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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 dwp49423

  • Rank
    Senior Member
  • Birthday 12/05/1974

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  • Location
    Holland, Michigan, USA
  • Interests
    Computers, model trains, antique traffic signals, amateur radio
  • Occupation
  1. check out Lights To Go. Their main business is making circuit board controllers for traffic lights but they also make 120v and 12v alternating flasher versions. http://www.trafficlights.com/ is the URL Click on Alternating flashers along the right side.
  2. Dave, Glad to find a fellow PC er in the area. I live in Niles with my wife and 2 kids. Also a ham and also have a traffic light and a back round in TV broadcast! As for Christmas...This is my second year on pure LOR! This year with 128 channels. I get up to Holland about once a week. I am working a on AV install at Holland Christian High School and will be for the next year or so! KEN

  3. I ued to use Plano brand shelves. But the fixed heights made storing the taller blowmold figures a pain. Either had to lay them down or not have the shelves so tall. Plus the depth only allowed one figure deep. So I purchased numerous 1x8s from the home center where I am employed and headed to my parents' house where my dad has a table saw in the basement. The shelves are 24 inches deep and 74 inches wide (they stretch wall to wall in my basement in a room that I believe used to be a coal bin). Overall heiht is about 78 inches The bottom shelf is high enough off the floor to allow the tallest blowmold (an Empire Wiseman) to stand on the floor upright with less than an inch of clearance. (Not quite on the floor as I have some cedar 1x2s covered in 1/4 plywood on the floor as an anti-flooding measure. All adult blowmold figures are stored here. Shelf two houses all the animals plus the manger and Baby Jesus. It is 16 inches tall The third and topmost shelf right now is used for Halloween and some non decorations until another shelving unit is finished. My yet to be used LOR controller is stored here. Extension cords are stored on the $1 cord wrap. Those are kept up in the ceiling along with three homemade power distribution boxes. (I nailed 4 foot 1x2s across the floor joists) I will post photos in time-still building shelves so the basement is a construction area right now.
  4. One of the local malls here used to have a puppet(?) called Tillie the Talking Chritmas Tree. Was a huge pyramid and only the face area moved. Cannot find any pictures on Google. Pauline Pine? Pauly Pine Tree?
  5. I've begun construction on the new stable. Thankfully my dad lives in town and has a table saw that I can use. While I'm probably going wind up putting nearly $150 into this stable, it will be very durable compared to the $40 one that fell apart after only five years. I'm planning on some sort of "Jesus Is The Reason" type sign for the front of it. Buildasign.com shows a few possible combinations for color and size. Am going to check a few local places as Buildasign does not appear to allow two line formatting. Pictures will be coming
  6. 13 amp cords would work depending on what you run off of them. 13amps at 125volts works out to 1625 watts. I've been buying a couple 16-3 20 footers at work when they go on sale and cannabalizing the last five feet. (the first five feet of the first two cords were used for the input cords.) Just wish I had a use for the dozen or so 15 foot pigtails I've created in the process.
  7. I'm from the other side of the state than Gary. My display is a simple Nativity Scene but it sees revisions each year (some are behind the scenes). This year the start goes under Light O Rama control if I get the new wooden star frame built on time. I started outdoor decorating about 20 years ago while in junior high and have only missed one year (rented right after getting married and the landlord lived upstairs and decorated the yard) My Christmas website is pretty basic as it has only been up since January. http://www.n8ujh.net/Christmas.
  8. AI wrote: Technically there are 30amp 110v circuits though they are highly specialized. Look at campgrounds and marinas. The RV hookup poles are either 110v 30amp (3 Prong) or 220 50amp (4 Prong). Probably a way somehow to use these if you know how an RV, travel trailer or boat is wired.
  9. I've been canabalizing 20 foot beige extension cords. I label them with a black sharpie right on the receptacle ends. The two plugs are labeled A and B. The controller enclosure is labeled with 2 inch reflective numbers (self adhesive) that are meant for mailboxes. (my co-workers accused me of having an ego when all I bought was a number one) I'll try posting pictures later on today.
  10. You're running off a switched outlet? It's possible the power comes from the breaker, to the outlet and then to the switch. This is called a "switch loop" and it does involve the white wire being used as a hot instead of its usual neutral. In such cases the white wire on the switch loop is susposed to have the end painted or taped black. The circuit isn't complete until the stereo was plugged in. Some equipment uses minute amounts of power even when turned off.
  11. The narration part is close to what I was envisioning. Somehow I forgot about "a multitude of heavenly host". If I can find a few smaller angels, it'll be perfect. (my current one came from Bronners in 1997 and is about 24 inches tall. Has a trumpet in her hans). What song is that with "One King Held" as the lyrics? I've never heard it before but it is definitely appropriate. Now if I can figure out which King holds what...
  12. I would definitely get a second estimate. The prices your electrician quoted seem about 5x higher than what the local home center charges for the components-unless the estimate has labor rolled in with each part instead of a separate line item. See if you can find an independent (self employed) electrical contractor. They are usually charge less but may not be able to work on it right away since they are a one or two person shop. Harder to find as they don't advertise and usually work out of their homes. Gotta go by word of mouth here to find them. If you know any builders, check with them for recommendations. May also want to ask at the contractor desk of the local home center for referrals. A mom and pop hardware store (around here Do It Best (formerly HWI) also have a few recommendations.
  13. Technically it is not left and right. It is every other row. Think of how you fold your hands together for prayer. The fingers (not thumbs) alternate between left and right hands. Similar concept on how the bus bars inside your breaker box are set up. If your breakers in the left side are numbered sequentially and then the right column starts at 11 (for a 20 space) or 21 (for a 40 space), then it is actually odd and even. If the breaker numbers are odd on the left column and even on the right, I'm not sure of a good logic to use.
  14. Cool display. sidenote: I see two radio towers in the background. Ham radio?
  15. I only have one photo online of my Nativity Scene. The tallest Wiseman (just to the right of center, sandwiched between the sidewalk and lamp post) is about three feet tall-approximately half life size. (to the right and out of camera range is a shepherd and three sheep) The star is due for a rebuild this summer. Going to a wooden frame with regularly spaced holes that will accomodate 70 lights (35 red/35 blue)
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