Christmas Nativity 2023

Everybody piled into the Ark to make the journey to visit the new baby.

Stuffed animals in a woven basket making their way to see the Baby Jesus.

Meanwhile, Cmd Data was organizing the away team of Wise Men from the East. He’ll make sure the Wise Men get to where they need to go.

A Data Star Trek ornament leading an away team of ceramic wise men figurines.

Shepherds from the countryside have arrived with their sheep and cows to marvel at the new baby.

Christmas nativity scene with ceramic figurines.

The Ark has arrived, and it didn’t take long for everybody to disembark.

A new visitor this year is Smok the Dragon, from Krakow Poland.

A small figurine of the Wawel Dragon stopping by to see the new baby.

Update 2024-01-06: The wise men from the east made it thanks to Data’s skillfull navigation.

Bulbs in unexpected places

A few weeks ago, the stove top light bulb in our microwave burned out. A trip to the local big box hardware store yielded a bulb that looked like it would work, but turned out to be too long to fit.

Connie was putting some stuff into a drawer of her mom’s sewing machine table, and I noticed there was a light bulb in the drawer. It was still in the original packaging and unopened. I stared at it a bit, and she knew exactly what I was thinking. Looked about the same size as the microwave bulb. Got the old light bulb to compare, and they were pretty much the same size.

Put the bulb into the microwave and it worked perfectly!

Talk about a serendipitous find. Never know where you’ll end up finding something you need.

Connie says, “Thanks, Mom!”

SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 launch

Most of the SpaceX Falcon launches we see from the house are Dragon CRS missions headed toward the ISS, so I wasn’t expecting to be able to see today’s Falcon Heavy USSF-67 launch since it was supposed to be headed to a geosynchronous orbit.

We stepped outside to have a look anyway just in case and much to my surprise, we saw the exhaust trail pretty clearly a little bit lower toward the horizon. This photo was a couple minutes after the launch and just after the side boosters separated.

Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch
Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch

Here the side boosters have begun turning back toward their landing pads while the center booster continues on.

Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail from the side boosters turning back is visible on the right
Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail from the side boosters turning back is visible on the right

The two side boosters are visible as two specks of light. After this, we could see them flash every now and then as their steering jets fired.

Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail and the two side boosters turning back is visible on the right
Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail and the two side boosters turning back is visible on the right
Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail and the two side boosters turning back is visible on the right
Exhaust trail from the SpaceX Falcon Heavy USSF-67 mission launch. Exhaust trail and the two side boosters turning back is visible on the right

This was the first time we’d seen a Falcon Heavy and the two side boosters from the house. It was pretty cool.

Christmas Nativity 2022

Christmas eve, and Mary and Joseph are settling down in the stable.

Mary and Joseph have arrived at the stable. A few shepherds are hanging around tending to their animals.
Mary and Joseph have arrived at the stable. A few shepherds are hanging around tending to their animals.

The animals are on the way in the Ark. This year, they’re joined by two Christmas lobsters. If you didn’t know that lobsters were present at the birth of Jesus, then you should watch Love Actually.

Animals on the Ark making their way to the stable. Two Christmas lobsters have joined the party.
Animals on the Ark making their way to the stable. Two Christmas lobsters have joined the party.

Christmas morning! The shepherds have come to the stable with their flock to see the new baby.

Shepherds and some of their flock gathered to see the new baby
Shepherds and some of their flock gathered to see the new baby

The wise men from the East have gathered to marvel at the new star. As usual, Lt. Cmdr. Data has joined them as their guide.

Wise men have gathered to marvel at the new star. Lt Cmdr Data guides the way with his star charts.
Wise men have gathered to marvel at the new star. Lt Cmdr Data guides the way with his star charts.

All the animals have arrived at the stable to see the new baby!

The animals, joined by the Christmas lobsters this year, have left the Ark and arrived at the stable. Some of the tree ornaments hitched a ride as the Ark passed by.
The animals, joined by the Christmas lobsters this year, have left the Ark and arrived at the stable. Some of the tree ornaments hitched a ride as the Ark passed by.