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12:02 AM
Hi @jmuseer
oops @jmusser
 
@kevinsky Hey, still on
 
prepping the garden for winter already
 
@kevinsky Nice.
It's still gatting over 70 here during the day.
It gets down to as low as 50 at night.
@kevinsky Your landscaped beds?
 
the whole lot, harvest the herbs and berries, cut down the perennials
get ready for the attack of the hungry mice and rabbits
 
still harvesting berries?
I haven't, for a while.
 
12:05 AM
blackberries grown in some shade are late bearers
 
@kevinsky Ha! Our last blackberries were in mid august.
 
and if I wanted some pucker power I could harvest the viburnum berries, boy are they tart
 
@kevinsky Yeah, some people make sauce with them, for turkey.
 
I leave them and the winter berry for the local animals.
really my success is mixed with growing plants to attract wildlife
 
So you once did maintenance? or installations? Or design? Or all three?
 
12:07 AM
I did all three
maintenance was steady but low profit and low risk
 
I do all three as well.
 
design was erratic and not profitable unless you sold the installation
installation was risky, one wrong move, one wrong estimate and everything backed up
I had to quote $100,000 a month to sell $30,000 a month to keep the crew busy. and at the end I mostly moved money around
 
@kevinsky Design is profitable, if you charge properly.
 
Very true, but you need a customer who believes that knowledge has value
rather than, I can get this free at home depot
Where I live there are 100 working days to landscape
 
I don't employ people, sometimes sub-contract the easy stuff, but I find that the average landscaper doesn't really know anything, and are a lot of trouble to work with.
 
12:11 AM
I made more steady money as me, myself and I than I did with a crew
but with landscaping clients often wanted a complete job. driveway paving, interlock, retaining wall, plants, trees....hard to do that by yourself
 
@kevinsky here, there are at least 160 frost-free days, and landscapers can get money in winter, with snow removal and design.
@kevinsky I don't pave driveways, I'd have to rent equipment. But I'm kind of a fitness freak, so not hard for me to do things on my own.
 
snow removal is a brutal business, turns a light pick up truck into junk in three years with a bent chassis. Bidding is fierce and the seasons alternate between coming out ten times for a little snow and coming out twenty or thirty times for a few feet at a time
a lot of companies have tracters with a PTO blower
 
@kevinsky True; I use a tractor.
 
do a driveway in five minutes
and then cut big areas with grass in the summer
 
That's why landscapers do the best snow removal; they're thinking about the lawn as well.
 
12:17 AM
Yes, I was very fit when I landscaped. Not so much now. Desk jobs give you soft hands
I still cycle 30 km a day and do exercises. I think it's an investment
 
I get a lot of jobs in spring where I drive all over the countryside, with a load of topsoil, some seed, some straw, and some tools, repairing winter damage.
 
Sounds good as long as you keep a tight eye on gas costs
 
@kevinsky I love working out. I can still do 12 reps with 380 lbs, bench press.
 
hangs head....
 
@kevinsky yeah, I always estimate ahead of time. I am pretty good at estimates, to say so myself.
Sometimes I'll still do time and materials, but not usually.
 
12:21 AM
estimating for a crew was very hard for me
I could do my own time to the hour
 
@kevinsky Why I never hired...
 
So I quoted an hourly plus materials with a higher rate for change orders
"OH, while you're here"...
that alone could blow a project
have to estimate and purchase and deliver all over
 
I found there was enough work available that I never had an issue with money flow. At least if you don't mind a 75 hour week.
 
There are still landscapers who don't work saturday or sunday because the crew are too hung over to work anyway
 
You can also get away with charging over 120$/hour, even on easy stuff, if you do a fast, efficient, long lasting and in all ways expert job.
@kevinsky I don't work Saturdays normally, and am at church literally all day Sunday.
Did you ever have to advertise?
 
12:25 AM
I think you have some real expertise to get those hourly rates and still have time to go to church
advertising was a waste,
had two yellow page ads, one for design, one for install
you could see the thought going through people's minds....I'll call them all!
tire kickers who want the cheapest price waste your time. Referrals are worth a lot more
 
@kevinsky I always go to church, so not really an issue to find time on week days. When I'm 70, I may slow up a bit.
 
he he
have to go, good luck for your fall jobs
 
@kevinsky I never advertised either. It was talking to a couple older neighbors, and then word of mouth from there. I even had to take the stickers off the trucks and trailers, too many potential customers turned down.
@kevinsky See you, talk later.
:)
 
1:10 AM
The last message was posted 40 minutes ago.
:)
Just kidding.
I saw you fly in @waxeagle
 
yep, popping in before I make it an early night
 
@waxeagle Good for you, going to bed early.
 
@J.Musser well... I need the sleep, weekend was a rough one. Drove down past tampa on friday, and back yesterday afternoon/evening
 
@waxeagle Wow, that's a lot of driving, depending where you are. :)
Sleep is healthy.
 
@J.Musser 11 hrs each way
 
1:17 AM
@waxeagle That's a good bit. Hopefully you have good mpg.
And weren't tired.
 
almost 40
was starting to feel it towards the 2am parts in both directions
 
@waxeagle That's great. What kind of car?
 
thankfully my wife was sleeping most of the rest of the way, so she was able to stay up with me towards the end
Nissan Versa
 
@waxeagle I didn't know versas were that good.
I was gonna guess Mitsubishi mirage.
 
yeah, it's got Nissan's CVT that they throw in basically all their cars now, and it's a super small 4 cyl
 
1:19 AM
@waxeagle I hate driving 4 cyls
I like at least 8 in a compact car.
But I'm picky.
 
@J.Musser lol, I've never driven more than a v6, and I'm just fine with that. I don't need much power. As long as a car can get me up the hills around us I'm good
 
@waxeagle I like to be at 60 in less than 4 seconds, if I want.
@waxeagle So you've never driven a pickup?
Pickups are fun too.
 
@J.Musser actually yeah, I did drive our work pickup a good bit when I was in college working for the house keeping dept, probably only a V8, but a nice ride. Drove it a few times completely loaded down with carpet, that was fun
 
I once had a 1.3 liter i4 which couldn't go up hills.
It was a Mazda protege from '94.
 
ouch. I've been OK on hills with my little fourbangers. Saturn SL1, Honda civic, nissan versa
all OK and we live at 1000' of elevation
 
1:25 AM
@waxeagle You should try a Ford f550 dump truck with 6 yards of wet topsoil.
 
lol, out of my weight class :)
 
Yeah, around here, there are hills everywhere, so you're at 300' one minute, 850 the next.
 
yeah we're not that bad, you have to be intentional about going up or down that high. But I live at the top, which means getting down and heading back up for work every day
 
@waxeagle Is it? I thought you could drive it on your regular license.
@waxeagle long commute?
 
probably, as long as it's less than 10k if I remember what my license says
@J.Musser 30 minutes if I'm going direct to work, 1:15 when I take my son to daycare which I do every day
 
1:30 AM
@waxeagle Not too bad. I often do a lot more driving, so I can get to different job sites in one day.
@waxeagle Why would it be out of your weight class?
 
@J.Musser mostly just comfort level :)
 
@waxeagle Ah.
It's about the same, you just have to be used to manual trans.
Unless they make 'em with automatic. I haven't seen one.
It would be nice.
I'll go look it up.
 
lol, I can drive a stick :), first car that was mine was a stick :)
(cuz sticks in the mountains are more fun)
 
@waxeagle sticks anywhere are more fun
But I think on a work truck, I take convenience over fun.
 
agreed, unfortunately I've had to bow to practicality and that dictates that because the wife doesn't drive it (tried to teach her and failed miserably), I've gotta have automatics for now
@J.Musser very true
 
1:36 AM
@waxeagle try a shiftable automatic. It'd be great for you and your wife.
 
@J.Musser yeah, I've played with one of those we rented, liked it a lot
 
@waxeagle You should buy one.
 
maybe next time :). Going to be in the market for something fairly soon as my car isn't going to last a whole lot longer...though I'm hoping get another year from it
 
I'm trying to remember that kind of trans that you can't feel. Oh yes, a cvt
They feel really weird. Like they never change gear.
 
@J.Musser yep, that's what's in our Versa, it's a bit goofy getting used to, but it drives real smooth
the RPMs bounce around, but you don't ever feel a shift, it's very strange
 
1:44 AM
And when you take your foot off the gas, it slows a lot faster.
 
@J.Musser yeah, because it basically engages engine breaking instantly
 
They are strange, and not so fun to me.
 
doesn't really coast at all
 
I like coasting.
@waxeagle What year is yours?
 
@J.Musser 2014
 
1:50 AM
@waxeagle Nice. That's kinda newer.
Do you ever wish you had an old 70's hot rod?
 
@J.Musser lil bit :). We bought it about a year ago. Got sick of driving old beaters...
(I still do, but at least we have one car that will be reliably in service for the next several years)
 
@waxeagle I always laugh when someone breaks down out in the lot, after buying a brand new car.
 
lol. Like their new one? yeah...warranty claim :)
ok heading to bed. catch you later
 
I am an amateur mechanic, so I thoroughly look over a car before purchasing. And test drive it for a while.
@waxeagle Cya!
@stormy How's the project going? is the 'customer' happy?
 
 
2 hours later…
3:45 AM
In one answer, I say, "Looks like nitrogen deficiency, and possibly a drainage issue, I'd get the soil tested.", and later he says, "I tested the soil and it gave me some very interesting results... Looks like the main issue would be the lack of Nitrogen in my soil. Second issue could be a drainage problem."
So I was right!
But he didn't accept the answer.
 
 
7 hours later…
10:37 AM
@J.Musser - sod it, yes, I did mean to ping Kevinsky, not you - he was the one who sent me the interesting link to the Statesman. I was obviously having a moment - I didn't look properly and thought it was you who sent me the link - I must admit I was somewhat surprised that you would be looking at such an article, you don't seem that kind of personality type.
@kevinsky - I hope you read the responses I inadvertently sent to J Musser regarding the article in the Statesman - they should have been sent to you, but I hadn't grasped it was you sending me the link, duh... actually I've just read it again...
its worth reading more than once... and I'm intrigued by the churchgoing, is that common in the States?
that last addressed to J. Musser really, but also you, out of curiosity, though I think you're in Canada
 

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