Tag Archives: frustration

scary…

today is the midterm election.

republicunts are projected to win majorities in both the house and senate, which means that

  1. they plan on impeaching president biden, more out of spite than anything else (because there’s nothing to charge him with, but that won’t make a difference, because democretins impeached #drumpf TWICE 😒), and…
  2. they are actively planning on (and bragging about it)
    1. eliminating social security and medicare
    2. any and all investigations into the crimes of #drumpf, the stolen government documents at mar-a-lago, and the january 6th insurrection will cease immediately
    3. a national ban on abortion
    4. a national ban on birth control
    5. a repeal of gay marriage
    6. further oppression of trans people
    7. making cannabis and other marginally legal drugs illegal again
    8. further wanton environmental destruction, promoting oil, coal, and elimination of endangered species protections
    9. gerrymandering and further voter suppression to make future election wins by democretins a lot more difficult
    10. other horrendously awful, inhumane, and massively unpopular stuff, primarily because they can.

and, if they win, there’s a much greater chance that #drumpf will run for president, again, and if he does, he will likely win, because of the republicunts’ love affair with voter suppression, and that will basically be the end of a democratic united states. 🤬

and if they don’t win at all (preferably), or if they don’t win enough to make a difference, the republican’ts have openly vowed to wreck the global economy, by refusing to raise the debt limit.

i am staying OFF twit-turd… maybe forever, but at least for a couple of days, or until the election FUBAR has died down a little.

oyoyoyoyoyOYOY! 😒

will it ever end?

i got zelle enabled and installed on my web site. i tried to test it, by purchasing incense: entering my information, and checking out. i got a notification from the web site that i had received a new order. i got a notification from the web site that my order had been received, but it had been placed “on hold, while we confirm that payment was received”… and then…

nothing.

i waited 24 hours.

still nothing.

no indication from the bank that either a withddrawal or a deposit had been made, no indication from the bank that either of those things were ABOUT TO happen, and, when i logged in to the web site, there was the order, in “on hold” status.

i contacted woocommerce, maker of the plugin i am using, but it is probably going to take them a while to get back to me, because all of my interactions with them have to go over email.

i actually called the bank, talked to their tech support which is (allegedly) the place to talk about zelle, and went through the entire process of creating a new order, with them watching the back end zelle interface. i got two notifications from the web site, but the bank was unaware that any transaction had taken place at all.

so the bank put in a ticket with zelle, to see if they can figure out what is going on. 🙄

THEN i got email back from woocommerce, which informed me that the woocommerce payments plugin wasn’t completely set up on my site, and that no account had been created. i checked, and the only part of the plugin that “wasn’t installed” was the part where i create an account — WITH STRIPE — so that i can use the plugin to process credit cards… but that’s why i’m using the plugin to begin with: to GET AWAY FROM STRIPE… and besides all that, i am not interested in stripe, i’m interested in zelle, which DOESN’T require that i sign up with stripe… AND i already HAVE a stripe account, and a stripe payment gateway plugin that is completely separate from woocommerce and zelle, and (for the moment, anyway) it appears to be working fine.

i gave them (some of) the information they were asking about, and fudged the rest, but it appears that they lay off work around 4:30 or so, so i anticipate not hearing anything from woocommerce until AT LEAST tomorrow. 🙄

😭

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

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

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

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

🍄mush🍄room🍄satis🍄faction🍄

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

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

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

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

no more frustration. 😉🍄

🍄mush🍄room 🍄frustration🍄

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

this time, apparently, i was more successful.

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

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

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

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

🤬

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

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

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

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

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

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

this is friday, right?

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

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

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

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

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

urgh

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

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

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

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

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

not only… 😒

ah, the “joys” of hoMEOWnership… 😒

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

here we go again… 🙄

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

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

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

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

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

so, there’s this…

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

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

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

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

ARGH! (A₁R₁G₁H₁)

another casualty of the cloud drive crack:

my “HANDY-DANDY LIST OF WHEN THINGS HAPPENED”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRUSTRATING!! 😖😖

mrmph… 😒

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

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

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

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

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

HOWEVER

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

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

AND THEY STILL REFUSE THE VACCINE!! 🤬🤬🤬

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

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

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

mrgmf!

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

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

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

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

i got the data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

database hell, okay?

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

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

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

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

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

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

today is 210319, and asses have officially been kicked!

so, here’s an interesting twist…

the people i have been talking to on the phone, at US customs (two different CBP air cargo officers, to date), have all been demanding two things: one, that the document they need to see is the “bill of lading”, and the commercial invoice and the master airway bill that i have are not good enough (pay attention to that last one, because it’s important), and, two, that the shipment be manifest in their system, which (allegedly) doesn’t happen until the flight leaves the ground, before they can even think about releasing it.

okay, “bills of lading” are for ocean cargo. if it’s air cargo, the “bill of lading” is called a…

wait for it…

“master airway bill” 🤦

so the broker i’ve been talking to (the one who cleared my shipment the last time) recommended, now that i actually have an email address for US customs air cargo, that instead of going at them on the phone (her precise words were “Customs does not have much patience, and if they have to read too much or explain too much they will just send you to a broker, as they are not obligated to clear low value shipments.”), i should just send them the MAWB and the commercial invoice, with the flight information, and ask them to clear it “under section 321”. so i did.

half an hour later, this was their response:

> Please be advised that AWB 125-91897142, arriving today 3/19/21 on BA49, has been entered and released.

they got the date wrong. this is not for a shipment arriving TODAY, it is for a shipment arriving SUNDAY… 🤦🤦

however…

because of the fact that they actually GOT the master airway bill number correct, i SHOULD BE able to bypass customs on sunday, and just go pick up my shit.

and the broker agrees.

so, come sunday, one of two things will happen. either:

one, i go down to WWFS, pay them their cut, and pick up my shit, or…

two, i go down to WWFS, get the run around, leave, come back on monday (after having talked with a CBP officer on sunday about why their release wasn’t actually a release), and have to pay them their cut PLUS a 24-hour storage fee, before i can pick up my shit.

i pray to the incense god that it’s going to be the first option, because i really don’t have the energy for the second.

ETA: it’s not arriving sunday, it’s arriving TONIGHT! (which is why they got the date “wrong”… it turns out mr. joy gave me the wrong date). because of the fact that it’s already been cleared through customs, AND i have beat the rush (and the $36 extra charge for paying them in person, using CASH ONLY 😒) by paying my ISC online, i can go down FIRST THING TOMORROW and pick it up without incurring extra fees whatsoever!! WOOT!! 😎

today is 210318, and i feel like kicking some ass

the HPOI have left india, and are now in london. their estimated departure from london is 210319 14:25Z, and their scheduled arrival time is 210321 17:25PDT.

i’ve been on the phone since 9:00 am (it’s 11:00 am, now) and talked with two different customs agents, and four different… i don’t know what they’re called, but they work for US customs, WWFS, and british airways cargo service, and they are PARTICULARLY annoying… and i’ve FINALLY gotten someone who understands that i’m trying to avoid extra storage fees, understands that the US customs office is closed on sunday, AND has the ability to find, and send me the document (the bill of lading) that US customs says doesn’t exist in their system. as soon as that happens, the shipment can be cleared through customs before COB friday, so that i can pick it up sunday and avoid the additional storage fees! 👍

not only that, but i’ve got their name, phone number, email address and physical address, so if they DON’T send me the bill of lading in a timely fashion, i can, physically, go down there and STRANGLE them and STILL have all the paperwork before the US customs office closes for the weekend. 😈

as soon as i have the bill of lading, i can do everything but FORCE the customs flunkies to clear the shipment, in spite of the fact that they, pretty clearly, couldn’t give a flying fuck whether or not i will EVER be able to pick up my shipment.

GRR! 😠

it’s happening again! 😱

the HPOI is leaving bangalore tomorrow. it arrives in seattle on…

SUNDAY!! 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

and, because of the fact that it doesn’t leave until tomorrow, the people at US customs won’t even TALK to me, because my shipment isn’t in their system yet… despite the fact that i’ve got ALL the paperwork they want, plus a “Certificate of Insurance” which they didn’t ask for, but they want anyway. <grumble, mutter> 😒

weather! 😠🤬

stupid fucking weather…

some newbie weather-guesser (strangely enough, he’s the only one that moe believes — and, seriously… what happened to harry wappler? 😕 oh… he died… 10 years ago… 😒) predicted snowpocalypse starting yesterday and going through the weekend.

so, naturally, everything that was SUPPOSED to happen got cancelled, because nobody around here knows how to drive in the snow. 😒

including MY FIRST CONCERT IN A YEAR! 😠

and, the thing is, i KNOW how to drive in the snow. it’s just that i don’t like doing it around here, because nobody else knows how, and it’s, like… dangerous… and stuff… 😠

and then, wouldn’t you know it… it didn’t start snowing yesterday — more than a few flurries that didn’t stick… and it didn’t start today, and now they’re saying that it won’t start snowing until tomorrow. 😒

IT’S STUPID! 😠🤬

IT’S STUPID that i have to be “addicted” to this drug — it supposedly takes a couple of weeks to “start working”, and i’m not supposed to stop abruptly, because it has “unpleasant withdrawal effects” if i just stop taking it — which has current side effects (i’ve only been taking it for four days!) that i do not like… like volatility, restlessness, and anger (on top of the already short fuse i have as a result of my injury), as well as physical effects like ears ringing, jitters and lack of focus… as well as interacting with alcohol in a way that makes me not want a beer, or a shot of rum, every now and then… 😠

a brief list of side effects i have been experiencing for the past couple of days: anxiety, irritability, restlessness, shaking, tinnitus, trouble concentrating, anger, need to keep moving, sweating… 😒

rather than take a drug that is “illegal” — psilocybin — but has NO side effects (except for ones that are “fun” 😉), works better, lasts longer, doesn’t require me to be “addicted” to anything, and won’t care if i have a beer now and then.

IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID IT’S STUPID 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬

it has all the negative effects of LSD, but none of the positive effects. i can definitely see how this might lead people to commit suicide… which is another side effect. 😒

Ă,-PĂ,-RĀ’-JĬ,-TĀ, agarbathiwalas

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

so i answered it.

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

wonderful… i think… but… 😒

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

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

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

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

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

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

oh, he says, sounding disappointed…

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

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

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

but…

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

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

and then…

nothing.

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

i will never figure out these people. 😖

this

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

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

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

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

wrong? 😒

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

GAH!!! 😠

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this had better be worth it. 😒

gah!

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

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

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

grr… 😒

can i start murdering people yet?

200915 USPS misleading postcard
200915 USPS misleading postcard

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ahhhh! now we find out…

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

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

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

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

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

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

on the record…

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

and so, i’m caught in the middle. 😒

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

😒

oy! why won’t this just go away?

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

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

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

which is bad.

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

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

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

which is good.

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

which is bad.

something has to be done. this is ridiculous.

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

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

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

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

😠

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

😠😠

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

😠😠😠😠‼‼‼

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

databases

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

and I DON’T EVEN KNOW WHAT’S WRONG… 😖

yeah, woo… 😒

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

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

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

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

and people wonder why i want to die. 😒

woo…

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

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

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

calm… i hope no storm…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

update to the update.

chris came over to talk about printing.

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

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

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

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

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

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

i should update this thing again…

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

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

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

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

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

⁉⁉⁉⁉⁉🤨🤦

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

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

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

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

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

to which i responded “that’s right.”

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

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

to which i responded

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

which was ignored… 🤦

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

——

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

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

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

——

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

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

ouch!!! 😣

i’m learning to ride a unicycle.

there’s a guy in portland — The Unipiper — who rides around portland on a unicycle, playing a flaming bagpipe.

i’ve wanted to make a flaming tuba for YEARS. i’ve got all the necessary equipment to make a flaming tuba. the ONLY reason i have not made a flaming tuba before now is that i don’t want to set myself on fire. fortunately, i have a few friends who can alleviate that problem for me (i’ll set them on fire instead… 😉), so it’s just a matter of building it…

and learning to ride a unicycle.

so, i’m taking a unicycle class at SANCA.

i’m actually doing really well, considering that i’ve never done it before, and i deliberately signed up for a “Level 1/2” class instead of a “Level 1” class (so that i could combine the class with my already existing “Basic Circus Skills for Handicapped Adults” class, which occurs on the same day), and i’m keeping up…

although, to be honest, there’s a BIG motivation behind being in a class with two 8- to 10-year-old girls who are “Level 2” riders, and who, literally, ride circles around me. 😉 i REALLY want to ride as well as they do!! and they’re not even free-mounting, or riding around turns, or any of the “fancy” stuff that the unipiper does…

i’ve taken my third class, and i’m almost to the point where i can, honestly, say that i can actually “ride” the unicycle without holding on to anything: i can ride between two bars, only one of which i am holding on to, and ride beyond the end of the bars without holding on to anything… for about two cycles of the pedals, before i have to “dismount”… or fall…

the falling part is the part that i have been trying to avoid, and, for the most part, i have. however, i came home, last week, with a fancy bruise on my right knee, which was the first actual bruise i have gotten since i started the class, and, this week, i fell hard enough that, today, i strained to put my left knee in a brace, because it is hurting A LOT when i do relatively normal things like bending it, or lifting it… or doing pretty much anything except holding it straight with my leg elevated.

so, now, the question is, will i actually learn to ride a unicycle, or will i blow out my knees and end up in a wheelchair?

“courage is knowing it might hurt, but doing it anyway. stupidity is the same thing, which is why life is so hard.” — jeremy goldberg

i’m hoping it is the former, and not the latter.

although, either way, i can play the flaming tuba, so it’s all good… 😉

oy! 😖

the continuing saga of the mailing list fiasco has reached a new plateau:

so, it started out that one of the subscribers to the list sent a message to the list that didn’t go through, for some unknown reason (demons).

when his message didn’t go through IMMEDIATELY — as he was used to them doing — he started looking around for other addresses, and he found two of them. one goes to the list owner, and one is a “machine only” address that sends bounce notices to the owner. it is not for sending email TO, and it is definitely not for sending mail to when your message doesn’t go through, because that triggers the MTA on the user end to blacklist your message.

i found out about this whole fiasco about 6 hours into it, when he sent mail to my personal address, asking me if there was something wrong. i noticed that he had sent mail to the machine-only address, and got blacklisted by micro$awful, so i wrote to the host provider to see if there was something that could be done to reverse the problem.

the host provider’s response was to accuse me (and my mailing list) of sending spam, and they have a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sending spam. 😒

they generously offered to set me up with a new IP address instead of arbitrarily closing my account, but the new IP address they gave me didn’t have a PTR (pointer) record, or a RDNS (Reverse DNS) record, which only made the machine that controls the email list mad, because usual mailing lists have a PTR and a RDNS record, and the end result was that i was blacklisted by a number of services with which i have been exchanging emails without a problem for years.

fortunately, these other services were ones for which i could submit delisting requests myself, which takes the host provider and their sensitivity about spam and spammers out of the loop.

nevertheless, i started losing patience, and i might have said some things in my communications with the host provider which ended up making things a whole lot worse, ending up with yesterday, when they asked me to move my web sites to a different host provider immediately.

at EXACTLY THE SAME TIME, the PTR and RDNS records that they installed on my new IP address took effect, which meant that i can no longer send email from my local email client, because it’s not the same server that my VPN has been talking to for more than a year, and i lost it. i didn’t actually curse at them, but i did everything but that.

while i was in the process of figuring out that it was my VPN that was my primary problem, i had, simultaneously, to explain the mistake to the guy who sent the original message, re-assure the members of the mailing list who were trying — and failing — to send messages to the list that they weren’t actually the problem, despite the fact that their email addresses were not interacting correctly with the mailing list, and fend off the more and more insistent demands that i leave, immediately, from the host provider.

long story short, i didn’t sleep very well last night. 😠

at about 3:30 this morning, i finally wrote a letter to macque, saying that i was no longer able to host the web sites he has me hosting, i was no longer able to maintain the mailing list, and that i was retiring from the hosting business.

then i checked, once again, with micro$awful, and determined that I HADN’T ACTUALLY BEEN BLACKLISTED AT ALL!

the WHOLE THING had been caused by “demons” in the machine! 😖

and, to top things all off, we’re scheduled to go to the beach for a week, starting monday, which meant that, if i was going to move, i would have to find a new host and give them the information they need to move my web sites in 3 days, or wait a week, and do the same thing when i got back from vacation. both of these options made going on vacation TO BEGIN WITH not a very exciting prospect, and i was getting severely depressed about it.

and, to put the cherry on top, it turns out that sketch, the drummer for Snake Suspenderz, died yesterday, which made me even more depressed… primarily because he, being dead, didn’t have to worry about all the CRAP that has been going on in the world, while i, being not dead, had to deal with seven times MORE CRAP and had no say in the matter, whatsoever.

then, things started to get better… kind of…

the first thing that happened is that, when i told them that i would be moving my web site in two weeks, that micro$awful hadn’t really blacklisted my IP address, and that i had dumped the client that had caused the whole fiasco, they let up a little bit, and allowed that, since i had paid access until july, that i could stay until then. with a bit more discussion back and forth, they relented even further, and allowed me to keep my web sites where they are.

but i’m still giving up being a host provider for people who don’t know how it works, because it’s WAY too stressful.

so, in the end, i can go on vacation without having to worry about internet SHIT, either while i am on vacation, or after i get home; i will no longer have to deal with people who don’t know doing things that they shouldn’t do and feeling awful about it afterwards, and i won’t ACTUALLY have to move my web sites that aren’t going away anyway (which is an entirely different ball of wax)…

but sketch is still dead, which means that, either, Snake Suspenderz will break up, or that we will find a new drummer… neither of which are very attractive alternatives at this point.

hrmph!

i am done with the moisture festival for another year: 13 shares. we’ll see what a share costs in about a month, but i’m not holding my breath.

during the fremont phil part of the run, i broke my tuba: the mouthpiece receiver came loose, which made playing the instrument sort of interesting, but not absolutely impossible, which is why i took it to the repair shop today, instead of when it happened.

i’m still recovering from the flu. i’ve got a persistent cough which, according to what i’ve read recently, may never go away, although it seems to be, so i don’t know yet.

and, while i was busy with the moisture festival, a subscriber to one of the mailing lists i maintain, who has an email address at micro$awful, unknowingly sent email to the wrong address, and got the mailing list blacklisted from sending to addresses at micro$awful. the host provider’s response to this was to believe micro$awful, and to say that if i don’t move the mailing list to a third-party, commercial SMTP provider, that they were going to refuse to provide service to me any longer. i don’t want to do that, but i am running out of other choices very quickly, and informing micro$awful that their automated blacklister made a mistake is almost impossible. i’m getting really tired of dealing with other peoples’ screw-ups, and, once again, am debating whether or not to just toss all of my “web clients” except for my wife, and just deal with my own domains. it would be so much easier than explaining stuff to people who don’t understand, who don’t pay attention, and who do continue to do the stuff that makes problems happen which i can’t fix.

now that the moisture festival is over, i’ve got a band-mate’s saxophone to work on for a couple days, and moe and i are going to the beach in a week or so. hopefully that will give me the chance to get back to normal for a while. 😒

🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮

thursday, i had a rehearsal. i got home, felt normal, and went to bed.

friday, i woke up and didn’t feel so hot. by friday afternoon, i was flat on my back, except for when i had to rush to the bathroom to vomit, have diarrhɶa, or both, which continued until sunday, when i went to the emergency clinic to find out what was wrong: Influenza-A. 🤮

they prescribed two medications: an anti-emetic, and an anti-diarrhɶal medication. when moe went to the pharmacy to pick it up, because of the fact that my primary insurance is medicare, they wanted to charge $350.00, but they said that both medications were available, over the counter, at safeway for $17.50…

so moe went to safeway.

🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬… etc…

monday was even worse: i had to have 2 liters of intravenous fluids pumped into me, because i was not getting better, and nothing i did would make the vomiting and diarrhɶa go away. at that point, i hadn’t even EATEN anything for 4 days, and i was starting to wonder if i was ever going to get better. the IV line did it, i made a “miraculous” recovery — meaning that, tuesday, i was well enough to hobble short distances without passing out, and the vomiting and diarrhɶa had mostly vanished.

wednesday (today) i am doing better, but i still have to take things in stages, and i have to rest A LOT… i have to rest A LOT because, tomorrow, i have to be a fluffer at the moisture festival, and, also, if i don’t rest A LOT i pass out… seriously, i can’t walk more than a few dozen steps before i am panting and out of breath.

two things to take away from this experience are:

1) ALWAYS get a flu shot!!! from now on, every year, i’m getting a flu shot. this is not something i want to experience more than once!

along the same lines, i really should get a shingles vaccination, as well: i had chicken-pox when i was 16, and thought i’d never have to worry about it again, but moe got shingles a few years ago, and she was miserable. a shingles vaccination is a really easy way to prevent that sort of thing from happening to me…

and, 2)… this is important:

WE ABSOLUTELY MUST GET CRIMINAL DRUMPF AND HIS CRIMINAL CRONIES OUT OF OFFICE, BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE AND THE WORLD IS DESTROYED!!!

my impression is that America is on it’s way to being the worst it has ever been. America won’t even start to be remotely considered for “greatness” again until he and his whole cadre of criminals are impeached… and, America can take the first tentative steps towards applying for greatness by indicting, convicting, and imprisoning drumpf for the rest of his life, and longer! 🤬

i would rant more, but that is exhausting, and now i have to go lie down.

🤬

people suck! 😠

when you’re out for a walk, and you see someone walking a dog on a leash, and it’s OBVIOUS that the dog is in pain, and it’s OBVIOUS that the person on the other end of the leash is TOTALLY OBLIVIOUS about the condition of their dog… how do you respond?

according to my wife, the veterinary technician and veterinary hospital manager, whose specialty is animal behaviour, there’s not an awful lot you can do about a situation like this.

so, anyway, i was out on a walk, and i saw two ladies with dogs on leashes. one of them, the lady in front, had a smaller, black dog that was acting more or less normally, ahead of its human, sniffing the ground, doing normal dog things.

then there came the lady behind. when i first noticed her, she smiled pleasantly, as she was pulling the dog leash over her shoulder, and leaning into it, to get the dog to go faster. it was plain, from her behaviour, that the dog wasn’t pleased at all with the idea of going any faster, because she had to maintain constant pressure on the leash to get him to go as fast as he was.

then i noticed the dog…

i have never felt so sorry for a creature so quickly… the dog was OBVIOUSLY in pain…

he was a medium-sized yellow lab, or a lab-mix of some kind. he was panting, heavily, and drooling almost to the point of foaming. he was an older dog, who used to be a lot fatter than he is now, because he had a lot of loose, flabby skin around his belly. there was something seriously wrong with his hips: his lower abdomen looked distended, and he was walking stiff-legged, taking tiny steps and doing most of the motivating work with his front legs… and it looked like he’d been doing it for a while, because his front legs were a lot more muscular.

as they were passing me, once again, the woman put her shoulder into dragging the dog faster than he, clearly, was able to go. he whimpered, and attempted to waddle faster, which he was clearly not able to do.

never have i wanted, more, to deck someone. 😑 i had to hurry away before i did something stupid, because, if i had hung around any longer, i WOULD HAVE done something stupid.

depression and drumpf

it’s been raining for a couple of days, which is good, because it hasn’t rained for months. it went from deathly hot and dry to raining and cloudy in one day… but nobody’s allowed to say climate change any longer.

the republicretins are trying to ruin healthcare, AGAIN! 😑

drumpf wants a military parade in front of the white house. he also wants to “totally destroy north korea”, in those very words. he made a fool of himself in front of the UN. he wants to deport all of the people who are currently eligible for DACA. he wants to ban muslim immigrants and refugees. he won’t repudiate white supremacist terrorists. when people protest, they get run over and killed by white supremacist terrorists who get caught by the police, and are, then, set free with no charges.

i’d complain, but that’s just the way it is these days. 😕

salamandir update

i haven’t been writing much because i’m severely depressed, and have been for some time.

the primary reason is #SCROTUS, who has, once again, alerted the world that, at his leisure, he’s going to dump the entire nuclear arsenal of the united states — his exact words were “fire and fury the likes of which the world has never seen” — on a country about 0.013 the size of the united states (north korea), because their “crackpot leader” has been spouting off again. personally, i’d put #drumpf and kim jong-il in the same boat, in terms of being totally insane. and, of course, kim jong-il responded by saying drumpf’s proclamation was a “load of rubbish” and announced a missile test that is going to end 30 to 40 miles off guam. as much as i disliked the gentleman (an alert reader will notice that i don’t refer to drumpf using that term), when obama was president, i could sleep through the night knowing that, when i woke, world war 3 would not have started. 😑

this whole mess was compounded by the fact that i went off 5HTP while i was at OCF, and, apparently, it’s a medicine that you have to take for a while before it starts working. it’s been a month, and i’ve been taking it again for about 3 weeks, so i’m assuming that it’s taking effect — as before, i’m aware of the fact that i’m depressed, but i can function, more-or-less, anyway — but the whole thing with drumpf, ending the world, messing with my (lack of) health insurance, being an ignorant, racist asshole who golfs while the world — which he set on fire — is burning, really doesn’t inspire me to do an awful lot. 😕

this has also been compounded by the fact that climate change has gone from the wettest winter on record, to the longest period without rain on record, and, because of the fact that there have been massive forest fires in british columbia, the weather has been hot and smoky for about a week. i was in tacoma the other day, and i haven’t seen that much smoke there since the infamous “aroma” days. i was in seattle, yesterday, and it was so smoky that i couldn’t see west seattle from I5. the air-quality rating has been “unhealty” for two days… in SEATTLE!! it’s the worst i have EVER seen it, and it’s just going to get worse… and they’re not predicting rain until — MAYBE — sunday. 😑

but because of the fact that drumpf appointed one of his oil-company cronies to the head of the EPA, they are no longer allowed to use the words climate change, which, to them, means that it doesn’t exist. 😑

it was another one of “those” days… 8P

i didn’t wake up in the best of moods today. the dogs wanted to get up about 2 hours before i was ready to get up – moe is in las vegas at a vet conference and gets back tonight. the dogs are always worried when she leaves for more than a day, and they’ve been getting more and more antsy the longer she’s away. i’ve been running rye and lucy until their tongues hang out, and that’s been keeping them sort of quiet, but it doesn’t work first thing in the morning…

so, i got the (3) dogs, and the (1) cat, and the (2) birds fed, and started up my computer, and, of course, there were system updates that came in overnight, so i installed them and rebooted the computer… and the computer wouldn’t reboot. πŸ˜› i posted in kubuntu forums, and the current theory is that xorg stopped supporting my video, which doesn’t strike me as being particurlarly likely, as this is a 4-to-5-year-old computer that had not-quite-top-of-the-line components installed when it was first built… but it is also based on guesses more than anything else, at this point.

so, i decided to do it the “hard” way (whoever thought that getting mail on my laptop would be the “hard” way?), so i fired up my mac, logged in, and pointed my browser at my webmail page… and i COULDN’T LOG IN… πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

and then i had an appointment with gary from Giant Atomic Robots about the Hybrid Elephant web site, and i was about ⅔ of the way there when i realised that, despite the fact that i planned on taking my laptop, and i even went so far as to disconnect it and put it in the same place that i had put everything else that i succeeded in remembering, i actually FORGOT my laptop!

after i returned home from my meeting with the giant atomic robot gary, i determined that the reason i couldn’t log into my email was not because of my VPN as i suspected, but because they had actually MOVED the entire webmail site to a different server, and, because of the fact that i don’t use webmail on a regular basis (POP mail is still the safest way to go!), i didn’t get the message…

i’m running really thin on spoons today, and i don’t get to go to sleep until after i pick moe up, at 1:00 in the morning… πŸ˜› πŸ˜› πŸ˜›

Sony Super-Audio CD

quite a number of years ago, i bought a CD of “The Antiphonal Music Of Gabrieli” subtitled “The Glorious Sound of Brass” by the Philidelphia Brass Ensemble, The Cleveland Brass Ensemble and the Chicago Brass Ensemble. it was, i believe, one of the first purchases i ever made on a, then, brand new service called “amazon”, but the current iteration of that service has no record of my purchasing anything like that, so it might have been some other online service.

i have been playing music by giovanni gabrieli for a long time, and he is one of my favourite brass composers, so i figured that this would be an excellent addition to my music collection. however, when i received the disk in the mail, i put it into my CD player and…

nothing happened.

this was before computers had CD players on a regular basis, and the dedicated audio CD player that i had was a sony “diskman” that someone had been throwing away, so i searched around and found another dedicated audio CD player that didn’t have such a sordid background and put the disk in that and…

nothing happened.

then i took a closer look at the CD itself. what i found was this TINY inscription that said this disc is designed for use in super audio cd players only on the back of the box.

no problem, i figured. i’ll just put it into my (at the time) “state of the art” work computer (which did have a CD-ROM drive) and it’ll play there… no, i didn’t think i’d copy it into MP3 files, because this was before MP3 files existed.

but i was mistaken. it didn’t play there, either…

but it is gabrieli, and i’m sure the music is SUPERB, so i didn’t send the disk back. i held on to it, on the off chance that, at some point i would run into someone who had a “super audio CD” player.

which brings us to today… close to 15 years later, and i have tried it on every single computer i have owned, and a bunch of other peoples’ equipment, and i have STILL never heard this CD.

i have, since, learned that sony introduced the super audio CD in 1999, and by 2007 it was considered a failure, and not significantly better quality than standard CDs, but that didn’t make the fact that i have this one disk of music that i really like any easier to listen to… or copy into a format that i can listen to — which, i suppose, is what all this copyright/piracy gibberish that i hear bandied about in the news, is all about to begin with…

but, come on… this is all music that was recorded previously — the SACD is a combination of three other 12″ LP records, released between 1955 and 1980 — and i paid for the music… NOT the incomprehensible file format, or whatever it is that makes this particular disk NOT PLAY in the audio equipment that i HAVE. 😐 furthermore, i’m NOT going to buy a SACD player, which are now “audiophile” equipment, and cost anywhere up to three times what they did originally, so that i can play this ONE disk.

bottom line: does somebody out there have a SACD player that i can hook up to my computer, so i can make FLAC copies of the music? i have a digital pre-amp that plugs into my computer and has RCA inputs, and i have RCA cables, so all i need is the player, and you’d be able to get it back after i’m finished… i’d really appreciate it…

now…

i was going to post yesterday, but then i spent two nights ago not sleeping very well and having dreams that i wished i wasn’t having — and waking up on more than one occasion, specifically to end a particularly annoying dream, only to have it resume, more or less, when i succeeded in getting back to sleep — so when i finally got up yesterday i was already in a sour mood… and then i turned on my computer and the sour mood increased about ten-fold, which was not made any better by the fact that i couldn’t get my backups to work the way i wanted to, because of the fact that the crack used a “new, different” way of intruding, which the host provider was less than forthcoming about explaining…

i actually had everything fixed by 11:00 am or so, but my mood was so bad, and it was so hot, that, by that time, all i wanted to do was watch the god-damned-noisy-box, smoke cannabis and drink… first mountain dew, then water, then beer. seriously, the temperatures have been in the low-90s and upper-80s, but it has been more humid than i have ever seen before (around here, it’s par for the course in illinois and alabama), and the overall effect is that the temperature is oppressively hot, which made the god-damned-noisy-box even more inviting… if i had a swimming pool, it be a lot better…

but, unfortunately, if i had a swimming pool, realistically, it would only get used a week or so a year, and the rest of the time i would have to maintain it… so it’s probably better this way… it’s a lot more realistic to dream of a sauna, because i’d use that year round EXCEPT for the really hot days…

anyway, if i had posted yesterday, this would have been that post:

the oregon country fair is in a little more than a week. i had in mind to distribute QR code stickers for music at the fair, but they haven’t even contacted me with a shipping date yet, and i placed the order almost a month ago. so THIS is the reason why NOT to use StickerRobot when time is sensitive. they may make the best stickers in the world (for all i know, they haven’t delivered them yet), but if a simple, square, black-and-white sticker takes them a month, i am less than impressed.

the panto this year is Dick Whittington, which i have wanted to do for two years now. it should be a great show, although i haven’t seen it yet. we’ve got some of the music, we’re getting more tonight, and, as usual, we’re probably going to get new music when we arrive at the fair… at this point, the fact that we’ve never performed the panto all the way through, even once, doesn’t faze me very much… we have almost exactly the same routine every year, and it invariably comes out on the other end as a finished work of art. the real fun is working together to make it a work of art… and the reactions of the audiences when we perform.

grumph

the floor is replaced, but i can’t move my office back until the adhesive for the vinyl has cured, which takes anywhere from 3 to 5 days, depending on the ambient temperature… and, as it has been dumping rain for the past few days, it’s heading more towards the 5-day curing period. πŸ˜›

and, i’ve got another week of moisture festival performances starting tuesday, plus i’ve got an incense order that i can’t fill and another incense order that is waiting for the guy to snailmail me a money order, plus i’ve got three reels of tape that have been digitised, and three to five cassettes that still need to be digitised before i can get started making a CD out of the digitised remains for randy’s daughter, naomi…

so it’s very likely that i won’t actually get around to doing any real work on getting my office back in shape for another week or so… πŸ˜›

enter title here

we had the most recent plumbing incident, and we had the next most recent plumbing incident, both of which ended up with the guy who rescued us telling us that we need to have the whole house re-piped. the last guy who i talked to said that the current plumbing in our house was RECALLED in 1996, because it’s brittle and the rats like to eat it…

and, no, we can’t sue the people who installed the plumbing originally, because when they installed it (in 1970-something), it hadn’t been recalled yet. if anyone, we might be able to sue the home inspector that did our home inspection before we bought the place, because he should have noticed, and told us about it, but he didn’t… and, at this point, the result would still be the same anyway, which is, basically, that we have to completely re-pipe the entire house, AND we have to completely rip out and replace the floor in the kitchen and pantry (and possibly about half of the master bedroom), because when the rat ate through the pipes (most recently), the whole subfloor got wet, and it’s particle board, so it has to go… 😐

also, since the last time the plumber was out here and fixed things, we have developed at least one major leak in the plumbing beyond the one that i already knew about, but wasn’t doing anything to fix, because it was the kitchen sink, it was leaking into the drain-pipe, and even with the water turned off to the sink, it was still leaking enough that i would have had to turn the water off to the whole house in order to replace the sink faucet, and i didn’t have the curb key to turn the water off at the main, until just a few days ago when the bathroom started flooding… 😐

so i’m sitting here now, sweating because we have the first snake suspenderz rehearsal in, like, 6 months, and the guy hasn’t shown up, and i have to leave in half an hour to get to the rehearsal… and from what his dispatcher told me, it’s not likely that he’s going to show up before 11:00, which is when i have to leave… but if the plumbing is going to be done, it’s gotta be started on first, and if i put the start off for a couple of days, then i have to put up with being in a house with no running water for a couple more days… 😑

pzfthqgler

i re-evaluated my bong-making facility, and modified it somewhat to accomodate some additions to the glass-bottle-drilling area so that i can actually fill the bottles with water while i am drilling them. apparently being full of water “stabilises the bottle on a molecular level” and makes them less likely to break. i haven’t really noticed that much of a difference yet, because i’ve only actually tried it with one bottle, but if i can break fewer bottles than i have been so far, it will be an improvement. i went to another smoke shop yesterday, and they responded positively, but didn’t actually buy anything. they told me to call again today, so i’m going to do that later this afternoon.

we’re gearing up for the moisture festival again. the first rehearsal was supposed to be yesterday, but, typically, it got cancelled at the last moment. the moisture festival will be 10 years old this march, and it’s actually smaller than it was last year. last year we had shows in four different venues, and this year we’re only filling two venues. it makes me wonder what they’re planning on doing with all the $100 “donations” they got last year, that they said were going to make this years’ moisture festival “something really special”… 😐

the fremont phil has 5 days of performances, which is two less than last year, which was three less than the year before… and i’ve heard some “rumblings” from the powers-that-be in the moisture festival that they’re thinking of getting entirely new bands next year… nothing official, at this point, but the fact that it’s out there is something to shudder about.

on the other hand, snake suspenderz is playing (on stage) two nights, on which i am also performing with the phil, AND we’re also “subbing” for stuart’s band, the Super 8s, one night as “the pit band” or “the house band” or whatever you may call it… so that’s something.

rick has been going through hell recently. it started when i dropped him off at the emergency room of good samaritan hospital (the same one i did my rehabilitation in, after my injury). he proceded to almost die and is now recovering at an “assisted living facility” in puyallup: basically it’s one of those “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” places, where 95% of the population is never going to be released… but at the same time, if rick were to be released, the only place he has to go back to is so moldy that it’s very likely toxic, and rick has a self-admitted ambivalence toward living in squalor… i remember thinking, as i was moving the boxes of crap from rick’s storage place to his house, that i could very easily be contributing to a future episode of Hoarders… i want to help, but i’m not sure how much good it will do… 😐 i’ve been taking him to various different doctors’ appointments, when he can’t arrange transportation, but i don’t know how much more i have in me.

growl

yesterday, i got an incense order for ambica hare rama special flora… over the telephone… 😐

first, the guy wanted to know if i had any hare rama incense. i told him that i did, then he hung up. then he called back, and wanted to know how many boxes i had. i told him, and then he hung up again…

so i went in to check and make sure that i actually had 41 boxes, and it turned out that i only had 34 boxes… but before i had the chance to call him again, he called back again, and wanted to know why he couldn’t pay without a paypal account. i told him that he could pay, even without a paypal account, and talked him through the process. paypal apparently wouldn’t accept his shipping address, about which there is nothing that i can do, and i told him so…

and he hung up again…

oops, i forgot to tell him about only having 34 boxes of incense. but before i could dig his phone number out of my semi-smart phone, he called back AGAIN, and told me that paypal wouldn’t accept his shipping address, and wondered if there was any way to place an order that didn’t involve the web site… πŸ˜›

i HATE taking orders from out-of-state customers over the telephone, principally because i don’t have a way to process credit cards other than through paypal, and i told him so. he suggested a snail-mail payment using a money order — i haven’t even heard of a money order for, like, 15 or 20 years… i didn’t even know they still existed… 😐 — but, apparently, they still exist, AND (apparently) they’re STILL a more trusted method of payment than a cheque.

they just take longer… because of the fact that this guy is ordering from bowdoinham, maine, it will take a week or so until his payment reaches me, during which time, theoretically, it is possible for somebody else to buy exactly the same incense, and (because i only have 34 boxes), if that were to happen, then it would take even longer for me to get his order to him.

after i took care of his immediate worries, i started calling around to find more ambica hare rama incense. both of my “regular” suppliers don’t carry it, so i checked, and the place i got it from last time (in 2006) was the “old time hippie” incense supplier with whom i originally started this business (in 1998), who is flakier than a croissant and doesn’t even answer his phone most of the time these days… and when he does, he inevitably wants to suck me into an hour-long, off-topic conversation about how durbar incense is much more preferable than masala incense, and nobody carries durbar incense any longer, and… which is one of the reasons i don’t use his services any longer.

so, once again, i am down to writing to someone with a gmail.com address, IN INDIA, to POSSIBLY get this obscure incense that nobody else carries in the united states any longer…

i really should start charging a lot more to do this… 😐