10 December 2013

A Tundra Tuesday...
And, it would appear as if the COLD weather isn't going away any time soon, according the latest forecasts.
Welcome to a frigid edition of The Hoosierland Express...not to be confused with the POLAR Express.
Maybe we could call it the BIPOLAR Express?
And welcome to post # 1970 - the year I graduated high school, and the year that The Lovely Mrs. Bobby G. was born...
(Jeez...like robbing the cradle much, Bob?),
If you like the cold (and what self-respecting Arctic explorer doesn't?) then today is JUST what you're looking for.
It's not Fort Wayne - it just FEELS like it.
Today's temps will reach a somewhat "balmy" high of around 23 degrees...
Luckily, we're not near a Roald Amundsen kinda cold...yet.
Hey, at least a few of the locals are finding it to their liking.
Sure glad we're not doing that Coca-Cola gig.
Again, if you don't HAVE to go outside...DON'T.
Pour another hot cup of that morning beverage and let's see what's going on elsewhere.
*** First up, another attack on "America" by this current administration.
Damn, THAT was close...
A new "law" which allows the killing (for the NEXT THIRTY YEARS) of our nation's symbol, the Bald Eagle near wind farms has me doing the "WTF??" two-step today, and I first heard this late last week.
What are people thinking by allowing this.
Here's the story:
Personally, I find this APPALLING, but hey, I'm one of THOSE people that LIKES my country...a LOT.
We don't wanna die...
And, just so you know some back-story here, I also found THIS link:
That's RIGHT...there is a PROTECTION ACT currently in place, even though the bald eagle was taken off of the endangered species list back in 2007.
This link lists the current populations of these birds as well as the criminal and civil PENALTIES for breaking the law in regards to this act.
SO, once again, we see this president "changing the rules" to fit HIS agenda.
Another treasonous act? You make the call. I already have.
Soaring onward...
*** Yes, it's time for Christmas DECORATING, and that means turning your home into a static display for everything connected with the holiday season.
My Mother used to do our house up like Gaudio's (A Philly home improvement store back in the 70s) with damn near every inch of the place decorated with something...somewhere.
Dad would put up the tree (before we got fake trees) and the train platform (when I was a young'un and we rented a house).
Everything from doilies to pot holders to coasters and lights...lots of lights, but nothing close to Clark Griswold lights (thank God).
What? It's just a few lights...
These days, Wifey and I do what we feel we can do, which includes the "Sofa Of Bears" as I like to call it.
We definitely need a LARGER sofa...!
This is the "Bear Family Christmas Chair".
And since I'm no longer AS spry, or otherwise able to contort myself as I used to in the past, I don't do a lot of lighting...just electric candles in the windows,and some lights on the patio (where it's more difficult to have the ghettohood thieves remove them to THEIR house). We even have one of those lighted animated deer, and I'm leery of putting THAT out, for fear it might really "walk" away, if you get my drift.
A fuse for THIS???
But back to those candles...
Every year, before we stash them away after taking them down, I TEST them...so when I get them out the following Christmas, they ALL work...or at least that's what they SHOULD do.
This year, I had ONE problematic candle (out of the 15 we have for all the windows).
Turns out it was a bad fuse in the candle. Now, who thinks it humorous to place a FUSE in a damn 7 watt candle anyway?
Cripes, NONE of our other lamps have that crap, so why do it to a small wattage fixture?
Anyway, I dig around, find a fuse and replace it, only to find it blew out one of our BLUE bulbs (it's a Law-enforcement thing with blue lights in the windows), and I have no replacement bulbs. Besides, how OFTEN can a small 7 watt bulb blow out when only used several weeks per year and not for even 12 hours per day? Well, they do blow out  where I live...LOL.
So, now, I have to decide...do I go back to all CLEAR bulbs or use blue bulbs that BLINK??
(apparently the plain translucent blue bulbs are passe`)
Well, I stick the blinking pair in the candles for the 1st floor front windows (only had two bulbs...no one likes to sell batches of COLORED bulbs for some weird-ass reason.
And so, we have mis-matched bulbs...only TWO blink, and are of a different shade of blue...gotta love it.
Now, to go with all those bulbs, you need OUTLETS in the wall, to which we have more candles than sockets, so you resort to EXTENSION CORDS (all U/L approved mind you - I hate burning the house down, especially at Christmas).
I have a certain number of cords for the various rooms, arrived at by trial and error over the years, but this year, I came up ONE short.
I didn't recall tossing a bad one out, so they must all be good, and I sure don't want to use a backup FIFTEEN foot cord for an area that only needs SIX feet or less...that's wasteful and ugly to look at.
Then, I spotted the problem...a took one 6 ft. cord to use with my rechargeable spotlight...problem solved.
Got the right number of cords again (whew).
But, I wasn't done with the angst just yet.
When I went to use the push button cord (the one that powers the Christmas tree), it did NOT work.
Funny, worked fine when I put it AWAY back in January...what the hell is wrong?
Gremlins in the basement, no doubt.
I tried this cord in another location...works fine. Push button turns on the lamp and turns it off normally.
It just doesn't like the ONE candle closest to the window where the tree goes.
I swear these things are more erratic than a room full of women on PMS...LOL.
This morning, using my keen sense of logic (called LUCK), I managed to get the push button cord to work with a candle WHERE it's supposed to work (I swapped the candle with another one)...problem solved (crosses fingers).
All I REALLY have to worry about will be the TREE itself, and I've got the rest of the week to plan my "strategies".
*** Also, Christmas decorating is not JUST about lights...or IS it to some people?
 (someone tell that one neighbor).
And he was JUST getting started.
It's about all the OTHER things you somehow manage to accumulate over the years that have to be put out for display. I call much of this the "bric-a-brac".
And brother, does THAT add up over time.
Mostly, they're figurines, snow globes, tea light holders and such.
That's a LOT of plushies!!!
Wifey has her Christmas "plushies" (and brother, does she have a LOT of them), and I have to admit that I'm to blame for much of it.
Whenever I spot one she doesn't have, I point it out to her (way to go, Bob), and she buys it.
Hey, it's Christmas,and being IMPULSIVE to some extent is part of the season.
Lots of  Santas
Wifey also has her "Santa collection" from when SHE was a young'un.
And what REAL house that embraces the spirit of Christmas be without a NATIVITY scene...?
Got THAT covered.
And these guys are CERAMIC and heavy.
We'd like to do more, but like I said...we do what we can, and it doesn't look bad (as long as all those damn lights work the same way they did when put away a little more than 330 days ago).
*** Lastly today, It's always nice to recall the days of Christmas PAST...somehow, it all came together, in spite of the weather, of finances, or even health.
And we all looked a lot more forward to the holidays.
I know my feelings have diminished...but never totally gone.
It's a lot different world then when I was young...and I'm sure you can all say the same.
One example - How often did you worry about someone breaking into your house and stealing YOUR gifts from under the tree back then?
Not all that often...same with us.
Today, it's more like a crap-shoot...try your luck and take your chances, because there ARE those watching...and waiting for just the RIGHT opportunity.
You know, Christmas should be about OPPORTUNITY...like the opportunity to become a better individual, to start anew, to rekindle friendships and get family together...and yes, in the spirit of capitalism, the opportunity to snag a decent deal here or there.
But really, it's SO much more than being about THINGS...or even PEOPLE.
It's about the opportunity to get right with God...again, or for the first time.
And that can often be the greatest gift we never look for under that tree.
Just a little something to ponder as you tackle the decorating chores.
Be well, make a difference to someone, and...
Stay SAFE out there, America.


CWMartin said...

My first thought was, you could have had the Mrs. bring home a blue crayon and melt it down, coat a clear, non-blinking bulb and away you go!

And if you want cold, didja see the record set in Antarctica?

John DuMond said...

Wow, Bob, I'm shocked (shocked, I say!) to find out you don't go all Griswold-y with the Christmas lights. ;)

We don't even have our tree up yet. My wife's gonna be putting it up in a blind panic pretty soon, I guess. Usually our youngest helps out, but she's away at college this year. So I suppose that task will fall to me. It might behoove me to check on the beer supply first.

Bob G. said...

I tried it all to "make" blue bulbs...
Crayons smell like burning crayons (naturally), blue PAINT flakes right the heck off, and blue MAGIC MARKER won't cover the glass on the bulb evenly.
(on to Menards???)

Yes...a new WORLD RECORD TEMP - MINUS 135...!
(damn global warming)

I still say the earth tilted on it's axis...the sun's coming up in a different location these days.
(more SE than east)

We're still warm and well-armed down here...all you need to survive...lol.

Thanks for stopping by in the cold to comment.

You stay safe AND warm up there.

Bob G. said...

John D.:
I would entertain the idea of "Clarking-Out" had I some DECENT neighbors.
You know, the ones that DON'T steal anything outside your house whether it's nailed down or not.

Had a former neighbor who had a spiral blinking tree out front...lasted a whole TWO days before it was gone.
And that was less than 10 years ago.
The GOOD news is...they LEFT the extension cord.

Can't have anything with such animals roaming about.

As to putting up the tree?
Yeah, first rule of order - you NEED some form of "seasonal warmth" (even INDOORS), and that would include anything taken orally for "medicinal purposes".
And it's also the ONLY time you will hear me use the word LIBERALLY...LOL.

Hey, thanks for rolling up today and commenting.
Drink responsibly, decorate the tree tastefully, and ALWAYS check the lights TWICE before cursing like a longshoreman.

Stay safe (and holly-hocked) out there.