Category Archives: places

it’s already almost halfway through january… 😒

moe is going to orlando on saturday. we finished with the panto last weekend, and, yesterday, macque tested positive for COVID, which means that he likely was exposed at the panto. moe sez she’s going to wear her mask religiously, except for when she’s drinking water, but… i was potentially exposed to macque, and moe was potentially exposed to me, and nobody will know anything until she’s already in orlando. we’ve arranged for a puppy-sitter to take quill (the new puppy), so that i won’t have to deal with an un-trained seven-month-old puppy, which is a good thing, because i actually have a paying gig on saturday (the day moe leaves for orlando), in georgetown, and, with moe in orlando, a puppy would put a severe strain on my ability to perform successfully.

i harvested around 15 dried grams of wavy caps from my experimental mushroom patch, and, as far as i can tell, the mycelium has grown into the ground, which means a much higher possibility of more wavy caps, if not soon, at least next year. dare i say, this is a long-term project that appears to have gone right, for a change.

the license plate in question

221010 BREATH license plate
221010 BREATH license plate

i went to bellingham on saturday. i left maple valley around 10:45, made it to bellingham by 11:30, picked up the license plate and dropped off a bag of weed for darol (i figured he deserves it, considering how many bags of weed he has given me), and made it out to ken and kamala’s new place on hannegan by 12:10, left there around 1:30 and drove down chuckanut on my way home.

and i’m pretty sure that the “old curse of bellingham” (the one where an old indian chief is reputed to have cursed the people that come to bellingham, that they will never be able to leave) is a superstition, because i have no more desire to live in bellingham. i have friends who live there, and it will always be a place i USED TO live, but i have zero desire to move back there. in spite of everything i’ve been complaining about recently, and my state of depression, i would still rather be where i am, than in bellingham.

the story of the license plate…

in 2019, shortly after faddlefum died, i was in line to inherit one of his license plates, which said “BREATH”. my recollection is that francie and i discussed it several times, and i was supposed to pick it up (or have it mailed to me) by the end of july, but i got caught up in stuff, and didn’t contact her until october, at which point she said she had given it to someone else.

i was friends with kenyth for decades, but i don’t know francie more than in passing: she worked with kenyth before i met him, but she moved out of town (new york, or something, is my recollection), and came back and got married to him until after i had moved out of bellingham, when kenyth already knew that he had alzheimer’s.

i figured that it was because she didn’t know how much kenyth meant to me, and went on with my life, DRAMATICALLY disappointed in the choices kenyth made about a life-partner, and without much motivation to be in contact with her in the future…

and that was where it stood until a couple of days ago, when i got email from francie, saying that she is getting ready to move and came across kenyth’s license plate, and would i be interested in having it.

and, it turns out, it is a VERY GOOD THING i didn’t say something about the fact that she told me she gave it to someone else, because the process of getting back to her involved discovering that gmail is blocking messages from hybridelephant AGAIN, which had me calling kamala to see if she had a phone number for her, and, in the process of explaining the whole thing to kamala, she mentioned that francie had the license plate on display in her house for the past couple of years. maybe i’ll mention it after i have it in my hands.

i can understand if she’s a grieving widow who doesn’t want to give away something that reminds her of her husband (even if he was her husband for a relatively short period of time, kenyth had that kind of effect on some people, particularly women)… but i DO NOT understand telling me that she had given it to someone else, and then putting it on display in her house.

nevertheless, i’m going to bellingham tomorrow, to retrieve the license plate from her. she says she’s having an “open studio” tomorrow evening, in bay street village (which is where the PHBFH lived when i first moved to seattle to go to the tech school), and it will give me a chance to see ken and kamala’s new place… and i might stop by and say hi to darol, as well.

before the mushrooms kick in…

#drumpf is in the midst of impeachment, but it doesn’t appear to be making a whole lot of difference (thus, the mushrooms), but there have been some good things happening.

i have been getting A LOT of incense orders: 13 since the first of october, compared to 5 or fewer per month from january to september. also, i’ve gotten more orders from england and germany, since the first of october, than i have in the entire year previous. i still don’t entirely know what’s happening, but the end result is that i’ve now got more than $4,000 in my hybrid elephant account… which is somewhat startling…

191102 moe
191102 moe
last weekend, moe and i took a mini-vacation to san diego, for one night. ostensibly, moe had to rack up enough airline miles to qualify for “gold status”, because she has been travelling A LOT recently — mostly because of her newfound notariety as the author of a revolutionary book on animal behaviour — which, naturally, means that i have to stay at home and look after the pets.

seriously, folks… i’m married to a famous author! this week, she’s staying at a hotel in times square! it’s probably about as close to famous as i’m ever going to be! 😎

so moe decided that she would find a pet sitter and we would go off on our own (which i really appreciate). she chose san diego because she has been there before, and i haven’t, but i realised that san diego is the home of not one, but two outlets of the Village Hat Shop, which is where i bought my red fedora, and it is also home to the naval amphibious base coronado, which is a building shaped like a swastika.

i saw where it was when we were flying in, but i didn’t actually see the building because we were at too shallow an angle, and you pretty much have to be directly overhead to actually see that it’s shaped like a swastika…

so we flew to san diego to go hat shopping. i bought a pork pie made out of paper (a paper pork pie), and exhibited a great deal of self restraint becauuse i really wanted to take home about half the shop.

we actually stayed on coronado island

Hotel del Coronado - you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.
Hotel del Coronado – you see that large, famous, historic hotel over there? where we stayed is right behind it, in the Glorietta Bay Inn.

we stayed in a hotel room that is so “far above our station” that i almost got a nosebleed. 😉

and we flew home the next day, which was sunday.

i went busking yesterday, which was good, despite the fact that we only made about $20 a piece for 2 hours of busking. today i took two packages to the post office to ship out, and went to the dispensary, where i spent it all on weed and weed-related products.

and no w m y jmushrooms have kikckedk in ahd i heeed to be g oijn go ut for a wal,,k oris oemething lll…. 😁

420 update

i’m getting closer and closer to divesting myself of all of my web hosting clients. i’m hoping that my last day of hosting anybody except me, and people directly related to me (i.e. my wife and son) will be 190430. i’m still trying to get two domains off my server, and then there will be one, which i don’t know whether they are going to find a new server, or whether they are just going to let it die. either way, it’s SEP and i don’t have to worry about it…

although i am… 😒

we came back from the beach. it rained a lot. i planned on taking mushrooms, but it rained, so i didn’t. i did spent a lot of time sleeping… and other passtimes:

190408 drawing
190408 drawing

like drawing…

190408 picture
190408 picture

although the dog moved by the time i took the picture…

and, given that it’s the first time that i’ve drawn anything other than doodles since my injury, i kinda like it…

then, we came home, and went to a concert by The University of Washington Harry Partch Ensemble, with authentic Harry Partch instruments:

190413 Harry Partch Instruments
190413 Harry Partch Instruments

the instruments are the Cloud Chamber Bowls, the Adapted Viola, the Adapted Guitar III, The Kithara II, the Spoils Of War, the Bass Marimba the Harmonic Canon, the Surrogate Kithara, the Diamond Marimba, the Marimba Eroica, the Koto, and the Chromelodeons I and II

190413 Spoils Of War
190413 Spoils Of War

a close-up of the Spoils Of War, with the Cloud Chamber Bowls in the background, and the Diamond Marimba in the foreground

190413 Modified Viola music
190413 Modified Viola music

it’s STANDARD NOTATION!!! just sub-scripts and super-scripts to define the microtones and the rythmn… i never would have guessed… but, at the same time, when you’re already working with music that is THAT DIFFERENT from what we, in the west, think of as “normal”, i suppose it’s a lot easier to not have to learn a new way of notating that “abnormal” music, as well…

it turns out that the current Harry Partch Foundation is located at the UW, and all of his instruments are housed there. again, i never would have guessed, but… wow.

i told monique, when we walked into the concert hall, that they had not played a note and i was already ecstatic.

i started my third session of my circus class. it’s a “basic circus skills for handicapped adults” class — mostly people with parkinson’s — but, because of the fact that i took to unicycle, i started a unicycle class, as well:

190419 my very own unicycle!
190419 my very own unicycle!
at first, i borrowed a unicycle from one of monique’s co-workers, but it was too short, so i went on craigslist and bought an almost-new, used unicycle, that was exactly the same size wheel but a longer seatpost, that is now my very own, personal unicycle.

i have this vision — my training from the flybottle class would say “fantasy” — of what i want to do with the unicycle: there’s this guy, in portland, who is known as “The Unipiper”. he rides around portland, on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for a long time. i’ve got all the necessary materials to make a flaming tuba. all i have to do is learn to ride a unicycle, and i can be “The Tubacyclist”.

i hope to be relatively stable on the unicycle by OCF this year. i’m GOING to do this! 🐉

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. 😒

comings and goings

we got back from hawaii on friday, the 22nd. this morning, at 9:00 am, i took moe to the airport so she could fly out to las vegas, where she will be until wednesday. i think the dogs may have an inkling that she will not be returning today, but when they know for sure, they’re going to be PISSED OFF!!

we got to o’ahu on the 13th:

180613 first honolulu sunset
180613 first honolulu sunset

our plane landed, we were met by micah at the airport and whisked away to dinner, which was poke and pork chops. then we proceded to the Diamond Head Beach Hotel & Residences, on Waikiki. the next day we went to the honolulu zoo and were given a private tour of their veterinary facilities, and went to kaimana beach, which was on the same block as the hotel, which is where monique took a picture of me on the beach:

180614 salamandir on kaimana beach
180614 salamandir on kaimana beach

the bright green rash guard would come in handy in the next few days. we went snorkling at kaimana on friday, and i was still getting my feet under me (figuratively speaking), which meant that i was pretty exhausted when we went in, and wasn’t particularly ready to take on an activity that was guaranteed to exhaust me even further. i didn’t do too badly, but i was glad to have a piece of clothing that differentiated me in the water, so that i could be rescued more easily, if necessary.

after we went snorkling, we went on a dolphin swim at dolphin quest, which was exciting, but kind of sad at the same time. i’m sure that if i (and, by that, i mean moe) weren’t so educated about animal behaviour (and dolphin behaviour, specifically), it would have been a lot better, but, as it was, there were a lot of cues that weren’t followed through on, and the dolphins were basically offering behaviours that weren’t getting rewareded enough that they were getting confused. we did get pictures, though, and most of the other people didn’t even notice.

180615 salamandir and dolphin
180615 salamandir and dolphin

also, friday was my friend, and long-time band-mate Howlin’ Hobbit‘s birthday, so i went out and bought a postcard, and sent it to him.

180616 kahalu'u
180616 kahalu’u

180616 waiahole poi factory
180616 waiahole poi factory
on saturday (which, coincidentally, was International Sea Turtle Day) we went to the “north shore” to see “the property”, which, if everything goes the way micah has planned (which is still quite questionable), we may actually be living there one day in a few years. it’s all pretty much a secret, now, though, so i may have to take this photo down. we also visited the waiahole poi factory on king kamehameha highway, just north of “the property”.

we, then, proceded to drive around the north shore, where we saw the coincidental sea turtle. the photo tag says that it was at wahiawa, but i don’t think it was there, and i’m not sure where it was, because i was totally lost at that point.

180616 sea turtle
180616 sea turtle

on sunday, moe and micah took off to do some veterinary-slash-“property”-related stuff and i was left on my own to wander through downtown honolulu, and buy an authentic hawaiian aloha shirt:

180618 salamandir aloha shirt
180618 salamandir aloha shirt

naturally, i bought the most seizure-inducing colour pattern i could find. 😉 so, on tuesday, moe made me go out and buy shirts that weren’t so seizure-inducing. but before then, on monday, while i was wandering around in honolulu, a valet from some fancy hotel, out of the blue, asked me if i knew where he could get dimethyltryptamine, which, he said, was because i looked like a hare krishna devotee…
180619 salamandir waikiki
180619 salamandir waikiki

180618 diamond head hotel from kapiolani park
180618 diamond head hotel from kapiolani park
180618 kapiolani park from diamond head hotel
180618 kapiolani park from diamond head hotel

i wanted to mark up the following pictures with “we stayed here” and “here is where i took the picture from” circles and arrows, but, once i looked at them, it seems pretty obvious. this is the diamond head hotel & residences from kapiolani park, and the park from our hotel room.

figure it out for yourself. 😉

on tuesday, i went out and bought four other aloha shirts that were not so seizure-inducing. i paid $65 for the seizure-inducing shirt, which, apparently, was a pattern that they don’t produce any longer (big surprise), which increased its value. on the other hand, i bought four shirts for $35 from a thrift store (savers, also known as value village), including three “vintage” shirts that were actually made in hawaii (one was an original “Hilo Hattie” shirt with coconut shell buttons), which should have increased their value, and one that was made in korea.

on wednesday, we tried to go snorkeling at hanauma bay, but, even at 9:00 in the morning, it was so crowded with tourists that we were turned away even before we were able to drive into the park, so we went down the road a few miles to waimanalo beach, which was totally deserted…

180620 waimanalo beach
180620 waimanalo beach
because of the stinging jellyfish
180620 waimanalo beach
180620 waimanalo beach
but there were a few kids who had ignored the signs and were going in the water anyway. we were too smart for that kind of jazz, though, so we went back up the road a couple miles, not quite to hanauma bay, to the HURL facility at the Makai Research Pier, where we actually were able to get in the water and snorkle around for a couple of hours. i did a lot better, this time, and didn’t scare moe so much. 😉

although we did have an unfortunate incident at the end, involving a pile of shit that was not-very-deeply buried in the sand in the same vicinity that we left our non-snorkeling clothes which disturbed us a fair amount when we discovered it… 😠

thursday was our 20th wedding anniversary. we checked out of the hotel, and went to micah and shaya’s place, hung around for a while, and then went to the Honolulu Museum of Art, had a beer at the BeerLab on university street, had dinner at the sunrise restaurant, and came home.

i didn’t sleep very well on the red-eye that we took (approximately 5½ hours, with approximately 1 hour of actual sleep). we arrived home on friday, had a “recovery day” on saturday, and then, this morning, i drove moe to the airport so that she can fly out to las vegas.

travellingnillevart

on wednesday, 180613, one week from today, moe and i are leaving for 10 days in hawai’i, in celebration of 20 years of wedded bliss.

in other words, we have been together twice as long as was predicted by my mother-in-law on our wedding day. we’re now looking for a new place for her to live, since she is in the process of being kicked out of the home that she’s lived in ever since moe was 16. i hope she remembers her prediction, some day. 😕

it will be the first time i have travelled away from the continental united states, my first trip to honolulu, and only the second time moe and i have flown together. fortunately, we’re not going to the same island that is currently spewing vog and laze everywhere, but we are going to visit micah and shaya, whose wedding was the first time moe and i had ever flown together.

i contributed to the building of the kadavul temple on kauai, but the first public tour of the temple is the day we return, 22 june, so i won’t get a chance to see it, which is sort of a disappointment.

on the other hand, micah has connections in the marine mammal world, and has arranged for us to swim with dolphins, and get a private tour of the honolulu zoo, while we’re there… and, rumour has it that he’s tracking down a half ounce of hawaii’s finest for me, because of the fact that, despite the fact that both washington and hawaii are medicinal cannabis states, for some reason they don’t have a permit-sharing plan that would allow me to bring my own cannabis with me.

i guess i’m supposed to be excited about this… maybe i am. who knows.

wononskopomuc

Thonotossasa, FL 160530
Thonotossasa, FL 160530
i got an incense order, today, from lakeville, connecticut. lakeville is in the vicinity of two lakes which rival puyallup for odd native american place names: wononskopomuc, and wononpakook.

for a long time i was under the impression that puyallup was about as strange a native american place name as you could find anywhere… then i encountered thonotosassa, florida, and now this

wononskopomuc
wononskopomuc

whoosh

tomorrow i’m flying to santa rosa for a friends’ wedding. we’ll be back sunday. this will be the first time that both me and moe have travelled together on an airplane. moe has travelled by herself quite a bit, and i have travelled some, but we haven’t done so together until this weekend, when we are flying home from santa rosa, by way of portland.

before may of this year, i haven’t flown anywhere since i went to san francisco with the big bois with poise in 2012. before that, it was in 1998, when i flew to boston for training at software dot com, pre-openwave. it’s been a matter of choice, as well as the fact that i couldn’t have afforded it, even if i had wanted to travel somewhere.

so, since may, i have spent more time flying places than i have in almost 20 years.

i still can’t afford it, mostly. in spite of that, it’s kinda cool and kinda scary, especially since, this time, i will be transporting 500 corsage pins (in my checked luggage) for my "fellow travellers"… 😉

finally…

so, i made it to orlando and warrensburg and i got back without too much difficulty.

i got to orlando, and went to Wonder India, which is, truly, an international warehouse of all things india. not just incense, but packaged food products, housewares, clothing… if there is a local indian shop in the united states, it is probably supplied by Wonder India. the guy who i have been working with, one Karan Manglani, apparently quit his job without telling anyone, and i don’t know what’s going on with their “[email protected]” address, but i got the name and phone number of the guy who i’m supposed to call. i haven’t yet called him, but i will soon, ’cause i’m running low on aparajita.

then i went to joe’s house, but joe wasn’t there and his partner looked like he had just woken up (it was fairly early in the morning), so i went to the beach, which, for orlando, means “out of town”. i headed east, and saw signs pointing to cocoa beach, which i’ve heard of, so i headed that way, but i took the wrong exit and ended up in titusville, instead of cocoa. titusville is the home of the world-famous canaveral national seashore, and, as it was still fairly early, nobody except a few naked people were present on Playa Linda, where i meditated for a few hours.

canaveral national seashore 160524
canaveral national seashore 160524

then i had dinner at the world-famous “Dixie Crossroads” in titusville, which was okay seafood, but it didn’t hold a candle to west-coast seafood. even ivar’s has approximately equivalent food. makes me wonder, a lot…

dixie crossroads 160524
dixie crossroads 160524

i went to epcot with joe the next day. joe is an old man, which is saying a lot, because joe and i are the same age. it’s kind of like rick: i keep on thinking that they are the same people i knew a long time ago. they are, but they’re both a lot older now, and that means that they’re not in the best of health. i am also not in the best of health, because i have experienced a brain injury, but apart from that, i haven’t suffered the ravages of old age like my friends rick and joe have.

EPCOT, actually an acronym that stands for Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow – which i didn’t know, previously, was laughably outdated. the exhibits looked almost exactly like they were made in and for the late ’70s or early ’80s, and the geodesic dome wasn’t anywhere near as big as i had envisioned.

EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with faux “northwest native” decor
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — with a minimum of tourists
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “german” village
EPCOT 160525
EPCOT 160525 — “chinese” village

it was really good to see joe again, and we made arrangements to have dinner before i left.

Joe Zimmer 160525
Joe Zimmer 160525
joe and salamandir 160525
joe and salamandir 160525

i had planned on spending a week in orlando, but with joe not being as available as i had first assumed, i was left with a few days that were, essentially unacounted for, so i spent the next day traveling to saint petersburg to visit a friend of monique’s, and her husband, who live in a hippie paradise, and had the cannabis that i was, by this time, severely lacking to make my trip tolerable. we also went to the dalí museum, which was OUTRAGEOUS!!! i saw the originals of the following artwork, and A LOT more. 8)

Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln - Homage to Rothko (1976)
Gala Contemplating the Mediterranean Sea which, at 20 Metres Becomes A Portrait of Abraham Lincoln – Homage to Rothko (1976)
Lobster Telephone
Lobster Telephone
160526
160526

the tourist map that was provided by the hotel was printed upside down, i.e. “north” on the map was printed at the bottom of the map, as you held it upright, which i didn’t figure out until the day before i left. it was terrifically confusing, because i drove what i thought to be “south” on the map, for most of the day, before i ended up in Eustice, which is north of orlando, and i could not, for the life of me, figure out why until after i had returned to the hotel. joe informed me that this is because “tourists don’t want to go north from orlando”, but my impression is that orlando, generally, is a city that is one, big, enormous strip mall, from one end to the other, and anywhere would be preferable. seriously, i only found one indian restaurant, a hare-krsna related joint that was vegetarian, and closed. i’m relatively sure that there are other indian restaurants, but… come on, orlando… really??

on the other hand, orlando has some really cool stuff, which includes lizards (which i was unable to get photos of, despite the fact that they are endemic), trees that look like this:

160530 orlando
160530 orlando

and plants that grow in peoples’ front yards which look like this:

what is this plant? 160530
what is this plant? 160530

and wild birds that look like this:

what are these birds? 160530
what are these birds? 160530

all of which was very interesting, and would have been moreso if i had remembered to bring, or buy once i was there, sunscreen… unfortunately, i didn’t think to do so until the day before i left, which meant that a lot of my meanderings were at night, which means fewer photos.

puyallup” is no longer the most confusing place name i have ever experienced:

Thonotossasa, FL 160530
Thonotossasa, FL 160530

then, i flew from orlando to kansas city, missouri, where i rented a car and travelled to warrensburg, missouri. the first thing i noticed was the traffic lights in the middle of what would, ordinarily, be a freeway… and what appear to be “state highways” that, apparently, have names like “AA”, “BB”, “OO”, “X”, “Y” and “PCA” with no logical progression.

i met rosemary, my great-aunt, who i have never met “IRL” before, which was an interesting experience, essentially being included in her extended family, simply because we are related.

salamandir & rosemary 160531
salamandir & rosemary 160531

we actually had the time to go to Tightwad

Tightwad, Missouri - 160601
Tightwad, Missouri – 160601

and Racket

Racket, Missouri - 160601
Racket, Missouri – 160601

and we went to the (abandoned) Marshall Cemetary outside Knob Noster, to visit my great-great-grandparents’ graves

Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Marshall Cemetary, Knob Noster, Missouri 160601
Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862
my great-great-grandfather, Charles Walter Hammond, died June 9, 1862

i also went to visit John William “Blind” Boone Park, in warrensburg

John William "Blind" Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO - 160602
John William “Blind” Boone Park, Warrensburg, MO – 160602

and i also visited the Johnson County Historical Society, where i got even more information about my great-grandparents and my great-great-grandparents.

then i flew home

Mount Rainier, from Kennewick - 160603
Mount Rainier, from Kennewick – 160603

i returned

i returned yesterday. yesterday was mostly sleep, because of the fact that the previous three days didn’t have enough of that particular commodity.

tonight we are hosting game night, so today has been, thus far, filled with laundry, weed whacking and mowing the front and back yard, and cleaning the parrot cage. then i’m going to take a shower.

the trip was a lot more fun than i had been expecting, once i worked out what was actually going wrong.

more soon. probably tomorrow.

on the verge

i leave for orlando tomorrow. shuttle express is picking me up between 5:30 and 5:50. my plane leaves at 9:10 pm. presumably, the rest of that will be taken up waiting in the security-theatre line and not allowing them to force me to go through the electromagnetic detector that will rip the clips out of my brain… because that would make my trip a lot shorter and less enjoyable.

i’m dreading it a little bit less than i was earlier in the week, because i have figured out some things to do in the case that joe decides that i am persona-non-grata, which is a remote possibility. we’ve argued a couple of times, on farcebook, about political things, which, i suspect, are really not that important to anyone, and joe has never been that “wordy” in his posts to begin with, so i don’t know if he’s just being short because that’s the way he is, or he’s being short because he doesn’t really want to talk to me. i suppose i won’t learn which one until i see him in person, and if it’s for the latter reason, i want to have some other things to do, to take up time while i am on the other side of the continent from home.

i want to drop in to Wonder India, which has a branch office in orlando, because the people in the new york branch have suddenly stopped responding to my emails, and i want to be sure that they’re still in business, because they are the only purveyors of bulk quantities of aparajita that i have found in the US.

also, i want to go to kissimmee, because it has a cool name, and because it is (or, at least, was) the home of Dave Gannett, who is one of my tuba mentors. i also want to go to eustis, which is where friends of mine from the moisture festival a couple years ago are living now… and, if it turns ugly really fast, i also have the option of going to miami and seeing micah’s father, curtis’ “world famous warehouses of treasure”, or, possibly, travelling further south to the keys for a few days, or something like that… but if that happens, i’ll have to drive back to orlando for the next part of my trip

i’m going to be in orlando, or something like that, for a week, then i am travelling to kansas city, missouri, and, from there, i’m driving to warrensburg, missouri, for two days visiting my great-aunt rosemary. i’m also hoping to get to knob noster, because, once again, it has a cool name, and because it’s where my paternal great-grandfather and relatives are buried. if there’s time (which i don’t think there will be) it would be nice to get to Racket and Tightwad…

i’m returning from kansas city to seattle on the one after the red-eye, and arriving in seattle at 9:00 in the morning on friday, june 3rd.

told ya so… 8P

told ya so… 8P

it doesn’t completely work the way i want it to, yet, but it was 2% working yesterday, and today it’s back to 95%

while i’ve got my email back, it’s not completely working yet, and i’m still having to deal with peculiarities with which i’m not exactly familiar. they’re peculiar enough that, it’s my professional opinion that they may be caused by demons, and may work themself out on their own eventually… one of my email accounts apparently uses a password i don’t remember. gramps works, but it still thinks the media is on the non-existent disk… i still don’t have the fonts straightened out…

but it’s one hell of a lot closer than it was yesterday, when i didn’t have the task bar icons that i usually have, and the K-menu icons that i usually have, and my email didn’t work… and i didn’t even have to convince it to mount the big hard disk, which wasn’t even showing up as being capable of mounting until i jumped through a 3-step hoop in order to mount it, yesterday…

it’s fixed enough that i am not even worried about going to bellingharm tomorrow, but i probably won’t spend the night.

UPDATE 10:30 pm i got email working. it was a combination of trying things in a new way, and demons in the pipes. i’ve even got my sigrot working, although i don’t know whether cron is taking care of running it every 5 minutes. also i got dropbox working again. now all i gotta do is figure out where my fonts went to…

bellingharm

bellingham, and a majority of the remaining people i care about there, have changed so dramatically during the past few years that i no longer want to live there.

i’m not even sure how much i’m going to want to go back to visit, after a few more attempts…

seriously.

people are lying to each other, plotting behind the backs of people who used to be friends, peoples’ lives are deteriorating and the people who care are being rebuffed… households that have been solid for 35 years are breaking up… all the good people are dying or have already left, and the people who remain are getting drunk, messing up their friends’ lives, and not caring…

i’m really glad that moe rescued me from all that, and i’m hoping that the remaining friends i have who currently live there, get out and move to some place where people actually care about each other. 😒

Harmonic Flute

the following is the rant that i’m going to put in the liner notes of the CD… which is why it will probably change at some point in the future.


the harmonic flute is a very simple instrument that makes very, very complex sounds. it was made from a piece of 1-inch PVC tubing that i rescued from a construction site dumpster. i have been playing it for about 35 years. i have taken to calling it a “didjeri-flute” because when people see me playing it, one of the comments i hear most frequently is “didjeridu”… which is not correct (and, at this point, i find it somewhat annoying): it’s a harmonic or “overtone” flute, hornbostel-sachs number 421.111.11:

4 – aerophones
42 – non-free aerophones
421 – edge-blown aerophones
421.1 – flutes without a fipple
421.11 – end-blown flutes
421.111 – individual end-blown flutes
421.111.1 – open, single, end-blown flutes
421.111.11 – without fingerholes

a didjeridu is another very simple instrument, but to make a sound on a didjeridu, you use your lips to buzz into the open end, which causes the vibration in the tube, and use your breath, tongue and voice to modify the vibration. on a harmonic flute, you blow into the open end, which is modified by having a notch carved in it, with a leading edge that has been sharpened, to make the tube vibrate. without question, it is an instrument that requires very precise breath control, but that’s it: there’s no buzzing, and no tongue or voice involved at all. in this recording, the sound of the harmonic flute was fed through a boss digital delay, and a roland cube amplifier. the recording also features a brass temple bell.

the harmonic flute makes different notes based on the harmonic sequence: the first note, or “fundamental” is quiet enough, and hard enough to produce, that i don’t use it on this recording, but i can play it. sometimes it i can play it loud enough that other people can hear it as well. the second note, or “second partial” is an octave higher than the fundamental, and it is heard fairly frequently in this recording. the “third partial” is a perfect fifth above the second partial, the fourth partial is an octave above the second partial, or a perfect fourth above the third partial, and it continues along a known and predictable path from there. there are no holes in the walls of the flute, or “finger holes”, the harmonic flute has two holes, one at either end. the only way to control what note you are playing is to be able to control your breath.

other, similar flutes include the fujara, which is a fipple flute with an air-pipe and fingerholes, the quena, which is shorter, and has fingerholes, and the shakuhachi, which also is shorter, and has fingerholes.

the recording was made in an empty room with solid concrete walls about 1 foot thick, about 20 feet wide by 50 feet long by 15 feet high, with an open door at either end. the entire room, and the surrounding hallways on either end, are completely underground, and buried by 25 feet or so of earth, with bushes and trees on top. the room was one of the gunpowder storage rooms for one of the mortar bunkers at fort worden — (insert historical information about ft. worden here) — now that it is no longer being used for destructive purposes, it has absolutely fantastic accoustics, and i have wanted to record there for many years.

ketchup

i isolated 10 “good enough” tracks from the raw files, but none of them were more than 6 minutes, and i wanted at least one that was 10 minutes or more, so i’m going back to fort worden next tuesday to try it all again. i’ve also bought a recording device of my own, which should make things more interesting, if nothing else.

i woke up the other day and tried to log in to my email account and discovered that everything was offline, and when i went to the host provider to determine why, i discovered that my account had been suspended because they received a spam complaint about me… except that, when i looked at the complaint they received, i recognised it immediately as one that i had sent to an upstream provider a couple of days before, and what they had done was forward it to the upstream provider on the “From:” line, instead of reading the headers to determine that they were, in fact, the people responsible… and, because of the fact that i NEVER receive spam complaints, they arbitrarily suspended my accounts, instead of reading the headers to determine who was actually responsible. 😕 since then i have received about 10,000 spam messages, in 1000 message increments, from people whose php servers have been compromised such that, simply by reading the headers and knowing where to click, i can actually see the spammers online interface on the compromised server…

but I was the one whose account was suspended for spamming. if it weren’t for the fact that i’m still recovering from my bout of changing host servers every few months, a few years ago, i would seriously consider switching, but… in spite of everything, the host server i currently use has been better than any of the others that i have found, for the price.

by the way, here is the place to get your email headers analysed, and here is the place to get information about the IP numbers you’ll get from analysing your email headers. basically it’s the same thing that spamcop used to do. i suppose there’s a way to automate it so that i don’t have to go through all the steps to figure out who gets the LARTs, but i like getting my hands dirty, because i know it’s being done correctly this way. 😏

i have a gig next saturday with the fremont philharmonic at “dudefest” and another gig on sunday at the peace arch in blaine with the sousa band. i’m probably going to spend sunday night in bellingham… depending…

so, here are my pictures…

so, here are my pictures which i wasn’t able to couldn’t be arsed to figure out how to upload the other day. they are all taken within a 5-mile radius of 47.2464070, -124.2233262 (47° 14′ 47.0646″ N by -124° 13′ 23.9736″ W)

where we stayed
where we stayed
humptulips dyke road
this wasn’t in the 5-mile radius, and i’m not completely sure whether it’s not spelled correctly, or (possibly) referring to something completely different than i am thinking…
inside looking out
inside, looking out
sand
sand
sand
not fukushima or deepwater-horizon this is the pacific northwest
not fukushima or deepwater-horizon this is the pacific northwest
dead sand dollar
dead sand dollar
live sand dollars
live sand dollars
zora wading
zora voluntarily wading in water up to her shoulders — no, seriously, this is a big thing, ’cause zora HATES getting even the slightest bit wet… we’ll make a beach-doggie out of her yet…
birds
birds
birds
star-light
sunset

i always enjoy getting packages from india

package from indiapeople who send packages from india seem to have an entirely different attitude than people (including myself) who send packages from the united states… this one, for example. if i were to wrap a package, i would probably stop before i got to the pillow-case wrapper, secured with red embroidery floss.

package from indiait also had a return address that was different from the return address that i got on the “official” computer printed UPS tracking label, which was from somebody who operates a mail-forwarding service in jamaica, new york… booorring!… 😐

after carefully removing the cloth wrapping around the outside of the package (because you never know, with packages from india, whether or not the cloth wrapping may be used for some esoteric, indian purpose that won’t become clear until after the rest of the package is opened), i discovered this, package from india which was a little bit more like how i would expect a package to be wrapped… although, in my, personal, opinion, they went just a little bit overboard with the shipping tape that covered the entire package. it’s my understanding, in this case, that it may be an “extra precaution”, since what is contained inside the package is of a somewhat sensitive nature, but that’s getting ahead of myself… 😉

package from indiathis is another reason why i enjoy unwrapping packages from india: they inevitably wrap whatever is inside the package in newspaper which, depending on which part of india it comes from, is written in hindi (devanagari), or tamil, or sinhalese, or punjabi, or urdu, or something other than english american… it’s really interesting to me to try to read the articles (i usually fail miserably, because i only know sanskrit, and not very much of that), but i can usually make out ayurvedic terminology, or dates — in this case अक्टूबर “akṭubara” or “october”…

it takes so little to amuse me… 😎 i haven’t even gotten to the contents of the package…

parad (solid mercury) mala

parad (solid mercury) mala

this is the contents of the package: a parad mala. i know that the main component of parad is mercury, and i’m aware of the fact that there is some mystical process by which they turn liquid mercury into a solid object (Mercury mouth closed with Aghor Vidhya, Murthi-Badhha/Agnibadha — sustain the heat) but i’m not exactly sure how it’s done, although it is my impression that it is mixed with herbal substances and strained through a cloth mesh.

generally you don’t get such exciting, exotic packages from the united states… 😎

nooze

i went to bellingham saturday, and came back today. there are a number of interesting developments that came about as a result:

apparently there is a “bullet shuttle” that runs from downtown bellingham to downtown seattle and back, that only costs $11… which means that there’s a good chance that i will be taking it to bellingham, and/or whitley will be taking it to seattle more regularly, for the purposes of, basically, getting And More back together. along the same lines, whitley and kamalla have offered to house my keyboards in their house, which means that when i go to bellingham, my keyboards will be set up and ready to go, and when i’m not there, other people will be playing them. the piano (which is missing three tines) has been packed up in a box and sitting behind the couch for about 7 years, and before that it was in a box in the hallway… i haven’t actually had it set up since we moved in to this house… so putting it to good use again is most desirable, and this seems like a prime opportunity.

while i was on my way to bellingham, yesterday, i took sort of a detour through mount vernon, so that i could go by the places i used to live. while i was in mount vernon, it started to rain, and then, quite suddenly, it started to rain so hard that, after slowing down, and slowing down, and turning my windshield wipers to their highest settings, i still could not see, and was forced to take refuge in a parking lot for about half an hour, until the rain let up. as i was pulling out of the parking lot, i saw a building across the street that was, literally, pouring water, tens of gallons a minute, from all of the downspouts… and the streets were flooded in several places, to the point where, when i had to drive through a flooded part, i was concerned because it was over the floorboards of my car… i haven’t seen it rain that much in that short a period of time more than once or twice before in my entire life.

the main reason i went to bellingham in the first place was that kenyth’s 80th birthday was last week, and i went to deliver a birthday present (Operation Mindfuck) on monday. while i was there, i heard that there was going to be a music jam (which is what they’re calling the stairway jam these days), and it was suggested that i come up for it, so i did. another thing that we discussed while i was there was the fact (in my opinion) that kenyth really needs a wikipedia page… a fact that is complicated by the fact that kenyth has kept absolutely ZERO archives of the work that he has done, class notes from classes he has taught, personal correspondence, and that sort of thing, and further complicated by the fact that, to be a wikipedia page that isn’t deleted immediately, a lot of the information posted has to be backed up by stuff that is publically available from internet, which, in this case, would be practically impossible in anything like a realistic way. the upshot is that i am going to help the community of people who want to see this happen, by registering a domain (how about http://KenythFreeman.dance/ or http://JosephPFaddlefum.name/ or something like that? 😉 ) and pointing that domain name towards a blog that i can set up, and then give to the people who actually know what content there is, and can organise it the way it’s supposed to be.

on my way back, today, i mostly took surface streets, and only hit the freeway once or twice. i was north of burlington on what i think was Highway 99, and i found the new location of “The Music Shoppe”, which was a place i worked a couple of times a VERY long time ago: the first time was right after i graduated from the tech school, and ended when i got fired for telling sam, the owner, that the “chemical tank” that he bought, ostensibly to “dip musical instruments”, was full of the chromic acid that he bought and then discovered he couldn’t use because it’s carcinogenic (and, generally, only used as a “bright dip” for brass instruments before they are buffed and refinished), and it was beginning to leak, because it wasn’t really a “chemical tank” but, rather, a stainless steel dairy tank with a bright brass stopper… and the chromic acid was dissolving the bright brass stopper, because, well… chromic acid dissolves brass… 😐

anyway, the second time, he actually subcontracted my musical instrument repair business to repair musical instruments for “The Music Shoppe”, and that ended when he refused to pay me for an instrument that i had fixed, that his customer had refused to pay for. basically i said that, until i got paid i wasn’t going to fix any more instruments for him. he said that he hadn’t paid me because his customer hadn’t paid him, and i pointed out that his customer was HIS customer, and that MY customer was him, but that didn’t seem to make any difference. they apparently moved from their shop in the fountain district in north bellingham, some time in the past, and they are, as of 1st november, moving in to burlington. i left Operation Mindfuck in the front door for them to find when they open up tomorrow. 👿

meh

i’m still alive and kicking, however at this point, whenever i think about posting anything the “meh” takes over.

i played for NANDA‘s 10th anniversary in the balloon hangar at ft. worden, which is now called the “McCurdy Pavillion”. 35 years ago, when i first came across it, it was a mouldy, forgotten world war II relic, taken over by the navy, that had been officially abandoned for 10 years or so. it’s amazing what a little bit of paint and a few hundred thousand dollars can do to a place. i spent saturday morning re-visiting the sacred sound-spaces with which i have become so familiar over the past 35 years, played music with members of my karass, and slept in a motorhome in port townsend. if i had my way, i would have spent quite a bit more time exploring the subterranean vaults, but i had to get thaddeus back so that he could take care of his obligations. i noticed, however, that port townsend is a little more than an hour’s drive from here, which (on heavy traffic days) is not that much further than seattle, which has got me wondering why i don’t get out to port townsend more frequently.

along the same lines, i have been in discussion with eben, clayton and andrew (the leader, and the two other tuba players for the fighting instruments of karma, respectively), and it has been more or less decided that i am now the “official” tuba player for the SANCApators. SANCA is a place in georgetown that is most known for its “School Of Flight”, but offers a variety of classes for all levels, including “drop in” classes in trapeze (the idea of which makes me wonder a little). they have classes in a number of pursuits that, i think, would be both fun and “therapeutic”, such as tumbling, acrobatics, juggling and so forth… it would be interesting to take classes there, but i would have to be sure that they knew about my brain injury, and talk with them about how it would be accounted for.

i’ve got 3 snake suspenderz gigs in the next three weeks: one at horizon house, which we played for a couple of years ago, one at university house, wallingford, which i booked in spite of objections from hobbit, and one at SACBO. the day SACBO starts, i am also going to be showing off my art car at the LeMay Automotive Museum with a whole bunch of other “car-tists”.

through sheer, stubborn will and determination, i got the fremont phil booked at the ritz at OCF before OCF, for the first time EVER… now, instead of wondering when we’re going on, and not knowing until 15 minutes before it actually happens (like what happened last year), we know, ahead of time, that we’re going on at 7:00 pm, saturday, 12th july, and OCF hasn’t even started yet! now, insha’llah, barring unforseen (and 51% likely, due to HIF) other circumstances, we actually know when we’re going to be playing at the naked hippie sauna… 😎

oh, india… 8)

The Clean Indian, the new anti-public urination activist group has taken the fight against public uriation in their own hands, quite literally. They have their own unique way of meting out justice to those who break the law and still remain anonymous. Armed with a giant water tanker, water hoses and sealing their identities with masks this group aims for a cleaner and more hygienic India.

The anonymous activist group has a simple solution to the problem, they roam around Mumbai with a water tanker rightfully named as ‘The pissing tanker’, and spray water on individuals who are indulging in the act of urinating in the public. They claim ‘The solution to public urination is public urination, by the pissing tanker’ and so attack the offenders with a giant water cannon, which indeed makes for a funny sight for onlookers. The need for a cleaner India sparked off this desperate yet quirky attempt to solve this problem with a water cannon.

The group which also has a twitter account, without a display picture of course, asks others to be aware of them as they will strike when least expected. Their motto is ‘You Stop. We Stop’ and fight public urination ‘one spray at a time’.

one of my greatest desires is to live in india for 6 months or more. i could “take a vacation” to india for 2 weeks or so, but i’m absolutely certain that it would not be enough… this is one of the main reasons why. if this were the united states, we would have “christian” and/or “civic” groups getting upset that people were urinating in public, there would be a public outcry, and more people would get arrested, fined, jailed or what-have-you, but in india?

in india, one guy with a tanker and a few friends, and… we all know that people are still urinating in public, but this is definitely enough to make most people think twice — at least — before whipping it out…

and the sign on the back of the truck is priceless… “YOU STOP WE STOP”

in the united states, on the other hand, very likely someone who responded like this would be arrested and jailed for being a public nuisance when someone who got sprayed by them complained…

BUSY!!!

we went to tokeland and spent a blissfull, completely disconnected five days on the beach. then we came home, and ever since, i have been up to my eyeballs in moisture festival. i have a break (after one show this morning) for two days (tomorrow and tuesday), and then it starts again and goes until next sunday, only i have three shows next sunday… and there’s a pretty good chance that there will be at least one, and possibly two rehearsals within the next two days, so it’s not really going to be that much of a break… and whatever it is will be very interesting, since i blew out my embochure yesterday, and then played another show on top of it this morning…

i’ve got a bunch of pictures from the beach, but i need to sleep now, so they’ll have to wait.

now here

140315 now here - Heppner, Oregon: 45.3709091, -119.4803830

once again, we’re in heppner, oregon — 45° 22′ 15.1314″ N, -119° 28′ 49.3062″ E — for a sheep dog trial, which means that moe got up and left at about 6:30 this morning, and i am left behind, at a “rural hunting lodge”, to fend for myself for the day… which means that i woke up at 9:00, took a shower, ate breakfast, and now i am looking at the choice of either wandering around in the middle of now here for a while, or playing with caustic on moe’s ipad (the fact that she’s running sheep dogs means that she can’t use the ipad, and i can)… and, despite the fact that it looks like it may rain, i’m thinking of going out anyway. last year i heard the voice of God and i want to hear it again. there’s too much extraneous noise in the house.

after the sheep dog trial is over, we’re going to Tokeland for 5 days. there is no telephone and no internet access, so i’m going to give my luddite streak a run for its money… and fly kites (and “other things”) on the beach.

ETA: well, i went out to now here, and, as expected, i heard the voice of God again. it was far more silent than i have experienced just about anywhere. there was the occasional sound of the wind, and, even more infrequently, a bird would chirp… but it was totally silent. and i heard the voice of God…
140315 now here
Now Here – click to embiggen

i built a small marker, about halfway up the hill:
half-way marker
you can barely see it from the lodge with your naked eye, if you know where to look. you can see it clearly with binoculars, again, if you know where to look. it’s practically invisible, but it marks approximately half-way from the lodge to the fence.

bleh

the days keep going by.

i got my computer fixed by the kubuntu gods at Kubuntu Forums, where they are quite a bit better than just about anybody else at diagnosing and helping to fix any problems that one might have with one’s kubuntu system… and, by the way, it wasn’t the video drivers. the people who put together the update packages left out an important part of the desktop manager, and released a new update that had that important part in it the next day… 😉 i suppose that’s what i get for using a free, community-based operating system.

it could be worse. i could be using <shudder> micro$lop…

moe returned very early friday morning, so the doggies have calmed back down to their standard level of chaos.

i’ve got a rehearsal later on this evening with the fremont philharmonic, whose moisture festival dates are april 2nd through april 6th. we’ve only had one rehearsal, we still don’t know exactly who is playing when, and there’s a WHOLE BUNCH of new music that we haven’t learned yet. then i’ve got a rehearsal with the SANCApators (which is eben sprinsock‘s other band) on wednesday. they’ve got two rehearsals, and then i’m playing with them at the moisture festival on march 23rd. then i’ve got a rehearsal with snake suspenderz on thursday. snake suspenderz is playing a private gig at a corporate party on saturday, and a public gig on sunday, at C&P Coffee in west seattle, if you’re interested in seeing us play: we’re doing a special performance with Katy Webber, who is a FANTASTIC jazz singer (who also played the part of Dick Whittington in the most recent panto)… snake suspenderz is also playing as a “pit band” at the moisture festival march 26th through march 30th. i don’t know if we’re going to have any “on stage” performances this year, but even still, i’ve got a total of 19 performances, which should make up for any loss that i experience due to the fact that i’ve gotten paid less per share than last year (grumble, mutter).

i’ve got a whole bunch more moisture festival performances this year than i had last year, and a combination of widely varying circumstances means that they’re actually taking snake suspenderz seriously this year, but if they maintain the new “tradition” of paying a smaller share than they did last year (which started last year), this will probably be the last year that i participate in the moisture festival in the way that i have been for the past ELEVEN YEARS now… 😛 of course i don’t know that they’re going to pay less per share than they did last year, but at this point i don’t trust the board of directors to do anything rational any longer.

and before any of that happens, moe and i are going to heppner oregon again (like we did last year), and after that, we’re going to the ocean for a few days. we’re going to a place that DOES NOT have wifi, so it’s going to mean that we’re going to have to exist for a few days without our smart-phones, or ipads, or laptops… we’re going to have to do with kites, dogs, beach, and each other… like in olden times.

veteran’s day, 2012

Alexander's Castlei went to port townsend for a New Old Time Chautaqua benefit show (which was held at the Legion Hall, on the corner of Monroe and Water) yesterday. because of the fact that i have spent a relatively huge amount of time in port townsend over the years (and it’s a beautiful place to spend time), i went early and poked around at fort worden, which is where i spent a majority of the huge amount of time that i spent there.

there have been A LOT of changes since i first came there, and a majority of them have occurred within the past few years, when i was not paying attention. they had the coastal defence command station on battery hill open for the first time since i have been comming there, and i actually got a chance to walk around inside a part of the fort that has been blocked off, sealed up and posted with big signs warning of nasty things that happen to people who ignore them, since i first started coming there. they have also done a lot of “re-landscaping” which includes cutting down a lot of the undergrowth and trees in the main part of the batteries, which were practically invisible previously. under normal circumstances, i would have a problem with state park people just randomly cutting down trees, but it was really interesting to see a lot more of the fort as the people who inhabited the place 100 years ago saw it.

two metal tanksof course, i went to the entrance of the cistern, where Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel was recorded. the first time i went there, it was totally covered by trees and undergrowth, and there was a brick “chimney” that came up out of the ground, with a manhole cover on top of it, and it was really easy to “break in”. a number of people already had, and the cistern was full of “satanic” grafitti and garbage, but the accoustics were AWESOME, and i resolved to get back in. several years later (mid-1980s) i took The Stairway Jam to fort worden, but by that time they had covered the entrance with the two huge, rusty metal tanks, and we weren’t able to get in. the tanks are now placed to either side of the chimney, which has a concrete lid, a steel door and a lock on it: considerably more difficult to get in, apparently the tanks were not enough of an impedence for people to get in and trash the place. fortunately, there are other places at fort worden that also have incredible accoustics.

for the record, i have played my trombone, my orchestral flute and my didjeriflute in various underground rooms at fort worden, and i know of no other place in the world with accoustics like that. it’s incredible. 😎

The Bald Man is ubiquitous!then i went into port townsend proper, to the legion hall at the corner of Monroe and Water, and found The Bald Man… if i didn’t know where the bald man was coming from, i might be a bit confused, dismayed, or even paranoid, but because of the fact that i know that the bald man is a direct offshoot of stuff that i did, personally, i find it rather amusing… and i know that my son will probably keep doing this for as long as he lives, as well, which gives me a small amount of immortality. 😉

i know i have mentioned it before, but i’m really amazed that i am actually a part of the New Old Time Chautaqua. these people truly ARE my “karass”, and it is just driven home to me even more forcefully every time i play with them.

fumdiddle

Olympia NOTC benefit show 2012i went to olympia last night, to play with The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra, which i have determined, is a majority of my karass. i have only become more convinced of this as time goes on: i have played with about 90% of these people, in one form or another (but, specifically, not as “The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra”) for the past 35 years or so. i have played with them in bellingham, lummi island, port townsend, mount vernon, and seattle, in groups like the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, The Fremont Philharmonic, Snake Suspenderz, The Skagit County Community Band, The Stairway Jam and a number of other groups. and, as a karass is “a group of people who do God’s will without ever discovering what they are doing”, i think use of the word “karass” is a most excellent and absolutely appropriate use of the word to describe this group of people, and their relationship to me. last night’s show also featured The Mud Bay Jugglers, Joey Pippia, The Scuff and Al Show, Citizens Band, The Tallhouse Arts Consortium, The Juggling Jollies, Justincredible, Della Moustachella, and (special guests) the ORIGINAL(!!!) Flying Karamazov Brothers, Dmitry, Smerdyakov and Fyodor… and i also saw my very good friends from bellingham, Karl Meyer and Stephan Freeman, the son of Kenyth Freeman.

as i have said before, if i had the opportunity to move my entire life (including my workshop), wholesale, to bellingham, without having to worry about what i was leaving behind, or where to put things when i got there, i would be there in a second.

(and, if any of my band-mates happen to be reading this, i definitely would make the trip to seattle (or wherever) to maintain my current membership in whatever band they may be worried about. i live in the middle of bum-fuck, nowhere, currently, and it doesn’t affect my ability to drive into seattle to busk, or do paying gigs, or even rehearse, so i don’t know why you imagine that if i lived in bellingham, it would be any different.)

i found a reliable, honest mechanic that will fix my brakes for A LOT less than the $800 than i was quoted a few days ago: $300 to $500 qualifies as “a lot less” doesn’t it? and i suppose it really doesn’t matter that the guy who actually is going to fix my car is the father-in-law of my wife’s boss, does it? it seems a bit like nepotism, but the difference in price is enough to make me tend to ignore such things…

i still have a cough, but it has been going away, gradually. i actually went the entire night without coughing last night. i still feel exausted at night, and i’m sleeping more than usual, but that’s at least partially because of the fact that i was at a show until around midnight last night.

i have been being deliberately vague about this…

i have been being deliberately vague about this because i was “under contract” not to tell anyone, but now that i’m no longer bound by that contract, i can spill all.

i went to san francisco last weekend for the America’s Got Talent auditions. we passed the audition in seattle, so we (we being the Big Bois With Poise) stopped everything and made arrangements to have ourselves and our gear transported to san francisco, at NBC’s expense.

on friday, i got up at 4:00 in the morning and made it to the airport by 5:00, which i quickly realised was much too early…

the reason it was much too early is that i had prepared for a long, drawn-out and mostly pointless hassle with TSA over the clips, pins and screws in my skull – really, i even brought the letter from the neurologist that i had him write specifically for occasions like this – but after an extremely bored TSA goon scribbled a meaningless doodle on my boarding pass, i walked through the metal detector with no alarms going off at all… and that WAS IT… there was no other TSA activity from that point until i was preparing to get on the plane in san francisco, three days later!

bay bridgeso i waited around in the terminal for about 45 minutes, until the rest of the Bois showed up. we got on the plane and were whisked to the san francisco airport, about an hour and a half later, and from there we were whisked by “private” shuttle – which we had to wait an hour for, because the number that they had given us was the confirmation number for our return trip, two days hence, and once they got that straightened out, they still couldn’t take us because the reservations had been made in the name of the first people on the list (whose name is SIZER) instead of the name of the spokesman for the group (whose name is HUSON)…

hotel lobbybut once that was all straightened out, we were taken to our "luxury, boutique" hotel in the heart of the tenderloin… which was an interesting contrast, i can tell you.

at that point, they had told us that the rest of the day would be filled with interviews and a dress rehearsal, but the producer that we had been dealing with was not available, so we left her a voice message and proceded to walk down to the theatre where we were supposed to be performing, where they wouldn’t let us in, and wouldn’t contact the person who we knew was inside, to confirm that we were, in fact, supposed to be there… so we decided that we should take the opportunity to be tourists in san francisco, and went off without further discussion.

city halli took a couple of pictures of city hall to illustrate the point, but the fact is, i saw buildings EVERYWHERE that were decorated with gold leaf, and where there wasn’t gold leaf, there were bright colours and murals and artwork everywhere… much moreso than seattle, and i was under the impression that seattle had a lot of public artwork (although it is also much more subdued and hidden away, as well).

salamandir, macque, tricky, and adam at haight and ashburyi went with a couple of friends to golden gate park, where we enjoyed the japanese tea garden, and waited for my net-friend adam to show up. when adam showed up, we walked through golden gate park to haight street, which i have always wanted to see, and searched for a tattoo/piercing shop where i could purchase an ear plug to replace the one i realised i was missing in the plane (although, fortunately, i lost it in the bed, prior to leaving)… and we found cold steel piercing, where i bought a pair of really beautiful fluorite plugs for half the price i would have paid in seattle (which, of course, means that if i want to get new jewelry, check online before going to the local shop). we also managed to talk a local into taking our picture at haight and ashbury, where it turned out that one of our party (macque) had actually lived for a while during the late 1960s…

then we wandered back to the hotel, where we met with some other people from our crew, and went to dinner at a very good american restaurant about two blocks away from the hotel, and after that, i walked adam to the bart station and went to bed, because we had to check in at the theatre at 8:00 the next morning.

they had told us that we had to check in at 8:00, but that once we had checked in, we weren’t going to be needed until 1:00 in the afternoon, and that we were free to go somewhere else until then. but when we actually got there, we were informed that we had been moved to a different – earlier – time, and that we were no longer free to leave. also, we were informed that we were, essentially, their prisoners, and we were not to leave the room without an escort… which was slightly alarming, since we still hadn’t seen our gear, which had to be shipped by ground freight, because it contained materials that were flammable, and thus not allowed on airplanes. we eventually found an escort to take us to the other side of the auditorium, where, after a fair amount of “the left hand not knowing that the right even exists” action, we located all 12 boxes of gear, and arranged to have what we couldn’t carry transported back to our holding cell waiting room.

then there was the fire marshall…

the fire marshall was a large, vaguely amused, buddha-like figure who was initially quite alarmed that they had arranged to have us performing inside, but once he found out that macque is a professional OSHA safety inspector, he calmed down and gave us suggestions for how to fix the (relatively minor) issues with our gear, rather than shutting us down… and, after his inspection of all of our gear, and watching as we demonstrated our fueling techniques and our extinguishing techniques, we actually had a “dress” rehearsal, with real, live fire, which the fire marshall was very amused by, and gave his blessing.

a little while later, i was sitting, in costume, in the holding cell waiting room and a guy came up to me and said “hi, i’m with network standards. what’s under your kilt?” and then he and his female “associate” waited, patiently, while we showed them that we are, in fact, wearing underwear (and protective cups, you don’t want to hit yourself in the balls with flaming poi). he also wanted to make sure that we weren’t planning on doing any backflips, or splits, or have camera shots from “below”, or that sort of thing.

the show itself was a lot of “hurry up and wait”. we finally went on stage, and they asked chris a few questions, and then they said “go for it”, so we went for it.

we all bent down so that krissy could light our helmets, and then chris gave the command and we all threw off our capes — and instantaneously the ENTIRE AUDIENCE (which was around 3500 people) started screaming and booing, and showing us the X sign with their arms… it was really shocking… but they told us to expect a very strong reaction from the audience, so we continued. we got most of the way through the chant before the booing of the crowd was so loud that we got off synch with each other… my poi got tangled, and i had to stop swinging and start over (aparently a couple of the other guys had a similar problem). howard stern put his X up almost immediately when the crowd started booing, and sharon osbourne put up her X about ¾ of the way through, but howie mandell actually liked us. sharon said that she was “really confused” (and this coming from the lady who married ozzy osbourne) and that the act was “silly”… which is exactly what it is, only she’s too dumb to see it. howard said that he wanted to like us, because of our costumes, but once the act started, he said it was “nothing”… unless you count the fact that the entire audience was making so much noise that you couldn’t hear the chant (which was what howie said). howard also said that he’s not sure if he would like it if his parents were doing something like that… which just goes to prove that he’s a no-talent philistine.

swastika mosaicafter it was all over (all that work for ninety seconds on stage seems like a lot of work for not very much payoff), we packed up our gear and left the theatre, where we met up with adam and went back to the hotel… where we met up with some other people, and went to dinner at a very good greek restaurant about two blocks away from the hotel.

the next morning we all got up at 4:00 in the morning and schlepped back to the airport, where i had to opt-out of the cancer-scanner, and they actually patted me down (although they still didn’t care about the pins and screws in my skull) at security, which took about half an hour.

there are more pictures for the morbidly curious, but, unfortunately, there are no pictures of the holding cell waiting room or the actual performance, because those pictures belong to NBC television, in perpetuity, throughout the galaxy… 😐

so i went to bellingham yesterday…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

kenyth's dance

mump…

the new ganesha the vehicle developed its first problem a couple of days ago. the speedometer quit working… and, along with that, the odometer and the cruise control quit. 😛

i called the dealer(!) i bought it from the other day, and he said he’d get back to me, but he hasn’t called yet. i just called him, and they want me to bring the car up to them tomorrow.

i’m going to bellingham on friday. i might not be back until saturday.

beach

we went to the beach for three days of doing nothing except exactly what we wanted, when we wanted to do it. here are pictures:

art
this was right outside our back window.
Not now, I'm busy stalking!
the feature, of course, was Rye, also known as “sheep dog in training”…
(more photos by clicking)
dogs and ocean
one of quite a number of shots i took that wasn’t one or more dogs looking somewhere else, or the shot being interrupted by moe, or other things…

the week then continued with my trip to a concert by The Residents, which will go in another post, later on. 8)

another week closer to the eschaton…

Think US politics are absurd? Brazilians elect actual clown to Congress – brazil has its collective shit together in more than two ways that i’ve noticed recently… maybe american politicians should be paying more attention to the brazilians…

60% of countries will be bankrupt within 50 years – the only hopeful thing about the future is that i will very likely die before that happens.

Drug cops smash into wrong house, terrorize elderly couple and Pot raid at school turns up tomatoes – if it were legal, they could be spending their time going after real criminals instead of hassling immigrant grandparents, and kids about their tomatoes… 😐

Why Comcast can (but probably won’t) read your e-mails, IMs – every now and then i need to remind myself why i am NOT a comcast customer. this will do for a couple of years, until something else awful and terrifying is revealed about their policies…

GPS directs driver to death in Spain’s largest reservoir or Un hombre fallece tras hundirse su coche en la presa de La Serena – i, for one, welcome our new, robot overlords… or not…

Caught Spying on Student, FBI Demands GPS Tracker Back and Student finds tracking device on his car; FBI demands it back – what…?

Hello, this is your ISP. You have been disconnected from internet. Have a nice day. – if micro$awft gets its way, this could happen to you if you get any kind of malware or virus. more reason to use linux, of course, but why would anyone think this is a good idea to begin with is a little mystifying.

Android phone auto reverts jailbreaks – i agree, that people who are required to pay for a piece of hardware to make their lives easier, should be able to use that piece of hardware for whatever they choose. the company from which you buy a cell phone does not retain an “interest” in the hardware, once you buy it… much as i like the approach taken by the makers of the android cell phone, i don’t think they should be able to arbitarily “take back” a phone that has been modified.

Woman screamed about God while destroying art and California Stem Cell Agency Rewards Blasphemy While Admitting the Humanity of Embryos Slated for Destruction – yep, people are still concerned about what other people do being “blasphemy”. in one case, a woman broke into a protective plexiglass housing and destroyed a piece of art, and in the other, people, for whom it did not make any difference, were “forced” to comply with the wishes of the people who were crying “blasphemy” and take down an otherwise inoffensive piece of art. i wrote to the contact person for CIRM (i encourage you to write to him as well) and sent him this:

i am not offended by any language, but because of the fact that you have seen fit to remove the poems in honour of stem cell awareness day, i can no longer see them, and that offends me.

No-one has the right not to be offended.
     — John Cleese

A truly great library contains something within it to offend everyone.
     — Jo Godwin

What is freedom of expression? Without the freedom to offend, it ceases to exist.
     — Salman Rushdie

Being offended is a natural consequence of leaving the house.
     — Fran Lebowitz

The most efficacious method of dealing with deviancy is to ignore, to the furthest point of our tolerance, those items which we find offensive.
     — Ilbert Geis

Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world.
     — Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), 1694-1778

by the way, if you’re interested, the poems that were too “blasphemous” to post on CIRMs web site, can be seen here. USAToday is good for something after all.

Insane Clown Posse is actually a Christian band, and nobody knew – i knew there was a fundamental reason why i didn’t like them apart from their encouragement of drunken violence…

flink

national kazoo day gig last night. it was a real pleasure to play music, but apparently there was some drama towards the end, after all the music had been played and we were packing up and getting out, but apparently not quickly enough to suit the owners of the cafe/theater. i was only partially aware of what was going on. i actually was already packed up and loaded out by the time it became a real drama, and i was outside, so i didn’t even see the drama part of it at all, but apparently sketch was given the bum’s-rush – after having just played a full set, and not having packed up all of his gear or gotten changed or even put on a coat.

we did sell three of our NEW CDs though! it’s so new that it doesn’t have a link anywhere yet… hobbit and thad were up until 3:00 saturday morning folding, gluing and shrink-wrapping the packaging… there will be a CD baby link when i get it. 8)

moe is having problems with the SVBT web site, which is being made infinitely worse by the fact that their host provider has its head so far up its ass that they’d need a team of spelunkers and several days to find it. i’ve been trying to help out, and i actually succeded in backing up the old web site and uploading the stuff that they had to replace it, but now, apparently the database is broken, the PHP experts on staff live in australia, and the web designer is being a 14-carat gold plated prick about the whole thing – but his prick-itude about it may be partially due to the fact that the host provider is being a complete, 24-carat solid gold pile of crap. it would have taken me 10 minutes on my host to do what it took me almost 3 hours to do, manually, one file at a time, on their host. i don’t want to seem like i’m bailing on moe, because if nobody else, i should support her, but at the same time, it’s not my job to fix SVBT’s wonky host provider, and while it is moe’s job, i personally believe that it would be infinitely easier to bail on the host provider and go with some place that actually, you know, provides a usable service….

along a similar line, i got an invoice from drizzle today, and, as i suspected, they’ve charged me again for the screwup that resulted in my account getting deleted and then restated, despite the fact that it never should have been deleted in the first place, which is THEIR FAULT!! and, of course, it’s sunday and they’re not there – i find it somewhat ironic that their automated billing service works on sunday, but nobody else does. it’s not actually going to be “funny” until they have acknowledged that they should not have billed me for something that wasn’t my fault to begin with, which, i suspect, is going to take a while.

blurgh…

it’s the end of june and i haven’t written about the oregon country fair yet… two more weeks…

so we’ve been rehearsing for cinderella twice a week, and the band has an extra rehearsal tonight. as far as i know, we still don’t have all the music, but i may be hallucinating. we have to learn “Do The Hustle” but i’m not going to learn it – i took a vow when i was in high school (when the song was still popular) that i would never learn the hustle, which i have never broken, and this performance is no exception. i’ll learn the chicken dance – which we also have to learn for this performance – but the line is drawn with the hustle. pam made this twisted suggestion that we play the chicken dance when we play at the ritz, and i totally agree: i can’t wait to see 300+ naked hippies doing the chicken dance.

a few weeks ago we changed rehearsal spaces for the BSSB. apparently, after warmly welcoming us to the crown hill baptist church a year ago, the baptists got a new pastor who decided that we weren’t “christian” enough for them, and so they summarily kicked us out, with very little warning. fortunately, the senior center at the good shepherd center was waiting for something like that to happen. the good shepherd center is closer by about 15 miles to where i live than just about anything in crown hill (although it’s still not in ballard, strictly speaking), and i’m already very familiar with the layout, because that’s where ezra went to the ballet school before the ballet school moved downtown. there’s an added bonus which i found about on the tenth, which was our first rehearsal there, which is that they also have a pancake supper from 4:00 to 6:30 on the second tuesday of the month, which, coincidentally, is the same night we have one of our rehearsals. i showed up early with my trombone and was ushered into the room where they plied me with food and adulation for being part of the band. not at all bad, especially since i wasn’t expecting it.

i’ve got a lot to do this week. the weeks are stacking up that way for me a lot at this time. i’ve got a fremont phil rehearsal tonight, a rehearsal for cinderella on monday and wednesday, a concert with the BSSB on thursday in burien (for which i still don’t have more than a time), then moe and i are going to portland to visit my god-help-me-mother-in-law, then i have to be back in seattle for the traditional BSSB at the locks concert on sunday, next monday is the final cinderella rehearsal, next tuesday is a rehearsal for the BSSB, and then next wednesday i’m leaving for OCF.

last year i was really depressed when i returned from OCF. i don’t see any reason why this year should be different, but at the same time, i’m hoping that this year it won’t be so severe. the fact that i am going to burning man (and not having a brain injury) this year may help, but at this point i’m not sure how.

i am a bellinghamster

DREAM – i was in bellingham, but it was weird bellingham, that was older and/or newer than real bellingham. at first, i was on my bike, travelling from the north side to the south side, but i was going down high street/indian street from the university, and i had to go by fred meyers on lakeway before heading to the south side, but the further down indian street i got the less like actual bellingham it was. i noticed this and went 1 block north to high street, and i found houses i recognised, so i went back one block south, and found myself in the middle of an office complex that hadl, from the look of the architecture and the age of the trees, been there for at least 50 years. indian street was gone, and it was as though the university had expanded to take over part of sehome hill to jersey street and east all the way to chestnut or holly street. there was also a weird part that was sort of like a dream that i had a while ago (i’m not sure whether or not i actually wrote about it), where i was on my bike in bellingham and going from the madhouse by my friend eric’s house on mason street, but there was a railroad track, a much bigger freeway and this strange lighting effect that made everything look as though it had been filtered through something that removed all the colour and made it look like antique photos. also the store at potter and humboldt was in a different place, right next to the railroad track and closer to lakeway.

anyway, travelling along the back of one of the long buildings along where indian street used to be, i discovered this strange thing that was kind of like an aqueduct, but was now more like a sewer, sunk into the ground and covered with brickwork that was broken in parts, so part of it was open to the air, and the further toward chestnut i travelled, the more broken the brickwork became, until it was more like a brick-lined ditch with broken bricks, a little water, and a bunch of grass and weeds growing in it. there were also large brick buildings that looked like they had been there for at least 50 years, surrounding a big, open space with massive trees and pathways criscrossing the neatly manicured grass. eventually i left my bike somewhere, for some unknown reason, and headed back up the hill towards the university. i actually went through some of the buildings, because i could. inside they were more like hospitals: a lot of people wandering around with drip sets and posts with drip bags on wheels, butts sticking out from ill-fitting hospital gowns and such-like. it must have been an older hospital, though, because there were no automatic doors or ramps, it was all stairways, manual doorways between levels, and hallways going off at bizarre angles. at one point i realised that i had forgotten my bike, and went back, ostensibly to get it, but i didn’t get far because a huge crowd of people were getting in my way, almost as if the classes were changing or something: one minute there were just the people that looked like they should have been in a hospital, and the next minute there were all these people that were all going different places all at once. they didn’t realise they were getting in my way, but there were more of them than i could deal with, and i realised that i had forgotten where my bike was anyway, so i proceded back the way i had been going to begin with. there was a part where i went up a stairway to a door that came out the back of the hospital-like building, with a bike rack along the back of the building. the hill continued up, but i noticed that this was the highest point you could get to on the paved pathways, and if it hadn’t been for the huge trees below, there would have been a great view.

eventually i got to what had been the end of jersey street, where it goes into sehome hill, and i remember thinking that, at one time, i had gone up to sehome hill by the same route when i did the blessing before my son was born, and i thought about how different it was now, with all of the buildings and neatly trimmed grass.

real life drama… 8/

hi CO,

i must admit, i haven’t read your letter thoroughly yet, but on the surface, it appears as though you have a lot to say about KM, and not all of it is positive. you apparently also have a lot to say about what KM said about MO which also is not entirely positive. you say that KM is a gossip, and then you go into great detail (6 pages) about exactly why KM is a gossip. this is the first i have heard about it, apart from the fact that KN told me that he and KM were banned from TMH. KM didn’t want to tell me anything, but it appears as though someone wanted to “gossip” about what has been going on, even after i said “i won’t even pretend to understand”…

you say you feel that i have “judged” you. quite the opposite is actually true. i have not judged anybody: i consider what i know of both your stories to be so outlandish that “i won’t even pretend to understand” and prefer not even to hear about it.

just so you know, of all the people i know, apart from MO, KN and KM were the only people who cared enough about what was going on, to come and see me when i was in the hospital – not even my parents came to see me. they came for 3 days and stayed in the same room you stayed in, at my house in renton. i have known you for a long time, and i have never had particularly good feelings about BE, but as long as he was married to you, i treated him with respect. in the same way, KN is married to KM so she gets my respect by defaut.

at the same time, i have never had any reason to believe that KM is a liar, and i have never heard the negative things that KM has allegedly said about MO… and, just for the record, MO is a “weirdo who hates people and only likes animals”. in that way, MO and i are very similar, although i admit that MO seems to like animals a little more than i do. nevertheless, i have the very strong impression that the things you reported to me were overheard as a part of a conversation with someone else, not part of a conversation that you had with KM directly, and if they were a part of a conversation that you had with KM, there is a very good chance that you grossly misunderstood what she was saying. i say this because i know that KM’s way of speaking is very easy to misunderstand (having done so repeatedly myself) and has a tendency to grate on people who don’t understand what she is trying to get across. nevertheless, i don’t believe that KM has any reason to be anything less than 100% truthful.

i haven’t spoken with JE and GY for a long time, and i know nothing about any conversations you may have had with them, or with TA, or with anybody else concerning KN and KM. one of the reasons that i am glad that i finally moved away from bellingham is that i am out of the line of fire when somebody like PHBFH, or AL, or JR decides to go off on me or one or more of my friends, and part of the reason why i said “i won’t even pretend to understand” in my previous letter is because even if you tried to explain it to me (as you apparently have), i still don’t understand why people that were all my friends when i was in bellingham, now seem to be turning against each other, almost as if they have nothing better to do with their lives.

regardless of what you say, as long as KM is married to KN, she will be a very good friend of mine. in the same way, regardless of what you say about KM, you will continue to be a very good friend of mine, and as long as you and KM don’t get along, for whatever reasons, i will fail to understand it.

i haven’t decided whether or not i will bring all of this up with KM, because i don’t feel that it is important to my friendship with her, but if i do, i plan on including your name, and i expect to hear some equally wild story from KM about how insane you are… to which i will also give absolutely no credence, because it will very likely be as wild and ranting as your story apears to be.

this strikes me as being very similar to a situation that i was involved in a few years ago, when PHBFH and i were still in the middle of our court battle over custody of E. PHBFH had introducted to the court signed affidavits from two people who were supposed to be very good friends of mine, who, in reality, had been out of contact with me for almost 10 years – C and WJ – saying all kinds of hurtful and untruthful things about me. i talked with both people some time later, and they were both intensely sorry that they had said those things in PHBFH’s presence, because they were unaware of how sick PHBFH really was, and how their words would be twisted against them.

it strikes me as similar because it seems as though you have all of these stories about other people (JE & GY, TA, L, D, etc.), but i have seen no evidence of this myself, and, in fact, i know from having talked to D, that he still “sneaks out” and visits KN and KM, despite what you say about KM trying to “influence” him against you. admittedly, i am out of the line of fire, and drama that originates in bellingham often times stays in bellingham, but at the same time, i have more important things to do with my life than determining which of my two friends’ outlandish stories about the other friend is true or not.

yes, yoganandaji said “treachery is the greatest sin before God”, but i think you should pay attention to what he says about “friends who stab you in the back”, because even though i said “i won’t even pretend to understand”, you took it upon yourself to “gossip” about KM anyway. i don’t care: guruji loves both of you equally anyway, and so i love both of you equally anyway.

1059

okay, here’s another reason why i have been grumpy and out of sorts since my return from OCF:

a couple of friends of mine from bellingham, ken and kamalla, have been planning a celebration of “the summer of love” for a while, and i have been invited to play music, along with a bunch of other musicians including a guy who is a famous musician (he played with some big name musicians back in the ’60s and ’70s but i can’t remember their names at the moment). i was planning on staying at the house that i lived at when i was in bellingham, called the “madhouse”, but then i learned that the madhouse is currently vacant because of the fact that collette, a very old friend of mine who has also been staying at the madhouse recently, has gone crazy and has driven everyone else away. the guy who owns the madhouse, darol (another very old friend of mine) and collette are the only people living there – there are usually at least 4 people, apart from darol, who lives there all the time, living there, and sometimes more than that.

the thing is, the psycho hose-beast from hell also lived at the madhouse before her first visit to the state loony bin a couple years ago, and i don’t want my association with these people (collette and the PHBFH) to affect my relationship with darol, and i don’t have anyplace else to stay in bellingham these days, because ken and kamalla have decided that they can’t have house guests while they’re preparing for the show. i have been waffling back and forth, one day i’m going to go to bellingham, and the next day i’m not, ever since i came back from OCF, and i’m getting really tired of not knowing whether i’m going to go or not, especially since the show is supposed to be in two weeks.

i had an appointment with ned this afternoon, but i had a BSSB performance at highline community college beforehand, and there was a massive traffic jam, so i arrived to my appointment 10 minutes late, and ned had already left for the day – something that wouldn’t have happened if i were paying him, which i can’t do because i don’t have health insurance. at the same time, i have been feeling more and more grumpy and out of sorts, and i have been seriously considering things like attacking the car that i saw ahead of me in the traffic jam today that had a bumper sticker that said “marriage = 1 man + 1 woman” with my car, or jumping out and giving them a lecture on why discrimination of any kind is the exact opposite of what jesus would do, and i have been more and more concerned that this country is going to hell in a handbasket and there’s nothing i can do about it. i’ve even been seriously considering suicide because things seem so hopeless and there’s no possibility that things are going to change, except for the worse, any time in the forseeable future