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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.

Mike Bluford

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About Mike Bluford

  • Rank
    Distinguished Member
  • Birthday 02/27/1966

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  • Location
    Lenoir City, Tennessee, USA
  • Occupation
    Electronic Technician/Electrician
  1. We power POE devices (cameras) at 48V DC up to 1000 feet away sometimes (maybe more) I would think it could handle 12V LED lights no problem
  2. OK Thats the information I was looking for, Thanks!
  3. What I mean by this is I know there is things to be done, but with most running the displays from Thanksgiving through New Years do you ever let it run unattended? How do you go shopping, dinner get togethers with family or friends etc? Seems like if you turned it off for a night it would first disappoint some who come to see it and would secondly be a huge indication you weren't home. Do you go outside and just hang out every night, even when the show has been going for almost a month and traffic is light? I searched for this subject but couldn't find anything and was wondering what a normal night was like.
  4. Just read your blog and thats a good article! I started to get into this a few years back and for different reasons didn't, but I have been thinking more about it lately and enjoyed reading your thoughts. The only thing I could point out, and it really has nothing to do with the article itself, is I didn't see a link from part 1 to part 2 (I read part 2 first then clicked the link for part 1) and the picture is gone for the 16 channel controller. I appreciate you taking the time to write this and it confirmed in my mind that a smaller well done display is better than a large sloppy display. Thanks and looking forward to more! Merry Christmas!
  5. I know someone wants this!! http://www.ecrater.com/product.php?pid=442992
  6. jen grissett wrote: I bet I know which one you are talking about Jen! I have a real good friend who is a county commissioner and he says 75-80% of the calls he gets is about what people are doing in their yards, or to the house. I have heard horror stories about HOA's in this area (prob the one Jen was talking about). My subdivision has restricted lots (mines not one) but the restrictions are about farmyard animals in the front yard and such.
  7. Just got my bill today...0.07376 per kilowatt hour. Just in case you are wondering, thats $70.59 for 957 kilowatt hours. Year ago, same time bill, $71.85 (I don't know what I did, but I like it!) Hope it don't make you homesick Jen!! lol Now lets not get started on natural gas!!:shock:
  8. terrypowerz wrote: I think we were saying the same thing only different ways! I just know that you have to be very careful when going into a house just in case someone has done a "helping job" ahead of you.
  9. dschwab9 wrote: Actually there is things in the NEC covering that. It covers a wide range of outdoor temp lighting (such as Christmas displays) and grounding. All of my lights have always been on GFCIs and I've never had a problem, use quality wiring with good connections and moisture won't bother it. I use the "indoor" extension cords for my display along with some homemade cords, but make sure the connections are a good tight fit and I put one multi outlet strip (which feeds a wireframe snowman) in a large freezer bag.
  10. thyno z wrote: In firefox hit "END" then hit return...works for me!
  11. Since my earlier post, I have tempered my aversion to shared neutrals. I still wouldn't wire up a house that way. It is true, that if on opposite poles, the neutral will not be overloaded, the worse case is one hot unloaded (or open) and the other loaded to the maximum - then current flows back to the source only through the neutral. Remember we are talking about house wiring for Christmas lights, this could happen, but probably with not much problem. On the other hand, if I flip the breaker to work on a circuit, I want both the hot and neutral to be dead, not me if I disconnect the neutral. You can share a neutral with 2 loads if the loads are connected to different poles. When connected this way the neutral will carry the difference between the loads..not the sum of the loads. If you were to get the 2 breakers on the same pole however then the neutral would indeed carry the sum of both loads. Just measure the voltage between the 2 hot wires..if it's 240ish then you're on different poles...if it's zeroish then you're on the same pole and that's not good. Not suggesting Erin shares neutrals, just letting him know it's possible if done correctly. Shared neutrals are fairly common in commercial work because everything is labeled, there are prints and pretty much only electricians work on the electric. Houses however...yikes.
  12. That is why I answer some of the questions like I do on here. I hate to seem harsh or anything, but I guess I figure if you have to ask very many questions about wiring, call an electrician. We all have little questions every now and then, as all workers in all fields do, but electricity is dangerous, if you don't understand...don't touch.
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