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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.

meadmkr

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Everything posted by meadmkr

  1. Besides what others have chimed in on the one 'blank' area that jumps out to me is the garage door. I have one of the covers from http://creativeimpactgraphicsco.com/default.aspx and get a bunch of comments on it.... The only other thought is to tie the colors in together (needs additional channels) which gives the display a bit more 'punch' (as my wife calls it) but hey, SHE wanted it so SHE okayed the expense of 2 more (for now) controllers
  2. I've tried the contact cement fan/spinner and it works well but the webs are too 'fine' to stand up to the wind we get. I went the hot-glue shooter route and after making one of my own and realizing it was undersized. I bit the bullet and ordered one from Cory (Minions web)..... Not inexpensive but it works well. Spiders play a prominent part of my graveyard/haunt so for me it is well worth it! HTH CW
  3. One 'trick' we do for our foam tombstones for Halloween is to glue a piece of scrap plywood or 1x4 to the back for support. The plywood takes the brunt of the wind load rather than screwing pipe clamps directly into the foam. No reason you couldn't simply glue a piece of scrap plywood tailored to the shaped of the cutout to the back of it; it would both strengthen the mounting area as well as to give the screws something thicker to bite into.... HTH CW
  4. No matter how many times I hear this it still brings a lump to my throat and makes the eyes a bit misty; made it one of the most difficult songs I've sequenced to date ;-) ... Semper Fi! Chris SSgt USMC '79 to '91
  5. meadmkr

    Displays in VA

    I'm in Sterling off of Algonkian Pkwy and have a small display with 48 channels of LOR this year. I don't broadcast our address due to concerns over excessive traffic (like Juniper Drive) but don't have a problem sharing it with other PC'ers. Its a small but growing display and I need to add a sub-panel so I can expand it some. Cheers Chris in VA http://www.oxbowmanor.com
  6. Put me down for $25 as well..... Sad to see folks have to make this type of decision (been there once before). Hopefully the display will continue to be set up this Xmas and continue to bring joy to all that see it! Cheers Chris in VA
  7. Bill V What type of material do you make your wireframes out of ? I'm also new to this but am considering tackling building a sleigh (photo-ops) for next year. I want metal runnersbut need to be able to disassemble it for storage. I'm over inSterling and most of the places here seem oriented toconstruction supplies. Guess I'll have to make a run over to Springfield in a few weeks. Cheers Chris in VA
  8. I'm still learning LOR as this was my first year but I've beenprogramming in various languages for almost 20+ years. If we could put our collective minds to it we can create an Excel macro that would allow the user to pick the various types of channel configuration files and populate the spreadsheet.The question then becomes how do we best plug in the channel names/etc? I'll even throw out the first bit of VBA code that would allow us to choose a file and then import it ... Sub pcChannelImport() Dim hFile As Integer Dim bTemp As Byte Dim sLine As Variant Dim sFile As String Dim lByte As Long Dim iRow As Integer hFile = FreeFile lByte = 0 Dim fd As FileDialog Set fd = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogOpen) With fd .Filters.Clear .Filters.Add "LOR Channel Configuration File", "*.LCC" ' add other filters here .... .AllowMultiSelect = False If .Show = -1 Then sFile = fd.SelectedItems.Item(1) Open sFile For Binary Access Read As hFile ' process files based on suffix Close hFile End If End With Set fd = Nothing End Sub
  9. I'm still learning LOR as this was my first year but I've beenprogramming in various languages for almost 20+ years. If we could put our collective minds to it we can create an Excel macro that would allow the user to pick the various types of channel configuration files and populate the spreadsheet.The question then becomes how do we best plug in the channel names/etc? I'll even throw out the first bit of VBA code that would allow us to choose a file and then import it ... Sub pcChannelImport() Dim hFile As Integer Dim bTemp As Byte Dim sLine As Variant Dim sFile As String Dim lByte As Long Dim iRow As Integer hFile = FreeFile lByte = 0 Dim fd As FileDialog Set fd = Application.FileDialog(msoFileDialogOpen) With fd .Filters.Clear .Filters.Add "LOR Channel Configuration File", "*.LCC" ' add other filters here .... .AllowMultiSelect = False If .Show = -1 Then sFile = fd.SelectedItems.Item(1) Open sFile For Binary Access Read As hFile ' process files based on suffix Close hFile End If End With Set fd = Nothing End Sub
  10. J Morgan wrote: Pretty useful XLS file. I have one enhancement to offer once I get time that should allow you to take a LOR (I) .LCC file and import the channels names/units.The file format looks pretty straight-forward andit should be easy enough to write the macro to do it.... Cheers Chris in VA
  11. J Morgan wrote: Pretty useful XLS file. I have one enhancement to offer once I get time that should allow you to take a LOR (I) .LCC file and import the channels names/units.The file format looks pretty straight-forward andit should be easy enough to write the macro to do it.... Cheers Chris in VA
  12. I gotta agree with (the other) Chris to start with 16 or 32 channels AND with a good FM transmitter.This was my first non-static display with 'only' 16 channels.I dumped my LineX USB transmitter for a Ramsey FM25b and couldn't be happier. Next year I'll add an external antenna butstill hade audio for 5-7 houses on each side even with a brick wall on the front of the house! I seldom broadcast the audio outside viaspeakers since there area number of infants/young children in homes nearby. Folks now understand the lights are to the music andtune to the station posted on the sign so that's catching on. The key thing is to get her involved in some aspect of the project and grow the display slowly and with purpose. That's what I did for Halloween and now for Xmas. The Mrs loves to hear the compliments and comments from neighbors and that helps a LOT!Santa brought me a 2nd controllerso Ican expandthe display some more but with a fairly small yard I have to really plan carefully and figure out what works best and gives the bang for the buck. Cheers Chris (in Virginia)
  13. I just wanted to second the "THANKS" to CS and all of the folks here that have shared their knowledge and experience here on the forums. I finally'crossed over' this year from doing only Halloween to Xmasand have a modest first year display. The Mrs wasn't sure about things at first having shown her some of the vids out there but sitting out in the car in front of the house watching the show SHE starting tossing around ideas for next year Hoping everyone here has a safe and joyous holiday! Chris & Kathy
  14. Hummm.... maybe find a way to put magnets onto the disk and wrap copper coils around the meter to (you guessed it) generate a little of your own power as a by-product. Kinda like the braking-system on hybrid cars. CW
  15. Though the article was a pretty cool story that strikes close to home for those of us that 'do up' our houses for holidays: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/12/21/AR2007122102612.html?hpid=artslot
  16. I'm also using a 2" PVC pipe but only have about 4800 lights on it. It too toppled over last night due to wind/gusts that were reported to be up to 45mph.The pole was set over 3 pieces of 4' rebar pounded about 12" into the ground along with 3 guy lines holding it in place. It apparently toppled over after about 10pm from what the neighbor said. The ground is saturated due to the rain we've had recently. The rebar didn't bend but simply was levered up out of thesoggy ground making a nice hole in the yard. Since the forecast is calling for wind through this afternoon I'll deal with it after work. I'm hoping all I have to is to sink a few shorter pieces of rebar a few inches from the originals to keep the base from kicking out and then add 2 additional guy wires. Fingers crossed!!! CW
  17. Hummm.... It never dawned on me to sequence that! The links below are a better rendition than of some of the ones I've found. http://www.uspharmd.com/usmc/Marine_Hymn.mp3 http://www.rleeermey.com/sounds/USMC%20Band%20-%20Marine%20Hymn.mp3 Semper Fi! Chris SSgt USMC '79-'91
  18. I simply asked for a controller as my 'big' gift for Xmas and started small. Then once she saw the sequences and visualizer she asked me about small changes and a few 'what ifs'. That led to the 2nd controller which is on its way here... I asked what what songs SHE would like sequenced and found examples here and on YouTube and showed them to her. Now I've got a honey-do list for 2008 Then again after doing a HW display for the last 9 years (or so) she's learned to trust me not to go gawdy or overly Griswold. And I've learned that if she makes a suggestion or seems interested in a particular prop or effect I try my best to accomodate her
  19. I've seen a bunch of woodworking plans to build sleighs but for next year I want to builda life-sized sleigh. With 2 specific requirements: 1) Must be sized large enough Santa and a child can sit in it. 2) Must be able to be disassembled for storage over the summer. I've got mental sketches of what I want to do using square metal tubing for the runners/supports and plywood for the body. I'll have some type of bracing to transfer withweight from the seat to the ground. I've googled it with about 2 dozen diffent sets of keywords and got tired of seeing the same reshashed jigsaw patterns. If anybody has seen such a thing I'd love to know where you saw it (or if you've made one any tips and tricks). Wassail! Chris
  20. Sounds like some very useful software in the works! I am fairly new to animated lighting but have been working in I.T. shops for about 28 years :shock:now. Mostly in software development.Some of the things I'd love to see with the software is (didn't notice if Aurora and/orother tools do this): 1) use some type of audio analyzer to map peaks/heavy beats to a default channel. Might make this a bit easier for rhythm challenged folks (like me at times). 2) an option to tag how many strings/watts per channel to provide a ball-park estimate of power used. 3) Some type of feature to take a playlist/schedule and write to either HTML or XML that can be integrated into a now-playing list to ftp up to a website. I'll have to keep my eye on your product/project and see how things develop! Cheers!
  21. JonB256 wrote: OMG it must be contagious.... I'd finally talked the Mrs into buying me the first controller this year as an earlyXMas gift. After seeing my 10' mini-megatree and the sequences I've come up with for our somewhat simplistic (to me anyway) display she TOLD me to order another controller. YES DEAR.... and order was placed! The only down side is she wants me to sequence 2 additional songs. Guess my buying her a laptop to replace her antique one musta earned me a few extra brownie points this year:cool:
  22. I'm surprised the curse-word filter doesn't catch 'budget' on the forum :] But yeah I got a (small) budget to split between 2 holidays. That's why I need to look for multi-purpose items. SWMBO won't let me do a Nightmare before XMas theme :{
  23. One possible suggestion might be to find someone in your area with a display and see if they wouldn't mind being a mentor to you. It is probably a bit late in the season for it but you might find someone that really needs an extra pair of hands to get their display up. Time is often at a premium this time of year and they might even need help with a troublesome sequence or such. Now that my Halloween display is at a level I can sustain (both time/budget) I'm expanding into XMas (too bad I'm in VA and you in TX). My major addition for HW 2008 will be an LOR to take the lighting to a new level.A neighbor caught the bug and expanded their HWdisplay significantly. Between bouncingideas off of me, using some ofmy shop tools, asking for suggestions/tips Imore or less acted as hermentor. Their house had a great display that was far more advanced than mine wasthe 2nd year of doing it. They now have a very nice, albeit static, display for Xmas. In fact several friends/neighbors have been 'razzing' me about not having much beyond wreaths and a few lights. So in 2008 I'll be picking up at least a 16 channel LOR controller forHW/XMas. My plan is to use HW to work through the learning curve with the new gear. It also gives me 12 months to plan, budget and build the display for Xmas. Cheers Chris
  24. Another option would be to try an appliance module. Down side to that is they aren't usally dimmable. Cheers CW
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