Category Archives: depression

🍄 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. 😞

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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. 🗡🤬

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.

😭

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. 😒

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. 😉🍄

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… 🤬🤬🤬

🤬

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. 🙄

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. 🤬

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. 😉

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

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”. 🤬

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. 😒

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.

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. 😒

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.

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.

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… 😐

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… 😒

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… 😖

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. 😒

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…

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…. 😁

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!! 😠

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. 😕

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. 😕

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! ๐Ÿ˜ก

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. ๐Ÿ˜ก

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. ๐Ÿ˜ก

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. ๐Ÿ˜ก

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. ๐Ÿ˜

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…

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. ๐Ÿ˜

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.

woahy…

so i bought a “new” car yesterday… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Ganesha The Car, v.4.0

i’m still kind of dazed and confused… i didn’t expect to have to buy a new car for… oh, i don’t know, a year or so… it’s not as though buying a new car was completely unexpected, and it’s not as if i couldn’t afford it (thanks to my grandmother, who has been dead since 1988), but…

okay, my old car died — they thought it was the fuel pump, but that was two days ago, and they were supposed to call me with an update, but didn’t — and in the mean time, moe and i went down to salem, oregon, where monique is friends with the people who own Withnell Motors, and, thanks to my grandmother, i bought a “new” 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring, which qualifies as the newest car i have EVER owned (with the exception of two literally brand-new cars that i bought with moe, which were “our” cars)…

i have four panto performances coming up in a few hours, so i’m not even going to be able to BEGIN processing all this until monday…

as i suspected…

it’s going to get a lot worse before it gets better… ๐Ÿ˜›

my car died. it seems to be the fuel pump, but i don’t know yet. i’ll probably know some time tomorrow, but it has been decided that i’m going to drop everything else that i had planned for tomorrow, and accompany moe to salem, where she knows a person who owns a car dealership, so instead of fixing the current car, depending on how much it costs (not counting my artwork, which at this point is worth nothing) we may be buying a “new” car.

while it’s not entirely unexpected, and i certinly wouldn’t be disappointed to have a more reliable car, it’s a bit sudden… and i was planning on going… out… tomorrow… ๐Ÿ˜›

downward spiral

i’m getting depressed, and, from all i can tell, things will continue to happen over the short term that will succeed in making me more depressed. among them are:

i’ve reached a point where i, literally, don’t know what to do next on the hybrid elephant site. i’ve got it as ready as it needs to be, design-wise, but i haven’t started feeding the database yet, because things keep coming up which are more important… but there are a few things to which i don’t even know where to start looking for the answer, and they all have to do with paypal… and/or something to replace paypal… ๐Ÿ˜ i’ve got a “local” replacement for paypal all set up and ready to go to the FSM, but i haven’t even been to the FSM as a vendor for a few years, and while i know the owners, john and candace, pretty well, they still won’t let me come back without a city of seattle business license, which i let expire because i wasn’t doing enough business in the city of seattle to make it worth my while… but the “local” replacement doesn’t (as far as i know) work on my web site, and i really should find a more “legitimate” alternative to paypal for those people (like me) who mistrust paypal…

along the same lines, the new (temporary) theme for this blog is doing some decidedly strange things that i’m not sure i like, and when i go to the place where i expected to be able to adjust things, all i get is pages and pages of incomprehensible code. it would be really nice if i could use the barthelme theme that i had before, but unfortunately it is no longer being updated, which means that i’m going to have to find another, suitable theme, and/or learn some new, incomprehensible and useless code in order to be able to fix things… and i really DON’T want to learn more incomprehensible computer stuff these days, because my brain is already having trouble retaining the incomprehensible computer stuff that i already know — most of which is out of date anyway.

also, we’ve only got one more weekend of panto shows – four total – and then we’re done with panto until the summer, and we aren’t even going to find out about potential moisture festival gigs for two or three months, which means that i’m going to have very little to do for the forseeable future.

moe has been sick for the past couple of days: yes, she was sick on new year’s eve. ๐Ÿ˜› so, despite the fact that we were invited to 3 different parties, we stayed at home, had pizza for dinner, and went to bed early. in spite of the fact that moe has been sick, we took our annual “take the dogs to the beach on new year’s day” walk, and all the time i was there i was thinking that, a year ago, magick was alive, and three years ago, paddy was alive… we didn’t walk very far this year, because moe was sick… and i had to get up at 7:30 in the morning so that i could go on a depressing walk with my sick wife and a bunch of people i only see once a year… ๐Ÿ˜

it wasn’t an complete loss, though, because i found what appear to be two HUGE snail shells… both about the size of my fist. i didn’t know snails grew to be that big around here…

it would be nice if something would happen to change this downward spiral, especially since i have conscious awareness of its presence… but at this point it doesn’t appear likely. ๐Ÿ˜

urgh!

it has now been three weeks since i developed this lingering cough, which doesn’t bother me very much, except at night, when i wake up abruptly coughing and choking and stay awake for 10 to 15 minutes, until things calm down again… ๐Ÿ˜•

meanwhile, i have gone to two gigs, and had four rehearsals which i have survived (barely), and fixed a trombone, and it doesn’t seem to be getting significantly better… and when i went to see the doctor, all they did was prescribe codeine for my cough (which helps for about an hour or so, and then wears off and doesn’t do anything for the next 5 hours, until i can take another dose), and various other things to treat the symptoms i was having, which went away on their own, within a couple of days of my getting the prescriptions filled, without my having to actually, you know, medicate myself with anything AT ALL. ๐Ÿ˜

(and people wonder about why i’m so suspicious of doctors in general.)

meanwhile, i’ve been sleeping around 4 to 6 hours more than normal, and feeling totally exhausted most of the time. ๐Ÿ˜

i’ve got to start working on my art car, which doesn’t have any art painted on it yet, and really should before the end of next month. i’ve got a recording session coming up with the fremont philharmonic, and, on the same day, i am scheduled to appear for jury duty in pacific/algona, which i anticipate they will reject me for, once they discover that i am in favour of jury nullification. it’s actually too bad that i don’t have a similar excuse to the one the last time i was selected for jury duty, which was that i was in the hospital recovering from an intracerebral arteriovenous malformation rupture… apparently they decided that i have had enough time to recover from that… ๐Ÿ˜

catsup

in spite of numerous, obvious problems that i was too brain damaged to see through (and i continue not to be able to see through, so i did it a different way), i managed to get the bare bones of a gallery put together for the fremont players, although a link to a finished site is a long way off yet, primarily because of the loads of other crap that i’ve been having to deal with… and general malaise over the fact that i can’t do the same stuff that i used to be able to do prior to my injury… for example, prior to my injury, i was more or less right-handed: i did a lot of stuff ambidexterously, but i moused with my right hand, i wrote with my right hand, i could juggle, i typed around 100 words per minute, etc., etc…. but now i am predominantly left handed, i mouse with my left hand, i can write equally well (which is to say, awfully) with both hands, i can’t juggle more than three or four passes without dropping stuff all over, and it has taken me approximately half an hour to type the preceding paragraph… ๐Ÿ˜›

and the checkout stands at all the stores are for right handed people, which means that left handed people have to figure out how not to drop things while checking out with the wrong hand… it gets really tiring after a while, and i imagine that people who have been left handed all their lives gave up on it a long time ago… ๐Ÿ˜›

i was feeling really good about the fact that i was playing a lot more, and then all the gigs dried up. i’ve got trolloween tomorrow (which is fun, but not paid), John Philip Sousa’s Birthday Bash (another fun, but not paid gig, although we’ll probably get fed) next sunday, we’ve got a run of panto performances coming up in december, and snake suspenders has a paid gig, and a non-paying gig coming up within the next few weeks, but it seems like my calendar has had whole weeks with nothing in them for two or three months, and it doesn’t look like it’s getting any busier for the forseeable future. it’s been two weeks since snake suspenderz has been out busking, and we did well enough the last time we were out that i would have expected it to become a regular gig, but i haven’t talked to any of the other snakes for almost 3 weeks…

a thing that is different about me

before my brain injury, i was mostly right handed. i was (among other things) a juggler, and, when it comes right down to it, i could use both hands equally well to do most things (a significant difference, however, was that i held lathe tools as though i were left handed). i was also quite accomplished at drawing and calligraphy, with my right hand.

however, since my injury, i have been predominantly left handed… and it’s REALLY annoying… ๐Ÿ˜

i can write equally well with both hands, but not particularly legibly with either… and forget doing calligraphy, with either hand. i remember beautiful things used to “just come out of my pen” prior to my injury, but i realise, now, that they were actually coming out of my HAND, and that ability is, now, nowhere near what it used to be.

i “lose” things that i put into my pockets – like my car keys (i “lose” them about twice a week) because they’re in the wrong pocket. i “forget” that my right hand is there, and subsequently try to load more than a reasonable load of stuff into my left hand, and then realise – as i am headed away from home, or the car, or whatever – that i am carrying more than i should in my left hand, and nothing in my right hand.

the first time i tried using a computer, after i had my injury, i tried to operate the mouse with my right hand, as i had before my injury. it felt really awkward and confusing, so i switched to my left hand, which felt totally natural, as though i had been mousing with my left hand my entire life. i continue to be a left-handed mouser.

i can type, slowly… before my injury, i could type 95 – 100 words per minute, with 100% accuracy. now, eight years after my injury, i can usually get to around 45 or 50 words per minute, with 50% accuracy, if i’m really warmed up and feeling good. usually it’s more like 35-40% accuracy, and/or 35-40 words per minute.

i have re-learned how to juggle… sort of… prior to my injury, i could juggle three of pretty much anything, pretty much indefinitely, including different size and weight balls, a ball, a pin and a ring, and such like, as well as being able to keep four balls in the air, and occasionally five for a couple of passes. now, eight years after my injury, i can keep three of the same size and weight balls in the air for 5 to 10 passes… if i’m lucky. usually i juggle until i get so frustrated that i give it up about once a week, but it’s really frustrating that i can’t do it as well as i used to be able to.

people always say “why complain? i can’t juggle at all and i haven’t had a brain injury…” but the point is that i used to be able to juggle really well, and now i have trouble doing the simplest of patterns… the ability to do it is still in my mind, but my hands don’t cooperate – and it’s not for lack of trying… you have never had the ability, so you don’t know what losing it is like.

update

tuesday i was going to shoot a video with hobbit, but it didn’t happen. i also went to a sousa band rehearsal. while at the sousa band rehearsal i picked up a clarinet that needs repair from a fellow band member.

wednesday i went to see doctor wackaloon and found out that i’m probably “hypertensive” which means that i have to take my blood pressure for two weeks and then call for another appointment where he will probably prescribe medication that will give me nausea and a headache and make me more tired than i already am. whee.

thursday i fixed the clarinet and took the jeep that has been living in my front yard for the past year for it’s weekly drive (to make sure that it still works) to costco, and discovered that the thermostat is “intermittent”. joy.

friday i took the jeep in to get the thermostat changed out, because it has to be ready to go to the person who actually owns it on the first of june. i also got a business-card order from the new owner of the repair shop (who is the old owner‘s son), who wanted to change the email address on his card. i walked home, and when i got home i made the change and sent the business card to the printer, whereupon i discovered that i couldn’t find my wallet. i searched the house and the workshop, and called costco (the last place i remember having it), but it wasn’t in any of those places. i called the car-repair shop and the guy said that he couldn’t find it in the jeep.

if i wasn’t hypertensive before this, i sure am now… ๐Ÿ˜

i had to go out, and i wasn’t completely sure that the guy had known what i was talking about, so i drove up to the car-repair shop, where i found my wallet, after a thorough search of the jeep. <deep breath> then took the clarinet back to its owner, and picked up a piccolo which needs repair, from another sousa band member. when i got home, the jeep was ready, so i walked up to the shop and picked it up.

today i straightened up the workshop and fixed the piccolo.

considering how “easy” my life is these days, how i come up with high blood pressure is beyond me. it’s probably genetic… i sent a vial full of my spit to some people who claim that they will test my DNA and tell me where i came from a few weeks ago. they haven’t produced a result yet, but it’s my understanding that “these things take time”… maybe they can tell me why i have high blood pressure while they’re at it.

Ƀɭɘɦ

not physical Ƀɭɘɦ so much, but mental ɓȽɛʜ without a doubt… a lot of Ƀɭɘɦ things have been happening around me, which increases my sensation of ʙʟȅȟ…

somebody thug killed hokum… if nobody was forced to work in order to survive, that sort of thing would happen significantly less frequently. as it is, i have had two very good friends killed by thugs who were only interested in the thrill, and what they could steal. if it means putting an end to the meaningless death of entertainers like this, it’s time we changed the way we think about things like wage slavery.

no less than two of my acquaintances have lost their cats within the past week…

tunisia, egypt, algeria, lybia, yemen, jordan, kuwait, sudan, bahrain… wisconsin… ๐Ÿ˜

the house republicans just voted to de-fund planned parenthood… ๐Ÿ˜›

i received an incense order from a guy who calls himself a “doctor”, who is also as ignorant and closed minded as they come and will not take “no” for an answer… he wanted to order 2 dozen boxes of incense, and when i told him that i only had one dozen boxes, and it was very rare and i am not sure i’m going to be able to get any more of it, he responded by inquiring about when i would have more of it, and asking if i would email him when it arrived… he’s also obsessed with free shipping (which, according to my shipping policy, kicks in after $100), and asked not two or three, but four times, in consecutive emails, about how much he had to order to get free shipping… and then couldn’t figure out why he had to pay shipping, when i had (apparently) “told him” that his order would be shipped for free…

if i wasn’t so anal about keeping emails, i would probably not remember that i had essentially the same discussion with him about six months ago, and again about six months before that – although he didn’t end up ordering incense from me either of the previous two times i’ve talked with him, so maybe i’ve made an impression… but i still wonder whether or not all of his harrassment was worth it… and i’m wondering where i should draw the line with people like that. ๐Ÿ˜

i know that things usually don’t stay this Ƀɭɘɦ for that long, but i’ll sure be glad when this particular ʙʟȅȟ is gone.

bleh-ckup

BLEH!

now that’s out of the way…

i renewed my membership in the fremont sunday market this morning. the probability is high that i will be going to the FSM the first sunday of next month, but there’s nothing firmed up yet.

i did my business taxes today, and for the 10th year in a row, i have not had to pay any business taxes, which may seem like it’s a good thing until you realise that my business has been essentially failing ever since it started. at the same time, i made $1,200 in 2010, compared to $1,000 in 2009, and even though i had fewer sales, the total amount is approximately equal to my 2008 income, so at least i’ve been failing consistently well.

the second puppy potluck was last night. moe’s co-worker, a guy called flash, got his car well and truly stuck in the mud on the other side of our driveway and we had to call a tow truck to winch him out. fortunately, someone gave moe a membership in AAA for xmas, so instead of pissing everybody off and being a royal waste of time, we all joked and laughed about flash’s typical muddy exploits while we waited for the (free) tow-truck winch expert who removed flash and his car from our driveway without any problems. after the potluck, moe and i went bowling with the rest of her coworkers – flash showed up late, because he was stuck in the mud. ๐Ÿ˜‰ because of the fact that i was intensely stiff and sore, i didn’t do any bowling, but i made up for it by devouring their catered dinner because doc C. was paying for it… ๐Ÿ˜‰

i was stiff and sore because i spent friday doing something that i have been talking about for a couple of months, which was clearing the unwanted bric-a-brac out of the loft of the workshop. i started by carrying ⅘ of the stuff that was in the loft out of the loft, sorting through most of it, and then returning the remainder to the loft – which means about 50 trips up and down the ladder with heavy, bulky stuff. i now have a pile of freecycle and/or craigslist stuff (the DVDs are just the tip of the iceberg), and a bunch of stuff that’s either going in the trash or directly to the dump. i’ve also got enough space for a person to comfortably sleep in the loft, now. ๐Ÿ™‚ i’m getting really impatient with the DVDs, however, and i may take them to seattle tomorrow and see what i can get for them at that used movie place on the corner of first and stewart.

but i’m still feeling the effects of over-exerting myself

same old bleh

of course, now that things have “settled down” a little bit after last month, there’s a whole new level of bleh that’s been slowly creeping up on me, which is the main reason i haven’t been posting the last few days. ๐Ÿ˜•

i still have a lingering cough after having almost-a-cold about a month ago, combined with various brain-injury-related difficulties getting my body to do what i expect it to do consistently (or not getting it to do what i don’t expect it to, consistently), combined with having one fewer familiar dog and four new, unfamiliar dogs, with corresponding responsibilities, add up to a general feeling of bleh which i have been unable to shake.

suffice to say that i am still here, in more-or-less decent health, and i will post again when there is less bleh going on. ๐Ÿ˜•

paddy

she started having seizures this afternoon, or what moe is calling “old dog vestibular syndrome“, or some combination of the two. moe is at the vets and/or hospitalising paddy overnight, depending on what are the vet’s recommendations.

ETA: paddy is in the hospital overnight. it doesn’t sound particularly encouraging.

i have had about as much of animals as i can take for a while… ๐Ÿ™

another week closer to the eschatonโ€ฆ

double whammy! friday the 13th comes on a monday this month… namely today!

we’ll start this off with more oil-spill madness: BP Challenges Oil Spill Amount In An Attempt to Reduce Cost of Fines – it never ended, media just got tired of reporting it… ๐Ÿ˜ for example: Navy Secretary Mabus pushes Pentagon to feed soldiers more Gulf seafood – i don’t know whether this should make me chortle evil laughter and say that they deserved it, or gasp in shocked amazement because nobody should be forced to eat that glop… especially when there are people saying things like “I wouldn’t eat shrimp, fish or crab caught in the Gulf,” and “There is no safe level of exposure to this oil, because it contains carcinogens, mutagens that can damage DNA and cause cancer and other chronic health problems.”

5 Myths About How to Treat Depression – this is the primary reason i am not interested in medication. i’d rather be depressed. i already know how to deal with it without taking medications.

One cigarette can kill you; so can one act of gay sex and House Republicans Try to Kill Bill to Feed Hungry Schoolchildren While Insisting on Tax Breaks for the Rich – at least half of our country’s citizens agree with these buffoons… this is why i’m depressed… ๐Ÿ˜

Dick Cheney faces bribery scandal charges in Nigeria – i don’t understand why nigeria can charge him with bribery, but the united states won’t charge him with war crimes… in spite of the prevelance of 419 scams in nigeria, if they can get him on bribery charges, more power to them. Halliburton may pay $500 million to keep Cheney out of prison – wait… hasn’t he been charged with bribery?

the Wikileaks domain has been shut down (and WikiLeaks Dropped by Domain Name Provider) in a feeble and largely ineffective attempt to erase the “stuff that people shouldn’t know” from the web… fortunately, their IP address has not been blocked (so far), and there are also over 500 mirrors in case that is taken down as well. not only that, but because of the ongoing attacks to their infrastructure, they’ve released their entire archive of messages up to this point, just to make sure that the message gets out there if they can’t deliver it personally. meanwhile, US military threatens soldiers not to read Wikileaks – if the US government has nothing to hide, then why are they making such a big deal over this? the longer they keep this up, the more guilty it makes them appear… it also appears as though wikileaks has an ace up its sleeve: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange ‘will release poison pill of damaging secrets if killed or arrested’ so download that archive now… you know you want to… ๐Ÿ™‚

also If publishing the WikiLeaks cables were against the law, could the New York Times go to jail? – if julian assange goes to jail for it, then the new york times should go as well. if not, then why was he arrested anyway? and, by the way, Ellsberg: "EVERY attack now made on WikiLeaks and Julian Assange was made against me and the release of the Pentagon Papers at the time."

meanwhile, Irony? State Dept. criticizes Assange but plans to stage โ€˜Press Freedom Dayโ€™ and Someone Should Tell The State Dept That The State Dept Is Hosting World Press Freedom Day – the way we celebrate World Press Freedom Day in the united states, apparently, is by having julian assange arrested, in another country, for “sex by surprise”… what? especially while It appears that Assange may have fallen into a "CIA Honeytrap". and speaking of free speech, Man gets 33 months for threatening Obama in poem

also, PayPal Busted for Bogus Wikileaks Excuse – so paypal cut off wikileaks’ access to money that had been donated to wikileaks, because of a state department letter saying that what wikileaks does is illegal… that doesn’t exist they were scared that the US govermnent might come after them next… does that sound about right?

and, for those of you who have actually been wondering exactly what was in those cables that made the US government so uptight about wikileaks, here’s a sample: Consult us before using intelligence to commit war crimes, US tells Uganda – not “obey the rules of war”, but “let us know before you use our intelligence to break the rules of war”… yep, that’s a good enough reason to have julian assange arrested on trumped up charges… ๐Ÿ˜

Tension grows between Calif. Muslims, FBI after informant infiltrates mosque – they’re stretching the line mighty thin if they’ve got to hire a guy to infitrate mosques and talk up jihad, just in order to get terrorists people who might be terrorists to arrest… also, Holder to Muslims Re Stings: Get Used to It – not only are they stretching the line, but those people who object might just be terrorists themselves, because they “simply do not have their facts straight.”

US Has Lost All Moral High Ground On Internet Censorship and Homeland Security โ€˜messagesโ€™ coming to Walmart, hotels, malls – now they want us to do their job for them, as well… ๐Ÿ˜ that reminds me… it’s been a while since i posted this:

When they took the fourth amendment,
     I was quiet because I didn’t deal drugs.
When they took the sixth amendment,
     I was quiet because I was innocent.
When they took the second amendment,
     I was quiet because I didn’t own a gun.
Now they’ve taken the first amendment,
     and I can say nothing about it.

Here Come Homeland Security Internet Police, and They’re Already Shutting Down Web Sites They Don’t Like – just like TSA for your computer, whether you like it or not… ๐Ÿ˜

and, speaking of TSA, TSA Subjects Indian Ambassador To US To Glass Cage, Enhanced Groping – “It is believed that the TSA operatives flagged Ms. Shankar not because she set of the metal detector, but because she was wearing a sari, a long traditional Indian robe.” – Indian Embassy describes incident as โ€œunacceptableโ€

Tooth Decay to Be a Thing of the Past – i’ve always wondered why people who brush their teeth religiously still sometimes have extremely bad teeth, while other people can not brush their teeth at all and still have all their teeth at age 80… this is apparently part of the reason. how much you want to bet that the dental association buys all of these guys research and buries it, so that dentists will still be able to fleece everybody?

Light can generate lift – wow! now all somebody’s got to do is figure out how to use it…

UN climate kooks want to cripple US economy and ban H2O – i think the point was that people in positions of power will be more likely to agree to something if they don’t know precisely what it is…

for those that oppose gay marriage, another big slap in the face, as US scientists create mice from two fathers – maybe it wasn’t “adam and steve” “in the beginning”, but the fact that it can be sort of negates your little fantasy about how “god” created everything, now, doesn’t it?

The Insanity Virus – no obvious link to toxoplasma gondii, but it makes me wonder…

Man legally changes name to Captain Awesome – i wonder why Boomer The Dog wasn’t allowed to change his name, but Captain Awesome sailed right through…

day of depression and diarrhea

today moe left for a weekend camping trip sheepdog trial, which involves her camping out for a few nights near camas. she took all of the dogs with her, but i felt like cold ass when she got up (at 6:00 in the morning) to leave, and due to the fact that, despite the fact that she had been telling me about this for months, i “didn’t remember” it was happening until yesterday, which meant that along with feeling like cold ass, i was in a pretty depressed state of mind, and that’s not to mention the fact that i had a headache – and i very rarely get headaches, which is kind of odd for someone that has had an AVM. so i woke up depressed, feeling like ass, with a headache and moe is leaving. i went back to sleep (a feat in and of itself, all things considered), and when i woke up the headache was mostly gone, but moe was gone too. ๐Ÿ™

i have been making a list of things i need to remember recently, and i had a few things that i needed to get for the workshop, so i went out and did my list stuff. i was finishing up at home depot when my stomach did one of those growls that indicates immediate, uncontrolable pooping – which has been an on-again-off-again problem that they told me to watch out for at the hospital after my injury. they just mentioned it in passing, so i didn’t give much thought to it at the time, but every now and then i’m struck with sudden, almost explosive diarrhea for no apparent reason, and it struck as i was checking out at the home depot this afternoon. i don’t think anybody else noticed, but i was glad that it was my last stop, because i would have had to go home, take a shower and change clothes pretty much regardless. ๐Ÿ™

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

blargh!

Rarely Seen Pictures Of The Devastating Consequences Of The BP Disaster and You Are Not Authorized to See These Pictures of the Oil Spill – i was gone for a week and the oil spill got worse… ๐Ÿ™ the problem i see is that they’re still referring to this as “The BP Disaster” when, in reality, it’s a disaster that affects every being on the planet, and most directly the wildlife, which doesn’t have the option to relocate when things get too awful in their part of the world. i keep looking at the pictures of eyes of the oiled beasts and thinking that it could, just as easily, be human eyes at which i am looking…

also, there are apparently Live feeds from the Gulf of Mexico ROVs which are, at this point, showing that the oil spill has been shut off showing that their cap has sprung a leak, and even if you can’t see it, they’re planning on releasing the cap within the next 24 hours anyway. good work, BP… ๐Ÿ˜

more of the “can’t leave well enough alone” syndrome that we’ve been suffering through, and if the gulf oil spill weren’t disaster enough, now the FDA nears approval of genetically engineered salmon – i would think that there have been enough science fiction movies produced in the past 50 years or so to put some fear into the types of people who would think of ideas like this. but, apparently, if i did so, i would be wrong. just goes to show how our rulers are stupid, stupid, STUPID!!

and, speaking of “can’t leave well enough alone”, Poachers kill last female rhino in South African park – it reminds me of that native american aphorism, which goes “Only when the last tree has died, and the last river been poisoned, and the last fish has been caught will we realise that we cannot eat money.”

GodBlock – “a web filter that blocks religious content. It is targeted at parents and schools who wish to protect their kids from the often violent, sexual, and psychologically harmful material in many holy texts, and from being indoctrinated into any religion before they are of the age to make such decisions.” okay, i realise that turn-about is fair play, but i was under the impression that any internet filtering was wrong, and that we were above all that…

speaking of GodBlock, Forget about Noahโ€™s Ark; There Was No Worldwide Flood – if the bible-thumpers won’t listen to their own scholars regarding the “truth” of the bible, then the entire human society is screwed, and there is nothing that we, as sensible humans can do about it. ๐Ÿ˜

Tuli Kupferberg died. i’ve said it before, and i’ll probably say it again: all of the cool people of my generation are dying. i say stop it!!

Dwile Flonking? – what. the. fuck??

Continue reading blargh!

okay, i’m here…

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

moe was at a sheepdog trial all weekend, and she won! she got a 92, and the person who came in second (who is also moe’s mentor and friend diane) got an 88. i’ll let her tell the story, but we’re all pretty proud of moe and her doggie. ๐Ÿ™‚ also, today is our 12th wedding anniversary.

What The Hex? is a game where you guess the colour based on the hex-triplet for the RGB value.

Oregon officially recognizes marijuana for medical value – "The Oregon Board of Pharmacy voted to change marijuana from what’s known as a ‘Schedule I controlled substance’ to a ‘Schedule II.’" only 49 more state governments and 1 federal government to go… ๐Ÿ˜

Titan’s atmosphere oddity consistent with methane-based life
also
‘Grow-your-own’ organs hope after scientists produce liver in lab from stem cells – more evidence (if you needed any) that the “christians” are wrong, wrong, wrong!!

Whale Poop Cleans the EnvironmentThe Sea Shepherds are probably already figuring out ways to use this against the japanese, politically and as a potential projectile. it also makes me wonder about how whale poop would do cleaning up the gulf oil spill…
Visualizing the BP Oil Spill Disaster – it couldn’t possibly make it any worse…

how paddy the dog scared me out of my mind

Paddy The Dogpaddy and zorah were snuffling around under the parrot tree yesterday about 8:00 pm, and i turned around and told them to leave it, whereupon paddy backed up, and did something to her left hind leg… who knows what it was that she did, but the results were immediately evident: she started yelping and crying, and peed all over herself, and trying to run around, but not being able to because her left hind leg wouldn’t work.

of course, i tried to call monique immediately, but what with having to deal with a thrashing, peeing, hysterical dog, and the fact that all this came up so suddenly that it took me totally off guard, i was having difficulty finding moe’s phone number in my cell phone. when i finally got her number, she wasn’t answering. i left her a frantic, probably incomprehensible message and immediately (well, as immediately as was possible, considering how freaked out i was) tried the second “animal emergency” number i have, micah. he said that he was just texting moe a few minutes ago, and said that he would try to get in touch with her. next, i called the restaurant where she was eating dinner with a friend, but their phone was unattended, probably because they were busy…

all this time i have been dealing with this frantic, crying dog who is trying to get away from her left hind leg because it’s causing her so much pain. as you can imagine, it was affecting me as well.

i called the third “animal emergency” number, evan, moe’s “boss” (although, if the truth were really out there, moe’s the one who runs the show: if it weren’t for her, moe’s “boss” wouldn’t have a clue how the business runs), and he was home. i described, as best i could what with paddy screaming, what was happening, and he told me that he would meet me at the clinic. i grabbed some blankets to put in the car, which meant that i had to leave paddy for a moment, and when i came back, she was nowhere to be found! i called her, but she was not in the living room. i couldn’t imagine how she managed to walk at all, but i eventually found her in the bedroom closet. i put zorah and stanley in their kennels and carried paddy down to the car and then monique called.

i brought her up to speed and simultaneously realised that i had locked myself out of the house ๐Ÿ˜ฏ in my rush to get help, so i actually had to break into the house to get my keys before i could go anywhere.

when i did, of course, that means a 30 to 45 minute trip to the clinic, but at that point i was operating on autopilot. i did notice that the “Check Engine Coolant” light was lit on the dashboard, but it didn’t matter as much as getting help for my doggie.

when i got to the clinic, moe was already there with another technician, and i left them to examine her while i went and had the heart attack that i had postponed while the emergency was in progress.

according to moe, she thinks that paddy somehow dislocated her hip, because she said that when she was examining her, she poked her thumb way down into the space where there was supposed to be the head of her femur, and then the joint reduced with a clank… i took moe’s car to get gas and when i came back, evan had showed up, and paddy was walking more-or-less normally by 10:30 or so, but it’s obvious that she’s feeling less than normal. we’re supposed to carry her up and down stairs, and she’s not allowed to jump up on the couch or the bed for a while (months? weeks? moe knows).

bleh

i suppose that i’m going to get sick even sick eventually, so it shouldn’t be any surprise to me when it happens, but it’s really irritating when it feels like i’m going to get sick, and then it doesn’t happen, but it does happen sort of, but not really. that’s the way i’ve been feeling for the last 24 hours: my ears are plugged up. i can clear them, but they plug right up again shortly afterwards. i don’t have a headache, but i’ve got one of those things that feels like it’s going to be a headache really soon, and i’ve had that for 24 hours. as long as i’m sitting at my desk, i feel sort of all right, but as soon as i get up i start breathing heavily and i get cold all over, which feels sort of like a fever, but as far as i’ve been able to tell, i don’t have a fever… and it’s 3:00 in the afternoon, and i’m hungry, but whenever i get up to make something to eat, i lose my hunger almost immediately, and go back to the “when i’m standing up” feeling lousy almost immediately…

and to make matters worse, i have a fremont phil rehearsal this evening, and i’m unsure enough about the way i feel that i don’t know whether or not to call and tell them i won’t be there… 8/

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days… and, also 卍 卐 ☹

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days: the process of switching host providers again has gone pretty normally, with the normal SNAFUs which have been more or less worked out over the past four days. there is still the matter of getting my clients to update their nameservers to my nameservers(!!) (i finally figured out how to create ns1 and ns2.hybridelephant.com, which means that now, when i sell host services myself, i don’t have to give my clients the nameservers that belong to my host provider) which should happen soon, but it’s a little difficult to get other people to do something, even when it is important.

also, as an extra added bonus, as a part of switching host providers, my email has been down for a week, and i’m going to have to enter the 50 addresses on the mailing list by hand (once liz has reset her nameservers) so that it will work, because the new host service provider had “never restored a mailing list before” and didn’t know how to do it.

as i posted previously, somebody grafittied Ganesha The Car. i wrote about it in I, Anonymous, and, after an encouraging start, the conversation turned into the “why are you trying to reclaim the nazi symbol?” rant from people who are much more adept at pushing the buttons of a newbie than i am, and it went downhill from there. the day after it was grafittied, i took it in for a check-up, because the “check engine” idiot-light had gone from its normal “on all the time” to flashing, and i wanted to find out what changed. yesterday, i got the call from the repair shop. they said they had found out what was wrong – burned valves on the 3rd cylinder – and they said that it would probably need a new engine before it will pass emissions inspection the next time. ๐Ÿ™

on the other hand, there have been some good things as well. i have been watching craigslist recently, and bought some swastika jewelry that i found there, which was decidedly not nazi jewelry. one is an american-made gold swastika hatpin with a diamond in the center. it came along with a whole bunch of other hatpins, and the lady wanted $25 for the lot, which i happily paid. the other is a silver native american swastika pin with a card that dates it to around 1907. the guy that was selling it wanted $25 for it and a nazi flag. i told him i was interested in the native american swastika, but i didn’t want anything to do with nazi stuff and he agreed. i took both pieces for an “appraisal” today (the guy said, and i agreed, that what i had didn’t warrant a “real” appraisal, which would have cost $50 per piece) and found out that the silver pin has a “niche market” collectible value of around $100, and the gold and diamond pin – 18 to 20 carat gold, and a 3-point diamond, by itself – is probably worth $150.

also, i bought a number of buddhist swastikas from a place in singapore, out of which i’m going to make jewelry.

and the fact that Ganesha The Car is dying isn’t as bad as it seems. it runs the same as it has been for the past few years, and there’s nothing really wrong with it other than it only runs on 3 cylinders. i’ve been thinking for some time about taking the class they offer at south seattle community college, where if you provide your own car they waive the $400 class fee and you get to participate in converting your car to an entirely electric vehicle. also, tom at the repair shop said that he could probably round up a rebuilt engine that has a 1 or 2 year warranty that would give Ganesha another 5 years or so. and if none of those turn out to be an option, jack (the guy i bought Ganesha from, who is moe’s employer’s father-in-law) has been turned on to watch auto auctions for another cheap car that will be turned into another art car.

and, on top of everything else, they took off the grafitti while they had it at the shop, and didn’t charge me for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

oy… 8/

i’m having a tough time, and i can’t even blog about it! ๐Ÿ™

i’ve selected a new host provider and begun the process of switching, but because of the fact that new host provider doesn’t feel comfortable allowing me ssh access, i’m forced to do everything the slow way, one file at a time, and “ask” for help, then wait up to 24 hours for a response, every time i find something that i can’t do with a GUI that i could do in 5 seconds with ssh access. as a result, i haven’t actually switched the DNS settings and now i’m going to have to export my wordpress database and upload it to the new server again because of this post… and there’s a problem with the blog on the new host server, which i could fix in 5 seconds using ssl, but because of the fact that he’s nervous about offering ssl, even if i do hit the “submit” button on this post, download the database from the old server, and reupload the database on the new server, it won’t show up at the new server… all you can see at this point is

Warning: fopen(/home/hybridel/public_html/przxqgl/wp-content/cache/wp_cache_mutex.lock) [function.fopen]: failed to open stream: Permission denied in /home/hybridel/public_html/przxqgl/wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/wp-cache-phase2.php on line 96

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/hybridel/public_html/przxqgl/wp-content/plugins/wp-cache/wp-cache.php:2) in /home/hybridel/public_html/przxqgl/wp-includes/pluggable.php on line 868

i got email about my Tengwar Sindarinwa font from the guy who plagiarised it (taking out some of the spacing characters that he didn’t understand, reversing some characters, etc., etc.) saying that i was the one who ripped him off, in spite of the fact that i have original artwork from the ’70s that proves otherwise. what he doesn’t realise is that you can’t “copyright” a letter shape, all you can do is copyright a font name, and my “Tengwar Sindarinwa” and his “Tengwar Gandalf” have different names. there’s nothing that he can do except be annoying, but he’s choosing a very difficult time to do it.

moe applied to be an animal behaviour specialist, which meant that she had to put together almost 1000 printed pages of records, logs, articles and so forth that she has been working on for the past 7 years. she was working on the last of it the other night and one of the dogs spilled a cup of water all over her laptop. we managed to get it shut down without obviously shorting out something, removed the battery and dried it off as well as we could, including leaving it upside down on a towel over a heat register overnight, and blowing it out thoroughly with compressed air, but when i tried to boot it up it gave me the “i can’t find the operating system” icon. i called apple care and explained the situation to them, and they said that if i took it in to the mac store that they had software that could look at the contents of the disk, and even made an appointment for me – the last one of the day – at the mac store in southcenter. i drove 20 miles to southcenter and waited almost an hour before someone finally talked to me (it was after closing time). he wouldn’t take my case ID number and wouldn’t even look at the computer. he told me that, in fact, they do have the software that apple care told me about, but that their policy was to “use it for our own purposes, and not to retrieve customer data”. when i said that apple care had told me differently, he said he would give them “feedback”, but there was nothing he could do. ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

to make matters worse, i called apple care again this morning, because at least there i can give them my case ID number so that at least they will know what i’m talking about, but the first support goon i talked to said exactly the same thing as the one i talked to last night. when i told him that he was wrong and that the mac store wouldn’t help me, he passed me along to his supervisor who told me there was nothing he could do. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

i used to be a macintosh afficianado. i was a mac-head before most of the “geniuses” at the “genius bar” were even born. the first mac i used was a Lisa. but the customer service i received from apple, and from the mac store yesterday is enough to make me never want to see another apple product again in my entire life. i currently own, and am running a dual-core intel macbook pro, and the next time i have difficulties with it, it’s going to lose it’s apple operating system all together, and gain a new linux operating system. ๐Ÿ˜ก

then there was the fact that i left my linux computer running when i went to bed last night, and this morning when i got up, it was not running and i couldn’t start it up. according to the people that i took it to (it, fortunately, is still under warranty), the power supply was laden with dust, and they speculated that it stopped working when it overheated. fortunately, because of the fact that it is still under warranty, i didn’t have to pay to get it fixed, but i drove all the way there and back twice before i had breakfast this morning.

it’s almost 4:00 already and i’ve gotten exactly NOTHING done for the past THREE DAYS. i’ve got a performance this evening at the rialto theatre in tacoma, a real, authentic, old-time vaudeville stage where i’ll be opening for Pearl Django, and i’m in such a bad mood that i’m not even excited about it. ๐Ÿ˜›

the war on xmas

the closer we get to xmas, the more i am feeling like a jew at a nazi rally, and i am aware of the irony of such a statement a lot more accutely than those of you who may be shocked at the reference.

what i would really like, is to magically transport myself to somewhere where they don’t celebrate xmas for the month of december – and possibly the months of november and january as well – just to get away from the hype that is going on. the commercialism and the politics of the holiday are really starting to get to me, and i still have 10 days until it’s over for another year.

it’s not that i don’t celebrate xmas, and it’s not even that i don’t believe in the “christ” and “god” that are behind the current incarnation of the holiday so much (although that’s another part of the story). what is really disturbing to me is the combination of not being able to turn on the television or the radio without hearing either commercials for products that i know won’t work (like Windows 7), or seeing news reports of people complaining because the greeter at walmart said something, or didn’t say something that was offensive to them… or not… ๐Ÿ˜

i was brought up in a family that celebrated the commercial aspects of xmas. we didn’t even have a regular church service that we went to that was on a day other than sunday, and the church services that we went to all the time were pretty ecuminical and inclusive of traditions and cultures that were not specifically “christian”, so when i grew up and learned that some people believed that xmas was for stuff other than getting loads of toys and candy, i didn’t quite understand, but i didn’t really notice that much when the checker at the grocery store wished me a “merry xmas”. as i developed more of a relationship with sanatanadharma (which is what “hinduism” is really called) i started noticing the discontinuity a lot more: the “peace on earth and good will toward men” compared to the war, hunger and poverty that exist in the world, the constant fighting between catholics and protestants, the constant fighting between the christians and the non-christians, and the growing furor over “the war on xmas” came much more to the forefront, and i find it quite distressing.

things like the reference to a woman who compared santa to a swastika take on a meaning that is not immediately obvious to people who believe the swastika is an evil symbol, for example. i can see how santa is a lot like a swastika, and i wouldn’t mind seeing both of them in more common usage, but if there’s going to be an uproar over whether or not to have a swastika in a public display, then there certainly should be just as much uproar over whether or not to have a public holiday that celebrates santa – even if santa is not the "reason for the season".

and, for that matter, if you think about it a little more than most "christians" have, jeezis himself is not the “reason for the season” either. people celebrated the winter solstice for a long time before jeezis showed up, and it’s really only been within the past 200 to 500 years that we’ve had anything at all like what is currently celebrated as xmas, so all of those "war on xmas" fanatics really don’t have a leg to stand on in the first place. but in general, i think that the hindus and jews and buddhists and muslims and animists and even athiests have gone out of their way to accommodate all of the fanatics who insist that they are to be greeted with the phrase "merry xmas" instead of the more ecuminical "happy holidays" in fact, the only reason we have been as accommodating as we have been is because the "christians" are a majority of our population and if we weren’t so willing to give up what we believe in order to make peace, most "christians" wouldn’t have the slightest problem killing us!

what would jesus do, indeed?

i keep feeling like i am totally alone in a society of people who would have no problem killing me if they happened to find out that i don’t believe the way they do, but at the same time, i feel compelled to inform these ignoramuses that they aren’t the only ones on the planet, and that other people – people who believe differently than they do – have just as much right to exist as they do, and what jesus would really do is get along with everyone… which is supposed to be "The Christmas Message" anyway.

garbage drama

back to mundane stuff…

they haven’t picked up our trash for two months, ever since we switched to once-a-month trash pickup, so i called to find out what was going on. it’s not that we haven’t paid, either, because we haven’t gotten a bill in two months as well. in fact, they sent the bill on the 14th, and it’s probably already been paid, but that’s beside the point. when i called to switch to once-a-month pickup, they told me that it would be on the first thursday of the month. so i put the trash out and they didn’t pick it up, so i called and they said that they had made a mistake, that they would pick it up on the last thursday of the month. so i waited for 3 weeks, put the trash out, and – they didn’t pick it up… 8/

so i decided on another tack, and put the trash out every week last month. they picked up our recycling (which is most of our waste these days, fortunately) on the second and fourth thursdays, just like they’re supposed to, but they didn’t pick up the trash! 8/

so i called them this morning. they told me that the pickup would be on the first thursday of the month, then they changed their minds and said that it would be on the last thursday of the month. then, realising that they had just given me conflicting information, they said that they would check it out and call me back. about a half-hour later, i talked with the dispatcher for the company that covers south king county waste management, who told me that the real pickup date was the thursday of the first full week of the month. not only that, but she said that, because of the fact that customer service was confused about our pickup dates, our address was not even included on the route list that they gave to the driver, which is why we haven’t had a pickup in two months.

that’s all very well and good, i said, but the fact is that our trash hasn’t been picked up in two months, and i’m running out of space. so the dispatcher for south king county says that she will request a “courtesy pickup” (“for no charge”), since there was a screwup on their end. a half-hour or so later, i heard the garbage truck backing up, and fifteen minutes or so after that, i get another call from the dispatcher, who says that they tried to pick up the trash, but the can was too heavy and their driver couldn’t lift it. we have our own, 33 gallon container, which has to be loaded by hand, rather than paying the county for a 35 gallon container that the truck can pick up, and the driver has a weight limit to spare him having to lift heavy trash bags into the truck, so if i wanted our trash picked up, i was going to have to go down and “portion it out” into chunks that were small enough for the driver to lift.

so i broke it down into three garbage bags and the remaining garbage in the can, and supposedly they’re supposed to come back tomorrow, and of course, now that we’re back on the route list, the next trash pickup is supposed to be next thursday… 8/

i’ll believe it when i see it. meanwhile, if i reckoned correctly, we just paid a bill for $60 for the past two months… when, because of a screwup on their part, we weren’t getting any service at all

grumble, mutter… and they wonder why i get upset about things like this… 8/

progress?

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

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

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

phnerb

i had decided that i was going to go to the fremont sunday market on friday, but then i took ganesha the car to a big community festival at magnusson park yesterday, and not only did it rain on and off for about half the day (and, because of an email screwup, i was the only art car there for about 4 hours), but i was so exhausted that i slept most of the day. i’m still really tired, and i think it’s a combination of the fact that i have been sick for the past 2 weeks, along with the generally depressed feeling that i usually get surrounding anything having to do with SSDI. even though the probability is good that i got approved (this time), i don’t know for sure yet, and there have been enough times in the past that haven’t gone well that being depressed after such an event is fairly common. anyway, i slept until 10:00 am (after having gone to bed at 10:30 last night, after having slept for an hour or so on the couch) and went to the FSM to pay for next week… which means that whether or not i feel like going, the fact that i’ve already paid will be an additional impetus to get me going anyway.

merphghbhdh

so “the hearing” happened today.

i got up and almost immediately i perceived that my mood was somewhat sour. it’s not too surprising, because i was up until 1:00 or so last night, playing a gig with snake suspenderz. it was also sort of expected, since, in my meeting with the attorney yesterday, he said that it would be considered “appropriate” for me to act as though i was stressed out and out of sorts, so i didn’t worry about it too much. moe and i got dressed and left for the hearing about the time that i would normally be getting up. strangely enough, the office building that the hearing happened in was a block up the street from top pot doughnuts, so i had doughnuts for breakfast, which while pleasant, gave me a massive sugar rush, followed by a crash which happened just about the time i was going in to the hearing room. moe went first, so they swore me in, and then almost immediately told me to go sit in the hall while moe testified. i’m not exactly sure why they separated us, but it seemed like they deposed moe for about 45 minutes, and then they deposed me. the testimony was more or less the same as it was in my “practice” deposition, yesterday. they discussed what “listing” i fell under and ultimately decided that it was 1202, which is “organic mental health” concerns, which include things like brain injury, with a possibility of 1210, which is “autistic spectrum” mental heath problems, which includes asperger’s syndrome. the psychological “expert” didn’t want to go with 1210 because i haven’t actually been diagnosed with asperger’s, but he agreed with me, and with ned, that i have probably had asperger’s my entire life. the psychological “expert” also asked me about my contrived (but entirely legal) name, which confused me, as it has nothing whatsoever to do with anything even remotely close to my reasons for applying for disability.

what it comes down to is that i won’t know for sure whether the judge decided in my favour or not for four to six weeks, but the attorney said that, according to his experience, there’s a 99% chance that he’ll decide in my favour.

i suppose i should be eccstatic, but in reality, i’m exhausted and depressed and my mood is still sour. i really want to get stoned out of my mind, but i’m still having major coughing spasms. i may get drunk, for the first time in my life, because i can.

fucking cunt-shit on a gold-plated platter!!!

i decided to check my bank account. i have only had one order since i unveiled the new site, and i had around $200 the last time i checked, but i was shocked to discover that pipeline data processing – the company i thought was going to help me process credit cards, before they charged me $45 for a month’s worth of services that i didn’t use because my site wasn’t set up for it yet, and subsequently, on april 7th, cancelled the account without ever processing even one credit card through them – had withdrawn $300 from my bank account yesterday! of course, this left me with a -$100 balance, plus a $35 fee from the bank.

naturally, i called them up to find out what was screwy. i didn’t use their services, i hadn’t incorporated their services into my web site, i had been a customer of theirs for less than a month – i originally signed up for a merchant account on march 16th, and cancelled it on april 7th – and they were withdrawing $300 that i didn’t have from an account that, presumably, they didn’t have access to any longer.

they told me that the $300 was an “early termination fee” and that it was “in the contract you signed”.

i didn’t sign any contract.

the entire transaction went on over the phone, and through email, and they have no record of anything other than a typewritten signature, which was not written by me, on a mishmash of text that they said was a contract.

as you can probably imagine, i was not very happy. unfortunately, since my injury, instead of being able to discuss the reasons for my unhappiness in rational words that actually make sense to anyone (including myself) i raged and ranted and stuttered and drooled and made a complete fool of myself to at least 4 different “customer service” representatives, before i finally got fed up with attempting to find out why a company that makes hundreds of thousands of dollars a day was, apparently, unable to waive a $300 “early termination fee” for services that had never been used, and hung up.

i called the bank and told them that $300 had been withdrawn from my account without my approval. they said that someone would be getting back to me “in writing” – read “by snailmail”. they also said that if my account remained in an overdrawn state for more than 10 days, it would be suspended.

$#%&*@$!!%&*@?##!!!%!?!!

coming to the end of another moisture festival

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

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

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

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

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

relief… sort of…

as of 10:30 this morning, i have gotten all of the code for the web site back to where it was before the disaster that happened yesterday, which surprises me a great deal. it’s really strange that a few stray characters can be enough to bring the whole site crashing down – although i’ve begun to perceive that the site is really cobbled together from bits and pieces and held together with chewing gum and bits of string – but it’s even more strange that, despite what i thought originally, i had just enough of just the right files backed up that i was able to resurrect it so easily. two of the three contributions that i thought i was going to have to reinstall were actually already installed. i’ve still got to go back and re-upload a huge shitload of graphics – one at a time, because there’s no other way to do it – considering that my punishment for being as cock-sure as i was, and then i’m going to download the entire site and back that up.

BUGGER!

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

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

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

bugger, bugger, BUGGER!

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

& stuff

me in 20 years

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

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

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

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

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

hrmph

i was supposed to go to the FSM today. now that it’s later in the day and it’s raining, i’m kind of glad i didn’t, but i wasn’t so glad when i got up at 5:30 this morning and got about half a block down the road before i discovered that i had a flat tire. i was even more irritated when it cost me $100 to replace the tire, because it had a hole in the side wall. and to make matters worse, the guy said i need new brakes as well. it seems like i just got new brakes recently.

i suppose it’s just as well. i would much rather have a flat tire close to home, so that i can bring the car back home and go back to bed for a couple hours rather than being stuck somewhere. and it’s raining hard enough that it’s just as well that i didn’t make it to the FSM anyway.

DRIZZLE!!!!

here is yet another reason why drizzle.com is not going to be my ISP much longer: they assumed that when i requested a change of host providers for hybridelephant.com, they automatically assumed that it also meant cancelling my internet service – which was wrong, and i took care of it last week. what i didn’t realise is that they also cancelled The Church of Tina Chopp, resulting in an interruption of service for several days. it’s on its way to being fixed at this point (i still have to wait the requisite 24 to 48 hours for the DNS changes to propagate), but that is yet another reason to get away from them as quickly as possible.

i should have listened more carefully when i was told last march that drizzle was incompetent. now it’s come back to bite me in the ass… 8/

what?

i got the first incense order of 2009 today, but i ended up refunding it, because it was for $18 worth of incense and they wanted it shipped to great britain, which would add an extra $35 to the cost, and i can’t see receiving a package that is worth more than its contents making someone very happy. people keep doing this: ordering a relatively small amount of incense and then asking me to ship it to obscure places like brazil, turkey or england. don’t get me wrong, i’m happy that customers from that far away are coming to me for incense and stuff, but there has got to be some way of letting such people know that the shipping costs are going to bite them in the ass…

8/

i just got email from the guy. apparently he is fine with the extra cost (which i can’t figure out, but under these circumstances, i won’t argue with him), but now he’s got to resubmit his order… wonderful.

new years’ rant

okay, over at Unreasonable Faith there’s a discussion going on which started out with the guy giving believers “your chance to convince us atheists there is a God. Pitch your best case for why we should believe in a deity”. i normally agree with atheists a lot more than i do with “christians”, but i couldn’t resist, especially since mine is a somewhat unique position (which i will explain more fully in a minute) to which few, if any, other people subscribe – which is just fine with me.

although, as i said, i tend to agree with athiests a lot more than i do with most “believers”, ultimately, i am a “believer” myself, and everything that i have experienced to this day only drives home to me that my way of thinking is the correct one for me, if for no other person. i know that a God exists, and that He (for lack of a better term) has three defining characteristics: the God that i worship is infinite, unchanging and eternal. ultimately, the God in Whom i beleve can be described as existing beyond “normal logic” because of the fact that in order to meet the criteria of being infinite, unchanging and eternal, God would have to be able to do what seem to us like impossible things, for example being in multiple places at the same time, or being both right and wrong, or both black and white, at the same time, without having to worry about whether or not one thing conflicts with the other. if what you call “god” is unable to exhibit these three qualities then, to me you are not referring to the God that i know to exist.

i realise that this puts me in the category of “mystics” (some might say “crazy people”, i’ll deal with them in a minute) who say that God exists beyond normal understanding, and without some sort of “mystical experience” you’ll never understand what i am talking about, but i’m not the only one to believe this way, and from what i’ve been able to see, the ones who believed the way i do had significant hardships, but were a great deal happier overall than people who went along with the herd, whether athiest or “christian”.

i look at my life as depicted in this story, called When the Waters Changed

Once upon a time, Khidr, the Teacher of Moses, called upon mankind with a warning. At a certain date, he said, all the water in the world which had not been specially horded, would disappear. It would then be renewed, with different water which, when consumed, would drive men mad.

Only one man listened to the meaning of this advice. He collected water and went to a secure place where he stored it, and waited for the water to change its character.

On the appointed date, the streams stopped running, the wells went dry, and the man who had listened, seeing this happening, went to his retreat and drank his preserved water.

When he saw, from his security, the waterfalls again beginning to flow, this man descended among the other sons of men. He found that they were thinking and talking in an entirely different way from before; yet they seemed to have no memory of having changed, or being warned that it would happen. When he tried to talk to them, he realised that they thought that he was mad, and they showed hostility or compassion, not understanding.

At first he drank none of the new water, but went back to his concealment, to draw on his supplies, every day. Finally, however, he took the decision to drink the new water because he could not bear the loneliness of living, behaving and thinking in a different way from everyone else. He drank the new water, and became like the rest. Then he forgot all about his own store of special water, and his fellows began to look upon him as a madman who had miraculously been restored to sanity.

eventually, i’ll run out of my special store of water, and be forced to drink the water everyone else is drinking. then, presumably, i will give up thinking like a crazy person and start thinking like everyone else.

if that happens, please kill me.

happy new year.

happy VEWPRF

i-love-satan.jpg

in the past, i’ve tried to go along with whatever holiday might be celebrated around me whether i “believed in it” or not, however in the past few years it’s gotten to the point where i’ve taken a long, hard look at the traditions, the history, and the meaning of several Vague Early Winter Possibly Religious Festivals (VEWPRFs) and tried as much as possible to separate myself from them, primarily because of the fact that i don’t “believe in them” in any conventional sense, and to me, the people that really do believe in them, particularly “christians” really make me wonder about the future of the human race. i’ve had the chance to go “caroling” with a bunch of other brass players, and while i appreciate the music very much, and would really like to get together with a bunch of people who all appreciate the music, and can play it well, i decided not to go – and not entirely because of the fact that “the weather outside was frightful” (although that was about ⅔ of the reason). the weather is also the reason we won’t be spending xmas (one of the VEWPRFs i was talking about) with the inlaws in portland this year – although we probably will be spending new years day with them (’cause i have the gig where i’m paid the most amount of money i have ever been paid for something EVER on new years eve – i’m being paid $100 an hour for an hour’s performance with snake suspenderz), and while it won’t exactly be the same as xmas with them, it will still very likely have the same history and meaning. with my in-laws particularly, i have learned that it’s a lot easier if i keep my mouth shut, because, if nothing else, they give good presents and don’t expect an awful lot other than to see that my wife is healthy and happy, which she seems to be taking care of all by herself.

dont-fuck-with-santa-claus.jpg

and when you look at xmas, from it’s beginnings all the way to today, you discover that it’s basically one lie after another with no apologies or attempts to hide them: jesus, if he ever even really existed, was more than likely born in the spring, and the fact that his birthday is celebrated when it is, is primarily because of the fact that the “christian” church took over pagan solstice celebrations of one kind or another, and in the process of making it basically illegal to have any other kind of celebration, at the same time it started pushing it’s own version of VEWPRF as a “legal substitute” so that the (formerly) pagan worshippers – who still continue to this day – wouldn’t rise up and overthrow their oppressors. and at this late date, there’s less of “jesus’ birth” and more commercialism and “santa claus”, to the point where jesus – the supposed “reason for the season” (which, in reality, can more be attributed to axial tilt than the birth of a supposed “saviour”) – is almost forgotten, even by supposed “christians” for whom this should be a time to remember their saviour. and that brings up the discussion: “saved from what?” saved from sin? who created sin? if it was God, then didn’t he have some reason for creating it? shouldn’t He expect us to sin, if He created it to begin with? if it wasn’t, then why do we have to be saved from it? how is jesus any more likely to save me than norm, down the street, or myself, for that matter? if it weren’t for the fact that i have experienced “the indwelling of the Holy Spirit” (which is nothing at all like the “christian” people would have you believe), i would deny that such a thing exists, simply because of the fact that the way the “christians” describe it is totally absurd. if it weren’t forced on them when they were children and unable to see how the adults were lying to them, “christianity” would have completely vanished ages ago.

and as far as my experience of the “indwelling of the Holy Spirit”, which happened many years ago (although it continues to this day), i am aware of the fact that it’s such a profound, personal experience, that any attempt i make to describe what it was like will sound equally absurd. i’m okay with that, and don’t blame you if you think i’m crazy, but like i said, it was so much different from what the “christians” say that comparing the two is a difficult thing. my impression is that “christians” only have about a quarter of the story, and instead of being inspired to learn about the ever expansive THING that they call God, they’ve decided that that’s all you ever need, and are afraid of anything that stretches beyond their comfort zone.

so, along with everything else, my views about both Christmas and xmas (similar to the difference between Christians and “christians”, for those of you who are keeping score) are skewed enough that celebrating it myself is kind of out of the question, despite my general tendency to celebrate whatever holiday “most of us” are celebrating. so you’ll pardon me while i wish everyone a happy VEWPRF and go off and hide somewhere until february so i don’t have to listen to another round of “Jingle Bell Rock”. 8/

growl!!

okay, some time between now and the middle of january (the sooner the better as far as i’m concerned) there will be an interruption of services for a couple of days (maximum) while i swich host service providers. the last straw for me came yesterday when i called drizzle support with a question about hybrid elephant, only to discover that somehow, unbeknownst to me, the hybrid elephant account information was for someone in spokane – liz dreisbach, the leader of the ballard sedentary sousa band. somehow drizzle got the impression that, back in august(!!) when liz changed the contact information for sedentarysousa.com, she was also changing the contact information for hybridelephant.com. so now, according to drizzle, hybridelephant.com now belongs to liz, despite the fact that hybrid elephant has been under my control for the past five years(!!) and they hadn’t even contacted me to find out whether or not this was actually the case!!

of course the control panel access still belongs to me, but if i hadn’t found out about it, liz would have very likely been billed for hybrid elephant in january, which would have been tremendously confusing and embarrassing for both me and her, but that’s not the complete reason why i’m switching host providers. drizzle disabled telnet/SSH access to their servers back in march or some time earlier this year, and recently they decided to disable news services (usenet) as well, which is something that i use fairly regularly. also, in the past year or so their “technical support” personnel have become extremely surly and incompetent. not only that, but in researching host service providers i came across two, at least, that offer more services, and are less than half the cost of drizzle.

i have been a drizzle.com user ever since i switched away from aa.net, almost 10 years ago, and i have owned the hybridelephant domain since 2002. i suppose i’m lucky to have gotten 10 years of reasonable service from them, but it’s time for a change. now, along with everything else, i have to prepare my web sites to be moved, get in touch with my registrar to change the domain host profile on my domains, contact spamcop to change my “real” email address, and probably a whole bunch of other things that i haven’t thought of yet. 8P~

hungary harrison “christian”

that’s where some guy ordered incense from today – budapest, hungary. he ordered $4.25 worth of incense, so i have to add $50 shipping for $4.25 worth of incense.

personally, i think he should know that it would be cheaper (and probably better quality) to buy it closer to home, but i think the problem is that internet makes normal people stupid. i have many examples of this: regan fraser, brendan fraser‘s brother, was my housemate at one point about 15 years ago, and when he found out that i worked with internet, he begged me to get involved in this scheme that he had to rip people off by accessing their bank accounts over internet. or the client that i currently have who is convinced that his virus protection program “is tired” of notifying him that he has a virus – he’s convinced that he’s got a virus, even though three different virus scanners have given him a clean bill of health…

someone turned me on to a whole pile of information about my great-great-great-grandfather and his descendants that are a part of my family, but not directly related to me. apparently such people include William Henry Harrison along with several other william henry harrisons (I through V, i think).

i submitted the following to There Probably Is dot com, and i really hope they actually post it, but i get the impression that they won’t.

Brief Biography
I am a Hindu Christian Dervish Buddhist Thelemic Tinite Antichrist Anarchist Tuba-Playing ? (??? – Canis nyctereutes procyonoides) with a Brain Injury.

Submit your story
I believe in God because … i was raised by parents who were largely agnostic. They may have had some religion, but if they did, they kept it to themselves. I attended a Unitarian church when I was small, but the classes I took were more along creative lines than religious ones, and I grew up thinking of “church” as more of a social club than a place for worship.

Then, when I was first starting college, I encountered people who claimed to be “christian” but were more like parrots than people in terms of what they told me about “christianity”. They couldn’t give me a good enough reason to believe, apart from pie-in-the-sky promises to which nobody in their right mind would pay attention.

I took a class called “Introduction to Personal Philosophy” which everybody informally called “The Fly In The Fly-Bottle” or just “the fly-bottle class” in which there was an assignment that caused me to change my mind. The assignment was “for a certain, set period of time (I chose a month), act as though there is an all-powerful God and see how your life changes.” As soon as I believed that there was a God, I was able to see Him everywhere, although He (and I use the term advisedly) was not what the “christians” said He was like at all. For one thing, He wasn’t always a “He” – sometimes She was a thought, or feeling, or a smell. I quickly learned that when coincidences happen – for example, I went for an entire week where the price of everything I bought ended with 84 cents – that is God communicating with me in a way that I didn’t immediately understand. Everywhere I looked, and everywhere I look to this day, I see God essentially “peering out” from behind everything, saying “Here I am!” There is no question that I have of God that He has not answered, and He guides my every step.

His name is Ganesha.

i guess i’m disappointed with them for discriminating against me, but at the same time, what did i expect from a “christian” web site?

hrmph…

so i’ve been looking at a lot of different sites recently having to do with SEO, and been i’ve been becoming more and more convinced that one of the primary reasons why i’m not bringing in more money from the web site is because it is based on frames. in fact, it has been based on frames for 7 years now, and hasn’t caused me or my visitors any perceivable difficulty so far, but it apparently gets in the way of search-engine crawlers, which negatively affects my google rating and results in my web pages effectively discriminated against when people search for them… which disturbs me, because i’m supposedly in business to make money, and a decision that i made 8 years ago (which was when frames were first being introduced to the web) is now getting in the way of my being able to do business more effectively.

all this has increased the urgency with which i am now modifying my web site, although at this point, the urgency is mitigated by my lack of knowledge of things that i could use to replace the frames. there’s a lot i can do with CSS which affect the way people view my pages, but there’s one thing that – i think – i’m going to have to do with PHP, and i don’t know PHP at all. although people have said to me many times that, if i can understand HTML and CSS, PHP wouldn’t be that difficult, it’s still a daunting task to learn an entirely new language and update my entire web site. the observant person will, of course, have recognised that there’s no time limitation on when i get it completed, but my response to that is to say that every day i don’t update my web site is another day where my google rating is negatively affected by the frames, and another day that people don’t find my web site in search engines, and another day that they don’t purchase things from me. obviously, i could hire some PHP-geek to redesign the entire site for me, but how would i pay for it? and, with what i can afford to pay, what guarantee do i have that my web site won’t suddenly appear as a spammer site and be pushed to an even lower rating in the search engines?

meanwhile, i figured out that i can actually build the structure of the dome that i want to build for a minimum of $200, which is almost do-able – if i want to “make do” with a wooden-frame dome – or a maximum of $400, which is a little bit out of my range at the moment, but shouldn’t be too hard to achieve within 6 months if i work at it – for a metal-frame dome. i built a model out of toothpicks and kneaded-rubber eraser, to see exactly how many frame-pieces i am going to need: 35 sections that are 4 feet 11.28 inches (8 foot radius time a chord factor of .61803), and 30 sections that are 4 feet 4.44 inches (8 foot radius times a chord factor of .54653) to build a 16-foot diameter 2V Icosa Alternate dome.

the only problem is that i keep getting catalogues from places that have stuff i really want to buy (and sell), and the result is that instead of having $180 in my bank account, i spent $75 on some ganesha murtis which should be delivered some time early next week.

but at the same time, i also got a business card order from NBAC, which should replace that $75, and it may even do so before the ganesha murtis are delivered.

Requiescat In Pacem, Tuba Man

Ed McMichael

i went to the public memorial for ed mcmichael yesterday, and it was outstanding – of course i really wish that it wasn’t necessary, but ed would have loved it. i got to meet richard peterson, and kelsey, ed’s older brother. the SYSO alumni brass played (i would have played with them, but that would have meant bringing two instruments, and i already had enough to carry), the tuba choir – 13 tubas, of which mine was one – played and sounded as good as i would have expected a group which had been rehearsing for months to have sounded. i was interviewed by lori matsukawa from King5 news. the speakers, of whom richard and kelsey were two, said funny, poignant and entirely true things about ed, the videos they showed brought a tear to my eye, the music was excellent, all of the major sports teams gave ed a personalised jersey

but, you know, i would give all these things back to know that it had been a horrible joke and that ed was still alive somewhere, and chortling with perverted glee at having pulled such a fast one on the entire city. it wouldn’t surprise me an awful lot to learn that he had been planning all this for some time.

not likely. B/

meh!

the battle of the computer has begun again… 8/

i was finishing recovery from the battle of a couple months ago, and (finally) getting around to installing LilyPond. admittedly, the computer was a little busier than normal, because i also had firefox, openoffice, the gimp and my music player running at the same time, and the computer crashed. as i was already running late to get to a client’s place by 3:30, i figured i’d start the whole process over when i got home, so i just shut everything down and took off.

when i returned, at 10:30, i booted the computer and i had a bizarre icon in the “systray”-like thing in what passes for the task bar in kubuntu, which i discovered was the “disconnected” icon for the network manager. this was a little strange, but not entirely unexpected, so i got out the terminal and typed in ifconfig eth0 down and then ifconfig eth0 up, but nothing happened. i fudged around with some of my system settings to see if that did any good, but ultimately i couldn’t get it connected, so i went to bed.

this morning i got up early and tried to get the network connected, because i had to transpose a part for the ed mcmichael memorial that i am playing for tomorrow, and, as the network was disconnected on my main computer, that meant that i had to transpose the part on windows (which is the only other place that i have lilypond installed). so i fired up windows and, lo and behold, the “Local Area Network cable disconnected” icon was there, as well. 8/

so then i fired up MacOsX, which went out and found internet without a problem – naturally. but i then realised that the macs are connecting directly with the router via wireless, whereas linux and windows connect to the router by way of wires, which go through an ethernet switch. so, i unplugged linux from the switch and plugged it directly into the router, and it worked. 8/

so i’ve narrowed down what is wrong, and at this point i have ordered a new ethernet switch, which should be delivered in 3 days or so, but the only computers that currently have network access are the wireless computers (mine and moe’s) and linux – and, despite everything, i still haven’t gotten mac and linux to talk to each other. 8/

and, to make matters worse, i had to resort to using a flash disk “sneaker net” to ferry the transposed part from windows to linux, where i could print it.

i guess i should be glad i know how to figure out what’s wrong with this mess of wires and computer-junk, because if i didn’t, then i’d really be screwed.

Violence takes iconic Tuba Man

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

—-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was gone.

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

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

Our Tuba Man.

computers, leaving for burning man, and so forth

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

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

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

OCF 08 – a retrospective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blurgh…

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

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

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

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

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

music and death

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

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

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

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

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

mump

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

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

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

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

AI Robotics has produced the “Perfect Womanโ„ข” who is, reputedly “More Funโ„ข”… you can “Preorder Nowโ„ข”…

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

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

more depressing stuff…

what is it with five-year-olds and guns?

Boy, 5, shoots himself; parents charged – and – Indiana boy, 5, shoots sister, 4, to death

now when i was five years old, my father owned a gun. i remember seeing it, once in my father’s closet. i’m fairly sure it wasn’t loaded, and even with nobody telling me what it was, i remember knowing that it was dangerous and i wasn’t to touch it, a sensibility that i have carried through to this very day – i went with a friend a couple of years ago when he was moving to los angeles and “needed a gun for protection” (from what? he never said), and i actually convinced myself to try target shooting with him. i still have one .45 auto round on the shelf in front of me at this very moment, but i don’t have anything to shoot it from, and while it is very dangerous to have a single bullet around, i’ve also got a bottle of lamp oil, a bottle of lighter fluid, a bottle of methyl alcohol and a bottle of paint thinner on the desk as well, and i don’t worry too much about them, either. a few years later, my father inherited an antique, single-barrelled shotgun from somewhere or another, and i got to “play” with that on several occasions, but it was so old that they didn’t make cartridges for it any longer, and someone had removed, and lost, the firing pin a long time ago, so it was more like the “broken gun beneath the bed” of the old jethro tull song than anything else.

but what i can’t figure out is why people who own guns keep them just lying around their house, in a loaded state, in a place where children are likely to pick them up and shoot people? i actually wrote “and accidentally shoot people”, but then i realised that if i didn’t know what a gun was, or if i did know what it was, but had the sensibilities of the normal five-year-old, the fact that i would shoot someone (including myself) is almost a given. the fact that parents would just leave a loaded gun in a place where unsupervised children could hope to find it seems so utterly moronic to me that i wonder why they were allowed to have children in the first place! you (theoretically) have to have a license to own a gun, you should also have to have a licence to have children, and in order to get that license, you should have to prove that you have more sense than a peanut… 8/

blah… 8/

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

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

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

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

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

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

4-week-old puppy
sleeping puppy

Continue reading blah… 8/

yes, i’m still here…

Hybrid Elephant @ The FSM

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

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

gurdjieff stencil

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

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

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

John Cleese reports on laughter – appropriately enough…

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

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

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

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

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

sad day

moe's painting

allie, queen of the world, our little shih tzu, will be put to sleep today. she is 18 years old, which is 8 years older than most people gave her when she was 8, and it’s about 17 years longer than monique said she had when she was a puppy, so she’s definitely outlived any limitations that people tried to apply to her. moe said she probably had a brain tumor, apart from being old, mostly blind and mostly deaf for at least two years. she has been sleeping most of the day, except when she’s been eating, and she forgets that she’s eating and wanders away, and she gets lost in the living room, so it’s definitely time for her to go explore being something other than a doggie for a while, but it’s a sad day for moe and me.

sigh

when i see things like the pastor who gave a sermon about the evils of pornography at a pornography convention and a “modern” country where women still “belong” to men, i have to keep reminding myself of something that one of my first gurus (dr. burrows, not my satguru, and not even a hindu) told me when i was in my 20s. she said that the more clear the line dividing “good” and “evil” becomes, the closer we will be to the time when spirit returns to the earth in a bodily form (jesus return, kalki appearing, that sort of thing). the more diverse and divided things get; the more direct the proponents of a such a profound division are willing to be, the closer to “the eschaton” – whatever that means – we are. it will all be over soon… i’ve just got to hold on, and it will be different soon.

Unfortunately, we live in a society that is mostly inhabited by, and ultimately designed and created by people who are acting under some sort of illusion, delusion or misconception
— salamandir 890628

happy 4/20

now that i’ve got that out of the way, i want to gripe about DVR again. they strung me along for 4 months after not even paying attention to me for almost 5 years, and then, yesterday, i got their notice in the mail that they won’t be doing anything for me anyway, which i could have told you if it weren’t for the fact that all the time between january, when i first met with them, and yesterday, they said they actually could do something for me. basically the notice i recieved yesterday told me a whole bunch of things that are wrong with my business, some of which i can actually change without any suggestions, and all of which can be changed fairly easily as long as i can find some helpful suggestions for what i can do instead. but then it said that, given the fact that my business was so fucked up, they won’t be able to help me, without a clue as to what i should do to change it, or what i should do next. great… even the print brokering, musical instrument repair and pipe-making are beyond the capability willingness of DVR to help me out. and with no suggestions for what i can do to change it, i’m basically right back where i started, not making an even remotely livable income and without the possibility of ever making a livable income in the future.

yes, i am fundamentally against work, but i figure, with my talents, there should be some way for me (and everybody else, if they want it) to make an acceptible income doing what i like to do, but with government agencies that are supposed to help people like me shooting me down every time i try to move forward, it’s getting really discouraging, and right now i don’t know what i’m going to do next. 8(

rants

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

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

oy… 8/

i’ve got to get this off my chest because it’s been really bothering me. about a week ago i posted about a lady i had seen doing psychic readings with a deck of cards that i designed, and i posted a picture that was clearly identifiable as the lady in question. however, i didn’t ask her permission before i posted it, and it very definitely was not okay with her that i had done so – don’t bother looking for the photo at my flickr gallery, because it’s not there either. i deleted it at her request. but the problem is that i may have irreparably broken any chances that i had to find out more about where she got the cards, or find out about her “psychic connection” with them, and even to get to know her and become friends with her. i did something, without thinking, which, if someone had done it to me, i might have taken exception, and that, if i had thought about it for two seconds, i probably would have done entirely differently. it’s not an excuse, but i’m not used to people paying attention to me on the web – it’s such a big place, and i’m just one person… apparently that doesn’t make any difference. in the words of the lady, i am “a dirt bag”, and at this point, i tend to agree with her, which is why i haven’t posted anything for a few days.

whew!

yesterday was full of incense orders, appointments, and rehearsals. i got up in time to go to my 10:00 appointment with the DVR lady and her business consultant (more about this later), and discovered that i had a $35 incense order. so i put the order together and was printing out the invoice when i realised that the person to whom i am sending it lives in the UK, which means that i have to figure out extra postage, and then write to them requesting that extra postage before i ship it. as of 1:30 today (more than 24 hours after i sent the request, i still haven’t got a reply from them. i hope it doesn’t turn out that they only notice when their order doesn’t come and they file a complaint with paypal… 8/ ). in any event, the result of all this was that i left about 15 minutes late for my appointment. fortunately i was able to call and let them know, so they woudln’t decide that i wasn’t there and decide not to help me at all.

i ended up getting to my appointment about 5 minutes late, but then i ended up sitting in the lobby for about 15 minutes before someone came out and told me that the appointment was actually scheduled for 10:30, not 10:00, and that the business consultant hadn’t arrived yet. 8/

finally the business consultant arrived, and she, the DVR lady and i talked about Hybrid Elephant for about 2½ hours. she ended up saying not very much that made me feel as though they actually are going to help me, including a blanket statement, which she did clarify later on, that the DVR won’t help people who are interested in self employment. she did qualify this by saying that those people who do get help from DVR with self employment are a lot more likely to be people who fit into the “niche markets” rather than the “fringe economy”, and that, on the surface, Hybrid Elephant sounded a lot more like the latter than the former. however she did say that it has very definite “niche market” potential, and that i should endeavour to work more towards developing those things, which included print brokering and musical instrument repair – neither of which are entirely out of the question, although both could use some help that i either can’t afford, or don’t know how to give them before they become anything like sustainable business material.

i had hoped to come home and take a shower before going to my 3:00 appointment with ned, but as it was i had just about enough time to come home, slam down something to eat, throw my trombone in the car and head out again. i made it to my appointment with about 15 minutes to spare, and when it got out, there wasn’t much point in driving more than i had to, so i drove up to ballard and took a nap until it was time for my BSSB rehearsal, from which i got home at 10:00, at which point i was so tired that i fell asleep on the couch.

that being said, here are a few things that i have found interesting from the past couple of days:

Cats Help Shield Owners From Heart Attack – this makes me wonder a lot about what toxoplasma gondii has, if anything, to do with it… and i, personally, can’t imagine how toxoplasma gondii could not have anything to do with it, considering how prevalent and insidious the microbe is…

The day the wiretaps go dead is about warrantless wiretapping, and how ordinary citizens can secure their communications against such travesties of democracy, while our supposedly democratically elected leaders are going about the business from a completely different angle: House Steers Its Own Path on Wiretaps. we can only hope that they will continue to be successful, if we want to keep democracy around.

finally, we have Crazy ‘Pot Will Make You Sell Your Children’ Warning from Otherwise Sane Senator, which just goes to show how far we have yet to go… 8/

Continue reading whew!

random busy

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

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

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

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

more dead people

gregor gayden, brother of my good friend reuter, died recently. i never really knew him except through his reputation as being the brother of reuter, damon and seth (all of whom i was friends with at various times in the distant past), but i’ve always felt that if he was anything at all like his brothers (who were, and are, about as different as people who are related to each other can get), then he was a great person.

today has been full of dead people. maybe it’s a sign… 8/

stuff

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

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

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

big dog, small car

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

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

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

the moisture festival… aah, the moisture festival.

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

time to take brownies out of the oven.

these people are terrorists, but it doesn’t make any difference

The Water Cure – Debating torture and counterinsurgency โ€” a century ago

Dare to Know – What is not taught in School, from the Islamic Homeschool blog.

McCain Torture Endorsement Lost Amid Media Sex Scandal Frenzy – The media missed a damning story that has actual implications for American democracy.

now, examples of reasons why this “terroristic” sentiment won’t make any difference at all, and will, in fact, be labeled “terroristic”, regardless of how valid it is:

In election 2008, donโ€™t forget Angry White Man

Transformation Meditation Home Study Courses – another iteration of mahesh varma, but for a newer, more jaded generation.

happy valentines day lupercalia

Christian Right’s Emerging Deadly Worldview: Kill Muslims to Purify the Earth – eminentize the eschaton! more jeezis horseshit.

Latest Anti-Pot Quack Science: ‘Marijuana Makes Your Teeth Fall Out’ – more anti-cannabis horseshit

Scientists breed worldโ€™s first mentally ill mouse – schizophrenic mice… just what the world needs… 8/

Continue reading happy valentines day lupercalia

great… 8b

i just received a letter from DSHS/DVR – the Department of Social and Health Services, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. they are in receipt of my request for vocational services (it’s about time! i applied almost 5 years ago, and this is the first i’ve heard from them except for a notice telling me that i was on the waiting list.) and have scheduled an appointment for me on "Monday, 2/12/2008 at 10:00 am."

i wonder if this is a test, to discover whether or not i am aware of the fact that neither the 12th of february, nor the 2nd of december, if you’re being european, come on a monday this year… strangely enough, they’re both tuesdays…

if it is a test, i wonder how i should respond…

if it’s possible, huckabee is a bigger idiot than bush

after a week of campaign stops in the south where huckabee told his audiences he wanted to rewrite the constition to bring it in line with “god’s standards”, during last night’s republican debate on MSNBC, he assured the audience that he did not want to “impose” his beliefs on anyone…

8/

the question that prompted this remark begins about 6:17 into the video. i didn’t pay any attention to the rest of it.

economic downturn expected for everyone

Draft Economic Recovery Program To Stop The Bush Depression – now, of course, none of this has the remotest hope of actually coming to pass, which makes me wonder what’s really going to happen…

Let Market Crash Now Or Face Financial Train Wreck – more stuff that will never actually happen, which raises more concerns about what is actually going to happen…

Professor Anderson Explains – having trouble understanding the impact of the national debt on the volatile economic situation? here’s laurie anderson in a PSA from the 1980’s, putting it all into perspective. the numbers have become more extreme and depressing of course – in this video the debt was around 2 trillion dollars and now it’s something like nine trillion…

Continue reading economic downturn expected for everyone

rant + gripe

i have written my representatives several times concerning, among other things, getting bush and his cronies out of office and reversing the direction this country has been headed for the past few years. i have always gotten nice “we’re as concerned as you are, but there’s nothing we can do” responses from my democratic representatives, but my republican representative constantly comes back with this:

One of the most difficult questions raised by these provisions is: What are high crimes and misdemeanors? The conclusion reached by most scholars is that clear criminal law violations represent impeachable offenses, whereas misconduct that is not necessarily criminal but that undermines the integrity of the office (such as disregard of constitutional responsibilities) may rise to the level of an impeachable offense.

when george w. bush took office, he made the following affirmation:

I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States.

it is evident to me – and to around 60% to 75% of the rest of the voters in the country currently – that he failed to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” by deliberately misleading us, repeatedly, over a period of two years following september 11, 2001.

False Pretenses – at least 935 false statements about the national security threats that didn’t exist!

i’m pretty sure that at least one of those misleading statements were illegal in some way or another, and even if they were all legal, the resulting mess that was created, without a doubt, contained many aspects that were illegal, and of which, bush and his cronies were definitely a part. to me, this very clearly represents “high crimes and misdemeanors”, and yet, my elected representative, and, presumably, the constituent which elected him (of which i was apparently not a part) says that there are questions about what constitutes high crimes and misdemeanors.

it’s really frightening to me that this country is going the direction it is these days, and the fact that my elected government representative would be so deliberately ignorant of it frightens me even more. and for the icing on the frightful cake, we have mike huck-a-bee and his drones – chuck norris chief among them – who want to change the constitution to more perfectly match the “word of god” on things like birth-control, abortion and homosexual marriage, but not when it comes to other biblical laws like eating shellfish, keeping the sabbath or shaving. and people think that he’s exactly what this country needs!

<shudder>

and, on top of that, i don’t have a job or health insurance, my country is sending old, brain-injured men to war, while at the same time, claiming that there are no homeless vets, and it’s illegal for me to commit suicide. i wonder why?

yep…

Pakistan’s Decorated Vehicles – these are far more decorated than Ganesha The Car, which is what i was originally thinking of when i first started work on it. if i ever want to get Ganesha that decorated, i’d better start working on it. these are good inspirations for what i can do…

Talking About AT&T’s Internet Filtering on AT&T’s The Hugh Thompson Show – the editor of Boing Boing Gadgets was interviewed by Hugh Thompston, but the interview didn’t go the way Hugh’s corporate sponsor, AT&T, wanted it to, so they cut it, right after the (hand-picked AT&T) audience voiced their opinions about AT&T filtering their email, and started over. here is just the video, and here is a FAQ about the EFF’s lawsuit against AT&T for violating the law and the privacy of its customers by collaborating with the National Security Agency. “AT&T: Your World. Delivered. To The NSA.”

Elephants Evolve Smaller Tusks Due to Poaching – more blasphemous evolutionary facts that further negate the jeezis-people’s divine intelligence. what with the mounting evidence over the past 200 years, you would think that evolution would be getting a better rep these days. but at the same time, mike huckabee is supporting a state constitutional amendment in georgia which would reclassify most birth control as abortion. this is to put up a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade and, eventually, make birth control illegal. it used to be that i would seek out people like this in order to blast holes in their arguments, but since my injury, all i can do is shake my head, because anything more than that and i end up sounding more idiotic than they do.

Surge To Nowhere – Don’t buy the hawks’ hype. The war may be off the front pages, but Iraq is broken beyond repair, and we still own it.

stress level back up to 75

the letter i wrote to my "friend" CO resulted in the end of our friendship. this isn’t as stressful to me as the fact that other friends of mine actually live in the same city with CO, and have to put up with her much more personally, and on a daily basis. i’m really glad i don’t live in that city any longer, but it’s really sad to think that some of my former friends are so hung up with childish, petty bickering that they miss out on what’s really important.

sigh… oh well… 8P

i have had too many certifiably crazy people in my life – R&B, osiris, almitra, zanthia, JR, the PHBFH, and now CO – they have all had fairly similar attributes, and i am SO tired of dealing with people who are crazy in that way. you know people say i’m crazy, and i’m sure other people say they’re crazy, but until you have dealt with a person who is certifiably crazy, you won’t know what i’m talking about. you say you’re crazy, i say i’m crazy, but then we get on with our lives and everything is good. but with certifiably crazy people, you don’t have to say they’re crazy, because you’re too busy dodging whatever they just threw at you, both figuratively and literally. they can seem like nice, safe, “normal” people (and i use that word advisedly) one minute, and be completely off the wall the next, and you don’t know from one minute to the next what they’re going to do.

it’s like they say: crazy people make even sane people act crazy. i am SO glad i’m 100 miles away from CO, in a completely different city. 8/

stress level is down from 95 to 60

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

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

depression

i just got back from dropping moe off at the airport so that she can go to florida for 2 weeks. she took the ipod with her, so i have to load any music i have onto my computer (because hers is the computer that has the itunes library on it, i haven’t gotten around to installing rockbox yet), and currently i don’t have any music loaded. i don’t have any rehearsals for anything, because the BSSB and the banda gozona are on winter hiatus and we haven’t started rehearsals for the fremont philharmonic because stuart isn’t back from bogota yet. and very good friends of mine are acting like second-graders, tattling about each other behind the others’ backs and expecting me to make sense of it.

bleah! 8P

real life drama… 8/

hi CO,

i must admit, i haven’t read your letter thoroughly yet, but on the surface, it appears as though you have a lot to say about KM, and not all of it is positive. you apparently also have a lot to say about what KM said about MO which also is not entirely positive. you say that KM is a gossip, and then you go into great detail (6 pages) about exactly why KM is a gossip. this is the first i have heard about it, apart from the fact that KN told me that he and KM were banned from TMH. KM didn’t want to tell me anything, but it appears as though someone wanted to “gossip” about what has been going on, even after i said “i won’t even pretend to understand”…

you say you feel that i have “judged” you. quite the opposite is actually true. i have not judged anybody: i consider what i know of both your stories to be so outlandish that “i won’t even pretend to understand” and prefer not even to hear about it.

just so you know, of all the people i know, apart from MO, KN and KM were the only people who cared enough about what was going on, to come and see me when i was in the hospital – not even my parents came to see me. they came for 3 days and stayed in the same room you stayed in, at my house in renton. i have known you for a long time, and i have never had particularly good feelings about BE, but as long as he was married to you, i treated him with respect. in the same way, KN is married to KM so she gets my respect by defaut.

at the same time, i have never had any reason to believe that KM is a liar, and i have never heard the negative things that KM has allegedly said about MO… and, just for the record, MO is a “weirdo who hates people and only likes animals”. in that way, MO and i are very similar, although i admit that MO seems to like animals a little more than i do. nevertheless, i have the very strong impression that the things you reported to me were overheard as a part of a conversation with someone else, not part of a conversation that you had with KM directly, and if they were a part of a conversation that you had with KM, there is a very good chance that you grossly misunderstood what she was saying. i say this because i know that KM’s way of speaking is very easy to misunderstand (having done so repeatedly myself) and has a tendency to grate on people who don’t understand what she is trying to get across. nevertheless, i don’t believe that KM has any reason to be anything less than 100% truthful.

i haven’t spoken with JE and GY for a long time, and i know nothing about any conversations you may have had with them, or with TA, or with anybody else concerning KN and KM. one of the reasons that i am glad that i finally moved away from bellingham is that i am out of the line of fire when somebody like PHBFH, or AL, or JR decides to go off on me or one or more of my friends, and part of the reason why i said “i won’t even pretend to understand” in my previous letter is because even if you tried to explain it to me (as you apparently have), i still don’t understand why people that were all my friends when i was in bellingham, now seem to be turning against each other, almost as if they have nothing better to do with their lives.

regardless of what you say, as long as KM is married to KN, she will be a very good friend of mine. in the same way, regardless of what you say about KM, you will continue to be a very good friend of mine, and as long as you and KM don’t get along, for whatever reasons, i will fail to understand it.

i haven’t decided whether or not i will bring all of this up with KM, because i don’t feel that it is important to my friendship with her, but if i do, i plan on including your name, and i expect to hear some equally wild story from KM about how insane you are… to which i will also give absolutely no credence, because it will very likely be as wild and ranting as your story apears to be.

this strikes me as being very similar to a situation that i was involved in a few years ago, when PHBFH and i were still in the middle of our court battle over custody of E. PHBFH had introducted to the court signed affidavits from two people who were supposed to be very good friends of mine, who, in reality, had been out of contact with me for almost 10 years – C and WJ – saying all kinds of hurtful and untruthful things about me. i talked with both people some time later, and they were both intensely sorry that they had said those things in PHBFH’s presence, because they were unaware of how sick PHBFH really was, and how their words would be twisted against them.

it strikes me as similar because it seems as though you have all of these stories about other people (JE & GY, TA, L, D, etc.), but i have seen no evidence of this myself, and, in fact, i know from having talked to D, that he still “sneaks out” and visits KN and KM, despite what you say about KM trying to “influence” him against you. admittedly, i am out of the line of fire, and drama that originates in bellingham often times stays in bellingham, but at the same time, i have more important things to do with my life than determining which of my two friends’ outlandish stories about the other friend is true or not.

yes, yoganandaji said “treachery is the greatest sin before God”, but i think you should pay attention to what he says about “friends who stab you in the back”, because even though i said “i won’t even pretend to understand”, you took it upon yourself to “gossip” about KM anyway. i don’t care: guruji loves both of you equally anyway, and so i love both of you equally anyway.

paypal gripe

i am apparently ineligible for a paypal debit card because i have “insufficient transaction history”, despite the fact that i have been a paypal member for 3 years. when i have to purchase something, i have had to transfer money to my bank, because i have a debit/mastercard from the bank that allows me to make purchases as though they were credit card purchases, but the vendors that i make purchases from don’t accept paypal as a payment method. when i don’t have enough money in my bank account, i have to transfer money from my paypal account to make purchases, which takes two or three days. so i have made transfers from my paypal account, but apparently that isn’t “sufficient transaction history” for them. according to paypal, i have to make at least $20 (in two purchases of $10 each) from my paypal account before they can issue me a paypal debit card. unfortunately, because of the fact that the vendors that i purchase from don’t accept paypal as a payment option, i am apparently ineligible for a paypal debit card. the lady i just got done talking to said that all i have to do is make two $10 purchases from my paypal account to be eligible. this is after i have waited two months for a paypal debit card that i have applied for twice, and gotten zero response from paypal during that time that even came close to explaining why i was not eligible. if i were to go to a bank (like i did recently when i changed banks) they would not hesitate to give me a debit card regardless of what kind of transaction history i had, but with paypal, apparently you have to make purchases through paypal before you can be eligible for a paypal debit card, regardless of how long you have been a paypal member, and regardless of what your transaction history is. is that stupid or what?

merry x-mas… 8/

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

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

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

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

bleh

i’m anxious.

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

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

why?

i sent out a shipment to australia, and a shipment to chicago. one postcard order has been shipped from the printer and should arrive here on the 26th, and another one is at the printers and ready for printing. UPS made a delivery a couple of days ago, and now i’m all set for the punk rock flea market that’s a week from sunday. oddly enough i have positive balances of close to $100 in both the bank and at paypal, and i have at least one more payment that’s pending. so why am i so depressed and out of sorts?

i was right… 8/

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

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

bleah

another round of The Battle of The Computer begins…

i reinstalled and everything looked like it was going according to plan, until i got to creating the desktop printers. through some miracle, it actually found the laserjet, which is local to my linux box, and i didn’t even know that it was shared. on the other hand, the deskjet installed more or less like it was supposed to, but when i tried to print from it, there was that old familiar “lost contact” error message, and then it wouldn’t empty the trash when i tried to toss the test print, and then it wouldn’t shut down because something was “busy”… so it’s possible that the problem is actually the deskjet and not the mac itself… although it won’t see my external CD-RW drive, either… although that could be because of the fact that i only paid $5 for the actual drive at re-pc. another indication that it might be the printer is that when i ran disk doctor, like i had to do before, it didn’t find any disk errors at all…

sigh… why won’t the computers just do what i want them to do for more than 3 months at a time, and not break… 8/

so close, yet…

i bought a ribbon cable and a 6g hard disk yesterday, got it installed and, after geeking around with jumper settings for most of the morning, got both drives recognised by CMOS, and installed feisty on the smaller one, but when i get around to booting from it, it looks like it’s confused by the second, now slave, hard disk, which, if you’ve been following this miasma from the beginning, has another instance of feisty installed on it which used to be the main OS on this particular machine.

i got feisty installed and running on the primary disk, but so far (not very far along at this point), whenever i try to boot with the secondary disk plugged in, it looks like it’s going to boot, but stops about halfway through and, after some things which could be error messages, but i’m not sure because they don’t stay on the screen for long enough for me to read them, they’re replaced by a flashing cursor with no prompt, and, while i can see the commands i type in, nothing happens.

does linux have difficulty recognising more than one hard disk? i don’t think so (in fact, i sincerely hope not), but i’ve never tried it before. does linux get confused when both the primary (master) and secondary (slave) hard disks have bootable operating systems on them, despite the fact that the primary (master) hard disk has the current GRUB on it?

currently the 6g drive is updating and the 80g drive is unplugged, but it’s got all my data on it. how do i get it off? will i ever be able to use both drives at the same time?

when will it all end

i got the linux box running again, for about 2 hours. then i stupidly believed the system settings when it said that it had detected a different video card – stupidly because, although i am fairly sure it has vesa video hardware, it said it detected sis video hardware, and i don’t know how to change it back using just the text interface. also, it lost the cd-rw drive, but i’m hoping that it is just a ribbon cable, because when i switch ribbon cables, it appears to work. i’m going to buy a hard disk and a ribbon cable at re-pc this afternoon, on my way to rehearsal… and i also have to get another $5 cd-rw drive… 8/

it’s a little easier, though, because i know i’m going to get my data back eventually. when it was actually running, the hard disk seemed fine, and it actually ran the system updater without any problems. also gliz from NBAC called and ordered more business cards, so there’s a bit of money coming in to pay for it all.

argh part 5

i took back the asus mother board, because i didn’t want to spend time geeking with the dip switches in order to get the damn thing running again. it turned out that, during the intervening time between the time that i brought the asus mobo home and the time that i brought it back, re-pc got a whole bunch more socket A mother boards in stock, so i traded it straight across for another mobo (a matsonic MS8308EP), brought it home, got it all plugged in, but nothing works…

now i know that it works, because i watched the guy (the friendly one with the lip-ring named jake) at re-pc POST it with my processor and my memory while i was at re-pc.… at this point, i’m thinking it was a combination of fried mobo and fried power supply. fortunately the check from australia cleared over the weekend, so now i have $72 in my bank account now, so what i’ll probably do is go back to re-pc on my way to rehearsal this evening, buy the power supply that i took back last week (again) and give that a shot when i get home… 8/

something other than my goddam broken computer…

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

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

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

argh! part 4

so i went to Re-PC yesterday and bought a new socket A mother board which is an Asus A7V. i got it installed and fired it up and, apparently, the mother board sent a signal to the power supply that said “shut down now, before you start frying things”. not only that, but i had to get a video expansion card because it didn’t have onboard video, like the previous mother board had, but i neglected to get a network expansion card, because it doesn’t have onboard network, like the previous mother board had, because i neglected to think of it until i got it installed, so even if it was working perfectly, i still couldn’t get on the network. not only that, but there are two rows of switches, one component with 4 switches, which, according to the review, has something to do with the front-side bus (whatever that is), and one component with 6 switches, which has something to do with the CPU speed, or something like that, but i don’t know what. there’s a good bet that they have something to do with the fact that the mother board thinks the power supply is going to fry something.

aarrggh!! part 3, continued

it’s an ASRock M810LMR mother board, and after clearing the CMOS on it, it still doesn’t work, which is a solid indication that the mother board is defective…

which i don’t get at all… how can a part of the computer that has no moving parts “wear out”?

presumably, if i buy another socket A462 motherboard (because i don’t want to have to buy a new processor), something more than what has been happening will happen. also i have to be careful to get a mother board that takes DIMM memory chips, because i don’t want to have to buy new memory as well. my recollection is that the mother board itself cost around $40, but if i have to buy a new processor and new memory, it will be significantly more.

now it’s just a matter of drumming up enough customers to pay me so that i can actually afford to buy a new mother board… which could be later this week, or it could be early next year. 8/

aaarrgghh! part 3

it’s not the power supply. i just went out to Re-PC and bought a brand new 500 watt AT/ATX power supply, plugged it in, and it didn’t work.

also, boeing surplus is closing it’s doors as of december 21. the guy said that, after that, there will be a few items offered on internet, but most of what boeing surplus sales is now will go in the scrap heap… which means that if you want that sun machine for $25, you’d better go get it now.

aaaaaaaarrrrrrgggghh! part 2

okay, this is getting really frustrating:

one of my two remaining computers is a blue and white G3 mac with a “Sonnet” G4 upgrade chip, running Os9. i keep it running Os9 because all of the software i have for mac is stuff that’s Os9 native (quark xpress 5, photoshop 7, fontographer 4, kai’s super goo, etc.). however, either the computer or the operating system is becoming more and more sketchy as time goes on: i can’t keep the computer running for more than a day without having to reboot it, even with nothing running, and frequently, when i try to print something, it starts to print and then it says it has “lost communication” with the printer, and instructs me to try again, but the document in the queue stays in the queue, it doesn’t get deleted. when i try to delete it manually, it says that it’s “still in use” but it doesn’t print, and nothing else that i have sent to the printer after it will print, and very shortly after that, the whole computer freezes, or doesn’t freeze but loses the keyboard. it won’t shut down when i select “Shut Down” from the menu (presumably because it thinks it’s still printing) and when i use the “programmer’s switch” to shut it down, i have to run disk doctor, because it has developed “serious” errors in the B-Tree directory which only get worse if i don’t run disk doctor.

also, when i first boot up, if my external, USB CD-RW drive is hooked up, it says that it can’t find drivers (?) for the "non-specific QT processor with JG" (whatever that means), but can’t “connect to internet”, despite the fact that i can connect to internet at exactly the same time. admittedly, i get almost exactly the same error from windows when i connect the CD-RW drive to it, so that’s probably a problem with the CD-RW drive and not the mac, but still, with my linux box not working, it means that i can no longer burn CDs, which is a royal pain in the neck.

i’ve been seriously considering “upgrading” to OsX, but then i would have to run all my software using the emulator, which would only slow things down, and i don’t know enough about OsX to be able to do any good at all if something screws up.

meanwhile, i’ve somehow been able to crank out a phone book advertisement for a client, but i have been unable to print invoices, and i have had to run disk doctor eight times since 8:00 this morning… 8/

aaaaaarrrrgggghh!!!!!!!

something is wrong with my linux box – my main computer is offline, and i don’t know why!

i’ve noticed over the past few days that, when i run any one of the seven HTML browsers that are on it, that the HTML browser crashes intermittently, and occasionally the whole computer freezes up and has to be rebooted. i know that the 7.1 upgrade for feisty fawn is due out on friday, so i’ve been biting the bullet and not running a HTML browser on that machine except when i absolutely have to, and then shutting it down politely when i’m finished with it. i had also noticed that, occasionally, the power supply doesn’t completely turn off when i turn off the power switch, but continues running for a half-second or so before it turns off. then, yesterday, i did something on the web and the whole computer froze up, and when i tried to reboot it, there wasn’t even the “BEEP” sound to indicate that the POST had completed successfully.

so, i took everything apart, which meant totaly tearing apart my office, and plugged it directly into the monitor, to see if something was wrong with the KVM switch (i have three computers, but only one monitor), but it’s not that, because the KVM switch works perfectly well with my windoesn’t box and my mac, and the linux box doesn’t work, even when it is plugged directly into the monitor…

so, now, i have the linux box completely separated from the rest of the computer systems, and i don’t know what to do. i don’t have ANY money, so taking it somewhere is out of the question, and even if it was, i don’t have ANY money to buy new parts, no matter how inexpensive they are. also, my schedule is on the linux box, and, apart from an appointment with ned at 3:00 today – for which i have a paper reminder separate from my schedule – i have no clue what rehearsals are when. i think i have a trolloween rehearsal on sunday, and i think i have a banda gozona rehearsal on the 25th, but beyond that, i’m totally lost.

more brain injury/SSDI stuff

University of Washington Neurological Vocational Services – Harborview Medical Center

Dear Sir/Madam:

We have appreciated working with you for purposes of vocational rehabilitation. As per our discussion, we unfortunately need to terminate our service arrangement at this time for the following reason(s):

We have been unable to identify a funding source for your service. Please consider WorkSource and call us as we may know of a community program in your area.

[handwritten]recommend EnSo for your business needs. Good luck.[/handwritten]

Again, our best wishes in your future employment efforts.

except that EnSo is a place that gets personal assistants for people with developmental disabilities, and doesn’t have any way to deal with a person with a brain injury who wants help with his business.

i also talked with the legal assistant for the attorney that is supposedly handling my SSDI appeal yesterday. she says that there is a fourteen to sixteen MONTH waiting period for a hearing, and they just submitted my request for a hearing in july, so it’s probably going to be september to november of 2008 before i even hear anything from them… what do they want me to do in the mean time? the only way they are willing to "expedite" the waiting list process is if the person requesting the hearihg is dying. they also said that the hearing is where most people get approved. i wonder how many people go homeless and starve while waiting for a hearing because they don’t have enough money to shop or pay rent… i wonder how many people die because they’re waiting for a hearing and they can’t get it "expedited" because they’re "not dying"… but, instead, our government is apparently willing to ignore our lying president and fund two wars over a commodity that is going to be gone in 50 years anyway…

and people wonder why i’m depressed…

however, there is a bright spot in all of this. i called the woman at EnSo, and she told me that she had received email indicating that DVR had actually got a new director and was eliminating their waiting list. she forwarded this article to me and encouraged me to call DVR and “light a fire under ’em”, which i did. the result is that instead of 2 years, they have me down to 3 months, so it’s possible that, by january, i might have some help with my business… but i’m not gonna hold my breath, because i’ve been burned by government organisations that were supposed to help me in the past.

slight relief from depression

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

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

depression

i’m feeling like i shouldn’t be saying this, if for no other reason than it would have been tough on moe, but i really wish i had died four years ago, instead of surviving, and recovering 99.8% of what i had before my injury. i can see what that extra .2% meant to my ability to survive, and it’s the lack of that .2% that is making me really miserable. it took me 15 minutes to type up to here, for example, because i have had to backspace and correct mistakes 5 times every third word. it’s that .2% that makes it practically impossible for me to keep my mouth shut when something stupid is happening, which has meant that i haven’t had a job for longer than 6 months since my injury, and currently i haven’t brought in more than $10 in the past month. it’s that .2% that makes me so depressed i just want to curl up in the corner and disappear when i discover that we don’t have enough money to go shopping until a week from friday, and we have about enough money for food for that period of time if i don’t drive anywhere until then, and we don’t have enough money to pay for my car insurance, so even if i did drive somewhere, it would have to be illegally. and we live out in the tooleys, at least a mile from the nearest small town, which is a gas station and a grocery store. there’s nothing for me to do within easy walking distance unless i want to busk on the streets of milton, which would succeed only in getting me arrested. and i don’t have enough room to turn around in what passes for a workshop, i can only use hand tools and only a few of those at a time, i don’t have room for my band saw or my drill press, or my grinder, so i can’t make anything…

more blah

i have a Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band performance at the oyster festival in shelton tomorrow, for which i have to leave at 11:00 tomorrow morning. i’ll probably be getting back around 5:00. liz is going to pay us for gas.

they finally decided on a design for the business cards, but they’re only going to get 500 of them to start because there’s something going on with their addresses that’s going to change before they would be able to run through any more. they asked for light green paper with some flecking or texture, so i decided for them that they want sage green classic crest cover, and if they don’t we can change it next time. by this time next week i will probably be $70 richer than i am now… at least. whee.

depression is coming back again. i bit the bullet and sacrificed my last bong hit. i actually split it in half and put it in my vapouriser, which will make it last longer, but this is the longest i have gone without cannabis since my injury – at which time i didn’t really notice it anyway. i’ve basically had two bong hits that i’ve been vapourising slowly for a month now. i hope i make enough money to buy more at some point. it’s pretty miserable and depressing without cannabis.

blurdge

photo by starrchilde, who was driving with her kids outside of loisville, kentucky. if you look carefully you can even see the sign.

by the way, DON’T SEND HTML IN EMAIL!! it’s rude and it uses up a lot more computer resources than plain text. web browsers and email clients are two entirely different programs with entirely different functions. if you want to communicate something on the web, i expect to see HTML code, but when i get two pages of HTML code in email, especially when it’s to convey a FOUR WORD message, i’m going to get pissed. make email messages PLAIN TEXT by default! if you can’t learn how to control your email client, or you use a web-based email service that doesn’t give you the option, then you need to learn, you need to get a different service (i know yahoo, gmail hotmail, and even AOL have a plain-text-only option), then you DON’T deserve to send your HTML crap to me. next time, i’ll block your IP address at the server level, so any further email to me, from you, will bounce. i’m not kidding.

Frownland – Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band, Trout Mask Replica

the depression is slowly lifting, and the table is still clean enough that my keyboard has not been covered up yet. i still haven’t been inspired enough to do anything with it yet, but i’m leaving the option open.

they agreed that what they wanted couldn’t be done on the artwork for the business card, but they changed the font to one of those “fonts in word” which may or may not be a “real” font. fortunately, it’s a font for which i have a “real” analogue (Americana), and i changed it for ’em. haven’t heard back yet, but as this is the third go-round with artwork, i’m hoping that they’re gonna be happy with it pretty soon. i still have to talk with them about paper (shudder) which is a whole different miasma to which i’m not looking forward.

i updated the schedule for agilityfun, and posted the updated schedule at noon on monday. i then wrote an email to diana at 2:00 that said i had updated the schedule. at 4:00, diana wrote me and said that doug had sent an updated schedule on the 26th, it wasn’t showing up, and they need me to update it right away. O_o i wrote back today and said that they need to flush their cache, which moe said was “pretty confrontational”. i think it’s “pretty confrontational” that diana assumes that i’m not gonna update the schedule unless she reminds me, but i guess part of being a person that “removes your obstacles” is being able to respond to confrontation with another level of happy, which i’m not sure if i posess any longer.

meanwhile, my Os9 mac is dying slowly, and i’m seriously considering breaking down and putting OsX on it. i somehow, magically, came into possession of an actual DVD of tiger, and even though the only software i currently keep the mac around for is Os9 stuff (quark and photoshop), i’ve run both of them on moe’s OsX laptop, so i know they work. the only problem is that the processor is a 900mhz G3 with a “Sonnet” G4 upgrade, and i don’t know the first thing about whether or not OsX will actually run on it… and if it doesn’t, i’m not sure whether or not i’ll even be able to “downgrade” back to Os9.

i’ve gotten started putting my gallery on flickr, but i abruptly discovered that they want me to pay if i want to have more than three “sets”. i’ve currently got about 25 “sets”, including the stuff that i took on our recent vacation, but i don’t know if i’ve actually got enough money to pay for a “professional” flickr account (one of the reasons why this blog is on hybridelephant is because i don’t have enough money to pay for a livejournal account any longer). also, if you’re not logged in (as me, i don’t know whether or not it works if you’re logged in as anyone else), you can only see two of my three “sets”, although when i’m logged in, i can see all three of them. here is the set that it leaves out. i just uploaded the sets today, so i’m going to wait until tomorrow before i start raising a stink about it.

it would have been a lot easier if i had just died four years ago…

i’m depressed again. 8/

i have made the preliminary artwork for a new business card, but they want something that can’t be done in that format for artwork, and while i know that it can’t be done, aphasia prevents me from telling them why, which reduces the probability that i’m going to be the one that prints it for them, even though they’ll get exactly the same response from any printer.

i went to a punk rock flea market recently, and actually made enough to pay for my space, plus an extra $5. among the reasons i didn’t make more money is because somebody complained that they were “allergic to the smell” of the incense i was burning, which resulted in my having to put the incense out and they turned on an enormous fan to “clear the air” in the underground space in which the flea market was taking place. i have made approximately $100 in the past two months. the only incense order i have gotten for two months has been for a variety of incense that i don’t normally carry, which i had to special order, which meant that i had to order $100 worth of incense, $17.50 of which was for the special order, and the rest of which turned out to be 100% incense that i already had, and in the process of figuring this out, i discovered that there was another $50 to $75 worth of incense that i don’t have, but i need because i’m running low. and i can’t return what i received because it was part of a special order, and i would have to return the entire order, including the stuff that i have already shipped out. i’ve actually got a new product – chandrika soap – which will probably sell pretty well, except that nobody knows i have it, because of the fact that i can’t figure out where to put it on my web site.

i went to the neurology vocational services unit at harborview hospital, on the recommendation of someone at the brain injury association, but they couldn’t help me except to recommend that i get in contact with an organisation that provides life-planning services for developmentally disabled people, which isn’t any help at all. the lady said she would get back to me within a week, but she didn’t. i called the brain injury association out of desperation, because i knew from past experience that they probably couldn’t help me anyway, because they never have before, and i was right. people say that i worry too much about things that i don’t know, but i feel like i’m pretty well assured that nobody can help me, simply because everything i’ve tried in the past hasn’t helped, so i don’t know why i should get my hopes up.

i’ve been cleaning up my office (for a week now… 8/ ) because i want to get out my keyboard and work on some musical ideas, which means that i have had to clear space on a table that usually gets used for storage because my office space is so small. i’ve actually got it cleaned up enough that i’ve been able to get out my keyboard, but i’m depressed enough that i don’t feel as inspired as i did a week ago, when i started on the project, and, if things go the way they have been going recently, by the time i am that inspired again, there’s a good chance that the table will have reverted to storage again, which will be complicated by the fact that my keyboard is at the bottom of the pile and i’ll have to clean up again before i am able to work on anything.

meanwhile, my beloved wife has been working her shapely little ass off, seven days a week, for who knows how long now. she’s frustrated because instead of quitting her job and going back to school, which is what she wants to do, she’s had to work non-stop for months now. we took a week’s worth of vacation last month, for the first time since my injury, four years ago, and went camping. the first three days of which started at 7:00 in the morning when they started on the construction project that was conveniently located across the street from where we were camped. we ended up moving our campsite, which took most of the fourth day, and ended up that we were camped right across from the porta-potties because the sewer system was what they were working on at the construction site. i hate to think what’s going to happen if she gets sick and can’t work, or if she gets in a car crash or something.

just another brick (in the) wall

so i went to the “intake appointment” at the neurology vocational services unit yesterday, and, rather as i suspected, they “couldn’t help me”. i found this out after driving for 45 minutes, getting caught in a massive traffic jam and finding my way on surface streets from boeing field all the way to harborview, paying $5.00 for parking (for which they only reimbursed me $2.50), filling out a 25-page(!) intake form by hand(!), and talking with an “employment specialist II” for 15 minutes. i think it’s at least partially because i said that i wasn’t really looking for “work” unless it is exactly the right job, but i am looking more for help marketing my own business, but i think it’s primarily because they only help people who have physical problems due to epilepsy, and someone with a head injury, while not totally out of the question, is apparently so rare that they don’t have a lot of resources for such a person. they did recommend that i contact EnSo – ENvisioning SOlutions – (whose server is in samoa?), but from what i’m able to tell, they’re more concerned with people who have developmental disabilities than they are with people who have brain injuries.

the lady i talked to said that she would get back to me later in the week, but i’m not gonna hold my breath.

He liked to pick them good guitars and listen to them ring…

i called the Neurology Vocational Services unit at harborview hospital yesterday, to see if i could get some help finding work. i talked with a guy for about fifteen minutes, told him that i was a brain injury survivor, that i didn’t have any insurance, that i hadn’t worked in over a year, and he encouraged me to come in for an initial consultation next week. he told me to bring whatever medical records i have, because they couldn’t help me if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury. he then asked me if there was a nerological aspect to my injury. i said, “well, my neurologist seems to think so.” but that wasn’t good enough. he wanted me to present him with concrete proof that my injury had a neurological aspect, and warned me, again, that if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury, that they couldn’t help me.

i haven’t even seen a doctor, much less a neurologist, in almost four years. the only piece of evidence that i have that i even had a neurologist at this point is a CD of images, and a note that he gave me to show to the department of clownland security goons at the airport, saying that i “had surgery for a vascular malformation in his brain, and has metal clips in his head” when i set of their metal detectors. i read this note to him, and he said that it sounded like i qualified, but he still wanted me to bring along whatever other evidence i have, and said, again, that if there wasn’t a neurological aspect to my injury, that they couldn’t help me.

i’m sorry if the nine inch scar on my scalp and my misshapen skull isn’t good enough for you… 8/

so i dug around and found the CD of x-ray and CT images that i have, and looked through it today. i don’t know if that’s good enough for them, but it did make me cry, which i found very odd…

four years ago, and i’ve pretty much recovered from the actual injury, and it makes me cry when i look at pictures of my brain in a state of chaos… and the guy insisting that i had to bring evidence of a specific injury, otherwise they can’t help me… it made me cry even more.

and people wonder why i’m not more encouraged to find things that will help me get back to work. bleh.

bleh number two

Upon receipt of your request for reconsideration we had your claim independently reviewed by a physician and disability examiner in the State agency which works with us in making disability determinations. The evidence in your case has been thoroughly evaluated; this includes the medical evidence and the additional information received since hte original decision. We find htat the previous determination denying your claim was proper under the law. Included in this notice is an explanation of the decision we made on your claim and how we arrived at it. This notice also identifies the legal requirements for your type of claim.

You said you are disabled due to mental impairments. The medical evidence indicates that you do have some limitations, but you are still able to move about in a satisfactory manner. You are able to understand, remember and carry instructions [sic] and care for your own needs. We realize that your condition prevents you from doing any of your past work, but it does not prevent you from doing other jobs which require less mental effort. Based on your age, education and past work experience, we have concluded that you can do other work. Therefore, a period of disability cannot be established, and your claim is denied at this time.

even though i was expecting it, that doesn’t make it feel any worse. what they’re saying is that, despite the fact that i used to work as a software tester and a typesetter, now i could work at mcdonald’s or wal-mart, so they won’t give me disability… i’d rather die than work at wal-mart, and forget about my being able to do anything in food service… i guess now i have to get an attorney… 8P