Been awhile, friends!

Greetings everyone! It’s been awhile, but I have some updates coming up very soon. In the meantime, enjoy some dumb images.

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[Non-Fiction] Child’s questioning of cannabis lesson turns into search warrant and arrest for parent

As activist Diane Fornbacher has pointed out, the War on Drugs is a war on families.

April 17

From the website run by investigative journalist Ben Swann:

On March 24, cannabis oil activist Shona Banda‘s life was flipped upside-down after her son was taken from her by the State of Kansas. The ordeal started when police and counselors at her 11-year-old son’s school conducted a drug education class. Her son, who had previously lived in Colorado for a period of time, disagreed with some of the anti-pot points that were being made by school officials. “My son says different things like my ‘Mom calls it cannabis and not marijuana.’ He let them know how educated he was on the facts,” said Banda in an exclusive interview with BenSwann.com. Banda successfully treated her own Crohn’s disease with cannabis oil.

After her son spoke out about medical marijuana, police detained him and launched a raid on Shona Banda’s home. “Well, they had that drug education class at school that was just conducted by the counselors… They pulled my son out of school at about 1:40 in the afternoon and interrogated him. Police showed up at my house at 3… I let them know that they weren’t allowed in my home without a warrant… I didn’t believe you could get a warrant off of something a child says in school.” Banda continued, “We waited from 3 o’clock until 6 o’clock. They got a warrant at 6 o’clock at night and executed a warrant into my home. My husband and I are separated, and neither parent was contacted by authorities before [our son] was taken and questioned.”

I can’t imagine the psychic distress the child feels right now. At 11 you’re riding bikes and destroying public property, not navigating the legal system because you voiced your opinion about your mom’s self-treatment.

Hopefully a real lesson was learned by all the children in the class: schools will sell you out if you do not toe the line. Analysis is only welcome if it fits into the right line of thought. If not, draconian measures are taken.

The authorities will use our families against us. They will divide and conquer, search and destroy.

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Honeybees: Dumping the bees

Hey everyone! While I’ll been very busy on my short story collection and my next novel, plus the final book in the High Water series, I’ve also been raising bees. Why not have more hobbies than you can healthily manage?

“Honeybee02”. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Honeybee02.jpg#/media/File:Honeybee02.jpg

Rather than rehashing everything I needed to know about bees before installation, I thought I’d write about what I learned during my package installation experience. That video does a great job of describing how it goes to give my comments some context.

Bee Poop:

Picture yourself in a box, clinging to other imprisoned humans. Your fearless leader is nearby, trapped in another, smaller box. Everyone, your closest friends, can’t get her out. Despair sets in. The muttering of your fellow incarcerated sisters grates.

You’re cold, cranky, and all you have to eat is pure sugar syrup. Drinking the syrup has given you a headache. You yearn for protein, for variety.

The last thing on your mind is taking a dump. Where could any of you take a dump, anyway? You’re all locked in a box.

Then the light hits you. Freedom! You try to race for the exit, only to be sprayed down with more sugar. “What? What the hell?” you think.

In a cascade, you are dumped into a wooden box. You’re now nervous, agitated. “Where’s the queen? Where am I? Why am I covered in sugar?

Let loose. Let loose your cares, my little buzzing friend.

Bee poop, especially after eating nothing but sugar syrup, is gross. It looks like something belonging in a baby’s diaper, just brown liquid streaks. Of course, the runs can be a sign of other diseases (the infernal disease Nosema), but I also get diarrhea when I’m nervous. Since I haven’t seen any more of it, I’m not worried yet.

Poor bees. Upon exit, they crapped everywhere. On their box. On their new hive. On each other. Cooped up in their box, they’d held it in, not wanting to soil their queen.

Of course, I was too concerned with not getting stung not clean up after them…

If your bees have drawn comb in the package box, watch out:

The package box is meant to be a temporary refuge for your bees in transit. They aren’t supposed to be in there for more than a few days.

Drawn comb with larvae AKA “Brood”         “Bienenwabe mit Eiern und Brut 5” by Waugsberg (talk · contribs) – Self-photographed. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bienenwabe_mit_Eiern_und_Brut_5.jpg#/media/File:Bienenwabe_mit_Eiern_und_Brut_5.jpg

The vendor kindly let me know that the bees would be used to each other, that they wouldn’t kill the queen if I l let her out. Great! A group of bees already happy with their queen means a quicker transition to a functioning hive. Regicide is known to happen when queens and workers don’t have time to get to know one another.

Drawn comb, that is, comb the bees have used their various organs to produce, was visible inside the box. Sugar syrup gives the bees the carbohydrates to create wax. It comes out a stark white color.

As soon as I reached into the box, I knew I had a problem. Angry buzzing. The thud of tiny bodies against my bee suit. Uh oh. The bees clung to the collapsed side of my veil and stung me in the neck. I grabbed the queen’s cage, got her into the hive. Howling, I dumped the rest of the bees into the hive, putting the wooden boxes together as fast as I could.

My battle scars ached for a few days, a reminder of the RAW POWER of TINY BUGS. Take caution if you think your new bees have already drawn comb! Your bees might think they’ve already found a home. And if they do, woe be unto you!

Bees are the chillest

“Bee-apis” by Maciej A. Czyzewski – Own work. Licensed under GFDL via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bee-apis.jpg#/media/File:Bee-apis.jpg

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[Interview] Tyler Haas of Tumble Dry Comics

Happy to put up our interview with Tyler Haas of Tumble Dry Comics, which we reviewed here. His website, chock full of animated entertainment, is here: http://tumbledrycomics.com/  He’s building an entertainment empire, and we’re glad to catch him on the upswing.
So without further discussion, here’s his answers to burning questions.

RWTWhat made you decide to start drawing stoner-related comics?

Bonus frames from “Change of Plans” http://tumbledrycomics.com/comics/change-of-plans/

TH: It sort of came about as a natural combination of two hobbies. I started smoking weed a year into art school, as art school rules dictate. I was taking classes on comics and cartooning, and at the same time I was frequenting 420chan and other weed-related message boards. You’d see these MS-Paint drawn comics that were so charming and hilarious that you wanted to keep coming back to read them again, and eventually I wanted to try it myself.
RWT: You’ve got a talent for making mundane things about smoking funny. How does it help your art? Do you illustrate under the influence, or mix it up?

TH: One of the best things about making comics about smoking weed is that it lends itself so well to exaggeration and playfulness. Going on a snack run or losing your lighter aren’t particularly exciting in and of themselves, but when you’re there and you’re completely buttered, it feels like some great adventure. Mundane scenarios have so much more gravitas when you’re high and trying to illustrate the difference is what makes them fun. Most of my comic ideas are the product of falling down that rabbit hole of high thoughts; I usually work sober though, I get too distracted otherwise!

RWT: Who are your artistic influences?

TH: I’ve always liked John Kricfalusi, the creator of Ren & Stimpy, and Alex Pardee. They both have this great ability to illustrate characters that are somehow both adorable and disturbing. You look at it and you think, “Wow! That’s kind of cute. Please get it away from me.” A lot of the humor in shows like Ren & Stimpy is visual gags, and I try to do the same in a lot of my comics; sometimes there isn’t a punchline so much as just a (hopefully) funny picture in the last frame (Ed: hyperlink is mine).

RWT: What’s it take to make it these days as an artist?

TH: That’s a good question, and I’d love to know the answer myself! Seriously though, I guess like every other art medium you just have to be dedicated. There’s a million ways to entertain yourself these days and trying to rise above a billion other creative people is rough going sometimes. Did you know they don’t just start mailing you checks as soon as you start a webcomic? But I like to think if you are really proud of what you make, it shows, and people can’t help but take notice of art that’s made with love.

RWT: From talking with your collaborators @ChronicComics, you’re moving into the big time. Can you give a little explanation of the new project? 

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[Review] Coping with Common Garden Pests by Will Kaufman

http://www.unlikely-story.com/stories/coping-with-common-garden-pests-by-will-kaufman/

West Side Slug Life by Andrew Ferneyhough

“West Side Slug Life” by Andrew Ferneyhough

This one is a short read, but man is it chilling. I found it on the “Weird Fiction” subreddit, and it’s a fresh new piece for horror and science fiction fans. It also possesses a literary flavor that I enjoyed. The plurals were a ton of fun.

The telling of the strange story definitely reminds me of Lovecraft, down to the avoidance of the most awful things in the author’s field of vision. Gardening is one of my favorite past times, so I appreciated the author’s nod to the perilous side of the hobby.

This fantastic little story is absolutely free on the Unlikely Story online magazine. You can’t beat the price of admission. Definitely want to see more from this author. Also check out Unlikely Story for other stories of the bizarre.

Verdict: Worth a bowl and scroll.

ETA: Thanks to Brni for correcting me on the publishing outlet here. Unlikely Story was the publisher, Kaufman the author! My mistake.

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Review: The Staples Slide Calculator

Web link: http://www.staples.com/Staples-Slide-Calculator/product_149984

My pipe sits by as I write this, combusted about halfway. I need to write about this infernal machine before I continue my well-deserved leisure.

As the reader might imagine, the calculator finds itself anachronistic in an age of pocket microprocessing. Calculators are the slide rule of my generation. My youth involved achingly beautiful spring days spent inside, listening to the arithmetic teacher prophesying situations where no calculator could be found: “Tuck, you won’t always have a calculator in your pocket!” These pedagogues were wrong. I have that and more! I can alienate my family in a few swift clicks!Staples Slide Calculator

Forced to ask a clerk where I could find one, I delved into a forgotten corner of the store. “Staples Slide Calculator,” the packaging said, boasting an alarm clock feature above and beyond its use as a calculating device. Cool, right? Sporting the lowest price among the five or six options  geared toward accountants and number-crunches, my choice cost me roughly four dollars. A bargain, I thought.

The adhesive on the package was weak, like the device sat on the shelf until the glue broke down to its component parts. How long? Years, likely. Pleasantly, the battery, of the sort powering watches, was still live.

At home, I reclined in my office chair, unfolding the directions. Wait, directions? Really? Most alarm clocks are fairly intuitive. Calculators are self explanatory. Yet as I fiddled with the device, I realized why the directions were necessary. I learned design from the best, and this device was badly designed.

Beep. Beep. Beep.

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[Non-Fiction] Jamaica leading cannabis charge against international treaties binding US and others

I think their confidence is fantastic:

“Jamaica intends to participate, and to lead, if necessary, a process in the United Nations to have those treaties amended or to reflect what I believe is the evidence that is available, and take those fully into account in the international treaties as they now exist,” he said.

The industry minister noted that Jamaica has a reputation in the international community as a legal nation and has the requisite skills and know-how to lead a diplomatic effort to have the laws and treaties changed.

Even having one, small nation committed to leading the charge against international regulations about cannabis is promising.

The Controlled Substances act in the United States specifically refers to a set of international treaties. At the moment, in language and in spirit, those treaties match the position of the US federal government with regard to cannabis.One frequently sees international treaties used as a scapegoat against changing federal law.

While I think the Jamaican development is great, my home country, the USA, ignores its treaty obligations on a fairly regular basis. It also is not party to treaties that span the globe.

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