The Twelve Days of Obsessive Christmas Decorating day 6

Other good day for working outside. Still needed to wear a jacket, but the sun felt good. Just a bit of a breeze today.

Stated to throw together a couple of extension cords to clean up some of the displays. Ended up taking longer than it should. I didn’t need to go to the hardware store, so that was a plus.

Stated to clean off the living room coffee table to set the Christmas tree on. I have a small living tree that I use. In a couple of more years it will be to big to lift, but for now on the table it goes.

With the big display done I started to box up the odds and ends and put the boxes back in the shed. There’s room in the living room for a change. Shed two, the Christmas shed is packed again. I did throw away some old lights so there will be a little room when take down the lights and re-pack things.

I finished off another 250 foot roll of wire. I still have three rolls to go.

The rebar Christmas tree lights are a problem. The blue lights only 1/3 of the lights would light up of the lights. My fix, I had planned on using, did not work out. If anything it took out more lights. I replaced the whole string of lights. The new string does not have as many lights on it as the old string. I will have to adjust the lights tomorrow, but I have all the blue lights on the rebar Christmas tree working.

I pulled a lot of weeds and grass today. I wore gloves so my hands are not as tore up as they can get. I leveled some gardening soil so things look nicer. Almost got around to laying some pavers, just not enough time.

I have some blue lights around the eves of the house that I need to get working. I must have gotten a bad batch of blue lights years ago. The new lights have a different spacing between the lights than the old light so I can not just plug in a new string of lights.

I rebuilt a four wheel roll around stand so I could put my soldering gun and heat gun on it. Keeps me from having to bend over so much and it’s nice to have a work station for fixing the lights.

Tomorrow I have to get to work on the antennas.

Stay strong, write on.

Professor Hyram Voltage

The Twelve Days of Obsessive Christmas Decorating day 5 late

Yesterday was a long day and it got late so this post is late.

I got the HO, HO, HO display done and it works. I had to re-wire the lights on the last part twice. And I think I figured out why the blue lights on the rebar Christmas tree don’t work. The controller uses Silicon Controlled Rectifiers (SCRs) to turn the lights on and off. The lights are LED which are also rectifiers. Rectifiers only let electricity go one way. If the SCR and the LED or connected against each other the current (moving electricity) can’t get through and nothing lights up. Reverse two wires and the electricity is moving.

I’ll flip the two wires on the blue lights tomorrow. The sun went down and it’s cold. The day was good. Not too much wind. We have a high pressure system off the coast that’s pushing the low pressure system up north and giving them snow and rain. We could use the rain down here. With the warmer weather I get more done, but it seems there is so much more to do.

I did not get the Christmas star up. The displays I am working on are home made. The star is one I bought at the store. Home made items are unique, no one else has one like it. Where the store bought ones can be found down to block, unless they are like mine and are so old no one has them any more.

The gate is finished for now. It needs new wood to cover it, but that can wait until summer and when I can get help. The gate is heavy and hard to move when it is not on its hinges. It also needs painting,but that is going to have to wait until the Christmas lights come down.

Many of the plants in the garden have gone dormant, but the orchid are about to bloom. The paper whites or narcissus are blooming along with the geraniums.

With the big display done after all these years I need to work on the antennas tomorrow. I may make up a couple of extension cords for one more run of lights.

I have some tow by fours left over from the gate project. How can I made a Christmas decoration out of them?

The Garden needs watering. Not as much as during the summer. And the weeds and grass need pulling before it rains and they take off. I have to dig deep to get the grass roots out or it just springs back with the first rain.

Stay strong, write on and stay warm.

Professor Hyram Voltage

The Twelve Days of Obsessive Christmas Decorating day 4

It’s been a long day. I got the second third of the HO, HO, HO display done and I got all the light on the first two parts to light. It was hard work, but I got it done. Now to get the last part done. When I do, I will have completed a project I’ve worked years on.

I still have to build two more extension cords for the HO, HO, HO display. That’s straight forward and I can do it inside the house. It’s cold outside. Well, I mean it’s cold for me. The wind is coming off the ocean and it got cloudy today. The air felt like rain. Then the clouds blew away, but the wind stayed cold. I had to go inside every hour to warm up.

I also worked on the big gate, the one I let cars into the back yard with. During Thanksgiving I sat a new gate post in the ground. It replaced the old one that was way too small in diameter. The wind made working on the gate hard. The force of the wind against the gate made it a fight to work on it. Got the holes drilled in the gate and the top bolts in. I had to go to 1/2 inch bolts. I couldn’t find 7/16th inch bolts in stainless steel. I used 1/2 heavy galvanized bolts. It is a big gate and it needs big bolts and I don’t want rust all over the place.

I didn’t get the Christmas star up yet. It’s taking forever to put it up. I don’t think I will get to it tomorrow. I figured out why some of the lights on the other displays don’t light up. It will require soldering to get them working. Soldering in the cold wind is hard. It’s either solder outside or disassemble the display and take it inside. That would take all day for one display. Soldering with heavy gloves on is tricky with the small wires that are connected to the lights.

I made progress, yet I’m down.

I get that way when I don’t get done what I wanted to finish and it should have been easy to do. That and I have three friends going in to the hospital for operations. One of them may not make it. It’s a small chance, but always a chance. I can’t go see them before the operation or for a time after their operations. I can only offer what help I can. But my offer feels like it’s so little, I want to be there for them, but I can’t. Not even their wives go see them. It’s so lonely in the hospital room all by yourself, with all those people around you that are so professional. Kind, but they can’t let themselves care.

I’m so lucky. But I’m still down. And it’s cold.

I got a compliment on the script I wrote. It was just one page long. I would like to get it made, but where would I find the time? So much to do, so much to write.

Stay strong, write on, stay safe, be safe, buy yourself a little present. Smile, even if it hurts.

Professor Hyram Voltage

The Twelve Days of Obsessive Christmas Decorating day 3 late

Short cuts or time savers? This blog is late because I had to take my car in for a repair. They found a wire was bad. They missed it the first time I took it in and had to bring in a specialist. Over 200 dollars to replace the wire and it only took them 15 minutes to replace it. It took them two hours to find the problem on the second try. This time of year money is short, but I bit the bullet and got it fixed.

I sat in the dealership for over two hours and the dealership is a 30 minute drive from Castle High Voltage. That three hours I could have spent working on Christmas decorations.

It’s been getting colder each day this week. But I don’t know nothing about cold. If you want to know about cold ask someone living in the Northeast. If it snowed here they would declare a national emergency.

I feel guilty about doing a Tee twist solder joint when making new runs of Christmas lights. A tee joint isn’t as strong or durable as a Western Union splice, but it’s faster. In the cold, I need faster and Christmas is closing in.

Last night I got part of the Ho Ho, Ho display repaired. I’ve been working on that display for 20 years. I’ve had to remove the lights I had on it and replace them, the lights were so old. The new lights have to be cut to length and spliced to fit. These displays are made to last and I need good solder joints. The Tee joints should last 20 years, but I will be kicking myself if they don’t.

The big gate repair is going slowly to. But now I don’t have to worry about the gate blowing over in the wind. It will look a lot better when I remove the two by four braces.

I still haven’t got the Christmas star up.

I am making a Christmas meal shopping menu. Got to do that today. I was going to do that yesterday.

More neighbors are putting up lights and displays that have never had lights before. That’s a good thing. The world needs all the good cheer it can get.

Now excuse me, I have to open another 250 foot roll of zip cord and make up six new extension cords for the displays.

Stay strong, write on, and join in and put up a string of lights.

Professor Hyram Voltage.