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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.

djmille

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About djmille

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 12/27/1964

Profile Information

  • My favorite Christmas story
    There is really only one Christmas story and I think we all know what it is.
  • Location
    Forest Grove, Oregon, USA
  • Biography
    PacMan High score is 44,240
  • Interests
    Christmas Lights, Aviation, RC Models, Weight Lifting, Guitar, Electronic Gadgets
  • Occupation
    Test Engineer
  • About my display
    144 channels LOR with 40000 lights

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  1. I officially started the show last night (sat 12-1-18) and all went well. It was a great evening with temps in the high 30s/low 40s and no rain. Had about 25-30 cars over 6 hour period; not bad. I'm sure most of them were local. The new MegaTree being 22ft fits nicely into the display. Going from 128 channels to 196 definitely makes sequencing a bit more time consuming.
  2. Temp today in my area was around 55 deg at the high point.
  3. OK, for the 2018 setup season, the weather here has been stellar. Today I had to put on sunscreen for the first time ever before heading out to the yard.
  4. I know a few of us were using 96.7 on our FM transmitters for displays over the last 10 years. The frequency now has a licensed station on it and so the Beaverton, Tigard, Hillsboro, Cornelius, Banks, and Forest Grove area would not be able to use it. Just a heads up for anybody who may be "listening" -Darin
  5. Hey Paul, Awesome !!! You have really upgraded the show. The singing bulbs are fantastic and the RGB and strobes have been nicely incorporated. I was impressed with the video, so I'm sure it will be even better in person. I will definitely swing by and check it out. Great Job !! -Darin
  6. Hey everybody, It's been over a half decade since I posted in this forum. I know there are a bunch more Oregonians with huge/fantastic Christmas displays. How have you all been doing? It's funny how the more frequent, recent poster to the Oregon forum is zman from Washington state. I have my Forest Grove based display back in operation after a 2 year absence. -Darin
  7. I picked up some of the new 5mm LED strobe strings this year and have about 24 strings sneaking into my display this year. They are mainly on medium tomato cage trees and a couple natural trees. I also have about 70 normal curtain strobes (Xenon) that have been in the display for several years. I'm concerned about turning the Xenon C9 curtain strobes on at the same time as the newer LED mini strobe strings. Does anybody have any testing or experience with strobe mixing? My fear is that the c9 curtains will grab peoples eyes and dilute the effect of the 5MM LED strobe strings. They are not deployed at the moment, and based on feed back, I may relocate the C9 curtains and/or make sure they aren't mixed in the LOR sequences. Thanks -Darin
  8. Mark, Kevin and Gang. Thanks soooo much ! That was the best CLAP to date. I really enjoyed getting re-energized after taking a year off. Sara, Thanks for the controller; you know it went to a great home. It was great seeing familiar faces as well as meeting new ones. -Darin
  9. Any metal display elements touching or stuck into the ground will act as a grouding rod and do the same thing as having lights laying on the ground. This goes especially for any wireframes and those tomato cage mini trees. Every connection should be elevated above the ground and you can simply let the water flow through with no issue. (use lot's of those little green plastic stakes) Removing GFIs is kind of a "don't ask, don't tell" type of thing and would probably need to be under the "Rogue Practices" and not the "Best Practices" forum.
  10. djmille

    Anybody here ?

    Hey Gang, Is everybody ready to flip the switch? I'm about 3 days behind because of the exciting weather and after last night, I will be re-installing a few items. The wind must have been well over 50 mph in the area west of Portland. -Darin
  11. Hey Washington friends; It's good to see some display setup progress. The Oregon message board was too quiet so I eves dropped on you guys. -Darin
  12. Nice press coverage ! Way to keep the bottom half of the state lit up.
  13. Anything you can do to insulate your mini-tree shaped grounding rod from the ground will help. I have a 4" rule on any type of light string in proximity to the ground. The cage trees are better when the bottom rung is left in place, but it's still metal and it touches the ground. I have used worn out sections of garden hosed split lengthways down the middle and pressed over the bottom metal ring. Then you can put stakes over the top of the ring without metal to metal contact. Mini trees, wire frames, and aluminum stakes are all nothing more than different shapes of grounding rods; they must be stopped !
  14. Anybody used the great weather in NW Oregon to test out their GFI's circuits? I have never had more problems than last night. Over 1/3 of my display was dark. I was outside until after midnight trying to troubleshoot. It turned out to be cumulative leakage by a multitude of channels causing GFIs to trip. Every connection is elevated from the ground and there's not much more I can do. I'm thinking the ultra wet tree bark is providing areas for current leakage to ground. Ahhhh;; Frustrating
  15. Dave, Too bad you're so far away! We'd like to come down and check out your display. Good Job on keeping Southern Oregon Lit UP !!! -darin
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