9/26

Monday morning...   Spent Sunday relaxing. Slept in Sunday and this morning.  Body is recovering.  Hands still hurt, but not so bad.  It all seems like a foggy dream now.   Not sure how yesterday went in sales, but Saturday was a decent start.  Things shut down early though.  

Started getting my shed organized a little.  Taking out some scrap, throwing some trash out, put a few tools away.  Just enough to make a little room and to start thinking about the next big project.  Sipping some coffee and jumping into neglected emails.  Made arrangements for a BBQ lunch from one of my favorite food vendors who is grilling plates today.  That should be awesome.  And then a TV spot at 2:30pm for the haunt.   

9/24 - 2:05am.  Just sat down with a bowl of noodles and a scotch.  Alarm goes off at 7:30am  Got a 5 hour gig with Jazz Alive for the music circle helping the kiddo-MIDI jam happen.  Still need to pack my gear....

Up early, hit my list of to dos, and out the door.  Got some supplies and off to the haunt.  Loaded in, started rolling and Zane calls, he's up and ready for work.  I grab him and we tear into it.  A few hours go by and our Horrific Pix staff person shows up, and he's ready to work.  So I get him going on all kinds of little projects.  He starts knocking them out. Heidi shows up and starts tearing into the make-up on the bodies.  The scare actors show up and start their pow-wow.  Some of them pitch in and do some moving of things, cleaning, and as they do their thing, they make requests for changes to things.  And the haunt develops. In the meantime, drapes are being hung, transitions are going up, lighting is getting knocked out, I'm finishing the last couple of rooms, some extra safety precautions are taken, sound is getting dropped, and we're just rolling.....   I had out for a resupply mission....  I come back, Heidi is done and gone and did a killer job on the stripper corpse, the actors slowly disappear as we get their changes done, work to get their rooms right, and they make some adjustments to the path inside the maze.   Zane knocks out a mural for the selfie room.   Lights out and we do a walk through.  Safety notes are noted, lighting issues are address.  Changes...  more polish, cleaning, lighting, programming....   Lights out and we do another walk through.  Few more tweaks to be made.   Make some tweaks, hang some drape, send Zane on one last painting mission, take a walk with the lights on, clean some stuff and realize it's time for me to go.  I'm done.  I've done everything I'm gonna do.  Get my last pics for the final tik-tok to be posted momentarily.  I tell Zane to drop his spray cans and follow me.  We grab my tools and off we go.  Not everything was done, but all my stuff was done.  Haunt opens tomorrow, even though we had a number of folks show up today.  

As I reflect on this, it's very much in the shadow of Horrific Pix.  I think of this as 6 months of continuous work.  Not as two distinct projects.  Experiences like these are life altering.  I know this because I speak from experience.  Marine Boot camp was three months.  That was a life changing experience.  This was 6 months of serious, hard, physical, creative work in a difficult environment.  I am not the same man I was before all of this and I certainly have changed my regard about my partners during this time.   This is life.  Tomorrow, well, tonight, the judgement will begin. 

I'm very glad to have kept this blog up.   It did not go the way I thought it was going to, and it'll be interested to see what I think of myself when I reread this in the future.

Pretty nuts fall jumping down my throat, kinda thinking about keeping it going.... we'll see.  I haven't even check stats to see if anyone is even reading this.

Happy Halloween y'all.  Please come visit Haunted Oaks, www.hauntedoaks.org. 

 

9/22 (really 9/23 cuz it's 2:08am)

Much was done today, but the time slipped away fast.  The front half is done and it's pretty nuts.  Wired for sound, lighted (well, almost lighted).  Got to work on the middle hard today.  Clown room, done - lights, Slaughter house done - decor, lights and sound, Country store done, lights,  Padded room done, lights, Projection room done - decor, sound, lights, Morgue, lights done, sound done, working on decor.  Lab, working on everything, other lab, everything needs to be done, exit corridor remains unfinished.  I put out a pretty serious effort. Zane was good, but it took a long time for him to snap to it.  Still, a lot of help was provided.  Rick finally "finished" the maze, except the exit corridor.  Electrician came in and finished.  We did do a power to make sure our emergency system was not tied into any of out lighting and effects.  Zero problems. All GFI, all boxes hard wired into power.   Did a lot of clean up, stowing unused props, throwing out trash, had one of the staff guys take a load of trash out, vacuum.  We're very close to ready.  

Tomorrow will be an effort.  Bat some clean-up on the lights, finished off decor in three rooms, hang drape, hang plastic transitions, and hammer cable staples, do some spray painting.  That's it. And no matter what, it's my last day at the haunt. Saturday we open and I have to be at Jazz Alive all day for a gig anyhow.... 

One work day left before we open.  

 

9/22

Really 9/21, but it is 12:29 am... Anyway.  Keep getting wrenches thrown at me, and I'm dealing with all of it fine.  It's because I'm not the hold-up.   So... one must let the slow do their own thing, otherwise nothing will get done.   That being said...

The past two days have been very productive.  Maze still isn't done, we open in two days, but it's close.  And a lot of the debris and left overs are out.  It's clean, it's safe, actors and can move about, guests have exit unobstructed exit paths.  It's been quite the machine.  Yesterday, Rick has his helper, they come late afternoon.  I was there fairly early in the day. Electrician came in late, Matt popped in to get some cleaning done. I brought a nice pile of holiday merch in and I took off after 9pm.  Today I grabbed Zane to help me and we dove in hard.  Basically finished the entire front section except lights, sound, and special effects.  Finished all kinds of fun stuff, got the emergency lights good to go, finished decor, did all the welding that I'm gonna do, made a bunch of bodies and hung them, really added a lot of extras, just because being extra is what's going to make it.  Got the fog distribution system functioning "good enough."   Got a pretty crazy room going though....  Rick had his helper again, electrician came in late, was still there when I left around 10:45pm, Matt came in to clean.   Haven't seen or heard from Joe in weeks....  I feel very good about my part of things.   Gonna spend the day tomorrow doing what I can on stuff I haven't touched.  Need to put props in the rooms to add maze, add constriction, add stress, set-up scares.... Not a lot I can do, and not a lot of stuff left to really work with, but clutter is key.     I have enjoyed working the past two days a fair amount.  It's nice to have a crew of guys in there working.  I'm proud of what I've done here.   It's still haunted house, tasteless, horrible stuff, but people are already offended so we're on the right track.  And I've been taking it easy and keeping some hard lines.  It's interesting to see some folks raise eyebrows about things.  Oh well.....  

I've taken a grip of tools and materials out as well as started putting unused props away in prep for opening.  Much more of that to be coming tomorrow... New tik-toks are up.   Time to call it a night.  The new day is already calling and there's much to do.

9/20

I got so busy I couldn't write this entry.... but much was done. 

 

9/19

A day of delays...  extra runs, little things going awry, splinters, finding stuff strewn about.  The haunt is trying to wake up.  

Apparently the electric is resolved, but nothing was happening by the time I left.  Brought the welder up.  Did a couple of railings for the stripper room, some piping for walls, mounted some decor, and got the gates mostly up for the Hanging Tree room.   Heidi showed up and made about 20 heads for me.  That was awesome.  Hopefully she can make it out again and put the bodies together.  I need to finish the welding in that room so we can hang the bodies.  Rick and his helper showed up late afternoon and were working away when I left.  4 days until open.  New tik-tok goes up tomorrow.

We shall see.

 

9/16

I think I'm past the emotions now.  Or at least for the time being.  Spent a good part of the day working at the Haunt.  Swapped out the UV Cannon, arranged the boiler room, hung decor in the Hell room, cleaned and dirtied the Hell room, deployed bones/deco, added paint, added gates, added some verbage, played with the lighting a little, got the tub ready for water/blood.  Decorated a blank corner, moved some items in prep for welding on Monday.  Lots of screws, lots of staples.  A big chunk of the maze has been worked on.  Still a big chunk to go.  Rick came in and we talked about power drop locations for the electrician, as well as lighting, sound, fog, triggers, jump scare locations.  I took the sensors home to figure them out over the weekend.  Jumped on the phone with Matt and we talked about the promo campaign, shared  some of our thoughts on how it's coming together, and Joe just pushed out the first real post of the season.  I've popped up another tik-tok and will get about sharing Joe's posts.  Open soon.....

9/14

Okay... I didn't do work on the haunt, but we did do some biz.  Rick has been there building the maze, I believe.  I'm kinda stuck, so until more progress is made I'm not going back in.   The was a conversation with our electrician about lowering the price, but no deal was made.  Matt will probably sort that out on his own today or tomorrow.  Worked on the press release for the Haunt as well.  The clock is ticking...  Probably gonna be long days and nights next week..... oh well.  

 

9/12

So I ended up with a quite busy week.  Lots of event stuff, added in a lighting gig last minute, not much sleep and the Zydeco band had a monster set at the Dam Red Barn in Canyon Lake, TX.   Slept in late in Sunday and took the kayak out for a little afternoon spin.  Might be the last time for the season....  We'll see.

Anyway.... having been gone for 6 days I was extremely disappointed to see very little progress done on the haunt.  This plus a week and some days delay on getting the electric done.   Pretty much kicks me into stall mode.  Fortunately, I picked up some spray paint and was able to put the finishing paint touches in the Hell Room.  It looks absolutely horrible.    Next time, I'll start with the a few props for decor, get the debris out of the hot tub, test the system for leaks, and then start punching holes for my bleeding wall.  I did start pulling out triggers and strobes and started to lay things out for where the "traps" will be. Messed around with the UV cannon in the stripped room.  I don't think it's enough.  I think I need more.  We'll see.  I've got a lot of stuff to work with so I'm not worried.  Liking the strobe in there though.  Moved some things out and arranged props for the industrial area, hung some props, put up some uncouth comments with some letters and a stapler, turned some lights out, and tested out a distribution system for fog.  It was a fail. But I think I figured out how to do it, so there's that.   I had an electrician scheduled to come in and give a bid, but he flaked.  No point in going in for a couple of days at this point.  I need the electric done and I need more maze built.  There's still a good 40% left to build.  And we're supposed to open in 9 days.  Yeah, okay.  

This whole idea was supposed to be a sharing of the creative experience, to share how interesting this is, and to build up the fun of it.  And it's turned out to be therapy for my disappointment in the others involved.   I was really excited to finally get going on this, but, as usual, I can't do anything because I'm hung up on everybody else.  Literally can't even get flyers to pass out.  Asked one dude for the graphics so I could just do them myself, fuckface shined me on and blew me off.   Classy.  Not just a dick move. A dick move that helps to ensure failure.  I don't get it.  This shit isn't rocked science.  We're selling tickets... or we're supposed to be and zero activity on our social media and no posters, flyers, handouts....

WTF.....  fucking idiot losers.

9/6

The days go slipping by....  and the first event of the season is here.  World Heritage Festival Saturday.  Set-up is Thur/Fri.  In my head I had another week, turns out, not so much.  It just rolls harder from there on out.  Meanwhile, back at the haunt...  finished painting the Hell room, added texture for my "mountain," mounted the tubing for the water feature, put up lights for the red room, mounted the fans for the compression walls.  Rick is working on the Maze tonight, although I left before he got there.  Not a whole lot to report.  Need to get some spray paint for the final touches if you will.  New pics on Tik-tok in a few.

9/5

Looks like I missed a day or two...  maybe one.  My hands have been hurting so bad they don't work well.  Needed to give them a break.  Had a nice gig and wanted to be able to play well.  Ibuproen, tiger balm, stretching, cypress oil, massage, rest...  Swelling was down, pain free, decent movement.    I need to be done with this so I can give them proper rest.  

Anyway.... went back in today.  Finished the wall for the clown room.  It does make me laugh.   Did a little more work in the Hell room, got started on hanging the fans for the pressure walls, hung some decor in the boiler room, put some walls up in a few other rooms, cleaned out a bunch of crap that was in the way, took the garbage out, couple other little things. Nothing new on the maze side.  Whatever, I'm not concerning myself with that, he's doing a bunch of the decor himself, so it takes a few things off my plate.  Although I'm hung up because I need the electrician in so I can finish rooms, and move crap in the way.  I can't weld until the electric is done. They have big, tall ladders, and I'm going to eat all the walking space.  So I'm stuck on a lot of things.  And there's nothing new to work on.  I could end up wrapping up everything I can do this week.  That'll change what I do.  Might just have to start making props....  Oh well.  I'm home for dinner and didn't kill my hands.  I can get some other work done and get a good night's sleep.  I have nothing to complain about.  I just get frustrated because I strive for excellence.  And just pushing the mediocre button is generally disgusting to me.  It's not fun.  If I wanted to work and it not be fun, I'd have a day job and be pulling in a lot more money.  Anyway... going to enjoy my evening at home.