I forgot to mention last week that we had a pretty big pot growing bust just across the highway from where I live. By big I mean 40,000 plants and ten or so Mexican drug cartel aide workers...
The local growers all sighed a huge sigh of relief, as taking 120 million dollars worth of product off the market just boosted the net value of their own green enterprises...
If you're looking for labor on a construction job this time of year, you're out of luck. All the local labor gets funneled into clipping and drying harvested pot, both the medical marijuana kind and the illegal kind.
What's actually happening is that folks are using their medical marijuana cards as a shield to grow pot they then sell for big profits down in Cally or over in Nevada (as in Las Vegas).
"Hey Doc... my back hurts but Ibuprofin gives me a headache..."
It's pretty much THE industry round here, and most carpenteering jobs I'm hearing my friends geting are for these growers who pay in cash.
"I need a shed built for drying my vegetables"...
And this all coincides with deer season opening. Great!
The first of the month, I think, I went for a hike up to THE INTERNET on the opening day of deer season. THE INTERNET sits atop a conical mountain and the service road that leads to it is a great slog up for a good leg and cardio workout. It's at that consistent degree of steepness where you worry, coming down, about stepping on a rolling pebble because it'll put you on your butt in no time (flat).
The service road is gated so no vehicles or quads go up there unless they are heading up to the towers to do some "service work".
About half way up (an hour of marching up a hill) and all covered in sweat, I stopped as my dogs suddenly barked and ran ahead in friendly-dog-sees-person-in-the-bush fashion. Some clown was standing in the road up ahead in full cammo wearing a bright orange hat (huh???). I called the dogs back to me and then tried to make my eyes see better at distances than they're capable.
Was his rifle pointing at ME? It sure looked like it. And he wasn't geturing either, just standing there. Was he guarding a pot patch and I was about to be shot? I sure hoped not. Why wasn't he saying anything? Did he hike up here? Am I about to be exploded?
He finally said "come on up, you're safe" but he took his damn time about it.
I'd of said something snarky to that effect when I got up there too, but I've learned over the years living up here to be friendly and cool when dealing with a local yabbo carrying a gun.
"Watcha huntin'?" is what I ended up askin' him.
"First day of deer season is today."
"Don't see too many deer up here. There's not much food for them. If you're looking for deer, you should hang out around my apple tree after dark."
'Heh heh. That sounds about right."
I surveyed the man's great big belly. "Didja walk up here?"
"Naw. Came by truck. You'll run into him coming down from the top. Walk up here? What're you nuts?"
"How'd you get a truck by the gate?"
"I service the towers. I got a key."
"Now if'n there were just some deer up here..."
When I passed the truck coming down he rolled down his window and said "You sure look sweaty!"
I said "You're buddy is just down the road a ways. Don't run into him, he's wearing cammo and is hard to see."
"Heh heh. OK. I won't. You sure look sweaty!"
I saw no deer that day but I did get up and mingle with THE INTERNET for a few minutes before heading back down.
On a similar topic (sweat) I bought a new mountain bike last week too.
The bike I originally bought had caliper brakes and medium-duty rims. Coming down off of these logging roads around here was starting to make me nervous, as I kept breaking spokes one at a time, one here, one there...
I imagined what would happen to me if I broke two or three spokes on the same side of a wheel while hurtling down a steep gravel road full of larger than normal rocks and fox poops...
I imagined the sprawling mess I'd make.
Plus my caliper brakes were insufficient to stop me if I got up any speed on these roads. I'd squeeze and squeeze with big carpenter hands and all I would get in response was a fear that I was about to break the brake cable.
Sonny Bono hit a tree and it didn't do him any good at all...
So I took my bike in and wanted to get new wheels put on and disc brakes added.
"That'll cost you about 430 bucks."
"I can buy a new bike for a little more than that."
The guy who put this one together had to ride it in the parking lot to test it all out.
"It darn near gave me a nose bleed."
I love the name of the brand "GIANT" and the size "XXL".
I'm easily amused.