Category Archives: people

depression art?

210617 stele progress
210617 stele progress
it has taken a really long time to get this far, and i have been going miserably slow, because i’ve had to source materials (and made some pretty dramatic “compromises” in order to simply get the project started… 😒), and because of other things (read “databases”) taking my attention…

AND because i’m being a perfectionist about it, and not being satisfied with the work that i’ve already done… seriously, there have been a couple of times when, despite the work that i’ve already done, i’ve thought about trashing the whole thing and starting over, because ONE TINY DETAIL is slightly askew, which nobody except the most hard-core thelemite would notice…

but, see, that’s the thing… i’m making this because I AM a “hard-core thelemite” (among other things), and, seriously, i want it to be as close to the original as absolutely possible, while, at the same time, being 40% smaller, and entirely made by hand…

AND, BUT, ALSO… a NEW CAR!! 😒 no, no, no… AND because i have been depressed enough that, even when i am doing nothing else, for EXTENDED periods of time, i have been having difficulty finding the motivation to work on it, and i kind of DON’T want it to turn into “depression art”, it being a spiritual piece, and everything…

what i am doing to combat depression:

  1. taking 100mg of bupropion every day. whether it’s doing anything or not remains to be seen.
  2. taking mushrooms occasionally, but not as frequently as i’d like (the most recent time was last tuesday, three mushrooms). along those same lines, i am still:
    • planning on growing mushrooms in the near future
    • got expert advice on call
    • got the spores
    • got the substrate: “Uncle Ben’s 90 minute rice — 90 minutes, perfect every time!”
    • got a still-air egg incubator
    • still need to find information about how and when to transfer from the sterile substrate to “growing boxes”
    • bought some size 00 capsules. am going to try grinding the mushrooms and putting them in capsules to see if i can standardise the dosage a little better. 😉
  3. read “Wired For Love”, planning on buying the book.
  4. convinced moe to read “Wired For Love” (she starts it this weekend)
  5. going as slow as necessary
  6. being as easy on myself as i can.

possibly other things i don’t recall at this time.

whether those things are actually having any effect remains to be seen. i’m afraid to think of what comes next if they’re not having any effect. 😒

whoah!

i learned something about our neighbours down the street… 😲

i’m not going to say who or what, but it explains some things, and i feel REALLY sorry for some of the members of their family. 😟

i hope they get what they need, soon, although, at this point, it doesn’t seem very likely.

updated 😒

because of the fact that they were, for the most part, MAGA chuds, and not real, honest-to-god terrorists, they didn’t do anything more than break a bunch of windows, urinate and smear feces all over the walls, break furniture, steal nancy pelosi’s stationery, and a bunch of other meaningless, mindless vandalism, and then claim that it was all ANTIFA’s fault (hint: it wasn’t).

oh, and one guy, who was trying to steal a picture (of tip o’neill), accidentally tazed himself in the balls and died, and a lady carrying a gadsden “don’t tread on me” flag, was trampled to death, bringing the death toll to five. 😒

the FBI has currently made around 80 arrests, with more, allegedly, in the offing, but the FBI is “having difficulty” identifying people like the “Q-shaman” and “Bigo”, whose identities and general locations i knew about two days ago, while the insurrection was still in progress. (“bigo” has, since, been arrested, and, my guess is that it won’t be too long until qshaman is also in custody)

it’s really a good thing that these people weren’t more organised or had a better idea of what they were going to do once they had stormed the capitol. there were a few of them that had sort of a clue; the right-wing social media was rife with people encouraging kidnapping, murder, and general mayhem, for at least a month beforehand, but there were a only few of the MAGA chuds that actually came equipped for such things. for most of them, once they had broken into the capitol, they had no clue what to do next.

pelosi has invoked the 25th amendment, and said that if trump’s cabinet won’t remove him, congress will impeach him, AGAIN… they PROBABLY won’t have enough votes to remove him from office (again), but he’ll go down in history as the only president ever to have been impeached twice.

ETA: trump’s cabinet is resigning, rather than invoking the 25th amendment. this points out that they knew they were wrong, even before this whole thing started blowing up. if their own base hadn’t screwed up so badly, they all would have gotten away with it! #ImprisonALLTheMotherFuckers!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

ETA: donald trump’s personal accounts have been banned from all social media. not only that, but apple and google have given parler (the right-wing twitter alternative, for people who have been banned from twitter) an ultimatum: either put together a realistic moderation policy or be banned from downloading. this, of course, caused a run on parler, and it’s currently offline all together.

it’s too bad they couldn’t have done this four years ago…😒

ETA: moe gets vaccinated next week. nobody knows when i get vaccinated. they say “may – december, information on phases 2, 3 and 4 coming soon”. “people experiencing homelessness” get vaccinated in april. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

sigh

5 weeks after the election, and #drumpf still hasn’t conceded.

his final “legal” attempt to overthrow the election, an attempt by texas to challenge the votes of other states, was rejected by the supreme court today, because it was ridiculous, and he still hasn’t conceded.

126 republican state representatives signed an amicus curiae statement that supported the idea of throwing out SEVEN MILLION legal votes, which makes their continued existence as republican state representatives a violation of amemdment 14, section 3 of the US Constitution…

and he STILL hasn’t conceded…

i don’t think he’s going to concede.

i think we’ll have to drag him out, by his heels, kicking and screaming. 😒

creativity…?

i recorded the tuba part for a collaborative effort to create the panto 2020 “Welcome Song”, but since we can’t actually meet to rehearse, we’re recording the parts, which, presumably, will be together enough that they will be able to be combined together, and then emailed to the people who have come to the pantos in the past.

i experienced the clarinet part, and the “click track”, which was kiki playing the song on the ukulele and singing, along with a metronome. without the click track (which, i’m assuming is the ultimate goal), the clarinet part and the tuba part ended up staying together… mostly… and the times when it seemed like we were going to lose the beat, miraculously, found the beat again in a lot less time than it would have taken if we had been in a live rehearsal.

but it’s really weird playing the tuba part without all of the other parts, only knowing that they will be put together at a later date.

Heirophany
Heirophany
there’s a possibility that thaddeus and i are going to resurrect “Heirophany”, which is me playing the harmonic flute and twiddling with electronic gadgets, and thaddeus playing guitar, and twiddling with electronic gadgets. we released a 12 minute long single — with a fantastic cover, which is a picture of a ‘cello on fire 😉👍 — a couple of years ago, and then didn’t do anything else, but, at this point, we can do it “socially distanced”, and i’ve even been thinking of designing a mask for the harmonic flute, anyway, that will make it so that i can play when it’s windy… only, now, it’s so that i can play while i’m masked… and it’s something where we can play for other people, and, potentially, make some money at it at the same time.

#drumpf still hasn’t conceded, and his lawsuits are getting tossed out as fast as he can file ’em, but, ultimately, i think he’s going to try to make an end run around losing the popular vote and the electoral vote by “declaring” the election invalid, refusing to accept the results, and going to the supreme court (which he has stacked with sycophants) to make the final decision. he has made statements within the past 24 hours that include “just get rid of the ballots”, and “there will be no transition”, and “biden can’t enter the white house without proving that his ballots are legal”, which don’t make it sound particularly like he’s intending to go anywhere. and, while i would like nothing better than to watch as he was dragged out by his heels, kicking and screaming like a three-year-old having a tantrum (which, i have no doubt, would happen, if it came to that), i seriously doubt that any president that comes after that would have any chance of pulling the country back together again any time within my lifetime, i don’t care who he is, or how fast he impliments universal health care and universal basic income.

201111

Trump Tees Up a New Type of Coup: In Plain Sight
by Ted Rall, 201111

Donald Trump revolutionized political campaigning. It was by accident. Because he was too lazy to prepare for or memorize a stump speech, he ad-libbed his rallies; TV networks gave him $2 billion worth of free airtime because something he said might prove newsworthy. Because he was cheap, he made appearances at any random dump that would have him for free; he used the money he saved on big data research that paid off handsomely.

Now the president is attempting to revolutionize the art of the coup d’état.

Leaders of broad-based movements who want to overthrow an existing government usually agitate for revolution in plain sight. The activism of a popular front attracts new recruits.

A coup is the opposite of a revolution. Unlike revolutionaries, who need the masses to succeed, coup plotters require secrecy. A coup is usually carried out by a very small group of insiders. Coup schemers are not interested in, or have concluded that they cannot, obtain popular support. They do not seek to transform society. They simply want power. It is an attempt by a minnow to swallow a whale.

Without the protection of millions of adherents and operating outside constitutional norms, politicians and/or military men who plot a coup must take over the government by surprise. Leaders of the outgoing regime have to be in prison or dead, and thus powerless, before their supporters realize that their nation has been seized by a small faction. A coup d’état is over before it begins in the event that some element of the conspiracy comes to light before the zero hour. The classic example of a failed coup is Operation Valkyrie, the 1944 attempted assassination of Adolf Hitler and overthrow of the Nazi government of Germany by a group of military officers. The plot unraveled when Hitler survived a bomb attack and went on the radio.

Successful coups include the 2004 overthrow of democratically-elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti, whom the CIA kidnapped and spirited away to the Central African Republic, whose president Ange-Félix Patassé had himself been deposed in a coup a year earlier, the Taliban-supported takeover of Pakistan by General Pervez Musharraf in 1999, and the bizarre 1993 self-coup by Russian President Boris Yeltsin, who illegally shelled and dissolved parliament.

All of these events seemingly came out of nowhere. By contrast, Donald Trump is laying the groundwork for a coup attempt in plain sight.

Defying tradition, Trump is still refusing to concede the election since the Associated Press and other media organizations called the race in favor of Joe Biden on Saturday, November 7th. Without presenting evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing, he has filed several lawsuits challenging the legitimacy of the vote count.

Most top Republicans are supporting Trump, or remaining silent and refusing to congratulate Biden. Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took to the floor of the U.S. Senate. “President Trump is 100 percent within his rights to look into allegations of irregularities and weigh his legal options,” said McConnell. “Let’s not have any lectures about how the president should immediately, cheerfully accept preliminary election results from the same characters who just spent four years refusing to accept the validity of the last election.”

Asked whether he planned to congratulate Biden, Ron Johnson (R-WI) replied: “Nothing to congratulate him about.” Even as world leaders called to acknowledge Biden’s win, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said: “There will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.”

Roger Stone, the political adviser and loyalist pardoned by Trump, previewed the possibility of a post-election military takeover in September. If Trump lost, Stone said at the time, he ought to declare “martial law,” invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807, nationalize state police forces and round up critics and political opponents including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, “the Clintons,” and journalists because they’re involved in “seditious activities.” On November 2nd Stone said Former CIA Director John Brennan, Former FBI Director James Comey and other former officials who offended Trump “must be tried and convicted of treason” and then “they must be hung by the neck until dead.” Stone is still tight with Trump: news just broke that the president had the IRS wipe away Stone’s bill for back taxes, which totaled $1.5 million.

Attorney General William Barr, following Stone’s recommendation, ordered the Department of Justice to investigate irregularities and improprieties in the election.

In order to enforce martial law Trump would need, and has, widespread support among the police. He would also need the military. Though inherently reactionary, active-duty troops have moved away from the president in recent months. So he is replacing top Pentagon brass with compliant loyalists likelier to follow his illegal and unconstitutional orders.

On November 9th Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who refused to deploy troops against Black Lives Matters protesters in June. “In my experience, there would only be a few reasons to fire a Secretary of Defense with 72 days left in an administration,” Representative Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and an official in Obama’s Pentagon, said. “[One] would be because the President wants to take actions that he believes his Secretary of Defense would refuse to take, which would be alarming.”

“Two White House officials said later on Monday that Mr. Trump was not finished, and that Christopher A. Wray, the FBI director, and Gina Haspel, the CIA director, could be next in line to be fired. Removing these senior officials — in effect decapitating the nation’s national security bureaucracy — would be without parallel by an outgoing president who has just lost re-election,” reported The New York Times.

In a major, unprecedented transition-period shakeup, policy chief James Anderson, intelligence boss Joseph Kernan and Esper’s chief of staff Jen Stewart have also been fired from the Pentagon. Anderson’s replacement is retired Army General Anthony Tata, a nutty far-right white nationalist who called Obama a “terrorist leader,” said Islam was the “most oppressive violent religion I know of” and used a racist slur against CNN host Don Lemon. He will do whatever Trump wants.

What’s going on? Stupid impetuous drama? Or a real coup?

If it turns out to be a coup, it may well prove that teeing it up in plain sight improves its chances of success. Trump’s supporters, disproportionately prone to violence and more heavily armed, are watching and waiting. They can only pitch in as paramilitaries or freelance goons if, like the rest of us, they see the dark days ahead.

Then Trump’s coup becomes a counterrevolution.


Coups For Dummies
by Clay Jones, 201111

On November 10, 2016, President Obama hosted President-elect (sic) Donald Trump in the White House. Vice-President Joe Biden hosted vice-president elect (sic) Mike Pence in the VP residence. First Lady Michelle Obama gave a White House tour to Melania Trump. Today, it’s November 11, 2020, and instead of inviting the future president of the United States to the White House, Donald Trump is hiding inside his bunker in denial he lost. What makes this even worse is that he has enablers. These enablers are helping Donald Trump thwart democracy.

Republicans are pointing out that Democrats whined about the 2016 election. This is true. I whined. I didn’t like the results. I still don’t like it. But while I said the election was tampered with and Russia meddled, I never said any ballots were fraudulent. No Democrats opposed the transition of power. Today, the Trump administration is not allowing a transfer of power.

The Trump Administration could still pursue legal challenges over the election while allowing the process of a transition to happen. That would be in the best interest of the nation. Instead, offices are not being created for the transition, funds aren’t being released, and the next president isn’t even being given security briefings. These were all acts afforded to Donald Trump when he was the incoming president (sic).

The United States condemns leaders of other nations who refuse to leave office and give up power after losing fair elections. Now, our leader (sic) is refusing to give up power and is hiding inside his palace sending his minions out to help him stage a coup. Donald Trump has not been seen since last Thursday.

Mitch McConnell is supporting Trump’s legal challenges even though there isn’t any evidence of massive voter fraud. Lindsey Graham is telling Trump not to concede. McConnell and Graham both won their Senate elections last week but neither one of these two men refused their opponent’s concessions.

Ted Cruz says allowing the media to declare the winner is not how we do it in America. Except, he was more than happy to accept the media’s declaration of a winner in 2016. He was more than happy to accept their declaration in 2018 when he won reelection to the Senate.

When asked if he had congratulated President-Elect Joe Biden yet, Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, whose state went for Biden, said he doesn’t have anything to congratulate Biden for.

Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana said, “We have got to allow our courts to hear these allegations of voting irregularities by the president.” You may as well allow the courts to hear allegations of lizard people running our government too because you have just as much evidence of that as you do of voter fraud.

North Carolina’s Thom Tillis was finally declared the winner of his race yesterday and he said about the presidential election, “Every vote legally cast must be counted.” Who says they shouldn’t? Who says they haven’t been counted? Guess what. Tillis didn’t stop his opponent from conceding saying, “Every legal vote must be counted” bullshit.

Isn’t it fucked up that right after you elect someone, that they make a pronouncement against democracy and fair elections?

Attorney General William Barr is releasing the Justice Department’s legal hounds to fight Trump’s loss in the courts. Trump’s personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani is holding press conferences outside dildo shops claiming the election was stolen from Trump.

It’s funny Democrats stole the election for Biden while simultaneously losing the Senate and seats in the House. It’s also funny that it hasn’t occurred to any of these Republicans claiming fraudulent ballots, that they also have their names on those “fraudulent” ballots. If we’re going to wipe out who won the election, that should also mean we wipe out all those Republican victories. Should we wipe out McConnell’s, Graham’s, and Tillis’ victories?

Each government department is being told to prepare their budgets for next year as though the administration will still be operating. As if they’re still going to be in town and not all applying at Fox News at the same time. And Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the nation’s top diplomat has said there will be a “smooth transition…to a SECOND Trump administration.”

What the fuck? The top diplomat or the world’s leading democracy is telling the world we don’t obey election results anymore. Pompeo said the eletion has not been decided. It has LITERALLY been decided.

Can you imagine the outrage if instead of conceding the election the day after, Hillary Clinton had refused to admit defeat, mounted legal challenged, and claimed the election had been stolen? Can you imagine if instead of inviting Trump to the White House, President Obama had refused to release transition funding?

In Michigan, Trump beat Clinton by 10,704 votes in 2016. In 2020 in Michigan, Biden beat Trump by over 146,000 (and still counting). In case you’re a Republican, 146,000 is greater than 10,000.

In Pennsylvania, Trump beat Clinton by 46,765. In 2020 in Pennsylvania, Biden beat Trump by over 48,000 (and still counting). In case you’re a Republican, 48,000 is more than 46,000. Now, Trump is suing to overturn the election in Pennsylvania.

As the counting continues, Biden is heading for a 306 electoral vote win. That’s the exact same amount Trump won with in 2016. How are they going to win the presidency by overturning one state without any actual evidence of election fraud? They would need to overturn more than one state. Maybe they can do it in Georgia where the two GOP senators are calling for their own Republican Secretary of State to resign because they don’t like that his count shows Donald Trump is losing.

This is banana republic type shit here, people. This is a coup attempt. Maybe people like Pompeo are just trying to appease Trump for now. Maybe Pompeo is a coward. He wants to appease Trump’s base for when he runs for the Senate in Kansas or even for the presidency in 2024, if Trump doesn’t. Or maybe, he’s afraid of being fired two months before he’s scheduled to lose his job. Trump is already lashing out and firing people.

Maybe people like Mitch McConnell, John Kennedy (not the good one), Lindsey Graham, Marco Rubio, Thom Tillis, and Ted Cruz are all just big, fat ass kissers. Or…they’re trying to steal an election and are engaging in a coup.

I predicted before the election that Joe Biden would win… but I did not predict he’d take the White House because I was afraid the Republicans would try to steal the election. Even before the election, Trump said the only way he could lose was if there was corruption and voter fraud. Boy, did I call it or did I call it?

We know this about Trump supporters: They are all cowards. They have made their party into one of a cult. They put one man before their nation. They are putting one man before democracy. They don’t care if they turn our democracy into a dictatorship.

The Trump administration will NOT legally continue, but the resistance must.

and, as we all suspected…

#drumpf is refusing to concede, has directed the attorney general william barr to “investigate substantial evidence of voter fraud” (despite the fact that their IS NO evidence of voter fraud), and is refusing to turn things over to a transition team. mitch mconnell and mike pompeo have both stated that they support a second #drumpf term. he’s fired a whole bunch of people within the last 48 hours, including directors at the pentagon and the FBI, and replaced them with “loyalists”. 😒

this despite the fact that biden won the popular vote with 50.8%, compared to #drumpf’s 47.5%, and is projected to win the electoral vote with 306, which is the largest difference since the 1930s.

biden says he’s “dissapointed”, but doesn’t think legal action will be necessary. 😒

if this isn’t a blatant attempt at a coup, i don’t know what is. if this happened in any other country, the US would send in the marines to ensure a democratic government emerged. 🤬

we’re going to have to drag him out of the white house by his heels, kicking and screaming like a child having a temper tantrum. 😒

p.s. (he’s NOT the president of the united states, and never has been.) 😒

and then, there’s also this:

so…

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.

good. 😒

1½" diameter buttons
1½” diameter buttons
pins & buttons
pins & buttons

then, on the other hand, there’s moe…

moe has added the “famous author” rôle to her ever expanding list of hats, since her (groundbreaking) book on animal behaviour came out. she’s been travelling, on average, once a month, to various different conventions and conferences, plugging her book and her “new” way of treating animals… which is, basically, “do unto others as you would have them do to you”, with modern branding.

but this whole COVID19 pandemic has put a wrench into the works, and all of the conferences at which she was scheduled to speak for the next 6 months cancelled, which left her with a significant gap in her income. never one to be put down for long, she and a few friends (all of whom had never done this before) decided that they were going to put on a virtual veterinary conference.

seems logical, right?

and, literally, EVERYBODY she talked to about this idea was in favour of it, to the point where she has major corporations paying for top-level speakers so that they can get a plug in the program. and when i say “top-level”, i mean, for example, monique got a call, out of the blue, from Temple Grandin, who had heard about her idea and wanted to help.

all this happened around the middle of march.

the virtual veterinary conference started today. moe is giving 4 hours of talks, as well as handling IT problems — they had an app built for the conference. the developers said they could easily handle 10,000 end users. the conference currently has just over 700 users and systems are blowing up EVERYWHERE. they estimate that 25% of registered users can’t login to see the conference live (they’ll have access to recorded content, so it’s not an entire loss, but…). fortunately, moe says all the presenters can log in, so the stuff will get recorded, but she also says that the developers’ solution to this was to “reschedule for next week”, which IS NOT going to happen with a conference that is already in progress

so, it’s almost as though moe has gone away for the weekend, even though she’s right across the hall from me, at this very moment.

UPDATE: it’s now 2:30 pm, all the speakers have spoken for today (because they’re on eastern standard time), and they got off to a rocky start, but it got better, and they were able to do the second half of the show without a hitch.

tomorrow moe gets to be temple grandin’s “wing man”… 👍👍👍‼‼

snerk…

in other news, i just purchased YakBoy dot net, which was previously owned by some random person in japan, and before that, was owned by my younger (by 10 years) brother, the former co-author of the “Seattle Geekly” podcast, and a registered nurse…

i wonder how long it’s going to be before i receive a “cease and desist” order, or something like that, and have him demand that i return his “intellectual property”… 🤣🤪

🤬

#drumpf is still “winning”… demolishing sacred native burial grounds and tossing 70 million people off of SSI and SSDI so that he can build his ill-fated wall; dr. stabby, cruella devos, and a whole range of people who have never done anything in government being appointed to important positions of power in the government; endless war in the middle east; not taking a presidential salary, but taking more golf excursions than the past 4 presidents COMBINED, despite a campaign promise that he wasn’t going to play golf; muslim ban; climate-change; etc., etc., etc., etc., ETC…. 😒

but all we hear about, TODAY, is the fact that flerfer “Mad” Mike Hughes died in yet another attempt to take his home-made, steam-powered rocket up to 5000 feet so that he could photograph the “lack of curvature”…

as though the news that some crazy person dying while trying to prove the impossible is, somehow, more important news than the distaster immediately destroying the planet… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

anhedonia… 😒

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.

i’m sick of life. 😒

i wish it would end. 👎

calm… i hope no storm…

the past three full days now, i have gotten SIGNIFICANTLY less spam than normal… like, normally i’ll get anywhere from two to six DOZEN spam messages a day, and, since saturday, i have gotten, maybe two dozen total

i’ve been blocking ranges of IP addresses in argentina and peru and china and india and denmark and kazakhstan and iran and lithuania and brazil and germany and LOTS of ranges for russia, and luxembourg and vietnam and turkey and indonesia and romania and the UK and georgia (the country, not the state in the united states), and nigeria and egypt and cambodia and myanmar (and that’s only up to the 45.0.0.0/8 range) like a mad fiend, for about two months prior to saturday… and all of those places are places from which i have never received email that was not spam…

literally, i’ve been blocking JUST ranges connected with the 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ “bitcoin porn sextortion” scam since october 4th. 🤬

maybe i’ve finally caught up with the script. i’ve got 1,043 filter rules, and a fair portion of them are IP ranges…

but it feels weird… nobody has complained that they’re not getting important emails, and the false positives that have been coming through are usually either dealt with by changing “contains” to “matches regex”, or by deleting rules that i don’t need any longer… like the one for the .mp TLD, which was giving me false positives all the time because of mailchi.mp, which, while spammy, is not universally spammy, and, as far as i can tell, is the only NON-spammy use of the .mp TLD… but i decided that, instead of figuring out how to rule out legitimate use of a spammy TLD, i just started banning the countries that the spam was coming from…

but it feels weird… i’ve been on edge for a couple of days now, and i’m pretty sure it’s directly related to my relationship with the computer and the ‘net… 😒

but not entirely related… i had a pair of blue sunglasses that i got before i went to oregon to busk, a few months ago, and i lost them about a week ago. since then i’ve been losing a whole bunch of other things — keys, tools, credit cards, that sort of thing — and i’ve been finding them again, usually in the same day, sometimes within the same 15 minutes or so… but i haven’t been able to find my sunglasses, and it PISSES ME OFF because the reason i got them, primarily, was to help aleviate some of my depression, and they have worked ADMIRABLY for that purpose… and i remember thinking, if i put them… wherever it was that i put them… 😕 and left them there for too long, i would probably not remember where they were, the next time i looked for them… 😒

it’s possible that they’re somewhere around the house, but i’ve looked at least three times in every place i can think of, and quite a few that i couldn’t have thought of in a long time, and have nothing to show for it except a much cleaner house. they’re not in the car, as far as i can tell, nor are they in my tuba case, or my tuba bag.

moe is going away for a few days — travelling for stuff related to her book — starting friday, which means that i won’t be able to go busking. and then panto starts (shudder) saturday: two shows, and two shows on sunday, which means that i won’t even be here to take care of the pets for significant portions of both days… fortunately, i’m picking her up at the airport after sunday’s shows are over.

and, on the unicycle side of things, i think i am actually learning to ride the unicycle… i have been consistently riding, in a “more-or-less” controlled fashion, in a marginally straight line, without falling over, half to three-quarters of the way across the gym, for two weeks now. and, i just got “certified” to come in and use the gym for practicing unicycle on days that we’re not having class, so i actually have a place to practice.

i should update this thing again…

the most recent thing is that i have “volunteered” to help make the artwork that is going to be used for this year’s panto: the program cover, poster, postcard and banner. i put “volunteered” in quotation marks because it was presented as a fairly straightforward job that has turned into a nightmare of emails between me and norma, on one side, and leah and the steering committee — who pretty much don’t know what they’re talking about — on the other side… which i would very definitely NOT have “volunteered” for, if i had known about it ahead of time.

it started with me and norma. we, plus mimi, produced the artwork for last year’s panto (to great success, i might add), and we started out to make it largely the same…

then leah got involved. leah is the “publicity manager” this year, and she has very specific — if not outrageously wrong — ideas about how the artwork should appear. leah also set a deadline of october 3rd for all of this to be done, so that i could send it to the printer so that we could have posters and postcards by the first week of october.

on the first round of feedback in which leah was involved (third week of september), one of her “suggestions” was

Remove the Fremont Players website and keep the brown paper tickets (if people google us, they will find our web site)

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

she also wanted me to remove the fremont players’ graphic logo, remove the year, reduce the amount of text, and “integrate other stylistic suggestions from the steering committee”, who, like i said before, have NO CLUE what they’re talking about.

so, norma and i ignored about 90% of their suggestions, did what we could to placate leah (including taking the graphic logo off the front of the postcard and putting it on the back, faded behind the text so it’s “not noticible”, and, after a few more “back-and-forths” which didn’t include leah, we came up with what we thought was finished artwork.

meanwhile, on october 1st, leah wrote to me, asking how much it would cost — PER POSTER — to print them. this is a very complex question, which has a different answer based on whether you are using a small, local print shop (like the kind i worked in for 20+ years) or a large, nation wide printing house (like the kind i use these days), and if you are using a large, nation wide printing house, how much posters cost depends on whether you want a small number or a large number.

i tried to explain this to leah, but she was more concerned with the fact that

If I’m reading this correctly, 150 posters cost $210 but 250 posters cost only $40 more and ordering 4000 postcards is $465 but 5000 is $125 cheaper??

to which i responded “that’s right.”

i know, it’s weird, but it’s how large, nation wide printing houses do business, and it appears to work for them. you can’t get different specific-size jobs unless you’re willing to pay more than you would if you get an amount that the printers produce, which is usually more than you want, but “per poster” it comes in WAY cheaper than if you get a different, specific-size job.

so, she approved the artwork on october 2nd, and on october 3rd, she said that i should hold off on contacting the printer, because she wanted to see if it was possible to get an exact size job for a cheaper price.

to which i responded

yes, you can probably get cheaper prices from somewhere else, but keep in mind the quality of the printing i provided last year: posters on 100lb gloss stock, and postcards on 16pt gloss stock with UV coating. i’m pretty sure you’re not going to get anywhere close to the same quality anywhere else, for anything close to the prices i have quoted.

which was ignored… 🤦

a couple of days later, she wrote asking for the high res files, because she had found a “digital printer” (read “photocopy shop”) who would do EXACTLY the size job she wanted for half the price (on much lower quality paper, but she doesn’t know the difference).

so i uploaded them to dropbox, and washed my hands of the whole deal. 😒

it turns out that she had something printed — i still don’t know whether or not she used the correct files (if i had actually been there, and she had shown up with printing from the wrong files, i would have walked out and never gone back… 😒), but my guess is that either she didn’t use the correct files, or she whipped something together in microsoft publisher (or something like that) and used that instead.

then, on october 9th, i get a request for more changes to the postcard. apparently, now, they actually want the date on the front of the card.

i respond by telling maque that they have the high res versions of the artwork, and that they are welcome to make whatever changes they like to the card, BY THEMSELVES, because i am done with this job, and there is a very good likelyhood that i will not be available to “help” again next year, or going forward, because i felt like it was too much work for too little actual gain.

then, yesterday, i get a call from chris huson. he wants to meet me to discuss why i am so upset with the printing process. actually, he SAYS he wants to “discuss further changes” to the postcard, but i nip that in the bud right away.

i explain exactly what i (and mimi and norma) did, and exactly what leah did. i show him emails from leah. i show him the finished artwork — which he says doesn’t look like what leah had printed. i explain about the confusing pricing, and the quality differences, and how none of this seemed to make a difference to leah.

it turns out that leah actually asked chris to take over managing the artwork portion of the job. given what chris already knew about leah, and about the fact that i was upset about the way this whole thing was working out — AND because chris is on the steering committee AND the board of directors, he made the executive decision to take over managing the production of the artwork.

he’s coming over tomorrow to finalise the “already finalised” artwork, to talk about run amounts, and the schedule of when we might have things.

——

from the time i was born until the time i finally escaped my parents’ house, when i was 20 or so, the primary message i received, over and over, was that i was not good enough, that i would never BE good enough, and that, unless i worked VERY hard at “being normal”, nobody would ever like me.

it wasn’t always very subtle, but that was the underlying message, regardless of what i did: they said they were “proud of me” when i won awards, but they refused to do anything to help me win more awards, and shot me down every time i thought i might be able to succeed at doing… pretty much anything…

and when i wasn’t winning awards for playing trombone, or doing magic shows, i didn’t even have a name: i was “the crummy child”. oldest by 6 years of four children, the other three of whom were born two years apart, starting when i was 6, then 8, then 10, when they got old enough to realise what was happening, my siblings called me “the crummy child” as well. when my first younger sister was born, i quickly faded into the background. after that, the only times anybody noticed me was when i was winning awards or when i was getting into trouble.

——

this whole business of working with leah brought all that back in one fell swoop: regardless of how good the art was, it wasn’t good enough. 😠

it has begun to be worked out, now that chris is more involved than he was before, but i’m still quite shaken, and stirred up (at the same time) by this whole fiasco.

seriously…

i put a notice on hybrid elephant’s contact form, a few months ago:

PLEASE NOTE: This contact form is solely for the use of Hybrid Elephant customers who need to get in contact with us. Every message that is sent with this form includes a unique IP address in the header, which identifies the computer from which the message was sent. If you use this form to spam us, all you will accomplish is to put your IP address on the list of IP addresses which are PERMANENTLY BANNED from accessing Hybrid Elephant for any reason. Please DO NOT USE THIS FORM to send us advertisements or solicitations. It WILL NOT WORK! You have been warned!

this morning i received spam from the contact form, which said “my apologies for reaching out cold like this, just trying to see who I can help.”

if you’re really interested in helping, there’s a snail-mail address, AND a phone number posted on the same page as the contact form — which contains the warning mentioned previously. there’s absolutely no reason why you could not have called me on the phone, or written me a snail-mail message, instead of using our contact form SPECIFICALLY for something that i have warned you NOT to use it for.

not only that, but the header indicates that you’re one of those suckers who bought into the spam that has been going around recently, which says that you can send your spam through contact forms, because they’re already approved. i know this because your return address is to a server in scottsdale, arizona, but the message was sent through 105.235.192.0/21, which is located in nigeria. not only that, but the domain name you registered is hosted by microsoft, and registered at godaddy, both of which are known, notorious spam havens, despite what they may say in their advertisements… so your domain name also goes into my spam filter.

congratulations, spammer: you have successfully participated in BLOCKING yourself, your domain, and a /21 range (2,048 individual IP addresses) in nigeria. you will never again be able to access any of my domains, for any reason, any email that you send to me will go unread, and there is absolutely NO WAY i will ever use your “instagram marketing” service… primarily because i do not now, and never have had an instagram account, and i do not intend to open one in the future.

which you could have found out just as easily over the telephone, and you wouldn’t have blocked yourself. spam doesn’t work. give it up.

🤬