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Pumpkin Postmortem - Tkil [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Pumpkin Postmortem [Oct. 31st, 2003|11:40 pm]
[mood |tiredtired]
[music |some Bach on Pipe Organ]

It looks like the pun-kin was a great success. Thanks for all the kind comments! My co-workers liked it too (after they finished rolling their eyes at me), and even some of the trick-or-treaters thought it was funny.

I didn’t dress up at all, but I did try to provide both a trick (fire and other juggling) and a treat (big pile o’ chocolate). Both were pretty well received, although there were a surprising number of kids who asked if they could have a glass of water, too. Hm... wonder if it’s because I'm at the end of a street?

The rest of my setup was almost as geeky. I had a candle lantern, a bunch of L.E.D.-powered lightsticks, my whole bag of juggling toys, and whatever I was drinking at the time. Later, when it got slower, I brought my laptop downstairs; hooray for wireless. :)

So, a checklist for next year:

  • small bottled waters (24? 48?)
  • proper pumpkin carving utensils
  • extra juggling fuel
  • tiki torches
  • larger pumpkin
  • set up music earlier / more sanely
  • aluminum foil makes a good heat spreader

Regarding pumpkin size: it may not be immediately obvious, but this pumpkin is pretty small. It’s only 6½" [17 cm] wide and 6" [15 cm] tall. For comparison, in the previous picture, it is sitting atop a Kleenex box turned to show the long side.

The hardest part to carve was the very ends of the “tilde” across the top of the letter; having a smaller blade would have made that much easier. (Of course, I was also tempted to haul out the big toy, but I resisted. Maybe next year.) Making the same pattern on a larger pumpkin would also have helped.

One experiment that didn’t go over too well was to use markers to trace out the intended pattern. I chose Vis-à-vis markers, thinking that I could just rinse them off later. Three problems came up: (1) even making an initial guide cut leaked enough liquid to start the ink running; (2) the oil in the pumpkin rind went a fair ways towards making the ink permanent; and (3) the ink would go into the guide cut and sink into the flesh, and would not come out. Guess I'll use a paper stencil next year...