Of Trees and Tools


Today I assembled the white, lighted outdoor tree that Carl let me buy. It’s a long story about how I talked Carl into this, but oh well. I will say that part of his criteria was that it be on sale. No problem. My criteria were that it didn’t talk, sing or dance. (Sorry Shannon!) Anyway, so I put the thing together in the garage where it was warm, out of the wind, and where the tools were. You’re not supposed to need tools to assemble this tree, but I ended up needing a side cutters to snip off the packaging wires, a rat-tail’s rasp to deburr the inside of the base so I could insert the legs, and a large Labrador-mix dog chewing on a towel. OK, so the dog’s not a tool, but he’s nice company. I am, however, thinking of changing his name to Jerry Tarkenian.

<>But I digress. So I put the tree together, plugged it in to test it, and it works great. Now all I have to do is take it outside, put it where I want it and stake it to the ground so it won’t blow away. The tree manufacturer provides you with stakes, but these are teensy-weensy chicken fried stakes that would pull right out of the ground if you sneezed in the tree’s direction. I needed big, strong Porterhouse stakes that would hold the tree down in a hurricane. I wanted tent stakes, but I couldn’t find any. I did, however, buy a 4’ rod of “weldable” steel which I cut into four pieces and bent into stakes in my bench vise. These stakes are twice the diameter of the stakes that came with the tree, and a good three inches longer. (Insert a “Tim the Tool Man” grunt here.) I’ll probably wait until Carl gets home to take the tree outside and stake it down since Carl has a better idea of where to place the stakes. After all, he’s the one who passed Physics on the first try. <>

On another note (LA!) I won this week’s fantasy football game and am now in 6th place in the league. Rah rah rah!


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