I realized I forgot to mention whatever happend to our Christmas tree, besides the parts that our pet rabbit ate, even though things got a little silly. Yes, the easy thing to do would be to put it out for the normal garbage collection, but for some reason the City of Lansing decided that the final Christmas tree collection would be the week of January 5th, which for us would put the collection the morning of January 6th. At that point we were (a) still in South Carolina and (b) not even past the Feast of the Epiphany, which for crying out loud is when you're supposed to start taking the Christmas tree down. bunny_hugger complained to the city about this and other people did too, as their Facebook page supervisor admitted they would reconsider the schedule next year, but, still.
So it fell to me to find somewhere that was taking trees, and sure enough the county seat --- Mason --- had three parks taking trees every day through the end of January. I managed to squeeze both the upstairs and downstairs trees into my car, although I wasn't quite able to close the trunk, and I drove to the first of the parks they had listed where there was ... nobody, no building, no signs for tree disposal, nothing. I thought maybe I'd understood the announcement wrong and drove off to the next spot about a mile away where there was nobody and nothing, and a smaller park. But there was also a patch of tree needles in the snow. So I fell back on our era's great rallying cry of ``Seems Legit'', took the trees out and piled them in the middle of the existing field, and drove out, trusting that they probably won't be able to track me in case I did a very peculiar bit of littering.
The punch line is that later the City of Lansing admitted that Christmas tree collection was running behind schedule and people should just leave their trees by the trash bins as normal, so we probably could have just hauled it to the trash like we would have done if they had scheduled collection for the week of January 12th, like they should have.
Trivia: The first ``magnetically signalled'' time ball --- whose rise and drop would be coordinated from an observatory by telegraph --- was installed in Toronto in 1842. Source: Time Lord: Sir Sandford Fleming and the Creation of Standard Time, Clark Blaise.
Currently Reading: Arming America: The Origins Of A National Gun Culture, Michael A Bellesiles.