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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.


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Posts posted by BMcGeeny

  1. For the past couple of weeks I have been trying to think of new props for my show and have not been able to come up with anything! Last year I added the leaping arches and Rockets- (PVC pipe will lights wrapped around it: Are they called something different?) Anyway, If anyone knows of anything please let me know because i am already far behind in building my sequences and designing for this year.



    Snow machine maybe???

    Got any pictures of the rockets? Data? How to?

  2. You could do it if you used LOR or AL..would be extremely easy.

    Multi colors in a Blowmold is very simple. As Carrie says if you want them to fade from color to color LOR or AL (Carrie you forgot Renard for us DIY'rs) would be required.

    You just hang 4 C9 bulbs in through the socket hole. A Red, Green, Blue, and White. Run them so the first one is slightly below center and each one just a little higher than the next. Close off the socket hole with a small peice of plastic with the cords coming out.

    Don't do anything to the molds. Most are mostly white anyway. They look normal when the white lights up, the white portions will look green/red/blue as those colors light up.

    The colored portions of the mold will look pretty close to the same all the time, or will make an interesting mix, only not as bright. That is just the physics of light. Most of the light from a colored bulb is white anyway. There is just enough held back to make the various colors "appear" blue/green/red

  3. I use all 1/4" cold rolled round for the wireframes that I make. You can also use hot rolled. Hot rolled bends easier although cold isn't that hard to do without special tools.

    A lot of folks use 1/4" for making wire frames. I don't know if that is because that is what is frequently available or we just like overkill.

    In my opinion, unless your wire frame is more than 4' in any direction or subject to very hard use 7/32" is way more than adequate, and actually 3/16 will most often do.

    The finished frames are much lighter and easier to store, much easier to weld with a hobby type 110 welder and since you pay for steel by the pound, much cheaper.

    I would also use hot rolled. It is much cheaper and much easier to bend than cold rolled. Although it is a little harder to finish. Harder to get clean for paint to stick.

    Also if you are concerned about your frame flexing, use 1/4 for the one or two main long structural parts, and the rest from something lighter.

    Also if you are going to use clips that snap around wire and hold the bulbs, they are much less expensive in the smaller sizes.

    That said, Toymaker makes nothing but Premium Frames, and the material he uses shows!

  4. Hi Jen, I was surprised. They are GE energy smart 13 watt. Maybe I bought a bad bunch or there is something wrong in my house wiring. The package says 1 cfl lasts as long as 8 incandescent bulbs. Guaranteed for 5 years. More surprising, no warning of mercury or any hazard. They do not tell you how to dispose them. Safe efficient lighting.

    If they contain mercury, I would think the law would require this in writing. Jan

    Even the feel good people have reported on it


    It's a small amount but any is too much.

    As for Mercury, I am old enough to remember when dentists used it in fillings. My mother use to bring small amounts home from work. Today the hazmat team would be called.

  5. Just remember, that CFL's contain mercury. Should you happen to break one, your blowmold will become hazardous waste.

    Also keep in mind that the amount of energy required to make a CFL bulb is aproxamately three times the amount it saves over it's life.

    But, if you like feely goodies, then go for it. However expect LED's to replace CFL's in just a few years.

    (and yes, they use a tremendous amount of energy to make, but that is rapidly changeing)

  6. Just a thought, but if you are looking to build any of your own stuff you might want to look at doityourselfchristmas.com.

    There are guys here who are really good at building display design, but they got guys over there designing all kinds of job specific electronic stuff that makes your head spin. And they will tell you exactly how to build it and THEN when it doesn't work can walk you through trouble shooting.

    Hope I don't get in trouble for suggesting you look all over to find the answers.

  7. Sorry for getting into this discussion so late. But I have a question to interject. I have some 225 clear C9's in lumanaries that are along the border of my yard. My yard is BIG. So to fill some of the space, this year I am going to double my plywood cutouts. To do this I will be using 16 more spotlights.

    I feel I am pushing the limits on my power so I came up with the idea that if I replaced the clear c9's with Warm White LEDs that it would save enough power to run the spotlights.

    Any comments?


    You have made the most common sense look at LED's I have seen in all the discussions.

    I think almost anyone would agree that the cost is at best a wash.

    The durability is still undertermined.

    But what Larry brings up is C9's C7's and Floods, things that use lots of power LED's may make sense. Larry you would be able to multiply at least by ten the number of Bulbs/floods you use without having to upgrade power system. The only thing I would caution on is sample before you buy a bunch.

    I do not like the look of LED mini's and have seen some C9/C7's that look ok, plus some floods are ok. But I sure would not like to be stuck with a bunch of bulbs I did not like.

    As for mini's on controllers, I can triple the amount I have before I have to worry. My light bill for 30 days went up $33. Not hardly worth worrying about.

  8. I am in the middle of a project and need to slow down a wiper motor. It is powered by a 5v 2a wal wart and would like to slow the motor down. Was thinking that reducing the voltage would be the easiest way to get the desired effect. How would I accomplish this????

    Other suggestions also welcome :confused:

    Are we talking a car wiper motor? Don't know where you got the motor, but if it's off an old car that has intermitant wipers you can use the switch. Not only does it slow it down, it will pause it, which would be cool on a Jack-In-The-Box

  9. When was that second pic taken -- 1977??

    If we have another great day like today, all the snow (actually ice now) should be gone from the yard. I pretty much has been for a few days now, but there's some shady spots that have been stubborn...


    Hah Hah, I got all the stakes pulled out of the ground today, even the 6' T Posts. The frost is gone at least 2' down.

    So that means, officially, EVERYTHING IS DOWN.!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. Anymore interest out there? I was hoping for more than 5 but if it is small, maybe we could make that work as well. Also if you have ideas of topics you want to see, let me know. I could do a welding how-to if anyone is interested. Thanks.


    Although I think I might come any weekend except the 16th of May. Fishing trip you know.

  11. So there are 3 of us in Ewa Beach for 2009? Sweet. Miles lives just around the corner from me. I am in a townhouse though, so I don't have as good of a location. But it will still be an upgrade from last year. Planning on around 6000 lights, 32 channels, strobes, projection movie, arches, and more. I just got my first 2 controllers in this past week and this will be my first year using light-o-rama. Here is my first sequence. I have it hooked to candy canes for display purposes, but it will be hooked to 2 ropelight arches for my show.

    What is the name and artist of the song?


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