Category Archives: pipes

average

rick has been transferred to the university of washington medical center, because he is not losing fluid fast enough to suit his cardiologist. they’re planning on keeping him for at least a week, and then who knows what will happen. he’s already collected a pile of boxes at the facility that he’s staying at in puyallup, and that’s not to mention the stacks of boxes that fill his actual home. he may go back to the facility in puyallup, or he may go home, but that’s all dependent on whether he gets the fluid out of his legs. i don’t know much, and it’s hard for me to find out about his condition, because, despite the fact that i have been providing a lot of rick’s transportation the past month or so, i’m not related to him, so the doctors won’t tell me anything… and what i do know makes me wish i didn’t even know that much. 😐

between the fremont philharmonic, and snake suspenderz, i actually have a total of 15 performances at the moisture festival… i remember when the fremont philharmonic alone had 20 performances (and it wasn’t too many years ago, either), but things have changed, and i’m really lucky to have as many as 15 this year. we’ve had one fremont phil rehearsal, and the fremont phil shows start in 3 weeks. the snake suspenderz shows start in 5 weeks and we haven’t had any rehearsals at all… which i think is probably a mistake, but who listens to me anyway? 😐

i plan on trying to make contact (again) with the two smoke shops in the tacoma area that have said they’re interested in buying bongs from me. at one – Kronik – the owners (a husband and wife) just had a baby a couple weeks ago, and they said that they were going to be open the day after, but i went down there a week later and encountered the guy, who was looking rather dishevelled and disorganised, and he said to contact him again in another week. the other one – Sinful Glass – the manager said that she had to talk about it with the owner, who had just changed the schedules, so there was some internal confusion, and she hadn’t talked to him the last time i called. both places have had a couple weeks to “settle into the new routine”, and i definitely think it’s time to harrass them again. 😉

also, i’ve managed to reconnect with barbara, who is someone i know from bellingham. she is still living in northport, and now i have a current email address and phone number for her. 8)

pzfthqgler

i re-evaluated my bong-making facility, and modified it somewhat to accomodate some additions to the glass-bottle-drilling area so that i can actually fill the bottles with water while i am drilling them. apparently being full of water “stabilises the bottle on a molecular level” and makes them less likely to break. i haven’t really noticed that much of a difference yet, because i’ve only actually tried it with one bottle, but if i can break fewer bottles than i have been so far, it will be an improvement. i went to another smoke shop yesterday, and they responded positively, but didn’t actually buy anything. they told me to call again today, so i’m going to do that later this afternoon.

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival again. the first rehearsal was supposed to be yesterday, but, typically, it got cancelled at the last moment. the moisture festival will be 10 years old this march, and it’s actually smaller than it was last year. last year we had shows in four different venues, and this year we’re only filling two venues. it makes me wonder what they’re planning on doing with all the $100 “donations” they got last year, that they said were going to make this years’ moisture festival “something really special”… 😐

the fremont phil has 5 days of performances, which is two less than last year, which was three less than the year before… and i’ve heard some “rumblings” from the powers-that-be in the moisture festival that they’re thinking of getting entirely new bands next year… nothing official, at this point, but the fact that it’s out there is something to shudder about.

on the other hand, snake suspenderz is playing (on stage) two nights, on which i am also performing with the phil, AND we’re also “subbing” for stuart’s band, the Super 8s, one night as “the pit band” or “the house band” or whatever you may call it… so that’s something.

rick has been going through hell recently. it started when i dropped him off at the emergency room of good samaritan hospital (the same one i did my rehabilitation in, after my injury). he proceded to almost die and is now recovering at an “assisted living facility” in puyallup: basically it’s one of those “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” places, where 95% of the population is never going to be released… but at the same time, if rick were to be released, the only place he has to go back to is so moldy that it’s very likely toxic, and rick has a self-admitted ambivalence toward living in squalor… i remember thinking, as i was moving the boxes of crap from rick’s storage place to his house, that i could very easily be contributing to a future episode of Hoarders… i want to help, but i’m not sure how much good it will do… 😐 i’ve been taking him to various different doctors’ appointments, when he can’t arrange transportation, but i don’t know how much more i have in me.

froward

i went on a “jaunt” today, to six “smoke shops” that i researched on the intar-toobs, and returned with one, solid “yes, sell me more!”, two “come back in a while/when the buyer is here”, two “i’ll pass, thanks” and one condescending old fart who wanted to pay half of what i was asking, and said he could do the same, because he had “a drill press and diamond tipped drill bits too”…

yeah, but i’d like to see how many you break or scar up in the process, mack… 😛

but the one “yes, sell me more!” was from a place that already had a lot of really good looking glass, and seemed fairly busy… he said he could get me a good deal on stems and actually gave me a “down-stem” to experiment with.

i learned a whole bunch of “new” terminology: the bongs i have been making have a “thumb-carb” which is considered “old school”. the “new school” way of doing it is to have what’s called a “slide-carb” which consists of a down-stem and a bowl. the rubber bit that goes between the bong and the down-stem is called a “grommet”, even though it’s not really a grommet. “thumb-carbs” are looked down upon by the younger folks, but us old-time hippies prefer them… 😎

acetocella

acetocella is the company that made Acqua della Madonna, a sparkling water that came in a gorgeous cobalt-blue teardrop-shaped bottle that i have been wanting to get more of, ostensibly to make bongs. the water is just sparkling water, nothing really special, but the bottle is a work of art…

although, if this photo, gleaned from googlemaps street-view, is any indication, acetocella may be out of business. i don’t really know what makes a place “no longer in business”, particularly in a case where that business is located in another country. if any of you out there have experience with this sort of thing, particularly in italy, could you tell me for sure whether or not this business is still in business, or whether it is an abandoned building that is being used for storage…

Acetocella

i don’t hold out much hope. i wrote to their “info @ acetocella dot com” address and it bounced almost immediately with a “sorry, no mailbox here by that name ” message, which is not a good sign…

don’t read this!

The Old Hippie over at Beyond Chronic has detailed instructions on how to make exactly the same bongs that i have been making recently… i want to say “great minds think alike” but i also want to make a profit with these things, and i can’t do it if everybody’s already out there making their own… 😐

ETA: here’s all four parts —

Part 1: Make Your Own Glass Bong for $37
Part 2: How To Choose Your Bottle.
Part 3: The Magic. And how to make it happen.
Part 4: How to smoke from your bong!

bother

i need the 3rd trombone part for a march that we are playing in the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band. i have searched all over internet for it, and finally i found a place that offers it for sale — by itself (i.e. i don’t have to buy the entire score) — but they only offer it through “digital print”, which is to say, i pay money, and they offer me a way to display it on my computer screen (i.e. “digital”) and supposedly print it once from my screen… which is fine, i can display it on my screen without a problem. the problem is when i come to print it, the software downloads, but then it flashes a message that says “There has been a download error. Do you wish to try again?” and doesn’t get any further than that. 😐 so i call them up, and tell them what browser i’m using and they recommend that i use internet exploder

hah… hah… 😐

apparently their software that prints from an adobe acrobat file is ONLY usable on “windows and mac OS”…

cool, i have a machine that runs mac os… unfortunately their software doesn’t run on that, either. so i try a windows VMWare box on my wife’s computer (which is a mac)… with internet exploder no less, but it doesn’t work there, either… 😐

so i call my friend rick, who owns an actual windows machine, with internet exploder, and ask him to see if he can get the software to print. after some seemingly encouraging preliminary tries with the software, i even went and picked him up and brought him back to my place so that we could use my printer, because he doesn’t have one… however, it turns out that it doesn’t work on a dedicated machine running exactly the right software, either.

when i talked to the guy on the telephone, he said that “digital print is a new application that they’re trying out” and that “it doesn’t work for everyone”… at this point, i would be surprised if it worked reliably for anyone, but that’s also taking into account the fact that, when i was a software tester, all i had to do was be in the same room with a test machine in order to make it malfunction in some unexpected and entirely un-reproducible way…

at the same time, i understand that sousa was one of the founders of ASCAP, and that he was one of the progenitors of what we now know as copyright law, but at the same time, it was my impression that most of, if not all of sousa’s music was in the public domain, so i don’t really understand why this company can get away with being the ONLY source of this particular 3rd trombone part… and also i really wonder why they can ONLY sell me a “digital print” version, but they can’t send me a printed copy or a .pdf file that i can print outside of their defective web-based program.


i looked online to find out if there’s anybody locally that carries acqua della madonna, which made the extra fancy blue bottle out of which i made a water pipe. apparently, “THIS BRAND HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED“. the company that makes it, Acetosella, has a web site that is entirely made out of shockwave/flash applications, and when you click their “Acqua della Madonna” link, they come back with “Pagina in costruzione”… which, considering that the bottle i’ve got seems to indicate that it was filled in 1999, makes it very likely that they no longer make acqua della madonna…

to me this is an indication of one of two possibilities: the first possibility is that i keep the bong water pipe for myself (which is extremely likely, since it is a very cute bottle-bong)… the second possibility is that i sell it for $75 pr more, because it is no longer made… which would be nice, but i don’t expect it to happen.

week end

i went to deliver 10 “bottles with holes in the right place” to the pike place pipe palace yesterday, and came away with $100 american dollars and the promise of more in 3 weeks to a month or so… which makes me very happy indeed. now i wonder how many other smoke shops in the area would also be interested. i don’t drink that much beer, but my impression is that i’ve got friends who work at hale’s brewery, and, if nothing else, i’ve also got a lot of beer-drinking friends who would be more than happy to let me have their recycling. all of this goes towards the ultimate goal of “drink beer, get paid”… or to put it less succinctly, but more accurately:

  1. drink beer
  2. make bongs
  3. profit!!

next step is to get the fancy ones on the web site… 😎

okay

so the idea that i had for art the other day has taken on an entirely new, and monitarily positive aspect…

but i should start from the beginning, since this is being told for the first time.

idea factoryi was sitting in my workshop the other night, and i had just finished a beer, and i realised: i have diamond-tipped drill bits, and a bench motor, and i know how to use them: it wouldn’t take much to take this otherwise useless empty beer bottle and re-purpose it for my own, moist, innermost desires… so why don’t i modify this beer bottle, and make an entirely new, “useful item” out of it.

so, i drilled a hole in the bottle, and rumaged around in the boxes of miscellaneous bits and pieces i have (quite well organised, mind you) until i found a glass pipe stem and a collet that the pipe stem goes through, that was left over from a water-pipe from years ago, which didn’t make it…

and i quickly discovered that i had drilled the hole in the wrong place, so, of course, i had to drink another beer, so that i could try it again. 😉

the second ideaonce i got it right — and verified that it was, indeed most exactly correct — i started casting about for empty bottles likely candidates, and quickly came up with the first idea, which turned out to be an empty bulleit burbon bottle… which is part of the hoard of empty whiskey bottles i have been inexplicably saving for about a year and a half, not knowing exactly why i was doing it…

now i know… 😎

i figure i can easily retail devices like this for $25 to $50, or wholsale them for $10 to $20 a piece. so, i went to the pike place smoke shop and told them that i could drill holes in bottles, and wondered how much they would pay me for finished beer-bottle water-pipes. they were very excited to learn this, and it turned out that i don’t even have to hand over finished water-pipes. they are just as happy to receive bottles that have holes drilled in the right places, so that they can put in their own doo-dads and mark them up the way they want. they said they would pay me $10 a bottle, for regular ol’ beer bottles, and left the door open for negotiation on “specialty” beer bottles… which i am assuming includes the antique grolsch bottles, the “Arrogant Bastard Ale” and the “Dead Guy Ale” bottles…the third idea

and it also means that the really fancy ones, like the bulleit bottles, and the fancy italian water bottle and stuff like that can be finished and retailed at my own web site for whatever i think i can get for them. 🙂

so i dug around and actually produced 10 “regular ol’ beer bottles” — although i’m not certain that they won’t take the “new” grolsch bottle and the “Hobgoblin” bottle as “specialty” bottles (to be honest, if they do, i DON’T CARE) and drilled holes in all of ’em… i actually drilled holes in 13 bottles, but i broke three of ’em, because i was being impatient and working with tools that were almost worn out… diamond-tipped drill bits wear out really fast when they’re used for a project like this. i figure ⅜" and ½" diamond-tipped drill bits are going to become sort of like #2 jewelers’ saw blades, in that i will always have a whole bunch of them, and about half of them are going to be worn out, or almost worn out.

now all i’ve got to do is alert my beer-drinking friends to save their bottles for me… 😎

Stanley says "chirp"
Stanley sez “chirp”