Hulkin' Limeade Stand for Celiac Charity

lemonde stand

Lemonade stands are a ton of fun in the hot summer months, but not everyone has a nearby neighborhood with kids to put 'em on. But thanks to modern technology, you can watch a Lemonade Limeade stand via three live webcams starting at Noon MDT (GMT-6) on Saturday, June 10th, 2006 with all proceeds going to charity. You can not only watch the action, but also use the X10 powerline control technology to inflate/deflate the monster inflatables via the Internet. We won't be serving Puny Human Powder Limeade - we'll be juicing smashing fresh limes, and simply adding sugar, water, and ice ... with an optional shot of Tequila for the big kids.

The Hulk'in Limeade Stand is now closed and the kids (Dirk (8), Kyle (5), and Alek (42!)) had a great time. Dozens of comments on the lemonade blog as Internet surfers enjoyed the show and chimed in. Complete time-lapse video is available from: webcam1 - webcam2 - webcam3. Finally, $406 was raised for Celiac Disease Research - thank you everyone that donated.

kyle lemonade lemonade stand 1

lemonade biker dudes power rangers

Live webcam in basement before outdoor lemonade stand opened June 10th, 2006
$100 glass of lemonade captain copyright

Misc. Updates on the Lemonade Stand

2006/06/03: Since my kids and I had so much fun in 2005 doing a lemonade limeade stand, I thought it would be fun to do again in 2006 ... but step up the technology. I have three D-Link DCS-6620G wireless webcams from my halloween decorations and christmas lights ... so I figured I should put 'em to use here. X10 Powerline technology is used to control the various "zones" and allow you to turn them on and off in real-time. Yes, you (and anyone else on the Internet) can toggle the rotating cooling fan, make that Rainier Beer Sign light up, and even light up that groovy lava lamp. For the techies out there, the video feed is rebroadcast via a 100 Mbps web server (rather than a direct connection to my house), so there is quite a bit of bandwidth available, especially since I'm doing 3-second jpeg updates (typically about 50 KBytes) rather than streaming video. Back-end is a buncha home-grown Perl code along with the nifty CGI::AJAX module. There is a front-end software rate-limiter so that the X10 hardware doesn't get overwhelmed due to its 1-2 second latency ... daily data is shown in the X10 Controls toggled ### times (### tries) line. This is load balanced across several Linux/Apache servers using mod_perl and CGI::AJAX so there is a lotta scalability and therefore should be able to handle a significant number of visitors.

2006/06/04: I tossed a "Hulk'in Limeade sign in the front yard along with some lights that are also under X10 control. Had to fiddle with the light bulbs to get a decent exposure, but this is about as good as I can do. It provides some lights and color to the view of my front lawn/street which otherwise would be really boring & dark at night ... and I really don't want to put 26,000 christmas lights out there until December! ;-)

2006/06/05: My wonderful wife Wendy (who puts up with all of this) picked up 3 bags of limes, a large package of sugar (both now next to the "stand" in the basement), and two gallons of "Tony the Tiger" Orange Juice (we also sell that) at Costco - total cost was $27. I'll start making extra ice later in the week, so hopefully we don't have to buy any of that. The Jose Tequila bottle is almost empty so I'll have to buy another for the "big kids" that stop by Saturday. I picked up the Lava Lamp and Lite-Brite two days ago at the neighborhood garage sale for $3 apiece ... and I borrowed the "Lemonade Stand" from a neighbor - told their kids they would get free limeade this Saturday. Oh yeah, those D-Link DCS-6620G webcams (which could use some work in the auto-focus department - or at least give me manual control - an example and I wish it would be this tight) run almost a grand apiece, but I had them around, so not an expense for the lemonade stand! ;-)

2006/06/08: I just remembered that other neighbors were selling some Colorado Rockies (baseball team) cups at that garage sale. These would be perfect for the large limeade's ... so I called 'em up to see if they hadn't gone for the selling price of 50 cents/sleeve ... and they had 5 sleeves left that they donated - NICE! I picked up some small dixie cups at the store (on sale for $5) and also a fresh half gallon of Jose Tequila for the "big kids" - that expense is out of my pocket. Thanh from Texas donated $101 and there was also a matched $50 donation from Philipp from Germany (total so far is $221 for charity) ... so they quality for YOU NAME IT!!! and Thanh requested a $100 glass of Limeade - you got it!

2006/06/09: Philipp's YOU NAME IT!!! was a picture of Captain Copyright saying the Hulk'in Limeade Stand has to be shut down because we are using the Big Green Monster - heh, heh! ;-)

2006/06/10 - 0800: A bit breezy this morning with slight chance for severe thunderstorms this afternoon ... so possibility we might have to re-schedule to next week. I'll update this page in a few hours with how things are looking here in the Republic of Boulder, Colorado.

2006/06/10 - 1100: Winds haven't increased, but a few more clouds on the horizon, but OK so far. Inflatables are now out on the front lawn and you can blow 'em up and/or let the air out of 'em. Wife just called to say kids are having a great time at town fair and should be home around noon.

2006/06/10 - 1230: Hulk'in Lime Stand open for business!

2006/06/10 - 1800: Hulk'in Limeade Stand closed. I'll add some time-lapse video, but we had some occasional crowds plus some Biker Dudes show up ... or were they Power Rangers? ;-)

2006/06/10 - Biker Dudes/Power Rangers: Some stills from the webcams themselves show that the biker dudes, despite looking like Power Rangers, looked ready to "move in" on the Blue Heron housewives. Video footage available from webcam1 and webcam3 and the later caught some U-Haul guys who came by for some refreshing limeade. BTW, the biker dudes were super nice guys who had put a 100+ miles on their bikes driving around ... and were very generous with their donations. In fact, one was going to write a check for $100 for Celiac Disease Research, but I asked him instead to donate online directly to the University of Maryland - at least this way he'd get the tax deduction receipt - and he subsequently did that night.

2006/06/10 - Slamming Tequila: So as we were closing up shop, I figured it would be OK to take a big swig-o-Tequila. I first had to make sure the coast was clear and then I took a big swig - what a reaction! Here's the entire time-lapse sequence.

2006/06/10 - Complete Time-Lapse Videos: Complete time-lapse video of the Hulk'in Limeade Stand from: webcam1 - webcam2 - webcam3. There's a little bit of frame-jump as I PTZ'ed occasionally ... plus we had to move webcam1 when the neighbor's sprinkler fired up (see around 1515 in webcam3 footage). Dirk and I wave goodbye in webcam2 at the end of the day as we do the final cleanup caught by webcam1.

2006/06/14: I've turned off the webcam and X10 controls - this was so much fun that we'll probably do it again in 2007.
Total raised for Celiac Disease Research was $406 - thank you everyone who donated.

Hulkin' Limeade Stand in 2005

First customers at our Lemonade Stand

limeade stand

Correction: Limeade Stand!

limeade stand closeup

Dirk waves the sign to cars driving by

limeade for sale

And even passing bikes

lemonade bikes

Happy Customers watch Kyle burn out the juicer

lemonade stand

Tony had too much Tequila with his limeade

lemonade stand 2
The boys have wanted to do a lemonade stand for quite a while, and when the forecast weather for Sunday was high of 90 (versus a 100 on Saturday), I said what the heck, lets go for it. Colorado has been having a bit of a heat wave in late July/2005 ... although fortunately nothing as bad as we had back in the drought of 2002 when my grass wouldn't grow. Since everyone does a lemonade stand, we decided to be different with a limeade stand (or perhaps Hulkade stand) and enlisted the help of The Incredible Hulk and his recent sidekick addition Tony the Tiger. The Big Green Guy recently had a leak fixed by Dr. Zodiac Boat Repair (aka my brother Kurt) and had been a big hit at the neighborhood parade. Unfortunately, he had a tear in his purple pants that was starting to run, so he had to go in the green buff, but nobody seemed to mind.

We weren't going to make "Puny Human Powder Lemonade" ... so we went to Costco on Saturday and got a couple of big bags of limes - the only other ingredients are sugar, water, and ice - pretty simple, 'eh? But I figured we needed some advertising for our limeade stand, so in addition to the Hulk and Tony the Tiger, we made up a couple of signs. Ironically, we had picked up a Bugville set of lights also at Costco which had some nice 2'x3' cardboard dividers which were perfect for this purpose. While I made a few suggestions, Dirk came up with most of the wording and did the signs with one saying "(smashingly fresh) Hulkin' Limeade" - "Fresh Squeezed SMASHED" would have been a bit more clever, but hey, Dirk's 7 years old and I'm not a marketing guy.

We decided to charge 25 cents/cup (about 4 ounces in the small ones) and added a "Buy Four, Get One Free" on the other sign - Dirk also wrote in "Have a Nice Day" which I thought was a nice touch. And since we didn't want Tony the Tiger to be left out, we added a line about his "GREAT orange juice" - we had picked up a gallon of the Costco fresh squeezed OJ. This stuff isn't cheap and I didn't consult my brother Myke who is getting an MBA, so I think our pricing model was a bit off! ;-)

We started setting up a little after 10:00 Sunday morning. Sometime in the next few weeks, I'll be sewing pants but until then, Hulk will look a bit strange without his purple shorts on. I did some receipe testing in the kitchen - Hulk Lemon Drop Martinis are a lot of fun (!) to test/sample - and settled on a quart of water, 3/2 cup of sugar, about 8 limes, and lotsa ice. Be sure you add the ice at the end since otherwise it's more work to dissolve the sugar. Our first lemonade stand customers were the neighbors across the street and they gave it a big thumbs up!

I ran an extension cord for the juicer and by time I was making the fourth (and final) batch, the motor was getting darn hot ... but probably more so because 4-year old Kyle insisted on running it all the time. We sold about half of the orange juice for those who wanted something different. And for that "buy 4, get 1 free", we decided that for a buck, we'd fill a large cup that was equivalent. The adults all liked it as mixed - a bit tart - but about half the kids asked for it to be sweeter, which I was happy to oblige by adding a bit of sugar to their cups if OK with their parents. And halfway through, I pulled out a bottle of Tequila and offerred complimentary shots to make the limeade into margarita's for those adults that wanted it - several took me up on it, and since I have to taste test everything, I of course had to try some myself! ;-)

Funniest customer was the lady who was "concerned" that if she drank the limeade, she'd turn green like the Hulk nearby. Dirk assured her that would not be the case.

Like most most 7-year olds, Dirk was facinated about the money ... and after a couple of customers, started saying how "successful" our limeade stand was. We were out there for a little over 4 hours (good thing I had the shade cover) and saw a fair number of folks from the neighborhood come by ... so that in itself was quite a bit of fun. At the end, we added up our "mula" and it was $31 ... but $10 of that was change I had initially put in ... and I explained to Dirk that the (accouting for some leftover limes and OJ) ingredients cost was $12 ... so we made $9 and decided to split it evenly 3 times. Dirk carefully picked through the quarters so all of his had states on the backs ... and no duplicates at that.

Much more important than the $$$ was that the boys and I had a darn good time with our Hulkin' limeade stand!

Update 1: I just read about Alex's Lemonade Stand. Alex was a 4-year old with cancer who opened up a lemonade stand back in July/2000 to raise funds for research ... and has grown over the years to be a worldwide effort. I can especially relate to this since my kids have celiac disease ... so I'm going to talk to my kids tonight about donating their earnings to this ... along with a much more generous match from me.

Update 2: The boys agreed to donate the money, but initially wanted to do so for Celiac Disease which I thought was pretty reasonable. However, when I explained how "bad" cancer was and that a lot more people die from it, they said it was OK. So I chipped in a much larger contribution to add to the Boy's $9 in lemonade stand profits and sent a check to the Alex Lemonade folks.

Update 3: Anita from Alex's wrote back and thought my web site was pretty funny, saying "that's not an ordinary stand" ... and thought the Hulk Drop Martini's would be worth sampling sometime - adults only of course. I asked her to write back and let me know how they like 'em! ;-)

Update 4: The Alex guys thought the Hulk'in Lemonade Stand was one of the most creative they've seen and said it would be fun to do something SMASHING in 2006. While pediatric cancer research is a worthy cause, I decided that since Celiac Disease is "our" charity (and something we have to live with), so any money we raise should go there.