Paths Of Life
March 7th, 2008
I'm at a personal and professional crossroads, after 58 years. Although I want to sell the Garden Center & Nursery, and move on to another business venture after 18 seasons, I also want to keep it. It's fun, easy, familiar and a nice living, except when Mother Nature ('07) and the Economy ('08) kick the crap outta me. I've been divorced and single for almost 11 years, and am looking around, once again. I've been away from my Religion, and am looking around for a Conservative Christian Church, to call home. I recently quit alcohol, and have my health and positive perspective back again. My only real remaining vice, is 2½ packs/day of Marlboro Regulars. "The eye altering, alters all" (William Blake). Just recently, I sense that an American Era is on the downswing and looking for a place to rest its weary head. I sense a serious change coming in America, which we're going to be hard-pressed to understand and deal with. I sense a major loss of our Freedoms & Liberty, coming. I sense that we're in the last days of True Freedom of Speech. I also sense a 'Loss of Meaning' in the quality of our National Life, coming. A major redistribution of wealth is a certainty, as socialism takes a more deadly strangle-hold on America, after 50-plus years of insidious creeping into opportunistic place, ready for its chance. I'm ready to take-up serious arms against murderous islamofascism and mentally-ill liberalism to save Our America, but the feds have other plans for those of us who would do so. You have to know that, at the upper levels of society, there are no political parties, just raw power and unbridled greed. The masters of the demokkkRATs and GOPers — CFR — are one and the same. On our lower peon level, there are simply diversions from the 'CFR masters', to keep that fact well-muted and hidden from us. Yes, I'll spend some more time in serious thought about it all, but I'll still be "tilting at windmills", as some of us have done for all too many years. I don't like what I sense is coming, perhaps in 2012, but "It Is What It Is". Ready?
Around The Garden Center™
I guess I "peaked" at about 45 or 46. In all of those heady years, I stayed-up well past midnight, for many reasons and occasions, and had no problems with yawning during the next business day. Since that age milestone, I've been on the downside of going to bed/sleep, earlier and earlier as the years pass. IMO, 10pm isn't so bad a time. I used to get scores of invitations to parties, functions, speaking dates, art auctions, opera, movies, theater etc, but I get only a few these days. Nodding-off during my own speech once, took some creative explaining. I mumbled something and included the term, 'narcolepsy', but they didn't buy it. Ask me if I care. Recently, 10pm seems to be the norm. I don't mind, but getting-up at 4am, when it's 60°F in the condo, 16°F outside and a windchill of 5°F, isn't my idea of fun. Last week, I got an invitation to an upcoming black-tie gala in York, but since my ex-tux is now being sported by a Salvation Army alumnus, and I refuse to rent one, I politely declined and will give the tickets to friends who do rent or own such garb. In my NYC years, I enjoyed fine clothes: Brooks Bros Suits at $1,500, Burberry Coats at $1,450, $475 shoes, $125 belts, $115 dress shirts, $575 Fedora etc. Now, it's simply plebian, but comfortable threads: Lee Jeans ($29), Faded Glory Cotton Shirts ($9), Bass Dirty Bucks Shoes ($59), Pendleton Wool Board Shirts ($94), LLBean 10" Insulated Boots ($139); but I digress. No tuxes in that mix, is there? Won't be, either.
Friday was bitterly cold, with temps of 19°F and a 7°F windchill, at 6am. Coffee and breakfast helped, but a hot shower helped more. The forecast is for 1-3" of snow coming later today. While at an 11:30am lscp mtg, in nearby Seven Valleys (PA), in 25-30mph wind, I remembered that I'd forgotten to put on "long johns" today. All of us must have, since we took care of the problem, and got back in our warm cars, more quickly than usual. More emails, cold sales calls and fax avails from wholesale nursery stock brokers, desperate for Spring business, due to the tanking economy and regional drought cancellations. It's a buyer's market, out there. The surplus from last year's 3rd and 4th Qtrs, plus this year's 1st Qtr, will leave a huge bulge in grower inventories. prices are dropping, and lots of deals are to be had. That surplus will impact the industry for the next 2-3yrs. It snowed for about 2hrs, with only about 1" or so. I had a grilled cheese sandwich, tomato soup, several mugs of green tea, and called it an early night, around 9:30pm.
Saturday was a full day of finishing-up 5 of the 13 projects, which I have on my desk. Among them, the Ongoing Projects Page and the stand-alone Water Gardens Page are now completed. The Open House Postcard mailer is into production, and the Open House Ad is being shipped to the various newspapers for my scheduled insertion dates. It was in the 40s and several people stopped by to ask about plant material, gardening problems and the upcoming Open House. And they wanted to go into the greenhouses, just to see what they look like in Winter. I'm now seeing many Canadian Geese heading north, stopping on local ponds and lakes to feed and rest. Same with the Robins, as they're a couple of weeks early, unless they know something we don't about Spring's arrival. I made sure there was plenty of seed for them. Next came the blackbirds in unbelieveable flocks of tens-of-thousands, almost blotting-out the sun when they take-off and land in the surrounding farm fields, also looking for dropped corn or beans from last Fall's harvesting machines, or for worms migrating to the warming soil's surface. They raided my wild birdseed pile, just outside my office — cleaned it 3" down to the gravel base — and the noise from their wings and screeching, was deafening. Think Alfred Hitchcock x 500! With the "priority projects" out-of-the-way and in-process, I can sleep a little better. Nite.
With temps back up into the mid-40s, Sunday was a nice day to not go into the Office, but rather get some shopping done, and I decided to make 5gals of "2-Alarm Killer Chili"™ for Family and friends. The recipe's in the next section, if you're so inclined to become famous. I also spent the day on condo chores and a couple of overdue cleaning projects. My weekly cleaning crew emailed and said they wouldn't be in until Wednesday. The History Channel had some good shows on, about 2012: The End of Days, and Quest For The Lost Ark, which I watched, with 5 cups of green tea. Another early night.
With daylight now coming at 6:20am (Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday, 3-9), my biological clock has me up early despite my two cats' "pleadings" to stay in bed and sleep. There are days that I wish I "had the life of a cat" — sleep, eat and shit — but I don't and someone has to get up, go to work, and pay the bills. Heh. I was into the Office on Monday by 8am, and had most of my paperwork sone, phone messages returned, QuickBooks® 2008 software upgrades and landscape estimates finished by 12noon, and had some time to listen to Rush, whom I've gotten away from over the past few months. By 12noon, it was 63°F, and feeling a lot like Spring. Several current and new customers stopped by to ask questions. Seth, my Mason and Hardscape Division Foreman; James, my LSCP Designer; Jennifer, my Horticulturalist; Bob, my Ass't Nursery/GH Mgr; and Arthur, Landscape Crew Chief, were in working on various projects or meeting about something ongoing at the Complex. Later that afternoon, I was feeling a little melancholy, as I was sitting on the front porch in the warm sun, thinking about Pickle, who is buried just a few feet away. He used to jump-up on the bench with me, and climb on to my lap, while I stroked him and he took a nap in the sun. He was a Happy Camper, with me. Yeah; I still miss him here at the GC&N Complex.
I had some stops to make on the way into work, Tuesday morning, so I got in "late"; around 9:15am. Dad was already there, as he had to drop his Jeep off at the local Chrysler-Jeep Dealer for routine oil/lube service; I'm about 5,100 miles past-due, and will need to get it done, soon. I had some "critical mass" projects to get done immediately, under a very tight time deadline, and was bombarded by phone calls and walk-in customer interruptions while getting them finished-up, and that put me "on edge". My good friend, "Fly-To-Sail" stopped by and we did some 1911 .45cal target shooting at my 25ft pistol range, on the 20ac GC&N site. That calmed me down. Local radio and TV reps stopped in to make airtime pitches, none of which I'll be using this Spring, except my ongoing 18 year contract with The Weather Channel. The rain started around 1pm, and continued through the night — 61°F and rising at 9:30pm — with massive thunderstorms and lightening waking me and the cats up, around 2am. The condo was shaking and the rain outside was almost horizontal. It sounded like a space shuttle launch, on the 3 skylights. *Flood Warnings* were locally posted for the already rain-soaked Region. No complaints from me.
I was up around 3:45am on Wednesday, watered/fed the cats, made coffee and breakfast and checked to doppler radar maps. The majority of the large, violent storm had moved to the east, and *Flood Warnings* would stay in effect until 3pm. I left for the Office around 5am. Many of the million and billion gallon retention ponds along the way, were filling-up from run-off, but the situation didn't look as dire as they made it sound, unless one lived in a/real close to a flood plain. Then, all bets are off. According to the NWS, we got just under 3" of rainfall! Many side streets and roads were barricaded by police/fire, as I drove into work. As the final t-storm bands moved through, it poured so hard that visibility was limited to about 200ft, at many points. My multi-million gallon retention ponds overfloweth. It was nice delving into the remaining paperwork, with no phone or people interruptions, for a change. It's a shame that I either have to get in way before anyone else arrives, or stay after everyone else has left, to be productivce, anymore. But that's just the way it is, apparently, with a successful and busy company. Regardless, all of the remaining 8 projects are now completed.
No more 3:45am crap until Spring gets here; I was dead-tired by 10pm last night and "slept-in" until 7am on Thursday. The GC&N phone was busy all morning and I had several walk-ins needing information and/or help with various problems. I've decided to pull my Open House Ad from the York Newspaper Group, and go on to local Top 2 Radio Stations — WARM-103. FM and WSOX-96.1 AM — since the York Newspaper Group's B&W print ads have gotten 15% smaller, 10% more expensive, and circ numbers have also dropped, just since February 1st. YNG isn't a good media value, anymore. I'll be going to the radio studios on Wed, March 26th, to do the voice-overs for the 15sec spots.
Gas prices at the pump are holding steady so far — Unleaded Regular (87oct) is at $3.19/gal, Unleaded Premium (89oct) is at $3.29/gal, and Unleaded Super Premium (92oct) is still at $3.49/gal — even with crude rising to $105.47/bbl. But we'll all (too soon) see gas rising to $4/gal, during the "Summer driving seasons".
Uh-oh; more heavy rain coming Friday night and into Saturday, and we're still under *Flood Warnings* here, from the past couple of days' 3" rainfall. This is great for my profession and industry, but it's bad for those who live in flood plains. (Did I mention that they're IDIOTS for living there!) Sorry; no sympathy. Actually, Spring portends to be good for gardening. I just hope the US Economy doesn't get too much worse. Time will tell.
Fonts & Typefaces For You.
Most Journal entries are best viewed in the Papyrus and the Orlando typefaces. You already probably have Century Gothic on your Windows-XP machine, and that's occasionally used for the body copy. They're free. Save them to a Temp folder on your HD, and install to C:/Windows/Fonts folder, thru your WIN XP Control Panel.
Here are a few others, which my Journal will be written in the coming weeks: Charrington Roughened and Acoustic Bass . Get and install them, and see how much nicer these pages are to view and read. Plus, they add to your repertoire of available fonts in MS-Word, as WIN-XP System Fonts, so you can use them for your documents etc.
My "2-Alarm Killer Chili"™ Recipe.
Everyone's got a chili recipes these days, yet most of the 11,382 recipes "just don't quite make it" . Here's one which will make the top of your head sweat with joy, and is alternatingly sweet, at the same time. These days, people add chocolate to the recipe, while I pioneered hot/sweet (no chocolate) back in the mid-80s at several Regional Chili Cook-Offs, to great acclaim.
- 5gal pot w/ lid,
- sharp paring knife, slotted and solid spoons, wooden tasting spoon,
- 2¼ lbs 80% ground beef,
- 2 large green bell peppers,
- 3 medium onions,
- 5 stalks celery,
- 1 medium pkg white button mushrooms,
- 1 - 16 oz can tomato sauce,
- 1 - 3 oz can tomato paste,
- 2 - 16 oz bottles Guinness Stout beer (or substitute water),
- 2 - 8 oz cans red pinto beans,
- 5 garlic cloves,
- 1 oz paprika,
- 2 tsp cumin,
- 4 oz chili powder,
- ½ oz red pepper,
- 3 oz masa/corn flour (for thickening); a roux will work just fine,
- 1 small box dark brown sugar (yes; you heard right),
- shredded cheddar cheese, guacamole dip, medium salsa, sour cream.
This is true "One Pot Chili". The following directions are mine, and you may want to vary them to suit your taste. Sure, you can get crazy with habaneros, pablanos, scotch bonnets and other types of peppers and exotic mushrooms, but you'll never taste them individually, since they completely meld into what they're supposed to be: C-H-I-L-I!
•Brown-off the 2lbs of ground beef in the 5gal pot, on High heat. Use a slotted spoon to set the beef aside on a large plate to cool. Do not throw-out the liquid in the pot. Slice the mushrooms and add to pot to saute on Medium-High; they will absorb some of the liquid. Set aside on another plate. Rough-chop celery, onions, garlic and bell peppers; saute in remaining liquid until softened, or add 1-2 'glops' of EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) if additional oil is need to saute. The vegs will give-up some moisture as they cook, so be careful not to add too much liquid to them. You're not making soup here.
•Add the meat and mushrooms back into the softened peppers and onions. Continue cooking on Medium heat. Now, time to do some kitchen clean-up. No point in having all those timmings, empty cans etc lying around, when the garbage can is nearby. Okay, that's better. Now, add the entire can of tomato sauce. Mix-in the tomato paste, too. Salt and pepper the cooking meat and vegs. Add 1 bottle of beer. You can drink the other one; you've done well. Add the cumin, chili pepper, red pepper and stir thoroughly. Add the brown sugar; stir thoroughly.
•Let it all simmer on Medium-Low, with the lid cracked just slightly, for about 45mins. Stir from the bottom-up, so the mixture doesn't burn. Add the beans, and turn the heat down to Low, for another 20mins. Have another beer, if you're so inclined; two if you can handle it, but don't get all sloppy and make a mess. Remove the pot from heat and let it cool and thicken, for 2-3 hours. By now, you've probably finished-off the 6-pak of beer, and need to take a short nap. Go ahead; the Chili will still be there when you wake-up.
Feel better? Okay good. Now heat-up the pot on low, and ladel the chili into bowls, top with some coarse-shredded cheddar cheese, a dollop of guacamole, salsa and sour cream. Tortilla chips or crusty bread would be great. Life is good!
Things Which Make Your Head Explode™.
So, the cowardly, punk terrorists at ELF strike again? A few years ago, the fat, bloated, leftwing extremist-loving wacko bitch, Carol "ELF is cute" Miller, an infantile EEOC-mandated writer, called me an extremist in the green industry. Bwahahahahahaha! Stupid asshole skank: I'm a realist!
So, some new tests on the Shroud of Turin? Yes, I believe that's Jesus' Burial Shroud, despite the previous so-called "scientific findings", and that the religious implications are almost overwhelming for this f*cked-up world.
DHS Director, Mikey "Do Nothing Asshole" Chertoff is a fucking liar and an incompetent asshole, for not being able to get a simple border fence built to keep out criminal, illegal alien spics. I could have had that damned thing built, to Israeli-specs, within a year, under budget. Fire the Chertoff idiot, and hire me. I'll get it done, dammit!
Truth be told: I hardly ever listen to Rush, anymore. So when I read this NYSlimes piece on his non-endorsement of the liberal-RINO, John "Amnesty" McCain (TRAITOR-AZ), I was amused. He's got 13½ million listeners a week? Gosh, I might have 13 or so, who read this Journal each week, so I guess we're even, though I predate his non-endorsement by several weeks. And my criticism of "No Brain" McCain goes back 3-4 years, BTW.
Good riddance, Huckster! Now crawl back under your slimy, liberal RINO rock, shit-for-brains Huckabee asshole.
IMO, anyone on welfare or unemployed shouldn't be allowed to vote, seniors, excepted. Women on welfare should be sterilized, so they can't breed more filth and garbage as wards of the socialist nanny state. And castrate their worthless, crack-smoking, unemployed, mentally-defective "boyfriends", too. Clean out the gene pool.
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.
Lowlife, Subhuman Filth™.
The feminine-sided, bicycle rider and steroid-user with no balls (think heavy steroid usage and testicular cancer) Lance "Can I Sniff Your Bike Seat?" Armstrong, teams-up with the most corrupt dirtbag governor in Wisconsin's history, shit-for-brains Jimmy "Bought & Sold By Casino Injuns" Doyle (SCUMBAG-WI), to ban smoking in that liberal-demokkkRAT-run, shithole state.
If v is true, I'd shoot that so-called Marine, in a heartbeat.
I said it almost 10 years ago, and I'll say it again: Strobe Talbot is a traitor, a spy, a seditionist and a saboteur, and deserves summary trail and immediate execution, IMO.
The liberal-demokkkFRAT shitholes of Brattleboro and Marlboro, VT, need razing to the ground, and the traitors, seditionists and saboteurs who voted to "indict Bush & Cheney for crimes against our Constitution" (frustration over the war in Iraq and Bush's tenure in general), need summary trial and killing. Throw their carcasses into a pit and pump raw sewage in on top of them all. Fitting, IMO. On the other hand, if they'd vote to indict and impeach Bush & Cheney for "treason, sedition and sabotage" — for not shutting-down the wide-open borders, lying to us about it, failure to round-up all muslim-islamist-arab filth and deport their murderous sand-nigger asses, exporting American jobs to turd-world shitholes, deporting the 25-30 million criminal, illegal alien spic garbage and 15-20 other impeachable offenses — I'd commute the two towns' sentences and join them in the vote.
Hey, Pope: don't waste your time with the lying, subhuman muslim-islamic-arab filth. They need killing, not dialogue. They're murderous lowlife, camel anus-licking, pig-fucking dirtbags. They'd cut your throat and throw you down a well. Kill them. Cleanse the world.
Maryland is liberal, socialist hellhole, but the turd-world shithole, called Montgomery County, is 100x worse. Montgomery County, adjacent to Washington, DC, passed an unconstitutional law last November to accommodate "transgendered people" — that is,
men perverts, dirtbags, lowlifes, scum, failth, garbage, trash, shit and crap who perceive themselves to be women, and women who perceive themselves to be men. The unconstitutional law adds gender identity to the list of protected classes to the Montgomery County Code banning discrimination. So-called "transgendered people" are mentally-ill, and either need to be confined to asylums under heavy medication/electro-shock, or executed and permanently removed from normal society.
Child molester, pervert, alcohgolic, drug addict, pedophile, kiddie-porn addict, fat, bloated piece-of-shit, Bernie Ward, needs summary trial and execution. He's subhuman garbage, shit, crap, junk, trash, filth and should be permanently removed from society, IMO. Headshoot the fat pig-fucker.
islam Is A Criminal Organization™
Gee, what a surprise: "3 in 4 US mosques preach anti-Western jihadist hate". As if we all didn't see that crap coming. Get the stinking, subhuman, filthy muslim-islamist-arabs out of America, dammit! islam is pigshit/trash/garbage/filth/crap/shit and junk!
So, throwing the filthy murder manual koran (I wipe my ass with it) in the toilet, is a crime — disorderly conduct — yet a Christian Crucifix in a jar of urine, is art? And burning the American Flag is OK? Fuck islam, fuck the koran, fuck muslims, fuck the NY judge who ruled this shit! Any questions?
So, now the USA and EU are going to pay billions in aid to the subhuman, murderous muslim-islamic filth in Albania/Kosovo? Fuck them! Kill them and let the Serbs have their country back, dammit Bush, you ignorant asshole!
All muslim-islamist-arabs are cowardly, dirtbag punks! They hide behind women and children, and happily take it up-the-ass and in-the-face, from satan and other muslim filth/shit/trash/garbage/shit/crap.
Some People Just Need Killing™.
If I could get the .308cal shot on the subhuman, murderous, socialist, commie spic shit dictator, Hugo Chavez filth, I'd take it. He truly and seriously needs killing. Bwahahahaha; hey Chavez, YOU gave-up the location of your FARC-punk, cowardly spic boy narco-terrorist with that cellphone call, you dumb spic-shit asshole! Bwahahahahahaha, you stoooooooooopid shit-for-brains, spic-fuckface, football head! We killed him, thanks to you, SCUMBAG!
The Realist Archive Project.
When People Magazine called Paul Krassner the 'father of the underground press', he promptly demanded a paternity test. His brainchild, The Realist, published "extreme satire," and ran from 1958-1974. Just over a decade later, in 1985, it staged a return in newsletter form and proceeded to raise hell for another 16 years. Now, the complete archive of this hilarious muckraking rag is making yet another dramatic reappearance, this time in an online version. It's a must-click dilly. Check out this partial index of articles and contributors, or head right to some of these gems: • Norman Mailer on LBJ, • Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin on the Yippies going to Chicago, • An "impolite" interview with Woody Allen. And you won't want to miss Krassner's notorious hoax: Parts That Were Left Out of the Kennedy book, and Wally Wood's Disneyland Memorial Orgy poster. Of this last, I'm not going to link to it, because, um... I'm not crazy. But it's in there.