Company Holiday Party 2019

Every year, KC comes together with family and friends to celebrate the holidays and the successful completion of another year! KC held a party for both offices at the Views at Mt. Fuji in Hillburn, NY. Here are photos from the event! KC wishes everyone a happy and healthy holiday season!

Engineering the Times Square New Year’s Eve Ball

The first Times Square New Year's Eve ball is photographed as it appears in 1907. (Courtesy/Time Magazine)
New York City Mayor Ed Koch gives the thumbs up sign as he flips a switch to test the Big Apple Ball, Thursday, Dec. 24, 1981 in New York. (AP Photo/Lederhandler)

Every December 31, millions of people around the world gather to observe the passing of the year and to celebrate the beginning of the next. Amid the various festivities across the globe, one of the most iconic displays is the Times Square Ball drop in New York City.

This particular celebration culminates with a countdown and a ceremonious lowering of a lighted sphere, elegantly descending from its suspended position above large crowds gathered below. Although it sounds rather simple, the tradition of dropping the ball has gone through great changes over the years.

The first New Year’s Eve ball was created in 1907. It was made of iron and wood, contained 100 25W light bulbs, and weighed 700 pounds. That first ball drop was organized by Alfred Ochs, then-owner of the New York Times, and it took place on the roof of the newspaper’s headquarters at One Times Square.

Over the years, the design was refined. The second ball, which was introduced in 1920, was constructed of iron and weighed only 400 pounds. The third iteration, constructed in 1955, was made of aluminum and weighed 150 pounds.

In 1981, the ball took the form of an apple, complete with a stem – perfect symbolism for the city otherwise known as the Big Apple.

Throughout the years, the ball has continued its evolution. By 2008, the ball featured energy-efficient bulbs.

Today, the ball is covered in 32,256 LED lights and 2,688 Waterford Crystal panels, capable of displaying more than 16 million colors and billions of patterns. It measures at over 12 feet in diameter, weighs 12,000 pounds, and is lowered by a mechanical winch.

If you are planning to spend New Year’s Eve night at home, why not turn on your TV and watch the ball drop from the comfort of your couch? You’ll probably be one of the few people who know a little of the history behind the tradition and the evolution of the ball over the years.

No matter how you choose to celebrate, stay safe.

Happy New Year!

Tips for Snow Cleanup

With winter weather in full swing, it’s time to prepare for everyone’s favorite holiday activity: shoveling snow. Rather than soldiering on through blizzards with a shovel and a bad back, why not make the job easier with a few easy tips?

Before the snow falls, take some preemptive action. Clear your yard of anything that you don’t want to get destroyed by snow (or even snow removal), such as hoses, decorations, or dog tie-outs. Stake out garden beds or any portions of your yard that contain elements that cannot be brought inside or stored in a shed. This will prevent accidental snow buildup when it comes time to shovel and dump snow. A little home surveying goes a long way!

If you know snow is imminent and want to lessen the amount of clearing you’ll have to do, consider buying a few waterproof tarps. These can be placed over sidewalks, walkways, and even cars to help protect their surfaces and decrease post-snowfall clearing. Remember to weigh the tarps down with stones or bricks, or to tie them down if being used to cover your car. After the snow has fallen, remove the tarp to reveal a clean walkway or car underneath. It may require a little shoveling to lighten the tarp’s load, but it will provides a protective barrier nonetheless.

If your shovel tosses are getting lighter because snow keeps sticking, consider using a lubricant. WD-40, petroleum jelly, or even some cooking spray can help prevent snow from sticking to your shovel, allowing for more successful scoops. Family Handyman recommends wiping down your tools before storing them to prevent rust buildup and to increase each tool’s longevity.

Rather than using a standard, straight-handled shovel or a snow-blower reliant on gas, consider upgrading to something more ergonomically- and ecologically-friendly. There are a variety to choose from, such as Garant’s sleigh shovels designed to scoop and push while lessening the strain on your back, or even the Snow Bully which uses a set of wheels to act as a small snow plow. If you’re not ready to let go of the snow shovel that has been passed down through your family for generations, consider getting an attachment that will still help lessen the strain on your back, such as an eziMate, which creates an additional point of leverage with a detachable handle.

If you pinched a nerve and it’s flurrying outside, break out the leaf blower to take care of some light dustings. Additionally, a wet/dry vacuum such as a Shop-Vac can be turned into a makeshift snowblower by attaching the hose to the exhaust, pointing, and blowing the snow away.

While enjoying a well-deserved rest inside, be sure to keep an eye on the snowfall. Although it may seem irritating to continuously trudge outdoors to shovel, it’s easier to move light, fluffy snow every few hours than having to somehow lift packed blocks of ice out of your driveway.