When the stores run out of pumpkins ... (Shallow Thoughts)

Akkana's Musings on Open Source Computing and Technology, Science, and Nature.

Fri, 01 Nov 2013

When the stores run out of pumpkins ...

We got started on Halloween a little late this year. It turns out that by the afternoon of the 31st, you can't buy a pumpkin any more -- the stores are all out of them.

We looked around -- what might we be able to use instead? And lit upon something round, a little too small but not by much:

[Watermelon-o-lantern] [Watermelon-o-lantern]

We had to find smaller hole saw bits than usual to cut the eyes and mouth, since this was just a mini watermelon.

It turns out a mini watermelon has a very thin rind compared to a pumpkin. But the fruit is a lot easier to scrape out (and tastes and smells a lot better, too!) than pumpkin strings and seeds.

And the insides of the mouth are nicely red.

It comes out looking pretty good once it's lit, too!
[Pumpkin trepanning] Most years, we start with an actual pumpkin before we embark on our annual Pumpkin Trepanning operation (described in detail here).

In case you're curious, that stand we use for the pumpkins started life as a 4-1/4-inch homebuilt telescope that was supposed to be a mini model of the Hale 200-inch telescope at Mt Palomar. But we never finished grinding the mirror -- grinding a 4.25" mirror takes almost as long as grinding an 8" one, and when you're one what do you have? A 4.25" scope. But the micro-Hale does make a pretty good jack-o-lantern stand.

Alas, our efforts this year were mostly for naught -- it was one of those years when nobody's trick-or-treating. We only got one pair of kids all evening. Anybody want some extra candy?

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