Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Hallowe'en!

A simple Happy Hallowe'en wish to all my fellow haunters. I hope your holiday was filled with scares, screams, smiles, and trick-or-treater laughter!




Sunday, October 30, 2011

Snowpocalypse!

Aww, doesn't it look pretty?
As I posted on my vlog today, the snowstorm that swept over the East Coast yesterday buried my haunt in about 6" of not so fluffy white stuff. The heavy, wet snow combined with trees that didn't have time to shed their leaves created a menacing situation.

At one point during the afternoon, you could literally stand outside and hear branches cracking and trees falling every few minutes. It was quite dangerous and my truck was even struck by a falling branch while I was driving to buy gas. Fortunately it was just a smallish one, about three-feet in length so no damage was done.

Not so pretty now, is it?
At least not to my truck. My haunt was another matter. The tree that stood at the curb in front of my yard and hung so lovingly over my cemetery entrance pillars split in half, with one half falling into the street and the other half falling onto my columns. Initially there was no damage, but the weight of the heavy snow was ultimately too much to bear and one of the pillars broke apart from the strain.

Other than the pillar, I also lost one tombstone and some plastic skull edging I had along the walkway. I should consider myself fortunate since all that was lost really was some foam insulation, which I plan to salvage and recycle, possibly making new tombstones out of them.

Splitting the uprights
The other problem was the loss of power throughout most of the town. So widespread was the damage from the storm -- I don't think one block escaped without at least one tree falling -- that power, cable, and Internet access was knocked out everywhere. I'm thinking Halloween has been in essence cancelled by the storm. If you'd like to see some video of the damage and extent of the storm, check out the vlog link above.

The one hope is that since school has been cancelled for at least Monday and possibly longer -- the local utility says residents can probably expect Wednesday to be the earliest they'll get the lights back on -- there may be more kids going out than otherwise. But since the power's out and the damage so widespread, maybe not.

Also, since I have no power I won't be having my haunt lit up this year. I will light up my two skull torches and should any trick-or-treaters venture out I'll be ready. A disappointing end to the haunt season, to be sure, but I'm all fired up for next year as a result.

Happy Halloween to all!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Halloween Nation Needs Some Nation-Building

Yeah, baby!
No wonder haunters don't get no respect. We're not doing our part in terms of Halloween spending!

According to the market researchers at IBISWorld, spending on the best holiday of the year comprised just $6 billion, or 2.6% of total consumer holiday spending. Halloween spending was the smallest percentage of the total, which amounted to some $228 billion. What are we doing people?!

As expected, the evil elves of Christmas spent the most $135 billion, or 60% of the total.

And what did people spend their hard-earned cash on? Costumes represented 36% of the total (Lady Gaga-inspired costumes top the list -- wtf?!), followed by candy at 31%, decorations with 28%, and cards a distant fourth at 5%.

Ed bleeds green
Of course, I don't think the researchers polled any home haunters for their survey, but then again, many of us are cheap so-and-sos and reuse and recycle regularly to keep our spending to a minimum. If there's any "greener" group of people outside of professional tree huggers, I don't know them. When it comes to the environment I'm generally on the side of rape, pillage, and exploitation, but get me building a Halloween prop and I turn all Ed Begley Jr.

While candy sales comprise almost a third of total sales, confectioners actually make 8% of their annual revenues on Halloween, making it the biggest holiday of the year for them (take that, St. Valentine's Day!).

People also waste $300 million a year buying costumes for their pets. Personally I don't understand the whole "pet baby" mentality that considers a dog or cat as a member of the household -- yes, I grew up with dogs, but the were just that, dogs (sorry for not being all sentimental, PETA).

That's about 30% of what we spend on our kids, which came in at $1 billion, but just to make sure we don't let Junior look better than us, we spend $1.2 billion on ourselves. Who says Halloween is a kid's holiday anyway?

Apparently we also like to get our drink on around Halloween, too, as it's the fourth drunkest month of the year, according to the Census Bureau (aren't they supposed to just count how many people are in the country every 10 years? I don't remember any questions on my survey about which month I got most drunk in). The lushes of Christmas beat us out again, coming in a drunken third place behind July (yay, independence!) and November (burp! Thanksgiving).

So, FWIW, here's the ranking of holiday spending in order of percentage of the total:

  • Christmas - 59.2% (Bah! Humbug!)
  • Thanksgiving - 13.4% (Thanksgiving?!?)
  • Valentine's Day - 7.7% (you bunch of saps)
  • Mother's Day - 6.5% (love you, mom!)
  • Easter - 6.1% (otherwise known as Zombie Resurrection Day)
  • Father's Day - 4.5%
  • Halloween - 2.6%

We've got our work cut out for us, haunters. So get out there, prime the pump of the economy, and spend, spend, spend!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dreaming of a White Halloween

What the hell?! Snow on Halloween? According to the weatherman, the northeast is set to get walloped with as much as a foot of snow in some areas over the weekend.

I know some haunters contend with these early snowfalls every year, but according to reports for the New York area this would be the earliest recorded snowfall since the Civil War!

Fortunately, I'm in one of the areas scheduled to get "only" 1" to 6" of snow and that by Halloween the weather should turn downright balmy with lots of sunshine and temperatures in the 40's. So if we do get a small amount snow over the weekend, it may be melted come Monday and with the nice weather predicted we may still get a decent turnout of trick-or-treaters.

If there's snow on the ground, though, I know my wife will be pushing me to clear out the Halloween props faster than I already do and start putting up Christmas ones. This could be worse than seeing Christmas decorations in the store right after the back to school sales are finished.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Have You Chosen Your Costume Yet?

Ladies, if you haven't decided yet on what you're going to be on Halloween, here's some inspiration for you.


Just performing a public service for all the guys out there. You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Walking Dead Three-peat

Good news, Walking Dead fans: AMC just announced the hit show has been picked up for a third season. Apparently the first two episodes of Season 2 were such blockbusters in terms of the all important 18-49 year old demographic that they wanted to keep it going.

The AMC announcement said that the October 16 premier set a new basic cable record for viewers, scoring a 4.8 household rating and 7.3 million total viewers (I was one of them).

No doubt they got their money's worth out of the show. Was anyone else annoyed by all the commercials? I liked how the opening sequence went on for extra long, but AMC made up for it by seemingly cramming commercials in every 5 minutes.

Regardless, I enjoyed both episodes so far but hope they keep the advertising to normal lengths going forward. Sure they want to pay the bills, but the interruptions really spoil the flow. In anticipation of the show's return I had watched all six Season 1 episodes on Netflix and it was a pleasure not getting interrupted with commercials all the time.

But it's good to know that the series is making a big impact with viewers, enough that the studio wants to greenlight more of them.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

AMC's Mini-Doc: The Haunted Mansion

I just stumbled across a neat little behind-the-scenes look at a haunted attraction in Poughkeepsie, NY called Kevin McCurdy's Haunted Mansion. It's a walk-thru haunt that's been evolving over the past 35 years.
AMC's FearFest offers up a series of mini-documentaries (mini-docs) that take viewers on a tour of what goes in to operating such an immersive experience. There are 12 different episodes, covering everything from Designing the Scare to Casting the Haunter, Scare Tactics to looks at different parts of the haunt: the Doll Room, the Haunted Collector, the Frozen Family Room, and more!

This is an incredibly detailed haunt with many layers of scare, ambience, props, actors, and more. Below is the introduction video to the series.



It's a really terrific walk-thru of a walk-thru haunt. I recommend checking out all 12 videos. I'd love to visit the Haunted Mansion (though it won't be this year). Located in Bowdoin PArk in Poughkeepsie, it's about an hour and a half north of New York City.


Thursday, October 20, 2011

Pot of Gold

I thought to save myself some money and make my own homemade flaming cauldrons, you know, the ones the blow air out the top making a flame-shaped piece of silk "flicker" like flames.

I had two computer power supply fans gathering dust on the shelf, so I went out and gathered up everything I needed. For less than $8 I got two small cauldrons and a yard of silk fabric. I figured the challenge would be powering them up.

Actually it was, but Internet searches are awesome for finding answers to everything you want to know and soon enough I had them running.  What's proving to be the real challenge is getting the fabric to flicker. My guess is the fans aren't strong enough so they can't make the silk stand up. Oh well. I'll have to wait till after Halloween to tackle this project in earnest, but at least I have two nice cauldrons.

I figure, though, if anyone is interested in learning how to power up a computer fan, I'd show you below how to do it. May as well make this two-day exercise worthwhile for something.

Start with a computer fan and a power supply
This fan is 12 volts DC and about 0.5 amps. Match up your power supply with those numbers so that you don't burn out one or the other. My power supply was a 12v 1 amp phone charger (I think). I have a few laying around and sifted through them till I found one that fairly matched. Having more amperage is fine since the fan will only draw what it needs.

Cut connector off plug and adapter off fan
The fan had what I think is called a Molex connector on it, one of those small white squares that you use to connect it to the computer. Cut that off and unravel the wires. Do the same for the power supply, cutting off the plug end, which often times is a silver, barrel-shaped plug that you insert into a hole to connect it.

Now there is another way to do it by inserting the "hot" wire from the fan into the hole in the end of the barrel connector and attaching the ground to the silver part. I think joining them the way I did it however is more permanent.

Bare the ends of all four wires and join black to black and red to red. Oh wait! Your wires are like mine and there's no red on anything! In fact, the fan has four wires -- black, green, blue, and yellow! Sweet. Now what?

I'm sure electricians know the answer right off the bat, but for me it took trial and error. Black was easy as it always connects to black, and as it turns out it was the yellow wire that made the circuit. The other two may be for data and stuff, or so said one video I saw on YouTube. Join them together and that's it! Really very simply.

Join spliced wires together, hot to hot, ground to ground
In the photo below, I wanted to see if I could run two fans off of one power supply. The second fan was also 12v, but was like 0.56 amps. I spliced them and connected the black and yellow to their corresponding wires and it had no problem starting up or running.

Two for one!
What the heck, I'll also show you how I aged the cauldrons, using an oatmeal-and-sand method I saw Dave the Dead use on the discussion boards.

I started off using two small black plastic cauldrons that I got from a local Halloween store for $2.25 each. I then mixed together a bit of Elmer's white glue and water and added some oatmeal to it. I think Dave used instant; mine was regular steel-cut (does anyone know why that's a feature on oatmeal? I mean, if it was cut with plastic, would we know the difference?).

I then mixed in a few handfuls of sand. I have no proportions on any of this as Dave didn't provide any in his tutorial, but I can tell you you don't need a whole heckuva lot of oatmeal. I made enough to feed a whole coven of witches. I imagine one of those instant oatmeal packages would have been more than sufficient to cover these two small cauldrons.


You then smear the oatmeal onto the sides of the cauldrons. It is the oatmeal and sand that will give you your rusted texture later on. As I mention often, I have no patience, so I used my heat gun to help dry the oatmeal mix. I think the heat made the oatmeal swell giving it almost a cauliflower look when dried, which I thought was great.


I then sprayed them with black spray paint. Dave says to spend the extra two bucks and get real spray paint since it has extra paint in it unlike the quick color stuff. I'm cheap though and I had the cheap stuff on hand so I used that.


I then used my rust painting technique I showed on my vlog when I rusted two lanterns for my cemetery entrance pillars. I started off using a dark tan wash and pressing the sponge brush under the lip of the cauldron, let the color run down and did this all the way around. Then using a piece of sponge, I dipped it in orange paint and went over the surface making sure I hit the oatmeal. Over that I went with a brownish red color (more red than brown) to tone down the orange. And then over that I hit it with a light olive green to give it a patina.


Below is a close up of the oatmeal mix, dried and painted over. It also shows the access hole I burned through the side of the pot with an old soldering iron through which I was going to pass the fan motor wires through. I also have a string of 50 orange lights that I was going to put in the bottom of the cauldron around the fan, but now they'll just be in there by themselves.


So as I said, I have a nicely detailed cauldron and we'll have to see if the orange lights glow bright enough when they're situated on top of the fluted columns I have on either side of the front stairs.



Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Ahhhh! Zombies!

Earlier this year I wrote that zombies are everywhere these days, no more so than now with the return of The Walking Dead. First episode of season 2 was pretty gripping stuff (but could they have crammed in any more commercials?!).

As Halloween approaches, though, expect to see more zombies rise from the grave. Social media game make Majesco Entertainment is bringing out Pet Zombies for the Nintendo 3DS. Heh! I like their tag line: Sit. Stay. Be dead."

Now at first I thought this was literally about pet zombies, you know, dogs, cats, your goldfish, but it's more along the lines of the movie "Fido" where everyone had their own zombies to do their bidding.

According to the press release:

"Reanimate your very own customizable zombies that you can play with, care for, or torment in a variety of environments where they can shamble, shuffle and lurch. Form a bond with your zombie by providing it with food, toys, and entertainment. Pet Zombies offers lots of gory effects and games to keep players fully entertained and challenged. Customize your zombie to look as grotesque and scary as you desire. It's your pet, your rules, however twisted they may be."


I like the fact that you can "customize" your zombie, everything from facial deformations and decay to clothing and un-lockable items. And apparently if you neglect your zombie, he'll be more than willing to eat off a finger or your braaains! No word yet if that will turn you into a zombie as well.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Generating Activity

Yesterday was a fairly productive day, at least after getting punished for looking for more Walgreen skeletons.

I had a few errands to run, including picking up a free leaf blower. You know the kind, they're the big, bulky ones landscapers use that are on wheels and you push them around. Since someone was kind enough on Freecycle not to need one anymore, I could use just that sort of thing to clear out my lower 40, I went and picked it up. On the way back I thought if I stop in at the local Walgreen and check in to see if they got anymore skeletons in, what would be the harm?

I should have know that after a certain period, when you already have props galore you could still build or finish at home, you aren't permitted to bring even more into the house and such was the case here, because after leaving the store (they're all out, and for good I imagine this late in the season) I got caught at a railroad crossing with a miles long freight train. Sigh.

When I did (finally) get home I got a bunch of things accomplished, most Halloween related. I painted and waterproofed my obelisk and five tombstones, added PVC backing, fixed a groundbreaker that got slightly damaged, rehung a skeleton that fell, put up creepy wood slat over the foyer windows, and repaired my flying crank ghost whose strings had broken.

However, during the evening as I was testing lights, the motor just stopped turning. Now I'm not sure if it was because I was turning the power on an off several times in a row or the motor burnt out or what, but the small wiper motor isn't spinning anymore. The computer power supply is still running, but the spindle on the motor isn't. Any suggestions from anyone before I swap it out for a new one, I'm willing to entertain.

The most time-consuming project wasn't Halloween related, and that was putting together my backup generator. Bless those crafty Chinese with their dextrous little fingers putting bolt holes in places no large American hands could ever hope to reach! And heaven forbid you actually put a complete set of instructions in the box. Seriously! They provide a big bag of screws, nuts, bolts, washers, etc. with zero instructions on what they're to be used for. I also had to guess how to put together the handle assembly by following the exploded view of the generator. The instructions told you how to attach the battery and the axle for the wheels. That's it! Nothing about all the extra bolts and washers.

But it runs now, so should the power go out, I'll be able to remain connected to the Internet and all things Halloween, I can run my sump pump and refrigerator, a few lights, and my wife will be able to watch TV (which is really all she's concerned about).

So today I have a few more items on my punch list and I think I'll be done with my set up for the year. Then it's on to planning for the party in two weeks (you're all invited!) and building props for the Alice in Wonderland Sweet 16 party I've mentioned in the past.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Halloween Horrors

Home haunters, beware! We've heard the admonitions many times before, but you've got to be careful about your local code officials shutting you down. Fremont, CA just shut down a local haunt that was made mostly out of wood pallets because it was deemed a hazard.

The haunt specifically brought to mind the Perdition Home haunt where two kids Brandon and Trevor (well, "kids" from the perspective of my being old) are building a pretty incredible walk-thru out of pallets. There's a lot of work they're putting into their haunt and it would be a shame to see it shut down (check out their daily build vlogs!).

But others too, like Troy at Halloween Hellmouth, have some pretty substantial structures they've built on their property and it provides an easily identifiable target for code officials.

Apparently the Fremont haunt has been a popular site for awhile, which undoubtedly is what brought it to the city's attention. The neighbors don't mind and support the haunt, but the city is giving the family until the 26th or face daily fines.

It bears repeating that if you're going to have structures and such as part of your haunt, try to incorporate as many safety aspects as you can, such as fireproof materials, escape routes, or similar things that in the event a code official shows up unannounced, you can point to these things as a way of indicating your thoughtful about safety.

Of course, taking a proactive approach, and going to the city beforehand to see what if any objections they might have could nip in the bud any muscle-flexing the officials might want to display after the fact.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Domestic Tranquility

I wasn't able to do any Halloween related activities yesterday, because right after I finished writing, I had to go pick up some items from a Freecycler who was moving and cleaning out her basement. I did score six four-foot long shoplights, which I'll be putting to use in my workshop and garage; a fairly new circular saw; 5 bags of mulch, and a couple of hoses, one of which I'll actually be using in my garden (the soaker hose) and not putting to some future prop use.

Afterwards, we went to a local Harbor Freight Tool store to see if they had any generators in stock (my wife hates not having TV when the lights go out, and it seems if someone sneezes around here the power cuts off) and were surprised to find they did have one in stock, a 16 hp model that should allow me to power up the sump pump in the basement (my concern), my router and modem so I can stay connected to the Internet, and of course, my wife's TV. We'd also be able to hook up the refrigerator, too, and probably a few lights as well.

I've also been eying one of their welders too. Ever since I got to play with one at one of the local make-and-take meetings I've been dying to get one. Not that I actually have anything to weld just yet, but it was so much fun! I figure I'll be able to build some support frames and stuff for props some time in the future. HFT had an ad in Maxim magazine for an additional discount on the welder, so what originally cost $150 or more and was discounted to about $110, I got for $90, so I was happy.

As the video below I stole from Joiseygal's vlog shows, I monopolized much of the welding demonstration time.

video


The cashier also thought the generator had a discount which she couldn't find at the time, but told me to call her back today after she's had a chance to look and she'll give me the discount if she finds it.

So after dropping all of that off, my wife wanted to go furniture shopping. We'll be getting a new living room set plus furniture for the sun room soon, and somehow I promised (she says) I'd actually spend the day with her doing that (in the middle of October?!). Although we didn't find anything we actually wanted, I did find the decor and accessories of some of these places inspirational, allowing me to think about how I could put them to use in a haunt.

For example, the photo at the top could look great as a possible backdrop, maybe as one of those falling wall props. It's about 15-18 half wine casks stacked up on wood racks. Somehow I think they could be made out of foam, hung with Spanish moss, jute, and creepy cloth, and given an overall haunting appearance. At least I was able to occupy my thoughts while enduring the mind-numbing torture of furniture shopping, particularly since I wasn't allowed to visit any of the dozen or so Halloween stores we passed as we went from furniture outlet to furniture outlet.

Having honored at least part of my marital contract yesterday, today it's back to Halloween!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Summer Daze

Considering the lousy weather I've endured the past two or so years in October, I guess I really shouldn't be talkin' smack about the string of gorgeous weather we've had here in New Jersey. I know I've seen Steve from Steve's Haunted Yard get pummeled by rain and Troy of Halloween Hellmouth has had bouts of stormy weather. Even the Bloodshed Brothers were bemoaning the spate of bad weather they've been through in California.

Here, though, we've had some unseasonably warm weather with today being another one in the mid-80's. What's even more remarkable is the calmness of it all. I'm sure I shouldn't be jinxing things, but we've probably enjoyed almost two weeks of perfect weather and I haven't had to chase one prop down the block yet that got picked up and carried away by the wind. There just hasn't been any, other than gentle breezes.

So I've been making the best of it by setting up my yard and finishing like mad a bunch of unfinished I left for the last minute. Yesterday I was at the upstart NJ Hookerman Make & Take group (don't ask, I'm not really sure about the name, though it certainly seems right up my alley!) and completed my grave grabber, painted some tombstones (five of them, count 'em five!), and brought my two obelisks to near completion.

I got to see niblique71's haunt up close, which is about three-quarters of the way set up. It was a real treat, and I really liked his Karl prop at night (at 15 feet tall, it's huge!), but there's just so much to see:

video


But I'm also able to go out at night and start fiddling with where I want my props and how I want them lit. Right now I still only have my two green spots out, but I ran the low voltage wire today and tomorrow I'll start setting out my mini-spots. Still, the nice evening weather gives me a chance to enjoy my set up and see how new props -- like my obelisk that needs to be painted still in the photo above -- looks in situ.

Never look a gift horse in the mouth and haunter's should never gainsay gorgeous weather in October.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Brighton Asylum

I just got back from going through the Brighton Asylum in Passaic, NJ, and it was well worth the $20 admission. From the decor to the actors to the length of the haunt it was an all around good show.

First off, the haunt is in an industrial area of the town, apparently an abandoned factory. Driving through there at night was creepy enough and certainly set the mood. There was plenty of parking (it wasn't crowded at all -- probably its location) and there were helpful (and friendly!) attendants guiding you through. There was also a police presence too to ensure everyone's safety.

The haunt starts off with a small tour of their "museum," of props and artifacts that have appeared in various movies. You then go into the asylum, and right from the get-go, my wife was terrified. The doctors that greeted you were appropriately gory, and the one with the pencil sticking out of her head really scared my wife. Lots of twists and turns and different rooms with actors hidden around every corner.

There was lots of eye candy too for the home haunter to absorb. Some rooms were more bare than others, and I probably would have liked every corridor to be chock full of props, but there was definitely enough to entertain me. The actors were also excellent: their timing was good -- even got me once or twice -- and the make was fairly professional.

Now I'll have to make an admission here: a friend of mine from the NJ Make & Take group on HauntForum is an actor at Brighton Asylum, but that didn't color my judgment at all. If the haunt sucked, I would have said so, but it didn't.

Walking through the haunt, though, I heard an actor working on two women in front of us and I knew that voice. It was Sharon! She has her own haunt too, Bloodcrest Manor, and goes by the name Joiseygal, but tonight she was in full clown regalia. Great job, Sharon!

The haunt had a Claustrophobia run as well, and it must have been one of the big ones because my wife couldn't wait to get out of there. She was really getting claustrophobic and kept asking when is it going to end? Rooms with clowns, rooms with body bags, hanging creepiness, and more! There was a lot to take in. And as I said, it was a fairly long haunt which to me was a positive; to my wife, not so  much. There were plenty of pop up scares, actor scares, and sensory scares (the sparking fuse box was cool).

All in all I really can recommend the Brighton Asylum. Now it does have a sister haunt, a Field of Screams Horror Hayride in Montvale, NJ. Two years ago I attended that one, which was something of a mix of the two and had enjoyed it at the time. Since my wife prefers hayrides (I don't) we'll probably end up going there as well before the end of the month.

Tickets to the Asylum are $20 and $15 for the Hayride. A Combo ticket runs just $27, and if I'm not mistaken you don't have to go to both on the same night. Any time they're open you can use them. So if you have an opportunity to choose a haunt to attend, I can recommend Brighton Asylum.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Zombiewear

During the day I'm a mild mannered investment writer (you can see my articles by clicking the Motley Fool link there over on the right), but after noon I turn into a full-fledged home haunter. Okay, maybe half-fledged.

However, today while researching a company, I came across an Associated Press story discussing retail same store sales. Comps, as they're known in the business (for "comparables"), are an important metric for companies because it lets investors know what kind of growth they're getting from actually running their business and not buying up competitors or opening new stores.

They listed the September comps for The Gap (down 4%), The Buckle (up 13%), TJX (+4%), and a company I never heard of before -- Zombies Inc. (same store sales were up 10.1%).

I can't decide whether the writer was just being cheeky, it being October and all, or whether this is a real company. I have a number of resources available to me to research businesses, and none of them list Zombies Inc. as a business. I found a Triathlete Zombie Inc. (a bike shop), a band called Zombie Inc., and a video game developer, also going by Zombie Inc. (but also known as Zombie Studios), but no clothing retailer called that.

The funny thing is, a bunch of other media outlets picked up the AP story and ran it verbatim, Zombie Inc. reference and all (if you think the media aren't just sheep, think again).

Now I do think the reporter was just having some fun -- I can't imagine a business named that would go unnoticed for so long -- but in the event I've missed a new retail outlet, please let me know.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The Damn'd Thing, Tis Done

Like many other haunters this month, I've been spending a lot of my spare time setting up my yard display. What's held me up though are the cemetery entrance pillars I began early this summer. Ennui and life intruded more often than not, so having completed one pillar I left the second one until the last minute.

I finally finished it last week, as I detailed on my vlog, and also antiqued two lanterns that I mounted on each of them. So while that part was completed, it still necessitated wiring them all together. In all that was probably the simplest process, but I'm never satisfied with simple (as I may have mentioned before).

In the process of wiring the pillars, I thought they'd make a perfect spot to mount, well, spotlights to light up my cemetery. Last year things were rather dark using just the mini LED spots I made and I wanted to wash it in more light this year. I picked up a two-light socket at Walmart and mounted it to the back of one of the columns and it does bathe two-thirds of my cemetery in an eerie green light (I'll need to mount another one at the other end of my yard for full coverage).

So I wired that in as well, but while doing that I thought it might look cool to have red spot lights inside the pillars shining upwards. There's a large tree in front of my walkway that arches over the sidewalk (and  pillars) and I thought lighting the canopy in red light my look good too. Once again it was off to the store though this time I got a simple socket that I mounted to a piece of wood that spanned the interior of the pillar, wired that up, and finally plugged it all in.

Perhaps not perfect, but I think it provides a lot of color and effect to the scene so I'm pretty happy with it. But most importantly, it's completed, which means I can moved on to other things.
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