Category Archives: people

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.

🤬

bleah…

i’ve been under the attack of anhedonia and depression. my mushrooms have lost their potency: the last time i tried, i took 6 of them and they had, essentially, no effect at all. i connected with a person at SACBO — ranger’s connection — but she is only one step closer to the source… although she did mention that starter kits are available on ebay, and that they practically grow themselves, so that’s worth looking into.

part of the reason i have been so depressed is because of what i call the “political situation”: that is, drumpf and his latest atrocities. it just keeps on getting worse, and, when i think there’s no way he can get any worse, he blows the world away with the magnitude of his atrocities… and his republicon base of supporters get upset about a black disney princess and a pair of nike sneakers, but totally ignore the concentration camps and the gestapo Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids, not to mention the totally inept people, including his own children, he’s put in charge of such things as education, housing, healthcare and the environment. it’s literally going to take us 100 years JUST to fix his fuckups, and that’s not taking into account the fact that the world is already in a crisis mode. it’s almost as though everything i’ve ever fought for throughout my entire life has been eliminated by this orange babboon in less than 3 years, and replaced with climate-change deniers, corporate stooges, forced-birth and anti-vax controversies, and so-called “christian” love, which is only for the so-called “christians”.

drumpf spent $92 million, which he appropriated from the national parks department (🤬), on a “military parade” in washington DC, complete with tanks and a flyover by the blue angels and “airforce one” — which, of course, wasn’t “airforce one” because the #SCROTUS was on the ground, observing the flyover… and the tanks were stationary, because, apparently, if they had moving tanks, they would have destroyed the streets and damaged the lincoln memorial… but the only people who could view this were his donors, because everyone else had to pay to get in… and then it rained, HARD and everything was postponed. the photos and videos i’ve seen show a very few thoroughly wet people and drumpf giving a long, boring, confusing speech that one writer i read compared to having been written by artificial intelligence, and a retired admiral said that it was on the level of an 8th grade history lesson… and the live video feeds from the top of the washington memorial, and the lincoln memorial were inexplicably shut down and removed from the whitehouse dot gov address, apparently to cover up how few people actually attended this debacle.

so, basically, we, the american people, threw away $92,000,000,000 on an egotistical, childish, boorish, dictator-emulating orange rapist with the IQ of half a rock, instead of addressing the concentration camps, or the homeless issue, or the healthcare issue, or… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

as can be well imagined, despite my love for exploding things, i take little interest in such activities in celebration of this country, this year… which is, also, at least partially, because of the fact that we now have a dog who is totally terrified of fireworks, AND a next-door neighbour who is prone to setting off a ton of fireworks which ignite their lawn, and other suchlike wonderful things. 😒

OCF is 5 days away, and i’m hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst. by this time, we’ve usually had one run through, and have some rough idea of how long the show will be. this year, we’re nowhere close to that, despite the fact that we started out with a working script, which we created 15 years ago, when we did this show (Jack And The Beanstalk) the last time. and we’re still missing two songs, one of which is probably not going to make it into the show for OCF.

and, on top of everything else, MAD magazine is shutting down! PBLFLLT!! 😠

The PHBFH 😱

so, i asked liz, who has been connected with the management for folklife for decades, if she could tell me who to contact regarding the lady in the yellow dress.

it turns out that she knows her, vaguely… she (the lady in the yellow dress) is connected to a group of balkan dancers in the seattle area, and she might be married to a balkan accordion player. liz said that she might have even gone to the place of residence for the lady in the yellow dress.

i showed her a picture of the face of the PHBFH, and she confirmed that it was definitely the same person as the lady in the yellow dress.

she’s discretely going to find out more information and get back to me.

on the one hand, it will be good, particularly for ezra, to find out exactly what happened to his mother: the last time he heard anything was at least 3 and possibly more than 5 years ago, when she was being discharged from the state mental institution (she refused to take the medications that made her remotely sane). the doctors called him to find out if he wanted to take care of her. when he said he couldn’t, that was the last time anyone that i know of heard from her.

on the other hand… it’s the PHBFH… 😱

Margaret McKibben
Margaret McKibben
ETA: it turns out the lady liz knows is someone named margaret mckibben, and not the PHBFH… although they look and behave DISTURBINGLY… ALARMINGLY similar. 😕

the PHBFH

i saw someone who i believe to be the PHBFH today, at 11:41 am at the folklife festival, at the seattle centergrounds.

190526 The PHBFH
190526 The PHBFH

i’m not 100% sure it’s her, but i’m about 98% sure. i walked past her, on my way to play at the mural amphitheatre, and recognised her immediately. i’m not sure if she recognised me immediately, but when i tried to work my way around to a point where i could take a better picture, she recognised me and ran away, which adds to the probability that it was her. also she did a little ballet pose before she disappeared around a corner, which further adds to the probability that it was her.

when i texted the photo to ezra, he said that he wasn’t able to tell for sure, but that it looked “like her style”. he also said that it is unusual for her to be in the city without showing up at ezra’s home… or in bellingham… i also noticed that she was wearing what looked like leather boots, which is uncharacteristic for the PHBFH that i know, but not entirely out of the question, since it has been almost 30 years since i’ve actually seen her.

it was creepy seeing her… 😱

but she looked healthy, strong, and happy, which makes me glad.

dead people

andrew “sketch” hare 190404
kenyth freeman 190429
simon neale 190509

in the past 5 weeks, i’ve lost 3 friends. 😢

the next person to die should be me.

really.

i have a condition that kills half of the people who have it, and leaves half of the remainder SEVERELY brain damaged, but, for some reason, i’m doing okay. 😕

i need it. i deserve it. i’ve already cheated death once. i’m so totally fed up with being alive at this point… WHY is it them, and not me? 🤬

I can imagine myself on my death-bed, spent utterly with lust to touch the next world, like a boy asking for his first kiss from a woman.
     — Aleister Crowley, October 12, 1875 – December 1, 1947

this guy looks like me…

Young O and salamandir, 040619
Young O and salamandir, 040619
i’ve known about this guy for a while: his name is Howard Tayler, he is the author of the web-comic Schlock Mercenary, and he looks like me… or i look like him, or something like that.

originally, it was pointed out that i looked like him when i posted a (now deleted, but reproduced here) photo here, in january, 2006, and when i sent the same photo to howard, he said that it looked similar enough to him that he started going through his photos, trying to figure out where it was taken.

Howard Tayler
Howard Tayler
170307 burlesque show at the substation in ballard
170307 burlesque show at the substation in ballard

eventually he shaved his beard, and we didn’t look so similar any longer.

but, recently, he’s either grown a beard again, or has a very accomplished makeup artist that has fashioned an appliance for him, because, once again, we look similar — except now he looks even more like me… in fact, i get the impression that he may be trying to look like me!

it is very creepy…

Howard Tayler
Howard Tayler
salamandir, 180502
salamandir, 180502

here’s a pingback to his blog. maybe, he will have something to say about this odd coincidence.

No Revolution

No Revolution
by José Tirado

There will be no revolution so long as Netflix remains cheap,
No revolution while the Super Bowl continues,
And the bombs killing kids in Yemen get yawns.
There will be no revolution today,
Or tomorrow, since there is a big sale up the street,
And people are camping out the night before.
There will be no revolution because people are weary
And besides, Game of Thrones is ending
And Avengers: Endgame has taken all my hope quotient for this year.
There will be no revolution while people work 2 jobs
But can´t afford homes in their cities
And the countryside is too poisoned, too addled with meth
To worry about that stuff.
There will be no revolution so long as Teen Vogue has better articles
Than the New York Times.

There will be no revolution that poses for selfies.
There will be no revolution with kitten pictures.
There will be no revolution on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday as those are “holy” days.
There will be no revolution on Mondays because that would be asking too much.
There will be no revolution on Wednesdays because that´s hump day and people are
Getting excited for the weekend.
There will be no revolution while the Earth cooks since
If the “earth dying is not inspiration enough”
We´re fucked anyway.

There will be no revolution since guillotine makers are out of fashion
And nobody is angry enough to hold hands.
There will be no revolution now since Biden jumped in the race
And will probably take the word with him
Leaving Bernie fuming.
There will be no revolution because paying bills takes more of our time than reading.
There will be no revolution because Coachella with Bey is more riveting than
Talking to our neighbors.
There will be no revolution because no one has neighbors anymore.

There will be no revolution because the stars aren´t aligned for it.
There will be no revolution because Fox can´t say the word.
There will be no revolution at night because most people are too tired to drive.
There will be no revolution at noon because the days are getting hotter.
There will be no revolution since apparently “America is great again.”
There will be no revolution since no one saw the preview or billboards
Or heard anything on their morning drive to work.
There will be no revolution because the pamphlets aren’t printed in Spanish.
There will be no revolution while our guns are turned on each other.
There will be no revolution since “they” have bigger guns.
There will be no revolution since getting hurt would be too expensive
And my co-pay doesn´t cover “wounds inflicted in liberation struggles. “

There will be no revolution since many are too busy looking for 80% work.
There will be no revolution once we get 15$ an hour.
There will be no revolution since the rich tell us there is no need for one.
There will be no revolution because the economy is booming.
There will be no revolution since the only boom in our economy
Are bomb makers and bunker builders.

There will be no revolution since Jesus is coming anyway so it won´t matter.
There will be no revolution on Christmas, Hanukah, Eid or any other big holiday
Since people will be buying bullet-proof vests and hiring security
So they can pray safely to a compassionate God
To please, take away the need for a revolution.

oy! 😖

the continuing saga of the mailing list fiasco has reached a new plateau:

so, it started out that one of the subscribers to the list sent a message to the list that didn’t go through, for some unknown reason (demons).

when his message didn’t go through IMMEDIATELY — as he was used to them doing — he started looking around for other addresses, and he found two of them. one goes to the list owner, and one is a “machine only” address that sends bounce notices to the owner. it is not for sending email TO, and it is definitely not for sending mail to when your message doesn’t go through, because that triggers the MTA on the user end to blacklist your message.

i found out about this whole fiasco about 6 hours into it, when he sent mail to my personal address, asking me if there was something wrong. i noticed that he had sent mail to the machine-only address, and got blacklisted by micro$awful, so i wrote to the host provider to see if there was something that could be done to reverse the problem.

the host provider’s response was to accuse me (and my mailing list) of sending spam, and they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sending spam. 😒

they generously offered to set me up with a new IP address instead of arbitrarily closing my account, but the new IP address they gave me didn’t have a PTR (pointer) record, or a RDNS (Reverse DNS) record, which only made the machine that controls the email list mad, because usual mailing lists have a PTR and a RDNS record, and the end result was that i was blacklisted by a number of services with which i have been exchanging emails without a problem for years.

fortunately, these other services were ones for which i could submit delisting requests myself, which takes the host provider and their sensitivity about spam and spammers out of the loop.

nevertheless, i started losing patience, and i might have said some things in my communications with the host provider which ended up making things a whole lot worse, ending up with yesterday, when they asked me to move my web sites to a different host provider immediately.

at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, the PTR and RDNS records that they installed on my new IP address took effect, which meant that i can no longer send email from my local email client, because it’s not the same server that my VPN has been talking to for more than a year, and i lost it. i didn’t actually curse at them, but i did everything but that.

while i was in the process of figuring out that it was my VPN that was my primary problem, i had, simultaneously, to explain the mistake to the guy who sent the original message, re-assure the members of the mailing list who were trying — and failing — to send messages to the list that they weren’t actually the problem, despite the fact that their email addresses were not interacting correctly with the mailing list, and fend off the more and more insistent demands that i leave, immediately, from the host provider.

long story short, i didn’t sleep very well last night. 😠

at about 3:30 this morning, i finally wrote a letter to macque, saying that i was no longer able to host the web sites he has me hosting, i was no longer able to maintain the mailing list, and that i was retiring from the hosting business.

then i checked, once again, with micro$awful, and determined that I HADN’T ACTUALLY BEEN BLACKLISTED AT ALL!

the WHOLE THING had been caused by “demons” in the machine! 😖

and, to top things all off, we’re scheduled to go to the beach for a week, starting monday, which meant that, if i was going to move, i would have to find a new host and give them the information they need to move my web sites in 3 days, or wait a week, and do the same thing when i got back from vacation. both of these options made going on vacation TO BEGIN WITH not a very exciting prospect, and i was getting severely depressed about it.

and, to put the cherry on top, it turns out that sketch, the drummer for Snake Suspenderz, died yesterday, which made me even more depressed… primarily because he, being dead, didn’t have to worry about all the CRAP that has been going on in the world, while i, being not dead, had to deal with seven times MORE CRAP and had no say in the matter, whatsoever.

then, things started to get better… kind of…

the first thing that happened is that, when i told them that i would be moving my web site in two weeks, that micro$awful hadn’t really blacklisted my IP address, and that i had dumped the client that had caused the whole fiasco, they let up a little bit, and allowed that, since i had paid access until july, that i could stay until then. with a bit more discussion back and forth, they relented even further, and allowed me to keep my web sites where they are.

but i’m still giving up being a host provider for people who don’t know how it works, because it’s WAY too stressful.

so, in the end, i can go on vacation without having to worry about internet SHIT, either while i am on vacation, or after i get home; i will no longer have to deal with people who don’t know doing things that they shouldn’t do and feeling awful about it afterwards, and i won’t ACTUALLY have to move my web sites that aren’t going away anyway (which is an entirely different ball of wax)…

but sketch is still dead, which means that, either, Snake Suspenderz will break up, or that we will find a new drummer… neither of which are very attractive alternatives at this point.

hrmph!

i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.

during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.

i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.

and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.

now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

pat robertson should not be allowed to broadcast his hate on national television. it astounds me that he still has a platform… although it astounds me that people still go to church, so maybe i’m the crazy one here… although i would much rather be considered “crazy” than i would to convert to that sex-crazed mainiac’s way of thinking. seriously, i don’t understand why HOMOSEXUALS having sex the way they do threatens anybody, and certainly not to the depths of the fabric of society. the fact is, whether pat robertson likes it or not, people have been “doing sex” the “weird way” since long before pat robertson was around, and they’re not likely to go away just because pat robertson and his ilk somehow get a law passed. people like him would do well to pay attention when someone like, oh, i don’t know, Jesus Christ, maybe, says “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

it makes me wonder about the beam in pat robertson’s eye, particularly since he seems to be obsessed with “weird” ways of having sex. it makes me think that he might not be getting enough, himself. 😒

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex
by Rev. Dr. Guido Super DeLuxe, 190226
download here

The PHBFH again

i thought i had a picture of the PHBFH somewhere else in this blog, but apparently i don’t, or, at least, i don’t any longer, since i moved all of my photos out of livejournal, and out of flickr, a while ago, and if it were there, it isn’t any longer… and, to be honest, i did find this picture of the PHBFH in my old flickr folder, with a bunch of other photos that i took on 070515, when ezra graduated from college. ETA: it was here, and i haven’t looked at it for at least 10 years, which is why i didn’t notice when i removed the pictures from flickr and they disappeared.

070515 The PHBFH
070515 The PHBFH

i put these pictures of her on internet, despite her wishes for me not to do so, because nobody has heard from her in at least five years. the last time i know of anyone hearing from her was about 5 years ago, when ezra got a call from the doctors who had been “taking care of her” at the state mental institution in steilacoom, asking if he was in a position to take care of her. when he said no, that was the last anyone i know of heard anything about her. she was never too keen on taking “medication” of any kind apart from “flower remedies” and herbs that she bought from a local herb tea shop, so my presumption is that she refused to take her medications, and thus was ejected from state care.

who knows where she is now? 😕

The PHBFH

salamandir, the phbfh, ezra, 1989ish
salamandir, the phbfh, ezra, 1989ish

i don’t know who took this, or when it was taken, but my impression is that it was taken while i was working at evergreen station organic farm (pulling weeds), which would make ezra about 6. i really enjoy the look on ezra’s face. it’s clear that his parents may not realise it yet, but he knows what’s coming down, and it’s not good. 🤣

by the way, here’s a photo of the PHBFH on internet about which she can do nothing… 🤣

समाधि पीठ

sivaite samadhi peetham
sivaite samadhi peetham

i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old. possibly older, as i don’t have a great memory for these things, so i keep a list of when things happened. according to that list, the picture above was taken in 1991 or 1992. it was taken to honour the fact that i had just experienced sabikalpasamadhi (सविकल्पसमाधि) for the first (and only) time, on the banks of the skagit river.

jim robertson
jim robertson

i just got back from picking up 182 4″x6″ prints. there are a bunch of pictures of ezra, the PHBFH, randy, and ruth. there are a few pictures of other people, including me, and jim robertson.

there are also a lot of pictures for the legendary “Trash” issue of “Tina Magazine”, which was never published, as well as several pictures of the Tina literature which is now, suspiciously, for sale at Alta-Glamour.

now i gotta get started scanning them. 😉

more tina chopp

Alta-Glamour Inc. (Seattle, WA, U.S.A.) apparently has a whole pile of vintage Tina literature (which i do not have, which makes me kind of wonder exactly where they got it), including two by me, for vastly inflated prices… i wrote to the seller, saying that i was the original publisher of these items, and what did they think trying to sell my stuff for so much. their response was:

Our zine pricing often indicates the importance we ascribe to a certain item. People often look to our website to establish values of their collection items, and we want to demonstrate, through pricing, that we think these zines are culturally significant.

The price is therefore not necessarily what we can sell the item for, at least now. Our zines are priced to sell — in 15 years, when zines are even more significant and scarce representations of the creativity emanating into the world.

i guess i sort of understand where they’re coming from, but, as the original publisher of those items, i think it’s ridiculous to imagine that they’re ever going to get so much for them. especially as they make no effort whatsoever to acknowledge my work in all of this. i guess i would feel differently if they offered me a cut, and i would definitely feel differently if randy were alive… my guess is that randy would have already raised hell with them over the prices… but, then again, since their collection appears to include a ritual object, there’s an outside chance that they actually acquired them from randy’s father, after his death.

also, i am somewhat alarmed to learn that they have jim robertson’s publication mixed in, as though he was as prominent a Tinite as randy, ian or i. they say “A bullying joke gone too long, these guys are proto-alt-right trolls.” which indicates that they believe jim was connected with the Church of Tina, even though, by the time he published “A Snake!” he had been excommunicated for two years, primarily because of his hateful, politics-obsessed rantings, which is why his publication is “The Journal of the Last Rhythmic Tantrist Church of Tina Chopp (Heretic)”… can’t they tell that it’s an entirely different cult? 😒

ding dong – bush senior is dead!

george bush pin
I knew George Bush was lying from the beginning. Now we’re all stuck with him! READ MY LIPS!
i remember when bushy george was elected. after 8 years of reagan, i was beginning to develop a frightened “i don’t care” attitude about politics in general, but i knew at the time that this was a definite step in the WRONG direction, and several orders of magnitude worse than reagan.

i wasn’t wrong.

I Will Not Speak Kindly of the Dead. Bush Was Detestable.

George H.W. Bush Hagiography is the Elites’ Finest Accomplishment

George H.W. Bush Empowered Atrocity Abroad and Fascists at Home

bleh 11

#drumpf. 🖕 the less said about him, the better.

🍄 one mushroom yesterday. i went out for a walk and had pretty much the entire “trip” while i was out, which wasn’t very much. depression sneaking back in, but not in unmanagable amounts… yet… fewer mushrooms every time this happens, and eventually i’ll run out. hopefully i will have either wildcrafted, or obtained some more by then, but who knows… they are illegal, after all, even though my doctor counsellor recommended them… 😒

trolloween on wednesday. i’m doing sound effects, which means bullroarer “pre-show” and thunder for the first part of the show. nothing else, which means that i’ll be able to actually haunt fremont, for the first time ever… i’ve been a part of the show at the troll, and the dance afterwards many, many times, but i’ve never gotten to go on the haunt… mushrooms? it’s possible… but i think i’d have to find a place to crash in town, if so. i’ll ask macque…

so, in the realm of the computer, i’ve decided that, if i tiptoe around this version of kubuntu, it works 95% of the time. i have, literally, changed the way i interact with the computer interface, in order to prevent it from crashing on a more regular basis: kontact/kmail/akregator — which used to be a relatively stable part of the distribution — has become something which works if i DON’T do things like try to open links in akregator using the middle mouse button (right click and choose “open in external browser” works, though, which is annoying), or forward a message, about half of the time (which is something i do on a regular basis when i’m reporting spam). and kubuntu, itself, has got some annoying bugs which i don’t know to whom to report… which, in itself, is annoying… when i boot the computer, the desktop wallpaper appears to be set to “blur” around the background, even though when i look at the configure panel, it’s set to “solid color”, and when i set it to “blur”, nothing happens, but if i, then, set it back to “solid color”, lo-and-behold, it suddenly displays with a solid colour background. and, because of the fact that it’s part of the system settings, i don’t have the first clue who should get the bug report.

and i’ve, basically, given up on amarok. i love the interface, but the fact is, my music is on a disk that isn’t mounted at startup — because it is a NAS, mounted via WIFI — and amarok refuses to see it. i haven’t figured out how to get it to mount at startup, and it appears that the amarok user list is, for all intents and purposes, dead… which is really annoying.

on the other hand, i’ve figured out a way to play the music on my NAS from my phone, my tablet, and from the linux box, at the same time, using the same application, which is VLC media player. i don’t love the interface, but it’s definitely better than nothing, and the fact that i can play my music, basically, anywhere, without having to make copies of it, should make the copyright drones happy.

and i found the disks containing approximately 10,000 fonts, left over from when i worked in a print shop… and i can get around 90% to 95% of them to work on both my mac and my linux box, also from my NAS, which makes sharing documents a lot more reliable.

Trump’s Attack on Medicare for All Has Industry Fingerprints All Over It

Trump’s Attack on Medicare for All Has Industry Fingerprints All Over It
By Wendell Potter
19 October, 2018

Recently, the president decided to take a break from tweeting conspiracy theories to write an op-ed attacking supporters of Medicare for All. While engaging in what psychologists would probably call “projection,” he accused the Medicare for All movement of putting seniors at risk, rationing health care and trying to destroy the Medicare system.

I’m a former executive at two of the country’s largest insurance companies. I spent 20 years working in PR for Humana and then Cigna, rising to the level of vice president before I had a crisis of conscience. As a result, I know exactly how this op-ed came to be. The process doesn’t start at the White House. It didn’t include a careful review of policy, and it wasn’t an idea his staff came up with.

I can see the industry’s fingerprints on this op-ed from a mile away, because I was the ghost writer for many pieces just like it. During my two-decade tenure in the industry, every time an idea that would threaten shareholder profits started gaining momentum, my employer would decide we’d need to find a friendly and influential politician to carry water for the industry. I’d sit down with my communications team, create talking points, or even write a complete op-ed or speech, and then make sure our well-connected lobbyists got it to the right people.

And the industry won’t just go to Republicans. For instance, Ed Rendell, a Democrat who was formerly a governor of my home state of Pennsylvania and chairman of the Democratic National Committee, recently wrote an op-ed promoting several half-measures he claimed would be stronger reforms than single-payer health care, none of which posed a serious threat to private insurance. Currently, Rendell is affiliated with the Bipartisan Policy Center, which has regularly hosted organizations like America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). Meanwhile, so-called think tanks like the Pacific Research Institute regularly write Medicare for All hit pieces for Forbes and other outlets.

The purpose of these op-eds was always to mislead and scare people, because when the facts aren’t on your side, you have to find a politician who’s willing to obfuscate, misdirect and outright lie. It’s no surprise that the industry went right to the White House.

Many people were quick to challenge the president’s claims. Medicare for All would actually expand coverage for seniors currently on Medicare by covering dental and vision care and lowering drug prices. And contrary to Trump’s claim about rationing, the truth is that real rationing occurs in the US when people don’t seek treatment due to cost. It happens every day because millions of Americans are either uninsured or have such high deductibles they can’t afford to actually get the care they need. Medicare for All would eliminate that barrier.

Others have pointed out the hypocrisy. Since taking control of Congress and the White House, President Trump and his party have been engaged in a non-stop assault on Medicare, threatened patients with pre-existing conditions and tried to force through a plan that would have kicked tens of millions of people off their insurance.

Here’s the thing: I’m fairly confident that the president and his staff don’t actually believe that Medicare for All would threaten seniors. I can tell because Trump doesn’t use the national platform as an opportunity to lay out a vision to expand coverage, or protect people with pre-existing conditions, or manage drug prices or lower health care costs.

What the president does know is that a Medicare for All system is the worst nightmare of insurance and pharmaceutical companies. Right now, they have a virtually limitless ability to charge American patients, families, workers and businesses exorbitant prices, and they want to keep it that way. That’s why they have spent decades abusing our campaign finance system, pumping money into campaigns, hiring armies of lobbyists, and using a combination of political incentives and threats to push through legislation they like, making sure that any legislation that threatens to limit their profits never sees the light of day.

Now that the American people are starting to wake up to their scam, the entrenched special interests have decided to cash in their favors. And so, the president decided to parrot the talking points of his donors and their shareholders, no matter how much harm it will cause the American people.

Trump Tower board seeks nearly $90,000 from estate of art collector who died in 50th-floor fire

Trump Tower board seeks nearly $90,000 from estate of art collector who died in 50th-floor fire
By Meagan Flynn
18 October 2018

Six months after a fire in Trump Tower killed 50th-floor resident Todd Brassner, the building’s residential board is coming after Brassner’s estate for tens of thousands of dollars in unpaid common charges stemming from a lien on his apartment, according to a complaint filed Tuesday in the Supreme Court in New York County.

Brassner, a longtime Trump Tower resident who lived alone with hundreds of vintage instruments and an elaborate multimillion-dollar art collection, died April 7 after an electrical fire engulfed his apartment, which had no working smoke alarms. He was 67.

Now, with backing from a Trump Organization attorney, the Residential Board of Trump Tower Condominium is suing Brassner’s estate for more than $64,600 in unpaid common charges, an amount that includes fees accrued in the months after Brassner died. The residential board is also seeking a judgment of at least $25,000, bringing the total amount sought to nearly $90,000. Common charges are condo fees that typically include maintenance, utilities or other services. Brassner defaulted on common charge payments in June 2015, according to the complaint.

Brassner’s family members and executors of his estate, Heather and Aaron Brassner, could not immediately be reached for comment, nor could the attorney representing the board.

The fire at Trump Tower, where the president’s penthouse and the Trump Organization headquarters are located, captured wide attention in April both for Trump’s silence on Brassner’s death and for the lack of sprinklers in the building, a feature that Trump had lobbied against installing in the condos in the late 1990s.

Brassner moved into Trump Tower in 1996, according to property records. The son of a wealthy New York art collector, Brassner was described by friends as an “utter expert on Pop Art” who was “constantly swapping, buying and selling” and at the center of the action in the art world, as his friend, Stuart Pivar, told the Art Newspaper. Brassner ran with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd in the 1970s as he built his impressive art collection, including a 1975 portrait Warhol made of Brassner, which the Trump Tower resident valued at $850,000 in 2015.

He kept the portrait in his Trump Tower condo, along with a collection of more than 100 vintage guitars, $25,000 worth of banjos, about 150 ukuleles from the early 20th century, an organ, a Robert Indiana sculpture and artwork by Jack Kerouac — just to name a few items.

But over the years, he appeared to have trouble keeping up with the condo payments. Trump Tower’s residential board filed multiple liens against him between 2003 and 2013 for unpaid common charges, New York court records show. And in 2015 he filed for bankruptcy, which included listing all of the assets kept in his apartment. The condo was valued at $2.5 million.

At the time of Brassner’s death, friends told the New York Times he was in declining health and that he had been trying unsuccessfully to sell the apartment. Once Trump became president, resulting in omnipresent armed security outside Trump Tower, Brassner couldn’t seem to find a buyer, one friend told the Times.

“It haunts me,” Brassner’s friend Stephen Dwire, a musician and producer, told the paper. “He said, ‘This is getting untenable.’ It was like living in an armed camp. But when people heard it was a Trump building, he couldn’t give it away.”

Trump built the tower in 1983, when installing sprinklers was not required. In 1998, when two tragic New York City high-rise fires left several people dead, the city moved to begin requiring sprinklers in high-rises. But Trump opposed retrofitting his building with the sprinklers and lobbied to persuade city officials to drop a proposal that would have required them in older apartment buildings, as The Washington Post previously reported.

Some speculated that the April fire could have been mitigated had they been installed.

The New York City Fire Department ultimately found that the fire was caused by an overloaded electrical board. The Times reported that the building was equipped with smoke sensors, which is what alerted firefighters to the blaze.

In a statement on Twitter in April, Trump did not offer condolences for Brassner’s family but did brag about the construction of the building.

“Fire at Trump Tower is out,” he tweeted, before the fire had been put out. “Very confined (well built building). Firemen (and women) did a great job. THANK YOU!”

A month after Brassner died, a Trump Organization attorney filed a lien against the deceased man on behalf of the Residential Board of the Trump Tower Condominium, seeking at that time $52,000 in unpaid common charges since July 2016, according to New York City Department of Finance records.