Hanging With The Freak Brothers

I discovered comic books after I discovered weed. I was already 15 when I picked up my first comic book. It wasn’t Marvel or DC or any super hero title. I wouldn’t start reading those until much later. It was the underground comics that caught my eye.

Fat Freddy and Scottman were part of our “stoner gang”. Scottman was forever trying to get me into comic books and Freddy would nod vigorously in agreement. I always declined, dismissing them as “kids stuff”. Then Scottman handed me a copy of a comic book that seemed to glorify our very lifestyle. When I read that first copy of The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers, my life of smoking weed and doing drugs was validated.

freak_brothers_comics

The Freak Brothers were created by Gilbert Shelton in the late sixties. Featured in underground newspapers, Playboy and High Times, the comic is still being reprinted and sold in comic shops and on-line. Gilbert Shelton is also the genius behind another underground comic classic, Wonder Warthog.

We were in a frenzy to read every single issue. At the time, there were still new episodes being released. We would take the T into Boston and see what new “underground” comics were available at Newbury Comics (back then the only store location was on Newbury Street).

The Freak Brothers had seeped so deeply into our lifestyle that we “became” the characters from those pages. Fat Freddy, of course, was instantly recognizable from the group. He adopted the very essence of Fat Freddy in every way. It was hard to tell the real Fat Freddy from the fictional Fat Freddy. One time, Fat Freddy iced up some nasty bongwater and chugged it down. Such a Fat Freddy thing to do. As for me… I became the somewhat obscure character: Skinny Benny.

Police Officers became “Norberts” after the character “Notorious Norbert The Narc”, a bumbling officer always looking to bust the “Brothers”. Any weed dealer was “Dealer McDope”, all beer was “Tall Toad”, large campers were “Phutney Creech Landyachts”. I could go on but I think you get the point. Gilbert Shelton and the Freak Brothers were also the source of that favorite sound effect used when describing all manner of destruction: “Fagroon“.

I’ve always felt the Freak Brothers would be great as a movie. In fact, there have been multiple attempts to produce one. A stop action, puppet-style production was started but never finished. There was even a Kickstarter campaign to get it funded but it fell short. I hold on to the hope that a Hollywood stoner will write the perfect Freak Brothers movie script.

As I stated, the Freak Brothers are still in print and available from a bunch of places on the internet. Of course, you can just read them on-line but nothing beats the feeling of a printed book in one’s hands.  May I suggest you just go for the whole deal and pick up the The Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers Omnibus, the ultimate collection of Freak Brothers comic strips with all the necessary “Fat Freddy’s Cat” footers included.

Here’s some Freak Brothers links to get you started:

Rip Off Press – Home of the Freak Brothers.
Freaknet – a Freak Brothers tribute webpage.
Wikipedia Freak Brothers
A Pinterest Freak Page with great illustrations.
Freak Brothers Facebook page

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets

I don’t do record reviews.

I believe they are pointless. You either like a piece of music or you don’t.

With that said, I have no problems suggesting music. You’ll either like it or you won’t. But in case you might, I suggest the latest Los Straitjackets album.

Nick Lowe is an artist with an endless list of collaborations and covered classics. You know him from his hit “Cruel To Be Kind”. It is a shame that song has defined this guy, because the discography of Nick Lowe is a musical treasure. He is the genius behind the song: “What’s So Funny About Peace Love And Understanding” sung by Elvis Costello, for example. Listen to Nick Lowe and I expect you will be pleasantly surprised. Start with the 1970’s band Brinsley Schwartz and work through Nick’s vast collection of music.

Los Straitjackets are an instrumental band with a Rockabilly meets Surf kinda sound. Around in various forms since 1988, Los Straitjackets are from Nashville and are easily recognized by their suits and Mexican wrestling masks. The band toured with Nick in 2015 and the rest is history. The result is a fun collection of Nick’s awesomeness served up in a hip guitar strewn tidal wave of sound.

The new album: “What’s So Funny About Peace Love and Los Straitjackets” and much of Nick Lowe’s music can be found at: Yep Roc Records.

Tokermon Tuesday #4

Welcome to Tuesday. It’s Tokermon time.

This week we introduce Stinky. This is a Tokermon you don’t wanna meet. As the name states, Stinky has an odor. A bad odor. It has been well documented that Stinky poops quite a bit. You’ll find stinky in the corner or your grow area doing his business. Naaasty.

My First Grow – Part 1, the Grow Box.

Yup, I’m taking the plunge.

After the 420 Independence Party in Natick last week, I was motivated to make a grow box happen. A combination of a nutrient raffle prize and the gift of two cannabis clones, I felt it was time to start growing.

I had hoarded a cabinet last century that has been sitting in the basement waiting for this opportunity. At 3 feet by 2 feet and 3 feet tall, it was going to be a smaller grow box but I feel it will be enough to “get my feet wet”. The first 2 steps: paint the inside and buy the gear to get this grow box built.

The inside (and outside) of the cabinet is a black laminate. I used a can of Kilz white to mask over the black then I followed up with a coat of ceiling white. I felt that a flat white paint would be the easiest to apply and good for an even reflection of the grow light.

The next step was to visit my local grow store. I am lucky to have a great grow store the next town over from me. HTG Supply is one of the fastest growing indoor gardening suppliers in the United States with over 16 stores, mostly in the East. These are no-nonsense grow shops with all you would ever need to grow weed. I made the decision to go with soil over hydroponics. HTG Supply has all the stuff for both types of growing.

Here’s the list of all the stuff I bought from the grow store:

  • LED Light – 7 Band 2.1 “2 Pod”
  • 4″ GrowBright High Velocity Inline Fan
  • Growbright 4″ Carbon Filter
  • 120V Dual outlet timer
  • 4″ Metal Bracket Flange

When I was out, I picked up a 4″ rubber duct connector, a thin rear dryer duct and a 4″ hole saw. The wood I was cutting was a very dense particle board. I got the wrong type of hole cutter yet I persisted and bored 2 holes in the cabinet. The inlet will be at the bottom and the outlet will be the hole at the top, assisted with the fan. I hope placing the holes apart as I have will maximize the airflow.

Now it was time to mount the fan. I paid extra care here and mounted the unit super secure. When I cut the holes in the box, I made sure there was enough clearance to fit the motor/fan assembly.

On the outside of the box I mounted a “triple” outlet I had lying around and pushed it inside a hole I drilled through. A glob of hot glue and some adhesive pads and the plug is secure. I added a vent flourish for the exhaust hole because it was cheap and it looked cool. On the other side of the plug, on the inside, I plugged in the timer. Now it was time to mount the LED light bank.

The LED lights are in an easy to handle box assembly. It features convenient tabs to clip a hanging cable. I drilled 4 holes in the top of the unit, pulled the mounting cables through and clipped them together. Couldn’t have been easier. I can raise and lower the LED light box by adjusting the cables from the top of the grow box.

I added the carbon filter to the inline fan using the rubber connector. I made a support bracket from some aluminum I had bent around the filter and mounted to the inside top of the grow box. The inside was shaping up. I used some duct tape to work on some of the “light leaks”, especially around the intake venting. I will tighten up the rest as I see them.

It was time to bring the green children to their new home…

…to be continued.

Tokermon Tuesday #3

Introducing Jointz, a group of animated reefer-like critters that are often seen hanging around the lights of larger grow rooms. Apparently they enjoy the heat from the lights on their heads, making them drowsy and slow.

Jointz Tokermon

First Legal 420 Party A Success

We headed back to my hometown of Natick, Massachusetts to enjoy the very first LEGAL celebration of all things cannabis. Yepper buddy, the potheads were well represented at the Natick Elks Hall on 4-20 evening.

The awesome surprise came when, on the day before the event, NIC (Northeastern Institute of Cannabis) announced the party was FREE and would be refunding any money prepaid for tickets! No shit! (and I already received my refund… double awesome).

The evening was truly a celebration of weed… lots of vendors, edible demos, an Emcee, munchies, music and lots of  pot smoking. Kind of surreal getting high at the Elks in Natick where I’ve been to other events in the past. It was a bumpin’ party for sure. Here’s a video of Mohawk Glass making a bowl and talking about glass making…

Thanks to Northeastern Institute of Cannabis and Weedmaps for an excellent evening.

Happy 4-20

April 20th has become the Stoners’ Holiday, whether you like it or not. Since 420 has become the “number of the bush”, it seems everyone is hip to the reference. But where, exactly, did 420 come from?

What 420 is NOT; 420 is not a police code for marijuana use (its actually a “juvenile disturbance”), it has nothing to do with math, the Grateful Dead, Bob Dylan or any kind of cosmic significance.

The origin of 420 dates back to the 1970s, when it became the time to inhale among students in San Rafael, Califonia. A group of pot heads calling themselves “the Waldos” would pass one another in the halls, exchanging secret glances and whispering “420 Louis!” One of the Waldos told the San Francisco Chronicle,  “It was just a joke, but it came to mean all kinds of things, like, ‘Do you have any?’ or ‘Do I look stoned?”  420 quickly became the code word for all things weed related and the sacred time of the light up.

The statue where 420 was born.

The “Waldos” would meet in front of the statue of 19th-century French scientist Louis Pasteur in San Rafael to get stoned at 4:20 p.m. The term “420” was widely in use by the end of the 1970s. California Deadheads spread it like wildfire from that San Rafael epicenter. Within a decade, stoners around the world had adopted 420 as the official weed reference. High Times magazine first printed the the term “420” as early as 1990, and even bought the website 420.com, locking in the number as the official pot digit forever.

It was only natural for the number 420 to be associated with April 20, becoming the “Day of the Stoned” to anyone who lights up.  Happy 420, stonerverse,  smoke em if you got em… give one to a friend!

The Googly Eyes Project

Nothing brings inanimate objects to life like a well placed pair of Googly Eyes. A super cheap plastic and paper novelty, Googly eyes have become the symbol for wacky fun and crazy antics right alongside the rubber chicken, chattering teeth or the classic nose glasses.

Also known as jiggly eyes, these little plastic tabs are meant to imitate eyeballs. Googly eyes traditionally are made of a white plastic or card backing covered by a clear, hard-plastic, bubble-like shell, encapsulating a free floating black plastic disk. The combination of a black circle over a white disk mimics the appearance of the sclera and pupil of the eyeball for an endlesly humorous effect. The inner black disk moves freely within the larger clear plastic bubble, which makes the eyes appear to move when the googly eyes are tilted or shaken.

Googly eyes have been around for a long time, since 1919 in fact. A guy named Billy deBeck created a comic called Barney Google and Snuffy Smith. All his characters were drawn with those big, googly eyes as the hook for the comic. He reportedly began creating the craft product that we think of today to promote the comic strip. Things really took off in 1923 when deBeck composed a song for Barney Google. “Barney Google with Your Goo-Goo-Googly Eyes” cemented the Googly Eye into pop culture forever.

So here’s the plan… get yourself a whole bunch of Googly Eyes and start sticking them on everything and anything. The more sinister or heinous the item you stick them on, the funnier it will appear sporting a pair of googly eyes. Every craft store sells them but you’ll find the best prices right here in the interwebs. (eBay and Amazon have endless supplies available). Go for the self adhesive variety, best in a sheet format (link: Amazon – Creativity Street Peel and Stick Wiggle Eyes Multi-Pack, 60 -Piece Pack) as it is much easier than trying to peel the little circle off the back and they are easier to manage in a pocket. Grab a bunch, give some to a friend… share the fun!

OK, everyone… you know what you got to do… get some googly eyes and start sticking. I want to see Googly Eyes everywhere on everything. Get wacky, go wild, get into some trouble…What is the most outrageous Googly Eye placement can you think of? Send me pictures of your Googly Eyed items and I’ll post them in a gallery.

Tokermon Tuesday #2

Welcome to the second TOKERMON TUESDAY…! Here is the third Tokermon!

This guy is always lit. Perpetually burning, Chronick likes to hang around the grow room vents because he is smolderin’ and smokin’.

You can see all the Tokermon so far by clicking RIGHT HERE
…see you next Tuesday…