First Grow – Part 4

It has been 30 days since I activated the grow box.

The clones were acquired 37 days ago and the seeds were started 69 days ago. The clones and seedlings were somewhat mishandled as we were moving them around too much trying keeping them hidden from the landlord. The apartment may also have been too cold at times. Of the four seeds that we successfully germinated, three were males. All three have been removed from the box and have started new lives in the wild.

The two clones are leafing out quite well with all the typical growth, color and structure that is expected. I am very happy with the results so far.

That remaining seeding was started from a pile of random seeds I found in my desk. The plant is growing quite well but it looks much different than the other two in many ways.

The leaves are very glossy, somewhat “rumpled” and a very deep green. Additionally, the shape of the leaf clusters is not uniform and doesn’t even look like weed. There are many marijuana like flowers, however and it does have a very strong “ganja” smell.

tiny female flower

The plan is to induce flowering in a week or two. Before I can do that, I will need to seal up all “light leaks” in the growbox. Any light that gets into the box as they are being forced to flower will disrupt the process. I plan to buy some weather stripping and duct tape to block any invading light before I start the flowering process.

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Tee Shirt Weather

The weather finally turned the corner up here in New England. We Yankees have the daily wardrobe issue this time of year when the mornings require the jacket but the afternoons turn into a hot humid mess. As the Yankee Stonette likes to say: “It’s as if we didn’t have a Spring.” I will go out on a limb here and assume Tee Shirt weather has finally arrived.

Yup, I like to make tee-shirts from my artwork. I have an endless supply of drawings doing nothing but sitting in a folder. I was a screen printer last century. Back then I would have printed a shirt now and again from these drawings. I only wore shirts I made myself for nearly 2 decades. Alas, I no longer have access to all that screen printing gear so I use an On-Line printing service to get my designs on fabric. It’s much cleaner that way.

I try to add a couple of new designs a month. The “tee shirt designer” function in the Yankee Stoner “store” allows you to create your own products or you can choose some I’ve already made available. The images are digitally printed on the fabric. I purchased a few shirts and washed the shit outa them and the images still look great.


Check back now and then to see new designs, I’m always drawing something. Got an idea you’d like me to draw? Let me know!

You can browse the Yankee Stoner collection in our Yankee Stoner Web Store.

First Grow – Part 3

Its been about a month in the grow box and things are definitely growing. All the plants are leafing out very nicely, however, upon closer inspection, I noticed some flowers on two of the plants. I whipped out my magnifying glass and examined them very closely.

Yup, it appears that these two plants are males.

Upon discovering the two male plants, I pulled them out of the box and transplanted them outside. We do not want any unauthorized pollination going on in the grow box. As you probably know, if you want seedless flowers, you’ve got to keep the male plants away and take steps to ensure no pollen gets on your stigma.

The remaining four plants are healthy and seem to be females. On two of the remaining plants I can see clear evidence of tiny female flower parts.

Meanwhile, a pair of male plants are enjoying their new life outside in the wild.

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My Years With Proto Pipe

Always a marijuana smoker and a gadget fan, I was instantly attracted to the Proto Pipe. The ultimate pot smokers’ pocket “tool”, the Proto Pipe represents the perfect marriage of functionality and design.

protopipe_adI first saw the “ad” for the Proto Pipe in Dr Atomic’s Pipe and Dope Book, an underground comic by Larry Todd, creator of “Dr Atomic”. I knew I had to have one of my own. I got a postal money order, sent it off to Willits, CA and anxiously waited for my Proto.

When the package finally arrived, I was sent a notice to pick it up at the Post Office. Uh Oh. The “Feds” knew there was a marijuana pipe in the box. I was freaking out.

Keep in mind this was 1977. Drug paraphernalia was as illegal as the drugs themselves. I was stressing out over picking up the package. I gathered up all my courage and went in.

As it turned out, there was a COD charge (I could’ve figured that out if I read the pick up notice.) Apparently the Protopipe price had increased since the 1975 release date of the comic book ad. I paid the extra three bucks and grabbed my treasure.

The Proto Pipe was even better than I imagined. I was so elated with my purchase, I immediately bought a dozen more. The Proto Pipe company set up their own distribution system by giving deep discounts on multiple purchases. I received my dozen and sold them out in a day. I sold so many Proto Pipes that year, it seemed everybody had one. I was also the source for spare parts as most stoners lost the poker within a week.

I had 2 Proto Pipes for nearly 40 years, using one almost daily and the other put away as a spare. In 2014, I had one taken from me after a friend went through a stop sign without stopping. The police pulled us over, my friend was arrested for an outstanding warrant and I lost my beloved Protopipe. I also received a $100 fine for possession. One of the police officers was training another. He picked up the Proto and described it to the younger officer as a “one hitter”. I scoffed inwardly. My Proto Pipe was nearly twice the age of that policeman. It was all I could do to keep my mouth shut and not correct the officer.

Today, a genuine Proto Pipe can only be found on eBay or other “collector” sites. You will pay well over $100 for an original. There are a couple of copies out there but nothing will replace the Proto Pipe manufactured in Willits, California.

First Grow – Part 2

Shortly after setting the plants in, I went back to the grow store and purchased 6 square pots, soil and earthworm casings. I could have saved a few bucks and gone to the big box garden store but I wanted to throw my cash at this store to support this new and growing industry. Additionally, I find the staff really know about growing cannabis and were quick to answer my many newbie questions. I didn’t go overboard on the nutrients for my first grow. I felt the soil mix I put together would get them through at the start.

Four of these plants were started from “random” seeds I had lying around. The other two are clones I received at the 420 celebration in Natick. I failed to take care of the seedlings at the very start by constantly moving and hiding them, completely messing up their “light cycle”. In fact, 3 of the plants started to bud out. I nipped the buds off and hoped for the best.

At first I don’t believe I watered the little ones enough. I was so certain that I would drown the seedlings that I was way too stingy with the water. Then I picked up the pots and realized just how light they were and I then started to soak them good. It seemed to pay off as growth accelerated in only 2 days.

There’s a lot to be said about reading instructions… I figured out I had set the lighting incorrectly. For nearly a week the LED lights were on 24 hours a day. Not what I wanted. I was going for 18 – 6 for the light/dark phases. I fixed my error and it seems the plants are back on track.

I’ve enjoyed the growing experience so far. I’ve got so much to learn and a long way to go, but I’m hooked now. I just hope I can see this through successfully as there are so many challenges ahead: pests, fertilizer, flowering, harvesting, curing… I will keep these post going so that you may follow my progress… I am open to suggestions, questions and encouragement!

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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