Sat. Oct. 31, 2020 – Full moon, Halloween, and end of DST for the year. Oh my.

Cool and drier than yesterday.  I hope.

Yesterday was very nice.  Blue sky, sunlight, light breeze.  Weather says clear for two more days.  Hooray.  Last year we got rained out.  This year, we’re going ahead full bore, and so are the neighbors.  It will be interesting to see how many little grifters we get.  In past years it’s been between 100 and 150 approximately.   Mine are going out to hit up the neighbors for the treats and I hope we see a bunch.  I think we can hand out candy without spreading the wuflu.

In most years I like to add a new thing to my yard display.  I build them very quickly and cheaply so they don’t last too many years anyway, so I retire stuff too, or just put it away for a while.  For years I’ve wanted to do a flaming Eye of Sauron.  I found some hemispherical lamp parts to use as the eye, I’ve got projectors, and I found a great animated loop on youtube.  I’ve just never had time to put it all together.  This year I just pointed the projector at the window and Lo! it works pretty well!  I’ll save the white hemisphere screens for some other project.  Other than taping up the projector body, this setup took about 15 minutes.  Win!

The other thing I’m adding this year is a candy machine to dispense the goods.  I got my conveyor belt all wired and running and back together so all I have to do today is add  the lighting and dress it up.  That will probably take longer than I’d like.

I’ve got all the more delicate stuff to put out today too.  A couple of skeletal pirates, some other ghosts and bones, fog machines, colored lights, fun stuff that wouldn’t really survive being wet for several days.  Most of it is stuff I take in at the end of the night too, so it doesn’t disappear.

If everything goes well and I have the time, I might even get to making a third soft sculpture animated witch for my little vignette.  They are basically just a head and two arms made from pantyhose stuffed with fluff, black hats, and a piece of black cloth as a dress.  They are supported by a mic stand up the backside.  One stirs a cauldron, one turns a spit with a stuffed pig on it, and if I add a third, she’ll be tasting the cauldron with a spoon.  There is an arrangement of sticks and flicker bulbs to look like cooking fires.  They look great and took very little time or work.  I use BBQ grill rotisserie motors to power them.

I think it’s worth the effort.  Providing a sense of ‘normal’ for the kids during this prolonged disaster is hard enough without skipping holidays.  They’re not dumb.  They know we’re working under restrictions.  Most of them have to do with school after all.  But they want things to go back to the way they were SO badly.  In an adult that wish should be just that, with the acknowledgement that things won’t ever be the way they were- they never go back.  In a kid, I’m inclined to do whatever I can, at least for a while to smooth out their transition.  Plus, I like candy.  And I like putting on the display.

I’ve been stacking the stuff for my Halloween and Christmas displays as long as I’ve been stacking the food we’re eating.  Don’t forget about things like Birthdays and Holidays in your preps.   That little bit of extra thought goes a long way come the day.

nick