Halloweek comes to a close.

I had intended to find a pilot costume this week, and then wear it to work today and talk to everyone, co-worker and customer alike, through the phone intercom system.

"Ladies & Gentlemen, from the flight deck..."

However, trying to locate a specific costume, without really trying, the week of Halloween is tricky. This morning on my way to work, while buying MORE Halloween candy, I found this gem for 99¢.

Frankenlex (or Nerdenstein)

Unfortunately it was harder to wear at work, so I spent most of the day like this...

Identity revealed

...BUT once I got home I completed the look in order to hand out the candybeans!


Cheap, but oh so effective! Kids of certain age and most parents appreciated the effort, but there were kid comments including "That's just a guy!", "He's just in a mask!", and my personal favorite, "That's just Frankenstein!", like the Creature is just her cousin or something. Poor jaded youth of today.

Have you met my lovely wife?


We had quite a few visitors, some of questionable age for trick or treating in our opinions, but everyone seemed to be having a good time, and we got rid of all our candy! Not really a goal, but I like it when there are that many kids out for Halloween. We did not see this costume represented, unfortunately...


I'm not sure if the two babies pictured represent the size "range" that this costume will fit, or if there is some sort of Good Vader/Bad Vader choice to make. "Just for once, let me look on you with my BABY EYES!"

Speaking of spooky, there was a tricky frost face on my Subaru this morning.

the face in the frost

One definite eye, one sorta eye, and a pretty definite nose.

On an unrelated note, other than the fact that it's gonna be a treat, I finally tracked down a bottle of Lillet Blanc, in order to properly make Vesper martinis.


I had previously forgotten the origin story that I had heard, which involves James Bond inventing the drink. I just thought they were damn tasty.

And on that note, having enjoyed a Dogfish Punkin' beer, the candy gone, we salute you Halloween, and send you back to the grave for another year.

a final salute to the candybeans


Pumpkintown U.S.A., (or Halloweek Part 2, the Pumpkining)

On the way to our graves on Sunday, we passed a curious roadside spectacle labeled PUMPKINTOWN U.S.A.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

We decided right then and there we would return later in the day to purchase our pumpkins, and so we did. I parked the wagon in the busy parking lot and we crossed the street to Paul's & Sandy's Too, home to Pumpkintown U.S.A. We began with the Pumpkintown Saloon.

Pumpkintown Saloon

There was a clearly inebriated pumpkin outside, but the interior was truly terrifying. Like abductee warehouse terrifying.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

Pumpkintown Saloon IS terrifying

And as is so often the case, I went right from the Saloon to the Jail.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

Thankfully I was released in time for the wedding.

Pumpkintown Wedding

One of my favorites was this one, but only because of the added touch of the nametags.

Pumpkin Gothic

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

My true favorite, though was the gourd bird.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

I also found out how tall I am this fall. 6 feet, just like last year. Sigh.

How tall this fall?

We found our way out of Pumpkintown U.S.A. and to the for real for sale pumpkins, chose two winners and crossed back over to the parking side of the street, where the TWO superfine pumpkinmobiles were parked. There was a "if this pumpkin's rockin', don't bother knockin'" model...


...and a more wholesome, good ol' convertible K-car...

Pumpkintown U.S.A.

We did also secure two plastic pumpkin-sipper-heads full of pumpkin hooch. Well, ok, it was chilled cider. But it was delicious all the way home.


SOMEONE who shall remain nameless

Our stylish host
(might be Chocolate Factory Depp + Blow Depp + Donnie Brasco Depp, but I'm not sure)

invited us over for a pumpkin carving party, so we brought our pumpkins...

Ready. Set.

...took the knives to 'em...


...and gutted 'em...


...and we ended up with an angry Hercule Poirot pumpkin (HASTINGS!)..

Val's Hercule Poirot Pumpkin

...and my toothy pumpkin...

toothy grin

...which may have been influenced by my viewing of the original Japanese Gojira (Godzilla) movie on Saturday. THANKS RUSSELL LIBRARY and your amazing collection!



Halloweek begins

...with a bang! Or at least a full Sunday of Halloween-themed adventure. Starting right after breakfast at noon, we headed east to the Old Burying Grounds of Norwichtown, CT, which features many headstones carved by my great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-uncle Obadiah Wheeler.

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

We have a book that lists many of the names on Wheeler-carved stones, so we walked around a bit until we saw some that looked like Obadiah's style, checked the names in the book, and we were off. Let the documentation commence!

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

There were also quite a few footstones, which you may or may not be familiar with, but were often paired with headstones.

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

Occasionally, they were about as large as the headstones as well.

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

There were other notable early CT carvers, this one I especially like, even though there are no decorative elements.

Norwichtown, CT old burial grounds

On a side note, be careful out there! Nerf™ bowhunting season has officially opened in Connecticut, anywhere and anyone is fair game.

Open Season

Regular readers of this blog may recall our first excursion to see Mr. Wheeler's handiwork in person at Trumbull Cemetery, over in Lebanon, CT. This was a very satisfying experience, and after my acquisition of the article "The Colonial gravestone carvings of Obadiah Wheeler" (by James A. Slater & Ernest Caulfield, photographs by Daniel Farber) from the American Antiquarian Society Proceedings of 1974, we had a listing of locations, names on headstones, and a history of the Obadiahstyle.

The Norwichtown site was fantastic, but daylight was still very much on our side so we proceeded next to Windham Center, for another attempt at finding Wheeler stones. SUCCESS!

Windham Center, CT

Windham Center, CT

Windham Center, CT

Windham Center, CT

Windham Center, CT

Windham Center, CT

That's the end to part one of Halloweek Sunday. Coming tomorrow, part two, PUMPKINTOWN U.S.A. Seriously.

Pumpkintown U.S.A.


And then September was over...

...and I almost missed October. But here we are. And we were...

1) In San Jose for Jeneric's wedding, eating eel croissants,

eel croissant

driving a 'stang,


touring the Winchester Mystery House,


even attending the wedding,

and they're off!

and having Sunday brunch with 88.8% of the Bajuniemis in the world,


as well as visiting Larson Family winery (no relation),

Larson Family Winery

back through the headlands and across the bridge,

Golden Gate

to discover the magic that is the Vesper Martini, in Palo Alto.

Lillet Blanc

2) Returning to New England, with noble ambitions of hiking and fresh air, we instead buy cheese and wine and chillax in the back yard,

Heather gets into it

the cheese was excellent,

cheese plate

and the views weren't bad.

view from the backyard

We did end up hiking a short trail the following day, where we saw all kinds of great stuff.


small falls





wood mouse

3) I ate this.

The Fatty Melt

It's called a "Fatty Melt" and it consists of a hamburger between two grilled cheese sandwiches. Delicious.

4) This past weekend we attended the New York State Sheep & Wool Festival for the third year in a row, and we saw Maggie Gyllenhaal and her daughter there. Here they are enjoying the fine art of a yo-yo master at work. That dude was yo-yo serious.

Mr. Yo-yo & the Gyllenhaals

the yo-yo case

It was a perfect fall day for wearing some wooly items and walking around outside looking at wooly items. Some of which looked back.

angry sheep

Lisa's boyfriend

I call that last one "Son of Kenny G". Terrifying.

5) I think you're all caught up now.