the really bad air forecast

apparently it all blew away and instead of being New Delhi or Guangdong it’s going to be not great but not the end of the world.

Everything fucked up yesterday. I was immobilized.

Doing better today, but there’s lots going on I can’t say.

I’ve got a tactical ukulele
Cause my baby
Got a metal spiiiiiiiiiine
If we get into a brawling dance
You got no chance
I’ll come out fine

This is for the most recently purchased uke Mike gave me, whom I believe I will name Iolana, a traditional Hawai’ian name that means ‘to soar.

I’m thinking of calling the other one Kailana, which means ‘powerful sea’ since with the low G string it has a bassier sound.

feeling pregnant

I don’t know if it will be a story, a song, a rant, a poem or a drawing but it’s not gas even if it must vent sooooon.

I have something creative in me that has to come out … is what I mean to say. This is a something creative that is not making a batch of cinnamon buns, which I did yestreen.

Today I bleached most of the coffee cups. I think a while back I ran the dishwasher with no soap and while everything was sterile when we were done there was tea baked on. Gave ’em all a thorough rinse and put ’em in the dish rack.

All the errands I’d run if I was made out of energy:

take that fretless bass ukulele back to Peggy. It was borrowed from her and a gent I don’t know loaned it to her and I CAN’T STAND THE SMELL it’s like it lived in a moldy basement for a hunnert years. BUT IT SOUNDS SO COOL (LARRY DAVID UNCERTAINTY GIF)

walk for 45 minutes at least

do a shop

bathe; maybe get really radical and brush my teeth

write a thousand words


pay bills

try to obtain my credit score

call at least a couple of my friends

play around on Bluesky, the replacement for twitter, some more (I like it so far)

What I’ll probably do:

Whine continuously and pause for my video call with my doc to get my scrips renewed. I do not want a holter monitor. I do not want a colonoscopy. We shall see. If she complains I’ll say, can you go back to the part of my file that says I have ADD? get corrected, sheesh.

Already got my first Notice of Assessment back, holeeee that was fast. Thank you Jeff as always my home guard!!! My taxes are again up to date, phew.

Suzanne comes today but this will likely be her last Thursday with us because her jobs are changing up and we need to find another four hour block – weekend most likely.

Watched a Russian soldier surrender to a drone on video this morning. The alternative was eating a grenade launched from a nearby chopper, so I’m glad he’ll eventually go home to his family.

Buster was a good boy at the vet and gets his teeth cleaned next week.

Glenda Jackson, 87, passed at home in Blackheath today. Rest well my left wing goddess.



pollen so bad

My eyes are not actually dry but they are very gummy. My nasopharyngeal parts are gummy too. I’m not coughing but my chest feels tight. (AQI good pollen counts moderate)

Tried Fatburger yesterday. White Spot is superior in virtually all ways, and not that much more expensive.

I miss my grandsons. Spoke to Keith yesterday. No word on whether Janice has left.

Watched John Wick Chapter 4. The clunkiness of the script poses a bit of a challenge but the fight scenes were exactly the way I like them and Donnie Yen was fucking perfect as always. (I mean how do you get typecast as a blind martial artist??? by being fucking good at it.) IT’S A COMMITMENT it’s like 3 hours long. All action movies should be ninety minutes or so. It is a law. Unobserved, sadly.

I am continuing to practice la la la on the ukulele. My brain appears to work okay today.

I am continuing to wrestle with edits on TB. The last pass was to make sure that every word of every line of dialogue in the first part is a) to the education level b) in character c) germane d) unmagical (ie there is a plausible way the character could know it to say it). I suppose editing dialogue without cementing the plot bunnies in place is useless & pointless (deck chairs, Titanic, Augean stables, etc.) but still I endeavour to persevere in the worst way possible – which was standing up in a hammock last time I checked.

Elon Musk is going to turn Ron DeKrampus loose on twitter in an effort to help him get elected.

I don’t get these people, but I guess I don’t have to.

For the first time, Russian nationals fighting for Ukraine have made incursions and captured enemy weapons and tanks inside the Russian border. What impact that will have to escalate the war is anyone’s guess.




That would be my nose that’s running. Every scotch broom bush in the lower mainland is blooming and the pollen is piling up in minuscule yellow banks everywhere. I sneeze, I run, I blow, I sneeze.

Saw Mike yesterday. He took me to a U2 concert (checks notes, oops he already took me to a U2 concert) a U3 concert, plus the wonderful teachings afterwards. (There was a workshop, and I learned more about strumming in fifteen minutes than in my previous lifetime so that was fun.)

It would have been lovely except that Mike is now convinced that he was subjected to racial profiling while he attended (for being egregiously Chinese with long hair, apparently) and is asking me to think about whether or not this is true.

Since I’ve never been racially profiled that I know of, and do not feel the almost hourly social sting of racism, I would like to plead the following.

I am autistic. I was put in a room of gabbling white people, 4% of whom where wearing masks (NIOSH N95’s WERE GIVEN OUT) in which the noise level was as you can imagine from a very very very live room full of people trying to order cider and admire ukulele setups. Asking me to notice a racial aggression when I am just fucking sitting there trying to autistic mask when I want to flee to the bathroom and stay there until all the people stop gabbling is a legit request but awkward white ha ha, no.

If someone of colour believes they’ve been subjected to that it’s my job as a friend to fucking believe them and centre their experience, not mine. If he says it happened it did. Whether I was off in my own little world at the time…. I mean, I WAS off in my own little world.

Work for Mike right now is absolutely horrific in ways that need not concern this blog except for that. He and I did not enjoy the trek out to the concert venue and back – the traffic was gross given it was a holiday Monday – but we did enjoy the beautiful setting at Labarge Lake.

He got his ticket checked twice after getting ignored by the ticket taker. I watched it happen, and my interpretation was not as negative as his.

I’m going to leave it at that. My ability to ignore things is very high.



well lookitthat

From VanUkes:


  • Mike’s fantastic instrumental version of Toto’s “Africa”, accompanied by Allan on percussion;
  • Lynn and John, past VanUkers, now visiting from the Ukulele Club of Winnipeg, who borrowed a second uke in order to play “Nights in White Satin” by The Moody Blues and then lead us in “Willie and the Hand Jive” by Bo Diddley. They also invited anyone visiting Winnipeg to drop by the club for a visit – you can check out their Facebook page here.
  • Jeff’s rendition of Joel Plaskett’s “Campfire Song”;
  • Tara’s first-time-in-person VanUkes performance, “leading lite” and teaching us Harry Belafonte’s 2-chord classic “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)”;
  • Allegra’s VanUkes debut with her snarky blues-and-kazoo song “And Then He Done Her Wrong”;
  • and Boaz’s reprise of the instrumental from the Barenaked Ladies’ “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen/We Three Kings”, which he also led earlier in the evening.

Oppressive sky

brown to the horizon – supposed to lift tomorrow.

We tried to go for a brief walk and it was like holding your breath and trying to swim. For me, chest and head pain, which lightened but did not vanish when I got home.

Practiced and worked the Kaossilator for a while. Setting 75 continues to provide more mindless entertainment than you can imagine. Practiced Smokey, Otto, and Rowena. I have finally decided I’m going to call my most recent gifted uke Mahu (goldingit the diacritics don’t appear properly) (the word’s literally ‘in the middle’ which is the Hawaiian term for gay and gender non-conforming people). Appropriately I will call the first ukulele Kameamua which means ‘the first one’.

Still laughing to myself about singing Que Sera sera last night. I don’t know why I think it’s funny but –don’t I deserve to laugh.

a Vancouver moment

Mike got us dinner (Jeff got a chicken donair, I got a lamb donair – Halifax style, never had the sweet sauce before.) Then just before we went to the uke jam he got me a gelato and we ate them watching the street scene at Robson and Hamilton of a warm evening; it included a complete  buggering of traffic by what proved to be a false fire alarm, so I got to watch how fire trucks back up when they’re blocking traffic. Three fire trucks were called, plus a supervisor. <—-a Vancouver moment

Mike was NOT the only person of colour at the ukulele jam last night. <—a Vancouver moment

And he did something he’s never done before.

An open mike. I know, right? He’s been the soundtrack for fifty campfires and other people’s vacations and music nights for decades now, at least for me, but he’d never gotten up and played in a public venue.

He played a uke version of Toto’s ‘Africa’. (Jeff’s heard it.)

I played too, “And then he done her wrong.” So this involves me BLOWING three verses. THROUGH A KAZOO while playing uke as ominously as I can.  At the end of each verse I whip the kazoo out of my mouth and sing, “And then he done her wrong.” The last verse I do double time, so that the musicologists in the audience can realize that the last verse is to be played on the way back from la cimetière, N’Awleens style.  You can check with Mike if you think I’m fibbing, but I got half of a standing ovation at the end of it. I watched people springing out of their seats with my mouth hanging open and bowed back to them.

I wore Tom’s hat, that was mine, and I gave it to him, and Peggy gave it back after he died; that probably did it. Not my protean fucking talent nawssir.

I had a guy tell me that I was an ‘inspired’ kazoo player. This just means that Jeff, who sadly did not know about my kazoo leanings until after he moved in with me, has been gazing dubiously at his bathroom wall (the music room / spare room is on the other side) for more than a decade as I attempt to blow my brains out on the kazoo in ever wilder attempts to control what the damned thing does (I’m especially fond of imitating electric guitar lines.) As far as I can tell I stayed on key. Please spare a thought to Jeff, who has suffered.

All lyrics and chords for the jams were on the screen and THEY HAD A BAND percussion and bass!! to accompany them. A broad range of music from the last century, including Beatles (the song suite from Sgt Pepper) to Dua Lipa (‘Levitating’) was covered. Most professional. I got overwhelmed about 45 minutes in and I could either sing or play, not both, and they were using chords that no Christian would intend, so that’s what I did, put the uke down, and I didn’t try anything on any song I wasn’t familiar with. Even songs with three easy chords were tricksy because of the strumming patterns. It was a brain challenge for me for SURE.

So that all happened. I am so proud of Mike getting up there and blowing everybody away! His anxiety is such that he can conjure up being booed off stage (there was no stage, it was a function room in an absolutely right downtown high school, across from the Fringe NY headquarters LOL the VPL) and I noticed that he shook almost all the way through but he was superlative. (Told him afterwards that he stood with bent knees as if he was expecting to get assaulted, which OF COURSE NO ONE DID) is the site name, but be warned they are broke and it might stop happening. <— this too goddamnit is a Vancouver moment

wordle in 2 this morning

Bit of writing yesterday.



a minor change GRADATIM

So… I repointed this one; I changed the instrument from a piano to a harp and asked Finale to use the Human Expression – Funk setting for playback.

Rev 1.4 of Words Fail. The tune is repeated twice. Think of it as being a theme song for a tv show (they are usually one minute long or less) …. obviously with the full orchestral work up!

Happy mother’s day to those who celebrate. The homily for today is in the PDF of all my homilies jammed together in a book.



Nothing but electronic horn stabs

Don’t waste your ears on this, I’m just posting it so I can find it later. It is entitled, Brought Before My Oppressors, and it’s BAD VIBES and TOO MUCH VOLUME BLASTS CAN’T YOU EQUALIZE THIS JFC and the bitter grinding sameness of fascism. So, like, I frikkin’ warndja. And of course (pfffft, blowing through lips) PROCESSING? I dan do processing, man. It’s an outrage, but there you have it.

I really don’t want to post the Kaossilator settings for this one since it’s just evil in a bag like Satan’s cat horking up a woolly one and one should have a conscience, but I know for a fucking fact that if I don’t record it, it will be as gone as the (deep breath and avoidance of anecdon’t let’s just say the day before yesterday is a gift that keeps on holy shit what now?ing at me).

BPM 20 – ze lowest setting, which is one of the reasons the sound is so vertiginously choppy.


G08 (Gate arpeggiator set for the first half of the first beat in every four beat bar.)

Minor Third scale

Low C

HONESTLY I WARNED YOU two minutes of audio torture but of course if you use it to drive cockroaches from your home, and use snippets of it in funny animal videos you’re editing, that’s on you.


Because Jeff is awesome

I couldn’t get an audio file to convert through Finale, no surprise because as software ages it gets less useful (I was successfully able to do it previously, which was annoying when alluvasudden…) And he fixed it for me.

So here’s the little sucker. The ‘experiments in glissando’ part is the vocal chorus sliding around and giving an ‘original Star Trek’ feel (sorry.) It took about thirteen seconds to write, I was just noodling, but I got sounds I really enjoyed and spent far more time reassigning instruments than actually making the tune happen.

Honestly I could play with Finale all day but I don’t usually get something useable that fast; unless I know exactly what tune I am recording.

Yesterday I found my copy of Machine Language, the one Dave self-printed, and it had silverfish damage. But that’s okay, I got diatomaceous earth yesterday.


ALSO…. I shouted down the stairs, “Hey Jeff I’m going to Rona want me to get anything!?” because we’re housemates and housemates look after each other’s interests. For 14 YEARS WE BEEN LIVING IN THIS HOUSE and we NEVER REPLACED THE INCREDIBLY SCRATCHED UP PEEPHOLE AT THE FRONT DOOR.

Jeff bounded up the stairs like a man on a mission and said, “Eckshully, yes.” We took measurements but the easiest was just removing it. He did, and I took to Rona. Then when I got there I met Barbara THE WONDER WORKER and she found me the diatomaceous earth and the identical peephole to the one I was replacing in (I’m not joking) 30 seconds. It took me longer to check out by far than get the stuff I needed. She said please review my performance and possibly win a thousand bucks of hardware store stuff and so I went home and did precisely that. We’ve gone from being blind to being able to see where Buster is sitting on the stairs. IT IS JEFF’S DOING AND MARVELLOUS IN OUR EYES.

Buster did SEVEN pawclaps this morning in an almost unprecedented second training session. HE BUMPED MY LEFT SHIN WITH HIS HEAD REPEATEDLY, his signal for TRAINING NOW. Then we did run and chase and he loved that too. What an excellent felis cattus he is.

Started Endeavour on Dave’s recommendation, really liking it so far. Medium continues to be VERY ENJOYABLE in a lot of different ways; the scripts and the performances continue to be top tier.

Finished Mary’s letter and printed it, hope to get it mailed today.

Wordle in 4, fallow on the writing still unless you count that Finale squib, ha ha, I don’t, and Lumosity was my lowest scores in forever which is funny because I feel quite perky.

I made coffee, now to drink it while it’s still hot.

@dandantransient on twitter: Missionary work is just crowd sourced genocide

worry worry worry

I am resolutely going to ignore the turmoil that’s happening in my family right now with housing and communication issues and continue to put mismatched socks into pairs and dejunk my room.

Heard from Mike. Multiple layoffs at work and the customer service department has been decimated. There’s no longer any engineering support for the products and he’s pretty sure he’s next on the chopping block. The only good thing about it is that he’s liable to get a goodly sized severance. The bad thing about it is that they may take months to actually drop the hammer so in the meantime he’s forced TO TAKE HIS OWN DESK INTO WORK two days a week and work between 10 and 12 hours every weekday and emails on weekends. There’s an extremely slim possibility that he will come see us on Sunday night but I’m not sanguine.

April Fools. Ha ha don’t care.

Someone who’s a Dunnett fan wrote some music for the end of one of the books so I friended him on facebook and sent him a link to Gelis and Niccolò; he’s also a novel cover designer and his portfolio looks superbulous.

Tried to watch the first episode of Gotham Knights and I bailed almost instantly. It’s a CW show and I didn’t even manage to wait until Misha Collins turns up as Harvey Dent; rich kid youngster angst that doesn’t involve anarchism and gender goofiness is not for me.

Wordle in 5, Lumosity one top five one best of, no writing.

I just have a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. But it’s okay. I’m safe, warm and well-fed and I can afford my rent and medications.

Alex and the guitar

His dad bought him a half-sized guitar and mentioned I could help him put new strings on it. While the strings were off I polished the guitar. Alex put four out of the six strings on and took to it like a duck to water, massively enjoying using the guitar tool for all of its uses. Handy little thing. Then I tuned it, warned him it wouldn’t stay in tune and then we fixed the guitar bag. The bag had two broken zipper pulls so I handmade replacements out of leather thongs I got during my “spend money on steampunkish things” days and a steampunk style heart and a gear (Alex picked what he wanted out of the pile and picked the thong colour so it’s to his specifications). Now all the pulls work and the guitar is back in the bag. It will go home so the folks can admire all the work he did, but come back here to live when he next comes over.

We made our walk to Timmy Ho’s but I almost didn’t make it – walking so close to taking my BP meds leaves me pretty wrung out. However I managed to rejoin my party after about ten minutes of lying down once we got home. I could hear Jeff and Alex talking and laughing, which is just so homey…..

My digestion right now is completely shot. I need to not drink coffee when I’m marginal, That Much I KNow for sURe.

In a second I’ll run back downstairs and fire up Peggle on the xBox. That game is almost twenty years old, amazing. It’s on the same disc as Plants Vs Zombies and Zuma.

Everyone have a good day, y’all, and if you’re feeling poorly remember you can always call me and I’ll say ‘there there’ to absolutely no effect, but I will say it.

Special love today for Sue G., who keeps crossing my thoughtways, Derry, who will be missed by our family as long as one of us remembers her, and Susie H, who was an awesome mother, grandmother and great-grandmother and whose kindness and skill is ever a beacon of memory.

bathtub dive and Alex pickup

I just found out you can sing into the extra soundhole on this Riversong ukulele and get absolutely wild harmonic effects. Also, yesterday I learned THE ORIGINAL LYRICS to the ‘2 & 20 Blues’ and they completely change the tone of the song. I shall herewith demonstrate: The very first line is “There’s evil men in this DOGGONE town” but the way my ex (and Dr Filk) taught it was ‘GODDAMN’ and that really changes things. First is worldweary, second is angry, and the song is resigned, not angry. The very last line is “You may say that I’m wrong but you know I FEEL all right.” I was taught ‘I’LL BE’. The singer is OKAY IN THE PRESENT, not sometime in the future. But right now! The song’s about grabbing life where and when you can, not hoping you’ll be happy sometime.

Thank you for attending this bathtub dive into 2 & 20 Blues by Linda Morrison, pressed 1981.

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