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Everybody Wants Some, You Want Some Too

Everybody wants seed! (and Bananas) I's time to do some Agronomy.   This fall, no matter what climate you grow grass in, you are probably going to buy some seed. I's actually one thing that cool- and warm season Turfheads have in common: generally there is some kind of fall overseeding on some kind of playing surface. And the reason is supposed to be the same, get better grasses going for short or long term gain. Simple. But leave it to us to make it into a snake pit. I see seed buyers making some real mistakes or just not paying attention to how they spend their money. There are a few things that I'd love to pass along. Seed, in its innocent state is pure, simple, powder-the-babys-butt agronomy. The simple basic concept is perfection. Choose the plant that you want and then buy the seed to sow. Simple.  Have I said simple before? I have? Because it ought to be that. It should be that. But in actuality it isn't.   I think everyone involved in the seed industry wants everyone involved to do the right thing. Buy what you need, get what you ask for and do it at a fair price. I'd like to think that everyone involved knows that to stay alive, be it seed farmer, seed cleaner, seed distributor or even seed breeder, they have to do a great job and make a profit. But like in any commodity-oriented market, there are factors and ins and outs in the whole process. Market conditions, climate conditions, inventory conditions and of course crop quality make seed an interesting and ever changing thing.   I see seed buyers making some real mistakes> or just not paying attention to how they spend their money. There are a few things that I'd love to pass along.   1. I's the PLS, Dude. Pure Live Seed or PLS is a pretty simple equation. And in a lot of circles (like native seedings) PLS pounds are often talked about. Multiplying purity by germination arrives at Pure Live Seed. So, a seed lot that is 90% purity and 80% germination ends up being 72% PLS (.90 x .80 = .72). This means that with this particular sampling to get a pound of Pure Live Seed, we need 1.38889 pounds of seed. And it also means that in a pound of this particular seed, 28% of it isn't pure or live. I don't know about you, but paying for what I don't want isn't good. The economics of this should be obvious, but they often aren't. When someone is bragging to me about their amazing seed buy and we look a little further, we often see that the bargain was actually no deal.   Here's an example:   Seed A: 72% PLS. $.64 per pound. >Seed B: 96% PLS. $.88 per pound.   Le's start by looking at Cost Per PLS Pound:   Seed A:> 1 PLS Pound of 72% PLS is 1.3889 pounds of this seed. (1 divided by .72). Multiply this by the cost per pound (1.3889 x $.64) and you get $.89 per PLS Pound.   Seed B: 1 PLS Pound of 96% PLS is 1.042 pounds of this seed (1 div. by .96). Multiply this by the cost per pound (1.042 x $.88) and you get $.92 per PLS Pound.   Considering that the cost difference between PLS pounds in this example is $.03, the bargain that Seed A looked like at $.24 less, isn't such a bargain. And probably not worth it at all when you consider how much seed is not pure and not live.   2. Poa and Blue Tags, Man! I believe in testing and certification. I also believe in knowing what tests mean. In the case of Certified Blue Tag Seed, which is essentially a statement about genetic purity, some seeds like Poa annua and Poa trivialis are allowed. So... what does this mean? It means if you want completely Poa annua-free seed, you have to ask for it and you'll probably want to coordinate the testing with your supplier and it takes some time. And of course you'll have to pay for that. But if you don't, you'll pay later. Poa control costs what per acre? A monkey says, "What?". Exactly.   For instance, Oregon Blue Tag Certification allows for one Annual Bluegrass seed per 5-gram noxious weed sample. This means about 2300 seeds in a 25 pound pail of Bentgrass and of course 4600 seeds in a 50 pound bag of Ryegrass.   Again, there is nothing wrong with certification, but you have to understand that a Certified Lot of 55,000 pounds may not be Poa annua free. In fact, it could have 5 million Annual Bluegrass seeds in it.   3. Dude, Did You Count? This one seems simple, but i's often missed. And tha's OK because you, Turf Monkey, can do the math and it is as easy as knowing how many pounds of seed there are in a pound of a particular turf variety and going from there. Seed blends are done by weight. So when your favorite 80/20 Blue/Rye blend doesn't seem to have much Rye in it, take a closer look. Maybe you should have said 80/20 Rye/Blue instead of Blue/Rye. Oh..that. Right.  I's easy to do the seed count, close your eyes and imagine what your final stand should look like and go from there.   And of course when you are doing blends, there's probably a piece of language you should include in your bid and for me, it looks something like this. Your mileage may vary:   Certified, blue-tagged seed shall be supplied where a named variety is specified. Vendor shall indicate on the bid whether Certified or common seed is being offered, as well as the origin of the seed. The blue tags which are removed to mix the seed shall be given to the projec's designated agronomist in an official submission; in addition, mix tags showing the weighted averages of the ingredients shall be attached to each bag.   I'd love to hear from any of you about wha's gone wrong or right in your seed buying. Share. I's OK. That's what TurfNet is all about. Bad seed is a robbery of the worst kind: for not only your pocket-book suffers by it, but your preparations are lost and a season passes away unimproved.  George Washington

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Whoa! All The Way!!

What Does It Mean, Man?? If there is one constant in the world of Turfheads, in some way, somehow, summer brings some kind of challenge. Like stuffing in the Thanksgiving Turkey here we Turfheads are, right in the middle of it. And there isn’t a soul on the big blue marble that can tell us that it is easy. It’s not and my hat goes off to each and every person in our crazy business that endures. We all deal with it in different way. Complain, ignore, panic, brash confidence, total paranoia, comfortable numbness. I had one of those days a couple days ago and one of those weeks before that. If the windshield in my vehicle could record and playback the foul temper that it witnessed when I thought I was alone, I’m sure that I’d never be let into most civil circles again. It sucks when I let stuff get to me, but it also makes me the monkey that some people love. I know that in my passionate rage, there comes blindness. In those moments I swing at a lot of high pitches, agronomically and socially and that in turn makes it worse. Been there? No? Bat crap. If you answered No, you are either dead or you actually work at the Department of Motor Vehicles. And therein lies the greatness of we Turfheads. We care. We give so much of a crap about things that we can honestly get together with our peers and argue with great vigor the ins and outs of Hundredths of Inches of cutting height, Tenths of Pounds Nitrogen, Half of a Foot of  Speed, Parts Per Million of Nutrients no one has ever heard of… you get the drift. To be good at what we all do, you better make the small stuff your new best friend. I love it. I geek hard and I love it. But when the heat is on I often forget to geek about the right stuff. A friend who I’ve been social networking with online (since way before anyone ever thought up that term) shared this video with me: And actually, I had heard the crew on the radio show that I often listen to making fun of it, but I didn’t really catch the whole idea because I was so busy yelling at the windshield. You need to watch this and at first, like me, you might just kind of write off the person behind the camera as either on the best drugs a hippie can grow, or just a plain loon like the videos once circulated of some Pyromaniac getting off on a burning building. Now watch it again. Go ahead. Yes. He’s crying. I get it. Watch again. Exactly. He’s moved. Amidst the windchimes and  undoubted hemp macrame, he’s totally astounded and overwhelmed. I’ve come to find it admirable. Rainbows are cool. Nature is cool. And we Turfheads have the ability most every day to experience natural beauty every day. Regardless of your beliefs about how it was created or how it gets engineered, we are fortunate to be near these kind of things. And really, I have to admire my new Mountaintop Friend for being in a place where is was so stoked and so passionate about something that he just yawlped about it and posted it on YouTube to make an even bigger effort at yawlping. Sweaty-toothed Madman or not. That’s an effort. Know what? That guy’s crazy video has spawned a whole (I hate to use this word) viral culture. People have made songs, like this from the “Autotune The News” gang: and tee shirts and all kinds of other creations in response. The original video: nearly 8 million views. That’s cool. All the way! I get a lot of phone calls this time of year asking me how to get through whatever challenge is being served up. And one of the things that I know for sure is that people who don’t take a moment and look at good stuff are in real trouble. They have to be told how to look at things through new eyes. And when that starts happening, it is amazing how many things get into focus. Our product, the playing surface needs to be babied along. It needs aggressive tender loving care. It demands respect. And the good stuff, the small stuff, the infinite details need to be looked at as gifts. “What does it mean?”, asks our video friend. What an awesome question to ask when any event moves any of us to take notice. And when all else fails, and summer oatmeals your brain… when you just turn into a stupid monkey, at least you can now be a Rainbow Monkey. Oh my God!!! What Does It Mean??

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Todays iPhone Adoption

Now look…..some people freak over Football or World Cup or F1 or Dancing With The Stars. That’s fine. Not me. This is the story of a man who embraces his addiction like the trained monkey he is. I happen to have an inner geek that makes me read tech blogs and get all nuts about geekery. Top of my geek habit leader board for some time has been Apple and the iPhone. I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid since waiting in line all day for the first version. Today, I was up at the usual early, not to geek on grass but to go gazinga over the release of the iPhone 4G. The Roseville, CA Apple store had about 700 people as dumb as me in line at 5am. I waited in line with a retired door salesman, an ex U2pilot, a jockey kid who was dumb enough to bring his hottie girlfriend to the Viking Feast, an Emo/indie rock pack of siblings and a mouth vomiting shameless promoter of God knows what vitamin line. We became friends, nay, Roundtable Knights together, as we visited about Jobs and Woz  and world domination. 3 hours or so later, my turn came. I was taken into the store wherein I claimed my new device. AT&T didn’t jack up my much deserved entitled upgrade. And four min. later I was headed out the door. Safely in cockpit of the ZealotTruck, I entered my Mobile Me account login and instantly the phone grabbed, contacts, calendars, settings and from the iDisk oriented cloud. I pulled out a cord, plugged unto my laptop and bang, iTunes synched my apps, some music, pics, ringtones and my two favorite Star Trek episodes (because you never know where you’ll be when you have to gain inspiration from Kirk making gunpowder and killing the Gorn). Next my hardcore BlueAnt Superlight Bluetooth visor mounted speakerphone was paired with the new device. A few more inputs and email from five addresses was flowing to the central tech device. 10 min in the parking lot and setup, aside from picking cool wallpaper was done. Nothing lost. Nothing duplicated. Everything perfect. Road time. Begins now!! The iPhone 4G rocked it’s first day of work. Form factor is sleek and yet industrial. All business. I had none of the reported screen problems and really, the only want was for the White model. Not available as if yet. And I wasn’t about to wait. The thing is fast. Multitasking works great. Everything perfect. You have to love Apple for getting it this right. And to further enhance my geekery indulgence, it has a dang gyro running inside it, two cameras, a display so clear that my eyes can’t see the pixels. That’s just cool on any level. I’d say today was a Good Day to be an early adopter. Progress report to come. Death to The Gorn!

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The Turfhead Mysteries, Part 1.1

Prologue This next series of Turfgrass Zealot posts is going to be a challenge for me. As much as I really didn’t want to become a “blogger” in the first place, I REALLY don’t want to tackle a series. Especially this series. But I polled some people who I call friends and they put me up to saying I would do this. Of course, they are probably the same “friends” who would let me drink SeviMol, just to see me do “The Worm”. Yet, though, I still listen. Turfheads are a magical breed. They don’t think like regular people and they really aren’t aliens. But there are things that they do, universally, that often just make no sense. Call it culture. Call it “The Biz”. Call it just being a monkey; it just plain happens. And it’s not just some regional thing where you can blame the air or the type of grass that gets grown or the existence of a particular Veruca Salt-like gadfly overseeding us all with their ideas on how to grow grass. In my travels, I have seen these things as universal misunderstood truths. Turfhead Mysteries. I’m going to change a lot of names to protect the innocent and the morons here. I’m also going to give some examples to illustrate points. By no means does that mean I am targeting anyone. I can’t do this and water it down to the point that it has no teeth. Part 1.1 In Which the Turfhead Complains Endlessly About A Bedfellow and Still Sleeps With Them Anyway. In every geographical area I have ever visited, there is a regional company, distributor or even salesperson that everyone talks about as being the absolute worst at what they do. It’s not a now and again thing, it is a constant. I’ve seen it as a Super, as a Consultant, as an Advisor, as a Sales Rep and even as an expert witness. I’ve even seen it on vacation. Start a conversation about products and services with a Golf Course Superintendent about who they do business with and you will hear about the company that usually does everything right and the company that always does everything wrong. The conversation about the company or rep or whomever always getting it right is usually brief and to the point. It’s their job. It’s what they are supposed to do. End of story. The conversation about the distribution version of the Village Idiot is always the long one. It is a yarn spun of the stupid stuff said company or individual does. The story is often spiced with myriad examples of crossing the line of just plain stupidity. Bad service. Obscene prices. Wrong deliveries. General cluelessness. The stories are always flavored with the resulting hassles that occurred, the lost hours and the overall frustration of not getting what you want, when you want it and how you want it. When I was growing grass, I thought often that is was just me: I must be too hard on them… I must have expectations that are just too grand, much like lots of my members… I need to chill. So before you go thinking that I don’t know what I’m talking about, let me express my guilt right here. Cuff me. I’m a Turfhead. I’ve bought from the idiots too, complained about them, fought with them and still thrown the bones. I may not have the answer to this mystery. I have polled dozens of grass folk and the conversations were often startling, distilling down to things like: “I just feel sorry of the guy, he’s such an idiot and I figured that I’d help him out”, or “The club has always bought that product line, so I didn’t change”. Some of the distillations didn’t taste good at all, like  “I don’t know” or “At least I know what they are all about”. Mind boggling. A lot of Turfheads were pretty honest about some of their thinking. Some were clear that they don’t care about the rep’s ineptitude or the company’s ability to mess up the billing, they just need the product. That’s fair. In a lot of places, it often seems like there is always a particular company with a particular exclusive and if you want that exclusive thing, you have to just grin and order. Others were willing to overlook challenges with bad products, because some stone tablet of theirs had some kind of Agronomic Commandment that said, “Thou Shalt Not Change”. This is particularly true with consumables like topdressing sand. It doesn’t matter how bad the quality of the material gets, it’s got to be used. Crazy. I may not have the answer to this mystery. There probably isn’t one, actually. But I wonder if maybe some people would be better off if they looked real hard at these choices and perhaps question themselves on what they are doing. And I always wonder if someone wouldn’t be doing Ol Yeller a favor and just pulling the trigger when a relationship can’t ever produce fruit. One super told me about a rep who broke all the rules so many times that it just got into complete absurdity. He finally walked in on the rep as he was rummaging through the papers on his desk. Even the yelling match that ensued didn’t seem to make a difference. The Sales Monkey showed up again, without an appointment and walked right into an employee review session. That was, as they say, the last drop in the bucket. The super called the company HQ, cancelled the club’s account and made it perfectly clear that if said rep showed up anywhere on property he would be considered trespassing. Extreme? Maybe. Necessary? Probably. When it gets that bad, it’s time to do something. It’s time to just say “No”. One of the most interesting Rain Day/Down Day/ “Safety Meeting” conversations for me is always to hear the follies of companies that just have to be “in the golf business” in some form or another, but don’t have a a clue how to sell, service, bill, deliver, produce product or even have a clue what really goes on at a golf facility behind the scenes. They don’t learn the lessons and embrace the culture. They don’t even try to understand how hard the job can be. And that’s a shame. Yes, the stories are often funny, like the time a superintendent told me about the new local rep who stopped every week to pitch his pitch to the guys at the caddie shack because he “couldn’t find the maintenance shop”. But what wasn’t funny was the same super telling me that to get this guy to go away, he “threw him a bone”. Gee. Do you think he’ll remember where he got his last bone from? Interesting. You should have seen the look on his face when I swung at the high hanging curveball he threw me. “Did you let your favorite Caddie order?”, I said. Even our own Randy Wilson laid out his stance on all of this in a comment on Turfhead Poll #2—Lunch. It’s just a part of our culture. A Mystery. A Turfhead Mystery. There’s Randy Wilson’s humor and that’s a good thing, but I remember things not unlike that in design and disguise. Turfhead Mystery 1.2 will deal with an interesting corollary to 1.1: In Which The Turfhead Becomes Blinded By Beer and Chicken Wings.

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The Turfhead Mysteries, Part 1.1

Prologue This next series of Turfgrass Zealot posts is going to be a challenge for me. As much as I really didn't want to become a "blogger in the first place, I REALLY don't want to tackle a series. Especially this series. But I polled some people who I call friends and they put me up to saying I would do this. Of course, they are probably the same "friends who would let me drink SeviMol, just to see me do "The Worm. Yet, though, I still listen.   Turfheads are a magical breed. They don't think like regular people and they really aren't aliens. But there are things that they do, universally, that often just make no sense. Call it culture. Call it "The Biz". Call it just being a monkey; it just plain happens. And it's not just some regional thing where you can blame the air or the type of grass that gets grown or the existence of a particular Veruca Salt-like gadfly overseeding us all with their ideas on how to grow grass. In my travels, I have seen these things as universal misunderstood truths. Turfhead Mysteries.   I'm going to change a lot of names to protect the innocent and the morons here. I'm also going to give some examples to illustrate points. By no means does that mean I am targeting anyone. I can't do this and water it down to the point that it has no teeth.   Part 1.1 In Which the Turfhead Complains Endlessly About A Bedfellow and Still Sleeps With Them Anyway. In every geographical area I have ever visited, there is a regional company, distributor or even salesperson that everyone talks about as being the absolute worst at what they do. It's not a now and again thing, it is a constant. I've seen it as a Super, as a Consultant, as an Advisor, as a Sales Rep and even as an expert witness. I've even seen it on vacation. Start a conversation about products and services with a Golf Course Superintendent about who they do business with and you will hear about the company that usually does everything right and the company that always does everything wrong.   The conversation about the company or rep or whomever always getting it right is usually brief and to the point. It's their job. It's what they are supposed to do. End of story. The conversation about the distribution version of the Village Idiot is always the long one. It is a yarn spun of the stupid stuff said company or individual does. The story is often spiced with myriad examples of crossing the line of just plain stupidity. Bad service. Obscene prices. Wrong deliveries. General cluelessness. The stories are always flavored with the resulting hassles that occurred, the lost hours and the overall frustration of not getting what you want, when you want it and how you want it. The story is often filled with all kinds of examples of crossing the line of just plain stupidity. Bad service. Obscene prices. Wrong deliveries. General cluelessness. When I was growing grass, I thought often that is was just me: I must be too hard on them I must have expectations that are just too grand, much like lots of my members I need to chill. So before you go thinking that I don't know what I'm talking about, let me express my guilt right here. Cuff me. I'm a Turfhead. I've bought from the idiots too, complained about them, fought with them and still thrown the bones.   I may not have the answer to this mystery. I have polled dozens of grass folk and the conversations were often startling, distilling down to things like: "I just feel sorry of the guy, he's such an idiot and I figured that I'd help him out", or "The club has always bought that product line, so I didn't change". Some of the distillations didn't taste good at all, like  "I don't know" or "At least I know what they are all about". Mind boggling.   A lot of Turfheads were pretty honest about some of their thinking. Some were clear that they don't care about the rep's ineptitude or the company's ability to mess up the billing, they just need the product. That's fair. In a lot of places, it often seems like there is always a particular company with a particular exclusive and if you want that exclusive thing, you have to just grin and order. Others were willing to overlook challenges with bad products, because some stone tablet of theirs had some kind of Agronomic Commandment that said, "Thou Shalt Not Change" Others were willing to overlook challenges with bad products, because some stone tablet of theirs had some kind of Agronomic Commandment that said, "Thou Shalt Not Change". This is particularly true with consumables like topdressing sand. It doesn't matter how bad the quality of the material gets, it's got to be used. Crazy.   I may not have the answer to this mystery. There probably isn't one, actually. But I wonder if maybe some people would be better off if they looked real hard at these choices and perhaps question themselves on what they are doing. And I always wonder if someone wouldn't be doing Ol Yeller a favor and just pulling the trigger when a relationship can't ever produce fruit.   One super told me about a rep who broke all the rules so many times that it just got into complete absurdity. He finally walked in on the rep as he was rummaging through the papers on his desk. Even the yelling match that ensued didn't seem to make a difference. The Sales Monkey showed up again, without an appointment and walked right into an employee review session. That was, as they say, the last drop in the bucket. The super called the company HQ, cancelled the club's account and made it perfectly clear that if said rep showed up anywhere on property he would be considered trespassing. Extreme? Maybe. Necessary? Probably. When it gets that bad, it's time to do something. It's time to just say "No".   One of the most interesting Rain Day/Down Day/ "Safety Meeting" conversations for me is always to hear the follies of companies that just have to be "in the golf business" in some form or another, but don't have a a clue how to sell, service, bill, deliver, produce product or even have a clue what really goes on at a golf facility behind the scenes. They don't learn the lessons and embrace the culture. They don't even try to understand how hard the job can be. And that's a shame.   Yes, the stories are often funny, like the time a superintendent told me about the new local rep who stopped every week to pitch his pitch to the guys at the caddie shack because he "couldn't find the maintenance shop. But what wasn't funny was the same super telling me that to get this guy to go away, he "threw him a bone". Gee. Do you think he'll remember where he got his last bone from? Interesting. You should have seen the look on his face when I swung at the high hanging curveball he threw me. "Did you let your favorite Caddie order?, I said.     Turfhead Mystery 1.2 will deal with an interesting corollary to 1.1: In Which The Turfhead Becomes Blinded By Beer and Chicken Wings.

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Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Turfhead Poll #2: Lunch

It’s time for you to share your mid-day eating habits. In some form or another, every turfhead has a method for feeding itself. And of course Stories of Your Habits in the comment section are warmly welcomed. Because after all, this is one of those important topics that only True Turfheads would really understand. Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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Turfhead Poll #1

Ok gang….it’s time to initiate the first in a series of Polls designed for two things. One….show off the amazing technology that Peter gives me to use. Two…test your mettle and see if indeed you are a True Turfhead. Of course Turfheadedness is Open_Source, so it may be that via your answer trends can change. It’s just like American Idol. Vote! Note: There is a poll embedded within this post, please visit the site to participate in this post's poll.

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The Telegraphic Dynamics of a Successful Summer

Here is Spring and that means Summer has the throttle twisted in a pre-run burnout and is headed our way. Summer means all kinds of things to turfgrass managers. Long days, different grass types and their needs, kids out of school and their needs, long days, golfers, irrigation issues, long days and of course, long days. For almost all of us, it is make or break time. Why am I talking about this now? I have seen clearly that successful summer survivors are always months ahead of the game as it comes to preparing. One superintendent who was always way ahead of the curve explained that if he didn’t start sending his turf “telegrams” way before the dog days, then the turf would never get the message. Brilliant. Think about it, when the environmental stress of the Spring is low, you have control of how and what kind of pre-stress conditioning to implement. The need for accuracy isn’t as great. It’s a great time to experiment a little and see how far you can take things. It’s an important time to plan and be real about what your current situation is. Water. Here is where I have seen more sins committed than almost any area of springtime agronomy. Too much, too soon and too often can put a total top to any kind of pre-stress conditioning for the plant. “Oh, it needs a little bit of water” is a warning sound for trouble to come. Don’t give in to the temptation to do this and you’ll see that not babying turf in cool weather pays off in spades later. Now, there are always exceptions, but they are rare. I’ve written about this before, here, if you want to know more. Nitrogen Fertility. Spring Springs and so do then the Lelys and Vicons like big-mouth tulips anxious to pollinate the world. It’s true, after a long and rainy (or snowy) winter we turfheads are always anxious to get our grow on. Yet, so often application timing too early leads to issues. Yes, nutrient management often dictates some growth being needed, but remember, as soil temps are coming up, biological activity is getting on the next train. So for many, that overzealous fert application is soon followed with a cry for help to keep up with the mowing. ‘Easy does it’ always works. Mineral Fertility. On the other side of the coin is the fact that pre-stress conditioning can mean a need to fix or enhance soil nutrients in need of re-stocking. Your energies in getting materials out before summer are totally worth it. Be it Potassium or Calcium (or lots of Calcium for those monks wearing that robe), Phosphorous, Iron (or lots of Iron for the members of the “other” church) or whatever other corrective treatments, doing it now is never a bad idea. Plant Protection. Call me crazy, but I think the days of application of any kind of plant protection “Just Because We Always Do” are long over. Careful consideration of the dollars available, the total program possible, the real stress that you have at your property is necessary. If indeed you battled Anthracnose or other Spring/ Early Summer Disease last year there is no guarantee that things will be the same. A watchful eye? Yes. Proper timing of applications? Of course. Fear, because you might end up like the course down the road did last year? Absurd. Expecting a material to suddenly work when it should have been applied earlier. Just as Dumb. Confused? Seek help. It’s all around. Growth Regulation. I love the many options we have with Growth Regulation these days. Specific, targeted materials and programs that make our efforts to grow grass a whole lot of fun when the growth needs to slow down or the seedhead just has to go. But like anything else, these materials need proper application timing, correct selection and an understanding of what they will and will not do. Again, “just because” can’t be the way to approach the use of tools that are amazing in their ability to help us move into summer stress periods. If you are confused… help is out there in many forms. There are no dumb questions. You. Spring can be a great time for you to look in the mirror. Are you OK? Is your family OK? What health things can you address before the Dog Days come? Where are your priorities? Who is in your support network? How is your Faith? When is the last time you really laughed? All of these things are important. When we talk about pre-stress conditioning, this has to be an area of critical factor. Preparation for anything is key. Take a moment and map out your world a bit. Look deep and see what the possibilities are for doing things better and different. Don’t procrastinate. It won’t help you when the heat is really on.

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Guest

 

The Telegraphic Dynamics of a Successful Summer

Here is Spring and that means Summer has the throttle twisted in a pre-run burnout and is headed our way. Summer means all kinds of things to turfgrass managers. Long days, different grass types and their needs, kids out of school and their needs, long days, golfers, irrigation issues, long days and of course, long days. For almost all of us, it is make or break time.   Why am I talking about this now? I have seen clearly that successful summer survivors are always months ahead of the game as it comes to preparing. One superintendent who was always way ahead of the curve explained that if he didn't start sending his turf telegrams way before the dog days, then the turf would never get the message. Brilliant. Think about it, when the environmental stress of the Spring is low, you have control of how and what kind of pre-stress conditioning to implement. The need for accuracy isn't as great. It's a great time to experiment a little and see how far you can take things. It's an important time to plan and be real about what your current situation is.   Water. Here is where I have seen more sins committed than almost any area of springtime agronomy. Too much, too soon and too often can put a total top to any kind of pre-stress conditioning for the plant. "Oh, it needs a little bit of water" is a warning sound for trouble to come. Don't give in to the temptation to do this and you'll see that not babying turf in cool weather pays off in spades later. Now, there are always exceptions, but they are rare. I've written about this before, here, if you want to know more.   Nitrogen Fertility. Spring Springs and so do then the Lelys and Vicons like big-mouth tulips anxious to pollinate the world. It's true, after a long and rainy (or snowy) winter we turfheads are always anxious to get our grow on. Yet, so often application timing too early leads to issues. Yes, nutrient management often dictates some growth being needed, but remember, as soil temps are coming up, biological activity is getting on the next train. So for many, that overzealous fert application is soon followed with a cry for help to keep up with the mowing. Easy does it' always works.   Mineral Fertility. On the other side of the coin is the fact that pre-stress conditioning can mean a need to fix or enhance soil nutrients in need of re-stocking. Your energies in getting materials out before summer are totally worth it. Be it Potassium or Calcium (or lots of Calcium for those monks wearing that robe), Phosphorous, Iron (or lots of Iron for the members of the other church) or whatever other corrective treatments, doing it now is never a bad idea. Who is in your support network? How is your Faith? When is the last time you really laughed? All of these things are important. When we talk about pre-stress conditioning, this has to be an area of critical factor. Plant Protection. Call me crazy, but I think the days of application of any kind of plant protection "Just Because We Always Do" are long over. Careful consideration of the dollars available, the total program possible, the real stress that you have at your property is necessary. If indeed you battled Anthracnose or other Spring/ Early Summer Disease last year there is no guarantee that things will be the same. A watchful eye? Yes. Proper timing of applications? Of course. Fear, because you might end up like the course down the road did last year? Absurd. Expecting a material to suddenly work when it should have been applied earlier. Just as Dumb. Confused? Seek help. It's all around.   Growth Regulation. I love the many options we have with Growth Regulation these days. Specific, targeted materials and programs that make our efforts to grow grass a whole lot of fun when the growth needs to slow down or the seedhead just has to go. But like anything else, these materials need proper application timing, correct selection and an understanding of what they will and will not do. Again, "just because" can't be the way to approach the use of tools that are amazing in their ability to help us move into summer stress periods. If you are confused"¦ help is out there in many forms. There are no dumb questions.     You. Spring can be a great time for you to look in the mirror. Are you OK? Is your family OK? What health things can you address before the Dog Days come? Where are your priorities? Who is in your support network? How is your Faith? When is the last time you really laughed? All of these things are important. When we talk about pre-stress conditioning, this has to be an area of critical factor.   Preparation for anything is key. Take a moment and map out your world a bit. Look deep and see what the possibilities are for doing things better and different. Don't procrastinate. It won't help you when the heat is really on.
 

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

The Sandpaper Washcloth

(this was published in the Sierra Nevada GCSA Chapter Newsletter this February. In light of some of the current discussions on the TurfNET Forum, I thought it might be good to port over here. Many thanks to Jim Alwine, the Sierra Nevada’s superior newsletter editor for asking me to write something for the chapter—DW) Go ahead. Wash up. Just make sure you use that 80 grit sandpaper to get all the dirt off. That’s how a lot of us feel, when we talk about finances as it comes to the business of growing grass—like we’ve been scrubbed by sandpaper to be left with no dirt, or skin. In my family, growing up, we didn’t talk about money much. My parents were kids of the Great Depression and to them, money wasn’t a subject that they wanted to engage in because they had been steeped and tea stained in an era of constant conversation about saving. They were frugal, not in debt and never did anything beyond their means. It was, actually, a pretty simple formula. So now that I find myself in the clutches of the Great Recession (not my term, I read it on Yahoo News), I don’t like it. And as I travel and visit with Turfheads, they don’t like it either. But, not liking something or being uncomfortable about something is no reason not to talk about it. I wish my parents would have understood this…but that’s the Personal Therapy article and I doubt I’ll write it for Turfheads alone. Here’s the deal. If all of us are going through something, then it can’t be a bad thing to join hands and sing Kumbya about it. Right? Seriously, there isn’t anyone that I come in contact right now that isn’t saying something, in some way about the economy and the current economic crisis. It’s everywhere. It can’t be avoided. And for those of us in the recreation oriented business of Golf, there has been a dramatic impact. Let’s not get into Golf’s mistakes—Supply and Demand. The National Golf Foundation’s Storytelling. Revenue Projections Made up by Promotional Monkeys.  That stuff is just the used playdough of the blame game. Let’s spend a minute talking about the moment.
Reality of the current moment dictates one thing. That all of us do more with less. Really. That’s what it comes down to. And if you look at that through the lapping compound of grinding it down to our level, it means that we are right in the middle of a version of Turfgrass Survivor—Outwit. Outplay and Outlast. This might be a better tactic than the previous strategy of Outspend, Outdo and Outbrag. If I look at the reality of agriculture and horticulture—outspending hasn’t always meant better. My favorite organic strawberries are grown for very little. The best wines, come from poverty grapes.  My favorite golf courses in the USA and the World, spend less per acre than their numbered competition. I visited a named and numbered “Top 10” facility once and the volume of the waste I was seeing was so distracting that it was hard for me to really see anything else. So we are fortunate, that growing things, doesn’t always stack exactly with the amount of money being spent. Here’s what will happen to true Turfhead Survivors: They will learn to separate “wants” from “needs”. They will learn that when a need arises that some non-turfhead doesn’t understand, it’s time to educate and even use “the S word”….Sell. They will do cost/benefit analysis on every single thing that they do. Everything. They will learn and understand that Cost is a function of Price versus Value. Paying a low price for something and getting less from that purchase in return means that your cost just went up. And paying a little extra and getting a great result means something may not have cost as much. You can apply this to Labor, Consumables and even…Your Time. Survivors will, have a great product. A super I worked for as a young Turf Turk, always said that not having the basics done was no excuse. “Mow, Mow and Mow some More”, was but one of his mantras of not forgetting the basics. Necessity is the mother of invention. Find a way. If the price isn’t right, negotiate. If the job needs to be done quicker, find the right tool or person for that speed. If you can’t convince the powers that be to spend a little to protect their asset, get some help with your presentation. Be creative. Would I choose a different economic climate? Sure. But would I miss the opportunity to learn, grow, invest and be stronger at the end of this? Never. The sandpaper hurts, but man, do I feel clean. And the skin will eventually grow back. And we will all be in better shape for it.

Guest

Guest

 

The Sandpaper Washcloth

(this was published in the Sierra Nevada GCSA Chapter Newsletter this February. In light of some of the current discussions on the TurfNET Forum, I thought it might be good to port over here. Many thanks to Jim Alwine, the Sierra Nevadas superior newsletter editor for asking me to write something for the chapterDW)   Go ahead. Wash up. Just make sure you use that 80 grit sandpaper to get all the dirt off. That's how a lot of us feel, when we talk about finances as it comes to the business of growing grasslike we've been scrubbed by sandpaper to be left with no dirt, or skin.   In my family, growing up, we didn't talk about money much. My parents were kids of the Great Depression and to them, money wasn't a subject that they wanted to engage in because they had been steeped and tea stained in an era of constant conversation about saving. They were frugal, not in debt and never did anything beyond their means. It was, actually, a pretty simple formula. So now that I find myself in the clutches of the Great Recession (not my term, I read it on Yahoo News), I don't like it. And as I travel and visit with Turfheads, they don't like it either. But, not liking something or being uncomfortable about something is no reason not to talk about it. I wish my parents would have understood this... but that's the Personal Therapy article and I doubt I'll write it for Turfheads alone.   Here's the deal. If all of us are going through something, then it can't be a bad thing to join hands and sing Kumbaya about it. Right? Seriously, there isn't anyone that I come in contact right now that isn't saying something, in some way about the economy and the current economic crisis. It's everywhere. It can't be avoided. And for those of us in the recreation oriented business of Golf, there has been a dramatic impact. Let's not get into Golf's mistakesSupply and Demand. The National Golf Foundation's Storytelling. Revenue Projections Made up by Promotional Monkeys.  That stuff is just the used playdough of the blame game. Let's spend a minute talking about the moment. If I look at the reality of agriculture and horticultureoutspending hasn't always meant better. My favorite organic strawberries are grown for very little. The best wines, come from poverty grapes.  My favorite golf courses in the USA and the World, spend less per acre than their numbered competition. Reality of the current moment dictates one thing. That all of us do more with less. Really. That's what it comes down to. And if you look at that through the lapping compound of grinding it down to our level, it means that we are right in the middle of a version of Turfgrass SurvivorOutwit. Outplay and Outlast. This might be a better tactic than the previous strategy of Outspend, Outdo and Outbrag. If I look at the reality of agriculture and horticultureoutspending hasn't always meant better. My favorite organic strawberries are grown for very little. The best wines, come from poverty grapes.  My favorite golf courses in the USA and the World, spend less per acre than their numbered competition. I visited a named and numbered "Top 10" facility once and the volume of the waste I was seeing was so distracting that it was hard for me to really see anything else. So we are fortunate, that growing things, doesn't always stack exactly with the amount of money being spent.   Here's what will happen to true Turfhead Survivors: They will learn to separate "wants" from "needs". They will learn that when a need arises that some non-turfhead doesn't understand, it's time to educate and even use "the S word"... .Sell. They will do cost/benefit analysis on every single thing that they do. Everything. They will learn and understand that Cost is a function of Price versus Value. Paying a low price for something and getting less from that purchase in return means that your cost just went up. And paying a little extra and getting a great result means something may not have cost as much. You can apply this to Labor, Consumables and even... Your Time. Survivors will, have a great product. A super I worked for as a young Turf Turk, always said that not having the basics done was no excuse. "Mow, Mow and Mow some More", was but one of his mantras of not forgetting the basics. Necessity is the mother of invention. Find a way. If the price isn't right, negotiate. If the job needs to be done quicker, find the right tool or person for that speed. If you can't convince the powers that be to spend a little to protect their asset, get some help with your presentation. Be creative.
Would I choose a different economic climate? Sure. But would I miss the opportunity to learn, grow, invest and be stronger at the end of this? Never. The sandpaper hurts, but man, do I feel clean. And the skin will eventually grow back. And we will all be in better shape for it.  

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Laying Down That First Water: Please Do Not!

I’m gonna keep this short. Don’t. That’s right. Don’t. Keep this word and all of its negative connotations in your head. When you are all excited, sitting at the central controller, ready to hit whatever form of on switch you have, remember my word—Don’t. One of the biggest mistakes I see springtime turfgrass managers make is watering too much, too early. Here we are, spring springing all around us and it just seems like the thing to do, water a little bit. Just a little because it just feels better. I don’t know if it is a rite of passage, a trial of some sort or some kind of application of Tin Foil Mentality that says you’ll never get a dry spot if you water early. If I thought it was just some kind of occasional thing, I wouldn’t write about it, but it is almost universal. In fact, just to make it seem right, I did it too. I remember. That one windy spring day in Denver, where things started to turn a bit and after harassing my pump station, irrigation tech, computer setup and all the rest, we watered. Looking back, I can’t figure out why. As it turns out, a couple of isolation valves were closed and a couple holes didn’t get water for a few more days and guess what? That’s right. They didn’t die. Are there exceptions? Yes. They are rare. Emerging Bermuda needs not to dry out as it gets going. I think most Bermuda Jockeys know this on some level. And one of things that USGA greens appreciate is a decent early season flush. That’s more to do with air in the rootzone. As Spring springs, plant energies go into full swing. As does soil biological activity. Cool nights and warm days are just that. And in many parts of the country, some kind of rainfall is around the corner. It’s a great time to let roots go looking for water. It’s a great time not to impede natural evaporative cooling. It’s a great time to condition the plant that it is going to have to toughen up. Pre-Stress Conditioning is one of those highly overlooked things that great Turfheads do well. To prove this point, I had one of my more irrigation trigger-happy friends purchase a soil moisture meter. He was astounded at the degree of change from morning to afternoon. Yet even more astounded at how much moisture was back after the overnight rise in relative humidity (the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount that the air could hold at that temperature, expressed as a percentage). So at dawn, when the rH is at it’s highest, there was plenty of soil moisture and he didn’t have to add a drop of water. ET? Sure. It’s a factor, but when ET’s are low, it isn’t always the best idea to just trickle out some water. For many places, Irrigation Water Quality is a challenge and so being in a hurry to add more salt to your soils just lacks common sense. There again, Don’t becomes the operative word. So just a tip. When you think you want to water this spring. Think. Think hard. Don’t just make an easy choice. But at the same time, when it is time, it is time and that’s part of the Art of what we do. Everyone knows you have sprinklers under there. Don’t rush to use them.

Guest

Guest

 

Laying Down That First Water: Please Do Not!

I'm gonna keep this short. Don't. That's right. Don't. Keep this word and all of its negative connotations in your head. When you are all excited, sitting at the central controller, ready to hit whatever form of on switch you have, remember my wordDon't.   One of the biggest mistakes I see springtime turfgrass managers make is watering too much, too early. Here we are, spring springing all around us and it just seems like the thing to do, water a little bit. Just a little because it just feels better. I don't know if it is a rite of passage, a trial of some sort or some kind of application of Tin Foil Mentality that says you'll never get a dry spot if you water early. If I thought it was just some kind of occasional thing, I wouldn't write about it, but it is almost universal. In fact, just to make it seem right, I did it too. I remember. That one windy spring day in Denver, where things started to turn a bit and after harassing my pump station, irrigation tech, computer setup and all the rest, we watered. Looking back, I can't figure out why. As it turns out, a couple of isolation valves were closed and a couple holes didn't get water for a few more days and guess what? That's right. They didn't die.   Are there exceptions? Yes. They are rare. Emerging Bermuda needs not to dry out as it gets going. I think most Bermuda Jockeys know this on some level. And one of things that USGA greens appreciate is a decent early season flush. That's more to do with air in the rootzone.   As Spring springs, plant energies go into full swing. As does soil biological activity. Cool nights and warm days are just that. And in many parts of the country, some kind of rainfall is around the corner. It's a great time to let roots go looking for water. It's a great time not to impede natural evaporative cooling. It's a great time to condition the plant that it is going to have to toughen up. Pre-Stress Conditioning is one of those highly overlooked things that great Turfheads do well. For many places, Irrigation Water Quality is a challenge and so being in a hurry to add more salt to your soils just lacks common sense. There again, Don't becomes the operative word. To prove this point, I had one of my more irrigation trigger-happy friends purchase a soil moisture meter. He was astounded at the degree of change from morning to afternoon. Yet even more astounded at how much moisture was back after the overnight rise in relative humidity (the ratio of the amount of water vapor in the air at a specific temperature to the maximum amount that the air could hold at that temperature, expressed as a percentage). So at dawn, when the rH is at it's highest, there was plenty of soil moisture and he didn't have to add a drop of water. ET? Sure. It's a factor, but when ET's are low, it isn't always the best idea to just trickle out some water.   For many places, Irrigation Water Quality is a challenge and so being in a hurry to add more salt to your soils just lacks common sense. There again, Don't becomes the operative word.   So just a tip. When you think you want to water this spring. Think. Think hard. Don't just make an easy choice. But at the same time, when it is time, it is time and that's part of the Art of what we do. Everyone knows you have sprinklers under there. Don't rush to use them.

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

On Getting Well: Something I Know Nothing About

One hit on the inhaler. Nothing. Second hit. Nothing. I can’t catch my breath, can’t stop coughing. I feel my knees getting weak. Mouth open. Hit number three. Nothing. This is it. I’m gonna freaking be the only human monkey capable of being stupid enough to die at the medical clinic. Thinking. I really don’t want to do this in public. I duck into the mens restroom. Stall is open. Grab a big hunk of wall. Hit number four on the Albuterol. And I finally sort of get a breath. One more. Then another. I stumble/shuffle out of the building, looking, I’m sure, like a large unshowered coughing spitting Sasquach. In my car and all I can think to do is drive the 10 min. home and never ever visit a medical facility again. It didn’t seem so bad, going in for a chest Xray and 15 min. later, it seemed like I wasn’t going to make it home. Ever. For weeks, I’ve been fighting what I call the post-GIS Flu. You know, the one you get because you’ve shaken hands and shared air with a zillion of your Turfhead friends. What seemed like a little cold turned into a bit more and then a day of not feeling so good turns into many. Not really sick enough to miss any work. But not feeling good. I’ve talked to people saying they have been sick since Christmas, so I must not be so bad. I really should have gone home on Friday night, but just one more thing to do and Saturday, the day to do it. I was going downhill fast on Friday, but thought that a good meal and a beer and some sleep would put me right with the world. Couldn’t sleep Friday night because I coughed the cough of the Howling Monkey. Didn’t sleep much Saturday night because the Howler was joined by his relative the Wheezer. And by Sunday, I was in trouble. A trip to the Urgent Care, and it took the Doctor all of 2.2 seconds with the stethoscope on my back to declare that I had Pneumonia to go along with my 102 degree temperature. Great. An Xray confirms and I’m sent home with an antibiotic and some instructions. I’m pretty sick, so I’m not listening. But I did hear Dr. Sunday tell me that if my fever didn’t go down by Monday night, to call my regular Doc. Bet you can’t guess what didn’t happen…that’s right. Drug didn’t work. Fever still high(103-104) and so, as our story began, I found my self in deep trouble on Tuesday after taking myself in for a second Xray. I’m sure, had I not had the inhaler, that far worse would have happened. Far worse. Results of the second Xray, far worse and a new big gun antibiotic was prescribed. Why the medical drama? What in the world does that have to do with Zealotry or Turfheadism. Some of you know the answer. Everything. Because it has to do with life. Like many of you, I don’t know when to quit. I love what I do so much that in many ways, on most days, it consumes me. Know what I’m talking about? The alarm goes off at 4 something and off and running we TurfHeads go, only to put our heads down at 8 or 9 or 10 and get up and do it again–Amen. What happens inbetween is often a blur and often based on dragging hose and putting out fires and attending the meetings and doing the job and worry about other’s needs. I’ve never been one of those people that do Balance. I do Immersion. I do Challenge. I do Squeeky Wheel Oiling. I don’t do Balance. At least that’s not something I think I am any good at. This last little episode for me was a bit more than a wake up call. I’ve had a few health things knock me about over the last few years, but this was different. It was painful, more so than other things I’ve dealt with. It was sudden. It made me very afraid. And it seemed out of my control. Those things are enough. As I type this, I’m still weak. Still coughing. The antibiotic has the fever in check, but I’m still fighting. It was hard to make the calls and write the emails and tell everyone that I wouldn’t be talking on the phone, wouldn’t be working. I handled a few things, but mostly, I put it all off. My vision, still pretty blurry has kept me from writing much more than Twitter updates and Facebook quips. It’s far from over and as much as I’m not good at letting go, I have to. In a couple weeks, I’d like to turn 44. All of this down time has had me looking at some key areas of life. And health, one of those things that has never really been in balance for me, has got to come into a clearer focus. Now, I’ll bet Daconil to Doughnuts that a few of you are reading this and in one way or another, you can relate. And I’ll bet a few more of you are reading it and saying, “That’s not me” or “I’m tougher than that, I’m not fat like he is” or whatever. Might be true, but I beg you to take another look. From my vantage point, I see way more Turfheads who don’t get it, than who do. Way way way more. And maybe your challenge isn’t exactly like mine, but I’ll bet there’s something. Sacrifice is fine. We all have to do it. But somehow, there has to be a way to return to center. I was looking around the Web and found a little checklist (Dr. Oz, I think) and it’s going to be my starting place: Eat Only The Good Stuff (and you know what “good” is) Walk Every Day 30-45 min. at minimum (“when I feel like it”, doesn’t count) See The Doctor and Follow Preventative Healthcare (meaning see the Doctor when I’m not in need of “rescue”) Relax and Cope With Stress (spiritual and emotional wellbeing doesn’t come last) Now, for me, these 4 steps represent a clear path. I can do this. But only if I hold myself accountable. I don’t need or want anyone else managing this for me, nagging at me or making me feel like I’ve failed because I didn’t do what they did. It has to be me, for me. Something I’m not good at, so the steps are simple. They have to be.

Guest

Guest

 

On Getting Well: Something I Know Nothing About

One hit on the inhaler. Nothing. Second hit. Nothing. I can't catch my breath, can't stop coughing. I feel my knees getting weak. Mouth open. Hit number three. Nothing. This is it. I'm gonna freaking be the only human monkey capable of being stupid enough to die at the medical clinic. Thinking. I really don't want to do this in public.   I duck into the mens restroom. Stall is open. Grab a big hunk of wall. Hit number four on the Albuterol. And I finally sort of get a breath. One more. Then another. I stumble/shuffle out of the building, looking, I'm sure, like a large unshowered coughing spitting Sasquach. In my car and all I can think to do is drive the 10 min. home and never ever visit a medical facility again. It didn't seem so bad, going in for a chest Xray and 15 min. later, it seemed like I wasn't going to make it home. Ever. Couldn't sleep Friday night because I coughed the cough of the Howling Monkey. Didn't sleep much Saturday night because the Howler was joined by his relative the Wheezer. For weeks, I've been fighting what I call the post-GIS Flu. You know, the one you get because you've shaken hands and shared air with a zillion of your Turfhead friends. What seemed like a little cold turned into a bit more and then a day of not feeling so good turns into many. Not really sick enough to miss any work. But not feeling good. I've talked to people saying they have been sick since Christmas, so I must not be so bad. I really should have gone home on Friday night, but just one more thing to do and Saturday, the day to do it. I was going downhill fast on Friday, but thought that a good meal and a beer and some sleep would put me right with the world. Couldn't sleep Friday night because I coughed the cough of the Howling Monkey. Didn't sleep much Saturday night because the Howler was joined by his relative the Wheezer. And by Sunday, I was in trouble. A trip to the Urgent Care, and it took the Doctor all of 2.2 seconds with the stethoscope on my back to declare that I had Pneumonia to go along with my 102 degree temperature. Great. An Xray confirms and I'm sent home with an antibiotic and some instructions. I'm pretty sick, so I'm not listening. But I did hear Dr. Sunday tell me that if my fever didn't go down by Monday night, to call my regular Doc.   Bet you can't guess what didn't happenthat's right. Drug didn't work. Fever still high(103-104) and so, as our story began, I found my self in deep trouble on Tuesday after taking myself in for a second Xray. I'm sure, had I not had the inhaler, that far worse would have happened. Far worse. Results of the second Xray, far worse and a new big gun antibiotic was prescribed. Why the medical drama? What in the world does that have to do with Zealotry or Turfheadism. Some of you know the answer. Everything. Because it has to do with life.   Like many of you, I don't know when to quit. I love what I do so much that in many ways, on most days, it consumes me. Know what I'm talking about? The alarm goes off at 4 something and off and running we TurfHeads go, only to put our heads down at 8 or 9 or 10 and get up and do it againAmen. What happens in between is often a blur and often based on dragging hose and putting out fires and attending the meetings and doing the job and worry about other's needs. I've never been one of those people that do Balance. I do Immersion. I do Challenge. I do Squeaky Wheel Oiling. I don't do Balance. At least that's not something I think I am any good at.   This last little episode for me was a bit more than a wake up call. I've had a few health things knock me about over the last few years, but this was different. It was painful, more so than other things I've dealt with. It was sudden. It made me very afraid. And it seemed out of my control. Those things are enough. As I type this, I'm still weak. Still coughing. The antibiotic has the fever in check, but I'm still fighting. It was hard to make the calls and write the emails and tell everyone that I wouldn't be talking on the phone, wouldn't be working. I handled a few things, but mostly, I put it all off. My vision, still pretty blurry has kept me from writing much more than Twitter updates and Facebook quips. It's far from over and as much as I'm not good at letting go, I have to. In a couple weeks, I'd like to turn 44. Might be true, but I beg you to take another look. From my vantage point, I see way more Turfheads who don't get it, than who do. Way way way more. All of this down time has had me looking at some key areas of life. And health, one of those things that has never really been in balance for me, has got to come into a clearer focus. Now, I'll bet Daconil to Doughnuts that a few of you are reading this and in one way or another, you can relate. And I'll bet a few more of you are reading it and saying, That's not me or I'm tougher than that, I'm not fat like he is or whatever. Might be true, but I beg you to take another look. From my vantage point, I see way more Turfheads who don't get it, than who do. Way way way more. And maybe your challenge isn't exactly like mine, but I'll bet there's something. Sacrifice is fine. We all have to do it. But somehow, there has to be a way to return to center.   I was looking around the Web and found a little checklist (Dr. Oz, I think) and it's going to be my starting place: Eat Only The Good Stuff (and you know what good is) Walk Every Day 30-45 min. at minimum (when I feel like it, doesn't count) See The Doctor and Follow Preventative Healthcare (meaning see the Doctor when I'm not in need of rescue) Relax and Cope With Stress (spiritual and emotional wellbeing doesn't come last)
Now, for me, these 4 steps represent a clear path. I can do this. But only if I hold myself accountable. I don't need or want anyone else managing this for me, nagging at me or making me feel like I've failed because I didn't do what they did. It has to be me, for me. Something I'm not good at, so the steps are simple. They have to be. The best six doctors anywhere
And no one can deny it
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend
If only you are willing
Your mind they'll ease
Your will they'll mend
And charge you not a shilling.
~Old English Nursery Rhyme

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

The Killer Application

Last week, Sierra Pacific had our Spring Symposium. Just over 100 people showed up for a couple days of education and perhaps a little golf. The weather controlled the golf down to about 4-5 holes. The education was the real show. In planning this event, my friend, colleague, mentor and crime partner Dean Kinney and I made sure that we didn’t fill the schedule with so much that it would be too much. Why? Simple. Love. That’s right, Love. I can hear it now, the collective mass groan of the TurfHeads as they brace themselves for more of my Californiacated Spench of Touch and Feel. But I’m serious. Because in the case of leaving time for people to get to interact with people, you know–Network, we are upholding the intangible. We can’t charge for it. We can’t bottle it in a 2.5 gallon container, we can’t print it out as data. Networking is an intangible thing. Any yet, we all know it brings amazing value. So in planning our event, networking time was just as important as having myself or one of the invited PhDs banging out zillions of Powerpoint slides. I don’t always do well reading “business” books. You know, the whole genre of books designed to make me a better business person. It’s laughable. I simply get bored with the content and wonder, as I read, if the writer would ever last in my business. But someone gave me an audio book of Tim Sanders’ “Love is the Killer App” and it became my favorite listen and later, my favorite read and still makes my Top 10 list. Sanders, had or has some crazy title at Yahoo. Chief Solutions Officer. Nice. Sounds like something along the lines of Chief of Mayonaise to the Sandwich Maker. But once I got past the Yahooisms….it became clear to me that Sanders was onto something. In Sanders’ mind, we all need to practice “love business” – the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing what he calls our “Intangibles” (our knowledge, our network and our compassion) with our business partners. Our Intangibles? Wilber…please. Keep smoking the Labrador Sativa, you must be saying. But the truth is, this little bit of info turns out to be one of the greatest concepts of growing grass that I have ever tripped across. It fits us so well. It explains why so many of us do what we do. And it turn, it explains why so many of us hate it so much when down to the knuckles spreadsheet grinding business takes over our world of…that’s right… Intangibles. Even though Sanders was once a Reggae musician, The Feather Bed Bubba Kush has not gone all wrong to make him all monkey brain. This book and his explanation of the concept is spot on. Think about it… to we TurfHeads, the network is of supreme importance. I see it on the road every day. Even the grass growers who don’t get out, don’t go to meetings, don’t talk to others, want to know what’s going on and they ask me for news. The network is alive and well. We thrive on hearing from each other and what others are doing. It’s intangible, alright. But priceless as well. So let me ask…when was the last time you gave some Love? When? When was the last time you did something for someone, helped someone, gave info to someone or just plain said a good word to someone and didn’t expect a single thing in return? I know for me, as I first read this book, I was making the transition from independent consultant to technical agronomist. It was a time when I was unsure of what my real value was. Were my ideas, that I once charged for, the product or is the product now the stuff in the bag? I didn’t understand what had come of my world and it showed. But it also meant that I didn’t understand what my product really was in the past, either. Sanders lays out a critical path of making sure that you understand that the overarching theme is that open sharing of your knowledge with your coworkers, superiors and other firms (or people) you are partnered with and working to help them to improve, works out for you much more than hoarding what you know and trodding others down on the way up the ladder. This is “love” in the workplace, and I was glad to have it defined for me. I just got done reading (listening to, actually) this book again. I’ve done it every spring, just as I have read a couple other key books that serve as compass headings for me. I’m astounded at the way that our world economy has even made this into more of a guiding principle. At our Spring Symposium, there was some buzz about this blog and about my blogging. A few people who were either close to me or just plain stupid (kidding…not really) asked me how much I was being paid for the work put in. And imagine their faces when I said, that I didn’t know and that I’m not sure it will pay anything and if it does it doesn’t matter. I often get looks of disbelief, so this isn’t new and I just laughed. See, it’s not important. My intangible here is that anyone would even talk to me about reading something I had written. I never in a million years dreamed I’d write for fun or for a living and I’ll explain why in a future blog post. Love is the Killer App. I am sure that in our crazy world, this is more than just a small truth. It’s a Goodyear Blimp of a fact.

Guest

Guest

 

The Killer Application

Last week, Sierra Pacific had our Spring Symposium. Just over 100 people showed up for a couple days of education and perhaps a little golf. The weather controlled the golf down to about 4-5 holes. The education was the real show. I can hear it now, the collective mass groan of the TurfHeads as they brace themselves for more of my Californiacated Spench of Touch and Feel. In planning this event, my friend, colleague, mentor and crime partner Dean Kinney and I made sure that we didn't fill the schedule with so much that it would be too much. Why? Simple. Love. That's right, Love. I can hear it now, the collective mass groan of the TurfHeads as they brace themselves for more of my Californiacated Spench of Touch and Feel.   But I'm serious. Because in the case of leaving time for people to get to interact with people, you knowNetwork, we are upholding the intangible. We can't charge for it. We can't bottle it in a 2.5 gallon container, we can't print it out as data. Networking is an intangible thing. Any yet, we all know it brings amazing value. So in planning our event, networking time was just as important as having myself or one of the invited PhDs banging out zillions of Powerpoint slides.   I don't always do well reading business books. You know, the whole genre of books designed to make me a better business person. It's laughable. I simply get bored with the content and wonder, as I read, if the writer would ever last in my business. But someone gave me an audio book of Tim Sanders' Love is the Killer App and it became my favorite listen and later, my favorite read and still makes my Top 10 list.   Sanders, had or has some crazy title at Yahoo. Chief Solutions Officer. Nice. Sounds like something along the lines of Chief of Mayonnaise to the Sandwich Maker. But once I got past the Yahooisms. it became clear to me that Sanders was onto something. In Sanders' mind, we all need to practice love business the act of intelligently and sensibly sharing what he calls our Intangibles (our knowledge, our network and our compassion) with our business partners.   Our Intangibles? Wilber please. Keep smoking the Labrador Sativa, you must be saying. But the truth is, this little bit of info turns out to be one of the greatest concepts of growing grass that I have ever tripped across. It fits us so well. It explains why so many of us do what we do. And it turn, it explains why so many of us hate it so much when down to the knuckles spreadsheet grinding business takes over our world ofthat's right Intangibles. Even though Sanders was once a Reggae musician, The Feather Bed Bubba Kush has not gone all wrong to make him all monkey brain. This book and his explanation of the concept is spot on.   Think about it to we TurfHeads, the network is of supreme importance. I see it on the road every day. Even the grass growers who don't get out, don't go to meetings, don't talk to others, want to know what's going on and they ask me for news. The network is alive and well. We thrive on hearing from each other and what others are doing. It's intangible, alright. But priceless as well. Were my ideas, that I once charged for, the product or is the product now the stuff in the bag? I didn't understand what had come of my world and it showed. But it also meant that I didn't understand what my product really was in the past, either. So let me askwhen was the last time you gave some Love? When? When was the last time you did something for someone, helped someone, gave info to someone or just plain said a good word to someone and didn't expect a single thing in return? I know for me, as I first read this book, I was making the transition from independent consultant to technical agronomist. It was a time when I was unsure of what my real value was. Were my ideas, that I once charged for, the product or is the product now the stuff in the bag? I didn't understand what had come of my world and it showed. But it also meant that I didn't understand what my product really was in the past, either.   Sanders lays out a critical path of making sure that you understand that the overarching theme is that open sharing of your knowledge with your coworkers, superiors and other firms (or people) you are partnered with and working to help them to improve, works out for you much more than hoarding what you know and trodding others down on the way up the ladder. This is love in the workplace, and I was glad to have it defined for me.   I just got done reading (listening to, actually) this book again. I've done it every spring, just as I have read a couple other key books that serve as compass headings for me. I'm astounded at the way that our world economy has even made this into more of a guiding principle. At our Spring Symposium, there was some buzz about this blog and about my blogging. A few people who were either close to me or just plain stupid (kiddingnot really) asked me how much I was being paid for the work put in. And imagine their faces when I said, that I didn't know and that I'm not sure it will pay anything and if it does it doesn't matter. I often get looks of disbelief, so this isn't new and I just laughed. See, it's not important. My intangible here is that anyone would even talk to me about reading something I had written. I never in a million years dreamed I'd write for fun or for a living and I'll explain why in a future blog post.   Love is the Killer App. I am sure that in our crazy world, this is more than just a small truth. It's a Goodyear Blimp of a fact.

Source

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

I Would Like to Acknowledge a True Friend

Back in October, I was having a bit of a life crisis. No…Not a bit of one…A huge one. And Thomas Bastis was there for me. So, I wrote this post in a place where I was working out some angst. I think it should be shared. _____________ You Should Have One Just Like Him  (October 5, 2009) by Dave Wilber This is Thomas. Not Tom. Not Tommy…although I call him that because it’s like some kind of wannabe mobster thing, you know..Hey, Tommy! But as always, I digress. I ported one of my deep personal Blogs over to Facebook and Thomas, like many others, saw them and realized something was very wrong. He was the first call and he asked…no..he demanded that I call back and that we get in touch. I avoided him. I didn’t feel like having a hands free cell phone conversation with him over my pathetic life. You know…some phone things just shouldn’t happen. Bluetooth or no. Let me tell you about Thomas. I was in my office one day and a young college student called me. Found me on the Web or something and had all kinds of questions. Later, I ran into him at the location of his college internship. After that, someone had hired him at a place I was doing some consulting. Then another more high profile job and then another. Thomas, you see, is a rockstar. He doesn’t want to hear that, but in my world and in my book, he’s an ace, first call, honest to Freebird, rockstar. I’ve been blessed to watch him grow and now and then he’s used the word Mentor for me and it makes me as uncomfortable as a banana at a monkey movie night. And the truth is, if he and I were applying for a job, he would win. He can call me any damn thing he wants, but that’s the truth. Besides all this professional stuff, Thomas is a world class adventure racer. Just think EcoPrimalQuest. Just think 10 days of not sleeping and doing the rugged stuff of hiking, biking, ropes, kayaking and not getting lost. That’s fun for Thomas. He’s that kind of guy and I’ve watched him grow into the athlete extreme.
Today Thomas and I met at his work, just outside San Francisco. He greeted me with a bold handshake and then a warm and deliberate hug. I have to say that I didn’t want to come and meet with Thomas. He’s overwhelming. And I was all prepared for a big lecture into what I should be doing. It’s like me hitting golf balls next to Jack Nicklaus. I’m out of my league when it comes to doing the right thing. He’s the Elvis of that. Instead I was met with a man who showed me his kind and compassionate heart. Yet he was tough and in that toughness, there was love too. He loved on me with his words and with his heart, I saw that it wasn’t about getting me to do things. It was about helping me do the right thing. To that end, it was impossible for me to hold back the tears and I sat and tried as hard as I could. Thomas told me, in a way that was beautiful, that I matter. I matter to him as a friend and as a human. Not just as a consultant and mentor, but as a human. To me, those words , coming from a bit of Vulcan were better than any solo Jimmy Page could play. And he was tough…asking me why I’ve been kidding myself. Why have I not asked for help. Why do I sacrifice the way I do. Why all the miles. And me with not an answer one. Why, because had I talked I’m sure I would have cried out loud….and I don’t cry in public, in front of men. Don’t. But when I got in my car and drove away, I turned the corner, parked and burst into tears. Sobbing and gasping for air. What a tough conversation. And later feeling a bit of a silly drama queen, I realized that it wasn’t tough at all. It was perfect. Especially when he demanded that he be an active participant in my change. So in the course of a few days, a few friends have told me how much they love me. How much they need me and how much they want me to be around. And I’m having a tough time taking this all in. Today, I was numb and today, like a lot of days when I hurt all over…I had trouble eating. See, food for me is a drug. And so when I hurt, I wants lots of drugs. Starting with an apple has often lead to finishing with a large pizza and so, I just don’t know how to pet the burning dog. I finally forced some food in. Finally. And I didn’t seek the solace of a binge. Thank you Thomas. Blessing isn’t a good enough word. I Love You, Brother! And I don’t want to let myself down and take you along with me. I’m glad I was listening today. Tin Foil and All. _______ I’m glad to say that because of Thomas and Scott Bower and a few other dear friends, I’m on my way to being Less Wilber. Which will in turn make me More in a much better way.

Guest

Guest

 

I Would Like to Acknowledge a True Friend

Back in October, I was having a bit of a life crisis. NoNot a bit of oneA huge one. And Thomas Bastis was there for me. So, I wrote this post in a place where I was working out some angst. I think it should be shared. _____________   You Should Have One Just Like Him  (October 5, 2009) by Dave Wilber   This is Thomas. Not Tom. Not Tommyalthough I call him that because it's like some kind of wannabe mobster thing, you know..Hey, Tommy! But as always, I digress.   I ported one of my deep personal Blogs over to Facebook and Thomas, like many others, saw them and realized something was very wrong. He was the first call and he askedno..he demanded that I call back and that we get in touch. I avoided him. I didn't feel like having a hands free cell phone conversation with him over my pathetic life.   You knowsome phone things just shouldn't happen. Bluetooth or no.   Let me tell you about Thomas. I was in my office one day and a young college student called me. Found me on the Web or something and had all kinds of questions. Later, I ran into him at the location of his college internship. After that, someone had hired him at a place I was doing some consulting. Then another more high profile job and then another. Thomas, you see, is a rockstar. He doesn't want to hear that, but in my world and in my book, he's an ace, first call, honest to Freebird, rockstar. I've been blessed to watch him grow and now and then he's used the word Mentor for me and it makes me as uncomfortable as a banana at a monkey movie night. And the truth is, if he and I were applying for a job, he would win. He can call me any damn thing he wants, but that's the truth. I've been blessed to watch him grow and now and then he's used the word Mentor for me and it makes me as uncomfortable as a banana at a monkey movie night Besides all this professional stuff, Thomas is a world class adventure racer. Just think EcoPrimalQuest. Just think 10 days of not sleeping and doing the rugged stuff of hiking, biking, ropes, kayaking and not getting lost. That's fun for Thomas. He's that kind of guy and I've watched him grow into the athlete extreme.
Today Thomas and I met at his work, just outside San Francisco. He greeted me with a bold handshake and then a warm and deliberate hug. I have to say that I didn't want to come and meet with Thomas. He's overwhelming. And I was all prepared for a big lecture into what I should be doing. It's like me hitting golf balls next to Jack Nicklaus. I'm out of my league when it comes to doing the right thing. He's the Elvis of that.   Instead I was met with a man who showed me his kind and compassionate heart. Yet he was tough and in that toughness, there was love too. He loved on me with his words and with his heart, I saw that it wasn't about getting me to do things. It was about helping me do the right thing. To that end, it was impossible for me to hold back the tears and I sat and tried as hard as I could. Thomas told me, in a way that was beautiful, that I matter. I matter to him as a friend and as a human. Not just as a consultant and mentor, but as a human. To me, those words , coming from a bit of Vulcan were better than any solo Jimmy Page could play. And he was toughasking me why I've been kidding myself. Why have I not asked for help. Why do I sacrifice the way I do. Why all the miles. And me with not an answer one. Why, because had I talked I'm sure I would have cried out loud.and I don't cry in public, in front of men. Don't. Thomas told me, in a way that was beautiful, that I matter. I matter to him as a friend and as a human But when I got in my car and drove away, I turned the corner, parked and burst into tears. Sobbing and gasping for air. What a tough conversation. And later feeling a bit of a silly drama queen, I realized that it wasn't tough at all. It was perfect. Especially when he demanded that he be an active participant in my change.   So in the course of a few days, a few friends have told me how much they love me. How much they need me and how much they want me to be around. And I'm having a tough time taking this all in.   Today, I was numb and today, like a lot of days when I hurt all overI had trouble eating. See, food for me is a drug. And so when I hurt, I wants lots of drugs. Starting with an apple has often lead to finishing with a large pizza and so, I just don't know how to pet the burning dog. I finally forced some food in. Finally. And I didn't seek the solace of a binge.   Thank you Thomas. Blessing isn't a good enough word. I Love You, Brother! And I don't want to let myself down and take you along with me. I'm glad I was listening today. Tin Foil and All. _______   I'm glad to say that because of Thomas and Scott Bower and a few other dear friends, I'm on my way to being Less Wilber. Which will in turn make me More in a much better way.

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

Git Yer Tinfoil Hat and Yawlp To The World!

I love communication. Love it. I love to talk. I love to write. I love to yell. I love to blather endlessly about not much of anything. I love communication. To me, there’s nothing not to love about being a good communicator. And even less to be upset about being a bad communicator and still trying. And I love failed efforts to communicate. Love them long time! What? That’s right. This is directed right at all of you who have tried and failed to get your point across. But in the trying is learning. And in the learning, there is the amazing thing that happens when you try, fail, learn and try again. You get better, Si Que No??!! I sucked as a writer for a long time. I’ll never forget my first assistant superintendent’s job. My boss asked me to write up an employee’s attempt to float a triplex and I made complete Huevos Rancheros out of the assignment. He must have sent me back to the pump house (where my desk was) at least 10 times. Each time telling me that I made no sense. I grew tired of his condescending attitude. After all, didn’t he know that I was really the guy running the place? Getting up at 6am fool (when real turfheads get up at 4), how dare he also be my editor. I finally got it right. And there wasn’t praise for my efforts. There rarely was from him. I found one of the drafts of that document tucked into a notebook years later. And after I read it in complete disbelief, I understood why he was so pissed. It was beyond my usual useless drivel. It was simple disaster on paper. Should said employee’s lawyer ever get his mitts on that particular version, I could just hear the question at the deposition, “Mr. Wilber, is English your second or third language?” It was absolutely that awful. I can’t believe I ever tried to defend it. Every time someone tells me that I’m a good writer, I want to send them that little jewel to prove that, like a big bicep, you have to develop a communication muscle by using it. One of the things that I see from my fellow Turfheads is this amazing determination to say what they are not. Loudly. “I’m no Sweater Folder” or “I’m never going to be a Sandwich Maker” comes out of our mouths quite easily. In all kinds of ways, Turfheads spout what they are and proclaim what they will never be. Growing Grass is a career that requires so many things to so many people. So many hats to wear. And tin foil or no, there are things like waves flying through the air that must be adsorbed, used and then given back to the airwaves. Be it email, fax, voicemail, yelling, smoke signals at the crew lunch, superintendents are always communicating. So when a grass person tells me that they can’t communicate, all I can think about is that boss of mine. My desire is to send them to the pump house to try again because you may think you are in the grass business, but you really are in the people business. I used to talk to a lot of people about the opportunities and avenues around electronic communication. Often, they would say something like, “Oh..that online forum thing is fine for you, but I’m not a good writer”. Please. Since when does sharing, talking, visiting, offering help or any other reason to interact require “good”? Hogwash. It’s just about doing it. Feeling it. Having a passion for it. What am I getting at, really, you must be asking? Simple. In today’s world, you have to communicate. You don’t always have to do it with perfection, but you must show up at the dance. Members and bosses and co-workers and grandmothers use email, so should you. Period. You are reading a Blog. It’s short for WebLog. Keyword: Log. Keep one. No matter if you publish it or not keep a log of what you do. Daily if possible. You think you’ll remember. You won’t. It is absurd that TurfNet has so many lurkers. Really. Post on the forums. Share. You never know when you’ll say the perfect thing that will help a peer be peerless. Lurking is not cool. Jump in. There’s nothing worse in my book that a monday morning quarterbacking lurking critic. You don’t agree. Say so. You don’t like it, speak up. You love it, say it louder. Never let anyone else speak for you. Write for the club newsletter. Do a course conditions update for the Pro Shop counter to trump the assistant pro. Post a nice note above the Men’s Room urinals. Be the first and foremost source of info about your facility. Because you are more in the know, show it. Find a way. Develop talking points. There should be 3-5 things that you want to get across in every conversation, every communication. Think of them. Use them. Don’t get hijacked by someone else’s agenda. Use your own. If feel you need help with your writing, get help instead of not writing. There are plenty of people out there than love to help, love to edit, love to encourage those who want to use words. Find one if you need one. >It’s time for you to love communication in every form!

Guest

Guest

 

Git Yer Tinfoil Hat and Yawlp To The World!

I love communication. Love it. I love to talk. I love to write. I love to yell. I love to blather endlessly about not much of anything. I love communication. To me, theres nothing not to love about being a good communicator. And even less to be upset about being a bad communicator and still trying. And I love failed efforts to communicate. Love them long time! What?   Thats right. This is directed right at all of you who have tried and failed to get your point across. But in the trying is learning. And in the learning, there is the amazing thing that happens when you try, fail, learn and try again. You get better, Si Que No??!!   I sucked as a writer for a long time. Ill never forget my first assistant superintendents job. My boss asked me to write up an employees attempt to float a triplex and I made complete Huevos Rancheros out of the assignment. He must have sent me back to the pump house (where my desk was) at least 10 times. Each time telling me that I made no sense. I grew tired of his condescending attitude. After all, didnt he know that I was really the guy running the place? Getting up at 6am fool (when real turfheads get up at 4), how dare he also be my editor. I finally got it right. And there wasnt praise for my efforts. There rarely was from him.   I found one of the drafts of that document tucked into a notebook years later. And after I read it in complete disbelief, I understood why he was so pissed. It was beyond my usual useless drivel. It was simple disaster on paper. Should said employees lawyer ever get his mitts on that particular version, I could just hear the question at the deposition, Mr. Wilber, is English your second or third language? It was absolutely that awful. I cant believe I ever tried to defend it. Every time someone tells me that Im a good writer, I want to send them that little jewel to prove that, like a big bicep, you have to develop a communication muscle by using it.   One of the things that I see from my fellow Turfheads is this amazing determination to say what they are not. Loudly. Im no Sweater Folder or Im never going to be a Sandwich Maker comes out of our mouths quite easily. In all kinds of ways, Turfheads spout what they are and proclaim what they will never be. Growing Grass is a career that requires so many things to so many people. So many hats to wear. And tin foil or no, there are things like waves flying through the air that must be adsorbed, used and then given back to the airwaves. Be it email, fax, voicemail, yelling, smoke signals at the crew lunch, superintendents are always communicating. So when a grass person tells me that they cant communicate, all I can think about is that boss of mine. My desire is to send them to the pump house to try again because you may think you are in the grass business, but you really are in the people business. Often, they would say something like, "Oh..that online forum thing is fine for you, but I'm not a good writer". Please. Since when does sharing, talking, visiting, offering help or any other reason to interact require 'good'? I used to talk to a lot of people about the opportunities and avenues around electronic communication. Often, they would say something like, Oh..that online forum thing is fine for you, but Im not a good writer. Please. Since when does sharing, talking, visiting, offering help or any other reason to interact require good? Hogwash. Its just about doing it. Feeling it. Having a passion for it.   What am I getting at, really, you must be asking? Simple. In todays world, you have to communicate. You dont always have to do it with perfection, but you must show up at the dance. Members and bosses and co-workers and grandmothers use email, so should you. Period. You are reading a Blog. Its short for WebLog. Keyword: Log. Keep one. No matter if you publish it or not keep a log of what you do. Daily if possible. You think youll remember. You wont. It is absurd that TurfNet has so many lurkers. Really. Post on the forums. Share. You never know when youll say the perfect thing that will help a peer be peerless. Lurking is not cool. Jump in. Theres nothing worse in my book that a monday morning quarterbacking lurking critic. You dont agree. Say so. You dont like it, speak up. You love it, say it louder. Never let anyone else speak for you. Write for the club newsletter. Do a course conditions update for the Pro Shop counter to trump the assistant pro. Post a nice note above the Mens Room urinals. Be the first and foremost source of info about your facility. Because you are more in the know, show it. Find a way. Develop talking points. There should be 3-5 things that you want to get across in every conversation, every communication. Think of them. Use them. Dont get hijacked by someone elses agenda. Use your own. If feel you need help with your writing, get help instead of not writing. There are plenty of people out there than love to help, love to edit, love to encourage those who want to use words. Find one if you need one.
Its time for you to love communication in every form! ~The biggest single problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.~
-George Bernard Shaw

Source

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

 

I Don’t Really Want to Blog…

I hate blogging. And I don’t want to blog. No… I want to blog and blogs are really hip and cool and so I want to be a hip and cool blogger. No… I hate blogs and I hate bloggers even more. Wait… I don’t hate them. I just hate it when people blog about what they had for lunch and all the other inane crap that they go through each day. Seriously? The internet for what you had for lunch or who you met at the dog park? I don’t think so. An entire culture of SAR (self-adsorbed-rubbish). So when the Amazing Maestro McCormick asked me about blogging for TurfNet, I wanted to write an email that looked something like this: But like a lot of you, I had more than one Guinness at the 2010 Beer and Pretzels Gala and Turfhead Windshirt Ball and well, the idea seemed to get into my nostrils and then Peter had his wife be really nice to me and then Bastis and Bower hugged me in their non-gay way and Kosak told me he sent me an email I never got about how I should write more and Husting gave me another non-gay hug and Ross flipped me off from across the room and then non-gay way hugged me and told me that I need to write more and well… it went on and on. I am sure it was all a cooked up conspiracy to stroke my giant ego and get me to become what I hate. A blogger. A dirty stinking lunch describing taking up room at my Starbucks blogger. The nightmare becomes reality. Now I have to think of something to write. Easy. Just like the Julie/Julia chick, I’ll get a famous turfgrass textbook and cook my way through it. If Dr. X says Fescue, I’ll plant some in the neighbor’s yard and blog about how he called Lawn Doctor to fix his weeds. If Dr. Y says Soil Textural Triangle, I’ll blog about how I went to the local Starbucks and entertained the regulars by chalk drawing sandy clay loam on the sidewalk as they enjoy their delicious coffee. And the perfect moment will come… the movie deal already in the works, when I get to the back of the book and build a USGA Green at Home Depot entirely out of lightbulbs and other indoor building materials. Please. Shoot. Me. Now. Peter McCormick is one of those people. You have to love him. Just like I love Springsteen and the Cake Boss and Joel Simmons and John Chassard and all the other famous Jersey folks, Peter (although no longer a Jersey Boy) is to be loved and the way he looked at me (in a non-gay way) and expressed excitement about my returning to TurfNet as a blogger… well it was better than Clint Eastwood singing in “Paint Your Wagon” I can just hear Clint (Peter) now…”I was booooorrrn under a wandering star. I was boooooorrrn under a wandering star.” Like oil for water, Peter was crooning to me and well….I just had to say,  “Yes”. I guess I just asked myself…”Do I Feel Lucky?…well Do I, Boy?” Listen… seriously. I’m honored. I’m sure that blogging for TurfNet will be a glorious thing for me and since it should be all about me, the glory is all mine. Not really. Anyone who has ever written an opinion column knows that you make yourself a bit of a target by being brave enough to write what your beliefs support. But more than that, I’d like to think that maybe, just maybe my love for Words and my love for Turf  and my love for All of You (even you, Coldiron), will push me into taking this seriously while still having a heck of a lot of fun. There’s no question that I’m my own worst critic, so if you say mean things… it won’t matter… I’m sure I’ll have already said it. And if you say nice things, well, then I’ll contribute to the beautification of the world at Starbucks with my smile. For this to be good, I might cut a little deep, strike a little close to home or maybe just be the guy who convinces Chief to pick up that water control thing in the shower and throw it out the window. I don’t think I can do this without having some passion. I don’t think I’m funny enough to be Randy Wilson. But I know I’m not starched stiff in my AOG Blazer. Our time, right now, is a bit of a crisis. It’s a time when our crazy business is threatened in ways we never thought of. And our individual lives are also in various stages of flying over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I might open some eyes by the things that open mine. And we might all have to dig in to the trenches and duck…together. I think that’s why Peter started Turfnet…so we Turfheads could do stuff…together. Zeal. It’s the first part of being a Zealot. I don’t know much about blogging and I don’t want to be caught dead using words like “Blogsphere” or referring to you all as “My Readers” . I can’t contain my Zeal and I can’t think of a better place to uncork my insanity than TurfNet. Thanks for reading. Hold on tight.

Guest

Guest

 

I Don't Really Want to Blog!

I hate blogging. And I dont want to blog. No I want to blog and blogs are really hip and cool and so I want to be a hip and cool blogger. No I hate blogs and I hate bloggers even more.   Wait I dont hate them. I just hate it when people blog about what they had for lunch and all the other inane crap that they go through each day. Seriously? The internet for what you had for lunch or who you met at the dog park? I dont think so. An entire culture of SAR (self-adsorbed-rubbish).   So when the Amazing Maestro McCormick asked me about blogging for TurfNet, I wanted to write an email that looked something like this: Dear Peter,
I love you. I do. But please take the concept of me blogging and feed it to your Maine Coon Cat and see if it will come out as some kind of fancy Vermont Cat Crap Coffee.
Blessings,
Wilber But like a lot of you, I had more than one Guinness at the 2010 Beer and Pretzels Gala and Turfhead Windshirt Ball and well, the idea seemed to get into my nostrils and then Peter had his wife be really nice to me and then Bastis and Bower hugged me in their non-gay way and Kosak told me he sent me an email I never got about how I should write more and Husting gave me another non-gay hug and Ross flipped me off from across the room and then non-gay way hugged me and told me that I need to write more and well it went on and on. I am sure it was all a cooked up conspiracy to stroke my giant ego and get me to become what I hate. A blogger. A dirty stinking lunch describing taking up room at my Starbucks blogger.   The nightmare becomes reality. Now I have to think of something to write. Easy. Just like the Julie/Julia chick, Ill get a famous turfgrass textbook and cook my way through it. If Dr. X says Fescue, Ill plant some in the neighbors yard and blog about how he called Lawn Doctor to fix his weeds. If Dr. Y says Soil Textural Triangle, Ill blog about how I went to the local Starbucks and entertained the regulars by chalk drawing sandy clay loam on the sidewalk as they enjoy their delicious coffee. And the perfect moment will come the movie deal already in the works, when I get to the back of the book and build a USGA Green at Home Depot entirely out of lightbulbs and other indoor building materials. Please. Shoot. Me. Now.   Peter McCormick is one of those people. You have to love him. Just like I love Springsteen and the Cake Boss and Joel Simmons and John Chassard and all the other famous Jersey folks, Peter (although no longer a Jersey Boy) is to be loved and the way he looked at me (in a non-gay way) and expressed excitement about my returning to TurfNet as a blogger well it was better than Clint Eastwood singing in Paint Your Wagon I can just hear Clint (Peter) nowI was booooorrrn under a wandering star. I was boooooorrrn under a wandering star. Like oil for water, Peter was crooning to me and well.I just had to say,  Yes. I guess I just asked myselfDo I Feel Lucky?well Do I, Boy?   Listen seriously. Im honored. Im sure that blogging for TurfNet will be a glorious thing for me and since it should be all about me, the glory is all mine. Not really. Anyone who has ever written an opinion column knows that you make yourself a bit of a target by being brave enough to write what your beliefs support. But more than that, Id like to think that maybe, just maybe my love for Words and my love for Turf  and my love for All of You (even you, Coldiron), will push me into taking this seriously while still having a heck of a lot of fun. Theres no question that Im my own worst critic, so if you say mean things it wont matter Im sure Ill have already said it. And if you say nice things, well, then Ill contribute to the beautification of the world at Starbucks with my smile.   For this to be good, I might cut a little deep, strike a little close to home or maybe just be the guy who convinces Chief to pick up that water control thing in the shower and throw it out the window.   I dont think I can do this without having some passion. I dont think Im funny enough to be Randy Wilson. But I know Im not starched stiff in my AOG Blazer. Our time, right now, is a bit of a crisis. Its a time when our crazy business is threatened in ways we never thought of. And our individual lives are also in various stages of flying over the Cuckoos Nest. I might open some eyes by the things that open mine. And we might all have to dig in to the trenches and ducktogether. I think thats why Peter started TurfNetso we Turfheads could do stufftogether.   Zeal. Its the first part of being a Zealot. I dont know much about blogging and I dont want to be caught dead using words like Blogsphere or referring to you all as My Readers . I cant contain my Zeal and I cant think of a better place to uncork my insanity than TurfNet.   Thanks for reading. Hold on tight. ~ Informal conversation is probably the oldest mechanism by which opinions on products and brands are developed, expressed, and spread. ~    -Johan Arndt

Dave Wilber

Dave Wilber

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