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  • 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.

Rich in Las Vegas

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Everything posted by Rich in Las Vegas

  1. More interesting blow molds that show up on CL in the "extended area" listing. Too bad they are about a two hour drive away. They have been there for 21 days. The seller has a pair of 19" Empire elves and a penguin in front of an igloo. I could find a reference for the elves but not for the penguin. Asking prices for either is $45 The elves are missing the black snow shovels part of the original Empire display. BTW, the three local blow molds shown in my previous post have not sold yet. There are quite a few high priced blow molds in the extended list. The third picture is of a GF nativity set with an asking price of $500.
  2. You could try using the parts from an old C7 Christmas light set. Most of those sockets work just like vampire plugs. They have a base cap that holds the wire in place and a pair of copper prongs on the bulb side of the socket that bite into the cord. They are pretty difficult to get apart though. Then just space them as needed on a new cord. You can also just buy a new set of C7 sockets designed for SPT-2 cord. $8.50 plus shipping https://www.noveltylights.com/c7-spt-2-black-sockets-50-pack?gclid=cj0kcqiardlvbrcrarisaghb_swfv6f7gnoehwwlths-gog4kilqypkuyz5pfxxr1mm2_ysahaiccrcaaquwealw_wcb
  3. I stopped in my nearest Lowes last Friday and they were asking around $40 for the lighted candy cane that Home Depot had on sale for $25 on black Friday. Like all the others mentioned here it was in deplorable shape as were all the other blow molds still remaining. It's hard to understand since the candy canes sold by Home Depot seem identical yet were all in perfect shape and I managed to get the very last one available. On a more cheerful note I managed to pick up three blow molds this morning from the local Goodwill Outlet store. They were all originally Empire but these said General Foam on them. I got the deluxe sheep (painted and lighted), the deluxe donkey, and finally got a copy of Jesus. It's not the one that goes with the GFP Joseph and Mary that I bought last year but will do. The price for all three together was $5.50. They are all in flawless shape.
  4. Replacing a 12V DC converter shouldn't be a problem. You can buy a new one online from overseas vendors for less than $4 or US seller for about $7.50. That would be for a 12V 2A 24W output, plenty enough to power any blower motor. I just scavenge them from thrift stores where they rarely cost more than $2. I recently picked up a spare blower for $6 at a thrift store. It is 12W and connects directly to the wall outlet with no adapter.
  5. They show up on eBay too. Sold in lots of 25 for $55 postpaid. https://www.ebay.com/itm/C9-Transparent-Acrylic-Multicolor-FlexFilament-TM-LED-Bulbs/302855105814?hash=item4683922d16:g:m28AAOSwR7BbfivB It looks like the two sites you listed only sell to professionals. Note that the base on these is E17 so be sure that is what you have on any light strings you may wish to retrofit.
  6. It certainly is possible to run the cords internally and out the bottom of the candy cane. After reading the above post I went back to my candy cane and ran the cord out the bottom. There is a hole in the center of the base that will accommodate the cord. I had already converted mine to 12V DC LEDs and didn't like the way the cord looked hanging off the side of the candy cane. It's much cleaner with it inside. If you wish to use the original lamp holders you would have to be ready to cut the wires and splice them together again. I used fishing line with a strong neodymium magnet that would fit through the opening in the base to pull the wires through. I used a second cord with more magnets to attract the line to each opening in the side of the candy cane. It's not the easiest thing to handle the large blow mold. I probably spent 20 minutes on it.
  7. That has to be 40W equivalent for the LED bulb. I bought a 25W corn bulb with the idea of lighting my garage. It got replaced pretty quickly with a couple of bar lights instead. You couldn't look directly at the 25W bulb for very long without it becoming really uncomfortable.
  8. With series bulbs the bulb voltage is chosen so that if you multiply the voltage by the number of bulbs it will add up to line voltage or approximately 120V. 43 X 3 is 129. If you replace all of them with 2.5V bulbs it will give you 107.5. This means you will be running them at a higher voltage than they were designed for. It just means the life of the bulb will be much shorter. I would not replace all of the bulbs at once. If you replace just one bulb it will mean that all of the other bulbs will only get a slight increase in operating voltage. It's much easier to replace just the one bulb and expect it to have a shorter life.
  9. A couple of nice TPI blow molds showed up this morning on our local CL. They are probably more than I would spend on them though. Dates given are 1988 to 2003 and match the dates shown on blow-molded. TPI bear 30” $80 TPI Santa with reindeer 41” $70 TPI blue nutcracker 38” $50
  10. I converted mine to LED this morning. I also like the white looking white and not incandescent yellow. I used two 12V 48 LED 5W corn bulbs. It doesn't save much energy over the two 7W incandescent bulb but lights the cane more evenly. The cost was two bulbs at 58 cents each and two G4 lamp holders at 15 cents each.
  11. I went to the HD that listed 7 candy canes when I checked early this morning. They were down to 3 by 1:45pm when I checked again so I went to the store and managed to buy the last one. I replaced the two 7W incandescent lamps with two 5W 9 LED modules so that I can power them the same as I do all other blow molds. It certainly was worth the $29 (with tax) as I don't have any candy canes.
  12. If you go online and look up "candy cane" under Christmas Yard Decorations you can find out if your local store still has them in stock. I just looked at the HD store nearest to me (~3 mi away) and they have 7 in stock. There are 34 in four stores within 10 miles. Check online before you bother to go. The other one is the $40 Home Accents Holiday 42 in. Christmas Sign with LED Illumination. There are more than 50 available in the same 4 stores. I also looked up Michael's Stores after reading an Ad in today's newspaper. They have a nice looking soldier "41.3" Lighted Toy Soldier by Ashland" for $28 after the 50% off Black Friday sale and an extra 20% off coupon online but the reviews on the paint quality re horrible.
  13. A good guess from the way the women in the ad are dressed is early 1950s. There is another reference to Christmas decorations made by the company on Flicker https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/45187276794/in/photostream/ The date at the bottom of the page is cut off but the next page from the same magazine shows October 1956. Considering the wages in 1956, these were not something my family would have bought.
  14. I hadn't paid much attention to this but saw a pretty impressive display last night on the way home from Thanksgiving dinner at a friend's house. There is one that comes up on eBay for around $100 with shipping on a Black Friday sale. The videos that accompany it are eye catching. It's called the ProFX Projection Kit and it is sold by the Christmas Light Emporium in Dallas TX. Scroll down to see the videos https://thechristmaslightemporium.com/products/profx-holiday-projection-kit-with-projector-9-included-video-effects-and-projection-material
  15. Saw this on CL this morning. It is Jesus, Mary, Joseph, a sheep and a cow. I have the same Joseph and Mary with General Foam Products on the underside. I doubt many still have the original boxes. Asking price is $85 for the set. When I went looking for the missing Jesus I rarely saw any for under $30 for that part alone.
  16. I was going to put up my lights this week and put out the other decorations. It's not going to happen. We went 4 months with barely any measurable precipitation. Last week it rained for two days, about 3/4" total. Yesterday and today are cold and very windy. It is supposed to rain beginning on Wednesday and last through next Sunday. Bummer.
  17. The design for the chip-on board (COB) is a recent Chinese innovation. It uses multiple small LEDs mounted on their own heat sink, an aluminum plate backing. There are two advantages. That is size and heat dissipation. Heat is the enemy of LEDs. Overheat them and they die or have a very short life. The built in heat sink allows the manufacturer to run them brighter than individual LEDs mounted on a circuit board as the corn bulbs do. If you have replaced incandescent can lights in your home recently you probably have COB LEDs in them. I have a 15W can light in the ceiling over my sink. The COB is about 3/4" in diameter. You could never get 15W out of that small a space using regular LEDs. You can't pack them that tightly and the heat would mean a short lifetime, not the 10,000 or more advertised for most LED devices.
  18. If this power supply plugs directly into the wall outlet you can add a switch tap. You plug the tap into the outlet and then plug the converter into the switch. There are two types, grounded and non grounded polarized. You can see what they look like here: polarized but no ground switch https://www.lowes.com/pd/Project-Source-15-Amp-2-Wire-Single-to-Single-White-Adapter/3805035 3-wire grounded switch https://www.homedepot.com/p/Leviton-15-Amp-125-Volt-Grounded-Switch-Tap-White-R52-01470-0HW/206520425 Seems expensive for what you get. If you have one of those power bars like they use for a computer with all of the plug-ins, use that. I have three power bars with 6 outlets each that control all of my lights so al I need to do is turn off three switches when I turn out the lights. One of the benefits of using low power LEDs is you don't need heavy power cords as in the past.
  19. Meteor shower lights like all LED lights run on DC current. You should have received an AC converter (LED driver) with each set of lights. Some tubes run on 5V and others on 12V. I have both kinds. The 5V sets allow me to connect three sets of lights together using just one 5V driver. There is a connector at the far end that takes the place of the next driver. The other set of lights, 12V 7W, does not work the same. It doesn't allow stringing lights end to end. Since it runs on 12V I could connect a larger converter to multiple sets of lights but they would still not be end to end connected. I would run a line to the beginning of each set. I have a set of meteor showers under the eves on my second floor. I didn't want to have the driver hanging out in the weather so I spliced in additional wire allowing the driver to be placed under the eves and out of the rain. Each tube appears to be independent of all the rest. Each has a controller built into the top of the tube that makes the lights flash in sequence.
  20. This is how the neighbor two houses away does his. It is a wire cable that runs between the roof and a nearby light pole.
  21. If you have net lights with a built in controller test to see if it retains the last mode you set if for. Plug it in, set if for twinkle, unplug it and then plug it in again. If it twinkles without you doing anything to the controller, you are good to go. Just set all the controllers to twinkle before you put up the lights. If you wanted something like all of the blue lights in all nets flash and then all of the red lights flash, you are probably out of luck. There is a device called an amplifier that allows you to connect strings of lights to a single controller but those are for light strips like RGB strips or the IC6803 smart lights. None of the sets I have from the past have multiple settings. They are just dumb lights. I just bought one set of net lights with 8 choices including twinkle after reading about them here. It retains the last setting when the lights are disconnected. There was a discussion on larger sets of net lights and whether or not those advertised as "mesh fairy lights" would work where it snows. I bought a set with 96 LEDs measuring 4.9 feet square. It was not what I expected having bought fairy lights in the past. Those have tiny lights and the light string looks like bare wire with a thin coating. What I got was light strings with 96 3mm LEDs and the wire has insulation is about 1/16" thick. It is about 1/3 of what conventional strings have for wiring. That's not surprising as the power consumption is just a couple of watts total. I have no problem using it as a tree trunk wrap but know that the controller must be kept dry inside. It is labeled IP44 which means the controller is "protected against splashing water". It doesn't rain often where I live so putting it in a zip lock bag or sealable container should suffice.
  22. I did find one G4 RGB color changing disc similar to the regular LED lamp shown below. It uses 12V DC. I can't find it again but that isn't much of a problem because it is in Great Britain and they want $20 for one lamp and $22 to ship it. Nobody in their right mind is going to spend that much on one lamp.
  23. If you are asking about the E12 500 lumen COB bulb from China, they are completely sealed in a silicone envelope. You can't get much more waterproof than that. I just received a shipment of ten 12V, 3W, 220 lumen, G4, cool white corn bulbs today for use in driveway markers. They cost a bit over 50 cents each now that eBay is adding tax. Shipping time was 18 days. It's getting close to be sure you get stuff from China far enough in advance for Christmas. I made 6 orders toward the end of October and only one has taken longer than 19 days.
  24. Your wish is the Chinese suppliers command but not in a corn bulb style. Here is a chip-on-board 110V, 500 lumen, white, E12 LED bulb. The killer is if you only want one for $1.56, the $2 shipping charge gets in the way but the shipping charge is the same if you order 10 at $14.77. That's about the same as you would pay a domestic seller for the corn bulbs. Delivery time is fairly quick compared to the ones with free shipping. https://www.ebay.com/itm/Dimmable-COB-LED-GY6-35-G4-G8-G9-E10-E11-E12-E14-E17-BA15d-Lamp-bulb-Warm-White/172943361657?hash=item28443a4679:m:mUpk51-tpcrk6MJWLyjBdMg
  25. 30 lumens is not very much light. These bulbs are very efficient at 0.6W. You don't need much light from a night light so they are good for that purpose. Those are chip-on-board lights. It's the first time I have seen them outside of the COB bulbs that come from China. The clear globe incandescent lights that originally came with some of my blow molds are rated 250 lumens. That's a good target for the amount of light you want for a larger blow mold but a bit more is even better. That's why I have been suggesting possibly using 80 SMD 3014 LED corn bulbs even though they are only available in warm white. I'm surprised to see that Menards sells all of the bulb designs I use for my LED conversions but they don't sell them in the correct watt/lumen ratings. The SKU for the night lights is Menards® SKU: 3538837 You can see the designs at Menard's specialty lamp listings corn bulb Sku # 3538820 round plate bulb Sku # 3539600 chip-on-board LED light SKU: 3538823
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