i’ve got a lot on my mind… my new car, my old car, monique’s old car, my cloud drive, the data, which still needs A LOT of categorising and sorting. there’s so much of it, and about a third to one half of it is corrupt, but i can’t tell without attempting to read it…
next to my tablet is a cup which contains pens, pencils, permanent markers, a divider, a compass, a bong reamer, several dental tools, a couple of hemostats… miscelaneous things that i need on a regular basis. i was looking for the original gear shift knob for my old car, which involved emptying out a bag of miscelaneous leftovers from when we moved (last year), which i never got around to sorting out. it had a number of things that i had been looking for, like my extra vape battery, an extra container for concentrates, my (ORIGINAL!) fidget-cube, and some extra pens and pencils, which i proceded to put in the cup next to my tablet… but it was full.
so, i decided to get a larger can, from my workshop, into which to transfer the pens, pencils, and miscelaneous tools, which took a while, because i had to find the can that i was looking for. when i’d found the can, i went back into my office, and transferred the stuff into it, in the bottom of the cup, i found this…
i got this… i don’t know how many years ago… i think it was before my injury… i got it a clear quartz ganesha, and this citrine one, at the same time, but i lost the citrine one almost immediately — like, within the first two weeks — and i have never seen it since.
it has taken a really long time to get this far, and i have been going miserably slow, because i’ve had to source materials (and made some pretty dramatic “compromises” in order to simply get the project started… 😒), and because of other things (read “databases”) taking my attention…
AND because i’m being a perfectionist about it, and not being satisfied with the work that i’ve already done… seriously, there have been a couple of times when, despite the work that i’ve already done, i’ve thought about trashing the whole thing and starting over, because ONE TINY DETAIL is slightly askew, which nobody except the most hard-core thelemite would notice…
but, see, that’s the thing… i’m making this because I AM a “hard-core thelemite” (among other things), and, seriously, i want it to be as close to the original as absolutely possible, while, at the same time, being 40% smaller, and entirely made by hand…
AND, BUT, ALSO… a NEW CAR!! 😒 no, no, no… AND because i have been depressed enough that, even when i am doing nothing else, for EXTENDED periods of time, i have been having difficulty finding the motivation to work on it, and i kind of DON’T want it to turn into “depression art”, it being a spiritual piece, and everything…
what i am doing to combat depression:
taking 100mg of bupropion every day. whether it’s doing anything or not remains to be seen.
taking mushrooms occasionally, but not as frequently as i’d like (the most recent time was last tuesday, three mushrooms). along those same lines, i am still:
planning on growing mushrooms in the near future
got expert advice on call
got the spores
got the substrate: “Uncle Ben’s 90 minute rice — 90 minutes, perfect every time!”
got a still-air egg incubator
still need to find information about how and when to transfer from the sterile substrate to “growing boxes”
bought some size 00 capsules. am going to try grinding the mushrooms and putting them in capsules to see if i can standardise the dosage a little better. 😉
read “Wired For Love”, planning on buying the book.
convinced moe to read “Wired For Love” (she starts it this weekend)
going as slow as necessary
being as easy on myself as i can.
possibly other things i don’t recall at this time.
whether those things are actually having any effect remains to be seen. i’m afraid to think of what comes next if they’re not having any effect. 😒
i gave the web developer my login to the open support ticket at the host provider. there hasn’t been any obvious action yet, but i’ve emailed with the web developer, who worked out a temporary solution which may work out if his attempts to communicate with the host provider don’t work out… but, as i said, he hasn’t even logged in, much less done what the host provider asked of me, which was to “clearly lay out the issues you’re facing and the solution you need done to resolve this issue”.
the issues are that i can’t add new content (the “not HTML” difficulty and its results), and i get weird SQL errors, which only appear once, and then go away. i don’t get them on a regular basis: sometimes i get them the first time i hit the site, when i boot my computer in the morning, and sometimes i get them in the middle of the afternoon. frequently i get them when i’m hitting the base URI, but i’ve also seen them when i’m hitting deeper content.
i don’t know what the solution is, because i don’t know what is causing it. my web developer seems to think it’s the database engine at my host provider, because he has some sort of advanced tool that tells him when things aren’t working correctly. my host provider says he’s full of shit, that his proposed “upgrades” will break things for everybody else, and won’t even talk to the him unless he logs in as me. unfortunately, i know little enough about database engines that any input i can offer would be totally meaningless.
i feel a little bit better, because, now, instead of "doing this as a courtesy as this is not included as part of your Web Maintenance", they have now, actually charged me money, so i am, actually, paying them to fix my shit, and the temporary work around that he proposed, while not ideal, would certainly fix the problem for at least a year.
but i seem to recall going through another database fiasco last year around this time, and, if this is going to become a regular occurrance, i think i’ll pass, thanks. 😒
ETA: the web developer has logged in as me, and given a detailed description of exactly what is wrong, exactly why he thinks it’s wrong, examples of identical installations that follow his guidelines that don’t experience the problems i’m having, and a variety of different solutions to the problems he’s found. the host provider has yet to reply. because of the fact that they’re on eastern time, there’s a good chance we won’t hear anything until tomorrow.
so, for some time now, i have wanted to make a reproduction of The Stele Of Revealing, and i got started the other day. but very quickly, i realised that, if i want to make it a “good enough” reproduction rather than a reproduction that would only look good if you didn’t look too closely, i would need to know the original dimensions, and have a reasonably accurate idea of what the heiroglyphs look like, and what the other artwork looks like, and i would, then, need to reduce them from their original size to the size that i ended up deciding i was going to make it — approximately a 40% reduction.
because i’m an artist, i know that, usually (in the absence of photocopiers, or proportional cameras), the tool used to make miniature reproductions is a proportional divider. i have used them before, know what they look like, and know that they can be very expensive. i didn’t want a really expensive one, but i also did not want something that somebody (most likely me) made out of plywood, because it wouldn’t be accurate enough, so i went to ebay, and discovered the exact tool i needed — from the picture, i deduced that it was, largely, the same tool i used in high school, when i was first learning about proportional dividers.
they arrived in the mail today. they are… um… not what i expected.
what arrived in the mail was a finely machined set of proportional dividers with sharpened tool steel points, and an engraved scale for both circles and lines. it is stamped “J.H.Weil & Co.” and it came in a velvet-lined case with antique gold writing on the outside that says U.S.C.E., which i take to mean U.S. Army Corps of Engineers… my impression is that, under normal circumstances, this could be as much as a $200 tool, but, because of the fact that it appears to be a vintage, military tool, it could be worth a lot more… this is a tool that is, pretty much GUARANTEED to be accurate to at least one thousandth of an inch… and it cost me less than $50!
so, i just wanted to give a shout out to Next Stage Vintage… they suprised the hell out of me! thank you! 😉👍
and i am going to use it to reduce The Stele Of Revealing… 😲
trillium — picking parts off a trillium plant can kill it even if the rhizome is left undisturbed… so don’t. around here, they are T. albidum, T. ovatum, and T. petiolatum. all the ones pictured here are ovatum. 😉
i got the nuts that fit the screws, i took the loupe part off the old, broken frames, and mounted it on the new, unbroken frames, with entirely new screws and nuts, and washers from the repair kit the denmat/perioptix people sent me. the new screws are TINY alan-key drive… mcmaster-carr doesn’t have philips-head screws that are 2-64… 😒 i don’t actually have an alan-key small enough to tighten them, but i’m pretty sure i got it tight enough with a wrench on the nut side. 🔧
ETA: it turns out i do have an alan-key that is small enough, and i did get it tight enough with a wrench… HOWEVER in my final look-over before i put it back in the box, i noticed something i hadn’t before, which is that the hinge is completely broken, and, while the repair kit they sent me has a replacement hinge, it’s actually the part of the hinge that is a molded part of the magnifier, itself, which means that i cannot fix it, because it is an integral part of the actual optical piece… replacement parts for which, i already know they no longer make. 😒
at this point, it’s still in one piece, and functional, so long as you don’t move the hinge around too much, but the hinge has already failed and cannot be repaired. it’s just a matter of time before the whole thing falls apart. 🤬
i also burned a hole in my eyebrow, when i was grinding down the screw so that it wouldn’t poke the wearer in the eye, and i put the frames on to test them too quickly after grinding… 😉
it was one of two that have been in the freezer for AT LEAST 20 years, and maybe as many as 30… my recollection is that i actually obtained them during one of my “oh my god the world is going to end any day now, and i’ve got to have an emergency stash, just in case” phases, and has been hanging out in other people’s freezers when it wasn’t in my own, and when neither one was handy, it was on my altar in an airtight bag, in an airtight film canister…
but, it was AT LEAST 20 years old, and i really had no idea what to expect.
and, i just realised that i grossly underestimated how old those were… i think i got them after i lived in mount vernon, and before i moved to seattle, which was in the 1993-4 range…? gawd i’m old… 😒
i dropped at 10:00 am, and by 11:30 i was totally thinking it was a dud. then i got a text from lisa, who wanted to come at 1:30, and get their (well, not exactly “their”, but it’s a long and unrelated story) pressure washer, and, i decided that, if it was a dud, then it would probably be safe for me to drive to 4 corners, and refill their gas can (which i had almost completely drained, in my two day attack on the slime front deck), and i did so, without any perceivable distortion… but by the time 1:30 came around, i was feeling a little something, and i figured, oh, well, delayed release, but it’s something… and by the time 2:00 came around, and lisa actually showed up… well, i had been sitting out on the front deck, talking to the hummingbirds. 😉
after she left, and against my better judgement (but i was high on acid, so pretty much anything i did would be against most peoples’ better judgements), i drove the 3 miles from our house to the back side of taylor mountain TRIPPING MY ASS OFF and wandered up taylor mountain for a few hours.
first, i came across this rock:
it was by the side of the path, not far enough out to be a hinderence or something to trip over, but about six inches from the outer edge of the path, and as i walked by, i suddenly became aware of the fact that that rock has been watching me, every time i walk that path, ever since i first started going there, about three months ago… that rock is AWARE of me… at which point i had to fight off a strong desire to turn the rock upside down, to see if that would affect it’s awareness of me, but then i realised that it would only make it more aware of me, because i was the person who turned it upside down.
then i went up to the washout, where road “A” doesn’t go through any more, and meditated for an hour or so, and played with the tube…
i REALLY want to get up there with my harmonic flute and electronic doodads, but it wouldn’t help an acid trip, and i’d just watch the lights blink, anyway (this alludes to one of the many, many times i took acid in the early 1980s, when i was in college, and thought i would try to make the synthesizer work… and i ended up hooking it up so that every light blinked in a random fashion, but made no noise, and then turned out the lights in the studio, and… you know the rest 😉).
then i walked up to the intersection of road “A” and road “H”, to the place where the beaver pond washed out road “A” (this is the “upper washout” on road “A”, the one i have been to before, is, apparently, the “lower washout”), where, at 4:30 in the afternoon, on a tuesday, i ran into a random guy and his dog, who were out for a walk…
i had one relatively large mushroom, approximately half a gram, or so, and some leftover stems and pieces of cap that, all together, made up, maybe a gram, total… i.e. not very much, under the best of circumstances, and they were, also, at least three years old… so they weren’t particularly powerful, anyway…
… but… 😉
i definitely felt something — a little shimmering and sparkling around the edges of the forest — and the antidepressant effects are plainly evident. 😉
i went for a walk up the back side of taylor mountain. i started out going down the carey creek trail, which hasn’t been open since i’ve lived here. i walked down that for about half a mile, until i got to the edge of a king county park (on the map i found, it’s called “donkey engine”) when i noticed that i had been walking down a railroad grade, it started getting more steep, and i realised that i wouldn’t want to be walking uphill when i was coming down from a mushroom trip, so i turned around and went back the other direction.
where i parked was at the southeast 208th st. “back” entrance to taylor mountain, right across the street from the dire warning no trespassing cedar river watershed signs. after walking down the carey creek trail, i walked up “road G” until i came to the intersection of “road A”, which was closed because of a washout… evidently, a couple of years ago, at least, because there was a fairly well established trail through the washout, that skirted the “official” “road closed” signs and fences. 😉
and, i walked from the washout to the intersection of “road K”, which is when i realised that this end of “road A” connects up to the end of “road A” that comes out at the “front” entrance to taylor mountain, about 5 miles up issaquah-hobart road, just off highway 18.
here’s what i saw:
to my mushroom-induced mind, this moss took the form of a tall, shapely woman with long hair, walking away from me… it doesn’t look anything like that now, but it was startlingly clear enough that i took the picture AND remembered what it was.
the tree growing out of this stump is four feet in diameter. the stump, itself, is around twenty feet in diameter. 🤯
i was tripping on mushrooms, so, of course, i had to take a picture of the sky, through the trees… 😉
this could be another “Tree of Being”… i’m not sure, but it speaks to me… 😉
this is taken at the end of an overflow pipe that is supposed to sluice water away from the washout… it was, evidently, uneffective, because it is well above the washout. it is a place that, insinctively, i stuck my head into, and started humming to find the resonant frequency. it’s definitely some place that i should return to, accompanied by my harmonic flute and electronic stuff… and, it’s especially appropriate because it’s a spiral, and i was tripping on mushrooms (although, by the time i came across it, i was already mostly down from my trip 😉)
today, i started pressure washing the front deck, possibly for the first time in 10 years or more. the deck, for the entire time we’ve lived here, has been a trecherous place to walk, when it is wet — and, i mean, TRECHEROUS… even being careful, i have suddenly and unexpectedly found myself on the ground after the frequent rain showers we have around here. i’m not sure, but i think that, at one time, it had been stained a dark brown, but it hadn’t been sealed, and, quite quickly, the dark brown stain started to mask some dark brown mold that was allowed to spread, unchecked, until the house was sold to us, last year.
and i have, FINALLY started to pressure wash it… with a gas-powered pressure washer, loaned to us by monique’s boss. unfortunately, it was stubborn enough that i didn’t finish, and it’s supposed to rain tomorrow, so i don’t know if i’m going to get a chance to finish it until monday.
i started around noon, and gave up when monique got home, at 6:30 pm. once i get it pressure washed, a friend who has a deck sander is going to come by and sand and seal it for us, so that it doesn’t turn into an ice-skating rink every time it rains.
i didn’t have to spend three quarters of the day dealing with testy customs agents, indifferent import brokers, and recalcitrant shipping managers, and paying almost $500 to various people i had never heard of before, who had practically nothing to do with my shipment…
i arrived, was directed where to go, submitted two documents, had the lady scan my driver’s license, and then she gave me a piece of paper (with my scanned driver’s license on it), and told me to go “down the hall, to your left”, where i walked into a big wire cage. on the other side was a warehouse, full of wares. a friendly-looking guy with a grey beard under his mask, came up, asked to see my paperwork (😉), and then told me to pull around to the sally-port and he would meet me there. i backed my car up to the sally-port, and the guy came with a forklift, carrying three big boxes… i loaded them into my car, and drove away.
total elapsed time, LESS THAN 20 minutes.
total money that exchanged hands, $0.00!
it’s SO! MUCH! EASIER!! when i know what i’m doing, have done “the needful”, and have everything ready BEFORE i show up… 😎
i am fully vaccinated, which means that i can get out and do stuff without anxiety… and, because of the fact that we moved (last year at this time 😒) i’ve got a bunch of places that are a 5-minute drive (or a half-hour walk along a busy rural highway) away from home, which i have been, more or less, unable to “explore” because of the fact that i wasn’t fully vaccinated.
today i went to big bend park in maple valley, and walked along the old railroad grade. the railroad grade actually cut off a part of the cedar river, which, i imagine, was the original “big bend” that they’re talking about.
here are some things i saw.
i really like the place we’re currently living, and i REALLY don’t want to move again (ever, in my life, if possible), but if i were to allow that possibility, here’s a house i wouldn’t mind living in, and it’s not even that far from where i live now. 😉
and, finally, here are some signs that are posted in this “neighbourhood” park… 😉
it’s raining now, but it’s supposed to start snowing again after dark, which is in about an hour…
i walked out to the main road. it’s clear and wet, with patches of slush. the snow accumulation off the road is pretty similar to what we have here… but in order to get out to the main road, you have to drive UP a hill that kids have been sledding on for two days. it’s possible to drive up the hill, but only barely.
and, because of the fact that they’re there, we also had a couple of downed trees. they didn’t hit anything, and they’re not across the road, but it’s not over yet, and i haven’t been out further than the mailbox — it had come open, somehow, and was three-quarters full of snow, which was on top of the letter that i was hoping the letter carrier was going to pick up — so i don’t know what “the real world” is like… supposedly, we have a “micro-climate” around our neighbourhood, and the weather is substantially different about a mile away, on the main road.
this is the one of the… i’m not sure whether it’s an “advantage” or it’s a “danger”… of living in the remote wilderness.
at this point, it’s not an awful lot different than any other day, during COVID. 😒
i recorded the tuba part for a collaborative effort to create the panto 2020 “Welcome Song”, but since we can’t actually meet to rehearse, we’re recording the parts, which, presumably, will be together enough that they will be able to be combined together, and then emailed to the people who have come to the pantos in the past.
i experienced the clarinet part, and the “click track”, which was kiki playing the song on the ukulele and singing, along with a metronome. without the click track (which, i’m assuming is the ultimate goal), the clarinet part and the tuba part ended up staying together… mostly… and the times when it seemed like we were going to lose the beat, miraculously, found the beat again in a lot less time than it would have taken if we had been in a live rehearsal.
but it’s really weird playing the tuba part without all of the other parts, only knowing that they will be put together at a later date.
there’s a possibility that thaddeus and i are going to resurrect “Heirophany”, which is me playing the harmonic flute and twiddling with electronic gadgets, and thaddeus playing guitar, and twiddling with electronic gadgets. we released a 12 minute long single — with a fantastic cover, which is a picture of a ‘cello on fire 😉👍 — a couple of years ago, and then didn’t do anything else, but, at this point, we can do it “socially distanced”, and i’ve even been thinking of designing a mask for the harmonic flute, anyway, that will make it so that i can play when it’s windy… only, now, it’s so that i can play while i’m masked… and it’s something where we can play for other people, and, potentially, make some money at it at the same time.
#drumpf still hasn’t conceded, and his lawsuits are getting tossed out as fast as he can file ’em, but, ultimately, i think he’s going to try to make an end run around losing the popular vote and the electoral vote by “declaring” the election invalid, refusing to accept the results, and going to the supreme court (which he has stacked with sycophants) to make the final decision. he has made statements within the past 24 hours that include “just get rid of the ballots”, and “there will be no transition”, and “biden can’t enter the white house without proving that his ballots are legal”, which don’t make it sound particularly like he’s intending to go anywhere. and, while i would like nothing better than to watch as he was dragged out by his heels, kicking and screaming like a three-year-old having a tantrum (which, i have no doubt, would happen, if it came to that), i seriously doubt that any president that comes after that would have any chance of pulling the country back together again any time within my lifetime, i don’t care who he is, or how fast he impliments universal health care and universal basic income.
the guy who is (allegedly) fixing the fence has already run down a whole list of (bogus) complaints he had about the current fence — i get the impression that he’s not particularly impressed with the quality or consistency of the fence materials, despite the fact that we had the fence made by a different company than the one which made the gates, and that the whole thing was built during the peak of the first round of COVID…
but i get the very strong impression that the guy is going to do everything possible to get away with doing a halfway job and begging off, never to be heard from again, which is why i’m going to be keeping an eye on the work progress, when it happens. 😒
election day is (finally) tomorrow. in spite of the fact that he was impeached, we managed to survive (barely) four years of #drumpf, and i’m not sure, even now, that we’re going to vote him out tomorrow… and, even if we do, i’m even less sure that he’ll leave without making a BIG fuss, and/or flagrantly cheating… and even if we do manage to eject him into the sun, there’s going to be A LOT of #MAGA #chuds who will be stubbornly unwilling to accept it, and even if we are actually able to eject him into the sun, they’re not going to be so “easy” to deal with, nor will they just “go away”, once the solar ejecting has actually been accomplished.
i keep saying it’ll take us at least a hundred years to recover from #drumpf, and i’m not sure we have a hundred years left, even if we do, miraculously, make him and his cronies just vanish.
in other news, i made a new page for the Incense Of The Month Club, but i can’t figure out how to put the background image on it that i want, so it’s not linked anywhere, yet. i bought a 1½” diameter button press (because why not), and now i’ve got to round up some civic organisations which want buttons for some campaign or something.
okay, as i reported here, the HPOI arrived on friday, at 1730. i went to WFS, but was informed that i had to get the shipment cleared through US customs, before i could pick it up.
customs operates under “normal” business hours, i.e. 9-to-5, M thru F, so i figured i was going to have to wait until monday.
the “carrier certificate” that WFS gave me said that i had to pay an ISC fee, which worked out to $89 if i paid it online, or $125 if i paid it in person, so, while i was waiting — saturday and sunday — i took the opportunity to pay it online, so that i would have yet another impediment taken care of before monday.
the “carrier certificate” also, CLEARLY said that the date that storage charges started accruing was 201012, which was further impetus to get things rolling as quickly as possible.
note, that THIS ENTIRE TIME i have been getting EXTREMELY CONFLICTED messages about whether or not i would need a broker. at this point, everything i have heard leads me to believe that i would NOT need a broker to pick up my shipment of incense.
this morning, i contacted customs, got their new address (because they just moved, and nobody at WFS knew where), and went down to clear my shipment.
when i got there, i talked with a US customs agent, who told me that, because my MAWB said that the value of the shipment was more than $800, but less than $1,000, i would have to have a broker clear the shipment.
way back when i was arranging all of this, i specifically remember (backed up by email from 200824) arun giving me precise numbers: “USD 7.45 PER DOZENS”, which amounts to $357.60 for 48 dozen boxes. i also specifically remember (backed up by a different email from 200824), arun telling me “Please note Air freight is additional.”, so when he sent me a proforma invoice that said $986.40, i presumed that it meant “$357.60 for the incense, and $628.80 for shipping”… but it wasn’t itemised, and i overlooked that point.
i SHOULD HAVE gotten an itemised MAWB, but i didn’t.
so, i spent some time on the phone, talking with brokers, who quoted me around $400 just to get my foot in the door, and then i connected with lisa, from Frontier North America — a very nice, helpful lady who is going to get my business the next time around — who assured me that, because i was actually paying more for shipping than i was for the actual product, that she would clear my shipment, and provide a surety bond, for $182.22, so i said go for it, and half an hour later, my shipment was cleared through customs.
then, i went back to the airport, to WFS, who informed me, because i didn’t have a broker, who could clear my shipment on friday, after business hours (despite the fact that customs was CLOSED for “normal people” like me), that i had to pay a $110 storage fee — which was EXACTLY the thing that i was trying to AVOID by picking up the paperwork on friday, after normal business hours — and then they had a problem charging me the storage fee, because i had already paid the ISC fee, and they couldn’t charge me as a “guest” because the computer wouldn’t let them create two different accounts with the same MAWB number. finally, they told me that their web site wasn’t meant for people with iphones, which meant that i would have to go home to use my computer at home to “set up an account” so that they could charge me a storage fee, before i could pick up a shipment that i was already there to pick up… 😒
fortunately, after talking to two other managers, i finally talked the third manager into waiving the $110 storage fee, and, after scanning my drivers’ license (because my passport wouldn’t fit in their automatic scanning device 😒) they “gave me permission” to pick up my HPOI.
and i managed to get through the whole thing without swearing, losing my temper, or stomping out of various offices, as good as it would have felt.