Archive - May 2004

May 28th

Power Outage

On on of the first days when people actually have felt like planting--the yard was full of cars--the power went out about 9:30 this morning.

Suddenly, you realize how much you depend upon electricity for the basics of business. First item was to get the standby generator going so we could get the greenhouse vent fans running again. Without fans, the temperature can rise to 100 degrees in a hurry on a still, sunny day.

May 27th

Relentlessly dismal

The cold, cloudy spring continues this morning after a brief respite yesterday afternoon. When the sun came out yesterday, I got a burst of energy and went out to clear brush where I am hoping to put a house this summer. I have scratches from prickly ash all over my arm to prove it.

Twins on TV

Got a chance to watch the Twins after work last night. They won 4-2. Very good game. A score like 4-2 means there was some good baseball played. Last weekend, they lost 17-7 in a game I was spared the agony of listening to. A score like that means there was bad pitching and probably some errors in the field.

Song mystery solved

Thanks to those of you who wrote informing me that Ray Stevens is a country music singer known for his off beat, humorous songs. That would explain the "having a baby the natural way" line at the end of the song I heard yesterday.

Viewing Stevens' website, which some of you forwarded to me, makes me think I should look into his music! Probably a man after my own heart.

May 26th

Line from a song

Jumped in my pickup this morning and heard the last line of a song, which to me sounded like, "We didn't have a babeeeeee.....the natchural waaaaaaaaaay!" followed by "That was Ray Stevens on 1260, KROX radio, 52 degrees here in the valley...etc., etc.

Any clues on this one? It has me really curious.

May 25th

Windbreak project

The director of the North Dakota Museum of Art, Laurel Reuter, stopped by the nursery tonight with some good news. A couple of years ago, Laurel started a project to photograph the windbreaks of the Red River Valley in an artistic manner. She asked me to be an advisor on the project. So far, that has involved writing up a description of the location of some of my favorite examples of good windbreaks. I don't care so much if they stop the snow or soil erosion in an efficacious manner--I like windbreaks which aesthetically enhance the otherwise dreary landscape of the valley.

Signs of spring

Maybe, maybe, things will finally warm up. I heard a forecast of 75 degrees tomorrow for Fargo. This spring has been cold and windy thus far with perhaps four days where one could go outside in a t-shirt. I have a theory that all springs up here are late springs, but this one is stretching even that definition of late.

Although the old wives' tales state that one shouldn't plant before Memorial Day, the fact of the matter is most people have everything in by then. This year, however, the weather has been such that Memorial Day might be the day when summer hits.

May 24th

Affection Deficit Disorder

My cat needs a certain amount of attention per day or it meows pitifully. When I come home after a long day of work, it will carry on until I sit down and devote time to petting it. Then it purrs and purrs.

So similar to people! (We're back to talking about dealing with the public, since that occupies most of the hours of my day these days.)

I prefer business transactions to be crisp and efficient. It's business, after all. No need to fool around. So, I often run up to a customer and expect them to spill out just what they want so we can move on.

May 23rd

Spring winds

The wind continues to blow this morning. It seems that still days have been an exception this spring. The wind has been relentless.

Wind alters my view of the day, I find. If I don't think about it, the wind's noise creates an ominous sense of unrest. My mind then finds thoughts to fit that mood, and I walk around waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I wonder if there are more accidents on windy days. I know the fire trucks are more likely to run on a windy day--just because the wind can cause grassfires to take off.

May 22nd

The Public, cont.

I think a lot about manners every day, especially when I am dealing with the public. I try to keep my manners on a reasonable level--not always with success. But also I get a chance to observe those who have manners as opposed to those who don't.

One customer arrives each year with hair perfectly coiffed and manages to pick out a pickup load of flowers without getting one bit of dirt on her immaculate clothing. She is like a queen, and maintains that dignity even while purchasing dirty plants. Of course, everybody loves her, and we love to see her arrive.