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woo

today is the 10th anniversary of the commencement of this blog, on this server.

or, rather, the commencement of this blog on any OTHER server than LiveJournal.

this was the first post made on this blog. prior to this post, the blog was part of LiveJournal. i moved all of my content from LiveJournal to here (“here” has actually changed several times since then, but you know what i mean), so previous posts to this one are also on LJ, but it’s no longer being updated… except for that one time…

today, in more recent history, moe flew to las vegas, where she will be until sunday. i’ve got all four dogs, and they’re already going crazy. and i’ve got a snake suspenderz gig on saturday. 😕

😠

do you remember when #drumpf said that he could stand out in the middle of 5th avenue and shoot someone, and not lose any votes?

i want to be the person he shoots.

“Exclusive indexing goes against the Web’s inherent openness. Companies that try to curtail that openness don’t last long on the Web.”

i have always been suspicious of bing (no, i am not going to link to them). part of it is because i’m suspicious about microsoft (not going to link to them, either), generally, which has turned out to be a good thing more often than not. but part of it is because microsoft has weasled their way into an unholy allience with rupert murdoch, who also owns myspace (not going to link to them, either), fox news (ditto) and several other large media outlets. however, apparently microsoft and murdoch have been dealing recently with the idea of paying web sites to remove themselves from google indexes

what?!?

now google isn’t much better than microsoft, and google has it’s fingers in a lot of peoples’ pies, frequently without those people having the first clue that they’re feeding information to the CIA’s data mining team, but paying people not to be in google indexes is the first step towards requiring people to pay for material that would ordinarily be available for free on the internet.

my understanding is that the internet is supposed to make information freely available to those that would otherwise not have access to it because of cost. what they’re proposing is not only not in the public interest, but it is in the specific interests of murdoch and, to a lesser extent, microsoft.

therefore, i have taken it upon myself to block bing from indexing my sites. i have done this by adding the following to my robots.txt file.

User-agent: msnbot
Disallow: /

i have also heard that running iptables -A INPUT -s 65.55.0.0/16 -j DROP makes it so that any incoming request from bing will automatically be dropped before it even gets to robots.txt, but i don’t currently have access to iptables on my server.

and i’m not the only one. there is a growing movement to block bing – some have even suggested registering blockbing.org so there would be a convenient place to post and update information that would be available to everyone. i may do it…

mump & stuff…

Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Mark Twain) was born on Nov. 30, 1835, in Florida, Missouri. my ancestors from that time period were from the area around knob noster, missouri which is about 150 miles southwest of florida.

whoopie…

in spite of my desire to avoid the news in general, sometimes it slams you in the face and forces you to pay attention. this happened 20 minutes away from my house, but after a similar incident in seattle not too long ago, which put the whole state in an uproar, as though the two apparently unrelated events were cause and effect. my personal opinion is that there are very good reasons to get that angry with police officers in general, and they are not “completely innocent” regardless of how good they seem to be from time to time, but if nothing else these kinds of things are further indications that the world is, in fact, going to hell in a hand basket and there’s nothing that any of us, as individuals, can do about it except to sit back and watch in horror. of course, as a society we could do something about it, and there’s always that chance, but i don’t hold out much hope that we’re all going to be able to, literally, change our minds about so many things all at once. some of us could, there is no doubt, but getting most, if not all people to just change their minds like that is almost impossible. i’ve been told, by people i trust, that it’s going to get decidedly worse before it has a hope of getting any better at all, and that’s the primary reason that i simply don’t pay attention to the news most of the time. it’s not that i don’t care, it’s that i’d rather spend my time thinking about more positive things.

i have a rehearsal tonight, a rehearsal tomorrow, a rehearsal wednesday, a rehearsal thursday, the lenin lighting at the center of the universe (except that music will be provided by the Fremont Philharmonic, not the yellow hat band) on friday, the drawing jam at the gage academy on saturday and a free day sunday. then it’s the same thing again except that there’s also a free day a week from friday and an acupuncture appointment followed by two performances of alad’din a week from saturday and another one a week from sunday. my guess is that it’s going to be a couple of weeks of carefully conserving and spending spoons, otherwise there’s likely to be a meltdown before then.

the end(?) of a holiday weekend

i just got done dropping my mother in law off at the train station for her trip back to portland. she got here on thursday and it’s been a little tough to handle her actually staying at our house for longer than a few hours, because she’s… well… my mother in law. it’s a lot better than having my parents stay at our house, in fact i would probably draw the line well before my parents actually were able to come to our house, but at the same time, i had to be really discrete about, for example, smoking pot in the privacy of my own house for fear of “offending” her – despite the fact that she used to smoke pot herself (as claimed by moe). it’s okay, though, because i get the very strong impression that if it weren’t for the sake of “keeping up appearances” there is a very strong probability that i would be getting my mother in law stoned – which, itself, is something that i am almost tempted to try (just once) to see what it is like.

another thing that i found really bizarre is that, once moe had gone to bed last night, my mother in law pigeon-holed me and forced me to talk about “spiritual” things for a couple of hours last night. usually this wouldn’t be a problem for me, but i had to choose some of my words a little more carefully than i would otherwise have had to, because i didn’t want to say anything that would either be misinterpreted – which, with her, is fairly likely under the best of circumstances – or offensive to her, which i probably wouldn’t hear about directly from her, but indirectly through moe, at a later time, when the offense had had the chance to sink in and become a lot more permanent than it would be if she just spoke up about it at the time. i ended up making reference to The Looby from The Book of Lies, and 777, neither of which i could find (although they were right in front of my nose all the time, which is probably a message of some sort) to a person who believes in a weird combination of catholicism, “spirits and angels” and “native american stuff”, without mentioning that the author of said books was pretty much the exact antithesis of the beliefs she holds. basically i tried to keep it as “light” as possible, but even then it was really difficult not to laugh when she told me about the “psychic” she knows, who has apparently been engaged by the local police department, or the other person she knows who teaches “crystal gazing” and how she has taken her class and has a couple of “crystal balls”. i know that truth is relative, that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, and that anything is possible, but at the same time, the idea of my mother-in-law getting spiritual inspiration from gazing at a crystal ball is sort of amusing.

in the midst of entertaining my mother in law (which was actually moe’s responsibility most of the time) i created www dot twankey dot com – laundry online – for the widow twankey (email address widow@twankey.com), as a part of Alad’din and The Magic Lamp show coming up in a couple of weeks, and Fremont Players dot com which is currently a mirror of twankey dot com, but will eventually be an easier-to-remember and more colourful version of this page. it was actually kind of interesting to actually buy the new domain – which had never existed before – and then create web space for it, design a new page, post it and have the page show up at the new domain which had never been there before. it’s something, i suppose, that people have been doing to the web for a while, but it’s something new and different for me, and it was really interesting to actually do the whole process and watch the non-domain name suddenly and magically turn into an actual, real-live domain.

my workshop, DVR and SSDI

so the clarinet is done and all that’s left to do with it is locate the person for whom i’m doing it. i wrote her an email yesterday and she didn’t respond. i wrote her another one today laying out my schedule for the next four days and now it’s up to her. if i don’t hear from her in a week or so, i’ll just freecycle it to someone else… or, for that matter, the fact that it was given to me and remains unclaimed means that i can legally sell it on craigslist or something like that. my impression is that there are always a bunch of people who need a clarinet, if you know where to look.

which reminds me, i need to make up some flyers that advertise woodwind repair services and distribute them to the local public schools and music stores. i figure as long as i’ve spent the money to create this workshop, maybe i can use it to make back some of that money. after all it’s not just a one way street…

i got an amusing letter from DVR today, referring to my failed attempt to convince them that my business plan was a sound enough investment that they should help me out by building me a workshop. it says “if you would like DVR to review updated records or if you would like to discuss your current situation” that i should call this lady. i really want to call her up and tell her to fuck off and die, because they weren’t willing to help me, but now that i’ve actually qualified for SSDI, i’d be willing to bet that they’re trying to get their fingers in my pie. i’m probably going to call and talk to her, and i probably will not be as blunt as i am here, but i’m not sure, which is the reason i haven’t called her yet.

fun

bundy clarinetthis has been a fun day.

i got a clarinet from freecycle, and i’m really glad that i got it before anybody else, because it has had a broken key that would have driven the cost of repairing it up over $100. this is also one of the reasons that i recommend people who “know a little bit about musical instrument repair” don’t try to fix their instruments themselves. the clarinet was worthless with the broken key, and the most common way of “fixing” it that i have seen on other instruments i’ve worked on over the years has been “superglue”… which not only doesn’t work, but then I have to clean up the superglue from the key and the instrument before i can get down to the task of actually fixing it. the progress has been posted, and the rest of it should be finished and posted tomorrow.

also, i found more erzatz “Tina Chopp is God” material on cafepress, so i sent them a DMCA notice last week – not expecting that they would respond, and not being sure what the procedure is once they didn’t respond – and today i got email from a “content usage associate” who said

Thank you for your November 16, 2009 notification regarding the possible infringement of your rights by a user of our service. In accordance with our Intellectual Property Rights Policy, we have prevented the user from using the images on products for sale through their store.

geez, if i had known that it was that easy, i would have written them a long time ago, because various people who aren’t associated with the Church of Tina Chopp have been profiting from our God for at least 5 years. it’s enough to make me want to see if it might be possible to market Tina Chopp myself, since i now can.

and there’s a couple in california who is using cannabis – very successfully, i might add – to treat their child’s autism. will wonders never cease…

taking it easy… for a change.

after the combined stresses of having my web server go down and the IPv6 fiasco on my local computer, i was feeling pretty wound up yesterday, but i’ve found that going to a gig with la banda gozona and playing some really difficult but energetic, challenging and fun music on my trombone (i’ve switched to trombone from sousaphone, becase another reliable sousaphone player showed up, and memo wants to “shame” the other trombone player into actually playing the written notes more of the time, especially during performances where he has a tendency to “take a solo” at inappropriate times), along with fixing the direct cause of that stress, would appear to be exactly the right thing to do to alleviate said stress. the result being that i feel more relaxed this morning than i have in a long time. my computers are working, i actually got an incense order during the time that the local computer was down, business is doing well, i’m playing a lot of music with a whole bunch of different groups, i’m caught up enough with the projects that have been on hold for 4 years because of a lack of workshop space, that now i’m coming up with new project ideas and thinking of things i can make for people as gifts. also, there’s a clarinet needing repair that appeared on freecycle, so i’m going to pick it up this afternoon, fix it, and freecycle it to some other deserving person.

and, to make matters worse, i’ve found a PDF-scanned “DIY” book from the early ’70s that has a whole bunch of ideas for simple, cheap, portable living spaces that fit right in with the dome project fantasy that i’ve been playing with ever since i got back from burning man last year for a long time. maybe it’s time to start actualizing some of this fantasy play… 8)

this is a really strange place in which to find myself… i’ve always had this… not fear, although it amounts to the same thing… of fantasies, because deep down, i know that they are fantasies, and fantasies don’t exist in reality. but i’ve been playing around with the philosophical idea that opposites are an illusion for a while now, so maybe it’s time to try seeing what it would be like to actually make my fantastic ideas into real things.

more buggerish, then all is well…

there was a fair amount more IPv6 furor to deal with: i got email and firefox working, but it was a temporary workaround, because akregator and amarok (and probably a bunch of other things of which i’m only vaguely aware) were acting extremely screwy. akregator was displaying all of my RSS feeds, but it couldn’t find the server for any of them, even though many of them updated repeatedly during the past 48 hours, and the updates actually showed up on the screen. also, it found the text for new articles, but for some reason it couldn’t find the graphics at all. i finally solved the problem by changing the contents of /proc/sys/net/ipv6/conf/all/disable_ipv6 from 0 to 1, and then making it permanent by adding net.ipv6.conf.all.disable_ipv6 = 1 to /etc/sysctl.conf, all of which i found out about thanks to hints given to me by a very knowledgable gentleman named francis larson, to whom i owe a great deal of gratitude. you can read the whole sordid story, except for the part with francis larson, if you’re that inspired. it was also thanks to francis larson that i found out about the medibuntu repository, which will likely make it possible for me to do awesome audio stuff on my kubuntu box really soon.

in other news, there was this post at good as you which was an article from a 1906 newspaper about a woman who had married another woman, and was probably going to avoid punishment because she had broken no laws… which makes me wonder: if there were no laws against same sex marriages, presumably until after 1906, then it was apparently not enough of an issue to “the founding fathers” to take notice of it, so why are the “christians” so upset about it now? obviously there weren’t any laws against same sex marriage because they didn’t need them, regardless of whether or not they were actually occurring, which, if this article is any indication, they were, no matter what the “christians” are trying to tell us. and if they didn’t need them then, then why the hell are they getting their panties in a twist over them now? feh!

also, Oddly Specific

bugger

host problems combined with IPv6 incompatibilities have caused my complete absence from internet for the past couple of days. despite the fact that IPv6 is the latest, hottest thing to hit the net since the ping of death, it is just about as effective at this point, so i have disabled it and am suddenly able to do things like check my email and browse the web.

the other part, of course, is that the new host provider went down two days ago, so even if i hadn’t had the problems with the new IPv6, i still wouldn’t have been able to post anything, which is really irritating.

jewelry penis

mahasivalingam with gauri shankari ran out of purple beads. fortunately i know of two bead stores near where i live that are likely to have them. i really like the softflex wire that i bought recently, although the “medium” size won’t fit through a lot of the precious and semi-precious beads that i like working with. the fact that it crimps instead of me having to try to tie it tightly means that i produce jewelry that doesn’t have to stretch before i can sell it. i rebuilt my sivalingam necklace, which broke last year and i’ve been waiting until i had some more reliable way of rebuilding it before i rebuilt it. i added a gauri shankar, which makes it look even more like a penis — which, of course, is what it’s supposed to be anyway, but i find it very amusing that it would look as much like a penis as it does. i’m just waiting for some “christian” to ask me what it is.

Windoesn’t 7

so there’s a new commercial on TV, just in time for xmas, advertising the new HP laptop/netbook/desktop combination with Windows 7, which is “networked together by GeekSquad™”…

i have three computers, two laptops and a desktop, and all three of them are networked together, and we didn’t have anything like geek squad. in fact, they didn’t require any networking at all, we just started them up and they worked; two different operating systems – Mac and Kubuntu – the way that computers are supposed to work.

it’s my considered impression is that the only reason you would need GeekSquad™ is if you use Windoesn’t, and if you use Windoesn’t, ultimately, no GeekSquad™ in the world will be able to help you.

friday the 13th link dump!

friday the 13th actually comes on a friday this month! cool!

Hide My Ass dot com is a free proxy service for anonymity on the web. they also have a free disposable email address service, free file sharing, a link anonymizer and several other security related services.

i’ve subscribed to two blogs recently – People Of Walmart and Look At This Fucking Tea Bagger – it seems to me that there has to be some overlap, but it hasn’t made itself evident yet.

i’m getting all my “religion” news these days from people like P.Z. Meyers, Unreasonable Faith and Joe.My.God, the latter of which has recently been ratted out as a terrorist to the FBI for a comment that was made about the possibility of bombing churches… or something like that… one way or the other, it’s better than being catholic, especially considering how tightly their panties are being twisted in regard to a new law that would affect their ability to discriminate against gay people in washington DC.

speaking of which, after the governor of rhode island vetoed a bill that would allow same sex couples to make funeral arrangements for each other, he’s done a seeming 180 and said that he would be open to the idea of civil partnerships for same sex couples, in lieu of marriage. either that, or he’s a hypocrite. you can guess which direction i’m leaning.

snakes! eye luvvum!

i don’t understand my snake. he eats three medium adult mice about every six weeks or so, except that recently he’s been acting like he’s hungry (trying to find a way out of his enclosure, “hunting” behaviour, hissing and rattling his tail, that sort of thing), but when i put a mouse in his enclosure, he ignores it.

two cycles ago, i put a mouse in his enclosure, he ignored it, i took it out two days later and returned it to the snake-food store, returned it to him about two weeks later and it disappeared almost immediately, along with its two helpers.

yes, i name the mice i feed to my snake. is that wrong? i name them “Breakfast”, “Dinner” and “Tasty Snack”… is that wrong? and in spite of the fact that moe is responsible for us having the snake to begin with, she’s a vegetarian (as well as a veterinarian) and she doesn’t do well with the fact that the snake eats live mice. of course he eats live mice. what would you expect him to eat? those frozen things that the snake-food store sells to people who have snakes bred and raised in captivity? this is a wild-caught snake, and he doesn’t go for that sort of thing… oh well…

the last time, i gave him “Breakfast” and he ignored it for 2 days before he got around to eating it – imagine two days trapped in an enclosure with something which wants to eat you, but hasn’t decided when… yet… it made me feel a little guilty, but the snake ate the mice in the end, so i didn’t feel that guilty.

but this time, he ignored the mouse for 2 days and i finally gave up and “rescued” him. i plan on taking the mice (i bought 3 of them) back to the snake-food store this morning on my way to rehearsal – “hi, i bought three mice from you the other day and now i’d like to return them. my snake just wasn’t hungry”… 8/

we’ve had the snake – a sonoran rat snake named Agador – for 11 years, and he was anywhere from two to five years old when we obtained him. he was wild-caught by someone in eastern washington and kept as a “classroom pet” for a year before we got him, so it’s sort of a miracle that he’s even still alive at this point, but then all of our pets are geriatric, and if anybody takes good enough care of their pets to make them far outlive any of their contemporaries, monique is that person. all i can do is keep trying to feed him and hope for the best.

in other news, i had a performance in burien for the night of 1000 pumpkins last sunday, last monday and wednesday rehearsals for alad’din, a performance last thursday at the seattle art museum, a performance with the ballard sedentary sousa band on friday, 6 november, monday alad’din rehearsal, today i’ve got a snake suspenderz rehearsal in preparation for a performance on thursday, tomorrow i have a veterans day performance in bothell and an evening rehearsal for alad’din, and friday i get poked with needles by chris. on top of that, i fixed a clarinet and brought in another clarinet which i will fix tomorrow, i’ve completed two jewelry projects and prepared to tackle two or three more in the next week or so, and i’ve added a new section to my web site. i’ve been a spoon-spending bandit and i’m hoping things are going to calm down a little for a while so i can build up a new supply of spoons for the holiday.

demons

i have probably always been a computer geek, although for a long time i resisted being labeled as such because i was too interested in music, but my father has been a professional computer geek electrical engineer for as long as i have been around. one of the first “computers” i ever played with was actually a “dumb terminal” that had a big foam recepticle on the back of it to plug the phone reciever into so that it would do stuff more than just look and act like a selectric typewriter.

i saw my father at the Seattle Art Museum the other day. i was there for a performance of La Banda Gozona – where the consul general for mexico in seattle gave a long winded speech in spanish that i couldn’t understand – and i saw my father taking pictures. i was wearing my reading glasses, so i didn’t get a good look at him, and he disappeared before i could switch to my distance glasses, but i’m sure it was him. i find it very odd that, in spite of our differences, my parents haven’t spoken to me at all since my injury, and didn’t come visit me in the hospital when there was a chance that i would die… but i digress.

anyway, when i was first actively learning about computers, back in the late ’70s, i would frequently ask questions of my mentor, jim, and every now and then i would ask him a question which doesn’t really have an answer. questions like “why is it that when i tried X process, it failed, but when you tried exactly the same X process, it worked?” or “why is it that i send an email to X address and it never gets there, you send an email to X address and it takes two weeks to get there, and someone else sends an email to X address and it gets there immediately?” obviously there is some answer to questions like that, but often they are technical enough that even the experts might have difficulty explaining it, especially to someone (like me) who doesn’t understand.

when i would ask jim a question like that, he would get all quiet, look around mysteriously, and whisper “demons”…

he could have easily said “i don’t know” or “go look it up” or any one of a number of other perfectly rational responses, but that wouldn’t have made anywhere near the impression on me that blaming all my unknown computer problems on “demons” would have.

of course, i later learned that the electronic mechanisms that make things work inside computers are called “daemons”, but my impression is, even now, when i have wholeheartedly embraced the label of “computer geek”, that it still makes a fair amount of sense.

fast forward to a few days ago. i have just completed what i hope will be my last host provider switch for a LONG time, but i still have to figure out why the control panel on the new host works slightly differently than the (exact same) control panel on the old host: i set up a subdoman – przxqgl.hybridelephant.com – which, when you hit it with a browser, loads pages found at hybridelephant.com/przxqgl. it used to be that when you looked at the browser, you saw przxqgl.hybridelephant.com, but now, when you point your browser at przxqgl.hybridelephant.com it automatically redirects to hybridelephant.com/przxqgl and when i remove the redirect in the control panel, my browser gives me a “redirect error”.

so i wrote to tech support. he wrote back to me almost instantly, saying that he had gotten it to work, and that i didn’t need the redirect in the control panel.

… wait, what?

anyway, it works… and i keep thinking about jim and his “demons”…