Thursday, November 01, 2007

November 1, 2007

The season has come upon us once again! It’s hard to thinks it’s November already and it’s still in the high seventies…….Southern California’s a tough place to live!

As I said in an earlier blog, I am taking Mondays and Fridays off for the month of November for display setup. We received our two new controllers, I built one and Bubba built the other one, I messed mine up and had to order some replacement parts…….Thanks Dan from Light-O-Rama, as always they take care of their customers.

It have been tremendously busy the past 6 months, to be honest I have not worked on the new projects for this years display, so we may not have any new additions to the display, but as always I will see what I can do…..I always get things going and in place when needed. Worst case, we will have the same setup as last year, just with a lot more lights.

We start taking down all the supplies tomorrow, not sure were we are going to put them, but they are coming down, we hope to start hanging lights by Saturday and have the majority of lights in place by Monday night, giving me time to work on the new stuff.

We never really resolved the power relocation issue, maybe I can tackle that soon, otherwise I will have to put my controller worksheets to goods use on power management, after all that why I designed it.

We are hoping to be a Toys for Tots collection point again this year, the new coordinator has been quite elusive in meeting me or calling me back, I have been informed that I will have collection binds by the first of November, I hope so…I would hate to loose such a good opportunity to assist and help make the holidays better for others.

If you’re in the neighborhood, feel free to stop by and say Hi! I’m always looking for an excuse to stop working.

Internet traffic has gone ballistic since last year; we have received over 10,000 unique hits since after the 2006 holidays, it should be interesting this season to see where we end up.

Stay tuned and check back often, I will try to update the blog and site daily during setup.

Happy pre-holiday season!

The Williams

Thursday, July 19, 2007

July 2007
What a baseball season for my two younger boys; Nate and Chris.

The Quartz Hill High School Freshman team went 12-0 for regular season and 20-0 for the complete season, total domination. This is a team to watch; several talented kids make up this team of 19 players, everyone contributed to their success including the great families of these boys. It will be a great pleasure to be a part of this team in the years to come.

Nate #33; pitched (up to 79 MPH (14 Years Old), played third base and caught for his team. He made his parents very proud of his accomplishments this year, although his grade point average could have been about .5 better and is capable of 1.0 better. He was selected as the MVP for his squad showing him that all the hustle, hard work and dedication will payoff in the long run.

The Quartz Hill Freshman team re-assembled two weeks after regular season to start American Legion Baseball season, they have faced several tough opponents from Varsity and Junior Varsity programs giving them the competition to help them improve as a team. Nate has been selected for the American Legion All-Star team and will get to play at Jet Hawk Stadium (Red Sox – Minor A) this Sunday, which will give himself and his parents another proud moment in his life.

Nate, Great Job! You are making mom and dad very proud of you as you grow and learn to be an adult.

Continue your hard work and dedication towards what you love and enjoy, and your dreams will come true!

The Quartz Hill Minor Athletics team started great, turned cold, and came back fighting the best teams to finish the season landing us in 5th place. We had a great group of kids; some with real talent and that will grow and become great baseball players. Chris had a good season. I wish I could have worked with him a little more than I did this season.

Our order for more channels did get placed, we will be expanding our display by thirty two (32) more channels, of which 24 have been allocated for a new surprise build this coming season. Light-O-Rama came out with the DMX module this year, now I can really start planning some cool effects for future years (Snow, Fog, GOBOs).

The West Coast Christmas Bar-B-Q is scheduled for August 25th in Temecula, CA at LaFournaise home; I am looking forward to seeing everyone again. I have several projects that I worked on last year that I will be presenting and discussing.

Pismo Beach (Oceano Dunes) California is in our near future; our annual vacation to the beach is approaching fast. For those of you who do not know what Pismo is about; It one of the few beaches that allow vehicles drive on the beach as well as ORV’s, it’s great weather, fireworks, fun on the quads, camp fires, fishing, moon light strolls, kites, and breaking waves a full week of heaven.

I have schedule my time off this November for setup, I will try something new this year with Mondays and Fridays off, giving me several 4 day weekends to set things for the holidays, last year I spent more time lounging than I did setting up during my week off, so I thought I try a different approach, plus it will make the month fly by with only three day work weeks in November.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The City that stole Christmas!

Have you ever wondered what you would do if a city took your civil liberty and religious rights away? I have actually considered the idea a few times and wondered how I would handle the issue, but never in my wildest imagination have I ever thought it could possibly happen to someone.

Below is a letter I wrote to another enthusiast whom has been discriminated and refused the right to free speech, religion and self expression. Dave is not a right-wing enthusiast displaying distasteful images, he is quite normal, no different than your or I, he is probably a better citizen of his community than most would ever consider, but his city administrators have made a personal battle to refuse him his religious and personal right to celebrate the birth of Christ in his own way, which is no different than Quartz Hill Christmas.

Dave has gone the extra mile to work with the city, but they will have no part of his synchronized display in the city limits, simply because they are too lazy to help with a little traffic.

Our letter to Dave:

Hi Dave,

I visited your web site ( tonight and read every page (That says a lot for me to stay for more than a few minutes).

We feel for you and your endeavor, you seem to be a very patient person, willing to make things right at all costs. I believe you are correct in stating that someone has made this a personal thing rather than a ‘Better for the Public’ matter. I am applaud by your treatment from the cities “BULLY” tactics, it’s unfortunate that this ever happened. Christmas decorating is not a crime in America, if your lights attract more than others do, the city must address the issue of traffic in other ways other than shutting you down. The last time I checked, we have the right to expression, religion, and free speech; your lights are no different from your neighbors, folks just want to see yours and it is easier to address the issue with you rather than deal with the traffics themselves. If they shut you down then they must shut everyone down, it is discrimination and religious persecution for them to single you out rather than resolve the issue of traffic.

A few things to consider in your plight:

a) If the city chooses to set precedence, by citing their ordinance(s), then they MUST enforce it across the board without discrimination against ALL situations and ALL citizens within the city that fall under the same circumstance, if they choose to ignore others and situations alike; it is a simple case of prejudice and discrimination.

b) Possible options would be to petition the block to agree to your modified parking structure.

c) Add the contact names and addresses of the city officials that you have spoken with to your web site. So that others can write them directly informing them of their duty and obligations to your community, possibly when they receive letters from across the nation from families of other communities and cities they will finally figure out how big this has gotten and how bad it could turn out for them.

d) Remember and remind the city officials that this story is very news worthy for national television coverage, and it would be unfortunate to be known as ‘The City that Stole Christmas’, I’m sure your way ahead of me on this.

e) We stand by you! We have added your web address on our web site, and we will be discussing this at the Summer SoCal mini-PLUS and how we might support you and others faced with the same issues.

Please let me know if I can be of any assistance.

Best Regards,

Rick Williams


Please help Dave save Christmas is his community, no good can come from taking the giving nature of the season away! call or write his city administrators and help them understand how foolish and illegal this is, Dave is only one man, standing up to city hall for his rights that they feel fit to choose for him, let them know he may be one person but thousands stand by him and we will not let tyranny rule our world!

Christmas is not a CRIME!

Daves story:

Merry Christmas
Rick Williams

Saturday, March 31, 2007

March 2006

Spring has sprung, time has changed, and Baseball is in full swing for us.

We just returned from a week of Spring Training in Phoenix, Arizona, nothing but baseball, baseball and more baseball with perfect weather. If you enjoy baseball in a minor field setting this is a definite trip to plan next March, the price is right for tickets ($4.00 to $20.00), a definite family event. We enjoyed several games from the Athletics, Mariners, Angles, White Sox, Royals, Padres and Rockies, visiting three fields at Phoenix, Peoria, and Tempe, the kids got a few balls and some autographs making their trip memorable as well.

Nate made the freshman team this year, playing third, pitcher and catcher. The freshman team is a great group of 18 kids, quite dominating on the field and in the box, they have mercied (10 run gap after 5 innings) all their opponents in pre-season, with two mercies to start their season. This will be a team to watch over the next few years, the varsity teams have taken the Golden League Championship for the last 5 years with their first CIF championship last year.

Bubba and I are part of the minor Athletics at QHLL; Bubba had a slow start, and is developing well in the box, and on the mound. The A’s are not doing as well with just one win and several losses, but the boys are starting to perform as a team and giving the opponents a run for their money. Go A’s

The weather has been just outstanding for the past month, a few cold days with typical temperatures in the 70’s to 80’s. We did have a freeze spell that played havoc on out Palms and a few Junipers but overall the month has been fantastic.

Christmas CD’s still play daily in my truck, I am always orchestrating something new in my mind for next year. I have purchased quite a few tracks for Halloween, trying to figure out what we will do and how to get it done in such a way that I can reuse the lights for the next month (November) without having to redo everything.

The Christmas display plans are developing as we speak, we are shooting for a mega tree at 20’ with a minimum of 16 channels, hoping for 32. If all works out we will be adding another 48 channels this year (96 total), of course I still need to address the power issue since this will bring us to 12 – 20 Amp circuits or 240 available Amps for the display. My plan is to run the 12 circuits from the panel into a sub-panel in the garage by the controllers removing the need for the pricy 10/3 extension cords.

I have been working on the “Merry Christmas” sign ‘How-to’ hoping to have that completed soon and available for download.

I hope to be sequencing again soon, I had to rebuild the laptop and all my files have not been restored yet, thank goodness for CD burners.

Rick Williams
Quartz Hill Christmas

Sunday, February 25, 2007

February 2007

The lights have finally come down, been pack away and have put away. I had to throw away quite a few older props and lights to make room for all the new stuff I bought this year.

Baseball has begun again for us, Nate made the high school freshman team, and Bubba moved up to the minor division of little league with me as a coach (I never learn) but it should be a very busy year until June with just baseball. In March, we have planned a trip to Phoenix for spring training, this has been a trip I wanted to do for several years, and I was able to plan far enough in advance that everyone’s schedule worked out.

We have been working on holding another mini-PLUS this year, trying to make it bigger and better than last year. One of the hardest pieces is getting a committee together to help make this happen, I guess not everyone is as committed to the hobby as we are, I will try to reach out to other enthusiasts in other states that have hosted an event in the past to see how they are recruiting assistants.

This year we are planning our ‘Synchronized Fright Lights’ for Halloween 2007, I have been working on a sign that will be sculpted from a dense foam (Same foam used in the MC sign last December, I have the talent to design and draw the sign, just hopping I have the talent to sculpt the sign. This year we will concentrate on music, ambiance, and yard props that I have been assembling over the years to help motivate me in future years as to what direction I want to go with this holiday.

Christmas 2006 is a memory now, I have started consideration planning for 2007, still not sure what we will add or change, I would like to add another 32 to 48 channels, but due to costs of the controllers I may have to reconsider and expand at a slower pace. I will have to address our power issues and route 120 Amps into the garage for dedicated use, this will be more time consuming than a cost, but I has to be done.