Saturday, September 23, 2006

One Flew Over the Christmas Tree

Boy what a day. I'm sitting in a room full of crazy people and yet I feel strangely at ease. We speak with a strange jargon. Words like LOR, coro, puffers, and wire-frame. A year ago these words would sound as foreign as Greek, yet on this day, I speak them fluently. I am at the Texas Christmas Light Workshop being held in San Antonio and I have learned a lot.

It's been an amazing experience and I honestly can't remember the last time I was this excited. It's the excitement you had as a kid on Christmas Eve. There are newbies to the hobby here. Some more naive than I. But some of the ledgens are here as well. The guys who have created some of the most elaborate displays that you've probably seen on the Internet and they talk with us freely. Sharing what's works, what doesn't, what to worry about, what not to bother with, how to fix things when things go terribly wrong, things to consider that I never even thought about before. Yea, you can find out some of this stuff from the blogs and newsgroups, but sitting around letting one questions spawn another question and soaking up the wisdom has been truly invaluable.

Jeff Womack, who organized this fall's workshop, did a great job. Inviting vendors to join us was great. They gave us a sneak peek at some of the new technology that's about to be released for this December and latter next year. Really amazing stuff. Several of us were ready to break open our wallets right there on the spot. Advancements in software, namely D-Light, got everyone's mouth drooling. Get ready. If I actually manage to pull off what I have planned for 2006, my 2007 display is going to be off the hook!

Jeff Trykoski of talk about a project he's been working on with the city of Frisco though out this past year. They are going to turn the entire city square into an animated holiday display. Representatives from the city went to his house the day after Christmas and said "we want your help to make our city hall look like your house." No joke. They plan on having over 100,000 lights, running on 800 dimmers, with a budget of $250,000. Given most of that will be one time expenses to pre-run power and other cable though the buildings, but still.

Before I finish this entry, I'd like to plug one thing. If your reading this, and you think you might be interested in creating a display of your own. Do it. Join us. Check out Become one of us. It'll change you life.