Category Archives: art, music, theatre

2011 Oregon Country Fair

meadow lightsthere’s only so many pictures i can take of essentially the same thing… except for meadow lights. i could take endless pictures of them, because they’re all different in some way or another. i suppose you could say the same thing about two pictures of anything else, taken a year apart, but i’ll ignore that, for now.maque-animée
animated Maque, with Lindsay, backstage at the Morningwood Odditorium, OCF, 2011
i left on tuesday with myron and marilyn, and stayed with marilyn’s daughter, son-in-law, and their two kids, in their HUGE house in portland. siri (marilyn’s daughter) is a cello player, and her husband (whose name i don’t remember) is a music professor at one of the colleges that is not Reed, in the area. their house has at least 3 floors (they may have a basement, i didn’t check) in a very nice area, in the eastern part of town, near a catholic school/convent (for monique, who doubtlessly knows where i am talking about). we had breakfast at the Cadillac Café, and hit the road around 10:00 or so, which meant that we arrived at the fair around noon on wednesday.

there was the standard, and expected “hippy ineptitude factor” in play at the gate, but they actually had me listed under the correct spelling of my name this year (which is a miracle!), and, apart from waiting in line for an hour or so, it was nothing out of the ordinary… and we didn’t even need a “full load teddy” to drive in to morningwood, even though, technically, we had to have one (reminder for next year: get a full load teddy after getting wrist-banded, and before heading back to the car. grumpy said so.). wednesday and thursday were somewhat of a blur, because there were the “traditional” things; getting my camp set up, making runs to various cars to get things that had been forgotten, building up the last bits of backstage that hadn’t been done yet, finding out which showers were open (the ritz was open, but very crowded because only the showers in the front half were accessible), and that kind of thing, along with the mental adjustments necessary to go from the “normal” world to the “fantasy” world, and having to figure out how to deal with the unexpected things, like the baby robins that were not quite fledged, and nesting in the tree right next to the bandstand that we didn’t want to scare.baby robins seriously, they were cheeping and flapping around more or less effectively in the tree on wednesday, and thursday, and we were not sure what was going to happen when thousands of people and an amplified sound system started working right next to their nest, but all three of them were out of the nest by the time the gates opened at 10:00 friday morning.

we had a final dress-rehearsal on thursday, which was more like a “run through”, that was about as raw and unfinished as anything i’ve ever seen from the group, and despite the fact that we had all the music, we ended up cutting one of the songs, because the actor who was supposed to sing it hadn’t learned the words (no names – you know who you are). but despite the fact that the dress rehearsal well and truly SUCKED, it had come together surprisingly well by noon on friday… so well, in fact, that several people in the group (including me) expressed their extreme relief that the “run through” on thursday hadn’t been an indication of what the show was really going to be like. and it just got better from there. i remember saying that last year’s show was the best we have done so far, and that is what i say about this year’s show as well. not that all of the parts were totally memorised, but those that weren’t were skillfully covered, and nobody noticed. the jokes were as funny, and as fresh as ever, and there was the expected, and the unexpected in the proper quantities to make it easy to riff off the stuff that we didn’t have quite down yet, and easy to learn the stuff that we didn’t have quite down yet.

Long Fluteof course there was also the standard “horseplay” or “messing with peoples’ minds” or what-have-you, which included the dozen whoopie-cushions that i brought and distributed, and the “hippy fishing” that i participated in — after sunset, take a glow-stick and tie it to some black rigging twine, and toss it out into the path. when some stoned hippy tries to pick it up, yank on the string. — as well as four days, one more than the actual fair, where i went out and “hid” somewhere along the path, at night, with my cape, so that people couldn’t immediately tell that i was a human being, and played my long flute… which, i have more or less decided, with the help of those people who noticed me, in spite of the fact that i was “hiding”, is called a “didjeri-flute”. fossil-fool with maquei met a whole bunch of musicians, some of whom i have met before, but none of whose names i remember. there was the guy with the bright red sousaphone from the fighting instruments of karma, who is not the guy with the bright silver sousaphone from the fighting instruments of karma that i have run into in previous years. the bass player that i met at the ritz, and “fossil fool” the rock-the-bike rider/rapper were also memorable. and there were stories of famous people like steve weber from the holy modal rounders (stuart was out wandering around and he came across a band playing in the path, and a guy walked up to him and, forcefully, told him to take his guitar out of the case and play. it turned out that the guy was steve weber), and chris chandler, and bill kreuzmann, and a famous oud player being at the fair this year.

band plays the ritzthe ritz was kind of a trip this year. i was there on thursday evening when simon contacted lem, the guy in charge of booking acts for the ritz, and i told them that we wanted the saturday, 8:00 or 9:00 slot. lem took simon’s phone number and said he would call, because the staff at the ritz was really anxious to have the phil play there again this year. however, friday came and went without any word from lem. saturday, we were informed that we had been offered the midnight slot at the ritz, which was then changed to 6:00. we jumped on 6:00 and they said they’d get back to us, but when 4:30 came around and we hadn’t heard anything, we decided that we’d better go up to the ritz, just on the off chance that we actually had been scheduled for 6:00 and they’d forgotten to tell us (which would not be out of the question by any means). we got there and discovered that we were expected, which was a relief that was quickly dashed when another band showed up and it turned out that they were also “expected” to play at 6:00. after about a half-hour of people running around like chickens with their heads cut off, kim from the sauna, the person who is actually responsible for booking bands at the ritz, showed up, and it was decided that we would play at 6:00 saturday, and the other band would play at 6:00 sunday. the upshot is that i gave kim from the sauna my phone number, and talked with her extensively. she said that, primarily because of the fact that we played “Il Balon di Qua-qua” (otherwise known as “The Chicken Dance”) they were really anxious to have us back next year, and she actually said that we would be in the 7:30 saturday slot next year, and that she would call me to confirm that closer to the actual event. i got four ritz tokens this year: one that i bought, one that i found on the path(!), one that i got instead of “hat money”, and one from playing at the ritz. i now have 15 tokens. 8) yeah, i know that i could use them in the sauna, but i like keeping them as souvenirs instead.

weird cardsaturday afternoon, i was sitting on stage next to my tuba, before a performance, and some guy came up and handed me a laminated card — similar to the “photo id” card that some people (including me) wear instead of a wrist-band — and said “i think you dropped this”. i took it and looked at it, and it was clearly not mine, so i said “no, i didn’t”, to which he replied “well, you have now…” and walked off into the crowd. the laminated card had the “Pre-Post Sideshow Circus” logo that i had seen on a number of the “security” peoples’ t-shirts prior to that time, and the other side had a picture of a sousaphone player. i subsequently learned that this was a souvenir as well, which would explain why the guy who gave it to me seemed to have about 50 laminated cards on the lanyard around his neck.

morningwood without awningthe fair ended on sunday, and we left on monday. sunday evening was full of whoopie-cushions, hippy fishing, playing my didjeri-flute, smoking a lot of cannabis, wandering and hanging out with my friends. monday morning i got up, broke camp and helped them take down the stage. we left the fair around noon, and i got home around 6:00. sasha and stuart showed up with my two “heavy” boxes yesterday. the weather clouded up on the way home, and it has been raining on and off since then… it’s probably a good thing i came home when i did.

there are more pictures for those who are interested.

another week closer to the eschaton…

this week has been spent at the Oregon Country Fair, so regardless of how many new indications that the eschaton is eminently upon us there are (and i’m sure that there are very many indeed), thankfully, i have no evidence of it apart from the hippie ineptitude factor that is common at such events.

eventually i will write about my experiences this week, and i guarantee, if the eschaton doesn’t actually happen between now and then, that there will be more next week.

oh, and happy “birthday” to me… that’s what i get for being born on february 29th… actually i’m coming up on my 13th birthday, even though i’m 51 this year. everyone else my age is waltzing into middle age and i am just reaching puberty! whee…

obligatory OCF post

this will be my 8th OCF. i’m leaving on tuesday, getting a ride with myron and marylin, and arriving on wednesday, after staying with their kids in portland, and returning monday, which is more or less exactly what i wanted… if it had been exactly what i wanted, i would have arrived on tuesday, but when relying on the good graces of others to provide my transportation, i can’t be as picky as i would be otherwise. i’m also going to send a couple of boxes of “heavy gear” with sasha, who is going to be stopping by on monday, so that the car-top carrier won’t get overloaded.

this year’s production is Peter Pan. as it is now a tradition, we are going to have the first – and final – “complete” run-through of the panto at the fair, on thursday, and we’ll be doing two shows a day, at 12:00 noon, and 3:00 pm, in the “purpose built” Morningwood Odditorium, friday through sunday for (presumably) paying audiences. at the rehearsal i attended yesterday, we didn’t have all of the music, and the lyrics hadn’t yet been written for most of the songs… i wonder if those (presumably) paying audiences are aware of what is waiting in store for them… actually, my impression is that most of them have either seen our performances before, or don’t care, because they’ve ingested some combination of drugs and/or alcohol and are oblivious… and the ones who are neither of the aforementioned groups are usually the ones who actually pay us the most.

and, in spite of everything: in spite of the long lines for the porta-potties, and long lines for breakfast and lunch, and the long lines for the showers, and the overpriced food, and the “hippie ineptitude factor” — in spite of the fact that it is a “hippie mall” with all the trimmings and a “footd court”, i’m actually looking forward to going again this year, in spite of the fact that i was full of trepidation when i first went to the fair.

by the way, in order to circumvent the aforementioned “hippie ineptitude factor”, simon has arranged for my pass to be under the name “Harry Smith”, because they don’t seem to understand anything else… 😉

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.

wuff

the ballard sedentary sousa band played today at folklife, which meant that i actually left the house at 7:30 this morning, in order to get to the center grounds by 8:30. of course the BSSB didn’t actually play until 12:30, but if i had gotten there much later than 8:30, i wouldn’t have been able to find a place to park closer than about a mile and a half away. of course i also had a 10-hour parking pass, but i still would not have been guaranteed to be able to find a parking place.

so i wandered around the seattle center grounds for a few hours for a few hours, mostly before the humongous crowds of people got there. then i went back to my car and retrieved my instrument and went back up to the mural amphitheatre for the performance. it went fairly well: we had 5 trombones this afternoon, which is one less than the full compliment. i played all right from the audiences point of view (i didn’t make any mistakes that someone in the audience could have said came from me), but i didn’t play as well as i would have liked, because there wasn’t anywhere where we could warm up before going onstage.

but then, when the performance was over, the humongous crowds of people had well and truly arrived and it took me half an hour and several detours to get from the mural to the place where i had parked, because the humongous crowds of people were EVERYWHERE, and several times large sections of the humongous crowds of people had actually stopped in the middle of the path… yes, i know that it’s expected behaviour for humongous crowds of people, especially when there are such attractions as a hat vendor, or a t-shirt vendor, or that sort of thing, but i still get extraordinarily peeved at people who are walking along, and i am walking behind them, and they suddenly STOP for no very obvious reasons, which makes me stop as well, or look for some way around them… which is difficult to find when there is a humongous crowd of people everywhere… it wouldn’t have been so bad if it weren’t for the fact that i was taking up about 3 times as much space as i would have been ordinarily, because i had my trombone and my stands… there were times when i wish i could have taken my trombone stand and shoved it up the butt of the person in front of me, to get them to move out of the way, but there wasn’t anywhere for them to move, and even if there was, the same thing would have had to happen with the person in front of them, and so forth…

it’s 5:00 now, and i feel like i’m just beginning to come down from the instanity…

update

i’ve been working on a new web site template for the mercer island vet clinic, which is essentially finished, but it hasn’t had the content added yet, so it’s not live.

i’m about a week away from my first colonoscopy, which starts in a week with multiple degrees of laxatives and purgatives and a clear-liquid fast… which should be a “thrill”… and then, to top it all off, i get an anesthetic that causes retrograde amnesia and i have to get a ride home, because i won’t be allowed to drive for 24 hours afterward, so i’m probably going to have to take the bus to the clinic, which is the same general location that they took me when i had my brain injury. 😐 then i have to schedule another appointment with dr. wackaloon to talk about my allegedly-high blood pressure. what i maintain, which is what i maintained before i tested “high” at his office the last time, is that i run a little higher than normal, which has been reinforced by the fact that i have been checking daily for 26 days, and my average is 143/95 – which is a little higher than normal… but my life is not as “relaxed” as i would like it to be, so it’s understandable…

the ballard sedentary sousa band is performing at the mural amphitheatre on sunday, for folklife. i pulled off a miraculous save and got the last remaining parking pass when it’s original recipient (clayton) wasn’t at the last rehearsal to claim it… which means that i’ll be able to park relatively close to the amphitheatre, for free, rather than having to pay to park a couple of miles away and take the bus there and back, which will also mean that i may actually spend more than the requisite hour or so that i have to be there.

the unauthorised authorisation dialogue went away when i realised that i have the leap.cc site in my RSS feed as well… i deleted the site, and the dialogue went away and has not come back. as far as i can tell, there’s still no site at leap.cc, although the domain itself doesn’t expire until 2013… weird…

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”…

moisture festival wrap up

the moisture festival is over – for me – and sunday is the last day of performances. i’m going to the “cast party” on sunday night, but judging by my general dislike of parties in general (too noisy; too many people in “cliques”; a lot of people who i probably should know, but only see once a year, and can’t remember their names; not enough that interests me, etc., etc.) i’ll probably not be staying particularly late. the band sounded really good, although we still haven’t decided on a line-up. last night teacher ted played trumpet, after having not been a member of the band for two or three years. apparently stuart, who just quit the band comparitively recently, has decided that he wants to play guitar with us again. i don’t think he’ll be stepping back into the “band leader” role again, but you apparently never can tell. we’ve gotten prospective additions in the trumpet, clarinet and flute departments, and an auxilliary ukulele player who also appears to be interested in joining the band. apparently a bunch of these people are co-workers of kiki. there would be more pictures, but apparently the flash wasn’t working on my camera, so they all came out really blurry and without enough light.

this is hillarious…

so apparently the moisture festival does have enough money to do a reprint of the program this year.

this year they had the programs printed by zebra printing.

i know the guys who own zebra printing. they are devout muslims – i remember, when i first started working with them, in bellingham, 20 years ago, one of them told me that i would make a good muslim.

little did he know… 😉

but RB was unaware of that fact. apparently they took offense at the “scantily clad women” on the front cover of the program, and refused to do a reprint.

they probably took offense at the “scantily clad women” the first time they printed it, but then there was no advance warning, and if they said they would print it, and then decided not to after they saw the content, they would be in breach of contract. the reprint, however, is another matter entirely: they saw it once, took offense, and refused to have any further dealings with it. it doesn’t make sense to me, but it’s a logical step that they probably made, and totally understandable from their point of view…

when i was informed of this fact (by tim), he said that he thought i had been the one who introduced them to zebra printing. i told him that i would never have pointed them towards zebra printing, because i know that the owners would take offense at the “scantily clad women”…

tee hee… 👿

so i recommended the printer i chose at random out of the phone book – the only criterion was that they had to be close to fremont, and the printer i chose is just south of the seattle center – who i chose at the last minute when RB had neglected to pay attention to my deadline and finally delivered the finished program to me two-and-a-half weeks late.

WHILE I WAS STANDING THERE tim got on his cell phone and conveyed my recommendation to the person responsible for delivering the reprint to the printer…

hee hee… 👿

i’m not sure what’s going to happen this year, but i think i just increased the probability that i will be doing the programs next year by about 80%.

what have i gotten myself in for?

moisture spoons

salamandiri’ve gotta save up my spoons, because soon i’m going to be subjected to a gauntlet… i’ve got a performance wednesday with the SANCApators playing a whole bunch of music that i have never played before, then i’ve got performances with the fremont philharmonic on thursday, two on friday, three on saturday, and two on sunday.

ETA: i’ve also been tapped to cover a burlesque rehearsal tomorrow… that’s what i’m talkin’ ’bout… 🙂

i don’t know whether this is funny or not…

in 2007, i did the programs for the moisture festival. since then, they consistently have not found a printer that does as good a job for as little money as i did.

now they’re almost to the point of admitting it. the reason?

apparently i don’t play for the fremont philharmonic!

kiki, the band leader (this year) is listed twice, but i’m not listed at all, in the program.

i pointed this out to tim and macque – “members of the board” – and they assured me that they would bring it up with RB, who is in charge (more or less) of the schedule and programs… but RB is the same person who, last year, gave me his “personal assurance” that the fremont philharmonic would be scheduled for “at least one burlesque show” this year – and despite what my brother-in-law thinks, burlesque is THE reason why i have been involved with this production for as long as i have – only to find out that the burlesque shows have already all been taken by the zebra kings, that RB “doesn’t remember” talking to me last year, and that’s very likely the way it’s going to stay for the indeterminate, forseeable future. RB is also the person who drove me to the brink of violence, back in 2007, when he missed an important deadline BY TWO AND A HALF WEEKS and i had to get the interior pages photocopied, rather than printed (which would have made my programs even prettier, and cost even less), and drove me to say that i would, NEVER AGAIN do the moisture festival program…

so i don’t know if my complaining about it will make the slightest bit of difference…

and my impression is that the only way to “fix” it, in the long run, is to do what i said i would NEVER AGAIN do…

in the mean time, i have been asked to sit in with the SANCApators next wednesday… another share in the event that made me the most money of any event last year – although it’s probably going to be difficult to beat this year, when i got paid over $1,000 for the panto…

ETA: it is more-or-less as i suspected: i got a personal and “sincere” (whatever that means, coming from RB) apology from RB for not being in the program: he said that it is entirely his fault, that kiki sent him the list of names with me on it, and he sent the list, minus me, to the printer… he said that “if they get it reprinted” he’ll personally make sure that the correction is made… but, honestly, as far as i know, they have never had enough money to do a second printing, especially with two weeks of performances left, and the turn-around time for getting a 50-page program printed makes reprinting the program for the last week highly unlikely… i must have been crazy (it was the brain injury… that was it), but i offered my services as a typesetter/printer. RB said that they may take me up on the offer, because the person who has been printing the programs (a friend of sandy, who took over from me in 2007, when i said i wouldn’t do it again) may be leaving next year…

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…

the rest

i finished three gifts, which should be the last of my x-mas “shopping” yesterday… which is the reason i didn’t get around to posting until very late yesterday. i’d post pictures of them, but they’re gifts and i don’t want to spoil the surprise. i’ll probably post pictures after the holidays, if i remember.

i also cleaned up the remainders of several projects that had accumulated on my workbench, which involved sorting of a number of tiny, almost but not quite identical parts into piles, and storing them in film containers, which took quite a bit of time, because the parts were so tiny.

i sent a message to the manufacturer of the penatrating oil that i bought recently, because the directions for the use of the penetrating oil assumes that you’re going to be using it on engines of some variety or another, and i am working on a musical instrument. i’m fairly sure what they’re going to say, but i just want to make sure before i start pouring unknown liquid into my antique horn.

hopefully i’ve got an order of postcards that will be arriving tomorrow, that i will be delivering to florentia clayworks when i get them. i’ve got a rehearsal tomorrow, a rehearsal tuesday, two rehearsals wednesday, an appointment and an optional rehearsal thursday, and three shows saturday.

the next two days posts are already taken care of. nablopomo, if it has done nothing else, has taught me about the scheduling feature of wordpress. when you’re much more organised than i am (which isn’t hard) you can schedule posts ahead of time, instead of using the “Publish immediately” feature in the upper right of the “Add New Post” page. i’ve actually scheduled a few posts over the past month, but i have also been disorganised enough that i haven’t been able to schedule everything, because normally it’s not necessary, i would normally just not post on a day that i had nothing to say. hint: the posts that i scheduled are posts that appear at the same time, down to the second, every day.

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? 😐

exactly!

the shelf of notebooksi’ve been carrying around a looseleaf notebook labeled “BRASS” ever since i graduated from the tech school, in 1986, which contains all of the class notes, handouts and other printed materials for the brass repair sections that i completed when i was in training.

the "BRASS" notebookbecause of the fact that, for 25 years i have focused on the repair of woodwind instruments, i have actually never looked in the looseleaf notebook labeled “BRASS”, and it has langushed in various places, including currently on a shelf in my workshop with a bunch of other looseleaf notebooks.

but last night, i took down that notebook, and turned to the exact page that had the answer that i was looking for, which was techniques for freeing stuck tuning slides.

exactly the information i was looking fori mentioned to moe last night that i had never even opened this notebook since my tech-school days, and she commented that i had carried it around with me for all that time without ever being used. however i would carry it around with me, unused, for another 25 years if i could be guaranteed that, the next time i open it, i would find exactly the information for which i am searching.

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.’ ”

what would you do?

so i’ve been doing some maintenance on sedentarysousa dot com. i uploaded the last of the changes, and refreshed the browser, only to get one of those “Firefox can’t find the server at www.sedentarysousa.com” messages.

i restarted firefox. i flushed my DNS cache, and the DNS cache of my router. i rebooted the machine, and the router. i switched browsers five times, i switched machines three times, and i switched platforms twice, but i basically got “there is no server” messages from every browser and machine combination i tried.

i then went to browsershots dot org, which uses a whole bunch of different network nodes, a whole bunch of different browsers and three different platforms, and confirmed that sedentarysousa.com was up and working the way it’s supposed to, and that made me suspicious.

because of the fact that one of my machines is wireless, and my neighbour uses a different ISP and runs an unsecured wireless network, i can switch networks fairly easily, so i did, and sedentarysousa.com showed up without a problem.

aha, i thought. the problem is with drizzle (big surprise). so i called drizzle. sure enough, the drizzle tech support people – two of them! – confirmed that sedentarysousa – and only sedentarysousa – was “offline”.

they recommended that i “contact the host provider” and have them do a traceroute to my IP address, to figure out where the problem lies.

WHAT⁈⁉

let me get this straight… they would rather that the host provider – who is conveniently located in London, doesn’t have a problem with anybody else, and only has a problem with one route connecting – should contact the person responsible for that route to fix the problem, instead of the person responsible for the route that’s having a problem being contacted by ME to fix the problem.

it sounds very much to me as though they are saying “we don’t care, we don’t have to” – which is not the way to keep me as a customer.

very likely, what they are saying, as well, is “we don’t actually know what the problem is, or how to fix it”, which is a valid point, but it makes me feel like they are deliberately misleading me, rather than being honest and admitting that they don’t know – which is also not the way to keep me as a customer.

what really irritates me is that, what with the network being the fluid place that it is, by the time i actually discover what the problem really is, it will have fixed itself and there won’t be any evidence that whatever was causing the problem really was causing the problem. it irritates me that random things like this happen on what should be a very predictable medium. 8P

ETA: so i had the host provider do a traceroute to my IP address:

traceroute to 216.162.193.190 (216.162.193.190), 30 hops max, 40 byte packets
1 216-18-215-65.hosted.static.webnx.com (216.18.215.65) 0.316 ms 0.371 ms 0.436 ms
2 cr3-lax01.webnx.com (67.220.192.102) 0.294 ms 0.357 ms 0.410 ms
3 cust-webnx.ar10.owlax.us.easynet.net (207.162.207.13) 0.576 ms 0.723 ms 0.807 ms
4 ge-7-48.car1.SanJose2.Level3.net (4.59.0.69) 9.538 ms 9.535 ms 9.528 ms
5 * * *
6 ae-93-93.ebr3.SanJose1.Level3.net (4.69.134.237) 21.896 ms 19.398 ms 17.990 ms
7 ae-2-2.ebr3.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.132.10) 12.894 ms 9.468 ms 9.456 ms
8 ae-71-78.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.10) 16.406 ms ae-91-98.ebr1.LosAngeles1.Level3.net (4.69.146.26) 16.362 ms 16.354 ms
9 ae-7-7.car1.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.148.5) 22.380 ms 22.130 ms 22.771 ms
10 ae-11-11.car2.SaltLakeCity1.Level3.net (4.69.133.122) 22.099 ms 22.531 ms 22.291 ms
11 4.53.42.10 (4.53.42.10) 22.579 ms 22.703 ms 22.765 ms
12 208.110.128.254 (208.110.128.254) 38.893 ms 38.961 ms 38.866 ms
13 216.162.207.60 (216.162.207.60) 43.406 ms 42.878 ms 43.912 ms
14 * * *
15 * * *
16 * * *
17 * * *
18 * * *

the place where the timeout occurred was 216.162.207.60, which is Internet Professionals & Network Solutions.

it IS drizzle’s problem! 8|

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.

THE “RIGHT WAY” TO REMOVE A STUCK BRASS MOUTHPIECE

why you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliers

A QUICK REFRESHER FOR BRASS PLAYERS

 
 
WHY YOU SHOULD NEVER TRY TO REMOVE A STUCK MOUTHPIECE WITH PLIERS OR A PIPE WRENCH 
 
a public service announcement brought to you by Hybrid Elephant, dba Nataraja Music Service

why you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliersreal musical instrument repair technicians have a nifty little device called a mouthpiece puller. it is a screw-and-leverage gadget that pulls from the center of the mouthpiece, while, at the same time, pushes on the edge of the leadpipe: a method that is 100% guaranteed to free the most stubbornly stuck mouthpiece in existence, without marring the finish of either the horn, or the mouthpiece itself.

why you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliersseriously, you could actually solder the mouthpiece into the reciver, pull it loose with the mouthpiece puller, and not mar the finish of either the mouthpiece or the instrument itself. i’ve done it. 8)

the proper way to insert a brass mouthpiece to avoid getting it stuck is to place the mouthpiece, gently, into the reciever and then, without putting pressure on the mouthpiece, twist it a quarter turn. this places the mouthpiece firmly enough that you can actually hold up the horn by the mouthpiece, but it can be easily removed by twisting it the other direction, and pulling straight out. if you put your mouthpiece in this way, it will never get stuck, and you will never have this problem, but if you do, this to warn you that you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliers or a pipe wrench.

why you should never try to remove a stuck mouthpiece with pliers
these are examples of mouthpieces which have been removed “the wrong way”. they are scarred by wrenches or plier jaws, and ruined beyond repair. if they had been removed the right way, they would still be usable. when you try to remove a mouthpiece “the wrong way”, all you accomplish is ruining your mouthpiece, and about half the time, your entire horn is an unintended casualy: a stuck mouthpiece is notorious for being stuck so firmly that it pulls loose solder joints or twists tubing instead of being removed by pliers or a pipe wrench. instead of using the correct tool and pulling your stuck mouthpiece in under five minutes, you have completely ruined your mouthpiece and have to figure out where the money for several hundred dollars worth of repair to your leadpipe is going to come from, before you can play your horn again.

a decent quality mouthpiece can cost anywhere from $20 to $200, and a new horn can cost upwards of $2,000. getting your mouthpiece stuck is not uncommon, even if you are very careful. removing it the right way can insure that you have a mouthpiece that can still be used afterwards, and can save you a lot of money and headaches.

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

day of depression and diarrhea

today moe left for a weekend camping trip sheepdog trial, which involves her camping out for a few nights near camas. she took all of the dogs with her, but i felt like cold ass when she got up (at 6:00 in the morning) to leave, and due to the fact that, despite the fact that she had been telling me about this for months, i “didn’t remember” it was happening until yesterday, which meant that along with feeling like cold ass, i was in a pretty depressed state of mind, and that’s not to mention the fact that i had a headache – and i very rarely get headaches, which is kind of odd for someone that has had an AVM. so i woke up depressed, feeling like ass, with a headache and moe is leaving. i went back to sleep (a feat in and of itself, all things considered), and when i woke up the headache was mostly gone, but moe was gone too. 🙁

i have been making a list of things i need to remember recently, and i had a few things that i needed to get for the workshop, so i went out and did my list stuff. i was finishing up at home depot when my stomach did one of those growls that indicates immediate, uncontrolable pooping – which has been an on-again-off-again problem that they told me to watch out for at the hospital after my injury. they just mentioned it in passing, so i didn’t give much thought to it at the time, but every now and then i’m struck with sudden, almost explosive diarrhea for no apparent reason, and it struck as i was checking out at the home depot this afternoon. i don’t think anybody else noticed, but i was glad that it was my last stop, because i would have had to go home, take a shower and change clothes pretty much regardless. 🙁

i actually felt the depression slip away, though, once i got home (and once i got cleaned up). i did some desperately needed work in the workshop which resulted in five new shelves and a second work space, so that now i can work on two projects at once and not have to put stuff away from one project before starting on another one. i’m feeling subdued and tired, but, as i told moe, i don’t have that “nasty, kill the whole world and then commit suicide” feeling any more.

the hole

the past couple of days have been spent sawing and chiseling out the piece of what turned out to be ⅝" masonite around the back door, which has had considerable water damage pretty much ever since we first moved into the house, and has gotten bad enough that you could see the ground through the floor. the masonite had deteriorated to the point where it was formed sawdust being held together with hope and what remained of the watered down glue by which it had originally been held together, so i broke out what i could of it manually, and then i sawed and chiseled out the rest, made a replacement piece out of ⅝" CDX (exterior grade plywood), and put that in its place.

i took a few pictures of my progress, but i pretty much stayed on task, because having a hole in the floor right outside our bedroom door doesn’t work very well.

and, once again, this is a prime example of a job that couldn’t have been done if it weren’t for the workshop, and its contents… 8)

snurl

it’s raining, which means that instead of cutting out the part of the floor near the back door that has a hole in it, next to the back door, i’m doing this instead. i’ve been able to get some work done in the morning, but since i went to buy the replacement flooring and came home – around noon or so – it has been raining hard enough that i can’t do the important part, which is cutting out a piece of floor 4′ x 1½’, and cutting a 4′ x 1½’ piece of replacement flooring. i’m still not 100% sure of what i’ll find once i cut the hole in the floor, in spite of the fact that i’ve actually climed underneath the house. i do know that there are two joists directly below the middle of the door, but there is a cloth vapour barrier of some kind underneath the house. it’s ripped away right underneath the door, which is probably one of the reasons why the hole is right next to the door, but it is in place once the door frame ends, and the piece of flooring i have to replace goes all the way to the end of the hall. fortunately (i guess), the wood that i have to replace is very likely 30 year old rotten press-board, so instead of cutting away most of it, i can probably just break out most of it manually, so that i can see what’s down there before i cut the replacement piece.

tomorrow i’ve got a gig at the ballard locks with the ballard sedentary sousa band, so i probably won’t get the chance to work on the floor until later on tomorrow afternoon, at the earliest.

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… 🙂

‽⁜‽⁜

we had a banda gozona performance yesterday on beacon hill, not far away from where moe and i used to live. it was really frustrating, because there weren’t enough musicians to cover the important parts, which meant that they were covered alternately by the ben the clarinet player who doesn’t know how to stop playing when it’s someone else’s turn, and marc the trombone player, who thinks that any time is a good time to stick in an unplanned, unannounced trombone solo, and resolutely plays whatever he wants regardless of what the part actually says. this was further complicated by gil, the spanish-only speaking sousaphone player who wasn’t playing from music at all, and continued honking well after everyone else had decided that maybe we should give up and start over. sometimes i wonder why i continue with this group… 8/

i’ve been really tired for the past few days, so much so that i actually took about a 4 hour nap yesterday, after the performance, and still was tired enough that i slept until about 10:00 this morning. i’ve had a lot of house-maintenance stuff that i’ve had to do ever since getting back from OCF that i haven’t even started on because i’ve been so exhausted.

according to moe, who is studying these sorts of things recently, i have all the necessary characteristics to be psychotic. whee. 8/

damn… etc.

i transferred the photos from last week, from two cameras on to a USB flash disk which turned out to be corrupt, which means that i lost about half of the photos i took from last week… so instead of around 200 photos, i was only able to post around 100, which can be seen here. it turns out that even the photos that i was able to save lost some of their exif information, so they all say that they were taken last night or this morning, which isn’t true, but at least i didn’t lose the image information.

so, anyway, i went to OCF last week. we were going to leave monday, but chris decided that he didn’t want to leave the day after the 4th of july, so we left on tuesday instead. the trip down was uneventful, except for the fact that because i wasn’t driving i was able to take a few photos of things that i have seen before, but been unable to take photos of them. unfortunately, all but one of them fell afoul of the disk corruption, so i didn’t get them anyway.

nichole the sailmakermorningwood odditorium was a lot further along than i anticipated: all of the “heavy construction” was done (i.e. the stage was complete and most of the rigging had been completed when we got there), but there were a couple of sailmakers, nichole and somebody else who had a very strange, russian sounding name that i don’t remember (but who was, apparently, not russian or anything like it, judging by her accent, which sounded like it came from the midwest of america), who had more or less taken over the stage, because it was “the perfect place” to do the kind of things sailmakers do, so we got to work around, and watch the sailmakers do their thing, which was actually really interesting and i learned a lot about how machine sewing works in general, which will probably do me some good the next time i have to sew something.

big brown batmorningwood was blessed by two rather unusual guests thursday and friday. the first was a big brown bat, who roosted backstage left thursday afternoon. while i was taking pictures of him, he roused himself and looked at me with a bleary expression, and yawned before going back to sleep, which was intensely cute. rainforest skinkthen, on friday, a rainforest skink and i crossed paths backstage. here is another photo of him from a different site. i’m not sure, but it may be that skinks are not native to the northwest united states, so it’s possible that this guy escaped from captivity, but one way or the other, we crossed paths at the fair, which was cool.

BBWP FTW (as they say) at the friday night fire show. on thursday there was what was supposed to be a “dress” rehearsal that we attended, but it wasn’t a “dress” rehearsal, because only about half of the acts were actually lit (we weren’t one of them), and the acts that were lit were going first, regardless of where they appeared in the show. macque managed to sweet-talk the production manager into letting us go early, and when we were done, somebody came up to us and said that the performance was “too long” and that we would have to cut something out. we debated with them for about 10 minutes, but they were relentless in their desire to cut something from our five-minute performance. we were convinced that they didn’t understand the performance, since we hadn’t lit up anyway, so we said we would cut something and promptly forgot about it once they were gone. unfortunately, i didn’t get any pictures (and this time it was not because of disk corruption), but there were 10 acts, and, for 9 of them, the audience was respectful, and applauded at appropriate times, but when BBWP came out and chris started with “GENTLEMEN, BEND OVER!” there was an immediate response while the glamazons were lighting our dongy-things, and the laughter and applause just escalated, repeatedly, from there: with the “reveal”, again when we lit our boobs and again when we started swinging our “tassels”. i really wonder what the person who had said that we had to cut our act thought of the performance that stole the show, but after thursday night, i never actually saw her again. one of my buckets fell apart during the performance, but nobody noticed, and i was able to limp off stage without breaking something important. the lady from B. Coole Designs watched us rehearsing before the show and said that she could make team patches for us, which is probably going to happen.

psycho-spiritual rejuvenation for allthe fact that the oregon country fair is very similar to a mall in a lot of ways was driven home to me by a card saying “BUY MORE STUFF” that was given to me by sasha and stuart, who had gotten it from a stilt-clown with a sign that said “HURRY”. it made me think a lot about why i was there, despite the aura of “Psycho-Spiritual Rejuvanation For All” that overshadows the fair. it also gave me an idea for making buttons and stickers that say, alternately “BE AWARE” and “BEWARE”, which i’m probably going to do.

while i was on my way up to the ritz saturday night i ran into Anne Feeney, whose album with Chris Chandler called Live from The Wholly Stolen Empire is one of my all-time favourites. she was looking for a trombone player and zeroed in on the fact that i was carrying a trombone case. she invited me to play with her at the midnight show on the main stage. i decided that, much as i really appreciated the offer, that i didn’t want to do it, because she wasn’t actually scheduled to go on until 2:30, which would have meant standing around backstage in a mosquito-infested swamp (which is what the OCF mainstage is, even under the best of circumstances) for a couple of hours, waiting to go on and play one song, which i didn’t know, and probably wouldn’t get an actual part for at all… but to be given the invitation to be in the midnight show by anne feeney, just by itself, is one of the reasons i’ll be back next year, in spite of the general attitude of “BUY MORE STUFF”.

thank you for being usi was very careful and conscientious, and made liberal use of DEET, and actually didn’t get any mosquito bites at all…

… until sunday night, when i was packing up my tarp, which i thought was going to take much less time and be an easier job than it turned out to be. still, i came home with only about seven bites, and because of the fact that i had taken a sauna sunday night, after getting the bites, they didn’t itch at all.

next year i’ve got to get Snake Suspenderz to the fair. i don’t know what’s happening with the phil, although i’m pretty sure that whatever happens, they’re going to be the musical accompaniment for the fremont players, but at the same time, i think Snake Suspenderz would be a good way to go in general.

meadow lights

return from OCF

i have returned, but i’ve got a lot of stuff to catch up on: unpacking, dealing with 450 email messages (most of which are spam or freecycle offers that are from last week), laundry, i’ve got to find out about the wanna-be art-car, i’ve got about 200 pictures to sort out, and i’ve got to get started on fixing the holes in the floor (which i said i would do a couple of months ago).

ocf was definitely fun: i got my picture in the peach pit, BBWP stole the fire show friday night, we played at the ritz saturday night, and i actually got to take six saunas over the course of the four days that it was open, and i only had to pay for four of them, but being gone for a week sort of screwed things up and now i’ve got to take care of straightening them out, because apparently nobody else is gonna do it…

oh, and i’m fifty now… happy birthday to me, or something like that. 😐

OCF

i was pretty sick last night, woke up at 3:00 in the morning with diarrhea and sweating like it was hotter than it really was. took a shower and went back to a slimy, sweaty bed and woke up at 6:00 feeling a whole lot better. i’ll probably do okay at OCF, because the “party” doesn’t officially start until friday, and i’m going down today, so i’ve got a few days to recover.

see you on the flip side! 8)

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.

Enter title here

i upgraded to wordpress 3.0. whoopie. at this point, wordpress is stable enough that you don’t see anything from the outside, and apart from a few telling colour changes, nothing is really that obvious from the back end either. i suppose once i try to do something that isn’t part of the plan we’ll see whether or not they’ve actually done a good job this version.

evan, moe’s boss and the guy who gave me the current version of Ganesha The Car, has said that something regarding the car will get worked out, eventually. meanwhile, i have an incomplete art car that won’t run sitting at a transmission shop 20 miles from where i live, which is closed saturday and sunday, so i won’t even have the chance to deal with it until at least tomorrow. once again, i thank Ganesha for the jeep, which means that i’ve been able to get to rehearsals and performances, like the performance i had at st. mary’s church in the central district this morning, or the rehearsal i have in the university district this evening, without too much difficulty (although the jeep does get fairly awful gas mileage and it still stalls at stop lights occasionally).

OCF in a week. i’m going down with chris this year, because i don’t have a working car, and he wants to get there monday, which is the earliest i have ever arrived at country fair… not that i’m complaining or anything, although it will mean that i’ll have a three or four day head start on mosquito bites when everybody else gets there. BBWP is on the schedule for the friday night fire show.

Country Is Dumb
by Pliny Keep

Well, I’m proud to be a yuppie from Kentucky
Where we pretend we’re farming in the mall
And cowboys ride in cars
And waste their lives in bars
And our music’s still the biggest joke of all

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

Well they brag about hospitality here in Nashville
They give the spotlight to the common man
But out in that sea of faces
I see no other races
And I hope there ain’t no homos in my band

‘Cause country is sexist and racist and country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

(solo yodeling)

Now country is number one across the nation
People say it brings them closer to their roots
Like ignorance and hate
And a submissive mate
That fits as cozy as a pair of cowboy boots

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
And busted hearts and trailer parks
And calloused hands and one night stands
And faithful dogs and white male Gods
And all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

COUNTRY IS DUMB!

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.

wuff…

friday the banda gozona performed at folklife. friday was also the day that my mother-in-law, father-in-law, and his wife came to visit, for the combined holiday, moe’s sheep trial, and my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. i left at 3:00 and didn’t get home until 9:00, whereupon i discovered one of our doggles loose in the bedroom and the bathroom totally trashed, with ibuprophen tablets spilled all over the place, and what looked like a few chewed ibuprophen tablets among the trashed counter contents that were on the floor.

i’m actually surprised that moe and her relatives aren’t at home – i was unaware of their plans, but i anticipated them being at home, in which case this wouldn’t actually be an emergency, but… i’m not sure, but it looks to me like it could be an “accidental” overdose on the part of the guilty party (paddy), so i call moe, who isn’t answering her phone. i call her father’s cell phone, and he’s not answering either, which i find quite strange, since he is, presumably, in the same general vicinity as moe, and i know for a fact that her sheep trial doesn’t start until tomorrow, but i am faced with a possible overdosing dog and i’m starting to freak out, so i call our good friend micah, who is a veterinarian, and he’s not answering his phone either.

now i’m really freaking out… 🙁

eventually i get hold of moe, who has been out to dinner with her parents, she comes home and vomits the dog, who wasn’t overdosing on anythign except toilet paper (she had eaten almost an entire roll, which was sitting on the counter), and everything was fine, although it left me (and everyone else) totally exhausted.

yesterday, i got an order for postcards, and i spent most of the day going back and forth with a trained, experienced graphic artist who (apparently) can’t differentiate between a file that is 250 dpi and RGB with exactly the same file that is 300 dpi and CMYK. when we finally got that all worked out, i went to a going away party for möppi, rebeccah and diemo, who are moving back to germany next month, and i got home, totally exhausted, at 10:00 or so.

today, i got up at an ungodly hour (8:00 am), feeling nauseous – :mrgreen: – but not actually nauseous enough to throw up (which i figured would make the nauseous feeling go away), and made it to folklife for a (relatively) early (1:10 pm) performance of the ballard sedentary sousa band. i didn’t actually get sick, although there were a few touch-and-go moments in the morning before i left, but i wanted to get there fairly early, because, unlike the banda gozona performance, which resulted in my possesion of a parking pass, so that i wouldn’t have to pay, the powers that be apparently figured that the ballard sedentary sousa band only needed two parking passes, which went to the two most senior members of the band, so in order to park, i would have to search out a free spot (practically impossible, given the location and time) or pay $15 to park until 2:30.

i got home at about 3:30, absolutely exhausted, and submitted the order for the postcards.

now, completely bereft of spoons, i’m going to spent the rest of my “holiday” weekend sleeping.

wesak was last thursday. i watched the monks at the buddhist temple down the street putting up decorations, but i totally spaced out mentioning it until now.

the aparajita is supposed to arrive on wednesday or thursday of this week. it’s down to the wire and i still don’t have tracking details from india, but the guy called me(!) to tell me when the shipment was supposed to be here.

Quantity discrimination in salamanders – they can tell the difference, but only when the ratio is 2:1 or greater… but these guys get paid to discover if salamanders can count. i obviously went into the wrong profession…

Man crosses English Channel in chair carried by helium balloons – including “coming down quickly to avoid restricted air space, missing a power line and then bouncing a short distance before coming to a halt” near dunkirk. once again, it appears as though i went into the wrong profession. what was i thinking?

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?

☻☺

i have been digging through mounds of PHP code recently, looking for <hr> tags and not finding them, and figuring out ways to make links disappear and stuff like that for the past couple of days. i believe i may have actually put the finishing touches on the sedentary sousa web site, but i’m not going to post it until i get approval from the boss lady.

moe’s friend holly is staying with us for a couple of nights. i don’t know her very well, but she and moe are good friends from way back.

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.

doobie dumb

today i took the old Ganesha The Car up to the shop to get the stereo and PA speakers removed. it actually started, which is better than it was behaving a few weeks ago when i took it out for a spin. i’m taking the new Ganesha The Car to get the stereo and PA speakers installed tomorrow, and then i’m going to the DOL to get the license plates switched. at the same time, i believe i am going to inquire about getting a disabled person permit, since i do receive disability benefits. also i’m going to inquire about “collecter” license plates – i believe the car isn’t eligible for them yet, but it seems to me that any car that is older than 20 years can have collector plates, which basically means that the car is exempt from emissions inspection and doesn’t have to pay for yearly tabs.

i have an appointment with ned on wednesday and an appointment with a hand specialist on thursday (despite feeling a good deal better than it did a couple of weeks ago, thanks to chris and his needles, my left thumb is still painful enough that it is difficult for me to hold my trombone), and then i have a week of performances for the moisture festival starting thursday.

a few weeks ago i went out to woodinville and retrieved a freezer from moe’s friend diane, which works, but has broken hinges on the door. i determined that it was a kenmore stand alone freezer, and found a number to call for the sears service center. i got a number that rang and rang and rang but nobody answered, so i called the sears toll free number, and after bouncing back and forth through automated “if you want parts and service, say ‘parts and service'” menus for about 45 minutes, i finally called the sears store at southcenter and ordered the parts from them. they’re supposed to get here, according to the moron helpful customer service engineer on the phone, by 23 march, and then i have to figure out whether or not i have the correct tools to replace them.

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.

another day

another day without moe… one less day until i see her again… how much like an old teenage love song do i sound at this point…

i put a handle and feet on my saw case today. i went to a shoe and luggage repair place that was inhabited by a couple of old korean folks. i said i needed a handle for my instrument case – something that i could see that they had in their display case – and the old lady said that she had to see the case, so she could pick out the right handle. so i pulled out the saw case and she was so non-plussed by it that she had to roust the repair guy from his bunker. he spoke even less english than the old lady, pretty much restricting his communication to a series of meaningful grunts and two word responses, which were apparently in some language other than english. i don’t know for sure that they were korean, but there was an ancient (1970s era) calendar for a korean christian church on the wall. the repair guy came out, took one look at the case, and immediately started rooting around in a box on the floor from which he produced the feet, then went over to the display case and pulled out a handle from a pile of miscellaneous parts, and proceded back to his bunker with the old lady on his heels. there was a lot of talking, mostly from the old lady (the old guy preferring his grunts and two-word answers to pretty much everything she said) for about 10 minutes, and then the old lady came out and said that they couldn’t figure out what to charge me because they don’t usually sell these things. i suggested $15, which sounded good to her.

and the saw case really did need a handle. instead of being a large, unwieldy object with no handles, it’s got a standard instrument case handle in exactly the right place. when i placed it next to my trombone and trumpet cases, i realised that “real” cases have rounded edges, and the saw case currently has rough square edges, but that’s easy enough to fix.

while i’ve been waiting…

saw case closedsaw case openwhile i’ve been waiting for my ebay victims to die, i’ve been making constructive use of my new workshop (!!!) and building myself a case for my saw. i got tired of carrying it around in a cardboard box with the bow separate and exposed, shortly after i got the bow, and i’ve had nothing better to do the past couple of days. it doesn’t have any “case cloth” on the outside yet, and it doesn’t have a handle, but it’s as much an instrument case, and made in almost exactly the same way as most trumpet cases, and it came outta my workshop(!!!) with the help of a spare scrap of plywood, a few campaign signs, a coupla hinges, a coupla suitcase hasps and some screws. i’m debating whether it actually needs case cloth. it would definitely look a lot more like a legitimate instrument, but i can cover up the more obvious gaps with stickers and it’ll be just as good. it definitely needs a handle, though… 🙂

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.

grr… woof…

i bought a whole bunch of (the wrong size) insulation to flesh out the workshop, since it has been COLD for the last week or so, and even with the space heater going full blast, it’s not enough for me to work comfortably. as i said, the insulation i bought was the wrong size, but i think i’ll be able to make it work, however i won’t be installing it the way it is designed to be installed, because it is the wrong size. it’s 16″ wide, and the rafters are 24″, so instead of stapling it in place, i will place lath on top of the rafters to keep it in place – which, of course, means obtaining some lath, which i will probably do tomorrow before the show.

of course i didn’t actually discover the fact that it was the wrong size until i had already bought two packages of it, opened one of them and lugged a single piece, and a stapler, up the ladder to the ceiling, and, because of the fact that i’ve been running the space heater in the workshop since this morning, it was nice and toasty up there, which didn’t help much when i realised that working on the ceiling is a pretty warm job to begin with. i actually succeeded in getting two 48″ strips of insulation more-or-less adhered to the ceiling with a multitude of staples (most of which didn’t actually penetrate anything except the first inch or so of the insulation) before i decided that there had to be an easier way. i honestly don’t believe that it would have been much easier if the insulation had been the right witdh anyway, and it probably would have been significantly heavier.

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.

grf

so the past week or so has been full of emails planning for a gig in mt. vernon for la banda gozona on sunday. there was extra planning involved because the guy who normally does the planning for the group is actually going to be skiing sunday, and was not able to attend, so someone who is not a part of the band – he’s actually one of the dancers that we perform with on occasion – was planning the gig.

except that now he’s not. he has apparently cancelled the gig at the last moment, because the organizers of the gig – the people in mount vernon who wanted to hire us – have apparently decided that they don’t have enough money. that, combined with the fact that there really weren’t enough musicians to cover all the parts (which we don’t usually let get in the way of playing) caused max, the guy who was the temporary organizer, decided to cancel the entire gig.

i had been planning on going up to bellingham after the gig, to visit friends i haven’t seen in a couple years. i’m still going to go to bellingham, but instead of bringing my sousaphone i’m thinking that i’ll bring a couple of long flutes and my delay unit… and my mac laptop that has reason on it…

heiney

i did something to my back within the past three days that is causing me enormous pain when i stand or sit… currently i am under the influence of ibuprophen, which diminishes it from enormous pain to a nagging reminder, but at the same time, i think that loading, unloading and re-loading hybrid elephant at the FSM yesterday, and then unloading it again at home this afternoon was no help at all. at this point, i can hope that it goes away or fixes itself soon, because any further medical intervention is more than i can afford.

i made $70 at the FSM. not my best day, but not my worst, either. the next time i know i can go will be in three weeks, because i have a banda gozona gig (in mt. vernon?) in two weeks. also, since i redesigned the site, hybrid elephant has shot to the #1 position when you search for swastika button, which is especially cool since the #2 position is currently occupied by a white supremacist… 8) furthermore, i now occupy position #2 when you search for finest incense in the world, which is exactly what i was hoping would happen!

ned had to cancel, because he’s sick, and his son goes to one of the schools shut down by swine flu H1N1 (pronounced “heiney”). he says that he and his wife and kid have been sick for about a week, and while he doesn’t think he’s got H1N1, the fact that his kid goes to stevenson means that he doesn’t want to take any chances. another school that was shut down due to the overblown H1N1 scare is woodmont, where i went to first through third grade.

progress?

i’ve discovered what the problem is with my linux box: i tried to upgrade directly from hardy to jaunty without going through intrepid first. it really wasn’t my fault, i just did what the upgrade application told me to, but that doesn’t make my box any less broken. fortunately, i appear to have found a linux guru on kubuntuforums.net who is the eternal optimist and thinks that i can probably rescue my box without having to reinstall. i’m up for it, but i would also be up for reinstalling if it doesn’t work out. meanwhile i’m learning all about aptitude -f install and dpkg --force-overwrite -i and other arcane goodies that go over the heads of about 90% of the other kubuntu users out there. and my linux box is still broken. oh well…

i got an order for 3000 postcards yesterday, which will ultimately be sent to japan, and i mowed the lawn for the first time this year as well. also i’ve got a BSSB rehearsal later this evening, so despite my broken linux box and my ongoing depression, i’m keeping busy enough that it doesn’t hurt as much.

ETA, 5:00pm: the linux guru i met turned me on to skype, which i now have installed on my mac, so if any of you are inclined to actually talk to me, i can be reached at przxqgl. we didn’t get very far, but i am more convinced than ever that we will actually be able to rescue this box instead of reinstalling it. i’m now doing a remote ssh to the linux box and running all the commands on my mac, which saves me getting confused over which keyboard i’m typing into.

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.

johnny jetpack

Johnny Jetpack Propulsion Laboratories

on friday, the combined birthdays of nathan arnold, aka johnny jetpack propulsion laboratories, and christopher huson, aka mr. bunny, among others was celebrated. combined total 100 years, 50 a piece. the fremont philharmonic played, as did the titanium sporkestra. nathan is a major source of inspiration for me, because he does really stupid cool things with dangerous substances like liquid nitrogen and high intensity lasers. there are a whole bunch of photos there, and all of them were made out of selected junk, with the exception of a smoke machine, which was actually not used that much…

and that thing that looks like a water bottle, is, in fact, a water bottle.

chautaqua elephant

i played in the Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra in the benefit show for the New Old-Time Chautaqua this afternoon. it’s a mass conflagration of incestuous artistic talent with which i have been associated on the edges of for the past 30 years or so: i play with eben, bernice, clayton and liz in the ballard sedentary sousa band, i’ve played music with stephan, kevin and karl from bellingham in a variety of groups since i was in college, i currently play with thad in snake suspenderz, i’ve played with heather in the fremont phil… the chautaqua has been described as a karass, which is, in fact, a very apt description. but i never realised how intimately involved i was with it until today, when i saw how many of my friends were all gathered together to do God’s will.

in other news, i finally got the problems that i’ve been having with Hybrid Elephant fixed. they weren’t serious or visible problems (the graphics were showing up in the store, but not in the admin part), but they were a concern, especially if i end up switching host providers again, which is not out of the question. as much as i was raving about 1&1 when i first signed up with them, they have pulled a slimy, underhanded move that makes me wonder how they stay in business: they pulled a “bait and switch” move where i thought i was signing up for a $10.00 a month deal with no monthly contract, and in reality i was signing up for a $20.00 a month deal with a $50 rebate, and a 6 month contract. furthermore, i’ve discovered a host service which actually charges $7 a month, and has unlimited disk space, bandwidth, and SQL databases. of course 300 GB is a lot, but there’s a big difference between 300 GB and unlimited, especially when they’re actually going to charge me less than 1&1 said they were going to charge me. so i’m going to wait until my 6 month contract is up, and then switch host providers again.

curious

Ezra and the Maureen Whiting Dance company

so i was down at ACT theatre last night. i had a matinee show (which i almost missed because the matinee shows at ACT are at 2:00, not 4:00 like the matinees at the palladium), and i had tickets for the evening show, so i was wandering around between shows and i came across this poster for the new show put on by the Maureen Whiting Dance Company with a vaguely familiar face. i wondered if it might be who i thought it was, but the poster didn’t say. eventually i found a postcard, and sure enough, i found that was, indeed, my son, ezra.

it’s good to know that my progeny is making a name for himself. at the same time, it’s really good to know that, as an artist, he’s getting the start that i should have had, but didn’t, because of my own stuff. my guess is that by the time he’s my age now, he will be a firmly established artist with a national reputation, principally because of the exposute he’s getting now. if i had pursued my dream, instead of going to bellingham and sloughing off for 20 years, i would probably be where he is now.

BUGGER!

i may have gotten to feeling a little too cocky about my newly acquired PHP skills, and i may have done something that means that i have to start again from scratch… i probably won’t have to re-feed the database, but as far as i can tell, at this point everything else is totally fucked up – FUBAR as a matter of fact… 8/

and it was all because i ASSUMED that my local backup was identical to my remote site, whereas if i had thought about it for more than a second or so, it would have been obvious that it wasn’t… 8/

and because of the fact that today is the opening performance of the moisture festival, i won’t even get the chance to survey the damage until tomorrow.

bugger, bugger, BUGGER!

ETA (090311 1:53 pm PDT) – it may not be anywhere near as bad as i expected (not surprising), but there’s still some FUMTU stuff, and i have to reinstall a bunch of contributions. the biggest loss at this point appears to be a whole bunch of images, which i, fortunately, do have backed up elsewhere. it’s still going to take me a few days to get everything sorted out, though… 8/

& 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.

snoow

cinderella starts it’s second week of performances tonight, but i’m not sure how many people are going to be there, because it snowed yesterday and we still have six inches of snow all over everything. moe took two hours to get home from work yesterday – she actually took 4½ hours to get to work (it normally takes her just under an hour, depending on traffic) – and she couldn’t get the car up the hill, so she parked at norm’s and hiked in. i’m not sure whether i want to drive or take a taxi. if i take a taxi, i’m going to have to have assurance that i’ll be paid back for it, because my impression is that the taxi fare is going to be at least $75 for a one way trip. but it’s only 10:00, so i’m going to wait until 1:00 or so before i make a decision.

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.

in other news…

i started the day with a phone call to verizon wireless, to check to see if there were any specials for my “new every two” plan. i checked it out online last night, and determined that i can get a LG VX9400 and as a result of it being my “new every two”, i would only have to pay $30 for it. the nice lady on the phone checked, and said that, yes, it would, in fact, be only $30 for the VX9400. so i decided that instead of waiting the requisite 2 to 4 business days for delivery, i would go down to the verizon wireless store at the supermall and pick one up in person.

when i got to the store, a nice young man named jayson (or something like that, i was too distracted with anger to remember details like that very clearly) asked me for my customer ID (which is my wife’s cell-phone number) and looked me up and said that a VX9400 with no accessories would be $98.50 before tax. i said, no i looked it up online, and it was only going to be $30, because this was my “new every two”. he said, no, the “new every two” only applies to the primary number (which is my wife’s cell-phone) and my number is an “add on” number, which doesn’t apply for the discount. when i offered to look it up online for him, he said, in a very condescending tone, that it doesn’t matter where i look it up, nor who i called, it was going to be $98.50, not $30, and there was nothing i could do about it.

at that point, seething with anger, i walked out of the store, and walked around the supermall. while i was walking, i called moe, and then i called verizon wireless, and by the time i got back to the verizon wireless store, i had bought the phone (i went home and printed out a receipt for $30) and everything was taken care of. i went back into the store and told the guy that i got the phone for $30, and that he sucked. then i walked out.

it’s my recollection that we went through exactly the same thing at the verizon wireless store in the supermall, two years ago, the last time i got a “new every two” phone. it really makes me wonder about what they teach their sales associates in training, if they really teach them that the rules don’t apply when you’re actually in the store, and that they are free to charge whatever they want (the non-discounted price for the VX9400 is $70 if you already have existing service, or $95 if you don’t already have service), or if they just assume that people are going to be stupid enough to believe whatever some nice man in a verizon wireless uniform tells them, just because he’s wearing a verizon wireless uniform. if people really are that stupid, we’re in deep trouble, and there’s no sign that things are going to improve for those of us who still have part of a brain left.

the only reason it hasn’t affected me more than it did is because i went from there to the post office, and while i was there, a old, local guy asked me if that was my car, and wanted to know how much it had cost me to paint all that stuff on it, and when i said i had done it all myself, he said “cool!” – which i took as quite a compliment, seeing as how he was in his 60s or 70s, and seemed really interested…

camp cirque de flambé post-burning-man party tonight at 7:00. it’s possible that moe will be there as well, which would be nice for me. i hope to give out the remainder of my “I Survived Burning Man 2008” buttons to the people i haven’t already mailed them to. BSSB at the Kenmore Oktoberfest tomorrw.

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.

a sigh of relief… and then back to work

080924 new computer/keyboard workstation

things are starting to get back to normal after the battle of the computer. although i really hate having to re-create things like my calendar, which has already screwed me up and forced me to contact a person to say that i wouldn’t actually be performing at his event because i had already made arrangements to be a performer at another (paying) event. i also really hate that i have to re-create about 100 hours of database entry, which was just beginning to take shape when the computer died last month.

on the other hand, once i get the chaos sorted out, i will actually have a fair amount more room in my “workshop” that isn’t being taken up by computer/keyboard stuff, and now that my computer and keyboard stuff aren’t in the same room, i can do more stuff that involves my band saw and drill press – the former of which is visible in the lower right hand corner of the photo, having not been moved to its final location due to the aforementioned chaos – because of the dust which i didn’t want to infect my computers and keyboards… which means that, potentially, i may get my pipe-making back on track again, and i’ll certainly have more room for musical instrument repair as well.

of course that doesn’t mean that the idea of putting my workshop in a dome is dead. i have already planned the dome and done some work on pricing out the constituent components, and some figuring out of where i can get some more esoteric building materials such as star plates. i want to build a 16-foot diameter 2V Icosa Alternate dome, because it has more space at the level of a workbench than a standard icosahedron. i believe that star plates would still work, except for where the equilateral triangles come together. i still have to work out how to connect 6 points, which means i still have to figure out whether to use lumber or metal for the edges. if i use metal, i can just flatten the end of the tubes and bolt them together, which is an effect i saw used at burning man, but if i use (cheaper) lumber i may have to figure out where to get – or figure out how to create – star plates that have six slots, rather than five. i talked with the people at stromberg’s chickens, and they said that they were marketing a device that was left to them by the original engineer when he died, and they don’t want to mess with the design out of respect to him, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out what they should look like, the hard part is getting them manufactured.

a long rant about burning man

all in all, burning man was a toss up, and i’ve pretty much decided that, given the lack of a good reason to go (like the last performance of Cirque de Flambé EVER), i will probably not go again, for the simple reason that if i’m going to go camping for a week i want to go to a place where i can relax, not to a place where it’s oppressively hot and dry and you have to worry about how much water you’re consuming because there isn’t any, anywhere else for 100 miles in any direction. the following is bits and pieces from a recording that i made every night before going to sleep.

Continue reading a long rant about burning man

in the process of getting back to “normal” (whatever that means)

i’m in the process of moving the computer part of my office into the other room, which will (presumably) give me more room in both my office, which will now be a lot more like a workshop, and my office, which will now be where i don’t have to drop what i’m doing and go into the other room and say “what was that?” when moe asks me something. now it’s sort of a mishmash of what it used to be (a big pile of boxes), with the large cat tree and a bunch of computer stuff that has yet to find a permanent place, and the office/workshop is a chaotic mess of displaced shelves and workbenches that are in the process of being moved…

but i did find my GPS unit in a pile of stuff from burning man that i still have yet to deal with, and it had the coordinates for my camp, at 3:00 and esplanade, in it. i figured a while ago that the GPS was approximately 50 yards different from the actual placement on the position of the planet, but that still doesn’t explain why where it recorded i was, was so far removed from the actual placement of burning man, unless, as i have suspected for a while now, burning man moves from one year to the next, presumably to avoid scarring the desert more than it does already.

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.

glurb

i’m back from burning man, and completely exhausted. burning man was just enough of a disaster that it made the really cool parts pale to the point where it was a complete toss-up. i have decided that, given the lack of any good reason to go there again (such as the last performance ever of cirque de flambé or something like that), there is practically no possibility that i’m ever going to go to burning man ever again. it was insanely hot – 120°F in the shade, where there was shade – when it wasn’t intensely windy with white-out conditions, and, let’s face it, it’s a desert, and an alkali desert (meaning “intensely caustic”) on top of everything, not to mention the fact that i was involved with helping the broke-down and stranded truck (which i was, fortunately, not driving myself) get towed into the site, nor the three other break-downs that our camp experienced, which is just the tip of the iceberg. i, and everything i took with me, are covered in this very fine dust, which i understand will practically never come out, i still don’t have my own computer (although i got two incense orders while i was gone, which is one more than i expected) and even though i am almost completely unloaded (i still have to unload the roof rack), everything in the car is also completely permeated with this extremely fine, ubiquitious, beige dust, which does not go well with the grey interior of the car.

i took a lot of pictures, but they probably won’t actually get posted until i have my own computer again… 8/

computers, leaving for burning man, and so forth

the lack of computers has been a real setback for me. this is the first time in 15 years or so that i have been almost completely without a computer, and i don’t know how to deal with it… although i was able to complete two business card orders (one for $75 and one for $80 plus tax) on my remaining computer, an Os9 G3 Mac with a G4 processor upgrade and 256mb of RAM. theoretically i could run OsX on it, but it already runs slowly enough, and i don’t want to bog it down even further by having to run the Os9 emulator on top of it. the computer that i am getting to replace the linux box – which won’t even boot from a live CD, so the prospects of retrieving the data from the hard disk is remote, although i haven’t exhausted all of the options yet – is a newer-ish intel mac laptop from one of moe’s net-friends in denver. as much as i like the mac os, i’m probably going to install kubuntu on it instead of OsX, because of all of the free software that comes with kubuntu that i can’t run on OsX, and the fact that i can configure kubuntu to work with my 4-button mouse a lot more easily than i can OsX. it seems really weird, especially considering how often in the past i have ranted that if mac os were available for other platforms, i would run it, but there’s the matter of expediency that i never considered in those rants. oh well.

i have a gig tonight at smokin’ pete’s barbecue tonight, and moe and i are switching cars when i get home, so that tomorrow i can pack for burning man. hopefully we’re going to leave early saturday morning and possibly spend saturday night on the road, before arriving sunday. i say “hopefully” because i still don’t know details about leaving yet. stuart is doing all the communicating for them, and all i’ve heard is that heather has to work half a day on friday, they’re planning on showing up at my place “early” saturday morning, and we probably have to be back on monday the first. packing is going well, and i am dropping off my bike with myron (who is driving a trailer full of bikes down and back) this afternoon. it seems somewhat strange that i’m not taking a tent, but this is a strange event that takes place in an environment that is actively hostile to human beings, so it’s not that strange. i’m a little nervous, because i’ve never been before and i don’t know what to expect, but everybody else is really looking forward to it, so i guess it will be okay.

i talked to “my attorney” about the hearing for SSDI and he said that my case hasn’t even been assigned to a judge yet, and probably won’t be until december or january. i realise that this is not a criminal case, but i would think that the “speedy trial” clause would extend to all court cases whether or not they’re criminal… but if i thought that, apparently i would be wrong. i’m pushing two years of “unemployment” with no obvious way of supporting myself, and these people seem to think that it’s okay for them to screw around with their thumbs up their butts for a couple years while they figure out whether or not i’m actually disabled. all i would have to do is take off my hat and they would see the nine-inch scar on my scalp. so what if i’m driving, nobody will give me a job without firing me within 4 months. DVR has decided that i don’t fit into their mold and has finally written me off, but my SSDI case hasn’t even been assigned to a judge yet, despite the fact that it’s been a year and a half since i was denied my appeal.

incense and burning man

things are starting to come together concerning burning man. i have a way to get there (plan A, which was plan B has finally worked through most of the major difficulties) and people who will share driving and expenses. the gig at the queen anne farmers’ market went off without a hitch, the parade went off without a hitch, and the overall result has left me with $30 for gas, which i will add to the approximately $250 that i’ve already got. i’m going to the fremont sunday market this sunday, which will likely net me around $60 more, and the snake suspenderz gig at smokin’ pete’s next thursday should be icing on the cake.

on the other hand, i’ve made a more and more rare contact with sugandha prabhu, my long time friend and incense supplier (his name is steven, but i’ve known him as sugandha prabhu for almost as long as i’ve known him), and he says he can get me majmua durbar and aparajita, which, as far as i’ve been able to tell, are not available anywhere else. i’ve got an email in to him asking if it’s okay for me to send him money after the first of the month (and after burning man), but he’s getting more and more difficult to get hold of (i called him 3 or 4 times over the past 6 months or so, and he’s only just gotten back to me), and i’m not sure if he’s even checked his email. i’d really like to get the incense from him soon, but i’m not sure whether or not i can wait until after the first of the month, especially when he’s been so difficult to get hold of in the first place: i feel like now that i’ve actually got in touch with him that i should “strike while the iron’s hot” so to speak, otherwise he might not get back to me, or might not have the incense, or the prices may have changed… or he might have actually died… i know he’s been in and out of the hospital for the past few years with kidney problems which aren’t getting any better, and i’ve known him for 30 years or thereabouts and he’s never been that healthy to begin with… so it’s really a concern… especially since majmua durbar and aparajita are two of my personal favourite incenses, i’m running perilously low on both of them, and i know that if i don’t get them now the likelyhood that i’ll be able to get them in the future is that much less.

busy!

clown-in-trainingbusy!

i had a rehearsal on monday with snake suspenderz, a rehearsal on tuesday with the the ballard sedentary sousa band, a parade in Brier today (from which there are pictures), and there’s going to be a gig in queen anne with snake suspenderz tomorrow. i have also been running around buying last minute things for burning man, like a patch kit and bicycle pump so that i can take my bicycle, and closed-toe shoes (it has been so long since i’ve worn anything other than birkenstocks, i don’t even know what size “normal” shoe i wear) and a first aid kit. i plan on getting the oil changed and the brakes looked at on both cars this weekend. plan B has, more or less predictably, turned into “very likely plan A”, which means that i will be driving to burning man, most likely with stuart and heather.

burning mump

i went to a burning man organisational barbecue last night. from what i now understand, it’s going to cost me a fair amout of money above and beyond the ticket price – which is $0, because i have sold my soul to bettie june, coordinator for the man watch. it’s apparently going to cost $75 to camp with the cirque folks. i don’t know if it doesn’t cost anything if i camp by myself, but $75 for a week of food and showers is a pretty good deal, so i’m not complaining. the cirque de flambé camp is at esplanade and approximately 3:00, and from what i understand, it’s going to be pretty noisy. i’m probably going to take 10 gallons of water. i don’t know how i’m getting there yet, and the organisational barbecue that we had last night doesn’t help – apparently a number of other people need rides as well, including johnny jetpack and our ringmaster, moz wright. plan B is supposed to be that i drive down, presumably with at least one other person, in monique’s minivan. i’m thinking that plan B is sounding more and more like a workable plan A, especially since i can sleep in the minivan, which would mean that i don’t have to take, or worry about things like a tent – in which i would have much less protection from a dust storm, which i understand are quite frequent on the playa. the problem at this point is that it’s supposed to be plan B, and i’m supposed to be finding another way to get there, which means that i have to take a tent and worry about whether or not it will be enough shelter in the event of a dust storm… the minivan has a roof rack, so if i take that, there’s gonna be plenty of room for miscelaneous stuff. i’m also wondering whether i it would be a good idea to take my bicycle.

oh yeah, i also thought Shit Box would be an appropriate product to have on hand… and it also makes me wonder how long until UPS starts having a fit about “The Brown Corporation”

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.

printer

my colour inkjet printer hasn’t died after all, it just had a dead USB cable – which i have never experienced before. also it needs new ink cartridges, but, i think that if it gets that, it will work again, which would be really cool, what with the new button machine and all. i spent most of today making a variety of buttons to sell at the solstice festival.

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.

link dump

Inflatable Electric Cars – the wave of the future… if you can wait until they’re commercially available…

Giraffe milk, meat confirmed kosher – a long time ago, my mother used to go to an “exotic meats” butcher, and get things like hippo, rhino, giraffe, elephant, and other suchlike, unlikely meats, but not tell the rest of us what we were eating until after we ate. now i can be assured that, at least when we were eating giraffe, the meals were also kosher.

Hints of ‘time before Big Bang’ – more evidence that the creationists are wrong.

Dispatchwork – a group of artists went around Bocchignano, a village near rome, and made patches for the decrepit brickwork out of lego blocks.

All Indicators Point to a Softening of America’s Harsh Marijuana Laws – it’s about time, but i’ll believe it when i see it.

Good News – well, good headlines pasted over regular depressing news. i must admit, when i first clicked on the page, it made me feel really good, but once i clicked one of the links, i went from feeling good, to confusion, to depression very quickly.

Pictures of a Rocket Car from Los Angeles Metblogs

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

mump

the fact that we may have as little as 20 years before all hell breaks loose has really affected me. i’ve always felt a little guilty about bringing a child into a world that is so screwed up, but the fact that i have brought a child into this world when he’s not even going to get a full lifetime of living out of it is verging on being too much.

nevertheless, i apparently can’t stay away from the news that brings me down… and it does bring me down, in spite of the fact that the sprinkling of news articles you read here are on the humourous side of depressing, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

You’ve Been Left Behind is a place for true “christian” believeroonies to leave messages for their loved-ones who are not taken in the rapture – for $40 a year until it happens. it is not a joke, unlike Post Rapture Post whose creators are athiest.

Obecalp is a “medicine” that is being marketed by a mother who has no qualifications to dispense medicine other than being a mother. ordinarily, doctors are not permitted to prescribe medicines that they know to be ineffective, but because of the fact that she’s not a doctor, everything should be fine… and you don’t have to have a prescription to buy this “medication” – i hope she doesn’t advertise by unsolicited email, because that would just be too ironic.

AI Robotics has produced the “Perfect Woman™” who is, reputedly “More Fun™”… you can “Preorder Now™”…

if you insist on using windoesn’t, Built-in Windows commands to determine if a system has been hacked and More built-in Windows commands for system analysis will help keep the bots, virii and crackers at bay a little longer than they would be without them… although why anybody still uses windoesn’t is beyond me at this point.

also, there’s some pictures from folklife that were taken by Reynaldo Martinez, one of the dancers for Guelaguetza. the first couple are of me, and most of the rest of them are the dancers for whom we were playing.

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

blah… 8/

mother-in-law came to visit yesterday, which is a chore for everyone, as, although she drives, she apparently has this irrational fear of driving on the freeway… for long distances. i’ve never been able to get the complete story from anyone: she drives on the freeway in portland, but is too afraid to drive on the freeway to come visit her only daughter in seattle… and when her father (my grandfather-in-law, and as grumpy an old dude as that i have never met before) lived in chehalis, she would drive up on the freeway to visit him, but for some (as i said, it’s an irrational fear) reason, seattle is too far for her to drive, so she took the train.

i had a cinco de mayo performance with banda gozona yesterday, so i missed out on the prelude, but i had to drive her to the amtrak station this morning (moe had already left to go teach), which turned into a nightmare such that, once she arrived home in portland, she decided that she had to go directly to the hospital instead of going home first. i won’t go into all of what happened, but i never thought i would have occasion to be so intimate with my mother-in-law… and i’m glad she has a high tolerance for pain, because if it had been lower the probability that i would have been even more intimate with her is very high. she’s a hardy soul, though, and the fact that she will recover from whatever she did to herself in the bathroom this morning is practically assured. i was late to my rehearsal, however…

i have been really depressed for a while now, and part of it is because DVR has been stringing me along and then unceremoniously dumped me a couple of weeks ago. it may not be as bad as it sounds in the long run, but it’s pretty depressing at the moment. although i found a site where they built a building that could be used as a workshop very nicely, for about $1,000. it’s built entirely of rammed earth, which means that, properly built, it’s very stable and can handle massive weigh, which could mean that i could dig out a corner of our front yard, build a rammed-earth building, and put a flower garden or something like that on top.

other things that have been contributing to my depression include the state of the world, and the state of the country. while the entire country is up in arms about obama’s former pastor, nobody seems to be paying attention to the endorsement mccain got from “rev.” john hagee. i’ve been familiar with hagee since he was an unknown radio televangelist, and he scares me a lot more than a pissed-off black guy who used to be pastor to the guy who’s trying to become president. this writer, who claims to have smoked pot at woodstock, thinks that despite it’s gaining more acceptance in the “normal” world as time goes on, cannabis will not be legal in the forseeable future for five really stupid, but ultimately probably quite accurate reasons. while at exactly the same time, in canada(da) they’re pushing for legalisation, and, in arizona, cops make a $2.5 million pot bust when they pull over a commercial truck with an improperly displayed license plate… and they’re telling us to keep a lid on your emotions at work, because to show them is a "career limiting move" (as we used to call such things when i worked at micro$not).

there have been some things that are breaks in the depression, though – precious few, unfortunately – but they include dolphins playing with bubbles (courtesy of my friend kamalla), a seal fucking a penguin – which should disturb the “christians” and the anti-furries in the audience (who knows, there may actually be some), and a license plate that is not only displayed properly, but encourages cannabilism.

also, there has been a profusion of puppies in my life recently. here’s a picture.

4-week-old puppy
sleeping puppy

Continue reading blah… 8/

yes, i’m still here…

Hybrid Elephant @ The FSM

it’s just that i’ve been really depressed, and not much is happening in my life recently. i went to the fremont sunday market (flying spaghetti monster) last weekend, and made $80. i’ve got a banda gozona rehearsal thursday and a performance saturday (cinco de mayo, oddly enough, on 1st may… oh well). i got an inquiry about whether or not i ship internationally and i’ve decided that i really should post that on the web site somewhere, so it’s more obvious – yes, i ship internationally, but (for example) to the UK i have to require $25 USD extra to cover shipping costs, which, for most people that order incense from me, would be more than their total order. in general i recommend that if it’s not a domestic order, that the customer should order at least $100 worth of product, or to find some place “closer to home” from which to order.

i’m slowly making progress on my most recent stencil project, which is a picture of gurdjieff. after toying around with various ideas and size possibilities, i finally cut it out – it took two tries, because the first one i got confused and cut out one of the eyes in reverse. it’s taken a while, but it looks like it will do. now i’ve just got to figure out where to paint it where i won’t get caught arrested

gurdjieff stencil

i’ve been really depressed recently, because i’ve been dealing with DVR for the past few months and just came to the point where they’ve finally decided that they can’t help me make Hybrid Elephant more profitable. one of the ways they said they might be able to help is by helping me work out some sort of out-building on our property that i can use as a workshop/recording studio – i had in mind a 20 foot shipping-container-sized office, which would mean less time spent constructing it and more-or-less guaranteed working things like lights and electricity… but after stringing me along since january they’ve decided that they can’t (or, more likely, won’t) help me, because Hybrid Elephant is not “niche” enough, and too “fringe” for their liking…

so if any of you want to buy me stuff to make me happy, Middlesex University Teaching Resources would be a good place to start… they’ve got all kinds of geeky stuff. anything would be fine. surprise me.

other than that, here’s a link dump from the past few days:

John Cleese reports on laughter – appropriately enough…

Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies – this person took the concept that any food can be made better by adding bacon to one extreme… and before you say “eew” think about it a little bit… it actually sounds pretty good, and i’m tempted to try it.

McCain opposes equal pay bill in Senate – meanwhile, the world continues on it’s way to hell.

The very first McDonalds commercial – meanwhile, the world continues on it’s fast track to hell-in-a-handbasket… 8/

The Trailer to Chemical Wedding – which is coming in may. this will either be a total misrepresentation of uncle al, or it could be very interesting.

A Closet Of Curiosities – which is a music blog courtesy of my old friend spreznib, with whom i hope to be making our own music soon.

ignorant savages!

Ganesha The Car has been kicked out of another parade – only this time it was early enough that i didn’t actually drive to the parade. it still irritates me that people can be so outrageously ignorant.

i sent the following description to the 4th of july parade coordinator in everett

a 1996 mazda protege with a prayer consisting of the first 100 names of the
1008 names of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, written in
sanskrit all over the outside, and a Ganesha Yantra on the roof. in sanskrit,
the name of the prayer is “Sri Ganapatisahasranaamavalih” which means
the “1008 names of Ganesha”

photos and a more complete description can be seen at
http://www.hybridelephant.com/ganesha.html

NOTE: PLEASE LOOK AT THE PHOTOS AND DESCRIPTION ON THE WEB SITE CAREFULLY.

the car has two swastikas on the back corner panels, and a swastika on the roof.

IN CONTEXT, THESE SHOULD NOT BE INTERPRETED AS SYMBOLS OF NAZI HATRED!

the swastika and the six-pointed star (commonly called by its jewish
name, “magen dawid” or the “star of david”) in combination, are ancient
symbols of Ganesha, and represent good luck, peace and love. the combination
bears a similar meaning to the “taijitu” or “tao symbol” from china.

the swastika and the six-pointed star have meant good luck, peace and love for
at least 5000 years, and they still mean it to this day, despite the people
that claim the swastika means nazis. IT DOESN’T, THEY’RE WRONG!

it is because of ignorant people less than 90 years ago that the swastika has
come to mean anything other than good luck, peace and love.

this car is, among other things, my way to reclaim the swastika from those
ignorant few who have turned it into a symbol of hatred, and return it to its
original, beneficial meaning. IT WORKS!

i have postcards, the back of which contain an explanation of why the swastika
is not what most american people erroneously think it is, which i am willing
to hand out to people at the parade, but i have also been kicked out of
parades in the past, because of people who refused to understand, and i would
like to avoid that if possible.

this is the response that i got from them:

Thank you for your quick response. I appreciate your detailed
description and respect your views. However, we are unable to fund your
participation in our parade due to the sensitive and controversial
nature of some of the symbols on your car. I am very sorry and wish you
the best of luck in the future.

Sincerely,

Laura Baird – [email protected]

the response came back quickly enough that i get the impression they didn’t even look at the web site, and they certainly didn’t have time to look at the photos… 8/

rants

i haven’t been posting much this week because nothing has been going on, and i’ve been really tired since the moisture festival ended. i’ve seen a lot of web sites that were interesting, but none that i really care to post, or post about, in my blog. there were a few of them, like the baby with two faces i was all set to post but then my browser crashed, because i tried to load the story about the founder of a houston area “christian” school who was caught red handed soliciting sex from a parent, which apparently contained a quicktime object embedded in a flash object, because it crashed my browser (on linux), showed up as a broken quicktime link (on W2K) or didn’t show up at all (on Mac Os9). part of the reason why i keep a blog in the first place is so that i can remember what has been going on a little more accurately, since my memory since my injury has been less than accurate about 85% of the time.

nevertheless, How To Actually Talk To Atheists (If You’re Christian) is something that everyone should read, whether you’re actually “christian” (or Christian, for that matter) or not. i got a lot out of it, and i’m a hindu. it would be especially nice if people like glen howard, or the lady that accosted me in auburn and tried to get me to convert for 45 minutes would read it. maybe, if i’m lucky, they will read it, thanks to my link, because my guess is that they wouldn’t have blogs like that in their agregator, if they even know what one is.

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, ?????!

all the strange stuff, all at once

for those of you who are actually going to the moisture festival on saturday evening – the 10:30 show only – you will be priveledged to see the new Big Bois With Poise performance, and because of that (and because of the fact that i’ve been sworn to secrecy) i will not post pictures of the outrageous costumes that are a part of this year’s show. after saturday i may post them. stay tuned.

Cat poo coffee: $100 a cup – this doesn’t have much to do with toxoplasmosa gondii, but once again, it makes me wonder if we’re not all just puppets, and the real rulers of the world are these bizarre microscopic organisms… watch, as i get older i’ll get more and more convinced of this to the point where i’ll become obsessed with ridding the world of this microscopic menace… you wait… it will happen…

West Chester Gorilla Suit Construction Workshopdamn, i wish i lived closer… 8/

??????????????????????????????????2?????0410?????????????????? – no, it’s not japanese spam, but if you would like an anglicised version, thank ThinkGeek for at least partially translating it… these japanese are crazy!

this is ridiculous! it’s why i’m against work in general, but this goes far beyond just work. why don’t they take an earlier, or later train to avoid having to shove them in like this? and these days, why don’t they telecommute? especially in japan… i’ve said this more than once today, but these japanese are crazy!

Malware still malingering for up-to-date anti-virus users – apparently having anti-virus software and keeping it up to date is no longer enough to keep from geting infected by malware… if you use windoesn’t… if you use mac or linux, their virus detection software – courtesy of panda reaserchdoesn’t even work! no wonder i’ve been reading recently about how windows is collapsing

Continue reading all the strange stuff, all at once

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)

passing time

snow! in march!

the opening night of the moisture festival is today. i’ve got to be there no later than 5:30, and we begin playing at 6:30. until then, i am waiting for UPS to deliver 1000 postcards i had printed for margot lovinger, which, according to the UPS web page, has been “out for delivery” since 4:45 this morning. the last time i remember this happening, the guy came shortly after i was forced to leave, and because of the fact that it happened on friday, i wasn’t able to actually recieve the shipment until monday. there’s a good chance that will happen again with this shipment, because i have to go help bill nelson with another one of his computer problems tomorrow morning. if it weren’t for the fact that his computer problems inevitably turn out to be much easier to solve than he makes them sound when i’m talking to him on the phone, and if it weren’t for the fact that he is enthusiastic about paying me, i would consider telling him to find another helpdesk geek.

snow? in march??

well, my UPS shipment just arrived, so i’m outta here.

blah

i had another acupuncture appointment today, and once again he put needles in all five fingertips of my right hand. he even told me that the middle fingertip point is called “old dragon”, which is a little amusing considering “the bird” flies from the middle finger. he also said that, in china, the sensation i got when i wriggled around last time and “agitated” the needles in my legs, is what they go for with all the needles, but he doesn’t do that because most western folks can’t handle it. i could probably handle it as long as i knew it was coming, but even i have limits, and for me, the fingertip needles are that limit… although i will say that i have a lot more sensation in my fingertips now than i had before the treatment.

i’m going to the fremont sunday market again tomorrow. i hope to be a little bit better prepared than i was last week. i got a bunch of milk jugs which i filled with sand to use as weights to hold down the canopy – they said that they require 20 pounds per leg, and the milk jugs only weigh 12½ pounds, but i’m hoping for at least 2 more jugs, and possibly 4 more, to join them later on.

DVR didn’t call me, rather as i suspected. i’m going to call them first thing monday, but they’re very quickly losing credibility with me. i already have low expectations about what any government agency can do for me, and when they say they’re going to do something and then don’t, it confirms my low expectations, regardless of how rosy the outlook has been in the past.

i’ve been looking at grafitti stickers recently, and have some interesting ideas, including a picture of george gurdjieff and a picture of aliester crowley, posterised and rendered in black and white. i know exactly what pictures i want to use. it may be that the pictures get stencils made out of them as well. i’ve got a whole bunch of spray paint left over that’s waiting to be used for something nefarious.

moe and i are going to maneki this evening to help one of her friends/co-workers celebrate their birthday.

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.

hybrid elephant, non-incense stuff

The Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band was written up in the Seattle Times on saturday. there are more pictures if you click the javascript gallery at the times site, or on the static page at the BSSB web site. there’s also John Philip Sousa’s favourite recipe, in case you ever wanted to know. the library of congress apparently offers a whole bunch of JPS miscellanea including scores, instrumental parts, audio files and scrap books… 8) looks like i’m going to have some web pages to update with new information here pretty soon…

someone wrote to me asking about baaṇalingams (which is another name for narmada sivalingams), so i steered him this direction, which, oddly enough, is the result of about 1 hour’s worth of research of on the web, but i didn’t have anything anywhere close on my site, so i put together a new page for it.

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.

when it rains…

i went to a banda gozona rehearsal last night. we’re gearing up for a festival of santa cecilia on sunday, which is presumably when we get paid for the year. along with that, memo sent me $60 for taking care of the valves and slides on his alto horn. then when i got home i discovered that UPS had been here, but they didn’t leave the package. so today i got up and there was email from kelly, who wants some postcards, and another email from a guy in australia who wants incense. i took care of the postcards and emailed kelly, packed up incense and emailed the guy from australia, went to the post office and the bank, and came home, where i intend to continue working on the brochure for chris, typesetting the poster for sandy and waiting for UPS to show up.

oh, also i bought $90 worth of the holy vegetable yesterday. considering how it’s going, that should be enough to last me through the end of the year.

i was right… 8/

sandy didn’t even look at the artwork that i submitted, which was based on the puss in boots engraving by doré, but went with the cartoon-style image that her friend came up with… but she did ask me to “put the text in” since i have “so many cool fonts”…

i should typeset it in cuniefont, or something equally unreadable… 8/

random

i keep finding splinters of broken glass on my desk, but as far as i remember, i haven’t broken anything glass on my desk recently. weird.

the mac is in the process of reinstalling. i’ve started out by erasing the system disk and reinstalling OS 9.2.1, which is the newest old operating system i have, and i’m hoping that’s going to take care of the problems i’ve been having. i started out yesterday by doing a clean install of OS 9.1, which fixed the problems that i’ve been having with photoshop almost immediately, but then i realised that i have a newer system disk, and i decided that starting over from scratch, with a clean hard disk, would insure that any future problems i had would be more likely hardware related. besides, i’m confident that, with the mac operating system the way it is generally, i could get the whole thing reinstalled and running far more quickly than i could with linux or windoesn’t.

sandy asked me if i could make a poster for Puss In Boots, but then she remembered that she asked another friend of hers to come up with a poster, so she said that mine would be a poster that we could use if her other friend came up with something horrible. this is the same sandy that i had to deal with earlier in the year for the moisture festival program, so i’m not expecting to get paid, and i’m not expecting her to have much regard for whatever artwork i do provide, and i’m taking my time about coming up with something. it seems incredible, but i’m actually considering asking about doing the moisture festival program again this year. i must be totally out of my mind. perhaps it’s just as well that she’s going with the idea her friend had… 8/

i got a paypal payment from eva, which i transferred to my bank account, but i wonder why it is, when i transfer money from paypal to my bank account, that it takes two to three days to show up. if somebody pays me using paypal, supposedly the money is transferred immediately, and if i had a paypal credit card, supposedly i would be able to access that money as soon as the person made the payment. but, for some reason, it takes two to three days before the money is transferred from my paypal account to my bank account. i assume that the reason for this is because the paypal people want me to keep the money in my paypal account, so they deliberately take their time about transferring money out of my account, but it’s still bizarre, from my point of view.

hybrid elephant, non-incense stuff

i’ve got a potential client, the society of veterinary behavior technicians, who wants a (as in “one”) 24″x30″ white foamcore sign, printed in three colours, black, green and purple. so far, i’ve gotten five estimates, from around $55 (for 2 colours) all the way up to $90, with most of them falling between $60 and $75. i’ve also discovered that it’s fairly easy to buy foamcore, canvas, grommet machines, and other sign making materials from a variety of web sites out there, which makes me want a vinyl cutter more than ever. some day…

also, i’ve got a postcard order from eva funderburgh, who got postcards from me earlier this year. this time she wants 1000 4/4 matte cards with an aqueous coating on one side… and, wouldn’t you know it, the old mac has gotten to the point where i can’t even rely on photoshop to work correctly most of the time. it’s now, officially, time for 1) reinstall the old operating system (clean install), or, possibly 2) install a newer operating system (OS10.4), or even 3) install the new hard disk that i got during the last battle of the computer, and install, but at that point i’m not sure if i’m going to install the old system or the new one. one step at a time, as always, but i don’t hold out much hope for the mac at this point… it’s a good thing i got linux working as well as it is… 8/