2011_10_13: The warmup for Christmas is the halloween webcam which was turned on today. The 2011 halloween decorations have 8,500 lights plus giant inflatable Frankenstein, Grim Reapers, Pumpkins, Witches, SpongeBob SquarePants, and Homer Simpson - D'OH! ;-)
2011_10_24: With two months to go before December 25th, the Christmas Blog has been turned on for those fans that want to start commenting.
2011_10_31: Another crazy-fun Halloween night! It was super warm so almost 200 trick-or-treaters came by. They almost cleaned me out of candy (I'm very generous, especially early on) and I also passed out shots of Wine, Port, Irish Cream, and Peppermint Mocha Kahlua for the "big" kids. Check out all the action in the time-lapse halloween movies while listening to some halloween music and read the funny commentary in the halloween blog.
2011_11_01: One behind-the-scenes new item is an XTB-IIR/III X10 signal booster from JV Digital Engineering. X10 is the powerline protocol that actually sends the signals in my house wiring to control stuff when Internet users click ON/OFF. Because of the large number of circuits, it's always a challenge to the find the "right" combination of TM751 transceivers (on the "right" circuits!) to hopefully maximize reliability ... and sometimes things would just flake out with circuits/zones "stuck" - who turned on the Microwave Oven?!? ;-) The XTB-IIR/III addressed those issues with a single box in the Haunted Office and was rock solid for Halloween. If you are an X10 user, I strongly encourage you check out JV Digital Engineering - Jeff Volp makes some great products (the craftsmanship is exquisite) and is a genuine pleasure to work with.
2011_11_20: We actually have a new webcam this year for the holiday display as one of the 5+ year old D-Link DCS-6620G (that broke) has been replaced with a Vivotek FD8362. A big thumbs up to Jon Wade (who lives in Steamboat Springs) for donating the webcam to support the charity effort. Webcam #1 and #3 are still D-Link's (that are falling apart) ... so lets hope they work through the holiday season ... and would be awesome if there was a "Santa" out there who wanted to upgrade those.
2011_11_24: Happy Thanksgiving to all. Slowly (but surely) all the lights and decorations are being put out ... should have the webcams and X10 controls go online after the weekend.
2011_11_28: While there's still plenty of "stuff" left to put out, I've turned on the webcams and X10 controls so Internet surfers can take control of my house! ;-)
2011_12_05: Over a foot of snow has fallen in the last several days ... and temperatures tonight may drop below 0°F ... so I was glad there was mostly only indoor stuff to finish the Christmas setup. The final tally is again 21,000 lights ... which put on a nice show for the Horse Drawn Sleigh that came by last night.
2011_12_13: For almost a decade, the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease has provided a lot of joy for Internet surfers around the world. It's always been totally free (and totally fun) but there's also an option to voluntarily donate to the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Disease - my kids have this, so it's a personal cause. A number of companies and individuals have donated through the years ... and the grand total just passed $70,000 (WOOT!) thanks to long-time donator Chris Miller from Christmas Lights Etc. Thank you Chris and everyone else who has contributed ... and if you'd like to chip in for charity, here's info on how you can donate to Celiac Disease.
2011_12_22: The 6" of snow from last week was melting away ... but another foot+ showed
2011_12_25: As typical, a LOT of web surfers came by on Christmas Eve (check out the time-lapse videos!) and with all the snow from a couple of days ago, it was a White Christmas this morning.
2011_12_29: Wind is the greatest enemy of Christmas Lights Displays and it hit 60 MPH today ... so I was glad I shut things down last night and got everything into the house before it blew away to Kansas! ;-)
A lot of Internet surfers worldwide (146 countries) enjoyed watching & controlling the Controllable Christmas Lights for Celiac Disease but all good things must come to an end as I have turned off commenting on the Christmas Blog. Over $70,000 has been raised for Charity. Surf on back for Christmas 2012 and Merry Christmas from www.komar.org! ;-)