Friday, January 28, 2011

My Favorite LAW Man

My decorated Navy SEAL pal Brett

Friday, January 14, 2011


N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT) is a naturally occurring hallucinogenic compound of the tryptamine family. DMT is found not only in several plants, but also in trace amounts in humans and other mammals, where it is originally derived from the essential amino acid tryptophan, and ultimately produced by the enzyme INMT during normal metabolism. The natural function of its widespread presence remains undetermined. Structurally, DMT is analogous to the neurotransmitter serotonin (5-HT), the hormone melatonin, and other psychedelic tryptamines, such as 5-MeO-DMT, bufotenin, and psilocin.

Many cultures, indigenous and modern, ingest DMT as a psychedelic drug, in either extracted or synthesized forms.[5] When DMT is inhaled, depending on the dose, its subjective effects can range from short-lived milder psychedelic states to powerful immersive experiences, which include a total loss of connection to conventional reality, which may be so extreme that it becomes ineffable.[6] DMT is also the primary psychoactive in ayahuasca, an Amazonian Amerindian brew employed for divinatory and healing purposes. Pharmacologically, ayahuasca combines DMT with an MAOI, an enzyme inhibitor that allows DMT to be orally active.

Similar to other psychedelic drugs, there are relatively few physical side effects associated with DMT acute exposure. When inhaled, its vapor has been described as "very harsh". According to a "Dose-response study of N,N-dimethyltryptamine in humans" by Rick Strassman, "Dimethyltryptamine dose slightly elevated blood pressure, heart rate, pupil diameter, and rectal temperature, in addition to elevating blood concentrations of beta-endorphin, corticotropin, cortisol, and prolactin. Growth hormone blood levels rose equally in response to all doses of DMT, and melatonin levels were unaffected." Psychologically, the DMT experience can be overly-intense, potentially causing overwhelming fear and difficulty integrating experiences, if one is not mentally prepared. Furthermore, due to the intense nature of the experience, DMT is generally considered to have no addiction potential.


The abuse and/or the illicit use of pain killers like Oxycodone and Vicodin is the number one drug killer of young people ages 12 to 25 years of age, taking more lives than Cocaine and Heroin combined.

Oxycodone is an opioid analgesic medication synthesized from opium-derived thebaine. It was developed in 1916 in Germany, as one of several new semi-synthetic opioids in an attempt to improve on the existing opioids: morphine, diacetylmorphine (heroin), and codeine. Oxycodone oral medications are generally prescribed for the relief of moderate to severe pain. Low dosages have also been prescribed for temporary relief of diarrhea. Currently it is formulated as single ingredient products or compounded products. Some common examples of compounding are oxycodone with acetaminophen/paracetamol or NSAIDs such as ibuprofen. The formulations are available as generics but are also made under various brand names. Under the Controlled Substances Act, oxycodone is a Schedule II drug because it "has a high potential for abuse," because it "has a currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States or a currently accepted medical use with severe restrictions," and because use of the drug "may lead to severe psychological or physical dependence." According to Section 829 of the Act, Schedule II drugs must be dispensed only with the written prescription of a practitioner except in certain situations (e.g., "dispensed directly by a practitioner, other than a pharmacist," or "dispensed upon oral prescription (i.e. telephone)" in "emergency situations"). Furthermore, Section 829 specifies that prescriptions for Schedule II drugs cannot be refilled.

Mother's who are pill junkies shouldn't get pills from their children.

Carl Deal - The Pacific Northwest

In a not so rare wild hair trip, I took off last Friday to the Pacific Northwest. Snow had been falling in every state except Florida. It was cold everywhere and no one was really enjoying it. So, within 24 hours of making the decision, I was walking on the very Northwest most point of the United States, peering across the Strait of juan de Fuca and into Canada's Vancouver Island. Sunny weather is always fleeting in the Northwest, especially this time of year. It rained, the sun came out for a bit, and it snowed on the beach. All in all, it was a prompt and affordable trip. I had to buy a coat at Walmart in Aberdeen, Washington because I left mine in the truck back home. It was a logging town and I got hit on by everyone, gender non-specific, including a 14 year old gothic girl with sequin pants. I had three good mishaps, none of which resulted in a calamity. As you know, texting while driving increases your likelihood of having an accident by 2300%. I very nearly rolled the bitch in a soft and muddy ditch. And had I not been so well blessed as a tactical driver, my pirouette on the black ice might have resulted in a grazing of the rock cliff. And last, I spied a wet bog. It was filled with deep cold water and slimy fallen logs. Remember, drift logs kill! So too was I on a remote and seldom traveled logging road not within cell phone service. Had I fallen, I might still be there. But, I successfully traversed the bog afoot on the slimy logs and got a few nice pictures. I was a little wet afterward. Needless to say, I have returned home safely with yet another adventure notched into my pistol grip.
Carl Deal

Carl Deal - Strait of Juan de Fuca

Carl Deal - Building a Box

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Our Book

It was Christmas Eve. I was working in the shop at the back of the house sanding a box I'd made for Alex. It was a small wooden box with dovetail joints made from padouk, walnut, curly maple and a bead of purple heart. It was raining hard with an occasional bolt of lightning to adorn the sky. I'd just started to finish the wood with orange oil and bee's wax.

Alex drove in the driveway and pulled up near the door of the house. He sat in his car for a bit and my calling to him was useless - the rain dampening any effort. And in an instant he jumped out of his car and darted for the door carrying a long thin Christmas present wrapped with a card. He leaned it up against the door of the house. I yelled again and got his attention. He ran through the rain and up to the shop. He then got a chance to see his finished box. I think he was a bit astonished that I was able to make such a thing.

We made our way to the house where it was warm and talked for a bit on the couch. Alex laid his Christmas gift for me on the pool table. Christmas is, of course, a time for reflection and it was not unusual for me to talk about important things. I suppose that it is difficult for me to describe my relationship with him - part friend, part father, part mentor, part brother. And I have not taken my responsibility in those unique roles lightly. But at this particular moment, I talked about some of the psychological studies I'd been reading about kids like him who grew up in survivor mode. It seems that kids like Alex when forced by circumstance to live on the street, to beg for food, to sleep on a heater grate during developmental years, living harshly for their daily survival - it creates a different neuropsychological template in his brain that is tuned to the hunter, gatherer sort of existence. So too is there is the fight and flight and/or predator and prey component built in. It is therefor not unusual for someone like Alex to have difficulty instilling trust and loyalty, or in thinking long term, or in making long term plans - stuck in the here and now sort of living pattern of behavior - to get while the gettin is good. And so for me, it is suggested, that to be most successful in helping him toward a meaningful and self sufficient life, I need to be always considerate of how he thinks and why he does what he does and to make every experience for him meaningful, educational and esteem building. So too, not to demand certain things from him I might be accustomed to expect in a Western culture, or from a young person who grew up in a less challenging circumstance or even a normal circumstance. In four years now, we have not argued, nor been cross with one another even once.

On this day, after explaining to him my studied effort to make the best for him out of every experience or time we were able to spend together, I also talked about our long term destiny. Alex is not exactly a good communicator. He goes on his way doing what young people do and doesn't very often check in - even with the people who care about him the most. This is not unusual for him, and is indeed sort of who he is, but it is exceedingly difficult as a parent or caregiver to be left hanging all the time. It dampens the spirit, the enthusiasm and always calls into question one's dedication. It's easy to say to yourself, "what's the point", and not so easy to remain steadfastly dedicated and committed to his long term welfare whether you get any feedback or not.

Of late, he has been particularly difficult to pin down. He'd been stressed out by his mom and forged a few detrimental exploits in response. And so, pointedly, I had the come to Jesus meeting about our friendship and my waining enthusiasm - and that it was a consequence of his unchallenging and unsophisticated behavior - and in short, the taking for granted of well established reliable resources. In few words I said something to the effect and quite frankly that if we were going to make our friendship a life long affair, that it wasn't a simple matter and that a lot of work as well as consideration had to go into sustaining it. I told him that him bailing was not an option and that talking about small issues before they became big ones was always the best way to keep peace and a mutual understanding. He smirked a bit and asked me what I was saying. I repeated that if we were going to make this a life long thing we needed to communicate that and that if we weren't, that we both needed to rethink things and make different plans. He'd known that I have been concerned. He smirked again and smiled - saying, "I won't bail on you if you don't bail on me. Don't you ever bail on me. I wan't this thing to be forever." I paused, reluctant to smile or to feel as though I'd accomplished something in having this conversation, for I'd been in this boat before with him. He's a hard person to get a commitment out of that is succinctly followed by meaningful action. Even though I think his mom's approach with him is just the wrong approach, I can certainly empathize with her for being in the same boat as I. You have to be your own cheerleader and to continually convince yourself, on your own, that you doing the right thing and that you are making a difference.

With this discussion, Alex's smirk changed to a smile. He pointed toward the pool table and said that he wanted me to open my present now. As we walked in the next room, he said, read the card first. And on a single sheet of white notebook paper was a note to me from Alex. He'd written it with his left hand, for his right hand was broken and in a cast. As I opened it, he complained about how difficult it had been to write with his left hand. The note said the following:

"Merry Christmas to you my brother.
The present I want this year is to be
sure that our friendship is everlasting,
that we will be brothers for life
and even in the next life.
You have been an amazing
friend to me, taken care of me,
and looked out for me.
That's all I wanted for all my life
and you are the one who gave me that.
Love you brotha
Merry Christmas,

Well. it did bring tears to my eyes. I have sat quietly at times since reflecting on this exchange and recognize indeed how important it is.

A time has passed since, and Alex continues to do what he does, but today for instance, he called me three times. In each case it was for me to walk to his house and give him a hand working on a 1976 Mercedes he's trying to restore. With a little help from my pal Chris. we got the alternator repaired and the reverse gear back in operation, cleaned the motor and made a plan for the next set of fixes. Each time Alex would smile, feeling accomplished, good about himself and happy. And for me, it is enough for me to know, that he knows, that he can always count on me for my support - no matter what. And so this afternoon, I spoke with Alex about my tireless desire to do something meaningful. I have for a long time thought that documenting Alex's life would be an important thing, for certainly, his story is a remarkable one. And tonight, Alex agreed to help me write a book about his life. Although his Christmas card to me represents a "bronze plaque" of notable distinction, his story documented simply for history's sake, will free me to rest in peace.

Carl Deal