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blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.

along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…

however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒

i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.

i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒

the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒

VEWPRF

moe’s mom was supposed to be here for christmas eve dinner, but the ice-pocalypse has still got us in its icy grip… mind you, issaquah-hobart road has been chemically de-iced and plowed, and for every other place in the greater seattle metropolitan area, the roads are passable, at worst… but i had to walk out to the park at the corner of hobart-ravensdale road, this afternoon, to pick up a package, because the fedex driver, the USPS driver, a door-dash driver, and a tow truck had a “confligration” (complete with flashing lights and everything) at the top of our neighbourhood. there were two cars that passed me on the way to the park, which i’m not sure whether they got through or not, and there were two more cars that passed me on the way back… and i’m not sure whether or not they got through either…

so, conditionally, moe’s mom is coming for dinner tomorrow (after it has been >50° for more than 24 hours), along with scott and nancy (our friends from up the road towards issaquah about 10 miles), and that means that moe has decided that she has to make TWO dinners… she had originally planned to make indian food for dinner with scott and nancy, but her mom won’t eat indian food, so she’s getting enough steak for dinner, and to take back so she can have left-overs tomorrow… and, because of the fact that steak night was supposed to be tonight, moe made pasta tonight…

both blirgday &c.

on this day, in 2007, i started this blog, as a response to livejournal selling out to the russians, which means that this blog has been in existence for 15 years, in more-or-less the same place. i wonder if it will last another 15 years. 😏 as a result of getting closer and closer to leaving “twit-turd”, i have established a presence at linktr.ee, where i put ALL the links to EVERYWHERE that i might be contacted… which is a little strange, because, as far as i know, it is the first time i have EVER posted, in the same place, links to personalities that i have endeavoured to keep separate, prior to this. it is also a bit strange, because i actually switched my harmonic flute video to “public” from “you can’t see it unless i gave you the link”, because i didn’t want “salamandir” and “rev. deluxe” obviously associated with each other. now, i’m not as concerned, i don’t think anyone of consequence will notice, and, even if someone of consequence DOES notice, it simply doesn’t bother me as much as it did 15 or 20 years ago.

“twit-turd” has become a seething morass of white supremacists, nazis, fascists, MAGAts, drumpf-lovers, vaccine denial, and hatred, ALL OF WHICH is more-or-less unmoderated, because (among other stupid things he’s done), when “ELONgated MUSKrat” bought it (under duress), the first thing he did was to re-instate a whole bunch of people who had been kicked off the service, for violating rules that “ELONgated MUSKrat” disagreed with… which, at this point, includes “Fartgorie Taylor-Greene” (who was booted for spreading vaccine misinformation), and Donald J. Drumpf, himself (who was booted for spreading lies about the 2020 election). how long i stay there is still up in the air, but it’s a matter of days, weeks, or months, and certainly not more than a year, unless some massive change happens. 😒

the first show of 2022 fell yesterday. it wasn’t very much, but it’s enough that i am re-thinking my plans to go to the panto rehearsal this evening, despite the fact that we only have three more rehearsals until the show starts.

221129 - 0930 am
221129 – 0930 am

this was yesterday, at approximately 9:30 in the morning. i PROBABLY could have driven my car in this amount of snow, but unfortunately…

221130 - 0745 am
221130 – 0745 am

this was today, at approximately 7:45 in the morning… i definitely COULD NOT drive my car with this amount of snow… moe says that, outside of our neighbourhood, the roads are plowed, clear, and passable, but… from where i sit, it looks like a skating rink, and i have to get up a hill (which moe said is a skating rink) in order to get out of the neighbourhood… and the only reason moe knows this is because she took the truck, loaded with concrete blocks to work today, because her car needs new tires (which she just discovered yesterday, after having slid around on various streets on her way home from work, yesterday).

💀💣

i made a bunch of operation mindfuck envelopes, which i intend to give to “trick-or-treaters” tonight, but not in the way they expect. moe put an announcement in the neighbourhood farcebook group that we would put candy outside our house, for whoever wanted to come by and take it, to do so… but moe is going to be at one of her dog classes, this evening, and probably won’t get back until 8:30 or so, so i’m going to put a big bowl of candy on a chair, next to our mailbox, and then i’m going to put on my black djellaba, and my black burnous, and my wizard hat, and skulk about in the shadows (of which there are plenty) and pop out at people with bizarre secret messages. 🧙😈

this is a test: 🫨 the test is over. hmmmm… 🧐

bleh

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

same as it ever was:

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

211230
211230

VEWPRF/year-end stuff

i’m slowly rebuilding my music collection. today i added two tom zé albums, from the early 2000s, which are “no longer available” — meaning “the only place to find them is on discogs. one is an album i had pre-cloud-drive-disaster, called “Estudando o Pagode (Na Opereta Segregamulher e Amor)“. the other is one that “just happened” to be available from the same vendor, from two years earlier, in 2003, and it’s called “Imprensa Cantada“. both of them appear in several tom zé anthologies, but the original CDs have artwork that is NOT included in the anthologies, and, especially in the case of tom zé, the graphic artwork is almost as important as the musical artwork in the overall scheme of things. i should be getting another Gogol Bordello CD pretty soon, also

we’re giving away the last piece of ikea furniture that we own, that is NOT shelves, tomorrow… which should be interesting, as we currently have three days worth of snow on the ground, and only a few tire tracks of people driving past our house. it’s the king-size storage bed frame, which means that now we’ve got the adjustable bed frame on the 4-inch legs that it came with (rather than on the 2-inch legs, on top of the storage bed), no storage under the bed (currently), and no headboard (currently). the plan is to get some other form of storage, and a headboard… and, possibly a dresser and nightstand to replace the ones i inherited from my grandparents in 1980-something.

moe is getting “stem cell treatment” on her knees on thursday [UPDATE: WEDNESDAY!!] (hopefully the roads will have cleared enough by then that i can drive out of the neighbourhood). this is to (hopefully) “cure” her bum knees, which currently have no meniscus. if everything goes according to plan, this is going to create “new” padding between the bones in her knee. naturally, “insurance” won’t pay for it, and the only other option — total knee replacement — isn’t happening at the moment because the orthopedist that moe has been seeing is fat-phobic, and won’t operate until she’s lighter than she’s ever been in her adult life. 😒… so the (veterinary) clinic is paying for the whole procedure(!!). alledgedly, it’s going to be a couple of days of being “pretty out of it”, followed by a couple weeks of “light duty”, and then it will develop into an “up to 80% improvement”, which is A LOT better than where she’s been for the past few years.

i’ve managed to stay a lot more insulated from the standard xmas “celebration”, this year, but it’s primarily because of the pandemic, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending any time in the forseeable future, barring a miracle of some sort… and, as we all know, miracles that involve anti-vax mask-holes, and the right-wing, republican’t, fascist, white-supremacist IDIOTS that currently make up slightly less than HALF of the population of this gawd-forsaken wasteland, are, for all practical purposes, totally unheard-of… but, on the plus side, almost complete isolation for the second year in a row, has made it so that i have only had to listen to one, partial rendition of “feliz navidad” this year, so i can’t say that’s all bad.

and i got a theremin for xmas! 😎

borg blithday

hi, today is the blog birthday. it’s not actually the blog birthday now, because i am writing this in advance, and scheduling it for the blirg bothday, but you don’t know that.

this is the 14th anniversary of this blog in this location, in spite of the fact that “this location” has actually changed at least three times since then. the location has changed, but the URL has remained the same. for the record, the bog is now physically located in florida, under the auspices of WebHost Python, which has been my host provider for around 5 years now. rather strange, as i am physically located in the seattle, washington area, completely on the other side of the continent from the location of the blig.

internet is awesome, sometimes…

the blithday of the borg in it’s original form is actually 030415, but that was back when it was on LiveJournal, and brad was still in charge. these days i’ve tended a lot more towards the Bacchus’ First Rule of Internet philosophy: “Anything worth doing on the internet is worth doing at your own domain that you control.”

it’s true.

࿗ ManWoman Memorial Day! ࿘

in memory of ManWoman, born 2 feb., 1938, died 13 nov., 2012. father/mother/brother/sister to everyone, but particularly those who have swastika tattoos.

࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉

ManWoman
ManWoman

The Swastika takes many forms, but it's still a Swastika. The issue is not whether Hitler's Swastika is different from ours. The issue is that it is our Swastika, not Hitler's.
211105 The Swastika takes many forms, but it’s still a Swastika.
The issue is not whether Hitler’s Swastika is different from ours.
The issue is that it is our Swastika, not Hitler’s.

woo…

it’s 2021.

does anybody have a reason to celebrate which is NOT related to tradition or #drumpf, which would actually make a difference to most people?

didn’t think so. 😒

VEWPRF green things

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

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

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

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

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

thailand has had 4 deaths from COVID19… FOUR! 😒

🎉 woo… 🎊

yep, these are for the year 2018

and people hope 2020 is going to be better… i’m still waiting for 2019 to be better, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen… 😒

blog birthday

oh yeah… this is my blog-birthday. on this day, twelve years ago, i retired from LiveJournal and began my tenure on my own, personal server:

The Last Post on LiveJournal
The First Post on my own server

now would also be a good time to mention the reason behind my blog, on my own server, Bacchus’ First Law Of Internet, which is “Anything worth doing on internet, is worth doing at your own domain, on your own server, which you control.”

BUY MORE STUFF!

BUY MORE STUFF!
BUY MORE STUFF!

for a long time, i was one of the people that they came to when they wanted to organise music for the community “Solstice Grand Dance” ritual in bellingham. it’s likely that i did this, pretty much every year, from the early 1980s until i moved back to seattle in 1998. it ended about 5 years after i left bellingham, because the person who motivated the whole thing, my very good friend and mentor, Kenyth Freeman, decided that he was tired of being the motivating force behind it, and tried to give the responsibility to someone else, which didn’t work out so well. it was a “synthetic” ritual, in that it took elements from a number of disparate spiritual traditions. it was not presented, specifically, as a spiritual ritual, but it very definitely had very spiritual overtones, which got louder if you were actually aware of the spiritual traditions out of which they were taken. the music was usually improvised, with various flutes, guitars and percussion being the main instruments. for people who “knew”, it was a spiritual ritual of the highest order, but for most of the people who attended, it was a community dance, with sort of ritual elements… and the stated goal (at the start of the ritual) that, after the dance was over, the participants were to get together with whomever they were sexually attracted to, and fuck like crazy bunnies.

actually, that was a big part of the solstice grand dance for everyone that i knew, whether or not they were “in the know” about the “secret origins” of the grand dance.

and, it may be that the command to “go out and fuck like crazy bunnies” was one of the attractions for “the community” — 90% of whom were completely unknown to me — but that may be just conjecture on my part. there may have been more people than me, who were doing it for the ritual part, and not for “other reasons”…

anyway, there’s this:

Before There Was Christmas, There Was the Solstice, and Hope
By William Rivers Pitt
December 25, 2018

The kindergarten teachers I know each tell the same story: Roundabout the middle of December, all the kids who celebrate Christmas transform into voracious little three-foot monsters bereft of morality or self-control. All the behaviors parents worked so diligently to instill in them collapse under the long duress of waiting for Santa.

Alas, my own daughter fell victim to the phenomenon this year. It was a jarring revelation to watch my sweet, caring, sharing, loving little girl decompensate into this ruthless feral capitalist, a frothing cauldron of I want who sees herself as the only being in all of existence. Matters did not improve at school; as it turned out, putting 15 feral capitalists in a room where they could spend all day rubbing their I want woes together exacerbated the situation dramatically.

My wife and I eventually got her past this crisis of materialism, but it was remarkable nonetheless. It was as if a virus got passed from kid to kid to kid until they were all infected with an insatiable lust for more stuff.

Neither of us blamed our daughter for her behavior. In retrospect, it was thoroughly unsurprising: Here is this wee child, possessed of a moral code still in formation, gripping the live wire of Maximum Capitalism that was engineered specifically for people in her age group. It was an extension of the Consumerist Boot Camp that begins the day after Thanksgiving, her first real lesson in what is expected of her in the hollow, soulless economy she was born into.

Many of her adult contemporaries did not seem to be faring much better as the season ground to a conclusion. My wife works retail and came home every night with tales of wrath and fury spewed by customers ostensibly seeking to purchase items intended to make someone happy. Instead, their exposure to Maximum Capitalism, with its attendant insipid music score played on an endless loop, brought out the werewolf in almost all of them.

It would require a crackerjack team of sociologists, historians and economists to properly explain how the dominant methods for celebrating this holiday came to be the pluperfect mess it is today, so here’s the short version:

The Roman Emperor Constantine co-opted a wide variety of ancient pagan holidays in the name of Christianity in order to cement his rule, and the winter solstice celebration was foremost among them. Adam Smith published The Wealth of Nations — his treatise on free-trade capitalism — in 1776, the same year a bunch of wealthy businessmen decided they wanted to plunder the North American continent free from British interference (read: taxes). By then, Constantine’s solstice-inspired Christmas was the biggest day on the Christian calendar, and once it was stapled to US-style free-trade capitalism, door-busters and Walmart riots were all but inevitable in the fullness of time.

Like I said, it’s the short version.

The wanton garishness at the heart of the modern consumerist Christmas season serves to vividly underscore the emptiness of soul and spirit felt by so many today. Like the holiday itself, mere life has become an exhausting, overwhelming grind bereft of meaning beyond immediate, inert gratification. Trust in longstanding institutions is collapsing, the climate itself is collapsing, the specter of actual doom hangs low over us all, and the proffered solution – Buy more stuff! – is a lie as vast as the problems themselves. “Buy more stuff” is, in point of fact, a massive part of what has gone so starkly wrong in the first place.

It is difficult to imagine a more important time than right now to refocus our spiritual energy toward the vast clockwork of the natural world.

For many, myself included, there is refuge and profound meaning found in a celebration of the winter solstice that Constantine absconded with 17 centuries ago. Celebration of the solstice is as old as the stones; Stonehenge and Newgrange, the Bronze Age monuments in England and Ireland, are both aligned with the winter solstice sunrise. Stone arrangements left by the Anasazi people in New Mexico around 200 BC are likewise attuned to the movement of the sun.

Celebration of the longest night of the year is everywhere. The Hopi descendants of the Anasazi celebrate Soyal at the setting of the solstice sun with a ceremony of fires and dancing that lasts all night. In Iran, the winter solstice is celebrated as Shab-e Yalda, which means “Night of Birth,” in which families and friends gather to read poems and feast. It is called Dong Zhi in China and Inti Raymi in Peru, and these celebrations are striking in their similarities.

Wiccans and other practitioners of ancient witchcraft (a word they proudly own) celebrate the winter solstice as an affirmation of life itself as being sacred and interconnected. People celebrate solstice individually and collectively by dancing, feeding animals to help them through the winter, or by communing with nature in an act of deliberate release, spending negative energy into the darkness of the longest night on the promise of the sunrise to come.

It is difficult to imagine a more important time than right now to refocus our spiritual energy toward the vast clockwork of the natural world. The bill for generations of pollution and greed has finally come due, in the guise of rising seas, murderous storms, permanent droughts and towering fires, and this is merely the beginning.

“In this age of ecological collapse,” counsels Truthout journalist Dahr Jamail, “I believe an Earth-based spirituality with roots as strong as the deepest keel is as necessary as water and food, if not even more so. Nothing less than a practice based on remaining attuned to the wisdom of the Earth herself will provide the daily grounding each of us needs to stay balanced and centered as portions of the biosphere collapse around us.”

Life, renewal, rejuvenation: These lay at the beating heart of every winter solstice celebration. Though they differ in root and practice, they all respond to the same reality: The winter solstice is the longest night of the year. Its passing means the days will grow longer, and the Earth will soon give birth to itself once again in a spectacle of warmth, splendor and bounty. The winter solstice is the first step toward the healing light.

In the beginning and at the end, it is about hope.

Amid the consumerist Christmas that corporations are pushing upon us, we can still reach for the spiritual renewal at the center of the ancient solstice holiday.

Today is Christmas and the solstice has passed, but amid the consumerist Christmas that corporations are pushing upon us, we can still step back and reach for the spiritual renewal at the center of the ancient solstice holiday. The wonder of the turning Earth and the life-giving sun is still with us today. Christmas consumerism may have paved it over and smothered it in advertisements, but it is still there, bright green and gold, waiting to be bathed in the coming dawn.

“The solstice is an astronomical fact we can all agree upon,” my friend Alexandra is wont to say. “We are all subject to the seasons and dependent on the Earth and the other living things. This is a better basis for a belief system, and worthy of reverence. There can be no arguing about it. Peace on Earth could be the result.”

“I say this,” she declares, “every year.”

"holiday" season

dont fuck with santa claus
dont fuck with santa claus
this would be a good time to re-read the VEWPRF rant that i posted in 2008, because… well, it just is. that’s all.

the panto started last weekend, and it was good. it wasn’t great, but, for the first shows, it was better than average by a few steps, and it definitely has the potential for being great… especially after a couple more weeks of actual “rehearsal” 😉 i actually played most of the notes correctly, played a few notes that i have never been able to play before (low F, E and E♭), and they were audible and (most importantly) in tune, and i only got lost/confused/missed cues a couple of times, and it wasn’t because i wasn’t paying attention, like it usually is… which is good. there are a few physical sound effects: the ratchet, siren whistle, thunder sheet, bar chimes, slide whistle, that sort of thing, and there are a few electronic sound effects: horse whinney, squeak-stomp-splat for the donkey stepping on the ogress/mouse… and i’m thinking that i can probably come up with a better sword fight sound than the one i’ve got currently, which is bashing two metal spatulas together.

yawn

nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.

moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.

the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. 😐

SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.

π day

approximations of π include

  • Integers: 3
  • Fractions: Approximate fractions include (in order of increasing accuracy) 227, 333106, 355113, 5216316604, 10399333102, and 24585092278256779. (List is selected terms from OEISA063674 and OEISA063673.)
  • Decimal: The first 50 decimal digits are 3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510… (see OEISA000796)
  • Binary: The base 2 approximation to 48 digits is 11.001001000011111101101010100010001000010110100011… (see OEISA004601)
  • Hexadecimal: The base 16 approximation to 20 digits is 3.243F6A8885A308D31319… (see OEISA062964)
  • Sexagesimal: A base 60 approximation to five sexagesimal digits is 3;8,29,44,0,47 (see OEISA060707)

happy international talk like a pirate day

when they used the word “ye” meaning “you”, that is because the modern eye doesn’t recognise that the antique informal “you”, is spelled “thee” or, more correctly, “þe”. the letter “thorn” – þ – is left over from when everybody spoke anglo-saxon, and when it became less common, printers replaced it with the letter y, which was still getting figured out where it was supposed to go in the alphabet at that time. there are two forms of the letter “thorn”, a capital – Þ – and a “lower case” – þ – and, these days, you need extra help to type them, because, while they’re probably part of your computer’s character set, it’s no longer something that you can access from the keyboard. the numeric character entity for capital letter THORN is is Þ and the small letter thorn is þ so you can put them on the web.

also, in middle english, the second person singlar pronoun “þe” and the second person plural pronoun “ȝe” (the letter “yogh” actually morphed into the modern letter “y”) were both printed as “ye” by middle-english printers who didn’t have the right type. that, along with the fact that americans didn’t particularly care for the informal “thee” meant that they started using the more formal “you” for both the second person singular and plural pronouns.

the english language has a whole bunch of letters that regularly get left out of alphabets, þ (thorn), ð (eth), ſ (medial s), and ʃ (esh) are a few examples…

yeah, i know, i’m a typography nerd…

RUM - FENCING - Make America Pirate Again!

hat-tip to ken whitley for the idea. 😉

WTF?!!?

so, i’m at the fremont solstice festival, and i’m wandering around, and i wander past this security-guard/bouncer-type person who compliments me on my “shrine hat”. i say it’s called a “fez”, and that, technically, i would not be allowed to wear a “shrine hat”, because i am not a shriner, but i can wear a fez that doesn’t have the shrine regalia, and this particular fez has an image of Ganesha, the hindu God of Removing Obstacles. the guy said that he’s wearing a “muslim” fez in the image, so i took off the fez to see what he was talking about… the fez that ganesha is wearing in the image has an aumkara (the sanskrit letter “AUM”: ॐ) on it, which i told him. his response: yeah. muslim…

um… okay…

so i said, no, it’s hindu. it’s the sanskrit letter AUM. he says, no, it’s muslim. i disagree, and he says, have you done the research? i say yeah, and he says “well i’m muslim” to which i respond “and i’m hindu.”…

do american muslims really know that little about islam? if so, it makes me understand a little better why there are so many american “christians” who are worried about sharia law… 😕

and, as i was typing this into my phone this afternoon, i was standing next to the fremont studios, and there was a group of people standing about 10 feet away from me, and the guy that i could hear clearly was talking about a video with paul simon and chevy chase in it, and one of the other people said “who is paul simon?”…

WTF??? i can’t be that old… 😕

SACBO, OCF et cetera

we have three snake suspenderz gigs next week. tuesday we have a gig at horizon house, which we played for last year to great acclaim. thursday we have a gig at the university house, wallingford, which doesn’t pay enough and only wants “background music” for their art opening (they could easily afford to pay us twice the amount they are, out of petty cash, considering how swank and regal the place is, but it’s for a friend of a friend, so we can’t really say much). saturday we have SACBO, which is in a new place this year. apparently, in spite of the crowds of people who attend, the fremont solstice fair budget is on the “shoe-string” level, and they decided to use the parking lot that we have been holding SACBO in for the past few years as a “pay-for” concert venue, which means that SACBO has to move to the former sound mind & body parking lot. it’s good because there won’t be the possibility for loud interruptions, like what happened last year, and it’s a nicer location, with more shade, right next to the water.

this year will also be the 14th 16th anniversary (this is why my wife is always right and i am always wrong) of our wedding, which now moves into the class of things i have done for the longest amount of time in my life, including smoking cannabis and being a musician.

the fighting instruments of karma (for which i am now, more-or-less, the “official” tuba player) has a parade in which i am actually going to be “marching”, in darrington, on the 4th of july. moe says i “dodged a bullet” because her mom wants us to come down to portland for a barbecue on the 4th. i’m still not totally sure whether moe will attend or not (although i don’t see any reason why not), but at this point, i’m grateful for anything that puts distance between me and moe’s mother.

then OCF happens from july 8th (or 9th, at the latest) until the 14th. we are already scheduled to perform at the ritz, on saturday, 12th july, at 7:30 pm. if you’re interested, and in the area, i encourage you to come: it is, definitely, not to be missed. both kiki and sasha are cast members this year, which means that stuart will be the pro-tem leader of the band, we will have an alternate drummer (possibly) and at least one new player whose name i have seen bandied about in email, but have never actually met. the philharmonic still hasn’t had any rehearsals, and there is no new music, although some is rumoured to exist, at least in kiki’s mind… in other words, we’re coming into OCF with practically no rehearsals at all, and (at this point) no rehearsals with the cast… just like normal… i’m not even 100% sure what show we are doing this year (although i think it might be “Sleeping Beauty”)…

it’s gotten to be so much of a “tradition” that i’m not particularly worried any longer, but it still causes a small amount of stress.

so, today is 4/20…

today, moe’s dad and his wife came to retrieve moe’s mom and her car from their visit with us this past week (it’s a long story: what it boils down to is that, despite the fact that she owns a very large, quite luxurious SUV, moe’s mom is afraid to, and refuses to drive on the freeway, or any place with which she’s not already familiar). they came up by train, i picked them up at the station, and they took off in moe’s mom’s car, whereupon they immediately proceded to get lost and ended up on the freeway going the wrong direction. allegedly they’re going to be back around 6:00 or so, with moe’s mom, and moe, who is at a dog trial today, which is why her parents are here. then they’re going to take the rabbit and go back to portland…

oh yeah… we found a pet rabbit in our front yard last week. it turned out to belong to our neighbour down the street, but they don’t want it any longer, so it’s going to portland with moe’s mom, and she’s allegedly going to give it to its new owner… i say allegedly because moe’s mom is in love with the rabbit and wants to take it home herself, despite the fact that her housemate (who is also her landlord) would have a fit…

i’ve got a BSSB rehearsal tuesday, and then a BSSB performance on saturday, i think… or maybe it’s sunday…

cannabis is legal! let’s keep it that way! 😎

eek…

Pogo 1965-08-13
Pogo 1965-09-14

so they finally upgraded wordpress to the point where my old barthelme theme won’t work any longer… i suppose that means that i’m going to be looking for another wordpress theme as well as working on the Hybrid Elephant web site… 😛

which, of course, is going to be next week, ’cause the next couple of days are full of performances.

Ganesha The Vāhana

the solstice festival is coming up sooner than i would have thought, so i put a coat of primer on Ganesha The Vāhana v3.0 in preparation for starting yet another, probably failed, attempt to get all 1008 names of ganesha on my car. i still haven’t decided exactly what i’m going to do once the primer dries (and, likely, gets sanded and a second coat added, because i just checked and there’s a whole bunch of places where the old coat is flaking, and/or the bare metal is showing through), but it’s probably going to be either a picture of ganesha and/or a swastika, or as many names of ganesha as i can fit, using tinier writing than i have used before… or, possibly a combination of the two…

i usually wait until there’s a week or so of good weather predicted, because i don’t have a garage, and wet paint and rain don’t mix well, but it’s getting to the point where i’m busy enough, and the weather has been wonky enough, that if i don’t get started on it soon, it won’t be anywhere close to ready by the time the solstice comes around.

along similar lines, there has been talk of getting me a new car. i don’t know whether this means a really new car, or if it just means a “new to me” car that is something from this century… which is a good thing, because the current ganesha the vāhana’s transmission is acting strangely, and OCF is also coming up sooner than i expected.

hoo boy… this really should have been 4/20, but it was close…

i accompanied my friend rick to the “world famous” tacoma cannabis farmers’ market today…

rick is an “authorised” cannabis patient, but he can’t get around, because he is confined to a wheelchair, currently, so he calls me, and i go and rescue him. because of the fact that he is more-or-less permanently disabled, he gets one of those placards that people hang from their rear-view mirrors, which goes on my rear-view mirror when i am driving him around (exactly why he gets one and i don’t is another story entirely, and one with which i am not totally satisfied, but it doesn’t have anything to do with the current diatribe)… except that it wasn’t there yet, because i was driving (you’re not supposed to put them on the rear-view mirror until the car is no longer in motion, because they block your view). the cannabis farmers’ market has a parking lot in front of the building that is for disabled parking only. the guy that waved us into the parking lot saw that rick was holding the placard and waved us in, but the (EXTREMELY stoned-looking) guy who was handing out paperwork at the door waved us away, because he didn’t see the placard. i continued to park, and he continued to wave me away, and finally i got out and explained to him that we were authorised to park there, at which point he started to argue with me, until he saw that rick had put the placard in place while we had been talking. there was a line of people waiting to get in, and so we got in line, and the same EXTREMELY stoned-looking guy gave rick some paperwork to fill out, which he did. by the time rick got his paperwork filled out, we were at the front of the line, but there was a step, and no way to get the wheelchair over it with out raising more chaos with the already-noisy crowd that was now behind us… and then it turned out that they wanted paperwork from me as well, which included me signing a piece of paper that said i am a legal medical marijuana patient… which i am not. i told the guy this, and he said that he couldn’t let me in. so i went and sat in the car while the extremely-stoned-looking guy pushed rick into the building. they came out again a surprisingly short amount of time later, and rick explained to me that we should come back at 2:00, when there would be less chaos, and then we could both go in, so we went to another couple of dispensaries and perused the (now legal, despite the federal hissy fit that’s going on currently) varieties, and the ranges of raw bud, and edibles, and tinctures, and sodas, and topicals, and…

and, because of the fact that the dispensaries we visited were all in store-fronts with a dozen or so varieties, i thought i knew what to expect. i was wrong.

the “world famous” tacoma cannabis farmers’ market is, conservatively, 150 different vendors each of whom is selling anywhere from two or three, to as many as 25 or 30 different strains, plus the same wide variety of hash, and the edibles, tinctures, sodas, topicals and so forth i saw in the other dispensaries multiplied by 100.

this is what a farmers’ market should be like… and it was “foggier” inside than it was outside. there was a dense “medicinal” cloud that permeated the building. i understand where the extremely-stoned-looking guy was getting it from, now. i did notice that there was an “emergency” door that had been blocked open (so much for the bureaucratic foofaral at the door, just go around to the side) where people could go to get some fresh air.

the cannabis farmers' market

EXTRA BONUS! despite the fact that i am not a medical marijuana patient, was able to legally purchase a bottle of honey-hash tincture for $15, and two grams of hash for $25. i traded a gram of “medicinal grade” bud and two joints from rick for the honey-tincture, because he’s not allowed to smoke at the facility. i also bought a cute little bong for $12… at that rate, i’m going to have to re-adjust my thinking about the beer-bottle bongs…

3.141592653589793…

Pi DayHappy π day.

(π-approximation day is the 22nd of july)

Some approximations of π include:

  • Fractions: Approximate fractions include (in order of increasing accuracy) 22/7, 333/106, 355/113, 52163/16604, and 103993/33102.
  • Decimal: The first 100 decimal digits are 3.14159 26535 89793 23846 26433 83279 50288 41971 69399 37510 58209 74944 59230 78164 06286 20899 86280 34825 34211 70679 ….
  • Binary: 11.001001000011111101101010100010001000010110100011 ….
  • Hexadecimal: The base 16 approximation to 20 digits is 3.243F6A8885A308D31319 ….
  • Sexagesimal: A base 60 approximation is 3:8:29:44:1

things are winding down…

Hybrid Elephant has filled a number of incense orders in the last month, as well as dealt with people who order from outside the US and don’t read the shipping policy. i still haven’t figured out a work-around for it, even though i know one exists, because i haven’t been motivated enough.

there are now reviews for The Fremont Players, thanks to Æther Pie (otherwise known as “Princess Perpetua of Montague”). seriously, simon told me to “pick and choose” some “appropriate quotes” from the reviews, and post them on the web page. because of the fact that i’m doing this with HTML and not PHP, i made the copy changes, and then Æther Pie made the format changes… 121224 steampunk salamandiri’m also making some headway on the James L. Acord Bronze Foundry site, despite their lack of communication. there’s now a static page, and i’ve got a little more than half of the requests they made on the ‘redlines’ that they sent me working… although the other half are either not possible, or possible making more drastic changes in their template than i am comfortable making without some intensive research.

i was given a pair of steampunk goggles by my mother-in-law as a xmas gift this year. they’re made so that i can unscrew the frames surrounding the lenses and remove them… which means that i can replace the lenses with my prescription lenses (i just got new glasses a couple of weeks ago). i was also given a HD-PLC Ethernet Adaptor starter kit, so i now i can wire our entire house for ethernet — most importantly, the workshop, where the wireless adaptor reaches, but the OS9 mac doesn’t want to recognise our 50-character, un-changeable wireless security password. with the HD-PLC ethernet adaptor, i can make an end-run around having to wire separate ethernet cables, and i can move things like our two humongous hard disks out to the workshop, where they won’t take up as much room or accumulate as much stanley-dust as they do inside the house. i was also given a copy of The Practical Pyromaniac… heh heh heh… 👿

we’ve done two weekends of performances of Sleeping Beauty & The Pea, and things are going well, in spite of the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone a couple months ago, and i think i may have done more damage to my brain then i had done when i had my injury… seriously, ONE day of playing the B♭ fingerings, and now i CAN NOT remember the C fingerings… AT. ALL. 😐 strangely enough, apparently the only way around this problem is to NOT think about it, and, as much as possible, NOT look at the music… the problem is that i’ve got three more weekends of panto performances, and two snake suspenderz gigs coming up within the next few weeks, and i’m not sure how i’m going to get through it.

i’ve got a Big Bois With Poise gig on new year’s eve, at the Hale’s Palladium/Moisture Festival Benefit party. because of the fact that we have been on national television twice now, we are billing ourselves as “The World Famous Big Bois With Poise”, and we were actually requested to come and perform for the new year’s party… of course they’re not going to be paying us anything, but we get into the party for free, where everyone else has to pay $50, so it’s an okay deal. because of the fact that we’re going to be performing indoors, we’re doing the “short dudes” act, rather than the “big boys” act — i.e. we’re going to be on “short” buckets, and dressed in diapers and bibs. we’re also going to try to memorise auld lang syne instead of our regular BBWP chant, but i don’t hold out much hope… 😎

krampusnacht

Santa's Little Helper
"Santa’s" Little Helper

6th December is Krampusnacht in northern european countries. Krampus is sort of an opposite analogue to Santa Claus: Santa rewards good children, Krampus punishes bad children. He is also known as Schwartze Peter, Knecht Ruprecht, Bellsnickel, and Schmutzli. it is said that krampus punishes the extra bad children by stuffing them in a basket and taking them to spain.

it’s weird how “hell” for northern european folks is equivalent to “spain”…

6th december is also the day that the popularly voted law in washington legalising cannabis for personal use takes effect. everybody from state patrol down to local city cops are now no longer allowed to bust people for posession. it’s still illegal to smoke outside, but we could say the same thing about drinking alcohol… of course the DUI laws are now thrown into a confusing controversy, and it’s still illegal on the federal and international levels, but one step at a time…

i think it’s time to SMOKE POT now… 😀

the date is up

hipy papytoday is the fifth anniversary of my starting this blog. for the record, i’m still SO GLAD i got away from LiveJournal, despite the fact that i have a lot of friends who still use it.

i haven’t switched out the system on my computer yet, primarily because, after flipping out yesterday, it has settled down again, and isn’t producing the kind of errors that were making me think about switching distributions… but i’ve still got the debian live disk, and i’m just waiting for an excuse to wipe the whole system and try another one.

i’ve spent the past couple of days cleaning up my workshop. i have a lot of empty glass bottles waiting to be made into bongs on my main workbench, and a whole bunch of painting stuff left over from the summertime on my jewelry-making workbench, which i cleaned up to the point where i can actually work on both workbenches. i’ve got a whole bunch of things that could be made into earrings or pendants, but no real motivation to make anything out of them, despite the fact that the holidays are rapidly approaching.

BBWP patches

also, after having a number of difficulties getting emails to and from the lady who actually did the work, i now have 10 Big Boys With Poise jacket patches which i’m going to distribute to the other Big Boys (and other people) at monday’s rehearsal.

BLASPHEMY!

BLASPHEMY!Gr. βλάπτω – hurt, injure; φήμη – fame, report : an indignity offered to those who self-righteously believe themselves to be God’s messengers in words, writing, or signs which are not acceptable by those who believe themselves to be God’s messengers.

No One Murdered Because Of This Image
No One Murdered Because Of This Image

WASHINGTON — Following the publication of the image above, in which the most cherished figures from multiple religious faiths were depicted engaging in a lascivious sex act of considerable depravity, no one was murdered, beaten, or had their lives threatened, sources reported Thursday. The image of the Hebrew prophet Moses high-fiving Jesus Christ as both are having their erect penises vigorously masturbated by a trans-gender Ganesha, all while the Hindu deity anally penetrates Buddha with his fist, reportedly went online at 6:45 p.m. EDT, after which not a single bomb threat was made against the organization responsible, nor did the person who created the cartoon go home fearing for his life in any way. Though some members of the Jewish, Christian, Hindu, and Buddhist faiths were reportedly offended by the image, sources confirmed that upon seeing it, they simply shook their heads, rolled their eyes, and continued on with their day.

↑ ⅕

get it? up… date…

well, i thought it was amusing…

i am feeling a good deal better, although i am still not back to 100% health, yet. i still have a lingering cough that comes up at random times, particularly whenever i lie down, but i’m a lot better than i was a week ago.

the brakes in my car have to be replaced, to the tune of $800. moe claims that this car is “nickle-and-dime-ing” me, but the previous car (of which she approved) had already cost me almost $3000 by this point in our relationship, including $1500 for a replacement transmission, and this car has only cost me $450, plus the proposed brake work, and it appears, in spite of the fact that i’ve had to replace the timing belt, and now i have to get all four brakes and wheel bearings replaced, that this is going to continue to be a functional car for a lot longer than the previous one was. and, because of the fact that it’s a honda and not a ford (or whatever the previous car was, i don’t remember), i can actually take it to jack to have the repair work done for (hopefully) cheaper than edgewood tire quoted me. i’m also going to try to enlist the aid of the friend who worked on my brakes the day i had my brain injury (although, again, hopefully, i won’t have another brain injury), which has the definite possibility of saving me a good deal of money.

i got a reply from the incense people regarding the meaning of the word “pieces” and, as i suspected, it was entirely due to the fact that they were translating from hindi to english. if it weren’t for the fact that i have to think about providing at least part of the money for my car, i would already have sent the guy $100 for incense. as soon as i actually get paid for the postcards i made last month, i will probably do that anyway.

we had a recording session with a real, live, professional recording technician, last night, which went outstandingly well, and we’ve got another session with him tomorrow night, which, if it goes half as well as last night’s session did, will make a real, live CD of the fremont philharmonic a lot closer to being actual reality than it has ever been before. also, friday is a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show in olympia, for which i have been recruited as a sousaphone player. it should be fun, if nothing else.

today is may day. everybody go home and don’t work. also, friday is Bongwater Day, for those of you who are interested.

another week closer to the eschaton…

I Talked With an Algerian Last Night About NDAA, He Said Expect People to Start Disappearing – 😮

Tea Party to America: Merry Christmas, Fuck You – In a few days, House Republicans will be off counting their own tax cuts (about 50% of House Republicans are millionaires), vacationing on their yachts, and betting each other whose jet can make it to St. Bart’s faster – while 160 million Americans try to come up with an extra $1500 to cover their tab.

We Killed Your Daughter; You’re Under Arrest – an act of vehicular homicide — one involving “gross negligence,” and therefore a felony… committed by a police officer clown, who, because of the fact that he is a police officer, is not going to be charged with anything. if my 4,000 pound car ran over some one it would kill them, but if i was one of the aforementioned above, their 4,000 pound car probably would hurt anyone… right?

Time to end the war on drugs – Sir Richard Branson says “Decriminalization does not result in increased drug use.”… too bad nobody’s listening, especially in the united states. 😐 quite the opposite, actually: Kafka Surrenders – if the police illegally stop you, detain you, and beat you, you aren’t permitted to resist. just roll over and take it. submit. also, Do Private Military Contractors Have Impunity to Torture? – “this question has not yet been settled in the courts of the United States.” that’s a good thing to know… 😐

President Obama’s Puzzling Silence on Marijuana Policy – if he were to say “fuck it, let’s legalise pot” he would gain back all of the support that he’s lost over the past few years, but the likelyhood that he’s actually going to do it is slim to none… 😐 Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No – jury nullification is the first step, but before you can get on a jury, you have to either lie (a felony) and say that you won’t support jury nullification, or you have to lie (a felony) and say that you’ve never heard of it, because if you state that you are a supporter of jury nullification, they won’t let you serve on a jury.

RIAA and Homeland Security Caught Downloading Torrents – more than 900 unique IP-addresses at the Government organization through which copyrighted files were downloaded… will they answer for their piracy? RIAA’s Response To Infringement Via Its IP Address Is To Say Someone Else Did It – so the excuse that’s not good enough when everyone else uses it, is good enough when it comes to the RIAA… hmmmm… can you say “double standard”? i knew you could…

at the same time, Internet circumvents anti-piracy bill before it even passes – moral: never tell a geek that he can’t have something.

TSA Confiscates Woman’s Frosted Cupcake – TSA clowns take woman’s christmas treats because they say they are a threat to national security…?

winter solstice

Now is the solstice of the year,
winter is the glad song that you hear.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Have the lads up ready in a line.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Join together beneath the mistletoe.
by the holy oak whereon it grows.
Seven druids dance in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.

Ring out these bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.

Praise be to the distant sister sun,
joyful as the silver planets run.
Seven maids move in seven time.
Sing the song the bells call, loudly chiming.
Ring out those bells.
Ring out, ring solstice bells.
Ring solstice bells.
Ring on, ring out.
Ring on, ring out.

miscellaneous random

the entire Voynich Manuscript is now online, where intrigued people (like me) can pore over it, download pages and wonder what Emperor Rudolph II of Germany thought was worth 66.4 troy ounces of gold…

i bought some new stock: Golden Nag Champa and Woods, as well as some “reorder” stock, Pradhan’s Royal Life and Shivranjani. i’m really glad to have found a new supplier for pradhan’s royal life, as it is one of my best (and best selling) champa fragrances, and the supplier i was getting it from previously is the notorious sughanda prabhu, who is practically impossible to get in touch with, and has recently gotten out of the incense business(!) but used to provide the best quality incense i have ever found anywhere… but the shivranjani i bought was because i needed more, and it’s not that common in the united states, however once i bought it, i realised that the supplier i usually get it from sells it for about half the price that these new guys sell it for, so i think i won’t change suppliers for that fragrance…

bleh… seeds… 😛 ptui…

i’m SO glad mother-in-law is gone… she’s my mother-in-law, and i’m grateful for her existence, without which there would be no moe, but if she can exist somewhere that’s far enough away from me that she can’t come over, rant about how my liberal views are going to make a mess of our country, decide our house isn’t good enough, try to make it better and end up making it worse, it would be just fine with me… her predictably abortive attempt at painting resulted in paint splashed from floor to ceiling, and ripped wallpaper where i took off the tape that she had me put down so that she wouldn’t paint beyond a certain, random point… it’s in the “spare” bathroom, that i don’t use very often, so i don’t have to see it every day, but it’s irritating that it was functional if consistently ugly, and now it’s functional and inconistently awful, and moe and i are left to clean up the mess.

i’ve got a busy few weeks coming up… i’ve got two rehearsals on wednesday, a gig on friday, a gig on saturday, and a gig and a rehearsal on sunday, then next monday (which is krampusnacht) there’s a rehearsal, wednesday there’s a rehearsal, friday there’s a gig, and next saturday is the start of the panto run, which is two shows saturday and sunday, excluding the 24th and 25th, and the 31st, and the 1st, and then two shows saturday and sunday for two more weeks, ending january 15th. if anybody is interested in coming better get your tickets soon, because we’re selling out very quickly. 8)

it goes klunk, but…

it goes klunk, but it only goes klunk at certain times (when i am going around a corner) and not at other times (like when i am going over a speed bump), and, upon further investigation, the spare tire holder makes a suspiciously similar “klunk” when it gets stressed from going around corners, or when the car is stopped and i bump into it… i’m not saying that this is conclusive proof that nothing is wrong, but it is a good indication. 8)

the next step, now that the license plates and the insurance is switched over, is to get the stereo and the siren speakers switched over. i called and talked to a guy from car toys a couple of days ago, and he said that he would pull my previous order, but when i called back today, he wasn’t there and won’t be back until tuesday.

after that, i need to get started on the paint job. the guys that i bought it from said that they would provide the wholesale certificate to get it painted at maaco, and all i had to do was get an estimate.

the BSSB played at the festa italiana in fisher plaza today.

and i keep meaning to mention that monday was frank zappa day… hopefully i’ll be closer the next time.

oh, by the way…

today is janmaastami, the birthday of sri krishna… sort of like hindu christmas, but without the sleigh and the reindeer…

One must take care in choosing and following a ‘guru’. With many modern day gurus, you have to be very careful, for they try to become God, which they are not, not any more than you are. Media’s power helps anyone project an image, PR companies are ready to help throw an image of whatever you want to be. In US, we have seen great images projected during election, of godmen, consumer products etc. anything can be mad grand.

So watch out.

When the devotee is same as even kRiShNa, then how is a guru any superior? This is not disrespect to guru, but realization of your own true nature. A guru that doesn’t help you with that, or if you don’t do it yourselves – then the whole exercise is a farce.

A true guru never wants, attention or even your identity, or money. Yes, you may give a token of appreciation for guru’s daily needs, but that is nominal, not millions of dollars! No guru needs that much! Those are entrepreneurs, businessmen who need that much of money, running mega-business or schools, hospitals, social work and amassing tons of moolah on the way. A true guru only wants to help you be able to walk in the right direction with good stamina. He is not going to be with you forever, giving you a piggy back ride to heaven.
     — Practical Sanskrit

श्री कृष्ण जन्माष्टमी की हार्दिक शुभ कामनाये – happy janmaastami, people. 8)

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.

i woke up this morning to 31 spam messages and nothing else…

i wish a merry xmas to all of you who aren’t spammers. i wish a hearty, humourous, slow, painful death to spammers.

another week closer to the eschaton…

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… 😐 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… 😐

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… 🙂

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 ‘Press Freedom Day’ 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… 😐

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 ‘messages’ coming to Walmart, hotels, malls – now they want us to do their job for them, as well… 😐 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… 😐

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 “unacceptable”

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!!! 8P

after i logged off last night, our most senior dog – paddy, the one who scared me so badly a few months ago – who, despite the fact that she’s been in pretty good health for the most part, suddenly had a grand mal seizure last night. it wasn’t entirely unexpected (moe said she commented to one of the vets just the other day about the possibility), but once again it scared the holy hell out of me…

once again, i hope i don’t have another day like yesterday for a long, long time. never would be a totally acceptible option.

today was the second day of shows for the panto. today, we didn’t have a drummer. for the first show, he didn’t call or anything, and just didn’t show up. he’s put up posters and passed out flyers with the show times printed on them, and the show times are also available on the web site, and he’s always been late for, or entirely missed rehearsals, and we’ve had to wait to start the show because nobody knew where he was at least twice, so when he finally showed up, about ten minutes before the end of the show, it was the last straw, and kiki fired him… she said that it was the first time she had fired anybody, and as far as i know, it was the first time anyone has been fired from the fremont philharmonic, but he had it coming… you don’t schedule yourself for a show with “professional” musicians (is there such a thing? i still don’t really know for sure) and then just not show up for a performance without at least calling ahead of time (like i did for the show at the gage, yesterday)…

i’m about ready for the holidays to be over, and today’s only the 5th… 8P

Hipy papy bthuthdth thuthda bthuthdy!

hipy papyon this day, 30th november, 2007 – three years ago – i officially moved this blog to its current location and gave it a new name, which is Scab of a nation, driven insane – i’ve debated about whether or not to have a contest to see how many people who read this blog actually know where that phrase came from, but i haven’t been motivated to do so, yet. prior to 30th november, 2007, it was called non plaudite, modo pecuniam jacite (don’t applaud, just throw money) and it was located at LiveJournal, which had just been consumed by SixApart. i was fed up with the shenannigans that 6A had been up to, and the fact that LJ was implementing all of these changes that they had told me when i signed up that they would never do (advertising on livejournal, for example*), combined with the fact that i had recently changed host providers and was feeling good about my newly aquired web abilities, i dumped LJ and adopted wordpress on my own server, thus conveniently eliminating all of the things i absolutely hated about livejournal, while enhancing the things that i liked about it. RSS is a good example of that: when i was on LJ, i had a “friends” page, which displayed my friends’ LJs, but if they didn’t have an LJ, the technology made it impossible to display their blogs on my LJ friends page. RSS changed all that. now i use an aggregator (i use Akregator, a part of the Kontact suite of applications), which includes all of my LJ friends, but also has feeds from blogspot, and tumblr, and typepad, and wordpress, and things like metafilter, and disinformation, and alternet, and raw story and every other list, blog and news source in existence! it’s what the LJ “friends” page was probably originally intended to be, before someone discovered that they could use it to line their pockets… and at this point, wordpress mostly takes care of itself, and i don’t have to worry about things dramatically changing (with a few minor exceptions) without my having a say in the matter.

i originally started blogging… well, i’m not exactly sure why. it was a technology thing, and i was working in a print shop at the time, which wasn’t exactly satisfying my desire for technology. but, as now, i was somewhat suspicious of getting involved in a technology that was resident on other peoples’ computers, so i didn’t use it for much. then i had my brain injury, and everything started to change. still, i didn’t have more than one entry per month until june of 2004.

i remember when i lived in bellingham, in 1993 or 1994, and i was riding my bike somewhere and i saw an advertisement on the side of the bus that included what i now know was a URI (Uniform Resource Indicator, also mistakenly called a Unform Resource Locator, or URL), and wishing that they wouldn’t put such confusing things on advertisements, when nobody knew what they were anyway.

it was not long after that that i connected my computer to a LAN (Local Area Network) for the first time. before then, in spite of the fact that i had been working with computers for almost 20 years, i had never connected to another computer. if there were files that had to be shared, as the files were that made up the many real estate and used car magazines that i was a part of creating during that period, that was accomplished via what i now would call a “sneaker net”, which was a 3½" floppy disk that was passed from one computer operator to another.

i had heard about networking, but didn’t think i would like it: i found it way too invasive… at the same time, by 1994 i was very much in to the “BBS” scene, where a number of users could log into a server, browse files, leave and respond to messages, and so forth.

in 1995 i moved from bellingham to seattle, and very quickly discovered that there was an entirely different world of networked computers that i couldn’t even imagine. i signed up with CompuServe and didn’t even last 6 months with them before i was on to greater things. i got a job at microsoft, as a technical support engineer about a year before the word concept virus was first discovered.

again, i had known about viri, but i also knew that there was no way of transmitting a virus: it had to be deliberately installed on a computer. the “word concept virus” changed all that. all you had to do to infect a computer was to open a MSWord document, and that could come from anywhere.

about the same time, i first encountered what, at the time, was a very strange web site indeed. it didn’t have a name that i can remember, but it appeared to be a list of rants by this guy, who updated it fairly frequently. i figured there was an “about” page, or something like that, that would tell me about the author, but there wasn’t (which is why i try very hard to put the bare essentials about me in a public place that you don’t have to login to in order to see, on my own blog). i tried to “login”, but it didn’t know my password (which isn’t surprising), and all of the rants were obscure enough that i couldn’t quite understand the purpose of such a site: it seemed to be more of an online diary than anything else. about the same time, i first heard the word “blog” (a portmanteau of the words “Web Log”), which was described to me as a sort of online diary. i was very familiar with “journalling”, but my impression is that journals are to be kept more or less private, and even then i was aware of the fact that if you want to keep something to yourself, putting it on internet is not the way to do it. i was actually repelled by the idea of keeping a blog, in the same way that i kept my sketchbook/journals – the artwork is the public part, the journal parts are still for the most part private and not available anywhere on internet.

i discovered livejournal on 030414, but i didn’t start to use it more than once in a while until 0407 or 0408, after my brain injury.

at this point, i use this blog as a way to remember stuff, like fishtown, that i probably wouldn’t remember any other way. i use it primarily as memory, the connections for which were screwed up in my brain when they were poking around in my skull. i realise that a few people (and maybe more than that, but that could also be my paranoia talking) use this blog as a way to keep up with what i’m doing, but my guess is that i’d keep blogging even if there was nobody there to read it… that’s the way i started. 🙂

* i realise that it’s pretty pointless for me to expect that a “community resource” like livejournal would remain without advertisement indefinitely, but if that was the case from the beginning, then they should NOT have said “WE WILL NEVER HAVE ADVERTISEMENTS ON LIVEJOURNAL” when i signed up… and they definitely did say that. so i feel somewhat justified in my righteous indignation.

the rest

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

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

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

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

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

it’s that season again…

it’s the season of senseless, mindless overindulgence. it’s the season of fake good times, fake cheer, fake “good tidings of comfort and joy to men of good will,” while ignoring the plight of the women, and the poor and the underpriveledged for the rest of the year. it’s the season of crowded malls, and crowded shopping centers, and crowded stores, and crowded restaurants, and over-worked and underpaid temporary help who will go back to being unemployed the day after xmas. it’s the season of crummy music that hasn’t changed in 200 years. it’s the season of enormous fake candy canes and fake tinsel bells hanging from street lamps…

it’s the season when big corporations make more profit that they make at any other time of the year, and “normal” people spend more than they have and borrow from the next one to three upcoming months to buy gifts that, for the most part, will not be remembered in a month anyway…

even when it’s not that season, i endeavour to avoid such things at all costs…

happy thanksgiving. 😐

i’m just wasting space, because of nablopomo. if i weren’t obligated to post, i probably wouldn’t, today.

according to the gregorian calendar, this is the 20th of november, 2010 AD (Anno Domini).

according to the holocene calendar, this is the 20th of november, 12010 HE (Holocene, or Human Era).

according to the julian calendar, this is the 3rd of december, 2010.

according to the chinese calendar this is the 15th day of the 10th month of the 99th year of the republic.

according to the umm al-qura (islamic calendar) today is the 14th day of dhū ‘l-hijja, 1431 AH (After Hijira).

according to the nepali calendar, today is the 4th day of Mangshir, 2067 BS (Bikram Sambat).

according to hindu “pachang“, i got the following information for today, in seattle (your mileage may vary): Sunrise/Set: 07:22/16:26, Moonrise: 15:34, Kartikai, Shaka: 1932 Vikrutha, Kartika / Shukla Paksha
Tithi: Chaturdashi till 09:07:14, Nakshtra: Bharani till 17:24:09, Yoga: Variyan till 15:11:02, Karana: Vanija till 09:07:14, Karana: Vishti till 21:20:54, Rahukalam: 09:38-10:47, Yamagandam: 13:01-14:10, Gulikai: 07:22-08:31, Abhijit: 11:35-12:13, Durmuhurtam: 07:22-07:59, Durmuhurtam: 07:58-08:36, Varjyam: 29:47-31:26, Amritkalam: 12:22-14:03, Sun in: Vrishchika, Moon in: Vrishabha at 23:39, Tamil Yoga: Marana 17:24:09, Tamil Yoga: Siddha, Anandadi Yoga: Dwanksha 17:24:09, Anandadi Yoga: Dhawaja.

according to the zoroastrian calendar, today is tir shehrevar, 1380 YZ (Yazdegerdi Era).

according to ISO 8601, today is 2010W43-5.

according to the aztec calendar, it is 9 etz’nab 11 keh.

according to the tonalpohualli (mayan calendar), today is 12 acatl, 1 itzcuintli, 9 tecpatl

according to the long count mayan calendar it is baktun 12, katun 19, tun 17, winal 15, kin 18.

according to the discordian calendar, it is prickle-prickle, the 23rd day of The Aftermath, 3176 YOLD (Year of Our Lady of Discord)… or not…

Happy Genocide Day!

Teachers of children
in the United States of America
wrote this date on blackboards everywhere
and asked the children to memorize it with pride and joy:

1492

The teachers told the children that this was the date the continent
was discovered by human beings.

Actually, millions of human beings were leading
full and imaginative lives on the continent in 1492.
That was simply when sea pirates came to cheat and rob and kill them.

— from Breakfast of Champions by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Happy International Blasphemy Day

happy international blasphemy day! blasphemy is “impious utterance or action concerning god or sacred things” or “irreverence toward holy personages, religious artifacts, customs, and beliefs.” it comes from greek words βλάπτω which means to “hurt” or “injure” and φήμη which means “fame” or “report”. essentially, “blasphemy” is something that we can do that causes a “bad report” for God.

if that “god” is not unchanging, limitless and eternal, that “god” is not a God at all, and we have no need to worry about creating a “bad report” for him.

if, on the other hand, that God is unchanging, limitless and eternal, then nothing that we, as human beings, can do will ever affect that God, and His love (or whatever you may call it) for us will never be affected by anything that we can do, regardless of how “blasphemous” it may seem to be.

therefore, it is my opinion that “blasphemy” means “something that can get you in trouble with another human being”, and it is, therefore, more-or-less meaningless except when used as a way to keep people under control, and then only when the people are scared enough to believe it is actually possible for “god” to do bad things to them.

i am not that scared.

for “christians”:nude, blue-eyed jeezisfor “muslims”:mohammed with a bombfor “jews”:Ganesha Yantra on the roof of Ganesha The Car

for buddhists…? hindus…? anyone else even have the concept of blasphemy?

[previous]

Frank Zappa Day!

Spirit of Frank Zappa returns to Baltimore
The rocker’s exploits are rooted in L.A., but a twist of fate sends a special statue to his hometown.

By Richard Simon
September 20, 2010

Reporting from Baltimore — You’re, like, totally not going to believe this but Baltimore declared Sunday ” Frank Zappa Day,” dedicating a bust in his honor.

Grody to the max.

Seventeen years after the rocker’s death in Los Angeles, Zappa drew a large, fittingly eclectic crowd to a ceremony in the city where he was born.

“It’s about time he got the recognition he deserves,” said Greg Stinson, 50, accompanied by his 16-year-old son Matthew, also a Zappa fan.

The festivities included a concert by Zappa’s son Dweezil and his band, Zappa Plays Zappa; a library exhibit, “Zappa’s Baltimore: Rebels and Iconoclasts in the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave”; and a temporary name for the street in front of the library, “Frank Zappa Way.”

“The spirit of Frank Zappa is alive and well in Baltimore,” Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said.

The bronze bust of the mustachioed Zappa — one of rock’s great iconoclasts — was donated by Zappa fans from Lithuania, which has had its own Zappa sculpture in the capital, Vilnius, since 1995. Although Zappa never visited the Baltic country, he was admired there for his advocacy of free expression as well as for his music.

Zappa’s widow, Gail, attended the ceremony, along with Dweezil and two other children, Ahmet and Diva. A group of Lithuanians flew to Baltimore for the event.

Among those in attendance was the chief judge of the Baltimore City Circuit Court. John N. Prevas, 63, a Zappa fan since 1966, called the bust “a wonderful symbol of Baltimore’s cultural heritage and the fact that Frank was such a paradoxical icon for freedom.”

“We’re glad that he was born here, and even though he didn’t spend much time here after the age of 10, we’ve always felt he was one of us,” he added.

Zappa, who died of prostate cancer in 1993 at age 52, spent much of his life in Southern California, where he and his family moved when he was 10. Zappa’s L.A. exploits include getting thrown out of the Antelope Valley High School marching band in Lancaster after he was caught smoking in uniform, and recording with his then-teenage daughter, Moon Unit, the 1982 hit “Valley Girl,” a riff on San Fernando Valley culture.

The Zappa bust might have ended up in Los Angeles — if not for a cultural attache at the U.S. Embassy in Vilnius who happened to be from Baltimore. He suggested the city when the Lithuanian Zappa fans offered to donate the statue.

“I thought in L.A., it would kind of get lost,” said Carlos Aranaga, who was the cultural attache.

“Baltimore is the kind of the city that resonates with Zappa’s work,” he added, citing another iconoclastic Baltimorean, journalist and social critic H.L. Mencken.

The ceremony came 25 years after Zappa appeared at a Senate hearing to rail against censorship of rock lyrics and calls for an album rating system.

Though Zappa left Baltimore long ago, relatives there turned out for the dedication.

“I was a teenager the last time I saw him,” said cousin James A. Colimore Jr., 66, who came with his four adult children, who never met Zappa.

Colimore recalled “Frankie” visiting Baltimore and spending the summer at “Aunt Mary’s house” two doors away when Zappa was 16 and Colimore 14. “He came to Baltimore by train from California with” a stack of records that he played frequently, he said.

“He was cool back then,” Colimore said, recalling Zappa wearing shorts, a T-shirt and sandals when the East Coast was wearing jeans and high-top tennis shoes. He also recalled Zappa writing esoteric classical music on blank sheets of music paper with a quill pen.

Zappa has a street named after him in Berlin as well as an asteroid, Zappafrank, that orbits between Mars and Jupiter. He is also in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as “rock and roll’s sharpest musical mind and most astute social critic.”

Asked what her husband might have said about getting his own sculpture, Gail Zappa responded: “Frank might have said, ‘Preposterous.’ ”

okay, i’m here…

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

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

wuff…

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

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

now i’m really freaking out… 🙁

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

happy Hunt-the-Gowk Day – you tell me…

considering the date today, i can’t tell whether the following products are a joke or not…

at the same time, it would explain a lot about “popular” music these days…

Turd Polisher Pro – a VST plugin for SFX Machine?

MF-401 Auto De-tune – an actual hardware device for your studio, from Moog Music?

makes me wonder what would happen if you pitted one of these against the other? would the result be interesting, or boring? would it create a perpetual motion machine or a time vortex? which one would fail first?

the shows, the bobs, and not being home on xmas

the shows went amazingly well this weekend. i’m getting the hang of playing my saw with a bow, but i’m not that good at playing actual notes yet. it may take a while for me to be that good.

we went to the bobs show last night at the triple door. because of the fact that i went directly from the panto and got there at 6:30, we got a table in the front row, which was extremely cool. amy bob stopped by before the show (and before moe got there), and moe got spit on by dan bob (who also said “don’t look up my skirt” to the lady sitting next to moe). they’ve been on tour for a month, so i haven’t seen matt that much since before the panto started, but i got the chance to talk with him after the show. i’d be willing to bet that, before we were married, moe had no idea that she and i would be hanging out with her favourite singing group… 8)

i wasn’t at home over xmas, which was okay (despite the fact that the window got stuck on the minivan and we had to drive home with the window stuck down and the freezing wind blowing in our faces for 3½ hours), but i really wish i had been at home, because the husons had a xmas party and i would have much rather go and hang out with the husons than where i actually spent xmas.

xmas @ the in-laws

okay, i’m sitting here in the living room of my mother-in-law’s house watching my sweetie and my mother-in-law’s roommate, anne, play wii tennis, after plugging in their new wireless router. strangely enough, having internet doesn’t make the fact that i’m sitting in the living room at my mother-in-law’s house any more than marginally tolerable, but at least it gives me something other than talking with the old fogies. there was some discussion of why “music notes come out of my head” which was sort of amusing. and the wind shear you’re experiencing is not because of the fact that you have the fan on your side of the room. this is a video game, get over it.

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… 😐

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.

boojum

new hybrid elephant logo

happy mahasivaratri last night. i thought i was going to stay up, but i was on the phone or in rehearsal from 9:30 am until 11:30 pm, and i was tired. i did aarati this morning, however. hopefully that will suffice.

i think i found a merchant account/payment gateway that i can afford that will also do away with paypal altogether, which is CardAccept, although i don’t yet know for sure if their gateway will work with my web site. i had a nice conversation with a representative on the phone, who looked at my site and listened to my story and lowered my monthly minimum without my even having to ask, and they’re also the only place that charges for the payment gateway, but doesn’t also have a monthly or annual fee. their charge per transaction is about average: 2.24% + $0.25, but the fact that they don’t charge a setup fee or a monthly fee beyond the gateway has me looking strongly in their direction.

i redid the Hybrid Elephant logo, as well. it’s basically the same as the old logo, but now i have the entire file as vectors, so i can make stickers, banners and other suchlike good stuff.

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/

SNOWPOCALYPSE! OMG! WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE!!1!

081221 snowpocalypse!

cinderella finished its second week of performances amid more snow than i’ve seen around here for a long time. it started snowing on thursday and finally quit yesterday, but there’s a prediction that it’s going to start up again tomorrow… i took the train from tacoma to seattle saturday (quite an enjoyable trip, by the way) and stayed at heather and stuart’s place saturday night. my windows computer is broken (again) – it appears to be the same sort of thing that it was the last time, in that it appears to be a power supply issue, so i’m hoping that i can replace the power cord (again) and everything will be back to normal, but i’m not holding my breath. i took my mac laptop with me on saturday and recorded both shows and 5 potential demos for the fremont phil, which i have since burned to a DVD (although i didn’t have to, because even with several gigs of space taken up by the recordings, i still had more than 120 gigs of free space left!!!). sunday i did another show, without a trumpet player, because our regular trumpet player, teacher ted, thought he was going to fly out early sunday morning (fat chance – all flights out of sea-tac were cancelled due to the snowpocalypse), and our substitute trumpet player, a high school student named shimpuku, was stuck north of lake washington. after the show, i got a ride home from macque and norma, who have a four-wheel-drive jeep with chains, which is a good thing, because the roads were almost totally impassable due to seattle’s having this weird thing about encouraging compact snow and ice rather than salting the roads. the national weather service prediction is for precipitation, most probably snow, at least 50% (and as much as 80%) of the time until thursday, and has predicted snow for 8 out of the past 10 days. we had around a foot and a half of snow, and had to dig the car out, and then dig the driveway out before we could go anywhere yesterday. when we finally got dug out, we went to buy tire chains for moe’s car, and on the way discovered that the car was overheating – or so we thought, it was actually the temperature gauge that died – not the thermostat, the temperature gauge in the instrument panel, fortunately, because if it had been the thermostat it would have cost several hundred dollars to fix, but because of the fact that it’s in the instrument panel, it’s actually safe to drive the car even though the temperature is wonky. of course, the first thing that happened this morning is that moe decided that it wasn’t snowing right then, so she would try to go in to work, and on the way she drove over something that broke the chains, so she had to stop the car in the middle of highway 99 (thank gawd she wasn’t on the freeway) and take them off, leaving her with a big, empty minivan with no traction, somewhere between home and mercer island at 6:30 in the morning.

anyway, the cinderella performances went amazingly well despite sunday’s lack of a trumpet player, and saturday evening, when we weren’t expecting anybody to show up, we actually had almost a full house, including a whole pile of noisy kids which was almost exactly like OCF. Fremont Philharmonic dot com is now in existence, but it doesn’t have much there at this point except for stuff that only applies to members of the fremont phil. also i’m talking with macque and bfly about consolidating all of the fremonstor theatrical organisations on one host.

thweeth

Punk Rock Flea Market yesterday. made $50, which is not too bad, but had to spend $10 for parking, because i had to leave at 5:00 because of another gig. i figure 5:00 was about when i would have packed up anyway, but it was nice to have my car easily accessible, even if it was 3 blocks of one-way streets the wrong direction to pick it up once i was packed up. i had to drive about 10 blocks, including around one block twice because i got in the wrong lane the first time. it was really irritating, but i got through it somehow. and it was really nice to drive up, practically to the door, load out, and drive away, rather than having to carry my boxes downstairs, across the entire building – avoiding all of the other people who were also loading out, across the parking lot, and then having to wait while everybody else got loaded out and out of the parking lot before getting to go.

the other gig i had was at the gage academy of art, which used to be cornish, and before that was a catholic school associated with st. mark’s cathedral, on capitol hill. it was snake suspenderz doing two sets out of four (one set on, one set off) while another band, the KlezKatz, performed… with thaddeus, our trombone/guitar player). i wasn’t really expecting a lot from that gig, because i knew that the other snake suspenderz are dirty old men who love to hang out in a warm room and play with naked people just so they can ogle the naked people… well, okay, i’m one of those people too… and, goddammit, i wish that guy hadn’t put that empty easel right between me and the HAWT naked female model with dreadlocks and tattoos. i really didn’t have time to look appreciatively, because i was too busy playing, and by the time i was finished playing she had already put her clothes on again.oh well… 8/

anyway, through some SNAFU about which i didn’t get the entire story, thad actually cut me a check for $50 yesterday, so in all, i did pretty much exactly what i want to do ALL THE TIME and ended up $100 richer out of the deal. now if i could only have four or five of those days every month, i’d be fairly happy.

i got a phone call from fred hawkinson yesterday. he wanted to talk about the possibility of teaming up and getting a job in a music store, or, conversely, opening our own music store, with him doing brasswind repair and me doing woodwind repair. there’s nothing more than just the fantasy at this point, but the thought of actually doing musical instrument repair alone should be enough to keep my spirits up for a while.

now i have to go and play with the ballard sedentary sousa band for the phinney winter festival, and after that i might play with the banda gozona at a gig on alki point, but i’m not sure about that yet.

happy krampusnacht!

WE ARE TERRORISTS!

INDEPENDENCE DAY
July 4, 1776 – 2008

When in the course of human events the government becomes destructive of the ends for which it was established, it is the Right of the People to alter it and demand restoration of those Constitutional Principles that have so long assured their Liberty, Safety, and Happiness. Therefore, on the anniversary of our Independence, we offer this new declaration for our times.

The history of this president is one of arbitrary usurpations of power, the effect of which is to establish tyranny through false promises of greater security.

He has created a multitude of secret programs and sent swarms of petty officers to spy on Americans in a misguided effort to combat foreign terrorism. He has invested these agents with sweeping new powers to monitor our conversations and ransack our personal papers and effects without judicial supervision or any reason to believe — as the Constitution requires — that a crime has been committed.

He has further claimed the power to disregard legislation that Congress has passed.

He has suspended the laws and treaties against torture, authorized the kidnapping of mere suspects, and transported hundreds of prisoners beyond seas so that no independent judiciary could question the legality of their mistreatment.

He and his supporters in Congress have granted amnesty to the officials who unleashed torture and humiliation upon helpless prisoners, to the disgrace of our nation.

He has denied these prisoners access to attorneys, family, and friends and has claimed the right to try them before military tribunals specifically designed to disregard the most basic principles of law.

He has imprisoned thousands of lawful immigrants for months without charges, under brutal conditions, until his agents, rather than independent courts, decide that they posed no threat.

He has wrapped his usurpations of power and his deprivations of liberty in thick cloaks of secrecy, thereby showing contempt for the rule of law and the proper functions of Congress, the courts, and the press.

At every stage of these oppressions we have sought redress, but our petitions have been answered only by repeated injury.

We, therefore, resolve to resist these usurpations by all lawful means at our disposal. We insist that the powers of our national government be shared by all branches of that government and not concentrated in one alone. And we call upon Congress, the courts, and the press to reassert their constitutional functions and restore the promise that is America.

To these ends, we mutually pledge our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.


Sign the pledge

happy “independence” day… 8/

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.

SACBO!

the Seattle Art Car Blow Out was last weekend.

on friday i went on the “cruise” which was supposed to be a way to show everyone in seattle our art cars, but ended up being a chaotic mess that started at golden gardens and then headed downtown, where many people drove around the seattle sculpture gardens many times in both directions, at the same time, trying to catch up with each other. we completely blew off a drive around alki – because there wasn’t enough time – and then drove to georgetown where we took a “tour” of the historic georgetown steam plant (which was a lot cooler than it sounds – and by “tour” i mean two “proprietors” opened up this huge, historical, fully functional, four-story tall, steam-powered electric generation facility to 35-or-so artists. they had their hands full keeping us out of the high-voltage stuff – there were several times when one or the other of them was heard shouting “BE CAREFUL! HIGH VOLTAGE!” – and the huge steam-powered vacuum engine, and the room which had two or three antique trucks, one of which was a firetruck, a couple of small-gauge steam-powered trains {anacortes railroad? i didn’t know anacortes had an antique steam-powered, small-gauge railroad…} and a steam-powered machine shop, with a couple of huge lathes, a couple of milling machines and a brake. i went up on the roof of the building, which is right next to the north end of boeing field. it’s so close to the runway that when a plane takes off they were no more than 100 feet above us – it felt like you could reach up and touch the landing gear as it folded up) and then went to a party.

saturday, i showed up at 8:00 am, and parked my art car in the upper burke lot. i had two different people, one of whom should have known better, ask me if “that’s an art car”, which i found absolutely puzzling (of course it’s an art car, that’s why i said i was part of the art car blow out…?). i then picked up my tuba, two books of music, my stand and chair, and walked the block-and-a-half to lenin, where we were playing. later on that day, somebody asked me why i had made the car, and i said that it was because i play in the fremont philharmonic, and if i were driving an ordinary car i would have to park at least two miles away and walk, carrying all my gear, to where we were playing, and then walk, carrying all my gear, back to where i parked when we were done. i really like driving an art car, if for no other reason than i get to park in the middle of fremont during the solstice festival. because of the fact that i had all of my tuba-related gear, i didn’t set up to vend anything substantial, but i did put out my buttons (which i made in the two days prior to SACBO), and made $30. i even sold 2 swastika buttons!

playing in the parade was an interesting mix of an honour, exciting, extremely frustrating, and having people being downright rude to us. we were supposed to set up in front of lenin, right on the street, so that we would be able to interact with the Master of Ceremonies, Professor Petrol Von Huffenfuel. but first we had to evict the person who had been sitting on that spot since 5:30 pm the previous day – who was more than a little miffed that we came along at “the last minute” and took his spot, and then, once we got set up, two or three rows of people crammed themselves in in front of the band, put down blankets, and refused to move… then two or three more rows of people crammed themselves in between the first two or three rows and the band (which was supposed to be in front), and stood up, which meant that i, who was sitting in the band (which was supposed to be in front, with nobody in front of us) couldn’t see… 8/

so i only got a view of the solstice parade through the crowd, and i left the parade grounds as soon as it was over, because i was so frustrated with everyone.

as i mentioned in my last post, saturday was also our 10th wedding anniversary, so instead of going to the pizza party at the fremont historical society, i went to salty’s on alki and met with the most beautiful woman in the world, where we shared the best table in the house and ate amazingly outstanding food until we couldn’t eat any more. getting married to monique was, without a doubt, one of the smartest things i have ever done in my entire life. i love you, sweetie! 8)

sunday i decided that instead of going on “the caravan” (which turned out to be a repeat of friday’s chaos, only in reverse), i would go directly to fremont and set up hybrid elephant with a bunch of new stuff, including some original music CDs (i actually sold one, as well, which really made my day), and the buttons, on a fancy display that i came up with recently. when it was all over, i made $150!!!! i sold eighteen 20-stick packages of incense (at $1.50 a piece) to a single person (obviously another incense fanatic), plus i sold two ganesha murtis ($15 and $20), two rudrakhsha malas ($14 each) and an original music CD ($10). i sold a lot of incense to a whole bunch of people.

and i really like sitting around on my ass, under a canopy, on a beautiful, warm day, doing nothing more than talking with people and encouraging them to think in a different way (which most of them are perfectly willing to do, and the ones that aren’t are blatantly stupid and wrong about it), and having them give me money.

there are some pictures, but most of my pictures are in the other camera, which is currently in moe’s posession, so they’ll get posted later.

busy busy busy

i went to the fremont sunday market last sunday, and made $97, plus i got three orders for incense and one for a sivalingam necklace, as well, which was enough to finish paying off the button machine that i’ve been paying on for about a month now, so i got a new toy – a one inch button machine, which i have been dreaming about owning for close to 20 years, if not more. unfortunately, my colour printer has decided to quit working, so i’ve got to figure out what to do about that (the most obvious choice is to go to rePC and purchase another one, but there are other options as well).

cinderella rehearsals are in full swing, twice a week. we’ve only got 5 more rehearsals (one is tonight) before the oregon country fair. i plan on going down on wednesday and coming back monday.

the solstice parade and art car blowout are this weekend. i’ve still got to wash my car and it would be nice if i could figure out a way to play CDs in my car, because my ipod died, and i recently got a recording of a guy reciting Sri Ganapati Sahasranaamavalih (which is playing now) which would be really cool to play around Ganesha The Car.

Mahasivaratri!

Mahasivaratri is March 5 or March 6, 2008 – Happy Mahasivaratri everyone!


‘Arise, awake!’ is Shivaratri’s message.
By Sri Sri Ravishankar

Shivaratri is the day of Lord Shiva. Shiva is the lord of meditation and therefore the lord of awakening. Shiva Tatva means to be awakened. Shivaratri is thus an occasion to awaken one’s self from all sorts of slumber.

The night of the rebel God Shivaratri is not a night to be slept over. One should try and be up through the night. It signifies being aware of everything you have and being grateful about it. Be grateful for the happiness which leads to growth, and also for sadness which gives a depth to life. This is the right way of observing Shivaratri.

For the pious, the following method of Shiva worship is advisable – sit down in lotus posture, do some Pranayam to stabilize your breath, then indulge in Dhyana, followed by chanting of “Om Namah Shivay”. It is the greatest mantra and the devout should drown himself in its Kirtan.

Shivaratri worship leads to fulfillment of a devotee’s wishes. There are certain days and time frames in a year that enhance one’s mental and spiritual faculties. In such times, whatever one wishes, materializes. Shivaratri is one such day. All this is very scientific.

Going to temples on this day is OK but you should remember that Shiva is everywhere. The meaning of Kailasa is celebration. So where there is happiness and celebration, Shiva is present. Whether in Sanyasa or Sansara, you can’t escape Shiva. Feeling his presence all the time is the essence of Shivaratri. That is the real Sanyasa.

No worship is complete without offering something to the deity. Shiva is a very simple lord, he is innocent – bholanath. One just needs to offer bel-patra to him. But in this simplicity is a deep message. Bel-patra offerings signify the surrender of all three aspects of one’s nature – Tamas, Rajas and Sattva. You have to surrender the positives and negatives of your life to Shiva and become carefree! The greatest offering is your self.

To offer one’s self is the key to happiness in life. Afterall, why do you get sad? It is mainly because you are not able to achieve something in life. At such times you should surrender everything to the all knowing God. The greatest power is in surrender to the divine. It’s like a drop owning the ocean. If a drop remains separate, it will perish. But when it becomes the ocean, it is eternal!


SHIV WORSHIP
Mahashivratri

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.

random miscelaneous

i finished the other one of moe’s holiday gifts today, and i took pictures, but they’re going to have to wait until after the holidays, because of the fact that she might be reading this. the other one is dependent on our getting into the bobs concert on saturday, and if we don’t then it will be her birthday present instead of a holiday gift. the other gifts i have to wrap are for moe’s grandmother, and it’s okay if she reads about them…

i’ve been avoiding places like malls, and grocery stores and suchlike pretty much all the time this year, because i know that the “christmas” music and overabundance of battles between “christians”, jews and muslims these days would bring me down considerably. i’ve been doing a pretty good job of avoiding all of that “stuff” ever since thanksgiving, which has resulted in my not being so overwhelmed with rage at the phony “peace on earth, goodwill towards men” attitude that, without question, will abruptly disappear once december 25th passes. i used to make a habit of going to the solstice grand dance, in bellingham. i actually went to it for long enough for it to become a “tradition” (which, according to what i’ve heard, is seven years), but since i moved to seattle, i haven’t been back to bellingham for the holidays at all, and i kind of miss it. the fremont solstice feast was sort of a stop-gap, in that it was a big social gathering that, at one time, i might have been interested in turning into a “tradition”, but i’ve actually avoided it the past few years, because the politics involved with being involved with it are a little oppressive. i like the idea of celebrating panchaganapathi, but there’s so much “christian” holiday “spirit” permeating my life that it’s difficult for me to break free for a 12-hour meditation, much less for 5 of them.

a little music: The Avant Garde Project has a plethora of music by john cage, harry partch, morton subotnik, pauline oliveros, luciano berio, and other heros of mine. i’m currently downloading The World of Harry Partch, but almost everything there looks interesting enough to download. oddly enough, i only found about the Free Lossless Audio Codec (FLAC file format) comparitively recently. it’s kind of weird that i would be so stuck on MP3, when there’s a free, lossless format that i could be using instead, and at this point, the only reason i’m not using FLAC or Ogg Vorbis exclusively is because my iPod is still running the proprietary iTunes software (which doesn’t support either .flac or .ogg format files) instead of the free, opensource Rockbox software (which does) instead.

as always, there’s much more that i can’t remember… when i sat down and started typing i had at least 5 different subjects that i intended to discuss, but i can only remember three of them, so there will probably be more later.

hooray… i think…

my disks from cheapbytes arrived today, and feisty fawn is installing at this very moment… which gives me the very strong impression that it actually was the disk from canonical that was wonky, and not the CD-ROM drive or the hard disk.

also, tomorrow is the first day of ganesha chaturthi… so… happy ganesha chaturthi everyone! 8)

now, back to my install. hopefully i will have a functioning computer again shortly.

1013

blurdge

now that i’ve gotten a mouse (my old one died: the red LED that it uses to gauge the surface moving by burned out. it was only 10 years old.) so that i can photoshop the photos, i can update about the fremont fair and solstice parade.

i arrived around 8:30 in the morning, because i was aware that later on there would be traffic problems. as i was on my way into the south part of seattle, i saw this train car that had a grafitto that said “trousers”, or something like it, so i decided to take a picture. it’s a good thing, too, because if i had waited until i was on my way home, i would have missed it.

blurdge

the parade was at noon, and there were a whole pile of naked bicyclists throughout the whole parade. there were also a bunch of people who dressed in the style of ancient egyptians and built a pyramid in the center of the universe… and then dismantled it and carried it off, block by block…

blurdge
blurdge

there were the standard gawkers, lookie-loos and someone, once again, said “oh, that’s french!”… although they may have been talking about the car next to mine, which said “La Vie En Rose” on it, but they were in front of my car, and looking at my car, so i really don’t know.

there were also some real characters. this one older guy in a white suit and straw boater hat was feisty. i asked him if he minded if i took his picture and he said “why?” i was taken aback, but at the same time, i figured what the hell, so i pulled out the old cop tactic and said “why not?” he replied “most people don’t ask.” then he struck a pose for me. he also got into an argument with a girl that was buying incense, and spanked her with his cane.

blurdge

then there was a whole family of people who were very excited when they saw my car, and asked all sorts of questions all at once: is this your car? did you do all the writing? do you know what it says? who gave you the text? what text is it? do you worship ganesha? are you from india? are you from seattle only? ah cha! it is very good, you have done very well, it is very appreciableness! we are from india, you know.

blurdge

SACBO was a blast, and i got to sell incense both days. i didn’t make very much, but i gave out a lot of cards with my URI on them. i’ll have to bring more business cards with me next year… there were a ton of cars that i have never seen, some of which are pictured here for those of you who are interested. there would have been a lot more pictures – there were 185 on my memory card yesterday – but while i was copying the card to the hard disk, the computer crashed and took about ⅔ of the photos with it.

yesterday moe and i went to see the indigo girls at the zoo. i left my car at the fair and picked it up at 8:30 pm, after the fair was over. it makes a lot of noise and i am worried about driving it with no brakes and a cv joint that needs to be replaced, but unless a miracle happens, i’m not expecting to be able to get it fixed any time soon.