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Halloween Tally

So I went back and checked my work and I carved 18 different pumpkin carvings this year. I had several pumpkins with multiple carvings in them, especially my final Halloween pumpkin which had 4 patterns around it.

2008 Halloween Pumpkins

The total number of pumpkins used for the year was actually 9. That would also be the same number of toilet paper rolls I used. I did make one addition and used a paper towel roll, but it didn’t last very long so I had a backup toilet paper roll at the ready. You really do get some odd looks when you show up at someone’s house carrying a can of gasoline, a pumpkin and toilet paper rolls. It’s either going to be a wild party or no one’s making it out alive.

Side note for all of you out there playing the home version, while the paper towel roll looks pretty cool and does shoot a pretty good flame, it doesn’t last very long at all and you will either need a second roll or more toilet paper if you want to get the full experience.

Around 4 gallons of gasoline were used to soak the paper rolls and propel the flames up to the Gods. I used a 5 gallon gas can and went through most of my supply. One thing to note here, while gasoline is a fair bit cheaper it stinks to high heaven while you’re working with it. And there is also that nagging back of your mind idea that a spark is going to ignite the fumes while the whole thing is sitting in your garage. So while lamp oil doesn’t smell anywhere near as bad and the fumes aren’t going to go off unexpectedly, it costs nearly 2-3 times as much at $9 a gallon. We’ll have to see what gas prices are like next year. You never know, gas may be 5 times more expensive than lamp oil next go round.

Some people suggested I use the Coleman fuel for the pumpkins since it’s supposed to burn white and look really cool. That might be amusing to try once, but since that costs around $12 a gallon, I don’t think I could afford to do it too many times. It sounds pretty neat though.

There was also the idea of combining boric acid and methanol to create a green flame. Either I’m looking in the wrong place or this stuff just isn’t that readily available. I couldn’t find any of these materials at all. Of course this gives me the idea of trying to make colored flames for next year. I will have to look into that and see what I can come up with. It sounds like a pretty fun experiment and now I have a full year to find my chemicals. I’m sure Homeland Security will have no problem with me ordering this stuff.

It was a heck of a month, but I shudder to think how much I actually spent. Quite frankly if I have my way for next year, the bill is going to go up astronomically. I might end up in some sort of rehab if I keep this sort of behavior up.

Flaming_Pumpkins-7_051 All the carvings were pretty impressive and I believe I have now mastered the art of pumpkin lighting. But, out of all of them, I think this one is the most impressive visually. It has some wicked flames coming out of it and it had some great height. There is just something about that trident of fire that looks really cool!

I have plenty of ideas for next year so while Halloween has just passed, I need to start asking around on how I can pull off some of my plans. And I have to figure out how to pay for it all.

Once again, a big tip of the hat to Zombiepumpkins.com for the great carving patterns and to Extremepumpkins.com for the wild ideas and getting the big kids involved in Halloween.

Don’t forget, you can see the entire 2008 pumpkin collection by clicking the link.

Or you can click to go to Webshots and see the collection with larger image sizes.

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Halloween Night Spectacle

I know you’re anxious to hear about my Halloween so let’s get on with all the juicy details and then you can see the spectacular display that my award winning pumpkin put on.

First off, I work for a company that thinks Halloween is a great holiday. In fact, they reward you for wearing costumes and getting into the spirit of things by letting you go home early. Everyone who got dressed up went into the back parking lot and had their picture taken. It was by department and then by grouping of costumes such as Angels and Devils, Villains and Heroes, Thugs and Badasses. Just the comic relief of that alone was worth getting into a costume. My costume was very simplistic – a chef; a chef who served up flaming pumpkin pie, but a chef none-the-less. It was simple and straightforward, but I needed something I could wear and still take pictures with as well as light pumpkins on fire. I was stylish yet fully functional.

There was also a pumpkin carving contest. Clearly this had my name all over it. My offering was a 30lbs behemoth with 4 different faces carved into it – Jason, Scream, Michael Meyers and the Reaching Hands. Yeah I know I should have carved Freddie, but there simply wasn’t room.

In a surprising turn of events, I won the contest. A big thank you to Zombiepumpkins.com for the templates I used to take home the prize. So I get bragging rights for winning the first pumpkin carving contest the company held.

After getting out of work early (2:30pm) I got my son and we carved some more pumpkins for the night’s festivities. You can’t really have a Halloween without carving a pumpkin on the day now can you? We hacked and slashed our way through two more carvings and prepared for the little treaters.

The night was going to get hot as I planned on setting my winning pumpkin ablaze with a new idea of using a paper towel roll. There was also the added excitement of fireworks. The big crackers are legal in this state and we had several on hand to raise the dead and test the structural integrity of the pumpkin walls.

Halloween Flaming Pumpkin We did manage to light up the night with my pumpkin and it was a stunning display. The flame was massive with flames shooting out the side. I actually did this one for a crowd of friends and it left them speechless and looking for cover.

We only managed to get a few of the fireworks off before some lameass called the cops who told us we needed to knock it off. It was 11pm on Halloween! Who the hell calls the cops? Needless to say we were extremely disappointed. We had well over $150 worth of gunpowder at the ready and now we were being told to stop. Strangely the officer said nothing about the cauldron of fire in the middle of the backyard so I guess it’s all good.

It’s been one heck of a month. I’ve lost count of the number of pumpkins I’ve carved so far. It’s probably pretty close to 20, but I will need to count to find out. I have pictures of all of them so I can go back and see what I’ve done.

So anyway, enjoy the photos and let me know what you think. I already have new ideas for next year. It’s my goal to combine pumpkin burning with the chemistry of fireworks. We’ll see what I can put together before next year.

If you want to see larger versions of the photos which can be used for desktop wallpaper and the like, you check out my Halloween gallery at Webshots.


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This is your pumpkin, ON FIRE!!

Demented Clown Flaming Pumpkin The night was awash in the silken glow of orange as it gently illuminated my delicate pumpkin carving. A faint glimmer of light that cast soft shadows all around.

Then I added gasoline!

Here we are with my latest batch of diabolical creations! With the help of my son I helped two more pumpkins fulfill their ultimate Halloween destiny and sent their orange little souls to the great pumpkin patch in the sky.

This weekend’s creations were Dementia The Clown and The Immortal. They were actually pretty intricate carvings and each took almost two hours to carve and complete. However, they look pretty darn cool. But I have to say that the more time I spend carving the less time they last under the big flame. The heat and flame rips right through the delicate parts the face starts to come apart within a couple of minutes.

The Immortal Flaming Pumpkin Obviously you aren’t supposed to expose your carvings to the conditions and torture I do, but I figure if decide to play along I just wanted to let you know what you’re in for.

The results were unusual to say the least, some of the shots look just plain bizarre. The flames seem to be shooting off in all directions including right through the face. I have to admit this is the first time I’ve used actual gasoline for the fuel source. I much prefer the lamp oil, but at $7.99 a gallon versus $2.40 a gallon, the budget dictates we cut back on costs of these little luxury items, especially when you consider just how many pumpkins meet their maker at my hands.

The Immortal Flaming Pumpkin But anyway, check out the photo gallery, there are some great pictures in this batch. Halloween is only 4 days away and I have to come up with my big finale. I’m not sure if I should go with a big finale like I did last year and set off multiple pumpkins at a time or try to come up with some intricate design in a huge pumpkin. I might have some visitors coming over that night and they may be bringing their own pumpkins so there is still much to plan and plot. Either way, it should be pretty cool.

Of course there is that tinge of sadness since I only get to do this one more time for the year then I have to put it away until 2009.

This is your pumpkin.
This is your pumpkin, ON FIRE!!

If you want to see bigger versions of these pictures you can check out my gallery on Webshots. The images for this set are 1600×1200.

Flaming Pumpkin Photo Gallery

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The Dark Church

church at night with ornage glow What started as taking some long exposures of a church at night turned into some amusingly eerie photos. I was simply trying to get the details of the church, but the streets lights ended up casting an interesting red color over the building and the clouds began to move in. When you combine this with nearly a full moon it makes for some very interesting photos.

long exposure of church at night This is a beautiful church built before the 1900’s with a weathered façade, wonderful stained glass and carefully carved statues both around the grounds and nestled within the alcoves. It was a bit of a brisk night, but when I started out it was bright with the full moon. The church was reasonably well lit so it seemed like a fun experiment to try and photograph it. The sodium lamps immediately gave an unusual orange tint to the church. Plus, right when I started scattered clouds started to appear and moon became obscured. These weren’t meant to be Halloween shots, but everything came together and made them that way on their own. The tower of the church took on an almost ghostly appearance and the normally white statues began to feel a little more haunting. I ended up having a lot more fun taking pictures than I’d imagined. It turned out to be a completely different experience.

You can have a look at the full array of pictures in the photo gallery.

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