Monday, December 17, 2018

Ten Dollar Saturday And Fake News

Response To Comments:

"I got lots of coins as well as bills and I'm not sure what that means." -Alex In California
The above came from the Silicon Valley Busker blog that Alex "keeps" out in California.

I am pretty much convinced, after 12 years of busking, that change is a good thing that means that you have garnered the appreciation of someone whom you just happened to catch with no small bills, but who wants to show appreciation and only has “this little bit of change” with which to do so.

Outside of the buffoon who throws one penny, this holds pretty much true.

I have also noticed on several occasions that, after having heard the clinking of change hitting the basket and having subconsciously only added around fifty cents to my imaginary running total, I later learned that the change amounted to more than the dollar that they might have thrown.

Never judge a man and look at him with a shadow under your eye with a look that say’s “thanks a lot, pal, just four more generous souls like you and I can get a cheeseburger” before you have counted the change.” Because that is one bell that you can’t un-ring.

I wonder if anyone had been tempted to say “That was more than it sounded like, by the way” to me...

So, hearing change going into the basket does not always mean you just got a small tip

5 "Susan B. Anthony" dollars that sounded like $1.25 going into the basket is another example.

Theory B: Change in the pocket can be seen as a nuisance to a person who is on his way to a club or bar where there is a possibility that that person might get down and boogie on the dance floor. They, and others who just don’t want to rattle all night, might see in the busker something akin to a Goodwill clothing drop box; get rid of your change here and it will go to a good cause, type of thing....

Otherwise, the tourist might attract a skeezer, whose hearing has become discriminant to the point where he can differentiate between the sounds of all of the metals used in modern coinage clanging together and, for instance, a set of keys.

So, I am of the mind that the change that goes into my basket is all of the change that was on the people, who are emptying their pockets of it, starting fresh, making a clean start, not sweating the details, nor carrying remnants of the past with them. They are letting go...

On Bourbon Street, there is also the possibility that it is a skeezer, wanting to be seen by his mark throwing what the mark might assume was a buck, to con the mark into thinking that the skeezer is brimming over with money, so why would he be after theirs? type of thing.

-stick to activities that you have more of a chance of dying on the way to and from... -Daniel McKenna on safety.

In Other Fake News

Comment 2:
Hey Daniel, Be sure to tell your readers that you have been arrested in the past for Child Pornography. You sick fuck. Quite the collection of mugshots you have online. Mobile was it? Be sure to tell your guitar buddy about that. How much federal time have you spent in the past? You had what 20 arrests in Duval County, Florida that number correct? You have a rap sheet in other places that rival the length of the Bible (which is hilarious that consider yourself a Christian.) How many places are you wanted in? Wanted in Louisiana...Florida...anywhere else? How many times have you been convicted of Fraud? The truth is Daniel, you really are a scumbag. You put on this starving artist act and con everyone around to the effect you act as if they owe you something, when really you are too much of a piece of shit to get a job like everyone else. The stark reality is that you are a creepy, bottom feeding, disgusting old man. Go fuck yourself -Anonymous

Dear anonymous: Do you believe that everyone who is arrested for child pornography is a sick fuck?
Do you believe that everyone arrested for murder should hang?

I actually blogged about the whole experience in Mobile, Alabama. And I think I even posted the above article to my Facebook.

I have been arrested for murder before, by the way.
It was a ploy by the Florida State Attorney, George Beteh to bring me from out by Seattle, Washington, back to Jacksonville, Florida to testify against someone I knew who had done the murder. I was supposed to give a deposition over the phone from there but, had forgotten to return one call and had called too late the next time, forgetting about the 3 hour time difference.

So, in order to avail himself to the necessary power to cross state lines and bring me in, since I wasn't apparently taking the matter seriously, Mr. Beteh named me as a "suspect" in that high profile murder, and put out a nation-wide manhunt for me, involving, the local and state police, the FBI, the secret service (I kid you not) and the IRS.

Mr. Beteh was very serious about getting his conviction, and he wanted to seek the death penalty, for which my testimony that Bobby had been contemplating the crime two weeks prior to it, was key.

He spent thousands of Florida taxpayer's dollars just to get me on the stand for ten minutes. To him it was nothing to put me through the ordeal of being hauled in the the Duval County jail, where the buzz was that they had caught the guy who murdered the husband and father of a four year old daughter, something which had outraged "the entire community" after their family photo appeared on the front page of The Florida Times. (No, Alex in California, he didn't marry his daughter, he was both a husband and the father of a four year old girl).

The IRS was most likely consulted to see if I was employed somewhere. The secret service maybe because they can wield more power if some kind of threat to the office of the president is alluded to?

The point of the story is that, since they could not find me using any of the above agencies, despite the fact that the other guy that I camped with in the woods nearby where I worked (like everyone else) said that helicopters had been flying overhead all night and that one of them had done a quick about-face and come back after he had lit a cigarette.

This elusiveness was mostly because I was using an alternate identity, which I had "stolen" from a deceased friend. That reference from anonymous' rant is accurate, I did use multiple ID's, mostly because if I had too many violations on my driving record within the prior year, then I wouldn't be able to work at my Dominos Pizza job, which was making me about four hundred bucks a week on a schedule that allowed me to be in my music studio from early morning until the sun came up. So it was easy enough (in the 1990's) to get another license.

And so, George Beteh couldn't find me.
And so, they intensified the search.
The helicopters were probably a result of them having tracked me through the library that I used to blog from; combined with a trace on the payphone -remember those?- that I had called from to apologize for having missed my deposition the day before. They probably had that set up in advance for "the next time he calls." In hindsight, George did seem to be a bit more chatty that time, and had put his secretary on the phone with me at one point.

I had made arrangements for them to fly me from Seattle to Jacksonville, put me up in a hotel with a daily expense account, where I would reside until the trial date came around. By making me a suspect, all that went out the window and they could handcuff me and bring me in like a common murderer.

The final straw came after agents were sent to my parent's house in Massachusetts. They vaguely threatened to tear their house apart looking for any clues to my whereabouts, jail them if they are found to be obstructing justice, and added that they could subpoena their mail delivery and do other things, if it came to that. This was typical FBI bullying. What average citizen would know if they really could subpoena mail? My father hung up the phone on me when I was making a routine call home.
"The state police were here and they told us that you were involved in a murder; he's pretty upset right now," my mother told me after I called again, thinking that it might have been a bad connection.

That was when I called George Beteh's office and told him where I could be found.

Back to the point.
When I returned to Federal Way, Washington after the trial had finally ended, it was as a murderer. I could see people whispering to each other out of the corner of my eye.
And, I was told by my manager that I couldn't have my job back, "because of everything that happened."

None of them seemed to be reasoning that a few weeks was an awful short time to have spent in jail for one. 

So it is in Mobile, Alabama.

After I was released, there was a sentiment of "Just because you managed to pay some lawyer to get you off doesn't mean you're not a pervert! You're not welcome here!!" from a certain segment of the population.

These were probably were the people who, after I was arrested for having pictures taken at a nude beach, downloaded off of a legal website, said: "I knew there was something fishy about that guy, and I was right!!" and then they didn't want to be wrong. They didn't factor in that the Port Authority cops, who aren't especially trained in the fine points of laws pertaining to pornographic images, were looking for anything that they could arrest me for, throw it at the wall, see if it sticks, type of thing.
And, they didn't seem to trust the "expert" opinion of the public servant who determined that I had nothing illegal, since it is not against the law to snap pictures at a nude beach, nor posses them.
"So that's how you get around the law, you get your smut from nude beaches; you're not welcome here!!" type of thing.

So, back to the anonymous comment maker, and the, I have to admit, fun little game I now have of figuring out who it is.

The smart money would be on Leslie Thompson, who, in two consecutive years when I knew him, had bi-polar type episodes in the middle of December.
We had a fist fight on December 12th, of 2013, I think was the year.
Then, after few months of cooling off, he befriended me again, and by December I was staying at his house again. Until December 12th, that was.
One year to the day after our fist-fight on Bourbon Street, he flipped out again, and started hurling a barrage of insults at me in a colloquial not unlike the "bottom feeding" and "disgusting old man" variety.

Anonymous was most likely drunk when writing the above.
Posting the comment on about a dozen individual posts, including the "most frequently read this year, ones leads me to believe that anonymous wants to tell all my readers, for me, that I have been arrested for child pornography.

Off the short list of possible identities of the poster (below) it was easy to cross off some of the names.

Leslie Thompson
Ben Lambie
Jacob Scardino
Travis Blaine
Alex In California
Sherman Jacobsen
Thomas Antione
A Mr. Goetzinger of Jacksonville, Florida
Someone in New Orleans

Leslie Thompson:
 While a strong suspect, due this his having had bipolar flareups at right around this time each year, and the fact that, during one of these episodes, he wound up texting me: "Electric Bill!!!!" by hitting send maybe a hundred times, which is similar to the way this guy posted the comment repetitively; I don't think if was Leslie. The timing of the comment is too much supportive of it being someone else.
Plus, Leslie would not have referred to me by name, as in: "The truth is, Daniel..." He would have said, "Dude" you really are a scum-bag.

Jacob Scardino:: The comment appeared at the same time that Jacob "dropped off the radar" as far has having gone silent on a day when he would usually at least text me to see if I were going the Uxi Duxi or something.

Travis Blaine: The language is not pedantic enough to be Travis Blaine, and the comment is not written in the first person tense, Travis doesn't go long before mentioning "I" or "Me" or "My"

Ben Lambie:  The language is right up Ben's alley, with cliche terms like "scumbag" and "sick fuck." His cleverness in sarcasm hovers around the "Quite a collection of mugshots.." level. But there was nothing to trigger his having posted it today, such as there was for who I think it is.

Ben Lambie?
Alex In California: The capping off of the comment with the terse: "Go fuck yourself" is reminiscent of the style of Alex in California, who ended one other comment with something like: "Seriously dude, I'm done with you."
Whomever posted the comment had just discovered me online, I'm convinced.
Maybe because of the Soundcloud song, this person Googled my name, saw the Mobile article, and then began to dig into, it seems exclusively, my criminal record.
It seems like he was able to get more detailed information about Duval County, Florida which might mean he is local to there.
But, the person also seems to be trying to show off his resourcefulness in obtaining such information. Twenty arrests in Duval County, does that sound about right? Seems to come from a person who wants me to think: Oh, my God, he knows everything!

Sherman Jacobsen: Sherman is one of the few people who uses my name a lot when talking to me. "So, Daniel, what's on the agenda today?" "I'll tell you one thing, Daniel, it sure is hot out there." "
The truth is, Daniel..." type of thing.

But, this is not a person who has known me a long time without ever having Googled my name, this is a person who knew me a long time ago, and who was just reminded of my existence and who investigated me.

Thomas Antione: Too much cogency in the language. Thomas would have rambled more. Plus, whomever it is is probably not from Mobile, or they would have already known what happened there. 

Mr. Goetzinger of Jacksonville
Things usually don't happen in a vacuum. Yesterday, I sent a friend request on Facebook to Shauna Goetzinger, who I quickly found, perhaps due to the unique spellings of both her first and last names.

It was because of the Debarge Song that brought me back to that time when I lived in Florida. Shauna, who was 15 at the time, became a fixture, hanging around my trailer, rapping into my microphone with her friends; and usually getting weed from me.

She was already restricted to our trailer park after having gotten into trouble at the age of 13 at the other trailer park after a group of older black kids got her smoking crack and wound up basically raping her. She was grounded to our park where I guess I was the devil that they knew.

The Debarge song and the memories that came back made me look for Shauna on facebook and send her a friend request.
There was no answer to my request, even though it looks like she checks her facebook frequently; and there was the comment...

The stuff about me playing this con game where I am assuming the ruse of the starving artist; that is a little perplexing. Am I not working my ass off, if only for a couple hours a night, and making "starvation" wages?

This makes me think it is not a someone from New Orleans who has seen me busking. They might think that my blog, along with the Soundcloud video is the sum of my "contribution" to the world of art.

I knew that posting the picture of the little girl with the "And I like it" lyric would shake out some response....either guys wanting to trade pictures of young girls with me; or something like the comment...

My biggest concern is that the person is kind of implying that my twenty arrests over ten years of living in Jacksonville, which were of the type that pile up for homeless people whom the police might think they are doing a favor by jailing on a night that is forecast to be below freezing, are all for child porn, and that I am wanted in Louisiana (trespassing on the rail yard) and Florida (failure to appear in court for some of the twenty charges) for the same thing; and is implying that I actually had child pornography of the sort where children were abused, exploited, sold and otherwise damaged through the production of.

If Alex in California stops reading/commenting then I would guess it was him. In his vodka fueled rants, he has accused me of conning people behind the guise of the starving artist. He may have dumbed down his language to disguise himself.

It's funny how one article about me having charges dropped is enough for people in Mobile to say: "There's that child raper!"
My lawyer had actually called the guy at the newspaper to make sure that that article was printed. To recant things and vindicate me and to give people like anonymous just enough to believe what they want to believe.

"Your guitar buddy," is a phrase that I will have to chew upon until I figure out who would use that exact phrase....tell your guitar buddy...hmm...

Would someone know I claim to be a Christian from just this blog?

When I was in Mobile I went to church.
Never in Jacksonville did I, though...

I deleted a lot of the comments because they were duplicates put after ten different posts; but not because I am trying to hide the comment and hope the guy goes away. I did change it so that only people with Google accounts and Blogger accounts can comment, so that he doesn't have to be gutless and cowardly with his fake news.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

The 58 Dollar Friday

It was "getting on towards eleven" when I left Bobby's apartment, after he had given me some of the "berry white" weed that is the latest installment in the series of whackily named wacky weed.
Yes, I knew that the clock was ticking and that I should immediately head out, but I paused for a cup of coffee at my place when I was packing up my stuff.
Having determined that it wasn't a good idea to smoke any bud until I was at the Lilly Pad, I didn't. It was the part of my mind that seems to always be looking for excuses to not go out and do my duty that was making it seem like I wanted to smoke a bowl before leaving.
But that part of my mind actually wanted me to smoke bud and then become lost in a daydream or to start some project like throwing the Snowball microphone up to capture a catchy lyric or chord change that may have come to me. Then, there would come that pivotal point in time when I have to decide if it is worth going out, given that the night is "almost over."
This is when I might have decided that, even though it was a Friday night, a night that I had religiously played on for years, it was a 53 degrees and there was a possibility of rain in the forecast.
But, I had fifty cents in my back pocket, and maybe a few other pennies scattered throughout the apartment.
Harold had nothing but a dried out piece of salmon in his plate. It was time to shoulder my responsibility, if for no other reason than the cat, I thought.
And that was it. I said "I'm doing this for you, Harold," before I shut the door behind me.
The ride into the Quarter was not uncomfortable, as I had put on almost a dozen shirts, sweaters, pull-overs, sweatshirts and jackets.
There had been signs in the universe that it might be a fortuitous night.
It was Friday.
On the way to the Uxi Duxi, where Jacob was going to buy me a half shot of kratom, since I only had fifty cents, I found an almost whole roll of toilet paper laying on the ground by where Jackie, my neighbor from two doors down "flies" her sign -sometimes upside down but still airbourne.
This is catty corner to the bar where I had found an almost full American Spirit cigarette on the sidewalk, as if the bartender had stepped out and lit it and taken one drag, and then the phone had rung inside or something.
The toilet paper, I envisioned having been thrown out of a car at Jackie by a prankster. She is the lady who knocked on my door after she had just moved in, and was holding her stomach, due to extreme hunger pains ostensibly, and wanted to "borrow" a pan so she could cook her "patetti." I could picture someone doing a drive-by TP job on her.
When I got to the Uxi Duxi, I noticed that Chris's tip jar was pretty loaded with bills, with at least one Abe Lincoln staring at me from behind the glass.
I was still full of dread about the coming night, though.
I felt a vague foreboding, despite all the signs portending a profitable night.
But, riding down Royal Street, I saw no less than 3 abandoned milk crates at different spots.
Grabbing the third of these allowed me to turn 2 streets sooner than I usually do, allowing me to arrive probably 4 minutes sooner than I would otherwise, which is good when it is already almost midnight and I am not at the Lilly Pad yet.

I set up and started to play, and was able to attract a couple, who listened to "The Carcass Song" and then sang along with "I Feel Fine," by The Beatles, and "Like A Rolling Stone," by Bob Dylan, knowing the words to both songs.
They left a twenty dollar bill, as did another older well dressed gentleman who had stopped and done kind of a double take when I was playing the riff to "A Dream" by Debarge (my latest musical discovery and infatuation).
It might have been surreal to hear that coming from someone who looked more like a source for Bob Dylan and Neil Young.
It very well could be that the guy, who might have been my age, had had an experience similar to mine when, back in the nineties, I would flip right past all the "hip hop and R&B" stations, pausing only long enough to ascertain that it was indeed "that crap"before hitting the "seek" button.
But "A Dream" by Debarge was one thing that got put in the mix that I actually liked a lot, but not enough to have stopped to ask anyone "Who is this?" and probably thought that the infectious melody had been lifted, sampled, stolen whatever from some classical composition.
But, I had gotten curios about Debarge because the sports station I listen to plays about 3 seconds of "And I Like It," by them when going to commercial breaks, and I had been working on a drawing once, and had linked the face I was drawing, to that little snippet of the song.
The "And I Like It" drawing

It was while downloading that when I decided to grab some other Debarge music, even though I didn't recognize any of the titles.

When "A Dream" came out of my speakers, I instantly recognized it as that one hip hop song from the nineties that I did like, and was transported back in time so strongly that it was as if I was breathing the same air from Jacksonville, Florida in 1996. It was the strongest feeling of nostalgia that I have had in a long time. There was a sadness and a sense of loss of a time that will never be again. But it was also a realization that maybe the time is not lost but has only been disguised at the present...
It was easy to imagine that one of the people I knew back then was thinking about me that very moment; wondering what ever became of me...
If it is true that you don't know what you've got until it's gone, then maybe that age is, at last, gone, at least for me.
I realized that that was probably the best time of my whole life, while understanding too that we sometimes only remember the joy and "forget" the pain.
I felt like if I closed my eyes I might open them again to see that I was still there and it was still 1996 and I had just drifted off to sleep and had dreamed the past 20 years.
The sensation of walking around the trailer park where I lived at 1 AM, through air that was warm and humid but had cooled considerably from it daytime temperature, with my pet king snake around my neck, became palpable.
That song could serve as the soundtrack for a time in my life when I wouldn't realize just how happy I was for another twenty years.
That would occur upon hearing "A Dream" by Debarge.

And about the older gentleman who stopped and looked almost surprised to hear me playing that song it seemed very likely that it brought him back in time also. Maybe it was played somewhere like at a bar he owns or he was somehow exposed to it in a way where he wouldn't know who the band was, and likely that he hadn't heard it since 1996.

He threw me the second twenty dollar bill of what would amount to a 58 dollar night on about 2 hours of actual playing. The work in the studio has helped out the busking. Somehow running through a song five times trying meticulously to play it right is good practice.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Going To The Moon And Returning Safely

Thursday Night Off

Thursday night, I was packing up my gear, preparing to go out to play. I would have to wrap up in a bunch of shirts and sweatshirts and my heaviest jacket, so that I at least would feel no discomfort, as I headed for the Lilly Pad.
It could start raining; pouring even, as soon as I was no more than a block away from home...or the rain could hold off long enough for me to get in a set of music and make 33 dollars.
As I was shouldering my backpack, I heard the "ting ping ting" of rain hitting my window. I looked out and it was raining cats and dogs. The puddles, evidence of earlier rainfall were now jumping and sizzling like fat in a fry pan.
So, I set about "housecleaning" stuff off of my hard drive. Mostly these were versions of myself playing along and trying to invent something, to chance upon some chord progression that would stick in my head and become part of my repertoire, but maybe only after listening back to it the next day, or the next, or last night, when I condensed the things down to those things that I had forgotten that I had "written" and saved them as small audio files, maybe after making the catchy parts repeat a few times. This is turning some 1 gigabyte Audacity projects into ones that are one fortieth the size, or smaller.
It is time to separate the wheat from the chaff and release some "finished" music, rather than trying to write it all over again with each performance of it.
But, with digital technology, my next release will have vocals sung by me outdoors nearby the University Medical Center, at Jacob's house, and at my apartment.

OK, This Just In (The Primordial Papaya jam at top)

Since Jacob was sitting right across from me, as I typed the above, I asked him to give me a copy of one of the songs off of the 14 song CD that is already "in the can" and so, I give you the overture to The Papaya Song, which is not the actual papaya song that we intend to record after planning the arrangement a little more.

The lesson I learned is that I should always be trying to sing my best, even when just goofing off into the microphone, because Jacob might take that little snippet and make "a whole song" out of it.

I am dreading going out to play tonight. It is fear of someone being already on my spot, fear of not making any money at the spot, fear of not playing as well as I think I can -and all the usual fears that have often preceded my best money nights; almost as if butterflies in the stomach are a sign that I am actually ready to play, even though it feels like pedaling home five hours from now with almost a hundred bucks in my pocket would be like going to the moon and returning safely...