Friday, August 28, 2009

Flying Crank Ghost - Part 1 (The Ghost Skeleton)

Alright, well, as I promised, here is one of the posts that I've been meaning to do, but I haven't had enough time. (meaning I didn't have enough time to do actual construction) Anyways, you can use this and build either just the ghost part or the whole flying crank ghost that I will be building. Bear in mind that this is the first time that I've built a Halloween prop so this was a learning experience for me. This is not complete yet, but this is the skeleton of the ghost

Things you will need:
5 wire coat hangers
1 skull (Styrofoam, plastic, it doesn't matter as long as a hanger can go through it)
1 pliers (for twisting the coat hangers)
1 wire cutter (or saw, something to cut through the wire hangers)


This is everything all laid out... as you can see I just used a $1 skull I picked up from Dollar Tree...and 5 coat hangers I had lying around.

Alright, for most people the first thing to do is to straighten out the curved part of the top of the wire hanger and to push that through the skull (you would use that to hang the ghost from)... however, I live on an upper story, so I cut that part off... also you will squeeze the wire hanger down on the two sides so that it looks more like shoulders, as seen here...

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Now then, you will need to cut the bottom part of the other 4 hangers off so that it looks like this...

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After you have the 4 bottoms cut off, you will then bend both ends up so they form hooks...

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You will then attach one end to both sides of the hanger...

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you must close these otherwise it will simple come loose when we get to the movement part...

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...these are going to become the "arms" of the ghost...You will then attach the second pair of bottoms to the first part of the arm using the hook method. Also, you will want to do a small "o" on the bottom of both arms, this can be done by closing the hook in on itself. The reason for creating the "o" on the bottom of both arms is so you can thread a wire through it either if you are just going to hang it, or if you are going to do the Flying Crank Ghost this is where the strings will attach so that it can move. (although when I took this picture, I had forgotten to close the bottom of the arms!)

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...and here we have the final product....well, as final as it gets before adding on the outside of the ghost.


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There you have it! Happy building with your own ghost and I will be back soon with the rest of it. ... as soon as Wal-Mart gets some more cheesecloth in so that I can start that part. :P

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

School is back

Well... as I write this I know it's been several days since I last posted... and I've been meaning to do some posts; however, I simply haven't had time. ...school is back in the full swing of things, I'm still volunteering at the Red Cross and the Humane Society a few hours each work, plus work, plus trying to keep up a social life.... plus I'm trying to put together a couple of Halloween props and trying to plan my big party for that.

...all in all, I wish I had something to say...but, I'm too busy. So, I hope that y'all are having a great week thus far and are more relaxed than I.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Halloween - 71 Days

On a local forum I'm a part of http://www.halloweenforum.com/ (which is an AWESOME forum, just FYI) I came across the following post (edited some) that I would like to share with y'all...


"And I empathize with your plight. Halloween is when we mock the things that frighten us, when we face our fears. When we hide our faces and still receive trust. It's when neighborhoods open their doors with sweets for complete strangers. It is vitally important and we (most americans, not just us) love it for a reason.

It has an essential element, Halloween, and that is why I wouldn't let this get me down.
Let me explain my view.

The holiday was originally religious, like Christmas. It's has pagan roots, like christmas, and it's an amalgamation of many folk beliefs... like christmas.
It was officially recognized by the early medieval church (christmas) and it has thrived and changed and settled into the comfortable tropes of today's modern celebration (christmas).

Like Christmas, it has been targeted in the public forum by some who find it unnacceptable, or uncomfortable. Some have even stated that they attack it's practice as revenge for perceived slights against Christmas.

Like Christmas, though it may have spiritual meaning for some folks, it has flourished as a secular celebration. As schools condemn it and trick-or-treat struggles into the 21 century, it still commands more financial respect than any festival, save... Christmas.
It is loved more and more each year. Older folk participate. Kids not only go out for candy, they get parties (as in, more than one), numerous haunted attractions, seasonal movies and television episodes with a holiday creepiness the week of the 31st. Stores dedicated to the holiday are expanding. Yard haunters have made an impact on seasonal sales, and the vendors know it so much, they dedicate tv shows to the subject.

I once ran a large outdoor haunt for a city. I designed it, hired (and fired) staff, ordered materials and did local radio spots for the haunt. We made serious bank for the town during the off-season, and the city council loved us.
It was never to happen again, because two large donors considered the attraction evil.

What did that do to Halloween around here? Well, there are more haunted attractions in my area than ever before. Despite being the bible belt, we have halloween stores, a downtown halloween parade, trick-or-treat in nicer neighborhoods, costumed parties, hayrides and special events across town.

Halloween won't stop because a few can control a tiny pond with temper tantrums. It's reaching the point now that even some evangelical christians are accepting the holiday as a chance to get to know the neighbors and not show fear of the devil on a particular date.
Have you noticed that there are fewer mall treaters?
Have you noticed most folks don't bother with x-rayed candy?
Have you noticed that the "satanic panic" is being considered goofball instead of some gruesome threat like it was a decade ago?

Let the babies have their bottle. They won't stop Halloween. Help Mother-in-law out and let the kids know "My house, Halloween night, bring the parents, candy for everybody!"


...this is probably one of the best/honest/most truthful posts that I have ever seen and it describes how I feel on so many levels but couldn't bring to words. I know my coworkers are sick of hearing me talk about Halloween all the time; however, it really is my favorite time of year and it really does bring joy to me. ...being able to be creative, do whatever you want to do with an idea, scaring people that WANT to be scared some, meeting neighbors you never knew you had, sharing with strangers a part of your life, it's all about the joy that you get from it.

...I've heard people say they don't like Halloween because it's a "scary time of year" ; however, I must disagree 100%! Halloween isn't scary...yes, it has alot of scary elements, but those elements bring people together! If it didn't do such a thing then nobody would go back year after year after year. ....and the pure and simple reason why they do it is because, A. it brings people together and B. it brings joy to people. ...think about the times you've been with people and were scared at a haunted house, how many times do you think that you've talked about that and laughed? Or how many times do you go through something scary and go, "Man, I've gotta bring X over and take him through this."

...without Halloween what would people do for those kind of emotions? It's one time of year that we can turn to a different side of ourselves. ...so, the next time you think about Halloween, I hope that you don't just think of it as an evil holiday, but as a holiday that bring people closer together.

....happy Halloween everyone.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Trip to Atlanta

Hey. What's going on everyone? I hope that y'all have been doing well... well, over the last few days I've been out on town with some friends, we left on Thursday and just got back today, we went to Atlanta to watch the Braves vs Phillies play.

I've gotta tell you, Atlanta is where I want to end up, in my mind it's the perfect town for me... it has everything to do, my sports teams are either in the city or nearby, close enough for a day trip to mountains or beach and it's the largest growing, hottest city in the USA.

We did alot of stuff, alot of eating out, went to the World of Coca-Cola, CNN Center, Weather Channel, the aquarium, stayed at the Hyatt downtown...oh and my personal favorite, I got to help create a traffic jam in downtown Atlanta! Well it wasn't my fault... this lady ran through a yellow light into stopped traffic, I had already started to go and slammed onto my breaks... long story short, she couldn't move up and I was too close to either back up or go around...thus creating a traffic jam in the heart of the CBD (commercial business district). As a matter of fact, when I finally was able to get out of there and onto the interstate I could still see them backed up for several blocks.

Also, let me recommend y'all over to a great blog I've come across... http://anunorthodoxhalloween.blogspot.com/
Let me say, I'm a Halloween addict... although I haven't created any of my own stuff yet, I am going to attempt to create something easy this year. Halloween is just a fun time of year for me... as a matter of fact, I would definitely say it's probably either my favorite or next to favorite holiday.

Anyways, I added a couple of pics for y'all of the trip, enjoy!

Rendition of the Mona Lisa at the World of Coca-Cola

Obligatory shot of buildings.

Hotel room at the Hyatt


Picture of Turner Field, home of the Braves!


Welcome sign at Turner Field...oh how I can't wait to go back

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Another day

Well, I've not updated in a couple of days due to the fact that I've been extremely busy. We've had several people at work quit, meaning that we've been trying to cover several shifts with fewer people. (hence, I had a 6 day work week this week and will have a 6 day work week next week, with longer shifts)

Also, I've been really busy with a group that hopefully y'all know about, it's called Invisible Children. It's an activist group of people that are trying to stop the use of children soldiers in Africa. Currently our big push is trying to get the arrest of a man named Joseph Kony (The International Criminal Court, the UN, and every first world country has labeled this man as a terrorist and condemned his use/abduction of children as weapons. Also, the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Joseph Kony more than 2 years ago.) Right now this is a bill that has been sent to the Senate calling for the US to help the ICC both arrest Joseph Kony and to return home the several thousand children that he has abducted.

If you can, please call your Senator and ask for them to support the LRA Disarmament & Northern Uganda Recovery Act. ( http://www.invisiblechildren.com/news-press/news/detail.php?pID=235739135 ) There is no reason why children should fear being abducted, there is no reason why a child should be brainwashed and forced to become a soldier, there is simply no excuse for any of these things to happen.... kids should be kids, anything like what is happening there is simply unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

Here's a couple of links in case y'all are interested in learning some more.

www.invisiblechildren.com/
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOrzBOauLyo
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qds5MQCqWnk

Monday, August 3, 2009

Persecuted?

Today one of my good friends asked me a very interesting question, one I wasn't prepared for.... he asked me if I felt persecuted because of being gay. Honestly, at the time, I had no answer and just made a joke back and left it at that; however, it did start my thinking on the matter.

Honestly, there are definitely arguments for homosexuals that we are persecuted and to some degree they do have some merit... however, I can say that I don't feel persecuted. I mean, yes, there are friends and family of mine that if they knew I was gay would, more than likely, never talk to me again..... yes, I have had friends who have been physically assaulted for the simple fact that they are gay (interestingly enough, mostly that's happened to friends in the military).

I don't feel persecuted... I mean, yes, homosexuals don't have the same rights (mainly speaking of health care and some legal cases) as heterosexuals.... and there are many people that look down on homosexuals just for the simple fact that we are homosexual... but, for the most part, I would say that there are somewhat similar cases for everyone, whether it be age, race, sex, or whatever. I feel like if I were to come out now I would keep almost all the same friends, I would still have a job, still be in school, etc... my life would almost be the same, so how could I feel persecuted?

All in all, I just have to say that I am glad I live in America where that is the case... there are numerous other countries that don't have the same rights and freedom in those regards. No matter what our flaws may be, how we might mess stuff up at times, I honestly do believe that we are an amazing nation and am glad that I live here.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Follow up

I've been thinking about the last post I made, about how I'm into my family's history and whatnot... and I think that I discovered why I personally am so into genealogy.

It's for 2 simple reasons... 1. History shows where you have been and it helps set you apart from every other person in some fashion and 2. I don't have a generational legacy to leave behind... I mean, unlike my straight friends who will go on and have children and that will continue their family's line, my personal branch of the family comes to and end with me, since I obviously can't (or, rather, won't) have kids.

I've gotta admit, #2 actually bothers me abit... I mean, other people if they don't accomplish something in their lifetime, then their kids have the chance to do it later, but I don't exactly have that luxury. ...so, basically, I've gotta work alot harder than most everyone else and try to do everything I can... great, glad that it's not anything too serious. haha

But, oh well, you have one shot at it and no matter how old you are, what your status is in life, or what you've done, you still have the opportunity to make things better for other people. ...it can be as simple as a smile or saying hello when it's not needed or donating time to a cause or whatever... as long as people care about other people and can take a minute or two of their own time to be nice to someone else, that's what it's all about.