Do you live in the Bay Area? Have you not yet had your fill of Christmas Lights? Do you have a tank full of $3.50-a-gallon 87 octane anxious to be incinerated? If your answer to these questions is yes, consider driving to 2724 Ascot Drive; San Ramon, CA. This writer (known to some in my family as "Mr. Cynical Christmas") drove there twice. Add hypocritical to that moniker. Anyway, once you are there, tune in to 100.7 FM. If you want to surprise yourself, read no further. If you are actually thinking of going, don't worry - it's much cooler in person! If you only want to take a virtual trip to this fantastic display, please enjoy the following videos from YouTube.
First, you will need to check your processor speed.
Act One: 34th Street Overture
Act Two: Carol of the Bells
Act Three: Illuminations
If you want to do something like this using a commercially available controller unit, look no further than the Light-O-Rama. And since you will be able to afford the extravagance of the several thousand dollar computer, the lights and the energy bill, consider offsetting some of your carbon. Two companies that will take you money to invest in methane and wind projects are terrapass and NativeEnergy. I have a gut feeling that planting trees is a better idea; the Carbon Trust devotes much of its donations to tree planting and conservation (and it's a non-profit). Check out this Grist post for more of the gory details of carbon trading.
In the end, I was just as happy with a failed attempt to find the two western screech owls hooting in the trees above my parents' house. In the process, I only scared one of their neighbors.
I hope this post was random enough for you.