'05 Takedown

Halloween Day +1 : We left our decorations up through the night and came home tonight to a mini disaster involving the pirate ship! As shown in the pictures, somehow the mast bent cleanly in half. Best guess as to what happened is that a gust of wind shook the poor top heavy mast to and fro until it finally gave up. I'm not mad or disappointed as this will give me an opportunity to improve my design for next year, I might move to a higher schedule PVC or reinforce the mast with wood or metal.


'05 Halloween NIght

Well, Halloween 2005 has come and gone. Weatherwise it was about as good as one could hope for as it wasn't too cold, raining, or snowing. We had 107 guests (yes, we kept track) and we still ended up with some candy. Princess and Ninja costumes were all the rage this year, we also had some odd costumes such as one kid dressed as a ketchup bottle and another as a hamburger. Too bad those two weren't trick or treating together.

Here's the stats:

70s Dancer 2 1.87%
American Idol Contestant 1 0.93%
Army Guy 1 0.93%
Batman 2 1.87%
Bear 1 0.93%
Cow 1 0.93%
Cowboy 3 2.80%
Dalmatian 2 1.87%
Darth Vader 2 1.87%
Demon 1 0.93%
Devil Girl 1 0.93%
Dinosaur 2 1.87%
Dragon 1 0.93%
Dwarf 1 0.93%
Elephant 1 0.93%
Fairy 3 2.80%
Fireman 1 0.93%
Football Player 3 2.80%
Gorilla 1 0.93%
Goth 4 3.74%
Grim Reaper 2 1.87%
Hamburger 1 0.93%
Harry Potter 1 0.93%
Hawaiian Girl 1 0.93%
Hunter 1 0.93%
Inmate 1 0.93%
Jason 1 0.93%
Ketchup Bottle 1 0.93%
Ladybug 1 0.93%
Mime 1 0.93%
Miscellaneous / Unclassifiable 10 9.35%
NASCAR Driver 1 0.93%
Ninja 9 8.41%
Pig 1 0.93%
Pirate 1 0.93%
Princess 15 14.02%
Pumpkin 1 0.93%
Punk Rocker 5 4.67%
Skater 1 0.93%
Skeleton / Skull Dude 7 6.54%
Snowboarder 1 0.93%
Tiger 1 0.93%
Toucan 1 0.93%
Train 1 0.93%
Witch 6 5.61%
Zombie 1 0.93%

As you can see, it looks like next year I could up the decorating ante by adding some Pretty Pink Ninjas.

2005 Photos


'05 Halloween Day 3

Day 3: The setup begins! Got out all the old props and noticed that the old man prop needed some serious attention. The old man is made using 1/2" PVC pipe with 45 and 90 degree elbow joints. The limbs are 'fleshed' out using packing materials and paper, and lots of tape! His head was a little concave last year so I filled it with packing peanuts. Pictured also is a stack of skeletons that will undergo an updated paint job. The last picture is a box of props and the bucket 'stand' for the Grim Reaper prop.


'05 Halloween Day 2

Day 2: Started work on a cannon for the pirate scene. Frame is 1/2" MDF and 1x2 ledgers, it has no 'bottom' or 'top'. The first picture shows a side profile, the second picture shows some 1 1/4" PVC coming off the center for fog to enter in. After initial testing it seems the little Walmart fogger may not have enough strength to push the fog through the entire tube. I plan on syncing cannon explosions with bursts of fog and hopefully some lighting. Does anyone know where I can get a inexpensive lighting controller that would make something like a light bulb turn on and off every 30-60 seconds?


'05 Halloween Day 1

Day 1: Went to the stores looking for new items, it appears that I might be a little premature as most stores did not have their full shipments in yet. No bother, went to Home Depot and purchased some supplies for other projects I had in mind. Pictured above are 4 additional graveyard fence sections, KIDS FUN BALLS (!), a stack of PVC for a yet to be announced Super Project(tm), a couple of new tombstones and window sticker, and a 'Door Gore' which is a magnificient door length visage of Richard Simmons' skeleton which promises to be SUPER SCARY, as indicated on the packaging.


Fog Chiller Project '04

Fog Chiller project '04. This thing was supposed to make lots of dense low laying fog, however just the opposite seemed to occur as all I got was a bunch of sweet sweet evaporative mist (that's bad). The design of the fog chiller goes something like this: Fill cooler with ice, Make a little PVC stand that allows for fog to pass through underneath but keeps ice from falling through and clogging the intake/outake. The fog machine sits on top of the sealed cooler and sends the fog through 3-4" PVC down into the cooler and out the other end. I might try to re-work the design for '05. The outside tempature is also the X factor here, anyone major in thermodynamics?

2004 Photos

A much more sucessful year, just barely had enough candy. I think around 30-50 families came to visit. Added a Pirate Ship sail mast (18' tall by 6' wide), a Captain's Wheel, and a Pirate Skeleton Captain with Parrot. Tuned up all of the other skeletons, they just looked too plastic. Much better use of the fog machine as well, I think I will get one or two more machines for '05. Changed my audio from music to ambient ship creaking and swamp noises.