"s/he who is squeamish,
should not prod the beach rubble..."

rubble

sneak a peek
Friday, November 21, 1997

all there that is can be summed up in a few words: dippity doo dah. I'm even more convinced of that now. The more I focus on my business, the less I have time for anything else. At this rate, it won't be long before all else is completely forgotten and safely stored away for some cryptic future reference. I've turned down innumerable opportunities for speeches, parties, trips and some nice dates et al ad nauseum in favor of longer hours and more work at my business. I wonder if work really can whack? We'll soon see.

The Ice Event.
I crashed (an old 60s expression...) early last Thursday night; expecting to see a Winter Wonderland on Friday at 4am when I got up. From all the weather and news reports, the storm would be a big one and be right on top of us. Jeeez, what a mess. The storm (ice, nay snow) crawled up the east coast, making a wintry mess out of everything it touched.
I always enjoy the first snowfall, but ice is another story. I hate the results of ice storms. They do horrendous amounts of damage to almost everything they touch.
While beautiful in their fury and finality, ice storms rip power and phone lines down, mangle trees and other plants and cause havoc with the 6mil poly-film coverings on my greenhouses. The only vestiges remaining are the damage the next day.
Fortunately, the phone and power lines lifeblood to my 20acre complex remained intact all through Friday, even though we had the emergency LPG heaters at the ready. GTE Phone and GPU Utility trucks were running all over York County, but no major outages were reported.
We got off lucky this time, comparatively speaking. I remember past years where damage was so pervasive that it took weeks and months to restore everything; essential services being the first reinstated, of course. The northern areas of Pennsylvania took a real pounding from snow and sleet and the reports are still coming in. Was this event a true sneak peak at the El Nino Winter?

The Milestone Approaches.
The website just passed 95,000 hits and the big 100,000 isn't so far away now. It's both gratifying and frustrating. Since January 96, when this site first went up, I've occasionally glanced at the counter but never kept too close an eye on it. It's always been just there.
I had plans to remove it a while ago, but decided to let it hit 100,000 and then pull it's plug. Either of the two HTML Editors I use HomeSite v3 or HotDogPro v4 have the Global Replace feature. Deleting the counter from hundreds of pages would be a nightmare if done manually; the auto-search & replace tool is quick and wonderfully efficient.
I'm throwing a party on this site when the 100,000 point is crossed. As soon as I get there, the counter comes off.

Still Coming In.
I'm amazed at the number and intensity of large landscape jobs coming in within the past two weeks, and more are arriving. Usually by now, things have quieted down a bit and we're prepping the 20acre complex for Winter.
Nothing shows any sign of letting up. I've still got the 25% Off Fall Nursery Stock Sale on until the end of November, and many people are yet determined to take advantage of it.
The unusual ads we run on a weekly basis take their toll by making many people think before they do something stupid, like buying junk or hiring substandard landscapers. And over the season, there are many of them out there causing havoc all over southern York County and northern Maryland. What I think about all that is well-documented in the region's newspapers.

What Next?
shit, I'm afraid to ask. It's 28F outside, I just returned from turning on the heaters in the Pump House, where all electrical and water pumping machinery are stored to run the complex. But something's amiss.
Amiss? Did I say amiss? There's a hole in the side of the 100gal galvanized water storage tank that feeds the complex from the wells, and it's freezing in mid-air as it sprays from the pressurized tank. The heaters will help keep the freezing from happening any further. Luckily, I found the problem before the temperature dips to well below zero, or there would be quite a frozen, icicle-encrusted mess when I arrive at 6am.
The company who did the original installation has been notified and will be in tomorrow by 7am to check the system for additional problems. It'll take at least a week to get replacement tanks, so we'll have to improvise a leak-stopping, temporary plug in the meantime.
Even though it's Winter now, we use lots of water. Houseplants in the Main Greenhouse Complex must be cared for, propagation continues and when plants in the three Production Greenhouses encounter some warm, sunny days, they call (figuratively...) for water and must be drenched.
Plants in pots or B&B (balled and burlapped) which are stored for the Winter in an artificial environment, as opposed to being planted in-ground, can begin to dry out on warm, sunny days, and require water. If they don't get moisture, they die. Simple enough concept. Whereas plants in-ground have a constant moisture source for their roots and are frozen in-place until Spring. Again, simple enough.
To avoid mass death of the nursery stock and perennials which I Winter over and ready again for Spring, additional moisture must be at the ready at a moments notice, whenever the unpredictable weather warrants it. Our watering systems both underground and overhead are drained for the Winter, but can be activated for use within minutes, and we use them all Winter to re-drench plants.

Spring Orders.
Everything for Spring 98 is ordered, except the perennials that we don't propagate here. I took care of that back in June and July. It's important to order ahead with some of the nurserys that I do business with in Oregon, North Carolina and Tennessee, so that their field stock isn't all picked over by other vendors.
To get the perennials ordered, Lynn, my ubiquitous Administrative assistant and I have spent the better part of two weeks putting wish lists together and getting them ready to FAX to the companies we buy perennials from. And we're finally done.
Avoiding duplication is the most difficult part of all this. Checking and rechecking orders as new confirmations arrive is critical. Sometime, double-ordering is required; although it's a practice I don't like to engage in.
Anticipating what will sell is a fun job; kind of like a shit shoot. The consumer's mood changes every year, although there are some very stalwart items that do well each year. Depending upon which perennials are reviewed by Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Garden Design and other consumer magazines, everything changes from month to month. Go figure.

More shit-For-Brains Liberal Crooks.
They're falling from their perches like canaries in a gas-filled mine shaft.
Ex-Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt is in the shitter now. A special counsel is being readied.
In return for donations to the Democratic National Committee and White House 96 Election Campaign Fund, both of which a clearly illegal, certain quid pro quo favors for gambling casinos and gaming parlors were granted by the Clinton criminals. Tsk, tsk. There were witnesses and he clearly lied by denying it to Congress.
And they have now found Willie The Bubba's name on a tell-tale loan list, further disputing Clinton's lies about Whitewater and opening an obstruction of justice investigation. Let's hope so.
The greedy, money hungry scumbag continues to raise funds to bail out the corrupt and bankrupt DNC from the illegal 96 Election fiasco. He just doesn't know when to quit: he owes so many people so much money, he'll never get it paid back. At least he's not trying to look like a president, rather a charlatan at work.
Clinton really knows how to pick his Cabinet Staff. Ex-Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary's being investigated by the Justice Dept. She resigned in disgrace after being caught taking favors and asking for bribes. Mike Espy, the ex-Commerce criminal chief who also resigned in disgrace, will be next; he's already indicted on 39 criminal counts and his trial's coming up soon. It just amazes me that such people can openly ask for and take gifts and bribes when they're holding such a high profile job. How f*cking stupid can someone be? Obviously O'leary and Espy are very, very stupid. Their avarice far outweighed any morals or ethics they might have had. In these specific cases, it appears as if they had none. Now, it's Babbitt's turn.

One Liberal's Opinion.
It's amazing to what lengths they'll go to defend Slick Willie The Bubba Philanderer. Just amazing.

One Liberal's Mistake.
It's also amazing to what lengths they'll go to raise money for Slick Willie The Bubba President. Just incredulous.

Clinton's Delusions of Reality.
Thinking he's something that clearly he isn't, Slick Willie The Bubba is now discussing his place in history. Imagine that. I think most people know where the son-of-a-bitch really belongs.
Trying to rationalize where he'll be viewed by both his own party of liberal criminals and the real world, Clinton actually believes that he had something to do with Republican-drafted and sponsored bills on crime control, welfare and the balanced budget.
Bubba can't remember very clearly, that it was he and his pathetic band of criminals and crooks who fought the Republican-controlled Congress on all of those issues, and just prior to being defeated by a Congressional vote, jumped sides, co-opted the Conservative position, begged to make a minor change to each, and then signed each bill, much to the consternation of the Democrats.
The truth is, he'll be remembered for being the most investigated and corrupt president in American history; the members of his Administration Cabinet will hold the record for the most number of liberals or anyone investigated and indicted: 5 are now already under investigation; 2 have been indicted. Plus a host of his former business associates are either serving time or are still in the legal system's process and ready to be indicted. Things are really just getting started.
I used to think that Nixon was a crook; well, he was but not on the magnitude that Clinton is. It would be tough to make Nixon's crimes look pale, but he's done that. The breadth of his crimes are so pervasive that it's amazing he's been able to cover his tracks so well until now. Some of the crimes are starting to float and can now be seen. More will definitely surface as time goes by.
Clinton's place in history? There will be a generic phrase to describe rampant corruption and illegality: Clintonized or maybe Bubba-fied to nail down his so-called place in history.

Shooting Blanks.
Flying a plane without fuel, is like carrying a gun without ammunition: stupid.
Sure, I enjoyed John Denver's songs in the 70s and I've been following the story of his death, but a pilot who doesn't keep meticulous track of his fuel situation is a moron. In this case, a very dead moron. Just basic stuff to monitor what keeps one alive.
In the 80s, I got a private pilot's license with 92 hours of instructor time okay, okay so I'm a slow learner and a mere 40 hours was required back then and one of the very, very, very first precepts of flying a plane, any plane, is keep track of fuel. Think hours ahead. Plan the trip with fuel to spare, in case of unforeseen circumstances.
Unless you're flying a sophisticated commercial or military craft, manual tracking and planning is a must. That's one reason why flight plans are filed; to gauge distance against time times fuel equals safe arrival, usually. That's why I quit. Death.
Does the decrepit Tom Petty song, Free Falling ring any bells?

New Greenhouses Update.
Greenhouse #5 is up, covered with both 6mil poly film, shadecloth for Winter storage, and packed with containerized nursery stock, dormant for the Winter.
Greenhouse #6 is another matter altogether. We hit serious rock when drilling postholes for the anchoring posts: 100 holes will now have to be hand dug and the steel posts cemented into place amongst the rock and clay subsoil.
The A-Team is working on it right now. We might lose the weather any day now.

Website Tune-Up.
A great website mechanic is hard to find. These guys do good analysis, and their creators want to sell you website revisions. Nice gimmick. But a fun place to go to get a truly mechanical opinion.



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