Category Archives: forward into the past

from my sketchbook

the only way we can worship anything other than God is when we worship something that is a result of some occurance outside of our bodies. we are created in the image of God and we are given life by God and God dwells within us. when we worship something that is not within oujr own bodies, we worship the creation and not the creator. when we worship something within our bodies that is a direct result of occurances outside of our bodies, we worship our creation, but not God’s creation. our creation has been called the “ego” – that part of our personality that is a direct result of society. it is that part of our personality that wants us to think that we created ourselves. it is that which is spoken of in Isaiah 47.10 “for thou hast trusted in thy wickedness: Thou hast said none seeth me. Thy wisdom and thy knowledge, it hath perverted thee; and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else beside me.”

the ego is that part of our mind that “thinks” and “knows” from learning, and is ignorant of reality outside of itsself. the God that lives within us is that part of our personality and thinks and knows from intuition or inspiration. its true source is cosmic learning, the accumulated experiences of the creator, which lives in all of us at the same time. this is what is spoken of in Philippians 2.5-6 “let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God.” the “mind” spoken of is the mind of the cosmic creator. Jesus, himself, didn’t have a personality of “Jesus,” because he was totally the Personality of the Divine Creator – so much so that he had the abilities of the Creator as well. John 5.30 “I receive not honor from men.” if we worship Jesus, we worship the body, and not the Mind of the Creator which lives within the body. this is the meaning of the crucifixion: Jesus’ body was just a vehicle for the mind of God, which lives forever, with or without a body. as Jesus said: “Behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.” (Luke 17.21)

weird…

when i lived in new york, probably 1971 or thereabouts, a whole bunch of my music classmates and i were transported to a theatre in downtown buffalo, new york, where we took part in an experimental music recording for some artist. i don’t remember anything about who the artist was, or what the recording was ultimately used for, but what happened is permanently etched on my mind: we were taken to the balcony, directly in front of the stage which had a whole bunch of stripped down pianos, and a bunch of what looked like large metal junk piled on it. there we were each given a small bucket full of tennis balls, and encouraged to be very quiet, and throw the tennis balls at the pianos and metal stuff. specifically, they told us that noise from the tennis balls was encouraged, but noise from our mouths was not. it was an occasion that was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone, and they collected the tennis balls and re-distributed them to us at least three times. then we all got on the school bus and went back to the school, which was in williamsville, a suburb of buffalo.

why do i bring this up, apart from the fact that it’s an interesting bit of trivia about my life?

i was poking around on wikipedia today, and i found this, which is in the first part of the article abut Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. in the article, he was being encouraged in a project “Piano Tennis”… “after collecting pianos, they stripped and aligned them in a hall, striking them with tennis balls.” (wikipedia).

my family moved to the buffalo area in 1969. according to wikipedia, brian eno graduated from the Winchester School of Art in 1969, and he was in london in 1971 when he joined roxy music, so the probability that the artist that made the “experimental music recordings” that i took part in was not brian eno is pretty high, but i would be willing to bet that it was someone who saw eno’s performances at the winchester school, or someone that had heard about them…

anyway, i was so intrigued by the whole process that when the school i was attending had to “throw out” a piano that was “broken”, i persuaded the music teacher to let me have it, and i took it apart and wrote a piece of music for the “prepared” piano-harp in 1973, not long before we moved back to seattle.

beep

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

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

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

Violence takes iconic Tuba Man

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He was gone.

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

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

Our Tuba Man.

grumph… 8/

interlake class reunion

i received this in email this morning. my 30th high school reunion means that i am OLD

but, the thing is, i don’t want to go to my high school reunion! when i was in high school, i only had 4 friends (and one of them was my girlfriend, who was in a different class than i was) out of the entire school, which was probably 1,000 students at the time, most of the other people either didn’t know me or actively hated me for one (usually lame) reason or another, i actually spent most of my junior and senior years attending music workshops in a different city, and, to top it all off, they want $100 a person to gain entrance to the reunion…

i can think of several reasons why i should spend $100 on something other than going to my high school reunion… 8/

ip

when i was about in 5th grade or so, my trombone teacher had me work from Remington Warm Up Studies for Trombone, which was a soft-cover book that couldn’t have been more than 24 pages or so, and cost $2.95. i went through two or three of them by the time i graduated from high school, because they were so flimsy.

so i’m wondering why amazon dot com wants $86.50 for the book now… and if i want to buy it from amazon in germany, i could pay as much as $305.95 for it…

why is this so expensive?!? also, why can’t i just download it as a PDF and print my own copy?

… oh, that’s right, stupid copyright laws… 8b

dream

map

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

front elevation

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

bottom floor

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

top floor

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

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

word to the word

MSWord for Mac v5.0 & two v5.1

so i was digging through the four boxes of 3½-inch floppy disks that were piled up with the rest of the boxes in the living room yesterday, and i discovered that i have not one, but two original copies of Microsoft Word for Mac version 5.1, that are still in their original, unopened, plastic wrappers, and a copy of Microsoft Word for Mac 5.0 that is in it’s original wrapper, but the wrapper is deteriorated enough that it is no longer sealed. Word 5.0 is the one that had some sort of major bug in it, and they released Word 5.1 shortly afterward. one of the Word 5.1 copies is in two packages (the way that they were sold retail), and one is all in one package (the way they were delivered to you if you had purchased Word 5.0). all three copies have never been used, and were a part of the copies of Word that i bought for the manuals when i worked at microsoft. i only found one copy of Word 5.1 on sale at ebay, and there it is touted as “one of the most efficient, basic, and streamlined word processors ever–still viable even today!” i agree with them, and if i had a computer that would run it, i would probably be using it as my word processor.

i am thinking of selling them. based on what i know, i think i should start at $75 a piece for the v5.1 copies, but i’m not sure whether i should go higher or lower for the v5.0, because of the fact that v5.0 was at exactly the same time as bill gates was saying that there were “no appreciable bugs” in microsoft software…

flash from the distant past

Hybrid Elephant at the Fremont Sunday Market

i went to the fremont sunday market yesterday. i didn’t do as well as i did last week, but i still made $60, which is nothing to sneeze at.

i had this really strange experience, but first, a little back story.

when i was living in bellingham, before i moved to mount vernon (let me see, mental calculations, approximately 15 years ago – gawd, am i really that old?), i was doing graphic design work for almitra, who was trying to pull together a “new-age” business, or commune, or teaching center, or something like that. she was also my introduction to the the himalayan academy, because she had found the 500 pound sphatika lingam that ordains their temple. looking back on it, i don’t see why i worked for her as long as i did, not only because she was one of the truly crazy people that have plagued my life, but also because she didn’t actually pay me in money, but rather in tangible goods, like an african aligator-skin drum, and a Mac LCII computer (which she ended up having a good friends of mine steal back from me), but this all happened before that.

one of the things that i designed for almitra was a deck of cards called “Words of Power”. they were triangular cards with a sri yantra on the back, and various words and their “interpretations” in fancy print on the front. i don’t remember all of the words, but they were all in a very fancy typeface that was very distinctive, and there were enough individual words to make a deck of 50 – 75 cards. all almitra did was come up with a list of words, and this idea, i did all of the design work and had the cards printed at this place in mount vernon, near where i lived several years later. after the cards were printed, i gave them to almitra, keeping a couple decks myself for my portfolio, and quickly forgot about them. i remember finding them when we moved from renton to auburn, but they’re currently buried somewhere in the pile of boxes in our dining room, and have been for at least two years.

Words of Power cards

yesterday, i was at the fremont sunday market, and i had occasion to see one of the people who really appreciates fine quality incense that i have come to know. she was a vendor as well, and someone i first met last year when i went to the FSM (i can’t help but think of the Flying Spaghetti Monster when i use that abbrevation). she had a table where she was giving “readings from a real, live psycho”, and – and this is the really weird part – she was using a deck of “Words of Power” cards as her medium.

Readings with a live psycho

i was passing by, and i saw the cards, and, without saying anything, i picked one up and turned it over to make sure that they really were the same cards i designed, and then i said “i designed these cards.” she immediately responded by grabbing the card back from me and saying “no you didn’t!” she said that she had a mystical relationship with the cards, and when i came back, a little later, with my camera so that i could take a picture of her with the cards, she said “no, no!” and tried to hide them from me – she was in the middle of a reading, though, and i got a shot of her and the cards anyway.

i haven’t even thought about those cards in 15 years! and almitra is one of the many truly crazy people i have dealt with in my life. i couldn’t have possibly imagined that anyone would use something that a crazy woman came up with as a legitimate vehicle for discerning the future before i actually saw it for myself.

dead people

William F. Buckley Jr. 1925 – 2008 – in 1982, while the PHBFH was pregnant with ezra, i went to eastern washington to be a migrant fruit picker for a season. because of the fact that i didn’t have any money, i found a telephone credit card number, that allegedly belonged to William F. Buckley, which i used to call the PHBFH every day. i talked for hours, from the pay-phone up the road about a mile from the orchard i was working at, which was about 50 miles outside of lake chelan, washington. i can only imagine how large “William F. Buckley’s” phone bill must have been, because i figured that if i was using it with no consequences, there had to have been several hundred (at least) other hippies who were also using it. it finally quit working after i returned home, around christmas or so of that year. ezra was born in january of 1983.

1039

it’s the first of july… where has 2007 gone anyway?

next week, at this time, i will be going to “art on the ave” in tacoma, with my art car. i have recently got the brakes and the left front CV axle replaced, with money given to me by moe who was given it by ann a couple weeks ago when she went to portland after her mother had a stroke. it turned out to cost about half of what i was fearing, which means that, potentially, i can get the muffler fixed soon as well. it’s probably not going to get fixed until after oregon country fair, but that’s a lot sooner than i thought a week ago when i first learned how serious it really was. it all started when i got a flat tire, and ended up getting four new tires, but at the same time, learning that i had no brakes in either the front or the back, and that the ominous clicking sound that i was hearing when i went around a corner was the CV axle trying to work it’s way loose. i had about a week of worrying about that when the muffler started making a lot of noise. now the only thing left to fix is the muffler, which (i learned yesterday), is due to a broken weld just before the exhaust pipe enters the muffler, which can be fixed very easily if i knew how to weld…

when i was in fourth grade i took a career aptitude test that said i was most suited to be a welder. at the time, i was absolutely convinced that i was going to be a musician, and completely rejected the idea of becoming a welder. i have had several opportunities to learn how to weld since then, including in high school and in the tech school, and, while i admit that i didn’t completely reject the idea, at the same time, i also didn’t learn how to weld. i have been noticing, more and more frequently, how desirable knowing how to weld would be, and i’ve been wishing that i would have done things differently when i was in fourth grade. i can’t imagine that welding is an awful lot different than soldering, and i know several different techniques for soldering, so i get the impression that welding would not be that great a stretch for me at this time… it’s just a matter of finding someone who wants to teach an old dog new tricks… and then buying a whole bunch of new, expensive tools that i don’t have room for…

and then, two weeks from today will already be the last official day of the oregon country fair, which is what i was talking about when i said “where has 2007 gone” earlier… this is the first year in the (now) 5 years that i have been going to OCF that moe is going with me, although she’s going with me on thursday and coming back on saturday because she has to teach classes on sunday and she took off sunday a couple of weeks ago to go to portland when her mother had a stroke, so she can’t skip another week. it also means that i’ve got to find another way to get home, but considering that we’re going down as part of a large group of performers, that shouldn’t be too much of a problem, and if it is, i’ll be stuck in eugene with my tuba and all the camping gear, so i’ll probably be able to come up with some ideas for ways to get home — after all, i am a hippie… 8) it will be fun to have moe along. she’s not obligated to do anything, so she can hang out and check out the fair, and help out with our theatre stuff if she wants to… and she’ll get to see all kinds of performances, such as the fremont philharmonic at the ritz, and BBWP, which will probably perform at the friday night fire show again this year. also, this year is the first year since i started going to OCF that my physical birthday will not happen while i am at the fair. ready for this? i’m going to be 47 in a couple weeks… even if you were ready for it, i wasn’t… it feels like i haven’t gotten that much older since i was 30, which, if i recall correctly, is very much like what my grandparents said when i asked them when i was in fourth grade…

where has 2007 gone, anyway?