Halloween Playlists.


Halloween has the coolest music. I have made some playlists on various platforms over the years, Amazon & Spotify being the most recent. I thought I’d not only put them all in once place, but also share. I’m always adding to them and changing. I’m listening to the 1st list now.

So what are your go-to’s? What would you add? What would you leave off? Share your playlists!

Teal Pumpkins Are Not a Political Issue.


Never read the comments.

I wish I could follow that advice. Wading through the temperamental pool that is social media, one occasionally finds a bright spot in a news story. I thought I found that with an article posted by a local news channel notifying those that aren’t already in the know about the significance of teal pumpkins.  It subtly linked to this cool little video:

Simple enough, right?

It’s a brief article explaining the significance and the history of the Teal Pumpkin Project.  If you go through to the FARE website, you an even get free activities and advice for non-food treats.  We have participated since 2014, and I have written about it before.

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#HappyHalloween! #TealPumpkinProject #StaySafe!

A post shared by Eric Carroll (@aixelsyd13) on

Then, I read the comments.

Some people are garbage.  I mean, I know that is harsh, and I know what we are supposed to be kind to everyone, but that can be a struggle when people out themselves as disgusting human beings.  Did these people not ever watch Mister Rogers?

I think this is why they are teaching kids these days to “Be The I in Kind” or to Be the kind kid.  They’re not going to pick it up at home if these are the mentoring adults.

REALLY.

 

I had a few replies that still stand.

To some nut job making this political:

Just so I can understand, how do any of the following (totally optional) things ruin your holiday, and just exactly how are they associated with liberals?

1. Putting out a symbol to indicate that your house is safe for food allergies.

2. Providing nut and/or gluten free treats, and maybe even non-food treats in addition to whatever you normally provide.

3. Displaying compassion and empathy to others already afflicted with a life-altering medical condition.

4. Teaching others by example how to be kind to others.

I never did get a direct reply there.

To the uniformed, absolutely resisting this new information:

No one is forcing you to buy a teal pumpkin or to pass out allergen safe treats. The article is just to inform you of the meaning so you don’t buy one as a decoration just because it matches your cold frozen emotionless heart.

Just some more advice:

We have been doing this for years. Having food allergies myself, dining out, social gatherings, and many events can be a harrowing experience.

We have 3 separate bowls… traditional things like Reese’s Peanut Butter cups, nut-free stuff like Smarties, and a bowl of totally non-food treats like pencils, stickers, little toys, etc.

We help spread awareness, the toys go as well as the candy, and hopefully we teach a bit of kindness and empathy.

I don’t even have the energy to get into the “it’s been a tradition for hundreds of years” comment.  I think candy and trick or treating weren’t a thing until about the 1920’s in the United States… so that’s ONE hundred years ago at best.  The push for chocolate was after WWII’s rationing… So, kick it back to 70 or so years.  Earlier Celtic/Samhain traditions probably didn’t involve candy, but what do I know?

So please, this year, show a little compassion, empathy, and kindness.  Pass the word along to your friends, family, and neighbors.  You don’t have to preach about it, but you can lead by example.  Also, learn to recognize the signs of an allergic reaction for yourself, your friends, and your community.  You may help save someone’s life!  That is, if it doesn’t inconvenience you in any way or support the grand liberal agenda.

 

 

 

So, have you heard of the #TealPumpkinProject?


This year, we’ll have 3 bowls of treats for Halloween.  We’ll have the traditional chocolate gooey goodness, a bowl of peanut/tree-nut free treats, and a bowl entirely made up of non-food party favor-ish goodies.

Why?  Why not?  I was able to pick up a bunch of party favors at the Dollar Tree, and my wife Bethany got some Halloween themed stuff from Target.  The no-nuts candy wasn’t a big deal either, all we had to do was read the label… which we’re used to.  Even the extra bowl was only $1.  It wasn’t a whole lot of effort or money.

Even painting a foam pumpkin teal for use for years to come wasn’t a big deal, or printing the posters from the FARE website.  Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that.  This is a movement.  It started with some of the most kick-ass people on the planet, food allergy moms in Tennessee.

FARE | The Teal Pumpkin Project

My point, I guess, is that it isn’t a lot of effort but it can be a big huge gigantic deal for a kid.  What’s a big deal?  To feel included on a holiday where you’re hyper aware that you’re different.  To know that this piece of candy doesn’t contain nuts or wasn’t “processed in a facility that may also use peanuts or tree nuts.”  To know that if you’re allergic to dairy or chocolate or just about everything that everyone else can eat or isn’t one of the top 8, but this little trinket or toy (or 2 or 3 if you’re at our house) is all yours.  To know that you don’t have to go home & “trade up” for safe candy on this one.  To know that your parents didn’t have to drop off a safe treat with all the neighbors ahead of time, and that someone else “gets” it.

I always liked getting those Little Hugs drinks (which may be a safe treat), but some people would complain about the weight.  That would have been gone by the time I got back to the road when I was a kid.  Then again, times have changed.  When I was a kid, we had to play the “guess who you are” game.  If I asked a kid his name now, the next ring of the doorbell would probably be the local police.  Also, kids… always let your parents check your candy for razor blades or syringes.

Like I said, we read labels.  Luckily shellfish is generally easy form me to avoid in packaged foods, slightly less so in restaurants.  Our little girl Molly can’t do eggs.  Well, she can do eggs baked into things, but has to avoid straight up eggs, mayonnaise, some mustards, custard, and we just noticed… Mallow Cups?  (I hate them, they are the devil’s candy.  The wife loves them though… even though it tastes like someone replaced the inside of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup with sunscreen.)  Will we have to avoid meringue too?  Who knows?  Hopefully she outgrow her allergy, I’ll never get over mine without some kind of cure.

There are many others out there going through the same thing.  We can stick together, and support each other.  We can ask those without any food allergies to support us too.  Spreading awareness is the key to keeping us all safe.  So, take a few minutes to learn about the #TealPumpkinProject.  Use the hashtag on social media (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.), get a pumpkin and paint it teal, and/or print out the fliers.  Get some safe treats.

Teal Pumpkin Project - Ideas for non-food treats.

This is why we need epi-pens in schools!


Finally, some good food allergy related news from a school surrounding the use of epinephrine auto-injectors…

English: Adult (0.3mg) and pediatric (0.15mg) ...

Epi-Pens to the rescue!

I for one was growing tired of the tragic stories.  Jared Smyth and his school had an action plan, and it saved his life.  This is how all these types of stories should end!  Congratulations to all involved!  The kid himself, the school nurse, the parents, the administration, the hospital, and the media for covering good news.

Sadly, I can only find one source for the article, while there were a plethora for Ammaria Johnson & Katelyn Carlson.  More media outlets need to pick this up & run with it!  Get the word out there that having epi-pens in schools is a great thing!  Of course, it always helps to educate your child on not taking any food from others… but as evidenced, it’s not always that easy, and accidents do happen.

Bathroom Attendants.


I’d just like to go on record saying I don’t like bathroom attendants.  I’ve been to two venues lately that have had them, the Diesel Club Lounge & the Altar Bar.  My run-in last night at the Altar Bar was odd.  I went into the stall to relieve myself, and came out to the faucet running, a dude squirting soap in my hands, and handing me some towels when I was done.  It’s odd to have someone do something for me that I could have easily done myself.

Imagine you’re walking down the street and your shoe comes untied, I run up to tie your shoe, & expect a tip.  I would be met with a resounding “WTF?” because I wasn’t asked to help.  Yet, I helped you, and you had no choice.  Odd there.  Odd in the bathroom.

We can suspend the general “stage fright” issue, knowing it’s weird that there’s a dude standing less than 10 feet away, but it is a public bathroom so there’s always that distraction.  It’s just the other guys are there doing the same thing as you, not offering any services.

English: From the author: Gnarly bathroom. Pro...

Poop-flavored candy, cakes, & gum!

Speaking of offering services… No, I don’t want any gum, candy, Swiss cake rolls, or honey buns that have been sitting in the bathroom.  Can’t you at least put that part right outside the door?  I don’t generally have food in my bathroom at home…. why would I want it anywhere else?  How many foul smells & horrible germs must those foods absorb before you’re able to sell them?  I’m not a smoker, but I’m guessing that people who are also don’t want cigarettes that smell like they were pulled out of a sewer.

Why are you trying to sell me food in the bathroom?  No, I don’t need cologne or deodorant, or anything else.  When I’m urinating, it’s my own special alone time.  I don’t need to chat or dine afterwards to celebrate.

Thank goodness I didn’t need to defecate last night.  Who wants to poop with someone hanging out ready to smell that?  Not to be disgusting, but we all do it, and we all know it smells horrible sometimes.  Who the hell wants to stand in a room selling absorbent little cakes while that’s going on?  (Would he build a nest for me?  Is that guy ready to wipe & wet-nap my ass too?  Do you have to tip extra for that?)

I can see the plus sides… perhaps a person in there deters people from being general pigs, graffiti, illicit activities, and promotes hand-washing.  They probably never run out of towels, soap, or toilet paper.  But, really, why not just check on things periodically and put up a sign.

Do these attendants get paid, or do they work only for tips & poop-flavored candy sales?  How does one get a position as a urination supervision specialist?

Shouldn’t I have a chance to refuse their services entirely if it creeps me out?

Where & why did this all start?

We live by Carnegie Mellon, can’t someone make some robots for this job that aren’t creepy & that don’t require tips?

Enlighten me.

Trick or Treat? How about both?


When I was a kid, and I went trick-or-treating… there were always a few memorable houses; The people that weren’t home but left a bowl of chips on the porch, the guy who gave out quarters (or 50¢ if your costume was “above an beyond”), and the guy who decorated his front porch like a haunted house and scared the crap out of you every year. The best was when he dressed as a scarecrow dummy and sat ridiculously still until your finger was just barely touching the doorbell and jumped up with a terrible scream.  I nearly filled my pants with fear at that place many a year.

That was fun.  Now that I’m of the old age where I need to pass out candy instead of collecting, I’d like to be that fun too.  Sadly, it seems to me that parents would get angry these days if I scared the bejesus out of their child.

I saw this comic online and thought it would be funny to set up shop on the front porch for Halloween:

Admiral Snackbar

Admiral Snackbar

Admiral Snackbar by Scott Johnson / EXTRALIFE (Twitter) (Flickr)

I don’t think I’ve grown out of wanting to wear costumes, and this looks like a good excuse.  All I need is some paint and an Ackbar mask.  Would you be creeped out to bring your kid up to get candy if Admiral Snackbar was set up, or would it be a cool memorable Halloween adventure?