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Finished Nanoblock Kaminarimon LED Set

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A few days ago, I posted photos about my first Nanoblock build of the Kaminarimon gate from Japan and today, I'm happy to say that I finished the build.  I put the penny in there for scale.  The LED is piped from the base to the little lantern in the middle that is suspended from the roof structure.  The two little people are cute, aren't they?  Time to move on to the next set - the Shinkansen bullet train.

If I had a shelf in my home office that this could live on, I'd put it up there.  For now, it is just sitting on my desk.  Until it gets wrecked by one of the kids.

Medium-sized Buckthorn Removal - Fall 2019

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Last September, I posted a series of photos showing how I was taking down a Buckthorn tree in the far reaches of our backyard.  It was a small tree, but took some time between cutting and digging out the roots.  I mentioned that I had a few more Buckthorn trees around - and because they're an invasive tree - I wanted to get rid of them over time.  In fact, I included 'Buckthorn removal' in my 2019 To-Do List addendum and didn't get around to taking down any of the trees this Summer. 

That changed this past weekend, when I was out back and tried to take on this tree you see here.  This is a medium tree, but it is in a state of both alive and dead - at the same time.  I know that seems strange, but I'm pretty sure that the main tree is dead, but the suckers on this thing keep coming back, so there's life in there somewhere. 

I first started with sawing off a bunch of the limbs. 

Then I cut it in half - and let the top-half tumble down into the bed.  In the top p…

Final Lawn Lime Application - Fall 2019

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Yesterday, I posted about how I aerated my rear lawn using my neighbor's tractor as part of my fall lawn care duties.  I also threw down a final application of Lawn Lime for the year.  This is focused on trying to make the backyard as inhospitable as possible to the Wild Onion that we have in our backyard

First application of pelletized Lawn Lime was in late April.  4 40# bags.  160#s.
Put down the second application in early August.  4 40# bags.  160#s
Used Mag-i-Cal in September - one month later - for third treatment.  1 54# bag. 
And now this - in early November - my fourth application of lime.  4 40# bags.  160#s.

Four treatments this year.  160 + 160 + 54 + 160 = 534 lbs added to the soil.  That seems like a ton, right? 

With the aeration taking place, I'm thinking that this final fourth treatment will be the deepest in terms of intake into the soil.  I'm planning on doing another round of soil tests this coming Spring, so we'll see what happens with the pH and …

Rear Lawn Aeration - Fall 2019

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Last weekend, I was out cleaning up the yard when my neighbor to the south offered his lawn tractor and aerator for my yard.  I had not have had my lawn aerated since we moved in and it is something that I've been wanting to do.  The tractor fit through my back gate and with the help of my neighbor, we hooked up the aerator - which is a tow-behind variety.  With some help, we put the three big bricks on the back and then lowered down the rig to begin to plug some holes.

I had to be pretty careful because I didn't want to puncture the wires for my automower, so I stayed away from the perimeter and also tried to avoid the guidewire down the middle of the yard.

As for the system, it put in a uniform set of holes across the yard.  Check out the pattern below:


And here's a few of the plugs that it pulled and threw around:


I wasn't able to do the ENTIRE lawn, but I did most of it.  The hill/incline right near the patio, the very edge and the parts near the house were left u…

My First Nanoblock Build - LED Kaminarimon

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On one of my trips to Tokyo, I brought back a couple of sets of Nanoblocks for the kids including this one that is an "Optical Fiber LED+ Kaminarimon" that features 420 pieces.  Nanoblocks are like Legos, but much smaller.  Like...really tiny.  That tiny-ness is a key product attribute making the sets - when fully built - taking a much smaller footprint than a Lego set.  But, that tiny-ness also makes these decidedly NOT FOR KIDS.  Or at least...not for my kids.

This thing lingered on my desk for a couple of months because the kids couldn't make it work - their hands couldn't make the tiny parts work for them.  So, I decided to take over the project and get it started.

This set is Kaminarimon - which Wikipedia tells us - is a very special site in Tokyo.

On the scale of difficulty, this one measures 3 out of 5.

It has an LED base that is powered by a pair of AA batteries or by plugging in a USB cable and that lights up the base panel that you see below.


There are jus…

Lemax Mountain High Adventure Tours - Menards Christmas 2019

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This Mountain High Adventure Tours building from the Lemax Vail Village caught my eye at Menards.  It is one of the few Vail Village buildings that Menards is carrying and it is - according to Lemax's site - new for 2019.  Back in the hayday of Mantleburg, the Village had a few Vail Village buildings and I think that I'm drawn to them in some way.  I also like the seaside nature of Plymouth Corners.  But, besides having a SUPER TIGHT sign ordinance, the Village of Mantleburg forefathers weren't too terribly picky on the architecture style of structures in town.

This is the fifth Lemax Christmas building that I've posted about here this year.

First was the North Pole Tower - part of Santa's Wonderland.
Over the weekend was The Hop Stop craft brew building - part of Harvest Crossing.
The third one that I posted included photos of the Sugar Plum Bakery.
The fourth one was the fly-thru Reindeer wash building.
And now this one with the Hot Air Balloon.

In what I would cl…

Is This A Young Walnut Tree? Or A Weed Tree?

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No...not that kind of weed tree.  I'm talking about a weed tree that has grown up and isn't really much of a desirable tree.  Or, is it a Walnut tree?  You can see the trunk being very tall and thin.  The tree is twelve or so feet tall and has a set of leaves that look just like Walnut tree leaves.  We have quite a few large Walnut trees around the yard, so it isn't beyond reason that a Walnut would have rooted and grown into a tree, I would think?

The leaves of Walnut trees are "alternate compound" or "pinnate leaves" and so, too. are the leaves of this tree.
I know a little bit of the Black Locust tree - which is (I think) a "weed tree".  It has similar shaped leaves, but the tips are rounded where these are pointy.  It is "not recommended" by the Morton Arboretum.   I'm pretty confident that the tree in question - in the red circle - is NOT a black locust.  
But, is it a Black Walnut tree?  
Here's a closer look (below) …