Separate names with a comma.
Discussion in 'The Observation Bar' started by GHT, Mar 21, 2015.
They also tend to be the most aggressive on the road. And pickups are worse than SUVs.
Chubby & Tubby, a now-defunct three-outlet variety store chain in Seattle, sold fishing tackle and hardware and paint and gardening supplies and work clothing and lots and lots of athletic shoes and, during the holiday season, Christmas trees. They had the best prices around, and the traffic going through reflected that.
When they folded the tent, back in the early 20-aughts, you could still get a tree there for five bucks. You could spend quite a bit more than that, of course, but the five-dollar trees were something of a identifier. In earlier times (the business started in a surplus Quonset hut in the early post-WWII years) the prices were even lower. Rumor (never quite substantiated, to the best of my knowledge) had it that those five-buck trees were the volunteers that sprouted up in the big power line rights-of-way and were routinely cleared. They were scraggly, for sure, so much so that customers sometimes bought two and lashed them together.
At closing time on December 24 they gave away the remaining trees. It cost them, I suppose, in that some people waited until 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve to procure their free tree rather than paying retail a day or two sooner. But I'd imagine that at least some of that cost was offset by what they didn't spend to dispose of the unsold inventory. The lot at the Rainier Avenue store was tree-free within a matter of minutes, seeing how it was located near a couple of large public housing projects populated by people for whom saving five bucks is well worth the wait.
My paternal grandparents were hill people who were not poor, but money was not available for wasting. My grandfather would pick out Christmas trees a few years in advance of the year of use. When he decided that it was time he would dig up the tree and transplant it into a large tub. After it served its time as a Christmas tree it would be kept in the corner of the shed until spring and then replanted behind the house. By the time he passed there was a nice row of pines back there. I've never seen anyone else do that, but I've never forgotten watching him do it either.
If people must have Christmas trees, I'd much rather see something like that than the skeletal remains blowing around in the yard until May.
We get that syndrome too, we also get, or seem to get, exemption certificates. A line of cars will travelling along at the compulsory speed limit, but one driver, often it's a BMW driver, will go past everyone at breakneck speed. BMW drivers are exempt you see.
Porsche Diesel 308 (1956-63)
The other day I saw the most monstrous truck I've ever seen. It must've been jacked up at least 3 or 4 feet, and the tires looked like something off of construction equipment. It was a Ford, but looked like no Ford I've ever seen. The front end looked like the face of a semi truck. As it belched black smoke, I figured that if the Frankenstein monster were ever a vehicle, this would surely be it. The monstrosity of this thing was punctuated by the fact that it was being followed by a hybrid Prius.
The old guy knew his way around those pines, by the sounds of it.
I know of one live Christmas tree that’s done its best to stay alive through something like 30 years now. It’s small, its name is Albert, it lived on the back deck of a friend’s house for about 50 weeks out of the year, until that friend croaked a few years back. Now it lives at his brother’s place, in the slab-constructed glazed ceramic pot the departed brother made for it, shortly after their mother procured the tree, lo those many years ago. (The old gal has herself been gone a good couple of decades now.) I’m no expert, but I suspect that among the reasons Albert has remained diminutive all these years is that his growth is restricted by living in that clay pot. Sorta like Bonsai, I guess.
I’ve known others who have had much less success with live Christmas trees. I’m supposing that’s mostly on account of their disregard of the fundamental needs of the tree. They let it dry out too frequently, maybe, or take it directly from the cold out-of-doors to smack atop a heating vent, or vice-versa.
Among the more egregious examples I’ve witnessed are the subtropical tree Araucaria heterophylla — aka “Star Pine,” aka “Norfolk Island Pine” — bought from the local supermarkets for 15 or 20 bucks during the holiday season and then put out in freezing weather come early January. The trees die, of course.
I happen to have an Araucaria myself, an example I bought at steep markdown shortly after Christmas in 2014. It was vaguely Christmas tree shaped, which the growers achieve by crowding several individual trees into one pot. And it had that glittery crap sprayed on it. I have since uprooted and/or cut back all but two of the individual plants and have put it in a 20-inch clay pot in the living room window, along with a bunch of other plants. They all go out on the covered deck during the warm months.
Araucaria make for an elegant houseplant, given time and good conditions. I expect mine will outlive me.
I believe that is what lives currently in the corner of our living room and is shuffled around to different locations depending on the season. It belonged to my late mother in law and was inherited by my wife. Her mom has been gone for well over 20 years and the tree was in her possession for a good many years prior to that. It may outlive her grandchildren.
What's the deal with modern brown paper shopping bags?
My town recently banned plastic shopping bags, which is fine, but when you make an unexpected store stop and don't have a reusable bag with you you end up with brown paper. Which is also fine, there's lots of uses around the house for brown paper.
Except that the bags I've been getting literally fall to shreds in my hands. I tried to pick one up out of the back seat of the car just now, and the part I grabbed onto flaked right off -- and then when I picked up the rest of the bag it crumbled to pieces, my groceries fell on the ground, and I said a nice ripe swear word or six.
This isn't the first time this has happened, either -- it's like these bags have been soaked in acid or left in the sun for twenty years or something until they become too brittle to function as bags. Is this a common thing with paper bags now, or is my regional grocery mega-chain palming off shoddy goods in exchange for the new five cent bagging fee?
Not just in your corner of the world, but everywhere. The environment is orders of magnitude better than it was 40 years ago. Environmental regulation works. There's an economic cost to it, sure, but it works.
I once had an old Datsun station wagon. It was generally filled with sand and smelled like fishing tackle, but it could go anywhere those jacked up trucks can go. I actually kind of miss it.
They are designed to bio-degrade when thrown away, much like the modern plastic bags. They are designed to break up once they get thrown out and buried in the landfill sites but often they'll start to fall apart while still being used. I believe it happens if they become damp or wet as that starts the breakdown of the cellolose stuff they're made out of.
One thing I noticed as a kid when we lived in Germany was that everyone there had a net shopping bag, that scrunched up real small, when they went shopping. Recently I've become more interested in maybe doing the same, carrying a net bag in my pocket when going shopping.
On the NJ shore, they use defunct Christmas trees to stabilize the dunes.
On my familys farm, we grow and sell Christmas trees, a cut your own operation. Occaisionally we get a request that a tree be dug up rather than cut, but doing so would mean a loss of top soil and a hole to fill in, so that is a no go.
I once had a Datsun 510 wagon. It was perhaps the best overall useful, driveable car I ever owned. Big enough to haul most anything I had occasion to haul; compact enough to fit into tight parking spots. Geared for the freeway and for hauling heavy loads uphill. Handled like a sports car.
I’ve looked into buying another, but the asking prices for decent examples are a tad dear. Turns out there are more of us with fond memories of the things than there are surviving examples.
Plastic supermarket bags are still the norm here. I prefer them to paper, as do many of us with a dog or two. They also make for dandy small wastebasket liners.
I don’t know enough to intelligently argue the point, but I gotta wonder if paper bags are truly more ecologically sensitive than plastic, seeing how it’s a minuscule amount of petroleum in the plastic bags, and how they degrade fairly rapidly.
I hoarded the little plastic bags for a year before the new law took hold -- they are exactly the right size and weight for cleaning the cat box. So I have a very large supply of them. Don't know what I'll use when they run out -- maybe I'll just dump it out behind the garage where all the clamshells are.
What bothers me about the reusable bags is that all the ones you see around have ads plastered all over them. I don't care to pay for the privilege of being a billboard for the Hannaford Bros, so I'll probably get some scrap canvas and make my own. Or just use a pillowcase.
As to the quality of current paper bags, in 1989 I used a brown paper bag to make a cheap and dirty mask for a Halloween party I didn't want to go to, and I still have it and still use it every year when Halloween garb is required. It's not the least bit brittle or even ragged.
I use ’em for “freshening” the cat box, too.
As a practical matter, the only downside to plastic (versus paper) grocery bags is that they don’t stand up in the car on the way home.
Brown paper bags are definitely not what they used to be. When I was a kid, my cousin and I would get them from the grocery store near our grandfather's house and we'd draw faces on the bags and cut out eye holes, and run around playing with them on our heads. Couldn't do that with the ones they make nowadays. They're more fragile than tissue paper.
The only place I still get paper sacks is at our local locker plant. They are poor enough as a sack, but then they have the audacity to put the little loop handles on them made of the same poor material. I only made the mistake of picking one up by the handles once.