Saturday, July 24, 2010

Impressions of the ‘Humboldt Cannabis – A Future Opportunity’ meeting at the Bayside Grange

I got to the Bayside Grange at about 1:00 and there were only 20 or so people around, so I decided to run into Arcata and grab a meatball sandwich at “The Hole in the Wall.” I got back to the Bayside Grange at 1:30 and it was starting to fill up so I parked in a nearby space and ate my sandwich. 32028_386718128741_125620108741_4094789_1858824_n

Before the meeting started I got a good seat with my back to the wall (on the left side of the room). I saw a few people I knew, and met Kym Kemp aka Redheaded Blackbelt, a Humboldt blogger (briefly) as she was preparing to get the show on the road.

A friend of mine, Tony (who owns the Humboldt Cooperative) in Arcata, sat down next to me and we talked for a bit. Then the parade of speakers began.

At one point, I had to get up, as my back was killing me, and I went to the rear of the room by a table that was set up by NORML. I lurked in the doorway for another hour. During this time I surveyed the room, checking out the audience, and tried to hear everything the speakers were saying (I barely made out what Hank Sims, the Town Dandy, was saying. He has a soft voice, but a sharp pen. I like his writing style (even though I don’t always agree with him).


I had no problem hearing Kevin Hoover, which is really weird because the last time we talked during a lunch in 2006(!) I was promoting the first Stand Down for veterans in Humboldt County – now an annual event – and I had trouble hearing him speak from across the table.

In fairness, I have an updated hearing aide now (actually a pair) that probably accounts for hearing him well today. I heard Kym fairly well, although at times she backed away from the mike and i couldn’t hear her. Supervisor Mark Lovelace, being a politician, was easy to hear. As a matter of fact, I would have turned down my hearing aide if it were possible. 

It’s been a while since I went out to a public meeting. Crowds cause my PTSD to flair up after a while, and I get paranoid. That’s just part of my reality. I stayed as long as I was comfortable. That translated to shortly after 4:00 P.M. 

My impressions….hmmmmm…hard to say. I saw a very diverse group of people getting along real well. People were respectful of one another. That’s something which always impresses me when it happens in crowds. There was a lot of people there, and if I had to guess, it would be around 140. All in one room qualifies as a crowd in my world.

I sensed a certain excitement among some people, who cheered over things said like “We (Humboldt County) should be able to sell wholesale outside the state.” Just guessing, but this came from the grower contingent somewhere from the right side of the room. It was fun guessing who the growers were. None of the ones I know were there.

I can’t summarize the meeting because I didn’t stay until the end – slated for 6;00 P.M. My last impression was kinda like watching the Berlin Wall fall. It happened in inclements. The audience had an expectancy of a new world, where weed wasn’t going to be demonized anymore. Where weed was going to get the respect it deserved and be legally available to all.

An interesting day and another baby step towards a better world where weed benefits us all. 


Strange But True: Home in the sky where owners can always fly

              Boeing 727 House, located in Costa Rica.


(images credit: Mr. Vincent Costello, via) For more views and airplane homes Click here.

Are you sitting down too much? It's slowly killing you

Regular workouts don't decrease death risk if you're also a couch potato

The current obesity epidemic in the United States has been attributed in part to reduced overall physical activity.

Illustration source (right)






"Very few words have a birthday so precise, and so precisely known, as couch potato. It was on July 15, 1976, we are told, that the couch potato came into being, uttered by Tom Lacino of Pasadena, California, during a telephone conversation.

He was a member of a Southern California group humorously opposing the fads of exercise and healthy diet in favor of vegetating before the TV and eating junk food (1973). Because their lives centered on television--the boob tube (1966)--they called themselves boob tubers. Iacino apparently took the brilliant next step and substituted potato as a synonym for tuber. Thinking of where that potato sits to watch the tube, he came up with couch potato.

Or so the story goes, as told in the subsequent registration of Couch Potato as a trademark. In any case, when the new phrase reached the ears of Robert Armstrong, another member of the boob tubers, he drew a cartoon of a potato on a couch, and formed a club called the Couch Potatoes, registered the trademark and began merchandising Couch Potato paraphernalia, from T shirts to dolls. He published a newsletter called The Tuber's Voice: The Couch Potato Newsletter

15 killed in mass panic at Germany's Love Parade

Image: Loveparade 2010

Stampede breaks out in tunnel area during annual techno music festival

A stampede inside a tunnel crowded with techno music fans crushed 15 people to death and injured dozens at Germany's famed Love Parade festival on Saturday.Thousands of other revelers kept partying at the event in Duisburg, near Duesseldorf, unaware of the deadly stampede that started when police tried to block thousands more people from entering the already-jammed parade grounds.

Good news for veterans: V.A. easing medical marijuana rules

David Fox, an Army veteran, at home in Montana

Patients may use pot in states allowing it; docs won't prescribe it

The Department of Veterans Affairs will formally allow patients treated at its hospitals and clinics to use medical marijuana in states where it is legal, a policy clarification that veterans have sought for several years.

A department directive, expected to take effect next week, resolves the conflict in veterans facilities between federal law, which outlaws marijuana, and the 14 states that allow medicinal use of the drug, effectively deferring to the states.

PHOTO - David Fox, an Army veteran, at home in Montana. He uses medical marijuana to help quiet the pain from neuropathy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

This is one of the most original dance groups I’ve ever seen

I enjoyed the clever use of people merging into other things – like an elephant for example! If you’ve never seen this group – Pilobolus – take 3:29 minutes out of your schedule and enjoy.

I can’t even imagine how they were able to do what they did, and how many hours of work it must have taken to pull the illusions off. Hats off to talent(s)!

The stench of corruption: Democrats' Charlie Rangel reeks

The news that New York Democratic Rep. Charlie Rangel violated House ethics rules and could be subject to a Congressional trial -- likely in September -- has party strategists panicked at what such a spectacle might do to an already difficult election climate for their side.

"A disaster," said one New York Democratic operative when asked about the prospect of a trial detailing the charges against Rangel in the midst of the fall election campaign.

Another New York strategist described the ethical cloud surrounding Rangel as a "two-year albatross that we all wish would go away."

One House Democrat granted anonymity to speak candidly about a colleague called the potential trial timing "terrible," adding: "If it comes to a vote, Charlie will not win."

Say hello to the world’s tallest couple: A combined 13-foot-5

Until recently, the van Kleef-Boltons merely seemed to be the tallest married couple in their Essex, England, hometown — or anywhere else, for that matter.

Now, it’s official: The Guinness Book of World Records has declared the towering twosome the tallest married couple in the world.

They were not without competition. Internet searches turn up other couples who would seem to be taller, including an Indian couple, Sharad and Sanjot Kulkarni, who claimed heights of 7-foot-2 and 6-foot-4, respectively. But after a worldwide search that included an Internet appeal, Guinness has certified the heights of the British pair, as well as the validity of their marriage. At a combined 13 feet, 5 inches, they are in the famous book’s 2010 edition as the tallest in the world.

PHOTO - Keisha and Wilco van Kleef-Bolton with their children Lucas, 4, and Eva, 2, in Dagenham, Essex, England. Keisha, 31, is 6-foot-5; Wilco, 29, is 7 feet tall. Their children are already the tallest in their classes

Freaky Friday: It's 55 percent and wrapped in roadkill, is this the world's most 'shocking' beer?

Image: Beer bottled in stuffed animals

Bodies of squirrels, weasels and a hare used to package ale costing $765 a bottle

If this isn’t a sick idea, I don’t what is. What I wonder is what kind of person would go for a beverage bottled in a dead animal?

I suspect they have plenty of money to burn, and a dislike for small animals.

According to Scottish firm BrewDog, "The End of History" is the "strongest, most expensive and most shocking beer in the world."

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thursday Parting Shots: Scrutinize Sacrone’s Six Visual Errors

G. Sarcone - 6 Visual Errors Optical Illusion

6 critical visual errors cleverly placed inside what seems to be an ordinary picture.

 Can you find them all?

See more stuff by Gianni A. Sarcone

Laws You Didn't Know You Were Breaking

Put Down That Plate and Step Away From the Sink, Ma'am


Forget about using a dish towel in the state of Oregon or in Minneapolis. Letting china air-dry is the only allowable way.
In Florida, you're in trouble if you shatter more than three dishes per day, or chip the edges of more than four cups and/or saucers. If you get your kicks tossing plates, don't try it from any window above the ground floor of a house or apartment in Freeport, Illinois.

Go here to read more

All in a days work: Colorado man delivers pizza and saves heart attack victim

A laid off paramedic who turned to delivering pizzas to make ends meet is credited with saving the life of a man who went into cardiac arrest just as a pizza was delivered to his door.

Pizza is removed from oven during a protest to demand stricter price controls on rising cost of pizza in Naples

“Christopher Wuebben, 22, was delivering a pizza late last week to the suburban Denver home of George Linn, when he heard the man's wife screaming for help, according to Wuebben's boss, John Keiley.”


“Keiley said Wuebben is a military veteran who recently moved to Colorado after he was laid off from his paramedic job in Illinois. He said Wuebben is not scheduled to work at the pizza restaurant until later in the week, but Keiley may not have his new employee for long. At least one local hospital and a fire department have called to offer Wuebben a job in his chosen field after hearing of his heroics.”

Time to ready the Rose Garden for ‘Beer Summit’ #2

Sherrod will likely turn down USDA job offer. She said she would like to have a talk with Obama, but not an apology. I can understand why she wouldn’t want to go back. This is an embarrassing situation all the way around. People reacted to an extreme conservative blogger’s post (Andrew Breitbart)  showing her speaking (out of context). It worked better than expected for him and caused all of the ensuing chaos.         

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Obama’s broken promise: As for Obama, it is clear that his hope of creating “a more perfect union” on the subject of race -- the title of his famous 2008 speech in Philly -- has so far been a broken promise. As Ben Smith observed yesterday, “The election of Barack Obama, America’s first black president, was supposed to be a sign of our national maturity, a chance to transform the charged, stilted ‘national conversation’ about race into a smarter and more authentic dialogue, led by a president who was also one of the nation's subtlest thinkers and writers on the topic. Instead, the conversation just got dumber.” It is clear that Obama -- perhaps correctly -- has decided that it is more important to govern than it is to tackle the issue of race. Still, it is a broken promise, and Robert Gibbs implied yesterday we won't see a so-called "national conversation" on race anytime soon. In truth, it's probably a topic the president can't tackle until he's, well, an ex-president.

Are we mature enough to have a conversation about race? But even if Obama tries to tackle race during his presidency, is Washington mature enough to listen? Probably not when there are so many questioning whether the president was born in this country, when the NAACP is accusing the Tea Party of being racist, when a handful of "new" Black Panthers are on the prowl (who, btw, aren't really members of the actual Black Panthers AND who are about as relevant on the left as the John Birch Society is on the right), and when someone like Andrew Breitbart is so fixated on proving via a concerted campaign that somehow there is racial bias being practiced by this president or members of his administration (whether it’s ACORN, Sherrod, etc.).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Busted! Feds Arrest Man Behind 'South Park' Threats

The online poster who reportedly threatened the animated comedy's creators is now under arrest for allegedly supporting a foreign terrorist group.

Federal authorities in Virginia have arrested the man who allegedly wrote online posts threatening the creators of South Park after the show ran an episode that included the Prophet Muhammad.

The Justice Department announced the arrest of 20-year-old Zachary Chesser Wednesday, saying authorities had stopped him at a New York airport on July 10 before he made a planned trip to Somalia to allegedly try to join an Islamic militant group.

Political Candidate A Mystery Man - Joe the Plumber, meet Alvin the Gump


Forrest Gump (right) boggles all minds but his own, busy as it is considering the existential mysteries contained in a box of chocolates.

And then there's Alvin Greene (left)the nobody who becomes somebody, suddenly and without anything to recommend him but sheer dumb luck.

In South Carolina, Greene is mystery man despite winning Democratic Senate nod

China oil spill doubles in size, is deemed 'severe threat'

Crude pours out after pipeline blast; at least 1 firefighter dead

Anyone who says drilling for oil offshore is a safe and reliable process is just plain stupid, or has a stake in the operation.

China’s latest oil spill is shaping up to be their worst one. So far, the oil slick covers 165 miles of ocean. While the leak has been contained, the damage has been done to miles of coast line and marine life in the area.

This is just another compelling reason to stop off shore drilling for oil. How many disasters like this do we need to experience before it’s too late to save the ocean and the creatures in it?


Are we getting to a tipping point? If not yet, then we’re getting close. American isn’t the only country to use fossil fuels. China has recently surpassed our economy’s thirst for oil. It won’t take too many more accidents like this to destroy China’s beaches and waters. Until Big Oil loses it’s death grip on the countries of the world, we can all expect more catastrophes to further blight our environment.

Cause for Concern: City of Oakland approves mega marijuana farming

Small marijuana plants, available for sale, are shown in a medical marijuana dispensary in Oakland

I think those small-scale “garden growers” have something to worry about it with this mega grow.

This giant grow is what people have been concerned about since talk of legalization surfaced. I hope no other cities plan on doing the same thing.

There’s too many reasons why a corporate grow like this is going to hurt the market. Establishing grow monopolies is going to hurt independent farmers, and the quality is going to be questionable. There’s a good chance that pesticides will be used or other harmful chemicals in that super garden. Someone is making a lot of money here. I wonder who is making out like a bandit with this latest development? You know someone is.   

The city of Oakland, California on Tuesday legalized large-scale marijuana cultivation for medical use and will issue up to four permits for "industrial" cultivation starting next year.

The move by the San Francisco Bay Area city aims to bring medical marijuana cultivation into the open and allow the city to profit by taxing those who grow it.The resolution passed the city council easily after a nearly four-hour debate that pitted small-scale "garden" growers against advocates of a bigger, industrial system that would become a "Silicon Valley" of pot.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

BP digitally alters press photo, confesses it's a fake

Amateurish use of Photoshop causes yet another BP embarrassment

Image: Original and altered photos of a BP command centerIt's been a long season of embarrassment for BP, but leaking oil isn't what the blogosphere is ripping the company for today.

A site called Americablog spotted a photo of BP's Houston command center, ostensibly taken on July 16. The image had quite visibly been Photoshopped — badly — to include more on-screen camera action.

Once word got out — the story was picked up by the Washington Post, where it was then spotted by the tech blog Gizmodo and others — BP 'fessed up. A spokesman admitted that the image was altered, said that a photographer had inserted shots where the TV screens were blank, and provided the original image.

Facebook hated as much as airlines, cable companies

Customer satisfaction poll puts Facebook in the bottom 5 percent of businesses

Image; Facebook Facebook, the most visited site on the Internet , may also be the most despised:

A new poll says the site scored 64 on a 100-point scale, which “puts Facebook in the bottom 5 percent” of private sector companies “and in the same range as airlines and cable companies, two perennially low-scoring industries with terrible customer satisfaction,” according to results of a survey released today.

Maybe a Movie: Spider-infested ship turned away from port

Thousands spill out as cargo is unloaded; vessel last docked in South Korea

Image: One of the thousands of spiders found in a Guam-bound cargo ship from South Korea at the Port Authority of Guam

This has all the makings of a sci-fi thriller movie, but I’m afraid it’s already been done. I think the name of the movie was “Arachnophobia,” or something close to that.

It was all about deadly spiders chasing people. Then there was the airplane thriller “Snakes on the Plane,” (or something like that – I’m too lazy today to check it out further!)

Spiders and snakes have been done separately, but how about putting those creepy crawlers together in a Sci Fi flick? The two species could fight it out in a war…in say the streets, back alleys, and board rooms in Washington D.C. What could be more fun that watching snakes and spiders chasing politicians and lobbyists? (the answer is, of course, watching them catch up to them!)

Meanwhile, back in the real world, agriculture officials say they don't know what type of spiders were on the ship, but said it's a type that isn't normally found on the island.

They said there was concern the spiders could damage Guam's environment.

Black USDA official resigns after saying she only 'did enough' for white farmer

There’s no doubt in my mind that racism is rampant in this country. Here’s just another example. Anyone can be a racist, regardless of their color. This nation doesn’t really want a “national dialogue” on race relations. Americans tend to hide behind false facades regarding racial equality publically, but privately many have issues with people of another color. Be it black, brown, yellow, or white. 


A black USDA official in Georgia has resigned after publicly admitting she didn't help a white man trying to save his farm to the "full force" of her power and instead referred him to "one of his own."

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack accepted Shirley Sherrod's resignation, saying there was "zero tolerance for discrimination at USDA."

Monday, July 19, 2010

EMT accused of ignoring dying NYC woman is killed

Authorities say an emergency medical technician accused of refusing to help a dying pregnant woman during his coffee break was fatally shot near a New York City nightclub.

Police believe those accusations and the shooting were unrelated. I can’t help wondering if they were related, as in a relative (or friend) of the woman who died, getting revenge.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

As It Stands: Reverse outsourcing: Americans taking international online jobs

By Dave Stancliff/For the Times-Standard

Posted: 07/18/2010 01:27:30 AM PDT

If you listen to or read national news, you've probably noticed stories about the economy doing better. Bean-counters in high places point at polls, statistics and other divining devices to assure us things are looking up.

At ground level, the average American still struggles to find a job, or to keep a job with additional duties due to downsizing with no extra pay. It's not a pretty picture regardless of what Wall Street thinks.

Stock traders live in a warped version of Disneyland where people make money without selling a real product. While their view from Cinderella's castle is rosy, most Americans are struggling.

So where will jobs come from? What can people do to make money when the economy is so tight and jobs are more scarce than untainted seawater in the Mexican Gulf coast? You may be surprised at the answer.

A couple of years ago I wrote a column about the outsourcing of American jobs, in particular about newspapers that had to lay off full-time American employees and outsource their jobs to countries like India and the Philippines. Now, in an interesting reversal, Americans job seekers are finding overseas work.

I don't know if that's a good thing. I'll leave that up to you. Corporations and small businesses in Australia, China, India, Pakistan and the U.K. are hiring U.S. workers online. Websites like Elance, oDesk, People Per Hour and Sologig are providing workers for these countries. Quality workers at bargain basement wages. READ THE REST HERE.


Here’s some web sites that have picked up today’s column:


Nearshore Journal



















Blog Break Until Presidential Election is Over

I finally hit the wall today. I can't think of what to say about all of the madness going on in this country right now. I'm a writer...