Category Archives: Christmas Lights

Northern-ish Lights

No aurora in sight, especially this far south, ESPECIALLY with all of these city lights (hey, if it gets to the point where I can see aurora here under these conditions it will probably be a “bad day” – google “Carrington Event”) – but I did put some Christmas lights up on the north side of the property. Does that count?

Along the driveway there are some of those “big bulbs” that are just a little white LED inside a 3″ colored, lightbulb-shaped, plastic shell. The bushes there aren’t much more than knee-high at best, but they look great in this shot from low to the ground. All of those little rose bushes are there in between – maybe I’ll get another set or two of lights in there before we’re done.

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Up On A Ladder Again

It was sunset (nice), ten days before Christmas (coming at us like a freight train), during one of the very, very, VERY few chunks of time per week that I have as discretionary or recreational time, so what am I doing?

Putting up MORE Christmas lights, of course!

Some of these aren’t exactly what I thought I was ordering, but they’re not too bad. I think they’ll grow on me.

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That’s A BIG Ornament!

I got home tonight just in time to put the biggest & brightest ornament up at the peak of the garage roof!

It looks gorgeous up there. The best part is that it doesn’t cost a cent to light up like that!

Perfect placement, right there at the peak!

Wait! Wait! It’s floating away!

It got away from me. Too bad, it looked perfect there.

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Friday Night Lights

Well, the pictures are from last Friday. We didn’t see the moon or any clear sky here for the last couple of days.

After a long day of putting up lights, while I was starting to put ladders and boxes and extension cords and tools away because it was getting dark, I spotted the crescent moon and bright Venus off in the west.

I like my Christmas lights, but it’s tough to compete with the light show in the sky some times.

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What’s Up With ATC Tonight?

As I’ve mentioned, we live pretty much right under the extended centerline for Burbank runway 8, which leads us to have 737’s and the like overhead at about 4,000′ all day long. Since I’m an airplane nut, this is not a problem.

It also means that I’m pretty used to which direction planes are coming from 99.99% of the time. So when I’m busy on the computer but I hear one coming from an odd direction, it makes my ears prick up.

When a second one follows, I pull out FlightAware to see what their flight paths are.

(Image from FlightAware)

That first plane (a United flight) came in from the northwest (not so unusual), then did a big 360° turn over Hidden Hills (pretty unusual) before he got lined up and had just exited stage right toward final approach. (For reference and scale, from our house at the blue dot, the 405 Freeway and Van Nuys airport there are about half way to Burbank.)

The second guy (a Southwest flight), currently over Tampa Avenue, came in a bit more normally from the north over Simi Valley, looped a little wide, but was now on final.

Then the third plane (Alaska Airlines Flight 1150) followed the second plane and made an even bigger 360° out over the Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu!

What’s up with Air Traffic Control (ATC) tonight?

Let’s step outside and look toward the southwest and Malibu, shall we?

Yep, there he is!

And, yep! There he goes!

A weather-related issue? Possibly. You can see a storm cell over Topanga State Park to our south. There’s a front moving in and some of the showers were supposed to get severe, but that wasn’t supposed to happen until tomorrow morning.

Spacing? ATC maintains minimum separation between aircraft and if there are a few coming in all at the same time, someone might get told to take the scenic route and linger for a few in order to not crowd anyone else.

Whatever. I got my own personal mini air show! The day got better!

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Fiat Lux 2019

The day after Thanksgiving is traditionally the first day of the Christmas lights going up. This year is the latest that Thanksgiving can ever be, November 28th, so there’s no time to delay.

After years of putting up massive numbers of lights at our old house, we moved about eighteen months ago into a much smaller place. So last year was a bit of a learning experience. This year, having one Christmas worth of experience, it went a bit better on day one.

While the lights often look like fine spider webs of colored or sparkling luminescence, there’s a blob over the garage door that defies that.

It’s more like a black widow spider web in form rather than one of those gorgeous, symmetric, orb weaver webs. Just a weird blob of lights in a glob or a clot.

Blob. Glob. Clot.

Might have to do something about that.

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Fiat Lux Two

More Christmas lights have gone up at the new house.

Most of the new stuff has gone up by the garage, and on that tall, tall bank of cedar trees that line the north side of the driveway. I was hoping that the “wall” made by the cedar trees would be easier to hand lights on, but those branches are much more flimsy and less structurally able to hold the light strings that I had hoped. And the last thing I want to do is start damaging the trees.

The lights first started going up after Thanksgiving and it’s obvious that I’ll never have as many lights here as I did at the old house. (Who knew in 2016 when I wrote that, thinking it was the last year at that house, that we had one more to go – but now we’re out.) There’s just not as much surface area to the house, and there are far, far fewer trees and bushes and foliage to drape lights on. But this isn’t bad for what I’ve got.

I also fixed the “bag of electricity and water” issues and put some really nice digital timers on to replace the clunky and only marginally useful analog “clock-style” timers I had.

So now the four sets of outside lights as well as the Christmas tree in the big front window all turn on and off within a minute of each other.

I like it!

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