Monday, December 10, 2007

Christmas Time at Chase Manor

As December was approaching this year my wife proposed we get a 2nd tree for our game room. I immediately checked to see if she was ill. Our existing tree is quite a job and combine that with 2 Christmas villages and lights in the backyard and front, I already had my work cut out for me. But she insisted that it would be a smaller tree on which we could hang all of our cartoon/kid ornaments.

Secretly I suspected that this was her way of getting rid of Spiderman. I have a Spiderman ornament and he is in a cool web slinging pose. Each year I put it in the center of the tree and each year she asks "Does it have to go in the center?" to which I reply it most certainly does. But now Spidey, Jimmy Neutron and all our Disney ornaments have been cast out, to a tree of their own. Spidey front and center.

Putting up a 2nd tree was not as much work as I thought and has added Christmas cheer to the west wing. That was a good thing....but then..

With the Christmas lights, I put those barely moving deer and a snow man in the backyard so the kiddos can look out the kitchen window and ooo and ah. Out front I usually just put lights in the trees and bushes. This year my wife suggested putting icicle lights on the house. With most houses around us having lights up on their houses I figured this would help make our street a powerhouse of Christmas cheer. Her suggestion of a 2nd Christmas tree worked out well, so what could possibly go wrong.

First thing was locating the lights. I went to a Lowes, Home Depot, Garden Ridge, France, Target and three Walmarts before finding them. But I got em so SCORE.

The guy who takes care of our yard offered to put up the lights. You silly fool!! I can do that myself. No problem...its just lights..its not like its hard or anything to hang lights. I continued to laugh at him until he drove away. As he sped off I remembered that the last time I tried to get up on the roof I had a panic attack and peed my pants. My laughter turned to a pained look. The kind our President gets before speaking..

But I had a plan. I would put the lights up.....at night!! That way if I freaked out and started crying OR if I fell off the roof and landed in a bush, no one would see me......or call 911, mmm yeah it wasn't a well thought out plan.

So out I went. Dark. Cold. Perfect. I started with what I thought would be the easy part of the roof line....the part that I could get to from the ground. Of course all the bushes and plants were in the bloody way, so much creative maneuvering was in order. With that string of lights mostly on it was finally time to get on up on the roof. Woohoo lets go!!

My yard is sloped so it took some time to find a nice stable spot for the ladder. I trotted on up with lights in hand.....looked out on the vast, dark, cold roof. Here we go. I put my left foot on the roof...aaaaaaannnnnnd decided that there was no way in hell I could do this. Maybe if I sorta...turned around...no no that's even scarier. Well why do I need to put the lights on the gables anyways...I mean.....sigh...YOU FAILED.... I would call yard man the next day.

After two hours I had put up one and half strings of lights. I suck.

The next day yard man put all the lights up. My wife called to tell me how beautiful the house looked. I got home and saw no lights and none of the outside plugs were working, which is always a good sign. Quick trip to the circuit breaker box and sure enough the outside circuit tripped. Well we will just flip that back on an....POP-a flash of orange-smoke....FLIZZLE FLAZZLE!!

The electrician comes out the next day and sure enough the circuit overloaded. Yes the POP-FLASH-SMOKE was my first clue. The backyard lights (3 amps) were on the same circuit as the front house lights (18 amps) and the circuit is a 20 amp circuit. Damn you 1 amp. The GFI outlet had a short in it which caused the main circuit to fry, but with some plutonium adjustments to the flux capacitor and proton pack....we were back in business. A lesson in how electricity works for only $270.

Light problems aside, I'm glad we got em. And now at last, Chase Manor is ready for Christmas. Bring it on.

5 comments:

Alex Fleisig said...

wait a minute?
no picture of the finished product?

Alexiss Dawn said...

Lol. You crack me up. Awesome read. I think it's somehow planned out by someone to have Christmas lights = a pain. I'm just glad to hear you didn't have to spend hours untangling lights. I have to admit I was half waiting to hear you slipping off the roof...but that's only here where we have 2 feet of snow (Not a good idea to get on the roof then...).

As for Spidey...well at least you don't have to worry about him somehow "magically disappearing" off the tree now. I mean, a cartoon tree?? Awesome.

Anyway, have a great Christmas!

RayChase said...

Alex: I actually have more lights I want to toss in bushes and trees out front before its totally done. They are twinkle lights and twinkle=magical. THEN I will post a picture....no really I will

Alexiss: The untangling and loud cursing will happen next year when I unpack the twelve strings of lights that will be thrown together in box.

As for the roof. Once I get biten by the geneticly altered spider, my fear of the roof and constant loss of bladder control, will both be a thing of the past....hopefully.

Justin Barrett said...

Alexiss!? What on earth are you doing here? You mean to tell me you have time to post to every student on AM and still make it over here? Good grief!

Ray: Don't forget to add "Chemo Woody" to the Christmas collection! He has a special glow of his own that's just right for the holidays.

tonymation said...

You see... this is where Clark Grizwald's life differs from yours. Clark would have fallen off the roof onto a plastic reindeer, racking himself. His momentum would have sent the reindeer speeding down the frozen sidewalk. He would ride said reindeer through town spreading holiday cheer.

But you... you give up before all the fun begins. Sheesh.