15 December 2010

Humpday Happenings...
Today, we're going to focus on that pivotal item in every person's house at this time of year...the CHRISTMAS TREE.
Yes, friends...no matter how old you are, or what your economic status might be, there is always a way to have SOME sort of Christmas tree in your humble abode. It might only be a 3-foot tree, or maybe you're lucky enough (and have room enough) for one of those huge, honking EIGHT-FOOT Douglas firs.
Whatever the case, you have to admit that Christmas is not quite Christmas without one...
*** But first, I have to share some of our ghettohood's very own "Christmas Spirit".
I was tuned into the FWPD radio last evening around 1920 hrs when THIS came across:
(( Fort Wayne man mugged, stripped, shot 3 times
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) - Fort Wayne police are looking for two suspects who mugged a man, stripped him of his clothes, and shot him three times.
Officers were called to the 4200 block of South Monroe Street around 7:20 p.m. Tuesday.
That's on the city's southeast side.
The man had $100 on him at the time. After he was shot he crawled into his house, where his nephew found him.
Medics took him to the hospital in serious condition.
))
Like I said, people...crime NEVER takes a damn holiday.
This took place only SIX blocks from the "Bobby G. Fortress of Sanity", but it's not like I've SAID to the quadrant captain for YEARS that THIS was coming farther south...because it HAS, like an inexorable rising tide of societal refuse (that it is).
The shooting took place at the house located at 4221 S. Monroe St.
Initially the victim was listed in B minus condition, and the EMTs were concerned about a possible DOWNGRADE as he was being transported to the hospital (around 1935 hrs).
It was also stated (initiallly) that the victim was "in his backyard", which could mean he WAS in fact there when he was shot, OR he managed to get TO the backyard before collapsing. Either way, it would not appear that few, if any "normal" people are what we would call SAFE in my part of the ghettohood AFTER DARK.
(except for the criminals, that is)
The man DID have $100 on him, so perhaps someone was tipped off that he had the money...who can say?
What I CAN SAY, is that it's WAY PAST high time the (so-called) "community leaders" of this rapidly stinking crotch of Fort Wayne get off their diversity-laden asses and set about ridding EVERYONE of this criminal blight that has infested this area since the HELMKE years.
Those that do nothing but prey upon others for whatever reason, need to be taught a lesson...a HARD lesson at that.
Let's just say that "my" solution to this problem would be rather "unique", in that it has never been attempted before...BUT, I guarantee it would net RESULTS in lower crime rates. You could sit back and watch the vermin falling over themselves trying to LEAVE this city.
They wouldn't be able to get out FAST enough.
Sometimes, it takes a strong hand to change an "unruly child's" behavior.
And we'll leave it at that...for now.
*** Meanwhile, back at the ranch...
CHRISTMAS TREES....lots to choose from, right?
You have the "traditional" LIVE trees (which need their own special care during the season, lest they become a "monument to stupidity" and burn your house down). Talk about "kindling"...you've GOT it with this tree!
Then there is the regular, plain ARTIFICIAL TREE (like we have).
You have to do ALL the decorating YOURSELF (as with the real trees), but that's where YOUR creativity comes in.
You choose all the accouterments that go ON that tree...from ornaments to lights to garland.


Back in the day, we had those large bulb lights and the alcohol-filled lights that bubbled when they got warm (a precursor to the lava-light, no doubt).

Dad took INDIVIDUAL strands of tinsel and placed them on the branches (that was when you could get a REAL 5 ft.tree for $5!)

Sure it took some TIME, but Dad knew that...and he did an exemplary job EVERY damn year (where he found the time...I have no idea).

Every year, Dad would take my wagon out and come back with some Christmas tree from a nearby vendor who had set up shop in some factory parking lot.

Later, Mom got into the whole SILVER TREE THING...(hey, what did you expect? - it was the 60's)...with a COLOR WHEEL, no less...
(rolls eyes)

Thank God THAT went out of style after a few years...LOL.

We later caved in, and got the artificial trees, and they are looking SO lifelike these days, the only thing missing is the bowl of water underneath...and the scent.


There ARE those that still rail against "conventionality" when it comes to Christmas trees...

I have NO idea why anyone would want an upside-down tree (unless they have a penchant for BATS...go figure).



But... a PINK tree?
(ahem)
Gimme a break.
I cannot imagine WHO would want a pink tree in the house, can you?
I like the plain and simple ways.
To each his own, I suppose
Getting the tree up...It's like putting up a building...you have a certain "structure" to it all.
Now, I have a game plan when putting our tree up, honed over years of experience (and a lot of trial and error).
First, the LIGHTS go on (after they've been thoroughly tested by yours truly).
Then, the garland goes on, following the light strands.
Lastly, the ornaments are placed on each branch (pretty much) with other things like candy canes.
And it comes down in the exact opposite order...told 'ya it was a plan.
And it WORKS (unlike the locals down here...lol).

But for you "less-adventurous" people, we DO have those wonderful PRE-LIT trees.
Just unbox it, unfold the branches, and plug it the hell in...can't get ANY easier than that.
You STILL have to add ornaments and garland.
The bulbs themselves have gone through several incarnations as well.


We started with the big c-7 bulbs, then "graduated" to those wonderfully inexpensive "mini" bulbs.

(I always have several sets on hand as backups)







And NOW, we've got these LED lights - brighter by far, but not as "romantic" when it comes to Christmas magic.
They WILL damn near last forever, though.
I don't have any, and really don't plan to GET any...I'm a staunch traditionalist when it comes to Christmas.
With some care...and patience...(and a little bourbon or scotch), ANY tree can be the focal-point of the holiday season in your house.
A place where memories can be created.
A place you can call your own.
*** Finally today, getting back to the way things are in my part of the ghettohood....I came across THIS:
A poor, unfortunate shopping cart that OBVIOUSLY escaped (that's EXscape for those who might speak ebonics) from a nearby store, only to succumb to the numbing cold, passing out near our intersection.
Now this kind of stuff breaks my heart. I hate to see anything suffer in winter, but there we are...a lone, and obviously lost shopping cart that couldn't find it's way back to the store of it's origin...meeting a lowly demise.
Maybe the stores should not ALLOW these rogue carts to venture OUTSIDE on THEIR OWN...AT ALL?
('ya think?)
Maybe, this cart was "cart-napped" and sexually assaulted before being left out in the cold...hey, it happens down here EVEN WITH PEOPLE.
Well, this sort of thing DOES happen, when it's permitted (as it is) down here.
This is what turns neighborhoods into ghettohoods, and to what end?
Sure ain't all about poverty...that's for damn sure!
It IS about being a LOT more RESPONSIBLE...and being a LOT less UNACCOUNTABLE.
It's about making tough calls to set things right...and for the right reasons.
And it's about our future...
I'd much prefer to remain optimistic about such things....as I'm sure you would.
And Christmas might just be a damn fine place to renew that optimism, don'cha think?
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.

((Only 10 shopping days until Christmas))

8 comments:

indy said...

yes, the lone shopping cart. seen many in my day. the man was stripped of his clothing.....wtffff i mean were they trying to kill him from exposer from the cold. give me a freaking break. i've had many a green fake tree. but, this is our first year with a brand new white tree with small lites. i dont care for prelite trees. just something else to break early. kinda like buying the tv with the dvd player in it. sooner or later that dvd player will break.

Bob G. said...

Indy:
We see WAY too many "escaped carts" from Southgate around here...some wind up in alleys. others just "fade away".

I called the city about our abandoned waif here.
Hopefully, it will get a BETTER HOME for the holidays than our intersection.

As for the tree?
...the white ones ARE nice...looks like you just dragged it inside after a snowstorm...only NO PUDDLES...gotta love that!

And NO spray snow, to clean up either.

Yes, I also hate "combo" items...the one you NEED to work won't, and the thing you never use will ONLY crap out the ONE time you DO use it.

You can't win with these folks...LOL.

Thanks much for stopping by the freezer today.
Stay warm (and safe) down there.

Anonymous said...

When my youngest son was in college (Ball State) several years ago..his dorm room was quite small and him and his dorm mate duct taped their tree upside down to the ceiling, then decorated it with empty Mt Dew cans.
Pink is my very favorite color of all and I would love to have a pink tree. (It would match my little barn I had painted pink after my divorce. Yep I did it because I could.)
I hope you and Mrs Bobby G are keeping warm and safe.
msnkrey

Bob G. said...

MSN:
Okay, now,I'm getting worried.

Both you AND the Missus found that PINK TREE very nice...LOL!

I guess if it MATCHES THE BARN...it could be OK.

As for that upside down tree?
(college kids...whatta ya gonna do, hmm?)
Must have needed a a LOT of duct tape...I wouldn't trust ANYTHING short of industrial-strength SUPER GLUE...

And I'd bet the janitorial staff wondered "WTF?" over that when they came through eventually.

Have to admit...it WOULD be a great conversation starter.

We're safe & sound SO far.
I'm not planning to walk OUR ALLEY any time soon though after the sun sets....(wonder WHY?)

Thanks for dropping by the ice box.
(bbbrrrrrrrrrrr)
Stay warm down there, 'K?

Ann T. said...

Dear Bob,
I had to snort/laugh over your statement of diversity. Seems to me YOU are the diversity in your neighborhood! Oh, hell!

Anyway, onto the big PLAN with the tree. When I was a kid, Scotch pine--not spruce. Taking the ornaments off in January was a definitely painful experience.

I did see a pretty pink tree (oh, no, please don't lose respect for me!LOL!) at a business. It had pink and brown ornaments. I don't think it sounds as good as it looked--

Anyway, I have a lot of ornaments with memories. Things from my childhood or early years of marriage. A pink tree won't cut it for me at home. I just like seeing what other people have!

Sounds like you two do it up right!

I'm enjoying my mental picture.
Eggnog with bourbon, mon amis,
Ann T.

Bob G. said...

Ann:
I don't know about being THE diversity in my neighborhood, but I would LOVE to have the locals think of me as the "Right Hand of God" some days...LOL.

When Dad trucked home a tree, we didn't care if it was spruce, pine, or fir...it was GREEN and smelled good, and for the scant finances we had at the time, it was beautiful.

Uh, oh...another PINK TREE aficionado.
Maybe there IS something to this.

Now, I know I already baked up some chocolate cookies with PINK "chocolate chips" (Susan G. Komen gig)...
(btw, they taste GREAT)
So, perhaps I will amend my critique on such trees.
Maybe these trees are an homage to the foundation and how it helps women everywhere.

We have our ornaments that represent past years, but all the ones Mom used to have were donated to our church when she passed.

I only hope they can provide joy to those who have viewed them over time as they did to me.

High-octane EGG NOG...right up there alongside hot-buttered rum (light on the butter, Bing)

Thanks a lot for taking time to stop by the walk-in freezer next to the fence.
(it's warmer inside, isn;t it?)

Have a fantastic day.
And stay warm out there.

the observer said...

Bob:

The only thing to be careful of is not to bring in the house what we in Vermont call "cat spruce." The reason for the name becomes quite obvious after the tree has been indoors for a while!

The cats pretty much preclude a tree--I have always had cats young enough that they would think of the tree as a very large toy!

I like decorating outside, but I'm a little bit afraid of heights so I decorate what I can reach with a 6-8 foot step ladder.

I'll leave the pink trees to others. There is a store in our metro that sells trees in the colors of the three "local" universities--Purple and white for Kansas State, black and gold for Missouri and, best of all (it does look really cool) crimson and blue for Kansas University.

Enough Christmas ramblings; thanks for the good read!

T.O.

Bob G. said...

T.O.:

"Cat Spruce", eh?
Now I've never heard THAT description before...didn't know cats preferred a certain type of tree.

All we have to worry about w/ our fake tree is hairballs coming up onto the treeskirt...(gack).

But I have been witness to tales about cats and tinsel...and the litterpan...LOL.

"Theme" trees are becoming a fad over the last several years.

Thankfully, I don't have to use a step ladder much INSIDE the house (older home-lower celiings...love it)

As for OUTSIDE...well, around HERE...you put it OUT and it will become the property of someone (ahem) "less-fortunate"...

And I really hate to have to shoot ANYONE around the holidays.

So we keep our stuff inside (damn shame...I like the lights).

Thanks so much for taking time to stop on by today.

Stay warm out there.