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blah blah, new year, new me, blah blah blah… 😒 i’ll tell you what: i’m going to do the best that i can NOT to kill myself this year, through direct or indirect action (indirect, in case you’re dense, refers to COVID or something like that). my “new years intention” (because “resolutions” are too restrictive) is less depression.

along those lines, i didn’t get a harvest from my “experimental” mushroom patch last year, but it has developed LOADS of mycelia… now, there’s no GUARANTEE that they’re “the right kind” of mycelia, and, until they start sprouting mushrooms, there will be no way to know for sure, but… it was three unplanted containers of sterile potting soil, covered with a thin layer of wood chips and straw, which i inoculated with mycelia LAST YEAR. i didn’t plant anything else in the containers, and, basically, i have left them alone for a year… apart from watering them occasionally, during the dry months last summer. i don’t KNOW that the mycelia i propagated is the one i’m looking at, but… well… there’s enough mycelia that all i had to do was disturb the top layer of wood chips SLIGHTLY to expose A LOT of mycelium… so there’s always hope…

however, even with auxiliary mushrooms from matrix genetix, the weather has been snowy/rainy/awful enough that it has been difficult to take as much mushrooms as i like, so i’ve been taking “microdoses” that i can’t perceive, but which smooth out the bumps to the point where i’m not snapping at people, complaining about everything, and being a complete recluse… but i’m still not particularly pleasant to be around. 😒

i’ve got to have my car serviced. i’ve been noticing a significant decrease in mileage for the past few months, i may need new tires, and, apparently there are “firmware upgrades” that are only available from the dealer. but the closest hyundai dealer is in renton, and i’ve pretty much burnt my bridges with the renton hyundai dealer years ago. there’s a dealer in auburn, with whom i haven’t burnt as many bridges, and there’s the dealer in puyallup where i bought the car, but this is sunday AND new year’s day, so i’m not even going to be able to call anyone about it until tomorrow. meanwhile, i’ve got to go to costco (tomorrow), and moe is leaving for a week in orlando on the 14th, which, coincidentally, is the same day thaddeus and i have our first paying gig of the year.

i got a “small” package, yesterday, of incense from one of the more reliable US distributors i deal with (“small” meaning only two kilos 😉), delivered by USPS, which was totally saturated, as though it had sat outside in the rain overnight, or something like that — which it certainly did not do outside of my house. 😠 only half a kilo of the two kilos of incense were damaged, and i have notified the shipper, but (once again) it is the new year, which means at least there won’t be anybody there until tomorrow, and i’m not sure there is anything that can be done about it, anyway. 😒

the moisture festival is happening. hooray(?). it’s going to be at the broadway performance hall, a “union shop” — meaning that there are going to be people not associated with the moisture festival doing things like managing the stage, moving sets, setting lights, operating spotlights and other suchlike stuff, and there’s nothing that can be done to change it. i’m kind of wondering how they’re going to deal with the fact that the bands are definitely not union organisations, but, at the same time, it’s for someone else to deal with. 😒 fortunately. 😒

W000T!! 😎

221220 hybrid elephant iphone!
221220 hybrid elephant iphone!

i’ve had this sayagata-pattern iphone case for an iphone that i have never owned, and, probably WILL never own, simply because its got a cool pattern on it. i was showing it off to moe, a week or so ago, and complaining that i didn’t know of anywhere i could get an iphone case with pictures that i want on them, and moe recommended about a dozen places that make custom iphone cases… because, these days, her “google-fu” is orders of magnitude better than mine… 😖

so, i had one made. now my phone exactly matches my car. 😎

fitment

220509 fitment
220509 fitment

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

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

new car, new art

220429 ganesha the car art
220429 ganesha the car art

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

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

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

BLEHHHH!!!

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

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

220103 stuck car
220103 stuck car

this is not fun any more. 😒

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

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

ganesha the new car

once again, gas is $4 a gallon.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

gress

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

not only….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

this is getting really confusing. 😕

i have resurrected ganesha the graphic

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

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

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

whee? 😕

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

such is life.

i got the data

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

naorgroan

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

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

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

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

groan!

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

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

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

which happened before i got to highway 18.

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

but this time?

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

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

and totally forgot about SACBO until this morning.

um…

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

yawn

nothing except #drumpf and depression happening for the past couple of weeks.

moe stepped on zorah and dislocated her hip (zorah’s, not moe’s), which, naturally, mortified moe, and made it so that zorah has to undergo at least eight weeks of crate-rest before we will discover whether or not she has to have surgery.

the two ounces of space queen that i was gushing about is either not space queen, or, if it is, it lacks the characteristic flavour of space queen, which is one of the reasons i like it. on the other hand, it was cheap enough that i’m not going to complain. ๐Ÿ˜

SACBO next weekend. 19th wedding anniversary on the 21st. OCF in three weeks.

that’s more like it!

160519 new Ganesha
160519 new Ganesha

mouse tail not wrinkled…

160519 new Ganesha
160519 new Ganesha

less white background…

160519 new Ganesha
160519 new Ganesha

smooth graphics, not anywhere near as pixellated…

160519 new Ganesha
160519 new Ganesha

more accurate swastika, unlike the previous one which was (i suspect, deliberately) off center and inconsistent.

ready to start a new season of art-car shows, as soon as i get back from my trip… which i’m dreading… 😨 (which is U+1F628 FEARFUL FACE, if the emoticon doesn’t give it justice) (the trip, not the art-car shows)

knob not noster

i decided that i wanted an 8-ball knob on my shift-lever, replacing the boring, ordinary one that has the shift pattern engraved on the top.

i looked around a number of different places, locally, and discovered that the only place i could get a “regulation” 8-ball-sized shift-knob was a place where i had to order it, and then wait a few weeks until it came in — none of this “order on amazon and have it in four days” crap, this is an OLD SCHOOL customising shop which offers real 8-ball shift-knobs, not those dinky, small 8-ball-wannabe shift knobs that look cool for about 6 months and then wear out, here.

i knew i was probably going to have to match the threads on my car, so i went and measured them, and bought the proper size tap, while i waited for the 8-ball itself to arrive. it came in about a week ago, and, immediately i noticed that there was a big problem: the knob came with two plastic “inserts” and three set-screws that were supposed to hold it in place, but my car (which is a hyundai, with metric everything) not only wouldn’t fit, but i actually destroyed the proper sized plastic insert trying to get it to work.

i discovered that, to work with my shift-lever, with its metric threads, i would have to make a “shim”: i would need to get a brass rod the same diameter as the hole in the 8-ball (½"), and drill it out to the correct dimensions to accept a tap (10×1.25 metric thread), at which point i would drive the rod up into the hole in the 8-ball, drive in the set screws, and screw it in place.

first step, finding a ½" diameter brass rod. i figured i would go down to the local home depot and pick one up… but home depot doesn’t have ½" brass rod, and hasn’t had ½" brass rod for at least a year. no problem, i surmise… i’ll just go to mcclendon’s, they’ll be sure to have it. WRONG… they knew what i was looking for, but said that they stopped carring ½" brass rod when it became “too expensive”… 😕 i’m reasonably sure that i could have bought ½" brass rod at hardwick’s, but i would have had to drive into seattle for that, and i didn’t feel like driving that day… not only that, but with the information that brass rod had suddenly got “expensive” i wasn’t sure that hardwick’s would have it, and i didn’t want to drive all that way for nothing…

160422 brass shim
160422 brass shim
so, i ended up buying 8″-to-9″ (random length) of ½" brass rod online for about $5.00 (which is what i expected to pay anyway, so i don’t know what they were talking about at mcclendon’s… too expensive??), and proceded to start to drill it out, but very quickly discovered that it was going to take a REALLY long time to do it manually, if i wanted it to be anything like the quality that i would expect to have on my car… but i know a guy who owns a machine shop in the south end of downtown seattle! ๐Ÿ™‚

so, this morning, i went down to his shop and made a shim of the proper size, with the proper machinery, and it, literally, took five minutes (and most of that time was setting up the machine), and now i have a beautiful, new, authentic 8-ball gear-shift-knob on my car! 😎

160422 8-ball shift-knob
160422 8-ball shift-knob

i would be doing a lot more of this kind of stuff if i didn’t have to wait around so long for materials to be delivered, that i used to be able to go down to the local hardware store and buy…

160422 8-ball gear-shift-knob
160422 8-ball gear-shift-knob

catsup

i’m still more or less stuck on the new web site, but i’m not really worried about it, because i continue to get orders from the current one… yes, i’m not always getting all the emails i should be getting regarding customer orders, but i continue getting the most important ones. also i still haven’t discovered an alternative for paypal, but both of those things may be mitigated by the fact that i may be hiring a professional to “do it for me” at some point. at this point, such a thing would only happen after a disaster, such as somebody cracking the site in a way from which i can’t recover on my own, or something like the current version of PHP or the database no longer being supported, or something like that. it remains a fantasy, but part of the current fantasy for the near future.

today i helped ezra move a four-foot-by-four-foot “painting” from his apartment in the central district to a recording studio in fremont. it barely fit in my car. the word “painting” is in quotation marks because the object looks like, and functions like a painting, but is, actually, made from scraps of vinyl. we also spent some time wandering up and down the burke-gilman trail discussing recent events, future plans, fantasies and miscellania. he’s going to lisbon for a couple of weeks, and then he’s doing a residency in central oregon for a month… my son is thinking of moving out of state, and perhaps even out of the country, on a more-or-less permanent basis.

i’ve gone through one “artist” who said that they would make a vector representation of my raster-based file. i don’t know whether or not they actually made a vector represntation of my file, because they responded with a “proof copy” and then stopped responding… which, i suppose, i should have expected, considering that i found out about them on “fiverr dot com”, which is, allegedly, a place you can go to find just about anything for increments of $5. i’ve sent a preliminary file to a “professional” in florida, who claims to do the same thing, although more “reliably” and, predictably, for more money, but they, too, said they would get back to me in 24 hours, and that hasn’t happened yet. fortunately, i haven’t actually forked over any money, yet, but this person’s web site had many, glowing testamonials from seemingly responsible, professional businesses and suchlike, so i’m hoping that the only reason i haven’t heard from her yet is because it’s sunday.

once i actually receive a vector drawing based on my raster drawing, i’m going to give it to the local guy who does vehicle wraps, and get a proof from him, and then, if i like it, i’m going to get a vehicle wrap on my car. i may, actually, be able to fit all 1008 names of ganesha on my car, due to the fact that i can, more acturately, render the typeface size because it’s from an electronic file, and not painted by me… ๐Ÿ˜Ž

woahy…

so i bought a “new” car yesterday… ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

Ganesha The Car, v.4.0

i’m still kind of dazed and confused… i didn’t expect to have to buy a new car for… oh, i don’t know, a year or so… it’s not as though buying a new car was completely unexpected, and it’s not as if i couldn’t afford it (thanks to my grandmother, who has been dead since 1988), but…

okay, my old car died — they thought it was the fuel pump, but that was two days ago, and they were supposed to call me with an update, but didn’t — and in the mean time, moe and i went down to salem, oregon, where monique is friends with the people who own Withnell Motors, and, thanks to my grandmother, i bought a “new” 2009 Hyundai Elantra Touring, which qualifies as the newest car i have EVER owned (with the exception of two literally brand-new cars that i bought with moe, which were “our” cars)…

i have four panto performances coming up in a few hours, so i’m not even going to be able to BEGIN processing all this until monday…

ganesha the art car

Ganesha the Car, v.3
i finally got around to adding sanskrit to the other side of the car, but i still haven’t decided what else i’m going to put on it… it has a lot to do with the hood and the roof, which need to be sanded and have a new coat of gloss black applied before it gets anything else… and i’ve got the gloss black paint…

eventually, eventually…

stuff

moe has gone to san diego for a week, to attend a veterinary assistants conference… which means i have all four dogs to myself for a week… fun…

i don’t mind the dogs as long as someone else takes care of them most of the time (i was raised around dogs from a very early age), but i’ve never liked taking care of them that much… and, with a dog who is a little more than a year old and still very much a puppy (apart from the fact that he is a border collie and currently stands an inch and a half taller than his mother), and another, ancient and decrepit dog who likes to bark, suddenly and loudly, at nothing, for no very obvious reasons, my patience is being severely tried, and moe has only been gone for two days…

i have two gigs on sunday (again), one with the ballard sedentary sousa band (at the ballard locks, at 2:00 pm), and one with snake suspenderz (on mercer island, at 7:00 pm), which means that i’m going to be gone for longer than rye’s bladder will hold out, so moe arranged for some friends to come over and give the doggies some “relief” in the evening… which is absolutely okay with me, given the circumstances.

i had the windows in my car tinted the other day, which is very good, because now, when people are “just walking by” my car, on sunday, instead of being able to look in the car and see my new, fancy tuba in the back, they won’t be able to see anything… however, in the process of applying the tinting film, the guy broke the passenger side rear window… or something, it worked the last time i tried it, but i haven’t used it since i bought the car, which is when i “tested it out” the last time. my impression is that when the previous owner pulled off the not-professionally-installed (i.e. defective) window tinting film, it left a whole bunch of residue which, subsequently, gummed up the motor… anyway, they couldn’t tint that window, because it wouldn’t go up and down, so i took it over to edgewood tire last night, and had them “cut the cable and insert a wooden wedge” to make the window “go up and down” — sort of — but, because of the fact that it was held in place with a wooden wedge, there would have been no point in locking the door, or (for that matter) tinting the windows in the first place, so i ponied up another $250 to fix the window, which leaves me with very little money… but money has been coming in at a surprisingly high rate recently… not very large quantities (with one significant exception), but frequently enough that i’m not too worried about how little money is in my hybrid elephant account at the moment… ๐Ÿ˜‰

interesting

i recently found out that the person known as John Michael Greer, the Grand Archdruid of the Ancient Order of Druids in America, and reputed to be one of 21st Century America’s most noted occultists, is the same john michael greer with whom i went to college, between 1979 and 1981. i wonder if the way i feel about this is anything like the people who were personal friends of aleister crowley felt… i wonder if it’s even appropriate to feel this way.

snake suspenderz has a gig this evening at the horizon house, which is the same place that my elderly, brain injured client lives. i haven’t heard anything from him since a couple of months ago, when there was a problem with his power supply that turned out to be a motherboard issue, and then i stopped hearing from him… so i don’t know whether he got another computer, or what, but he doesn’t know that i’m going to be playing music there this evening, so things might get a little “interesting”…

SACBO is saturday. snake suspenderz is playing, and i may put some more paint on my car, depending on when snake suspenderz decides to show up, and whether or not the weather coöperates. the weather is supposed to clear up tomorrow, so i may paint some more tomorrow, as well.

moe needs my help trimming sheep feet tomorrow… trimming sheep feet? and i’m supposed to be holding the sheep, while she trims their feet… we’ll see how that goes. ๐Ÿ˜‰

snake suspenderz has two gigs on sunday. we play in the early afternoon at the burien wild strawberry festival (which i attended with an art-car caravan, a few years ago, and was witness to the guy selling gold jewelry next to my car getting ripped off by a pre-teenaged doodlehum), and then, in the evening, we play at the can-can, along with the Wanderlust Circus, featuring my friend noah, from portland.

OCF is looming, and we haven’t had even one rehearsal. i don’t even know what play we’re doing… the princess and the pea? rapunzel? rumplestiltskin? a mash-up? this is definitely going to be an interesting year…

finally

i now, officially, have enough “art” on my car to make it acceptible for the seattle art-car blow-out…

which is to say, two lines of sanskrit down the passenger side.

i hope to have more, but it’s all dependent on the weather. the weather was nice today, but i had a whole bunch of preparation to do, so i didn’t actually get to painting the car until around 2:00… but still, i finished up about sunset, which (today) was around 9:30… which is why there are no pictures. there will be pictures tomorrow. there should be more paint tomorrow, as well, but it’s all dependent on the weather. ๐Ÿ˜›

fumdiddle

Olympia NOTC benefit show 2012i went to olympia last night, to play with The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra, which i have determined, is a majority of my karass. i have only become more convinced of this as time goes on: i have played with about 90% of these people, in one form or another (but, specifically, not as “The Fighting Instruments of Karma Marching Chamber Band/Orchestra”) for the past 35 years or so. i have played with them in bellingham, lummi island, port townsend, mount vernon, and seattle, in groups like the Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band, The Fremont Philharmonic, Snake Suspenderz, The Skagit County Community Band, The Stairway Jam and a number of other groups. and, as a karass is “a group of people who do God’s will without ever discovering what they are doing”, i think use of the word “karass” is a most excellent and absolutely appropriate use of the word to describe this group of people, and their relationship to me. last night’s show also featured The Mud Bay Jugglers, Joey Pippia, The Scuff and Al Show, Citizens Band, The Tallhouse Arts Consortium, The Juggling Jollies, Justincredible, Della Moustachella, and (special guests) the ORIGINAL(!!!) Flying Karamazov Brothers, Dmitry, Smerdyakov and Fyodor… and i also saw my very good friends from bellingham, Karl Meyer and Stephan Freeman, the son of Kenyth Freeman.

as i have said before, if i had the opportunity to move my entire life (including my workshop), wholesale, to bellingham, without having to worry about what i was leaving behind, or where to put things when i got there, i would be there in a second.

(and, if any of my band-mates happen to be reading this, i definitely would make the trip to seattle (or wherever) to maintain my current membership in whatever band they may be worried about. i live in the middle of bum-fuck, nowhere, currently, and it doesn’t affect my ability to drive into seattle to busk, or do paying gigs, or even rehearse, so i don’t know why you imagine that if i lived in bellingham, it would be any different.)

i found a reliable, honest mechanic that will fix my brakes for A LOT less than the $800 than i was quoted a few days ago: $300 to $500 qualifies as “a lot less” doesn’t it? and i suppose it really doesn’t matter that the guy who actually is going to fix my car is the father-in-law of my wife’s boss, does it? it seems a bit like nepotism, but the difference in price is enough to make me tend to ignore such things…

i still have a cough, but it has been going away, gradually. i actually went the entire night without coughing last night. i still feel exausted at night, and i’m sleeping more than usual, but that’s at least partially because of the fact that i was at a show until around midnight last night.

i still don’t have a car, but…

i still don’t have a car, but i’ve got a temporary vehicle, thanks to moe’s employer (and the source of my last two cars) for a week. i actually went to sammamish, a fairly large community to the east of the issaquah highlands, neither of which communities were even there 20 years ago, at 7:00 this morning to pick up the pickup…

seriously… i went to high school in that same area, 35 years ago, and the communities along the east side of lake sammamish weren’t there back then… of course the micro$awft main campus is right across the street from where i went to high school, and, back then it was a swampy forested area where all of the “degenerate” students went to skip class, have illicit sex, and take drugs… and i’m pretty sure that the same students are now working in exactly the same place

so i’ve got a temporary car, and that takes A LOT of the stress away.

furthermore, i (FINALLY) got in touch with the guy who wants to sell me his honda for $800. i’ve been trying to call and text him since sunday, but it kept going straight to voicemail and he wasn’t returning my calls… it turns out that his brand new, fancy, expensive "smart" phone erased itself, and then died on sunday, and he just figured it out… his honda is currently at his mechanic, having an “issue” looked at, but i will probably know more by the end of the week… and that, too, takes A LOT of the stress away.

i still don’t have a car, but…
     i’m becoming more and more sure that i’m going to get through this period without either screwing up or blowing people off, which is a very good thing indeed.

cat stevens

i was just listening to But I Might Die Tonight by cat stevens, and at the same time i got a spam message from… “cat stevens”… ๐Ÿ˜

i still don’t have a car, but now i’ve got to actually make it to the BSSB rehearsal tomorrow, because liz is having trouble with her computer and wants me to fix it. specifically, she’s having difficulty getting micro$awft look-out to get her email. of course, my professional solution to any problem caused by micro$awft is linux. i don’t know whether or not she knows this yet, but i’m in no mood to argue at the moment. ๐Ÿ˜

i still don’t have a car, but theoretically i can borrow a truck for a week, as long as i can figure out how to get to bumfuck nowhere to pick it up. it’s really in the issaquah highlands or some recently-built, trendy, nouveau-riche place like that, but it may just as well be bumfuck nowhere, because currently i have to rely on public transportation, my bicycle, or my feet, and wherever it is that i’m supposed to go to pick up the truck isn’t served by busses… and it’s at the top of a very, very steep, long hill… ๐Ÿ˜

i called the trumpet player from the fremont phil, who says that he has a honda that he could sell me for $800. i talked with him friday, before the car died, and he said he’d call me sunday, but he didn’t. i have been trying to get in touch with him all day, but his phone immediately goes to voicemail. ๐Ÿ˜

i’ve also got a date for taping a TV SHOW(!!) with snake suspenderz on wednesday, two snake suspenderz performances this weekend, and another one next week. unless i get some wheels, i’m gonna miss them, or totally screw up my sweetie’s day having her drive me around and/or having me drive her around… ๐Ÿ˜›

on the other paw, i have a button order pending, and a business card order pending, and another business card order that i just submitted, and i just sold the last of my aparajita, which means that i have to get more… i don’t really have to get more, but i’m down to my – fairly substantial (because it’s been so hard to find) – “personal stash”.

ganesha the no-longer-a-car… 8(

ganesha the no-longer-a-car, v.2ganesha the car, v.2 has died. it had a long life, but only a little more than a year of it was as ganesha.

it died on the way to hobbit’s house, after busking at the fremont sunday market today. when i started it up, it made a pretty loud, random-sounding rattle (which it has been doing for several weeks now) but it didn’t go away after a minute or so (like it has been for the past several weeks), but i decided not to worry about it…

and, sure enough, it died on 65th, just east of 15th Ave. NW in ballard, right next to ballard high school (go beavers! ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

thanks to the almighty AAA, i towed it home…

but now i DON’T HAVE A CAR! ๐Ÿ™

which is distressing…

but not too much, because i know that i will find some way of getting around eventually, and as soon as practically possible, it will most likely be in a replacement (sigh… FINALLY!) for ganesha the car, v.2.

hint: there IS going to be a ganesha the car, v.3… 8)

spooooons…

i have been taking a “constitutional” in the mornings for the past couple of weeks (it keeps my blood pressure down), and when i returned i realised that i had a HUGE pile of detritus left over from the deck-wrecking project blocking our driveway and, more importantly, blocking access to the recycle bin and the garbage bin… so i unloaded my car and reconfigured it for hauling junk to the dump, and then spent the rest of the morning(!!) sorting the pile of detritus into stuff that gets hauled to the dump, stuff that’s mostly dirt to begin with – which gets hauled down to the organic-junk-and-yard-waste pile at the bottom of the property, and a pile of stuff that won’t fit in my car. it turned out that i put about half of the pile in the “mostly-dirt-to-begin-with” category, and it turned out that i didn’t even fill the back of the car more than half-way with stuff that gets hauled to the dump. the rest, a pile of 8 or 10 twelve-foot-long 2x8s and 2x6s are now in a place where they won’t block access to anything except, maybe, the guys who come to pump the septic tank in another five years or so… but i hope to figure out something else to do with them before then…

then i took the stuff to the dump. when i was driving away from the dump, i stepped on the brake pedal of ganesha the car, and it floored easy without seriously affecting my speed – something which was only slightly less alarming because i was going less than 5 miles per hour. i pumped on the pedal once or twice and it came back to the point where i was able to control the car’s speed, but it was acting strangely for 10 minutes or so after that. i had to get the oil changed in the car anyway, so i took it to the repair shop, where i learned that i have to get the rear brakes and the wheel cylinders replaced.

great… i have to spend more money on a car that isn’t going to get anything but LESS reliable as time goes on… ๐Ÿ˜

did it!

after somewhat less than a year of thinking about ideas and even trying out one on ganesha the car v.2, i’ve actually decided on a deceptively simple plan that, if all goes correctly, should turn the current not-quite-an-art-car into a piece of artwork to rival ganesha the car v.1.stencil

unfortunately, i am unable to give you a clear idea of what it’s going to look like, because i haven’t actually tried it out anywhere, yet, and also i really don’t want to “show my hand” too early in the game, but this graphic shows the stencil i’m going to be using, which should give you some idea of what it’s going to look like…

… not very much of an idea, but that’s the fun part… ๐Ÿ˜‰

because of the fact that the design needs to be executed with more than the ordinary degree of accuracy, i’m going to lay the entire design out in pencil before i try to start painting, which is where the stencil will serve a dual purpose. printed on white paper, with alignment holes on either end, it will make an easy way for me to quickly pencil in the design on the car and make any necessary adjustments, and then, printed on clear mylar, it will make an effective way to paint the design once i’ve got everything laid out the way i want it. the only thing i have to do, now, is get the car washed and wait for nice enough weather that i can do it and not have to worry about rain…

fleep 牁铃 ฒำฉ #2

i bought a chilton’s manual for “Escort/Tracer 1991-00 Repair”, which is way too clean and shiny, and wants to be grease-smeared and dog-eared…

i would attempt to replace the exhaust manifold gasket myself, if i had someone like wheelsmaster here to help me make sure i’m doing the right things, but because of the fact that the instructions for replacing the gasket start off with “remove the drivebelt” and, shortly afterwards, is followed by “While not absolutely necessary, it’s a good idea to remove the radiator as well; the core can easily be damaged if it’s bumped by the manifold during removal”, i’m worried that, if i do something wrong, i’ll be left with a hulk in my yard that i will have to have towed somewhere before it even has a hope of running again.

however, i know that jack said he would charge me “a couple of hours labour” to replace the gasket, i’m going to see what the guys at edgewood tire have to say about it. it probably won’t make that much difference, but i could actually supply whoever makes the repair with a gasket, as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

fleep 牁铃 ฒำฉ

ganesha the car is overheating and acting strangely, so i took it to jack – the guy i got it from, who owns burien imports – because he said that he would also fix the cigarette lighter which i would use as a power adaptor for my cell-phone, if it worked, which it didn’t, until yesterday.

on thursday, last week, i went to kirkland for their “2nd thursday art walk”. it was raining, and the store that i parked in front of actually closed about half-an-hour after i got there (which meant that nobody was “art-walking” on that side of the street any longer), but on the way there, i had to fight with traffic and deal with the fact that ganesha the car was overheating. then, when i decided that the kirkland 2nd thursday art walk had run its course, i had to fight traffic again going the other way (which is only possible because seattle has the worst traffic ANYWHERE on a pretty regular basis) and it’s a miracle that i made it home without breaking down, even with the heater turned up all the way and the fan on full blast… 8(

of course by the time i took it to jack’s shop, yesterday, it wasn’t overheating at all, which was a good thing, since jack wouldn’t look at it anyway, because “it’s not an import” which means that he doesn’t even have a shop manual for it. i left it with him anyway, because he said he was going to fix my cigarette lighter problem, and went out for a perfectly timed day on the bus.

i took one bus into downtown seattle, from burien, got off it, and almost immediately got on another bus to fremont, where i picked up my shoes from the shoe-repair guy. i then relaxed, smoked a bowl, and caught a bus back into downtown seattle, where i wandered the pike place market for a while, talked with the flute-maker with whom i interacted earlier this week when he picked up something that i put on freecycle, got some lunch and then caught a bus back towards burien, which, strangely enough, was being driven by a guy that plays in la banda gozona with me. i made it back to burien, where i wandered around for a while, went to my appointment with ned, and then called jack who had my car ready. i then got on another bus back to jack’s shop, and got home around 6:00. at no time during the course of the day did i have to wait longer than 5 minutes for a bus… which sort of makes me wonder why we have so many traffic problems around here…

in spite of the fact that “it’s not an import”, jack had some insight as to what might be wrong with the car, specifically the thermostat is probably acting sluggish, which would make sense: i hadn’t driven it for a few days before thursday, which is when it started acting strangely, and i have driven it every day since then, which is why it’s not acting sluggish now. he also said that the exhaust manifold needs a new gasket, which he said he could replace for a “couple hours” of labour… he did show me the exhaust manifold, however, and showed me what i had to do to replace the gasket, so i’m thinking…

now i’m going to go to the auto-parts store and purchase a shop manual for my car, and get the low-down on replacing an exhaust manifold gasket.

fresh paint

so i went to the art car show at Fresh Paint in everett yesterday. i really like doing shows like that, because i get paid for doing exactly what i like to do most, which is being creative and answering questions about my artwork. i only had one person who was obviously disturbed by what she saw as a “neo-nazi” symbol, and she was very concerned because, while initially she didn’t even see it, she was also very concerned about my eternal salvation: it didn’t matter that my religion has been around for 5 times as long as her religion has, and basically says the same thing that hers does anyway, if i would only accept that jeezis died for my sins, everything would be all right — until she also learned that there was a perceived “neo-nazi” aspect to it, whereupon she broke off the conversation in the middle of a sentence and walked away.

ignorant people like her really push my buttons… ๐Ÿ˜

there are a few pictures – fortunately i was unable to get a picture of the ignorant woman, but that’s okay, because i didn’t like her anyway.

dreek

i bought some 1shot clear coat for the hood of my car. it works okay on the black – it does cause it to bleed this interesting brownish red colour, but i can clean that up pretty quickly. on the other hand, when i apply the clear coat to the gold ink, it smears – even totally dry ink – and it takes long enough to clean up that i won’t be able to clear coat the car, at least not before tomorrow, when i have a show in everett for which i’m being paid $100.

i’ve been playing around with a stencil design based on Śrītattvanidhi, but the stencils i have designed so far are too big for the media i have, and while i know that larger media exists, i still haven’t found a source for it. it’s coming really close to the end of the “create an art car in the open with no garage” season really quickly, and i haven’t got more than the hood finished on the car, which is a perennial source of frustration for me. hopefully the newly expanded workshop space will facilitate my attempts to make this a reality.

Renaldo & The Loaf – Hambu Hodo

Enter turtle here

monique flew away to atlanta this morning. she’ll be back in a week. when i returned from dropping her off at the airport, i discovered an epson media projector that wasn’t here yesterday, sitting on the kitchen counter. i hope it wasn’t supposed to go to atlanta with monique, ’cause if it was, it didn’t. of course i tried to call her, but she has her phone turned off so that the wireless signal won’t “interfere” with the airplane electronics.

the doggles are all upset and wary about the change in their circumstances this morning. they all got up at about the normal time, but instead of what usually happens on tuesday, none of them got to ride in the car, they got breakfast from me, and not from monique, and they’re all currently at home. i’m gonna guess that around 7:30 or so this evening, they’re going to start worrying and fussing about the fact that she hasn’t come home yet, and that there will be a good deal of dogs staring out the front window and barking when they think they hear someone driving up the driveway. magick just had some fairly substantial dental work done yesterday, so there’s going to be a change in her afternoons for a while (she has to take medication twice a day), and that on top of monique’s being gone are going to put her even further out on the edge than she normally is.

i made arrangements with a friend to give me a ride up to burien imports, to pick up my car, so i won’t have to ride my bike for an hour, take two busses and then ride my bike for another 45 minutes to get there. i’m hoping that it will not need further repair for a while, but i’m not gonna hold my breath, because my regular mechanic told me that a car of that age and make is notorious for needing constant, sometimes expensive repair. i still haven’t heard from the lady confirming my dropping out of the great peninsula future festival, but i got confirmation yesterday for fresh paint, in spite of the fact that this year’s car is a different car than it was last year.

ETA: i got home with ganesha the car and parked it in the sun… the rear view mirror fell off… ๐Ÿ˜ it never ends…

dreeb

i just got an incense order for $15 from denmark. according to USPS, the charge for shipping to denmark is around $70. i’ve got it fairly clearly spelled out on the site, but nobody seems to pay attention to things like that…

except for that one person who sent me an insulting message because they found my new page about K2 and didn’t like what it said, but that’s to be expected.

i’ve got the opportunity to be a part of the Great Peninsula Future Festival with my art car, but it’s still in the shop, and i’d have to come each day before 9:30 am, and then go home every night, because moe is going to be in atlanta at a conference. i’d be getting $25 for gas, and there would very likely be other people i know there, but getting there before 9:30 would be kind of a trick. of course i get to the fremont sunday market before 9:30, but it isn’t two days in a row… and the car is still in the shop, and given that it’s being worked on by jack, there’s no guarantee that it’s going to be ready in time.

spoons, etc.

yesterday i got up at an ungodly hour (6:30 am) and went to pick up my wanna-be-art-car from one repair shop, and drove it 15 miles to another repair shop where they’re allegedly going to fix it. on the 15 mile drive from one repair shop to the other, the car almost overheated, and smoke was coming out the fresh air vents when i arrived, but ganesha is in charge of this car, so if it’s going to be fixed, then it’s going to be fixed, and if it isn’t, there’s nothing i can do about it.

anyway, that left me in burien with no car. i had my bicycle, though it’s around 30 miles home from there, so i rode to the burien transit center and took a bus from there to international boulevard, where i transferred to another bus that was going to the federal way transit center, and from there i rode my bicycle the remaining 8 miles home.

when i got home, i turned around and went out again, to get an ink cartridge for my printer, so that everything won’t print green any longer, and i also went to the copy shop to get photocopies of the panto music of which i need multiple copies. then i came home again…

when i got home, i used the new ink cartridge to print an invoice, and packaged an order that came in the day before, and went out again to the post office to ship the order.

then i came home again, and searched for, and found a guy who would fix the free lawnmower that i got on freecycle the other day. he picked it up(!) last night.

today, i went to the bank to get cash for the guy who fixed the lawn mower, and when he delivered it(!), i mowed the lawn, taking a break in the middle to go out and buy a gas can and gas, because it ran out of gas and i didn’t have any because my previous lawn mower was electric.

then i got most of the rest of my gear ready for OCF. i still have to pack clothes, and there are probably some miscellaneous things that i haven’t remembered to pack.

i keep finding myself amazed at the fact that in a little more than a week there are going to be feral hippie children immitating the play that i only saw for the first time on monday, and that was an incomplete show, because all of the music isn’t written yet, and we’re still putting the final touches on the script… the final dress rehearsal for the panto here is tonight. i believe the people who aren’t going down early are having another rehearsal on monday, but the next complete rehearsal we’ve got scheduled for the panto is at OCF, a week from tomorrow evening before the fair opens on friday. i’ve still got to determine whether or not i’m bringing my saw. also i’ve got a pink bandana and a trumpet that i have to remember to take for katy.

tomorrow there’s supposed to be a banda gozona rehearsal, but it’s for a performance that i have to miss because of OCF, so i’m not sure whether or not i’m going to it. friday there’s the final BBWP rehearsal before the fire show the night of the fair opening.

as long as we hold it together, the panto this year has the potential for being the best show we’ve ever done. we’re doing a mash up of Red Riding Hood and The Three Pigs: they’re both fairly simple, short stories that have some similar characters – the big bad wolf, and the woodcutter, for example – and they’re both ripe for tweaking the plots a little bit (or a lot) so that they’ll fit together. of course we’ve got the standard gender bending and off-colour jokes which should go over the heads of the smaller members of the audience. if we don’t hold it together, well, it’s OCF, so the probability is very high that nobody will notice, or if they do, they’ll think we planned it that way.

Enter title here

i upgraded to wordpress 3.0. whoopie. at this point, wordpress is stable enough that you don’t see anything from the outside, and apart from a few telling colour changes, nothing is really that obvious from the back end either. i suppose once i try to do something that isn’t part of the plan we’ll see whether or not they’ve actually done a good job this version.

evan, moe’s boss and the guy who gave me the current version of Ganesha The Car, has said that something regarding the car will get worked out, eventually. meanwhile, i have an incomplete art car that won’t run sitting at a transmission shop 20 miles from where i live, which is closed saturday and sunday, so i won’t even have the chance to deal with it until at least tomorrow. once again, i thank Ganesha for the jeep, which means that i’ve been able to get to rehearsals and performances, like the performance i had at st. mary’s church in the central district this morning, or the rehearsal i have in the university district this evening, without too much difficulty (although the jeep does get fairly awful gas mileage and it still stalls at stop lights occasionally).

OCF in a week. i’m going down with chris this year, because i don’t have a working car, and he wants to get there monday, which is the earliest i have ever arrived at country fair… not that i’m complaining or anything, although it will mean that i’ll have a three or four day head start on mosquito bites when everybody else gets there. BBWP is on the schedule for the friday night fire show.

Country Is Dumb
by Pliny Keep

Well, I’m proud to be a yuppie from Kentucky
Where we pretend we’re farming in the mall
And cowboys ride in cars
And waste their lives in bars
And our music’s still the biggest joke of all

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

Well they brag about hospitality here in Nashville
They give the spotlight to the common man
But out in that sea of faces
I see no other races
And I hope there ain’t no homos in my band

‘Cause country is sexist and racist and country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
Well all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

(solo yodeling)

Now country is number one across the nation
People say it brings them closer to their roots
Like ignorance and hate
And a submissive mate
That fits as cozy as a pair of cowboy boots

Country is dumb, country is dumb
You only got three chords to work with, number one
And the songs all ramble on about
Women and chicken and trucks and guns
And busted hearts and trailer parks
And calloused hands and one night stands
And faithful dogs and white male Gods
And all I’ve got to say is country is dumb!

COUNTRY IS DUMB!

blah!

i just spent $1,800 on a new transmission for Ganesha The Car. the transmission now works like a dream, but the engine smells funny, it’s running really hot and i have to put coolant in it about once a week, so i took it to have it evaluated to see what’s wrong with it now that the transmission is all fixed…

the heater core is dead. worst case scenario is that it will cost $1,200 to fix.

for a free car, this is certainly costing me a hell of a lot of money… ๐Ÿ˜›

okay, i’m here…

doughnut joustingi am totally exhausted from SACBO and surrounding festivities, and i’ve been pretty depressed most of the day (the morning after blues?), but i’m slowly coming around. it rained pretty much all day sunday, and there was at least a bracing dampness to the air all day saturday when it wasn’t actually raining. fortunately it cleared up for the actual parade, because i was very clear about the fact that if it was raining, all of my expensive electronic music production gear was going to stay in its respective boxes, which would have definitely put a cramp on our part of the parade. i didn’t vend sunday, but lack of motivation was only part of the reason. now that i’m fairly confident that the transmission on ganesha the car version two is going to last at least a year (because that’s how long the warranty on the new transmission that i bought for it lasts), i can turn my attention to the leak in the pressurised engine coolant system which causes the car to run really hot when it’s not on the freeway, smell funny, and requires engine coolant about every 4 days to a week. it’s annoying that i’ve had to put so much money into this free car to get it working reliably. about the most fun i had at SACBO was watching the doughnut jousting that evolved over the course of sunday afternoon. the crowds were really light because of the rain, but we were determined to make the best of it, which resulted in a couple of microphone stands and some coat hangers becoming targets on which were placed yesterday’s doughnuts, which were the target of jousters on bicycles, unicycles, wheelchairs, and pretty much anything else, armed with pool cues. i spent time with people that i only see once a year (mostly), was part of the centrepiece of the whole parade, and i was inducted into a secret society, the less said about which the better. fremont phil rehearsal tonight, BSSB rehearsal tomorrow, players rehearsal wednesday, LBG rehearsal thursday, BBWP rehearsal friday…

moe was at a sheepdog trial all weekend, and she won! she got a 92, and the person who came in second (who is also moe’s mentor and friend diane) got an 88. i’ll let her tell the story, but we’re all pretty proud of moe and her doggie. ๐Ÿ™‚ also, today is our 12th wedding anniversary.

SACBO tomorrow

touch-up for SACBO
tomorrow’s schedule: 7:00 leave for SACBO, 8:00 arrive at SACBO and check in, 9:00 be at the parade start and help get things put together, ≈12:00 pm – 2:00 pm play in the Fremont Solstice Parade, after the parade is over until ≈8:00 pm participate in SACBO, drive home and do it again tomorrow, only with “play in the solstice parade” replaced by either vending at SACBO or not (i still haven’t decided).

tah daaah!

hood finished!
finally!

i called maaco, and they said that it would cost around $200 to clear-coat the hood, depending on how the preparation goes. i told the guy that i would hesitate to spend that much on the car if there was something wrong with the engine, and my budget was around $100. he said that i should bring it by tomorrow, which i’m going to do, but i’m not expecting much. it’s possible that rick at edgewood tire has some suggestions, but i haven’t asked him.

i’m probably going to go get my tuba soldered tomorrow afternoon, or some time in the relatively near future.

i sent $500 to india for 20 dozen boxes of aparajita. i got an invoice for it, so i’m a little less suspicious than i would have been otherwise, but i still don’t know for sure that it’s going to be aparajita that the guy sends me. at this point, it’s wait and see, because i’ve already sent the money. there’s another incense retailer that’s going to buy half of the 20 dozen as soon as i get them, which is good, because i don’t have the space to store 20 dozen boxes of incense.

taking shape

taking shape   taking shape

one of the disadvantages to using “inferior” quality paint, instead of one-shot, is that the black paint has a tendency to flake off in certain areas, and i have had to go back over the already painted portion of the previous two or three lines and fill in the parts that have flaked off. fortunately, apparently, once i’ve gone over them and filled in the parts that have flaked off, they don’t continue to flake (i’ve had to do it a couple of times now), so i’ve been able to continue, but it’s yet another reason why i want to finish painting as quickly as possible and clear coat it before it all flakes off.

the gold, on the other hand, is looking really good, and is not flaking at all.

it rained on and off yesterday, so i couldn’t work on it much, except to touch up some of the places where the paint had flaked off… the tape that, according to the packaging, wasn’t supposed to leave a sticky residue, but, in reality, does leave a very sticky residue, is A PAIN IN THE ASS!

quick update

my host provider has decided that he’s going to stay in business for his existing customers but not take any new customers. it eases my concern about finding a new host provider immediately, but i’m still going to move eventually, because i really don’t like being jerked around like that. the first time you said you were sorry and i gave you another chance, but the second time it was entirely my fault, and i don’t want it to happen again.

The Beatlesin other news, my copy of The Beatles Complete Scores came in the mail today. this is a book that i have wanted ever since it was first published in 1989, and it’s 1136 pages of the actual music by John Lenon and Paul McCartney from the people who would know. this means that i can now work on arrangements of things like Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite for Snake Suspenderz without having to rely on somebody else’s frequently incorrect interpretations of what the chords are… and i can finally figure out the chords for Michelle, which i have been wondering about for 30 years… 8)

now, off to get denatured alcohol. i ran out yesterday and i need it to clean up the sticky residue which was not left by the lining tape on my car, because the packaging said that it didn’t leave a sticky residue, so, in spite of the fact that, when i pull the tape off my car, it leaves a sticky residue, apparently, it wasn’t left by the tape… ๐Ÿ˜

oh yeah, i got email from someone who wants to interview “Rev. Guido DeLuxe” concerning the Church of Tina Chopp. she said she was interested in tracking down the truth behind the rumours… she was also born in 1988, which was well after the church had established its presence… i wonder what sort of gibberish i should spout in order to confuse her even more… hey, she wrote to me

finally
i went to an art car show in kirkland last week, and painted about a quarter of a line before i had some serious problems with my purple paint pen and ended up splattering purple paint all over the part that i had already painted, so there was a great deal of clean up last week instead of steady progress. i went to an art car show in fremont today, and had a much easier time of it. i decided that the purple wasn’t turning out the way i wanted it anyway, because it fades in a day and it was taking too long to re-do the purple part, so i decided to change it to gold, which doesn’t fade anywhere near as quickly. i actually was able to finish two lines of sanskrit. i probably would have been able to accomplish a lot more, but the package of lining tape that i bought specifically because it said “does not leave a sticky residue” was actually a lie, and i’ve had to clean up the sticky residue from the lining tape before i am able to paint a new line of sanskrit.

yee haw!!

yee haw!
it’s going to work even better than it did on the mockup! ๐Ÿ˜€

there’s a minor problem, though, which is that the original paint is cracking when i lean on the hood. and it’s practically impossible not to lean on the hood when i’m working that close to the windshield… but i’m going to have to come up with something, because leaning over on one arm isn’t going to do it: i get too tired, and i have to use too much concentration to be reliable leaning on my arm…

yeah, i know… i’m asking for it…

Ganesha the Car planthe design that i blotted out yesterday was definitely wrong, and i’m really glad i listened to my gut and did it, because it was the right thing to do. the picture to the right is the new plan – although it’s going to be sanskrit writing, and not a blue background (which was put there with a computer, to gauge dimensions) – and i’m already more than aware of the fact that people are going to ask me, and harrass me, and that sort of thing, about the swastika on my car, perhaps even more than with the previous car.

but, see, the problem is that when i look at that plan, i get this gooey feeling right here <taps chest>, that i get when i look at my wife, which is an indication that i have created ART and not just art… and this is just the hood of the car! i can hardly wait to see what the rest of it is going to look like. ๐Ÿ™‚

Gajaanana and Eyjafjallajรถkull

Ganesha the Car, v.2 creationso i got started on the actual artwork for Ganesha the Car, version 2, in spite of the fact that it was spitting rain all afternoon. there wasn’t enough moisture to affect the process, and i really wanted to get started on it, because i’ve got an art-car show in a little more than 2 weeks. i’m still not completely sure of the layout, because sanskrit has some weird length issues, especially since i am essentially transcribing a printed document in calligraphy, but if everything goes according to plan, i should have just about as many names on the hood of Ganesha v.2 as i had on the entire Ganesha v.1… although i still wonder whether i’m really going to have enough room or not. i figured that, since there’s no guarantee that Ganesha the Car v.2 is actually going to be a functioning car for very long, i would put some considerably less “permanent” artwork on it. to that end, i bought a bunch of uni paint pens, thanks to an art-cartist i talked to at SACBO last year. while i am impressed with how well they work in general, i still think that i’m going to get a clear-coat put on after i’m finished, because the paint pens are a good deal less permanent than the 1Shot that i used on v.1

in other news, apparently “Eyjafjallajรถkull” is sort of like Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch in that unless you’re from there, you’d be better off not trying to pronounce it. case in point:

miscellaneous honk blat wak wak wak ungow

one doesn’t tend to notice annoyances that have disappeared, but i just realised that the guy who has been sending me spam with great regularity, at least once a month, for five-plus years hasn’t sent me a spam message since november of last year. i won’t claim sole responsibility for ridding the net of this annoyance, but i would be willing to bet that the multiple reports of his spam i made to the washington state attorney general’s office couldn’t have slowed down his departure too much.

the new Ganesha The Car is probably not going to be a car very much longer. there’s nothing wrong with it currently, but the transmission is on its last legs, and from what the people at the repair shop (not the repair shop from which i got the car, a different one) told me, the ’93 Mercury Tracer (which is also called a “Ford Fiesta Escort” for some unknown reason) is notorious for transmission and engine problems, and pretty much anything that goes substantially wrong with it will very likely cost more to fix than the car is worth. at the same time, i didn’t actually pay for the car to begin with, and the repair shop that i got it from will very likely do things like replace the transmission for far less than other places would, because we fall under the “friends and family” category with the owner of the shop – which is also part of the reason why i didn’t pay for the car to begin with.

in the short term, this means that i have even more impetus to create “temporary” artwork on the car, using paint pens instead of a brush and one-shot. daniel smith’s has a piss-poor selection of paint pens, but i picked up some black, and some gold pens. i’m hoping that i can find a wider assorement of colours somewhere else.

frustration is finding a bittorrent of something that you really want, and downloading 99.3% of it – with 8 “leeches” and a “seeder” who only logs in after midnight – before getting stuck and spending weeks repeatedly opening up your network to a DOS attack while you wait for the remainder to appear… all i need is 1.16 MB of information and then i’ll have the whole thing… is that too much to ask?

a guy advertised “Goldblatt drywall stilts. Rubber is good, but the straps are shot and some minor hardware needs replacing.” on freecycle, earlier in the week, and i responded, because i can probably fix the things that they have wrong with them, and then i’ll have a set of drywall stilts… unfortunately, i didn’t notice that the guy’s email host is christian.net, and the quote that automatically appended to the signature of my message was “Christianity is the most ridiculous, the most absurd and bloody religion that has ever infected the world. — Voltaire (Francois Marie Arouet), 1694-1778″…

he didn’t reply, so i sent him another message this afternoon. the quote that automatically appended to the signature of that message was “The more you complain, the longer God lets you live.” i still have recieved no response from him, but i get the impression that the probability of my recieving a response from him is miniscule at this point. oh well… if nothing else, i can post a wanted to freecycle for drywall stilts. if i’m really lucky, the same guy will respond… ๐Ÿ˜‰

i’ve got to get up and go to a gig that banda gozona is playing for part of Honk! Fest West at 9:00 tomorrow morning. there’s another gig that banda gozona is playing at 3:00 pm as well, which means that i can’t even go home and get some rest between the shows. the music that we’re playing is all stuff that i know the tuba parts for quite well. unfortunately, i’m playing trombone for tomorrow’s gigs, and the trombone parts are really fast, with a lot of notes that range from E an octave below middle C to A an octave above middle C within a measure. i’m reasonably certain that i can play most of the notes, and i’m sure i can play all of the notes at a reduced speed, but the fact that there’s going to be at least one other trombone-range instrument (most likely euphonium, but another trombone isn’t out of the question) makes me a lot more at ease with this performance than i would be otherwise.

spoons &c.

i subscribe to a modified version of the spoon theory, and the past few weeks have definitely been ones in which i have pushed the limits of my spoons, traded one day’s spoons for another day, and that sort of thing. now that the moisture festival is over for another year, it is important that i rest up and gather my spoons for a spring and summer that looks exciting and frightening at the same time.

i am expanding hybrid elephant in a number of ways: i have gotten at least one and potentially three or more new web clients, which may mean that i’m going to need more web space eventually(!), and i have been talking with bfly about teaming up to teach some classes(!!).

i talked with dan from nanda about printing business cards and postcards for them.

i have also decided, now that moisture festival is out of the way, that i’m going to have my tuba “seen to” by someone that can re-solder the outside guard bracing that’s come loose, replace several missing braces that are currently being held together with zip ties, and tackle the third valve slide that is wider at one end than it is at the other, and is just waiting for me to bump it a little bit too hard in the wrong direction so that it will totally lock up and never move again.

i also have a new art car project to work on. i have every intention of putting all 1008 names of ganesha on my new art car, which, of course, will mean that i will have to write them a lot smaller than i did on the previous art car, which will doubtlessly mean more time spent on it. SACBO is in june, so that doesn’t really leave very much time…

푚??

the new Ganesha The Car is back in the shop because of a fuel leak. it should be ready today (ETA: it’s ready, i just have to go pick it up). i drove it for two days and went through a tank and a half of gas before i figured out what the problem was. hopefully it will get slightly better mileage now that it’s not leaking fuel all over the place. jack said he didn’t notice it because when he put gas in it he only put about a quarter tank in, and apparently the leak was higher up on the tank.

the moisture festival has started for me. i had a show last night, and i’ve got a show tonight, two shows on saturday and either one or two shows on sunday (typical moisture festival scheduling chaos), then there’s one or two shows(?) next saturday, a show the following thursday, friday, two or three shows the following saturday and the closing night performance on sunday 4 april. hacki’s back. he couldn’t get a visa last year, but he got one this year. this is the first year since the first year that we’ve had opening night somewhere other than the palladium. this year, opening night was last week at ACT theatre. we’ve also got four different venues this year – i get the impression that this is the beginning of the actualisation of the fantasy that they were throwing around last year. this year we’re having the comedie/varieté acts at the palladium, the burlesque (read "titty & ass") shows at ACT (because mike hale is a “christian” who doesn’t at all approve of exposed tits, despite the fact that the burlesque shows bring in the most money), and we’ve also got shows going on somewhere in georgetown and some others on vashon island.

i have been having a sharp pain in the joint of my left thunb for about a month. i went to see chris who spent several days poking me with needles, and that seemed to help, but once he quit, the pain came back over the course of several days. i went to see a hand specialist yesterday who said i probably have arthritis – i’m genetically predisposed to it; both my grandmothers had arthritis in their hands. she (the doctor) recommended that i take ibuprophen and go to a specialist that makes splints for when the pain gets intolerable. getting old sucks.

doobie dumb

today i took the old Ganesha The Car up to the shop to get the stereo and PA speakers removed. it actually started, which is better than it was behaving a few weeks ago when i took it out for a spin. i’m taking the new Ganesha The Car to get the stereo and PA speakers installed tomorrow, and then i’m going to the DOL to get the license plates switched. at the same time, i believe i am going to inquire about getting a disabled person permit, since i do receive disability benefits. also i’m going to inquire about “collecter” license plates – i believe the car isn’t eligible for them yet, but it seems to me that any car that is older than 20 years can have collector plates, which basically means that the car is exempt from emissions inspection and doesn’t have to pay for yearly tabs.

i have an appointment with ned on wednesday and an appointment with a hand specialist on thursday (despite feeling a good deal better than it did a couple of weeks ago, thanks to chris and his needles, my left thumb is still painful enough that it is difficult for me to hold my trombone), and then i have a week of performances for the moisture festival starting thursday.

a few weeks ago i went out to woodinville and retrieved a freezer from moe’s friend diane, which works, but has broken hinges on the door. i determined that it was a kenmore stand alone freezer, and found a number to call for the sears service center. i got a number that rang and rang and rang but nobody answered, so i called the sears toll free number, and after bouncing back and forth through automated “if you want parts and service, say ‘parts and service'” menus for about 45 minutes, i finally called the sears store at southcenter and ordered the parts from them. they’re supposed to get here, according to the moron helpful customer service engineer on the phone, by 23 march, and then i have to figure out whether or not i have the correct tools to replace them.

bouncy squee!

the new Ganesha The Car!
40,811.4 miles
i got the new Ganesha The Car today! it’s a white 1993 mercury tracer station wagon (keeping alive the tradition that i never own a car that is newer than 15 years old), which aches for new sanskrit artwork – there’s already plenty of plans for that – and it has a roof rack, which means that i can pile more stuff into it when i go to the fremont sunday market. and it’s got less than 100,000 miles on it, despite the fact that it’s older than the previous Ganesha The Car by 3 years! as soon as the moisture festival is over and the weather gets a little nicer, i’m creating a new art car! 8)

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days… and, also 卍 卐 ☹

i’ve been having a difficult time the past few days: the process of switching host providers again has gone pretty normally, with the normal SNAFUs which have been more or less worked out over the past four days. there is still the matter of getting my clients to update their nameservers to my nameservers(!!) (i finally figured out how to create ns1 and ns2.hybridelephant.com, which means that now, when i sell host services myself, i don’t have to give my clients the nameservers that belong to my host provider) which should happen soon, but it’s a little difficult to get other people to do something, even when it is important.

also, as an extra added bonus, as a part of switching host providers, my email has been down for a week, and i’m going to have to enter the 50 addresses on the mailing list by hand (once liz has reset her nameservers) so that it will work, because the new host service provider had “never restored a mailing list before” and didn’t know how to do it.

as i posted previously, somebody grafittied Ganesha The Car. i wrote about it in I, Anonymous, and, after an encouraging start, the conversation turned into the “why are you trying to reclaim the nazi symbol?” rant from people who are much more adept at pushing the buttons of a newbie than i am, and it went downhill from there. the day after it was grafittied, i took it in for a check-up, because the “check engine” idiot-light had gone from its normal “on all the time” to flashing, and i wanted to find out what changed. yesterday, i got the call from the repair shop. they said they had found out what was wrong – burned valves on the 3rd cylinder – and they said that it would probably need a new engine before it will pass emissions inspection the next time. ๐Ÿ™

on the other hand, there have been some good things as well. i have been watching craigslist recently, and bought some swastika jewelry that i found there, which was decidedly not nazi jewelry. one is an american-made gold swastika hatpin with a diamond in the center. it came along with a whole bunch of other hatpins, and the lady wanted $25 for the lot, which i happily paid. the other is a silver native american swastika pin with a card that dates it to around 1907. the guy that was selling it wanted $25 for it and a nazi flag. i told him i was interested in the native american swastika, but i didn’t want anything to do with nazi stuff and he agreed. i took both pieces for an “appraisal” today (the guy said, and i agreed, that what i had didn’t warrant a “real” appraisal, which would have cost $50 per piece) and found out that the silver pin has a “niche market” collectible value of around $100, and the gold and diamond pin – 18 to 20 carat gold, and a 3-point diamond, by itself – is probably worth $150.

also, i bought a number of buddhist swastikas from a place in singapore, out of which i’m going to make jewelry.

and the fact that Ganesha The Car is dying isn’t as bad as it seems. it runs the same as it has been for the past few years, and there’s nothing really wrong with it other than it only runs on 3 cylinders. i’ve been thinking for some time about taking the class they offer at south seattle community college, where if you provide your own car they waive the $400 class fee and you get to participate in converting your car to an entirely electric vehicle. also, tom at the repair shop said that he could probably round up a rebuilt engine that has a 1 or 2 year warranty that would give Ganesha another 5 years or so. and if none of those turn out to be an option, jack (the guy i bought Ganesha from, who is moe’s employer’s father-in-law) has been turned on to watch auto auctions for another cheap car that will be turned into another art car.

and, on top of everything else, they took off the grafitti while they had it at the shop, and didn’t charge me for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

somebody grafittied my car!

grafittisomeone grafittied my car!

i was at Hale’s Palladium this evening for the last performance of Aladdin and The Magic Lamp. i parked there and went in around 1:30 pm, and when i walked out of the palladium at around 6:00 pm, there it was. the paint was dry, which, in my mind, means that the guy must have done it around between the time that i left it, and 4:00 or thereabouts.

i asked around and i learned that the guy who tags things with “SEEDR1” is around 30 years old, and was a student at cornish until he was expelled because of a conflict with one of the instructors (big surprise). he is known for his “photo-realistic” grafitti art, but he also tags (which is likely one of the sources for the conflict with the instructors at cornish), and he was probably drunk when he did it (big surprise).

i donโ€™t know who he is — yet — but iโ€™m already closing in on his identity, and it hasnโ€™t even been 6 hours yet. i’m pissed at this guy, because his drunken tag is going to cost me time and money to cover up, but also because tagging a car — any car — is really a lame, juvenile thing to do. if i ever find him, i donโ€™t know what i would do, but i do know that i’m probably going to file a police report regarding it whether i find out his identity, or not, and if it’s possible to get reimbursed for it, by whatever means, from him, it would be an awesome thing.

grafittii’m going to get better pictures in the morning, when the light is better, but i really donโ€™t understand why he did itโ€ฆ to my car doesn’t matter, i would wonder the same thing about such a tag on any car. the guy must have known that it wouldn’t last long, nobody would see it, and โ€” especially because of the fact that it was on an art car to begin with — it is going to be covered up immediately, before i drive anywhere other than directly home.

and if the guy is an artist himself, what was going through his mind as he spray-painted his tag on my piece of artwork? how would he feel if i spray-painted a tag on one of his pieces of artwork? maybe, because of the fact that his artwork is mostly grafitti to begin with, he wouldnโ€™t mind so much, but i would be willing to bet that if he created a work of art that wasn’t grafitti, and someone spray-painted on it, he would be offended at the very least, so why would he expect any less from me?

i’m not really surprised that someone grafittied my car, but what i am surprised about is why it has taken this long. i’ve been driving ganesha the car for 5 years, and this is the first time anyone has done anything nasty to itโ€ฆ and really, thinking about it, it isn’t really that nasty, except in a vile, putrid, disgusting sort of way. and the guy managed to paint on one of the few places on the car where i won’t have to repaint the actual artwork on the car in order to cover it up, so apart from being really lame and annoying, it’s not that bad.
i am writing in I, Anonymous about it, though, because i know a lot of people read it, and very likely the guy who did it will either find out about it personally, or from one of his friends.

and, by the wayโ€ฆ the guy who tags SEEDR1 is an worse than an asshole. he’s an anal polyp and he deserves to be removed from society’s colon immediately. the guy i caught in the act of trying to rip a bumper sticker off of my car apologised and admitted that he was being an asshole, and he got forgiven by me, because he stood up, admitted what he was doing, and that he was an asshole. this guy is worse, and he is not getting forgiven. die in hell, scum!

this is the state of ermerika, not iran…

i was accosted at the coffee stand down the hill from my house today. as i was conversing with the barista (who burned my mocha, again) this incredibly fat woman (really, she was wider than she was tall. i don’t know how she was walking) came up and said “you have a swastika on your car!”

Incredibly Fat Woman: you have a swastika on your car!

me: yes, i have a swastika on my car.

IFW: that’s offensive, my husband is black.

me: i’m sorry you feel that way, but the swastika and the shatkona, the six pointed star design you see on the roof, is a symbol of Ganesha, the Hindu God of Removing Obstacles, and has been for ten thousand years! the nazi symbol you’re thinking of hasn’t even been around for 100 years…

IFW: i don’t know where you think you are, but this is the state of ermerika, not iran…

me: yes, and in America we have the freedom to worship the way we want, and display symbols that may be offensive to others. this is my way of getting back at the nazis who abused the swastika, by blatantly using it as a symbol of peace and goodwill.

IFW: … ๐Ÿ˜ก

me: (as i’m driving away) how can a symbol be guilty for the acts of a madman?

i suppose i shouldn’t be surprised by things like this any longer, but this really affects me on a very deep level. what she said, "this is the state of ermerika, not iran", as though America is not "The Land of The Free", but instead the land of the intolerant bigots who refuse to accept the chance that there might be someone who thinks differently than they do… i’m tempted to go back and see if i can make friends with this woman and her husband, just to show them that the swastika is not to be feared… but i fear that if i show my face (or my car) around that particular coffee stand again, that i’ll probably be killed…

merry xmas… ๐Ÿ˜

grf

tired. spent all day at an art car showing in everett. i got paid $100 for going to an arts festival and sitting on my ass all day. i need more days like that. before that was 5 days of no computer access (it turns out that it was on purpose, too) on orcas island. when i returned home (yesterday) it was to discover that my monitor is on the fritz (again) and is looking like it is on its last legs, which means yet another go-round with the battle of the computer. there are a whole bunch of pictures from the san juans that can be seen here, but there’s one picture that won’t upload correctly (i assume that it’s because it’s an animated .gif) which i’ve had to upload elsewhere to get it to show up correctly, which is this one:orcas ferry

more later.

okay…

so i just noticed that i haven’t posted about the result of my buying PA speakers for Ganesha The Car, so here goes…

MY CAR STEREO IS AWESOME!!

i bought two PA speakers which were installed under the bumpers in front and back. these are speakers that are used outside, for phone announcements in auto lots, or sirens, or that sort of thing. each speaker is 25w, which doesn’t sound like much, but i’ve only had it up to 30 and it’s ear splitting. the volume control goes up to 50, but i don’t think i’m ever going to have it that high. the stereo is now a JVC KD-ABT22, which, again, doesn’t sound like much, but it is much more what i wanted than the original stereo which was the manufacturer’s installation. the new stereo has a fancy removable faceplate that has an auxilliary input jack which i can run directly to my phone (or ipod, or whatever) for inside music, and i’ve got a new switch on the dashboard that lets me turn on the outside PA speakers as well.

i’ve already used the PA at SACBO, at OCF and a couple of other places. i really need to find out what it sounds like to a stationary observer, and to an observer in another car when i whiz by on the freeway, because i have been running the PA speakers on the freeway on occasion.

SACBO

pictures of SACBO. nothing particularly outstanding happened, except for the fact that i ran into yet another old hippy that i knew 35 years ago, truckin’ dave… this is too much of a coincidence to be considered a coincidence any longer. now i’m absolutely convinced that God is talking to me, all i’ve got to do is figure out what He’s saying.

more later. i’ve got to do my husbandly duty and mow the lawn dandelions…

Ganesha the post

i picked up my PA speakers from TC Auto today, and i made an appontment at Car Toys on friday for them to upgrade my stereo and install the PA speakers with a switch, so that i can play music either inside, or outside the car. this is an upgrade that i’ve been dreaming about almost ever since i first painted Ganesha the Car – not least because of the fact that the current stereo has sticky buttons and when i use them to switch from one radio station to another, the buttons get stuck in the “activate” position and i end up with 3 buttons that all point to the same radio station… which is quite annoying.

in preparation for SACBO, i repainted a whole bunch of the car, particularly on the front and drivers’ side door, where the paint had come off. if i were to do it all over again, i would probably do something along the lines of taking emery paper to the parts of the car that i was going to paint. but it would have been difficult, because its not as though i would be painting a big area or a solid pattern, and sanding the entire car would have made the white parts dull in comparison to the bright, shiny black and red. i still need to redo the red lines of text, but i may or may not get to that before SACBO, simply because it really is rather difficult. i may have to borrow the community paint pot again some time, because the ganesha yantra on the roof is starting to flake off, and i don’t think i have the right colours to fix it without it being painfully obvious.

also, i found that costco carries aquapel which is the one thing i really missed about going to jiffy lube. now my life without jiffy lube is complete.

today is the last day of my “contract” with 1&1, and i haven’t heard anything from them about renewing. i’ll try to log into my account tomorrow, and if i still can i’ll probably call them and remind them that i am not a customer of their any longer. i still haven’t heard anything about pipeline data yet, but with a 5-figure bank account thanks to SSDI, i’m a little less concerned about $300 as i was previously. also the bank said that they wouldn’t be getting back to me for 90 days, so they’ve still got a month to go.

um… still ergh, but not anywhere near as much.

i’m still coughing intermittently. i went to see chris a few days ago and he gave me some Clear Mountain Air Tea Pills. the recommended dose is 8 pills 3 times a day, but i found that they produce extremely bitter tasting phlegm, and i decided to reduce the dosage to 8 pills once a day because that way the bitter taste was less pronounced.

i’m still rather amused about the disparity between what i read and largely agree with at pharyngula and the stuff, which if PZ myers knew i was reading, would probably put him in a tizzy, namely my general acceptance of things like acupuncture, chiropractic, homeopathy, and hinduism. things like my ear, and my back – i know enough about chiropractic that i can instruct someone who has never done it before in the correct way to “crack” my back to make the pain disappear (and stay gone for 2-3 years) that the doctor said was “a virus” that i would simply have to put up with in my shoulder (when i was in high school) – and the fact that when i take certain homeopathic and/or herbal medicines, things go away a lot more quickly than they would if i were treating them with “conventional” medicines… or the fact that, regardless of how little evidence there is to prove the existence of God, i don’t just believe, i know that God exists, because i am in constant communication with Him (for lack of a better term). i really wonder how a guy who can be rational and reasonable – and, more importantly, correct – so much of the time, can be so pig-headed and ignorant so much of the time. and then i remember that, for all of the proof that i accept as real, i can’t actually show that proof to anyone.

oh well… ๐Ÿ˜

i haven’t been posting as much because the weather has been ridiculously hot for the past week or so, and i’ve been keeping the computers turned off as much as possible… and there hasn’t been very much in the way of postable stuff happening anyway, apart from the usual death, destruction and politics. it’s cooler and overcast today, but it’s still pretty hot. i built a shelf for the air conditioner that we got last year – the “universal air conditioner support” that i bought at home depot wouldn’t work – so now, theoretically, all i have to do is block up the rest of the window that remains open when the air conditioner is in use – which i will probably do with styrofoam window insulation – and we’ll have a functioning air conditioner in the house.

i went to a thing that was advertised to me as an “art car” show on tuesday at roosevelt high school. it turned out that Ganesha was the only “real” art car there – there was a local amphibious car, which had an anchor labeled “emergency brake” and was made up to look like a boat, but most of them were “muscle cars”, complete with shiny, polished engine compartments, flames, and trophies. i was really surprised that a roosevelt high school student walked up and asked me if that was sanskrit, and then proceded to talk with me about a sanskrit tattoo that she wanted to get. also one of the roosevelt staff was actually able to read my car, which is unusual under normal conditions, but this lady wasn’t a hindu, and wasn’t from india. she said she was from the philippines, and her father was a pandit, though, and that made all the difference.

i’m going white water rafting in eastern washington tomorrow with st. fred and a bunch of his cronies, including st. gordy of boehnghytte, so i won’t be posting anything tomorrow. if anything outstanding happens, i’ll probably post again on sunday… or whenever i feel like it.

ergh… 8/

ergh… although not quite as much ergh as last week. it’s been really hot the past few days, to the point where i almost feel as though i’m melting, or something like that. plus i’m still getting over being sick for the past month and a half or so. i don’t feel “sick” and haven’t for the past couple of weeks, but i definitely don’t feel “healthy” either… i’ve been short of breath and coughing intermittently, and while i feel a great deal more “energetic” than i did a month ago, i still feel exhausted a lot of the time. i don’t feel like i could do as many things in the day as i “normally” can, although i have been doing a lot of “normal” stuff that i couldn’t do a month ago, anyway…

i’m upgrading the stereo and putting in a PA speaker in Ganesha the Car, which is something i’ve wanted to do for a long time (and, no, this isn’t being done with SSDI money, it’s being done with moisture festival money). now i’ll be able to play chants and suchlike at parades and shows, which is good because i’ve got a show coming up tomorrow at roosevelt high school (it’s not going to be ready for that) and SACBO is coming up in a couple of weeks.

the fremont philharmonic has a recording session this evening. we’re hoping to have a CD ready by OCF.

i cancelled my account with 1&1 (hooray) with no major problems (cirquedeflambe.com hasn’t switched DNS servers yet, but that’s because wally – who hasn’t actually been a part of the cirque for 8 years or so – is the registrant, and he can’t be bothered to change it, a situation we’re trying to change, but not until it’s running on the new host server), although i did recall their saying that my account was set to expire on 12/08/2009 and i was tempted to read it as august 12, except that i’m absolutely certain that i did not sign up for an account that ended on december 8, and i’m still mad enough about their baiting-and-switching me that i don’t want to call and tell them that i’m not paying them any more money – in fact, conveniently, my credit card which has been used to pay for the account up until now has been cancelled (because of pipeline data) and if they attempt to bill any more to it, the police will get involved. so i feel like by not calling them to confirm that my account has been cancelled, perhaps i’ve gotten a little bit of mine back for their baiting-and-switching behaviour.

ERGH!

for a holiday weekend this has been pretty much a total bust. i hope that i’ve gotten all of my hardships out of the way for this summer, otherwise i’m going to be a very unhappy camper indeed.

i had folklife gigs with banda gozona on friday and the BSSB and simon’s birthday party with the fremont phil on saturday. i went to the banda gozona gig because i had this bizarre notion that “the show must go on” (even though i was sick AS A DOG and probably should have stayed home regardless of whose “sacred tradition” i was violating). i didn’t go to the BSSB gig or the fremont phil gig, and by sunday i was feeling a lot better, although my appetite was still not what it should be and taking out the trash fatigued me to the point where i had to sit down and breathe heavily for half-an-hour afterwards (and it’s still not much better today)…

i got the web site up and running, more or less, friday or saturday, but i was sick AS A DOG those days. i had some problems figuring out the database stuff, primarily because its my impression that every host server that runs mysql does it slightly differently than every other host server that runs mysql. once i had gotten the database quirks worked out i had to upload a whole bunch of graphics because they didn’t download correctly from the old server – which doesn’t really surprise me that much except for the fact that i was sick AS A DOG and could barely sit up without going into another round of vomiting. and then, once i had the graphics uploaded i noticed that some of them still weren’t displaying correctly, so i had to deal with the new server’s tech support queue – which is quite prompt, although i really wish that there was a phone number that i could call instead of having to file a ticket and then wait for a response – to get that straightened out… and it’s still not entirely straightened out although the parts that aren’t are not visible to the outside observer (they have to do with rewrite rules in my .htaccess file which are currently commented out so that the graphics are visible).

also, one of my clients – The Cirque de Flambé – is registered with godaddy, which won’t let the registered owner of a domain change the DNS settings of the domain he owns to a new host, and requires fax confirmation, plus a week turnaround time to change the DNS settings, which is so totally ridiculous that it is beyond imagination.

not only that, but i called car toys and talked to a guy who said that he could do what i wanted to do with my car stereo, and that i should bring my car down on sunday so that he could take a look at it, but the simple act of walking down to my car exhausted me so much that i decided to put it off until today, however when i went to car toys today, the guy wasn’t there and won’t be back until thursday, and the guy that i talked to said that to do what i want to do (upgrade the stereo and put in a feature so that i can play music on the outside of the car) requires “body modification” and the only guy who could do it was the guy who won’t be back until thursday…

on the positive side of things, i got written confirmation that SSDI has approved my claim (finally) and not only that, but i got a whopping enormous check from the united states treasury (only about half of the check that i got when i quit openwave, but still, it’s not often that a person sees a check written out to them that is 5 figures). the bank is closed today, of course, but my impression is that this will pay for a workshop for me with quite a bit left over to do things like pave the driveway, replace the windows, put in new floors and generally spiff up the house a fair amount.

i’ve been sitting up too long, however, and there’s a star wars marathon that starts in a few minutes. more later

phnerb

i had decided that i was going to go to the fremont sunday market on friday, but then i took ganesha the car to a big community festival at magnusson park yesterday, and not only did it rain on and off for about half the day (and, because of an email screwup, i was the only art car there for about 4 hours), but i was so exhausted that i slept most of the day. i’m still really tired, and i think it’s a combination of the fact that i have been sick for the past 2 weeks, along with the generally depressed feeling that i usually get surrounding anything having to do with SSDI. even though the probability is good that i got approved (this time), i don’t know for sure yet, and there have been enough times in the past that haven’t gone well that being depressed after such an event is fairly common. anyway, i slept until 10:00 am (after having gone to bed at 10:30 last night, after having slept for an hour or so on the couch) and went to the FSM to pay for next week… which means that whether or not i feel like going, the fact that i’ve already paid will be an additional impetus to get me going anyway.

update

happy 4/20. i’d be consuming more holy vegetable, but i still am terrifically short of breath and coughing a lot as a result of being sick still. i’ve been vapourising a bit and even that has been causing me to cough. i suppose i could probably make some ghee or something…

they’re putting on a new roof, so that it won’t leak any longer. it’s only about two years overdue, but there’s no point in complaining about it now. the dogs are being quiet, in spite of the roofers right over their heads, making all kinds of noises which dogs would definitely find suspicious. we’ll see how long that lasts.

the $300 withdrawal from my bank account has had a band-aid put on it, but it’s still an open and sucking chest wound. at this point i’m done talking with people until i hear from the bank concerning my contesting of the charges. moe has taken over talking with the people who actually withdrew the money, and considering that i never actually signed anything, combined with the fact that the first time i ever even heard about an “early cancellation fee” was when i checked my bank account on thursday, she seems to think that there’s a more-than-likely chance that there will be a positive (for me) outcome. we’ll see about that, as well… 8/

maybe i’ll go to the fremont sunday market on sunday. one way or the other, i could really use a day of doing nothing but making money, and there’s a good chance, since i haven’t been there in a while, that fremont will be itching for some new incense.

i got another order on the web site, but no corresponding order from paypal, which makes me seriously wonder about whether or not i’ve got it set up right. it should be that you confirm your order on my site, and then transfer to paypal’s secure server to complete your order, and of the three orders i’ve gotten since the site upgrade, two of them have confirmed the order on my site, but not completed their orders on paypal’s secure server. i wrote to one of them, but she was located in the UK and never responded. the new order came in on friday, from a guy in california, according to the site, but i never heard anything from either the customer or from paypal, so i don’t know what happened. the next step is to write to the guy and see what happened.

i’ve got to get my tabs for ganesha the car. also, i have a fremont phil rehearsal this evening.

plagiarism

gah… i’ve been sicker than i have been in a long time over the past few days, which has left me in a fouler mood than normal, and it hasn’t been being helped at all by the person i mentioned in my last post. i’m on the uphill swing, at this point, but i’m still pretty sick, which is going to be interesting, since i have to take a five-mile walk to pick up Ganesha The Car from the shop this morning, and later on i have a fremont philharmonic rehearsal, which is probably not going to end up happening, because i’m so sick.

i was reviewing my web statistics a few days ago, and discovered that the person, a nandita prabhu who has several other blogs as well as the one linked in my previous post (which no longer exists), posted a new entry in one of her blogs called Plagiarism, where she outlines the process by which she gets artwork to post in her various blogs. she says things like:

People allow me to use these copyright images (I take their permission)

and

I think it is โ€œOkโ€ for my readers to โ€œborrowโ€ the content of my blog but please ask me before you decide to do so.

and

To sum up, You want to borrow something thatโ€™s fine all you have to do is โ€œASKโ€.

not only that, but all of her blogs are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Unported License, but the images that she hotlinked from me, and the images from other sources that i checked on his “The Broken Tusk” blog (which is now deleted) all had very clear watermarks or other indications that they were actually copyright to other places, and there’s no indication, not only that she has permission to relicence the images, but that she has permission to use the images at all.

strangely, when i received email from her on friday, she said

i had no idea of this at all. Infact I have been doing this from so long and i had no idea its wrong. Is it a problem even if i say that the pic is from this website ( like source) ?

and other things that, if i hadn’t actually read her blogs – all of them – would make me believe that she has any idea that this is the wrong way to approach “borrowing” other peoples’ artwork.

normally i don’t give much credibility to any laws governing “intellectual property”, but in this case, she’s coming across to me as one thing, and she’s posting on her blogs something entirely the opposite, which makes me very suspicious indeed. it seems to me like she is trying to come across in her email as a clueless newbie, and in her blog as a person who has her shit together, which is not a way to gain my confidence in the least.

i commented on her blog, and have received several emails from her. i guess i’m going to have to wait to see how this all works out, but at this point, i don’t hold out much hope. i’m certainly not going to prosecute myself, but considering how many other web sites she “borrowed” artwork from (several of which replace the hotlinked graphics with ones that say things like “this image stolen from…” – i’d be willing to bet that someone else will, unless she gets her shit together.

random

i took Ganesha The Car to the shop today to get the automatic lock swich replaced, because it had stopped working. fortunately i didn’t have to pay for it, because of some design and printing that i had done for the shop earlier in the week. but it turned out that it wasn’t the switch that was broken, so now i have to take it back on friday so that they can take the door panel off and investigate the wiring. also, El Elefante Hรญbrido is apparently an article more or less about Ganesha The Car (from what my limited spanish plus a web-translator-thing tell me), but it’s too bad he tried to hotlink my image (which is how i found out about him). if i knew enough spanish, i would comment about hotlinking graphics, but i don’t, so i probably won’t do anything except be thankful for the traffic he’s sending my direction.

snake suspenderz has a gig at the skylark cafe on the 23rd, and earlier that day i’m meeting with the lawyer, because on the 24th is my hearing to determine whether or not i’m going to get disability. according to my impression, there’s still a 50/50 chance that i’m going to be approved, and if i don’t, it will be pretty much the same as it is now, but i’m under increasing amounts of stress because of it. then, on the 25th, i’ve got an art car show at magnuson park, which is either going to be really exciting or really relieving, depending on what happens the day before.

i got Bruno Bozetto’s “Allegro Non Troppo” on DVD, and i can play it on my mac, but the “Command+Shift+3” screen-capture function is disabled, for, perhaps obvious, but not very convenient reasons, which means that i’m going to have to figure out some other way to capture the picture of the snake that’s the primary character in Stravinsky’s “The Firebird”, which i want to propose as the snake suspenderz logo. i also got the 14 Sequenzas by Luciano Berio on CD the other day. i played Sequenza V (dedicated to the memory of Grock) for a juried audition when i was in college, and i know the guy, Stewart Dempster, for whom it was written. when i played it, there were two women in the jury who were trying, in vain, to suppress their giggles, and when it was all over, i whispered to them that it was okay to laugh, because it was written for a clown, at which point they cracked up.

along with the Odd Factoids (in the place of most news reporting, which is simply too depressing to read any longer), here’s a couple of links that i read recently:

God Hates Shrimp – the logical (if there is such a thing) response to God Hates Fags.

Cybersecurity Bill Proposes Unprecedented Government Power Over the Internet – yes, i am still a terrorist. get used to it.

Continue reading random

skip

new Hybrid Elephant site

okay, i’m getting really excited now. after what seems like years of not getting anywhere, i’m finally coming down to the last stretch of work on the new site. i’ve still got some products to add to the database, i’ve still got a few things that need tweeking, and i still need to add a whole bunch of content, but i have a fair idea of where that’s coming from and a fairly good idea of how to incorporate it into the site without too much difficulty. there’s still an annoying difficulty, which is that when i put the “ganesha” directory anywhere in the new site, for some reason (including permissions, which i have already checked and they’re all set correctly), the contents of the directory don’t show up, and links to within the “ganesha” directory come back as “403 Forbidden” which is exceedingly strange. furthermore, when i link to where the “ganesha” directory currently lives, there’s no problem, but i get the impression that it can’t stay that way, because when i “move” the domain from the old site to the new site, everything that’s where the old site currently is will be two directories in back of the root directory, and while i can develop that way, i’m about 50% sure that domain-forwarding will make it impossible in real life. i’m not worried, though. things will work out, as always.

ganesha the car got a tune up for the first time in 3 years today. it was close to $400, but the guy took off almost $100 of that because i paid in cash, and because i’m going to make him more business cards. he’s also got a flyer that i’m going to design and (probably) print as well. it was really strange, because i dropped off ganesha the car yesterday and he gave me a ride home in his huge-ass black cadillac with a license plate that says “CHR1ST”. this is the guy who, when i showed up wearing my “it’s just a vegetable” shirt, gave me evil looks all afternoon. i guess he’s willing to look askance at my propensity to sacrifice the Holy Vegetable when it means that he’s going to get kick-ass business cards.

i got a call from "the attorney" the other day, about the notice i received. he said there is nothing to worry about – like i believe that, especially coming from an attorney 8/ – but it was good to hear him say it if nothing else. he said that we’re one to two months out from "the hearing", and he needs to collect updates from me, and various other folks.

hrmph

i was supposed to go to the FSM today. now that it’s later in the day and it’s raining, i’m kind of glad i didn’t, but i wasn’t so glad when i got up at 5:30 this morning and got about half a block down the road before i discovered that i had a flat tire. i was even more irritated when it cost me $100 to replace the tire, because it had a hole in the side wall. and to make matters worse, the guy said i need new brakes as well. it seems like i just got new brakes recently.

i suppose it’s just as well. i would much rather have a flat tire close to home, so that i can bring the car back home and go back to bed for a couple hours rather than being stuck somewhere. and it’s raining hard enough that it’s just as well that i didn’t make it to the FSM anyway.

spam?

i got this very strange email today. it said:

you drive like you have sand in your vagina. your car smells like ass and I thougbt my friend crapped her pants but it was just your nasty car. I hate you.

i’m puzzled that anyone would respond that way to me. i’m not surprised that people react to my car, that happens all the time. what puzzles me is the combination of stuff that, if taken separately, would each represent a valid, if totally ludicrous complaint about my car and/or its occupants… but taken as a whole, i just have to sit back and wonder who they are and why they were so upset with me.

i don’t know what it must be like to have sand in ones vagina, but i can’t imagine that it would be very comfortable, and it would probably limit ones mobility quite a bit. i don’t know about anybody else, but i use my car to enhance my mobility, and if they saw me driving, then they would doubtlessly be aware of that. also, i am a very contientious driver: i make mistakes from time to time – i just got a ticket from one of those automated corner-watcher-robot-flashy things in federal way – but most of the time i’m a very safe driver, whether it’s on the street or on the freeway.

and if they saw me driving, then how can they be sure that it was my car that smelled like ass? i have driven through some mighty smelly areas within the past week or so, and the smell was definitely not coming from my car. if they saw the car while it was parked somewhere, i can understand why they might react that way, even though i know for certain that my car doesn’t smell like ass. it also doesn’t smell like what you would expect a car to smell like, and i’m pretty sure that some of the numbskulls around here would not be able to tell the difference. but at the same time, it makes me wonder how they saw me driving poorly enough to know that i drive like i had sand in my vagina?

and to wrap the whole thing up, they say “i hate you” – in case what they said previously hasn’t sunk in yet. well, personally, i would think that if a person was wound up enough to say the other things about me, saying “i hate you” is overstating it a little. it’s as though they thought they weren’t being clear enough about their feelings, and wanted to make sure that i knew what they were talking about. it also makes me think that they were just ranting to rant and picked me because my email form was easily accessible.

i think, and this is all just conjecture, because i’ll never know for certain (the return address on the email response form was [email protected], and i’ve already tried and failed to sent email to that address), but it’s possible that this was written by one of the teenagers that sped past me on the freeway this afternoon, only subsequently to get pulled over by the police. my guess is that they got pulled over for speeding and/or reckless driving because they incredulously and minutely examined all sides of my car – at freeway speeds – before blasting forwards at about 90 miles per hour… whereupon the fuzz, who was in an unmarked car to my right rear, and who i knew was there, flipped on their lights and went after ’em.

i guess feedback is one of the reasons why my feedback form is there, but sometimes i really wonder whether such things are good to have in a place where just anybody can get hold of them… 8/