Category Archives: getting old

urgh!

from the inside, looking out, life is pretty decent: we’re busking again, there are gigs on the horizon, nothing serious is wrong with the house, i’m getting my art car made… i’ve still got a big, scary thing that hasn’t happened for 2 years, but was pretty much essential to my life for some time before that (which is the oregon country fair)…

but from the outside looking in, 50 years of my life, and most of my identity, has been summarily dismissed by the supreme court, which has indicated its willingness to overturn roe v. wade, despite the fact that there isn’t a single state for which the overturning of roe v. wade commands more than 30% support…

which, of course, is PRIMARILY due to #drumpf, who, despite being impeached TWICE, managed to jam through three supreme court “justices”, two of whom are credibly accused sexual predators, and the other is amy coney barrett, who thinks that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant.

and all of that is coming from EXACTLY the same people that gave us matt gaetz, who is under investigation for human trafficking and sex with teenagers, and jim jordan, who is accused of enabling a sexual predator, and roy moore, who is accused of sexually predating teenagers at a mall, and madison cawthorn, who idolises hitler, and films himself fucking his cousin in the ear, and another guy who is a long time republican politician who was convicted of possessing pornographic images of children, and the “jewish space laser lady”, and on, and on, and on, and on, and FUCKING ON!!… 🤬🤬🤬

and the chance that ANY OF THEM are going to face real justice of any kind is vanishingly small. 🤬

and that’s not even to mention the fact that #drumpf, himself, along with ALL his cronies, and partners in crime, are STILL running around free, and having rallies, and spewing misinformation, disinformation, and OUTRIGHT LIES to anybody who will listen, which, apparently, is about 49% of the population of the country…

seriously, politics has gotten so over-the-top, blatantly FASCIST, pretty much ever since #drumpf was elected (but, honestly, i see the first inklings of fascism in the 1970s, when nixon and mcgovern butted heads)… the country, and the world, has gotten so right-wing, “christian”, and “conservative” that it’s beyond merely frightening, and everything i’ve seen seems to indicate that it is going to get orders of magnitude worse before there’s any hope of it getting better…

and, if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, don’t even get me started on climate change… 🤬🤬🤬

the end of (another) era…

the last performance of the 2022 moisture festival happened last night. it was the last performance (that we currently know of) in hale’s palladium, EVER… the palladium has been sold, and there is no word on whether or not the “new owners” (whoever they may be) are interested in continuing to rent their former beer warehouse to a bunch of crazy hippies for a month, every year.

the largest, longest-running comedy/variety showcase IN THE WORLD is now looking for a new venue… rather like Teatro Zinzanni (a long-time moisture festival ally), which has been looking for a new venue, on and off, for 20 years. 😒

in 2004, the moisture festival was held, for the first time, in rev. chumleigh’s circus tent in downtown fremont. it was two days: the fremont philharmonic was to play the first day, and the zebra kings were supposed to play the second day, but because of the fact that the zebra kings were nowhere to be found, and most of the fremont philharmonic was backstage when the show was getting ready to start, the fremont phil played both days. at the time, i was under the impression that the moisture festival was going to be a “one off”, because i couldn’t imagine the city actually allowing us to set up a tent in a parking lot all the time, but little did i know that, already, there were plans being made.

the fremont phil, at the time, consisted of fred hawkinson, on trombone, the leader of the band, and the composer of most of the tunes we played; jeremy reinhardt on baritone and flute, and the composer of the rest of the tunes we played; ted lockery on trumpet, pam mcrae on clarinet, sasha malinsky and alan… um… i don’t remember alan’s family name, on drums (they alternated); john cornicello on keyboard, and myself on E♭ tuba. we were just off playing for billion bunny bash, and the cirque de flambé shows at magnusen park, but before fred quit the band. i remember, specifically, people not being able to find ANY of the zebra kings, and it being about five minutes before curtain when they asked us if we wanted to play, i also remember A LOT of chaos, disorganisation, and people running around like headless chickens… something which never completely went away, even after we moved to the palladium.

the first show in the palladium was when it was still being a beer warehouse: pallets of kegs, empty beer bottles and cans, A LOT of beer, porta-potties for public toilets, and a significant rat problem were among the first recipients of the moisture festival shows. the second year (the first year in the palladium, which would have been 2005) was four days, i believe, and the start of the tradition of the “marathon”, which was, the last show went on until there were no acts left who “wanted” to perform. the first marathon lasted until midnight, and from that time on, until we decided that it was getting to be a bit too much, the marathons got longer, and longer… and longer… and LONGER… the last marathon (year 6 or 7, possibly) started at 9:30 pm and lasted until 6:30 am the next morning… and we STILL had acts that wanted to perform, but some of us had to go to work in the morning, and ALL of us were so tired that we couldn’t see straight. after then, we decided that the tradition of the marathon had outlived its purpose. 😉

after year 2 (the first year in the palladium), i was more convinced that we were going to establish a yearly event.

the moisture festival started expanding after year three or four, i think… primarily because of the fact that, during one of the burlesque performances, an arialist had a “strategic costume malfunction”, ripped off her costume, and continued the performance entirely naked. the audience LOVED IT, but mike hale (the owner of the palladium) was a “christian” and was completely scandalised, although he made it sound a lot more like he was concerned about the city ordinance regarding “titties and alcohol”. 😉 he threatened to have the entire event shut down unless we found another venue for the more “suggestive” shows. 🤣

i made the programs for year 7. year 9 the programs went online, because that way it would be easier to modify them, when (as happened in previous years) an artist cancelled at the last minute, or changed their schedule without notifying anyone. and it made excellent use of the new domain and web site that the event had just purchased. 😉

the 2020 moisture festival was all set to go when the pandemic hit, and it was unceremoniously cancelled at the last possible moment. the 2021 moisture festival was four days of online presentations. i took part in two of them, but it was so totally “not the same” that it was entirely forgettable.

the moisture festival WILL continue… we now have the infrastructure and the network to insure that. what is still in question is how that continuance will take shape.

whatever happens, despite my near-constant griping and moaning about individuals associated with the moisture festival, there will be nothing, EVER that even remotely compares to the moisture festival, as it has been.

🙄

i swear, these people must be a part of my karass (also, karass), because i keep running into them in THE MOST unexpected places, despite my overall desire to separate myself from them as much as possible… 😒

recently i’ve developed an interest in mycology (who am i kidding, i’ve ALWAYS had a very strong interest in a certain kind of mushroom… 😉) particularly because it seems fairly likely that, with a little coercion (from spores which i already have), i can start producing psilocybe cyanescens outside, in my fenced yard, pretty much whenever i choose to do so.

to this end, i recently purchased a book by mushroom expert paul stamets, called “Mycelium Running”, and, on the colophon page for the book, i noticed that the cover design was by two people, one of whom is andrew lenzer…

who is married to my younger younger sister.* 🙄

the one i haven’t spoken to since… i don’t know, 1988? maybe…? probably earlier than that… maybe as early as 1980… when she was 12 years old… 🙄

and, i have to keep reminding myself that members of one’s karass aren’t necessarily one’s “friends”… 😒

* as compared to my older younger sister, who is two years older than my younger younger sister… but they are six, and eight years younger than me, respectively, so i wasn’t around for a lot of their growing up and getting married stuff, and i have never actually met andrew lenzer, my brother-in-law… but, knowing my siblings, i would wager that there have been many unpleasant stories told about me for years. 🙄

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.

this is what getting old must feel like…

i harvested on tuesday: 4 hours of bending, stooping, squatting, and sitting on top of a propane canister (with a piece of plywood over the ring, so i didn’t get ring-butt)… by bedtime, tuesday night, my lower back was painful enough that i couldn’t bend over. i took a muscle relaxant before bed.

yesterday, i woke up and immediately took two tylenol, and made it through the day without too much difficulty or pain… but the most strenuous thing i did all day was blow the leaves off of the back yard — a pointless excersise… there’s already three times more leaves than there were before i started, yesterday. i spent most of the day sitting, standing, or walking on level ground, and it was okay, so i decided to go for a walk. i went for a 2.5 mile walk, and was okay, as long as i was walking on the level, but any uphill or downhill produced spasms so intense that i wondered whether or not it was a good idea going for a walk. at the same time, i went to sleep last night without any medication, so i figured that it was going to go away.

i was wrong.

today, i realised i have my circus class. i felt okay when i got up, and was able to move around, get dressed and suchlike, without pain, so i figured it was a temporary thing, but by the time i was about halfway to class, i realised that circus class today would probably NOT include trampoline, tumble track, unicycle, or tissue, which pretty much leaves juggling, tight wire, and stretching. we started with some warm-ups, and that went okay, then moved to juggling, and that went okay, and i excelled on tight wire, because i discovered that my back DOESN’T hurt if i stand up straight, and engage my core, which is EXACTLY what you need to do on the tight wire… i walked forwards AND backwards on the wire, using nothing but a balance pole in one hand! 😎 but then we moved to stretching, and… no. my body DOES NOT want to stretch. 😒

i came home, ate lunch, filled and shipped out an incense order, and went for another two mile walk… it was better, but there were still major twinges when i went up or down hill.

my next door neighbour just showed up with a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies that are “medicated”… 😉 he listened to an abbreviated version of my circus class experience today, and recommended i try two cookies.

i still can not believe that it’s legal. 🤤

the end of an era…

Snake Suspenderz – Even Your Best Friends Won’t Tell You

Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey

Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company

Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake

sketch, the drummer for snake suspenderz, died in april of 2019, shortly after the moisture festival, which put an abrupt end to our performances as a band, but there was intense talk of finding another drummer for a few months. a couple of options were tossed about, and one got far enough that we ended up saying that we were going to contact her… but i’m not sure we ever did… i didn’t hear anything about it…

and then COVID happened, and, basically, everything got cancelled, and so nothing was done about it…

and now hobbit has decided that he has to move to kalamazoo, because that’s where his partner, lucifer, has to move, because she has to take care of her mother. lucifer and hobbit both worked at the market, for a large part of their income, and the market has, well… basically, been shut down, except for a VERY few day stall vendors, the high stall vendors, and the restaurants.

even bavarian meats, which has been in the market since before i was born, has closed up shop.

but, because of the fact that hobbit is moving away, there will be no more snake suspenderz, no more peanut envy, no more accidental rhino, and no more busking for me, at all, unless (until?) i can find someone else who plays a treble, chord instrument (strings, keyboard, accordion), who wants a solid bass line… or if i can find places to take my harmonic flute where they won’t chase me away after five minutes… 😢😒

i met hobbit in 1995, when i went to work for micro$lop. he and i were hired helpdesk geeks, and we got together because we also played music… and then it turned out that he and i knew a lot of the same people, and eventually we figured out that, about 15 years before that (1985 or thereabouts), we had been at the same party, at danny shadygrove’s place, and hobbit and my sister (who i didn’t know was there) shared a shower together… at the time we worked at micro$hit, we also played in a band called PropellerHeads (this was before the software called Reason, which was originally made by a company called “Propellerheads” came to be), and, using different instruments, the same people (me, hobbit, and malcolm “malcat” atterbury) were also in a band called Peanut Envy both bands were in existence, more or less, until around 1999, when we all went our separate ways. then hobbit and i met up again in 2004 or so, after my injury, when i started playing with snake suspenderz, an already existing band which was sketch, hobbit, thaddeus and a bass player whose name i don’t remember (because i never actually met him, he had moved away by the time i came on board). i started busking with them shortly afterward. and, when sketch died, hobbit and i resurrected Peanut Envy, and busked as a duo by that name until… march of this year.

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair
190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair

sigh…

getting old sucks. 🤬

i got home this afternoon, and took the small doggie outside, and, as i was going down the stairs from the deck, my right foot hit a slippery spot on the third step from the bottom, and i fell, bruising my back and legs, and scraping my right arm, which reached out for support, but reached in the wrong direction, because of my brain injury. 😒

the dog experienced a rather rough landing, but she wandered off without more than an “oof” when she hit the ground. she’s fine.

i lay on the ground for a few minutes, deciding whether or not anything was broken (as far as i can tell, nothing was), and breathing hard, because my back REALLY hurt, while the doggie wandered, obliviously, around the yard.

fortunately, i had my phone, so i called moe, who called the neighbour, who came to help me, but all she actually did was pick up the doggie, because i couldn’t bend over.

at this point, i have taken ibuprophen and applied ice, and i can sit down without too much difficulty, although i can still REALLY feel my lower back, and i probably will be able to do so for the next few days.

in other news, i got my first order for 10 boxes of aparajita today. the guy actually wrote me while i was in the process of updating my web site, and wanted to make a “special order”. my guess is that i’ll have two or three more orders for 10 boxes, before the week is out… at $90 bucks a pop… 👍😉

also, i got a new monitor. the old one is an VGA 17″ flat screen from a few years ago. the new one is a HDMI 24″ flat screen from this year… it’s awesome, how much real estate is in the difference between 17″ and 24″

wouldn’t you know… 8/

i had a real, manual typewriter for many years. i had actually cleaned it up while i was in the tech school, but neglected to realise that the plastic keys were soluble in the degreasing soluion in which i vapour-degreased it (before oiling it back up again), so for a long time my perfectly functional manual typewriter had sort-of-roundish misshapen keys… if you were able to touch type (which i still can — thanks to my paternal grandfather — in spite of the fact that i have a brain-injury and type approximately half of the speed that i used to be able to, on a good day), it didn’t make that much difference.

i finally got rid of it after i got married, when we moved into our first house, in renton… after having carried it around with me for many, many years… i hadn’t used it in about 10 years, and… well… who actually uses a typewriter any more?

well, now i’ve got a project that would be perfect for a typewriter, and… 😐

oh well…

maybe i can scrounge one up on freecycle.

hee hee hee… 8)

salamandir transferring vinyl
photo by Magick’s Mom

i’m not sure whether i should do this or not… not because i don’t want anyone to know about this, but because of what my friends, particularly, will think…

i dug out (literally) a recording of the first time i ever “improvised” a solo with a jazz band. this is from 1973, and it’s pretty obviously a middle-school band (junior-high, for people who live on the west coast), featuring me playing trombone.

Watermelon Man

now this was before i knew what it was to “swing” (and, apparently, the drummer and a few other players were similarly clueless), and i had help writing out an “improvised” solo, because i didn’t know how to improvise, but even taking those things into account, i think i did a pretty acceptible job…

so i went to bellingham yesterday…

so i went to bellingham yesterday. it has been a long time since i’ve been in belligham, and it has been even longer since i have seen the… crazy hippy freaks unique crowd that was there for kenyth’s 77th birthday party last night.

kenyth was my advisor when i first started college, and i started college during the latter part of the last century, but that comes later.

first, i drove through mt. vernon and saw many cow-fields adjacent to the nookachamps river that are going to be ripe for mushrooming in a few weeks, and, basically, i’ve decided that i’m going to take at least one weekend day and do exactly that… because mushrooms are my second favourite drug (the first is hashish, but that’s a separate story).

it took me about an hour longer than i thought it was going to, to get to bellingham, which still puzzles me somewhat. i went to ken & kamalla’s place, but nobody was home, so i then went to the madhouse, which is where i spent the night last night, and talked to darol and the lady who lives in the cabin (which was my space, 25 years ago) for a while, then i went out to wander until it was time for kenyth’s party.

the first place i went was the lake whatcom railroad trail, near where i used to live on valencia street, where i walked east (up hill) on the trail to this spot, where i found this:
old railroad bridge
it was somewhat strange back before everything got developed, but it is somewhat stranger now that it’s the only remaining evidence of a railroad line that used to go right through the middle of what is now a shopping mall and a fairly populated neighbourhood.

i then continued wandering east on the old railroad grade until i found a place that was built about the same time i lived there, which is a dam which funnels all of the water into a creek. a long time ago, shortly after the dam was first built, i used to go there and hide in the tube at the south end of the dam, and grafitti the inside of the tube. at one point, i even took a couple of sheets of plywood down there, so that i didn’t have to worry about getting soaked while i worked. i cleaned debris and gravel out of the tube at least twice, and i had a cozy, invisible little camp/hidey-hole there for a couple of years. now you can still get into the tube, but there’s a sizable pool at the bottom of it at this point, so you’d have to be a spry 20-something to get in there… i imagine that i could probably get in there now, but i imagine that if i wasn’t careful, i would get wet, and i didn’t want to do that yesterday, because it was threatening rain, and i didn’t have a change of clothes handy…

then i went down the tracks a little further, until i got to whatcom falls park, which is another place i used to live eons ago, when ezra was small. this is the place where the PHBFH lived, while i lived in the madhouse (when the PHBFH was living up to her acronym, which was about half of the time), when we went to vancouver BC to see the opera, when ezra was a tiny baby, and there were several old lady opera attenders who looked down their noses at us because we had a “babe-in-arms” at the opera, and everybody knows that babes-in-arms disrupt civilised things like opera… and they didn’t even notice when ezra went to sleep, shortly after the opening chorus, and slept all the way through, without making any noise at all. then, when we got home, very late at night, it was raining, so i parked the car while the PHBFH got out to open the door, so that we could avoid having ezra out in the rain for too long… except that the PHBFH wouldn’t open, or go anywhere close to the door, because it had a teensy little frog, smaller than the diameter of a dime, sitting on the door handle… 8)

then i went back to ken and kamalla’s place, where there was someone home this time, although it wasn’t kamalla, because she was apparently in california visiting her grandkids. i engaged in geek/music and/or music/geek talk with ken until it was time to go to kenyth’s party… which, coincidentally, was in the same dance studio where ezra took lessons from the time that he was 5 until he started at the pacific northwest ballet school, which used to be the nancy whyte studio, but is now called the “Presence Dance Studio”…

kenyth & francieas i said previously, kenyth was my advisor during the time that i was at fairhaven college, which was 1979 through 1984, and again, on and off, from 1986 to 1989. prior to my arrival at fairhaven, kenyth was actually the dean of the college, but by the time i got there, he was “just a professor”. his two “specialty” classes were “Introduction to Personal Philosophy 101” which was informally known as “the fly in the flybottle” or simply “the flybottle class”, and “Awareness Through The Body”. when i first started at fairhaven, you could take body awareness as many times as you wanted, but you could only take the flybottle class once… however, it had such a powerful effect on me that i actually took it twice (with kenyth’s approval) – although i never took body awareness at all (which is kind of a shame, now that i think about it).

before i met kenyth, i was a child from bellevue, a place which is, like it’s new york namesake, an excellent place from which to escape. kenyth introduced me to the person i would eventually become. he did this by allowing me to be me, gently, uncritically and with a great deal of humour (as well as various other things), and by not requiring me to be anything which i was not. it didn’t take long for me to realise that i acutally am another person, one who is 180 degrees different from the person my parents wanted me to be (who was boring and had no life).

and i saw a whole bunch of crazy hippy freaks unique people whom i haven’t seen for quite some time. i saw: douglas drake and joni papp, who i saw at burning man in 2008; karl meyer and stephan freeman, who i see at the moisture festival every year; sally peyou, who i got email from last week, but haven’t actually seen since 2007; yoav and yael yanich, deirdre morgan, kathy veterane, darby freeman, lisa carderelli, dani cutler, jamie jedinak, and a lot of other people whose names i am already forgetting again… all of whom i haven’t seen in at least 20 years… i got email addresses for the people i’ve been thinking about, and wondering what ever happened to them…

i went to sleep, and woke up in the madhouse for the first time since 1989 and it felt so right… if i ever have the opportunity to move back to bellingham at any point in the future, you can bet that i’m going to jump on it in a second. 8)

kenyth's dance

recovering

sort of…

i’ve got a really busy weekend coming up, and i’ve had a really busy week already… i didn’t do much today: work on the snake suspenderz business card, laundry and spod… but i deserve a day off, especially since yesterday i filled two incense orders, one of which got shipped to the netherlands, and it’s really difficult to tell whether a person whose native language is dutch is being serious or not when he says that he wants to pay twice as much for shipping as he does for the incense itself, which meant that yesterday was the end of about two weeks of email negotiations…

another week closer to the eschaton…

this week has been spent at the Oregon Country Fair, so regardless of how many new indications that the eschaton is eminently upon us there are (and i’m sure that there are very many indeed), thankfully, i have no evidence of it apart from the hippie ineptitude factor that is common at such events.

eventually i will write about my experiences this week, and i guarantee, if the eschaton doesn’t actually happen between now and then, that there will be more next week.

oh, and happy “birthday” to me… that’s what i get for being born on february 29th… actually i’m coming up on my 13th birthday, even though i’m 51 this year. everyone else my age is waltzing into middle age and i am just reaching puberty! whee…

retrograde amnesia?

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

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

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

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

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

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

as the song says, “what a drag it is getting old”… 😐

a day

new ear plugsi had to take the piccolo i repaired back to its owner. i also had an appointment with ned. they were separated by four hours, but i decided that it would be best if i drove, parked and made a day of it. i delivered the piccolo, and then i went to laughing buddha and bought two new ear plugs. i do this instead of expanding my ear ‘ole (which i would do in a cold second if i could: it’s terrifically addictive…), because my beautiful wife doesn’t like it, and it’s not a good thing to do things that my beautiful wife doesn’t like. 😉

then i wandered and took pictures. they’ve completely destroyed four blocks of capitol hill, right across from dicks and the place where my acupuncturist’s office used to be, walled the entire four-block area with 18-foot walls, and dug an ENORMOUS hole, rather like the one that they dug in downtown seattle back in the ’80s. then i went to west seattle and wandered a little more. there are the obligatory pictures if anybody is interested. i found out that my blood pressure is higher in the morning than it is in the afternoon, and if i record my blood pressure in the morning, it looks a lot worse than it actually is… which is a MASSIVE relief, because for the past five days it seems to have been getting higher and higher… but it’s because i was checking it in the morning. if i check it in the afternoon, it is apparently a lot more reasonable… i.e. diastolic 115 in the morning and 85 in the afternoon.

update

tuesday i was going to shoot a video with hobbit, but it didn’t happen. i also went to a sousa band rehearsal. while at the sousa band rehearsal i picked up a clarinet that needs repair from a fellow band member.

wednesday i went to see doctor wackaloon and found out that i’m probably “hypertensive” which means that i have to take my blood pressure for two weeks and then call for another appointment where he will probably prescribe medication that will give me nausea and a headache and make me more tired than i already am. whee.

thursday i fixed the clarinet and took the jeep that has been living in my front yard for the past year for it’s weekly drive (to make sure that it still works) to costco, and discovered that the thermostat is “intermittent”. joy.

friday i took the jeep in to get the thermostat changed out, because it has to be ready to go to the person who actually owns it on the first of june. i also got a business-card order from the new owner of the repair shop (who is the old owner‘s son), who wanted to change the email address on his card. i walked home, and when i got home i made the change and sent the business card to the printer, whereupon i discovered that i couldn’t find my wallet. i searched the house and the workshop, and called costco (the last place i remember having it), but it wasn’t in any of those places. i called the car-repair shop and the guy said that he couldn’t find it in the jeep.

if i wasn’t hypertensive before this, i sure am now… 😐

i had to go out, and i wasn’t completely sure that the guy had known what i was talking about, so i drove up to the car-repair shop, where i found my wallet, after a thorough search of the jeep. <deep breath> then took the clarinet back to its owner, and picked up a piccolo which needs repair, from another sousa band member. when i got home, the jeep was ready, so i walked up to the shop and picked it up.

today i straightened up the workshop and fixed the piccolo.

considering how “easy” my life is these days, how i come up with high blood pressure is beyond me. it’s probably genetic… i sent a vial full of my spit to some people who claim that they will test my DNA and tell me where i came from a few weeks ago. they haven’t produced a result yet, but it’s my understanding that “these things take time”… maybe they can tell me why i have high blood pressure while they’re at it.

something i have always wondered about…

ever since i was very small (and well before things like seat belts in cars became standard, and driving while intoxicated became a crime) i have wondered about why DUI was as big a problem as it was. while i was perusing my news-feeds this morning, i came across a suggestion that i have been making on a pretty regular basis, that Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard With a New Car – although even that doesn’t seem like it goes far enough, because, under the system proposed there, the blood/alcohol meter would actually control whether or not you could actually start the car at all if you blew over the legal limit.

my idea, which i got from my father, who was one of the scientists that caused the industry uproar about seat belts in the late ’60s and early ’70s, is relatively simple and straightforward to install in already existing cars, and dead simple to design into new cars, and it is this: when a driver sits down in the driver’s seat, they are presented with a breathing tube that connects to a blood/alcohol meter, and the car WILL NOT start until the driver breathes into the meter. once the driver has activated the meter, the car will start, regardless of whether or not they had blown over the limit, but if it detects more than a certain level of alcohol in the bloodstream, it triggers a display on the dashboard that is a 30-second test to determine whether the person is actually able to drive or not; something along the lines of keeping a needle between two lines using the steering wheel of the car. if the driver passes the test, the transmission lock is opened and the driver is able to drive normally. if the driver doesn’t pass the test, the car will still move, but the transmission is governed so that the car won’t go faster than a certain speed (i suggest 5 miles per hour), and the lights automatically flash and the horn goes off at regular intervals… that way, if a person is determined to drive home after a night’s carousing, they can do so, but they’re not anywhere near as likely to cause severe damage, and the police won’t have to search around for the guy that’s driving while plastered.

i have suggested this, and my father has suggested this (and he is a person who is a lot more qualified to suggest things like this than i am) for 40 years, and nobody has taken notice of it. it would be legal, it wouldn’t impair the right of people to drive, even while drunk, and, personally, i think it would be hillarious to see a guy going five miles an hour, with his lights flashing and his horn honking… my impression is that it wouldn’t take more than a few of those before people decided that driving drunk probably isn’t the way to get there…

what’s so hard about that, anyway?

moe, pe(s)ts & other stuff

moe and zora the papillon have gone to wyoming for the national dog agility championships. they took lucy the psychotic border collie with them, and i’m holding down the fort with the two “old” dogs… and three cats, a snake and a bird. stanley the bird is chattering, and the dog who can hear (magick) is hiding under my desk, because that’s about as far away from stanley as she can get. the dog who can’t hear (paddy) is asleep behind me.

i hope moe does well at the championship. i asked her what sort of chance there was of zora winning some sort of prize, and she said that she’ll be happy if she qualifies for the finals. i don’t know what that means, but i still hope that zora wins some sort of prize… being the owner of a dog that is a national champion is about as close as i’m ever going to get to having that sort of fame myself…

i was entertained by the cats entertaining themselves with a squeeky catnip mouse. there is definitely going to have to be two or three more of those hanging around, because kitty chaos was definitely enjoyable to watch, although they gave up too quickly, because it very quickly developed to the point where one of them was hogging the mouse and wouldn’t let the others play.

i am no longer sick, but i am not completely well yet. i was about 95% yesterday, and i would say that it’s crept up to 96% or 97% today. my guess is that getting old means that i don’t recover as quickly from being sick, or that i notice the things that aren’t quite normal more than i did when i was younger, or – most likely – a combination of the two, but whatever it is, i find that after i’ve been sick, the period between my actual sickness and when i have recovered fully, really sucks: i want to do stuff, like grade and/or scrape the driveway, but it requires so much effort that i can’t do a practical amount of work before i’m completely exhausted and have to rest for a couple of hours before i can even think about doing more… plus my ears are alternately plugged up, or not, and my nose is alternately plugged up, or not – i burned a stick of incense on my desk, not more than an arm’s length away from my nose, and i couldn’t smell anything… and taking something like “day-quil” makes the symptoms go away, but it doesn’t make me able to smell, and it gives the world this kind of foggy semi-euphoria that interferes with my thinking…

sickness, music and a dog with wheels

i was sick yesterday, but i went to play with snake suspenderz at the pike place market busker festival which i managed to pull off without too much sickness. playing with two other, respected buskers, howlin’ hobbit and thaddeus spae was only made that much more of an honour for me because the pike place market preseveration and development association (the outfit which licenses buskers at the market) has decided, in their infinite wisdom to ban music played on electronically amplified equipment and… wait for it… brass instruments… which, of course, means that any other time of year, thad and hobbit can busk at the market, but i can’t. where’s the justice in that, ‘eh?

busker festivali wasn’t able to get any relevant pictures of snake suspenderz, since i was playing with them at the time, but i was able to get a picture of the amazingly fearless dog in a wheelie contraption that took the place of his hind legs, which apparently didn’t work all that well. i believe the dog’s name was Rover. most dogs that have encountered my tuba have an almost instinctive fear of it: i don’t even have to play it, but they want to keep about as far away from it as possible. rover was completely different, however, and rolled right up to it and gave it a thorough sniffing… and then rolled away in search of something more interesting. it was as though he hadn’t just encountered the most dog-frightening piece of musical equipment that i own.

i’m feeling a lot better today, and have made up for the fact that i didn’t eat anything at all yesterday, by eating twice as much as i normally do today. it’s kind of weird, because i’m still congested and coughing up wads of green goo, but i’m starving. if i had eaten this much yesterday, i would have been a lot more sick than i was.

i spent a lot of spoons being sick yesterday. i’m definitely feeling better, however i’m not back to normal yet. maybe tomorrow.

i was poking around on the web this afternoon, and i came across these albums that i had back when albums were made of vinyl. Banish Misfortune and The First of Autumn by Malcolm Dalglish and Grey Larsen. i was able to download banish misfortune, but the first of autumn, which has the song “I Don’t work for a Living” on it, which has been one of my five all-time favourite songs ever since i first heard it, is only available as either an LP or a cassette. i have a turntable, but i don’t have an amplifier and the software to turn a LP into something that i can play with modern technology. wait! there’s a CD version of it at malcolm dalglish’s web site. these are albums that i haven’t even heard for 10 or 15 years, and i can still remember how excited i was to find music like this when i first came across them, almost 30 years ago.

creeping up on the past

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

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

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

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