GETTING TO THE CORE | Friday, June 20, 1997

By peeling away the ever-present minutiae and unneeded data, there's a center point at which all answers reside. Finding center is often an arduous journey.

For weeks, people have been calling and asking why their trees have no leaves. I've made site visits to look at the victims of this unusual event, and have found next to nothing. It's been so cool that insects come and go quickly, and by the time any damage is noticed, the insects are gone.

With the warm, 80F weather here and seemingly staying for a while, it's easy to see what's causing the widespread problems: aphids. Green, large-winged aphids are eating everything in sight. There's an infestation on just about everything except rocks.

During the growing season, Ortho's Malathion works well. The nasty little buggers ingest it as a residue on the leaves and are whacked. But since aphids are born pregnant, repeat applications will be required for the subsequent and almost daily-hatching eggs. Be sure to spray all surfaces thoroughly.

I really hate to use chemicals unless it's absolutely necessary; IPM (Intergrated Pest Management) is the smart way to go in insect control. But the situation is way out of hand now throughout the county.

USA Today Article.
The story came out today, Tuesday, June 17th in the print edition with a so-so b&w picture. After so many rolls of color film shot by the contracted AP photographer from Harrisburg, only one resultant, not-so-good picture made it into the print edition; none into the website. They got most of the facts correct; a few factual flaws are minor in nature but not life threatening.

On USA Today's website, the piece appears at The Digital Frontier page. You can save the .50 newspaper price and browse it for free. Enjoy.

As a result of the USA Today piece, the volume of email has more than doubled. I'm overwhelmed by the numbers. But somehow I'm getting through it and answering those who have a problem with their gardening or horticulture-related questions. Marriage proposals and new business venture ideas et al will have to wait.

Some old friends have surfaced. People I lost track of ten or more years ago when I left NYC to start this business, have dropped a note after seeing the story about me. Great to hear from them again.

Things will settle down again to it's usual humdrum level of about 100 per day, which I can better handle, as soon as the novelty of it all wears off. I hope.

Just Desserts.
Another of Slick Willie's criminal cadre is going to prison; this time not before cutting a sweet deal with federal special prosecutors.

It's a safe bet that Jim McDougal will be the 5th of Clinton's inner circle to wear stripes for the next three years. And according to him, Hitlery will be next.

It'll be an interesting Summer.

No Plateau.
usually, things have levelled off by now. But the calls for landscape work are increasing to that of Spring levels. By now, we're booked into August, but calls are still coming in for Summer work. I have to start scheduling jobs for Fall. People don't want to know from Fall; they want Summer work done and quickly. I could use two more landscape crews as good as the group I have this year. I know a small, good quality landscape company which buys wholesale from us, so I'll direct many of the inquiries for work to them.

I am maxed-out at 9-10 on-site visits per day, get the design work done, produce detailed computer estimates and follow-up calls but by Friday, I'm exhausted. I look forward to the weekend, but then remember I'm working it too!

Two and three hours of sleep per night, seven days per week just aren't enough anymore; I need six a night. This next week I'll try an experiment: crash immediately upon returning home and sleep as late as I can before the cats start chewing on me personally as their morning food. Maybe six or seven hours per night will revive me.

This morning, I went back to sleep after getting up at 4am to feed the cats. Normally, I'd stay up and make breakfast and coffee, logon and get my email and then leave at 6am for work. Today, I got an extra hour of sleep and am much refreshed. We'll see how thigs go by 3pm or so; that's when I start feeling the lack of sleep, and begin dozing off.

The frenetic pace is taking its toll in the sense of a longer journey. Remember: it's the miles, not the years.

AOLs Continuing Woes.
Here's the definitive source as to why AOL Sucks.