Here in Columbia there's a guy named Fletcher who puts up a spectacular lights display. Someone told us about it on Vicki's birthday. I didn't remember what it was, just that it was off of old Plank Road. So when Vicki and I were driving Mother around looking at Christmas lights in the highlands, we decided to go see if we could find whatever it was.
Right about the time we were about to give up, we saw something amazing ahead and to the left on a side street. That had to be it. It looked like something out of a fantasy novel. It positively glowed. This 2-d photo here really can't do it justice -- and there's a further glow beyond what you can see in the photos. The second one is a little better.
I went back tonight to take a few pictures (no camera that night).
There are 68,500 lights on the tree. Literally every twig has lights on it. The guy says in his pamphlet it took 100 hours to put the lights on the 30 foot tree in their front yard. That, my friends, is the spirit! This is the most he's ever put on it. Last year he "only" had about 47,000 lights on it. He will probably drop back to something along those lines next year. He had to run an extra circuit to get that much juice to the tree.
We took all of the Christmas decorations down yesterday, inside and out. We have a lot. I like a bit of tasteful opulence in the house for the Holiday Season.
Sadly, I broke what I, at least, considered our most precious ornament -- the tree topper that belonged to Vicki's parents. It may even go back further than that. It was one of those antique German/Polish "mercury glass" indented spires. It was silver with a single indent, with gold and a maroon dot in the middle, and some white flocking around the edge of the indent.
I've been extra specially careful with it packing it and unpacking it every year, and putting it on the tree, and taking it off. Anytime I handled it.
But I wasn't handling it this time. I was removing an ornament from a branch a bit lower than it. As I pulled on that ornament, it pulled the little branch that held the ornament and the branch it was attached to back a bit. The branch the ornament on broke, releasing the tension on the branch it was attached to -- which flicked back in an instant and shattered the tree-topper. I was stunned. Speechless. In disbelief. It was so unexpected and so disappointing. I have a couple of pieces of it, including the top spire and the bottom tube. At the very least I will make a new ornament using these remains. I also intend to scour the web for the closest thing I can find to it - even if I can find just an indented ornament similar, I may even be able to fashion a new tree topper incorporating the parts I saved. I know it's just a thing, and given all the troubles in the world, it is a triffle. But some things carry more importance than others in a relative way, and I am terribly sorry it has been shattered forever.
We went to see Eragon today... it was ok. It helped that Cami mentioned it had been written by a teenager. The dialogue and depth of the story definitely showed it, but I was forgiving with that bit of knowledge in the back of my head. It was impressive for a teenager. It's not that it wasn't entertaining for a couple of hours... it just wasn't "great". Narnia, Lord of the Rings, Star Wars ... even Willow ... it was not.
We also went to the basketball game Friday night and watch the Tigers blow a SIXTEEN point lead with 15 minutes to go and lose it by 1 point on a shot with under 2 seconds to go (vs Iowa State). It was the first time I'd been to "Mizzou" arena (formerly the "Paige" arena). First time in years I'd even been to a basketball game. Cool arena.
Met a young lady through my blog last week as well. She's quite the talented photographer. She's Megan Owens, and she knows what she's doing with a camera. If I have an eye, she has five, and while I'm a technical amateur, she could be a pro. If I had need of a photographer for ... well, practically anything -- I'm sure she could do it. Publisher quality. Her stuff puts mine to shame. Not that I'm going to stop trying or anything ;-) On top of that, from my conversations with her she sounds like she's quality people -- far more important than any talent.
Anyway, Happy New Year to anyone who's reading this.