Vivaldi's "Four Season's", "Fall" Concerto (Mov. 2-3/3), is nice.
friday, september 4th, 2009
as I've read toiled and labored over marketing and financial plans for the past 4-5 months, after IPA came in for 2 weeks in May, and excoriated me personally for being totally-responsible for the tanking Obama-communist/socialist-induced economy. Sure GWB left him a $3 Trillion "legacy", but Obama's rush to triple the deficit, just doesn't make sense. The damage he's done is unfixable, and will eventually destroy America, as there's no way to pay-off all this debt. I have broad shoulders; I could handle it, but I felt the "black funk" onsetting after 19 years of business. To think that I'd lose my business, after so much blood, sweat & tears, and it'd be gone in the next 12 months, according to IPA. The bubble had truly burst, and not only were we headed for a 'recession', we're also headed for 'inflation and a major depression', which haven't reared their ugly heads, just yet.
After reviewing 2009 sales and where we'll end-up, there'll also be no raises for 2010; they & I both are lucky there were no 10-15% paycuts this season, but certainly no raises. We have to get back to 2006, when we did $1 Million+ in Gross Sales. (((sigh))) People, properties, landscapes, needs, finances, intentions, plans and a million other things have changed, for all-time.
I just received the August sales numbers on Tuesday, and it's not where we need to be, at this point in time, with only 8-10 weeks left in the season. I plotted the numbers for 2009 on the line graph, on MS-Excel, and the 4-year trend is disturbing. I've got some very hard decisions to make in the coming months, regarding my business and employees for Spring 2010. And none of them are pleasant.
www.gdnctr.com was the first garden center & nursery on the Web, in January '96, and I'd sure hate to see it cease to operate in 2010. I'm working on "saving it, somehow".
Time will tell.
Around The Garden Center™.
It was pouring on the way into work on Friday morning, at 7:15am, and I made my usual stop for "high-voltage caffeine" coffee and 2 packs of Marlboros, as well as donned my gray rain slicker. My condo rain gauge read 1¼" as I left home, and I'd heard reports of 3"+ in other Southern York County locations. Several stretches of Rt 24 were already under 2-4" of water, and I knew it was going to get worse as the say wore on. Most of my employees either left at 10am or 12 noon, but I had payroll to do, and was waiting for a call from Gary at R.E. Sanders, about another service call of the ill-fated, non-reliable RUUD Tankless Water Heater. He finally called me at 2:30pm, and I drove home, only to lock my keys in the 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee 'Laredo'. Fortunately, I had a spare set at work, and Dad brought them by, when he closed down at 4pm. Just damn!
T-storms rolled through the area all day long, dumping much-needed rainfall, in palatable amounts, instead of downpours. *Severe Storm Warnings* and *Flood Watches* were posted on all the major weather websites, for scores of counties and zipcodes 17361 - 17408, and beyond. With temps in the low-70s, it almost felt like Fall. I enjoy the sound of rain falling on my 3 skylights, as well as the Four Seasons GH overhead glass I have on the north end of the condo. Sweet; I was asleep by 10pm and the rain was still coming down. I don't know why rain is so calming, but it is.
It was four years ago, on August 17th, that my little friend Pickle, died, and we buried him just at the top of the stairs, going into the GC&N Complex. Four years? Just damn; I still miss him terribly.
Saturday was a busy day, relatively speaking, with both retail sales and numerous people stopping by to see me. I also fielded an unusual amount of phone calls about the upcoming 25% Off Fall Sale, and helping Dad & Jan with a few retail sales. I loaded 2 Jap Maples, several CuYds of mulch, no topsoil (too wet) and spent some time with Mark, our IT guy from J&M Systems, reviewing our needs for 2010. My condo ass'n had their annual picnic, but I opted to bypass it, and get a shower, clean clothes and a drink.
I slept-in Sunday until 11am, drove over to Rutter's to get some coffee, a couple of 'BK Burgers' at Burger King, and back home to do some chores. I'll get over to Mom & Dad's next Thursday, my day off, for a visit with her. I was just too weary this week. We're going into 7-day-a-week mode, starting this coming Sunday, to accommodate the 25% Off Fall Sale, and I dread this next 6-8 weeks of working Sundays.
Monday & Tuesday were days filled with tree sales at 25%+ off, and Jennifer & I logged them in place of LSCP Jobs, which have seemingly run-out, this Fall. I need to keep my LSCP Crew working, and if it simply means tree installations, so be it. Seth and his Hardscape Apprentice are actively working on a large project in Phoenix, MD, with both hardscape and greenscape, so they're well-accounted for. We have 1-2 more medium jobs coming-up, for my LSCP Crew, thankfully. Such a change from just 2 years ago.
I've brought-in a few small LSCP Jobs, and will accompany the LSCP crew to the site, and lay each out for them, just to make sure it gets done per my customer's and my specs. I'm taking Thursday off, as usual, since I'll be working on Sundays in September & October, once again. Dad took Wednesday off, for the same reason.
Everywhere I drive, it's frigging roadwork, blockades and delays! If it's not the Miller Pipeline Co, it's the Columbia Gas or Kinsley Construction, tearing-up this or that, patching this or that, fat flagmen/women and their little walkie talkies allowing 10 vehicles at a time through the spinning, hand-held stop signs, each of them replete with hard hats and luminescent vests. I'm sick of it; I can't wait until Winter when all this roadwork crap ends. It makes my 14½ mile/ 20-25-minute commute to and from work, a 45-60 minute trip. Grrrrrr!
The RUUD®/ Rheem® Tankless Water Heater Saga continues. I was at my condo for 4hrs on Wednesday, while R.E. Sanders Co. tested gas and air flows, and after changing the burner and air cleaner last week, the unit is still malfunctioning: 4 minutes of hot water and then it 'reverts' to cold water for the rest of the shower. Yikes! RUUD®/Rheem® is FedEx-ing an ***entire new model replacement unit*** into my condo on Friday, for re-installation. The R42 Model I have isn't made anymore, and they're upgrading me to an R53, requiring all-new ¾" instead of ½" copper piping. This crap has been going on since last May-June, when it was purchased ($2,700) installed and working correctly, and until this June 15th, when it took a mechanical dump, and I called-in the temp/hot water problem. The 1-year warranty is in effect, and I win. RUUD® loses.
Dolly has turned-over gdnctr v4.0 elements and I have the safely-stored for Winter work and implementation. They're gorgeous CSS-xHTML works of art (like her) and will greatly enhance www.gdnctr.com, should I go back online in Spring 2010, and not fold-up. The next 6-8 weeks will tell the tale. As I said, I have some very, very hard and painful business decisions to make for 2010, over the Winter months.
I took Thursday off and slept-in until 11am. Then, I got 2 calls from RUUD® asking me technical questions about the water heater, none of which I could answer. I wasn't the installer; I'm the end-customer. I referred them to R.E. Sanders. With temps of 72°F outside, I opened-up the condo to air-it-out, and both cats immediately claimed a separate windowsill in the sun. One had thrown-up a hairball on my bed, so I had some laundry to do, as well. I went out to run some errands since I'll be working Sundays for the next two months, and only have Labor Day (Monday) off, with nothing open. Summer's officially "over". I'll visit Mom & Dad on Monday.
It's hard to believe it's September already; Summer's over and Fall is officially here. With all the school busses on the roads in the morning and afternoon, it's beginning to sink-in. All too soon, it'll be *Winter Storm Advisories* instead of *Severe Thunderstorm Watches" on TWC and NWS. I hate the Summer and Winter months; Spring and Fall are my favorite seasons, as I get older. No matter: Tempus Fugit, regardless of what I think about it.
Remember when you were 4-9 years old, and the days passed so slowly? You thought you'd never grow-up and drive a cool car, smoke cigarettes, drink cocktails, fall in love, marry and have your own family? You always thought you'd be "under the thumb" of your Mom & Dad, forever. That mindset so quickly changed when we hit our 40s, 50s & 60s, and now all that, and much more, has come to pass.
H.R. 3200 The Health Care Bill.
People are so caught up in specific provisions within HR3200 they are not seeing the forest for the trees. The bill on its face is unconstitutional since Article 1 Section 8 does not expressly list regulating health care as a power granted to Congress by the Constitution. This key point is what people need to focusing on and address with their Congress critters.
For anyone who hasn't had the opportunity to personally read the obamarxists health care bill itself, here is a link to do so: Read HR3200.
Here is a list of just some of the things contained in the bill that should infuriate any freedom-loving American:
Page 22: Mandates audits of all employers that self-insure!
Page 29: Admission: your health care will be rationed!
Page 30: A government committee will decide what treatments and benefits you get (and, unlike an insurer, there will be no appeals process).
Page 42: The "Health Choices Commissioner" will decide health benefits for you. You will have no choice. None.
Page 50: All non-US citizens, illegal or not, will be provided with free healthcare services.
Page 58: Every person will be issued a National ID Health card.
Page 59: The federal government will have direct, real-time access to all individual bank accounts for electronic funds transfer.
Page 65: Taxpayers will subsidize all union retiree and community organizer health plans (read: SEIU, UAW and ACORN).
Page 72: All private healthcare plans must conform to government rules to participate in a Healthcare Exchange.
Page 84: All private healthcare plans must participate in the Healthcare Exchange (i.e., total government control of private plans).
Page 91: Government mandates linguistic infrastructure for services; translation: illegal aliens.
Page 95: The Government will pay ACORN and Americorps to sign up individuals for Government-run Health Care plan.
Page 102: Those eligible for Medicaid will be automatically enrolled: you have no choice in the matter.
Page 124: No company can sue the government for price-fixing. No "judicial review" is permitted against the government monopoly. Put simply, private insurers will be crushed.
Page 127: The AMA sold doctors out: the government will set wages.
Page 145: An employer MUST auto-enroll employees into the government-run public plan. No alternatives.
Page 126: Employers MUST pay healthcare bills for part-time employees AND their families.
Page 149: Any employer with a payroll of $400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays an 8% tax on payroll.
Page 150: Any employer with a payroll of $250K-400K or more, who does not offer the public option, pays a 2 to 6% tax on payroll.
Page 167: Any individual who doesnt' have acceptable healthcare (according to the government) will be taxed 2.5% of income.
Page 170: Any NON-RESIDENT alien is exempt from individual taxes (Americans will pay for them).
Page 195: Officers and employees of Government Healthcare Bureaucracy will have access to ALL American financial and personal records.
Page 203: "The tax imposed under this section shall not be treated as tax." Yes, it really says that.
Page 239: Bill will reduce physician services for Medicaid. Seniors and the poor most affected."
Page 241: Doctors: no matter what specialty you have, you'll all be paid the same (thanks, AMA!).
Page 253: Government sets value of doctors' time, their professional judgment, etc.
Page 265: Government mandates and controls productivity for private healthcare industries.
Page 268: Government regulates rental and purchase of power-driven wheelchairs.
Page 272: Cancer patients: welcome to the wonderful world of rationing!
Page 280: Hospitals will be penalized for what the government deems preventable re-admissions.
Page 298: Doctors: if you treat a patient during an initial admission that results in a readmission, you will be penalized by the government.
Page 317: Doctors: you are now prohibited for owning and investing in healthcare companies!
Page 318: Prohibition on hospital expansion. Hospitals cannot expand without government approval.
Page 321: Hospital expansion hinges on "community" input: in other words, yet another payoff for ACORN.
Page 335: Government mandates establishment of outcome-based measures: i.e., rationing.
Page 341: Government has authority to disqualify Medicare Advantage Plans, HMOs, etc.
Page 354: Government will restrict enrollment of SPECIAL NEEDS individuals.
Page 379: More bureaucracy: Telehealth Advisory Committee (healthcare by phone).
Page 425: More bureaucracy: Advance Care Planning Consult: Senior Citizens, assisted suicide, euthanasia?
Page 425: Government will instruct and consult regarding living wills, durable powers of attorney, etc. Mandatory. Appears to lock in estate taxes ahead of time.
Page 425: Government provides approved list of end-of-life resources, guiding you in death.
Page 427: Government mandates program that orders end-of-life treatment; government dictates how your life ends.
Page 429: Advance Care Planning Consult will be used to dictate treatment as patient's health deteriorates. This can include an ORDER for end-of-life plans. An ORDER from the GOVERNMENT.
Page 430: Government will decide what level of treatments you may have at end-of-life.
Page 469: Community-based Home Medical Services: more payoffs for ACORN.
Page 472: Payments to Community-based organizations: more payoffs for ACORN.
Page 489: Government will cover marriage and family therapy. Government intervenes in your marriage.
Page 494: Government will cover mental health services: defining, creating and rationing those services.
If all that crap doesn't piss you off, you're brain-dead!
Things Which Make Your Head Explode™.
Racist, bigot, hate-America, hate-US Military, hate-CIA, corrupt, paid-for-Marc Rich bagman, scumbag, lowlife sambo AG Eric Holder. Pat Caddell gets to the nub of the Justice Department conundrum: is Holder running the administration, or is the president disingenuous when he denies responsibility for reactivating the investigation of CIA detainee-interrogation cases? Caddell goes after both Holders handling of the Black Panther case (dismissing a default judgment in an obvious case of physical intimidation of voters) and the naming of a special prosecutor to look at alleged detainee abuse — a move directly contrary to the presidents plea to look forward, not backward. I say stand Holder against a wall; he's a traitor and subhuman filth.
Once again, the dirty little nigga sambo Holder's fingerprints are all over this abortion of justice: "New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson and former high-ranking members of his administration won't be criminally charged in a yearlong federal investigation into pay-to-play allegations involving one of the Democratic governor's large political donors, someone familiar with the case said. The decision not to pursue indictments was made by top Justice Department officials, according to a person familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified because federal officials had not disclosed results of the probe. "It's over. There's nothing. It was killed in Washington," the person told The Associated Press." The lib-dems' corruption doesn't count. Different rules/laws for lib-dem trash. I say stand Holder against a stone wall; he's a traitor and lowlife, subhuman filth, IMO. Clean the In-Justice Dept out!
Destroy small businesses: Mandatory 5-9 sick days for employees, as required by ACORN/ SEIU commie union scumbags? They're trying to unionize the whole country! Destroy the unions, IMO!
GW Bridge minority workers, aka union thugs, niggas, sambos, sleeping on the job? FIRED!
Some People Just Need Killing™.
It's not my intention to be the judge here — that's God's "job" — but rather to "hasten the meeting" so that He can send the following subhuman filth to the "Fires of Hell", "River or Lake of Sulphur", or whatever He deems appropriate. I'd gladly/happily volunteer, at no cost to any of my Hard-Working, Fellow US Taxpayers, to gladly/gleefully/happily head shoot these murderous, lowlife dirtbags — their skin-color doesn't matter to me, at all — and rid American Society's innocents (especially our precious children and the elderly) of them, once-and-for-all. And yes, I'd rather see one innocent man convicted and executed, than 10 murderers/robbers/child rapists-murderers freed, to rob, rape and murder again. Hey; call me an "Old Fashioned Conservative"!
Cat mutilator/murderer and future serial murderer, Tyler Hayes Weinman, 18, needs killing! I volunteer!
Baby chicks being ground-up alive, for no reason at all?
IMO, shoot and kill terrorist-funding and enabling subhuman piece of muslim shit, Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, as soon as he steps on US Soil. Problem solved.
Daniel Blas Flores, 27, needs summary killing for raping a 7 year old autistic girl. Show no mercy; kill him!
Jeff Jones, co-founder of the murderous, terrorist Weather Underground, needs summary trial and killing, IMO. I volunteer! Gimme the shot!
Donald Robinson, 57, needs summary execution to end his rapist ways, IMO.
These 5 NIGGERS need killing, IMO! No trial, no appeal, no mercy; KILL THE MURDEROUS, SUBHUMAN NIGGER FILTH!
Homewreckers: Home and Garden.
This almanac of spirited DIY projects follows a wrecking crew of more than a dozen bloggers as they garden and spruce up their environs. Whether they're first-time homeowners, renters, or otherwise, they all want a little something more from their personal spaces. Sometimes, the quest ends in confusion, pain, and bouts of trucker-like cursing, as when assembling Ikea furniture. Other times, pansies popping up by accident or a small improvement like a new mailbox bring great joy. Urban gardening has unexpected perils, and everybody has their own ideas about home organization, but if you like to play with big kids' toys, you'll appreciate the combined blogs of these home wreckers.