Sunday, November 30, 2014




The following takes place in Minnesota between:

11 - 11:59AM on Sunday 11/23/2014: One hour before 'da Pack vs Vikes. Hauled the clear mini indoor/outdoor lights from the din of storage to my man cave electrical pretest bench. Turned on FOX pregame and started the thankless task of untangling the surviving strings of lights of the Polar Vortex Christmas.

12 PM: (I'm not doing day and date again until tomorrow. I'm loosing my Holiday spirit already)

Kickoff time. The fan in me wonders if Adrian Peterson will pull a switch on the Vikes and sign with 'da Pack. Like a starved ball of skinny green hibernating snakes, the tangled lights start to unwind.

1 PM: 8 strings, each with 50 to 300 bulbs should light up the scraggly bush out front. If needed, two unused strings of 100 clears, w/white wires await my command. Anyway, back to the game!

2 PM: Pack up by 3 points; homeowner down by 4 strings. Expletives flow from manmouth. Wife smirks, snorts out, "You might have been smarter plugging in before unwinding, don't your think?"

3 PM: Vikes lose. Laid down for a nap. Sometimes real men do this to plan their next act . No Menards today. I'll update my stash of patented Indonesian made Starlite 100's tomorrow. Put my head under the pillow just as the tree tutor looks at me in disgust.

4 PM: Had a good old man power nap.  Pumped up, I cuddle the 4 working strings, dragging behind me every available extension cord, electrical adapter, timer needed to prep for the 5 pm test lighting.

5 PM  All systems go -- countdown: 10-9-8-etc." Well, what you can see is what you get", moaned this little man in my mind relaying his first impression of the light show. "Honey, when do you want to eat?, "60 minutes will be on in 60 seconds, unless that game ------". We can watch The Good Wife at 8 unless the game ------"., Let me see the lights", spewed from the mouth of my forever multi-tasking, multi-thinking, multi-talking bride of many moons. Down, but not dumb, I played the old deaf husband card replying, "huh?".

 6 PM: Local news finishes on an upbeat note that this week would be busy at the stores with all sorts of Christmas deals. I knew I'd "save big money" by beating those other bulb seeking dudes to Menards by 6 AM. Took one final inventory of my stash and turned on the NFL delayed 60 Minutes.

7PM: Thought came to me that perhaps I'd avoid Menards all together if I snuck in the 2 albino 100 strings with the existing green wires. That would be just enough candle power. By tactically placing the white wire facing the woods, no one would ever notice a difference. Just a little snow on the wires would hide any flaws, at least for me.

8PM: Had time before the decayed delayed "Good Wife" started so I tried to sneak my cost effective, labor -saving mixed wire idea past my hopefully cooperative good wife. After mulling over for a nano second, she snootily replied, "I know I didn't marry a real bright bulb, but----".

9PM: During an intermission of her favorite show, I looked out front at my unfinished masterpiece.
At a glance, the existing lights from my vantage point resembled a heart. How symbolic I thought. Maybe she'd be OK if we left it the as is, like it was a statement of my love for her.

10PM - 4:59AM: Love lights out (no pun intended). I'm Grinched. Dosing off, my hyper Holiday bride reminds me through her rose colored readers that we still had 28 shopping days until Christmas. 

MONDAY 5AM 11/25/2014: "Oh no Mr. Bill!!", I screamed out sitting straight up in bed to the iPhone alarm of "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year".  Just realized she'll want a real indoor tree this year 'cause our Chicago daughter and an older man friend will be coming home for Christmas,  I says to myself in Wisconsinese, "Self,  'da little woman will now want one of 'dem Martha Stewart type inside trees so now I gotto go untangle balled up color lights!!!!"

6AM: Flashback to yesterday!!! The temp was a high 40 degrees. Safe to say, today will be the same!

7AM: Starbucks in hand, the Prius purrs down Hwy. 5 in Eco mode. I break into a sweat knowing the cheapest lights sellout first. Spending more is not part of my Milwaukee family heritage.

8AM: Got em!!! 4 sets of 100's in generic boxes made in Indonesia. I'm guessing these bulb guys are relatives of the Starlite 100 tribe. Once again I saved big money shopping at 'da 'Nards. Heading to Costco for gas next. Menards + me + my Prius + my Costco gas. Mellowing out, I know my dad would be proud that I carry on his legacy in the spirit of frugality (def: cheapness).

9AM: The wind bounced the Prius around heading back from Costco. Check with my friendly weather folks on WCCO AM who submarined me with the revised Monday weather -- 25 degree highs, winds 19 mph, wind chill 6. Had to get my Stormy Kromer underwear on!!!

10AM: Bundled up! Loaded for bear! Mission accomplished! So proud that this true Scallions seasonal masterpiece was completed in 24 hrs. They say a picture speaks a thousand of words:

11:00 - 11:59AM: Posted blog and received immediate reply from someone claiming to be Jack Bauer. I have no reason to doubt the authenticity: "You think you know pain? You don't know anything yet until you have to remove those brittle lights in January when it's -20!"

Kudos to the macho men who tough it out in the tundra  illuminating their front yards on bitter winter days (and nights)!!! And thanks to their women who support them from the inside with loving advice!!!


(even you who left for warmth and sandy beaches)