for some odd reason, it just doesn't feel like Fall. A lot of things aren't quite right: It's too warm, for starters. Plants that should be going dormant are re-blooming, putting out new growth and refusing to accept the change of season. The onset of preliminary dormancy should be affecting most plants by now. The first good, Killing frost (usually on or about November 20th, around here) always puts them to sleep quickly for the Winter. Old El What's-His Or Her-Name is probably to blame for this weirdness. I don't remember anything quite like it in the short 7 years I've been in the business: heat waves, droughts, floods, hail, ice storms, unusual cold, blizzards etc. And it'll go on for years, we're told. At least there aren't any locusts to deal with. Yet.
Calls For assistance.
Each day, calls and emails come in asking for advice on what to do to winterize a garden. For the first-time gardener, it can be a daunting task. For those who've been through several Winters, it's become a routine. Nothing to get bothered about.
Spring through Fall sees an average of 70 emails arriving daily in my Netscape mailbox, and I hand write the answer to each one; some after considerable botanic research. A few — as many as 10% — have bad or incomplete return addresses, so I get failed mail - undeliverable returns. The majority are from AOL. I can't understand how someone doesn't know if their own email address is valid. Are they not getting mail from other people? When they send a note and don't ever hear back, doesn't that trigger a warning flag? Apparently not.
Many general questions can be answered when they read either the FAQs or browse the Ads. The point-by-point specific situations are best dealt with quickly; my attention span has been dwindling lately. That's now 4 of the 7 warning signs. Of what I'm not sure.
For the past several weeks, I've been working on and off on Blue Sterling's New Website. It's just out of beta test and will be transferred to their server, somewhere in southern New Jersey.
I'd planned to get over to Blue Sterling's Bridgeton, NJ facility, but business kept me here. I wanted to re-shoot many of the conifer pictures they'd supplied for my use, from their 97 catalog. Instead, I wound up color correcting the supplied pics in PhotoShop v3; they'll have to do for now until I can get some new shots taken.
If I can get a free day in the early part of Spring, I'll drive over with a digital camera and get some nicely staged shots of their nursery stock, staff and facilities.
It's basically completed now. I'll continue to work on some better graphics over the Winter for them, in PhotoShop v3. I'll probably have Eric Grove do some Java applets for their Core Page, as he's done for mine.
If you look at the Retail Stores listings, we're the only one with a website. There are some pretty heavy hitters listed there, but no one else with a site. Several did have crude, 1st generation websites up a few months ago, but they're down now. I searched for all the ones that should have sites, including the few who did, but dead ends came back up everywhere. Their sites are now down, possibly for good. A sad commentary on the horticulture industry, to be sure; an industry still in the throes of the 19th century.
Unfortunately, people in the horticulture industry have the wrong impression and expectation of what a website should accomplish. If they're wholesalers, very few products will be ordered by retail horticulture customers; that's not the way business is done in this archaic industry. If they're a retail business, they'd better have UPS or FedEx living nearby to get the merchandise delivered. I've chosen neither route. My site is a fun place to visit; the fact that we'll do close to $200,000 from it this year — with no product offerings or online selling apparatus in place — continues to boggle many people's minds. Mine too.
Until a few years ago, I'd never enjoyed routines, commonly known as being in a rut. Now I do, to some extent.
Some days, it's so hectic and disorganized — due in part to the weather and customer problems — that a simple routine is most welcomed. At least I know what's happening and can predict with a small degree of accuracy, what will occur next without having to second-guess anyone who comes in through the door.
There are times when, because of routines or ruts, I purposely change everything to gain some chaos and then thrive on the unexpected. But they're becoming more and more rare.
After realizing that my frame of reference depends closely upon my state-of-mind at the time, I broke out of the rut and improved the overall viewpoint of everything. I like a rut because it's comfortable; I hate it because it quickly becomes boring and safe to live in.
Veep and resident Second Scumbag, Al Gore has now been directly linked to a corruptive contracts and contributions scheme.
It involved selected companies giving contributions to The University of Tennessee in memoriam of Gore's deceased sister and to the Democratic National Committee (DNC) in return for significantly increased government contracts from The Energy Department.
Already, Gore's spokes-idiots are claiming that there's no relationship between the coincidental events, all of which happened quid pro quo, that is, this for that. It surely doesn't take a rocket scientist to see the obvious connection.
In The Foot, Bill.
It's just amazing what liberals will do to themselves and self-destruct because of it, along the way. It's happened to many, many people in public life; a moment's bad decision and an entire career, lifestyle and way of life gone in an instant.
These are not stupid people; they're coldly calculating, arrogant, criminal left wing nuts so fiercely loyal to Slick Willie The Bubba, that they're now involved in an obstruction of justice action and risking prison for Clinton's already criminally-sorry ass. Poor, misguided liberal idiots.
More and more Americans now want a special prosecutor assigned to investigate Clinton and Gore's criminal activity. Finally, the country is waking up.
It's also amazing about how many and what kind of scum got access to Clinton, in trade for mountains of cash. A very high-priced political whore, the Clinton liberals continued to revel in their criminal activities, even making videotapes of the activities. Those tapes will help to cause the eventual downfall. Nixon had his infamous Watergate Audio Tapes; Kennedy's and Johnson's also have revealed many unknowns about each, though the illegal and unethical parts were completely purged by their final release date. Those two liberals were bad enough on the surface; underneath, each was a criminal too.
Getting the POTUS' (President Of The United States) attention and paying money for favors is whorish activity, by every judgment of morality and ethics. Except the filthy liberal scumbags. Without morals, ethics or a basic innate sense of propriety, they continued to sell, sell, sell access to Clinton and Gore in 95 and 96. And they still don't see anything wrong with it. The everyone else did it excuse has worn too thin after so many uses.
The New England Wildflower Society's website is full of treasures, but the First Generation HTML look is needing some serious updating soon.
Drop by, ignore the ancient look, and enjoy the wildflower wonders. They do have some very nice photography at the site.