Tag Archives: halloween

Halloween offerings at Home Depot, El Cajon, California

Opinion—Little kids should still be in bed

Opinion

I like to go to Home Depot early in the morning since they open at 6:00, especially as the days get shorter because, in the early morning darkness, I can’t do too much outside.

Yesterday, August 27, 2018, Home Depot had put up their Halloween offerings. I snapped three pictures:

Halloween offerings at Home Depot, El Cajon, California

Halloween offerings at Home Depot, El Cajon, California

Halloween offerings at Home Depot, El Cajon, California

A little boy, probably all of six or seven, was standing in front of the skeleton dogs/tigers/whatever they were, pointing at them, and crying. He looked absolutely terrified. Meanwhile, daddy was ignoring the little guy while trying to find the right battery package on the hanging display nearby.

Notwithstanding the fact that Halloween is TWO FULL MONTHS and 3 days away—

hey! at least they don’t have Christmas displays up yet!—

shouldn’t little kids still be in bed at 6:00 a.m.? Asking for a friend.

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Halloween’s getting closer

Out & About

I have never been one to decorate the house—inside or outside—for the various holidays, but I sure don’t mind walking and driving the neighborhoods to enjoy what other people do.

Here are three Halloween decorations that showed up on my neighbors’ houses yesterday:

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

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Halloween

Halloween—You are not forgotten, Timothy

A Piece Missing

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Happy Halloween

Comic Con International 2012 in San Diego California

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Halloween HouseHalloween is one of those days that is both fun and dangerous at the same time. People of all ages get to dress up as just about anything they want. It’s the fact that faces are hidden that can be dangerous because there are bad people out at all times of the year. Halloween, though, allows them to better hide who they are so they can do bad things, either to animals (keep your black cat safe tonight), people, or property.

On Halloween 1974, I was a sophomore at Texas A&M University, about 100 miles northwest of Houston. On that Halloween night, the fun of Halloween died for many Houstonians, Texans, and Americans. In years to come, children no longer had free reign to dress up in costumes and traipse through their neighborhoods gathering as much candy as they could.

Halloween pumpkinsOctober 31, 1974, brought out the most despicable type of person in Ronald Clark O’Bryan, an optician from Deer Park, a Houston suburb. O’Bryan had taken his two children, Timothy and Elizabeth, to a friend’s house for trick-or-treating. O’Bryan slipped several Pixy Stix candies laced with potassium cyanide into the bags of his two children, as well as several other children.

O’Bryan had clipped off one end of the giant plastic Pixy Stix candy straws, sprinkled the cyanide into them, and stapled them shut. Just before bedtime, still at the friend’s house in Pasadena, O’Bryan offered young Timothy one last piece of candy, the tainted one. Within a few hours, his son was dead.

HalloweenBy the time of his trial, O’Bryan was known as The Candyman. He was tried and convicted of murdering his child for insurance money, having taken out life insurance policies for $10,000 on each child in January 1974, and then additional policies of $20,000 on each child a few weeks before Halloween. O’Bryan was executed by lethal injection in 1984.

The only good thing to this tragic story is that parents are more aware of their children’s safety, not only on Halloween but throughout the year. Treasures gathered on Halloween are usually carefully examined before children, or anyone else, are allowed to enjoy them.

HalloweenCandy tampering apparently peaked in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Usually such tampering involved putting sharp objects (razor blades, pins, needles) in candy and fruit, often candied apples. According to some poisoned candy researchers (what a profession!!), some sharp objects were accidentally inserted into the candy or fruit. Huh? I’m not buying it. How do you accidentally put a sharp object in candy or fruit? Nope. Not buying it.

Candy tampering appears to have died down somewhat in recent years, but it only takes one incident to cause harm. Don’t let that one incident be your child. Accompany your children on their trick-or-treating and note which candy came from which house.

Added with edit: A news story just breaking is about a child who found a rusty razor blade in a package of M&M’s. Police initially say it’s probably a quality control issue because the package appears not to have been tampered with. Doesn’t matter whether or not it’s quality control. It happens! This one probably from a disgruntled or deranged Mars employee! Here’s the report: Razor in Halloween candy.

In remembrance of Timothy. You are not forgotten.

Halloween

Keep your black cat safe!

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend James Frimmer,
Realtor Century 21 Award, BRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Alpha Phi Omega

Once I give my money to the government, it is no longer my money

My wise old grandmother

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

Texas A&M UniversityDuring the Summer of 1975 when I was a Junior at Texas A&M University, I pledged a Greek organization called Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity (hereafter, “APO”). When my friends asked me the difference between APO and other Greek fraternities and sororities, I explained it thusly:

Fraternities and sororities spend 80% of their time partying. APO spends 80% of its time helping others.

Alpha Phi OmegaFrom August 1973 to June 1975, I was without my wise old grandmother. She was in Kingsville, Texas, and I was 300 miles away at Texas A&M. APO came into my life and continued to remind me, through today, that there is, indeed, always someone worse off than me.

My wise old grandother had always told me, “There is always someone worse off than you are.” She usually said that as I was complaining about pruning the oleanders, mowing the lawn, hanging the laundry, washing the dishes, cleaning my room………. APO continues in me with the words of my wise old grandmother.

So today, for those who love charities and real pumpkins, here’s what I want you to do. Yes, this involves planning and work, but it’s always fun. And I have some work music for you, too:

Before you do anything else, pick a number from 1 to 100. Write it down.

Cancer Survivors Park, San Diego, CaliforniaNow, since October is National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and October 31 is Halloween, take the family out to the pumpkin patch and get a real pumpkin, one that has seeds inside. Take the pumpkin home, cut off the top so you can get to the insides, and get all those seeds out of there. Young children often like this part of our project because they get to get all yukky and oogy.

Take the seeds, separate them from the rest of the pumpkin guts, wash the seeds, and set them aside to dry. Continue cleaning out your pumpkin and carving a face into it for use on the front porch for the next few days.

Cancer Survivors Park, San Diego, CaliforniaWhen the seeds have dried, count them! Write down the number of seeds. I usually get about 300 seeds out of my pumpkins, which are average size. Small pumpkins will have fewer seeds, and those really really really really big pumpkins will have more.

Once you have counted the seeds, roast them! They make great snacks, have lots of good fiber, and your children will be bragging to the neighborhood, “We roasted our pumpkin seeds to eat! I have some here. Do you want one?”

Here’s a good pumpkin seed recipe: Roasted pumpkin seeds.

PumpkinsOkay, remember those two numbers we wrote down? Take the first number, that between 1 and 100, and multiple it by the second number, the number of seeds, to get a final number. For example, if you chose 25 and had 300 seeds, your final number would be 7,500. Drop the two zeroes, and you have 75.

Now I want you to write a check to your favorite charity, or to a cancer charity in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, for $75. If $75 is too much for you right now, that’s okay. Write a check for whatever amount you can. As we have seen in President Obama’s grassroots money-raising, every little bit helps.

MoneyRemember that your donation is often tax-deductible, so in addition to helping people who are less fortunate than you, you just lowered your taxes!

I donate to various charities on a quarterly basis, and since September is the end of the third quarter, I use pumpkin event to donate to cancer organizations during October. I also never complain about how the government spends its money, for two reasons:

  1. Once I give my money to the government, it is no longer my money. It’s the government’s money.
  2. The government rarely gets much money from me because I’m not from the rich 1% and I use deductions to lower my tax burden. I figure I can do a better job of spending my money than the government can do spending its money.

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos

This post approved by Zoey the Cool Cat

Looking for real estate services in San Diego County?
I can highly recommend
James Frimmer, Realtor
Century 21 Award, DRE #01458572

If you’re looking for a home inspector,
I recommend Russel Ray — that’s me!Real Estate Solutions

Pictures copyright 2012 Russel Ray Photos