It's Halloween! That means candy candy candy candy candy!

Unfortunately it's pretty rainy this evening, which means no Haunted Pumpkin and kids that are out there getting wet.

But we did get to use our monster cutouts again. And that monstrous porch light did a fair job of making it less spooky. I hate that porch light.
Because of the rain, there were less children this year, so I spent the long time between trick-or-treating kids running around in Animal Crossing. No shame in participating in some virtual trick-or-treating.
As it got a little later, we started to get a few more kids. And several children commented on the spooky red light (thanks to the Hue lamps) and Leki, who mostly just stood back and watched as people kept showing up but not actually coming into the house. I suppose that's the best case scenario for him.

I waited until the last minute so I didn't have much time to improve on the Haunted Pumpkin from last year. All I really did was add the wave shield I'd soldered earlier this year to the project.

For the most part, that meant the pumpkin functioned virtually the same: there were was an arduino in the pumkin, two LEDs (one to simulate a candle flicker, one to be scary red), and Chris's scary voice to scare children.
I mostly just had to move wiring around since the wave shield uses some pins I used last year.

Because I was short on time, I didn't have time to really edit the code and make it very pretty. I mostly just copied the Adafruit example file from the Wave Library into my existing project. It's pretty messy, but it worked. I'll have to spend some time and tweak it so it works a little better next year.

But it worked! And that's the most important thing!

Github files: Haunted Pumpkin With Wave Shield

With Halloween now just a matter of days away, delicious spooky treats are starting to pop up at work! A co-worker made this finger cookie and it's pretty freaking awesome.

Slowly but surely the skywalk downtown is being rebuilt...

I woke up wanting some pumpkin pie oatmeal (which I've made before), so I went to the cabinet and grabbed a can of pumpkin mix. I had two sizes. The regular 15oz and then the giant 30oz can. I figured since I wanted to make some pumpkin cookies as well, it was a safe bet to open the larger can...
So I baked some oatmeal for breakfast and then whipped up some tasty pumpkin cookies. But I still had pumpkin leftover. In fact, much more than I thought I would. That's what I get for misreading one cup as one can.
I poked around a bit on the internet for other pumpkin recipes and found a tasty looking pumpkin bread. I was even lucky enough to have a can of coconut milk in the cabinet! I whipped up four small pumpkin loaves. The mini loaf tins I have from my grandmother work great for breads I know Chris wont eat. I just slice one and freeze the rest.
By the time all of the pumpkin stuff was baking, most of the morning was gone and I still hadn't started in with sugar cookies using the cookie cutters Chris printed for me the other day.

I pulled out the flour and sugar and started in on a batch of sugar cookies. I used the same sugar cookie recipe I've used before with the 3D printed cookie cutters I'd ordered off of Etsy awhile back.

You can't quite see the cookie cutters in the photo above (they're white), but Chris printed cute cat and bat cutters.
And, because that was not enough food, I also had some candy corn cookie dough chilling in the freezer. So as the sugar cookies were baking, I started to cut those out.
Those came out pretty adorable. They do remind me of spritz cookies, only because of how much butter the recipe called for.

Honestly, I wanted to make some brownies as well, but I ran out of flour. That was probably for the best. By 2pm I started to get pretty tired of running around the kitchen. All in all I spent about four hours today baking and then another hour or so cleaning everything up. The chromcast certainly got a workout today with all of the cheesy TV shows I played in the background through Netflix.

This weekend is Thriller! Chiller! at Wealthy Theatre and Chris's friend and co-worker has a short film playing (The Forever People). So we headed down this afternoon to check out a bunch of short films, including Dave's The Forever People (which is nominated for an award for special effects!).
We had a good time and enjoyed several of the shorts. After each filming the directors, writers, and actors came up to the stage and discussed the film. It was kind of nice to hear about everyone's experience and creative process.

If you've never stopped in for Thriller! Chiller! before, I wold highly recommend it. It's a great way to see independent films and shorts. We didn't go last year, but we definitely had a good time the year before and this year, of course.

Now that season 6 The Guild is out on DVD, we finally sat down and watched the last season. I know it's a web series, but I really enjoy watching the whole thing in one go (not that I don't also watch them individually).

It was great, like the seasons before it. I'm really glad that the web series has done so well. A lot of people could take a page from Felicia Day's series on how to create webisodes (I'm looking at you, H+, which I gave up watching because each 5 minute episode was a crappy cliffhanger with too much time on the intro and credit portion).

Anyway, if you're a fan of the other seasons, I'd recommend this final one to wrap up the Knights of Good's adventures.

Hooray for birthdays!

Tomorrow is Chris's birthday and this year instead of a giant cake, I'm turning it into cupcakes.

As you can see, Leki really likes to supervise anything I do on the kitchen counter.

Spent some time with Chris today while he designed and printed an insert for the car handle so his phone doesn't slide around.
 The whole thing came out pretty decent...
...but it doesn't quite fit right. Still, not bad for a first attempt at designing something in 3D.

With the rain or the threat of rain all last week I've been walking through the skywalk, despite part of it being under construction. Since the skies were still dark today, I spent my lunch in the halls again. This time I passed a woman racing through the buildings in running gear.

With the weather turning colder I've been spending more and more time with my 3DS.

As I mentioned yesterday, there were a few rough starts to printing attempts, mostly due to incorrect settings in the software. Once that was all straightened out, it was smooth sailing.
Chris printed a few Apple TV remote holders as an experiment. Since each print can take awhile (each remote holder took about 45 minutes), you want to be sure what you're printing is correct (and something you want).

Admittedly, Chris has played with the device more than me. He's more familiar with the software and comfortable with programs that relate to sculpture and design. I mostly binged on Fire Emblem (for which my arms are now yelling at me for doing - repetitive motions are bad!) and snuggled with the cat. I do look forward to playing with it eventually, once I have something I really want to design and print. I know Chris has been enjoying every minute of it and has a backlog of things he's wanted to print for ages.

We ordered a Solidoodle 3D printer a few weeks back, and it finally arrived today. So we (though mostly Chris) spent the evening playing with it.
There were a few rough starts, but eventually we were able to get it to print something fully. Chris chose the resistance logo for Ingress as one of the experimental prints.

The Indiana Jones mini-satchel I put together over the weekend is now the proud owner of a strap. Now it's actually usable!
Now to go out and about and test it.

It's a rainy day today, which means it's perfect to walk through the sky walk. Well, most of it anyway.

It's my favorite time of the year in MMOs! Halloween events start this week, which means there are plenty of haunted doors to open...
and giant candy corns to battle in Guild Wars 2.

They've installed a few bicycle parking areas in downtown Grand Rapids. I guess that means no more bikes chained to the lampposts next to the bar.

Chris ran across this awesome Instrucables on making a half-size MKVII bag from Indiana Jones the other day. I've been using a crappy hiking bag to carry around my 3DS when we go out and about (like yesterday at the Grand Rapids Comic Con), so this would be an excellent replacement.

Because my sewing skills are still pretty beginner, I opted to use an old pair of khaki pants as opposed to spending money on good fabric. That way, if I ruin anything, I'm not really out anything (except time).
I cut out some paper to the specs in the instructable...
...but since I'm actually making the bag to house my 3DS XL, I added two inches to the bottom and four inches to the top.

So if you're looking at the top of the pattern in the instructable, the dimensions I used were actually 6.5"x5" for the top square, then 7"x5" for the next square. The bottom portion was also expanded to 7"x5" (and 7"x1.5" for the sides)
Anyway, once everything was measured and cut, I started pressing the seams.
Then it was on to sewing!
I had some difficulties closing up the bottom of the bag. Originally I was going to sew the bag up inside out, as you would normally do. But a mistake I made earlier made it a lot trickier that way, so I opted to sew it this way. I tried as best I could to keep the seams all in line so there weren't any double stitches.
The bag isn't perfect, but for a first run I'm pretty happy with it. The whole exercise was good practice!
Plus, the 3DS XL fits with plenty of room inside for emergency snacks. In hindsight, it might have been nice to have an extra pocket inside, but oh well. Maybe the next one.

Now to decide on a strap and a closure!

Update: Mini-Satchel, Now With A Strap!

Grand Rapids Comic Con is a one day con that debuted today. It's in the same building the Toy and Comic Expo we attended earlier this year, which is pretty close to our house. We arrived about 20 minutes before the doors opened and there was already a pretty impressive line.
They had a pretty nice program guide for the event, complete with a little bio for each of the vendors and artists in Artist Alley (although to be honest, the vendors and artists were intermingled in the same room, so I guess there wasn't a true Artist Alley, which is fine).

The building was pretty small, so while the program didn't have a map, it was pretty easy to find which room was hosting which panel.

And yes, there were panels. We poked our head into a few rooms but didn't stay for any.

I'm just excited there were panels! I was tempted to stay and watch some Trigun, since I'm a huge fan...
The vending room, which had both the vendors and artists, was pretty packed. There was even a full-size Mach 5 car replica from Speed Racer.
We ran into Adam and Comfort's good friend Corinne Roberts. I also saw Meghann Pardee, who is with Studio Acramill, though their table was pretty busy as well and I wasn't able to stop and say hello.

We also got to meet up with both Jeff and Dave, two of Chris's friends who were also at the convention (as attendees, not artists).
We left after a few hours to run some errands. Later in the day we noticed that the event was at capacity and people were being turned away. That's pretty impressive. I think they had a larger turn out than expected. And at $5 a person, it's pretty cheap entertainment.

There were plenty of high school and college aged kids lining the hall, playing on their 3DS or chatting with their friends about their costumes. The whole event definitely felt like it pulled a page from an anime convention. And honestly, that's my favorite part about anime conventions - how energetic and excited everyone gets.

Chris made out with a Knight Rider action figure and I enjoyed the ton of 3DS street passes I received. Chris has a pretty nice write-up of the event on his blog as well.

I look forward to going to the event again next year!

Popped into Animal Crossing for a little bit and was happy to discover that my town has achieved Perfect Town status.
Now to keep this up for the next several days so I can collect more Jacob's Ladder plants.

This t-shirt design at Woot has been pretty popular. It's always been offered on a pretty bright blue background, so I never wanted to pick it up. But when I saw that they had a hoodie in gray, I couldn't pass it up. I just think it's kind of adorable.

Now I'm going to go have some cookies and milk.

The cat and I spent some quality time together this evening, while I navigated through Beyond Two Souls.