february 8th, 2008

Spring may be “just around the corner”, but I'm betting that Mother Nature's not finished with us, yet. All around the GC&N Complex, crocus have begun to poke through the garden soils, but are withholding any color, so far. The plentiful (and most welcomed) rains — we've gotten hardly any snow so far — and moderate temps, have pushed many Spring blooming bulbs ahead of schedule. I have a feeling that it won't last, due to La Nina's unbalanced influence in the Pacific Ocean. In past years, when La Nina was active, we got walloped with large snowstorms in late February/early March, and that same pattern appears to be happening for this Winter. Regardless, the outdoor bulbs will survive and we Humans will endure whatever Mother Nature throws at us, as we've done for millenia. With "The Unending Drought From Hell 2007" just a bad memory now, it's critical that we enter the Spring and Summer months with ground moisture levels as high as possible. Fortunately, we in the Mid-Atlantic Region, aren't as bad-off as the folks in the Southeastern Region, especially Georgia. But we've been through rough 3rd and 4th quarters (2007), and are hoping it isn't repeated. Many small, weather-dependent business operations went quietly-under last Fall and over the Winter months; their trucks and equipment filled the bi-monthly "Lancaster Farming" newspaper, and used car/truck lots all over the area. Well now, it's official: 6 more weeks of Winter since the furry little critter pest known as Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow last Saturday morning, on Groundhog Day. Why hasn't someone shot that POS and made some "Brunswick Stew" (scroll down)? Nevermind; he's a big money-making institution, here in PA. He's protected property, and brings-in tens-of-millions, around the year. That rodent's worth more than most of us. I feel a headache coming on.

Around The Garden Center™

I was up at around 3:15am Friday morning, to water and feed the cats, and check the weather and news. I heard the ice and sleet on the skylights and window; as compared to simple rain, its noise-on-glass is very distinctive. The massive ice/sleet storm was already on top of the York Cty area, and it looked like a mess for an early commute to work. I made some Green Tea and turned-up the condo's heat, and went back to sleep for a few hours. Later after daylight, I made coffee and breakfast, and noticed that everything was once again coated in ice. With temps hovering around 31-32°F, it would take much more sunlight to warm the air and melt that stuff. I left around 7:45am, and after stopping for coffee, milk, chips and dip, and some Marlboros, I opened the GC&N Complex up, took out the garbage bags (slipping and sliding all over the place) and found that I had no Net connection. Everything was coated with ice, everywhere I looked. The wireless broadband transmitters/receivers on my roof were encased in ice and nothing worked. Damn. I called my ISP and he confirmed it. Oh well, I worked on some large landscape "Phase 2" estimates, and at least got them done. At around 11:45am, my Net connection came back up, I saw that temps had already risen into the upper-30s, and that the ice was melting quickly off of everything. Heavy fog rolled-in and limited visibility to about 100ft. Meanwhile, it was raining harder than I'd remembered in a long time. I'm just glad that it wasn't snow. The two multi-million gallon retention ponds were overflowing, 1-2" of water was pouring down the driveway on to Rt #24, and 2-3" of pooling water covered the nursery display area, since the both the ground and ponds were frozen. The rain gauge showed 3¼"; the "official" tally was just 2½". The fog soon melted, and at 3:15pm, I packed-up and left the GC&N, in between the raindrops.

Driving home was also an adventure. Several of the roads were under anywhere from 1-3" of standing water, from the continuing downpour, and if a vehicle didn't slow down and have enough ground clearance, it either spun-out or stalled. I stopped counting at 16 "casualties". Tow-trucks and flatbeds were doing a great business. The rain finally ended around 5pm, and with the frozen ground, 95% of it went into storm drains, creeks, streams, rivers and reservoirs. Very little actually will make it back into the area's water table. No matter; it is what it is. Still, it's a whole lot better than snow. Ummm, calculating on a 1:10 ratio, we'd have gotten 31+" of snow and that would have been truly miserable; rain is better.

By Saturday morning, the waters had receeded, the roads had cleared and all was well again in York County. My 20ac GC&N Complex displayed the effects of massive retention pond overflow and run-off, but was none the worse for wear. It's been through worse, though not for some years on that scale. Oddly, there wasn't much tree debris to clean-up, and I did that before anyone got into work. I spent the day working on renovating website pages, and finishing-up some landscape estimates. My energy level has dropped considerably over the past 3-4 days, and I need to get it back up, to finish this project. I left around 3pm, taking the HTML and picture files with me, on a flashdrive, to work on at home. Where the heck am I going to "find some energy"?

Five years ago on Saturday, February 1st, the Columbia Shuttle ran into fatal disaster upon re-entry, and all lives aboard were lost. I followed events all day, and mourned their untimely loss. RIP, Columbia and Crew.

I managed to sleep until 7:30am on Sunday, and avoid getting-up too early to water and feed the cats. Sleeping-in was nice and, after cranking-up the heat and taking care of the condo cats, I made coffee, oatmeal w/ sliced bananas, 9-grain wholewheat toast, and orange juice. I made-up a shopping list, shaved, showered and left for WEIS Markets, to get some things I was running low on. It was eerie being out so early (8:15am) on a Sunday morning, as I could count all the other vehicles on one hand's fingers. Kind of like a holiday weekend. The market was also quite empty, but by 9:45am, it was getting busy with "Stupor Bowl Shoppers", grabbing chips & dip, pretzels, soft drinks, mixers for liquor, cold cuts, bread, rolls, hamburger/hot dogs, potato salad, macaroni salad, slaws etc. The check-out lines quickly grew huge, and I got out just in time.

Later, I went over to Mom & Dad's for lunch; her homemade Lasagna was awesome, as usual. I had planned to work on corporate website page renovations/revisions all afternoon and evening, but wound-up watching "Stupor Bowl XLII", as I worked on the HTML. Usually, I need peace-and-quiet/no interruptions to do that tedious and exacting coding, but I didn't have a problem with it, this time. The only interruptions were my two condo cats, and they're worth it. 8 of 10 pages are up on my server, but need serious copy editing (HTML), a large amount of photo file size reduction, and "finalization" before "going live", for visitors. The $2.7mm/:30sec ads were okay, this year. 14-10, Giants over Pats. A real defensive game. Y-a-w-n.

Gas prices at the pump have dropped another 4¢ this week, but that won't last long. Unleaded Regular is $2.95/gal, Unleaded Premium is $3.05/gal, and Unleaded Super Premium is $3.25/gal. I also noticed Diesel at $3.29/gal at two of the local stations on the way home, Tuesday afternoon. As soon as "Summer Driving Season" ramps-up, right after the heating oil-gasoline changeover, supply will increase but demand will easily outstrip it, and prices will rise once again at the pumps. Sigh; just more of the same ahead for all of us.

Monday was another dreary, rainy day and I got into the GC&N Complex early, and got started on emptying the garbage cans, sweeping floors, cleaning the toilet — "boss stuff" — so that it would be done before any employees or customers arrived. My wireless broadband was still giving me lots of connectivity trouble, and MTWirefree's owner, also my ISP and corp website host, stopped-by on dreary, rainy Tuesday to replace another router, with a ($400!) "Business Class" LinkSys RVS4000 unit. The other, cheaper ($40-$65) LinkSys and NetGear "Home-Office" routers kept locking-up every 7-10mins, and cutting-off our broadband connection, which is frustrating beyond belief. I kept rebooting the current (NetGear) unit, but that didn't help, anymore. After an hour, Doug had it configured and our Net connection was restored on on Front Counter #1 Unit, as well as on my Office's "RAID 0" Machine. Life is good, once again.

I also put my Office's Machine through a very rigorous Trojan-removal process on Tuesday, but nothing was found. I did the same thing to the two Front Counter Machines on Wednesday; same result. Zip. Norton-Symantec SystemWorks did the yeoman's job, last Saturday morning. I also ran Adaware 2007 and SpyBot Search&Destroy v1.5, and both results were clean.

I had to rub my eyes 3x at 6am on Wednesday morning, as the Weather Channel Bug in my tray screamed "62°F", and it was raining hard outside. Hells bells, it should be 15°F and snowing, like it is in the Midwest. Huge storms were pushing-up from the South, after causing terrible loss of life and massive damage to that region, and bringing a lot of short-lived, warm air along with them. By 2pm, it was 74°F, and everyone at the GC&N Complex was wanting more. I was in by 8:15am, and had an 11:00am dr's app't, so after getting back to the office, I spent most of the afternoon with James, my LSCP Designer, trying to get a premium sound card for my RAID 0 machine, which would support 5.1 (5-speaker) Surround Sound. No luck. I stayed and worked until 5:30pm — after everyone had left two hours earlier — and headed home to finish some website work. It was like a mid-April evening, and I enjoyed the ride wo/ heat, and all windows wide open. Woo-hoo! Thunderstorms moved through the area around 9:30pm, and as I was drifting-off to sleep, the driving rain on the condo's 3 skylights was like Vivaldi's music.

"When it rains, it pours": my Asante Router on my condo's RAID 0+1 machine went south, on Thursday evening, so I had to bypass the router and expose my machine and IP address to everyone on the Net. I'll be at Radio Shack when they open, to get another one, tomorrow. Or order another online, if they don't have exactly what I want. Meanwhile, I installed the ZoneAlarm Firewall and made sure my Norton Anti-Virus Defs were up-to-date. During the interrupted period, I pulled the cable modem plug, and kept my machine safe.

Counting down to ***wha***t? It'll drive anyone looking at your computer, crazy!

Much colder weather is supposed to return this weekend, and next week looks positively Winter-esque. 'Bout damned time.

Things Which Make Your Head Explode™.

Personally, I'm having a hard time following this seemingly-unending political garbage and the false posturing, souless, verminous poitician ghouls/golem, who lie to us so easily about their backgrounds, treasonous votes and hate for America, just to get to The White House. I physically and mentally cringe, when I hear their lies (radio/TV soundbites), or see them in a liberal-media-staged "debate". One of them is just plain mentally-ill and nuts, in case you haven't heard. And islam's battle to take-over The White House, has me truly wishing that James Earl Ray has a cousin, somewhere, ready to "finish the job", if it happens. All told, it's truly a sickening spectacle, and I can't take it, anymore. Our God-given liberty and freedoms are not negotiable. Thank God that I don't have to do that daily listening/critique/reportage, for a living. I need a break from all that phony crap and garbage, and will take a well-deserved, "political hiatus", for a while. The US political system is infected by malware, IMO. I'm still thinking hard about bypassing the POTUS Race alltogether, and just voting for the other GOPers on the ballot.

Well, it's February and Black History Month, widely-celebrated by the blacks who stupidly think that liberal-demokkkRATs liberated them back in the 60s, and are their champions and friends, to this day. Bullshit. The liberals and demokkkRATs hate blacks, and are slowly-throwing them under the bus, for the criminal, illegal alien hordes of potential voters. Are blacks so fucking stupid that they can't see what's happening? Must be so; no other reason I can think of.

That Little Yellow Bus™.

Once in a very great while, there are things which just knock you over with a feather. This liberal, Virginian ACLU member's statement is one of them. Bravo, Mr David P. Baugh, Richmond. No more "short, yellow buses" for you!

islam Is A Criminal Organization™.

Yes, muslims and islamics are lower than animals, for the horror called "sharia law" and "honor killings", alone. Actually, there are dozens more reasons why the subhuman muslim-islamic-arab filth should be banned from America, and all those camel-rectum-licker here, should be rounded-up and deported immediately. If you disagree, simply read this article. Go ahead; I'll wait. Any questions? We've already had one here in the US, and it's my feeling that the Said-pig-fucker-father needs to be summarily tried and killed, upon capture.

Awwww, a muslim-islamic-pig-fucker-criminal gets killed in self-defense, and the subhuman muslim-islamic filth in Cologne, germany, get upset and "protest". Shoot and kill them all, Germany! Slaughter all the subhuman muzzie garbage! Rid your country and Europe of the muslim stain/shit/garbage/trash/rectal-drippings before they riot and kill White, European innocents, dammit! Wake-up, European dumbasses!

Lowlife, subhuman muslim-islamic-arab filth throwing rocks at UK tourists? Reason #1 why I carry my Kimber 1911 .45cal ACP "Eclipse Target II" with 3 extra 8-round mags (total of 32 rounds), and I'd shoot the stinking murderous, muslim filth dead, in a heartbeat!

Fuck the PC-asshole idiots in the UK government, who have "drawn-up a new handbook" for government officials that forbids them to use phrases like "islamist extremism" or "jihadi-fundamentalist" — instead, police and others must refer to "violent extremism" and "criminal murderers or thugs," so as to avoid giving the impression that anything Islamic is involved in, er, islamic terrorism. Bullshit! idslam = murder, terrorism, death, torture, beheading, boy-buggery, female genital mutilation, "honor murders", women chattelling, destruction, return to the 6th century hell of mo-ham-head the mentally-ill, pedophile asshole punk. Any questions, cowardly muzzie pig-shitheads? Thought so, shiite-heads.

Here's a list of murderous attacks against innocents worldwide, by the subhuman muslim-islamic-arab filth, in just the past 2 months. Yearly lists are at the end of that list. Any questions, Fellow Infidels? islam and muslim are stinking pigshit and need to be "totally and completely eradicated" from the earth, IMO.!

Lowlife, Subhuman Filth™.

Soooo, cRapper asswipe dirtbag, "Pimp C" died of an accidental overdose of a combination of drugs he had named in his lyrics — codeine and promethazine? Well, GOOD! And good riddance, scumbag: rot in hell, you lowlife dirtbag piece-of-shit!

Global Warming BS™.

Have you seen this video: "BBC: The Great Global Warming Swindle"? It was outright-banned from leftist, hate-filled, dirtbag lowlife scumbags, Google.com's and YouTube.com's websites, by the mentally-ill, left-wing, global warming idiot wackos, but I've preserved it, for posterity, aka you, me and *ours*. Watch, be informed and download it for others to see. It's on my corporate server, and will stay there, BTW.

Ready for the coming cold spell? Screw the global warming crap.

Some People Just Need Killing™.

Subhuman filth, child rapist, Corey Deen Saunders, 26, needs summary trial and killing, IMO. After being set free by corrupt, liberal judge, Bristol County Superior Court Associate Justice Richard T. Moses, who also needs summary trial and execution, IMO, in New bedford, Massachusettes. Massachusetts judges and juries released 37 of 60 convicted sex offenders between July 2006 and June 2007 over the objections of prosecutors who said they were too dangerous to set free.

The subhuman, lying, piece-of-shit, Heshem islam, is an "islamic mole/spy", and needs summary trial and immediate execution, IMO. So does Deputy Defense Secretary Gordon England, who is a traitor/seditionist/saboteur for covering for that camel-rectum-licker, Heshem islam. Both need to be hung, along with our treasonous/seditious US Congress-critter filth, IMO.

Space Shuttle Launch Videos.

NASCAR is fun. Fighter jets are cool. But when it comes to engines, power, and feel-it-in-your-bones rocket propulsion, nothing compares to the spectacle of a space shuttle lift-off. This YouTube collection of NASA and amateur clips takes you to the launch pad and beyond. Witness Discovery's rare nighttime ascent to orbit. See the earth fall away as Atlantis spirals upward. Watch Endeavor, "flying straight as an arrow," move out from beneath its solid-rocket boosters. Ain't space technology grand? The brief video segments veer between far-off shots highlighting the full rush and flick of the booster engines' flames and shuttle eye-views from cameras mounted on external tanks. I also love the authoritative NASA voice-overs. There's something so enthralling about hearing them intone, "T-minus two minutes and counting." And every once in awhile, you catch an orator saying something like, "everything looking good on the bird." Does it ever!