"It looks nice, Sparky"
Some people measure their Christmas lights in bulbs, some in dollars and others in the joy they bring. Though I think Carl Engelhardt of Blue Springs, Missouri, definitely fits in that last category too, he measures his in amperage.
I asked him "how many amps?"
"Let me bring up my Excel spreadsheet and I can tell you exactly how many amps I'm using."
The answer, by the way, is 92.2 amps on nine different circuits equipped with digital timers.
I asked Carl if he had any guidance for those who may wish to follow in his well-lit footsteps. He advises that he has the best luck following his own rule of 5. That is to say, he finds he can link five 100-light strands without blowing a fuse in one.
Carl is actually quite the environmentalist, which leads his son, Greg, to needle him with "every time you turn on your lights, another polar bear dies."
Carl's wife, Kris (seen with Ace and Carl in a 2006), supports Carl's amperage habit with a National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation flavor: "I stand out there in my sweater and say 'it looks nice, Sparky,' then go back inside because I'm freezing my a-s off."