So around came Halloween. Normally our house is “that house’ that people come from far and wide for the animatronics, lights, fog machine, etc and our annual adult Halloween party (not that kind of Adult! It’s PG). Anyway no party this year obviously, and I had fully expected the town to cancel trick or treating, like other towns in MA did (and sadly we are the only green town for miles on the state covid map). But apparently giving kids candy is too important to worry about a deadly virus, so we had to figure that out… to add to the 2020ness of the holiday, we got a heavy snowstorm (originally “it will just sleet a little…” yeah, we got 6” and all the leaves are still on the trees. The last time it snowed the day before Halloween (2011) a large tree came down on our telephone pole snapping it and dropping the transformer Into our driveway where it exploded, just missing a friend’s brand new infinity SUV). When it exploded it spewed toxic transformer oil onto our yard, which required the hazmat team to come vacuum up our property (didn’t have to either clear the snow or leaves as they were all contaminated). Our power was out for over 3 days, and we had trick or treating with tiki-torches (back when those were just oil lamps in your bushes) and our Halloween party ], we cooked the food at my parents and kept it hot on sterno.
Now we have a generator and power stayed on. And of course we couldn’t have our fog machine running since it was below the freezing point of the fog juice, plus the lanolin would have recondensed on every surface.
So of course I couldn’t set up the day before since those that did had their displays destroyed by the snow and falling branches. So after a massive snow blowing effort (I do my neighbors as well since one has a shattered ankle and the other is a widow with 3 disabled sons). So with an aching back I set up a socially distant Halloween display, which required the ability to dispense candy without anyone getting near us (I can’t imagine any parent letting their kids eat the candy from another household).
Our originally idea was a 2” PVC (OMG he used the V word in a laser forum) pipe from inside to outside (just cheap schedule 40 stuff)and in the beginning that was all, but then my wife had the idea that if we put our horse skeleton climbing the front steps and run the pipe inside the rib cage we could have the horse “poop the candy out”. So we built that and all of a sudden I realized the flaw in my plan which was how would we know if the kids were there since we wanted then not near our door. So I had to make a temporary doorbell. I ran over to our local old-school electronics store and got a big button (in theory a lit button but that part didn’t work) a buzzer for inside (which sounded painfully like a smoke alarm). And lasered out a doorbell plaque ( maple) to attach to the cowboy who is riding the horse… then we needed signs to explain to people so first sign sent folks forward to the horse (as it wasn’t obvious in the dark that the horse was a pez-dispenser) and that sign was maple as well (mostly because that was on top and it was 30 minutes before kids started arriving). I had a scrap 1x1 left over from a steel rod order which I had forgotten to throw away which I sharpened with a hatchet, and screwed the sign in and pounded the stake into our front bushes at put a lamp on it. Then on the horse’s butt I put a sign in glow-in-the-dark 2 layer acrylic from inventables (just used the proofgrade black medium settings).
After all that we got an estimated 45-50 kids, which was more than I expected and way less than normal (we normally give out 3 Costco sized bags of candy). We did discover M&M packets jam in the tube (had to use a wiring snake with a block taped to it to fix the constipation. Regular candy shot out (I had originally designed and 3D printed a surgical tubing slingshot with a little carrier tray that fired the candy down, but turns out we didn’t need it as you will see in the video)
For some reason I didn’t take pics, just video… it’s short.