Monday, September 27, 2021

When Wars Have Changes

 


This Post accidentally got moved up in Scheduling because I Published it by Accident and you can't then change it to a Future Date once it's been Published.  I didn't know how to undo that faux pas and potentially lose the whole Post... so... here we are!    I had to move my other Pre-Scheduled Posts back another Day each so they're now not in Order.   Well... SHIT!  Sunday it Rained the entire Day!  That's unusual, even during Monsoon Season, to have almost 24 Hours or more of constant Rain... and it's still Raining Tonight and the Skies are still Grey and clearly laden with more precipitation to dump!   We need the Rain, since we've endured Two Years of Drought, but if it Rains too much, it will cause Flooding, so we don't need THAT extreme either!  My Pasture is so Green tho' from a full Day's worth of constant Rain!




Our Pool Guy informed us there was a Wasp's Nest in the Pool House.  So T.J. told us to get some Wasp Bug Killer Sprays and he'd take care of it for us, which he did on Sunday.  The Pool Guy comes on Mondays, so now the Nests are killed off and I removed them to keep for a sealed Naturalist Jar.  They were Smallish, not a big Hive, but we had been seeing Wasps coming to drink on the surface of the Pool so knew a Nest was somewhere nearby.  I'm allergic to Stinging Creatures like Bees, Wasps, Hornets, so I don't need them around and take the risk either.




I was actually quite shocked when I got stung by a Scorpion last Year and didn't have a really Bad Allergic Reaction.   Sure, it hurt like Hell and swelled up, but I didn't get even a little bit Sick from it nor did I nearly Die and need to go to the ER either.   Who knew?  Different kind of Venom I suppose, one would think Scorpion Venom would be stronger, so I kind of panicked when one stung me.  Not to mention I sat on the damned thing so it stung me just about on the Ass on my Upper Back Thigh, so that was embarrassing!  *LOL*   And Yes, I Killed the 'lil Fucker, chopped it in half!   We get a lot of those potent little Blonde ones that blend in with their surroundings so well they're hard to see.




Of coarse, if a 200+ Lb. Human sat on me, if I was the size of a Cricket and had Venom as a line of defense, I'd probably sting them in the Ass too!  *LOL*  I do understand Scorpions have their place in Nature and haven't required much Evolution to be highly effective Predators, but I don't like them, especially around our Home!  I've thought about getting a couple Chickens just to keep them in check since they will eat Scorpions.  Our Outside Working Cat, Miss Priss, liked Hunting and eating them, so when she Died we ended up with more than usual.  Eli is an Inside Only Non-Working Cat, so we don't know how effective a Hunter he'd be?  Miss Priss got stung often and never got Sick from it, even in Old Age.




Anyway, The Man found and killed one in the Hallway the other Night, so then that Evening he, Anna and T.J. went out with their Black Lights Scorpion Hunting.  They found several near one of our Big Pine Trees and Killed a couple Dozen.  So, we'll have to tell our Exterminator it's a problem, mostly Outside, but if only a couple get Inside, that's too many!  Especially since they Hunt and are most active at Night when the House is in Darkness and you'd be Sleeping.




Our Antique Mall locations had a Weekend Sale, so I was Hopeful Sales would be Strong, but I did better on Non-Sale Days than I have for this Sale, it was Slow and Sales were Soft.   Other Vendors at our Location told me it was for them too, especially at our Location turnout was low, the Downtown Phoenix Location was busier, much busier.   The Man and I visited both Locations on Sunday, the differences in Crowd size were noticeable.  Our Location seemed dead by comparison to theirs having long checkout lines and plenty of Shoppers.




I brought some fresh Inventory in anyway, mostly the Vintage Alfred Hitchcock Series of Books to put into my meager Halloween Display, which is pitifully small.   I've noticed that at Craft and Big Box Stores tho', their Halloween Inventory is pitifully Small too tho', they're just having Supply Chain Issues that are quite evident, so shelves are bare in the Seasonal Decor Aisles.   The advantage that is giving the Indie Shops and Vendors is not gonna do any good if we don't have the Inventory to Sell either tho'.   At both Antique Mall Locations, Halloween offerings were scarce.



 

And for me anyway, most of what is Selling right now is Vintage and Collectible Toys and not a whole lot else really.   People are either spending Money on their Kids more or the Kiddos have decided to spend their Allowances freely while in Pandemic Mode.   Princess T said it's becoz they're already telling them at School it's very likely they will shut In-Person Classes down again soon, due to massive Outbreaks already happening.  Splendid!  I HATED Pandemic Home Schooling, it did not work for our Student or for us, and she fell way behind and only caught up by going to Summer School and having no Summer Vacay Break from Schooling.  She improved once they were back to In-Person Learning.




Watching her, Grandpa and I trying to Deal with Pandemic Home Schooling was like watching the Three Stooges!   I'm not even sure which Stooge I was portraying, but probably Moe, since he was always the Angry one whose personality was domineering, bossy and decisive, Yeah, that would be me, but I have better Hair.  *LOL*   Tho' I don't enjoy still having a Kiddo in School at our Advanced Ages at all, her actually attending In-Person Classes is better for all of us... probably for the majority of Students actually.  I got enough "Jobs" to do around here without adding unpaid, untrained "Home Teacher" to the resume!  I know my Skill Set and Strengths, Teaching Kids ain't one of 'em, Clearly!  Trying to do that while juggling Caregiving and doing everything else I need and have to do, was too much.




With her IN School, she's not only doing better and getting better Grades and not so Socially Isolated, but The Man and I have time to do what we want or need to during her School Day.   So, we'll see how it all shakes out, after the entire Girl's Volleyball Team came down with COVID and had to go into Quarantine, they also had a Bomb Threat via the Internet, so this past Week was really Hairy and unnerving!  You want to know your Children are Safe, I don't want to send a Child into an Unsafe Environment ever.



Anyway, Sunday Night was the 2nd Installment of the new "Halloween Wars".  I've watched it for all previous 10 Seasons, this is Season 11 with a LOT of changes.   Change can be Good, I'm not so sure the Changes to this Show are tho', but I was giving it a chance... since I did like the Awesome Creation of the Creepy Doll that the first Winning Team had made on the initial Showdown of Four Teams vying to get into the Competition.   I was disappointed there are no Pumpkin Carvers this Season, just the Cake and Candy Artists.  And NO, that's not Enough after you've had 10 Seasons of Master Pumpkin Carvers joining on Teams with Cake and Candy Artists, which were always my personal Favorite Artists and differentiated this Show from all the rest of the Seasonal Food Channel Competitions.



The Kitchen and Set are far Superior this Season, so those Visuals are more Interesting and better, so that was a Plus.   Zak Bagans isn't as corny as the original Hosts, which is nice, but then again, he's not actually there either.  He's virtually present part of the time via flickering TV Screen Monitors and is broadcasting from his Haunted Attraction in Vegas, which is being promoted a lot. Along with his Show, "Ghost Adventurers", which I'm okay with the shameless plugs, just would rather he show up for some Episodes if he's the Host.   Seems a copout for him to never actually BE there.

 

They don't have the "Small Scare" first anymore to Win an 'Advantage', just the Main Creation they have Seven Hours to Create and be judged on.   There are no Guest Judges anymore, just the same Three all of the time. I kinda liked having Guest Judges, even tho' I do like all Three Judges they have this Season.   The quality of the Work, for this Creepy Doll, was as exemplary as previous Winners of any other Season, so I was duly Impressed with their Team.  But then, after that, I must say the quality of the Work for other Teams fell quite flat and has been inferior to previous Competitors.   Not just in execution, but in size, some are actually the size of a Cake... in previous Seasons, except for the Small Scare, where they only got 45 Minutes to Create it, most Main Creations were damned near Lifesize!

 


Creepy Doll not only had size, but execution was flawless, it was not close, to me it was Hands Down a sure Winner.   So, it wasn't much of an even Competition in Round One between the First Four competing to get into the Main Competition for the Prize Money.  I was Hopeful that the next Four in this 2nd Installment would be more evenly matched.   Well, they weren't... I knew immediately who would Win... and they did.    One Team's execution was the quality of an Amateur Baker IMO... another Team had a great Face on their Main Character but didn't finish nor be able to add the required Surprise Twist they were given... so their Work was incomplete and that got them eliminated.



The 3rd Team's Cake was as small as a Regular Cake and for half the Competition they were a Gal short, who was their Sculpture Specialist, since she almost cut her Finger Off and had to go get Five Stitches!   Well, that was some added Drama, to be sure, when they're yelling to get a Medic and she was Spirited off Set!  She returned before Judging and tho' their Creation was not horrible, compared to those who'd made bigger and more elaborate Creations, a Team not finishing probably Saved their Asses.  The Amateur looking Team's too, since I didn't like their Creation at all, it didn't look like Professionals had done the Cake part, tho' their Sugar Artist was fabulous, so his Creations redeemed the failure of the others to measure up.



So, here's the Winning Team's Creation, which was an Awesome Mythical Mexican Serpent Cake, it overshadowed their Main Character, since it was an Addams Family Challenge on Vacation.  Of coarse the new Cartoon Movie coming out got a Shameless Plug, me thinks a lot of Sponsorship for other Programs and Movies is going on here.  *LOL*  This Team got Uncle Fester... but compared to the Serpent Character, the Uncle Fester part of the Creation kinda got Lost, even tho' it was Cute.  The Serpent took Center Stage rather than the Main Character, so you barely noticed Uncle Fester's part in the Display, he got upstaged.  


 


But with what the other Teams put out there tho', the Serpent and Uncle Fester's Vacation to a Pyramid Ruin in Mexico ensured the Victory.   The shame of the Team that failed to complete their Display or put their Twist Element in the Vignette on Time before the Clock ran out, is that their Gomez Creation had the best Face and the best Main Character taking Center Stage.   They had a good Idea, where Gomez was to be Fencing with a Kracken surrounded by Stalactites... but when Gomez ended up with no Hands, no Sword, no Twist Element that made it to the Table either... and his Outfit was not finished... well, his Face and a Cool Kracken weren't Saving them from the obvious stuff lacking... a LOT wasn't finished, too much!



I guess Social Media is blowing up with Fans of the Show airing their disappointment at the Changes and the Pumpkin Carvers being eliminated.  The Prize Money is half what is used to be so perhaps Budget Constraints have played a role, I dunno?   People liked the Surprise Guest Judge each Week too and many liked having a Live Host even if they are a Fan of Bagans.  I would have to be in Agreement with the majority of complaints about the Changes, since it doesn't distinguish this Show now from all the other Halloween Baking Shows.  Without the Pumpkins and expert Carvers of them, it really is just another Baking Show now among many.



And to give you some Scale of the Creations this Season versus the size of previous Creations for the past Decade, I've included a couple of my previous Favorites that I Photographed on recent Reruns of the previous Seasons.   They used to take up an entire Stage area to Display, now they're on a Bistro Size Table... there's just no comparison... and there's no Pumpkins added either.  What used to Wow me before was the often seamless melding of Cake Artistry, Sugar Artistry and Pumpkin Sculpting, where you could hardly tell where one left off and another began.

  


Here was an all time Fav Winner, these were literally Lifesize and suspended in the Air on Meat Hooks!   Can you even tell what is Cake, what is Pumpkin and what is Sugar Work?   Me either... it's so seamlessly melded and flawlessly executed, the Skill level is off the Hook.   And the thing is, tho' they Won, the other Teams were so damned good too in previous Seasons, that it was Rare that I always picked the Winner or that any one Team won so easily.  It was stiff competition and it would have been difficult to be a Judge because all the Creations were usually Top Shelf!   I can't remember anyone NOT finishing either, tho' sometimes it was a Nail Biter, they got the job done.



And they used to have to include a Tasting Element, now that has been done away with too and the Judges just taste the Cakes.   If this Show expects to be around for a Season 12, they may have to rethink their Strategy and listen to the devoted Fans of this Show or they'll end up losing a lot of us.   I know I'm eager to see some more, hopeful things will improve and it will hold my Interest.   There are some Positive Changes, keep the present Set for instance... but I truly do Miss a lot of the way it USED to be... and if something ain't broke, don't fix it!   So, anyway that's my Amateur Critique of the new Season Two Episodes in... but seems a lot of other Fans share in my disappointment.  Why couldn't they just leave a Good Thing alone?

 


When a Show gets better you might be all in with Changes... but when the Changes don't enhance the Show, then it's probably not Wise to keep those Changes that nobody much likes.  Likely it will be a Jump The Shark moment for the Show.   As has happened with many Popular Shows that had good and long runs and then went to the Outer Limits with their Changes, putting a Death Knell on the Show as Fans fell away.   Even Locally some Events have done that as their Popularity Soared and then they started Charging a Fortune, thinking people would just pay whatever outrageous amount they demanded.   We didn't, the Events bombed and folded up.  You can't take your Target Audience for Granted or Exploit them. 

 


When you've set the Bar so high for so long, you can't then just lower it and expect anyone to be okay with that.   I think a lot of Bars for a lot of things has been lowered to abysmal Standards now, so we don't want that to happen to everything we once cherished, valued or liked, you know?  I'm kind of fed up with lowered Standards and the expectation we'll just have to be Okay with them.  So my tolerance for acceptance of lowered Standards is nonexistent now, it really is.  Whether it's a mere TV Show, people's Behavior and Intellectual capacity deteriorating, the Moral Compass and Fabric of Society becoming more and more questionable and devolved, some Politics becoming Proudly corrupt to the point of trying to outright destroy Democracy and suppress the Voices of Voters... I'm intolerant of it ALL right now.



Anyway, I looked into getting Eli Neutered and unfortunately all the places that do the Surgery conflict with my Grandchild's School Schedule.   No way I could get Eli checked in on time and get her to School on time, so I'm going to have to get more Options.   I probably will not be able to take him to the affordable Spay and Neuter Clinics I've always taken my Cats to and have to opt for some expensive Vet instead that charges way more.   I mean, Vets do the procedure at the Clinics, but make it way more affordable than most Private Practice Vets who do the exact same thing for your Pet.   I've always been pleased with how my Animals fared having their Surgeries at the Clinics.



I'm also Wondering, I have owned a lot of Cats over the Years, so how did I manage before when I was still Raising Kids all those Years too, plus Working full time?   How is it now I have trouble juggling both?   The Clinics are still well within Budget to have the Procedures done, I was Surprised actually that they've kept the Cost down to still being affordable.  Males always being Cheaper than Females, so Eli being a Boy, I knew would be less expensive.   Most Check-Ins are 6:30-7:30 no exceptions, I have to get the Grandchild to School by 7:00... plus then commute with a Cat to where ever I end up taking him, fighting City Rush Hour Morning Traffic.   This is going to be Interesting...



*******

Wish me Luck, I'm gonna Need it... Dawn... The Bohemian

6 comments:

  1. First off what a great idea to repurpose a globe!!!! I too have had the issue of posting a blog by accident. But I could change the date again by going back in and reverting it to draft.

    I have yet to see Halloween Wars but have seen it advertised. I don't know Id like it. I like the old timey Halloween stuff the best and cult classics...never got into the gory end of the holiday décor. I like the old tales....old tales for a old soul for me I guess. But I did finally get in the mood to change my decor to fall touches. When I got out my cotton branches this yesterday, I thought of you, because you were the one to feature them last year from your market trips, and they inspired me to get some. I did arrangements with white flowers, cotton branches, cattails and witch hazel. xoxo

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    1. Your Arrangements sound Divine for Fall, I Love the Cotton Boll Branches, we don't get Snow here so it's the closest thing to evoke the illusion. *LOL* I Loved Halloween Wars and have been a Devoted Fan of the Show since it's inception... and just feel underwhelmed for the first time in over a Decade by this 11th Season and the Changes they made which have not enhanced the Show at all. The quality of Contestants is slipping, they no longer have the Pumpkin Carvers, now it just resembles all the other Holiday Baking Contest Shows. I watch them too, but they previously couldn't hold a Candle to Halloween Wars, so I feel this show lowered it's bar considerably and does not stand out anymore.

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  2. “A COUPLE DOZEN!!!” in the yard. As Anne Marie would have said, “JESUS F___ING CHRIST!!!” I was a little disappointed no one got the Morticia card last night in Halloween Wars, and was surprised the judges didn't like the big wave display.

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    1. I would have liked someone to have drawn the Morticia Card too, or even Wednesday... there's a whole lot that could have been done with either of those Characters. Don't you think the majority of the Teams are weak compared to what we've seen on the Show in the Past? The Wave Display was a great concept but a very small scale... previous Seasons have had massive Displays that blew my Mind, except for the Creepy Doll Winners in the Opening Episode, I was underwhelmed by most of what they took 7 Hours to Create, since previous Contestants did so much more in similar Time constraints and having to carve Pumpkins and a Tasting Element to incorporate into the Displays too. Yeah, a couple Dozen was an Anne Marie exclamation for sure! I sure do Miss her.

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  3. I never felt I could home school my kids, so I'm glad they're adults and I'm not forced into it. I sympathize. If you accidentally publish a post again, revert to draft and put in the date you want to publish it. I've had to do that, obviously. Scorpions! Yuck! I'm glad you didn't get sick from the one that got you.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Several of you have given me that important tip on how to reverse an accidental early Posting so now I know what to do! Yay, I'm an Old Dog learning new Tricks! *winks* I really can't Home School and frankly never imagined nor pretended I could. Being a Custodial Grandparent, I've been out of School longer than most of her School Administration has even been Alive, so everything is different now that they do and deem important for her to learn. How can I assist her when I don't even know what she's doing? Half the time she has to explain the basics to me, like how to get into a Parent Portal... which is a place I still can't and don't even want to get into. *LOL* I'd be working on my RV Garage Tonight, it's Cool enough finally after Dark to, but I just got my Booster this Morning so I don't want to aggravate that Arm. *Dammit!*

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A life touched by God always ends in touching others. - Erwin McManus

I will love the light for it shows me the way, yet I will endure the darkness for it shows me the stars. - Og Mandino (1923-1996)

For creativity to flourish one should try to look at everything as though it were being seen for the first or the last time. - Quote from "A Thousand Paths To Creativity" by David Baird

Is what I'm about to say an improvement on silence? ~ Galen Pearl