Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lesson Learned

Today I learned the hard way to never talk about politics on facebook. It didn't neccesarily start up as politics but it very well ended that way. So here's the scoop:

A friend of mine today had said that she had seen an Islamic man wearing a shirt with an Bin Laden picture and was outraged that he would be allowed into a public place wearing it. I asked, " Did you get a good look at the shirt?" and she kinda threw back almost in disgust and merely stated that she had just seen the image although it may have had writing on it. Now I am not one to take things quite litterally. To me she also seemed that she had pre-judged him and placed him into the normal stereotype as if she was filing books upon a shelf. I thought, it could possibly be one of those t-shirts that say Wanted and have his mug shut; more or less demeaning Bin Laden, not condoning him.

This little scenario got me to boldly ask my face-friends ( facebook friends) what their first reaction was. I did leave out the Warning tee part so I would not taint the answer. Only a handful of people responded and it was mix emotion. However none of them really asked what else was on the shirt or if it was a mockery, etc. So I had explained my answer and the reason for asking. I more or less wanted to see if we, as Americans, do tend to prejudge before we know the whole truth or story.

Somehow out of this debate; it got led into abortion and the mosque. Now how on earth these two can be comparable; you have me. I warned to please tread softly and that I don't want flames coming out of anyones ears. Did they listen; oh no. What was once a simple question of judgement fell into bad judgement on my part. It had turned into a full blown debate on abortion. Yikes!

So why am I writing about this? Lets just say let this be a true lessoned learned for anyone. If you want to fire up a debate that is fine; but do not underestimate people's opinions and think that someone will not get hurt in the end. We all feel passionate about our feelings and what we think is right and most of us will feel threatened if others feel otherwise. Abortion is definately not an easy subject to talk about and has too many unspecifics or not a cut-throat answer. If you want to debate; make it about something positive like ways you can save on energy or maybe local govermental issues. But head my warning; if you open a can of worms, you might get a little more than you bargained for.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Let the Planning Begin Muah Ha Ha

Almost 2 months till the 2nd best holiday of the year, Halloween. And now that I have a home of my own, you bet your bones I am going to ghoulify it and turn my garage into a haunted house. There is only one problem; can I keep on a budget.

Now I do know how to scare those pesky kids that always complain that I am not giving out the BIG candy bars. I just don't know if I can control my fascaious appetite of those wonderfully scary animitronics that are plentiful in the internet world. For now, I will just stick to the important pieces.
First and foremost, I need to design a layout and do an actual walk through to make sure there is adequate room. Since I am using my garage, and it is only a 1 car, I have to also consider moving things around or putting things such as the bikes, etc outside for that week.( my husband is going to pull the kids on the tractor and fill the cart with hay) I could also just see if my neighbor would hold them inside his garage as well. Use my puppy-eyed charm for that purpose LOL!
Secondly, and almost as important, is a theme. You can't very well have alien props in a medieval scene now can you. I was thinking more along the lines of a chop shop. I have gadzooks of tools, so why not let them be carelessly thrown into the mix. My work bench is also just the right height and width, oddly, to create it into a surgical table.Who knows later on I could have an actor play as a doctor while cutting up another actor or patient and them come after those pesky kids.
Lighting and plumbing of the fog machine will also have to be considered. I will be using duck cloths for my walls and ceiling. It is much more thicker than muslin and with my coupons from JoAnns, it will be the same price. Why ceiling also, you ask? Because it adds to the fun house feel, a sense of distortion which creates uneasiness. If they feel they are in a box room they can already sense where the actors will be to jump out at them or where the scare tactic will lie. But if you make your walls at a 45 degree angle and drape the ceiling a little, it will throw their perception off enough so that they might not see someone lurking in the shadows.
I wont have but a few lights since the garage is small enough. I was thinking about just using the main garage door light but added a flickering light bulb to it. I know I dread going down a hall that the lick is flickering, hoping that I get to the end before it goes completely out. So that is the image that I want to create. No strobe lights for health reasons.
Plumbing for the fog machine is going to be the easy part; or atleast sounds easy enough. I will just get enough PVC piping to cover the floor plan. Cut holes into the top of the pvc piping for ventilation. When that night comes, place dry ice in each pipe ( just slide it down if that is easier), cap the ends and link it to the fog machine. Dry ice gives the fog more weight and creates that graveyard mist effect. I don't want anyone choking on fog so keeping it low lined will not only help that but also distort their sense of flooring as well.
So still alot to chew and loads of work so far but I am going to enjoy every bit of this. I will keep posting more as I continue and throw some snap shots in the mix as well. Wish me luck and hopefully luck will only be needed to those who dare enter my chop shop. Muah ha ha!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Pigs in a Blanket, has a whole new meaning

I was thinking last night while sitting around our fire pit, eating marshmellows, about what I missed about summer the most. I mainly miss family gatherings and the big cookouts that my folks would have at their house during July. Thinking back on that it only brought one thought "Pig ( well technically a hog) in a blanket".

One summer when I was 10, my family was getting ready for our annual hog roast. I was sitting with my best friend playing when all of a sudden my dad runs in my room, sweating as if he had just been chased. He shuts the door quietly and says " You two, whatever you do, do not go into the bathroom. I killed a man and I put him in the tub." Now knowing my dad, he is the ultimate prankster and will do anything for a good laugh. We just shrugged it off and decided to see for ourselves.
After he left our room, me and my best friend gave each other the " lets go look" nod, and tip toed out to the hallway. When we got into the bathroom, I instantly noticed that my old sleeping blanket was in the tub and looked as if there was indeed something hidden under there. With a gulp and a big breathe, I peered slowly under the blanket only to see pink flesh underneath. We screamed with all of our might and ran back to our room. Bursting into tears all I could think of was that I was going to jail for a very long time. I even pondered in seeing if I could run away to my grandmothers so that I could atleast stay out of jail.
And in that last thought and loud 'oh my god, what'll we do,' I heard the faint laughter of my dad and my best friends dad outside my bedroom window. I quickly opened it to harp at them for laughing at a time like this. They had finally got us quiet enough to explain that it was only a hog that they had no where else to thaw.

I had never seen an actual hog; only when it had been cooked in a roaster and on my plate. All I knew is that my reaction went from being to scared out of mind to revenge. I eventually started talking to my dad after I realized that I could not outsmart a prankster ( besides I could never keep a straight face when I tried to pull a prank). And every summer from then on out; whenever someone says 'pig in a blanket' we tell the tale and reminesce of the good ole days.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A quick how to on making your own photo shoot

For some reason my camera does best with hallogen lighting vs natural sunlight. I think this could be due to my yard is either 100% shade or 100% sunlight. I have 9 trees in my backyard and then a " no mans land" that is just a solid patch of open area. Althought that is a great area for volleyball and teeball; it is not great for pictures. So what to do?

I figured since my garage is a perfect little area for making my photo shoot ( it also easily contains the little ones so you are not chasing them all over gods creation ); I figured I better have a looksie and see what I have laying around before I even attempt it.

In my garage we had an old wooden pallet about 4' x 6' which was perfect to hold a backdrop. Now if you don't have one of these laying around, that is okay. You can either look around to see if you have something of that size, maybe a closet door, Or you can use pvc piping to make your own like this one:

It will cost you approx
bucks and you can find the info on parts here.

Then you will need to something for a backdrop. Sure you can go to the fabric store and purchase some muslin, however a sheet will do just fine. You need to pick one that has a higher thread count though. The more thicker it is the better. You dont want to be able to see through it. It will also give your camera a break as well. Cameras will see that there is a mix color if the backdrop is see through, and give the background a very pixelated look. Here is just an example of what I came up with:

My husband had an old hunting chair that is armless that was perfect to sit underneath. However you can use anything you prefer.

So that is basically it! Youre next step is just to find a good angle to shoot and take loads of pictures.

Back to School Time.. Yay for parents, Boo for kids

Its that time of year when parents get excited that they can finally have some peace.. school time. Back to homework, meeting new teachers, and most importantly back to normal sleep schedules.

In this house atleast, my kids have not stayed on a normal sleep schedule all summer long. It might have started out with good intentions but it ended with my children trying to sneak around at 1am. Most of all this little toot, Hannah:

So hopefully now that either school is starting soon or your kids are already back; you are getting some much deserved sleep.