Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Over the Cliff

Posted: October 8, 2019 in Uncategorized

well, before I get off into the Tall Grass,  a bit of followup.  R came back to the living after a short detox.  I am keeping in touch, trying to be more in contact for support availability.  It’s a tough road;  he has relapsed several times.

And sometimes, I have to confess I might not be the best person to rely on, especially in October. I already did not answer a couple of his calls in the lead up, and that was before October set in.

(play this loud while you listen)

yesterday started poorly, by any standard but for October?  Well, no, not typical, it still fucking sucked.  Checks had been promised last week and did not show, and then the furnace in my office was AWOL.  Admittedly, this is not the absolute worst time for it, as the weather is kind of pleasant for fall.  but the Office is a big thermal mass of air, and when it gets cold, it takes a while to reverse that. But I had promised certain things, so I had to get those accomplished, and I did.  By mid-afternoon, heat repair nor checks still had not been delivered, and while it was not terribly cold, it still had me chilled and the combination of cold and disappointment had me in a state where I couldn’t work.  So I bailed, looking for one of the two doors hinged in opposition….

and when I got home, and tried to warm up a bit, I was met by someone playing a chiding message on a phone about car insurance and demanding answers I did not have about the car (another story, maybe when I am stronger).  And the cat was demanding to be scratched, and the dog wanted walks and I still couldn’t warm up and bailed yet again and went to bed to get some quiet time and maybe a nap.  Fortunately, the bedroom was very sun-warmed and helped; was not aware how deeply the chill had penetrated over the day.

I think that might be the part that makes October the most difficult for me; that relatively mild weather still creates a chill that permeates so thoroughly.  Especially when I have all kinds of lovely pharmaceuticals making my blood thin and such as.  I miss the hotter climes at these times, and dammit if getting old makes me want to retire to hot places…

I spent the rest of the day in bed, watching the light wane.  I think I slept.  I peed a couple of times.  And I stayed there and watched some horror movies on the iPad, and then watched a couple of Star Wars movies to try and jumpstart something internal.  the Bed Time even made me miss my evening meds, which I rarely do.

I wanted to sleep late, I really did; and I had no reason to get up.  But I couldn’t get back to sleep so I still got up, there was coffee to be had.  So I split the difference and didn’t bother with a shower.  THAT’LL show ’em!  Too bad that cup of coffee was so watery….

should be noted that young Zombie gave me a subscription to a coffee roaster for Christmas, and every month I get a pound of beans.  I like strong black coffee, but the ones so far have been from Zambia, Congo and Honduras, and these are some straight up ninja coffees.  I found it best to cut them with some beans from a Chicago roaster, called Over The Cliff (name after a Jon Lsngford song). (this is also probably the best time to reveal that my wife gets wilty when she watches Rhett Miller, and I don’t think I can blame her)

 

I have said, on more than one occasion, that October is difficult for me.  Stephen King once tried to describe how it feels in a passage from the Dead Zone, and if anyone knows how it feels to watch the everything become closed and shut down for the oncoming storm, it has to be a horror writer that lives in Maine.  But it feels cold, and since my medical events,  the cold seems colder, and it penetrates deeper.

In the second season of American Horror Story, Frances Conroy did a stellar turn as the Angel of Death (augmented by the SFX of the wings at the moment of passing) and she never tried to be scary, but was always comforting and the people who she was touching welcomed the grace.

Mostly I approach October by going full gonzo on horror movies and such, and embracing the month of Samhain, because, zombie here.  But there aren’t that many stomp down good horror movies anymore (Get Out, It Follows, Let the Right One in) and the you kind of say, give me some splatter…

October has always been very difficult for me, and I am not sure why.  It was way before I had blood thinners and that crap.  But it sure does seem to happen every damn year, and it does fuck down like rain on my people.  i wish it didn’t.  But I have to do it myself first, and then it can be more soft….

But at least it’s not November.

Let There Be Peace

Posted: October 2, 2019 in Uncategorized

 

How much longer can all this go on?
How many more chances can one person have?
And all of the questions with no proper answers
Continue continue have to go on have to go on
Should I bend down and worship the ground
of the beautiful people who live without flaws?
Success is a virtue to share with the world
but failure’s a lesson that’s best learned alone
Respect is a virtue that strong men command
but when words become weapons
There’ll be peace in the valley of death when I rise
Peace in the valley of death when I rise

When i looked at my phone this afternoon, I saw I had missed several calls from friend R, who I mentioned in a prior post.

And when I looked at the most recent message, the VM algorithm was unable to parse his message, which was halting, mumbling and relatively incoherent.  It was pretty obvious he was drunk as fuck.  I knew he was not doing so well, but this was the worst I had heard him in some time.

He said he was checking himself in – somewhere.  He didn’t say where.  He said he had arranged for care of his animals, although he incoherently said maybe I was going to send up homing his greenwing macaw, Biko (a magnificent and violent bird, full of shit and happy to scar you up, you bastard).  The message was long and had lots of pauses.  The message made me hurt, in that I missed his previous phone calls.

As I said in the previous post, I have no idea where this story ends.  But I am concerned that it ends nowhere good.  I hope the place he checked himself into allows visitation.

As an aside, the two times I had my Exciting! encounters with Modern Medicine, and spent some time in an adjustable bed, (one time peeing into a painful tube), R did not visit.  At a recent time, he admitted how badly he felt about not visiting, because it reminded him of his parents decline and passing, and I told him I held nothing against him.  I know how people in hospital beds make people feel squicky.

R is one of my best friends ever.  I really don’t want him to go.  He has lots of health problems, most of which went undiagnosed until the ACA went into effect (He pays like 60 bucks a month.  Thanks, Obama!) but now he is behind the clock, and doesn’t help because he continues to drink and vape and whatever else.

Checking in every morning
To the sound of steam and caffeine
The sludge in the bottom of the cup
Just like the sludge in the stream
Slag heap keep growing higher
Every morning the sky, it’s on fire
And it’s only 9 AM again

Is there an upside to every downside?
Keep it inside, it’s a downward slide of broken glass
Keeps building in piles

And I don’t know
I don’t know if the sun ever smiles

It’s the black sheets of rain
Following me again
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I’ve been
Following me again

I feel the toxins fill my blood stream as I’m walking through the parking lot
Over and over and over and over and over and over
The clouds hanging over
Choking the life out of me
The motto seems to be
“We work in order to be free”

It’s the black sheets of rain
Following me again
Everywhere I go
Everywhere I’ve been
Following me again

Over and over and over and over and over and over again

Where were you in my hour of need
(I never see the sun stop shining)
The clouds roll over the sunlight
(Someone stopped the sun from shining)
And I stand here, ready to bleed
(I never see the sun stop shining)
A little rain is all we need
(Someone stopped the sun from shining)
Where will you be in my darkest hour of need?
(I never see the sun stop shining)
Where will you be in my darkest hour of need?
(Someone stopped the sun)
Here it comes again

I have visited these sites, where incredibly brave people decided to strap themselves into prisons and ;punch themselves in to the unknown.

I was child when humans landed on the moon, but I am almost certain we watched; everyone did, you know?

yes, people did.  It’s a terrible amount of power and it is easy for it to go sideways with no warning.  I have visited the site of the Apollo 1 tragedy, and while I have little empathy for the haunting folks, I will say that that is the only place that I have ever visited that I believe is completely haunted.

I support all of our efforts to get off of this doomed gravity well of a planet.  develop the fukcing moon, send us to Mars, let’s develop long term ships to nearby suns.  We have already shown that we have about half of our our polity, that is unable to even comprehend that they are going to suffocate themselves  Let’s fucking go.

When I was a child, I watched our civilization reach out, against all the terror and risk, and land on our nearest planetary neighbor.  It inspired me.  I built all the models, I still do.  We visited Huntington, and we spent like an hour with an actual rocket scientist who had not only flew one of these explosive devices, but also walked out in the completely terrifying unsupported spacewalk efforts.  We did not check his dick, but we imagine it was immense, as were his fucking balls.  How do you design a spacesuit to accommodate the size of those fucking balls?>

I once visited the EAA when they had Spaceship One do a fly by.  It was awesomely loud

And then we had Star Trek, which demonstrated we could hope for love and fellowship against hate and violence.

I still believe that.

As has been said, let’s light this goddam candle.

Not one of you asked for this, which is why I am putting this out.  LOL.  You guys are all masochists, I am sure.

So, we went to Spain.  This was, as you might expect, very cool.  But I have a history, you know, or maybe you don’t and here you go, whether you want or not.

In college, I was in a studio that had restricted admission, that was involved with the area that was the Olympic Village, and we had one of the architects from the master planning firm drop in for visits.  But I was admitted based on my prior studio work.   I spent much time researching the city and its architecture, and of course I fell in love with the city and with Antonio Gaudi.  Because of course, I have affinity for insane people.

We flew into Madrid.  Lovely city.  and then we went all over the country, and spent much time on a bus, but…. Granada, Toledo, Valencia, Seville, Cordoba.  Every one special in their own way.  But here; I needed to go to Barcelona, because that was where that old project was centered.  And I finally got there, like 25 years after. And we saw Cathedrals, FFS, cathedral after cathedral.  I am so tired of Cathedrals, I know all of this from my Architectural History classes, and I am so tired of thinking that the Church has done nothing  but steal from their people for thousands of years….

And here;  this is the kind of modern intervention I love in the midst of historic cities.  Because, yes, cities are built over time and reflect the new stuff every time, and this is alarming until the next generation, who just say this is part of the city.  But this:

 

Is lovely and exciting example of modern intervention in the midst of an historic city., and this is the kind of thing I love.  The only complaint I have on this is that throughout Spain, all the paving is wonderfully textured and complex and tough to walk on, and this was depressingly plain.  I think there was a lost opportunity here, to make the plaza below a well woven part of the city…

Barcelona is a real, for fucking real city.  Hundreds of taxis, and most people use motorcycles and scooters at best.  Also, they have actual transit.  And after much great times across Spain, we ended up in Barcelona.  Where I wanted to be.  Where I wanted to SEE.  Being in this city was lovely in every way.  But here is where I have to get all architect about this.  SO bail if you would like.

Antonio Gaudi was a lunatic who connected with a patron.  He was aggressive and shitty, and his fame largely came after he died.  Which happened because he was driven over by a tram driver.  Gaudi loved to stop traffic so he could look at his work and he would walk into the street to stop traffic so he could look at his work, and come on, but tram drivers must have hated him. So one ran him over.  And because he dressed like a tramp, he was ignored until someone took him to the hospital for the indigent, where, after a couple of days, someone recognized him just in time for him to die.  Which is the health care the Republicans think we should have available.

So I loved what I found about the city.  The rules about the expansion.  And after being here, the way those expansion  regulations have been incorporated into daily life.  The 8 sided blocks.  The sidewalk cafe culture.  We had sangria and nachos while staring at Sagrada Familia and feeding the pigeons: IMG_2875

Here is where I am going to tell you to go ahead and skim the rest, because I will be getting into the weeds and lots of feels….

Because I have been feeling, since my Adventures in Modern Medicine, that I seem to have lost the ability to feel strongly, for art or music or snuggly animals.  And as great as it was, coming soon after my heart attack, the Mekons show in Mineral Point, I have to count.  I have seen so many great musicians and enjoyed them, but they haven’t made my brain triggers go nutty nut nutters.

And based on that college history, I needed to see Gaudi buildings.  And we did.  But first, we walked around the Cathedral, and as I went around, I was feeling disappointed.  And as the guide talked about how there were a series of dudes who directed the construction based on their own ideas – because Gaudi designed by models and fudging and yelling at people on site.  And the 4 or 5 or 6 people running the show since, nobody really knows what he meant.  But you can see it.  Well, I can see it, you may or may not….

IMG_2804

I was tremendously amused by the fact that they already have to start cleaning the stone of the first efforts, while the remainder is still under construction.  I love that the existing stone  will not only be different from the new stone being used, but that cleaning the older stone will never make them look the same.

But here is what I saw, almost immediately upon walking up.  It is completely obvious that the newer parts of the cathedral are being done by someone else.  You can see that the bronze model of the whole mess is completely different from what is being built.  And I felt, that from the outside, that the lack of a supervising loud person has resulted in something that does not cohere.  My wife agrees, and FFS that is rare….

So here is the thing.  First, I walked up and saw the building and I hated that obviously the subsequent  architects could not resist to put their own stamp on it.  And as I walked around, I started to question the designs of Gaudi.  I found a lot of it to be silly and frumpery.  I became a bit harsh.  I became a bit tough.  I was no longer enthralled, this was not the masterwork it was extolled as, it was kind of a mess.

So the next day, we went to Parc Guell.  Which was completely amazing and a lovely work, in so many ways.  designed with two or three levels, it is a tour-de-force of design for landscape and the integration with the built environment.  It was a chance for Gaudi to party as a designer, and make all kinds of crazy that was still functional and would be a part of the life of the kinds of rich people who paid him for work.

It was all kinds of lovely, and a great ability to recover from my initial response to the Sagrada Familia…

Because then we went back down to the cathedral for an interior tour.  And that was a 4:30 afternoon, on a bright day, which is important.  We were there a bit early so we found a cerveseria, and got some sangrias and nachos, and looked at this:

IMG_2875

So, then we went to our scheduled entry of the church, and the first thing I noticed is that the bronze model of the church is much more complete and coherent than the current state of the exterior building, as I have been saying up above.  Architects love to fuck with shit; Gaudi took the basic floor plan of this church from a gothic architect, and turned it into this massive eruption of personal design.  The eastern apse is representative of the birth of Christ, and the western apse is representative of the Passion;  the southern portion is the eventual entry, which is scheduled for completion on or about 2026 (I am skeptical) which hilariously, requires the demolition of buildings that were built across the street in full knowledge that they would be time-limited, but they kind of thought it would take forever….

And then we went into the church.

It must be understood that Gaudi went beyond any Gothic design or engineering, by using Catenary arches to provide freestanding columns and arches that do not need subsequent support, and then there were more opportunities for colored glass and lighting from above.  He used innovative techniques to design the arches, which all work together to be a complete structure that works together.  And then he had glass artists that provided blues and greens on the birth side, and oranges and reds on the passion side.

I wandered the apse, and I had the audio thing but I paid little attention.  I was looking and seeing and absorbing.  I took some weird vertical panoramas which came out kind of nice:

The spaces within this building were astonishing, and I walked into people because I couldn’t stop looking up.  But the time we were there, we had the opportunity to see the afternoon sun casting through the red and orange windows and making the whole place sing with color.  And I felt joy.

IMG_2907

When we left the church through the passion entrance, which is much more severe and modern in sculpture, but they have a GOOD DOG:

IMG_2916

And a couple of nights after getting back, we saw the Musical Box, a tribute band for early Genesis; which they did not play the song Visions of Angels, if they had I would have likely burst into tears thinking back to the feelings I had in this building.

And so here.  All the feels I ever have.  This church and the previous Calatrava buildings, they brought it back, near as I can tell.  A buddy and I saw the Genesis tribute band the other night, and it swept me up.  FFS, I was walking over a bridge toward my office, listening to the new Mekons album and it brought tears to my eyes. Something- SOMETHING – has been repaired, somewhere.  Was it Gaudi?  Was it Spain?  Was it something else?  Dunno.  Should I care?  It feels good to feel something that has been missing….

 

well, hey.  You remember the other day, when I said Wisconsin was closed?  Well, we took a WHOLE GODDAM TWO DAYS OFF, not so much from the snow but from the 20 below temperatures right after.  But since then, we have had TWO fucking deep snowfalls, not to mention a couple of warm days in-between, which allowed some of the snow to melt, then get piled up behind the snow that did not melt, and then it all froze again.  Which then got covered by new snowfall, providing slip-n-fall hidden traps designed to kill Wisconsinites.

or, as the Eskimo say, kaniktshaq moritlkatsio atsuniartoq.  strictly translated, it says “Observe the snow. It fornicates.”  But the intent is clear:  LOOK AT ALL THE FUCKING SNOW.

This is the toughest snow year in a long time.  When I moved to Milwaukee, we had a snow year that had heroic piles of snow along side roads, and the intersections, you had to lean out and peer along to see if cars were coming.  And that was when I wasn’t even a property owner, where now I have to shovel that shit my own bad self (I keep an eye on the smartwatch, making sure I don’t over do it.  You know, if you read the past).

But this is what we do in Wisconsin.  We are all shoveling today, and tomorrow we will just go to work like normal.  Because we have boots and brandy.

So, now I got that off my chest, I have to get heavy.  Me, very heavy.

Some might expect that I might be talking about Ryan Adams, and I feel tough enough about that, but it’s not.  But it is related, in that his early work was released through an awesome label, Bloodshot Records in Chicago – they release Langford and Mekons content, and that should make them cool enough.

What I found out tonight is that the life partner of one of the founders of the label, was abusive and grabby toward one of the label’s artists.

This is appalling.

I friended this guy on Facebook, and have been a fan of his music.  I unfriended him tonight, as soon as I heard.

This is so sickening.  Every woman I know has these stories.  I start to look back and wonder, “when did I do something a woman did not appreciate and still hates me for?  And I don’t know when.  I feel queasy when I think it might have happened.  When I have been an employer, I never treated my employees in any other way, but maybe in my personal life….it makes me feel bad for anyone I might have.

FOR FUCKS SAKE, MEN, THIS IS NOT THAT HARD.  when they say no, they are not kidding.  back the fuck off, and if the deal changes, they will come back to you.  Being asked to call a cab is a pretty good indicator, don’t be a fucking rapist dick.

As has once been said, men are afraid that women will laugh at them.  Women are afraid that men will kill them.

The difference in power is what women say when they rail against the patriarchy, and the change is what men want to resist, because the status quo is a fucking good deal for them.

At this point, I don’t know what to say.  I am heartened that the Me Too movement is encouraging women (and men, let’s not forget the bravery of people like Terry Crews) to come forward even when the perpetrators are not the richest, most famous people.  The idea that this massive outpouring of stories of abuse and sexism need to stop being treated as some fakery by a small number of people, but that this is endemic, it exists everywhere.

I am very disheartened to find that people in the music industry I respect, have been embroiled in this.  I am particularly chagrined to find that a Musician I liked, is one of the perpetrators.

I think the only alternative is to continue and deepen the Me Too movement, in that people who feel that they have been abused in any way, come forward.  In a way, certainly that allows the accused (if named) to defend themselves or provide the alternative memory.

But this still taints me for musicians I liked.  And I hate them for that.

Related videos:

I recognize that second video is different, but as a black belt who helped teach women (and men) self defense techniques, I felt the attitude was good.

Meanwhile, guys, can you fucking just pull back a little?  Or a Lot?

 

You guys (all 3 of you who still read this pathetic blog) may remember a couple of posts ago, I talked about my brother and his estrangement from his daughter.  I was regrettably unable to go to her wedding in Vegas, but the pictures were lovely.

Talking to her mother, she has managed to put her troubled past behind her and is now married to a guy who seems to be great, and good for her.  And more importantly. they have a GOOD DOG named Quigley!  Which is a great dog name!

Chatting with her mother, we talked about the potential for my brother to lose contact with his grandchildren.  I said that as an uncle, I would be happy too be a stand-in Grandfather.  I think I would like to be called Papaw.

 

And so as a wedding gift, I did this portrait of them with Quigmeister.  Finally, after digging out and unfreezing the doors enough to get out of the house, managed to pick it up and get it sent off.  I am a bad uncle, but it is still done and in their hands as of tomorrow.

Yes, I cut off their faces.  It’s called framing, because the important thing here is DOGGO FACE!  Also, I am not so good at faces, so I stopped before I made them look like one of my italian movies.  But I think the important thing is that my local framing shop is run by FUCKING ARTISTS, and they take a good piece of artwork and make it SPECTACULAR.

IMG_2626

 

And this is because we are pretty likely to go see Sam Llanas from this band play in a tiny music bar just across the river from our house this weekend, for 10 goddam bucks and 2 sets…..

 

Unlike my brother, I still have love for my niece and wish her all the best and will do what I can if she needs.

OK, out of curiosity, I have watched the competing FYRE Festival documentaries. I was peripherally aware about the failure of this, but holy fucking shit, the complete cluelessness of a rich white guy who is able to convince people to send him money, it was like a new millennia version of a religious huckster. Oh wait, it was a more like a social media version of modern religious huckster.  Oh wait, it was like Trump decided to do a hipster music festival.
 
But seriously, what the hell did people think? Here in Milwaukee, we are home to the largest music festival in the world, over eleven days, serving more or less 100,000 people every day. When the festival ends, every year, they take a couple of weeks off and then start planning the next festival (in reality, I am pretty sure they start planning the next one during the current festival.  And since they are constantly rebuilding and improving the actual physical portions of the site every year, I figure they start planning well in advance of a year). And that is at a location that not only has dedicated facilities (including toilets!) but also the built in ability of an urban area to absorb the needed hotel rooms, traffic, parking and transit.
 
And not to mention that the festival grounds support various ethnic festivals, pretty much every weekend for the entire summer. And they all come together well, mainly because they are planned for most of a year in advance, and are based on expectation of infrastructure and support in place.
 
What I find absolutely inconceivable is that so many of the people involved, many of whom may have been admittedly very young and many of whom had no experience in planning or construction; at the same time there were others who were older and more experienced and had experience in how much effort it takes to do this kind of thing.
The Hulu version presents him as a con artist.  As a professional, I will not say I have not been burned by con artists.  But I will say that I could see early on that their plans did not make sense; I recognize that the normal thinking is that architects do no know anything about spending money, but the reality is that we have to run businesses like anyone else, and within a few years of working on many different ways of completing projects, it becomes apparent that it takes money.  It takes investment.  It takes time and it takes FUCKING EFFORT.
I often say that I have seen projects die for all kinds of reasons.  And a not uncommon one, is that the primary mover on the development team is either a scammer or he is completely clueless.
It was a minor example, but recently I was contacted by a building owner (through a reference). I actually was familiar with the building through a public improvement effort guided by the School of Architecture and Urban Planning, and the building is a small mess.  The owner said the inspectors told them they needed an architect, and I explained, patiently, that what they were trying to do required the entire building to be reviewed for current codes (which include Existing Building Codes, which can be complex).  When I sent him an estimate, he started to try to cut me down, piecemeal it, and otherwise dismiss the value of my fees.  After a couple of responses, I refused to be drawn; it was obvious he was going to dispute my bills at every step and that he wanted me to try to help him shortcut around building codes.  I have seen it before.  I cut him the fuck off.
What I wonder is why nobody else did that to this shithead?  I mean, he seems like a douchebro at best, how was it that no one saw that?
I do not pretend to some ability to magically find the real impulses behind various folks I deal with.  But I will say that after one bad example, I need see no further reason to work with them, and I have extended that to say to new clients “my insurer requires that I receive (and without saying, having the check clear) a retainer that is based on the scope, extent, and urgency of the services”  Because, you know it, your emergency based on your ignorance or idiocy does not allow me to ignore my current clients (or this current video game) unless you pay accordingly.
So how did all these people just give this guy some inconceivable amount of money, and the people working on it continue to work, when there is no amount of planning being done?  IN fact, the one guy who said the original island selected had NPO CHANCE of supporting the proposed number of attendees, and he said the only way they could support that number needed mooring a boat off shore.  Asshole said, ‘we are not doing the boat, and your services are no longer needed”.
Seriously, at that point, every professional on the project should have walked.
And the original island used to be owned by a drug lord, which was abandoned when he got arrested.  The contract for the island stipulated that the ownership of the island would not be mentioned, but the first marketing efforts prominently displayed his name.  Which voided the contract, leaving them scrambling to find another island.  With like 6 months to go.  I mean, fuck?
But I do not want to spoil too much, if you are interested.  Check them out, one on Hulu and one on Netflix.  You will be amazed at the blindness allowed by models and drugs.  Or maybe not.
OK, maybe I am just a fucking old guy, but what makes me wonder is the ability for people to ignore all the fucking warning signs.  This guy made his mark by creating a credit card that added fees to your existing credit card, for the privilege of having a credit card made out of metal.  The only surprise is this was not Trump-branded, except the Trump family doesn’t have that level of inventiveness.
Fuck.  I tried like hell to just be good at what I do.  When I started my first firm/partnership, with a woman and a Latino, we discussed whether we wanted to approach it as some kind of minority firm, but the rules said it had to be EITHER a woman, or a racial minority; and when we appealed, they just looked confused.  What did we think, forming a firm with one of each?  And none of us wanted to commit to 51% to one or the other, so the whole thing turned shitty and I bailed.  I named the damn firm, too.
So yeah, good at what I do.  I think I am.  Have won some awards.  More importantly, I have done projects that have had positive changes to local neighborhoods, and real families.
But I never cheat, I never scam, I never inflate my fees, I never blow smoke up anyone’s ass.  When I walk into a project, I always start a discussion about the difficulties and the hurdles we will see. When something goes wrong, i let the client know as soon as I can, so we can start working toward solutions.  In the case of serious changes to my fees, I do not bill until the situation is resolved.

OK, now I know why I am not rich.