dreary days of august
friday, august 29th, 2008
it's August in the Mid-Atlantic Region — heat, humidity, drought, lazy-hazy "Dog Days of Summer", personal vacations, back-to-school routines, church/fire company fund-raising BBQs, yellow schoolbusses slowing traffic on the public roads, cord/firewood deliveries, HVAC tune-ups for an upcoming harsh Winter, an unexpected frost in September, notices of natural gas/oil heating oil prices rising, drycleaning of Winter coats, etc — and "all's normal in the house", isn't it? Sure it isn't. Not by "my measure", it isn't. Our once-a-year "Fall 25%-Off Sale" is about to start, we're re-opening on Sundays (11am-4pm), after just 2 years of being closed (after pioneering "Open On Sundays", back in 1991) and bringing-back our first-in-the-region, nobody-did-it-before-we-did, well-attended, Saturday Workshops, we're still trying to "raise-the-bar", in this Mid-Atlantic Region. Since the print ads and radio spots have begun running in York County (PA) and in both Harford and Baltimore Counties (MD), the response has been fantastic.
It's been more-than-difficult, over the past 2-3 years, since the economy has taken a steady slide into the dumper, much higher fuel and food prices, unending product/shipping price increases and costs for my business equalling decreased profitability, and it's now an election year, which means that all customers/clients are voters and won't react positively, until after November 4th.
I'm also thinking that we've got an unusually-early-and-harsh Winter, just ahead. And I'm well-prepared for it. Although I'm almost-so/sort-of/not-quite, mentally-prepared for the upcoming 7-days-a-week routine of September & October, I'm dreading its advent, on Sunday, September 7th. This and next weekend are my last days-off, for the next 8-10 weeks. Life sucks, once again, but losing the Sunday income of previous years, just isn't an option, anymore. I don't have a choice.
I've recently heard some real grim stories about other major garden centers, nurseries, large farm market and orchard operations — several of whom are much older than my so-called, "fledgling" 18-year old business — having to go to Farm Credit and various local banks, for increased lines of credit and emergency loans, just to stay afloat in these increasingly-"bumpy times". Many of them can't even make their basic payroll, taxes, utility and insurance obligations etc, anymore. The old adage — "when you're in a hole, stop digging it any deeper" — doesn't seem to apply for them. From some of my well-placed "spy-sources", the mounting debt load, for many of my competitors, is already into the millions for some, from which they'll probably never recover. Sad, to be sure.
Oh, well, it is what it is.
Around The Garden Center™.
By last Friday afternoon, on the way home from work, I noticed that gas prices at the pump, had dropped another 3¢/gal, at several stations: Unleaded Regular (87oct) is now at $3.36/gal, Unleaded Premium (89oct) is at $3.46/gal, and Unleaded Super Premium (92oct) is at $3.66/gal. I don't pay any attention to either diesel or K2 (kerosene), anymore, as they're unrefined fuels, and I buy the "off-road" or "farmer's diesel", for 25-30¢ under the "going retail rate", for my company's Skidloaders and Tractors. Both are still grossly-overpriced, for the crude fuels they are, and I'm at a loss to explain why they're staying so high, unless it's a deliberate plan to hurt the Nation's trucking fleet and homeowners who heat with it. No, I'm not a "black helicopter" conspirator, but it's way beyond "odd" that those two comparatively-unrefined fuels are so expensive, isn't it? Think about it, and get back to me with *your opinion*. No relation to world crude oil prices, BTW.
Due to my company's recent HVAC final $6,875 bill for the unanticipated lightning strike on my main well pump — 3-man crew for 2 days, a crane for 2 days, 420ft of galvanized-steel-well-casing-pipe, a new 4.5hp "Pencil Pump", wiring, hardware and misc electrics — I've had to put-off new kitchen and bathroom flooring for my condo, stripping/refinishing of existing wood flooring, until I recover from that "financial hit". Those 19-year old floors/flooring need "immediate attention", and I'll get to it, perhaps in December or January. Once again, Baby needs new shoes, BTW, and my personal needs take second place. My company comes first, as usual. That's been "the story of my life", for the past 18-19 years. If you've ever owned, or do now own, your own small business, you know exactly what I'm talking about. (((SIGH)))
The local :15sec radio spots were completed, edited — I chose this one, since the website URL would be too difficult for the listener to remember, IMO — and sent out to WSBA-AM & WSOX-FM radio stations, in the York-Lancaster (PA) areas, for airing this week and next. The print ad will run in both the northern Maryland and York (PA) markets, this week and next, plus my corporate website contains all the same information the ad/radio spot have, but in much greater detail. We've already gotten several sign-ups for the Workshops, without any promotion, so I'm hoping the expenditure will augment the overall effort. In fact, I'm "betting the ranch upon it", this year. I'm hoping that many around here will stay home over Labor Day, and spend money with us to do work on their properties, instead of traveling.
I've hired a long-time customer of ours, to work Saturdays & Sundays, starting in September and October, at the front counter computer, to take some of the pressure-off Dad, Jennifer & Bob. Jan will start this coming weekend (August 31st), to learn the software and routines, and perhaps do some retail sale, with its 5% commission bonus, on top of the regular hourly rate. But for now, she's relegated to the front counter computers. Dad, Jennifer & Bob will have to teach her the Synchronic's "CounterPoint POS" software, which should be easy for her to learn; after that, she's free to make the 5% sales commission.
Rev Tom Shelley of Zion Shaffer Lutheran Church, visited me, on Saturday, and since he wasn't wearing his priestly/police garb — Tom's the York County Police Chaplain — I almost didn't recognize him. Sorry, Cousin Tom! I'm always glad to see Cousin Tom, anytime "he's in the neighborhood'. There are some in November, 9:00am Sunday Morning, "Hands-On-Healing" Services which he's recommended to me. Hey, it couldn't hurt! I also have Cousin Tom on the Fall Schedule, for the installation of some "free trees" for his Church's Picnic Grove, some distance from the facility, but which already has a water source. We had to postpone it last Fall, because of Alan's laser eye-surgery. We'll get it done this Fall, I promise, even if I have to get on the backhoe, and install them myself, darnit.
And I will get the Rx for Neurtonin, filled, too. Mom's taking it, and it's helping ameliorate her significant back pain. Right now, I'll try (almost) anything to relieve the daily pain.
After getting home around 4:45pm, Saturday, and feeding the condo cats, I fell asleep on the LR couch, with an ice-pak on my lower back (L5 vert), for almost 3½hrs, and retired early. On Sunday, I was supposed to go over to Mom & Dad's for Dinner, at 2pm, but my back/calf/ankle/foot was hurting so badly, that I stayed home with the ice-paks and aspirin. No food shopping; nuttin' at all. It was not a good day, IMO. Nothing except ice-paks, all-day long.
When I got up at 7am on Monday, I felt sick, as though I had a touch of the intestinal flu, so I called Bob, and told him that's I might be in later. After I work-up around 11:30am, I had pain in my back/calf/ankle/foot, but the flu-feeling had subsided, so I drove into work. It was a busy day, catching-up on a pile of messages, customer problems, employee squabbles, site visits and billing. I was glad to close down at 4:15pm, and get home to the condo cats, ice-paks and some rest.
A cold front (in August?) moved through the area on Monday night/Tuesday morning, and at 6am, it was 46°F. Brrrrrrr; I wore a long-sleeved shirt to work, and truly-enjoyed the cool weather. Yikes, at 8:45am, Alan just told me that another well and pump went down, last night! This one's the original 18-year old well, with 12 GPM at 320ft with 1" PVC pipe, so at least we won't need 3 men and a crane; just a portable winch. The plumbers arrived, worked a whole day, pulled it out, re-wired it, and the pump's okay. They also replaced a badly-rusted pipe, and a worn-out, 300gal bladder holding-tank switch, in The Pump House. With the arrival of the rains from TS Fay, on Wednesday evening and Thursday, I'm hoping that the field trees will get sufficient watering, and cool days/eves, so that I can turn-off those zones, and let them go dormant for the year. We'll see.
I picked-up my newest Rx, Neurontin, aka Gabapentin 300mg caps, at the Rite-Aid, in nearby Stewartstown. My OSS doc, Dr Dennis Grolman, said it "might help the right & (now) left foot/ankle pain", although it was reformulated for shingles, in the extremities, several years ago. I don't have shingles, but he said the symptoms were very similar, and that it was worth a try, since I've had 3 epidural, and he won't do any more, for another 2-3mos. The next stop is surgery, and I'm not going there, dammit! So, these meds are probably worth a try. (((sigh)))
So far, we've had 5 people sign-up for this Saturday's "Workshops-", led by my Hardscape Foreman & Mason, Seth, from 9-11AM, on Saturday, August 30th. And several dozen more signed-up for the other Workshops. The print ads are just starting to break, as of Wednesday. And already, there are several people from MD, signing-up for various Workshops. I have put-out press releases for all of the Workshops, 2 weeks ahead of each event, to all newspapers in York, Lancaster, Harford & Baltimore Counties. The :15sec radio spots are running this and next week. The print ads are also running this and next week. Wooooo-Hooooo! It's working, so far, despite the economy and the "Unending Drought From Hell". I'm going to resurrect my corporate newsletter, "Roots & Shoots", over the Winter months, in preparation for Spring's 19th Annual Open House in April 2009, re-do the very effective 6" x 9" postcard mailing to my 7,200 name corporate mailing list, place selective print ads, and run the revised, :15sec Open House radio spots, once again. Also, I'm developing a "tip-in brochure" — a corporate capabilities piece — to tell people about what we can do for them, on so many hardscape/landscape fronts.
What's left of TS/TD Fay, is working its way up the Eastern Seaboard, after making a record landfall 4x in Florida, and is now dumping only spotty amounts of rainfall upon everything in her path. It's not the copious rainfall everyone was hoping for, in the drought period. Since it's moving-up through the Appalachian Mountains, if it's not a massive stormfront, it'll fall apart, fairly quickly. And it looks like Fay is doing just that. What's left of Fay, will be "visiting us" on Thursday, so they predict, but I'm betting she's "played-out" and won't have much moisture, left. With high temps in the upper-60s, it's beginning to feel a lot like October, IMO, and I'm not complaining, one darned bit. Rain; we need fain. I saw the front coming-up from the southwest, just as I was leaving for the day, Wednesday, and it looks life we'll get "something", but Western PA, will get a whole lot more than we will.
I'm amazed: the calls are coming in fast and furious for people signing-up for the September and October Workshops. The ads are running now in both Maryland and in the York area, plus the radio spots are just starting. Wooooo-Soooo! I'm getting fired-up! I wish I could get my Key Staff as excited as I am, darnit.
Things Which Make Your Head Explode™.
Clayton (CA) Mayor Gregory "Shit-for-brains" Manning (IDIOT-CA), a lowlife, dirtbag, liberal-demokkkRAT scumbag, piece-of-shit, shut down a family's children's veggie stand, for a "lack of permits". In Pennsylvania, if you grow it 100% on your property, you can sell it, roadside; no asinine "permits" needed. But then, the *Peoples' Republik of Kalifornikate*, sure isn't Pennsylvania, IIRC. Manning, who is one of five on the city council, and has served sponged-off that town's monies, for 22 years, said the Lewises spoke to planning officials informally about the variance and were denied, though they were welcome to file a formal application. Hey, Manning: have an aneurysm, and DIE, asshole!
Wow, what a frigging shock & surprise! The corrupt liberal-demokkkRAT Attorney General of Kalifornikate says he won't investigate, due to "insufficient evidence", the blatant and obvious criminal actions of the corrupt liberal-demokkkRAT, lowlife dirtbag, US Sen "Up-Chuckie" Schumer (SCUM-NY), into whether he helped fuel IndyMac Bancorp Inc's collapse, by expressing concerns leaking a classified letter about the mortgage lender's soundness, triggering a "run on the bank". And the FDIC had to *step-in and bail them out*, with billions of US Taxpayers' hard-earned dollars. Where's John Hinckley when the country really needs him?
How can the liberal idiots in the Youth Baseball League of New Haven (CT), tell a 9-year old kid with a 40-mph fastball, that he's "too good" to pitch, and disband his team, and redistribute the players to other teams? WTF? His pitches are "just too fast"? WTF! Jericho Scott is an example the other kids should look-up to, and try to emulate. He's got talent, and a lot of it. The kid's mother, should STFU and stay out of it; threatening others isn't the smart move, dumbassed, loudmouth bitch. Let the lawyers handle it.
Thousands-of-US airlines delayed & grounded, by "something", on Tuesday? FAA computer problems? A "glitch"? Yeah, sure. Total bullshit. They were hacked by Chinks or Soviets, IMO, dammit! Wake-up, folks.
I Accuse The lib-dem Filth of Treason, Sedition & Sabotage!
Yes, the corrupt, lying, filthy dirtbag, treasonous, seditious, liberal-demokkkRAT garbage, LIED, LIED, LIED and AIDED & ABETTED THE muslim/islamic/arab ENEMY, IN A TIME OF WAR, by attacking the President of The United States of America. I therefore, call for their due-charging, immediate-trial, quick-conviction, righteous-sentencing & summary-execution! All liberal-demokkkRAT filth, in that video, plus scores of other traitors and seditionists in the corrupt, criminal US Congress, NEED EXECUTION, IMO!
No, I didn't watch any of the convention coverage; it's a Hollywood-liberal-scripted, 4-day movie which would sicken me if I did, so I avoided it. I only watch The History Channel, Discovery Channel, Military Channel, Weather Channel, FX-TV, Turner Movies (if something really good's on), and nothing more. The Networks, including FOX, are abject, fetid and festering junk, IMO.
The lib-dem Filth Pollute Denver, Who Richly Deserves It!
Well, not really, as Denver's been polluted, sullied, soiled & completely-ruined, as an Real American City, for the past 35-40 years, IMO. I spent 4-6mos there, back in the late-60s, and it was still a nice place to visit, and live-in. Today, Denver's a festering, fetid shithole of the mental illness, called *liberalism*. It seriously needs a "Chicago Fire" treatment, and complete rebuilding, hopefully with 95% of the subhuman liberal-demokkkRAT, dying outright in the conflagration. The lowlife, dirtbag liberal-demokkkRATs basically "shit-the-bed", when they take-over any city, town or village. It's ruined, and they've done that to Denver, as they've done it to almost countless cities and town, throughout America, effectively turning them into welfare sewers, and turd-world nations, totally-dependent upon the Racist, Bigoted, hate-filled, angry, hostile, "liberal-demokkkRAT Plantation" of handouts, gimmes, gotchas, grabasses and goodbyes.
Whoooooooooooa; fat, bloated, alcoholic, intern-murdering, disgraced, dirtbag filth, US Sen Teddy "Chappaquiddick Swimmer" Kennedy (DRUNK-MA) is scheduled to deliver a speech, on Monday night? He's got brain cancer, and maybe he'll have a scalpel sticking outside of his empty, diseased liberal skull? Ha! Hey, Fat-boy Kennedy-alcoholic: DIE from your well-deserved cancerous tumor, you filthy, lying, scumbag asshole! DIE, pigshit-scumbag!
Well, well, well, racist, bigot, hate-America skank Nigga® bitch, Michelle Obama-Osama-Lama-Ding-Dong, who hates America, Whitey, the US Military and everything else about t5he Nation which gave her the opportunity to succeed in this world, once again spit upon America, as the stinking, filthy bitch has done throughout her ugly "racist career", as Nigga®-boys skank/ho/bitch, IMO. She gets an opening speech at the racist, hate-filled DNC Convention? What a fucking joke! Crawl back in your dark, damp, deep hole, Michelle Obama-Osama-Lama-Ding-Dong bitch!
Disgraced, lowlife dirtbag, subhuman, muslim-islamist-arab-complicit murderer, shit-for-brains, Jimmah Carter-Farter (TERRORIST-SUPPORTER-GA) , should be duly-charged, tried, convicted, sentenced & executed, IMO. KILL HIM! He's anti-Semitic, Jew-hating, murderous-muslim, subhuman filth! "Sister" Helen Prejean is a commie/socialist/rat-bitch PIG! Headshoot the pig-filth!
Scarfaced, zitfaced, pockfaced, empty-headed, lowlife dirtbag, disgraced, do-nothing, Va Gov Markie Warner (SHIT-VA), said that "liberal-demokkkRAT asshole like us, have one chance to get it right, by electing a piece-of-shit, empty-suit Nigga®, to lead America into hell". No, actually he didn't say that, but that's in effect, what the Warner asshole, said. Markie Warner's a steaming turd-boy, who thinks "his star is rising", when in fact, it's flushing down the toilet, like Hitlery Rotten Klintoons and scores of other lib-dem trash, as Real Americans finally get wise to their communism, Marxism, lies, treason, liberalism, deviancy, perversion, sedition and sabotage, as The Enemy Within ™.
No, I didn't watch a minute of that Denver Freak Show; I just couldn't waste the frigging time. The mesmerized, empty-headed, lowlife, wacko scumbags, were just too painful to watch.
Well, well, well, liberal-demokkkRAT, Barry Hussein Obama-Osama-Lama-Ding-Dong (Nigga®-IL) has finally, fatally chosen sack-of-shit, liberal-demokkkRAT, liar, US Sen Joey "The Plagiarist" Biden (HAIRPLUGS-DE), as his running mate, aka VPOTUS. BFD.
Can the shit-for-brains, liberal-RINO-McCain-Republicans, "take advantage of the gift"? Or are they going to "snatch another defeat from the jaws of victory", as they are wont to do, so many times in their past? I'm betting that the McCain&Co liberal RINO-GOPers, fuck it up, as usual. All they have to do is not say anything stoooopid! Can they simply do just that?
It boggles the rational mind, that the liberal-demokkkRATs would even allow a subhuman piece-of-lowlife, mentally-ill, Ohio US Rep Dennis Kucinich (RETARD-OH), to even address that liberal-demokkkRAT convention of liberal-demokkkRAT idiots, morons, lowlifes and cretins, IMO. It's a true measure of the DNC's incompetence and idiocy, to permit that Kucinich-Filth, out of his darkened cell room, to confront the abnormal human beings, at the liberal-demokkkRAT Convention.
You phony, psychopathic, mentally-ill, obsessive-compulsive, dumbassed lying bitch, Hitlery Rotten Clintoon! Even your 'supporters' see through your copious lies and lib-dem party bullshit: they're voting for McCain! I understand that you've had a 'political gun to your empty, head', and that they have free-reign to do/say/vote as they wish, and will do so.
Global Warming BS™.
Have you seen this video: "BBC: The Great Global Warming Swindle"? It was outright-banned from leftist, hate-filled, dirtbag lowlife scumbags, Google.com's and YouTube.com's websites, by the mentally-ill, left-wing, global warming idiot wackos, but I've preserved it, for posterity, aka you, me and *ours*. Watch, be informed and download it for others to see. It's on my corporate server, and will stay there, BTW.
Here's everything you need to know about Global Warming, and why it's a good thing.
The "Greenhouse Effect" is a natural and valuable phenomenon, without which, the planet would be uninhabitable. Global Warming, at least in recent times, is real. CO2 is not a significant greenhouse gas; 95% of the contribution is due to Water Vapor. Man's contribution to Greenhouse Gasses is relatively insignificant. We didn't cause the recent Global Warming and we cannot stop it. Solar Activity appears to be the principal driver for Climate Change. CO2 is a useful trace gas in the atmosphere, and the planet would actually benefit by having more, not less of it, because it is not a driver for Global Warming and would enrich our vegetation, yielding better crops to feed the expanding population. CO2 is not causing global warming, in fact, CO2 is lagging temperature change in all reliable datasets. The cart is not pulling the donkey. Wake-up, folks.
Here's a listing of The Best Global Warming Videos on the Internet.
Hey, fat, shit-for-brains, bloated, liar, huckster, fraud, criminal, charlatan, scumbag, loser, disgraced ex-VP AlGoreBore (LIAR-TN), is back using $300 million of OPM (Other Peoples' Money) to promote his Global Warming Bullshit, after the worst Winter in over 100 years. Welcome back, fatso huckster asswipe, AlGoreBore!
Roger Revelle of Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Harvard University and University of California San Diego, spits on the lying scumbag, AlGoreBore. My, my, oh my. (((snicker)))
There's another "ice age" coming, not the AlGoreBoreLiar 'glob-bull warming' crap. Fuck you, AlGoreBoreAsshole!
Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica collapses in 2002 = Glo-bullshit Warming? Fuck you, AlGoreBoreAsshole!
Read this idiocy. Go ahead; I'll wait.
AlGoreBore's "hypocrisy"? See it right here!
You need to watch this 30 minute film; it's an eye-opener if you think that we're running out of crude oil, and that America has no reserves. We have more oil and natural gas in Alaska alone, than all the rest of the world's known reserves, COMBINED! Grab an adult beverage, and watch it.
Better get out your Winter coats, 'snuggies', wool socks and snow shovels, as it seems we've got an 80-year "Little Ice Age", on the way. Yawn; no biggie.
Lowlife, Subhuman Filth/Garbage/Trash Shit™.
There's no bigger criminal, treasonous, hate-America, corrupt, piece-of-lowlife-shit in the US Congress, than US Sen "Chuckie" Schumer (FILTH-NY), and he's finally been caught: he triggered the IndyMac Bancorp Inc bank's collapse, by releasing confidential information. It would be most interesting to know whether Schumer has any Wall Street Hedge Fund friends, who were "short-selling" (short selling) the now-failed and worthless, IndyMac shares. I'm betting that he did and was complicit in lleaking a confidential memo he wasn't allowed to have, causing a "run on the bank", which tossed a number of employees on to the street and greatly-benefited the "shorts" of his friends. Schumer is "in bed" with his Wall Street Hedge Fund manager friends, and needs to go to prison. Schumer's narcissism and corrupt ego, needs to be "nipped in the bud", by a 450lb "cellmate", who repeatedly rapes & beats him nightly; hopefully, to death, IMO. "Jailhouse Justice" is what the Schumer-scum-filth, richly deserves! Schumer is another piece of subhuman, corrupt liberal-demokkkRAT filth.
Some People Just Need Killing™.
It's not my intention to be the judge here &#8212; that God's "job" &#8212; but rather to "hasten the meeting" so that He can send the following subhuman filth to the "Fires of Hell", "River or Lake of Sulphur", or whatever. I'd gladly/happily volunteer, at no cost to any of my Hard-Working, Fellow US Taxpayers, to gladly/gleefully-headshoot these murderous, lowlife dirtbags and rid American Society's innocents (especially our precious children and the elderly) of them, once-and-for-all. And yes, I'd rather see one innocent man convicted and executed, than 10 guilty freed, to rob, rape and murder again.
Fat, bloated, sicko, deviant, degenerate liberal-demokkkRAT pig, subhuman piece-of-shit, Bernie Ward, a treasonous San Fran-Sicko liberal-demokkkRAT radio scumbag, is being sentenced for such perversion of child pornography, that it boggles the rational, sentient human mind. Go ahead and read it; I'll wait. Ward deserves to be summarily killed, IMO. He's lowlife, subhuman filth! KILL HIM in prison, GP (general population prisoners) folks!
Next to the Ward pedophile, Joseph Edward Duncan III needs summary *extended-torture, extended-brutalization & s-l-o-w-killing*, IMO! Read what this subhuman piece-of-filth did to a 9-year old boy. Go ahead; I'll wait. Had enough of that murderous, subhuman's actions? Look at the "dirty-smirk on that subhuman murderer's face"! He IT NEEDS KILLING! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! Kill the MF-ing, subhuman, garbage/trash/shit/scum filth! I want the first .45cal shot! And he smirked when the jury read the death sentence; go figure! KILL HIM! KILL HIM! KILL HIM!
An Arapaho County Jail inmate, Marc Harold Ramsey, 39, was charged in federal court Friday with mailing a threatening letter to US Sen John McCain's (RINO-AZ) Denver, Colorado, campaign office, according to the US Attorney's office in Denver. Buh-bye, liberal-demokkkRAT, asshole! KILL HIM!
Jump The Shark™.
Q: What is jumping the shark? A: That particular moment when you realize your favorite television program is going downhill, and fast. Q: Okay, but why do they call it "jumping the shark"? A: The phrase refers to an episode of "Happy Days" when Fonzie actually jumps over a shark on his motorcycle. Q: How can I tell when a television program has jumped the shark? A: When the same character is played by a different actor. When a character "dies." When a child actor hits puberty. When someone gives birth. When someone gets married. When two love interests finally "do it." The list goes on. These are all desperate ploys, and they all augur imminent doom. No further questions, please.