Category Archives: brain injury

okay, here it is, all at once…

because the next few weeks are going to be tremendously busy, and i’m not sure how much time or energy i’m going to have for trendy computer gizmos…

i’m getting ever closer to finishing the repair work on thaddeus’ E-flat sousaphone, for which he intends to give me (on the condition that, when he absolutely NEEDS a tuba, it’s his) a BB-flat tuba that he is in possession of, which used to belong to hokum w. jeebs. i’ve finished the “hard” part, which was actually procuring the correct piece (the “mouth pipe” or “lead pipe” pictured here). the rest of the process, of course, is soldering everything back together… which i have done before, but it was a LOOOOOOOONG time ago, before my injury, and so i’m a little nervous about the whole thing… one of the good things, that i need to remember, is that this is thaddeus’ UGLY E-flat sousaphone, despite the fact that the lead pipe is brand new and shiny, and pretty much anything i do to it doesn’t really matter, as long as it’s playable when i get done… and it WILL be playable, i guarantee that… 8)

then, i’ve been working with chris, who owns neighborhood acupuncture, making a business card, and i’ve been going back and forth with him for about a week. he keeps leading me to believe that he’s ready to send it off to get it printed, and then, at the last minute, there are a bunch of minor changes… which wouldn’t be so bad if chris was more accessible by email, but he’s not… he makes changes, and then he might not check his email again until tomorrow… and if he really needed the business cards “last week” (as he assured me, when i asked him), that’s not the way to get it done…

also, while i was in seattle dealing with the illusion that chris’ business cards were ready to send out, my elderly, brain-injured client called me with news that his computer suddenly quit working. from his (hazy, inaccurate) description of what had happened to his computer, i deduced that he was very likely having power supply issues. so when i was done at chris’, i went to capitol hill and took out my client’s power supply which i suspected had gone tits-up, and took it down to RE-PC, where i confirmed that it had, indeed, gone tits-up: the guy plugged it in, listened to the (annoying, high-pitched) noise it was making, and said that it had at least two blown capacitors. so i recycled the old power supply and bought a new one, which i’m going to put in tomorrow, after the snake suspenderz rehearsal.

AND there’s the moisture festival, which starts on thursday. i’m playing 13 performances over 24 days with the fremont phil, and 4 performances during the same period of time, with snake suspenderz, two of which are “fluffing” the crowd pre-show, and two of which are on the stage with the rest of the performers.

so, without further ado, i’m going to morph into my alternate personality, one of the busiest low-brass players on the west coast… 8)

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… 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…

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… ๐Ÿ˜›

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… ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜›

oh… my… gawd…

so i have been looking at cars, thanks to the ford F150 that i have been borrowing from moe’s boss, but yesterday i did my first “two-gigs-in-one-day” thing, and i’m getting ready to do my second “two-gigs-in-one-day” thing, and i already feel like i’m going to need at least two days to recover… and this is before my gigs for the day even start…

and when she woke up and left this morning (moe has been taking the doggles to an agility trial while i am doing my gigs), moe asked me if i was car-shopping today… just what i need, first thing in the morning: a reminder that i am not car shopping because i am “entertaining myself” instead… ๐Ÿ˜

and i still don’t have a car, which means that instead of taking the next few days to recover, i’m going to have to get up, study internet, call people and go on fruitless errands to discover that people are acually expecting to get unreasonably large quantities of money in exchange for sub-standard cars that won’t actually be functioning cars for more than 6 months… until wednesday, at which point i will have to give the F150 back and do all of this stuff on foot, by bicycle, or using public transportation… ๐Ÿ˜›

wish me luck…

i still don’t have a car, but…

i still don’t have a car, but i’ve got a temporary vehicle, thanks to moe’s employer (and the source of my last two cars) for a week. i actually went to sammamish, a fairly large community to the east of the issaquah highlands, neither of which communities were even there 20 years ago, at 7:00 this morning to pick up the pickup…

seriously… i went to high school in that same area, 35 years ago, and the communities along the east side of lake sammamish weren’t there back then… of course the micro$awft main campus is right across the street from where i went to high school, and, back then it was a swampy forested area where all of the “degenerate” students went to skip class, have illicit sex, and take drugs… and i’m pretty sure that the same students are now working in exactly the same place

so i’ve got a temporary car, and that takes A LOT of the stress away.

furthermore, i (FINALLY) got in touch with the guy who wants to sell me his honda for $800. i’ve been trying to call and text him since sunday, but it kept going straight to voicemail and he wasn’t returning my calls… it turns out that his brand new, fancy, expensive "smart" phone erased itself, and then died on sunday, and he just figured it out… his honda is currently at his mechanic, having an “issue” looked at, but i will probably know more by the end of the week… and that, too, takes A LOT of the stress away.

i still don’t have a car, but…
     i’m becoming more and more sure that i’m going to get through this period without either screwing up or blowing people off, which is a very good thing indeed.

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”… ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜

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… ๐Ÿ˜

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. ๐Ÿ˜

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… ๐Ÿ˜›

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”.

i torture myself in private

well, not exactly in private…

a few weeks ago – it was on a sunday – i made the mistake of scheduling two gigs on the same day. i realised it was a mistake, and yet…

i scheduled myself for two gigs in one day, two more times within the next month. one of those days was today. i scheduled busking at the phinney farmers’ market in the afternoon, and a fremont phil rehearsal in the evening. to make this self-torture even worse, i got up with moe and went out to worm and vaccinate 20 sheep before 11:00 this morning.

moe left this afternoon around 1:00 to go to another dog trial in the portland area. she took all the doggles with her this time, because i’ve had, and will be having so much to do over the next few days.

i just got home, it’s 11:30, i still need to feed the cats, i haven’t been home all day, and i was ready to go to bed about two hours ago. we’ve got an actual gig (but only one of them) tomorrow. i don’t think we’re going to busk at ballard on sunday, so i may take that day to make the counterweights i’ve been needing for my canopy…

not only that, but i’ve got another two-gigs-in-one-day coming up, where snake suspenderz is doing the pike place market buskers’ festival, at pike place, and the seattle symphony day of music, at beneroya hall, within three hours of each other… sure, beneroya hall is only a couple of blocks from pike place, but… GODDAMIT, it’s TWO gigs in one day… and as much as they’re really prestigious, and really cool, and what other band can say that they played in the pike place market and beneroya hall IN THE SAME DAY, i just know that it’s going to stretch my spoons to the limit… ๐Ÿ˜›

whuff

i realised, once again, why i don’t schedule more than one gig per day yesterday…

i’m beginning a couple weeks of relative busy-ness, and it started off with partying and not getting enough sleep saturday night, and continued abruptly yesterday, when i got up way too early and went to the ballard sunday market with snake suspenderz and busked for approximately 1½ hours before we were run off by a string quartet which was playing vivaldi and bach. while they were playing acceptably well, they set up 20 feet away from us and wouldn’t fess up when confronted with their rudeness… and then we discovered that it’s apparently a “new policy” that buskers have to get up and move every half an hour…

by the time we had played for half an hour or so with a classical accompaniment (which was really confusing, at best, and downright distracting most of the time) we decided to bag it, especially since i had to go to my second gig anyway, which was the ballard sedentary sousa band at the ballard locks… which was, fortunately, just down the street.

it was clear from the start that i wasn’t going to be able to play my best, because i had already been playing my best for an hour and a half at the previous gig, but this was on my trombone and that was on my tuba, and i figured that would account for something… but if it did, i probably wouldn’t have noticed anyway, because by the time we were done playing i was getting really tired… then the BSSB-at-the-locks concert was followed by the traditional beer-and-pizza-in-walter’s-back-yard, which got me home around 6:00 pm.

i actually tried to take a nap between 7:00 and 7:30 or so, but the doggie-alarm kept going off every time a twig snapped outside, until moe got home around 8:00. i finally went to bed at 9:30 and was asleep almost immediately.

i’ve got a ninja concert at the good shepherd center with the fremont philharmonic this evening, and a rehearsal with the sousa band on tuesday, wednesday i have a snake suspenderz rehearsal, and thursday is my “weekend” this week. then i’ve got a gig with snake suspenderz at chumleighland on friday… which has the distinct possibility of leaking over into saturday as well… and possibly another ninja performance with the fremont phil on saturday, then the ballard sunday market on the 14th, and on the 15th is the party that we were hired to do as a result of the sunday market…

and then there’s the “Garden Party” at krissy and chris’ on the 20th, which the fremont phil is probably not playing for in any official capacity, but we’re probably going to be there, and i’m going to bet that we’ll play a little. and then, next month, we’ve already got a two-gigs-in-one-day scheduled, on 18th september, when we’re scheduled for the pike place busker festival and the seattle symphony day of music at beneroya hall…

plus i got an incense order today, for the last of my old tulasi deepak stock, which, because, from what i’ve been able to find out, they don’t make it any longer is another incense that i have carried that nobody else carries…

my first is one hundred, my second is a lion, my third is an hybernian, my fourth is an egyptian god, and my whole rules over egypt.*

i don’t usually do this, but this is an exception…

Your total vocabulary size is estimated to be: 43,600 words

now i’ve had a brain injury, and i’m almost 20 years older than most of the people who take the test (judging by the fact that their “results by age” chart stops at 32), but apart from a few words on the second page, i know what all of the words mean, and have used them recently in conversation… and the words that i haven’t heard of (hypnopompic, tatterdemailion, williwaw, funambulist, sparge, etc.) are really words that should be in my vocabulary…

i’m not bragging or anything, but i really wonder why more people don’t know more of these words…
Continue reading my first is one hundred, my second is a lion, my third is an hybernian, my fourth is an egyptian god, and my whole rules over egypt.*

so…

i expended A LOT of spoons last weekend, because it was the solstice festival, and snake suspenderz played both days, apart from the caravan on friday. i’ve uploaded a whole bunch of pictures, which i haven’t yet got all sorted out, so there’s very likely going to be more pictures uploaded eventually. of course, the fremont “solstice” festival actually didn’t occur on the solstice (something for which i’m sure our ancient ancestors would decry with loud voices), but that’s because us “modern” folks have to get up and go to work on monday… a tradition which, despite the fact that it recently included me, i have never been able to figure out…

but today is especially important, because it is also our 13th wedding anniversary, which means, traditionally, i’m supposed to give my sweetie lace – which would be nice and i’m sure she would appreciate it, but it’s also impractical and i’m not sure she’d ever use it for anything… the “modern traditional” gift is textiles, and we just got a new bed-spread recently (with zebra stripes), but i’m not sure what other textile items we actually need at this point – i’m sure clothes are on the list, but i’d really rather give my sweetie something more romantic than clothes…

and i’m more convinced than ever that the decision to get married was one of the smartest decisions i have ever made in my life, but that’s only because of the fact that i decided to get married to moe, and not someone else.

update

i’ve been working on a business card, but i’ve needed important things like the location of hi-res images and the names of the fonts and stuff like that before i can actually create anything… which means waiting for them to get back to me… of course, once i actually have all those things it took me about 15 minutes to put together a business card that is like the example they sent me, and now i’ve got to wait (again) for the customer to either approve the card, or make changes… and, being that it’s a business card for an artist, if there are changes, they’ll most likely want something exotic, unusual and expensive…

we had a snake suspenderz rehearsal on tuesday. it’s really great to play with the guys again, but i’m afraid that, once we’re through with the (one) gig that we’ve got scheduled so far (28th june, at the can can) the band will fade from existence again… and, as much as some people complain that it’s a “hobby band”, i get the very strong feeling that it could very easily be a good deal more than that. we’re going to be playing for SACBO on saturday and sunday. i have my canopy, and i’m going to be there anyway, because of my art car, so i figured what the hell… we can busk, and because of the fact that it’s the fremont solstice festival, we’ll probably make some money, and it’s a couple more “rehearsals” before we have to do it “for real” at the can can…

i decided that, because of the fact that SACBO is imminent, and because of the fact that the continued working existence of the current Ganesha The Car is still very much in question (it’s still working – touch wood – but who knows whether or not it’ll be working tomorrow, much less next week), i decided that i was going to put “freeform” art on it, and save the complicated design work for a car that i have confidence is going to last me a little bit longer. i haven’t taken any pictures of it, yet, but it vaguely resembles this drawing from my sketchbook. it’s not nearly as “artistic” (read “exotic and unusual”) as i would like it to be, but it will have to do for the time being.

we had a fremont phil rehearsal on wednesday. there was a rehearsal last week, as well, but i was in the middle of preparing for my colonoscopy last week, so i didn’t go to that one. the phil has taken off in a new direction, which is interesting and intriguing, and not entirely unwelcome. we’ve gotten a couple of new flutists, a new trumpet player and the baritone player and the EWI player from last year, who are all dedicated musicians and very interested in moving forwards with the group. we’re playing a private “ice cream social” near edmonds on the 23rd, and we’re sounding surprisingly good, considering the small amount of rehearsal we’ve had.

speaking of the colonoscopy, the results arrived yesterday. the other two polyps that i had removed were benign as well, and there’s nothing to worry about, but they want to see inside my ass again in two years, rather than the three that they told me originally, because of the fact that the polyps were there to begin with.

retrograde amnesia?

so i had my colonoscopy yesterday. when i went to my “introductory” appointment, about 2 weeks ago, they told me that i would be under a general anesthetic that would cause “retrograde amnesia”, but then they couldn’t answer my questions satisfactorily about whether or not that meant that i would “lose memories of things that haven’t happened yet” — “amnesia” implies “loss of memories of things that have already happened” and “retrograde” implies “moving backwards”… “moving backwards” from “things that have happened in the past” implies that it affects “memories of the future” and i still can’t figure out why they think i should have memories of things that haven’t happened yet… — but i think i am beginning to get the idea of what they were actually talking about, because while i was experiencing them, i was conscious and more-or-less rational, but now that they are in the past, i’m losing track of what i actually did, the sequence of events, and pretty much everything that happened yesterday. at this point, not even 24 hours separate from the actual events, i’m having distinct difficulties remembering conversations that i was a part of yesterday, even before i was anesthetised…

the event, itself, was pretty uneventful, but the day before was pretty miserable. the day before was complicated by a clear-liquids fast, a gallon of orange-flavoured salt-water, and many, many, MANY trips to the bathroom. yesterday was a “nothing by mouth” day, so i was extra hungry, but the clinic called in the morning and rescheduled my appointment from 2:30 to 1:00, so i wouldn’t have to wait as long. i took a cab to the clinic, because they weren’t going to allow me to drive after the procedure – because of the “retrograde amnesia” – and from then on it gets a little hazy… i remember getting undressed, getting on the gurney, being rolled into the procedure room and being asked to roll on to my left side… and that’s it.

i then sort of vaguely remember waking up, getting dressed and going to another part of the clinic where they had some “comfy recliners” to “recover” on… i don’t remember whether or not moe came in, or whether they escorted me to the car… i remember, even then, wondering when the “retrograde amnesia” was going to start kicking in… i remember complaining about how tired i was, despite the fact that it was still early afternoon… moe made a stop before we got home, and bought some “immediate” food, and when we got home, i remember her putting before me, a very large plate of some REALLY yummy food (mostly carbohydrates, so that i wouldn’t get pancreatitis from trying to digest fried food on a truly empty stomach… but i do seem to recall a disassembled skewer of meat and vegetables in there, as well) which i DEMOLISHED… then, i remember going to bed around 8:30.

i woke up this morning at about 8:00 and immediately noticed that i’m still REALLY TIRED — as though i had spent the previous day running a marathon, or something like that… seriously, i’m thinking of taking a nap, and i hardly ever take naps (i find them to be really confusing when i wake up and it’s the middle of the afternoon)…

i think the most significant part of the whole thing for me, at this point, is the realisation that i can actually eat stuff again… nuts… i can eat almonds for the first time in a week! and when the stuff in the pantry or the refrigerator calls to me, i can eat it and not resist… and i don’t have to drink that orange-flavoured salt-water goo every 15 minutes…

oh, the result of my colonoscopy? they removed 3 polyps, one of which they said was benign but the other two are going to have to wait for biopsies. also they said i have two hemorrhoids, which were the cause of the occult recal bleeding that was a cause for concern prior to the procedure.

as the song says, “what a drag it is getting old”… ๐Ÿ˜

wuff

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

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

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

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

update

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

i’m about a week away from my first colonoscopy, which starts in a week with multiple degrees of laxatives and purgatives and a clear-liquid fast… which should be a “thrill”… and then, to top it all off, i get an anesthetic that causes retrograde amnesia and i have to get a ride home, because i won’t be allowed to drive for 24 hours afterward, so i’m probably going to have to take the bus to the clinic, which is the same general location that they took me when i had my brain injury. ๐Ÿ˜ then i have to schedule another appointment with dr. wackaloon to talk about my allegedly-high blood pressure. what i maintain, which is what i maintained before i tested “high” at his office the last time, is that i run a little higher than normal, which has been reinforced by the fact that i have been checking daily for 26 days, and my average is 143/95 – which is a little higher than normal… but my life is not as “relaxed” as i would like it to be, so it’s understandable…

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

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

spoons & web design

i am just now realising how many spoons i expended over the weekend. apparently, without realising it, at least monday was also involved. it’s a good thing that this is a slow week, which will give me the chance to rebuild my spoon reserve a little before the next time…

meanwhile, i have volunteered my services as a wordpress admin to seattleartcars.org which is currently run by a committee consisting of several (i.e. more than 5) highly creative people who don’t have any idea how technology works, and one or two curmudgeonly geeks who (understandably) don’t want to allow people they don’t know – or people they know, who they know have no clue how technology works – access to their computers, but don’t have the time or inclination to administer a wordpress site themselves… well, it turns out that the one curmudgeonly geek upon whose server seattleartcars.org currently lives, isn’t even really the host provider, but apparently he’s running WHM or something which makes pretending to be a host provider a lot easier than it would be otherwise… he doesn’t even have his own nameservers, which is something that i’ve had for 3 years, even though i don’t have something like WHM installed (because it’s not necessary for the type of web-hosting i provide)… in any event, what the committee plus geeks approach has bought them is a wordpress site with a bunch of plugins that nobody knows how to use, nobody who has the time to update the site, and a geek who hosts the site, but doesn’t want to give anybody new administration priveledges… i’ve already made some minor (i.e. for the most part invisible) revisions to their site, but i continually run up against at least one person who says that they’re “going to take care of everything”, and at least three others, including the geek/host-provider, who only read the first couple of sentences of their email messages and/or don’t respond to direct questions the first time… or the second time… or the third time…

i’m beginning to wonder if i really want this job, especially considering that, as far as i know, it doesn’t pay anything…

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.

okay, i know she’s fast, but this is ridiculous…

i just got home from running some errands, and i let the dogs out of their kennels and put them outside – like i usually do – except that zora, instead of going outside, goes around the corner toward the cat privy. i hold the door open for magick, and then – and this is important – i CLOSE THE DOOR (so the cats won’t get out) and go to look for zora. when i can’t find her in or around the pantry, i start calling her, and head around the counter – there’s really not many places she could have gone – calling her again and again. i’m becoming a little disturbed, because i can’t find her and i start imagining what moe will do to me when i tell her that her championship agility dog is missing. i head back into the bedroom and check her kennel, and all of the other kennels (because she likes to go and “clean up” after other dogs who might have eaten their breakfasts in the kennels any time within the past two weeks or so), but she’s not there, and i’m beginning to get worried, calling her louder and louder.

then, i open the door, and find magick lazing in the sunny patch right outside the door. i call zora again…

and she comes running up the stairs, from around the corner… OUTSIDE!

in order for zora to get outside, she would have had to run past me, and get out the door before i closed it (remember that? i said it was important…)

i hesitate to blame this on my brain injury, because she would have had to run right past me, right in front of me between the time that i saw her going around the corner in the other direction and the subsequent closing of the door in preparation for going to find her… and i may be brain damaged, but i’m not blind… at the same time, i don’t know how else to explain it…

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.

dayummm!

so i just found this software called Brain Explorer, which uses the Allen Human Brain Atlas and displays an interactive, 3-dimentional brain from two different donors, with the gene expression information for each brain…

probably essentially meaningless to most of you, but the fact that i experienced a burst AVM in my brain makes it especially interesting for me, because i can actually see, in 3 dimentions, exactly where my injury occured, and the approximate effects it had on my brain

brain

brain

moisture spoons

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

ETA: i’ve also been tapped to cover a burlesque rehearsal tomorrow… that’s what i’m talkin’ ’bout… ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

i’ve got this problem…

one of the blogs i subscribe to is The News Biscuit, which is sort of like The Onion, only from britain. i’ve even got it classified in my RSS reader as “humour”, so there’s no doubt about the origin of such articles…

the problem is that twice in one week, now, the news biscuit has printed an article that i read all the way through before i realised that it was from the news biscuit. they’re apparently good enough at imitating legitimate news sources that, while i found the subject of both of the articles to be somewhat bizarre, neither of the articles seemed entirely out of the question, especially considering how bizarre society has become over the past 50 years or so.

the first one, on wednesday, was Environmentalists to withdraw protection for โ€˜Rubbish Animalsโ€™, and then there was Ancient lump of coal saved from arson attack to be displayed in museum today.

i think i need to start paying more attention… ๐Ÿ™‚

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…

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… ๐Ÿ˜ 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… ๐Ÿ˜

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… ๐Ÿ˜

another week closer to the eschaton…

"Damn Right": Bush Boasts about Waterboarding – can we arrest him now?? ๐Ÿ˜› apparently not: Torture? Check. Covering Up Torture? Check. Rule of Law? Nope. – โ€œWe cannot say that we live under the rule of law unless we are clear that no one is above the law. I think itโ€™s clear. We cannot say we live under the rule of law.โ€

Will Internet censorship bill be pushed through lame-duck Congress? – “A lot of the things wrong with society today are directly attributable to the fact that the people who make the laws are sexually maladjusted.” — Frank Zappa

High Society exhibition: can dope give us hope? – “the ban on hallucinogens is holding back vital research into their medical benefits.” wow, man… trippy science stuff! ๐Ÿ™‚

China may be bigger economy than US within two years and Is the American Dream Over? and The US Has Lived on Borrowed Money for Too Long – it’s gotten bad enough that other countries are starting to put it together…what do you think the probability is that this isn’t the end of the US as a superpower? further information regarding our imminent economic implosion and what we can do about it: As the Country Falls Apart, It’s Time for Our Revolution

Sikhs outraged at US airport turban searches – people, you’ve got to realise that not everyone who wears a turban is automatically muslim… or a terrorist… ๐Ÿ˜

BP blamed for toxification and BP Successfully Disposed of the Oil โ€ฆ In the Gulf Food Chain – it’s still going on, and it’s worse than anybody imagined… again… ๐Ÿ˜

and, while we’re at it, Chemicals in Fast Food Wrappers Show Up in Human Blood – more toxic chemicals are leaking from places where we don’t expect them, and ending up inside our bodies. wonderful…

Global Oil Availability Has Peaked : EU Energy Chief – meanwhile, where are we going and what’s with this hand-basket?

Is Death the End? Experiments Suggest You Create Time – this is the end, my only friend, the end. the end of laughter and soft lies, the end of nights we tried to die, this is the end

NATIONAL OPT-OUT DAY! – if you’re travelling, wednesday, 24 november, 2010 is the day when you can say no to the dick-measuring radioactive backscatter scanning device… of course you don’t have to limit your opting out of “security theater” that doesn’t really protect anyone to wednesday, 24th november, it’s just that everyone else will (presumably) be doing it as well…

Naked Body Scanners To Store Biometrics and Worldโ€™s Pilots Reject Naked Body Scanners Over Radiation Danger, Privacy Breach and TSA Responds To Airport Molestation Complaints – more power behind We Won’t Fly and Don’t Scan Us.

Oklahoma voters may have also banned Native American rights – i’m going to bet that someone’s going to complain about that… and the fact that they’re being stupid and childish about the whole thing won’t enter into the matter at all…

Senior US appeals court judge says drug war ‘lost,’ country should try legalizing marijuana – this is the direction we should be going, a senior, sitting federal judge calling for legalisation… now if only they’d listen to him: a federal judge said essentially the same thing in 1988, but nobody listened to him.

Inside My Haunted Head — What It’s Like to be a Schizophrenic – i don’t have schizophrenia, but there’s a lot more about this story that i can relate with than i’d like to admit.

Mass action shields soldier’s funeral – “The Westboro protesters didn’t stay long once they saw the supporters.” this is how we should be responding to all the extremists in our society: not by bombing them into oblivion or making unenforcable laws against their beliefs, but by gathering together and saying “no, we won’t allow you to behave like children around us”.

Arizona Reminds Residents Not to Drink From Toilets – this is where john mccain is senator…

another week closer to the eschaton…

i woke up this morning, and checked my email. i had 4,856 new messages, all with the same subject line, which included the word “MLM”… please stop sending me these messages. they’re not accomplishing what you think they are, they’re really annoying, and i’m about to block your country’s IP addresses because of it. there are better ways of doing… whatever it is that you’re expecting to be able to do by sending out 4,856 spam email messages… ๐Ÿ˜

A piece of their mind – they share thoughts… in spite of the fact that they have two sets of eyes, one can “read” what the other is seeing, without actually seeing it… The Fascinating Story of the Twins Who Share Brains, Thoughts, and Senses has more, including a video… fascinating!

The Return of the Stoned Ape – smart people do more drugs because of evolution. now it all makes sense… ๐Ÿ˜€ and, while we’re at it, Smart people SLEEP LATE as well… so there!

and now, to more mundane topics…

Fnord33 Conspiracy Theories That Turned Out To Be True – fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord. beware, the paranoids are watching you. fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord fnord.

The Information Super-Sewer: Will the Internet be Hijacked by Corporate Interests – funding a civilization through advertising is like trying to get nutrition by connecting a tube from oneโ€™s anus to oneโ€™s mouth. also Final nail in coffin for Net neutrality?all 95 house and senate candidates who pledged support for net neutrality lost their races. what does this mean? it means that your unlimited, uncensored, unthrottled and open internet service will be going away as soon as the major corporations that now own internet are going to get to decide how much to charge you for how much access… which means that it won’t be too long before internet will be exactly like television, unless you can afford to make it better.

A Modest Proposal to Republicans: How to Trim the Budget – hint: it’s something that a republican would never think of…

Chomsky: US-led Afghan war, criminal – to date there is no evidence that al-qaeda has carried out the 9/11 attacks, and still we use that as justification to make war on a people who have their own problems.

The Surprising History of Copyright and The Promise of a Post-Copyright World – copyright was never primarily about paying artists for their work, and trying to make it about that now is obfuscating the real reason, which is to make the distributors as much money as possible. copying is not theft, piracy, or anything else illegal, and the sooner we toss the current copyright law fiasco and start over again, the better.

Minnesota Mom Hit With $1.5 Million Fine for Downloading 24 Songs – copying IS NOT theft! (my new mantra).

Bankruptcy of U.S. is โ€˜Mathematical Certainty,โ€™ Says Former CEO of Nation’s 10th Largest Bank – yep… the end is coming, and it’s not looking like it’s going to be particularly pretty when it gets here.

Voters Approve Sharia Law Ban – meanwhile, fear, insanity and unreasoned reactionism comes to oklahoma, whether they like it or not… oh well, there are always 49 other states… ๐Ÿ˜ meanwhile, it appears that Oklahoma Voters May Have Accidentally Voted Against Ten Commandments, Too – that’s what they get for being stupid and making nonsensical laws without thinking them through.

Details on PayPalโ€™s Site Outage – they have been doing okay, despite the bad things that i continue to hear about them, but they apparently went down for anywhere from two to twenty four hours, depending on where you are, and so far they’ve not released any information other than to say “something broke. it’s fixed now, and we’re sorry.”

Google calls bug bounty hunters to YouTube, Blogger – $3,133.70 a bug seems like a lot, and i seriously doubt that their actual testers get paid anything like that. what this is, really, is an attempt by google to have volunteer “testers” hammer on their technology without having to pay them for doing so. then, when a “tester” discovers something, google can claim that they found it, pay the “tester” a minimal, one time fee and never mention the “tester” to anyone ever again… everybody’s happy, at least temporarily, and the big corporation profits at the expense of the american drone, who doesn’t notice because he’s too busy telling all of his friends how 733T he is… you can’t make a living on it, but it’s the american dream come true… ๐Ÿ˜

Seagate squirts out rectal cleaning sprayno shit… ๐Ÿ™‚

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words: President Obama Visits Chicago and a Homeless Man Begs Him for Alms – no further comment needed.

Marijuana Legalization: Not If, But When – agreed, it’s just a matter of time, but it’s going to have to be the entire country, or it’s not going to work… and whether or not the entire country legalises it through a revolution or through a civil election still remains to be seen.

New Mother’s (False) Positive Drug Test Leads to Baby’s Removal… Poppy-Seed Bagel the Culprit – the only way to solve problems like this is to legalise all drugs, but if proposition 19 is any indication, even when we’re winning, we’re really losing… and while we’re at it, No reason for pot prohibition – when are we going to get the idea that the war on drugs is a collosal failure? not for the next couple of years, at this rate… ๐Ÿ˜

not only that, but A molecular link between the active component of marijuana and Alzheimer’s disease pathology – the active ingredient in cannabis, delta-9-tetrahydracannabinol (THC), competitively inhibits the enzyme acetylcholinesterase (AChE), the key pathological marker of alzheimer’s disease. are we ready to legalise it yet?

Cargo plane bomb plot: passengers to face ‘ludicrous security measures’ – now that we have successfully prevented another terrorist plot from even reaching the country, of course, the logical response is to put more stringent measures in place to insure that innocent citizens are harrassed, poked, prodded, scanned and examined in new and unusual ways, to make sure that the terrorists don’t win again… oh, and by the way, Yemeni mail bombs suspect ‘had identity stolen’ – so we really don’t have any clearer an idea who did it then we did a week ago… swell…

For the First Time, the TSA Meets Resistance – they’re now searching your “crotchal” area, and they really want to get you to use the “Dick-Measuring Device” back-scatter imaging device, so be warned…

Pollution in China – this is why stuff is cheap in america. remember that the next time you buy something.

Obama may let CIA run more โ€˜hunter-killerโ€™ teams roam abroad – this is premeditated murder and i question what the real intent is…

Why I don’t voteW? T? F? i can understand a multitude of reasons for not participating in the farce of elections these days, but basing your abstinence in voting on 1 timothy 2.12 is far beyond anything that i could possibly figure out…

McDonaldโ€™s furious after San Francisco bans Happy Meals – apparently they didn’t get the memo

Ram Dass Has a Son! – DNA tests confirm it, and ram dass is okay with it, so it doesn’t look like it’s going to cause a major uproar (like it has with other “spiritual” teachers), but it also is pretty much not what you would expect…

another week closer to the eschaton…

we’ll start out this week’s post with a public service announcement: National Chronic Illness Awareness Week is coming up 13-19 september. be nice to somebody: one in two americans has an invisible chronic illness or condition!

Predator drones patrols of southern US border start Wednesday – this is now a police state, where only the priveledged live, the starving refugee is given temporary status, and the illegal immigrant is hunted down and summarily killed ejected.

example: California Cops Taser Senior Citizen in His Own Home – couple returns home, man falls, wife calls 911, cops show up and taser man when he refuses to go with them. beware – this could happen in your home, to you.

Oil Rig Explodes Off The Louisiana coast – didn’t we already go through this once? and, by the way, we now have a BP ultimatum: Let us drill or funds will dry up – considering that it took them all of a week to make the money that they have spent on cleaning up the spill, i think that they could go a little while longer before they are completely out of money…

More War Lies – war is peace, love is hate, lies are truth… business as usual.

Stephen Hawking Breaks Atheist Rules – yep, he said there doesn’t have to be a “god” in order for everything to be here. broke the rules, indeed… Is Stephen Hawking’s New Book Science or Science Fiction – “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” — Mohandas K. Gandhi

Top Web Scams of the Decade – in other words, if you don’t know that you shouldn’t respond to random, sketchy-sounding email from someone you don’t know, you probably shouldn’t be online at all. Pew Study Claims One Fifth Of American Adults Donโ€™t Use The Internet – i’ve got an idea: make it so that you have to have a license to use an internet-connected device, in the same way that you now have to have a license to drive a car. kill two birds with one stone…

Budget cuts bring end to Stockton narcotics unit – hey, let’s move to stockton! 8)

California pot legalization โ€˜could end Mexican drug warโ€™ and Marijuana activists stage Mexico City smoke-out to protest prohibition – hint: legalisation of cannabis could go a long way towards ending the war on drugs everywhere

The Pain-Killing Power of Marijuana – especially with people like this guy’s brother pumping out new research…

Two new scientific studies reveal hallucinogens are good for your mental health – another thing hallucinogens are good for! 8)

Ancient brew masters tapped drug secrets – another thing beer is good for! 8)

Mind-Altering Parasitestoxoplasma gondii on the loose!

creeping up on the past

the further back you go, the more dramatically my memory fades, but because of my injury, i have a significant gap in specific memories between about 1985 and 2003. because of the fact that i was not taking very many pictures during that period, i don’t remember much, but i recently came across a whole bunch of negatives and slides, the earliest of which were taken in the late 1970s, before i graduated from high school, and the most recent were taken when i lived in mt. vernon, which ended in about 1994.

nataraja music service 1983 this is Nataraja Music Service in 1983, right after i moved back to bellingham after graduating from the tech school.
ezra this is ezra, approximately 1989 or 1990, aged 6 or 7.
dome my dome… <sigh> i lived in this dome for a couple of years before i moved to mount vernon, around 1990. it was this which resulted in my being a dome fanatic to this day.
antique flutes i took a whole bunch of pictures of a bunch of antique flutes that i worked on between 1985 and 1995. i also took pictures of one of the bent flutes that i rescued.

i’ve put a whole bunch of pictures up, but i only linked to a few of ’em.

we’re making an emergency trip to portland tomorrow. whee…

dreek

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

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

Renaldo & The Loaf – Hambu Hodo

day of depression and diarrhea

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

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.

beep

the dogs are really concerned that moe hasn’t come home yet, and i’ve had to close the blinds on the front window to keep zorah, the “watcher”, from barking at EVERY THING that she even THINKS might be someone driving up the driveway, which, of course, causes magick, the “alarm”, to bark uncontrollably, which causes stanley to fly off his perch which causes lucy to try to herd stanley… so it’s been a busy time, so far. i also have to give magick medication and food twice a day because of her dental work. so far i haven’t missed, but it’s been getting later and later each day, because i don’t remember until later and later.

a couple of times in the past two weeks i have had the idea that i had to go somewhere to do something, but by the time i had finished up what i was doing enough to actually go wherever it was, i had not only forgotten where i wanted to go, but what i wanted to do once i got there. today i went out to the post office, to have a picture laminated (which they didn’t do, and actually ruined the picture in the process), to goodwill to drop off two bags of clothing and to the mobile home guys to get the dimensions for the lumber i need to buy for the floor, but i didn’t do whatever it was that was important to do while i was out, because i couldn’t remember what it was… ๐Ÿ˜ i’d start writing stuff down, but i can never tell what’s important enough to write down, and besides, writing stuff down requires finding a pen or pencil and a single place that i can write stuff like that, that won’t get lost or misplaced. i have 3 sketchbook/notebook/”moleskine”-like things that i used to write things in all the time, but now that i’m using the computer for most of my communication and scheduling, finding a place on my desk to put the notebook and write stuff down usually takes clearing off the desk a little bit, and by that time i’ve forgotten whatever it is that i was supposed to write down.

the dangly thing that i’ve had hanging from the rear-view mirror of every vehicle that has ever been in my possession since 1984 – when i thought i had bought a school bus from a woman named Mauldiwarp Moongate-Climber (which wasn’t entirely true in reality, however that is another, long, pointless story that i’ll save for another time) – finally broke. now all i have left of the school bus (which never actually worked reliably enough to travel more than 5 miles or so before it overheated) is a small handfull of glass and wooden beads, a chipped crystal drop from a long-ago chandelier, a fish made out of abalone shell, a small bell, and a broken piece of leather strap. that and the fact that i am currently listening to It’s My Life by The Plasmatics seem somehow related…

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!

‽⁜‽⁜

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

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

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

spoons, etc.

yesterday i got up at an ungodly hour (6:30 am) and went to pick up my wanna-be-art-car from one repair shop, and drove it 15 miles to another repair shop where they’re allegedly going to fix it. on the 15 mile drive from one repair shop to the other, the car almost overheated, and smoke was coming out the fresh air vents when i arrived, but ganesha is in charge of this car, so if it’s going to be fixed, then it’s going to be fixed, and if it isn’t, there’s nothing i can do about it.

anyway, that left me in burien with no car. i had my bicycle, though it’s around 30 miles home from there, so i rode to the burien transit center and took a bus from there to international boulevard, where i transferred to another bus that was going to the federal way transit center, and from there i rode my bicycle the remaining 8 miles home.

when i got home, i turned around and went out again, to get an ink cartridge for my printer, so that everything won’t print green any longer, and i also went to the copy shop to get photocopies of the panto music of which i need multiple copies. then i came home again…

when i got home, i used the new ink cartridge to print an invoice, and packaged an order that came in the day before, and went out again to the post office to ship the order.

then i came home again, and searched for, and found a guy who would fix the free lawnmower that i got on freecycle the other day. he picked it up(!) last night.

today, i went to the bank to get cash for the guy who fixed the lawn mower, and when he delivered it(!), i mowed the lawn, taking a break in the middle to go out and buy a gas can and gas, because it ran out of gas and i didn’t have any because my previous lawn mower was electric.

then i got most of the rest of my gear ready for OCF. i still have to pack clothes, and there are probably some miscellaneous things that i haven’t remembered to pack.

i keep finding myself amazed at the fact that in a little more than a week there are going to be feral hippie children immitating the play that i only saw for the first time on monday, and that was an incomplete show, because all of the music isn’t written yet, and we’re still putting the final touches on the script… the final dress rehearsal for the panto here is tonight. i believe the people who aren’t going down early are having another rehearsal on monday, but the next complete rehearsal we’ve got scheduled for the panto is at OCF, a week from tomorrow evening before the fair opens on friday. i’ve still got to determine whether or not i’m bringing my saw. also i’ve got a pink bandana and a trumpet that i have to remember to take for katy.

tomorrow there’s supposed to be a banda gozona rehearsal, but it’s for a performance that i have to miss because of OCF, so i’m not sure whether or not i’m going to it. friday there’s the final BBWP rehearsal before the fire show the night of the fair opening.

as long as we hold it together, the panto this year has the potential for being the best show we’ve ever done. we’re doing a mash up of Red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs: they’re both fairly simple, short stories that have some similar characters – the big bad wolf, and the woodcutter, for example – and they’re both ripe for tweaking the plots a little bit (or a lot) so that they’ll fit together. of course we’ve got the standard gender bending and off-colour jokes which should go over the heads of the smaller members of the audience. if we don’t hold it together, well, it’s OCF, so the probability is very high that nobody will notice, or if they do, they’ll think we planned it that way.

Enter title here

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

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

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

Country Is Dumb
by Pliny Keep

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

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

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

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

(solo yodeling)

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

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

COUNTRY IS DUMB!

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… ๐Ÿ˜›

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).

wuff…

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

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

now i’m really freaking out… ๐Ÿ™

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. :/

Continue reading

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… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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… ๐Ÿ˜‰

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.

rant

ever since my injury, i have been unable to distinguish between a sneeze, a yawn and a cough until they happen. essentially, what that means is that i will be all ready to sneeze, and a yawn happens instead, or i’ll have a tickle in my throat that feels like it’s going to be a cough, but when it comes out it’s acutally a sneeze. furthermore, a sneeze will turn into a yawn, or a coughing fit will end up being a run of five or more sneezes.

all in all, i would say that i have more or less recovered from my injury. i still have problems getting my right hand to do what i want it to about half the time, and i still require a lot more sleep than i did before my injury, and moe could probably enumerate some other things that aren’t as obvious, but biting my tongue and not being able to tell sneezes, coughs or yawns apart are the most frustrating aspects of my injury that still haunt me.

miscellaneous

yesterday i went to moe’s friend diane’s sheep ranch in woodinville and picked up a chest freezer that diane didn’t need any longer. now we’ll be able to get lamb from diane, when she has lambs for sale, later on in the year. moe is a currently a vegetarian – although i have seen her eat bacon recently – and i have been a vegetarian in the past (and i’ve been the rabid rabble rouser who knew all the reasons why you shouldn’t eat meat, so cool it with the rhetoric, because i’ve been through it all, already), but at this point, i figure God is perfect, being an omnivore is more likely to ensure my survival in the event of a global catastrophe, and besides all that, lamb just tastes so damn good… and because of the fact that i actually know where it’s coming from, i’m getting a lot closer to eating real meat than i would be if i ate the anonymous, corporate beef that most people eat most of the time.

but this is all, undoubtedly one big excuse to make me feel better because i’m sinful and eat meat, despite my claims to being a hindu. i know a bunch of american hindus who eat meat, and they don’t worry about it, so why should i… especially when lamb just tastes so damn good… 8)

today i went to a place very close to the hospital that i was housed at shortly after i had my injury (and was amazed at how much new construction was going up since i was there) and got a bed to put in what was the office, and is now the guest room. now we have a room for people to sleep in when people come to visit… which, apparently, we’ve got a few of coming up later this year, including my mother-in-law within the next two weeks or so (i’m still not exactly sure when, though).

i got an email list set up for the fremont players, which is exactly what wouldn’t have happened if i had stayed with the old host provider, whose “tech support” goon specifically said that i was “kicked off” their server for having – although he also, specifically, said that he was the one responsible for having me kicked off their server, because “he didn’t like me”… ๐Ÿ˜›

i’m having some trouble with my email, and i’m not sure whether it’s my email client, or my new router. it seems like, sometimes, i don’t get any email, but when i reboot the router, i get hundreds of emails from the past three days or so, and other times, i don’t get any email, and when i reboot the router, nothing happens, but when i restart the email client, or reboot the computer, i get hundreds of emails from the past three or four days. either way, it doesn’t happen with enough regularity to make it very obvious what the culprit is, although it doesn’t appear to happen as frequently when i turn my computer off, rather than leaving it running all night. i seem to recall drizzle saying something about having me on DHCP, despite the fact that i have a static IP address, so maybe that’s got something to do with it.

i had a whole bunch of links that i was going to dump, as well, but my browser crashed and when it came back, i chose to start a new session, because i think one of the links crashed my browser, and i don’t want to foist any of that nonsense on to anyone else. one of them was more stuff about how google is really evil, though…

⁂ ✬ ⨀ 文

along with all of the other SNAFUs i’ve been forced to deal with over the past few days (an itemised list would prove too exasperating to compile at this point), and despite any actual evidence that it is true, i have become relatively convinced that i may have H1N1, otherwise known as “HEINEY”. i felt fine on saturday, but, on sunday, the closer i got to the time (7:00 pm) when i had to go to a fremont phil rehearsal i was feeling more and more sick. i didn’t actually feel nauseous until i had already decided not to go to the (essential, required) rehearsal, and about 8:00 i turned into a geyser for about 2 hours. then i had a fever and chills for about 24 hours, whereupon the coughing started and has been going on more or less ever since. i feel more-or-less normal at this point, despite occasional fits of coughing. at this point, i’m so through with being sick… 8/

i bought a new wireless DSL modem/router, because the old modem/router apparently doesn’t work with OsX version 10.6.2 (snow leopard), which is what i am running on my mac now that i’ve upgraded thanks to St. Fred. of course i didn’t find out about it immediately, because when i got home with my newly-upgraded computer and turned it on, it found internet right away and i didn’t think to check where it was coming from. of course, as soon as i tried to connect with the mac from linux i discovered the problem, which was that the mac was wirelessly connecting to internet through the neighbour’s router instead of through mine, and when i tried to switch to my router, it simply wouldn’t connect. of course, moe’s temporary windows7 laptop connected to the old router without a problem, but she got her new mac today, which also runs snow leopard, so i went out and bought a new router, and, after having to call qwest once, drizzle three times, and having to make an adaptor and a cable (fortunately i had the tools and materials in my workshop!!) i finally got it working the way it’s supposed to.

of course, then i had to figure out that the new router makes a difference between networking with or without “wireless access control”. “with” means that i can’t access my mac – wireless – from my linux machine, which is connected with a wire, without jumping through a bunch more, different hoops that i haven’t figured out yet. i still haven’t figured out the right hoops to jump through to secure my wireless network so that my neighbours can’t log in to my network the way i can log in theirs. when i enable “wireless equivalency protection” (WEP), it takes longer, and the password doesn’t work the way i think it should, which means that only the linux machine gets internet, but can’t connect to the mac at all, the mac gets no internet except through the neighbour’s router, and i have to “sneaker net” files from the mac to the linux machine, which is do-able, but not ideal.

on the positive side, i haven’t had to switch host providers again, i got ALL of the data off of moe’s old hard drive, in spite of the fact that her old laptop is well and truly dead. i’ve got the chassis for sale on craigslist, and supposedly there’s going to be somebody come by and pick up the old router this afternoon. also, i’ve become the default insider tech-guru for the *NEW* fremont players web site – http://www.fremontplayers.com/ – which currently points to twankey.com. the “job title” reflects the fact that, despite the fact that i will be designing, hosting and doing maintenance for the site, i will not have to come up with content, which is exactly what i was hoping for.

and now, to clean up my browser a little and give you an idea of what i’ve been reading recently, here is MINI-LINQUE DUMP Ⅳ½

Supreme Court Allows Corporations To Run For Political Office – in spite of the fact that there is a glimmer of hope in the fact that we no longer have a far-right-wing nut-job as president any longer, my general impression is that the country is as broken as ever, and there are certain ways that it is broken now that it wasn’t broken before more level heads took over, which doesn’t say much about the glimmer of hope that i spoke of earlier. The Onion is the only way i’ve been surviving these days. if it weren’t for the onion, i would probably have sworn off all news reporting a year ago.

Nation’s Strangers Decry Negative Portrayal Among Children – once again, from the onion (see, i told you so) this is yet another example of why: ever since i was as young as i can remember, i remember people in the position of authority (my parents, the parents of my friends, teachers, etc.) telling me to be wary of “strangers”, and my thinking that the same “strangers” had something compelling about them. i was determined to find out what it was. now, i am a “stranger”, and i know what they’re talking about: kids, in general, are a lot less concerned about the world in general than adults are, and have a tendency to imagine quite a bit more than adults do. now, as an adult and a “stranger”, i just want to be that innocent again. it doesn’t have anything to do with “your weiner”. “the man” gets a little nervous when “strangers” and kids mix too much, though.

The Phallic Monuments Of Love Valley – who says God doesn’t have a sense of humour?

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.

heiney

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

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

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

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.

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

random

i took Ganesha The Car to the shop today to get the automatic lock swich replaced, because it had stopped working. fortunately i didn’t have to pay for it, because of some design and printing that i had done for the shop earlier in the week. but it turned out that it wasn’t the switch that was broken, so now i have to take it back on friday so that they can take the door panel off and investigate the wiring. also, El Elefante Hรญbrido is apparently an article more or less about Ganesha The Car (from what my limited spanish plus a web-translator-thing tell me), but it’s too bad he tried to hotlink my image (which is how i found out about him). if i knew enough spanish, i would comment about hotlinking graphics, but i don’t, so i probably won’t do anything except be thankful for the traffic he’s sending my direction.

snake suspenderz has a gig at the skylark cafe on the 23rd, and earlier that day i’m meeting with the lawyer, because on the 24th is my hearing to determine whether or not i’m going to get disability. according to my impression, there’s still a 50/50 chance that i’m going to be approved, and if i don’t, it will be pretty much the same as it is now, but i’m under increasing amounts of stress because of it. then, on the 25th, i’ve got an art car show at magnuson park, which is either going to be really exciting or really relieving, depending on what happens the day before.

i got Bruno Bozetto’s “Allegro Non Troppo” on DVD, and i can play it on my mac, but the “Command+Shift+3” screen-capture function is disabled, for, perhaps obvious, but not very convenient reasons, which means that i’m going to have to figure out some other way to capture the picture of the snake that’s the primary character in Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”, which i want to propose as the snake suspenderz logo. i also got the 14 Sequenzas by Luciano Berio on CD the other day. i played Sequenza V (dedicated to the memory of Grock) for a juried audition when i was in college, and i know the guy, Stewart Dempster, for whom it was written. when i played it, there were two women in the jury who were trying, in vain, to suppress their giggles, and when it was all over, i whispered to them that it was okay to laugh, because it was written for a clown, at which point they cracked up.

along with the Odd Factoids (in the place of most news reporting, which is simply too depressing to read any longer), here’s a couple of links that i read recently:

God Hates Shrimp – the logical (if there is such a thing) response to God Hates Fags.

Cybersecurity Bill Proposes Unprecedented Government Power Over the Internet – yes, i am still a terrorist. get used to it.

Continue reading random

brain injury, paypal, credit card accepting, spam and frustration – in that order

so, now that the moisture festival is over with for another year, i decided to get to work on the “accepting credit cards using some other service than paypal” part of my web site. they have been sending me two or three messages a day concerning different aspects of getting my site set up. i had told the guy initially when i signed up that i wasn’t actually going to be able even to look at email about the web site until after the moisture festival was over, so i was somewhat surprised when i got a statement in the email this morning, saying that my checking account had been billed $33. i called them up, and the customer service lady said that she couldn’t help me, and transferred my call to a sales representative, who, after some convincing, admitted that he had the email where i said that i wasn’t going to be able to start until april, but said he couldn’t help me, and transferred me back to customer service.

this is after i got an email, last week, in my “spam” folder (in other words, it was downloaded directly from the server into my “deleted items” mailbox, which gets deleted when i shut down the computer). the email contained a “From:” address at CheckCare.com – which i seem to recall them saying something about when i signed up with the credit card accepting place – but nothing else that indicated where it was from or who i should contact if i had any questions – which was the primary reason it ended up in the spam box. the email also contained a “Merchant” identification which was “SPAY60102”, which i considered rather odd, and a list of fees, most of which were $0, except for the last one, a “Gateway fee” for $11.85. i called the credit card accepting place and went through a couple of hours of being connected to people who reputedly were going to be able to help me, but finding out that they couldn’t help me and putting me on hold while they transferred me to someone who could. at one point i ended up being put on hold, which was answered by someone who not only doesn’t work for either of the companies in question, but works for one of their competitors. needless to say, i hung up and called in again. as it is, the whole process of getting set up to accept credit cards is way more irritating than a person with a brain injury – such as myself – can handle, and i certainly don’t want to be the focus of two competing companies attempts to get me to give their company money i don’t have to begin with. eventually, after two hours and calling the main number 3 times, a guy answered who, before i had the chance to regail him with the entire sordid story, said that he “was aware of the situation” that had caused me to have to call back three times, and he would figure it out and get back to me… and i’m still waiting to find out whether or not it was spam or an actual bill.

you would think that a company which presumably does hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of business each day would be a little more lax about a $33 dollar refund, but no, the customer service rep that i was connected to said that i would have to talk with a manager if i wanted to complain about the sales representative’s misunderstanding. i said that if it was not resolved to my satisfaction, that i would gladly take my business to a service provider that cares about its customers, so she emailed me a (.doc file!!!) “Merchant Request to Cancel” – which has to be faxed or scanned and emailed back to them, but i don’t have either a fax machine or a working scanner.

they make it as difficult as possible – something which i don’t completely disagree with – to get an account in the first place, but once you have the account they start spamming you just like that was their business, and they make it even more difficult to cancel your account… it makes me wonder how any of these companies stay in business at all, especially with the economy the way it is these days.

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/

skip

new Hybrid Elephant site

okay, i’m getting really excited now. after what seems like years of not getting anywhere, i’m finally coming down to the last stretch of work on the new site. i’ve still got some products to add to the database, i’ve still got a few things that need tweeking, and i still need to add a whole bunch of content, but i have a fair idea of where that’s coming from and a fairly good idea of how to incorporate it into the site without too much difficulty. there’s still an annoying difficulty, which is that when i put the “ganesha” directory anywhere in the new site, for some reason (including permissions, which i have already checked and they’re all set correctly), the contents of the directory don’t show up, and links to within the “ganesha” directory come back as “403 Forbidden” which is exceedingly strange. furthermore, when i link to where the “ganesha” directory currently lives, there’s no problem, but i get the impression that it can’t stay that way, because when i “move” the domain from the old site to the new site, everything that’s where the old site currently is will be two directories in back of the root directory, and while i can develop that way, i’m about 50% sure that domain-forwarding will make it impossible in real life. i’m not worried, though. things will work out, as always.

ganesha the car got a tune up for the first time in 3 years today. it was close to $400, but the guy took off almost $100 of that because i paid in cash, and because i’m going to make him more business cards. he’s also got a flyer that i’m going to design and (probably) print as well. it was really strange, because i dropped off ganesha the car yesterday and he gave me a ride home in his huge-ass black cadillac with a license plate that says “CHR1ST”. this is the guy who, when i showed up wearing my “it’s just a vegetable” shirt, gave me evil looks all afternoon. i guess he’s willing to look askance at my propensity to sacrifice the Holy Vegetable when it means that he’s going to get kick-ass business cards.

i got a call from "the attorney" the other day, about the notice i received. he said there is nothing to worry about – like i believe that, especially coming from an attorney 8/ – but it was good to hear him say it if nothing else. he said that we’re one to two months out from "the hearing", and he needs to collect updates from me, and various other folks.

& 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.

hungary glasses sick

i’ve been sick since saturday, which means that i didn’t go to the FSM as planned on sunday. i suppose i could have gone, but getting up at some ungodly hour sunday morning and then driving for an hour and setting up is definitely not what i wanted to do, so i didn’t. i’m still sick, but i’m on the uphill side of it: i feel better than i did yesterday at this time, but i’m not back to 100% yet.

i picked up my new glasses today, and the world is significantly more visible, but only from a distance. i was actually prescribed either bifocals or “reading” glasses, but since bifocals give me a headache and my vision insurance only covers one pair of glasses, i’m going to have to tough it out until i get a spare $500 to spend on “reading” glasses. i’d just buy a pair of cheap reading glasses from the grocery store if they did any good, but they don’t.

i finally got things worked out with the customer and shipped a package of incense to budapest today. it’s the same person that ordered $4.25 worth of incense back in november. i know for certain that i am not the only business to carry the kind of incense they ordered, though, and i’m definitely wondering about how thoroughly they searched for it in hungary before ordering it from me… although i am willing to ship $30 worth of incense to hungary as long as they are willing to send me an extra $25 for shipping.

diary of a tired geek

i had another session with the annoying/amusing client i have spoken of previously today. his printer wouldn’t work, and his flash plugin wouldn’t work – which meant that he can’t view the pornographic videos he watches all the time – and he wanted me to make sure that his operating system hadn’t “gotten tired” of alerting him to things… oh, and when a javascript popup window that said his computer is infected with a virus, and wouldn’t go away, he wanted me to reassure him that someone wasn’t watching what he was doing through his computer screen. he’s really annoying because i put things as simply as possible in order to help him understand, and then, when i begin to think he’s getting the idea, he comes out of left field with things like “i used to have a daily devotional icon on my computer [when it was running windows], and before you installed the new OS, i put it on my flash drive, but now it doesn’t work. can i get it to work?” and i have to begin again and explain that icons are not always the same things as programs, and just because you are able to transfer an icon from one computer to another (or, in this case, from one operating system to another), it doesn’t always take the program. sometimes the icon is just a pointer to the program, and even if it actually is the program, this does not automatically mean that it will work there. whereupon he says “well is it possible to get a daily devotional icon that does work?”… 8/ i know nothing about what this guy actually does on his computer, other than research spasticity (he actually had me set up a wikipedia account for him, because he wants to contribute), watch his “daily devotional” program, whatever that is, and view tons of pornographic videos, which he has me clear out of his cache once in a while. he’s really earnest in wanting to know more, and he appears to be fairly bright in spite of having a brain injury, but he doesn’t seem to get it enough that i wonder about him sometimes.

i also nailed up some chainlink fence material to the neighbours’ fence posts. it wasn’t a moment too soon. as i was nailing up the fence material, i heard an ominous crack and the fence gave way. it didn’t actually fall down, but now the only thing that’s holding it up is gravity and friction. my guess is that eventually there will be enough moss growth that the friction will give way and the entire fence will come down.

yesterday we had another recording session with snake suspenderz, which resulted in three tracks that are in the final stages of finishing, and one track that needs a bit more work (hobbit and thaddeus are getting together tomorrow to finish it up). when that’s done, we have one more session, and then a CD release party, or something like that. National Kazoo Day is on the 31st, and snake suspenderz is going to portland for that. there’s also rumours that we have a potential gig in eugene. among the new tracks that we recorded are a song called Serpentine, by howlin’ hobbit, and the standard Don’t Get Around Much Any More, by Duke Ellington.

monday i spent all day feeding my database and learning about CSS selectors and which bits of PHP to change in my new osCommerce installation. i got a whole bunch of the database finished, and got the site more or less into the shape that it’s going to have when it’s complete, but i still have a lot of mismatched headers, things that are showing up on one page but not on the others, or vice versa, bright colours (i’ve been changing things to bright colours so that i can see when things change more easily), and incomplete content to deal with. osCommerce is made for people who are a lot less web-savvy than i am, so figuring things out shouldn’t be too difficult. i think that, for most people, the most daunting part of osCommerce is the piles of PHP/HTML/CSS pages that they potentially have to edit, but it doesn’t bother me at all. actually, i’m a lot more concerned about the database, because i’m still not completely sure about the mechanics of the interaction between the database and the website. how much of it is database manipulation of PHP code, and how much of it is actually due to the effect that the PHP itself is having on the pages i see is still a complete mystery.

another deposit recently and my bank account is over $500 for the first time since i started the business – seven years ago! i’ve noticed that for the past 5 years or so, my bank statement for january is approximately twice what it was the year before, and it’s very definitely the case this year. in fact, it’s almost 3 times what it was last year. despite what the DVR drone said, i think i’m doing something right, and i’m really looking forward to next year as well.

i actually think i’m going to survive monique’s being gone without much difficulty, but i’m not so sure about the dogs. magick and zorah heard me drive up in the minivan today (which is usually moe’s car), and they lost it, and spent a good hour and a half staring at the door and barking trying to get moe to walk through it by sheer force of their doggie wills. it would have been a lot more amusing if i didn’t jerk violently (a lingering side effect of my brain injury) when they bark.

meanwhile, here’s what i have been reading about:
UCL records the sound of jelly wobbling – the university college in london has succeded in recording the sound of jelly wobbling in a soundproof recording chamber. i definitely went to the wrong school.

a little closer to home, YouTube video of man blasting couch with rifle shown at weapons trial – let’s see if i’ve got this straight: the guy thought he would celebrate the fact that he had this illegal firearm, and silencer, without a permit or anything, by filming himself without disguise or attempt to cover evidence that they caught him with, shooting up a couch close to his home, and then post it on youtube… if i were going to film myself identifiably using an illegal firearm to do something, i would be sure that the thing i filmed would get me arrested on it’s own merits, whether i filmed it or not. the fact that this guy thought he could take a film of him doing something illegal and post it on youtube is bad enough, but the fact that he apparently didn’t think about the fact that it might be a factor in getting him caught proves that this guy is stupider than most.

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.

sgurd! and wimple!

ned is the masters-degree counsellor assigned to me by community health. i don’t have to pay for him to talk with me (despite what he said in december, last year, apparently they have not required him to demand payment from me – yet), so he’s already taken less seriously than a counsellor that i would have to pay for would be, but because of the fact that he’s not an actual doctor (MD or PhD) he can’t officially diagnose me, and what he says has to be confirmed by someone who is an actual doctor before they take him seriously. nevertheless, he said something that i found really interesting yesterday, which is that he thought i am “seriously disabled,” but not by the brain injury… he has apparently decided that i do, in fact, have asperger’s syndrome. of course the fact that i also have a brain injury and resultant PTSD doesn’t help any, but he says that i was probably “seriously disabled” a long time before my injury.

part of me says “whew! finally someone sees what i’ve been seeing my whole life,” but part of me wonders how seriously they’re going to take him, and how much more turmoil and senseless delays i’m going to have to go through before i’m able to get disability. i’m not even concerned so much with money (although it would be nice) so much as i am with health insurance: my right shoulder has been really sore, and my right arm generally has been getting really weak over the past few months and i’d like to see a physical therapist about it before i’m not able to do things like play my tuba or my trombone… or type… 8/ also i haven’t got new glasses since a year before my injury – almost six years ago now – and they’re either too strong or not strong enough, which very likely means bifocals again, only the last time they prescribed bifocals was before my injury and once i was injured the bifocals made me dizzy and gave me a headache…

whinge, complain… 8/

computers, leaving for burning man, and so forth

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

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

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

music

moe is in new orleans, being honoured for being elected president of SVBT. whee! 8)

i, on the other hand, am playing for the white center festival (i don’t remember what it’s called) with a friend of a friend, named thaddeus, who is also someone who knows Rev. Chumleigh. i’m finding that, despite my injury and all of the difficulties that i’ve had surrounding it for the past few years, it hasn’t detracted from my spreading reputation as the outstanding musician who comes in at more or less the last minute and saves the show, and this is yet another example: i was contacted by thaddeus before fair, had the music delivered to me during fair (and most of it i’ve played before anyway), and rehearsed with the “rest of the band” today – and by the “rest of the band” i mean thaddeus, who is playing trombone, baritone, guitar, ukelele and other stuff, a drummer named andrew, and a “ringer” keyboard player (who is blind and knows every song ever written) named julie (i think vickie – brain injury)… and the festival is tomorrow and sunday… and i’m getting paid for it.

so i’ll be busy enough that i won’t even notice moe’s absence until she returns on monday.

OCF 08 – a retrospective

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blurgh…

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

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

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

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

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

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.

dream

map

i was sick yesterday, and spent all day sleeping and watching teevee because i didn’t have the energy to do anything else. i feel a lot better, although not back to 100% yet, today. my ears and sinuses are still plugged up. nevertheless, i had a very bizarre and very vivid dream last night, which was another one where it was so strange that i actually woke up, thought about how strange it was, and then went back to sleep and continued in the same dream, which is very rare indeed.

front elevation

i was walking in downtown seattle, looking for an apartment. it was as though i was walking downhill, towards northlake, and i ended up at the level of lake union, but as it is in most of my dreams, things weren’t exactly like they are in reality. i saw a building in which i remembered renting an apartment many years ago (1984-1985?) that had a for rent sign in the window, so i decided to check it out. i went into the ground floor office, which had been some sort of office associated with a railroad, years ago, but the railroad, and most of the buildings surrounding it, had gone out of business years ago, and the other buildings had been knocked down, so there was an enormous vacant lot surrounding the buidling. the whole place had been a combination railroad/shipping waystation, or something like that years ago. in the ground floor office of the building, there was a strange machine that had strips of perforated tickets hanging out of it, that was built into the ceiling, an old, worn, wooden desk, and a free standing sink which was incorporated into the stairway to the second floor, which i didn’t remember seeing when i had lived there previously.

bottom floor

the whole dream was permeated with that familiar feeling that i knew exactly where i was, and had known exactly where i was for a long time. i climbed up the staircase, over the sink, and continued over several wooden boxes that had been stacked on top of the sink, to the second floor, where the apartments were. i wondered about how they could get away with making the staircase in such an unstable fashion, which was definitely not “up to code” – the staircase went up to the level of the sink, then there were narrow wooden boxes stacked on top of the sink, which weren’t secured or anything, and i almost sent the whole stack of boxes tumbling down before i got to the top of the staircase.

top floor

when i had lived there previously, there were two other guys that lived in the other apartments, ludwig and olympia. i noticed that ludwig’s name was still on one of the doors. the bulk of the weird machine was on this floor. it was very old and dusty, and had huge wads of different kinds of perforated tickets crammed into it. i went into the apartment that i had lived in previously, which was the one that was for rent, remembered what it had been like to live there previously, and figured it would be a good place to live again. then ludwig (who bore an uncanny resemblance to someone i know from bellingham, reinholdt lockinvar) showed up, and remembered me immediately. he had been a piano player when i knew him previously, and he was currently working as a pianist and organist. he asked me if it would disturb me if he practiced, and i said no, so he left and soon i could hear him practicing some organ piece on the grand piano that i knew he had in his apartment. i was looking around and came across a bunch of artwork that had apparently been left by the previous tenant, who was apparently a graphic designer. looking through the artwork, i discovered that some of it was actually art that i had done – business cards and logos and suchlike – and i also found a toque almost exactly like the one i have now, except that it was darker colours and had different buttons on it, which i remembered from when i had lived there previously.

i was really interested in what had happened to the neighbourhood since i had lived there previously, which i figured was fifteen to twenty years ago, and i talked with ludwig (reinholdt) and olympia for a long time, going downstairs (over the boxes again) and back up several times. it was also a really strange building, because although ludwig’s apartment was in the front, and my apartment was in the back, there were windows in my apartment that looked out on both the front and the back of the building. also i’m not sure if there were two or three doors in the hallway outside the apartments, because it kept changing, although it didn’t seem to affect me that much when it was happening.

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.

link dump

Watch out, you’re being watched – The unsettling thing about living in a surveillance society isn’t just that you’re being watched. It’s that you have no idea.

NSA releases new version of Linux software – let me see if i’ve got this straight: a version of one of the most secure operating systems in existence, being offered by the most paranoid geeks the government can find, right? i’m not sure whether i would trust this or not…

Sex Offender Running for Mayor in Texas – if “christians” can run, why not sex offenders? they may even be the same people.

Rules of Moopsball – the precursor to calvinball, it involves three hundred and twenty-four people, and takes three days.

Lord Arunachala – Lord Siva said: โ€œWhat cannot be acquired without great pains – the true import of Vedanta (Self-realization) – can be attained by anyone who looks at (this hill) from where it is visible or even mentally thinks of it from afar.โ€

Does the Human Brain Possess Potential โ€œSuper Powersโ€?related

Researchers Play Tune Recorded Before Edison – For more than a century, since he captured the spoken words โ€œMary had a little lambโ€ on a sheet of tinfoil, Thomas Edison has been considered the father of recorded sound. But researchers say they have unearthed a recording of the human voice, made by a little-known Frenchman, that predates Edisonโ€™s invention of the phonograph by nearly two decades.

Lying for Jesus? – Richard Dawkins expounds on the recent fracas with PZ Meyers being expelled from Expelled.

Bababadalgharaghtakamminarronnkonnbronntonnerronntuonnthunntrovarrhounawnskawntoohoohoordenenthurnuk – and eleven other reasons why english is my native language.

Gay Black Jewish Klansmen for Tolerance and Understanding

Continue reading link dump

here is someone who knows what i went through!!!

here is someone who knows what i went through and is able to talk about it without sounding like a raving idiot!

Dr. Jill Taylor‘s talk at 2008 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design)

a few things are different: i suffered an Arteriovenous Malformation, not a stroke, and i still have quite a bit of trouble with language, mood, and my right hand. my clot was more the size of an egg than a golf-ball, but it was on the periphery of the left hemisphere, just above my left ear, and is in a very similar place to the location of Dr. Taylor’s scar and what i can tell from the angiograms that she shows. of course, she started out as a neuroanatomist to begin with, and has a lot more language skills to describe such an event than i ever had, and i believe my AVM was higher up on the left hemisphere, which affected my language center a lot more profoundly.

i wrote to dr. jill, just to say how much i admired her talk.

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!

blah

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

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

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

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

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

random busy

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

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

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

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

more 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

8P

Breaking the Drug Taboo: Group of Traumatized Veterans Get Experimental Ecstasy Treatment – we’ve got a country that seems bent on starting war, spending less and less money on medical care for injured soldiers, children and for everyone, and we’ve got a leader who, while he partook of illegal drugs in the past (and may still have at least one habit that we’re not supposed to know about), has basically said “no drugs for anyone”, and his henchmen are doing everything in their power to put as many “drug users” as possible into prison – the maximum pentalty for possession of a nuclear weapon is 12 years, but the maximum pentalty for posession of 3 pounds of cannabis is life, without the possiblility of parole – and yet there are still groups like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies pushing for things like this. i’m not sure whether or not i feel like this is a lost cause: part of me is very glad that there are groups like this out there changing perceptions of drugs and forcing their use in medicine, but part of me thinks that, with hypocrites like bush, governors like huckabee, and social leaders like james dobson, there is still much, much further to go before cannabis is legal again.

Continue reading 8P

i am a bellinghamster

DREAM – i was in bellingham, but it was weird bellingham, that was older and/or newer than real bellingham. at first, i was on my bike, travelling from the north side to the south side, but i was going down high street/indian street from the university, and i had to go by fred meyers on lakeway before heading to the south side, but the further down indian street i got the less like actual bellingham it was. i noticed this and went 1 block north to high street, and i found houses i recognised, so i went back one block south, and found myself in the middle of an office complex that hadl, from the look of the architecture and the age of the trees, been there for at least 50 years. indian street was gone, and it was as though the university had expanded to take over part of sehome hill to jersey street and east all the way to chestnut or holly street. there was also a weird part that was sort of like a dream that i had a while ago (i’m not sure whether or not i actually wrote about it), where i was on my bike in bellingham and going from the madhouse by my friend eric’s house on mason street, but there was a railroad track, a much bigger freeway and this strange lighting effect that made everything look as though it had been filtered through something that removed all the colour and made it look like antique photos. also the store at potter and humboldt was in a different place, right next to the railroad track and closer to lakeway.

anyway, travelling along the back of one of the long buildings along where indian street used to be, i discovered this strange thing that was kind of like an aqueduct, but was now more like a sewer, sunk into the ground and covered with brickwork that was broken in parts, so part of it was open to the air, and the further toward chestnut i travelled, the more broken the brickwork became, until it was more like a brick-lined ditch with broken bricks, a little water, and a bunch of grass and weeds growing in it. there were also large brick buildings that looked like they had been there for at least 50 years, surrounding a big, open space with massive trees and pathways criscrossing the neatly manicured grass. eventually i left my bike somewhere, for some unknown reason, and headed back up the hill towards the university. i actually went through some of the buildings, because i could. inside they were more like hospitals: a lot of people wandering around with drip sets and posts with drip bags on wheels, butts sticking out from ill-fitting hospital gowns and such-like. it must have been an older hospital, though, because there were no automatic doors or ramps, it was all stairways, manual doorways between levels, and hallways going off at bizarre angles. at one point i realised that i had forgotten my bike, and went back, ostensibly to get it, but i didn’t get far because a huge crowd of people were getting in my way, almost as if the classes were changing or something: one minute there were just the people that looked like they should have been in a hospital, and the next minute there were all these people that were all going different places all at once. they didn’t realise they were getting in my way, but there were more of them than i could deal with, and i realised that i had forgotten where my bike was anyway, so i proceded back the way i had been going to begin with. there was a part where i went up a stairway to a door that came out the back of the hospital-like building, with a bike rack along the back of the building. the hill continued up, but i noticed that this was the highest point you could get to on the paved pathways, and if it hadn’t been for the huge trees below, there would have been a great view.

eventually i got to what had been the end of jersey street, where it goes into sehome hill, and i remember thinking that, at one time, i had gone up to sehome hill by the same route when i did the blessing before my son was born, and i thought about how different it was now, with all of the buildings and neatly trimmed grass.

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?

very weird dream

i was at a chinese restaurant in downtown seattle, near the king street station, eating with moe and several other people i don’t know. when we finished, we went out onto the street by way of this weird little tunnel that went below the street and let us out on the other side of the street from the restaurant, which is where things started getting really screwy. the tunnel came up in another restaurant, or possibly in an across-the-street extension of the restaurant that we had been in, and it was full of people and bicycles. we had the dogs with us (in a restaurant?) and half the people in the restaurant started complaining about a dog in the restaurant and half of them wanted to eat zora. i wouldn’t stand for it and demanded to see the manager, who told me that it would be best if we all left the restaurant through the back door, which meant going past all the people in the restaurant, through a door into the kitchen and down a little hallway to the street. when we finally made it to the street, i knew that i had parked the car exactly one block from the restaurant, so i knew that it couldn’t be more than one block in any direction from where i was standing, but i went one block and suddenly found myself in the middle of a large black gang rally where i was the white person. they didn’t want me there, and made their intentions known, so hastily i kept going another block, in a straight line, away from where the other people at the restaurant were standing, and somehow i found that i had gone around 2 sides of a triangular block, and was approaching the place i just left. when i got back to where i started from, i apologised to the people for making them stand around, but the car wasn’t where i expected it to be. it was then suggested that i go the opposite direction, back the way i came, and the car might be there. so i headed back, and found myself on the edge of a manufacturing yard with a whole bunch of metal rails on stands, and a number of railroad spurs, surrounded by a fence. i started to head across the yard when a whole bunch of workers showed up and started singing “When You’re A Jet” from West Side Story, and encouraging me to join in with them. at first i was in too much of a hurry, but then i couldn’t help joining in, eventually taking up one of the minor lead roles. i noticed that they had changed from workers to a tough-looking puerto rican street gang, but they seemed friendly and were impressed with my singing and ability to play hand rhythmns on the various barrels and rails that were sitting around in the yard (which i have been unable to do in reality since my injury: the left hand works the way its supposed to, but the right hand just wobbles, shakes violently, or, at best, is significantly slower). when the song was over, i was even more in a hurry to find the car than i was before, but my right leg had started to get tired, so i was skipping instead of running, and suddenly i started to fly. it was a little disturbing at first and i slowed down so that i would lose altitude, but then i realised that i could spot the car from above a lot easier than i could on the ground, so i went up again and almost immediately ran into overhead wires (i always run into overhead wires in my flying dreams! it’s SO annoying!) and got tangled in them. i noticed that the alaska way viaduct was right next to where i was, and that i was in a part of seattle that had random, triangular shaped blocks and was 2 or 3 blocks away from the water. i somehow managed to get free of the wires, and i came back to earth in another manufacturing yard, which was very muddy. the puerto rican street gang was there, although now they had changed into the cast from Welcome Back Kotter (which i have never watched – even one episode), and they told me that i should get out of the way if i didn’t want to get wet. just about that time, i noticed that the mud was getting soupier, and from across the yard, a whole bunch of water was coming towards me, so i started flying again and almost immediately got tangled in the overhead wires again, this time i actually broke one of the wires and had it wrapped around my right leg, which was now almost useless for walking. i worried about what would happen if it bridged the gap between two other wires while it was wrapped around my leg, but when it did so i was not injured in any way.

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/

busy

i’ve got to mail a package, and then take some extra computer parts to re-pc, and then get to issaquah by 1:00 to pick up business cards for NBAC, and then go to north bend to deliver the business cards to NBAC, and then potentially, go to the bank and deposit the check from NBAC for the business cards. then i haven’t yet decided whether or not i’m going to go home, because there’s a Puss In Boots rehearsal at hale’s tonight at 7:00, and i think it would be more efficient to go directly there rather than going home first, even though the rehearsal is at 7:00. but if i go directly to hale’s from there, then i have to have my tuba and related goo-bah, which i have to think about now… and if i do end up deciding to go home, then my tuba will already be in the car.

but i’ve got an appointment with ned at 3:00, which i didn’t realise until just a moment ago, which throws a wrench in the whole scheme of things… 8P

i’ve got something going on every day this week: i’ve got a trolloween rehearsal with the fremont phil on tuesday, then trolloween on wednesday, then a day of the dead gig with banda gozona on thursday, and another day of the dead gig on friday, then i think there is a gig at meany hall with banda gozona on saturday, but i’m not sure (relevant messages came through in email during the time when my email/schedule was malfunctioning). then, next tuesday is john phillip sousa’s birthday with the BSSB (tickets to the sousa bash are sold out, but if you want to go, i can probably get you in, standing room only), and next friday is my high school 30th reunion planning (i’m OLD!), which i’m not sure i’m going to go to, because i didn’t get along very well with those people when i was in high school, and i can’t think of any reason, other than time, that i would get along with them any better now. then next saturday is a performance of the fremont phil for the opening of a new park in fremont. next sunday is WORLD ART CAR DAY, and it is also the veterans’ day performance of the BSSB at the north shore senior center, and then, theoretically, there is a recording session for the BSSB on a week from next tuesday.

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.

1068

this is a two part dream: the first part was out in a very rural area somewhere near place where a rural road split off and crossed a river. i lived somewhere relatively close, because i had walked there. the road ran parallel to the river and split off at right angles, where it crossed the river at right angles, over a bridge that was basically like a hill that went up, turned into a bridge and crossed the river, and then went down again, without any superstructure over the bridge, and the land around the river crossing was swampy, except for one place where there was a fairly modern building, with a parking lot. the building was some kind of spy organisation, and there were a lot of people there, both men and women, working busily. outside the building looked relatively small and normal, but inside it was a maze of corridors with offices and rooms on several floors, but i was only allowed to see the rooms on the ground floor. a lot of the people were speaking in code or using very specific technical jargon that i couldn’t always understand, and laughing about the fact that i couldn’t understand it. they said that if i told anybody about the fact that it was a spy organisation, i would be sorry, but at the same time, they gave me a very specific coded message that i was to give to somebody verbally. it was complex enough that i couldn’t remember all of it (and i can remember none of it now). i left on my “mission”, walking toward the river, and thinking how the only person that i could hope to tell all of this to was randy, who i knew to have been dead for at least 15 years, so it didn’t matter what they said about my being sorry, but at that exact same moment, i was attacked by three teenagers – or somebody on skateboards – dressed as ninjas, with machine guns, and i ran to the other side of the bridge and hid in the bushes.

when i emerged from the bushes, everything had changed. the one building on the other side of the river was now a sprawling industrial park, although the one building was still where it had been, now it was part of a lot of single-level buildings that were all connected together. randy was there, and we talked as though he had never died. we walked back across the river towards the industrial park, and i noticed my car, ganesha, parked in the parking lot next to the spy headquarters, so i decided to show him what i had been talking about. but the closer we got, the more suspicious i got that the people were really spies or something, and so when we got to the building, next to my car, we walked into the spy headquarters, and then turned the corner and walked out again, through a different door that lead to a kind of courtyard between the buildings. some of the people in the spy headquarters recognised me and commented that i shouldn’t have brought somebody else there, but they didn’t make a fuss about it when we immediately walked out again, although i did feel rather nervous about the whole thing, and i remember commenting to randy that they were all dangerous spies in this place.

we walked through the courtyard, which ran parallel to the river, behind the building complex, and eventually came to a place where there was a real agarbathiwallah – a guy who sold incense – at first he didn’t appear to be indian, but the more we talked to him, the more indian he appeared, although i was still convinced that he was somehow connected with the spy headquarters, and i was very suspicious about him for a long time. when i told him that i ran an incense business online, he told me that he wouldn’t sell incense to me because it was too “electrical and complex”. he did, however, sell incense to randy – really exotic, bulk incense for $4.50 a kilo – and i watched as randy wrote him a check, and he signed with his signature which i remember being exactly like the signature that randy signed when he was alive. more people came into the agarbathiwallah’s shop, who were apparently related in some way to the owner; an old man with a beard, and a young kid. the agarbathiwallah had a thing that looked like a shoe, only made out of wood, and he started doing something with some incense and a thing that looked like a pestle, also made out of wood, which he set on fire until it was smoldering and then ground the incense in the bottom of the shoe-like thing. i finally convinced him to sell me some incense: three large boxes and three small boxes of “pitha” incense. The Stars And Stripes Forever was playing on the piped in music thing in the store, and now i’ve got that march stuck in my head.


also another dream that i had yesterday, which was very short:

i dreamed that i was running an indian import business in the basement of a corner building in an old part of town – somewhere (possibly bellingham?). the basement was completely lined with wood, on the floor, on the ceiling, on the walls, and there was a huge wooden beam that supported the roof in the middle of the room. there was also what used to be a stairway to the upper floor, that was at least 100 years old, and was no longer a stairway, but was a bin for holding firewood. somehow this all came out of a previous dream in which i was selling indian imports at something like the oregon country fair: i remember a huge booth with flashy, twinkly lighted toys and doodads at the close of the fair, after everyone had left, but i don’t remember the context. anyway, i was in the process of moving (back?) into the basement store, and going around the store making sure everything was as it should be. one of my suppliers had an aqua imac that was having some difficulties, and i said i could fix it for him, but it had an operating system with which i am not familiar on it, and a whole bunch of obsolete software and stuff that was interfering with the process of getting it back to “normal”, and i was getting more and more frustrated with it.


1059

okay, here’s another reason why i have been grumpy and out of sorts since my return from OCF:

a couple of friends of mine from bellingham, ken and kamalla, have been planning a celebration of “the summer of love” for a while, and i have been invited to play music, along with a bunch of other musicians including a guy who is a famous musician (he played with some big name musicians back in the ’60s and ’70s but i can’t remember their names at the moment). i was planning on staying at the house that i lived at when i was in bellingham, called the “madhouse”, but then i learned that the madhouse is currently vacant because of the fact that collette, a very old friend of mine who has also been staying at the madhouse recently, has gone crazy and has driven everyone else away. the guy who owns the madhouse, darol (another very old friend of mine) and collette are the only people living there – there are usually at least 4 people, apart from darol, who lives there all the time, living there, and sometimes more than that.

the thing is, the psycho hose-beast from hell also lived at the madhouse before her first visit to the state loony bin a couple years ago, and i don’t want my association with these people (collette and the PHBFH) to affect my relationship with darol, and i don’t have anyplace else to stay in bellingham these days, because ken and kamalla have decided that they can’t have house guests while they’re preparing for the show. i have been waffling back and forth, one day i’m going to go to bellingham, and the next day i’m not, ever since i came back from OCF, and i’m getting really tired of not knowing whether i’m going to go or not, especially since the show is supposed to be in two weeks.

i had an appointment with ned this afternoon, but i had a BSSB performance at highline community college beforehand, and there was a massive traffic jam, so i arrived to my appointment 10 minutes late, and ned had already left for the day – something that wouldn’t have happened if i were paying him, which i can’t do because i don’t have health insurance. at the same time, i have been feeling more and more grumpy and out of sorts, and i have been seriously considering things like attacking the car that i saw ahead of me in the traffic jam today that had a bumper sticker that said “marriage = 1 man + 1 woman” with my car, or jumping out and giving them a lecture on why discrimination of any kind is the exact opposite of what jesus would do, and i have been more and more concerned that this country is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing i can do about it. i’ve even been seriously considering suicide because things seem so hopeless and there’s no possibility that things are going to change, except for the worse, any time in the forseeable future

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

1017

i got a business card order from NBAC today. i looked on my computer in the place where such things are kept, and discovered that i had backed up their folder, so i dug around to see if i could find the backup. i found a backup that has a NBAC folder, but it says it’s from last year, and the NBAC folder is empty (which irritates the hell outta me, but i did it, so i irritate the hell outta myself… 8/ ). the really irritating part is that i remember making a fairly recent backup, because i have a receipt from NBAC that’s dated february of this year. and i even recall debating where to store it (for some unknown reason, all of my backup disks are spread out through two rooms of the house, and most of them are in the PILE OF BOXES somewhere), and putting it on the shelf, surprisingly close to the backup disk that i found from last year… except that a more recent backup is nowhere to be found. it’s possible that the card from february was a reprint – in fact it’s likely – but i think i provided artwork for it anyway, because i believe that’s when i gave my red flash drive to troy.

and the thing that makes it really irritating is that i have had almost exactly the same problem with NBAC files at least twice in the past, and i remember specifically, getting really pissed off the last couple of times and vowing that it would never happen again… and “the next time” it didn’t happen and i figured that the problem was fixed – or, more likely, i didn’t pay any attention to it because it was working the way it was supposed to this time.