After spending the last 40 years living at sea level--during which time some psycho in Chicago laced several bottles of Extra-Strength Tylenol with potassium cyanide and killed several people, resulting in the tamper-proof packaging that we now all enjoy--I'm now living again at high altitude. I'm seeing disturbing things in my refrigerator and pantry shelves.

When I remove the outer lid from new containers of yogurt, sour cream, and cottage cheese, I notice that the inner seal bulges. Ted saw the same thing on a bottle of vitamins. When we break the inner seal, the container goes "pfffft." Bags of salad greens definitely bulge, although I still haven't seen any bulging cans.

Since we haven't become ill from eating food from these bulging containers, I can conclude only that the stuff is packaged way down the mountain--probably in California--where the air pressure is higher. It's not botulism. I'm not sure Mrs. Ridges would be convinced, though.

Artificial tree sheds needles12/14/09 - They say artificial Christmas trees don't die, don't drip sap, and don't shed needles. Yeah, well, they lie, except for the dripping sap part. My beautiful artificial white spruce is shedding needles in heartbreaking quantities. I'm afraid it's dying.

The debris is as meddlesome as that from a natural tree, with the added dimension of static cling. You can sweep it up, but you can't hide from it because it sticks to your socks and tags along everywhere you go.

Sagging Christmas treeThat pile in the picture above is the third such mess I swept up today just from the space around the tree. God knows how many pounds of the stuff have been tracked all over the rest of the house.

The tree doesn't look too bad, if you ignore those two sagging branches at the bottom, that slight lean to the right, and the fact that two strings of lights went south and left me short of enough lights to finish the top section.

I'm kinda stuck now. I don't want to buy more incandescent lights; I'd like to make the switch to warm white LEDs, but you can't get 'em with white wires around here. If I order them online, they'll likely get here too late for a timely tree trimming this year. Actually, I'm not sure you can even buy incandescent lights with white wires around here either.

I'll have to go to town tomorrow and see what I can find.