Friday, November 24, 2006
greetings, all! For those of you who are coming to my place for Thanksgiving dinner, Martha Stewart ain't gonna be here! I'm telling you in advance, so don't act surprised. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, *paper bag luminaries*. After a trial run, I decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect. Once inside, my guests will note that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. The mud was their idea. The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match, and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic "Peter Rabbit plates" and the "Santa napkins", from last Christmas. Okay? Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I promised. Instead, we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The children assure me it is a turkey. We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, and the turkey hot line. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00am upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds. As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of "tribal drumming". If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying. We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement. When the *smoke alarm* sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door. Now, I know you have all seen pictures of one person carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative onlookers. This will not be happening at our dinner. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed. It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat. I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty bread. Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice between 12 different scrumptious desserts, we will be serving the traditional pumpkin pie, garnished with whipped cream and *small fingerprints*. You will still have a choice; take it or leave it. Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this year. And she probably won't come next year, either. Deal with it.(Source: Anonymous Email)
Proclamation of National Thanksgiving, by George Washington, City of New York, October 3, 1789.
BTW, here's what the Real First Thanksgiving was most likely, like; not the "holiday of legend", which we celebrate. What IS the Real Thanksgiving Day Story, anyway? Does anyone really know, or is it all just mere speculation and conjecture, based upon what scraps of evidence/tradition/history/spiel/hand-me-down/legend/family-history etc? Sure, ask me sometime.
Quite obviously, this is a highly-truncated version of John's Journal, appropriately-abbreviated and erstwhile-edited for the Christian & Judeo Thanksgiving Holiday, and as I will also do for the Christian Christmas and New Year Holidays, and the many Jewish Holidays. IMO, there's no need to taint Our (collective) Holidays with
the scum, lowlifes, racists, bigots, dirtbags, filth, corrupt, idiots, ignoramuses, morons, criminal, scumbags, muslim-islamist-arab subhumans those who inhabit and ruin our earth and our fragile, ephemeral, human-based societies, on a daily basis. Enjoy the "time-off" from my Journal, and savor Our Christian & Jewish Holidays, while we still have them.
Around The Garden Center.
Wow! 3½"-plus of rain, last Thursday! It just didn't stop, from 6am to 8:30pm, with tornado, flash flood and flooding warnings, raging-hourly, all day long. Luckily, the tornadoes didn't happen just heavy rain, flooding and very strong wind and we dodged another bullet, unlike these poor folks in the southeast, who caught one. I scanned www.weather.com and www.wgal.com's sites to keep track of the warnings, watches etc. Could have been worse: it could have been snow!
Temps are in-line with this time of year: upper-40°Fs/lower-50°Fs daytime, and mid-to-upper-30°Fs nighttime. With variants over the past 16 years, as I've recorded them, we've seen everything from warmth to bitter cold, to warm rain and ice storms and heavy, wet snow. I've learned to always remember: "Mother Nature's in charge; we're just along for the ride".
As Winter Hours began, being closed on both Saturday and Sunday was very nice. I hadn't had a Saturday off in over 16 years. Hells bells, I hardly knew what to do with two days off, in a row! Sleeping-in until around noon, was a "dream-come-true". Having weekends off, was almost "being normal" again, as with so many other people. For the past 16 years, I've worked 7 days a week, except in the Winter months of Dec-Jan-Feb, and it's truly "sucked" not having some time-off. I can now come in on either day, by appointment, and will, if "requested", be available for specific meetings on landscape projects etc. The new Winter Hours Schedule doesn't affect my remaining Landscape Crews; they will still begin at 7am, and leave around 3:30pm, as they have all year, as long as the weather holds. Three of my four GC&N Staff Jennifer (Horticulturist/GH-Nursery Mgr), Bob (GH Ass't Mgr), and Brad (Handyman et al) will be laid-off this Friday, and will come back, on "banked hours", as the GC&N "needs dictate" over the next few months, before Spring begins. SOP, as in previous years. James, my Landscape Designer, will be laid-off the following Friday. My next step is to find and hire an overall GC&N Manager, who can open the Complex at 6am (I'll close down at 5pm), and work 5-7 days a week, like I used to. With the nagging and constant pain from my back, shoulder and elbow injuries, I can't physically do it anymore; and mentally, I don't want to do it, anymore. Time wounds all heals. Ha.
At around 1pm on Saturday, I'd realized that I hadn't changed the telephone answering machine's message over to "Winter Hours", from the "Spring-Summer-Fall Hours" ongoing recording, so I drove down to the GC&N Complex, to do just that. No, I can't do it remotely, BTW. On the way, I felt the Jeep pulling to the left, and when I got there, I noticed that the left front tire was going down fast. Yikes! Apparently, I'd clipped a curb on my way into the bank's curved driveway, on Friday, to make a deposit, and sheared-off enough rubber from the sidewall, to cause a significant leak. I heard the "hiss" of leaking air, and knew I had a problem. I quickly changed the message, and drove north to Red Lion, filled-up the tire at a local gas station, and drove it home to change the flat. Damn; it was a very cold afternoon, 1¼ hrs, to change that tire, as the sun went down, and the cold air set-in. So, I opted to do it on Sunday morning, instead.
With Thanksgiving and the Wall Street investor-watched, "Black Friday" just around the corner, Sunday's road traffic was noticeably heavy, as was the volume of cars in shopping mall parking lots. After changing the Jeep's tire, I avoided as many of the main thoroughfares as I could, and did some quick errand shopping a six-pack of Rolling Rock (pre-Anheuser-Busch pisswater; there is still plenty "Original RR" left in the 'pipeline', BTW) and one of Guinness Extra Stout and then headed home, to watch some football, something I almost never do anymore.
On Sunday evening, I saw the season's first glimpse of *snow flurries* coming down around 9:30pm, and checked the www.weather.com forecast; sure enough, they'd predicted a 35% chance of showers/flurries. With daily highs in the upper-40°sF and nightly lows in the lower 30°sF, it's beginning to feel a lot like Winter.
James, my Landscape Designer, and I have already started compiling 3 lists Spring '07 Landscape Jobs, Spring '07 LSCP Maintenance Jobs and Fall '06 LSCP Jobs Needing Completion just to track all of the many variables from this season's work. He's done a yeoman's job, this year, in getting the design work done and accompanying data to me to get the estimates and scheduling done. I'm very pleased with his professional progress, this year, and look forward to his continued efforts in Spring '07. My customers have been very complimentary of his efforts on their behalf, BTW, as has my Landscape Foreman, Alan. Nice job, James. His *personal situation* has also turned-around, very nicely, too. Congrats.
Well, looky here: just in time for Thanksgiving, gas prices are on the rebound. Locally, gas prices at the pump, have risen yet another 11ข this past week, here in the York (PA) area. Unleaded Regular is now at $2.21/gal. Unleaded Plus is now at $2.31/gal and Unleaded Premium is now at $2.41/gal. Both diesel and kerosene are still hovering around $2.65/gal. Natch.
Tens-of-millions my neighbors called it "hundreds-of-millions", but I can't differentiate to that degree of common blackbirds have descended into the farm fields adjoining the GC&N Complex, and are picking through the combine-dropped corn and bean crop leavings, as the continue their migration, southward. They turn the skies utterly black as they leapfrog from field to field. The roar of their collective wings is deafening, when they take-off, as is their combined chirping. It happens around this time, every year. Next, come the pure white 'snow geese', also heading south, by the tens-of-thousands. Same routine; scavenge the fields, leapfrog from one to the next, headed south. Ain't "Mother Nature", grand?
Dave and I went over to Freedom Armory's new, world-class indoor shooting range on Monday, in Shrewsbury (PA) and had some long-delayed fun with out semi-auto pistols. I took my daily carry piece, a Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP ($1,150), he brought a Glock 26/ 9mm ($650) and we rented a ultra-new, ultra-high-end, Nighthawk Custom 1911 .45cal ACP ($2,600), just *for grins*, to see how the "other half lives". It's the finest, most precision weapon I've ever shot. Knowing Dave for over 3 years, I can say that he's is an amazingly-accurate shooter with any gun. I just need *much more* range-time/practice, as I'm "pushing to the left, a 'tad bit'. The left-side of that terrorist would look like a sieve, with a few in the deadly, 'center mass', and a couple in the hate-filled head. Practice, practice, practice. Heck, I've got all Winter to get *upgraded* with my Kimber. But I'd sure like to get that Nighthawk Custom "Predator" 1911 .45cal ACP unit. FA's got one, in their showcase, and maybe I'll give it to myself, for Christmas.
Mmmmmmmmmmm, cranberries. Yes, I like them and all their many healthy benefits. Especially cranberry juice and vodka.
What a difference 4 new GoodYear Wrangler SR-A P245/70R16 tires (nay 'tyres') make on the Jeep. By simply tele-shopping around, I got a heck-uva-good price ($300 cheaper than anywhere else!) and had them installed on Tuesday morning, in 1 hour at the Brooks-Huff GoodYear Dealer, on Leader Hts, in York, PA. Nice folks (Kim) to do business with, IMO.
I still continue to scan the mid- and long-term weather forecasts, daily, for clues as to what we're facing, in a weather-driven industry and business, for our customers who enjoy a weather-driven hobby. Did I mention that this is a "weather-driven" industry/business/hobby?
Time to shop for some more Pendelton Board Shirts, as replacements for the ones Becky sent me for Christmas 4-5 years ago, which are worn-out and patched to the max. If you've never owned and worn one (or several), you're missing out on one of life's real pleasures, IMO.
Two big government-funded studies (skeptical yet, like me?) on back surgery for painful herniated disks show no clear-cut reason to choose an operation over other treatment. The pain and physical function of the patients, who were suffering from a condition called sciatica, improved significantly after two years whether or not they had surgery. However, neither strategy offered complete relief. (((sigh))) I'm now also living *okay* with my back, and the comcomitant shoulder and elbow injuries/pain, since incurring them in '04, thankyouverymuch. The Human Body is nothing, if not resilient.
I saw the early Wednesday morning weather forecasts, and the storm system approaching us from the southeast (Atlantic Ocean) was something I'd never seen before: 700-800 miles long, 200 miles deep, huge red-orange-yellow cell-lines in front, and moving off the ocean onto land, like a massive Roman army troop movement. There was an obvious nor'easter in the Carolinas, spinning around and helping to drive the front, from southeast to northwest. Amazing. And the sleet/freezing rain hit us around 3:30pm, as I was closing-up the GC&N Complex. Traffic was heavy anyway, on Thanksgiving Day Eve, as people left work early, to do last minute food shopping etc, travel to relative's homes etc, and it all snarled the Nation's airports, bigtime.
I re-checked the weather maps after getting home around 4:30, after 2 lscp site-visit stops, and sure enough: it hadn't changed. It had merely intensified and was marching northwest from the Atlantic Ocean. The sleet/freezing rain had changed-over to rain and was causing problems, all along the East Coast. By 5:30pm, it was a hard-driving rain with occasional thunderstorms; somewhat rare for this time of year. Speaking of airport delays and holiday air travel... no, I don't fly anymore, and haven't since TWA 800 was shot down in July 1996. I drive wherever I need to go, and if I can't drive there, I don't need to go there. Period.
I had a hard time sleeping Wednesday night/Thursday morning minor back and shoulder pain and was up until 2, and back-up for 10-15mins every hour or so, until 4am. I finally fell deep asleep around 4:15am, and slept until 1pm. It was a rough night; as 324mg aspirin didn't help much, and I had nothing stronger to quell the nagging pain. It rained most of the night. The rain was soothing, eventually helping me to get to sleep. The storm stalled-out just over NJ, and turned into a nor'easter and kept pumping rain into the area for much of the day. Another 2½" in the rain gauge. Sure glad it wasn't snow.
I had a 2pm Thanksgiving Dinner at Mom & Dad's, on Thursday: a beautifully-roasted 13lb turkey, stuffing, 2 extra bowls of out-of-bird filling, gallons of gravy, mounds of mashed potatoes, copious carrots, plentiful peas, no cranberry dressing this year, pumpkin pie and vanilla ice cream, and Allegro vino... wheeeeeeeew, was I full or what? You mean like last year, and the 56 Thanksgiving Day Holidays, before that one? Stuffed? Ha!
Not only was Thursday Thanksgiving Day, it was also the 43rd Anniversary of JFK's assassination, in Dallas, TX. In 1963, I was a 13-year old freshman in high school, and was in algebra class, when the announcement came over the loudspeaker system, and school was dismissed. The next 7 days were a time of national shock and mourning, as millions of American families spent that sad time at their B&W TV sets, watching the whole funeral/burial etc scenario unfold. I remember it well, after all these years.
I truly hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving, and remember all the many things we have to be thankful for, here in America. For one day, shut-out all the garbage, crap and trash that we have to deal with on a daily basis, and say this simple Thanksgiving Prayer: "Oh God, when I have food, help me remember the hungry. When I have a home, help me remember the homeless. When I am with friends and family who love me, help me remember those who are friendless and shunned. And remembering, help me destroy my complacency, move my heart and reach out by word and deed to those who cry out for what we take for granted."
Things Which Bring a Tear To Your Eye.
I just couldn't pass-up this story about the "Secret Santa", who's now dying from cancer and probably won't see another Christmas Season, after this one.
This story brought more than just "a tear" to my eye: 16 miles of files, in 6 massive buildings, in Germany: the Holocaust archive is about to go public and open it doors to the files and remaining posessions of all those many millions of poor, innocent souls slaughtered by the subhuman nazi fascist filth. IMO, the International Tracing Service/ Jean-Luc Blondel in Bad Arolsen, Germany, and the Int'l Red Cross are criminally-complicit in keeping all that information from being released to the survivors, along with the deads' remaining personal possessions, and should be prosecuted and imprisoned. The lying, delaying, sandbagging and obfuscating on such a massive scale, is inexcusable and should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Has anyone shown this factual trove of Holocaust document *proof* to the mentally-ill, faggot, wimp muslim-islamist, piece-of-pigshit punk, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who denies it ever happened and calls it a "myth"?
Update on the nearby West Nickle Mines Amish School Massacre, back on October 2nd: 3 of the 5 remaining young girls 10 headshot; 5 died, 5 survived have returned to school. Thank God for answering so many of our prayers for those baby girls. And I'm not sorry that I can't forgive that subhuman POS murderer Charles Carl Roberts IV and I truly hope he burns in hell, for eternity. Prayers for his innocent family, though. They're definitely better people than I, to forgive that subhuman, for murdering/shooting those innocent children. I couldn't/ can't do it.
Whether you're mad about pantomime, stamp collecting, or full-coverage beachwear, this online magazine "unconcerned with current issues and affairs" has your number. In celebration of all things kitschy and outdated, the "unresponsible editors" of Tacky Times have unearthed a joyful array of articles from yesteryear that are sure to raise the eyebrows of even the most worldly modern-day culture aficionado. For kicks, pay homage to your favorite '50s pinup or hop along for a ride in the magical floating sidecar but if you're considering letting your teenage daughter flutter off to Paris unattended, you may want to think twice after hearing about Lily's scandalous turn-of-the-century shenanigans. Is that a glimpse of ankle I see?