Christmas 2009

Christmas Lights Webcam - view and control stuff! ;-)
After having one live webcam where people could view (and control!) my Christmas Lights in 2005, I went to three webcams in 2006 ... plus Homer Simpson - D'OH! But there is always room for improvement and news ideas ... so here are some ideas for Christmas 2009 ... and you can also comment on the christmas blog.

1. The Incredible Hulk.   The Big Green Guy will definitely be back ... although his twin brother may only be part of the halloween decorations.

2. More webcams.   There was one webcam in 2005 and three from 2006 on ... and while I keep debating setting up another one, I don't have a "good" fourth spot for christmas 2009.

3. More Christmas Lights.   I always hit the stores after the holidays for the 50-75% off sales ... and while I already have wayyyyy too much Christmas stuff, I picked up one really big new things for christmas 2009 - see picture below - D'OH! ;-)

4. Possible new bells & whistles with Webcam and Webcontrol.   The Webcam and WebControl (which allowed folks to not only view the lights in real-time, but also turn them ON and OFF) is a big hit, so I'm always curious to see what technologies come my way for christmas 2009 and see how they can be used.

5. Streaming video on webcam.   Related to point #4 above, I'd love to do streaming video rather than refreshed JPEG's ... although the later can be used to make some decent crazy christmas videos.

6. Alternative home automation technology.   X10 isn't bad, but it would be way cool if some sort of cheap, easy-to-use, home automation technology could be deployed for 2009 Christmas that had milli-second latencies, two way communication, and 99.99% reliability - hey, I'm not asking for much! ;-)

7. Misc. code fixing/polishing.   As you can imagine, there is some fairly sophisticated hardware and code to run all this. Buzzword-Bingo includes Linux, Apache, Perl, Ajax, HTML, CSS, etc. While often not apparent to end-users, there are always a few bugs (usually behind the scenes) that have to be squashed.

8. More fund-raising.   It was not only fun raising money for celiac disease but it made me feel "good" ... so I'll be doing that again - total at the beginning of 2009 was over $35,000 and consider donating now to the University of Maryland - every little bit helps.

9. Christmas 2010.   Yep, I'm already thinking about that! ;-)

Be sure to check back here around Thanksgiving 2009 for the christmas decorations where you can view and control 'em via the christmas webcam - christmas 2009 should be even better!

Initial setup in the backyard of the 15' Santa Balloon from Home Depot!

home depot santa balloon

Christmas Fun