October 31, 2006
Halloween 2006

Having had a good experience with it last year, we again gave away full size candies for Halloween.

This year, Zoe and I got our costumes from China. The world is truly flat that we can reach to the other side of the world to get a specific costume.

Zoe is dressed as Hinata Hyuga, I'm dressed as Kakashi Hatake , both from the Naruto TV show, and Mira is dressed as a 1920s Flapper Dancer.

As has become tradition, we kept a detailed record of all the costumes that appeared at Cruft Manor.

Kids Costume
9 Witch
8 Scream Mask
6 Monster Mask
5 Jason Voorhees
5 Nothing (lame...)
5 Power Ranger
4 Baby
4 Bee
4 Cat
4 Little Red Riding Hood
4 Ninja
4 Samurai
4 Spiderman
4 Superman
3 Devil
3 Evil Jester
3 Fairy
3 Knight
3 Snow White
3 The Devil
3 Trash Bag Head
3 Vampire
2 Darth Vader
2 Fireman
2 Girl Fairy
2 Half Angel/Half Devil
2 Normal Kid
2 Penguin
2 Skeleton
2 Spa Lady
2 Zorro
1 A Girl
1 A Guy
1 Adeliene
1 Alien
1 Angel
1 Barney & Betty Rubble
1 Baseball
1 Batgirl
1 Batman
1 Bee from Mexican TV Show
1 Belle
1 Bionicle
1 Buzz Lightyear
1 Chewbacca
1 Clown
1 Confused
1 Corpse Bride
1 Counter Strike Guy
1 Cousin It
1 Cow
1 Cowgirl
1 Crazy Girl
1 Crybaby
1 Dalmatian
1 Dead Fairy
1 Doctor
1 Dog
1 Dora the Explorer
1 Dorothy Gale
1 Eeyore
1 Egyptian Dancer
1 Executive Lady
1 Extreme Sports Dirt Bike Guy
1 Farmer
1 Female Cop
1 Freddie Kruger
1 Gandolf
1 Gangster
1 Ghost
1 Ghoul
1 GI Joe
1 Gothic Fairy
1 Graduate
1 Grecian Goddess
1 Halloween Business Man
1 Harry Potter
1 He doesn't know
1 Heavenly Devil
1 Hobo
1 Hula Girl
1 Ice Princess
1 Incredible Hulk
1 Jailbird
1 Jasmine
1 Johnny Storm
1 Ladybug
1 Laker Cheerleader
1 Leatherface & two victims
1 Mad Hatter
1 Mafioso
1 Mark
1 Mexican
1 Mexican Jedi
1 Military Ninja
1 Mom of cat
1 Monkey
1 Monster
1 Mulan
1 Newspaper
1 Not Scared Girl
1 Nurse
1 Nurse walking dogs dressed as witch and dinosaur
1 Old Lady
1 Osama Bin Laden
1 Pajamas
1 Patrick from Spongebob
1 Pebbles & Bam Bam
1 Pierre the Frenchman
1 Pirate
1 Princess
1 Pumpkin
1 Punk Skull Diva
1 Purple Cow
1 Ragdoll
1 Robot
1 Rocker
1 Sally from Nightmare Before Xmas
1 Singer
1 Skeleton Bride
1 Skull Mother
1 Skull Warrior
1 Sleepover Girl
1 Sleepy Girl
1 Snake Handler
1 Solider
1 Stormtrooper
1 Student
1 Superwoman
1 The Black Knight
1 The Reaper
1 The Tooth Fairy
1 Tiger
1 Tinkerbell
1 Tomato
1 Undead Hobo
1 Undertaker
1 Urkel
1 White haired old chinese guy
1 Wings
1 Winnie the Pooh
1 Wolf
1 Woody
1 Zombie

That's 225 different people that came to our door this year. Compared to 163 last year, that's a significant increase.

The traditional scary costumes still top the list, but as you can see, pretty much every genre is represented. I found it quite fun to ask each child what they were dressed as and hear their response. That baffled look on their face as I hold a full size candy in front of them, waiting for their answer is great.

Posted by michael at 11:52 PM | Comments (1)
Happy Halloween
Posted by michael at 09:38 AM | Comments (3)
October 29, 2006
Jones Soda Limted Edition

A few weeks ago, I was at Target with the girls when we saw these sodas.

Obviously, I bought a four pack of each. It was until this weekend that I had some time to test them out. Jones Soda does of lot of interesting things like letting customers submit photos for printing on bottles to creating limitied edition sodas of various flavors.

This year's Halloween set includes Gruesome Grape, Berried Alive, Candy Corn, and Spider Cider.

Gruesome Grape
Color: Greyish-black
Flavor: Just like grape soda
Comments: Besides the black color, nothing special here

Berried Alive
Color: light whitish-blue
Flavor: blueberry flavor, very sweet with a hint of citrus tang
Comments: Zoe & Mira's favorite of the set

Candy Corn
Color: bright, almost flourescent yellow
Flavor: amazingly like candy corn
Comments: The flavor was dead on and I expected the waxy aftertaste from the real thing. Subtle, not overpowering flavor.

Spider Cider
Color: pale yellowish-orange, almost like iced tea
Flavor: Noticeable apple flavor, but a little overpowered by the sweetness
Comments: While still very sweet, less than the others. Michele and Michael's favorite.

While I was testing and taking pictures, Mira insisted that we 'experiment' with the soda. The experiment was to mix the Candy Corn with Berried Alive.

Experiment Flavor
Color: khahki greenish
Flavor: horrid
Comments: Made Mira happy to see the new color, made me queasy drinking it

Overall, I feel that Jones Soda is making an effort here to do something different than Coke and Pepsi, taking chances with new ideas and flavors in soda pop. We'll continue to buy and try the limited editions as they come out.

So if you want to have some fun this Halloween with the kids and need to give them a little more sugar, head down to Target and pick up four pack or two.

Posted by michael at 10:06 PM | Comments (1)
October 28, 2006

A few tidbits for Loyal Cruft Readers

Space Food Sticks

Eric Lefcowitz, Grand Poobah of the Space Food Sticks Preservation Society writes to tell me that"

Believe it or not the new Space Food Sticks are out! Chocolate and peanut butter. I thought you'd like to know it since your blog alerted so many people to the old (inferior) imported sticks. You nearly ruined me!! Nearly. Just kidding of course. Anyway the ongoing saga of bring back the fabled astro-snack continues at spacefoodsticks.com with vintage TV commercials and all sorts of fun and ephemera. Please alert the masses!

Previously I reviewed Space Food Sticks at Cruft Labs. You can see what the hub bub is about at SpaceFoodSticks.com and even order them for your own space missions.

Vox Launch

I was lucky enough to get into the beta of Vox.com a while ago and have really enjoyed it. Vox made posting videos and photos incredibly simple. I also love the Question of the Day. You can see what I was up to at cruftbox.vox.com.

Vox has now launched and you can join as well. I suggest you go sign up for a Vox account right now! Congrats to Ben, Mena, Anil, and the rest of the SixApart crew on the launch.

Craft Magazine Launch

Today the entire family went to attend the Craft Magazine Launch Party. I had given Michele a copy of Craft and she loved it.

There were stacks of Craft magazines to be had and all kinds of neat stuff including pizza and...

CRAFT CUPCAKES, which made the girls quite happy!

I got a chance to meet and chat with Mark, editor of Make Magazine, and that lead to Michele and Carla, editor of Craft, to look at Michele's felt work and embroidery of 'Toxic Jellyfish'. Here's a close-up of the toxic jellyfish and also the felted skulls.

We had a good time at the launch and Michele even decided to attend Felt Club the next time it rolls around.

Posted by michael at 08:13 PM | Comments (4)
October 15, 2006
Significant Personal Transformation

Many weblogs dwell on the inner thoughts and feelings of individuals, allowing readers a glimpse into the psyche of the writer as they move through life. Cruft has never really been a place to talk about my life in such personal terms, mainly a place for Cruft Labs research and other whimsical thoughts. Prepare yourself for something just a little different here.

Today I write about a significant personal transformation for myself. I've had this issue for years but few knew about it. Only those deep into the subculture could relate to my dilemma. Even my wife was unaware of what was going on. Recently, I've taken the tough steps to rectify the situation and approach normalcy.

Please don't be shocked by what I reveal here, though it may make some of you queasy.

Enough of the preamble, onto the story. It's been a tough three weeks for me, but I'm past the worst of it now.

I'm sure surprising to many, I broke my habit of using 'ASDX' for movement in games and finally switched to 'WASD'.

Yes, I can admit it freely now that I used 'ASDX' for movement in video games for well over five years.

For those not deep into the video game subculture, most people use the traditional 'WASD' to move around.

For some reason, lost in my troubled past, I began using 'ASDX' instead. Oh the trouble it caused...

Imagine my shame at going to E3 and not being about to pwn newbs since the 'WASD' default setting was in place on every game. Sneakily, I would reassign the controls and hope no one would notice my 'problem'. I mentioned it casually to a few co-workers, hoping someone would help and see my pain, but all I got was rolled eyes and few 'Dude, that's just wrong.' comments. At home, my daughters would ask about the keys and I would lie and say, "That's simply the way it is..."


A little over three weeks ago, a corrupted Windows registry led to me deciding to do a clean install of Windows on my desktop. As a result, I had to reinstall my games. I loaded Battlefield 2 and World of Warcraft and was ready to play. It was at this point I mustered all my courage and refused to change the key bindings. Oh, the horror of getting pwned over and over and my fingers tried to learn how to move again. Time and time again, I'd futilely hit the Q and E while getting mowed down. I really wanted to give up and give into the call of 'ASDX'. Instead, I drank a nice glass of scotch to steel my nerves and continued to endure the pain of 'WASD'.

Steadily I kept at it until my very muscles relearned their tasks and I began to pwn again.

Today I feel much more comfortable with my new habits and no longer want to give up and go back to 'ASDX'. To anyone that is trapped in the world of 'ASDX', I can offer hope that you too can get through your issues and find some peace in 'WASD'.

Thanks to you Loyal Cruft Readers for your support as I continue through this significant personal transformation.

Posted by michael at 07:31 PM | Comments (12)
October 06, 2006
Zombie Killing

There is a bit of dispute as to whether a headshot kills a zombie or not.

Please take the poll: Do headshots kill zombies?

Comment as to your reasoning. Linkage to proof is encouraged.

Results can be seen here.

Posted by michael at 04:27 PM | Comments (11)
October 04, 2006
Control-Alt-Children - Cheese Pie

I have been watching several podcasts, including Ctrl-Alt-Chicken. Recently they did a short segment on making Cheese Pie. Go ahead and watch it. This entry won't make a ton of sense if you don't watch it first.

The girls love cheese, so I thought it might be fun to make the Cheese Pie per the Ctrl-Alt-Chicken recipe.

Enjoy the first episode of Control-Alt-Children:

And yes, our video camera really did break during filming. I think the CCD itself blew...

Posted by michael at 09:45 PM
October 02, 2006

From time to time, the blogging here at Ye Olde Cruftbox gets sparse. I tend not to want to post what-I-had-for-lunch entries just to fill space.

Between my expanded role at work and the start of school for the kids, my energy can get used up well before I have a chance to do quality blogging, TV watching, or even video gaming. For the last month or so, I've even stopped playing Warcraft since it takes up more effort and energy than I'm willing to spare.

Lucky for me, my work does not run at internet speed (for the most part) and when I start to burn out, I can slow down and reenergize. I won't be an internet billionaire, but at least I won't have a heart attack.

A lot of friends DO run their lives at internet speed. Constantly multi-tasking. Constantly scanning the web. Constantly reading syndication feeds 'cause the web is just too slow. Constantly updating dozens of sites.

I understand the feelings. You want to keep people entertained, even at the expense of entertaining yourself. When I find myself racking my head to come up with something to blog about, that is the time NOT to be blogging.

Actually, I'm glad to see that Jason realizes that you can't live this way indefinitely. Jason's taking a break for the blogging grind to find himself a little sanity. I wish more people on the A, B, C, and Z-list blogs would see the same thing and step off the merry-go-round and recharge. The bloggers might not see it when they lose the passion, but their readers do.

Props to Jason. Of course, it may just be a ploy for him to have more time to prepare for the Burning Crusades expansion in World of Warcraft...

And now for a drawing of my lunch today at Famima !!

Posted by michael at 02:13 PM | Comments (2)
October 01, 2006
Protest on Revver

I finally put my Pluto Protest video up on Revver.

Pretty cool that Revver will host the video for me and if enough people watch it, I can actually make money.

Update: Revver died. So I re-uploaded the video to Vimeo.

Posted by michael at 09:18 AM