Gas station without pumps

2019 January 1

8th day of Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 20:43
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Because today is already the 8th day of Christmas, I guess it is time to do a Christmas blog post. For the past several years we’ve used a live Christmas tree (see the 2015 decoration of it), but last year it was getting too big for its pot, and it was already as heavy as we could get up the steps (maybe 200–300 lbs), so we didn’t want to repot it into anything bigger.  So we put a free sign on it and left it by the sidewalk—it was gone within a week.

My wife found a new live tree in a tiny pot that someone else had left out for free, so we repotted it and kept it for a year—here are pictures of this year’s tiny tree:

Here is the tree, seen from a low angle to make it look bigger.

The Festivus pole is visible just behind the tree and to the left (with a bow at the top).


We found a string of solar-powered LED lights on the sidewalk. After replacing the NiMH rechargeable battery and fiddling with the battery contacts, we got it working—it was just the right size for our tiny tree.

2016 December 25

Banana slug Christmas

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 16:50
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When my wife was decorating our Christmas tree last night (a Christmas Eve tradition for us), she was regretting that we did not have a good tree topper.  She did not want to repeat last year’s Christmas tree topper.

Today, we received from her sister a banana slug mask, which immediately became this year’s topper:

The mask as tree topper.

The mask as tree topper.

The whole tree—I think this is the 4th year we've used this live tree, getting it up the front steps using the hand truck visible in the background.  Note also the tiny Festivus pole in front of the tree.

The whole tree—I think this is the 4th year we’ve used this live tree, getting it up the front steps using the hand truck visible in the background. Note also the tiny Festivus pole in front of the tree.

2015 December 25

Christmas tree topper

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 19:26
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We celebrate a number of different holidays in our house around this time of year: Channukah, Winter Solstice, Christmas, Festivus, … .

For Channukah, we light the menorah with the traditional blessings, give trinket presents, eat latkes, and play dreidel. For Christmas, we decorate a tree, light up the porch, and give slightly larger presents. For Solstice, we eat round solstice cookies (basically shortbread). For Festivus, we have a tiny Fesitvus pole.

Channukah this year was a bit lower key than usual, as our son was still at UCSB for most of Channukah.  We saved the latkes until he got home and didn’t give presents or play dreidel.  We did light the menorah (except for 2 nights, when we forgot):

menorah-2015

Christmas was also fairly low key—we didn’t get around to the porch lights this year, because of the rain early in the week and my son being a bit ill on Christmas Eve, when we would normally have put the lights up. We did bring in our usual live tree, and my wife decorated it. One novelty this year—we stuck on a different tree topper than usual. The clear plastic head was made a few years ago out of packing tape, using my head as a pattern. (Google “packing tape sculpture” for information about how to make such sculptures.) We had it out, because we hadn’t put it away after Halloween, so I stuck it on top of the tree. I liked the effect—particularly the way one of the branches ended up at the level of the eyes:
Tree-with-topper-2015

Tree-topper-2015

2013 December 21

More trailer loads

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 14:25
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Last week I blogged about the light, but bulky load of boxes I took to the Museum of Art and History in my bike trailer:

There are more boxes here than it might appear, since I filled each box with smaller boxes.

There are more boxes here than it might appear, since I filled each box with smaller boxes.
The trailer was made (a long time ago) by John Welch.

Today, I had to replace our live Christmas tree, which died in the past month after being kept alive for about 4 years.  I used the heavy-duty trailer to bring the tree home from the garden center:

This Christmas tree is a little lighter than our old one (smaller pot), but still took 2 people to lift it into or out of the trailer.  I believe that John Welch also made some trailers with a hinged back, for unloading heavy items (like lawnmowers) more easily.

This Christmas tree is a little lighter than our old one (smaller pot), but still took 2 people to lift it into or out of the trailer. I believe that John Welch also made some trailers with a hinged back, for unloading heavy items (like lawnmowers) more easily.  There’s also a can of primer and a toilet plunger in the trailer—the garden center is right next to the hardware store (same company), so I combined errands.

After taking the pictures, I noticed that I had some old photos of another bulky load: a plywood dollhouse that my wife was going to fix up and decorate (we got the dollhouse in 2009, but still haven’t had time to do anything with it):

Bungee cords are important for keeping bulky loads from shifting around.

Bungee cords are important for keeping bulky loads from shifting around.

2010 December 25

Chirstmas cheer

Filed under: Uncategorized — gasstationwithoutpumps @ 08:44
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For those of you not yet in a Christmas mood, head on over to the Parasite of the Day blog and read about the 12 parasites of Christmas.

Susan Perkins, the parasitologist who writes the blog, has shifted the 12 days of Christmas (which are Dec 25 through Jan 5) to Dec 17 to 28th, so she has done 9 of the 12 parasites already, each with a Christmas connection.

For example, today’s parasite is Trypanosoma lewisi which is responsible for the extinction of the two native species of rats on Christmas Island.  Previous days have included 3 reindeer parasites, Australian Christmas Tree (a parasitic plant), parasitic fig wasps, Christmas tree parasites, turtle-dove parasites, and mistletoe.

While you’re there check out the parasite of the year: Philophthalmus gralli which are flukes found living on the eyes of birds (and, rarely, humans).

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