Archive for October, 2005

IMG_1691.JPGSo its October 31st, All Hallows Eve, the time spirits and ghosts are meant to haunt the evenings, and fittingly enough I’m sat with Symantec Ghost restoring my Toshiba TabletPC after the drive fried itself the other week. Which admittedly was only a matter of time, probably linked to the odd ‘light saber’ type noise it started making back in January, which I’ve managed to ignore in some form for the last 10 months!!

However over the weekend, We carved out a killer pumpkin as I was planning last week before the Plymouth trip. We managed to get a pretty huge pumpkin, and carved it out in the likeness of Jack Skellington. It actually looks just so cool, and its been so long since I carved one I was pretty proud of my efforts.

I followed the tips on Masterpiece Pumpkins of carving at an angle to create more depth, as you’ll see on Jacks Eyes, and it looks very at home in front of the fire here..

Happy Halloween!!

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Spudtrooper-1 So some time ago I found Hasbro / Playskool did a Mr Potato Head Darth Tater, and now I have found out that they will be producing a Spud Trooper..

Spud Troopers have sworn allegiance to Darth Tater. Vowing to fry the Rebel Alliance.. Never underestimate the power of the Spud side.. Darth Tater the root of all evil, Spud troopers the eyes of the empire..

Spud Trooper comes as with all Mr Potato Heads with a bunch of pick and mix , with a mask, a potato masher, a set of teeth, a nose, a set of ears and eyes, a body, shoes and two arms..

Personally I think he actually looks a lot cooler than Darth Tater.. Both I think would be a perfect addition to my complete collection of original ‘evil’ Star Wars figures I found in the house archaeology the other week.

Since all my figures have their original guns and accessories, it apparently makes then worth a bob or two, if ebay is to be believed. My original Yoda figure with cape, snake and cane is going for upwards of £11, and a set of mixed figures small in number than mine is going for about £310!!

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houdini_pumpkin.jpg I’ve been on holidays the last two weeks, hence the lack of postings and thoughts here, however there’s been a lot stuff found in my life that I’d previously forgotten about.. The loft revealed old copies of Magic Magazine, with a fairly interesting copy from 1996 that had an article by Stan Allen about Justin and Jason Senft.

Justin and Jason are identical twins from New Providence, New Jersey, who carved four pumpkins of famous magicians past and present; Harry Houdini, Harry Blackstone Senior, Cardini and David Copperfield all made it to become features of the fruit of the cucurbita pepo. The twins created a simple stencil of each of the four, before transferring it to the pumpkin to be carved with a Swiss army knife. The cuts were angled to allow the image to be fully lit by the candle within.

On October 25,1995 the twins presented David Copperfield with his pumpkin jack-o’-lantern likeness by performing it as a trick. They started by showing a photo of an un-carved pumpkin, asking David to stand still so they could capture his likeness. Instead of drawing a caricature of him they pulled out a knife and started to carve into the photograph, eventually revealing the photograph of the Copperfield Jack-o’-lantern. The photo was later used in intro promo shots for his appearance on the 1995 Halloween Larry King Live on CNN.

The whole art of advanced pumpkin carving seems to be quite popular from the images on Masterpiece Pumpkins, I personally like the Jack Skellington from the Tim Burton ‘Nightmare Before Christmas’. It’ll be some serious carving when I return from my travels next week

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IMG_0176.JPGSo I’m redecorating my house this week (And next), its a 1930’s semi. During the last re-wallpapering session in the second bedroom a few years ago I found a mural on the wall.

It was a repeating pattern of flowers and circles, and seemed to be painted or printed onto the plaster under the wallpaper.

I’m now stripping the landing and hallway and started to find a number of ‘secret messages’ and doodles on the walls, one of which tells me to ‘Ring Dave’, which unfortunately for him I don’t have a number, so he’s probably been waiting for a call for at least 7 years.

There’s also a shopping list, the previous inhabitants seemed to like to buy lots of egg powder!!

Unfortunately I have no way to date anything on the walls… I have been here 7 years, so it must be prior to that, although when between 1930 and now I have no idea.

Again like in the second bedroom, I’ve found a similar pattern on the plaster under the wallpaper on the landing, again its painted or printed onto the wall, and fairly colourful. I’m very interested to know what it is, or where is comes from. I think its likely to be old wallpaper that’s marked the wall through the ink in the pattern, although this would mean its likely to be quite old.

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ProgrammerorserialkillerSo there are some wonderfully involved flash games out on the web, as well as all the wonderful flash animations (like Magical Trevor).

A friend told about the wonderful Programming Language Inventor or Serial Killer? game the other night;

Can you tell a coder from a cannibal? Try to work out which of the following spent their time hacking computers, and which preferred hacking away at corpses instead..

All your classic slashers, and slashdotters are in there..

Bertrand Meyer – designer of the Eiffel system, David Berkowitz, who in his own words ‘didn’t want to hurt them, I only wanted to kill them..’ and Randy Kraft, who actually was a computer programmer with a leaning to branching out into other past times..

I’m quite pleased I scored a respectable 8 out of 10, although I’m not entirely sure if that’s a good thing, knowing my serial killers and Programming language inventors!?

Probably not a fact to well advertise over my next evening out..

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Ooh, a strange letter arrived today from Buffalo, NY. At first I thought it was junk mail, but on opening it was my first Google Adsense cheque (or Check as the Americans say!).

Admittedly its not a huge amount of money, so I wont be giving up my day job yet. But it’s a nice reward for pretty much doing nothing!!

It will however pay a few of the unpaid bills hanging around.. I just need a way to drive up traffic through here a little (although weirdly I do actually get a fair bit of traffic per day!)

So.. Adsense really does work.. surprisingly enough!!

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