Tag Archives: musings

Tribute to Grandma — RIP

My my the days go by, and we all chase the light.

90 years is a long time by any measure. Tis a statistical outlier who lives so long, with wit and sanity intact no less.

As it goes, my final grandparent – my maternal grandmother, Isobel Steel Bannatyne – passed away on Saturday. She was in Indiana and will be buried in Logan, Utah (or nearby anyhow) where many of my kin live.

Shall i travel down? My first thought is “of course” but then i realized, i am weak, weary and while full of love, i am low on tolerance for emotional expression. I am raw from the past year(s) and am scared to take steps back by pushing myself. I talked to doctors who advised me to put myself first. I don’t come naturally to this. I am strong in the clutch and reliable in challenging circumstances. I was there twice last year after swearing to never go again after a visit before Grandpa died. I gave away by VW bus, my bicycles, my art so i wouldn’t need to return. I did. Twice.

“I am not needed. I am OK meditating and celebrating in my own way” – this is what i am right now.

There is an obituary but it describes someone i don’t know. My kin are religious folk and this colours the narrative of their lives. Eclipses everything else, purposely. These ways are not mine. Death can provide context for healing rifts or death can be the spectre of chaos and mistrust within families. I’ve seen both very recently.

To my hundreds of cousins, uncles, aunts, Mom, et al. Hold each other as needed. I suspect it will not be needed. 90 years is a long time.

To the rest of you, here is Grandma as i remember. Sometimes in the 1970s, at a craft show selling my Mom’s candles. I was the frequent sidekick and candle maker and these times make me happy. Before i knew of tension caused by beliefs, intolerance – there is no judgement or blame. It is me.

Dave Olson's photo.

Festive Musings from Wreck Beach ~ Choogle On! #76

From Wreck Beach on University of BC campus Uncle Weed offers international, festive greetings with tales of journies to come, the feeling of the edge of the world, reflections of NYEs in Japan, cougars on the Baden Powell trail, float planes, ferries and barges, and mostly asking the universe what to do next? Plus special holiday greetings from Herby, now a free man. Music by Chris Jacobsen, from Filterland, Spilt Milk cassettes, circa 1994, Guam, Pacific.

Pants optional for Festive Musings from Wreck Beach – Choogle on #76 (.mp3, 18MB, 18:45)

Festive Musing from Wreck Beach - Choogle on

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More Podcast Goodness

Postcards from Gravelly Beach – Literature podcast – FeediTunesBlog

Out n’ About with Uncle Weed– Travelin’ man vidcast – ShowFeediTunes

Ephemeral Feasthouse – Miscellanea & notes – BlogFeedPodcast

Clubside Breakfast Time – OlyWa Rock and Punditry – BlogFeediTunes

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Jupiter Beer Berkeley

IMG_4216.JPGWhilst on a recent trip to the Bay area, ’twas so busy with conference and such that hardly had moment to explore but managed to enjoy the a most excellent Berkeley bar and restaurant Jupiter twice.

A great bar with their own house beers (though they were out of the Porter and a few others ;-( and fine guest taps too. I mixed it up a bit but mostly enjoyed their Dry Stout (on Nitro), the Red Spot – tried Death and taxes but fond it a bit hoppy for my taste. Also enjoyed a few New Belgian 1554s which is an all time fave.

Three levels of seating, a dumb waiter upstairs, friendly wait staff, a stage and an outdoor terrace with trees, the inky sky, the moon, smell of limes – playing the first night was a jazzy/proggy rock quartet (guitar, bass, drums, sax) and the second night was a mellow Latin conga, vocals, guitar act (i recorded asnippet around here somewhere).

jupiter kegs

Best part though is i came home with a heavy duty Jupiter beer glass – they don’t sell them (or serve in them so you can’t steal one) – instead they sit as decor in a locked glass case. I offered bribes but managed to score one on kind words alone.

I made an oath to never drink schwag beer from this vessel so i am quaffing Howe Sound Hefeweizen (made in Squamish) with lemon while listening to Elvis in Paradise and Joe Jackson’s 3-sided LP Big World on scratchy vinyl and listening to the rain fall on the skylight.

Just though you should know.

jupiter terrace


Cannabis Publishing Roundup ~ Heads, High Times, Cannabis Culture and more

Heads – the marijuana lifestyle magazine (think High Times without the sensationalized cheese), published out of Quebec (don’t worry franco-phobes, Heads is an english language magazine), relaunched their web site working in a few groovy features, trial downloads and yup, a blog… – they’ve tacked on a typepad blog onto their site to get some two-way communication rolling.

They kick it off thusly:

Welcome to the brand-new HEADS ON-LINE

Amanda_copy_1It’s finally here! Our new website is packed with awesome stuff for you to check out. Stop by the HEADShop to pick up some awesome HEADS gear, or take a peek at our Gallery for some stoney pics. We’ll be updating this site continually, so make sure to bookmark it as your homepage!

As a enthusiast of Heads magazine, publishing two HeadFirst articles this year (“Zen Rambling in Japan” & “Rebagliati Positive for 2010”) was a high point of 2006 to be sure.
Zen Rambling article in Heads magazine

Looking back, over 10+ years, I’ve published in High Times, Cannabis Culture (Hempen Culture in Japan issue #13 and Best of … #2), Journal of Internationl Hemp Association and was an article subject in the (now-defunct) Hemp World plus the infamous Evergreen College top counter culture college issue of High Times.

Evergreen in High Time cover

Besides the magazines and journals, my research and writingsappear in books including Hemp Horizons, Hanp, What the World Needs Now, Hemp for Victory (no, not the film) plus the booklet Practical Guide to Cannabis made for HempLobby.

Then there is the HempenRoad film, my bit in Go With the Flow, numerous radio & TV appearences and all non-weed projects (both creative and expository writing) on tech culture, hockey, winter Olympics, workplace drug testing, rehabilitative and restorative justice in the drug court model …
HempenRoad poster
All of this is groovy, but i would be stoked to have a regular “home” for my writing projects – though i don’t always fit into editorial schedules and topics – i’m no Hunter Thompson (I don’t care for Quaaludes and rarely trash hotel rooms anymore), but i’d really like a homebase like Rolling Stone was for him … complete with instructions like, “submit something compelling about political world affairs by this date and send us your expenses …”

Alright, alright, … but i can dream can’t i? What i wanna do is go places and write, paint, record, film or otherwise documents the research and hi-jinks along the trips and not have to sweat the filthy money part too much.

These days, I am keen to write more about military service evaders seeking refugee status in Canada (which i wrote about in 2004 and the situation is waaaay bigger now) and document the community that has aided them in the transitional phase (many Quakers and Vietnam era dodgers).

Also, Vancouver skater and artist Lee Matasi who was shot and killed last year when trying to bring some peace to a sidewalk argument in Gastown. The skater community has rallied to complete a skatepark and speak out against violence as so may easy going folk collectively said “that could’ve been me.”

Or travelouges about Palau … heading to the secret island of sweet pakalolo, diving with sharks and turtles, or Yap with loincloths and bare-chested women and stone money where i dove with manta rays and toked with locals in an ancient hut while drinking coconut wine, … or Belize scoring grass from rastas, drinking panty-rippers (coconut rum and pineapple juice) and eating crockpot chicken, beans and rice served from a fold up table roadside where the only traffic is golf carts.

backpack joints

Sigh… but the day job does get in the way of many of the big projects i’d like to do including releasing HempenRoad film as DVD for 10th(!) anniversary with the massive stash of bonus features i have despite no longer having the original footage (eiji where are you?).

Plus I’ve long wanted to go back to Japan to explore the Jomon-era cave-art near Shimonoseki more before JIHA’s Rob Clarke finds everything else out ;-). This could turn in to a book, a film a podcast or all three (think of Ewan Macgregor and Charley Boorman’s multi-media trip-o-louge “Long Way Round”). Ahhh, i forgot i gotta find a way to finance all of these hi-jinks.

Anyhow, Heads encouraged me write the articles the way i wanted – without much fuss and just enough feedback to keep it on track for their audience and word count (which i exceeded greatly each time). Rockin’ good stuff.

Heads also maintain a myspace page but this new site, while not ideal, is much more in tune with the high quality of the magazine. Consider subscribing to Heads magazine eh, you’ll get it in a plain envelope.

Words are for revolutions: Backgrounder tidbits

Just starting into a weblog feast thanks to Ben and Jay but ya know i have been a little apprehensive about doing so and i think there is a few reasons for this …1) i hesitate to be too self-indulgent and ego-centric. ya see now … in the last 12 months, my media manipulation skills resulted in excess coverage in national magazines, local newspapers, films and myriad websites and public access shows. i really do enjoy this kinda stuff cause i have a lot to say but sometimes i feel as though it reflects on me in a less than favorable manner like i am “pimping my own dojo” too much. in reality, i tend to be rather self-deprecating and sincere to a fault and don’t want to be that guy who is always cheesing out and boosting his own jive scene.

2) words are important things and are not to be trifled with. As a writer (aren’t we all …) and a reader i place almost undue reverence on the written word and tend to spend months doing a “big project” and feel “small projects” along the way aren’t as worthy. when i see my work published in a magazine and recall the hours i spend editing and researching, i am pleased momentarily. when i sit to write, i am motivated by the feeling that i am sharing an epistle with an yet unknown audience. this weblogging is much more immediate and i don’t much care for being caught with my pants down (well sometimes hehe) for lack of editing and consideration.

3) finding myself being an internet entrepreneur type again, there is always 15 “urgent” things on my list thus i feel my priority is doing that stuff whether is be creating ads, fundraising, writing business plans, proposals, contracts and letters, moving furniture, wiring offices, understanding command prompt TELNET on my mac osx (no laughing) to program a DSL router or improving my joint rolling skills. at the end of it all, the ‘puter (though a fine tool) and i need a little reboot time away from one another.

4) i reckon i am a veteran weblogger in that i publish most everything i write and finish in one form or another on-line and have been doing so since i borrowed an HTML book from Scottyo and posted my first hemp in japan website. shoot, i got stories i wrote in 11th grade are on-line and i am olden now. plus my works from evergreen, menu magazine, high times, photo galleries from the Olympic winter games and cannabis cup, even the infamous Uncleweed story are available for public amusement. i do like transparency and don’t mind people knowing what it is that i do (though i hope none of my youth hockey team players come across tooo much ;-) don’t need no irate parents).

i suppose, in recent years my use of the internet as a gutenburg-press-like publishing renaissance tool is well manifest in my fantasy sports leagues participation, particularly in the hockey league where i am currently battling some mystery team for the virtual Stanley cup. the players i choose and the manner in which in manage my team evolved over years of careful study and somewhat reflects my personality – i don’t like superstars or streaky inconsistency types, i like hard-workers who chip in every game and score in clutch situations. plus i avoid players from teams i don’t care for and relish finding the young break-through player before anyone else.

now that i have moved into the new/old office, my routine will facilitate more entries as i aim to make this a tool to post many of the lists that i am wont to make. perhaps we shall see my favorite books/authors, films, road-trips, countries visited, brushes with fame, fave tokes and other such info “for the record.” i realize my space-time continuum is often skewed so i it behooves me to post anecdotal discourse publicly before the senility gets any worse.

OlyWa, Friday, April 4, 2003