Tuesday, May 29, 2007


We took our annual trip down to Ashland Memorial Day weekend as usual. We left Friday around noon and drove straight down. We checked into the Oak Hill B&B which is our second vist. We met up with Tim and Tina Reuwsaat (Mort & the Baron) our halloween friends in the area. We went to the Black Sheep an authentic pub and had dinner and caught up. The music was a little loud and Tim was recovering from a bee sting and his hand was getting swollen so we called it a night. We got back to the B&B and chatted with the guests in the main living room for a while and then off to sleep. We got up early the next mourning to meet with the Director of Literary Development and Dramturgy at OSF Lue Douthit. She had breakfast with us and answered questions about OSF including the changes with the new artistic director. We met up with Linda and David Barbur who always stay at the Willows B&B which is just up the street from the Oak Hills. We went wine tasting at Pascal and made it back just in time for our first paly.

We saw 4 plays with Linda and David as usual.

Tom and Pat Howard are the best hosts. They also have the coolest guests. This time it was a group of theater people from the Bay Area all older couples but liberal minded and smart as tacks. Had a great time visiting with them after the plays until late at night and at breakfast. Tom and Pat have owned this B&B for 8 seasons and moved from Minnesota so we have a lot of fun with their Midwestern accents and home style attitude. But they are great people. Pat makes a fantastic breakfast every morning.

So the plays, we saw As You Like it, The Cherry Orchard, On The Razzle, and Rabbit Hole.

Cherry Orchard was well produced but not really one of Chekhov's most compelling plays yet his last.

Razzle is farse as Tom Stoppard knows how to do. It was funny and fast paced. A good afternoon show.

As you like it was set in the 1930's depression era. 2nd half was better than the dark first but a good show.

Rabbit Hole is by David Lindsay-Abaire and winner of the 2007 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. It deserves it. The best show of the weekend and all the buzz from everyone who saw it. A story about a couples loss of a young son in a accident and how the people in their lives deal with grief. Although it sounds very depressing and even I wasn't looking forward to it Abaire's humor really helps the audience through it. One of the best things I have ever seen.

Plays we didn't get to see or that are starting later that would be worth coming back in September for.
Gem of the Ocean - August Wilson
Tracy's Tiger - World Premier Musical
Distracted - Lisa Loomer
The Taming of the Shrew - Elizabethan outdoor theater
Also Tartuffe, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.

Of course we did our share of wine tasting with Linda and David. We also ate at some great places including the Ashland bakery who now serves dinner.

On our way home we drove up the Applegate Valley and stopped at several wineries. We tried a new one called Schmidt Family Vinyards. We at lunch there. We stopped at a few more and then drove home the rest of the way.

Another wonderful Memorial Day weekend in Ashland.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

More Halloween stuff

We got our order from EFX-TEK that we placed at Hauntcon. We ordered a Prop-2 controller (16 outputs, 4x more code ROM), AP8 (60 sec Audio card with amplifier), RC4 (110v digital relay switch). They also threw in a Prop-1 controller with a bad switch and a Prop-1 Tester. We won a USB adaptor at one of their seminars and we already have a Prop-1 controller that we used for the Grave Digger last year.

I have already tested the audio card along with our Prop-1 Controller and some UV LED's that we are going to use for a new effect this year.

I am going to convert the Grave Digger over to using the new Prop-2 and maybe play some sound out of him too?

More to come soon....

We got Skulls!

Our order from Anatomical Chart Company showed up yesterday. We ordered some skeletons of various sizes, some arms (for mud guys), and 3 different sized skulls. We plan to cast all or part of the skulls for foam casting and using as decor. The one on the far right is the normal sized skull. The one to it's left is called 'Giant Skull". The one next to it is "Boomer Skull" 13"x13". And the far left is "Fraken-Skull" 15"x15".

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Back from HAuNTcon

We flew out Thursday early morning and arrived in Detroit late in the day. We registered and took a bus out to a haunted forest. We got up Friday morning and attend seminars all day and walked the show floor. Friday night we went to two haunted houses in Pontiac and got back pretty late. We got up Saturday and attended more seminars and did some shopping on the show floor. Saturday night was the costume ball that went till about 1am. We didn't get up quite as early Sunday morning but we did attend a few seminars and did some last minute shopping on the show floor. We presented our seminar at 2:30 which was the last seminar of the day. I wasn't expecting many people to attend but it turned out to be standing room only. The seminar was a big success and everyone loved it. It was a great way to end the weekend. We hung out with some new friends for the evening and then got up early monday morning and flew home.