sometimes, shit just happens...

mountains

storm clouds gathering
Friday, November 14, 1997

just when things seem to be going in the right direction again, something unexpected and unneeded rears its ugly head just to remind me that someone else is in charge once again and that what I have as my agenda is basically meaningless. Oh boy, is this fun or what? Am I having fun yet?

Flu Season Begins.
It hit me on Saturday like a cable modem download: whammo.
Shivering and sweating, I stayed home Sunday and part of Monday my first days off in years and slept for 30+ hours straight through to Monday. Except for a raw throat and fever, the sleep was worth catching up on. The orange juice, apple juice, throat lozenges etc also helped, but mostly the sleep did. When I checked the thermostat, it was 82F in the condo, and I was still shivering. Damned fever.
Even though I had it, I went to work Monday morning at 6am. There's too much happening during the week to play hookey. And since not being in on Sunday, none of the schedules or rosters were posted for the crews to work from. I left early on Monday afternoon, accompanied by nausea and fever. Yuk.
I felt and looked like shit. It's going to be a long Winter, with predicted flu outbreaks worse than last season.
Three days later. As quickly as it hit me; it's gone. The after-effects are pronounced weakness and exhaustion. Stimulants coffee, tea, chocolate help with artificial energy. I feel it'll be a few more days until I'm myself again. But teacher, if I'm not myself, who am I? (Koo-koo-ka-choo; I am the Walrus.)

Fall Rains.
In the past 3 days, we've had a wonderful gift of 3"+ of much-needed rain. Although we're still almost 30" down from last year's total, and 11" down from the yearly average, we'll take what we can get at this point.
Now, trees and shrubs can go into wet planting holes. Prior to these soaking rains, it was moist 6-7" into the ground, but dry like baby powder just beyond that. Plants calling for water would have died slowly before Spring 98. And my crews had to spend an inordinate amount of time watering in plant material after the installation; twice as long as normal to insure the moisture for the plants' health and survival. Hoping for rain isn't enough; moisture must accompany the plants into the planting holes.
From here on, it'll be a breeze installing the high quality, large trees we're known for having a wide selection of for the more discriminating homeowners. And post-installation care by the new owners will be somewhat curtailed because of the already lowered ground and air temps, and all that new found moisture in the soil.
Plus, I won't have to worry as much about the health of these large trees going through the Winter, since the moisture is already in place for Spring. Whatever additional rainfall we get from now on is gravy.

Website Woes.
I'd no more than finished building and uploading a new website for a fellow horticultural business owner and friend, than I got email from several people using MSIE v3 & v4 and some AOL'ers saying weird things were happening on the site.
I immediately downloaded (on a 500kbps cable modem, this is a breeze) and fired-up a copy of MSIE v3.4 and, sure enough, something wasn't quite right. Lots of things weren't quite right. Bummer.
Blue Sterling Nursery's site through a MSIE browser is a problematic example of how things shouldn't be on the Net.
Everything's fine on Netscape v3 & v4. But the Microsoft v3 & v4 browsers butcher the site. shit. I can't believe I'm seeing what I'm seeing and what I'm not seeing.
MSIE v3 & v4 failed to see simple, additional font color tags. As a result, there's a pile of type missing from the site in the form of important copy. How to fix it is the problem.
Just a few short months ago, I stupidly said that MSIE was going to eat Netscape and buy the company. That remark was, in retrospect, stupid. After the disaster I've seen with MSIE v3 & v4, I disavow anything to do with those browsers. I'll stay with Netscape.
I'll first have a glass of 94 Cabernet Sauvignon and think about it. Oh shit, it's only 9am Sunday; tonight for sure.

Greenhouse Growth Pains.
Getting Greenhouses 4 & 5 erected is proving to be more of a problem than I'd anticipated.
First, the Township Zoning Board and Township Planning Commission are both involved in approvals for zoning variances. Elaborate and expensive plans were originally completed for my 20-acre complex in 1990, when construction first began. Now, all paperwork been updated and much paperwork completed and several evening meetings attended to get the OKs from these two citizen groups to construct two additional 35' x 90' Brady Greenhouses. These people are basically well-meaning, but there's always a fly-in-the-ointment in their meetings. After appearing before and testifying at the Planning Commission Meeting last night, approval for the variance and building permit was granted. Christ, it would appear that I wanted to do some major industrial construction from all the rigmarole involved.
We have one of the huge steel structures erected; the other is being held up by shale and clay subsoil: it's bending the anchor posts driving them in the traditional way. So we've enlisted a professional fence company, run by one of our landscape customers. He showed up Monday with a post-hole drilling machine that had its share of problems right off the top. I had the same problem initially when we constructed the other four Brady units, and the 50' x 100' VanWingerden Main Greenhouse Complex. After shearing off hundreds of pins, and blowing out and replacing an even dozen hydraulic lines on the tractor, somehow we got it done, way back then.
Nothing ever works like the package instructions say: Simply insert tab A into slot B, then fold on line C, and presto... you have a Ferrarri.

TV Blues.
It's every bit as bad as I remember from three years ago when I stopped watching.
I haven't been very selective; it's merely basic CATV service with The Weather Channel and I've surfed the channels frequently to see if the quality has improved. It hasn't. But the ads have gotten better, technologically, from years ago. The special effects are much better and lend a bit more to the overall ambience.
It's a shame when the best thing about TV is the ads.
Ah well, back to the Net.

He's Back, Again.
After 25 years, the Watergate legacy has again resurfaced to haunt the nation.
I've always thought that Nixon was just a lousy politician and a great statesman, for what he accomplished on a world-scale. But after reading more accounts of his evil exploits and listening to more released pre- and post-Watergate White House Tapes, I've finally realized what a piece of shit he was.
Not that all presidents haven't done similar things; Nixon was just more blatant and evil about the disrespect and revulsion he showed for everyone.

Rapid Transit Update.
The cable modem on the home Pentium 586/150mhz-64RAM is doing just fine. At 500kbps, it's a screamer and a real pleasure to use for either surfing or downloading files.
My immediate problem is the office connection: a lousy 28.8kbps that's been in place since January 1996. I've tried 33.6 modems, but none seem to work at that speed on the office Pentium 586/200mhz-96RAM.
Since the CATV company that services the rural area where my business resides is not and ISP, it's highly doubtful that I'll ever get a cable modem line into the business. That leaves a GTE T-1 line at $1,000/ month again highly doubtful at those rates or ISDN, or yet another interesting possibility: Direct Duo TV. 400kbps through their satellite dish sounds very interesting. ISDN yields a paltry and pathetic 128kbps; something I easily achieve on a bad Net night of heavily clogged pipes. ISDN is junk compared to a cable modem.
I've contacted Direct Duo TV and a sales rep will be meeting with me here early in December to review my hardware and software options for installation. Soon, I'll do away with the shitty 28.8 dial-ups altogether.

Tarnished Memory.
With all the pristine glitter and wholesomeness of the so-called Kennedy Camelot in the early 60s, some actually all of the veneer is coming off, and in huge sheets.
A new book, called The Dark Side of Camelot really exposes many things for what they (supposedly) were in The White House, during the Kennedy years.
Remember when you found out there wasn't a Santa Claus, or Easter Bunny or whatever? This is what it feels like reading Hersh's book. If you didn't believe in the myth, then your bubble won't burst. Mine didn't. It is very much worth reading the capsule review.

A Tragedy.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts screwed up: one lowlife legislator's idiotic, mindless vote has caused the state to become a warden and caretaker of thousands of extra scumbag criminals. For life.
That means that all murderers, kidnappers and other subhuman filth which should include rapists and child molesters in a capital-punishment crime category, but doesn't must be fed, clothed and housed for the rest of their unnatural lives. In real dollar terms, this means $48,500 per inmate on a county level, and $54,000 per inmate on a state level. Per year, per lowlife inmate. That's more than the average income of American families today. What sense does that make to keep that degenerate garbage alive? None that I can think of.
The only rational course is to execute the inmate filth without delay after one appeal, not allowing those scum to languish 15-20 years on so-called Death Row, and clog the courts up with hundreds of appeals. The old addage: To make an omlet, first you must break some eggs, applies.
The bleeding heart liberal filth and other scum are so worried about executing an innocent, that they're willing to let 10 guilty criminals go to alleviate their pathetic, immoral attitudes. I'm not. Even if 1-2 innocents are executed, at least 9-10 criminals are off of the streets and not Killing, raping or molesting citizens. The incidence of innocents being jailed and executed is so infinitesimally small that it's negligible. Society should take that small risk to clear out the subhuman garbage and protect it's citizens.
Liberal scum argue that, "... a measure of societal advancement is how we treat our criminals". f*ck that whiny shit. I say: The true measure of societal advancement is how we protect our citizens from criminals. Execute the criminals en masse. In prime time. On TV. I'll bring the popcorn.
Here's a pile of shithead lowlifes who want to abolish the death penalty in favor of human rights and dignity. Huh, really? Well, where were they when the murderers were violating the dignity and human rights of the people they whacked? They were probably sipping double decaf-lattes and discussing increasing welfare programs in a posh Georgetown restaurant, that's where. Execute these filth too, as far as I'm concerned. I have a .357 Magnum that would just love to do executioner's duty. Sign me up. Right behind about several million other people who feel as I do.
And here's what makes good, common sense for every citizen to read. Here, too.

Ortho's Site.
Ortho®'s new website, www.ortho.com, is now online and we're mentioned as a retailer of their fine chemical product lines.
We've sold their product line for over 7 years now, and my landscape crews use it almost exclusively. We also use their Round-Up® herbicide product for weed control. It's now re-formulated and works so well, it's all we recommend to customers.

Snow Event.
As I write the last parts of this entry, I'm listening to The Weather Channel detail a major snow event move toward the York, PA area. It's a dicey split as to whether there'll be ice or snow. Ice is very bad. Very bad. It destroys plants, trees, power and phone lines, buildings, cars and people. It's terrible stuff. Rather have the snow.
I'm not looking forward to the drive into work if there's ice involved. Nothing works on ice. Not 4wd. Nothing except metal studded tires and they're deadly on bare concrete. Go figure.

Tweak Bill's Face.
This is my secret site where I can take out my aggressions against you know who, for messing up Blue Sterling's Website with those inferior MS browsers.

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