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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.

tsmith35

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About tsmith35

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    Nashville, Tennessee, USA
  1. It is sad seeing the quality of Christmas lights (or lack thereof) in stores these days. Last year I bought a dozen sets of garland lights, several sets of net lights and a white deer (the kids love them) to add to or replace other lights that I've had running for 5+ years. This year, within 2 weeks of setting the lights up, 2/3 of the garland light circuits went out, the deer head went dark, and ALL of the new net lights have failed. They lasted 1 season. Pitiful. The "spark of life" tool didn't help at all with the new lights. I had 1 circuit fail on the old net lights, and the tool fixed that up in 1 click. Since the old and new lights were mixed in, I am in the process of pulling all of them down. Trash can. Next year I'll try LEDs. I'm leaving my Light Flurries going though. It's worked without fail through wind, rain, snow and ice. Go figure.
  2. This is actually kind of funny... look at the Christmas Lights Planner page here: http://www.summitsoftcorp.com/products/CLP/keyfeatures.asp The text on the page says, "Easy to Use - All you need is a picture and Holiday Lights Designer does the rest." Huh? Dunno if that clears up the confusion or makes it worse. Found it with Google... Tom
  3. Kelli, I'm in Nashville but have been working 7 days/wk so I haven't had a chance to visit Opryland Hotel this year. There's some information on the show here: ICE!™ presented by Coca-Cola® The description says: November 16, 2006- January 2, 2007 Chill out with ICE!™ presented by Coca-Cola® this holiday season. Experience our newly redesigned winter wonderland full of interactive and exciting features, such as a candy house, igloo, and train that you can actually walk through! Take a slippery ride down our gigantic ice slides and marvel at our glistening Nativity scene. So bundle up...1.5 million pounds of ice can get pretty cold! The kids have been wanting to go... maybe I can get a day off if we get our new line running before the show ends. FWIW, 1.5 million pounds of ice is about 26000 cubic feet (roughly the size of a cube 30 ft wide, tall, deep) -- it would take about35 semi-trucks to haul that much ice. Tom
  4. http://www.webshots.com/g/60/125-sh/47379.html Quite a lot of lights... must have a steep electric bill, especially with all so many incandescents in the blowmolds, inflatables, and everywhere. Tom
  5. Perhaps the city of San Antonio can help. According totheir site: [align=left]Why do I need to restrain my pet on my property? [/align] City Code (Section 5-1) requires that all pets, including cats, be confined to their owner’s property. Pets are not allowed to run free of restraint. The city requires that all pets be on a leash and properly restrained when off your personal property. Proper confinement and restraint helps keep the pet, drivers, children and other pedestrians safe. Proper confinement and restraint helps prevent overpopulation by insuring your pet is not breeding with another. I'd say a quick call to the police the next time you see him would help set things straight. In addition, his actions may constitute both trespassing and vandalism. I'm sure the police will know for sure. I recommendthat you and your neighbors reportthe vandalism right now. When this guy is questioned over his "innocent" frisbee throwing at some point in the future, the officers will be told of the prior complaints over the radioand may put an end to the problem. Tom
  6. Foundsomething on the web: http://www.askmehelpdesk.com/electrical-lighting/loud-buzz-cb-panel-when-c-turns-27040.html Most buzz-related items seemed to be related to bad breakers which apparently transmit the sound out through connected wires as well. YMMV. Tom
  7. I've seen snow effectively enhanced with strobe lighting, but I don't know any details about the setup. Tom
  8. Ace Hardware has SPT-2 for $34.28 per 250 ft: http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/woods-lamp-cord-162-spt2-p-18440.html and they have SPT-1 for $24.65 per 250 ft: http://www.acehardwaresuperstore.com/woods-lamp-cord-spt1-woods-lamp-cord-spt1-woods-lamp-cord-spt1-p-21590.html Griswold, the 18/2 is most likely SPT-1. 16/2 is usually SPT-2. Not always. YMMV. Tom
  9. LOL now I know why Carson didn't want the wizards.lms file getting passed around. Looks good,but I'm sure it looks better live! Thanks for posting the video. I do still wish Carson had gotten a chance to post a high-res version of his original video, though. He said he was going to tape a better video of the show, but last I heard, he was waiting for some ice to melt so he could fix a string of icicles, and nothing after that. Maybe someday... Tom
  10. Wes, using some quick estimation, it looks like you'll have the following sag distances: 1/8" cable, standard 100 count mini strings: 37" at 100 lbs load 19" at 200 lbs load 12" at 300 lbs load 7" at 500 lbs load 4" at 1000 lbs load 3/16" cable, standard 100 count mini strings: 56" at 100 lbs load 28" at 200 lbs load 19" at 300 lbs load 11" at 500 lbs load 6" at 1000 lbs load Estimated numbers used: 1/8" cable, 3.6 lbs per 100 ft (0.036 lbs/ft) 3/16" cable, 7.5 lbs per 100 ft (0.075 lbs/ft) Mini lights, 4 lbs per 100 ft (strung uniformly along length) (0.040 lbs/ft) These are very rough numbers anddon't take into account wind, birds, rain/snow/ice, trucks, etc -- any of which can result in anything from damaged houses to injured people. If it becomes windy, you may end up withtrouble.It's one thing to run a cable from house to house -- quite another to run across a public roadway. If you hang something heavy (or light, for that matter) in the middle of the span, your loads and/or sag will increase tremendously, as will hazards from weather. The sag is exponentially proportional to the span, so doubling the span will quadruple the sag and vice-versa. Just be sure to research this carefully and get the necessary permits/approvals. Tom PS there's an online calculator for this at SpaceAge Control.
  11. There should be a light box somewhere on the tree. I would guess there's either a rate control on or some other means to affect the color/shimmer rate. Tom
  12. dfern, I take it you haven't seen Deck the Halls yet? Seriously, gradualincreases or small changesin Christmas lighting will often be copied if a person is interested. A huge change (such as thousands and thousands of additional lights, a well-constructed megatree, 128 channels of LOR controlled lighting, etc) will dissuade most copiers. For the current year, anyway. But remember that more than one suburban battle has been fought over holiday decorating. It's been going on for years, and I don't see it going away as the world gets more crowded. Just choose your battles wisely. And remember the reason for the season: WWJD? Instead of getting angry or upset over the situation, consider joining forces. Talk to your neighbor about their lights. Make plans to utilize similar decorations and/or themes. Investigate ways to tie the displays together aesthetically so folks going by get more bang for the buck. It could be fun. Tom PS The Deck the Hallssite has a link entitled "Google Map- Deck Neighborhoods". If you follow the link, it takes you toa map (of course). The page says, "Find seriously decked neighborhoods in your area. If your house is decked, show it off by sending us your address and we'll add you to the map!"
  13. Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)is one of my favorites. I love the bells and the overall fusion of Christmas music and rock in that song. "Wizards in Winter" isvery enjoyable for me, but just becauseI like thetune. Tom
  14. "I've been Krogering" My wife had to drag me away from the inflatable snow globe tonight. Mesmerizing. I never thought to look at the lights, though... Tom
  15. I was at Party City tonight and walked past a tornado globe with only a cursory glance, having seen so many this year. My son called me back, though, to point out that none of the bats were sticking to the sides or building up in bunches like they normally do. I looked a bit closer and saw several small (3" x 3") squares of white cloth blowing around. Upon closer inspection, I could tell that they were dryer sheets (Bounce or similar). Very interesting. The store was nice and dry, but the sheets seemed to be doing their job killing static. Anyway, thought I'd pass that along. I plan to test some sheets out on my tornado globe to see how well it works. Won't help with condensation, but that's another topic itself. Tom
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