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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.

Mr.Tim

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About Mr.Tim

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  • Birthday 07/10/1972

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  • Location
    Long Island, New York, USA
  1. I would delete, if there were an option to do so.
  2. Hi All, Ok, so I know there are a few of these floating around. For my own use I was looking for two things: 1. I bought my minis for my tree, I know the lighted length, what should be the height and diameter of the tree? I found calculators that will calculate height based on string length and diameter. I found calculators that would calculate diameter based on string length and height. My calculator requires that you only input the lighted length. It then calculates the height and diameter based on the accepted standard that the diameter is 1/2 the height. 2. I wanted to be able to play around with various tree sizes without having to write down numbers or load different pages. So I made 4 different calculators that operate independently and fit on my screen without having to scroll. For example, if I enter a lighted length of 12', it calculates a recommended height of 10.73' and a diameter of 5.37'. Well, maybe I really wanted a 12' tree, so I can go to the next calculator and enter 12' height and 12' lighted length to see what the diameter is (without losing the recommended values in the first calculator). It will also calculate circumference in each case, so maybe the circumference comes out to 21', but hey 20' is so much easier. Proceed to the next calculator and enter 20 in the circumference box. Again, your previousl numbers are retained in the other calculators. Anyway, it was useful for my own situation, and I hope it can help you too. It is an Excel spreadsheet. My brain hurts from figuring out the algebra for the recommended height and width 20091204 MegaTree Calculator.zip
  3. Very nice, love the trough. Did you install a new 200a service and connect the existing panelboard as a sub? Tim
  4. Out of space does not necessarily mean out of power. How much does your display draw? What size is your main breaker? The main breaker is usually at the top of you panel in the center, or it could be at the meter outside. Should say 100 or 200 most likely. Tim
  5. Well, that's the standard around here anyway. I do believe they come in 10' as well but are not common. Most lightning protection is engineered so who knows what the exact requirements are. My opinion is that installing the grounding to try and dissipate a lightning strike is probably not a good investment of time or money. Grounding the pole in the event there is a short in the lights, well that makes sense. I would use a 5/8x8 rod and whatever wire I had around. Bare or insulated, solid or stranded, doesn't make much of a difference. If you are using #6 or smaller it should be bare or green. Larger than #6 it can be any color but you should reidentify it with green tape. Then again we all bend the NEC a teeny tiny bit anyway, so just having any sort of grounding conductor is a plus Tim
  6. You are thinking lightning, but the other concern is a short in your Xmas lights. Any grounding would likely only help in the event of a short. If you have GFCI this is not as much of a concern. Typical ground rod is 5/8 8' copper clad rod. I don't know that any type of grounding the average DIYer would install would provide any type of protection for lightning. Grounding for lightning rods is typically (3) 5/8x8' rods in a triangle about 6' apart. They are joined with a braided copper wire, not sure what size it is, but it's big. Bigger than #2. In any event you would still have inductive current and EM to deal with. If you had a direct strike on your pole the EM would probably fry any controllers you had in the immediate area. I'm by no means an expert on the subject, but I believe I am correct. Tim
  7. Long Island here too.. Hamptons.. Shirley is only 30 mins away! I'll be checkin out your display this year! Tim
  8. 4" is extremely thick, this is not something you will usually find in stock. You should be able to find 2", which would mean gluing only two sheets together. You will probably need to special order 4" if you want it in one sheet. Tim
  9. My wife picked up 3 strands of HD 300 count clear minis for our indoor tree. She said they were $5/ea. The lights are absolute garbage. Night one: Take first string out of box, plug in, all works well. Put string on tree, plug in, one section (of 50 I think) is out. Test every bulb. Mumble to myself. Rip off of tree, throw across room, go to bed. Night two: Break out the multimeter and start checking every unlit socket of strand 1. Problem turns out to be in the first socket (that has 3 wires in it); the metal tab was seated too far down in the socket. Remove tab (no easy feat), reinstall, insert bulb. Strand one works now. Install on tree. Night three: Remove strand two from box, plug in, install. Everything ok. Night three continued: Remove strand three from box, plug in, everything works. Start unbundling strand 3, place some tension on strand to get the kinks out of the strand (nb. I am not talking Herculean strength here). Wire from plug pulls out of first socket! Nice! My 3yo daughter would love to play with that. Break out soldering iron. solder wires together, working again. Continue installing lights.. same thing! wire comes out of socket in the middle of the string (again, a socket with 3 wires). Still two wires in socket, each attached to metal tab. Determine correct tab, solder wire to tab. Also, some of the sections had little or no twist to them, other sections have a twist. When I say no twist, I MEAN no twist, nothing.. three wires just dangling. I now have a fire extinguisher by my bedroom door. My wife told me the first night we should just return them.. grumble. I topped the tree off with 100-ct GE minis from kmart, they are brighter and the quality was much better. Hope this helps some of you avoid this nightmare! Tim
  10. I picked up 8 boxes of red on Thanksgiving morning. Would have bought more, but unsure of quality. Set them up candy-cane style oposite my Home Depot white LEDs and they look great. They were still lit this morning, so they will last at LEAST one day (Also picked up 20 boxes of GE white minis on Sat at Kmart $3 door buster sale) Tim
  11. Looks like SER type cable to the sub-panel which wouldn't provide 2 hots+neutral+grounding conductor. Just make sure the grounding conductors are separated (electrically) from the neutral in the subpanel and ran back to the main panel on separate conductors. You may already have it that way, just don't want anybody getting hurt! Also, no more than 42 circuits in any panelboard. Looks like you are close on the main panel, can't really tell which breakers are twins. I'm all for DIY (I got an attitude from the building dept when I did my own electric), but an even bigger advocate of being safe! Tim
  12. Well if you divide your christmas lights evenly between the two legs of your service, that's only (only?) 40 amps per leg. What size is your service? You should be able to run this on a 60a service provided you don't try to run the dishwasher/dryer/electric oven. Do you know from experience that this won't work? Tim
  13. Thanks to the OP, I also picked up these lights. LIPA gives a $2 rebate, up to 10 packages per residential account. Home Depot had clear, multi-color, red and green. Tim
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