Weekend Linkages: Umarells and Oki Dogs

A friend left a bag of ratchet straps and one of the cats has been sitting in it for a week

I think being an Umarell is in my future (thank you to John Zapf for this mind blowing Wikipedia article)

A 2-way wrist radio

At SXSW, A Pathetic Tech Future Struggles to Be Born

“We’ll see you all at Oki-Dogs”: The story of L.A.’s legendary punk hangout (with hot dogs)

Down on Alvarado Street by the Pioneer Chicken Stand

Is it Cake?

Could of read, watched something good or just taken a walk but no, had to waste a precious hour of my life on the new Netflix show Is it Cake? which turns the pandemic trend of similacrum cake art into yet another competitive, “reality” TV show.

Is it Cake? is hyperactive, annoying and unfunny while constantly reminding you that it’s hyperactive, annoying and unfunny. It could just be the show at the end of history that portends the imminent eclipse of civilization. Watch just one episode and you’re ready to return to the pre-dawn of human consciousness, foraging tubers with your bare hands, unaware of your own mortality.

And yet you’ll be tempted to skip to the last two episodes which will plunge you into the extremes of post-modern skepticism. In the penultimate show, you’ll find out that the final bake-off involves making a cake that is a simulation of cake, which leads the contestants in the show to question if everything is, in fact, made of cake, that we’re living in a vast cake simulation.

In the the last episode the losing contestants, angry at missing out on the $10,000 prize and driven mad with their epistemological cake crisis, set out to slice the meta-obnoxious host in half with a Katana sword to see if he is, in fact, cake. They then stumble out of the studio, armed with more swords, machetes and knives, to slice open everything and everyone in sight to test their thesis that reality itself is make of cake. We the viewers, caught up in the cake or not cake question smash up our smart TVs to find out if they are made of cake only to discover that they are not cake and the cycle ends.

But then, too distracted to read a book, we open our laptops to this very blog post which concludes with the revelation that someone paid, via Cameo, the famous for being famous (rappers? unususual hair dudes?) Island Boy twins to read a passage from Guy Debord’s Society of the Spectacle.

And the cycle begins again.

Mushroom Mania

A little over a month ago I took a hands-on mushroom cultivation class taught by Peter McCoy. He sent us home with a bag of straw inoculated with pearl oyster mushroom spawn and a bag of sawdust inoculated with reishi mushroom spawn. Yesterday we harvested the first bunch of pearl oyster mushrooms and it looks like the reishi is about to fruit.

In the class, McCoy showed us how to handle liquid mushroom cultures in a low-tech technique called PF Tek invented by Robert McPherson, aka Psylocybe Fanaticus. McCoy will speak at the next meeting of the Los Angeles Mycological Society on Monday, March 21st at 7:30 p.m. via a livestream you can access on YouTube.

The oyster mushrooms we’ve grown this winter have been so delicious that I’m going to get myself a pressure canner and get the PF Tek method happening at the Root Simple compound.

What’s great is that you don’t need a yard to grow mushrooms. We grew this batch of oyster mushroom in the bathroom and affectionately call them the “bathroom mushrooms.”

At over 3,500 posts on this blog we sometime get amnesia here at Root Simple. I completely forgot that McCoy was a guest on episode 77 of our podcast, currently on hiatus (I have thoughts about bringing it back, by the way).