Category Archives: tuba

impending SACBO update

SACBO officially starts tomorrow, but it generally involves a caravan to various weird places around seattle, and, because of the fact that the caravan is done by a different person, and the people participating don’t always have radios, or ways to contact the “leader” in case they get lost, there is a lot of chaos, usually involving lost people being followed by other art cars because “they should know where we’re going”, or “they should know where they’re going”, or something like that, which isn’t actually the case about half the time… and, not having a radio myself, i opted out of the art car caravans a LONG time ago. i’m going for the actual festival, though, which is saturday and sunday. i’m taking my canopy, busking gear, and my harmonic flute and affiliated electronics, and MAYBE some incense, if there is enough room and i’m not too lazy. thaddeus is supposed to show up saturday for busking activities, but i’ll probably be on my own sunday.

i got a new tuba hard case. it is smaller than the previous case, which is both an advantage and a problem: the advantage is that it is smaller, and somewhat easier to lug around, but it doesn’t have a handle on the end, as the old case did, which makes lifting it a bit more difficult. and, the fact that it is smaller also means that there isn’t the separate case, inside, to keep mouthpieces, my tuba strap, and polishing cloths, which is a problem. it also doesn’t have wheels, and is a more rounded shape at the bell end, which means that it only fits on my folding hand cart one way, and it is the wrong way… but it cost $950, which means that i’ve got to get creative to solve these problems, because i’m not just going to send it back and look for a tuba case somewhere else. a lot of the cases don’t fit the instrument (particularly those sold by amazon(⁇⁇), sweeTWATer, and others), or cost WAY too much to order, wait for delivery, discover that it’s for a “right-hand bell” tuba, and send it back… it turns out that the ONLY place to buy a case for a conn 2J is allied supply — the same company that i have been ordering musical instrument parts and materials from for… <mumble, mumble> 30-some years — and i actually have an account with allied… so i ordered it from allied, and instead of paying $1800 for it from a local retailer, i paid $550… and another $400 for shipping… 😧

it came in a BIG box!! with a lot of plastic packing materials that couldn’t be recycled, so i put it out with the trash last night, and some time during the night, bears came and raided our trash can, spreading plastic packing materials all over… 😒

i actually, successfully, “microdosed” mushrooms last weekend. it all started on saturday, 230527, when the BSSB played at folklife. apparently, at some time during my stay at the TREMENDOUSLY CROWDED seattle center grounds (which included several people who wanted to take pictures with me, because i was wearing my fancy band outfit), i was exposed to COVID AGAIN, and i tested positive on 230528. 😒 unfortunately, we had scheduled a birthday party for moe’s mom on the 28th, which got cancelled… and then moe got COVID, as well… 🤬 ultimately, we put off the birthday party until 230611, two weeks later (when both moe and i were testing clear), but i woke up on the 11th in an absolutely FOUL mood, and moe was also feeling under the weather and disagreeable… so i took 0.05 grams, just as moe’s mom was getting here… not enough to really get me off, but definitely enough to change my mood… and, sure enough, it changed my mood. it was moe’s mom, so i wasn’t exactly exuberant or anything, but i wasn’t snapping at everybody and hiding in my office. my case of COVID was mild: i probably wouldn’t have even noticed i had it, if i hadn’t tested. and the good part is that now i’ve got “natural immunity” for the next 2 or 3 months, which means that i WON’T get COVID and not be able to go to the oregon country fair, AND, even if i get exposed at the fair, the probably is fairly high that i won’t get it at the fair, either… i hope… 😉

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snow is mostly gone… there’s still some large piles, where whoever it was that ploughed our street piled it up at the head of the road, and in the ditches, but everywhere else, it’s gone.

210222 gutter overflow
210222 gutter overflow

i had to take a ladder out and climb up to clean out the gutter, in front. it had collected a bunch of tree detritus and, what with all the melting snow, combined with torrential rain, the gutter was totally clogged and overflowing into our driveway… it all ran away from the house, though, and once i cleared the obstruction, the downspout did what it was supposed to do, so that’s good.

i’m the default tuba player for the SANCApators at the moisture festival, this year. the moisture festival was cancelled, at the last minute, last year (because of COVID), and this year, instead of having live performances, they’re releasing some videos of performers that would have been live, except for COVID… and their regular tuba player is ill (no word on whether or not it’s COVID) and can’t make the videos that they asked for from the musicians, so i got tagged. last week i got the parts, and the tracks to play along with, so i practiced for a few days and sent the videos to “doc” sprinsock, so that he can combine them with everyone else’s videos and — hopefully — get some reasonably “together” music out of the whole deal…

When I’m 64 tag – tuba part

but i’m not holding my breath… particularly with the thing that said “Rock” for the style, but the backing track was played as straight as an arrow, with no “swing” or “rock” stylings at all… and that’s what i played, because there was no way to “swing” a part that hadn’t been recorded to “swing”, so… i’m not holding my breath. we’ll see what happens when everybody else’s videos are part of the mix. 😖

no word on the phremont fillharmonic’s addition to the chaos, yet. i contacted kiki last week, and she said she’d heard about it, but is waiting for further instructions from “the powers that be”, whoever that is.

and i think the antidepressant may be working. i’m not sure i agree with georgia doctor, who wanted to boost my prescription back up to the level that was causing me frantic anxiety and restlessness, plus she wanted to add ANOTHER antidepressent — lexapro — to the mix. at the time, i wasn’t sure whether it was working or not, so i said i’d rather wait on the new scrip until i had a better idea of whether the current one was working, and she agreed to hold off… which is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is reinforcing personal boundaries.

and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯

because of her accent, i asked where she’s from, and she said she’s from “africer”… but i can’t imagine a psychiatric nurse-practitioner who has never heard of psilocybin. i said that the “common” name for them is “magic mushrooms”, and she immediately started ranting about heroin and cocaine, and said that it’s possible that they contained psilocybin… 😕

so i still don’t have any solid information about the interaction of bupropion and psilocybin, which is a little scary, but within tolerable limits. and actual mushrooms are still a ways off, yet, so there’s still time to gather more information.

but the fact that there’s some “good” stuff happening in my life seems to indicate that something has changed.

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…

and learning to ride a unicycle.

so, i’m taking a unicycle class at SANCA.

i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…

although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…

i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…

the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.

so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?

“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg

i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.

although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉

420 update

i’m getting closer and closer to divesting myself of all of my web hosting clients. i’m hoping that my last day of hosting anybody except me, and people directly related to me (i.e. my wife and son) will be 190430. i’m still trying to get two domains off my server, and then there will be one, which i don’t know whether they are going to find a new server, or whether they are just going to let it die. either way, it’s SEP and i don’t have to worry about it…

although i am… 😒

we came back from the beach. it rained a lot. i planned on taking mushrooms, but it rained, so i didn’t. i did spent a lot of time sleeping… and other passtimes:

190408 drawing
190408 drawing

like drawing…

190408 picture
190408 picture

although the dog moved by the time i took the picture…

and, given that it’s the first time that i’ve drawn anything other than doodles since my injury, i kinda like it…

then, we came home, and went to a concert by The University of Washington Harry Partch Ensemble, with authentic Harry Partch instruments:

190413 Harry Partch Instruments
190413 Harry Partch Instruments

the instruments are the Cloud Chamber Bowls, the Adapted Viola, the Adapted Guitar III, The Kithara II, the Spoils Of War, the Bass Marimba the Harmonic Canon, the Surrogate Kithara, the Diamond Marimba, the Marimba Eroica, the Koto, and the Chromelodeons I and II

190413 Spoils Of War
190413 Spoils Of War

a close-up of the Spoils Of War, with the Cloud Chamber Bowls in the background, and the Diamond Marimba in the foreground

190413 Modified Viola music
190413 Modified Viola music

it’s STANDARD NOTATION!!! just sub-scripts and super-scripts to define the microtones and the rythmn… i never would have guessed… but, at the same time, when you’re already working with music that is THAT DIFFERENT from what we, in the west, think of as “normal”, i suppose it’s a lot easier to not have to learn a new way of notating that “abnormal” music, as well…

it turns out that the current Harry Partch Foundation is located at the UW, and all of his instruments are housed there. again, i never would have guessed, but… wow.

i told monique, when we walked into the concert hall, that they had not played a note and i was already ecstatic.

i started my third session of my circus class. it’s a “basic circus skills for handicapped adults” class — mostly people with parkinson’s — but, because of the fact that i took to unicycle, i started a unicycle class, as well:

190419 my very own unicycle!
190419 my very own unicycle!
at first, i borrowed a unicycle from one of monique’s co-workers, but it was too short, so i went on craigslist and bought an almost-new, used unicycle, that was exactly the same size wheel but a longer seatpost, that is now my very own, personal unicycle.

i have this vision — my training from the flybottle class would say “fantasy” — of what i want to do with the unicycle: there’s this guy, in portland, who is known as “The Unipiper”. he rides around portland, on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for a long time. i’ve got all the necessary materials to make a flaming tuba. all i have to do is learn to ride a unicycle, and i can be “The Tubacyclist”.

i hope to be relatively stable on the unicycle by OCF this year. i’m GOING to do this! 🐉

J.W. Pepper

Tenor Hornin a post called fezorocity and antique brass…, from 100911, i wrote of obtaining an antique tenor horn, around 100 years old, stamped with the J.W. Pepper logo. i actually did some research online and found pictures of similar horns from around the same era.

i immediately featured the horn in an educational post entitled “THE "RIGHT WAY" TO REMOVE A STUCK BRASS MOUTHPIECE“, in which i used it as an example of a stuck mouthpiece and the correct way to remove it.

120502 tuba triothen, on 120502, i posted a composite photo of me playing three different tubas, one of which was that same horn with the J.W. Pepper logo. at the time i was under the impression that it was more or less a “mid-west” and/or east coast company.

little did i know… 😎

140331 salamandir at the moisture festivalit turns out that there’s a branch of J.W. Pepper in tukwilla, just down the street from ikea. i went in there today and immediately felt like i’d been there all my life… they had racks of catalogued sheet music all over the place, a rack of batons for sale on the desk, and a friendly dog who greeted me at the door.

i ordered a copy of the piano score for Le Tombeau de Couperin by Ravel, which should be here next week, and i’m going to take the horn with me. 😎

meh

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

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

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

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

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

things are winding down…

Hybrid Elephant has filled a number of incense orders in the last month, as well as dealt with people who order from outside the US and don’t read the shipping policy. i still haven’t figured out a work-around for it, even though i know one exists, because i haven’t been motivated enough.

there are now reviews for The Fremont Players, thanks to Æther Pie (otherwise known as “Princess Perpetua of Montague”). seriously, simon told me to “pick and choose” some “appropriate quotes” from the reviews, and post them on the web page. because of the fact that i’m doing this with HTML and not PHP, i made the copy changes, and then Æther Pie made the format changes… 121224 steampunk salamandiri’m also making some headway on the James L. Acord Bronze Foundry site, despite their lack of communication. there’s now a static page, and i’ve got a little more than half of the requests they made on the ‘redlines’ that they sent me working… although the other half are either not possible, or possible making more drastic changes in their template than i am comfortable making without some intensive research.

i was given a pair of steampunk goggles by my mother-in-law as a xmas gift this year. they’re made so that i can unscrew the frames surrounding the lenses and remove them… which means that i can replace the lenses with my prescription lenses (i just got new glasses a couple of weeks ago). i was also given a HD-PLC Ethernet Adaptor starter kit, so i now i can wire our entire house for ethernet — most importantly, the workshop, where the wireless adaptor reaches, but the OS9 mac doesn’t want to recognise our 50-character, un-changeable wireless security password. with the HD-PLC ethernet adaptor, i can make an end-run around having to wire separate ethernet cables, and i can move things like our two humongous hard disks out to the workshop, where they won’t take up as much room or accumulate as much stanley-dust as they do inside the house. i was also given a copy of The Practical Pyromaniac… heh heh heh… πŸ‘Ώ

we’ve done two weekends of performances of Sleeping Beauty & The Pea, and things are going well, in spite of the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone a couple months ago, and i think i may have done more damage to my brain then i had done when i had my injury… seriously, ONE day of playing the B♭ fingerings, and now i CAN NOT remember the C fingerings… AT. ALL. 😐 strangely enough, apparently the only way around this problem is to NOT think about it, and, as much as possible, NOT look at the music… the problem is that i’ve got three more weekends of panto performances, and two snake suspenderz gigs coming up within the next few weeks, and i’m not sure how i’m going to get through it.

i’ve got a Big Bois With Poise gig on new year’s eve, at the Hale’s Palladium/Moisture Festival Benefit party. because of the fact that we have been on national television twice now, we are billing ourselves as “The World Famous Big Bois With Poise”, and we were actually requested to come and perform for the new year’s party… of course they’re not going to be paying us anything, but we get into the party for free, where everyone else has to pay $50, so it’s an okay deal. because of the fact that we’re going to be performing indoors, we’re doing the “short dudes” act, rather than the “big boys” act — i.e. we’re going to be on “short” buckets, and dressed in diapers and bibs. we’re also going to try to memorise auld lang syne instead of our regular BBWP chant, but i don’t hold out much hope… 😎

update VII

we now have two confirmed cases of kennel cough, and two likely cases of kennel cough. 😐 and this is after having all canids in the house vaccinated against kennel cough. whee… 😐

we also have a small RV (thanks to moe’s mom) which we are going to trade in ASAP, because it looks good, but doesn’t steer very well.

i have a sousa band gig on sunday, at the conservatory at volunteer park, and next week there’s a guy in ballard who wants me to play tuba for a recording that he’s making of a new childrens’ song.

i registered at TubeNet, in the hopes of figuring out whether my new tuba is a 56J or a 5J, but they haven’t confirmed my registration yet, which is kind of a bummer… but eventually i’ll get over it, one way or the other.

tubaaaaaa! 8)

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

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

degrees of separation

Hokum W. Jeebs was a friend of mine, who was murdered some time ago. through my relationship with him, and through my relationship with thaddeus, from whom i recieved hokum’s C tuba, i now have a direct relationship with the Bohemian Grove, in monte rio, california.

i don’t know anything about why i have that relationship, or what it means (if anything) to me, but i just realised that the tuba case i got, when i got the tuba, has a shipping label on it, that says “Bohemian Grove, Monte Rio, California – Mr. Stabile”… well, “Mr. Stabile” was hokum’s “mundane” name, and if i’m not mistaken, the bohemian grove is the “oregon country fair” of the male, obscenely rich and powerful of the world…

wow!

hee

120502 tuba trio
on the left, i’m playing a B-flat tenor horn, manufactured by John Distin and stamped with the J.W.Pepper logo, from around 1900, in the middle, i’m playing a nominally Elkhorn E-flat tuba that i have no idea when it was made, and on the right, i’m playing a Conn C tuba, made within the past 25 years.

if we had a longer couch, i could probably get in a double-B-flat sousaphone, as well… 8)

aaaaaand, that’s a wrap!

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

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

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

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

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

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

spoons… i don’t have them… πŸ˜•

TUBA!!!!!!!!!!!

TUBA!!!!!

on the right, my, nominally, Elkhorn three-valve, E-flat tuba, which i have been playing regularly (as in, ‘almost daily’) for 12 years.

on the left, the new-to-me Conn four-valve, C tuba which is my payment for the ugly sousaphone project.

i also got a vincent bach mouthpiece, a hard case, and a soft case. the fact that it is a C tuba is a little bit of a frustration for me, because i thought it was going to be a B-flat tuba, for which i know the “concert-pitch” fingerings… it’s also going to be really confusing being a transposing instrument that is not in E-flat, unless i either get transposed music or… learn the C tuba fingerings…

the thing is, it wouldn’t be SO frustrating for me if it weren’t for the fact that i both knew the C tuba fingerings, and could transpose, on-the-fly, in my headPRIOR to my brain injury. πŸ˜› that’s one of those bits of information which i am convinced still lives in my brain somewhere, and i just haven’t figured out how to connect to it again. 😐

but i got a real tuba! i’m a real tuba player now! πŸ˜€