June 6th, 2008
icoined a previously-never existed, never-heard and never-used word, just last week. And perhaps added it to the Web's lexicon of weird words and phrases, of which there are many. Gnatmeat. Here's the full-backgrounder on how and why it all happened, which made for a miserable, aggravating 2-3 week ordeal, at work.
Since ridding myself of an aging Logitech® corded keyboard and corded mouse, I purchased 2 new Logitech Cordless Desktop® MX™ 3200 Laser mouse and keyboard sets; one for the condo and one for my office. I installed the software and had no problems for weeks, until a week ago at the office's RAID 0 machine. It went from good to bad to worse, in a matter of seconds.
The mouse began acting erratically, fighting my every hand direction, wiggling/wobbling-wildly instead of going in a straight, smooth line to the target/object. Working on LSCP Estimates/LSCP Billing spreadsheets in MS-Works®, became all but impossible, when I struggled to get a specific cell highlighted, just to edit/enter a formula. Moving the pointer across the screen from one point to another, was difficult, at best. If I didn't have carpal tunnel disease before that erratic/wobbly mouse pointer problem, I did afterward. I re-set the preferences to factory default, uninstalled/reinstalled the software, downloaded/installed an updated driver set, copied the preferences from the condo's uber-fast RAID 0+1 machine and entered them into the office software, switched the batteries around, put-in new batteries, wiped the optical sensor's glass facade and entire bottom of the mouse, disconnected/reconnected from the USB port; hell, I tried everything. This problem's kicked my butt. Okay, time for a new mouse and a clean re-start to it all. There's only so much aggravation that I can take, from an inanimate object, such as a recalcitrant mouse, dammit.
I found a solo mouse online, at the Circuit City® in East York, just south of my condo. Just $59.99, but heck, this one's only 4-5 weeks old. WTF could be wrong with it, so darned quickly? I went back to Logitech®'s website and poked around the MX600's page, went to Support, found a "troubleshooting guide", did a search for "erratic mouse pointer", and read that they recommended using a Q-Tip® to swab the optical sensor's lens, using warm water, no solvents, on a frequent basis. It appears that everything hinges on that itty-bitty piece of glass being so clean/clear/crisp, or nothing works correctly, no matter what other things are tried to correct the "erratic pointer behavior". Okay; makes sense.
So I went out to GH-1, got 2 Q-Tip®s, and soaked one's cotton end with warm water, swabbed the optical sensor's cavity around and around, then reversed the motion, and flipped the Q-Tip® around, and dried it thoroughly. Hmmmm, there was a weird looking "brown thing" on the dried end's tip. Using my hand-held, large magnifying glass, which I've used to diagnose everything from plant diseases to insect infestations, and remove splinters from kids' fingers, I saw a "mummified gnat" on the cotton. It'd been apparently wedged into the optical sensor's recessed hole's round edge, then the water loosened it up, and it came out on the dry swab end. I must have "run-over" the critter while he was napping on my mousepad, and
he it got sucked-up into the sensor's port. Damn; just damn.
I had a piece/chunk/bit of "gnatmeat®" lodged in my mouse! Ha! Who'da thunk it?
I put the mouse back down on mousepad, and fricking viola!, it worked just fine-and-dandy! Un-fricking-believable. Dancing a jig and shouting for joy, was out of the question, as I had employees and customers in the store, so I just grinned and gloated.
While I was in a victorious mood, I also remembered that my monitor's images were doing some strange things, in MS-Works®, MS-Word®, MS-Excel® and some other browser apps. Suddenly, the page's type size would jump from 100% to 150%, 200%, 300%, or go downward to "2-pt Eyestrain Condensed™", in the blink of an eye, seemingly without me doing anything.
The Logitech Cordless Desktop® MX™ 3200 Laser mouse and keyboard set, has a Flash "Product Tour" option, which shows the specific "Dynamic Search & Zoom" feature, which explains what's been happening when I rested/touched my left pinky on the 2" DS&Z groove. There's also 5 buttons next to it, for various functions, too. I'm working on them, as well. The old keyboard I'd ditched didn't have that "feature", and I'd used the L/S edge of the keyboard for a resting point; not so with this new unit. Just touch that groove, and "things happen" on the monitor's screen, immediately. Prior to finding this so-called feature, I'd spent countless minutes going through drop-down menus, help topics and gnashing teeth, when the screen anomalies happened, which was during my work day. Net, net: there are just too many functions and buttons on that keyboard and mouse, IMO. I just don't need them, and haven't yet found out how to disable the ones which I don't use or want. Yes, I'm working on it.
With a new word — gnatmeat® — added to my vast personal vocabulary (7 years of Latin; 1 year of Classical Greek), and soon to the Web's eternal lexicon (when the "bots" pick it up and it becomes part of the Google® search function), I'd had enough for the day. If I didn't have carpal tunnel in my right hand/arm before this, then I did, by now.
Around The Garden Center™.
A few days ago, I noticed a strange smell "about me": dog urine. Dog urine? It happened when I was driving in my Jeep, with the floor heater on, and the warm air brought that "fragrant smell" to my nose. (I'm sure my employees and customers noticed it, too.) Since I have two condo cats, who poop/pee in special cat liter boxes in the basement, and nowhere else, I knew it wasn't originating from that place. Or from me. It had to be from some recent LSCP site visits to various customers' homes, who have animals of the "doggie persuasion", and I'd either stepped into fresh pools of it, or into older pools with wet shoes from morning dew (on the grass moisture; not "do-do"). In either case, I had "the smell". Ditto, with a few well-hidden piles of doggie-poop, which I'd stepped-in, over the past few weeks. I'd then spent some evening hours with an old toothbrush, clorox, citrus cleaner and hot water, trying to get my treasured Bass® "Dirty Bucks®", which I'd paid $125/pair for, cleaned-off. After the "doggie urine invasion", I ordered another 2 pairs, at a discounted $63/ea-pr, and will trash (burn pile candidates) the current pair I've worn, after getting the replacements. I'm thinking I should switch to $10 rubber galoshes, which can be either hosed-off, or thrown away and replaced quickly. Phew on all that. WTF can't people clean-up their doggies' messes? I could tell you stories about yards I've visited... nevermind.
After doing a long-term, comparative cost-profit analysis in numerous areas of JSGC&N's existing profit centers, I've concluded that we're simply lacking the retail sales component, and badly-needed, increased profit margins in all other areas, to a better corporate bottom line result. I talked this over with several of my retail-oriented Key Staff, last Friday morning, and concluded that 1) we should re-open on Sundays beginning in September, 2) we should increase our market penetration of Maryland's elite gardening consumers through targeted advertising/marketing, 3) we should resurrect our past, very successful Saturday Workshops/Seminars, 4) we should focus on Drip Irrigation Systems in both in-store retail displays, our website page, and in all near-future print/electronic advertising, 5) highlight our combined years of expertise in horticulture (over 230yrs), and 6) revise our profit margins in all areas, to accommodate greatly-increasing fixed costs in insurance, utilities, salaries, products, fuel, taxes, taxes, taxes etc. I have no choice but to do so, BTW. Additionally, on Conclusion #1: numerous customer have asked why we're no longer open on Sundays, many have asked that we re-open on Sunday, and just about all other regional garden centers are open on Sundays, a trend I started, back in 1991.
The severe t-storm warnings were out early on Saturday morning, and my Weather Channel Bug in the office/front counter computers' tray, was sounding all kinds of alarms. The first line of storms hit as 20-30 customers were in the nursery and GH areas; everyone made it into the Main Bldg, to wait it out or stayed in the GHs. Then, the first tornado watch was issued at 11am. Earlier that morning, I'd unplugged all 4 of the outdoor irrigation controller boxes, to protect against lightening strikes on the $300 (each) motherboards. I actually forbade several customers from walking around the nursery areas with any of my metal-shaft courtesy umbrellas, due to the huge lightening/thunderstorms passing through at higher-than-normal speeds. Another Tornado Warning was posted at 1pm for northern Maryland and the DC areas, and lasted until 5pm; fortunately everything except the torrential downpours went south of us, into Maryland and Delaware, and missed us completely. I closed down at 3:30pm, and went home to two hungry condo cats, and a list of chores, which needing doing.
After sleeping-in until 9, doing some food shopping, I was in my office by 11:30 on Sunday, trying to get caught-up on a pile of LSCP Estimates from James, my Staff LSCP Designer. A 20-minute thunderstorm, replete with rain and hail blew through early in the afternoon, and the temp dropped 11°F, in just a few minutes. I cleaned the bathroom, took a tub of dirty dishes home to wash, swept the office floor, worked on 6 estimates — completed 4 into 2 presentation package mailings — and stopped at a customer's on the way home, to reassess some lscp/ lscp maintenance numbers for their job. All in all, a nicely-productive day.
I spent the evening working on my corp site's website's pages, while letting Norton SystemWorks 2005 Defrag/Optimize work in the background, doing what needed to be done to my RAID 0+1 (4 Sata 250Gb HDs) machine, to make it run more efficiently . It'd been a couple of weeks since I did that defragging/optimizing routine, which I used to do every week, and the HD looked like a trainwreck. I do the same thing to all 3 GC&N computers, weekly.
Monday and Tuesday were busy days, with several lscp-site visits, plenty of lscp estimates, walk-in retail customers needing help, several new lscp documents needing creating and a couple of other existing documents, needing updating, numerous corporate website pages needing either revisions, rebuilding or a completely new re-design. I have 7 of them, underway, right now. Some of them I keep on my Lexar Flashdrive and carry back-and-forth, from work to home; others, I leave on either the Office RAID 0 or the condo's RAID 0+1 machines, and work on them, in those specific places. I watched the severe t-storms move-in from Ohio and Indiana, to WVa and Penna, and bwgin to ruin our Wednesday workday. Oh well, "that's why God put erasers on pencils and a delete button on a keyboard©", isn't it? Well, isn't it?, dammit! Nevermind.
On Tuesday, James and I stopped at Greenspring Nursery, in Jarrettsville, MD, to get some boulders (the one we'd chosen from out stock, had been used for another job) chosen for this week's lscp jobs, and I once again met-up with my old friend, Tom Busse, whom I hadn't seen/hard from, in almost 10 years. It was nice catching-up. Tom's new-and-improved garden center/nursery/stone operation, is superb, IMO. I was impressed and that takes a lot of doing. The lovely ladies who work for him, did it all, he admits, and they're to be hugely-commended for their efforts. Good to see that he's doing well.
Violent t-storms poured-through this area, on Tuesday evening, bringing with them another 1¼ - 1¾" of rainfall, which just ruined our Wednesday lscp jobsite, making it too wet to get even our 1500lb John Deere Tractor 70 on to, let alone a 2¼ ton John Deere 317 SkidLoader on to the site, without doing doing many thousands of dollars of damage. It was still raining when I got-up at 4am, Wednesday, and by then, I saw 1¼" in the condo's rain gauge, and another ½" in the GC&N's rain gauge. I had back pain, so I went back to sleep with the heating pad, for another 3hrs. That worked. After getting into the office around 8:30am, I called the customer, explained the soggy dilemma, and rescheduled them to next week, or until weather permits and their site dries-out. Doing lawn damage to a jobsite isn't smart, so I prefer to wait until conditions are right to get in, do the work, and get out without damage. Makes sense to me; always has.
All day Wednesday we had more violent t-storms and lots of rain, another 1¼", and our weekly landscape work schedule was completely blown-out-of-the-water. Folks in Mary and Virginia really got hit hard with the storms. I scrambled to shift jobs around, plug holes, and move-up later jobs into immediate work, just to keep things moving along. Plus, we had 4 of 6 landscapers calling-in "sick", at once. As I've said before, many times, one day of rain = 2 days of schedule disruption for that job, and for all of the jobs immediately following it. I sat down with Seth, my HSCP (hardscape) Foreman, and reviewed his jobs since he's on vacation next week. I'll review the same schedule with my Key Staff — my LSCP & HSCP Foremen, LSCP Designer, Horticulturalist-GH-Nursery Manager, Ass't GH-Nursery Manager — tomorrow, during our regurlarly-scheduled Key Staff Meeting, which we've not had for the past two weeks; hence part of the SNAFU on weather-related scheduling problems.
I spent the entire day, Thursday, at my condo; never even got into work. I had the HVAC-plumbing company installer, from R.E Sanders Co, in on Thursday morning at 9am, to finish-up installing the Rheem® Tankless Water Heater, which he started two weeks ago, but had to curtail, due to special exhaust-vent fabrication requirements. The installer, Randy, was an old friend and lscp/water garden customer of mine, going back some 15yrs, and his company, which had done work for my office's restroom, had been recently bought-out by R.E. Sanders. He figured it'd be done inside of 3-4hrs. It wasn't after 7½hrs. A critical piece of stainless ductwork was missing (west of us in Hanover, PA), and they'd have to go get it and finish-up here, next week. He also found that my (builder-installed 19yrs ago) pressure-reducing valve was faulty, allowing the city water co's water to come in at 160psi — it should have been reduced to 50psi by the valve — which probably damaged the water heater and caused it to fail (though 19yrs is a long life for a tank WH unit), definitely killed the expansion tank, and caused some commode refilling problems, over the past 1-2yrs. I'm hoping they'll be back early next week, and we can get this whole installation, finalized. R.E. Sander and I go way back to 1990, when young Tom did the work on the nascent GC&N Complex, and they've done all my well and plumbing work, since, with Randy's old company, doing the restroom duties. As a combined force, they're exceptionally trustworthy and reliable, and I'd recommend them to everyone in the York (PA) area.
The hot and steamy Summer weather is finally here: upper-80s/low-90s are settling-into the region, high humidity, and one of my most un-favorite times of the year (the other being Winter), is upon us. Schools are letting-out this and next week, and local kids will be looking for work. Unfortunately, our business traditionally slows down, and is doing even more so due to the economy and gas prices, so we won't be hiring "Summer help", as we've done in previous years. In fact, I'll probably be laying-off my landscape "B-Team" of at least 3-4 men, in early July. And as with last year, the rest of us will be taking "vacations" during July and August, if work doesn't start coming in. I particularly despise this time of the year, for that distasteful problem. (((sigh)))
Fonts For You™.
Many Journal entries are best viewed in the Charrington Roughened and the Orlando typefaces. You may already have Century Gothic on your Windows-XP machine, and that's occasionally used for the body copy or subheads, but grab it anyway! They're free from my website. Grab 'em! Save them to your HD, and install to C:/Windows/Fonts folder, thru your WIN®-XP® Control Panel > Fonts > File > Install New Font. Simple stuff; just takes a few minutes.
Here are a few others, which my Journal will be written-in during the coming weeks/months/years: Papyrus and Acoustic Bass, and Caesar Regular and Carleton and Charrington Strewn, Mistral and Catherine. Get and install them, and see how much nicer these pages are to view and read. Plus, they add to your repertoiré of available fonts in MS-Word®, as WIN®-XP® System Fonts, so you can use them for your daily documents in MS-Word etc.
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.
There just isn't any choice in November's General Election. McCain it is.
I'm truly enjoying watching the idiotic, lowlife, dirtbag liberal-demokkkRATs eat their own young, tear themselves up, and make a public spectacle of their flawed, rigged, corrupt process. The "white criminal bitch v racist nigger scumbag" saga, continues.
Too little, too late racist nigger Obama-Osama-lama-Ding-Dong filthy sambo scumbag! That you're a racist, Leninist, socialist empty-suit bigot, is well-known, and now by everyone, porch-monkey, Nigga© boy. Crawl back into your stinking, wet, fungus-filled hole, dirtbag Barry.
Lowlife, Subhuman Filth™.
Too damned bad: the lowlife dirtbag piece-of-shit, alcoholic, America-hating, intern-murdering US Sen Teddy "Fat Boy" Kennedy (TRAITOR-MA), "successfully undergoes surgery". I was hoping he'd DIE on the table, and spare this hurting Nation, anymore of his treason, lies, sabotage and sedition. I'm still wondering that since the Kennedy-scum has no discernible brain-matter, how did it get cancer, and how did they operate on an empty skull? Anyway, the news ruined my week/month/year. (((sigh))) All Kennedys are subhuman lowlife liberal treasonous garbage, IMO.White trash, lowlife subhuman sodomite filth,
Cowardly punk, liar, alcoholic, drug-addicted, woman-beater, wife-abuser, piece-of-shit US Congressman from Virginia, Jimmy "The Moron" Moran (IDIOT-VA) has a so-called "son"? Most likely, the fugly skank bitch, "Mrs Moron"
sat on his toilet seat-deposited semen, and got herself knocked-up, accidentally. Nevermind. Well anyway, Jimmy Jr is a lowlife cretinous moron, in the true sense of the word. Watch him "go nuts", and decide for yourself. The kid's a grinning, slobbering, mentally-ill asshole, like his old man, needs thorazine and electro-shock, and should be locked away in an attic.
Some People Just Need Killing™.
Ahhhhhhhhhh, Scotty-The-Traitor McClellan? Where's *John Hinckley* when the Nation really needs him? Headshoot the lying, Soros-funded, subhuman lowlife, liberal-demokkkRAT fucking scumbag, John. Right between his eyes! Brains/blood on the concrete.
Hey, Johnny-boy: while you're out and about, and before they come get you, how about killing Georgie-the-asshole Soros, too? He's needed killing for the past 8-15 years, IMO. Her's $1 to get you started, and a box of 7.62 x 51mm in .308cal NATO FMJ ball ammo.
IMO, liberals, liberal-demokkkRATs and all progressives, need summary charging, trial, sentencing and killing. All traitors, seditionists and saboteurs, need immediate killing/headshots to rid American Society of such filth/crap/garbage/shit/junk/trash/refuse, IMO. KILL THEM ALL!
NO! This subhuman muslim-islamist-sandnigger-pigfucker piece-of-pigshit, Naveed Haq, 32, needs a bullet in his hate-filled, fat head, dammit! He's guilty in my book; KILL HIM! Not a fucking mistrial verdict! What the fuck's wrong with this legal system? KILL THE FUCKING JURY! Clorox the gene pool, dammit!
Can Wal-Mart save the world? Does San Francisco really want to trash plastic bags? And are scientists truly at work on a machine that "zaps" trash, converting it to pellets and fuel through "plasma gasification"? Dig in to these questions and others on American Public Media's Sustainability page. Dedicated to following "the national and global dialogue over how we use Earth's resources," this treasure trove collects green-related reports from across the radio network's wide berth of programming. If you only have a moment, I recommend leaping-in with "Consumed." This newly-hatched, in-depth report traces the history of buying and selling, and dares to wonder whether this consumer society of ours has a limited life span. As we race through the biggest shopping days of the year, that question may be the most critical of all. WARNING: this is a wacko-eco-green, tree-hugger, save-the-world-at-any-cost site, and may upset your Conservative stomach, with its faulty conclusions, so bring a box of Maalox, and a 30-year-old single-malt Scotch along, just in case it does. (((heh))) But there are a few worthwhile nuggets here, among the liberal BS. Be prepared to sort them out, from the chaff.