Monday, July 17, 2017

A Modest Proposal

Massachusetts approved recreational marijuana use by referendum last fall, and since then the legislature has been struggling over how to rewrite the law to suit a lot of factions -- the hike the referendum tax rate side, the make it easier for towns to block retailers side, the make it so screwed up it can't work at all side, even some the people decided so stop trying to derail it side.

Anyway, the lege finally came out with a rewrite today. I haven't checked it out yet, so I don't know how thoroughly they've mucked it up, other than I'm pretty sure they jacked up the tax rate -- way to go, guys and gals, way to make illegal sales more attractive!

Anyway, while all this was pending, I was listening to WGBH's radio show Boston Public Radio where they were discussing this. Co-host Margery Eagan had a wonderful idea: So certain cities and towns want the right to block pot retailers from opening up shop within their pristine limits? Fine -- but don't distribute a penny of the tax proceeds to them. Let all the revenue go to the municipalities that do allow pot shops. After all, if marijuana is going to have all those horrible no good scary dreadful EEK!!! effects, then they should get all the millions of dollars the evil weed brings in.

Works for me!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What the...?

I have a small gardening mystery, a volunteer flowering plant that’s popped up in two planter boxes out on my deck.

I have four planter boxes on my deck railings and a round container on a plant stand. I used to put annuals in them, but over the years I noticed that moss was self-planting and decided to let it stay. Eventually I decided to let nature take its course, so that now the three long boxes have long-ago-planted sedum (three varieties) that have spread to fill them over the moss, the short box and the round planter have mostly moss with a few stray other plants that somehow found a home – a clump of strappy grass stems, a bit of fern in the round and a bit of evergreen in the short – and a tiny little shamrock-looking plant pokes its head up here and there in small clusters. It’s basically a sprinkling of random weeds among the sedum and moss, but I like it. Plus, everything survives the winter, no matter how bitter, without any special care, ditto for harsh dry summers.

Now, though, I have a new arrival, a bizarre-looking stem with a cluster of pink starry flowers on top. What on earth could it be?

Update: Found them! They're sedum flowers. Apparently one of the varieties I have will decide to fling up a stem of blossoms now and then.

Update two: But wait! These may not be sedum flowers after all -- further Googling leads me to believe they're hen and chick (sempervivum), another succulent plant I have a few of scattered among the boxes. Alas, once the blooming is over, that plant, its purpose fulfilled, will die. More: