fishpiss

Letters Vol. 3 No. 1, 2004


Dear Louis:
Greetings from the belly of the beast of the criminal state of Ohio. I trust that this letter is finding you & all of yours well & enjoying the best that life has to offer…
I’m still in the gulag, I still hope that they’ll keep their word & release me in a month. Even though so far, my certificate of parole is still not here. Also earlier today, a man who’s supposed to be paroled in two weeks got his certificate of parole. So I don’t know what’s taking them so long with me…
This is real cruel & unusual punishment. It is really stressing me all out; as a result my sugar has been way too high as of late.
I guess if part of my money is on the books, when I go to the “store” tomorrow I’ll know that they have no intention of letting me go home on my new parole date, as our funds get frozen 10 days before we depart the gulag. If I go to the store, I’ll get more debit cards to make more copies of my articles & book reviews…
Now to respond to some of what was in the current Fish Piss:
Yes, $2 bills are still issued in the U.S.A. They get periodical issues. I don’t know if they got updated with the rest of the bills, back in the 90s. The $20 bill just got its second redo in a decade, & it’s all new for 2003. Jefferson is on the $2 bill…
About 4 years ago there was a great article on the Great Antonio in Planet Muscle. It was in feature called “Bougergineans,” which was about the real huge & powerful body builders & strong men of old, some living & some not.
I like your history of the vinyl records. But don’t you think that the lower costs of current methods of production will again put at least a greater percentage of the production & distribution back into the hands of the lovers of music? Just as the reduction in costs of good & high quality print reproduction & desktop publishing has brought life back to small publishers? Though I guess stencils & the drum rollers produced a passable product, the work involved in producing a good stencil was enormous, as it took a long time to correct mistakes. For instance: it took me at least 8 hours to format about 600 – 800 words on an 8.5” x 11” stencil, as the only typewriter I had that could do a good cut on a stencil was in full pica. The cheap stencils, about $1.50 each, were good for 200 – 500 relatively clear copies, depending on the chemicals, while the expensive ones, about $8.50 each, were good for 5,000-20,000 copies. Chemicals ran between a fifth to a half-cent per page & back then, decent quality 8.5” x 11” paper was 95¢ a ream (500 sheets).
This morning I formatted 855 words of my book review, plus the title, the general notice, & the “Unclassified” in 1.25 hours, on 8.5” x 14”. Here, I pay 5¢ a page for photocopies.
While I’ve heard of recording booths, I’ve never seen one. I’d really be interested in knowing how those record makers worked. In 1971, my cousin, who had a band, was offered such a machine for $20,000. Back then you could purchase 4 fully loaded Chrysler Town & Country Station Wagons or New Yorkers for that price, & have change left over. My cousin didn’t have the space. Then he was 18 & worried about getting drafted for Vietnam, so he turned the deal down. Today, he burns CDs on his computer, & uses real high quality cassettes. In an average year he makes $30,000 marketing his own music, retaining 100% artistic control. This is aside what he makes performing & teaching. My father tells me that when I get out, my cousin wants to hire me to help Make music videos…
I wonder why hard plastic records never caught on in North America. For many years they were very popular in Israel, Turkey & Greece, among the nations I brought such records from. The Israeli & Turkish records made of hard plastic were real high quality. They never wore out & their sound quality was a lot better than vinyl. They only cost about 10% more than good-quality vinyl. They took the beating of a stacker with no problems. The only downfall to them was that they wore out needles about 5 times faster than vinyl.
With publishers who send me their publications, I work on a trade basis… When I’m out of something new that has already had a print run, I make it up when I get more debit cards. Once I’m free, this will not be an issue; I’ll make at least 50 copies of each issue. I sure hope to grow from that, but only time will tell…
When I’m out, I’ll also be doing film reviews, which I guess will be in the format of VCR Videos & DVD’s… One of the first issues I put out once I’m out will be titled something like “Making Jacob Whole Again,” which will also cover many of my other projects, including my work with New Civilizations, which is a charitable organization. I intend to edit & publish all of our works of the last 20 years (I’ve been involved with them for 15 of those years.) I’ll put them on the marketplace & hopefully this will be the fund raiser for our so-far moribund organization. As aside from an experimental organic garden, which is somewhat of a success, & a small fish raising enterprise, which has so far been a failure, we’ve not put out practical models in 18 years. So it is time!
Don’t get me wrong– the above is not for my mode of making a personal living, as by trade I’m a plumber & by profession I’m a remodeling & rehabilitation contractor. That’ll be my immediate mode of making a living upon release (unless I get a job as a paralegal, as there are several lawyers asking about me working for them. They like my writing & research abilities.) So time will tell…
On this note, I’ll end this letter with a blessing for a more just world. Until next time, I remain,

Jacob Feuerwerker, November 24, 2003
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