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Ryan Johnson

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Ryan Johnson last won the day on November 25 2015

Ryan Johnson had the most liked content!

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29 Excellent

About Ryan Johnson

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  • Birthday November 12

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  • Gender
  • Location
    Cypress, Texas
  • Occupation
    Development Manager

More About Me

  • Interests
    My wife and kids, Christmas Decorating, Fireworks, Lone Star Holidays, Reading, Writing
  • How I learned about Light-O-Rama -
    User since 2006
  • Favorite Decorating Holiday?
    Christmas (but fireworks season is a close second)

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390 profile views
  1. Ryan Johnson

    Why We (Should) All Do This...

    She knows all about Lone Star Holidays. That's where she'll find the most active decorators in the area. Christmas Light Finder is a great resource as well although on a more global level. I point people there whenever people tell me they're traveling during the holidays.
  2. Ryan Johnson

    Why We (Should) All Do This...

    Why do I do this every year?" I ask my self that a lot every November as the "lights on" date approaches. Had something amazing happen today that answers that for me... There's a young lady who lives in our subdivision with her mother. She's had significant scary things happen to her in her life and so she is terrified to go out of the house. Yet every night, every single night, she's here with her mom to watch the lights. I was outside this morning putting up lights, fixing broken strings, and wondering for the 10,000th time "why do I do this every year". As I'm working her mother pulls up and gets out and approaches me. She tells me who she is and I tell her I know her daughter and appreciate her coming by all the time. She tells me some of the details of her daughter's life that I certainly didn't know and then tells me "this is her joy all season and all year. It means so much that you do this." They're moving up to the DFW area soon and she tells me "she knows we're moving but it hasn't hit her that she won't see this anymore after this year." Sort of choked me up and I told her how much it means for her to come tell me that. I told her that I have a lot of friends on Lone Star Holidays that live in that area and that I'd give her some addresses to see other big displays. They're moving just outside of Frisco and I told them to let me know when and I'll get her in touch with the guy behind the amazing Frisco Town Square display (Jeff Trykoski). This hobby is a lot of work, time and money. Things have changed in our lives as the girls (and we!) get older and I can say that my obsession with Christmas lights has waned over the last 3-4 years. I love them, don't get me wrong, but I don't love the work (and believe it or not I really used to!). Then things like this happen and I realize how much what we do touches pepole. If no one else comes by this year I know that our biggest fan will be out there in her car, feeling safe, and beaming at our display. I still don't love the work but I know now why I do it: because it's important to some people and they wait for it all year. That's a humbling thing. It's not about pixels, technology, incandescent, commerical vs DIY, the Academy, LSH, the Great Christmas Light Fight, or the people who want to be "famous" in our holiday community. Really it's not even about your religious beliefs or lack thereof. It certainly isn't about political races/debate, terrorism, marriage equality or racial divides. It's about the people we touch, most of which we never hear from. As you bask in your glory of being "the best display" remember that. We all forget it sometimes, myself included. Ok... have to wipe my eyes out and get back to work. A lovely young lady is waiting to see this all turn on. -Ryan Johnson
  3. Ryan Johnson

    2015 Christmas Expo Site Announcement

    I have nothing further to say about the Academy or the Expo. Please do not send me any further PMs concerning this.
  4. Ryan Johnson

    2015 Christmas Expo Site Announcement

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words. We don't want the many postings in support of the Academy to derail this thread so we will begin a thread in the correct place as soon as we have final details. The "correct place" is under the Vendor section- as we were told that ALL events had to do beginning last year. (http://forums.lightorama.com/index.php?/topic/31280-approved-vendor-list-eventsgatherings/) LOR Admin- please move THIS thread to the proper place under the vendor section. Unless of course we're allowed to post in various areas unlike last year. No sarcasm here- we've always followed the LOR forum (and ALL forums) rules so we just appreciate the standard being the same for every event. Thanks so much! Ryan
  5. Ryan Johnson

    2015 Christmas Expo Site Announcement

    No one is fighting. I was correcting misinformation about the Academy. I assume that we all want the correct information out there.
  6. Ryan Johnson

    2015 Christmas Expo Site Announcement

    I'm sorry to hear that some people have continued to spread that news with no knowledge of any plans (and I'm not talking about Sean- he can't help what he's been told. I know him and I don't think he's malicious in any way. Other people with a vested interest in competing with the Academy on the other hand...).
  7. Ryan Johnson

    Four days... last chance!

    If you're not registered for the 2014 Academy... what are you waiting for?? www.theultimateacademy.com See you Friday!
  8. At long last the schedule for the 2014 Academy is HERE! CLICK HERE FOR THE EVENT SCHEDULE! So how do you stay up to date on things? We began using an app called "Guidebook" in 2012 and people have REALLY liked it the last 2 years. Because so many people use smartphones/iPhones it allows you to see immediate changes, any additions, select the classes you want for your schedule (so you know exactly what your days will look like). Click below info below and get your 2014 Academy Guide. Remember that it doesn't cost a thing to you as an attendee: CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR ACADEMY GUIDEBOOK!
  9. Ryan Johnson

    Less Than 2 Months...

    The Academy is coming in just two short months! The classes are now listed on the website and we’re working hard to finalize the schedule in the next week or so. In order to do that, we must finalize our space requirements and that’s where YOU come in! We are currently at-capacity for our registered attendees. If you are planning on attending, you MUST go register NOW. If we get additional registrations in the next week, it will allow us to increase space, allowing more people to attend. If we do not, there is a VERY GOOD chance that you will not be able to attend due to limitations at the facility. We CANNOT wait until the final weeks to make this decision. The deadline for a decision (on your part and ours) is now! We have a great event planned for everyone. Visit www.theultimateacademy.com for details and to register. Can’t wait to see you soon!
  10. Ryan Johnson

    2014 Academy Details Thread

    Congratulations to Greg Castiglione! You are the winner of the #2014LSHAcademy Early Bird Contest! You're coming for FREE!
  11. Ryan Johnson

    2014 Academy Details Thread

    Last chance for Early Bird pricing (see above) and to be entered to attend for free!
  12. Ryan Johnson

    2014 Academy Details Thread

    As usual, we don't want to clutter up a bunch of threads and posts, so we'll be posting the details of the Academy here for everyone to see... The Academy will be here before you know it!! Most of us are packing-up our holiday decorations and have started thinking about 2014. As you do that, please remember that one of the most-important things you can do to support your holiday habit this year is to attend the 2014 Academy! The event is coming-up faster than you think and there are a number of things to keep in mind… We already have over 50 classes planned, and we’re not done yet! Check-out the tracks we have planned for you: The Beginner (Starting from Scratch): Want to know where to start? This series of classes will help you on the first steps of your decorating journey.Hardware Options: This track will focus on hardware available for holiday decorators from commercial options to DIY solutions. We will focus-on ALL options, not just the “regulars” and will have some topics we have never covered before.Software Solutions: Whether you are a “DIYer” or you use a commercial hardware option, every decorator must make a decision on how to control everything. There are a myriad of solutions out there that help you develop your display and this track will discuss each one.Interactive Elements: There is more to the holiday hobbies than just turning-on lights or building the next great prop for your displays. This group of classes will focus-on how to interact with your audience, working within your community, costuming and makeup, and holding-events.Lights, Lights, Lights: If it lights-up we’re going to discuss it in this track! We’ll discuss everything from incandescent to RGB, floods to ribbons, and even how to use them on your house and other props. Prepare to be illuminated!Props N Projects: We’re planning some of the best sessions to show-off great props built by the best. You’ll get to see things up-close, ask questions of the builders, and hopefully get some great ideas for your own display.So what do we need from you? A few very simple things… Most importantly and something you should do now: GO REGISTER! The Early Birth pricing of $60 is gone BUT someone left a weird discount code in the system and our Webmaster can’t get to it until January 31st. So our loss is your gain: Use “LastChance2014” when you register and you’ll save the $10 so you still get the $60 price. But as soon as our Webmaster gets back in his seat at the end of the month that deal is GONE. Remember too that our Early Bird giveaway drawing is on February 2nd (Groundhog day or, to many of us, Super Bowl Sunday). If you’re registered by the end of the month you are automatically entered to win a free registration so don’t miss out! Also, we want you to get excited! Keep an eye on the website (with our new and improved Rock-N-Roll theme for 2014!) and stay up-to-date on details as they happen. If you use Twitter, follow the hashtag for this year: #2014LSHAcademy. And most importantly, be sure to visit our new Academy Facebook page. LIKE and SHARE it with everyone you know who might be excited or thinking of attending. It’s also a great place for you to keep an eye on for updates and maybe a contest or two along the way! Visit www.facebook.com/TheUltimateAcademy right now! Second, tell those people who enjoy the hobby as much as you do. Many of you have been to the Academy before and you’ve heard the speech: The Academy isn’t a money-maker and we need registrations to come in now, not in the 30 days before the doors open. Get the word-out, share it on the various forums to which you belong, tell your neighbors who want to learn about this hobby. The more folks who come each year, the more fun we all have! We also have a Vendor Room that is quickly filling up. These companies are coming to see you and sell you product, not just sending some door prizes. They’re commitment to the Academy is something we should all appreciate. Our vendor partners help make the Academy happen: Illumimax, Synchronized Christmas, Radiant Holidays, HolidayCoro, SanDevices, Light Show Pro, Reinders, Holiday Yard Art and more will be on hand to see you and show off their latest products. We’re very excited about the Academy in 2014. It’s going to be another great year and we can’t wait to see you all soon! The 2014 Academy Planning Team
  13. Ryan Johnson

    Seven Deadly Decorator Sins

    A few people mentioned sharing this beyond PC and LSH so here goes... Someone I know on a Santa Claus website wrote something like this for Santas and it got me thinking of how it relates to decorators as well. The holidays are such a busy time and we put A LOT of added pressure on ourselves with our displays and I thought it was important to think of this in terms that we can relate to. As most of you know, I’m not a church-goer (I’m a Christian but don’t have much use for organized religion and the politics and posturing that often goes with it) but taking these “seven deadly sins” in relation to our shared hobby was enlightening to say the least: Pride: Dictionary definition: “inordinate self-esteem” Pride can be, in my opinion, a very good thing. Taking pride in your work isn’t something to ashamed of. But when you look at the definition I think the word “inordinate” pops out at me. I’ve heard people say that their display is “the best” and even going so far as to be on tv or in print claiming to have “the best display in… (insert city, state, country here”). I find that incredibly disrespectful to those around you and those who participate in this great hobby. Who says yours is the best? You? Your family? The local contest? Sometimes the people that do what we would consider “small” have made a big impact for the people around them. Wreaths on the door, small light displays, etc are every bit a part of the holidays as a 15,000 universe RGB video-playing behemoth. Regardless of what you do for the holiday we should all be proud of the work we put in. We should like the kudos and thanks but we should temper it with a little humility and work to keep the “inordinate self-esteem” at bay. Gluttony: Dictionary definition:” an emphasis on over-indulgence” This is an easy one to tip into in our hobby. Excess is what it’s all about to us sometimes! But too many lights, too many songs, too much going on, and too much time taken away from jobs and families to set up… sometimes it’s just too much. We’ve all heard that “less is more”. This seems to fly in the face of extreme decorating! But if we all work to find the things that make us (and our visitors) happy, without “over indulging”, we’re going to avoid gluttony when it comes to our holiday shows. And don’t eat ALL of the turkey either! Envy: Dictionary definition: “painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage” How easy is it to find ourselves envious of another person’s display? Their elements are better, they have newer technology or they achieve more traffic. “Keeping up with the Joneses” is alive and well in this day and age and our holiday lights offer no rest from it. NO ONE has the BEST of everything. As my Pappy always said “you can have anything you want, but you can’t have EVERYTHING that you want.” Enjoy what you have and let others enjoy it too. Don’t be envious of something someone else has; be proud (without being “inordinate”! See above!) of what you have worked to create. See something you like that someone else has or is doing? Work hard to get there but don’t become Grinch-green with envy over it. Sloth: Dictionary definition: “disinclination to action or labor” Hobbies are cyclical. I truly believe that. We have discussions at LSH about how we need to bring veteran members back into the fold. But the rigors of everyday life- jobs, spouses, friends, children, etc- take a front seat to our hobby, as they should if your priorities are set in the right place. So I’m not talking aboiut when you take a year off or simply decide to leave the hobby altogether. I’m talking about what happens when you get lazy. You stop learning and looking for new ways to improve your display. You start to take shortcuts and think “that’s OK no one notices any way”. It’s better to take a year – or more – off and recharge than to simply throw it up half-hearted and take the easy way out. Remember, no one ever created a great display by sitting on the couch and thinking about it. If it was easy everyone would do it! Wrath: Dictionary definition: “strong vengeful anger” This could apply to a lot of things when setting up (or tearing down). You can’t get that sequence “just right”. The lights don’t look the way you expect. People don’t come to see your display. Last year (2012) I had this idea to fence in my yard with the wire mesh I had used on my shutters. Should have been easy and worked great. Unfortunately it did not and I had over 100 feet of wire mess cut to size and laying in the front yard. I could have thrown it away in a fit (and believe me I’ve done things like that before!) but instead I simply rolled it up, said “oh well” and put it away for another year/purpose. So that’s the type of physical, outward anger that we get when something doesn’t go perfectly. Try to relax and have fun when that happens. I know, I know it’s easier said than done. But give it a try- I’ve mellowed considerably in terms of this the last couple of years. And I do find myself enjoying it all a little bit more because of that conscious decision. There is another component where wrath raises its ugly head in our hobby: online forums! Online conversations turn nasty fast, more quickly than they should for people who are sharing a hobby and presumably are doing so to bring joy to others. I see people accusing others of stealing ideas or telling people that their opinions are “wrong” (people, opinions by definition cannot be wrong. The sooner we all get that the better off we’ll be). Just because you’ve been a member of a certain group or forum since the mid-80s (a slight exaggeration) doesn’t make you the foremost expert on all things Christmas! And even if you were/are (which you’re not!), why do people have to be so rotten and nasty to each other on forums? Internet tough-guys or keyboard bullies should have no place in our hobby (or anywhere for that matter). Sometimes it’s important to just agree to disagree, or shake your head at something someone posted and move on. It’s alright, really. Don’t get so upset that your “strong vengeful anger” takes hold and makes you out to be the bad guy. Greed: Dictionary definition: “a selfish and excessive desire for more of something (as money) than is needed” This is pretty self-explanatory: you want MORE. More money, more lights, more traffic, more channels, more presents… more, more, more, more! Excess is easy to get into when you are a part of this hobby, but to do so selfishly and to be constantly looking to getting something “more” isn’t something that any of us should be striving for. It’s actually the opposite of what most our displays are about! Lust: Dictionary definition: “An overwhelming desire or craving” Lust is often related to sexual desire (in fact that’s the primary definition for it) but in this case it doesn’t apply (or it better not at least! If it does then you have far bigger issues than my little thread could hope to help!). But the “overwhelming desire or craving” certainly is something we can probably all relate to. You know what I’m talking about: We want to be powerful; to be considered an “expert” in our hobby. We want to get a job where we are paid to fly the world over and do nothing but put up lights. We simply want to be GREAT and to have people validate that for us. Those are the type of feelings that lead us to lust after something. Lusting after anything, whether it’s “stuff” or celebrity status, or something else in relation to our hobby is never a pretty thing. LOVE your display and what it brings to others. Don’t lust over things that are not, in the grand scheme of things, that important. These seven deadly decorating sins have the power to sap us of the wonderful reasons we do this. I have never in my years had someone tell me “I do this to be famous/rich/powerful/etc”, yet I see behaviors each year that tell a different story. Like many things in life our strengths and best traits can turn quickly into our greatest opportunities and pitfalls. Do what you can, for yourself, to keep these things from creeping into your holiday hearts and minds. Your display and you as a person will be happier for it! Have a safe and Merry Christmas! Ryan
  14. Ryan Johnson

    Who will I meet?

    Good meeting you Lori. I'm glad you had a good time. Bob I think you were represented but correct me if I'm wrong: Zach and the crew from Kansas had led nametags taht they credited to you. Very cool! I posted this to Ken's question in another thread but it's worth sharing here as well: As requested: http://www.theultima...-academy-recap/ You may also enjoy these: And BTW- I say L-O-R as well, not "Lor". But to each their own!
  15. Ryan Johnson

    Academy 2013 is finished

    As requested: http://www.theultimateacademy.com/welcome/the-2013-academy-recap/ We'll have some photos up on the site soon as well. You may also enjoy these: