I have written in earlier posts about my experience with the Ohio Medical Marijuana program, so I wanted to make an easy outline to date.

Your application for a medical card in Ohio has to be approved by a certified state doctor. There are a limited number of them as most doctors do not want to touch cannibals until federally legalized or decriminalized to some extent. You have to pay to register for the card and then pay to see the certified doctor – wherever they are in the state. Each year you have to pay to renew your Ohio card. Additional doctor visits may be required.

There are very few dispensaries currently open for business and fewer growers. The numbers are strictly limited, but most of the dispensaries are not open yet because the growers do not have enough ‘medicine’ to go around.

Once harvested it must go through testing and approval which also costs money.

Make no mistake; this is a money making business every step of the way.

Everyone that handles this process must operate with cash. The laws to make marijuana a Schedule 1 narcotic in the US was politically motivated and intentionally used as a weapon against ‘dissidents’ and other groups considered unfriendly. Because it is still a Schedule 1 narcotic it is a federal offense to ‘launder’ drug money. Banks are even prohibited from accepting legal monies because they are federally insured. Same with credit cards.

That means you have to use cash (or other versions like debit cards and pay-pal in some cases). You are buying medicine but still feel treated like a criminal.

Prices are very high – I have been told Ohio is the most expensive state to purchase medical marijuana. Part of this is because not all the growers are on-line and harvesting and that opens up to supply and demand rules. Few have it so they can raise the price up to any point people will still pay. Part of it is because EVERYONE has to get a cut of the profit. Each step in the process costs a little bit here – a little more there. All for something I could grow at home ……………………………………… but no. The Ohio laws stop us from doing that.

We can not smoke ‘plant material’ as the industry likes to call it. You have to use a vape pen with a ceramic chamber to heat up the marijuana to the right temperature so as not to burn the plant material but to ‘toast’ it enough to release the THC or CBD. That means you have to buy a device just for this. Another cost.

Not ideal for patients and care providers but at least I can cross buying marijuana legally off my bucket list!

Image  —  Posted: June 8, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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Recently I went to see some of my old band-mates playing out. I have always been the ‘senior’ member of the bands I have been fortunate to be associated with. NOT that I was with the band from the beginning but that I am usually the oldest member of the bands. Usually by ten years or so. As a result a few of my friends from old bands are still playing out in the city. It is always a pleasure to see what they are up to and catch up on life.

My drummer in Crash Landing was playing with one of his current bands and we got a chance to talk. His son is also taking up the drums and thought it would be cool if he could share some of the old recordings with him. He asked me if I could get him copies of what I have.

For you new to this blog I record a lot. Practice sessions, private parties, small gigs, writing songs in the late evening. I started with reel-to-reel tape machines since the 1970’s or so. The recordings sound and look as old as I feel, but they preserve the events and people involved.

I am a Singer Song-Writer. I write my lyrics and melody, decide the chord arrangement and structure of the song. That is what got me started singing. Then percussion. Then guitar and recording and working at music stores and learning sound reinforcement and recording techniques and….. In some ways playing with a cover band was torture. The bands members were really talented and experienced. I kept thinking they could do great things with my originals or create new amazing songs.

The thing about cover bands is that the good ones can do anything. Think about it. They can sound like so many other bands from one song to the next. They make the instruments and effects sound like the original. The solos are dead on and more often than not; improved. No over dubs: no guest artists. All this while they cannot hear themselves, people are yelling and drinking right in front of them and the sound guy is either drunk or deaf in both ears.

The audio recording was from a live performance. According to the DAT case it was 11-16-2002. This was a small club and I decided to record on my Panasonic two-track digital DAT machine. I was not mixing at this time so the recording success was limited. I grabbed a stereo feed from two subs and hoped for the best. I have a number of examples of live recording techniques in my LSR Series linked at the top if you have an interest.

I will get into more details on this particular recording and show other examples of recording results in later posts. For now, let me just say that the recordings are from one night. This is what we sounded like if you were in the audience. There are no cuts and if you put this series back to back when all are posted it will be the entire evening minus a few technical disasters. Here is the YOUTUBE link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3NTGTnemF8

CRASH LANDING live 2002

The band members did not know I was recording. I just set it up in ten minutes and left it alone. Unfortunately, I did not shoot videos of Crash Landing. I wish I had for kicks and giggles.

Image  —  Posted: June 4, 2019 in Cover Tune Tuesdays
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As a creative person, I will often get struck with ideas or projects and even solutions to existing work-blocks without notice. (this is a good thing lol) If I can’t preserve the thoughts at the time there is a good probability I might lose them forever. So I try to get to the computer, writing pad, recorder quickly.

Invariably, I find myself in a creative mood with a great thought…….. ready to capture what will be my greatest work…….. only to have to wait for the computer to do a software download and update. Then comes the mandatory restart and my idea is totally gone. I go to record in my home studio and face load times, cables not connected for this project, something decides not to work for no reason other than it knows I am in a hurry and other events that would be funny in other situations. I can’t find a pen and the pencil point breaks and the notebook is downstairs.

When I get a cup of tea and a block of time to get things done I like to power up my computer or studio and start working. I don’t want to wait for the updates. I am on a mission.

I feel the same way about other areas. If I need to vacuum the floor, I don’t want to empty the container first. When I am ready to paint, I don’t want to stop and clean all the brushes first.

It might seem to others that I waste a lot of time on preventive maintenance and cataloging, but I know the frustration of losing something that could be wonderful.

I am a Before person. How do you look at the day?

Image  —  Posted: May 16, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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In February of last year I had bi-lateral carpel tunnel surgery. I wrote about this in an earlier article. The surgeon slices a wide muscle apart to make room for everything else in your hand that slides underneath. The muscle bands grow back together when you heal.

Some people thought I was crazy for doing both at the same time. I was working and had insurance and could have strung out the surgeries over the majority of a year. I had a couple thoughts on the process. If I strung it out I would not be able to play guitar, keyboards or drums for a long time. I know from past experience it takes a while to get your ‘chops’ back when you have not played your instrument for a while. I also knew I would need up build up strength and flexibility after surgery.

I also did not want to have one ‘bad’ hand while my right hand was healing. I would be unable to do a lot of daily stuff anyway, so I might as well do them at the same time.

I have lived with a number of left-handed people all my life. I often tried to mimic them by trying to use my left hand for simple tasks. It also gave me a different perspective on a lot of seemingly unrelated things. After allowing my hands to heal and stitches removed I thought this would be a good opportunity to ‘train’ both hands during physical therapy exercises. So I treated both hands the same. I did the exercises but I also used both hands as evenly as possible to get dressed, eat, and stay alive while my hands were healing and getting stronger.

So as a little challenge, try using your non-dominant hand for everything you can for one week.

Brush your teeth. Write a letter. Comb your hair. Carry a full cup of tea or coffee. Tie your shoes. As much as possible. I really got much better with my left hand during recovery. I did not try to imitate my right hand movements; that just gave me a headache. Rather I looked at my left hand and back at the task and let my hand decide how to move. Give it a try.

Image  —  Posted: May 7, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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                                                                                                   (C) MSK 4-28-2019
I listen to your words
Over and over as if I had not heard.
Why am I hypnotized?
What holds me finally realized.
Your voice gives them meaning
Half way through the day I realize I’m dreaming.
Can’t say I understand
Things don’t usually end the way they’re planned.
Listening to your words
In the dark of silence it all sounds absurd.
Lost without the story?
Turns so clear so deep so true to me.
There’s no other way to say it.
It is in the sound
In the melody
The voice as it carries.
There’s no other way to say it.
Opens the heart
Pounds the soul
The heart as it buries.
There is no denying the power
As it overwhelms and begins to devour.
The dreams I’ve known forever
Lie in the softness of light and strength of a feather
There’s no other way to say it.
It is in the sound
In the melody
The voice as it carries.
There’s no other way to say it.
Opens the heart
Pounds the soul
The heart as it buries.

Image  —  Posted: April 29, 2019 in Poetry
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Maybe everyone is like this but when a creative idea comes to me I can’t help but get distracted by thinking about related inventions or projects. I go from one tangent to another so fast that I can lose track of the original idea. I start off with a great theme for a song or a life-lived revelation – or maybe an invention or tool I have not seen before – or maybe the topic to a post on my blog, only to see it become a mist and impossible to grab again!

When using extreme examples you can see the danger in any system. I played the game chess much more when I was younger but I still like to think ahead to as many moves in the game as I can. The combinations can get staggering for each move in advance you try to predict. But you also have to predict your opponent’s moves as well. That is the only way to win the game. You cannot win by chance or luck. You cannot “hide” your pieces or position. You cannot out last your opponent to win.

I try to do the same thing at work or in life. If you look at ‘what happens next‘ BEFORE you make your move your chances of making a good move increase dramatically. But what if you get a creative idea and start analyzing tangents and looking into minor side-projects or paths? What if everything you do has to be checked first by looking steps ahead in the game?

Some chess players would almost get paralyzed by the astronomical possibilities in the mid-game and not be able to make a move. I am sure this is why they invented timed chess rules! Anyway, you can see the player freeze as each possibility opens up a dozen others. While looking ahead is a great skill to have, applying this system to everything is a black hole that will freeze you in your tracks.

All roads have detours. Every species has variations. Each process tried and tested. No failure moves forward. One size does not fill all.

I love tangents. I dream of possibilities. Remembering all is impossible for me so I make a point to appreciate each idea as it is revealed, embellished and sometimes lost. It is all good. Take the detour; sometimes the sign posts are misleading.

Image  —  Posted: April 26, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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Today is a Nothing Day. I’m gonna do nothing.

Image  —  Posted: April 24, 2019 in Opinions and Observations
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My wife and I have always subscribed to the pay-it-forward plan. We do a lot of things for others without payment or promise. We have always been that way. As a result, we enjoy things others do for us – either to repay our past efforts or to pay-it-forward on their plan, so to speak.

Last week as a result of a repay, we got to go to a cabin in the Red River Gorge area in Kentucky. We were a bit early in the season as neither of us likes big crowds and our schedules keep us tied down during normal ‘peak’ times for traveling events. You can see blooming trees just starting to take off. Once on the peaks we could look down on the tree-tops for an eagle’s view of early Spring.

Many of you liked my earlier pictures of Spring near my home. I wanted to share a few more pictures knowing spring does not happen on a single date everywhere. Some of you are still looking forward to green and blooms and others are looking to summer already.

Image  —  Posted: April 18, 2019 in Photography
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                                                                      MSK 4-15-2019

Metaphors and analogies
Comic plays and tragedies
Miracle cures and man-made disease
Sealed with handshakes and apologies.

You couldn’t tell an ancient shaman
From a clown selling snake oil remedies
Observing you see much in common
Debating the pain as you burn or freeze.

     You chose the wrong path long before today
     Fame and fortune have gotten you this far
     Felt you deserved the status and glory somehow
     But no amount of luck is going to help you now.

     Family and friends give you all you ask
     Generations of wealth demand compliance
     Doors opened easily for a wink and a bow
     But no amount of luck is going to help you now.

Miracle cures and man-made disease
Debating the pain as you burn or freeze
Sealed with handshakes and apologies
From a clown selling snake oil remedies.

     You chose the wrong path long before today
     Fame and fortune have gotten you this far
     Felt you deserved the status and glory somehow
     But no amount of luck is going to help you now.

     Doors opened easily with a wink and a bow
     But no amount of luck is going to help you now.
     You took all that your power would allow
     But no amount of luck is going to help you now.

Metaphors and analogies
Comic plays and tragedies
Miracle cures and man-made disease
Sealed with handshakes and apologies.

Image  —  Posted: April 16, 2019 in Poetry
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Usually in Southern Ohio we get Spring-like weather fairly early. Too early, in fact, for most of the flowers and flowering trees. Once the trees and flowers start to bloom we usually get hit by a cold blast and all the blooms freeze. The flowers wilt over and lay on the ground in frozen colors to die. The branches of fruit or flowering trees turn dead and brown.

This year was perfect. The late winter cold blasts did not last long and were not cold enough to do real damage. I would like to share some of the pictures I took yesterday in a favorite local park in my area but every highway and street in thee city is just bursting with color and shouting “SPRING”!

My camera at home, I took out my phone (like everybody else!) and took these pictures of the day. I hope you enjoy a few of these.

Image  —  Posted: April 9, 2019 in Photography
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