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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.


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About jmeckley

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  • Birthday 05/20/1965

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  • Location
    Kennesaw, Georgia, USA
  • Biography
    father of 3...fifth full year of LOR lighting (have won kid's choice in the neighborhood 5 year's in a row! LOL).
  • Interests
    Holiday lighting, playing w/my children, holiday lighting, the game of Go, holiday lighting... oh, and holiday lighting! ;-)
  • Occupation
    admin director
  • About my display
    88.3 FM... 240 channels... 30,000 or so lights. All LED save for the spot lights and mini-poles. 12' mega in wht/red/grn. Rest is wht/red/grn. Snow Miser/Heat Miser, Santa, Grinch, Frosty, FULL 11-piece lighted jazz band. 14 songs in 2010, including B. Setzer's Grinch and Hey Santa, and Big Bad VooDoo Daddy's Heat Miser.
  1. I've been given the year 1989... My age was: 24 Favorite Movie was: "Indiana Jones & the Last Crusade" Favorite Band (artist) was: Phil Collins ("Another Day in Paradise") Favorite Fad was: Tetris Disliked: Polly Pockets Like my status and I'll send you a year

  2. jmeckley

    Roll Call Ga

    Clearly I am waaaaaaaaaaay behind in responding... LoL. Been buried in programming (all NEW songs) and builds. Did a LOR DIY board for the first time... WoW (fun). My wife finally "joined in" this year... many helpful design suggestions... the yard looks MUCH better now (not so cluttered). Since our tradition is to invite our friends for an "opening show" on the 1st Sunday in Dec, we're on the brink of starting it up. Have most everything set up... just need to do all the cord-work (256 channels is just SOOOOOO fun!)... Funny that cars are coming by now seeing the stuff up and ask why it isn't running yet... I have asked several to come join me in finishing... no takers yet though!
  3. Since I'm in my "nth" year now (lol) here are a couple of thoughts: 1. ABSOLUTELY read the posts/forums... if you are going LOR, join the LOR forums as well. Dan from LightORama is the BOMB!! (I just fried a triac and he's sending me a couple to re-solder in, no charge... THAT is a company a boy (or girl) can stay with for LIFE!) 2. Assume, if you want to do a song "right" (consider, however, that I'm a self-confessed OCD/AR type so MY "right" and other people's "right" may be different) you'll need to figure 8-10 hours per MINUTE of song... of course, I have an 11-piece jazz band that I need to program first so getting the drum beat, bass, guitar, and winds right... 3. I would diagram EVERYTHING you're planning as early as possible and then walk off your yard to guesstimate the distances you'll need for extension cords... 4. For extension cords, anything you THINK you need, plan for some percentage MORE! I thought about using store-bought cords but for 240 channels, buying spt1 (don't NEED spt2!) bulk and vampire plugs (check Paul Sessel's posts...) did the trick. You can MAKE any custom-length extension cords you want... however, if you ever want to MOVE your display elements, assume you'll need ADDITIONAL length (ie. more cords OR just pre-build some guesstimated extra length!)... 5. START PROGRAMMING YOUR SONGS NOW!! 6. Soldering the LOR controllers, while testosterone-inducing, in my opinion, is NOT the best use of your time considering all the building and programming you'll need to do. I have found that purchasing the pre-built but NOT assembled controllers IS a great way to go... you save $$$ and can bundle up controllers into Rubbermaid tubs/etc. to economize on your space requirements... you just go to Lowe's / Home Depot and get a bunch of sockets/wire and do it yourself! (send me a PM and we can chat live at some point if you'd like)... 7. START PROGRAMMING YOUR SONGS NOW!! 8. START PROGRAMMING YOUR SONGS NOW!! LOL - PM any time as I'm more than happy to chat w/ya! WELCOME to the PC family!!
  4. LOL - I must be retro... use the basic Belkin Tunecast 1 (4 frequencies)... cracked the case and soldered in a 1/2-wave antenna made of speaker wire... red-duct-taped plastic over it on my 12' pvc antenna post and I'm good to about 1000' ... About $6 total for transmitter (on EBay) and speaker wire... plus my time I suppose. NO NEED to transmit any further and absolutely NO ability to SPEND more than that with the "budget police" watching the annual show expenses (ROTFL)!
  5. It was so cool! I grew up in Columbus, OH so I definitely remember white Christmases... but to see BURIED LEDs blinking and have cars of parents/kids oohing and ahhing over how it looked MADE our Christmas! THAT is all the fuel I need to get me through to NEXT year (LOL). Actually, had a minivan with at LEAST 10 kids (parents driving of course... ROTFL) show up the other night and they SANG along at the top of their lungs to every song they knew for the ENTIRE show. THAT made my season!! Of course the nearly $600 for charity doesn't help either! THERE ARE good people left on this planet!!! HEHEHEHE
  6. [ATTACH=CONFIG]41409[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41410[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41411[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41412[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41413[/ATTACH] Oh yessssssss..... Snow in Georgia (Atlanta after 100+ years!)!!!
  7. LOL - wish I could take credit. Bought them LAST year from Darryll Brown at ChristmasLightShow.com on sale. Collapsable, 5-point stars that I "converted" to LED... screwed 3/4" pvc to the back (with caps) to drop onto variable-length 1/2" pvc hammered into the yard... Bad choice however... going to "hang" the 30 stars from our left-side-yard tree with s-hooks next year as the yard is WAY too busy this year (can't see the Snow- and Heat-Miser very well!)...
  8. Wow - amazing! Even tho we hear many, many negative stories about any number of things, here in our PlanetChristmas community, we STILL manage to encourage the GOOD in humanity through our efforts! I absolutely agree with following the donor's request - donate the one to charity and use the other specifically to add an element (with signage - LOVE that idea!) or elements to the show! Yes, we are hobbyists... yes, we ALL still do this because we feel we can afford to continue ON OUR OWN... however yes, the donor's wishes DO matter. Do NOT feel bad for one iota following what they've asked. Opinion-of-one...
  9. For the FIRST time in more than 100 years (!!!), we had a "white Christmas" here in Atlanta! I know y'all up there in the "northernlands" are chuckling, however this was AMAZING. We have three kids (11, 8, and 5 - can you say "stayed out playing the snow WAY too long!!??) and along with our 17 other family members that were here last night, we were GIFTED! Despite the weather, we actually HAD show traffic. Everyone who came was ALSO in the "amazed by the snow" aura and thougth the show looked even BETTER! LOL - here's to NOT seeing THAT again in quite awhile! I hope EVERY ONE of you had a wonderful Christmas! If you too have amazing winter/show/snow pics, please feel MORE THAN WELCOME to add them! [ATTACH=CONFIG]41404[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41405[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41406[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41407[/ATTACH] [ATTACH=CONFIG]41408[/ATTACH]
  10. Don't know what you have for an antenna however lengthening to 1/4 or 1/2-wave might work. Just open it and look for the antenna... generally, you can splice in standard speaker cord (something like SPT1) cut to the right length and you should be ok. For length correctness, you need to know what frequency you're going to transmit on... then calculate the appropriate length. A good URL would be: http://www.crompton.com/wa3dsp/hamradio/antcalc.html Currently, I'm using a $4 Belkin basic FM transmitter made to use with an MP3 player... opened the case and spliced in wire at the antenna connection points... had to slightly disfigure the enclosure to allow for the wire.... duct taped everything to 10' of 1/2" pvc just outside my garage and when plugged in a running, gives me about 1000' of broadcast distance. One thing... if you're planning to broadcast more than just in-house, you might wanna check the local FM transmitting frequency lists to make sure you pick an "available" frequency. Operators of commercial stations tend to dislike others broadcasting on top of their stations... funny how they get picky that way (lol). That's antenna advice... for boost, I'll defer to other experts. :-)
  11. Last year I found a local distributor here in Marietta who would only sell to businesses... but wanted $11/sheet (4'x8'). I asked my realtor to call and order 20 sheets (I had a TON of work to do!) and she used her TIN (Tax ID Number that businesses all have) and then I paid her in return. My argument with her was that 1) "WE" are doing this for the children and the community (WHO doesn't like/enjoy Christmas lights?!) and 2) I bought a fairly expensive house with her help and her % of the deal was most likely MORE than worth the trouble of calling the guy to order the sheets. FYI - realtors make GREAT candidates to order coro as they simply tell the distibutor they are making various signs for their business!! If anyone presses me, I suspect I can dig through my mad-cow-riddled brain to find the coro distributor ( I think someone else mentioned in another post/thread but had mentioned they only sell to businesses... I definitely figured out a work-around for that one! LOL)
  12. PC Guy... I suspect I'm one of the 5-milers from Tamale... in Kennesaw (www.meckleyfamilyxmas.com) .... you can get directions from there. We are FINALLY up... grand-opening tomorrow (Sunday) at 630... show will run every night through New Year's Day. LUCKILY (knocking on wood BIG time), my SD card held last year's show... otherwise our laptop crash woulda meant troubles in holiday-lights city... LOL Got everything finally up today and tested all controllers and circuits. For 240 channels, only having 5 or so strings out is NOT bad (imho). We got those strings replaced and everything seems a "go" ... pending DRY weather... just can't seem to figure out how to keep enough connections dry to keep them from shorting out. Ah well, that's what we get for a rainy/wet winter in GA. Suffice it to say, running 1/2 the show on a night when it's pouring is better than NOTHING! EVERYONE is welcome to come visit. JOEY/JIM/TAMALE - I'm planning on coming y'alls way in the next couple of weeks. - John
  13. Hi to all - if you're anywhere near the Kennesaw area around Monday 12/6 or beyond, feel more than welcome to stop by (Arden Lake subdivision)... www.meckleyfamilyxmas.com ... site not updated yet but directions there. Going to be a LATE start this year due to very stressful work year and not much done until about a week ago... much rebuilding and resetting of display due to excessive wind damage last year. NEW jazz band coming which will be the central feature... HUGE surprise coming for the kids (come visit and you'll see why I say that - LOL). Been VERY quiet this past year - sorry... hugely busy and buried under multiple rocks. But going live and running through 1/1 so all will be well in Meckley-Family land. :-)
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