about it eventually, because the CIA has been using it as a way to control (which is to say, eliminate) the coca plants in south america… unfortunately, what they’ve succeeded in doing is wiping out bananas, instead. and this isn’t the first time! the banana that i grew up with, apparently, is banana 2.0, based on the vietnamese cavendish banana, which took over from the “Gros Michel” (“Fat Mike”) banana, a bigger and more creamy version, which was the world’s most popular fruit until the 1950s, when it, too, became extinct due to Fusarium oxysporum infestation. the whole sordid story is over at metafilter.

The Drug Test Consultant dot com – drug tests are a violation of our constitutional right to privacy and protection from self-incrimination (first and fourth ammendments to the U.S. constitution), they are no more than 75% accurate most of the time, and we’re currently in a war against drugs, while at the same time many states (like washington) have legalised medical cannabis. but this company has a franchise to sell people (for $10,000!!!) who are interested in getting started in the business of providing drug testing services to employers. if there was a more apt occasion for me to use the very big stupid category, i don’t know what it would be… 8/

A Kinder, Gentler Torture and America’s Democratic Collapse are reasons why, in spite of the fact that american society is founded on the idea that all men are created equal, it’s definitely not the case any longer… which sort of explains why the drug test consultant dot com folks aren’t so worried about whether or not their products are a violation of our constitutional rights. at the same time, they’re both very good reasons to flee the country while you still can.

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

elbow

i performed at folklife for most of yesterday. i did not get shot. in fact i didn’t hear about the people who got shot at folklife until after i got home. i suppose it’s one of the advantages of the the low-information diet i’ve been trying to adopt, but this agregator that is built in to my email client is making it really difficult, especially when i tell it what news i want or don’t want to read… 8/

meanwhile,

New Orphaned Works Act would limit copyright liability – this is a step in the right direction, but there’s still a long way to go before copyrights on intellectual property is fixed.

MusOpen – like this, for example… free, public-access music!

Does Constitution apply to enemy combatant on U.S. soil? – he may or may not be a terrorist, but the way he’s been being treated – as a legal and legitimate citizen of this country, where he lives – has implications for everyone. if the US government has its’ way, every single one of us could potentially be declared an enemy combattant and “disappeared”… i saw a guy wearing a t-shirt yesterday that said “THE LAND OF THE FREE* – *some exceptions may apply”

Could an Acid Trip Cure Your OCD?

Practicon Dental Supply

Continue reading elbow

And Then So Clear

first business card for MIVC since 060315. that can’t be true, but i can find no business records for anything before that… although i had backups of a file called 070312-MIVC-BC.qxp, so i must have done a business card for them since 2006… but i can find no business records for them. bizarre.

being a professional computer geek for eddie, who is almost completely blind, and completely (utterly, hopelessly) computer-illiterate. i went over there today to get the “lay of the land” so to speak, in terms of where he was with computer hardware. he’s got Win98 2nd edition, and he was trying to run a HP all-in-one printer/fax/scanner (which gives me a non-standard warning message about not being compatible with something on the system, joy) and a HP flat-screen monitor that defaults to 640×480 and 16 colours in W98, and gives me a strange message when i try to boot gutsy from a live CD – something about re-setting the resolution to 1024×768, which i would have done if i could have remembered the arcane command that you type into the text-based interface – which is, in fact, dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xorg – which i knew was written in my linux grimoire, but not currently accessible to my memory. however, during my download and burning of the hardy CD i read the system requirements and figured that a 500mhz pentium III might not run something that modern anyway, so i dug around and located CDs of kubuntu 7.x and 6.x as well, so if i can’t get hardy working, i’ll have a couple of back ups. i figure i’ll go back tomorrow with a USB hub and a 4g flash stick and back up all the data, and then install whichever kubuntu will run. his internet is on a dial-up connection, and i’ve never had to deal with a modem and linux, but it shouldn’t be too difficult.

i downloaded 2g of YMO tracks, which is all of their studio albums and a whole pile of live stuff including a couple of rehearsals. i also downloaded a gig or so of sanskrit chants, which i’m going to burn to CD and take to FSM with me, so that i can have appropriate music in my booth.

Federal judge rules students can’t be barred from expressing support for gay people – a principal at a south florida high school testified that he “believed rainbows were “sexually suggestive” and would make students unable to study because they’d be picturing gay sex acts in their mind” – but, apparently wearing “other symbols many find controversial, such as the Confederate flag” was okay. the fact that the students had to get the ACLU and a federal court involved before their first amendment rights were restored says something about both the students and the society in which we live currently.

Will you marry me – temporarily? – this is coming from iran… why don’t we have such things in this country?

Childish superstition: Einstein’s letter makes view of religion relatively clear

Polar bear listed as threatened species – and just last night i was sitting next to an elderly lady who was ranting about the fact that there is no global warming, because we’ve been having unseasonably cool weather locally recently. hello? wake up and smell the coffee… kthxbye…

Musical SpongeBob™ Digital Thermometer – good for oral, underarm or rectal use, plays “SpongeBob SquarePants Theme” at the end of temperature taking… what every home shouldn’t be without.

Continue reading And Then So Clear

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.

more ukelele

John King plays the Prelude to the Cello Suite #1 in F, BWV1007 by Johann Sebastian Bach… on the ukelele!

many years ago, when i was taking trombone lessons from dennis smith, emeritus principle trombonist from the los angeles philharmonic, i was given this piece as a “warm up” excercise, and now, even after my injury, i can play it, on the trombone, entirely from memory. dennis used to say that if you don’t work up a sweat playing bach, you’re not doing it right. also, i used to work with a guy who claimed to be a great-great-great-great-great grandson (or something like that) of bach, a guy named James Bach, son of Richard Bach, author of “Johnathan Livingson Seagull”… small world, ain’t it? 8)

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.

stress level is down from 95 to 60

according to the mechanical reckoning given me by amarok, i now have 2 weeks and 4 days worth of music loaded on my computer, which is about 75% of the music that i own. that’s if i listened for 24 hours a day, which i don’t. at the same time, it’s done the job on my depression… that and the fact that i got another incense order yesterday. i got most of the compressed media (mp3s, ogg files, flac files, etc.) loaded earlier, and now i’m ripping the rest of it, currently on Tangerine Dream – Tangents. what’s playing currnently is Fatboy Slim – Fucking In Heaven. i also copied Dead Can Dance – The Serpent’s Egg for ezra, who i’m going to be seeing tomorrow.

moe wasn’t entirely together when she left, and it turns out that she didn’t pack any business cards, so i overnighted her some business cards. remind me not to overnight stuff. it’s expensive!! for a 1oz. personal-sized envelope, it was $16.50 to get it guaranteed to get to miami florida by tomorrow at noon.

random blah

my depression is getting to be more tolerable, but that’s partially because i now have close to 5 days worth of music loaded on my computer. i’m really liking this open-source alternative to iTunes a lot, especially because it apparently has the ability to go out and find the names of the tracks that got lost when i burned them onto windoesn’t-format CDs that abbreviated the names to 8+3. it also apparently has the ability to find track names based on cover art, because i had the album name of an album by The Insect Trust (and there are only two of ’em), but i couldn’t either find, or automate finding the track names. but when i applied cover art to the album, suddenly it knew the track names as well. admittedly, the track names were in the .jpg file that i cut up to get the cover art (the front and back of the album had originally been scanned and then combined into one file), and i figured i would copy them off the other half of the .jpg, but then, suddenly, they were there and i didn’t have to. also it has a script that finds the lyrics to whatever song is playing… although it doesn’t work as well as it could (it can’t find the lyrics for Fliperama by Tom Zé, or Black Cat by Gentle Giant).

also, i got my first incense order of 2008 yesterday, and while it was only $25, it doesn’t take too many orders like that to make a living, and, if i recall correctly, i didn’t get my first incense order of 2007 until february.

i talked to moe last night. she was taken into the pool where the dolphins were, and she got to meet them. she says that if i want, i can go and “meet” the dolphins for a weekend. apparently the husband of one of her co-workers is an employee of the FAA or something like that, and they’re always getting free airline passes to go to various exotic places. and when i’m not “meeting the dolphins”, i’ve got a potential job, of sorts, helping the father of another co-worker get several warehouses full of stuff sold on ebay. of course, it wouldn’t be with moe, because somebody has to stay home and take care of the dogs – there’s no way we’re taking four dogs on a cross country airplane flight – but if things work out the way we’re hoping, moe and the dogs and i will be there together in a year or so.

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.

And More

a long time ago, a friend of mine and i made a whole bunch of music under the name of And More (that way we get a plug on every “greatest of” albums, whether we actually perform on that album or not). as of about 5 minutes ago, i have posted the first And More creation, Eighty Years of Network Television, from the album This Music Is Drugs – The Litany Of Drep. there will be more there as time goes on, but for now, i’d like to see how frequently this one downloads.

random miscelaneous

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

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

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

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

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: “Puss 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 “Puss 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 “Look 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.

slight relief from depression

i transcribed a song for uglinessman yesterday. it was ridiculously easy and i had it done in about ¼ the time i thought it was going to take. i have done projects like this before my injury and they took a lot longer and took some considerable tweaking before they could be deemed correct, but this time it just sort of “fell” out of my hands into the keyboard, and it’s not just because it’s an easy song (although that didn’t hurt things any). the only real difficulty i had was that i had to put my musical keyboard on my desk (which meant that i had to clear off my desk), so that i could reach both the musical keyboard and the computer keyboard without having to get up and move to another part of the room (which was a job all its own), and my computer desk chair is way lower than i need it to be if i am doing stuff with the musical keyboard.

i wonder how i could work that talent into a way of making money…

Blasphemy! yay! 8)

‘Offensive’ Jesus remarks cut from Emmys
September 12, 2007

US Comic Kathy Griffin’s “offensive” remarks about Jesus at the Creative Arts Emmy Awards would be cut from a pre-taped telecast of the show, the US Academy of Television Arts and Sciences said today.

Griffin made the provocative comment on Saturday night as she took the stage of the Shrine Auditorium to collect her Emmy for best reality program for her Bravo channel show My Life on the D-List.

“A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus,” an exultant Griffin said, holding up her statuette. “Suck it, Jesus. This award is my god now.”

Asked about her speech backstage a short time later, an unrepentant Griffin said: “I hope I offended some people. I didn’t want to win the Emmy for nothing.” Continue reading Blasphemy! yay! 8)

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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.