Friday, February 26, 2021

Marijuana: Two Weeks Later: Additional Notes

In my continued experimentation with marijuana I've been trying different strains, figuring out what works best for me, whether it's helpful or harmful, and to see whether this herb can be applied to my life in a constructive manner, and not just something to knock me out and forget my troubles. 

In all honesty, I'm not a huge fan of potheads, because I despise laziness, and most potheads I've come across tend to be super lazy, sort of dopey, and lacking in ambition to better their lives. So I look at this as a short-term experiment, not a lifetime commitment, but a much needed change in scenery, a holiday in a way, an opportunity to personally weigh the pros and cons of cannabis consumption, and in the process to reexamine everything, and maybe walk away with a fresh perspective and a new and improved way of life. 

Well, that being said, I'm naturally a philosophical person, who enjoys examining weird insightful ideas, but at the same time I tend to be a stressed out person, easily finding fault in others, and so I need something that helps me relax without dulling my intellect or destroying my health. I really enjoy drinking beer, and have actually experienced great creative inspiration from a good quality craft beer, but too much of that causes major health problems, so need to find something else to substitute for having that extra beer when having an extra beer would be a bad idea. 

So when I have the craving for another beer, I allow myself two, then it's time to smoke some pot. But smoking is really bad for you, smoking anything really is bad for you. Possibly smoking marijuana is slightly less harmful than smoking cigarettes, but it's still really bad for your health to inhale smoke. So I decided to try out vaping, and so today I ordered a new vaping pipe, the kind for vaping whole flower, rather than the liquid cartridges, I guess it's the safer of the two methods, and so I should hopefully get that sometime next week, and will write some kind of review once I've had a chance to try it out. 

I have had a lot of interesting thoughts come to mind while under the influence of marijuana but I also have found that my short-term memory is somewhat impaired at the same time, so I will sometimes have a flurry of ideas, but if I don't write them down they are easily forgotten. Also the funny thing is that some ideas seem absolutely brilliant when high, but when you sober up, they suddenly take a less significant dimension. 

The key here I think is learning to live fully awake and aware, whether you are sober, drunk, or high, you need to take full control of your consciousness, look at the world, especially yourself, what you see, what you hear, what you think, what you feel, with complete honesty. It doesn't matter if you don't like something, you need to be honest with yourself about it. Because honesty is reality, and if you want to grow as a person, if you want to heal from whatever is inflicting you, you need to look at the problem objectively and honestly. 

So if you're smoking pot, or drinking beer, how do those experiences differ from being sober? What are you looking for? Relaxation? Stimulation? Creative insight? Or an escape from thinking? It doesn't matter, as long as you're honest about it, you can determine if what you are doing is furthering your progress, if so, keep doing it, and if not, you need to try something else.

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

Marijuana: Random Insights: Slanted Eyes

So I was smoking marijuana last night, while also sitting outside sipping a beer, hanging out with this stray white cat I take care of. 

I enjoy sitting outside after midnight, because it's usually pretty quiet this time of year on a weeknight, and I don't have to deal with my overly chatty, nosy new neighbors, who want a meet-and-greet every time they see somebody. They don't wear masks either, despite being over 70, with pre-existing health conditions, because they believe God will protect them, so I try to stay away from them as much as possible, and fortunately they go to bed early, so I can have a few moments of peace sitting outside late at night with my feline friend for company.

So I'm smoking my second bowl of the night, though really it's more of a micro-dose, not a full bowl, only enough for two or three small hits. I've found I'm less likely to have a rapid heart beat, if I only have very small amounts spaced out at least a half an hour to an hour apart. So I'm sipping my beer and smoking my bowl enjoying the cool and fresh air. I think the temps were in the 40s and the skies were very clear. I had on multiple layers, was very comfortable, not cold at all. 

In my immediate field of vision I look at a tree, a very tall and very old looking pine tree, home sometimes to owls hooting to their mate, or bemoaning a death that's already come to pass or that soon will. I look at the tree and its shadows, listening to the melody of its branches swaying in the wind, looking for secret portals hiding in plain sight, of mythological beings and cathedrals in the sky buried in the shadows of its branches, feeling the vastness of the star filled sky above and beyond, taking it all in and noticing the change in my thoughts penetrating the core of my being, feeling both awake and asleep, almost dreaming, but conscious that I'm in a state between dream and sleep, like the twilight zone, but actually it's the marijuana zone. 

I thought about stoner eyes. What people look like when they are really high on marijuana, their eyes get super slanted. I thought to myself when you take a white person of European decent, who otherwise doesn't have slanted looking eyes, and they smoke a lot of marijuana their eyes start to look Chinese, you know, kind of Asian. I'm thinking to myself what if Asian people, specifically Chinese, descend from some ancient society of chronic marijuana smokers. Like what would happen if everybody in a culture was a pothead, that smoked pot all the time, morning and night, so that they were always high, and as a result through evolution, their eyes become permanently slanted from being high all the time, so that even when they stopped smoking marijuana their eyes remained slanted because of thousands of years of evolutionary adaptation to always being high. 

That's kind of trippy. And then I thought to myself, if hypothetically smoking marijuana causes slanted eyes, and if those cultures that have slanted eyes today even without marijuana exist primarily among Asian societies, and to some extent spreading into Eastern Europe and Russia, which although white seem to have some Asiatic genetic influences, I thought to myself what do those societies, most notably represented by Russia and China, have most in common? 

And I thought to myself: Communism! 

And this whole line of thinking came into my mind while stoned myself, smoking marijuana and thinking about how marijuana could effect the culture at large in both good and bad ways if enough people smoked it for a long enough period of time. I wondered if a nation under the influence of marijuana is more likely to fall under the influence of communism. Just as Marx said, "Religion is the opium of the masses" I wondered if marijuana could be the opium of communism. That the more people smoking marijuana and who are always high sets the stage for a new consciousness arising that is more sympathetic to communist thinking. 

The effects of marijuana could be in the process of making people feel more peaceful and connected to the unity of life, could be at the same time fostering a sort of selfless hive mind mentality, where humans become more like ants or bees, part of a collective culture, where all feelings of selfishness, competition, and individual free will, qualities most associated with individualist free market societies, are cast aside as irrelevant to the always high on marijuana way of thinking. 

All this came from being under the influence of marijuana myself and making the observation of my marijuana slanted looking eyes that made me look somewhat Chinese even though I'm white European decent. I guess it's a sort of pseudoscience observation but could there be any truth to it? The observations linking marijuana slanted eyes, Asian slanted eyes, and communism. 

I mean really for the sake of hypothetical experiment visualize what would happen if everybody in a country all smoked marijuana day and night all their lives, creating multiple generations of pot heads, everybody's eyes would look pretty slanted, even if they're not Asian. I mean seriously wouldn't that be the case? Seems too much of a coincidence if you ask me. Just had to share it, because I never read about this anywhere else, so thought you'd like to hear about it. 

There are more marijuana random insights to come. This is the first I believe of many. I won't be smoking forever, but I will be using up what I have, and I've got enough to last a good while. So stay tuned! 

Saturday, February 13, 2021

Marijuana: 20 Years Later: Preliminary Thoughts

So I happen to live in a state that just legalized recreational marijuana. At one time in my life this would have caused me to jump for joy as if I were the winner of a billion dollar lottery jackpot. Not so much these days, but still, you just can't help feeling a bit of nostalgic excitement, how could you not?

I hadn't used marijuana for years, and if you would have asked me a year ago if I would ever smoke marijuana again, I likely would have said no. You see I've actually become somewhat anti-drug these past few years, only because I've been living around the worst example of druggies and drunks that have sort of turned me off to the lifestyle. I was like I want to be awake, not asleep, I don't want to be a burnout who spends the rest of their life sedated. 

I used to be a pothead in my youth, but fortunately it only lasted a few years. The last time I had smoked marijuana was probably about 20 years ago. Hard to believe it's been that long. I thought maybe it would be the last time, since I don't smoke cigarettes either, but now that marijuana has been legalized my curiosity just got the best of me. There's no way you can be an ex-marijuana smoker and pass up the opportunity to buy legal marijuana in a store. It's like history in the making. After all I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep and alternate between taking melatonin or drinking beer. I thought maybe I should try marijuana to see if it would help with my insomnia, it is after all a medically approved treatment for insomnia, isn't it?

So anyway, I got all excited, and decided to research the products available for sale. They have a website that shows the entire inventory of the different marijuana strains for sale and for what price. It was a lot of fun researching these different strains. I felt like a kid planning their big trip to the candy store. The next day I woke up early, had to get money from the ATM because they only take cash, and rode my bicycle ten miles to the dispensary and waited in line for nearly two hours to buy my very first medical grade legal marijuana. Yes, it was a very long wait, a small store and a very long, slow moving line. Everybody but one guy was wearing a mask. Isn't it special that he was the one guy standing next to me, me of all people, a person whose been wearing a mask since March of last year, when hardly anyone else was. Fortunately for his bad attitude he decided he wasn't going to wait in this long line with a potential three hour wait and would come back tomorrow. Bad incident avoided. 

It was really weird but exciting at the same time. The time passed strangely fast, it was like being in this alternate reality, and I wasn't even stoned, waiting in this barely moving line that was at the same time imperceptibly moving forward, with a bunch of geriatric mask wearing Cheech and Chongs, who you can just tell have been smoking marijuana all this time every day these past twenty years that I've abstained. 

I wasn't sure what to get, so I decided to get both sativa and indica, one for the daytime, one for nighttime. But then after the fact I thought to myself why the hell did I just buy marijuana for the daytime, when I don't even plan to use it in the daytime, because I only got it to help with my insomnia at night? I mean after all I don't even drink beer during the day, it's something I use to help me unwind at the end of the day. Well, I bought this sativa strain that's supposed to be really good for creative inspiration, since 5000+ people reviewed said it was. So I was thinking maybe this is just what the doctored ordered. Well, not quite. I ended up being in that 1 percent of people who had the exact opposite effect, didn't work for me at all, just made me extremely nervous and paranoid, with dry mouth and rapid heartbeat. It was not exactly my idea of a good time. It was a major disappointment.

The indica on the other hand I had better results with, didn't really put me to sleep, but definitely relaxed me. But at what cost? After about a week in, smoking every night, I've become super lazy. I've been sleeping later, like super late. I'm usually up by ten, but the last few days, I've been sleeping until after 1pm. This is unheard of for me. Alright I work a second shift job, so I'm no early bird, but unless I was sick I hadn't slept this late in probably twenty years. 

I'll probably use up what I have, but not sure if I will buy it again. Although it's making me feel more relaxed and less stressed out during the daytime as an after effect, but has definitely caused me to be much too lazy. I notice this because I am not ordinarily a lazy person at all. I'm actually very hardworking, responsible, and goal orientated. But now I'm just lazy. Seriously. On the one hand it's helping to relieve my stress, but at the same time it's killing my ambition, making me lazy and unproductive. And that is not good for me. But this is just an experiment, I do not plan on being a regular user, it's an expensive habit that could end up interfering with my job, and is just not worth it to me. 

That being said I've had some strange trips down memory lane while under the influence of marijuana this past week. It's weird that first hit I had, the first hit in 20 years, before the nervousness and paranoia hit me hard, I felt like I was transported back to a stoned 16 year old me, a specific memory of being high and being interrogated by my mother, and trying to hide the fact that I was stoned, but she already new, I thought it was some sixth sense, but apparently she could smell it on me. And it was really causing me to have a bad trip, but it wasn't just that, I was remembering it like I was transported to the same headspace, like I was there experiencing it all over again. So this stuff can trigger memories of an emotional nature. This might be useful in therapeutic setting, or not. What good is gained by reliving painful emotional experiences from your past?

I don't know. Some aspects of it can be fun, and when used in moderation there may be some therapeutic effect, but probably a bad idea to become a habitual user, especially if the negatives outweigh the pros, which I suppose would be somewhat of an individual matter. 

Talking about negatives, another important point you should be aware of is that even if you live in a state that has legalized recreational marijuana, even medical marijuana, your employer still has the right to fire you or not hire you if you test positive for marijuana. And since I don't plan on keeping the same job I have forever, I may need to be drug tested again, and am not going to let this marijuana prevent me from getting the job of my dreams, if such a job even exists. I like to keep my options open, and would hate to have an experience that wasn't even all that great jeopardize everything. So stay tuned. 

I've already unearthed a suppressed memory, not mentioned here, and I may even write about it some day, and maybe there will be more to follow. Who knew marijuana could be useful in retrieving lost memories? Even I didn't know, or maybe I just didn't remember. 

Monday, February 8, 2021

My Stock Trading Adventure: 160% Return in Six Months

I've been having a lot of fun learning about investing and trading on the stock market. It's something I wanted to get into for a long time, the idea first crossing my mind about twenty years ago, when I managed to save up my first sizeable nest egg after graduating high school while working a few years in retail, but having to pay all those stock trading fees they had back then put me off the idea. 

Well, in case you didn't know, most stock brokerages no longer charge fees to buy and sell stocks, so I figured this is a really good time to get into this and see what becomes of it.

I'm just an amateur trader with only about six months practical experience, but probably the most important rule of stock trading I've learned so far, that I would encourage anyone looking to get into this to follow it religiously, is to never invest money you can't afford to lose. That's very important, because the stock market is very volatile, it rises and falls continuously, sometimes skyrocketing to the top, and other times crashing all the way to the bottom, and if your timing isn't just right, you could have all your gains wiped out within seconds. 

I decided to start really small, so small that if I lost every penny of it, it wouldn't make any difference in my life. It would be like a day spent at the casino, even though I don't go to casinos anymore, I used to, I could lose a couple hundred, or I might come out ahead, but either way, my bills are not in danger of not getting paid, and I still have a nice nest egg in the bank. 

I did very well my first six months. I started with an initial investment of $220 which I managed to turn into $588. That's a return of over 160 percent! 

My stock portfolio chart July 2020 to February 2021

That's a very impressive return! To put that in perspective, instead of $220, had I invested $2200, I would have turned it into over five thousand! Or had I invested twenty thousand, I would have turned it into fifty thousand! 

One of my stocks came to fruition today, and ended up selling at a profit of more than $5 a share. I basically doubled my money and then some.  It took me a little over six months. My primary method of picking stocks is using technical analysis, looking for patterns in the stock chart, going back months and years, buying stocks under $5 a share, with history of being much higher, and taking a calculated risk that the stock has only temporarily fallen and showing a pattern that it is going back up. So far it has worked well for me. 

In the beginning I made a few mistakes but I learned a lot from them. I didn't lose any major money, I think the most I lost on one stock was about $10, when I learned the real world lesson of reverse stock splits. That's when you buy a stock for a price, let's say $2 and you learn overnight that it is now $10, and you think wow I just made $8 profit per share, but no, that's not what happened at all, because when a reverse stock split happens multiple shares of a stock get consolidated into one. So for example, instead of having 5 shares worth $2 a piece, you now have one share worth $10. This happens usually when a stock is in danger of falling too low to meet the minimum requirements of the stock exchange. It is usually bad for the people already invested, but may make the stock look appealing to new investors who think this stock is on an upward trend, but it was actually only artificially inflated, because it was in danger of being delisted. 

Anyway, not to bore you with the details but overall for the most part my instincts have been overwhelmingly good in my stock picks, but the biggest mistake I've made in the last six months was in selling winning stocks way too soon, walking away with a tiny profit that would have been huge had I kept it just a couple months longer. This happened more than once and it's painful every time. I had stock that I bought at like 5 dollars a share, that I sold at like $6 a share, that ultimately ended up going over $20 a share, and is holding strong to this day. You see I started out trading stocks like a day trader, but without the day trader capital. It's like you need a minimum of 25 grand to really make any decent return as a day trader, you are not going to get anywhere day trading with $250, so I became more of swing trader, setting a tangible goal, with a clear exit strategy, and so far it's worked out well. 

I have no plans of depositing any more cash into my account, so the plan is to keep growing what is already there, to keep doubling up, ultimately turning my initial investment of $220 into $1000 and to keep going forward from there. I'm currently more than half way there. So I'll post an update when I get there, along with any lessons I've learned along the way. Either way it's a lot fun, it's like a game, watching these numbers grow, it's like tending a garden of digital currency, and the goal is to increase the yield of your harvest, to turn your tiny backyard garden into a thriving farm.