Saturday, January 4, 2014

Group Campaigning to Translate Dog’s Thoughts into English

Good Day World!

If you’re a dog owner/lover like me, you already know what your dog wants and when. It’s a simple process unhindered by written rules and happens when you bond with your dog. The last thing I need is for my dog’s thoughts to be translated into English!

Can you imagine? I thought my pug Molly was a world class whiner when she wants to be, but if her whines are translated into words I can understand it’s going to be worse.

The dramatics will get ramped up from woof! woof!, to “Get my damn food you lazy bastard!”

I don’t wish this group of inventors from Sweden any luck in their quest for financing their little device – No More Woof.

At the very least, I hope they’re unable to translate dog’s thoughts into English, and have to settle for German or French. I don’t know either language and that would negate being chewed out by Molly because I wouldn’t understand her! 

Moving on: 

 “The Nordic Society for Invention and Discovery recently launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds that will help the group create No More Woof, a device that (might) translate a dog’s thoughts into English.

Currently in testing stages, No More Woof resembles a headset that fits on to a dog’s head. It is equipped with sensors that pick up canine brainwave patterns and then translate them into English through an attached speaker.

So far, the device is able to detect thought patterns associated with “Who are you?”, “I’m hungry” and “I’m tired.” (No word yet on if it will be able to translate "If you don't let me outside right now, I'm going to leave a mess on the carpet.") Story and video here

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Friday, January 3, 2014

Cal NORML Challenges Local Bans on Patient Cultivation of Medical Marijuana


In a lawsuit supported by California NORML, attorney Joe Elford is filed a petition today asking the State Supreme Court to review a recent Third District Appellate Court decision, James Maral v City of Live Oak, that upheld the right of local governments to ban medical marijuana cultivation entirely.  

The petition argues that local governments are pre-empted by state law from banning cultivation by qualified medical marijuana patients, insofar as California’s Compassionate Use Act (Prop 215) and the Medical Marijuana Program Act (MMP, aka SB 420) explicitly authorize such cultivation.

At issue is the right of seriously ill patients to grow for their own medical use in accordance with Prop. 215.  The plaintiff, James Maral, who suffers severe chronic medical problems, challenged an ordinance by the City of Live Oak declaring it illegal to grow any marijuana at all.

The city also bans dispensaries, leaving Maral with no legal access to medicine. Local dispensary bans are not being challenged in this case, as their legality was upheld in the Supreme Court’s Riverside decision. Unlike dispensaries, however, cultivation by individual patients and their primary caregivers is explicitly protected under state law.

“If you ban dispensaries and you ban cultivation, you’re ripping the heart out of California's medical marijuana laws,” said Elford. "The appellate court’s decision conflicts with the intent of the electorate and Legislature and should not be allowed to stand."

In particular, notes Elford, the MMP provides that individual patients may maintain six mature or twelve immature plants for their personal medical needs. In addition, the MMP expressly authorizes localities to enact guidelines that are higher – but not lower – than the state’s six plant limit. 

“Together, these provisions constitute a clear statement by the California Legislature that the State’s municipalities may expand upon the “safe-harbor” provisions afforded to medical marijuana patients regarding cultivation, but they may not subvert or obliterate them,” argues Elford.

The petition also argues that the Live Oak ordinance should be preempted for being inherently “inimical to” state law. In adopting the ordinance, the Live Oak City Council cited the position of the California Police Chiefs Association that “Marijuana is destructive to our society and should remain unlawful,” a position directly at odds with that of the voters and legislature.  Courts have taken different positions as to when ordinances are pre-empted as “inimical to” state law.

In the wake of the recent Riverside and Live Oak rulings, local governments have become increasingly bold in attacking patients’ right to cultivate medical marijuana. The Fresno County Board of Supervisors will be hearing an ordinance to ban cultivation on Tuesday, Jan. 7th

The ordinance proclaims its intent to prohibit medical marijuana cultivation “in order to preserve the public peace, health, safety and general welfare of the citizens of Fresno County.” 

“The Fresno County and Live Oak ordinances directly conflict with Prop. 215’s stated purpose of ensuring that 'seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes,'” says Prop. 215 co-author and Cal NORML director Dale Gieringer. “Mr. Maral is precisely the kind of seriously ill patient whom Prop. 215 was intended to benefit.”

Maral, 42, suffers from compartment syndrome, a painful life- and limb-threatening condition caused by insufficient blood supply to muscles and nerves. In addition, he has six damaged discs in his back, the result of his work as a heavy equipment driver. He and his family have lived in Live Oak for 15 years.

Maral is also a caregiver for his mother Donneda Maral, who has severe diverticulitis and Crohn's disease, for which she is frequently hospitalized.

"The only thing I'm fighting for is the patients who just want a couple of plants in their backyard," said Maral. "I'm not willing to let my mother die or live out the rest of her time in a hospital." The Marals live at least two hours away from any medical marijuana dispensary.

Link to petition for review by State Supreme Court:


      Joe Elford: (415) 573-7842
     Dale Gieringer (510) 540-1066

Established in 1972, California NORML is the state chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are a non-profit, membership organization dedicated to reforming California's marijuana laws. Our mission is to establish the right of adults to use cannabis legally.

It’s Cold Inside Here Baby! But it could be Worse!

Image: A man walks in the snow down a road along the shore in Scituate, Mass., Friday, Jan. 3, 2014. A winter storm slammed into the U.S. Northeast with howling winds and frigid cold, dumping nearly 2 feet (60 centimeters) of snow in some parts and whipping up blizzard-like conditions Friday. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Good Day World!

 I really feel like a whiny toddler complaining about not having our central air heating system work.

Shirley contacted the company that needs to come out and fix our heater, but they couldn’t get out to us today. It seems a lot of heaters in homes here in Medford have decided to rebel and just die on New Year’s Day!

So, we’re on a list. Waiting. My beautiful wife, who has patience, is making the best of the situation. I’m following her around from room-to-room moaning pathetically about the cost of using our portable electric heater.

That’s right.

We’re not really totally without heating. But have you ever ran one of those portable heaters that swivel from side-to-side and suck up electricity like a power plant? Now you know why I feel guilty about complaining. I have an option.

Unfortunately for many Americans, a massive winter storm dumped 20 inches of snow on parts of New England and crippled much of the Midwest and Northeast today as millions faced dangerously cold temperatures.

Sub-zero wind chills arrived with the storm, and the biting wind and blowing snow have shut down interstates and airports alike.

Anyone in the path of this monstrous winter system that loses their heating options are in for a terrible time. I hope if power is interrupted that no one freezes to death in their home! Meanwhile, I’ll try to “buck up” and not be mean to the heater repair guy whenever he finally shows up!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Thursday, January 2, 2014

A New Year’s Surprise… our home’s forced-air heating system stopped working!


Good Day World!

Yep…started 2014 with a challenge.

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…I’m trying real hard to see our heater dying as a good sign, rather than a foreboding glance into the year ahead!

It’s about 28 degrees outside and it feels like the same inside! So cold…

Perhaps it’s the worst thing that’ll happen this year - and only good times lie ahead. Thinking positive now as I sit here shuddering.

Have you ever had to repair/replace a home forced-air heating system? I’m not stupid enough to think I can fix the problem, so my wife and I (after considering numerous options) settled for contacting the company that put it in (guided by a sticker on the unit) today.

Brilliant huh?

I can’t wait to see if it’s something relatively easy and inexpensive to fix, or of we’ll have to spend our kids inheritance on it! Better that, than having to wear my Elmer Fudd hat inside the house the rest of the winter!

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

As It Stands Wishes You A Happy New Year!

1DaveandShirleysFirstGB  Good Day World!

 Happy New Year!

   from Dave & Shirley

 Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”  — Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Thanks for stopping by on New Year’s Eve

   Good Day World!

 On this last day of 2013, I want to talk about auctions.

 Live auctions or online, it doesn’t matter…I enjoy seeing how people price objects. I watch any TV show that hints of an auction.

I dream that someday I’m going to run across some great deal on an item in a yard sale, and it’s going to be worth millions when I get it appraised! Or, at the very least, it’ll be worth more than what I paid for it!

 From the finest art to the funkiest memorabilia, most everything can be had for the right price, as the 2013 auction season again proved.

According to data compiled by Bloomberg News, the top 10 auction lots of 2013 raised $752.2 million, a 27 percent increase from 2012.

The biggest prize of all was Francis Bacon's "Three Studies of Lucian Freud."

The bidding for the 1969 triptych at Christie's auction house in New York City reached $142.2 million, making the piece the most expensive artwork ever sold at auction.

The buyer remains unknown, but "Lucian Freud" is currently on public display at Portland Art Museum in Oregon. The next time I take a trip up to Portland I hope to spend a little more time so I can check it out.

Thank you for stopping by on this last day of 2013.

It’s been a record year for viewership, and we’re closing in on two million views! (Check my stat meter out to the right – almost made it this year). Not bad for a independent blogger who entered into cyberspace five years ago (2008).

As It Stands…I wish you a Happy New Year!


Monday, December 30, 2013

Legalizing Marijuana: What other states will get on board in 2014?

Good Day World!

 A couple of things before we get started:

 A loyal reader of this blog has chastised me for not giving an explanation why I didn’t post something on Saturday. My apologies for this lack of continuity. There…are you happy Jocko!

 Two, after reading today’s post on marijuana legalization, you’ll want to read the post prior to this one: I have some news for you that you probably didn’t see anywhere else in the mainstream media (unless you were looking real hard like my contact, Darby, at LEAP was).


“Marijuana proponents scored significant victories as voters around the country passed ballot measures decriminalizing marijuana possession and approved regulatory taxes on the drug.

In Colorado, voters backed a heavy tax on recreational marijuana, which was made legal here last year. The tax will pay for the cost of overseeing the state’s marijuana industry as well as school construction.

Voters in three Michigan cities approved measures legalizing the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana by adults on private property, following Detroit and Flint, which passed similar measures last year.

And voters in Portland, Me., passed an ordinance legalizing the possession of up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana by adults over 21, making it the first East Coast city to pass such a law, advocates said.

The victories are widely seen as fuel for the legalization movement, which has chipped away at state drug laws over the past decade and has vowed to push for more changes from state legislatures.

“A majority of Americans now agree that marijuana should be legal for adults, and this was reflected at the polls,” said Mason Tvert, a spokesman for the Marijuana Policy Project, one of the main groups behind the legislative initiatives across the country.

“There is clearly momentum behind marijuana policy reform,” Mr. Tvert said. “We expect to see these kinds of measures passing across the nation over the next several years.”

Marijuana supporters saw little opposition during this election cycle — evidence, they said, that public sentiment is shifting in favor of less stringent drug laws.

In Ferndale, Mich., nearly 70 percent of voters approved an ordinance legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana. And in the city of Jackson, 60 percent of residents supported a similar measure.

In Lansing, where the mayor backed legalization, unofficial election results showed the measure there winning handily, with 8,550 voters supporting it and 5,339 opposing.

Chuck Ream, co-founder of the Safer Michigan Coalition, which has pushed for legalization for years, said he was struck by how easily the local ordinances passed. “They were all landslides,” Mr. Ream said.

He said advocates had gained momentum to push for a proposal pending in Michigan’s statehouse that would make it a misdemeanor to possess small amounts of marijuana. “We certainly hope that the Legislature will act immediately to pass the decriminalization law for the entire state of Michigan, now that they see that voters absolutely don’t support prohibition any longer,” he said.

Similarly, in Portland, Maine’s largest city, marijuana advocates said their victory — by nearly 30 percentage points — would help persuade lawmakers to pass legislation to regulate marijuana and alcohol in a similar manner.” (Read the rest of the story here)

Time for me to walk on down the road…

Sunday, December 29, 2013

California AG Proposes Marijuana Legalization Law


 Good Day World!

It appears new opportunities are cropping up for marijuana legalization in California.

My contact with Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), Darby Beck, passed this interesting information on to me. I’m sharing it with you because it could lead to legalization and you probably won’t find this story in the main stream media.

I’ve had the honor of being in touch with LEAP for years. At the bottom of this post I’ve included a couple of links so you can learn more about the organization and ask any questions you might have. 

The Attorney General of California has prepared the following title and summary of the chief
purpose and points of the proposed measure:


“Legalizes under state law marijuana use, growth, cultivation, possession, transportation, storage, or sale. Creates commission to regulate, and provide business licenses for, marijuana cultivation, sales, processing, transportation, and distribution.

Applies retail sales taxes to marijuana, unless exemptions for medical or dietary uses apply. Allocates revenues equally among education, healthcare, law enforcement/fire, drug abuse education/treatment, commission expenses.

Prohibits discrimination against marijuana users or businesses. Requires voter approval to zone
beyond set limits. Bars state/local aid to enforce federal or state marijuana laws. Exempts
existing medical marijuana collectives from licensing, regulatory, and local zoning requirements.

Summary of estimate by Legislative Analyst and Director of Finance of fiscal impact on state
and local government:

“Reduced costs in the low hundreds of millions of dollars annually to
state and local governments related to enforcing certain marijuana-related offenses,
handling the related criminal cases in the court system, and incarcerating and supervising
certain marijuana offenders.

Potential net additional tax revenues in the low hundreds of
millions of dollars annually related to the production and sale of marijuana, a portion of
which is required to be spent on education, health care, public safety, drug abuse education
and treatment, and the regulation of commercial marijuana activities.”

For more information contact Darby Beck, Media Relations Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition  or e-mail

Time for me to walk on down the road…

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...