I Am Lost

I have little clue how many websites / blogs I have going, especially since I bagged Facebook without another way to publicize the screeds, which weren’t setting the world on fire anyway. Researching news releases, and expanding LinkedIn profile now, because I’m tired of being a slug at long last. Writing is the only thing I can do with efficacy – words flow easily and I approach boredom, then seek other pursuits.

Or is that attention – deficiency? Same difference.

I realize I haven’t opined on my numerous motel stays for a while now, other than some online reviews for Booking dot com, even though that’s been my home(s) since I got sick of my younger brother’s disdain just before Independence Day.  The stay at my parent’s old house had been less than ideal almost from the start, but I gutted it out until he told me I was sleeping in his weight room. But I digress.

The first stay was at a Motel 6, and though it had the laminate floors I prefer I found myself growing weary of the hoi polloi that inhabits franchises like that. I went for a stay at the nearby Super 8 after a few days, getting a weekly rate and breakfast included. Think that was about my favorite long-term stay; the air conditioner kicked ass, big flat screen, microwave and refrigerator and an ironing board. Travelling in a 2013 Nissan Sentra translates to wrinkled apparel, and just because I’m a bum doesn’t mean I need to appear dishevelled and unkempt. I tipped housekeeping a few bucks for clean sheets and towels, and the woman not only re-supplied everything but left me a little note. Breakfast wasn’t great, no eggs or sausage, so I opted for biscuits and gravy chased with peach yogurt, since I didn’t care for the two berry choices. Their coffee was decent, and available all day.

To be continued

Final Thoughts / Online Dating

My last foray is officially over after a one month subscription to Zoosk. This is a site where apparently a conversation with one subscriber can be discerned by a third party. I struck up a conversation with a woman in Lake Geneva, and we actually met one afternoon. I made the mistake of telling her that she was the only one I was engaged with, and when I checked to see who was viewing me she was there several times a day, monitoring my profile for changes.

 

Oddly, I got an inquiry from a different woman, and was so flattered at the solicitation that it never occurred to me not to respond. The first woman and I had switched to texting, and one night she asked out of the blue if I was busy. I said ‘no’, but somehow she figured out that I had been sinister enough to chat with someone else. That was that.

 

One of my biggest issues with online dating has been the fact that I rarely got interest from women I find really attractive, so more often that not I settled for the less flashy models on the showroom floor. This was great for my ego as I was routinely flattered for my looks and general level of charm, but on the other hand it was presumed that I was not to be trusted in a relationship, and I would bolt at the first more comely female I saw.

 

I’m a visceral guy, and it is patently obvious to me that odds of finding a suitable mate online are nil. For whatever reason, I can’t be intimate with a woman who outweighs me, which removes from consideration ninety percent of the prospects who evince interest in me. As a shallow and discerning male, this world is simply not for me. My conclusion is that most of the babes are gold-digging doxies, and the others are desperate and suspicious. Solitude is far preferable.

In My Arrogance

This may surprise some folk who know me, but I have a vaunted opinion of myself and  find no difficulty in second guessing the handiwork of the creator. I’m not a man of faith, particularly as the world devolves around me, but I can acknowledge that an Almighty Being is no less likely than a random amalgam of cosmic stuff becoming our planet. But for the sake of argument let us transport ourselves to Sunday school days and the certainty that God was real.

 

What the hell is with teeth?

 

Thirty-two individual teeth is the design concept, and I’ll acknowledge the brilliance of it after I hyperbolize my ideas. As a victim of lousy dental genetics I have suffered mightily from this – had beautiful primaries before the grotesque emergence of two fused teeth in the space for one. Naturally this mutation had to be yanked, and to this day I recall the dentist kneeling on my chest, yawing and twisting with both hands on the vise grips affixed to the offending choppers. Mom retained the grisly trophy for a few years, because Mom saved lots of weird crap, and after sporting a gap for a while I was presented with a false device with a single incisor that flipped in and out. Maintenance of the contrivance was a bitch but a small price to pay, as opposed to being Snaggle-Tooth Boy. and I was nearly thirty before I had enough insurance to replace it with a bridge.

 

 

Let’s circle back to the point – individual teeth are good in that it allows for shifting, and the loss of only one or two when one eats a foul ball, but think about the downside of all those gaps, places where everything we eat can burrow and fester throughout the day. I floss and brush and have for years but to no avail, my heredity has reduced me to about half of my divinely sanctioned functioning teeth. It keeps my weight down in that I can’t eat effectively, but not being a gastrophile it makes gestation twice the tedium. Of course my siblings and countless others have had similar unpleasant experiences, and this isn’t about me – just giving background before I present my alternative proposal.

 

The Hee-Haw Donkey.

 

 

I remember watching the show in the days when choices were far fewer, and the single sets of top and bottom teeth came to mind as my dental chaos progressed. Eliminating the gaps eliminates the inherent bacterial breeding grounds which have claimed so many teeth over the years, as well as my bizarre two-for-one front teeth experience. Anticipating the questions about shifting and fracturing, I figure as long as I’m dreaming why not replace hard and vulnerable enamel with tough, flexible, and regenerating cartilage, like our hair and fingernails? Sure this is mental mastrubation, but since the prevailing globalist view discounts God in favor of random chance and biological metamorphosis from one species to another, I thought I would put my order in early.

Wilderness

I used to watch a TV show depicting what would happen to man’s creations if we were suddenly no longer in the picture. The narratives begin within one year and advance forward in time, presented with animated images of vines and trees overgrowing their bounds and wreaking slow-motion havoc on bridges and buildings.  It was fascinating to me for a while, because there are times I feel like as a species we are of little use anyway, but one day I realized – what’s the point? If there’s no one to see it, is it really happening?

 

I was a landscape manager for nearly 40 years, and it was my lot to prevent nature’s encroachment. Customers expect manicured results – they have been to Disneyland and want the same effect around their condos or shopping center. I took great pride over the years in servicing these desires, but middle management finally wore me down to the point that my usefulness is limited. That’s why I choose to only write about it going forward.

 

In early society there was no call for ornamental plantings for the common man; if it couldn’t be eaten, worn, or used people didn’t have any reason to cultivate it. Kings and the wealthy installed lavish and ostentatious landscapes around their castles and estates, and to this day they are mind-boggling to behold. It was only recently that people put in lawns and plants with only aesthetic appeal.  Products for the home gardener represent a billion dollar industry, and with the recent awareness of ecological issues the word ‘organic’ has burgeoned into a mantra.

 

When I was a homeowner I sought out houses with minimal landscaping, simply because I had no interest in doing the same thing at home that I did all day at work. When the kids were little I lived in a house with a raised bed along the neighbor’s garage, with vegetables and herbs. I did dress up the rest of the yard, planting two maples in front and lilacs, rhodies and azaleas in back, as well as re-seeding a brand new lawn. I also put in a dog run behind the garage and a small play area with a structure on the east side, both backfilled with pea gravel. The gravel was mainly to allow dog feces to be picked up easily, and permitted me to spray a bleach solution several times a year.

 

Approaching my dotage, our manicured surroundings appeal less and less to me.  I could see myself living out my last years in a rustic cottage with huge hoary looking fruit trees front and back. Planting beds would be full of wildflowers; daisy, digitalis, yarrow, coreopsis, etc. There would be containers full of berries and assorted herbs and the lawn would be full of dandelions and be maintained at a height of six inches – I have applied 2,4-D for the last time. Naturally there would be a vegetable  garden in the most advantageous spot, because nothing tastes better than a fresh picked tomato. 

 

But that doesn’t mean I can’t apply my enormous horticultural knowledge for the benefits of mankind in general. Hit me up, folks.

 

 

Weed Reflecting

I have written in the past about weed control, and although it is not a personal issue with me any longer I am still interested in the subject. I’m also tired of hearing about law firms trying to cash in on the glyphosate / cancer thing. Herbicides have been a touchy subject for years,and that is only going to become more contentious. I believe we can all agree on that, a least.

 

Given that invasive plants are going to continue to thrive where people don’t want them, and that keeping them at bay involves either herbicides of some sort, or mechanical control. Less controversial spray concoctions have been used, such as vinegar or corn gluten, and if you keep them mowed down or mulch with something weeds won’t grow in the theory is that they will eventually die out.

 

But I’m not writing about weed control in edible crops – that’s a different aspect. Invasive plants in ornamental areas, or even roadsides and rights-of-way, allow the applicator to use more aggressive formulations. If the customer is willing to pay for it, contractors are happy to increase their physical control – herbicides exist to avoid labor costs.

 

What I’m wondering is, what sort of cosmetic concessions is the public willing to consider? Safety issues aside, are people willing to view crack weeds around parks and libraries, shopping mall curbs and parking lot beds, on your fairways and putting greens? The businesses and municipalities pay for weed control because believe me, they hear about it. Labor shortages and environmental concerns will be ongoing, so I’m sure the answers will become apparent.

 

Right?

Is This Meshuga Or What?

One of the most baffling things I was required to do while managing the landscaping at a local sewerage agency was weed control in the many rain gardens on their facilities. I suppose I should explain just what the hell a rain garden is I guess – basically they are artificial swamps, providing a place for water to run off and be filtered by plants before absorption into the soil profile.

 

It’s a sound and worthwhile concept, utilizing nature’s own bio-mass to soak up and synthesize all the nasty detritus washing off of asphalt surfaces, building roofs, the manicured areas of the landscape. The rushes, sedges, moisture loving trees and shrubs also provide small islands of habitat for critters within the surrounding civilization.

 

But essentially, we’re talking about swamps.

 

And I was called upon to wade into these overgrown drainage ditches, hefting a four gallon backpack sprayer, to dispatch weeds with a wetlands friendly herbicide. Never mind that much of the stuff I was after was similar to the desirable plants, but it’s not like vegetation is disposed to respect boundaries. Try spraying just the right plant with chiggers flying up your nose and you will know my plight.

 

Seriously I understand the need – crap like birdsfoot trefoil and himalayan blackberry need to be controlled, or the money spent on carefully designed rain gardens is wasted. There is a matter of degrees, however, and this particular customer had what I considered unrealistic expectations regarding weeds throughout, not just in the artificial swamps.

 

If anyone reading knows the meaning of a Q.R.F. and government set-asides, you may also recognize an inherent resentment by those forced to submit, and it’s easy to take that out on the non-profit contractor’s staff, human nature being what it is.

H2-B Still

The landscape industry is having trouble finding workers, an issue I’ve seen coming for years.  When I began my career in 1980 I encountered few hispanic workers, and as I moved up the ladder and had to hire my crew it was my lot to comb through  American – born applicants.

Even in the early 1980’s it was difficult to find motivated young men willing to perform the arduous landscape labor, and turnover was high.  We worked four ten-hour days and my crews had to pull Saturdays, so I had to deal with many hangover-related issues.

I spent the last five years working for a non-profit that employed disabled people, so not only did I have the usual headaches of finding willing staff, but they had to possess a level of disability in order to be eligible.

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