Author: admin_rb

A very long drive

I left Detroit around 3pm on Saturday (the last Saturday of July 2018) after a brief visit with an old friend in Plymouth. Well, he really isn’t old, actually he is younger than me, by about 130 days.

After going over the Mackinaw bridge traffic slowed way down. There was not much time before dark and I will do anything to avoid driving at night these days. This is one of the distinctions of my getting older, which is hardly an excuse.

Looking for a motel on a Saturday night is always tough, but this area has lots and lots of little cheap motels. Pretty much all of them are now closed down and boarded up. I drove on and on into the night.

Until I came to Dreamland. It was perfect (except that there was a no-show, who for all I knew would be arriving in the wee hours to be turned away, no rooms for 80 miles said the proprietor of Dreamland. I love that name. There never was a peep from the no-show, as it turned out), and I got my oatmeal at the Dreamland café, where the hummingbirds put on an excellent show of high speed death defying stunts.

Day 2: Michigan to Wisconsin and then deep into Minnesota.

Stayed at a little place in Crookston.

Day 3: Minnesota, North Dakota and into Montana.

Saco is where I landed, the only thing worse than night driving might be driving West at sunset.

Now I am in Libby Montana, home of the ongoing vermiculite disaster. I have always enjoyed visiting this area, nice trails in the forested hills.

Tomorrow, Sandpoint Idaho to visit with my cousin, with whom I spent the summer of 1963 at the home of my Aunt Mary and Uncle Tommy. That was just after the Birmingham bombing that killed 4 girls in a church. Popular consensus was that the Yankees did the bombing just to make the locals look bad. Damn yankees.

From there Home to Olympia, where I will immediately get a job and live happily ever after.

The main thing I accomplished was to close out my storage locker. That was very difficult.

Units of knowledge

Elements of a collection (for improvisation or discovery)

Imagine a story written entirely in pictures, with no words.

Now imagine that technique applied to different kinds of novels, and then applied to non-fiction, for explainers or visual diagrams of various kinds of knowledge. How to do this or that, or the story of my struggle. I see this as a new kind of a tool, the game is to figure out new ways to find applications for these idea units.


Sturgeon in the Kalamazoo river?

I am back. It’s been a long time but everything is pretty much where I left it, but it all looks so different.

Sturgeon lived in the Kalamazoo River for many thousands of years. We did well and had abundance, and shared it and time went by and it was a great life.

Things are different now.

I was told that in life I could do anything I wanted to, I could choose any career. I have no regrets. A rich man teaches his son to prosper, a poor man teaches his son to survive. I chose what I thought was the best. I did nothing wrong. I guess the problems of the world are bigger than they used to be, and that is what is keeping most people up and some people down. You see them, sitting by the traffic light holding tattered signs. You can’t tell me you have not seen them. What are we doing with them?

Not everything works all the time. There are days when it seems hopeless. But there are days when it’s amazing, the water is clear and there are lots of little creatures eating each other all around the river. On the surface maybe there is a calm duck making its way along the surface of the river and maybe a little breeze and it’s all so peaceful but just below the surface, in the water, it’s a jungle. Eat or be eaten. The big ones have no fear and most of the little ones become a meal for the slightly bigger ones. Nobody gets a free ride.

Medical Marijuana

I lived in Washington State recently, where recreational marijuana is permitted by the state (not by the Federal Government) all sales staff are required to be educated about the various problems with overuse, as well as the basics of the law (no public consumption, and stay away from where children are, but in your own home it’s pretty much whatever you want to do. If you rent, your landlord can prohibit smoking.) And of course sales staff need to be informed about the various varieties and applications. Sales staff are called Budtenders, sort of a pun on bartenders, but you cannot consume the product at the point of sale, unlike a bar.

You walk into a marijuana shop in Washington and show your ID, and it’s like a candy store, lots of creative promotional packaging, flashy colors and advertising, in addition to dried flower buds (loose, packaged in grams or more, and pre-rolls which used to be called “joints”) there are a wide variety of edibles. The thing about edibles is that an hour later you might still be waiting for the effect, so you eat some more, maybe a little more after that, then discover that you have taken too much. An overdose can be uncomfortable but it will pass in an hour or two, just walk around or sit or lie down and relax, maybe drink some water, and most of all do not panic. Most edibles actually are candy infused with cannabis, so you must be careful to keep them away from children, who love to gobble candy.

Colorado takes a less showy medical marijuana approach, no advertising, no flashy packaging, when you walk in they scan your ID and then you enter a separate area with lots of big glass jars full of bud, they weigh out what you want and it goes into a plastic bag you put in your pocket.

Some big news in the science of medical marijuana is the Endocannabinoid System.

All people and many animals have natural receptors in their brain that correspond exactly to some active components of marijuana. Don’t take my word for it, look up Endocannabinoid System.

Marijuana is not for everyone. If you feel uncomfortable with its effects then STAY AWAY FROM IT! There are many forms of medicinal cannabis that do not cause the “high” intoxication effects.

Back in the day one could either buy what the black market bootleg dealer had or not. It was simple. Take it or leave it..

With legalized marijuana there are choices, and each type has some different effects.

There are three main types: indica, sativa, and an expanding range of hybrids which are a combination of the original two in various ratios.

Sativa is said to be more energizing and mind-stimulating. It might keep you awake. It might make you a bit paranoid. Or not.

Indica is said to be more relaxing and produces a body-high. It will most likely allow you to sleep after a while.

There are something like 80 different kinds of Cannabidiols (active ingredients) found in marijuana. There is so much to learn about them.

Terpenes are one of the frontiers of medical cannabis.

There are 100+ kinds of terpenes, usually distinguished by their smell, such as having the scent of lemons, or pepper, or lavender, or pine, for example.

Limonene smells like citrus and is uplifting, it can provide stress relief, and has some interesting properties including being antidepressant, antifungal, antibacterial, and some say it dissolves gallstones.

Beta-caryophyllene smells something like black pepper, it has little psychoactive effect but has a useful therapeutic effect on inflammation.

Linalool smells something like lavender and is relaxing, it is good for promoting anti-anxiety, its anticonvulsant, and anti-acne. That last one is puzzling, for the best results do you consume it orally or rub it on your skin? I have so much to learn.

Pinene smells something like pine and has a clear, bright, sunny effect, some say it can provide asthma relief, it is antiseptic and is said to promote memory retention.

Smoking is harsh, the modern way to consume marijuana orally is through vaping, which heats the herb up enough to release the active ingredients without causing it to burn. There are some vape devices that work exclusively with extracts, and some that you can put dry flowers or leaves directly into the device.

Overall, I find that marijuana causes me to feel happy and works best when used the least. Some say that the ideal situation is taking it once every other week or so, some say that daily use gives the best results. Excessive use can overload the Endocannabinoid System and is counter-productive. I am still figuring out what works best for me. Marijuana is illegal for me in Michigan (medical marijuana in Michigan is prescribed for serious health problems listed below) so I am busy doing other things these days.

Michigan Medical Marijuana is prescribed for the following conditions:

  • Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), Crohn’s disease, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, or nail patella.

A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following:

  • Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
  • Severe and chronic pain
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy; or
  • Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder), Chronic Pain, Spinal Cord Injury, Autism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Tourette’s Syndrome, Arthritis, Parkinson’s Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Ulcerative Colitis
  • and, any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.

Is liking something like chocolate an addiction or an indulgence? I guess it has to do with quantity.

History and Economics

My name is Robin James, I am an American Eccentric. I am a proud graduate of Albion College 1978, with a triple major Theater, Visual Arts, and English, this was possible because of the experimental nature of the times. My parents were both Albion College faculty stardust, I am a child of a history professor and an economics guru. They were both self proclaimed children of The Depression followed by World War II, and they practiced daily lives of thrift. They were extremely mindful of waste and prevention. Waste not want not. I was told, which is a good foundation for today.

My first position after graduation was forming a touring poetry-puppet show. This lead to radio theater arts and then music journalism. I invented a system of using pictures to improvise story telling. I became the world’s authority on the electronic folk arts of the 1980s and edited The Cassette Mythos (isbn 9780936756691). Adding the study of library sciences at the University of Washington in Seattle allowed me to not have to choose between any of the academic specializations, arts and sciences, thus I can study them all. I invented a quantified keyword system for a stock photography business pioneering new commerce models on the world wide web. On September 11, 2001 I was the guy at the office of the Center for World Performance Studies at the University of Michigan International Institute. For a very brief time I was an actual Art Librarian at the Kalamazoo Institute for the Arts, this was the zenith of my professional career, blending my background specializations with the practice of library science (this was mostly volunteer work). I was a reference librarian in historic Pennsylvania (Schuylkill County, home of the Molly Maguires) followed eventually by being the library manager at the American Institute of Alternative Medicine (Columbus Ohio) which includes the studies of acupuncture, massage therapy and traditional LPN/RN training. Most recently I spent several years working with elderly and developmentally disabled adults, respectively. I still write about jazz. I search for my Albion Moonlight. My inner author has not yet levitated. I have failed at all these things, but I have few regrets. Thank you Albion College for the training to adapt to most anything and to have the confidence and courage to try new things.