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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 Bruceski44

  • Rank
  • Birthday 02/11/1959

Profile Information

  • Location
    Simi Valley, California, USA
  • Biography
    In the past, I would get annoyed with having to put up Christmas lights. It was a pain, plus I am scared of heights. It's just a one-story house, but still... Then in February 2008 my mother died. And something drove me to build a display in her memory. She was terminally ill in December 2007, which is when I discovered PC. It's still not clear to me why I do it, but I am addicted. She would have loved the dancing lights.
  • Interests
    Church, my family, and electronics, in that order.
  • Occupation
    Field Applications Engineer
  • About my display
    Started in 2008 with 32 LOR channels and mostly LED lights. Built 7 sequences, but it got really old listening to the same 7 songs all season. In 2009, I am expanding to 80 channels, building a mega-tree, candy cane striped rope light chasing garland and putting up a Holdman Bethlehem Star. I really need to discipline myself to spend regular time building sequences, as it is hard work for me and I am not very good at it. I try to focus on "the reason for the season" and bring joy and Christ to observer's lives.

    See my videos on Vimeo:
  1. I think it goes without saying that this only applies if you have legally purchased the songs you play, but I'm going to say it anyway. The artists and studios are entitled to compensation for their work. Thanks OP, for doing the due diligence.
  2. My choice was between a new vendor with no track record at lower prices, or an established vendor with an excellent track record at higher prices. I was planning to place part of my order at the lower price, but this increase has reduced the difference. It is no longer worthwhile for me to take the risk. Ryan made no mention of a price increase, and I am unable to check here every day.
  3. It doesn't sound like this may happen, but would you be so kind as to notify us if and before you raise your prices? I'm planning to put my order in at these prices before 2/11, so would appreciate advance notice of any changes. Thanks for the consideration, Bruce
  4. HHmm, after viewing the video, I was reminded of how we used to fix shorts on a printed circuit board. These are notoriously hard to find, so we would just crank up the voltage and current and wait for it to burn through the short. It wouldn't always work... I wonder if these malfunctions are related to partial shorts, possibly by tin whiskers, and the overstress from the tester burns through them?
  5. Would you guys mind doing a burn-in on your repaired strings? Just plug them in, maybe indoors at room temperature and let them run at full on. Better yet, use a controller to blink on and off. Diodes are funny things. There are rectifying diodes in the "blobs" and the LEDs are themselves diodes. An overstress may induce latent damage that would weaken the junction and may reduce its life. I realize you fixed these, but am wondering how long they'll remain fixed. As for what happened inside when they got fixed, I have no answer yet.
  6. If your lights came in a box that looks like these: http://www.amazon.com/50-count-Sylvania-Gem-Christmas-Lights/dp/B001KZ1E3G then they probably have a 5-year warranty. I bought lots of these minis, G12 and C6 lights and they replaced about 10% of them after the first year. I have a few more failures this year and will be seeking replacements again. These lights are actually made by Inliten 1-800-681-3814.
  7. I bought some flat RGB LED lights from Bird Dog Distributing and would buy from them again. They also have single-color LED rope: http://www.birddogdistributing.com/ My only problem with the RGB ribbon I bought was that it is wired common-cathode so that when you turn the blue lights on, both the red and green lights are on as well. (I made my own controller to control each color...) There's no way to correct it as that's the way the ribbon was built. [ATTACH=CONFIG]41258[/ATTACH]
  8. We've had 6 straight days of rain here, sometimes very heavy. It has been almost continuous since Friday morning. The first song during the first run of my show tripped the GFCI breaker and it has been down ever since. We should clear tomorrow for a couple of days and I will be out with my heat gun and plastic wrap to try and get the show running and able to withstand the next storm(s) starting Saturday. Considering it was 80 degrees and sunny when I set everything up (in December no less) I can't complain, but this really illustrates what people in other locations have to deal with. If I had known in advance that we'd have almost a week of solid rain, I definitely would have prepared. In past years, we've had a day or two of rain for the entire month, but this year, we've had three storms already with the latest being a real duesy. I hope my fellow PCers in the Golden State are safe and dry and wish you all a Merry Christmas!
  9. Good thoughts on the longevity of the markers. My climate is practically tropical compared to yours and the marker on duct tape only lasted two seasons. It was fun trying to guess if that obliterated number was a 5, 6 or 8, but not something I want to do every year. Especially if it's really cold outside.
  10. Many of my elements use red, green and blue (RGB) individual strings, so I label my each end of my cords with red, green or blue electrical tape. I lay out the cords three at a time from the controller to the element and can then connect each end without too much fuss. I store them in totes broken down by size: 8-15 feet 20-25 feet 35-40 feet 50 feet and up
  11. Go to www.target.com/Christmas to get your free download. I'm not familiar with the artists, but that doesn't mean much.
  12. I DID think. I'll share my analysis if you'll share yours. You referred us to an example arch. A poster questioned the price of the example arch. You concealed your reply. I objected. So far, everyone except you is talking about your example arch. OK, your turn.
  13. The price must be a secret. How can I know if I'm serious wthout knowing the price? Are you looking for someone who will buy it at any cost? Good luck to you.
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