Friday, October 14, 2005

The Nursery Business isn’t as easy as it looks sometimes

Maybe nothing is. If I were a dogcatcher there would be days……….

I have been working with various growers to supply landscapers nursery stock for a couple decades now. I didn’t just fall off the pickle truck.

Sometimes I get frustrated with the amateurs. This morning I get a call from a guy who wants a 14’ spruce and wants to haul it in the back of his pickup truck. What? I tried to be as nice as I should be, finally I just blew him off. Amateur landscapers are the worst. They don’t know what they are doing, expect more than anyone can provide and don’t know why we on the grower end don’t get excited at their call.

I have been working with a few growers who are new to selling wholesale. I have tried to be nice and considerate of their naiveté in the marketplace. But, my time is worth something too. Learn the market or get out. If you don’t believe me, believe the fact that you have trees in the nursery that were 3” last year and are now unsaleable.

I get calls from people wanting help them establish a nursery. I did that a few times. Those nurseries are up and running. My check for my consulting help? Not yet on the way. I’ll not do that again.

So, I’m harder now, I’m less tolerant now, I do business on my terms, not theirs. I am unwilling to bend my core principles. I learned long ago that no good deed in the nursery business goes unpunished. We do business my way or not at all.

I have lots of people who want to buy product. I just need to figure out what to do about all the amateurs in the business who don’t know how or when to sell their product. Then they whine when things don’t sell and they have to push them over with a bulldozer.

My old boss, Jerry Rice, used to say, “Every plant in the nursery will find a buyer given enough time and the right price”. He was exactly right.

Time and Price. That’s the rub.

So, to whom am I talking here? ME.

Thanks for letting me blow off a little steam.

Back to work.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Peggy Noonan Scores Again

Smart Woman Post:

Peggy Sounds off on Harriet Meirs.

How bout Ms Noonan for Supreme Court?

If you know my story, you know why this quote matters to me

"It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself for a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat."

"Citizenship in a Republic,"
Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

I wonder if they had this story on for my Grandma Redlin

I saw the story below on the news. My first thought was, Ja und? (So What in German, sort of).

The family of my Father, The Robert Redlin's of Watertown, numbered children from one mother and one father well into the teens. Depending on counting birth and shortly thereafter deaths. It would have been 18. None of those namby pampy hospital births either. Get up in the morning, have a baby and cook dinner for the harvesters in the evening. Those were real women of the prairie.

So, this story makes me say just one thing, LIGHTWEIGHT!

Arkansas Mother Gives Birth to 16th Child
Oct 12 1:55 PM US/Eastern

Associated Press Writer


Michelle Duggar just delivered her 16th child, and she's already thinking about doing it again.

Johannah Faith Duggar was born at 6:30 a.m. Tuesday and weighed 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces.

The baby's father, Jim Bob Duggar, a former state representative, said Wednesday that mother and child were doing well.

He said Johannah's birth was especially exciting because it was the first time in eight years the family has had a girl.

Jim Bob Duggar, 40, said he and Michelle, 39, want more children.

"We both just love children and we consider each a blessing from the Lord. I have asked Michelle if she wants more and she said yes, if the Lord wants to give us some she will accept them," he said.

The Discovery Health Channel filmed Johannah's birth and plans to air a show about the family of 18 next May.

The Learning Channel is doing another show about the family's construction project, a 7,000-square foot house that should be finished before Christmas. The home, which the family has been building for two years, will have nine bathrooms, dormitory-style bedrooms for the girls and boys, a commercial kitchen, four washing machines and four dryers.

Jim Bob Duggar, who sells real estate, previously lost his bid for the U.S. Senate. He said he expects to run for the state Senate next year but isn't ready to make a formal announcement.

Michelle Duggar had her first child at age 21, four years after the couple married.

Their children include two sets of twins, and each child has a name beginning with the letter "J": Joshua, 17; John David, 15; Janna, 15; Jill, 14; Jessa, 12; Jinger, 11; Joseph, 10; Josiah, 9; Joy-Anna, 8; Jeremiah, 6; Jedidiah, 6; Jason, 5; James, 4; Justin, 2; and Jackson Levi, 1.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

I get some Strange Emails

You do too. Mostly about enlarging bodily members.

But today I got one from a Carlos Guzman. He was hawking a stock (I think). I'm not sure of the topic. He also included some philosophy. So stock picks by a philosopher. They are kind of thought provoking however:

  • Conceal a flaw, and the world will imagine the worst.
  • Television has raised writing to a new low.
  • Guilt is a rope that wears thin.
  • It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.
  • The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.
  • Streets full of water; please advise.
  • Truth is beautiful, without doubt; but so are lies.
  • When I read about the evils of drinking, I gave up reading.
  • When women kiss, it always reminds me of prizefighters shaking hands.
  • The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.
  • It is only the first step that is difficult.
  • We don't get offered crises, they arrive.
  • To generalize is to be an idiot.
  • Visions come not to polluted eyes.
  • Everybody likes a kidder, but nobody lends him money.
  • Our deeds determine us, as much as we determine our deeds.
  • We're all in this alone.

Honestly I don't agree with that last one, but the others are food to chew on.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

This is a tirade free zone

I have strong opinions on everything. And worse, I’m convinced I am right. Not just right wing. Correct. That’s what makes me so popular at dinner parties during which I sit alone. You want my opinion, just ask, no don’t bother, I’ll give it to you anyway.

Nothing is more dangerous than absolute certitude. I’m a dangerous man.

So, I am going to return the tone of this blog to ruminations on life, love, Jesus, Family, and other less offensive topics.

My inflammatory comments and opinions will now reside in a more suitable place. I now write as a guest contributor for Say Anything. This is a political and cultural blog written and edited in large part by Rob Port. I have enjoyed his blog since I became aware of it a year ago. I believe it’s one of the best on the net. I go there first in the morning not because I wrote something, but because I think it’s so well done.

There are several comments on nearly every post. Rob has thousands of readers. They all have strong opinions. It’s great fun if you love good political debate.

And here’s the beauty part. Sometimes I write while incoherent. When I am banal, unclear, stupid, and potentially about to look like an idiot, Rob won’t publish my rant. He sends it back for rewrite. And sometimes he just fixes the stupid parts.

Thanks to Rob (and his associate Likwidshoe) for allowing me to be part of your lively forum and giving a home for my more radical offensive right wing views. I will keep the Gleaner as content free as possible so as not to offend more sensitive readers.

So, bookmark Say Anything. It’s some of the best on the net today. Just ask me.

Recent rants:
Miers Nomination
ND Ebay Licence
Failure of Multiculturalism
Arab MTV saves the world
Patriot Act Police State Howard Dean
Blind Rage from the Left
Helping Katrina Victims, no good deed goes unpunished
Faint Praise from Democrats for Meirs
Bush Withdraws from Iraq
No Sign of Reaction to Bush's Speach
Churchill Bush
Socialist North Dakota
You can balance the Budget
Bali Bombers

Monday, October 10, 2005

Fall is a Beautiful Time Here

Living where I do has genuine benefits. Fall color is one of them. We had drought this summer. Color is off. But all in all it’s still spectacular.

Growing up in ND, going to college in Fargo, I saw posters of the fall on campus pictures from around the country. Oranges, Reds, Golds, Purples and Magenta, magic colors far off the prismatic scale. In ND. Green, frost, brown or No frost, a few weeks of yellow, then brown. Then that special day all people from North Dakota know well. Yellow leaves on the tree all fall off in an hour as the sun rises after a hard freeze. Yesterday it was clothed in bright yellow (Elm and Ash do this best), a cold night and by noon she stands naked. I have intentionally stood under these trees as they molted to experience the effect.

I didn’t know different, I thought we should be happy for what we got. I was. It was pretty in it’s own way. I still enjoy it when I have been hunting in ND and there are leaves on the trees with a muted expression as if a Norwegian introvert had painted them. (a Norwegian introvert looks at his shoes when he talks to you, a Norwegian extrovert looks at yours).

Nothing too bold or colorful.

Color says winters coming. I’m not ready. It was too hot to enjoy summer.

Maybe global warming will set in and we won’t have winter this year. I can only hope.

End of the Age?

I heard Pat Robertson say that all the upset in the last year starting with the Tsunami and up to the Earthquake in Pakistan with tens of thousands dead means that the end of the world (or something like it) is near.

I don’t know.

I guess I read the Bible as well as the next guy. I’ll withhold my opinion.

I do know that I am more thankful for every breath, every hug, every kiss, every touch, every single manifestation of life than I was before.

I have touched and seen those empty shells of people I once knew and loved.

I understand that in Medical School, early on they take students to a newly deceased body. They make them hold the hand of the carcass. They then talk about how only a few hours ago this person loved, had anger, sexual drives, felt heat, pain, talked, and reasoned. Now, nothing.

That’s why I believe in an eternal soul. This is more than just a cluster of synapses. We live on.

Naive? Or is it naive to believe that there is nothing beyond this life.

Time will tell. I’m with Pascal, “if there’s nothing beyond this life, I’m not harming myself living and loving as if there is”.

If I’m wrong it doesn’t matter, if I’m right, WOW!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Your hometown a business haven?

By Paul Tulenko

Scripps Howard News Service

Are you a young professional looking for a place to settle down and call home? Maybe you went off to college to get the knowledge and grounding for a job that has been calling to you.

Maybe you and your potential mate are looking for a place where you can not just get a great job, but can satisfy that burning passion for hunting, fishing, camping, skiing or some other excitement that calls.

Maybe you’re looking for a place where you can rent a loft apartment over an old storefront and sell your art, live downtown where the action is and still make a wonderful living.

Maybe you miss the closeness of having friends who like the things you like, and where you are now just doesn’t offer those moments.

Then again, maybe you’ve been out there for a few (or quite a few) years, and you’re still looking for a place where you can be “you” again. You have skills, knowledge and experience, and you don’t seem to have lost that drive, but at the same time, you don’t want to tie yourself down to some corporate job at the expense of friends, family and what’s left of your life.

Does any of this resonate with you? It resonates with me. Over the past few years, I’ve been privileged to talk with a lot of people just like you (and me), and I’ve discovered the secret place where we’ve all longed to be: It’s called home!

For example, I recently visited two very small towns in North Dakota – Bismarck, the capital, and Grand Forks, a town so much like the sleepy town in mid-Missouri I grew up in that I almost pitched the career and all that stuff on the chance that I could again be near friends and relatives who talked like me, who came from that good rich old-country stock, people who believe in people, people who have a positive outlook on life, go fishing for walleyes, hunt Ring-Neck Pheasants, plant a garden, build make-believe cities with grandkids on the muddy banks of the Missouri river, have a beer down at the local watering hole, and cuss and discuss the challenges of the day with friends both old and new.

Have you thought about something like this? A lot of the new people in North Dakota have, and I’ve talked with them, had meaningful discussions across a table groaning with a platter piled high with walleye fillets that just makes your mouth water and piles of steaks that are the tenderest meat ever served, and it’s all home-grown.

These people have moved back home, bought the old place down the road, built the home of their dreams, enrolled their kids in schools that seem to hold promise of actually helping them to succeed in life, found a job with one of the new firms just starting to grow, or in some cases, starting new businesses of their own.

They’ve also found that there is money in their hometown – money to lend to entrepreneurs who want to buy out some business and make it their own or to buy that homestead that will allow them the freedom to be themselves, provide the challenges of the new century and allow them to work with other talented people to open new doors.

If you are looking for a new challenge in your life, consider making a trip back to where you came from, whether it’s that big city, sleepy village or a town in North Dakota. Is there a challenge out there you could solve? Are any of your old friends or family still around? Maybe you and they could walk back up that memory hill one more time. Maybe that bend in the road is the one you’ve been looking for.

Thomas Wolfe said you can’t go home again, but Dorothy did – and I’m going to tell you that, yes, you also can go home again. So come on home. They’re waiting for you.