Tag Archives: frustration

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. 😛 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… 😛 😛

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… 😛 😛 😛

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. 😛

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… 😛

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… 😛

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… 😐

why do i keep doing this?

okay, i know why: in spite of all my complaining about it, the moisture festival has been one of the most lucrative gigs i have all year…

but, as with most years for the past 10, i am on the edge of declaring my boycott of the moisture festival this year, and this is the reason why:

two years ago, the philharmonic played for 10 days worth of moisture festival performances. last year, the philharmonic played for 7 days worth of moisture festival performances. this year we are scheduled for 5 days.

and yet, when i inquired about getting snake suspenderz involved, despite our overwhelmingly favourable reception last year, and our advocacy by such people as avner the eccentric, the response was, as it was last year, that “the moisture festival is not a musical venue”… 😡

i seem to recall, last year, putting together a list of over 50 moisture festival performers who were musicians and whose acts were purely musical, but it probably vanished when i upgraded my email client a few months ago. i have little hope that a similar list would do any good at all, and will only serve to irritate me even more… 😐

GL58315839A – the $20 bill that nobody (except me) wants. 8/

20 dollar bilfthis $20 bill got caught in the dryer a couple of weeks ago. i took it to the chase branch that is in the local safeway to see if i could get it replaced. they told me that “there was less than 50% of the bill” and they couldn’t replace it.

😮

okay, i suppose that’s one way of looking at it…

i took it to the regular bank branch, i don’t know what bank – it was one that i am not a customer of, but it was right next to the local safeway in which the chase branch is located. i figured that the chase branch in the safeway was not a “real” bank branch, and that a “real” bank branch might have a “more liberal” policy regarding replacing mutilated currency. but the teller of that branch said that she couldn’t read the serial number, and that meant that she couldn’t take it.

😮

the serial number is GL53815389A. you can see it by combining what is visible in the upper left corner with the part that is visible in the lower right corner… and there is a solid, unbroken band running along the top of the bill, that PROVES i didn’t try to “moodge two bills together” to make a readable serial number.

i then called BECU, who told me that if i took it to one of their branches, along with my ID, they could help me out. so i took it to the BECU financial center in federal way (which is the closest financial center to my home, about a 10 minute drive away), but they don’t have tellers, so the lady suggested that i put the mutilated bill in a deposit envelope (because, obviously, it wouldn’t go into the cash machine) and they would automatically deposit it in my account. she even filled out the deposit envelope for me.

two days later, i got the bill back, in a fancy transparent envelope, with a note that said “The above deposit was adjusted for the following reason: Non-negotiable item cash $20.00 – if you have any questions, please contact Member Services…”

😮

it is either “Non-negotiable item” or it is “cash $20.00”. it CAN NOT be both, at the same time. it is either “legal tender for all debts public and private” or it is a “Non-negotiable item”… 😐

so, i called member services again and they explained that, because of the fact that the branch i had taken it to didn’t have tellers, that was why the bill had been returned. however, they assured me that, if i took it to a branch that had tellers, they “guaranteed” me that they would replace my mutilated currency.

unfortunately, the closest BECU branch that has tellers is the tukwilla branch, which is about a 45 minute drive from my home… 😐

SO, i drove to the tukwilla branch, and stood in line for 20 minutes just to get to the receptionist. when i finally got to the receptionist, i told her the story of the $20 bill that nobody wants, and she said that she would find “someone from the teller line” to help me with my “unusual situatuion”. she then took off, leaving me standing at the receptionist’s desk with a line of people behind me (who were getting peeved that they had to wait this long) to find someone.

five interminable minutes later, she came back and said that there would be someone to help me, and went back to the line of people behind me. after another ten minutes or so, a lady came up, and i told her the story of the $20 bill that nobody wants, and she told me that THEY COULDN’T ACCEPT IT and recommended that i send it to the federal reserve… and, according to their web site, they may or may not accept it, they won’t even let me know for six months, and i have to send it by registered mail, which will cost me more than $20… unless i want to deliver it in person…

not to mention the fact that, technically, sending currency through the US mail is illegal… 😐

i have since taken it to three different commercial bank branches, and they have all given me the same advice: send it to the federal reserve and wait 6 months for them to decide whether to respond or not…

😐

SO, the upshot of the whole fiasco is that i have an acknowledged $20 bill, which is apparently a “non-negotiable item” that nobody except me is particularly interested in redeeming. there has got to be a way to make something artistic out of it, that i can sell for more than $20, in defiance of this STUPID way of doing business… 😡

so…

this weekend is the start of four weeks of panto performances. tickets are selling out quickly, but if you’re in the area, we are still accepting “friends and family” for the 15th december performances. tickets are available brown paper tickets, and if you choose the 15th performance and enter the code mushy peas you’ll be getting in for no cost.

if you’re not in the area… tough luck. 😉

i played my sousaphone last month for the first time in around a year, and it went fairly well… now, the difficult part, is getting back to playing a C tuba. i thought it was going to be an easy transition, because i went from C to B♭ without any difficulty at all, but the difficult part is going back to C. i played the music for the panto reasonably well this summer, but, despite the fact that i played my B♭ sousaphone last month, for one day, remembering the C fingerings is a REAL problem… 😐

and it makes it that much worse that the panto starts this weekend, and goes for four weeks… presumably, i’ll be playing the parts reasonably well by the time it’s done, but — of course — by that time, it’ll be too late. 😐

moe graduated from college on saturday — summa cum laude — and her parents are coming for her reception, which is on the same day that the panto opens, so i’m going not going to be able to make it, but i’m not particularly disappointed, as it will be a party with a whole bunch of people i don’t know, plus monique’s parents.