Be Afraid…

 

Its officially time to be beside myself in giddiness.   The Dark Holiday Celebration is here!

Tonight is my annual Halloween party, and I’m really looking forward to it.   Tomorrow will be clean-up and I think some fang-crafting.  My new buddy is going to make me some custom fangs.

Sunday I will probably carve pumpkins.   Itching to try out some tools I picked up a couple of years ago and haven’t played with… including my Halloween Dremel.    I have a powered saw too.    Neither of which have felt the sensation of sinking into the flesh of a pumpkin.

Hopefully I’ll have some pics to share over the weekend too.  My photographer is slacking… ‘cause well, she’s a busy gal and its Halloween…  which makes us all busy.

So Dark Tidings to you all… remember your ancestors, as they remember you (and if your dearly departed are going to pop in for a visit…  this is the most likely time).    Put some food out on your porch for the spirits…   don a mask to confound troublesome goblins (or, you know, just scare some kids)…   and be afraid… be very afraid   (but in a good way.)

It surprised me too.

 

I met a guy over the weekend who I think may just be more into Halloween than I am.   Shocking!    At the very least he gives me good competition for dark-holiday obsession.   :)     Needless to say we hit it off extremely well, geeking out over skeletons and gargoyles.   Three of my gargoyles are also his.

Seems we have a lot of common interests too.    For you Radcliffians, I think its safe to say I have a new Jaffa to add to the ranks.    I may be getting ahead of myself, but I’m already anticipating an extra set of hands for next year’s setup.

 

Speaking of which, just some finishing touches to be made and the photo shoot can begin!   I’m particularly pleased with how the bathroom came out this year.    of course every time Leia barks (it was her five-year birthday yesterday), she sets off some sound-activated horror.    I, of course, can’t help but giggle about it.

It’s Crunch Time Mr. Kim

 

Did everyone see Kate Mulgrew on Warehouse 13 playing Reagent Jane?   I really miss Voyager.  Frak Fire-fly.  Bring back Voyager!

(and Fire-Fly.)

Animated series are conceivable folks.   SGU conclusion anyone?   The rest of Caprica maybe?   That Atlantis movie we were ‘promised?’  

Which reminds me…   If you didn’t know, Thundercats has been rebooted on Cartoon Network.  I’m still getting used to the new cats, but loving it.

 

 

On to the crunch.

Tis the last day of September and I’m sad to announce, that we remain behind schedule.   It is, conveinently, now officially going to be October come ‘morrow and that means I can feel better about doing things outdoors.   (For my neighbor’s sake, I try and wait until October before doing anything that impacts my curb appeal.   It may, however, last well into November.)

I have, in the past, completely done the interior over the course of a weekend.   I’m well into that already, so I’m going to put that same kind of busy-bodiedness into swing this weekend and hopefully knock the bulk of it out.   (If cobwebs aren’t going up by Sunday night, I’ve failed.)

Now where’s Ensign Kim when you need someone to boss around?

 

Post all this holiday franticness, expect some entries chronicling the new adventures of the Thunderans and their dark nemesis.   I’m gonna do a quick rewatch and post about each episode.   Spoilers will no doubt abound.

Hunting for Skeletons

 

As preparations continue, we realized we had a shortage of skeletons this year.   (I’m not really sure how that happened, as I seem to keep adding to the bone pile year after year.)

So Gabe and I hit the stores (well, those still open after 8PM) to find some.    We didn’t fare all that well.

Its not entirely unexpected, given the economic state of so many of us, that we jsut aren’t buying and so stores just aren’t supplying.    Its a really telling tale going down the halloween isles of your favorite stores.   About all you can find is candy and kids costumes.     Decorations?   Rather sparse. 

This year its expected that consumers will only shell out the bare minimum for the holiday.   Candy to pass out, and costumes for the little ones.   

Walmart’s selection is just sad.   What they do have is rather overpriced (with the exception of one item i’ll get to in a minute) for the quality it is.

Target, usually my savior in these things, has a better selection but its still rather scaled back from years past.  At least their price-points are more inline with what I’m willing to pay for the quality of the goods.    It’s clear their buyers did a better job than Walmart’s, as they managed to get some quality stuff at a price people would actually afford in the current market.    In fact there is a couple of things I think I’m going to have to head back for next payday.

They had some skeletons, but they were too large for our purposes (we need smaller ones for the tree of the dead).     So no luck there, though I did find this guy:

IMG_20110927_220906

(Sorry, my cell has issues with lighting… so the detail isn’t all there…   he has a rather draconic visage, so naturally I had to have him.)

We’re looking around about to leave and Gabe asks “Is there anything you see you can’t live without?”

Of course I’m standing next to this guy, so I put my hand on him.     A slight roll of the eyes and some comment about needing another Gargoyle like I need another hole in my head…   but he loves me and let me make the buy…  provided I allowed him to use it in the graveyard outside.     Deal!

What can I say… this one wanted to come home with me.   Assuming he can devise adequate security, I’m thinking I’m going to be placing a lot of the gargoyles outside this year, on the porch’s railing.      (We’re a little concerned, especially in these desperate times, of people walking off with the cool things we have on display…but I just happen to live with a home security and life safety engineer, so I’m going to be well covered.)

Discouraged we grabbed dinner at In-N-Out before hitting up some drug stores on the way home.     Finally found what we wanted at the Walgreens.    Though the bone color is a little off though.    Looks like we’ll need some antiquing gel to fix them up to their proper horrific conditions.    

Of all the places we went too, Walgreens’ selection is the most comparable to what they had in seasons past, although even they have scaled down a bit.    Where they used to have a descent selection of lights, its now all candy.   Overall, a lot less shelf-space devoted to the things I spend my dollars on for Halloween.   (I don’t know why, but costuming is always so last minute for me.)

We did get home to discover a bit of a surprise in one of the acquisitions we made along the way.    I try to expand my animatronics each year with a new piece, but these are a tad pricey and I’ve been resigned to not being able to grow that the past couple of years.    The one thing I found at Walmart was this winged reaper (truly an angel of death).   We were talking on the way home and given the quality of the similar items on display, felt it was priced close to right, but slightly more expensive than it should have been.   Seemed like a $15 item, not a $20 one.    Well, I was wrong.   I knew it lit up and made noise, what I didn’t realize is it also moved.   (It’s also appears to be a bit higher-quality fabric than its companions on the display shelf.)

So I got to add a new animatronics to the mix this year after all, and at a real bargain.   Any other year, I’d have expected to pay at least $40 on something like this thing.   

I’m hoping to get some video of things this year to post, so I’ll try and make a point of filming him.

If you’re in the market for decor, though, don’t waste time on Walmart (unless you want a winged reaper).    Target has a few nice things reasonably priced, but in general the pickings are slim this year.

Lights!

 

I successfully restored my disabled set of icicle lights to functioning order, but two sets isn’t enough.  I need at least three to complete the hall.

So I’ve had to suck it up and just pay to have some shipped to me as I’ve not been able to find orange icicle lights in any brick and mortar store.

 

The state of Halloween decorations is appalling.

 

No photos today, but I’ll try and take some as I spend all weekend setting things up.

As the month winds down…

 

I think I read Google+ has seen a 30% growth since going public?    Welcome newbies!

 

Progress continues to be slow on the reconfiguration of this house I live in, to its more ‘horrific’ form.   Seems like I could use some ancient spirits… to transform this charming dwelling… It’s my first Halloween here.   Might just be my last, one never knows.  

Check this out though.  It’s Gabe’s top-secret project.   He doesn’t want anyone to see it until its finished, because ‘people just don’t understand if they see it before its finished.’

IMG_20110922_074015

I think he agonizes too much, but its artist’s prerogative.  So you’ll just have to wait, and/or guess.  We had a little dinner thing last night, so he covered it up.   Avoid dropping in unannounced.

Meanwhile I’ve been trying to trouble-shoot a line of icicle lights.  Even tried to find a replacement.   No luck.   There’s a new (to me) halloween store literally a block from my house  (Awesome!).   Stopped in on my way home from work.   I might check back for some costume accessories as their selection seemed rather vast.   Its nice to have competition for Spirit anyway.   But their lighting/décor selection left much to be desired.   (Not Awesome.)

There’s a place online that has what appears to be the same make and model of my sets, so I could order it there, but the shipping is as much as the product, which I hate.   

 

 

Someone was telling me today how they recently started a Voyager re-watch and were musing how much nicer it would be to live there…    that’s the one aspect of the star trek life that technology doesn’t seem to be making a reality with any degree of urgency…   a society without the need for money.

A long overdue check-in…

 

Well it has been a bit since I’ve graced the pages of my own blog.   I need to get myself back into the habit of more frequent updates.

What has life been throwing at me?    Mostly just work.   Been dealing with lots of performance issues with our database server.   Getting any reports to run has been really challenging.    But we’re making some progress, it would seem, as we actually got through last night’s updates before the start of business today.   For the first time in at least two weeks.

I’d like to think I had a hand in that, but aside from pushing two resource-hogging reports out to later in the day, I don’t think I really did.

Efforts continue, though, because while today went smooth, we’re not at a point yet we can consider sustainable.

 

On the home front not much is going on there.   Took Leia into the vet a week or so ago for her vaccinations.   She’s no longer rabid.   :)   Okay, well, she’s got her booster shots to ensure she never becomes rabid in the first place.    Along with canine distemper, porvo (or whatever that disease is called), and whatever else they injected her with.

She’s a trooper, but terrified of the whole affair.  Wouldn’t eat any of the treats she was offered.   Only wanted to be where I was holding her.    The look in her eyes while they were giving her the shot was kind of heart-wrenching.    I don’t like the “Daddy, please save me!” look.

After that, though, we stopped by the pet shop to get her food, and she got to take her first trip inside with me.   I’ve been reluctant as I was always worried she’d bark at everything and generally embarrass me.    She showed me just how well-mannered she can be.   (So now I know!  No excuses for misbehavior… much like you let it slip that yes, do you know how to sit and lay down!)     While we were there I checked in on grooming prices and decided to schedule her an appointment for later that day.

So we went back, and she was all happy about it until it was time to turn her over to the groomer.   Then it was back to the “Daddy!  Pick me up and Save Me!!” shenanigans.

She was, needless to say, quite thrilled when I came to retrieve her a few hours later.

For having no idea what I wanted her hair-cut to be, I think they did a great job.   Wish I had pictures, but she won’t hold still long enough.    (And now she needs another brushing.)

 

This past weekend I finally got all my Halloween stuff out of storage and to the house.   Started putting it all up, but it’s the 21st already and I’m really far behind.    Gonna be tough as I need to devote time this weekend to emptying out the rest of storage so i don’t have to keep paying for it.     This is my last weekend before my Oct 1 deadline.

On the plus side we figured out the tree situation for this year.   It’s stand was broken, and remains unrepaired.   Gabe insists he can fix it, but it’s been two years and he doesn’t seem inclined too… although I guess in a way, it kind of built me a new stand for it last night.   At least it has something to hold it up this year.   Won’t work outside Halloween though.    It’s black and is supposed to represent ‘space’ for my Star Trek Jewish Christmas Tree that goes up around yuletime.

 

The below photo (in addition to proving that I am indeed alive) I think best captures my reaction to the notion that I’ve been making any progress whatsoever on this Halloween thing:

Apparently the orange glow is flattering, as I was told this was a ‘hot picture’ of me.   So there’s that.   🙂

Disgusting American Pigs

 

Well I assume they are Americans…  certainly seems consistent with how I’m starting to regard my fellow American…   (with disgust and disdain).

I consume a lot of news from the interwebs… and its all too popular to comment on news articles these days.

I know, already, most are in pretty poor taste and most that are posting seem to be intellectually stunted.

Today, however, takes the cake.

 

This article about a British woman who was on holiday in Spain, went into a Chinese grocery store, and then got stabbed in the back and beheaded by some guy who proceeded to flee the scene with her head…

Its an atrocity that should rightly horrify people…    Of the 133 comments on there, most include a cheap joke…if not being entirely just a cheap joke.    What’s truly disgusting, though, is that the top-rated comments depend on who ‘liked’ it.    (Stupid Facebook Era).

Its rather appalling to me that two of those three top comments, where people ‘liked’ it to stardom, are nothing more than a cheap joke…   “He wanted to get ahead” kind of humor.    Frakking classless, tasteless, and a few more colorful words I’ll not taint my blog with.

I’m not laughing.    It isn’t funny.     Then the poor sap trying to defend it… ‘my initial reaction was one of horror and disgust… but since its so far away and doesn’t really affect me, using humor to get through it isn’t so bad.’

What the hell does distance or personal relation have to do with it?    If the humor were being used as a coping mechanism, I might be more forgiving.   There isn’t anything in the comment to suggest that is the case, however… so no… no forgiveness…   I’m not big on judgment either, but occasionally will acknowledge righteous judgment.

 

That poor woman had loved ones.   The jokes are insensitive and just plain cruel… which I guess is rapidly becoming the American Way.    Those are our values now… to be disgusting pigs who should actively seek out new lows to stoop too.

I’m not big on censorship, but I do think that when you’re afforded certain rights, like that of free expression, that they come with certain responsibilities.

 

Then again, mankind is often the least human thing in the universe.

 

Consider me outraged.

 

At least, however, a few good people contrast the majority… and this comment puts it well:

 

Given the ability of people anywhere in the world to read the comments left here, I hope that this poor woman’s spouse, children or family members don’t. Those of you who think this murder is "funny" HAVE your heads, but a fat lot of good they do you.

See…

 

Sometimes I think we just need to acknowledge what we’re feeling to ourselves.    Then we can move on to better and brighter things…  like my day… which has gotten progressively better as it has progressed along.  

Smile

Although… I sense my blood sugar had been low upon waking, which probably explains my earlier outburst.

Hello world! Vote the Motto of 2011!

No, I haven’t dropped off it. Just haven’t had a whole lot of ideas for blogging… something I need to push myself harder on. The point of this thing is to hone my writing ability and I can’t do that if I don’t write. The idea is to force myself into writing something, anything, every single day.

So new year, new motto… except I’m the only one who has voted. Radcliffians… point your browser to our website and get your vote in. You’ll find a link on the left-hand side, as well as in the announcements. Otherwise you leave it to me to unilaterally decide the motto for you. Note that you will need an account on the site to cast a vote, so you will need to complete the new user registration process if you don’t already have an account. Have one and forgot your credentials? Email me for a password reset (or to retrieve a forgotten user name).

New User registration is a manual process, whereby I have to go in and do things once you submit the info… so be forewarned. Register now so you can vote later. 🙂