Monday, October 31, 2016

Happy Halloween!!

Trick or treat, y'all.  






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Saturday, October 22, 2016

A piece of time

Some years ago, in order to avoid long distance phone charges, I introduced my Mom and Dad to Yahoo Messenger.  It was an easy way to keep in touch with out the calls.  I could send pictures of the kids and easily ask a quick question or send a message that I was on my way, etc.

It dawned on me a few weeks ago that I had saved my Yahoo Messenger history.  It was two laptops ago, but I just knew I had the files somewhere.  I looked and looked, checking drive after drive.  I was beginning to think all was lost, until I stumbled upon some hidden files in a 'picture' folder of all places.  I tried installing an older version of Yahoo Messenger because newer versions do not support the old history.  No go.  I searched to see if there was something to unlock these files and ran across Yahoo Messenger Archive Decoder.  A download later and bit of copying and pasting, bingo.

There it was - a little over two years of daily back and forth conversations with my Dad.  Thousands of lines like a piece of him frozen in time.

It seems fitting today, the fifth anniversary of my Dad's death, to revisit those conversations.  Relive the moments when we used to chat every day about the kids, the weather, etc.   It's like I can "hear" him again.  As mundane as they are, they are treasures to me now.  His witty jokes are just as "funny" and I laughed through the hurt. Many jokes about Buddy (the dog) and lots of funnies from the kids.  I can just feel the memory of him sitting at the computer desk in the kitchen, typing away on the other side of the screen.  He's wearing a button down plaid shirt.  "Old man" flat front pants.  The shoes.  Definitely The Shoes.  And Buddy is whining at his feet.

The last messages are about his doctor's visit and blood work. Then came a Saturday and my Dad was feeling particularly tired.

melliemelo (10:44:01): how are you feeling today?
jack (10:57:38): Not good. Having trouble waking up so spending most of the time in bed.
melliemelo (10:59:04): do you want us to go over there today?
melliemelo (11:01:47): we'll go after i feed the kids. need me to bring anything? lunch?
jack (11:02:03): Guess not. Not anything you could do.
melliemelo (11:03:36): we can go for a little while & look after buddy if nothing else
jack (11:03:58): I've got some small frozen pezzas in the freezer and tv dinners. might eat one of those if I get hungry.
jack (11:04:13): OK.
melliemelo (11:36:59): almost ready. dont worry about the gate i'll open it when we get there

Then, nothing.  There were to be no more messages. The story of a life written via Yahoo Messenger ends with out an ending.  Just weeks later my Dad fell forever silent.

Thinking of you, Dad, today and always.




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Friday, October 14, 2016

The horror of family photos

Today's Halloween post is about the frightening event of taking pictures.  Family pictures.  We recently returned from a long weekend get-away to the beach in Gulf Shores, Alabama.  The scariest thing we did while there was make an attempt at family pictures.  I always take our pictures myself with a tripod and my camera's timer.  The camera will take ten shots back to back so it's just a matter of me pushing a button then dashing to pose with the family.  Part of the reasoning behind this is pictures are expensive and the point of having a Canon Rebel is to use it. The only problem is I cannot see what everyone else is doing until I look at the pictures later....

Hence, the other reason I do not wish to pay big bucks for photos is this:




What. are. you. doing?

Oh. that. 

My youngest is sweet, beautiful, and so smart.  Something about staring into a camera lens brings out the sillies in Veronica in worst possible way.  It took yelling and threats and bribing to get her to stand still and smile.   I took around 500 pictures - yes FIVE hundred - and a handful of them are decent.   For those, I am thankful.  The rest is pure entertainment.

The struggle is real, y'all.

This kid has spunk.  This kid has her own way of doing everything.  Her mind is made up and that is how things will be.  She is definitely colorful to say the least.  I wouldn't change a thing about my funny little firecracker.










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Thursday, October 13, 2016

Killer Clowns from (insert town)

Apparently the states are crawling with killer clowns.

It's true, I saw it on Facebook.

There are groups of clowns going around trying to capture people.  Some clowns have machetes.  Some have knives, big knives. Some have baseball bats.  There'a tan SUV that drives around with no lights on and when it stops, it's dropping off a clown.  Before the cops get there, the SUV picks them all up and they drive away.  The clowns come out at 9pm every night, so you should stay inside.  Yes, random killer clown sightings are happening all over.  Yes, even where you live, even though I have no idea where that is, the clowns are coming for you.

 *rolls eyes*

Seriously, people?

I can't fathom that so many people believe there are gangs of clowns roaming the streets looking for victims.  From reading through the comments on FB, so many believe this and will shoot a clown on sight.  Um, it's a person in a clown mask.  A "clown" isn't a foreign species.  Putting on a clown getup doesn't turn you into a crazy, deranged killer.  If it were true, if anything, I'd think being in a CLOWN costume would make it that much more obvious and easier to catch.  It's the freaks in plain clothes that hide in plain sight that you need to worry about.  Not some kid in a Halloween costume.  I'm not saying it's not happening at all, but most likely it's a copy-cat trying to be funny....  like:

The cops here just picked up a couple of teenage boys for riding around in a truck with a clown mask.  They weren't doing a thing except riding down the street.  They weren't trespassing.  They weren't stealing or vandalizing anything.  Just kids being kids riding around.  Supposedly there's a law from the 1920s that was created in regards to the KKK that made it "illegal" to wear a mask except on Halloween and Mardi Gras.  I do not know of anyone ever picked up by the cops for wearing a Halloween mask.

I guess it's easier to believe something absurd than to think rational.

In the mean time, Homie don't play dat!


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Thursday, October 06, 2016

Bayou Blue Dancing Lights

We've had our Halloween show up for a few weeks now.  We purchased a second Light-o-rama controller and some RGB floodlights months ago.  Clint re-made the singing pumpkin face with rope lights and built dancing pumpkin arches out of trick or treat buckets.  Last year was a much smaller show as a test run to see how it all worked.  This year, it's bigger and better!  Clint tweaked the sequences a bit and he hopes to add a few more songs before Halloween.  Time is everything because CHRISTMAS is right around the corner, and in just a few weeks, it's time to start setting it up.  He has to basically re-do all of our sequences to include the new channels. I have a general understanding of how to build a sequence, but I've never sat down and tried to figure out how to do one.  We definitely have no shortage of lights. Last year we shopped the clearance sales and OH the lights we bought.  I happened upon Target's 90% off sale, and I got nearly $400 of stuff for $40.

Anyway, here a few pics and video clips of our Halloween handiwork.  You can find us on Facebook as well :  Bayou Blue Dancing Lights
































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Saturday, October 01, 2016

Welcome, foolish mortals!

Welcome, foolish mortals, to the Haunted Mansion.  I am your host, your GHOST host.  Kindly step all the way in please and make room for everyone.  There's no turning back now....




If you've been around for a while, you know that we are Disney vacation fans.  We try to go almost every year, and usually right when we get home, we tentatively plan for the next trip.  My favorite ride of all is the Haunted Mansion.  I just love how it is spooky but not scary.  It's so detailed that you notice something different each time you ride it.  Online there are all sorts of stories and webpages devoted to the Haunted Mansion.  Even through it's very dark, there are cameras everywhere so everything you do is on surveillance. People have even sprinkled their loved ones' ashes in there, which is probably not a good idea since they are just vacuumed up!

I first rode it back in 1974 when I was just four years old.  I loved scary things - movies especially.  The Haunted Mansion was scary to little me, and I hid my face on my Dad's shoulder almost the entire ride!  The only scene I remember looking up for was the Ballroom.  I don't recall riding it on my next two visits at ages 10 and 17, but I'm sure we did.  When I went to Disney with a boyfriend and another couple in the mid 90s, I wanted to ride it so bad.  I remember saying a few times I couldn't wait to go in the haunted house.  We got in the Haunted Mansion line and the other girl said the line was too long to wait, so we didn't ride it at all.  I was bummed.  It's a must do on our trips and I try to ride it several times!  Veronica still thinks it is too dark and scary, but Valerie happily tags along and it's one of her favorites now too.





Happy October aka Halloween month!  Today is also the first day of Horrordailies, so welcome new visitors!
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