Monthly Archives: February 2011

Upcoming Event – S.C. Barrus Reads “The Hanging Gardens”

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayMy short story “The Hanging Gardens” was recently accepted into this years edition of Bricolage, the University of Washington’s literary arts magazine.  They also invited me to read at the magazines release party in May.  If you missed my first book reading, or if you came but couldn’t get enough, be sure to come.  Thing is, I don’t know what day or what time, all I know is that it will be in May, so clear you schedule all May long to make sure you can make it.  I’ll give more info when more is given to me.

Details:

“The Hanging Gardens” – S.C. Barrus – May TBA

Farewell from S.C.B.

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I Like Cold Beverages!

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and Away It’s true.  I do like cold beverages!  And so, when I caught myself, while driving, thinking about how much I actually enjoy cold beverages, I decided to blog about this love for 500 words or so.  Why, you ask.  Heh, I got nothin’ better to do.  Before we begin, be sure you take your shoes off, go to the fridge, grab your self a cold beverage, and listen to this song carefully, it’s important.

 

My Top 5 Non-Alcoholic Cold Beverages:

Rules are, there are no rules (except it’s got to be good cold).

5. Honest Tea – Even without the clever name, Honest Tea is the best premade tea drink you can get your hands on.  “Just a tad sweet” is their motto, which is good because I hate too much sugar, or even worse, too much high fructose corn syrup (if it’s made in a lab, don’t put it inside me).  Honest Tea has a ton of choices too, so if you are a fan of tea, you’ll likely find something you like here.

4. Prometheus Springs –  Are you feeling daring?  Try Prometheus Springs, I gave a sip to a girl at work and she shouted saying “It’s too spicy!”  Yeah, you read that right, a spicy cold beverage!  It is chalk full of a chili pepper extract called Capsaicin, which they claim has amazing health benefits.  I don’t know if it does, but damn does it make a unique and tasty beverage, one that’s perfect for these long winter nights.

3.  Dry Soda – Light and refreshing, Dry Soda is some pretty great stuff for those of you who are not fans of sugar, like me.  In fact, Dry Soda only has something like 4 ingredients all together.  My favorite flavor is Lavender (don’t judge me), but my wife likes Vanilla Bean.  With other flavors like Juniper Berry, Cucumber, Lemongrass and more, you are bound to find flavors you never expected to find in a soda here.

2. Reed’s Ginger Brew – That’s right, they don’t call it a soda, they call it a brew, which is perfect for Reed’s.  I love Ginger Beer (Or Ginger Ale, whatever you prefer), and nothing has more ginger in their beer than Reed’s.  Powerful, yet oh so satisfying, get the Extra Ginger if you are suffering from the chills or need some excitement in your life.  When I’m feeling good, I go pick up a four pack (they don’t sell them in six) for me and my favorite coworkers, I cannot recommend Reed’s enough!

1. Kombucha Wonder Drink – Let me prefice this by saying, I don’t make a lot of money, and Kombucha Wonder Drink is roughly $3.50 a bottle, yet I buy this drink over any other I have ever had.  Kombucha Wonder Drink is a tea that has been fermented, for health reasons I guess, but the taste reasons are good enough for me.  I prefer the Ginger Pear over all others.  I’m serious when I say don’t let the smell of viniger push you away from this delicious beverage, Kombuhcha is wholly unique and dreadfully tasty.  A warning though, there are many imitators popping up as of late, but none of them match up to Wonder Drink, not even Honest Tea’s comes anywhere near close.  Do not buy an imitator, go for the real thing.

Where to find these drinks: The best place to go when looking for a good cold beverage is PCC Natural Markets, however QFC is also good.  Whole Foods is probably too, but I don’t go there because they take my whole paycheck.

Dishonorable Mention – SAFEWAY:  You want a good drink selection?  Well then, do not go to Safeway.  Other than Pepsi and Coke products, pickings are slim.

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The Legalization of Marijuana in WA – HB (House Bill) 1550

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayThe Seattle Times, on Friday Feb 18th, called for the legalization of marijuana in response to bill 1550 which is currently being considered by the House of Representatives in Olympia.  This law would legalize pot and allow it to be sold in liquor shops for those over the age of 21.  For the whole article, go here.

Why do I agree with them?  There are many, many reasons I believe we should all support this law, from how offenders are stigmatized their entire lives by being labeled as a felon, often getting jail time when at worst they are the victims of addiction and should be treated as such by being sent to 12 step meetings rather than years in jail with violent offenders, to where the money made from illegal marijuana sales goes (cartels) rather than where it should go (the government).

The costs associated with keeping marijuana illegal are astronomical, and we are not exactly rolling in the dough right now.  In fact, revenues collected by the state through taxation and legalization is estimated to be around $300 million dollars every year.  That is $300 million for schools (which are getting larger classes, which are considering cutting senior year, which is increasing tuition by 25% a year), for law enforcement (which may be cut by a third), for fire fighters (which may be cut by a quarter), for rehabilitation (which is severally lacking).

Pot is readily available to all teens right now at school.  Do you know what isn’t?  Alcohol.  Ask any teenager what is harder to come by, pot or beer, and I garuin-darn-tee you the answer is Alcohol.  Pot, as well as other illegal drugs as well, including cocaine, and pills like adderall and oxyconton are very easy to come by for the discerning teen.  “Students from several high schools who talked to The Desert Sun agree that illicit drugs are readily available at school,” said The Desert Sun in a news article.  Now, how many teenage alcohol dealers do you know?  There is a reason for that.

Says Narcotics Detective Russ Jones who I interviewed over at my drug rehabilitation site AllTreatment, “My major concern is that drugs, including alcohol and tobacco, are dangerous. Too dangerous to leave in the hands of the drug cartels. We learned our lessons with alcohol prohibition, when violence, corruption, and use of adulterated booze spiked. Today, drugs are controlled by street gangs who decide what to sell, when to sell, where to sell, and to whom. In any major city today a 12 year old can go down the street and buy an illegal drug. He has a much more difficult time trying to buy alcohol or tobacco.”  You can read the entire interview here.

Sylvia Longmire, an expert on the Mexican drug cartels, a former Air Force officer and Special Agent, a former Senior Border Security Officer and Analyst for the State of California, whom I also inteviewed (here) said, “Right now, Mexican drug trafficking organizations, or DTOs, are the number one source for illegal drugs consumed by Americans. Because illegal drugs command such high prices on the black market, manufacturing and distributing these drugs to American consumers is a highly profitable business.”

Want more reasons?  Ask me, seriously, ask me.  Comment in the comment section on this site, and I will openly and honestly tell you my views on drugs.

But first, ask yourself, what is best for the American People?  Money flowing by the wheelbarrow fulls to cartels or to our own government?  What is better for the American People, years in jail for possession charges and the forever stigma of ‘felon’, or rehab centers to direct the addicted and suffering to?  The fact is, Alcohol prohibition did not work, it simply spread crime.  The fact is, Marijuana prohibition, in fact drug prohibition in general, does not work, it only spreads crime.  The fact is, there are people you talk to every single day who use drugs and go about their lives just fine, and the fact is there are those who need help but fear arrest, stigma, and other repercussions.  When a system is broken, you srive to fix it, to help people who need it and to not punish those whom do not deserve it.

This is why I agree with the Seattle Times, this is why I support the legalization of Marijuana.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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Art by Banksy

 

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The Best of Ted Talks

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwaySo here are a few of the best Ted Talks from recent memory.  If you haven’t seen Ted Talks before, make sure you check out their site because it is the best site on the internet (if you disagree, show me one better).  It is essentially videos of experts in their fields talking about what is important to them, be it culture, oceanography, education, music, arts, etc.  So, here it is, my personal top five Ted Talks (which I have seen, and not yet covered):

5. Nigel Marsh: How to Make Work-Life Balance Work

Work-life balance, says Nigel Marsh, is too important to be left in the hands of your employer. At TEDxSydney, Marsh lays out an ideal day balanced between family time, personal time and productivity — and offers some stirring encouragement to make it happen.

4. Amber Case: We Are All Cyborgs Now

Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on “external brains” (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.

3. Martin Jacques: Understanding the Rise of China

Speaking at a TED Salon in London, economist Martin Jacques asks: How do we in the West make sense of China and its phenomenal rise? The author of “When China Rules the World,” he examines why the West often puzzles over the growing power of the Chinese economy, and offers three building blocks for understanding what China is and will become.

2. Dan Barber: How I Fell in Love With a Fish

Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie’s honeymoon he’s enjoyed since discovering an outrageously delicious fish raised using a revolutionary farming method in Spain.

1. Sylvia Earle’s TED Prize Wish to Protect Our Oceans

Legendary ocean researcher Sylvia Earle shares astonishing images of the ocean — and shocking stats about its rapid decline — as she makes her TED Prize wish: that we will join her in protecting the vital blue heart of the planet.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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Godspeed You! Black Emperor

S.C. Barrus, S. Cody Barrus, Away and AwayAre you a fan of 20 minute songs?  It should in no way surprise you that I am, when done right.  Why?  For the build up, for the intricacy, they listen like a novel, reoccurring themes and rhythms, their unique ability to descend into chaos and return to order.  For all these reasons, and more, I love Godspeed You! Black Emperor.

Godspeed You! Black Emperor

They are not held back by conventions, free to play absurdly long intros and outros.  Their music and be haunting, can be beautiful, hypnotic, loud and angry, soft and dramatic.  They are free to run the gambit, and yet they have no lyrics.

If you like this band be sure to check out Music – Mesmerizing and Hypnotic.

Farewell from S.C.B.

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Issaquah Coffee Company Event Coverage

S.C. Barrus at the Issaquah Coffee CompanyI finally, after running two virus scans, a registry cleaner and defraging my computer, got my computer running properly once again.  So, I fixed the errors I had with the video I uploaded, as well as finished uploading clips from the event at the Issaquah Coffee Company.

Once again, thank you to everyone who showed up, and especially to those of you who bought a book.    If you want a copy and you know me personally, just let me know and I’ll give you a copy for $10 (sorry, no discounts, they’re expensive to make).  If you don’t know me, be sure to come by my next book reading event or seek me out on the streets of Seattle or Issaquah because they are not going on sale on line, not for a good long while anyway.  Right now I have a batch of 20 printed, many of them sold, and inside the front cover it is labeled “1st printing”.  Next batch I order will be a batch of rougly 100 and labeled “2nd printing”, and so on, so if you are planning to be a fan for the long haul, be sure to get your hands on an early copy, they might just be a collectors item some day (that’s the plan anyway).  Call me, hunt me down, stop me on the street, look for me at The Issaquah Coffee Company, at Round Table Pizza (for now anyway), just don’t try to get it online or through comments, cause you wont get it.  You can try emailing me, but it wont go through the mail (unless you have a great website, such as The Last Chance Texaco.  Read his story.).

Anyway, below are the videos of me reading excerpts from The Island and the Sea, and Everything Else by the Wayside. The short story “The Hanging Gardens” (which is in the running for the best prose piece of the Bricollege Magazing, I’ll let you know if it makes it when I know) is not here because the camera died midway through the filming of it.  There are also Photos of the event if you scroll way down to the bottom, all of them taken by my lovely wife, Tana, who did a great job capturing the atmosphere of the show.

The Island and the Sea: Part One

The Island and the Seat: Part Two

Guest Musician – Valeri Lopez

Guest Musicians – Jason Barrus and Ian Christensen

Everything Else by the Wayside: Part One

Everything Else by the Wayside: Part Two

Photos – The Night Before

Photos – The Night Of


Thank you Ryan and those of you at the Issaquah Coffee Company for letting me put this on.  Jason Barrus, Ian Christonson, and Valeri Lopez for playing great tunes.  Thank you Steve and Angela Barrus for help financing the printing of the book.  Stuart and Brit Heath, Bret and Shirley Heath, they know what they did.   Thanks Chad Riddout for the camera, Markus Harris for the Cord, Kyle Winkle for the Mic, Sarah Cox for picking up the Mic, and everyone who showed up to listen to me talk for an hour and a half.

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