i just realised… today is the 3rd anniversary of our moving into our (new) house… and now, the house even cooler than it was when we first moved in, because it has started to be “de-zeising-ified”: we’ve hooked up the complete HVAC system, replaced all the heating duct work, built a retaining wall, added a fence (and replaced that fence), pressure washed the deck, cleaned out the gutters (twice), built a new stair from the garage into the back yard, and gone through almost all of the huge stack of firewood they left us. and we’ve had a bunch of neighbours move away, and had new neighbours move in, so we’re not the newest family in the neighbourhood any longer! 🤣
Category Archives: house stuff
so, the other day, i mentioned that our washing machine was broken, and that they scheduled the repair for today.
this morning, the repair guy showed up, plugged in the washing machine, and could not get it to malfunction. 😒
then he asked me if i had the part that he was supposed to replace. i told him that i had paid for it, but i assumed they were going to ship it to him, since i don’t know how to install it.
the guy said that they would have told me if they were going to ship it to me, that he didn’t have the part on hand, it would take two weeks to get it, and that we would have to reschedule another appointment. then he said that it was going to cost almost $500 for the part, and almost $200 for the “trip charge”.
i calmly told him that i had already paid for the part, i wasn’t going to pay more for another part, he could go fuck himself for the “trip charge”, and, politely asked him to leave our property. 😠
it’s a really good thing i decided to do laundry at the laundromat YESTERDAY (24 hours ahead of the appointment, and i wasn’t 100% sure they were going to fix the machine), because then i would have been REALLY angry. as it was, i had another load of laundry ready to go, and, because of the fact that the machine was functioning again, i took advantage of that fact and did it at home, rather than going BACK to the laundromat for a second time this week.
however, i was very definitely NOT the person to call GE and get things straightened out… because if i called them, even now, several hours later, when i have had some time to calm down, it would NOT go well for anybody, and the probability of GE EVER coming to our house again would be significantly diminished.
so moe called.
she managed to get through to them WITHOUT having to wait on hold for a couple hours, because they had actually texted her to arrange for today’s appointment, so she just called them back. the lady she talked to was tremendously apologetic, intensely infuriated with the GE drone that i had talked to originally, AND the repair dude who showed up today. she said that the part had actually been purchased (HAH!), and was supposed to arrive by fedex this morning, but fedex had changed their schedule without notifying us (GE knew about it, but they didn’t notify us 😠). they rescheduled the part delivery for tuesday, and rescheduled another appointment on wednesday.
saturday, our three-year-old GE washing machine, basically, failed: i finished a load of laundry, moved it into the dryer, and refilled the washing machine, when the control panel went crazy, started beeping and changing settings without me having to touch anything. i thought it was weird, and reached for the power button, but the power button didn’t work. so i unplugged it, waited a few minutes, plugged it back in, and it was the same deal, beeping and changing settings without me touching the controls… i let it sit, unplugged, overnight, and managed to get one more load out of it, but then it settled on the electronic controls not working at all, or working independently of user input, the physical selector worked, but it also worked as a power switch, which it SHOULD NOT do, and the actual power switch didn’t work at all. 😒 so i unplugged it and arranged for a GE technician to come by and look at it on monday. the GE guy came around and plugged in some sort of computer device(!) into an ethernet port in the back (why i’ve never noticed it before is still a mystery), and, eventually, reported that the control panel was shorting out. he also said that he thought he had seen everything, but this was a malfunction that he had never seen before, which i said is par for the course where i am concerned. 😒
the replacement part costs $500 and won’t be here for two weeks.
a replacement washing machine costs $700… and we’ve had this one for three years… 😒
GE has a standard 1 year replacement warranty, and SELLS an “extended warranty” that lasts for 5 years, but… a brand-name washing machine SHOULD last more than three years before needing to be completely replaced… in my opinion… 😒
moe called the GE customer support line, waited over an hour on “hold”, and then gave up. the next day she called back and waited “on hold” for another 45 minutes before she gave up again. today, i called the GE customer support line and waited “on hold” for 40 minutes before i talked to someone, who said that they couldn’t help me, but transfered me (after another 30 minutes “on hold”) to someone who could. i explained the situation, and they said that they could offer me a 50% discount on parts and labour “as a courtesy”… and they made an appointment for next week to come and fix it.
so i only have to take our laundry somewhere else once more before it gets fixed.
and, as expected…
i felt like a truck had run over me, on saturday… slept for a large portion of it, while the TV was on, which might give you an impression of how “out of it” i felt. i recovered enough to go to my unicycle class, on sunday, but i was winded about 20 minutes into it, and i had to take a couple of “breathers” after that. our alternate unicycle coach, nick, is the unicyclist i saw at the moisture festival this year (from the band pit, so the wheel of the unicycle was, literally, within 10 feet of me) do a perfect free mount and ride away, with a woman standing on his shoulders… during MULTIPLE shows, so it wasn’t just a fluke. 😂 i am tantalizingly close to being able to free mount… at this point i would say i’m doing it about a third of the time. i keep making microscopic adjustments in what i’m doing, and it’s really frustrating when i find something that works, and i can’t replicate it reliably enough to do it again… i guess it’s a good thing i’m dedicated, because i am painfully aware of the fact that i STILL can’t do essential things like idling, or riding backwards… 🙄 oh well, some day, maybe… i suppose…
then i came home and burned the pile of summer detritus in the fire pit across the street… except that a bunch of it was so green that it wouldn’t even burn… like a bunch of unripe tomatoes from the garden, and a bunch of leaves from the brussels sprout plants… but, because i was using a propane flame thrower as the fire-starter, and an electric leaf blower to accelerate things, i ended up making “fried green tomatoes”… 😉
today i was supposed to meet up with gunnar (i have a bag of weed for him 😉) but, before i left home, i got a text message from him that said “Cannot feline. Oils yoy mail”… um… ¿؟፧‽ so i called him. he explained that he hasn’t been getting enough sleep lately, and was not going to be there, so i drove down to puyallup, via our old neighbourhood, went by rick’s old place (there’s someone else living there, unsurprisingly) and came back by way of enumclaw, black diamond, and ravensdale.
more ron zeising shenanigans
ron zeising is the former owner of our house. he is a general contractor, and, as the former owner of our house, seemed to think that he could do things to the house without doing them properly — or at all — and get away with it a lot easier, because he was a general contractor who “knew how to do things”… like build decks (wrong), or run electrical service to an outbuilding (wrong), or install HVAC systems (wrong), or do duct-work (wrong)…
the most recent shenanigan that we have uncovered is the fact that, i’m about 99% sure at this point that the ONLY reason he installed the “latest, top-of-the-line” heating and cooling system in this house, was to increase the resale value of the house. i know, from a couple of the next door neighbours, that he never actually USED the system, because he heated the house with the wood stove in the winter, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… and, yet, when we bought the house, one of the big selling points was that it had the “latest, top-of-the-line” HVAC system… we very quickly discovered that the cooling part of the system had been installed, but it was never hooked up. and now, we’ve discovered that exactly the same thing was true of the heating system, as well. the last time we had trouble with the heating system, we blamed it on the duct-work — which was installed by ron zeising — and had that replaced… but that was spring time, and we weren’t using the heating system. now, when the weather is getting colder, we discovered that it wasn’t entirely the duct-work. what we discovered is that the heating elements weren’t hooked up, and the blower wasn’t hooked up. they were installed, but… ron never used them, so he didn’t bother to finish the installation, because he didn’t have to.
i’m really glad we got this house, and the next door neighbours are SUPER AWESOME (especially compared to our former neighbours, who were crack addicts), but i’m also really glad ron zeising left the area, because if he hadn’t, i could imagine all kinds of nasty things i could do to his “business”… 😒
i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬
one week of moisture festival down, one fluffing session complete (also, a term used in vaudeville, to describe preparing the awaiting audience outside the theatre for the show they are about to attend: getting them “in the mood”… 😉), and one more week to go… it’s kinda sad that this is probably going to be the last show in the palladium (and, possibly, the last moisture festival, ever), but it’s good that we were the band that had two weeks this year. i realise that i have been complaining, almost every previous year, that other bands were getting more of the limelight, but it’s good that it worked out this way, and i can say that i’ve been a part of the moisture festival ever since the beginning, when we did the show in rev. chumleigh’s tent in downtown fremont…
i’m getting totally fed up with the former owner of our house: ron zeising, general contractor and owner of a “home improvement” business, who thought that, because he was a general contractor, he could make “improvements” on his (now our) house “on the cheap” and skirting (or outright ignoring) building codes. recently (last month?) we paid $6,000 to a HVAC specialist to rip out and replace ALL of the heating ductwork in the house, because poor design (by ron zeising) meant that most of the heat from the very expensive, top of the line furnace (which was one of the selling points of the house), was going into the crawlspace, and the heating bills were through the roof.
of course, ron never had a problem with the heating bills, because, despite the fact that he had an expensive, top of the line furnace AND a heat pump, which provides central air conditioning as well, ron heated the house with the wood stove, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… 🤷
we just had the last workman leave from rebuilding the “retaining wall” under our deck… and it’s a good thing, too, because, if we hadn’t, the deck would have eventually fallen off. now it is a good deal less likely to fall off, but in order to make it secure, it still needs some work: when it was in the process of being built, ron zeising just piled large rocks, bricks (including half of someone’s chimney, and a large cylindrical concrete footer for a post), and random construction rubble, next to the house, covered it with a thin layer of topsoil, and then built a deck over it… concrete pillars, on top of a thin layer of topsoil, and construction rubble… 🙄 it’s as though he thought that, because of the fact that he was a general contractor, nobody would ever question the work that he did, so he just. didn’t. care. 🤬
however, end result: we got a nice, new, secure, sturdy retaining wall, a couple of new raised beds to grow vegetables, and A LOT of new concrete under the deck pillars(!)… 👍 and yet another $6,000 chunk taken out of our checking account. 🙄
so, the tablet-fixer shop got the part in, and they said i could come in any time, and they would fix it “while you wait”… so i took it in this morning, only to discover that the person who can fix it (without destroying it) won’t be in until friday, unless i want to take it to bothell…
the thing is, i’m still more convinced than not, that they’re going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… like they have, twice, in the past… and if they’re going to have to replace the screen, i would rather that the people who have dealt with me, and my device, in the past, be the ones that deal with me this time, rather than having to “break in” (so to speak) a new person, when my device gets broken… 😒
but i’ve got a zoom class on thursday, and, while i CAN do it on my phone, it’s A LOT smaller than my tablet, which makes things like responding to chats A LOT more difficult… and i’ve got the final rehearsal for the moisture festival on saturday, so if they DO break the screen, it probably won’t be fixed until after the second week of moisture festival, which is the first week i am supposed to be playing the moisture festival… which is decidedly LESS than ideal. 😒
the guy was supposed to come by yesterday and finish the insulation on the ductwork, but because of the plumbing disaster that happened over the weekend, and the EXTREME squeamishness of the guy, it turned out that he REFUSED to work, because of a little puddle of clean water that was left over from them running the hose into the cleanout under the house… 😒 our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber) came over during the actual disaster, and again, after the HVAC guy left. what the HVAC guy said made me think that there were new leaks and ground saturated with grey water, but when i and the plumber went into the crawl space, the only moisture we could find was a small puddle of clean water… the plumber said that the HVAC guy was being a prima donna and a “pussy”, and called him up to tell him so… which i thought was EXTREMELY funny. but HE won’t be back until NEXT TUESDAY!! 🤬 and they want the crawl space to be COMPLETELY dry, and clean, before they will complete the work… the thing is, the weather has been rainy for a week, now, and, even with a fan down there, the ground moisture is NOT going away. i got a 25-foot sheet of visqueen which i’m going to lay down after a couple more days of the fan being down there, but, if the guy doesn’t finish the work, then i guess i’m not going to pay them the $6,000 that we agreed on when they started. 😒
on the plus side, i met someone who, i think, is my third cousin, once removed: ryan dorward, currently from bali, but normally from vancouver, BC, otherwise known as SHARPS. he is the great-great-grandson of John Muir Dorward, the elder brother of Peter Dorward, my great-great-great-grandfather… which makes our common ancestor Robert Dorward, who lived from 1803 to 1846 in Arbroath, Scotland.
i’m slowly rebuilding my music collection. today i added two tom zé albums, from the early 2000s, which are “no longer available” — meaning “the only place to find them is on discogs. one is an album i had pre-cloud-drive-disaster, called “Estudando o Pagode (Na Opereta Segregamulher e Amor)“. the other is one that “just happened” to be available from the same vendor, from two years earlier, in 2003, and it’s called “Imprensa Cantada“. both of them appear in several tom zé anthologies, but the original CDs have artwork that is NOT included in the anthologies, and, especially in the case of tom zé, the graphic artwork is almost as important as the musical artwork in the overall scheme of things. i should be getting another Gogol Bordello CD pretty soon, also
we’re giving away the last piece of ikea furniture that we own, that is NOT shelves, tomorrow… which should be interesting, as we currently have three days worth of snow on the ground, and only a few tire tracks of people driving past our house. it’s the king-size storage bed frame, which means that now we’ve got the adjustable bed frame on the 4-inch legs that it came with (rather than on the 2-inch legs, on top of the storage bed), no storage under the bed (currently), and no headboard (currently). the plan is to get some other form of storage, and a headboard… and, possibly a dresser and nightstand to replace the ones i inherited from my grandparents in 1980-something.
moe is getting “stem cell treatment” on her knees on thursday [UPDATE: WEDNESDAY!!] (hopefully the roads will have cleared enough by then that i can drive out of the neighbourhood). this is to (hopefully) “cure” her bum knees, which currently have no meniscus. if everything goes according to plan, this is going to create “new” padding between the bones in her knee. naturally, “insurance” won’t pay for it, and the only other option — total knee replacement — isn’t happening at the moment because the orthopedist that moe has been seeing is fat-phobic, and won’t operate until she’s lighter than she’s ever been in her adult life. 😒… so the (veterinary) clinic is paying for the whole procedure(!!). alledgedly, it’s going to be a couple of days of being “pretty out of it”, followed by a couple weeks of “light duty”, and then it will develop into an “up to 80% improvement”, which is A LOT better than where she’s been for the past few years.
i’ve managed to stay a lot more insulated from the standard xmas “celebration”, this year, but it’s primarily because of the pandemic, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending any time in the forseeable future, barring a miracle of some sort… and, as we all know, miracles that involve anti-vax mask-holes, and the right-wing, republican’t, fascist, white-supremacist IDIOTS that currently make up slightly less than HALF of the population of this gawd-forsaken wasteland, are, for all practical purposes, totally unheard-of… but, on the plus side, almost complete isolation for the second year in a row, has made it so that i have only had to listen to one, partial rendition of “feliz navidad” this year, so i can’t say that’s all bad.
and i got a theremin for xmas! 😎
oh, alright… 😒
this is an update. what i’ve been doing:
busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉
ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.
hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.
hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬
today is exactly one year from when we moved into our new house.
we’re all unpacked and settled in, we’ve gotten the fence installed — and destroyed, and rebuilt… hershey and bucky, two of the three errant dogs, seem to have vanished… i’m now on antidepressants, although i also have spores and am gearing up for a fungus growing setup… i’ve only played music a handfull of times in the past year, and my busking partner has moved away, so there’s no more busking, or snake suspenderz, or peanut envy. the moisture festival was virtual, this year.
hopefully the coming year will be less chaotic, and more musical, and psychedelic than the previous one.
the “moisture festival” started yesterday. i’m “in” it, as the tuba player for the sancapators and the fremont philharmonic, so, technically, i’m “in” two shows, but i’m not actually in them, and neither is anybody else. basically, this year, the moisture festival is four shows, on april 1, 2, 3, and 4, and they’re all videos that are “streamed” online — which, somehow, means that you have to buy tickets to see the shows “live”, and after a certain period of time, you won’t be able to see them any more, whether or not you have bought a ticket, but it, somehow, doesn’t prevent you (or, at least, me) from downloading the videos to my own computer, once they have been “streamed”, which, somehow, gets around the limitations that they put on them…
there is a lot of modern technology that i haven’t caught up with… i still haven’t completely figured out “podcasts” (apparently you have to have a “podcast license” now? ah, i see: it’s only if you want to play stuff that other people have copyrighted… why bother? 😕), or “streaming”, in spite of the fact that i have already been in one “streaming” performance, and two more are coming up very soon… and terminology like “based”, “stan”, and “ratio” still elude me… but i might as well get used to it, because it’s only going to get worse as time goes on… 😒
we’re having our first post-vaccine house party tomorrow. my understanding is that it’s going to be everybody who works at monique’s clinic (because they’re all vaccinated) coming over to get drunk and sing karaoke… and eat, and have our first official fire in the fire pit… and, then, sunday, after the final moisture festival, a couple of friends (who are also vaccinated) are coming over for dinner… things are… nope, they’re not getting “back to normal”, but, at least, i’m not having to live in fear of republican’t “christian” anti-vaxxers as much. 😐
it’s supposed to be windy and rainy all day today, with the chance of snow overnight… 😒
so, in spite of the rain, i pressure washed the rest of the deck anyway, because if it’s going to snow, who knows when i’ll be able to finish it.
i started around 10:00 am or so, and finished about 4:00 pm. but now it’s done, and who cares if it snows.
the friend with the deck sander, who is a professional house painter, came over to check the nails, to make sure they don’t need knocking in before he starts with the sander. in his professional opinion, the deck was not stained, but
hasHAD an impressive collection of what he referred to as “common deck slime”… which would explain why it was so slippery.
one year ago yesterday we closed on our new house.
today, i started pressure washing the front deck, possibly for the first time in 10 years or more. the deck, for the entire time we’ve lived here, has been a trecherous place to walk, when it is wet — and, i mean, TRECHEROUS… even being careful, i have suddenly and unexpectedly found myself on the ground after the frequent rain showers we have around here. i’m not sure, but i think that, at one time, it had been stained a dark brown, but it hadn’t been sealed, and, quite quickly, the dark brown stain started to mask some dark brown mold that was allowed to spread, unchecked, until the house was sold to us, last year.
and i have, FINALLY started to pressure wash it… with a gas-powered pressure washer, loaned to us by monique’s boss. unfortunately, it was stubborn enough that i didn’t finish, and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so i don’t know if i’m going to get a chance to finish it until monday.
i started around noon, and gave up when monique got home, at 6:30 pm. once i get it pressure washed, a friend who has a deck sander is going to come by and sand and seal it for us, so that it doesn’t turn into an ice-skating rink every time it rains.
snow is mostly gone… there’s still some large piles, where whoever it was that ploughed our street piled it up at the head of the road, and in the ditches, but everywhere else, it’s gone.
i had to take a ladder out and climb up to clean out the gutter, in front. it had collected a bunch of tree detritus and, what with all the melting snow, combined with torrential rain, the gutter was totally clogged and overflowing into our driveway… it all ran away from the house, though, and once i cleared the obstruction, the downspout did what it was supposed to do, so that’s good.
i’m the default tuba player for the SANCApators at the moisture festival, this year. the moisture festival was cancelled, at the last minute, last year (because of COVID), and this year, instead of having live performances, they’re releasing some videos of performers that would have been live, except for COVID… and their regular tuba player is ill (no word on whether or not it’s COVID) and can’t make the videos that they asked for from the musicians, so i got tagged. last week i got the parts, and the tracks to play along with, so i practiced for a few days and sent the videos to “doc” sprinsock, so that he can combine them with everyone else’s videos and — hopefully — get some reasonably “together” music out of the whole deal…
but i’m not holding my breath… particularly with the thing that said “Rock” for the style, but the backing track was played as straight as an arrow, with no “swing” or “rock” stylings at all… and that’s what i played, because there was no way to “swing” a part that hadn’t been recorded to “swing”, so… i’m not holding my breath. we’ll see what happens when everybody else’s videos are part of the mix. 😖
no word on the phremont fillharmonic’s addition to the chaos, yet. i contacted kiki last week, and she said she’d heard about it, but is waiting for further instructions from “the powers that be”, whoever that is.
and i think the antidepressant may be working. i’m not sure i agree with georgia doctor, who wanted to boost my prescription back up to the level that was causing me frantic anxiety and restlessness, plus she wanted to add ANOTHER antidepressent — lexapro — to the mix. at the time, i wasn’t sure whether it was working or not, so i said i’d rather wait on the new scrip until i had a better idea of whether the current one was working, and she agreed to hold off… which is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is reinforcing personal boundaries.
and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯
because of her accent, i asked where she’s from, and she said she’s from “africer”… but i can’t imagine a psychiatric nurse-practitioner who has never heard of psilocybin. i said that the “common” name for them is “magic mushrooms”, and she immediately started ranting about heroin and cocaine, and said that it’s possible that they contained psilocybin… 😕
so i still don’t have any solid information about the interaction of bupropion and psilocybin, which is a little scary, but within tolerable limits. and actual mushrooms are still a ways off, yet, so there’s still time to gather more information.
but the fact that there’s some “good” stuff happening in my life seems to indicate that something has changed.
the fence is (allegedly) being fixed on thursday, by the guy who is the friend of the neighbour who is (still) being a dick about paying for the fence, despite the fact that the dead tree which destroyed it was on his property. 😒
the guy who is (allegedly) fixing the fence has already run down a whole list of (bogus) complaints he had about the current fence — i get the impression that he’s not particularly impressed with the quality or consistency of the fence materials, despite the fact that we had the fence made by a different company than the one which made the gates, and that the whole thing was built during the peak of the first round of COVID…
but i get the very strong impression that the guy is going to do everything possible to get away with doing a halfway job and begging off, never to be heard from again, which is why i’m going to be keeping an eye on the work progress, when it happens. 😒
election day is (finally) tomorrow. in spite of the fact that he was impeached, we managed to survive (barely) four years of #drumpf, and i’m not sure, even now, that we’re going to vote him out tomorrow… and, even if we do, i’m even less sure that he’ll leave without making a BIG fuss, and/or flagrantly cheating… and even if we do manage to eject him into the sun, there’s going to be A LOT of #MAGA #chuds who will be stubbornly unwilling to accept it, and even if we are actually able to eject him into the sun, they’re not going to be so “easy” to deal with, nor will they just “go away”, once the solar ejecting has actually been accomplished.
i keep saying it’ll take us at least a hundred years to recover from #drumpf, and i’m not sure we have a hundred years left, even if we do, miraculously, make him and his cronies just vanish.
in other news, i made a new page for the Incense Of The Month Club, but i can’t figure out how to put the background image on it that i want, so it’s not linked anywhere, yet. i bought a 1½” diameter button press (because why not), and now i’ve got to round up some civic organisations which want buttons for some campaign or something.
also, i never heard back from kent.
both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.
there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:
i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…
there’s a title.
i’m where the blue dot is.
we’re further away from the wildfires at the new place than we were at the old place, which is futher to the left, and more towards the bottom, in between pacific and edgewood, just north of the puyallup fire.
moe sez we’re going to be okay, but the sky has changed from blue, to grey, to orange, within the last half hour, and there’s a fine layer of ash everywhere.
and there are STILL people who insist that “global warming is a hoax”…
the new house
the new house has water that is supplied from a local artesian well.
this means that, for the first time in 40 years, i am drinking water from the tap, CONSENTUALLY.
for A LONG time now — probably closing in on 40 years — if there was artesian well water, i would prefer that to anything else. if it wasn’t available, for a while, i used a filtration sysem. it’s not that i’m freaked out about flouride in the tap water, it’s just that i know the pipes underneath my house.
i discovered well #5 through whispered hippie lore, shortly after i arrived in bellingham in 1979, but i didn’t actually learn its location until probably 10 years later, when i was hanging around with ruth, who took me there a number of times. it was during this time that i got my first 5 gallon bottle, one that i liberated from the advertising company i worked for.
then i got a second 5 gallon bottle… and a third… and a fourth… and a fifth… and a sixth… and a seventh, which came to me shortly before we moved.
i haven’t been to well #5 since we moved. 5 of the bottles are out in the shed. the other two went away with the old house garbage.
we knew about the water source before we moved in. that was one of the deciding factors. basically, it saves the gas money to get to lynnwood and back… which was one of the reasons for the sixth and seventh bottles in the first place.
we did NOT know that the house has central air conditioning. we knew that it had a heat pump/air conditioner upstairs, but not throughout the whole house. when we took possession, the heater was turned off, and when i turned it on, it came up in “heat” mode, and the air conditioner upstairs didn’t work at all… so, we fell back on the old reliable fans, that we had from the old place, and figured we’d deal with it later. when later came, about a month later, i called a HVAC specialist to come out and evaluate. he reset the computer and taught us how to use it, and now we have central AC throughout the whole house… it turns out that the previous owner (who had the system installed in 2018) hadn’t been using the air conditioner, and had only been using the system for heat. the air conditioner upstairs didn’t work because, if one of the controllers is set to cool and the other is set to heat, even if it is turned off, neither of them work, and you have to turn the whole system off to reset the computer before it works again.
i have NEVER lived in a house with central air conditioning. at best i have had one of those air conditioners that hang out a window, or ones that have a vent to a window. to me, a house with central air conditioning was “fancy”, and the only people i KNEW who lived in a house with central AC were my aunt and uncle, who were lanndowner/farmers in central illinois. even my grandparents, who all lived in central illinois, didn’t have central AC.
i suppose this may be the price we have to pay to live in the vicinity of DJ, who came into the kitchen — AGAIN — about a week ago — if i hadn’t been there, the dog would have followed him — and, according to moe who talked to the neighbours on the other side, they think DJ may have taken a shit in their fountain… it could be, he wanders the neighbourhood with no pants… 😒 we put a digital lock on the front door, that automatically locks when someone who has the digital key passes through, so that there will be no more unwanted kid or dog in the kitchen. we’ve had to put up a visual barrier (shade cloth) on the fence, to prevent their dogs from bothering our dogs.
but the more we do to isolate ourselves, and fend off their kid, the more it just enables them to slack off and be lousy pet owners and worse parents. i’m afraid it’s just a matter of time before we have to call CPS, the police, or both. i’m aware of the fact that “the subgenius needs slack”, but when it comes to neglecting your handicapped kid, it’s going too far.
the date of up
today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. i got monique a yellow rose tree to replace some of the cat-killing lillies that are in our front yard… or possibly to screen the (finally finished, two months late) fence from the outside dogs… who HATE the fact that, when they come to fence-fight, our dogs go inside, or don’t go inside, but don’t fence-fight, and get TREATS for not fence-fighting… i suppose i’ll let her decide where to put it, but those are the two spots i would choose.
as i said, the fence is finally finished… only two months later than it was supposed to be, but it makes SO! MUCH! DIFFERENCE! i actually watched DJ come up on the front porch (nobody was home but me), and when he got no response, he went around the side of the house, came across the 6-foot fence, and DID NOT come up on the back deck, or start hammering on the sliding glass door! 👍 seriously, i feel sorry for the kid, because his parents are totally overwhelmed, and have only the slightest clues how to deal with an autistic kid… and, apparently (i haven’t actually seen anything, but i’ve heard WAY more than enough to get a good idea), part of the way that they DO have of dealing with him, involves a fair amount of yelling and hitting… 🙁
i still haven’t found a place that i can walk, comfortably, when i’m on mushrooms, but, because of the fact that we’re, essentially, surrounded by state forests, watersheds and suchlike, i’m sure that i’ll find something, eventually. it’s been tough, though, particularly with the voluntary quarantining, social distancing, and constantly decreasing supply, i’ve been wanting to take mushrooms A LOT more than i have, recently.
i’m making a sculpture out of found objects, in a disused gohonzon that i’ve been carrying around for AT LEAST 20 years. so far i’ve used two 11 balls from two different sets of pool balls, a single, spike-heel, patent leather shoe that i found in the parking lot of the hospital where my father-in-law died, a grey ball from a track-ball-mouse-thing, several random pages from a gideon bible, a pair of reading glasses, a couple of old, but new-in-container antenna decorations from ivar’s fish and chips, a fishing lure, a couple of random vacuum tubes, a bunch of organ stops, a bright green, micro-fibre duster, and various parts of an old telephone… and liberal quantities of hot glue. it’s almost finished, but i still have to figure out what to make the “mouth” out of, and i’ve got to take apart the phone to get the cradle for the receiver out of it, because that’s the part that i’m using. i’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks now. it feels strange to be “creative” after such a long time. but it feels strangely like home. it’s really good to have a workshop that i know where everything is (even though i’m still unpacking stuff), and not have to move stuff out of the way, or figure out where to put the other unfinished projects before starting.
it’s taken almost four years, but i think the united states is beginning to realise that, possibly, electing drumpf may have been a mistake… although we didn’t ACTUALLY elect him, the electoral college did that, but that’s an entirely different story. and it’s taken the fact that drumpf WAS IMPEACHED, along with 150,000 needless deaths from COVID19 (and climbing hourly) because of his incompetence, constant, blatantly overt lying, corruption and crony-ism, and weeks of protest over dramatically increasing police brutality… and we’re still not getting rid of him and reversing course on everything he put in place, we’re just talking about the possibility that, maybe, it might have been a mistake to elect him. 😠
and it doesn’t look like, if he’s actually voted out of office in november (which there is still a signifiant probability that he won’t be, for one reason or another), it’s going to get significantly better any time soon, despite the fact that, IF he’s voted out of office, the replacement will be a democrat. joe biden is the presumptive democratic candidate, and the only reason why joe biden is looking AT ALL good, at this point, is because drumpf is looking so PHENOMENALLY awful. joe biden waffles too much on things like cannabis and “black lives matter”, is less than exemplary in his recollection of his personal contributions to history, has a tendency to get confused and/or forget what he’s saying which, some have said, is a precursor to dementia, and he has a creepy, huggy, kissy, fondling attitude towards, especially, younger women and girls, that makes my skin crawl. 😖 unfortunately, from my point of view, the only logical candidate is vermin supreme, and if this weren’t such an important election for drumpf to LOSE, i would vote for him without reservation.
the trees have… eyes?
i’ve got another set of reflectors… blue ones… and that tree to the left has some definite possibilities… also, we actually have a hedge-trimmer, now… 😈
maybe i was a bit hasty…
it’s definitely “not all bad” living here, but things are definitely NOT “normal”, by any stretch of the imagination.
we were supposed to have a fence installed… BEFORE we moved in… but COVID19 put an end to such frivolities, and we moved in anyway.
now we’ve got to leash the dogs when we let them out to go potty. not because our dogs would be irresponsible, but because the other dog owners on the street are being irresponsible… there are three dogs, from two separate houses, which “roam freely” on the street: no fence, no leash, no humans… three separate dogs. one of them (bentley) is friendly enough when he’s not startled, but the other two (hershey is one of them, i don’t know what the other one is called) are less amicable, and hershey likes to push his limits.
but if it were just the dogs, it would be tolerable… barely…
however, there’s also the issue of DJ, a seven-year-old autistic boy who lives at the end of the street, two doors down from us. this morning, i went out to the mailbox and discovered a partially clothed (he was wearing a shirt, but no pants) DJ, and the two aforementioned dogs, wandering aimlessly by the pond across from our house. i said hi, but DJ doesn’t speak. so i went back into MY house, only to have DJ try to follow me. and when he couldn’t get in the front door, he went around to the back, and climbed over three locked gates and x-pens we put on the deck to discourage the other dogs from coming up on the deck…
apparently, the previous owners thought DJ was cute, or something, and gave him cookies when he showed up on their porch.
and he is “cute” in the way that all children are “cute”… but when encountering him, sans adult, and sans pants, it is a bit unnerving… and when he tried to follow me into the house, and then climbed over the barriers in his way to get onto our back deck, it was more than a little disturbing.
particularly since moe “facebook-messaged” his parents, waited half an hour, got no response, went to his parents’ door, and woke up his father, before she could get help for him.
on one hand, it’s a really good thing we didn’t call the cops, but on the other hand… what parent, in their right mind, allows their non-verbal, autistic child to wander the neighbourhood WITHOUT PANTS, on a friday morning?? and if we hadn’t been warned, ahead of time (moe and her farcebook group saved the day), we probably would have called the cops… and it would have served them right, although it would, doubtless, have been incredibly traumatic for the kid.
it’s a REALLY GOOD THING that, when the fence is installed (we’re hoping for next week… really…), it will be a SIX FOOT fence. 😖
new house, first morning
friday to saturday, 200410-1, was our last night in auburn.
the “official” move-in day was yesterday, saturday 200411.
saturday to sunday, 200411-2, was our first night in maple valley.
this is what i woke up to:
it may not be all bad, living here… 😉
another failed experiment
i logged in to twitter today, and was immediately greeted with a notification that my “ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed”.
it has gotten to be more and more depressing, reading twitter, and for some time now, the only things i have done is re-tweet @infinite_scream, and harrass @blarsonexorcist and other so-called “christians”, along with republicans, democrats, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, homeopathic advocates, and other mind-numbing idiots… none of which helps my anhedonia in the slightest. 😒
and, along with all this “social distancing” and “self-quarantining”, the fact is, we’re moving, and the movers cancelled, because of the “stay at home” order, which means that we’ve had to move all the stuff ourselves… we’re still holding out hope that we’re going to get professional movers to move the piano, the couch, the chair, and the bed, but it doesn’t look good at this point.
and things would be going a lot more quickly if there was a fence at the new place, but that has been put on indefinite hold, because of “supply chain problems”, i.e. sick people, closed businesses, stay-at-home order, etc., etc., et-fucking-c… 😠
and there’s no telling when it’s all going to change… and, if it does change, it’s very likely to get worse…
oh, and it HAS gotten worse: bernie sanders has dropped out of the race… AGAIN… which means that the only rational vote left is Vermin Supreme, and i’m still not sure whether or not i’m going to hold my nose and vote for joe biden or not, because he’s not even close to what i want as a replacement for drumpf, even if he was obama’s vice president.
so i decided that it would be best if i gave up twitter.
i already feel better.
also, i added a side-bar link to COVID19 information, updated every minute, to counteract the gawd-awful twitter/drumpf fake-news bullshit. it’s pretty bad. 😒
the chaos, the chaos
the chaos of moving is exacerbated by the chaos of the COVID19 pandemic, which is still on its way up. keeping track is pointless because it keeps getting worse by the hour, and our “leaders” are deliberately misleading us, much to the delight of 51% of the population… who have been consistently the first ones to die, as a result. 😒
i, on the other hand, am, apparently, immune, because of the fact that i already had it… and the fact that, in the past two weeks, i have interacted with exactly three other people, one of whom is my wife (the other two are my wife’s boss, and his wife, who have been helping us with painting, because their vacation to mexico got cancelled).
thanks to them, the master bedroom is no longer an awful green, surmounted with a repeating stamp of bears and trees.
we’re under an official “stay-at-home” order, from the governor, but… i’m moving… which “home” should i stay at: the mostly empty one that we’re painting, or the chaotic, half-in-boxes one that we’re moving out of? 😒
i’ve been making one run a day to the new house, with my car full of boxes. in the past 5 days, i haven’t even come CLOSE to filling the floor space OF THE GARAGE, and, once we’re done painting, the stuff that i’m currently putting in the garage will get distributed to its locations throughout the house… we’re going to need a dining table, and chairs, again, because we have a dining room that will be an empty space without it…
the loan closed, the house is (provisionally) ours, i pick up the key this afternoon.
ok, it’s official…
moe and i are moving.
that’s right, with the coronavirus running rampant, people freaking out and buying the entire store because the world is, literally, COMING. TO. AN. END… moe and i are moving into a new house. 😒
we bought a bigger house. it’s about as far away from downtown seattle as we currently are, but the house is about twice as big as the house we’re currently in, and the yard is about twice as big as the yard we’ve currently got. the address is maple valley, but, in reality, it’s in between issaquah and hobart. it’s right around the corner from one set of friends, and about 10 minutes away from two other sets of friends. i’ll be living a lot closer to ian, for a change. 😉
how it happened is complex beyond imagination, and mostly happened before everybody started freaking out, but, basically, moe has been given the money to buy this house by her employer, who wants her to live “closer” to the clinic. where we live currently is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half commute to mercer island — where the clinic is located. the new house is only 30 minutes away, during rush hour.
the “good” part about this is that we don’t HAVE TO move right away, or on a certain date, and — for a short period of time, anyway — we will actually own TWO houses… maybe for a longer period of time, if things go a certain way.
my understanding is that we “close and take posession” on the 26th (next thursday).
moisture, but no festival
as i mentioned last week, our bedroom closet has inordinate amounts of moisture in the back, where nobody noticed it for a long time… like, years…
we had a contractor out, who took the entire south wall of the house apart, and concluded that it was a combination culprit: we had
1) water leaking in through the nail-holes in the composite siding, which was sub-standard (having been built in the early 1970s).
2) water leaking in through a sub-standard (1970s construction) gap in the siding between the rectangular part of the house, and the triangular (roof) part — these days, they put in what they call “Z-flashing” between the two levels of siding. in the 1970s, not so much.
3) no house-wrap — once again, due to 1970s construction methods and the fact that tyvek hadn’t even been invented yet — but a layer of plain old plastic, which caused water to condense and run down the inside of the walls.
and, because of this, there is also the matter of
4) the “rim joist” — the 2″x6″ beam that runs under the floorboards and holds the whole house up — was the ultimate victim of all of this aforementioned water. it was rotten through, and the guy had to jack up the house to remove it.
end result: the entire south wall of the house has been wrecked and removed down to the studs, and the south end of the house has been jacked up.
what makes it worse is that we discovered this on the 9th, and it has rained, snowed, or some combination of the two, pretty much every day since. it’s warm enough that the snow hasn’t hung around for long, but it affects how much the guy wants to work…
not only that, but now that he’s got the wall in a more-or-less stable (i.e. no longer damp and rotting) condition, he’s got court-ordered visitation with his kids this weekend, so not only is moe gone, and i have to take care of the dogs on my own, but ALSO there’s the detritus of an ongoing construction project in the front yard, the entire south wall is covered in plastic, and the crawl-space (where the dogs ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO) is open and unguarded, AND the guy WON’T BE BACK TO FIX IT UNTIL MONDAY!!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🖕
i’ve been “sick” for a week. i was actually SICK for two days, starting last thursday. friday i didn’t make it upright, except to vomit, but by saturday i was feeling well enough that i did the last weekend of the panto without too much difficulty. monique got sick on sunday, and she and i have been trading a low-level “sickness” back and forth ever since. one of monique’s co-workers got an especially virulent strain of pink-eye a couple days ago, so the probability is better than normal that all of the rest of us are going to get pink-eye eventually.
#drumpf assassinated the number three guy in iran, with no “approval” or prior warning, a couple days ago, which, once again, brings us to the brink of world war three. he’s been impeached, but not convicted of anything, and probably won’t be, because the body which is supposed to convict him is controlled by the republican’ts, all of whom think he’s doing a swell job. 😒 55% of americans think his actions put american lives in danger, but he’s using it as a campaign talking point, and there’s a good chance, at this point, that he will be re-“elected” for a second term. 😠👎
and that’s not to mention the millions of people who no longer have insurance, nor the disabled people (which includes me) who will no longer have SSDI when his schemes take effect… he’s asked for, and gotten more money for his wall, and even more money for “defense”, but we “don’t have enough money” for health care and education.
meanwhile, the wall in the back of our closet has sprung a leak, which means that a lot of our “formal” and “costume” clothes are now wet — possibly ruined — and we’ve had a contractor out to give us an estimate (and another one tomorrow, alledgedly), but it has been snowing, on and off, since last night, which means that whatever repairs HAVE TO BE made, will PROBABLY NOT be made until… i don’t know, spring, or some time… 😒
i’m sick of life. 😒
i wish it would end. 👎
Wheel Of Dystopia
I’m writing this after spending the day hunkered down indoors next to an air purifier, as I have the good fortune of being in Washington state while it’s home to some of the world’s worst air pollution. For the second year in a row, smoke from wildfires has rendered the normally refreshing air practically unbreathable. My primary source of entertainment these days is checking air quality monitoring websites for signs of ominous red and purple bulges making their way down from Canada. Fires in other parts of Washington aren’t helping.
As if things didn’t already feel apocalyptic enough, there’s something about these wildfire episodes, with their sickly grayish-orange skies and sense of entrapment, that truly give one the sense that the end of the Anthropocene is nigh. Scientists say that warming temperatures plus population growth in burn-prone areas are causing the surge in wildfires; meanwhile, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is, of course, blaming environmentalists. Hard to see how we come back from this brink, since we’re already so far over it.
we have had no power since about 6:00 last night. it doesn’t look like we’re going to have power any time soon. certainly not today, unless a miracle happens. a house up the street from us got chopped in half by a fallen tree, which also destroyed the shed of the house behind it. the house next door to the one that was chopped in half lost two cars to another fallen tree… i’ve seen so many fallen trees and so many roads closed due to downed power lines… the rumour is that it will be friday before we have power again… 😐
for that matter, i don’t know how this is going to be posted to internet, because our internet is down, as well… 😐
ETA! a miracle happened! we have power, as of approximately 7:00 pm…
and there was much rejoicing! 😎
before i can do the window trim, i’ve got to re-do the gutters, which no longer have the option of having a downspout in the middle, now that there’s a deck there…
moe also wants to put trim around the windows that currently don’t have trim.
if it’s not one thing, it’s another… 😐
#b07af0 Color Information
In a RGB color space, hex #b07af0 is composed of 69% red, 47.8% green and 94.1% blue. Whereas in a CMYK color space, it is composed of 26.7% cyan, 49.2% magenta, 0% yellow and 5.9% black. It has a hue angle of 267.5 degrees, a saturation of 79.7% and a lightness of 71%. #b07af0 color hex could be obtained by blending #fff4ff with #6100e1. Closest websafe color is: #9966ff.
#b07af0 color description : Soft violet.
The hexadecimal color #b07af0 has RGB values of R:176, G:122, B:240 and CMYK values of C:0.27, M:0.49, Y:0, K:0.06. Its decimal value is 11565808.
Hex triplet b07af0 #b07af0
RGB Decimal 176, 122, 240 rgb(176,122,240)
RGB Percent 69, 47.8, 94.1 rgb(69%,47.8%,94.1%)
CMYK 27, 49, 0, 6
HSL 267.5°, 79.7, 71 hsl(267.5,79.7%,71%)
HSV (or HSB) 267.5°, 49.2, 94.1
Web Safe 9966ff #9966ff
CIE-LAB 61.169, 43.903, -51.809
XYZ 40.59, 29.441, 85.978
xyY 0.26, 0.189, 29.441
CIE-LCH 61.169, 67.909, 310.278
CIE-LUV 61.169, 17.116, -87.74
Hunter-Lab 54.259, 38.576, -55.967
Binary 10110000, 01111010, 11110000
and yet the people at home depot look at me as though i had a huge horn growing out of my forehead when i ask them to recreate this colour with exterior house paint… strange… 😐
Mighty Aphrodite… interesting…
ॐ ༀ ૐ ੴ
the typewriter has been left in the capable hands of the guy who is either going to fix it and give it back to me, or take it and sell me another one at a discount… and, honestly, i hope he wants to take it and sell me another one at a discount, because he’s got an underwood manual typewriter that doesn’t require electricity, and that’s what i really want… if there’s no electricity, an electric typewriter is an expensive door stop, but a manual typewriter works anyway… 👿
almost finished, and it glows in the daylight as well…
666666 outside of bellevue, appropriately enough…
yes, it was almost a week ago, but, whatever… it’s done, and i got the screens for the two big windows today, so that part of the house is FINALLY finished…
of course i still have to replace the trim that’s rotting off, and paint the whole thing again…
ah, the pleasures of being a home-owner…
i went to the Festival Of The River in arlington, to perform with members of my karass, i.e. The New Old Time Chautauqua, specifically, with The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra, for which i am, now, the default official substitute tuba player… which means that if the regular and/or scheduled tuba player can’t make it (there are at least 7 of us, and i only know three of them), i’m the first one that gets called.
or something like that…
anyway, that was last weekend. because of the fact that i was marching (i.e. moving my body in a more-or-less upright position, using my feet, and playing my tuba at the same time) over uneven terrain, i completely blew out my embrochure, which is a little scary, because we have a snake suspenderz gig this weekend. i’m pretty sure i will have recovered enough by then to be able to actually play, rather than making weak, mewling noises, but at this point, i’m not 100% sure yet.
i don’t like marching that much, and i like marching on uneven ground even less. it looks fancy to have a marching band marching around the festival, but if it is on unpaved pathways, it has the distinct possibility of leaving the brass players with permanent injuries that affect their ability to play their instruments.
anyway, i went and got new pages for my flip-folder, and a new lyre, so that i can march and actually read the music without having it flapping all over the place (and i can not believe that there is NO online definition of a lyre, which is a small, portable music stand that attaches to an instrument — or, in the case of some flute lyres, to the musician themselves — for use in marching bands. seriously… there’s one sentence about lyres in the entry for Music Stand at wikipedia, but that’s it… no pictures, no descriptions… nothing. everything else is about the lyre which actually is (or, rather, used to be) a stringed instrument used by the ancient greeks, which is the predecessor of the lute and guitar. disgraceful, internet… totally disgraceful! 😐 ).
i demolished the front porch three weeks ago, with the impression that it would be replaced that weekend.
little did i know, at the time, how intensely long and drawn out the process would actually be…
today, three weeks later, we STILL can’t go in and out through our front door. today, for the first time in three weeks, i actually used the front door to exit the house (which is a wonderful feeling, let me tell you), but i can’t actually get off the deck without jumping, because the stairs, which are made and sitting on the deck, are not yet installed. he’s allegedly coming back tomorrow to “finish” a project that he said was going to be finished THREE WEEKS AGO… i’ll be glad to see him go, when he finally goes, but i’ll believe he’s going to finish tomorrow when i actually see it. 😡
at least he’s done a good job… i’d be really pissed if we had to replace the deck again soon. it appears, at this point anyway, that we probably won’t be replacing it, but the next owners of the house may.
also, this is a message for rosemary. i understand that you can’t reply, because of your email problems, but i may be able to help you with that. i’m replying to your most recent snail-mail letter to me, and i will include more details with that. basically, if you would like, i can set up an email address for you at hybridelephant.com, and you can access it over the web, just like you did at yahoo, but with less hacking… i’ll include more details in my letter, which should get sent out by friday, 15 august.
things have changed again
the lumber yard was able to re-re-schedule our delivery for monday, and the contractor is supposed to show up monday morning (for real this time)…
i’ll believe it when i see it. 😐
so, yeah… that thing that was supposed to happen today…
we were going to have a new front porch installed today. it has been in the works since wednesday, when monique made the payment to the lumber yard and i demolished the old front porch. the lumber was supposed to be delivered “first thing friday morning”, and by this time we would have at least the framework for a new front porch installed.
so i woke up this morning, and wondered where the workmen, and the lumber delivery were. by 10:00, i was worried, and called the lumber yard — the first time i had contacted them. they informed me that my delivery was supposed to be delivered first thing monday morning. when pressed, they admitted that they couldn’t schedule us before monday because they weren’t able to get payment until after the delivery schedule for friday had already filled up. problem was that they neglected to inform anybody about it: not me, not monique, not the contractor… nobody.
so i called monique, who called the lumber yard and reamed the guy a new one… but what about the contractor?
that’s what i want to know… 😐
i called him this morning — again, the first time i had actually contacted him (wisely, moe has been handling everything). he wasn’t answering, so i left a message and asked him for an update when he would get started. he never called back. i called moe, moe called him, and left a message, and he never contacted her. the guy from the lumber yard called him. he never contacted him, either… 😡
needless to say, we are NOT having a deck installed this weekend. we ARE going to have to use the back door for at least a week until this whole FUMTU gets sorted out.
fortunately, i succeded in installing new door hardware that actually works, so that using the back door is actually an option, and i bought a magnetic broom and swept up the nails and screws that got discarded in the process of demolishing the porch, so that the dogs can actually go into the front yard again, albeit by a somewhat more circuitous route.
ETA: so moe finally got a call from the contractor… at 10:30 pm here (which is 11:30 pm where she is currently)… apparently the lumber yard did contact the contractor, but nobody bothered to contact us, the customers… the contractor said that, when he learned that the lumber wasn’t going to be delivered until monday, he re-arranged his schedule to start on monday, and went fishing today… which is why he wasn’t answering his phone all day… so he’s as much to blame for this whole clusterfuck as the lumber yard goons. he said he would “try” to get our lumber order re-re-scheduled for monday, and if he can, he’ll start on monday. if he can’t… 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡 😡
we’ve got two people scheduled to come by on sunday to bid for replacing the front porch.
our front porch
“after” is actually an intermediary step. friday we’re having a new deck/porch installed that will be a lot more what we want, and not so much what the previous owner wanted.
Dasiphora fruticosa (Potentilla)
fantasy realised… there are eight of ’em! now all i gotta do is keep the dogs from running over them until they take root… 😎
i’m cold, and i also think that i may be getting a cold, which is not good, because i’ve got important obligations that i’m probably going to have to fulfill, even if i am sick. it may just be that i am still wearing summer-ish clothing and it’s getting to the point where i should probably switch to winter-ish clothing, but i’m too lazy.
the obligations for the next few weeks include: giving rick a ride to the cannabis dispensary (which is usually an “all-day” event, depending on how many dispensaries we visit), a fremont phil gig for a moisture-festival/panto-related performance, the winter panto performances, the lenin lighting, and probably a bunch of other rehearsals, gigs, and what-have-you, that i am forgetting.
we’re well into the fall/winter rehearsal season, but we have only had one panto rehearsal, because all of the music isn’t completed yet. i have two new arrangements for the phil which are ready, however: one is a piano rag by scott joplin called “I Am Thinking Of My Pickaninny Days”, and the other is an arrangement of that piece of music made famous by the bulgarian womens’ radio choir, called “Polegnala e Todora” by philip koutev, which is in 11/16… it’s almost in 3/4 time, but not quite… which may make it a lot more difficult to play, but i’m hoping that we won’t have to get too technical about it. it’s also got a rubato feel about it, that, i’m hoping, will cover for any glaring technical difficulties that we might encounter.
even though i haven’t heard a note of either of them, i’m fairly confident that the arrangements are not going to be the problem once we actually get around to rehearsing them, because i also wrote an arrangement of Drei Equale für Vier Posaunen by beethoven, only four steps lower (so you don’t have to use an alto trombone for the high part), which i tried out with the trombone section from the ballard sedentary sousa band over the weekend. while they were sight-reading, completely unsure of the notes, and not playing with any confidence whatsoever, when they were all playing in the same place, the arrangement stood on its own… completely unlike the previous times i have tried to arrange things, using lilypond, and had significant difficulties getting the right notes to go down on the printed page.
moe has decided that we have to paint and re-carpet the bedroom before our new, king-sized bed arrives, which means that, once again, i am surrounded by boxes, and stacks of stuff, and dressers and suchlike that were in our bedroom. of course, the up side to all this is that, in a couple weeks or so, we will have a freshly, newly-repainted bedroom, with new fixtures, and a new bed… it’ll sort of be like a hotel room, except that we won’t have to go home eventually.
the rat problem is still there. i trapped two rats earlier this week. they go for two or three days without touching the traps, and then there are two in one day… then they go back to not touching them again. these intelligent creatures are being murdered by me, because they are destructive to the way i want to live. i am responsible for the murders of cute, furry, intelligent, rat mothers, fathers, brothers, and sisters, because i don’t like the fact that they chewed up the pluming under the floor of my house…
no matter how hard i try, i am unable to convince myself that what i am doing is not wrong. 😛
there are rats that have been chewing on the bottom of our house. this comes almost immediately after we spent almost $10,000 to fix the plumbing and the kitchen floor after rats chewed through the old plumbing. there is no doubt that we DO NOT want rats under the house…
so, of course, i have been tasked with the job of trapping them. which, because of the fact that they are “wild” rats, means murdering them.
not just “killing” them, i discovered… actually murdering them. i discovered the difference when i put rat traps below our house two nights ago, and trapped two rats. the difference comes when i realised that they have the same, cute, beady little eyes as tame rats, which bug out of their skulls in a particularly disturbing way when their skulls have been smashed. and that’s not to mention the blood spatter. 😮
and it doesn’t get any easier… in fact, my impression is that it gets harder, because i cleaned up after my first murder, only to succeed in murdering another rat this morning.
so i really don’t want them to be where they are, but i feel really guilty murdering them, even though they don’t really give me much choice. 😥
does anyone know what sort of plant this is?
it smells really interesting, and i’d like to plant more of them in the gigantic hole left when we ripped out the bush from the top of our driveway.
let’s see if this crowdsourcing thing actually works… 😎
ETA: it is Dasiphora fruticosa floribunda. i want at least two of them to go into the gigantic hole. thank you. 😎
the house is beginning to get back to normal, whatever that is. the construction has been completed, more or less, my office has been renovated and remodeled, and things are more or less back to where they’re supposed to be… except that, as always, things are different, and will continue to be different for ever and ever afterwards, amen… 😐
moe has decided that we are remodeling the guest bathroom, ostensibly to facilitate her mother’s coming to visit more frequently. my counter to that is that if we remodel the bathroom, her mother will be visiting more frequently. she ripostes with the fact that her mother and i can’t live in the same house, and that will prove (to her) that she has to live somewhere else… which is okay in the long run, i suppose, but i dread the period of time whose length has yet to be determined, between… 😛
also we have to get the insulation and the vapour barrier fixed, because it’s still hanging in tatters where the plumber and the contractor tore it away…
there may be some more final details, but it’s 99.98% finished at this point. the keyboard that is currently a “stand up to access” is going below the desk, but i’ve got to buy the drawer sliders separate from the desk, and install them myself, because they don’t make an under-desk slider for the desk i’ve got.
the floor is replaced, but i can’t move my office back until the adhesive for the vinyl has cured, which takes anywhere from 3 to 5 days, depending on the ambient temperature… and, as it has been dumping rain for the past few days, it’s heading more towards the 5-day curing period. 😛
and, i’ve got another week of moisture festival performances starting tuesday, plus i’ve got an incense order that i can’t fill and another incense order that is waiting for the guy to snailmail me a money order, plus i’ve got three reels of tape that have been digitised, and three to five cassettes that still need to be digitised before i can get started making a CD out of the digitised remains for randy’s daughter, naomi…
so it’s very likely that i won’t actually get around to doing any real work on getting my office back in shape for another week or so… 😛
because of the fact that the process of replacing the floor involves clearing the room that my computer is in, so that the guy can put down new vinyl flooring, my computer is going dark for a couple of days. i may get to post via my laptop, or i may just bag it all together, because my entire office is now in the living room, in boxes and stacks… rather similar to the first year or so that i lived in this house, before we got the workshop built, but, hopefully, for a considerably smaller period of time. pictures of the process can be seen here, for what it’s worth.
what i’m doing
Moisture Festival 2013 – this week i’m performing with the fremont philharmonic. next week i’m performing with snake suspenderz.
and, in the middle of all this, we’re having our house completely re-piped to alleviate the massive problems we’ve been having with the plumbing, AND we’re having the kitchen and pantry floor torn out, down to the joists, and replaced, and then we’re having new linoleum laid down in the kitchen, pantry, and my office… which means i have to completely disconnect and move everything, and then reconnect it all once i’ve moved it back.
according to moe, the contractor is coming in to rip out the floor on monday, and he says it should take two to three days to replace it… however, if the joists are still wet, then it’ll probably be longer, because at that point we’ve got to have servicebastards and their portable noise generators (otherwise known as “fans”) come back out and try again…
fortunately, i’m going to be away from the house for most of this… 😛
so apparently the first step in the remediation process is to dry the place out, which means dehumidifiers and fans, both under the house (where most of the damage originated) and in our kitchen, pantry and bedroom.
the fans are loud. 😕
and they have to stay at least 3 days. if we turn them off. then it’s more like 5 days. 😡
and the fans are LOUD… 😛
enter title here
we had the most recent plumbing incident, and we had the next most recent plumbing incident, both of which ended up with the guy who rescued us telling us that we need to have the whole house re-piped. the last guy who i talked to said that the current plumbing in our house was RECALLED in 1996, because it’s brittle and the rats like to eat it…
and, no, we can’t sue the people who installed the plumbing originally, because when they installed it (in 1970-something), it hadn’t been recalled yet. if anyone, we might be able to sue the home inspector that did our home inspection before we bought the place, because he should have noticed, and told us about it, but he didn’t… and, at this point, the result would still be the same anyway, which is, basically, that we have to completely re-pipe the entire house, AND we have to completely rip out and replace the floor in the kitchen and pantry (and possibly about half of the master bedroom), because when the rat ate through the pipes (most recently), the whole subfloor got wet, and it’s particle board, so it has to go… 😐
also, since the last time the plumber was out here and fixed things, we have developed at least one major leak in the plumbing beyond the one that i already knew about, but wasn’t doing anything to fix, because it was the kitchen sink, it was leaking into the drain-pipe, and even with the water turned off to the sink, it was still leaking enough that i would have had to turn the water off to the whole house in order to replace the sink faucet, and i didn’t have the curb key to turn the water off at the main, until just a few days ago when the bathroom started flooding… 😐
so i’m sitting here now, sweating because we have the first snake suspenderz rehearsal in, like, 6 months, and the guy hasn’t shown up, and i have to leave in half an hour to get to the rehearsal… and from what his dispatcher told me, it’s not likely that he’s going to show up before 11:00, which is when i have to leave… but if the plumbing is going to be done, it’s gotta be started on first, and if i put the start off for a couple of days, then i have to put up with being in a house with no running water for a couple more days… 😡
i’ve been noticing a distinctly moldy-like smell the past few days, but i haven’t found the source. then, this morning, moe mentioned that the kitchen floor was feeling a little soft, so i went down and looked, and sure enough, there was a leak in one of the pipes… so i spent $500 on a plumber at 11:30 in the morning on a sunday. he was actually the second plumber i called, because the first one was in church and not answering his cell phone. i know he was in church because his dispatcher told me he was. i guess going to church means that you don’t get paid on a sunday… 😐 the guy who finally came out recommended a complete repiping of the entire house, which would cost around $7,000. the thing is, i don’t know whether this house is worth it or not… after all, it was a “manufactured” (read “mobile”) home, installed in the early 1970s, which is currently under water with its mortgage… 😐
on the plus side, since the plumber went away, there has been a surprisingly dissipated moldy-like smell… and the leaky pipe may also have been the source of the windows sweating so much over the past couple of weeks…
regular fremont phil rehearsals have started. regular ballard sedentary sousa band rehearsals are starting on tuesday. regular snake suspenderz rehearsals haven’t started yet, which is probably not as bad a thing as it seems at this point, but my impression is that they’d better start soon, or we’re going to be in trouble, because we’ve got a number of performances starting in less than a month. next weekend, moe and i are taking a part vacation and part sheepdog trial in heppner, oregon starting friday and ending monday.
we’re putting in a gate at the bottom of our property.
we had the hose layed out, so that we could create concrete to hold the gate-posts in.
after getting the concrete made, i was winding up the hose, but the water wouldn’t shut off…
after 5:00 pm on a friday, and i have to call a plumber to rescue us from having the water run all night when it is near freezing outside… 😡
aaaaaand, that’s a wrap!
the 9th annual moisture festival is history, and i’m currently wallowing in post-moisture festival exhaustion and depression, but i can’t let that keep me from doing stuff, because there is a lot to be doing…
moe came home yesterday and discovered that the thermostat had gone crazy and it was 91° in the house, which, combined with yesterday’s 60° temperature made it pretty damn toasty in the house, and no matter what she tried, the furnace simply would not shut off… so she killed the electricity, and opened all the windows, which meant that when i got home at 12:30, moe was asleep, having thrown off all the covers, and all the windows were open… which was really confusing, considering the weather the past few days… anyway, this morning i got up and researched getting our thermostat/furnace fixed/replaced. 😐
not only that, but i’ve got a computer to rebuild for my older, brain-injured client, which involves going over to his house and digging through the guts of his old computer to get part numbers, and specs so that when the computer i build for him actually gets to him, it will be compatible with what he’s already got… apparently just replacing the power supply wasn’t good enough. the power supply works, but the computer still doesn’t boot, and the guy who built the old computer says that the mother board is fried. he recommended getting an entirely new computer (starting at around $700) but i figure i can probably get a new mother board for around $250, build the computer around that, and save my (already low- and limited-income) client around $400.
and, i’ve got to go meet with the surly, moody son of the guy who got killed in the auburn top food and drugs last year, because he wants me to design a logo for his car-repair business… which would be fine, except that he wants to get this logo made into a rug, and he wants details about which i know absolutely nothing, so it’s going to be really interesting designing a logo that will both be to his liking, and be able to be made into a carpet… but the fact that i’m going to be doing work for him is good, because it means that i will be able to hit him up for some repairs on my car: the brakes are in need of new shoes, and there’s still this annoying loose-belt sound when i first start up the car in the mornings…
and snake suspenderz is gearing up again: we’ve got a gig at the can can on the 22nd, and, probably, we’re going to be busking at either the ballard or the fremont sunday market on the 15th, plus we’ve got a couple of rehearsals before then…
AND i’ve got a new tuba to figure out, because it is not the same as my old tuba… i imagine that a lot of learning it will be simply playing it and figuring out what the new fingerings feel like, but along with everything else, it’s going to be a major chore…
spoons… i don’t have them… 😕
FINALLY our power was restored about 9:30 pm last night… now i’ve got a week’s worth of ketchup to complete (going and getting my (repaired(!!!)) shoes, and the template made from them, going and getting the leather to make a new pair of shoes from the template, various different things related to the sousaphone that i was supposed to fix last week, etc., etc., etc.…) plus i have to practice for the filming of the Big Bois With Poise that’s happening on friday, and the parade (for which i’m going to be playing my own sousaphone) on saturday, and various other things that i couldn’t schedule because we had no power…
so, i’m gonna be kinda busy for the next few days… there are actually pictures of the storm and it’s resulting chaos, but they’re going to have to wait until i get my house in order again.
and this is the reason why… 8/
tuesday i posted that when it snows around here, EVERYBODY FREAKS OUT… and this is the reason why: wednesday morning, around 5:00, our power went out, and has yet to return. thursday, our neighbour’s sixty-foot evergreen tree took a header into our front yard, narrowly missing my car and blocking the driveway up to the house… the neighbours are nowhere to be seen. moe thinks they may have moved into a hotel. friday moe went out to mcdonalds (free WIFI), and had to wend her way through the neighbourhood, being alert for downed power lines and fallen trees… everything in our refrigerator and freezer is no longer good, with the exception (i think) of a few things we’ve had packed in snow in the back yard. yesterday we went to a friends’ house, where we took showers and checked email… today we went to another friends’ house, where, according to PSE’s Service Alert Map there are multiple outages in our area, but if i read their cryptic map symbols correctly, they’re working on our neighbourhood at this very moment… althogh we didn’t have electricity when we left the house. the neighbours behind us, and to the north of us have had power for two days, but their houses are on military road, which is a major thorough fare. we, on the other hand, are at the end of a gravel road that you have to drive down another gravel road to get to… and, while our next-door neighbours may be on a major thorough fare, we are in a place where the UPS driver pretty regularly can’t find us, and our mailbox is two blocks away because the postal service doesn’t know where we are either… i regularly have to “talk people in” who get lost trying to find our house…. so, hopefully PSE isn’t just shining us on, and they really are working in our neighbourhood, but i’ll believe it when i see it. 😕
and even when the electricity does come back on, we still have to deal with the sixty-foot evergreen tree across our driveway.
i have been taking a “constitutional” in the mornings for the past couple of weeks (it keeps my blood pressure down), and when i returned i realised that i had a HUGE pile of detritus left over from the deck-wrecking project blocking our driveway and, more importantly, blocking access to the recycle bin and the garbage bin… so i unloaded my car and reconfigured it for hauling junk to the dump, and then spent the rest of the morning(!!) sorting the pile of detritus into stuff that gets hauled to the dump, stuff that’s mostly dirt to begin with – which gets hauled down to the organic-junk-and-yard-waste pile at the bottom of the property, and a pile of stuff that won’t fit in my car. it turned out that i put about half of the pile in the “mostly-dirt-to-begin-with” category, and it turned out that i didn’t even fill the back of the car more than half-way with stuff that gets hauled to the dump. the rest, a pile of 8 or 10 twelve-foot-long 2x8s and 2x6s are now in a place where they won’t block access to anything except, maybe, the guys who come to pump the septic tank in another five years or so… but i hope to figure out something else to do with them before then…
then i took the stuff to the dump. when i was driving away from the dump, i stepped on the brake pedal of ganesha the car, and it floored easy without seriously affecting my speed – something which was only slightly less alarming because i was going less than 5 miles per hour. i pumped on the pedal once or twice and it came back to the point where i was able to control the car’s speed, but it was acting strangely for 10 minutes or so after that. i had to get the oil changed in the car anyway, so i took it to the repair shop, where i learned that i have to get the rear brakes and the wheel cylinders replaced.
great… i have to spend more money on a car that isn’t going to get anything but LESS reliable as time goes on… 😐
the back porch project
we have been wanting to replace the back deck for a couple of years now. its underpinnings were significantly rotten in a number of mostly invisible places, which i could ignore if i wanted to, but recently, when i leaned on the railing near the stairs and the railing fell off it was beond the point where i could ignore it safely any longer.
thaddeus came over with a couple of teenaged rousabouts and took away the decking yesterday, which left a gigantic hole in our back yard, and, with the help of a guy at home depot who actually designed it and put together a list of materials, i put together a porch, so that we don’t walk out the back door and fall three feet to the ground, and finished it off, today, with a set of steps… which i created despite the fact that it was pouring rain most of the morning…
i’ve been spending way too much time futzing about with the computers, and need to do something else some of the time.
to that end, i’m probably not going to spend more than a couple of hours or so in front of the computer today, because of the fact that i’ve got a bunch of stuff to do. i’ve got to drive to marysville (approximately 1½ hours each way), to pick up business cards from the printer. i’ve also got to take the empty water bottles up to the artesian well to fill them, which is in between here and marysville, so it’s convenient to do both at the same time. then i’ve got to package the cards and ship them to the guy who ordered them.
then, later on, i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal, which usually gets out at 9:00. the moisture festival is at the end of the month. counting today’s rehearsal, there are only four rehearsals left until it opens, which is cutting it really close, especially considering that pam, our clarinet player, quit earlier this year.
now that’s out of the way…
i renewed my membership in the fremont sunday market this morning. the probability is high that i will be going to the FSM the first sunday of next month, but there’s nothing firmed up yet.
i did my business taxes today, and for the 10th year in a row, i have not had to pay any business taxes, which may seem like it’s a good thing until you realise that my business has been essentially failing ever since it started. at the same time, i made $1,200 in 2010, compared to $1,000 in 2009, and even though i had fewer sales, the total amount is approximately equal to my 2008 income, so at least i’ve been failing consistently well.
the second puppy potluck was last night. moe’s co-worker, a guy called flash, got his car well and truly stuck in the mud on the other side of our driveway and we had to call a tow truck to winch him out. fortunately, someone gave moe a membership in AAA for xmas, so instead of pissing everybody off and being a royal waste of time, we all joked and laughed about flash’s typical muddy exploits while we waited for the (free) tow-truck winch expert who removed flash and his car from our driveway without any problems. after the potluck, moe and i went bowling with the rest of her coworkers – flash showed up late, because he was stuck in the mud. 😉 because of the fact that i was intensely stiff and sore, i didn’t do any bowling, but i made up for it by devouring their catered dinner because doc C. was paying for it… 😉
i was stiff and sore because i spent friday doing something that i have been talking about for a couple of months, which was clearing the unwanted bric-a-brac out of the loft of the workshop. i started by carrying ⅘ of the stuff that was in the loft out of the loft, sorting through most of it, and then returning the remainder to the loft – which means about 50 trips up and down the ladder with heavy, bulky stuff. i now have a pile of freecycle and/or craigslist stuff (the DVDs are just the tip of the iceberg), and a bunch of stuff that’s either going in the trash or directly to the dump. i’ve also got enough space for a person to comfortably sleep in the loft, now. 🙂 i’m getting really impatient with the DVDs, however, and i may take them to seattle tomorrow and see what i can get for them at that used movie place on the corner of first and stewart.
but i’m still feeling the effects of over-exerting myself
first snow of the season!
it snowed pretty much all day yesterday. here are some pictures i took around 7:00 pm
this was with “night vision” looking down towards norm’s house. you can see Ganesha The Car, and the jeep at the bottom of our property…
this is the same picture taken with the flash.
the second fire of the year, and the first one started with one match. 🙂
our fireplace. it’s getting its first-of-the-season workout…
the past couple of days have been spent sawing and chiseling out the piece of what turned out to be ⅝" masonite around the back door, which has had considerable water damage pretty much ever since we first moved into the house, and has gotten bad enough that you could see the ground through the floor. the masonite had deteriorated to the point where it was formed sawdust being held together with hope and what remained of the watered down glue by which it had originally been held together, so i broke out what i could of it manually, and then i sawed and chiseled out the rest, made a replacement piece out of ⅝" CDX (exterior grade plywood), and put that in its place.
i took a few pictures of my progress, but i pretty much stayed on task, because having a hole in the floor right outside our bedroom door doesn’t work very well.
and, once again, this is a prime example of a job that couldn’t have been done if it weren’t for the workshop, and its contents… 8)
it’s raining, which means that instead of cutting out the part of the floor near the back door that has a hole in it, next to the back door, i’m doing this instead. i’ve been able to get some work done in the morning, but since i went to buy the replacement flooring and came home – around noon or so – it has been raining hard enough that i can’t do the important part, which is cutting out a piece of floor 4′ x 1½’, and cutting a 4′ x 1½’ piece of replacement flooring. i’m still not 100% sure of what i’ll find once i cut the hole in the floor, in spite of the fact that i’ve actually climed underneath the house. i do know that there are two joists directly below the middle of the door, but there is a cloth vapour barrier of some kind underneath the house. it’s ripped away right underneath the door, which is probably one of the reasons why the hole is right next to the door, but it is in place once the door frame ends, and the piece of flooring i have to replace goes all the way to the end of the hall. fortunately (i guess), the wood that i have to replace is very likely 30 year old rotten press-board, so instead of cutting away most of it, i can probably just break out most of it manually, so that i can see what’s down there before i cut the replacement piece.
tomorrow i’ve got a gig at the ballard locks with the ballard sedentary sousa band, so i probably won’t get the chance to work on the floor until later on tomorrow afternoon, at the earliest.
i discovered second use, which is a very dangerous place for me to know about, because it is replete with various objects which, while extremely cool (and some of them are also immenantly useful) are, for the most part, totally useless to me… there are a few things that i could definitely use eventually – like the tessellated fish paving stones, which would go well in the paver-patio which will eventually be where the deck that has yet to be demolished currently is in our back yard. there are also a lot of things like doors, and windows that could, potentially, be used in our house, but don’t have a specific purpose… and there are things like an upright piano, which have no immediate purpose, but it would be extremely cool to have, and other things, like an antique foot-locker (with “authentic moth-ball smell”) that i couldn’t resist buying in spite of the fact that there was a good chance that i would have to use it to move out of our house when moe discovers that i had purchased more “stuff” to cram into our tiny house – which was ironic, since i had a hauntingly similar discussion with the guy behind the counter at second use, concerning the pros and cons of “needing more ‘stuff'” in the house. in fact, there was a heated discussion about the new “stuff” that i brought home, and the first thing that moe said was “what ‘stuff’ is leaving the house in order to make room for the new ‘stuff’ you bought?” fortunately, there is a pile of ex-clothing that i can take to the second-hand store, and a large pile of blankets and bedding that will actually go into the foot-locker, which will then get stored in the loft of the workshop, so i won’t have to be moving out (at least not any time soon), and my guess is that as long as i don’t start patronising second use unsupervised, there won’t be any major problems. i discovered second use because that’s where snake suspenderz played on sunday for a couple of hours. i love those guys, and i’m just starting to reach my stride where tuba-playing is involved. there definitely has to be more snake suspenderz gigs soon.
Ganesha the Second is ready, finally, and, hopefully, i’m going to pick it up tomorrow morning… oh, my! i just realised that tomorrow is the day that moe flies out to atlanta for a week, for her conference/test thingy, which means that i probably will have to make other arrangements to pick up the car tomorrow. grr… 8/ moe is going to atlanta to speak at a vet conference, and to take a qualification test for a veterinary behaviour technicans’ organisation, neither of which i can remember the exact names. it’s really cool for her, though, because she’s actually getting paid to speak at the conference, which means that she gets a working vacation in atlanta for free. i’ll figure out some way or another to pick up the car.
i’ve got a couple of art car things coming up. unfortunately, i won’t be able to do the Great Peninsula Future Festival, because moe will be out of town, and the festival involves getting there before 9:30 am, leaving after 6:00 pm, or whenever the festival closes, and a ban on domestic animals, which means that the doggles can’t come with. on the other hand, the fact that the car is (allegedly) in running condition again means that i can go to Fresh Paint again this year, which is definitely on the schedule, because i got a $100 stipend just for showing up last year… 🙂
yesterday i got up at an ungodly hour (6:30 am) and went to pick up my wanna-be-art-car from one repair shop, and drove it 15 miles to another repair shop where they’re allegedly going to fix it. on the 15 mile drive from one repair shop to the other, the car almost overheated, and smoke was coming out the fresh air vents when i arrived, but ganesha is in charge of this car, so if it’s going to be fixed, then it’s going to be fixed, and if it isn’t, there’s nothing i can do about it.
anyway, that left me in burien with no car. i had my bicycle, though it’s around 30 miles home from there, so i rode to the burien transit center and took a bus from there to international boulevard, where i transferred to another bus that was going to the federal way transit center, and from there i rode my bicycle the remaining 8 miles home.
when i got home, i turned around and went out again, to get an ink cartridge for my printer, so that everything won’t print green any longer, and i also went to the copy shop to get photocopies of the panto music of which i need multiple copies. then i came home again…
when i got home, i used the new ink cartridge to print an invoice, and packaged an order that came in the day before, and went out again to the post office to ship the order.
then i came home again, and searched for, and found a guy who would fix the free lawnmower that i got on freecycle the other day. he picked it up(!) last night.
today, i went to the bank to get cash for the guy who fixed the lawn mower, and when he delivered it(!), i mowed the lawn, taking a break in the middle to go out and buy a gas can and gas, because it ran out of gas and i didn’t have any because my previous lawn mower was electric.
then i got most of the rest of my gear ready for OCF. i still have to pack clothes, and there are probably some miscellaneous things that i haven’t remembered to pack.
i keep finding myself amazed at the fact that in a little more than a week there are going to be feral hippie children immitating the play that i only saw for the first time on monday, and that was an incomplete show, because all of the music isn’t written yet, and we’re still putting the final touches on the script… the final dress rehearsal for the panto here is tonight. i believe the people who aren’t going down early are having another rehearsal on monday, but the next complete rehearsal we’ve got scheduled for the panto is at OCF, a week from tomorrow evening before the fair opens on friday. i’ve still got to determine whether or not i’m bringing my saw. also i’ve got a pink bandana and a trumpet that i have to remember to take for katy.
tomorrow there’s supposed to be a banda gozona rehearsal, but it’s for a performance that i have to miss because of OCF, so i’m not sure whether or not i’m going to it. friday there’s the final BBWP rehearsal before the fire show the night of the fair opening.
as long as we hold it together, the panto this year has the potential for being the best show we’ve ever done. we’re doing a mash up of Red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs: they’re both fairly simple, short stories that have some similar characters – the big bad wolf, and the woodcutter, for example – and they’re both ripe for tweaking the plots a little bit (or a lot) so that they’ll fit together. of course we’ve got the standard gender bending and off-colour jokes which should go over the heads of the smaller members of the audience. if we don’t hold it together, well, it’s OCF, so the probability is very high that nobody will notice, or if they do, they’ll think we planned it that way.
the past three days have been spent going through just my inventory of incense with the price
gun labeler, individually pricing all of my incense. i plan on doing the same thing for the murtis as well, but they will only take a couple of hours. now i won’t have to fumble with a huge sheaf of papers when someone asks me how much something is, and i will charge the correct price for the things for which i can’t find the prices.
i got the flyers that i had printed for Edgewood Tire & Complete Auto Repair today. that’s another easy $200. i also got the paint pens that i’ve been waiting on, so either tomorrow or sunday i’m going to start working on Ganesha The Car Version 2.
moe and i are going to start the “cook once a month” thing again… tomorrow, i think. i was really happy with cooking once a month for the few months we tried it last year, but about october or so we didn’t do it, and are only just resuming the practice. for those of you who don’t know, it involves planning ahead to have a dozen or so recipes that you’ll make, buying a whole bunch of groceries, and spending an entire day doing nothing but cooking, packaging and freezing individual meal-sized portions for the entire month. it is a massively cheap way to do it, because you can buy a lot of the groceries at costco (we ended up spending about $300 a month, and that was with a couple of times going out to fancy restaurants), and it has the added benefit of freeing up time every other day of the following month that would have been used cooking for that day. quiche is among my favourites. and lentil soup. and now that we’ve got a medium sized freezer with new hinges (!!), we’ve even got a place to keep it all instead of having to limit how much we make because we only had a tiny freezer. 8)
Why I won’t buy an iPad (and think you shouldn’t, either) – enough said. Cory Doctorow is God!
host service bathroom
now that (touch wood) the host provider fiasco is behind me, at least for the moment, i can focus on much more mundane things, like the fact that today is the day when the contractor comes by to remodel our bathroom, take out the existing, but broken “garden” bathtub, and replace it with a new shower stall. pictures will be coming when the batteries on my camera are recharged.
i still haven’t gotten refunded by the old host provider, but it’s not that much, so if i don’t get refunded it’s no big deal, apart from the fact that it further cements in my mind the fact that they really offered some of the worst customer service i have ever experienced in my life (further information can be found here). the fact that the “support” guy who has been part of this whole deal from the beginning (and, oddly enough, is apparently the cause of the whole thing) is, according to his vehement ranting, "a Web API/Software Developer… I know these things more than you!", he apparently doesn’t even know enough to avoid logging in as root on his linux machine, which has been making a hair-tearing fiasco amusing enough that i’m actually pretty calm at this point. it would be nice, however, if all of these people were in the same time zone. the fact is, the “support” guy is in bangladesh, and the host provider itself is in virgina or some place like that, means that most of the “discussion” on the WebHostingTalk forums goes on while i am still asleep, and when i wake up and check my mail, i get riled up about what they’ve been saying before i’ve even had breakfast, which makes the rest of my day sort of interesting.
back to mundane stuff…
they haven’t picked up our trash for two months, ever since we switched to once-a-month trash pickup, so i called to find out what was going on. it’s not that we haven’t paid, either, because we haven’t gotten a bill in two months as well. in fact, they sent the bill on the 14th, and it’s probably already been paid, but that’s beside the point. when i called to switch to once-a-month pickup, they told me that it would be on the first thursday of the month. so i put the trash out and they didn’t pick it up, so i called and they said that they had made a mistake, that they would pick it up on the last thursday of the month. so i waited for 3 weeks, put the trash out, and – they didn’t pick it up… 8/
so i decided on another tack, and put the trash out every week last month. they picked up our recycling (which is most of our waste these days, fortunately) on the second and fourth thursdays, just like they’re supposed to, but they didn’t pick up the trash! 8/
so i called them this morning. they told me that the pickup would be on the first thursday of the month, then they changed their minds and said that it would be on the last thursday of the month. then, realising that they had just given me conflicting information, they said that they would check it out and call me back. about a half-hour later, i talked with the dispatcher for the company that covers south king county waste management, who told me that the real pickup date was the thursday of the first full week of the month. not only that, but she said that, because of the fact that customer service was confused about our pickup dates, our address was not even included on the route list that they gave to the driver, which is why we haven’t had a pickup in two months.
that’s all very well and good, i said, but the fact is that our trash hasn’t been picked up in two months, and i’m running out of space. so the dispatcher for south king county says that she will request a “courtesy pickup” (“for no charge”), since there was a screwup on their end. a half-hour or so later, i heard the garbage truck backing up, and fifteen minutes or so after that, i get another call from the dispatcher, who says that they tried to pick up the trash, but the can was too heavy and their driver couldn’t lift it. we have our own, 33 gallon container, which has to be loaded by hand, rather than paying the county for a 35 gallon container that the truck can pick up, and the driver has a weight limit to spare him having to lift heavy trash bags into the truck, so if i wanted our trash picked up, i was going to have to go down and “portion it out” into chunks that were small enough for the driver to lift.
so i broke it down into three garbage bags and the remaining garbage in the can, and supposedly they’re supposed to come back tomorrow, and of course, now that we’re back on the route list, the next trash pickup is supposed to be next thursday… 8/
i’ll believe it when i see it. meanwhile, if i reckoned correctly, we just paid a bill for $60 for the past two months… when, because of a screwup on their part, we weren’t getting any service at all…
grumble, mutter… and they wonder why i get upset about things like this… 8/
happy 4/20. i’d be consuming more holy vegetable, but i still am terrifically short of breath and coughing a lot as a result of being sick still. i’ve been vapourising a bit and even that has been causing me to cough. i suppose i could probably make some ghee or something…
they’re putting on a new roof, so that it won’t leak any longer. it’s only about two years overdue, but there’s no point in complaining about it now. the dogs are being quiet, in spite of the roofers right over their heads, making all kinds of noises which dogs would definitely find suspicious. we’ll see how long that lasts.
the $300 withdrawal from my bank account has had a band-aid put on it, but it’s still an open and sucking chest wound. at this point i’m done talking with people until i hear from the bank concerning my contesting of the charges. moe has taken over talking with the people who actually withdrew the money, and considering that i never actually signed anything, combined with the fact that the first time i ever even heard about an “early cancellation fee” was when i checked my bank account on thursday, she seems to think that there’s a more-than-likely chance that there will be a positive (for me) outcome. we’ll see about that, as well… 8/
maybe i’ll go to the fremont sunday market on sunday. one way or the other, i could really use a day of doing nothing but making money, and there’s a good chance, since i haven’t been there in a while, that fremont will be itching for some new incense.
i got another order on the web site, but no corresponding order from paypal, which makes me seriously wonder about whether or not i’ve got it set up right. it should be that you confirm your order on my site, and then transfer to paypal’s secure server to complete your order, and of the three orders i’ve gotten since the site upgrade, two of them have confirmed the order on my site, but not completed their orders on paypal’s secure server. i wrote to one of them, but she was located in the UK and never responded. the new order came in on friday, from a guy in california, according to the site, but i never heard anything from either the customer or from paypal, so i don’t know what happened. the next step is to write to the guy and see what happened.
i’ve got to get my tabs for ganesha the car. also, i have a fremont phil rehearsal this evening.
credit cards and firewood
i keep getting both closer and further away at the same time. i suppose the ultimate effect so far is that i’m getting neither closer, nor further away from going live with the new web site. i’ve arbitrarily decided that i want to go live with it around the middle of next month, but that’s an entirely arbitrary deadline and depends a lot on my getting past a couple of what appear to be impossible obstacles, only one of which i have the remote impression that i can fix. the optimist in me says that’s the reason why the business is named after the Remover of Obstacles, but the pessimist in me isn’t willing to concede defeat yet.
the other problem is a seemingly simple problem that gets worse once i actually got around to figuring out how to fix it: the total amount of the order in a customer’s shopping cart is transferred to paypal without any problem. i figured out how to get the shopping cart on my server to figure out the shipping charges without any problem, but when it switches over to the paypal servers, it somehow forgets to add the shipping charges to the shopping cart total, the result being that i would have to request that they fill out shipping as an extra charge again – which would make the customer suspicious, under the best of circumstances, and probably cost me quite a bit in sales, if nothing else.
to add to the problem, in a way that is entirely to my liking, but in a strange sort of way, i’ve actually got another incense order this week, which makes four in the past week (one of which i had to refund because it was made from a page that doesn’t really exist). i haven’t been talking too much about it because i don’t want to jinx anything just yet, but it seems like i’ve gotten far more business this year than i did during the same period of time last year. which means, of course, that the more i sell while i’m still getting the new web site ready, the more i’m going to have to update the new site when it finally goes live, because the amounts of product that i have at that time will be different than it was when i first entered it into the database. the longer time goes on after the database goes live, the less i will have to worry about discrepancies, but it’s likely to be a major headache the first couple of times i run out of product and have to cover my ass.
and that’s not to mention the fact that i’m getting more and more concerned about my relationship with paypal at all. it seems like when i first started doing business with them there wasn’t anywhere near the stigma that there is about doing business with them now. and, to top it all off, there have been things like PayPal Warning dot com, and feedback from people like the lady at the bank about paypal’s reputation suffering, frauds, ripoffs and other wonderful stuff that i don’t want associated with my business.
the obvious solution to the paypal problem mentioned above is to get a “real” merchant account from somewhere, get an SSL certificate – again, from somewhere, and who knows how i’m going to pay for it – and “roll my own”. there are a number of interesting alternatives, including ProPay, which requires that i limit my credit card transactions to $1,000 and has a $35 annual fee, along with the 3.5% + $0.35 per transaction fee, which i think is a bit much for me. there’s also National Merchant, which has no annual fee or signup fee, and has a “discount rate” which is $0.25 + “as low as 1.99%” – but there’s no obvious indication of how high that “discount rate” might go.
there’s also 2Checkout which i haven’t investigated yet, but i get the impression that it’s more of a replacement for paypal than it is a “real” merchant account. there’s also costco merchant credit card processing, which has no obvious way of connecting it to the web (is that what a “payment gateway” is? i’m still learning a lot of terminology for these sorts of things), and i understand that they pull your credit rating as a part of their verification process, which automatically makes your credit rating go down. and there’s also washington mutual, whose representative was way too ready to sign me up, assuring me that their merchant servies were the cheapest, and offering me $250 cash if they couldn’t meet or beat any competitor’s prices. the lady was eager enough to sign me up that i was a little suspicious of her motives. i said i would come back in an hour, but that was yesterday, and i didn’t come back.
instead i talked our neighbour into sharing their hydraulic ram firewood splitter and split the four big rounds of firewood that we’ve still got from last year into about the same amount of firewood that we already had. i figure i’ll go back on monday and actually talk with her about some of the details before i sign up with anyone.