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… 😐

updated 😒

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

😒

it's officially an attempted coup, now...
it’s officially an attempted coup, now…

MAGA chuds have overrun the US capitol, in washington DC.

the capitol police let them do it. 😒

tear gas was deployed in the rotunda. at least one person has been shot.

the mayor of washington DC called in the national guard. the national guard said no. they’re sending in the national guard from some other state (virginia?), because the washington DC national guard could, potentially, come under the control of the acting POTUS (because biden hasn’t been inaugurated yet), which would not be ideal, at this point.

so this is how america dies. 😒

woo…

it’s 2021.

does anybody have a reason to celebrate which is NOT related to tradition or #drumpf, which would actually make a difference to most people?

didn’t think so. 😒

VEWPRF green things

VEWPRF was made only a little bit more tolerable this year because the pandemic has made everything else so awful that there didn’t seem to be as much energy put into the decorations and the public displays of “christianity” that there usually are…

but, because of the pandemic, we did NOT have things like the profusion of money-making gigs for performers, and the big, lavish dinner parties, and the exchange of massive quantities of commercial products, and the mass, forced, fake “love for all” like we usually have, either, so it all, sort of, evens out into a generic awful that has been, more or less, constant, since… oh, i don’t know… march? january?

so they’ve discovered a vaccine for COVID19… at the same time that they’ve discovered a new varient of the COVID19 virus. at this point, they’re pretty sure that the vaccine will work for the new varient as well, because of the fact that it’s a mRNA vaccine, rather than one based on dead or disabled virii, but, in part, because of the fact that it’s a new vaccine technology, the anti-vaxxers are even more suspicious of it, and quite a large number of them have already said they won’t get it…

what i’ve heard is that people who know seem to think that, if we can achieve masking, social distancing, and vaccines for 100 days, we MIGHT be able to “open up the economy” again around june of 2021… but, with the republican’ts and other assorted “christians”, anti-vaxxer/anti-masker idiots who will fight anything they don’t understand, and deliberately refuse to understand anything that’s not in the bible, i sincerely doubt that we’re going to see ENOUGH masking, social distancing, and vaccines to accomplish much of anything other than the opportunity for the idiots to say “see, it didn’t work”…

and the more “important” you are seems to be the determining factor in who gets the vaccine first. #drumpf got it, in spite of the fact that he’s already had it, and he’s (allegedly) already taken hydroxychloroquine as a “prophylaxis” (which it’s not, despite all the hype he gave it). my brother, who is a RN, got his last week. i don’t know IF i’m going to get it, let alone WHEN… maybe when i turn 65…

thailand has had 4 deaths from COVID19… FOUR! 😒

tablet unbricked

1 Hour Device Repair (the one in redmond, not the one in issaquah) repaired my device for free, because they have a lifetime warranty on the repair that they did a few months ago.

as it should be.

they also apologised for the guy in issaquah sending me down the wrong rabbit hole.

this has been a very early, abrupt and completely satisfactory end to this battle. 👍

if anybody is paying attention…

the Incense Of The Month Club 👉SIGN UP SHEET👈 is now available. go and sign up for a year’s worth of rare, vintage, not-available-anywhere-else incense, and, maybe some other goodies, as well.

go… sign up now! you know you want to… 👍😉‼

also, i broke down and signed up for a facebook page. i am now @HybridElephant, so you can “like” me on facebook, and tell all your friends… or whatever you do on facebook these days… 🙄

brick tablet update

tablet became brick.

took it to 1 Hour Device Repair in issaquah, who told me that the charging port was damaged.

took it to the genius bar (two days later), and they tested it, and told me that the charging port was fine, but “have you had the display replaced?”

why, yes. yes, i have… by the people at 1 Hour Device Repair… 😒

the charging port is fine, according to the genius bar drone. he tested it, and it works fine. the display, however, is another question. according to the genius bar tests, the tablet is in “recovery mode” which normally displays a “connect me to power” icon, on the display, but, wouldn’t you know, the display isn’t working.

so i called 1HDR and talked to someone, who, it is my guess, is the “owner” of the 1HDR franchise in the area (if it is a franchise operation, which it appears to be), a young woman with purple hair and an eastern-european accent, and brought it in to the location in redmond, which is where it was repaired before. the FIRST THING she said, when she tested it, was “i don’t know why anyone would tell you that the charging port was the problem.” and didn’t even respond when i told her that it was the 1HDR repair guy in issaquah…

which tells me something about the 1HDR location in issaquah that i didn’t know before. 😒

long story short, she’s going to have to keep it for one to two weeks, because she doesn’t stock the screens because they’re so expensive, and it’s the holidays, and there’s a pandemic…

and she said that it’s a free replacement, because there’s a lifetime warranty, as long as i can prove that there’s no external damage that would have caused the display to fail. the fact is, she looked at it very closely, and told me that “sometimes the displays fail”… but i’m not ruling out the possibility that, once she gets it open, she’ll discover some “damage” that voids the warranty. i don’t know of any “damage”, but that doesn’t mean it’s not there. 😒

so, fine. keep it. it doesn’t do me much good as a brick, but then…

i realise i’ve got an appointment on telehealth, and another appointment on gotomeeting tomorrow, which i’m going to have to attend using my phone, which is about one-eighth the size of the tablet (tablet is 12.9″ ipad pro, third gen; phone is iphone 6SE, which is 5″)…

this is going to be “interesting”… 🤦

my tablet is a brick

i woke up this morning and checked my email on my tablet, like i usually do. nothing seemed amiss, as i browsed twitter for a half hour or so, then i put the tablet to sleep, came downstairs, plugged the tablet into my downstairs charging port, heard the chime as it connected, and walked off to get my morning soylent…

when i got back to my office, about 5 minutes later, i tried to wake the tablet up, but it wasn’t having any.

i tried a number of “tips” that i found on internet (using my computer) for waking up a sleeping tablet, and elicited some interesting responses — siri, speaking from a blank screen, saying “i’m really sorry”, for example, and various official-sounding chimes, boops and bongs — but no screen action whatsoever.

i took it to the guy at 1 Hour Device Repair, in issaquah, who said that he thought it was the charging port that was damaged, because the device he hooked it to was saying .09 amps when it should be at least 1 amp. he said that it’s working, but, because of the fact that the charging port is damaged, it doesn’t have enough electricity to run reliably.

so, i made an appointment at the genius bar (because it’s new enough that i think i might still have apple care for it) on wednesday.

that doesn’t sound bad, does it? except for the fact that i can’t login to twitter — which is pretty much my ONLY social contact these days — because of the fact that i have my authenticator for my 2FA login on my tablet… i have an authenticator on my phone, as well, but it doesn’t have my twitter account, and the only way to get a 2FA authentication for my twitter account is from WITHIN my twitter account, which i can’t get to because the authenticator is on my tablet. i don’t usually use twitter on my phone, so i never updated the authenticator when i started using 2FA on twitter.

😒

sigh

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

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

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

and he STILL hasn’t conceded…

i don’t think he’s going to concede.

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

creativity…?

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

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

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

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

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

someone must have mentioned hybrid elephant

someone must have mentioned hybrid elephant on their podcast or something like that, because i have gotten FIVE incense orders today, including two that were for one box of aparajita… yes, the way things work out, i charge them more for shipping than i do for the incense — does it sound familiar? 😉 — but i decided that i’m not going to argue with them any longer. if they want to order one box of incense, that’s fine… unless they order a box that costs $1.50 or less, in which case i’ll write them and find out if that’s REALLY what they want to do, because that’s kind of ridiculous.

one from spain, that came in over last night, and then four from north america that all came in within an hour of each other. in reality, i have no clue why they are clustered like that. the podcast thing is the only thing i can think of that would cause clusters of orders like that, but i really don’t know. if it is because of someone’s podcast, i wish they would let me know about it. i don’t have a lot of social media connections, but i don’t have none, either.

i put the preliminary Incense of the Month Club page up. nobody’s responded yet, but i haven’t mentioned it much, and it’s still not showing up where i thought it was supposed to, but that’s something i’m going to have to discuss with the web designer.

in other news, #drumpf still hasn’t conceded, and he’s filed a whole bunch of lawsuits, most ALL of which have been tossed out for lack of evidence.

ETA: 201119 i’ve received two MORE orders, for one box each… REALLY weird… 😖🤯

201111

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then Trump’s coup becomes a counterrevolution.


Coups For Dummies
by Clay Jones, 201111

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and, as we all suspected…

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

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

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

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

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

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

and then, there’s also this:

#drumpf lost, but…

it’s official now: #drumpf is our lame-duck president. the first time a president hasn’t won re-election since 1992.

big surprise. 😒

but democrats didn’t take the senate, and democrats actually lost seats in the house… which means that the changes that #drumpf made in the supreme court (a “lifetime-appointed” body) are going to be a lot more difficult to chalenge, and expanding the supreme court is, also, pretty much out of the question… and #drumpf got to choose three supreme court justices, who are, now, going to determine whether or not his claims of election fraud are actionable… a qanon believer is on their way to the senate… “nothing, fundamentally, is going to change” says our “new” leader.

meet the new boss. same as the old boss.

#drumpf lost

it hasn’t been officially announced yet, but biden won. however, as biden, himself, has said, “nothing, fundamentally, will change”… so, now, it’s “fascism light”, rather than “fascism extra-bold”, but, essentially, the same font. 😒

we’ve got a couple months of a lame duck session, wherein #drumpf has every occasion, opportunity and encouragement to screw things up even more badly than he already has, and then, naturally, when he finally steps down, the first thing to happen is that biden will pardon and absolve him of any crimes that he may have committed.

but at least he didn’t actually win… again… woo. 😒

tesla tequila
tesla tequila
in other news, tesla (the overpriced electric car, not the scientist) has come out with a branded tequila, which, in unbranded bottles, runs around $45 a bottle… but in their fancy, tesla lighting bolt bottle, it costs $250 a bottle, but you can’t get it, because it already sold out the entire run, within hours of its being announced.

if you ask me, it looks more like a bottle of cologne than a bottle of tequila. 😒

the end of an era…

Snake Suspenderz – Even Your Best Friends Won’t Tell You

Snake Suspenderz – Naughty Monkey

Snake Suspenderz – Misery Loves Company

Snake Suspenderz – Say Hello To Mr. Snake

sketch, the drummer for snake suspenderz, died in april of 2019, shortly after the moisture festival, which put an abrupt end to our performances as a band, but there was intense talk of finding another drummer for a few months. a couple of options were tossed about, and one got far enough that we ended up saying that we were going to contact her… but i’m not sure we ever did… i didn’t hear anything about it…

and then COVID happened, and, basically, everything got cancelled, and so nothing was done about it…

and now hobbit has decided that he has to move to kalamazoo, because that’s where his partner, lucifer, has to move, because she has to take care of her mother. lucifer and hobbit both worked at the market, for a large part of their income, and the market has, well… basically, been shut down, except for a VERY few day stall vendors, the high stall vendors, and the restaurants.

even bavarian meats, which has been in the market since before i was born, has closed up shop.

but, because of the fact that hobbit is moving away, there will be no more snake suspenderz, no more peanut envy, no more accidental rhino, and no more busking for me, at all, unless (until?) i can find someone else who plays a treble, chord instrument (strings, keyboard, accordion), who wants a solid bass line… or if i can find places to take my harmonic flute where they won’t chase me away after five minutes… 😢😒

i met hobbit in 1995, when i went to work for micro$lop. he and i were hired helpdesk geeks, and we got together because we also played music… and then it turned out that he and i knew a lot of the same people, and eventually we figured out that, about 15 years before that (1985 or thereabouts), we had been at the same party, at danny shadygrove’s place, and hobbit and my sister (who i didn’t know was there) shared a shower together… at the time we worked at micro$hit, we also played in a band called PropellerHeads (this was before the software called Reason, which was originally made by a company called “Propellerheads” came to be), and, using different instruments, the same people (me, hobbit, and malcolm “malcat” atterbury) were also in a band called Peanut Envy both bands were in existence, more or less, until around 1999, when we all went our separate ways. then hobbit and i met up again in 2004 or so, after my injury, when i started playing with snake suspenderz, an already existing band which was sketch, hobbit, thaddeus and a bass player whose name i don’t remember (because i never actually met him, he had moved away by the time i came on board). i started busking with them shortly afterward. and, when sketch died, hobbit and i resurrected Peanut Envy, and busked as a duo by that name until… march of this year.

i wonder what i will do next?

something, i hope. 😒

190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair
190828 salamandir & hobbit at the Oregon State Fair

so…

the fence is (allegedly) being fixed on thursday, by the guy who is the friend of the neighbour who is (still) being a dick about paying for the fence, despite the fact that the dead tree which destroyed it was on his property. 😒

the guy who is (allegedly) fixing the fence has already run down a whole list of (bogus) complaints he had about the current fence — i get the impression that he’s not particularly impressed with the quality or consistency of the fence materials, despite the fact that we had the fence made by a different company than the one which made the gates, and that the whole thing was built during the peak of the first round of COVID…

but i get the very strong impression that the guy is going to do everything possible to get away with doing a halfway job and begging off, never to be heard from again, which is why i’m going to be keeping an eye on the work progress, when it happens. 😒

election day is (finally) tomorrow. in spite of the fact that he was impeached, we managed to survive (barely) four years of #drumpf, and i’m not sure, even now, that we’re going to vote him out tomorrow… and, even if we do, i’m even less sure that he’ll leave without making a BIG fuss, and/or flagrantly cheating… and even if we do manage to eject him into the sun, there’s going to be A LOT of #MAGA #chuds who will be stubbornly unwilling to accept it, and even if we are actually able to eject him into the sun, they’re not going to be so “easy” to deal with, nor will they just “go away”, once the solar ejecting has actually been accomplished.

i keep saying it’ll take us at least a hundred years to recover from #drumpf, and i’m not sure we have a hundred years left, even if we do, miraculously, make him and his cronies just vanish.

in other news, i made a new page for the Incense Of The Month Club, but i can’t figure out how to put the background image on it that i want, so it’s not linked anywhere, yet. i bought a 1½” diameter button press (because why not), and now i’ve got to round up some civic organisations which want buttons for some campaign or something.

also, i never heard back from kent.

good. 😒

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

actually, now that i come to think about it

i ended the last post with “i will never figure out these people”, and, after looking, half-heartedly, at the other options on the web for aparajita, i think part of what may be motivating people like kent is the box, and not the incense itself.

the old box is very distinctive, and it was used in, basically, the same form (they changed the colours, slightly, some time between the 1960s and the 1980s) pretty much ever since they started producing incense in boxes… the company has existed since the 1920s, so it’s a very distinctive and recognisable brand…

the new box is just a design change. the incense is exactly the same.

i had a customer a few years ago (who am i kidding, i haven’t heard from him in 15 years), who bought aparajita from me. he was a guitar player from new york, who had actually played with george harrison and ravi shankar, and he bought it from me because i was the only agarbathiwala who carried “the authentic” aparajita. it was through him that i learned about ALL the knock-off, “look-alike” brands of NOT aparajita that were out there. i learned a lot more, once i knew what to look for, and i’ve actually got a collection of “not aparajita” boxes. when mavana changed the box design, he was intensely frustrated, because he said the incense was different. as with everything from india, they have a very strict recipe that they follow to the letter… most of the time, ganesha willing… so the end product is 99.5% reliable… but that other .5% can be REALLY out there.

personally, i have NEVER noticed a big difference between the incense in the old box (yes, i still have several old boxes, and some of the “look-alike” boxes, for comparison) and the incense in the new box…

but, for some people, “aparajita” apparently stopped existing when they changed the box. i found at least two web sites where aparajita was listed, along with pictures of the old box, that said something along the lines of “out of stock, discontinued”…

but, look, people… i’ve got loads of it, right here! 😉

201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI

Ă,-PĂ,-RĀ’-JĬ,-TĀ, agarbathiwalas

i had to go to the pharmacy to pick up a prescription for moe. the pharmacy was closed for lunch, so i went across the street to the safeway, to get food. as i was checking out, my phone rang. it was an “unknown caller”, which usually means that it’s a robot/scam call, and i am usually able to tell this within a VERY short period of time after answering the call…

so i answered it.

it was NOT an automated fraud call at all, but i had some considerable difficulty understanding the guy, because of the fact that his phone was cutting in and out like a crazy monkey, not to mention the ambient noise at the checkout stand in safeway, but eventually i worked out that it was kent, from laguna beach, who is an agarbathiwala (he didn’t use that word, but that’s what he is) and he is interested in purchasing wholesale quantities of aparajita, for resale in laguna beach.

wonderful… i think… but… 😒

he can’t figure out how to use my web site. apparently he’s accessing the web site on the same cell phone from which he’s calling me. that, combined with the fact that i don’t use my cell phone for web access most of the time, means that he can’t find the incense he wants, and i can’t direct him, because i don’t know what he’s seeing.

also, i tell him that, as far as wholesale orders go, i already put the word out to a number of agarbathiwalas that i know, who, either, didn’t respond at all, or responded by telling me that boxes of aparajita aren’t available in the US, and the only way to get it is to go to india, buy it in bulk, bring it back, and put it into your own packages.

which is patently false, according to my own, personal, recent experience…

so i get the very strong impression that this guy may be one of those people who want to use me and my years of experience and connections to stock their own stores with exotic incense.

which is only exacerbated by the fact that he says, if it can’t be a “wholesale” order, he’ll just mark up my price (which is really reasonable, given what i had to go through to get it), rather than buying at a “wholesale discount”… 😒

he wants to make an order over the phone — another typical ploy used by these people. i, patiently, tell him that i can’t process credit card payments any way other than the web site, and if he wants to order over the phone, it will involve him snail-mailing me a check or money order, which will have to clear before i will ship out anything.

oh, he says, sounding disappointed…

okay, he says, he’ll check out the web site, and make an order.

i go to the pharmacy, pick up moe’s prescription, and am on the way home, when the phone rings, again. it’s kent, again. he can’t find the incense he’s looking for. also, he wants to know how long it takes me to ship things out, and how i ship things. i explain it as succinctly as i can, and get off the phone, because, well, i’m driving… 😒 but the phone rings again,it’s kent, again and he STILL can’t figure out my web site. 😒

i expect that, by the time i get home, he will have made an order, and called me to ask why i haven’t shipped it out yet… 😒

but…

then he texts me. i’m back at the point i was at when i was checking out at the safeway, with all the ambient noise, but i’m at home, and there’s no ambient noise, there’s just this text message, which is a photo, and nothing else. i know it’s from kent, because it’s the same number that he has been calling me from, but there’s no text, just a photo. the photo is, from all appearances, a photo of a computer screen which has four overlapping photos of a VERY OLD box of aparajita.

by this time, i have gotten home. i text back that the manufacturers of aparajita changed the design on the box a few years ago, and text him a couple of photos, one of the new box, and one of the old box, with the reassurance that it’s exactly the same incense, only the box has changed.

and then…

nothing.

no order, no more phone calls, or texts… nothing.

i will never figure out these people. 😖

mump…

both our tests came back negative today, but moe sez that she’s not sure about her test, because she spent A LOT of time around the lady from texas who did test positive, so she’s still wearing a mask around the house, and especially when she’s interacting with me… but i get to sleep in the bed, again, rather than sleeping on the other end of the house, on the couch.

there are 6 english words that contain the letters “M”, “E”, “O”, and “W”. they are:

MEOW
MEOWS
MEOWED
MEOWING
HOMEOWNER
HOMEOWNERS

i learned that years ago, and every time i use the word “homeowner”, insinctively, i think “homeowner”…

honer’s meow…

there’s a title.

it just… keeps… getting… better! 🤬

our brand new fence, less than 4 months old, was completely destroyed, last week, when half of a dead tree on the neighbour’s property decided to fall on it, and then, when the neighbour decided to cut down the rest of the tree, and it, also, fell on it…

our homeowner’s insurance would have paid to get it fixed, if it had been a live tree on the neighbour’s property, but, because of the fact that it was a dead tree, the neighbour was “negligent”, so our homeowner’s insurance won’t pay. the fence originally cost $10,000, and the contractor said that he could SAFELY cut up the remainders of the tree and fix the fence for $4,000. the neighbour wants to “chip in” $500, but he’s refusing to pay any more than that.

AND… moe confirmed yesterday that she has, 100% been exposed to COVID, along with everyone else who works at the clinic. they are switching to a new clinic management software package, and they had someone from texas fly in to train all of them. they were fine the first day, the second day they started feeling sick, and went for a test, which was positive, and now the entire clinic has to close down. and, because of the fact that moe and i slept in the same bed, the probability is very high that i have been exposed, as well. she gets tested through her insurance, but i don’t know how — or even IF — i’m going to get tested, yet…

the 1918 pandemic took three years to go away, and they didn’t have to deal with a toxic government who wants everyone to die, and only the basic rudiments of germ theory.

and people wonder why i am depressed… 😒

sigh…

getting old sucks. 🤬

i got home this afternoon, and took the small doggie outside, and, as i was going down the stairs from the deck, my right foot hit a slippery spot on the third step from the bottom, and i fell, bruising my back and legs, and scraping my right arm, which reached out for support, but reached in the wrong direction, because of my brain injury. 😒

the dog experienced a rather rough landing, but she wandered off without more than an “oof” when she hit the ground. she’s fine.

i lay on the ground for a few minutes, deciding whether or not anything was broken (as far as i can tell, nothing was), and breathing hard, because my back REALLY hurt, while the doggie wandered, obliviously, around the yard.

fortunately, i had my phone, so i called moe, who called the neighbour, who came to help me, but all she actually did was pick up the doggie, because i couldn’t bend over.

at this point, i have taken ibuprophen and applied ice, and i can sit down without too much difficulty, although i can still REALLY feel my lower back, and i probably will be able to do so for the next few days.

in other news, i got my first order for 10 boxes of aparajita today. the guy actually wrote me while i was in the process of updating my web site, and wanted to make a “special order”. my guess is that i’ll have two or three more orders for 10 boxes, before the week is out… at $90 bucks a pop… 👍😉

also, i got a new monitor. the old one is an VGA 17″ flat screen from a few years ago. the new one is a HDMI 24″ flat screen from this year… it’s awesome, how much real estate is in the difference between 17″ and 24″

the end of (this) saga

okay, as i reported here, the HPOI arrived on friday, at 1730. i went to WFS, but was informed that i had to get the shipment cleared through US customs, before i could pick it up.

customs operates under “normal” business hours, i.e. 9-to-5, M thru F, so i figured i was going to have to wait until monday.

the “carrier certificate” that WFS gave me said that i had to pay an ISC fee, which worked out to $89 if i paid it online, or $125 if i paid it in person, so, while i was waiting — saturday and sunday — i took the opportunity to pay it online, so that i would have yet another impediment taken care of before monday.

the “carrier certificate” also, CLEARLY said that the date that storage charges started accruing was 201012, which was further impetus to get things rolling as quickly as possible.

note, that THIS ENTIRE TIME i have been getting EXTREMELY CONFLICTED messages about whether or not i would need a broker. at this point, everything i have heard leads me to believe that i would NOT need a broker to pick up my shipment of incense.

this morning, i contacted customs, got their new address (because they just moved, and nobody at WFS knew where), and went down to clear my shipment.

when i got there, i talked with a US customs agent, who told me that, because my MAWB said that the value of the shipment was more than $800, but less than $1,000, i would have to have a broker clear the shipment.

way back when i was arranging all of this, i specifically remember (backed up by email from 200824) arun giving me precise numbers: “USD 7.45 PER DOZENS”, which amounts to $357.60 for 48 dozen boxes. i also specifically remember (backed up by a different email from 200824), arun telling me “Please note Air freight is additional.”, so when he sent me a proforma invoice that said $986.40, i presumed that it meant “$357.60 for the incense, and $628.80 for shipping”… but it wasn’t itemised, and i overlooked that point.

i SHOULD HAVE gotten an itemised MAWB, but i didn’t.

so, i spent some time on the phone, talking with brokers, who quoted me around $400 just to get my foot in the door, and then i connected with lisa, from Frontier North America — a very nice, helpful lady who is going to get my business the next time around — who assured me that, because i was actually paying more for shipping than i was for the actual product, that she would clear my shipment, and provide a surety bond, for $182.22, so i said go for it, and half an hour later, my shipment was cleared through customs.

miracle. 😒

then, i went back to the airport, to WFS, who informed me, because i didn’t have a broker, who could clear my shipment on friday, after business hours (despite the fact that customs was CLOSED for “normal people” like me), that i had to pay a $110 storage fee — which was EXACTLY the thing that i was trying to AVOID by picking up the paperwork on friday, after normal business hours — and then they had a problem charging me the storage fee, because i had already paid the ISC fee, and they couldn’t charge me as a “guest” because the computer wouldn’t let them create two different accounts with the same MAWB number. finally, they told me that their web site wasn’t meant for people with iphones, which meant that i would have to go home to use my computer at home to “set up an account” so that they could charge me a storage fee, before i could pick up a shipment that i was already there to pick up… 😒

 

 

 

 

 

 

fortunately, after talking to two other managers, i finally talked the third manager into waiving the $110 storage fee, and, after scanning my drivers’ license (because my passport wouldn’t fit in their automatic scanning device 😒) they “gave me permission” to pick up my HPOI.

and i managed to get through the whole thing without swearing, losing my temper, or stomping out of various offices, as good as it would have felt.

201012 HPOI paperwork
201012 HPOI paperwork
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI
201012 HPOI

now i’ve got a web site to update. 😉

second to last HPOI post for 2020

the HPOI arrived yesterday.

according to the people at Worldwide Flight Services (which is the umbrella company that handles British Airways Cargo in seattle), i have to pick up documentation, take it to customs, so that it can be cleared, pay an ISC fee (Importer Service Charge, which is, basically, their way of “legally” taking a cut of my action), and then they can release the shipment to me.

customs is closed over the weekend. also, they just moved, and nobody at WFS knows what their new address is… 😒

and, because of the fact that WFS doesn’t accept credit cards, i would have had to pay $125 for the ISC fee, if it weren’t for the fact that i actually went down to the airport last night to pick up the documentation (so that i don’t have to go through that step on monday, when customs is open), the guy pointed out that i can pay the ISC fee online, and it will only cost $89… so i did that.

the “documentation” they gave me is, basically a “carrier certificate” which is a receipt for services rendered by the carrier (which is what i pay the ISC fee for), four copies (out of at least seven, total) of the MAWB, one for the destination airport, one for “my agent” (which is me), one for the consignee (which is also me), and one “extra copy”, a “MAWB/CBV Acceptance Statement”, which basically, says that the shipment isn’t anything vague or illegal, is being shipped by a legitimate shipper who is not a criminal, and is being received by a person who is not a criminal, and a MYSTERY ENVELOPE which is stapled shut, THREE TIMES ON BOTH ENDS, which, from indications of the writing on the outside, was stapled shut in india, when the shipment was loaded, and i have NO CLUE what it contains…

now, all that’s left is for me to wait until monday, contact customs, find out what their address is (i think it’s in burien, but i’m not sure), go down and get the documentation stamped, and then go back to the airport to…

PICK UP HPOI!!!‼‼‼😀😎👍👍👍

whew…

march -> october

we moved in to our new house in march.

in october, approximately eight months later, i saw my first deer in our front yard.

201010 deer in the front yard
201010 deer in the front yard

according to moe, there have been deer in our front yard, and our back yard, before now, but this is the first time i’ve seen them.

okay, this is an interesting development…

i got a phone call, yesterday, from suni, at CEVA Logistics, whose first language is english, and who doesn’t pepper her communications with bizarre, multi-letter acronyms that i don’t understand…

and, what she told me was, essentially, that arun has been right all along — which makes me VERY glad i didn’t send that email that i felt like sending him a few days ago…

basically, they’ve shipped out today, at 0700 bangalore time, on BA118, there’s a stop over at london heathrow, and then it’s on to seattle, on BA49, and i should have 31kg (68.34lb) of incense by friday at 1730. someone at the airline is supposed to contact me immediately upon arrival — although how is still somewhat of a question… they don’t have my phone number, and if they have my email address, it’s not on the MAWB. the only address that IS on the MAWB is my street address, so, theoretically, they could snail-mail me, but that would take longer than it took for the incense to get here, so i don’t think that’s a viable option… and i still don’t know exactly how they are supposed to contact me, but i suppose i’ll find that out on friday…

and a WHOLE BUNCH of my customers are going to be extremely happy. i guess this is probably as close to being a “drug dealer” as i will ever get… 😉

okay, that last bit is a lie… i actually was a drug dealer, for a while, about 30 years ago. i sold weed and acid to a few friends for about 6 months, until the supply dried up… but it’s that sort of feeling. 🤣

this

this is my imaginary response to the email that i got from arun’s customs clearing agent, melvyn.

obviously, since i’m posting it here, you can presume that it is because, if i actually sent it, i probably would NOT be receiving any incense from arun, any time soon.

On 03/10/2020 00:34, sspf wrote:
> Importer Security Filing (ISF)
>
> It is USA Govt Compliances. Hence consignee Clearing
> aware about this.

so, when you said, on 200930 that i wouldn’t need a customs clearing agent, you were… what?

wrong? 😒

On 30/09/2020 01:04, Arun Mysorein wrote:
> Hello, No need for any agent, you can talk to airline ,
> take delivery order
> and get the goods from the airport.

it should be fairly obvious, at this point, that this is NOT the way it’s going to happen… 😒

> It should filed
> online 72 Hrs before the last departure air/ seaport station.

meaning that, if you notify me when the shipment is loaded on the airplane, it’s already too late.

could you PLEASE notify me 72 hours BEFORE the shipment is loaded, so that i won’t have to pay more than i already do, for things that i won’t use?

> If we file from here the agent
> will take $ 100 for this service. It is better consignee
> Or their agents do at their end.

so, let me get this straight: $100 is too much for you to pay, but it’s perfectly okay for ME to be saddled with extra fees and fines because i don’t know these things, and, because YOU think it’s okay to tell me the EXACT OPPOSITE of what i should know in order to AVOID paying these extra fees and fines.

and, once again, MELVYN references an agent, which, you have assured me, i don’t need! 🤬

if i hadn’t already sunk more than $900 into this incense deal, i would cancel it right here and now. 🤬

this is NOT the way to do business and have me as a customer. 🤬

GAH!!! 😠

so i wrote to arun at mavana, concerning my impression that he had not given me all the information. he wrote to his customs clearing agent(!), melvyn — and copied me — who informed him (and me) that the consignee’s customs clearing agent(!) should have been aware of all this…

the immediately previous email i got from arun said that i would not need a customs clearing agent, or a single entry bond. now, his customs clearing agent tells me exactly the opposite! 😒

melvyn also said “If we file from here the agent will take $ 100 for this service. It is better consignee Or their agents do at their end.”

in other words, it’s better for the consignee (me) to pay this, rather than “us”, because “It is USA Govt Compliances.” and it costs “us” more money that the consignee could be paying.

the problem, if all of the web sites i’ve been reading are correct, is that, from the consignee’s (my) point of view, the customs clearing agent’s fee is $125, the single entry bond is a minimum of $75, and that’s before we start talking about fees for the ISF.

so, it’s an extra $100 from them for the ISF… which they are, apparently, unwilling to pay…

or it’s an extra $200 from me before we even get to the ISF… 😒

and i know, from past experience, that if the shipment gets loaded without the ISF being filed, then i have to pay $400 for a continuous bond, rather than $75 for a single entry bond, plus i get to pay another $400 (or more, the maximum is $10,000) for importing without an ISF. 😒

i’m guessing that i’m going to have to pay more money to get this HPOI into the united states. 😒

this had better be worth it. 😒

gah!

first the guy doesn’t know what ISF means, then he says i have to file an ISF, but doesn’t give me all the documentation to do so, and the only “resource” i have is a web site whose “toll free, 24/7” help line has a recording which says to leave a number, and they’ll call back (and they don’t), or leave a message that includes ALL of my contact information, including my social security number, on an un-secure (not https) web form — NO THANKS, FRANK! 😠

then, literally EVERYTHING i’ve read seems to indicate that, along with the ISF, i have to have either a “continuous bond” or a “single entry bond”, and a customs clearing agent, but the guy says neither of those things are necessary: “you can talk to airline , take delivery order and get the goods from the airport.” not only that, but i can’t even find where i’m SUPPOSED to file the ISF, except this, same “resource” that wants me to submit the information over an un-secure web form.

so i broke down and started up kmail, to retrieve the email addresses for the people i was in contact for the last HPOI go-around, two years ago, and contacted one of them, with the information i have… the last time i was in contact with them, they were USL Cargo Services, but i hit their web site, and it says that, as of a year ago, they’ve merged with another company, and are now CEVA Logistics… but their uslcargoservices.com web site and email addresses still appear to work, so we’ll see what happens… just to make sure, i also completed the easy-to-use form at cevalogistics.com as well.

grr… 😒

as i suspected…

the information that the guy has been giving me regarding the ISF is, substantially, wrong… which leads me to believe that the other information that he has been giving me is also wrong.

hopefully, the whole story about how he’s the CEO of mavana is not wrong, as well, otherwise i’m going to be REALLY pissed off!

the main concern, at this point, is the “continuous bond” — which only lasts for a year, so it’s not really “continuous”, but only in relation to a “single entry bond” which costs $10 for every $10,000 worth of product imported, with a minimum of $75 — and the “customs clearing agent” fee, which is $125. both of these “extra, add-on” fees were sprung on me at the last moment, last time, and ended up with me having to pay “extra, add-on” FINES before they would let me have my stuff.

all of this information is coming from TurboISF, a web site that i found after the last HPOI came in, when i was still seething about having to spend almost the same amount in “extra, add-ons” as i spent for the incense itself. hopefully, i have been alert enough to avoid the fines, this time. 😒

Ă,-PĂ,-RĀ’-JĬ,-TĂ,

part of what i am worried about is the ISF, which nobody told me about last time, which resulted in my having to pay a $400 fine for “importing without filing an ISF”… but, apparently, the ISF is only needed for ocean cargo… and, if it is needed for air freight, nobody has told me about it yet… but nobody told me about having a “broker” or a “continuous bond” last time, either, and i ended up having to get one at the last minute, at extra, added expense…

but, i paid the money this morning… i initiated an international wire transfer to india, so they’ve got my money, now, and if they don’t actually send me incese, at this point, i will be extremely pissed off.

aparajita! 👍

the latest is that i send them $1,000 and they send me 48 dozen boxes of aparajita, by air freight.

i have to wait until tomorrow to wire them the money. i tried today, but international money transfers have to be done on the same day, and, apparently, that day ends at 1300 hours, PDT, so i have to try again tomorrow.

this appears to be A LOT easier than the HPOI that i ordered two years ago… and a lot less expensive… but i seem to recall that a lot of the charges the last time around were ones that were added on by freight companies, intermediaries, and the federal government, so it’s not over yet. 😒

incense of the month club

this is the basic layout, so far:

people sign up in one of three two ways, either:

1) they pay $10, and get however many sticks of whatever the incense of the month is, that month. they can do this for as long as they like, up to $120, or 12 months. they don’t get anything extra.

not this… the “Incense Of The Month Club” is a subscription service. if people don’t want to “subscribe”, they can’t be a part of it.

also, it will make it SO much easier determining who gets what

21) they can pay $100 lump sum, all at once, for a “mundane” account, and get 12 months of however many sticks of whatever the incense of the month is, that month. that’s $10 a month, with 2 months free. they don’t get anything extra, but they do get 2 months free (woo hoo! free! 😒). this decreases in price by $10 a month, so in february, it costs $90, in march, it costs $80, in april, it costs $70, and so forth, until it costs $10 at which point it sticks at $10 and they can go month-to-month with the level 1 people. they get the first two months free, and after that, the price goes down $10 a month. basically, people who sign up in january get two months free, people who sign up in february get one month free, and after that, they pay $10 a month until december.

32) they can pay $8.50 a month, $102 total, lump sum, all at once, for a “VIP account”. they actually pay less per month, but, because of the fact that they’re actually paying more, overall, as well as getting however many sticks of whatever the incense of the month is, that month, they also get 🎉🎊EXTRA GOODIES🎊🎉, such as buttons, OM stuff, stickers, little good luck charms, random incense, and other bizarre stuff i have lying around. this offer is good for the first 3 months, and then it vanishes, leaving level 1 or level 2 for those people who want to sign up late, and as a motivation to sign up earlier.

i have 22 “limited edition, vintage” incenses, in packages ranging from 112 grams up to 750 grams, which means, theoretically, i could do this for two years (if i wanted to repeat two of them), but, for now, i’m a lot more interested in seeing how it works, and if anybody actually signs up, before i want to go making plans too far in advance. the incense i’ve got means that if, by some miracle, i actually get 25 people who sign up in january, i can send them anywhere between 5 and 15 sticks per month. if you count in the shipping, that comes out to almost exactly what they would pay for one pack of incense that you CAN find on the web.

this should be interesting. keep your eyes peeled for upcoming information about the Incense Of The Month Club‼‼😎👍

FUCK 2020!

our BRAND NEW, not even three months old yet, 6-foot security fence, has been destroyed by a falling tree.

200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!

200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!
200925 FUCK 2020!

it was a dead tree, on the neighbour’s yard, that fell… it didn’t even have the decency to fall all at once; it broke off about 20 feet up (remember, it was dead), and the broken part fell on our fence… it didn’t hit the shed, and nobody got hurt, which is a good thing, but still…

FUCK 2020‼‼

titles

Flimflam Phloem
Gunko
Ham Maze
Vàsqueeze
Wendy’s House of Pho
Self Hostage
Acceptable Bones
War To Salvation Church
Can I ask a state trailer park?
No Tw Eeze About It
AI Pastor At Your Door
Are you happy now?
Overachiever Acadamy
Of course I’ve had it in the ear before!
Blasphemy Attorney

WEAR EVERY HUGO THEIR YOUR

okay, here we go…

i have become more and more aware of the existence of “subscription services” (and have actually signed up for a few, myself), where you sign up, and pay a chunk of money, and then you get pins, or buttons, or stickers, or candy, or what-have-you, once a month for a year.

my impression is that they’re really “trendy”.

so, i have decided that i’m going to have a go at creating one myself.

mine is going to be the “incense of the month” club: you sign up and pay a chunk of money (i’m thinking between $75 and $100), and, in return, once a month, for a year, i’ll send you between 10 and 25 sticks of special, rare, unavailable anywhere else on line or off, incense… and maybe a little blurb about the incense, and a sticker or a button or something, if i want to add some extra zip to the whole thing.

at this point, i believe i’ve got enough “special, rare, unavailable anywhere else on line or off, incense” to fill 25 or so subscriptions for a year… honestly, i can’t imagine more than a handful of people subscribing, at all, but i’ve been wrong before…

i think, at this point, the hardest thing for me may be the fact that, in order for this to even come close to having a chance, i’m going to have to “talk it up” on “social media”, the whole idea of which turns my stomach.

so, anyway, look for the "incense of the month" club announcement coming in january.

emergency services must not have a lot to do today… 🤨

a fire truck, with all of its lights on (but no sirens, as this is a residential neighbourhood) just drove past our house.

we live almost at the end of a dead end street, so i went out to see if i could see what was happening.

what i saw, was the fire truck, with all of its lights on, turning around at the dead end, and then driving back up the street.

WTF, right?

then, about five minutes later, i saw an ambulance, with all of its lights on, drive past our house. when i went out, it, too, was turning around, and it, too, drove back up the street…

WTELF???

can i start murdering people yet?

200915 USPS misleading postcard
200915 USPS misleading postcard

the postmaster general, louis dejoy, the republican mega-donor to #drumpf, who has no actual experience with the post office, but who was, nevertheless, appointed to be postmaster general by #drumpf; who, in september, 2020 (yes, that means last week), was blocked, by a court ruling, from sending out false or misleading information about the election, and when secretaries of state requested that he show them examples of the mailing he was planning to send out, he refused to do so…

… has sent out false or misleading information about the election! SHOCKER!!! 😲

how many things can i count on this postcard that are false or misleading? 😠

1) it was sent to me, a voter in washington state, where we have had ALL MAIL-IN VOTING FOR AT LEAST TEN YEARS! and, yes, i am aware that it was actually sent to “Postal Customer”, and not directly to me, but the fact remains that i, and hundreds of thousands of my closest neighbours, LIVE IN WASHINGTON, WHERE WE HAVE MAIL-IN VOTING!! 🤬

in my opinion, the biggest “false or misleading” thing about this poscard is that it was sent to anyone in washington state! 😠

2) “start today…” go to this URI… but when you follow the link, all you find is MORE false and misleading information… especially if you live in a state (there are 10 of them) which has all mail-in voting…

3) “request your mail-in (often called “absentee ballot”)”… except that, in states where they have all mail-in voting (once again, there are 10 of them), they’re NOT called “absentee ballots”, which are, in fact, an entirely different sort of ballot, for a different purpose, altogether.

4) “Add postage…” my ballot is postage paid. does that mean i have to add MORE postage? the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that.

5) “at least 7 days before election day.” does that mean that, even if i drop it in a ballot drop box 5 days before election day, that my ballot won’t be counted? as before, the aforementioned web site doesn’t have anything to say about that… 😒

and, as far as murdering people goes, if i can’t murder someone important, like #drumpf, pence, or dejoy (which, i admit, is pretty unlikely), or someone more local, like katie daviscourt (seriously, look her up… she’s a certified nut case with a dangerously wild imagination and a BIG audience), i’m perfectly happy to murder myself, so you other people don’t have anything to worry about. 😒

ETA 200921: HERE is a link from the secretary of state for washington, that has a lot more reliable information about the election than anything you can get from the federal government these days… 😒

😢

200911 wildfires
200911 wildfires

i’m where the blue dot is.

we’re further away from the wildfires at the new place than we were at the old place, which is futher to the left, and more towards the bottom, in between pacific and edgewood, just north of the puyallup fire.

200911 air quality index
200911 air quality index
200911 outside our house
200911 outside our house

moe sez we’re going to be okay, but the sky has changed from blue, to grey, to orange, within the last half hour, and there’s a fine layer of ash everywhere.

and there are STILL people who insist that “global warming is a hoax”…

200911 sunset
200911 sunset

😢

sigh… 😒

today, i got two letters(!) in the standard mail(!).

one of them was an official letter from the DOR, telling me that i had, recently, assigned myself “administrator” of my account…

except that it was addressed to the wrong name

the other one was an unofficial letter, in a hand-addressed envelope, from a rental company which now, apparently, owns the property that i lived in EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO(!), informing me that they had received a letter from the DOR at that address (seriously, i haven’t gotten mail there for EIGHTEEN YEARS 🤯), and that i should update my address with them.

they included the letter they received.

it was a letter, addressed TO THE WRONG NAME, informing me that my business account does not have an administrator, and gives instructions on how to apply for the position.

that’s not the bizarre part.

the bizarre part is that the return address on the hand-addressed envelope is “YDPAGES”, all in uppercase letters, with the address 12819 SE 38th St., Bellevue, WA 98006.

the letter is on the letterhead for RNR Property Investments, at the same address, and is signed by the CEO for RNR Property Investments, whose email address is at ydpages dot com.

is this starting to sound a little sketchy to you? it is to me…

that address is, now, a UPS store (which doubles as a post-office box location). that address is also, literally, RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET from the place i used to work before i got my job at software.com (which became openwave)… according to my handy list of when things happened, i worked there from 1996 to 1998… at that time, there were no buildings there, just raw hillside, covered with second growth forest. i used to eat my lunch on that hillside. i found psychedelic mushrooms on that hillside…

this guy, who sounds REALLY sketchy, somehow got standard mail for my business, at an address i haven’t used in almost 20 years, and mails it to me, and it gets here at EXACTLY the same time as a message from “the government” about EXACTLY THE SAME THING

if i weren’t already paranoid enough, as it is… 🤬

that guy that sat in the SUV for 15 years…

while i was living at our old place, i used to walk through the neighbourhood, down to the park, through the park, and then back home, in a big, semi-circular, 4+ mile route.

something i have been unable to locate at the new place, despite the fact that we’re surrounded on three sides by the cedar river watershed, tiger mountain, taylor mountan, and a number of other places to hike, there is nothing within walking distance apart from the walsh lake overflow ditch road, which is just under a mile away from our house, and behind several layers of “NO TRESSPASSING” dire warning signs… 😒

but i digress.

fairly early on, after i discovered this route, i encountered a guy who would be sitting in a late-’90s-model SUV, probably a ford or a chevrolet, near the intersection of S. 380th and 42nd ave. s., in the unincorprorated area of king county just north of milton/edgewood (which is in pierce county). this guy would just sit in his car, engine off but listening to the radio. he was an “older” guy, probably between 60 and 80 or so, and someone — i don’t know if it was him, or someone else — moved the car from time to time. he was never sitting in the driver’s seat when i saw him…

and i saw him, in exactly the same place, in exactly the same car, doing exactly the same thing, day or night, winter or summer, rain or shine, for EASILY ten years, and, since we lived in the house for 17 years, there’s a good chance that it was fifteen years…

i was at the old house this afternoon, and i drove by the spot, and, sure enough, there he was, sitting in exactly the same spot… someone had moved the car, and the back hatch was open, but he was there, sitting in the passenger seat, listening to the radio…

i imagine that it could have been me, if i had been like 95% of the other people who survive having a brain injury… and i wonder why people like rick and sketch and simon are the ones who get to die, while i, who have had every opportunity to die, stubbornly defy all odds, and stay alive. 😒

aparajita update

i got prices from arun this morning. it looks like around $300.00 USD plus shipping for 40 dozen units (which works out to around $1.75 retail per unit, before shipping). why they didn’t send me the shipping charges is still a mystery, but it probably has something to do with COVID19, as that is the excuse for just about everything, these days.

at this point, i’m going to assume that the shipping (air freight from bangalore) is going to be TERRIFICALLY expensive, possibly amounting to more than the total cost of the incense itself. if that is the case, i may want to get more incense, to even things out a little.

i should also get in touch with the three or four other incense sellers that have contacted me, recently, and see if they’re willing to front some money for some rare, desirable incense, at which point i could, theoretically, purchase more than 40 dozen.

fascism has taken hold

we are no longer a democracy, or even a constitutional republic. we are, now, a fascist dictatorship, under the rule of donald john trump.

if donald john trump decides that the election is unfair, he will make such a decision once the election is complete. if he doesn’t win, that will mean that the election is unfair.

we no longer have a president.

we have a dictator.

this has been announced, today, by his mouthpiece, kayleigh mcenany:

also, today, nancy pelosi told postmaster general louis dejoy to put back the post office infrastructure that he, recently, ripped out, in an attempt to thwart people being able to vote by mail, something donald john trump has clearly admitted to wanting done.

his response was to say that he has no intention of doing that.

if he doesn’t win, the election is “rigged”, but even if there’s a democratic landslide, he’s making sure that he’s going to win anyway he can, even if it includes cheating.

if that’s not fascism, i don’t know what is.

former president barack obama says that we can still save the country by voting.

fascists don’t let you “vote” them out of power. that’s not the way fascism works. 😠

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT

Phishing Emails Used to Deploy KONNI Malware

if you are in the habit of using micro$not software, particularly the office varients (word, excell, power point, etc.), you should beware of the new “phishing” (specifically, “spear-phishing”) attack which uses an infected microsoft word document as the vector.

solution: don’t use micro$hit.

alternative solution: don’t use windoesn’t, or, if you do, don’t open ANY files that you receive in email, from ANYONE, if you weren’t expecting it, keep your antivirus software up to date, backup everything, and pray that something doesn’t happen anyway.

this is just the most recent extension of the exploder control controversy, started by my friend fred, back when W95 was current… except that, now, instead of calling it “OLE or “ActiveX” they’re calling it “VBA“, and it can do a lot more nefarious things to your computer than the exploder control could do — and the exploder control was relatively benign, in that it ONLY shut down your computer without your say so…

but micro$lop made a BIG OL’ fuss about it, when fred actually got it signed, because of the fact that it used ActiveX APIs in EXACTLY the way they were supposed to be used, and the automated process of signing didn’t take into account what the control actually DID, and whether doing that thing, at that time, was actually USEFUL… 😂🤣

by the way, the exploder control was SPECIFICALLY designed to work with W95 and IE3, so, unless you’re browsing on your grandfather’s computer, you’ve got nothing to worry about. 😉

this is more what i was thinking about

i’ve done some more work with this and now it seems to be going more in the direction i was intending… but it’s got a bunch more work done to it, so i would expect it to at least be different than it was before, and, apart from some more glaringly obvious differences, for the most part, it is the same piece of music… and i like that.

Seven Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined (with a subliminal message)

as you can probably tell, instead of being five tracks, it is now seven, and it has had the addition of the subliminal message, which is somewhat more complex than i originally imagined. the seven tracks are “This is the day”, “The problem with growing boys”, “Sing to jeezis”, “WWJD radio”, “It ain’t over yet”, “Veggie tales – the selfish song”, and “I’m a little weenie”.

yes, i was trying to make a statement with the choice of tracks. no, that is not the subliminal message. keep guessing.

all of the tracks are heard forwards, and only once, with the exception of “It ain’t over yet” which is heard once reversed, and once forward, at the same time. all of them have had significant modifications to their pitch, speed, tempo, and/or a combination of those things, in order to fit them within the required parameters.

still more…

this is not finished, and it’s sort of not going where i intended, originally, but i like it anyway.

originally, i intended it to be A LOT more chaotic, and incorporate at least twice as many source tracks, and then i intended to put a “subliminal message” into it, which you could only hear if you sped the track up about 500 times, and muted all the other tracks…

and played it backwards…

of course, this would be impossible to do, because of the chaotic nature of sound, and the fact that i intended the subliminal message to be on its own track, and whispered, and then stretched 500 times, which would render it, for all intents and purposes, the same thing as silence…

homeopathic music…

which would, then, be completely and totally overwhelmed by the absolute chaos of the other tracks.

bounded chaotic mixing produces strange stability.

and what ended up happening, instead, is that the strange stability that is produced by bounded chaotic mixing appeared a lot sooner than i expected, and it sounds completely different than what i had envisioned.

as i said, i like it, but it’s not what i originally set out to create.

and, don’t worry… i haven’t put the subliminal message in yet, so you can relax. 😉

music is frustrating some times, but it never ceases to be fun…

or at least distracting…

anyway, what i’ve got so far is called
200811 Five Different Tracks, Manipulated and Combined

which is fine for a “contemporary classical” piece of music, but probably not what this is going to end up being called.

Honour is bestowed on those who deserve it

don’t “honour” anybody, even your parents, if they don’t respect your freedom to be unique. 🐉

more new music

Honour Is Bestowed On Those Who Deserve It

ETA 200811: it’s different today than it was yesterday. if you listened to it yesterday, but not today, flush your cache and listen to it again. it’s different.

at this point i’m going to have to start planning a release, eventually.

Blob Lardstone

ETA: bonus track also using bob larson sound sources: SATAN!

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

Emergency

171007 stairway

Θέληση

No Turning Back

heksenbotar!

the new house has a slime mold in the back yard!

200806 heksenbotar
200806 heksenbotar
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold
200806 slime-mold

apparently, it is triggered by “over-watering”, among other things… which makes sense, because i have run the sprinkler in or around that location for 4 days, now, including two days ago, when i “forgot” and ran the sprinkler for two or three hours… and last night it rained, so… 😉

200806 heksenbotar
200806 heksenbotar

in dutch it’s called “heksenbotar” which means “witches butter”. in scandanavian folklore, it is referred to as the “vomit of troll cats“. in english it’s called “dog’s vomit”. scientifically, it is called Fuligo septica. more information at Fuligo septica, the dog vomit slime mold.

AAAAAAHHH!!! NEW MUSIC!!!

so, i got a bunch of “christian” kiddie records on freecycle. they were actually CDs, but there were about 20 of them, and, usually, i collect these things off freecycle, to protect actual children from having to be brainwashed influenced by them. if they’re really awful, or if i think they have useful sound-source material, i rip them, and, then, usually, i shred and/or recycle them.

this is what happens when i think they might “have useful sound-source material”. 😈

it’s called No Turning Back and it makes me laugh… a lot

the new house

the new house has water that is supplied from a local artesian well.

this means that, for the first time in 40 years, i am drinking water from the tap, CONSENTUALLY.

for A LONG time now — probably closing in on 40 years — if there was artesian well water, i would prefer that to anything else. if it wasn’t available, for a while, i used a filtration sysem. it’s not that i’m freaked out about flouride in the tap water, it’s just that i know the pipes underneath my house.

i discovered well #5 through whispered hippie lore, shortly after i arrived in bellingham in 1979, but i didn’t actually learn its location until probably 10 years later, when i was hanging around with ruth, who took me there a number of times. it was during this time that i got my first 5 gallon bottle, one that i liberated from the advertising company i worked for.

then i got a second 5 gallon bottle… and a third… and a fourth… and a fifth… and a sixth… and a seventh, which came to me shortly before we moved.

i haven’t been to well #5 since we moved. 5 of the bottles are out in the shed. the other two went away with the old house garbage.

we knew about the water source before we moved in. that was one of the deciding factors. basically, it saves the gas money to get to lynnwood and back… which was one of the reasons for the sixth and seventh bottles in the first place.

we did NOT know that the house has central air conditioning. we knew that it had a heat pump/air conditioner upstairs, but not throughout the whole house. when we took possession, the heater was turned off, and when i turned it on, it came up in “heat” mode, and the air conditioner upstairs didn’t work at all… so, we fell back on the old reliable fans, that we had from the old place, and figured we’d deal with it later. when later came, about a month later, i called a HVAC specialist to come out and evaluate. he reset the computer and taught us how to use it, and now we have central AC throughout the whole house… it turns out that the previous owner (who had the system installed in 2018) hadn’t been using the air conditioner, and had only been using the system for heat. the air conditioner upstairs didn’t work because, if one of the controllers is set to cool and the other is set to heat, even if it is turned off, neither of them work, and you have to turn the whole system off to reset the computer before it works again.

i have NEVER lived in a house with central air conditioning. at best i have had one of those air conditioners that hang out a window, or ones that have a vent to a window. to me, a house with central air conditioning was “fancy”, and the only people i KNEW who lived in a house with central AC were my aunt and uncle, who were lanndowner/farmers in central illinois. even my grandparents, who all lived in central illinois, didn’t have central AC.

i suppose this may be the price we have to pay to live in the vicinity of DJ, who came into the kitchen — AGAIN — about a week ago — if i hadn’t been there, the dog would have followed him — and, according to moe who talked to the neighbours on the other side, they think DJ may have taken a shit in their fountain… it could be, he wanders the neighbourhood with no pants… 😒 we put a digital lock on the front door, that automatically locks when someone who has the digital key passes through, so that there will be no more unwanted kid or dog in the kitchen. we’ve had to put up a visual barrier (shade cloth) on the fence, to prevent their dogs from bothering our dogs.

but the more we do to isolate ourselves, and fend off their kid, the more it just enables them to slack off and be lousy pet owners and worse parents. i’m afraid it’s just a matter of time before we have to call CPS, the police, or both. i’m aware of the fact that “the subgenius needs slack”, but when it comes to neglecting your handicapped kid, it’s going too far.

whew?

the latest about aparajita:

no good news, i’m afraid. i’m down to my last two boxes of aparajita, and then i am COMPLETELY OUT… for retail sale.

(my “personal stash”, of around a kilo, is the exception, of course.) 😉

HOWEVER, i am cautiously optimistic. an email i sent on 12th april has JUST been responded to by mavana’s representative in india, a guy named arun, with whom i have dealt extensively, in the past… 15 to 20 years ago…

he didn’t respond to any of my direct questions regarding aparajita, he asked how i was getting along in these times of global pandemic…

the global pandemic is fine, and all that, but I WANT MY APARAJITA, GODDAMNIT!

and it’s not JUST for me: i’ve got two other retailers who are breathing down my neck for it, and, just a couple of months ago, i had to PREVENT some unknown miscreant person from swooping in and buying ALL my remaining stock, just prior to ravi shankar’s birthday celebration — the only reason he wasn’t successful is that the first of his two credit cards was declined, which gave me the chance to go in to the web site and make the changes necessary to prevent him from doing so again — so i KNOW the demand is out there.

comet NEOWISE

200719 comet NEOWISE
200719 comet NEOWISE

comet NEOWISE, as seen from approximately 47°18’16.5″N 121°06’07.4″W. the next time we’ll see it is in 6,700 years.

it was visible with the naked eye, but this photo was taken by my wife and her awesome camera which is controlled by her phone… the camera and the phone are separate objects, linked by bluetooth. she can make adjustments to the camera without actually touching the camera, which is essential when you’re talking about extended exposure times. this particular exposure was around 15 seconds…

also, the lack of having to develop the film and make prints before discovering how awesome (or shitty) the picture is, adds A LOT to the whole experience. 😉

which reminds me…

XKCD - Slide Trombone
XKCD – Slide Trombone

a long time ago — probably mid-1970s or thereabouts — i was at the Marrowstone Music Festival at Fort Flagler State Park (which should give those people who know about such things a much clearer idea of exactly when this occurred) for a two week “intensive”, where we learned, rehearsed, an at the end of the two weeks, performed a concert of orchestral works.

a lot of the trombone parts were mostly rests, with occasional blasts of fanfare, or glissandos, or other suchlike “trombone” things. trombones in a classical orchestra have a reputation for being lazy, and jokers, but that’s only because we have nothing else to do! nobody writes for trombones in a classical orchestra setting!

it’s true! beethoven, the quintessential classical composer, wrote NINE symphonies for “full orchestra”, but he only wrote one piece that had parts for trombones, the Three Equale for Four Trombones, which is one of the most beautiful pieces in existence.

for the most part, the classical period was before what we know as the modern “trombone” existed, and, at best, the “trombone” parts that exist are usually parts for serpent or ophecleide which have been transposed.

after one morning rehearsal — where the trombones had rests and didn’t play at all for the 4½ hours of the morning rehearsal — we were all feeling a little punchy as we went to lunch. for some time, i had been warning the other trombonists that, if they left their instruments out, on the stage, when we weren’t there, something bad could happen to their instruments… i was thinking something along the lines of “someone bumped into your horn and now the horn has a disabling slide injury that will cost several hundred dollars to repair” or something like that, and i always put MY horn away, when i was not actively holding it in my hand, but, despite my almost constant, annoying reminders, the other trombonists left their horns on the stage as we went to lunch.

so, i developed a plan…

while the other trombone players were eating lunch, i attacked their horns.

trombones that have “attachments” (i.e. every trombone that is LOWER THAN a “tenor” trombone) have at least one valve, which lowers the trombone’s pitch. when that valve is not activated (most of the time), the trombone plays in B-flat, but when the valve is activated, it plays in F (or some other key, depending on other things). most trombone players that have a valve, only use it occasionally, to play notes that they would, otherwise, be unable to play reliably. the valve section of tubing is like a separate little bit of the trombone, that is only used occasionally. it has its own tuning slide, and, when the horn is being played without the valve, the extra tubing is sealed off from the main part of the instrument.

what i did was remove the tuning slides for the valve sections of their horns, and filled the valve sections with water. then, turning the horns upside down, i replaced the valve section tuning slide, and placed the horn, right side up, on the stand, so that it looked like it hadn’t been touched.

when they came back from lunch, they picked up their horns, blew a few notes, and then cycled the valve, which released the water into the main part of their horns…

BLLLOOOOP!!!

then they “emptied their spit valves”, thinking that their horns just had water that accumulates when they went to lunch… after about 5 minutes of emptying their spit valves, they gave up, and took the slides off and dumped the rest of the water out of their instruments…

all the while i was busting a gut trying NOT to laugh, which, among other things, would have disturbed the rest of the people in the rehearsal, some of whom were actually rehearsing by this time…

and, you know what?

they never left their horns out on the stage after that… 🤣

pitchers

string ball
string ball

this is my current string ball. it’s about 5 years old, and it already looks different because i’ve added string to it. i use a very loose definition of “string”: there’s some metal cable and a fair amount of plastic in there as well… it’s a “string-like” ball, in that regard, but at this point nobody would know unless they actually unwound it… which, under the worst of circumstances, is very unlikely.

in the past, i have been the owner of a couple of string balls that were considerably bigger… one was big enough that, when i was holding it in my lap, you couldn’t see my head. i’m hoping that this one will reach that size, or bigger, eventually. 😉

outside our new house
outside our new house

our new house has a whole bunch of interesting things that were left behind by the previous owners. i get the impression that i would NOT have gotten along with them in the slightest (they were #drumpf-supporters), but this is one of the things they left behind. it’s better that way.

office
office

this is my office. it’s also the music room.

office
office

music & computers
music & computers

this is the music room part. i’ve got my piano and my sythesizer set up, for the first time since i got married (which was 22 years ago), and, because of the fact that i bought a mixer in the interim, i now have it set up so that i can use the synthesizer (a yamaha DX7) as a synthesizer AND as a MIDI-controller. as a MIDI-controller, i’ve got old, familiar Reason on my laptop, and i’ve got a bunch of stuff that’s MIDI-controllable on my tablet, which i haven’t played with at all, because i haven’t had room to set it up. i got the DX7 a SuperMAX+ upgrade a couple of years ago, which was also after the battery died, so i’m going to have to learn how to use it all over again from scratch, and i’ve got to reload all of the stock noises (which i’ve got, thanks to a MIDI-controlled patch library on my laptop), but that’s part of the “fun” of COVID19 lockdown… i’ve got the time to do that sort of thing…

this is the result of the “shakedown-cruise” of the audio studio, called The Diambola Mikado Fun Pack Mix #1*. it’s made from ONE of the samples in The Diambola Mikado Fun Pack by Ergo Phizmiz, which is taken from his work, called The Diambola Mikado.

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA

last month i was going crazy, so monique took me to see the National Wild Horses Monument in quincy.

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA

200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
200607 National Wild Horses Monument, Quincy, WA
it was on the top of a bluff overlooking the columbia river, in eastern washington.

milestones
milestones

milestones
milestones

i don’t know why this photo came out so fuzzy, compared to the other ones… but, unfortunately, it’s the only one i got of this particular milestone, so you might have to squint to see it…

200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA
200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA

the other day i had occasion to wander through Celebration Park in auburn. when i first lived in auburn, in the early 1970s, what is now celebration park was a huge, essentially vacant lot that had some abandoned businesses on it. nobody wanted it as residential property, because it was in the flight path for the airport. at some point, in the distant past (before 1960) i think the property had been an airfield, or something like that, but, by the time i got there, that was long gone, as well. in the ’90s, when i was in bellingham, the city bought the property and created celebration park, but it still has a lot of the same aspects that made it a vacant lot, including a lot of wooded areas where homeless people camp, and drug addicts shoot up…

which is where i found this… interesting… little tidbit.

200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA
200623 Celebration Park, Auburn, WA

200704 Ross Lake
200704 Ross Lake

on the 4th of july, we went on a road trip, so that the dogs wouldn’t freak out because of all the fireworks. we went through the Ross Lake National Recreation Area and saw this waterfall.
BOUNDED CHAOTIC MIXING PRODUCES STRANGE STABILITY!

i have been around the sun 60 times
i have been around the sun 60 times

my 60th time around the sun was celebrated on saturday. never, in my wildest imaginations did i ever think i was going to be 60 years old… in fact, my imaginings never exceeded age 40, which means that i’ve been living new and unimagined territory for 20 years now.

we celebrated by having a “gathering” in our back yard. kiki, sasha, stuart, d. barnes and jesse, his son, and hobbit and lucifer, his… partner? i’m not sure exactly what their status is, but they’ve been together for 1719 years or so… and they all brought musical instruments, and we had a “jam session” in the back yard. monique made the german chocolate cake (my favourite), and cupcakes with raspberry butter cream frosting, made with raspberries from our back yard…

it was good to see those folks, after such a long time, and it was really good to play music with them.

* i am MORTIFIED! i read the title as “The Diambola Mikado” and named my piece “The Diambola Mikado…” and then i find out that the name is actually “The Dimbola Mikado”… i’ve already released my mix, and even presented it to mr. phizmiz — who didn’t say anything, which makes me wonder whether he’s just being polite, or whether he didn’t notice… oh GAWD, whatever am i to do??? 😭

okay, i don’t usually do this, but…

i’ve never seen the movie “Soylent Green” (although i have read the book on which it was “loosely based”, called Make Room! Make Room!), but i’ve heard all the quotes, and seen a bunch of youtube excerpts…

so, when they first came out with a product called “soylent”, i was skeptical, to say the least.

but then, i had occasion to start drinking a “protein shake” on a regular basis, and i discovered that, while ALL the others had “sugar” as one of their first five ingredients, soylent contains NO sugar… yes, it has other sweeteners, but they are not within the first five ingredients.

and it tastes good.

then, they came out with soylent mint and chocolate, in a green bottle… “soylent green”…

i’m sure some executive, in some penthouse office somewhere, is chortling with evil glee at that one. 😼

and it tastes FANTASTIC!

seriously, i could get addicted to this stuff!

Soylent Green - chocolate & mint - YUM!
Soylent Green – chocolate & mint – YUM!

i realise it’s got a name that gives you nightmares, but it’s really good! you should try it… in part, BECAUSE of the fact that it’s name gives you nightmares! 😎👍

creativity… at last!

i finished a sculpture, yesterday.

i’m tempted to call it “Sweet Darling”, because that’s what the first, random person i didn’t know said when i showed it to her…

200625 sculpture
200625 sculpture

but it’s not particularly appropriate, and she was a high school music teacher for 30 years, so it may not be an entirely accurate critique…

200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up
200625 close-up

maybe “Bob”-o-phone, or Tele-“Bob”… 😉

the date of up

today is our 22nd wedding anniversary. i got monique a yellow rose tree to replace some of the cat-killing lillies that are in our front yard… or possibly to screen the (finally finished, two months late) fence from the outside dogs… who HATE the fact that, when they come to fence-fight, our dogs go inside, or don’t go inside, but don’t fence-fight, and get TREATS for not fence-fighting… i suppose i’ll let her decide where to put it, but those are the two spots i would choose.

as i said, the fence is finally finished… only two months later than it was supposed to be, but it makes SO! MUCH! DIFFERENCE! i actually watched DJ come up on the front porch (nobody was home but me), and when he got no response, he went around the side of the house, came across the 6-foot fence, and DID NOT come up on the back deck, or start hammering on the sliding glass door! 👍 seriously, i feel sorry for the kid, because his parents are totally overwhelmed, and have only the slightest clues how to deal with an autistic kid… and, apparently (i haven’t actually seen anything, but i’ve heard WAY more than enough to get a good idea), part of the way that they DO have of dealing with him, involves a fair amount of yelling and hitting… 🙁

i still haven’t found a place that i can walk, comfortably, when i’m on mushrooms, but, because of the fact that we’re, essentially, surrounded by state forests, watersheds and suchlike, i’m sure that i’ll find something, eventually. it’s been tough, though, particularly with the voluntary quarantining, social distancing, and constantly decreasing supply, i’ve been wanting to take mushrooms A LOT more than i have, recently.

i’m making a sculpture out of found objects, in a disused gohonzon that i’ve been carrying around for AT LEAST 20 years. so far i’ve used two 11 balls from two different sets of pool balls, a single, spike-heel, patent leather shoe that i found in the parking lot of the hospital where my father-in-law died, a grey ball from a track-ball-mouse-thing, several random pages from a gideon bible, a pair of reading glasses, a couple of old, but new-in-container antenna decorations from ivar’s fish and chips, a fishing lure, a couple of random vacuum tubes, a bunch of organ stops, a bright green, micro-fibre duster, and various parts of an old telephone… and liberal quantities of hot glue. it’s almost finished, but i still have to figure out what to make the “mouth” out of, and i’ve got to take apart the phone to get the cradle for the receiver out of it, because that’s the part that i’m using. i’ve been working on it for a couple of weeks now. it feels strange to be “creative” after such a long time. but it feels strangely like home. it’s really good to have a workshop that i know where everything is (even though i’m still unpacking stuff), and not have to move stuff out of the way, or figure out where to put the other unfinished projects before starting.

it’s taken almost four years, but i think the united states is beginning to realise that, possibly, electing drumpf may have been a mistake… although we didn’t ACTUALLY elect him, the electoral college did that, but that’s an entirely different story. and it’s taken the fact that drumpf WAS IMPEACHED, along with 150,000 needless deaths from COVID19 (and climbing hourly) because of his incompetence, constant, blatantly overt lying, corruption and crony-ism, and weeks of protest over dramatically increasing police brutality… and we’re still not getting rid of him and reversing course on everything he put in place, we’re just talking about the possibility that, maybe, it might have been a mistake to elect him. 😠

and it doesn’t look like, if he’s actually voted out of office in november (which there is still a signifiant probability that he won’t be, for one reason or another), it’s going to get significantly better any time soon, despite the fact that, IF he’s voted out of office, the replacement will be a democrat. joe biden is the presumptive democratic candidate, and the only reason why joe biden is looking AT ALL good, at this point, is because drumpf is looking so PHENOMENALLY awful. joe biden waffles too much on things like cannabis and “black lives matter”, is less than exemplary in his recollection of his personal contributions to history, has a tendency to get confused and/or forget what he’s saying which, some have said, is a precursor to dementia, and he has a creepy, huggy, kissy, fondling attitude towards, especially, younger women and girls, that makes my skin crawl. 😖 unfortunately, from my point of view, the only logical candidate is vermin supreme, and if this weren’t such an important election for drumpf to LOSE, i would vote for him without reservation.

incense

since monday, 200608, i have gotten SEVENTEEN new incense orders, which works out to 3.4 new orders a day, in 5 days. 🤨

under ordinary circumstances, i get 3 or 4 new orders A MONTH. 😖

someone must have mentioned my web site on their podcast, or something.

also, it may be that someone mentioned my web site on a podcast about ravi shankar or the beatles, because by far and away the most incense i have sold since 200608, has been aparajita. now there are approximately 35 boxes left before i run completely out. 😒

MUA

today is the third day of NOT using Kontact, the MUA that i have been using pretty much ever since i switched to linux, back in the dark ages.

i really liked kontact. it did EXACTLY what i wanted it to do: it handled all of my email addresses in a logical way, made it easy to switch from one email address to another, worked well with my business set-up, my installation of sigrot

but it had a fatal flaw which i have been trying (and, mostly, succeeding) to work around for quite some time now, and that is its use of akonadi, which is the interface between the MUA and the SQL database that lives behind it.

for the first few years i didn’t even notice a problem, but then i upgraded my operating system, and everything blew up. i ended up installing the new operating system from scratch, and summarily trashing three or four years worth of collected email. it was a difficult process, but i got through it.

through the years, i have tried installing a number of MUAs, in order to try and get away from kontact, but either they didn’t do what i wanted, or they simply didn’t work at all, so i gave up and went back to fighting with kontact…

“the devil you know”, right?

after that, there were a number of times, primarily during updates or upgrades, when i had to battle with kontact/akonadi/SQL, to get it to work, and i had to trash a number of years of collected email at least one more time before reaching the point at which i am, now.

four days ago, i ran the operating system updates, and, after i was done, i tried starting up kontact, and nothing happened. i tried starting it from the konsole (rather than “clicking” on the “icon”, which is how you start it in the GUI), got a vaguely worded, cryptic message about being unable to start “hebrew.wgz.sizes.sonnet.plugins.hspell”, and then it hung up.

which is very odd, because i have never even installed the hebrew language pack, and have no idea why it would even be attempting to start the hebrew spelling dictionary…

i tried asking Kubuntu Forums for solutions, and got the same answer that i have gotten every OTHER time i have asked about how to fix kontact, which is “kontact is broken, install thunderbird instead”.

so i tried installing thunderbird (AGAIN), and, after having some “words” with my operating system about whether this new piece of software actually worked (or not), i successfully installed and more-or-less correctly configured it, and started using it.

it’s a little different than kontact… or, at least, my perception is that it is a little different than kontact. after some futzing around, i learned how to configure it to use more than one email address — actually, i may have done it “the other way” first, because the terminology for “accounts” and “identities” is slightly different on kontact — and, as far as i can tell, there is no easy way to add an “X-” header line to outgoing email, like there is in kontact, but that may just be because i have yet to find the place where such a thing is configured.

and, then, yesterday (after i had, more or less, given up on kontact), i discovered that kontact actually worked… it had been a few days since i had given up trying to start it, because of “hebrew.wgz.sizes.sonnet.plugins.hspell” not working, and, without thinking about it, i “clicked” on the “icon” and kontact sprang back to life!

so, the first thing i did was transfer all of my contacts, and most of my RSS feeds (i got bored and antsy, so i’ll finish them later) to thunderbird.

for some time, now, when i “quit” kontact (select “quit” from the “file” menu), i have had to go to the konsole, and “kill” the process that kontact was running, so that it would actually quit. i also discovered that “kill”ing kontact STILL allows incoming mail to be downloaded, a process that i don’t completely understand (it may have something to do with akonadi interacting with the POP3 mailserver).

also, for even longer (i recall at least two kontact upgrades that have had this behaviour, prior to the one i am currently (not) using), when i first start kontact, after booting up my computer in the morning, about 98.9% of the time it gets to the point where it’s displaying correctly on the screen, but before i have the chance to do anything, it puts up a dialogue box that says that there has been a fatal error and kontact will quit now. the dialogue doesn’t say what the fatal error is, and it only has an “OK” button, which makes everything disappear when i click it. under this circumstance, when i run “ps -u salamandir | grep kontact” in the konsole, kontact is, actually, not running (unlike when i select “quit” from the “file” menu), and if i restart kontact, it works without any further problems…

except that, sometimes (usually at least once a day), it freezes for anywhere from a few seconds to several minutes, and when it does, there’s a very good chance (greater than half the time) that it will crash. usually this happens when i have just selected a message to reply to, and/or usually it happens when it is in the process of downloading new mail or RSS feeds. sometimes i can anticipate when it’s going to happen, when i have to reply to a message and it is in the process of downloading.

thunderbird doesn’t have these problem. when i select “quit” from the “file” menu, in thunderbird, it actually quits, and doesn’t keep downloading mail anyway. thunderbird doesn’t crash for no reason, or freeze and crash. it may not be kontact, but on the other hand, it’s not kontact.

my impression is that the operating system struggles when there is more than one MUA running, and, because of the difficulties i’ve been having getting kontact to quit, i don’t like to keep both of them running for long periods of time, especially since, apparently, kontact’s interface with the POP3 mailserver takes precedence, even after i “quit” and “kill” it, and even when i start up thunderbird first (which it shouldn’t, but it goes to support the fact that “kontact is broken”).

Rule #3

Rule #3 states “Spammers are stooOOpid.”

if you need an example of rule #3, i have one for you:

the spammer sent mail from a computer called… get this…

UCEBOX.CO.ZA

😝😂🤣🤪🤦😠🤬

for those of you who still don’t “get” it, not only is the computer in south africa, home to all things shady and illegal, but “UCE” stands for “Unsolicited Commercial Email”… in other words, “spam”.

it’s as though they’re saying, “fuck yeah, we’re so gawd-damned proud of the illegal spam we send, that we’re going to name our computer after it, and nobody will care, even if they do notice!”

people should have to take an intelligence test before being allowed into the human race.

seriously.

in response to the murder of George Floyd by police

200531 Serve and Protect sculpture, Salt Lake City
200531 Serve and Protect sculpture, Salt Lake City

increasingly violent protests have been escalating globally. if we had all listened to colin kaepernick, way back when, we might have avoided this.

meanwhile, drumpf has issued an executive order making antifa a “terrorist organisation” — meaningless, as antifa isn’t an “organisation”, but convenient, because now drumpf can claim anybody is antifa, and have them arrested — and inciting violence on twitter with rhetoric recycled from the republican side of the ’60s-era race riots.

and “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” means the same thing 50 years ago as it does now.

COVID19 has facilitated increasing fascism. it’s just a matter of time before drumpf declares martial law, and/or someone assassinates him.

something that would be supremely ironic, in drumpf’s case: “assassinate” is a word that begins with not one, but two “ass”es…

ahhhh! now we find out…

my newly redesigned site uses the enfold theme, which has faulty (under certain circumstances) caching and optimisation routines, so we use lightspeed cache, which doesn’t have those (particular) faults, and works better (under certain circumstances).

except, last year, prior to my site being redesigned (when i was still using the avada theme), i was told (by SOMEONE) to disable lightspeed cache, because it had some sort of incompatibility with… something…

so, i went through the site redesign with a disabled lightspeed plugin. no problem, until i put in the enfold theme, and whatever circumstances that cause the caching and optimisation routines to fail, were happening, which was the cause of the first go-round.

turning on the lightspeed cache fixed the first go-round, but whatever incompatibility i was trying to avoid by having the lightspeed plugin disabled, took effect, which was the cause of the second go-round.

which was further confused by the fact that part of my routine for fixing the first go-round was good enough that it fixed the second go-round well enough that i didn’t find out about it until it was too late.

what i found out, today, via my web developer, is that the people who make the lightspeed cache and webhost python (my host provider) have their own battle going on: on webhost python’s servers (which include mine), the lightspeed plugin causes expired transients to multiply and duplicate. lightspeed says it’s python’s fault. python disagrees…

on the record…

OFF the record, python agrees that there is a bug in their system that they haven’t found yet… compounded by the fact that it was THEIR ERROR which caused the third go-round… 😠 but it’s not for me to say “i told you so”, especially with my already somewhat precarious position with this particular host provider…

and so, i’m caught in the middle. 😒

apparently, for the time being anyway, the plan is to disable the caching modules on both enfold AND lightspeed, keep an eye on the database (which hasn’t blown up since implementing this plan), clear the expired transients manually, and examine other options for a cache.

😒

oy! why won’t this just go away?

at midnight (which was 3:00 in the morning, florida time), i got a message saying that the database was blowing up again. they said it was 183 GIGABYTES

because of the fact that i was asleep (thankfully), i didn’t actually read the message until 7:00 my time (10:00 florida time). i immediately logged into my web server, and discovered that the MySQL disk usage was lower than i have ever seen it before, which is to say 253 MEGABYTES

what this tells me is that there’s something else going on besides this whole “enfold-theme-not-caching-correctly” horseshit.

which is bad.

it also tells me that, whatever it is, we haven’t actually found it… we may have found another problem, but not the one for which we’re looking… yet…

which is bad, but not as bad as it could be.

it also tells me that, whatever it is that is going wrong, the cronjob that we put in place to solve the problem, works, REGARDLESS of the actual problem.

which is good.

but, when it comes right down to it, it is not good for me to be so stressed out about something over which i have very little control.

which is bad.

something has to be done. this is ridiculous.

oh, but it couldn’t have ended there, now, could it?

and the answer is, a big, fat, OF COURSE NOT! 😒

i woke up this morning, and couldn’t log in to my web site… at, like, SEVEN in the fucking morning, i was wide awake because i couldn’t log in to my web site.

at NINE, the web designer gets back to me. he can’t login either. apparently the host provider has disabled the config file that makes everything work — i login using SSH, and there’s the file… everything LOOKS okay, but… the host provider apparently did SOMETHING to my web site. as far as i can tell, everything works, sort of, until you get one or two pages deep, at which point it gives me a “unable to connect to database” error.

😠

so, i file a ticket with the host provider. a couple hours later, (all the while, i’m sweating bullets) they get back to me, apparently, the database blew up AGAIN. they disabled the config file so that nobody could use the web site, because the database was growing by gigabytes A SECOND.

😠😠

eventually (seriously, they took most of the day to UN-disable the config file), the web designer went in and turned off everything having to do with the built-in, screwy, does-not-work, enfold caching and optimisation routines, turned OFF “store transients”, and set a cronfile to delete three rows of a table in the database, every hour.

😠😠😠😠‼‼‼

this better be the last of it for a while, because i’m just about ready to throw in the towel.

then, on the other hand, there’s moe…

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

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

seems logical, right?

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

all this happened around the middle of march.

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

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

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

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

database update

the database is fixed. 😌

what happened? that’s complex.

recently, i had my web site redesigned. the new design uses the “Enfold” theme, which uses a lot of what they call “transients” to maintain the look and feel of the site, regardless of the platform on which it’s being viewed. “transients” are sort of like cookies, except that you can’t opt out of them, and they don’t contain any personally identifying information. some of these “transients” expire immediately when a person leaves the web site, and others persist, for a few minutes to several days. they persist on your computer AND on my server… in the one of the tables in the database…

the “Enfold” theme has automatic caching and garbage collection routines that are supposed to handle these expired “transients”, but, because it’s a wordpress theme, it doesn’t do all the jobs very well… or, sometimes, at all… which is why i also use a caching plugin that actually, you know, works ALL the time, and not only some of the time… 😒

except that, for some reason, prior to my site upgrade, “someone” (and i have yet to identify who, but it was either my web designer or my host provider) recommended that i disable the caching plugin, because of some issue with the new version of wordpress… or something like that… as i said, i don’t remember. i distinctly remember disabling the plugin on someone’s recommendation, i just don’t remember exactly who, when or why. 😖

one way or the other, my caching plugin was disabled, which meant that, when i installed the new theme, it was relying on the not-working-the-way-it-should, internal cache… which, basically, didn’t work, causing the table in the database to expand beyond my disk space allocation. 🤯

it didn’t show up in my cPanel because i wasn’t looking at the SQL disk space, which is “below the fold” of my browser, and i just didn’t scroll down far enough to see it. 😕 during the nightly automatic backup, it was overwhelming the server for everybody, not just me. i had to pay my web designer for two days of poking through piles of arcane SQL code and deleting bits and pieces of it. it was not fun.

the solution was to enable the caching plugin(!), and to install a “transient manager” plugin, so that i can delete the expired transients from the wordpress dashboard, and not from the SQL database,… which requires A LOT more “knowing what to look for” and “knowing how to delete stuff without damaging other stuff” than i have on board, personally.

aparajita

ravi shankar’s 100th birthday was the 7th of april.

ravi shankar’s favourite incense was aparajita.

at this point, i believe i am responsible for THE ONLY retail store in the united states which sells aparajita, online.

i am aware of several local retail stores which sell aparajita in their store, but not online. i’m fairly sure that there are others, in other cities. i am also aware of at least two retail stores (i won’t give them the satisfaction of a link) who say that they sell aparajita online, but they’re either perennially “out of stock”, or flat out rip people off, and hope that nobody notices. i have no doubt that there are others of that sort out there, as well.

recently, i had to prevent a guy from los angeles from buying ALL of my aparajita. he said he was working with ravi shankar’s family and the ravi shankar foundation on a special 100th birthday celebration. problem was, his credit card failed stripe, and the order was automatically cancelled… and then i learned how to set an item limit, so that people like him can’t just swoop in and buy all of my stock…

i’ve actually had this happen before: a few years ago, i stocked an incense that was made for the theosophical society by shroff agarbathies, that shroff called “Adyar Meditation Incense”, but the theosophical people called it “Leadbeater Incense”, and it was fantastic, rose, agar, and sandalwood, and i was the ONLY agarbathiwala outside of the theosophical society that carried it… but then the government of india put some sort of restrictions on the export of sandalwood, and shroff stopped making it. i found out about it when someone from florida (i suspect a theosophist, actually) bought TWO KILOS of adyar meditation incense, in 100 gram packages, and when i tried to order more, i couldn’t.

fortunately, i held back some for my own, personal “stash”, but since then i have been very wary of people who buy a huge quantity of one particular incense.

and, the fact is, i’ve been having some trouble locating a supplier of aparajita… AGAIN… 😒

my contact at mavana stopped responding to my emails, the mavana web site died, both of the suppliers (one in florida, one in new york) that carried it have gone out of business, and all of the other suppliers i’ve talked to say that they won’t carry it because aparajita smells too “medicinal”, whatever that means… 😟

my only hope is the fact that, in india, it is still popular enough that it’s being “copied” by at least two incense manufacturers… they haven’t got the recipe for the incense, but their labeling and package artwork is a direct rip-off of the authentic aparajita.

so, i guess i may have to actually travel to india eventually… 😒

databases

my first direct experience with databases was in the late 1980s or early 1990s, when i got a “job”, “working” for this… guy…

i don’t remember his name — possibly “henry” — but i remember his attitudes: he was always right, nothing he thought of had ever been thought of before, he was the richest, smartest, trendiest, most “on-top-of-it” dude that ever hit the face of the planet, and GAWD HELP YOU if you EVER got in his way.

needless to say, the “job” didn’t last long. it started with him demonstrating how generous he was, by buying me a disk caddy, so that i would have somewhere to keep all of the disks i was going to accumulate working for him. then he started asking me about computers. at the time, i was NOT a “computer geek”, nor did i want to be one (my father was one of the original “computer geeks” and i DID NOT want to be like my father), but i knew about computers because i had been working as a typesetter for a few years. he asked me what i didn’t know about computers, and one of the first things out of my mouth was “databases”, so he signed me up for a week of training with “FileMaker”…

what i learned was a bunch of recycled stuff from my already ample knowledge of microslut word and excel, with a bunch of “hypercard-like” stuff which i sort of vaguely understood (but nobody i knew used hypercard for anything, so i never really knew what i had missed until years later), and, at the same time i was doing this training, i was helping this… guy… clean out his house, because he was going through a divorce, or some awful shit like that, and he, basically, had to move EVERYTHING that was “his”, out of one house and into another, that was a few houses down the street…

which is where i learned that his “rich” persona was heavily financed by several HUNDRED overdrawn credit cards — he had been using one credit card to pay off another credit card, and when he ran out of credit cards, he would just start up a new one, and use it to pay off the previous ones… FOR YEARS… — at which point i decided that working for this guy might not be such a good idea, if i wanted to get paid.

quite apart from the fact that working for him was REALLY annoying…

so, ultimately, i spent a week learning really complex software that i never got to use for anything, and that was it, until i got my job at software.com, testing email servers, in 2001.

and, for all of my work with databases at software.com/openwave, i still don’t have a really solid grasp of what they are… where they “live”, what they do, how they work… anything… all i know is that, under the right set of circumstances, you can give “commands” to a database, and it will perform certain functions with a variety of different “objects”, the outcomes of which can be used in a multitude of different ways, depending on what is contained in your database.

i get the impression that databases are a lot like the world wide web, in that they both have a lot of objects (web sites) that are linked together in a somewhat-haphazard, but definitely organised way.

so, you can imagine that it was something of a surprise when, the other morning, i woke up, checked my email, and discovered two somewhat alarming notices. the first was warning me that i had used up 90% of my disk space on my server, and the other was warning me that a “table” on my main database was malfunctioning… or something… and collecting 251 GB worth of data… which, somehow, was NOT showing up in my cPanel, which says “Disk Usage 18.43 GB / 292.97 GB”…

and, of course, it happened on a sunday, when nobody’s in the office, and on mothers day, when even fewer people are in the office, and during a PANDEMIC… 😒

so, first thing this morning, after waking up to a broken heat pump, and a wife who wrenched her back, i wrote to my web designer, who said, oh yeah, we’ve seen this kind of thing before, it’ll cost between $200 and $500 to fix it…

and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S WRONG… 😖

you’re probably wondering why i posted this…

मनोबुद्ध्यहङ्कारचित्तानि नाहं
न च श्रोत्रजिह्वे न च घ्राणनेत्रे ।
न च व्योमभूमिः न तेजो न वायुः
चिदानन्दरूपः शिवोऽहं शिवोऽहम् ॥ १॥

The processors
Manas, buddhi, ahaṅkāra and chitta are the qualitative differentiation within the mind. They are used interchangeably based on context, and yet they are different.

Manas is the faculty of perception, the instrument by which the objects of senses affect the Atman. It is the faculty of thought, desire, imagination. Buddhi is the intellect, by which one discerns, comprehends. Ahaṅkāra is the sense of identity, that which creates ‘I-ness’, ego. Chittam is the one that observes, is aware. All these are the faculties that process what comes from outside.

I am none of these processors.

The instruments
Shrotra is the ear, the organ of hearing. Jihvā is tongue, the organ of tasting. Ghrāṅa is nose, the sense of smelling. And netra is eye, the sense of seeing.

I am none of these instruments.

The building blocks of matter
Vyoma is the space, the gap between the matter. It is the space between planetary bodies as well as the space around Earth, and even the space inside anything. It is also one of the five basic elements.

Bhūmi is the Earth, or the solid matter.

Tejas is the heat or light (both interconnected) like the fire or the Sun.

Vāyu is the wind, the circulating forces, not just on Earth but also inside our bodies, responsible for circulating whether nutrition or blood etc.

I am none of these building blocks of which the material world is made.

The faculties get the information using the senses about the outside world.

I am none of them.

I am pure bliss form of consciousness.
I am Shiva, I am Shiva.

— Practical Sanskrit

—–

it is Adi Shankara‘s birthday, and, if i can be said to “follow” a “religion”, it would probably be the one espoused by adi shankara.

the reason for this is that adi shankara spoke of a “god” which exists beyond what we experience as “good” or “evil”. this “god” is neither (or, possibly, both) “good” and/or “evil”… which is, pretty much, EXACTLY the kind of “god” i feel, which “operates” this plane of existence. this “god” both “exists” and “does not exist”, at the same time, creating no contradictions. this “god” is both “illogical” and “logical” at the same time, creating no contradictions…

and if you don’t understand this, you probably think i’m crazy.

so be it.

this sanskrit shloka, part of Nirvanashatkam is, pretty much, exactly what i believe about myself: i may have all these things holding me back; depression, anhedonia, a brain injury, etc., but those are relics of 60 years of living in this plane of existence. in spite of how “real” these things are, in spite of how “real” these things seem to be TO ME, they are NOT “who i am”, in the “real” sense of the word. i am beyond all this: i “really” exist in a realm where “good” and “evil” are two sides of the same coin… and that “coin” is worth less than a penny.

maybe i was a bit hasty…

it’s definitely “not all bad” living here, but things are definitely NOT “normal”, by any stretch of the imagination.

we were supposed to have a fence installed… BEFORE we moved in… but COVID19 put an end to such frivolities, and we moved in anyway.

now we’ve got to leash the dogs when we let them out to go potty. not because our dogs would be irresponsible, but because the other dog owners on the street are being irresponsible… there are three dogs, from two separate houses, which “roam freely” on the street: no fence, no leash, no humans… three separate dogs. one of them (bentley) is friendly enough when he’s not startled, but the other two (hershey is one of them, i don’t know what the other one is called) are less amicable, and hershey likes to push his limits.

but if it were just the dogs, it would be tolerable… barely…

however, there’s also the issue of DJ, a seven-year-old autistic boy who lives at the end of the street, two doors down from us. this morning, i went out to the mailbox and discovered a partially clothed (he was wearing a shirt, but no pants) DJ, and the two aforementioned dogs, wandering aimlessly by the pond across from our house. i said hi, but DJ doesn’t speak. so i went back into MY house, only to have DJ try to follow me. and when he couldn’t get in the front door, he went around to the back, and climbed over three locked gates and x-pens we put on the deck to discourage the other dogs from coming up on the deck…

apparently, the previous owners thought DJ was cute, or something, and gave him cookies when he showed up on their porch.

and he is “cute” in the way that all children are “cute”… but when encountering him, sans adult, and sans pants, it is a bit unnerving… and when he tried to follow me into the house, and then climbed over the barriers in his way to get onto our back deck, it was more than a little disturbing.

particularly since moe “facebook-messaged” his parents, waited half an hour, got no response, went to his parents’ door, and woke up his father, before she could get help for him.

on one hand, it’s a really good thing we didn’t call the cops, but on the other hand… what parent, in their right mind, allows their non-verbal, autistic child to wander the neighbourhood WITHOUT PANTS, on a friday morning?? and if we hadn’t been warned, ahead of time (moe and her farcebook group saved the day), we probably would have called the cops… and it would have served them right, although it would, doubtless, have been incredibly traumatic for the kid.

it’s a REALLY GOOD THING that, when the fence is installed (we’re hoping for next week… really…), it will be a SIX FOOT fence. 😖

another failed experiment

200408 the end of twitter
200408 the end of twitter
i logged in to twitter today, and was immediately greeted with a notification that my “ability to control mobile app advertising measurements has been removed”.

it has gotten to be more and more depressing, reading twitter, and for some time now, the only things i have done is re-tweet @infinite_scream, and harrass @blarsonexorcist and other so-called “christians”, along with republicans, democrats, flat earthers, anti-vaxxers, homeopathic advocates, and other mind-numbing idiots… none of which helps my anhedonia in the slightest. 😒

and, along with all this “social distancing” and “self-quarantining”, the fact is, we’re moving, and the movers cancelled, because of the “stay at home” order, which means that we’ve had to move all the stuff ourselves… we’re still holding out hope that we’re going to get professional movers to move the piano, the couch, the chair, and the bed, but it doesn’t look good at this point.

and things would be going a lot more quickly if there was a fence at the new place, but that has been put on indefinite hold, because of “supply chain problems”, i.e. sick people, closed businesses, stay-at-home order, etc., etc., et-fucking-c… 😠

and there’s no telling when it’s all going to change… and, if it does change, it’s very likely to get worse…

oh, and it HAS gotten worse: bernie sanders has dropped out of the race… AGAIN… which means that the only rational vote left is Vermin Supreme, and i’m still not sure whether or not i’m going to hold my nose and vote for joe biden or not, because he’s not even close to what i want as a replacement for drumpf, even if he was obama’s vice president.

so i decided that it would be best if i gave up twitter.

i already feel better.

also, i added a side-bar link to COVID19 information, updated every minute, to counteract the gawd-awful twitter/drumpf fake-news bullshit. it’s pretty bad. 😒

the chaos, the chaos

the chaos of moving is exacerbated by the chaos of the COVID19 pandemic, which is still on its way up. keeping track is pointless because it keeps getting worse by the hour, and our “leaders” are deliberately misleading us, much to the delight of 51% of the population… who have been consistently the first ones to die, as a result. 😒

i, on the other hand, am, apparently, immune, because of the fact that i already had it… and the fact that, in the past two weeks, i have interacted with exactly three other people, one of whom is my wife (the other two are my wife’s boss, and his wife, who have been helping us with painting, because their vacation to mexico got cancelled).

thanks to them, the master bedroom is no longer an awful green, surmounted with a repeating stamp of bears and trees.

we’re under an official “stay-at-home” order, from the governor, but… i’m moving… which “home” should i stay at: the mostly empty one that we’re painting, or the chaotic, half-in-boxes one that we’re moving out of? 😒

i’ve been making one run a day to the new house, with my car full of boxes. in the past 5 days, i haven’t even come CLOSE to filling the floor space OF THE GARAGE, and, once we’re done painting, the stuff that i’m currently putting in the garage will get distributed to its locations throughout the house… we’re going to need a dining table, and chairs, again, because we have a dining room that will be an empty space without it…

spam update

i have now, officially, blocked IP address ranges in the following countries:

afghanistan
albania
angola
argentina
aruba
australia
austria
bangladesh
belarus
belgium
bhutan
bolivia
bosnia & herzegovina
brazil
british virgin islands
bulgaria
cambodia
canada
chile
china
colombia
congo
cote d’ivoire
croatia
czech republic
denmark
ecuador
egypt
el salvador
estonia
finland
france
georgia
germany
ghana
greece
guatemala
honduras
hong kong
hungary
iceland
india
indonesia
iran
iraq
ireland
israel
italy
japan
jordan
kazakhstan
kenya
kyrgyzstan
latvia
lithuania
luxembourg
macao
malaysia
mexico
moldova
monaco
mongolia
morocco
myanmar
netherlands
new zealand
nigeria
norway
pakistan
panama
paraguay
peru
philippines
poland
romania
russia
serbia
seychelles
singapore
slovakia
south africa
south korea
spain
sweden
switzerland
taiwan
tajikistan
tanzania
thailand
Trinidad & tobago
turkey
UK
ukraine
uruguay
USA
uzbekistan
vietnam

the big winners are china, russia, and india, and the runners up are spain, uzbekistan and kazakhstan…

and the good ol’ united states of ‘merica makes an appearance, as well.

before i started blocking whole swaths of IP addresses, the CPU usage on my server was between 75% and 100%, pretty much always. since i started blocking IP address ranges, my CPU usage is between 2% and 5%… which means that my web sites respond more quickly.

a side benefit is that, often, the same IP address ranges that are used by spammers, are also used by crackers, skript-kiddies, and other miscreants, so by absolutely blocking them (using both the IP Blocker and the Global Email Filters) i kill two birds with one stone. 😉

the down side is that i’ve been catching a few false positives, which are messages from people within north america, but, through no fault of their own, sent their messages at EXACTLY the right time, so that the date in their message ID gets caught by the rule that’s supposed to catch IP addresses… 😖

but, honestly, there have been fewer than 10 false positives in the last 6 months (they tend to come in spurts: i’ve caught 3 today, but haven’t seen one for months), whereas, if left unfettered, i would have received, easily, 100 times that many spam messages PER DAY, so, in all, i’m almost ready to make my list available to anybody else who wants to cut down on the people who send you spam… 😉

COVID19 update

one of the people moe “manages” (one of the doctors who is not the owner of the clinic) got on an airplane yesterday.

shortly after she got on the airplane, word came down from the state that any healthcare provider who gets on an airplane has to voluntarily quarantine for two weeks. in this case, “healthcare provider” apparently applies to veterinarians, as well.

so, along with ramping up her side hustle (she’s already more than half-filled the webinar that she’s giving next sunday), moving into a new house, and managing a veterinary hospital (which is a job, under the best of circumstances), now she has to figure out how to cover for a doctor who potentially “has COVID19”. 😒

but here’s something that i never considered: during the first couple weeks of january, i was sick for two or three days. i got my (very first) flu shot (ever) in november (or it might have been october), and, at the time, i just thought it was a mild case of the flu… but moe says that the symptoms didn’t match the flu: there was minimal nausea, just coughing and fatigue… moe says that it’s possible that i have already had COVID19, and just didn’t realise it.

it’s not totally out of the question: i have spent, at least, the past year’s worth of weekends at the pike place market, which is the first place tourists from cruise ships, and other conveyances, go when they land in seattle…

and healthy people don’t get as sick to begin with…

one of the other doctors moe manages (still not the owner) got sick a few weeks ago, and got better almost immediately, but she still has a lingering cough, and moe thinks she may have gotten COVID19, as well.

COVID19 update

safeway has started designating the hours between 7:00 and 9:00 am as “senior hours”… they reset the store at night, then the first thing on tuesday and thursday, seniors get “first crack” at everything in the store. the first one was yesterday.

except that hoarders showed up at 6:00 and cleaned the store out.

i went to safeway this morning.

apparently, hoarders showed up at 6:00 am today, and cleaned the store out, as well. at 10:30 am, there was nothing in the pasta/rice/beans department, all of the paper products were gone, most of the fresh vegetables were gone.

this was AFTER going to costco and finding a line that stretched all the way across the costco, and most of the way across the hobby-lobby next door. they were only letting in a certain number of people at a time… since i only had one item i needed, i decided to go elsewhere, because waiting in a line for ≈45 minutes with other people, many of whom were wearing masks, is just asking to get exposed to the virus.

i’m not afraid of getting the virus, mind you, but i’m not stupid. and there have been rumours that getting the virus also puts one in danger of getting pulmonary fibrosis, which i definitely DO NOT WANT! 😠

i went to fred meyer this afternoon, because i didn’t know that moe needed stuff. fred meyer was a little better, but they didn’t have any paper products, or canned goods.

the thing is… there’s no shortage. there’s ABSOLUTELY NO REASON to panic-buy anything. this is a virus, it’s not a famine… it’s pretty much guaranteed that this panic-buying of stuff will absolutely NOT accomplish ANYTHING execpt to make life extremely difficult for people like me, who are trying to survive as best i can.

fortunately, the moisture festival has been cancelled, so i am pretty much hanging out at home, by myself. moe had a (virus-free) massage this morning, but i’ve even been socially isolated from her, because she is ramping up a new side hussle, now that her old side hussle cancelled on her. 😒

ok, it’s official…

moe and i are moving.

that’s right, with the coronavirus running rampant, people freaking out and buying the entire store because the world is, literally, COMING. TO. AN. END… moe and i are moving into a new house. 😒

we bought a bigger house. it’s about as far away from downtown seattle as we currently are, but the house is about twice as big as the house we’re currently in, and the yard is about twice as big as the yard we’ve currently got. the address is maple valley, but, in reality, it’s in between issaquah and hobart. it’s right around the corner from one set of friends, and about 10 minutes away from two other sets of friends. i’ll be living a lot closer to ian, for a change. 😉

how it happened is complex beyond imagination, and mostly happened before everybody started freaking out, but, basically, moe has been given the money to buy this house by her employer, who wants her to live “closer” to the clinic. where we live currently is anywhere from 45 minutes to an hour and a half commute to mercer island — where the clinic is located. the new house is only 30 minutes away, during rush hour.

the “good” part about this is that we don’t HAVE TO move right away, or on a certain date, and — for a short period of time, anyway — we will actually own TWO houses… maybe for a longer period of time, if things go a certain way.

my understanding is that we “close and take posession” on the 26th (next thursday).

thrill… 😒

COVID19 update

everybody has been “panic buying”… first it was toilet paper, now it’s pretty much everything…

but here in seattle, one of the “hot spots” for the virus in the US, it’s a different matter entirely: i went to costco yesterday, to buy bread and peanut butter. it was busier than usual, for a monday afternoon, but i’ve definitely seen longer lines at costco. all the shelves were comfortably stocked, although there were some items — like toilet paper and hand sanitiser — which had voluntary limits placed on them. everybody was calm, there was no fighting… i only saw three people with masks. there were standard precautions, people wiping down the carts and everything with clorox wipes (which, it turns out, are NOT on the CDCs list of things you can use to fight coronavirus)… i didn’t use a cart, anyway.

the word of the day is “social distancing”. i would say i have not been “social distancing” more than usual, but at this time of year i’m normally hanging around with huge crowds of people from all over the world — in the moisture festival, which has been “postponed indefinitely”. they also cancelled my circus classes, and pretty much everything else that isn’t essential: restaurants and bars are closed for “in-person” dining, although they’re still open for take-out and delivery service. all gatherings of more than 50 people are banned, including church services (although there are many “christian” churches which are ignoring this, at their peril). in four days we’ve gone from 1,000 cases to 5,000 cases.

at this point, i’m staying home and not interacting with people as much as possible. i went out to costco and the dispensary yesterday. today, i went to the compounding pharmacy in issaquah, and i went out for a walk. tomorrow, i’m getting together with hobbit and making a couple of videos.

i’m not really concerned for myself, but i’m terrified for everybody else, because they are, literally, freaking out to the point where i’m thinking, more and more, that this is, in fact, the “end of the world as we know it”.

deliberate misdirection

this weekend, at “some point” — which means for 30 minutes, some time between 0:00 saturday and 24:00 sunday — the Hybrid Elephant web site will be updated to a new, more “appropriate” design in which i had A LOT more say than the previous one…

see this post for as much of a reason as i ever got.

thanks to rick cano at DesignWorks NW

which means that, on monday, everyone should remember to flush your cache (all my browsers are set to zero cache, already) and buy some incense from my new web site, okay? 😉👍

COVID19 update

all public and private schools in king, pierce and snohomish counties have been closed for five weeks.

seattle has over 1,100 cases currently, and projects having over 25,000 cases by april 7th, unless more is done to contain the virus.

broadway has cancelled all performances indefinitely.

the NHL, MLS, NCAA, NBA and MLB sports organisations have cancelled the season.

the mormon LDS church has suspended all worship services, worldwide.

the CATHOLIC CHURCH has closed all churches in italy.

but our #SCROTUS — who has been in close contact with foreign leaders who are CONFIRMED COVID19 cases, and in close contact with several U.S. leaders who are currently “self-quarantining” over concerns that they have come in close contact with foreign leaders who are CONFIRMED COVID19 cases — is, resolutely REFUSING to be tested, and continues to shake hands with everybody as though he is immune to the virus…

he’s not, of course, but he doesn’t have anything to worry about, because he’s #SCROTUS, and we’re not… 🤬

COVID19 update

they’ve cancelled public school in seattle for the next two weeks. as a result, they’ve cancelled classes at SANCA for at least the next two weeks.

they’re recommending that the public not gather in groups larger than 250 people. they’re recommending that people “socially isolate” and “self-quarantine” because of lack of reliable testing. 😕

ETA: Under the Health Officer’s order in King County:

  • Events with more than 250 attendees are prohibited.
  • Public events with fewer than 250 attendees are prohibited, unless event organizers can take steps to minimize risk.

they’re saying that 80% of the population will probably contract COVID19. not 80% of americans, 80% of humans… on the planet.

they’re saying that a vaccine (which is the ONLY thing that will stop COVID19 from spreading) could take as long as a year and a half, and, that there probably WILL NOT be a vaccine sooner than a year from now. 🧟

the center for disease control recommends that people over 60 years of age not travel on airplanes… but the #SCROTUS said that they can’t recommend that, so they took it back… but they’re still, privately, recommending that people over age 60 don’t travel, regardless of what the #SCROTUS says. 😒

last week, #drumpf said that there were only 15 confirmed cases, and that by next week there would be zero cases. in reality, last week there were NINETEEN cases, and this week there are somewhere between 50 and 100 cases JUST IN WASHINGTON STATE.

ETA: “more than 1,000 cases in the U.S.”

#drumpf has placed pence in charge of this disaster PANDEMIC, a religious, science-denier who, when he was governor of indiana, and faced with the largest HIV outbreak in history, did, literally, nothing. 🤬

AND, i found out, today, that my great-aunt rosemary, who i went to warrensburg, missouri to meet in 2015, actually VOTED for #drumpf! 🤮

moisture?

due to the current almost-pandemic of the novel coronavirus COVID19, the moisture festival has been “postponed indefinitely”.

it’s probably a good idea, since washington state is one of the epicenters of the coronavirus outbreak in the united states — as of the last time i checked, there have been between 12 and 14 deaths from coronavirus in washington over the past week — and we’ve got people travelling in from, literally, all over the world, so postponing the festival is definitely the right thing to do…

but panic and disinformation, both of which are running rampant, currently, are just as, if not more dangerous than the coronavirus itself. and, naturally, both have been massively exacerbated by the dimwitted orange buffoon who currently occupies the presidental office…

just more reasons why i wish i had died when i had the chance… 😒

snerk…

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

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

🤬

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

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

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

I have seen the future: Donald Trump is going to get worse

in 2003, i almost died.

i would have died, if it hadn’t been for my wife, and a team of doctors… and the fact that i have been a musician most of my life…

after my injury, when i regained “normal” consciousness, one of the first things they told me was that i had a brain injury, and that i would have to spend the rest of my life “getting used to it”.

since then — 17 years ago — i have been forced to watch, more or less helplessly, as a whole bunch of my friends have died, pretty much everything that i cared about, and fought for, politically and socially, throughout my entire life, has been totally ruined, or is in the process of being totally ruined, with no visible hope of recovery, and the world in general, environmentally, sociologically, and politically, is going down the tubes, rapidly. the very strong probability, at this point, is that we are experiencing the “end of the world as we know it”, but most of us are too stupid to realise it.

this is very definitely NOT what i signed up for, even before my injury — to be honest, i never signed up for it in the first place — and i’m really pissed off that i didn’t die when i had the chance. 🤬

I have seen the future: Donald Trump is going to get worse
February 8, 2020
By Lucian K. Truscott IV

The only thing Donald Trump didn’t do in his victory-lap appearance in the East Room on Thursday was announce the pending arrest of Adam Schiff or Nancy Pelosi. He did everything else. He told his roomful of hacks and sycophants that the impeachment trial “was all bullshit.” They cheered. He called the Democrats and lone Republican who favored his impeachment and removal from office “the crookedest, most dishonest, dirtiest people I’ve ever known,” “lowlifes,” “stone-cold crazy,” “evil,” “sick,” “corrupt,” “scum,” “bad,” “horrible,” “vicious” and “leakers.” Stammering, wheezing, snorting and sniffling, he said those who impeached him were “mean.” His fans applauded. They screamed. They laughed: Fox host Laura Ingraham; Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, whom Trump called “so great, so tough, and so smart”; Rep. Devin Nunes of California, “this congressman who kept going into basements, into files, he’ll find any document”; and Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio, a “top, top wrestler.” Every single one of them laughed and shouted their encouragement as the man who has told more than 15,000 lies since taking office called his Democratic enemies “liars.”

It was Donald Trump unbound. Having stomped on every single “norm” that has been adhered to in Washington for more than 200 years, Trump taped up his bone spurs and stomped some more. Remember Richard Nixon’s “enemies list”? Amateur hour. Trump has an enemies binder, a whole fucking enemies database. He’s got people over at the IRS lining up audits. He’s got deputy attorney generals drawing up subpoenas and crafting indictments. He waited less than 24 hours before he had the Treasury Department release “evidence of questionable origin” about Hunter Biden to Republican senators seeking to open the investigation of the Bidens that was spurned by the Ukrainian government.

Senate Finance Committee chairman Chuck Grassley, Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Lindsey Graham and Senate Homeland Security chairman Ron Johnson have all issued letters requesting records from the State Department, Justice Department, FBI, Treasury Department, National Archives and Secret Service, seeking documents regarding Hunter Biden, his associates and their businesses. Having stonewalled every request for documents and testimony from House committees investigating the Russia and Ukraine scandals, Trump is opening the floodgates on Hunter Biden. Who’s next is anybody’s guess.

“Republicans are turning the Senate into an arm of the president’s political campaign, pursuing an investigation designed to further President Trump’s favorite conspiracy theory that Ukraine interfered in the 2016 election and smear Vice President Biden,” Ashley Schapitl told Yahoo News. Schapitl is a spokesperson for Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat who sits on the Senate Finance Committee.

It’s going to get worse. Trump made a point of mentioning former FBI Director James Comey and the “dirty cops” and “FBI lovers” who investigated Russian interference in the 2016 election. They are targets of the Department of Justice criminal investigation into the origins of the Russia investigation being carried out by special counsel John Durham. Trump singled out Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman and his twin brother, who serve on the National Security Council. Both were fired from their positions on Friday afternoon. It’s only a matter of time before he targets the House impeachment managers, if only to harass them and make them waste campaign money on defense lawyers.

But it’s the people Trump didn’t specifically mention on Thursday who should be worried. We didn’t know he was trying to extort the Ukrainians into investigating the Bidens until it was exposed by the whistleblower last October. Trump’s secret campaign against the Bidens had been going on for six months by that time, and even longer if you include the machinations by Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani that had begun as far back as the fall of 2018. Who else has Trump been secretly investigating overseas? We don’t know, and we will remain in the dark unless another patriotic civil servant in the bowels of Trump’s government blows another whistle.

But Trump has gutted the State Department, the Defense Department, the Treasury Department and every other cabinet-level governmental office under his command. Gone are all the “adults in the room” like former Secretary of Defense James Mattis, former national security adviser H.R. McMaster and even former White House chief of staff John Kelly and Trump’s third national security adviser, John Bolton. Down in the lower reaches of the bureaucracy, turnover has been record-breaking and there are so many vacancies, they’re holding garage sales to get rid of empty desks. There are numerous “acting” deputy and assistant secretaries in every single cabinet-level department of Trump’s government. He likes it that way. Everybody is either on their way out, planning to get out or frightened of being fired. The likelihood of new whistleblowers emerging from this chaotic governmental swamp is less and less the longer Trump remains in office.

What’s next? Well, we’ve already seen the capitulation and surrender at Helsinki, when Trump took Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence services about Russia’s hacking of the 2016 elections. I think what we’ll get next is an Oval Office meeting with some dictator like Viktor Orbán of Hungary or Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey or Putin himself, and Trump coming out and asking them in public, before television cameras and reporters, to help with his re-election campaign. He’s gotten away with it twice. Why wouldn’t he?

He’s equally likely to order more assassinations of people he’ll name as enemies of the United States. We may never have heard of them before, nor will we ever hear about them again once they’re gone, because who they are and what they allegedly did will not be as important as the fact that Trump can order their deaths. The recent assassination of Gen. Qassem Soleimani, commander of Iran’s Republican Guard, got only passing criticism from Democrats and was a huge hit with the Trump base. He got to blow up bad guys with smart bombs and show everyone he’s as tough as his idol, Putin. What’s not to love about that? If you carry an AK-47 and follow Muhammad, I’d keep my head down between now and the first Tuesday in November.

Every time we think Trump has gone about as far as he can go with demonizing the “enemies of the people” in the press, he cranks it up a notch. The recent dust-up between NPR and Lickspittle Von Pompeo proved to Trump and his minions that they can muzzle the press and get away with it. I’d look for them to start yanking White House press credentials and banning entire news organizations from covering the Trump campaign. MSNBC and CNN should start looking for cheap flights. They won’t be on Air Force One for long. I predict it’s only a matter of time before some Trumpaholic MAGA-hat-wearing militiaman takes a potshot at a reporter outside one of Trump’s rallies. Trump will promise to defend the Second Amendment and rant and rave against the “enemies of the people” at his next rally. His base will lap it up.

Donald Trump is like a kid who gets on an elevator full of people and pushes the button for every floor. He does stuff because it pisses off the Democrats. He does stuff because it “owns the libs” and delights his base. He does stuff because it makes his pathetic, pinched little life a tiny bit bigger. I would say that he does stuff because it makes him happy, but I don’t think he’s capable of even a scintilla of joy. Mostly he does stuff because he can, and the big question we face, now that we’ve had an impeachment but failed to remove him from office, is whether he’s going to break the great American elevator and bring this country crashing down with him. I hope not, but every day he’s been in office he’s gotten worse, and it’s working for him.

new regex stuff!

logical operators! thanks ian! 😉

+ () [] - |

(stuff that remains the same)+(stuff that changes) – otherwise known as “capture groups”

[89] = 8 or 9

[0-4] = 0, 1, 2, 3, or 4

| = logical OR

so…

\D(85\.157\.47\.)+(12[89]|1[3-9][0-9]|2[0-4][0-9]|25[0-5])\D

means “capture everything in 85.157.47.128/25”

which, up until now, has meant “make a separate rule for every IP address between 85.157.47.128 and 85.157.47.255” — 128 SEPARATE RULES, which takes A LONG time, and slows down processing speed.

this is a BIG step forward!

WOO!!! 😎👍

ETA 200205: even more WOO!!! because ian directed me to a RegEx Numeric Range Generator, which means that i don’t have to figure them all out myself! WOO!!! 😎👍

okay, so not “phenomenally”, but still stupid

i am cautiously confident that my phenomally stupid actions over last weekend have not attracted the attention of law enforcement, but they definitely have, 100% guaranteed attracted the attention of fraud-meisters on twitter, who have been bombarding me with DM requests advertising various different — illegal — substances for sale… 😒

needless to say, i have not become their sucker. as they say, once bitten, twice shy. 🤬 which is to say that, every chance i get, i have been interjecting myself into @psychedelicbloc’s advertisements with an inquiry about when they’re going to refund my money. i don’t expect them to actually refund anything, but if i convince even one person to be cautious enough to avoid this guy, it will be worth it. 😒

on the other hand, this afternoon, i actually had a face-to-face talk with a good friend who is interested — and knowledgable — concerning psychedelic mushroom growing, who is currently in communication with a medical doctor(!) neighbour of his, who can get reliable spores and knows about the correct mediums in which to grow them… but neither of them have a place to grow… so i may, actually, have found myself the most reliable supplier of psychedelics possible, which is myself… 😇

okay, i may have done something PHENOMENALLY stupid

i bought 10 grams of cubensis over twitter.

this person @psychedelicbloc, otherwise known as Psychedelic home, is not somebody i know. his (her?) profile, and paypal indicate that they’re in colorado, but i don’t know this person. their twitter profile is a few months old. they’re shipping to me using a company i have never heard of before, “Mega Cargo Logistics” which hasn’t been updating their web site as often as i’d like…

mushrooms from @psychedelicbloc
mushrooms from @psychedelicbloc
  • i don’t know this person
  • i don’t know whether or not they truly know what they’re doing
  • i don’t know whether or not they’re going to send me truly psychedelic mushrooms, or poisonous mushrooms, or “inert” mushrooms, or NOTHING AT ALL
  • i don’t know whether or not the cops are going to be waiting for me when i pick them up

moe isn’t home, and i was feeling desperate… and this guy blatantly advertised on twitter, which is already a very shady sign…

so, if i get busted, it’s @psychedelicbloc’s fault.

200120 MegaCargoLogistics email
200120 MegaCargoLogistics email
ETA: 200120 okay, i knew it had to be too good to be true. the shipping company i’ve never heard of before, Mega Cargo Logistics, sent me a very poorly worded (like, the author’s native language is very definitely NOT english) email, with the entire message in the subject line, informing me that my package was “on hold” until i paid a “refundable $100 insurance” fee.

in bitcoin… 😒

@psychedelicbloc said “bro… you’ve got nothing to worry about.” and “bro… i assure you the insurance will be refundable to as you receive your package.” — but when i responded that i simply didn’t have any more money, he recommended that i “can do the agency web mail and chat with them so the can explain things more better to you.” SO, i went on their web chat, and they told me “sir, the insurance you are about to pay is refundable as you receive your package. And which of the payment method are you okay with.” when i responded that i didn’t have the money, they said “Sir we understand that this is too much on you but as you receive your package the insurance will be refundable to you”, at which point i said “if i had known about the extra $100 charge for insurance, i would not have made the order, because I DO NOT HAVE THAT MUCH MONEY… PERIOD.” whereupon their response was “Sir we have many clients to attend to and of you are not serious please wasting our time here”

so, i’m not getting mushrooms. 🤬

although, all things considered, it’s probably just as well…

and, when i asked @psychedelicbloc to refund my money, they, too, started spouting stuff that makes it sound VERY MUCH like their native language is not english — “i need to apply for the to refund the package back to me if the do do i will refund your package” — which makes me think that, since paypal says they won’t actually receive the funds until the 23rd, i might actually be able to file a dispute with them, so that they won’t get it… and when i suggested i file a dispute, @psychedelicbloc suddenly vanished…

which makes me doubtful that they’re a cop… but at the same time, i don’t know whether or not i’m actually going to see that $100 again…

moisture, but no festival

as i mentioned last week, our bedroom closet has inordinate amounts of moisture in the back, where nobody noticed it for a long time… like, years

we had a contractor out, who took the entire south wall of the house apart, and concluded that it was a combination culprit: we had

1) water leaking in through the nail-holes in the composite siding, which was sub-standard (having been built in the early 1970s).

2) water leaking in through a sub-standard (1970s construction) gap in the siding between the rectangular part of the house, and the triangular (roof) part — these days, they put in what they call “Z-flashing” between the two levels of siding. in the 1970s, not so much.

3) no house-wrap — once again, due to 1970s construction methods and the fact that tyvek hadn’t even been invented yet — but a layer of plain old plastic, which caused water to condense and run down the inside of the walls.

and, because of this, there is also the matter of

4) the “rim joist” — the 2″x6″ beam that runs under the floorboards and holds the whole house up — was the ultimate victim of all of this aforementioned water. it was rotten through, and the guy had to jack up the house to remove it.

end result: the entire south wall of the house has been wrecked and removed down to the studs, and the south end of the house has been jacked up.

what makes it worse is that we discovered this on the 9th, and it has rained, snowed, or some combination of the two, pretty much every day since. it’s warm enough that the snow hasn’t hung around for long, but it affects how much the guy wants to work…

not only that, but now that he’s got the wall in a more-or-less stable (i.e. no longer damp and rotting) condition, he’s got court-ordered visitation with his kids this weekend, so not only is moe gone, and i have to take care of the dogs on my own, but ALSO there’s the detritus of an ongoing construction project in the front yard, the entire south wall is covered in plastic, and the crawl-space (where the dogs ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO) is open and unguarded, AND the guy WON’T BE BACK TO FIX IT UNTIL MONDAY!!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🖕

🤬

🖕

moisture + anhedonia

now there’s 18 and possibly 19 shares: Peanut Envy is going to be fluffing at least one night, and there’s a rumour that Snake Suspenders — as a trio, or, possibly with a fill-in drummer — is going to get at least one stage slot.

and, i never, in a million years, thought i would be able to say this, but i have been, essentially, commanded to take mushrooms, by what passes for a doctor in my life these days… except for the fact that it’s been snowy for the past couple of days, and more rain is forcast; my house is falling apart — currently everything that is usually in the closet in the master bedroom, is in the living room, while the closet is gutted down to the studs and rebuilt, to get rid of the mold and moisture problems; and, friday, moe is scheduled to leave for (ETA: 200117 – denver) orlando (or some gawdawful place like that) and won’t be back until wednesday.

which means that, taking my thursday unicycle class into account, it’s entirely likely that a week from friday is going to be the first day that i have to take mushrooms. 😒

moisture

2020, officially, 17 shares for the phil, plus whatever shares i get for fluffing…

we’re FINALLY getting the second week, instead of some other band…

and they still haven’t decided that ettinger’s band is just going to do all four weeks, which indicates that there’s still someone with their head screwed on straight who’s in charge, although who knows who that person(s) might be…

we’ll see what it all shakes out to once it’s over.

  • 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…
  • 2010, 13 shares, $520 — $27 a share
  • 2007, ?? shares, $820
  • 2006, ?? shares, $790

anhedonia… 😒

i’ve been “sick” for a week. i was actually SICK for two days, starting last thursday. friday i didn’t make it upright, except to vomit, but by saturday i was feeling well enough that i did the last weekend of the panto without too much difficulty. monique got sick on sunday, and she and i have been trading a low-level “sickness” back and forth ever since. one of monique’s co-workers got an especially virulent strain of pink-eye a couple days ago, so the probability is better than normal that all of the rest of us are going to get pink-eye eventually.

#drumpf assassinated the number three guy in iran, with no “approval” or prior warning, a couple days ago, which, once again, brings us to the brink of world war three. he’s been impeached, but not convicted of anything, and probably won’t be, because the body which is supposed to convict him is controlled by the republican’ts, all of whom think he’s doing a swell job. 😒 55% of americans think his actions put american lives in danger, but he’s using it as a campaign talking point, and there’s a good chance, at this point, that he will be re-“elected” for a second term. 😠👎

and that’s not to mention the millions of people who no longer have insurance, nor the disabled people (which includes me) who will no longer have SSDI when his schemes take effect… he’s asked for, and gotten more money for his wall, and even more money for “defense”, but we “don’t have enough money” for health care and education.

meanwhile, the wall in the back of our closet has sprung a leak, which means that a lot of our “formal” and “costume” clothes are now wet — possibly ruined — and we’ve had a contractor out to give us an estimate (and another one tomorrow, alledgedly), but it has been snowing, on and off, since last night, which means that whatever repairs HAVE TO BE made, will PROBABLY NOT be made until… i don’t know, spring, or some time… 😒

i’m sick.

i’m sick of life. 😒

i wish it would end. 👎

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬‼

ever since he was born, i have been afraid that i will be forced into the situation where i have to apologise to my son for bringing him into a world that, through no fault of his own, is going to end, for all intents and purposes, before his life will end. to me, it seems a large amount of irresponsible, to have brought a being into the world, who is faced with his own death, before his time, especially since i seem to be charmed when it comes to the potential of my life ending before my time.

and it’s even harder for me, because i have been fighting my entire adult life to change the things that i can, that would lead to my not having to offer that apology.

ezra, i’m sorry that the world is such a fucked up place. i’m sorry i brought you into this world, with no way to change it. i’m sorry you have to share this world with people who don’t care that it will end before your lifetime is complete.

A Grim New Definition of Generation X
by Ted Rall – 191231

People born in the 1960s may be the last human beings who will get to live out their full actuarial life expectancies. “Climate change now represents a near- to mid-term existential threat” to humanity, warns a recent policy paper by an Australian think tank. Civilization, scientists say, could collapse by 2050. Some people may survive. Not many.

Some dismiss such purveyors of apocalyptic prognoses as hysterics. To the contrary, they’re Pollyannas. Every previous “worst-case scenario” prediction for the climate has turned out to have understated the gravity of the situation. “Paleoclimatologists have shown that past warming episodes show that there are mechanisms which magnify its effects, not represented in current climate models from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to the Paris Accords,” reports The Independent. It’s probably too optimistic to assume that we’ll make it to 2050.

Gives new meaning to Generation X.

Millennials and the children we call Generation Z face the horrifying prospect that they will get stuck with the tab for humanity’s centuries-long rape of planet earth, the mass desecration of which radically accelerated after 1950. There is an intolerably high chance that today’s young people will starve to death, die of thirst, be killed by a superstorm, succumb to a new disease, boil to death, asphyxiate from air pollution, be murdered in a riot or shot or blown up in a war sparked by environmentally-related political instability long before they survive to old age.

Long threatened, never taken seriously, not even now that it’s staring us right in the face, human extinction is coming for the children and grandchildren we claim to love but won’t lift a finger to save.

Shelves sag under the weight of books that have been written arguing that we still have a chance to save ourselves. I wish I could believe that. Human population has tripled since the 1950s. More than a million species have gone extinct. Ninety percent of the fish in the ocean have vanished, replaced by one billion tons of plastic. Two-thirds of the trees have been cut down. The polar ice cap is gone; it’s never coming back.

We can’t stop global warming. An increase of four degrees Celsius over the baseline set at the beginning of the Industrial Revolution means game over. We’re well on our way there. It doesn’t make sense to think that we can avoid extinction.

What if we woke up and demanded action from our political leaders? Radical problems require radical solutions; only the most radical of solutions could resolve the most radical problem of ruining our planet’s ability to sustain us: revolution. We would have to rise up and abolish — immediately — consumer capitalism in all the major greenhouse gas-producing nations, prioritize cleaning the environment as the human race’s top concern, and pivot to an economic mindset in which we extract the bare minimum from the ecosystem that we need in order to survive and nothing more.

Voting might achieve some incremental reforms but reform falls far short of what we require. Saving our young people (and their children, should they be foolish enough to have any) would require global revolution, the violent overthrow of the ruling elites and replacing them with people who understand what must be done. It would need to happen today. Fifty years ago would be better. Got a time machine?

None of this is going to happen. We are going to sleepwalk to our doom in a haze of social media and corporate entertainment distraction.

So it’s time for people who are younger than I am to start thinking about how they want to spend the rest of their likely-to-be-truncated lives, and how they plan to face mass premature death.

Pending human extinction destroys the answers provided by religion and philosophy. Knowing that there won’t be anyone to know that we were ever here raises the question: why bother to do anything? This column, this year’s “important” presidential election, love, hate, everything will lose its meaning when the last member of our species draws her last breath. Earth is unlikely to be visited by an alien archaeologist, much less uncover everything we’ve made and created (assuming any of it survives), much less figure out what any of it meant, before the sun expands into a red giant and ends it all.

Much is to be said for hedonism: eat, drink, have sex, and don’t bother to sort your recycling, for tomorrow we die. Stoicism has its advantages too; go out with dignity rather than weeping and gnashing your teeth and making your fellow survivors miserable.

Nihilism is about to become the best worst possible life strategy. Life is meaningless. That will soon become obvious. Moral principles, relics of a time with a future, will blow away like the irradiated dust we leave behind.

None of this will have mattered.

🎉 woo… 🎊

yep, these are for the year 2018

and people hope 2020 is going to be better… i’m still waiting for 2019 to be better, and it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen… 😒

yeah, woo… 😒

so, #SCROTUS has well and truly been impeached, but pelosi now says she’s not even going to send the articles of impeachment over to the house, because the house has said that they’re not going to follow through…

so we’re sitting here with an impeached president and nothing is being done about it, even from the people who impeached him.

meanwhile, he’s requested and been granted even MORE money for the wall, and for the “space force”, and he’s paying for it with massive CUTS in food stamps, SSI, and SSDI (which includes me), and there has been precisely no response from the people who impeached him, apart from mildly harsh words…

and there has been some protest, in a limited sort of way, but no mass uprising, which means that they are probably not even going to try…

and people wonder why i want to die. 😒

woo…

#SCROTUS #drumpf has been impeached, but the republican’ts in the senate have already said that they’re not going to remove him from office, so it’s not having the kind of effect everybody said it would have. 😒

i lost my sunglasses a couple weeks ago, and i lost my faraday pouch with all my credit cards, my medical permit, my AAA card and my passport, along with $30 or so in cash. it disappeared somewhere in between the time that i walked out of total wine (i watched myself on the security video leaving the store with the pouch in my hand), and the time that i got home. the receipt from total wine was in the recycle bin, so i’m fairly sure the pouch is somewhere at home, but i don’t know where, which PISSES ME OFF!!!

ETA: somebody found it in the parking lot of total wine, and turned it in with everything, including the cash, intact. maybe there’s hope for humanity after all… 🙃 but tulsi gabbard, the democratic representative from hawaii, who is also a candidate for the 2020 presidential election, voted “present” rather than voting for (preferably) or against impeachment… which means that, unless she’s the ONLY candidate running against #drumpf next year, i will not be voting for her. 😒

the meat play

i don’t remember exactly when this was, but it was the last year i participated in Drunk Puppet Night, which, i think, was in 2007 or thereabouts (the earliest link i could find was 070111, but that was after at least one successful performance in 2006). the place was the Columbia City Theatre, the other voice was Josh Okrent, the MC was Noah Mickens, and the video was shot by some nameless, but highly inebriated person from the audience, and stabilised by Rob D’Arc:

the original version, They’re Made Out Of Meat, by Terry Bisson, was published in Omni magazine, in 1990.

calm, still no storm… weird…

still calm, still a few “false positives” which are easily dealt with, and forwardable almost immediately… ‼👍 but no “bitcoin sextortion” spam since 191202… and the record is currently held by 1LfYcbCsssB2niF3VWRBTVZFExzsweyPGQ, who i last heard from on 191127, who spammed me four hundred eighty-seven times

spam assassin has, apparently, figured out a regex (or something) for capturing bitcoin addresses, so after 191127, there have been no bitcoin sextortion spams that have NOT been labeled as ***SPAM*** by spam assassin, which makes them a lot easier to filter out.

but it’s weird, because, even though it has been almost a week now, waking up in the morning and NOT having two or three DOZEN spam messages to process makes me nervous that something else may be happening to all of those messages, and, potentially, legitimate messages, as well, and i have no clue what may be happening to them, because nobody other than me is even aware of the fact that they’re not there any longer. 😕

we started the panto. it’s Jack and The Beanstalk… i don’t remember whether this is the first panto we did, or the second panto we did, way back when we first started doing pantos, 17 years or so ago… but it’s largely the same script: different actors but the same characters… and no simon, but he hasn’t been involved since he got drunk, did something which he wasn’t supposed to (sexual harrassment? stealing stuff? something that only drunk people do… 😒), and was banned from the palladium, a few years ago. we did the first four of 20 performances, last weekend, and only missed one music cue: half the band started a half a measure before the other half of the band, and none of the singers came in at the right point, but we recognised it almost immediately, and kiki said “wait, can we start that again?” and everybody came in on cue when we tried it again… and there was one place at the end of the panto, where the giant chops down the beanstalk, and the ogress (represented by a puppet) falls from the castle in the sky, along a zip-line, to the back of the palladium. but, this time, the doors to the castle opened, but no ogress came out… so we just continued, where the ogress (this time, the real actor) then “falls” back up to the front of the stage, and has a few lines… and then the puppet ogress decided it was time to fall… 🤣

but, all in all, the panto is going well.

calm… i hope no storm…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

blog birthday

oh yeah… this is my blog-birthday. on this day, twelve years ago, i retired from LiveJournal and began my tenure on my own, personal server:

The Last Post on LiveJournal
The First Post on my own server

now would also be a good time to mention the reason behind my blog, on my own server, Bacchus’ First Law Of Internet, which is “Anything worth doing on internet, is worth doing at your own domain, on your own server, which you control.”

music

there’s this guy who makes music that i really like. he goes by Dominic Robertson, or Ergo Phizmiz, and he’s REALLY prolific: he’s got AT LEAST 40 CD-length albums, plus a whole bunch of soundscape/radio-theatre-like stuff, including a 12 hour 45 minute piece called The Faust Cycle which i haven’t listened to in its entirety because… well, it’s 12 hours long

he wrote me to say that he is “running this radio station at the moment” at Wolverton FM, and wondered if he could broadcast my CD from 2015, I Breathe At It, which i put up on bandcamp and promptly forgot about… 🤩

i didn’t really forget about it, because i always carry a few copies of the physical CD with me, especially when i’m busking, but i forgot i put it on bandcamp, which is, sort of, the way bandcamp is supposed to work… sort of…

the only thing better than writing music and playing it on the radio yourself, is writing music and having it played on the radio by an artist you respect, because he really likes it… 🤩

.org TLD

originally, the .org TLD was intended for non-profit entities, although it was never enforced, and it has been operated by the Public Interest Registry since 2003.

on november 13, 2019, it was announced that the PIR had agreed to be acquired by Ethos Capital, a for-profit investment group, as their first “investment”.

so, basically, what this means is that the .org TLD, which was originally intended for use by non-profit organisations, is now owned and controlled by a for-profit organisation.

also, i’ve heard that some of the executives for ethos capital are also connected with ICANN, and have sneakily maneuvered around so that ICANN has eliminated the cap restricting the registration fees for domains under the .org TLD, which means that registration costs for .org domains are going to go up, MASSIVELY, in the next couple of years…

because that’s what for-profit organisations do with newly acquired resources…

i mean, they made this “investment”, and now they have to make sure that it pays off for them, otherwise why make the investment in the first place? 😒

i currently own 5 domains under the .org TLD.

i am, at this very moment, determining whether it’s possible for me to register all of them for the maximum of 10 years, all at once, rather than having to do it one at a time… because, one way or the other, i’m going to register them for as long as i can at the current price, rather than waiting to be gouged out of business, later on. 😒

🤬👎‼

/8 blocks

i now have three /8 blocks in my email filters.

25.0.0.0/8 in the UK, 53.0.0.0/8 in germany, and 133.0.0.0/8 in japan.

the “standard” email filters, built on “and/or” and “contains/does not contain”, break down when you’re dealing with 16.75 MILLION addresses.

they break down because you can’t just filter on 25. which appears in the middle and end of IP addresses, in message ID numbers, and, occaisionally, in the body of the message.

the result is A LOT of false positives: email which i can’t forward to the correct recipient, because it will get filtered AGAIN

which is quite annoying. 😒

so, with the help of my friend robert, i built a regular expression to handle it:

\D25\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\.\d{1,3}\D

finds non-digit character followed by “25.”, followed by three repititions of one to three digits, interspersed by periods, followed by another non-digit character.

technically, this regex could be adapted to accomodate any IP address, which means that, theoretically, i have a whole new, easier, and faster method of processing spam. 😈

the next step is to learn how to search for a specific range of digits… 😈

ETA 191127 i discovered that you can’t specify a range of digits with a regex. for that, you need a script, which is too much work. also, i determined that i DON’T need the white space character at the beginning and end of the regular expression, because, sometimes, the IP address is surrounded by parentheses, square brackets, or both.

ETA 191128 i changed it from white space character — \s — to non-digit character — \D — because some IP addresses are surrounded by parentheses or square brackets, but some are surrounded by white space characters. the only thing \D doesn’t capture is an empty string, so the IP address can’t be the first thing in the line of text.

and, even with the \D, this regex, modified to capture 27.16.0.0/12 in china, captures 2.2019.11.27.23.41.02, which is part of the message ID on a LEGITIMATE message. 😖😒😠🤬

this is why i’m rerouting these messages, rather than summarily deleting them, which is my inclination… summarily deleting what i think is spam has come back to bite me in the ass often enough that i don’t do it any longer. 😒

tibetan incense

i ordered a bunch of tibetan incense from Dakpa Tamdin, in India, this afternoon. it should be here in a couple months or less… it’s coming from india and i don’t even have the shipping details, yet. it may be sooner, but a couple of months sounds about right. keep an eye out here for further details as they become available.

oy 😒

this morning i added a second /8 block to my email filters.

for those of you wondering what i’m talking about, a /8 block is the largest block of IP addresses allocated by the IANA.

16,777,216 individual IP addresses.

my first filtered /8 block was in japan. my second one was in germany.

and i STILL get spam from japan and from germany. 😒

it doesn’t seem like it was that long ago that spam was something in a monty python skit, and before that, it was a canned meat byproduct.

it’s not even UCE any longer, because most of it is devoted to scams of one kind or another. actual, commercial email is a tiny fraction of the volumes of script-generated spam, these days.

spam times 16,777,216²… which is a number so large my scientific calculator chokes on it… which is to say, it says 2.81474976711e+14 rather than giving me a number i can understand. 😒

chops

no, not Chopp’s, chops… the signature stamps that are traditionally used on chinese artwork.

i got some.

chops
chops – one says “SHALEMENDUO” and the other one says “RONG”

the one on the left says 沙了門多 which is prounounced SHĀ-LE-MÉN-DUŌ which is the closest the guy could get to “SALAMANDIR”.

SHĀ-LE-MÉN-DUŌ means “SAND-UP-DOOR-MANY”, which is, essentially, meaningless. it’s just a name chop.

"WRONG" or "DIFFERENT"
“WRONG” or “DIFFERENT”
the one on the right says 蝾 which is pronounced RÓNG, and it means “SALAMANDER”.

and i think it’s kind of interesting that the word for “SALAMANDER” is RÓNG

i made a chop several years ago, that says “CHIGAU” which means “DIFFERENT” or “WRONG”… but it’s backwards.

knock wood…

for the first time in a VERY long time, i booted up my computer, checked my email, and did NOT have at least 10 “bitcoin-porn-scam-spam” messages in my spam folder…

in fact, i had NO “bitcoin-porn-scam-spam” messages in my spam folder… or anywhere else…

there was spam in my spam folder, but no “bitcoin-porn-scam-spam” messages.

maybe this is a good sign.

ETA: not as good a sign as i would have hoped, but on the plus side, i now have blocks on more of uzbekistan, kazakhstan, bangladesh, and south africa than i did before.

oh well… 🤷

spammers spamming spam! 🤬

just as a reminder, this has been posted at the Hybrid Elephant Contact Us form:

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

this morning, i got spam from my response form (big surprise).

the difference, this time, is that the following message was included at the end of the spam:

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This message has been posted via a Contact Us form on your site. Contact forms are publicly accessible and they can be used for posting messages by anyone. We don’t use, hold or archive your e-mail addresses.

yes, contact forms can be used by anyone, but, particularly when an anti-spam message like the one previously posted is present, a concientious user of internet won’t use it unless that person is also a “Hybrid Elephant customers who need to get in contact with us”.

the message that you sent me was definitely NOT because of a need to contact me about something having to do with my business. 😒

and the fact that you say you “don’t use, hold or archive your e-mail addresses” is a moot point, because you ALREADY HAVE used my email address, and the fact that you have already used it means that, very likely, it is stored somewhere on your system, and probably gets backed up with everything else on your computer, which, for all intents and purposes, is “using, holding and archiving”… 🤬

so, the IP address from which this spam was sent is 85.203.22.215, which is part of the 85.203.22.208/28 range, located in monaco.

as of now, 85.203.22.208/28 (16 individual IP addresses) is no longer able to access my domains for any reason whatsoever.

thanks, spammer.

the message also contained references to wexxluxurycars dot com, which also goes on my block list.

thanks, spammer.

the IP address to which that domain name corresponds is 198.46.134.35, which is located in new york. because of the fact that it’s in new york, that IP address goes on my email block list, with today’s date, so that, in case i get an inquiry regarding it at some future point, i can state, unequivocally, that it was added to the list on that date, in case the person inquiring wants me to remove it…

which i will do ONLY if they can convince me that they are no longer associated with spam.

thanks, spammer.

and, of course, nobody is going to be seriously affected by all of this falderal (except, possibly, me), because the message was, doubtlessly, sent by a script that scans for “Contact Us” forms, and dumps meaningless spam into them automatically, without any one person having to do anything other than launch the script, which is why i’ve taken to blocking CIDR ranges outside of north america with no further warning. if people are going to be that careless with their own security, it’s up to people like me to take their security seriously, for them.

thanks, spammer. 🤬

before the mushrooms kick in…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

we actually stayed on coronado island

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

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

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

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

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

random reminder

great swaths of the internet from the following countries have been permanently banned from viewing my web sites and sending me email, due to ongoing, egregious spamming activity:

albania
angola
argentina
aruba
australia
bangladesh
belarus
belgium
bosnia
brazil
british virgin islands
bulgaria
canada
chile
china
colombia
congo
denmark
denmark
egypt
finland
france
germany
guatemala
herzegovina
hong kong
iceland
india
indonesia
ireland
israel
italy
japan
kenya
latvia
lithuania
macau
malasia
mexico
moldova
netherlands
nigeria
norway
pakistan
panama
philippines
poland
romania
russia
serbia
seychelles
singapore
slovakia
south africa
spain
sweden
switzerland
taiwan
thailand
turkey
UK
ukraine
uruguay
viet nam

and more than a few from the united states, for good measure. 😒

spam is bad. stop spam on internet.

2019 panto banner

5’x7.5′ 2019 panto banner, normal-sized cat, for scale.

i got the green light to print the banners on tuesday. this is thursday…

i’m REALLY impressed: they took our artwork (me, norma, and mimi) and printed it at 300dpi on a 60″x90″ banner, and they did a GOOD job of it in a VERY short period of time: i sent them the artwork on tuesday, and, according to their web site, they had everything done and it was shipped by wednesday evening… it didn’t actually get to me until thursday morning, but even that is a lot faster than i was expecting… and two 5’x7½’ banners for $155 is astounding… seriously, i was expecting them to be at least $155 A PIECE… 👍‼‼

update to the update.

chris came over to talk about printing.

he actually convinced me to make some minor changes to the back of the postcard: i changed one typeface to bold, and increased it by one point.

it was more than i should have done, but i wanted to seem like i was giving in to at least one of his demands.

and the only reason i didn’t tell him to take the finished files and make the changes himself is because i’ve worked with him for a long time, and, allegedly, he’s my friend.

but, honestly, it seems like he has drunk the kool-aid a little bit on this one.

however, one way or the other, the postcards are currently at the printer, so no further changes can be made. and, as they’re getting 5,000 of them, there’s a good chance that there won’t be a second run.

still don’t know about the poster. leah has already printed some — who knows how many — so there might not be any more. 😒

i should update this thing again…

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

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

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

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

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

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

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

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

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

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

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

to which i responded “that’s right.”

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

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

to which i responded

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

which was ignored… 🤦

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——

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

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

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

——

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

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

tee…

i’ve recently taken to blocking great swaths of IP addresses in foreign countries, which only send me spam.

she has HUGE… tracts of land…

i have undertaken this policy because using a utility that automatically blocks IP addresses from foreign countries costs money (😒) and using a utility would only work on hybridelephant dot com, and nowhere else.

so, i learned about CIDR, learned how to identify host countries based on IP addresses, and learned how to block IP addresses based on CIDR numbers…

now, instead of blocking a single IP address — which is pointless, because spammers know that a single IP address only works until the spamees figure it out and block it, so they move on to the next one — i block entire swaths of IP addresses: the most common are the /24 range, which blocks 256 (28) IP addresses, and the /16 range, which blocks 65,536 (216) addresses.

and i can block spam from those IP addresses on ALL of my domains, not just hybridelephant dot com. 😉

which brings me to the point of this post: i recently blocked the third IN A SERIES of IP addresses from bangladesh: now i have 185.222.56.0/24, 185.222.57.0/24, AND 185.222.58.0/24 blocked.

which, technically, means that i could block 185.222.56.0/23 and 185.222.58.0/24 with the same effect, because 185.222.56.0/24 plus 185.222.57.0/24 equals 185.222.56.0/23

i love that i am able to do this.

i also love that i am able to understand this as much as i do… which is not very much, but enough that i have been successful in reducing the amount of spam i get by a SIGNIFICANT amount, and not affected my legitimate mail in the slightest degree. 😈

art coming…

i’ve had this bizarre feeling… like i’m about to create something.

i’m not sure what it’s going to be yet.

i’ve put together some outrageous beads that are begging to be made into something exotic and elaborate.

i’ve also got the feeling that, perhaps, i’m going to do something in the workshop… where i’ve already got at least two art projects that are in the process, but haven’t been actively worked on in a year or more. i also keep feeling like i should be carving something, possibly wood or stone, but, again, i’m not sure exactly what it’s going to be.

i don’t get this feeling often.

it’s like an itch on my back that i can’t quite reach: the more i scratch around it, the more intense it gets.

and…

and, like magic, the final decision has been made that we are, in fact, NOT going to yakima.

100% guaranteed, no changing our minds this time, no going back, it’s finished, done, over, the decision has been made.

the guy sent us the contract. it doesn’t have any of the changes that we discussed when we were in salem, and he hasn’t even tried to answer any of the questions we had, or addressed any of the demands we made after coming back from salem.

so, we’re not doing the yakima gig.

period.

PHEW!!!‼‼‼

meanwhile, my compact mic stand arrived, which means that now i can take my tuba, and my rolling tote, and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE, with AC power not required. i can also take my harmonic flute and busk, amplified, ANYWHERE…

my 8’x8′ bright red pop-up canopy arrives tomorrow, and that, combined with the massive quantities of aluminet shade cloth that monique just acquired for me, means that i can set up a rudimentary stage with some protection from the wind and rain.

on the other paw, we had an okay set, and an OUTSTANDING set at the pike place market today. the okay set brought in $9 a piece, and the OUTSTANDING set brought in $29 a piece.

we only did one day’s worth of performing, for twice as much time, when we were in salem, where we brought in over twenty dollars.

i agree with hobbit, that performing for the casino, where deni actually works, would be an outstanding gig, but he’s SO FUCKING DISORGANISED that i doubt it’s ever going to happen in reality.

arf! 🤬

the word that i just got is that we are, indeed, going to yakima.

i don’t have any more details, yet, however:

1) the guy who complained about us not being colourful enough is eric. eric is the guy we were supposed to contact when we got to salem, but when we got there, and called his number, we were informed that he no longer works for the oregon state fair, and we should call someone else.

2) eric is also the guy who was supposed to be responsible for procuring the signs that didn’t exist at the oregon state fair, a fact which cost us a fair amount in tips that didn’t come in because (as was clearly demonstrated) people didn’t know that we were NOT being paid a substantial amount by the fair to be there and entertain them. to counteract this for yakima, we demanded to be paid $2,000 if yakima had signs, $2,200 if they didn’t have signs, and $2,500 if they said they would put up signs, but don’t actually do it.

3) deni apparently “went to bat” for us, and got us hired in spite of eric’s complaints that we weren’t colourful enough. whether or not this means that the issue of the signs (see item 2) that we put into our list of demands (or, for that matter, ANY of our list of demands) has been met remains to be seen.

part of this is because hobbit is so broke that busking to bring in some money NOW is more important to him than clearing up questions such as this. i trust hobbit — more or less — so i’m fairly sure that he wouldn’t deliberately put me into a situation which, ultimately, would leave me screwed, but, because of the fact that he’s so broke, i can’t be 100% sure, and even if i was 100% sure that hobbit won’t screw me, i still have significant reservations about deni, and i’m actually fairly sure that eric would deliberately do things to fuck with me, knowingly or not, simply because he has done so in the recent past. 🤬

so… whee… we’re going to busk for 10 days in yakima. woo. 😒

hopefully it will be more “productive” than salem was.

woooof…

so the feedback that we got from deni, regarding the oregon fair was that we “weren’t colourful enough”…

190902 not colourful enough
190902 not colourful enough

this is a selfie i took on the last day of the fair.

i was wearing my red hat, blue sunglasses, a rainbow tie-dyed hawaiian shirt, a multicoloured tibetan vest, a kilt with a bright purple band, PLAYING A TUBA AND SITTING ON THE GROUND‼‼‼

if this isn’t “colourful” enough for him, i’m sorry, but that’s all i can do… 😒

we’ve emailed deni with our “list of demands” for the yakima fair. he hasn’t responded.

he has until thursday, which is a week before we would have to leave for the yakima fair.

if he doesn’t respond before then, we’re not going, which would be 100% fine with me.

if he does, we’ll have to see what he has to say about our list of demands before we’re going to decide.

i’m not holding my breath.

woof!

i got back from the oregon state fair yesterday. things went as follows:

we left at approximately 10:00 am, the morning of thursday, august 22nd, on our way to salem, oregon. on our way, before we got to the I5-I205 split, just north of vancouver, washington, we stopped to meet deni, the guy who hired us to busk. we picked up a preliminary check for $500, and got some advice concerning our appearances — “shave yer scruff, this is a family-oriented show”, and “be colourful”, were the gist of it. there was no inkling of how absolutely pointless this would be, but we were blissfully ignorant, and pressed on.

we got to the fairgrounds and almost immediately discovered that the guy we had been told (by deni) to contact, was no longer working for the fair, and we should contact another guy, who turned out to be joe, but he wasn’t available, so we proceded to our hotel.

the hotel had two criteria: it had to be “convenient”, and it had to be “cheap”. it was both of those things. we were, literally, less than a mile and a half from the fairgrounds — i walked almost the entire distance the first morning we were there, and didn’t realise it because i decided to go back before the road curved around so that i could see the fairground. it was also “cheap” in that it cost less than $900 for an 11-night stay with two beds… but it wasn’t particularly clean: the kitchenette and the refrigerator had mysteriously consistent yellow stains, the shower-curtain rod looked like someone had tried, and failed, to do pull-ups on it, the shower curtain itself was infested with black mold, the sheets and towels were stained, and the staff that i interacted with, with the exception of the lady who checked us in, and a different lady who checked us out, were surly and inconsistent, yelling at us for smoking on the breezeway outside our room, but smoking, herself, in an area that has a sign designating it as a “no smoking” area. for a hotel that had two criteria, however, it fit the bill adequately, and we didn’t spend much time there, apart from sleeping, anyway.

we were supposed to show up at 10:30 am, friday, for indoctrination an important meeting with joe, where we were going to be shown the fairgrounds, the “green room”, get our ID badges and parking permit, and other important stuff. the GPS told us to take 17th ave. to the “red gate”, but 17th ave. was blocked off with a sign that said “vendors exempt”, and we had been told that we were “vendors”, so i pulled around the barricades and was immediately confronted by a harried woman with blonde hair, who said i couldn’t go that way. i said “we’re vendors”, to which she responded, “you can’t go this way” and proceded to give us directions that took us, essentially “around the block”, so that we were approaching from the other direction. we thought it was a little odd, but we didn’t have our ID badges or parking permit, so i said “fuck it” and drove around the block… and, it turned out, that it was, in fact, to the other end of 17th street, and we encountered the “red gate” almost immediately… but we didn’t have a parking permit, so the drone wouldn’t let us park in the VIP lot, which was where we had been told to park. we parked along the street, and inquired at the “red gate information booth” — it said so, with a big sign that could be seen from the other end of 17th street, which caused similar sorts of confusion for two more days, until i decided not to deal with the situation any longer, and drove around the block without even stopping to discuss the matter with the harried looking woman any longer. eventually, we were told, that 17th street is only one way, during the fair, but there weren’t any signs indicating that, and there were other vehicles travelling the “wrong direction” on 17th, but, apparently, WE were “not supposed to”… which is one of the reasons i gave up trying to get a reason out of anybody…

anyway, we parked, and, eventually, met up with joe and brian, a magician, who had also been hired by deni. there was supposed to be a third guy, pug, but his car had broken down somewhere outside of salem, and he was still trying to get there, so we did the orientation without him. joe piled all of us onto a “gator” — basically a large, motorised, all-terrain tractor/cart thingy — and showed us some places we could, potentially, busk. he also showed us the “green room” which was an unlocked and unguarded room at the back of the stadium, where he said we could store our instruments…

fat chance…

dole whip
and then he took us back to the red gate, and gave us our parking permit and our ID badges, and set us free to decide where we were going to busk for 4 hours. we decided on the last place we looked at, which was across from a dole whip booth, in a place where, we figured, we would get A LOT of traffic, and we were not disappointed… however it was also right behind the big stadium, and about 50 yards away from another stage — the Spirit of Oregon Stage — both of which had EXTREMELY loud bands at what seemed like random times, sometimes overlapping, and, while we COULD busk there, we, literally, couldn’t be heard most of the time…
JIGGLE FOOT!!!
and that’s not to mention the “Jiggle Foot” devices — enormous, brightly coloured feet, barrels, or logs, in which one puts quarters in order to cause a platform attached to a “magic-fingers”-like thing to jiggle, allegedly “rejuvanating” your feet. we had to do some creative re-imagining of how the jiggle-foot devices were plugged in, in order to have enough power for our amps, and for the jiggle-feet. and then one of them broke: first it jiggled REALLY LOUDLY, and then it stopped working at all, which caused many people to complain about it, which caused the fair security guards to come around, discover our creative re-imagining, and summarily unplug our amps, so that, even when there weren’t bands playing, we couldn’t be heard above the crowd noise.

and then, joe disappeared, and was replaced by britanny, until saturday the 31st, when he showed up again.

Howlin Hobbit and Washboard Willie
Howlin Hobbit and Washboard Willie
somewhere in the chaos, hobbit heard some music that he found familiar, which, it turned out, was being made by a fellow named washboard willie, who hobbit busked with at the pike place market, 30 years ago. every day after that, we were visited by washboard willy and his rig, as they wandered by.

we put up with the noise until sunday the 25th, when we requested a different place to play, as we were pushing what we thought was an 8:30 closing time (which turned out to be incorrect, yet another screw-up), and we had only JUST completed our “contractual obligation” of 4 hours of busking. we were given the opportunity to busk under a tree, in the vicinity of a “dippin’ dots” booth and the booth of a hmong fabric artist, and right under the uphill slope of the northwest terminus for the “fair lift”, the oregon state fair’s answer to the “sky ride” from the washington state fair. there wasn’t quite as large a crowd of people constantly going by, but at least we could play without getting blasted away by disco turned up to 11…

Peanut Envy on the Fair Lift
Peanut Envy on the Fair Lift
monday the 26th was a lot more relaxed. we had the pop-up, but we didn’t need it, because of the shade from the tree. i asked, and was informed that they “would allow” us to take our instruments on the fair lift, so, tuesday, we did our first set on the fair lift, which was kind of amusing, although it was more than a little cramped.

Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift
Peanut Envy on the fair lift

by wednesday the 28th, it was pretty clear that we weren’t making ANYWHERE NEAR as much in tips as we could have been making at home, at the market, so we made some signs to encourage people. that was when we found out that, in spite of the fact that we had been assured otherwise, and we had actually submitted a “publicity photo” for them, there actually WERE NOT signs at the gates, indicating our presence, and suggesting that people who encountered us give us money in exchange for us entertaining them. the signs that we made, made the difference between $17 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance — which is worse than the worst day i have EVER had at the market, by a long shot — and $97 total, in tips for 4 hours of performance, which is an adequate day at the market for 2 hours of performance… but it still wasn’t a lot, which was really discouraging.

apart from not making very much in tips (a little more than $500 total, for 11 days, which works out to about $5.96 per hour, per person), the rest of the fair was pretty uneventful. we settled into a routine of doing a half hour set, with a half hour break, and then four 45-minute sets separated by half hour breaks, and then finishing with a half hour set around 6:00 pm… except for sunday, the 1st, when we were feeling rested enough that we had decided to play a 7th set, because joe (remember him) had said that we were okay until 8:45, when all the entertainment crew would be required for a fire show… but we had just started the 7th set, at 7:15 pm, when a different guy showed up and said that if we didn’t pack up and load out RIGHT THEN, that we wouldn’t be able to load out until 11:30, because of the fire show…

and, after that, we never saw joe again, so we don’t know why it happened that way… but it was just another frustration that made me VERY glad to get back home.

and then, on monday the 2nd, hobbit started losing it. i am sure he was tired, and fact that he has the worst case of sleep-apnea i have ever heard, AND his diet (which consisted largely of whiskey and cigarettes) probably didn’t help matters, but, during our first set, hobbit started out playing his ukulele and singing, and then sort of faded out, started singing gibberish, and then went to sleep… THREE TIMES!!! the first time, i thought it was kind of an odd thing that i had never seen from hobbit before, but by the third time, i was seriously concerned that he was having a stroke or something, so i flagged down a roving EMT, who put hobbit through his paces, and tested his blood pressure, which was 180/90. there wasn’t much he could do, and by that time, hobbit was complaining he was really okay, so he went away, and came back a couple hours later to check. hobbit really was okay, but i’ve kind of got a short fuse when it comes to potential brain injuries.

by the time tuesday came around, i was really glad to leave our sleazy hotel and get back to my own bed.

and, if everything goes the way i think it will, we (meaning hobbit and i) will do it all again, in yakima, in a couple of weeks…

whee…

fump

anhedonia has made me ambivalent about the fact that i am leaving on thursday for 11 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Oregon State Fair in Salem.

then i’m returning home for a couple of weeks, and then i’m going to Yakima for 10 days of PAID busking(‼) at the Central Washington State Fair.

i’m getting PAID(‼) $825 for oregon and $750 for yakima, plus half of whatever we make passing the hat (because real buskers can actually do that), which we have been recommended to do about every 15 or 20 minutes. we’re working (in oregon) from 11:30 am to 8:30 pm, but they only want 4 to 5 hours of busking in that time period. we have to pay for a hotel room in oregon, but a hotel room is included in yakima.

i got some more mushrooms from macque, and i got a whole bunch of encouragement regarding growing mushrooms from macque (who is, apparently, an expert. who knew?) and from rossi, who is an art cartist and the friend of ranger’s, who i got the mushrooms from last year. i’m taking some to salem. who knows whether or not i will be motivated to use them during the time i’m gone…

in other news, i got a pair of blue sunglasses, because looking at the world through 💩-coloured glasses was making me REALLY depressed, despite how much i liked them — and how many of my clothes matched the 💩-coloured sunglasses… but i really like the blue sunglasses even more, despite the fact that they’re not polarised, which makes driving in the bright sunlight a little difficult.

Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!

Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!*
June 6, 2019
by Paul Krugman
nytimes.com

Tina Chopp claims that she can “fix anything!” I don’t know about the results of any business big or small, but I certainly know about the results of electing a God.

Citizens of the United States were tired of political campaigns in which voters were supposed to make an informed choice, and come November they chose not to do so. Perhaps that was because political campaigns are often tedious, or because, in 2018, the choices were so severe, or perhaps, as I argued yesterday, because the traditional definition of democracy, which involves an informed choice by voters, had been rendered absurd by the rise of special-interest money in politics. Voters may understand politics in idiosyncratic ways, but they are not rational. They can’t know everything; the information they have is too incomplete and cluttered for anyone to take proper stock of the candidates.

But citizens have not been irrationally inert in general, either. There are times when an informed opinion is just as right as the next one, and there are times when an informed opinion is just as bad as the next one. It is sometimes not even possible to know the difference between them — in recent days, for example, a number of the #MeToo protesters spent all day in the public square, insisting that they knew a lot more than they seemed to, and finally decided that the house was haunted.

The election of a God enables one to ignore the matter altogether, and the designation of such a God, apparently, is self-explanatory. This should not be any kind of problem, because the Bible is faith. And faith does not need to be backed up by anything, and certainly not by objective knowledge, so Chopp can rewrite the Bible as she likes, just as she will rewrite your favorite movie, or your favorite TV show, as she wants, without a single backward glance toward theological detail.

People who mock the idea of electing a God often find themselves apologizing when, like Chopp, they refuse to back up the idea, insisting that a deity is just not necessary. (Especially when a deity so obviously favors Israel!) But it is necessary; this is not a joking matter, in my view. The natural condition of people is self-referential, and we not only judge other people’s quality, but we judge ourselves. Many of us would naturally opt for a God who is on our side.

And the sad truth is that Chopp and her kind seem to be, if not quite an entirely new threat, then a near-complete one. They have replaced democracy, which is now generally pretty awful (but which gives us some rare gains in some areas — civic organizing, campaigning, electoral infrastructure, resistance) with religion, which, while superficially attractive, is also pretty distasteful. Christianity, of course, has always been toxic, but churches even in countries with relatively strong traditions of democracy — Austria, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland, Finland, Iceland, Iceland again — have been susceptible to corrupting tendencies. So too, it seems, has the idea of electing a God.

Some combination of middlebrow and educated parents will remain ready to do their children the honor of having them baptized into a god whose politics are unclear, and who tells her followers to “immediate action!” And if anyone even remotely similar surfaces, but even a relatively uneducated or educated churchgoer won’t mind telling an unbeliever to “please pray.” The fundamental question is this: Are we really serious about denying Chopp her God, or are we just sending a message to those who might — and the decline of political parties makes this more and more certain — become moderates by necessity?

Continue reading Tina Chopp is God! Praise Her OR DIE!!

seriously…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

🤬

Mother People


(it’s an .ogg file. if you don’t have the proper codec for it by this time, fuck you.)

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you…

Do you think that I’m crazy?
Out of my mind?
Do you think that I creep in the night
And sleep in a phone booth?

Lemme take a minute & tell you my plan
Lemme take a minute & tell who I am
If it doesn’t show,
Think you better know
I’m another person

Do you think that my pants are too tight?
Do you think that I’m creepy?

Better look around before you say you don’t care
Shut your fuckin’ mouth about the length of my hair
How would you survive
If you were alive
Shitty little person?

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you

We are the other people
We are the other people
We are the other people
You’re the other people too
Found a way to get to you

Do you think that I love you…
Stupid & blind?
Do you think that I dream through the night
Of holding you near me?

Lemme take a minute & tell you my plan
Lemme take a minute & tell who I am
If it doesn’t show
Think you better know
I’m another person

TITTlES

Toad Finder of Renton (there’s a recurring theme around toads that i find interesting)
Smurf Academy
I Brainwash Cats
Mexican Junk Food
Smarmy Pants
YART
Made In Vagina
Antique Fitness
Retina & Macula – Attorneys at Law
Swank and Brumbles
Baby Jell-O
All You Can Eat Tobacco Bar
Free Flu Shot – 10% Off
Buy 8 Gallons Of Subway Diesel
Now Hiring Deep Fried Turkey
Toads Schmoads
Toad Mop (see what i mean?)
On Site Manatee
16-Foot Walls And Tape
Orgasmic String Cheese
Slims Pie Meeting
Yard Onion
  PUN
  CHA
  COP
NOHEGGERS
Vanilla Quicksand
Why Waste Good Garbage
Kids’ Smoke Shop
Now Hiring Topsoil Mulch Truck Drivers
Shite The Road
Scum Ball
Hey Look! Toxic!
இது ஒரு மாட்டின் பின் புறத்திலிருந்து வருகிறது.
Meaty Produce
We Rent Small Toads (more toads)
Ginger Snoop
Bleach For The Moon

spam update

as of 190729, the following IP addresses, and top-level domains are BLOCKED from my web sites, for egregious spamming behaviour:

5.104.108.0/24 – germany
5.188.210.0/24 – russia
5.226.136.0/21 – UK
23.19.0.0/19 – russia
23.82.128.0/22 – VIRGINIA, USA
31.13.191.0/24 – sweden
37.120.135.0/24 – italy
37.120.159.0/24 – UK
45.12.176.0/22 – india
45.81.0.0/22 – UK
51.15.0.0/18 – france/belgium
51.38.157.0/26 – poland
51.89.30.128/26 – denmark
77.81.105.0/24 – romania
77.81.106.0/24 – romania
80.211.253.0/24 – aruba/italy
85.25.236.0/22 – germany
85.204.49.0/24 – romania
85.204.50.0/24 – romania
85.206.165.8/29 – lithuania/canada
85.254.72.0/24 – latvia
86.109.170.0/24 – spain
88.201.208.0/20 – russia
88.247.0.0/18 – turkey
88.247.64.0/20 – turkey
89.36.224.0/25 – romania
89.44.138.0/23 – romania
89.238.128.0/18 – UK
92.101.192.0/22 – russia
93.125.99.0/24 – belarus/canada
95.37.128.0/17 – russia
95.216.0.0/15 – finland
103.39.132.0/22 – india
103.62.92.0/22 – india
103.76.22.0/23 – indonesia
103.113.3.0/24 – indonesia
103.138.238.0/24 – india
104.245.144.0/22 – canada
105.174.0.0/15 – angola
109.93.128.0/17 – serbia
109.158.0.0/16 – UK
109.175.96.0/19 – bosnia and herzegovina
109.245.80.0/21 – serbia
118.107.180.0/24 – hong kong
133.0.0.0/8 – japan (this represents 16,777,216 individual IP addresses, the largest block allocated by the IANA 🤬)
134.90.149.176/29 – norway
139.99.0.0/17 – singapore
142.59.228.0/22 – canada
150.95.104.0/21 – vietnam
151.106.10.154/31 – china/france
151.106.12.240/28 – romania
157.157.87.0/24 – iceland
168.196.0.0/22 – argentina
176.9.0.0/16 – bulgaria
177.36.246.0/24 brazil
178.17.160.0/21 – moldova
178.17.168.0/21 – moldova
178.162.208.0/21 – germany
178.162.220.0/22 – germany
178.175.128.0/18 – moldova
181.214.60.0/22 – brazil
181.215.96.0/19 – brazil (london, columbia, chicago)
182.50.128.0/19 – singapore
182.52.0.0/15 – japan/thailand
182.56.0.0/14 – india
183.80.144.0/20 – vietnam
183.89.0.0/16 – thailand
185.9.147.0/24 – russia
185.93.3.0/24 – UK
185.94.189.128/27 – romania
185.103.110.0/24 – finland
185.125.32.0/22 – turkey
185.128.27.0/24 – italy
185.156.173.0/24 – france
185.206.224.0/24 – denmark
185.220.101.0/25 – germany
185.222.58.0/24 – bangladesh
185.230.127.0/24 – germany
185.234.0.0/22 – ireland/UK
188.209.52.0/24 – macau
193.56.28.0/24 – UK
193.201.224.0/22 – ukraine
195.181.166.0/24 – UK
199.249.230.0/24 – TEXAS, USA
200.40.96.0/24 – uruguay
201.138.46.0/24 – mexico
203.113.160.0/19 – vietnam

.bid – auctions
.br – brazil
.casa – “house”
.cf – central african republic
.club – groups, organizations, assemblies, communities, general
.cn – china
.date – online dating
.direct – general
.do – dominican republic
.download – technology
.es – spain
.faith – religion and churches
.fun
.gq – equatorial guinea
.hk – hong kong
.host – network companies
.icu – entrepreneurs and business owners
.life
.live
.loan – banks and lenders
.md – moldova
.moda – “fashion”
.mp – northern mariana islands (and anyone using mailchi.mp)
.ms – montserrat
.ooo
.online
.party – nightclubs and social gatherings
.pro – professions/professionals
.racing – racing
.review – public reviews
.ru – russia
.site
.space – as a creative space
.store – stores
.stream
.top
.trade – businesses
.webcam – web cam shows and video sharing
.website
.win – games, micro$oft windoesn’t
.world
.xyz
.za – south africa

if you recognise your IP address, or if you are one of the unfortunates whose web sites have one of the preceding TLDs, i’m sorry, but it had to be done… maybe if you contacted your ISP and complained, they might do something about it. 😒

i did it

i finally went through all of my photos and found a “some random hippie” photo for every year from 2004 until the present, with the exception (for some, as-yet unknown reason) of 2010. the current trend of a picture in the mirror began in 2009.

Some Random Hippie, 2019
Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2015
Some Random Hippie, 2014
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011
Some Random Hippie, 2010 – apparently doesn’t exist… 😕
Some Random Hippie, 2009
Some Random Hippie, 2008
Some Random Hippie, 2007
Some Random Hippie, 2006
Some Random Hippie, 2005 (with Schmootzi The Clod)
Some Random Hippie, 2004

some random hippie, 2019

fair was fair:

i didn’t camp where i wanted to (right next to the stage), because my tent was too large, so i camped where i was last year, which was down in the gully behind the stage; i connected with people i only see once a year, including the bearded guy from the mighty tiny puppet theatre, whose name i don’t remember; we didn’t play at the ritz (again), however i took three saunas and got 4 tokens, one from the hat after the show (i now have 35 tokens);

2019 OCF 50th anniversary
2019 OCF 50th anniversary
i connected with the hat-lady, who said that her life had fallen apart, and then she wasn’t sure i would like my (wonderful, amazing, outrageous) hat, which is why it took her eight months to send it to me… i told her she doesn’t know me very well, and gave her many hugs to reassure her that i do, indeed, love THE HELL out of my WONDERFUL, AMAZING, OUTRAGEOUS HAT — 😍 — i stayed up way later than i should have, multiple days in a row, and i only slept through one cue, i didn’t take any pictures, because, for the most part, they would be the same pictures i have taken since i first started going to the fair, i gave away 60 “Step Into Panto-Land” buttons, mostly to people who have no idea what it meant, the electronics for my harmonic flute decided to malfunction in a way that i have to be at home to fix, so i didn’t play my harmonic flute more than a little bit, although i learned how to play another style of end-blown flute, and i’m really excited to try new stuff with PVC as a result, i was part of the group that was disinvited to the memorial service for dead fair family (the whole Fremont Players troupe was disinvited, after having exchanged numerous emails with the people organising it, which indicated that we would, indeed, be a part of the program, prior to the fair), and i don’t know why, nor will i ever, probably…

nobody knows what happened to the totem pole, that i talked to, and one person told me not to bring it up. 😒

however, barring other, cooler things happening at the same time, i’ll more than likely go back again next year. i’m still open to other suggestions, however. 😉

some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019
some random hippie, 2019

Some Random Hippie, 2018
Some Random Hippie, 2017
Some Random Hippie, 2016
Some Random Hippie, 2013
Some Random Hippie, 2012
Some Random Hippie, 2011

bleah…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

art? jewelry?

i made a necklace that i’m particularly proud of:

190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace

190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace
190618 gauri shankar sivalingam necklace

i can’t decide whether it’s art, or jewelry… or possibly both… and spiritually oriented, as well: the “penis” is a sivalingam, and the “testicles” are a gauri shankar, which is two naturally-joined rudrakshas.

it doesn’t have any real “traditional” meaning, at least not as far as i know, so it may represent what they call “cultural appropriation”, but, if it does, i don’t care, because it doesn’t represent that to me. to me it represents all of the best that can be represented by Ṣíva and Ganeṣa… and it looks awesome, and, perhaps, a little bit silly. 🤪 there is more about gauri shankar and sivalingam available for those who may be interested.

i might be convinced to sell it — maybe, at some undefined future time — but i think i would charge at least $500 for it… maybe more. 😉

Continue reading art? jewelry?

interesting? unusual?

approximately 6:30 pm — so far it’s been interesting? unusual?

i have been, and continue to be high, in certain ways (clumsy typing among them), and i continue to “see things” that are there, perhaps in ways that i might not if i were not “altered”, but…

190605 i’m not looking directly at the sun, my camera is! 😜

(also, the previous one was taken yesterday, so it may not count)

190606 three faces

what, you don’t see three faces? they’ve been looking out of my neighbour’s fence for a few years, now…

190606 imagine…

imagine a torso on that pair of legs… 😉

then, when i got home from my walk, i got a letter in the mail from the pike place market foundation…

190606 TINA CHOPP IS GOD!

it’s as “official” as it can be, at this point. they say “This stainless steel Charm will dance and shine on the new MarketFront Plaza for generations”, but they said the same thing about my tile, back in the ’80s, and look what happened there…

i’m “high”, but it’s different. instead of being euphoric, i’m depressed… but high. things “feel” okay, but i know that, when i am not “high”, they’re actually going to be a lot worse than i have allowed myself to imagine, because i am “high”…

it’s not an unpleasant sensation, but i’m not sure a repeat of it would be entirely welcome.

once again

🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄🍄

approximately 2:00 pm – it’s been a few months, and i stopped because i was running low and didn’t have any resources for more… i still have, essentially, no resources apart from one guy at the market who said he was waiting for his connection, and another, possible resource who is a friend of the last guy i got them from, who, allegedly, grows them on a more or less “commercial” basis.

at this point, i just swallowed them about 5 minutes ago. nothing has happened, yet, but i don’t really expect them to kick in for 20 to 30 minutes.

spam

this kind of thing REALLY annoys me! 🤬

Hi! hybridelephant.com

We make available

Sending your message through the feedback form which can be found on the sites in the Communication section. Contact form are filled in by our software and the captcha is solved. The superiority of this method is that messages sent through feedback forms are whitelisted. This method increases the odds that your message will be read.

Our database contains more than 25 million sites around the world to which we can send your message.

The cost of one million messages 99 USD

FREE TEST mailing of 50,000 messages to any country of your choice.

i put this up on my contact form, but it doesn’t seem to have done any good… in fact, i think it may have encouraged them:

PLEASE NOTE: This contact form is solely for the use of Hybrid Elephant customers who need to get in contact with us. Every message that is sent with this form includes a unique IP address in the header, which identifies the computer from which the message was sent. If you use this form to spam us, all you will accomplish is to put your IP address on the list of IP addresses (789 as of 190601) which are PERMANENTLY BANNED from accessing Hybrid Elephant for any reason. Please DO NOT USE THIS FORM to send us advertisements or solicitations. It WILL NOT WORK! You have been warned!

add new

it’s june.

when it changes to july, we’re going to have to go to OCF and put on something resembling a show for the folks.

usually, by this time, we’ve got a finished script that the cast has been rehearsing for a few weeks, and most of the music, which the band has been rehearsing for a couple of weeks.

this year, they JUST got the script finished a few days ago, they just got their characters a few days ago, they still have to make all of their costumes and props, and the band has NO music — which has to be completely rewritten from scratch, even though we’re doing a panto that we have done in the past, Jack And The Beanstalk.

and, as far as the band goes, as far as i know, we don’t have enough people to make the band more than a rhythm section, and, MAYBE a saxophone, or a bassoon… or, possibly, both…

the only thing i know, for sure, that is already planned and in the works, is a memorial parade for simon… thrill… walking over uneven ground (not even going to try marching) with a tuba, slung from an over-the-shoulder strap while trying to manage music on a lyre… 😒 😟

OCF is going to be interesting, this year…

The PHBFH 😱

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

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

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

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

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

on the other hand… it’s the PHBFH… 😱

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

the PHBFH

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

190526 The PHBFH
190526 The PHBFH

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

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

it was creepy seeing her… 😱

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

glurdge…

  • 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…

once again, i am encouraged to “donate” my shares to the continuation of the moisture festival.

not likely. 😒

buskingniksub

190511 salamandir, by jon leach
190511 salamandir, by jon leach
when you hang around the pike place market enough, particularly if you don’t look exactly like pretty much everybody else, you will eventually end up having your photo taken by one of the multitude of street photographers who descend in droves on the market thinking that they will get “that shot” which will propell them into the realm of famous photographers like ansel adams or robert mapplethorpe. in this case, it was a chap called jon leach, who has been doing street photography for about 5 years — no clue what he did before that — and he took a photo of me that i like, because when you look at the whole, reduced photo, i look serious, almost frowning, but if you look at the photo up close, i’m actually smiling.
190511 salamandir, up close
190511 salamandir, up close

busking this week has been a mass of contradictions: yesterday, we played two sets, after having been displaced at 11:00 from the place where i had added us to the list at 8:00 because an amplified band (which is “banned from busking at the market”) was setting up to play in a “flower festival” which the market managers had neglected to tell us buskers about until we actually got there — and they posted a new notice regarding the closure in exactly the same place where the “get your new buskers’ permit” notice had been, so the people (including me) who signed up on the list didn’t notice it until it was too late… so we went up the alley, behind the iron stairs, and busked for an hour, took an hour break (because “the official rules” say you have to), and played most of a second set before we got fed up — in the middle of a song — and said fuck it.

the reason we got fed up is because there were probably 20 people, from people taking pictures with their cell phones all the way up to people who had professional camera equipment, taking our photos, which includes a sign in a very prominent, central location, which says, in large letters “TIP FOR PHOTOS”, but NOT TIPPING FOR PHOTOS! 😠🤬

seriously! some of these people came in pairs, one of them standing next to, or behind us, and the other person, with the camera, lining up the shot so that we were both in the frame, with the sign that says “TIP FOR PHOTOS” in the frame as well, and when they were done mugging for the camera, they just turned around and walked off as though we were plastic manequins… and not starving musicians who have a combined total of more than a century of experience playing music.

my understanding is that the problem is partially because of the cruise ship companies which offer fares that “include all gratuities”, and partially because of the common myth that buskers are paid by the market. both are WRONG!! and it make life particularly awful for folks that have to make their living busking when people act like buskers are free.

on the other end of the scale are days like today, when we played 3 sets and made almost $50 a piece, which works out to around $16 an hour… which is not outstanding, but it’s enough that it makes you want to come back out and try it again tomorrow.

and then there’s the pike place market foundation. back in the ’80s, when the market was being renovated for the first time, i bought an inscribed tile, which was originally placed outside of the athenian tavern…

i had a picture of it, at one time, but i can’t locate it currently. 😒

anyway, they had to replace the floor in front of the athenian, in the ’90s, because it was unstable, and they tore out the section of floor that had my tile in it, and replaced it with somebody else’s tile.

when i bought that tile, i was in the tech school, and the price of the tile was in lieu of half a week’s groceries, but when i asked the market foundation about it when i discovered it was missing, in 2016, their response was to say that if it was not there, then it was not going to be replaced, and my money meant nothing. they offered me a “market charm” to be installed in the new section of the market (which they hadn’t even built yet) as a replacement, to which i agreed.

but it was, apparently, never installed. yesterday, i asked the lady custodian of the market charm database to check, and she couldn’t find it. so i filled out another market charm request, and she said it should be installed this fall, and i can check at their database at PikeUp dot org. while i was at the market foundation booth, i also bought a “pig pin” which came with this interesting printed card:

Pig Pin card
Pig Pin card

i noticed a design detail on the card, which caused this conversation between me and the lady at the booth:
ME: this card has swastikas on it! cool!
Lady At The Booth: those aren’t swastikas.
ME: they’re swastikas, they’re just not what you expected to see when i said “swastika”… they’re not nazi swastikas, they’re ORIGINAL swastikas, from before the nazis got hold of it: they’re “little good luck charms”, which is what the word “swastika” means, in sanskrit.
Lady At The Booth: yeah, but they’re not swastikas, there’s another name for it.
ME: the german word for a swastika is “hakenkreuz”. the reason english-speaking people use the word “swastika” is because nobody could figure out how to say “hakenkreuz”.
Lady At The Booth: but there’s another name for them.
ME: the word “swastika” is a sanskrit word that means “little good luck charm”. it’s the perfect symbol to put on the pike place market “good luck token”, and most people probably wouldn’t even realise that it’s a swastika, because it’s not a nazi swastika. the swastika is one of the world’s oldest symbols, and it was around, as a symbol of good luck for, literally, thousands of years before the nazis got hold of it! it’s about time we started taking it back, and making it into a symbol of good luck again!
Lady At The Booth: really? cool! 😊

allegedly, they’re going to snail-mail me when the charm is installed, but they said they were going to install it in 2016, and they didn’t, so it remains to be seen what they’re really going to do.

dead people

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

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

the next person to die should be me.

really.

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

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

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

my wonderful pet, frank zappa the cat

my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa, the cat, innocently playing with a cat toy in a patch of sunlight, like a good kitty...
my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa, the cat, innocently playing with a cat toy in a patch of sunlight, like a good kitty…
my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa, the cat, honoured my presence (and the fact that i had just fed him) yesterday, by waiting until i had a full bottle of beer on my desk, and then jumping into my lap and doing the happy-cat-dance, which involves swirling around and waving his tail in such a way that it impacts the bottle of beer on the desk, spilling the contents into my keyboard.

😒

because of the fact that i have worked in several companies that actually, physically MADE keyboards — they really do wash partially finished keyboards in a household dishwasher before assembly — i wasn’t as upset as i could have been, but, nevertheless, i spent the entire rest of the evening taking my keyboard apart, cleaning the beer (and assorted dust, feathers, cat hair and other detritus) out of it, and re-assembling it…

only to discover that only half of the keys actually work. and not in a normal “right half works, left half doesn’t” way, but in a more random “half the keys in this line sometimes work and sometimes don’t” way, which indicates that some moisture probably got inside the four or five layers of waterproof linings — seriously, keyboards, these days, are practically impervious to spills… not like when i was a kid… — either that, or there was something that didn’t want to get bent, that got bent in the process of disassembling the keyboard: i tried to be careful and not bend any of the parts that looked like they might be upset if they got bent, but i may have bent them, anyway, without meaning to.

in any event, i have an alternate keyboard, just for such emergencies, which is the same model, but different colour keys. i have occasionally ransacked the alternate keyboard for spare parts, like when my “B” key’s spring broke, and the F2 and F3 keys died, so it doesn’t get used for anything, anyway… so i decided to make a frankenkeyboard…

in honour of my wonderful pet, Frank Zappa the cat.

frankenkeyboard
frankenkeyboard

this guy looks like me…

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

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

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

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

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

it is very creepy…

Howard Tayler
Howard Tayler
salamandir, 180502
salamandir, 180502

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

No Revolution

No Revolution
by José Tirado

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

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

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

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

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

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

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…

and learning to ride a unicycle.

so, i’m taking a unicycle class at SANCA.

i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…

although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…

i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…

the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.

so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?

“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg

i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.

although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉

warum?

why do the words “FLAMMABLE” and “INFLAMMABLE” mean the same thing?

why?
pourquoi?

ETA: it has to do with some idiot in the 18th century trying to “improve” the english language, and someone taking them seriously around the 1930s. first there was “inflammable”, but then, in the mid-18th century, someone came up with “flammable”, which meant something very similar, but not exactly the same thing, and it died out, fairly quickly, because people were more sensible back then. but then, about the time of world war 2, someone decided that “inflammable” had the same connotation as “invisible” — i.e. “not” flammable — so they came up with “flammable” to convince stupid people that it really was capable of being set on fire. 😒

hell is other people.

420 update

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

although i am… 😒

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

190408 drawing
190408 drawing

like drawing…

190408 picture
190408 picture

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

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

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

190413 Harry Partch Instruments
190413 Harry Partch Instruments

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

190413 Spoils Of War
190413 Spoils Of War

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

190413 Modified Viola music
190413 Modified Viola music

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

victory… sort of…

once again, the most recent instance of the battle of the computer has come to a close, and, once again, i am victorious… sort of…

i just transferred ownership of the fremontplayers.com and fremontphilharmonic.com domains to someone else. i still host fremontphilharmonic, fremonstor.org and cirquedeflambe.org for the moment, but i hope to have them gone by may 1st.

they are, now, officially, SEP. 👍

of course i strongly suspect that they are going to try to wheedle me back into working with their site again, especially since it’s pretty clear that they don’t know what they’re doing, which is why it is now hosted by wix…

which, in my opinion, is probably several steps backward… but it is, officially, SEP, and i’m done with being actively involved in the administration of web hosting clients.

i also bit the bullet and opened yet another ticket with the VPN provider, which took the form of an extended chat session in which the technician claimed that they responded when they didn’t… which is, apparently, the reason they ignored my SIX EMAILS from 190405 (two weeks ago) until 190415 (today)… 😒

but, in the end, i got that fixed, as well, so now i can send email from my local computer, using SMTP, instead of having to login to a web site and send mail using IMAP, which i DO NOT LIKE!

but now it’s better, and i don’t have the added stress of a mailing list whose members send email to the wrong address and get MY PERSONAL EMAIL blacklisted and threatened with having to move.

oy! 😖

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

then, things started to get better… kind of…

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

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

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

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

hrmph!

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

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

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

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

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

snarl!!! 🤬

one of the down sides to vaping, as compared to smoking, is that, every now and then (even under the best of circumstances), i have to charge my battery. the “newer” battery models (and quite a few of the older ones, as well) have a micro-USB connector that you plug into a micro-USB charging cable — which are ubiquitous — and then plug the cable into a USB outlet, in your computer, in an outlet strip, in a USB charger, or in a brick in the wall.

i don’t have one of that variety.

the variety of battery i have takes a special type of charger. i suspect that it’s just a matter of swiching out the micro-USB connector (which frequently fails anyway) for a “screw-on” charger, but i haven’t taken apart a micro-USB charger (yet) to find out. it looks like this:

screw-on charger
screw-on charger

the problem is that, after a while — usually somewhere between 3 days and 3 weeks — they just quit working. when you screw them on to the battery, the light turns green and nothing happens.

i finally got tired of having to go and buy a new charger every couple of weeks, so, in desperation, i took one of the no-longer-functioning ones (of which i have MANY) apart, to see what makes it tick. what i found makes me want to spit!

what i found was cheap, probably chinese electronics, with two wires coming out of the charging end, which i expected. what i did not expect was that the wires WEREN’T EVEN SOLDERED to the screw-on attachment, which had a hexagonal piece on the end, which locked into the plastic case to prevent it from spinning.

not soldered wires! >8(
not soldered wires! >8(
the black wire was just layed down, flat, and the screw-on connector was laid on top of it, and the red wire was completely disconnected from the connector, which — naturally — prevented the charger from doing anything other than sitting there with a green light, looking pretty.

THIS IS PLANNED OBSOLESCENCE!!! 🤬

they build these things, EXPECTING them to fail, so that people will have to go out and buy a new one! 😠

i don’t have time, right now, but i am fairly good at soldering wires, and you can bet that, when i have the time, i am going to jigger up one of these gadgets that has BOTH wires correctly soldered in place, and take them to local vape shops and see if i can sell them.

’cause this is RIDICULOUS! 😠🤬😠🤬😠🤬

🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

thursday, i had a rehearsal. i got home, felt normal, and went to bed.

friday, i woke up and didn’t feel so hot. by friday afternoon, i was flat on my back, except for when i had to rush to the bathroom to vomit, have diarrhɶa, or both, which continued until sunday, when i went to the emergency clinic to find out what was wrong: Influenza-A. 🤮

they prescribed two medications: an anti-emetic, and an anti-diarrhɶal medication. when moe went to the pharmacy to pick it up, because of the fact that my primary insurance is medicare, they wanted to charge $350.00, but they said that both medications were available, over the counter, at safeway for $17.50…

so moe went to safeway.

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬… etc…

monday was even worse: i had to have 2 liters of intravenous fluids pumped into me, because i was not getting better, and nothing i did would make the vomiting and diarrhɶa go away. at that point, i hadn’t even EATEN anything for 4 days, and i was starting to wonder if i was ever going to get better. the IV line did it, i made a “miraculous” recovery — meaning that, tuesday, i was well enough to hobble short distances without passing out, and the vomiting and diarrhɶa had mostly vanished.

wednesday (today) i am doing better, but i still have to take things in stages, and i have to rest A LOT… i have to rest A LOT because, tomorrow, i have to be a fluffer at the moisture festival, and, also, if i don’t rest A LOT i pass out… seriously, i can’t walk more than a few dozen steps before i am panting and out of breath.

two things to take away from this experience are:

1) ALWAYS get a flu shot!!! from now on, every year, i’m getting a flu shot. this is not something i want to experience more than once!

along the same lines, i really should get a shingles vaccination, as well: i had chicken-pox when i was 16, and thought i’d never have to worry about it again, but moe got shingles a few years ago, and she was miserable. a shingles vaccination is a really easy way to prevent that sort of thing from happening to me…

and, 2)… this is important:

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST GET CRIMINAL DRUMPF AND HIS CRIMINAL CRONIES OUT OF OFFICE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND THE WORLD IS DESTROYED!!!

my impression is that America is on it’s way to being the worst it has ever been. America won’t even start to be remotely considered for “greatness” again until he and his whole cadre of criminals are impeached… and, America can take the first tentative steps towards applying for greatness by indicting, convicting, and imprisoning drumpf for the rest of his life, and longer! 🤬

i would rant more, but that is exhausting, and now i have to go lie down.

🤬

annual moisture festival rant

the 16th annual moisture festival starts tomorrow. i am playing in the following performances:

ETA: i have been offered another fluffing spot, thursday, march 21st, at 6:30 pm. thanks, stuart! 😉👍

  • thursday, march 14th, 6:30pm to 7:15pm – fluffing
  • thursday, march 21st, 6:30pm to 7:15pm – fluffing
  • friday, march 22nd, 10:30pm – snake suspenderz
  • saturday, march 23rd, 10:30pm – snake suspenderz
  • wednesday, march 27th, 7:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • thursday, march 28th, 7:30 pm – fremont philharmonic
  • friday, march 29th, 7:30pm & 10:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • saturday, march 30th, 3:00pm, 7:30pm & 10:30pm – fremont philharmonic
  • sunday, march 31st, 3:00pm & 7:30pm – fremont philharmonic

which amounts to:

  • 2019, 13 shares…
  • 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…

this year, the SANCApators get two weeks… they didn’t even ask us, AGAIN (fuckers), which makes me wonder, once again, if they’re trying to edge us out. last year, and the year before that, it was the naked truth that had two weeks… what, do they not even remember that it was The Fremont Philharmonic Orchestra, AND NOBODY ELSE the first year of the moisture festival? do they not even remember that, if it hadn’t been for the fact that we just happened to be “hanging around” back stage when they discovered — AT THE LAST POSSIBLE MOMENT — that they didn’t have a band, the second night of the first moisture festival, that they WOULDN’T have had a band, the second night of the moisture festival!?!?!? 😠

but if someone were to mention it, then the likelyhood is VERY high that we wouldn’t have ANY performances in the next moisture festival… 😒

(fuckers) 😠

before & after

before
before

before = three notebooks and a file folder full of music, weighing approximately 40 to 50 pounds.

after
after

after = one 8½"x11½" tablet, weighing approximately 2 pounds.

and ALL of that music takes up only a tiny fraction of my local storage… 292.5MB out of 256GB, so there’s plenty of room for more, as well! 😎

when going places with my tuba and/or my trombone, this is definitely several steps in the right direction! 👍😎

although i’m probably still going to take the big purple notebook (on the bottom of the stack) with me, when i go busking, because when i’m playing for nickels and dimes, i don’t want to have a $1,500 tablet on my music stand where anyone can grab it and run off… 😉

i knew it was going to happen eventually…

16 years ago, in 2003, hybrid elephant requested, and was granted a paypal “business” account.

i never trusted paypal to do what they claimed to be so good at, so i didn’t keep any balance in my account. i had it there so that people — even people without paypal accounts — could pay me with a credit card, and i didn’t have to worry about checking whether they actually, you know… had a credit card, and that sort of thing.

i had the paypal account as a convenience, and, at first, because there wasn’t anything else like it available for “small” businesses like hybrid elephant.

a few years ago, when i had my web site “professionally” re-designed (my skills with HTML went out the window once i had my brain injury), i switched from using paypal for payments to me, to using stripe for payments, primarily because i hated paypal so much. stripe is only slightly better than paypal, but, significantly, they’re not paypal, which, for me, made all the difference.

since then, i’ve only used my business paypal account for payments to host providers, registrars and web designers, and for a few purchases of tools and materials… and nothing else.

—–

this morning, i woke up to email that said “Your account has been limited”.

immediately, i figured it was spam, but then i looked at it. the last time paypal posted such things online, they posted a few pointers for distinguishing real paypal email from fake paypal email. they included things like “real paypal email will address you by your full name, and not by “member” or something like that”. this email addressed me by my full name, and informed me that i had violated their acceptable use policy, and because of that, they were permanently closing my account.

😒

i contacted my current web designer, who was of the opinion that it was spam/phishing, and recommended that i log in to my paypal account and call them. i logged in to my paypal account, and was immediately transported to a new page that said

You can’t use PayPal anymore

At PayPal, we value a safe community for our customers to do business. We noticed activity in your account that’s inconsistent with our User Agreement and we no longer offer you PayPal services.

Any bank or credit card information linked to your PayPal account cannot be removed nor can it be used to create a new account. You can still log in and see your account information but you can’t send or receive money. Any money in your balance will be held for 180 days, after which we’ll send you an email with instructions about transferring your money.

😒

so, i called them, and, after waiting on hold FOR TWO FUCKING HOURS an “agent” told me that i had been found guilty of violating paypal’s appropriate use policy and there was nothing i could do to change their decision to ban me from their service. the “agent” also informed me that i would be unable to use that credit card number, or email address, to establish a new account in the future. when i asked them to give me some idea of what i had done to deserve such a punishment, they told me that in order to find out what i did, i would have to “seek legal counsel, and file a subpoena.”

at that point, i yelled “FUCK YOU” and hung up.

😠

they said they’ll send me any balance after 180 days (because they want to get all the money they can from your account before they close it), but, because my account had zero balance, the next thing i did was to contact my bank, have them put a hold on any further money going from my account to paypal, disconnect the card that paypal hasd, and issue a new card, with a different number.

at this point, i feel like i deserve this: i only yelled “fuck you” one time, and it was appropriately directed… and i handled the rest of it a lot better than i would have 15 or 20 years ago…

adulting award
adulting award

Pat Robertson’s Weird Way of Doing Sex

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

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

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

what?

i’m reading pantagruel, which was written in 1532.

in the introduction, after he addresses the translator, there is a refrence to tobacco:

To drink he was a furious enemy
Contented with a six-penny --
(with diamond hatband, silver spurs, six horses.) pie --

And for tobacco's pate-rounding smoke,
Much had he said, and much more spoke,
But 'twas not then found out, so the design was broke.

according to wikipedia, “tobacco”, as a word, was introduced to europeans around 1552, twenty years AFTER pantagruel was written, and Hernández de Boncalo, Spanish chronicler of the Indies, was the first European to bring tobacco seeds to the Old World in 1559 following orders of King Philip II of Spain.

before that, especially in europe, one would assume, tobacco was quite rare, and usually not available to “ordinary” people.

i’ve never read pantagruel before, and the 16th century, in general, was kind of a weird, amorphous time, during which what we take as “knowledge” now, was a lot more fluid and undecided, so i think i can overlook this inconsistency, but it’ll be interesting.

FLONG!

a while ago, i came across this word in a web-comic that i read all the time. it was in a joke about librarians who were in the process of being stereotypical stoners, and i thought it was just a joke — and, as “just a joke”, it was a pretty good one — but little did i know…

flong

apparently there is an item called “flong” — sometimes called an “ad-mat” or “advertising matrix” in the newspaper business — which is a paper mould used to make stereotypes… which are called “clichés” in French, because it’s onomotapoetic for the sound produced when they’re made. 🤣

pieces of flong
pieces of flong

i should have known that, even in web comics (possibly, especially in web comics) when librarians make jokes, they make jokes by which even the professionals are impressed. 😎 😉 👍

also, i think i want a refund on this life. i’m almost 60 years old, i have been a typesetter for almost 40 of those years, and i have only recently discovered flongs: this is UNACCEPTABLE! 😠

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! 🤪🤣

last year i switched away from my then-new host provider after a very short period of time because it turned out that they were a spam-haven.

before i switched, it got so bad that i set up a monitor at MXToolbox to check whether or not my IP address had been listed at any blacklists.

the host provider was incensed at this, and swore up and down that they had robust anti-spam policies that were enforced with an iron fist, but i switched away from them shortly afterwards, anyway.

today i got a notice from the monitor. apparently 69.162.87.36 is running an open relay and has a poor reputation

so much for “robust anti-spam policies enforced with an iron fist”. 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣

a step forward

new ipad
new ipad
the fedex package finally arrived, which, of c(o)urse, meant that i went to the fedex distribution centre and forced them to let me have it there, rather than waiting for them to pull their head out of their ass and hire a full time driver who learns where my address is, instead of using a different contractor who doesn’t have the first clue — EVERY! SINGLE! TIME! 😠

anyway, i’ve got it more or less set up. i set it up as a new ipad, rather than transfering all of my old apps to it, which meant that i had — and still have — some finishing touches to add, most notably, the noisepad app, which requires a hard link to itunes in order to upload new sounds, but the version of itunes i have on my ancient macbook pro is several versions out of date and won’t recognise my new equipment, and even if it did, the ipad only has a USB-C plug, and my macbook only has USB-A plugs… so i’m probably going to have to use moe’s machine to get around that.

the big benefit is that i can display full-size, 8½”x11″ pages, which is 90% of my music, and the other 10%, which is more than one 8½”x11″ page, i can get a bluetooth foot-pedal page-turning gadget for about $50.

new ipad
new ipad

AND i’ve already got a fairly substantial portion of my music already “on the cloud” — i.e. either dropbox or my own, personal cloud-server — which means that, under the best of circumstances, i won’t even have to load my 256GB disk down with music files… although i might want to keep files on the ipad anyway, just in case i don’t have network connectivity, as i would (not) at the oregon country fair… 😉

and, after all, loading it down with music is the principle reason i bought a huge-ass tablet anyway… 😉

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠‼

monday, i got a text message that said i should expect a fedex delivery on tuesday that required a signature.

tuesday i waited at home ALL DAY, and my package never arrived…

which didn’t surprise me an awful lot, since half the state was at a standstill because of the weather, but that, to the contrary, notwithstanding…

i called and requested that the package be held at the distribution centre, because, even under the best of circumstances, fedex delivery drivers have a less-than-exemplary record when it comes to deliveries to my address… they told me to call again tomorrow.

wednesday i called, again, to request that my package be held at the distribution centre. the helpdesk moron told me that it wasn’t even in my state yet — it was in troutdale, oregon (BIG surprise 😒) — but that my request for the package to be held was in the system, and that i would get a phone call or text message when the package had arrived at the distribution centre.

thursday (today), i got a text message AT FIVE THIRTY IN THE MORNING informing me that my package had been put on a delivery truck, and was going to be delivered to my address by the end of the day.

fedex drivers have EXTREME DIFFICULTY finding my address, under the best of circumstances. but today, there is enough ice, snow and slush — despite the fact that it hasn’t snowed since tuesday — that, even if they COULD find my address, they couldn’t drive their truck to my house, and would, very likely, have to park two or three blocks away and deliver it on foot.

which they won’t do. 😠

so, i called AGAIN, to find out why this had been done, in spite of the fact that i had requested it not be done this way. i was informed that the shipper had “put restrictions” on the package, which didn’t allow fedex to do anything but deliver it to my address.

i asked them why i wasn’t informed of these restrictions the first time i called, on tuesday, but they couldn’t answer that.

i asked them why the shipper is allowed to put restrictions on a package that the recipient can’t change, in spite of the fact that it is the recipient’s property, for which he paid, but they didn’t have an answer for that, either.

they said that if i show up at the distribution center between 5:30 and 9:00 pm this afternoon, the distribution center MIGHT let me have the package. if not, they’ll try to deliver it again tomorrow.

they won’t leave the package (and if it’s what i think it is, i don’t blame them), but i have things to do today, and can’t sit around all day like i was able to on tuesday. if i go to the distribution center this afternoon, they don’t have to let me have the package, in spite of the fact that it IS MINE, AND I PAID FOR IT! if they try to deliver it tomorrow, they’ll very likely run into the same snow, ice and slush that they’ll run into today.

so, in the past five minutes, i have gotten another text message, informing me that a “delivery exception” has taken place, and that they will try again tomorrow. i called AGAIN and informed them that nobody had been to our house, but the delivery had been delayed AGAIN. they called to “get authorisation” for me to pick up the package, and they were able to obtain it.

now, my package will be available, at the distribution centre

AFTER EIGHT PM THIS EVENING!!!

i don’t know about anybody else, but if i’m not performing, or have some other obligations, i like to end my day around 6:30 or 7:00, and by 8:00 i’m pretty much done for the night…

it would be SO much easier if we weren’t so reliant on “modern technology”… 😒

@fedex #SUCKS!! 😠😠😠😠😠😠

ETA: it was what i thought it was: my new 12.9″ ipad pro, which is going to take the place of my 3 music notebooks weighing a total of 40 pounds, which i am forced to carry with me when i go anywhere with my tuba or trombone. this is definitely going to lighten the load a substantial amount…

BUT… i picked it up by going to the distribution center around 5:30 and waiting. they searched for it, and had it to me by 6:30.

now, i say @fedex #SUCKS for not having their shit together AND having their head up their ass! 😠😠‼‼

over it!

friday, 190209, it started snowing:

jovita park, 190209
jovita park, 190209

i was feeling adventurous, and it hasn’t snowed for a couple of years… and i recently bought a bunny suit and a set of steel-toed logging boots, and i have been joking with moe about going freight-hopping for a while… so i figured i’d go out for a walk. it was pretty easy, because there was only about 4 inches of new snow, and it was really pretty, because there wasn’t anybody else out in the park, in the middle of the day.

but the birds were not prepared for snow. the birds have been gearing up for spring early this year, because the weather has been so warm, and once it started dumping snow, particularly the hummingbirds were having a really rough time.

moe took this video of one of the local hummingbirds pecking away at the suet on saturday morning. pretty sad… we’ve been making sure to have enough bird food on hand, and our feeders have been flocked the past few days…

it snowed again today. i’m so over it. 😒 it’s time for more normal weather to come back.

190211 snow
190211 snow

thanks, drumpf. 😠

invisible formatting

190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting
190208 XKCD Invisible Formatting

when i was working at the print shop in issaquah, prior to my injury, i had a customer who always provided their own “artwork” for the print jobs they wanted. the problem was that this customer used Quark eXpress (which all the GOOD customers used) but he used the “faux” formatting from the toolbar — which is okay if you are printing from a local, computer-printer, but not if you’re sending it out to a print service — rather than using the “correct” formatting, by selecting the proper typeface from the menu.

what this meant, was that, inevitably, i would, either, have to reset the entire piece, or go through the artwork — sometimes character by character — to reset all of the faux formatting he had done.

i was really impressed that this guy was actually able to use the proper program for this, but it irritated THE HELL out of me that he couldn’t learn to do this one, TEDIOUS, TIME-CONSUMING, job correctly, so that i wouldn’t have to second-guess him all the time.

finally, i had enough.

i copied the entire piece, and pasted it just outside the page, on what they call the “pasteboard”. it’s usually not a place for permanent storage, but a place that it’s convenient to store blocks of type during formatting (so that you don’t have to type them more than once). if you do it correctly, it effectively doubles the size of the document, but there is no obvious flag which indicates the location of “the rest” of the document. if you “zoom out”, it’s obvious, but most people don’t “zoom out” larger than the page size, so it’s effectively hidden.

the first couple of times i did this, he didn’t notice, because he already had a relatively old, slow computer… but after a while of my doing this on the same document, he started noticing that this particular document took FOREVER to load, and it took EVEN LONGER to save, once he had made changes.

the last time i saw him, which was just before my injury, he was complaining about “his computer”. he said that he would double click the document, and then go away for an hour and do other stuff, and when he came back, sometimes the document would be loaded… 😈

CIDR

CIDR notation is used when you’re talking about blocks of IP addresses. it’s the part of the IPv4 address — the “dotted quad” — where there’s a slash, followed by a number between 0 and 32, which represents a block of IPv4 addresses that are all related to each other. the common ones that i see all the time are /24 — which is 256 addresses, from A.B.C.0 to A.B.C.255 — and /16, which is A.B.0.0 to A.B.255.255 or 216 addresses. i’ve also seen references to /18, which is 214 addresses, but i don’t completely understand what delineates them in the /18 case — or many other cases, for that matter, it’s just that /24 and /16 have relatively visible end-points for people who don’t really understand… 😉

following that subject, i just recently encountered a block — /23 or 2562 (512) addresses — and i wondered what it was, so i looked it up, and while i was reading about it, moe came up behind me and commented that CIDR plugs are used to synchronize the œstrus of livestock animals

ETA 190208: i have, since, encountered /11, /19, /21, and /28, which is beginning to bring about my understaning where the delineations are.

🤯🤪

The PHBFH again

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

070515 The PHBFH
070515 The PHBFH

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

who knows where she is now? 😕

The Trash Issue

as i mentioned the other day, i found a whole pile of black and white negatives that are between 25 and 35 years old, quite a few of which were taken by my friend randy, for inclusion in an issue of Tina Magazine that never got published. we first started talking about “The Trash Issue” when we both were living in bellingham between 1990 and 1993. it gets sort of fuzzy after that, but my recollection is that randy moved away from bellingham in the middle of 1993 and took all of the writings for The Trash Issue with him.

90s COTC publications
90s COTC publications

i also have a picture of a whole pile of Tina literature that now, strangely, seems to be for sale at Alta-Glamour… in fact, i have narrowed it down to, either randy’s collection (which is more likely), or less likely it is jim’s collection… but, one collection or another, they somehow went from being in a photo that i took with my camera, with very few changes (none of the tracts, and the addition of The War On Drugs Issue, which is the reason i think it is randy’s… and if they have a ritual object, it is one of the bronze ones, because i have the silver one with the mystic emblems on the reverse side), some time between 1990 and 1993 to being for sale (at OUTRAGEOUS prices) at some rare bookseller, a fact which makes me angrier every time i think about it… 😠

but i digress…

anyway, i have a contact sheet which was marked up with indications of which pictures were to be used in The Trash Issue, and if i could think of some words to put with it, i would publish the posthumous Trash Issue on the church’s web site… because the internet was MADE for The Trash Issue.

the enlightened rantings of a brain damaged freak