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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.

Stephen Blue

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Everything posted by Stephen Blue

  1. A little late to the game on my reply, but I do 16 channels per color on my 20' tree, with 2 side-by-side strings per channel (32 strands total)
  2. See, I'm the exact opposite, our concern is identical while opposite. I'm integrating pixels in 2019, and want to learn this new software and how to mesh my AC elements with pixels in the sequencer. Frankly, I've been on 2.9.4 forever and am just finding myself overwhelmed by s5, and was considering Florida to get the crash course. But if there's no guarantee S5 is going to be taught, why chance a week vacation + travel cost on it?
  3. "Attendees will vote prior to class whether to work with S4 or S5" - the entire point of me going would be to crash course on the latest software. Not going to roll the dice that I *might* be able to learn on the latest software....
  4. Bill Vaughan is on Great Christmas Light Fight on ABC tonight at 8pm! Good Luck @Bill V!
  5. So... update, a year later. After not loving the CDI yellow m6's I bought last year, I bought a case of HLE m6's - they're identical to the CDI ones in terms of brightness and color; again, solid build construction, but just not very bright as opposed to other m6 LED's. Below is a picture of two identical yellow trees, same size and quantity of lights. The one on the left is all HLE/CDI m6. It's pretty, but dim. It works OK in its dark backdrop. The one on the right is half LED, half Lowes incan. You can see the difference replacing just 300 of the 600 lights with incans makes in brightness, so in terms of lessening my power load, I can realize some savings by doing trees in 50/50 like this. But I would still love to source some truly bright yellow LED m6's...
  6. Jacks on LOR controllers certainly can be damaged/"go bad" - I've had this happen a couple of times before. LOR can repair, of course, but the issue can cause data corruption along your entire network and make things to wacky.
  7. A pixel tree requires a different type of controller, but yes, both LOR software and xLights can run a CTB16PC and a pixel controller at the same time in the same display. "Easily" is in the eye of the beholder - there's differences in setup and sequencing, but many of us do it. (This is my first year running 17 LOR controllers, 1 LOR CCB controller, and 2 Falcon pixel controllers.)
  8. Welcome, and nice wreath! I don't do municipal, of course would never rule it out if the right pieces/deals presented themselves. Cheers to South Williamsport! (One day, I'll get to call balls and strikes on a warm summer day there... one day!)
  9. Stephen Blue


    How's everyone this year? Currently working on 4 major projects/additions: Integrating pixels into my mega tree, rigging a flying Santa/Sleigh blowmold set, repainting 2 Little Tykes playhouses and turning them into a gingerbread village, and finishing my first custom wireframe snowmen and building an interactive snowball fight game with them. It's getting busy here!
  10. Cricket, cricket ? I'm not entirely sure what you're talking about... like motion icicles?
  11. Oh, no worries, no insult taken. Everyone has different tastes and preferences! For the most part, they hold up really well - I have some over 10 years old, and I can only think of 1 that I've retired because of irreparable damage (and honestly I could have fixed that one, just didn't love it to begin with, wasn't worth the effort). The two issues that crop up on occasion are A) if detail features, such as eyes and noses, are not well attached, they have to be re-glued every couple of years (Characters from Improvements Catalog are especially guilty of this). Hot glue gets it done. B: And by far the most common issue, a section of lights within the character goes out. Most of them are incan mini's, and what a light keeper pro doesn't bring back, results in what can be a pretty labor-intensive operation to replace the string. We have to do this to maybe 4-6 of the characters each year. Some are pretty easy... others not so much. Some of my all-white characters (bears, seals, snowmen) do get grungy looking after several years - a quick coat of cheap white spray paint brings them back to life quickly!
  12. You've found some exceptions to the general rule - eBay occasionally will have a decent deal, but the vast majority of their blowmolds (and Christmas lighting elements in general) are massively overpriced. Gotta assume shipping also - that 3rd one you linked has a $15 shipping tag attached to it, bringing total cost to $50, versus Ace which will ship them to store for free pickup at $29.99. That last one, the one with a candy cane, is the only "bargain deal" of the 4 - and it's an auction, not Buy It Now, so chances are the price will increase (and, it's missing it's light cord). Good for anyone that snags a deal on eBay - I've bought stuff from there for sure (mostly mesh frames that I can't find anywhere else) - it's just not one of my go-to shopping sites.
  13. I suppose that's just a difference of preference - I'm a big fan of the mesh over wireframe figures (I use close to 100 of them throughout my display), and Home Depot has some of the best selections of good looking, unique designs year after year. I will say that when they're put together, we add numerous additional zip ties to the frames to make them more stable, and guy-wire with fishing line taller ones. HD also has the best ground stakes, hands down, of anyone.
  14. Gotta say, big box store C9's just don't cut it for me. They typically only have one LED and do not look very bright, and quality is mediocre. (And I'm a huge fan of the WalMart mini LED's) @hotrod1965's ceramic LED's are the closest C9's I've seen to a classic look and classic brightness, and the quality is excellent. The only other thing I would consider is the Lowes GE-brand C6 ceramic's, they're the only LED C-style bulb that look as good as a classic incan C-bulb, but they are a smaller bulb, and come in a denser 100ct string - maybe not the look you're going for. HLE lists their C9 retro's at about 0.6 watts per bulb, so you're looking at about 15 watts per 25 count string. If I'm not mistaken, a classic incan C9 string of 25 runs 175 watts. You can easily put over 100x 25-bulb strings on a 20 amp breaker.
  15. @Chuck ^^^^This. There's not enough activity here anymore for the forums to be so segmented. I recognize this is an enormous undertaking, but there simply isn't enough new content to make all the little subforums worth it. It makes looking for new/interesting topics a chore. And if things were more condensed, it could certainly spur more activity, which would be a nice change everyone can agree on! Lights, Pixels, Computer Control Control (Maybe segment LOR & XLights...), Blowmolds, Inflatables, DIY, Misc, Showing Off, and the regional subforums... Combine everyone into those. I didn't realize that was you - I saw that post. I wouldn't call that a scolding - He runs that group he linked to and was trying to promote it. It hasn't taken off.. he's trying to get people there (He's actually another Hampton Roads-based display). Could have worded it better. I saw you got one good response... Don't let that one thread scare you off of there.
  16. Yeah, I picked them up at $30ea too, which is cheaper than Amazon has them - Amazon currently lists at $50, though I picked some up for $35 earlier in the year. Still, the Ace deal felt relatively decent.
  17. Yea, Home Depot has been taking Lowes behind the woodshed at Christmas for a few years now, with the exception of Lowes actually being willing to do blowmolds (despite quality concerns). WalMarts lights & prices arn't even close, and HD's selection of characters as well as their light string prices (despite light string selection being mediocre) is far superior.
  18. I rarely check in here any longer. Most of my Christmas interaction is via Facebook groups now. My go-to's: Light-O-Rama Users - Unofficial support group which is generally far more diverse than just LOR Holiday Lighting Think Tank Blowmold Nation + a couple of local/regional-centric lighting groups. There's a few others too that I am a part of, but far less participatory in.
  19. The GE C6 ceramic style is by far, hands down, no questions asked, the most classic looking LED Christmas light on the market. There's no comparison, pro-grade or big-box. It's unfortunate they're so expensive, but I load up when they go 50% off. Even at the $12.50/100 price, I think they're worth it because of how amazing they look.
  20. Does anyone have any experience with the color difference between yellow LED lights from various sealed LED vendors? I bought a case from CDI in their Black Friday sale, and don't get me wrong, they are fine lights, but they just are not the bright yellow I was anticipating. For perspective, I'm looking at replacing some of my Lowe's yellow incan's. Normally, LED's are brighter and more vivid than their incan counterparts; this is the first time I've had a color LED be deeper/more dull than the incan.
  21. The WalMart 100ct red/green/blue mini-LED's have a very incan feel to them. The blue's are much more vibrant than an incan blue, but it still looks great. They have a smooth finish to the bulbs, vs a faceted finish you find on most M5 LED's. One thing you might want to look for are "T5" bulb LED's. They typically have that smooth incan-like bulb finish, but unfortunately, finding them in individual colors is difficult. If you're looking for C9's by chance, HLE's ceramic style C9 retros are the most incan-like C9's I've seen. They're fantastic. I've also found that getting C6 LED's help "dim" the LED's down a bit when mixing with incans.
  22. That display looks strangely familiar.... PM'd you back.
  23. Sears might, as high as some of their initial prices are...
  24. Finally. I've only been stalking them for 2 weeks. They probably think I'm a little weird.
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