So what the hell! we're still here in Baytown... well if you look at my MoBlog you'll see why! We were going to Kentucky for Thanksgiving, but Angie got a pimple! No really it's what happened, but she picked at it and then she got a mosquito bite we think on her arm and scratched it. Well she must have picked up a germ or something somewhere because her chin swelled up like a golf ball and her well Mt. Vesuvius! Anyway on Sunday night her are looked bad, a red ring was spreading around the spot and it was swollen terribly and the line of red was growing down her arm... it also hurt, throbbed, burned and tingled! So off to the emergency room we go! That is where the picture on the MoBlog came from... turns out she has a Staph infection. She had have the one on her arm cut open and drained, but the one on her face she had to get it out naturally. She is getting better and is back at work but things still don't look so good on her arm. Lot's green shit coming out at this point! YUK!
Pain Joy Elation Dissapointment I've run the gamut these last 2 weeks...
A couple of weeks ago was Halloween... first I had decided it was to hard to continue in the efforts from years past, but my family conveinced me that they would all help and since it was on a Sunday we could do a lot over the weekend and not have the big rush usually associated with a build like this . For those who don't know I build a Haunted House in my driveway and garage. I set up a 20'x20' pipe tent and attach that to my 3 car garage. Inside of that I build a dark maze complete with custom sound, lighting and props. All of the props inside are mine, I made them. Some are even pneumatic running off of motion sensors and computer controlled timers. In addition to that I have my family act as actors in the haunt.
This year went great, we only had minor malfunctions and everyone had a grand time. About 600-700 guests went through the haunt, and I did not hear one complaint the entire night. I will say that it looked bad in the begining, a small little rain shower that lasted all of 2 minutes threatened to wash it all out, but it cleared and everything went off in the end.
walkthrough::: First as you approach this year you are greeted by the 2 6' cemetery columns at the end of the driveway, they had fencing atteched to them and jack-o-lanterns on top. As you walk though you you see the tent, only this year the front of the tent is made up of air brushed panels giving it the appearance of a solid building behind, there is a grave yard to your right complete with tombstones, more columns and more fencing. All of the columns have jack-o-lanterns on top. The line to get into the haunt is cordoned off by lighted skull stanchions. There were times when the line was 50-75 people deep!
When you turn comes to enter and hooded monk opens the door and lets your party in to the first room. This room has a cobwebbed coffin in the corner with a corpse inside all of this is bathed in red light. You are led by your guide to the door and allowed into the haunt on your own. With a custom soundtrack playing throughout you enter a 40' long hallway that is very skinny. You are only allowed in in groups of 5 or less and this hallway makes it so you cannot walk side by side.
The hallway is full of rotten material and cobwebs on the walls, and is lit by a string of bare light bulbs every 5 feet or so, and they don't seem to be working properly as spit and sputter and go completely dark at times. As you make your way down the hallway you come to a section where there are more painted walls with windows in them, inside one of the rooms sits a dead bride with her possesed baby. She does not move, much and you are wonder if she's even alive, the baby's eyes glow like fire, as you are trying to figure out whether they are real or not a large crate in the corner suddenly springs to life, glows bright red, and violently fires open allowing the crypt keeper inside a breif chance to peer out! Then just fast and as violent, it slams shut, leaving you in a very dark hallway, lit only by a single torch. By now you are the end of the long hallway and as you round the corner past the crate you are greeted by a small hallway that is an obvious dead end. As you move down it a blue light comes on lighting up a skeletal ghost 12' beyond the end of the hallway.
As you continue to move towards the ghost he suddenly rushes at you jumping 10' up in the air and 12' forward stoping just before flying over your head all in about 1 second! He slams to a violent halt and fades back into the darkness.
In this new darkness you notice blacklight spilling from a door so you enter. You find yourself in a 10'x10' room completely covered in flourecent dots and markings. You relax since you can now see clearly in the well lit room that it is empty. Across the room is an exit sign so you head for the exit when out of the corner of your eye you notice the wall seemed to move. You look to be sure and you can't see anything there when suddenly it moves again! There is someone in there with you and they are so camoflaged you cannot see them even when looking right at them! You hurry through the exit and into ... another dark hallway!
As you wind your way though this maze a green light appears and a ghoul rockets straight at you! Once again he stops just in time and disappears back into the darkness.
You find your way out of the maze and into a dungeon where a man sits in a large throne chair covered in ornamental bones. You are sure this man is not real until he starts rise, as you back away and hurry for the exit blasts of air whip past your ankles making you hurry all the faster to next room. In this room you find it has been overrun with giant roaches and very very very large spider. Here you also find another monk who hands you a treat and your hurry out of the exit and back into the graveyard.
Most people took about 4 minutes make it through the haunt although some were much slower! All of the air powered props were working off of motion sensors and event control computers. All of the air props have safety valves, regulators, and high capacity air cylinders. The air cylinders I use are rated to 250psi well beyond the reach of my compressor and all but one prop, have the air regulated down to around 40psi. Each prop was made by me, there are very few store bought items inside. They only include things like lighting and some of the atmosphere decor. All of the major props were one of a kind. Our haunt was even featured in the local newspaper on the front page! I hope eveyone had a good a time! Next year will be much smaller I promise!
As you know 2 days after halloween cam the election! I was on pins and needles I was so sure that the "I Hate Bush Because the Media Brainwashed Me" Club would elect Kerry but as you can tell it did come to be. When I look at the county by county map I think it tells a great tale.
Next comes the nightmare of our T1 bonding issues at the office. For the better part of a week we had been trying to bond out 2 lines together without success. Finally it happened, then everything went to hell. It ended with a lot of cursing and me spending the night up at the office. In the S figured out the problem and we are going strong now.
Finally I'm up to the past weekend! For the previous 10 days or so I'm burning that candle at both ends so I'm ready for a lite weekend. Friday we decide to go see The Incredbles. Angie gets home and we take off for Gulf Pointe Theater. We find our seats 30 minutes before show time. As showtime approaches one of those magical moments came for me! Many of you know I'm a bit Star Wars crazy, well I had been to busy to know that the Revenge of the Sith's first trailer was going to debut at The Incredibles! So let me set the scene, there are people milling about trying to find the last of the scattered seating as the light dim. The screen lights up and the Lucasfilm logo splashes the screen... I immediately think "what is this" then "A long time ago in a galaxy far far away..." comes on screen. Suddenly the all of the people milling about stop start watching the screen even though they are not in seats yet. The trailer starts with scenes froim the original movie "A New Hope", but then there is a cut in of Qui Gon from TPM. Then a new scene! The crowd now starts to murmur a little midway through the trailer all the hair on my now standing the screen goes black and the Emperor's voice can be heard saying "Lord Vader ... rise", then with the screen still black you hear the breathing and James Earl Jones' voice comes booming across! People cheered out loud! As you see Vader rise from the mist! By the time trailer was done the crowd whooping and applauding! It was awesome!!! ... oh and BTW The Incredibles... Pixar has another hit!
Then on Sunday... Angie, Dade and I went to the Texas Renaissance Festival... wow has that thing gotten big! It was well cool... The weather was perfect, Dade was perfect, everything was great! We had a great time! Dade dipped his ahnd in wax and rode a camel. We saw the jousting and the Mud Show and lots more... it was just the ticket to help cap a very hectic 2 weeks!
I think I'll leave it on that high note for now...