Monthly Archives: March 2012

SoHum Vactation Guide

SoHum Vacation Guide


I know you are planning your Summer vacation right now. I live in a very tourist dependent community, and we have a lot to offer the smart vacationer here in SoHum. Whether you like to hunt, fish, hike, backpack, camp, cycle, or just sit in a hotel room between a loaded gun and a pile of cash, I want you to enjoy your stay here in SoHum and hope that you return home with many fond memories, and a trunk full of marijuana.


We love tourists here in SoHum. We love the way you take up every last parking space in Garberville. We love waiting behind your enormous RVs at the gas pumps, and we especially enjoy fishing your bloated corpses out of the ocean, because it reminds us to stay out of the water, and keeps our rescue teams well trained in case of a real emergency.


Our local economy also depends on tourist dollars. Besides the fact that none of us stay at the hotels much, none of us eat at Sicilitos Pizza or Cadillac Wok either. Neither of those businesses would survive long without a steady supply of people who don’t already know better.

So, I want to encourage everyone to come to SoHum on vacation this Summer. Enjoy the scenic splendor. Relish in its rugged natural beauty, and experience first-hand, one of the last truly wild places in the lower 48 United States, but before you embark on your SoHum safari, you should know a few things about the native wildlife, and prepare yourself accordingly.

A Guide to Enjoying the Back-Country in SoHum

Skunks we have two kinds of skunks here in SoHum, the stripped skunk, common across most of the US, and a smaller, cuter spotted variety. These smaller cuter spotted skunks have a mellowing effect on the stripped skunks.  They now compete with each other for human attention. Yes both stripped and spotted skunks are extremely affectionate on the North Coast and most lack any fear of humans. If you see a skunk with its tail raised, that signals affiliative behavior and means that it wants to be petted.

Cute and friendly Western Spotted Skunk

Mountain Lions While mountain lions remain common in Humboldt County, most people don’t see them until its too late. Still rarer, are sightings of their oh so cuddly and playful cubs. If you happen upon mountain lion cubs in the back country, pet them, scratch their chins, get a few photos and stick close to them until their mother returns.

Cuddly Mountain Lion Cubs

Black Bear We have quite a few black bears in SoHum. Bears around here have had some bad experiences and shy away from tourists, as a result, but tourists often leave here unnecessarily disappointed that they didn’t see even one bear during their entire stay. While camping in the back-country, if you want to see a bear, just slather your entire body with bacon grease before you go to sleep. If you do that at nightfall, I guarantee that you will see a bear before sunup.

Black Bears Love Bacon Grease!

Yellow Jackets Yellow jackets produce the most delicious honey. You won’t find yellow jacket honey in stores because it naturally contains a chemical euphoriant almost identical to cocaine, so trade in yellow jacket honey is banned by federal law. People around here know that yellow jackets are extremely docile, and if you sing to them, you can just stick your hand right into the nest and grab a handful of delicious, euphoria producing honey.

Yellow Jackets Produce Delicious, Psychoactive Honey

Gray Squirrel- DANGER!!! Gray Squirrels should be avoided AT ALL COSTS!!!-  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve come upon the partially decomposed body of a tourist in the back-country where victim’s mouth and eye sockets were stuffed with acorns. Only gray squirrels can do that to a man. Red squirrels just watch, and laugh.

Deadly Grey Squirrel AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!

Elk If you’ve never ridden an elk, you owe it to yourself to try. An elk-back ride from Bear Harbor to Jones Beach is the perfect way to see the Sinkyone Wilderness Area.

Everyone should try riding an elk at least once

Snakes most of the snakes on the North Coast are both venomous, and protected under the endangered species act, so don’t mess with them. However the western diamondback rattlesnake is exceptionally docile, and likes to be handled. Distinguished by the presence of a rattle on the end of its tail, which the rattlesnake uses to announce its presence, and attract friends. Many tourists find these snakes so cuddly and affectionate that they take them home where they become cherished household pets. Mothers find that their gentle rattling sound soothes restless babies, school children like to take them to school for show and tell, and teenagers like to show them off at parties. Rattlesnakes rarely grow longer than two to three feet in length, so they create far fewer problems in the long run than larger species commonly kept as pets, like boa constrictors and pythons.

Western Diamondback Rattlesnake in typical "friendship" pose

Blue Bellied Lizard, or Fence-Post Lizard -DANGER!!!!- The bright blue hue of of this lizard’s underside tells all of nature to “Back Off!” This diminutive reptile possesses the most deadly bite in the entire Western Hemisphere. Perhaps more frightening, the blue bellied lizard can spit venom accurately, up to 30 yards. One single drop of blue belly venom in a human eye, can cause permanent blindness. If you see a blue bellied lizard in the back-country, immediately drop to the ground, close your eyes, and cover your eyes with your hands. With your hands covering your eyes at all times, crawl, on your elbows and knees, to a safe distance (about 100′).

DANGER!!! Blue Bellied Lizards spit blinding venom and their bite CAN KILL!!!

Ticks Some ticks contain antibodies that impart to their host, and immunity to blue bellied lizard venom. Most of us locals have had so many tick bites that blue bellied lizards no longer concern us much. We all know that the best thing to do when a tick bites you is nothing. Just let it be, don’t disturb the tick, no matter how much it itches, until it bloats up and falls off on its own. That way, you can get the maximum immune boosting benefits from each tick.

Beneficial North Coast ticks boost immunity

Marijuana Forest rangers plant marijuana in remote parts of our National Forests to reward adventurous hikers. If you find marijuana plants while hiking on National Forest land, you’ve found a great place to camp. There’ll be water nearby, usually coming out of a pipe (you may have to cut the pipe to get it, that’s OK). Make yourself comfortable, and enjoy the free herb.

Forest Rangers plants marijuana in our National Forests to reward adventurous hikers

Mexican Hunters Many sportsmen from Mexico spend the entire summer in our National Forests. Most of them know the forest so well, that they know where to find all of the good marijuana patches. While they speak little, if any English, carry no hunting license, and usually hunt with automatic weapons, I’ve always found them friendly. As long as you understand that a barrage of gunfire aimed in your direction is the traditional way of saying “Welcome” in Mexico, you should have no problems with them

Mexican sportsmen enjoy hunting in our National Forests

If you just keep these simple suggestions in mind while you explore this this natural paradise, you should have a great time on your SoHum vacation.

When It Comes To Gravity, Matter Doesn’t Suck, Space is Pushy

When It Comes to Gravity,

Matter Doesn’t Suck, Space is Pushy


Most people think of gravity as a kind of attraction, like magnetism. They think that the Earth’s gravity holds us to its surface, causes pop-fly balls to invariably return to earth, and pulled the apple from the tree that landed on Isaac Newton’s head.


Most people think that something about the Earth’s tremendous mass, gives it the power to suck stuff out of space.. These people also believe that the Sun, with many magnitudes more mass than the Earth, possesses a kind of bungee-cord of gravity that holds the Earth in orbit around the Sun and keeps it from careening off into deep space.


According to these people, the more massive something is, the more gravity it exerts on other matter around it. The idea that the heavier something is, the more attractive it becomes, seems ridiculous when you think about what gaining 50 lbs would do for your love life, but it seems even more ridiculous when you contemplate star formation.


What are stars made of? Answer: hydrogen. Hydrogen is the lightest element known to man. How do individual atoms of hydrogen ever exert enough gravity on each other to pull each other together enough to fuse into helium and form stars? The answer is: They don’t.  Quite the contrary.


Individual atoms of hydrogen bounce around so vigorously that they keep each other as far apart as possible. The higher the temperature, the more vigorously they bounce. Even at temperatures close to absolute zero, hydrogen atoms still have enough energy to keep each other at arms length, so to speak. At these low temperatures hydrogen forms crystals, not stars.


No, to make hydrogen atoms fuse into helium, releasing the energy we know as sunlight, you need to exert a lot of pressure on them…a lot of pressure. How much pressure?


Well, when we do it on Earth, we surround the hydrogen with a good thick layer of plutonium, then surround the plutonium with a layer of conventional explosives. We then detonate the explosives, which exerts enough pressure on the plutonium to trigger a fission chain reaction resulting in a Hiroshima style nuclear explosion. This nuclear explosion creates enough pressure at its very center, to fuse part of the hydrogen at its core, into helium. We call that a thermonuclear explosion.


The thermonuclear explosion remains, far and away, our most impressive parlor trick, as a culture. Ever since then, we have wondered how we could make hydrogen fuse into helium without sacrificing so much real estate, and in a way that didn’t kill every living creature, scorch the earth, and leave a contaminated wasteland for generations, but we haven’t got it yet.


So far, the only way we know to produce the pressure necessary to cause hydrogen atoms to fuse into helium atoms, is at the very center of a nuclear explosion. If gravity is really an attraction of mass for mass, hydrogen atoms, light, fluffy hydrogen atoms, on their own, never find each other attractive enough to create that kind of pressure. You might get hydrogen clouds, or hydrogen crystals, but never stars.


To form stars, you need pressure, lots of it, and you don’t get that kind of pressure from far flung, light fluffy hydrogen atoms pining away for each other in a vast emptiness. Sorry to break it to you, but matter is just not that attractive. No, the pressure that turns hydrogen into helium and sunlight, at the core of every star, comes from space. Space is pushy.


We’re used to thinking about space as empty, but we know better. We all listen to the radio. Although we say a station is “On the Air” we know that radio waves travel through space itself, not the air. Imagine looking into a still pond in such a way that you do not see any water, but instead see a fish that appears to float above the rocks on the bottom of the pond. Now imagine dropping a pebble into the pond. As soon as the pebble hits the surface of the water, ripples race across the surface of the water, obscuring your view of the fish, but now you see the water. Similarly, radio communication proves that there is more to space than meets the eye.


Just for the sake of argument, lets imagine that space is like water in some ways. Water, or h2o is composed of molecules each composed of two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen atom. These molecules vibrate, keeping each other at arms length, so to speak, so the water remains liquid.


See you already understand water as being made of individual molecules that vibrate, which are made of atoms which vibrate, which are themselves made of super tiny sub-atomic particles, that never sit still either. Well if you buy that, why not imagine that all of space is full of super-super-tiny particles, smaller than the tiniest known subatomic particle, and that they vibrate, like other sub-atomic particles, atoms and molecules. Also imagine that these tiny particles have no mass, like photons.


Imagine that these super-super-tiny particles, in all of their crazy vibrational energy, tend to kick around anything with mass. If you are a solitary hydrogen atom, floating all alone in space, these little space particles kick at you equally from all sides, so you just float there. The space particles kicking you in the face get counteracted by the space particles kicking you in the butt, so you go nowhere.


But, lets say that there’s another hydrogen atom in the vicinity. On one side of you, all of the space in the universe, on the other side of you, there is just the space between you and the other hydrogen atom. On the other side of that hydrogen atom, again, lies all of the space in the universe. You see, between you and the other hydrogen atom, there is less space than in any other direction around you. As a result, all of the space in the universe will tend to push you two hydrogen atoms together, because there is less space between you, to push you apart.


Slowly at first, but increasing in speed, you two hydrogen atoms get closer together, as all of the space in the universe pushes against, and displaces, the smaller amount of space between the two of you. The displaced space immediately joins the rest of the space in the universe in pushing the two of you together.


Soon other hydrogen atoms join you, pushed around by these energetic space particles, and the closer you all get together, the more all of the space in the universe tends to squeeze all of the space out from between you hydrogen atoms. As space gets squeezed out from between the hydrogen atoms, it joins the rest of the space in the universe in squeezing those atoms even tighter.


Being packed so close together causes friction among the hydrogen atoms and they heat up. As they heat up, they try to expand, but all of the space in the universe is pressing in on them, so they squeeze out the last of the space between themselves as they become more energetic in the heat. Eventually, the nuclei fuse, and the newly formed star emits gazillions of photons that we call starlight, or sunlight, depending on your proximity.


You see, gravity doesn’t happen because matter is so attractive. No, gravity happens because space is so pushy, and because there is so damn much of it. Anyway, that’s how stars happen, and why the sun shines. ….at least so far as our feeble primate minds can comprehend.

Word Power, Dementian

Word Power

Building Your Vocabulary by Inventing New Words


de ment ian (pronounce like dimension)n, an inhabitant of dementia.


I coined this term after listening to the Friday morning talk show on our dear little community radio station, KMUD, called, embarrassingly enough, Thank Jah Its Friday. Older, boomer-aged host Al “Owl” Cerulo had just shouted down his younger partner, Tanner Spea’s concerns about the environmental crisis, with the statement “We’re gonna move into another dimension.”


Cerulo often airs these psychotic notions on this show. While the world, and our local community face real issues that deserve discussion, the kinds of discussion Tanner usually initiates, Cerulo cannot stop talking about UFOs, mysterious black boxes, or the awesome power of the pyramids, …or dimensions.


Ever since Carl Sagan tried to explain astrophysics on PBS, lunatics like Cerulo have latched onto the idea that we can somehow inhabit theoretical mathematical constructs. People who laughed at the rapture day retards, chuckled at the castrated comet cult, and just stared in disbelief at Jim Jones’ Koolaid kill-off, somehow take this “other dimension” shit seriously.


Some people simply can no longer look reality in the face. They pray for salvation. They become born again Christians. They seek Nirvana. They believe in UFOs or lapse into some other dementia. Rather than seeing this tendency as yet another symptom of a failed culture, people cling to these salvation fantasies while they lose their grip on reality. Rather than living in the real world, they begin to inhabit their own dementia. In other words, they become dementians.


Dementians see our complete failure as a culture as a kind of achievement. As though only by destroying the natural systems that support life on Earth, can we prove to the aliens, or Jesus or whatever, that we deserve a better place to live. Or, maybe they think that through the process of destroying the planet, we will gain so much knowledge that the aliens will finally find us interesting enough to want to talk to.


It’s really hard to know what dememtians think, because they are crazy. Crazy people don’t think rationally. That’s why we call them crazy. Once they buy into Jesus or UFOs or quantum theory, every subsequent fantasy gets easier to swallow. In this way, one silly idea leads to another until soon they inhabit a world of their own construction, built entirely from demented ideas. They become dementians.


Dementians, like zombies, try to eat the brains of the people around them, like “Owl” tried to do to Tanner on Thank Jah Its Friday last week. Dementians, like zombies have lost the capacity for reason, so there’s no point talking to them. Like zombies, dementians continue blindly consuming everything they can get their grasping clutches on, because they believe that a better world awaits them just on the other side of reality.


Dementians act like zombies in many ways, and every day, the world looks more like a zombie apocalypse because of them. This drives more people crazy, who then become new dementains. The more crazy people surround you, the more likely you are to crack yourself. Don’t let them suck you into their dementia. We have plenty of dementians as it is.

The Importance of Not Caring in a Relationship

The Importance of Not Caring in a Relationship


I’ve heard a few complaints that my writing has become rather “negative” lately, and that I’ve taken some cheap shots at some easy targets for quick laughs. These complaints usually go something like:If its not volunteer programmers at KMUD, local political candidates, or dope growers, its old people, the French or Andrew Goff. All you do is rag on people, John, and that’s not funny!”


To which I respond, “Oh fuck you! I’m so tired of listening to you complain about my writing. Why don’t you just SHUT UP!”, and that’s why I’ve slept in the truck for the last four nights.


Then I realized that I have, for too long now, neglected an important segment of my audience. The people of Thailand, Thai people everywhere, and non-Thai people who live Thai-style lives rely on me for relationship advice (based on the amount of traffic that pours into this blog from which lists this blog as a resource for building relationships).  I have let my own petty concerns distract me from my responsibilities to these people. So, today I want to get back to helping you build lasting relationships, Thai-style, or otherwise.


Much has been said about the importance of caring in a relationship. Of course its important to care about your partner, and to build a caring relationship, but not-caring is equally critical to a happy relationship. For instance, its important to a relationship to not care too much about things like, say, the car he wrecked or the leather jacket her cat peed on.


Other times, especially in a young relationship, its important to effectively communicate exactly how much you care about something. For instance; “I’m leaning towards Amigos Burritos for lunch, its quick, doesn’t cost too much and its right on 101, but I could be persuaded other wise”, or perhaps, “I’d really like to try Bless My Soul sometime. It doesn’t have to be tonight. Do you have a better suggestion?”


You see how both of these statements express different degrees of ambivalence. Most of us feel ambivalent about most things. A large part of building a relationship, is turning those ambivalent feelings into real decisions; where to go for dinner, what movie to watch, what color to paint the kitchen, before you starve to death, fall asleep or get used to looking at the tape stripes on the bare drywall.


After a while, in a relationship, you begin to learn the value of not caring so much about these little decisions. This saves time, avoids arguments, and gets things done. What color do you think the drapes should be? I don’t care. What should we put on this wall? I don’t care. What should we name the kid? I don’t care. Even if you have some ambivalent feelings about these issues, when you realize how much energy not caring will save you, those ambivalent feelings just float away.


Think about it. Some things really are worth caring about; getting “nookie” regularly, having someone to talk to so you don’t go batshit crazy talking to yourself, and knowing someone who has seen you naked, first thing in the morning, smelled your farts, and knows what a jerk you are, but still mostly enjoys your company. Those are sensible things to care about.

By comparison, what you have for dinner, what movie you see, or even where you go on vacation seem rather paltry, don’t they? So, remind yourself of the things you really care about, before you get too invested in a color scheme, or choice of vehicle.

When you realize that the number one factor determining how much you enjoy anything, is how much your partner enjoys it, you’ll understand why the less you care about anything else, the happier you will be.

On The Money, Democracy is Overrated

On The Money

Financial Advice for the Working-Class

Democracy is Overrated


Winston Churchill once said, “The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.” I’m sure people haven’t gotten any smarter in the last half-century, and neither has democracy. I know some people still think that democracy is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but I sure don’t see the evidence of it. What has democracy done for you lately? Do you ever remember a time when democracy worked? I sure don’t.

I was about four I guess, when a news bulletin interrupted one of my favorite TV shows, Captain Kangaroo, to tell the world that Robert Kennedy had been shot. “Kennedy’s been shot” was already a familiar phrase in my limited lexicon.

As far as I remember, no one ever really liked the Vietnam war, yet it dragged on forever, it seemed. I remember, at 12, sitting through hours of incredibly boring televised testimony that preempted everything on TV, trying to figure out what a water gate was. I knew it had something to do with Nixon cheating in his re-election campaign, and that our president was a crook.

I remember a peanut farmer giving us the hard truth about fossil fuels and telling us what we needed to do to prepare for the future. That was just about the same time Pink Floyd’s album Animals came out. I remember that the American people resoundingly said “Fuck the future, gimme more now!” and voted for a cowboy actor who promised to lie to them, just after The Wall had peaked.

I remember the Iran/Contra scandal. I remember fabricated threats, and real violence in places like Grenada, Panama, and Nicaragua. I remember massive increases in military spending, while they demonized the poor. The word “Homelessness” joined our common lexicon, and it became a condition of life for millions of Americans. I remember that Reagan drastically raised taxes on waiters, waitresses and bartenders by taxing their tips, and that he gutted college grant funds. As a waiter, putting myself through college at the time, you can imagine how much I appreciated that.

As far as I can tell, Reagan got reelected four more times, by the same idiots who elected him the first time. Clinton proved that he, like Reagan, was elected specifically to lie to us, when he remained popular even as Congress impeached him for lying to Congress. We didn’t care. We knew we were living a fantasy, why shouldn’t he? We didn’t care that Bill Clinton got a little nookie on the side, we didn’t care that he lied about it. We were just disappointed that Monica Lewinsky wasn’t hotter.

Around the millennium, people began to realize that Jimmy Carter was right about a few things, and that those solar panels that he put on the White House were actually a pretty good idea. The American people almost put a (sort of) environmentalist in the Oval Office in 2000, but things got ugly in Florida and the Supreme Court handed the presidency to GW Bush. The American people just shrugged.

After eight long years of war, torture, civil rights abuses, human rights abuses, mortgage fraud, economic collapse, and bank bailouts, the American people finally united behind the first African-American president in history, and we could hardly be more disappointed with him.

All of the problems that I remember as a child; pollution, smog, poverty, deforestation, overfishing and technological warfare, have only gotten worse, and we have a whole bunch of new problems, like homelessness, unaffordable health care, and an uber-class that just sucks the life out of everything. That doesn’t sound to me like democracy is working. It sure doesn’t feel like democracy is working. It might be working for somebody, but its not working for me, or anyone I know.

I’m not saying that saying that communism or socialism or even monarchy or dictatorship would improve things, I’m saying that the only thing that all 300 million of us can agree on, is that the majority of Americans are idiots. Democracy is the process whereby we let those idiots run our lives.

Yes, democracy amounts to a dictatorship of the dumb, a gulag of the gullible and a republic of the retarded. Forget about the nonsense that it takes an intelligent, informed public for democracy to succeed. Democracy succeeds by turning stupidity into power that only money can wield. It’s time to face the fact that, although it seems like a great theory, democracy really doesn’t work in practice, either.

Word Power, Abinitio

Word Power

Building your Vocabulary One Word at a Time


abinitio (Abba ‘neesh eeoh) adv. From the beginning.


People who have followed this blog abinitio, know that the appearance of a “Word Power” piece here at usually means that within a few hours, a couple more, usually longer pieces will appear here as well. God willing, this week will be no exception.

I Endorse a Candidate in the 2nd District Supervisors Race

I Endorse a Candidate in the 2nd District Supes. Race

Looking at our current choices for Humboldt Co. 2nd District Supervisor makes me really miss Roger Rodoni. I would vote for a zombie Roger Rodoni before I’d vote for either Clif Clendennen or Estelle Fennel.


Clif Clendennen owns Clendennen Cider Works, a pillar of our local economy that probably wouldn’t exist today, were it not for Alcohol Prohibition, which created an insatiable demand for fruit that could be made into moonshine. We thought he understood the plight of poor pot farmers who just want to make a killing in an unregulated illegal industry just like his great-grandfather did. Unfortunately, he turned out to be just another Fortunite son who couldn’t care less about anything that happens South of SR36.


On the other hand, we all remember Estelle Fennel as KMUD’s intrepid news reporter, asking the hard questions of former Maxxam CEO Charles Hurwitz, getting the lowdown on law-enforcement, and 24-7 coverage of wild-fires for weeks at a time. We also remember the day she stepped over to the dark side, in the midst of the Reggae Wars. Almost overnight, our star reporter turned from Walter Cronkite, into Karl Rove as she turned KMUD’s newscast into a mouthpiece for the “Dick Cheney” of SoHum, Carol Bruno.


The Reggae Wars brought Estelle’s otherwise stellar journalistic career to an unfortunate end. While the Reggae Wars left a bad taste in everyone else’ mouth, Estelle seemed to enjoy the big money, corruption and politics of it all, and shortly thereafter, undertook an unsuccessful campaign for the seat she currently seeks.


Lately, she’s in bed with HumCPR, an “AstroTurf” non-profit that advocates on behalf of commercial pot farmers, greedy real-estate developers, and rich land-owners. They’ve got they’re sites fixed on the 2nd District Supervisors seat. With Estelle Fennel commanding their Death Star, they mean to overturn the Clendennen apple cart in June.


That means that if you live South of Hydesville, and/or earn South of $100,000 a year, you shouldn’t expect much from either of our Second District Supervisor candidates, except junk mail. Whoever wins, we get the same corrupt, ineffective county government that we’re used to.


Don’t we, at least, deserve a candidate with a little more charisma? Shouldn’t we have someone to vote for who, at least superficially, reflects the brash, rugged, independent spirit of SoHum in some way?

Neither of our current candidates can hold a candle to the character, candor, and colloquial charm of the man in the black cowboy hat, Roger Rodoni.


If I’m going to get screwed over by a dysfunctional and corrupt county government, I want the face of that government to be a sinister-looking redneck in a black cowboy hat, not some pencil-necked geek in a short sleeved dress shirt, or Darth Vader in drag. So, before this race gets any more dull, let’s do some voodoo, and bring Roger Rodoni back from the dead, just to liven it up a bit.


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