(•:: Ξ ::• okay: do we stay or do we go? •:: Ξ ::•)


spring forward?
friday, march 16, 2007

if the "traffic light" is confusing, then just imagine what the very simple switchover (automatic or manual) to *DST* was, for many people, and some corporations, whose far-flung and antiquated computer systems just weren't made for such a confusing patch, which the acknowledged dunderheads at MS® issued, at the last minute, quite apart from the Automated Win-XP® Update patch. All my computers — the super-fast RAID 0+1 (4 HDs/ 1 terrabyte) at home, my very-fast RAID 0 at the office, and the 2 front counter retail IDE machines — were patched by a MS® Win-XP® Update, back in February. But on Sunday morning, I read scores of horror stories from IT folks, and just plain Win-XP users, about all the problems they were having, with all sorts of MS products, going back to Win v3.1®, Win-95®, Win-98®, Win-2000®, Win-NT®, Win-XP® and the Outlook®, Outlook Express® email client glitches, not counting all the other MS-Office® apps. Amazing. If people would just have "Automatic Updates" turned-on, it would have been resolved by the February patches, excluding those several/many archaic MS products, which the putzes® in Redmond, don't "support" anymore, and for "good reason", in their feeble, addled, little IT minds. Oh well; it is what it is, and what it was. Mostly, it was a non-event or problem, and most everyone got through it, just fine. Think Y2k was a yawner? This DST crap was a sleeper.

Around The Garden Center™.
The calls for landscape maintenance, landscape design and installation, and simple tree installations, are increasing in frequency, over the past week, and I'm fielding them as best I can. I divert those design calls to James, my Staff LSCP Designer, add those for LSCP Maintenance to the existing list, and ditto those for additional phases of existing landscapes, of which the initial phase(s) were done in '06. The lists are getting "fatter", as we head into Spring, and I'll be posting them in my office, for Alan, Staff LSCP Foreman, to review, evaluate and delegate personnel against. We're hiring a LSCP Crew Chief, a LSCP Masonry Assistant, and 1 or 2 new LSCP Crew Workers. Alan's informed me that all of our seasoned '06 Crews, and some from '05, will be returning - a first for us. The experience of the '05 and '06 Crews, is extremely valuable, and I welcome them all back.
Gas prices, at the pump around the York (PA) area, continued to rise another 7¢+/gal, this week. Unleaded Regular is now at $2.65/gal, Unleaded Plus is at $2.75/gal, and Unleaded Premium is now at $2.95/gal, and Bio-Mass Diesel Fuel is at $2.19/gal. Both diesel and kerosene (K-1) are 'hovering' around $2.89/gal. Look for $3.00+/gal gas, sometime in late April or early May. Betcha.
How did you do, personally and professionally, with the DST change, last Sunday? In typical Microsoft® fashion — a day late, a dollar short and a fix full of bugs and holes — the idiots from Redmond issued "patches", which didn't work correctly, and cost businesses $4,000, offered expensive $59/minute tech "help-line advice", or didn't respond at all, to customers' pleas for solutions. My personal, super-fast RAID 0+1 home machine, was already "patched" via a previous (2/17/07) MS-Win-XP® update, and my office RAID 0 and 2 front counter machines were also, well prior to our wireless broadband tower crashing on Tuesday morning, due to a snapped guy-wire in the 55-60mph winds, last Tuesday. The Windows XP Update (KB931836) patch was there, in all of them. Our ISP, MT Wirefree, came-in on Mon & Tues, and tried to repair the existing 512k-up/down hardware and I hope it happens sooner, rather than later, as I'm going *nuts* at the GC&N Complex, wo/ Net access. Carrying emails, customer orders etc, in *.txt format, on a flashdrive, from home to work, printing them out for action by me or GC&N staff, is getting tiresome. (((sigh))). They have a 900kb-up/down "better solution" to "line-of-sight", which can see through trees etc, but we'll go for that fix, later. Right now, getting back-up-and-running is most important.
In another week, starting Monday, March 19th, we'll be on ***Limited*** "Spring-Summer-Fall" Hours of operation, still only 5 days a week (no weekends until April), weather permitting, and back to full staff capacity. During the week of March 26th, about 9+ tractor-trailers will roll up the front driveway, and we'll begin unloading tens-of-thousands of pieces of fresh, new nursery stock, for tagging, placement and sale during the 2007 season. And several more will come up the front driveway during the first two weeks in April. It's a monumental effort to get all that done, as well as "put the GC&N Complex back together" and "get it ready" for the Sat, April 14th, 17th Open House, as we've done for the past 17 seasons. I'm ready for Spring, as are my 12-18 employees, BTW.
Sooooo, after an unusually-warm December rattled the nerves of anyone eagerly anticipating Washington's grand rite of spring, the National Park Service predicted the cherry blossoms will bloom in time for the two-week National Cherry Blossom Festival, in DC. BS. More than half of the trees are bloomed-out, according to 'horticultural sources', in the area, and the display will be meager, at best. I hope they're wrong, but I seriously doubt it. Many of the varied cherry trees, on my 20ac GC&N Complex, have remained dormant, in spite of the warm Dec-Jan temps, and I'm looking forward to a nice display, from the cherries and the flowering pears, redbuds, hawthorns, magnolias, forsythia, fothergilla etc. Here's hoping we don't get another "Winter Blast", aka "Alberta Clipper", from Cana-duh.
Though I know everyone is getting "itchy" about Spring, we all need to remember that there's still 10-18" of frost still in the ground, and it will take several more weeks of 50°F and 60°F weather to get that out, and for the ground to become plaiable and workable, once again. Many ponds and lakes are still frozen over, and there's lots of ice on the Susquehanna River. That will eventually disappear, but it will also take some time. Patience, my friends. Temps hit 72°:F on Tuesday, with some brief showers in the morning, and 76°F on Wednesday, with afternoon thunderstorms, and people were coming out of the woodwork, thinking Spring had sprung. But by Friday, temps were back down into the 40°s — lower-30s at night — at more seasonal levels. Reality set back in, and cooled their temperature-whetted appetites. I still think we're going to get some more Winter weather, before all is said and done.
The past week, since last Tuesday 3/6, has reminded me what's it's like to be without access to the Net/email etc, for over a week, now. How did we ever "get along" with just telephones, faxes and portable 'bag' or 'mobile phones', for those of us who had them? I got on the Net in the Summer of 1995, and had a 14.4k dial-up, painfully-slow by today's standards. (Actually, I was on the DARPA Net in 1982, with an '82 IBM PS/250 and a 9600baud modem, on Compuserve's BBS, long before 99% of you even knew what computers, the InterNet or modems were all about. I learned and worked in MS-DOS, and had a 40k HD. It was primitive as hell, but I had some fun doing it!) In my travels, back in the early 90s, most garden centers/ nurseries had no computers. no faxes, and very few had telephones; they went down the road to a payphone if they needed to make a call, for 10¢. Believe it or don't, but 95% didn't even have cash registers; they used an old Dutch Masters Cigar box, stuck under the counter, and dealt primarily in cash. It was laughable, by today's standards, but that was reality, back then. We take so much for granted, these days. I don't, as I remember those days and years, very distinctly. The horticulture/agriculture industries were 200-300 years behind the rest of America, and they're still playing 'catch-up', today.
Oh, double-crap: the DJIA tanked 243pts, on Tuesday. Yikes! Fortunately, being heavily-invested in "certain funds", my IRA's bottom line was not affected at all. I dumped small cap and large cap stocks, 2-3 months ago. I hope you were covered before the past 2-3 weeks of "market corrections', BTW.
I now have 8-10 employees coming-in, to work at getting the GC&N Complex ready for the upcoming Saturday, April 14th Open House, and to begin training for new employees, in landscape maintenance, installation, of which we've got dozens of jobs, "on the books", and waiting to be done, in the nearing weeks. My LSCP Foreman will asiign the new hires a pile of "lousy jobs", to "weed-out" the ones who want to work at a job, versus the ones who just want a job, but who don't really want to work. We do this process each Spring, to "separate the men from the boys", and it becomes quite apparent, after just 1-2 days, who will stay with it, and those who will quit, because of it.
When I arrived at 9:15am on Wednesday, a mini-van was parked in my driveway, and I asked the lady and her daughter inside, if I could help them. She said she had a baby greyhound puppy, with a broken leg, and had pulled-over to contact some orthopedic vets, to see about surgery for the dog. It's leg had been broken since March 4th (Yikes!) and she needed to get it operated on. I took them inside, and called nearby Old Trail Vet Services, who'd kindly and humanely put-down Pickle in his last days of the cancerous leg tumor, and got them an evaluation appointment for 20mins from that call. They sped-off and I sure hope the puppy got the medical attention she so desperately needed. Apparently, the so-called breeder who gave her the pup, in leiu of the $2,500+ medical bills, was against most of the orthopedic vet surgeons in Maryland, and the poor lady had come to Penna, in hopes of finding someone to do the surgery. Sad, for the puppy. It's going to be crippled for life, probably.
As I opened-up the GC&N Complex, I noticed that the wireless net access was working. MTWirefree's installed, Rich, and another employee, Hugh, had stayed late on Tuesday afternoon, after I'd left at 4:15pm, to get the tower up and aimed precisely at the other tower, in Stewartstown, and I was back in business. Email clients and the Web browsers worked great, until 11am, then went south, but then came back on-line within 15-20mins. I had some client meetings off-site, and when I got back, around1;20pm, it was working fine. Wooooooooooo-hoooooooooooooooo! Back from The Stone Age!
We're making great progress, so far, on getting some of the many major capital-improvement projects, done for the 2007 Season, before all of the 10-13 tractor-trailers start rolling-up the front driveway, in a few weeks: new stone walls, new  ¼ acre holding area for landscape job nursery stock, a revised smaller holding area for retail/weekend nursery stock purchases, York-raking 2-3 acres of crushed stone, retail display/sales areas, scores of 15-17yr old nursery stocke specimens cut down and removed from Display Gardens, to make room for new conifers to populate those spectacular gardens, revisions to the road frontage display garden landscaping, garbage and trash pick-up all over the 20ac property from "neighbors' junk", re-stoning of all retail Display areas, re-stoning of landscape buildings/staging areas, dredging-out of retention ponds, cleaning cattails and invasive weeds and plants from retention pond banks, minor repairs to broken water lines and irrigation systems...the list is almost endless.
By 7pm on Wednesday, "Flood Warnings" were up for scores of counties, in Pennsylvania; York was one of them. By 6am on Thursday, a "Winter Storm Watch" had been posted for eastern Pennsylvania, with the possibility of up to 6" of wet, heavy snow, coming on Friday morning, and lasting all day, into Saturday. Yuk. I've been telling scores of "Spring-anxious" people, on the phone all week, that "Winter's not through with us yet, even into April", but they're chomping at the bit, as in every year gone by.
The amazingly-accurate Farmer's Almanac predicted a "significant snow event" for the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast Regions, on March 4th-7th, but missed it by over a week. This could be the one they were referring to, IMO. I'm sure glad I called all out nursery stock brokers and rescheduled the 9+ tractor-trailer loads of nursery stock, for the week of March 26th, just so we'd be past most of this snow/ice crap. This is both miserable and dangerous weather to be operating machinery in, as accidents can happen quite easily. Risking anyone's life or limb is simply a no-brainer. I did it in past years, when it was my own safety at risk, and I was alot younger, stronger and risk-amenable, but with age (sometimes) comes wisdom, and I won't put anyone else in the position I used put myself into. No way, no how.

"Change of Direction™" (Reprinted from 3/9/07 Journal).
Here's what I said in last week's John's Journal, and which caused such a stir amongst Journal Regulars, and the hate-filled, left-winger, over the past 11 years:
For the past 11 years (first entry: January 12, 1996), I've evolved John's Journal from a "purely-Garden Center & Nursery Diary/Journal", of sorts, into a "political-oriented commentary piece", and it's been met with a full spectrum of responses, from love to hate, and everything in-between. Natch.
Originally, John's Journal was merely an journalistic exercise in detailing my day-to-day goings-on at my 20ac Garden Center & Nursery, and it attracted, via numerous search engines, a small, but loyal audience of horticulture readers, when I had its links posted on my corporate website, www.gdnctr.com. As it progressed into a political commentary and rant about the corrupt political parties and pols, it attracted 50,000+ readers (weekly server-weblogs' data) on a weekly basis, mainly on Saturday and Sunday, after being published on my website, on Friday. I soon created a separate, private "portal" for readers to access it, quite apart from "John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery's" website, to distinctly-differentiate its political rants/ravings etc, from my corporate offerings.
But as I scan the news, choose articles to "comment" upon, and write my comments, I've grown weary and tired of it all, after 11 years. Originally begun as a "fun exercise", then migrated to a "labor-of-love", it has now settled into a weekly "tirade of outrage, anger, hate and disgust" at the many diverse, perverse, disgusting, treasonous and varying people/subhumans and topics. And I'm gowing tired of doing it. Why just now, instead of days/weeks/months/years ago? I don't know, really, but I'm at a crossroads, of sorts, and am making a conscious decision to phase-out much of the negativity, which has also affected me, in my daily life. This is just one of several important, and much-needed changes I need to make to my life, which I've finally recognized and feel the need to act upon, right now.
The change will become quite apparent in next week's Journal, as I phase-out several "trademarked" sections, which have become part of John's Journal, for the past 3-4 of the 11 years. I've often mused that the weekly Journal has been very therapeutic, in that I haven't grabbed one/several of my high-power guns and gone out to commit wanton acts of violence against those who would destroy America, due to shedding my anger, hate and rage at the criminals and other assorted subhuman filth, through the simple act of writing. But that was just musing; it'd never happen, I can assure you. There are enough so-called "bloggers" out there, who can keep such things above the radar; my time doing so, is now over.
There are several sections of John's Journal, which will remain intact, weekly, though I haven't fully-decided *which* of them will remain. I'm still working on that aspect of the "New & Improved" John's Journal. And I'm playing with some new graphics, as well, but they may have to kick-in later, as I perfect them in HTML. I'm a self-taught HTML guy, with a distinct dislike for CSS, XML, RSS and other fads, and will stay with the original HTML on my corporate site and Journal, despite what everyone else is doing. I could give a crap about what the webbie geeks/morons/idiots etc do; I do what works for me. Always have; always will.
Sure, I've take a "hiatus" before, "changed direction" once or thrice in the past 11 years, but have always come back to the political format, which so many thousands have enjoyed reading. This time, however, I won't be coming back, unless America gets hit with another 9-11 attack, or the "jihad crap" ramps-up, in earnest, en masse. Or "something else", of real importance, happens. I have a number of "other changes" in my life, taking place, which will coincide with this Journal change. And they're all for the better, IMO. But the untimely death of a younger cousin, my Mom's pending knee replacement surgery, my own physical health situation, my continued business progress and expansion, etc etc etc, all combine to dictate that a "positive, worthwhile change is needed, now". So be it.
John Shelley's Garden Center & Nursery, Inc., has always been wildly-popular in the many and various so-called Search Engines, such as Alta Vista, and in Google, and in Dogpile, and in Clusty, and in another 5-6 "early-day" SEs, which I just can't remember, anymore. Back in 1995, when I first "got on the Net", then built and posted the JSGC&N site in January 1996, it was wide-open territory, and I reigned uber-supreme, as the first GC&N on The Web. No one else even came close, to my website, philosophy, marketing and business. Most still don't, and can't figure out why. But the past is prologue and ancient history, for the Web, IMO.
As the pioneer in the so-called "blog-o-sphere" — a term which I loathe — it's worth noting that I never began John's Journal for the "readership"; I did it for my own benefit and enjoyment. But when both of those factors go missing, a change becomes necessary, and that's why I am taking this action.
Many, many thanks for your loyal readership and comments, over the preceeding years, and for your constant and valued emails, Fellow Conservatives. And minor thanks to the demented, perverted, misguided, lib-dem idiot, malevolent, hate-filled, lowlife, dirtbag, liberal-demokkkRAT garbage/trash/scum/filth/crap-assed/mentally-ill, left-wing, treasonous, cut-and-run cowards, who've emailed me, left various and sundry "comments", causing me to continue my Journal writings, for so many years, way past its "USDA-certified, freshness expiration date".
Whether or not the Journal's so-called, "new graphics" make it into next week's Jounal entry, is irrelevant. IMO, they probably won't. No matter; in time, they will. But for now, the 'content' is paramount; not the color of its 'skin'. To quote Alfred E. Newman. (((smirk)))

Things Which make Your Head Explode™.
I'd heard this argument, more than once before, years ago, but on Monday morning, it hit me like a ton of bricks. "Over 45 million (abortions) since Roe v. Wade in 1973. If those 45 million children had lived, today they would be defending our country, they would be filling our jobs, they would be paying into Social Security. Still, we watch as 3,700 babies are killed every single day in America. It is unbelievable that a nation under God, would allow this." Zell Miller said it in an article dated March 9th, 2007, from the Atlanta-Journal Constitution. Profound, indeed.
Reason #1 why I carry a Kimber 1911 "Eclipse Target II" .45cal ACP, daily. What do you carry? Mace? Good luck, pal. Better "heavy-up" on some real hardware, if you value your and your family's lives, IMO.
Finally, a US (DC) Circuit Court with a real, true sense of The Second Amendment, as it applies to "individuals", overturning the 9th Circus Court of Assholes' ruling. This is a fascinating and groundbreaking ruling that would appear to be a likely candidate for US Supreme Court review if not overturned first by the en banc, DC Circuit. Keep an eye on this one, Fellow Americans, as it appears headed to the SCOTUS, for a ruling.
Did you see the pooftie "faggot" loser, Johnnie Edwards, making him/herself pretty? Funny stuff, from 2004. An oldie but a goodie, IMO.
RIP, Brad Delp (Boston). I'll miss your music.
What do I, as a millionaire, have in common with a billionaire? Other than missing three zeros on my 'bottom line', not much.
A great movie was on The History Channel, on Saturday at 5:00pm, "Last Stand of The 300", the Battle of Thermopylae, gave forth the famous line, "Molon Labe" (come and get them!). It's on again, March 30th and several other days; check the dates/times at the link above. Here's a "quickie review" of the "300" movie. Bloody and gory? As it should be, IMO. YES!
Sure, St Louis (MO), Camden (NJ) and Philly (PA) were unequalled "murder capitals of the USA", but NOLA beats them both: 1 murder per 1,000 people, which is higher than Baghdad. Personally, I wouldn't go near any of them, without my high-powered weapons, and personal sidearm (CCW-PA, since 1990), but that's just me. After having been robbed and shot, on July 14th 1974, in Boca Raton (FL), my penchant for self-protection is paramount.
More 'global warming crap', by the eco-fascist, socialist scumbag turds at AP. In the 70s, these same ignorant morons — the Paul Ehrlich idiot, foremost among them — were screaming about 'global cooling', and made dozens of predictions, which were laughable, in retrospect. Ditto for this warming garbage. Total and complete bullshit from AlGoreBore. "Mother Nature's in charge; we're just along for the ride™". It's cyclical, eco-idiots, and Mankind has nothing/Zero/zip/nada to do with it! Dumbasses.
Yes, Gen Peter Pace: I agree 101% with you, that "homosexual (homo-sodomite-faggots) acts are immoral." Actually, they're subhuman, lowlife, degenerate, deviant, dirtbag filth, who are killing thmselves with depression, immorality and disease, thankfully. Give them enough time, and maybe they'll kill themselves off this earth. I could wish it so. C'mon, General; no regrets and no apology, IMO. Faggot-homo-sodomites are subhuman filth. Pretty damned simple, actually. What don't you understand about the truth you just spoke?
W's "body language" towards his Latin American "hosts", aka "illegal immigration controllers"? Interesting but greatly-flawed analysis, to say the very least.
Yes, I fully-support the impeachment of President Bush, on his failure to protect the US Borders, alone. I agree with him on most other policies, especiially the WOT (War On Terrorism) WOi (War On islam). Time to go, Mr Bush, as you're doing more harm than good, with your 'amnesty bullshit program". You're an idiot, a moron and a cretin, if you think "amnesty" in admitting/forgiving 25-30 million criminal, illegal, alien, subhuman filth into the USA, as US Citizens, is a rational policy. You are mentally-ill, and need serious, psychiatric help and counselling.
Since BlazeNet.net sold-out to SusCom, and SusCom.net sold-out to Commie-Cast.net, my cable modem service has deteriorated markedly, over the past couple of years and months. Bad enough that the insolent, arrogant turds at Blazenet.net and SusCom.net were the very same assholes who threw each other under the bus, in favor of a whore's paycheck by Commie-Cast.net, but now that they own and control all the lousy, frequently-interrupted, CATV service, it's even more tragic. The so-called managememt must be laughing, all the way to their own personal, offshore bank accounts.
Total and complete bullshit, IMO! No, I don't take them.

Cooking Debauchery.
According to Kitarra, a confessed "geek girl" who loves the temptation of the kitchen, cooking shouldn't be drudgery. This gastro-blogger enjoys experimenting with food flavors and takes meals to a new level of indulgence, as her richly colorful photos and snappy prose display. To see how sensually delightful dining can be, share in her long-standing love affair with vanilla and indulge in her recipe for a garlic orgasm. Risotto may strike fear and longing in the heart of the home cook, but a protracted cake anecdote will bring a smile to any chef's face. Whether or not you ever need to stick your hand inside a dead bird, you may learn some handy cooking tips. And all this debauchery will probably leave you hungry.

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