mfr

the wurst festival went as planned and was pretty much the same as it was last year, except for the fact that i wasn’t recovering so immenently from a brain injury this year. i actually got a chance to look around a little, although there wasn’t much. basically it’s a church/school/neighborhood party that’s gone a little overboard: they had a bunch of inflatable “rides”, a dunk-tank, a few food booths, a few more sales booths and that’s it… although they did have a really nice mixing board, which i assume they had last year as well, i just didn’t notice.

the tacoma gig was excellent if you were the audience, but it was so-so from a performer’s point of view. we started performing at 5:00 and finished at 10:00, after a “parade” (in which the rich, starched-collar patrons of the two museums involved wandered from one museum to the other while the band – especially the tuba player who has an upright tuba, no strap, and a brain-injured right hand that doesn’t work as well as it’s supposed to – struggled to keep up), and a two hour “break” in which we had to frantically get set up and ready for the show while the rich patrons had dinner. my book ended up in the back of alan’s truck during the parade, and then alan disappeared, so i didn’t get my book back until just before we started, but it all worked out. the show was only a half an hour, but we included all of the best parts from august’s show, and macque added a new twist to pyrochaotica without telling anybody: two pyro-fountains at the end, which were loud enough that they drowned out the band for a couple minutes. the effect was sensational though – a fountain of crackling sparks going about 75 feet in the air, along with the standard compliment of other pyro stuff, with the backdrop of puget sound and the glass museum. there will probably be pictures eventually. it’s kind of odd, though, because one of the organisations that was putting the whole thing on was the philanthropy northwest society, but apparently they didn’t think to provide the “hired help” with important things like food, and passes to get in to the dressing room. we had a dressing room, but we had about 30 performers and only four passes, so there was as much searching for someone with a pass to get in as there was just about anything else, and i went home hungry. it’s presumably a good thing though, because now we can put the show on our “resume” and people will know that we can interact with highbrow society without getting under their skin, which will mean more performances in the future.

late night cabaret, too

also announcing the fremont philharmonic performing at the Late Night Cabaret, friday, 1st october, at 10:00 pm down on airport way just north of boeing field… i think the address is 2110 airport way, but i’m not sure.

this is the continuation of performances that took a break in june. now they’re back again, and if they’re going to be anything like what they were like in june, they should be loads of morbid, grisly fun with a side of pie and shack jack frost to boot. don’t miss it!

ife

hoo boy, the shit really has hit the fan with katharyn this time… and this time i didn’t have anything to do with it, and haven’t for several years now, so there’s no way she can possibly blame it on me, in spite of the fact that i have no doubt she’d want to if she had the opportunity.

i talked with ezra yesterday, and with what he said and from talking to darol, i learned that darol bailed her out of a house-sharing fiasco back in december, and then she moved into the mad house in may. she apparently lived a fairly normal madhouse existence for about 4 months, and then went off the deep end. she locked herself in her room and spent four days there, pounding on the floor and being abusive to the many requests that she had to be quiet. when she did come out she freaked out and ran out of the house and into the neighbor’s house (who she didn’t know) and ended up seeking sanctuary at the synagogue, which kicked her out. then she came back, drew stars of david in red felt pen on people’s doors, met darol screaming about aliens, and ended up in a bush a few houses down the street raving about how she wanted to talk to the intergalactic police, because the local police were going to put injection cuffs on her.

apparently she’s been confined against her will at the western state hospital in stillicum for the past three or four months, with no telling when she’s going to get out, if at all. darol has decided that he doesn’t want her living in the mad house any more, and who can blame him… but it’s interesting that the only person who darol has ever decided that about, is someone with whom i used to be associated. darol also wants to put katharyn’s stuff somewhere so that he can rent out the room, but it’s not going to be with me… even if i was willing to take katharyn’s stuff, i imagine that she’d be even more irrational about me than she was when we were dealing with each other.’

i sure must have missed a whole bunch of stuff while i was in the hospital, because i hadn’t heard any of this. in a way, i’m kinda glad i had my injury instead, because if i hadn’t, i’m sure that katharyn would have come up with some way for me to be involved in her little debacle…

in other news, apparently kolette and ben have broken up after 15 years together, because ben went out and got married to someone else, so kolette is back in b’ham, living at the madhouse again after 13 year absence, and shacking up with darol… which is probably really good for both of them.

rat

i might have known… they’re looking for someone with more PC experience. apparently mac protools isn’t good enough for ’em, they want windows experience… but you know, nobody uses windows for sound engineering.

they said that there are some other positions that they would consider me for, but they’re not open until october.

feh!

erk

i don’t know whether i should do this or not, but i’m already doing it, so it’s a foregone conclusion…

i have a job interview tomorrow morning at micro$oft. they apparently need a sound engineer(!) in their codec testing team(!!). they were reluctantly going to offer the job to someone else, but then my resume(s) came along and they decided to change their mind and interview me instead. apparently the manager, who is a 2nd level manager, with the option of offering me a blue badge position if the cards fall just right, thought i was a very strong candidate for the position.

it’s microsoft, but what the hell… i don’t have to like it, or use it at home, but if they’re going to pay me to be a sound engineer and network maintenance geek, who am i to complain?

i wouldn’t normally mention this to anyone, because i’ve had horribly bad luck with jobs i’ve told other people about before i’ve actually gotten the job, but this is different, because it’s a sound-oriented job at microsoft, rather than a computer or print-shop job somewhere else. we’ll just have to see what happens.

another new icon. hopefully it works out okay…

prt

the clowns were excellent. there was some performing, but by people who were much more prepared than i. i was the only member of the band to show up, but there were various kinds of fire-dancers, poi-spinners, hula-hoops and fire-breathers (and, fortunately, no fire department, although the police made a brief appearance, it was well after everything incriminating had been cleaned up and put away), and they were all much more prepared to perform than i would have been. now i’ve just got to remember to put their email addresses somewhere where i’ll be able to find them. i met a clown of indian descent (who was actually born in cincinatti), whose name is gotham, and his actual indian cousin, named akshay, who happenes to be living in renton for a month while he is a consultant at boeing… so maybe i’ll take him out to pabla’s in downtown seattle or something. he was complaining that he hasn’t got the chance to see any of the city during his stay. i also met greg, who is “the black clown”… he said people ask him which one he is in the show, and his response is “i’m the black one”… that way there’s no question. he’s leaving the show at the end of this, his fourth year, but he says he’s not sure what he’s going to do afterwards. i met a bunch of other clowns as well, people from hungary and japan, but they didn’t speak any english, so i didn’t get the chance to communicate with them much.

the talk at the vedanta society this morning was about divine mother sarada devi as an example of the global ideal. the speaker was swami swaahaananda, the head of the vedanta society of southern california, and the translator of (among other things) my copy of chaandogyaopanisad. a few things he said made an impression: the way to be happy in life is to find no fault with others. for a family, sometimes individual interests must be sacrificed; for a village, sometimes a family’s interests must be sacrificed; for a nation, sometimes a village’s interests must be sacrificed, and so with the world, sometimes even an individual nation’s interests must be sacrificed.

ump

i’ve discovered the reason why i didn’t die last summer…

D.R., from the cirque, sent out an invitation last night. it seems that he and a bunch of random cirque people have been invited to go and hang out with the clowns from Barnum & Bailey tonight, and i’m going along with him. this is a once in a lifetime opportunity, as well as a great way to get to know some new people, and i would have hated to die, knowing that this kind of thing was going to happen.

i’m still resting my right hand on the keyboard for long enough that i’m typing lines of llllllllll or multiple spaces between words and stuff like that, which is irritating…

but i’m going to hang out with professional clowns! WHEEE HAH!!!

Public Ritual Vegetable Sacrifice

The Church of Tina Chopp is pleased to announce yet another

PUBLIC RITUAL VEGETABLE SACRIFICE

yes, it’s happening again, and this time i’m preparing for it early, since
last year was such a disaster (in more ways than you think).

the date is

SUNDAY, the 17th of OCTOBER, 2004 at 1:00 pm

please bring the following:

0. AN OPEN MIND!!!
if you don’t approve of bizarre rituals involving vegetable sacrifice and
snake worship, do something else that day. if you show up and cause problems,
we’re not responsible for what happens.

(the following are suggested, not required)

1. YOUR OWN VEGETABLE TO SACRIFICE!
we will be supplying at least one pumpkin, but it’s always more fun when other
people are involved.

(yes, there is no 2nd thing to bring to the sacrifice… we know that)

3. THE TIME AND ABILITY TO CLIMB APPROXIMATELY 1/2 MILE UP A STEEP TRAIL IN
THE CASCADES
the site is located at eXit-38 off I-90, east of fall city. for more details,
see the web site:

http://www.ebeneezer.net/ritual/vegetable/public.html

RSVPs are nice, but not necessary, however if you RSVP and then don’t show up,
you’ll be banished to safeway for the rest of eternity. we know who you are.

we hope to see you there!

puw

qwest screwed up again… it’s not like i wasn’t expecting it, but it’s been closing in on three weeks that they’ve been screwing up, and i still don’t have a cell phone despite the fact that i’ve been paying for one all this time. i’d complain to the WUTC, but they apparently offer no regulation for wireless services, so it’s a matter of waiting until qwest decides to get their shit together, whenever that’s going to be.

roy and irene came by yesterday. we were sort of expecting them, but they said they were going to call before coming over, and they didn’t, so i was sitting behind the computer/synthesizer/keyboard and smoking a bong toke when they arrived, and i had to put things away in a hurry. they’re going on a cruise of the inside passage for roy’s retirement from gerber, and i’m driving them down to pier 30, and then we’re watching their truck for a week until they get back.

i recorded a new piece of music yesterday, in between cleaning up and being here when roy and irene arrived. it’s in 11/8, which is interesting seeing as how the rhythmic samples that i used for the basic tracks were in 4/4 originally… it came out really well, in spite of the fact that i didn’t have any real inspiration, and no clear idea of where to go with the synthesizer when i started out. i’m probably going to perform it at the art sharing in bellingham next month.

painting my car is officially sort of on hold until i can come up with money or something to fix the “minor” oil leaks which resulted in my having no oil when i took it in to get the oil changed the other day… which probably won’t be until i’m employed again.

GFR!!

today was going to be the day that they sent me the correct battery for my new phone. instead, they sent me another phone, and no battery. it has now been two weeks that this has been going on. i had moe call them, because i knew all i would do is get more upset. it’s a good thing, because despite the fact that the guy said he was going to send me a battery when i talked to them this afternoon, in fact, there was no order for a battery at all. i don’t believe that they continue to do business that way and continue to get customers. moe says that one of the reasons we use qwest is because they’re the cheapest. they certainly don’t waste their money on things like competent customer service. i’m scheduled to receive a package on friday that should make everything all right, but at this point, i’ll believe it when i see it.

rgf

they fixed my phone… they also called me at 7:00 am to have me push some buttons on the phone to make sure it works… even when they are trying to straighten out a screwup that they caused they screw up.

i took pictures of the car in preparation for painting it. i’d post them except there’s nothing to compare with… a before, but no after yet. i also bought paint today. surprisingly, not a single art supply place had what i wanted, which is one shot. i ended up getting gloss enamel at mclendons, which is the last place i would expect to find it. i’ll post pictures when there’s something to post, but don’t hold your breath… i’ve been known (recently) to get to the starting point of an art project and then let it sit for a while. especially since i’m not quite sure whether i should use the sivaananda lahari or whether i should use sri vinayaka ashtottara sata namavali, which would be more along the same lines as the license plate that says GANESHA… the problem is that i’ve got sivaananda lahari in devanagari, but i’ve only got a romanized transliteration of the sri vinayaka ashtottara sata namavali, and i don’t trust my ability to re-transliterate it back to devanagari, and i don’t want it to be incorrect, even if nobody would notice.

i’m going to the vedanta society by myself for the first time since my injury. swami’s lecture is going to be The Wonder That Was Sri Krishna.

now here’s the kind of meme i would prefer to see more of…

http://www.beliefnet.com/story/76/story_7665_1.html

it was right on the money, too: hinduism, 100%; jainism and mahayana buddhism, 80%; “neo-paganism” (whatever that is) 75%; unitarian universalism 65%… it would be interesting to see what gliz would do with it.

here’s something new, and it fulfills the law of fives as well:

http://www.samkass.com/theories/RPSSL.html

frg

not only does my “new” phone have a battery that doesn’t fit, but they were supposed to pick it up yesterday and they didn’t, which means that now they’re going to wait until after the long weekend to pick it up, which means that it’s going to be that much longer before i get the “correct new” phone. and to make matters worse, for some unknowable reason (in other words, they don’t know why themselves, and in fact they denied that anything was wrong until i had them call the number), my “old” phone doesn’t work any more, and there’s probably no hope for it until tuesday, because of the long weekend.

also i had to shut off two more email addresses at all of my domains, because all the mail they were getting was spam. i spend as much as an hour a day dealing with spam, and i’ll sure be glad when something is done about this problem.

qwest SUCKS ASS!
spam SUCKS ASS!

a lot of grief could be spared a lot of people if these two things simply ceased to exist.

zif

i suppose i should probably update this thing, even though i don’t feel much like it. my contract ended friday of last week, which means that i’ve got to go into overdrive with the job search. it’s thursday, and so far i have made twice as many job contacts as i made during the same period four months ago. no prospects yet, but that’s not surprising given the economy these days. hopefully something will happen soon. meantime, i’ve finished the updates on the hybrid elephant web site, and i’m waiting for one more order before i post them.

i’m gearing up to paint my car. i’ve decided on using passages from the sivaandanda lahari of sri sankaraacaarya. now all i’ve got to do is procure the correct paint, and lay things out on the actual car. maybe i’ll actually be able to get it painted before i have to go back to work again.

they screwed up the primary system in washington recently, which means that now you’ve got to choose one of three political parties, and then vote only that party in the primary, which is totally wrong, and should be abolished immediately. i don’t know who the candidates are, but i’m probably going to vote libertarian, because neither the republicrat nor the democretin candidates do anything for me at all. ultimately i believe the whole party system should be abolished, along with the electoral college and most of the laws, but i suppose it’s not going to happen during my lifetime, unless bush gets us into the war of armageddon, which, unfortunately, isn’t too unrealistic.

something completely unexpected happened: we got a real new car, along with dramatically reduced car payments. a guy from the dealership kept calling monique and hassling her because there’s apparently a huge demand for SUVs, despite they’re being one of the most inefficient vehicles in existence, and the guy wanted to know if we wanted a new car so that he could have our SUV. so we took our 2000 tahoe with 12.9% interest and traded it in for a 2005 venture with 1.9% interest. it’s a minivan, which isn’t much better, but it’s a step in the right direction. now all i have to do is to figure out what to do with the car that doesn’t work and has been sitting in our driveway for over a year.

i finally got fed up with having three monitors, keyboards and mice on what limited desk space i have, so i got on ebay and bought a four port KVM switch, which will reduce the clutter on the desktop considerably, as well as giving me the option of having one more computer, eventually. sadly, it’s being delivered by parcel post, rather than the somewhat more timely UPS, so i haven’t got it yet. along the same lines, we got a notice saying that they were upgrading our wireless network and the current wireless phones we have will stop working. it’s okay though, said the notice, because we’re going to be given (as in free of charge) new wireless phones that will work with the new network. well the phones were delivered today, and moe’s is really cool, but they somehow screwed up (leave it to qwest) and they sent the wrong battery with my phone… so i don’t get a new phone until tuesday. it sucks because moe has been getting a whole bunch of new toys recently (an ipod, a powerbook, a cell phone…) and all i’ve been getting is worried because i don’t have enough money coming in…

which is why i don’t feel very much like updating this recently… sigh…

grf

it is as i feared.

my unemployment claim runs out at the end of september, and i only have enough hours to qualify for half of what i have been getting, because of the fact that when i was working for schemalogic i was on a 1099 rather than on payroll, so i didn’t get unemployment tax paid. and worse, if i don’t apply before 04-october, i won’t get any benefits at all, because i have to have worked 680 hours to qualify, and the hours that i worked at schemalogic don’t apply. all because i suffered a brain injury last year, and carl was an asshole and fired me. if i ever get my hands on him, he’s going to wish he hadn’t.

i remember back in 1995, when i got my first tech industry job, i was talking with tamzin and she was telling me that i would never again have to deal with unemployment, because i worked in the tech industry now… little did anyone know how wrong she would be. she’s still working, doing network administration and technical support on macs for a school district in the san francisco area, and several other places, but she’s self employed.

grr

i’ve made a new icon, but for some reason i can’t see it, so i don’t know if there’s anything wrong with it, and probably won’t until later on in the weekend, and/or whenever i get around to rebooting, or whatever it wants to refresh itself. in case you’re interested, i got it from here.


i stole this from ‘s journal, and then modified it, because i think it goes a long way towards saying what i want to say to gliz, and, just maybe, he’ll understand what i’m talking about.

God, Are You Real?

I whispered, “God, speak to me.”
And a meadowlark sang.
And I took notice.
I yelled, “God, speak to me!”
And the thunder rolled across the sky.

I looked around and said, “God, show yourself to me.”
And a star shone brightly.
And my heart was glad.

I said, “God, show me a miracle!”
And He healed my brain injury.
I cried out, “Touch me God, and let me know you are here!”
Whereupon God reached down and touched me.

But because of human language and stubborn ignorance,
I cannot express that to you.
You disapprove.

When it comes down to either believing you, or believing God,
I choose God.

he wrote 4 more times since the last entry, and, in spite of the fact that i said i was going to be unpleasant and bizarre in hopes that he’ll go away, instead, i just didn’t respond to his last email.

i’ve only got one more week until i’m back on unenjoyment again. oh thrill. 8/

<rant>
in spite of the fact that i’m going to be unemployed next week, i’m not going to burning man for the following reasons:

1) i’d have to go by myself. yes, there would be a lot of people there, and i’d probably end up staying at the cirque camp, but i wouldn’t have anybody watching out for me, and

2) it’s an extremely dangerous environment, which is

3) accessible only with a car whose long term capacity to function is still not reliably known, and if it breaks down in the high desert, i could very easily succumb to

4) weird, unknown things having to do with the combination of my injury and the heat, and

5) i can’t afford the $225 for a ticket, because i’ve been sporadically employed since my injury…

and if that weren’t enough,

6) i’m significantly frustrated with the fremonster people who think it’s okay to get me involved with things (OCF, burning man…) that turn out to be for “elite” people only, in remote, difficult-to-survive-in locations, which don’t allow dogs, that cost WAY too much money, and are of suspiciously unknown artistic value.
</rant>

i heard from steve, which means that he’s not dead, which is good, i guess. he’s been in and out of the hospital three or four times since january, and he hasn’t been doing any business, so it’s probably a good thing that i took the incense offline. now all i gotta do is get off my ass and finish the new catalogue, with some of steve’s stuff included, and get it online again. knowledgeable as he is, he’s too flaky to rely on when i’ve got customers waiting for orders. i made a deal with to trade a quantity of incense for some tie dyed shirts, which i plan on adding to the web site as well. hopefully the coming period of unemployment will give me the opportunity to take care of all my web updates.

random links
If Jesus Was Mexican (requires shockwave)
Terror Tubbies (requires shockwave)
Funny Cats (requires quicktime)
9 naked men… (requires quicktime) don’t say i didn’t warn you.
an amateur PyroBoy! (requires windows media)… too bad he gets burned…
This is actually an expected event at a power substation! (requires windows media) WOW! at the end of the clip, if you look in the lower left corner of the screen, you’ll see two guys, walking away… that was big
Dedicated to the art of mocking public works
The Gematriculator
419 Eater
Noney
They Saved Zappa’s Moustache
Ramakrishna and Vivekakanda information.
Registration services for the .om TLD… now that’s something i should make use of!

memes
a whole lot of ’em
even more of them
What type of mage are you?
What kind of God are you?
Which trickster are you?
Which Great Old One are you?
20 questions to a better personality, just as intrusive but not quite as creepy as scientology…
you can tell why i’m skeptical of the value of these things.

yef

last minute reprieve, or something… my contract has been extended two weeks, but that means that now i’m going to have to re-apply for unenjoyment, because my current claim runs out in september. i hope i’ve worked enough hours to be eligible, otherwise i’m gonna be screwed.

wof

i don’t understand why some peope have no problems with other peoples’ religion, but others can’t rest until the whole world is converted to their point of view. you guessed it, i’ve been involved in yet another pointless debate with a mindless “christian” who doesn’t know when to quit.

i refer, of course, to my recent “converstation” with glen, who shall from this point forward will be referred to as “gliz” (lt’s a lizard thing moe came up with, i don’t completely understand, but i’ve adopted it anyway, as i generally respect moe’s opinion of things like this). his most recent tirade is because of the fact that i pointed out that his assertions that “you can’t agree that evolution is true, because if it were, then we would be no better than monkeys and apes” and “you must believe in God, for otherwise life would have no meaning” were faulty logic. i showed him proof that these two statements were the result of faulty logic, and he still insists that i defend my position…

it all started innocently enough when he sent me email saying that he’s seen my web site (i had cards printed up with the url on them to give to people who asked me about my injury), saw that it had references to Ganesha and asked if it was all right if he “asked some questions”, and as long as it stayed that way it was fine: he asked questions, and to the best of my ability, i answered them with what i’ve learned… but it didn’t stay that way for long. the “discussion” started on 12/3, and i warned him that i was not prepared to debate him, and i didn’t want to debate him anyway, on that date, but by 21/3 it already had the overtones of a debate, and it went downhill from there. i told him that i didn’t have to justfy the fact that my philosophy doesn’t follow strict logic as long as i wasn’t asking anyone to agree with me, but if he was asking me to agree with him, he was going to have to offer me something better than what i’ve discovered on my own, and so far he hasn’t come up with it… he wasn’t willing to accept that.

it is *still* going on: i wrote back to him this afternoon. it has involved josh mcdowell ministries, who also could not offer me anything better than i’ve come up with, but while the josh-mcdowellite was polite and gave up without raising a stink, gliz is continuing his abusive rants. he said that “a person… with josh mcdowell ministries” wanted to discuss the “questions” i was asking (??) on my site, and that he “did not suggest this or set you up” and that it was “not some kind of plot or trap”, and for the most part, it was a civil exchange that ended when i said that it was about as difficult to change my opinions with the information that he had available as it was for me to change his opinions with the information that i have available. the josh mcdowell part of this “discussion” took place between 14/7 and 21/7, and then gliz got involved again. it turned out that he and the josh-mcdowellite had been comparing notes all along, without telling me. i wrote to gliz telling him that, essentially, the josh-mcdowellite had gotten nowhere, and that’s where the invective started.

he stated that infinity doesn’t mean infinity; that an “infinite god” was “qualitatively infinite, but not quantitatively infinite” and when i asked him why he thought i should believe that an infinite God was not infinite, he responded with the statements above. the fact that he has accused me of “childish insults” and, acting offended, accused me of telling him to “shut the hell up” (which, in spite of the fact that he insists it’s true, i’ve done a text search and the only time that phrase has come up is when he has said it) is only the most recent of ravings from this idiot with a doctors degree…

yes, i’m being childish and insulting here, but he won’t read it here, and i’m tired of being nice and polite anyway. if he doesn’t like it, and he won’t leave me alone, then i’m going to be bizarre and unpleasant until he either shuts up or goes home, because i can’t make an impression on him any other way.

in other news, my contract at jetstream ends on the 15th, only this time my benefits expire in september, so i’m going to have to reapply, which sucks. today is my first real day off in almost a month… i’ve been BUSY since before country fair, and i could use some time off, but i wish it was by my choice. tomorrow the show starts, so i’ve got to do laundry, take a shower and sleep, because i’m going to be up until 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning for the next 3 days…

random urls:
talk.origins archive
an ex creationist
“christian”-bashing jew
theremin kit and other goodies
Little Marcy
Reinhardt A. Fuck… really!

memes that i don’t believe in:
How grammatically sound are you?
What’s your stand on…
What bodily discharge are you?
a whole bunch of them
friends quiz
this one is sort of useful, a word count
are you a freak?

Cirque de Flamb&eacute;

this is to announce the upcoming performances of Cirque de Flambé, performing “Uh Oh! Playing With Fire (a parody)” at Warren G. Magnusson Park (the old Sand Point Naval Air Station) next to Hangar 27, on friday, saturday and sunday, august 6, 7, and 8, and friday and saturday, august 13 and 14. this show will also feature the Fremont Philharmonic, and BBWP. be there or be square.

hum

very busy with rehearsals for the upcoming cirque de flambé show. recently it’s been monday cirque rehearsal, tuesday BBWP rehearsal, wednesday cirque rehearsal, thursday philharmonic rehearsal… then last week, friday we went to boise for three days to attend the wedding of laura and scott. laura is a friend of monique’s from high school and scott is a recently graduated from law school guy who lives in boise. boise is a hot, flat, dry place. i think a good word for it is “desert”, but that doesn’t leave much room for doubt, and with boise, there is some doubt. of course we went there on the first day in a long time that we’d had temperatures in the 90s at home, so it was to be expected that the temperature would be 20 degrees warmer where we were going. i’m glad we were on the road, and i’m glad we had air conditioning.

on the way back from boise, we stopped in the middle of nowhere so monique could meet one of the dog breeders she’s been talking to recently, and meet her dogs. she has 16, small, noisy, frantically entergetic dogs, and monique wants to get one, but i don’t think it will be from this lady. she’s gone with trudy to see a dog in gig harbor, one of the ones we looked at a few weeks ago. it’s all a mystery to me. one small yappy dog is more or less the same as the next, as far as i’m concerned, but moe has dreams of being a dog trainer when she grows up, so far be it for me to do anything but support her.

monique bought a powerbook after somebody gave her an ipod a couple of weeks ago, so i’ve spent the whole day rearranging things (again), and have finally got everything working again. basically the powerbook takes the place of the imac, but since it’s faster and more powerful, it also takes the place of the g3, which moves over to my desk, so now i have three computers on my desk.

i’ve wanted to start going to the vedanta society again, now that i’m not reliant on someone else to take me places, but so far i’ve been busy every week. i’ve come to what i believe is the end of a conversation with a couple of “christians”, one of whom is glen and the other one is MH from josh mcdowell ministries. they want to have a “conversation” with me concerning my web pages, but it has very quickly turned into a debate about whether they’re right or not. i recently found the index of logical fallacies which has been indispensible in my arguments with them. i accuse them of redefining infinity when they say that an infinite God is “qualitatively infinite but not quantitatevely infinite”, i accuse them of appeal to consequences, and am able to use the index to my advantage when they accuse me of “begging the question” but they don’t know what it means. they claim to use logic, but in reality they only use logic when it suits their purposes… which is fine as long as i am free to do the same, which i make no bones about. the minute they start saying that their random combination of manmade tradition, sacred revelation and holy scripture gobbledy gook is superior to mine they’re going to have to do a lot more than claim to be logical before i’m going to believe them.

meme avoidance

i couldn’t resist, and, as i suspected, this thing popped out emperor norton. who’s surprised by that?

I'm Joshua Abraham Norton, the first and only Emperor of the United States of America!
Which Historical Lunatic Are You?
From the fecund loins of Rum and Monkey.

You are Joshua Abraham Norton, first and only Emperor of the United States of America!

Born in England sometime in the second decade of the nineteenth century, you carved a notable business career, in South Africa and later San Francisco, until an entry into the rice market wiped out your fortune in 1854. After this, you became quite different. The first sign of this came on September 17, 1859, when you expressed your dissatisfaction with the political situation in America by declaring yourself Norton I, Emperor of the USA. You remained as such, unchallenged, for twenty-one years.

Within a month you had decreed the dissolution of Congress. When this was largely ignored, you summoned all interested parties to discuss the matter in a music hall, and then summoned the army to quell the rebellious leaders in Washington. This did not work. Magnanimously, you decreed (eventually) that Congress could remain for the time being. However, you disbanded both major political parties in 1869, as well as instituting a fine of $25 for using the abominable nickname “Frisco” for your home city.

Your days consisted of parading around your domain – the San Francisco streets – in a uniform of royal blue with gold epaulettes. This was set off by a beaver hat and umbrella. You dispensed philosophy and inspected the state of sidewalks and the police with equal aplomb. You were a great ally of the maligned Chinese of the city, and once dispersed a riot by standing between the Chinese and their would-be assailants and reciting the Lord’s Prayer quietly, head bowed.

Once arrested, you were swiftly pardoned by the Police Chief with all apologies, after which all policemen were ordered to salute you on the street. Your renown grew. Proprietors of respectable establishments fixed brass plaques to their walls proclaiming your patronage; musical and theatrical performances invariably reserved seats for you and your two dogs. (As an aside, you were a good friend of Mark Twain, who wrote an epitaph for one of your faithful hounds, Bummer.) The Census of 1870 listed your occupation as “Emperor”.

The Board of Supervisors of San Francisco, upon noticing the slightly delapidated state of your attire, replaced it at their own expense. You responded graciously by granting a patent of nobility to each member. Your death, collapsing on the street on January 8, 1880, made front page news under the headline “Le Roi est Mort”. Aside from what you had on your person, your possessions amounted to a single sovereign, a collection of walking sticks, an old sabre, your correspondence with Queen Victoria and 1,098,235 shares of stock in a worthless gold mine. Your funeral cortege was of 30,000 people and over two miles long.

The burial was marked by a total eclipse of the sun.

faw

i’m finally done enough that i can write something…


in the past six days i have performed jack and the bean stalk six times, performed with the fremont philharmonic three times, performed Big Bois With Poise once, waited in various different lines for approximately 12 hours, slept four nights in “mosquito acres” (otherwise known as “Chelamela staff camping”), spent 4 hours tearing down the stage, traveled almost 900 miles, got lost in Portland for 4 hours, spent 8 hours working, 3 hours getting my car fixed again, and 1 hour doing an emergency web update for diana.

country fair went well, although it was more of a job than a vacation. it was very odd seeing the dichotomy between the fantastic utopian dream that it could be (and almost is), and the harsh, stark reality of hippies that are so hung up on their own fantasy about “what country fair is”, that they complain because somebody has their tent set up 6 inches to the wrong side of some imaginary line that only exists in the hippie’s over-stoned brain, or bitching because they can’t drive against the flow of traffic, because that’s what they have “always done” at country fair, regardless of how unrealistic it is this year.

thursday afternoon check in was the most difficult part of the whole thing. i drove for 5 hours and parked in the “temporary” lot to check in and get my “wrist band” (which is one of the ways that they identify people and sort them out into categories), but my name wasn’t on the list, so i had to wait in line to see the “troubleshooter,” and then wait in a third line once the troubleshooter had straightened out whatever screwup had happened. then, once i had gotten the wrist band, i had to wait in line again so that i could have the priveledge of paying $5.00 to have it cut off and made into a laminated card that you wear around your neck, because the wrist band was too much like being in the hospital.

then i had to wait in line again to be able to drive my car to the place where we could offload our stuff (which was about a quarter of a mile from the actual camping site), and proceded to lock myself out of my car, so i had to go find the quartermaster, wait in line *again* while he did several other things before he found his lockout kit and opened my car… and after all that, i had to park about 2 miles away from where i was camped, which was about a mile away from the stage… john called it H.I.F.: Hippie Ineptitude Factor. i’m not entirely sure i approve of calling it that, since i *am* a hippie, but it seems to fit anyway.

the jack and phil performances went really well, and the phil sold all 50 cds that we had made (don’t worry, they were phil cds and not my personal cds), so there’s a possibility that i’ll even get paid eventually. BBWP was a gigantic hit: i heard someone that i didn’t know, ahead of me in line at the ritz, raving to someone else i didn’t know about how hilarious it was. there were probably 100 different artists that all swung poi with great aplomb and immaculate skill sunday night, but the one act that they’ll remember 10 years from now is BBWP, which is *REALLY* cool.

as i said before, i met one of the musicians from dreamtrybe. i was talking with pam and R.A., and got inspired to go and chant hare krsna with a bunch of hippies, and it turned out that the one who was leading the chant was from dreamtrybe. i hadn’t even thought of their album since my injury, but i remembered that i had bought the album for one particular song, and it turned out to be *exactly* what i needed to hear. i also saw carl (the one from bellingham, not the slime ball who was responsible for my unemployment), who i hadn’t seen since before my injury, tim “fyodor karamazov” of the flying karamazov brothers, who i haven’t seen for almost two years, and matthew bob, who was also camped in mosquito acres.

i saw jill friday and saturday. she lives in philomath, which is nearer to veneta (the town where country fair happened) than any other place i’ve been since i have been in contact with her. we hung out together for a couple of hours, and didn’t say much… which, i think, is a good thing. there’s really not much that needed to be said. it was nice hanging out with her and gawking at the hippies, and it was really nice to hang out without having to worry about her crazy step father and his shot gun. she had her daughter with her on saturday, and it was pretty odd to be introduced to an adult person whose mother i had originally met when her mother was younger than she was. it was a little awkward, because apparently jill isn’t as much of a hippie as i am, but at the same time, it’s been 25 years since we’ve seen each other, and a lot has changed for both of us in that time. apparently jill took a whole bunch of pictures while she was there, which she’ll be sending me, and i’ll probably post a couple of them either here or on my brain injury page when i get them.

by the time we got to country fair, the car was smoking. NOT what i wanted to see. it turned out that the constant velocity joint cover had come loose, so the smoke wasn’t serious enough to strand us in the middle of nowhere, but i had to get it fixed for real this time. supposedly it was supposed to be fixed on wednesday before i left, but i showed up and the guy who was going to do the work never showed up, so i had to drive to and from with a leaky power steering line, and a constant velocity joint that was smoking. hopefully, now that it’s fixed for real, i won’t have any more problems for a while and i can work on turning it into an art car with no further distractions.

it was kinda sad, not being with my sweetie on my birthday, but i made up for it by taking a 6 hour sauna at the ritz (note to self: the next time, buy a house with a sauna!) and buying myself a double dragon brooch, which is shaped like the letter “S”. i also got goodies for moe, so she wouldn’t feel left out when i got home: a goblin “bonnet” with horns, and two pairs of earrings. all in all, i spent too much money at the fair, so i guess i’m going to have to go back to work again. sigh.

heb

Why did you tap me on the shoulder in my sleep last night,
Telling me I must write this song now, that the time is right,
They’re gonna think I’ve lost my mind,
Some of them will be unkind,
When I say

THERE IS NO HELL!

We do not die,
We are not gone,
We are alive,
We are just on
The other side,
We are not dead,
We are alive,
We do not die!
We do not die!

They’re gonna wonder how I got this information here,
What will they say when I tell them you whispered in my ear,
How can I prove their greatest fears
Have been unfounded all these years,
The truth is

THERE IS NO HELL!

We do not die,
We are not gone,
We are alive,
We are just on
The other side,
We are not dead,
We are alive,
We do not die!
We do not die!

So many people have seen the light,
When what they thought was the end in sight…

I’m not the only one who shares this bold philosophy,
I can only say that what I saw is plain to see,
But I was once a skeptic too,
Until the day I heard from you,
When you said

THERE IS NO HELL!

We do not die,
We are not gone,
We are alive,
We are just on
The other side,
We are not dead,
We are alive,
We do not die!
We do not die!

– Dreamtrybe

it’s shockwave heavy and caused my browser to crash, but it’s http://www.dreamtrybe.com if you want to give it a try.

i got their album Acoustic Autumn specifically for this song, about a year before my injury. i hadn’t thought about it until country fair, when i met one of the musicians in Dreamtrybe and dug their album out again.

more about fair later. i’ve got to go get my car fixed (!#@$^%&!!).

urg

here is a quiz i found on ‘s journal…


The Devil Card
You are the Devil card. The Devil is based on the
figure Pan, Lord of the Dance. The earthy
physicality of the devil breeds lust. The
devil’s call to return to primal instincts
often creates conflict in a society in which
many of these instincts must be kept under
control. Challenges posed by our physical
bodies can be overcome by strength in the
mental, emotional, and spiritual realms. Pan is
also a symbol of enjoyment and rules our
material creativity. The devil knows physical
pleasure and how to manipulate the physical
world. Material creativity finds its output in
such things as dance, pottery, gardening, and
sex. The self-actualized person is able to
accept the sensuality and usefulness of the
devil’s gifts while remaining in control of any
darker urges. Image from The Stone Tarot deck.
http://hometown.aol.com/newtarotdeck/

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

these things are really starting to make me wonder. i’ve heard them called “memes” but i’m not sure what that means. not that i haven’t heard a definition of the word, but i’m not sure if i agree with the definition when it comes to things like this. i think that these *may* actually be more sinister things.

there are many things that i wonder about this quiz, specifically, and all quizzes like this… is it major arcana only, or does it include the minor arcana as well… what are the computer’s criteria for determining which card you are? i tried the page they said their information was borrowed from, but that page is no more, and there doesn’t appear to be any other links on the page that would tell me about how this particular computer program works, or who made it…

how do we know that whoever wrote the computer program interpreted the cards correctly? we don’t. in fact, we don’t even know who it is that wrote the computer program at all. presumably there are ways of finding out, i’m sure that quizilla knows something, but it’s not made very evident for those of us who think about such things. what if the programmer had an alterior motive; what if, instead of giving accurate interpretations of cards based on logical inferences made from the answers you gave to the questions, what if they programmed it to spew out random interpretations and images, totally ignoring the questions all together.

and what about the questions? they’ve got your IP address as soon as you login, what do they do with the answers they gather to the questions? especially if the questions reveal you to be a person likely to do socially inappropriate things? i saw a “quiz” recently called Which America Hating Minority Are You? which had me down as a “terrorist”, which doesn’t surprise me, but now the epithet “terrorist” is associated with my IP address in some anonymous log somewhere… whose job is it to keep track of those logs?

i’m beginning to wonder if this isn’t all a big government conspiracy to gather as much information about us as they can in ways that, for the most part, we’d never suspect. 8/

yem

i have a new car… well, i have a recycled car, which is the only thing that makes me feel even remotely good about the whole thing. we’re desperate enough for oil that we’ll listen to the lies bush spews, and go to war for a commodity that will run out whether we go to war or not, and here i’m getting a car… who put that thought into my head? the car i’d been driving for 5 years, a mazda 626, died last year when i was in the hospital. monique figured (rightly) that i woulnd’t be needing it for a while, so she loaned it to mal, and the first day that he actually *had* to use it was the day it died. one of the things i did to prove to them that i was ready to leave the hospital (a process that took about a month, and required me to have, among other things, a neuropsychological examination to determine how “brain damaged” i was) was to accompany moe and mal to the towing yard where it had been impounded, and “drive” it home (which means i rode along in the car, never got out, and moe and mal did all the driving). the new car is grey, which i plan on modifying by writing sanskrit verses on it, in white (i figure one shot should do perfectly well), with about 6 inch letters. at this point it’s just beyond the fantasy stage, but probably won’t get any farther than that at least until i get the new license plates for it, which, God willing, will say GANESHA, and probably won’t even get to the “figuring out what sanskrit verses to use” stage until *at least* september, which will be after the cirque performances are through.

i’m going to the oregon country fair in two weeks, where i hope to see jill for the first time since high school. it should be interesting, if nothing else. mike and linda are going to be there also, but i’m not sure if they’re aware of the fact that i’m going to be there, and i think i like it that way. mike and linda are sort-of relatives of monique – mike is monique’s mom’s housemate’s brother, but monique’s mom and ann, her housemate, have lived together for long enough that i wonder whether it’s more than just friendship in spite of (or because of?) the fact that they’re both so straight outwardly, combined with the fact that monique’s mom has been sexually mutilated, in a medical sense, and has a rather low opinion of men in general. mike and linda are old-timers at OCF, and they were sort of snooty when i mentioned that we might be coming, and that we’d never been before. on the other hand, i know rev. chumleigh from high school, although he probably doesn’t realize it, so we’re probably more “even” than they’re snooty-ness lets on.

the cirque de flambé is in full rehearsal mode: our next production is going to be called Uh Oh – Playing with Fire: A Parody (in honor of the fact that we finally got the name trademarked, which means that it’s going to be harder than ever for the cirque du soleil to sue us), the big bois with poise (an act for the cirque de flambé) is in full rehearsal mode, we’ve got a weekend’s worth of performances at OCF and rehearsals for the next show (another “british panto” called Babes in The Wood, which is a cross between Robin Hood and Hansel & Gretel), the fremont philharmonic is so far into the recording schedule that fred (hawkinson, not mclain) is practically impossible to get along with – although once the recording is finished, i’m sure he’ll revert back to his normal, easy-going self – plus we’re in the fremont players’ and the cirque de flambé rehearsals as well… i’m working tentatively full time, so it’s a good thing that i got a car, but i’m spending around 10 hours at home, and for 8 of ’em, i’m asleep! in fact, i’ve got a rehearsal i need to get to now, so that’s all.

beh

okay, this is the announcement of upcoming performances at the fremont solstice parade (saturday) and the fremont street fair (sunday) of the fremont philharmonic (saturday) and the fremont players’ rendition of Jack and The Beanstalk (sunday). i’ve been working my tail off, what with cirque rehearsals (performances in august that includes the phil and the BBWP), players’ rehearsals and performances, phil rehearsals, performances and a recording, BBWP rehearsals, and a job. what was i thinking?

wif

new job, testing software for big brother, by way of an outsource testing firm called jetstream. it was interesting… i started on 0602 because 0601 was a “holiday”, and worked until friday, then i worked monday through thursday, i *didn’t* work on friday, and it looks like i’m not working on monday either, in spite of the fact that they’ve added me to their payroll… i guess that’s what being a “temporary employee” means. i wonder what’s going to happen next. i’ve still got unenjoyment left, but that ends in september whether i’ve used it or not.

meanwhile, it looks as though i’m having my CD label printed. i talked with troy and he said to bring him the stuff on monday, and i’m not working monday, so it’s convenient, sort of. i’ve also got to go to the social security office, because when i went to renew my drivers license, they told me that the name in their records doesn’t match the social security number on record for me. i’m pretty sure it’s because of the fact that they screwed up my name in order to fit it into their computer, but i’ve still got to go to the social security office to get their word on who i am so i can go back to the dol and say that they’re the ones that screwed up…

i’ve been somewhat perturbed to find advertising windows open on my windows machine, in spite of the fact that there are no other apllications running and haven’t been for a couple of days, so i installed AdAware, and it found a whole bunch of spyware that i *DIDN’T* install. of course i removed it immediately, but when i rebooted, one of them had the audacity to put up an alert window that said “an application has caused the removal of 180search assistant, possibly without your knowledge…” and asked if i wanted to *reinstall*! i’ll tell you what: when i am aware of the fact that i’ve installed your software *the first time* then i’ll think about *re*installing it, but until then you can *KEEP YOUR GODDAMNED HANDS OUT OF MY COMPUTER* thank you very much! it’s that kind of thing that makes me wish i knew more about coding, ’cause i’d write a virus that would track them down and erase their hard drives. grumble, mutter…

blat

what do you know? there’s still just the two of us… the person with the username that matches my real-life name on LJ is the same person i corresponded with outside of LJ a couple of years ago. i would comment on what a small world it is, but that’s been done already, and besides that, when you combine the fact that it *is* a rather unusual name with the fact that it’s spelled wrong (unless, of course, you’re referring to me), it’s not as suprising as it could be.

poot

i just found a LJ user who has the same username that i have in reality. this is odd, because the name that we share is spelled in a way that most people would consider “wrong,” and, as far as i’ve been able to tell, i’m the only person who actually *has* this particular name (no, i’m not going to tell you what it is, i’m not that interested in giving that much of my life over to examination by other people). there is (as far as i’ve been able to tell) only one other person (other than me) with that same username (the other one used to have an address at AOL, but i haven’t heard from her in a couple of years). now i have to poke around and see if this is the same person, or if it’s an entirely new and different person, and if so, why she chose to spell that name “wrong”.

in other news, i’ve started a temporary job testing software for Big Brother (micro$lut), but i’m not actually *working* for micro$lut, so it’s okay. i really like testing windoes’t software, because regardless of what you do (or don’t do), you’re guaranteed to find bugs. this particular piece of software is the windoesn’t “Media Center”, and it is my job to make sure that the TV portion of the program displays properly regardless of the screen resolution, but i’ve only been at it for 2 days, so i haven’t found much yet. i’m working with aaron c., who i worked with at STLabs, several years ago, and he is a large part of the reason i’m working here currently – he said that he told the people in charge that if i was available, they’d better grab me while they could. it’s good to know that i’ve got friends, especially when the rest of my life is in such chaos… now if it were only a *permanent* job…

at the same time, i’m still not completely sure i actually *want* to work in the computer industry. the temporary job i had at schemalogic taught me that in spades. if a printshop job came along at this point, i’d take it, especially since my current job is a temporary one anyway, although if they offered to make me a permanent employee, things might be different… on the other hand, i wonder if *any* job can be said to be “permanent” any more. certainly not in the same way that my father was offered a “permanent” job. one way or the other, i’m glad to be working again, and i’m even gladder to have a job, temporary or permanent, that is as flexible as this one. the day that i started, dave was talking about the possibility that i could work from home, which i probably *couldn’t* do if i had a printshop job.

gof

i figure as long as i’m going to pay for this thing, i’ll get some use out of it. i should check the web archive to see if the entries go in there as well.

still no work. unenjoyment doesn’t run out until september, but i’m starting to get worried. i’ve got an interview for a temporary job on monday, but once that runs out in july, then i’ll be right back where i started from, except that it will be closer to september. monique has mentioned that we may have to sell the tahoe, which would mean either a smaller, less versatile car, or taking the bus, which would add even more stress to our already stressful lives.

have i mentioned recently how much i hate wage slavery? it’s even more pronounced since my injury: i hate wage slavery with a passion that wasn’t even imaginable before my injury. maybe one of these days i’ll do something about it.

so i am going to the oregon country fair, for all three days, by myself. it’s kind of a bummer to think that i’m going to have my birthday and the one-year anniversary of my injury without monique, but that’s easier than dealing with the fremont players bitching at me because i was only at OCF for two days. also, apparently jill’s going to be there, which will be the first time i’ve seen her since i was a sophomore in high school… so it won’t be that bad… i think.

feh

the brain injury is still there, and will be for the rest of my life. deal with it, i did. for more updates, go here. employment is down the tubes. there is hope, but it’s fading fast. i’m thinking of going back to school to learn perl and apache (the web-server, not the language, as google thought), but i’m not teriffically inspired to do that, either. the fremont philharmonic has been getting busier and busier, to the point where i’m almost glad i don’t have a "real" job anyway. i’m auditioning for the cirque de flambé with "The Big Bois With Poise", which is taking up even more of my already diminishing free time with rehearsals and practice (because i have a brain injury, combined with the fact that i’ve never spun poi before). the fremont players’ Jack and The Beanstalk is going to the oregon country fair this year, which is on the weekend of my birthday, which is also the one-year anniversary of my brain injury. i’d be a lot more excited about it, except that it looks as though they won’t let monique come, because of the dogs. they’d let her come without the dogs, but she never travels anywhere without them, and she said that if they don’t allow dogs then she’s not coming. i wish the fremont people would stop doing things (the solstice feast, the oregon country fair) for which to get in you have to "know somebody". on the other hand, they’re getting a lot of publicity, and not all of it is bad. anyway, i still haven’t decided whether i’m going to stay home in protest, or whether i’m going to go and "have fun" without my sweetie, which won’t be any fun at all…

pum

aum ganganapataye namaha
aum gatahitaaya namaha
aumkaraaya namo namaha

general consensus is that carl would be a lot more use to everyone if we simply shrink-wrapped him and stacked in a back corner on a drying rack. there’s no doubt that we’d get at least twice as much work done and we wouldn’t have to be constantly redoing jobs that got screwed up because carl scheduled them on the press before getting an approval from the customer. how he has managed to stay in business as long as he has with that kind of policy is beyond me.

at this point, it’s fairly obvious to everyone *except* carl that the only jobs that are getting screwed up are ones that carl has had a part of in some way or another. his standard trick is to schedule things for the press that haven’t been approved, or claim that he’s proofread them himself, when what we’re waiting for is confirmation that incorrectly spelled names or phone numbers are incorrect so that we can make corrections. he seems to feel fairly confident in second guessing the customers, but he’s only right about 50% of the time. if he guessed wrong any more than he does, he’d definitely be losing money…

in fact, perhaps that’s part of his rationale for the latest miasma he generated cutting me back to 3 days a week and hiring, and then firing shannon. it’s possible that the screwups she contributed drove the shop beyond it’s 50% screwup limit, and carl started actually losing money.

anyway…

i got email from someone this morning who was responding to one of my rants. i’m not certain if he agrees with me or not. it is my guess that english isn’t his native language, although his message was largely comprehensible enough that i would guess if english *isn’t* his native language, that he’s been speaking it since childhood, because he doesn’t use the language in the awkward, clumsy, hesitant way i’ve seen a lot of non-native english speakers use english.

i wrote back to him, and i wanted to write more, but his mail arrived just as i was getting ready to leave for work, and as it is i spent enough time responding to him that i was late for work. in a way, i’m getting a little tired, and a little annoyed with people who write to me simply to disagree with my web site, especially since most of them have been total nimrods. i’m not sure whether he agrees with me or not, but i was in a hurry, and i was pretty brusque in my response. if i’ve scared him away, that’s too bad, but it’s not my problem. on the other hand, i do sort of hope he writes back, simply because if he *does* agree with me, it’ll be nice to have someone new to talk to.

tup

once again, things have changed… do they ever stop?

carl, in his infinite wisdom, has decided that cutting me back to 3 days a week was a mistake, so he’s brought me back to 5 days a week, at $1 an hour more than i was making before. the only “catch” (as he calls it) is that i have to agree to stay at least until september. i’ll agree as long as it’s to my advantage, which means that if another job comes along that i like better, i’m taking it. on the other hand, considering what’s been going on the past couple of years in the job market, it wouldn’t surprise me very much if i don’t see another job i “like” as well for quite some time.

have i mentioned how much being a wage slave really sucks?

the sad part is that, after having me back to 40 hours for a whole week, he’s informed shannon that if “things don’t pick up”, she’s outta there. damn carl! he’s such an asshole – *ANYBODY* with an ounce of common sense could have forseen that this kind of thing would happen to him, and yet, carl, the quintessential businessman, had to shoot himself in the foot before he figured out that the gun he was playing with was loaded… too bad he didn’t shoot himself in the head.

so, if a job i like better comes along, i’m taking it, regardless of whether september has come around or not. as usual, my choice of a job i “like” is pretty restrictive: i want a full time, “permanent” position, not a time-limited contract (although a contract for a year or more would be an acceptable alternative if all of my other criteria are met); i want *at least* $65k/yr; i want insurance that includes vision and dental; i want to work with mac, unix or linux, but *not* with windows, however if i have to work with windows then i want at least $70k/yr; and i want to be able to work from home as much as possible, or at least 3 days a week, whichever is greater.

those criteria being met, i would *like* to work with graphics or music in some way or another, whether as a software tester, designer or artist. failing that, something having to do with networking and/or internet, communications or publication would be good.

anybody hiring? didn’t think so.

now, off to obtain phad tai. yum.

feg

weeks went by… the weird little web service for which he had paid good money went unused. then, suddenly…

collette, who insists on calling herself “Kitty Mojave” these days, came, stayed for a week, and went back to arizona, which she says is vastly superior to the seattle area. it’s been 10 years since i saw her last. she hasn’t changed much, although she seems to have gotten more obsessed with things that appear to me to be fairly trivial. she’s got surprisingly superior brain power, but doesn’t appear to have much desire to do anything with it. she says she’s content, but i don’t think she is… she certainly doesn’t act content, in fact she acts very restless and frustrated, but who am i to say?

working 3 days a week sucks ass. the paycheck is only about half as big as it was, things are going to hell at the print shop and i have to spend most of my 3 days whipping them back into shape, shannon means well, but doesn’t know anywhere near enough to be able to survive in that job on her own, and, so far, nobody has offered me anything else. fred came up with a testing position that’s a 3-month contract with the possibility of going permanent, but… gawd… i don’t know if i want to work with/for fred, and if it doesn’t go permanent then i’ll be totally screwed at the end of those 3 months. AAA is hiring a web designer, but i don’t know what they want because when i found out about the position, *they* didn’t know what *they* wanted. now the job is closed, all the applications, including mine, are in, and it’s a waiting game. if they hire me, i’ve heard they have great benefits, and i’ll be working with the web, which wouldn’t be bad… and they can’t possibly pay less than carl does, so that would be a step in the right direction. i called yesterday, and talked to cecilia, who is the HR representative. she said the hiring manager is going over resumes and would be calling someone next week, but, honestly, as much as i’d like that job, i’m not holding my breath. i’m going to bet they’ll hire someone with java/scripting/cgi/shockwave/database experience.

i’ve been literally losing my mind recently. if it weren’t nailed down, i’d probably forget my head… cancel cancel! damnit that’s what my stupid ass parents always used to tell me, and they’re FUCKING WRONG!

nevertheless, i somehow managed to forget that the weekend of june 21st is our 5th wedding anniversary, and we’ve planned to go to our traditional dog agility trial, and camp out in lacey for the weekend. what this means is that i somehow volunteered to be “band leader du jour” for the fremont solstice parade – i am the fremont philharmonic’s official representative for the parade which occurs on… june 21st. not only that, but we’ve also got jack and the beanstalk performances on june 22nd.

naturally, i’m the one who has to fix this problem. my solution is to bust my own ass rather than simply cancelling one or the other obligation. i can’t, in good conscience, skip out on my own wedding anniversary, but i also don’t want to appear irresponsible to my band-mates. so, what i’ve decided to do is to go to lacey with monique on friday, then go back to seattle on saturday for the parade, and return to lacey saturday afternoon. i’ll then get up sunday morning, pack up all the camping gear so that all monique has to do is get in the car and drive away when she’s done at the trial, and then i’ll head back to seattle separately, hopefully getting there in time to be in the jack performance at 1:00.

we’ve got a jack performance at 1:00, a fremont philharmonic performance at the fremont street fair at 2:00, and then another jack performance at 3:00. by the end of that weekend, i’m gonna be so exhausted i’ll be surprised if i can stand up… and then, oh joy… i have to go to goddamn work on monday morning and be a wage slave for carl. fuck that!

got another book of scripture by uncle al. i’m developing quite a collection of them. i feel a sense of accomplishment having collected them, and they’re really interesting to read and study, but i seriously wonder what other people would think of them. at the same time, i don’t really care what other people would think, because if they were to read those books themselves, they would certainly find absolutely nothing disgusting or immoral, or even improper. uncle al’s writing helps me understand what i believe better than i would if i didn’t read his writings.

roses are in bloom in our back yard. we have *A LOT* of roses this year. monique hacked them back last year, and it took them a year to recover, but this year they’ve come back in force. they’re really wild. we’ve got one rose bush that has both yellow blossoms with pink edges and pink blossoms with yellow edges on the same branch. we’ve got a whole bunch of different varicoloured blossoms, white, pink, yellow and several different shades of red. the leaves have “black spot” on them, which is theoretically treatable, but neither monique or i know anything about it. the only reason we know it’s a problem is because one of monique’s co-workers has some kind of degree in plant biomedicine. he looked down his snobby nose at the beautiful blossoms monique brought in to work the other day. so our roses aren’t absolutely perfect, show-quality blossoms without any defects, but nothing is perfect, and my impression is that the perfect ones don’t last as long, and aren’t as prolific anyway, so screw his opinion.

installed reason v2.5 the other day. i remember how excited i was when i installed v1.0, and this is just as good. new reason adds to the already increased capability of v2.0, and includes signal splitter/mergers, another new synth module, and a vocoder, which is something i’ve wanted for years. now i can *finally* do my robotic rendition of that old joan jett song “i love rock & roll”… in fact, that’s what i’m going to do now. poof.

fug

fuck.

life sucks.

i’ve been working for carl for a year now. recently carl hired shannon full time, to work behind the counter. now carl tells me that he can’t afford to pay me to work full time. he wants to cut me back to three days a week.

most jobs i’ve heard of, after you’ve been working for a year, you get a raise and a little more vacation time. you don’t get your hours cut back.

if carl hadn’t hired shannon, i could be doing shannon’s job. if there wasn’t any typesetting, i could be taking orders, or doing bindery. i could be doing deliveries…

instead, carl pays jeff to come in two days a week to cut business cards and do deliveries. he pays shannon to come in full time and sit around, as troy says, with her teeth in her mouth…

but he can’t afford to pay me to work full time. he says he doesn’t want to hurt me, but he also makes it pretty clear that my options are either reduced hours, or no job at all.

of course, the first thing i did when i got home today is start looking at job listings, and i even found a few for which i would be supremely qualified, which would very likely pay me a fair amount more than what carl pays. i hope that i find another job so i can simply walk away from carl. he’ll have a cow trying to find someone to replace me, although i have no dobt that he’ll put someone in the position (if i walk away, he’ll probably give shannon the job, but i know for a fact that she wouldn’t be able to keep up).

carl, troy and bart, all three, have given me enough details about my predecessors that i know that i’m the first person *EVER*, in the history of that business, to have the knowledge and experience to do the job correctly, but apparently carl doesn’t value that characteristic enough to realise that if i’m not there, it won’t be getting done right… and he’s not making me very interested in keeping the job at the moment.

god damnit! i *HATE* wage slavery!! if i could exist without having to have a job, i would be completely content. i hate having to look for a job, i hate writing cover letters, i hate going on interviews, i hate having to apply for unenjoyment, i hate not knowing whether i’m going to be able to pay my bills or not… and this is worse! i not only have to worry about my bills getting paid, but i also have to worry about what’s going to happen to monique and the animals! i can’t just sell everything and go live in the woods for the summer… i have a house and a wife to take care of. i can’t let them be homeless, too…

fuck carl! i hope he dies… no, i hope he loses all his money and has to ask me for financial assistance, because i’ll step on his head! asshole!

mip

it’s incredible how depressed i can get when i think about the crap that’s been going on between my parents and i ever since i was 6 years old. it really sucks. here i am, 43 years old, and i’m still hung up on what my parents think about me… or, rather, i’m not hung up on what they think about me any more, i just wish they’d either decide to try to get along, or simply leave me alone. the fact that they must drag out the 30-year-old dirty laundry every chance they get, the fact that they claim that they’re still nervous about being around me, and the fact that their hatred of me apparently rubs off on monique and ezra, neither of whom were even born when all that crap was actually going on, make me wish that i could simply swap parents with someone else… although, at the same time, i don’t even know anybody whose parents i’d want to have instead. better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, i guess, but still… my parents REALLY SUCK! if you think you’re going to grow out of them as you get older, you’re wrong!

on a lighter note, animuation is amusing, but noisy. not for watching or listening to while at work, unless you’ve got privacy, headphones, and/or a boss who doesn’t care.

yub

it is not possible for a society to be a “christian democracy” for the following reasons: democracy demands equality for all citizens, including the freedom to practice whatever religion one chooses, or to refrain from practicing any religion at all. “christianity” demands the obliteration of religious belief that is not “christianity”. when a “christian” tries to claim that the creators of the concept of social democracy were, themselves, “christian”, they are lying. plain and simple.

the fact that “christianity” demands the obliteration of every religious belief that is not “christian” is amply demonstrated in that commonly quoted passage from the gospel of mark, chapter 16, verses 15 and 16 – "And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptised shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."

and, we can rest assured, that if God doesn’t do the damning personally, that the good ol’ U. S. of A. will take care of the job for Him.

here’s the deal. “christians” (along with many other self-proclaimed “spiritual” people) describe God as all kinds of different things, but keep in mind – God is indescribable. how can we, with our limited human imagination, and our limited human language, ever hope to describe that which is indescribable?

as far as i have been able to tell, God has three humanly-describable characteristics. anything beyond that, and you’re dealing with somebody’s opinions about what *they* think God is like. those three humanly-describable characteristics are perfection (or changelessness), infinity (or eternity) and omnipotence. if what you’re describing is incomplete, or in any way lacking, then what you’re talking about is not God. if what you’re describing is not capable of doing anything – even things which appear to us to be contradictory or self-negating – then what you’re talking about is not God. if what you’re describing is finite, limited by time, or limited in any way, then what you’re talking about is not God. the bible clearly states that God is “the same yesterday, today and forever” which covers all three characteristics: if God is not the same, or if God changes over time, then he is not God. if he exists today, but not yesterday or forever, then he is not God. and, obviously, if he is not capable of remaining changeless for eternity, then he is obviously not omnipotent, and therefore, obviously, not God.

a lot of “spiritual” people (i normally gripe about “christians”, but i know that a lot of Christians aren’t like that, and i also know that there are a lot of allegedly spiritually oriented people who *are* like that) will tell you that “God hates sin” or that “God has a plan for your life” – if you don’t happen to believe in God, or if your favourite deity has a different name, feel free to insert whatever you like in place of the word “God” in these phrases.

however, if God really *does* hate anything, if God is affected by emotional states, then God cannot be changeless, unless He is *eternally* hateful. obviously, a God that is eternally hateful is clearly not what the bible or other scriptures are describing – although scripture *does* describe God as having a state of hatefulness. thus we can infer that it may be possible that God *is* eternally hateful, but if that is the case, then God must also be eternally joyful, because scripture also describes God as delighting in certain things. a God that is both eternally hateful and eternally joyful is a contradiction, but only a God who is truly infinite and omnipotent can be capable of such a contradiction. not only that, but the states of hatefulness and joyfulness would, presumably, cancel each other out, meaning that God is eternally in a state which can be described equally accurately as “joyful” or “hateful” – in other words, eternally in a state which we, as limited human beings, are incapable of describing.

the same holds true of the statement that “God has a plan for your life”. to imply that God has a plan for anything implies that God is somehow dissatisfied with your current state of existence, which implies that God is incomplete, or imperfect. as long as you are in a state which causes him disatisfaction. if, as long as your state of being is a source of disatisfaction to God, then God is incomplete, or imperfect, and such an imperfect being cannot be God. furthermore, if God has a plan for your life, that implies that the ultimate goal of God’s existence is to realise that plan, at which point God will become complete. again, this implies change, which, if God is truly changeless, cannot happen.

thus it is logical to assume that a truly perfect, infinite and omnipotent God *must*, by definition, be completely satisfied with the way things are – including all the war, and pornography, and other things that offend certain segments of the population. if God is completely satisfied with the way things are, then *NOBODY* has to change! *NOBODY* has to convert from one religion to another… *NOBODY* has to worship jeezis if they don’t want to, and *NOBODY* will go to hell for saying Tina Chopp is God!

hem

interesting. i was digging through my incense samples, looking for one i hadn’t tried yet, and i found “Hem Precious Chandan”. when it’s not burning, it has a powerful, sweet, sandalwood scent. when it’s burning, monique says it smells like “drakar” cologne – and, i must admit, it has a very characteristic cologne-like smell. familiar in a way that reminds me of ancient times with my family-of-origin, and situations i only barely remember at my cousins’ house. i also found a tube of “boddhi sattva” incense which is a really powerful camphor. monique doesn’t like it – she says it smells like vicks vap-o-rub, but it reminds me of aarati.

i really like being an incense peddler. i recently had to take inventory (the tax people want to know how much money i spent, so they can figure out how much of my profits to take away), and i discovered, for the first time in my life, i actually think i have *enough* incense… three five-foot-long shelves full, plus another half-shelf full is *a lot* of incense, but if things keep going the way they’ve been going, i should be able to sell all of it within the coming year.

another side benefit is the murtis. i shipped out a shi ga murti to my first murti-only customer, someone from ohio. i ended up having to order *A LOT* of stuff from the murti-supplier in order to get *one* shi ga murti, and then it turned out they didn’t have the one i ordered, so i had to substitute it for a different one. blah. but, at the same time, i now have four nine-inch dragons, two sets of foo-dogs and another shi ga, all of which are, essentially, pure profit!

gah… materialism… but, it’s not exactly like materialism. i like being able to provide these things to people… i like being the one resource when they’re not available anywhere else. a good example of this is one of my incense customers, frank. he’s a professional musician, and he lives in new york. he was a personal friend of george harrison, and he is a personal friend of ravi shankar. apparently george harrison gave him some incense many years ago, and the only place frank knew where to get it from was george… until george died. now he gets the same incense from me! 8) and i recently sent him 3 kilos of another kind of incense, which is one of his favourites, which he can’t find anywhere else. i can’t believe that i’m the *ONLY* incense peddler in the united states who carries the kasturi masala made by shroff channabassappa & sons, but if frank wants to think so, i’m not going to get in his way. i don’t do it because i like having a lot of incense, although i do like having a lot of incense. i also don’t do it because it makes me money, although i like the fact that it makes me money. i do it because i like helping out people like frank, who wouldn’t know where to buy his favourite incense if it wasn’t for me. that’s why the business is called Hybrid Elephant and not something else.

aum gam ganapataye namo namah
sri siddhiivinaayaka namo nama
ashtavinaayaka namo namah
ganapati baapaa morayaa
mangalamuurti moraya

hrm… joined a new community recently – the bhagavad gita discussion group… except as far as i can tell it’s that translation by ac bhaktivedanta prabhupada. he may have been an outstanding sanskrit scholar, but his english left quite a bit to be desired. i always like to balance his translation with the superior (IMHO) ones by Sir Winthrop Sargeant, Swami Chidbhavananda and Sir Edwin Arnold. but, and this has been a mystery to me for a couple of years now, i can’t seem to find my study copy of the edwin arnold translation. i’ve got 3 copies of that translation. two of them are little, blue, hardbound books, one of which is held together with duct-tape (because it’s been very heavily used for many years, of course), and the third one was published as a collection of “indian miniatures” – lithographic prints of ancient indian paintings, but this third one *isn’t* one of my two study copies, it doesn’t have the slokas marked in it, and i don’t want to write in it because it’s allegedly a “rare” book. i *KNOW* those books got boxed up and transported when we moved out of beacon hill, but i haven’t seen them since. included in the stack of mysterious disappearing books is a digest-sized, red hard-bound “blank book” that i used as a journal for the couple of years either side of my high school graduation. i’m sure they’re all in the same place, but i don’t know where that place is.

work was slow today. shannon was out – apparently her father had a stroke. for some reason, image east keeps not receiving the emails i send them, so i had to frantically dig around and re-send a job i sent to them on friday, which was supposed to be finished today. it sucks, but at least it’s not my fault. i have proof that i sent it, so it’s their problem.

jill

here it is. this is what i’m going to do with my thoughts about jill. this may actually be the reason, or one of them, for this whole thing.

okay, in 1976 i played trombone in the washington state bicentennial band. we spent 2 weeks rehearsing, then we spent a week in washington DC, where we performed on the capitol steps, and in the kennedy center. jill was one of the trumpet players in the band. she lived with her family in washougal, which is about 200 miles away from where i was living with my family.

jill and i had a very weird, mental connection – very powerful. we could communicate just as easily as talking without saying a single word. i could hear her thoughts in my head, and she could hear mine. we spent the entire three week experience of the bicentennial band being in much closer contact than i’ve been with almost every other person i’ve ever known.

there wasn’t really any kind of identifiable “romance” as such going on, except for a few awkward words spoken (actually spoken) towards the end of the trip, but we both knew that we had found a soul-mate, and we were both deeply in love. we went our separate ways, although we kept in touch by mail.

apparently she had the same kind of mental connection with her father, or, perhaps something else was going on, but in order to keep her father from finding out that she was communicating with me, we arranged for a friend of hers to send and receive letters for her. it turns out the guy i thought was her father wasn’t her real father, and there was a lot worse going on than i knew about at the time, but that’ll come later.

after about a year of communicating by mail, my high school jazz band went to a competition which was held in a city near where jill lived, and we arranged to meet after the competition, which was being held on the campus of the local college, was over. i found the appointed place and, at the appointed time, she didn’t show up. i waited for about half an hour, and then someone i knew from an entirely different set of circumstances, but, apparently, someone who was somehow related to jill (her cousin, or something), came up to me and informed me that jill’s father had found out that she and i were trying to meet, and that i should watch out for him because he was crazy.

the jazz band competition was over, and i didn’t have any reason to stay any longer, and the thought of being accosted by a crazy man who was pissed off that i was trying to meet his daughter didn’t appeal to me very much, so i went back to my hotel and checked out. just as i was getting ready to walk out the door, i heard a knock. i looked through the peephole and there was a guy dressed like a cop, holding a shotgun. i asked who it was, and he said “officer lee”. i figured it couldn’t be good if he had a shotgun, and i knew i hadn’t done anything wrong, so i figured this was jill’s father who had somehow tracked me down, and i took off out the back door of the hotel room… it’s a good thing i was on the ground floor.

he saw me driving out the hotel parking lot and caught up with me just as i was getting on the freeway. he followed me on the freeway from vancouver to olympia. once i was sure i had lost him, i found a state patrol office, and asked them if there was some way i could file a complaint against someone dressed like a cop who had threatened me with a gun, but they said as long as he hadn’t actually hurt me, there was nothing they could do.

needless to say, i never heard from jill after that. through a strange sequence of events a couple of years later (when i was in college), i ended up hearing a rumour that, not long after that whole thing happened, jill married a man named rockie, and that was the last i heard of it.

until about a year ago.

i was poking around on internet, and i managed to find an email address for jill, and we have exchanged quite a bit of email since then. she lives in central oregon, in a fairly remote, small town. she’s been married to rockie for 24 years, and they have either two or three (my swiss-cheese brain can’t remember) grown daughters. jill is a very important person in the nursing industry in oregon, and a practicing nurse of some fairly high calibre. rockie is a researcher of some kind or another (again, my sieve-like mind has forgotten that detail). jill also has terminal cancer, and it’s my understanding that the mere fact that she’s still alive at this point is somewhat of a miracle.

it turns out the guy i thought was jill’s father, “officer lee”, really was certifiably crazy. he eventually ended up in jail for dressing like a cop and shooting someone. according to what jill told me, he perpetrated many years of sexual abuse on her as well. jill’s exact words were “i was his concubine”. no wonder he didn’t want me around.

i gave up on jill a long time ago. being chased out of town by a nut with a gun should be enough to scare some sense into pretty much anyone. at the same time, i didn’t have the first clue how nutty he really was, and how awful jill’s life was at that time. if i had the first inkling that her life was that awful, i would have at least tried again. admittedly, my life was pretty awful at that time all by itself, but i would still have been compelled to help in whatever way i could.

the fact that jill married rockie so soon after her father chasing me away makes me wonder how serious she really was about me, which makes me feel bad now. on the other hand, the fact that she’s only alive because of a miracle makes me feel bad that i would even be thinking of something so trivial, and, at the same time, makes me wonder how, or even *if* i can be a friend to her now. the fact that she’s very strongly medically oriented means that she will very likely have a very interesting attitude about death, but i don’t know if it is even appropriate for me to ask her about it.

apparently my father (!) wrote to jill’s “father”, in an attempt to tell him that i wasn’t a danger to jill. jill told me that her “father” ripped up that letter in front of her, without letting her read it. that kind of thing strikes me as being *extremely* uncharacteristic for my father, who never failed to criticise me whenever he got an opportunity. on the other hand, there’s a very strong probability that my father didn’t have the slightest suspicion that “officer lee” was sexually abusing his daughter – after all, he still vehemently denies the possibility that *i* might have been abused as a child, which is totally ludicrous.

so, anyway, that’s the story, for what it’s worth. my side of it, anyway. now i’ve got it off my chest, so to speak.

foo

more bizarreness. danelle used to work at the clinic, but she was fired because they suspected she was stealing stuff. then, a couple of weeks ago, someone broke into the clinic and stole a huge quantity of drugs. so, apparently, today, the police served a search warrant on danelle, and found huge quantities of drugs which had been stolen from the clinic in her house. they also found her employee file, and her customer file, which were apparently stolen at the same time. the weird part is that now danelle is saying that monique and sarah helped her steal the files, which is a total lie. danelle is frantically trying to cover her butt, ’cause she *knows* she’s gonna do a lot of time for all the drugs and shit she stole. at the same time, according to what monique says, the police have already asked sarah if she’ll submit to a polygraph test. considering that they found stolen property in danelle’s house, i seriously doubt the police are giving what she says much credence, but at the same time, it’s a little scary that monique may have to submit to a polygraph test. it’s not as though she’s done anything wrong, we just don’t want it to turn into a fishing trip.

shannon was hired at work on monday this week. she managed to finish her first week fairly well. hopefully she’ll take over enough of the “brains” function from carl that things will start to run more smoothly. as it is, carl has been making a reputation for himself recently by sending jobs to press that haven’t been approved. i get a call from the customer saying they’ve got changes on their job, and i can’t find the job, so i go back to troy and he’s already printed it on carl’s approval. we’re doing at least two or three of those per week recently. so, shannon and i are conspiring against carl. i requisitioned a proofreading stamp, and now, theoretically, jobs *won’t* go to press until they’ve been signed off by the customer. period. troy says this is never going to work. he says that it has been tried before, and after a while, carl simply ignores it. troy has even offered to bet me $20 that he’s right. the way i figure it, if i put money down it, that’s going to guarantee that i’m going to lose. the way it is now, especially with shannon taking over a lot of carl’s responsibilities, i think we may actually be able to get it to work. status quo never changes until it stops being status quo, and it takes cojones to change things. in spite of everything, my impression is that troy simply doesn’t have ’em.

at the same time, i’ve had a little “frisson” of fear (nice word i learned from jill not too long ago) that carl hired shannon to replace me. shannon has *A LOT* of print shop experience, what appears to be a fair amount of computer experience, and she’s a lot more “customer service oriented” than i am. if it were up to me, i would *NEVER* have *ANY* contact with the customers (’cause i’m too likely to bite their heads off when they’re being stupid), and i’m hoping that carl hasn’t hired shannon because he wants someone up front who doesn’t mine dealing with the customers. so far there’s been no indication that this is *actually* going to happen, but i’m an inveterate paranoiac, and i can’t help thinking that way once in a while.

got a nifty box fulla stuff from the statue people. four 9″ dragons, two sets of “foo dogs” (i’ve called ’em “guardian lion dogs” before, but apparently they’re also called “foo dogs” also), and a couple of shakyamuni statues, one of which gets sent to some guy in ohio. selling stuff to people like this is *COOL*! they pay me, i buy cool stuff and send it to them, and everybody’s happy. i’ve been talking to a few people about doing some commission sales from our site as well, but so far nobody has “bit”. i talked to kolette about engraved talismans or some such thing she makes. pretty much anything she makes will be saleable – her artistic genius is rarely matched. saint fred’s friend who does ceramic stuff also contacted me a couple of weeks ago, and i had a nice conversation with gunnar’s friend joseph about a huge pile of glass pipes and suchlike that he’s got stashed in his basement. if even one of these things actually happens, we’ll have some nice additions to the business.

went to buy mice for herb and agador this afternoon. there’s a new PetsMart across the freeway from the print shop, so i decided to check it out… except that they don’t sell feeder animals because it’s “not ethical”. they also don’t sell reptiles, because they don’t want to have to sell live animals as food for them. oddly enough, they *do* sell predatory fish, and they also sell feeder fish for them, so i really wonder where they draw the line. meanwhile, i had to drive back down to petco to get mice, ’cause i *know* petco will sell me mice. and they’ll even weed out the cute ones for me, so monique won’t gripe about feeding them to the reptiles. 😉

i got email from a random, relatively local innocent bystander, who has apparently been watching The Church of Tina Chopp for a while, and he wants to attend a Vegetable Sacrifice. i told him that he should propose a date and we’ll see what we can organise. it’s a little odd, not having the Public Sacrifice on Sproogle, but there’s been such a small amount of interest over the past few years that i’m pretty desperate for *any* kind of action these days. if he wants his own, special Vegetable Sacrifice Ceremony, who am i to deny him?

new music been crunching around in my head for a few days. woulda got something down on tape (so to speak) several days ago, but massive fatigue has been plaguing me. hopefully i’ll get caught up a little this weekend. i’ve been coming home from work and going to sleep by 8:30. it’s a little alarming. i’ve got a bunch of new music i need to get down, and i’ve got a website update for diana that’s almost finished that i need to upload, so i can’t go to sleep until *at least* 11:00 pm tonight.

fum

vaguely interesting, vaguely Tina related conversation w/a couple of geeks at #verylowsodium. every now and then it’s good to have a reminder why i really don’t like IRC… although, i must admit, i’ve had some fun trading music on IRC, so it’s not all bad.

talked w/nexus about perl code for the big ass form. got some good ideas, but still don’t know how to make any of it work. nex hasn’t done perl for a while, and he was giving me information as though i know what i’m doing, which i don’t… so now i’ve got some nifty code snippets that look like they may be modifiable into something that might work, but i’m not the one to do it… oh well, i’m closer than i was before.

been trading snippets of poetry with ian over the past few days. mostly bits of lyrics from songs by brian eno and godley & creme. my impression is that ian may be able to take the code snippets and do something useful with them, but he’s been somewhat distant… um… ever since i first got back in touch with him after he got out of the army, which was… um… 10 years ago, or something like that. he’s always been kind of a loner, and he’s always lived on the edge of civilization, but he’s working less than a mile from where i work, *and* he’s got a lot more email access than i do currently (only because he’s working as a geek, and i’m not). i guess i should be happy to hear from him as much as i do, all things considered.

the phone company *SUCKS*… i’d just like to say this in public… specifically qwest. i’ll say it again, with emphasis this time: QWEST SUCKS ASS!

monique and i got new cell phones. the qwest drone told us that they would have “the most up-to-date software available” installed in them. when we got the phones, they didn’t do a bunch of the stuff the qwest drone told us it was going to do. i contacted motorola, and discovered that we *don’t* have the most up-to-date software. motorola informs me that the most usual way to get software upgrades is to download them from my service provider. but qwest says their network “doesn’t support downloads”… !?!?

they say that the only way to get a software upgrade is to replace the phone… so i tell them i want a software upgrade, and they send me another phone… which has identical software in it. i contact motorola to see if there is another solution to this problem, and it turns out i can mail the phone to motorola’s offices in texas, and they can upgrade the software for me, but that takes 20 days… and, of course, qwest won’t loan me a phone for that period of time.

qwest says it’s “not in their contract” to provide software upgrades. they say the only thing they’re required to do is provide the ability to make and receive wireless phone calls. anything beyond that is out of their jurisdiction.

to make matters worse, i’ve relied on the WUTC to persuade the phone company to do things they’ve promised to do, but then changed their minds, however apparently the WUTC doesn’t have jurisdiction when it comes to wireless phone providers. they recommended i complain to the FCC…

so, i’m doing that tomorrow.

and they call this civilization?

burning man

aum ganganapataye namah

so, i’m going to burning man this year. i’ve wanted to go for a number of years, and now i’ve actually got an “excuse” to go… i’ve even got my ticket, which set me back a whopping $225, qualifying burning man as the single most expensive event i have ever attended.

problem is, i don’t know how i’m getting there. monique wants to meet me on the southern oregon coast *after* burning man (she’s not going to burning man because it’s not a safe environment for dogs, and she doesn’t want to leave the dogs at home), but that’s assuming that i not only have some way of getting to burning man, but a way of getting to the oregon coast afterwards.

20 years ago, i would have hitchhiked, and not been concerned about it. 20 years ago, i didn’t have a job and a schedule to worry about. i’ve got a very limited amount of time between the time i leave and the time i have to be back at work (bleah), so i’ve either got to find a ride to burning man who is also willing to drive me to the oregon coast afterwards, or i have to figure out a way of driving myself.

our small car won’t make it – it’s on its last legs as it is, and an extended road trip would be its death knell. our big car would make it, but if i take the big car, monique won’t have any way to get her and the dogs to the oregon coast afterwards, and if i come home after burning man and before going to the oregon coast, it’ll waste at least two days.

i could rent a car, but that would cost a fair amount of money and i’m already trying to keep expenses down (what with the $225 ticket), and besides, i’m planning on taking at least 20 gallons of water, so it would have to be a fairly substantial car, if i ended up renting one, to be able to transport that, plus me and a week’s worth of camping gear and food.

i was hoping to get a ride there and back from sasha, but now he’s not sure whether he’s going or not, ’cause his sweetie’s father is sick. i’m sure i know other people i might be able to get a ride from, but i’ve emailed a bunch of ’em and so far i haven’t got any responses.

mal offered to loan me his RV, if he hasn’t sold it by then… but even if he hasn’t sold it, i don’t know whether it’s in any shape to make that long a road trip, not to mention the fact that i’ve never driven anything like that before.

blah.

aum ganganapataye namah

the enlightened rantings of a brain damaged freak