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Grind Productivity

Imani McGee-Stafford on What the Pandemic Taught Her About Hustle Culture

I am currently writing this on a yacht in Greece. It sounds extravagant, I know. While here, I have attended summer classes for law school. I have also written a petition for readmission after being academically disqualified. I have sat on this boat in paradise and exhausted my network for letters of support, asking them to professionally vouch for me and my ability to finish this JD program. I sold my home, so that I could have less financial burden, because law school is expensive. I have yet to decide where I am going to live, mainly because I am waiting to see if I will be readmitted and allowed the opportunity to finish my last year of law school in person. But in the meantime, I am experiencing Greece. I am having a once in a lifetime experience with people that care about me. I am drinking champagne as if the life I will return to is not in shambles.

Imani McGee-Stafford

My family and my agent were upset that I chose to go on this trip. They thought that it would send a message that I wasn’t invested, or that I was being flippant about the very real possibility that I may be permanently kicked out of law school. Also, for reference, this was a free trip with a close friend—not that it matters. After a conversation with one of my school’s deans when I initially learned of my academic disqualification (a conversation that did not go well), I called my friend and told her I wasn’t going to come. But after she calmed me down, I realized staying behind would not change the outcome of my school’s decision. Did I need to post that I was sad and in distress for them to believe I take law school seriously? Did I need to visibly struggle to be worthy of an opportunity or second chance? For a slight moment, I believed the answer to that was “yes”. But then I realized that ultimately, their decision was out of my control and life would keep going. Quite frankly, struggle no longer needs to be a part of my origin story. So here I am, my life arguably in shambles, but enjoying it, nonetheless. 

My first draft of this article was quite terrible, but that was because I was trying to avoid talking about this. I am embarrassed that I was not able to seamlessly complete this task like I’ve done so many before. I am a bit sad that I was not above the very system I know and critique, that it still proved to be a barrier for me. I am worried and nervous that all I risked for this dream to become a lawyer was not worth it, because I’ll be academically disqualified and forced to start over, or return to basketball without my JD. 

Struggle does not have to be a part of your origin story. You do not have to fail and fight and scrap to deserve opportunity. We are all deserving of the opportunity and chance to both dream and pursue those dreams, despite the systems and propaganda that tell us otherwise. We may not all be able to accomplish those dreams, but we deserve the chance. You do not have to grovel or cry or have some sad story to make you deserving. You do not have to visibly struggle for others to think you are worthy of opportunity. You deserve to enjoy this life. You are playing against the house, the goalposts will continually move, and you will have missed out on moments trying to prove you are worthy of something that should have been afforded to you, regardless.

I challenge you to think of life as more than a series of accomplishments and a mission to garner as much as you can before you leave. I challenge you to live, to be here with me in this moment, and every moment after this. 

Impact Over Influence

We are taught to strive for positions and titles, born with this inherent competitiveness. For people of color, that means we are consistently told that our good isn’t good enough. We are told we have to be twice as good, to be considered for even half of the opportunities of our fairer skin counterparts. There is no try, only do. And if you refuse to listen, or subscribe to this belief, failure is surely around the corner. But I want us to think of success differently. 

I have lived or visited over 15 countries and the US is the only country I’ve experienced thus far that glorifies work in this way. I am not saying that other countries don’t work hard, quite the contrary. I am saying other countries do not define themselves by their work or their need to work. They understand that there is more to life than work, than hustling, than striving for the next milestone or promotion. I want us to live this way too. 

I am not built for labor. I’m sure you are not either. I believe and embody this. I do have to work for a living and to pay my bills and live in such a way that I can take care of myself. However, my work will not kill me. It will not consume me. It will not take my joy or my passion. If we have learned anything during this pandemic, it is that our time is precious. It is that these companies and corporations will still survive with or without us. They will grow while we struggle. They will profit while escaping taxes and not paying us our worth; to be very clear, your worth will never be encompassed by a position or salary. 

What if we understood and quantified success by the impact we make on those around us instead of the arbitrary titles we strive to reach. What if we told our children no title or accomplishment could make them more worthy or enough than they were merely by being themselves? You will die one day, hopefully far from now, but you won’t be able to take your titles or accolades or accomplishments with you. When people gather, I doubt you want them to state how neat your paperwork was or how you never missed a deadline or always showed up to work on time. Maybe you will be okay with your life fitting into three or four cardboard filing boxes, encompassing your desk or office, but I challenge you to want more, to view your experience here as more than the sum of your work.

Imani McGee-Stafford

Choose Joy Even in the Midst of Struggle

I have recently been wondering what good all of the accolades, accomplishments and milestones are if you have no one to bring them home to, if you have no time to enjoy the fruit of your labor. There will always be another assignment, goal, task to complete, but the days will continue ticking down. You can’t wait until things are perfect or less hard to be happy, to choose joy. I think that is something I’ve learned while traveling. Outside of mental illness of course, happiness is a choice. I have been to the wealthiest of homes in western Africa, and to slums in eastern Africa; I have been to volunteer in Singapore and high-rises in Taiwan, but the circumstances do not dictate joy. I don’t think we as Americans understand that concept enough. There will always be reasons to be unhappy, circumstances hindering your daily pursuits. But you can choose joy.

It’s not about winning the battle every day; it’s just about putting up a good fight—acknowledging that, today, in this moment, you will not be defeated. The victory is in perseverance. Things will never be easy, for most of us at least. However, I have seen people with so much less than me enjoy and love and live. It is humbling to say the least, when we think of the people with bigger problems than our own, and their ability to persist. This is not to discount our experiences, but I have lived a life riddled with pain and hurt, and these days, I choose joy. 

I’m a very anxious person. Stillness has often been hard for me. I’m a planner. A woman of a thousand dreams and a thousand lives to live. Often too busy worrying about yesterday or planning tomorrow to truly embrace and experience today. However, the pandemic, among other things, has forced me to be still, for better or for worse. I have begun repeating to myself: “Yesterday brought its own set of worries, tomorrow will surely bring more. So today, if only for this moment, I will enjoy,” in an effort to slow down and truly be present. I hope this helps you value today and all the moments in between now and forever. There are so many good things outside of and before the goal or destination. Remember that. 

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Grind Productivity

Where to Buy LEGO

Over the last several years, The LEGO Group has seen increasing numbers in builders of all ages—with a double-digit growth in sales last year. Compared to the LEGO sets of the early 2000s and earlier, today’s LEGO sets offer something for builders of all ages, from sets aimed at kids like Minecraft, DUPLO and VIDIYO to adult-targeted sets like the LEGO Creator Expert Series cars and buildings or the LEGO Star Wars line’s Ultimate Collectors Series Sets.

In recent years, LEGO has taken intentional steps to invite builders of all ages and backgrounds to join the hobby, but with that comes the ultimate question: Where are the best places to buy LEGO?

Before you pull your wallet out, it’s important to know what type of LEGO set you’re looking for. Here are some quick tips before we get started:

⁃ Big sets cost more and take up more space, while smaller sets can allow you more space at a smaller cost.

⁃ When researching sets, remember that LEGO sets are only available for about two years. Then they “retire,” meaning that no new copies of that given set will be available. It’s best to buy “older” sets first, that way you have more time to save up for “newer” sets.

With that in mind, this guide will be broken up into two sections: the best places to buy NEW LEGO sets and the best places to buy RETIRED LEGO sets.

The Best Places to Buy NEW LEGO Sets:
1.) LEGO.com

Shopping directly with LEGO is always my first recommendation for new sets. Signing up for the (free) VIP program entitles you to a wide range of benefits, from access to buying certain sets early to cashing in on promotional offers like free sets/items. It also allows you to rack up those sweet VIP points, too, which can be used on future LEGO.com purchases! This is definitely the best way to order brand new sets, and should you run into any issues, LEGO’s customer service is phenomenal.

2.) Target and Walmart

If shopping in-person is your preferred method, then Target and Walmart are superb choices for hunting down your wanted LEGO sets. Target is very consistent about keeping LEGO sets in stock, so while you’re rarely going to find something out of the ordinary (like a retired set or a massive bargain) it is a great place to shop and know that they’ll likely always have what you need. Walmart, on the other hand, is a little more inconsistent with their inventory. Walmart stores can be significantly larger or smaller depending on their location, and with that, their toy section can fluctuate in size and consistency of LEGO sets in stock. While Walmart is not as reliable for having the full line of LEGO sets on their shelves, they are a great place to snag an occasional deal, with most sets being marked as much as 20% off at any given time. 

  • PRO TIP: When shopping at Walmart, be sure to use the Walmart app to scan any sets you may be interested in. Sometimes Walmart has unmarked clearance sales and you can get a great deal that isn’t even advertised! I’ve found many sets 50-75% off over the years using this method.
3.) Zavvi.com

While you may hear mixed reviews on Zavvi from other people, I can attest that they have always been first-class with me. Their customer service has been very attentive, and my purchases have always arrived within 5-7 of placing an order. The reason Zavvi makes this list is because they are one of the few online LEGO retailers based in Europe that ships worldwide, meaning that when sets release in Europe before North America, Zavvi provides a pathway for people outside of Europe to get those sets “early” without breaking the bank. They’re a great up-and-coming force in the geek culture shopping world, and I highly recommend keeping an eye on them when shopping for LEGO online. 

The Best Places to Buy RETIRED LEGO Sets:
1.) BrickLink.com

BrickLink is the best resource for scoping out parts, minifigures and sets from any point in LEGO’s history. It can be a little tricky to navigate on your first visit or two, but there’s no doubt that the site offers the best deals on the web for complete, retired LEGO sets. Their site also has a function built in for mapping out what different sets’ value has been over time, which allows you to see if you’re paying a fair price or not. Even if you’re not buying from BrickLink, using their tools for mapping value is a great resource for valuing your current collection or assessing deals you find elsewhere.

2.) eBay

eBay: the garage sale of the internet. When it comes to buying retired sets, eBay is my go-to. It’s safe, it’s convenient, and frankly, I find the best online deals there when I put my nose to the ground and hunt hard. I like that eBay allows you to set up notifications for when new products are added; I’ve snagged some great deals using this feature. Using eBay’s “sold” feature is another great tool to compare prices of recently sold products, so all-in-all eBay is a tried and true tool for any collector.

3.) Facebook Marketplace

As inconsistent as it can be, I’ve found my best deals ever using Facebook Marketplace. In this scenario, you can often find people who are looking to sell their entire collection at once, or people who are selling more obscure things like promotional displays and original LEGO set boxes—which are hard to ship. The great thing about Marketplace, too, is that being able to see the person’s profile, set a safe place to meet and the ability to pay through the app all allow for safe transactions for both the buyer and the seller. I’ve always enjoyed hunting on Facebook Marketplace, but it requires a lot of dedication, refreshing your page and follow-up compared to the other methods I’ve suggested. 


Regardless of how and where you buy your LEGO, I’m glad you’ve read far enough into this article to be taking the hobby seriously. It’s a fun, but expensive hobby, so shop smart and feel free to reach out to me on IG any time you’re looking for advice or guidance in your LEGO journey.

Build on! 

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Grind Productivity

Unicorn Imani McGee-Stafford Explains How to Establish Your Authentic Brand

I haven’t perfected many things in life, but I do think I’ve come damn close to a few. These things include, but are not limited to, reaching things off the top shelf, making people laugh in the most uncomfortable of situations and presenting myself authentically to the outside world—sometimes to my detriment. Now understand, while I am no expert, I think my life may speak for itself on this one. So, let’s talk about authentic branding. 

First and foremost, I want you to think about these questions:

  • How do you want to be remembered when you die?
  • What is your purpose?
  • What are you passionate about?

These questions may seem dramatic in the context of talking about your brand, but just go with me.

In a world where so many people copy or try their hardest to fit in, why would you want to be yourself? Especially when it so often seems as though there is no winning in that. I’d love to tell you that I’ve been this hell-raiser my whole life, and in some ways, I have, but that’d be a lie. At some point, we all yearn to blend in, to be alike. But, being 6’5” at thirteen left little room for that in my life, and time—plus experience—taught me that the best Imani was the real one. I’m sure that’s true for you too, even if you don’t know it yet.

I’m also a firm believer that the universe rewards those that chase their passions and do things with purpose. And it’s really hard to chase your passions when you’re doing and acting like everyone else. When you do things in pursuit of purely economic gain, popularity, or “clout,” like the young kids say, it just never seems to pan out how you imagine and that’s because people see through it. 

Now when you do things you are genuinely passionate about and that align with who you are, things just seem to fall in place. Also, you know, there is only one you. Hard stop. No matter who tries to do or be like you, they will never be you because you are uniquely and divinely created, and you have a purpose only you can fulfill.

How do you want to be remembered when you die?

If you died tomorrow and all that was left of you was your social media accounts, would you feel those accounts adequately reflected who you are or the things you set out to accomplish down here? Most of us will say “No”. 

I know this question seems dramatic, but we’ve been through a lot this past year and if I’ve learned anything it is that I do not have the time. So, why fake it, why pretend? In everything you do, be you.

What is your purpose?

Some people will spend their whole life trying to figure this out, while some of us will just wake up one day knowing. For me, my purpose is to be who I needed when I was younger, in a tangible way that means to create safe spaces everywhere I go and share my hurts and traumas and pain because a younger me merely needed to know she wasn’t alone. Nothing you do should be without purpose and that trickles into your branding as well. I know my purpose, so in all avenues and everything reflecting me, hopefully, my purpose is reflected, or you can find it somewhere in there. 

What are you passionate about?

What truly lights your soul on fire? I love poetry. I love helping people and giving back. I love my blackness. What do you love? Think about the things that make you happiest and why those things should be visible through your pursuits. Even if you’re not able to chase your passions career wise, who you are and the way you align yourself should be passion driven. People don’t buy products, they buy stories. People buy the reason behind the whys. 

So now that we’ve gotten to know ourselves a bit better, let’s talk about the how. I’m not so out of touch as to not understand that some of us do things to survive or out of necessity. I get that. But it is important for all of us to understand that what we do does not always have to equate to who we are. 

While I am a huge proponent of transparency and vulnerability, I understand everyone can’t sit in that space. Also, I am the queen of oversharing, so do as I say, not as I do. I think the key is knowing the answer to the above three questions. The rest will generally flow from there, because you will present yourself in such a way that honors those things. I don’t have a Tik Tok and while it would likely be advantageous for me to do so, I’m not tech savvy and I’m also too lazy to learn 5 eight counts that only fit into 15 seconds. That’s not my lane nor my brand. However, I love to write, and people seem to respond well to it. So, find what organically fits and lean into it. There is so much of the same out there; the world is waiting to meet you.

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Grind Productivity

How to Harvest Cannabis with Homegrown Cannabis Co

Okay, so it’s time to harvest your cannabis plants. First off, congrats on making it this far—especially if you’re a beginner. You’ve obviously read up and studied all my guides at the Homegrown Cannabis Co; you should pat yourself on the back for a job well done. If you need a refresher on growing in general, check out our last piece.

This quick guide will show you when to harvest your plants, how to harvest and what to do with your plants once you’ve cut them down.

Too many growers miss the optimum harvest time because they don’t know how to read the plants, while others can easily make a mess of the drying process.

This won’t happen to you! 

I’ll show you step by step exactly what to do and when. You’ll soon be showing other people how to harvest like an expert.

Homegrown Cannabis Co.

What’s so important about harvesting?

Cannabis plants have special ways of communicating with growers, with YOU. They let you know when they’re well-fed and happy, and when they’re under-nourished or suffering at the roots. They also let you know when they’re ready for harvest.

I will show you how to spot these signs to ensure you harvest at the right time. If you harvest too late, the terps and cannabinoids start to degrade. Harvest too early and the plants won’t have reached their full potential—meaning weaker, tasteless buds.

You also need to dry them properly. Without optimum drying conditions, they might dry too fast (buds like sawdust) or too slow (buds full of mold). 

There’s lots to learn.

Now that I have your full attention—let the lesson begin!

Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Knowing when to harvest.

The first thing to consider is the flowering time provided by the breeder. Note the date you flipped the plant into flower and, if it has an 8 – 10 week flowering time, you should start to see the following signs around the 7 – 8 week mark. 

One good sign is the pistils turning red; once this happens, you’re close! But it’s not enough to check the pistils alone, you need to mike the triches.

Miking the triches is simple: you look at the trichomes under a microscope, or, more commonly, a jeweler’s loupe. 

For the majority of flowering, the trichomes (tiny, mushroom-shaped growths on the leaves and buds) will be clear—glittering like little crystals. 

Around a week out from optimum harvest time, the trichomes will turn cloudy or opaque. This is when you get your drying preparation started. 

Over the next few days, a percentage of the trichomes will start turning amber and brown. Once this percentage is up to 5 – 10%, it’s time to take down the plants.

Homegrown Cannabis Co.

What to do leading up to harvest.

So, now you know what’s coming, how do you prepare for it? What do you need to do during the last few weeks of flowering?

From around five or six weeks into flowering, take these steps.

  • Week five / six: no more nitrogen.
  • 3 weeks before harvest: no more micronutes, reduce phosphorous by 50%.
  • 2 weeks before harvest: flush – feed only enzymes and water.
  • 1 week before harvest: feed only water.
  • 1 – 2 days before harvest: stop watering (but don’t allow your plants to completely dry or wilt).
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

You also need to prepare your drying space. This could be a separate room or closet, or even the tent you used to grow the plants (if indoor). It needs to be dark, 68 – 70°F, with a relative humidity of 50 to 60%.

You can achieve these conditions using fans, dehumidifiers etc, but try to do this as passively as possible. Don’t point anything directly at the plants. You want to affect the environment rather than the plants themselves.

How to harvest your plants.
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

My preferred method is to cut the plants down whole, close to the base. Why? Chopping them into smaller pieces often leads to them drying too fast. You want them to dry nice and slow, retaining that little bit of moisture needed for the perfect cure.

Hang them on drying lines and let them lightly touch each other; they’ll soon shrink as they dry. If you’ve set up the room just right, they’ll take 7 – 10 days to dry perfectly, 2 weeks at the most.

Note: If you’re an outdoor grower with huge, 10 foot plants, you might want to cut them up a little before you hang them. Cut them down an hour or so before sunrise, when their terpenes and cannabinoids are at their peak.

Homegrown Cannabis Co.

What comes next?

Once they’ve been hanging close to a week, you should start regularly checking them. Here’s a few simple ways to tell your plants are dry enough to be cured.

  • Bud test. Squeeze the buds. They should be dry but with a little springiness left.
  • Snap test. Try breaking a branch. It should snap with a satisfying crack, rather than bend and squash.
  • Smoke test. Grind a little into a joint and light it. If it stays lit, it’s probably ready.
Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Now everything is properly dried, you need to buck, trim and cure your buds—this will guarantee the best quality cannabis possible. Maximum flavor and effect, maximum smokability.

Happy harvesting.

Knowing when to harvest is all about paying attention to your plants, learning their language and responding to their needs. Skills that underpin all aspects of being a successful cannabis cultivator. 

Once you’ve mastered harvesting, it’s time to master the cure. 

You can check out my curing guide at the Homegrown Cannabis Co, along with hundreds of other helpful blogs and videos.

Master your craft. Be the best grower you can be. Give it your all.

Your plants deserve it!

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Grind Productivity

Homegrown Cannabis Co: A Beginner’s Guide to Growing Cannabis at Home

Almost anyone who has a home can grow cannabis, and grow it well. My first grow was in a closet and my first plant grew buds the size of soda cans. I’m not exaggerating! 

I’m going to help YOU nail everything first time, too. 

Beginner to expert in one article. 

Well, not quite – there’s lots of things only experience can teach. 

What I promise is to get you close. Zero to hero by the bottom of the page. 

You’ll learn how to set up your grow and germinate your seeds.

How to care for your plants during all stages of the grow. 

I’ll show you how to harvest and how to cure your buds for optimum flavor and potency. 

I will show you the path, all you have to do is walk it.

Homegrown Cannabis

How to get the most from this article.

You want to learn to grow AMAZING CANNABIS and you want to learn fast, so I’m making some assumptions here…

Assumption One: You’re growing cannabis indoors. This is my area of expertise.

Assumption Two: You’re growing in soil and using water-based nutes. Don’t raise your eyebrows. This is what you’re doing.

Assumption Three: You’re growing six plants and you’re growing them in a tent. If you want to scale up or down, the basics are the same and you can find all the additional info at the Homegrown Cannabis Co.

Assumption Four: It’s LEGAL to grow cannabis where you live. If you set up a 1400 plant grow in Arkansas and end up in jail, dont come crying to me.

Assumption Five: You’re ABSOLUTELY AMPED and CAN’T WAIT TO GET STARTED.

If you’re still on board, let’s go!

Preparing your indoor cannabis grow.

Your first steps should be choosing your space and buying your stuff. 

Depending on the room you have, you can buy anything from a 24″ x 24″ x 36″ tent, to a giant 16 foot circus ring. 

As I said, we are going to keep it manageable and focus on quality, not quantity – that comes later. 

Our tent is going to be 4 x 4: an easy way to grow six cannabis plants

Important! Make sure you have enough outlets to supply the tent. You might need to add an extra sub-panel to cope with the extra demand. If in doubt, ask a professional.

Here’s your shopping list. If it looks expensive, remember this: growing your own marijuana is an investment in YOURSELF

You know that old saying: give a man a fish and he can eat for a day, teach him how to fish and he can eat for a lifetime?

The same is true about growing weed. 

But I would rather have weed every day than fish!

Homegrown Cannabis Co

Setting up your cannabis grow.

You’ve bought everything you need, now it’s time to put it all together. 

My advice? Get a few friends around to help. 

Depending on your friends, you might want to smoke AFTER you’ve finished.

Keep everything clean and nicely spaced.

Use the ratchet straps to hang your lights – you can adjust the height as your plants grow taller.

Tip: Ratchet straps are perfect for hanging other appliances and they make great drying lines!

Homegrown Cannabis

Choosing your lights.

My advice here is to buy the best LED lights you can afford. 

Something like Photo-Bio MX would be perfect. 

If you choose to go with traditional heaters or High Intensity Discharge (HID) lamps, you’ll need two bulbs

Most modern lights are interchangeable, accepting both Metal Halides (MH) for vegging and High Pressure Sodiums (HPS) for flowering. 

Depending on how well you can cool the tent (AC is an option) and your particular climate, you can use up to 1000 watts. 

Modern HID’s are adjustable by both wattage AND voltage (110v-220v). If you decide to add more watts later you simply buy a different bulb.

You need the tent to stay below 85 degrees with the light on. Cooler is better, that’s the MAX. 

You can always leave the tent open and use fans to direct cool air in and hot air out.

Hanging a thermometer by the plant tips will let you know if the lights are too close. 

The temperature at the leaf tip should be 80 degrees or less.

Some growers change the light cycle to give the growing plants a rest, adjusting to either 18/6 or 20/4 (light/dark).

LEDs can be kept closer as they don’t give off nearly as much heat.

Tip: Dont forget to use your timer. This little appliance will save more heartache and effort than pretty much anything else you will buy. 

Mess up the light cycle and you could end up with hermaphrodites. Hermies lead to pollinated buds, full of seeds. Not cool!

Homegrown Cannabis

Choosing your cannabis seeds.

You’re a beginner so here comes another assumption: you want a cannabis plant that’s low maintenance and easy to grow. 

Many beginners choose autoflowering plants but we are growing photoperiods. 

Why? 

You’ll learn more and you’ll get a bigger yield with photos. 

Still with me? Great!

I’m also assuming you’re growing recreationally, not medically, but these principles apply for high CBD cultivars, too. 

Tip: Always buy a few more seeds than you need. If you want to grow 6 plants, buy a pack of 8. Be prepared.

Germinating your cannabis seeds.

Germinating your seeds is easy. I PROMISE! 

What follows is Homegrown’s very own germination guide, pulled directly from the site. 

This is how you germinate your seeds

This is how you achieve SUCCESS

This is how you get Homegrown Cannabis Co. to guarantee germination and replace ANY seed* that fails.

What you need: seeds, jug of purified or bottled water, plates, paper towels, tweezers.

*Conditions Apply

Homegrown Cannabis

1. Have everything you need in hand. Purified or bottled water, tweezers, paper towels, your seeds and a dinner plate.

Homegrown Cannabis

2. Fold your paper towels and place one neatly onto your plate.

Homegrown Cannabis

3. Add a little water to moisten the towel.

Homegrown Cannabis

4. Take your seeds and place them neatly onto the towel, leaving an inch or so of space between each one.

Homegrown Cannabis

5. Place the other paper towel over your seeds, adding enough water to keep everything moist.

Homegrown Cannabis

6. Make sure there is no free standing water by lifting up the paper towel.

Homegrown Cannabis

7. Put the plate in a warm dark place, a cupboard or a drawer will suffice.

Homegrown Cannabis

8. Leave the seeds for 24 to 120 hours or until they have popped a taproot.

Homegrown Cannabis

9. Once your seeds have a healthy taproot, they are ready for planting.

Tip: Want guaranteed success? Buy your cannabis seeds from Homegrown. Easy.

Planting your seeds.

Once your seeds have popped a taproot, you need to plant them in soil. 

Prepare 6 solo cups: pierce holes in the bottom and fill them with moistened soil, leaving about an inch from the top. 

Make a little indent about ½” deep for the seed and gently place it in, taproot down, then cover loosely with soil. 

Repeat for all six cups and create a terrarium with plastic wrap and elastic bands.

Pierce a few holes in the top and put them all under a light, preferably fluorescents or T5s. Anything but soft light at this point can exterminate young sprouts.

Standard house lights will do but make sure the seedlings are kept warm. 

When the first leaves appear you can remove the plastic and watch them grow! 

Tip: make sure the soil is watered BEFORE you add the seed; watering after can disturb the seed and flip it upside down.

Homegrown Cannabis Co

Transplanting the young plants.

Your plants will need a transplant within 7 to 10 days. 

Beginners, you should transplant into an intermediate pot, rather than straight into the final pot. 

This will help you practice the watering cycle (more on that later).

Take your 1 to 1.5 gallon pot and fill it with dry soil. 

Make a hole big enough for the young plant (you’ll be transplanting EVERYTHING from the solo cup, inc soil). 

Seat the plant in the hole. 

Gently pack soil around so the young plant is seated without gaps in the soil. 

You can now put your plants under the main LED or HID lights: 400, 600,  750 or 1000 watts and start your watering plan!

Tip: When preparing the pots, dont pack the soil too firmly. Plus, always leave an inch or two from the top so you can water easily.

Homegrown Cannabis (Kyle transplanting)

Feeding and Watering your cannabis plants.

Good cannabis nutrients will always have a feeding guide. Follow it. The guide will tell you what to give your plants, I will tell you how to know when to water.

The best way to water your plants is to cycle wet to (almost) dry. Each time the moisture recedes, the roots will search and grow

This builds a solid, healthy root ball. More root, more fruit!

Don’t forget that nutes can affect the pH of the soil. 

Check your inputs and run-offs regularly. Input pH should be between 5.8 – 6.2 to maintain a runoff pH between 6.2 and 6.5 

You can use off-the-shelf products to adjust the pH if necessary. 

Basic pruning and maintenance.

I’m not going to dive too deeply into my supercropping techniques, you can locate tutorials online. These simple tasks will improve plant health and boost your yield.

  • Selective leaf pruning: remove the crowding shade leaves (anything below the first two layers) that point towards the inside of the plant.
  • Branch pruning: remove lower branches that don’t receive much light. Usually the tips that don’t reach halfway up the plant. This diverts energy to the exposed bud sites and results in larger buds and colas.
  • Node pruning: remove all but the top three nodes from each branch, an important step before flipping into flower. Again, reduces larfy, underdeveloped buds.
  • Topping: snipping the tip of the main central branch will cause it to grow back with two tops. Lower, secondary branches receive more energy, causing the plant to grow more evenly and receive equal light throughout the cycle.

    Topping multiple times is tricky, but can be used to create plants which are wider than they are tall.

Tip: Wait until your plant is growing vigorously before you use any of these techniques.

Flipping Your Plants

Switching the light cycle of your plants is a vital stage of the grow, and will go a long way to determine the overall yield. You can get the same yield from 1 x 5ft plant as you can from 5 x 1ft plants.

The plant will stretch to 2 to 3 times its (pre-flip) height so make sure you have room. 

Flip too early: poor yield. 

Flip too late: plants outgrow the tent.

When you’re ready to flower/flip, switch the light cycle to 12/12 and adjust the feeding/watering schedule accordingly. 

Tip: always note the date you flipped your plants so you can correctly adjust the feeding schedule. Its also a great way of knowing when to harvest.

Homegrown Cannabis

Harvesting your plants

At Homegrown, the flowering time of your cultivar can be found on the product page, giving you a good idea of when to harvest.

You should always judge ripeness and the exact day yourself.

One way of doing this is to mike the trikes using a magnifying loop.

Trichomes look like tiny mushrooms. They’re clear all the way through flower but grow cloudy towards harvest time. 
When roughly 5 to 10% have turned amber, it’s time to harvest your plants.

Homegrown Cannabis

Harvesting and drying is always an exciting time! Here’s what you gotta do:

  • Remove all the large water leaves (leaves attached to the branches to main stem, not buds) from the plant. These can be removed 2 weeks before harvest.
  • Flush the plants (refer to your feed chart). Fresh water only for 1 – 2 weeks before harvest.
  • Stop using any foliar sprays for the final 2 weeks.
  • Stop watering 1 – 2 days before harvest, without letting the plants completely dry.
  • Prepare your drying space: dark, ventilated, cool (68 – 70°F), with only 50 – 60% humidity.
  • Cut and dry the WHOLE plant: smaller pieces dry too quickly.
  • When hung, let them lightly touch each other. They should dry for 7 – 10 days (2 weeks at most). Gentle air circulation is important.
Homegrown Cannabis

Tip: never aim fans or humidifiers directly at the drying plants.

Curing Your Cannabis

A good cure can be the difference between average weed and amazing weed. 

Don’t settle for average. Throw the dice and aim HIGH!

First, let the plants dry to perfection. 

Check them after 7 days and every day until you can answer all the following questions with a YES.

  • Squeeze the dry buds: do they have a bit of spring left in them?
  • Check the stems: do they make a snapping, cracking sound when you try to break them?
  • Break off a bud: does it bring a little hempy bit of stem with it?
Homegrown Cannabis

If it’s YES to all three, it shows there’s still a little moisture left in the plant, the perfect time to buck it, trim it and put it in jars. 

BUT THERE’S ONE MORE STEP – YOU GOTTA SMOKE SOME.

Seriously, folks. Take some bud, roll it up into a joint and light it. If it stays lit, it’s a pretty good sign you can seal those buds up and let them cure. 

If it needs re-lighting, allow the herb to dry out a little more before curing.

Homegrown cannabis is the BEST cannabis.

Thanks to this beginner’s guide, you can grow your own cannabis WITH CONFIDENCE.

All you have to do is follow my advice and don’t be afraid to ask questions.

This is just the tip of the Homegrown iceberg. 

For 100s of free videos and blogs about cannabis and cannabis growing, visit both the Homegrown Cannabis Co. on Instagram and Kylekushman420.

See you in the grow room!

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Grind Productivity

Bill Gates’s Leadership Style: 5 Strategies He’s Famous For

What started as a passion to bring “a computer on every desktop and in every home,” Bill Gates has become a household name, as well as one of the richest people in the world.  Through perseverance, innovation, and hard work, Gates turned Microsoft into an uber-successful software company before stepping down as chairman in 2014. 

Greatness is never by accident, and being a strong leader is integral to many businesses’ success. Rumored to be a demanding boss who makes unrealistic asks of his team, it’s also been said that Gates is reasonable and well-liked, always championing his team’s achievements and encouraging dissent. 

Here’s a rundown of five leadership strategies Gates is known for.

He adapts to any situation.

In the early days of starting his company, Gates was so focused on becoming successful that he was a grueling boss that policed his employees, making sure they were working as hard as he was.  Known for regularly pulling all-nighters, Gates would even walk around the parking lot to see what time everyone had come into the office. “I worked weekends, I didn’t really believe in vacations,” Gates told BBC’s “Desert Island Discs”. “I knew everybody’s license plate so I could look out at the parking lot and see, you know when people come in.”

Knowing that this wasn’t a sustainable model (and that his employees didn’t appreciate this), Gates relaxed as the company grew. “When I was at Microsoft, I was tough on people I worked with. Some of it helped us be successful, but I’m sure some of it was over the top.” Gates wrote in his annual letter in 2019. “Learning to deal with your anger was something we all related to. It’s an important life skill, part of becoming a mature adult.”

He encourages curiosity.
Getty Images

If you’ve ever worried that asking questions might display your lack of knowledge, rest assured that curiosity is a strength. Harvard Business Review has found,, “People with higher CQ are more inquisitive and open to new experiences. They find novelty exciting and are quickly bored with routine. They tend to generate many original ideas and are counter-conformist.”

Also know that you’re in good company.  When Bill Gates went back to his former high school to talk to students, he was asked what skills they needed to acquire to thrive in the coming years. “For the curious learner, these are the best of times because your ability to constantly refresh your knowledge with either podcasts or lectures that are online is better than ever.”
As we saw in 2020, the environment we are in can change at any time, forcing us to quickly adapt with new processes, climates, and industries. Staying curious can help us adjust faster and also aid in creating new solutions for problems.  One good way to stay curious? Read.  It’s a well known fact that Gates reads about 50 books a year, and credits it as the best way he learns.

He gives feedback.

Sometimes it’s hard to gauge how you’re doing in a role if you don’t hear anything from your boss.  Scott MacGregor believed that was never an issue with his colleague: “A lot of people don’t like their jobs because they don’t get any feedback. You always knew what Bill thought about what you were doing. The goal, the motivational force for a lot of programmers, was to get Bill to like their product.”

Employees constantly seeking approval from their managers isn’t always beneficial either, but having regular touch bases and at the moment feedback can do a lot in aiding growth and keeping up morale and motivation.

He admits when he’s wrong.
Getty Images

All leaders have made some mistakes, but it takes some real self-reflection to admit to it. 

Steve Wood, a programmer at Microsoft, believed that Gates’ ability to change his mind was unique. “He can be extremely vocal and persuasive in arguing one side of an issue, and a day or two later he will say he was wrong. There aren’t many people who have the drive, intensity and entrepreneurial qualities to be that successful who also have the ability to put their ego aside. That’s a rare trait.”
Personal matters weren’t the only thing that Gates admitted fault. When it came to business, he would admit that his greatest mistake was to allow Google to develop the Android phone. “These are winner-takes-all markets. So the greatest mistake ever is whatever mismanagement I engaged in that caused Microsoft not to be what Android is,” he acknowledged during a Village Global event in 2019. He went on to say that mistake potentially cost his company $400 billion dollars. “We would be the company. But oh well.”

He promotes collaboration.

Finding a vaccine for COVID has been a priority for Gates; in December 2020, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation pledged an additional $250M to support “research, development, and equitable delivery of lifesaving tools in the global effort against COVID-19.” Gates also took this moment to call for global commitments and collaboration from different companies in various countries to help fight the pandemic. “…creating alliances, of Indian manufacturers and Western manufacturers, or different people working with antibody capacity, these types of collaborative forums have turned out to be super important,” he said in a video interview with the dean of Stanford School of Medicine. 

Working with others and utilizing different skill sets can be the difference in success and failure.  Gates knows that he can’t do it alone, even with all the money and resources he has access to, so he encourages partnerships in working towards a joint effort.

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Grind Productivity

Green Street’s Magic Hour Is The Best Cannabis Conversation Around

As the taboo around cannabis continues to dissipate, the industry’s business side is becoming increasingly complicated and interesting. As members of such a new legal industry, cannabis innovators are faced with numerous questions regarding how to build their brand and how to do it appropriately. The best way to learn is by asking questions and hearing from successful folks in the burgeoning space.

That’s where Green Street‘s “Magic Hour” comes in. Formerly a real-life party, the event has now found its home on the exploding social media app, Clubhouse. Clubhouse was actually a great medium for the event; speakers took turns answering questions from people in the industry, moderated by Green Street president Rama Mayo.

They covered a wide array of topics over the course of the three-hour Clubhouse chat last night, February 4th. Co-founder of Green Street/lawyer Joshua Shelton spoke a lot about the unique legal positioning of cannabis companies over the past few years. Jamie Feaster, the co-founder of Eaze and current CEO of Country, spoke about the emergence of data mining for cannabis companies. Team GaryVee’s very own D. Rock and Andy Krainak spoke about storytelling and its role in marketing a successful brand. The artist Greg Mike spoke about working with clients from the POV of an artist, his mural project, NFT tokens, and the future of art. Rapper Harry Mack did a themed freestyle for the event. The Hall of Flowers team jumped on to chat about some upcoming physical shows this fall and how brands can make the most out of these kinds of events. Comedian Mike Glazer pitched some unique business ideas to the Green Street team and Josh, the owner of RAW papers. The list goes on.

One through-line throughout the entire evening was federal legalization. How will it impact brands? Are brands preparing for it already? When do leaders in the space foresee it happening, if ever?

Magic Hour is just that, magic. Whether you work in the cannabis space or are an aficionado interested in learning more about the fledgling industry, keep your eye on Green Street’s IG to find out about future events. The next Magic Hour will take place on Thursday, February 11th, so make sure you get onto Clubhouse before then. You won’t want to miss it.

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Grind Productivity

Joe Rogan Book List: 35 Books He Recommends

This phrase gets overused a lot, but you truly must be living under a rock if you don’t know about the kind of impact that Joe Rogan has. If hosting Fear Factor and commentating for the UFC weren’t enough, his podcast that launched back in 2009 has since become the biggest and most successful in the world. In April of 2019, Rogan claimed to receive 190 million monthly downloads of it. When The Joe Rogan Experience moved to Spotify in September of last year, it was for a deal reportedly worth $100 million. The show boasts guests like Mike Tyson, Robert Downey Jr., Elon Musk, Lance Armstrong, and Kevin Hart, to name a few.

As you might be able to imagine from the versatile list of names above (which is just a small sample size), the conversations that take place on the show can go to a lot of places. A running joke is that the only topics that Rogan covers are DMT and hunting, but there’s so much more to things. Along with the clichés, Rogan is a massive fan of martial arts, working out, and, of course, reading.

Many take his word as gospel, so if you want to share some of the same reading material as Joe, we’ve compiled a list of 35 books that Joe recommends and loves. Take a look at them below in alphabetical order.

1. American Buffalo by Steven Rinella
Amazon

As the name suggests, this one recounts Steven Rinella’s unique hunt for the rare American Buffalo.

Buy, $15
https://www.amazon.com/American-Buffalo-Search-Lost-Icon-ebook/dp/B001MYA396/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=american+buffalo+book&qid=1611805658&s=digital-text&sr=1-1
2. Best Evidence by David Lifton
Amazon

Joe called Best Evidence has favorite conspiracy book ever. It takes a look at the Kennedy Assassination.

Buy, $53
https://www.amazon.com/Best-Evidence-David-Lifton-1982-04-01/dp/B01N1XPV32
3. Black Elk by Joe Jackson
Amazon

Joe came across this one due to his fascination with Native American History and it’s the one to check out because he calls it his favorite on the topic.

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Black-Elk-Life-American-Visionary-ebook/dp/B01EROYPI2
4. Blood and Thunder West by Hampton Sides
Amazon

Hampton Sides’ offering takes a look at how the West transformed throughout the 1800s.

Buy, $14
https://www.amazon.com/Blood-Thunder-Epic-American-West/dp/0385507771
5. Breath by James Nestor
Good Reads

We all breathe, but few of us have done the research into breathing as James Nestor has.

Buy, $15
https://www.amazon.com/Breath-New-Science-Lost-Art-ebook/dp/B0818ZZNLR
6. Chaos by Tom O’Neill
Amazon

Chaos boasts some fascinating revelations about the FBI’s involvement in the case of the Manson murders.

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Chaos-Charles-Manson-History-Sixties/dp/0316477559
7. Coyote America by Dan Flores
Amazon

Everything you need to know about coyotes is covered here. Joe Rogan thinks it’s amazing.

Buy, $8
https://www.amazon.com/Coyote-America-Natural-Supernatural-History-ebook/dp/B01BZ7XJ86
8. DMT: The Spirit Molecule by Dr. Rick Strassman
Good Reads

No surprises that Joe loves this seeing as though he hosts the documentary version.

Buy, $8
https://www.amazon.com/DMT-Molecule-Revolutionary-Near-Death-Experiences-ebook/dp/B003N3U3J4
9. Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne
Amazon

Although other tribes are mentioned more often than them, the Comanches were the most powerful Native Americans that had an incredible impact in their time.

Buy, $10
https://www.amazon.com/Empire-Summer-Moon-Comanches-Powerful/dp/1416591060
10. Food of the Gods by Terence McKenna
Amazon

This one explores the relationship between humans and plants and the roles of things like spices and spirits in society.

Buy, $15
https://www.amazon.com/Food-Gods-Original-Knowledge-Evolution/dp/0553371304
11. Going Clear by Lawrence Wright
Washington Post

An insight into Scientology that Joe Rogan called “one of the weirdest books” he’s ever read.

Buy, $13
https://www.amazon.com/Going-Clear-Scientology-Hollywood-Prison-ebook/dp/B00A9ET54E
12. Industrial-Strength Denial by Barbara Freese
Good Reads

Barbara Freese writes about corporations that negatively impact the earth but are still managing to thrive.

Buy, $17
https://www.amazon.com/Industrial-Strength-Denial-Corporations-Defending-Indefensible/dp/0520383087
13. Ladies and Gentlemen – Lenny Bruce!! by Albert Goldman
Amazon

All that needs to be said about this is Rogan called it “required reading for aspiring stand-ups”.

Buy, $32
https://www.amazon.com/Ladies-Gentlemen-Lenny-Albert-Goldman/dp/0140133623
14. Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell
Amazon

In Outliers, Malcolm Gladwell details the factors that make successful people successful. 

Buy, $7
https://www.amazon.com/Outliers-Story-Success-Malcolm-Gladwell/dp/0316017930
15. Race Matters by Dr. Cornel West
Amazon

A deep dive into debates about skin color in the United States by former JRE guest, Cornel West.

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Race-Matters-25th-Anniversary-Introduction-ebook/dp/B071LRZ3X1
16. Savage Son by Jack Carr
Good Reads

Carr’s work appears on this list multiple times, which says all that needs to be said about what Joe thinks of it. He recommended it on Instagram last year.

Buy, $18
https://www.amazon.com/Savage-Son-Thriller-Jack-Carr-audio-cd/dp/1508299617
17. Sex at Dawn by Christopher Ryan
Scribe

Sex at Dawn is about human mating systems, how they developed, and the idea of monogamy in the greater context of humanity.

Buy, $7
https://www.amazon.com/Sex-at-Dawn-audiobook/dp/B004ADQAPM
18. Something Deeply Hidden by Sean Carroll
Amazon

Rogan calls this both “excellent” and “perplexing.” It’s a look at why people misunderstand quantum mechanics.

Buy, $13
https://www.amazon.com/Something-Deeply-Hidden-Emergence-Spacetime-ebook/dp/B07NTYJJDX
19. Son of the Morning Star by Evan S. Connell
Amazon

A non-fiction account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn in the late 19th century. Rogan calls it “intense.”

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Son-Morning-Star-Custer-Bighorn/dp/B002HXDHTY
20. Stealing Fire by Steven Kotler
Amazon

A book about meditation, the limits of humans, and how and why alternate states of consciousness should be achieved.

Buy, $13
https://www.amazon.com/Stealing-Fire-audiobook/dp/B01N2HREQU
21. The Art of Living and Dying by Osho
Amazon

A good read on living and dying that is not as morbid as it sounds—questions like how to approach death and reincarnation attempt to be answered.

Buy, $14
https://www.amazon.com/Art-Living-Dying-Celebrating-Death-ebook/dp/B0728G2YYP
22. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz
Amazon

A self-help book that endorses freedom from self-limiting beliefs, one of the only true causes of suffering.

Buy, $6
https://www.amazon.com/Four-Agreements-Practical-Personal-Freedom/dp/1878424319
23. The Happiness Hypothesis by Jonathan Haidt
Amazon

An exploration into historical ideas about happiness from the likes of Jesus and Buddha through the lens of modern psychological research.

Buy, $8
https://www.amazon.com/Happiness-Hypothesis-Finding-Modern-Ancient-ebook/dp/B003E749TE
24. The Hustler by Walter Tevis
Amazon

A rare fiction entry here, The Hustler is about a young pool hustler learning the true ways of winning and losing.

Buy, $21
https://www.amazon.com/Hustler-Walter-Tevis/dp/1560254734
25. The Immortality Key by Brian Muraresku
Amazon

Here, Muraresku writes about the role of psychedelics in the formation of Western society. According to Joe, “it’s fucking sensational.”

Buy, $20
https://www.amazon.com/Immortality-Key-Secret-History-Religion-ebook/dp/B0818QJHKF
26. The Journey of Crazy Horse by Joseph Marshall III
Amazon

A look into the true life of Lakota Indian, Crazy Horse. It seems to have been enlightening for Rogan.

Buy, $11
https://www.amazon.com/The-Journey-of-Crazy-Horse-audiobook/dp/B0007Y9KCS
27. The Madness of Crowds by Douglas Murray
Blackwell’s

A somewhat controversial take on the political correctness of dealing with different identity groups.

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Madness-Crowds-Gender-Race-Identity-ebook/dp/B07VK9J63L
28. The Sacred Mushroom and The Cross by John M. Allegro
Amazon

A unique take on the Bible and the linguistics of early Christianity.

Buy, $23
https://www.amazon.com/Sacred-Mushroom-Cross-Christianity-Fertility/dp/B010EVUY4G
29. The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle
Amazon

They say talent is something you’re born with. But is it? Daniel Coyle talks about rewiring the brain and the true benefit of the deep practice of any activity.

Buy, $13
https://www.amazon.com/Talent-Code-Greatness-Born-Grown/dp/055380684X
30. The Terminal List by Jack Carr
Amazon

A story about a Navy SEAL by a Navy SEAL. What more could you ask for?

Buy, $13
https://www.amazon.com/Terminal-List-Jack-Carr/dp/1683249437
31. The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
Amazon

Another one of Rogan’s favorites, The War of Art is about the barriers that artists, entrepreneurs, and more face.

Buy, $31
https://www.amazon.com/War-Art-Through-Creative-Battles/dp/B002YNS0VC
32. Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Amazon

Junger writes about what a lot of us can learn from tribal societies, including true loyalty.

Buy, $12
https://www.amazon.com/Tribe-Homecoming-Belonging-Sebastian-Junger-ebook/dp/B01BCJDSNI
33. True Believer by Jack Carr
Amazon

The third Jack Carr book on this list, Joe binged all of his works in a month. “I’m hooked!”

Buy, $9
https://www.amazon.com/True-Believer-Thriller-Terminal-List-ebook/dp/B07GNTMB9F
34. Your Dad Stole My Rake by Tom Papa
Amazon

This one is a comedic look on families, and Papa’s specifically. Rogan says, “Tom is an awesome, hilarious guy, so if you’re looking for a great read, your search is over.”

Buy, $11
https://www.amazon.com/Your-Dad-Stole-My-Rake-ebook/dp/B076H8WVM8
35. Zen in the Art of Archery by Eugen Herrigel
Amazon

A study on a form of Japanese archery called Kyūdō. The German philosophy professor’s book is credited with introducing Zen to the West in the 1940s and 1950s.

Buy, $11
https://www.amazon.com/Zen-Art-Archery-Eugen-Herrigel/dp/0375705090
Categories
Grind Productivity

Grayson Allen on Gaming, The Grizzlies and Getting Into Stocks

When you are a member of the Duke basketball team, being on the receiving end of brutal trash talk is just part of the gig. Some players wear it like a badge of honor. 

Now Grayson Allen finds himself dealing with a whole new type of trash talk. In addition to being in front of the eyes of thousands in an NBA arena, Allen now faces the nastiest of nasty in the world of gaming hate. He and ONE37pm’s Tyler Schmitt talk about all of that and more on the latest episode of our series, Huh?

“I think it can be similar, but it is usually in a different context. In sports, it’s usually the opposing team. It is someone you are playing against. With the trolls, it’s usually not the people you are playing against. It is random people hating for no reason. You’re not playing against them. The trolls on twitch are for no reason. There is deeper hate from that part.”

When talking on Huh?, the conversation was a lot less about Allen’s career in the NBA and more about balancing that with his passion for gaming and connecting with a community. 

Schmitt: When you’re gaming, do you get the same juices you do when you are playing hoop?

Allen: Yeah. Close to it. There are some days that are more chill than others and it depends on who is in your lobby. Today was a big tournament day. So the pros aren’t playing ramped right now, so it’s a lighter day. Some days you get every single name that you recognize.

In the gaming world, there are two basic questions that set the tone for the remainder of the conversation:

  1. X-Box or Playstation?
  2. What are you playing right now? 

“Yeah, I just had an X-Box. Because when Halo 3 came out, it was an exclusive. But Playstation has some good exclusives now that I’ve wanted to play. Like seeing some of the Spider-Man clips…” What’s the Grizzlies player streaming right now? “I’ve been playing Apex,” said Allen.

With a busy schedule and not a whole lot of time, it would be understandable if Allen didn’t consume a whole lot of gaming content, but the Memphis Grizzlies’ guard still sneaks it in. 

Tyler asks him how much time if he’s been spending much time consuming content on Twitch. “Yeah I do a little bit. My GF gets a little annoyed at this, but even youtube videos that people put up. ‘Best game from their stream’.” 

Schmitt: Do you have any favorite streamers? 

Allen: The person I check in the most is Courage. Whatever game he is playing, it is super entertaining. Most times I am watching Twitch live, it is for an event. I always catch competitive Apex tournaments. 

There is a difference between enjoying something, having a passion, and having fun, but that isn’t Allen’s M.O.

He wants to be legit.

Schmitt: Do you get the same juices you do when you are playing hoop?

Allen: Yeah. Close to it. There are some days that are more chill than others and it depends who is in your lobby. Today was a big tournament day. So the pros aren’t playing ramped right now, so it’s a lighter day. Some days you get every single name that you recognize. 

Outside of playing in the NBA and gaming, Schmitt wanted to know what caught Allen’s curiosity and attention. Allen didn’t shy away from the conversation and gave a genuine answer. 

“I actually got really into trading stocks about a month or two ago. Because my brain works in that math way, I’ve been watching youtube videos. I’ve been reading different things on how to read stock charts. So the first week I didn’t invest anything. I just drew lines on charts like the youtube videos told me to. It was oddly satisfying. To see on some of them that you predict movement. It becomes super addictive, quick,” Allen explained.

Schmitt: Does it feel like video games, but with real money to you? 

Allen: Yeah, so the craziest thing to me is that when I use to play FIFA ultimate team a lot, there used to be that currency in there. And then there is a market for the cards you have. So no matter what player it was, it was Monday or Tuesday and you could buy a card for cheap and then on Friday sell it for 50 percent more. For me, I didn’t want to put a ton of money in the game so this was the way I had to do it. That’s what it reminded me of. It’s crazy.

Schmitt: Whose content are you watching? 

Allen: Kind of just some random stuff on youtube. And then there are a bunch of Twitter accounts, which I completely found a new side of Twitter where people are talking about stocks all day long.” He goes on: “I have a super addictive personality, so once I figured out the charts I knew I was already hooked into it. 

Schmitt: Any companies that you have been diving deeper more into? 

Allen: When you are going around throughout your day, you see things differently. ‘What’s the company behind that?’ Electric vehicle stocks have been going crazy the past couple of weeks. I was coming back from the gym yesterday and one of the city busses was driving by and the side of the bus said “made with hybrid-electric technology.’ Which surprised me. I was thinking in my head, ‘there is this company called XL fleet that is creating something like that.’ They transform regular cars, trucks, bigger vehicles into electric. I want to get in on them. 

Schmitt: Are you in the crypto world at all? 

Allen: A little bit, but I am not trading crypto. There is a stock called MARA, I’ve been in it for a few weeks. It’s been going up as Bitcoin made its run. 

For Allen, he seems aware that he may not think the way that people expect him to. He’s okay and at peace with that. For the most part, he knows what he likes and tries to trust his innate curiosity to see himself expand outside of his existing passions. 

This episode was recorded on December 5th, 2020.

Since then, Allen has had a good start for the Memphis Grizzlies. He hit a game-winner against the Suns on January 18th. 

He is shooting 36% on three point attempts while averaging eight points a game.

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Grind Productivity

How to Clean a Bong (or Any Glass) in 10 Easy Steps

Using glass pieces is a top-tier way to consume cannabis, there’s no way around it. Knowing how to clean a bong (or any glass for that matter) is easier said than done. The seasoned bong users know the feeling all too well. You draw a milky hit, only to find the flavor tainted by a buildup of resin and other unwanted intruders. On the flip side, hitting a bong for the first time after a deep clean is one of the most supreme smoking experiences available to the modern stoner.

There are numerous ways to clean a bong, but they all ultimately boil down to the same thing: Soak it, shake it, and rinse it. If you’re smoking daily, it might be hard to remember all the steps (no hate), so I put together an easy step by step guide to help you keep your glass looking fresh, and most importantly, supremely smokable.

1. Take it apart!
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

This first step might seem like a no-brainer, but many first-time glass-cleaners will overlook it. Whether you’re cleaning a bong, pipe, dab rig, or any glass, the first thing you’ll want to do is take out the bowl and downstem (some pieces might have a few more removable pieces, but definitely start with those two). Once you’ve got your piece down to its parts, you’re ready to move onto step 2.

2. Put all the smaller pieces in a ziploc bag, bowl or any secure vessel for soaking.

Once you’ve got your little pieces in a container, you’ll want to add your cleansing product. There are tons of options on the market, but essentially you’ll want to use isopropyl alcohol (the higher percentage, the better) and salt. Listen, I may be biased, but my cleaner, “Illcohol,” is definitely the best one on the market. It doesn’t have any frills or dyes to make it vibrant; it’s just a jug of alcohol that comes with salt to add for each cleaning, and that’s all you need. It comes in a huge gallon size, so just one purchase will last throughout multiple cleaning sessions. 

3. Let them soak!
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’ll want to use enough of your cleaning solution for the pieces to be fully submerged. Then just let them soak and let the alcohol work its magic! The longer you can leave them, the better. But if you’re feeling impatient, you probably only need about ten minutes in the bath. Remember, the longer you let them soak, the easier it will be to remove all the residue in the later steps. 

4. Fill the main chamber of your piece with solution.

While your little bits and bobs are in their bath, now’s your chance to clean the inside of the entire piece. Slowly pour your cleaning solution into the chamber of the bong—you can pour through any opening. Don’t worry about filling the entire piece. Just pour enough in that you’ll be able to get a good shake out of the liquid.

5. Shake it up!

Using your hands (you can also use a wine cork or other stopper you have lying around), go ahead and cover up all of the holes of the piece. Now comes the fun part. Shake it up! Shake the piece as hard as you can for as long as you can; the longer, the better. You’ll watch the resin miraculously begin to dissipate. Even if some resin remains after vigorous shaking, don’t fret. In the next step, I’ll be sure to cross the Ts and dot the Is.

6. Wipe down.

Once you’ve gotten a good shake in, you can pour out the solution. But before you rinse with water, now’s your chance to capitalize on the residual solution (which is still a powerful cleaning agent) and a little bit of elbow grease to get rid of the rest of the blemishes. For the largest openings of the piece, you can use a rag or piece of paper towel, and you’ll want to get in there and wipe away any remaining grime. When it comes to longer openings, you can use a drumstick or water bottle cleaning tool (if you have one) with a rag draped over it to really get in deep and smudge everything off. 

For the smaller openings (especially if you’re using a smaller piece like a pipe), you can use a paperclip, pipe cleaner (it’s in the name!), toothpick, or really anything that will fit in the hole. Don’t overthink it. 

After you’ve cleared all the grime out of the piece, now you can do the same with the little fellas that have been stewing in the bath. Most of the grime will have dissipated from the pieces after a long soak, but now you can go through with a rag or cotton swab and get to business. 

By the end of this step, your glass should be looking polished and should be pretty free of all residue. It’s okay if some smears remain, as we’ll be rinsing the pieces a few more times before returning the piece to the shelf (or loading it up).

7. Rinse!

This step is super important. Isopropyl alcohol evaporates really easily (in under a minute), so you don’t need to worry too much about it remaining on the glass, but to eliminate the chemical odor, you’ll want to rinse everything thoroughly with water. You can rinse the small pieces in their bath by refilling it with water and shaking them around. Then do what you did with the large chamber in steps 4 and 5, but this time with water instead of a cleaning solution. You might want to rinse them a few times with fresh water to fully eliminate any remnants of the alcohol solution. 

8. Let them dry.
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’re pretty much done! Now you can just let all of the pieces dry on their own, or feel free to wipe them down with a rag. Once everything feels nice and dry, it’s time to put the piece back together and admire your handy work.

9. Smoke!

I know that I didn’t really have to include this step, but the experience of smoking out of a freshly cleaned piece is too magnificent not to include. I’m not going to sit here and explain to you how to smoke, but there are definitely some good ways to take advantage of your freshly cleaned piece. 

Bong-permitting, I suggest loading up your chamber with some fresh cold water and your favorite flower for a delightful hit experience that only comes around once every few weeks. If you have a strain that you love specifically for the flavor, now’s a great time to tap those buds, as you’ll get to experience the flavor in its purest form.

10. Do what makes you happy.
Stephen Hatala / ONE37pm

You’ve got a fresh piece of glass, an absolute bombshell of a hit coursing through your veins and the whole world ahead of you. Next up? Do whatever makes you happy after a smoke. You worked hard, you deserve it. 

Some tips and tricks:

Don’t overthink it!

It really just comes down to soak, shake, and rinse. The steps above are great to refer back to if you have questions, but overall you can trust your gut. It’s not rocket science.

Clean all of your glass at once.

If you have multiple pieces, it’s a good idea to clean them all in one fell swoop. You can soak all of the removable items from multiple pieces at once, diminishing the time you spend cleaning. The goal is to get back to smoking, after all.

Save your best weed for the post-clean smoke.

I said it earlier, but it deserves repeating. It’s a great idea to save your premium bud for a session immediately following cleaning, as this way, you’ll have the most opportunity to taste the flower and savor the intricacies of its profile.

Clean your glass frequently.

The more frequently you clean, the less tedious the process will be each time. If you do it before a lot of residue builds up, you’ll be able to shake and rinse without having to worry about getting in there with a tool to wipe everything down.

Buy a reusable wine cork.

This may seem silly, but if you get a wine cork or any kind of stopper to pop in the glass’ opening, it will make it much more convenient to conduct your shaking. Rather than covering the hole with your hand while simultaneously shaking, you can just cork it and shake freely.

Clean before you smoke.

I know I said this already as well, but it too bears repeating. The last thing you’re going to want to do after a strong sesh is spend time meticulously cleaning your glass, so I recommend getting all of the pesky cleaning out of the way before you settle down for your smoke.