Intel's Ronler Acres Plant

Silicon Forest

Monday, December 11, 2006


John put the lights on the Christmas tree. I helped. It has been my job, more or less, since Anne and I got married to get the tree and put the lights on it. This year John put the lights on, and I am very greatful. I was feeling very wiped out this weekend, and it felt like one more little chore would have been more than I could handle.

John and Ross cleaned up the garage Saturday after I got done chewing on the base of the Christmas tree with the chain saw. Made quite a mess. If I had been thinking clearly, I would have been operating out on the front lawn instead of inside the garage. I did eventually move outside. I think my fuzzy thinking is another symptom of the "bug" I am suffering from.

I am reasonably certain that operating a chainsaw over a concreate floor is a bad idea. Besides all the dangers inherent in operating a chain saw, if the moving chain came in contact with the concrete it would ruin the chain, make a gash in the pristene surface of the concrete floor, and send concrete chips flying. A nasty business all around.

Kathryn wanted a real Christmas tree. Years ago we used to have real Christmas trees, but it seemed like every Christmas several people in our family would get sick with colds. Anne suspected that it might be due to the Christmas tree, and being that some of my children and I suffer from hay fever, we thought it might be allergies that were making us miserable, so we decided to try an artifical tree for a while. I think we spent about $200 for the tree, but it may have been ten years ago, and with inflation, and my fuzzy memory, it may have only been about $100.

Anyway, a year or two ago, Kathryn got the idea that we should have a real tree, and she managed to persuade the rest of us to go along with her plan. Last year we went to a tree farm and cut our own. This year we drove to a lot about two miles away and picked up an enormous tree for $15.

When we got home we set about trying to put the stand on the base of the tree. Right off we could see that it would not fit. The stand is plastic, with an intergral bucket in the center, about eight inches in diameter and eight inches tall. I trimmed some branches around the base and that made the base of the tree just small enough to fit in the stand. Except for the screws that protruded inside the bucket. So I cut four grooves in the sides of the base of the tree for the screws. Try and slide the stand on and I can see that it might just work, and then I notice that the bucket is tapered. The base of the tree will just barely fit in the top of the bucket, but it is not going to slide in all the way to the bottom.

I look at the tree and see that about eight inches up from the base of the tree, the diameter falls about an inch. More chain saw work, cut eight inches off the end of the tree, trim more branches off, and lastly, taper the end so we won't have any trouble getting it all the way into the base. Set it up, fill it with water and let it soak overnight. Sunday the boys helped me carry it into the house.

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