Category Archives: forward into the past

look, it’s the end of the world!

a VERY long time ago — i would guess somewhere between 1964 and 1967, or thereabouts — i participated in a “market research study” (for which my parents, hopefully, got paid), where, over the course of a week or so, i would try various different dry cereals, and “potential” dry cereals — which they had produced, but hadn’t “hit the market” yet — without knowing anything about them, and rate them according to what i thought dry cereal should look and taste like.

i’m fairly sure i screwed up ALL of their data points, because i was a combination of three things, which severely skewed my personal experience of dry cereal. the first was that, when i was very small, there was a concern that i might be allergic to cows’ milk (which had been proven false, by the time this took place), and so, when i was learning which cereals i liked, i was only given cereals that could be eaten “without milk”… which, for some reason, meant various different kinds of oatmeal and grits… i wasn’t even given “cream of wheat” because it had the word “cream” in it, and, particularly, my mother was CONVINCED that it wouldn’t be good for me. the second was that my parents were “progressive”: not full-blown “hippies” (however, my dad did have long hair and a beard, but it wasn’t until the ’70s) but definitely not the standard fare for the time and place they were from, which was central illinois “corn country” in the mid-to-late ’60s. thus, they were CONVINCED that sugar was “bad”, so, as a result, when it was determined that dry cereal was “a thing”, i was only given ‘bland’ cereals, such as cheerios, kix, chex, puffed wheat, and grape nuts. by the time i was part of the survey, i was eating cows’ milk all the time, but i never liked “sugar frosted flakes”, “sugar smacks”, “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” or anything like that… and the third thing is that, when i was very small, i was forced to eat fruit at a time when i really DID NOT want to eat fruit, and, as a result, i developed a lifelong distaste for fruit, in general, and about 75% of the cereal that i tested was fruit flavoured, in some way or another.

i spent a few days trying, and rejecting about 95% of the “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” they offered me, primarily because they were so sweet that it overpowered any “cereal-like” taste there may have been.

220123 Chocolate Cheerios! 😱
220123 Chocolate Cheerios! 😱
however, there is one thing that i remember clearly, and that was that “they” (the people conducting the survey, who were, according to my interpretation, in a position to know these things) told me that there would NEVER be “chocolate cheerios”. they told me that the makers of cheerios were totally against making their cereal “pre-sweetened”, and if i saw chocolate cheerios on sale, it would mean the end of the world. cheerios was, by definition, NOT a “pre-sweetened” cereal.

over the years, they have come close… the closest they’ve gotten that i know about was “honey-nut cheerios”, which was “pre-sweetened”, but, because of the fact that it was, alledgedly, sweetened with honey, and not sugar, it was, alledgedly, “okay”…

however, when i came across this, yesterday… 😱

kick in the brain

1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract

from before the wayback machine… these tracts that i just found, were prototypes for smaller versions, which were originally designed to counter the “occult” graffiti i found in an abandoned house in the woods near bellingham… the same house i found the tail coat, which i still have (although it’s been substantially modified, at this point)… the house was obviously a place where teenage doodlehums gathered to do illegal and/or immoral things, and i wanted to “enlighten” them by leaving bizarre literature in their abandoned hideaway. it was in a section of fairly dense, second growth forest, on the outskirts to the northeast of bellingham… there were some neighbourhoods east of there, along alabama street, but the place where the railroad had been was, basically, second growth forest. not even a driveway to the house. the house was two stories, but when i was there, the second story was not safe (although i did go up there, a couple of times), and there was a well-house with a working well… and about 50 feet beyond that were what used to be a railway. it was a perfect place for teenage doodlehums to gather, mark up the walls with “satanic” graffiti, smoke pot, write graffiti about smoking pot, and dream about having illicit sex with their imaginary girlfriends.

i figured they had probably heard all the standard propaganda from the “christians” (the “satanic” graffiti was all the evidence i needed), and this was back when i was full of fire to enlighten the masses, so i came up with a number of tracts which were left in the abandoned house, in phone booths (remember them?), and traded for chick tracts at the local storefront ministries that bellingham had at the time. the first version of these tracts was originally published in 1987. one of the later versions was published in 1992.

now, the place where the abandoned house was, is a neighbourhood of slightly-more-upper-class tract houses with a trail that, 75 years ago, was a railroad that served the logging community in that area.

ARGH! (A₁R₁G₁H₁)

another casualty of the cloud drive crack:

my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRUSTRATING!! 😖😖

latin

when i was in high school, i took latin, but that’s not the story.

the story is that, when i found out they were going to offer a latin class, i IMMEDIATELY wanted to sign up for it… but my parents said no, that latin was a “dead” language, that nobody spoke any longer, or used for anything (😏), that i would never use it, and it would just waste my time.

i was a junior in high school, and i REALLY wanted to learn latin. i pestered my parents for a few weeks about it, but they stood fast…

so i went to my high school guidance counsellor, and told her. she immediately agreed with me, and gave me a bunch of “hints” that i could use to try to convince my parents, but none of them worked. my parents were the stubborn, pig-headed people that i have come to know them to be since then, and they were adamant that it would be a collosal waste of my time to learn latin.

i went back to my high school guidance counsellor and told her that the hints didn’t work, and that i still REALLY wanted to learn latin… so she CALLED them.

she talked with my mother (who was the louder of the two) for about half an hour, and, somehow, convinced her that my studying latin would NOT be a waste of my time. i was overjoyed.

today, 40 years later, latin is something that i use on a DAILY basis, to help me understand, and better utilise the language i speak… to help other people understand confusing things (of which there are many)… to learn about places, and things, in a way that english, by itself, doesn’t even have a clue about… to have a better grip on romance languages that ARE used in the modern world — i also studied french in high school, and it gave me a better understanding of the french language, as well as giving me a sneak peek at spanish, italian, and portuguese… at this point, it would take me about 3 days of immersion to get functional in any romance language, and probably not more than a week before i was understanding most of what was said to me…

WRITING, on the other hand, would very likely take quite a bit longer, particularly in italian or portuguese, because they spell things strangely, have silly, inconsistent silent letters, “non-standard” pronunciation for other letters, and are, generally, more laid back, which makes learning to write more difficult 😉

and that’s ALL because i studied latin. 😉

and i use approximately ZILCH of the other subjects i studied in high school, with the exception of music, which i also use, on a daily basis… actually, that’s not entirely correct: high school taught me skills, like how to study, how to use the scientific method, logic and reason to figure things out, the proper use of tools like a wood lathe, proportional dividers, engineering scales, and a linotype, all of whose skills can be transferred to the “modern” world in a variety of ways…

in other “forward into the past” news, i finally got around to editing the Wraith Ugly/Bob Larson tapes. i’ve been flogging them on bob larson’s twitter feed, which is somewhat amusing. 😈

🤔

this afternoon, i was doing some yard work, and i found this in the gravel between the house and the trailer…

210819 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, quarter for scale
210819 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, quarter for scale

it’s small enough that i’m 100% certain that, if i didn’t already know what it was, i wouldn’t have even noticed it, but…

AS IT HAPPENS… i know EXACTLY what it is, which is a 1909-2009 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, which was given to performers at the celebration, and (i believe) were also for sale to the people who came to the celebration. i know this because, in 2009, the ballard sedentary sousa band peformed at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition 100th Anniversary… although, for some (now) unknown reason, i was unable to make that gig, so i had liz get me a pin, becuase i have always been interested in the alaska yukon pacific exhibition, and i was really dissapointed that i couldn’t be there… and i THOUGHT that pin was on my red fedora, because that’s the last place i saw it, and it was only last week that i wore that hat…

could i have lost my AYP pin? 😨

so i ran upstairs to check, and… no, my AYP pin is right where it’s supposed to be:

210819 my AYP pin, right where it's supposed to be
210819 my AYP pin, right where it’s supposed to be

so, that raises a new question… was the former owner of my house at the AYP 100th anniversary, and did he/she/they buy a pin? or were they performers? i consider the latter to be EXTREMELY unlikely…

hello, old friend…

i’ve got a lot on my mind… my new car, my old car, monique’s old car, my cloud drive, the data, which still needs A LOT of categorising and sorting. there’s so much of it, and about a third to one half of it is corrupt, but i can’t tell without attempting to read it…

next to my tablet is a cup which contains pens, pencils, permanent markers, a divider, a compass, a bong reamer, several dental tools, a couple of hemostats… miscelaneous things that i need on a regular basis. i was looking for the original gear shift knob for my old car, which involved emptying out a bag of miscelaneous leftovers from when we moved (last year), which i never got around to sorting out. it had a number of things that i had been looking for, like my extra vape battery, an extra container for concentrates, my (ORIGINAL!) fidget-cube, and some extra pens and pencils, which i proceded to put in the cup next to my tablet… but it was full.

so, i decided to get a larger can, from my workshop, into which to transfer the pens, pencils, and miscelaneous tools, which took a while, because i had to find the can that i was looking for. when i’d found the can, i went back into my office, and transferred the stuff into it, in the bottom of the cup, i found this…

miniature citrine ganesha
miniature citrine ganesha

i got this… i don’t know how many years ago… i think it was before my injury… i got it a clear quartz ganesha, and this citrine one, at the same time, but i lost the citrine one almost immediately — like, within the first two weeks — and i have never seen it since.

2 miniature ganesh murtis and 10¢
2 miniature ganesh murtis and 10¢

which reminds me…

XKCD - Slide Trombone
XKCD – Slide Trombone

a long time ago — probably mid-1970s or thereabouts — i was at the Marrowstone Music Festival at Fort Flagler State Park (which should give those people who know about such things a much clearer idea of exactly when this occurred) for a two week “intensive”, where we learned, rehearsed, an at the end of the two weeks, performed a concert of orchestral works.

a lot of the trombone parts were mostly rests, with occasional blasts of fanfare, or glissandos, or other suchlike “trombone” things. trombones in a classical orchestra have a reputation for being lazy, and jokers, but that’s only because we have nothing else to do! nobody writes for trombones in a classical orchestra setting!

it’s true! beethoven, the quintessential classical composer, wrote NINE symphonies for “full orchestra”, but he only wrote one piece that had parts for trombones, the Three Equale for Four Trombones, which is one of the most beautiful pieces in existence.

for the most part, the classical period was before what we know as the modern “trombone” existed, and, at best, the “trombone” parts that exist are usually parts for serpent or ophecleide which have been transposed.

after one morning rehearsal — where the trombones had rests and didn’t play at all for the 4½ hours of the morning rehearsal — we were all feeling a little punchy as we went to lunch. for some time, i had been warning the other trombonists that, if they left their instruments out, on the stage, when we weren’t there, something bad could happen to their instruments… i was thinking something along the lines of “someone bumped into your horn and now the horn has a disabling slide injury that will cost several hundred dollars to repair” or something like that, and i always put MY horn away, when i was not actively holding it in my hand, but, despite my almost constant, annoying reminders, the other trombonists left their horns on the stage as we went to lunch.

so, i developed a plan…

while the other trombone players were eating lunch, i attacked their horns.

trombones that have “attachments” (i.e. every trombone that is LOWER THAN a “tenor” trombone) have at least one valve, which lowers the trombone’s pitch. when that valve is not activated (most of the time), the trombone plays in B-flat, but when the valve is activated, it plays in F (or some other key, depending on other things). most trombone players that have a valve, only use it occasionally, to play notes that they would, otherwise, be unable to play reliably. the valve section of tubing is like a separate little bit of the trombone, that is only used occasionally. it has its own tuning slide, and, when the horn is being played without the valve, the extra tubing is sealed off from the main part of the instrument.

what i did was remove the tuning slides for the valve sections of their horns, and filled the valve sections with water. then, turning the horns upside down, i replaced the valve section tuning slide, and placed the horn, right side up, on the stand, so that it looked like it hadn’t been touched.

when they came back from lunch, they picked up their horns, blew a few notes, and then cycled the valve, which released the water into the main part of their horns…

BLLLOOOOP!!!

then they “emptied their spit valves”, thinking that their horns just had water that accumulates when they went to lunch… after about 5 minutes of emptying their spit valves, they gave up, and took the slides off and dumped the rest of the water out of their instruments…

all the while i was busting a gut trying NOT to laugh, which, among other things, would have disturbed the rest of the people in the rehearsal, some of whom were actually rehearsing by this time…

and, you know what?

they never left their horns out on the stage after that… 🤣

databases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S WRONG… 😖

The PHBFH

salamandir, the phbfh, ezra, 1989ish
salamandir, the phbfh, ezra, 1989ish

i don’t know who took this, or when it was taken, but my impression is that it was taken while i was working at evergreen station organic farm (pulling weeds), which would make ezra about 6. i really enjoy the look on ezra’s face. it’s clear that his parents may not realise it yet, but he knows what’s coming down, and it’s not good. 🤣

by the way, here’s a photo of the PHBFH on internet about which she can do nothing… 🤣

समाधि पीठ

sivaite samadhi peetham
sivaite samadhi peetham

i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old. possibly older, as i don’t have a great memory for these things, so i keep a list of when things happened. according to that list, the picture above was taken in 1991 or 1992. it was taken to honour the fact that i had just experienced sabikalpasamadhi (सविकल्पसमाधि) for the first (and only) time, on the banks of the skagit river.

jim robertson
jim robertson

i just got back from picking up 182 4″x6″ prints. there are a bunch of pictures of ezra, the PHBFH, randy, and ruth. there are a few pictures of other people, including me, and jim robertson.

there are also a lot of pictures for the legendary “Trash” issue of “Tina Magazine”, which was never published, as well as several pictures of the Tina literature which is now, suspiciously, for sale at Alta-Glamour.

now i gotta get started scanning them. 😉

🍄🕉🍄🕉

i started an experiment a few days ago: i bought a vape-pen and, for the past three days, i have been vaping instead of smoking pot. i noticed a couple of things right off the top, which are that i get SIGNIFICANTLY higher from vaping than i do from smoking — although i knew that already, from vaping using darol’s pipette-and-lighter method. the second is that i haven’t been wheezing as much, particularly at night… which is a good thing. it’s bizarre, though, because i’ve got a few buds and my bong sitting on my desk next to me, and they haven’t been being used, and i don’t know when i am going to be motivated to use them, or do something with them… another thing that is kind of strange is that i bought a gram of “wax” (for under $35) that looks like it’s going to last me at least a week, and possibly two.

i went for a walk today, and, while in jovita park, i encountered a random, ambient smell that was kind of minty, that immediately reminded me of music, trombones, and my 4th grade school music locker. it’s possible that whatever made that smell is used in a cleaning product that was used in the music locker, or on the instruments, i have no clue. also, the smell was quite random: i smelled it, and then it was gone, and i stopped when i smelled it because the recollection was so powerful… and then, on the way back, i smelled it again, and stopped, and the smell was gone in just a couple of seconds. it was a musty, minty, trombone-y smell. 👃

reunion

the fairhaven college 50th anniversary reunion was friday, saturday, and today. i went to perform a ritual vegetable sacrifice, which happened this morning.

i just want to say that i am SO glad i married monique. i spent a couple of days with a lot of old, crazy people, talking about other old, crazy people and the crazy things they did, and continued to do… and i could have an up-close-and-personal part in all those crazy things, except i NO LONGER LIVE IN BELLINGHAM, and the crazy people in monique’s circle of friends do stuff that DOESN’T AFFECT ME! 😁

darol isn’t growing any longer. it was decided that his mental instability(!) made the fact that he was growing a danger to the community at large, so somebody distracted him, and other people went in and cleaned out the entire operation. then pot became legal. now darol is getting old and fat and doesn’t have anything to do any longer.

crazy people i haven’t thought about in 30 years: julie, collette, katharyn, almitra, jim… i heard about the crazy, stoned antics of calvin, the youngest son of alana, who i haven’t seen since 1992…

friday, i went to an undisco in the fairhaven auditorium — the first one that has been held in the auditorium in 25 years… the music was way too loud, and 95% of it hadn’t even been written the last time there was an undisco in the auditorium… it was really weird: i visited the classroom where my first flybottle class was held, but there were computers everywhere… even in the hallways, there were “publically accessible” computers — you still need to be a student to use them, but they were there… and the auditorium is completely different: it’s been turned into two rooms that have a temporary divider between them. the stage and the light booth are still the same, but the sloped floor and the carpeting have been removed… and there are two computers, one in each “room”, that control huge video screens, which had “meditationHD” videos — 😒 — in them for the undisco. kenyth was supposed to be there, but, because of the fact that his care-givers(!) screwed up, he wasn’t there.

saturday, i played my overtone flute in the back stairway at fairhaven. it sounded FANTASTIC! i realised that the reason it’s not in tune with other instruments is because it was specifically made for that stairway. it sounds good by itself, whereas, in most other places (including, significantly, fort worden), it needs electronic help (in the form of an amplifier and a delay box) to sound HALF AS GOOD… i decided that it sounded so good that i had to record some, so i set up my H2 (which, conveniently, was in the suitcase with the amplifier and the delay box), and recorded about half an hour, before i realised that the batteries in the H2 had died shortly after i first started playing, so i had to change the batteries and do it all again. that was interrupted by ken yanik, who i spent a couple of hours after that, talking to, catching up after 36 years…

kenyth showed up for a “special ceremony” in his honour, which was, apparently, people who were, marginally, his students, giving him mementos and other random tchatchkes, for which he has no need, and, for the most part, he doesn’t remember his students anyway. i saw him. he had to be reminded who i was. i gave him an announcement for the vegetable sacrifice. he didn’t show up. when we went to his care-facility(!), later in the evening, for what passes for “the jam” these days, he had to be reminded, again, who i was. the jam was cut short by his care-givers, who were concerned that the music(!) was keeping the other residents awake. he seemed happy to see everyone, and, once he had been reminded who i was, it was okay, but it’s really sad to see him losing his mind, and it’s really sad knowing that the fact that he’s losing his mind is the reason he’s being subjected to this.

the campus has changed a lot. there are a whole bunch of new buildings, new sculputres, and new athletic facilities. there is also a lot of other changes that i only heard about: the cube sculpture that used to be near the library is now in the fairhaven courtyard. rock rings and the steam scupture are now in a forgotten corner, behind a new, huge building, which has a massive new sculpture, “the stairs to nowhere”, in front of it… the old sculptures haven’t moved, the campus has just been built up around them. it’s nice for the campus, i guess, but there’s a lot of brick, glass and concrete where there used to be apple orchards and pine trees.

i made 100 vegetable sacrifice announcements. i handed out a bunch of them at the undisco, and a bunch more to various people at fairhaven, and elsewhere on campus. it was scheduled for 9:00 am, which was RIDICULOUSLY early compared to the “traditional” sacrifice (which is always held at noon), but what else could i do? that was what they offered me. still, i handed out about 75 announcements, and quite a few people said that they were going to come: tarzan said he was going to bring some vegetable sacrifice virgins; sasha and jeff also indicated that they would be there, and i sort of half expected ian to show up as well. i got to the tower(!) at 8:30 in the morning, and prepared. at 9:03, ken and kamalla (with whom i had been staying) showed up, followed shortly thereafter by ken yanik and a guy called “morf” — a former fairhaven student who, apparently, knows a lot more about me than i do about him (which isn’t that surprising). about 15 minutes later, after we had already finished the random circular reading, jamie jedinak and her doggie, pepper, showed up… there were also two innocent bystanders at the top of the tower, and (unbeknownst to me, until i decended, after sacrificing my vegatables) another innocent bystander at the bottom. ken whitley was very concerned that the person at the bottom had “witnessed something illegal” and started cleaning up the sacrifical remains almost immediately, which i found somewhat disappointing.

there’s a really long, 1.5GB video of the vegetable sacrifice ceremony, which was recorded on the holy camera of video by morf. i can’t figure out how to turn it into something that i can post on the COTC web site, but i’ll figure it out eventually. i figured it out. i also reduced the size to a much more realistic size of 113.2MB… now i have to figure out where to stick it.

it was enjoyable, driving through the skagit valley, on my way south, but once i hit stanwood, i hit the freeway. it’s REALLY good to be home.

blast from the past…

Perceptual Motor Rhythm Skills - Teachers' Edition
Perceptual Motor Rhythm Skills – Teachers’ Edition

where do i start?

quite a number of years ago… maybe 35 or 40… i used to entertain myself by calling radio preachers and saying bizarre stuff. after a while, i started recording these conversations arguments, particularly with one specific radio preacher, Bob Larson, and playing them for my friends. i also sent a copy to a friendly person named Matt Jasper, who ran a little company called Tray Full Of Lab Mice Publications, who combined it with other sound sources and released his own tape, which was called “Tina Chopp vs. Bob Larson”… in spite of the fact that “Tina Chopp vs. Bob Larson” was only a small part of that tape, which included other people interacting with bob in a similarly strange way.

at some point, someone at Bananafish Magazine got hold of matt’s tape, and combined it with a bunch of other, nominally musical, sources, and, in 1992, released a 7" EP vinyl album, called “Perceptual Motor Rhythm Skills – Teachers’ Edition” which was released, as a pressing of 1,500, with issue #7.

and i FINALLY had to BUY my copy, a couple of weeks ago, from the River Street Beats Shop, because i didn’t even know the album existed until a couple of weeks ago… 😎

story

a long time ago… after i got married, but before my injury, when ezra was living with the PHBFH on capitol hill, and i was living on beacon hill, somebody (i always suspected that ezra knew who, but he never admitted to it) lobbed a fist-sized rock through the PHBFH’s front window, which struck ezra in the face and broke his nose. shortly after that, the PHBFH moved everything to an even rougher part of town in an attempt to get away from the roughness that she perceived surrounding her, pretty much everywhere.

i retrieved the rock, wrote the words “I BROKE EZRA’S NOSE” on it, put it into storage, and promptly forgot it, because i was up to my eyeballs in other stuff, including dealing with the PHBFH and her erstwhile lawyer.

i found the rock the other day:

151223 rock before
151223 rock before

i texted ezra, to see if he wanted it. he didn’t, but he suggested that i carve the words into the rock and then “let it back out into nature :)” which sounded like an admirable idea to me, so i did:

151223 rock during
151223 rock during

151223 rock during
151223 rock during
151223 rock during
151223 rock during
151223 rock after
151223 rock after

the next step is to paint the letters with some durable, shiny paint in some bright colour, i’m thinking neon green, or yellow or something. i’m also debating whether or not to “enhance” the blood stains that are still on the rock, for dramatic effect.

then, to release it back to nature… possibly at double bluff park, since we have a tradition of going there every year. or at fort worden… i’m seeing ezra on sunday, so i’ll get a chance to talk with him about it, as well…

blaine, 2015

in 2009 i uploaded a picture that was taken in 1981 of me and a bunch of guys juggling on the lawn in front of old main, at western:

jugglers

one of those guys, barry alexander, was a friend of mine who was also a jeweler, and made the silver Ritual Object that has been used in countless Ritual Vegetable Sacrifices by The Church of Tina Chopp throughout the intervening years.

on sunday, the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band played a concert at the Peace Arch in blaine. after the concert, as i was putting my instrument away, i was approached by barry alexander, who i haven’t seen in probably 35 years. this is what he looks like now:

150823 Barry Alexander, Blaine, WA

apparently, he knows a lot more about what’s going on with me than i do about him, because he knows about things like Hybrid Elephant, whereas what i know about him ceased to be updated when i lost contact with him, some time in the early 1980s…

forward into the past!

i believe it was either summer of 1983 or 1984, the PHBFH decided that she had to take her either 6-month old, or her 18-month old baby (depending on what year it was, and i’m not 100% certain which one it was), to see her grandmother, who lived in gilroy, california, and her great aunt, who lived in san bernadino, california. it was important to her to “introduce the generations to each other”, but, as she didn’t know how to drive, i became the default driver for her crazy scheme well-thought-out plan… which was sensible, since her baby was my son, but i didn’t have a regular job, and she didn’t have a job at all, and the whole trip was (supposed to be) without any cannabis whatsoever (because the PHBFH is a paranoid psycho) so it took some figuring out to figure out how we were going to pay for a two week road-trip to california in a borrowed ford pinto station wagon…

never the less, she figured it out, and we packed up the station wagon and headed out to california.

at that time, there was a place just north of kelso, washington (about a two hour drive south of where we lived) where there was a planned nuclear power station, part of the trojan nuclear power plant. it was never an active nuclear power plant, and never housed nuclear material of any kind, but i didn’t know that at the time. all i knew was that it was there, quite visible from southbound I-5. i also knew that the PHBFH was TERRIFIED of nuclear power, and was constantly “muscle testing” for the presence of “elevated levels of background radiation” which made her “sick”.

she actually claimed that she was able, through “muscle testing” to tell the difference between an “irradiated” carrot and an “organic” carrot. naturally, she couldn’t, but that didn’t stop her claiming that she could… 😐

so, anyway, i pulled off the freeway, before we got within view of the trojan nuclear power plant, and, innocently, asked her to “muscle test” for background radiation. she did, and couldn’t detect any elevation… then we drove around the bend in the freeway, and came into view of the plant, and she IMMEDIATELY started complaining that she was getting sick from the elevated radiation levels, which stayed in the “danger zone” (i.e. the Making-the-PHBFH-sick range) until we were well south of portland, approximately another hour’s drive south from kelso.

i didn’t know at the time that there was no radiation level AT ALL, otherwise i would very likely have turned around in kelso and proceded immediately back to bellingham. at the time, i was only slightly less ignorant than the PHBFH, herself — although i had enough sense to ignore her paranoia and bring some cannabis with me, which probably saved the entire trip.

cape

a long, long time ago… probably 1980 or thereabouts… i had just moved to bellingham and was a student at fairhaven college, on the campus of western washington university. there was a “student market” called the “VU Vendors” on weekdays, where “professional” vendors (somewhat like what Hybrid Elephant was like, at the FSM) and students who wanted to sell stuff congregated. one of the latter vendors was a guy who had made a cape out of army blankets, which he wanted to sell because he needed some “medication” (i never asked what kind of “medication” he wanted), but i didn’t have the amount of money he was looking for, so i memorised the pattern and went on my way. about a year later, after i had gotten a job, i bought a couple of wool army blankets and made my own cape, which have worn, more or less constantly, since then.

i wore it when i went to the rainbow gathering in 1982. i wore it when i was a migrant fruit picker in 1983. i wore it when i freight-hopped to various places, i wore it when i hitch hiked places, i slept under freeway bridges, and in farmers’ fields wrapped in my cape… in 1993 or thereabouts, i wore it when i went out picking mushrooms, got it caught on a barbed-wire fence and tore a hole in it, which i repaired. eventually i modified the design a little, and cut arm-holes, which fastened with velcro, so that i could wear a backpack and still wear the cape, when it was raining. originally it had three buttons that i rescued from a pea-coat, but the buttonholes failed, so i removed them and replaced it with a metal frog that i got at OCF, where i wore it to protect me from mosquitos.

eventually, i learned that it wasn’t really a “cape”. it is actually a garment called a burnous, a traditional garment worn by Berbers… but nobody knows what a burnous is, despite the fact that it is actually a really cool garment…

it was well worn, and well loved, so it wasn’t particularly surprising when i was putting it on a couple months ago, and the frog ripped a big hole in the front, and i decided that it was time to retire it as a garment…

141215 cape in progressbut i still want need a cape… i NEED a cape. it has been a part of my wardrobe for 40 years, and it’s lack has been felt intensely… so i went out and spent $250 on real wool fabric, and real lycra lining material, and made a new one. 😎

at this point, it’s about 85% finished. i put together the pieces, and sewed the neck, but i’m letting it hang for a couple of days before i finish it, because that way the lining will have a chance to “settle”… the old cape didn’t have a lining, so it wasn’t a problem. i found it rather bizarre, essentially, to have to make two capes, and sew them together inside out, so that the lining came out right.

and i didn’t realise until i hung it up, that, because of the fact that it’s made of brown cloth, it looks suspiciously like a “jedi” cape… which, naturally, means that i’ll be getting a lot of comments from tourists at OCF next year, but… oh well, i’ll deal with it…

God help me resist temptation…

FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 27: BOB LARSON’S CURSE BREAKING SEMINAR

Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center
17620 International Blvd
Seattle, WA 98188
Starts @ 7pm Free and open to the public

FEBRUARY 27-28: ONE-ON-ONE ENCOUNTERS WITH BOB LARSON
To schedule a one-on-one personal SPIRITUAL ENCOUNTER with Pastor Bob, call 303-980-1511.

the phone number is the same one he used back when i was messing with his head, which, if i recall correctly, is a denver, colorado area code… but my understanding is that his headquarters is now in phoenix, arizona…