Category Archives: money

Welcome, Willcommen, Bienvenida, to SoHum

welcome languages

As the days grow shorter, and the pervasive aroma of ripening cannabis flowers fills the air, young travelers from all over the world descend on Southern Humboldt to remind us how provincial we are by comparison. What we lack in culture, class and common courtesy, we make up for with money and marijuana. Believe me, if it weren’t for the money and the weed, these adventurous world travelers wouldn’t waste one minute of their precious time on us, but here they come, again.

here they come again

Sure, lots of interesting people come from all over the world to see the giant redwoods, but only marijuana and money brings interesting people here to see us, mainly in search of boring work. I’d think the opportunity to have a crew of people from far flung places like France, Brazil and New Zealand, sharing their diverse backgrounds, as well as their travel stories, as they trim your weed, must be one of the best things about the life of a Humboldt Dope Yuppie. Of course, I don’t think like a Dope Yuppie.

too much weed

Dope Yuppies don’t care about cultural exchange. Still, trimmigrants often advertise their cultural diversity to entice would-be employers. “Two Germans looking for work.” one sign I saw recently read. “For hire: Spanish couple, from Amsterdam…” began the classified ad I heard on KMUD.

get a job in marijuana fields

They have no idea. Ideally the ad should read: “White woman, under 30, with two breasts, seeks employment. Willing to work, ogling tolerated.” Face it. No guy, who has been stuck on a hill in the middle of the forest all by himself for the last six months wants to hear another guy tell him about how hot the women in Berlin are, or about the club scene in Brazil, or even about farming on a Kibbutz in Israel. He knows that he is not getting off of that hill until all of that weed gets clipped. He wants to see pounds of marketable product, and tits. That’s it.

woman with weed

Growers generally don’t maintain facilities for these seasonal workers, and at the time when growers need them, every square foot of indoor space is usually full of freshly harvested cannabis. Often, trimmigrants sleep on the floor of the drying shed, in the crawl space beneath the hanging herb, usually just a few feet away from a folding chair in which they will spend almost every waking minute of their entire two week, or month long stay. That is the life of a trimmigrant.

trimming pot

Yes, people from all over, come here, to one of the most beautiful places in the whole world, to spend 16 hours a day locked in a windowless room full of weed, operating a pair of scissors under unchanging artificial light. The work is not difficult, but it is extremely dull, and it demands long hours. If you can tolerate the boredom, muscle cramps and eye-strain, don’t mind watching a few weeks of your life evaporate, and don’t have a life to lead that you can’t just disappear from for a month or so, trimming weed can seem like a decent gig. A good trimmer can earn $1000 or more per week, and sometimes they even get paid.

not getting paid

Local merchants should celebrate this influx of foreign tourists. I’ve seen these kids eat at all of the local restaurants and cafes. I see them buy groceries and beer, and I’m sure they’d even pay for a place to camp, if they could find a reasonably priced campground. They spend money, but a lot of them come from places where they just naturally expect to be treated like human beings by the businesses they patronize. I guess that’s kind of a European thing, but, you know, we could give it a shot.

give it a shot

I haven’t seen much by way of hospitality extended to these people who have come such a long way to visit our little community. I mean, we put out porta-potties and throw a barbeque for the bikers when they come here to get drunk and loud at the Harley Run. I’ll bet we could get trimmigrants to spend more money here, if we treated them like we were glad to see them, and offered them things they needed and wanted.

give them what they want

They couldn’t be any scummier than the bikers; there’s more of them, and they stay longer. Really, these are some the nicest, most interesting people you are likely to meet in Humboldt County at any time of year. We should all make the most of our time with them while they are here. In that spirit, I say: “Welcome to SoHum. How may I be of service?” and “Wir sprechen Deutsch”

wir sprechen deutsch

(not really, but I’ll do my best to dredge up what I can remember from watching Hogan’s Heroes)

hogans heroes

Choice and Change in Humboldt County


People talk about homelessness as though it were a choice. How many times have you heard someone say, “If that’s how they choose to live…” when talking about homeless people? What a ludicrous idea! Homelessness happens to people. They don’t aspire to it. They don’t plan it, and few are well prepared for it when it happens to them. People don’t choose homelessness. Homelessness is what happens to people who run out of options.


On the other hand, people do choose to become middle-class. The aspiration to become middle-class is so pervasive that it has acquired a nickname. We call it the American Dream. Yes, people choose to become middle-class. They aspire to join the middle-class. They work to achieve middle-class status, and even after they’ve established themselves within the middle-class, they never quite feel middle-class enough.

not middle class enough

A lot of people choose to live a middle-class lifestyle, and it’s a choice most people make without giving it a lot of thought. It’s an expensive choice. The middle-class lifestyle consumes people’s lives as greedily as it consumes the earth’s resources. The middle-class lifestyle doesn’t happen by accident. It takes dedication and lifelong commitment to join the ranks of the middle-class.

chance of middle class

At the same time, the middle-class lifestyle has a very poor record of making people happy. As anyone raised in a middle-class home can tell you, the middle-class lifestyle ain’t all it’s cracked up to be. Still, people throw themselves at the middle-class, like proverbial lemmings over a cliff. Even real lemmings aren’t that stupid. What gives?

another way to go

You see, most people don’t choose a middle-class lifestyle because it looks particularly attractive. Most people choose to become middle-class because the prospect of homelessness frightens them so much. In this way, the middle-class are a lot like Christians, who abstain from earthly pleasures, not so much because they dream of someday flying through the clouds playing a harp, but because they fear the fires of Hell.

hell fear

This kind of fear grows into resentment. In the same way that deeply frustrated Christians vent their resentment at gay people and women seeking abortions, the middle-class vent their resentment at the poor and homeless. In both cases it’s a gross display of stupidity, gullibility and cowardice aimed at the most vulnerable. Like Christians, the middle-class have been frightened into believing a fairy tale that controls their lives and makes them resentful of non-believers.


No one forces them to become middle-class. I’m sure they feel a lot of pressure from family and friends, not to mention the media, and society at large. Even the government tries to enforce a middle-class lifestyle through policy, sanction, and ordinance. However, the decision to pursue a middle-class lifestyle remains a personal choice, and one that can only be realized through dedication and hard work. Still, it’s a choice most people make without much serious thought.

choice consequences quote

We know that most of the serious crises we face today, like global climate change, habitat loss and the extinction crisis, result directly from too many people choosing a conventional American middle-class lifestyle. From a scientific perspective, it seems clear that the single biggest threat to our long-term survival, is our global infatuation with becoming middle-class. If we actually thought about it, we’d realize what a destructive, high-maintenance, low-satisfaction lifestyle the middle-class have chosen. Few of us would eagerly repeat their mistakes. But instead of thinking, we blindly perpetuate a culture of fear and oppression that serves only the super-rich, while it pushes us all relentlessly towards extinction.

extinction c n h

Who do we blame for this? Invariably, we blame the poor. We blame the poor for not pulling their weight. We blame the poor for frightening children, driving off tourists, blocking sidewalks, and especially for not going away. Then, when they finally crack, under the pressure of poverty, lack of sleep, poor diet, constant harassment and social isolation, we blame their poverty on mental illness. How does this make sense?

no logic exists

If you ask me, I say, “Blame the middle-class.” Blame the sniveling cowards who turned their backs on humanity and stuck their tongues deep into the rectum of the super-rich, just for the chance to spend the future, today. Blame the middle-class for their greed, stupidity, and cowardice. Blame them for their choices, because the choices were all theirs to make.

thats so middle class

Whether it was their lack of imagination, their gullibility, or their infatuation with bright shiny objects that lead middle-class people to make the dreadful decisions that define their lives and shape our world, ultimately, blaming people doesn’t solve the problem. To solve this problem, people have to learn to live differently.

learn to live differently

I realize that you’ve heard this before. “Create a sustainable lifestyle” has been a mantra of environmental organizations for decades, environmental groups that rely mainly on the middle-class
for their support. Still, if we manage to survive this century as a species, it won’t be because we developed some new clean energy source, it will be because we learned to live differently.


Do you remember that part of our Humboldt County heritage? You’ve seen the experimental houses, the strawbale, cobb, ferro-cement, and wattle-and-daub buildings, the yurts, tepees, wikiups, and benders, the domes, tree-houses, house-trees, and the thousands of funky, idiosyncratic little wooden dwellings that grace our Humboldt County hillsides. Those houses exist because a lot of people came to Humboldt County to experiment with different ways of living, not to become middle-class yuppies by growing dope.

funky tree home humboldt

We’ve seen how these experiments pay off economically. The Solar Living Center in Hopland, and the Schottz energy lab in Arcata come to mind immediately, as examples of how a modest cultural experiment can catalyze change and create real economic opportunities.

solar living center

We have a long history of experimental, owner-built housing in Humboldt County. We need housing now more than ever, and we need housing that works for people, rather than vice-versa. We need to learn to live differently, and few things reflect the way we live more than the homes we live in.

tiny home-tile

Here in Humboldt County, we have the opportunity to take a humane approach to our housing shortage, and open a door to the future, or not. People need a place to live. We can continue to deny our neighbors the dignity of privacy and a place to escape the elements, or we can create the kind of cultural incubator that solves problems, sets trends, and creates the economic opportunities of the future.


Class War against the poor will never succeed, and the middle-class will never be happy with what they have. We need to find another way to live, and if we want to know what that looks like, we need to allow the people who need it the most, an opportunity to build it for themselves.

build it yourself1

Red-Tagging Gavin Newsom’s Blue Ribbon Panel

red tag-blue ribbon

Gavin Newsome’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Marijuana Legalization reminded me just how far politicians will go to thwart the will of the people. Lawmakers in Sacramento are still working to undermine Prop 215, almost 20 years after the voters demanded legal access to medical marijuana.

crybaby 215

For decades, corrupt politicians, like Gavin Newsom, have used marijuana prohibition as the iron fist of American fascism at home, because it gives them the green light to use violence against American people with impunity, and allows them to turn American citizens into cheap prison labor. Cannabis prohibition has given a corrupt few, unfair, unreasonable, and unconscionable power over the many, and they’ll only give that power up when we pry it out of their cold dead fingers.

cold dead fingers

They expect that the voters will finally take matters into their own hands in November of 2016, and by initiative, legalize “recreational” use of cannabis for all adults, regardless of their medical “need.” Who knows what this initiative will look like, but everyone knows it’s coming, because the people want their weed, dammit, and we are sick and tired of the oppression. Cannabis prohibition is wrong, and its long history in the US is nothing short of shameful.


If lawmakers in Sacramento actually worked for the people, cannabis prohibition would have ended decades ago, but they don’t. Politicians work for money. Money can do anything it wants in California. Money can kill people or keep them locked-up for decades for no good reason. Money can destroy habitat and poison the environment. Money can kick poor people in the ribs while they sleep. That’s what money does. Lawmakers in Sacramento get paid to make sure that money has what it needs to get the job done, and for the last three decades, marijuana prohibition has done that job well.

drug slavery

So, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom convened a Blue Ribbon Panel to figure our how to preserve as much of the injustice of prohibition as possible, even in the face of overwhelming public support for complete legalization. Now they’ve issued their recommendations.


I didn’t read the report, but I did hear Gavin Newsom himself explaining his panel’s recommendations, and I could hardly believe he could keep a straight face as he read them. He explained that the best way to keep pot out of the hands of children is to keep the price high. He told us that kids don’t have very much money, so if pot is expensive, they’ll be less likely to try it, and they won’t be able to afford as much of it.


I guess toy manufacturers, who spend millions of dollars marketing expensive video game consoles to children, didn’t get the memo about kids not having money. I’ll bet there isn’t a single kid an America with a $500 dollar phone and a $100 dollar a month phone plan to go with it. Oh, wait, there’s one. …and another… I suppose adults could be buying all of those rap CDs that glorify violence and drug abuse, but I somehow doubt it, and let’s not forget what a great job high, prohibition-era, marijuana prices did at keeping marijuana out of our schools. How stupid do you think we are, Gavin?

how stupid do you think we are

Imagine if we applied Newsom’s logic to alcohol. As an adult, you would pay $60 for a beer, because no kid would be stupid enough to waste that kind of money on it. Does that sound fair? We don’t price products higher for adults in order to keep them out of the hands of children; we allow licensed retailers to sell the products at fair and competitive prices. That eliminates the unregulated black market, and then we prohibit licensed retailers from selling them to minors. It works for alcohol. It works for tobacco, and it will work for marijuana too.

get carded

Then Newsom tells us that he wants to keep the legal marijuana industry in the hands of the same people who have been selling weed to your kids, at $10 a gram or more, in every high school and Jr. high in America for the last 30 years. Why on Earth would we want to do that, Gavin?

drugs in school

You might think that the black-market marijuana industry is a paragon of ethical business practices. I don’t know why you would think that, except perhaps if you lived on another planet, and got all of your information about Planet Earth from listening to KMUD, but let me tell you, as a lifelong marijuana consumer, who has lived in the heart of the Emerald Triangle for the last 15 years or so, drug dealers lie.

drug dealer shoes

They’ll say anything. You never find out what a drug dealer is really up to until they get busted. That’s when they find the stream diversions, the soil erosion, the thousands of spent butane canisters, the stolen guns, the rat poison, and the banned pesticides. I guess Newsom picked up quite a few campaign checks when he made his visit to Garberville a few months ago. Like I said before, politicians work for money, not people. People should remember, however, that half of the reason to legalize marijuana is to put drug dealers out of business. Here’s why:

why me

Another body turned up last week in Whitethorn. This happens so often that we don’t even blink anymore. In any other rural town of this size, a dead body would be a big deal. Everyone would want to know: Who was he? What happened to him? And especially, Could there be a murderer among us? This would shock most small towns to their core.

body found

Not us. We’re like: “Eh, it was just another kid, from out of the area. Somebody killed him, probably over a pot deal, and yeah, there are murderers among us. What do you expect? We’re fucking drug dealers! Do you want us to drive the economy or what?”

walk in the woods

Sure, marijuana is safe and effective, but drug dealers are dangerous, dishonest criminals who don’t care how many people people get killed, how much habitat gets destroyed or whose hands their product ends up in, so long as they get paid. They’re a lot like politicians in that way. They warn us that unless we protect their interests, the legal marijuana industry could end up in the hands of big tobacco companies. Honestly, could tobacco company executives really be any more callous? I don’t think so.

you think so

Despite the murders, despite the fact that dope yuppies are rapidly turning the last wild habitat in the continental US into industrial wasteland, Gavin Newsome, and his dope yuppie supporters here in Humboldt County tell us that we, as pot smokers, who have done the work to legalize marijuana, without any help at all from the legislature, or drug dealers, for that matter, should now be forced to pay a premium price to subsidize the greedy drug dealers who have ripped us off for decades.

pokemon_drug dealers rip_off_

I guess Humboldt’s dope yuppies are some of the few people left who have enough money to buy politicians these days, but still, watching Gavin Newsom suck-up to Humboldt County’s Drug War profiteers shows us just how craven he really is. Maybe California needs a Republican governor in this next election. I’m really sick of Big Government wedging itself between me and my marijuana. If greedy, drug dealing, forest raping dope yuppies can buy Newsom, I don’t see how a Republican could do any worse.

dope yuppie -kiss1

Make it to The Makers Fair This Weekend

5th Annual Humboldt Makers Fair, Saturday August 1, Old Town Eureka

humboldt makers fair

This Saturday, August 1st, I’ll perform at the 5th annual Humboldt Makers Fair.  This event celebrates Humboldt’s DIY culture and creative self-expression.  The streets will be lined with booths for local artists and craftspersons to show off their talent and sell their unique products.  The festival also includes entertainment on two stages.

humboldt makers fair

I will begin the entertainment with a performance on electric didgeridoo….

photo credit bob doran

Photo by Bob Doran

 from 12 noon to 1pm in front of the Romano Gabriel exhibit on 2nd St.


and then I’ll play again, from 2-3pm in front of the Gazebo in Old Town Eureka.

gazebo old town

I’ll scare the pigeons away

You can also hear Dogbone,


Cliff Dallas and the Death Valley Troubadors,

cliff dallas dvt

Kindred Spirits

kindred spirits

The John David Young Conspiracy,

john david young conspiracy

Companion Animal,

companion animal

…and many more.

I hope to see you there.

SoHum’s Post-War Potential

war potential

Some people will tell you that the people of Southern Humboldt are too stupid to do anything but rape the environment, deal drugs, or both. I’m not one of those people. Despite our inglorious legacy, we have a lot to be proud of in our past, and we have a lot of potential for the future, but we have a lot of work to do right now to get there.

dealing with loss

Change is coming. It’s happening as we speak. As the War on Drugs comes to an end, the cannabis industry will undoubtedly go through dramatic upheaval. We should expect difficulties and challenges we’ve never faced before, and we should expect that these challenges will be made more challenging because of what the War on Drugs has done to us as a community.

after the war

The War on Drugs has done terrible things to this community, and, like soldiers returning from war, we won’t know how profoundly the War on Drugs has affected us, until it is really over. Some of us may find successful careers in the post-war cannabis industry, but we’re all still bleeding from wounds we got from thirty years of the War on Drugs, and a lot of people around here simply cannot imagine any other way to live.

cant imagine living without

Humboldt County may or may not own the future of the cannabis industry, but we do own the War on Drugs. No one can take that away from us. What Lexington and Concord are to the American Revolution; what Gettysburg is to the American Civil War, Humboldt County is to the War on Drugs.

war hero1

The War on Drugs lasted for more than 30 years, and you would be hard pressed to find a community anywhere in the US on whom the War on Drugs has had a more dramatic and lasting effect. No one likes to dwell on anything so terrible as war, but people die in them, people suffer through them, and they define people’s lives. We shouldn’t just try to brush it under the rug.


The War on Drugs has affected us all. We need to understand what happened to us in the War on Drugs more than anyone else. We need to understand how the War on Drugs impacted this community, and how it effected the whole country. We need that understanding this to heal ourselves. If we can find that healing for our own community, we can offer it to the millions of survivors carrying trauma from the War on Drugs.


Seriously. A Drug War Museum. It should have a plaque or something with the name of every American who died in the War on Drugs. Make it a place where Drug War Vets can be honored for the time they served… in jail. Tell the story of what happened to this community, honestly, but make it a compelling narrative, and don’t skimp on the details. Honor the herb, and honor the people who risked their lives in a war zone to keep America high during the War on Drugs. I’m not kidding. That is our claim to fame, as a community, and it’s our wisdom to share.

Wounds Into Wisdom_0A

Take tourists on day-hikes that simulate the treks guerrilla growers had to make deep into the woods to tend their hidden patches. Have exhibits showing some of the sneaky tricks people used to hide their plants. Make each tourist carry a sack of chicken manure in their backpack for the whole hike, and hide some speakers in the woods that intermittently play the sounds of helicopters, to simulate an impending CAMP raid, for added realism . Show people what it was like here.

Marijuana raid w/ helicopter

A trip to Southern Humboldt could become a therapeutic part of healing the traumas inflicted by the War on Drugs. When people come here, we should remind them that there’s nothing wrong with consuming cannabis, but that the War on Drugs is a crime against humanity that has taken a toll on all of us. We should show the War on Drugs for what it is: a dark chapter in American History that must never be forgotten because it must never be repeated.

war never again

Garberville should become the place where people come to heal the wounds of the War on Drugs, but we can also make Garberville a place to explore the healing powers of cannabis as medicine. We have a strong community of healers here who already have a lot of experience with cannabis as medicine. I imagine that we’ve barely scratched the surface of cannabis’ many therapeutic uses, and that the potential for new products, therapies and treatments involving cannabis is huge. Look, cannabis feels good. Feeling good is good for you. Therefore cannabis is good for you. If you ask me, that’s all the recommendation anyone needs to enjoy cannabis. Now that cannabis is going to be legal, and cheap, let’s see how many imaginative new ways we can find to use it.

cannabis -tile

Cannabis is not wine. It is not a decadent luxury for the well-to-do. Cannabis is medicine. Cannabis is tonic. Cannabis is good for you. That’s why everyone needs cannabis. We can’t possibly grow enough cannabis here for everyone, and we shouldn’t even try, but we can dream up new ways to use it, and we can use it to heal ourselves, our economy, and our community from the traumas inflicted by the War on Drugs.

cannabis is my medicine

Your Tax Dollars at Work: John Christianson’s Biofeedback Spa

spa packages-biofeedback

Tucked away behind the hospital at the North end of Garberville, you’ll find a county facility unlike any other. Disguised as the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County Library, this expensive county facility actually functions as a private spa for just one county employee, John Christianson.

john christianson

If you visit the building on one of the four days a week that it is open, you’ll see that on the inside, it looks, superficially, like a library, albeit the tiniest, most pathetic excuse for a public library you’ve ever seen. It has a few stacks of book, mostly for children, a rack of magazines and newspapers, and a small selection of old movies and albums. These things contribute to the appearance of a library, without actually providing much value to the community, with the exception of providing a dry, temperature controlled environment, and restroom facilities for people who otherwise lack access to such things.

gville library

The library also has two computer terminals that access the internet, that people may use, for up to 30 minutes, if they are willing to wait their turn, and one computer terminal that only accesses the the county library’s database, from which library patrons can request or renew books, Again, these modest amenities create the visual illusion of a library, without providing the services the community really needs.


If you spend any time at all there, however, you will hear about the service this community desperately needs. All day long, people come into this alleged library, carrying a laptop, tablet, or other device and ask: “Do you have wifi?” or more assumptively, “Do I need a password to use the wifi?”

wifi password

to which, our alleged librarian responds, “No, I’m afraid we don’t have wifi here.” He then recommends they try one of the two cafes in town which do offer wifi, for customers only, along with loud background music, blaring TV sets, limited table space, and an overpriced selection of food and beverages they may, or may not wish to purchase.

loud cafe

These days free public internet access is the single most important service that modern libraries offer. While you may, or may not be able to find the information you need in a book in the county’s collection, you will probably have to wait at least a week or two to have that book delivered to Garberville from the main library in Eureka, or from one of the larger branches up north.

book mobile

On the other hand, you will almost certainly find what you need, almost instantly, online, and with wifi, you can easily download the information to your own device. The internet has become the single most important information service in the world, for communication, research, and participation in civic life. For public libraries to remain relevant in the 21st century they must provide a way for patrons to access the internet with their own devices.

wifi smart phone

In our small rural community, we desperately need free public wifi. At least 700 customers in Southern Humboldt still depend on a dial-up connection for access to the internet. Even more of us live off-the-grid, without a telephone or electricity. We will never have internet access at home, but the State expects us to pay our state sales tax on line. We cannot access many public documents or participate in public processes without access to the internet.  As citizens, we can hardly participate in public debate or even communicate with each other anymore, without access to the internet. Yet, as far as I know, there is no free public wifi, anywhere, within a 40 mile radius of Garberville. Talk about “The Digital Divide.” We live it here in SoHum.


About 80% of the people who visit the building marked “Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County Library” ask about wifi in one form or another, and after John Christianson sends them away, confused and disappointed, they rarely return. I’ve asked this question more persistently than most, and through my inquiries, I have discovered that the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County Library is not a library at all, but instead, serves an entirely different purpose altogether.

moes pet shop

I began to realize that this “bait and switch” had occurred when John Christianson told me emphatically that he did not want wifi at the library at all. Until then, I had assumed that our lack of access was due to budget constraints, or some other complication. I could not imagine why a librarian would oppose wifi at the public library. Then, one day, John asked me, to repair a sophisticated computerized device, the likes of which I had never seen before. I was able to get the machine to work again, but it provided the clue that allowed me to unravel his devious plot.

repair electron device

Most people assume that public libraries exist primarily to provide people with the information they need to understand their world, and participate in society. That’s why, as taxpayers, we fund them. We expect libraries to provide internet access, and most people assume that free wifi is part of the package.

wifi library

If you asked our local Board of Supervisors for a quarter-of-a-million dollars a year in taxpayer money for an air conditioned room and staff to house and guard a collection of Dr. Seuss books, they might look at you funny, but if you call it a public library, that conjures another image entirely, and apparently that’s enough to keep the money flowing in, allowing our alleged librarian, John Christianson, free reign to use the building for his own purposes.

imaginary library

John Christianson believes strongly in the powers of biofeedback. Do you remember biofeedback? That’s the idea that you can learn to consciously control things like your heart rate and blood pressure by using technology designed to provide you with feedback about these biological functions that would not otherwise impose themselves on you conscious mind. The imaginary library in Garberville provides John with a quiet space, relatively free from interruptions, where he can use his biofeedback machines to focus his energy on the mastery of his own bodily functions. The device John asked me to repair, was one of his biofeedback machines.

biofeedback machine

I fixed one of these for John Christianson

If you visit our alleged library, you will notice that John often has wires clipped to his earlobes, or perhaps an unusual elastic strap around his midsection, depending on which biofeedback machine he is hooked-up to at the time. You may also notice small, not very decorative, mobiles dangling from the ceiling, or small symbols mounted above the windows. These tiny devices provide visual biofeedback that help John retrain his eyes to improve his eyesight.


In the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County Library, John has created an ideal environment for him to practice his biofeedback techniques. By keeping the library relatively uncluttered with books, John has room to stretch his eyes, and by not providing needed services, John has more time to focus on himself, and his biological functioning.

focus on yourself

I can understand why John appreciates the quietude and the tranquility, not to mention the salary and creature comforts that this taxpayer subsidized facility provides him, but I’m sure he gets tired of answering the constant stream of people who inquire about wifi. Perhaps he could just put a sign on the door that said “No Public Wifi. Don’t Even Ask,” but it would probably be easier to to remove the sign that says “Public Library” and replace it with a sign reading “John Christianson’s Biofeedback Spa.”

gville library jc bs

Of course, instead of replacing the sign, we could replace John Christianson with someone more interested in providing us with the information services this community needs to compete in the global economy and participate in civic life, than in learning to control his blood pressure with his mind.


Postscript.  This morning, 2nd District Humboldt County Supervisor Estelle Fennell told me that she was working with John Christianson to get wifi at the Garberville Branch of the Humboldt County Library.   I’ll believe it when I see it.

seeing is believing

The LYGSBTD Holiday Gift Guide pt 2


As you could probably tell from last week’s post, I’m just so full of Christmas Spirit this year, that I’m about to hurl eggnog and candy canes into the next manger I see. Yes, it’s the holiday gift giving season, and Christmas is right around the corner. That’s right, you worked right through the Spring, Summer and Fall of 2014. Now it’s Winter again. The weather sucks. You hate your job. You hardly recognize your own family, and you’ve accomplished none of the things you hoped to do this year. Merry Christmas! You have no money, but your credit is still good, so you’re going Christmas shopping!


You can’t buy your life back, but you can buy people off, and an extra special Christmas gift will easily make up for all of those months of neglect. But what do you get for the people who mean enough to you to spend money on them at Christmas, but not enough to really care about them the rest of the year? How can you know their likes and dislikes, their interests and proclivities, their long-term dreams, or any of the other things that make them a unique individual, without actually paying attention to them the rest of the year? If you don’t know anything about them, how can you pick out a gift that will mean something to them? The challenge can be overwhelming.

christmas overwhelming

I understand, and I’m here to help. Your loved ones don’t understand how much stress you are under. Being around them is work, and they expect so much from you, but you love them, at least you did before you went completely numb. You don’t want to let them down at Christmas time. You’re willing to spend the money. I won’t let you blow it.

dont blow it1

When buying a gift for someone who means a lot to you, but that you don’t really know very well, keep this in mind. Get them something that will impress their friends. Even if the person you give it to, doesn’t like it, their friends will see this gift, and remind that person of just how lucky they are to receive such a nice gift, and that whoever gave it to them must really love them. Even if they know better themselves, hearing that sentiment expressed again and again, from their friends, will keep their feelings towards you in a state of perpetual conflicted ambivalence. Call it “love.”

call it love

Here’s a few suggestions:

jetpack martin

Jet Pack. This will instantly make anyone popular and change their life, if they survive. With this, you can pack a whole lifetime’s worth of “love” into a single, explosively powerful, spectacularly impressive gift. Gift’s like this obliterate the individuality of the recipient, while they celebrate the generosity of the giver, so choose the gift based on your own personality, rather than that of the recipient. Here’s another idea:

quadski1 Quad/Jetski I’ll bet that a lot of people around here will find one of these under their Christmas Tree this year, but maybe making noise and going fast doesn’t float your boat. Try this:


Barbecue Boat Everyone eats. Why not do it in the middle of a lake? Big ticket gifts like this really steal the show at family get-togethers, making other people’s gifts seem puny and insignificant by comparison. That’s how you solve your little gift-giving problem. If you can afford it, crush it!

crush it

This kind of generosity drives our economy and makes our world the miracle of modern technology that it has become. It isn’t what we wanted, but everyone keeps telling us how lucky we are to have it. Thanks… I guess.

thanks i guess1

Speaking of technology. Here’s a gift for that special woman in your life, the one you haven’t had time for lately, but hasn’t filed for divorce yet. It’s a very personal gift, made uniquely impersonal:


OhMiBod vibrator app for smart phones. OhMiBod consists of two parts, the hardware: a small, blue-tooth enabled, battery powered vibrator, designed to fit in a woman’s underwear, and the software: an app that you download to your smart-phone. The app allows you to control the vibrator from up to 26 ft away, perhaps even from another room, by blue-tooth, or from anywhere in the world, with a wifi connection.


Imagine. You could be watching the game with your buddies.

watching the game

They’d just think you were sending a text to your bookie or something. Fiddle with your phone for ten or fifteen minutes while you drink beer and joke with your friends. Then call her up and say “I love you babe” and hang up. She’s satisfied, and you didn’t have to miss a single play.


What about gifts for men? Well what do men like? Men like boobs. Men don’t care what it is, as long as it has boobs, so give men something that has boobs.

boob radio

Boob Radio. Yes, this radio has boobs, but when it comes down to it, all knobs and buttons are surrogate nipples and boobs, so most guys like almost any gadget. The more knobs and buttons it has, the better.


That just leaves pets. Pets don’t really care about gifts, unless they can eat them, and then they are always welcome. Still, some people insist on buying inedible gifts for their pets, so why not take their money.

take my money

Who cares if the pet enjoys the gift. That’s not the point. Usually, the pets do not like the gifts at all. In fact, animals generally have to be sedated before they will tolerate most of these products long enough to snap a promotional photo.

how high

Here’s a selection:

beaks for dogs

Beaks for Dogs. Is this the “Crocks” of dog muzzles? These dogs hate this. They have better taste than that.

dog hats

Knitted Hats for Dogs Do you think those dogs like those hats? No! Those dogs are wasted! If you want to make your dog happy, give them drugs, and then don’t dress them up in silly costumes. But what about cats?


DJ ScratchCat Turntable Scratching Post. Your cat would rather have a cardboard box to tear-up, but whatever. You’ve got $35 bucks to blow.

money to blow

There you have it folks:


Gift ideas for everyone on your Christmas gift list. Wake me when it’s over.

wake me when its over


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