Well it took a couple of tries but all the minii-trees are back and running ... Horray for cheap WalMart lights !!! (I say that with the utmost sarcasm...) Glad I have about 4 cases left ... sheeesh...
Murhpy's Law does not bypass decorators... Sandra noticed one the mini-trees looked funny tonight and as it turned out less than half the lights were coming on... sigh ..
So I took the tree out of service and took it to the shop... I got a few working but still had issues. So I decided to start unwrapping.. Its funny ya know .. three 100 count strings of lights on these things and its ALWAYS the middle string that has issues .. never fails.. I found a bad socket on one string and another loose socket on another ...
So I stripped all the lights off, got out new boxes of lights (we have cases) and wouldnt you know it .. I'm out of 4" tie wraps .. Oh well. back to Home Depot tomorrow at lunch and pick up some more.
I'll have the tree back in the display tomorrow.. untill then, the other 27 will just have to do .. LOL
I was working in the shop when Sandra came out and told me that our neighbor just called and told us that funnel clouds were reported at exit 123 (FM 2939) which is about 7 miles up the road from us. I looked to the north and there was a light show going on better than anything I could build ... LOL
Quick look at the radar showed a big storm on the way.. As it turned out, it kinda died out as far as the rain but the wind came a blowin !!! Sandra and were both worried about the MERRY CHRISTMAS sign on the roof, but it stood its ground (or roof in this case.. ) and never moved.
Bob and Sandra -- 1 , Mother Nature -- 0 (but dont tell her ... hehehe)
Tonight we had visitors that brought thier family down from Arkansas to see us. From where they lived it was a pretty decent drive to come see us. When we showed them our message for the season in the Celine Dion song "So This is Christmas" they all just stopped .. Then the man in the car stuck his hand out the window and offered a firm hand shake and Thank You... Glad we were able to touch thier hearts ...
Then another visitor extended his hand, asked if we took donations to support the show. I declined of course but accepted the donation with the promise that it would be given to a charity that needs it. That is the first time that has ever happened. Thank you Mr. H. We will make sure that your generous gift goes to those that need it most.
Sandra and I have been considering putting out a barrel to accept food donations to give to the local food bank.
We are proud of our display and so fortunate to be able to be in the position to share it with everyone.
Thanks to all who have come by and welcome to all those that will..
Bob and Sandra
Okay .. here is the scene. We have all had dinner.. My dads here, family .. and 6:00PM is upon us.
I sit down in front of the show computer to what the first show start up on autopilot ..
tick tock tick tock .. Ok .. its 6:00PM and my PC is looking back at me like a monkey doing a math problem... NOT RESPONDING ... Well this cant be good ...
Being in the business, i spoke ill of Bill Gates and Microsoft .. then rebooted the show machine ..
POOF .. All is good.. go figure .. running like a charm ..
Show started a few minutes late, but LOR and DMX and started up fine ...
Show started .. 6:05 ... first visitor 6:07 ... a 4 year old looked at her clock and told mommy it was time to go see the lights .. Even the Grinch could not smile for that one ...
HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL .. Be safe in your travels .. we look forward to seeing each one of you..
Bob and Sandra
For those that may be following my ramblings ... the lights are up, the show is tested and ALL SYSTEMS ARE GO !!! Okay .. I do have a couple of lights that are out, but thats just maint..
The show WILL launch at 6:00PM tomorrow night!!
Did I mention that ...WOOOOOF .. I am pooped ..
While I'm not out in -100000000 degree weather (actuallys its in the mid to upper 70's) I can feel for my friends up north when it comes to hard ground ... HOKEY SMOKES .. I cant even get the legs of the mini trees to go into our ground .. !!! I've never pounded in a mini tree with a 20 lb sledge .. BUT!!!!
Mommy? What makes his lights do that ?? Its funny how we always talk about our displays in the "finished state". What the people see, how they react and so on... what is never really talked about is all the backstage work that goes into it. Take for example our yard grid. A simple 8 x 8 grid. Just lay the lights on the ground and plug them in ... right? Well... almost.. what isnt seen is the 300' of SPT-1 wire used to make the power harness. The vampire plugs on each end. The tie-wraps ... OH THE TIE WRAPS ... !! By the way.. to a decorator .. tie-wraps and hot-glue are your real BFF's (LOL) ...
I finished laying out the yard grid and the 28 mini-trees along with making the new power harnesses.
10PM and I am on my hands an knees in the front yard fixing and replacing strings...
So why ..why do we do this.. deadlines, promises yadda yadda ... ?
I'll tell you why. As I was working last night one of our neighbors stopped in front of the house. It seems her 4 year old say 3 strings of lights lit up (stuck on channels actually .. LOL) and wanted mommy to take her to see them... Offically(?) our 1st visitor of the year .. hahahaha.. 300 lights out of 30,000 lit up and she couldnt wait for mommy to stop so she could see...
You want to know why .. there is your answer.. the look in in a young childs eyes and the smile on thier faces...
Hopefully .. tomorrow.. we finish up .. test on Wednesday .. and come Thurdays at 6:00PM.... LIGHT EM UP !!!
Well it may not look like it but I think we are ahead of schedule (If you call running around like a mad man a schedule !!) Actually, to me the hard part is generally done. Setting out the controllers, running power and network cables has always been the most trying part for me. As it turns out, this year went really smooth. A lot of that is because we did so much in prior years to make custom power and network cables etc.. I would say that we get better at it every year .... but ... well I'll just leave that as a thought .. Initial testing shows everything so far to be spot on.
Tomorrow the BIG PUSH... layout the yard grid finish the yard and install the MERRY CHRISTMAS sign. REALLY hoping to continue testing and make a sneak peak run through the w
Greetings to all... well we are in FULL swing on getting the display up and running. We finished all the porch setup today (Bellagio poles, rail wraps, wreaths, windows and bells) including wiring and testing !!
We also go the NEW AND IMPROVED MegaTree out, wired and installed..... Still a few "clean up" items to attend to on the MegaTree but we got WAY more done today that I would have ever imagined..
Tomorrow starts round two. A trip to Home Depot to finish added the second network cable from the office to outside for DMX, bricks for the MERRY CHRISTMAS sign then back to work !!
The 22nd with be here in NO TIME .. so.. back to work we go !!
Bob and Sandra Moody.