I haven't written a daylog in a while. I'm now an employed member of society once again, working as a file clerk at a law firm in downtown Portland. The people there are very relaxed, and nice to me. It is a small office. I do lots of filing from 8am-11am every day. Which is good with me. Pay is somewhat low, but more than the usual around here. Not like the pay in San Francisco though, but that was another time, another place. I flooded that town in the last novel I tried to write, but that too was another time, another place.

However, I am writing a new novel now. And I'm loving the raw energy the project creates for me. I'm doing research on audiology, I'm theorizing plot mechanics, and I'm writing in a less abstract way, at least for the first part of this book. In practice, I'm a writer who wants my words, the structure of their paths, and my paragraphs, and characters, and everything about whatever it is that I am writing--to be the moment. Everything about it. The Moment. And I strive for that, often through alliteration, free association metaphors, and twisted instincts. At least I strive for it. Well, I am worried already that with this project I'm not a good enough writer to attempt it. Plot-wise its like nothing I've ever done before. But conceptually, it is the culmination of the things I've been thinking about for the last many years, that I've given names (somewhat arbitrary at times, but also sometimes "whispered" by external forces) to previously. And though it has been a long time since I've tackled the great sage, much of my projected theories about the nature of sound, and so-called "episodic vibrations" have been derived from those experiences.

So anyway, I wanted to tell you all about some of the ideas I have developing for this novel. It has really been helping me to talk about this, even to my self, but really to anyone I feel at least somewhat close to--you know, to solidify my positions on things that I'm usual so... liquid about. (And you know, if any of you tell me that someone has written this exact story, I'm going to keel over. But really, if you know of a story like this already, let me know-thanks)

Ok, maybe it is 2012. Sometime in say September. Several individuals including one Dorset Ames, a computer programmer named Charles Dearly, United States President Lissajous, and characters as of yet uncreated begin to experience some strange audiometry phenomena. Dorset Ames, for example begins by hearing what's playing on other people's headphones through his own. This audio hallucination has a way evolving (over the coruse of the book) into picking up voices... transmissions...eventually several voices layered over each other (this is also happening to other characters as well). There becomes a point of singularity to these voices, brought on by a triggered human perception in combination with oscillating fans via computers, bathrooms. This singularity is a voice in and of itself. A very inviting voice. So inviting it is almost as if one could go inside of the voice and find a place... a different way to exist. Lots of emphasis here on the additive and cumalitive effect of sound waves, and the physics of vibrations.

Another arc of the story is playing with the thought of novelty in Terence McKenna/Mayan/etc. Timewave One studies. There's more to it than all of this, of course. But that's what I'll offer for today. I hope that I can keep focused enough to finish this thing. I need it. I need to feel I've accomplished something greater than just paying the rent (which is incredibly hard as it is) and maintaining a high grade point average writing mediocre essays for college.

Mo'eng, youthful folly
Youthful Folly has success. It is not I who seek the young fool; The young fool seeks me. At the first oracle I inform him. If he asks two or three times, it is importunity. If he importunes, I give him no information. Perseverance furthers.

A spring wells up at the foot of the mountain: The image of Youth. Thus the superior man fosters his character By thoroughness in all that he does. (everything i-ching for today)

Background: Our company funds a couple of eating-gatherings a week, one for Friday lunch and another on Wednesday nights, called movie night. For movie night, the person who calls in the order (we get food delivered) gets to choose the movie (we belong to netflix).

Anyhow, the food was sushi this last movie night. I had never had it before, and decided to try some. Okay, I'll be honest, the only adventurous one I tried was the salmon. The others were avocado, fake crab, and some other veggie one.

The salmon didn't taste like much at all, it mostly had a texture. It reminded me of when I tried a oyster. And after eating one with the seaweed wrapper, I didn't do that again, it was too fishy for me. I'm not all that wild about caviar either, but at least it makes a good cracker topping. But all of these "fancy" foods seem to be a waste of money for me, since I'd just rather eat junk food if I'm going to get something just for texture or salt.

I'm not sure my experience qualifed as having tried sushi. But at least I can claim it does.

I don't know...maybe I'm just a boring person when it comes to cuisine. I like Italian, Tex-mex, Chinese, "American" (steaks, seafood, etc.), some Middle-eastern. I don't detest most other foods, but they don't thrill me, either.

I couldn't get to sleep last night,
I was thinking-
What if the sun withdrew its labour
And does not rise tomorrow?

I turn over, "Silly," I say,
"Of course it will rise
It does everyday, it has everyday
And anyway, where could it go?"

"But then that's just the point
Just because it's risen
Every single day in every single century
Doesn't mean it will stay that way"

And then I think "What would happen?
There'll only be dark
And there'll always be the cold"
I somehow got some sleep

When I woke up in the morning
The sun was here,
"See, of course it's here," I say
But still some nights I get no sleep

Stella smiles a brand new open-mouthed smile. What two months ago was as instinctive as her newborn sucking, has become willful. I can see it in her eyes. It is she that initiates now. Mimicking is a new-born reflex. Smiling to make me react a certain way is learned. There is a twinkle in her eye. She is trying to convince me to play, when I am trying to coax her to sleep. Stella lives deliciously in the moment. She is not aware that in five more minutes, were we to continue playing, she would get over-stimulated and upset, making settling into sleep more difficult.

Every new parent watches eagerly for each new milestone. The first independent lift of the head, the first smile, the first roll-over. Adept now at all of these, four-month-old Stella rolls over in her crib, lifts her head, and gives me a big smile. Her mom thinks she has her hands full now, just wait until this one learns to crawl, pull herself up and talk!

golden jubilee weekend - the other side of the story

If you live in the UK or one of the Commonwealth countries, it can not have escaped your notice that this weekend is the climax of the Jubilee celebrations. For those of you lucky enough to live elsewhere, let me explain. Queen Elizabeth II is celebrating the 50th anniversary of her coronation. Some of you may even remember the Silver Jubilee. I certainly do. Dressed in red, white and blue, waving as the Queen drove through our village, followed by street parties and Union Jack icing on feed-the-five-thousand sized cakes... I expect pretty much a re-run of events this time around. To celebrate the event in '77, the Sex Pistols released a song, the emblematic anti-monarchy anthem, God Save the Queen, the irony of which was missed by not an insignificant number of people who never really listened to the lyrics.

Tonight I witnessed, 25 years on, and with much more awareness of the relevance, a replay of that same situation. I was preparing dinner and had TOTP on in the background. When Atomic Kitten came on I felt an overwhelming urge to switch channels, but, distracted by my onion bhajis, I never got round to it. Thankfully. As next up was the god of socialist pop himself, Mr Billy Bragg.

Singing live, with only his guitar as accompaniment, the Bard of Barking sang his latest release, Take Down the Union Jack. The record has reached number 22 in the British charts - a stunning accomplishment, given that the mainstream media has done their utmost to keep it quiet, giving it virtually no airplay whatsoever. (Mad props here to Virgin Radio, who made it song of the week, one of the few stations brave enough to give the song a chance.) The TOTP audience swayed to the melody and even clapped along, but I can't help but wonder if the irony of the set, swathed in Union Jacks, escaped them. They laughed when Billy auto-censored the word piss but it would take a lot to persuade me that the applause at the end of his set was not in response to that, rather than supportive of his social comment. I suspect the beeb are bracing themselves for an onslaught of complaints.

I provide the lyrics below, taken from Mr Bragg's own website.

Take Down The Union Jack
Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset
And put it in the attic with the emperors old clothes
When did it fall apart? Sometime in the 80s
When the Great and the Good gave way to the greedy and the mean
Britain isn’t cool you know, its really not that great
It's not a proper country, it doesn’t even have a patron saint
It's just an economic union that’s passed its sell-by date

Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset
And ask our Scottish neighbours if independence looks any good
‘Cos they just might understand how to take an abstract notion
Of personal identity and turn it into nationhood

Is this the 19th century that I’m watching on tv?
The dear old Queen of England handing out those MBEs
Member of the British Empire - that doesn’t sound too good to me
Gilbert and George are taking the piss aren’t they?
Gilbert and George are taking the piss.
What could be more British than here’s a picture of my bum?
Gilbert and George are taking the piss

Take down the Union Jack, it clashes with the sunset
And pile all those history books, but don’t throw them away
They just might have some clues about what it really means
To be an Anglo hyphen Saxon in England.co.uk

WORDS AND MUSIC: Billy Bragg (2002)

What with the patriotic fervour roused by the start of the World Cup (my office is a shameful sea of red and white flags) and the Jubilee madness, the current swell of national pride is not far short of suffocating. Perhaps I would be exaggerating if I described it as jingoism. Perhaps. Thank you Billy, thank you TOTP and Virgin Radio and thank you to all those who bought the single.

Billy Bragg's website can be found at: www.billybragg.co.uk

permission for fair use of lyrics was requested 19.09.03 via email to office@billybragg.co.uk
permission received 23.09.03

Yesterday I wrote up a story from last year at school as my first writeup in a year. I thought it might be interesting to some people, and I guess it was, though it still has a slightly negative reputation.

Before that, I had about six or seven writeups that I wrote a year, maybe a year and a half ago. They were shit, and all but one got nuked fairly quickly. The remaining one had a reputation of around 7. I don't know what a good reputation is... but that's the only one of mine so far that has been positive. Good enough for me.

I reread that node from a year ago, decided it too was shit, and requested that it be nuked. In the hours until it was actually removed, it's reputation went up another few points! I still think it was shit. I'm glad it's been nuked. I don't understand how a node that I didn't really like when I wrote it, and disliked enough now to request it be nuked, got upvoted. My mind boggles.

Some of the stuff I see getting C!ed is at least as bad as what I write. At least in the sense that it's not factual, and not always terribly funny.

I was going to give noding a rest for another year or so, after yesterday's daylog got downvoted. I decided it couldn't get much worse, and I thought of noding my confusion in today's daylog. Hell... there's nothing wrong with noding about noding, eh?

Please don't consider this a whine. I don't care a whole lot about XP at this point, I'm just trying to get a feel for what won't get downvoted. I thought I had a pretty firm grip on how not to get a vote beatdown. I didn't. I'll learn or I won't. I guess I'll stick to daylogging once in awhile until I can think of something worthwhile to node.
Ho, ho! I've already got an idea for tomorrow's daylog. This will be interesting... for me...
Bah, sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes it gets you. This hasn't been my greatest month, but today was the icing on the cake, so to speak. Picture it, dark night in Belfast, four years ago, and after having jumped up, I land awkwardly, my body falling diagonally, my left leg touching the ground vertically, I hear and feel something go snap in my left knee.

Of course I went to the Doctor, I couldn't bend my leg, let alone walk, and my knee had swelled to the size of a football. He told me I would have to get onto a waiting list, to be diagnosed. "Just to be diagnosed??"

"Yep." Pause. Deep breath. Think. "Okay, so how long will it be, a couple of months?" He gave me this grin, you know, but like an idiot I didn't see it coming. "I'm really sorry, but it's going to be a couple of years."

I waited a couple of years, nothing happened. I went back to see him, and he made some phone calls. The people at the hospital had lost my records, I was back at the start of the waiting list, another two years. No wait, the list was longer, 4 years now. I blinked and told them I was going to sue them. They didn't believe me, but I until my solicitor wrote them a letter. I magically got told a few days later via a phone call, that I was given a two year head start on the new list, and it was really the best they could do, now that was in what would have been my original position. Before I could argue she hung up. I went to speak to the solicitor, he told me how much it would cost to sue them, I didn't have that kind of money. Still dont.

Another couple of years came and went, the lack of martial arts, and other strenuous sports took their toll. I started to gain weight, and lose grace, becoming almost clumsy. I had to walk carefully in order to stop my knee from giving way inwards, I couldn't go to the gym anymore, I couldn't run, and I began to put on serious weight. Finally they gave me a date for an initial consultation, I went in. The consultant manhandled my knee, and ordered an MRI scan. Another six months. MRI Scan done. 2 months later, it's May, and I get a date for my final diagnosis.

That was today. I came out and went home. I got a litre of coke and drank it non stop. I ate until I was fit to burst, because I needed something anything to stop the pain in my heart. He told me that my knee had lost a couple of ligaments, one was stretched, the other was torn, cruciate, as in cross, ligaments. The operation to fix them was available, but was I sure I couldn't live with it?

What? No. This injury had slowly been destroying my life, I had put so many things on hold till I knew I could be whole again. Martial arts, travel, even marriage. Stupid, I know, but I thought, well, it's only a few years, and better be completely healthy before I marry.

"The only problem is, son.." He grinned. It didn't reach his eyes. "It'll take several years before we can give you a date for the operation. - at least another 4."

That means I'll be at least 28 before I can try to run.

Anyways, after a crappy birthday on the 5th, the joys of being drawn into a political mire at the mosque, a hugely important report for my MPhil, raising MPhil course fees, business problems galore, being ill for nearly two whole weeks, being behind schedule on the Orasi project, and, well, this... I'm a bit depressed.

I just want to break something... Bah.

Dateline: Fujinomiya, Shizuoka, Japan.

Today I went to this bar where the gaijin who live in this town usually meet. They had said they were going to be there. They were not. I usually don`t go to this bar when I am alone because the bartender is...oh, well, he alternates between being in love with me and telling me how much he hates me. He surely does know his way around a bottle of gin though, so I stayed. It was one of the nights when he was in love with me. It`s become almost easier to deal with the nights when he hates me. At least then I can just walk out.

At some point, the various people in the bar discovered that Senegal beat France in the World Cup opener. This set off a feeling that perhaps things were not in order in the universe.

At about 4 A.M., I left the bar to walk home. I was drunk on gin and the confusion that comes when a man who has repeatedly told you how much he hates you is suddenly repentant and affectionate. I set out for home, a reasonably easy walk under most conditions, and a walk I have successfully completed many times. I staggered about for upwards of an hour. I was so lost I could not, in a sober condition, reconstruct my journey, I am sure. At one point, I looked up and saw a sign that definitively told me I was in the next city. THE NEXT BLOODY CITY.

The sky was rapidly lightening, and my feet hurt. The drunk was not wearing off. I sighed mightily and turned around. Somehow I found my way back to the train station in my own city and got a taxi the rest of the way home. It was already hot and very bright when I fell onto my futon.

When I woke up, my eyes ached, my head ached, my legs ached, my teeth ached. But Senegal won! As I took some aspirin, I thanked whoever might be listening for all the improbable possibilites of life. The unexpected is what I live for, even if it means drunkenly walking to a new city from time to time.

The Crop Report

I worked out it has been over a decade since I first had the dream and tonight it came true. Back then when I was a mere stripling of a student who had just taken his first taste of freedom and illicit substances, it was to be the latter which was to have the greatest influence upon my life but I won't spoil the story for you. I have tried most of the recreational substances , I have also abused most of the recreational substances to gonzo like proportions. I have also abused alcohol but that is a whole other story, I don't mess with that stuff any more, it'll end up killing me.

Out of all the so called recreational drugs there is one that stands out as something a little different, cannabis, it's pleasant, mood enhancing, creative and enjoyable. I remember my first taste of grass, during a time in London when it was a rarity but red seal & gold seal hash, squidgy black and occasionally hash oil were available. Tremblin' Tone got it for me, African grass in a little brown bag, smelled rich and earthy because it was full of sticks and seeds, we all gathered round and rolled a spliff and got really high, really fast and I was hooked.

Tremblin' Tone the heroin addict from the block of council flats down the road, one of the increasingly hard drug users I was getting to know and a perfect advert for why not to take smack, ever. One of the rich kids who got stuck in the drug rut, later he kicked the habit totally, became a vegan, settled down, had a kid and could no longer be called Tremblin'. Anywho Tony told me while we were all laughing our asses off that I should plant the seeds and see what happened.

Couple of months later and I had two foot tall plants growing out of a dozen pots on the windowsill, I can't believe the damn things just wont stop growing. I haven't a clue how to care for them or what to do with them, I am pretty sure they wont get me high but I try anyway and cough my lungs out trying, little did I know that I would get to know that experience very well over the years. I put the whole growing grass thing down to experience and got on with trying a whole load more drugs because grass just wasn't available.

Years later when my connections got even better I was able to start smoking more regularly again, I always collected the seeds just in case but then I only started keeping the seeds from the good stuff. I tried different varieties and dealers, over the years I have known my share of those characters, a few I have called friends while others you back away from slowly until you can feel the door behind you then bolt.

I became a connoisseur of cannabis, I read books about it and visited Amsterdam where I got more books and my first taste of Sensei Seeds and The Hash Museum with the little peek-a-boo window into the grow room so you can see what it is supposed to look like when you grow it right, the smell was overpowering but strangely enriching, the light helps to bring out those rich green colours and warm that alluring aroma.

So about a decade ago I had a dream that one day I would grow my own cannabis, I started to read and read and read some more. I found out all about soil and seeds and lights and fertilisers and it goes on forever just like any specialist subject and just like that is only of interest to a specialists so I wont bore you. I started making little isometric drawings of cabinets to grow inside, exploded views and detailed inventories of supplies, a background in technical drawing was helpful.

I laid out all my plans to my significant other who bluntly said no, I was crestfallen but unbowed. I borrowed a tiny lamp from an acquaintance and grew a test crop in a closet, flowered it early and all without my so knowing. I realised growing grass of sufficient quality to keep me supplied was not going to be an easy proposition so again I put the idea to the back of my mind and got to know a really nice dealer instead.

Me & Chris the dealer go back a long way, we talked long and hard about cannabis because we were both connoisseurs, we discussed the relative merits if hashes and grasses, growing conditions and shipping which invariably seems to damage fine grasses. We were in total agreement on one thing though, hydroponically grown grass just doesn't taste right, it's nice don't get me wrong just not to my liking. I last heard from Chris when he sent me a package from Columbia with a certain seeds secreted inside.

Back then I told my friends who are all mostly settled down now and paired off and thinking about country homes and kids that I would still be smoking. Little did I realise that first the hash that I adored was going to become a scarcity and that hydroponics grow operations would take off the way they did. I tasted some fine Northern Lights from another Chris, this one a stuttering hypnotist, I shit you not. He ran a few student house grows around the area but eventually graduated to dealing a stones throw from Trafalgar Square with a fellow from the Bitmap Brothers, he at least convinced me that connoisseurs of cannabis can grow some fine hydroponic weed.

Then to my horror I was going to be deprived of all recreational substances for a couple of years, nothing was available to me, a complete starving for relief full on personal drought. I lost contact with everyone, never managed to see any old friends, couldn't find any new ones. When I was eventually able to score again it was shitty brick weed or soap bar, the weed I have since confirmed is shwag and I would rather inhale butane from the can than smoke soap bar after finding out how it is made.

Would you believe that this drought has lasted over five years with only very occasional bonanzas when I find a little score that makes me remember why I started smoking in the first place, I like myself when I smoke, I like what I can do when I smoke. Because when I couldn't I turned to alcohol with disastrous results, I was always a one or the other man, could drink with the best of them in fact out drink most of them right into alcoholism or I could smoke, I couldn't smoke.

Finally years later with a different partner who has allowed me to grow a small test crop and I have been able to realise that decade old dream, I built a grow chamber out of 2x2s and covered it in mylar to keep in the intensity of a high pressure sodium lamp. I lovingly mixed good top soil, sand, pearlite, vermiculite, wood ash, his & hers & cat hair, peacock feathers, blood meal, bone meal and a whole host of secret ingredients. I planted 5xNorthern Lights, 5xSilver Haze, 10xHimalayan Gold, 10 saved seeds some found seeds and some of the aforementioned brick weed seeds & I waited.

Nature grew the seeds, well some of them, some of them just plain went bad on me, some were weak and died, most grew like mad with a little bit of tender loving care for five months solid. In the end all the Northern Lights turned out to be male, bastard son of a bitch useless males, which ended up lightly seeding the female plants. I grew out two Silver Haze and two Himalayan Gold and one of the brick weed now obviously insane sativas. Five females from all those seeds was a let down but what the hell I had a garden.

It is harvest night tonight and I have just cut down and hung out to dry all five plants, the insane sativa has the merest brushings of resin to be seen only under the closest observation, not fit to smoke but it might make a good local plantation if broadcast sown next spring in some unlikely place, I might grow out a few just to see what the cross does to the strain but probably not. The other plants frosted up with THC just lovely thankyouverymuch, the haze ended up being one plant with one huge cola and another with two proportionally smaller colas. The golds had a similar two cola plant and a multiple smaller headed plant from my early experiments with pruning.

I ran into my share of problems, I didn't over or under water much but because I was growing organically fertilisation may have been a little sketchy, I didn't overcompensate when problems were identified and most of those were identified quickly and without concern, all that reading paid off, it was just like sitting back and watching the grass grow in the end. Next time I will improve my technique but for now I have drying and curing ahead of me. The grow room is gone and all that remains is a spare bedroom with a very pleasant ambiance and one very happy bunny.

Early reports of the crop seem to run to the verbose so I will endeavour to get some impartial opinions in the future when I go-a-visiting a few friends who I have chosen to share my passion with, five friends to be exact most of whom may read this and who I hope will give me a report as to the quality of my produce here. I refuse absolutely to sell a single leaf to these people or anyone ever, I have grown this for myself, for my own personal use and enjoyment and that of a few select friends, I'll give it as a gift as it should be given, I like gifts, especially gifts that keep on giving.

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