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We're getting ready for our fall “halloween show.

So that's' pretty much everything that's going on around here. We sometimes talk about how it seems as though everyone has seen everything. Every month or two, there is a new epic series. A new movie hits any number of countless streaming services. Side note that you can skip:

(I mean, really... you could skip it all. Most do.)

Remember when there was Netflix and that's about it? And seemingly everything was on it? And

then everyone got tricked into paying for “just one more” streaming service until we find ourselves in a position that IF we want to watch “Saturn 3” we need to sign up for the “Saturn 3 streaming app that is a low monthly fee when you sign up for Hulo Live as part of your Pigeon Gold package under HBO Max Supreme. I don't need to solve the world's problems, BUT this would all be better if we just agreed on one platform. Like just a dumping pool for media. Something like YouTube, for example. Everything from major studios to dips like me

posting filler content for unread blogs. And there are ads. So content is free. OR you can subscribe for a fee and have ad free content. And when a movie gets viewed, a solid portion of that ad or subscription money goes to that content creator. There is too much TV and nearly

everyone seems to watch literally every single moment of content dumped into it. I don't think I'm better because I don't watch much TV. I sometimes feel left out because I'm pretty sure I still haven't “finished” Dexter and have very little sense of how thrilling a zombie can be when you name it a “white walker.” I'm not better. I just don't understand where people get the time. It must be HOURS every day of staring at a screen. So... what else can people do with their time if TVs are left off? Well, you could hack a broken fake fireplace log so that it is under computer control and build a bunch of tiny, gothic-ish mini chandeliers, of course. So again... we're working on the upcoming “Halloween show” and decided that we needed a few accent lights and that it would be great if there was an occasional fake fire in the real fireplace. For the lights, we wanted the hanging type. Like string lights. There are many varieties. None that really say “somewhat creepy, a little 'gothy,' and fully unique” enough for our needs. So we'll make some. I encourage more people to take time to make the exact thing they want, instead of just getting kinda close through an Amazon order. Lots of unique things just need a bit of hot glue, some random scraps, and a bit of ingenuity. We have a talking raven... so why not some hanging lights that have a bit of “raven claw” influence? Sure.

So I DID wind up ordering from Amazon. Some light sockets and some flicker bulbs. Used super sculpey to form the claws. While those baked in the oven, I grabbed an old, broken, fake log heater from the basement and tore into it. It would be neat to have this “fire” glowing in the fireplace once-in-awhile during the show. There is a remote control for the log... somewhere. But then the digital readout on the front of the log would light up with a loud “beep” and maybe the heater would turn on too or something... so I tore into the thing. What's inside a fake fire log? A twirling rod with shiny, flame-shaped metal bits that reflect flame-shaped light out the back to shine on the wall and towards the front to glow through the plastic log. Also, a bright LED. Usually they work. This one doesn't. So I tore into a silly disco light police beacon thing that I've never used and don't know why I have. I took the LED lights from that, crudely shoved them into the log, and bam... fixed! Sort of. I also cut the wires from the digital controller to the motor that turns the shiny bits and ran them out the back with a plug on the end. So NOW I have a log that turns on, lights up, and makes nice, moving flame effects when plugged in WITHOUT making any heat or beeping sounds. More importantly, it can now be plugged into a DMX controller. (that's the type of control signal theatrical lights are controlled by. It's similar to MIDI, in a way... which is the control signal used by electronic music instruments.) Log hacked. Check. Sculpey claws now out of the over and cooled and get a coat of black paint, then dry brush of copper, antique gold, and brilliant gold. Glue on some cheap, plastic Mardi Gras beads, and they look perfectly creepy and gothy. With the flicker bulbs they look like little lanterns which I can also control, by plugging them into a DMX controller.

Now instead of having chowed some sort of salty chip snack and vacantly binging "Criminal

Murder Hunter," I'm going to bed feeling like I finished a couple of little bonus projects... after eating a few chips... in bed. As is often the case with "show stuff," these are a couple of little details that will likely go unnoticed by most of our guests. I could have watched a couple episodes of Rings of Dragonland or Star Bounty Helmet Man.

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