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Speedster

The Saddest Day in January

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Since it's the 1st weekend in January, as usual I'll start tearing down our outdoor Christmas light display in about 10 minutes.  Since I started this hobby 4 yrs ago, this day has always made everyone in the family feel sad, as the lights have brought so much joy & happiness during the holiday season, and we hate to see them go.  And since we only light up during Christmas, we'll have to wait until Thanksgiving night to see our lights again.

My family felt so sad after I took down the outside lights after the 2nd year, so I decided to "compromise" and told them we could wait until after Valentine's Day to take down our Christmas tree and indoor lights.  But then after taking down the tree in Feb that year (2017), they wanted to leave the rest of the living room indoor lights up a little longer.  Well, "a little longer" turned out to be much longer than I thought, and our indoor Christmas lights have stayed up ever since then.  In our living room we have Christmas lights around the big picture window, small window, door frame, a fake tree, and fake plant.  They can't be seen from the outside, but we can see them inside, and that's all that matters.  It may seem weird to some people to turn on indoor Christmas lights every month of the year, but "weird" has become our "normal" lol. 

So even though our house & yard will be back to looking dull, boring, & sad by the end of this weekend, at least we can still enjoy some lights inside our house 24/7/365.

 

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Yep, last night I went outside a little before 2300 so I would watch the "Final Night Closing" sequence run at 2300.  Figured I needed to go out lively, so used MIIP to vote in "Wizards in Winter" as the last musical sequence.  I won't start taking down for at least a week.  My sister arrives from Colorado next Thursday and I will run the show for her sometime after she arrives.  Otherwise it's back to the year round landscape lighting.

Let's see, the first special lighting event for the year round landscape lighting will be Valentines Day in a little under six weeks.

 

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Just wait until it's your LAST time, like Jim I went outside to watch the end of my show, yes I did have tears in my eyes when it went off for the last and final time.

Earle 

 

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I feel your 12 volt pain. Last year, as a cure for a similar mental state, I decided to make some of the exterior lighting more permanent. I installed smart pixel strips under the eaves and dumb RGB outdoor floods  on  the fence. I continued adding lighting to out G scale garden railroad. I use LOR's Pixie 16 controller and two 16 Channel DC Controllers, two 24 Channel RGB DC Controllers. All controllers are connected to LOR's Easy Light Links. Indoor, an LOR G3 MP3 Director is connected to another Easy Light Link. The director is plugged into a smart outlet, so "OK Google, turn on the director starts the show. Mostly, I loop simple sequences of one color, but our house isn't dull. Whatever path you choose, I hope it's well lit.

Richard

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Won't be getting my stuff down for a few days or so yet, got a nasty bout of both pneumonia and the dad-burn flu at the same time.  

Decor was supposed to start coming down on Monday 1/7/2019, but because of the illness that both my wife somehow cam down with, put us both out of commission for any extraneous activity, such as climbing ladders and getting some of the decor down off the house.  

So hopefully by this upcoming weekend I'll feel energetic and well enough to start getting some of the stuff down.    Not running any light displays, just some static lighting to light the path up the handicap ramp to the door for now.   

The RGB lights will stay up, since they can set and used for any Holiday with a little sequencing and color changes.   But got to get the blowmolds and a lot of other stuff down. 

Me, I'm not sad to see it go, I'm actually kind of sick of looking at the blowmolds and other Christmas decor just hanging around out there.   If I hadn't gotten so dadblasted sick, it'd already be down!

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On 1/5/2019 at 1:25 PM, PCRail said:

I feel your 12 volt pain. Last year, as a cure for a similar mental state, I decided to make some of the exterior lighting more permanent. I installed smart pixel strips under the eaves and dumb RGB outdoor floods  on  the fence. I continued adding lighting to out G scale garden railroad. I use LOR's Pixie 16 controller and two 16 Channel DC Controllers, two 24 Channel RGB DC Controllers. All controllers are connected to LOR's Easy Light Links. Indoor, an LOR G3 MP3 Director is connected to another Easy Light Link. The director is plugged into a smart outlet, so "OK Google, turn on the director starts the show. Mostly, I loop simple sequences of one color, but our house isn't dull. Whatever path you choose, I hope it's well lit.

Richard

How did it turn out? 

JR

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Finished getting all my stuff down yesterday. I am now going through withdrawals as every time I look at the front yard it looks so bare and empty.

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Well I agree with all of you.  It is a big let down when you tear down.  Friday, Saturday, Sunday.  I took down the mega tree just before dark tonight.  Thats it except for the most dangerous part.  Taking down the light towers off of the Oak and Walnut trees which require a 32' fully extended ladder standing on the next to the last ring.  I will rent a bucket some day.  Or better, design a rail system I can hoist them up the 6 trees.  And then to make matters worst I just opened a snail mail letter we received today addressed to "The Christmas Light Guy" at our home address, Thanking us for sharing our hard work with the world.  Does make the heart feed good but the tear down still hurts!

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Surprisingly I was able to complete the tear down in just over 7 hrs on Saturday, the day I posted this topic.  Our next door neighbor saw me taking down some lights and said something like "Oh no!  You're taking down your beautiful lights."  Made me feel good to hear that.  But made me feel bad at the same time too.  It was tempting to leave them up for another full week, but it was 40 degrees on Saturday, which is unseasonably warm for WI in January, and I felt that I had to take advantage of the good weather and complete the tear down. 

Now I can start planning what to add for this year's Christmas display.

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Posted (edited)

For sure it is sad, and dark on our street. My friend/neighbor and I got most of our street down in 4 days, we were wore out as we had to do it without our best guy who is helping a FIL fighting something the doctors can't figure out in the ICU at 94 years old. We pray for him everyday.

 

In my haste to beat the rain I made a big mistake and just grabbed the 48 strands of SPT from the mega tree after disconnecting and tossed them in the patio, I will be cursing that pile for hours as I try to untangle. I know better and have got to find a better way. But after I untangle that mess there will only be the mega tree pole and roof ridge lights and I can start on next years mod's.

 

Good luck to everyone on teardown and be careful and no injuries. Happy New Year.

Edited by Kapkirk
spelling

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Finally got everything taken down today.  I was going to do it on 13th after my sister from Colorado saw the show, and the weather was good.  Darn it, got sick.  OK, with the holiday, this was a three day weekend, so should have no trouble.  Fell and broke a rib last Wednesday so had to be REAL careful and get help for anything heavy.  But with the exception of a couple things that will need a little repair / planned modification, everything is put away.

I've already created new Previews for the 2019 version and I expect to start sequencing in a couple weeks.

I need to do a tiny wiring cleanup on one of the singing faces, and a wiring change on the pixel tree, then add two more strings to it.  The only thing that will take some real work is a rebuild of the roof peak lights.  That's gonna be a complete rebuild.

For new construction, adding six Holiday Coro candy canes and a spiral mega-tree - both of which were originally planned for 2018.  I have all the material for both of those....  Last item is to build the enclosures for the P5 and P10 matrix panels.

 

 

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After having pneumonia and the flu at the same time, what fun....NOT, and then having an issue with my left hand, thought I'd broken my wrist, fortunately nothing broken, just bad arthritis and some joint pains, but ended up with a splint on the left hand.  So FINALLY, I got some of the decorations down off the front of the house on Monday 6/21/2019. 

Still have to remove the 4 arches, 2 controllers, 3 bells and a star from the front of the house and get them put away.  

Then I've got to try and get the blow molds down off the handicap ramp where they're mounted, with the splint and the pain still being what it is in my left hand, getting those blow molds down will be the biggest challenge since they're screwed down with deck screws into the ramps railing next to the front door, and it took both hands to screw them down, and it'll take both to get those screws out.  Not looking forward to that aspect, but it was the only way to keep them in place where I had them.

Then I've got to try and get on a ladder and get the CCB bulbs down, had 4 failures, 1 bulb on each strand failed, 1 lost the blue, 1 lost the red, 1 lost the green and 1 is fizzling out, just way dimmer than all the others on the strand.   So once I get the funds in, off to SkyCraft to get some green shrink tubing, a new soldering iron and a few other items to make repairs on the CCB's and one bullet node that is completely out.

But, not sure how soon I'm going to get the rest of the Christmas display down, especially since it is supposedly going to rain all week this week according to the weather app on my wife's cell phone.   So makes me kind of leery to get started, then start raining, getting everything all wet I'm taking down and trying to put away.   So looks like some things may be up for at least another week or so before they come down.

And then there were a few items I had to retire this year {literally trash} as they were so faded and worn out they just were falling apart.  I scavenged and saved the working incandescent lights from them, you never know when you might need a short string for another project and tossed out the broken and worn out parts, all these were wall mounted items such as some red bows {over 30+ years old}, cellophane items were a snowman and 2 triple candles {also around 30+ years old}, so the sun had did them in.   Hoping to replace them with other wall mounted type items, such as angels, crosses and if funds permit, at least one LOR Singing Christmas Tree for the 2019 display.

Well I guess I'll be working on some of the 2019 Christmas Sequences this week, again, since the weather shows high percentages of rain all this week in my area.   So maybe I'll get some things done for the 2019 show well in advance this year, since I didn't have much time to get as much done last year for 2018 as I'd hoped.

 

 

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On 1/21/2019 at 9:00 PM, k6ccc said:

Fell and broke a rib last Wednesday so had to be REAL careful and get help for anything heavy. 

YIKES!!!  I feel your pain...sort of.  I slipped and fell hard on our icy parking lot at work on Jan 15 and landed hard on the upper left side of my back.  X-rays were negative, but the doctor said fractured ribs are sometimes very hard to see on X-rays.  So I was diagnosed with a "rib contusion".  It still hurts to cough or sneeze, and I can feel something "clicking" when I push on the left side of my rib cage.  And when I move a certain way I feel something "grinding" on the lower left of the front of my rib cage.  So there must be a broken rib and/or torn ligament or cartilage somewhere.  Going back to have new X-rays taken to see if something was missed. 

Hopefully you're not in too much pain, I can't even imagine having to do a full tear down with any kind of injury, so I'm glad I already did it 3 weeks ago when it was 40 degrees (it was 15 below zero this morning).

 

On 1/22/2019 at 10:01 AM, Orville said:

Then I've got to try and get the blow molds down off the handicap ramp where they're mounted, with the splint and the pain still being what it is in my left hand, getting those blow molds down will be the biggest challenge since they're screwed down with deck screws into the ramps railing next to the front door, and it took both hands to screw them down, and it'll take both to get those screws out.

Instead of using screwdrivers for long screws, use a drill with the appropriate head (a star head for most deck screws) attached to it instead of a drill bit.  Set it to reverse rotation to unscrew the deck screws.  Just make sure the drill has a "driver" setting because that's what you need to basically use the drill as a cordless screwdriver.  (Make sure you don't set the torque too high when driving in screws because you'll break the heads off...been there, done that.)  Always wear safety glasses when using a drill for this purpose, or any power tool.    Because of working on computers since 1988, I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist and there's no way I'd be able to screw in or unscrew as many big long screws as you have to.  Using drills instead of screwdrivers to screw/unscrew long screws is a wrist-saver and a time-saver.

Hope you've fully recovered from your pneumonia & flu.  I wouldn't be able to tear down until I was fully recovered because it's too cold here in January to be outdoors for several hours if you're still recovering from being that ill.

Edited by Speedster

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5 hours ago, Speedster said:

 

YIKES!!!  I feel your pain...sort of.  I slipped and fell hard on our icy parking lot at work on Jan 15 and landed hard on the upper left side of my back.  X-rays were negative, but the doctor said fractured ribs are sometimes very hard to see on X-rays.  So I was diagnosed with a "rib contusion".  It still hurts to cough or sneeze, and I can feel something "clicking" when I push on the left side of my rib cage.  And when I move a certain way I feel something "grinding" on the lower left of the front of my rib cage.  So there must be a broken rib and/or torn ligament or cartilage somewhere.  Going back to have new X-rays taken to see if something was missed. 

Hopefully you're not in too much pain, I can't even imagine having to do a full tear down with any kind of injury, so I'm glad I already did it 3 weeks ago when it was 40 degrees (it was 15 below zero this morning).

 

Instead of using screwdrivers for long screws, use a drill with the appropriate head (a star head for most deck screws) attached to it instead of a drill bit.  Set it to reverse rotation to unscrew the deck screws.  Just make sure the drill has a "driver" setting because that's what you need to basically use the drill as a cordless screwdriver.  (Make sure you don't set the torque too high when driving in screws because you'll break the heads off...been there, done that.)  Always wear safety glasses when using a drill for this purpose, or any power tool.    Because of working on computers since 1988, I have carpal tunnel syndrome in my right wrist and there's no way I'd be able to screw in or unscrew as many big long screws as you have to.  Using drills instead of screwdrivers to screw/unscrew long screws is a wrist-saver and a time-saver.

Hope you've fully recovered from your pneumonia & flu.  I wouldn't be able to tear down until I was fully recovered because it's too cold here in January to be outdoors for several hours if you're still recovering from being that ill.

Sometimes it takes am MRI to find small broken bones.  I can't do MRI's, I panic too much when I'm tied down and can't move, and they want you to be "awake" when they usually do those.  If they put me to sleep and I wouldn't know a thing about it, I could probably handle it.  I could do it when I was younger, but now that I'm an older geezer, just can't do it without going into a severe panic attack when tied down, can't breathe, and also having heart issues, it really doesn't help there either.   So they have to find other means to try things out on me that won't tie me down.

My drill is electric and has no torque setting, but it won't work well for driving or removing screws, it sounds like it stripped the gearing a little when I tried taking screws out of some things with it back in October.  So it's either by hand or not at all, they were put in by hand, so I'll get them out the same way, may be difficult, but I'll manage to do it.  I usually always do.

Been cold here too, had one day last week where it was very pleasant and I was able to get a few things down, but having Reynard's Disease{affects the hands and sometimes feet} I can't be out in any cold weather conditions for more than maybe 15-20 minutes at a time, anything less than 65 and I can have issues with that, then there's the addition of arthritis in th left hand and both knees, so if damp weather or too cold affects that, so if the knees aren't working, no climbing a ladder to get the high reach stuff down 'til it warms up.  65 or higher usually poses no problems for me, anything less and it seems the joints all want to scream "ache". LOL

Good luck with your rib issue, hope it's nothing too serious.  My wife and I will pray for you for healing if that's okay with you.

p.s. I know exactly how you feel about the coughing, have asthma and COPD too, so I have a constant cough from those issues, sometimes it gets so bad I feel like my chest is going to explode and it makes my ribs, stomach and even jawbone hurt from coughing so much at times.  I have to take cough medicine {YUCK!} daily just to try and keep it under control, at least that's what my doctor recommended, NyQuil and DayQuil is pretty much a staple for me every day.   Although I've found Riccola cough drops to work well, but have to be the ones that have the liquid cough medicine in them {at least they taste better than the NyQuil/DayQuil medicine! ROFL}.

 

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Is my posting about taking down lights now off topic on this thread?    Orv.. you and I are the same age and I am not an old geezer!      Are you seriously complaining about florida 65 degrees while it's below freezing for a lot of us?  Where was I?  Oh yeah. 

Today I finally took down my mega tree, the last 400 pixels around the house, and my sign board.  They have been playing every night.   My wife and I love to see the lights on the house when its cold outside.  For you Orv that means water is hard and slippery.     

The yard lights were put away weekend after new years.  The temp made it up to 38 today so I felt I could go up on the ladder and roof safely.  

 

Yesterday was my younger daughters birthday so I scrolled HBD and her name on the sign for her and she really loved it.   Problem is the next daughters birthday is in three weeks and she wants HER name to scroll on the sign..  NOT !   Too bad kid.   You can get everything you want. 

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38 minutes ago, ItsMeBobO said:

Is my posting about taking down lights now off topic on this thread?

LOL!  As usual, a thread turns into a discussion about something else!  😀  Aches, pains, injuries, illnesses.... if we keep going like this we're gonna need an ER or an Urgent Care Center here on the LOR forums!

4 hours ago, Orville said:

 Good luck with your rib issue, hope it's nothing too serious.  My wife and I will pray for you for healing if that's okay with you. 

Thanks Orville, I appreciate it!  I'll send some prayers in your direction since it seems you could use some help too.  Hopefully spring and warmer weather comes early for us this year.

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10 hours ago, Speedster said:

Instead of using screwdrivers for long screws, use a drill with the appropriate head (a star head for most deck screws) attached to it instead of a drill bit.

Use a cordless screwdriver rather than a drill.  Preferably one with a pistol grip rather than straight.  This is the one (or at least similar) I use:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/BLACK-DECKER-4-Volt-MAX-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Rechargeable-Screwdriver-with-Charger-BDCS20C/205943265

It's a low budget one, but I was broke that month.  I use it very regularly and it works great.  It's single speed and a non-adjustable chuck size, but it works well or me.  One of these days I will buy a better one and that one will become the backup.

 

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4 minutes ago, k6ccc said:

Use a cordless screwdriver rather than a drill.  Preferably one with a pistol grip rather than straight.  This is the one (or at least similar) I use:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/BLACK-DECKER-4-Volt-MAX-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Rechargeable-Screwdriver-with-Charger-BDCS20C/205943265

It's a low budget one, but I was broke that month.  I use it very regularly and it works great.  It's single speed and a non-adjustable chuck size, but it works well or me.  One of these days I will buy a better one and that one will become the backup.

 

I actually have a smaller Milwaukee drill/driver that I was using as a cordless screwdriver.  it was the older version of this one:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Milwaukee-M12-12-Volt-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-3-8-in-Drill-Driver-Kit-with-Two-1-5-Ah-Batteries-Charger-and-Tool-Bag-2407-22/204300706

But the batteries ran out of juice too fast and one of the batteries died after less than a year, so that's why I ended up using my Milwaukee cordless drill/drivers as cordless screwdrivers.  Because I actually worked for Milwaukee Tool for almost 10 yrs, I bought a lot of new & reconditioned tools with my employee discount and I have 6 cordless drills.  I used the more powerful 18V & 28V lithium ion drills for drilling holes, and my smaller/lighter 14.4 cordless drill/drivers to drive in the screws.  Cordless screwdrivers are definitely lighter & more convenient, but I prefer using drill/drivers because they have more torque and the batteries don't run out of power as fast.

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I always try to have the lights down even before LOR the day after New Years. Here in Ohio you never know what it’s going to be like. Below zero, warm 45 and raining or a blizzard. I saw an opportunity the day before New Years and it was down and in side 4 hrs. I really wanted the New year show but it was going to rain. Everyone seemed down after that. 

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2 hours ago, ~DOC~ said:

I always try to have the lights down even before LOR the day after New Years. Here in Ohio you never know what it’s going to be like. Below zero, warm 45 and raining or a blizzard. I saw an opportunity the day before New Years and it was down and in side 4 hrs. I really wanted the New year show but it was going to rain. Everyone seemed down after that. 

Been  raining here almost every other day in my area now, Thursday, now again today Sunday, so nothing comes down when it's wet.  And I usually try and let things dry out for at least 2 days before taking things down.  That's so I can put them away and bring them inside to the storage room where I keep a lot of my decorations, and controllers not in use during the off-season times.

Edited by Orville

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17 hours ago, k6ccc said:

Use a cordless screwdriver rather than a drill.  Preferably one with a pistol grip rather than straight.  This is the one (or at least similar) I use:

https://www.homedepot.com/p/BLACK-DECKER-4-Volt-MAX-Lithium-Ion-Cordless-Rechargeable-Screwdriver-with-Charger-BDCS20C/205943265

It's a low budget one, but I was broke that month.  I use it very regularly and it works great.  It's single speed and a non-adjustable chuck size, but it works well or me.  One of these days I will buy a better one and that one will become the backup.

 

Going to have to look into getting one of those!  Definitely could use one!

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18 hours ago, ItsMeBobO said:

Is my posting about taking down lights now off topic on this thread?    Orv.. you and I are the same age and I am not an old geezer!      Are you seriously complaining about florida 65 degrees while it's below freezing for a lot of us?  Where was I?  Oh yeah. 

Today I finally took down my mega tree, the last 400 pixels around the house, and my sign board.  They have been playing every night.   My wife and I love to see the lights on the house when its cold outside.  For you Orv that means water is hard and slippery.     

The yard lights were put away weekend after new years.  The temp made it up to 38 today so I felt I could go up on the ladder and roof safely.  

 

Yesterday was my younger daughters birthday so I scrolled HBD and her name on the sign for her and she really loved it.   Problem is the next daughters birthday is in three weeks and she wants HER name to scroll on the sign..  NOT !   Too bad kid.   You can get everything you want. 

I wasn't complaining, just that with Reynard's disease, you have to be careful about temperatures, unfortunately, 65 is not too bad, but when it gets lower and colder, I have to be very careful because of this issue.  This is why I can't live in a climate or environment like a lot of you folks have, no snow, no frozen water on sidewalks or driveways, just too cold for this one particular medical problem.

If it weren't for this, I'd have left Florida and moved to another state a long time ago, more than likely Kentucky is where I would have loved to moved to, but because of the winter weather there, I'm pretty much bound and stuck in Florida until the day they plant what's left of me in the earth.

Still got to get a lot of my stuff down too, but rainy and too cold presently.    May be another few days or more before I can start working on getting more of the Christmas stuff down.   Tired of seeing it on the house, but until things warm up more than they are and things dry out, can't do anything with them.   And with some of the wind gusts we've had around here, I wouldn't even attempt climbing a ladder to get some of the high reach stuff down either.

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