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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.


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About gadjsf

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  1. I have some older animals with mini lights but I'm unsure of the voltage. I assume that, if in doubt, 3.5v would be a better choice replacement? Or 2.5v better? Thanks,
  2. gadjsf


    Wish I could do that. When we built our house I requested two dedicated circuits for outside outlets. I even verified with the electrician that he was doing so. Not. Ended up with all outside outlets on a single GFI circuit with two baths. My wife didn't want them ripping out a bunch of sheetrock to do it right after we'd moved in so I got back the $150 we'd paid extra and still have that one unswitchable circuit.
  3. gadjsf


    Thanks guys. Giving both a try.
  4. gadjsf


    I'm looking for some good simple timers to turn some stuff on/off twice per day (eg, 4p > 12p, 5a>7a). With what I've been using I've had varying problems with the programming displays washing out, time drifting (sometimes by several minutes per day so some stuff comes on a lot later than other stuff), things locking either on or off, or a couple of Westinghouse units that simply went flaky after a few weeks. Any suggestions appreciated (my search turned up nothing).
  5. Thanks all. Bummer when a supplier lets you down like that, hopefully their new supplier is more reliable. BTW, it's taking them considerably longer than a few days to reply to emails and vmails. D-Light said they've had a lot more orders then expected so they're running behind as well (but do respond to people). Got some used Chauvet 6 channel packs instead.
  6. Wanted some controllers. I've called and emailed. Phones never answered, no voicemail, emails never replied to. ??
  7. Thanks! My X-10's are maybe 80% reliable. EG, occasionally something doesn't turn on/off or more likely dim/bright commands won't always be responded to (so I might end up with 10 window candles @ 50% and 2 or 4 @ 100%). How would you rate your Insteons? Could I likely expect 100% reliability based on your experience?
  8. Not sure where else this should go, there is no general powerline control forum and the X10 forum is dead... I currently have about 45 X10 lamp & appliance modules scattered around inside and out controlled by a JDS Stargate. X10 has always had reliability issues but is convenient since it uses the powerlines. Running cables all over outside is one thing, inside could mean divorce. Z-Wave and similar RF systems seem quite expensive, at least on a per module basis (I'd need at least 26 modules inside even if I converted the entire outside to DMX, LOR or something). Insteon ICON lamp modules are $23 so still over twice X10 modules but at least not as bad as the RF stuff. What are your experiences with Insteon? More reliable than X10? Fewer dead zones? Other good alternatives?
  9. OK, lights, lights lights is for incandescent or lights is for incandescent? I'm assuming lights, lights, lights? If so, then what is lights?
  10. I'm going through changing 2.5v mini's on some animals. Everytime I replace the last 2 or 3, another 2 or 3 that I know were working are burned (as am I after numerous of these experiences). Is this just a case of weak lamps blowing from the on/off cycle of me replacing others? I currently just plug the animal in, note several that are blown, and pull them with the string still powered up, replace, and repeat for another several. Is it best to unplug before pulling and replacing lamps or does it make any diff? Thanks,
  11. Can someone please educate me on the difference in the two forums. I searched and couldn't find anything nor determine on my own.
  12. All 2.5v are truly not the same. After some experimenting the Holiday Time 2.5's from Wal-Mart seem to work the best. Thanks for your help on this!
  13. I run everything at about 80% (X-10 controllers & a StarGate), hopefully that will help extend lamp life.
  14. Thanks! BTW, saw your train layout. Some years ago I'd modeled the area around Edinburgh including Waverly station and the Forth bridge. This was just before electronic controllers so I still had to do all speed control through rail voltage. Started to convert over to electronic but then we moved and all is still in boxes. Retirement's just around the corner though!
  15. Thanks Dennis. To the extent that I use 3.5v lamps, will this cause other lamps to burn out faster?
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