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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.

Art Ritchie

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Everything posted by Art Ritchie

  1. No, I've had no luck but that was one of the ideas I've come up with. If I can get the time to sit down and work on it, I want to take my existing, non-functioning inflatables and put them on a base that will be detachable from the blower assembly. Then I can make a single blower base that I'll just switch out inflatable bodies as required.
  2. I have several inflatables that have weak or completely dead fans. Anybody familiar with the output flow of the stock fans and the comparability of other fan/motor assemblies? I have four upright vacuums that I have rescued from trash piles. All motors work and I'm wondering if routing the motor and/or ducting to blow INTO the inflatable would provide enough flow to do the job. Maybe it wouldn't work to act as the only source, but if piggy-backed to blow air in WITH the weaker original motor? Also, I have a larger blower that belonged to one of those 13' water slide/pool combo's and I was thinking of using some ducting to create a sort of octupus to divide the air flow to several defunct inflatables. Thoughts? Suggestions? Anyone have any experience with this ideas? Art
  3. I havent been able to engage my passion for extreme holiday decorating for the past 3-4 years due to....well....due to life. As a result, I havent been around the forums for quite some time, aside from the occasional check-in. Today, I saw a sign on a telephone for 'We can decorate your house!' and it got me wondering. Is the enthusiast community still hopping strong? Is it still growing and working on a myriad of projects all year long? Or has the hobby taken a hit and seen a decline in forces? I know its hard to judge just by looking at the forums, as history shows that the forums get pretty quiet after the holidays and stay that way for a while. Just curious how everyone else has been effected by times. Later peoples!! Art
  4. That looks really good! Especially love the little green ribbon sticking out. Breaks up the monotony of the cane nicely, Well done!
  5. I've been looking for the TV shows this year showing the 'extreme decorators' or the decorating challenges on channels like HGTV, Discovery, TLC or any of those. Unless I'm missing something, I haven't seen much of ANYTHING this year! Anyone know if they are airing this year? Art
  6. Hey RAB, its probably blocked. I cant see it on my work computer either. I cant get most of the videos to come up unless their on Vimeo and even have problems with some pictures, depending on where they are saved.
  7. Ok all you Arkies and nearby folks. No interest last year apparently. What about this year? Are there even any Arky folken still lurking these here boards? If so, lets get together. Even if its just an occasional drink at the pub!!
  8. Ah....I see now!! Thanks for the visual! Hmmmm....got some tinkering to do now.
  9. Nice! Looks so much more inspiring when you see it in actual use! And I like the ice skaters too! Looks like I have a few more projects on my plate this year. Just how much is 'too much', anyway? lol
  10. Getting back into the groove of this decorating insanity, I just found out about doityourselfchristmas.com's forums. Theres a lot of interesting things floating around over there. One of which was the snowfall tubes. I was reading one of the threads about "Finally affordable Snowfall Tubes" and it got my gears workin' in this rusty old brain. They mention that one of the tubes they are working on has something like 56 LED's on it. What about a 4 channeled pole, ending with 'branches' bending outward, where the 56 LED's are divided amongst? These LED's could be on channel 5. Then you could light the channels in order, allowing it to look like a firework shooting up and ending in the twinkling burst of LED lights? Attached is a rough sketch done in MSPaint.
  11. My apologies for abandoning this post!! Using the Google Books search, I was able to find the particular issue I was refering to. As JFTiger mentioned, it was the Dec 65 issue. http://books.google.com/books?id=beQDAAAAMBAJ&pg=PA128&dq=popular+mechanics+christmas&hl=en&sa=X&ei=PsoCT56mI4aJtwfb_eHSBg&ved=0CFUQ6AEwCA#v=onepage&q=popular%20mechanics%20christmas&f=false
  12. Now that things in my life are seeming to settle down, I'm starting to get back into the holiday decorating thing slowly but surely. Hopefully, after nearly three years away from my PC family, I'll be reappearing and making a bigger contribution. Right now, I'm having a problem though with a lighting issue. I want to put some lights in my village. I am using minilights as I have a large surplus of these laying around. My switch is a 3-way switch (ON1-OFF-ON2). I would like ON1 to turn on 4 of the 6 minilights, while switching to ON2 enables all 6 bulbs. I know I could install a dimmer knob and prob make things simpler, but I dont like the look of the 6 dimmed bulbs. I thought I had this figured out, but when I wired it up, all 6 turned on regardless of being in ON1 or ON2. Not sure what I did wrong. I did it on the fly, without sketching it out, at 3 in the morning. It might not be wired up as I drew it out in this pic. Should it work if I did wire it as sketched or do I need to take a different approach? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
  13. I know this has been asked in the past and interest seemed low, but figured I'd drop it again. It seems to me like interest in decorating for most of the central Arkansas crowd has done a nose dive. I thik we need to find something to both re-energize our ranks and possibly drain some new enthusiasts!! What do yall say??
  14. This is a screenshot of that video to show the house.
  15. Friend of my sis's just posted a facebook vid of someones display in Wichita Falls. Anyone know who this is? If I remember Beka Caudill was/is in WF, but looks like she hasn't been active in a few years. http://www.facebook.com/#!/video/video.php?v=1691751583092&comments
  16. I have the followign three wireframes that need to be wired. Just curious how long one can expect to set aside to wire each of these? Thanks for any insight!! Thanks [ATTACH=CONFIG]40105[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]40106[/ATTACH][ATTACH=CONFIG]40107[/ATTACH]
  17. These are incadescent light strings. No bulbs were replaced. The are 'as-purchased', used only one season outside. They were part of a mega-tree. After plugging them in this year, random bulbs along the string are dimly lit. They arent completely out, just partially glowing. If I pull the bulb and replace it, the new bulb works fine. The old (dim) bulb, is dim no matter where it is placed. I know its the bulbs themselves that are bad, but I'm trying to figure out why or what may have caused this. Otherwise, I have a ton of strings that I will be chopping up to make custom length extension cords! So no big loss though. I just want to prevent this from happening to further strings if possible.
  18. I have an issue that has effected a large number of my white mini-light sets. Some lights are dim, while others are super bright. - I understand the super bright part, as they are being overcharged the power that the dim ones arent using. - The dim ones are not in any particular spots (ie: its not half the string that is dim or the other half) - The dim ones are dim even when placed in another string - There are a large amount of dim lights (prob about 30-40% of each string) What would cause this? Anyway to make these lights return to full bright? Help!! This has effected about 20 strings that I have found so far. Joseph
  19. Very nice! Sometimes, I wish I could do just the basic, more simpler decorating. Not trying to take anything away from what she has done, mind you!! In fact, quite the opposite Like at Christmas...yea, I like the thousands of lights, computer control, video integration, etc....but there is something very drawing of a house with some simple decor. One of my favorite homes in the Little Rock area has large, three story columns on the front of the house that they wrap with pine garland and giant golden ornaments. Beside each column is a two story toy soldier plywood cutout. And all the windows have candle lamps. Dont know what it is about it, but its incredible for as simple as it is.
  20. Just a quick edit. Your backyard theater link was missing a few characters. Did a quick search of the site and found it! Thanks for the links!! http://backyardtheater.com/forums/index.php?topic=3082.0
  21. Honestly, the motor seems to be running full speed. I know there are a few small leaks that I could try sealing. My big concern is the floor. Its completely shot. The only thing really left is the fabric underlining. The water proof pool lining completely cracked up and fell to pieces the first time the kids played in it. The entire floor will have to be replaced. My thought is to grab one of these old pools that people have been tossing lately and try to 'sew/glue' it over top of the old liner, then rubber cement the heck out of the edges. It was almost $600 new and the kids get TONS of playtime out it so I hate to toss it, but cant afford to buy a new one each summer.
  22. I got a question for the inflatable guru's in here!! Its not a holiday inflatable, but like the title says...its for something that IS an inflatable!! Last summer we purchased one of those $500, 10' tall Banzai Inflatable Waterslide's. (http://www.wagondepot.com/Banzai_Sidewinder_Falls_p/man-29634.htm) When I took it out for this summers use, the floor had become brittle and cracked. As such, the bottom pool no longer holds water. Is there some way to replace the floor? The rest of it is in good shape, just the floor. Oh...and one other question. The air motor/pump was under a table that had a coke spilled on it. The coke them poured off the table all into the motor. We turned the motor over and tapped it on the pavement a few times to get the coke out, then let it sit for about 3 weeks. It seems to run fine, but the inflatable doesnt 'spring' back up when a bigger kid climbs the slide. I'm wondering if the stickyness of the coke residue has slowed the motor somewhat and if there is a way to clean it out? I didnt want to rinse it out with water, even if I let it sit for a long time to dry. But I had wondered about some sort of 50/50 water/alcohol mix so that it might evaporate, then let it sit for a week or two. Still bad? Or better than letting it stay the way it is? Any insight you guys have about any of this woudl be greatly appreciated!! If all else fails, anyone want a water slide inflatable for their Christmas decor?? Going cheap! lol
  23. To piggy back on this, if anyone has any patriotic themed songs that would be helpful for this years patriotic holidays (veterans day, 4th of July, memorial day, etc)
  24. I've searched the links included in the stickied thread, but come up empty. Only one site has one, the leprechaun standing on top of a pot of gold. I dont really care for that one. Was wondering if there are any others available? I dont have access to Ebay from work, so not sure whats there, but figured there would be something out there somewhere. Joseph
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