Category Archives: brain injury

i’ve heard it said before…

i’ve heard it said before that depression is like a weight, but i never really felt like that was true for me. it felt like a gloomy presence which infected everything, but not, specifically, as a “weight”… until today, the 6th day since i microdosed. i took 750mg this morning at 09:45 and proceeded to have one of the most bizarre trips i have ever had.

despite the outdoor temperature climbing, i got very cold, to the point where i put on a hoodie and closed it around my face to ward off chills. then i got very sleepy, so i took a nap for a couple of hours. when i got up i felt straight enough to drive to the place where i bought some storage media, and then i decided, on the spur of the moment, to go “out for a drive”…

and that’s when i realised: depression IS like a weight: it gets a little bit heavier, imperceptably, every minute of every hour of every day, until i go around wondering (like i was, only yesterday) how i don’t know i have the energy to do things until i’m actually doing them, only to be made more tired and exhausted by the things that i was doing that i didn’t know i had the energy to do, and doing things (like i did yesterday) like going to bed at 19:30 because i was so exhausted… and the only respite i seem to have is when i take enough mushrooms to be able to perceive that it is all an illusion. it was around this time last year that i had a profound, mushroom-induced brush with reality, and i really haven’t done anything BUT microdoses since then.

microdosing keeps the weight from getting too unbearable, but it still accumulates. i need regular macrodoses, as well, to keep things from getting too overwhelming.

because too much whelm is never a good thing for anyone. 😉

meh… 😒

since 240214 i have had 5 circus classes, 4 unicycle classes, 3 moisture festival rehearsals, 2 counseling sessions, 2 dentist appointments (my first in over 20 years, and they STILL couldn’t find anything wrong with my teeth), and 1 eye appointment.

17 days, nominally (the only evens that were MORE THAN an hour were the dentist appointments), worth of “stuff” and 20 days of “no stuff”… almost A MONTH of sitting around reading what passes for social media these days (i still haven’t quit reddit, although i’m closer to it than ever), or taking off and playing a lonely, solo game of “this way, that way” (which is best played by three or more people), getting lost, and ending up in orting — and when i mentioned it in one of my circus classes, the coach said “orting? what’s that?”

😒

okay, i’ve done “routine” things, like splitting firewood, taking care of laundry, washing dishes, shopping, and that kind of thing, and i’ve done “important” things, like upgrading the NAS, and building a rack for the kayaks, on top of everything else, so i wasn’t REALLY frowsting on the internet tubes ALL the time, but there has been a SERIOUS LACK of things to do, recently.

plus, the glasses i got from the aforementioned eye appointment are WORSE than my current distance glasses, and they’re supposed to be reading glasses (which means that they REALLY don’t work), and moe went to bellingham today, and i didn’t, after spending the past two weeks saying that i wanted to go (and then, deciding at the last minute, last night, that i would stay here with the pets), so now i’m here, alone, with the two ADULT dogs (moe took the annoying puppy with her), a cat, a snake, and a parrot, in this REALLY QUIET house, and all i want to do is make noise and pretend like there’s somebody here… so i can hide from them in my office, because i don’t know how to interact with them like normal people.

but, for some reason, i haven’t even played other peoples’ music, and have just been sitting here with the silence, the sound of my keyboard tapping, and the occasional bong hit…

AND i haven’t been out busking AT ALL since february 14th, which makes my new micro-tuba REALLY sad… i’ve got to renew my pike place market busker permit before the 15th of april, which means going through the whole rigamarôle again, only this time it’s with new folks in charge, who i have never met before, and, what do you know? the “official rules” STILL say “no brass instruments or drums allowed” in one place, and “muted tubas will be accepted on a conditional basis, and added to the 2018 rules” in another place… except they weren’t, and nobody has bothered to define EXACTLY what they mean by a “muted tuba”, and nobody has bothered to update the rules since then. 😒 and that’s not to mention the fact that i’ve been hankering to go out with my harmonic flute, my hindu drum machine, and my electronic rig, to some place OTHER than the pike place market, but i haven’t done so for reasons which come down, basically, to paranoia and self-doubt. 😒

this is one of those “i’m feeling grouchy and out-of-sorts” experiences that, in the past, i would have solved by taking mushrooms, but… well… i’ve been taking ≈250mg of mushrooms, every other day, for the past 8 months, i have absolutely NO clue what “the protocol” is for microdosing, and, at this point, if i have a trip that isn’t at least partially decent, i’m going to get even more frustrated than i already am. part of what i’m doing about it is, the next batch of capsules are going to be 200 mg, rather than ≈250mg, but i still have ≈100 250 mg capsules left, so it’s going to be a while until i get to them. the weather has been playing around with being nice enough that hiking in the forest sounds feasable, but the weather is also hit-or-miss whether it’s going to be nice or rainy, and it’s probably going to be that way for the next few weeks.

🍄 capsule update

so i’m going to try a smaller dose for the next 100. i’ve learned a little more about how to make capsules more uniform, and i decided to make 200 milligram doses, rather than the (nominally) 250 milligram doses i’ve been taking. a “microdose”, by definition, is “subperceptual”, and, for the most part these are, but every now and then i get a little twinge of psychedelic-ness, and i KNOW that as little as 50 mg will affect my mood, so i figured why not go lower, just to see what happens.

turns out using a sieve to sift the powdered mushroom filters out the pieces that are big enough to cause problems with consistency, and makes it easier to re-powderise the remainder. i was able to get 100 capsules that range from 190 mg to 210 mg, compared to my last 100, unsifted “250 mg” doses, which were anywhere from 190 mg to 270 mg. i’ll take a 20% margin, but 80% is pretty close to unsatisfactory. 😉

i’m still about halfway through the 250 mg doses, but i’ve got the next 100 doses all ready, plus around another ounce or so of powdered mushrooms, and “30 gram” “ounce” of unpowdered mushrooms…

231106 capsule making in progress
231106 capsule making in progress
231106 capsule making results
231106 capsule making results

i had a really weird dream last night

i had a really weird dream last night. before my injury, i had bizarre, vivid dreams pretty regularly. since my injury, i have had less than a dozen dreams i could remember, and none of them have been as bizarre or vivid as they were before my injury.

i miss those dreams… 😢

nevertheless, the dream i had last night is another dream i have had in a long series of dreams, starting before my injury, that have involved a “house” that i have “lived in”, usually in the past, but sometimes, temporarily, in the present. it is an old, not very well maintained house, with victorian architecture, that has been “updated” at least once, in the past, before i lived there the first time. the “house” has at least 5 floors (sometimes many more than that), which include the sub-basement, the basement, the first, or ground floor, the second floor, and the third floor, and each floor above ground is more rickety and more falling-apart than the previous one. even under the best of circumstances, the house is an “abandoned” house, which, when it was first built, was a large, fancy house, but lost most of its “fanciness” a very, very long time ago.

last night, i was staying in the “house” with a bunch of my friends from cirque de flambé/fremont players, including one person — simon neale — who died a few years ago. in the dream, i know he had died, so i figured it must have been a “flashback” or something like that. at first, i was on the third floor with a bunch of random people (and at least 2 more floors above, which is why the “house” is so weird), and one of them wanted to move some large boxes down to the ground floor, and asked me if they could take the elevator. i told them that the “old” elevator still sort of worked, but that it was scary, because i remembered that, in another dream involving the “house”, i took the old elevator up, and it just kept on going up, and didn’t stop, once it reached the top floor of the house. i recommended the “new” elevator, which was in the front of the house, and had been installed comparatively recently, but which didn’t go up beyond the third floor, or down below the ground floor, but, because of the “house” being in general disrepair, i was skeptical that there was a path to the “new” elevator that would support the person AND the large, heavy boxes that they wanted to move.

then, i was on the ground floor, moving my stuff into a vacant room which i was going to occupy temporarily. i looked out the window, towards the back of the “house”, which was on an alley that i recognised as being in downtown seattle, in the early ’70s… in fact, it was one of the large, victorian houses on the opposite side of the same street that “The Monestary” (a gay disco club that was torn down in the ’80s) was on. there was someone backing a pickup truck into what looked like a parking space, directly behind the “house”, but which i knew was actually the buried roof of the basement, which was very definitely NOT designed to hold up a pickup truck… the truck went backwards, hesitantly, until it fell through the roof, and the whole back side of the “house” collapsed. i managed to find my way out of the “house”, which is where i ran into simon, who was dressed in his “captain hook” costume, from the panto “peter pan”. i mentioned to him that the house had collapsed because someone drove a truck into the back yard, but simon was having trouble with his “hook” prop, and said that i should find another way in.

it was at that point that someone sent me a text-message which caused my tablet to emit its characteristic “clown horn” noise, which woke me up. it turned out that the text message was from one of my friends from the cirque de flambé/fremont players, which confused THE HELL out of me for several hours afterwards.

sigh… 🙄

moe has COVID… again… 😒 i probably do, too, but i haven’t tested, because i’m not doing anything until my sunday unicycle class, so if i’m still symptom-less then, i’ll test before going to class, and only go if i’m negative. moe tested before she left for work, this morning, and was negative, but she started noticing symptoms once she got to work, and tested again, with a positive result.

naturally, she found out that she’s sick on the last day before she has her weekend… and she has to cancel a mammogram and a massage tomorrow. 😒

i remember, in early 2020, before they found a vaccine, leading scientists and experts warned us that we had a pandemic on our hands, and that if EVERYONE wore a mask for a couple of months, without exceptions, we could get ahead of it… but #drumpf said that it would miraculously disappear, disbanded the federal pandemic response team, and started raving about hydroxychloroquine, and drinking bleach, and using infrared light inside the body, and enough people believed him that, here we are now, 4 years later, with hundreds of variants, and no end in sight… and i’ve got an extended family of neighbours, down the street, who STILL believe #drumpf’s lies! 😒

sigh… 😒

the “holidays” are over, and things are getting back to “normal”, which means they’re getting back to boring, irritating, depressing, or some combination of the three, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change much, if at all, for the forseeable future.

our sort-of “annual” trip to double-bluff beach happened, but it was complicated by high tides and the (also annual) polar-bear swim that happens at double-bluff beach at the same time, so instead of getting there really early (i.e. some time between 8:00 and 9:00), we got there after noon, and (naturally) there were A LOT more people who have the same tradition we do… plus there was an added new dog that has never gone to the beach before (quill), and an old dog (rye) who is now deaf and blind enough that he can’t distinguish between his own people, and other random folks with a dog, who also happen to be throwing a ball. the result was a walk on a crowded beach for about half an hour before we had all three dogs on leashes in a place where they’re supposed to be off-leash, because they were all acting up/out and we couldn’t control them. it ended up that we packed it in before we even got to the point where you go around the rock outcropping that blocks the view of the actual park, and about a mile and a half BEFORE the place where the rock ended up — which, now that i come to think about it, could be the last time i was there… 😒

grumph! 😒

still adequate, although somewhat more meh than usual, partially because we’re in the middle of panto season and “the dame” (macque, in the part of auntie gertie) got covid last week 😒 the understudy is leah, who was responsible for the poster/banner disagreement a few years ago, and is currently responsible for the web site’s current host, wix, which is owned by the israeli government. 😒 i tested negative for covid today — it is my impression that i just got my fourth or fifth booster a little more than two months ago, so i may still be covered by that, but i tested anyway, out of an abundance of caution. i will test again before i leave for the theatre on saturday. 😒

can i just say, i am SO DONE with covid? and i am PARTICULARLY done with the predominantly-republicunt-stupidity-about-disease-enablers who are now going after RSV, which is booming in infants and people over 60. naturally, there’s a vaccine that the enablers are saying is a fake, and injects nanoparticles into your DNA, or some horse-shit like that… and — naturally — NOBODY is wearing masks any longer. 😒

i wish i had died when i had the chance. 😒

suspiciously adequate

nothing has been going wrong… apart from stuff over which i have no control whatsoever, which is mildly alarming, but not overly so… nothing has been going outstandingly well, but things so rarely hit that mark that it doesn’t really surprise me that much. my unicycle “click” seems to be permanent, which i totally CAN NOT figure out, but, hey, i’m not complaining… we’re into the final week of rehearsals before the panto opens on saturday. one show is already sold out, but another show has only sold one ticket, and they’re talking about cancelling it, but no decision has been made yet.

i keep anticipating something going wrong, especially at this time of year, and when nothing goes wrong, i start getting anxious. 😒

surprisingly adequate

today’s mood, overall, is surprisingly adequate: i took 250 mg 🍄 @ 09:00 this morning, but that wasn’t what triggered it. i went to my circus class at noon, and i think i experienced the “click” that people talk about when learning unicycle… i can’t put my finger on one thing that is different from a week ago, or even a month ago, but, for some reason, today i was able to free mount more than half of the attempts i made, and, if you want to talk about free mounts that didn’t go two rotations or more, that ratio goes up to almost three quarters of the attempts. another thing that i found A LOT easier to do today is turning left. i’ve been able to turn right for quite some time, but turning left has eluded me, up until today. it’s still sort of sloppy, and not particularly precise, but it’s a left turn that wasn’t there last week. if this is the “click” everyone talks about, it took about 3½ years longer to hit me than it did for the people who told me about it… but, apparently, it’s there… 🤷

and then i came home and put together the last IOTM offering for the year.

🍄

YESTERDAY: 1 g 🍄 @ 10:00 — which was DEFINITELY a mistake: not a “bad trip”, just a trip in a time and place where i would definitely have preferred NOT to be tripping, i.e. with a bunch of people (six, seven if you include moe), some of whom i don’t know really well, and one of whom i actively dislike (you know who you are). i took mushrooms as the result of a bunch of hasty and not-too-well-thought-out decisions which were contradicted almost immediately after it was too late, and the end result was that i slept for four hours and was high for another three or four hours after that, while everybody else had thanksgiving dinner. as i said, not a “bad trip”, just a rather unpleasant one which i would prefer not to repeat. thank you.

a very strong reminder that “set and setting” are two thirds of the trip… something you would think i would know by now… 😉😒🙄

TODAY: 250 mg 🍄 @ 08:30

misc. update-ish

i ordered some jewelry from an artist in poland. i’ve been tracking it for a month, now. from poland, it spent almost two weeks undergoing microscopic scrutiny in customs, in florida, and then it took another week to get from florida to kent, washington (which is right down the road from where i live)… but, after spending a full 48 hours, plus, in kent, it suddenly, this morning, makes a leap to juneau, alaska, where it is currently “preparing for delivery”… 😒 if it’s anything like the recent shipments i’ve gotten from germany, the united kingdom, or portugal, it will be delivered today, in my residential mailbox, with no further explanation for why it was reported to be in alaska, but, as this delivery is “registered mail” (because of the fact that it’s jewelry), i’m probably going to have to sign for it, rather than having them just leave it in the box.

the postal delivery person just came and went, with no registered package from poland, so i guess it HAS gone to juneau, and who knows when i’ll be seeing it. 🙄

i’ve settled down to microdosing every other day, which seems to be working A LOT better than the commercially available (legal) alternatives that i have tried (buproprion), but i’m getting frustrated again, because either, i feel “okay” (in that i do not feel as frustrated or depressed), or i feel frustrated and/or depressed about stuff that has been there, is there now, and will be there tomorrow and into the future, regardless of whether or not i am taking medication of any kind. it’s frustrating to have to be taking a microdose to feel better, rather than being able to do something constructive to rid myself of the factors which cause the frustration and depression to begin with, but which are not possible, because they require things like killing tens of thousands of #drumpf-cultists and/or making major changes in society as a whole… which is exacerbated by the knowledge that if i were taking 2.5 grams, instead of .25 grams, things would be a lot more different. i call mushrooms my “don’t give a fuck pill”, but i guess i should call the microdoses my “give a little bit less of a fuck pill”, which, i’m not totally sure, is the point.

in the upcoming 49 days, i have 25 panto-related obligations, including 18 performances and 7 rehearsals, starting next monday. wolfenoot is thursday (as is thanksgiving), when our friends from hawaii are coming for dinner (but, significantly, NOT my mother-in-law), and, on friday, moe and i, and our friends from hawaii, are all going to go get tattooed: a few years ago, pre-COVID, we rented a house on the beach, and invited a whole bunch of friends to come and visit. the only people that ended up being able to come were micah and shaya, our friends from hawaii. we spent a week in a VERY large house, under the influence of a fantastic amount of trendy chemical amusement aid, flying kites and playing board (bored?) games, which included a “boys-against-girls” round of pictionary, in which the girls won with monique’s drawing which has come to be known as “snake-camel”… so, on friday, we’re all going to get a tattoo of “snake-camel”… which looks like this:

231028 snake-camel
231028 snake-camel

the panto this year is a re-visitation of one of our previous pantos, “Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs”. we’ve got 7 rehearsals scheduled during the next two weeks, including one band-only rehearsal. marni, the flute/alto-sax player that moved to england just before the pandemic, is back, and she was the “purple” member of the group, so i don’t know how the fact that i have sort of taken over that position is going to play out. rehearsal season, this year, has been decidedly abbreviated and condensed, and i’m not sure whether or not that is a good thing.

aw, yeah!!!

so, i tried measuring .01 grams of mushrooms, and it wouldn’t go, because the scale isn’t that accurate…

but now i have a MILLIGRAM scale, which measures down to .001 gram!

i wonder how this is going to work? i presume that i wait a couple of days, and then, instead of taking my .25 gram dose, i’ll measure out and take a .01 gram dose, and then wait a couple of days and take a .005 gram dose…

at this point, i’m going to wager that i’ll perceive something…

i’ve also been hearing that “microdosing is a placebo” and “there is minimal evidence to support microdosing”… but i can’t confirm who has been saying these things, so at this point they’re just propaganda, as far as i’m concerned.

because i now have a milligram scale, i can assess whether or not i’m actually taking .25 gram doses… average of 5 random capsules tested, range between 190 mg, and 270 mg, is 230 mg… which is REASONABLY close, given the procedure and methods used… not TERRIFICALLY close… and the procedure and methods used were haphazard, at best… 😉

horse-whipple

today’s sequence of events: i woke up in a foul mood because of the dream which i wrote about earlier. then i took mushrooms. then, shortly before i was supposed to leave for my unicycle class, we discovered that, once again, our back fence has been destroyed by a dead tree from the neighbour’s yard, which had fallen on it.

on the way to my unicycle class, around 11:00, a dangerously aggressive driver in a red nissan pathfinder, washington license number CKF6505, cut me off on the right, as i was turning right from the right turn lane off SE 216th to renton-maple valley road — i.e. they passed me on the right shoulder, and cut me off as i was turning right from the right-turn lane — and then proceeded towards renton at 80+ miles per hour, where the normal speed limit is 45-50 miles per hour.

then i went to my unicycle class, in which my free-mount attempts were more than 50% successful, and my left-turn attempts were, also, more than 50% successful, which is highly unusual. then i went to glazer’s, downtown, to pick up moe’s xmas gift. then i went to issaquah, picked up orders from petco and home depot, and got groceries at fred meyer, and made it back by 15:00.

once home, i unloaded the car, switched the laundry, took the dry laundry upstairs and separated it prior to folding.

i think, probably, the biggest single event that contributes to my NOT STILL being in an irritable mood is my unicycle class. as is my usual habit, i showed up 15 minutes early, so i could practice, and my FIRST TWO attempts at free-mounting, AND turning left were successful, one right after the next… i don’t know what i am doing differently, but whatever it is, works.

the 250 mg mushroom capsule i took this morning MUST HAVE HAD ALL the good stuff in it, because, particularly at my unicycle class, i could DEFINITELY feel the psychedelic effects. it was not enough to alert other folks, but it was somewhat alarming that it was as powerful as it was, considering the dose.

i’ve definitely used up all my spoons for the day.

🍄

.25 g 🍄 @ 08:00

i had a dream that i could remember, which is VERY unusual. AND it was really frustrating. there was a party at our house, which wasn’t our house, but it was, in the dream. i was in my office, hiding from the majority of the party, as i frequently do. there were a bunch of kids, with their parents, that were part of the party, and one little girl decided that it would be funny to film me with her tablet, when i was working on my computer, but the app that she was using to film me was one that steals your passwords and suchlike, and ships them off to russia without your knowledge, which, of course, she didn’t know, because she was a kid. i found out about this after she had filmed me entering MY password to somewhere, and i confronted her father, who said that i could have her tablet to try to delete any information that it had stolen, but, because of the fact that it wasn’t MY tablet, everything was set up differently, and i couldn’t figure out how to do it… and then they decided that they had to go home, and wanted her tablet back… 🤬

maybe only 10 steps back…

blood pressure 120/90, which is pretty good considering how much stress i have been under. 😒

the workers showed up and dug some underneath the house… i didn’t really pay attention, because i was irritated with the company that sent them…

the sequence of events was as such: they originally came up with a plan to shore up our sinking foundation which involved drilling through the floor of the living room and dining room… which DID NOT work for us. so they figured out how to do it from under the house, but it turned out that they actually had to ADD another support beam… and, about this time, they switched the job to a new foreman who didn’t know anything except for the part where we said they can’t go through the floor. so when he showed up on friday, he DIDN’T HAVE THE PARTS to finish the job… and, today, it turns out that the company that was supposed to do this job in “one day”, NEGLECTED TO ORDER THE PARTS, which will take a week or so to arrive… so they dug around underneath the house for a while, and then i had to go out, and when i got back, they were gone, leaving behind three enormous holes outside the foundation, and, likely, some smaller holes inside the foundation, under the house, an oxy-acetylene welding rig, and a big pile of metal parts. meanwhile, they’ve taken $5,000 off the original quote, and it’s pouring buckets of rain into the really deep holes that they dug around the foundation of our house. 😖 HU knows when they are going to come back. 😒

HOWEVER… the mushrooms helped a lot more than i thought they would (comma gawd damn it!! 😉), PLUS i got TWO incense orders for a total of $125, i made 100 .25g capsules for my neighbour, and i found a copy of Vol. 2, by the Nihilist Spasm Band, which is something that i had in my pre-crack music collection that i was unable to recover… which, at this point, leaves me “adequate” instead of “meh”. a step up, i guess.

one step forwards, fourteen steps back… 🙄

the workers haven’t showed up yet, but HoneyBucket® showed up, took away their porta-potty, and didn’t leave a new one — i suspect because they originally contracted a porta-potty for the “one day” that they said it would take, and never bothered to change the porta-potty contract when it turned out that it was going to take more than one day…

however, moe’s at work, won’t be home until 21:00, they SAID that the “scheduler” would call her on friday, but she didn’t, so even when the workers DO show up, they won’t know what to do, i don’t know what they should do, and moe is in surgery all day, which means that she may not be able to answer her phone.

they originally said that they “do this kind of job all the time”… i wonder if they screw up this badly on the jobs that they do “all the time”, and, if so, how they have managed to stay in business. 😠

.25 g 🍄 @ 08:00, but i don’t think it’s going to help. 😒

here we go… 🙄

.25g 🍄 @ 08:15…

at 09:00, three guys showed up to jack up our house… allegedly in one day…

at 09:15, they’re in the “what have they done to us?” stage of the job, with one of them under the house, confirming that there ISN’T the three feet of headroom that they requested, in spite of the fact that they told us it would be okay, and that he has to put in an extra support beam, which they didn’t tell him about…

there are only three of them. 🙄

he’s currently on the phone with the structural engineer, who HAS YET to appear on site to see the house.

so far, the entire project has been planned by people who have NEVER seen the house. 😒

it’s DEFINITELY going to take them more than one day. 🙄

at 09:45 they have decided that they’re going to do SOME prep-work to get the site ready, but that the real job of jacking up the house is going to have to be postponed to a yet-to-be determined future date… and which will DEFINITELY take more than one day to complete. 🙄

it reminds me A LOT of the frank zappa song, Flakes

🍄

.25 g 🍄 @ 13:30

The Fourth Way

by Georges I. Gurdjieff

The fourth way is sometimes called the way of the sly man. The “SLY MAN” knows some secret which the Fakir, the monk, and the Yogi do not know. How the “SLY MAN” learned this secret, it is not known: perhaps he found it in some old books, perhaps he inherited it, perhaps he bought it, perhaps he stole it from someone: it makes no difference. The “SLY MAN” knows the secret and, with its help, outstrips the Fakir, the monk, and the Yogi.

Of the four, the Fakir acts in the crudest manner: he knows very little and understands very little. Let us suppose that by a whole month of physical exercise and intense torture he develops in himself a certain energy, a certain substance which produces certain changes in him. He does it absolutely blindly, with eyes shut, knowing neither aim, methods, nor results, simply in imitation of others.

The monk knows what he wants a little better: he is guided by religious feeling, by religious tradition, by a desire for achievement, for salvation. He trusts his teacher who tells him what to do , and he believes that his efforts and sacrifices are “pleasing to God”: Let us suppose that a week of fasting, continual prayer, privations, and so on, enables him to attain what the Fakir develops in himself by a month of self torture.

The Yogi knows considerably more: he knows what he wants, he knows why he wants it, he knows how it can be acquired. He knows, for instance, that it is necessary for his purpose to produce a certain substance in himself. He knows that this substance can be produced in one day by a certain kind of mental exercise or concentration of consciousness; so he keeps his attention on these exercises for a whole day without allowing himself a single outside thought, and he obtains what he needs. In this way a Yogi spends on the same thing only one day compared with the month spent by the Fakir and a week spent by the monk.

But on the fourth way, knowledge is still more exact and perfect. A man who follows the fourth way knows quite definitely what substances he needs for his aims and he knows that these substances can be produced within the body by a month of physical suffering, by a week of emotional strain or by a day of mental exercises –and also that they can be introduced into the organism from without, if it is known how to do it; and so, instead of spending a whole day in exercises like the Yogi, a week in prayer like the monk, or a month of self torture like the Fakir, he simply prepares and swallows a little pill which contains all the substances he wants. And in this way, without loss of time, he obtains the required result.

🍄 capsule update

i got an actual capsule-making machine, capable of making 100 0-sized capsules at a shot. i tried it out, and the resulting capsules are between .31 and .36 grams, which is close enough to call them .25 gram doses — although, out of 25 grams of material, i had around 2 grams left, which i couldn’t insert into the capsules because they were already as full as i could make them… uh, lessee… instead of being .25 gram doses, they are .23 grams… as i said, close enough…

i haven’t taken mushrooms since tuesday (three days), and i’ve been “weaning off” buprprion since wednesday. according to my mood-tracking app, my mood has been somewhere between “irritable” and “adequate” with occasional diversions into “meh”… which is okay, considering.

.5 g 🍄 @ 1530

mushroom 🍄 quantity

i went two days without microdosing, and at the end of the second day (yesterday), i noticed a distinct and sudden change in my mood, from more-or-less content, easy-going, and accepting, to sour, disagreeable, snappy and depressed. 😒

so, this morning (still sour and depressed), i made up five .25g capsules, one of which i took immediately (at 0800), and the rest i plan on taking every OTHER day, to see if that evens out my mood a little more.

at the recommendation of my counselor, i also installed a mood-tracking app on my phone. i’m still getting the hang of it, but — maybe — it will help figure out exactly how much i can take without overdoing it.

ETA: heh… listen to me talking about “overdoing” mushrooms… as though there is ANY SUCH THING as too many mushrooms… 🤣

tea

i forgot how much i like mushroom tea…

i took “some” mushrooms, today… “some” meaning “measured by eye, approximately, somewhere between a half gram and a gram, maybe a little more”. i took them around four… or, rather, 16:00… and it’s currently almost 21:00 and i still definitely feel it, but, because of the fact that i made tea this time, it has struck me completely differently. i spent at least three hours in the back yard, in the hammock, alternately sleeping, meditating, and laughing at the squirrel, who had been used to climbing up the blueberry bush and launching himself over to the suet feeder, where he had been gorging himself… so i moved the suet feeder about 6 inches further away from the blueberry bush, and, now, the squirrel launches off the bush and hits the squirrel baffle, making a lovely “clang”… 🤣 EVERY! SINGLE! FUCKING! TIME! 🤣🤣🤣

then i sat on the front porch while the sprinkler was going in the front yard… then i came in and listened to an album of mash ups with moe, while she edited her book… and i think i’m going to bed soonishly…

ah, my “don’t give a fuck pill” comes in convenient tea form, as well. 😉

less than a week until OCF… why am i paralyzed with anxiety? 😒

officially, less than a week until OCF, and i’ve been accomplishing a lot, but i feel like i’m headed for doom… my list of things to take to OCF is about 80% complete and prepared, and i’m already getting things staged to load up the car on monday, because the probability is very high that we (moe, me, and three dogs) are going to leave EARLY tuesday morning, and go some place remote, where there are few people and fireworks… because we have a dog who is afraid of fireworks

she, literally, hides, when people shoot guns, in the distance, which is a fairly common occurrence around these parts, and we’ve learned that, if we go somewhere remote, we can have a good time and the dogs don’t get so stressed out.

i’ve got most of the camping gear assembled, and about 90% of the music stuff assembled (including the harmonic flute/electronics, and the foghorn). pretty much the only thing i haven’t packed yet are my “working clothes” (costumes) and my “mundane clothes” (for hiding in large crowds), a few essential items, and the hats, which i haven’t even decided what i’m going to bring yet…

i ordered a “capsule filling machine” the other day (it’s supposed to be delivered tomorrow), which SHOULD make it easier to fill capsules… which is a good thing, because 1) i have a (new) connection to more psychedelic mushrooms, and 2) i already have one person who wants to buy some, and another person who is interested, but hasn’t committed yet, and filling the capsules by hand is time-consuming, messy, and wasteful. i still marvel at the fact that what was one of my favourite illegal drugs, when i was in my 20s, is, in my 60s, on the verge of legitimacy, and widely praised for it’s qualities.

monday was the “panic rehearsal” for the pre-OCF panto — usually the “panic rehearsal” gets finished at 23:00 or thereabouts, because it’s SUPPOSED TO BE the last complete runthrough before the fair… it’s usually, also, the FIRST complete runthrough before the fair, which it WAS NOT this time… and it actually got out at 21:00 instead, which is when it is supposed to be finished. tuesday, i had an alto sax to work on, which went far easier and faster than i anticipated. the alto belongs to one of the members of the fremont phil, who is going to OCF, so it was important that i got it done post haste, and i delivered it to him on tuesday evening, at the sousa band rehearsal… because he’s thinking about joining the sousa band, because he’s got a serrusophone, and various other things that would fit right in to sousa’s music. 😉 wednesday i went busking with thaddeus. we didn’t make that much ($17 a piece), but it was enough to cover parking with some left over, and it’s kind of difficult to compare with the last time we busked, which was at the fremont solstice festival, where we busked for 3 hours and made almost $100 a piece. but, while we were busking, thaddeus got email from the PDA, asking us if we want to play for another “sunset supper” in august. thursday (today) i went to my circus class, rode my unicycle for the longest time i have EVER ridden it, TWICE, and rode in a complete, 360° circle, TWICE, but i totally forgot that i was going to take some medication from home (for moe’s mom’s dog, her name is lacey, but we call her “the unicorn”), stop by the clinic to pick up more medication for moe’s mom’s dog, and deliver both of them to moe’s mom before my class. 😖 so, AFTER my class, i went to the clinic to pick up the most necessary medication, and delivered that to moe’s mom… she can wait a few days for the other one.

tomorrow, i’ve got to get the last few, essential items for the fair, and i might take mushrooms, if everything works out… because i really need to “not give a fuck” for a while.

impending OCF 🍄 post

i am on the verge of deciding that i am going to “microdose” mushrooms at OCF: .25 grams EVERY DAY for the period of time i am there, to get more control of my mood… i have been feeling TREMENDOUSLY depressed, and anxious about going, despite the fact that i also know that OCF has been one of my all-time favourite things, in the past, and i’m afraid the depression and anxiety are going to control my actions… so, if i take .25 grams of mushrooms every day, it will give me the “twinkle” that i desire, and reduce my depression and anxiety, without making it so that i can’t function as a part of a group which has been assigned to do two performances a day for three days.

i may take a few extra 1 gram capsules to spread around, or to eat myself, if i’m feeling adventuresome… 😈

impending SACBO update

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

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

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

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

<sigh>… okay, i’ll update… 😒

we went to the campbell global snoqualmie tree farm, this morning, ostensibly to exercise dogs, but an ulterior motive was to scope out the “firewood” area, which is adjacent to the active logging, but they have logs pulled to the road and stacked, so that (if you’ve got a permit) you can go up there with a chainsaw and lop off firewood-length pieces, put them in your truck, and drive home without having to pay for it… thing is, the permit costs $300, which is about the same as a cord of firewood, but (if you’ve got a permit), you’re allowed to take up to 5 cords of firewood… plus, there’s literally 90,000 acres of trails that NOBODY else hikes on, because you’ve got to have a permit and a key… and, guess what? moe bought a permit when they went on sale, which is a little surprising because the permits sold out within a half-hour of going on sale… oh, and we have a pickup truck now… did i mention that before? we’ve had a ford f150 pickup truck for a little more than a year. it doesn’t get used for much — picking up loads of gravel, wood chips, or, soon, firewood (still got to wrassle up a chainsaw) — but it gets loaned to a whole bunch of different friends who need a truck for this or that…

230513 campbell-global snoqualmie tree farm
230513 campbell-global snoqualmie tree farm

i wrote to the newest member of the IOTM club last week, both from my hybridelephant.com account, and from my new hybrid elephant gmail account (because i’ve been having trouble with email, which is another story), and i have gotten no response, which makes me REALLY suspicious about this subscription… but, at this point, there’s absolutely nothing i can do about it, except to cancel the subscription and refund their money… which, at this point, is a little extreme, since, basically, the ONLY thing they’ve done is make me suspicious… but they’ve made me suspicious, which is very suspicious, and i really feel like there should be more than i can do to alleviate my suspicion.

the email thing is starting to grate on my nerves… fundamentally, there is NOTHING “wrong” with my email, but because of the fact that it doesn’t (by design) go through one of the “big guys” (i.e. micro$lut, yahoo, google, apple, etc.) i am finding that more and more services are either silently blocking my email, or producing more and more convoluted hoops that i have to jump through to get my email to… the people i do business with, my customers, suppliers, etc… 😒 at this point, i’ve gone back and forth with micro$lop so many times that my host provider is no longer willing to fight with them on my behalf, and has recommended that i route my mail through google or micro$hit to solve the problem… but i don’t see why i should have to pay — especially, i don’t see why i should have to pay micro$not — to solve a problem that micro$hite is causing to begin with. at this point, when i suspect that there may be a problem (like when a customer has an address @hotmail.com or @live.com, or something like that), i send them a response from my hybridelephant.com account, and if i think it may have been “interfered with” in some way, then i send them another response from my gmail account, which usually does the trick. but it’s grating on my nerves because it SHOULDN’T be this way, and i SHOULDN’T have to worry about whether or not my emails have gone through… it’s not like i’m running an open relay, or something like that, i’m just not willing to send my email through one of “the big guys” because, to be quite frank, i don’t trust “the big guys”… and it’s behaviour like i have seen from micro$leaze that causes me not to trust them. 😠

🍄 hmmm…

i tried to measure out .01 gram of mushrooms. it wouldn’t go. i tried measuring .05 gram, and that worked… in the process of reducing the measure, i observed the scale registering .04 gram, momentarily, but i get the very strong impression that my electronic scale (which i bought through amazon) won’t do the trick. i’ve got an old triple-beam scientific scale, out in the garage, that, it’s my recollection, will measure down to .001 gram, but the last time i used it (which was shortly after we first moved in to our OLD house, i.e. close to 20 years ago), i recall having to put a small coil of wire that weighed a tenth of a gram, on the platten to get it to balance correctly… but it’s an analogue scale, so there’s pretty much nothing that can go wrong, apart from corrosion and dust…

on the other hand, i could start titrating up, starting at 1 gram, just to keep things “scientific”… 😉 and to satisfy my desire for a REAL trip… 😉😉 i’ve actually got enough that i could take 5 or 10 grams without too much difficulty… unfortunately, my experience leads me to believe that such an event would be a multi-day process, and, at this point, there’s not an awful lot that would prevent me from doing things for which i might get in trouble during a multi-day trip, which is NOT my goal. 😉😉😉😉

i wonder if this is what everyone has been looking for…

today i took 1g (= two 00 capsules) and went for a walk with rye (our oldest dog). while i was out, i experienced a couple of things i have never experienced before. the first was, about halfway through the walk, i decided that i really wanted to be at home, taking a nap, instead of floating around deep in the forest.

ordinarily, when i have taken mushrooms, the LAST thing on my mind is taking a nap…

so, instead of going forwards deeper into the forest, i went back, and on the way i felt, distinctly, a couple of times, like i have in the past, just prior to passing out… only i didn’t pass out (if i had passed out, it turned out that there was an older couple, with a couple of yappy dogs, that would have found me within a few minutes), but, instead, i experienced a distinct “raising up” and “seperation” of my consciousness, to a point a little behind, and about 5 feet above where my body was — i remember looking at the path ahead of me, which i had always thought was relatively level, and thinking that it looked a lot more down-hill than i remembered — and, because of the fact that i was walking with a dog, i experienced a distinctly odd sensation as my body walked along behind the dog, but i was not part of my body. i got the distinct impression that, as it were, my body was an “automaton” that i was, nominally, in control of, but “i” was not a part of that body.

i have read a fair amount about ego death, both positive and negative, but it has always been a lot more of a “view from the outside”, as i was never really certain what, ultimately, they were talking about. 😉

but this puts everything in an entirely new perspective: if “i” — who i think i am — is NOT my body, then what is it? who am “i”, if not my body? and if my body is not “myself”, then, apparently, regardless of what happens to my body, “i” will continue to exist… अहं ब्रह्मण्सि तत्त्वमसि — AHAM BRAHMANSI. TAT TVAM ASI — “I am God. That Thou Art.” 😉

it’s possible that i experienced nirvikalpa samadhi. ॐ🙏

the amusing part is that i have read stories of people taking higher and higher doses of psychedelics in their attempts to achieve this mythical “ego death”, but i seem to have done it with a controlled, 1 gram dose. 🤣

the whole experience lasted, maybe, 45 minutes… from the time i was crossing the creek, including meeting with the older couple. basically, until i got to my car, which brought me back into my body again. i want to go back there.

ॐ अरुणाछलिष्वरय नमःAUM ARUNACHALESWARAYA NAMAH

and, i want to tell you, it was a REALLY interesting experience when the aforementioned older couple and their aforementioned yappy dogs came down the path… i — or rather, my body stood to the side and put a hand on my dog as they approached, with their yappy dogs getting yappier and more aggressive, to the point where they had to pick them up, and walked past me with snarling, snapping little curs (to which i, or rather “my body” said “don’t worry, i understand”), all the while “i” was high up in the air, behind my body, making it go through the motions and try not to appear as altered as i really was… 🤣

🍄

0.05g = ⅓ of a 0-size capsule
1200 ingested
1300 nothing. going for a walk.
1600 – after going up to the “yellow gate”* and getting my car stuck in ¾ of an inch of snow (🙄), i ended up going down to landsburg and walking down to the bridge. i DEFINITELY got the parts of the mushroom that were the most potent, this time (damn it! 😠), because, while i wasn’t inebriated, i was definitely feeling good… nothing visual, though. after walking to the bridge and back, i chanced upon a friendly bearded guy coming out of the security gate at landsburg crossing, so i asked him if there were public tours of the areas behind the “no trespassing” signs, with specific emphasis on trude and snoose junction. he gave me a physical address in north bend, and told me to inquire there… which is more information than i have gotten from internet in two years of hunting!

*the “yellow gate” is the “secret back entrance” to taylor mountain, but it’s still more snowy than my jikatabi like, and it’s up hill, which, along with getting my car stuck, just didn’t seem worth the effort… and i got my car unstuck, for which PRAISE GANESHA! 🐘

🍄

0.10 g = ⅔ of a 0-size capsule
1530 ingested

i’m not expecting much in the way of sensations, but, judging by the previous encounters, we shall see.

1630 nothing. however, i am going for a walk.

around 1730 i noticed a definite change in my mood, but nothing else.

1830 nothing psychedelic visually or otherwise, but a definite change in my mood…

gawd DAMN it. 😠

🍄

0.25g = 1 0 capsule
12:00 pm ingested
at 1:00 i noticed some yawning and a desire to pee
at 2:00 i noticed some twinkly edges around things, and had a strong desire to be somewhere other than in front of the computer, but i can resist for a while, because i also got 4 new CDs in the mail, and i’m working on transcribing them onto my cloud drive… yes, music takes priority over everything.
at 4:00 i’m still yawning, and i definitely feel elevated, but not necessarily high… unless i hold still for 30 seconds or more, then i can REALLY feel it. 😒

what i am learning from titrating like this is, basically, no matter how fine you grind it, any one 00 capsule, or one 0 capsule, is going to be VASTLY different from any other 00 or 0 capsule. 😒 NOT what i wanted to learn — primarily because i could have told you that before i started this experiment… 🤬

alarming

yesterday was a good day. the weather was beautiful, and i did NOT take mushrooms, but it felt like i had. i had the feeling that everything was going right. i went to my circus class, and despite the fact that i didn’t free mount more than twice, i felt like i was riding really well, and i practiced riding backwards and idling without any problems… i even idled once without holding on to the bar that i was using to steady myself. i walked the tight wire forwards AND backwards, without falling, and i identified “bad habits” that i had been doing, unconsciously, that affect my ability to balance. i did “rim walks” on a german wheel, which gave me an idea that i want to try out, which is riding my unicycle with my hands above my head, to change my center of balance… i cleaned the furnace filter the day before, which was the reason our house was so cold, and cleaning the filter fixed the coldness, which made me feel like i had accomplished something. at one point, i actually remember thinking that — MAYBE — this was a sign that things are going to change, my life is going to get better, and that i won’t be so depressed any longer.

and, this morning, i woke up in a really foul mood. depressed as hell, and the weather is still not warm enough to take more than a minimal dose of mushrooms…

maybe tomorrow.

DEPRESSION SUCKS! 🤬🤬🤬

Noisserped

with the panto over, there hasn’t been much for me to do, and, because i have been depressed, i have spent a lot of time sitting and doing nothing, because if i get up and do something, something could go wrong, and then the world would have one more reason to hate me, but if i sit and do nothing (these days, twit™ turd™ counts as doing nothing), nothing can go wrong. it’s a lot of… fun? i’d take mushrooms, but the weather has been rainy and cold, and it still gets dark around 5:00.

we tried to go busking last wednesday, but we got there around 10:30 and there was nobody there… probably 5 or 6 vendors where there are usually 50 or 60, and even fewer tourists, at the bridge spot. under the clock there were booths with their chain barricades down, and, while there were people at the fish market, there weren’t any fish on display, and it looked like they were cleaning up to go home. as far as i can tell, it wasn’t any sort of holiday, and nobody that we talked to had any clue why the market was a ghost town.

allegedly, we’re gearing up for the moisture festival. we’re doing the second week, march 23rd through the 26th, 6 shows… but it’s at the broadway performance hall, this year, which doesn’t have parking, which means that there is a very strong probability that i will have to park half a mile away, and hike in with my tuba… plus, my understanding is that the broadway performance hall is a union shop, and i am fairly sure that the moisture festival is NOT a “union shop”, and never has been, so i don’t know how that is going to work. meanwhile, the old palladium is boarded up and has a “for lease” sign on the front. 😞

it’s already almost halfway through january… 😒

moe is going to orlando on saturday. we finished with the panto last weekend, and, yesterday, macque tested positive for COVID, which means that he likely was exposed at the panto. moe sez she’s going to wear her mask religiously, except for when she’s drinking water, but… i was potentially exposed to macque, and moe was potentially exposed to me, and nobody will know anything until she’s already in orlando. we’ve arranged for a puppy-sitter to take quill (the new puppy), so that i won’t have to deal with an un-trained seven-month-old puppy, which is a good thing, because i actually have a paying gig on saturday (the day moe leaves for orlando), in georgetown, and, with moe in orlando, a puppy would put a severe strain on my ability to perform successfully.

i harvested around 15 dried grams of wavy caps from my experimental mushroom patch, and, as far as i can tell, the mycelium has grown into the ground, which means a much higher possibility of more wavy caps, if not soon, at least next year. dare i say, this is a long-term project that appears to have gone right, for a change.

default title entry

last saturday and sunday were the first four performances of the panto during the winter holiday season, in three years. the last time we actually had a panto performance during the holdiay season was in 2019. the panto has been performed at the oregon country fair, last summer, but i missed it because i got COVID19 less than 12 hours before i was scheduled to leave. 😒 it was really fun to perform in a group for an audience again, but i was also acutely reminded of all the “politicial” horseshit that surrounds working for a group of actors and musicians. i was asked to provide a “5 minute warning” which, after two tries, no less than the stage manager told me not to make that noise any longer (this was one of the people on the board of directors, a few years ago, who screwed up the process of printing the posters because she refused to understand how the pricing breaks work, and almost screwed with the process of having the banners created in 2019, because she thought that grommets were not going to be necessary, or some crap like that 😒). also, i was asked to provide two different “ratchet” sounds, but, after two performances, they decided that the quieter of the two (the one that i had actually bought specifically for this performance) was loud enough that the actor couldn’t be heard above it, which means, not only that they don’t have two different ratchet sounds, but, because of the fact that i’m having to “mute” the remaining ratchet, i can’t match the ratchet sounds to the actors actions as well, which is, i’m absolutely positive, going to be irritating and a cause for a “note” later on.

monday (yesterday) i had to get up and take moe’s CPAP machine to the company that made it, because it has been making a strange noise for 6 months or so, and they’ve JUST gotten around to calling her back and making an appointment… but when i got there, they told me that the machine was beyond its EOL, and they would replace it, except that they didn’t have any machines, and didn’t know where to get one. i said, “so, what are we talking about, here? days? weeks? months?” and their response was “i’m not sure”. 😒 i thought it was somewhat unusual for them to have such a blasé attitude about moe’s prescribed medical device, but i brought it home… and, some time between then (around noon) and 7:30, they called moe and said that they had found a machine, which i picked up this morning.

the past couple of months i have been averaging about two incense orders a week. mind you, a lot of them have been for ONE BOX, but, at this point, i’ve stopped trying to get people to order more than one… if they want to pay twice as much (or more) for shipping, as they pay for one box of incense, it’s none of my business… or, i should say, it IS my business… which i would be driving away by telling them that it’s stupid to just order one box of incense. however, at this point, the price for a medium flat rate box is $17.05, my base rate for shipping is $16.50 (which is smaller than a medium flat rate box), and one box of incense is anywhere between $1.50 and $7.50 or so… it’s stupid… but it makes me money, so i’m not going to complain… after all, as far as i’ve been able to tell, i am the ONLY place they can get aparajita, or krishna puja 999 online… 🤷

the snow is mostly gone, but we’ve still got at least two more months of actual winter before things usually start getting back to normal, and despite what that “evangelical” preacher i saw a video of THIS MORNING says about “global warming doesn’t exist because it says so in the bible” (🤬), climate change has already had more than one negative effect on the environment around here, so i’m not going to hold my breath. it really astounds me that we are twenty years into the 21st century, and there are STILL people who believe in angels, demons, jeezis, and “de debbil”, but DO NOT accept the evidence of their own eyes concerning climate change, the economy, abortion, homelessness, health care, gay marriage… people in positions of authority whose word most other people treat with considerably more credibility than mine. 🗡🤬

and, as expected…

i felt like a truck had run over me, on saturday… slept for a large portion of it, while the TV was on, which might give you an impression of how “out of it” i felt. i recovered enough to go to my unicycle class, on sunday, but i was winded about 20 minutes into it, and i had to take a couple of “breathers” after that. our alternate unicycle coach, nick, is the unicyclist i saw at the moisture festival this year (from the band pit, so the wheel of the unicycle was, literally, within 10 feet of me) do a perfect free mount and ride away, with a woman standing on his shoulders… during MULTIPLE shows, so it wasn’t just a fluke. 😂 i am tantalizingly close to being able to free mount… at this point i would say i’m doing it about a third of the time. i keep making microscopic adjustments in what i’m doing, and it’s really frustrating when i find something that works, and i can’t replicate it reliably enough to do it again… i guess it’s a good thing i’m dedicated, because i am painfully aware of the fact that i STILL can’t do essential things like idling, or riding backwards… 🙄 oh well, some day, maybe… i suppose…

then i came home and burned the pile of summer detritus in the fire pit across the street… except that a bunch of it was so green that it wouldn’t even burn… like a bunch of unripe tomatoes from the garden, and a bunch of leaves from the brussels sprout plants… but, because i was using a propane flame thrower as the fire-starter, and an electric leaf blower to accelerate things, i ended up making “fried green tomatoes”… 😉

today i was supposed to meet up with gunnar (i have a bag of weed for him 😉) but, before i left home, i got a text message from him that said “Cannot feline. Oils yoy mail”… um… ¿؟፧‽ so i called him. he explained that he hasn’t been getting enough sleep lately, and was not going to be there, so i drove down to puyallup, via our old neighbourhood, went by rick’s old place (there’s someone else living there, unsurprisingly) and came back by way of enumclaw, black diamond, and ravensdale.

booster #5

i got my fifth COVID booster today, along with my annual flu shot. i’m feeling okay, so far, but my arms are sore. if tradition holds, i will be feeling under the weather tomorrow. whee. 😒

scary…

today is the midterm election.

republicunts are projected to win majorities in both the house and senate, which means that

  1. they plan on impeaching president biden, more out of spite than anything else (because there’s nothing to charge him with, but that won’t make a difference, because democretins impeached #drumpf TWICE 😒), and…
  2. they are actively planning on (and bragging about it)
    1. eliminating social security and medicare
    2. any and all investigations into the crimes of #drumpf, the stolen government documents at mar-a-lago, and the january 6th insurrection will cease immediately
    3. a national ban on abortion
    4. a national ban on birth control
    5. a repeal of gay marriage
    6. further oppression of trans people
    7. making cannabis and other marginally legal drugs illegal again
    8. further wanton environmental destruction, promoting oil, coal, and elimination of endangered species protections
    9. gerrymandering and further voter suppression to make future election wins by democretins a lot more difficult
    10. other horrendously awful, inhumane, and massively unpopular stuff, primarily because they can.

and, if they win, there’s a much greater chance that #drumpf will run for president, again, and if he does, he will likely win, because of the republicunts’ love affair with voter suppression, and that will basically be the end of a democratic united states. 🤬

and if they don’t win at all (preferably), or if they don’t win enough to make a difference, the republican’ts have openly vowed to wreck the global economy, by refusing to raise the debt limit.

i am staying OFF twit-turd… maybe forever, but at least for a couple of days, or until the election FUBAR has died down a little.

in the humdrum

monday moe was in vegas. i got a whole bunch of spam, DIDN’T have my regular counselling appointment because of a misread calendar, two weeks ago, DIDN’T get my tires rotated in spite of waiting around for an hour while they DIDN’T rotate my tires… 😒 i’m still not totally sure what happened: i made an appointment, showed up before i was supposed to be there, told the guy that i had an appointment, which he confirmed, and then… i waited for an hour, went up to the counter to inquire when they were going to get to my car, and was told “within the hour”, but i had other places to be, so i had to bail and come back later in the week…

and i was already ripe for mushrooms… 😒

wednesday, the smoke from wildfires (i never bothered to find out where they were) was bad enough that both seattle and portland had the WORST air quality in the world — worse than singapore or hong kong. also, apparently, someone dumped, and burned, a human body just up the street from the trailhead to the back side of taylor mountain, where i walk a lot… where i saw the bear… 😒 moe came home. i picked up quill at the puppy-sitter’s place near lake desire at 8:30, and picked up moe at the airport at 9:30.

thursday i had my circus class, and on the way back home, driving down I5, the smoke was bad enough that i couldn’t see more than a mile or so in front of me. 😒 then got my tires rotated — for real, this time. i was in and out inside of 15 minutes. a guy i had never seen before, but who i assumed was one of the managers, said that he “knew all about” the fiasco on monday, and that they’d get to my car right away… and they did, which kind of surprised me…

friday i decided that i was not going to take as many mushrooms as i had planned, because, by that time, the smoke from the wildfires was really awful. we bought some inflatable halloween decorations — a unicorn skeleton, and two enormous, flashing eyeballs. when it got dark, it started raining, so, naturally, monique decided that was the time to put them out… and the eyeballs (which were my part of the deal) only had one set of tethers, which meant that i had to cut and singe nylon string, in the dark-and-rain…

saturday i actually took mushrooms. instead of four capsules, i only took two, but — as is seemingly fairly typical — all the “good stuff” had filtered to the bottom of the bag, which meant that two capsules was SIGNIFICANTLY more than the past couple of times i had taken four capsules… and it was raining REALLY HARD, so even if i wanted to go up to taylor mountain and risk being high on mushrooms in the vicinity of an actual murder investigation(!!), it was raining hard enough that there was standing water in our back yard, which usually indicates that the trails on taylor are flooded, as well.

it was weird not being able to walk around while tripping balls, as is my usual habit, but i got through it okay… although i REALLY need a beanbag chair, because the only “comfortable” chair in the house is directly in front of the TV set (because that’s where moe usually sits), and, while it is actually big enough for two of us, i REALLY DO NOT want to watch TV while high on mushrooms… so i sat for a couple of hours in the 2nd-most comfortable chair in the house, which is on the opposite end of the house, until i got done peaking, and then it was — more or less — life as usual, only “usual” included being high on mushrooms this time.

we had a karaoke party last night — about 10 people… including one of our next door neighbours, kelly, who i talked to fairly extensively regarding our respective weed crops this year… it still ASTOUNDS me that it is legal, and, while still not technically legal, i have a mental health professional RECOMMENDING that i take mushrooms… 😲

today was the last unicycle class of the session — a new session starts next sunday — and i think i may have gotten back to the point i was at the end of spring session, before “the summer from hell” (which is how i have been referring to the summer of 2022), during which i had very little time, and even less motivation, to practice unicycle.

i have a sousa band rehearsal on tuesday, a circus class on thursday, tracy and kelly (next door neighbours) are having a “costumes optional” halloween party on saturday, and halloween, proper, is on sunday. i have been making more Operation Mindfuck envelopes to be distributed to random people, while in costume, over the coming week.

oyoyoyoyoyOYOY! 😒

will it ever end?

i got zelle enabled and installed on my web site. i tried to test it, by purchasing incense: entering my information, and checking out. i got a notification from the web site that i had received a new order. i got a notification from the web site that my order had been received, but it had been placed “on hold, while we confirm that payment was received”… and then…

nothing.

i waited 24 hours.

still nothing.

no indication from the bank that either a withddrawal or a deposit had been made, no indication from the bank that either of those things were ABOUT TO happen, and, when i logged in to the web site, there was the order, in “on hold” status.

i contacted woocommerce, maker of the plugin i am using, but it is probably going to take them a while to get back to me, because all of my interactions with them have to go over email.

i actually called the bank, talked to their tech support which is (allegedly) the place to talk about zelle, and went through the entire process of creating a new order, with them watching the back end zelle interface. i got two notifications from the web site, but the bank was unaware that any transaction had taken place at all.

so the bank put in a ticket with zelle, to see if they can figure out what is going on. 🙄

THEN i got email back from woocommerce, which informed me that the woocommerce payments plugin wasn’t completely set up on my site, and that no account had been created. i checked, and the only part of the plugin that “wasn’t installed” was the part where i create an account — WITH STRIPE — so that i can use the plugin to process credit cards… but that’s why i’m using the plugin to begin with: to GET AWAY FROM STRIPE… and besides all that, i am not interested in stripe, i’m interested in zelle, which DOESN’T require that i sign up with stripe… AND i already HAVE a stripe account, and a stripe payment gateway plugin that is completely separate from woocommerce and zelle, and (for the moment, anyway) it appears to be working fine.

i gave them (some of) the information they were asking about, and fudged the rest, but it appears that they lay off work around 4:30 or so, so i anticipate not hearing anything from woocommerce until AT LEAST tomorrow. 🙄

my “don’t give a fuck” pill 🍄

mushrooms.

mushrooms are my “don’t give a fuck” pill.

when i get cranky, depressed, irritable, out-of-sorts, and tired of doing anything, my “don’t give a fuck” pill helps me survive all of the unjust, inconsiderate, and outright wrong things that are happening to and around me. 😒

yeah, it doesn’t make the problems go away, or even diminish noticably, but what it does is gives me the ability to “not give a fuck” rather than letting them fuck with my brain to the point of incapacity.

that’s what MEDICINE SHOULD DO!

my MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICIONER TOLD ME to take mushrooms. — it still BLOWS MY MIND that i was given this instruction 🤯

she was right. 😉

so, instead of griping about how unjust my life is these days, and how many things have gone irretrievably wrong, i’m going to post pictures of my cannabis plants, and my trip in the forest. 😉

220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers

and it’s only the end of august! 😋

i went up road K again, where i saw the bear last year. no bears this year, but plenty of evidence that they had been there. 😉

220826 where i saw the bear
220826 where i saw the bear
220826 bear shit, five steps away
220826 bear shit, five steps away

because of the fact that it has been so dry, i actually went all the way up road K to the place where there isn’t any road, and there’s a sign that says “trail under construction, use different routes”. i could have gone further, but i was tired, and it was uphill. uphill is great when i’m “on my way up”, but by that time, i had reached a plateau, and uphill was asking too much.

so i walked back down to the old homestead, where i meditated for about an hour.

220826 looks like a duck
220826 looks like a duck

looks can be decieving… is something my father would have said. 😒

220826 duck, from the other side!
220826 duck, from the other side!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 i'm in the middle of nowhere, and i'm not really sure why i'm here, but I EXIST, AND I AM IMPORTANT!
220826 i’m in the middle of nowhere, and i’m not really sure why i’m here, but I EXIST, AND I AM IMPORTANT!
220826 intersection
220826 intersection

and the difference in my mood will definitely be to my advantage tomorrow, when there’s going to be game night at the burke’s, and on sunday, when the sousa band is playing at the ballard locks. 😉

😭

after busking, today, i was driving home, up hobart-ravensdale road, and i got to the wind-ey part, just south of the cedar river, right before the summit-landsberg cutoff, and i encountered a deer which had been hit by a car, going the other direction. the car that hit the deer didn’t even slow down, but the injured deer was wobbling and bouncing all over the roadway, as i drove up. there were two cars going the other direction, which almost hit the deer, and three cars (mine included) going the other direction, which narrowly avoided hitting the deer. it wobbled over to the guardrail on the opposite side of the road, tried to jump, failed (because its back legs were no longer working), and i was able to pass, but almost immediately after i passed, the deer wobbled into the middle of the road again.

i cursed, because the only thing i could think of to do to help the deer was to kill it, because it was so injured that it probably wouldn’t walk again, if it survived at all… but the only way i had to kill it was to run it over with my car, which isn’t guaranteed to kill it, but IS guaranteed to mess up my car, and, besides that, there were two other cars going the same direction as me, and two cars going the opposite direction, and, with the deer wobbling around in the middle of the road, there is no guarantee that hitting the deer won’t also involve hitting another vehicle… and, by the time i had worked all this out, i was already on the other side of the cedar river, and away from the excitement. 😒

i drove the rest of the way home — about a mile and a half — in a daze. i texted moe, and she recommended that i go back and check if the deer was still on the road, and if it was, to call 911, but i didn’t… there were at least 5 other vehicles present, one of which had actually pulled off to the side of the road and stopped by the time i rounded the bend at the bottom of the hill, and there’s a sure bet that at least one person had enough wits about them to call 911… and, besides, i was (and still am) REALLY distressed by the whole thing, and going back, even if it was completely gone, would have just made it worse. 😭

i suppose it’s what i get for living out in the sticks. 😒

it’s never going to be “back to normal”… this is the new normal.

last summer, we had temperatures in the 110s farenheit. this year, europe is having temperatures in the 40s celsius (approximately the same).

the recent COVID19 variants have “stealth” capabilities: they have very few, if any symptoms, and can fool some tests into giving a negative result… but the infected person is still massively contagious, and, because of the fact that there are few symptoms, they are less inclined to do things like mask and isolate, which infects others… and they still have the possibility of developing “long covid”, or monkeypox.

and i remember, way back when the pandemic was first starting up, in early 2020, before they discovered the first vaccines, when the CDC basically said that, if we could get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, that we could get ahead of it… but of course, that never happened, because there were too many COVIDiots who believed #drumpf when he said it would miraculously vanish. 😒

AND EVEN NOW there are public media personalities and prominent politicians who are TELLING PEOPLE that there is no pandemic, that it’s a fraud concocted by the chinese to destabilise our economy, that masks are a sign of slavery, and encouraging people to eat horse paste to “cure” COVID symptoms. 🙄

the republicunts, through a largely #drumpf-appointed supreme court, have overthrown Roe v. Wade and are champing at the bit to overthrow gay and interracial marriage, birth control, and transgender health care, and enact a nationwide ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, ectopic pregnancy, or, basically, anything else, and the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it.

there has hardly been a week go by — sometimes as frequently as every day — when there HASN’T been a mass shooting. sometimes it’s the police killing innocent, unarmed (but, unfortunately, black) people, and sometimes it is people like kyle rittenhouse, who crossed state lines with his mother and an (unlawful) assault rifle to join a riot, ended up killing two people, got away with it, and is now a “celebrity” who appears on talk shows and is interviewed by pundits, or the kid who shot up a grocery store in buffalo because he wanted to start a race war, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed, or the kid in texas who shot up an elementary school, or the kid who shot up a black church, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed…

and, once again, the republicunts are blaming everything, and everyone EXCEPT the guns, and, once again, the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it. 😒

meanwhile we have people like tucker carlson, alex jones, and other news media figures, who are actively fomenting unrest, with disinformation, misinformation and flat-out lies about everything from the most recent presidential election, to “the great replacement” conspiracy, to “Q-anon” madness, and blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi propaganda. and we have people like the “proud boys”, the “3 percenters”, the “oath keepers” and other blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi fanboys, who eat it up and spew out their own particuarly putrid brand of garbage, which is duly reported on by the news media.

and they STILL haven’t addressed things like gun control, universal health care, student debt forgiveness, or climate change, all of which are broadly popular and essential. federal minimum wage is STILL less than $7.50 an hour, which isn’t even starvation wages, these days.

AND IT’S NOT GETTING BETTER!

in fact, in many ways, it’s getting WORSE!! 🤬

at this point, as far as i can tell, the ONLY hope for a reasonably un-polluted, reasonably progressive future, with more or less equal rights for everyone, is a massive general strike… and that’s probably not going to happen, because a big chunk of people can’t be bothered or don’t care, and another big chunk of people believe they CAN’T go on strike, because of rent and food worries…

but, as far as i can see, those two big chunks of people are just delaying the inevitable, because the chaos that WILL ensue WHEN (not if) civilisation collapses will be WAY worse.

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts, update (🤬)

according to the latest CDC guidelines, i was supposed to isolate for 5 days, and wear a mask for a week, as long as i continue NOT to have symptoms.

i isolated for five days, and on the seventh day (three days ago), my rapid antigen test had a SOLID positive line inside of five minutes (moe says it was more like 10 minutes, but i disbelieve her, this time), despite the fact that it’s supposed to take 15 minutes. my impression is that this is a fairly common occurrence, because there are "tips" that you can find on the web, that contain instructions on how to gimmick INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF NEGATIVE post-COVID testing, which include rinsing nasal passages, blowing your nose, and using a neti pot immediately prior to the test.

but, the thing is, i have a gig TOMORROW where i will, potentially, be playing my tuba for multiple hundreds of probably un-masked people (it’s the west seatle summer festival), and, while it’s going to be outside, there appears to be another "surge" happening: SINCE THE FAIR i have gotten email from no less than 12 people who got COVID AT THE FAIR!! 🤬

and the STUPID MOTHERFUCKING ANTI-VAX REPUBLICUNT NAZIS would have you believe that it’s all a hoax, and that people aren’t REALLY getting sick.

🤬🤬

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts!! 🤬

i SHOULD BE at the oregon country fair, at this very moment… but i am not.

less than 12 hours BEFORE i was supposed to leave, i tested positive for COVID-19. moe tested positive, as well. 😒

i mentioned it on twit-turd™, and some random person responded “your (sic) fully vaccinated? why blame the anti-vaxxers?”

to which i responded “”your” fully vaccinated?” PLONK! 😒”

(if you don’t know, “PLONK!” is the sound that spam messages make when they are shit-canned)

however, here is my reason for blaming the antis/republicunts:

if you recall, way back, two years ago, when this whole pandemic was first starting up, the CDC came out with a statement along the lines of “if we can get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, we can defeat this.” this was BEFORE they even had a vaccine…

but there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who believed #drumpf when he said that it would miraculously disappear, and totally ignored the CDCs recommendations.

and tens of thousands DIED because of it.

then they announced a vaccine, and there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who said that the vaccine contained aborted fetuses, or some such garbage, and refused to get vaccinated.

literally MILLIONS died, but the antis stood their ground, as millions of THEIR OWN KIND were dying around them…

and, more recently, there has been the “federal” (#drumpf-appointed) judge who decided that the mask mandates for airlines and public transportation were “unconstitutional”, and the rush to re-open businesses, and the rush to “get back to normal” that has totally ignored the CDC recommendations (AND, i might add, COMMON SENSE) which means that millions MORE died…

if we had listened to THE EXPERTS about this, we would have been done with it, or, at the very minimum, be well on our way to recovery by now, but…

now, don’t get me wrong: if a person CLAIMS TO BE an “expert” on something, i ALWAYS take what they say with “a grain of salt”, particularly when they claim to be an “expert” in MY health. but i also know enough history to know that, in 1918, when we had a pandemic of the “spanish flu” (which turned out to be an american phenomenon that was first isolated by spanish doctors), BEFORE the advent of reliable vaccines, the “anti-mask” crowd was the PRIMARY reason (along with world war one) that it lasted for 3 years.

yesterday, i felt “under the weather”, and slept most of the day. towards the end of the day, i transitioned from feeling “under the weather” to feeling truly awful, but (fortunately) moe was there with over-the-counter medicines and common sense, and i actually slept through the night (which is something that i rarely do, under the best of circumstances, these days), and i feel weak, but more-or-less normal today… but i was SUPPOSED TO BE at OCF LAST NIGHT — my panto comrades are going to miss me, there are at least two pieces of music they CAN’T PLAY because there are prevelant tuba parts, and, because of the fact that i tested positive on tuesday night, i can’t even go out in public (even with a mask) until sunday or monday.

and i have ZERO compunction about naming the stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts as THE primary cause of this. 🤬

and, despite the fact that boris johnson (the UKs answer to #drumpf) stepped down as the prime minister of the UK, yesterday, i am still not holding my breath that anything is going to change for the better, any time soon.

fortunately, i haven’t seemed to have lost my sense of taste and smell: i’m currently burning incense, which i can smell, and moe made chicken soup, which tastes AWESOME, but both moe and i have commented on the “brain fog”, which will, hopefully, go away over time.

what the…?

i don’t know for sure, because i don’t know what it would be like if i HADN’T taken mushrooms a week ago, but i will say that it’s PROBABLY a good thing i took mushrooms a week ago, because the intervening week was depressing beyond belief.

last tuesday, which was also our 24th wedding anniversary, when i was IN THE MIDST of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i EXPECTED (considering how weak and impotent the immediately previous psychedelic experience had been), i got a text from moe, which said that some unknown thing had happened to rye (currently, our most senior dog, at 11½ years), and he was having trouble walking, moving, and standing — quelle horreur!!

220624 injured rye
220624 injured rye
when moe came home (still in the midst of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i was expecting), rye was barely recognisable: he was curled up and bent over like a dog that was in SEVERE pain, he could barely walk, and he couldn’t even manage the two stairs leading from the garage to the back yard. they had done everything they could at moe’s veterinary practice to alleviate his pain, but they didn’t have a clue, and when they sent his x-rays out to a specialist, there was still no clue why he was in pain, so thursday, he had an MRI, and had surgery on his neck THAT DAY, because it was that emergent. 😱

the neurologist said that they were suprised the dog was walking at all. 😟

he came home from the hospital friday, and has been recovering ever since… which, basically, means that his movement is severely restricted: he lives in an ExPen, in the living room, full time, except for 4 or 5 bathroom breaks every 24 hours, and he sleeps in a kennel in monique’s office. it’s going to be two weeks before he will be allowed to go up and down stairs again, so moe has moved all of her stuff downstairs for a couple weeks.

SINCE THEN, i have had to deal with, suddenly, being in the middle of rehearsal season (rehearsals wendesday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, and so on) which i haven’t experienced AT ALL for two years, AND i’m going to the oregon country fair, for the first time in two years, which TERRIFIES me, even though i really want to go, AND (oh, joy), we’re getting a NEW PUPPY WHILE i will be at the oregon country fair… which means that, when i get home from OCF, we’re going to have a disabled dog, and a new puppy, AT THE SAME TIME

😩😰

i am running low enough on spoons that i actually cancelled busking this week, because i have a rehearsal later that day, and i’m pretty sure that if i went busking, i would be totally useless by the time the rehearsal came around.

quite apart from it being EXTREMELY WEIRD to be high on mushrooms while dealing with emotional people (who don’t know i am on mushrooms), and a severely injured dog, and quite apart from the fact that i am committed to doing something (OCF) that simultaneously terrifies me and is something i REALLY want to do, this entire sequence of events has not been particularly easy or enjoyable for me… 😒

and i’m REALLY not sure how i would have been able to handle it if it were NOT for mushrooms.

🍄mush🍄room🍄satis🍄faction🍄

the other day i took one 00-sized capsule of dried mushroom, and experienced an OVERWHELMINGLY ASTOUNDING reduction of my depression, but a heightening of my FRUSTRATION that it “wasn’t enough”.

and it wasn’t enough, dammit! when i take psychedelic mushrooms, i expect to FEEL something… not just be less depressed! 😉

(i’ll take being less depressed, if that’s all it’ll give me, but, seriously… it ain’t enough.)

so, today, i took FOUR 00-sized capsules of dried mushroom.

no more frustration. 😉🍄

🍄mush🍄room 🍄frustration🍄

once again, i have stooped to buying mushrooms through twitter.

this time, apparently, i was more successful.

i got two 3.5g packages (¼oz total) — professionally produced, expensive packages (which, in themselves, make me wonder A LOT about their provenance) — of APEs, which are a variety of p. cubensis.

they definitely appear to be “the right thing”, however, once again, i run HARD into this frustration that i may or may not have expressed previously, which is, specifically, that i take MINISCULE amounts of this “drug”: one 00-sized capsule of pulverised mushroom — so small an amount that i notice absolutely NO “psychedelic” effects WHATSOEVER — and, yet, there is an OVERWHELMINGLY ASTOUNDING reduction in the level and quality of my depression.

i HATE IT that this drug is so good. i HATE IT that, in spite of everything, this drug remains illegal. i HATE the bizarre hoops that i’ve had to jump through to obtain it…

and i HATE that i am unable to take enough more that i can actually get some psychedelic experiences out of it, because i don’t know when (or if) i’m going to be able to get more. 🤬

urgh!

from the inside, looking out, life is pretty decent: we’re busking again, there are gigs on the horizon, nothing serious is wrong with the house, i’m getting my art car made… i’ve still got a big, scary thing that hasn’t happened for 2 years, but was pretty much essential to my life for some time before that (which is the oregon country fair)…

but from the outside looking in, 50 years of my life, and most of my identity, has been summarily dismissed by the supreme court, which has indicated its willingness to overturn roe v. wade, despite the fact that there isn’t a single state for which the overturning of roe v. wade commands more than 30% support…

which, of course, is PRIMARILY due to #drumpf, who, despite being impeached TWICE, managed to jam through three supreme court “justices”, two of whom are credibly accused sexual predators, and the other is amy coney barrett, who thinks that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant.

and all of that is coming from EXACTLY the same people that gave us matt gaetz, who is under investigation for human trafficking and sex with teenagers, and jim jordan, who is accused of enabling a sexual predator, and roy moore, who is accused of sexually predating teenagers at a mall, and madison cawthorn, who idolises hitler, and films himself fucking his cousin in the ear, and another guy who is a long time republican politician who was convicted of possessing pornographic images of children, and the “jewish space laser lady”, and on, and on, and on, and on, and FUCKING ON!!… 🤬🤬🤬

and the chance that ANY OF THEM are going to face real justice of any kind is vanishingly small. 🤬

and that’s not even to mention the fact that #drumpf, himself, along with ALL his cronies, and partners in crime, are STILL running around free, and having rallies, and spewing misinformation, disinformation, and OUTRIGHT LIES to anybody who will listen, which, apparently, is about 49% of the population of the country…

seriously, politics has gotten so over-the-top, blatantly FASCIST, pretty much ever since #drumpf was elected (but, honestly, i see the first inklings of fascism in the 1970s, when nixon and mcgovern butted heads)… the country, and the world, has gotten so right-wing, “christian”, and “conservative” that it’s beyond merely frightening, and everything i’ve seen seems to indicate that it is going to get orders of magnitude worse before there’s any hope of it getting better…

and, if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, don’t even get me started on climate change… 🤬🤬🤬

a long time ago…

229430 hemp stalks for casting  i ching
229430 hemp stalks for casting i ching
a long time ago…

(and i know it was a long time ago, because it was when i put a lot more faith (or whatever) in such things, which i have not done since well before my injury…)

i learned that there was some sort of mystical presence unlocked when, instead of using yarrow stalks, you used hemp stalks to cast i ching hexagrams.

i have always thought it was an interesting idea, and, to that end, now that it’s legal to grow hemp, i have now accumulated 50 appropriately sized hemp stalks which are intended to be used to cast i ching hexagrams.

however, because of the fact that i no longer place much faith (or whatever) in “techniques for divination”, i wonder what i should do with them? 🤷

i understand that i ching, particularly, is used as a valid form of self exploration, as well as a meditative practice, especially when the ancient, and far more meditative form of casting (which uses yarrow/hemp stalks), is used… but i don’t feel tremendously inspired to take up, or incorporate, another ancient practice, along with the ancient hindu, taoist, and muslim practices in which i currently engage.

i could put them up for sale on my web site, but that would seem to imply that i have multiple sets of stalks… and, while i do, there aren’t that many, currently, and only one of them is prepared enough to sell…

🤷

continued…

as i was saying…

i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬

once again, i have found myself in one of those places: everything is going smoothly, the moisture festival is over, and, apart from being sick for a couple of days after it was over (NOT COVID!), everything went about as well as i could normally expect… i had a unicycle class today, and i worked on my free-mounting and my turns, and i didn’t fall off… and one time i managed to ride THROUGH a group of people and i didn’t hit one of them! 😉👍 there’s a better-than-normal chance that thaddeus and i are going busking on wednesday… i got two incense orders this week… the next big thing on the schedule is OCF, which IS happening, and i AM going (despite the fact that it terrifies me), but only because the band needs a tuba… i don’t know that i’m going to do an awful lot other than play music, and hide in my tent, but i AM going to go…

and, yet, i have this feeling of impending dread… gilbert gottfried died the other day, and he was 67… only five years older than me. i’ve already tried to die once, and failed miserably… what’s the guarantee that i won’t be more successful the next time?

combine that with the fact that i haven’t seen a doctor, apart from an ophthalmologist, for more than 10 years, and that is PRIMARILY because, in spite of everything (i.e. my brain injury), i am overly suspicious of “doctors” in general: i have had personal experience, on a number of occasions, where, if it weren’t for ME saying something, i would have been treated for diseases or conditions that I DON’T HAVE, because somebody, somewhere, made a notation error, and nobody actually knew me well enough to know that there had been an error made…

my erstwhile GP, doctor wackaloon, had notated in my chart that i had a heart stent, but had no notation about my brain injury… and he had been my GP for 10 years! 🤬 and when i was in the hospital, recovering from my brain injury(!!!!😠), i had to inform the nurse that i am not, in fact, diabetic, which was in direct conflict with my chart, which said i was… 🤬🖕🤬

and even the ophthalmologist thought i had glaucoma, because she made me take the glaucoma test with my right hand, and my right hand doesn’t work about half of the time! i told her this before i took the test, but she said no, that it was “standard” to test people with their right hand. when i took the glaucoma test with my left hand, like magic, glaucoma was no longer an issue. 😒

and i’m really not sure how to resolve my suspicion of doctors, and go see a (different) GP, because of the fact that i don’t have any health insurance other than medicare, AND the fact that i would probably have to personally interview several doctors before deciding, and i don’t really think that doctors make time for that, these days… 😒

but, at this point, apart from entirely expected “getting old” things, like sore muscles and arthritis, my health appears to be pretty good… which — i guess — is as good a reason as any to figure these things out now, rather than waiting until i actually have something go wrong with my health, and having to make the decision out of hurried necessity… 😒

🤬

i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬

one week of moisture festival down, one fluffing session complete (also, a term used in vaudeville, to describe preparing the awaiting audience outside the theatre for the show they are about to attend: getting them “in the mood”… 😉), and one more week to go… it’s kinda sad that this is probably going to be the last show in the palladium (and, possibly, the last moisture festival, ever), but it’s good that we were the band that had two weeks this year. i realise that i have been complaining, almost every previous year, that other bands were getting more of the limelight, but it’s good that it worked out this way, and i can say that i’ve been a part of the moisture festival ever since the beginning, when we did the show in rev. chumleigh’s tent in downtown fremont…

i’m getting totally fed up with the former owner of our house: ron zeising, general contractor and owner of a “home improvement” business, who thought that, because he was a general contractor, he could make “improvements” on his (now our) house “on the cheap” and skirting (or outright ignoring) building codes. recently (last month?) we paid $6,000 to a HVAC specialist to rip out and replace ALL of the heating ductwork in the house, because poor design (by ron zeising) meant that most of the heat from the very expensive, top of the line furnace (which was one of the selling points of the house), was going into the crawlspace, and the heating bills were through the roof.

of course, ron never had a problem with the heating bills, because, despite the fact that he had an expensive, top of the line furnace AND a heat pump, which provides central air conditioning as well, ron heated the house with the wood stove, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… 🤷

we just had the last workman leave from rebuilding the “retaining wall” under our deck… and it’s a good thing, too, because, if we hadn’t, the deck would have eventually fallen off. now it is a good deal less likely to fall off, but in order to make it secure, it still needs some work: when it was in the process of being built, ron zeising just piled large rocks, bricks (including half of someone’s chimney, and a large cylindrical concrete footer for a post), and random construction rubble, next to the house, covered it with a thin layer of topsoil, and then built a deck over it… concrete pillars, on top of a thin layer of topsoil, and construction rubble… 🙄 it’s as though he thought that, because of the fact that he was a general contractor, nobody would ever question the work that he did, so he just. didn’t. care. 🤬

however, end result: we got a nice, new, secure, sturdy retaining wall, a couple of new raised beds to grow vegetables, and A LOT of new concrete under the deck pillars(!)… 👍 and yet another $6,000 chunk taken out of our checking account. 🙄

this is friday, right?

today is the day one hour device repair said they would repair my device… because they couldn’t do it tuesday, because the right person wasn’t in. so i took my device in to redmond, watched the guy open up the shop, he took my device, said the board tech would be in in about an hour, and he would text me when it was ready, and i went home.

when i got home, i got a text from the guy. he said that his board tech had called in sick, and they’d have it done tomorrow.

except that i have to, you know, USE it tomorrow… 😒

fortunately, i have printouts of all the required pieces of music for tomorrow’s rehearsal, because there’s almost a 100% guarantee that IF they actually have it done tomorrow, it WILL NOT be in time to take it to the rehearsal, and i’m still not 100% convinced that they’re not going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… which, naturally, will mean that it will be EVEN LONGER until i get it back. 😒

this time, instead of being one step forwards and two steps back, it’s actually been two steps forward and one step back. i wonder how long i’ll be able to keep up this pace? 😒

urgh

so, the tablet-fixer shop got the part in, and they said i could come in any time, and they would fix it “while you wait”… so i took it in this morning, only to discover that the person who can fix it (without destroying it) won’t be in until friday, unless i want to take it to bothell…

the thing is, i’m still more convinced than not, that they’re going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… like they have, twice, in the past… and if they’re going to have to replace the screen, i would rather that the people who have dealt with me, and my device, in the past, be the ones that deal with me this time, rather than having to “break in” (so to speak) a new person, when my device gets broken… 😒

but i’ve got a zoom class on thursday, and, while i CAN do it on my phone, it’s A LOT smaller than my tablet, which makes things like responding to chats A LOT more difficult… and i’ve got the final rehearsal for the moisture festival on saturday, so if they DO break the screen, it probably won’t be fixed until after the second week of moisture festival, which is the first week i am supposed to be playing the moisture festival… which is decidedly LESS than ideal. 😒

the guy was supposed to come by yesterday and finish the insulation on the ductwork, but because of the plumbing disaster that happened over the weekend, and the EXTREME squeamishness of the guy, it turned out that he REFUSED to work, because of a little puddle of clean water that was left over from them running the hose into the cleanout under the house… 😒 our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber) came over during the actual disaster, and again, after the HVAC guy left. what the HVAC guy said made me think that there were new leaks and ground saturated with grey water, but when i and the plumber went into the crawl space, the only moisture we could find was a small puddle of clean water… the plumber said that the HVAC guy was being a prima donna and a “pussy”, and called him up to tell him so… which i thought was EXTREMELY funny. but HE won’t be back until NEXT TUESDAY!! 🤬 and they want the crawl space to be COMPLETELY dry, and clean, before they will complete the work… the thing is, the weather has been rainy for a week, now, and, even with a fan down there, the ground moisture is NOT going away. i got a 25-foot sheet of visqueen which i’m going to lay down after a couple more days of the fan being down there, but, if the guy doesn’t finish the work, then i guess i’m not going to pay them the $6,000 that we agreed on when they started. 😒

on the plus side, i met someone who, i think, is my third cousin, once removed: ryan dorward, currently from bali, but normally from vancouver, BC, otherwise known as SHARPS. he is the great-great-grandson of John Muir Dorward, the elder brother of Peter Dorward, my great-great-great-grandfather… which makes our common ancestor Robert Dorward, who lived from 1803 to 1846 in Arbroath, Scotland.

not only… 😒

ah, the “joys” of hoMEOWnership… 😒

we’ve been, essentially, without heat for at least two weeks. the guy came and replaced our heating ducts, but he wasn’t able to finish the insulation, so, now, the heat registers are blowing a lot warmer air than they were before he came, but they’re still only blowing lukewarm air, and most of the heat is STILL bleeding off into the crawl space. he’s coming back to finish the job on monday. 😒

they’re supposed to text me, today (at the earliest), to let me know if the part for my tablet is in, but i doubt that they will, and, despite the fact that most of their repairs are made “while you wait”, there’s a good chance that, when they do text me (which will likely be monday or tuesday… or whenever they get around to it… 😒) the screen will break in the process of taking it apart to replace the charging port, at which point there’s going to be another two weeks (or so) wait before i get my tablet up and running again. 😒

AND last night, after i went to bed, the plumbing problem that has been gurgling in the distance for a few days, erupted (literally) in our downstairs bathroom…

a few days ago, the laundry drain backed up and spilled (fortunately clean) water into the garage. monique snaked it out, but she only went about five feet before she decided that it was “good enough”… so, of course, the drain backed up again while she was out, the next day. i snaked it out again, this time extending the snake as far as it would go, which is 25 feet. i found a couple more clogs, but nothing major… then i noticed that the kitchen sink was gurgling when the laundry drained… and the kitchen sink was gurgling when i flushed the toilet… and the kitchen sink was gurgling when someone took a shower… 😒

i discussed this with tracy, our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber), and determined that the laundry drain was not installed “up to code”, and is not vented, which means that, from time to time, it’s GOING to back up, and there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it.

then, i noticed that the drain attached to the sink in the kitchen is also… wonky… it, also, does not have a vent, and is installed with a P-trap that is installed normally (i.e. the way it should be), and ANOTHER P-trap that is installed upside down, making an “S” or “N” shaped thing, and then another 90° turn before heading down into the crawl space…

another FINE job done by former owner ron zeising (or, presumably, one of his lackeys) because he was a general contractor, and “could”… 😒

monique and i discussed this, and we both agreed that it would be a good idea to get a plumber out to assess the problem BEFORE it turned into a geyser or a fountain, but, apparently, after i went to bed last night, that event happened: someone flushed the toilet, downstairs, which backed up into the bathtub, and in the process of plunging the toilet, the wax seal failed, which spewed sewage into the bathroom.

monique checked with a couple of professional plumbers that she knows (including tracy), and developed a plan of attack, but…

just for once, i’d like to be able to wake up in the morning without having some sort of immediate disaster that has to be dealt with. 🤬

here we go again… 🙄

i’ve got a zoom class this evening, a telehealth appointment tomorrow, and a moisture festival rehearsal on saturday…

… and my tablet decided to stop charging this morning. 🤬

i got in touch with the technician that replaced the charging port (odd that this seems to happen on an almost yearly basis… odd indeed… 😒), and informed him that it had quit charging again, and he said i should bring it in. so i left an hour earlier than normal, and headed up the east side of the lake to redmond, where the technician confirmed that it was, indeed, a faulty charging port, said that they would fix it on warranty, and ordered the new part. 👍

problem is, i’m fairly sure he DIDN’T also order a new screen at the same time… and this particular model of ipad is NOTORIOUS for screen breakage when you have to open it up FOR ANYTHING… kinda like they had to do last year (and the year before) when they replaced the charging port. it turned into a two week job, during which time the screen of my tablet was BROKEN, which precluded me from using it for ANYTHING… 😒

and that can’t happen this time, because i have zoom classes, telehealth appointments, and moisture festival rehearsals AND PERFORMANCES in the next three weeks. i can get through the rehearsals and performances with my old-school hard-copy music, and the zoom classes and telehealth appointments THEORETICALLY can take place on my phone, but it will be at least three levels of hassle that i would rather avoid, if i had the choice. 😒

mush room 🍄

i took “the rest” of my mushrooms today, at 12:00 pm. i don’t know how many there were, in terms of “mushrooms”, but it was between 1 and 2 grams (two 00-sized gel-caps, plus a tiny amount) of powder, mushroom bits and detritus at the very bottom of the bag. this trip followed the predictable pattern of ramp up, peak, maintain, and ramp down, but it was a great deal more than i expected, considering how mediocre my recent mushroom escapades have been. i must have been taking the parts that didn’t have the right stuff, before, because this trip made up for it “in spades”. 😉

the fact that i actually logged in here, and am making what i suppose is something like sense, at this point, at 5:00 pm, is somewhat amazing, and is made even more amazing by the fact that i went out and got a prescription refill for moe, a 12-pack of diet ginger ale, and canned salt-free green beans for dog food, an hour ago. i have discovered that driving while high on mushrooms has, apparently, been affected by both the fact that i have been driving NOT on mushrooms for quite a bit longer than the last time i did so (which was in my 20s), and the fact that cars, these days, are a lot more “hands off” than they were fourty years ago… following distance, speed limits, road-center detection… even an amount of steering… are all “automatic” at this point.

“high self”, meet “normal self”. 😉

while i was out walking in the woods today, i saw a fallen branch with moss growing off of it… and it looked just like a lazy duck with green hair.

220209 is this just a fallen log, or...?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or…?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or...?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or…?

i knew those emergency eyeballs would come in handy… 😉

i confirmed that the big tree that has been speaking to me, is a “Tree of Being”… the only other one that i know of is on sehome hill. this one appears to be around 600+ years old. i sat beneath it, today.

this better have some lasting anti-depressant effects, otherwise i’m going to have to do it again. 😉

OY! 😠

moe went on her first post-COVID business trip to florida. she left last friday, and returned yesterday.

she’s got to wait 72 hours before she tests from the trip.

REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF THE TEST, she’s got to go in to the clinic on monday, because ALL of the rest of the employees of the clinic ALREADY HAVE COVID!!! 😠

which means that it’s INCREDIBLY LIKELY that i’m going to end up with COVID, despite being fully vaccinated and boosted.

there are reports of lung fibroids in breakthrough cases, which would SEVERELY limit my ability to play wind instruments. 😠😠

and she STILL wonders why i would have preferred to DIE when i had the chance! 😠😠😠

so, there’s this…

220112 ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ button
220112 ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ button
so there’s this, which is a prototype (flong!) of a 1½" button for next month’s IOTM VIP goodie…

however i’m not sure about it. it’s an absolutely delicious double (or triple!) entendre, for those few who “know about such things”, but how many people spent the first 30 years of their lives studying obscure religious facts? and, i’m afraid it could be taken to be VERY offensive to… um… just about anybody else…

under normal circumstances, i wouldn’t care in the slightest, but this is, allegedly, representing my business, and i would be sending them out to people who don’t know me…

[ETA 220114] — it’s an 18th century drawing of what the ancient roman god Priapus might have looked like. ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ (soter kosmou) means “Saviour of the World”, and it was usually inscribed below the penis face. however, in a bizarre twist, the figure of “a man with the head of a rooster and an erect penis for a beak” may have also been a representation of st. peter, in which case, ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ refers to jesus. it’s one of the reasons a penis is sometimes referred to as a “peter”. 🤣

bleh

blah blah new year, blah blah pandemic, blah blah isolation, blah blah depression…

same as it ever was:

day 5 SEVEN of 1+ foot of snow. keeping fingers crossed, but no power outage yet. at this point, the main roads are slushy, and some of them are bare and wet, but the street in front of our house has few enough tire prints that i can still count them. last year someone eventually plowed our street, but i don’t know who, and they haven’t done it this year. i brushed all the snow off my car, and ventured out today, because i’ve actually got a unicycle class tomorrow, and i needed to know whether or not to admit defeat, and take monique’s all-wheel-drive car (or the truck). as it is, it’s supposed to get up to 42°F, so i will probably take my car to class.

211230
211230

ARGH! (A₁R₁G₁H₁)

another casualty of the cloud drive crack:

my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”

which i have been updating since my injury (2003) to help me keep track of what happened in my life, and when it happened in relation to other things that happened in my life.

my recollection is that it was a fairly complete, if compact, version of an “autobiography”, which i had been updating with new material, or changing around the position of old material when new evidence came to light, for a LOOOOOONG time… it was DEFINITELY a “working document”, and it’s gone. poof. 😩😖

a couple weeks ago, i started to rebuild it, but i’m confounded by the fact that things that appear very vividly in my memory don’t seem to match up in a predictable way with the timeline of my life. i don’t remember when important things happened:

for example, i am reasonably certain that i lived in St. Gordy’s house in 1988, but the job i remember having — working at mellowoods and music in friday harbour, doing musical instrument repair for the friday harbor traditional jazz festival — didn’t happen until 1991… and i actually HAVE a button from the friday harbor traditional jazz festival, and it actually SAYS “1991” on it, so it’s kind of hard for me to argue…

but, the problem is that i lived in St. Gordy’s house for a while, then i moved up the street a couple blocks and lived there for a year or so, then i moved into the dome in 1990, and i lived there until i moved to thillberg road, in mount vernon, with ruth…

or, when i freight hopped to wenatchee… i know i lived in the dorms during 1979 and 1980, and i moved to lummi island for 6 to 8 months, and then i moved to mackenzie street, and lived there until i moved to seattle to start the tech school, in 1984. i also know that i didn’t freight hop to wenatchee until i lived at mackenzie street, but i can’t remember, for sure, whether it happened in 1982 or 1983. at this point, i’m LEANING TOWARDS 1982, because i have calendars and sketchbooks from the early 1980s that may seem to indicate that, but nothing is written in clear enough language that i can be totally certain. 😖

fortunately, Ezra, St. Igon (with whom i freight hopped to wenatchee), and St. Gordy are still in my “contacts” list, but this whole thing started when St. Igon ASKED ME when we went to wenatchee, and that was AFTER i had already started to rebuild my list.

and ezra is in michigan with his sweetie, and won’t be back until mid-december…

FRUSTRATING!! 😖😖

mrmph… 😒

two days ago (thursday) i got my COVID19 booster, and my flu shot.

i was also going to get my shingles shot (shongles shit?), but medicare doesn’t cover it (🤬👎⁇), it’s actually two shots, and they cost around $200 A PIECE!

so i didn’t get that, despite the fact that i had chicken pox, and moe has ALREADY HAD shingles, in spite of the fact that she’s not in the targeted age group. 😒🤬

yesterday, i felt like hammered shit, and slept most of the day. i suppose it was probably a combination of the two vaccines, along with the fact that i didn’t have any side effects from the two previous COVID19 vaccines…

today, i’m recovering, but i still feel like i’ve been run over by a steam roller.

HOWEVER

there are STILL people who refuse the vaccine, for one horseshit reason or another. there are STILL people who say that it’s got a 98% survival rate (leaving out the fact that there are many major, long-term health problems that follow most survivals)…

THEY are the ones who are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the 700,000 COVID19 deaths that have happened since january, 2020…

AND THEY STILL REFUSE THE VACCINE!! 🤬🤬🤬

soon, there will be a 9/11-style mass-death every week from COVID, and these people — all of whom try to keep 9/11 in the forefront of our minds, whether or not we want it there — will STILL be refusing the vaccine.

okay, i’m going to say this because it’s not on twit-turd or feces-book, and nobody is going to ban my account for advocating someone else’s death… 😒

i think it would be best for everyone if the government simply KILLED these people, so the rest of us can get back to something vaguely resembling normalcy, some time in the next decade. 😒

oh, alright… 😒

this is an update. what i’ve been doing:

busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉

ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.

hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.

hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬

mrgmf!

so, according to the latest theory, a script kiddie found out about, and took advantage of CVE-2018-18472, but the bug doesn’t just allow anyone with the IP address to login as admin…

the bug allows anyone with the IP address to login as admin AND DO A FACTORY RESET!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

what this means is that the files weren’t just deleted, they were OVERWRITTEN… a factory reset reformats the drive and re-installs the operating system.

which means that the files that are gone, are gone for good. there’s no getting them back, at this point… 🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢

i got the data

good news: i got back (most of, as far as i’ve been able to tell, so far) my IOTM club records, including, most importantly the records of who paid when, and what they have received.

bad news: i’ve checked the largest adobe illustrator documents i can find, and they’re all corrupt, which means, very likely, that the artwork for my car is no longer, and when i get a new car (which might be a lot sooner than i expected), i will have to come up with new artwork for it.

i still have A LOT of files to evaluate… like more than a week, of solid 8-hour days, doing NOTHING but evaluating files… possibly as much as a month of 8-hour days. 😒

and that’s NOT listening to music and watching videos… that’s opening files, to make sure that they’re not totally corrupt, and listening to no more than 5 or 10 seconds of the music or video, to make sure that they’re not TOTALLY corrupt, and then rough-classifying the file based on the contents i’ve seen… and then going to the next file in the list.

which, of course, is leaving me with files where all but the last 5 or 10 seconds of music or video is corrupt, but the rest of it is fine, which is almost more frustratingly irritating than if the entire file was corrupt. 🤬🤬

also, more bad news: there were NO .ogg, .flac, .aif or .aup files recovered AT ALL, which means that NONE of the music that i have recorded since 1983 made it. 😢

i MAY still have the cassettes on to which they were originally mixed down, but they haven’t been played for at least 20 years, and i don’t hold out much hope. ken may have some of my stuff, because he is a music hoarder, and i have played music with him since 1985 or thereabouts, but he lives in bellingham. and i can download .flac files from bandcamp for all of the CDs i have made, except for the one that was made right after my brain injury, which isn’t all there on bandcamp… 😒

but, at this point, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging, and i strongly suspect that i’m going to have to re-rip ALL of the physical media i own, which is another couple of months of solid 8-hour days, at least. 😒

and that doesn’t even begin to address the HUGE quantities of music of which i have purchased and downloaded ONLY electronic copies, like the 40+ albums from ergo phizmiz which i have been collecting for AT LEAST 20 years.

it feels good to have created a way out of this mess, but it’s heartbreaking to think of how much quality work i have done that has been lost. 😢

ETA: i don’t know whether this is as good news as it could be, but i got a zip file full of business logos from my web designer, and there are a couple of high res graphics that are, basically, what i used on my car… and i actually found a couple of .eps files (which, i believe, are vector, and native to illustrator) of the graphic on my car… i haven’t checked, yet, because it’s late, and i really should be in bed, but, well… 😒 AND i am, officially, buying a new car (a hybrid, hyundai ioniq), which means that i’ve got to move my graphic, anyway.

bible study

proverbs 22.6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

when i was a child, from the time i was born, i was trained to believe that i was insignificant, at best, a screw-up most of the time, and a horrible, disgusting screw-up who had no right to live on special occasions.

my earliest memories are of my parents being livid with me… because i had slammed my hand in a car door, because i had “found” a nest of fire-ants, because i cut my finger with a sharp knife at a fancy restaurant… all before i was 5 years old.

my parents never physically harmed me, and to someone looking in from outside, i would have seemed to be a normal, happy child, but they used their words like clubs and straps, often and without mercy.

i don’t remember ever getting a hug from either one of my parents. 😢

my parents, and my younger brother and sisters called me “crummy child”. initially, i think, my parents thought that they were “out of hearing” when they called me that, but as soon as my first younger sister could talk (when i was about 7 years old), she called me “crummy child”, and the other sister and brother just “picked up on it” over the years, as they learned to talk. my father thought “crummy child” was a term of endearment. 😒

my younger siblings are now 55, 53, and 51 years old. i haven’t spoken to any of them in 35 years.

and yet, 61 years into it, i can’t shake this feeling that i am a horrible, disgusting screw-up who has no right to live, and should be called “crummy child” by people who are younger than i am. 😒

thanks, mom and dad. 🤬🖕

if you didn’t already, now you know why i haven’t talked to you for more than 5 minutes in the past 40 years. 😒

aarrgh… (which is a²r²gh for those of you keeping track)

i want to make a bootable kubuntu 20.04 USB flash drive, but i don’t know how (never done it before) to install from a USB flash drive… and “installing from a CD” is no longer an option.

and, apparently, cheapbytes.com is no longer in business… 😒

so, i go to https://averagelinuxuser.com/make-a-bootable-usb-drive-in-linux/ which contains step-by-step instructions for how to do it.

after spending half an hour figuring out which is the USB flash drive i want to put it on to (/dev/sdc — which i found out by removing all the other USB disk from my system, and typing “sudo fdisk -l”), i try to wipe /dev/sdc and reformat it (because it is formatted for mac), but when i type

sudo wipefs --all /dev/sdc

it says

wipefs: error: /dev/sdc: probing initialisation failed: Device or resource busy

so, i try

umount /dev/sdc

but it throws the same error…

i DO NOT UNDERSTAND!! the device is NOT “busy”, you dumb machine!! 🤬 but then i realise that the machine isn’t the dumb one here, and if it’s giving me an incomprehensible error, it must be because it has been given incomprehensible commands… by me… 🤬

so, i type:

sudo dd bs=4M if=/home/salamandir/Documents/Install/kubuntu-20.04.2.0-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc status=progress && sync

and, eventually, it gives me

2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163 s, 16.2 MB/s
630+1 records in
630+1 records out
2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163.442 s, 16.2 MB/s

but after that, it hangs up. when i press "enter", after a LONG delay, it gives me

^C

and, after that... nothing.

i don't have the patience to learn all this again... i just want it to work... 😒

after another HOUR of futzing about, i figured it out... but it's REALLY frustrating, and i really don't have the patience to figure it all out without significant stress.

and, when i booted with the new system, it was UGLY, and i know FOR A FACT that i'm going to have to spend as much time tweaking the system to my preferences as i am going through endless stacks of numbered files, and re-filing them in more-or-less the right place, for about the next 3 years.

just another reason to give up computers all together and become a hermit. 😒

news

i heard from the data recovery people. they said:

There’s ~4 billion sectors on the 2TB drive. Head 0 died with ~55 million sectors left to read (very small percentage). It’s at the end of the drive so it was probably zeroes anyway. The main issue is that the metadata has been overwritten and the directory structure and file names are gone. This means that the files will have the correct extension but no names and no parent folders.

so, what they recover will be, essentially, files with their proper extensions — .ai, .otd, .doc, .otf, .txt, .mp3, .mp4, .html, .pdf, .eps, .jpg, .flac, .gif, .etc… — but with numbers, instead of file names… and if, as with the files from audacity, the project file uses ancillary files in the same directory, then the project files won’t open until ALL the ancillary files have the correct names, and are in the correct directory… 😒 they said, because of the way i was attacked, actual file recovery is not guaranteed, and recovered but corrupt files are billable, which means that i MIGHT end up with no readable data at all, and STILL have to pay for it. they said their “standard” service costs $600 and takes 5+ days, whereas their “expedited” service costs $1,000 (like moe said, everything costs $1,000 😒) and takes half that amount of time.

i contacted the place that built my last computer, InfoTech, when they opened, at 10:00 this morning. i gave them the specifications for a new computer (pentium G6400 4GHz, 16GB DDR4, Intel UHD 630, 2TB SATA HD, with the 1TB SATA SSD i’ve had since 2018 installed), and they said that they were going to send me an invoice, but, as of 3:00 this afternoon, i haven’t seen an invoice from them. once i’ve got the actual computer taken care of, i’ll ask them about a replacement for my WD cloud drive… although, i think i may avoid further western digital products, at this point. 😒

miraculously, i seem to have all the parts for this month’s incense of the month to be sent out with a minimum of hassle. i suppose that’s a good thing.

more computer headaches

so, i still haven’t heard from ace data recovery, because of the holiday weekend, but i decided to get my computer ready to take the new old data (if it still exists), by installing the 1TB SATA drive i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, which is the first time i thought i was going to need it…

however, it turns out that, because i got the “low profile” case, the last time i bought a computer (which, according to the label on the back, was 2015), there isn’t enough room to install the SATA drive, despite the fact that it’s ⅓ the size of the “normal” IDE drive.

i have two options. i can either buy a not-low-profile case, and pay someone to transfer all the internal shit (because i’m not skilled enough to do it, any longer), OR, for about $200 more, i can just buy an entirely new computer. 😒

it would cost around $700, give or take, to get a new computer, and have the 2018 SATA drive installed (thus making it a 2 HD system right off the top), and, at that point, i could hook up the hard disk from the old computer, via USB or something, and probably have enough space…

and moe sez it’s okay for me to spend that amount…

so, i guess i’m getting a new computer, as well. i remember when i would have been really excited at the prospect of a new computer, but, at this point, it’s JUST ANOTHER HEADACHE! 😠

let’s get on it, then! 😒

today, i got the following message from western digital:

Western Digital is working on a Data Recovery recovery program and allow us some time for the program to be put in place. I understand you sent the drive to a Data Recovery Center. If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.

Some My Book Live devices connected to the Internet are being compromised by attackers and in some cases, the attackers have triggered a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device.
We are here to help. Although this product family is no longer sold or supported by Western Digital, we know some of our customers have been impacted and we want to help.

If you have lost your data because of these attacks, we will provide data recovery services which will be available beginning in July.

We know how important your data is to you and are committed to helping you protect it.

We will provide details about how to take advantage of this program in a separate email.

For more detailed information and updates, please refer to the Security Bulletin listed below.

WDC-21008 Recommended Security Measures for WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo
https://www.westerndigital.com/support/productsecurity/wdc-21008-recommended-security-measures-wd-mybooklive-wd-mybookliveduo

the problem is, i NEED that data. it was driven home to me how much i need that data when i realised (this morning) that all of my federal tax records are on that drive… and they’re due soon… 😒 i DO NOT have the time to wait around for a “Data Recovery recovery program” that hasn’t been developed yet. 😒

“If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.”… if “who” would like WD to assist…? I would, very definitely, like WD to assist with the recovery cost. unfortunately, i NEED that data NOW (actually, yesterday would have been better 😠), also, well, this IS july, now, and i haven’t received any indication that this recovery program is much more than a pipe dream.

my plan is to continue at the rate that i’m already going with the “recovery plan”, and if WD has any problems with my plan, they can shove it up their ass, and pay anyway! 😠

i JUST got email from the data recovery place, which says:

Thank you for choosing ACE Data Recovery. We have received your device in our lab.

We will be contacting you soon after the diagnostic’s results will be ready. Usually it takes one to two business days.

my impression, at this point, is that WD is GOING to “assist with the recovery cost”, whether or not they think they are now. it’s just a matter of how hard we (the class of people who lost data because of this negligence) are going to have to try to convince them. 😠

so…

the cloud drive is on its way to dallas, to the temple of the computer wizards, who seem to think that they can actually retrieve data from a drive that has been wiped. whether they can, or not, remains to be seen, and if they can, actually, retrieve data, there’s no telling how much, but the expense increases with every file they retrieve, and i’ve got A LOT of files on that drive.

the current conjecture is that an anonymous, malicious, mindless, skript-kiddie found out about the bug that they’ve known about since 2018, but haven’t done anything about it because it’s a “legacy” device that hasn’t been upgraded since 2015 (despite the fact that MANY WD cloud drives are still in use all over the world), and wrote a script to search out all the IP addresses of MyBook drives it could find, and wipe them…

because they can… 😒

L0L! 🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕

but, according to the latest theory, they didn’t overwrite the data, they just removed the allocation tables… they did a “quick” erase, not a “complete” erase… so the data is, probably, still there, as long as something hasn’t overwritten it, and, since the first thing i did when i couldn’t login was to shut it down, the chance that it’s still there is relatively high. it’s up to the experts, and whether or not i have enough money, to determine whether or not i see any of that data again.

and, as far as remediation goes, i think i’ve learned enough to install the 1TB drive (which is not big enough to store 2TB of data) that i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, but i haven’t done it yet, and i haven’t even started to search for a replacement cloud drive, or a backup system, because i’ve been going through an existential crisis, AND temperatures that have been an average of 35°F hotter than they have ever been, which has, essentially, shut down any hope of doing anything other than hiding and hoping it’s all going to be over soon. 😟

but climate change is a myth, created by china! 😒

it’s 25°F cooler than it was yesterday, but it’s still 10°F warmer than normal, for this time of year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be getting better any time soon.

depression art?

210617 stele progress
210617 stele progress
it has taken a really long time to get this far, and i have been going miserably slow, because i’ve had to source materials (and made some pretty dramatic “compromises” in order to simply get the project started… 😒), and because of other things (read “databases”) taking my attention…

AND because i’m being a perfectionist about it, and not being satisfied with the work that i’ve already done… seriously, there have been a couple of times when, despite the work that i’ve already done, i’ve thought about trashing the whole thing and starting over, because ONE TINY DETAIL is slightly askew, which nobody except the most hard-core thelemite would notice…

but, see, that’s the thing… i’m making this because I AM a “hard-core thelemite” (among other things), and, seriously, i want it to be as close to the original as absolutely possible, while, at the same time, being 40% smaller, and entirely made by hand…

AND, BUT, ALSO… a NEW CAR!! 😒 no, no, no… AND because i have been depressed enough that, even when i am doing nothing else, for EXTENDED periods of time, i have been having difficulty finding the motivation to work on it, and i kind of DON’T want it to turn into “depression art”, it being a spiritual piece, and everything…

what i am doing to combat depression:

  1. taking 100mg of bupropion every day. whether it’s doing anything or not remains to be seen.
  2. taking mushrooms occasionally, but not as frequently as i’d like (the most recent time was last tuesday, three mushrooms). along those same lines, i am still:
    • planning on growing mushrooms in the near future
    • got expert advice on call
    • got the spores
    • got the substrate: “Uncle Ben’s 90 minute rice — 90 minutes, perfect every time!”
    • got a still-air egg incubator
    • still need to find information about how and when to transfer from the sterile substrate to “growing boxes”
    • bought some size 00 capsules. am going to try grinding the mushrooms and putting them in capsules to see if i can standardise the dosage a little better. 😉
  3. read “Wired For Love”, planning on buying the book.
  4. convinced moe to read “Wired For Love” (she starts it this weekend)
  5. going as slow as necessary
  6. being as easy on myself as i can.

possibly other things i don’t recall at this time.

whether those things are actually having any effect remains to be seen. i’m afraid to think of what comes next if they’re not having any effect. 😒

database hell, okay?

i gave the web developer my login to the open support ticket at the host provider. there hasn’t been any obvious action yet, but i’ve emailed with the web developer, who worked out a temporary solution which may work out if his attempts to communicate with the host provider don’t work out… but, as i said, he hasn’t even logged in, much less done what the host provider asked of me, which was to “clearly lay out the issues you’re facing and the solution you need done to resolve this issue”.

210606 screenshot SQL error
210606 screenshot SQL error
the issues are that i can’t add new content (the “not HTML” difficulty and its results), and i get weird SQL errors, which only appear once, and then go away. i don’t get them on a regular basis: sometimes i get them the first time i hit the site, when i boot my computer in the morning, and sometimes i get them in the middle of the afternoon. frequently i get them when i’m hitting the base URI, but i’ve also seen them when i’m hitting deeper content.

i don’t know what the solution is, because i don’t know what is causing it. my web developer seems to think it’s the database engine at my host provider, because he has some sort of advanced tool that tells him when things aren’t working correctly. my host provider says he’s full of shit, that his proposed “upgrades” will break things for everybody else, and won’t even talk to the him unless he logs in as me. unfortunately, i know little enough about database engines that any input i can offer would be totally meaningless.

i feel a little bit better, because, now, instead of "doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance", they have now, actually charged me money, so i am, actually, paying them to fix my shit, and the temporary work around that he proposed, while not ideal, would certainly fix the problem for at least a year.

but i seem to recall going through another database fiasco last year around this time, and, if this is going to become a regular occurrance, i think i’ll pass, thanks. 😒

ETA: the web developer has logged in as me, and given a detailed description of exactly what is wrong, exactly why he thinks it’s wrong, examples of identical installations that follow his guidelines that don’t experience the problems i’m having, and a variety of different solutions to the problems he’s found. the host provider has yet to reply. because of the fact that they’re on eastern time, there’s a good chance we won’t hear anything until tomorrow.

today is 210319, and asses have officially been kicked!

so, here’s an interesting twist…

the people i have been talking to on the phone, at US customs (two different CBP air cargo officers, to date), have all been demanding two things: one, that the document they need to see is the “bill of lading”, and the commercial invoice and the master airway bill that i have are not good enough (pay attention to that last one, because it’s important), and, two, that the shipment be manifest in their system, which (allegedly) doesn’t happen until the flight leaves the ground, before they can even think about releasing it.

okay, “bills of lading” are for ocean cargo. if it’s air cargo, the “bill of lading” is called a…

wait for it…

“master airway bill” 🤦

so the broker i’ve been talking to (the one who cleared my shipment the last time) recommended, now that i actually have an email address for US customs air cargo, that instead of going at them on the phone (her precise words were “Customs does not have much patience, and if they have to read too much or explain too much they will just send you to a broker, as they are not obligated to clear low value shipments.”), i should just send them the MAWB and the commercial invoice, with the flight information, and ask them to clear it “under section 321”. so i did.

half an hour later, this was their response:

> Please be advised that AWB 125-91897142, arriving today 3/19/21 on BA49, has been entered and released.

they got the date wrong. this is not for a shipment arriving TODAY, it is for a shipment arriving SUNDAY… 🤦🤦

however…

because of the fact that they actually GOT the master airway bill number correct, i SHOULD BE able to bypass customs on sunday, and just go pick up my shit.

and the broker agrees.

so, come sunday, one of two things will happen. either:

one, i go down to WWFS, pay them their cut, and pick up my shit, or…

two, i go down to WWFS, get the run around, leave, come back on monday (after having talked with a CBP officer on sunday about why their release wasn’t actually a release), and have to pay them their cut PLUS a 24-hour storage fee, before i can pick up my shit.

i pray to the incense god that it’s going to be the first option, because i really don’t have the energy for the second.

ETA: it’s not arriving sunday, it’s arriving TONIGHT! (which is why they got the date “wrong”… it turns out mr. joy gave me the wrong date). because of the fact that it’s already been cleared through customs, AND i have beat the rush (and the $36 extra charge for paying them in person, using CASH ONLY 😒) by paying my ISC online, i can go down FIRST THING TOMORROW and pick it up without incurring extra fees whatsoever!! WOOT!! 😎

today is 210318, and i feel like kicking some ass

the HPOI have left india, and are now in london. their estimated departure from london is 210319 14:25Z, and their scheduled arrival time is 210321 17:25PDT.

i’ve been on the phone since 9:00 am (it’s 11:00 am, now) and talked with two different customs agents, and four different… i don’t know what they’re called, but they work for US customs, WWFS, and british airways cargo service, and they are PARTICULARLY annoying… and i’ve FINALLY gotten someone who understands that i’m trying to avoid extra storage fees, understands that the US customs office is closed on sunday, AND has the ability to find, and send me the document (the bill of lading) that US customs says doesn’t exist in their system. as soon as that happens, the shipment can be cleared through customs before COB friday, so that i can pick it up sunday and avoid the additional storage fees! 👍

not only that, but i’ve got their name, phone number, email address and physical address, so if they DON’T send me the bill of lading in a timely fashion, i can, physically, go down there and STRANGLE them and STILL have all the paperwork before the US customs office closes for the weekend. 😈

as soon as i have the bill of lading, i can do everything but FORCE the customs flunkies to clear the shipment, in spite of the fact that they, pretty clearly, couldn’t give a flying fuck whether or not i will EVER be able to pick up my shipment.

GRR! 😠

it’s happening again! 😱

the HPOI is leaving bangalore tomorrow. it arrives in seattle on…

SUNDAY!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

and, because of the fact that it doesn’t leave until tomorrow, the people at US customs won’t even TALK to me, because my shipment isn’t in their system yet… despite the fact that i’ve got ALL the paperwork they want, plus a “Certificate of Insurance” which they didn’t ask for, but they want anyway. <grumble, mutter> 😒

Add title

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

210222 gutter overflow
210222 gutter overflow

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

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

When I’m 64 tag – tuba part

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

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

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

and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯

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

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

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

COVID19 vaccine update

my shoulder is REALLY sore, and i’m feeling kind of low-energy, but no other side effects.

which is kind of bizarre, since moe was sick (but went to work anyway) for 12 hours after her second dose.

on the other hand, moe’s mom had her second dose and it didn’t make her sick, so… 🤷

we still have 2 to 4 inches of almost-snow everywhere that isn’t paved, but bits of the lawn are starting to show through, and the roof is melting. meanwhile, everywhere outside of an approximately 5-mile radius from us, is back to normal, with no snow whatsoever. microclimate. 😒

snowpocalypse update

snowpocalypse 2021 is officially over.

we still have anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of mud, slush, almost snow, or sort-of snow, on everything that is unpaved (which includes both of our driveways), but once we get past the driveway, everything has been plowed, and the snow is melting rapidly, even at night.

the hobart post office has a graphic up behind the window which is a picture of the grinch in a santa claus hat, and the legend “LET IT SNOW… somewhere else!”. i would tend to agree, in spite of the blatant intelectual property theft. 😒

tomorrow i have my circus class (YAY! 🤡) and an eye appointment. thursday i get my second covid vaccine.

yep, it snowed…

210213 snow and downed trees, front yard
210213 snow and downed trees, front yard

and, because of the fact that they’re there, we also had a couple of downed trees. they didn’t hit anything, and they’re not across the road, but it’s not over yet, and i haven’t been out further than the mailbox — it had come open, somehow, and was three-quarters full of snow, which was on top of the letter that i was hoping the letter carrier was going to pick up — so i don’t know what “the real world” is like… supposedly, we have a “micro-climate” around our neighbourhood, and the weather is substantially different about a mile away, on the main road.

this is the one of the… i’m not sure whether it’s an “advantage” or it’s a “danger”… of living in the remote wilderness.

at this point, it’s not an awful lot different than any other day, during COVID. 😒

but the dogs love it.

210213 snowy kestrel
210213 snowy kestrel

weather! 😠🤬

stupid fucking weather…

some newbie weather-guesser (strangely enough, he’s the only one that moe believes — and, seriously… what happened to harry wappler? 😕 oh… he died… 10 years ago… 😒) predicted snowpocalypse starting yesterday and going through the weekend.

so, naturally, everything that was SUPPOSED to happen got cancelled, because nobody around here knows how to drive in the snow. 😒

including MY FIRST CONCERT IN A YEAR! 😠

and, the thing is, i KNOW how to drive in the snow. it’s just that i don’t like doing it around here, because nobody else knows how, and it’s, like… dangerous… and stuff… 😠

and then, wouldn’t you know it… it didn’t start snowing yesterday — more than a few flurries that didn’t stick… and it didn’t start today, and now they’re saying that it won’t start snowing until tomorrow. 😒

hrmph! 😒

i get my second covid vaccine a week from thursday (210218), but i’m scheduled to play my first concert in a year on saturday the 13th (9:00 pm, streaming to fecesbook, eventually posted on youtube), and, wouldn’t you know it, cliff mass, the only meteorologist moe believes, is predicting 12 inches of snow, starting thursday and lasting AT LEAST through saturday…

and if it snows, it’s almost guaranteed that i won’t be able to make the concert… 😒

a number of things have happened, part 2

a number of things have happened since the last time i posted this — which, admittedly, was less than a week ago, but they’re significant enough to warrant another post.

the first is that i have now attended three weeks worth of circus classes. today i walked the entire length of the tight wire, backwards, with a pole in only one hand… and when i reached the end, it was a surprise. i thought i had two or three more steps to go. yay! go me! 👍

i talked with jo, the coach, about foot juggling, as well… she said they’ve got the doohickey that you lie on to do foot juggling, so… 😉

also, i got confirmation that my spore order was received, and i got confirmation that my order was shipped out, ANDthey’re arriving friday!!!

(woo hoo!!!) 😉

so, i am feeling A LOT more positive, and i still can’t tell whether the medication is having any effect…

AND

it is my understanding that i probably shouldn’t take mushrooms while i’m taking bupropion, because mushrooms are a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and there’s some danger of an adverse reaction to the inhibition of the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine that bupropion does… and i’m not sure how to ask dr. akinyele about this, because of the legality issue, combined with the fact that she’s far enough away from me that she doesn’t have any concept of the political climate of the region in which i live.

(but the spores will be here friday, so i’d better figure it out pretty soon…) 😉

a number of things have happened

a number of things have happened over the past couple of weeks, which disguise whether or not the medication i am taking is actually working. those things are:

  • the actual innauguration of somebody other than donald j. trump, and his actual leaving of the white house without having to be handcuffed… although i’m still hoping that they’re coming later… because he deserves them. 😒
  • i actually GOT the first COVID vaccine (before they ran out of doses 😒) on monday, and i have the second dose scheduled for 18th february.

and the fact that i had to rely HEAVILY on my disability weighs heavy on my conscience. if i had NOT emphasised my disability, i would probably not have gotten the vaccine until march or april, and the fact that i got it means that someone else, possibly someone more deserving, did not get it — and won’t until who-knows-when, because they ran out and nobody knows when they’re going to get more. 😒

  • SANCA opened up for classes! yay! circus! 🤡🎉🎊 i’m getting my regular circus workout again! i had NO IDEA how much that meant to me!
  • the fact that i got my first covid vaccine makes it more likely that i’m going to go out and do stuff like busk, and… HEY! my friend stuart, the guitar player for the fremont phil, is starting up a monthly “dagger moon” concert, and wants me and my harmonic flute to start the whole thing out. bonus! 👍
  • i’ve found what appears to be a reliable source of spores. 🍄 i sent away for 6 spore syringes, four 🍄 of cubensis 🍄 🍄 and two 🍄 of cyanescens. 🍄 i hope to be growing my own mushrooms very soon. 🍄🍄🍄

so, i’ve been taking this “medication” that’s “supposed to” inhibit the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine” in my brain — but who knows for sure what it really does… not even dr. akinyele is 100% sure — but which also causes all kinds of wonderful side effects — which were to the point of intolerable until we reduced the dose, and are still perceptible although not as emergent…

seriously… they prescribe a “medication” among whose side effects are ANXIETY, to treat… ANXIETY… next thing they’ll be telling me is that homeopathy works… 🙄

and i can’t tell whether the “anti-depressent” effects of this medication are improving my mood…

or if the external effects of four years of overt #drumpf and a year of hiding out from covid are finally starting to wear off.

growf… 😒

i talked to the doctor on monday. she reduced the prescription from 150 mg to 100 mg, and that seems to have made all the difference… although i’m still a little shakey, and i have a tendency to fly off the handle a little bit more than normal (😉), i’m not frantically anxious and pacing, like i was last week. whether this is “the right” medication for me remains to be seen, and i still think IT’S STUPID that i have to be ADDICTED to this drug, which causes anxiety and a tendency towards touchiness, but is “legal”, instead of taking psilocybin, which works A LOT better, for A LOT longer, and has NO side effects, but is “illegal”. 😒 IT’S STUPID! 🤬

bottom line, i’m looking into growing my own mushrooms, because that seems like it’s a lot easier.

210123 covid vaccine eligibility
210123 covid vaccine eligibility
i have my first COVID vaccine on monday. i qualify for group 1B tier 1, because i am “50 years of age, or older” and unable to live independently because of my injury. now i’m hearing about a new mutation of the COVID virus, from africa, that may stymie the vaccine, because it is able to reinfect people almost immediately. wonderful.

we’re already planning a post-covid-vaccine party at our house, in about three weeks, for all the people at the clinic and their families, because… hey, we CAN

IT’S STUPID! 😠🤬

IT’S STUPID that i have to be “addicted” to this drug — it supposedly takes a couple of weeks to “start working”, and i’m not supposed to stop abruptly, because it has “unpleasant withdrawal effects” if i just stop taking it — which has current side effects (i’ve only been taking it for four days!) that i do not like… like volatility, restlessness, and anger (on top of the already short fuse i have as a result of my injury), as well as physical effects like ears ringing, jitters and lack of focus… as well as interacting with alcohol in a way that makes me not want a beer, or a shot of rum, every now and then… 😠

a brief list of side effects i have been experiencing for the past couple of days: anxiety, irritability, restlessness, shaking, tinnitus, trouble concentrating, anger, need to keep moving, sweating… 😒

rather than take a drug that is “illegal” — psilocybin — but has NO side effects (except for ones that are “fun” 😉), works better, lasts longer, doesn’t require me to be “addicted” to anything, and won’t care if i have a beer now and then.

IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

it has all the negative effects of LSD, but none of the positive effects. i can definitely see how this might lead people to commit suicide… which is another side effect. 😒

update number whatever… 😐

Agador died today. he was at least 20, and snakes like Agador usually only live to be 10 or so, so it was sort of expected, and not a real big surprise, but now the bookshelf next to the window in my office looks lopsided. Agador was a wild-caught snake that lived as a classroom science project for a few years before he came to live with us. and, yes, we named him after Hank Azaria’s character in The Birdcage.

i’ve taken the plunge, and contacted a psychiatric nurse-practitioner (in georgia, more on that later) who has prescribed bupropion, at the recommendation of my counsellor, who knows me better, but doesn’t have the necessary piece of paper that allows her to prescribe controlled substances. they tell me that it’s going to take a couple of weeks for it to start having an effect. i’ve been taking it for 3 days, and i’m pretty sure i can feel the effects already — kate (my counsellor) says that it’s a mild stimulant. georgia-doctor didn’t say anything like that, so i’m not sure who to believe — but they’re not what i expected… the big one is that i hear about new atrocities and i know how depressing they are, but instead of getting depressed (like i know i would), i just don’t care. 😕 which i don’t particularly like. also, there’s the same general kind of feeling that i had when i was taking acid, minus the hallucinations and the feeling of invincibility (which was the fun part): i’m verging on jittery and i have been going for really long walks for a couple of days; i have been EXTREMELY productive over the past couple of days, and EXTREMELY focused. they say that it takes a while for the drugs to build up in your body, but i’ve taken enough psychedelics to have a really good handle on what my body is doing, when i’m taking a new drug, and i’ve definitely noticed… something. 😒 now i have to check with the georgia-doctor to see whether or not i can take psychedelics as well. i’m not looking forward to that conversation. 😒

georgia-doctor is dr. olajumoke akinyele… which is a mouthful, but i think i’m pronouncing it correctly now that i’ve actually talked with her. english is not her first language, but i don’t know where she’s from. i’ve heard similar accents from people from zimbabwe or mozambique, but i’ve also heard similar accents from jamaica, as well. i did a fair amount of research, and discovered that there aren’t any psychiatric nurse-practitioners in the greater seattle-tacoma area who 1) are accepting new patients, and 2) accept medicare. there are NPs who are accepting new patients, but don’t accept medicare, and there are NPs who accept medicare, but aren’t accepting new patients. however, dr. akinyele is registered in the state of washington, despite the fact that she’s actually in alpharetta, georgia, and telehealth is “a thing” now, so… 😐

VEWPRF green things

VEWPRF was made only a little bit more tolerable this year because the pandemic has made everything else so awful that there didn’t seem to be as much energy put into the decorations and the public displays of “christianity” that there usually are…

but, because of the pandemic, we did NOT have things like the profusion of money-making gigs for performers, and the big, lavish dinner parties, and the exchange of massive quantities of commercial products, and the mass, forced, fake “love for all” like we usually have, either, so it all, sort of, evens out into a generic awful that has been, more or less, constant, since… oh, i don’t know… march? january?

so they’ve discovered a vaccine for COVID19… at the same time that they’ve discovered a new varient of the COVID19 virus. at this point, they’re pretty sure that the vaccine will work for the new varient as well, because of the fact that it’s a mRNA vaccine, rather than one based on dead or disabled virii, but, in part, because of the fact that it’s a new vaccine technology, the anti-vaxxers are even more suspicious of it, and quite a large number of them have already said they won’t get it…

what i’ve heard is that people who know seem to think that, if we can achieve masking, social distancing, and vaccines for 100 days, we MIGHT be able to “open up the economy” again around june of 2021… but, with the republican’ts and other assorted “christians”, anti-vaxxer/anti-masker idiots who will fight anything they don’t understand, and deliberately refuse to understand anything that’s not in the bible, i sincerely doubt that we’re going to see ENOUGH masking, social distancing, and vaccines to accomplish much of anything other than the opportunity for the idiots to say “see, it didn’t work”…

and the more “important” you are seems to be the determining factor in who gets the vaccine first. #drumpf got it, in spite of the fact that he’s already had it, and he’s (allegedly) already taken hydroxychloroquine as a “prophylaxis” (which it’s not, despite all the hype he gave it). my brother, who is a RN, got his last week. i don’t know IF i’m going to get it, let alone WHEN… maybe when i turn 65…

thailand has had 4 deaths from COVID19… FOUR! 😒

and, as we all suspected…

#drumpf is refusing to concede, has directed the attorney general william barr to “investigate substantial evidence of voter fraud” (despite the fact that their IS NO evidence of voter fraud), and is refusing to turn things over to a transition team. mitch mconnell and mike pompeo have both stated that they support a second #drumpf term. he’s fired a whole bunch of people within the last 48 hours, including directors at the pentagon and the FBI, and replaced them with “loyalists”. 😒

this despite the fact that biden won the popular vote with 50.8%, compared to #drumpf’s 47.5%, and is projected to win the electoral vote with 306, which is the largest difference since the 1930s.

biden says he’s “dissapointed”, but doesn’t think legal action will be necessary. 😒

if this isn’t a blatant attempt at a coup, i don’t know what is. if this happened in any other country, the US would send in the marines to ensure a democratic government emerged. 🤬

we’re going to have to drag him out of the white house by his heels, kicking and screaming like a child having a temper tantrum. 😒

p.s. (he’s NOT the president of the united states, and never has been.) 😒

and then, there’s also this:

the end of an era…

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

Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey

Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company

Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake

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

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

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

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

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

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

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

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

so…

the fence is (allegedly) being fixed on thursday, by the guy who is the friend of the neighbour who is (still) being a dick about paying for the fence, despite the fact that the dead tree which destroyed it was on his property. 😒

the guy who is (allegedly) fixing the fence has already run down a whole list of (bogus) complaints he had about the current fence — i get the impression that he’s not particularly impressed with the quality or consistency of the fence materials, despite the fact that we had the fence made by a different company than the one which made the gates, and that the whole thing was built during the peak of the first round of COVID…

but i get the very strong impression that the guy is going to do everything possible to get away with doing a halfway job and begging off, never to be heard from again, which is why i’m going to be keeping an eye on the work progress, when it happens. 😒

election day is (finally) tomorrow. in spite of the fact that he was impeached, we managed to survive (barely) four years of #drumpf, and i’m not sure, even now, that we’re going to vote him out tomorrow… and, even if we do, i’m even less sure that he’ll leave without making a BIG fuss, and/or flagrantly cheating… and even if we do manage to eject him into the sun, there’s going to be A LOT of #MAGA #chuds who will be stubbornly unwilling to accept it, and even if we are actually able to eject him into the sun, they’re not going to be so “easy” to deal with, nor will they just “go away”, once the solar ejecting has actually been accomplished.

i keep saying it’ll take us at least a hundred years to recover from #drumpf, and i’m not sure we have a hundred years left, even if we do, miraculously, make him and his cronies just vanish.

in other news, i made a new page for the Incense Of The Month Club, but i can’t figure out how to put the background image on it that i want, so it’s not linked anywhere, yet. i bought a 1½” diameter button press (because why not), and now i’ve got to round up some civic organisations which want buttons for some campaign or something.

also, i never heard back from kent.

good. 😒

1½" diameter buttons
1½” diameter buttons
pins & buttons
pins & buttons

Ă,-PĂ,-RĀ’-JĬ,-TĀ, agarbathiwalas

i had to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for moe. the pharmacy was closed for lunch, so i went across the street to the safeway, to get food. as i was checking out, my phone rang. it was an “unknown caller”, which usually means that it’s a robot/scam call, and i am usually able to tell this within a VERY short period of time after answering the call…

so i answered it.

it was NOT an automated fraud call at all, but i had some considerable difficulty understanding the guy, because of the fact that his phone was cutting in and out like a crazy monkey, not to mention the ambient noise at the checkout stand in safeway, but eventually i worked out that it was kent, from laguna beach, who is an agarbathiwala (he didn’t use that word, but that’s what he is) and he is interested in purchasing wholesale quantities of aparajita, for resale in laguna beach.

wonderful… i think… but… 😒

he can’t figure out how to use my web site. apparently he’s accessing the web site on the same cell phone from which he’s calling me. that, combined with the fact that i don’t use my cell phone for web access most of the time, means that he can’t find the incense he wants, and i can’t direct him, because i don’t know what he’s seeing.

also, i tell him that, as far as wholesale orders go, i already put the word out to a number of agarbathiwalas that i know, who, either, didn’t respond at all, or responded by telling me that boxes of aparajita aren’t available in the US, and the only way to get it is to go to india, buy it in bulk, bring it back, and put it into your own packages.

which is patently false, according to my own, personal, recent experience…

so i get the very strong impression that this guy may be one of those people who want to use me and my years of experience and connections to stock their own stores with exotic incense.

which is only exacerbated by the fact that he says, if it can’t be a “wholesale” order, he’ll just mark up my price (which is really reasonable, given what i had to go through to get it), rather than buying at a “wholesale discount”… 😒

he wants to make an order over the phone — another typical ploy used by these people. i, patiently, tell him that i can’t process credit card payments any way other than the web site, and if he wants to order over the phone, it will involve him snail-mailing me a check or money order, which will have to clear before i will ship out anything.

oh, he says, sounding disappointed…

okay, he says, he’ll check out the web site, and make an order.

i go to the pharmacy, pick up moe’s prescription, and am on the way home, when the phone rings, again. it’s kent, again. he can’t find the incense he’s looking for. also, he wants to know how long it takes me to ship things out, and how i ship things. i explain it as succinctly as i can, and get off the phone, because, well, i’m driving… 😒 but the phone rings again,it’s kent, again and he STILL can’t figure out my web site. 😒

i expect that, by the time i get home, he will have made an order, and called me to ask why i haven’t shipped it out yet… 😒

but…

then he texts me. i’m back at the point i was at when i was checking out at the safeway, with all the ambient noise, but i’m at home, and there’s no ambient noise, there’s just this text message, which is a photo, and nothing else. i know it’s from kent, because it’s the same number that he has been calling me from, but there’s no text, just a photo. the photo is, from all appearances, a photo of a computer screen which has four overlapping photos of a VERY OLD box of aparajita.

by this time, i have gotten home. i text back that the manufacturers of aparajita changed the design on the box a few years ago, and text him a couple of photos, one of the new box, and one of the old box, with the reassurance that it’s exactly the same incense, only the box has changed.

and then…

nothing.

no order, no more phone calls, or texts… nothing.

i will never figure out these people. 😖

mump…

both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.

there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:

MEOW
MEOWS
MEOWED
MEOWING
HOMEOWNER
HOMEOWNERS

i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…

honer’s meow…

there’s a title.

it just… keeps… getting… better! 🤬

our brand new fence, less than 4 months old, was completely destroyed, last week, when half of a dead tree on the neighbour’s property decided to fall on it, and then, when the neighbour decided to cut down the rest of the tree, and it, also, fell on it…

our homeowner’s insurance would have paid to get it fixed, if it had been a live tree on the neighbour’s property, but, because of the fact that it was a dead tree, the neighbour was “negligent”, so our homeowner’s insurance won’t pay. the fence originally cost $10,000, and the contractor said that he could SAFELY cut up the remainders of the tree and fix the fence for $4,000. the neighbour wants to “chip in” $500, but he’s refusing to pay any more than that.

AND… moe confirmed yesterday that she has, 100% been exposed to COVID, along with everyone else who works at the clinic. they are switching to a new clinic management software package, and they had someone from texas fly in to train all of them. they were fine the first day, the second day they started feeling sick, and went for a test, which was positive, and now the entire clinic has to close down. and, because of the fact that moe and i slept in the same bed, the probability is very high that i have been exposed, as well. she gets tested through her insurance, but i don’t know how — or even IF — i’m going to get tested, yet…

the 1918 pandemic took three years to go away, and they didn’t have to deal with a toxic government who wants everyone to die, and only the basic rudiments of germ theory.

and people wonder why i am depressed… 😒

this

this is my imaginary response to the email that i got from arun’s customs clearing agent, melvyn.

obviously, since i’m posting it here, you can presume that it is because, if i actually sent it, i probably would NOT be receiving any incense from arun, any time soon.

On 03/10/2020 00:34, sspf wrote:
> Importer Security Filing (ISF)
>
> It is USA Govt Compliances. Hence consignee Clearing
> aware about this.

so, when you said, on 200930 that i wouldn’t need a customs clearing agent, you were… what?

wrong? 😒

On 30/09/2020 01:04, Arun Mysorein wrote:
> Hello, No need for any agent, you can talk to airline ,
> take delivery order
> and get the goods from the airport.

it should be fairly obvious, at this point, that this is NOT the way it’s going to happen… 😒

> It should filed
> online 72 Hrs before the last departure air/ seaport station.

meaning that, if you notify me when the shipment is loaded on the airplane, it’s already too late.

could you PLEASE notify me 72 hours BEFORE the shipment is loaded, so that i won’t have to pay more than i already do, for things that i won’t use?

> If we file from here the agent
> will take $ 100 for this service. It is better consignee
> Or their agents do at their end.

so, let me get this straight: $100 is too much for you to pay, but it’s perfectly okay for ME to be saddled with extra fees and fines because i don’t know these things, and, because YOU think it’s okay to tell me the EXACT OPPOSITE of what i should know in order to AVOID paying these extra fees and fines.

and, once again, MELVYN references an agent, which, you have assured me, i don’t need! 🤬

if i hadn’t already sunk more than $900 into this incense deal, i would cancel it right here and now. 🤬

this is NOT the way to do business and have me as a customer. 🤬

GAH!!! 😠

so i wrote to arun at mavana, concerning my impression that he had not given me all the information. he wrote to his customs clearing agent(!), melvyn — and copied me — who informed him (and me) that the consignee’s customs clearing agent(!) should have been aware of all this…

the immediately previous email i got from arun said that i would not need a customs clearing agent, or a single entry bond. now, his customs clearing agent tells me exactly the opposite! 😒

melvyn also said “If we file from here the agent will take $ 100 for this service. It is better consignee Or their agents do at their end.”

in other words, it’s better for the consignee (me) to pay this, rather than “us”, because “It is USA Govt Compliances.” and it costs “us” more money that the consignee could be paying.

the problem, if all of the web sites i’ve been reading are correct, is that, from the consignee’s (my) point of view, the customs clearing agent’s fee is $125, the single entry bond is a minimum of $75, and that’s before we start talking about fees for the ISF.

so, it’s an extra $100 from them for the ISF… which they are, apparently, unwilling to pay…

or it’s an extra $200 from me before we even get to the ISF… 😒

and i know, from past experience, that if the shipment gets loaded without the ISF being filed, then i have to pay $400 for a continuous bond, rather than $75 for a single entry bond, plus i get to pay another $400 (or more, the maximum is $10,000) for importing without an ISF. 😒

i’m guessing that i’m going to have to pay more money to get this HPOI into the united states. 😒

this had better be worth it. 😒

gah!

first the guy doesn’t know what ISF means, then he says i have to file an ISF, but doesn’t give me all the documentation to do so, and the only “resource” i have is a web site whose “toll free, 24/7” help line has a recording which says to leave a number, and they’ll call back (and they don’t), or leave a message that includes ALL of my contact information, including my social security number, on an un-secure (not https) web form — NO THANKS, FRANK! 😠

then, literally EVERYTHING i’ve read seems to indicate that, along with the ISF, i have to have either a “continuous bond” or a “single entry bond”, and a customs clearing agent, but the guy says neither of those things are necessary: “you can talk to airline , take delivery order and get the goods from the airport.” not only that, but i can’t even find where i’m SUPPOSED to file the ISF, except this, same “resource” that wants me to submit the information over an un-secure web form.

so i broke down and started up kmail, to retrieve the email addresses for the people i was in contact for the last HPOI go-around, two years ago, and contacted one of them, with the information i have… the last time i was in contact with them, they were USL Cargo Services, but i hit their web site, and it says that, as of a year ago, they’ve merged with another company, and are now CEVA Logistics… but their uslcargoservices.com web site and email addresses still appear to work, so we’ll see what happens… just to make sure, i also completed the easy-to-use form at cevalogistics.com as well.

grr… 😒

can i start murdering people yet?

200915 USPS misleading postcard
200915 USPS misleading postcard

the postmaster general, louis dejoy, the republican mega-donor to #drumpf, who has no actual experience with the post office, but who was, nevertheless, appointed to be postmaster general by #drumpf; who, in september, 2020 (yes, that means last week), was blocked, by a court ruling, from sending out false or misleading information about the election, and when secretaries of state requested that he show them examples of the mailing he was planning to send out, he refused to do so…

… has sent out false or misleading information about the election! SHOCKER!!! 😲

how many things can i count on this postcard that are false or misleading? 😠

1) it was sent to me, a voter in washington state, where we have had ALL MAIL-IN VOTING FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS! and, yes, i am aware that it was actually sent to “Postal Customer”, and not directly to me, but the fact remains that i, and hundreds of thousands of my closest neighbours, LIVE IN WASHINGTON, WHERE WE HAVE MAIL-IN VOTING!! 🤬

in my opinion, the biggest “false or misleading” thing about this poscard is that it was sent to anyone in washington state! 😠

2) “start today…” go to this URI… but when you follow the link, all you find is MORE false and misleading information… especially if you live in a state (there are 10 of them) which has all mail-in voting…

3) “request your mail-in (often called “absentee ballot”)”… except that, in states where they have all mail-in voting (once again, there are 10 of them), they’re NOT called “absentee ballots”, which are, in fact, an entirely different sort of ballot, for a different purpose, altogether.

4) “Add postage…” my ballot is postage paid. does that mean i have to add MORE postage? the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that.

5) “at least 7 days before election day.” does that mean that, even if i drop it in a ballot drop box 5 days before election day, that my ballot won’t be counted? as before, the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that… 😒

and, as far as murdering people goes, if i can’t murder someone important, like #drumpf, pence, or dejoy (which, i admit, is pretty unlikely), or someone more local, like katie daviscourt (seriously, look her up… she’s a certified nut case with a dangerously wild imagination and a BIG audience), i’m perfectly happy to murder myself, so you other people don’t have anything to worry about. 😒

ETA 200921: HERE is a link from the secretary of state for washington, that has a lot more reliable information about the election than anything you can get from the federal government these days… 😒

that guy that sat in the SUV for 15 years…

while i was living at our old place, i used to walk through the neighbourhood, down to the park, through the park, and then back home, in a big, semi-circular, 4+ mile route.

something i have been unable to locate at the new place, despite the fact that we’re surrounded on three sides by the cedar river watershed, tiger mountain, taylor mountan, and a number of other places to hike, there is nothing within walking distance apart from the walsh lake overflow ditch road, which is just under a mile away from our house, and behind several layers of “NO TRESSPASSING” dire warning signs… 😒

but i digress.

fairly early on, after i discovered this route, i encountered a guy who would be sitting in a late-’90s-model SUV, probably a ford or a chevrolet, near the intersection of S. 380th and 42nd ave. s., in the unincorprorated area of king county just north of milton/edgewood (which is in pierce county). this guy would just sit in his car, engine off but listening to the radio. he was an “older” guy, probably between 60 and 80 or so, and someone — i don’t know if it was him, or someone else — moved the car from time to time. he was never sitting in the driver’s seat when i saw him…

and i saw him, in exactly the same place, in exactly the same car, doing exactly the same thing, day or night, winter or summer, rain or shine, for EASILY ten years, and, since we lived in the house for 17 years, there’s a good chance that it was fifteen years…

i was at the old house this afternoon, and i drove by the spot, and, sure enough, there he was, sitting in exactly the same spot… someone had moved the car, and the back hatch was open, but he was there, sitting in the passenger seat, listening to the radio…

i imagine that it could have been me, if i had been like 95% of the other people who survive having a brain injury… and i wonder why people like rick and sketch and simon are the ones who get to die, while i, who have had every opportunity to die, stubbornly defy all odds, and stay alive. 😒

ahhhh! now we find out…

my newly redesigned site uses the enfold theme, which has faulty (under certain circumstances) caching and optimisation routines, so we use lightspeed cache, which doesn’t have those (particular) faults, and works better (under certain circumstances).

except, last year, prior to my site being redesigned (when i was still using the avada theme), i was told (by SOMEONE) to disable lightspeed cache, because it had some sort of incompatibility with… something…

so, i went through the site redesign with a disabled lightspeed plugin. no problem, until i put in the enfold theme, and whatever circumstances that cause the caching and optimisation routines to fail, were happening, which was the cause of the first go-round.

turning on the lightspeed cache fixed the first go-round, but whatever incompatibility i was trying to avoid by having the lightspeed plugin disabled, took effect, which was the cause of the second go-round.

which was further confused by the fact that part of my routine for fixing the first go-round was good enough that it fixed the second go-round well enough that i didn’t find out about it until it was too late.

what i found out, today, via my web developer, is that the people who make the lightspeed cache and webhost python (my host provider) have their own battle going on: on webhost python’s servers (which include mine), the lightspeed plugin causes expired transients to multiply and duplicate. lightspeed says it’s python’s fault. python disagrees…

on the record…

OFF the record, python agrees that there is a bug in their system that they haven’t found yet… compounded by the fact that it was THEIR ERROR which caused the third go-round… 😠 but it’s not for me to say “i told you so”, especially with my already somewhat precarious position with this particular host provider…

and so, i’m caught in the middle. 😒

apparently, for the time being anyway, the plan is to disable the caching modules on both enfold AND lightspeed, keep an eye on the database (which hasn’t blown up since implementing this plan), clear the expired transients manually, and examine other options for a cache.

😒

oy! why won’t this just go away?

at midnight (which was 3:00 in the morning, florida time), i got a message saying that the database was blowing up again. they said it was 183 GIGABYTES

because of the fact that i was asleep (thankfully), i didn’t actually read the message until 7:00 my time (10:00 florida time). i immediately logged into my web server, and discovered that the MySQL disk usage was lower than i have ever seen it before, which is to say 253 MEGABYTES

what this tells me is that there’s something else going on besides this whole “enfold-theme-not-caching-correctly” horseshit.

which is bad.

it also tells me that, whatever it is, we haven’t actually found it… we may have found another problem, but not the one for which we’re looking… yet…

which is bad, but not as bad as it could be.

it also tells me that, whatever it is that is going wrong, the cronjob that we put in place to solve the problem, works, REGARDLESS of the actual problem.

which is good.

but, when it comes right down to it, it is not good for me to be so stressed out about something over which i have very little control.

which is bad.

something has to be done. this is ridiculous.

oh, but it couldn’t have ended there, now, could it?

and the answer is, a big, fat, OF COURSE NOT! 😒

i woke up this morning, and couldn’t log in to my web site… at, like, SEVEN in the fucking morning, i was wide awake because i couldn’t log in to my web site.

at NINE, the web designer gets back to me. he can’t login either. apparently the host provider has disabled the config file that makes everything work — i login using SSH, and there’s the file… everything LOOKS okay, but… the host provider apparently did SOMETHING to my web site. as far as i can tell, everything works, sort of, until you get one or two pages deep, at which point it gives me a “unable to connect to database” error.

😠

so, i file a ticket with the host provider. a couple hours later, (all the while, i’m sweating bullets) they get back to me, apparently, the database blew up AGAIN. they disabled the config file so that nobody could use the web site, because the database was growing by gigabytes A SECOND.

😠😠

eventually (seriously, they took most of the day to UN-disable the config file), the web designer went in and turned off everything having to do with the built-in, screwy, does-not-work, enfold caching and optimisation routines, turned OFF “store transients”, and set a cronfile to delete three rows of a table in the database, every hour.

😠😠😠😠‼‼‼

this better be the last of it for a while, because i’m just about ready to throw in the towel.

databases

my first direct experience with databases was in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when i got a “job”, “working” for this… guy…

i don’t remember his name — possibly “henry” — but i remember his attitudes: he was always right, nothing he thought of had ever been thought of before, he was the richest, smartest, trendiest, most “on-top-of-it” dude that ever hit the face of the planet, and GAWD HELP YOU if you EVER got in his way.

needless to say, the “job” didn’t last long. it started with him demonstrating how generous he was, by buying me a disk caddy, so that i would have somewhere to keep all of the disks i was going to accumulate working for him. then he started asking me about computers. at the time, i was NOT a “computer geek”, nor did i want to be one (my father was one of the original “computer geeks” and i DID NOT want to be like my father), but i knew about computers because i had been working as a typesetter for a few years. he asked me what i didn’t know about computers, and one of the first things out of my mouth was “databases”, so he signed me up for a week of training with “FileMaker”…

what i learned was a bunch of recycled stuff from my already ample knowledge of microslut word and excel, with a bunch of “hypercard-like” stuff which i sort of vaguely understood (but nobody i knew used hypercard for anything, so i never really knew what i had missed until years later), and, at the same time i was doing this training, i was helping this… guy… clean out his house, because he was going through a divorce, or some awful shit like that, and he, basically, had to move EVERYTHING that was “his”, out of one house and into another, that was a few houses down the street…

which is where i learned that his “rich” persona was heavily financed by several HUNDRED overdrawn credit cards — he had been using one credit card to pay off another credit card, and when he ran out of credit cards, he would just start up a new one, and use it to pay off the previous ones… FOR YEARS… — at which point i decided that working for this guy might not be such a good idea, if i wanted to get paid.

quite apart from the fact that working for him was REALLY annoying…

so, ultimately, i spent a week learning really complex software that i never got to use for anything, and that was it, until i got my job at software.com, testing email servers, in 2001.

and, for all of my work with databases at software.com/openwave, i still don’t have a really solid grasp of what they are… where they “live”, what they do, how they work… anything… all i know is that, under the right set of circumstances, you can give “commands” to a database, and it will perform certain functions with a variety of different “objects”, the outcomes of which can be used in a multitude of different ways, depending on what is contained in your database.

i get the impression that databases are a lot like the world wide web, in that they both have a lot of objects (web sites) that are linked together in a somewhat-haphazard, but definitely organised way.

so, you can imagine that it was something of a surprise when, the other morning, i woke up, checked my email, and discovered two somewhat alarming notices. the first was warning me that i had used up 90% of my disk space on my server, and the other was warning me that a “table” on my main database was malfunctioning… or something… and collecting 251 GB worth of data… which, somehow, was NOT showing up in my cPanel, which says “Disk Usage 18.43 GB / 292.97 GB”…

and, of course, it happened on a sunday, when nobody’s in the office, and on mothers day, when even fewer people are in the office, and during a PANDEMIC… 😒

so, first thing this morning, after waking up to a broken heat pump, and a wife who wrenched her back, i wrote to my web designer, who said, oh yeah, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, it’ll cost between $200 and $500 to fix it…

and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S WRONG… 😖

maybe i was a bit hasty…

it’s definitely “not all bad” living here, but things are definitely NOT “normal”, by any stretch of the imagination.

we were supposed to have a fence installed… BEFORE we moved in… but COVID19 put an end to such frivolities, and we moved in anyway.

now we’ve got to leash the dogs when we let them out to go potty. not because our dogs would be irresponsible, but because the other dog owners on the street are being irresponsible… there are three dogs, from two separate houses, which “roam freely” on the street: no fence, no leash, no humans… three separate dogs. one of them (bentley) is friendly enough when he’s not startled, but the other two (hershey is one of them, i don’t know what the other one is called) are less amicable, and hershey likes to push his limits.

but if it were just the dogs, it would be tolerable… barely…

however, there’s also the issue of DJ, a seven-year-old autistic boy who lives at the end of the street, two doors down from us. this morning, i went out to the mailbox and discovered a partially clothed (he was wearing a shirt, but no pants) DJ, and the two aforementioned dogs, wandering aimlessly by the pond across from our house. i said hi, but DJ doesn’t speak. so i went back into MY house, only to have DJ try to follow me. and when he couldn’t get in the front door, he went around to the back, and climbed over three locked gates and x-pens we put on the deck to discourage the other dogs from coming up on the deck…

apparently, the previous owners thought DJ was cute, or something, and gave him cookies when he showed up on their porch.

and he is “cute” in the way that all children are “cute”… but when encountering him, sans adult, and sans pants, it is a bit unnerving… and when he tried to follow me into the house, and then climbed over the barriers in his way to get onto our back deck, it was more than a little disturbing.

particularly since moe “facebook-messaged” his parents, waited half an hour, got no response, went to his parents’ door, and woke up his father, before she could get help for him.

on one hand, it’s a really good thing we didn’t call the cops, but on the other hand… what parent, in their right mind, allows their non-verbal, autistic child to wander the neighbourhood WITHOUT PANTS, on a friday morning?? and if we hadn’t been warned, ahead of time (moe and her farcebook group saved the day), we probably would have called the cops… and it would have served them right, although it would, doubtless, have been incredibly traumatic for the kid.

it’s a REALLY GOOD THING that, when the fence is installed (we’re hoping for next week… really…), it will be a SIX FOOT fence. 😖

another failed experiment

200408 the end of twitter
200408 the end of twitter
i logged in to twitter today, and was immediately greeted with a notification that my “ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed”.

it has gotten to be more and more depressing, reading twitter, and for some time now, the only things i have done is re-tweet @infinite_scream, and harrass @blarsonexorcist and other so-called “christians”, along with republicans, democrats, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, homeopathic advocates, and other mind-numbing idiots… none of which helps my anhedonia in the slightest. 😒

and, along with all this “social distancing” and “self-quarantining”, the fact is, we’re moving, and the movers cancelled, because of the “stay at home” order, which means that we’ve had to move all the stuff ourselves… we’re still holding out hope that we’re going to get professional movers to move the piano, the couch, the chair, and the bed, but it doesn’t look good at this point.

and things would be going a lot more quickly if there was a fence at the new place, but that has been put on indefinite hold, because of “supply chain problems”, i.e. sick people, closed businesses, stay-at-home order, etc., etc., et-fucking-c… 😠

and there’s no telling when it’s all going to change… and, if it does change, it’s very likely to get worse…

oh, and it HAS gotten worse: bernie sanders has dropped out of the race… AGAIN… which means that the only rational vote left is Vermin Supreme, and i’m still not sure whether or not i’m going to hold my nose and vote for joe biden or not, because he’s not even close to what i want as a replacement for drumpf, even if he was obama’s vice president.

so i decided that it would be best if i gave up twitter.

i already feel better.

also, i added a side-bar link to COVID19 information, updated every minute, to counteract the gawd-awful twitter/drumpf fake-news bullshit. it’s pretty bad. 😒

the chaos, the chaos

the chaos of moving is exacerbated by the chaos of the COVID19 pandemic, which is still on its way up. keeping track is pointless because it keeps getting worse by the hour, and our “leaders” are deliberately misleading us, much to the delight of 51% of the population… who have been consistently the first ones to die, as a result. 😒

i, on the other hand, am, apparently, immune, because of the fact that i already had it… and the fact that, in the past two weeks, i have interacted with exactly three other people, one of whom is my wife (the other two are my wife’s boss, and his wife, who have been helping us with painting, because their vacation to mexico got cancelled).

thanks to them, the master bedroom is no longer an awful green, surmounted with a repeating stamp of bears and trees.

we’re under an official “stay-at-home” order, from the governor, but… i’m moving… which “home” should i stay at: the mostly empty one that we’re painting, or the chaotic, half-in-boxes one that we’re moving out of? 😒

i’ve been making one run a day to the new house, with my car full of boxes. in the past 5 days, i haven’t even come CLOSE to filling the floor space OF THE GARAGE, and, once we’re done painting, the stuff that i’m currently putting in the garage will get distributed to its locations throughout the house… we’re going to need a dining table, and chairs, again, because we have a dining room that will be an empty space without it…

COVID19 update

one of the people moe “manages” (one of the doctors who is not the owner of the clinic) got on an airplane yesterday.

shortly after she got on the airplane, word came down from the state that any healthcare provider who gets on an airplane has to voluntarily quarantine for two weeks. in this case, “healthcare provider” apparently applies to veterinarians, as well.

so, along with ramping up her side hustle (she’s already more than half-filled the webinar that she’s giving next sunday), moving into a new house, and managing a veterinary hospital (which is a job, under the best of circumstances), now she has to figure out how to cover for a doctor who potentially “has COVID19”. 😒

but here’s something that i never considered: during the first couple weeks of january, i was sick for two or three days. i got my (very first) flu shot (ever) in november (or it might have been october), and, at the time, i just thought it was a mild case of the flu… but moe says that the symptoms didn’t match the flu: there was minimal nausea, just coughing and fatigue… moe says that it’s possible that i have already had COVID19, and just didn’t realise it.

it’s not totally out of the question: i have spent, at least, the past year’s worth of weekends at the pike place market, which is the first place tourists from cruise ships, and other conveyances, go when they land in seattle…

and healthy people don’t get as sick to begin with…

one of the other doctors moe manages (still not the owner) got sick a few weeks ago, and got better almost immediately, but she still has a lingering cough, and moe thinks she may have gotten COVID19, as well.

COVID19 update

safeway has started designating the hours between 7:00 and 9:00 am as “senior hours”… they reset the store at night, then the first thing on tuesday and thursday, seniors get “first crack” at everything in the store. the first one was yesterday.

except that hoarders showed up at 6:00 and cleaned the store out.

i went to safeway this morning.

apparently, hoarders showed up at 6:00 am today, and cleaned the store out, as well. at 10:30 am, there was nothing in the pasta/rice/beans department, all of the paper products were gone, most of the fresh vegetables were gone.

this was AFTER going to costco and finding a line that stretched all the way across the costco, and most of the way across the hobby-lobby next door. they were only letting in a certain number of people at a time… since i only had one item i needed, i decided to go elsewhere, because waiting in a line for ≈45 minutes with other people, many of whom were wearing masks, is just asking to get exposed to the virus.

i’m not afraid of getting the virus, mind you, but i’m not stupid. and there have been rumours that getting the virus also puts one in danger of getting pulmonary fibrosis, which i definitely DO NOT WANT! 😠

i went to fred meyer this afternoon, because i didn’t know that moe needed stuff. fred meyer was a little better, but they didn’t have any paper products, or canned goods.

the thing is… there’s no shortage. there’s ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to panic-buy anything. this is a virus, it’s not a famine… it’s pretty much guaranteed that this panic-buying of stuff will absolutely NOT accomplish ANYTHING execpt to make life extremely difficult for people like me, who are trying to survive as best i can.

fortunately, the moisture festival has been cancelled, so i am pretty much hanging out at home, by myself. moe had a (virus-free) massage this morning, but i’ve even been socially isolated from her, because she is ramping up a new side hussle, now that her old side hussle cancelled on her. 😒

ok, it’s official…

moe and i are moving.

that’s right, with the coronavirus running rampant, people freaking out and buying the entire store because the world is, literally, COMING. TO. AN. END… moe and i are moving into a new house. 😒

we bought a bigger house. it’s about as far away from downtown seattle as we currently are, but the house is about twice as big as the house we’re currently in, and the yard is about twice as big as the yard we’ve currently got. the address is maple valley, but, in reality, it’s in between issaquah and hobart. it’s right around the corner from one set of friends, and about 10 minutes away from two other sets of friends. i’ll be living a lot closer to ian, for a change. 😉

how it happened is complex beyond imagination, and mostly happened before everybody started freaking out, but, basically, moe has been given the money to buy this house by her employer, who wants her to live “closer” to the clinic. where we live currently is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half commute to mercer island — where the clinic is located. the new house is only 30 minutes away, during rush hour.

the “good” part about this is that we don’t HAVE TO move right away, or on a certain date, and — for a short period of time, anyway — we will actually own TWO houses… maybe for a longer period of time, if things go a certain way.

my understanding is that we “close and take posession” on the 26th (next thursday).

thrill… 😒

COVID19 update

everybody has been “panic buying”… first it was toilet paper, now it’s pretty much everything…

but here in seattle, one of the “hot spots” for the virus in the US, it’s a different matter entirely: i went to costco yesterday, to buy bread and peanut butter. it was busier than usual, for a monday afternoon, but i’ve definitely seen longer lines at costco. all the shelves were comfortably stocked, although there were some items — like toilet paper and hand sanitiser — which had voluntary limits placed on them. everybody was calm, there was no fighting… i only saw three people with masks. there were standard precautions, people wiping down the carts and everything with clorox wipes (which, it turns out, are NOT on the CDCs list of things you can use to fight coronavirus)… i didn’t use a cart, anyway.

the word of the day is “social distancing”. i would say i have not been “social distancing” more than usual, but at this time of year i’m normally hanging around with huge crowds of people from all over the world — in the moisture festival, which has been “postponed indefinitely”. they also cancelled my circus classes, and pretty much everything else that isn’t essential: restaurants and bars are closed for “in-person” dining, although they’re still open for take-out and delivery service. all gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, including church services (although there are many “christian” churches which are ignoring this, at their peril). in four days we’ve gone from 1,000 cases to 5,000 cases.

at this point, i’m staying home and not interacting with people as much as possible. i went out to costco and the dispensary yesterday. today, i went to the compounding pharmacy in issaquah, and i went out for a walk. tomorrow, i’m getting together with hobbit and making a couple of videos.

i’m not really concerned for myself, but i’m terrified for everybody else, because they are, literally, freaking out to the point where i’m thinking, more and more, that this is, in fact, the “end of the world as we know it”.

COVID19 update

all public and private schools in king, pierce and snohomish counties have been closed for five weeks.

seattle has over 1,100 cases currently, and projects having over 25,000 cases by april 7th, unless more is done to contain the virus.

broadway has cancelled all performances indefinitely.

the NHL, MLS, NCAA, NBA and MLB sports organisations have cancelled the season.

the mormon LDS church has suspended all worship services, worldwide.

the CATHOLIC CHURCH has closed all churches in italy.

but our #SCROTUS — who has been in close contact with foreign leaders who are CONFIRMED COVID19 cases, and in close contact with several U.S. leaders who are currently “self-quarantining” over concerns that they have come in close contact with foreign leaders who are CONFIRMED COVID19 cases — is, resolutely REFUSING to be tested, and continues to shake hands with everybody as though he is immune to the virus…

he’s not, of course, but he doesn’t have anything to worry about, because he’s #SCROTUS, and we’re not… 🤬

COVID19 update

they’ve cancelled public school in seattle for the next two weeks. as a result, they’ve cancelled classes at SANCA for at least the next two weeks.

they’re recommending that the public not gather in groups larger than 250 people. they’re recommending that people “socially isolate” and “self-quarantine” because of lack of reliable testing. 😕

ETA: Under the Health Officer’s order in King County:

  • Events with more than 250 attendees are prohibited.
  • Public events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited, unless event organizers can take steps to minimize risk.

they’re saying that 80% of the population will probably contract COVID19. not 80% of americans, 80% of humans… on the planet.

they’re saying that a vaccine (which is the ONLY thing that will stop COVID19 from spreading) could take as long as a year and a half, and, that there probably WILL NOT be a vaccine sooner than a year from now. 🧟

the center for disease control recommends that people over 60 years of age not travel on airplanes… but the #SCROTUS said that they can’t recommend that, so they took it back… but they’re still, privately, recommending that people over age 60 don’t travel, regardless of what the #SCROTUS says. 😒

last week, #drumpf said that there were only 15 confirmed cases, and that by next week there would be zero cases. in reality, last week there were NINETEEN cases, and this week there are somewhere between 50 and 100 cases JUST IN WASHINGTON STATE.

ETA: “more than 1,000 cases in the U.S.”

#drumpf has placed pence in charge of this disaster PANDEMIC, a religious, science-denier who, when he was governor of indiana, and faced with the largest HIV outbreak in history, did, literally, nothing. 🤬

AND, i found out, today, that my great-aunt rosemary, who i went to warrensburg, missouri to meet in 2015, actually VOTED for #drumpf! 🤮

okay, i may have done something PHENOMENALLY stupid

i bought 10 grams of cubensis over twitter.

this person @psychedelicbloc, otherwise known as Psychedelic home, is not somebody i know. his (her?) profile, and paypal indicate that they’re in colorado, but i don’t know this person. their twitter profile is a few months old. they’re shipping to me using a company i have never heard of before, “Mega Cargo Logistics” which hasn’t been updating their web site as often as i’d like…

mushrooms from @psychedelicbloc
mushrooms from @psychedelicbloc
  • i don’t know this person
  • i don’t know whether or not they truly know what they’re doing
  • i don’t know whether or not they’re going to send me truly psychedelic mushrooms, or poisonous mushrooms, or “inert” mushrooms, or NOTHING AT ALL
  • i don’t know whether or not the cops are going to be waiting for me when i pick them up

moe isn’t home, and i was feeling desperate… and this guy blatantly advertised on twitter, which is already a very shady sign…

so, if i get busted, it’s @psychedelicbloc’s fault.

200120 MegaCargoLogistics email
200120 MegaCargoLogistics email
ETA: 200120 okay, i knew it had to be too good to be true. the shipping company i’ve never heard of before, Mega Cargo Logistics, sent me a very poorly worded (like, the author’s native language is very definitely NOT english) email, with the entire message in the subject line, informing me that my package was “on hold” until i paid a “refundable $100 insurance” fee.

in bitcoin… 😒

@psychedelicbloc said “bro… you’ve got nothing to worry about.” and “bro… i assure you the insurance will be refundable to as you receive your package.” — but when i responded that i simply didn’t have any more money, he recommended that i “can do the agency web mail and chat with them so the can explain things more better to you.” SO, i went on their web chat, and they told me “sir, the insurance you are about to pay is refundable as you receive your package. And which of the payment method are you okay with.” when i responded that i didn’t have the money, they said “Sir we understand that this is too much on you but as you receive your package the insurance will be refundable to you”, at which point i said “if i had known about the extra $100 charge for insurance, i would not have made the order, because I DO NOT HAVE THAT MUCH MONEY… PERIOD.” whereupon their response was “Sir we have many clients to attend to and of you are not serious please wasting our time here”

so, i’m not getting mushrooms. 🤬

although, all things considered, it’s probably just as well…

and, when i asked @psychedelicbloc to refund my money, they, too, started spouting stuff that makes it sound VERY MUCH like their native language is not english — “i need to apply for the to refund the package back to me if the do do i will refund your package” — which makes me think that, since paypal says they won’t actually receive the funds until the 23rd, i might actually be able to file a dispute with them, so that they won’t get it… and when i suggested i file a dispute, @psychedelicbloc suddenly vanished…

which makes me doubtful that they’re a cop… but at the same time, i don’t know whether or not i’m actually going to see that $100 again…

moisture, but no festival

as i mentioned last week, our bedroom closet has inordinate amounts of moisture in the back, where nobody noticed it for a long time… like, years

we had a contractor out, who took the entire south wall of the house apart, and concluded that it was a combination culprit: we had

1) water leaking in through the nail-holes in the composite siding, which was sub-standard (having been built in the early 1970s).

2) water leaking in through a sub-standard (1970s construction) gap in the siding between the rectangular part of the house, and the triangular (roof) part — these days, they put in what they call “Z-flashing” between the two levels of siding. in the 1970s, not so much.

3) no house-wrap — once again, due to 1970s construction methods and the fact that tyvek hadn’t even been invented yet — but a layer of plain old plastic, which caused water to condense and run down the inside of the walls.

and, because of this, there is also the matter of

4) the “rim joist” — the 2″x6″ beam that runs under the floorboards and holds the whole house up — was the ultimate victim of all of this aforementioned water. it was rotten through, and the guy had to jack up the house to remove it.

end result: the entire south wall of the house has been wrecked and removed down to the studs, and the south end of the house has been jacked up.

what makes it worse is that we discovered this on the 9th, and it has rained, snowed, or some combination of the two, pretty much every day since. it’s warm enough that the snow hasn’t hung around for long, but it affects how much the guy wants to work…

not only that, but now that he’s got the wall in a more-or-less stable (i.e. no longer damp and rotting) condition, he’s got court-ordered visitation with his kids this weekend, so not only is moe gone, and i have to take care of the dogs on my own, but ALSO there’s the detritus of an ongoing construction project in the front yard, the entire south wall is covered in plastic, and the crawl-space (where the dogs ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO) is open and unguarded, AND the guy WON’T BE BACK TO FIX IT UNTIL MONDAY!!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🖕

🤬

🖕

moisture + anhedonia

now there’s 18 and possibly 19 shares: Peanut Envy is going to be fluffing at least one night, and there’s a rumour that Snake Suspenders — as a trio, or, possibly with a fill-in drummer — is going to get at least one stage slot.

and, i never, in a million years, thought i would be able to say this, but i have been, essentially, commanded to take mushrooms, by what passes for a doctor in my life these days… except for the fact that it’s been snowy for the past couple of days, and more rain is forcast; my house is falling apart — currently everything that is usually in the closet in the master bedroom, is in the living room, while the closet is gutted down to the studs and rebuilt, to get rid of the mold and moisture problems; and, friday, moe is scheduled to leave for (ETA: 200117 – denver) orlando (or some gawdawful place like that) and won’t be back until wednesday.

which means that, taking my thursday unicycle class into account, it’s entirely likely that a week from friday is going to be the first day that i have to take mushrooms. 😒

anhedonia… 😒

i’ve been “sick” for a week. i was actually SICK for two days, starting last thursday. friday i didn’t make it upright, except to vomit, but by saturday i was feeling well enough that i did the last weekend of the panto without too much difficulty. monique got sick on sunday, and she and i have been trading a low-level “sickness” back and forth ever since. one of monique’s co-workers got an especially virulent strain of pink-eye a couple days ago, so the probability is better than normal that all of the rest of us are going to get pink-eye eventually.

#drumpf assassinated the number three guy in iran, with no “approval” or prior warning, a couple days ago, which, once again, brings us to the brink of world war three. he’s been impeached, but not convicted of anything, and probably won’t be, because the body which is supposed to convict him is controlled by the republican’ts, all of whom think he’s doing a swell job. 😒 55% of americans think his actions put american lives in danger, but he’s using it as a campaign talking point, and there’s a good chance, at this point, that he will be re-“elected” for a second term. 😠👎

and that’s not to mention the millions of people who no longer have insurance, nor the disabled people (which includes me) who will no longer have SSDI when his schemes take effect… he’s asked for, and gotten more money for his wall, and even more money for “defense”, but we “don’t have enough money” for health care and education.

meanwhile, the wall in the back of our closet has sprung a leak, which means that a lot of our “formal” and “costume” clothes are now wet — possibly ruined — and we’ve had a contractor out to give us an estimate (and another one tomorrow, alledgedly), but it has been snowing, on and off, since last night, which means that whatever repairs HAVE TO BE made, will PROBABLY NOT be made until… i don’t know, spring, or some time… 😒

i’m sick.

i’m sick of life. 😒

i wish it would end. 👎

yeah, woo… 😒

so, #SCROTUS has well and truly been impeached, but pelosi now says she’s not even going to send the articles of impeachment over to the house, because the house has said that they’re not going to follow through…

so we’re sitting here with an impeached president and nothing is being done about it, even from the people who impeached him.

meanwhile, he’s requested and been granted even MORE money for the wall, and for the “space force”, and he’s paying for it with massive CUTS in food stamps, SSI, and SSDI (which includes me), and there has been precisely no response from the people who impeached him, apart from mildly harsh words…

and there has been some protest, in a limited sort of way, but no mass uprising, which means that they are probably not even going to try…

and people wonder why i want to die. 😒

woo…

#SCROTUS #drumpf has been impeached, but the republican’ts in the senate have already said that they’re not going to remove him from office, so it’s not having the kind of effect everybody said it would have. 😒

i lost my sunglasses a couple weeks ago, and i lost my faraday pouch with all my credit cards, my medical permit, my AAA card and my passport, along with $30 or so in cash. it disappeared somewhere in between the time that i walked out of total wine (i watched myself on the security video leaving the store with the pouch in my hand), and the time that i got home. the receipt from total wine was in the recycle bin, so i’m fairly sure the pouch is somewhere at home, but i don’t know where, which PISSES ME OFF!!!

ETA: somebody found it in the parking lot of total wine, and turned it in with everything, including the cash, intact. maybe there’s hope for humanity after all… 🙃 but tulsi gabbard, the democratic representative from hawaii, who is also a candidate for the 2020 presidential election, voted “present” rather than voting for (preferably) or against impeachment… which means that, unless she’s the ONLY candidate running against #drumpf next year, i will not be voting for her. 😒

calm… i hope no storm…

the past three full days now, i have gotten SIGNIFICANTLY less spam than normal… like, normally i’ll get anywhere from two to six DOZEN spam messages a day, and, since saturday, i have gotten, maybe two dozen total

i’ve been blocking ranges of IP addresses in argentina and peru and china and india and denmark and kazakhstan and iran and lithuania and brazil and germany and LOTS of ranges for russia, and luxembourg and vietnam and turkey and indonesia and romania and the UK and georgia (the country, not the state in the united states), and nigeria and egypt and cambodia and myanmar (and that’s only up to the 45.0.0.0/8 range) like a mad fiend, for about two months prior to saturday… and all of those places are places from which i have never received email that was not spam…

literally, i’ve been blocking JUST ranges connected with the 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ “bitcoin porn sextortion” scam since october 4th. 🤬

maybe i’ve finally caught up with the script. i’ve got 1,043 filter rules, and a fair portion of them are IP ranges…

but it feels weird… nobody has complained that they’re not getting important emails, and the false positives that have been coming through are usually either dealt with by changing “contains” to “matches regex”, or by deleting rules that i don’t need any longer… like the one for the .mp TLD, which was giving me false positives all the time because of mailchi.mp, which, while spammy, is not universally spammy, and, as far as i can tell, is the only NON-spammy use of the .mp TLD… but i decided that, instead of figuring out how to rule out legitimate use of a spammy TLD, i just started banning the countries that the spam was coming from…

but it feels weird… i’ve been on edge for a couple of days now, and i’m pretty sure it’s directly related to my relationship with the computer and the ‘net… 😒

but not entirely related… i had a pair of blue sunglasses that i got before i went to oregon to busk, a few months ago, and i lost them about a week ago. since then i’ve been losing a whole bunch of other things — keys, tools, credit cards, that sort of thing — and i’ve been finding them again, usually in the same day, sometimes within the same 15 minutes or so… but i haven’t been able to find my sunglasses, and it PISSES ME OFF because the reason i got them, primarily, was to help aleviate some of my depression, and they have worked ADMIRABLY for that purpose… and i remember thinking, if i put them… wherever it was that i put them… 😕 and left them there for too long, i would probably not remember where they were, the next time i looked for them… 😒

it’s possible that they’re somewhere around the house, but i’ve looked at least three times in every place i can think of, and quite a few that i couldn’t have thought of in a long time, and have nothing to show for it except a much cleaner house. they’re not in the car, as far as i can tell, nor are they in my tuba case, or my tuba bag.

moe is going away for a few days — travelling for stuff related to her book — starting friday, which means that i won’t be able to go busking. and then panto starts (shudder) saturday: two shows, and two shows on sunday, which means that i won’t even be here to take care of the pets for significant portions of both days… fortunately, i’m picking her up at the airport after sunday’s shows are over.

and, on the unicycle side of things, i think i am actually learning to ride the unicycle… i have been consistently riding, in a “more-or-less” controlled fashion, in a marginally straight line, without falling over, half to three-quarters of the way across the gym, for two weeks now. and, i just got “certified” to come in and use the gym for practicing unicycle on days that we’re not having class, so i actually have a place to practice.

before the mushrooms kick in…

#drumpf is in the midst of impeachment, but it doesn’t appear to be making a whole lot of difference (thus, the mushrooms), but there have been some good things happening.

i have been getting A LOT of incense orders: 13 since the first of october, compared to 5 or fewer per month from january to september. also, i’ve gotten more orders from england and germany, since the first of october, than i have in the entire year previous. i still don’t entirely know what’s happening, but the end result is that i’ve now got more than $4,000 in my hybrid elephant account… which is somewhat startling…

191102 moe
191102 moe
last weekend, moe and i took a mini-vacation to san diego, for one night. ostensibly, moe had to rack up enough airline miles to qualify for “gold status”, because she has been travelling A LOT recently — mostly because of her newfound notariety as the author of a revolutionary book on animal behaviour — which, naturally, means that i have to stay at home and look after the pets.

seriously, folks… i’m married to a famous author! this week, she’s staying at a hotel in times square! it’s probably about as close to famous as i’m ever going to be! 😎

so moe decided that she would find a pet sitter and we would go off on our own (which i really appreciate). she chose san diego because she has been there before, and i haven’t, but i realised that san diego is the home of not one, but two outlets of the Village Hat Shop, which is where i bought my red fedora, and it is also home to the naval amphibious base coronado, which is a building shaped like a swastika.

i saw where it was when we were flying in, but i didn’t actually see the building because we were at too shallow an angle, and you pretty much have to be directly overhead to actually see that it’s shaped like a swastika…

so we flew to san diego to go hat shopping. i bought a pork pie made out of paper (a paper pork pie), and exhibited a great deal of self restraint becauuse i really wanted to take home about half the shop.

we actually stayed on coronado island

Hotel del Coronado - you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.
Hotel del Coronado – you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.

we stayed in a hotel room that is so “far above our station” that i almost got a nosebleed. 😉

and we flew home the next day, which was sunday.

i went busking yesterday, which was good, despite the fact that we only made about $20 a piece for 2 hours of busking. today i took two packages to the post office to ship out, and went to the dispensary, where i spent it all on weed and weed-related products.

and no w m y jmushrooms have kikckedk in ahd i heeed to be g oijn go ut for a wal,,k oris oemething lll…. 😁

update to the update.

chris came over to talk about printing.

he actually convinced me to make some minor changes to the back of the postcard: i changed one typeface to bold, and increased it by one point.

it was more than i should have done, but i wanted to seem like i was giving in to at least one of his demands.

and the only reason i didn’t tell him to take the finished files and make the changes himself is because i’ve worked with him for a long time, and, allegedly, he’s my friend.

but, honestly, it seems like he has drunk the kool-aid a little bit on this one.

however, one way or the other, the postcards are currently at the printer, so no further changes can be made. and, as they’re getting 5,000 of them, there’s a good chance that there won’t be a second run.

still don’t know about the poster. leah has already printed some — who knows how many — so there might not be any more. 😒

i should update this thing again…

the most recent thing is that i have “volunteered” to help make the artwork that is going to be used for this year’s panto: the program cover, poster, postcard and banner. i put “volunteered” in quotation marks because it was presented as a fairly straightforward job that has turned into a nightmare of emails between me and norma, on one side, and leah and the steering committee — who pretty much don’t know what they’re talking about — on the other side… which i would very definitely NOT have “volunteered” for, if i had known about it ahead of time.

it started with me and norma. we, plus mimi, produced the artwork for last year’s panto (to great success, i might add), and we started out to make it largely the same…

then leah got involved. leah is the “publicity manager” this year, and she has very specific — if not outrageously wrong — ideas about how the artwork should appear. leah also set a deadline of october 3rd for all of this to be done, so that i could send it to the printer so that we could have posters and postcards by the first week of october.

on the first round of feedback in which leah was involved (third week of september), one of her “suggestions” was

Remove the Fremont Players website and keep the brown paper tickets (if people google us, they will find our web site)

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

she also wanted me to remove the fremont players’ graphic logo, remove the year, reduce the amount of text, and “integrate other stylistic suggestions from the steering committee”, who, like i said before, have NO CLUE what they’re talking about.

so, norma and i ignored about 90% of their suggestions, did what we could to placate leah (including taking the graphic logo off the front of the postcard and putting it on the back, faded behind the text so it’s “not noticible”, and, after a few more “back-and-forths” which didn’t include leah, we came up with what we thought was finished artwork.

meanwhile, on october 1st, leah wrote to me, asking how much it would cost — PER POSTER — to print them. this is a very complex question, which has a different answer based on whether you are using a small, local print shop (like the kind i worked in for 20+ years) or a large, nation wide printing house (like the kind i use these days), and if you are using a large, nation wide printing house, how much posters cost depends on whether you want a small number or a large number.

i tried to explain this to leah, but she was more concerned with the fact that

If I’m reading this correctly, 150 posters cost $210 but 250 posters cost only $40 more and ordering 4000 postcards is $465 but 5000 is $125 cheaper??

to which i responded “that’s right.”

i know, it’s weird, but it’s how large, nation wide printing houses do business, and it appears to work for them. you can’t get different specific-size jobs unless you’re willing to pay more than you would if you get an amount that the printers produce, which is usually more than you want, but “per poster” it comes in WAY cheaper than if you get a different, specific-size job.

so, she approved the artwork on october 2nd, and on october 3rd, she said that i should hold off on contacting the printer, because she wanted to see if it was possible to get an exact size job for a cheaper price.

to which i responded

yes, you can probably get cheaper prices from somewhere else, but keep in mind the quality of the printing i provided last year: posters on 100lb gloss stock, and postcards on 16pt gloss stock with UV coating. i’m pretty sure you’re not going to get anywhere close to the same quality anywhere else, for anything close to the prices i have quoted.

which was ignored… 🤦

a couple of days later, she wrote asking for the high res files, because she had found a “digital printer” (read “photocopy shop”) who would do EXACTLY the size job she wanted for half the price (on much lower quality paper, but she doesn’t know the difference).

so i uploaded them to dropbox, and washed my hands of the whole deal. 😒

it turns out that she had something printed — i still don’t know whether or not she used the correct files (if i had actually been there, and she had shown up with printing from the wrong files, i would have walked out and never gone back… 😒), but my guess is that either she didn’t use the correct files, or she whipped something together in microsoft publisher (or something like that) and used that instead.

then, on october 9th, i get a request for more changes to the postcard. apparently, now, they actually want the date on the front of the card.

i respond by telling maque that they have the high res versions of the artwork, and that they are welcome to make whatever changes they like to the card, BY THEMSELVES, because i am done with this job, and there is a very good likelyhood that i will not be available to “help” again next year, or going forward, because i felt like it was too much work for too little actual gain.

then, yesterday, i get a call from chris huson. he wants to meet me to discuss why i am so upset with the printing process. actually, he SAYS he wants to “discuss further changes” to the postcard, but i nip that in the bud right away.

i explain exactly what i (and mimi and norma) did, and exactly what leah did. i show him emails from leah. i show him the finished artwork — which he says doesn’t look like what leah had printed. i explain about the confusing pricing, and the quality differences, and how none of this seemed to make a difference to leah.

it turns out that leah actually asked chris to take over managing the artwork portion of the job. given what chris already knew about leah, and about the fact that i was upset about the way this whole thing was working out — AND because chris is on the steering committee AND the board of directors, he made the executive decision to take over managing the production of the artwork.

he’s coming over tomorrow to finalise the “already finalised” artwork, to talk about run amounts, and the schedule of when we might have things.

——

from the time i was born until the time i finally escaped my parents’ house, when i was 20 or so, the primary message i received, over and over, was that i was not good enough, that i would never BE good enough, and that, unless i worked VERY hard at “being normal”, nobody would ever like me.

it wasn’t always very subtle, but that was the underlying message, regardless of what i did: they said they were “proud of me” when i won awards, but they refused to do anything to help me win more awards, and shot me down every time i thought i might be able to succeed at doing… pretty much anything…

and when i wasn’t winning awards for playing trombone, or doing magic shows, i didn’t even have a name: i was “the crummy child”. oldest by 6 years of four children, the other three of whom were born two years apart, starting when i was 6, then 8, then 10, when they got old enough to realise what was happening, my siblings called me “the crummy child” as well. when my first younger sister was born, i quickly faded into the background. after that, the only times anybody noticed me was when i was winning awards or when i was getting into trouble.

——

this whole business of working with leah brought all that back in one fell swoop: regardless of how good the art was, it wasn’t good enough. 😠

it has begun to be worked out, now that chris is more involved than he was before, but i’m still quite shaken, and stirred up (at the same time) by this whole fiasco.

fump

anhedonia has made me ambivalent about the fact that i am leaving on thursday for 11 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Oregon State Fair in Salem.

then i’m returning home for a couple of weeks, and then i’m going to Yakima for 10 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Central Washington State Fair.

i’m getting PAID(‼) $825 for oregon and $750 for yakima, plus half of whatever we make passing the hat (because real buskers can actually do that), which we have been recommended to do about every 15 or 20 minutes. we’re working (in oregon) from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm, but they only want 4 to 5 hours of busking in that time period. we have to pay for a hotel room in oregon, but a hotel room is included in yakima.

i got some more mushrooms from macque, and i got a whole bunch of encouragement regarding growing mushrooms from macque (who is, apparently, an expert. who knew?) and from rossi, who is an art cartist and the friend of ranger’s, who i got the mushrooms from last year. i’m taking some to salem. who knows whether or not i will be motivated to use them during the time i’m gone…

in other news, i got a pair of blue sunglasses, because looking at the world through 💩-coloured glasses was making me REALLY depressed, despite how much i liked them — and how many of my clothes matched the 💩-coloured sunglasses… but i really like the blue sunglasses even more, despite the fact that they’re not polarised, which makes driving in the bright sunlight a little difficult.

bleah…

i’ve been under the attack of anhedonia and depression. my mushrooms have lost their potency: the last time i tried, i took 6 of them and they had, essentially, no effect at all. i connected with a person at SACBO — ranger’s connection — but she is only one step closer to the source… although she did mention that starter kits are available on ebay, and that they practically grow themselves, so that’s worth looking into.

part of the reason i have been so depressed is because of what i call the “political situation”: that is, drumpf and his latest atrocities. it just keeps on getting worse, and, when i think there’s no way he can get any worse, he blows the world away with the magnitude of his atrocities… and his republicon base of supporters get upset about a black disney princess and a pair of nike sneakers, but totally ignore the concentration camps and the gestapo Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, not to mention the totally inept people, including his own children, he’s put in charge of such things as education, housing, healthcare and the environment. it’s literally going to take us 100 years JUST to fix his fuckups, and that’s not taking into account the fact that the world is already in a crisis mode. it’s almost as though everything i’ve ever fought for throughout my entire life has been eliminated by this orange babboon in less than 3 years, and replaced with climate-change deniers, corporate stooges, forced-birth and anti-vax controversies, and so-called “christian” love, which is only for the so-called “christians”.

drumpf spent $92 million, which he appropriated from the national parks department (🤬), on a “military parade” in washington DC, complete with tanks and a flyover by the blue angels and “airforce one” — which, of course, wasn’t “airforce one” because the #SCROTUS was on the ground, observing the flyover… and the tanks were stationary, because, apparently, if they had moving tanks, they would have destroyed the streets and damaged the lincoln memorial… but the only people who could view this were his donors, because everyone else had to pay to get in… and then it rained, HARD and everything was postponed. the photos and videos i’ve seen show a very few thoroughly wet people and drumpf giving a long, boring, confusing speech that one writer i read compared to having been written by artificial intelligence, and a retired admiral said that it was on the level of an 8th grade history lesson… and the live video feeds from the top of the washington memorial, and the lincoln memorial were inexplicably shut down and removed from the whitehouse dot gov address, apparently to cover up how few people actually attended this debacle.

so, basically, we, the american people, threw away $92,000,000,000 on an egotistical, childish, boorish, dictator-emulating orange rapist with the IQ of half a rock, instead of addressing the concentration camps, or the homeless issue, or the healthcare issue, or… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

as can be well imagined, despite my love for exploding things, i take little interest in such activities in celebration of this country, this year… which is, also, at least partially, because of the fact that we now have a dog who is totally terrified of fireworks, AND a next-door neighbour who is prone to setting off a ton of fireworks which ignite their lawn, and other suchlike wonderful things. 😒

OCF is 5 days away, and i’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. by this time, we’ve usually had one run through, and have some rough idea of how long the show will be. this year, we’re nowhere close to that, despite the fact that we started out with a working script, which we created 15 years ago, when we did this show (Jack And The Beanstalk) the last time. and we’re still missing two songs, one of which is probably not going to make it into the show for OCF.

and, on top of everything else, MAD magazine is shutting down! PBLFLLT!! 😠

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

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

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

and learning to ride a unicycle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

oy! 😖

the continuing saga of the mailing list fiasco has reached a new plateau:

so, it started out that one of the subscribers to the list sent a message to the list that didn’t go through, for some unknown reason (demons).

when his message didn’t go through IMMEDIATELY — as he was used to them doing — he started looking around for other addresses, and he found two of them. one goes to the list owner, and one is a “machine only” address that sends bounce notices to the owner. it is not for sending email TO, and it is definitely not for sending mail to when your message doesn’t go through, because that triggers the MTA on the user end to blacklist your message.

i found out about this whole fiasco about 6 hours into it, when he sent mail to my personal address, asking me if there was something wrong. i noticed that he had sent mail to the machine-only address, and got blacklisted by micro$awful, so i wrote to the host provider to see if there was something that could be done to reverse the problem.

the host provider’s response was to accuse me (and my mailing list) of sending spam, and they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sending spam. 😒

they generously offered to set me up with a new IP address instead of arbitrarily closing my account, but the new IP address they gave me didn’t have a PTR (pointer) record, or a RDNS (Reverse DNS) record, which only made the machine that controls the email list mad, because usual mailing lists have a PTR and a RDNS record, and the end result was that i was blacklisted by a number of services with which i have been exchanging emails without a problem for years.

fortunately, these other services were ones for which i could submit delisting requests myself, which takes the host provider and their sensitivity about spam and spammers out of the loop.

nevertheless, i started losing patience, and i might have said some things in my communications with the host provider which ended up making things a whole lot worse, ending up with yesterday, when they asked me to move my web sites to a different host provider immediately.

at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, the PTR and RDNS records that they installed on my new IP address took effect, which meant that i can no longer send email from my local email client, because it’s not the same server that my VPN has been talking to for more than a year, and i lost it. i didn’t actually curse at them, but i did everything but that.

while i was in the process of figuring out that it was my VPN that was my primary problem, i had, simultaneously, to explain the mistake to the guy who sent the original message, re-assure the members of the mailing list who were trying — and failing — to send messages to the list that they weren’t actually the problem, despite the fact that their email addresses were not interacting correctly with the mailing list, and fend off the more and more insistent demands that i leave, immediately, from the host provider.

long story short, i didn’t sleep very well last night. 😠

at about 3:30 this morning, i finally wrote a letter to macque, saying that i was no longer able to host the web sites he has me hosting, i was no longer able to maintain the mailing list, and that i was retiring from the hosting business.

then i checked, once again, with micro$awful, and determined that I HADN’T ACTUALLY BEEN BLACKLISTED AT ALL!

the WHOLE THING had been caused by “demons” in the machine! 😖

and, to top things all off, we’re scheduled to go to the beach for a week, starting monday, which meant that, if i was going to move, i would have to find a new host and give them the information they need to move my web sites in 3 days, or wait a week, and do the same thing when i got back from vacation. both of these options made going on vacation TO BEGIN WITH not a very exciting prospect, and i was getting severely depressed about it.

and, to put the cherry on top, it turns out that sketch, the drummer for Snake Suspenderz, died yesterday, which made me even more depressed… primarily because he, being dead, didn’t have to worry about all the CRAP that has been going on in the world, while i, being not dead, had to deal with seven times MORE CRAP and had no say in the matter, whatsoever.

then, things started to get better… kind of…

the first thing that happened is that, when i told them that i would be moving my web site in two weeks, that micro$awful hadn’t really blacklisted my IP address, and that i had dumped the client that had caused the whole fiasco, they let up a little bit, and allowed that, since i had paid access until july, that i could stay until then. with a bit more discussion back and forth, they relented even further, and allowed me to keep my web sites where they are.

but i’m still giving up being a host provider for people who don’t know how it works, because it’s WAY too stressful.

so, in the end, i can go on vacation without having to worry about internet SHIT, either while i am on vacation, or after i get home; i will no longer have to deal with people who don’t know doing things that they shouldn’t do and feeling awful about it afterwards, and i won’t ACTUALLY have to move my web sites that aren’t going away anyway (which is an entirely different ball of wax)…

but sketch is still dead, which means that, either, Snake Suspenderz will break up, or that we will find a new drummer… neither of which are very attractive alternatives at this point.

hrmph!

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

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

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

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

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

🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

thursday, i had a rehearsal. i got home, felt normal, and went to bed.

friday, i woke up and didn’t feel so hot. by friday afternoon, i was flat on my back, except for when i had to rush to the bathroom to vomit, have diarrhɶa, or both, which continued until sunday, when i went to the emergency clinic to find out what was wrong: Influenza-A. 🤮

they prescribed two medications: an anti-emetic, and an anti-diarrhɶal medication. when moe went to the pharmacy to pick it up, because of the fact that my primary insurance is medicare, they wanted to charge $350.00, but they said that both medications were available, over the counter, at safeway for $17.50…

so moe went to safeway.

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬… etc…

monday was even worse: i had to have 2 liters of intravenous fluids pumped into me, because i was not getting better, and nothing i did would make the vomiting and diarrhɶa go away. at that point, i hadn’t even EATEN anything for 4 days, and i was starting to wonder if i was ever going to get better. the IV line did it, i made a “miraculous” recovery — meaning that, tuesday, i was well enough to hobble short distances without passing out, and the vomiting and diarrhɶa had mostly vanished.

wednesday (today) i am doing better, but i still have to take things in stages, and i have to rest A LOT… i have to rest A LOT because, tomorrow, i have to be a fluffer at the moisture festival, and, also, if i don’t rest A LOT i pass out… seriously, i can’t walk more than a few dozen steps before i am panting and out of breath.

two things to take away from this experience are:

1) ALWAYS get a flu shot!!! from now on, every year, i’m getting a flu shot. this is not something i want to experience more than once!

along the same lines, i really should get a shingles vaccination, as well: i had chicken-pox when i was 16, and thought i’d never have to worry about it again, but moe got shingles a few years ago, and she was miserable. a shingles vaccination is a really easy way to prevent that sort of thing from happening to me…

and, 2)… this is important:

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST GET CRIMINAL DRUMPF AND HIS CRIMINAL CRONIES OUT OF OFFICE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND THE WORLD IS DESTROYED!!!

my impression is that America is on it’s way to being the worst it has ever been. America won’t even start to be remotely considered for “greatness” again until he and his whole cadre of criminals are impeached… and, America can take the first tentative steps towards applying for greatness by indicting, convicting, and imprisoning drumpf for the rest of his life, and longer! 🤬

i would rant more, but that is exhausting, and now i have to go lie down.

🤬

invisible formatting

190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting
190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting

when i was working at the print shop in issaquah, prior to my injury, i had a customer who always provided their own “artwork” for the print jobs they wanted. the problem was that this customer used Quark eXpress (which all the GOOD customers used) but he used the “faux” formatting from the toolbar — which is okay if you are printing from a local, computer-printer, but not if you’re sending it out to a print service — rather than using the “correct” formatting, by selecting the proper typeface from the menu.

what this meant, was that, inevitably, i would, either, have to reset the entire piece, or go through the artwork — sometimes character by character — to reset all of the faux formatting he had done.

i was really impressed that this guy was actually able to use the proper program for this, but it irritated THE HELL out of me that he couldn’t learn to do this one, TEDIOUS, TIME-CONSUMING, job correctly, so that i wouldn’t have to second-guess him all the time.

finally, i had enough.

i copied the entire piece, and pasted it just outside the page, on what they call the “pasteboard”. it’s usually not a place for permanent storage, but a place that it’s convenient to store blocks of type during formatting (so that you don’t have to type them more than once). if you do it correctly, it effectively doubles the size of the document, but there is no obvious flag which indicates the location of “the rest” of the document. if you “zoom out”, it’s obvious, but most people don’t “zoom out” larger than the page size, so it’s effectively hidden.

the first couple of times i did this, he didn’t notice, because he already had a relatively old, slow computer… but after a while of my doing this on the same document, he started noticing that this particular document took FOREVER to load, and it took EVEN LONGER to save, once he had made changes.

the last time i saw him, which was just before my injury, he was complaining about “his computer”. he said that he would double click the document, and then go away for an hour and do other stuff, and when he came back, sometimes the document would be loaded… 😈

mushroom 🍄 adventures

🍄 so far, i have taken eleven mushrooms… yep, only eleven: 🍄 🍄 two on 181007, 🍄 one 🍄 each on 181008 and 09, 🍄 two 🍄 on 181011, 🍄 three🍄 🍄 on 181015 and two 🍄 🍄 today.

which is pretty phenomenal, considering that the average dose for me during my 20s was anywhere from 100 to 500, but that was a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

well, it was actually in bellingham, but that’s another story…

and that’s not to say that the thought of taking that many isn’t appealing, because it is — very much so, in fact — but i don’t need that many… one or two at a time is more than enough. 🍄

okay, so…

moe and i went to see VOLTA yesterday, and it was AWESOME!!! i haven’t enjoyed a show that much in a LONG time! it was colourful and exciting and funny and outrageous and awe-inspiring and inspiring in general… the guy who was sitting to my left shouting “woo!” over and over again didn’t even distract me from how amazing it was.

but i didn’t take mushrooms yesterday, because i had to drive to volta, and because i was still feeling pretty good from the day before.

when i woke up this morning, however, something was different. moe is going to boston (for one night, she’ll be back tomorrow, which is bizarre enough, by itself), and i had to drive her and ross to the airport at 7:30, which is earlier than i like to get up. after i had got up and dressed, i noticed that i felt REALLY depressed. i mentioned to moe that i said i didn’t know what it was like to feel depressed any longer, a few days ago, but i felt depressed now. she said that it’s not too surprising, when you understand the brain chemistry. i don’t completely understand the meaning of her comment, but after i dropped them off at the airport, i went for a long drive, which made me feel a lot better. i’ve been really cold the past couple of days, so i turned the seat-warmer on high, and when i got home i didn’t do much except sit at my computer all day, and i feel significantly better. smoking pot helped a lot more than it usually does, too, which is encouraging. i thought i would try another mushroom, earlier, but going for a long drive helped so much that, by the time i got home, i had decided to see what else happened first.

i’m sure this is what kate was talking about, expecting more of a change in perception, but not so much actual lack of depression, as one might expect from a truly antidepressive drug… very much like what i experienced when i started taking 5HTP: i didn’t notice a lack of depression, what i noticed was a new awareness of when i was depressed, and more motivation to do stuff in spite of it.

weird

i took two mushrooms on sunday, and determined that two is too many if i’m “microdosing”. i took one on monday, and didn’t feel anything… but, to be honest, the relaxed “okay with whatever happens” attitude that i experienced on sunday was having an extended effect, so it didn’t really matter that much. i took one on tuesday and had almost as high a trip as i had on sunday, with two… plus i got all domestic, and went out grocery shopping, which turned into me being as efficient as i could be and getting out of the costco crowds… and having to drive while “altered” — even a little bit — was a little more stress that i could do without. so i decided that i’d only take mushrooms on days when i don’t have anything else on the schedule.

which was a good thing, because wednesday (yesterday) started with my circus class — in which the instructor, amber, said that i “looked different” — and then finished up with a snake suspenderz gig in the skyview observatory in the columbia tower in downtown seattle, which started, for me, at 2:30, when i left to pick up hobbit at 3:30 to be at the columbia tower at 5:00, play for 2 hours and 45 minutes…

and being told that i was not allowed to drink alcohol in the bar, by the bartender, despite having been told specifically by the guy that hired us that it was okay for us to eat food and drink beverages on our breaks… 🤨

pack up and finally leave the building — after being abandoned by the guy who hired us, who took a “secret” elevator that was different from the one we got on, and when the elevator we got on finally arrived, it was inhabited by a hispanic guy who didn’t speak that much english, and took us from the 78th floor (or the 84th, or whatever floor we were on) to the 4th floor, then to the loading dock, then to the 3rd floor, then to the 4th floor, then to the 3rd floor again, while assiduously AVOIDING pressing the button that would take us to the 1st floor, which is WHERE WE SAID — REPEATEDLY — THAT WE WANTED TO GO… (damn it)… and having been paid $15 extra, specifically to cover parking, only to discover that parking for 5 hours and 47 minutes at the columbia tower costs $31… and then i had to take hobbit to lynnwood, and i didn’t get home until after midnight, because of three lanes of the freeway being closed through downtown seattle.

🤦

so i decided that i would start over again today. at first i was going to throw caution to the wind, and take five, but i chickened out at the last moment, and only took two. it’s a good thing i didn’t have anything else scheduled for today, although it isn’t as profound as sunday’s trip.

i’ve also got to conserve, until i have a better supply lined up. probably not going to do any more until next week… although, at this point, i would say that, overall, it has been a success, because, quite honestly, i don’t even remember what it was like to feel depressed any longer.

i wonder how long it will last?

then, today, i went out for a walk, like i usually do. while i was out, five random people waved at me, from their cars, from their front yards, from their lawn mowers… one of them said “how ya’ doin’?”… plus, the mail delivery lady, who i know, also waved at me. what is it about me that is, all of a sudden, causing people to acknowledge my existence? what is it about me — that isn’t a direct result of consuming a socially inappropriate substance — is different from the guy who wears a burnous and freaks people out? it makes me feel like i’ve gained some sort of notariety that i haven’t found out about yet.

also, this whole thing of being recommended to take psychedelic mushrooms by my counsellor goes right along with the unreal-ness of being able to walk into a local dispensary and walk out with an ounce of medical-grade weed without being busted… and the unreal-ness of #drumpf in the white house, and his unrelenting battle against plain ordinary folks who didn’t do harm to anybody… i’ve fallen through the cracks and ended up in bizarro-world, for sure. 😕

wyoming

moe left for a week in wyoming this morning. she’s getting back monday, then, tuesday, she’s flying to las vegas and won’t be home until next friday. then she’ll be home for a couple of weeks, and then she’s flying to boston… for ONE NIGHT… 😕

anhedonia… i’m just going through the motions. nothing matters, nothing makes any difference, nobody cares about anything…

moe says she cares, but then she leaves for a week in wyoming, and asks me to ferry her mom around while she’s gone. 🙁 not that i begrudge her going: this is national chapionships, her dog qualified in january and she’s been planning it pretty much ever since, but it is just another thing where nothing seems to matter.

i learned the secret code to getting kontact working when it pulls its “getting folder contents. please wait…” error, which is “akonadictl restart”. i still don’t understand why they put a defective version of kontact in the LTS version of the system, and i wonder when they’ll get around to releasing the fixed version in the backports repository, but as with all things related to the software bug industry, what makes the most sense is often the last thing that the people who can actually do anything about it, think about. 😕

dolphin continues to work, and i continue to be confused about how it worked before the “username@drive” convention became obvious. i still have to re-adjust my desktop wallpaper EVERY FUCKING TIME i boot the machine. there’s no telling when — or if — it will piss me off enough that i leave it where it is. amarok continues to work, as long as i want to move things to my local drive. i don’t, so i’m listening to iTunes on my phone and waiting for someone from the amarok users list to respond to my question about running from a NAS. i don’t expect an answer.

i sold two 16GB iPhone 5s phones for $120 on ebay today, and paypal wants to hold onto the money used to pay for them until three days after they are delivered to the buyer. how i HATE paypal. 😠

american’t

things that have been happening recently, that are reasons why i don’t want to be here any more:

#drumpf has finally got his “muslim travel ban” to stick. apparently, third time’s a charm.

“zero tolerance” and “family separation” for brown people, but, apparently, not for white people who show up at our borders “illegally”, whatever that means. criminal charges for the parents, regardless of why they’re really showing up, and separation from their children, simply because they thought that american’t would be better than wherever they’re from.

rumours of between 2,000 and 3,500 children who have already been separated from their parents, with no obvious way to reunite them with their parents. rumours of toddlers being forced into courtrooms to defend themselves.

and it’s all “the democrats’ fault”, but it would go away immediately if the democrats would agree to taxpayer funding of the wall on the mexican border… which mexico was supposed to pay for, but which mexico has flatly refused to pay for…

drumpf has announced a tariff on imported solar panels, and is encouraging the coal and oil industries, while saying that human-caused climate change is a myth.

they’re in the final process of more than decimating medicare, food stamps and welfare, while giving massive tax-cuts to the one percent, who have been buying up stocks rather than letting the wealth “trickle down”, like it failed to do the last time we tried it.

net neutrality bit the dust last month, and the only reason why things haven’t gotten worse IMMEDIATELY, is because washington, and a couple other states, went against federal mandate and imposed their own net neutrality legislation, which is bound to cause problems (drumpf has specifically said it will) when washington needs help from the federal government at some point in the future.

drumpf has announced the creation of a “space force” to augment an already heavily bloated military, while cutting things we actually need, like health care, education and housing.

anthony kennedy just announced that he will be retiring from the supreme court next month: drumpf is going to get to appoint ANOTHER supreme court justice… which means that we’re going to be battling against his repressive policies (specifically, abortion rights and same-sex marriage) for at least another 20 years beyond whenever we finally get him out of office.

yet another mass shooting by a white, american guy, who was taken alive, unlike what would have happened if he were brown. drumpf offers “thoughts and prayers”, but no actual action to bring these white, american guys into check. meanwhile, another unarmed black guy who was minding his own business, but “matched the profile”, is killed by white cops who won’t face any consequences for their actions, because they were afraid for their lives.

americans, generally, encouraged by SCROTUS drumpf’s very blatant actions since he weasled his way into office, have gotten more blatantly racist than i have seen since i was little. sure, there are more cell phone photos and video recordings of these things for me to see, but i don’t remember seeing blatant racism like this, even during the height of the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

seriously, drumpf is systematically destroying everything that made this society even remotely worth living in. this is why i wish i had died when i had the chance.

bleh/catsup

same old bleh: government shut down because democrats won’t agree to fund the wall, or some such horseshit. it’s going to take a generation to fix all the things #drumpf has screwed up. although, it appears, that, with the government shut down, it’s actually impeding #SCROTUS’s ability to vacation in mar-a-lago, AGAIN, and it may also affect betsy devos’ trip to sweden, so it may not be all bad.

got into an accident with monique’s car a week ago. i pulled out of a parking lot into what i thought was a clear street, only to discover that there were two cars on a collision course with my left side. i sped up, to try to avoid colliding with them and succeeded in having only one of them clip my left rear corner, but speeding up caused me to go out of control, and i zipped across the street and ran into a rock in the driveway across the street… and, of course, it’s more than likely 100% my fault.

the weird part is what happened afterwards. the collision didn’t injure anybody, a cop came and took a statement from everyone, but issued no tickets. monique’s car is pretty banged up, it may or may not be a total write off, but they may be able to fix it… but because of the fact that we’ve got insurance, our total out-of-pocket will be $500, plus $4 a day for the rental car, which showed up less than 24 hours after the accident. and, if the car, which is a few months away from the end of its warrantee anyway, is a total write-off, we can use the settlement to buy a new car from monique’s best friend lora’s husband, who owns a car dealership.

there are a number of things that would have happened if i had this kind of accident and were still living in bellingham, which DID NOT happen this time. these things are REALLY freaking me out: significantly, nobody got upset with me, including monique, whose car got munched. she said that’s why we have insurance. then, we went to the beach for 4 days, three days after the accident. if things were as they were when i lived in bellingham, we WOULD NOT have been able to go on “vacation” after an accident as serious as that, even though nobody got injured. and there are a few other things: i’m having my trombone slide rebuilt(!), and it’s costing me around $800. that project would have suddenly been put on hold. also, we’re planning on going to hawai’i(!) for our 20th anniversary, in june, and, after the accident, that would have been out of the question, if this were bellingham.

on the other hand, when i lived in bellingham, most of the time i didn’t actually own a car, and when i did, i only had minimal insurance, and that only part of the time… and in all the time i lived in bellingham, i don’t think i took what i now consider to be a “vacation” even once, despite the fact that i “camped out” in various places a number of times.

upshot of the whole thing is that i’m still thinking i should be in orders of magnitude more trouble than i, apparently, am, currently… and i’m waiting for the axe, which may not actually be there, to fall… which is seriously affecting my ability to enjoy anything else that may be enjoyable. 😕

people suck! 😠

when you’re out for a walk, and you see someone walking a dog on a leash, and it’s OBVIOUS that the dog is in pain, and it’s OBVIOUS that the person on the other end of the leash is TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS about the condition of their dog… how do you respond?

according to my wife, the veterinary technician and veterinary hospital manager, whose specialty is animal behaviour, there’s not an awful lot you can do about a situation like this.

so, anyway, i was out on a walk, and i saw two ladies with dogs on leashes. one of them, the lady in front, had a smaller, black dog that was acting more or less normally, ahead of its human, sniffing the ground, doing normal dog things.

then there came the lady behind. when i first noticed her, she smiled pleasantly, as she was pulling the dog leash over her shoulder, and leaning into it, to get the dog to go faster. it was plain, from her behaviour, that the dog wasn’t pleased at all with the idea of going any faster, because she had to maintain constant pressure on the leash to get him to go as fast as he was.

then i noticed the dog…

i have never felt so sorry for a creature so quickly… the dog was OBVIOUSLY in pain…

he was a medium-sized yellow lab, or a lab-mix of some kind. he was panting, heavily, and drooling almost to the point of foaming. he was an older dog, who used to be a lot fatter than he is now, because he had a lot of loose, flabby skin around his belly. there was something seriously wrong with his hips: his lower abdomen looked distended, and he was walking stiff-legged, taking tiny steps and doing most of the motivating work with his front legs… and it looked like he’d been doing it for a while, because his front legs were a lot more muscular.

as they were passing me, once again, the woman put her shoulder into dragging the dog faster than he, clearly, was able to go. he whimpered, and attempted to waddle faster, which he was clearly not able to do.

never have i wanted, more, to deck someone. 😡 i had to hurry away before i did something stupid, because, if i had hung around any longer, i WOULD HAVE done something stupid.

depression and drumpf

it’s been raining for a couple of days, which is good, because it hasn’t rained for months. it went from deathly hot and dry to raining and cloudy in one day… but nobody’s allowed to say climate change any longer.

the republicretins are trying to ruin healthcare, AGAIN! 😡

drumpf wants a military parade in front of the white house. he also wants to “totally destroy north korea”, in those very words. he made a fool of himself in front of the UN. he wants to deport all of the people who are currently eligible for DACA. he wants to ban muslim immigrants and refugees. he won’t repudiate white supremacist terrorists. when people protest, they get run over and killed by white supremacist terrorists who get caught by the police, and are, then, set free with no charges.

i’d complain, but that’s just the way it is these days. 😕

salamandir update

i haven’t been writing much because i’m severely depressed, and have been for some time.

the primary reason is #SCROTUS, who has, once again, alerted the world that, at his leisure, he’s going to dump the entire nuclear arsenal of the united states — his exact words were “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” — on a country about 0.013 the size of the united states (north korea), because their “crackpot leader” has been spouting off again. personally, i’d put #drumpf and kim jong-il in the same boat, in terms of being totally insane. and, of course, kim jong-il responded by saying drumpf’s proclamation was a “load of rubbish” and announced a missile test that is going to end 30 to 40 miles off guam. as much as i disliked the gentleman (an alert reader will notice that i don’t refer to drumpf using that term), when obama was president, i could sleep through the night knowing that, when i woke, world war 3 would not have started. 😡

this whole mess was compounded by the fact that i went off 5HTP while i was at OCF, and, apparently, it’s a medicine that you have to take for a while before it starts working. it’s been a month, and i’ve been taking it again for about 3 weeks, so i’m assuming that it’s taking effect — as before, i’m aware of the fact that i’m depressed, but i can function, more-or-less, anyway — but the whole thing with drumpf, ending the world, messing with my (lack of) health insurance, being an ignorant, racist asshole who golfs while the world — which he set on fire — is burning, really doesn’t inspire me to do an awful lot. 😕

this has also been compounded by the fact that climate change has gone from the wettest winter on record, to the longest period without rain on record, and, because of the fact that there have been massive forest fires in british columbia, the weather has been hot and smoky for about a week. i was in tacoma the other day, and i haven’t seen that much smoke there since the infamous “aroma” days. i was in seattle, yesterday, and it was so smoky that i couldn’t see west seattle from I5. the air-quality rating has been “unhealty” for two days… in SEATTLE!! it’s the worst i have EVER seen it, and it’s just going to get worse… and they’re not predicting rain until — MAYBE — sunday. 😡

but because of the fact that drumpf appointed one of his oil-company cronies to the head of the EPA, they are no longer allowed to use the words climate change, which, to them, means that it doesn’t exist. 😡

yawn

nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.

moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.

the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. 😐

SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.

groan

it just keeps getting worse…

republicons, with the encouragement of hair furor, #drumpf, have managed to shove through a repeal of obamacare, and the “trumpcare” that they’ve proposed to replace it only serves to move a fair portion of the country’s remaining wealth from the poorer 99% to the richer 1%, and provides the opposite of health care, or health insurance for everybody except republicon representatives and their families.

#drumpf has also signed an executive order “restoring” religious liberty by making it okay for “christians” to deny services to gay couples and anybody else that they don’t like, and gutting the law that prevents religious leaders from making political recommendations.

will somebody kill me now? i’m really tired of living in this nightmare-hell… 😩 😧 😠

depression

A Blood Test May Help Pinpoint the Right Antidepressant for You… but why do i need "the right anti-depressant" when my depression is caused by other people? why should I medicate myself when i wouldn’t be depressed if everybody else would just act in a more sane manner?

is it, really not a medication to treat my depression, but, rather, a medication to make me like everybody else? what is the point of not being depressed if i have to deliberately, chemically alter my state of consciousness to achieve it? if "finding the right anti-depressant" will be the solution to my problem of depression, then why wasn’t it decided for me when i was born, that this is the solution, and start me on anti-depressants at that time? once again, i ask: why should I medicate myself when i wouldn’t be depressed if everybody else would just act in a more sane manner?

sickness and depression

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

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

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

weird

i’m “sick”…

i don’t “feel sick”, in fact, i feel largely the same way i do pretty much all the time: no abnormal aches or pains, clear sinuses, i’m able to breathe without difficulty, no headache or plugged ears… my throat is slightly swollen and even more slightly sore — which is something i started noticing a couple of nights ago… but i’m not coughing (except when i smoke pot, which is relatively normal), and it’s hardly even noticible most of the time.

but i’m REALLY cold most of the time, even though the temperature outside has been between 45° and 50° and inside has been more like 65°. i spent pretty much all day yesterday on the recliner, alternately watching TV and sleeping, in spite of the fact that i could have been more active, and, today, i’m thinking that i may go out and check my mailbox, but i’m also inclined to waste another day in front of the TV.

変危険

変危険 = Strange Danger

we got a new puppy on saturday. it’s a 7-week-old border collie puppy named Kestrel. we were kept awake most of saturday night by the puppy’s crying, which made me feel like the most horrible person in the world. the puppy hasn’t cried (in fact it has slept almost all the way through the night) ever since, but i still feel really depressed. i’ve started walking again, which has helped — i quit around october or so of last year, shortly after moe’s father died — and i’ve decided to subscribe to soylent — because it’s better quality nutrition than boost, or ensure, or muscle milk, or two or three other commercially available “nutrition shakes” i investigated — so i may actually be getting more regular nutrition than i have… well… basically, forever…

but waking up every day and realising that #drumpf is president (“So-Called Ruler Of The United States” or #SCROTUS) is a lot like being waterboarded. 😨

plotz

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

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

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

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

केच्छुप्

our “three weekends in a row of performances” with the sousa band is over. snake suspenderz played a moisture festival gig in redmond last week…

redmond was a trip. i haven’t been there in a long time… probably not since stlabs moved from redmond to factoria, which (according to my handy-dandy chart of when things happened) was approximately 1998… i may have been there once since then, but… wow, things have changed A LOT since the last time i hung around there. the obvious thing i noticed right away was the overwhelming number of indian and asian families i saw. definitely different than 1998, that’s for sure.

and that’s not to mention the huge mall that has suddenly appeared where there used to be woods…

i’ve been more than ordinarily depressed for about a week. i’m convinced, at this point, that the only reason i’m able to recognise it is because of the 5-HTP i’ve been taking. it doesn’t stop the depression from happening, but it gives me a degree of separation from it, so instead of being bogged down with depression, i can say “oh, i’m depressed” and continue living my life, more or less. i’ve met (finally) with a person who may become the replacement for ned. she’s REALLY young (like, possibly, still in her 20s) but it seems like things will work out, which will probably help the bouts of depression when they happen in the future. it’s likely, however, that the lack of such a person is only exacerbating the depression this time.

one of the three-weekends-of-performances-in-a-row was at deception pass, a place i haven’t been to since approximately 1991. it’s really surprising to me how much i can remember just by going to a place, when i hardly remember anything without actually seeing the place.

160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass

the picture above is the underpinings of the deception pass bridge. i climbed across the bridge, beneath the road surface, a whole bunch of years ago, before they put up the sign that says “Climing on bridge is prohibited”. unfortunately, when i got to the other side, the only place to get down from the bridge is on the top of a concrete pylon that’s about 25 feet above the ground… which, of course, meant that i had to climb back across the bridge to the place where i could get off without breaking my neck.

160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass
160723 deception pass

better

today was better. there wasn’t so much pain and emptyness, and i didn’t screw myself up finishing the stuff on my list. tomorrow is the last day i perform in the moisture festival… sunday is the last day of the moisture festival for 2016. it’s also the last day of emerald city comicon. i know one of the vendors in the comicon, and he’s offered me a pass to go see it. i’d think about it if seeing his booth wasn’t the only reason i’d be going…

broken

i’m pretty severely broken today.

i think that, possibly, the only reason i even noticed is because of the 5HTP that i’ve been taking for the past 6 months or so, but it hasn’t done anything to relieve the symptoms, which are: to start with, i wasn’t even motivated to get out of bed until well after noon, despite the fact that i woke up around 5:00, when moe left for a 5-day trip to alberta… in fact, it’s 7:00 pm now, and it feels as though it should be around 1:00, based on when i normally get out of bed.

and, sad to say, a majority of the time i spent in bed this morning was poking through farcebook, and checking email. then i got up, turned on the computer and started poking through my RSS feed, when farcebook got boring.

i’ve been reading a lot about micro-dosing with LSD, and the effects of mushrooms on PTSD survivors, and how LSD apparently cures farcebook addiction, and all of these things have driven me to the inescapable conclusion that i really should take those 100 dried mushrooms that i found a couple years ago… except that i don’t know whether they retain their potency, and i really need to do some more research before i actually do it, for my own comfort.

anyway, all but two of my plants have died, and, when i was kneeling on the floor scrubbing the toilet, it made my right knee hurt so much, when i got up, that it’s a miracle i didn’t fall. i hobbled over to the bed and it was 45 minutes of heavy breathing on my back before the pain had subsided enough that i could get up and hobble around again. then, after my knee had more or less recovered, i went to deposit one of moe’s $3,500 checks for all of the travelling that she’s been doing recently, and then i went down to auburn to the post office, where i hoped to ask them if they’ve seen the package for which i payed $35, which was shipped from italy on march 4th, and still hasn’t shown up at my house yet… but by the time i got there, it was closed. 😐

oh, and i haven’t even remotely been motivated to eat anything. i forced myself to eat at jack-in-the-box while i was out, and i’ve had a couple of protein bars. i really need to find out where i can get less than a dozen bottles of soylent, because i really like the idea, it’s probably 10 times more healthy than jack-in-the-box… and it’s named after a movie that gives most people the squicks. on the other hand, the smallest number you can buy on their web site is 12, and if i don’t like it, it probably wouldn’t do to try to foist them off on other people.

i’m having the hybrid elephant site redesigned. since i’m not doing it myself, i’m switching “platforms” from oscommerce to wordpress/woo-commerce. i don’t know if i like it so far, but i remember when i was working on oscommerce, at first it really looked horrible, but the closer i got to what i wanted, the more i liked it. an advantage to switching platforms is that i will have a way to process credit cards that is not paypal, about which i am REALLY jazzed, and, even if the site doesn’t come out exactly the way i like, it will be worth it, just for that.

why

it’s called “depression art” because i make it when i’m depressed, and, despite the fact that i’ve made 40 completely unique buttons and have the potential for making, literally, hundreds more, i haven’t been able to sell any of them, despite the fact that i’ve advertised them on at least three different communities on farcebook where i thought they were going to sell like they were going out of style…

which is depressing.

moe is sick… probably as sick as i have ever seen her… which is not to say that she gets sick very often, or very seriously, but still… 😨 (which is to say, U+1F628 FEARFUL FACE, if it doesn’t come through correctly). she’s going to get better… at least she SAYS she’s going to get better, but still…

updated

nothing much has happened since the last update:

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

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

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

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

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

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

so i’ve got good reason to be depressed.

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

now that things are…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

moe

moe went to las vegas yesterday, to speak at a veterinary conference. while she was on the plane, yesterday, she broke a tooth. this morning, she went to an emergency dental clinic, where they performed a root canal…

fortunately, her speaking engagement doesn’t start until tomorrow, but even so, i can just imagine that speaking while still under the influence of powerful pain-reducing drugs will be a tricky business, at best.

things just can’t be simple, ever… 😛

snrg

for a couple of years now the fan in my computer has been making an evil buzzing noise when i first turn on the machine. i discovered that if i take a bottle of canned air and squirt it into the fan, it stops… after a while…

fast forward a couple of years, and multiple cases of canned air from costco (i.e. at least 10), and it’s actually been taking longer and longer to get the fan to quit buzzing, and the buzzing has been getting more loud and evil sounding, especially since i re-oriented the box, so i finally decided to open it up and see if i could fix it.

i found a lot of dust… which i cleaned out outside, because i’ve had previous experience with trying to clean dust out of a computer while inside, and it results in making everything taste like the inside of a computer for a couple of weeks… 😛

but it didn’t stop the buzzing, so i broke down and bought a new fan.

it cost me $9.00. 😐

i don’t know why i don’t just put my computer in a place where it’s relatively easy to disconnect and clean, apart from general laziness and lack of caring, and i wonder about the habit i have of stacking stuff on top of the computer, and/or putting it in obscure, difficult to remove places even more when the solution to my problem ALL ALONG cost me less than $10.00… 😐

i’ve been working in the computer industry long enough that i should have known it was going to turn out that way… 😐

Cannabis use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries

Cannabis use associated with lower death rates in patients with traumatic brain injuries
2 October, 2014

Surveying patients with traumatic brain injuries, a group of Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute (LA BioMed) researchers reported today that they found those who tested positive for THC, the active ingredient in cannabis, were more likely to survive than those who tested negative for the illicit substance.

The findings, published in the October edition of The American Surgeon, suggest THC, or tetrahydrocannabinol, may help protect the brain in cases of traumatic brain injury, the researchers said. The study included 446 patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries and underwent a urine test for the presence of THC in their system. The researchers found 82 of the patients had THC in their system. Of those, only 2.4% died. Of the remaining patients who didn’t have THC in their system, 11.5% died.

“Previous studies conducted by other researchers had found certain compounds in cannabis helped protect the brain in animals after a trauma,” said David Plurad, MD, an LA BioMed researcher and the study’s lead author. “This study was one of the first in a clinical setting to specifically associate THC use as an independent predictor of survival after traumatic brain injury.”

The researchers noted that the timing of their study was “pertinent” because of current efforts to decriminalize cannabis and other research that has shown THC can increase appetite, reduce ocular pressure, decrease muscle spasms, relieve pain and alleviate symptoms associated with irritable bowel disease. But they noted that their study has some significant limitations.

“While most — but not all — the deaths in the study can be attributed to the traumatic brain injury itself, it appears that both groups were similarly injured,” Dr. Plurad said. “The similarities in the injuries between the two groups led to the conclusion that testing positive for THC in the system is associated with a decreased mortality in adult patients who have sustained traumatic brain injuries.”

Additional data available from the National Center for Biotechnology Information.

yay…

i’ve been worried, because my blood pressure has been higher than what is considered to be normal (not a lot, but just by a few points, every now and then), and everything i’ve read makes it sound very likely that i have prehypertension… i don’t know my “family history” and don’t have any reliable way of finding out, because i haven’t actually spoken, face-to-face, with my parents for more than five minutes or so, in more than thirty years…

— AND I LIKE IT THAT WAY —

(and i DEFINITELY suffer from white coat hypertension) but i have been worried because i went to the doctor recently and he expressed concerns about my blood pressure as well, and ordered a blood draw so that i could have lab work done.

i have been spending the past few days resigning myself to taking blood pressure medication for the rest of my life, and not enjoying the prospect.

the labs just came back…

and it’s 100% normal, across the board… and the “areas of concern” that the doctor pointed out last time are also way down, into the “normal” range, as well.

so, i’m pretty sure the diagnosis will be “investigate the DASH diet, excersise regularly, and don’t worry about it.”

which is what i’m already doing. 😎

wtf?

okay, it’s the 30th of june and i haven’t been ranting about SACBO (which happened last weekend) and OCF (which occurs in a little more than a week)…

WTF, ‘eh?

oh, yeah… i’ve also got a parade in darrington with the fighting instruments of karma on the 4th of july. unfortunately, i believe my mother-in-law is coming for the whole weekend, rather than us going to see her, so it won’t get me out of seeing her, as i believed it would… oh well…

fact is, i am pretty apathetic about the whole thing this year. i’ve got a few photos from SACBO, which i haven’t looked at myself, and once the phil got its ritz performance time confirmed (which was last month), i really can’t be arsed to care very much. it will, undoubtedly, be all screwed up by the time i arrive at OCF, and, even if it isn’t, it’ll all be over soon anyway…

ned has decided that he can’t see me any longer. i’ve got two more appointments with him before eight years of “counselling” goes up in smoke. the people he recommended can’t help me, and when he said that they could contact him, they responded by saying that they are restrained by HIPAA from contacting him about me, even if i ask them to… it all has to do with medicare (which i have, but doesn’t include “mental health” coverage) and medicaid (which i don’t have, but which does include “mental health” coverage). apparently the company he works for now (which used to be part of the “public health” system, but is now a privately run company called navos) decided that they are only going to accept medicaid payments, and because of the fact that i don’t have medicaid, i’m being tossed out on my ear. now, technically, i don’t need to see a counsellor for anything any longer… apparently that requirement went away when i qualified for disability (which includes medicare), and i’m doing fairly well, recently, which means that, theoretically, i could just dump ned after two more appointments and be done with it… but… i’ve been in counselling for a LONG time, and it doesn’t feel right to just throw it away… not only that, but moe seems to think that, despite the fact that most of what ned and i talk about these days is frivolous stuff, it would be a good idea to continue in counselling… and i don’t totally disagree with her.