THOSE LIGHTS …… THE END IS NIGH

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After Saturdays “double” success on the pool table and good work on the lights on Sunday the weather changes again and now its even colder and 4″ of snow on the rail as I start back to work for the last 3 weeks of driving in 2016.

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NEW for 2016, the Advent Tree

A crisp wind to chill the marrow and of course the seasonal batch of idiots out driving in the snow! Tailgating, FULL beam on the headlights, or NO lights at all!! Talking lights Brenda is working overtime on tree and garlands.

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Just love these ornaments

The weather was so unpleasant that virtually nothing got done outside until Friday when “Front of House” got the twirlers up the poles and the first row of ice lights. Today not much happening as it snowed again last night but seems to be melting quickly. Well, its Saturday again and after Brenda’s excellent performance last week she wants to go for a second helping of the “Pool” pie!

Quick visit to the Community Center for their Christmas wares sale and a few odd ball purchases. Home and get ready for pool. Practice session goes reasonably well and the fun begins with 18 players.

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A couple of goodies from the craft fair

Eventually Brenda and I meet on the winners side and this week I win and things are looking pretty good in my 3rd match as I’m on the black and 6 balls up! I can’t believe how every time I get back to the table I’m completely “snookered”. I never do get a chance at a decent shot and from 6 balls up I get beaten!!

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On the loser’s bench, and now I seem to be in constant play mode and another 3 wins I find myself in 3rd or better against Jerry. A win here and now play the owner and birthday boy, Garry. I win the first game and the second goes all the way to the black with Garry winning. Again I can’t complain with another 2nd place .

Well its Sunday on the lights, and this just might be my last year EVER as some people have made it quite clear as to their priorities. It’s even down to a judging panel of school children (thanks Chamber of Commerce!) who will no doubt be looking for flashing things, music, star wars characters and all the “Non Christmas” crap I don’t have.

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Sorry Dolores, WE like traditional, and just maybe we use a Judging panel of members of the Chamber of Commerce!!

I’m afraid Ultimatums and Christmas do not go together in my book so next year I’ll sit by the fire and watch the many Hallmark movies. It was fun over the years but this is it and if people screw with MY deadlines and planning then they can DO IT THEMSELVES. Definitely the end of this, rather like the Escalante 2 Day Trials.

Last shooting star hauled up and the final 2 rows of ice lights. Now all the cables and timers upstairs and down. Finally by 5 its all done for the day and now time to adjust timers and check their on/off functions. All looks good, save for a missing bulb on one strand which put a section out and the last shooting star may have the same problem.

Missing bulb replaced, loose wire reconnected, and 12 dead bulbs replaced in strings various. House done! Next up the Maple tree and Scuffy as the “NEW” addition for 2016.

Last year I bought some globes, which light up an internal and changing light sequence. Problem here is the batteries are expensive and don’t last that long. Now the question is….. “Is it possible to change over to mains power?” A standard cell phone charger reduces the 115 down to around 5 so I acquired 3 chargers for defunct cell phones and wired them in ….. yep! they work perfectly.

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Now on Mains power

I took Friday afternoon off to try and finish the lighting, added a few extra bits, sorted out the Lasers from last year and strung the red and white main lights on Scuffy. Bells, balls, tree toppers all rigged and now waiting for my “elf” who will leap around the tree for me on Sunday.

Saturday again, another Christmas wares sale at the Brewery and yet more pool. Pool starts badly with Lauren nearly running the table on me but I fight back from my first loss and march up the loser’s board and end up taking another well deserved 3rd place.

Sunday and into the last week of driving and also the “Light Contest” so flat out to achieve the goals that have been set. Elf arrives and 90 minutes later all lights are up with the extra tree toppers and 4 more strings of falling ice lights.

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Into the last week of 2016 driving

Monday and a few changes to positions, some extra lights, and the purchase of the 3 spot lights to illuminate Santa and friends. By Tuesday everything is in place and looks good! …… but just like last year there is always a sting in the tail! A huge storm rolls in and it rains all day Friday and about mid afternoon the winds increase to about 45 mph.

I’m into my last 2 miles with the last 3 passengers, when rounding the bend from CR20 and onto CR U, there is something strange ahead in the dusk as the headlights are having trouble with the transition from daylight to night. ………. better radio this one in!

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“While Shepherds watched their flocks by night etc etc”

“Base this is 43”

“43 go ahead”

“Base ……  Sadly…… I must report that the Shepherds have NOT been watching their flock! …… there are about 50 goats racing down the road in front of me at 15 mph heading to Highway 491….. Due to the rain and cloud cover I’m afraid  I’m unable to determine if there is a NEW STAR in the East”!!!

herd of goats on the road, Aveyron, Midi Pyrenees, France

By the time I get back from my last drive it is not at all nice. As I drive through the town I notice several displays are NOT working at all, and our main competitor only has 1/2 of his lit up.

The wind is wreaking havoc in the maple tree, with lights out, spot lights on the move and the shivering polar bear taking the battering of his life. The rain hammers into the windows and lights are being blown in all directions. By bedtime it has changed to SNOW but the wind is still  blowing.

Saturday and the chill factor is horrendous, no repairs will be undertaken today! Pool as usual and I finish in 4th which considering how badly I thought I was playing can’t be all bad.

Sunday and no change in the bitter cold!

 

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

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