stripe, still… 🙄

so, friday was the day that stripe said it was going to cancel my account. if the existence of my account is any indication, they have NOT done that… yet…

however, the last thing any stripe employee said to me was “I was able to check that your website products are not related to tobacco products or services. However, I cannot confirm anything for you at this time until a result of this validation is obtained.” so, i’m still not sure they WON’T cancel my account for, alledgedly, selling “tobacco products”. 😒

and, of course, this is a “holiday” (“labour day” was created to distract americans from “may day”, which is actually the holiday for labourers), which means that the earliest i expect to hear about this most recent “validation” is tomorrow… but i’m not going to hold my breath that it’s going to happen at all… in fact, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if i NEVER hear about it from stripe, especially because, as soon as i can settle on which one it’s going to be, i’m going to change credit card gateways to one that actually does their job, and doesn’t make unsubstantiated judgements about things that do not concern them. 🤬

and, thanks to my recent mushroom experience, i STILL give less of a fuck about these things, than i did prior to taking mushrooms, in spite of the fact that i am still very anxious and depressed. mushrooms are good for you (or, at least, for me)! 😉👍👍

🤬🤬🤬STRIPE!!🤬🤬🤬

stripe! 🙄

on 220823, i received a notice from stripe, saying that they were going to cancel my account, because i carried “tobacco products”.

i submitted a request for review on 220823. they said that they would get back to me within 48 hours, to evaluate my request.

on 220826 (72 hours later, 24 hours BEYOND their self-specified limit), i still hadn’t heard anything, so i got in contact with them. they said “the review is taking too long as expected” (🙄) and told me to be patient.

on 220828 (120 hours BEYOND their self-specified limit 😒), i got a notice that said “We have successfully completed our review, and you are welcome to continue processing payments with Stripe.”

on 220829, i got a notice that said “We’re contacting you to let you know that we’ve successfully completed a review of your account based on the information you recently provided to us.” and my account status went from “in review” to “good to go”.

on 220901, i got a notice that said “Unfortunately, following an additional review of your account for Hybrid Elephant, we’re still unable to support your business as it falls under one of our restricted businesses categories. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for tobacco products…”

i STILL don’t carry ANY “tobacco products”, and since 220826, i have REMOVED AND DELETED any products i carry which MIGHT BE MISTAKEN FOR “tobacco products”. 😒

so, i contacted their helpdesk.

the first person i spoke to said that there was no need to worry, that my account was “good to go”, and not to be concerned. when i asked them if they could explain to me why i received that notice this morning, they shunted me off to a member of their “specialised team”, who wouldn’t answer my question about why i received the notification this morning, but ALSO wouldn’t confirm that my account is “good to go”, either. he said ” I would like to make sure that I’ll provide you with the accurate information so please bear with me while we complete our review to your account.”

so, my stripe account has now gone through THREE (or four) reviews in the past two weeks, and they STILL can’t determine whether or not i carry “restricted products” (even though i clearly DO NOT).

once this whole thing gets settled, permanently, i AM going to switch credit card processors, because STRIPE SUCKS!!! 🤬🤬🤬

and that’s NOT TO MENTION the fact that stripe monetises white-supremacists and nazis, and i have been looking for a reason to dump them anyway. 🤬

my “don’t give a fuck” pill 🍄

mushrooms.

mushrooms are my “don’t give a fuck” pill.

when i get cranky, depressed, irritable, out-of-sorts, and tired of doing anything, my “don’t give a fuck” pill helps me survive all of the unjust, inconsiderate, and outright wrong things that are happening to and around me. 😒

yeah, it doesn’t make the problems go away, or even diminish noticably, but what it does is gives me the ability to “not give a fuck” rather than letting them fuck with my brain to the point of incapacity.

that’s what MEDICINE SHOULD DO!

my MENTAL HEALTH PRACTICIONER TOLD ME to take mushrooms. — it still BLOWS MY MIND that i was given this instruction 🤯

she was right. 😉

so, instead of griping about how unjust my life is these days, and how many things have gone irretrievably wrong, i’m going to post pictures of my cannabis plants, and my trip in the forest. 😉

220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers
220826 cannabis flowers

and it’s only the end of august! 😋

i went up road K again, where i saw the bear last year. no bears this year, but plenty of evidence that they had been there. 😉

220826 where i saw the bear
220826 where i saw the bear
220826 bear shit, five steps away
220826 bear shit, five steps away

because of the fact that it has been so dry, i actually went all the way up road K to the place where there isn’t any road, and there’s a sign that says “trail under construction, use different routes”. i could have gone further, but i was tired, and it was uphill. uphill is great when i’m “on my way up”, but by that time, i had reached a plateau, and uphill was asking too much.

so i walked back down to the old homestead, where i meditated for about an hour.

220826 looks like a duck
220826 looks like a duck

looks can be decieving… is something my father would have said. 😒

220826 duck, from the other side!
220826 duck, from the other side!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 MUSHROOMS!
220826 i'm in the middle of nowhere, and i'm not really sure why i'm here, but I EXIST, AND I AM IMPORTANT!
220826 i’m in the middle of nowhere, and i’m not really sure why i’m here, but I EXIST, AND I AM IMPORTANT!
220826 intersection
220826 intersection

and the difference in my mood will definitely be to my advantage tomorrow, when there’s going to be game night at the burke’s, and on sunday, when the sousa band is playing at the ballard locks. 😉

what the fuck, stripe? 🤬

tuesday morning, i got an email from stripe, the credit card processor for hybrid elephant. it said:

[Please Read] Closure of your Stripe Account for Hybrid Elephant

We’re writing to inform you that we have determined your business, Hybrid Elephant, is in violation of the Stripe Services Agreement. Specifically, we are unable to accept payments for tobacco products, as mentioned on our Restricted Businesses list.

um…

i don’t sell tobacco products.

repeat, i DO NOT SELL tobacco products, of ANY KIND!

never have, never will. 😒

i went to their list of restricted businesses, to see if i could figure out what was going on. they mention tobacco products, and e-cigarette juice (is it just me, or does the mere concept of “e-cigarette juice” sound just a little bit creepy?), and they also list businesses which sell “illegal drugs, items intended to mimic illegal drugs, and items intended for use manufacturing or using illegal drugs.”… which i take to mean that they’re down on “paraphernalia”, and i HAD a “Pipes” category on the site…

but, because of the fact that i actually haven’t sold a pipe in more than two years, i actually had the “pipes” category removed and deleted from the site today.

they said if i disagreed with their decision, that i could submit an appeal, which i did, on tuesday. they said they would get back to me “in 1 or 2 business days”. according to the way i figure it, “1 or 2 business days” should have been yesterday or today.

their web site DOES NOT list a phone number. moe said that they apparently have a “chat” feature, which i have used in the past, but i can’t seem to find it. if i can locate their “chat” feature, i’m DEFINITELY going to be in contact with them tomorrow. if i can’t, i don’t know what i’m going to do.

they gave me until 2nd september before they’re going to quit accepting payments from my site. 🤬🤬🤬🤬

it KEEPS! GETTING! WORSE!!! 🤬

and there doesn’t appear to be anything at all that i can do about it! 🤬

😭

after busking, today, i was driving home, up hobart-ravensdale road, and i got to the wind-ey part, just south of the cedar river, right before the summit-landsberg cutoff, and i encountered a deer which had been hit by a car, going the other direction. the car that hit the deer didn’t even slow down, but the injured deer was wobbling and bouncing all over the roadway, as i drove up. there were two cars going the other direction, which almost hit the deer, and three cars (mine included) going the other direction, which narrowly avoided hitting the deer. it wobbled over to the guardrail on the opposite side of the road, tried to jump, failed (because its back legs were no longer working), and i was able to pass, but almost immediately after i passed, the deer wobbled into the middle of the road again.

i cursed, because the only thing i could think of to do to help the deer was to kill it, because it was so injured that it probably wouldn’t walk again, if it survived at all… but the only way i had to kill it was to run it over with my car, which isn’t guaranteed to kill it, but IS guaranteed to mess up my car, and, besides that, there were two other cars going the same direction as me, and two cars going the opposite direction, and, with the deer wobbling around in the middle of the road, there is no guarantee that hitting the deer won’t also involve hitting another vehicle… and, by the time i had worked all this out, i was already on the other side of the cedar river, and away from the excitement. 😒

i drove the rest of the way home — about a mile and a half — in a daze. i texted moe, and she recommended that i go back and check if the deer was still on the road, and if it was, to call 911, but i didn’t… there were at least 5 other vehicles present, one of which had actually pulled off to the side of the road and stopped by the time i rounded the bend at the bottom of the hill, and there’s a sure bet that at least one person had enough wits about them to call 911… and, besides, i was (and still am) REALLY distressed by the whole thing, and going back, even if it was completely gone, would have just made it worse. 😭

i suppose it’s what i get for living out in the sticks. 😒

another weird incense customer…

i’ve had an incense customer since 2018. he has always ordered the same variety of incense and nothing else, and, except for his first order, which was for three boxes, he regularly orders 10 boxes at a time… but that’s not the weird part.

the weird part is that, apart from the time between 2020 and 2021, when his orders all came from the same location, he has ordered from a different residential location, in two different states, EVERY SINGLE TIME

and, as i said, he regularly orders 10 boxes of the same variety of incense at a time. 😕

makes me wonder… is he an AirBnB owner, or something like that, and is stocking up for his residences? is he a renter that burns incense so much that he has been evicted, and has to find a new place? is he ordering gifts for random people? what? 😵

so…

yesterday, the FBI served a search warrant at Mar-A-Lago, home of the former #SCROTUS, #drumpf. #drumpf wasn’t home, he was in new york, testifying in another legal proceding against him…

but he’s publically losing his shit, which is amusing to watch. 😉

however, forgive me for being skeptical, but, with all of the other fiascos going on — abortion, gun control, healthcare, climate change, nazis/fascists in the government (and elsewhere), and so on — while this is excellent news on the surface, i doubt that it’s going to amount to much.

we can always hope, but i’m not going to hold my breath. 😒

and to think… 😒

at one time i was a major apple fanboy… 😒

admittedly, it was back when the operating system was free, and all you had to do was go into your local computer store with four floppy disks, and you would walk out with a functioning operating system… in the early ’90s…

these days, apple has turned into a proprietary nightmare, which penalises people who buy and sell apple products without going through “proper” channels.

example:

my tablet has been needing service more and more frequently. it got a slight bend in the frame, and, apparently, the way they are made is flimsy enough that the strongest element is the screen… which breaks at the slightest breeze in the wrong direction.

my tablet first started exhibiting the symptom of “not charging” a few years ago. the first time it happened was when it was still under applecare warranty, but i took it to a third party repair shop (one hour device repair) once the applecare had expired. one hour device repair has a lifetime warranty on repairs, so subsequent times it started exhibiting this symptom, i took it back and got it fixed for free… and, usually, got a new screen in the process, because they had broken it in the process of fixing the charge port.

then, a couple months ago, someone (it may have been thaddeus, but i’m not sure) sat on the tablet (or something) which put enough of a bend in the frame that the screen no longer met the edge of the frame… at which point i started needing to get it repaired (for free) more frequently, but, on the up side, they could get the screen off without breaking it.

the last time this happened was last week. i took it in, and they diagnosed a new problem with one of the power management chips. they said that, under normal circumstances, their experience has been that once this power management chip starts to go, there isn’t anything that can be done to fix it.

🙄

so, knowing that apple sells “refurbished” equipment for EXORBITANT prices, the first place i looked was on craigslist, where i found an ALMOST IDENTICAL tablet (the old one is a 3rd gen., and the new one is a 4th gen.) for $690… which is A LOT less than i could get it refurbished (starts around $1,200 and goes up from there). i contacted the guy, and arranged to pick it up (which is what i was doing at dick’s drive in the other day). he said that the applecare subscription expired tomorrow (which is now yesterday), but he was going to extend it a month, so i could get a chance to switch it over to my name.

so, i called applecare, and (after getting cut off mid-call), i finally learned that i couldn’t switch the applecare to my name, because it had to be done by the original owner. so i contacted the guy, and arranged to meet him in issaquah. when he called applecare, they asked him his name, and the serial number of the device…

and then, they told him that it is NOT POSSIBLE to switch the applecare to anybody else. i can’t even wait for the applecare in his name to expire, and then subscribe with my name, because i am not the original purchaser.

if i had bought a “refurbished” tablet (from apple), it would have come with “refurbished applecare”, but, because i bought it directly from the seller, they didn’t have a chance to “refurbish” it, and they aren’t willing to issue a new applecare subscription.

AT ALL!

EVER!!!

🤬

apple has just lost ANY loyalty i may have still had for their products. this is totally stupid! 🤬

it’s never going to be “back to normal”… this is the new normal.

last summer, we had temperatures in the 110s farenheit. this year, europe is having temperatures in the 40s celsius (approximately the same).

the recent COVID19 variants have “stealth” capabilities: they have very few, if any symptoms, and can fool some tests into giving a negative result… but the infected person is still massively contagious, and, because of the fact that there are few symptoms, they are less inclined to do things like mask and isolate, which infects others… and they still have the possibility of developing “long covid”, or monkeypox.

and i remember, way back when the pandemic was first starting up, in early 2020, before they discovered the first vaccines, when the CDC basically said that, if we could get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, that we could get ahead of it… but of course, that never happened, because there were too many COVIDiots who believed #drumpf when he said it would miraculously vanish. 😒

AND EVEN NOW there are public media personalities and prominent politicians who are TELLING PEOPLE that there is no pandemic, that it’s a fraud concocted by the chinese to destabilise our economy, that masks are a sign of slavery, and encouraging people to eat horse paste to “cure” COVID symptoms. 🙄

the republicunts, through a largely #drumpf-appointed supreme court, have overthrown Roe v. Wade and are champing at the bit to overthrow gay and interracial marriage, birth control, and transgender health care, and enact a nationwide ban on abortion, with no exceptions for rape, incest, ectopic pregnancy, or, basically, anything else, and the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it.

there has hardly been a week go by — sometimes as frequently as every day — when there HASN’T been a mass shooting. sometimes it’s the police killing innocent, unarmed (but, unfortunately, black) people, and sometimes it is people like kyle rittenhouse, who crossed state lines with his mother and an (unlawful) assault rifle to join a riot, ended up killing two people, got away with it, and is now a “celebrity” who appears on talk shows and is interviewed by pundits, or the kid who shot up a grocery store in buffalo because he wanted to start a race war, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed, or the kid in texas who shot up an elementary school, or the kid who shot up a black church, who was taken into custody by police, completely alive and unharmed…

and, once again, the republicunts are blaming everything, and everyone EXCEPT the guns, and, once again, the democrats, lead by our so-called “president” joe biden, seems disinclined to do anything about it. 😒

meanwhile we have people like tucker carlson, alex jones, and other news media figures, who are actively fomenting unrest, with disinformation, misinformation and flat-out lies about everything from the most recent presidential election, to “the great replacement” conspiracy, to “Q-anon” madness, and blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi propaganda. and we have people like the “proud boys”, the “3 percenters”, the “oath keepers” and other blatantly right-wing, fascist, nazi fanboys, who eat it up and spew out their own particuarly putrid brand of garbage, which is duly reported on by the news media.

and they STILL haven’t addressed things like gun control, universal health care, student debt forgiveness, or climate change, all of which are broadly popular and essential. federal minimum wage is STILL less than $7.50 an hour, which isn’t even starvation wages, these days.

AND IT’S NOT GETTING BETTER!

in fact, in many ways, it’s getting WORSE!! 🤬

at this point, as far as i can tell, the ONLY hope for a reasonably un-polluted, reasonably progressive future, with more or less equal rights for everyone, is a massive general strike… and that’s probably not going to happen, because a big chunk of people can’t be bothered or don’t care, and another big chunk of people believe they CAN’T go on strike, because of rent and food worries…

but, as far as i can see, those two big chunks of people are just delaying the inevitable, because the chaos that WILL ensue WHEN (not if) civilisation collapses will be WAY worse.

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts, update (🤬)

according to the latest CDC guidelines, i was supposed to isolate for 5 days, and wear a mask for a week, as long as i continue NOT to have symptoms.

i isolated for five days, and on the seventh day (three days ago), my rapid antigen test had a SOLID positive line inside of five minutes (moe says it was more like 10 minutes, but i disbelieve her, this time), despite the fact that it’s supposed to take 15 minutes. my impression is that this is a fairly common occurrence, because there are "tips" that you can find on the web, that contain instructions on how to gimmick INCREASE THE PROBABILITY OF NEGATIVE post-COVID testing, which include rinsing nasal passages, blowing your nose, and using a neti pot immediately prior to the test.

but, the thing is, i have a gig TOMORROW where i will, potentially, be playing my tuba for multiple hundreds of probably un-masked people (it’s the west seatle summer festival), and, while it’s going to be outside, there appears to be another "surge" happening: SINCE THE FAIR i have gotten email from no less than 12 people who got COVID AT THE FAIR!! 🤬

and the STUPID MOTHERFUCKING ANTI-VAX REPUBLICUNT NAZIS would have you believe that it’s all a hoax, and that people aren’t REALLY getting sick.

🤬🤬

stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts!! 🤬

i SHOULD BE at the oregon country fair, at this very moment… but i am not.

less than 12 hours BEFORE i was supposed to leave, i tested positive for COVID-19. moe tested positive, as well. 😒

i mentioned it on twit-turd™, and some random person responded “your (sic) fully vaccinated? why blame the anti-vaxxers?”

to which i responded “”your” fully vaccinated?” PLONK! 😒”

(if you don’t know, “PLONK!” is the sound that spam messages make when they are shit-canned)

however, here is my reason for blaming the antis/republicunts:

if you recall, way back, two years ago, when this whole pandemic was first starting up, the CDC came out with a statement along the lines of “if we can get EVERYONE to wear a mask for a month, we can defeat this.” this was BEFORE they even had a vaccine…

but there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who believed #drumpf when he said that it would miraculously disappear, and totally ignored the CDCs recommendations.

and tens of thousands DIED because of it.

then they announced a vaccine, and there were a whole bunch of anti-mask republicunts who said that the vaccine contained aborted fetuses, or some such garbage, and refused to get vaccinated.

literally MILLIONS died, but the antis stood their ground, as millions of THEIR OWN KIND were dying around them…

and, more recently, there has been the “federal” (#drumpf-appointed) judge who decided that the mask mandates for airlines and public transportation were “unconstitutional”, and the rush to re-open businesses, and the rush to “get back to normal” that has totally ignored the CDC recommendations (AND, i might add, COMMON SENSE) which means that millions MORE died…

if we had listened to THE EXPERTS about this, we would have been done with it, or, at the very minimum, be well on our way to recovery by now, but…

now, don’t get me wrong: if a person CLAIMS TO BE an “expert” on something, i ALWAYS take what they say with “a grain of salt”, particularly when they claim to be an “expert” in MY health. but i also know enough history to know that, in 1918, when we had a pandemic of the “spanish flu” (which turned out to be an american phenomenon that was first isolated by spanish doctors), BEFORE the advent of reliable vaccines, the “anti-mask” crowd was the PRIMARY reason (along with world war one) that it lasted for 3 years.

yesterday, i felt “under the weather”, and slept most of the day. towards the end of the day, i transitioned from feeling “under the weather” to feeling truly awful, but (fortunately) moe was there with over-the-counter medicines and common sense, and i actually slept through the night (which is something that i rarely do, under the best of circumstances, these days), and i feel weak, but more-or-less normal today… but i was SUPPOSED TO BE at OCF LAST NIGHT — my panto comrades are going to miss me, there are at least two pieces of music they CAN’T PLAY because there are prevelant tuba parts, and, because of the fact that i tested positive on tuesday night, i can’t even go out in public (even with a mask) until sunday or monday.

and i have ZERO compunction about naming the stupid motherfucking anti-vax republicunts as THE primary cause of this. 🤬

and, despite the fact that boris johnson (the UKs answer to #drumpf) stepped down as the prime minister of the UK, yesterday, i am still not holding my breath that anything is going to change for the better, any time soon.

fortunately, i haven’t seemed to have lost my sense of taste and smell: i’m currently burning incense, which i can smell, and moe made chicken soup, which tastes AWESOME, but both moe and i have commented on the “brain fog”, which will, hopefully, go away over time.

what the…?

i don’t know for sure, because i don’t know what it would be like if i HADN’T taken mushrooms a week ago, but i will say that it’s PROBABLY a good thing i took mushrooms a week ago, because the intervening week was depressing beyond belief.

last tuesday, which was also our 24th wedding anniversary, when i was IN THE MIDST of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i EXPECTED (considering how weak and impotent the immediately previous psychedelic experience had been), i got a text from moe, which said that some unknown thing had happened to rye (currently, our most senior dog, at 11½ years), and he was having trouble walking, moving, and standing — quelle horreur!!

220624 injured rye
220624 injured rye
when moe came home (still in the midst of a significantly more powerful psychedelic experience than i was expecting), rye was barely recognisable: he was curled up and bent over like a dog that was in SEVERE pain, he could barely walk, and he couldn’t even manage the two stairs leading from the garage to the back yard. they had done everything they could at moe’s veterinary practice to alleviate his pain, but they didn’t have a clue, and when they sent his x-rays out to a specialist, there was still no clue why he was in pain, so thursday, he had an MRI, and had surgery on his neck THAT DAY, because it was that emergent. 😱

the neurologist said that they were suprised the dog was walking at all. 😟

he came home from the hospital friday, and has been recovering ever since… which, basically, means that his movement is severely restricted: he lives in an ExPen, in the living room, full time, except for 4 or 5 bathroom breaks every 24 hours, and he sleeps in a kennel in monique’s office. it’s going to be two weeks before he will be allowed to go up and down stairs again, so moe has moved all of her stuff downstairs for a couple weeks.

SINCE THEN, i have had to deal with, suddenly, being in the middle of rehearsal season (rehearsals wendesday, sunday, monday, tuesday, wednesday, and so on) which i haven’t experienced AT ALL for two years, AND i’m going to the oregon country fair, for the first time in two years, which TERRIFIES me, even though i really want to go, AND (oh, joy), we’re getting a NEW PUPPY WHILE i will be at the oregon country fair… which means that, when i get home from OCF, we’re going to have a disabled dog, and a new puppy, AT THE SAME TIME

😩😰

i am running low enough on spoons that i actually cancelled busking this week, because i have a rehearsal later that day, and i’m pretty sure that if i went busking, i would be totally useless by the time the rehearsal came around.

quite apart from it being EXTREMELY WEIRD to be high on mushrooms while dealing with emotional people (who don’t know i am on mushrooms), and a severely injured dog, and quite apart from the fact that i am committed to doing something (OCF) that simultaneously terrifies me and is something i REALLY want to do, this entire sequence of events has not been particularly easy or enjoyable for me… 😒

and i’m REALLY not sure how i would have been able to handle it if it were NOT for mushrooms.

🍄mush🍄room🍄satis🍄faction🍄

the other day i took one 00-sized capsule of dried mushroom, and experienced an OVERWHELMINGLY ASTOUNDING reduction of my depression, but a heightening of my FRUSTRATION that it “wasn’t enough”.

and it wasn’t enough, dammit! when i take psychedelic mushrooms, i expect to FEEL something… not just be less depressed! 😉

(i’ll take being less depressed, if that’s all it’ll give me, but, seriously… it ain’t enough.)

so, today, i took FOUR 00-sized capsules of dried mushroom.

no more frustration. 😉🍄

just realised…

this year will be the first year that i have been going to the oregon country fair in which i have had ENOUGH cannabis! it’s legal in oregon, and i have a medical permit AND i still have more than a pound of buds from last year’s harvest… 😎

of course, it’s still prohibited by the fair, but everyone knows how much that is enforced. 😉

🍄mush🍄room 🍄frustration🍄

once again, i have stooped to buying mushrooms through twitter.

this time, apparently, i was more successful.

i got two 3.5g packages (¼oz total) — professionally produced, expensive packages (which, in themselves, make me wonder A LOT about their provenance) — of APEs, which are a variety of p. cubensis.

they definitely appear to be “the right thing”, however, once again, i run HARD into this frustration that i may or may not have expressed previously, which is, specifically, that i take MINISCULE amounts of this “drug”: one 00-sized capsule of pulverised mushroom — so small an amount that i notice absolutely NO “psychedelic” effects WHATSOEVER — and, yet, there is an OVERWHELMINGLY ASTOUNDING reduction in the level and quality of my depression.

i HATE IT that this drug is so good. i HATE IT that, in spite of everything, this drug remains illegal. i HATE the bizarre hoops that i’ve had to jump through to obtain it…

and i HATE that i am unable to take enough more that i can actually get some psychedelic experiences out of it, because i don’t know when (or if) i’m going to be able to get more. 🤬

why i do it, part ∞

Re:[## 78615541 ##] ABUSE VIOLATION: Give your feedback, get a $75 8J+NqPCfjag

Zoho Campaigns has a zero tolerance policy towards spam, and we do everything we can to curtail it. Thank you for sharing the email header. We have taken punitive action against the user as per our terms of use.

i don’t get these notices often, because of various “spam policies” held by the offending parties, but, occasionally, i get solid validation that the spammer i reported has been flattened by the mallet.

it feels good.

happy “ride a unicycle” day!

220515 salamandir on a very small bicycle

okay, so it’s not a unicycle… but i’m free-mounting at least once for every 15 minutes of practise… and it’s not often that one gets to ride such a tiny bike. 😉

behind me, you can see hannah, riding a unicycle, between two bars. she is probably no older than 7 or so, and i WATCHED HER learn more on the unicycle, TODAY, than i learned in two years!

it’s so inspiring having young kids in the same class as old geezers.

annual moisture festival…

i got my MF check today… 😒

  • 2022, 15 shares, $750 – $50 per share
  • 2021, 4 “virtual” shows, i played for 2 of them, no payment.
  • 2020, 17 shares – cancelled at the last minute, because of the imminant pandemic.
  • 2019, 13 shares, $520 – $40 per share
  • 2018, 11 shares, $330 – $30 per share
  • 2017, ?? shares, $480
  • 2016, 15 shares, $600 – $45 per share
  • 2015,
  • 2014,
  • 2013, 14 shares, $490 – $35 per share
  • 2012, 16 shares, $720 – $45 per share
  • 2011, 14 shares…

as always, they included a note that says “Please don’t approach this as a paid gig or a money-making booking, because there is no financial guarantee…” blah, blah, blah…

the fact is, the moisture festival is STILL one of my “top paying gigs” every year, and the fact that i’m on SSDI doesn’t matter.

at the same time, $50 a share is as high as it’s been since i started keeping track… i wonder if this means that i’m one of those people who has been making money because of the pandemic? 😒

snakez alive busking

220511 Snakez Alive, busking at the Pike Place Market
The team of Thaddeus Spae (banjitar) and salamandir (tuba) performing at Pike Place Market, 5-11-22. Thaddeus said he has a street performance badge since 1975, while salamandir has one from 1978

220511 Snakez Alive, busking at the Pike Place Market
The team of Thaddeus Spae (banjitar) and salamandir (tuba) performing at Pike Place Market, 5-11-22. Thaddeus said he has a street performance badge since 1975, while salamandir has one from 1978

photography by david carlos

it’s…

it’s almost a sacrilege to wear this hat with ANYTHING other than an all-purple suit (and even better if it was a matching zoot suit, but they cost too much), and i have such a suit… but i’ll post this because it’s SO cool…

220510 salamandir's purple Tando hat
220510 salamandir’s purple zoot Tando hat

this is the final element of an all-purple suit: coat and pants, vest, shirt, cufflinks, a choice of 3 DIFFERENT shades of long ties, or a bow tie, pocket-square… i’ve even got a purple and black lapel-pin…

i MIGHT be wearing this to busk in, tomorrow… we’ll see. 😉

fitment

220509 fitment
220509 fitment

unless something very unusual happens after this point, this is what my car’s hood will look like, very soon… (except that it won’t be blurry or fuzzy, that’s just the screen-resolution graphic. the finished product will be full colour and crisp lines. 👍😉)

and, to midnight window tinting (the guys who didn’t care about the fact that i couldn’t email updates to them), i say “bleh”. 😛 wicked wraps was able to handle my file without an issue, didn’t require me to save it in a different format, was able to figure out EXACTLY what i wanted with minimal input from me, they’re doing it for less money than midnight window tinting 👍👍, and they even took the finished graphic as a RGB file (which amazed even me), because, apparently, their equipment works better with RGB than it does with CMYK… 👍 they haven’t even seen my car, yet, and, already, they’re doing a far better job than you guys ever did! “bleh” 😛

urgh!

from the inside, looking out, life is pretty decent: we’re busking again, there are gigs on the horizon, nothing serious is wrong with the house, i’m getting my art car made… i’ve still got a big, scary thing that hasn’t happened for 2 years, but was pretty much essential to my life for some time before that (which is the oregon country fair)…

but from the outside looking in, 50 years of my life, and most of my identity, has been summarily dismissed by the supreme court, which has indicated its willingness to overturn roe v. wade, despite the fact that there isn’t a single state for which the overturning of roe v. wade commands more than 30% support…

which, of course, is PRIMARILY due to #drumpf, who, despite being impeached TWICE, managed to jam through three supreme court “justices”, two of whom are credibly accused sexual predators, and the other is amy coney barrett, who thinks that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant.

and all of that is coming from EXACTLY the same people that gave us matt gaetz, who is under investigation for human trafficking and sex with teenagers, and jim jordan, who is accused of enabling a sexual predator, and roy moore, who is accused of sexually predating teenagers at a mall, and madison cawthorn, who idolises hitler, and films himself fucking his cousin in the ear, and another guy who is a long time republican politician who was convicted of possessing pornographic images of children, and the “jewish space laser lady”, and on, and on, and on, and on, and FUCKING ON!!… 🤬🤬🤬

and the chance that ANY OF THEM are going to face real justice of any kind is vanishingly small. 🤬

and that’s not even to mention the fact that #drumpf, himself, along with ALL his cronies, and partners in crime, are STILL running around free, and having rallies, and spewing misinformation, disinformation, and OUTRIGHT LIES to anybody who will listen, which, apparently, is about 49% of the population of the country…

seriously, politics has gotten so over-the-top, blatantly FASCIST, pretty much ever since #drumpf was elected (but, honestly, i see the first inklings of fascism in the 1970s, when nixon and mcgovern butted heads)… the country, and the world, has gotten so right-wing, “christian”, and “conservative” that it’s beyond merely frightening, and everything i’ve seen seems to indicate that it is going to get orders of magnitude worse before there’s any hope of it getting better…

and, if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, don’t even get me started on climate change… 🤬🤬🤬

a long time ago…

229430 hemp stalks for casting  i ching
229430 hemp stalks for casting i ching
a long time ago…

(and i know it was a long time ago, because it was when i put a lot more faith (or whatever) in such things, which i have not done since well before my injury…)

i learned that there was some sort of mystical presence unlocked when, instead of using yarrow stalks, you used hemp stalks to cast i ching hexagrams.

i have always thought it was an interesting idea, and, to that end, now that it’s legal to grow hemp, i have now accumulated 50 appropriately sized hemp stalks which are intended to be used to cast i ching hexagrams.

however, because of the fact that i no longer place much faith (or whatever) in “techniques for divination”, i wonder what i should do with them? 🤷

i understand that i ching, particularly, is used as a valid form of self exploration, as well as a meditative practice, especially when the ancient, and far more meditative form of casting (which uses yarrow/hemp stalks), is used… but i don’t feel tremendously inspired to take up, or incorporate, another ancient practice, along with the ancient hindu, taoist, and muslim practices in which i currently engage.

i could put them up for sale on my web site, but that would seem to imply that i have multiple sets of stalks… and, while i do, there aren’t that many, currently, and only one of them is prepared enough to sell…

🤷

new car, new art

220429 ganesha the car art
220429 ganesha the car art

this may not be the final artwork, but it’s pretty close.

i dispensed with midnight window tinting, despite the fact that they sent me an original graphic, last year, when my cloud drive was vandalised, because the guy refused to talk to me, gave me vague reasons for doing things that i know nothing about, and refused to tell me more, then gave me a screen shot of my artwork that was totally screwed up (despite the aforementioned fact that he actually had a good copy, previously), and, to top things off, his email provider uses a spam detection service that “detected” my email, and refused to deliver my emails to him, and when i texted him to tell him, his response was “don’t care”…

i’m now going with “wicked wraps” — sounds like an east coast thing, but they’re on the west coast… who knows? 🤷 — i haven’t met them in person, yet, but i’ve corresponded with them, and i’ve seen their work, driving on the freeway…

further mush 🍄 room fun

the mycelia that i inoculated back in february have been making themselves evident for about a month now, and everything i’ve read seems to indicate that distributing the mycelia, once it’s growing, doesn’t necessarily require sterile components… I THINK that means i can put NON-sterile potting soil, and NON-sterile wood chips into my planter bags, and move them outside pretty much any time… at this point, i’m going to experiment, by putting half of the mushroom spawn in sterile media, and half in not-sterile media, to see if there’s any difference.

the sooner i transfer the spawn, the sooner i will have a crop. at this point i’m thinking, maybe, august or september… 😉

continued…

as i was saying…

i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬

once again, i have found myself in one of those places: everything is going smoothly, the moisture festival is over, and, apart from being sick for a couple of days after it was over (NOT COVID!), everything went about as well as i could normally expect… i had a unicycle class today, and i worked on my free-mounting and my turns, and i didn’t fall off… and one time i managed to ride THROUGH a group of people and i didn’t hit one of them! 😉👍 there’s a better-than-normal chance that thaddeus and i are going busking on wednesday… i got two incense orders this week… the next big thing on the schedule is OCF, which IS happening, and i AM going (despite the fact that it terrifies me), but only because the band needs a tuba… i don’t know that i’m going to do an awful lot other than play music, and hide in my tent, but i AM going to go…

and, yet, i have this feeling of impending dread… gilbert gottfried died the other day, and he was 67… only five years older than me. i’ve already tried to die once, and failed miserably… what’s the guarantee that i won’t be more successful the next time?

combine that with the fact that i haven’t seen a doctor, apart from an ophthalmologist, for more than 10 years, and that is PRIMARILY because, in spite of everything (i.e. my brain injury), i am overly suspicious of “doctors” in general: i have had personal experience, on a number of occasions, where, if it weren’t for ME saying something, i would have been treated for diseases or conditions that I DON’T HAVE, because somebody, somewhere, made a notation error, and nobody actually knew me well enough to know that there had been an error made…

my erstwhile GP, doctor wackaloon, had notated in my chart that i had a heart stent, but had no notation about my brain injury… and he had been my GP for 10 years! 🤬 and when i was in the hospital, recovering from my brain injury(!!!!😠), i had to inform the nurse that i am not, in fact, diabetic, which was in direct conflict with my chart, which said i was… 🤬🖕🤬

and even the ophthalmologist thought i had glaucoma, because she made me take the glaucoma test with my right hand, and my right hand doesn’t work about half of the time! i told her this before i took the test, but she said no, that it was “standard” to test people with their right hand. when i took the glaucoma test with my left hand, like magic, glaucoma was no longer an issue. 😒

and i’m really not sure how to resolve my suspicion of doctors, and go see a (different) GP, because of the fact that i don’t have any health insurance other than medicare, AND the fact that i would probably have to personally interview several doctors before deciding, and i don’t really think that doctors make time for that, these days… 😒

but, at this point, apart from entirely expected “getting old” things, like sore muscles and arthritis, my health appears to be pretty good… which — i guess — is as good a reason as any to figure these things out now, rather than waiting until i actually have something go wrong with my health, and having to make the decision out of hurried necessity… 😒

the end of (another) era…

the last performance of the 2022 moisture festival happened last night. it was the last performance (that we currently know of) in hale’s palladium, EVER… the palladium has been sold, and there is no word on whether or not the “new owners” (whoever they may be) are interested in continuing to rent their former beer warehouse to a bunch of crazy hippies for a month, every year.

the largest, longest-running comedy/variety showcase IN THE WORLD is now looking for a new venue… rather like Teatro Zinzanni (a long-time moisture festival ally), which has been looking for a new venue, on and off, for 20 years. 😒

in 2004, the moisture festival was held, for the first time, in rev. chumleigh’s circus tent in downtown fremont. it was two days: the fremont philharmonic was to play the first day, and the zebra kings were supposed to play the second day, but because of the fact that the zebra kings were nowhere to be found, and most of the fremont philharmonic was backstage when the show was getting ready to start, the fremont phil played both days. at the time, i was under the impression that the moisture festival was going to be a “one off”, because i couldn’t imagine the city actually allowing us to set up a tent in a parking lot all the time, but little did i know that, already, there were plans being made.

the fremont phil, at the time, consisted of fred hawkinson, on trombone, the leader of the band, and the composer of most of the tunes we played; jeremy reinhardt on baritone and flute, and the composer of the rest of the tunes we played; ted lockery on trumpet, pam mcrae on clarinet, sasha malinsky and alan… um… i don’t remember alan’s family name, on drums (they alternated); john cornicello on keyboard, and myself on E♭ tuba. we were just off playing for billion bunny bash, and the cirque de flambé shows at magnusen park, but before fred quit the band. i remember, specifically, people not being able to find ANY of the zebra kings, and it being about five minutes before curtain when they asked us if we wanted to play, i also remember A LOT of chaos, disorganisation, and people running around like headless chickens… something which never completely went away, even after we moved to the palladium.

the first show in the palladium was when it was still being a beer warehouse: pallets of kegs, empty beer bottles and cans, A LOT of beer, porta-potties for public toilets, and a significant rat problem were among the first recipients of the moisture festival shows. the second year (the first year in the palladium, which would have been 2005) was four days, i believe, and the start of the tradition of the “marathon”, which was, the last show went on until there were no acts left who “wanted” to perform. the first marathon lasted until midnight, and from that time on, until we decided that it was getting to be a bit too much, the marathons got longer, and longer… and longer… and LONGER… the last marathon (year 6 or 7, possibly) started at 9:30 pm and lasted until 6:30 am the next morning… and we STILL had acts that wanted to perform, but some of us had to go to work in the morning, and ALL of us were so tired that we couldn’t see straight. after then, we decided that the tradition of the marathon had outlived its purpose. 😉

after year 2 (the first year in the palladium), i was more convinced that we were going to establish a yearly event.

the moisture festival started expanding after year three or four, i think… primarily because of the fact that, during one of the burlesque performances, an arialist had a “strategic costume malfunction”, ripped off her costume, and continued the performance entirely naked. the audience LOVED IT, but mike hale (the owner of the palladium) was a “christian” and was completely scandalised, although he made it sound a lot more like he was concerned about the city ordinance regarding “titties and alcohol”. 😉 he threatened to have the entire event shut down unless we found another venue for the more “suggestive” shows. 🤣

i made the programs for year 7. year 9 the programs went online, because that way it would be easier to modify them, when (as happened in previous years) an artist cancelled at the last minute, or changed their schedule without notifying anyone. and it made excellent use of the new domain and web site that the event had just purchased. 😉

the 2020 moisture festival was all set to go when the pandemic hit, and it was unceremoniously cancelled at the last possible moment. the 2021 moisture festival was four days of online presentations. i took part in two of them, but it was so totally “not the same” that it was entirely forgettable.

the moisture festival WILL continue… we now have the infrastructure and the network to insure that. what is still in question is how that continuance will take shape.

whatever happens, despite my near-constant griping and moaning about individuals associated with the moisture festival, there will be nothing, EVER that even remotely compares to the moisture festival, as it has been.

🤬

i’m so used to being depressed and anxious that, when things are going well, instead of enjoying the fact that things are going well, it makes me more depressed and anxious, because i KNOW that things are getting ready to go “wrong-er” than they have ever gone before, and they’re just waiting for me to relax and ease my guard a little, so that they will have even more effect… 🤬

one week of moisture festival down, one fluffing session complete (also, a term used in vaudeville, to describe preparing the awaiting audience outside the theatre for the show they are about to attend: getting them “in the mood”… 😉), and one more week to go… it’s kinda sad that this is probably going to be the last show in the palladium (and, possibly, the last moisture festival, ever), but it’s good that we were the band that had two weeks this year. i realise that i have been complaining, almost every previous year, that other bands were getting more of the limelight, but it’s good that it worked out this way, and i can say that i’ve been a part of the moisture festival ever since the beginning, when we did the show in rev. chumleigh’s tent in downtown fremont…

i’m getting totally fed up with the former owner of our house: ron zeising, general contractor and owner of a “home improvement” business, who thought that, because he was a general contractor, he could make “improvements” on his (now our) house “on the cheap” and skirting (or outright ignoring) building codes. recently (last month?) we paid $6,000 to a HVAC specialist to rip out and replace ALL of the heating ductwork in the house, because poor design (by ron zeising) meant that most of the heat from the very expensive, top of the line furnace (which was one of the selling points of the house), was going into the crawlspace, and the heating bills were through the roof.

of course, ron never had a problem with the heating bills, because, despite the fact that he had an expensive, top of the line furnace AND a heat pump, which provides central air conditioning as well, ron heated the house with the wood stove, and left all the doors and windows open in the summer… 🤷

we just had the last workman leave from rebuilding the “retaining wall” under our deck… and it’s a good thing, too, because, if we hadn’t, the deck would have eventually fallen off. now it is a good deal less likely to fall off, but in order to make it secure, it still needs some work: when it was in the process of being built, ron zeising just piled large rocks, bricks (including half of someone’s chimney, and a large cylindrical concrete footer for a post), and random construction rubble, next to the house, covered it with a thin layer of topsoil, and then built a deck over it… concrete pillars, on top of a thin layer of topsoil, and construction rubble… 🙄 it’s as though he thought that, because of the fact that he was a general contractor, nobody would ever question the work that he did, so he just. didn’t. care. 🤬

however, end result: we got a nice, new, secure, sturdy retaining wall, a couple of new raised beds to grow vegetables, and A LOT of new concrete under the deck pillars(!)… 👍 and yet another $6,000 chunk taken out of our checking account. 🙄

MF: one week down, one to go

220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
220327 moisture festival intermission, from the orchestra pit
as the moisture festival enters its third week of 2022, they have been testing EVERY PERFORMER, EVERY DAY, and so far, NOBODY has tested positive… and there has been only one person associated with the festival who has tested positive, independant of the MF testing, and he tested positive BEFORE coming in contact with anyone from the festival…

and, as everybody has been saying, it’s really great to have a LIVE audience for whom to perform…

but i’m still terrified… not enough to stop me from plating, but enough that it is definitely making a difference in my performances: i totally screwed up the melody for Godfrey Daniels’ tune yesterday… i played the first few notes correctly, and then got totally lost and confused. i picked it up again, a few measures from the end, but, as ALL of my other performances of this tune have been exemplary, that one was a major embarrasment. 😒

one of the unintended results of playing the moisture festival is that i haven’t been able to spend as much time on “twit-turd“, with the immediate effect being that, when i logged in, this morning, there were TWO events which were “trending”, about which i knew absolutely nothing… and the more i read, the less i understood about both of them. 🤨 i’m not giving up on it (because, honestly, it’s the most contact i’ve had with people on the fringes of, and completely outside “my community” since i gave up fecesbook), but, once again, i am forced into a position where i have to examine whether or not these “social media platforms” are, really, good for me… and i get the very strong impression that the answer will be “no”. 😒

not that it’s any great surprise…

sunday (yesterday)

i THINK i MAY have learned to free mount my unicycle! 👍

i went into the last class for this session about 15 minutes early, because i wanted to “practice” before class actually started. i free mounted almost immediately, and then did a couple more “almost free mounts” — i actually mount the unicycle, but i have to abort before i ride away: i figure it’s a “real” free mount if i can pedal at least twice, all the way around, before having to abort, and these were less than two complete rotations — then class started, and i got down to actually doing it… and i was able to break the limit of ten free mounts (after which i said i wasn’t going to count any longer) before the end of class. 👍👍

THEN, i went home to find moe out in the front yard, pulling weeds, and i asked her if she wanted to see me free mount the unicycle, and she said yes… AND I DID IT! 😎 THE FIRST TIME!! 😎👍👍👍👍

now i really have to get started on my flaming tuba… it won’t be long now. 😉

then, later on, i went to Fyodor Karamazov (tim furst)’s wedding party, to play my tuba with a group of musicians who were SPECIFICALLY chosen to play at this party, two days ago. it was a wedding, so there were A LOT of speeches, which meant that we didn’t play music as much as i would have liked (because we had to vacate the building before 1:00 am, otherwise the police would show up), but, strangely enough, it didn’t affect my payment in the least… and, because of the fact that there was ZERO traffic at 1:00 am, it only took me a half-hour to drive home…

but, apparently, i misplaced my regular reading glasses, after the show, so, in order to read the computer screen at a reasonable distance (as compared to a foot away from my face, while squinting), i’ve had to commandeer the glasses that i usually keep in the workshop… they’re the same prescription, but they’re a lot more chewed up, because i use them in the workshop. hopefully the regular ones will show up soon, because glasses are expensive, and i’ve “lost” too many pairs of glasses recently (which means “in the last 5 years”). 😒

rejoice!

they DIDN’T break the screen of my tablet, which means that i picked it up TODAY, and it charges, just like it should! 👍 now i KNOW i’ll be able to use it for the moisture festival!

and, speaking of moisture festival, i got a call YESTERDAY to determine if i was up for playing in a band for tim furst (fyodor karamazov)’s wedding TOMORROW, and, naturally, i said yes… because i haven’t played music for long enough that if i were a normal person, i probably would have forgotten how to do it by now… and the fact that they’re paying me $100 doesn’t hurt… 😉

also, i ordered 12 dozen boxes of Sugandha Shringar Gold incense, from india, at the beginning of march, and i just took delivery of what moe calls “a big box of incense” (but i know better, because i have gotten “BIG” boxes of incense, in the past, and they were more than HALF AGAIN as big as the one i got today)… but it’s for an “old time” incense, which has been around for AT LEAST 50 years, and it’s somewhat rare.

but it is a PRIME example of how “those indian people” use sanskrit… well, okay, devanagari, because hindi is written with the same alphabet, and i don’t really know which one they’re thinking of when they do this… but the insence is called “Sugandha Shringar Gold”, which it says on the english language side of the box. on the other side of the box is what one might assume is the name of the incense in hindi (or sanskrit), written in devanagari letters. if you don’t actually read devanagari letters, you might assume that it is the hindi, or sanskrit equivalent of “Sugandha Shringar Gold”… it says “सुगंध शृंगार गोल्ड” except “sugandha” is already a sanskrit (and hindi) word that means “incense”. “Shringar” is a place name, of a place in india… and the rest of the name? “गोल्ड” is the word “gold”, spelled out in devanagari letters — “GOLDD” — and they do this ALL THE TIME! i’ve seen NUMEROUS boxes of incense, and other things, which have devanagari writing on the box, but are, basically, the english words, spelled out in devanagari letters. they don’t use the hindi words, or the sanskrit words, they use ENGLISH words, spelled out phonetically, using devanagari letters. 😒

irritating!

this is friday, right?

today is the day one hour device repair said they would repair my device… because they couldn’t do it tuesday, because the right person wasn’t in. so i took my device in to redmond, watched the guy open up the shop, he took my device, said the board tech would be in in about an hour, and he would text me when it was ready, and i went home.

when i got home, i got a text from the guy. he said that his board tech had called in sick, and they’d have it done tomorrow.

except that i have to, you know, USE it tomorrow… 😒

fortunately, i have printouts of all the required pieces of music for tomorrow’s rehearsal, because there’s almost a 100% guarantee that IF they actually have it done tomorrow, it WILL NOT be in time to take it to the rehearsal, and i’m still not 100% convinced that they’re not going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… which, naturally, will mean that it will be EVEN LONGER until i get it back. 😒

this time, instead of being one step forwards and two steps back, it’s actually been two steps forward and one step back. i wonder how long i’ll be able to keep up this pace? 😒

now that’s what i’m talkin’ ’bout!

i made the jump from kubuntu 18.04 to kubuntu 20.04 today, and it went smoother than i had ever hoped, in my wildest imagination… 😎

i’ve been slowly configuring the computer for about a month now, and i finally found an old debian CD that had the .deb file for sigrot, which i installed this morning… and that’s pretty much the last thing that i had to install from external sources.

my old .deb file for sigrot went away with the old cloud drive data, and they discontinued it around 2000, so it’s “no longer available”… but it turns out that i can purchase install CDs for old versions of debian from LinuxCollections dot com — apparently the modern version of CheapBytes dot com, which went out of business a while ago 😢 oh well… — and it turns out that the versions of debian called “slink” and “potato” have the most up to date version, and it works perfectly well on kubuntu 20.04…

and why wouldn’t it? ‼⁉ it’s a tiny little application that only interacts with plaintext files that I provide, and it only makes a .signature file, so it’s not relying on system calls or hardware requirements… why they would have discontinued it is beyond me… apart from the fact that, i’m fairly sure, nobody but me even uses a .signature file, these days… 😈

i already had to install gucharmap, because no KDE-based character map works as well for what i do, and i’ve also installed the “Deep Connections” gramplet in the new version of GRAMPS, which is A LOT easier than it has been in previous versions. i’m fairly sure that there will be other things that i will install as i use the machine more, but i’ve got the old machine set up next to me, and i can use its configuration as an example when i need to.

at this point, the system looks good, and the minor tweaks that it needs will get done when they come up, because this is good. 😉

but this is, far and away, the easiest complete system upgrade i have ever experienced. THIS is the way it SHOULD happen, ALL THE TIME!! 😁👍👍

also, i finally got a mouse whose third button works the way it’s supposed to, which means that, now, i have to UNLEARN the “copy-and-paste” gesture that i have been forced to use, because the old mouse had a third button that didn’t work consistently. new computers that work the way they’re supposed to, ROCK!!

urgh

so, the tablet-fixer shop got the part in, and they said i could come in any time, and they would fix it “while you wait”… so i took it in this morning, only to discover that the person who can fix it (without destroying it) won’t be in until friday, unless i want to take it to bothell…

the thing is, i’m still more convinced than not, that they’re going to break the screen in the process of taking it apart… like they have, twice, in the past… and if they’re going to have to replace the screen, i would rather that the people who have dealt with me, and my device, in the past, be the ones that deal with me this time, rather than having to “break in” (so to speak) a new person, when my device gets broken… 😒

but i’ve got a zoom class on thursday, and, while i CAN do it on my phone, it’s A LOT smaller than my tablet, which makes things like responding to chats A LOT more difficult… and i’ve got the final rehearsal for the moisture festival on saturday, so if they DO break the screen, it probably won’t be fixed until after the second week of moisture festival, which is the first week i am supposed to be playing the moisture festival… which is decidedly LESS than ideal. 😒

the guy was supposed to come by yesterday and finish the insulation on the ductwork, but because of the plumbing disaster that happened over the weekend, and the EXTREME squeamishness of the guy, it turned out that he REFUSED to work, because of a little puddle of clean water that was left over from them running the hose into the cleanout under the house… 😒 our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber) came over during the actual disaster, and again, after the HVAC guy left. what the HVAC guy said made me think that there were new leaks and ground saturated with grey water, but when i and the plumber went into the crawl space, the only moisture we could find was a small puddle of clean water… the plumber said that the HVAC guy was being a prima donna and a “pussy”, and called him up to tell him so… which i thought was EXTREMELY funny. but HE won’t be back until NEXT TUESDAY!! 🤬 and they want the crawl space to be COMPLETELY dry, and clean, before they will complete the work… the thing is, the weather has been rainy for a week, now, and, even with a fan down there, the ground moisture is NOT going away. i got a 25-foot sheet of visqueen which i’m going to lay down after a couple more days of the fan being down there, but, if the guy doesn’t finish the work, then i guess i’m not going to pay them the $6,000 that we agreed on when they started. 😒

on the plus side, i met someone who, i think, is my third cousin, once removed: ryan dorward, currently from bali, but normally from vancouver, BC, otherwise known as SHARPS. he is the great-great-grandson of John Muir Dorward, the elder brother of Peter Dorward, my great-great-great-grandfather… which makes our common ancestor Robert Dorward, who lived from 1803 to 1846 in Arbroath, Scotland.

not only… 😒

ah, the “joys” of hoMEOWnership… 😒

we’ve been, essentially, without heat for at least two weeks. the guy came and replaced our heating ducts, but he wasn’t able to finish the insulation, so, now, the heat registers are blowing a lot warmer air than they were before he came, but they’re still only blowing lukewarm air, and most of the heat is STILL bleeding off into the crawl space. he’s coming back to finish the job on monday. 😒

they’re supposed to text me, today (at the earliest), to let me know if the part for my tablet is in, but i doubt that they will, and, despite the fact that most of their repairs are made “while you wait”, there’s a good chance that, when they do text me (which will likely be monday or tuesday… or whenever they get around to it… 😒) the screen will break in the process of taking it apart to replace the charging port, at which point there’s going to be another two weeks (or so) wait before i get my tablet up and running again. 😒

AND last night, after i went to bed, the plumbing problem that has been gurgling in the distance for a few days, erupted (literally) in our downstairs bathroom…

a few days ago, the laundry drain backed up and spilled (fortunately clean) water into the garage. monique snaked it out, but she only went about five feet before she decided that it was “good enough”… so, of course, the drain backed up again while she was out, the next day. i snaked it out again, this time extending the snake as far as it would go, which is 25 feet. i found a couple more clogs, but nothing major… then i noticed that the kitchen sink was gurgling when the laundry drained… and the kitchen sink was gurgling when i flushed the toilet… and the kitchen sink was gurgling when someone took a shower… 😒

i discussed this with tracy, our next door neighbour (who is a professional plumber), and determined that the laundry drain was not installed “up to code”, and is not vented, which means that, from time to time, it’s GOING to back up, and there’s not a lot we can do to prevent it.

then, i noticed that the drain attached to the sink in the kitchen is also… wonky… it, also, does not have a vent, and is installed with a P-trap that is installed normally (i.e. the way it should be), and ANOTHER P-trap that is installed upside down, making an “S” or “N” shaped thing, and then another 90° turn before heading down into the crawl space…

another FINE job done by former owner ron zeising (or, presumably, one of his lackeys) because he was a general contractor, and “could”… 😒

monique and i discussed this, and we both agreed that it would be a good idea to get a plumber out to assess the problem BEFORE it turned into a geyser or a fountain, but, apparently, after i went to bed last night, that event happened: someone flushed the toilet, downstairs, which backed up into the bathtub, and in the process of plunging the toilet, the wax seal failed, which spewed sewage into the bathroom.

monique checked with a couple of professional plumbers that she knows (including tracy), and developed a plan of attack, but…

just for once, i’d like to be able to wake up in the morning without having some sort of immediate disaster that has to be dealt with. 🤬

here we go again… 🙄

i’ve got a zoom class this evening, a telehealth appointment tomorrow, and a moisture festival rehearsal on saturday…

… and my tablet decided to stop charging this morning. 🤬

i got in touch with the technician that replaced the charging port (odd that this seems to happen on an almost yearly basis… odd indeed… 😒), and informed him that it had quit charging again, and he said i should bring it in. so i left an hour earlier than normal, and headed up the east side of the lake to redmond, where the technician confirmed that it was, indeed, a faulty charging port, said that they would fix it on warranty, and ordered the new part. 👍

problem is, i’m fairly sure he DIDN’T also order a new screen at the same time… and this particular model of ipad is NOTORIOUS for screen breakage when you have to open it up FOR ANYTHING… kinda like they had to do last year (and the year before) when they replaced the charging port. it turned into a two week job, during which time the screen of my tablet was BROKEN, which precluded me from using it for ANYTHING… 😒

and that can’t happen this time, because i have zoom classes, telehealth appointments, and moisture festival rehearsals AND PERFORMANCES in the next three weeks. i can get through the rehearsals and performances with my old-school hard-copy music, and the zoom classes and telehealth appointments THEORETICALLY can take place on my phone, but it will be at least three levels of hassle that i would rather avoid, if i had the choice. 😒

mind blown… 🤯


The Evolution Control Committee – Fool On The Hill, major/minor swap

so, i’ve heard a couple of other “modifications” like this: John Denver, Country Roads in a minor key“is a significant example, but, still, i gotta ask…

HOW DO THEY DO THAT???⁇⁇

seriously! 🤔

i can imagine how the key of the entire piece could be changed from major to minor, but changing the individual chords from major to minor, or vice versa, would be A LOT more work, and even if one were willing to put in the amount of work necessary to do it the way i imagine it’s done, it wouldn’t result in anywhere as “nice” sounding music… 🤷

along the same lines, Jolene at 33 is also pretty awesome. 😉 but i’ve done that…

moist moisture

the moisture festival is, tentatively, back on the schedule this year. the phremont fill is taking weeks two and four, the sancapators are taking week one, and i don’t know who is taking week three, but it’s probably the naked truth.

moist fest rehearsals are happening, with a surprisingly large number of “replacement” musicians: euphonium, guitar and flute are all new to the phil this year. guitar has played as a substitute for us in previous moisture festivals, and flute plays for the sancapators, so she’s already familiar with the chaos that usually happens. euphonium is a guy from bellevue who i probably know from high school — he went to samammish at the same time i was at interlake — who just moved back to bellevue a couple years ago, and i recruited him from the sousa band. euphonium’s name is tony, and flute’s name is cate. i don’t remember what guitar’s name is, despite the fact that i’ve met him, and played on the same stage with him, fairly many times in the past. (ETA: it’s chris, which is why i don’t remember it… he just falls into the category of “another chris” and gets promptly forgotten, because there’s another chris in the same band… 😒)

despite our regular guitar, stuart, not being available this year, he’s still the fluffing liason, and he’s already said that i and whoever else i can get to play, are welcome to come in and fluff on april 1st. the pike place market has lifted its mask mandate, which means, when the weather gets nicer, i’m probably going to start busking again. for sure with thaddeus, and i’ve got a fantasy of busking with thaddeus on his “banj-itar” and kiki on her “banjo-lele”… it would be a plethora of not-quite-banjos that would add a lot of extra “oomph” to the group.

cancelled

my circus class, yesterday, was cancelled.

my DBT class, yesterday, was cancelled.

my counselling session, today, was cancelled.

when i woke up this morning, it was 52°F in the house, despite the fact that we’ve got what everybody else says is “the best HVAC product on the market” supposedly heating our home… except that “the best” is hooked up to the ductwork that was done by “the worst” general contractor, who was ron zeising, former owner of our house — seriously, i get the impression that he put things in like the heat pump/furnace/central air conditioning unit with the SOLE INTENT of driving up the price of his house, because, while it is “the best” HVAC system available, it’s air-handler is only about half what the square footage of the house requires, and the ductwork is a COMPLETE MESS of new, old, and whatever the hell he had left over in the scrap bin, which, at it’s BEST, only delivers about half of the heat to the rest of the house… but our crawl space is 15°F WARMER than the rest of the house… which, of course, has encouraged critters to make nests under the house, further deteriorating the already sketchy ductwork. 🤬

so, instead of spending that money to remodel the upstairs bathroom (take out the jacuzzi we don’t use, and put in a sauna that we will use), we’re now having to throw $6,000 at critter-proofing the crawl space, and totally replacing all the ducts under the house. 😒

and, to top things off, the guy who is currently my “medication manager”, dr. uzowulu, asked me if i worry a lot, and when i said yes, his response was to tell me not to worry so much, and pray instead. 🤮

mushroom 🍄 landmark

innoculated P. cyanescens using the “90-second-perfect-every-time” brown rice method for spawn, today at 4:20 pm.

alledgedly, the planters are getting here next thursday. they will be filled with sterile potting soil and STERILE wood chips(‼🍄) and deposited in a secure location outdoors, and the spawn will be introduced… erm… when it’s ready.

how will i know it’s ready? when the mycelium makes itself evident!

that’s it…

if everything goes the way i’m hoping it will, i should have a healthy, self-regenerating crop in 3 to 6 months.

W.T.FedEx??

220218 W.T.FedEx??
220218 W.T.FedEx??
two weeks ago, i discovered that the planters i want for my mushroom project can’t be acquired locally, so i had to order them online, from california. they were originally supposed to arrive wednesday the 16th, this week.

 

thursday (yesterday) morning, when they hadn’t arrived, i went online to “check my order”, and discovered that they had been waylayed twice in their journey from city of industry, california, and were currently in the middle of their second “waylay-ance”, in lakehead, california.

 

oh, well… i figured… they’ll be here tomorrow…

 

 

right?

 

 

 

actually, no… 😒

 

 

 

today, i check the status of my order, only to discover that the package has been rerouted through st. peters, missouri… only a 2,700 mile detour on a trip that should only have been 1,200 miles to begin with… 🤯

220218 W.T.FedEx??
220218 W.T.FedEx??

W.T.FedEx?? 😒

kapoor kacheri

i got some more channabasappa & company incense today. this is probably the last of it, because the rest is all duplicates of stuff i already carry. i got a kilo of kapoor kacheri bathi. this is what i have distilled from the available “knowledge” about kapoor kacheri:

Kapoor Kacheri – Hedychium spicatum

Kapoor Kacheri may also be referred to as Spiked Ginger Lily, Kapur Kachli, Kapur Kachri, Perfume Ginger.

3rd Chakra – personal power, 4th Chakra – unconditional love, 5th Chakra – speaking truth, Grounding, Introspective, Purifying

Anti-allergenic, Anti-arthritic, Anti-asthmatic, Anti-bacterial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-rheumatic, Anti-spasmodic, Decongestant, Expectorant, Mucolytic, Tonifying

Hydacheium Oil which is also known by the popular name Kapur Kuchari is extracted from Hydacheium that grows to up to 3 feet tall. It has loose terminal flower spikes that have individual flowers that are yellow with reddish stamens. Its antibiotic properties have also increased interest in the medicinal properties of the species.

The root stalk is useful in local inflammations, nausea, asthma, bronchitis, hiccups and in pain. The rhizome of the plant is said to be carminative, stimulant and a tonic. It has been described as useful, specially as an anti asthmatic agent. Clinical trials have been conducted in tropical eosinophilia, with promising results. It counteracts bad mouth taste and smell.

incense smells like the best qualities of camphor, sandalwood and agarwood. it is as though camphor and sandalwood had a baby, and that baby grew up, got together with agarwood, and they had a baby… that baby would be kapoor kacheri. it is quite subtle, and doesn’t hang around for very long. 😉

add end um…

so, i went into home depot recently, and, at the entrance, there was a sign that said, essentially, “we test for illegal drugs as a condition of employment, so if you use illegal drugs, don’t even bother to think about applying for a job here”.

but, here’s the thing…

cannabis is legal.

and their excuse of it being “company policy” shouldn’t make a difference in a place where cannabis is legal.

shouldn’t it?

mush room 🍄

i took “the rest” of my mushrooms today, at 12:00 pm. i don’t know how many there were, in terms of “mushrooms”, but it was between 1 and 2 grams (two 00-sized gel-caps, plus a tiny amount) of powder, mushroom bits and detritus at the very bottom of the bag. this trip followed the predictable pattern of ramp up, peak, maintain, and ramp down, but it was a great deal more than i expected, considering how mediocre my recent mushroom escapades have been. i must have been taking the parts that didn’t have the right stuff, before, because this trip made up for it “in spades”. 😉

the fact that i actually logged in here, and am making what i suppose is something like sense, at this point, at 5:00 pm, is somewhat amazing, and is made even more amazing by the fact that i went out and got a prescription refill for moe, a 12-pack of diet ginger ale, and canned salt-free green beans for dog food, an hour ago. i have discovered that driving while high on mushrooms has, apparently, been affected by both the fact that i have been driving NOT on mushrooms for quite a bit longer than the last time i did so (which was in my 20s), and the fact that cars, these days, are a lot more “hands off” than they were fourty years ago… following distance, speed limits, road-center detection… even an amount of steering… are all “automatic” at this point.

“high self”, meet “normal self”. 😉

while i was out walking in the woods today, i saw a fallen branch with moss growing off of it… and it looked just like a lazy duck with green hair.

220209 is this just a fallen log, or...?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or…?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or...?
220209 is this just a fallen log, or…?

i knew those emergency eyeballs would come in handy… 😉

i confirmed that the big tree that has been speaking to me, is a “Tree of Being”… the only other one that i know of is on sehome hill. this one appears to be around 600+ years old. i sat beneath it, today.

this better have some lasting anti-depressant effects, otherwise i’m going to have to do it again. 😉

dashanga

DASHANGA (“Ten Ingredients”) CONSTITUENT INGREDIENTS

6 parts kustha, 2 parts gur, 3 parts laksha, 5 parts nakhla, haritiki, and raal in equal parts, 1 part dapai, shilajay equal to 3 lav, 4 parts nagarmotha, and guggul one part

——

KUSTHA

Kustha (Saussurea lappa C.B.Clarke) is an important medicinal plant which was mentioned in ancient Hindu literature and Ayurveda. It was considered as next to Soma plant which is best among the plants. It grows in the reigions of Himalayas and Kashmir and is used in Ayurveda for fevers, skin diseases, headache etc. Kustha is well known for its cures since the ancient times. Etymologically the word “Kustha” is derived from “Krushnaati rogam”. It means, one that ploughs out or drags out the disease from the body.

Dolomiaea costus, formerly known as Saussurea costus, commonly known as costus, Indian costus, kuth, or putchuk, is a species of thistle in the genus Dolomiaea native to South Asia and China. Rishi (Hindu) mystics of Kashmir especially ate this plant. Essential oils extracted from the root have been used in traditional medicine and in perfumes since ancient times.

Costus is the root of this plant. The root of the plant is the key part used for medicinal or homeopathic purposes. The root is also called by its Latin name radix aucklandiae (root of aucklandia).

It has a large number of names in other languages, including kuṣṭha in Sanskrit; kust or qust in Arabic and Persian; kut, kur, and pachak in Hindi and Bengali, kostum, gostham, and potchuk in Tamil; upaleta and kur in Gujarati; kot or kust in Punjabi; changala in Telugu; sepuddy in Malayalam; kostha in Kannada; kuth or postkhai in Kashmiri; and kosht (קשט) in Hebrew; koto in Swahili; mu xiang in Chinese.

——

GUR = jaggery

——

LAKSHA

Botanical Name
Laccifer lacca Kerr.

Family
Lacciferidae.

Synonyms
Coccus lacca, Kerria lacca.

Regional Name
English : Shellac, Laksha (Lac). Hindi : Lakh, Sanskrit : Laksha, Bengali : Gala, Gujarati : Lak, Telugu : Kommolakka, Lakka, Tamil: Komburrki, Malayalam: Arakku, Ambalu.

Part Used
Resin.

Description
India and Thailand are the main areas in the world where lac is cultivated. Over 90% of Indian lac comes from the States of Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Maharashtra and Orissa. Lac insects thrive on certain trees and the principal lac host trees in India are Banyan, Peepal, Khadira, Palash, Kusum and Ber.

Lac are scale insects (Laccifer Lacca) which live on trees called lac host trees where they secrete the lac resin which is scraped off and manufactured into shellac. To produce just 1 kilogram of lac resin around 300,000 insects lose their tiny lives. A scale insect is a common name for any of about 2000 insect species found all over the world that attach themselves in great numbers to plants and trees. Scale insects range from an almost microscopic size to more than 2.5 cm. They can be very destructive to trees – stunting or killing twigs and branches by draining the sap.

The life cycle of a lac insect takes about six months and consists of four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. With this life cycle, the lac industry obtains two lac crops each year from each tree. Females lay up to 100 eggs, which hatch out into larvae. These small red larvae, roughly 0.5mm, long crawl out of the brood lac (or mother cell) and settle on the twigs. At this stage both the male and female larvae live off the sap of the trees. The lac scraped from the branches is known as crude lac or sticklac. Crude lac or stick-lac, consists of the resin, the encrusted insects, lac dye, and twigs. This is crushed, washed, dried to form Seedlac. Seedlac is then converted into Shellac by hand or machine.

Phytoconstituents
The major constituent of laksha is the resin (70-80%); other constituents present are: sugar, proteins, and soluble salts, coloring matter, wax, sand, woody matter, insect bodies and other extraneous matter; a volatile oil is present in traces. Lac resin is composed of mainly hydroxy fatty acids of C14- C18 carbon chains, such as aleuritic, butolic, C14- C16 mono- and di-hydroxy acids along with hydroxy terpenic acids having the rare cedrene skeleton as jalaric, laccijalaric, shellolic, and laksholic acids.

Ayurvedic Properties
Rasa : Kasaya, Guna : Laghu, Snigdha, Sneha, Virya : Shita, Vipaka : Katu, Karma : Kappa, Pitta.

Ayurvedic Applications
Pachana, Depana, Apasmara, Kushta, Raktadosha, Kasa, Antrasula, Prameha, Atisara, Arocaka, Hidhma.

Medicinal Uses
It is used for liver diseases, Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Intestinal parasites (worms), Injuries, Fungal infections, Eczema, Scabies, Herpes, haemostasis, Internal bleeding disorders, Hiccup, Cough, It is also used for Low bone mineral density, jaundice, dropsy, kidney disease, reduces fat the Adipose persons, joint disorders, osteoporosis, osteomalacia, osteoarthritis etc. It is also helpful in obesity, renal and spleen disorders, jaundice, backache problems, leprosy, ulceration, epilepsy and chicken pox.

——

NAKHLA = charcoal(?)

——

HARITIKI

Terminalia chebula fruits – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminalia_chebula

——

RAAL

Ral is the gum extracted from Sal tree (Shaala). It is the astringent Ayurvedic medicine widely used in diarrhoea, dysentery, skin diseases, stops bleeding, heal wounds, herpes, burn wounds, fractures etc.

Sal Tree
Botanical name : Shorea robusta
Family : Dipterocarpaceae

Qualities, Uses

Medicinal Qualities of Rala
Rasa (taste) – Tiktha (bitter), Kashaya (astringent)
Virya (potency) – shitha (Cold)
Guna (qualities) – Guru – heavy to digest, Snigdha (unctuous)
Karma (action) – Grahi – absorbent, Sthambana – styptic in nature

Indications of Rala
Blood disorders
Excess sweating
Visarpa – herpes
Vrana – It cleanses the wound and hastens its healing process.
Vipadika – cracks in palms or soles with pain
Graha – psychiatric disorders
Bhagna – fractures
Agnidagda – Burn wounds
Jwara – fever
Cough, Asthma
Shoola – abdominal colic
Atisara – diarrhoea
Kandu – itching
Sphota – blisters
Bleeding haemorrhoids

Effect of rala on Tridoshas
Vatapittahara – Balances vata and pitta dosha
Chemistry, controversy

Rala chemical constituents
It is composed of chemicals like hydroxyanone, dammarenediol II, Ursolic acid etc

Controversy
Sarja rasa or sarjaniryasa refers to gum extracted from Copal tree – Vateria indica
Rala is gum extracted from Sal tree

How to get gum extract
How To obtain gum extract from Sal Tree?
A white viscous substance oozes out from sal tree when few strips of bark is removed. On exposure it hardens and change to brown colour. It is collected after 10 to 12 days. Again the substance oozes out and the procedure is repeated. This gum extract can be collected several times in a year.

Features of Sal dammar
Color – Yellow to brown color
Odour – aromatic
Nature – Brittle
Opaque

——

DAIPAI ?

——

SHILAJAY ?

——

NAGARMOTHA = cypriol

——

GUGGUL = bdellium

——

thistles and bugs… hmmmmmm… 🤔

——

okay, this is what i get for geeking out about incense:
👉OPOPANAX!!👈
(i ordered some opopanax oil! 😀)

oh… my! 😮

so, i got the channabasappa & company incense today, and it is OUTSTANDING! 👍👍

i got a kilo each of dashanga, and guggal bathi… the dashanga is powdered, with no stick. i’m not exactly sure how to burn it, but i suspect that charcoal tablets will work… and it is an OLD TIME HIPPY scent that i haven’t smelled in a LOOOONG time. because of the fact that i’m not sure how it’s burned, and the fact that it comes in 100 gram packets, i’m not sure if i’ll end up selling it on my web site, but it will DEFINITELY be an addition to the IOTM collection. the guggal bathi is… not what i expected: i knew the scent, but i expected it to be a dark, wet incense, and it is, actually, light coloured and fairly dry… but it, also, is an OLD TIME HIPPY scent that i haven’t smelled for many years, and, because of the fact that it is a bathi (comes on sticks), it will be a lot easier to put on my web site. 👍

THIS is why i made the effort to do business with this person, despite the fact that i KNOW her to be flaky… when she DOES come through, it’s always with SUPERLATIVE product. 😉👍

incense

i FINALLY got shipping confirmation from the flaky incense lady from minnesota — the one who, two years ago, took my money and, 6 months later, STILL hadn’t shipped me the incense for which it paid, so i ended up having to go to the credit card company for help cancelling the order… this time, it only took her TWO months, and the USPS tracking number says that the “USPS in possession of item”, which means that it actually exists in someone’s mind OTHER THAN mine, and the flaky incense lady. i’ve known about her for 25 45 years or so (i’ve GOT to start remembering that my brain injury was almost 20 years ago! 🤕), as “another person who sells incense” like i do, and it seems to me that i used to do business with her a lot more frequently than i have in the past 10 years or so, but that’s only because, more and more in my dealings with her, she became the “flaky” incense lady.

i have actively avoided doing business with her for a few years now, because, back when i made my first bulk order from MSDF, she said she wanted to “go halves with me”, but, then, she “didn’t have the money, but would pay me later”, which she never did… and then, a few months later, said that she had a customer who wanted some bulk MSDF incense (which i had just imported), and she told them to contact me… and they never contacted me… 😒

but she’s “going out of business” — from my point of view, she’s SAID she’s been going out of business for at least 10 years, but whatever. she’s liquidating her supply of incense made by shroff channabassappa & sons — the same company that made “Leadbeater” incense, which is one of my two all-time favourites… and, while she doesn’t have leadbeater incense, she’s got a couple of other scents which i really like, i know would sell well, and, could possibly be additions to my “Incense Of The Month” selection, because, as far as i have been able to tell, shroff channabassappa & sons is out of business, as well. 😉

and, like i said, USPS is in possession of the item, and estimates that i will be receiving it on saturday. whee! 🎉

on the other side of the coin, i also just got email from Aravinda Parimala Works — makers of “Sugandha Shringar Gold”, which has been available from me since before i started the business (thanks to my association with Sugandha Prabhu) — informing me that, despite my inquiring about it 6 months ago and having them assure me that it would be available after the first of the year, at this point “Sugandha Shringar Gold” is completely sold out, and they will have to make more before they can even think about sending me some. 😠

at least they answer my emails in a timely fashion, unlike the flaky incense lady, who replies to my emails when she feels like it, which is, frequently, never. 😒

cirque du soleil

a couple of friends bought moe and i tickets to see the cirque du soleil show “Allegria”, which we used today. i have seen “Saltimbanco”, and “Volta”, and i think i like this one best of all. it is, apparently, “Allegria 2.0”, which is a reboot of the show they did from 1994 to 2013, which, according to moe, was “why there weren’t as many set pieces and why there was a lot more acrobatics…” and, indeed, there was A LOT more acrobatics than i have seen at previous cirque shows. there were stacks of 3 people in several of the acts, and EVERY. SINGLE. ACT. had some variety of “death defying stunt”, from the stack of 3 people that “fell” into a bunch of long poles, which were being held on the shoulders of other guys, and ended up with two of the stack of three people standing ON the poles… and a 4-way “tumble track” that had 8 people bouncing and tumbling over the top of each other… and the guy with the german wheel that started with the wheel flat on the ground, and he got it up and rotating SIMPLY BY exherting momentum with his feet…

220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler - photo by moe
220129 cirque du soleil fire baton juggler – photo by moe
and the guy that juggled two fire batons, which he lit by passing the fire from one end to the other with his mouth… and the people that did the 3-dimentional acrobalancing dance, hanging from wires in the ceiling… and the contortionist/hand-balancer that, i think, may have been in the moisture festival a few years ago… and the flying trapeze artists… oh my! i don’t know what the original “Allegria” show was like, but this one BLEW. ME. AWAY!

literally… there was one of the “entr’acte” scenes, with clowns, where they created a literal blizzard of confetti that completely engulfed the people who were sitting close to the stage (which included us)… and then, after they had done a little dance with leaf blowers, to get the confetti off the stage, they had people who ran sheets up, over the heads of the front rows of seats, and they blew the confetti on to the sheets, which were, presumably, gathered up and recycled for the next show… there was A LOT of confetti…

and i got a souvenier collapsible velvet top hat, which is something i have wanted for a very long time. 😉

look, it’s the end of the world!

a VERY long time ago — i would guess somewhere between 1964 and 1967, or thereabouts — i participated in a “market research study” (for which my parents, hopefully, got paid), where, over the course of a week or so, i would try various different dry cereals, and “potential” dry cereals — which they had produced, but hadn’t “hit the market” yet — without knowing anything about them, and rate them according to what i thought dry cereal should look and taste like.

i’m fairly sure i screwed up ALL of their data points, because i was a combination of three things, which severely skewed my personal experience of dry cereal. the first was that, when i was very small, there was a concern that i might be allergic to cows’ milk (which had been proven false, by the time this took place), and so, when i was learning which cereals i liked, i was only given cereals that could be eaten “without milk”… which, for some reason, meant various different kinds of oatmeal and grits… i wasn’t even given “cream of wheat” because it had the word “cream” in it, and, particularly, my mother was CONVINCED that it wouldn’t be good for me. the second was that my parents were “progressive”: not full-blown “hippies” (however, my dad did have long hair and a beard, but it wasn’t until the ’70s) but definitely not the standard fare for the time and place they were from, which was central illinois “corn country” in the mid-to-late ’60s. thus, they were CONVINCED that sugar was “bad”, so, as a result, when it was determined that dry cereal was “a thing”, i was only given ‘bland’ cereals, such as cheerios, kix, chex, puffed wheat, and grape nuts. by the time i was part of the survey, i was eating cows’ milk all the time, but i never liked “sugar frosted flakes”, “sugar smacks”, “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” or anything like that… and the third thing is that, when i was very small, i was forced to eat fruit at a time when i really DID NOT want to eat fruit, and, as a result, i developed a lifelong distaste for fruit, in general, and about 75% of the cereal that i tested was fruit flavoured, in some way or another.

i spent a few days trying, and rejecting about 95% of the “chocolate frosted sugar bombs” they offered me, primarily because they were so sweet that it overpowered any “cereal-like” taste there may have been.

220123 Chocolate Cheerios! 😱
220123 Chocolate Cheerios! 😱
however, there is one thing that i remember clearly, and that was that “they” (the people conducting the survey, who were, according to my interpretation, in a position to know these things) told me that there would NEVER be “chocolate cheerios”. they told me that the makers of cheerios were totally against making their cereal “pre-sweetened”, and if i saw chocolate cheerios on sale, it would mean the end of the world. cheerios was, by definition, NOT a “pre-sweetened” cereal.

over the years, they have come close… the closest they’ve gotten that i know about was “honey-nut cheerios”, which was “pre-sweetened”, but, because of the fact that it was, alledgedly, sweetened with honey, and not sugar, it was, alledgedly, “okay”…

however, when i came across this, yesterday… 😱

but still…

so, it turns out, there’s a MINISCULE chance of my getting pulmonary fibrosis.

as a fully vaccinated person:

there’s approximately 2% chance that i will get COVID (the “98% survival rate” that anti-vaxxers seem to think applies to them, as well). if i do, there’s approximately 2% chance that it will be bad enough to put me in the hospital. if THAT happens, there’s approximately 30% chance that it will end up with pulmonary fibrosis.

but still, i don’t relish the idea of getting COVID, even if it is “mild”. 😒

moe’s birthday was yesterday. she’s still not as old as i am.

we’re starting to gear up for the moisture festival, which IS going to happen, in person, this year — but, beyond that, who knows, because it’s alleged that the palladium has been sold — although precisely HOW they’re going to hold the moisture festival in the middle of a pandemic remains to be seen.

we’re starting to think about starting to gear up for the oregon country fair, this year, in spite of the fact that it hasn’t happened for the past two years, and nobody’s really sure whether it is GOING to happen… but, naturally, if it IS going to happen, we need to be ready for it, because, one way or the other, we’re GOING to have a panto ready in december, despite the fact that we probably won’t have a place to perform, because of the aforementioned alleged selling of the palladium.

thaddeus and i have a gig scheduled in october, as “snakez alive”, and kiki came over last week, with her banjolele, and we played old timey tunes á la Peanut Envy. at this point, we’ve played enough in common to get us through a couple hours of busking at the market, but the market still requires masks for buskers, and i can’t wear a mask and play tuba at the same time… STILL… 😒

OY! 😠

moe went on her first post-COVID business trip to florida. she left last friday, and returned yesterday.

she’s got to wait 72 hours before she tests from the trip.

REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF THE TEST, she’s got to go in to the clinic on monday, because ALL of the rest of the employees of the clinic ALREADY HAVE COVID!!! 😠

which means that it’s INCREDIBLY LIKELY that i’m going to end up with COVID, despite being fully vaccinated and boosted.

there are reports of lung fibroids in breakthrough cases, which would SEVERELY limit my ability to play wind instruments. 😠😠

and she STILL wonders why i would have preferred to DIE when i had the chance! 😠😠😠

so, there’s this…

220112 ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ button
220112 ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ button
so there’s this, which is a prototype (flong!) of a 1½" button for next month’s IOTM VIP goodie…

however i’m not sure about it. it’s an absolutely delicious double (or triple!) entendre, for those few who “know about such things”, but how many people spent the first 30 years of their lives studying obscure religious facts? and, i’m afraid it could be taken to be VERY offensive to… um… just about anybody else…

under normal circumstances, i wouldn’t care in the slightest, but this is, allegedly, representing my business, and i would be sending them out to people who don’t know me…

[ETA 220114] — it’s an 18th century drawing of what the ancient roman god Priapus might have looked like. ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ (soter kosmou) means “Saviour of the World”, and it was usually inscribed below the penis face. however, in a bizarre twist, the figure of “a man with the head of a rooster and an erect penis for a beak” may have also been a representation of st. peter, in which case, ΣΩΤΗΡ ΚΟΣΜΟΥ refers to jesus. it’s one of the reasons a penis is sometimes referred to as a “peter”. 🤣

🙄

i swear, these people must be a part of my karass (also, karass), because i keep running into them in THE MOST unexpected places, despite my overall desire to separate myself from them as much as possible… 😒

recently i’ve developed an interest in mycology (who am i kidding, i’ve ALWAYS had a very strong interest in a certain kind of mushroom… 😉) particularly because it seems fairly likely that, with a little coercion (from spores which i already have), i can start producing psilocybe cyanescens outside, in my fenced yard, pretty much whenever i choose to do so.

to this end, i recently purchased a book by mushroom expert paul stamets, called “Mycelium Running”, and, on the colophon page for the book, i noticed that the cover design was by two people, one of whom is andrew lenzer…

who is married to my younger younger sister.* 🙄

the one i haven’t spoken to since… i don’t know, 1988? maybe…? probably earlier than that… maybe as early as 1980… when she was 12 years old… 🙄

and, i have to keep reminding myself that members of one’s karass aren’t necessarily one’s “friends”… 😒

* as compared to my older younger sister, who is two years older than my younger younger sister… but they are six, and eight years younger than me, respectively, so i wasn’t around for a lot of their growing up and getting married stuff, and i have never actually met andrew lenzer, my brother-in-law… but, knowing my siblings, i would wager that there have been many unpleasant stories told about me for years. 🙄

RT

220106 RT
220106 RT

i’ve been playing around with illustrator (mac), photoshop (mac), frax (tablet), procreate (tablet), inkscape (mac/linux), and the GIMP (linux), for a few days, and this is the result. i’m thinking of making stickers out of it. i wanted to play around with making the QR code an integral part of the artwork, so that you don’t have to go to the QR link to appreciate the art, but if you do hit the link, you’ll get even more information.

blasphemy?

okay, this is discounting the fact that gods only exist in the minds of those who worship them… this is a purely practical examination of the aspects of hindu gods, in particular… and to be precise, an examination of their clothing.

most depictions of deities are clothed. there are deities which are naked, and part of the devotion to these deities is dressing, undressing, and bathing them, but i’m talking about the deities that are depicted as clothed.

i wonder…

a depiction of the multiple arms of Kali Maa, in Goa
a depiction of the multiple arms of Kali Maa, in Goa

how is Kali Maa supposed to put on that shirt?

BLEHHHH!!!

day NINE of more than one foot of snow, and it’s currently snowing at this very moment!

i tried getting out to ship out the IOTM orders this morning, and didn’t even make it out of the driveway before getting stuck!

220103 stuck car
220103 stuck car

this is not fun any more. 😒

although, it’s a good thing i got stuck when i did, because i could have made it halfway down the street, or halfway to the middle-of-nowhere post office before getting stuck, which would be even worse…

[ETA] moe came home early, and informed me that there is a tree down across the road, about 150 yards up the street from our house, where it can’t be seen from our house… which means that, even if i had gotten out, i wouldn’t have got far. a lady heavy equipment operator came around and plowed the street in front of our house, all the way to the dead end, in exchange for $100. she said she’s been plowing the roads in our neighbourhood for 4 years.

bleh

blah blah new year, blah blah pandemic, blah blah isolation, blah blah depression…

same as it ever was:

day 5 SEVEN of 1+ foot of snow. keeping fingers crossed, but no power outage yet. at this point, the main roads are slushy, and some of them are bare and wet, but the street in front of our house has few enough tire prints that i can still count them. last year someone eventually plowed our street, but i don’t know who, and they haven’t done it this year. i brushed all the snow off my car, and ventured out today, because i’ve actually got a unicycle class tomorrow, and i needed to know whether or not to admit defeat, and take monique’s all-wheel-drive car (or the truck). as it is, it’s supposed to get up to 42°F, so i will probably take my car to class.

211230
211230

VEWPRF/year-end stuff

i’m slowly rebuilding my music collection. today i added two tom zé albums, from the early 2000s, which are “no longer available” — meaning “the only place to find them is on discogs. one is an album i had pre-cloud-drive-disaster, called “Estudando o Pagode (Na Opereta Segregamulher e Amor)“. the other is one that “just happened” to be available from the same vendor, from two years earlier, in 2003, and it’s called “Imprensa Cantada“. both of them appear in several tom zé anthologies, but the original CDs have artwork that is NOT included in the anthologies, and, especially in the case of tom zé, the graphic artwork is almost as important as the musical artwork in the overall scheme of things. i should be getting another Gogol Bordello CD pretty soon, also

we’re giving away the last piece of ikea furniture that we own, that is NOT shelves, tomorrow… which should be interesting, as we currently have three days worth of snow on the ground, and only a few tire tracks of people driving past our house. it’s the king-size storage bed frame, which means that now we’ve got the adjustable bed frame on the 4-inch legs that it came with (rather than on the 2-inch legs, on top of the storage bed), no storage under the bed (currently), and no headboard (currently). the plan is to get some other form of storage, and a headboard… and, possibly a dresser and nightstand to replace the ones i inherited from my grandparents in 1980-something.

moe is getting “stem cell treatment” on her knees on thursday [UPDATE: WEDNESDAY!!] (hopefully the roads will have cleared enough by then that i can drive out of the neighbourhood). this is to (hopefully) “cure” her bum knees, which currently have no meniscus. if everything goes according to plan, this is going to create “new” padding between the bones in her knee. naturally, “insurance” won’t pay for it, and the only other option — total knee replacement — isn’t happening at the moment because the orthopedist that moe has been seeing is fat-phobic, and won’t operate until she’s lighter than she’s ever been in her adult life. 😒… so the (veterinary) clinic is paying for the whole procedure(!!). alledgedly, it’s going to be a couple of days of being “pretty out of it”, followed by a couple weeks of “light duty”, and then it will develop into an “up to 80% improvement”, which is A LOT better than where she’s been for the past few years.

i’ve managed to stay a lot more insulated from the standard xmas “celebration”, this year, but it’s primarily because of the pandemic, which doesn’t look like it’s going to be ending any time in the forseeable future, barring a miracle of some sort… and, as we all know, miracles that involve anti-vax mask-holes, and the right-wing, republican’t, fascist, white-supremacist IDIOTS that currently make up slightly less than HALF of the population of this gawd-forsaken wasteland, are, for all practical purposes, totally unheard-of… but, on the plus side, almost complete isolation for the second year in a row, has made it so that i have only had to listen to one, partial rendition of “feliz navidad” this year, so i can’t say that’s all bad.

and i got a theremin for xmas! 😎

blirk

i wasn’t doing anything else, so i spent the day decarboxylating the trimmings from my harvest, in october (more technical information), so now the whole house smells like weed, and i am REALLY high…

so, naturally, while i was waiting for my timer to go off, i made a pretty good rhythm track for the music i talked about a while back, and now it sounds like this:

i still can’t quite get my mind around the fact that it’s 100% legal… astounding!

kick in the brain

1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract
1988 salamandir tract

from before the wayback machine… these tracts that i just found, were prototypes for smaller versions, which were originally designed to counter the “occult” graffiti i found in an abandoned house in the woods near bellingham… the same house i found the tail coat, which i still have (although it’s been substantially modified, at this point)… the house was obviously a place where teenage doodlehums gathered to do illegal and/or immoral things, and i wanted to “enlighten” them by leaving bizarre literature in their abandoned hideaway. it was in a section of fairly dense, second growth forest, on the outskirts to the northeast of bellingham… there were some neighbourhoods east of there, along alabama street, but the place where the railroad had been was, basically, second growth forest. not even a driveway to the house. the house was two stories, but when i was there, the second story was not safe (although i did go up there, a couple of times), and there was a well-house with a working well… and about 50 feet beyond that were what used to be a railway. it was a perfect place for teenage doodlehums to gather, mark up the walls with “satanic” graffiti, smoke pot, write graffiti about smoking pot, and dream about having illicit sex with their imaginary girlfriends.

i figured they had probably heard all the standard propaganda from the “christians” (the “satanic” graffiti was all the evidence i needed), and this was back when i was full of fire to enlighten the masses, so i came up with a number of tracts which were left in the abandoned house, in phone booths (remember them?), and traded for chick tracts at the local storefront ministries that bellingham had at the time. the first version of these tracts was originally published in 1987. one of the later versions was published in 1992.

now, the place where the abandoned house was, is a neighbourhood of slightly-more-upper-class tract houses with a trail that, 75 years ago, was a railroad that served the logging community in that area.

derp

since 22 november (a week ago monday), i have gotten 8 incense orders, and i’m back to almost $500 in my bank account, after having been, basically, wiped out in june. i sent out the final incense of the month to my first two incense of the month clients, which means that i have, officially, been doing the incense of the month club for a year, now. my business is as strong and as vital as it has ever been, and i am beginning to rebuild from the cloud disaster in june, but, every day i realise there’s another picture, or document, or bit of information, that i HAD on my old cloud drive. i’m still reeling from the loss of approximately 50% of my music collection. 😒

i’m learning to free mount on the unicycle, which is an important step in learning to ride the unicycle while playing the tuba. i have to be able to mount with no hands, not holding on to anything except the tuba, and i have to be able to ride away, while holding the tuba, without falling down. at this point, i’m ALMOST to the point where i can mount the unicycle with no hands. at this point, i can mount the unicycle with a pole in my left hand, to help me balance. if everything goes EXACTLY RIGHT, i can ride away after a couple seconds of wobbling and balancing on the pole. also, i am pretty sure i have learned how to turn left… which is important. turning right is a lot easier. i’ve been able to turn right for a while now. it turns out, turning left involves looking left, preferably at where i’m intending to go, and adding a little bit of extra “oomph” with my hips at just the right time. who would have ever thought that riding a unicycle would involve looking as much as it involves balance?

borg blithday

hi, today is the blog birthday. it’s not actually the blog birthday now, because i am writing this in advance, and scheduling it for the blirg bothday, but you don’t know that.

this is the 14th anniversary of this blog in this location, in spite of the fact that “this location” has actually changed at least three times since then. the location has changed, but the URL has remained the same. for the record, the bog is now physically located in florida, under the auspices of WebHost Python, which has been my host provider for around 5 years now. rather strange, as i am physically located in the seattle, washington area, completely on the other side of the continent from the location of the blig.

internet is awesome, sometimes…

the blithday of the borg in it’s original form is actually 030415, but that was back when it was on LiveJournal, and brad was still in charge. these days i’ve tended a lot more towards the Bacchus’ First Rule of Internet philosophy: “Anything worth doing on the internet is worth doing at your own domain that you control.”

it’s true.

ARGH! (A₁R₁G₁H₁)

another casualty of the cloud drive crack:

my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”

which i have been updating since my injury (2003) to help me keep track of what happened in my life, and when it happened in relation to other things that happened in my life.

my recollection is that it was a fairly complete, if compact, version of an “autobiography”, which i had been updating with new material, or changing around the position of old material when new evidence came to light, for a LOOOOOONG time… it was DEFINITELY a “working document”, and it’s gone. poof. 😩😖

a couple weeks ago, i started to rebuild it, but i’m confounded by the fact that things that appear very vividly in my memory don’t seem to match up in a predictable way with the timeline of my life. i don’t remember when important things happened:

for example, i am reasonably certain that i lived in St. Gordy’s house in 1988, but the job i remember having — working at mellowoods and music in friday harbour, doing musical instrument repair for the friday harbor traditional jazz festival — didn’t happen until 1991… and i actually HAVE a button from the friday harbor traditional jazz festival, and it actually SAYS “1991” on it, so it’s kind of hard for me to argue…

but, the problem is that i lived in St. Gordy’s house for a while, then i moved up the street a couple blocks and lived there for a year or so, then i moved into the dome in 1990, and i lived there until i moved to thillberg road, in mount vernon, with ruth…

or, when i freight hopped to wenatchee… i know i lived in the dorms during 1979 and 1980, and i moved to lummi island for 6 to 8 months, and then i moved to mackenzie street, and lived there until i moved to seattle to start the tech school, in 1984. i also know that i didn’t freight hop to wenatchee until i lived at mackenzie street, but i can’t remember, for sure, whether it happened in 1982 or 1983. at this point, i’m LEANING TOWARDS 1982, because i have calendars and sketchbooks from the early 1980s that may seem to indicate that, but nothing is written in clear enough language that i can be totally certain. 😖

fortunately, Ezra, St. Igon (with whom i freight hopped to wenatchee), and St. Gordy are still in my “contacts” list, but this whole thing started when St. Igon ASKED ME when we went to wenatchee, and that was AFTER i had already started to rebuild my list.

and ezra is in michigan with his sweetie, and won’t be back until mid-december…

FRUSTRATING!! 😖😖

tittles

Symbolic Coach Lines
Christian Trees
Economy Whining (or “Economy Whinging” for a more “european” look)
Quipping for Christ
Teachers With Tentacles
Lowest Quality Price Tools
Best Jumbo TV Happiness
Gummy Whores
Overgrown With Underbrush
Hair Salon and Ankle Clinic
Lowest Price on Pubic Hair
Ceremonial Bread Fights
Fart Stand
Rain City Racists
Jutled Boxes
Your Safety is for The Lates
Worship Your Dick
An Imaginary Housing Community
We Make Hydraulic Noises
Bruch, Beeler & Giday, Attorneys at Law
Sage’s Gulag
Jalapeñes
Stortch
Smarmy Pants
Self Hostage
Flimflam Phloem
Acceptable Bones
War To Salvation Church
Can I Ask A State Trailer Park?

goo dot gl 😒

goo dot gl URL redirect QR code
goo dot gl URL redirect QR code
a few years ago, i got a QR code from google, attached to their URL-forwarder at goo dot gl, that resolved to वृत्तिः from “Unknown Album”, which i promptly had made into a sticker, which i have been sticking to various different things, and handing to strangers i meet on the street, for a few years now.

i INTENDED to use goo dot gl’s analytics to determine how many people had hit the link, and where they were located. apparently that was only a SMALL FRACTION of the information i could receive from the QR code.

what i didn’t know is that they shut down their URL-forwarder at goo dot gl in 2018 and i only JUST found out about it.

fortunately the QR code, and the URL-forwarder continue to work, but…

goddam it, gewgel… when you stop using something important, you should make it somewhat more obvious. 😒

now, admittedly, i INTENDED to use the goo dot gl analytics, but i only logged in to see what was happening for the first time, today, so i really was NOT paying attention, but still… you would think that a company as big as the big G could be a little more public about things like this.

so, my tablet is broken, again…

this time it started out as a charging port. it was intermittent for a while, i had to plug it in a certain way, with the plug held just so, or it wouldn’t work. then i upgraded the OS to 15.x and it ceased charging all together. of course i noticed right away, since i almost always keep it plugged in to power, unless i’m actually using it for something.

i had to wait a week (with my tablet unable to charge) while they waited for a part to come in. i was supposed to pick it up today.

i heard the technician who actually fixed it, say, about 3rd gen 12.9″ ipad pros, he’d seen one with a broken charging port “last week”. he also said the job was sensitive, because switching the charge port means disassembling the screen, which is “sensitive”… which meant that they might have to replace the screen as well…

i don’t think i was intended to hear that part, because the technician was talking to his boss, but… well…

he was right.

they broke the screen. 😒

i was supposed to pick it up at 2:00, and when i walked in, the guy said that there had been an “issue” with the screen, and that i was getting a new screen, which — he said — would be delivered “tomorrow”…

the last time they replaced the screen (last year? two years ago?) their replacement “tomorrow” took around a week. and, because of the fact that they broke it, while in the process of fixing something else, they get the privelege of keeping my tablet until the screen comes in (whenever that ends up being). 😒

and, of course, i have a telemedicine appointment tomorrow… 😒 i think i can do it on my phone, but i have never done it before, so it’ll be challenging, at the very least. 😒

࿗ ManWoman Memorial Day! ࿘

in memory of ManWoman, born 2 feb., 1938, died 13 nov., 2012. father/mother/brother/sister to everyone, but particularly those who have swastika tattoos.

࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉࿗࿘࿕࿖卍卐࿌😉

ManWoman
ManWoman

The Swastika takes many forms, but it's still a Swastika. The issue is not whether Hitler's Swastika is different from ours. The issue is that it is our Swastika, not Hitler's.
211105 The Swastika takes many forms, but it’s still a Swastika.
The issue is not whether Hitler’s Swastika is different from ours.
The issue is that it is our Swastika, not Hitler’s.

aaarrggghh! it happened again!!

that’s A³R²G³H² for those of you keeping track…

i have discovered YET ANOTHER thing that fell victim to the crack of 2021, and that was the user manual for our fireplace!

particularly, this exact diagram (found, and re-downloaded by MOE, who is the undisputed google-master of this house) which is found on page 28 of said manual:

211111 wood-stove diagram
211111 wood-stove diagram
this shows the position of the flue/damper (labeled “burn rate air control”) and the automatic startup air control for the woodstove. the flue/damper is a thing i am familiar with, but the postion and manufacture of this particular woodstove, plus it’s relative “new-ness” from my standpoint, makes it very difficult for me to remember the correct position, which is VITALLY important when starting this stove, in order to prevent huge clouds of smoke from coming out of every non-welded join in the entire stove and chimney…

and the “automatic startup air control” is something i have never experienced in a woodstove before… it’s got a mechanical timer, and it gradually closes vents at the bottom of the fire, so that it has plenty of air to start with, but not so much air after 30 minutes or so…

and WITHOUT the information in this diagram, i have a very difficult time remembering the correct position for these things, which makes it REALLY frustrating, when i have to start a fire, as i did this evening. 🤬🤬🤬

fortunately, i have MOE to rescue me when technology fails. i now have this manual re-downloaded and stored away in an obvious place on my new cloud server. 😉

my guess is that this sort of thing is going to become, more-or-less, a standard occurance chéz salamandir, so it’s a good thing i’m starting to keep track of it now… i think… 😕

latin

when i was in high school, i took latin, but that’s not the story.

the story is that, when i found out they were going to offer a latin class, i IMMEDIATELY wanted to sign up for it… but my parents said no, that latin was a “dead” language, that nobody spoke any longer, or used for anything (😏), that i would never use it, and it would just waste my time.

i was a junior in high school, and i REALLY wanted to learn latin. i pestered my parents for a few weeks about it, but they stood fast…

so i went to my high school guidance counsellor, and told her. she immediately agreed with me, and gave me a bunch of “hints” that i could use to try to convince my parents, but none of them worked. my parents were the stubborn, pig-headed people that i have come to know them to be since then, and they were adamant that it would be a collosal waste of my time to learn latin.

i went back to my high school guidance counsellor and told her that the hints didn’t work, and that i still REALLY wanted to learn latin… so she CALLED them.

she talked with my mother (who was the louder of the two) for about half an hour, and, somehow, convinced her that my studying latin would NOT be a waste of my time. i was overjoyed.

today, 40 years later, latin is something that i use on a DAILY basis, to help me understand, and better utilise the language i speak… to help other people understand confusing things (of which there are many)… to learn about places, and things, in a way that english, by itself, doesn’t even have a clue about… to have a better grip on romance languages that ARE used in the modern world — i also studied french in high school, and it gave me a better understanding of the french language, as well as giving me a sneak peek at spanish, italian, and portuguese… at this point, it would take me about 3 days of immersion to get functional in any romance language, and probably not more than a week before i was understanding most of what was said to me…

WRITING, on the other hand, would very likely take quite a bit longer, particularly in italian or portuguese, because they spell things strangely, have silly, inconsistent silent letters, “non-standard” pronunciation for other letters, and are, generally, more laid back, which makes learning to write more difficult 😉

and that’s ALL because i studied latin. 😉

and i use approximately ZILCH of the other subjects i studied in high school, with the exception of music, which i also use, on a daily basis… actually, that’s not entirely correct: high school taught me skills, like how to study, how to use the scientific method, logic and reason to figure things out, the proper use of tools like a wood lathe, proportional dividers, engineering scales, and a linotype, all of whose skills can be transferred to the “modern” world in a variety of ways…

in other “forward into the past” news, i finally got around to editing the Wraith Ugly/Bob Larson tapes. i’ve been flogging them on bob larson’s twitter feed, which is somewhat amusing. 😈

woo…

a couple weeks ago, i suddenly couldn’t login to my blog. it didn’t give me any of the standard “you can’t login” messages, instead it gave me half a page of code that was only partially legible (to me), and no clue what happend or how to fix it. 😱

after a good deal of futzing around, and a few back-and-forths with the host provider, i figured out that it was because i had a 2FA plugin, set to auto-update, and WordFence, also set to auto-update. when WordFence added a 2FA feature which was activated by default (generally, a good thing), and auto-updated itself, it “auto-updated” itself right into the middle of a conflict with the 2FA plugin that was already there, and active. 😱

at the time, i figured that it would be easier to delete the 2FA plugin and use the feature provided by WordFence… so i deleted the 2FA plugin, and set up the 2FA feature provided by WordFence.

except that, unlike the 2FA plugin that was now deleted, WordFence’s 2FA feature only gives you the ability to set up an authenticator ONCE, and, after that, it “assumes” that you have an authenticator set up, so it doesn’t give you the ability to set up another one.

which i discovered today, when i tried to login using my phone, rather than the tablet on which i have set up the new 2FA set up. the result was that i entered the 6-digit code given to me by google authenticator, only to have it rejected… twice… and then i was banned from logging in TO MY OWN GODDAMN BLOG! 🤬

THIS is why the web designer DIDN’T set plugins to auto-update on Hybrid Elephant! 👍

after i used one of my emergency login codes, i set the plugins to NOT auto-update, re-installed the 2FA plugin that allows you to set up more than one iteration of the authenticator, and deleted, and re-installed the blog on the authenticator on BOTH my tablet and my phone…

whew… i think that’s everything… 😕

yawn, again…

back to nothing happening again…

my harvest is curing, but the trimmings aren’t drying as fast as i would like them to. i’m pretty sure that if i took the screen off of my office window (which i am not currently using anyway), i could speed up the drying process. maybe i’ll do that today.

i went to a concert with moe and her friend lora, a couple days ago. i was chosen at the last minute to substitute for lora’s husband, who said that a concert might jeopardise his recent sobriety (and he was an AWFUL drunk, so i totally agree), and, also, because, that way, i could drive and lora and moe could talk. 😉 it was the first time i have done ANYTHING that “public” in almost two years, and it felt really weird. it felt weird going to the tacoma-dome, and being in the (relatively light) crowd of people getting into the venue… i wore a N95 mask AND my cloth mask, and kept my hands in my pockets as much as possible. it felt weird sitting in the row of seats with a totally strange (masked) woman so close that she was touching my arm, for the two and a half hours of the concert. a majority of the people were wearing masks, but there was also food and drink available, and a significant number of people thought it was “okay” to wear their masks incorrectly (under their nose), which made me feel like they could have easily taken it off and not felt guilty about it. it felt weird, and creepy, and, when i got home, i felt like i had been swimming in other peoples’ cooties. i took a long, hot shower after the show.

the concert was jackson browne and james taylor, with both of whom i am, more or less, unfamiliar. with jackson browne, there were a few songs that, once he started singing, i went “yeah, i know that song” (although there was one that moe said “if you were alive in the ’70s, you know this song”, but i didn’t), and even a couple that i knew most of the lyrics to, but, honestly, if it weren’t for the fact that i was hearing them at a show that featured jackson browne and james taylor, i wouldn’t have been able to tell you that it was a jackson browne song… hell, i was under the impression, prior to the concert, that jackson was a black man, because that’s the way i always imagined him. that’s how ignorant i was. 😕 james taylor was only a little better, in that i knew that he was white, and i knew a few james taylor songs — all of which they played, of course 😒 — but with both of them, i never had time to listen to their songs because they were INTENSELY popular, so much a part of popular culture, and, particularly, because, james taylor was married to carly simon, and was addicted to heroin…

i never had a thing for carly simon, but i figured that if he were that famous on his own, and he was married to carly simon, then i’m guessing there was something more than “love” involved in the process. 😒

besides which, at the time, i was a lot more interested in the music of morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, and karlheinz stockhausen, who were — and are — A LOT more interesting… 😉

but the musicianship was outstanding — james taylor was backed up by steve gadd on drums, and bruce fowler on horns, both of whom played with frank zappa — the music was good, the lyrics were as “woke” as i remembered them to be in the ’70s, and more “woke” and more “blunt” for the newer songs, james taylor is no longer married to carly simon, or addicted to heroin…

but i would still have much preferred to see a concert of music by morton subotnik, arnold schönberg, or karlheinz stockhausen. 😉

they started up my unicycle class again. it meets for the first time on sunday, which is also halloween. i have to figure out a costume in which i can also ride a unicycle… also, now i have a much higher possibility of learning how to turn left before the end of the year.

i ordered two “performance masks” on the 5th of october, and they still haven’t been shipped out… but it’s just as well, because it has been raining a lot, particularly over the past few days. the pond has water in it, again, but it’s still drastically low.

this is what getting old must feel like…

i harvested on tuesday: 4 hours of bending, stooping, squatting, and sitting on top of a propane canister (with a piece of plywood over the ring, so i didn’t get ring-butt)… by bedtime, tuesday night, my lower back was painful enough that i couldn’t bend over. i took a muscle relaxant before bed.

yesterday, i woke up and immediately took two tylenol, and made it through the day without too much difficulty or pain… but the most strenuous thing i did all day was blow the leaves off of the back yard — a pointless excersise… there’s already three times more leaves than there were before i started, yesterday. i spent most of the day sitting, standing, or walking on level ground, and it was okay, so i decided to go for a walk. i went for a 2.5 mile walk, and was okay, as long as i was walking on the level, but any uphill or downhill produced spasms so intense that i wondered whether or not it was a good idea going for a walk. at the same time, i went to sleep last night without any medication, so i figured that it was going to go away.

i was wrong.

today, i realised i have my circus class. i felt okay when i got up, and was able to move around, get dressed and suchlike, without pain, so i figured it was a temporary thing, but by the time i was about halfway to class, i realised that circus class today would probably NOT include trampoline, tumble track, unicycle, or tissue, which pretty much leaves juggling, tight wire, and stretching. we started with some warm-ups, and that went okay, then moved to juggling, and that went okay, and i excelled on tight wire, because i discovered that my back DOESN’T hurt if i stand up straight, and engage my core, which is EXACTLY what you need to do on the tight wire… i walked forwards AND backwards on the wire, using nothing but a balance pole in one hand! 😎 but then we moved to stretching, and… no. my body DOES NOT want to stretch. 😒

i came home, ate lunch, filled and shipped out an incense order, and went for another two mile walk… it was better, but there were still major twinges when i went up or down hill.

my next door neighbour just showed up with a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies that are “medicated”… 😉 he listened to an abbreviated version of my circus class experience today, and recommended i try two cookies.

i still can not believe that it’s legal. 🤤

yawn

nothing has been happening.

nothing has been happening politically, nothing has been happening socially, nothing has been happening musically, nothing has been happening in regards to the COVID virus… i now have A LOT of “free” time: every other week i have a one-hour appointment with kate, and every week i have my one-hour circus class, but that’s it. 😩

i’ve been spending a lot of time hiking on taylor mountain.

i shipped out two incense orders, today. i’m averaging between two and six orders a month, and, before i got cracked a few months ago, i actually had over a thousand dollars in my bank account… but then i got cracked, and spent it all on replacement hardware and a pile of recovered, possibly useful data.

i have expanded ZIP files for about a tenth of my fonts collection, from the recovered data. mostly TTF files, and just a small fraction of the fonts i used to have. fortunately, my recollection is that my entire >10,000 font library is backed up on CD, somewhere… i’m sifting through the rest of the recovered data slowly, and more or less randomly: it’s totally discouraging to look at this huge pile of recovered data, which took me a couple decades to accumulate, but which is now many, many schrödinger’s cats with random file names, EVERY ONE OF WHICH has to be opened to determine whether or not it’s corrupt, and if it’s not, what general pile it goes in, which all have to be sorted again, later on, and then, probably, sorted at least once more before they’re back in more-or-less the place where they’re supposed to be. 😒

so, it’s something to do, but, literally, i would rather be doing ANYTHING else… 🤬

i ordered some “performance masks” from J.W.Pepper a few weeks ago. they were back-ordered (without my knowledge), and, when i talked to a customer service drone on monday last week, i was assured that they would be shipping out later that week, but i still haven’t seen or heard anything. they’re called “performance” masks, because they look like you’re wearing a mask, but, in reality, the mask has a hole in the front, that your mouthpiece goes through, which makes it practically useless as an actual mask… but the new rule at the market is that the only buskers allowed MUST BE masked, so it’s either wear a “performance” mask, or don’t busk. 😒 but i can’t busk at all, until the “performance” masks are delivered, and, as far as i can tell, at this point, they’re still on back order, and who knows when they’re going to arrive. 😞

the pond, nazis

200412 first morning
200412 first morning
across the street from our house is a pond. it normally has about 10 feet of water in it. you can see it in this photo of the “first morning”, which was taken last year. the pond started losing water in early spring of this year, and it has been mostly dry for almost four months.

today, after 3 days of rain, the pond FINALLY has water in it… not 10 feet of water, or even 10 inches of water, but it’s a start… and it’s going to have to rain A LOT MORE before we’ll be back to the “normal” 10 feet of water. 😒

but “climate change” and the coronavirus are chinese frauds, and we need to prevent the teaching of Critical Race Theory to junior high school kids in public schools. 😒

211006 the "pond"
211006 the “pond”

seriously, i’ve been removing flyers for patriotfront dot us, and flyers for somebody who is running for school board SPECIFICALLY on the platform of “mask CHOICE, not mandate” and “no CRT in schools”, from the bulletin board at the local convenience store… 😠 i’ve been replacing them with my “ultimatum to world leaders”, with a link to ABillionPeople.org, but it’s been being taken down almost as soon as i put it up, so i’ve been trying to get “creative”…

but it’s really disturbing to me that there are actual nazis living in my community. 😠 if he gets elected (which i hope doesn’t happen, but around here, who knows), i wonder how much actual school board experience he has, because the pandemic is not going to last forever, and once he discovers that public primary schools AREN’T teaching “critical race theory” he’s not going to have much of a platform left… but, by then, he’ll have discovered that the school board buys school books for the district, and i’m pretty sure he’ll have something to say about that. 😒

interesting…

fecesbook was down for around 6 hours, today… down, like, completely down, DNS not working, routes not functioning, nslookup and whois not working, domain for sale…

it’s back up, at this point, but, allegedly, fuckerberg lost 7 billion dollars as a result of the outage, and is now only the fifth richest person on the planet. still no word on exactly what caused it. 😉

FecesBook
FecesBook

mrmph… 😒

two days ago (thursday) i got my COVID19 booster, and my flu shot.

i was also going to get my shingles shot (shongles shit?), but medicare doesn’t cover it (🤬👎⁇), it’s actually two shots, and they cost around $200 A PIECE!

so i didn’t get that, despite the fact that i had chicken pox, and moe has ALREADY HAD shingles, in spite of the fact that she’s not in the targeted age group. 😒🤬

yesterday, i felt like hammered shit, and slept most of the day. i suppose it was probably a combination of the two vaccines, along with the fact that i didn’t have any side effects from the two previous COVID19 vaccines…

today, i’m recovering, but i still feel like i’ve been run over by a steam roller.

HOWEVER

there are STILL people who refuse the vaccine, for one horseshit reason or another. there are STILL people who say that it’s got a 98% survival rate (leaving out the fact that there are many major, long-term health problems that follow most survivals)…

THEY are the ones who are DIRECTLY RESPONSIBLE for the 700,000 COVID19 deaths that have happened since january, 2020…

AND THEY STILL REFUSE THE VACCINE!! 🤬🤬🤬

soon, there will be a 9/11-style mass-death every week from COVID, and these people — all of whom try to keep 9/11 in the forefront of our minds, whether or not we want it there — will STILL be refusing the vaccine.

okay, i’m going to say this because it’s not on twit-turd or feces-book, and nobody is going to ban my account for advocating someone else’s death… 😒

i think it would be best for everyone if the government simply KILLED these people, so the rest of us can get back to something vaguely resembling normalcy, some time in the next decade. 😒

HAW, HAW, HAW!! 😈

a few moments ago, shortly after 7:00 pm this evening, i was alerted by the sounds of footsteps on our front porch, to the presence of people about to knock on our front door.

i still haven’t gotten over how intensely quiet it is out here. even with my music playing in my office, i was able to hear footsteps on our front porch, and was able to get there BEFORE they knocked on the door.

so i confronted two very young (probably no older than 21 or so) females, in masks, a taller, blonde one in the back, and a shorter, asian looking one (although she spoke with an american accent, so i would guess that she’s not first generation immigrant), JUST as they were about to knock. the shorter one introduced themselves as “missionaries from the church of jesus christ”… and she didn’t have the chance to say “of latter day saints”, because, by that point, i was ALREADY indicating that i was very definitely NOT interested in talking to missionaries. we said our mutual goodbyes and, JUST as i was closing the door, it started to rain…

HARD… 🤣

it rained for 10 minutes or so, REALLY HARD… long enough that, i’m fairly sure, they got TOTALLY soaked… they didn’t appear to have a car in the vicinity, and i have seen them riding bicycles on back country roads, before, so i’m guessing that they had a long, wet walk, in the dark, back to whatever mode of transportation they had… and i KNOW that our next door neighbours on both sides likely had a very similar response to mine… and we’re at the end of a dead-end road, with a what-is-usually-a-pond on the other side of the street… ROTFLMAO!! 🤣🤣🤣🤣

i suppose i should have been a little concerned for their safety, since they were young women, alone, lightly dressed, on foot, in the dark, in the rain, in a remote area known to be inhabited by… less than savoury characters… and bears… 😉

but i wasn’t. 😈

however… 😒

one distinct DISadvantage to having a new, working cloud drive, is that there have been two different occasions within the past two days, where i thought of something, and went to look for the source files, thinking that i knew exactly where they were located, only to discover that they were on the OLD cloud drive… 😒

god DAMN whatever anonymous skript-kiddie that caused this! 🤬👎‼

blowing my own horn

now that i’ve got a functional cloud drive, i am going through and replacing what i can of my lost music collection, including music that i produced myself.

i have four St. Fred albums on bandcamp, and the only one of those four that were lost on the old cloud drive has not been replaced locally, and that album is The Church of The Pleistocene, which, naturally, means that it has been a few months since i heard it last…

i downloaded it today, and listened to it… and it has held up pretty damn well, considering that it was released in 2018… and i REALLY liked this track, number 14, called “Lamentations”…

in the same way, there are also nine albums of music by And More on bandcamp, which i haven’t heard for even longer (why listen to music i made 30 years ago? i just have it because i made it 30 years ago) and that, too, has stood the test of time admirably. the track is called Pfisteria:

i still laugh when i listen to this… 🤣

(that’s how i know it’s finished music, if it makes me laugh… 😉)

interesting

i’ve been playing around with “yellofier electrified” on my tablet, for the past few days, and i came up with this vaguely spooky “music box” tune which i really liked:

then, because i didn’t have anything better to do, i exported it from electrified, and imported it into audacity, where i doubled the track, and then set one stereo pair to play back 10% slower than the other stereo pair…

and the result was an EVEN BETTER version 👍

the 2nd plateau has been achieved!

on 190114 i reached the first plateau, and i’ve been hanging around there ever since.

but, recently, the batteries that completed the first plateau have been acting like they’re on their last legs, not holding a charge, or charging inconsistently, so i decided to get new ones.

unfortunately, the batteries that they made in 2019 are no longer being manufactured, and i really don’t like buying stuff online, where you can’t examine it closely before deciding it won’t work…

which is exactly what happened with an outfit called “slick vapes” (they have a web site, but i won’t link to it, because they’re assholes). i looked through their selection of dab pen batteries and bought 3 “Evolve” batteries… which turned out to be exactly the same as the batteries i rejected prior to reaching the first plateau (they were “pen sized”, wouldn’t hold more than a few hours charge, when they would hold a charge at all, charged inconsistently, etc., etc., etc. 😒). then, i discovered a new type of “coilless” atomiser that looked like it would fit, but i wasn’t sure, because… online… 😒 so i ordered them, and they got back to me and accused me of using a stolen credit card… 😒 and when i got that straightened out, they said they had shipped the product, but the tracking number they sent me said that USPS was still waiting for the package two weeks after they said it was shipped. 😒 and when they FINALLY arrived, wouldn’t you know, they don’t fit any of the vape mods i have. 🤬

210915 the second plateau
210915 the second plateau
i’m still in the process of getting that whole FUMTU straightened out, but, in the mean time, i went to XHale Vapor ‘n’ Smoke, in issaquah, and bought an ELeaf iStick TC40W battery which has controls for temperature and wattage! so now i don’t have to press the button and about 50% of the time get no vapour at all, and the other 50%, get so much vapour that i choke. 😉 it also has a battery life indicator. the one down side that i’ve noticed, so far, is that it uses the micro-USB charging port, but it came with a cable, and the other micro-USB cables i have fit, so i’m just going to have to see how long it lasts. but it’s solid! it’s “hefty”… it’s got substance… not like the batteries from slick vapes, which, honestly, look a lot more flashy than anything else.

micro$not, mshtml, and activex

back in the dark ages, when i was working at STLabs, before we moved to factoria (i.e. STLabs… so, what? maybe 1995? 1996? somewhere in there), i was testing Internet Explorer version 3.0, which meant, basically, that i was testing micro$not’s browser engine, which is called MSHTML.dll. at the time, a very good friend of mine from college, saint fred (now, sadly, passed on) was mucking about with the innards of micro$not’s operating system, and discovered a problem which had existed for several years prior to this, which micro$not had “made disappear” by changing the technology’s name from OLE — which was, itself, a “renamed” technology, originally called Visual Basic for Applications, or “VB-A” — to “ActiveX”, and, in the process of making it “disappear”, actually made it more prevalent and insidious, by making it work seamlessly with even more micro$not technology.

and, saint fred being who he was, took advantage of this by writing the “Exploder Control”, which could be embedded in a web page, or a microsoft document, and would, when “activated”, perform a clean shutdown of the computer on which it was being viewed… whether you wanted to shut down your computer, or not.

you hit this web page, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 😏

or…

you open this microsoft word document, and, within seconds, your computer shuts down, with no further input from you. 🤣

i watched it happen as it first came out, before anybody realised what it was. it was hillarious! i gave the URI for the exploder control to my boss, and then went back to my workstation and listened, as she suddenly whined “it shut down my computer!” 🤣🤣🤣

and, of course, micro$not’s response to this was to threaten saint fred with lawsuits for doing stuff he shouldn’t have been doing, and when that didn’t work (because fred made sure that the exploder did everything strictly “by the book”, including getting micro$not’s signature on the control), they made the exploder control something that was detected by their anti-virus software (even though it was very clearly NOT a virus, and, actually, did everything totally “by the book”, something to which micro$not never admitted), and, once they figured out that they had caused all of this, they pulled their signature on the control, so that it raised even more red flags before actually activating it…

and, basically, did everything EXCEPT fix the problem, which, after a few months of frantic ass-covering by micro$not’s marketing department, while the tech industry had a good laugh, got swept under the rug, anyway, by more current micro$not fiascos.

but the technology remained, and every version of windows has support for activex, every version of MSHTML.dll has support for activex (which is one of the reasons micro$not got rid of MSHTML.dll a couple years ago, and current versions of Internet Exploder… um… what’s their browser called again? EDGE, that’s it… uses google’s “chrome” browser engine, instead. the browser wars are over! micro$not LOST!) and you can, literally, do ANYTHING with activex, that you could do from the normal user interface of windows, and there is, literally, NOTHING stopping you from doing this — or other, more nefarious things — given A LITTLE knowledge of the technology.

which is why, when i saw this headline: Miscreants fling booby-trapped Office files at victims, no patch yet, says Microsoft the FIRST THING i thought was “Exploder Control strikes again!”

this is one of the VERY BIG reasons i do not use micro$not on my computers. i don’t even have my microsoft 5-button mouse any longer!

i wonder if they’ll ever learn. 🙄

Continue reading micro$not, mshtml, and activex

so, unrelated to anything else…

i remember learning, some time ago (like, possibly, as many as 20 years ago), that the movie staring Gina Lollobrigida, which features the song “‘A Frangesa” (the name of which i have been unable to determine), was a “modern remake” of “L’Arlesienne”, by Georges Bizet and Alphonse Daudet…

or, possibly, that the movie starring Gina Lollobrigida was based on the real-life story of the person about whom Alphonse Daudet wrote his romanticised play…

but i can find no solid evidence for or against this theory, on internet.

i wonder if i imagined the whole thing… 😕

i can say that, if i had known about the movie with Gina Lollobrigida when i first learned the song “‘A Frangesa” (which was when i was in 8th grade, or thereabouts), i would have had a much more positive opinion about the song than i had at the time. 😉 as it was, it was a harder-than-normal concert band piece which i could play, but very many of my fellow student musicians were unable to play (because it’s “faster” than most of them could play reliably), and, because of that, it sounded VERY MUCH like an elementary school band trying very hard to play something that is too difficult for them EVERY! SINGLE! TIME!

ETA 210907: the movie appears to be called “La donna più bella del mondo” (the most beautiful woman in the world), but was english-ified into “Beautiful but Dangerous“… but i still haven’t been able to find out whether or not it was a remake of L’Arlesienne. internet would be a much better place if you could ask questions in human language and not be inundated with meaningless information that is only intended to sidetrack you from what you really want to know… and it’s full of computers! ick! 😒

see, this is the problem…

210825 woods walk
210825 woods walk
even under the best of circumstances, “microdosing” mushrooms is a hit-or-miss proposition…

a couple weeks ago, i decided i was going to take a “proper” mushroom trip, and, towards that end, i prepared two 00-sized capsules with the oldest of my mushroom stash. by last week, i had decided that i didn’t want to take the whole thing, all at once, so i took the larger one…

and didn’t feel anything… 😞

which was really dissapointing, but i figured the mushrooms were old enough that they’d lost all their potency. despite the fact that i didn’t “feel” anything, i definitely noticed the “characteristic” anti-depressant effects of the psilocybin, and so, this week, i decided to take the other, smaller capsule.

that was at 12:30 this afternoon…

this time, i DEFINITELY feel something…

despite the fact that the capsule was approximately 25% SMALLER than the one i took last week, i’ve definitely had a marvelously melty afternoon, after going for a ≈5 mile walk in the woods, i came home and spent the afternoon doodling and listening to music over headphones…

it’s now approximately 6:00…

210825 mushroom drawing
210825 mushroom drawing

something i haven’t done in a very long time… stupid brain injury… 😒

ganesha the new car

once again, gas is $4 a gallon.

on july 18th, i got a new car: a 2019 hyundai ioniq hybrid.

it gets ≈65MPG… (it actually gets between 60 and 70MPG, depending on how i drive)

i LIKE spending $25 for gas, looking at the “full tank” indicator, and seeing that i’ve got almost 800 miles before i have to fill up again. 👍😎

although, i must admit, as a person who almost religiously got gas when the indicator said the tank was half empty, i still haven’t quite gotten used to the fact that, when the indicator says the tank in the new car is half empty, i’ve still got more miles to go before i have to fill up than any of my previous cars had when they were entirely full. 😉🤣

also, i REALLY like being able to drive down the street and not make any noise… i like stopping at a stop light and not making any noise. i like going 75 on the freeway and not making any noise… and looking down at the indicator to discover that i’m going 75 on the freeway, not making any noise, and RECHARGING MY BATTERY ALL AT THE SAME TIME! 👍👍👍😎

i have dreamed of owning a hybrid for at least 40 years… check that off my bucket list. 😉

now, to get some artwork on this blank canvas. 😈

🤔

this afternoon, i was doing some yard work, and i found this in the gravel between the house and the trailer…

210819 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, quarter for scale
210819 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, quarter for scale

it’s small enough that i’m 100% certain that, if i didn’t already know what it was, i wouldn’t have even noticed it, but…

AS IT HAPPENS… i know EXACTLY what it is, which is a 1909-2009 Alaska Yukon Pacific 100th Anniversary pin, which was given to performers at the celebration, and (i believe) were also for sale to the people who came to the celebration. i know this because, in 2009, the ballard sedentary sousa band peformed at the Alaska Yukon Pacific Exhibition 100th Anniversary… although, for some (now) unknown reason, i was unable to make that gig, so i had liz get me a pin, becuase i have always been interested in the alaska yukon pacific exhibition, and i was really dissapointed that i couldn’t be there… and i THOUGHT that pin was on my red fedora, because that’s the last place i saw it, and it was only last week that i wore that hat…

could i have lost my AYP pin? 😨

so i ran upstairs to check, and… no, my AYP pin is right where it’s supposed to be:

210819 my AYP pin, right where it's supposed to be
210819 my AYP pin, right where it’s supposed to be

so, that raises a new question… was the former owner of my house at the AYP 100th anniversary, and did he/she/they buy a pin? or were they performers? i consider the latter to be EXTREMELY unlikely…

umph!

i’ve come to a decision.

there are over 150,000 separate files, which takes up 4.5GB, in the .jpg directory alone, of the recovered data.

it took my computer half an hour of doing nothing but loading the directory, before it was completely loaded. every time i opened a file, it took 10 minutes to reload the directory.

i would have to open every one of them to determine if it’s corrupt or not, and if not (about ⅔ of the time), i would then have to determine what it is, and where to put it.

if it takes me (conservatively) 30 seconds per document to make those determinations, i will be doing this for the next 4,500,000 seconds, or more than 7 months of doing NOTHING but opening files to determine whether or not they’re corrupt… no eating, sleeping, shitting, busking or anything else, just slogging away in front of the computer.

factoring in those other things, i’m looking at a couple years, minimum. 😒

i may have been willing to do it at one time… who am i kidding, i’ve NEVER been willing to do that, for that long, for as little payment as i would get. 😒

it’s sad, but there it is: the last 6 years of my life, in pictures, and they’re all going down the toilet, along with a significant portion of my business, my music and artwork, and monique’s photos from the past 6 years.

now, do i keep the data on my new cloud drive, or do i delete it. i’ve also got it on the 1TB external drive that the data recovery folks sent me, so it wouldn’t be entirely deleted… but… 😭

this is one of the times the computer has won the battle. 😒

ETA: interesting, but extremely BIZARRE development is that, upon further investigation, there is a “.jpg” directory, and a “photos” directory, in the recovered data. the documents that are in the .jpg directory are about ⅔ usable files, but their names are gibberish, and there are more than 150,000 of them, all in one directory. however, for some strange reason, the files that are in the “photos” directory are in subdirectories that indicate the manufacturer of the camera, scanner or printer (of which there are about 50), and further subdirectories that indicate the make and model of the camera, scanner or printer (there are A LOT of them), and the files themselves, for the most part, contain the date they were taken in the filename… and, let me tell you, i have A LOT easier time figuring out what a photo is if it is named something like IMG_20061129_133315 (49EA1400).jpg than i do if it is named 80AB2B00.jpg… A LOT!

oh, alright… 😒

this is an update. what i’ve been doing:

busking. this has been a long time coming. it’s really good to get out and play music for people, and, so far, we’ve been averaging between $15 and $25 apiece for an hour or so of busking. now, instead of howlin’ hobbit and his ukulele, it’s thaddeus and his banjitar — an interesting hybrid, that looks like a banjo, but has six strings and is tuned like a guitar. as i’ve always said, the money is an extra, added bonus, for me, and it’s still true, even after a year and a half… but it’s always nice, and we’ve actually already got one “paying” gig as a result: the pike place market is putting on a “sunset supper”, and is hiring market buskers at $100 apiece for an hour of busking while rich people eat food… that is, most likely, NOT offered to the buskers, but they’re paying $100 apiece, so it’s sort of okay… the BSSB has started rehearsals again, too, which is another bonus. 😉

ripping CDs back into my music collection. i have only gotten the barest of starts sorting the recovery data, in spite of the fact that, in the small print, the data recovery people say that their “free” recovery media (a 1TB hard disk, in my case) only has a warranty of five DAYS — which, to me, says “if you don’t get your data off our recovery media post haste, we’re not going to guarantee that you’ll have ANYTHING, regardless of how much you may have paid us.” nevertheless, at this point, i’ve got all of the data that really made a difference (the panchamukhi ganesha from my car, the spreadsheet containing the data for the Incense of the Month Club, and the spreadsheet of blocked-for-spamming IP addresses), and, basically, if i had anything else i need, i don’t remember it, and probably won’t until i need that data again, which will mean that i’m probably going to have to keep going back to the recovery data on occasion, for the rest of my life… however, if i already have freshly ripped .flac files, then, when i finally get around to slogging through the 1TB MESS of recovered data, it will be slightly less of a concern if the archives i got are incomplete or corrupt. this is an ongoing project that is probably going to take several weeks to finish, and while it’s going on, i may not post here, as much.

hiding from the smoke and heat. it hasn’t been as bad as it was a couple years ago, but it’s definitely smoke season. i look out my office window and see orange skys and translucent air, and the AQI is 63, which is firmly in the “yellow” range. busking, yesterday, was an extra bonus, because it was around 10°F cooler at the market than it was at home… it’s 20° cooler than it was in june(!!), but it’s still in the high-90°s, which is extremely rare around here, in my experience. the government climate change investigatory committee just released the first part of their study, a few days ago, and it says what climat change activists have been saying for 30+ years, now, which is, basically, climate change is real, it’s happening, and it was definitely caused by humans… and then, two days later, 7 democrats switched positions, and voted with ALL the republicans, to pass a law making it illegal for the government to EVER ban fracking. 🤬 so, i guess that means that, ultimately, climate change will kill us all, but the rich people are going to die last. 🤬🤬 i have never wanted to, but it’s my impression that, soon, i will have to apologise to ezra for bringing him into a world where he may never reach his full potential, because of the thoughtlessness and carelessness of my immediate ancestors.

hiding from the virus. the delta variant is 1000 times more contagious than the original strain, and they’re saying that recipients of the pfizer vaccine, at least, will have to get a “booster” shot, but they’re not saying when it will be available, or how long we have to wait before getting one. in the mean time, schools have been making masks optional, and reopening, and then closing down again, when 40% of the students get COVID, while the right wing, q-anon devotee, anti-mask, anti-vax, trump morons are dying by the thousands, and STILL ranting their nonsense about it affecting pregnancies, or tracking microchips in the vaccine. there’s an image i saw on twitter that is, basically, a huge banner, strung between two cars, that says they’ll never get the vaccine, and that you’ll have to kill them… the ironic part is that, most likely, we won’t have to kill them, because the virus will do that for us, and we won’t have to do anything. hospitals are failing in missouri, texas, and florida, where the governors are particularly anti-mask and anti-vax, despite the surge in cases, and a vast majority of the fatalities have been people who refused the vaccine. at this rate, we’re going to be dealing with this pandemic for A LOT longer than the 1918 “spanish flu” pandemic, primarily because of STUPID people who won’t get the vaccine or wear masks, on account of their “freedom”. 🤬

hope? — dashed?

sorting through the mess of recovered data is heartbreaking.

i’m finding all sorts of stuff that, once i actually see (or hear) a bit of it, i know exactly what it is, and i’m starting to get things organised enough that, some of the time, i even have a place to put it, once i’ve discovered what it is…

but, then… everything doesn’t come crashing down, but…

i haveHAD a CDR album called “We Bore 2“, which was one of my favourites. it was produced in 2003 by Toast & Jam Records, which has, since, gone out of business, and their web site is now a japanese porn site… it was a “various artists” compilation of electronic, experimental, glitch music, and it was AWESOME!

i found a .RAR archive with the .mp3s for “We Bore 2”, and i was, like, “COOL!”… i expanded the archive, and put it in the place it had been taken from in my collection, and went on to the next archive.

today, for the first time, i actually LISTENED to “We Bore 2″…

yeah, all the tracks are there, but track 1 is NOT what was there the last time i listened to “We Bore 2″… and track 2 is also the same way, to a lesser extent… and track 3 is pretty messed up… and track four is mostly there, except for a patch in the middle which is totally missing… and track 5… and track 7… and track 8… and track 9… 😭

pretty much all of the tracks have something wrong with them…

and i can’t get another copy of the CD, because i originally downloaded it as a .rar file…

and, i’m pretty sure (given the huge quantity of .rar and .zip files that got recovered) that more than a few of them are going to have exactly the same problem. 😭

ETA: all is not lost… well, for “We Bore 2” anyway… it turns out i actually have the original CDR for this album… but i’m fairly sure that is NOT going to be the case with a majority of the .rar and .zip archives i have…

sumbunal

i found sumbunal of my music collection, on a huge stack of CDs and DVDs (possibly two, i haven’t checked thoroughly, yet) which i had stashed in the garage, in a cabinet in front of which i have stacked 4 huge cartons of incense… so, naturally, it was the absolute LAST place i thought to look. this appears to be my music backups from 2002, or thereabouts, until 2016 or 17 — when i “moved everything to the cloud” — which means that the part of my collection that isn’t backed up, is, very likely, music that i have on CD (which i can re-rip, if necessary) or music that was in a .zip or .rar archive… and, strangely enough, not many of the .mp3s that are on the recovery disk actually made it, but there’s probably 90% to 95% of the .zip and .rar archives that appear to have made it through… meaning that, when i opened the archive with ark, it opened and didn’t tell me that the archive was corrupt most of the time… 😕 i don’t completely understand how that happened, but i’ll take it.

and, to be honest, there are more than a few albums where i was able to download all but one track from the backup disk (for whatever reasons), so i’m really glad that i actually have as many CDs as i do, because that makes it a lot easier to go back and re-rip one track from an album.

it’s been more than a month since i played music through my stereo speakers. i spent ALL DAY today, listening to music and uploading gigabytes of music to the new NAS. 👍😉

and, TOMORROW, i’m going BUSKING!!! 👍😎👍

gress

why is the opposite of “progress” not “congress” rather than “regress”?

i got in contact with the vehicle-wrap artist that did the actual artwork for the previous car, and he, also, sent me an .eps file containing the original artwork, so i’m sure i have backed it up, now… although i haven’t backed it up to the cloud drive, yet, because i can still only access it through a web browser on my linux box, and not at all on my mac laptop… and i am worried that they’re not going to be able to make it work on my mac laptop, because i did the steps to auto-mount a network drive, at startup, and it took my password and chewed on it for 30 seconds or so, and then rejected it… i THINK it’s because the cloud drive wants me to login to /cgi-bin/ but the ancient mac will only let me login to the base server URI. and on the linux box, it allows me to specify the login directory, and accepts my password, but never gets beyond that, to actually logging me in — it just repeats its request for a username and password, over, and over, and over, and over… 😕 hopefully, when the guy comes over this evening to give me the keys, he will be able to conclusively address these issues.

ETA: he addressed those issues like a boss, and had BOTH the ancient mac and my linux box wrapped around the NAS’s little finger in about 10 minutes… the old mac, apparently, doesn’t like the domain name, and REALLY doesn’t like the fact that my username has an @ symbol in it, but it eats up the intranet IP address like it’s going out of style, and, because of the fact that it’s ONLY addressing the NAS from the intranet, i just gave it the administrator username instead of my username… and the linux box was, basically, the same, once we figured out how to do it… and connecting monique’s computer was easiest of all: just gave it the intranet IP address and everything was kosher. 😎

there’s A LOT of music in .zip or .rar archives in my recovered data, so, once i get to the point of actually expanding those archives, i will have a significant part of my music collection back… for that matter, i’m pretty sure i “backed up” my music collection to CD, around 10 years ago or so, which means that, once i find where i’ve put it, there’s a good chance that my music collection will be back to 75% to 80% of what it was prior to the crack.

the western digital support personnel that i talked to on 210724, who said that someone would be calling me “monday or tuesday” lied, because it is now wednesday, and i HAVE NOT received a call from them… which only strengthens my suspicion that they are NOT going to try to contact me until after 210731, which is their deadline for making a claim through their data recovery program. 😒

the process of categorising partially corrupt files is both time-consuming, and ultimately frustrating, because, once i have rough-categorised the files, i have to go back through, re-open every file again to determine what it is, re-name the file, and then categorise it AGAIN… and A LOT of the file names started with the date that they were last looked at, which, frequently, is a complete mystery from inside the document, so even when i have them renamed, and categorised, i still can’t complete a time-line for stuff that was modified more than once… which will, very likely, cause major headaches in the future, particularly with documens created for other peoples’ printing. 😒

seriously, whatever anonymous skript-kiddie did this to me — who has never even met them before — just for “lulz” — better hope that i don’t run into them late at night in a dark alley, because, if that ever happens, the result will NOT be positive for anyone. 🤬

on a lighter note, i got my physical copies of questionable content, the electronic copies of which were lost… i’m slowly getting everything put back together.

but i still have to rewrite the IOTM blurb about patchouli for next month, because it’s coming up really soon, and it’s the only IOTM blurb that i didn’t get back… which is a real shame, because the old one was really amusing, and i don’t know if i can remember all of what i said.

new nas

lord buckley would love this…

but, unfortunately, lord buckley was part of the data that either wasn’t recovered, is corrupted, or i haven’t found it yet because i’m dealing with sixty gazillion files that are named something like 0SVP8382U794.mp3 or 3O1458DNLWO.jpg, because all of their meta-data has been deleted. 😒

anyway, the new NAS is up and running, although not completely configured yet. i have an “app” on my phone and tablet that gives me access to the cloud drive, and i can access it through a web browser on my antique mac and my linux box.

ETA: and accessing it through a web browser is an entirely new experience for me, because, despite the fact that it’s in a web browser, the “pages” are things like the file center, which allows me to “drag-and-drop” files from my local computer, to upload them. basically it acts like a window, even though it’s technically a web page. will wonders never cease?

although i’m fairly sure linux has a more direct way of accessing the cloud drive, the guy who came by to set it up wasn’t a linux geek, and, apparently, has never met a linux geek in the general public. he was astounded when i told him that i had been running linux for 20 years… 😉

but the new NAS is WAY cooler than the old cloud drive, primarily because it is, apparently, possible to edit files while they are still in the cloud, rather than having to download them, edit them locally, and then over-write the old file on the cloud. if what i have already experienced with audio files is true, the likelyhood of my losing any MORE music is practically eliminated. also, it appears to be possible to install executable code on the NAS, and run it locally, which would make things EXTRA SUPER COOL, but i’m not 100% sure of it, yet. 😉

ETA: the NAS has, apparently, either configured itself, or something has been installed remotely that allows it to communicate with my linux system via a number of different protocols, including SMB, MTP (whatever that is — Media Transfer Protocol… who knew?), HTTPS, and bluetooth… which is really odd, because my computer doesn’t even have a bluetooth reciever, so i kinda wonder where the “Bluetooth” icon in the remote network directory came from… unfortunately, i have been unable to connect with anything other than HTTPS, even though the SMB instance takes my password and doesn’t say it’s wrong, it just won’t log me in… which is something to take up with the configurators tomorrow.

the “twisted pair” who are whipping my computers into shape doing my configuration are going to be finished up tomorrow, at which point i hope to have the more direct method of connecting on at least the linux box (if they aren’t able to figure out the antique mac, i understand). i’ve already got a lot of stuff sorted out of the recovered data, including a whole bunch of music, embeded in .zip archives, which appears to be uncorrupted, so, initially, it appears that i may not have lost everything. oh, i also discovered a bunch of CDs that have the date 4/20/13 on them, that appear to be raw .wav files of my first three cassettes, originally produced in the 1980s. if they are as pristine as they appear, then i MIGHT NOT have lost all my old music.

AND western digital FINALLY got back to me — i originally reported the loss on 210624, and, since then, i have sent the drive to texas, waited two weeks, and had the people in texas deliver the drive back to me, which arrived ONE WEEK BEFORE the western digital team (which “values your data”) got around to contacting me… 😒 they said they couldn’t help me unless i uploaded the system logs, but when i plugged in the drive, it wouldn’t even mount on mac, which means that they couldn’t even talk me through the process of recovering the system logs, at which point the issue was “escalated”, and they are, alledgedly, going to call me back monday or tuesday. at this point, i would estimate that it’s NOT particularly likely that western digital is going to call me back before 210731, which is when their web site says i have to have contacted them regarding a data loss from CVE-2018-18472… because after 210731, they don’t have to do anything about it. 😒

bare bear!

i saw a bare bear (a black one) today, at 47.4336528, -121.9412438 at approximately 1700 hours.

sorry, there are no pictures, i was too busy getting the fuck out of there.

here are some wildlife pictures that aren’t twice my size with four inch claws, even if it was going the opposite direction.

dear deer (i think it's a buck)
dear deer (i think it’s a buck)
super slug!
super slug!

also, some paraidolia, for you religiomus folks. 😉

tree face
tree face

hello, old friend…

i’ve got a lot on my mind… my new car, my old car, monique’s old car, my cloud drive, the data, which still needs A LOT of categorising and sorting. there’s so much of it, and about a third to one half of it is corrupt, but i can’t tell without attempting to read it…

next to my tablet is a cup which contains pens, pencils, permanent markers, a divider, a compass, a bong reamer, several dental tools, a couple of hemostats… miscelaneous things that i need on a regular basis. i was looking for the original gear shift knob for my old car, which involved emptying out a bag of miscelaneous leftovers from when we moved (last year), which i never got around to sorting out. it had a number of things that i had been looking for, like my extra vape battery, an extra container for concentrates, my (ORIGINAL!) fidget-cube, and some extra pens and pencils, which i proceded to put in the cup next to my tablet… but it was full.

so, i decided to get a larger can, from my workshop, into which to transfer the pens, pencils, and miscelaneous tools, which took a while, because i had to find the can that i was looking for. when i’d found the can, i went back into my office, and transferred the stuff into it, in the bottom of the cup, i found this…

miniature citrine ganesha
miniature citrine ganesha

i got this… i don’t know how many years ago… i think it was before my injury… i got it a clear quartz ganesha, and this citrine one, at the same time, but i lost the citrine one almost immediately — like, within the first two weeks — and i have never seen it since.

2 miniature ganesh murtis and 10¢
2 miniature ganesh murtis and 10¢

mrgmf!

so, according to the latest theory, a script kiddie found out about, and took advantage of CVE-2018-18472, but the bug doesn’t just allow anyone with the IP address to login as admin…

the bug allows anyone with the IP address to login as admin AND DO A FACTORY RESET!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

what this means is that the files weren’t just deleted, they were OVERWRITTEN… a factory reset reformats the drive and re-installs the operating system.

which means that the files that are gone, are gone for good. there’s no getting them back, at this point… 🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢🤬😢

not only….

not only have i resurrected the ganesha graphic, but i actually bought a design template for a vehicle wrap on a 2019 hyundai ioniq! 👍

now, maybe, i can do the whole vehicle wrap that i have been dreaming about. 😉

AND i pick up my new car today… even before we’ve decided what to do with the old one…

this deciding we’re going to do this big thing at some amorphous time “later”, and then having that “later” be “later today” is really confusing to me. 😕

yup… we’re now the owners of four cars: the 1998 ford F150 pickup truck, the 2009 hyundai elantra touring, the 2014 hyundai santa fe, and the 2019 hyundai ioniq.

the current fantasy, such as it is, is that we have traded the santa fe for the ioniq, but the santa fe is, currently, in pieces at autoworks of issaquah, who should have it put back together monday or tuesday. we’ve still got to retrieve the dog crates from the back of the santa fe, but, at this point, as soon as we receive the title from the bank (monday or tuesday), we’re handing it over to the hyundai dealership in puyallup. then, we’re going to private-sell the elantra touring (i don’t want to sell it with the artwork, but if we have to, then so be it), and, at some point in the next couple of weeks, we’re driving to salem to pick up monique’s new santa fe — it has to be a santa fe, because that’s what the dog crates (remember them) fit into…

so, alledgedly, we will, once again, be a three car household… but…

this is getting really confusing. 😕

i have resurrected ganesha the graphic

140215 Panchamukhi Ganesha The Car
140215 Panchamukhi Ganesha The Car
last night at about 10:30, i found a couple of .eps files of the graphic for my car.

vector renditions, i.e. infinitely expandable and contractable, keeping the same line quality.

today, i confirmed that they are the original, and my modified versions of the graphic, which is excellent, because, otherwise, i wouldn’t have artwork for my NEW car…

whee? 😕

oh, definitely whee… the new car is a hybrid that gets almost 50MPG, and is only slightly smaller than the current car, although it’s white, and not black…

such is life.

i got the data

good news: i got back (most of, as far as i’ve been able to tell, so far) my IOTM club records, including, most importantly the records of who paid when, and what they have received.

bad news: i’ve checked the largest adobe illustrator documents i can find, and they’re all corrupt, which means, very likely, that the artwork for my car is no longer, and when i get a new car (which might be a lot sooner than i expected), i will have to come up with new artwork for it.

i still have A LOT of files to evaluate… like more than a week, of solid 8-hour days, doing NOTHING but evaluating files… possibly as much as a month of 8-hour days. 😒

and that’s NOT listening to music and watching videos… that’s opening files, to make sure that they’re not totally corrupt, and listening to no more than 5 or 10 seconds of the music or video, to make sure that they’re not TOTALLY corrupt, and then rough-classifying the file based on the contents i’ve seen… and then going to the next file in the list.

which, of course, is leaving me with files where all but the last 5 or 10 seconds of music or video is corrupt, but the rest of it is fine, which is almost more frustratingly irritating than if the entire file was corrupt. 🤬🤬

also, more bad news: there were NO .ogg, .flac, .aif or .aup files recovered AT ALL, which means that NONE of the music that i have recorded since 1983 made it. 😢

i MAY still have the cassettes on to which they were originally mixed down, but they haven’t been played for at least 20 years, and i don’t hold out much hope. ken may have some of my stuff, because he is a music hoarder, and i have played music with him since 1985 or thereabouts, but he lives in bellingham. and i can download .flac files from bandcamp for all of the CDs i have made, except for the one that was made right after my brain injury, which isn’t all there on bandcamp… 😒

but, at this point, it doesn’t look particularly encouraging, and i strongly suspect that i’m going to have to re-rip ALL of the physical media i own, which is another couple of months of solid 8-hour days, at least. 😒

and that doesn’t even begin to address the HUGE quantities of music of which i have purchased and downloaded ONLY electronic copies, like the 40+ albums from ergo phizmiz which i have been collecting for AT LEAST 20 years.

it feels good to have created a way out of this mess, but it’s heartbreaking to think of how much quality work i have done that has been lost. 😢

ETA: i don’t know whether this is as good news as it could be, but i got a zip file full of business logos from my web designer, and there are a couple of high res graphics that are, basically, what i used on my car… and i actually found a couple of .eps files (which, i believe, are vector, and native to illustrator) of the graphic on my car… i haven’t checked, yet, because it’s late, and i really should be in bed, but, well… 😒 AND i am, officially, buying a new car (a hybrid, hyundai ioniq), which means that i’ve got to move my graphic, anyway.

updated answer

the answer costs $600, not $800. 👍

the answer is two 4TB disks in a RAID1 array, not 2TB disks, in a RAID1 array. 👍👍

i know that the cause of all this was the (potential) loss of all my data, but, at this point, i like where it’s all going A LOT more than i did two weeks ago… for that matter, i like where it’s all going a lot more than i did a month ago, before this all started happening. 😉

the answer

the answer is a 4TB NAS, two bays of 2TB each, in a RAID1 array.

this serves a dual purpose: the NAS is my “cloud drive”, and the RAID1 array is my backup.

i can “backup” the backup, to “the cloud” or to an external 2TB device (like a flash drive) on a regular basis if i want, at that point, for extra security.

the answer costs around $800, for them to come in, set it up, get all my devices talking to it, from the antique mac to the bleeding edge kubuntu box, and hand me the keys.

i can afford the answer, without having to get “household funds” involved.

why?

because someone send me almost $1,200 for one of my huge boxes of incense, that’s why. 👍

in other news, i paid them $600 and they’re mailing me back the remains of the old NAS, and a disk full of either data, or not-data. 😒 whee.

bible study

proverbs 22.6 says “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”

when i was a child, from the time i was born, i was trained to believe that i was insignificant, at best, a screw-up most of the time, and a horrible, disgusting screw-up who had no right to live on special occasions.

my earliest memories are of my parents being livid with me… because i had slammed my hand in a car door, because i had “found” a nest of fire-ants, because i cut my finger with a sharp knife at a fancy restaurant… all before i was 5 years old.

my parents never physically harmed me, and to someone looking in from outside, i would have seemed to be a normal, happy child, but they used their words like clubs and straps, often and without mercy.

i don’t remember ever getting a hug from either one of my parents. 😢

my parents, and my younger brother and sisters called me “crummy child”. initially, i think, my parents thought that they were “out of hearing” when they called me that, but as soon as my first younger sister could talk (when i was about 7 years old), she called me “crummy child”, and the other sister and brother just “picked up on it” over the years, as they learned to talk. my father thought “crummy child” was a term of endearment. 😒

my younger siblings are now 55, 53, and 51 years old. i haven’t spoken to any of them in 35 years.

and yet, 61 years into it, i can’t shake this feeling that i am a horrible, disgusting screw-up who has no right to live, and should be called “crummy child” by people who are younger than i am. 😒

thanks, mom and dad. 🤬🖕

if you didn’t already, now you know why i haven’t talked to you for more than 5 minutes in the past 40 years. 😒

aarrgh… (which is a²r²gh for those of you keeping track)

i want to make a bootable kubuntu 20.04 USB flash drive, but i don’t know how (never done it before) to install from a USB flash drive… and “installing from a CD” is no longer an option.

and, apparently, cheapbytes.com is no longer in business… 😒

so, i go to https://averagelinuxuser.com/make-a-bootable-usb-drive-in-linux/ which contains step-by-step instructions for how to do it.

after spending half an hour figuring out which is the USB flash drive i want to put it on to (/dev/sdc — which i found out by removing all the other USB disk from my system, and typing “sudo fdisk -l”), i try to wipe /dev/sdc and reformat it (because it is formatted for mac), but when i type

sudo wipefs --all /dev/sdc

it says

wipefs: error: /dev/sdc: probing initialisation failed: Device or resource busy

so, i try

umount /dev/sdc

but it throws the same error…

i DO NOT UNDERSTAND!! the device is NOT “busy”, you dumb machine!! 🤬 but then i realise that the machine isn’t the dumb one here, and if it’s giving me an incomprehensible error, it must be because it has been given incomprehensible commands… by me… 🤬

so, i type:

sudo dd bs=4M if=/home/salamandir/Documents/Install/kubuntu-20.04.2.0-desktop-amd64.iso of=/dev/sdc status=progress && sync

and, eventually, it gives me

2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163 s, 16.2 MB/s
630+1 records in
630+1 records out
2643034112 bytes (2.6 GB, 2.5 GiB) copied, 163.442 s, 16.2 MB/s

but after that, it hangs up. when i press "enter", after a LONG delay, it gives me

^C

and, after that... nothing.

i don't have the patience to learn all this again... i just want it to work... 😒

after another HOUR of futzing about, i figured it out... but it's REALLY frustrating, and i really don't have the patience to figure it all out without significant stress.

and, when i booted with the new system, it was UGLY, and i know FOR A FACT that i'm going to have to spend as much time tweaking the system to my preferences as i am going through endless stacks of numbered files, and re-filing them in more-or-less the right place, for about the next 3 years.

just another reason to give up computers all together and become a hermit. 😒

news

i heard from the data recovery people. they said:

There’s ~4 billion sectors on the 2TB drive. Head 0 died with ~55 million sectors left to read (very small percentage). It’s at the end of the drive so it was probably zeroes anyway. The main issue is that the metadata has been overwritten and the directory structure and file names are gone. This means that the files will have the correct extension but no names and no parent folders.

so, what they recover will be, essentially, files with their proper extensions — .ai, .otd, .doc, .otf, .txt, .mp3, .mp4, .html, .pdf, .eps, .jpg, .flac, .gif, .etc… — but with numbers, instead of file names… and if, as with the files from audacity, the project file uses ancillary files in the same directory, then the project files won’t open until ALL the ancillary files have the correct names, and are in the correct directory… 😒 they said, because of the way i was attacked, actual file recovery is not guaranteed, and recovered but corrupt files are billable, which means that i MIGHT end up with no readable data at all, and STILL have to pay for it. they said their “standard” service costs $600 and takes 5+ days, whereas their “expedited” service costs $1,000 (like moe said, everything costs $1,000 😒) and takes half that amount of time.

i contacted the place that built my last computer, InfoTech, when they opened, at 10:00 this morning. i gave them the specifications for a new computer (pentium G6400 4GHz, 16GB DDR4, Intel UHD 630, 2TB SATA HD, with the 1TB SATA SSD i’ve had since 2018 installed), and they said that they were going to send me an invoice, but, as of 3:00 this afternoon, i haven’t seen an invoice from them. once i’ve got the actual computer taken care of, i’ll ask them about a replacement for my WD cloud drive… although, i think i may avoid further western digital products, at this point. 😒

miraculously, i seem to have all the parts for this month’s incense of the month to be sent out with a minimum of hassle. i suppose that’s a good thing.

more computer headaches

so, i still haven’t heard from ace data recovery, because of the holiday weekend, but i decided to get my computer ready to take the new old data (if it still exists), by installing the 1TB SATA drive i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, which is the first time i thought i was going to need it…

however, it turns out that, because i got the “low profile” case, the last time i bought a computer (which, according to the label on the back, was 2015), there isn’t enough room to install the SATA drive, despite the fact that it’s ⅓ the size of the “normal” IDE drive.

i have two options. i can either buy a not-low-profile case, and pay someone to transfer all the internal shit (because i’m not skilled enough to do it, any longer), OR, for about $200 more, i can just buy an entirely new computer. 😒

it would cost around $700, give or take, to get a new computer, and have the 2018 SATA drive installed (thus making it a 2 HD system right off the top), and, at that point, i could hook up the hard disk from the old computer, via USB or something, and probably have enough space…

and moe sez it’s okay for me to spend that amount…

so, i guess i’m getting a new computer, as well. i remember when i would have been really excited at the prospect of a new computer, but, at this point, it’s JUST ANOTHER HEADACHE! 😠

let’s get on it, then! 😒

today, i got the following message from western digital:

Western Digital is working on a Data Recovery recovery program and allow us some time for the program to be put in place. I understand you sent the drive to a Data Recovery Center. If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.

Some My Book Live devices connected to the Internet are being compromised by attackers and in some cases, the attackers have triggered a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device.
We are here to help. Although this product family is no longer sold or supported by Western Digital, we know some of our customers have been impacted and we want to help.

If you have lost your data because of these attacks, we will provide data recovery services which will be available beginning in July.

We know how important your data is to you and are committed to helping you protect it.

We will provide details about how to take advantage of this program in a separate email.

For more detailed information and updates, please refer to the Security Bulletin listed below.

WDC-21008 Recommended Security Measures for WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo
https://www.westerndigital.com/support/productsecurity/wdc-21008-recommended-security-measures-wd-mybooklive-wd-mybookliveduo

the problem is, i NEED that data. it was driven home to me how much i need that data when i realised (this morning) that all of my federal tax records are on that drive… and they’re due soon… 😒 i DO NOT have the time to wait around for a “Data Recovery recovery program” that hasn’t been developed yet. 😒

“If he (sic) would like Western Digital to assist with the recovery cost, we recommend to wait for the program to be active.”… if “who” would like WD to assist…? I would, very definitely, like WD to assist with the recovery cost. unfortunately, i NEED that data NOW (actually, yesterday would have been better 😠), also, well, this IS july, now, and i haven’t received any indication that this recovery program is much more than a pipe dream.

my plan is to continue at the rate that i’m already going with the “recovery plan”, and if WD has any problems with my plan, they can shove it up their ass, and pay anyway! 😠

i JUST got email from the data recovery place, which says:

Thank you for choosing ACE Data Recovery. We have received your device in our lab.

We will be contacting you soon after the diagnostic’s results will be ready. Usually it takes one to two business days.

my impression, at this point, is that WD is GOING to “assist with the recovery cost”, whether or not they think they are now. it’s just a matter of how hard we (the class of people who lost data because of this negligence) are going to have to try to convince them. 😠

so…

the cloud drive is on its way to dallas, to the temple of the computer wizards, who seem to think that they can actually retrieve data from a drive that has been wiped. whether they can, or not, remains to be seen, and if they can, actually, retrieve data, there’s no telling how much, but the expense increases with every file they retrieve, and i’ve got A LOT of files on that drive.

the current conjecture is that an anonymous, malicious, mindless, skript-kiddie found out about the bug that they’ve known about since 2018, but haven’t done anything about it because it’s a “legacy” device that hasn’t been upgraded since 2015 (despite the fact that MANY WD cloud drives are still in use all over the world), and wrote a script to search out all the IP addresses of MyBook drives it could find, and wipe them…

because they can… 😒

L0L! 🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕🤬🖕

but, according to the latest theory, they didn’t overwrite the data, they just removed the allocation tables… they did a “quick” erase, not a “complete” erase… so the data is, probably, still there, as long as something hasn’t overwritten it, and, since the first thing i did when i couldn’t login was to shut it down, the chance that it’s still there is relatively high. it’s up to the experts, and whether or not i have enough money, to determine whether or not i see any of that data again.

and, as far as remediation goes, i think i’ve learned enough to install the 1TB drive (which is not big enough to store 2TB of data) that i’ve had sitting on my desk since 2018, but i haven’t done it yet, and i haven’t even started to search for a replacement cloud drive, or a backup system, because i’ve been going through an existential crisis, AND temperatures that have been an average of 35°F hotter than they have ever been, which has, essentially, shut down any hope of doing anything other than hiding and hoping it’s all going to be over soon. 😟

but climate change is a myth, created by china! 😒

it’s 25°F cooler than it was yesterday, but it’s still 10°F warmer than normal, for this time of year, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to be getting better any time soon.

oh, just wonderful! 🤬

so, my Western Digital MyCloud Live bit the dust the other day. i spent most of yesterday stressing, and figuring out what was wrong, and beginning to figure out how to fix it (and not getting very far, because of the stress).

then, this morning, i wake up to this: CVE-2018-18472

Western Digital WD My Book Live and WD My Book Live Duo (all versions) have a root Remote Command Execution bug via shell metacharacters in the /api/1.0/rest/language_configuration language parameter. It can be triggered by anyone who knows the IP address of the affected device, as exploited in the wild in June 2021 for factory reset commands…

and Action Required on My Book Live and My Book Live Duo

Western Digital has determined that some My Book Live devices are being compromised by malicious software. In some cases, this compromise has led to a factory reset that appears to erase all data on the device. The My Book Live device received its final firmware update in 2015. We understand that our customers’ data is very important. At this time, we recommend you disconnect your My Book Live from the Internet to protect your data on the device.

the only hope i have is EITHER that the MyCloud IP address was unknown, unknowable, or “small potatoes”, OR that this is for My”BOOK” Live, and what i’m dealing with is a My”CLOUD” Live, and that CVE-2018-18472 applies to the My”BOOK” and not the My”CLOUD”…

but what is the probability of those things happening? 🤬

(actually, now that i think about it, the probability is fairly low: i BOUGHT the MyCloud device in 2014, and i’m pretty sure that i received firmware updates well after the 2015 date that they mentioned here, but… it’s still worrying.)

actually, i couldn’t POSSIBLY be that lucky… i was looking at the back of the device, and it very clearly says “MyBook Live”… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

word now is that western digital has known about this since 2018. 🤬

some good news, for a change… i’ve written for a quote from Ace Data Recovery, which is a partner with western digital. i’m as confident as i can be (which isn’t much) that they have a MUCH better chance of actually recovering my data than anything i could do. of course, because of the fact that it is currently after business hours on friday, central time, and the fact that they don’t work on weekends, i’m probably not going to hear anything until monday, at the earliest. however, this gives me some time to work on the problem of where to put it once it has, actually, been retrieved.

zoinks

my cloud device is not a cloud device.

it was working fine two days ago. by the time i discovered it wasn’t working, yesterday, it was too late to get tech support on the line, so i got them on the line today.

what they said is that my WD MyCloud Live is old enough that it’s considered a “legacy device” and they don’t offer service for it any longer.

so ALL of my hybrid elephant records, ALL of my “Incense of the Month” records, ALL of my appointments, ALL of my digital artwork, ALL of my pictures, ALL of my music… EVERYTHING is gone.

😟

ETA: i talked to the folks at western digital this morning, and what i learned was encouraging and discouraging at the same time.

i bought it, and had it configured by 140127, so it has only been six years, not the eight that i was complaining about originally… doesn’t make me feel any better about losing access to that data. 😟

the device is a WD MyCloud Live device, which is a “legacy” device which is no longer serviced.

the fact that i had the drive partitioned four ways, and primarily used it on linux, means that, even if it were able to be serviced, they wouldn’t do it. they support windows and mac, but not linux.

despite the fact that western digital disks are used on linux systems ALL THE TIME… 😒

it MIGHT be accessible directly, by plugging it directly into the computer, instead of a router. i plugged it into my mac laptop, and a new icon appeared on the desktop called “MyCloud Live”. it contained four “public” folders (documents, pictures, music, and another that i don’t remember), but they were all empty. also, it said i was logged in as “guest” and my disk doesn’t have a “guest” login, so my guess is that mac logged me into a new, blank partition.

which means that i MIGHT be able to access it from linux, if i can get it to log me in as something other than “guest”…

when in trouble, when in doubt, run in circles…

ask if anybody has a clue on kubuntu forums dot net

the guy there said that, in all likelyhood, it is running an embeded linux OS, and, if nothing else, i could take it out of its enclosure and add it as a new hard disk on my computer, as long as it works.

however… 😒

at this point, i’m going to HAVE TO get a new cloud server to replace the old one (more goddamn money spent on this damn technology… 😠), and i don’t want to do ANYTHING with the old one until i have a new place, however temporary, to store all <900MB of shit. AND i just happen to have a samsung 1TB SATA disk — had it new, in the box, since 2018 — but because i don’t actually know how to install a new hard disk on a linux machine, i haven’t done so.

so, MAYBE everything isn’t gone, but it’s going to be a few stress filled days until i get it all figured out and get everything settled down to what passes for “normal” these days. 😟

this is to move the previous post down so i don’t have to look at it any longer

i took a mushroom hike today. three 🍄🍄🍄 mushrooms, for the record. took them in a gel-cap. they took about an hour to come on. the whole hike was from 1:30 or so, until around 4:00.

210622 mushroom hike 9.5km
210622 mushroom hike 9.5km
the last part of it, the part along carey creek, was blocked off on both ends because of “trail damage”. the “trail damage” in question refers to two places where what was a logging road, many years ago (like, more than the 60+ that i’ve been around), has decided to wash out into the stream bed below. both of the places look like they’ve been there for at least five years, and both of them have very well established trails around the damaged part of what used to be the road, and it LOOKS LIKE the county — or whoever is responsible — is, basically, NOT going to do anything about it… other than blocking off access to both ends of the trail… which ALSO have fairly well established trails AROUND them… 😕

then, there’s this…

210622 um... where's the stream?
210622 um… where’s the stream?
there’s the stream bed… it looks like a fairly well established stream bed… so…
210622 um... where's the stream?
210622 um… where’s the stream?
WHERE’S THE STREAM?? 😕 and don’t tell me we’re having a drought, i know. the pond across the street is at the level it was at last august, when the neighbour next door was saying that he’d never seen it that low before. 😒

and, look! 😉 i’ve moved that annoying post down where i can’t see it. 😉

twit-turd

so, i made this tweet yesterday:

210621 killing people is "dispensing freedom"? - what the fuck is wrong with you?
210621 killing people is “dispensing freedom”? – what the fuck is wrong with you?

this afternoon, approximately 24 hours later, this is the kind of reaction it’s having:

210622 more than 300 likes... 🤯
210622 more than 300 likes… 🤯

if there were only some way to get #NationalStrike #GeneralStrike #TaxStrike #LaborStrike #BankStrike #RentStrike #DebtStrike #MortgageStrike #MinimumWageStrike #CreditCardStrike #PeoplesStrike #PeoplePower #EatTheRich #RaiseTheWage #GuillotinesNeeded #WeAreClosed the same kind of response… 🤯

naorgroan

three days later, and $1,000 poorer, ganesha the car has returned to the land of the living… or, at least, to the land of the functional. it now has a brand spanking new alternator to replace the fried one that left me stranded by the side of the road on friday.

moe says “everything costs a thousand dollars”, and she’s right… 😒

i remember the first time i saved up $100. it took me almost two years… and that was without a lot of everyday expenses, and with an “allowance” (i was about 12 years old).

at least $1000 comes a lot easier now than $100 did then. 😒

groan!

today and tomorrow are what passes for SACBO this year. basically, it’s a tailgate party in the public parking lot in fremont where, two years ago, snake suspenderz performed it’s last performance.

i got up this morning around 9:00, and went about my business until around 9:45, when i remembered that i’m supposed to be at SACBO today. moe had a karaoke party last night, which used my microphone and amplifier, so i rushed around and put them back in their respective boxes and i was JUST walking out the door, when i suddenly remembered…

yesterday, around 15:30 or so, i was on my way home from getting the last supplies for the karaoke party when, suddenly, my car died… i was driving along issaquah-hobart road, north of highway 18, and suddenly the radio turned off, and wouldn’t turn back on… then ALL of the idiot lights on the dashboard (including a couple i have never seen before) started blinking rapidly, and randomly, before they, too, shut off. the speedometer and the tachometer quit working… the power steering quit working… but i was still moving forward, and there really wasn’t a good place to pull over, so i decided that the best thing to do was get as close to home as possible before the car died…

which happened before i got to highway 18.

this is another one of those instances which is REALLY STRANGE to me, because, in the past, when things like this have happened, i, and everybody i know, immediately goes into “WHEN IN TROUBLE, WHEN IN DOUBT, RUN IN CIRCLES, SCREAM AND SHOUT” mode and stays there for at least a week, while transportation and money to fix the vehicle are sorted out.

but this time?

i called moe, and told her what happened. after confirming my safety, she said she would come meet me, and pick up the groceries that were sweating their lives away in my car (the air conditioning quit working). she also recommended that i call triple-A and arrange for a tow. she said i shouldn’t worry about my car being borked, because we just bought a third vehicle not too long ago (a red ford F150 monster, fondly known as “big red”). when moe got to where i was, it turned out that she had already called the fix-a-car shop, and had made arrangements with them to see the car on monday. she said “it’s annoying, but it’s not the end of the world”…

the tow truck showed up about an hour later, and i rode home with my car…

and totally forgot about SACBO until this morning.

um…

i guess i’m not going to SACBO this year… 😕

depression art?

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

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

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

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

what i am doing to combat depression:

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

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

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

i might have known…

so, the weird weirdness with my web site was ENTIRELY caused by the osCommerce web site…

which i haven’t even thought about since 2016, because the previous web designer was supposed to have deleted it, once i had successfully migrated to wordpress…

but which wasn’t deleted (despite the fact that it was one of the things i paid her to do 😠), and continued to “function”, without a “head”, for FIVE YEARS

if nothing else, i suppose, it says something about osCommerce’s resiliancy and ability to continue to function despite being headless and updateless for the past 5 years. i wonder if i could treat wordpress the same way, and expect the same result. i suspect, probably, not.

it’s still there, physically, but it has had it’s hooks into the system removed, so it is no longer functioning. the next step is to figure out which parts are wordpress parts and which parts are osCommerce parts, and delete the osCommerce parts.

in other news, ezra has come up with an idea that needs internet and a web host to work, and, well… i’m the next best thing to a web host, these days… apart from the FUMTU with osCommerce… 😉

bat out of database hell, sideways

in a new twist, the web designer that i worked with prior to the current web designer i work with — the one who blew a gasket for some still-unknown reason — was, as a part of what i was paying her to be a web designer, to delete the old web site files, once i had successfully been migrated to my new site.

unfortunately, apparently she blew a gasket before she actually did that.

and i didn’t know until… well… today.

my current web site is running PHP5, but there was an error which showed up in the log which was an uncaught variable that doesn’t exist in PHP5… in fact, it doesn’t exist until PHP7.4… and, upon further investigation, we discovered that it came from a document that is from osCommerce, which lead to other osCommerce documents, which lead, basically, to the entire osCommerce web site, which has been trying, and failing, to run PHP7.4, and generating WEIRD errors.

it had been beheaded — i.e. it didn’t have an internet-facing interface — but it is all still there.

it should be deleted. 😠

database hell updated

quoth the web developer: I’m going to guess, they’re going to come back and tell us they see nothing wrong. However, they will modify the server and then when I get back in there to test it again, it’s going to work. They just have a problem admitting when they’re wrong so they’ll fix it but tell us that it works fine.

quoth i: i don’t care how it’s fixed, i just want it to be fixed.

they have access to the dashboard, but they’re in a different time zone, so i have to be patient. 😒

ETA: i just got an email notification that says: A user with username “webhost-python” who has administrator access signed in to your WordPress site.

and then a note from YET ANOTHER technician who i HAVEN’T TALKED TO BEFORE (😠), who, apparently, tried the login, looked through the ticket history and decided that they don’t know enough to do anything about it, saying “I will assign this to our developers and they will get back to you.”

so, it begins…

tomorrow… 😒

database hell, okay?

i gave the web developer my login to the open support ticket at the host provider. there hasn’t been any obvious action yet, but i’ve emailed with the web developer, who worked out a temporary solution which may work out if his attempts to communicate with the host provider don’t work out… but, as i said, he hasn’t even logged in, much less done what the host provider asked of me, which was to “clearly lay out the issues you’re facing and the solution you need done to resolve this issue”.

210606 screenshot SQL error
210606 screenshot SQL error
the issues are that i can’t add new content (the “not HTML” difficulty and its results), and i get weird SQL errors, which only appear once, and then go away. i don’t get them on a regular basis: sometimes i get them the first time i hit the site, when i boot my computer in the morning, and sometimes i get them in the middle of the afternoon. frequently i get them when i’m hitting the base URI, but i’ve also seen them when i’m hitting deeper content.

i don’t know what the solution is, because i don’t know what is causing it. my web developer seems to think it’s the database engine at my host provider, because he has some sort of advanced tool that tells him when things aren’t working correctly. my host provider says he’s full of shit, that his proposed “upgrades” will break things for everybody else, and won’t even talk to the him unless he logs in as me. unfortunately, i know little enough about database engines that any input i can offer would be totally meaningless.

i feel a little bit better, because, now, instead of "doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance", they have now, actually charged me money, so i am, actually, paying them to fix my shit, and the temporary work around that he proposed, while not ideal, would certainly fix the problem for at least a year.

but i seem to recall going through another database fiasco last year around this time, and, if this is going to become a regular occurrance, i think i’ll pass, thanks. 😒

ETA: the web developer has logged in as me, and given a detailed description of exactly what is wrong, exactly why he thinks it’s wrong, examples of identical installations that follow his guidelines that don’t experience the problems i’m having, and a variety of different solutions to the problems he’s found. the host provider has yet to reply. because of the fact that they’re on eastern time, there’s a good chance we won’t hear anything until tomorrow.

blargh! 🤬

i’ve noticed a couple of things that are… screwy… about my web sites.

intermittently, i get random SQL errors. they only appear once, and when i reload the page, they disappear, but it’s sort of alarming.

and then there’s the “not HTML” FUMTU, which usually works, but has decided not to for a few days now.

so, i contacted my web developer, who said that my database needed “upgrading” to prevent these, and future problems.

not knowing that much about databases, i contacted my host provider, who said that the “upgrades” he proposed are actually DOWNgrades, and implementing them would break the databases for EVERYONE who shares the server i’m on.

so, i got back to the developer, who said that the reason he stopped using this host provider two years ago (which was about the same time i started using this host provider) was because “their policy” was to avoid communication with “third parties” (i.e. i’m a customer of the host provider, and the guy who i pay to know more about the web than me is a “third party”).

while they didn’t actually deny that this was “their policy”, the host provider went out of their way to emphasise that i am their customer, and if i wanted to include my web designer, i would have to give him my login, because they weren’t going to create a special login for him.

so i did that.

i figure, whatever happens, i can change my password once this whole thing is resolved. it is also A LOT easier than trying to convince the host provider to create a login for someone who is not a customer of theirs…

then they switched their tactics, and had a different technician chime in (one with whom i have not talked about this particular problem), who stated “let your developer know that it is already upgraded and using a stable version. If he is unable to diagnose this issue then another developer may be needed…”

this was AFTER i gave my web developer my login, so that he could participate in the “conversation”…

i wanted to say “HE’S RIGHT HERE! TALK TO HIM, NOT TO ME!!” 😠🤬😠🤬

but i didn’t…

but i wanted to… 😒

the web developer was busy yesterday, and (like most “businesses”) he doesn’t work on the weekend, so i’ve pushed back the impending storm until monday…

but…

the web developer has already said “we’re doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance” and “if they can’t do what we’re asking them to do our hands are tied.” AND the host provider has already said “we do not have a way to resolve something like this as the server itself is not causing the issue and the database server is already up to date.”, which gives me the very strong impression that, when monday comes around, the web developer is going to show up and make demands, the host provider is going to say no, and we’ll be right back where we started.

and all of this is IN SPITE of the fact that i am paying BOTH of these entities to make sure that my shit is kept up to date! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

🤬

this morning is the second in a row that i have woken up at 4:00 in the morning, and can’t get back to sleep. 😒

it is THIS EXACT PHENOMENON that makes me want to give up internet forever and go live in the woods, like a hermit, not interacting with anyone! 😠

when HTML is not HTML

i’m REALLY glad someone else is maintaining my business web site these days. 😒

seriously, if it had been left up to me, i would have given up a LONG time ago, and would probably be out of business, because the web design business has gotten REALLY confusing.

example: the places in WordPress where HTML code is not, actually, HTML code…

210603 not html
210603 not html

there are places which display HTML code, and where that code occurs on the back end, it is actually rendered as HTML code in the browser, but if you want to edit the HTML, you have to copy the ENTIRE page, go to another location (or use an actual text-based code editing tool) and paste the ENTIRE page into that location, make the edits, save them in that other location, copy them from that location, go BACK to the original location where you copied the original code from and paste the new code in, and THEN save the original location…? 😕

210603 not html rendered
210603 not html rendered
and, oddly enough, if you try to edit the HTML code without jumping through the copy/paste hoops multiple times, you end up screwing up the page entirely. 😠

and, to make matters even worse, as far as i can tell, there’s no way to tell which locations are HTML, and which locations only LOOK LIKE HTML… you’re just expected to know. 😠

as far as i can tell, backed up by a professional web designer who does this for a living, that’s the routine that works, and it has actually worked for me, in the past… but not this morning… which is frustrating beyond belief…

in my day, if something LOOKED LIKE HTML code, it WAS HTML code, and could be edited as such, wherever it occurred. 😠✊

failed login record:

the following login failures were counted on my server last month:

1167 from admin
938 from [login]
25 from przxqgl
11 from user
10 from root
6 from test

to reiterate what is now on my sidebar, my login is NOT “[login]”, “login”, “admin” or “przxqgl” — or “user”, or “root”, or “test” — and i automatically block the IP ranges of anyone who tries to guess my login, so you might as well try to break into someone else’s shit, ’cause it’s not happening here. 😒

woo hoo?

the first HPOI that i bought, way back in april of 2018, included 26 kg of MSD 7 “Africanas” Powers.

i bought it because, at the time, i thought it was a requirement to order more than one scent, when you’re ordering in bulk from the manufacturer. i now know this to be false. i made a number of assumptions about the first HPOI that i, now, know are false.

nevertheless, today, 3 years and a few weeks later, someone actually BOUGHT ONE POUCH of 7 “Africanas” Powers…

and, oddly enough, i still have pretty close to 26 kg left. my guess is that it’s going to last me a while. 😉

woo… and hoo… 😒

they’re starting the process of “permitting” buskers at the pike place market (i.e. they’re starting the process by which one applies for a “permit” to be a busker). 😒

because of COVID, they’re not actually allowing buskers at the pike place market… yet… but they’re starting the process of permitting them, so that when they get the okay from the health department, buskers can, officially, “return” to the market. 😒

but, if my memory serves, they’re only allowing tubas on a case-by-case basis, they’re not allowing any other cup-mouthpiece brass instruments of any kind, regardless of how quitely they’re played (but loud, obnoxious, reed-mouthpiece, brass saxophones are perfectly fine), and they’re not allowing ANY electronic amplification of any kind, for any reason. 😒

oh yeah, i forgot… technically, the “official rules” say “MUTED” tubas… i don’t actually own a tuba mute. very few tuba players i know own a tuba mute. tuba mutes can cost $300. i don’t know of a NON-tuba-player who can even describe what a tuba mute looks like… i’m not going to buy a tuba mute just to play at the pike place market. i’ve said it before, and i’ll say it again. tuba mutes are ridiculous! 🤬

not only that, but i no longer have a busking partner. 👎😒

so, do i apply for a permit, or not? 😒

😲

so, for some time now, i have wanted to make a reproduction of The Stele Of Revealing, and i got started the other day. but very quickly, i realised that, if i want to make it a “good enough” reproduction rather than a reproduction that would only look good if you didn’t look too closely, i would need to know the original dimensions, and have a reasonably accurate idea of what the heiroglyphs look like, and what the other artwork looks like, and i would, then, need to reduce them from their original size to the size that i ended up deciding i was going to make it — approximately a 40% reduction.

because i’m an artist, i know that, usually (in the absence of photocopiers, or proportional cameras), the tool used to make miniature reproductions is a proportional divider. i have used them before, know what they look like, and know that they can be very expensive. i didn’t want a really expensive one, but i also did not want something that somebody (most likely me) made out of plywood, because it wouldn’t be accurate enough, so i went to ebay, and discovered the exact tool i needed — from the picture, i deduced that it was, largely, the same tool i used in high school, when i was first learning about proportional dividers.

210515 proportional dividers
210515 proportional dividers

they arrived in the mail today. they are… um… not what i expected.

what arrived in the mail was a finely machined set of proportional dividers with sharpened tool steel points, and an engraved scale for both circles and lines. it is stamped “J.H.Weil & Co.” and it came in a velvet-lined case with antique gold writing on the outside that says U.S.C.E., which i take to mean U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… my impression is that, under normal circumstances, this could be as much as a $200 tool, but, because of the fact that it appears to be a vintage, military tool, it could be worth a lot more… this is a tool that is, pretty much GUARANTEED to be accurate to at least one thousandth of an inch… and it cost me less than $50!

so, i just wanted to give a shout out to Next Stage Vintage… they suprised the hell out of me! thank you! 😉👍

and i am going to use it to reduce The Stele Of Revealing… 😲

þe olde hear ȝe… ƿhat are ȝe talking about??

i’ve griped about this before, but it has surfaced again, so here’s another…

“ye olde” stuff, and people who yell “hear ye” are NOT using the same word, and it all has to do with three, but primarily two obsolete letters; ƿ which is called “wynn”, þ which is called “thorn”, and ȝ which is called “yogh”.

ƿ is pronounced like “w”. þ is pronounced as a voiceless “th”. ȝ is pronounced like “y”.

it also has to do with the fact that the letter “y”, itself, is a relatively recent innovation, and it wasn’t really decided exactly what the letter “y” was going to “do” until the late 1800s or early 1900s. prior to that time, the letters ƿ, þ, and ȝ were in reasonably common use, and people used “y” for wildly different reasons, depending on what flavour of proto-modern-english they were speaking.

“þe olde” is pronounced “the old”. when we were in the process of figuring out what “y” did, some enterprising printers got it into their heads that “y” could be used as a substitute for þ, and then things got out of hand.

again, while we were in the process of figuring out what “y” was supposed to do, the letter ȝ was falling out of fashion. “ye” — which was originally spelled “ȝe” — is the nominative case of the second person plural pronoun, which, in modern times, is “you”, and some other enterprising printers figured that they could use this new fangled “y” thingy as a substitute for ȝ, and, thus, instead of “hear ȝe”, we now have “hear ye”, even though the letter ȝ is actually more closely related to the modern letter “g”.

and then there’s ƿ, which sort of looks like “y”, if you squint — and, considering that corrective lenses were still a curiosity, there must have been A LOT of printers who couldn’t see very well. but the fact that it is pronounced like “w” means that it can only come down to stupid printers who didn’t know, or couldn’t see the difference, and mistakenly set ƿ as “y” as a typographical error.

and the fact that people don’t just KNOW this stuff is something i find very frustrating. 😒

bounded chaotic mixing produces what?

this is an example of bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability:

210504 Carrey Creek, Taylor Mountain – Hobart, WAalthough it’s not as high resolution as i would have liked… however, at almost 500mb, i couldn’t be too choosy.

this exact phenomenon is what people are talking about when they’re talking about God, in whatever form. 😉👍

okay, there is a mathematical theory (which is NOT what most people THINK is a theory) which says “bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability”.

i have gotten in trouble with mathematicians for “taking this too liberally”, but it works, regardless of what they think.

the theory is that if you have an instance of bounded chaotic mixing — in this case, the “chaotic mixing” of H2O molecules, “bounded” by the banks of the stream, that if you take away that boundary, temporarily — say, for example, a waterfall — that the boundaries will, more or less, hold, until that chaotic mixing is forced into another boundary. in the case of a waterfall, “bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability” is the reason why you can stand fairly close to the base of a waterfall, without getting wet, but eventually — and nobody can tell exactly when, but the probability increases the closer you get — you WILL get wet.

men will be familiar with this phenomenon when they pee… 😉

in the case of this video, the bounded chaotic mixing is violently changing course, and the strange stability is, just before it does so, there’s a place where, even when the video is slowed down, you can see a roundish, perfectly clear patch of water, that stays more or less in the same place… strange stability: nothing is keeping it there, no bubbles go through it, even though, everywhere around it, are bubbles and ripples…

and it is exactly the same phenomenon that people are talking about, when they talk about God.

somebody else says “god” did it. i say, bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability.

when i say i believe that God both exists, and doesn’t exist, at the same time, creating no contradiction, this is what i am talking about.

Evolution Control Committee

“What Would You Think If I Sang Autotune” by Evolution Control Committee.

“Whole Lotta Royalty Payments” by Evolution Control Committee.

i found this book in a “little free library” today… i’m having a lot of fun imagining what it COULD BE about… 😉

The Complete Book Of Meat
The Complete Book Of Meat

whoah!

i learned something about our neighbours down the street… 😲

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

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

another one

i now have four people on the Incense Of The Month list, one of whom is a person i gifted a membership to… so, three “random” people, and one “deliberate” person.

it’s a REALLY good thing i decided to keep records, because, otherwise, i would already be completely hosed. i’m still not sure what to do at the end of this year, when my original two have run their course… of course, i will send 12 months worth of incense to everybody, regardless of when they signed up, but how to deal with the ones who chose to sign up after two, three or four months is something i didn’t think about when i was first starting this… i suppose i’ve got the rest of the year to figure it out, but that doesn’t mean leaving it until the middle of december before deciding, as tempting as that sounds…

it also means that there are only 21 slots left before i close the IOTM club to new entries… 😉

210423 trillia, elk ridge trail

trillium — picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed… so don’t. around here, they are T. albidum, T. ovatum, and T. petiolatum. all the ones pictured here are ovatum. 😉

210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail
210423 trillium, elk ridge trail

harvest

today i harvested 19.5 grams of bud from my two small, stressed plants. i planted them in 2020, shortly after we moved. one of our neighbours gave me a couple of clones from the plants that he had, which had already started to bud. i put them under lights, and, basically, forced them back into vegetative mode by changing the lights and lengthening the cycle, which made them start sprouting malformed leaves. then they got even more stressed because i had them under lights in the uninsulated garage, where the temperature regularly got down into the upper 30s for a few months, and the plants started turning purple… which is something i have read about, but never actually seen before. i didn’t expect much, but 19.5 grams is nothing to sneeze at. and, if the state of my fingers after harvesting them is any indication, i’ve got some sticky bud here… 😉

post-inaugural smoke-test, indicators are high! 😉👍👍

oh, and it’s legal, AND i have a permit to grow up to 15 plants! 😎

also, the 5 button head screws referred to here, FINALLY showed up… they left pacific NINE DAYS ago… i could LIMP there faster! honestly! i could DRIVE from my house to pacific and back at least 500 times in nine days! do better, UPS. 😒

victory is mine!

210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe
210421 repaired magnifying loupe

i got the nuts that fit the screws, i took the loupe part off the old, broken frames, and mounted it on the new, unbroken frames, with entirely new screws and nuts, and washers from the repair kit the denmat/perioptix people sent me. the new screws are TINY alan-key drive… mcmaster-carr doesn’t have philips-head screws that are 2-64… 😒 i don’t actually have an alan-key small enough to tighten them, but i’m pretty sure i got it tight enough with a wrench on the nut side. 🔧

ETA: it turns out i do have an alan-key that is small enough, and i did get it tight enough with a wrench… HOWEVER in my final look-over before i put it back in the box, i noticed something i hadn’t before, which is that the hinge is completely broken, and, while the repair kit they sent me has a replacement hinge, it’s actually the part of the hinge that is a molded part of the magnifier, itself, which means that i cannot fix it, because it is an integral part of the actual optical piece… replacement parts for which, i already know they no longer make. 😒

210421 eyebrow hole
210421 eyebrow hole

at this point, it’s still in one piece, and functional, so long as you don’t move the hinge around too much, but the hinge has already failed and cannot be repaired. it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart. 🤬

i also burned a hole in my eyebrow, when i was grinding down the screw so that it wouldn’t poke the wearer in the eye, and i put the frames on to test them too quickly after grinding… 😉

the irritating story of the non-standard screw sizes… 😒

workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop, workshop…

there are quite a few nit-picky details i have left out, and some people who helped a great deal, who i haven’t identified, in the attempt to make this less overwhelmingly verbose. sorry.

a few weeks ago, moe asked me if i could do some improvised repair work on a magnifying loupe belonging to her clinic.

what she brought me was a perioptix loupe, which was originally mounted on a pair of safety glasses, the frames of which had broken… and then been not quite repaired (a number of times, apparently) with the surgical equivalent of duct tape.

seriously… why smart people with degrees, DOCTORS, think sticky cloth tape is an appropriate medium to affect the permanent repair of a broken surgical instrument, is WAY above my pay grade… 😕

she also brought me a set of oakley “safety” glasses (i’m not sure if they are actually SAFETY glasses, because you can remove the lenses, and replace them with shaded lenses, which were included), the frames for which would be an almost perfect replacement for the broken perioptix frames… except that the frames are a “skosh” thicker, and thus, the screws that hold the loupe on to the original frames are not quite long enough to fit through the test hole that i drilled in the oakley frames, when i accepted the project.

thus commenced the arduous and frustrating task of finding screws that would fit.

first thing i did was measure the screws. what i came up with is that the screws are NOMINALLY 2-64 threads — i say “NOMINALLY” because they’re REALLY small (although not as small as most pivot screws for most musical instruments), and when threads are that small, unless the manufacturing is INCREDIBLY precise, there are going to be not-quite significant, but noticible differences between what the “standard” is, and what appears “in practice”.

then, i started casting around for somebody who had the correct size screws, reasoning that i’ve already got washers and nuts for the screws, so, if i can find someone who has 2-64 thread screws that are A LITTLE longer, i can save having to buy nuts for them. i figured that places that sell optical equipment would be a good place to start, but they all said that 2-64 is “a lot bigger” than they use currently, and, also, if it’s optical, they measure things using metric, rather than imperial measurements.

after checking with a few optical places, i confirmed that the screws were 1) probably metric, and 2) WAY bigger than the screws that are used in MODERN optical devices…

the magnifying loupe is around 7 years old, and they have already stopped making replacement parts for it. 😒

so, i figured that it would probably just be easier to make the screws myself… because that’s a skill that i have…

however, musical instruments usually do things with imperial measurements (at least, here in the land of imperial meaurements), and i trained as a musical instrument repair technician: i don’t even HAVE a metric thread-pitch guage…

so i contacted a friend (the guy who rebuilt my trombone slide a couple of years ago), and asked him if he had a metric thread-pitch guage, which he did. i brought one of the screws to him, and he told me, with confidence, that it was a 2.4-52 metric thread.

as i said previously, unless the manufacturing is REALLY precise, there can be enough “slop” in the threads that it may actually fit in more than one die, so i went out to find a 2.4-52 metric die, so that i could make my own screws.

home depot and lowe’s, as expected, didn’t have it, and i drew blank expressions from the employees who i asked if they knew where i might get something that small. 🤷

mcclendon’s was a little better: they, too, didn’t have anything that smalll, but they suggested that i go to swift tools, in auburn, which “caters to machinists”. i went down there… and their showroom is closed, due to COVID. 😒 so i CALLED them (from the parking lot in front of their location), and said that i was looking for a 2.4-52 metric die…

and they didn’t know what i was talking about. 😒

they said that there AREN’T ANY standard metric dies that are 2.4-anything. if i wanted a 2.0 die, they had them, and if i wanted a 2.5 die, they had them, but they had never heard of a 2.4 die, and, while they could have one specially made, it would be expensive, and i would have to be sure that it was what i wanted before they could even start on that project, because it would be expensive, and if it wasn’t what i wanted, i would have to pay for it anyway…

reaching the end of my rope, i contacted another friend who has the ability to get just about anything, and, with A LOT of back-and-forth, arm waving, and measuring things with my micrometer-caliper (which measures down to .00001 inch), we determined that it’s NOT a metric screw, that the screw’s outside diameter is EXACTLY the standard for an IMPERIAL 2-64 screw (down to five decimal places) and that all of these people who had been telling me that it was metric were, probably, wrong.

he, then, directed me to the McMaster-Carr web site, where he gets a lot his weird shit, and, sure enough, they actually have exactly the screw i needed… so i ordered a package of five, and mcmaster said that it would be delivered on monday.

by the end of tuesday, i was wondering where my screws were. the UPS web site, apparently, doesn’t know where it is… according to the UPS site, the package left pacific (which is just down the road from us) last wednesday morning, and then the package vanished… the web site now says that it’s scheduled to arrive on friday 4/23, but it still has the package leaving pacific, on a UPS delivery truck, LAST wednesday 4/14, and it hasn’t been seen since, so i don’t hold out much hope. calling UPS is a lost cause: their automated “customer service” robot assured me that a real person can’t help me, if the package didn’t arrive, to contact the sender, and unceremoniously hung up on me without even giving me a chance to speak to a real person.

so, i contacted the sender, who, graciously, sent out another package of five miniature screws, this time by fedex, which arrived this morning. 👍

except…

these screws are, guaranteed, 2-64 screws. the nuts that i have, which are the original, perioptix nuts, SHOULD fit…

but they don’t. 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

perioptix, apparently, had PROPRIETARY screws and nuts made to mount their magnifying loupe, just to make things EXTRA DIFFICULT for anyone (like me) who has the audacity to repair one of their products, rather than just buying a new one. 🤬

fortunately, McMaster-Carr doesn’t JUST have screws… and, for some unknown reason, the screws were 5 for $10, but nuts that will fit the screws are 100 for $2.

they’ll deliver them (by fedex) on wednesday. 😒

and, in the grand old tradition of operation mindfuck…

i took a hit of LSD today.

it was one of two that have been in the freezer for AT LEAST 20 years, and maybe as many as 30… my recollection is that i actually obtained them during one of my “oh my god the world is going to end any day now, and i’ve got to have an emergency stash, just in case” phases, and has been hanging out in other people’s freezers when it wasn’t in my own, and when neither one was handy, it was on my altar in an airtight bag, in an airtight film canister…

but, it was AT LEAST 20 years old, and i really had no idea what to expect.

and, i just realised that i grossly underestimated how old those were… i think i got them after i lived in mount vernon, and before i moved to seattle, which was in the 1993-4 range…? gawd i’m old… 😒

i dropped at 10:00 am, and by 11:30 i was totally thinking it was a dud. then i got a text from lisa, who wanted to come at 1:30, and get their (well, not exactly “their”, but it’s a long and unrelated story) pressure washer, and, i decided that, if it was a dud, then it would probably be safe for me to drive to 4 corners, and refill their gas can (which i had almost completely drained, in my two day attack on the slime front deck), and i did so, without any perceivable distortion… but by the time 1:30 came around, i was feeling a little something, and i figured, oh, well, delayed release, but it’s something… and by the time 2:00 came around, and lisa actually showed up… well, i had been sitting out on the front deck, talking to the hummingbirds. 😉

after she left, and against my better judgement (but i was high on acid, so pretty much anything i did would be against most peoples’ better judgements), i drove the 3 miles from our house to the back side of taylor mountain TRIPPING MY ASS OFF and wandered up taylor mountain for a few hours.

210413 acid tripping
210413 acid tripping
210413 acid tripping
210413 acid tripping

first, i came across this rock:

210413 aware rock
210413 aware rock

it was by the side of the path, not far enough out to be a hinderence or something to trip over, but about six inches from the outer edge of the path, and as i walked by, i suddenly became aware of the fact that that rock has been watching me, every time i walk that path, ever since i first started going there, about three months ago… that rock is AWARE of me… at which point i had to fight off a strong desire to turn the rock upside down, to see if that would affect it’s awareness of me, but then i realised that it would only make it more aware of me, because i was the person who turned it upside down.

then i went up to the washout, where road “A” doesn’t go through any more, and meditated for an hour or so, and played with the tube…

i REALLY want to get up there with my harmonic flute and electronic doodads, but it wouldn’t help an acid trip, and i’d just watch the lights blink, anyway (this alludes to one of the many, many times i took acid in the early 1980s, when i was in college, and thought i would try to make the synthesizer work… and i ended up hooking it up so that every light blinked in a random fashion, but made no noise, and then turned out the lights in the studio, and… you know the rest 😉).

then i walked up to the intersection of road “A” and road “H”, to the place where the beaver pond washed out road “A” (this is the “upper washout” on road “A”, the one i have been to before, is, apparently, the “lower washout”), where, at 4:30 in the afternoon, on a tuesday, i ran into a random guy and his dog, who were out for a walk…

this is like the time a few years ago, when i was on mushrooms at 5 Mile Lake Park, near our old house, and this random jogger came up and asked me if there were sharks in… the… freshwater… lake… 😕

he looked at his watch, and said that he was shooting for three miles, and he was only at two and a half, and walked on up the trail…

on the way down the hill, i recorded an instance of 4’33” which i uploaded to johncage dot org. you can listen to it here.

i made it back to my car around 5:30 pm, and drove the 3 miles back home. it’s now 7:30 pm, and i’m still high… if experience is anything to go by, i’ll probably be tripping until at least 10:00…

i guess it’s a really good thing i didn’t take the other hit when i thought the first one was a dud… 😉

i prefer the gentle, insistent urgings of mushrooms to the “kick upside the head” of LSD, but, when it comes to getting me “out of my mind”, either one of them will do the trick.

one year

today is exactly one year from when we moved into our new house.

210412 one year after moving in to our new house
210412 one year after moving in to our new house

we’re all unpacked and settled in, we’ve gotten the fence installed — and destroyed, and rebuilt… hershey and bucky, two of the three errant dogs, seem to have vanished… i’m now on antidepressants, although i also have spores and am gearing up for a fungus growing setup… i’ve only played music a handfull of times in the past year, and my busking partner has moved away, so there’s no more busking, or snake suspenderz, or peanut envy. the moisture festival was virtual, this year.

hopefully the coming year will be less chaotic, and more musical, and psychedelic than the previous one.

appropos of nothing…

let’s talk about tommy tuberville, okay?

as you can see from the pronounciation guide at wikipedia, he pronounces it “TUBBER-vil” even though the way it’s spelled implies that it should be pronounced “TUBER-ville”… right?

TUBER… like a potato, right? “tuber-city”… 😉

to me, this is a very strong indication that this is a person who got called “potato-head”, or “french-fries”, or something similar, during grade school, and it had such a profound effect on him that decided that he was going to make everybody pronounce his name differently…

… and, when he wasn’t successful at that, he decided to devote his life to beating all of his rivals’ college football teams, and, eventually, becoming the U.S. senator for alabama, and aligning himself with a monumental loser, so that people would forget that they ever called him “potato-head”… 😉

tommy potato-head…

the son of the emasculated mr. potato-head… 🤣

the last of the mushrooms… 🍄

i had one relatively large mushroom, approximately half a gram, or so, and some leftover stems and pieces of cap that, all together, made up, maybe a gram, total… i.e. not very much, under the best of circumstances, and they were, also, at least three years old… so they weren’t particularly powerful, anyway…

… but… 😉

i definitely felt something — a little shimmering and sparkling around the edges of the forest — and the antidepressant effects are plainly evident. 😉

i went for a walk up the back side of taylor mountain. i started out going down the carey creek trail, which hasn’t been open since i’ve lived here. i walked down that for about half a mile, until i got to the edge of a king county park (on the map i found, it’s called “donkey engine”) when i noticed that i had been walking down a railroad grade, it started getting more steep, and i realised that i wouldn’t want to be walking uphill when i was coming down from a mushroom trip, so i turned around and went back the other direction.

where i parked was at the southeast 208th st. “back” entrance to taylor mountain, right across the street from the dire warning no trespassing cedar river watershed signs. after walking down the carey creek trail, i walked up “road G” until i came to the intersection of “road A”, which was closed because of a washout… evidently, a couple of years ago, at least, because there was a fairly well established trail through the washout, that skirted the “official” “road closed” signs and fences. 😉

and, i walked from the washout to the intersection of “road K”, which is when i realised that this end of “road A” connects up to the end of “road A” that comes out at the “front” entrance to taylor mountain, about 5 miles up issaquah-hobart road, just off highway 18.

here’s what i saw:

210406 moss
210406 moss

to my mushroom-induced mind, this moss took the form of a tall, shapely woman with long hair, walking away from me… it doesn’t look anything like that now, but it was startlingly clear enough that i took the picture AND remembered what it was.

210406 20-foot stump
210406 20-foot stump

the tree growing out of this stump is four feet in diameter. the stump, itself, is around twenty feet in diameter. 🤯

210406 trees
210406 trees

i was tripping on mushrooms, so, of course, i had to take a picture of the sky, through the trees… 😉

210406 tree
210406 tree

this could be another “Tree of Being”… i’m not sure, but it speaks to me… 😉

210406 spiral
210406 spiral

this is taken at the end of an overflow pipe that is supposed to sluice water away from the washout… it was, evidently, uneffective, because it is well above the washout. it is a place that, insinctively, i stuck my head into, and started humming to find the resonant frequency. it’s definitely some place that i should return to, accompanied by my harmonic flute and electronic stuff… and, it’s especially appropriate because it’s a spiral, and i was tripping on mushrooms (although, by the time i came across it, i was already mostly down from my trip 😉)

meh festival

the “moisture festival” started yesterday. i’m “in” it, as the tuba player for the sancapators and the fremont philharmonic, so, technically, i’m “in” two shows, but i’m not actually in them, and neither is anybody else. basically, this year, the moisture festival is four shows, on april 1, 2, 3, and 4, and they’re all videos that are “streamed” online — which, somehow, means that you have to buy tickets to see the shows “live”, and after a certain period of time, you won’t be able to see them any more, whether or not you have bought a ticket, but it, somehow, doesn’t prevent you (or, at least, me) from downloading the videos to my own computer, once they have been “streamed”, which, somehow, gets around the limitations that they put on them…

there is a lot of modern technology that i haven’t caught up with… i still haven’t completely figured out “podcasts” (apparently you have to have a “podcast license” now? ah, i see: it’s only if you want to play stuff that other people have copyrighted… why bother? 😕), or “streaming”, in spite of the fact that i have already been in one “streaming” performance, and two more are coming up very soon… and terminology like “based”, “stan”, and “ratio” still elude me… but i might as well get used to it, because it’s only going to get worse as time goes on… 😒

we’re having our first post-vaccine house party tomorrow. my understanding is that it’s going to be everybody who works at monique’s clinic (because they’re all vaccinated) coming over to get drunk and sing karaoke… and eat, and have our first official fire in the fire pit… and, then, sunday, after the final moisture festival, a couple of friends (who are also vaccinated) are coming over for dinner… things are… nope, they’re not getting “back to normal”, but, at least, i’m not having to live in fear of republican’t “christian” anti-vaxxers as much. 😐

addendum

it’s supposed to be windy and rainy all day today, with the chance of snow overnight… 😒

so, in spite of the rain, i pressure washed the rest of the deck anyway, because if it’s going to snow, who knows when i’ll be able to finish it.

i started around 10:00 am or so, and finished about 4:00 pm. but now it’s done, and who cares if it snows.

the friend with the deck sander, who is a professional house painter, came over to check the nails, to make sure they don’t need knocking in before he starts with the sander. in his professional opinion, the deck was not stained, but hasHAD an impressive collection of what he referred to as “common deck slime”… which would explain why it was so slippery.

sigh…

one year ago yesterday we closed on our new house.

today, i started pressure washing the front deck, possibly for the first time in 10 years or more. the deck, for the entire time we’ve lived here, has been a trecherous place to walk, when it is wet — and, i mean, TRECHEROUS… even being careful, i have suddenly and unexpectedly found myself on the ground after the frequent rain showers we have around here. i’m not sure, but i think that, at one time, it had been stained a dark brown, but it hadn’t been sealed, and, quite quickly, the dark brown stain started to mask some dark brown mold that was allowed to spread, unchecked, until the house was sold to us, last year.

and i have, FINALLY started to pressure wash it… with a gas-powered pressure washer, loaned to us by monique’s boss. unfortunately, it was stubborn enough that i didn’t finish, and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so i don’t know if i’m going to get a chance to finish it until monday.

210327 deck side stairs
210327 deck side stairs
210327 half done
210327 half done

i started around noon, and gave up when monique got home, at 6:30 pm. once i get it pressure washed, a friend who has a deck sander is going to come by and sand and seal it for us, so that it doesn’t turn into an ice-skating rink every time it rains.

that was way easier than it was the last time…

so, i went down to pick up my HPOI this morning.

i didn’t have to spend three quarters of the day dealing with testy customs agents, indifferent import brokers, and recalcitrant shipping managers, and paying almost $500 to various people i had never heard of before, who had practically nothing to do with my shipment…

i arrived, was directed where to go, submitted two documents, had the lady scan my driver’s license, and then she gave me a piece of paper (with my scanned driver’s license on it), and told me to go “down the hall, to your left”, where i walked into a big wire cage. on the other side was a warehouse, full of wares. a friendly-looking guy with a grey beard under his mask, came up, asked to see my paperwork (😉), and then told me to pull around to the sally-port and he would meet me there. i backed my car up to the sally-port, and the guy came with a forklift, carrying three big boxes… i loaded them into my car, and drove away.

total elapsed time, LESS THAN 20 minutes.

total money that exchanged hands, $0.00!

210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 HPOI
210320 paperwork
210320 paperwork

it’s SO! MUCH! EASIER!! when i know what i’m doing, have done “the needful”, and have everything ready BEFORE i show up… 😎

and, i think i may have enough incense, now… 😉

today is 210319, and asses have officially been kicked!

so, here’s an interesting twist…

the people i have been talking to on the phone, at US customs (two different CBP air cargo officers, to date), have all been demanding two things: one, that the document they need to see is the “bill of lading”, and the commercial invoice and the master airway bill that i have are not good enough (pay attention to that last one, because it’s important), and, two, that the shipment be manifest in their system, which (allegedly) doesn’t happen until the flight leaves the ground, before they can even think about releasing it.

okay, “bills of lading” are for ocean cargo. if it’s air cargo, the “bill of lading” is called a…

wait for it…

“master airway bill” 🤦

so the broker i’ve been talking to (the one who cleared my shipment the last time) recommended, now that i actually have an email address for US customs air cargo, that instead of going at them on the phone (her precise words were “Customs does not have much patience, and if they have to read too much or explain too much they will just send you to a broker, as they are not obligated to clear low value shipments.”), i should just send them the MAWB and the commercial invoice, with the flight information, and ask them to clear it “under section 321”. so i did.

half an hour later, this was their response:

> Please be advised that AWB 125-91897142, arriving today 3/19/21 on BA49, has been entered and released.

they got the date wrong. this is not for a shipment arriving TODAY, it is for a shipment arriving SUNDAY… 🤦🤦

however…

because of the fact that they actually GOT the master airway bill number correct, i SHOULD BE able to bypass customs on sunday, and just go pick up my shit.

and the broker agrees.

so, come sunday, one of two things will happen. either:

one, i go down to WWFS, pay them their cut, and pick up my shit, or…

two, i go down to WWFS, get the run around, leave, come back on monday (after having talked with a CBP officer on sunday about why their release wasn’t actually a release), and have to pay them their cut PLUS a 24-hour storage fee, before i can pick up my shit.

i pray to the incense god that it’s going to be the first option, because i really don’t have the energy for the second.

ETA: it’s not arriving sunday, it’s arriving TONIGHT! (which is why they got the date “wrong”… it turns out mr. joy gave me the wrong date). because of the fact that it’s already been cleared through customs, AND i have beat the rush (and the $36 extra charge for paying them in person, using CASH ONLY 😒) by paying my ISC online, i can go down FIRST THING TOMORROW and pick it up without incurring extra fees whatsoever!! WOOT!! 😎

today is 210318, and i feel like kicking some ass

the HPOI have left india, and are now in london. their estimated departure from london is 210319 14:25Z, and their scheduled arrival time is 210321 17:25PDT.

i’ve been on the phone since 9:00 am (it’s 11:00 am, now) and talked with two different customs agents, and four different… i don’t know what they’re called, but they work for US customs, WWFS, and british airways cargo service, and they are PARTICULARLY annoying… and i’ve FINALLY gotten someone who understands that i’m trying to avoid extra storage fees, understands that the US customs office is closed on sunday, AND has the ability to find, and send me the document (the bill of lading) that US customs says doesn’t exist in their system. as soon as that happens, the shipment can be cleared through customs before COB friday, so that i can pick it up sunday and avoid the additional storage fees! 👍

not only that, but i’ve got their name, phone number, email address and physical address, so if they DON’T send me the bill of lading in a timely fashion, i can, physically, go down there and STRANGLE them and STILL have all the paperwork before the US customs office closes for the weekend. 😈

as soon as i have the bill of lading, i can do everything but FORCE the customs flunkies to clear the shipment, in spite of the fact that they, pretty clearly, couldn’t give a flying fuck whether or not i will EVER be able to pick up my shipment.

GRR! 😠

it’s happening again! 😱

the HPOI is leaving bangalore tomorrow. it arrives in seattle on…

SUNDAY!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

and, because of the fact that it doesn’t leave until tomorrow, the people at US customs won’t even TALK to me, because my shipment isn’t in their system yet… despite the fact that i’ve got ALL the paperwork they want, plus a “Certificate of Insurance” which they didn’t ask for, but they want anyway. <grumble, mutter> 😒

so, what, exactly, is “the needful”?

i am now preparing for imminent arrival of HPOI

aside: study the etymology of the words “imminent”, “eminent”, “immanent”, and “emanant”. look for sources.

they sent me an air waybill… or an airway bill… or something like that… and are, allegedly sending me a commercial invoice tomorrow. the customs agent seemed to think that it was those two documents that i needed to clear the shipment myself, but, because of the fact that “TRITAN TRADEX, LLP” advised me to “do the needful” but didn’t tell me what “the needful” means (i’m assuming it’s because they think i know what i’m doing… 🤣), i’m getting anxious again.

i emailed the customs agent, but they haven’t gotten back to me yet, and, because of the fact that they mentioned that the air waybill and the commercial invoice are all i needed, i’m having to assume that means that i’m going to be receiving the shipment within a few days, i’m going to hope that they reply VERY soon…

but, on the up side, i’m getting 99 dozen boxes of ANOTHER incense that nobody else in the united states imports for resale on the web. 👍😉

why??? 🤷

why do people who use IPVanish still try to crack my web sites?

why do people who use IPVanish seem to think that i WOULDN’T have a 30-character passphrase and 2FA enabled on my web sites?

why do people who use IPVanish STILL try “Admin123” and other idiotically simple logins from easily tracable IP addresses (despite IPVanish)?? 😕😒

what i know

this morning, my wife got what appeared to be a “legitimate” email, but it was delivered to my spam box.

here’s what i know:

it purports to be from the “Colorado State University” department of “Veterinary Continuing Education”, with the URI “CSUvetCE dot com”.

it was delivered by way of an open relay in germany, using at least two other open relays in other, eastern european countries.

my wife CLAIMS that the “Colorado State University, Department of Veterinary Continuing Education” is a legitimate business for which several of her colleagues work.

there is an EXTREMELY good chance that, if someone from the “Colorado State University, Department of Veterinary Continuing Education” were to send my wife an email message, it would come through the mailservers at colorado state university, IN COLORADO, and NOT through several open relays in other countries.

it was addressed to my wife, using an email address for ME, which i haven’t used in at least 5 years.

when i visited the “manage my subscriptions” page at “CSUvetCE dot com”, it listed my wife’s name, only her last name was in the “first name” slot, and her first name was in the “last name” slot, followed by my email address, the physical address where she works, except that instead of being on mercer island, it was listed as being in “medina”, which is a suburb of bellevue, about ten miles away from the actual address location, on the mainland. and, it listed the zip code as being the one where we currently live, which is neither mercer island, nor medina.

the same “manage my subscriptions” page has her listed as the “chief executive officer” of “at home veterinary services”. she does NOT work for “at home veterinary services”, and she is NOT the “chief executive officer”.

when i tried to change the “STATUS” of her subscription from “subscribed” to “unsubscribed”, it didn’t work. i tried it multiple times, and every time the page reloaded, the status said “subscribed”.

so i checked… “CSU” is CHICAGO state university, and their URI is “CSU.EDU”. COLORADO state university’s URI is “colostate.edu”, and the ACTUAL “Colorado State University, Department of Veterinary Continuing Education” is at “cvmbs.colostate.edu”.

now, i don’t KNOW whether or not “CSUvetCE dot com” is a spammer scam or not, but i know that EVERYTHING i have found so far leads me to the conclusion that it is a spammer scam. 😒

also i don’t know why someone would go to SO! MUCH! TROUBLE! to put together a web site that tries its DAMNEDEST to look like a legitimate business, just to lure the relatively few people who are in the veterinary industry into submitting their information to a spam list.

but, as i said… EVERYTHING i have found so far leads me to the conclusion that it’s PRECISELY what they have done…

weird.

ETA: okay, this is getting weirder now… after a bit more poking around, i found an announcement on this page which appears to indicate that CSUvetCE dot com is, in fact, a legitimate page, and not a spammer scam… which, then, makes me wonder EVEN MORE about why the email was sent via open relays to an address that had OBVIOUSLY been scraped from who knows where… like… does the Colorado State University Department of Veterinary Continuing Education care THAT LITTLE about the ethics of the emails they’re sending out? do they even CARE?? 😒

ETA, part 2: i wrote to them, asking why they have a scraped address on a form that doesn’t work. their response said they couldn’t find that address on their mailing list. i wrote back with all the details, including a screen shot and a URI to the spot they said they couldn’t find. they haven’t responded… yet…

i’m back to thinking that this might be a spammer scam masquerading as a legitimate business, and the legitimate business doesn’t have the first clue what is going on. 😒

a semblance of normalcy

i am fully vaccinated, which means that i can get out and do stuff without anxiety… and, because of the fact that we moved (last year at this time 😒) i’ve got a bunch of places that are a 5-minute drive (or a half-hour walk along a busy rural highway) away from home, which i have been, more or less, unable to “explore” because of the fact that i wasn’t fully vaccinated.

today i went to big bend park in maple valley, and walked along the old railroad grade. the railroad grade actually cut off a part of the cedar river, which, i imagine, was the original “big bend” that they’re talking about.

here are some things i saw.

210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 old utility pole
210309 bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability
210309 bounded chaotic mixing producing strange stability

i really like the place we’re currently living, and i REALLY don’t want to move again (ever, in my life, if possible), but if i were to allow that possibility, here’s a house i wouldn’t mind living in, and it’s not even that far from where i live now. 😉

210309 fantasy castle
210309 fantasy castle

and, finally, here are some signs that are posted in this “neighbourhood” park… 😉

210309 what to do when confronted by wild animals
210309 what to do when confronted by wild animals
210309 impossible logs
210309 impossible logs

that’s it…

i did it. i just paid $1,480 to be shipped three cartons, 99 dozen boxes, of an incense that, as far as i have been able to tell, you can’t get, online, ANYWHERE ELSE in the united states.

there must be something wrong with me. 😒

woo?

someone new just signed up for a VIP IOTM club account. i’ve had two members for two months, and now someone new signs up…

so, do i start them where i started everybody else? or do i start them at the same place as everybody else, and extend their account past the first of next year? or do i just arbitrarily end their account in december, because they were late signing up? do they even expect their account to end in december?

or what? 😕

for now, i’m starting them with everyone else, because that way i don’t have to figure out who has which account, but i imagine that i’m going to have to straighten this whole thing out, eventually.

and it couldn’t have come at a better time, because now i am even more confident that my impending purchase of HPOI will turn out well! 😉

there is something wrong with my head.

that is a statement, not a question. 😉

i am beginning the process of importing another HPOI in a few days. 999 Lord Krishna Puja Agarbatti has become one of my best sellers. it was part of the original HPOI, which arrived three years ago, and, while i have sold NONE of the other two incenses, i have almost completely sold out of 999: of the original 33 dozen, i’ve probably got 4 dozen left… so, this time, instead of getting one carton of three different kinds of incense, i’m getting three cartons of one kind of incense… 33 dozen boxes per carton, 99 dozen boxes total, $1.24 a box, with a 400% markup… and, if current trends hold, that should be enough to get me through the next few years… sending out one, two, or three boxes a week… 😉

and, once again, as far as i can tell, NOBODY imports 999 to the united states… NOBODY… 😕 it’s weird, but i’m not going to argue.

it seems odd, however, that i am not anywhere NEAR as worried about it as i was, even for the last HPOI, which was not even a year ago. i think part of this is because I gave the shipper some knowledge that he didn’t have: he was going to arrange ocean freight again, and i told him air freight would be better. he said that air freight wasn’t possible, because of the “flammable nature of the product”, to which i responded “that’s strange, because i just received the same product by air freight in october of last year”. he said wait, while he confirmed this, and a week later, he sent me an invoice, and it’s coming by air freight. 😉 then there’s also the fact that i made contact with the customs agent AHEAD OF TIME this time: she knows that i am going to be expecting a shipment which will need to be cleared, and as soon as i have details, she’s going to be available to make sure that i don’t have to go through the hassles that i did last time. 👍

we’ll see how it goes. the fact is, i could be a little short on money, which would mean that i would have to borrow from the home account, but even that doesn’t worry me that much. it would probably only be a couple hundred dollars, and, for sure, i could pay that back within a month or so. i feel confident that i’m going to have enough money to cover it, though, and that, in the end, it will be something that brings in money for a while. 👍

and it appears that the antidepressants are working. 😉

weird

i got 2 orders for one box of aparajita, each, yesterday.

i got 2 more orders for one or two boxes of aparajita last night. they both came from the U.S. (most of the time, when i get orders overnight, they’re from countries in the eastern hemisphere).

i didn’t take the first two to ship out because i wanted to fill the other two, and i had to go to my circus class this morning.

while i was at my circus class, i got another order, for one box of aparajita, and one other item.

ETA: while i was putting together the three new orders i got, i got ANOTHER order for two boxes of aparajita. 😕

as far as i’ve been able to tell, there’s no way of telling where people heard about Hybrid Elephant, short of asking them at check out, and there’s no way to guarantee that they’ll answer at all, much less answer correctly.

i find it very weird that i can go along for months with one order per week, or less, and then, suddenly, i’ll get 5 orders within 12 hours, and they’ll ALL be for one box of aparajita. 😕

the only thing i can figure out is that someone must have mentioned Hybrid Elephant, or aparajita, on their podcast — and i’m still not completely sure i understand what a podcast is, or how it gets distributed, so i have, literally, no idea whether or not i’m even CLOSE to correct. 😒

although i won’t argue with the money, that’s for sure. 😉

Add title

snow is mostly gone… there’s still some large piles, where whoever it was that ploughed our street piled it up at the head of the road, and in the ditches, but everywhere else, it’s gone.

210222 gutter overflow
210222 gutter overflow

i had to take a ladder out and climb up to clean out the gutter, in front. it had collected a bunch of tree detritus and, what with all the melting snow, combined with torrential rain, the gutter was totally clogged and overflowing into our driveway… it all ran away from the house, though, and once i cleared the obstruction, the downspout did what it was supposed to do, so that’s good.

i’m the default tuba player for the SANCApators at the moisture festival, this year. the moisture festival was cancelled, at the last minute, last year (because of COVID), and this year, instead of having live performances, they’re releasing some videos of performers that would have been live, except for COVID… and their regular tuba player is ill (no word on whether or not it’s COVID) and can’t make the videos that they asked for from the musicians, so i got tagged. last week i got the parts, and the tracks to play along with, so i practiced for a few days and sent the videos to “doc” sprinsock, so that he can combine them with everyone else’s videos and — hopefully — get some reasonably “together” music out of the whole deal…

When I’m 64 tag – tuba part

but i’m not holding my breath… particularly with the thing that said “Rock” for the style, but the backing track was played as straight as an arrow, with no “swing” or “rock” stylings at all… and that’s what i played, because there was no way to “swing” a part that hadn’t been recorded to “swing”, so… i’m not holding my breath. we’ll see what happens when everybody else’s videos are part of the mix. 😖

no word on the phremont fillharmonic’s addition to the chaos, yet. i contacted kiki last week, and she said she’d heard about it, but is waiting for further instructions from “the powers that be”, whoever that is.

and i think the antidepressant may be working. i’m not sure i agree with georgia doctor, who wanted to boost my prescription back up to the level that was causing me frantic anxiety and restlessness, plus she wanted to add ANOTHER antidepressent — lexapro — to the mix. at the time, i wasn’t sure whether it was working or not, so i said i’d rather wait on the new scrip until i had a better idea of whether the current one was working, and she agreed to hold off… which is good for a number of reasons, not the least of which is reinforcing personal boundaries.

and she had never heard of psilocybin… 🤯

because of her accent, i asked where she’s from, and she said she’s from “africer”… but i can’t imagine a psychiatric nurse-practitioner who has never heard of psilocybin. i said that the “common” name for them is “magic mushrooms”, and she immediately started ranting about heroin and cocaine, and said that it’s possible that they contained psilocybin… 😕

so i still don’t have any solid information about the interaction of bupropion and psilocybin, which is a little scary, but within tolerable limits. and actual mushrooms are still a ways off, yet, so there’s still time to gather more information.

but the fact that there’s some “good” stuff happening in my life seems to indicate that something has changed.

COVID19 vaccine update

my shoulder is REALLY sore, and i’m feeling kind of low-energy, but no other side effects.

which is kind of bizarre, since moe was sick (but went to work anyway) for 12 hours after her second dose.

on the other hand, moe’s mom had her second dose and it didn’t make her sick, so… 🤷

we still have 2 to 4 inches of almost-snow everywhere that isn’t paved, but bits of the lawn are starting to show through, and the roof is melting. meanwhile, everywhere outside of an approximately 5-mile radius from us, is back to normal, with no snow whatsoever. microclimate. 😒

snowpocalypse update

snowpocalypse 2021 is officially over.

we still have anywhere from 2 to 6 inches of mud, slush, almost snow, or sort-of snow, on everything that is unpaved (which includes both of our driveways), but once we get past the driveway, everything has been plowed, and the snow is melting rapidly, even at night.

the hobart post office has a graphic up behind the window which is a picture of the grinch in a santa claus hat, and the legend “LET IT SNOW… somewhere else!”. i would tend to agree, in spite of the blatant intelectual property theft. 😒

tomorrow i have my circus class (YAY! 🤡) and an eye appointment. thursday i get my second covid vaccine.

and, just like that…

there’s still a lot of snow, pretty much everywhere…

but it’s 44°F and raining, and the forcast doesn’t get below 37°F for the rest of the week…

we’re probably going to have snow around the edges for a few more days, but my guess is that it will go away quickly.

ETA: okay, apparently today is “presidents day” — it’s my recollection that it’s actually the 16th 22nd, but today is monday, or some horseshit like that — anyway, i’m pissed off because i actually thought i would drive down to the post office to ship out a package i got the order for on sunday…

yeah, driving and snow don’t mix, but i learned to drive in the snow, so i figured it would be okay, just to go down to the little store and back, right?

i had to clear 11½ inches of snow, ice, and slush from all over my car.

then i had to get it out of the driveway. then i had to drive it up to where there were tire tracks that i could use to get some traction — fortunately, they started in front of our neighbours’ house, next door. then i had to navigate the tire tracks which were OBVIOUSLY made by a larger vehicle than mine, so i could only get the right set of tires, or the left set of tires into the track, and the other side was sliding along the center space, where the snow, ice, and slush were higher than the bottom of my car. then i had to navigate those same tire tracks up a hill that kids have been sledding down for three days. then i had to pull over to the side so that two cars that were going in the opposite directions could get by. then i had to pull onto a busy, 50-mile-an-hour road (not a freeway, or even a highway: it’s hobart-ravensdale road, otherwise known as 276th avenue southeast) from a dead stop on a road covered with ice. then, i had to pull into the parking lot, which was full of ice and a disabled car…

THEN i found out that the post office was closed because of some FUCKING holiday! 🤬

so i reversed my course.

completely.

okay, so i didn’t back into the driveway, like i usually do. and i didn’t pull as far into the driveway as i usually do, but all in all, i made it out and back, in severely adverse conditions, and i didn’t get stuck ONCE.

grr… stupid fucking holidays for a fucking president that is a total joke… and i’m talking about the current president, as well as the former one. 😒

and don’t look up “presidents day” in wikipedia. it’s full of shite about george washington and the julian calendar. 😒

snowpocalypse 2021

11½ inches of snow in 24 hours.

it’s raining now, but it’s supposed to start snowing again after dark, which is in about an hour…

i walked out to the main road. it’s clear and wet, with patches of slush. the snow accumulation off the road is pretty similar to what we have here… but in order to get out to the main road, you have to drive UP a hill that kids have been sledding on for two days. it’s possible to drive up the hill, but only barely.

#FacesInThings
#FacesInThings

yep, it snowed…

210213 snow and downed trees, front yard
210213 snow and downed trees, front yard

and, because of the fact that they’re there, we also had a couple of downed trees. they didn’t hit anything, and they’re not across the road, but it’s not over yet, and i haven’t been out further than the mailbox — it had come open, somehow, and was three-quarters full of snow, which was on top of the letter that i was hoping the letter carrier was going to pick up — so i don’t know what “the real world” is like… supposedly, we have a “micro-climate” around our neighbourhood, and the weather is substantially different about a mile away, on the main road.

this is the one of the… i’m not sure whether it’s an “advantage” or it’s a “danger”… of living in the remote wilderness.

at this point, it’s not an awful lot different than any other day, during COVID. 😒

but the dogs love it.

210213 snowy kestrel
210213 snowy kestrel

weather! 😠🤬

stupid fucking weather…

some newbie weather-guesser (strangely enough, he’s the only one that moe believes — and, seriously… what happened to harry wappler? 😕 oh… he died… 10 years ago… 😒) predicted snowpocalypse starting yesterday and going through the weekend.

so, naturally, everything that was SUPPOSED to happen got cancelled, because nobody around here knows how to drive in the snow. 😒

including MY FIRST CONCERT IN A YEAR! 😠

and, the thing is, i KNOW how to drive in the snow. it’s just that i don’t like doing it around here, because nobody else knows how, and it’s, like… dangerous… and stuff… 😠

and then, wouldn’t you know it… it didn’t start snowing yesterday — more than a few flurries that didn’t stick… and it didn’t start today, and now they’re saying that it won’t start snowing until tomorrow. 😒

hrmph! 😒

i get my second covid vaccine a week from thursday (210218), but i’m scheduled to play my first concert in a year on saturday the 13th (9:00 pm, streaming to fecesbook, eventually posted on youtube), and, wouldn’t you know it, cliff mass, the only meteorologist moe believes, is predicting 12 inches of snow, starting thursday and lasting AT LEAST through saturday…

and if it snows, it’s almost guaranteed that i won’t be able to make the concert… 😒

a number of things have happened, part 2

a number of things have happened since the last time i posted this — which, admittedly, was less than a week ago, but they’re significant enough to warrant another post.

the first is that i have now attended three weeks worth of circus classes. today i walked the entire length of the tight wire, backwards, with a pole in only one hand… and when i reached the end, it was a surprise. i thought i had two or three more steps to go. yay! go me! 👍

i talked with jo, the coach, about foot juggling, as well… she said they’ve got the doohickey that you lie on to do foot juggling, so… 😉

also, i got confirmation that my spore order was received, and i got confirmation that my order was shipped out, ANDthey’re arriving friday!!!

(woo hoo!!!) 😉

so, i am feeling A LOT more positive, and i still can’t tell whether the medication is having any effect…

AND

it is my understanding that i probably shouldn’t take mushrooms while i’m taking bupropion, because mushrooms are a monoamine oxidase inhibitor, and there’s some danger of an adverse reaction to the inhibition of the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine that bupropion does… and i’m not sure how to ask dr. akinyele about this, because of the legality issue, combined with the fact that she’s far enough away from me that she doesn’t have any concept of the political climate of the region in which i live.

(but the spores will be here friday, so i’d better figure it out pretty soon…) 😉

damn right they’re blocked! 🤬

i got the following notification from my anti-cracker service:

A user with IP addr 2001:41d0:305:1000::1250 has been locked out from signing in or using the password recovery form for the following reason: Used an invalid username '[login]' to try to sign in.
The duration of the lockout is 2 months.
User IP: 2001:41d0:305:1000::1250
User hostname: hr914433990.reseller.mis.ovh.net
User location: France

i’ve been seeing these login attempts using “[login]” for some time now — and why, in the name of all that’s holy, would ANYONE use, or allow another person to use “[login]” as a username, is beyond my limited imagination, but that’s not the main reason this notification caught my eye…

it’s because of the user hostname, which is a reseller host at ovh.net 🙄

i’ve been dealing with spam and cracking attempts from OVH for AT LEAST ten years. unfortunately, it’s nothing new… but this is the first time they’ve tried to get around my blocks by using an IPv6 address.

and it wasn’t OVH directly, it was a reseller, but the fact is still plain that OVH STILL enables spammers and crackers to work with impunity from their networks.

FUCK OVH! 🤬😠👎👎‼

and add 2001:41d0::/32 to my block list! 🙄

a number of things have happened

a number of things have happened over the past couple of weeks, which disguise whether or not the medication i am taking is actually working. those things are:

  • the actual innauguration of somebody other than donald j. trump, and his actual leaving of the white house without having to be handcuffed… although i’m still hoping that they’re coming later… because he deserves them. 😒
  • i actually GOT the first COVID vaccine (before they ran out of doses 😒) on monday, and i have the second dose scheduled for 18th february.

and the fact that i had to rely HEAVILY on my disability weighs heavy on my conscience. if i had NOT emphasised my disability, i would probably not have gotten the vaccine until march or april, and the fact that i got it means that someone else, possibly someone more deserving, did not get it — and won’t until who-knows-when, because they ran out and nobody knows when they’re going to get more. 😒

  • SANCA opened up for classes! yay! circus! 🤡🎉🎊 i’m getting my regular circus workout again! i had NO IDEA how much that meant to me!
  • the fact that i got my first covid vaccine makes it more likely that i’m going to go out and do stuff like busk, and… HEY! my friend stuart, the guitar player for the fremont phil, is starting up a monthly “dagger moon” concert, and wants me and my harmonic flute to start the whole thing out. bonus! 👍
  • i’ve found what appears to be a reliable source of spores. 🍄 i sent away for 6 spore syringes, four 🍄 of cubensis 🍄 🍄 and two 🍄 of cyanescens. 🍄 i hope to be growing my own mushrooms very soon. 🍄🍄🍄

so, i’ve been taking this “medication” that’s “supposed to” inhibit the uptake of norepinephrine and dopamine” in my brain — but who knows for sure what it really does… not even dr. akinyele is 100% sure — but which also causes all kinds of wonderful side effects — which were to the point of intolerable until we reduced the dose, and are still perceptible although not as emergent…

seriously… they prescribe a “medication” among whose side effects are ANXIETY, to treat… ANXIETY… next thing they’ll be telling me is that homeopathy works… 🙄

and i can’t tell whether the “anti-depressent” effects of this medication are improving my mood…

or if the external effects of four years of overt #drumpf and a year of hiding out from covid are finally starting to wear off.

growf… 😒

i talked to the doctor on monday. she reduced the prescription from 150 mg to 100 mg, and that seems to have made all the difference… although i’m still a little shakey, and i have a tendency to fly off the handle a little bit more than normal (😉), i’m not frantically anxious and pacing, like i was last week. whether this is “the right” medication for me remains to be seen, and i still think IT’S STUPID that i have to be ADDICTED to this drug, which causes anxiety and a tendency towards touchiness, but is “legal”, instead of taking psilocybin, which works A LOT better, for A LOT longer, and has NO side effects, but is “illegal”. 😒 IT’S STUPID! 🤬

bottom line, i’m looking into growing my own mushrooms, because that seems like it’s a lot easier.

210123 covid vaccine eligibility
210123 covid vaccine eligibility
i have my first COVID vaccine on monday. i qualify for group 1B tier 1, because i am “50 years of age, or older” and unable to live independently because of my injury. now i’m hearing about a new mutation of the COVID virus, from africa, that may stymie the vaccine, because it is able to reinfect people almost immediately. wonderful.

we’re already planning a post-covid-vaccine party at our house, in about three weeks, for all the people at the clinic and their families, because… hey, we CAN

IT’S STUPID! 😠🤬

IT’S STUPID that i have to be “addicted” to this drug — it supposedly takes a couple of weeks to “start working”, and i’m not supposed to stop abruptly, because it has “unpleasant withdrawal effects” if i just stop taking it — which has current side effects (i’ve only been taking it for four days!) that i do not like… like volatility, restlessness, and anger (on top of the already short fuse i have as a result of my injury), as well as physical effects like ears ringing, jitters and lack of focus… as well as interacting with alcohol in a way that makes me not want a beer, or a shot of rum, every now and then… 😠

a brief list of side effects i have been experiencing for the past couple of days: anxiety, irritability, restlessness, shaking, tinnitus, trouble concentrating, anger, need to keep moving, sweating… 😒

rather than take a drug that is “illegal” — psilocybin — but has NO side effects (except for ones that are “fun” 😉), works better, lasts longer, doesn’t require me to be “addicted” to anything, and won’t care if i have a beer now and then.

IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

it has all the negative effects of LSD, but none of the positive effects. i can definitely see how this might lead people to commit suicide… which is another side effect. 😒

2021 coup update

#drumpf is now the only president in history to be impeached twice.

however, he’s not going to be removed from office, because “the senate is on vacation” until the 19th, and they don’t really feel like it… so they’re not being recalled, in spite of the fact that the democretins have “raised questions”…

which means that he’s going to get his stipend, and his $1 million per year travel allowance, and his security, and his staff, and all the other “perquisites” to which REAL presidents are entitled, and he’ll have the opportuntity to run again in 2024, which he’s already said he’s going to do… if he were removed, he would get NONE of these perquisites, and he would be prohibited from running for public office EVER AGAIN! 🤬

as far as the insurrection goes, the FBI has made more arrests, including “q-shaman” — who successfully hunger struck to get the jail to quit refusing to feed him “organic food”. 😒

which reminds me, i wonder what the PHBFH would have made of all this. she was crazy, but i don’t think she was “drumpf supporter” crazy

and there are STILL more than a few republican’ts who are convinced that #drumpf won the election, and that biden is an election-stealing, baby-raping, satan-worshipping liar who is going to turn the country into a communist dictatorship.

like, republican’ts in the senate, who hang around with (presumably) sane people. people who make our laws, and have ALREADY announced that they’re filing articles of impeachment against biden. 🤯

i’ve come up with an idea for a bumper sticker. it’ll have a really big, brightly coloured Q, and in smaller type it’ll say “Questioning Reality”… 😒

i’ve hung around with some crazy people, and have actually believed some CRAZY things, but this is beyond the worst i could have imagined in my most frighting nightmare.

update number whatever… 😐

Agador died today. he was at least 20, and snakes like Agador usually only live to be 10 or so, so it was sort of expected, and not a real big surprise, but now the bookshelf next to the window in my office looks lopsided. Agador was a wild-caught snake that lived as a classroom science project for a few years before he came to live with us. and, yes, we named him after Hank Azaria’s character in The Birdcage.

i’ve taken the plunge, and contacted a psychiatric nurse-practitioner (in georgia, more on that later) who has prescribed bupropion, at the recommendation of my counsellor, who knows me better, but doesn’t have the necessary piece of paper that allows her to prescribe controlled substances. they tell me that it’s going to take a couple of weeks for it to start having an effect. i’ve been taking it for 3 days, and i’m pretty sure i can feel the effects already — kate (my counsellor) says that it’s a mild stimulant. georgia-doctor didn’t say anything like that, so i’m not sure who to believe — but they’re not what i expected… the big one is that i hear about new atrocities and i know how depressing they are, but instead of getting depressed (like i know i would), i just don’t care. 😕 which i don’t particularly like. also, there’s the same general kind of feeling that i had when i was taking acid, minus the hallucinations and the feeling of invincibility (which was the fun part): i’m verging on jittery and i have been going for really long walks for a couple of days; i have been EXTREMELY productive over the past couple of days, and EXTREMELY focused. they say that it takes a while for the drugs to build up in your body, but i’ve taken enough psychedelics to have a really good handle on what my body is doing, when i’m taking a new drug, and i’ve definitely noticed… something. 😒 now i have to check with the georgia-doctor to see whether or not i can take psychedelics as well. i’m not looking forward to that conversation. 😒

georgia-doctor is dr. olajumoke akinyele… which is a mouthful, but i think i’m pronouncing it correctly now that i’ve actually talked with her. english is not her first language, but i don’t know where she’s from. i’ve heard similar accents from people from zimbabwe or mozambique, but i’ve also heard similar accents from jamaica, as well. i did a fair amount of research, and discovered that there aren’t any psychiatric nurse-practitioners in the greater seattle-tacoma area who 1) are accepting new patients, and 2) accept medicare. there are NPs who are accepting new patients, but don’t accept medicare, and there are NPs who accept medicare, but aren’t accepting new patients. however, dr. akinyele is registered in the state of washington, despite the fact that she’s actually in alpharetta, georgia, and telehealth is “a thing” now, so… 😐

the enlightened rantings of a brain damaged freak