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Magic Mushroom season in the UK!

It’s Magic Mushroom season in the UK!

Yeehaw, it’s that time of year again, Magic Mushroom season! I’m just gonna get this in here real quick – I absolutely do not advocate that you go out and break the law, no matter how monumentally dumb that law is. Don’t go doing crimes. Anyway, it’s Magic Mushroom appreciation season!

Lovely tasty ornaments
DO NOT PICK THESE, THEY’RE AWESOME

It’s time to go “walking the dog”…

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, the time where Tory Island decides to cough up some goodies that make the sky look like it’s melting!

Quick primer for the newer dudes out there – the funky mushrooms that you’re gonna find out there in the next month or so are called Liberty Caps (due to the bell shape), but the scientific name is Psilocybe Semilanceata (people often just call ’em Libs). They contain the same active ingredients as Psilocybe Cubensis (which are the type of spores I sell), but they’re a fair bit stronger.

“Why don’t you sell Psilocybe Semilanceata spores then, Mr Orangutan?”, I imagine you’re asking? Simple! I have a few customers who live in Brazil (hi dudes!), and they like to grow mushrooms from my spores. It’s totally legal for them, but not for me in the UK, so they can do whatever they like. They’ve told me that Cubensis are really easy to grow, it’s quite a low-effort thing once you’ve got your technique dialled in, and there’s great resources out there on Reddit, and also sites like the Shroomery! Semilanceata, on the other hand, are virtually impossible to grow in a domestic setting. In terms of effort-to-yield, it’s just a complete non-starter, even if you could somehow recreate the right conditions (spoiler: you probably can’t).

A poster saying "you can't grow unless you are willing to change"
Haha you see what I did there

But that’s okay, nature provides. Depending on where you’re living in this utterly bizarre country, mid September to late October has usually been the ideal fruiting conditions, but thanks to climate change if there’s a really mild winter, you could still be finding Liberty Caps all the way up till Christmas. Lots of factors affect this – the temperature, frost, and rainfall all have big parts to play in convincing that lovely underground mycelium to start delivering up some tasty Party Shiitakes. Now, the important thing to remember is that when was just a young Orangutan, it was legal to pick Liberty Caps (you weren’t allowed to “prepare” them in any way but picking was fine). This ain’t the case nowadays, so don’t go picking them, just take a nice walk through wherever you may find them and admire them. Make sure you take a nice paper bag but make sure you don’t put any mushrooms in there. It’s still a Class A drug. Even if everyone’s decided that that’s ridiculous, all it takes is one bored jobsworth copper to notice you and you’re going to be having a shit time.

There’s a really cool website called Magic Mushroom Map, which, unlike the rest of the internet where it’s just tits and various flavours of fascism, is a handy map of where Libs are likely to be found, based off various bits of science like the weather, land cover, soil acidity, elevation, and historical grow records. It’s quite frankly fucking amazing and I wish I’d thought of it first. If you want it even more fancy-pants, you can throw the devs a fiver and you’ll get access to a ten-day forecast, and maps of where the public rights of way are. Noice!

Fuck me we’ve got another one running the show now, and she’s bringing with her an absolute barrel of nonces. A Health Secretary who is against abortion and gay marriage? Check. A Business Secretary who’s dad literally wrote a book on how to profit from the country being fucked up? Check. A new Home Secretary who wants to be more right wing than fucking Priti Patel? Check! Buckle up motherfuckers, because this next season of Tory Island is going to even fucking dumber than the last.

Actual tory island.
Holy fuck there actually is a place called Tory Island! Is there where they all keep coming from?!

Anyway, stick together, we’ll get through this, and maybe one day we can start rebuilding a better, fairer country that actually looks after those that need looking after. That’s the hope anyway. Cheers now, don’t vote Tory.

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What I’ve been up to lately

What I’ve been up to lately!

August is a fuckin’ mad month for me usually and this year has been probably the busiest. Like I’ve said before, I’ve also got a day job which ramps up in August, and then I’ve had a friend’s wedding, a few birthdays, and the nursery shuts for a few weeks so Tiny Orangutan needs a bit more looking after. Very busy indeed.

Anyway, here’s pretty much a roundup of what’s been cracking:

Product Earth happened

So I sent a whole load of my spores up with Chris from Mycopunks to Product Earth, which seem to have gone down well. Because of my partner’s birthday and my friend’s wedding I wasn’t able to attend Product Earth personally (well, I could’ve done, but I’d have been in the shit majorly at home haha). Apparently it was excellent, a whole load of decent people just doing their own thing, and a lot of knowledge floating about. Next year, I’m gonna give it my best shot and try to show up, seems like a laugh.

Amazing Mycopunks Stall
Proper cool stall!

Got loads of spore prints

Man, you dudes cannot get enough of the ol’ spore prints, which is fortunate because at the moment I’ve got fucking tonnes of them. I’m adding a few new variants to the store and removing a few of the older ones, so if you’re into something new, check ’em out. Got some McKennaii up, Red Boy, loads of Golden Teacher, Amazonian, and B+, all ready to go in handy super-flat form. Very useful if you’re worried about getting spore syringes delivered because your customs agents are twats, or just if you wanna get maximum value for money and don’t mind putting a bit of the work in yourself (assuming you’ve got a flow hood or some other way of keeping the area clean). All guaranteed to be clean as a whistle!

Got lots and lots of these bad boys now!

Strike Strike Strike

If you’ve been paying any kind of attention to the news you’ll notice that the country is absolutely screwed for a number of reasons, but let’s face it, it’s mostly the bastard Tories refusing to properly tax large businesses. Anyway, there’s going to be postal disruptions in the coming weeks, with Royal Mail strike action planned for the 26th and 31st August, and then the 8th and 9th of September. It’s a pain in the ass, yes, but the anger should be directed at the top of the company, not the striking workers. There’s a lot of money in this country, but it’s being hoarded – plenty of companies are posting record profits at the moment while people starve and can’t pay their bills, even when they’re in full-time work. People might complain about the strikes, but asking politely for enough money to live on hasn’t been working so far, meaning that it’s time for strikes and then probably time for riots. Interestingly, it looks like most industries are going to be striking in the coming months, from Lawyers to Binmen. There was a great bit of writing by Terry Pratchett that was “there is a curse. They say: ‘may you live in interesting times'” and blimey, we’re living in interesting times.

Bloody Hell!
Satire is absolutely dead these days because reality’s fucked

Like always, stay safe, take care of each other, and don’t vote Tory. We’ll get through this.

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End of July update

What’s going on in Orangutan Manor?

Glad you asked! All sorts, really. Still producing and selling heaps of amazing spores, and I’ve had, once again, my busiest month ever. Things are great. Thank you for your continuing support, I’m really stoked that people like what I’m putting out there and how I do things! There are a few cool things going down, so here they are, in handy blog format!

I have now sponsored an athlete!

I’ve decided to sponsor another athlete. Last year I sponsored a Rugby player, and that was cool (it didn’t really result in any sales but he was a nice chap and I was glad to help), and now I’m sponsoring a dude called Lewis Dutch who does Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. For anyone who doesn’t know, BJJ is best described as this: You know the way your arms, legs, and neck like to bend? Your opponent is trying to make them go the opposite way for you. It’s pretty cool, and it’s basically the only exercise that I don’t find boring (I need someone trying to hurt me to keep me motivated, it seems)! Lewis loves competing, which is something I used to do but always found too nerve-wracking, so hopefully he’ll get a load of decent podium shots at various competitions!

Me and Lewis posing for a photo
He’s about nine feet tall

Food bank donations

Food banks, nationally, are in the shit. More people than ever need them (and fuck me am I tired of writing that), but due to the cost-of-living crisis, fewer people are able to contribute to them. I’m not sure how much worse this country can get but hey, we’re gonna find out, right?

I’ve had a few lovely customers send me a bit of money specifically earmarked for the food bank, and I’d just like to take the time to say: You are incredible.

This is what hell is
Absolute fucking ghouls

Cool art stuff

I got sent a lovely piece of Liberty Cap art by a customer, it’s like a 3-D painting, and it’s hand-made by KJ Creations! She does a lot of other cool stuff, and is open for commissions, so if you like what you see maybe hit her up and ask her to make you one!

I also had another amazing person do a portrait of one of my cats, and again, they’re open for commissions, so if you want an amazing pet portrait, have a look at Captain Bayley on Instagram.

I’m blown away by how talented people are, I guess mycology is probably quite an arty scene (lots of crossover with the art world at the very least). Thanks to everyone who’s helped me to make my house better decorated!

Midnight Cat!
Cool and awesome!

Anyway, take care of yourselves (and others if you’re able), and remember: don’t vote Tory.

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Stuff that’s occurring

Red Hot Blog Action

How’s it going? Hope everyone’s enjoying this brief preview of the future of the planet (spoilers: we’re fucked), it’s pretty warm, I hate sleeping in the heat and my missus doesn’t like the noise of a fan so I am currently running on “about to go fucking mental” 24/7. I called the kettle a “noisy bastard” earlier. Good times all round!

A few people have messaged and asked “will the heat cause any problems with the spores when they’re being posted?” – but don’t worry, it’s not a problem at all. Spores are essentially a suit of armour around the fragile living part inside, and they’re designed to protect against extremes in temperature. Being posted on a hot day won’t make a single bit of difference to the quality, so relax and have an ice lolly whilst you wait for your rad spores!

Feast Icecream - these are the best
These are the best ice-creams going and I will brook no discussion about it

Podcast when?

Still trying to find time to fit this in, and I went and took the microphone up to Chris Mycopunk’s house when I visited him at the start of July and left it there, so I’m waiting for him to post it all back to me.

However, if you want to have a look at what it might be like, me and Chris did an Instagram Live over on his page, so you can check out just how entertaining (or not) it would be to listen to us answer questions and chat shit to each other. If that sounds cool to you, click on this sentence and all of your dreams will come true. It was a hell of a laugh to produce, and it’s something we’re both keen to repeat, so I will endeavour to make it a regular thing.

Handsome gents doing handsome stuff
Handsome couple of devils right here

Price increase!

The financially astute amongst you will notice that prices have gone up a touch, to £13 a spore syringe, and £17 a print. I don’t particularly like raising prices, but every single part of my supply chain is now more expensive, from electricity, syringes, needles, luer lock caps, postage, packaging, fuck, even the parcel tape I use to seal the boxes is now more expensive. It’s just one of those things, I guess. There are a lot of separate expenses that come together to make an awesome spore syringe and get it into your hands!

Fucking Tories

It’s been entertaining watching the vultures peck at each other, but sadly no matter how it all shakes out, we’re still gonna end up with another shithouse Prime Minister. Might even end up with the billionaire who cut the £20 per week uplift in Universal Credit, because we’re living in the most bizarre timeline.

I’m glad Boris Johnson is fucking off, because he adheres to the Trump Playbook of “I’ll do what I want” and that’s probably wrecked the country for a decade to come, but none of the rest of them are much better. All of them seem to be running on a platform of “cut taxes” and what we actually need is “more taxes on big business” because places like Tesco are reporting record profits well into the billions whilst paying their staff so little that their wages get subsidised by taxpayer’s money.

I don’t have a lot of faith in the Labour party in it’s current form to capitalise on the Conservatives failures, and ain’t that a shame? A half-competent opposition should be wiping the floor with this bunch of fucking failsons but nope.

Boris wants to hide in a fridge
If he was hiding in my fridge I would throw it in the sea

Anyway, have a nice weekend, don’t get heatstroke, and don’t vote Tory.

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How to make a still air box

How to make a still air box

“What’s a still air box, Mr. Orangutan?”, seems to be a common question amongst people who are a bit newer to the scene. A still air box (commonly referred to as a SAB because that’s how acronyms work) is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin.

It’s a box. With holes in for your arms. It helps to keep the air inside from moving so much. That’s it. There’s no magic here. For the love of God don’t go paying £50 for one of these with the holes pre-cut from any online supplier. I’m a big fan of mycology being something that can be done cheaply, because I believe it’s supposed to be for everyone, and this is part of that toolkit.

There’s no reason not to have a SAB if you’re getting into mycology – they’re cheap, you can use the box for other stuff when you’re not doing mycology, and it’ll up your success rates by roughly fifteen billion percent. Realistically, this is the minimum standard of equipment required. A flow hood would be better but is also about fifty times the cost, a cleanroom like in an electronics factory would be super cool but is about five thousand times the cost; for about £10/£20 and maybe half an hour of your time, you can make your life a lot easier.

To save you a bit of time reading this, you could just have a look on YouTube, where there are a “hole” (ho ho ho) lot of videos that’ll talk you through it.

It's a still air box!
Here is a picture of a box with holes in just in case you were struggling to visualise it

How does a still air box work, man?

It works because it’s a box, my dude. Thanks to the laws of reality, dust, yeast, trich spores, and all the other shit that floats about your house (and everybody’s house) can’t get through solid objects, like… bear with me here… a box.

You’ll want to use a see-through plastic box, because unless you’re either Neo or Superman, you aren’t gonna be able to see through anything else. Get your box. Buy a really big one because you’ll want as much space as possible inside to start preparing your microscopy slides. Stick it upside down on your table so that the lid is on the bottom. Boom, that’s your working area.

Now comes the bit that some people will try to justify charging you £50 for: Cut two holes in the box. Why two holes? Because presumably you have two arms. If you have one arm, cut one hole. If for some fuck-unknown reason you’ve got three arms, probably cut three holes. If you’ve got three nipples, then whoa, rad, but it won’t affect how many holes you need to cut.

A nice lady from Mars
See you at the party, Richter

How do I cut these holes?

It’s actually a good question. There’s loads of ways. If you are a fancy person who likes fancy things, you can heat up an empty metal cylinder of your choosing (think cake tin, empty catering-sized tin of beans, whatever), and then melt that through your plastic. Please don’t burn yourself because that would suck.

If you’re the kind of human that has loads of tools kicking about, get a holesaw bit for your manly-as-fuck drill, and cut a hole (or a series of holes) through your box. Top tip here that I’ve stolen from a comment on one of Mycopunks’ videos – run the drill backwards and the plastic won’t get all fucked up and snarly.

Failing all of this, you can do what I did, and mark a circle with a pen, then stab at the box wildly before using a pair of scissors to cut out the middle of a hole. You could probably also use a hot scalpel. Doing it this way might leave some rough edges and your box won’t look as nice, but it’ll still function in exactly the same way, so don’t sweat it. You can sand it down a bit, if you like.

The holes are still be a chance for contaminants to get in, so try and keep them to a size that’s comfortable for you to work with, but not any bigger than that. You wanna be able to get your arms in without scraping your skin cells all over your work though so don’t go too small.

Basically, it ain’t hard. If you’re able to successfully use a knife and fork on a daily basis, you can make a SAB.

Qui-Gon Jinn melting through a door
Qui-Gon Jinn Trying to prevent midichlorians from ruining everything. He failed.

Underlying principles of your SAB

Literally, the way this works is “it stops shit floating onto your work”. You can’t see the various contaminants in your environment, but there will be millions of them, all trying to take up space on your microscopy slides.

Don’t, whatever you do, try and fix gloves to your box, as if it’s some kind of glove box. Because your plastic box isn’t completely airtight and running at a negative pressure like a glove box would be, if you attach rubber gloves to it you are essentially just making yourself a nice set of Trich Bellows. Every time you pull your hands in and out, you’ll be forcibly pulling air in through any gaps in your box (like the lid), hugely increasing your chances of contamination. It’ll look fancy, sure, but it’s fucking mental.

You’re aiming for still air! You’ve cut your two hand holes, and that’s where your hands go. This way, you’re not interrupting or agitating the air inside, any drafts throughout your room can’t move the air inside much, and nothing can float down and land on your stuff. Perfecto! The air is relatively still!

This isn’t going to be 100% clean, because you’ve gone and cut two holes in it (hence me saying if you’ve got one arm, cut one hole), and that means there’s still a small chance that an errant bit of dust will swoop on in, but it will absolutely improve your success rates by a ridiculous degree.

Jesse Pinkman coulda handled it probably

Using your SAB

It’s mycology time! Shut all the doors and windows in your room, and wait ten or fifteen minutes. Read a book or something, I dunno. You’re trying to let any airborne contaminants in your room settle, so be patient, it’ll pay off. Put your box upside down on your table. Open it. Spray it/wipe it with 70% alcohol. Put all your stuff on top of the lid, then put the box on top. Brilliant!

Now wipe your arms down, put on gloves if you must, grab your syringe, and get to work preparing slides for your microscope.

Bear in mind that you’ve probably now got a lot of alcohol fumes inside this box, so don’t go using a lighter in there until those fumes are gone otherwise you’ve not only made a SAB, you’re essentially making a hilarious video for YouTube that will go on a highlight reel called “Amazing Mycology Fails”. Flames and alcohol don’t mix.

Hope this all helps, enjoy your new craft project, don’t vote Tory.

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Being a small business owner in the magic spores industry

Supporting small businesses is cool and good!

So before I started this up, I had no real idea how things would progress. It was a bit of a leap into the unknown, in terms of how busy it would be, and now look at me! I’m a small business owner in a very weird niche!

That comes with it’s own set of complications – having to do most things yourself does get a bit knackering. You get to be an accountant, website designer, social media manager, SEO optimiser, customer service provider, tea boy and about a million other things before you even finish a day’s work – unless you’re starting off with loads of cash (and I certainly wasn’t) then these are jobs you’ve gotta do yourself! Most of the time I really enjoy it – it gives me an outlet for my bizarre creative side, and also means I can throw money to charity on a regular basis and that’s something I find pretty fulfilling. Plus I’m helping people to get their hands on good quality microscopy supplies, and that is also something that’s important to me.

Anyway, I was sat down last night, doing some administrative busywork, and every order that came in left me smiling. None of them were massive orders or anything, but each one was nice. I remembered all those posts I’d seen on social media about how “when you buy from a small business, you’re making a real person smile” – I’d always thought that was probably a load of waffle, but it’s true! It absolutely balances out the hard parts (you wanna try putting labels on thousands of bags when you’ve got the attention span of a Jack Russell), and every order is genuinely really appreciated. I’m not a big faceless company, I’m one dude working as hard as he can to provide for his family, and you’re a part of that. You’re putting food in my kid’s bellies, and helping out the foodbank, so cheers, dudes! Stay awesome.

Keepin’ the baby Orangutans in Tequila

Dall-E Mini

There’s this new cool bit of AI I’ve been playing about with, called Dall-E Mini – basically, you just give the AI over at this website a prompt and it’ll draw you nine pictures of whatever you’ve asked for. Sometimes it’s amazing, sometimes it’s a bit off, but guaranteed, every single time, it’s utter nightmare fuel. It’s the kind of thing you remember after a particularly unsettling dream. I absolutely love it! Have a go on it and see what you can knock up – here’s some of my favourites, the captions are the prompts I used.

Bruce WIllis Smiling and Eating a Sausage
“Bruce Willis smiling and eating a sausage”
Boris Johnson staring out from the inside of a tent with blood around his mouth
“Boris Johnson staring out from the inside of a tent with blood around his mouth”
Adam Sandler juggling with human skulls
“Adam Sandler juggling with human skulls”

Is it art? Fuck yeah it’s art! Anyway, have a lovely week, all the best, don’t vote Tory!

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God Shave The Queen

It’s the goddamn Jubilee

Bonjour! It’s the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Literally the only real meaningful thing for me in all of this is that the Post Office is shut for a couple of days, so anything ordered from Tuesday the 31st of May after 5pm won’t be posted on Thursday or Friday as everything is closed, and all orders will be going out on Saturday the 4th of June. I’ll still be packing up all the orders, obviously, and probably using some of the time off the day job to fire out a load more spore syringes (likely Mazapatecs as I’m a bit low on those).

I’m not really a fan of the Royal Family to be honest, as I’m sure you would probably have guessed from my general vibe. I don’t really get what they’re for. They supposedly bring in a decent number of tourists who spend money (although even that is debatable), but then so does Alton Towers.

Personally, I just don’t fuckin’ get it, I guess. The country’s struggling, poor people are more fucked than ever, kids are going hungry, and you get wonderful moments like the picture below where some insanely rich product of inbreeding tells everyone that times are hard whilst parading the obscene levels of opulence that are utterly normalised to him.

Prince Charles, being rich
How many school dinners does just one of those goofy golden lions on the wall buy, Charles?

Mystic Meg time

I reckon that once the Queen finally sheds her human form and goes back to her home planet, the whole thing will come crashing down anyway mainly due to general apathy. People seem to quite like the Queen, but Charles? Fuckin’ Andrew?! I don’t know many people who give the first fuck about these chaps. William seemingly has all the personality and charisma of the half-empty, cigarette-butt-filled can of Carling you find the day after a teenager’s party, as opposed to his much cooler half-brother, Harry, who has had the good sense to distance himself from his nonce-enabling family and fuck off to America with his kids and wife. Even he was spotted back in the day wearing a Nazi uniform to a party though so he’s probably still not quite right in the head.

It’d be kinda cool if they’d actually, ya know, do something about the fact so many of “their subjects” have it so breathtakingly hard right now, but I suppose it’s probably funnier for them to watch it all from afar. If it turned out David Icke was right and they were all actually Lizard People, I wouldn’t actually be that surprised.

The Queen looking pretty gammy
The most challenging wank

The bit I find really weird

They could help. It’s “their” country. They’ve got the money, they’ve got influence. Instead they sit there and watch. Get in the bin.

Anyway, I’m going to have a BBQ and some cold ciders in the next few days, and hope that whatever you’re doing it’s nice and you enjoy it. All the best, don’t vote Tory.

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Be good to each other

Things are likely going to get a bit tougher

So those of you that have been following me for a while will have noticed a few things I’ve mentioned. One, I grew up in poverty for the most of my childhood (and hell, a large part of my adult life), and Two, I’m not a fan of the Tories. It affects people, growing up that poor, and we are gonna be sadly seeing a whole lot more of that social issue.

Today’s blog post is gonna address a bit of that. If you don’t like what I’m saying, or you disagree with it, or think I’m a dick, then cool! Start a blog and call me an idiot or something, have fun.

We’re in a bit of a “perfect storm” of shit at the moment in the UK, caused by a Government that explicitly doesn’t give a fuck about poor people. I grant you, COVID, Brexit and now the horrific war in Ukraine are going to cause these problems to get worse, but if our Government were inclined to manage the situation in any meaningful way then I think things would be working out better. I’m also going to add here that Brexit was a fucking stupid decision because, y’know, Brexit was a fucking stupid decision.

Things are going to get tough. It doesn’t take an Orangutan-themed spore shuffler to tell you that though, does it? Things are going to get tough for a lot of people out there, and there are going to be a lot of difficult childhoods. Most of these issues are going to affect the poorest amongst us the most, and they’re also going to push a lot of other people that might’ve just been keeping their heads above water into poverty. Even Martin Lewis is saying that there’s no further wiggle room for people to get their bills down, and that the Government needs to meaningfully intervene, and they just fucking don’t because it doesn’t affect them.

Government doing nothing
How do they keep getting voted in

Housing!

Where I live in Cornwall, there’s already a huge housing crisis caused by Airbnbs not being regulated in any way (so it’s much easier for a landlord to earn far more with far less regulation than it would be if they rented their property out to people that actually wanted to live there). People who are being evicted are unable to find anywhere sensibly priced to rent due to this shortage, and there is no social housing because surprise surprise it hasn’t been built in sufficient numbers to meet demand since the big Tory selloff in the 80’s. In Cornwall, these people are being told they will have to relocate to temporary accommodation in Wales, causing families where the mum and dad aren’t together to have to make the rough decision as to where their kids end up staying. This is clearly a fucking awful state of affairs on it’s own. Rents are expensive everywhere thanks to this housing market fuckery, and unless you’ve got a family member willing to throw you £30k+ (or you still live at home and can save heavily), then you’re in a lose/lose situation.

Food!

Our Glorious Overlords said that Brexit would lead to cheaper food but yeah once again that was just a really blatant lie like the magical NHS money. Food prices are going up at a crazy rate, and this has a lot of knock on effects. Schools are reportedly having to reduce what they’re providing for kids due to soaring bills, and again, this is going to affect the poor kids the most, because that might be the only hot meal they get all day. Foodbank use is likely to hit another record high, kids are already going hungry, parents are already skipping meals, and this is going to stretch those resources even further. My local MP (and I pray every day he wakes up with a suspicious cough that rapidly gets worse) has suggested that people just need to start buying own-brand foods! Yes I’m sure they haven’t thought of that, George, you fucking husk, they’ve all been eating Waitrose caviar three meals a day up to this point, maybe they can cut down to Prosecco in their packed lunches rather than Champagne to save a quid or two.

If you are hungry, please try and get in touch with the services that let you access your local foodbank, and if you can’t do that, then consider the viewpoint that it’s not morally wrong to steal from supermarkets. Supermarkets such as Tesco pay their staff so little that they have to have their wages subsidised by Working Tax Credits, which means your taxes have gone into supporting Tesco make record profits (there are a suspicious amount of record profits getting made by these big companies when they don’t seem to be able to afford to pay their staff). A friend of mine who is struggling financially has started scanning a lot of food items through as Onions on the ol’ self checkouts. Your morality is your own, but I don’t see the issue there. Obviously don’t go shoplifting from little places, only fucking huge billion-pound profit businesses.

If it’s good enough for Dunston it’s good enough for me

Fuel!

Whooooo motherfucker have you seen those gas and electric bills? People are now supposedly shutting their own electric off and living without it because even if you cut your usage right down, there’s still a standing charge to pay. Fire Stations are having to warn people not to just start burning things in their houses if they don’t have a fireplace. I swear to fucking God that if you tried to write a story like this even five years ago it would seem far-fetched. Petrol/Diesel bills are through the roof. Again, this is going to push a lot of people into inescapable poverty. Obviously, fuel companies are… hang the fuck on? Posting record profits?! Honestly, we’re being taken for a fucking ride here. A very expensive ride.

Molotov Cocktail
Could always give them back a little bit of fuel

All of that and the mental health services are fucked!

So this would likely be a time when people would need to be reaching out for various support services, but in completely normal news for this version of reality, the Tories have gutted funding for that kind of thing, so people who are struggling are going to be finding it hard to reach any kind of meaningful help. Fun fact! I used to volunteer for the Samaritans for a short period maybe a decade ago, and we had lots of people ringing us as their GPs were referring them to our free service because there literally wasn’t anything else they could do. There were so few paid services for them to turn to that they had to lean on a free service staffed by volunteers. What a country!

What can I do?

Great question. What can you do? I dunno. This is kinda the “good news” part of this post though, because there’s a million ways you can make people’s lives a bit better. Anything you do that helps take the edge off someone else’s bad day is you succeeding as a decent human.

The first, most obvious, but hardest, is money. If you’re in a spot where you can throw a few quid to your local foodbank, do it. Pick up a few extra tins of something in your local shop and donate it. Fuck, even do that thing people have advocated online where you just don’t scan the shit you’re gonna donate to the foodbank, and then drop it into the foodbank collection trolley (it’s not technically shoplifting as it’s not leaving the store with you).

If you can’t afford to do that (and I expect this is the case for a lot of people), see if you can volunteer somewhere that’s doing some good in your local community. There’s lots of options out there, and they’ll all help to smooth out the shittiest bits of another human’s existence. Samaritans? Sure. Foodbank? Yup. Community Orchards? Yes mate. Anything and everything.

Ain’t got the time for volunteering? Again, I get it. Could well be that you’re having to work multiple jobs just to keep your own lights on and food on the table and if that’s the case then cool. You can’t pour from an empty glass – you need to make sure you’re okay first, and there’s no shame in that.

I’m fully expecting to be bumping into people who are quite frankly losing their shit in the coming years, and so personally I’m going to try and cut everyone a lot more slack, and try and be a bit more understanding.

Seems like a good way to live

If there’s one takeaway from reading this let it be this part!

Whoever you are, know that you’re valued by someone. If you’re struggling, please try and reach out to Shelter, or the Samaritans, or Man Down, or a mate, or family, or anyone. There might be some means of making your struggle a little lighter that you haven’t noticed, and maybe they can help get you in touch with the right people. I’ve had some help from Shelter and Samaritans myself in the past, and in both cases it helped enough.

If you’re in a good spot personally, and you’re able to help others a bit, even a tiny bit, then do it, in whatever form that takes. There are a lot of people who are going to need support, and you could be a part of making someone’s life a little more bearable. Also don’t vote Tory.

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What does “MSS Syringe” actually mean and other popular questions!

I see loads of questions getting bandied around on Reddit, and sometimes the answers are are ace, but other times there are new guys answering new guys and the answers are bizarre, so let’s have a go at cleaning some of it up, for shits and giggles.

What does MSS mean?

Okey-dokey, in at the top with a big one. All the syringes I sell are what’s called MSS, which stands for “Multi Spore Syringe”. I’ve seen some people on Reddit getting confused by this terminology. What it means is this: the syringe has spores in. It’s that simple. It doesn’t mean that they’re spores from different phenotypes, it just means that there are multiple spores in there. This is your basic “I am making spore syringes from spore prints” kinda deal.

Some people seem to have assumed that it means it’s like a mix of various different spore prints – this isn’t the case. That would also be a really strange thing to do (I can’t think of a single plus point to it) but if you wanna mess about at home and do something like that for the fun of it, fill your boots, there’s weirder ways to kill time.

MSS is a bit of a genetic lottery – because there are millions of spores, even in a very clear-looking syringe (Psilocybe Cubensis spores are about 8.5 micrometres long, which means each one is .0085 of a millimetre), there are a lot of genetic combinations available. This is why in countries where’s it’s legal to cultivate mushrooms, people will use MSS to get something started, and will then select out fruits with the desired traits, clone them using agar, refine the mycelium using agar, transfer to liquid culture, and then grow from there.

Some goofy dude's logo
It’s nothing to do with these fuckers either

What’s a Liquid Culture syringe?

So here’s another type of syringe! It basically contains live mycelium, so isn’t a Multi Spore Syringe as there is only one genetic line in there that began with two spores getting their fuck on. It can even be made from actual mushrooms – if you were to cut a bit out of a mushroom and put it onto/into a medium it likes, it’ll revert back to a mycelial stage (mushrooms are fucking amazingly interesting). So a liquid culture syringe doesn’t have spores in, just mycelium. This is the Rad Shit if you live in a country where cultivation is legal as you can more easily isolate what you’ll get as an end product, and it’ll shave a few weeks off your project time.

Sadly, in the UK it’s illegal, as the mycelieum will contain trace amounts of Psilocybin, so I don’t (and wouldn’t ever) sell it. Looks fuckin’ cool under a microscope though, vaguely jizzy. I guess it depends on whether you think looking at that sort of thing is your cup of tea!

KICKIN RAD
KICKIN RAD

Can you get some swabs in stock?

Yeah, probably. I’m working on it, basically. The issue I have is one of scale – I need large quantities in order to make it worth putting items on the site, as (and I’m eternally grateful for this) I sell a lot of products per week. There seems to be enough demand for this sort of thing though, so I will get round to it when I’m able!

This is where mushrooms come from, I heard it off my mate Gary in the pub

Oh hey man I hear you went to watch Tool in Manchester, was it good?

Yeah it was fuckin’ rad man. Had multiple moments where I was just completely lost in the music and the light show, and it’s only when the lights changed that I realised that I’d gotten sucked in. Very cool. Decent setlist, quite a bit from the new album, Fear Inoculum, but they got one of my favourites in there with “Hooker With A Penis” which it turns out is just incredible live. The support band was Brass Against, who were also good. It’s the first time Tool have toured over here in sixteen years, so y’know, it was a thing that had to be done. Such a tight band, I was absolutely blown away. Got Nine Inch Nails in June too so that’ll be awesome too!

This is DadRock now apparently, but I’m cool with that
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Bank Holiday Blogposting

Bank Holiday Posting stuff

So obviously I’m writing this a little late. Mostly these days I use my Instagram page to put any important info up, so if you haven’t already, pop over there and give me a follow!

Post Office was shut on the 15th April for Good Friday, and again today (Monday 18th). What this means is all the spore orders that came in on Friday got posted Saturday, and everything from 5ish on Friday is being packed up in a bit and posted first thing Tuesday 19th. Not much of a delay, and not one I have any control over, but there we are!

Ladies getting a bit drunk
Standard bank holiday carnage. I am too old for this shit now haha

Spore Syringe availability

Whatever is on the site is what I’ve currently got, and it does change sometimes! I recently had a customer asking me when the APE Reverts were coming back, and I was happy to be able to tell him it’d be a few days. After making the syringes, they have to go through a bit of a microscopic testing process to make sure that there have been no errors on my behalf. I’ve got a lot of different varieties, so sometimes life gets in the way and I get a bit backed up on this. Recently I’ve been a bit poorly (all the fun symptoms of Covid, none of the positive tests that would get me any time off work), so some evenings I’ve just been having to lie on the couch, moan, and drink Lemsips (they’re vile but my brain thinks it’s decent medicine). If there’s ever anything that is out of stock it’s always worth dropping me a message, as I should be able to let you know a rough ETA for restock. These are only rough estimates, as sometimes things beyond my control happen, but I’m happy to let you know when I think the items you want will be back in. Spore Prints are a perfect example of this – I’ve got fucking loads of them, but not much time to cut them down into individual prints, so I sometimes wait until people ask and then cut a whole batch up at once.

Orangutan sawing a branch
Workin’ hard for a living

Cool stuff that’s coming up

Well it’s cool for me anyway! Going away for a few days at the start of May to watch Tool in Manchester, so I’ve recruited a glamorous assistant who’s gonna handle the packing up and posting for me when I’m not here (they’re a mate who’s just happy to lend a hand). I’m still a very small business, so most of the time it’ll still only be me, but I’ve now got the option of a bit of help if the shit hits the fan. This means that from this point on, there won’t need to be any times when I can’t post due to having a little holiday or anything, and also means if for whatever reason I get sick the business can still roll on regardless! Got some bigger plans for the next few years too which are quite exciting but I’m not gonna bang on about them yet just in case they don’t come off.

Tool tour listing
Never thought I’d have the chance to see these dudes, can’t wait!

Bloody Peacemaker innit bruv

Have you seen Peacemaker yet? It’s all about what John Cena’s character does after the events of Suicide Squad 2, and fuck me it’s good. Really funny, has a decent bit of heart to it, great action sequences, and John Cena is amazingly watchable. I was able to watch it via Now TV, and it gets the completely made-up Orangutan Seal of Approval. I’m not the biggest DC film fan, I mean, yeah, I watch them but I’m pretty ambivalent about them (although I thought Suicide Squad 2 was great), so I think it’s probably more that I like James Gunn’s writing and directorial influence. The man knows how to make films about weird superheroes in a funny way, that feels genuine. Anyway, watch Peacemaker, don’t vote Tory.

Peacemaker pulling a weird face
Me when I’m foraging in October