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Carving pumpkins is one of those things I think I should be good at, because arty. Crosswords is another, because wordy. In truth, I suck at both.

So Uncle B buyed me this nifty pumpkin carving toolkit last week. Did it help? Meh.

Here’s a proper link for the day: Ten Spooky Archaeological Finds. (Ancient Origins is a better website than it looks. I find interesting stuff there and, when in doubt, I cross reference it to more boring sites).

Happy Halloween! (Shoot, I should be doing an invoice tonight).


Comment from Janna
Time: October 31, 2016, 9:52 pm

Do you get many trick-or-treaters?
Last year I got zero…I was forced to eat all the candy myself. Well, so it didn’t go to waste. Yeah, that’s it, not wasteful.

Comment from QuasiModo
Time: October 31, 2016, 10:15 pm

We don’t get as many trick-or-treaters as we used to…not as many kids in the neighborhood.

We have our trusty plastic pumpkin out with the electric light in it and a tombstone I made a while back…

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: October 31, 2016, 11:06 pm

Here on the Gulf coast of Florida, also known as God’s Waiting Room, there simply aren’t all that many trick or treat aged kids. Last year we had eight or ten groups come by, always with a parent or three nearby. We thought perhaps there would be some last night because Sunday, but none appeared. It’s now after 7 p.m. and still no one has shown up.

I have a bowl full of Smarties now. Will Smarties make you smarter if you’re already smart? (-:

Mme. Ermine – I rather like your boomeow carving. It appeals to my sense of whimsy.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: October 31, 2016, 11:54 pm

Zero children out here in the boonies. Also, Halloween is a rather recent import and there’s a certain amount of hostility to it.

I think Trick or Treating happens in the town, though.

Comment from Uncle Al
Time: November 1, 2016, 12:26 am

I sure hope some powerful imam or ayatollah coughs up a fatwa saying Hallowe’en is un-Islamic and haram. I shudder to think of feral mohammadmen yoot dressing up as jihadis and going out for a trick or treat evening.

Comment from Bob B
Time: November 1, 2016, 1:24 am

Most of the kids in our neighborhood went to organized Halloween events yesterday. There aren’t many doorknockers around here tonight and since it’s hardly worth the effort, we discourage them by turning off the porch light.

iFixit, the iPhone teardown folks, have a “pumpkin teardown” for Halloween that is mildly amusing. https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/Pumpkin+Teardown/71640

Comment from OldFert
Time: November 1, 2016, 1:42 am

A certain amount of hostility thereabouts, huh? I thought we got Hallowe’en from the Brits…

And regarding the “witch” buried face down, my grandfather (who was born in the mid 1890s IIRC somewhere around Naples, Italy) said that when he died he wanted to be buried face down. But his reason was so the world could kiss his butt.

I like your Mad Jack punkin.

Comment from catnip
Time: November 1, 2016, 3:50 am

Super Jack-o-lantern! Love it!

Zero trick-or-treaters here tonight, 5 or 6 max most years. Helicopter parents have taken over the northwest. There are no little free-lance goblins trudging from house to house anymore.

(Wish I’d had a poster-sized Zombie Hillary to decorate the front of the house with this year.)

Comment from Veeshir
Time: November 1, 2016, 3:55 am

Crosswords aren’t that hard, you just have to keep doing them until you know most of the standard words they use over and over.
You have to spend a week or two not doing very well until you ‘get it’.

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: November 1, 2016, 1:28 pm

Crosswords aren’t that hard, you just have to keep doing them until you know most of the standard words they use over and over.
You have to spend a week or two not doing very well until you ‘get it’.

That, and the clues they give you. If the definition is plural, you’ll probably have an “s” at the end of the word. If the definition is an abbreviation, or in a foreign language, the word will be too. The tough ones are the core definitions to what the puzzle’s theme is — especially if the answer is a pun. “A single verse of the ‘Star-Spangled Banner'” = “stanzalone.” No kidding, sometimes the crossword creator will do that.

My Halloween: No kids out after dark in my dump. I turned on a living room light and left the drapes open, and my enormous and longhaired black cat, Wolf, obligingly sat up on the windowsill, providing a massive and scary silhouette.

My Halloween was evil, all right. My toilet plugged up and the maintenance guy never showed. Adult terror. I plungered the commode and fixed it myself.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 1, 2016, 4:09 pm

I thought your pumpkin looked great 🙂 Too bad the chickens are scared of pumpkins—would be a tasty treat. Maybe if you chopped it up in smaller pieces? Do you toast the pumpkin seeds? That may be the best part of the pumpkin.

No tricksters here. No kiddos. My neighborhood is part of a military retirement community, although you no longer have to be retired military or even retired to live here.

Comment from BJM
Time: November 1, 2016, 4:19 pm

The folks on our dead end road band together and have an early G-rated party and take the kiddos on a hayride pulled by a cool vintage tractor. There’s a creekside dirt road/riding trail that make a perfect spooky finish. Everyone puts a lighted jack o lantern and candy on a hay bale or somesuch at their gate on the edge of the road and the hayriders swoop by. A good time was had by all and we were tucked into bed by 9 PM.

btw- my punkin was pretty lame, yours is so much better than my weird spider.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 1, 2016, 7:37 pm

My mother was very good at crosswords. She said basically the same thing — there’s a sort of crosswords vocabulary.

I’ve seen some amazing pumpkins come across my FaceBook feed, from people who didn’t pony up for a couple of years of art school. Just saying.

Deborah – got my neti pot. Have been using it faithfully three or four times a day (I’ve still got this cold). Because of the cold, it’s hard to say how it’s working, but…ummm…is it supposed to make me feel…a little high?

Might be the antihistamines.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 1, 2016, 8:08 pm

Stoaty—maybe that “high” feeling is because more air is getting into your lungs, thence your blood, and finally your brain? Is your thinking sharper 😉

Comment from AliceH
Time: November 1, 2016, 8:14 pm

In past years, I’ve had 40-60 kids trick or treating (most with their parents at the end of the sidewalk). This year, I turned all the lights in front of the house out. Main reason was because I just learned there’s another (town-sponsored) event called “trunk or treat” that all the kids go to in the school parking lot, so they’ve already gotten a ton of free candy. Backup reason was because my health “insurance” rates are going up double digits — for the 4th year in a row! — and I damned if I’m going to give these people in my insurance rate pool even more diabetes-inducing sugar. They need to shape up and start living right.

I’m mostly joking.


Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 1, 2016, 9:14 pm

I…don’t think I can claim my thinking is sharper, no.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 1, 2016, 9:47 pm

I kid, I kid. Antihistamines do mess with your head though. I used to buy Benadryl tablets so I could take 1/2 tablet as a sleeping aid, but even that small amount left me with brain fog the next day. I know jalaneti won’t cure everything, but it’s what I do first 🙂

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: November 1, 2016, 11:25 pm

Do you know, you can only buy Benadryl as a sleeping aid now? It’s not sold as an antihistamine. Knocks me on my butt, too. When I first started taking it, it was prescription only.

I’m currently taking Doxylamine Succinate, another first-generation antihistamine that is now only sold as a sleep aid. It’s the most sedating over-the-counter drug on the market. I’m down to one quarter of one tablet, and it still kicks my ass.

Comment from Deborah HH
Time: November 2, 2016, 1:54 pm

I have used doxylamine succinate and boy does it work—sorta like a bat! For several months now, my pre-bedtime routine includes one 250mg magnesium tablet, and 1.25mg of melatonin (1/4 of a 5 mg. tablet) Magnesium is a natural muscle relaxer, and the small dose of melatonin is just enough help me sleep, but not enough to give me overly-vivid dreams. I may still be sleepy when forced from my bed, but I don’t feel drugged. If I’ve had an especially exhausting day, I take two magnesium tablets (or if I had too much wine). 🙂

Magnesium is bit of a catalyst (according to my doctor), and makes the other vitamins, minerals, and hormones more effective, so I take another one with my morning vitamins.

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