That time of year

Tilting my panels is a chore I don’t like, but when the daylight hours are shortened, and the sun drops towards the horizon, I have no choice to keep my batteries charged up. They’re tilted now, just in time for a couple of days of cloud cover. My panels are back to working like they should.

Assuming I’m using propane for fridge, heat, and hot water, my laptop computer is the biggest draw on my batteries. But, this year I acquired a Nintendo Switch which consumes almost as much as the laptop. And I replaced my hand vacuum with a new model which has a hefty lithium-ion battery in it. Bottom line is that I’m using more solar-charged batteries to charge up more re-chargable batteries.

I’ve seen more people hanging panels on the sides of their rigs, likely covering up windows. It’s inconvenient not having a window, but it’s temporary and easy.

Still fairly quiet in Q, which is nice…

Back in Q

Yuma was getting old, so I’m back at Hi Jolly in Q for a bit. Hi Jolly is a small area, free but limited to 14 days. It tends to get quite crowded in a few weeks, so then I’ll move to the Long Term Visitor Area.

More people are showing up, and the vendors are arriving quickly now. Everything should be operating by this weekend.

There goes an entire crop

The CDC warning on Romaine lettuce came at a bad time. This year’s first batch of Romaine in Yuma (and environs) is about 10 inches high and won’t be harvested for two weeks. Obviously, the area is not responsible for the recent outbreak, nonetheless the damage has been done. I expect to see to see about a third of the fields nearby being plowed under tomorrow and this weekend. Once the Romaine is exterminated, other crops will go in.

Don’t expect US Romaine this winter.

Hot Pink Boxes

I saw my first brand new, shiny, hot-pink shipping containers when I left Deming. They belong to the new Ocean Network Express. The color of the boxes is amazing, for now. Their website is interesting, too. Especially if you need a container.

I’ve only seen scattered boxes on mixed trains. Pretty soon I’ll see an entire hot pink train made up from one of their new (hot pink) container ships.

Yuma

As usual, I’m at the VFW/BLM site so I can watch trains for a bit. I’ve got some shopping to do here, especially for a new door window which cracked in Colorado. Those come from Algodones just across the border and I’m anxious to see if anything has changed there vis-a-vis border protection. It’s possible a parade of thousands of over-65s could be swarming the border, fueled by tequila and swinging purple bags weighted with medications and bottles of booze.

I’ll be here a week or so.

Pot stores in Massachusetts

Next week will have 2 recreational weed stores opening in MA, the first on the East Coast. MA has spent 2 years talking about this since legalization, and they ended up with the model the other states have adopted. Apparently they like talking about things a lot.

Things will go well. The media coverage (look at that market) will be huge, and naturally the stores will run out of product. Prices will be high. But, the important thing is the media, the frantic reports of long lines, the happy faces for first legal purchases.

The next week or so will have the first day of legalization in Michigan, the media coverage here will be a smoke-in to celebrate, but stores won’t be open for a year. Michigan should be able to put together the program fairly quickly, then they’ll have the midwest market for a while.

Then, I’m watching New York and New Jersey. It’s not in their nature to be the runners-up in cultural changes, and the competition between the two to be “first” will drive them into full-blown legalization and regulation.

It’s time for the feds to back off, the states have it handled.

Life in Quartzsite

It’s quiet, warm and sunny, and the sunrises and sunsets are amazing. Not a lot of people around, though some show up everyday. Vendors are just now starting to open up. I like it this way here.

My plan is to go to Yuma early next week, where I’ll do some train watching until the noise gets to me.

Pot: Now it’s time for the feds

With the House flipped, committee memberships and leadership change dramatically, almost always for the better in the case of cannabis. Bills to address the marijuana situation have been filed, some for several years, but haven’t got any committee action. So those are ready to go.

A significant obstructionist was Pete Sessions (TX), but he got beat yesterday. Several new members are specifically on record supporting de-prohibition, but likely the leading proponent of more liberal laws got beat as well. Dana Rohrabacher (CA) was, oddly, dedicated to changing the laws despite his other political views.

The biggest headache at the federal level is the Controlled Substances Act, which lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug. That means it is highly addictive, has no known medical use, and is prone to abuse. Anyone even touching such a dangerous and illegal substance is committing a felony, banks cannot deal with such people, and standard business expenses cannot be deducted from federal taxes. Violators are subject to many years in prison, and there are thousands in jail. Those thousands are for the most part people of color, far out of proportion to expectations of equal treatment under the law.

Jeff Sessions wanted to start up the war again, but couldn’t ignore the political aspects as states legalized. His successor will hopefully at least be as careful in starting something.

So there’s a lot of work to do piled up in Congress, and we have no assurances anything will be done. It will be fun watching this.

On to Quartzsite

I’ve spent some time near Tombstone/Sierra Vista, and will now head to Q. That’ll give me a nice long drive to listen to election results.

Marijuana issues and candidates are my main interest. Michigan should pass a full-blown legalization measure. North Dakota has it on the ballot, but I doubt it will pass. However, ND is always a mystery.

Missouri has a mess on it’s hands with three proposals on the ballot, and voters can vote for all of them. And Utah voters have a medical initiative on the ballot, but direct interference/intervention by the church has messed that one up.

I’ll be watching how the House goes because if it flips, there will be a lot a cannabis activity at the national level. Presuming Michigan passes, one quarter of the people in the US will live near a retail marijuana store. It’s probably time for it to be legal at the federal level.

Willcox, AZ

I finally left Deming, night temperatures are dropping a bit. High on my list was a stop in Willcox for some BBQ, but the restaurant had a fire last May and isn’t re-opened yet. So I’ve got one night at one of my favorite rv spots, Cattlestop RV. Since I’m the only one here, it told me that another favorite spot near Tombstone will be quiet, so I’ll head there tomorrow.

In New Mexico I held myself to 2 green chile burgers. I really wasn’t ready to leave yet, but I need to drop down a bit in elevation to avoid freezing nights.