Archive for the ‘I’m Just Saying’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The Worst Lipstick Attack in History

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2355 hrs – I signed on for my shift, the first of a string of graveyards. This was a night back in the day when Patty Hearst was in the news, Peter Frampton and his group were asking the country “Do You Feel Like We Do,” and the Son of Sam pulled a gun from a paper bag, the beginning of his reign of terror over the city of New York. During this same period of time, a horse with no name wandered around the desert, Eric Clapton shot the sheriff, and Gladys and the Pips got the hell out of town on a train that also operated during the midnight hours.

Ah, yes, my nemesis…graveyard shifts. I despised working midnights, especially the hours between 4 am and 7 am. The dead zone is a great moniker for those mind-numbing three hours of forcing oneself to remain awake and alert. So yes, there is a bit of irony embedded within the name of this blog.

This particular night started off with a call the moment I signed on, and it was one of those calls. The deputies working the shift before mine had it planned. They, my friends and fellow keepers of the peace, purposely saved the call just for me. It was a temporary detention order (TDO) for a troubled young woman in her early 20’s who had a problem that needed immediate psychiatric attention. So, with the judge-signed order in hand, a female deputy and I drove over to the woman’s house where she lived with family members. I should point out, though, that the female deputy was not a police officer. She worked in the jail but I wanted a woman to go with me in case of, well, you just never know. And, since there were no female deputies working at the time…

The family, of course, was quite upset, and through tears and sobs the mother told me her daughter had locked herself in her room, barricaded the door, and wouldn’t come out. Lovely.

We tried sweet-talking. We tried promises of whatever we thought would get her to open the door. We tried authoritative tones. We tried. We tried. We tried. And, we… Well, I finally forced my way into the room fearing that she’d hurt herself.

Once inside the room the realization hit me as to what a long night that was going to be. The woman was totally naked and she’d armed herself with a can of hairspray and a tube of lipstick. She’d also smeared a coating of baby oil over her body.

Yes, it happened. A wild-eyed, slimy, buck-naked woman attacked me, and it was like I’d fallen onto a combination of spinning windmills, two running chainsaws, and a school of angry piranhas.

Please. Before we continue, close your eyes and picture the scenario. Place yourself in my brown, shiny shoes and think about this for a moment. Let it sink in. Ready now?

Okay, so there I was, in the middle of one of the worst nude lipstick assaults in the history of law enforcement, trying to protect myself from a 120 lb. naked woman who’d decided to climb me like a squirrel on speed. I wanted to be compassionate. I really did. After all, she was a troubled woman suffering from mental illness. But she was all over me. First here. Then there. She slithered up and down and around at such a rapid pace I couldn’t tell from where the next bite, scratch, pinch, hit, or hairspray squirt was coming.

Instinctively, not wanting my face and uniform decorated in candy apple red striping, I grabbed for the hand that held the lipstick. Big mistake. I should’ve gone for the hairspray. Are you aware of the intense stinging that stuff causes when your eyes receive a direct hit? Not to mention it tastes like @$%# when you get a mouthful.

At this point I’m wrestling with an un-attired woman. My eyes are on fire. I’m spitting and sputtering, trying to purge my mouth of AquaNet. I’m bleeding from a couple of bite wounds. My face and uniform are painted with so much lipstick I look like I’m preparing to attend an Aboriginal tribal ceremony. And I’m in this alone because my backup, the woman deputy I’d brought with me to help in the event something like this occurred, panicked and retreated back to my car where she remained until all was once again well.

I finally managed to cuff the nude Tasmanian Devil, which was not my preference in situations that involved the mentally ill, but sometimes there’s no alternative. There was no way the family could control her and my “partner-du-jour” was certainly of no help. So you do what you have to do and think about the big picture, and in this case it was that she would get the help she so desperately needed.

Anyway, the woman’s mother covered her with a robe, which we made certain was securely tied to prevent further show-and-tells, and off we went to the hospital. I cannot begin to imagine what the people in the hospital thought when our motley crew entered the building. Of course, the two women with me looked fine. It was I who looked like the battered villain in the final scene of a Terminator movie sequel.

I don’t care how hard you try, you can’t be cool when you’re covered in lipstick from head to toe, including an imaginative and sort of artistic doodling on my rear end (I’m not sure how or when that happened), your eyes are bloodshot (a shade that complimented the lipstick, though), dried blood on your neck and arm, and the place where your badge is supposed to be is reduced to shredded bits of brown polyester. Nope, not a single ounce of swagger in that look.

And this was only the first call of the night, with six long hours to go.

So yeah, I despised graveyard shifts.

PostHeaderIcon A Dead Woman Crying: Murder in the Rain

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I’ve seen more than anyone’s fair share of murder victims. More than I’d care to count, actually. I’ve also seen a variety of methods and instruments used by killers to achieve their goal(s)—gunshots, edged weapons, etc. Of course, some of those victims were poisoned, while others were killed by hanging, strangulation, fire, torture, beatings, blunt instrument bludgeoning and, well, you name the manner and I’ve probably seen the end result. Unfortunately, it’s not long before dead bodies—the victims of senseless violence—quickly begin to stack up in the old memory bank.

Sure, cops get used to seeing carnage. They have to in order to survive the job. Still, there are cases that cling to the outer fringes of the mind, remaining fresh in our thoughts for many years. These, the often thought of, aren’t necessarily the most gruesome or the most difficult to solve. Not at all. In fact, what sticks with one officer may not affect another in the same way.

A few homicides occasionally creep back onto the “replay” reel inside my brain—the killing of children, the crazy guy who hacked his sister-in-law with an ax because she wouldn’t give him money for a pack of cigarettes, the kid found hanging from an extension cord in an abandoned factory, and, of course, the case I’m about to describe to you. It came to mind today because of the much-needed rains we’ve received lately here in Northern California.

So slip on a pair of boots and a raincoat, and join me on a brief journey into my memory.

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It was a brutal storm that night, one that delivered a hard-driving and bitterly cold winter rain. Accompanying winds tugged hard against my long, school-bus-yellow rain coat, sending its tails fluttering and flapping, exposing my brown over tan deputy sheriff uniform. It—the uniform—was not waterproof. Not even close.

The ground at the crime scene was extremely muddy, and with each step my once shiny brown shoes collected gobs of thick, wet soil until it felt as if bricks were tied to the bottoms of my feet.

These were the deplorable conditions in which I met the crying dead woman.

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Raindrops the size of gumdrops pelted the victim’s face, gathering and pooling at the corners of her eyes, eventually spilling out across her cheeks like tiny rivers that followed the contours of her flesh until they poured from her in miniature waterfalls.

It was one on one, just me and the victim.

Passenger door open.

She’s lying there, bottom half in, top half out.

Her face aimed at the sky.

Rain falling into her open mouth.

Cheap dollar-store tennis shoes and half-socks, the socks her youngest daughter—the seven-year-old—called baby socks.

Her hair, mingling with mud, rainwater, sticks, and leaves.

Power lines crackle and buzz overhead.

The yellow Maglite beam against her dim gray eyes.

No life.

No recollections.

No dreams.

Not a flicker.

Tire tracks.

Different pattern than the rubber on her Chrysler.

Driver’s window down.

Three rounds—one to the head and two to the torso.

Five empty casings.

Pistol.

Not a revolver.

Half-empty wine bottle.

Cheap.

Not her brand according to the ladies in her church group. “Oh we don’t drink. Neither did she. Except on special occasions. Yep, it must have been something or somebody really special for her to drink that stuff.”

“Was there a somebody special?”

Eyes cast downward.

Blushes all around. “Well…she did stay after Wednesday night preaching a few times. But they were meetings strictly about church business. After all, he is the Reverend. A good man.”

More blushing.

A stammer or two.

A good man.

The rain comes harder, pouring across her cheeks, meandering through her hair.

Droplets hammer her open eyes.

She doesn’t blink.

A dead woman crying.

Footprints.

Two sets.

One walking.

Casually, perhaps.

The other, long strides.

Running away, possibly.

Zigzagging to the woods.

Bullet lodged in base of a spruce pine.

One round left to find.

Water inside my collar, down my back.

Shivering.

Cloth snagged on jagged tree branch.

Plaid shirt material.

Blood?

Still visible in the rain?

The missing fifth round?

Maglite never fails, even in torrential rain.

Cop’s best friend.

Light catches shoe in underbrush.

Shoe attached to adult male.

Dead.

Bullet in back.

The fifth round.

Coming together nicely.

Church meetings.

Reverend.

Two lovers.

Special wine for special occasion…

Morning sunshine.

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Tiny face peering from window.

Waiting for Mama?

Scent of frying bacon in the air.

Door swings open.

Worried husband.

“No, she didn’t come home after church. Called friends and family. Nobody knows.”

Husband, devastated.

Questions unanswered.

Children cry.

Yes, I have ideas. I promise.

Tire tracks match.

Pistol found.

Preacher hangs head in shame.

Special occasion.

Profess love.

Another man.

Angry.

Jealous.

Handcuffs.

Click.

Click.

Murder.

No bond.

Home.

Today, our rains have stopped but,

I’m thinking of the crying dead woman and her kids, her loving husband and, of course, baby socks.

Special occasion?

Yeah, right.

 

PostHeaderIcon Edgar Nominations: The Heat Is On!

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It’s January 19th and I’m extremely apprehensive about viewing any news or social media sites. I’m certain this sense of foreboding arose because I’m not sure how much more of the “bad” I can take. Sure, there’s good news floating about today—the Edgar nominations were announced (congratulations to each of the nominees).

I especially follow the publications of Seventh Street Books. Actually, I have one entire shelf filled from end to end with books published by Seventh Street, so it’s especially nice to see a nod to their authors.

This year, three Seventh Street writers were nominated for Edgar Awards. Lori Rader-Day for Little Pretty Things (The Simon and Schuster – Mary Higgins Clark Award). Gordon McAlpine – Woman with a Blue Pencil (Best Paperback Original). And Adrian McKinley – Gun Street Girl (Best Paperback Original).

So yes, congratulations to all three of these wonderful authors.

But, for me, the joy of the Edgar nominations is a bit overshadowed this morning.

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The day began with deep gray skies and steady rain here in our little corner of California. The air is still and void of the usual chirps and whistles of the multitude of birds that visit our backyard for their morning and evening meals. Many of the surrounding trees are bare and nothing more than fat trunks with gangly and gnarled limbs that click and tick against each other when the evening winds push them about. Grapevines have also lost their foliage, leaving behind seas of carefully placed sticks standing in perfectly aligned rows that follow the contours of the hills and valleys.

And Glenn Frey is dead. Glenn Frey of the Eagles is gone. THE Glenn Frey.

David Bowie also left us. Alan Rickman died a few days ago, as did René Angélil (Rene’ is Celine Dion’s husband. Dion’s brother also died within the past few days),  Mott the Hoople drummer, Dale Griffin, died Sunday at the age of 67 (he’d been suffering from Alzheimers for quite a while), and Dan Haggerty (Grizzly Adams) succumbed to cancer. Natalie Cole passed away on New Years Eve. Lemmy Kilmister, Motorhead’s frontman died a month ago. And Mic Gillette, founder of the group Tower of Power, died last weekend. I met and played music/jammed with Gillette and a small gathering of Bay Area musicians several years ago. What a tragic loss to the music world and to his family and friends.

And, sadly, Joey Feek (Joey and Rory) is soon to leave this world. She has maybe a month left before her body gives in to the cancer she’s been fighting for so long. Joey’s husband Rory has been chronicling Joey’s day-to-day life on his blog, This Life I Live. The story is amazing, but I caution you to have a box of tissues handy before settling in to read and watch the videos.

So yeah, it’s still raining here and, while the emotions are a mixture of both sad and happy, the day somehow has a feeling that’s a bit peaceful and easy because I know we’ll all be okay. There’ll be more Edgar Awards to celebrate, and, sadly, we’ll lose more of the folks who bring joy to our lives.

But we’ll move on, life will go on, and, well, I’ve stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and it made me smile when I did. Couldn’t help it. It just felt good. And, while standing there with Denene at my side, I could hear that Eagles song playing inside my head. Today, others will stand on that same corner, and many more will do the same for many years to come, and each time someone does I’m sure they’ll experience the “peaceful easy feeling” I felt.

Life is good so live it. And to those of you who were nominated for Edgar Awards, well, The Heat Is On!

 

 

~

Edgar Nominations

BEST NOVEL

The Strangler Vine by M.J. Carter (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
The Lady From Zagreb by Philip Kerr (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Life or Death by Michael Robotham (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Let Me Die in His Footsteps by Lori Roy (Penguin Random House – Dutton)
Canary by Duane Swierczynski (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books)
Night Life by David C. Taylor (Forge Books)

BEST FIRST NOVEL BY AN AMERICAN AUTHOR

Past Crimes by Glen Erik Hamilton (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Where All Light Tends to Go by David Joy (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll (Simon & Schuster)
The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
Unbecoming by Rebecca Scherm (Penguin Random House – Viking)

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL

The Long and Faraway Gone by Lou Berney (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Necessary Death of Lewis Winter by Malcolm Mackay (Hachette Book Group – Mulholland Books
What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Woman with a Blue Pencil by Gordon McAlpine (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
Gun Street Girl by Adrian McKinty (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)
The Daughter by Jane Shemilt (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)

BEST FACT CRIME

Operation Nemesis: The Assassination Plot that Avenged the American Genocide by Eric Bogosian (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown and Company)
Where The Bodies Were Buried: Whitey Bulger and the World That Made Him by T.J. English (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully by Allen Kurzweil (HarperCollins Publishers – Harper)
Forensics: What Bugs, Burns, Prints, DNA and More Tell Us About Crime by Val McDermid (Grove Atlantic – Grove Press)
American Pain: How a Young Felon and his Ring of Doctors Unleashed America’s  Deadliest Drug Epidemic by John Temple (Rowman & Littlefield – Lyons Press)

BEST CRITICAL/BIOGRAPHICAL

The Golden Age of Murder by Martin Edwards (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins)
The Outsider: My Life in Intrigue by Frederick Forsyth (Penguin Random House – G.P. Putnam’s Sons)
Meanwhile There Are Letters: The Correspondence of Eudora Welty and Ross Macdonald by Suzanne Marrs and Tom Nolan (Arcade Publishing)
Goldeneye: Where Bond Was Born: Ian Fleming’s Jamaica by Matthew Parker (Pegasus Books)
The Lost Detective: Becoming Dashiell Hammett by Nathan Ward (Bloomsbury Publishing – Bloomsbury USA)

BEST SHORT STORY

“The Little Men” – Mysterious Bookshop by Megan Abbott (Mysterious Bookshop)
“On Borrowed Time” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine by Mat Coward (Dell Magazines)
“The Saturday Night Before Easter Sunday” – Providence Noir by Peter Farrelly (Akashic Books)
“Family Treasures” – Let Me Tell You  by Shirley Jackson (Random House)
“Obits” – Bazaar of Bad Dreams by Stephen King (Simon & Schuster – Scribner)
“Every Seven Years” – Mysterious Bookshop by Denise Mina (Mysterious Bookshop)

BEST JUVENILE

Catch You Later, Traitor by Avi (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman)
If You Find This by Matthew Baker (Hachette Book Group – Little, Brown Books for Young Readers)
Curiosity House: The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver & H.C.Chester  (HarperCollins Publishers – HarperCollins Children’s Books)
Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands  (Simon & Schuster – Aladdin)
Footer Davis Probably is Crazy by Susan Vaught (Simon & Schuster – Paula Wiseman Books)

BEST YOUNG ADULT

Endangered by Lamar Giles (HarperCollins Children’s Books – HarperTeen)
A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis (HarperCollins Publishers – Katherine Tegen Books)
The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury (Scholastic – Scholastic Press)
The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma (Algonquin Young Readers – Workman)
Ask the Dark by Henry Turner (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt – Clarion Books)

BEST TELEVISION EPISODE TELEPLAY

“Episode 7,” – BroadchurchTeleplay by Chris Chibnall (BBC America)
“Gently with the Women” – George Gently, Teleplay by Peter Flannery (Acorn TV)
“Elise – The Final Mystery” – Foyle’s War, Teleplay by Anthony Horowitz (Acorn TV)
 “Terra Incognita” – Person of Interest, Teleplay by Erik Mountain & Melissa Scrivner Love (CBS/Warner Brothers)
“The Beating of her Wings” – Ripper Street, Teleplay by Richard Warlow (BBC America)

ROBERT L. FISH MEMORIAL AWARD

“Chung Ling Soo’s Greatest Trick” – Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 
by Russell W. Johnson (Dell Magazines)

GRAND MASTER

Walter Mosley

RAVEN AWARDS

Margaret Kinsman
Sisters in Crime

ELLERY QUEEN AWARD

Janet Rudolph, Founder of Mystery Readers International

* * * * * *

THE SIMON & SCHUSTER – MARY HIGGINS CLARK AWARD

A Woman Unknown by Frances Brody (Minotaur Books – A Thomas Dunne Book)
The Masque of a Murderer by Suzanne Calkins (Minotaur Books)
Night Night, Sleep Tight by Hallie Ephron (HarperCollins Publishers – William Morrow)
The Child Garden by Catriona McPherson (Llewellyn Worldwide – Midnight Ink)
Little Pretty Things by Lori Rader-Day (Prometheus Books – Seventh Street Books)

~

The EDGAR (and logo) are Registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Mystery Writers of America, Inc.

PostHeaderIcon It’s Our Anniversary: If It Ain’t Broke…Don’t Break It, Again!

January 14th is a date I’ll never forget. Five years ago today, on our wedding anniversary, is the day Denene broke her leg. And boy did she ever do it right. Broken in three places. Surgery. Plates, pins, and screws. Lots of physical therapy, a wheelchair and crutches, and a blue cast. Believe me, it broke my heart to see her like that.

Well, January 14th has rolled around again and all is well, and I’m going to be watching every step she takes today. No more slip ups!

Anyway, I thought it would be fun to take a peek at just a few of the many places we’ve been over the years. And you know what…we’ve done some traveling! Lots of hiking, walking, climbing, paddling, driving, flying, and boating to get to some of these spots. Shoot, we’ve even stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona.

How about you? Recognize any of these sights?

Pacific Coast Hwy/Big Sur.

Washington State, overlooking the San Juan Islands. We found the spot by parking the car and taking a walk through some pretty dense woods. What a pleasant surprise when we reached this clearing.

The bridge to Mt. St. Helens.

Somewhere in the thick of the Cascades in Washington State. Another hike. A very looonnngggg hike.

Boston skyline.

Sydney, Australia

Hearst Castle swimming pool. San Simeon, California.

Okay, you know where this was taken, right…

Grand Canyon during a cross country RV trip.

Somewhere in Arizona.

Heading south on Hwy 1 from San Jose, California.

Jockey’s Ridge, N.C.

Hampton Beach, New Hampshire.

Santa Barbara, California.

Sunset in Capitola, California (Think Hitchcock’s THE BIRDS).

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Tybee Island, Ga., with a hurricane passing by just off the coast.

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St. Augustine, Fl.

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A greeter at the Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Ga.

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Aboard the deck of a Mighty Midget – Mare Island, Ca.

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Cliffside, near San Francisco.

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Somewhere we shouldn’t have been. And far, far too close!

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On an island, enjoying the sunset…

I truly cherish every day of our time together, and here’s to many more years of joy.

Happy Anniversary, Denene!

PostHeaderIcon Grasshoppers and Trained Monkeys: Our Wacky Government

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Each and every day our government does things that boggle the minds of its citizens, and here are just a scant few of the reasons they leave us so very puzzled.

1. To enhance security, TSA personnel now have the authority to require some passengers to go through a full body scanner instead of the once optional pat-down search. Wasn’t there a situation not too long ago when a pair of TSA agents targeted people they wanted to “touch” so they pulled them aside for a pat-down? Now agents will have the legal opportunity to see those desired people in their au natural state of no-detail white-blobness. Shame on the TSA for allowing this to happen merely to prevent weapons and explosives onto an airplane.

2. A locust-insired mini robot is now available to aid in search and rescue missions. The 3D-printed, grasshopper-like device is fabricated from the same material Legos are made of and consists of a battery, carbon-rod legs, and an on-board battery and microcontroller. The 5-inch-long robot can jump 11-feet-high and 4.5 feet in distance. Scientists are still working on improving the robot’s landing impact.

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I’m wondering, though, about the timeline associated with the use of this particular robot. After all, how fast is its response time if it can only hop 4.5 feet at a time? What about its battery life? How much power is consumed when leaping 11-feet in the air only to travel 4.5 feet in distance? More importantly, what happens when it’s spotted by a hungry bird?

3. Due to concerns about civil liberties, U.S. officials (Homeland Security, etc.) are not permitted to view Facebook and other social media posts of people hoping to enter the U.S. on Visas (Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino shooter in the U.S. on a Visa, praised ISIS on Facebook). This all seems odd because agents are allowed to eavesdrop on phone calls, emails, videos, mail, conversations, and more, so you’d think, since Facebook and Instagram are available for the world to see without a warrant… Never mind, we’re talking about the government so it’s not supposed to make sense.

4. A civil liberties coalition that’s fighting to prevent the government from overreach in its methods of surveillance, citing they’re an invasion of privacy, are now arguing against a government-proposed loophole that would allow the president to remove the Department of Homeland Security as the agency in control of information gathering. Wasn’t it not too long ago when a similar group was fighting to prevent Homeland Security from gathering surveillance information obtained from citizens? I’m confused. Now they don’t want what they previously wanted?

5. Scientists have created genetically engineered bacteria that’re able to travel throughout the human body for the purposes of diagnosing and treating infections. However, there is a fear that those bacteria could deviate from their missions and escape into the environment where they could cause harm. Therefore, to save the day, researchers have developed “kill switches” that, when activated, immediately cause the bacteria to die.

This, my friends, is a sic-fi movie come to life. Unless, that is, screenwriters who’ve been secretly working for the government installed kill switches that prevented us from seeing what’s been in place all along. That’s right, pay no attention to the people behind the curtains and, start knitting your very own aluminum foil hat because Elvis will soon be living behind the cheesecake in your refrigerator.

6. The U.S. government, through its DARPA program, announced that it has found a way to convert dangerous chemicals, including  toxic waste, into everyday, harmless soil. We trust this to be safe, right? Remember, this is the same government that…

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– Spent $500,000 to build an Iraqi police training facility. Sounds okay, right? Well, it turns out they used bricks made mostly from sand with a little clay, a mixture that caused the building to sort of turn to mud when it rained.

– Treated a non-profit government contractor to a $1.1 million party and retreat at Pennsylvania’s Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, where guests/employees received free iPods, Nikon Coolpix cameras, and extreme-driving classes. They were also treated to carriage rides through the countryside, guided turkey hunts, and cool safari tours of a private animal collection.

– Spent $43 million to build a natural gas station in Afghanistan. The price tag anywhere else—$500,000. To make things just a wee bit worse, the station may not be operational at this time.

– $1 million to train monkeys to run on a treadmill. Because we all know what TV-watching couch-potatoes monkeys can be, right?

– $276,000 for a study on why and how less attractive people end up with attractive partners.

– $5 million for parties where people were encouraged to not smoke tobacco.

–  $3.7 million price tag on the president’s Christmas vacation airfare (price does not include the $3,500 over night hotel, food, Secret Service salaries, etc.). Air Force One costs appr. $206,000 per hour to operate, in case you were curious. By the way, the 2014 Christmas vacation price tag came in at just over $7.5 million. This would be the same for any president who regularly vacations in Hawaii, so I’m not singling out Obama.

I am saying, however, that one stay-at-home presidential Christmas would certainly feed, clothe, and put a roof over a lot of homeless people in the U.S. Actually, some of the saved money could’ve gone toward the hiring of a couple of top-notch admins who could prevent the $100 million that’s wasted each year by issuing payments—Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—to the wrong people.

A million here and billion there? Before you know it you’re talking about real money…

PostHeaderIcon Medical Marijuana: Indica v. Sativa

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It’s Saturday night, Dark Side of the Moon is on the turntable, and bags of M&M’s and Doritos stand ready for…

Okay, if the previous words took you back to the days of black light posters, Janis and Jimi, 8-track tape players, and spilled bong water, well, you already have some understanding of the mechanics of pot smoking. However, it’s a whole new world out there today and, as you know, in some states marijuana is approved to treat certain medical conditions, such as glaucoma, depression, and even cancer.

Before we delve any further into the topic, though, you should know there are two main types of cannabis (marijuana)—Indica and Sativa.

Sativa plants are tall and loosely branched, with narrow leaves (leaf pictured above). Indica plants are short, densely branched, with wide leaves (the appearance is similar to the above photo, but the leaflets are much broader).

By the way, a marijuana leaf is a compound leaf, a leaf composed of individual leaflets. The top photo of the marijuana leaf shows a single leaf with seven individual leaflets (cannabis leaves will have between 5-9 leaflets with serrated edges).

Cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) are the two main ingredients in the marijuana plant.

THC is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. It’s the component that makes you high. CBD is non-psychoactive (CBD does not make you high) and is the ingredient that’s most attractive as a medicine. Both, however, are used in medical marijuana.

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Uses of Medical Cannabis

Sativa is uplifting, therefore it’s used to treat mild depression, social anxiety, ADD, fatigue, and migraines. It’s also thought by some that Sativa helps increase creativity. Sativa is best used during daytime hours.

Indica is relaxing and calming and is used to treat conditions such as, anxiety and panic attacks, pain, glaucoma, muscle cramps, asthma, complications associated with AIDS, epilepsy, gastric disorders, MS, cerebral palsy, Crohn’s Disease, Fibromyalgia, and insomnia. Indica is best used at night.

There are numerous methods of consuming medical cannabis. For example, smoking, vaporizers, tinctures or tonics, topicals applied directly to the skin as a salve, and edibles, to name a few.

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Since most of you are probably familiar with pot smoking (you’ve at least heard about it), we’ll address edible cannibas and its many forms and products. Remember, cannibas edibles are not the meek and mild pot brownies of days long ago. Edibles today are much more potent.

Sure, it’s said that edibles do a great job of reducing anxiety and helping to induce deep, restful sleep without the medicated feeling that one experiences after consuming pharmaceutical medications. However, dosing of edible cannibas can be a hit or miss situation. The perfect amount for one person may not be right for another. Therefore, a bit of trial and error can come into play before a user/patient finds the correct size “bite/dose” that best suits their needs.

So, without further adieu, here’s a small sampling of the vast assortment of edibles available this holiday season. Bon appetit!

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And for those of you who prefer to prepare your own…

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Now, please pass the M&M’s, onion dip, chocolate ice cream, and pickled pigs feet.

 

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