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Did you know?
  • The original Rudolph did not have a red nose. In that day and age, red noses were seen as an indicator of chronic alcoholism and Montgomery Ward didn’t want him to look like a drunkard. To complete the original picture, he was almost named Reginald or Rollo.
  • The Christmas wreath was originally hung as a symbol of Jesus. The holly represents his crown of thorns and the red berries the blood he shed.
  • The three traditional colors of most Christmas decorations are red, green and gold. Red symbolizes the blood of Christ, green symbolized life and rebirth, and gold represents light, royalty and wealth.
  • Tinsel was invented in 1610 in Germany and was once made of real silver.
  • The oldest artificial Christmas trees date back to the late 1800s and were made of green raffia (think grass hula skirts) or dyed goose feathers. Next the Addis Brush Company used their machinery that wove toilet brushes to create pine-like branches for artificial Christmas trees that were less flammable and could hold heavier decorations.
  • ‘Jingle Bells’ – the popular Christmas song was composed by James Pierpont in Massachusetts, America. It was, however, written for thanksgiving and not Christmas.
  • Coca-Cola was the first company that used Santa Claus during the winter season for promotion.
  • Hallmark introduced their first Christmas cards in 1915.
  • The first recorded date of Christmas being celebrated on December 25th was in 336, during the time of the Roman Emperor Constantine. A few years later, Pope Julius I officially declared that the birth of Jesus would be celebrated on that day.
  • Santa Claus's sleigh is led by eight reindeer: Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Dunder (variously spelled Donder and Donner), and Blixem (variously spelled Blixen and Blitzen), with Rudolph being a 20th-century inclusion.
  • Outdoor Christmas lights on homes evolved from decorating the traditional Christmas tree and house with candles during the Christmas season. Lighting the tree with small candles dates back to the 17th century and originated in Germany before spreading to Eastern Europe.
  • That big, jolly man in the red suit with a white beard didn’t always look that way. Prior to 1931, Santa was depicted as everything from a tall gaunt man to a spooky-looking elf. He has donned a bishop's robe and a Norse huntsman's animal skin. When Civil War cartoonist Thomas Nast drew Santa Claus for Harper's Weekly in 1862, Santa was a small elflike figure who supported the Union. Nast continued to draw Santa for 30 years, changing the color of his coat from tan to the red he’s known for today.
  • Christmas 2018 countdown has already begun. Will you be ready???
  • Why do we love Christmas? It's all about the traditions. In this chaotic world we can miss the "good old days." Christmas reminds us of that time.

piloto3524

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About piloto3524

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  • Location
    San Diego
  • Biography
    married, retired
  • Interests
    flying
  • Occupation
    retired
  • About my display
    Still an idea. Switching over to LEDs and choreography

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  1. If you can find a more inline motor please let me know. The microwave oven motors are the size and shape of 3 clay poker chips stacked. Marrying that to the SM is problematic to say the least. Thanks in advance.
  2. UPDATE - I fiddled around with packaging all that goes into what makes it sparkle. I used a used a microwave oven motor that I had laying around. It's 3 rpm, 120 volt. I used a 4" white PVC drain union and cap for the main housing body. A hole was drilled through the union so the fixed mount nut could protrude through. I used a garden hose washer inside and out and a metal washer to fasten the laser to the union. The microwave oven motor made the whole unit bigger than it should be. It also makes it difficult to zip tie the laser and motor together. If there is a motor that is more inline the whole thing would be more compact. I waterproofed the motor by using a light coat of caulk where it's two piece housing comes together. I used vampire plugs and SPT1 wire to connect the motor and laser. All the wiring fits inside the end cap. I taped it shut with a good quality plastic stucco tape because I may need to open it in the future. The screen was cut from a wire type pencil cup I found for forty six cents at a thrift store. It is extruded. Which means it is cut and stretched in a fashion that makes it end up with a diamond shaped pore. I don't have any metal or aluminum screen door screen, but I think it would work as well or better. An arts and crafts store may carry some kind of screen that will work. I don't have the individual costs for parts. The motor can be bought on Ebay for about $4, the pipe pieces cost about $3, some zip ties, screen, and vampire stuff; maybe, $10 total. I added some pictures of the completed housing unit to the above link on Photobucket. It's crude but effective. FYI
  3. Update. I decided to take the plunge and pick up a Sparkle Magic. The my thoughts thus far. It's cheaper with apparently the same effects. Bliss Lights (green) are not yet available at my local Home Depot, which seems to be the cheapest place to get them. All three colors are readily available from Sparkle Magic (SM) right now. I really like the idea of the moving or blinking lights effect owners claim they get when shown on trees with wind. Bliss has a light that does this but they list the price at $665.00 (the LS model). The Bliss Light housing seems to have enough metal on it to drill a hole through it and somehow secure it to prevent theft from a front yard. The SM poses more of a problem in trying to secure it. The SM comes with ground stake, goose neck, and a very heavy flat surface base plate with holes for mount screws. I live in a single family home in a "city" residential area with paved streets, sidewalks, curbs, and a streetlight directly across the from my house at a distance of approx. 50-60'. A portion of the front of my house sits further away street light from the other. My front yard is 13' feet from the sidewalk to the front of my double car attached garage; which is the closest portion of my home to the sidewalk. The front portion of the garage which is parallel to the sidewalk is 23' long by 10' high. Upon receiving the light I tried it out by placing it in a position that covered the front of the garage and the back of the garage (or that wall that runs perpendicular to the sidewalk and meets the front wall. I held just the above the inside edge of the sidewalk; 13' from the garage and it covered both walls. The streetlight failed to wash out the light. This light has a definite "wow" factor. I am currently trying to configure the light with a 3rpm 120v 60Hz electric motor which produces a constant twinkling effect. I have video and photo available at this link in Photobucket. I captured on the inside of my garage door with a pocket HD camera. The effect is much better than video. Of course the pattern of lights is adjustable on the SM, so variations are obtainable. http://s257.photobucket.com/user/piloto3524/library/Sparkle%20Magic?sort=3&page=1
  4. The Bliss Light website looks as though it is ran out of a garage. Limited links, but at least their product must be selling pretty good. I wanted to buy it at home depot because if I didn't like I could take it back without problems or shipping expenses. They are still out of stock online at HD, so I ordered the SM. I like the idea of the little dots of light blinking but not sure how to create that effect without a tree blowing in the wind. Any ideas?
  5. I am getting the impression from several reviews that the QVC model called "Firefly" is the earlier version of the "Spright". Those reviewers claim that their model (firefly) came with a timer and the newer ones don't. Online photos of the Firefly are different from photos of the Spright. Reviewers also claim that it takes several Sparkle Magics to cover the same area as one Bliss, but they are basing this claim on photos of lit objects that reveal several Sparkle Magics doing so; not a fair comparison. I PM'd hotrods in hopes he may clarify this confusion since he possesses both lights. Perhaps a distance and coverage test?
  6. I guess I am sold on the Bliss lights. They are $199 at Home Depot, but they are out of them. Darn.
  7. kansas49er, maybe Dave used lead based paint? Weird thread response...........
  8. http://www.stevespanglerscience.com/instant-snow-powder.html Put down landscape fabric first.
  9. I suppose if one is making just a single cord it wouldn't matter. But if you are making a 100' with multiple male and female plugs running off a single line it may make a difference. I always use the ribbed side/ wide prong as the ground, because lamps, mixers, and other commercially made electrical devices do this. The wide slot in an electrical outlet is normally attached to the white wire.
  10. Does anyone have any input on these laser lights? http://sparklemagic.com/
  11. Sounds like weather proofing would be an issue. Another thing is window height. The VS video is shot showing Santa's upper half body so a convincing amount of window sill height from the ground is necessary to convince and look natural.
  12. My wife came home from a thrift store the other day with a Mr. Christmas Serving Santa. Its a motorized blow mold Santa that one can drive around with a remote control. It didn't have the remote with it and I am looking for one or something that might substitute. Anyone got any ideas? Here is a photo of the Santa with remote I got off the web. Thanks in advance.
  13. The wife came home with a Mr. Christmas Serving Santa from a thrift shop today, and via the net,we learned it needs a remote. Does anyone have one the would like to sell? Is there one can be used as a substitute?? Here's picture I lifted from the web of the Santa and remote.
  14. Anyone got any plans for making about 4' high mini village buildings for a yard display. I was thinking that I could make them somewhat three dimensional by hinging them at their corners so they would be able stand up by themselves. Kind of like placing two playing cards against each other so they stand by themselves. I could use some webbing or heavy material glued or fastened on the inside of their joints to act as hinges. The adjoining or hinged edge would face the street so one could one see the two sides.....anyone?
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