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Collateral ClutterFrom the dead letter office…

Minion Shellhawk recently polled a small pack of haunters (That group photo would’ve been one for the scrap book) on the issue of off-season storage.

What do you do with your undead hordes, pumpkins, brigands, and collateral clutter for the other 11 months of the year?


See, I’ve got this outhouse (still in the front yard) that sort of resembles a mausoleum. Instead of breaking it down, I’m thinking that it would make a fine shelter house for the backyard. A handy cave for a stack of tombstones. It’s a sturdy construction, but it was never intended to weather the elements for longer than a few weeks at a time. The walls are just 1x4s covered in 1″ foam, for Peep’s sake. But it would be criminal to cover it with a tarp.

I suppose we could build a larger, more weatherproof crypt in which to house the mausoleum that is sheltering the tombstones. Or perhaps a smallish Gothic cathedral. From an architectural standpoint, Romanesque may be a better choice for its thick walls, generally shorter stature, and absent flying buttresses. In any case, multiple levels of sarcophagi would be an ideal storage solution.

Or cram everything into the garage, which is the approach that we’ve taken. Indoor decorations are boxed (usually after the holidays…in January) and stored in the basement “stock room”. Everything else goes in the garage. In order to walk into the garage and still be able to breathe, you have to build up. Mark every wall stud you can find, then build shelves. And if you wouldn’t be perfectly happy sitting up there batting cobwebs off the ceiling with the zombies, then it’s not built right.

Those garages with tall ceilings contain a large area of potential storage space above the door. I built two very large heavy duty shelves above mine where the brood lives most of the year. I’ve even pondered hanging a metal basket affair suspended from cables above the door. There are kits available for this type of arrangement.

Caution must be exercised when rummaging through these high places. Especially if there’s the slightest chance that someone might arrive home, perhaps after meeting with the family insurance agent, open that door, and suddenly come into a small fortune. Better to place a sign outside (or not, for the opposite reason) to prevent spindling and mutilation.

Of course, you could just unplug the motor. I never thought of that until just now.


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Godzilla Vs Mothra

Mothra Slings Godzilla By The TailA tradition has evolved over the years in which Mrs. Spookyblue and I keep our Halloween costumes under wraps until the night of the annual bash. This year, the cloak-and-dagger routine worked so well that not even we knew what we were going to be until the last minute.

It’s a great strategy for keeping secrets, but it makes for some late nights and frazzled nerves when you decide to pull off Godzilla Vs Mothra. In just two weeks.

Forces JoinedWhile a full-body suit was never seriously considered for ‘Zilla, green sweats and a (Gahh!) green jogging suit were both flatly rejected. Nervous necessity eventually revealed the obvious answer, and we became Godzilla and Mothra …on vacation.

Mrs. Spookyblue raided every craft store in town for moth wing material while I carved a reef of spines out of construction foam. The Panama hat, Mrs. S’s idea, was a nice touch. That blue blur buzzing angrily aroundGodzilla Plans my head in some of the pictures (check the new gallery link) is a carved F-86. Mothra’s wings were an engineering miracle mixed with my wife’s mad sewing skillz.

And on the night of the big reveal…

“So, he’s a dinosaur and she’s a butterfly, right?” .. “Gozzla? What’s a Gozzla?” .. “Oh, yeah! Moffra! Hmm… that’s nice.”

Nobody got it. Gaar.

More pictures of Gozzla and Moffra

Halloween 2009 and a new gallery

Moonight WitchesWell, kids, Halloween’s gone and buried a week now.

All that’s left is a faint buttery aroma of stale popcorn and a piece of Grumble rope that I keep forgetting is still hanging in his tree. It’s been a popular topic of conversation as I drive by and say to myself, “I keep forgetting the piece of Grumble rope hanging in that tree.”

Our haunt, aptly titled “Anxiety Gardens at Spooky Hollow”, was a great success in that nobody got electrocuted, wind and rain didn’t cause serious damage, and no vandal was inclined to test the dark figure standing off to the side of the driveway. Silent. Watching. Louisville Slugger hanging indolently from a slack, gloved hand. Did it just twitch?

It only took a week to cram everything back into the garage this year, a personal record. Everything, that is, except the gray monolith of a mausoleum that still stands in the center of the yard. Mrs. Spookyblue has floated the idea of hanging Christmas lights and tinsel, a perfect Santa house, but I’m unconvinced. Maybe if we had a set of three plastic Magi and a camel to stage around it, and crèche for the doorway. To pull off the full effect, the Infant would require, of course, a bulb that blinks.

In any case, your old pal Spook’s been busy. Buried is the better word. But to offset the drudgery of the annual post-holiday cleanup, I’ve been tinkering with the website. We now have a (mostly) working photo gallery embedded into the blog engine. There are a zillion gallery plugins for WordPress, and I didn’t like any of them, so I built my own. WordPress themes are a dark magic, so what better subject to kick things off than our two resident crones Calamity and Infamy?

More pictures of haunt ’09 will be posted this week. After that, it’s time to finally tackle the huge project back-log.