Spotted on the Live Cam…

There aren’t too many nicer places in the summer than Seattle. 70 to 90 degrees, low humidity, breezy, great air quality, and just a general sense of happiness among everyone.

Seattle is a city surrounded by water. To the west, we have the saltwater of Puget Sound. To the north, we have Lake Union, with its stunning city views and unique houseboats. And to the east, we have freshwater Lake Washington, separating us from the suburbia of Bellevue, and Microsoft.

Part of the reason I created the Live Theme for Mike Industries (see the “Live” button on the right side of the site… Flash 6 required) was to lend the feel of Seattle to the site. When it’s rainy and drab, the site feels muted. When it’s sunny and gorgeous, the site comes to life.

When it really gets interesting though is when something cool floats across Puget Sound and the live cam captures it. Being that it is the middle of summer, the amount of cool stuff flying by has increased substantially. Below is a sampling of header images from three random times I checked the site over the last couple of weeks:

Cruise ship with parasailer flying alongside

Slightly larger cruise ship

Hyundai container ship entering port from Asia

I’m still working on getting motion detection set up properly so these sorts of shots appear with greater frequency, but for now, please enjoy the view.

22 comments on “Spotted on the Live Cam…”. Leave your own?
  1. Sean Voisen says:

    Hey Mike, out of curiosity, where is this camera set up? Is this the view from your office window? If so, that’s a pretty nice view you have there …

  2. Mike D. says:


    Actually the camera is pointed out the window of my condo. The view from work is even better though (20th floor of a skyscraper downtown)… maybe I should set one up there too.

  3. compuwhiz7 says:

    I’m probably blind—I thought glasses were actually used for something!—but I can’t seem to locate the Live button.

    Would someone mind pointing it out for me?

  4. Lavina says:

    I also really enjoy the Live Cam, Mike ~ and your description of Seattle in the summer is very accurate, but did you have to add the oh-so-slight slight to Microsoft (and Bellevue)?

    (I wish I could post this comment in permanent Comic Sans font just so you don’t lose your reputation as a snap case)

  5. David S says:

    The LIVE button is the rightmost theme square graphic near the top of the side panel.

  6. Mike D. says:

    I should probably add that the Live button and accompanying Live Theme only show up if you have Flash 6 or greater installed.

    I should also add that Lavina works for Microsoft and although I appreciate the IM conversations we have, I also appreciate that there is a large body of water separating us. :)

  7. Mike, this is so cool! Great idea. I like that you have the weather conditions to accompany the picture. ;)

  8. Jim Amos says:

    Very very cool. Wish I’d thought of it first. Hats off to you. I think you should get out there in a rowing boat and wave at us.

  9. Mike P. says:

    I think you should get out there in a rowing boat and wave at us.

    I agree! You could use what appears to be a bouy (see 1st image) as a tether and a point of reference for us viewers :-P

    (or start parasailing!)

  10. Wired says:

    I must say, the Live header is impressive! Someone finally found out a good use for a webcam eheh. Couple of questions: What type of webcam do you have, and how far away is the scene captured?

    FYI, you’ve got a mini fan base in the URL linked to this comment :)

  11. …70 to 90 degrees…

    I wish! How about the mid-90s it’s been for the last two days?! Up here in Edmonds (about 10 miles north of Seattle) it has been sweltering. It wouldn’t be so bad if we had A/C, but because this sort of weather only lasts for a couple of weeks at most (fingers crossed), we’ve been making do with an electric fan…

  12. That looks really good!

    Just one nitpick: Could you also have the temprature in Celsius (also called centigrade), as fahrenheit has been decapricated everywhere except the US I believe.

    70-90 just doesn’t mean anything to the rest of us.

  13. Graham Kaplan says:

    Thank god it cooled down today to a more reasonable 75 degrees. The 95 yesterday was just insane, and it made everyone really grumpy. Ah well. Plenty of swimming in Greenlake fixed that!

  14. Mike D. says:

    I’ll work on getting the celsius temperature in there for you international jerkies.

    For more information on how the web cam was set up, see this write-up.

  15. Graham – you actually went swimming in Greenlake?! You’d best get yourself to a doctor and get some shots ASAP my man…

  16. Ryan says:

    Nice trick with the live header image… similar to what Dunstan does over at 1976design.

    I just got back from my first visit to your fine city. Had a great time and can’t wait to get back to roaming around Capitol Hill again soon. But what’s with all this rain Seattle’s known for? It was hot and sunny, not a cloud in the sky, during my entire stay… like I had never left Virginia. I got a kick out of hearing that the entire city was sold out of fans.

  17. compuwhiz7 says:

    Ah… I didn’t have Flash installed before. Thanks!

  18. Calvin says:

    Yo Papy, I like the new site, but I think it would be more interesting if you swiveled the webcam 180 degrees (i.e. point it into your living room). That way we can all see what you’re up to ‘live’ while we surf your site. I’m sure you’d get a lot more hits that way.


    Friend #2

  19. Naomi says:

    Way to do your part for Port Security! Reminds me of one of the articles in last year’s NY Times “Year in Ideas” issue, about that new homeland security plan, involving ordinary citizens at their computers. People get to gaze at various webcams all day (at some anonymous nuclear reactor, for instance) to see if any foreign objects enter the picture. (Omigod, a paraglider!) Basically, the person just has to answer periodic YES/NO dialog boxes for hours. There are plenty of fake yesses, to alleviate boredom. And in the event that a person gets up for a moment and leaves the job to a woodpecker doll (like Homer Simpson), there are plenty of other viewers to take up the slack.

    As a side note, the horizontal banner really is perfect for displaying those container ships. Great idea!

  20. Nick says:

    I don’t know if you ever see comments on old posts like this, but I saw probably the best sunset I’ve seen on the header today… decided to capture the screenshot. Here it is:

    Live Cam sunset

  21. Iceman says:

    yo tha new heada lookz kewl. tha temp. iz iight

  22. Weblog Webcam = Creative Idea

    It’s the first time I’ve seen a weblog make use of a frequently updated webcam (every 2 minutes…

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