T H I N K I N G | A B O U T | S T U F F

Friday, June 6, 1997

o you smell something burning? No sweat, it's just me in a putative mode right now. To focus on certain things helps clear the mind of all the superfluous bullshit it gets packed with each day. Many things have caused this change and because of it, many things will soon change.

This Might Change Everything.
For eons, peoplekind have wondered where we came from, how we got here, and where we're going. Now a scientist may have a clearer picture and answer to the first two parts of that trilogy

This revelation has stunned the scientific community, thoroughly shaken the foundations of religious philosophy and made many people think about the resultant possibilities. Always the curious one, I have read and re-read Dr. Frank's technical papers online at the University of Iowa, until it all makes sense. What the implications are is really anyone's guess, but it's enormous in scope. Bookmark that page and return later after events begin to unfold.

There's another, newer take in the scientific community on the dinosaur extinction theory that finally supports it, in part, with scientific fact. It's tied in closely with the snowball theory and clears up some loose ends in the overall theory of evolution v creation.

Plant whackers.
The calls come in everyday: "My plants aren't doing so well, they're dying, I planted them like you told me but I think they're dead, can you come over and look at them?"

I used to drop everything and run across the county or state to look at some sick marigolds, dying rhododendron or anemic perennials. Not anymore. I used to do that; in fact, I spent so much time on the road in the first years of operation, that I logged 1,500 miles per week. In four years, I put 175,000 miles on my old 1988 Jeep Cherokee LTD. I was burned out from all the landscape meetings and running around to various peoples' homes. I don't have the luxury of time to do that anymore. But when I do manage to sneak out for a few visits, I'm overjoyed.

When one of my crews are in the neighborhood or area, they stop and check things out from a master list I keep on plant problems and report back to me. I have to then determine whether it's the plant's fault or the planter's fault it's always one or the other and make a decision as to warranty claims. Usually, I'll replace the plant or credit the homeowner if there's no blatant abuse or neglect. If that's present, I inform the person that they've lost their warranty on the unit. But they always get the benefit of the doubt.

Rainy Days and Mondays.
After a hectic weekend that threatened rain but chickened out, the skies have unloaded and provided much needed moisture to this area.

Several new shipments arrived, the landscape crews were out on jobs, and I unloaded the trucks. My part-time helpers were late getting in today; guess they overslept. Wish I had too. After getting soaked twice, I opted for clean, dry clothes just to stop shivering in the accompanying cold weather. A 37F windchill in June! Go figure.

The truck drivers appreciated me not making them wait until I could reassemble a crew. I just unloaded the rigs with my trusty John Deere 675B Skidloader as quickly as possible and never mind the wet, soggy cold; get them back on the road on the way to their next delivery stop. Rain is great; the cold sucks.

Hit Counters.
We're closing in on 50,000 hits, since the site went online January, 1996. I've been thinking about taking the hit counter off my site and since every page has one, it'll be a monumental job in HotDogPro v3.19. I'll have to spend some uninterrupted, quiet time away from this garden center to get it done.

Unlike NetObjects' Fusion v2.0, which can easily accomplish global changes to an entire website at once, HotDogPro can't and requires some real attention from the operator, or screw-ups can happen. Overall, it's still a better system than the HTML-less, WISYWIG editors.

Why do gardening people shop with such unbridled passion? Well, been there, did that myself, too. Probably because they're nuts about having so many plants. Unfortunately, these plants are showcased in shitpy consumer magazines like Breck's, Wayside Gardens, Whiteflower Farms ad infinitum ad nauseam. These are, plain and simple, consumer rip-off, bait-and-switch magazines; what you see in their pictures is not what you get for the grossly overpriced sum they want per plant. I used to buy from those scummy sources, too, before I got into the business. Now I see what a foolish thing it was to waste all that money.

As soon as an article on, say Hydrangea, appears in Horticulture, Garden Design, or one of the dozens of other trade and consumer pubs, we get hundreds of calls for some of the featured plants. This phenomena is called market pull, as opposed to market push, when manufacturers control everything. Consumer control is the most sure-handed, but often the most fickle. Either way, it's frustrating and time consuming to make calls to locate those plants. I used to, but now know that all supplies are exhausted even before I call suppliers. Oh, I still make the calls but I know the answer(s) beforehand.

Often, those so-called featured plants are not worth having in the garden. The heavily-retouched photos show plants at the zenith of performance, as well they should, but often get hardiness zones incorrect. The result is that the plants die and each gardener is made to think it's their own fault, when in fact it is the seller's fault.

Stupid Slick Willie.
The dumb redneck couldn't even keep it in his pants. With the US Supreme Court now agreeing 9-0 that the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit can go forward while shit-for-brains Clinton is still in office as our so-called president (note the lower case 'p' as a sign of disrespect), his slimy lawyer is already trying to find a way for him to weasel out of it.

I hope Jones doesn't buckle and cave on this: it will make great headlines all Summer as the Clinton filth twists and squirms in the wind, with the noose getting tighter. Atta girl, Paula: make the bastard suffer and pay for what he did! It's not her who is demeaning the office of president; it's the Clinton lowlife who has done so ever since America elected him twice. (Note: I voted for someone else both times, I'm very proud to say, but each lost.) I've never run into anyone who admits to voting for the Clinton moron; no one has the stupidity to admit that. Where's Lee Harvey Oswald when this country really needs him?

Clinton now ranks as the second most corrupt and investigated president in American history behind Richard Nixon; a very sad footnote to eight wasted years of mediocrity, idiocy and incompetence. Never a dull moment with the lowlife liberal Clinton scum. Totally devoid of all morals and ethics, they're real fodder (read buffoons) for the newspapers and tabloids. His lowlife lawyer is even trying to paint the investigating special prosecutors as the ones with ethics problems. Imagine that.

It's just amazing: it seems that a real majority of Americans are without morals and character. How do I make such a blanket statement? Simple: a another new poll finds a majority of Americans not caring about the Clintons' crimes, sexual escapades and sleazy dealings, as long as the economy is good and their pockets are full of money. They know but don't care what goes on with their elected officials.

Morality, character, mores and reputation apparently don't matter anymore to a majority of American citizens. Clinton inherited this rebounding economy; he did absolutely nothing on his so-called watch to create it, but now takes credit for it solely. The majority of America believes him. It boggles my mind and apparently not enough others that the filthy piece of shit Clinton liberal scum can get away with criminal acts and remain untouched. Come on special prosecutor, Ken Starr, nail this redneck sack of shit! The newspapers detail the sleaze, crime and underhanded dealings on a daily basis, but no one cares. The prevalent attitude is that his character flaws and criminal acts have no bearing on his job performance. What? What? Character is everything! What kind of degenerate, stupid f*cking people are these pollsters asking anyway?

This country is really and truly f*cked up in its recently found permissive, liberal, uncaring attitude. America is in the toilet. What a sorry commentary on life here. The pendulum has swung too far to the left.

The Gore Whore.
Scumbag #2 Al Gore, veep has learned well at the knee of Clinton: he's raked in a few hundred thousand dollars of campaign contributions in return for an outlay of hundreds of millions of taxpayers money to a contributor's company for phony toxic waste cleanup technology. In this instance, he's ten times worse than the Clinton degenerate. He's poisoned the Earth and helped to whack the children. Vote for the Gore garbage? No way in hell.

Gore is also a lowlife liberal politician in the worst sense of the term: for years he was thought to be squeaky clean and courting a boy scout image. But we know now he's a slimeball with the worst of the worst. These things will come back to haunt him in 2000, when he thinks he's going to run for president and replace the Clinton criminal as the nations' First Crook.

USA Today Story.
For the past week, Christina, a reporter from USA Today has been interviewing me on a daily basis by phone for a story on commerce (read making money) on the web. I can't remember how it all started. I think they called me and asked if I was making money on the InterNet or something like that.

We, of course, don't do mail order; hence, the lack of a catalog and price list, and secure transaction software online. I have no desire to do mail order. That would require too many changes, which as owner, I feel are unnecessary for a successful business. People from 11 states visit us on a regular basis now. Email from dozens of countries and provinces is a daily occurence. No biggie. No mail order.

The photographer showed up at 10am Thursday. He works for AP (associated Press) in Harrisburg, and was contracted by USA Today to shoot several rolls on the facility, plant material, products and me. I spent almost 2 hours helping set up shots, posing and writing cutlines (captions) for each shot.

It's scheduled for Tuesday, June 17th release in the Business Section.

Manly Stuff.
Here's the definitive book on sheer manliness, in case you need something to read while in the bathroom.

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