Category Archives: frustration

OY! 8/

so i woke up yesterday and i immediately noticed that i was getting A WHOLE BUNCH of PHP “deprecated” notices on my web site.

i’m getting all these “deprecated” notices because my site has recently been moved to a server with a different IP address, because the server that i was on previously has been having MAJOR problems with the CBL, and the new server either ONLY serves PHP 5.3, or doesn’t have the notifications turned off, so that nobody sees the notices that the code may be deprecated. i’ve been fighting with my host provider (AGAIN 😐 ) for the past few weeks to fix the CBL problem, so, now that it has apparently been fixed, i don’t want to ask them to go in and make a trivial change to something i can’t change myself, when i can do something constructive (which will also make my web site more compatible, for longer) anyway, so i set about doing something myself.

i rallied around and found the solution to that particular problem, fixed it, and was feeling pretty good about myself, because i had “successfully diagnosed and resolved an issue that i don’t quite understand” when i got an email from a customer of my web site, telling me that he had experienced A WHOLE BUNCH of PHP “deprecated” notices on my site… so i wrote back and told him that i had fixed the ones that i could see, and if there were more, i didn’t know about them, so any help that he could offer would be greatly appreciated. in return he sent me a link to the osCommerce public contributions page which had a zip file with precise descriptions for how to upgrade my site from PHP 5.2 to PHP 5.3 all at once, without having to track down and eliminate the deprecated notices one at a time…

and it turned out that it was A LOT more complicated than it first appeared… and it turned out that it was a REALLY good think i had specific instructions, because there were a few little details about PHP that aren’t really that intuitive, and, while i thought i had the problem fixed, what i had done, ultimately, made things worse. 😐

ultimately, it meant making the following changes in about 100 different files, in multiple locations throughout the site:

OLD PHP5.2 NEW PHP5.3
ereg(‘whatever’) preg_match(‘/whatever/’)
eregi(‘whatever’) preg_match(‘/whatever/i’)
ereg_replace(‘whatever’) preg_replace(‘/whatever/’)
split(whatever) EITHER
explode(whatever)
OR
preg_split(‘/whatever/’)
DEPENDING ON OTHER CIRCUMSTANCES (which i still don’t understand)

the “whatever” parts were the ones that ecaped my attention originally… so, i got started fixing the problem for real, and then the power went out. 😮

this is september, there’s no snow… it hasn’t even rained for the past couple of months, and the power went out?!?

FRUSTRATING!!!!!!!!! 😡

so i sat in the dark for a while and cooled my jets, then i went for a walk…

and when i got home, THE POWER WAS STILL OFF so i rummaged around in the workshop with a flashlight and located a couple of battery-powered lanterns, which made things slightly better, at which point i sat in the “dim” until moe came home, at which point we went to bed, because there wasn’t anything else to do.

some time in the middle of the night – i’m not sure when, because all of our clocks are electric – the power came back on. i remember getting up and stumbling around the house turning off the lights which were still on, but nothing more than that.

when i woke up this morning (and the power was still on), i went back to my PHP coding, and i think i’ve got it all fixed — after “thinking” i had it all fixed once before, only to discover that a single period – . – that was left out of one file meant that the whole site was replaced with an incomprehensible PHP error…

so if you notice something wonky about the main Hybrid Elephant site, i would appreciate it if you would send me a note, saying what the error is (copy and paste from the web page) AND (especially important) the URI of the page that you were viewing… hopefully it won’t come to that, but if it does, that would be good… 😎

thanks.

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… 😕

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. 😐

(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. 😐

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… 😐

recovery

usually, i don’t juggle as much as i did before my injury, because it’s really frustrating not to be able to do something that i used to be able to do so well. i juggle for a few passes, and then drop some or all of the balls, pick them up and do it again, until i am so frustrated i give up.

today, for the first time since december of 2003 (which was when i tried juggling for the first time since my injury) i actually juggled until i was tired, and not because i was frustrated. it was still A LOT of work, but i stopped juggling because i was tired, and not because i was no longer inspired to try

it won’t be long until i can juggle more than just a straight cascade, at this rate… 8)

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… 😛

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… 😛

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…

brain damaged brain… 8/

i figured out why it wasn’t displaying like it should (a simple <p>…</p> took care of it) but i’ve been fighting with the code for this web page all day, and i haven’t gotten much of anywhere… and it seems as though things that are supposed to work, simply aren’t, for one reason or another… it actually seems as though what i want can’t be done using standard html and css — even though i KNOW it CAN be done, quite easily…

blah… 😛

GRR!!

okay, so i’m working on some new web pages for the fremont players. i’ve got a REEEEAALY simple CSS file, that basically sets margins and text alignment:

body {margin-top: .25in; margin-left: 2in; margin-right: 2in;}
.center {text-align: center;}

and i have an equally simple HTML file that’s going to be my index page (when i get this ☢☹‼‽⁂@#* “difficulty” worked out) which looks like this:

<!DOCTYPE HTML PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD HTML 4.01 Transitional//EN">
<html>
<head>
<meta http-equiv="content-type" content="text/html; charset=UTF-8">
<link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="index.css">
<title>The Fremont Players</title>
</head>
<body>

<span class="center">The Fremont Players present</span>

</body>
</html>

now one would think, just from looking at the code, that the words “The Fremont Players present” would be centered, a quarter of an inch below the top of the page… but…

text alignment problem

and it looks the same whether i’m using firefox, safari, or opera… which means that SOMETHING is WRONG

but i can’t figure out WHAT… 😐

this is definitely NOT the way to start the week…

hybrid elephant had $0.00 in its paypal account (which is normal, i HATE paypal, and you’ll see why in a minute).

on 10th february, 2011, after someone made a $22.00 payment for something that they decided they didn’t want, i refunded $22.00 to that person, and had a $0.00 balance when i was finished. i consider this to be normal.

on 4th september, 2011 (the last time i had to refund any money), i had $0.00 balance, a person made a payment of $33.00, i refunded $33.00, and had a $0.00 balance when i finished. it was a nice, normal transaction.

today, i had a $0.00 balance, a person ordered $7.00 but didn’t include the extra $30.00 for shipping (they’re located outside the US), and so i refunded their $7.00 order… but now i have a -$0.30 balance: NOT a “nice, normal” transaction at all… but that’s not the part that makes it really bizarre.

i called them up, to find out what’s their problem. after 45 minutes of wangling around with an automated anti-service drone that wouldn’t let me talk to a real person and only wanted to give me my account details, i finally got a real person, who put me on hold for another 15 minutes while he got a “specialist” to help me.

the “specialist” told me that when a person’s money is refunded, there is a transaction fee of $0.30, and if i had never had to pay it in the past, that i was “lucky”. she said if she put my account on hold while they “investigated” it, that there is a good possibility that i will owe substantially more than $0.30, for previous refunded transactions that haven’t been charged the $0.30 transaction fee.

the only options i have are NOT paying the fee, and having my account put on hold, cancelling the account all together, or biting the bullet and paying the $0.30 transaction fee (which i have NEVER had to pay in the past).

if she had said that they didn’t charge a transaction fee for refunded transactions in the past, but that, as of some recent date, they decided to add a transaction fee for refunded transactions, i would very likely sigh and pay the $0.30, but because of the fact that she said they had ALWAYS charged a transaction fee for refunded transactions, i am livid.

i have been a paypal member for 7 years, and 7 years worth of $0.30 “forgotten” transaction fees, regardless of how few of them there have been, could potentially add up to substantially more than i am willing to pay, and my only other option is to close down the hybrid elephant paypal account and move to a “cash only” plan which wouldn’t be anything close to satisfactory for anyone.

at this point, i might as well just shut down the entire business. 😛

cat stevens

i was just listening to But I Might Die Tonight by cat stevens, and at the same time i got a spam message from… “cat stevens”… 😐

i still don’t have a car, but now i’ve got to actually make it to the BSSB rehearsal tomorrow, because liz is having trouble with her computer and wants me to fix it. specifically, she’s having difficulty getting micro$awft look-out to get her email. of course, my professional solution to any problem caused by micro$awft is linux. i don’t know whether or not she knows this yet, but i’m in no mood to argue at the moment. 😐

i still don’t have a car, but theoretically i can borrow a truck for a week, as long as i can figure out how to get to bumfuck nowhere to pick it up. it’s really in the issaquah highlands or some recently-built, trendy, nouveau-riche place like that, but it may just as well be bumfuck nowhere, because currently i have to rely on public transportation, my bicycle, or my feet, and wherever it is that i’m supposed to go to pick up the truck isn’t served by busses… and it’s at the top of a very, very steep, long hill… 😐

i called the trumpet player from the fremont phil, who says that he has a honda that he could sell me for $800. i talked with him friday, before the car died, and he said he’d call me sunday, but he didn’t. i have been trying to get in touch with him all day, but his phone immediately goes to voicemail. 😐

i’ve also got a date for taping a TV SHOW(!!) with snake suspenderz on wednesday, two snake suspenderz performances this weekend, and another one next week. unless i get some wheels, i’m gonna miss them, or totally screw up my sweetie’s day having her drive me around and/or having me drive her around… 😛

on the other paw, i have a button order pending, and a business card order pending, and another business card order that i just submitted, and i just sold the last of my aparajita, which means that i have to get more… i don’t really have to get more, but i’m down to my – fairly substantial (because it’s been so hard to find) – “personal stash”.

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… 😐

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.

OY!!

today was one of the most infuriating days i have lived through in a long, long time…

i woke up this morning and turned on my computer, and it wouldn’t connect to internet… wonderful… 😐 and, of course, it’s saturday, so the technical support goons at drizzle aren’t going to return any calls until monday anyway… so i fire up the mac, which – for some mysterious reason – is connecting to internet, and i log into my webmail account… and i discover three thousand messages with the same subject line in my inbox… and, of course, because of the fact that they’re IMAP (“Internet Message Access Protocol” or webmail), i can’t delete them all at once, i have to select each one… so i log into my spamcop account and discover fifteen thousand more messages with exactly the same subject line… and, once again, because of the fact that it’s IMAP and not POP (“Post Office Protocol”, or local mail), in order to delete them all, i have to select every one of them individually before i can delete them… and because of the fact that my drizzle webmail account is on drizzle, they’ve set things so that i can only see twenty messages at a time, which means that i can only delete 20 messages at a time, even after i have selected each one individually (because the “Select All Messages” button at the top of drizzle’s webmail interface conveniently doesn’t work… 😐

quite apart from everything else, i wonder why it is that people do things like that… the only thing it does is waste a whole hell of a lot of time, and infuriate people massively… it doesn’t actually do anything positive for your business, and in most states, it’s actually illegal (which doesn’t make any difference on internet, as long as you don’t get caught, but that’s not the point)… examining one of the messages i discovered that one of the reasons i got so many of them was because each one had been addressed to me no less than 7 times, so there’s a strong probability that whoever is responsible for this is a professional spammer that i have reported often enough that he’s angry with me and is doing it as revenge, but even that doesn’t work the way he would expect, because i reported every single one of his 20,000 email messages…

anyway, i delete all the messages i can (which turns out to be around 800) before i have to leave for the opening performance of the panto…

the way i’ve got it planned, i will get finished with the first show around 5:30, and then i have arranged for a cab to take me from the panto to the gage art academy, where i’m scheduled to play with snake suspenders until 6:30, whereupon i have arranged another cab to take me back to the palladium for the second show. if i hit all the stoplights just right i should have enough time to get back to the palladium for the 7:00 show, right?

except for the fact that the cab that was supposed to show up at 5:30 actually showed up at 5:00, and the guy said he couldn’t wait, and to call another cab… except that when i call, the dispatcher says that they can’t get another cab there for an hour…

so i call thaddeus (what did i ever do before cell phones were invented?) during my 10-minute intermission and tell him that i can’t make it… at the last possible minute, before i have to start the second act of the current show…

i REALLY hate having to bail on a show at the last minute, and i hate even more to have to bail on a show at the gage, because last year i got to ogle a lot of well-built naked models, play my tuba and i got a nifty picture out of the deal as well, but there was nothing to be done.

after that, though, things started to go better. i finished the second show and came home to discover that my computer had magically decided to work (i blame demons, and i’m probably right), which meant that all those spam messages hit my “second wave” of spam filtering and were deleted without my having to do anything. and, now that i’m home and don’t have to go anywhere until tomorrow, i reset the spamcop webmail application to display 1000 messages at a time and reported/deleted all of them in a lot less time than it would have taken me deleting 20 messages at a time…

and now, i’m going to bed.

hopefully tomorrow will be less frustrating… it would have to work fairly hard to be more frustrating than today was… 😐

dreek

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

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

Renaldo & The Loaf – Hambu Hodo

snurl

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

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

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… 🙁 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… 😐

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 Noah’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. 😐

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!

Enter title here

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

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

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

Country Is Dumb
by Pliny Keep

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

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

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

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

(solo yodeling)

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

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

COUNTRY IS DUMB!

blah!

i just spent $1,800 on a new transmission for Ganesha The Car. the transmission now works like a dream, but the engine smells funny, it’s running really hot and i have to put coolant in it about once a week, so i took it to have it evaluated to see what’s wrong with it now that the transmission is all fixed…

the heater core is dead. worst case scenario is that it will cost $1,200 to fix.

for a free car, this is certainly costing me a hell of a lot of money… 😛

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 😯 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).

US drug war has met none of its goals – good ol’ gil’s working his way up the totem pole, and he’s still saying exactly the same thing he was saying ten years ago… i’d wonder about why nobody has taken any notice, but it would be a futile gesture. :/

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aparajita

so apparently i can get no less than 20 dozen boxes of aparajita(!!) for a ridiculously cheap price, and get it shipped directly to my door in less than 10 days for $200, or i can get it shipped “the long way” and it would take around a month, and i would have to clear the product at customs, and it will cost about $180.

you can guess which direction i am leaning… 😉

apparently i can also get 50 or 60 dozen boxes, and get the same carton shipped for the same $200 to my door, or $180 with hassles at customs.

quite apart from anything else, i don’t know what i’d do with 60 dozen boxes (720 boxes) of incense. i don’t know where i’d store them. i have just barely enough money to pay for 60 dozen boxes without shipping (i can do 20 dozen, but it will set me back a little). with shipping, however, it puts me well over what i can afford…

on the other hand, i’ve been looking for a reliable supplier of aparajita for 10 years, and have given up hope of finding one more than twice.

ETA: i’ve also got a call into another big time incense geek who may want to split it with me… hope! 8)

miscellaneous honk blat wak wak wak ungow

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

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

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

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

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

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

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