yesterday i successfully unclogged the drain in the upstairs sink.
when it worked, i celebrated in almost exactly the way i did when i was awarded a superior rating for the piece for solo trombone i had written, and performed, when i was 18. 😒
yesterday i successfully unclogged the drain in the upstairs sink.
when it worked, i celebrated in almost exactly the way i did when i was awarded a superior rating for the piece for solo trombone i had written, and performed, when i was 18. 😒
apparently ezra has been talking to my father recently.
ezra texted me to say that my father had given him two photo albums that contain mostly pictures of me…
the fact that my father gave them to ezra, and not to me, is one of the reasons i haven’t talked to my father in a very long time, now. 😒
i believe this picture was taken between 1972 and 1974, and i believe it was taken in new york, before we moved back to seattle… i may be wrong, but the seamless backdrop was something that my father didn’t have room to set up more than a few times, and i don’t remember seeing it after we moved, but that could just be my swiss-cheese brain at work. the closer it was taken to 1972, the more “brand new” the trombone was…
of course, the original photo may have a date on the back, but because of the fact that i have COVID, currently, i can’t rush over to ezra’s place to look. 😒
this was taken on 221024 by someone at the fisher pavilion who wanted a picture of me, and i liked it so much that i asked for a copy of it. this is my current Ballard Sedentary Sousa Band uniform, and i was at the fisher pavilion to play for Festa Italiana, like we do every year… the coat is a new acquisition that i bought at a “purge-o-rama” sale at a costume shop in redmond. i have been looking at that, exact coat, in the display window of the costume shop, ever since i worked in redmond (in 1995 or thereabouts), and i finally went in because i had heard that the shop was closing (it’s not, they’re just moving to a new location… one without display windows), only to discover that they wanted $300 for it, but because of the fact that they were having a “purge-o-rama” sale to prepare for the move, they had reduced the price to $100… so i bought it immediately.
prior to that, i wore a uniform that i got from working for the Floating World Circus, after i graduated from high school. it was also red, but a lot it was also a lot more “normal” for a band uniform…
this picture, i believe, was taken in 1991, in anacortes, where the band that i was playing in at the time was playing for a parade.
the astute observer will immediately realise that the trombone depicted in all of these photos, is exactly the same. 😉
from the inside, looking out, life is pretty decent: we’re busking again, there are gigs on the horizon, nothing serious is wrong with the house, i’m getting my art car made… i’ve still got a big, scary thing that hasn’t happened for 2 years, but was pretty much essential to my life for some time before that (which is the oregon country fair)…
but from the outside looking in, 50 years of my life, and most of my identity, has been summarily dismissed by the supreme court, which has indicated its willingness to overturn roe v. wade, despite the fact that there isn’t a single state for which the overturning of roe v. wade commands more than 30% support…
which, of course, is PRIMARILY due to #drumpf, who, despite being impeached TWICE, managed to jam through three supreme court “justices”, two of whom are credibly accused sexual predators, and the other is amy coney barrett, who thinks that a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant.
and all of that is coming from EXACTLY the same people that gave us matt gaetz, who is under investigation for human trafficking and sex with teenagers, and jim jordan, who is accused of enabling a sexual predator, and roy moore, who is accused of sexually predating teenagers at a mall, and madison cawthorn, who idolises hitler, and films himself fucking his cousin in the ear, and another guy who is a long time republican politician who was convicted of possessing pornographic images of children, and the “jewish space laser lady”, and on, and on, and on, and on, and FUCKING ON!!… 🤬🤬🤬
and the chance that ANY OF THEM are going to face real justice of any kind is vanishingly small. 🤬
and that’s not even to mention the fact that #drumpf, himself, along with ALL his cronies, and partners in crime, are STILL running around free, and having rallies, and spewing misinformation, disinformation, and OUTRIGHT LIES to anybody who will listen, which, apparently, is about 49% of the population of the country…
seriously, politics has gotten so over-the-top, blatantly FASCIST, pretty much ever since #drumpf was elected (but, honestly, i see the first inklings of fascism in the 1970s, when nixon and mcgovern butted heads)… the country, and the world, has gotten so right-wing, “christian”, and “conservative” that it’s beyond merely frightening, and everything i’ve seen seems to indicate that it is going to get orders of magnitude worse before there’s any hope of it getting better…
and, if that wasn’t bad enough on its own, don’t even get me started on climate change… 🤬🤬🤬
i swear, these people must be a part of my karass (also, karass), because i keep running into them in THE MOST unexpected places, despite my overall desire to separate myself from them as much as possible… 😒
recently i’ve developed an interest in mycology (who am i kidding, i’ve ALWAYS had a very strong interest in a certain kind of mushroom… 😉) particularly because it seems fairly likely that, with a little coercion (from spores which i already have), i can start producing psilocybe cyanescens outside, in my fenced yard, pretty much whenever i choose to do so.
to this end, i recently purchased a book by mushroom expert paul stamets, called “Mycelium Running”, and, on the colophon page for the book, i noticed that the cover design was by two people, one of whom is andrew lenzer…
who is married to my younger younger sister.* 🙄
the one i haven’t spoken to since… i don’t know, 1988? maybe…? probably earlier than that… maybe as early as 1980… when she was 12 years old… 🙄
and, i have to keep reminding myself that members of one’s karass aren’t necessarily one’s “friends”… 😒
* as compared to my older younger sister, who is two years older than my younger younger sister… but they are six, and eight years younger than me, respectively, so i wasn’t around for a lot of their growing up and getting married stuff, and i have never actually met andrew lenzer, my brother-in-law… but, knowing my siblings, i would wager that there have been many unpleasant stories told about me for years. 🙄
from before the wayback machine… these tracts that i just found, were prototypes for smaller versions, which were originally designed to counter the “occult” graffiti i found in an abandoned house in the woods near bellingham… the same house i found the tail coat, which i still have (although it’s been substantially modified, at this point)… the house was obviously a place where teenage doodlehums gathered to do illegal and/or immoral things, and i wanted to “enlighten” them by leaving bizarre literature in their abandoned hideaway. it was in a section of fairly dense, second growth forest, on the outskirts to the northeast of bellingham… there were some neighbourhoods east of there, along alabama street, but the place where the railroad had been was, basically, second growth forest. not even a driveway to the house. the house was two stories, but when i was there, the second story was not safe (although i did go up there, a couple of times), and there was a well-house with a working well… and about 50 feet beyond that were what used to be a railway. it was a perfect place for teenage doodlehums to gather, mark up the walls with “satanic” graffiti, smoke pot, write graffiti about smoking pot, and dream about having illicit sex with their imaginary girlfriends.
i figured they had probably heard all the standard propaganda from the “christians” (the “satanic” graffiti was all the evidence i needed), and this was back when i was full of fire to enlighten the masses, so i came up with a number of tracts which were left in the abandoned house, in phone booths (remember them?), and traded for chick tracts at the local storefront ministries that bellingham had at the time. the first version of these tracts was originally published in 1987. one of the later versions was published in 1992.
now, the place where the abandoned house was, is a neighbourhood of slightly-more-upper-class tract houses with a trail that, 75 years ago, was a railroad that served the logging community in that area.
i harvested on tuesday: 4 hours of bending, stooping, squatting, and sitting on top of a propane canister (with a piece of plywood over the ring, so i didn’t get ring-butt)… by bedtime, tuesday night, my lower back was painful enough that i couldn’t bend over. i took a muscle relaxant before bed.
yesterday, i woke up and immediately took two tylenol, and made it through the day without too much difficulty or pain… but the most strenuous thing i did all day was blow the leaves off of the back yard — a pointless excersise… there’s already three times more leaves than there were before i started, yesterday. i spent most of the day sitting, standing, or walking on level ground, and it was okay, so i decided to go for a walk. i went for a 2.5 mile walk, and was okay, as long as i was walking on the level, but any uphill or downhill produced spasms so intense that i wondered whether or not it was a good idea going for a walk. at the same time, i went to sleep last night without any medication, so i figured that it was going to go away.
i was wrong.
today, i realised i have my circus class. i felt okay when i got up, and was able to move around, get dressed and suchlike, without pain, so i figured it was a temporary thing, but by the time i was about halfway to class, i realised that circus class today would probably NOT include trampoline, tumble track, unicycle, or tissue, which pretty much leaves juggling, tight wire, and stretching. we started with some warm-ups, and that went okay, then moved to juggling, and that went okay, and i excelled on tight wire, because i discovered that my back DOESN’T hurt if i stand up straight, and engage my core, which is EXACTLY what you need to do on the tight wire… i walked forwards AND backwards on the wire, using nothing but a balance pole in one hand! 😎 but then we moved to stretching, and… no. my body DOES NOT want to stretch. 😒
i came home, ate lunch, filled and shipped out an incense order, and went for another two mile walk… it was better, but there were still major twinges when i went up or down hill.
my next door neighbour just showed up with a batch of warm chocolate chip cookies that are “medicated”… 😉 he listened to an abbreviated version of my circus class experience today, and recommended i try two cookies.
i still can not believe that it’s legal. 🤤
getting old sucks. 🤬
i got home this afternoon, and took the small doggie outside, and, as i was going down the stairs from the deck, my right foot hit a slippery spot on the third step from the bottom, and i fell, bruising my back and legs, and scraping my right arm, which reached out for support, but reached in the wrong direction, because of my brain injury. 😒
the dog experienced a rather rough landing, but she wandered off without more than an “oof” when she hit the ground. she’s fine.
i lay on the ground for a few minutes, deciding whether or not anything was broken (as far as i can tell, nothing was), and breathing hard, because my back REALLY hurt, while the doggie wandered, obliviously, around the yard.
fortunately, i had my phone, so i called moe, who called the neighbour, who came to help me, but all she actually did was pick up the doggie, because i couldn’t bend over.
at this point, i have taken ibuprophen and applied ice, and i can sit down without too much difficulty, although i can still REALLY feel my lower back, and i probably will be able to do so for the next few days.
in other news, i got my first order for 10 boxes of aparajita today. the guy actually wrote me while i was in the process of updating my web site, and wanted to make a “special order”. my guess is that i’ll have two or three more orders for 10 boxes, before the week is out… at $90 bucks a pop… 👍😉
also, i got a new monitor. the old one is an VGA 17″ flat screen from a few years ago. the new one is a HDMI 24″ flat screen from this year… it’s awesome, how much real estate is in the difference between 17″ and 24″
i had a real, manual typewriter for many years. i had actually cleaned it up while i was in the tech school, but neglected to realise that the plastic keys were soluble in the degreasing soluion in which i vapour-degreased it (before oiling it back up again), so for a long time my perfectly functional manual typewriter had sort-of-roundish misshapen keys… if you were able to touch type (which i still can — thanks to my paternal grandfather — in spite of the fact that i have a brain-injury and type approximately half of the speed that i used to be able to, on a good day), it didn’t make that much difference.
i finally got rid of it after i got married, when we moved into our first house, in renton… after having carried it around with me for many, many years… i hadn’t used it in about 10 years, and… well… who actually uses a typewriter any more?
well, now i’ve got a project that would be perfect for a typewriter, and… 😐
maybe i can scrounge one up on freecycle.
photo by Magick’s Mom
i’m not sure whether i should do this or not… not because i don’t want anyone to know about this, but because of what my friends, particularly, will think…
i dug out (literally) a recording of the first time i ever “improvised” a solo with a jazz band. this is from 1973, and it’s pretty obviously a middle-school band (junior-high, for people who live on the west coast), featuring me playing trombone.
now this was before i knew what it was to “swing” (and, apparently, the drummer and a few other players were similarly clueless), and i had help writing out an “improvised” solo, because i didn’t know how to improvise, but even taking those things into account, i think i did a pretty acceptible job…
so i went to bellingham yesterday. it has been a long time since i’ve been in belligham, and it has been even longer since i have seen the…
crazy hippy freaks unique crowd that was there for kenyth’s 77th birthday party last night.
kenyth was my advisor when i first started college, and i started college during the latter part of the last century, but that comes later.
first, i drove through mt. vernon and saw many cow-fields adjacent to the nookachamps river that are going to be ripe for mushrooming in a few weeks, and, basically, i’ve decided that i’m going to take at least one weekend day and do exactly that… because mushrooms are my second favourite drug (the first is hashish, but that’s a separate story).
it took me about an hour longer than i thought it was going to, to get to bellingham, which still puzzles me somewhat. i went to ken & kamalla’s place, but nobody was home, so i then went to the madhouse, which is where i spent the night last night, and talked to darol and the lady who lives in the cabin (which was my space, 25 years ago) for a while, then i went out to wander until it was time for kenyth’s party.
the first place i went was the lake whatcom railroad trail, near where i used to live on valencia street, where i walked east (up hill) on the trail to this spot, where i found this:
it was somewhat strange back before everything got developed, but it is somewhat stranger now that it’s the only remaining evidence of a railroad line that used to go right through the middle of what is now a shopping mall and a fairly populated neighbourhood.
i then continued wandering east on the old railroad grade until i found a place that was built about the same time i lived there, which is a dam which funnels all of the water into a creek. a long time ago, shortly after the dam was first built, i used to go there and hide in the tube at the south end of the dam, and grafitti the inside of the tube. at one point, i even took a couple of sheets of plywood down there, so that i didn’t have to worry about getting soaked while i worked. i cleaned debris and gravel out of the tube at least twice, and i had a cozy, invisible little camp/hidey-hole there for a couple of years. now you can still get into the tube, but there’s a sizable pool at the bottom of it at this point, so you’d have to be a spry 20-something to get in there… i imagine that i could probably get in there now, but i imagine that if i wasn’t careful, i would get wet, and i didn’t want to do that yesterday, because it was threatening rain, and i didn’t have a change of clothes handy…
then i went down the tracks a little further, until i got to whatcom falls park, which is another place i used to live eons ago, when ezra was small. this is the place where the PHBFH lived, while i lived in the madhouse (when the PHBFH was living up to her acronym, which was about half of the time), when we went to vancouver BC to see the opera, when ezra was a tiny baby, and there were several old lady opera attenders who looked down their noses at us because we had a “babe-in-arms” at the opera, and everybody knows that babes-in-arms disrupt civilised things like opera… and they didn’t even notice when ezra went to sleep, shortly after the opening chorus, and slept all the way through, without making any noise at all. then, when we got home, very late at night, it was raining, so i parked the car while the PHBFH got out to open the door, so that we could avoid having ezra out in the rain for too long… except that the PHBFH wouldn’t open, or go anywhere close to the door, because it had a teensy little frog, smaller than the diameter of a dime, sitting on the door handle… 8)
then i went back to ken and kamalla’s place, where there was someone home this time, although it wasn’t kamalla, because she was apparently in california visiting her grandkids. i engaged in geek/music and/or music/geek talk with ken until it was time to go to kenyth’s party… which, coincidentally, was in the same dance studio where ezra took lessons from the time that he was 5 until he started at the pacific northwest ballet school, which used to be the nancy whyte studio, but is now called the “Presence Dance Studio”…
as i said previously, kenyth was my advisor during the time that i was at fairhaven college, which was 1979 through 1984, and again, on and off, from 1986 to 1989. prior to my arrival at fairhaven, kenyth was actually the dean of the college, but by the time i got there, he was “just a professor”. his two “specialty” classes were “Introduction to Personal Philosophy 101” which was informally known as “the fly in the flybottle” or simply “the flybottle class”, and “Awareness Through The Body”. when i first started at fairhaven, you could take body awareness as many times as you wanted, but you could only take the flybottle class once… however, it had such a powerful effect on me that i actually took it twice (with kenyth’s approval) – although i never took body awareness at all (which is kind of a shame, now that i think about it).
before i met kenyth, i was a child from bellevue, a place which is, like it’s new york namesake, an excellent place from which to escape. kenyth introduced me to the person i would eventually become. he did this by allowing me to be me, gently, uncritically and with a great deal of humour (as well as various other things), and by not requiring me to be anything which i was not. it didn’t take long for me to realise that i acutally am another person, one who is 180 degrees different from the person my parents wanted me to be (who was boring and had no life).
and i saw a whole bunch of
crazy hippy freaks unique people whom i haven’t seen for quite some time. i saw: douglas drake and joni papp, who i saw at burning man in 2008; karl meyer and stephan freeman, who i see at the moisture festival every year; sally peyou, who i got email from last week, but haven’t actually seen since 2007; yoav and yael yanich, deirdre morgan, kathy veterane, darby freeman, lisa carderelli, dani cutler, jamie jedinak, and a lot of other people whose names i am already forgetting again… all of whom i haven’t seen in at least 20 years… i got email addresses for the people i’ve been thinking about, and wondering what ever happened to them…
i went to sleep, and woke up in the madhouse for the first time since 1989 and it felt so right… if i ever have the opportunity to move back to bellingham at any point in the future, you can bet that i’m going to jump on it in a second. 8)
i’ve got a really busy weekend coming up, and i’ve had a really busy week already… i didn’t do much today: work on the snake suspenderz business card, laundry and spod… but i deserve a day off, especially since yesterday i filled two incense orders, one of which got shipped to the netherlands, and it’s really difficult to tell whether a person whose native language is dutch is being serious or not when he says that he wants to pay twice as much for shipping as he does for the incense itself, which meant that yesterday was the end of about two weeks of email negotiations…
this week has been spent at the Oregon Country Fair, so regardless of how many new indications that the eschaton is eminently upon us there are (and i’m sure that there are very many indeed), thankfully, i have no evidence of it apart from the hippie ineptitude factor that is common at such events.
eventually i will write about my experiences this week, and i guarantee, if the eschaton doesn’t actually happen between now and then, that there will be more next week.
oh, and happy “birthday” to me… that’s what i get for being born on february 29th… actually i’m coming up on my 13th birthday, even though i’m 51 this year. everyone else my age is waltzing into middle age and i am just reaching puberty! whee…
so i had my colonoscopy yesterday. when i went to my “introductory” appointment, about 2 weeks ago, they told me that i would be under a general anesthetic that would cause “retrograde amnesia”, but then they couldn’t answer my questions satisfactorily about whether or not that meant that i would “lose memories of things that haven’t happened yet” — “amnesia” implies “loss of memories of things that have already happened” and “retrograde” implies “moving backwards”… “moving backwards” from “things that have happened in the past” implies that it affects “memories of the future” and i still can’t figure out why they think i should have memories of things that haven’t happened yet… — but i think i am beginning to get the idea of what they were actually talking about, because while i was experiencing them, i was conscious and more-or-less rational, but now that they are in the past, i’m losing track of what i actually did, the sequence of events, and pretty much everything that happened yesterday. at this point, not even 24 hours separate from the actual events, i’m having distinct difficulties remembering conversations that i was a part of yesterday, even before i was anesthetised…
the event, itself, was pretty uneventful, but the day before was pretty miserable. the day before was complicated by a clear-liquids fast, a gallon of orange-flavoured salt-water, and many, many, MANY trips to the bathroom. yesterday was a “nothing by mouth” day, so i was extra hungry, but the clinic called in the morning and rescheduled my appointment from 2:30 to 1:00, so i wouldn’t have to wait as long. i took a cab to the clinic, because they weren’t going to allow me to drive after the procedure – because of the “retrograde amnesia” – and from then on it gets a little hazy… i remember getting undressed, getting on the gurney, being rolled into the procedure room and being asked to roll on to my left side… and that’s it.
i then sort of vaguely remember waking up, getting dressed and going to another part of the clinic where they had some “comfy recliners” to “recover” on… i don’t remember whether or not moe came in, or whether they escorted me to the car… i remember, even then, wondering when the “retrograde amnesia” was going to start kicking in… i remember complaining about how tired i was, despite the fact that it was still early afternoon… moe made a stop before we got home, and bought some “immediate” food, and when we got home, i remember her putting before me, a very large plate of some REALLY yummy food (mostly carbohydrates, so that i wouldn’t get pancreatitis from trying to digest fried food on a truly empty stomach… but i do seem to recall a disassembled skewer of meat and vegetables in there, as well) which i DEMOLISHED… then, i remember going to bed around 8:30.
i woke up this morning at about 8:00 and immediately noticed that i’m still REALLY TIRED — as though i had spent the previous day running a marathon, or something like that… seriously, i’m thinking of taking a nap, and i hardly ever take naps (i find them to be really confusing when i wake up and it’s the middle of the afternoon)…
i think the most significant part of the whole thing for me, at this point, is the realisation that i can actually eat stuff again… nuts… i can eat almonds for the first time in a week! and when the stuff in the pantry or the refrigerator calls to me, i can eat it and not resist… and i don’t have to drink that orange-flavoured salt-water goo every 15 minutes…
oh, the result of my colonoscopy? they removed 3 polyps, one of which they said was benign but the other two are going to have to wait for biopsies. also they said i have two hemorrhoids, which were the cause of the occult recal bleeding that was a cause for concern prior to the procedure.
as the song says, “what a drag it is getting old”… 😐
i had to take the piccolo i repaired back to its owner. i also had an appointment with ned. they were separated by four hours, but i decided that it would be best if i drove, parked and made a day of it. i delivered the piccolo, and then i went to laughing buddha and bought two new ear plugs. i do this instead of expanding my ear ‘ole (which i would do in a cold second if i could: it’s terrifically addictive…), because my beautiful wife doesn’t like it, and it’s not a good thing to do things that my beautiful wife doesn’t like. 😉
then i wandered and took pictures. they’ve completely destroyed four blocks of capitol hill, right across from dicks and the place where my acupuncturist’s office used to be, walled the entire four-block area with 18-foot walls, and dug an ENORMOUS hole, rather like the one that they dug in downtown seattle back in the ’80s. then i went to west seattle and wandered a little more. there are the obligatory pictures if anybody is interested. i found out that my blood pressure is higher in the morning than it is in the afternoon, and if i record my blood pressure in the morning, it looks a lot worse than it actually is… which is a MASSIVE relief, because for the past five days it seems to have been getting higher and higher… but it’s because i was checking it in the morning. if i check it in the afternoon, it is apparently a lot more reasonable… i.e. diastolic 115 in the morning and 85 in the afternoon.
tuesday i was going to shoot a video with hobbit, but it didn’t happen. i also went to a sousa band rehearsal. while at the sousa band rehearsal i picked up a clarinet that needs repair from a fellow band member.
wednesday i went to see doctor wackaloon and found out that i’m probably “hypertensive” which means that i have to take my blood pressure for two weeks and then call for another appointment where he will probably prescribe medication that will give me nausea and a headache and make me more tired than i already am. whee.
thursday i fixed the clarinet and took the jeep that has been living in my front yard for the past year for it’s weekly drive (to make sure that it still works) to costco, and discovered that the thermostat is “intermittent”. joy.
friday i took the jeep in to get the thermostat changed out, because it has to be ready to go to the person who actually owns it on the first of june. i also got a business-card order from the new owner of the repair shop (who is the old owner‘s son), who wanted to change the email address on his card. i walked home, and when i got home i made the change and sent the business card to the printer, whereupon i discovered that i couldn’t find my wallet. i searched the house and the workshop, and called costco (the last place i remember having it), but it wasn’t in any of those places. i called the car-repair shop and the guy said that he couldn’t find it in the jeep.
if i wasn’t hypertensive before this, i sure am now… 😐
i had to go out, and i wasn’t completely sure that the guy had known what i was talking about, so i drove up to the car-repair shop, where i found my wallet, after a thorough search of the jeep. <deep breath> then took the clarinet back to its owner, and picked up a piccolo which needs repair, from another sousa band member. when i got home, the jeep was ready, so i walked up to the shop and picked it up.
today i straightened up the workshop and fixed the piccolo.
considering how “easy” my life is these days, how i come up with high blood pressure is beyond me. it’s probably genetic… i sent a vial full of my spit to some people who claim that they will test my DNA and tell me where i came from a few weeks ago. they haven’t produced a result yet, but it’s my understanding that “these things take time”… maybe they can tell me why i have high blood pressure while they’re at it.
ever since i was very small (and well before things like seat belts in cars became standard, and driving while intoxicated became a crime) i have wondered about why DUI was as big a problem as it was. while i was perusing my news-feeds this morning, i came across a suggestion that i have been making on a pretty regular basis, that Alcohol Detectors Could Come Standard With a New Car – although even that doesn’t seem like it goes far enough, because, under the system proposed there, the blood/alcohol meter would actually control whether or not you could actually start the car at all if you blew over the legal limit.
my idea, which i got from my father, who was one of the scientists that caused the industry uproar about seat belts in the late ’60s and early ’70s, is relatively simple and straightforward to install in already existing cars, and dead simple to design into new cars, and it is this: when a driver sits down in the driver’s seat, they are presented with a breathing tube that connects to a blood/alcohol meter, and the car WILL NOT start until the driver breathes into the meter. once the driver has activated the meter, the car will start, regardless of whether or not they had blown over the limit, but if it detects more than a certain level of alcohol in the bloodstream, it triggers a display on the dashboard that is a 30-second test to determine whether the person is actually able to drive or not; something along the lines of keeping a needle between two lines using the steering wheel of the car. if the driver passes the test, the transmission lock is opened and the driver is able to drive normally. if the driver doesn’t pass the test, the car will still move, but the transmission is governed so that the car won’t go faster than a certain speed (i suggest 5 miles per hour), and the lights automatically flash and the horn goes off at regular intervals… that way, if a person is determined to drive home after a night’s carousing, they can do so, but they’re not anywhere near as likely to cause severe damage, and the police won’t have to search around for the guy that’s driving while plastered.
i have suggested this, and my father has suggested this (and he is a person who is a lot more qualified to suggest things like this than i am) for 40 years, and nobody has taken notice of it. it would be legal, it wouldn’t impair the right of people to drive, even while drunk, and, personally, i think it would be hillarious to see a guy going five miles an hour, with his lights flashing and his horn honking… my impression is that it wouldn’t take more than a few of those before people decided that driving drunk probably isn’t the way to get there…
what’s so hard about that, anyway?
moe and zora the papillon have gone to wyoming for the national dog agility championships. they took lucy the psychotic border collie with them, and i’m holding down the fort with the two “old” dogs… and three cats, a snake and a bird. stanley the bird is chattering, and the dog who can hear (magick) is hiding under my desk, because that’s about as far away from stanley as she can get. the dog who can’t hear (paddy) is asleep behind me.
i hope moe does well at the championship. i asked her what sort of chance there was of zora winning some sort of prize, and she said that she’ll be happy if she qualifies for the finals. i don’t know what that means, but i still hope that zora wins some sort of prize… being the owner of a dog that is a national champion is about as close as i’m ever going to get to having that sort of fame myself…
i was entertained by the cats entertaining themselves with a squeeky catnip mouse. there is definitely going to have to be two or three more of those hanging around, because kitty chaos was definitely enjoyable to watch, although they gave up too quickly, because it very quickly developed to the point where one of them was hogging the mouse and wouldn’t let the others play.
i am no longer sick, but i am not completely well yet. i was about 95% yesterday, and i would say that it’s crept up to 96% or 97% today. my guess is that getting old means that i don’t recover as quickly from being sick, or that i notice the things that aren’t quite normal more than i did when i was younger, or – most likely – a combination of the two, but whatever it is, i find that after i’ve been sick, the period between my actual sickness and when i have recovered fully, really sucks: i want to do stuff, like grade and/or scrape the driveway, but it requires so much effort that i can’t do a practical amount of work before i’m completely exhausted and have to rest for a couple of hours before i can even think about doing more… plus my ears are alternately plugged up, or not, and my nose is alternately plugged up, or not – i burned a stick of incense on my desk, not more than an arm’s length away from my nose, and i couldn’t smell anything… and taking something like “day-quil” makes the symptoms go away, but it doesn’t make me able to smell, and it gives the world this kind of foggy semi-euphoria that interferes with my thinking…
i was sick yesterday, but i went to play with snake suspenderz at the pike place market busker festival which i managed to pull off without too much sickness. playing with two other, respected buskers, howlin’ hobbit and thaddeus spae was only made that much more of an honour for me because the pike place market preseveration and development association (the outfit which licenses buskers at the market) has decided,
in their infinite wisdom to ban music played on electronically amplified equipment and… wait for it… brass instruments… which, of course, means that any other time of year, thad and hobbit can busk at the market, but i can’t. where’s the justice in that, ‘eh?
i wasn’t able to get any relevant pictures of snake suspenderz, since i was playing with them at the time, but i was able to get a picture of the amazingly fearless dog in a wheelie contraption that took the place of his hind legs, which apparently didn’t work all that well. i believe the dog’s name was Rover. most dogs that have encountered my tuba have an almost instinctive fear of it: i don’t even have to play it, but they want to keep about as far away from it as possible. rover was completely different, however, and rolled right up to it and gave it a thorough sniffing… and then rolled away in search of something more interesting. it was as though he hadn’t just encountered the most dog-frightening piece of musical equipment that i own.
i’m feeling a lot better today, and have made up for the fact that i didn’t eat anything at all yesterday, by eating twice as much as i normally do today. it’s kind of weird, because i’m still congested and coughing up wads of green goo, but i’m starving. if i had eaten this much yesterday, i would have been a lot more sick than i was.
i spent a lot of spoons being sick yesterday. i’m definitely feeling better, however i’m not back to normal yet. maybe tomorrow.
i was poking around on the web this afternoon, and i came across these albums that i had back when albums were made of vinyl. Banish Misfortune and The First of Autumn by Malcolm Dalglish and Grey Larsen. i was able to download banish misfortune, but the first of autumn, which has the song “I Don’t work for a Living” on it, which has been one of my five all-time favourite songs ever since i first heard it, is only available as either an LP or a cassette. i have a turntable, but i don’t have an amplifier and the software to turn a LP into something that i can play with modern technology. wait! there’s a CD version of it at malcolm dalglish’s web site. these are albums that i haven’t even heard for 10 or 15 years, and i can still remember how excited i was to find music like this when i first came across them, almost 30 years ago.
the further back you go, the more dramatically my memory fades, but because of my injury, i have a significant gap in specific memories between about 1985 and 2003. because of the fact that i was not taking very many pictures during that period, i don’t remember much, but i recently came across a whole bunch of negatives and slides, the earliest of which were taken in the late 1970s, before i graduated from high school, and the most recent were taken when i lived in mt. vernon, which ended in about 1994.
|this is Nataraja Music Service in 1983, right after i moved back to bellingham after graduating from the tech school.|
|this is ezra, approximately 1989 or 1990, aged 6 or 7.|
|my dome… <sigh> i lived in this dome for a couple of years before i moved to mount vernon, around 1990. it was this which resulted in my being a dome fanatic to this day.|
|i took a whole bunch of pictures of a bunch of antique flutes that i worked on between 1985 and 1995. i also took pictures of one of the bent flutes that i rescued.|
i’ve put a whole bunch of pictures up, but i only linked to a few of ’em.
we’re making an emergency trip to portland tomorrow. whee…
when i lived in new york, probably 1971 or thereabouts, a whole bunch of my music classmates and i were transported to a theatre in downtown buffalo, new york, where we took part in an experimental music recording for some artist. i don’t remember anything about who the artist was, or what the recording was ultimately used for, but what happened is permanently etched on my mind: we were taken to the balcony, directly in front of the stage which had a whole bunch of stripped down pianos, and a bunch of what looked like large metal junk piled on it. there we were each given a small bucket full of tennis balls, and encouraged to be very quiet, and throw the tennis balls at the pianos and metal stuff. specifically, they told us that noise from the tennis balls was encouraged, but noise from our mouths was not. it was an occasion that was enjoyed thoroughly by everyone, and they collected the tennis balls and re-distributed them to us at least three times. then we all got on the school bus and went back to the school, which was in williamsville, a suburb of buffalo.
why do i bring this up, apart from the fact that it’s an interesting bit of trivia about my life?
i was poking around on wikipedia today, and i found this, which is in the first part of the article abut Brian Peter George St John le Baptiste de la Salle Eno. in the article, he was being encouraged in a project “Piano Tennis”… “after collecting pianos, they stripped and aligned them in a hall, striking them with tennis balls.” (wikipedia).
my family moved to the buffalo area in 1969. according to wikipedia, brian eno graduated from the Winchester School of Art in 1969, and he was in london in 1971 when he joined roxy music, so the probability that the artist that made the “experimental music recordings” that i took part in was not brian eno is pretty high, but i would be willing to bet that it was someone who saw eno’s performances at the winchester school, or someone that had heard about them…
anyway, i was so intrigued by the whole process that when the school i was attending had to “throw out” a piano that was “broken”, i persuaded the music teacher to let me have it, and i took it apart and wrote a piece of music for the “prepared” piano-harp in 1973, not long before we moved back to seattle.
the dogs are really concerned that moe hasn’t come home yet, and i’ve had to close the blinds on the front window to keep zorah, the “watcher”, from barking at EVERY THING that she even THINKS might be someone driving up the driveway, which, of course, causes magick, the “alarm”, to bark uncontrollably, which causes stanley to fly off his perch which causes lucy to try to herd stanley… so it’s been a busy time, so far. i also have to give magick medication and food twice a day because of her dental work. so far i haven’t missed, but it’s been getting later and later each day, because i don’t remember until later and later.
a couple of times in the past two weeks i have had the idea that i had to go somewhere to do something, but by the time i had finished up what i was doing enough to actually go wherever it was, i had not only forgotten where i wanted to go, but what i wanted to do once i got there. today i went out to the post office, to have a picture laminated (which they didn’t do, and actually ruined the picture in the process), to goodwill to drop off two bags of clothing and to the mobile home guys to get the dimensions for the lumber i need to buy for the floor, but i didn’t do whatever it was that was important to do while i was out, because i couldn’t remember what it was… 😐 i’d start writing stuff down, but i can never tell what’s important enough to write down, and besides, writing stuff down requires finding a pen or pencil and a single place that i can write stuff like that, that won’t get lost or misplaced. i have 3 sketchbook/notebook/”moleskine”-like things that i used to write things in all the time, but now that i’m using the computer for most of my communication and scheduling, finding a place on my desk to put the notebook and write stuff down usually takes clearing off the desk a little bit, and by that time i’ve forgotten whatever it is that i was supposed to write down.
the dangly thing that i’ve had hanging from the rear-view mirror of every vehicle that has ever been in my possession since 1984 – when i thought i had bought a school bus from a woman named Mauldiwarp Moongate-Climber (which wasn’t entirely true in reality, however that is another, long, pointless story that i’ll save for another time) – finally broke. now all i have left of the school bus (which never actually worked reliably enough to travel more than 5 miles or so before it overheated) is a small handfull of glass and wooden beads, a chipped crystal drop from a long-ago chandelier, a fish made out of abalone shell, a small bell, and a broken piece of leather strap. that and the fact that i am currently listening to It’s My Life by The Plasmatics seem somehow related…
apparently i am genetically predisposed to arthritis in my hands, thanks to my maternal grandmother. the pain that i have been having in the base of my left thumb for the past month or so, apparently, is not going to go away. i have to get a splint to hold my thumb in place when it gets too painful, and the doctor told me to take ibuprophen… getting old sucks! now i’m beginning to understand what my grandmothers – on both sides of my family – were going through. hopefully robotic replacements will be developed before my hands completely fail… 8/
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.