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  1. Can I make a suggestion here, please? Rather than focus on what you didn't receive (thanks), why not focus on why you gave in the first place? Learning to give without strings, even strings as insignificant as a thank you, is a much more rewarding experience. The giving is the part that should make you feel good, not the receiving of a thank you. There will always be ungrateful, forgetful, or ill-manored people in the world. When you understand that your gift to the unappreciating is just as valuable as your gift to someone who shows appreciation, all those negative feelings go away. Don't share if you expect a thank-you. Share because the act itself is right and feels good.
  2. Go ahead - talk all you want. But do it elsewhere. I ordered a couple of RGB floods this afternoon, and 34 minutes after I received an email confirming the order I received another email telling me that the product has shipped. Now some people might say that's an awfully long time to wait. But heck - at my age, I've waited longer than that for a bowel movement. When a company can get their business finished, including the paperwork, quicker than I can at home, well, let's just say my hat's off to them.
  3. Just wanted to post and say JR Dibble and James Morris contribution’s to this forum are invaluable. You guys set the bar and thank you for all what you do!!! Rock on!!!!
  4. Friends ... please be careful Yesterday I went to a Christmas party... had a few beers, followed by a few cocktails, followed by a few shots... I still had the sense to know that I was over my limit. That's when I decided to do what I have never done before: I took a cab home. Sure enough, there was a police roadblock on the way home, and since it was a cab, they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident. This was both a great relief and a surprise because I had never driven a cab before. I don't even know where I got it from and, now that it is in my garage, I don't know what to do with it.
  5. Here is one of my 2015 videos, I just shot and up-loaded it last night. Came out kinda cute. Both these little guys voices are me playing with an audio editor.(yes that's really me ) Let me know what you think. It always gets a laugh out of my "stalkers"
  6. Don't get it in your head that it's a good idea to trim a bush after stringing lights in it.
  7. Yep - We've seen your work:
  8. If you have the means, I highly recommend...
  9. This was an idea sprung on me by the wife Sunday, Drew out the idea Monday, picked up the Coro and wood Tuesday, frames and glue Wednesday, drawn and holes poked on Thursday, done on Friday. Just need to make some cords and hook it up and test it. It's a 5 channel face to go along with the song "in summer" from frozen. When she has an idea to add stuff and will so the sequencing for it, I'll build it immediately, pleases her and she don't ask about other stuff I'm working on lol
  10. No I changed my mind about selling.....I'm going to give it 1 more try
  11. You could always torch their house and then stick a sign in their yard saying their bonfire sucks.
  12. You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill, you stay in Light-O-Rama-land, and if all goes well you will [Foul Language Used] off your HOA."
  13. I learned that my dislike of Facebook(and social media in general) has merit. January 1st I'm deleting our Christmas light FB page and my personal FB page so I can focus on old school real life again. Too much wasted time "commenting on comments"... "liking posts, pictures, and other crap"..."starting to type my opinion only to realize nobody really cares"... "realizing that people I thought were smart, sound pretty stupid fairly often"... "NOT realizing you have become one of them"... etc, etc. Should be a banner year for actually getting stuff done!!!
  14. I've jumped ship several times and spent a lot of time in several other sequencers from LSP to HLS and nutcracker. All have their pros and cons but for me LOR is still where I do the root of all my sequencing. I have not been shy in the past about crashes, or show lag, or memory leaks or any other issues I’ve had with LOR that is for sure lol. While I have no idea what LOR has planned I can offer how I personally have managed large channel counts for the last couple years using LOR. While some of the things many of us have done seem like work arounds (and frankly are) I’ve been looking at them lately more like plugins than workarounds. (it makes me feel better) If you want to run crazy effects in video or photo editing software you need plugins so in my eyes there is no difference for those of us with large channel counts we need "plugins" to. While I wish those features or "plugins" were part of the original software package the reality is most great plugins are designed by 3rd parties anyway. While we are all waiting to see what the next release will bring in LOR here is how I currently manage large channels Use at your own risk and I take zero responsibility if you burn your house down or drive off a cliff, this is just how I do things........... 1: Install the 4gb patch. Once you double click on the patch select the highlighted file seen below and that's it. Don't forget this needs to be done after any update to LOR or it’s overwritten. It is a lifesaver and will prevent crashes on large copy/paste operations. http://ntcore.com/4gb_patch.php 2: Use vegomatic to add channels to your sequences. Right clicking and adding universes manually then converting them to rgb is painful and will make you want to punch your pc screen. Let vego do it for you. First export your current channel config from LOR. Then open vego and tell it how many RGB channels and how you want them sorted by universe etc. Then click the export tab in vego and click "set starting config" this will be your original channel layout you exported from LOR. Lastly click "export LCC combine" and now there is a channel config .LCC file created with all your old LOR channels and all your new RGB channels already grouped named and converted to RGB. This entire process can literally be faster than adding and converting just one single universe to RGB within the LOR sequence editor manually. 3: Organize your groups. Put groups of elements inside large groups. A mega tree for example may have each string in a group so now put all those groups in one large group called Mega tree. Use keyboard shortcuts to expand and collapse the groups. SHIFT click on the groups + or - will open both the main group and all groups with in it. This works for collapsing groups as well. CTRL SHIFT click on the groups + or - will expand all individual RGB channels within a group. 4: Saving sucks right! Couple things that will speed it up tremendously........ :If there are any files open on the clipboard right click and remove them before saving. You are saving those clipboard files along with your sequence and if they came from nutcracker they are beats. : Turn off auto undo recording or in the latest release of LOR 3.11.2 at least minimize the amount of undo actions you are using. This will also improve response time of the sequence editor. I turn mine off as soon as I open the sequence editor. : Also in the latest release of LOR 3.11.2 you can now disable the sequence editor creating a compressed sequence on each and every save. The only time you will ever need those compressed sequences is before you run your show. Turn this off via the Export Compressed option in the Saving Preferences menu during the year while sequencing and before show time turn it back on and resave each sequence to create those compressed sequence for show playback. :Per the LOR Whats new page in 3.11.2 " When the Sequence Editor saves a sequence, it actually saves it to a temporary file first, and then attempts to reload that temporary file. Only if the load is successful will it actually overwrite the existing "real" sequence file with the newly saved temporary one. This is intended to minimize the potential for a save where something went wrong to cause the user to lose a good (earlier) save. This behavior is now optional, via the Verify Load option in the Saving Preferences menu. It is still recommended to have this behavior enabled, but if you work with very large sequences that take significant amounts of time to load and save, and are willing to take the risk of a corrupted save overwriting your previous good save file, you might want to turn it off in order to speed up saving." This will speed things up a lot and for me I rarely name a sequence the same thing more than once anyway so I'm not worried about overwriting a good save with a corrupt one. For example Wizards in Winter 1, Wizards in Winter 2, etc. 5: Using Superstar with LOR I won’t go into too much detail here as I don’t think this has gained that much popularity do to the initial price investment. However SS can be a huge benefit for you show. There is a limit on channels and because of this many users shy away from SS IMHO but even with a small SS license you can make it work for you. The resent addition of DMX keywords in SS has opened up a door for DMX and DIY users to get more bang for their buck. You can draw your pixels in the visualizer and map them with keywords that only SS uses to create DMX sequences. Keep in mind this renders the viz file you crated useless for anything other than SS so dont go adding keywords to your already done viz files you will destroy them, create new ones for SS use only. This will allow you to add the morphs across your display etc. More info on keywords can be found here. http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/27887-superstar-and-dmx/ 6: Using nutcracker with LOR. Stop creating clipboard files from nutcracker and bringing them into LOR. This is the most taxing way to add nutcracker effects to your sequences and you will almost always forget to remove the clipboard files prior to saving the sequence making save time longer than it needs to be. I did it this way forever and was constantly frustrated with crashes and memory errors and long save times. The ideal way to add nutcracker effects is to complete your initial sequencing in LOR and then convert that LMS file to an xlights file. Open your newly created xlights sequence and add what you want in nutcracker. If your channel setup page is done correctly in xlights this will be a breeze. Of course you can add timings via audacity or use the ones Sean has provided in the xlights install directory or you can do like I do and have the original LOR sequence open on one screen and nutcracker open on another. Say in LOR my house is blue at 13.1 seconds in and I want me pixel trees to start spinning blue at 13.1 seconds in. I create a timing mark at 13.1 seconds pick blue and add the effect. Moving on to the next change in my LOR sequence etc. Inside nutcracker you can define your elements and add effects at any part of the sequence without overwriting what was already done in LOR. To do this when you have an element selected like a mega pixel tree you would just select “none” as the effect. Selecting none keeps the original sequencing from LOR intact. Doing it this way has several benefits: You could just save the seq file and schedule your shows with xlights. After all those that remember xlights was originally just a show player/scheduler to begin with and it plays shows back flawlessly. You can draw your shows elements in the preview tab and playback your LOR sequences whole once inside nutcracker without fixture limits. File size is a fraction of the size inside xlights VS an LMS file. You would never have to go back and create compressed sequences for the LOR scheduler show player. However it also has its disadvantages as well: The preview window is amazing at rgb but very limited with AC controllers. Making minor changes can be cumbersome. Every year I find a snowflake I fat fingerd and turned on when it wasn’t supposed to or something similar. There is no grid in xlights to simply open that sequence and turn said snowflake off. You would have to open the original LMS file, turn it off then convert to xlights again and add your effects. Or export from xlights to LOR and turn it off. Either way small changes are a pain. If I could request anything from LOR it would be the fixture limit of the visualizer lifted and show playback lag researched and fixed. I have no idea if a 64bit version would be the solution on those issues but those would be my #1 priority for 2014. Anyway those are my 6 tips to get the most performance out of current 3.11.2 LOR. Hope it helps someone while we are all waiting to see what comes next for LOR!
  15. Once you dabble, your hooked. Kinda like a serious drug. Prices won't be a high priority, divorce is acceptable and being late on bills are side affects. ?
  16. Right now is customer support time. After the new year Matt Brown and myself will be working on integrating SS and PE and SE and it will be known as S5. The plan is to make it so you can use any of the 3 during any portion of your sequence. It will also mean you no longer have to use copy/paste or a subsequence to get SS sequences in with your other lights. As for when it will come out, I can't say.
  17. I wish they would do a show with the "Average Joe" in a "regular" residential area. Not the homes with 5 Acres of property and or HUGE homes. Give the regular homeowner a chance to show off and see what we can do. There are a lot of homes that really pack more punch than some of the crap they show on this show......
  18. Well this is one person that will not jump ship. I will continue to use LOR until it doesn't work for me, if that time ever comes.
  19. Here is one of 6 songs I mixed and then laid out in LOR to program, Enjoy! My first year on LOR, love it! already building for bigger and better next year
  20. When I closed my show down last night I had a note left in my mailbox and this is the true Spirit of Christmas and why I do this: "I just wanted to honestly thank you and your family for this wonderful gift to the community! I recently had surgery and its killed my entire holiday spirit, including Thanksgiving. I brought my boys by this evening and ended up overwhelmed with the holiday spirit and even cried. It made me feel like a kid again, to the point that I was ashamed to have let my recovery ruin so much for me. Seeing my children's faces light up just filled me with so much joy that I'd lost this season. Thank you guys again! My boys want to come back so I'm sure we'll be camped out again later this week. Thank you and blessings to your family!"
  21. Tonight I took my nine year old to her first concert. She may have high expectations for future stage shows after this one. There were several songs she recognized from our show and it managed to entertain her pretty well for her age. If I could have just one of the dozens of high power lights, spark machines, foggers, lasers I would be happy.
  22. This is my first year decorating the house. I built the tree last year and decided to match the house with it this year. Hope you enjoy!
  23. That lady better stay away from my house then. She'll be out numbered.
  24. In 2011, I had The Demented Elf do a package of announcements. I heard his Halloween voice and just loved it. After I got my stuff, I contacted him and had him re-do a couple in that voice. I call it my Christmas monster. I use it for a headlight reminder and also for a keep out of the yard reminder. They're both very effective, and in each announcement he says please and thank you and even Merry Christmas. Since then, I've had maybe 4 people complain that their children were frightened when they heard that voice. (One lady even said I was intentionally being cruel.) It's always women - never had a guy complain. I basically tell them to get bent, and suggest that they shouldn't bring their children by until the kids are old enough to either enjoy the voice or not be frightened by something they hear on the radio. One lady left in a huff as I was laughing at her and said she was never coming back and was going to tell all her friends. I still chuckle when I think about that one. And I'm still waiting to see the drop off in traffic. If someone's going to "jump in and blast" what Ebuechner said, it won't be me. He's totally correct. If more parents did their job we wouldn't have the human snowflake problem we see today.
  25. Well, at the end of 2016 we made the decision to be "dark" for 2017 in case we decided to travel, or just to give ourselves a break - but it turns out we'll be dark in 2017 for a different reason altogether! We've decided to sell our current digs and buy a new house. We won't even get ours on the market until May or June, which means we may not close on a new place until the fall - which is way too late to get started on a new configuration and creating a whole new show! And you KNOW I'm only looking at houses that are one-story with big front yards (or corner lots) so that I can decorate along the roofline but also have more room to expand! I'm also only looking at houses that have nice wide streets for traffic purposes. Other people care about updated kitchens and new appliances. I'm the one looking at rooflines and yard sizes...
  26. Update: I have had a bunch of great comments the last two nights about my arches laying flat since they fell so I am going to leave them flat and build some stronger arches today. I have decided to call them flat feet since they are fallen arches
  27. You could always try voodoo. I often sacrifice a chicken while chanting to the electrical gods. (Eating a bucket of KFC while yelling work dammit)
  28. I feel as though everything is going smooth so I recorded the simulation of my Star Wars sequence and put it on YouTube still may have a little tweaking to do
  29. I learned that I have one asshat neighbor that said he "would do anything to stop my display" I learned the GCLF can be more about the "story" than the lights regardless of what they tell you. I learned that Lawn moth grubs love warm controllers. I learned that a close enough lightning strike can take out a lot of stuff, especially if you leave everything powered up during the storm. I learned that by taking off the 2016 season I will be just fine mentally..... The uncontrolled head jerks are annoying though.. I learned that vertical strip lights need a way to drain even if they are "sealed" I learned that 3 night a week is plenty for a synchronized display and the other 4 nights static works just fine. I learned that if it were true that you "learn from your mistakes", I should be a stinking genius.. but that isn't the case unfortunately.
  30. I have decided to try and launch a National Campaign for this coming Christmas season. I want to call it A Blue Christmas. The idea is to say thank you to the men and woman who serve and protect our communities, and to honor the memories of those officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. It can be as simple as changing a porch light to a blue bulb…..blue candles in the windows….a section of lights on your house that are blue. If you do a more elaborate display, your imagination is the limit. I am still working out the details, but wanted to give you the background on this idea. On March 18th Greenville Police Officer Allen Jacobs lost his life when he and other officers spotted the suspect walking along the street and wanted to ask him about a weapon. They were conducting a field interview based on some information they received. The suspect took off. And Officer Jacobs gave chase. As Officer Jacobs rounded a corner of a house he was met with a hail of gunfire. He was shot multiple times, was wearing a bulletproof vest, and his gun was still holstered. Officer Jacobs died later of his wounds in the Hospital. Before other Officers could chase down the suspect, he turned the gun on himself. Officer Jacobs left behind a young wife, 2 sons and a daughter on the way. Officer Jacobs death has stunned the community. I don’t know why but this death has really bothered me, so I thought we need to come together as a community and a country to say thank you. We need to let officers know we appreciate what they do and for those who made the ultimate sacrifice, let their families know they aren’t forgotten. What better time than at Christmas. Right now this is an idea I have, as it comes together more I will post more. But I wanted to get the idea out there and see what happens. Thank you to every officer that has said I will serve and protect….thank you to my Dad, who was an officer in the 60’s and then went on to train officers in NJ.
  31. No, I'm still here. But if there's a couple of us, I'd at least like to know who my competiton is, if you don't mind.
  32. A woman rang my door bell last night at five pm. She introduced herself and said she wanted to talk to me about my Christmas lights. She explained she moved here from Canada and her her grandchildren only get to come see her once every few years. It had been 5 years since their last visit. While visiting last Christmas they came everyday and watched my lights and the kids were spellbound. She went on to say how the display is special to them and when the grandkids call they always ask about house with the lights and they reminisce about watching the lights and how they want to do it again next year. She left thanking me, once again, for making their Christmas with their children and grandchildren so memorable and special. I don't care you are, that's a cool story! She could have passed on by and never told me. And who knows exactly how many people our displays touch and we don't even know. I just wanted to share that. That is not the only story I have. Not trying to make a point but if there was a point it would be- everyone keep up the good work, who knows how many traditions you may be starting.
  33. This is pretty much how I start doing every song. Gives me lots of timing options very quickly (about 10 minutes). I still have to take some time to make sure things are perfect, but it gives me a huge head start. This video shows how to: Look at what is inside a bare bones LMS fileTake advantage of advanced timing wizards in AudacityHow to manually convert Audacity timing grids (labels) and import them into Light-O-Rama timing gridsHow to automatically convert Audacity labels to LOR timing grids using a crude PERL script, that I don't support.How to use the Beat Wizard and the Tapper Wizard.Ends with a brief code walkthrough on the script.Links: Audacity Download:http://audacity.sourceforge.net/Queen Mary Vamp plugins for Audacity: http://www.nutcracker123.com/nutcracker/releases/Vamp_Plugin.exeLink to Audacity to LOR Script: (I provide no support for this): https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B95M-4jUDX5aSVVGMEJoQmpiUGM/viewActiveState PERL: http://www.activestate.com/activeperl
  34. We've all been there. I'll give you this... if I had a nickel for every time I've had to cut/re-solder a 4-core wire because I forgot to slide the shrink wrap on... I'd be a very rich man.
  35. The only INCORRECT way of unplugging cat5 that I know of is tripping over the cable...
  36. Hey everyone! I finally uploaded a sequence this morning of my second song of 7. I'm clearly not as good of a videographer as a musician, but here it is - with the instruments actually playing the notes this time
  37. paralegalnc

    This is why

    last night two little children came to my door dressed in Christmas pjs. The family (a dad and 4 kids) has a tradition where they go out and look at lights. When they find one they really like they give them a reward. They gave me a little paper trophy. I was moved to tears. I didn't even get their names. I wish they had written it on it. This is the most precious thing. I am going to frame it. I was speechless...and well, that doesn't happen often. So despite all the problems we have had this year... and we've had a bunch.... the frustration, the work... the little paper trophy is worth more than anything and makes it worth it. This year's show was very special to me and it's really nice to know that others like it.
  38. In a central place in your display, by the street, mailbox, etc., place a 3 ring binder "guestbook" with sheets in it for your guests to sign and make comments. They will put very inspirational things on those pages that will amaze you about how meaningful your display is to them. These sheets can be read and cherished by you and your family all year long and will provide motivation during times when you might wonder if you want to do the display.... Hands down, it's one of the best parts of our display... Check out some of the best guestbook entried from our 2012 display... http://www.belardolights.com/2012reaction.html
  39. Hi! I'm Murray............ Murray close up shot. Morty - the guy that started it all. It's only fitting that since Tom (Santas Helper) inspired me on the way I made my Mega Tree, that after helping him raise Morty today - I had to go find my own skeleton. Well, this post is introducing Murray. Anyone else have skeletons climbing Mega Trees? Feel free to tag on this post if you do.
  40. O...M...G... What a great time with the greatest folks!!! Today was a blast and hope everyone had fun. Thank you for your kind words. It takes a little work to host an event but that's not what makes it successful. "YOU" is what makes it successful. To have great people attend and interact with each other. To share their story, their experience and to learn new things. And believe me, this mini (from what I observed) was very successful. SO I Thank You!!! for being involved. Each and everyone of you!!! And for everyone who donated a door prize and/or brought food (very delicious). Another THANK YOU!!! I'm going to work on posting pics but I gotta catch my breath tonight and chill. It was a busy couple days. So if you took pictures, please post them. I'll be doing the same soon. Have a great evening and remember... it couldn't have been great... without YOU. Tom
  41. 10 feet off the ground from end to end of the house. Planned to be 100 feet but the CCB strings were longer than I expected.
  42. I just spent the week working on Pentatonix's Little Drummer Boy. Wife really likes this song. tell me what you think guys??
  43. I very rarely (and I mean VERY rarely) see anyone drive away during any of my Pink Floyd tunes. Christmas spirit arrives in many different ways. Having said that, if I had no choice, I'd wind up editing that thing down to about 30 seconds and using it as a street-sweeper.
  44. I tried lighting our animals, but couldn't get either dog to sit still while I wrapped the lights. I probably could have done the turtle, but that's been dead for a few years already.
  45. I stopped openly sharing sequences mostly due to rarely receiving even a thank you in return. And I'll be right up front about it. In fact, the straw that broke this sequencer's proverbial back was the day I got ragged up one side and down the other because I wouldn't illegally include a free copy of the audio file along with the sequence. Call me whatever you want, but when I give someone a project I've spent more than a week conjuring, building, and fine tuning - a gift that saves them at least days of their own time while also providing a better finished product than they'd likely come up with on their own - YES, I expect at least a thank-you. Maybe even a thank-you-very-much.
  46. THIS is the first vid of the 4th of july hope you enjoy!!!!!!
  47. Lucy's just trying to get you to buy more controllers...
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