Tuesday 30 December 2014

Confusing the Roles of Consumers, Compassionates & Criminals

In 2005 I used to get outdoor from a buddy.  He and his dad grew it in their 'back 40' and sold it throughout the year.  It was some cheap strain undiscript of cannabinoid content, but it did the trick~ or so I thought.  They even bought one of those at-home vacuum sealer things to store the portions in the freezer.  I paid that guy $60 for 7 shoddy grams of medicine about once every two weeks.  I didn't know until I shared a doob with a co-worker that I'd been smoking moldy weed that whole time.

That was almost a decade ago and 7 grams of Cannabis still costs me $60 ... and that's from the "criminals" who sell it on the street.  Hmmm ... maybe not so criminal if inflation hasn't hit them yet?  Yes I realize I'm admitting a crime here, but the point of this blog post is to shine a light on the criminals, the compassionates, and we the consumers.

I'm a consumer who will be 41 very soon, and the only pill I take is a seasonal allergy pill.  Every other ailment I have can be remedied with one of my Cannabis concoctions.

That very statement should illustrate to you very clearly WHY Cannabis is still illegal.
I used to be on many pills:

I had the pill for my stomach acid~over $1 a pill
I had the pills for my depression~over $1 a pill multiplied by however many he prescribed
I had Ibupr*fen for any aches & pains~took one at first onset
I had Gr@vol for the my insomnia~don't take too many or my legs would twitch
I even bought this multi that was supposed to maintain liver health while I was on all of the above pills.  Laughable gullibility and yet I'm not alone.

Now for the compassionates.  This is where it gets confusing.  Pay attention  :)  Because of a court order, Health Canada had to provide access to Cannabis for it's legal cardholders.  So this they have done, in the form of compassionate legal producers who are under very strict guidelines.  But in actual practice, price, and production ... these LP's are light on the compassion and heavy on the price.  Heavy on the profit.  They refuse to give any discount for multiple grams, most refuse to give lower prices the way the Designated Growers did.  And all in all ... they don't produce the same plant.
Plants of almost all kinds, love human interaction.  I've written of this before, how plants do better when read to, meditated with, given love and tender loving care.  Studies have proven this without a doubt.  But none of the Licensed Producers with their white coats and super sterility have time for TLC.  That's not part of their job description.

For me, it's like comparing those gross pre-packaged store bought butter tarts to the ones my mom or sister make.  No friggin comparison.

Now ... let's finally get to the criminals.  Though ... you'll soon see that they at times confuse roles with the compassionates.  Yes that's right.  We all think criminals are only in it for money.  But that's the thing about labels.  To some, the friend of a friend who helps me out should be in jail.  But to me, that person has saved my life, my brain, my biology, my family relationships, my future happiness.

I have depression.
Cannabis treats it.
Pills do not.

So remember the $60 I spent on the moldy weed way back when?  Well it's still that price, only considerably better quality. That price gives you one gram free too.  When you buy more than that you get more for free.  I know ... crazy-assed criminals.  For as long as I've been partaking in my city, the deals are as follows:  buy 7 get one free~buy 14 get 3 free~buy 28 get 8 free.  So if you want to infuse some butter or oil with an ounce of this plant, it doesn't cost you a bloody fortune when purchased from a 'criminal' ... but it'll break you if you buy it from an LP.  Not that you could buy that much from an LP at a time!

I have a friend who paid a pain specialist $300 to recommend Cannabis.  He then hooked her right up with a company called TILRAY.  He didn't tell her about the other dozen or so LP's ... just immediately hooked her up with the one.  I've heard this same unethical story with this same LP about two other legal cannabis users.  Kickbacks?  Ski trips?  Gift Cards?  I thought only the pharmaceutical reps gave gifts with prescriptions to the Docs!!!

And yet, I see another side of that too.  I mean, Health Canada may have provided ample access to it's legal Cannabis card holders, but they forgot to educate the Doctors.  So, we have a program to provide a medicine to Canadians with a Doctor's recommendation but we have no Doctors who know about said medicine.

Destined to fail?
Destined to fail on purpose?

Could it be that Tilray is educating our Doctors?  Seems only natural that very soon, Canada's MMPR program will mirror our Pharmaceutical industry.  Doctors learn about the pills they prescribe us from pharmaceutical reps.  Will each LP have Cannabis Reps who go around shmoozing Doctors with lunches and clever sample packs the way Pharma Reps do now?

I am one of many who are soon to be over 40 and pharma-free.  I am not alone.  Soon I'll write a book about this too.  I already have total strangers who are now friends who are willing to share their pill history with me, in an effort to educate the world.  Humans helping humans.

We live in capitalism where almost every single industry is about profit. The medical industry is very much about this, and yet I will herald it's greatness on the daily. But I feel that we as a Canadian society have to decide if we're willing to give up our health for someone else's profit.  We all deserve control of our own health and the medicines that ameliorate that, and we shouldn't have to pay a fortune to do it!  Growing this plant for our own personal use must be allowed.

If you agree with me, you don't have to preach about pot to anybody. Just say one factually amazing sentence:

CANNABIS HAS A ZERO DEATH TOLL & is cheaper to grow than Tomatoes :)








Saturday 27 December 2014

2015: Canada Legalizes Cannabis

Short & Sweet:


The New Year is mere days from now.  I feel hopeful ... do you?

Life is good.
About to get better.

2015 is the year Canadians take their country back from the capitalist pigs who are dismantling our greatness one provincial export at a time.

From Saskatchewan's Wheat Board to Nova Scotia's Fishing Industry Guarantee, Harper is showing his abhorrence of Canada.

We should set him free.

This is the year of the Election ... the one that will take it back.

Please vote Red, Orange, or Green ... the colour of my dreams ;-)

This is the year we change our export from dirty Oil to Medicinal Cannabis & Hemp.

Hemp Hemp Hooray!!






Sunday 21 December 2014

Adhering to Employment Standards ... Optional in 2014?

I want to be a writer someday.  I guess I write now.  Does that make me a writer?
I keep taking jobs that are easy for me because I just want to be able to work enough hours to pay my rent and feed myself so I can sit on this couch and write.

I used to challenge myself more with my careers.  I used to be a salesperson.  I gave new meaning to the "fake it till ya make it" saying.  I pretended to have confidence and be eager to sit with each new customer.  But I was faking.  Pretending.  Faking it hoping to be on the way to making it.  Hoping they'd buy what I was selling.  Hoping they wouldn't ask too many questions about the product.

But I don't do that anymore.  I'm simply not able to.  Nowadays I get anxious and my heart rate elevates a few hours before I go to work.  I didn't know what any kind of a panic attack felt like until I turned 40.  I thought shit was supposed to get easier with age and experience!

I get anxious because I lack self confidence ... even still.  If confidence were a big mountain, I'd be three quarters of the way up.  But I'm at the part with the treacherous footing, the loose rock, the crevices calling my name.  I know I'm intelligent.  I personally financed a million dollars worth of cars with one of the banks when I was in the Car biz.  That's nothing to sneeze at.  But I still doubt myself and my abilities every single day.  That doubt is compounded even more when I look at the job ads.  Before long, the fog settles over me and I become engulfed with self-doubt.  Swirling around in my brain are words like 'dummy', 'not qualified', 'not educated', 'not hire-able'.

Lack of confidence can undermine your intelligence faster than amnesia.
It's done a number on mine.

I am finding though, that this habit of taking the easy jobs is biting me in the ass.  I work two part-time jobs at the moment.  The one follows Employment Standards to the letter, and the other one has broken code four times in the one month I've been there.  They've taken almost $40 out of my pay check for alleged "cash shortages".  They expect to pay me liquor serving wage while I'm cooking for kids' Birthday parties.  And those parties are usually only a 2 hour shift ... rule is 3.  I also keep getting asked to come in on my own time to correct paperwork.

NEW RULE:    If you own or manage a Business in Canada, you need to know and be tested on Employment Standards YEARLY.


I'm all about Employee rights.  If you're an employee ... I got your back.  It's the only way I know. I've only ever been an employee.  Never been an employer or a Business owner.  But I've worked for more than I'd like to admit.

Some people are ashamed of the number of sexual partners they've had.
While I'm ashamed of how many jobs I've had.

I've decided that we need a Social Study done on Employee Rights in Ontario.  Calling all University and/or College students in Human Resources, Political Science, or any other program that deals with Employer-Employee relations.  Survey your fellow students.  Survey your parents.  Survey every Employee you know asking them if their Employers have always followed Employment Standards.  

The past ten years has seen me bounce from minimum wage job to minimum wage job.  I'm happily now above that at both jobs~ though one is significantly higher than the other.  But I can tell you that my City sucks for Employment Standards.  The biggest coffee conglomerate in this city is owned by one family who screw their Employees over on the daily.  Been there;  got dismissed without cause for showing them the Employment Standards website highlighting the rules they had broken.  That's right, you cannot be fired for questioning employment standards.  But that just means they'll list a different reason like "operational measures".  I swear some Businesses in Ontario have a separate miscellaneous column on their accounting program for monies they screwed kids out of.

We need to start educating our youth about this stuff.  What has "Romeo & Juliette" ever taught any Grade 9 student other than the fact that kids had sex way back then too!  Change the curriculum to teach your kids what their rights are, what their deductions are for, and how to read their pay checks. I've worked with several University students who had no idea what "Vacation Pay" was, and didn't get theirs after they left because they didn't ask for it.

I'm a proud Canadian.  As soon as we vote the Blue out, we'll be tops again I know it.  But we need to start treating the minions better.  They'll never make robots to stir your double double or cut your hair with a perfect fade.  They'll never create an automated device that you can tell your sorrows to and know that it empathizes.  Ew can you imagine what a therapeutic massage would be like from R2D2?

Employees are humans.  Humans have rights.
Let's help the humans in Canada get the respect they deserve!

Saturday 20 December 2014

Hunter Hayes ... An Influence for the Good

Our world is awash with influences, too many of them for our youth.  So many artists seem to push our kids to emulate them, and in doing this, our kids change themselves into someone else.  The world of music is no different.  But there are influences for good too, and I witnessed one in action and still feel the good vibes some eight days later.

Last Friday afternoon, at my awesome job I got to have coffee with Hunter Hayes.  Well ok ... maybe not actually HAVE coffee ... but I served java to the lucky girls who had coffee with this talented young man.  Have you heard of those "pop-up restaurants"? Well, with help from Keurig the coffee people, Hunter Hayes' team transformed a corner of our concrete fortress arena into a comfy cozy Coffee House.  In came the couches, tapestries went on the tables, and hot chocolate and Keurig coffee pods were provided with marshmallows too!

I've been lucky enough to watch a few meet 'n greets at work, and I've met a few musicians myself. What was different about Hunter was his genuine interest in all forty of those girls in the Coffee House.  His replies to their questions were not rehearsed, nor were they hasty.  He made sure all queries were answered, actually asking for just a few more minutes when urged to finish up.  By this time, my duties were done so I just watched in wonderment from the back of the room as Hunter made sure to engage each and every one of those girls.  That's a big deal for a young girl.  I know this because I used to be one  :-)

When it came time for the pictures, every girl's hand was shaken and every one's name was asked.  It may become a blur to Hunter after so many hugs but for these girls, it seemed like he singled each one of them out and acknowledged their greatness.  I cannot count how many girls passed me giggling and gushing ... feeling on top of the clouds for that one moment in time.  Take that motivational speakers!!!  You got nothin' on Hunter Hayes!

That brings me to Miss Jill.  I call her this because she called me "Miss Dianna" while we worked.  I think that's a 'southern thing' ... not sure though.  I found it cute.  Jill tours around with Hunter and leads the meet 'n greets and Coffee House experiences before each show.  I'm now following Jill on twitter and I can see that they are a very busy team as she posts pics of each venue they play.

I'll be honest with you, Miss Jill had more of an influence on me than Hunter did.  You may know people like Jill and her team.  They're "make-it-happen" kind of people.  The fact that they were late arriving that day, didn't seem to really bother Jill~ if it need, she didn't show it.  I could feel and see a positivity in Jill that I admire and wish to emulate.  Then I saw Jill post this:

"Better to lose count while naming your blessings than to lose your blessings to counting your troubles."   #attitudeofgratitude

The people who travel around with our artists are a special kind of trooper.  Their ability to adapt--whether inherent or honed-- is a skill they all seem to possess.  Being in the vicinity of and in contact with people like this inspires me, and makes me hope their attitudes are contagious.

Thank you Miss Jill .. mucho respect my friend.


Watch HERE and see just how talented Hunter Hayes really is.  Betcha you'll be singin' it for hours!

Thursday 18 December 2014

Stephen Collins ... the 7th Heaven Pedophile


I used to watch that show.  Jessica Biel was in it.  I used to admire the relationships that she had with her on-show father played by Stephen Collins.  It reminded me of my own great relationship I have with my daddy.

How is this man still free?  He admits in an upcoming 20/20 interview that he not only exposed himself to a ten year old, but he also made a little girl touch his penis on the couch as they watched television.

How is this man not in jail?

I feel simply sickened after watching a brief segment on the view with Katie Couric where she stresses that Stephen insists the last time this happened was in 1994, and isn't an ongoing thing.

How is this man still free?

And what makes me feel utterly sick to my stomach is that neither Katie nor any one of the ladies on the View asked about the victims.  Not one.

Are they okay today?  Are they still alive?  How have they dealt with this disgusting abuse?  Did that little girl go on to be friends with Stephen's daughter?  Did she ever spend the night again?  How did HIS SELFISH SEXUAL ACT affect her?

I'm writing this post right now, because I must get it out of my head.

Let's say that the victim didn't deal with this abuse, and became a super-sexualized teen and young woman.  Society, her parents, their friends et al would likely judge her.  They would likely judge her parents as well for her behavior, asking "where in the world would she learn such behavior?".


Stephen Collins made that little girl hold his erect penis when she was either ten or thirteen.  That was likely the first time she'd ever touched one. I can't bring myself to watch the segment again to confirm the age.  It is moot.

Can you imagine that?  I recall at 13 my girlfriends and I talking about sex at a sleep over and we didn't even know that the penis went all the way inside our vaginas.  Needless to say, sex ed in the Catholic school board is severely lacking.

This little girl was a friend of his daughter's.  They watched tv alone on the couch.

Does she blame herself?
Has she blamed herself for the past twenty years?

Our future actions are decided based on our past experiences, and in this case, abuses.

I feel sad for both of these victims.  Nameless ... Faceless .... Victims.

Stephen Collins likely feels better now that he has come clean.

How do his victims feel?

And why isn't anyone asking this question?


Tuesday 2 December 2014

Well-Matched

Have you ever had that moment ~be it with friend, sibling, lover, or mate~ where they say or do something random that illustrates how well-matched you are?  Like-minds I like to call us.

This happened to me earlier today with my hunni.  We were discussing the recent fuk-up with the Ontario Government, where last week a few hundred assistance payments were inaccurate, excessive, or non-existent. This was to the tune of $300,000. dollars.  Perhaps a small chunk in the big pic.

On the CBC the talk is more focused on over-payments than non-payments.  That's odd isn't it?  We live in the days where you get more viewership talking about fellow citizens getting too much of something, instead of getting nothing.

My hunni said:

"All they care about right now is getting the over-payments back from people.  Do you hear anything on there about the people NOT getting their checks?  Because there were some of them too!  But no they're not gonna talk about the guy with five kids and five dollars to his name!"

We were in the car.  I just looked at him and thought to myself:

I am exactly where and with whom I should be.  Damn I love him :)

Saturday 29 November 2014

All Victims Deserve Respect

I had another convo last night with a co-worker about the pigs coming out in the news recently.  By pigs I mean humans who are unable to satisfy themselves sexually in normal, healthy, and respectable ways. Instead, most pigs either influence, rape, or drug innocent people and have their way with them.

Bill Cosby allegedly has a long history of doing this.

My co-worker says no way.  Cosby is America's Dad she says.

Laugh out loud.

She, and others in this convo simply stated .... in  a way that effectively washed clean their hands, their thoughts, their memories of any emotion, that those women are just lookin' for a pay-out.

Statute people .... statute of limitations states that those ladies couldn't get a dime even if they had evidence.  I was at work, speaking with an authority figure, so I didn't speak my mind.  Had I spoken my mind it would be like this:

"You're all assholes.  Clearly .... NONE of you have EVER been sexually mistreated in any way  or you would feel, speak, and act differently!!"


I was almost raped by a co-worker.  Had I not had my Rottweiller with me, things may be different right now.  And the thing is, when he finally left, his bruised ego and engorged passion in hand, I surely knew what had just happened.  The empty pit in my gut told me.  For days that void was there, making me feel ill, nauseous, unlike myself.  I knew what had happened to me.  But I didn't go to the police.  I didn't even yell NO as it was happening!   The one person I did tell ... our boss ... simply brushed it off saying he was told it was CONSENSUAL.

Sharing the details of a sexual assault is not a simple task.  Not in process;  nor in the volition it takes for a woman to actually report it to police.  As I stood before my boss, his words and the look he gave me, effectively negated all that I knew had happened.  Before that word was spoken, I was backed by my own knowledge, my own memory, and my own core wound that still felt empty and I knew I was right.

To me, that man had attempted to force me to have sex with him.
To the boss, that man was the best car sales person he had.  His #2.  His right hand man.

The look my boss gave me shattered all of my gumption.  All the truths I had backing me suddenly turned to smoke and dissipated into the great abyss.  This look my boss gave me, is likely similar or the same look that every sexual assault victim sees upon speaking their truth.  Whether it's shown to them or not, they feel shame and like every word they speak crumbles down their chin.

My boss looked at me like I was nothing more than a dirty, lying, stinking, slutty whore who just wanted my 15 minutes of glory.

I left that day FULL of shame.  I didn't feel like a victim.  I felt the guilt that should have been shouldered on that man ... that pig ... but it was shouldered on ME the victim ~ not HE the attacker.


Just IMAGINE how I would have felt had I gone to the Police.

Monday 24 November 2014

Civil Fukkery In the Happening

Officer Darren Brown is a free man.

Michael Brown is dead.

I don't understand.

There is such a crack~

a rapidly widening crack in the trust we feel for Police.

This will progress that further, opening up the ribs of humanity like a metal retractor ...

that will never go back again.


We need Police officers to come out against this decision.

We need Police Officers to come out and admit that they need more training, more experience.

We need Police Officers to come out against this training they get that teaches them to shoot to kill.

We need Police Officers who have shot an innocent in the past, to speak out about it.

I want to respect you ... but if you are shielded from all liability ... then how can I?


Kids and innocents keep getting shot.  Why do they keep shooting to kill?


At the moment, there is an eerie calm in Ferguson.  I pray it continues.

They say that visualization works.

Visualize Peace.









Sunday 23 November 2014

Some of the Angels of Successful Cannabinoid Therapy

I am a snifflin' mess ... but inspired nonetheless.

Realm of Caring, the group who gave us the medicinal Hemp strain named "Charlotte's Web" have shared a video on their page created by Barry Pogson.  With help from Nichole Montanez, a visual journalist with the Gazette in Colorado Springs, and photos from her "Face of Cannabis" project, they are showing just how many faces there are.

Grab a tissue and watch this video which gives voice to the parents of the children saved by the flowers of this plant.


This shot is profound.  Charlotte looks at the plants that will someday be made into the oil that is saving her life.



Many of us have heard, read, or seen a segment in media about that kid who's parents gave her Marijuana Oil.  But there are so many more than one kid ~ not that one kid isn't enough to change the world for!

Let's talk about that oil.  I love it, though I've never made it or used it.  But I like to talk about it.  The first time I was published was talking about that oil and what it can do.  Marco Renda, of the Treating Yourself Magazine was kind enough to publish my article in issue #42.  He expertly titled it "Gifts From Mother Nature".  At the time of this blog, the link for the original article on the TY website is down, but my article was very kindly shared by my friend Lincoln Horsley who runs the "Cure Your Own Cancer" website.  Read how and why he raves about this plant along side me and so many others.



This is a pic of medicine made by a friend.  He has been ingesting it for over six years now.  He makes it himself on his balcony I believe and then purges out any impurities.  This post isn't about the bazillion processes ... it's about the fact that YOU can make something that helps you.  And it shouldn't be viewed as a crime.



Imagine that there was this plant that really helped humans with disease and illness.  But the leaders of your world, want you to use this other medicine that they say is safer.  Oh ... and somebody also makes a lotta money off of that other stuff.  But you're not supposed to concern yourself with that.

Imagine someone made oil out of that plant's flowers.  Imagine they made it in the SAME WAY that many other common cooking oils are made.  Imagine it saved your life or the life of someone you love.

But they insist it's not safe, so you can't use it.  No no no ... you should use this stuff over here.  Look at how super-sterilized it is and so perfectly packaged too.

Are we free?
Do we really have free choice?

I'm cool with anyone who wants to choose man-made medicines, and I'm not ignorant to the fact that Western Medicine has made some majorly life-saving breakthroughs.  It deserves respect, this is true.

Personally though, I prefer to use naturally derived medicines.  Y'know ... the ones that were undoubtedly the instigation for many of those man-made meds?  And others do too.  We deserve the respect to choose what we use.


Why must every blog post have this angle?  Because in MOST areas of this world, a parent would lose their child if they gave him or her this oil.  In my city, no one is using it though the interest is everywhere.  And in my country ... my awesome country of Canada ... my Parliamentary Health Minister Rona Ambrose sits back and states that there is no evidence to support this oil.

I'd say the reduction of seizures from hundreds per day to none per day is evidence.

What would YOU do for someone that you love?
If you could save his or her life, but you had to break a stupid and asinine law, would you break it?

**See Mandy McKnight here ... she's been facing that very scenario along with hundreds of others for a while now.  Her son's seizures reduced IMMEDIATELY upon ingesting the oil.


Tuesday 18 November 2014

Further To Today's Cannabis Debate on CBC Radio One

CBC Radio ... what a gem.

My hunni and I are tree-hugging, Wind Turbine-promoting, Cannabis-smoking, radical-recycling, CBC Radio-listening Canadians.  The station in the car hasn't changed from 107.5 FM in almost a whole year.  Today at noon they had a debate around Cannabis legalization.  The premise was this question:

"Would legalizing pot signal that it's safe?"

As the calls came in, I tweeted my thoughts.  And several times I wished I had paid more attention to the call-in number.  Basically, had I called in ... this is what I wish to have conveyed.

We're asking the wrong question.  Does this question help us make the big decisions?  With proper education, we can control what legalization 'signals' to the public and our youth.

The fact of the matter is, because of capitalism how unsafe a product is, does not hinder it's legality!
Take for example these well-known facts:

Tobacco is legal and unsafe.
Alcohol is legal and unsafe.
Bacon is legal and unsafe.
Nitrates are legal and unsafe.
Triclosan in common hand sanitizer is legal and unsafe.
Aspirin is unsafe yet is taken widely daily.
Acetaminophen is unsafe yet prescribed daily.
The list goes on and on.

A better question in my opinion, would be something like this:

"Is it ethical to keep Cannabis illegal when it holds a zero death toll, while other proven dangerous and toxic substances like Tobacco and Alcohol are allowed to be sold openly?".

The debate brought in so many experienced and educated opinions.  The expert on the panel was Dr. Jurgen Rehm, director of social and epidemiological research at CAMH (Center for Addiction and Mental Health).  As expected, some of the callers' opinions with Cannabis were positive ones;  others were negative ones.  As each one described their experiences, it just reiterated what I already knew. And that's that we're all unique and Cannabis--like ALL other medications in the world--affect each of us uniquely.

Here's another great question:

"If Cannabis is legalized, and it holds a zero death toll, could lives be saved by simply switching recreational substances?".

It worked for me.  I rarely drink alcohol, and my hunni and I are tobacco free now for over four years.

For next time ... the call in number is 1-888-817-8995 and HERE is the site for CBC Ontario Today with Rita Celli who handled all of these opinions with diplomacy, patience, and genuine curiosity.


Monday 10 November 2014

Thanks To Ghomeshi ...

Thanks to Ghomeshi, every time I hear someone say that so-and-so is a "great guy" ... I question it ... and a little part of me doubts it.

This whole case is shocking to me.  The ball was dropped, hidden, and swept under the rug so many times it's a wonder it still rolls right.

Good job society of faithful prayer warriors.  While we were watching the injustices going on overseas, a man in a position of some influence and yes ... authority has been smacking women in private, and smiling bashfully and innocently in the public and media spotlight.

This particular blog post centers on the victim as female, but that in no way suggests that this kind of sick abuse only happens to the one sex.  Women's rights have slid backwards, they really have but even more I think Human Rights have gone backwards.

I mean . . . . . .

In what universe did Western University NOT have an obligation to share the knowledge that Jian treated female interns inappropriately?

Ball drop.

In what universe did the head of CBC, who KNEW about Ghomeshi's disrespect for women NOT have an obligation to forewarn every single female employee who has to come in contact with him?

Ball swept under rug.

In what universe do SO MANY women get treated SO POORLY and not feel safe to tell authorities?

Ball hidden for the sake of self-preservation.

In this universe.
How sad is that?
That cannot be.
Don't let this die People ... I implore you.

Use the words and the tears and the experiences shared by so many others in recent weeks, to stay alert to mistreatment of others.

Too many of us will defend someone else long before we'll defend ourselves.

Myself included.


We as a society must demand better of one another.  We have to start caring more about each other.
We need to be better humans.

That reminds me though that of course, some organizations are demanding better.  One such organization that I can think of right now, is the OHL Hockey organizations who help mold these young players into good humans.

Recently, two OHL players were faced with 15 game suspensions for derogatory and sexist comments made regarding females on a facebook page.  The action was described HERE as unprecedented.

So there you go ... in 2014 Canada, the Ontario Hockey League takes sexism, harassment, and verbal abuse more seriously than the CBC.

You can watch Heather Conway, the CBC's Head of English programming being interviewed about CBC's role in the Ghomeshi scandal by Peter Mansbridge HERE and HERE


Yes yes yes .... they did pick up the ball and slam dunk Ghomeshi off of his platform ... and off of his high horse.

But how many women were smacked, verbally abused, and/or intimidated by Ghomeshi over the past two years or more that people knew, wondered, suspected?

How many cases of mental scarring, emotional scarring, situational anxiety, or post traumatic stress disorder have been inflicted on how many women?  How many men?

That shit doesn't go away you know.  I tear up as I type this, because my experience scarred the eff out of me, and I got out physically unscathed.

But mentally ... well ... that's a whole other thing isn't it?

More than once, the CBC's exec states that she doesn't feel it was their place to call authorities about the evidence they received.

It's that that we must change.

Don't you think?


Wednesday 5 November 2014

Operation: Make Ends Meet

This coming January I will turn 41.  Remember those "After-School Specials" on tv?  You know the ones that were light in the acting department, yet chock full of wisdom and valuable life-lessons? Well that's me.  I'm an after-school special telling kids to stay-in-school, choose the right school, and the right subject for THEM, at said school.

I didn't do that, and I'm sorry if I sound like one of those "do as I say, not as I did" kind of bloggers.  
Come to think of it, my dilly-dallying when it came to my schooling, is likely a god-send in the long run.  I mean, I'm a tree-hugging animal-lover so of course, I dreamed of being a Veterinarian.  I even switched Mathematics in high school just so that I could get into that course at Guelph University.  I remember how responsible I felt when I was doing that.  I was planning my future ... laying down a path ... and making the changes needed.  But by the time I finally scraped by grade 12 advanced Mathematics with a mark of 53%, I had already come to terms with the fact that I would never be a Veterinarian. Thank Goddess for my faulty brain, or my reality may see me stuck with a huge-ass tuition bill working in an industry that's supposed to love animals, but only loves money.

What changed my mind?  When I was 16 I had to euthanize my very first horse Rusty.  Rusty was ... so amazing.  My mom bought her for $125, removed her from the field of heifers she called friends, and brought her to me.  She thought she was a cow, but she may as well have been Big Ben or Secretariat because to me, she was everything.  The day I said goodbye to her, was the day I said goodbye to that Veterinarian dream.  How could I ever re-live that pain on a day-to-day basis?

So from there I considered Veterinary Technician, but I scoffed at that measly $30K salary.  Ya ... I know eh?  Hilarity at it's best.  I barely make half that these last few years and yet it seemed like so little back then.

Y'know how you hear people say they wanna see themselves as their dogs see them?  Well I wanna see myself through those naive yet confident 17 year old eyes I had back then.

I was stuck on animals, so from there I fell into the romanticized world of Horses.  Somehow I had convinced myself that shoveling shit, getting kicked & stepped on, and living dusty was what I wanted.  I ended up going to Kemptville College for Equine Studies where you take your horse with you.  Oh KCAT will never be the same.

Before Rusty passed, she gave me Mia.  Yes it was a planned pregnancy, but the result of a quick weekend romp. The farmer charged me a 2-4 of beer for the service~which I hope he shared with the stud!  Eleven long months later came Mia.  She was a miracle to say the least.

At the risk of boring you, I'll suffice it to say that my misdirected education continued for far too long after this.  Basically, from start to finish I could someday be a full-service shop!

I could train your horse,
I could cut, perm, colour your hair.
I could list and sell your house (licensing pending)
I could arrange a mortgage on your house purchase (once again, licensing pending)
I could sell you a car~ not very well, but I could.
I could arrange the financing for that car and,
I could sell you Rust-proofing, Extended Warranties, and Insurances.
I could cook you a meal safely.
I could tend your bar responsibly.

So welcome to today ... where I just got a third part-time job.  Yep that's what it takes in 2014.

My second part-time job is for a marketing company who does relines.  Basically, I move products around according to a planogram.  Yesterday I kinda effed up, and didn't do the math.  I had to go to the store and do 5 audits that were to take me 15 minutes each.  More importantly, each audit paid me 15 minutes of $12.  I paid $10 for a cab there ... and I paid $10 for the cab ride home.  And I made $15 in total.  I may have to fax the paperwork for those audits and that should cost me anywhere from $5 to $10.  Do that math.  It's gross.

And today, the CBC was all abuzz because the head of the Bank of Canada has come out and said that with today's shaky employment scene, teens should work for free to gain experience.

There ya go kids .... stay in school so you can kick this douche-bag to the curb.


Sunday 2 November 2014

Spark It Up ... Change Begins

I've said recently, that I shun the silly idea that one must never talk about religion, money, or politics. I want to talk about almost anything in fact.  I want to know how you feel and why you feel it. Sometimes words are not my friend though.  In discussions with my fellow Canadians, the First Nations people, I have felt that every word from my lips dripped with ignorance. So at times like this I do feel muted.  Or that I should be muted.  Remain muted.  Speak only when spoken to.

I am white.  I'm as white as white can be.  Well ... I'm Irish/Scottish/German ... so you do the math.
But more importantly, I'm from an incredibly small town.  Discussions with people of other nationalities get stuck for me. The reasons for this are obvious ... I've lived a life sheltered by rural-ness.

When we learn about things in childhood, they often stick in the folds almost becoming part of the makeup.  For instance, the land that I will always call "home" was most definitely inhabited by native Canadian aboriginals.  I struggled there on how to word that.  Can I say the word "Indian"?  Or is that now an offensively outdated term?  I know the Indians lived there once because we used to find what to we kids were most definitely "artifacts".  Likely none as old as we thought they were.  But it was neat to feel that connection to a whole other people, from so long ago.

I went to a Catholic school that was situated right beside the Church.  Our church had the biggest steeple.  At the very top of that steeple is a cross.  According to the nuns at school and church, the Priest had to hire an Indian to climb up that steeple to erect that cross.  I remember visualizing that so many times, trying to understand how in heck anyone would get up that high.  If I'm careful, I can still sort of remember how that felt too, and how that image instilled some kind of 'knowledge' that Indians were fearlessly good climbers and very helpful to the Catholics.  Crazy I know.  But I was a kid.


St. Edward's Catholic Church, Westport, Ontario, Canada

Years later, came the knowledge that all the Natives paid no tax, and had liberties we didn't have.  I didn't really understand that.  No doubt, I had no idea what a contract aka a Treaty was! Needless to say, I had no idea nor any way of comprehending the atrocities that we white people did to the Natives.  Children shouldn't have to understand that.

In my early teens, I saw "Dances With Wolves".  Accurate or not, it coloured my perspective of all things Native.

Much later, my oldest sister began a relationship with an Ojibwe Native from Manitoba.  I learned so much more from Claude.  Many great things that broadened my knowledge of my fellow Canadians. But he told of some negatives too.  Conditions that he saw first-hand.

Being white and saying anything about this issue is not welcome or recommended.  I've heard it called a "financial distribution problem" where some get much while others get little.  All of whom reside on the same reserve with peers who once were called family.

But change ... it must always come from within.

Last month, a spark ignited within that fold.  A Chief in Squamish B.C. is the first to be held responsible for his own greed.  You can read about it HERE

Now yesterday another story can be read HERE that will leave you choked.  At some point, you'd think a person would see the err in their inflated salaries, in comparison to what their fellow humans get.  This is a second spark.

How many sparks to push change?

Back to my white-ness, my mute-ness, and my belief in one love ... I was lucky enough to take part in the Peoples' Social Forum in Ottawa a few months back.  On the Saturday, on Sparks Street with Mother Sun shining down on us all, I absorbed by proximity and osmosis some major Native Pride. A Pow Wow was center stage that day with dancers of all colours taking part.  I shed a few tears as the drums hit very deeply and powerfully.  And I spoke few words.  The best part for me, was seeing so many different nationalities dancing in that circle to that drum, feeling that Native Pride.

Change needs to come for many of us and though we cannot all be a part of each others' progress, we can still celebrate each others' greatness.

Cuz we're all pretty great.




Click HERE to watch a part of my favourite dance of the day.









Thursday 30 October 2014

When The News Triggers PTSD You Didn't Know You Had

So ... I'm officially grossed out with myself.  I grossed myself out.  Recently, news broke about a popular Canadian radio host with a velvety smooth voice and Bambi eyes.  I wasn't really a fan, but I knew who he was.  Jian Ghomeshi hosted a popular show called "Q".

Photo ops and marketing pics are so good at showing the sweet side of us aren't they?  I mean, Ghomeshi looks kissable, huggable even ... like someone you could really talk to.  So when Ghomeshi got fired last week because of two anonymous accusations of non-consensual rough sex, I cried foul. It bothered me that anonymous accusations like that could be so effective.  Didn't defamation require proof?

So there you have it.  Even a feminist like myself can at times jump to stinky conclusions that drip of double standard.

I've mentioned my own personal memory in recent blog posts.  My short term memory is sketchy, as I often walk into a room forgetting why.  But over the past year or so, I have found myself remembering situations that were long hidden in the folds of grey matter.  The past two days have seen me remembering situations unkind.  Hearing and reading the words of Ghomeshi's accusers have made me remember times where I too experienced unwelcome dominance from more than one man.

The worst experience, happened to be with an older co-worker who wasn't reading my body language or hearing my words.  In fact, if I hadn't had a very co-dependent Rottweiller at the time, this story would have turned out much worse. Sasha my beloved furry sister who looks down on me from above, was protecting me that day.  As this hormone-drunk middle-aged man tried to push me into my bedroom and shut the door, Sasha was having none of it.  I remember her panting and jumping around never taking her eyes off of mine.  One minute she was at my side, the next she was on the bed, reading me like a book.  Finally, he realized that I wasn't game for the game, so he left.  But I had totally blocked that out of my memory until now.

I'll also point out that I didn't shout no.  I didn't really say anything but push him away over and over. He was an authority figure where I worked, and one that many of us saw as a father-figure.  Each time the words came to my tongue, I remember thinking about how uncomfortable work would be. I didn't have a plan of escape, I could only kick myself for ever allowing him in my apartment.  Sometimes these situations and every poor decision is like a game of dominoes.  Why oh why did I ever say yes when he asked to come over?  Why oh why didn't I punch him or yell at him?

Do you see what I'm doing there?  I'm removing all blame from him ... and I'm placing it on me.  So wrong.  Societal influence can be in the deepest cracks.

The words and verbal re-enactment of another woman in regards to Ghomeshi reminded me of something I was told by a guy I grew up with.  This guy liked to also lure certain women away from the bar for quick romps that quickly turned into what he called a "grunch-fuck" ... similar to Ghomeshi's "hate-fuck".  Do we have a rape culture?  Do we have some men who use sex as a weapon?

I feel crappy today.  Is this what mild PTSD feels like?

I'm choked by the number of people who believe eight women would gather with the demise of an innocent man in mind.  I'm choked by the veiled misogyny I read in comments like one by a now blocked fb friend who said that:

"Jian seems to have a repressed rage which I guess is due to his generation having to "eat it" and act nice when it comes to women."

So in one sentence this guy effectively removes all responsibility and guilt away from Ghomeshi and places it squarely onto the women he knew growing up.  Right.

The whole thing blows me away.  I just have a lotta lotta Q's!

I gotta know, what happened to you Jian when you were little?  Is sadism a developmental thing?   Were you sexually turned on once when you got spanked?  I dunno.  Were you beat as a child? Did you like it?  Oh sorry ... that's usually your line isn't it?  Do you like that?  Do concussions happen from consecutive closed fist punches?  Can you get a boner from amicable love-making?  Is angry sex the only thing on the Ghomeshi menu?  Borrrring!

Furthermore, your success rate must be fairly low as I can't imagine many women are really up for the head-punching as an aphrodisiac.  But there must be a few?!  Tell us Jian, are there any women out there who liked your modus operandus?


Aw how I love knowing Karma is always there.  Ghomeshi may not get charged criminally for his severe style of BDSM.  But he's out of the CBC so that's a start.  One thing is for sure .... with this widespread media coverage, Ghomeshi shouldn't have any trouble finding women willing to experiment with him.  Karma promises me that one of them will give Jian a taste of his own misogyny.




Saturday 25 October 2014

Breaking Down Boxes With the Plant

My mental illness is such that once I'm in, I have a hard time getting out.  If mental quicksand had a feeling, this would be it.  I'm in it right now.  Just had a wee break-down of tears in my hunni's arms. The saltiness of the tears must have dispersed the sand particles enough for this bout of inspiration to take place.  Thank Goddess for those tears.

"Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts." ~Charles Dickens

Let's see how long this quicksand dispersal fluid works.  So when I'm stuck, the thoughts are a circle, a vicious circle.  It usually involves me thinking or mumbling the same or similar phrases over and over, depending on the problem, issue, or trigger.  Cognitive Behavioural Therapy teaches you to acknowledge these actions so you may correct them.  But I'll tell you, my furry bff Molly is better than anything CBT ever taught me, though I admittedly didn't give it an honest try.  I know when I'm mumbling out loud nowadays, because she looks up at me as though it's to she that I speak.  Those sweet big brown eyes pull me back to the here and now where we all belong. What if all dogs are therapy AND go to heaven?  Oh I'm betting my life on that one.



I have the BEST arguments with my 'opponents' at these times, saying things that I normally wouldn't have the nerve to say.  I wish I could write more when I'm in the sand because I can have primo 'keyboard cahonies'.  When I write, I begin to feel that no one can interrupt me, no one can disagree with me, and no one can negate how I feel.  These words are mine.  I feel power from that.  In my zombie phase taking various prescribed concoctions of pharmaceuticals, I allowed other people to silence me, tell me how to think, in turn what to believe. Ideologies are huge and they can develop quickly without your knowledge.

Try to visualize and imagine a door that, when you try to open it, will appear to have glue or super-sticky gum all around the edges.  This gluey gum allows you to push it open a bit, so you can see the subject matter inside, but then very quickly it snaps back shut.  I can see it clear as day in my mind. Can you?  Those doors lead to the rooms that are the blog ideas I have in the back of my mind.  I've been working on them for a few weeks now.  I'm so proud of myself at times, that I can do this now. When I was on pharmaceutical antidepressants I couldn't even begin to hold, develop, and form stories and ideas like this.

My mind does work effectively .... when it's workin' effectively.

But it's that gluey gum that's the problem, that's my depression, my box called MDD ... Major Depressive Disorder.  It's funny now that I actually thought putting a label on my box would make it any less deep and constricting.  The only thing putting a label on your box does, is make you easier to prescribe to.  Sorry for that ... but I truly believe that pharmaceuticals took away a large part of my life.  I realize personal responsibility comes into play here, but when an already impressionable, overly-agreeable following type goes on antidepressant meds, they sometimes turn into zombies.

You've heard of the "Zombie Apocalypse" right?  Well I'm convinced all zombies are just brain and body damaged humans who prescribed to too many GD profitable meds in the hopes of attaining normalcy.

I and millions of other sufferers of mental illness have found something that melts that gluey glue.
Cannabis Sativa of numerous strains and ratios promotes new thought.  New thought can cancel out old, cyclical, damaging thought.  The longer I allow the cyclical negative chatter to go on, the more power it holds over me.  Like a tornado or the Tasmanian devil, the impulsion of that spiral grows with time making it harder to stop or pull out of.  For best results, stop it quickly.

Analysis of one's self is something that can promote mental and physical health.  I see and feel my mental illness changing.  I talk to myself a lot more than I ever did before.  Sometimes I say what I'm writing as I write it.  I worried about it on and off a few weeks ago.  But then I thought to myself:

"Remember Dianna how you felt no different, no better when the white-coats labeled you with MDD almost ten years ago?  Don't fall into the label trap again.  It is not accurate.  It is not real for me."

In closing, I'll share something that I thought the other day at work as I walked into the kitchen, and realized I had totally forgotten why I was there.  To be honest, some may argue the short-term memory loss thing in conjunction with Cannabis.  But I do believe it does effect me.  But that's why they make pens and paper and adorable multi-coloured post it notes!

Yes ... my medicine can sometimes hinder my memory.  But the last one completely suppressed my orgasm, my bowels, and my desire to write.

For me, Cannabis just makes sense.


My body .... my choice what goes into that body.

Tramadol (opioid) vs. Olive Oil Cannabis Infusion vs Coconut Oil Cannabis Infusion.

So many ways to ingest a medicinal plant!

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Different = Death in 2014?

I grew up in a teeny-weeny mid Ontario town.  At one point the population was 700 and that sign stayed that way for years and years until it finally got changed to 1300.  This town is nothing less than a gem amidst a cornucopia of forests and small fresh-water lakes, and that population quadruples every summer as tourists come from all over.

Growing up, it was known there were people who lived in those forests.  My Daddy grew up on the mountain and he knew one family in particular who literally lived in the bush and looked it too. Showers were not a priority.  Survival was.  And happiness ~ though different from the norm ~ was just around the corner with a trap full of dinner to boot.  They didn't believe in washing their plates after meals.  A quick lick clean and a flip-over was all that was needed.  And the tea was always strong and hot on the stove.

These men, and many more came into town periodically to stock up on supplies.  Their presence was easily noted since at times and with some, the billow of dust following was a reminder of the Peanuts' "Pigpen". The supplies they'd seek were mainly fuel for their trucks and equipment like generators or tractors. To be honest, I only saw these men from afar or from the other side of the counter at the gas station where I worked.  They were usually friendly, their skin rough and dark, worn down like leather from the great Canadian wilderness and it's sometimes harsh conditions.  The regulars at this gas station generally used these individuals to stay in touch with their surrounding nature.

"How the traps lately Fred?" they'd ask, "See many deer these days?".



These men were more accurate, and some undoubtedly hairier, than the groundhog at predicting the coming of Spring.  They saw the signs in the tassles on the trees, the chirping of the  birds, and in the wind as it blew.  Other tidbits of knowledge would be collected by "the coffee crew" ... the group of working men who would be waiting for me at 5:25a.m. to make the coffee and open the store.  These 'woodsmen' were akin to a virtual Farmer's Almanac for the coffee crew and they'd share the knowledge around our town.

These men were different.  And every rural town has a few, or maybe had a few at one time.  They don't follow fashion or health trends, they don't watch or own a television.  They live to be in the bush;  to be one with nature.  I couldn't help but think of those local men from my hometown as I watched the sister of Peter de Groot, the Canadian man, brother, son, who was recently shot by police in British Columbia.  You can watch the gut-wrenching 30 minute statement HERE.

Different.  What is that?  Is it something that we can easily accept?  Or does DIFFERENT make you feel anxious?  Suspicious?  Unsure?

Is DIFFERENT a reason to shoot?

Peter de Groot was different.  His sister attests to that fact in the video above, as she describes all of the ways in which her big brother was an enigma to so many others in his life.  Different is misunderstood every single day on this planet.  And that's a scary predicament for us to be in.

I love the verse by Cat Stephens:  "There's a million ways to be."  But do the cops know that?  I mean, in a world where so many of us are carbon copies of one another, can we expect our Law Enforcement Officers to be mindful of those enigmas?  I don't see why not, they're still human after all.  I am no expert, but from the information given by his loving sister Danna, a quick look at Peter's history could have cast some light on the situation.  Chronic pain and debilitating illness changes people.  Many of whom retreat and become reclusive as a means to cope.  Some simply feel healthier when they are away from all things modern.  I believe this was how Peter de Groot was.  I feel like I knew him, though we never met.

To Police, the "Woodsman" is different, dangerous, unknown.  Bile bubbles in my stomach at that thought.  I mean, how can someone with a complete and total aversion to wifi be a terrorist threat? Does "public safety" really trump LIFE to such an extent that we'll kill those different people just to be safe?  Why was no research done on this man?  Why was one neighbor's tip, enough to tip the scales?  So many unanswered questions.  I pray the family will find justice in this case, and in doing so, protect those others who wish to live alone in the bush the way Peter did.

RIP Peter de Groot ... I know with all of the certainty I can muster that you are at peace now and undoubtedly in a better place.  I hope his family can feel that in the near future as well.




"We are outraged.  My brother suffered unspeakable tragedy and pain.  He spent years rehabilitating himself from a debilitating condition.  Each and every person who hears this should be humbled to their knees with the honesty and integrity with which he lived his life.  Working so hard each and every day to overcome so many obstacles with the simple goal of being independent, free, and happy. He was killed for being HIMSELF!!".~Danna de Groot, Peter's sister.




Saturday 18 October 2014

Job Security vs. Personal Freedoms

I've been living my life inside a confirmation bias bubble for a few years now.  The bubble has meandered a bit as I educated myself with the help of my hunni, my like-minded online community and Mr. Google.  But for the most part, because of my own personal success story using Cannabis only for my mental illness, I'm a broken record of legalization raw raw raw's.

I read re-affirming studies, articles, and anecdotal comments daily.
I post and write about persons healed to share the wonders of this plant.
I brain-storm and stew about situations within this cause.
I see the whole medical industry and much of public safety measures through eyes who simply see injustice and double-standards galore.

Until very recently, I used to tell strangers that legalization was nigh.  Those of you who follow my blog can attest to that, but something happened recently that has me doubting the proximity of our goal.  A mere month ago, I could be heard saying often:

"Justin Trudeau is going to legalize Cannabis and free personal choice in Canada!".

But if I'm going to be honest with you, I'm no longer sure.

Someone I know recently got busted, we'll call them Jane and John Doe.  We live in a relatively small city of about 170,000 people.  My friend Jane ingests Cannabis for recreation.  But as with most of us, it also eases or aids some other biological need I'm sure.  John works a full time construction job and knows someone who knew someone and he used to provision his girlfriend's medicine in pound sized quantities.  He occasionally helped friends out also cuz ... hey you gotta get it somewhere.

In true William Shakespeare fashion~who undoubted partook in the herbal~ I wish to add an "Aside" here:

One argument for the legalization of Cannabis is that it will starve the black market criminals who currently profit from much of the Cannabis sold 'on the street' everywhere.  Why would we want to do that?  Because they are the ones who use Cannabis as a means to an end, the 'end' being the group with the biggest guns, the most ammo, the strongest reverse-engineered pharmaceuticals, and goddess knows what other new goodies they're evil minds can engineer.

Jane and John Doe are not these people.  If John makes any profit helping his friends out, he pays his rent or buys Jane dinner a few nights a week so she doesn't have to cook while they try to conceive a child.  Ya ... we're talking everyday people helping everyday people find relief from pain, relief from insomnia, and finding a few harmless giggles.  Now ... after you read the following, I ask you to comment with an answer to this Q:

How long do you think the resource distribution in Police services will hinder the realization of Cannabis legalization?

It happened late I think, as they vegged on their couches.  They rent their apartment on a super quiet residential neighborhood.  Their place is quite nice.  Three incredibly loud bangs on the door drew their attention immediately, and then the door swung open and in came 10 bullet-proof vested, machine-gun wielding Police officers who might as well have been SWAT for the effect they had.

The step-by-step details of what followed was never important to me.  And ... knowing and learning daily about PTSD and triggers, I never felt right asking the details.  We are affected much more than any of us will ever know.  I expect my friends to have side effects from this down the road.  Jane already finds sleep eludes her at times. I welcome any and all comments that will help me help them when this time comes.  At times, it is those of you who live with those of us with mental illness and PTSD, who can have the best advice on how to deal with it all.

I'm not even sure right now how long the 'raid' lasted, but it sounded mentally scarring to say the least.  I assume to these 10 Law Enforcement Officers, this is just a normal day on the job.  But for Jane, who had to strip in front of every single one of them, it will undoubtedly be imprinted in her mind as one of the worst days ever.  They mocked her tears.  No doubt in an effort to lighten the mood so that words might slip.  Who knows. I want to know something though ... of all ten, how many felt ashamed and embarrassed as she took her clothes off so they could ensure she hadn't been hiding anything ... as she vegged on the couch late at night.  I bet more than you'd think.  What a waste of time and resources.

What I learned is that they got a tip that there were other drugs there.  Which explains why they kept yelling "where's the rest? where's the rest?".  No doubt the officers see this all in micro view.  Myself I see it in one macro view, I'm sure there are many.  I'll suffice it to say that the accuracy of these "tip-offs" need to be evaluated further in my humble and uneducated opinion.  You'll see by the end of this post, why this tip was likely bought, paid-for, or a mere plea in desperation by some other everyday person who got busted earlier that month for all we know!

It was nearing the end of the month when this all happened, so John had pulled out rent money, which they took to be "proceeds of a crime".  But here's the disturbing part, and the real root and instigation of this long ass rant:  the officer-in-charge assured them that they could get that cash back when they gave him a name.  By the sounds of things, they weren't even really picky about that name. I'm envisioning a room down in the PD with a huge ass cork board with pins and yarn and in "Six Degrees of Separation" style, a whole crazy maze of who-knows-who, who-sells-to-whom, and who buys what and where ... out of all 170,000 of us.  Gosh who knew W5 could look like that!  But I digress.

So it occurred to me later upon hours of stewing about this, that every single person in my city who has ever been pinched aka caught selling Cannabis, is being pressured to give up a name.  How is this NOT inciting terrorism on a small scale?  No good can come of encouraging people to throw their fellow citizens under the bus to save their hide or some of their hard-earned money!  These people are not the criminals you need to be after and if you think that this kind "mystery building" will lead you to the Mothership of harmful narcotics, then I think you've been watching too much CSI:  Miami. I dare ask you:

How much of this ridiculousness is just Job security?

In researching this post, I couldn't help but use my Google images to help give a scale of reference here.   Personally, I think that ten Police officers with automatic weapons in that teeny tiny neighborhood of small war-time houses is more than a bit of overkill and much more dangerous than one pound of Cannabis.  I mean, what does that even look like?


                                                                           vs.


                                             
So ... as ever I am at this moment attempting to see this whole situation through the eyes of all of those involved ... even the individual Police officers.  This is how they pay their rent or mortgage.  I assume they have orders from above to scour the city for all dealers of illegal products.  If the need for this "scouring" is removed, how will they be affected?  Will hours be cut because they don't have to 'build the mystery' using everyday people to find the Mothership?

Then I snap back into reality.  My city alone is over-run with Crystal Meth.  I hear through the grape-vine that there is Heroin too ... the real thing, and the man-made shit too.  Greys ... Pinks ... Percs ... you can buy any pill you desire on these streets.  But the popo are after the plant?  There is much to be done once this plant is legalized believe you me!  If only I were running the show eh?!

All in all, this whole thing is a big 'ol stinky buzz-kill and a bit of a slap in the face of my confirmation bias bubble.  What a mess.

If one pound of Cannabis requires ten officers in bullet-proof vests and ten automatic weapons ... what does a pound of Heroin require?  I mean, it's actually harmful and highly addictive ... unlike the pillow of herb they took!

I'm starting to see things clearly ... and I feel no more sure.  But one thing is for sure:

"A winner never quits, and a quitter never wins." ~Pharrell & Timberlake

I'll be seeing this thing through :)





Monday 13 October 2014

The Election Process vs. Mother Nature

Do you remember learning in school about visual marketing tricks?  I do.  I recall that manufacturers used to be allowed to write subliminal messages in parts of their product pictures ... like in the icing on Ms Crocker's cake.  I also remember the teacher warning us, in an effort to curb our tv watching no doubt, that if we watched a commercial too many times we'd begin to believe what it told us.

Those facts still go through my mind often as I watch the boringly repetitive commercials put out by all kinds of manufacturers on television.  I even catch myself singing their little jingles like:  "Whatever your normal is!".

Free markets, free enterprise, and capitalism makes all of this acceptable it seems.  Hypnosis marketing does indeed exist and has worked brilliantly for some companies regardless of the quality of their products OR the unethical practices they keep.  @pple being at the top of that list.  From here on, you'll notice that most computers shown on tv and in movies has that @pple logo on it.

But we have higher hopes for important things in this world don't we?  We as a democratic society wouldn't allow hypnosis marketing to decide the next leader would we?

It seems we would and the Kingston Mayoral race is proving to be no different.

Driving past the Princess Street Loblaws or past the Frontenac Mall area is simply gross in my humble opinion.  Every few meters we see a huge distracting sign ... and then another ... and then another.  Remember teacher telling us that you only have to see something a certain number of times before you start believing it?  Is this how the Mayor will be decided in my city?

Like everything, this sign thing has two sides.  I actually sort of like seeing the campaign signs on my neighbor's lawns.  It makes me proud to see them showing their political interests.  I personally shun that old adage of never speaking about religion or politics.  I wanna know what you think about those things and why!  And ... maybe if we talked about them more, we'd understand them more.

But the signs in public areas should be stopped.  They don't show a citizen's desired candidate, they only distract drivers, add to garbage pollution, and I dare say hypnotize some voters who will simply vote for the most recognizable name;  rather than the candidate that represents their interests best.

As though that weren't annoying and potentially distracting enough, now we also get to deal with the added paper waste of flyers and business cards being left on our apartment doors by a few of the Mayoral candidates.  In my building, those 5x7 laminated and brightly-coloured flyers littered the hall for days until my tired superintendents picked them up.

There has to be a better way.  I wonder now as I see numerous campaign signs simply lying on the ground~ their thin, sharp, metal bases just ready to impale someone as the gusts of Autumn wind carry them through the air.  Is there oversight on these signs?  Is there anyone who is keeping track of how many signs go out ... and then how many signs come in after our Election race is won?  Can we all agree that there should be?  I mean, if we the tax-paying citizens of Kingston have to dispose of those campaign signs ourselves, which box would they go in?   Blue or Grey?

And are they even recyclable?

Election campaign signs and flyers are akin to advertising.  In this case it hits me as hypnosis marketing.

That's not genuine Democracy.


Monday 6 October 2014

Cannabinoid Advisory Panels For All Industries!

It's been said so often in so many ways that there are a million ways to help in a cause.  The Cannabis legalization cause is no different.  We have so many spokes in that wheel.  We have load-bearing spokes, forward momentum spokes, spokes who's sole purpose is to support and steady the others. We have spokes with the loudest of voices, and we have spokes who attract followers with a mere whisper and a song.  We are all in this together ... that I know is true.

When you look at this cause and all of the people in it, we're like a big family.  Some of you likely think that's silly, as infighting and arguing is everywhere!  Sounds like a typical family gathering in some cultures!  In my opinion, the fact that we all really and truly want the same thing, makes us on the same team.  Regardless of our moments of friction.

The cause is also getting support from elsewhere.  In this case, intentions and reasons may not be so genuine, but regardless the numerous segments we see in television sitcoms is undoubtedly helping to normalize the use of this plant.  Normalization is key you know.  I mean, when you see someone smoking a cigarette, you don't panic.  But when you see someone smoking a cannabis doobie, you may.  Though one kills millions yearly;  the other has killed no one.  Yet it's more normal and socially accepted to smoke that poisonous plant that makes our Governments so many taxes. Normalizing the ingestion of the Cannabis plant means better health for almost everyone.  Everyone except those few who are allergic, and except for the bank accounts of Big Tobacco.  I personally, don't give any shits about their pockets.  They can retrofit.  Hemp is only a droplet of water away.

In the end, so much of the bitterness for Pot is the fact that it's smoked.  People will accept cigarettes as they almost have a cultural attachment not unlike Alcohol.  But smoking anything else must be toxic we assume.  Truth is, anthropologically speaking we Homo-Sapiens have been smoking all kinds of plants from the very beginning.  Some did indeed prove toxic, others proved medicinal. Without "Mikey-the homo-sapien" we'd have no idea right now which is which.  Thanks Mikey!

Don't get me wrong, I get it.  I grew up with parents who smoked but quit when I was very young. From then on, we were a smoke-free family and we despised the smell of tobacco smoke!  My sisters and I would get so pissed when mom or dad would allow a friend to smoke inside the house.  The stench lasted forever!  But now that I'm adult, I realize that that old adage "to each their own" is so far-reaching. We as humans cannot mandate personal choice. We can surely mandate who lights up in our homes.  But we cannot tell someone else what to do in the privacy of their own home.  Well, to a certain extent.

Just the same though, the entertainment business has advisory panels who tell them what they can and cannot show on tv sitcoms.  Smoking is not one of them anymore.  So how is a television program in the year 2014 supposed to keep up with this growing end to cannabis prohibition?  May I introduce to you ... the cannabis edible.

The instigation for this post was the latest episode of "New Girl" with Zooey Deschanel and many other awesomely quirky actors.  They decided the other night, to get wild with some Cannabis before attending a gathering together.  Smoking is not allowed so they ate pot brownies.

Now ... many of us rave about the cannabis edible.  Many of us have a good sized tolerance to the effects of Cannabinoids so we don't fear the edible.  But the reactions you see on television are rarely what you will feel yourself.  The pot brownie segment on "New Girl" saw those who partook perma-grinned and floating round the party in an ethereal-like trance.  It looked wonderful.  Wonderfully unrealistic, but great nonetheless.  You see, in this episode it was made very clear that the participants had not partaken in the herb in many many years.  Therefore, the trip would have likely been a bit more .... stationary, still, comatose, and chill.  Yes of course, there's a chance the dosing was correct this time. Perhaps all participants only ate a bit.  Not likely but maybe.

What am I getting at?  I'm getting at the same core problem I see in so many other things in this world.  I see a television program getting laughs, lauds, and viewers because they were so progressive as to include a popular cultural aspect like Cannabis.  But like so many other things out there, they fail to truly show you what that experience will be like.  Smoking or vaping MaryJane has one affect. Eating her mixed in anything, has a totally different affect.  Once again, television is inaccurately INFLUENCING us for personal gain and viewer numbers.

How many of you will eat that brownie expecting that result?  And if that brownie was meant for someone like myself who has a high tolerance for cannabinoids, the result could be less than pleasant to say the least.  My girlfriend just told me about one such experience where she thought she was being sucked into her couch~and not in the good way!

I may get flack for this post since many Cannabis supporters don't want anything negative spoken about our plant.  That to me is silly.  Life is about balance.  That which cures;  can too harm or at least make you feel pretty friggin loopy for longer than you'd like.

In the end, all I'm calling for is education.  Yet I see how asinine that is.  I mean, our Governments won't even allow our Medical institutions to study the effects of Cannabis.  How the heck is the entertainment industry supposed to know the effects?

In life, and in writing I am trying to finish with some form of a solution to the issue at hand.  After all, if rants solved problems, we'd be in a better state right now.  So I call on my team, my wheel, this movement of like-minded people to educate the masses on all things current and popular.  Be the educated voice who advises or explains.  Give tips on dosing when you can.  Our numbers are growing at such a rate, that I look forward to Cannabinoid advisory panels for Hollywood, Medical Industry, and all other idustries to advise about this new medcine that's been around and used safely since Mikey the homo-sapien sampled it for us.

Thanks Mikey!

Saturday 27 September 2014

An Open Letter to the Job Creators and the Business Owners.

Dear Employer,

I am your Employee.  Thank you for this job.  I am the person who makes sure your custies come back tomorrow.  I smile.  I thank.  I say, "Come back soon!".
I am the FOREFRONT of your business.
I am WHO the customer sees, talks to, orders from, and pays.
WE are a team you and I.
Like a wheel with many spokes;  ALL spokes are needed.


Dear Business Owners,

I am your Customer and I am your Employee.

WE are the same people.

WE buy what you sell.

WE can only buy if WE have money to buy what you sell.

When WE don't get paid a decent wage, WE have no money to buy what you sell.


Build the economy .... raw raw raw!!!


Let's!


Pay us a decent wage all around.
Pay your share of taxes.
Stop cutting our hours.
Stop sending us home early.
Stop finding loop-holes that benefit you and not WE.


Share the wealth if you want to build the economy.

Friday 19 September 2014

Make Way for Change Scotland ... the Vote is not the End.

"Maybe it's the trip up the mountain and not the view from the top.  Is it the learning and testing and not the graduation?  Is it the act of getting hurt and not the state of being healed that takes us to that other state of enlightenment known as true happiness?"

These are words I wrote a while ago in an online article titled "Compassion Alchemy".  And I ponder them again today in the aftermath of the Scottish Referendum vote.  Many titles you read will describe the whole thing as a failure.  They will say "the failed referendum vote" for years and years.

In the end, in the wee hours of the morning here in Ontario, the decision finally came in as a NO. This morning I watched as David Cameron, PM of Britain declared the vote a "clear result" to remain a United Kingdom.  The final vote was 55% to stay united;  45% to split.  In my humble opinion, 5% does not a clear pass make.  I mean, I remember getting 55% in grade 12 Mathematics and it did not feel like a clear result of me knowing anything about Math!  But a win is a win I guess.



The scenes on the tv were hard to watch, as I did want Scotland to know the feeling of being her own great and independent Country.  But my disappointment turned to interest as I watched the tears streaming from one young man's face.  He wiped them with his baseball cap before jamming it on his head backwards, and hugged his friend beside him.  This guy, who was likely all of 25 was exultant to the point of tears because his fellow countrymen and women voted to stay one United Kingdom with Britain and part of Ireland.  His tears changed my perspective.  They gave me a new colour to add to my palette.  That kind of pride~ however counter to my own view was enough to make me re-think my position.



I am a idealist to a fault.  When I think of my own Country's next Election and imagine the outcome being anywhere close to this voter turnout, my eyes well up.  It's odd really, since numbers have never evoked emotion in me, but these numbers are profound.  This referendum vote pulled 97% of the eligible voters out to polling booths to have their say.  Amazing!  That's almost 4.1 million people.  And they did it in one day.

Yet ... today is not the day after the wedding or the divorce.  I remember both of those days, talk about a let-down!  All of that preparation for nothing.  I couldn't help but read those thoughts in the eyes of the crushed YES campaigners on the CBC this morning.  But was all that work for naught? Or is it the campaigning and not the final vote that makes this all so inspiring and oh so relevant?

I remember the first time I had a far-away friend over to my small town.  I showed her the sites~ few as they are in wee Westport~ and with each site, I felt more and more pride growing.  Until that day, I had taken Foley Mountain for granted along with the magnificent view she holds.  Sometimes even the proudest of us need a reason to boast about our roots and the soil from which they grow.

For the past two years, YES campaigners have been working together, growing together, learning together and boasting about their Country's greatness together.  In words paraphrasing the statement of a great man named Victor Hugo, "nothing is stronger than an idea whose time has come".  What time is that you ask? Surely not time for separation, as democracy has indeed spoken.  No, it's time to take back the word Pride and shake off all negative and derogatory connotations that religions and royalties have laced it with.  Pride is no longer sinful, pride is necessary!  Pride is the spark that lights the fire that demands respect and equality for all.  All the everybodies in every single country on our planet.

I've always been a proud Canadian, but the year we hosted the Winter Olympics really re-ignited that spark inside of me.  As I watch more recent Olympics, I've noticed that the Pride these Olympians feel is almost tangible, worn on their sleeves.  It is within that Pride that we will Unite in mutual respect for one another all across this planet.  So I eagerly await other referendums in other countries that will undoubtedly be instigated by this wonderful exercise in Democracy.

The CBC had a journalist asking Brits what they thought of the NO decision.  One girl said she really wasn't sure what she'd wake up to this morning.  But she was very relieved with the decision.  She says,

"We heart Scotland."


This is the view from Foley Mountain, Westport, Ontario, Canada ... my home town.

"It's not heaven ... but you can see heaven from there."~author unknown

Wednesday 10 September 2014

Financial Disparity Does Not VOID Your Consumer Rights!

I worked with a lady yesterday who has Cirrhosis of the liver from factory work in her younger years where she was never told to wear gloves.  It was a chemical plant of some kind.  I didn't really ask too many questions as I had just met her five hours earlier.  But she reminded me a lot of my mum, as she sat on a step-stool while her daughter, the other employee did some paperwork.  Her legs were crossed and she was sorta leaning forward on her crossed leg rubbing her cold fingers.  This looked just like mum did this past Xmas.  Sure enough, Marg too has Reynaulds.  A condition where the blood vessels in the fingers restrict and spasm in the cold.  Not fun at all.  Mum says her fingers have gotten almost completely black.

Anyhoo, back to the liver.  So since we were already talking Shingles vaccine and Magnesium for the Reynauld's, I asked her if she got any compensation for the factory work.

"Can't." is all she said.
"Oh?" I said.
"Because I worked at two different factories, I can't know which one it happened at."
"Shiiiiit." was all I could get out.  Of course, the wheels were turning.  What I wanted to say was, "if you had enough money you could get compensated."  But my filter kept it back.

This blog post is dedicated to Phil Edmonston, the well-known author of that either criticized or loved series, "The Lemon-aid Book".  I worked at Hyundai way back when and Phil spoke highly of us at the time.  Phil gave many a used car buyer the edge at knowing what to look for and what to look out for.  But he also gave the customer something else, something almost intangible and immeasurable:  CONFIDENCE in a shark tank of hungry salespeople who are not only pressured to pressure, but have their own bills to pay and mouths to feed.  It is well known that many a woman has gotten swindled in their car dealings ... sometimes by other women!  "It's a dog-eat-dog world" was a saying well describing the used car business.  As an aside, word-of-mouth is still the best advertising and this goes doubly when it comes to car salespeople. There are many good ones out there.  But they are often overshadowed by the bad.

Last year, Phil wrote one of his last books.  This one more of a broad guide to give the customer even more confidence in this world of hungry sharks.  It is called, "The Art of Complaining".  It's now on my list.

"Hello ... my name is Dianna ... and I am a chronic complainer."

And soon I'll read a book that will help me do it more effectively.  My complaining can be venting and often an effort to shine the light on a certain issue.  But raising awareness is only effective when change can be attained.  My skills must be honed.

There.  Now, I've always kinda loved and bowed to the knowledge that 'the squeaky wheel gets the grease'. In my opinion that cute little saying is overflowing with relevance that all of our youth could benefit from, not to mention all of the rest of society.  No one other than maybe Sookie Stackhouse is going to read your mind and give you what you require.  You must voice it.  Enter this book, otherwise titled "Canada's Consumer Action Guide".  It will apparently tell you how to squeak, when to squeak, to whom to squeak for best results, and at what volume said squeaking is most favorably received.  Phil offers sample letters to emulate or outright alter to suit your needs.  And as he stated today in the CBC interview that motivated this post, you can read it for free at your local Library.

In typical CBC radio fashion, the show went very quickly to the meaty parts of the subject:  real-life circumstances.  The telephone line was afire at the CBC.  What was the gist of the calls?  So many everyday citizens like you and I, getting screwed over by businesses both big and small.  So many emails sent and never replied to.  So many "no's".  Too many no's.  But here's the thing about no's.  And this is from me, not necessarily Mr. Edmonston.  When it comes to sales, it's very much a "fake it till ya make it" kind of deal where gullible people are not safe.  I worked in the car business.  There are some real scam artists out there. My first experience in the car business was at such a place.  Oh that was such a slap in my face of reality.

Many business people like to think of it as a game not unlike Poker.  Many car dealership salespeople do too.  It can be a funny mindset that effectively sets the customer apart from them, by making it a game.  Add bonuses and increased commissions and their feet don't even fit in your shoes anymore.  They don't wear shoes at all.  Not all of them of course, but far too many and because capitalism and the sacred bottom line dominate our society, this is all accepted as normal.  It's effed up to be real.  Many will wait you out.  They won't return calls, and will disappear if you show up at the business.  Cowardly really.  A consumer and a business should be a partnership of equal amicability.  Hiding from one another will never result in anything equal.

In typical Phil Edmonston fashion, the life-lessons and the take-homes began quickly.  I jotted them down on my Liberal donation letter while we were driving and listening.  Here goes:

Emails:  Always to the Department of or with the subject line:  "Legal Affairs" stressing all of the safety implications of your situation.

"Soft No's":  Phil says that the first NO that you get should always be considered a "soft no" and one that can be changed.  In situations where there are contracts such as warranties, service agreements, or any contractual agreements, stress the significance of this.  One caller's story had apparently just been publicized earlier in the week about his woes with a car dealership.

Back up your claim:  Phil stresses that no matter the industry or the business, having the product inspected by a professional in that field holds much more water than your mere claim.  Professionalism is respected, and most of the time is backed by a license that the holder would never risk.

Small Claims Courts:  Very popular these days, Lawyer NOT required, awards up to $30k.

"Good Will Warranty":  When dealing with car dealerships, remember that they usually have what you can refer to as a "Good Will Warranty".  I personally know this from the other side of the desk as a Lot Pack, which is how the GW Warranty is paid with.  A lot pack is a certain percentage or amount of every used vehicle sale that goes into an account to pay for any repairs that occur outside when warranties have expired.  So, the money is there. And don't ever believe that you pushing for fair treatment will affect your salesperson's commission.  That is outright against the law and stating such, shows that you're not a push-over.

I think that many businesses and companies rely on the fact that many of us don't want or thrive in confrontational situations.  For some of us, perhaps a 'no' allows us to move on and purchase something new. The more and more people I meet, the more I realize how little we know.  We don't realize how many consumer rights we really have, maybe because we're made to believe we don't have them.  We don't know that our MP's are here to help advise us in certain situations.  Many companies will not put out any funds unless they are pressured or outright mandated to do so, so putting in the effort can get you treated fairly.

So I hope to buy the book tomorrow.... stay tuned for a more in-depth blog post.