Friday, August 8, 1997
As things progress, they continually regress. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Less is more. Resistance is futile. Go with the flow. Yin Yang.
Less Is More.
During my almost daily travels to customer's homes to consult about their landscape needs, I usually notice that too much plant material has been packed into too small of a space. Not only does it look awful, it is awful.
Maintenance and care becomes a major headache with each passing year. Pruning can only help in limited ways: many plants must soon be transplanted to other areas to give the primary shrubs, trees and perennials a chance to grow and prosper. Many don't and root systems become entwined, strangulate each other, decline and slowly die.
I design between 10 and 35 landscape scenarios each week, with an accompanying computer estimate of material and labor. Every design+estimate requires virtually complete removal of the existing material, either because it's too old, was improperly installed and was improperly cared for all these years, or the material is just junk and needs to be composted. Many trees are butchered beyond recognition, from being pollarded or topped; they were the wrong tree for the space anyway and must be removed. Many landscapes were KMART specials, and were junk before they were even installed; now they're nightmares.
Often, there are sentimental plants that need to be carefully moved; plants to remember a dead child or parent, and event or just something special. We take great care with those, but even under the best circumstances, transplanting is risky. Our success rate is 99% so far.
People appreciate the care and attention to detail that we give their projects. That makes the job. The devil is surely in the details.
I'm pleased: in the past two weeks, there have been people from eleven (11) states visiting, who have found us through the InterNet.
People do searches for all kinds of gardening related items — water gardens, alpine plants, trough gardens, perennials, hardy cactus — and we're there bigtime in all the horticulture related searches. It's amazing at the frequency with which we show up.
Florida, New York, DC, Virginia, Maryland, Ohio, Illinois, New Jersey, Indiana, North Carolina and a couple more I can't remember, showed up. Many had emailed me prior to their trip, and had asked for the royal tour. I spent from one to three hours with each person-couple-group showing them around the 20 acre complex, and guiding their purchases, so they wouldn't be disappointed. I wanted to be sure that what they bought would flourish in their particular gardens. A USDA Zone 6 conifer wouldn't survive in the south Florida heat, without a cold period. That'd be a waste of money and time, and would leave a bad taste in their mouth if I knowingly allowed them to make a false purchase. I hate to waste plants and money.
Many people stayed in nearby York, PA, and visited Pennsylvania Dutch Farmland in neighboring Lancaster County.That's a place where money is lavishly spent on antiques, fresh farm produce and souvenirs. I like the fruits and veggies, but the other stuff is not my style. I have a feeling that many, many more people will be coming to visit throughout the year, and in the coming years.
In the past seven years, we've constructed two Japanese gardens; this year alone we'll build three or more, one already being completed. It seems to be a growing trend for meditation-related areas where people can escape, relax and enjoy serenity in their own space.
I've met with the two most recent customers about their projects, have made the initial presentation and have identified the phases of construction and procedures that everything must go through toward completion. This helps segment and budget each phase of construction, as well as schedule when plant material should be installed after the hardscape (patios, walks, ponds, structures, stone walls, drainage etc) work is completed. Certain things must be done before others; it's my job to break that out in a palatable and concise schedule; not always an easy feat.
Most of these are large projects — upwards of $100,000 — and require constant monitoring to be on schedule and at or under budget. My 17 years of business experience in NYCs advertising industry taught me that, among many other swhacks. My landscape foreman, his crew chief and the crews will soon take it from here, making peoples' dreams a reality.
That's just one of the gratifying parts of this business: making dream projects happen successfully for others.
In this Zone 6 are we're in, there's a 21 week drought in progress. There's been a few light showers, but we're an average 9" low on rain. Insect infestation is now rampant and getting worse.
Zillions of insects hatch every hour around the world. Rain would normally drown many larvae before they have a chance to turn into insects. The Midwest has had floods because of so much rain; we've had drought because of too little. Red Spider Mites, have decimated many plants; eggs Wintered over easily this past year and have hatched out in unprecedented numbers. Aphids, Bagworms, Japanese Beetles, are among an infinite number and variety that are plaguing gardeners every day in dry areas.
There are specific chemicals from a wide range of manufacturers that both control and whack these insects. Unfortunately, wholesale use of those chemicals whack beneficials too in a garden. Lady Bugs, Lacewing Wasp, and dozens of others are predators that naturally control pests. The use of Ortho's Malathion®, Orthene®, Orthenex® and other chemicals wipe every living thing out. Judicious use of any chemical is called for.
Disease isn't a problem, as it was last year in this area, when we had way too much rain in a normal season. Wish we had that problem this year again.
The cable modem installer from BlazeNet arrived Thursday at 8:15am, armed with all sorts of hardware and software. The York Cable TV installer was right behind him. I would normally be at work by 6am, but with an opportunity to sleep for an extra hour or so before the installation, I grabbed it. I was dreaming of the speeds of over 500kbps and up to 10mgbps: that's 6 times faster than a T-1 Line at 1.54mgbps! Holy shit! Double holy shit!
They got to work right away, installing an Ethernet card, software, cables, connectors, drilling a hole in my floor to directly access the CATV lines coming into the condo. Some minor software configurations were made and presto: rapid transit was here. In 1 hour 15 minutes, it was running and I was comparing 28.8 dial-up to cable modem speed. Not even close.
Going from a 28.8 dial-up modem to a cable modem at 500kbps was like going from a Cessna Cherokee 4 seater. single engine prop, to an F-16 at mach 2. Breathtaking in its speed, both upstream and downstream. Downloading Netscape Communicator v4 (12 mgb) took less than 6 minutes. Pages that seemed to take forever to load at 28.8 — MSNBC, ABCNews — loaded in less than a second. If you get one of these cable modems, wear a welder's mask and use Chapstick; it's hot stuff.
My next project is to upgrade the 28.8 dial-up at my office to something more swift; I'd like to also install a cable modem there, but since the fiber optic lines aren't prevalent in the country yet, that's a long way off. Maybe ISDN? I'll keep after it and see what the emerging technology brings in the coming months. I can always download at home onto my Zip disks and take it to work.
Wasted Tax Dollars.
In the, why don't these non-working slackers get real jobs department, now the U.S. Transportation Department has dropped the word accident in favor of crash to describe what people do with automobiles.
They've spent almost five f*cking years and several million dollars to change one stupid word. A wonderful example of moronic, idiot liberal scum wasting time and money again with mere semantics. The whole thing could have been done with a simple $29.95 Roget's Thesaurus, available at Border's Bookstore. What's wrong with this picture?
Someone get these lowlifes out of government and into real jobs, where they'll have to work for a living for once in their miserable lives, or fail trying like real people do. They have many really important things to get on with in that jumbled mess of a bureaucratic shithouse, but they waste our money trying to micro-manage our lives and now, our vocabulary. If this weren't so pathetically typical of liberals infesting government with empty, politically correct ideas, I'd laugh.
So Far, So Bad.
The Senate Committee Hearings on the 96 Campaign Finance Abuses have recessed for the Summer. Why the hell do these people stop hearings on criminal behavior and take a holiday? This gives the liberal scum more time to shred documents and plan to further obscure the truth about their unethical and immoral behavior.
By the time the hearings are reconvened, the White House criminals will have had ample time to prepare more excusatory lies and polish their spin on the obfuscation of justice. Clinton leads the pack of liars. What's wrong with that picture? He's even proud of being a lying criminal; he lies straight-faced to the media and they don't call him on it.
The utter and complete corruption of the Democratic Party laid bare in the Senate Committee Hearings these past few weeks is amazing. They sold everything they didn't own for money to get Slick Willie and Hitlery elected again in 96. They whored with every evil entity they could find, as long as there was money in it for the DNC. They sold their souls for a very cheap price.
The Clinton filth have no morals, ethics or character. They're scum, plain and simple.
Clinton is the most most criminally-investigated, corrupt, president in American history, now surpassing even Nixon by factors. So it will be written about him in history. And it's far from over. But the American people don't care anymore, as long as their pockets are full of money. What a sad commentary about us (collectively speaking) as a nation and people.
Both parties are to blame; it's a mere matter of degrees as to who was worse. But the liberal democratic money machine kissed everyone's ass in 96 and led the way in corruption for the nation to see. And now, during the Senate Hearings, the democrats and liberals are withholding evidence until after witnesses have testified, in order to lessen the impact of the individual's testimony.
Not convinced it's over? Here's a real piece of sleaze: this Tempelsman scumbag, another friend of Clinton's is freely using the US Government to line his own pockets with African diamonds, with Clinton's aides' assistance. The liberal degenerates continue to pursue all avenues of corruption and favoritism in their greedy quest for power and money. May the scum burn in hell, and the sooner the better. — Old Irish proverb.
It also appears that Clinton's sexual harassment of White House female employees isn't over: another has come out and told her story. All the politicians are on a 30day holiday. And the nation doesn't give a flying tinker's damn that Clinton's a criminal and a liar.
Except for the drought, it's been a great Summer so far.
Here's where all lowlife politicians should spend a lot more time. Instead of screwing over the American public, let the sons-of-bitches screw each other over.