June 20th, 2008
Not only were we inundated with excessive heat and (Heat Index), a mere week ago, last "Friday The 13th", sure lived-up to its unlucky namesake. I slept-in an extra couple of hours, due to back pain on Friday morning, and when I rolled into work around 8:30am, the entire Winterstown-Rinely-Crossroads-Felton area was without electrical power. No power; remember that simple phrase. Fortunately, it was only 64°F and the greenhouses hadn't begun heating-up, yet. Jennifer & Bob had called Met-Ed Electric Co, and were told it'd be a "couple of hours" until power was restored. I noticed, on the way in, that the local Winterstown Fire Dept had been "called-out", as the 4 fire engine/ambulance bays were empty. Something big was going on, I'm guessing.
No power. Nothing works. Dead quiet. No power. Dead in the water. Nothing. Eerily quiet. So I went down to Stewartstown for some gas, milk, cigs, and lunchmeat for sandwiches. One of the Stewartstown FD guys in the grocery store asked me if we'd had a blackout at the GC&N Complex, and that he'd heard it was a vehicle which had hit a phone pole, taking the powerline down with it. Swell. I drove back to the office, around the 20-acre complex and kind of enjoyed the quietude. The birds were very audible; so were the frogs. No power. Getting warmer by the minute. I went through the eerily-silent greenhouses, and checked the thermostats: 87°F and rising. Jennifer & Bob had propped-open the massive fans' louvers, opened all doors and other possible entrances, and with a south-to-north breeze, at least the plants weren't suffering, yet. No power.
What to do, what to do? Hells bells, I don't play crossword puzzles, don't knit, don't play solitaire, don't have a Rubik's Cube game; basically, I don't have the patience to waste time by just doing nothing and passing time, for the sake of passing time. My 164 IQ (1964 tested) isn't capable of idling in neutral, except "partially" at sleep, and even then, it races in a vast, single-spaced, formatted script/text and glorious Technicolor display, in a thousand different directions. By now, it's 10:45am, and still no power. 79°F outdoors; the GHs were at 92°F and quickly rising. No power.
I drove around the nearby major roads and many of the side roads, looking for an accident site. No power. The Winterstown FD was buttoned-up and the volunteers' vehicles, gone, as I drove back through to the 20-acre Complex. I figured that Met-Ed Electric Co had it under control by now, and it'd be over with a few minutes. No power. Dammit. By the time I'd gotten back around 11:30, it was getting hot: 82°F outdoors; the GHs were at 101°F and quickly rising. No power.
At a certain point-in-time, I'd have to decide whether to begin cutting-off the 6-mil, double-poly (plastic film) coverings, on the greenhouses to ventilate them, before the plant materials literally begins to burn-up and we lose tens-of-thousands of dollars in inventory. The cost of labor to do that, plus the cost of re-covering the 7 GHs (the poly film is petroleum-based and getting more expensive by the day's bbl of oil cost rise), would almost be a wash, yet the thought of losing that much prime plant material, is abhorrent to me, BTW. And I'm sure it would bother Jennifer & Bob, as well.
I quickly told Alan, my LSCP Foreman, to get the portable Honda 3800w Generator (which I'd bought for the "Y2K holocaust" BS) out, and get it hooked-into the local Met-Ed power grid, ASAP. We were headed for some potentially serious problems in >2 hours, if we didn't get some serious relief. No power. Within 25 minutes, he had it working and we got limited power to either the well-pump or to the 12 massive fans, but not both, at once. No power. So I told him to give us power to each entity, for alternating 20min periods, so we could run the overhead watering systems and soak down the plants and cool them, and then to draw air from front to back of the GHs, to cool them off. By then, the GHs' temps were in the 125°F range in GHs 1-2-3-4, and the Main Retail GH was around 97°F, but had plenty of air moving through it, from the numerous door/louver openings. It worked, although some plants were beginning to wilt, but not terminally. It was a calculated "phase 1 wilt", and could be reversed if we got relief to them within 30-45mins. No power.
An automated call came in from Met-Ed around 12:45pm, asking if we'd had out power restored — "press one for yes; press 2 for no" — and I pushed 2. By now, I was thoroughly-drenched with sweat, as was Dad, Alan, Jennifer & Bob, and the day was only half-over, I'd gotten nothing done, still had payroll to do, calls to return, problems to address, plus estimates, billing and a Key Staff Mtg at 3pm, to look forward to. Heh. Did I mention that it was "Friday The 13th" and that "Murphy's Law" were in complete control of the day, so far? No power.
Mirablé dictu! The power came back on, around 1pm, we carefully disconnected the portable generator from the Met-Ed power grid, and the GC&N Complex was back on its own power. The 3 APC Back-Ups were run-down, and needed recharging, which they automatically did as soon as they got an infusion of electricity, and all the appliances' digital clocks were blinking their brains out at "00:00" and needed resetting, which I did. I fired-up the office AC unit, Office computer and started on payroll, returning calls, unloading my flashdrive contents onto the office's RAID 0 machine, and tried to get caught-up from >5hrs of downtime. The GHs began cooling down from 125°F to their normal range of 76-85°F, and the many electrically-powered water gardens, fans, louvers, irrigations systems, computers, printers, lights, displays etc, came back into service. Heh; what a nice feeling to get back to "normal", again. We've got power!
Another (and final) call came in from Met-Ed, this time a "live voice", just minutes later, asking me if I'd gotten power back to my business, and I said, "Yes"! I asked him what happened, and the Met-Ed employee said that, contrary to rampant rumors and Traff-FAX radio reports, it was an "animal contact", and not an "vehicle accident" which caused the 5-6hr power outage problem. "Animal contact"? Did he mean a car hit a deer or something, and veered-off into a powerline-carrying pole and took it down, rupturing service in the widespread service area? Nope; it was a pesky squirrel who ran along the powerlines, snuck into the remote brick sub-station building, got caught in the incoming 1,000v lines, shorted them out, and caused a fire in the building, ruining many peoples' days, not to mention the poor squirrel's immediate and long-term futures. ZAP-O! Phew! "Happens all the time", he quips. It took the Met-Ed Guys a while to shut down all the mega-volts/watts lines, have the Winterstown FD douse the fire, and they then began re-routing traffic around that "hot spot", while their line technicians re-wired and re-built the power grid in that service area. Or something like that. He also said that 30-50% of the substation facility would also need physical rebuilding. (((sigh))) Friday The 13th? Yep; right in our faces. Thanks, "Murphy", for a great Friday and inauspicious start to the weekend. Blech.
Around The Garden Center™.
Personally and professionally, I was glad to see the week come to an end. So many schedule changes, from the previous two weeks' rain delays; continuing errors on a pathetically-simple (past) lscp job (very unlike our usual MO to allow this crap to reoccur 2x); my slipping on a JD SkidLoader's greasy tire while dismounting after loading topsoil and re-injuring my lower back (L5 vertebrae); having 2 non-performing lscp crew employees fired (always an unpleasant task); preparing a marketing campaign for re-opening on Sundays in September; endless visits to customer sites to "see dead plants and recommend substitutions"; numerous visits to prospective customers' sites to see and evaluate new small jobs (Staff LSCP Designer James does the important stuff); doing completed lscp job billing; doing new lscp estimates; media expense evaluations; preparing weekly/monthly budgets; weekly payroll; setting-up the new Drip Irrigation System Display (pics to come, soon); looking for a new/used ½-ton pick-up truck for my Hardscape Foreman's use; trying to get my condo's ongoing and endless "tankless water heater installation from hell" completed; working on 6-7-8-9 corporate website pages and getting them FTD'd to the corporate server; and the week's capper: Friday-The-13th-from-hell-without-power ... etc. Does anyone have any duct-tape, as my head feels like exploding. How about some extra-strength aspirin? Anyone? Almost enough to make me want to start drinking again; uh, nope. (((sigh)))
My long-time, good Conservative Friend, Jock, stopped by on Saturday on his newfound "driving tour" (no more commercial airline flying crap for him!) of his eastern states' sales territories, for the renowned Iseli Nursery. We've been a long-time customer — 11-12yrs, IIRC off the top of my head — and there is no finer broker — hybridizer, grower, distributor, shipper — of rare, unusual and hard-to-find Conifers and Jap Maples, anywhere in the world, IMO. We're just 3mos into the 2008 season, and it's once again time to begin the ordering process, for Spring 2009. After 18yrs of this routine, I should be used to it, but I'm not. The other two major nursery broker operations I deal with — McHutchinson Co and Tim Witman Co — will soon be coming around to work with me, Jennifer & Bob, to get the Spring 2009 Nursery Stock orders, written and submitted for processing by the various nurseries which they represent.
Uh-oh, local gas thefts on the rise in the York (PA) area? Yikes, I have 3 (gas) dumptrucks, plus 3 (diesel) pieces of construction equipment, down at my 20-acre complex, with no locking fuel tank caps, on any of them. Plus, there are ten 7gal "jerry cans" in the truck building, just sitting full of diesel fuel for those skidloaders and tractors. Way too easy targets for "fuel thieves", dammit, who should be shot-on-sight, IMO. I volunteer at 100% N/C to US Taxpayers!
On the way into work on Saturday morning at 7:45am, I saw the hot-air balloons in the western sky, and wished I could have had the "leisure time" to participate in The 2008 York County Balloon Festival, but I had to work, as usual. Damn. Retail traffic was light, t-storms rolled through around 5pm, so we closed-down and left.
I slept-in Sunday morning, went food shopping and then down to the GC&N Complex, to check on the plants from Friday's "Animal Contact" day of "no power". There were a few — all the Delphiniums— which took the excessive 125°F heat very hard on Friday, and are pretty much done for the season, though they don't do well in the normal Summer heat, anyway, and some Ligularia were wilted. It hit 87°F and with the humidity, felt like 92°F. I did some spot-watering, and spent much of the day working on changes to existing Corporate Website pages. The new Drip Irrigation System display is coming along nicely, thankyouverymuch. The Corp Website Page is done, the web ad is done, and soon the print ad will be underway, and the new Workshops Page will feature 2 Drip Irrigation Workshops, among many others, to be held on selected Saturdays in August, September & October. Lots to do, lots to do, over the pending Summer months. Busy is good.
On the way into work on Monday morning, I just noticed that Unleaded Regular (87oct) is now at $4.05/gal, that Unleaded Premium (89oct) is at $4.15/gal, and that Unleaded Super Premium (92oct) is at $4.35/gal, while diesel went up to $5.03/gal. I don't know when it's going to happen, but "one day soon", tens-of-millions of Really-Pissed-Off Americans are going to descend upon DC and DEMAND that we start drilling ANWR and off the Florida and California coasts. The turd-world shithole, China, is 60 miles off the Florida coast right now, drilling for gas and oil. And I'll be among those PO'd People, who will swamp DC!
After going to Drake University (1967-1971) for my BA Journalism/Marketing, in Des Moines (IA), I still have a special affinity for those people of the Midwest, and truly hate to see what's happened to Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines, which are all flooded and huge sections are underwater. A lot of peoples' lives are ruined, now.
Monday was a fairly busy day. The LSCP Crews had their assignments; Seth, my Hardscape Foreman was back from a week's vacation and it was good to see him get back into "the routine"; I had 5 various off-site visits from mid-morning until late-afternoon, recently-completed lscp job billing and 6 new lscp estimates to get done; James, my LSCP Designer is off this week, and needs some definitive "R&R", as did Seth. I need to think about taking a day-off here and there, in July/August, as I've not had any time off since 2004, with my only other "2-3 day vacation" being in 1998, IIRC. (((sigh))) I think I had 2-3 days off when I got married, back in 1994. On a more positive note, I'm gradually getting July filled-up with numerous small-to-medium-sized jobs, which I visited/estimated back in February, March and early April, but the larger lscp/hscp jobs just aren't coming-in, thus far. They will; I'm confident. July and August are traditionally "dead months" in this York/Lancaster/Baltimore/Harford County area, due to Summer heat, drought and vacations, but the economy and fuel prices are playing havoc with the usual numbers. Massive, violent t-storms blew through the region, just 15-20 miles south of the Penna State Line, and missed us completely, thankfully. Temps and humidity dropped precipitiously; ahhhhhhhhhhhhh, my "comfort level" returned, once again.
Unfortunately, I don't have the luxury of "parking it", just because my monthly truck fleet fuel bills have increased 110% over 2007, and almost 240% over 2006. After thinking about my business, it becomes pretty obvious that "I'm in the transportation business, and not in the garden center or nursery business." Everything has to be trucked — one way of the other — to job sites, all over the region. What's being carried, is incidental; what's important is the fact that "everything must be transported from here to there". I'm in the *transportation business*, from products to people, plain and simple. A disquieting fact, IMO, as I didn't intend get into that business.
Finally, the Rheem-Rudd-Tankless-Water-Heater-From-Hell-Installation, is successfully completed. Randy, the installer from R.E. Sanders, finished-it-up, after 3 service calls and much professionalism, on his part. Yes, "parts" were the problem in a retrofit, as everything had to be custom-fabricated. No off-the-shelf-parts for this installation. Seems that R.E. Sanders had never done one of these before, so I was the "test case". The whole thing is going to run me $1,500+ I'm guessing. I should have just for an easy $300 tank replacement; dumbass me. I'll have to stay in this condo another 20.778 years, to get my so-called "payback" from this unit. (((sigh)))
I got into work about 8:30am, with back pain, and found that Jennifer's husband, my former employee Dave, had a touch of the "Tim Russert Syndrome", and was taken to a Maryland hospital, the night before, with chest pains. He's the third friend/customer of mine this week, who's had chest pains, and was rushed to a hospital. Scary, isn't it? Many men are going to their cardiologists, for check-ups, after Russert checked-out, into liberal-demokkkRAT Hell.
Yeah, I drink coffee. So what?
Mark My Words™.
We were bombarded by the 5 corrupt, criminal, socialist, lowlife liberal-demokkkRAT dirtbags on the US Supreme Court — Kennedy, Ginsburg, Souter, Breyer and Stevens — all of whom truly need due-charging, arrest, trial, conviction and summary execution, IMO, for what they did to America, on Thursday, June 12th, 2008 (Boumediene v. Bush, 5-4). How can a Nation, which readily-gives it enemies the same US Constitutional Rights ("Habeas Corpus") as its US Citizens, even hope to survive? Marcus Tullius Cicero, (106-43 BC) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator, said it best: "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear." Allowing subhuman, murderous, terrorist muslim-islamist-arab filth, the same US Constitutional Rights as American Citizens, instead of being "governed" by a US Military Tribunal as enemy combatants, is directly-contrary to Ex parte Quirin, and is an outrage beyond belief.
Chief Justice Roberts, Justices Scalia, Alito and Thomas agreed, that "The nation will live to regret what the court has done today". And it shall, in ways so terrible that cities will disappear in mushroom clouds, and millions will suffer and die.
Getting the courts involved at all is where Bush&Co fucked-up. All the subhuman, murderous, lowlife muslim-islamist-arab filth should have been waterboarded for intel, and then killed. Terrorists, enemy combatants, murderous muslim-islamist-arab filth have no rights in the US Constitution; none. Zero. Kill them all.
Things Which Make Your Head Explode™.
The inept, shit-for-brains, CDC (Center for Disease Control) "can't find the source of the tomato Salmonella infections", after 2-3 weeks? Want some help, CDC morons? Fucking amazing! Thousands of SPICS shitting and pissing on the crops, is the source, you CDC idiots! This first diagnosis is free; the next one will cost you $1-million-plus, idiots! NAFTA's to blame for this and Klintoon & Bush II are to blame for it.
The dirtbag legislators in Harrisburg, both liberal-demokkkRATs and cowardly GOPer-RINOs, have given us a No Smoking Bill, signed into law by that fat, lying, corrupt, bloated, corrupt, son-of-a-bitch dirtbag, disgraced Gov, "Fast Eddie" Rendell (CRIMINAL-PA), last Friday. A "cradle-to-grave" Nanny State is what we and 42 other states now have, regarding smoking in public places, BTW. They've said, in effect, that "we can't trust you to do the right thing, so we're making all decisions for you." Nice, huh?
Barry Hussein Obama-Osama-Lama-Ding-Dong is a lying, racist, bigoted piece-of-subhuman-Nigga©-shit, whose "friends and associates" are corrupt, criminal, hate-America, hate-Whitey, lowlife filth and garbage White Trash, a href="http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1586464/posts" target="_blank">Niggas© and other assorted garbage/scum/trash/crap/junk/shit/scum, and all of whom need summary trial and execution, IMO.
Oooooooooo, unimportant question of the minute: "Is Barry Hussein Obama-Osama black or biracial?" Answer: HE'S A FUCKING, SUBHUMAN PIECE-OF-Nigga©-SHIT! He's NOT an American, who just happens to be black. He's a leftist, socialist, Marxist-Leninist radical, who wants to destroy America, her people (especially the Founding and Successful Whites, and Successful Blacks), the US Military and mandate that we be governed by the corrupt, criminal turd-world UN.
This telling video will open your eyes as to what Barry Hussein Obama-Osama-Sambo-Mambo-Jambo-Lama-Ding-Dong, is truly all about. Grab a glass of water, because what you're going to see and hear, is difficult to swallow, if you're a Real American who needs to vote for a national leader in November. Osama-Obama is an empty socialist suit, and either James Earl Ray's or Lee Harvey Oswald's muslim-islamist-arab or black "brother", needs to "find him", in the next 2-3 months, IMO. Where the heck are those guys when the country really needs them?
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. f•ck you, AlGoreBoreAsshole!
Larsen B Ice Shelf in Antarctica collapses in 2002 = Glo-bullshit Warming? f•ck you, AlGoreBoreAsshole!
Read this idiocy. Go ahead; I'll wait.
Some People Just Need Killing™.
It's not my intention to be judge here — that God's "job" — 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 volunteer, at no cost to any Hard-Working US Taxpayer, to 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.
Why has America kept any of the murderous, subhuman "Manson Family" filth alive, for the past 40 years, at US Taxpayers' expense? All of them should have been headshot with a .45cal, upon conviction, as should all murderers, rapists, child killers, child molesters, robbers etc. WTF are we allowing such subhuman garbage to continue wasting O2, while the victim is still dead? Can anyone explain that to me? This filthy bitch should be shot and dumped into a pit filled with maggots. Look at the eyes on that satanic-driven Atkins skank! KILL HER! God is waiting with her judgment and punishment, IMO. We shouldn't keep God "waiting" for so long.
Consider these movie pitches: "Jerry Maguire" in a wheelchair. "I Am Sam" meets "The Goonies." "Like Friends, except everybody's homeless." Think they're outlandishly, undeniably awful? We agree. But that didn't stop some sorry sap from lobbing them through the air of a Hollywood meeting room. What Radar magazine wants to know is: "Could you do worse?" To find out, the pop culture source has thrown out a challenge: Come up with your own appalling cinematic proposal. Submit it by the end of the year. Whoever wins will "get the elusive reward sought by all budding screenwriters — a personal response from (Harvey) Weinstein, along with a stack of DVDs that he produced." It will be like God suddenly turned and, for a brief moment in time, took notice of you poor peon of a scribe. The real Hollywood treatment!