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Mike, how is your setup going? Have you gone live yet?

I've got the display on. I'm adding things every night. For me, in WBL, it's been a very challenging year for a display. I could whine a lot about high winds, heavy snow, etc. but a current example is a "giant fuzzy candy cane" (8' from Bronners Commercial) -- I have literally put it up 5 times this year. . . so far. First the ground was frozen so I drilled a hole; then the ground thawed and it fell; etc. etc. 5 times. And they're still working on replacing the windows so 10 windows have no lights around them and probably won't this year. But the display is on and most people won't notice what's not up yet; there are still a lot of lights. So let us know if you and Cathy will be out this way and we'll have you in to see the "back side" of the house (all on!).

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how do you guys thaw out your yard? i have three things i just made and wanted to put in the yard, but the yard is frozen, i went out with a teakettle of boiling hot water but it wasn't enough. i have one fence post and some rebar i need to put in the ground yet and was looking for some advice.

I used a cold chisel, pound it through the frozen ground, once in the ground move around in a circle as big as you need the hole. I bought a medium sized one which makes about a 3/4" hole if pounded straight in & taken straight out.

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I've got the display on. I'm adding things every night. For me, in WBL, it's been a very challenging year for a display. I could whine a lot about high winds, heavy snow, etc. but a current example is a "giant fuzzy candy cane" (8' from Bronners Commercial) -- I have literally put it up 5 times this year. . . so far. First the ground was frozen so I drilled a hole; then the ground thawed and it fell; etc. etc. 5 times. And they're still working on replacing the windows so 10 windows have no lights around them and probably won't this year. But the display is on and most people won't notice what's not up yet; there are still a lot of lights. So let us know if you and Cathy will be out this way and we'll have you in to see the "back side" of the house (all on!).

Wow, what's the hold-up on the windows? The place we looked at (that ended up being too expensive for what it was) claimed they'd be in and out in a day or two.

Sorry your display has been so frustrating. I'm a little unhappy with mine as well this year - it's just a bit sloppier than I like, what with the heavy snow damaging things, and then it being so cold that I don't feel like being out there any more than absolutely necessary. I've got tree lights that should be rearranged, sections of icicle lights out that the only way I could fix is with an extension ladder (I normally work on them from the roof), etc. And now more snow, which means cleaning everything off is a priority for tomorrow when I could be fixing the above. But I'm calling it "good enough" until I have more time and better temps...

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I have a lot of lights on the house that I haven't been able to physically get to. The weather just didn't cooperate with my schedule. Between the snow and ice, it's been a pure hassle. They're there but I can't get to them to plug them in. I've chopped and cleared the ice and snow out of the way several times, dang it's cold out there. My wife is saying "can't you just plug them in and leave them on?". Hmmm, well if I could just plug them in, I could just plug then into a controller. I got lucky with previous years, all of this crap didn't start so early.

It's getting to late and I think we're going to call a defeat this year and start planning for the next one. Better planning and starting at the beginning of October is a must, I just can't rely on the weather.

I believe there will be a completely new, from the ground up, version of Vixen for next year. I think this is the year to be adding LED's for me also. I have some idea's for more efficient controllers that I've been wanting to design, now that LED's have come down to where I can buy more than a few strings. I had an intense discussion with Craig Marshal at the Chicago mini so there may be a flood design.

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...<snip>... I had an intense discussion with Craig Marshal at the Chicago mini so there may be a flood design.

I saw the two of you chatting. I had a feeling that some interesting designs could be coming to the lighting community as a result of it.

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Wow, what's the hold-up on the windows? The place we looked at (that ended up being too expensive for what it was) claimed they'd be in and out in a day or two.

Sorry your display has been so frustrating. I'm a little unhappy with mine as well this year - it's just a bit sloppier than I like, what with the heavy snow damaging things, and then it being so cold that I don't feel like being out there any more than absolutely necessary. I've got tree lights that should be rearranged, sections of icicle lights out that the only way I could fix is with an extension ladder (I normally work on them from the roof), etc. And now more snow, which means cleaning everything off is a priority for tomorrow when I could be fixing the above. But I'm calling it "good enough" until I have more time and better temps...

We had a lot of smaller projects done in conjuction with the windows but we also have had some issues with the windows, like starting over.

One advantage of a mostly static display is that folks really don't notice if something is out or never made it to "on". I'm afraid of heights but I talked to my 2nd story guy and we have a "one more try" plan . . . Tuesday I raked the roof under the undecorated 2nd story windows; tonight, from inside the house, I salted that roof; and tomorrow, if the freezing rain holds off, we put lights around the windows. If not, oh well. I also have 4 windows on the front porch that are easily accessible that are new but I am going to try a different (for me) technique for lighting those. In the last PC magazine I saw an ad for Frame Your Holidays and I've had a LOT of correspondence with them. We're now dealing with a "mis-directed" shipment. If it's not one thing, it's another. I've got to quit putzing with the lights and buy some gifts! Ho, Ho, Ho!

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I was hanging on a ladder at 11:00PM last night to fix things. Today we have blizzard here and it's heading your way.

Yep. I'm blowing off a rehearsal as I write this. Virtually everything in the Twin Cities has been canceled, yet they stubbornly refuse to move the rehearsal. I'm not going to risk safety and the expense of getting towed for it - I don't even get paid for the gig. I've seen very little traffic near our house, and one car got stuck right by our corner and had a devil of a time getting going again (it involved a lot of pushing).

Unless the streets are cleared by then I won't be running tonight. I don't need people getting stuck or getting in a wreck right outside the house and then blaming our lights. Currently it's still coming down at a very good clip too.

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Well...with this new wave of weather, I am betting many of you guys have done about all you're gonna do this year, huh??

I've given up even trying to fix stuff the goes out. :/ I've lost parts on a few strings in the new mega tree, and with it being on a small hill, I don't even want to think about trying to get the ladder setup in the snow...

The priority right now is to keep the snow plow bank down so people can see over it :)

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Do you guys go out after the snow and trample down the snow? I'm looking outside, and my walkway lights are completely buried. My candy canes are sticking out about 8 inches. Luckily my blow molds are under my window awnings next to the house.

No, I try to stay out of the display once it snows...

I think it looks better without footprints in it. It also works for security - People don't want to make new footprints, and it helps validate when the cute fuzzy bunnies attack! :)

If I do anything, I'll attack the mound that the snow plow makes.

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What display?....I put two layers of 2X4 under my molds so they won't freeze in any more; and then at least 16" of snow drift over my display. I'll take pictures in the morning, but my Chilli willies only have the white ball on top sticking out of the snow, my ginger bread men and lolly pops need a St Bernard rescue dog. They are missing. The Choir is set they were 3 ft above the ground on risers. My C9s on the top of the roof are gone under a wall of snow....Holy Cow; I'm going to need a portable snow brush or something to dig this out. May have to put the ginger bread men on pickle buckets to be seen. No Lights Tonight!

I can't wait till tomorrow to shoot some shots....Wow!

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No lights for me tonight. For my overly cynical take on the situation, check out this album and read the captions on each picture (you don't need to be a FB member or my FB friend to view, but you do to add comments):

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2097142&id=1450070609&l=6a524328f3

I'm about half upset and half apathetic toward the situation. In any case, my display is going to <inhale air quickly> for the rest of the season.

Edited by tfischer
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My display is shut down now for the year. Between the snow and the drifts, well pretty much my blowmolds are gone...Buried as well are 1/2 of my wireframes. My school house is totally buried, I have 36 and 39 inch snowmen totally buried or a hat or head barely sticking out. My drummer bears and kneeling santa are totally buried, but you can see the heads of my 2 Poloron Choir Peeps. No way of digging it all out, so I just pulled the power for the year. Oh well.. Minnesota weather.

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In St Paul, I don't have anyplace to put the snow that I would try to move to show the display. I figured I would run the show as long as you can see it from the street, but looking at all the snow in the street that needs to be plowed yet, I am not sure how long that will be. My street has a car wide path down the middle & then over 2' of snow to the curbs, the plow has to push it someplace & I am guessing the blvd is where it will wind up and I can only imagine how high those plow ridges will be. Got to love Minnesota winters.

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No lights for me tonight. For my overly cynical take on the situation, check out this album and read the captions on each picture (you don't need to be a FB member or my FB friend to view, but you do to add comments):

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=2097142&id=1450070609&l=6a524328f3

I'm about half upset and half apathetic toward the situation. In any case, my display is going to <inhale air quickly> for the rest of the season.

Thanks for sharing the pictures. Misery loves company. In the second photo, I thought Chester was going to take off like a kite!

I also think you need a bigger snowthrower. I'll take your old one.

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My display is shut down now for the year. Between the snow and the drifts, well pretty much my blowmolds are gone...Buried as well are 1/2 of my wireframes. My school house is totally buried, I have 36 and 39 inch snowmen totally buried or a hat or head barely sticking out. My drummer bears and kneeling santa are totally buried, but you can see the heads of my 2 Poloron Choir Peeps. No way of digging it all out, so I just pulled the power for the year. Oh well.. Minnesota weather.

Sorry about your display. As far as I can tell my display is still mostly visible although it has taken on a very different look. No lights visible on shrubs of course and my r/w plastic candy canes look like Tim's. Last night at least all of the crab and maple trees still worked. If they quit, I won't be able to get to them to fix them. As to "Minnesota weather" . . . kind of sad that there is now a semi-permanent thread called Weekend Weather. . . and it seems to be getting a workout this year! ;)

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Chuck sorry to hear about your display being shut down...We were sure looking forward to driving by again this year. I'm thinking pickle buckets? if I can get them on Pickle buckets!?! lol I did turn on tonite though no lights on the big tree this year! Was going to do that Saturday, Until storm appeared. Twinkle lights are great under 3 ft of snow...Just need mirrors to show them! lol

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