Friday, December 2, 2022

Knighthood (Sortof)

Exploration, Discovery, Development, Production And Reclamation

The Office of the Solicitor’s Division of Mine Safety and Health has developed a “Mine Safety & Health Deskbook”. The Deskbook includes the current, operative text of the Federal Mine Safety and Health Act of 1977 (Mine Act), as amended by numerous other statutes through October 2015. It also contains the text of other laws related to the protection of miner safety and health that may be useful to the mining community.

Image by wickermanor.

Now Re-Playing: Attic And Wormwood

By Atrium Carceri & Cities Last Broadcast.

Click below...

The Haunt On The Hill

The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

-  1 Corinthians 15:26 

Image from The Haunt on the Hill.

Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Pre-Halloween Basement Shots

Monster Bat

I started hearing a loud flapping noise that sounded like a flag blowing in the breeze and I thought it must have been a semi truck on the overpass that got a flat tire. However when I got under the overpass the noise was so loud it was almost ear splitting. I looked out my driver window and I saw a monstrously huge bat with a wingspan longer than my SUV (ford escape) and who's body was larger than my own (I am 6'4" and 240lbs), it was on the opposite side of the street separated by the support columns. It had the snub nose face of a vampire bat, but it's face resembled more of a gorilla almost. The overpass is illuminated underneath by street lights and when the beasts wings were up I could see it's veins through the membrane of it's wings. It almost looked like it's flight was incredibly labored as though it was struggling to keep itself in the air. I immediately began to panic and rolled my window up. As soon as the beast and myself were out from underneath the overpass it shot straight upwards into the sky and turned east flying higher and higher and was soon out of sight. 

Text source.

Image by Scott Daniel Ellison.

Witchcraft And Twisted Things

The Haunt of Tworivers.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Spooky Season

Nuts to think Halloween is almost a month in the past already.  But what a Season it's been.  I swore I'd savor it, and I did.  This October was truly the best ever.  Usually, autumn feels like it's a million miles away.  And the heat lingers unseasonably and uncomfortably close for far too long.  Then, suddenly, you see some trees changing colors and pumpkins in a bin at a local supermarket.  The air gets crisp and it's a mad dash to get it all in before it slips through your fingers.  And then it's Haunt-prep time.  Lists within lists.  Nervous energy as you pray the weather holds out.  Like preparing for an elaborate, one-night-only theater in the park performance, with no covering to keep your stage props (or your audience) dry from any potential rain (I'm pretty uptight [and theatrical]).  

I mentioned this a bunch of blog posts ago, but this year was the first year I was able to break from the "Tradition" of worrying too much and replace it with some actual fun in the days leading up to the High Holiday.  My good friend Wren was in town, and we crammed in as much Halloween-adjacent activities as we could.  Haunted attractions, prop photo shoots, horror films, Halloween candy shops, Peddler's Village scarecrows, seasonal cocktails and autumnal dinner menus, flights of wine and bourbon, a bar that could have been the bar in Halloween III, and the Lambertville Halloween House.  

The Builders...

This year's Haunt was a challenging one.  My biggest to date, with more props than I've ever built in one season.  It was going to be a ton of work, and I was extremely grateful to have Wren as a collaborator throughout the year and as a co-Haunter on the big night.  We talked a lot about what The Builders were up to.  Why would they be building so many scarecrows, and what would they look like?  What would three creatures use to build their totems?  Were old boards and rusted cans logical?  Were human skulls?  For me, collaboration is a rare event.  It happened back in 2018 when Theo and I worked together to build 2018's CHURCH display (still the most magical and insane memory).  Aside from then, my Haunt concepts and execution have always been a solitary thing.  2022 was a wonderful and welcome change.  

The Haunt became something entirely different than my original idea.  That never happened before.  The glowing red sepulchers within each scarecrow's abdomen - Wren's idea.  The torn and tattered funeral-black cloth hanging above and around The Builders on the porch - her idea and execution.  I could tell that this Haunt was going to be a hit with the trick-or-treaters.  It had a depth to it that made it feel huge.  And the scarecrows, despite being 13 in number, felt like they stretched out into the darkness and across the street and into the endless night.  The spacing and height are something I also need to thank Wren for, as my initial plans were to have them all at the same height and much closer to the porch.  

As we slowly built the Haunt on October 30th, we knew we had something unusually special by the time the sun was setting.  We were exhausted from a full day of building our Dark Theater in the Park, and neighbors and passersby were stopping.  And they were staring - with huge grins.  I gave short tours of the fully lit and fog-filled display.  The photos and video I've posted oddly do not do it justice.  My one neighbor from up the street pulled his car over and hopped out.  He kept saying "Oh my GOD!" and he asked excitedly "Do people KNOW about this?!  We have to tell them!  We have to call the news!" (I had PTSD flashbacks of my mom and her fame-driven motivations and threats to call the local news despite me informing her I would boycott and skip town if I saw a news van pulling up).  

The annual open house Halloween party for friends and family was the best to date.  At one point the house was pretty packed, with people laughing, drinking spirits, and eating some incredibly fun and amazing food (going to thank Wren again for that).  It felt like a Halloween party from a TV special.  I felt a ton of gratitude all night long.  Tons.

Enter Michael Myers...

He was there. Handing out candy.  Head tilts and slow hand movements.  Occasionally he would walk onto the porch anticipating that the last group of kids would look back over their shoulders.  When they did, and when they saw him, standing emotionless and cold (and close), they would shriek and run off.  It worked perfectly all night long.  

Earlier in the day, as the afternoon school buses were passing through this street on Halloween, one of the buses slowly pulled by the display.  A few of the windows were down and one of the bigger kids saw me moving about finessing some props.  I wasn't in costume (Michael Myers had yet to escape the sanitarium you see).  The boy yelled out quite politely "Excuse me, sir?  Sir?!  Are you Michael Myers?!"

I yelled back "Yes!  Yes, I AM Michael Myers!"
And I think I might be.

Below are a bunch of photos from this magical October (I'll be blogging later about some of these)...

Rain drops on Mr. Myers' cheek.  It was lightly raining at the end of the night on Halloween.  A very fitting image.