Monday, December 16, 2013

Motorcycle Ornaments

Yesterday afternoon was spent setting up some of the Christmas decorations which included the tree. Yes, it is artificial and doesn't have the wonderful smell associated with a live tree but the reality is, live trees need to be trucked up in heated containers and cost a small fortune. I used to volunteer with the Boy Scouts at the Kiwanis tree sale and unless the trees were handled and transported very carefully, they died quickly. Live trees outdoors in interior Alaska are dormant during the winter and shortly after you bring them inside, they lose all their needles. Plus they are kind of scrawny. I picked up this sidecar ornament last summer at the Santa Claus House in North Pole. I think Dom had posted a picture of the same ornament in Colorado so there must not be a whole lot of choice. My son thought that they should've just used bottle caps for the wheels instead of steel stamped to look like bottle caps.

Of course there was a lot of help putting on ornaments though he seemed like he wanted to play with the hooks more than hang ornaments. Plus, many of the ornaments looked more like toys than decoration. He will be two years old in less than a week.

One of the other motorcycle ornaments is this touring bike with lots and lots of chrome. Doesn't look like anything in our garage though the color is close.  I believe that Bridget had picked this one up on the same trip to the Santa Claus House. Supposedly, there is a motorcycle riding Santa but I couldn't find it on the tree.

The last thing set up was Bridget's Lionel train set. She was always envious of the train set her brother received as a kid so her parents sent her one as a Christmas gift when she was ~40. Anyway, it gets set up around the tree every year and here she's showing the grandson how it works. I don't think that he understands centrifugal force and its relation to angular velocity. Maybe there's an iTunesU video on that topic. (BTW, this is an important topic to sidecar drivers as well) But he has figured out how to operate the whistle.

Too cold today (Monday) for riding in to work as I don't want to have the bike cold soak that long. Even with the 5W30 oil and pan heater, it's still an air cooled engine. In these temperatures some way to limit airflow to the cylinders may be needed. Even at -10°F, the transmission was getting pretty difficult to shift when first starting out in the afternoon.

18 comments:

Martha said...

Adorable boy!

I like the metal ornament. The issue with fresh cut trees is something I never thought of. Here, people tote them on car top in any windchill and I've never heard anyone say anything about potential tree damage. Gee, must be a reason for not saying anything... ;^)

Unknown said...

Richard:

Making memories and enjoying quality family time. That's what this season's for.

collecting special ornaments is what makes your tree special

bob
Riding the Wet Coast

RichardM said...

The metal ornament was pretty nice to find and I figured that if anyplace would have a sidecar ornament, it would be the Santa Claus House in North Pole. Only warm blooded animals which use skin moisture to regulate body temperature are subject to wind chill. Yes, other animals will loose heat faster but it is the evaporative cooling that yields the wind chill numbers. So for trees, it would be the actual air temperature. Only a real issue when it's really cold. It's still better to transport a live tree inside the car. But if you set it up right before Christmas, like many traditionally do, life expectancy may not matter.

Anonymous said...

Oh man, I need to get a motorcycle ornament! I never thought to do so!

RichardM said...

Quite a selection at Amazon!

RichardM said...

There is quite a collection of memory filled ornaments on the tree. Hanging elsewhere are a bunch of the annual Whitehouse ornaments that Bridget's brother had gifted her with over the years.

redlegsrides said...

Yep, got the same ornament. Like the train set, I am sure the boy will figure out all that centrifugal vs angular force mumbo-jumbo later on....don't sweat it. :)

RichardM said...

I just thought it was funny to hear someone explaining why he needs to go slower due to the corners...

Martha said...

I guess I knew that. One time I was worried about windchill and my car battery. Desiccation would be an issue with the trees, too, I suppose.

RichardM said...

I figured that you would be familiar with what windchill was all about but feel obligated to explain why it doesn't impact inanimate objects. Too many newscasters use the windchill number even when they talk about cars.

I suspect that it would dry out the needles. We always ran the tree through this gizmo to bind it up then it was wrapped in plastic before making the trip to the heated vehicle. No heated vehicle, no guarantee. When you pay several hundred for a live tree, you generally are wanting the guarantee.

Bluekat said...

What a little cutie!
The ornaments are cool too. We have collected ornaments through the years. I like each one to be special. I don't think I have any motorcycle (or bicycle) ornaments. I guess I need to start looking.

Trobairitz said...

Your grandson is adorable. Such big eyes.

It is nice you guys had a little help putting up the ornaments.

With those temperatures were you consuming lots of hot cocoa to keep warm? Your temps sure have changed around.

RichardM said...

Lots of motorcycle ornaments out there though very few with side cars. At least that I could find.

RichardM said...

Very serious expression. But, yes, we really needed the help. Hot cocoa? We start them young with coffee. ;-)

Last night it hit -38°F but it's warming up already.

redlegsrides said...

-38°F, woof....did you roll the rig outside and hook it up to power to see if the heating pad does the job? 0W30 might be a realistic option for you hardy types in Alaska, 5W30 will suffice for us wimpy types in Colorado.

RichardM said...

No, I may save that for a future test maybe during the Christmas break. I need to change the air compressor switch on the truck and would prefer to do that inside of the garage so the rig gets to sit outside for a while. Maybe I'll wait for some sub -40°F day.

Unknown said...

these ornaments are so awesome, wish my parents put them up on the tree when i was little lol
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RichardM said...

Thank you for stopping by and commenting! I think that just about all of the ornaments have some sort or history.