June 14, 1996
When I was a kid growing up in Arlington Heights, Illinois, time seemed to take forever. I thought there were too many minutes in an hour, too many hours in a day, too many days in a week, too many weeks in a month, too many... you get the idea.
At 46 now, there aren't enough minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or years to go around anymore. It all seems to go too fast. Not enough time to get it all done. Or is it that there's just more to do in these later years?
Of course it's the latter: more to do, much more. But what is worth doing? A setting of priorities is in order more so now than ever to accomplish the worthwhile, and let the secondary and tertiary things slide along until there's time. But if there's no time, how much falls through the cracks? Lots, probably.
I've found myself hurriedly getting the priorities finished so I'll have some time for other stuff. Like things I enjoy that I just haven't had time for recently. Like watching (no time) TV; since I don't watch it anymore at home, whenever I do get a chance, it becomes a real treat. Or playing (no time) with my cats is something I enjoy. Or reading (no time) the timeless romantic poetry of Percy Bysshe Shelley or the stories ("Frankenstein") of Mary Shelley, two of my ancestors. Or sitting (no time) in front of my fireplace listening (no time) to my Bang & Olufsen stereo system. Or taking (no time) a short vacation from work. Or going (no time) on a date. Or walking (no time) through the woods listening (no time) to wildlife sounds. Or fishing (no time) for something and catching (no time) nothing. Or whatever else it might be that I don't have time for.
Time To Make Time.
The old saying, "Take some time to smell the roses..." is sage advice. Things can happen at a breakneck pace and be all-consuming if we let them. So I decided to make some time for the things I used to enjoy.
Instead of the 18-20 hour days I've been working for the past six years, I've cut back to 13 hour stints, still seven days per week; the extra hours are funneled into more sleep and a project to work on, such as gardening (hey, that's a novel idea!) or physical improvements to my condominium, or even something new around the Garden Center. And I'm trying to get out of here one or two evenings per week to meet some friends for dinner, though that's not always possible in this horrendously-busy spring season. Anything to break the usual routine and pace. So far it's working moderately well.
Relaxing On The Web.
I've also started doing something to relax that I haven't done in a long, long time:surfing around the InterNet for interesting WebSites. I'm again leaving invitations to link to my WebSite at all the other worthy places of interest.
I dropped by Alta Vista, the notable search engine and found my WebSite had been scanned and indexed by their robot, Spider. It was kind of funny seeing so many references to me; actually over 100 listings is kind of overwhack, though.
Then I tried Infoseek, another of the venerable search tools and also found us coming up first under Garden Centers. Lycos also turned a reference to us in the search. Excite!, a relative newcomer to the search field, had us listed. And probably the most venerable search engine of all, Yahoo gave us a big listing too.
Anything related to gardens, garden centers or gardening turns up references to my Pages. Cool.
Rain, Rain Go Away.
It seems that the more momentum we get up, the more foul weather we run into and it slows us down. The crews do their best in the mud, but there comes a point when I have to call it off before damage is done to a customer's property from the machinery and people. With all the violent thunderstorms rolling across the area daily, it's difficult to maintain the pace we've set.
When jobs are so tightly scheduled, every day's delay on the front end from weather or other situations causes a 3-5 day delay on the back end where other jobs are waiting. Most people don't understand this slop factor; it's akin to Murphy's Law, in that whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
The calls are still coming in at the rate of 8-9 each day for new landscape jobs and spring (hey, it's summer already!) maintenance work on exsiting properties. Being already booked into October for work, all I can do is put people on a list and work them in as time permits. I've never seen it so busy in my six years of business.
One bright note: on Friday, I met with the principle attorney from one of central Pennsylvania's most prestigious law firms and he awarded us a $40,000+ landscape job solely upon our reputation. It seems that several members of his law firm had recommended us as, "...the very best around." After meeting with him and seeing the scope of the project on his 200-year old historical home, I was very pleased again that our reputation had preceeded us in this instance. My sincere thanks to the people who referred us!
The Coolest Software Yet.
Last week, I found myself reading c|net's review of the Best InterNet Software for 1995. PointCast Network was the clear and overall winner with reviews that raved about it's ability to turn your monitor into CNN right there in your office. I had to see that. After visiting PointCast , I downloaded and installed their version 1.0 of PCN in about 9 minutes; it's not a large monster like some software offered on the Web. With a 28.8 modem, it went quickly.
After setting preferences and options, I hit the update assom and, miracle of miracles, everything I needed and wanted to know about national and international news, weather, politics, stocks etc was right there on my screen, including a screensaver that lets you close out AfterDark and save some RAM. There's also some annoying advertising thingys zipping around the screen, but that's how they pay for this stuff and why it's free. Besides, that's part of life on the Web these days; get used to it. If you don't get this free piece of software, you're missing out on something very, very exciting!
Just in case you're spending way too much time on the Web, here's a place to go and detoxify before you get back into reality. It's called the Web Addicts Detox Center, for the best medical service on the InterNet.
They'll help you get all the pixels and icons out of your blood so you can assimilate normally back into society without that glassy stare normally associated with Web Addicts. They'll even help to therapeutically re-shape your mouse hand and fingers into something you can again use to shake hands with semi-normally, instead of that useless stump hanging on the end of your arm. It's all very, very confidential on the Web; of course, no one will ever know you've got a problem. Heh, heh, heh...
After looking back through numerous entries in my weekly Journal, I noticed an air of complaining about things: the lousy weather, not enough help, too much work and on and on. Enough of that shit. I'm tired of my own harping about stuff. And you must be too.
Last night, Thursday, I finally took some time off, at the urging of a friend, Jeff Horn and went to see a concert at The Merriweather Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland, just south of Baltimore. The Moody Blues. Row 14. Right section. Wow. Double wow! It's been a long while since I've been to a concert of this caliber. Woodstock in '69, actually. The Woodstock, not that phony 25-year anniversary junk one they had a few years ago.
It is with very fond memories that I recall the 60s and 70s; both decades of a simpler and easier time in my life. My music of choice was, of course, rock & roll, and I had started listening to the blues and jazz as well. Then along came my awareness of the Moody Blues. I was captured by their rich music and languid lyrics.
The Moodys are, from left to right, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Ray Thomas, and Graeme Edge. Mike Pinder, the founder and original Moody is not pictured at the right.
Oh, they had been around for a while even before I discovered them; they were a band of world-renown talent in Europe since the mid-60s, just making headway in The States. The late 60s saw their star begin to rise. And it would continue for 30+ years, making them one of the longest-lived bands in the history of music.
I first saw The Moody Blues in concert in Buffalo, in the early 70s; 1973 or 1974 I think it was. I was engaged to a girl from Niagara Falls and we went with some friends to Veteran's Auditorium for a blustery winter's evening concert. As usual, it was
magnificent. But after the 4-hour concert and obligatory encores had ended, we found that it had snowed almost 14" and getting back to Niagara Falls was almost impossible. I seem to remember that we spent most of the night driving very, very slowly behind snowplows toward the Falls. What a time.
The next 10-15 years saw me get away from music of the 60s and 70s and enjoy classical, jazz and blues. Occasionally, I would hear some on the radio, but my taste in music had changed direction. Not until recently, did I discover or re-discover The Moody Blues, James Taylor, Santanna and so many groups that I had listened to and enjoyed in a previous lifetime. The four guys in the group are getting a little older and more grey, as we all are; heck, it's only 30 years later.
I brought a bottle of 1982 Mouton-Rothschild Cabernet along to share with the group of guys that I went with; we were all without dates for the evening and the comradery was good. We had a fine dinner at an outdoor cafe overlooking an inland lake. If there was ever a time that I needed a break from things at The Garden Center & Nursery and a short trip down Nostalgia Lane, it was right now. Thanks Jeff, for the invitation and great seats!
Oh yes, the concert was awesome!
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