2004 Santa Emails

All of these Emails were received before I went public with the fact that the webcam was a hoax. Pls note that my web page says "send me a public email" and that that I anonymousized these (no Email or last names), but if you recogize one of yours and want it removed, just let me know. I have started a new page with the responses people have sent after I went public with the HOAX - again, vast majority of these have been positive so far, but there have been a few that aren't safe to print on a family web site - oh well! ;-)

Here is a FEW (per next paragraph, really just a few!) of the various Emails that Santa gets from folks who enjoy his christmas lights and his Christmas Webcam. Please be sure to look in the Halloween & Christmas Lights/Webcam FAQ which should answer most questions. If you still have a question, or just want to Email Santa with an "atta-boy", then click here. Note that Santa does NOT like Email spammers, and you will get NO TOYS if you spam him, but he does respond to most "reasonable" questions. And don't forget to read what was asked/said in previous holiday years.

I got over a thousand Emails after the story was picked up nationally, so it became impossible to respond to each of these overwhelmingly positive Emails. I actually personally responded to about five times the numbers of notes listed below, but for those that I did not, I sent 'em a response thanking people that I was able to provide some Christmas Cheer to 'em. I did read (and appreciate) every single note - keep 'em coming! On a related note, I mentioned that I had pulled off a surprise 40th birthday party for my wonderful wife Wendy and put a "mailto" link up on the site, inviting people to send her birthday wishes. This was up for about 36 hours - she got 139 emails (one spam - boy, they are quick!) that were great. She did read every single one (responded to about two dozen) and I sent a "thanx note" to all the rest. While I think all of the emails below are worth reading as they are funny and heart-warming, for folks who like to skim, here's a composite summary:

   The world could use more people like you. 
      People who still are "kids" at heart, and 
      have a positive outlook on life - you made me smile.
   My kids really liked playing with your lights.
   There is a small part in each and everyone of us that remains a child,
      and for you to let others do this is wonderful!!. 
      I may have a turn on/off myself later..he he he )
   I'm absolutely enchanted with your website and your nutziness;
      I wish I was one of your neighbors.
   My Dad passed away in July so it's been a little quite around here
      but you made me laugh out loud several times in the past hour.
   This is amazing! I'm having so much fun annoying your neighbors. 
   You put a big smile on my face :)
   Thank you for making the holidays that much more special for everyone.

2004_12_25 Update: Rather than joining the family tradition of watching The Sound of Music on Christmas Day, I got caught up responding to everyone that wrote - thanx again for all the notes!

Date: Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:07 pm       From: CrashAxle       Subject: WOW!
What a great website, the cam is awesome, i `m sending this to all of my online friends, Gunter and Sabrina
Yours is the first note since the christmas webcam went "hot" - thanx for writing and glad you enjoy it.

Date: Fri, Dec 3, 2004       From: Some dude in a forum
Pretty cool you can control his lights remotely, but since I hate folks who are Grizwoldie, I wonder if we can blow up his house remotely?
Ummmmmm ... pls don't ... and Santa won't bring you anything for Christmas!

Date: Sat, Dec 4, 2004 (early AM)       From: Kim Komando       Subject: HAVEN'T PUT UP YOUR LIGHTS? HERE'S SOME INSPIRATION
To: Her bazillions of radio show listeners and Email subscribers - yikes!

Alek Komarnitsky lives in Colorado. Like many people, he decorates his house for Christmas. But Alek puts up a LOT of lights and goes a little further than most. He has his house on the Web. If you want to view his decorations, just surf over to: http://www.komar.org/christmas/

And here's the really cool part: His site allows you to turn the lights off and on. You can turn off some lights, or all of them.

You might remember Alek from the show. I made his Halloween light show a Cool Site of the Day. Alek got so many visitors to the Web site that he called me during a show about a month ago to say, "Thank you!"

Alek has limited the number of times you can play with the lights. He doesn't want to annoy the neighbors. I wouldn't worry about it, Alek. They're probably annoyed already!

Thanx (I think!) again Kim - I wondered what the HUGE increase in web traffic was about this morning. I'll be calling the neighbors later this morning to "warn" 'em that it will be one heck of a light show tonight ... they are pretty good about it as (like me) they feel it is all part of the spirit of Christmas.

I tried calling into Kim's radio show for about a half hour this morning, but always got a busy signal - maybe Kim will read this and let me know how I can call in next Saturday! ;-) [UPDATE: I tried again, but always got a busy, so I sent her an Email thanx]

Date: Sat, Dec 4, 2004 11:46 am       From: FloydA       Subject: Christmas 2004
Has it snowed up there? Does the lights perform OK with the Snow there?
We actually were "racing" the snow after Thanksgiving to get the lights up as the forecast was for 6-8" of snow on Sunday ... which did happen. The lights work quite well in snow (and while dimmed a bit, the glow is nice). There is a bit of a problem as the snow melts as water can get into the plugs and this cause a ground fault, which trips the GFI.

Date: Sat, Dec 4, 2004 11:46 am       From: MarthaP       Subject: Carlos 8 year old
Carlos, my grandson, is afraid Santa will give him coal because he told a lie. His mom told him if he told his teacher the truth Santa would make things right. He did and felt the weight of the world lift from his shoulders. Does Santa forgive little boys who mess up? Can you assure him? Thanks, grandma dolly
One thing I tell my two boys (and elves) is to ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH. Santa can't promise that Carlos will get what he wants to Christmas, but he should listen to his Mother and Grandmother.
Alek Update: Needless to say, the Associated Press was not too happy when the Christmas Lights Webcam hoax was revealed, so I'm sure Colleen Slevin from the AP was estatic to find this quote ... which she included in her story. There were some other media inaccuracies, and I'd encourage you to click on that link and then form your own opinion ... plus if someone wrote " Santa" with the above question, how would you have answered it?!? ;-)

Date: Sat, Dec 4, 2004 7:56pm       From: AndyA       Subject: lights
Although tempted, I wouldn't mess with your lights. I want to relate a true story of about 25 years ago when I lived in Ft. Myers FL. One homeowner went to a great deal of time and expense, as you have, to put up a very large light display, but a grinch neighbor across the street, a lawyer by the way, didn't like the traffic on "his" street, so he petitioned the city council to pass an ordinance that no property could have more than "X" number of lights, I forgot how many. The next season the home owner got together with all of his neighbors, except the grinch no one got along with, and he bought, and helped put up the right number of lights on 18 other homes on "the lawyers" street and needless to say the newspaper got the story, and the traffic was much greater the following year. Let's hear it for the good guys. OOPS! I hope your not a lawyer, but if you are I'm sure you're a GREAT one. Merry Christmas Andy
LOVE the story (I'm NOT a lawyer) and true justics was done - yea, lets hear it for the good guys! ;-)

Date: Sat, Dec 4, 2004 8:22 pm       From: Joan O       Subject: Thank you!!!!!
Thank you for sharing your Christmas lights with us. Sorry I got carried away with wanting to see all of it. I do have a suggestion, it would look even prettier if you could add some snow ( the lights reflect so beautifully off of snow) I nice little snow fall would be great. HA HA See what you can do. Thanks again, Joanie
Glad you like it - weather forecast is for clear weather the next few days, but if you had come by a few days ago, there was plenty of snow on the ground. Actually still quite a bit, but it is slowly melting - I'm sure we'll have a snow day before Xmas, so come by again.

Date: Sun, Dec 5, 2004 2:11 am       From: GloriaB       Subject: christmas lights
Alek, I am one of the hundreds of thousands who have heard of your display through the Komando show. I must thank you for such an inspirational display. Though tempted to play with the lights I refrained. Adding my applause to those who have all ready been through your site. Please continue to create such beauty each season. Holiday Greetings from Texas!
Yea, there has been "just a few folks" who have come by the christmas lights webcam - here are the actual stats if you are interested. Don't feel the need to "refrain" - heck, thousands of other people haven't! ;-) Appreciate the note ... and be sure to come back for Halloween 2005 and Christmas 2005 - always appreciate ideas for next year!

Date: Sun, Dec 5, 2004 10:34 am       From: Mike at www.dead-fish.com       Subject: Christmas 2004
Hey it's National Lampoon's Christmas Vaction for real. This bloke has a gagillion lights on his house and a remote contol webcam for you to check them out with. He dropped me a line earlier confessing to be Clark Wilhelm Griswold, Jr I'm sure there's bound to be a UK equivalent... I'm terrified of the size of the electric bill though. Seahorse Towers has a much more modest display of 60 lights - only 16,940 to go to equal Alek!
HEY, at least you got a start there Mike ... and now that I have provided some inspiration, I expect to see a LOT up next year since the best time to buy lights is after the holidays when they go on sale. And yea, the electric meter spins a wheee bit fast! ;-)

Date: Mon, Dec 5, 2004 morning       From: www.franklinmaine.net       Subject: You Want Christmas Lights?
Some folks in Franklin and the surrounding area make a special visit to the Golden Acres Nursing Home to view their annual massive Christmas light display. It is still in the process of being set up as we write this, but when they touch 'er off, the display could be used as a navigation beacon by intercontinental aircraft. But we're sorry to break this news. Our Golden Acres is not the be all, end all of Christmas lights. Take a look at Alek's 17,000 Christmas Lights Webcam
Glad to hear I can keep up with the Golden Acres folks - I'll have to keep that Nursing Home in mind for when I get older as it sounds like my type of place! ;-)

Date: Sun, Dec 5, 2004 11:53 am       From: Rimbey       Subject: quite a guy/dad
merry christmas alek and family
just a note ...been surfing and found your site on a tech help web page ( :) !! ..ain't life a kick?!?!?!) so had to wander around and look at pics...thanks for the great links via google ads re: finishing basements. my next project. and as a wife and a mother i agree with your wife. and as a rural neighbor ...:) i am soooooo glad that you are not here LOLLOL....love the site and the pics of your child. you look like a great fun dad. keep the spirit...stay young forever...the world needs more alecs
Glad you like the site ... gotta think about having "more alek's" in the world; could dramatically increase the US consumption of electical power over the Holidays if everyone lit up with 17,000 lights - yikes! ;-)

Date: Sun, Dec 5, 2004 12:41 am       From: RachelS       Subject: Christmas list
Dear Santa Clause, I have been very good this year! For Christmas I would like, PS2 game called, Spyro MAGNETIX CD-Freaky Friday MP3 Player Twister moves And some surprizes. Love, Rachel S
I'll have to check my list to make sure you have been good, and then see if my elves have any of those items in the workshop. And please leave milk and cookies out for me Christmas Eve.

Date: Sun, Dec 5, 2004 2:45 pm       From: Ron and Sharon       Subject: Christmas 2005
Your display is really beautiful, you have good taste, and your display and needs no embellishment. However, if you must, and since you ask...I'd like to see each beautiful window on the front of your house and the architectural details (the brick columns, details of porch and front door, edges of those gorgeous rooflines--that is, every nook and cranny) highlighted (outlined) using the white Italian lights. Also, if feasible, would like to see your driveway lined with the white Italian lights. And as if that wouldn't be enough... The scalloped string of lights that extends from the house at the left side of the picture (right side of house) looks like it's flying out into space, but I know there must be something there, holding up the end of the light string. Is the something vertical, and can it be lighted, as is the tree at the end of the light string extended from the right side of picture (left side of house)? Your display beats anything I've seen so far this year. Keep up that Christmas spirit! smr crystal lake, il
I've thought about outlining the driveway, but then my wife would drive over the lights, so that probably won't happen. The scallops are actually hung from a clothsline pulled from the trees to the balcony. This was a little effort to put up, but it's pretty cool IMHO.

Date: Mon, Dec 6, 2004 7:33 am       From: MNina       Subject: Christmas Wishes
Dear Santa - I live in South Africa where Xmas means a hot meal eaten in very high temperatures, swimming in the pool and the smell of cut grass... Santa, I know that it is snowing somewhere, and I can only get back to the US in 9 months, and then to California - please Santa, give me someone to talk to who lives where it snows in winter, who has great stuff to eat that FITS THE TEMPERATURE, to make me less homesick... Love - Nina
I can barely keep up with all the "Email Santa" notes I get, but have been down in your neck of the woods - check out my African Safari pictures and it's a real nice place. Ironically, my wife is down there right now! ;-)

Date: Mon, Dec 6, 2004 6:40 pm       From: lhearn       Subject: Christmas?
CHRIST. The Savior. Born in a Manger. Wise men. Star. Shepherds. Mary. Joseph.
KOMAR. Santa Claus. Pink Flamingos. Candles. Trees. Chimney. Technology.
Is it really all about Komar and technology?
Are you celebrating the birth of Christ? Or?
Wishing you a Blessed Christmas.
Ummmmm ... not sure what to stay ... I actually have steered clear of any religeous overtones because people tend to get offended easily; so I guess my answer would be Komar and Technology! ;-)

Date: Tue, Dec 7, 2004 1:51 pm       From: KaterineH       Subject: Santa?
hi i love you very much do you love me very much santa my brother tom said you not real
Wellllll ... if you don't believe in Santa, he won't bring you any presents! ;-)

Date: Wed, Dec 8, 2004 evening       From: 142George.info
Hey Grizwald, beat that! [with a link to my christmas stuff]
Yea, at least with the webcam, I think I got Chevy Chase one-up'ed! ;-)

Date: Thu, Dec 9, 2004 1:28 pm       From: CarolG       Subject: Xmas light for home
How do you find local people to put up lights outside?
BAH - you are "cheating" if you pay/hire someone to help you. I did have some christmas helpers (my family) and it took about 3 days to put it all up - comes down in a day ... if I work the WHOLE day.

Date: Sat, Dec 11, 2004 7:14pm       From: Nintendo       Subject: Christmas?
Remove the restriction to changing the lights too many times!! Your neighbors understand!!! They probably enjoy living close to the most populer Christman lights on planet earth, and enjoy watching them!!! Make a 30 or 60 second movie file so we can see what it looks like when every ones changing them over and over and over and....!!!! (Not one that's updated every minute, just a 1 time recording when it's really active!)
According to Google, it's not the #1 popular Christmas Lights ... at least not yet - but hey, start a GoogleBomb and I'll consider your suggestions! ;-) I actually have some video, but not sure how I want to put that on the site since these files can be pretty darn large.

Date: Sat, Dec 11, 2004 2:48 pm       From: D Lamp       Subject: Greetings from Germany
As you already assumed, heise.de is very popular here. If a website is mentioned in their newsticker, quite often that page goes down due to the many people clicking on the link. You're lucky they did not link to your site during business-hours: Most webmasters in Germany hope that they are never hit by a 'Heise-DoS', as the result of being mentioned by them often comes really close to a 'real' distributed denial-of-service-attack. But let me also give you some feedback on your illumination. Although I don't want to be billed for the electricity, it's very nice! I'm looking forward for the control-panel becoming operational. If you find the time, you should alter the popup-message saying 'Alek begrüßt Weihnachtsventilatoren aus Deutschland'. Ventilator is a German word for fan, but it means the fan that blows air. The correct 'translation' of fan in the meaning you are thinking of is fan. But in fact, besides that your wording is nearly perfect. Again, many greetings from Germany, merry christmas and a happy new year!
Thanx for the wording correction - blame the Google translator and not this "Stupid American" ;-) You and several other folks pointed this out - fixed!

Date: Sat, Dec 11, 2004 10:57 pm       From: SBL       Subject: Electricity Bill makes up for LED's (I guess)
Don't you think the initially high amount of money for the LEDs will quickly be made up by savings on your electricity bill? you're really wasting lots of energy and at least here it would be crazily expensive, i guess you pay next to nothing for it. we pay around 25cent (US) per kWh here in austria. still like your project a lot especially from a tech point of view!
Electricity here is about 10 cents/KWH - and LEDS's are still expensive (although the future in Christmas Lights) so when they come down in price, I'll look into it - check out question B-3 in the Christmas FAQ.

Date: Sun, Dec 12, 2004 5:08 pm       From: Ben       Subject: And this folks ...
...is a very merry geek christmas! :)
I'll take that as a compliment! ;-)

Date: Sun, Dec 12, 2004 9:52 pm       From: ShaineL       Subject: Idea
I got this idea from your possible alphanumeric display user controlled. How about something like that.. but instead of user controled, slashdot controlled.. as you get hits with a slashdot referer, increase a number that can be seen on the cam!
Yea, I've toyed with showing a counter ... but I think it would be much more interesting to have an AlphaNumeric display where folks can enter text in - I'll have to figure out some sort of profanity filter - thanx for writing. [Several folks wrote in with various suggestions]

Date: Sun, Dec 12, 2004 10:58 pm       From: CharlesY       Subject: Web logs from your slashdotting ...
I'm a grad student at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, and I'm doing a paper on flash crowds (i.e the slashdot effect). I just saw your page up on /. (nice lights!), and I was wondering if you'd be willing to supply your webserver logs so I could run some stats on them and include the data in my paper.
Probably not - ask me after January 1st and I might re-consider; but you probably have seen my "Slashdot Effect Analysis" that has some decent summary information and I think that is all that I can publically share (plus the web stat stuff you can see).

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 5:46 am       From: UnderBlog       Subject: Pollution
How do you justify the extra light pollution and CO2 emissions your tasteless decorations generate?
I don't!!!!

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 7:24 am       From: OnSite Computer Services       Subject: Hello Santa
Nice House Mod... Merry XMAS... We here at OnSite Computer Services hope your little elves can get you more RAM for your box this year. ;)
Yea, it coulda used some more - maybe someone will send me some! ;-)

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 8:54 am       From: MikeW       Subject: Weatherize the X-10 Modules
Are the X-10 modules weatherized in any way? Looks like a nifty project; it's tempting to set something like up for my neighbors to control. Might be a hoot. Merry Christmas!
Here's a picture of the main outside panel - I have a hinge plate over 'em. Biggest problem is GFI's tripped from ground shorts from the bazillions of extension cords when the snow melts, but so far, hasn't been too much of an issue.

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 12:30 pm       From: JeffL       Subject: Nice site ... cool experiment ... but ...
.... could you please drop that javascript popup that says "YIKES an incoming slashdotter....". We all know you know how to read your server variables ;). That said. Cool project, and I applaud you for your efforts to get your home server to survive the slasdot effect. I came in during the height of the slashdot traffic last night, and the site was largely viewable with the occasional timeout. However, server response was a bit too slow to play with it much. I think any command I sent was too quickly overwritten by the next command for me to see the results. I will be trying again once the server-storm has passed. I'd love to see a video of how your light display looked during the slashdot storm though! Consider posting a downloadable video if you could.
Yea, I have semi-mixed feelings about that ... as you know, this is fairly simple to do ... but a LOT of people think it is hilareous ... so it will probably stay - sorry. I DO have some video and may consider posting it on the site once the major Slashdot crowd subsides. [Update: check out the Christmas Video's] Thanx for writing and happy holidays,

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 1:44 pm       From: CharlineH       Subject: Bubble Machine Cam
http://www.andieandmike.org/patio.htm You control the bubble machine, java. Can be seen best in the daytime.
Very cute - added a link from my watching grass grow page.

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 4:02 pm       From: Mack       Subject: typo on front page
The webcam and webcontrol are ONLY operational between 1800 and 2200 Mountain Time. Each web surfer can only update the webcam 10 times, change the lights 3 times, and play with the pan/zoom 5 times, withen 5 minutes Should be within :) Cheers
Thanx - that typo has existed for 3 years - kudo's for pointing out - fixed!

Date: Mon, Dec 13, 2004 8:33 pm       From: BruceF       Subject: Video
I think it would be interesting if you had a short clip on your website with the lights going on and off, to let us see what the neighbors see.
Actually I have one ... but am looking for someone willing to host the 2+ Mbyte flick ... would you be able to do this? [Update: check out the Christmas Video's]

Date: Tue, Dec 14, 2004 4:25 pm       From: BrianE       Subject: converted video
I converted your video to xvid/mp3. it's a two step process. first load it in tmpenc and have it do a high bitrate encode to mpeg 1 or 2. then open up that file in VirtualDub to convert it to a avi stream. I don't have much bandwidth on my server so I would appreciate it if you only download the file once or twice from my site.
Thanx Brian - converted video uploaded to my site - people who help out like you are awesome on the Internet!

Date: Tue, Dec 14, 2004 10:38 pm       From: GregB       Subject: Great Job
There must be a geek gene running loose this Christmas. Saw your 15 seconds (minutes??) of fame on Channel 9 (Denver) and my wife (the e-bay queen) started reading me stuff from your site. This hometown geek (south of Castle Rock) dove in and your site truly inspired and lit up the geek in me. My original comment of cooool was surpassed once I read the fine print on your pic page which gave the number of pages our IP viewed. Now that was cool I gotta know how to do that. We do installs of home/business security webcams so any techno advances I/we can learn are always valued. Keep the great work up and congratulations on a truly entertaining/informative site. Hope the bearings for the webcam arrive so we too can play! Merry Christmas to you and your great looking family..my heart goes out to them for having to live with guys like you/me!
Thanx for the Email - it has been pretty crazy today. Yea, there's a lotta technology integrated on the site, but nothing really that earth-shattering. Be sure to check back tomorrow just after 6:00 ... and tune your TV to Channel 7 ...

Date: Tue, Dec 14, 2004 10:59 pm       From: WilliamR       Subject: You are an Artist
I like Christmas lights but often the display looks like they used anything they could find at K-Mart, lights from the local pet store and the local Food market. Yours are truly the most beautiful display I've ever seen. Your work is truly Art and that's without considering any of the amazing features you've loaded into your website. Thank you for sharing and the very Merriest Christmas and Happy and Healthy New Year to you and your family.
Thanx for the compliment - as you can image, it has been very, very crazy around here - happy holidays,

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 2:42 am       From: KJZ       Subject: xmas lights 2004
just a brief note to let you know we think this year's display is G R E A T!! We covered you on the title of our online lifestyle publication (see attached PDF of the article) which is read by about 15.000 people in Austria, EU Holiday cheers and have a great X-mas! Kurt J. Z. Lifestyle editor
Sounds GREAT - any chance you can send me an English translation?!? ;-) [Update: he subsequently did]

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 5:27 am       From: Sigi       Subject: Greattings from OZ
Originally from Cape Town, South Africa .. thanks for the great shot of Table Mountain while flying over Table Bay - my heart bleeds ! Luv your website.
Thanx for writing - ironically, my wife is currently in Africa ... I would have loved to have joined her on another African Safari but someone had to stay home and watch the kids ... that picture that I took that you are referring to is at the end of 1 6 hour flight - nice to finally see land!

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 6:11 am       From: MikeD       Subject: ATTA BOY!
Thanx for the note Mike - yes, it is totally nuts here both the Komar Household and the Komar Web Site! ;-)

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 6:59 am       From: PualaG       Subject: how great!
Hi Guys, Heard about your zany website on CNN Headline News. The kids LOVE it! You are a totally fun family and we need more people in the world like you. Your Pals at the Jersey Shore,
CNN Headline News - man, I thought it was crazy enough allready - YIKES!!!!

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 1:28 pm       From: Smurf       Subject: From New Zealand
just read about you in the New Zealand herald lol well you have made the news down under :-) i have just had a surf though your web sight and must say way cool credit to your self and your family wish you all the best for christmas and the New year cya from N.Z smurf :-)
WOW - this really is going all around the world!

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 1:59 pm       From: MaxM       Subject: Just so ya know ...
Although I can't find any link of their website, your site was mentioned today on Toronto, Ontario, Canada's largest radio station during their morning show. I've been watching your lights for years, great job.
I used to live in Seattle, so while close to the other side of Canada, glad our neighbors up North are enjoying the show!

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 5:24 pm       From: JeffS       Subject: Merry Christmas to a Fellow Dawg!
[Visitors from the Seattle PI got a pop-up saying I was from that area and a UW Husky]
Woof-Woof to you too! ;-)
BTW, you might appreciate some pictures from when I was at the UW 20 years ago [Uupdate: he did!]

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 8:32 pm       From: TomasC       Subject: Merry Christmas from Highlands of Panama
Merry Christmas Komars! Since we have no snow here for Christmas, it was a pleasure to see your house decorated up with Christmas lights in winter and it reminds us of when we were in the land of ice and snow. We have a cool but snow-free tropical highland Christmas here in western Panama. Our scenery stays tropical and lush throughout your winter season. We do not miss the snow, but we do miss all the Christmas lights and so it is a pleasure to see Christmas done traditionally by people like you. Thanks very much for sharing your Christmas spirit and ........ the heck with the neighbors! Regards from Panama,
Yea, you probably don't have too many White Christmas's down there! ;-) Thanx for the note and happy holidays,

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 8:34 pm       From: JamieN       Subject: You Guys Are GREAT!
Hey there from Carlsbad California! I've only had a brief moment to skim over your Website and check out the awesome Christmas lights, but I just wanted to say that it's great to know that there are people like you out there in the world making it a happier and better place. You seem like really GOOD people and I wish I had the opportunity to know you personally. Please keep on doing what you're doing and may your beautiful family stay safe, healthy and happy and may all your Christmas wishes come true and your life dreams be realized! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!! God Bless!
Thanx for the nice note and Happy Holidays yourself! ;-)
[I had a LOT of messages like this one (WAY too many to repeat 'em all here) and found them very heart-warming]

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 8:35 pm       From: MarcellaR       Subject: Bob and Tom Radio Show
Heard about your website on the Bob and Tom Show (out of Indianapolis, Indiana) this morning and I had to check it out. Very cool and what a great way to share your wonderful Christmas memories with the rest of the world! Thanks for the entertaining evening! What are you doing for the next holiday?
Glad you enjoyed it - pretty outa control right now - I'm not sure what I'll do to top this next year! ;-)

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 9:33 pm       From: RickardH       Subject: Suggestions
Hey Alek, your display is wonderfull! But how come there is no Santa and Reindeer on the roof?!
Maybe next year ... but aren't the Pink Flamingo's gaudy enough already?!? ;-)

Date: Wed, Dec 15, 2004 9:56 pm       From: GlenK       Subject: you're crazy
Your lights are the funniest thing I've seen - your neighbors must be really annoyed with 90 people switching the lights on and off - that's great!
I have VERY understanding neighbors ... and I'll take that as a major compliment! ;-)

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 12:33 am       From: StevenT       Subject: Lights
I read about you today in the Los Angeles Times and what you are doing is so wonderful. It really brought some joy to my heart in what has been a rather dismal holiday season so far. Keep it up. You have touched a lot of hearts and helped them too.
Glad to hear the folks in California (who don't have much of a white Christmas) found out about it - hope you holiday season picks up and thanx for the note.

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 8:20 am       From: KarleenJ       Subject: Light Display
Dear Santa, Thanks for sharing your great website and decorations. The interactive light show is hilarious. Happy Holidays!
I'm glad it brought some joy to you - rest assured I think it is hilarious too! ;-)

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 9:19 am       From: Mtover40s       Subject: HELLO FROM NOTTINGHAMSHIRE,ENGLAND!!!!
Hello Santa, I have just got back to England after a 3 month stay in Lakewood,Colorado. I was reading 9 news,when I saw the artical about your lights,I checked your site out,Gosh what a wonderful display of lights you have,and I can imagine what it must be like with web users turning your lights on/off all the time,all I can say is...There is a small part in each and everyone of us that remains a child,and for you to let others do this is wonderful!!.( I may have a turn on/off myself later..he he he ).. Keep up with the lovely lights....
While I turned 40 last year (yikes, how did that sneak up on me), I'm still an 8-year old at heart ... so I totally agree with what you wrote above - glad I could bring the little kid out for you again and happy holidays.

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 12:15 pm       From: noreply AT komar.org       Subject: Account Notify
Hello user of Komar.org e-mail server, Your e-mail account will be disabled because of improper using in next three days, if you are still wishing to use it, please, resign your account information.
Please, read the attach for further details.
Yours, The Komar.org team

Oh crap, I better open the .pif attachment included in this Emaill to read the further details ... but wait a minute, the komar.org server belongs to me - why would I be sending an Email to myself - *^%$#@! virus spammers!

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 12:19 pm       From: MarilynT       Subject: turning down $10,000 - good! Alek - Good for you in turning down the $10,000 for an ad. What a fabulous site you and your family have. Very entertaining. MarilynT - married to a computer guy. Can probably relate some to Wendy. :-)
Yea, just didn't seem right to take their money ... although I gotta admit, I'm wondering if I made the right decision! ;-)

Date: Thu Dec 16, 2004 12:30 pm       From: MarkL       Subject: Florida Lottery
All I want for Christmas is to win the Florida lottery.
Santa will see what he can about this request - you better be pretty darn good!
[There were many Emails requested various gifts from Santa]

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 12:35 pm       From: JohnF       Subject: Home Pro Controller
Alek, Saw you made AP news!! Congrats! I finally managed to take some digital photos this year. Not great, but viewable! I've got the Web Site started its http://christmaslights.sent.com Thought you might get a chuckle out of this. We have 200amp service, and a heat pump for upstairs. Bet you can guess where this is going. Yup. We tripped the main breaker. Seems we can't have the lights on at the same time the heat pump, hot water heater, washer and dryer (and who knows what else) are running. Needless to say, the dryer lost, and the Christmas lights were turned back on. The wife chuckled last night that at least now she has an excuse for not doing any laundry in the evening! Happy Holidays!
Christmas Lights take priority - a man after my own heart! BTW, the service to my house is 200 Amps ... but we have gas heat ... but since the lights take ~65 amps, we probably approach that 200 amp limit if we fire up our electric dryer, oven, stove, and a few more things. Thanx for writing.

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 2:58 pm       From: KayB       Subject: AMAZING!!!.
I am absolutely enchanted with your website, and your "nutziness" (and it must run in the family as well, since wife and kids look very supportive!) None of the tech-talk makes sense to me, but your holiday spirit definitely does! I wish I WAS one of your neighbors!!! Thank you for doing this, and hug your wife for me! She must be quite a lady! Kay
While the tech stuff is cool (trust me!), one doesn't need to be a "geek" to appreciate/enjoy the holiday spirit, so I'm glad I brought some to you. Yea, I have a bit of a reputation around the neighborhood and my wife is quite a lady.

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 7:36 pm       From: KevinB       Subject: YOUR GARAGE DOOR IS OPEN
I just thought I would let you know, you never know who is walking around. This is a cool site, some friends of mine live not too far from you, but I am from Toledo, Ohio. Merry Christmas to you and your family.
Yea, sometimes I forget to close it after I open it; thanx for the heads-up.
[There were a number of Emails like this one]

Date: Thu, Dec 16, 2004 9:44 pm       From: SamK       Subject: Komar.org Featured in Chicago Sun-Times
Alek, Yesterday I was reading my Chicago Sun-Times, and I saw this in there. I know it's an AP story, but I thought it would be cool for you to see it in an actual paper. To prevent your inbox from getting overloaded, I FTP'd it to my own server so you can see it. I can provide you with a full page scan, the front page, whatever you want.
That was cool - yea, same article/picture ... except better headline writer as yours said "Homeowner lets world turn on his lights" Thanx for sending.

Date: Fri, Dec 17, 2004 5:19 am       From: RodgerS       Subject: Christmas in Mozambique
Dear Alex, Being from Colorado and living in Mozambique is kind of a drag at Christmas. We heard about your lights on KLOVE Christian radio on the web and had to visit it to see some cool Colorado lights. Being that we live in one of the poorest countries in the world AND it's around 95 degrees here this time of year, we sure needed a touch of Christmas cheer. Thanks for the Fun Alex!
Glad I was able to bring a white christmas and some holiday cheer to you!

Date: Fri, Dec 17, 2004 6:01 pm       From: SaraB       Subject: AWESOME
Hello sir, my name is SaraB, I am 14 years old and from Hudson, Wisconsin We have this thing in history class called "current events" where our teacher picks 1 0r 2 articles a day and we take turns reading them, on Monday, we read about you and you lights, so, I decided to check out your site, that is so cool! I applaud you for doing all that work! I love turning the lighs on and off! you rock dude! I'd love to hear from ya! have a great Christmas! sincerely, SaraB
I enjoyed your note and glad you liked the lights. I expect some more "details/info" to come out about 'em ... so why don't you check back in with me after the 1st of the year and if you and/or any of your class has any questions, Email 'em to me and I'll try to answer.

Date: Sun, Dec 19, 2004 5:22 am       From: T&U G.       Subject: Reaching far places!
Wow! Wonderful! You web page has made all the big newspapers here in Germany, even with color pictures. My wife and I just had to stop by. Beautiful!
Yea, it seems to be quite popular around the world. Thanx for writing ... in English too! ;-)

Date: Sun, Dec 19, 2004 6:23 am       From: JurgenK       Subject: spotlights
hy, hier ist Germany. merry Chrismas,i spik not got Englich. you spik Germany or Frinds, Kids? Eure Lichter habe ich in unserer Tageszeitung der " Bild am Sonntag " gesehen, und eure web Adesse. Ich habe gleich im " Internet " reingeschaut, und fad es ganz Toll. Leider sieht mann es hier in " Germany " nur zu selten.Ich habe in " Amerika " zwei Tanten Mütterlicher seitz die dort Leben. Ware noch nie in Amerika, möchte es aber mal gerne. Hier Schneit es gerade wärend ich euch Schreibe. Also happy - Chrismas Amerika. JürgenK Germany
My apologies as I do not speak German, but thank you for the note and Happy Holidays,
[I got many Emails in various languages - feel bad that all I could do was respond in English]

Date: Sun, Dec 19, 2004 6:39 am       From: RyserM       Subject: Your Christmas-lighted House
Hello and good Morning from Switzerland. This is a very nice house with the christmaslight. So i know the neighbour's are ungry because they hafent got a beautifull house like you. I wish you and youre Familie merry christmas an a happy new Year.
Thanx for the note from across the Pond - that was a pretty funny about my neighbors - they are actually good sports about it.

Date: Sun, Dec 19, 2004 6:52 am       From: KlausR       Subject: X-MAS DECORATION
Hi Alek We are living in Paris (France) and listened to a German Internet radio station. They had a quiz on about true or fake news. One question was: Is it possible to switch on and off a Christmas light decoration of 17.000 lamps via Internet in Colorado. The right answer was: yes. So, curious we came onto your marvelous web side and send Christmas greetings to Alek and his lovely family. Kind regards KlausR
That's pretty funny - glad to hear you were able to ace the quiz! ;-) Happy Holidays.

Date: Sun, Dec 19, 2004 12:08 pm       From: jbhale       Subject: An Inspiration to Geeks Everywhere!
Santa, You have inspired me! This year, I only have about 4,500 lights up, but next year there will be MUCH more! I'll try and add a webcam as well! I find X-10 and home automation fascinating, so will try my best to give you some competition!! Good luck next year! I'll be watching!
Thanx for the nice note ... which I totally take as a compliment. Competition is good - bring on the X10 webcams! ;-)

Date: Tue, Dec 21, 2004 7:39 am       From: JGale       Subject: Hip! Hip! Hurrah!
Hi Santa! What a wonderful time we've had on your website. The last few months we've had our own "series of unfortunate events" and during a sleepless night this week I discovered your web site. It was after midnight and so unblievable that you would let others play with the lights I bookmarked you. This evening my daughter and I spent a very enjoyable 1/2 hour watching and playing. What a selfless thing to do. I know electric bills and decorations are not cheap. We really appreciate the opportunity to enjoy your lights in a warm room, drinking hot cider and not using any gasoline. What a generous offering in the "Spirit of Christmas". Thanks again. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Tabby says to tell you just to knock since we don't have a chimney any more and that she would like to have any Breyer model horses you might have lying around, especially a hackney pony. She also says to tell you she already has the black and white saddlebred. The milk and cookies will be in the microwave so the cat can't get it. Bye Santa!
From what I can gather from your note, I hope that 2005 is better than 2004 for you. Tell Tabby I will look in the microwave for the milk and cookies (my favorite!) when I stop by and I'll see what I can do about the Breyer model horses. Happy Holidays,

Date: Tue, Dec 21, 2004 7:40 am       From: LotoyaG       Subject: Really Nice
I am a soldier in Korea with my family and I read about your site in the news paper here. I logged on and it actually worked. Thanks for lifting spirits. Also tell Jordan that now she reminded me about the Griswolds so now I have to go and rent it for the family so we can really laugh. Merry Christmas to you and your family. God Bless.
As a former blue-suiter, I especially salute our men and women in uniform; please keep up the good work and I'll pass your comments on to Jordan. Happy Holidays!

Date: Tue, Dec 21, 2004 1:04 pm       From: JanetS       Subject: South Africa
Hiya - Greetings from South Africa. Just read about your amazing lights in our news tonight. Browsed thru the site as well. GREAT site and WONDERFUL lights!!!
Ironically, my wife just returned from a safari trip down to your neck of the woods - it's a LONG way down there. She had a fabulous time - happy holidays.

Date: Tue, Dec 21, 2004 6:19 pm       From: MichaelK       Subject: Cool candle holders in picture
I know I shouldn't be nosy be just where did you get those cool candle holders in the birthday party picture? Merry Christmas and thanks for the lights and power station video.
They caterer actually supplied them - yes, they were cool! Sorry I don't have a source for you - happy holidays.

Date: Thu, Dec 23, 2004 6:27 pm       From: GilbertV       Subject: Christmas Lights
I think it is a wonderful thing you are doing with the lights and giving people a chance to see how it feels to control something over the internet. Insted of being controlled by the internet.
It has certainly been a big hit giving people "control" of the lights; if nothing else, it has brought a lotta holiday cheer to people.

Date: Thu, Dec 23, 2004 7;24 pm       From: BettyB       Subject: Fun!
This is amazing! I'm having so much fun annoying your neighbors. You put a big smile on my face :) Merry Christmas to you and your lovely family from San Angelo, Tx and formerly of Ft. Collins, Colorado!
My neighbors are actually pretty understanding about the whole thing; it's been a lotta fun doing this for you and everyone across the world. Glad I could put a smile on your face and Happy Holidays,

Date: Thu, Dec 23, 2004 11:01 pm       From: MartinG       Subject: Greetings from Antarctica
I just read that you did not get any email from Antarctica so I will do this service for you ;-) Found your webcam while surfing the Top25 cams 2004 of earthcam.com - I am the initiator of the worldwide first penguins cam in the Antarctic. So our Gentoo Penguins send you best christmas greetings from the German Antarctic Research Station O'Higgins: Nice cam you have, congratulations!! But I'm shure that astronomers don'T like this "light pollution" - it's getting a big problem on our planet (it effects also migrating birds badly. This could be clearly shown by a large study in Switzerland) But anyway: I looks of course very nice!! http://www.darksky.org/ http://members.aol.com/ctcadman/index.htm Have a nice christmas time and always light in your heart ;-) Martin Grund
AWESOME - just updated the main page mentioning your note and website. Also, I just turned things back on (hopeflylly my neighbors are sleeping), so you have 43 minutes to play around with it! Happy Holidays and thanx for writing, alek

Date: Sat, Dec 25, 2004 3:26 pm       From: GregB       Subject: Great Job!
Hey Alex: Finally got to your site before closing time finally..all I can say is Great job, you are the Ubber-geek for sure Congrats on a great site, and a super job of spreading the cheer! Merry Christmas to all you and yours.
Thanx for the compliment - Major Geek or Ubber Geek - I'll take either one! Glad I could provide some holiday cheer - Merry Christmas to you too. alek

Date: Sat, Dec 25, 2004 3:28 pm       From: LesleyR       Subject: hi from western australia
Hello there, I enjoyed viewing your site. The photos of the house look beautiful with the lights and the snow. Here today it is 37 degrees celcius and expected to be hotter for Christmas Day and the 26th. No snow for us in Perth. I read your shrimp recipes; we will have BBQ garlic prawns on Chrismas Day, a favourite at every family gathering. I expect that our Christmas will be quite similar (apart from the weather), spent with friends and family, so have a happy one. Good luck. LesleyR
Glad you enjoyed the site - it's about 37 degrees here also ... Fahrenheit. I actually talked to live to two of your radio stations down there - station 6PR and Australian Broadcasting Station ... was nice to chat with our Aussie friends down under.

Date: Sat, Dec 25, 2004 6:22 pm       From: MarlaM       Subject: Christmas Lights
I just wanted to say THANKS for the entertainment.....I'm a middle-aged mom and grandma-to-be who heard about your site on the radio while I was driving to work one day, and I just had to check it out!! I've had a blast playing with the lights (my apologies to your neighbors) and hope you'll do this again next year. :-D It would be kind of cool if you could somehow add music to the mix---I'm sure your neighbors would just LOVE that---you're a Web genius, I'll just bet you could figure out how to do it. Merry Christmas, and thanks again for adding to my family's enjoyment of the day!! Marla in Oregon
Thanx for your note and encouragement - I'll pass it on to my neighbors! I've thought about putting music on the site, but that's one of those things that seems cute at first, but can be annoying to many, so I opted out. Hope you had a Merry Christmas,

Date: Sat, Dec 25, 2004 8:39 pm       From: StevenW       Subject: The lightshow
Hey Mr. Santa Lol, i.ve just played around with your exterior lightshow. Gosh , that.s pretty awesome. I wish you and your family a great X-mas (if it.s not already over in your GMT) and hope that .Hulk-Man. won.t eat your kids. ^^ Greetings from Switzerland,
Hulk likes kids - in fact, we used him in our Christmas Card this year You are up pretty early over there in Switzerland, but sounds like it was worth it to check out the light show - Merry Christmas,

OK - caught up in my responses as of Christmas evening!