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Monthly Archives: August 2012


I haven’t done much with sports here at Funtober yet. But it is a HUGE part of Fall. October is the heart of the college and NFL football season. AND October contains the Major League Baseball playoffs as well. While I won’t be able to cover these sports to the extent that I would like this year, I expect that sports coverage will pick up in future years. It will never be ESPN. But there’s no way that I can focus on fall fun and completely ignore sports.

The next week will be a pretty big football week for me. It starts tonight with my fantasy football draft. I’ve got the first pick. SWEET!

Although college football starts tonight too, it’s Saturday’s Michigan vs. Alabama game at Dallas Cowboys Stadium that I’m excited about. Both teams are ranked in the top 10 in preseason polls and they go head to head in the first week! Oh. Did I mention that I went to law school at the University of Michigan? GO BLUE! It will definitely be a tough game for the Wolverines, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be rooting for the Maize & Blue.

Michigan Football on any Saturday

The NFL Football season starts Wednesday, September 5th. The defending champion N.Y. Giants play divisional rival Dallas Cowboys. I still can’t believe that Eli Manning has two Super Bowl rings.

Thread the Needle

We’ll have four weekends of football in October. So I ask you: Are you ready for some football?

Over the past week, I’ve noticed a few different news stories about haunted houses scheduling auditions for cast and crew members. If you want to spend your free time in October scaring people and having fun, be sure to contact your local haunted house ASAP and find out when they are scheduled. You don’t want to miss your opportunity to be a part of the good times. You can find their website via our haunted house directory.

Haunted House

It’s Oktoberfest time!

What? You figured Oktoberfest started in October? Well you would be wrong. The Germans decided a while back that they couldn’t wait to get trashed until October. So they moved up the Munich festival to start in September. Don’t believe everything that you red in our history of Oktoberfest – I doubt it was really about the weather!

Some of the great citizens of the United States decided that there was no need to wait until September to drink excellent beer and eat German food. So up sprung Oktoberfest in July and Augtoberfest. I’ve missed posting about several because I was busy filling the store with Halloween costumes for 2012. So if you are staring at this post in August 2013, or if you just want to know what you missed, be sure to look for the Augtoberfest parties in Buffalo Grove, Illinois; Maysville, Kentucky; Minneapolis, MN; Pasco, WA; and Santa Cruz, CA.

So, now that I’ve made a bit of amends for being so busy, here’s two festivals this weekend that you still have time to attend:

Augustoberfest in Hagerstown, Maryland.
Germania Society 42nd Annual Oktoberfest in Cincinnati, Ohio

Since next Saturday is the start of September, and also Labor Day, there’s a lot more Oktoberfest parties coming quickly. Don’t miss one in your area. Go to my Oktoberfest 2012 in the United States page and find your local Oktoberfest now!

Are you familiar with the saying? It refers to a rare event. But, in seven days, you can witness this event if you look up into the sky at night.

A blue moon doesn’t refer to the color of the moon, although it is possible for the moon to appear blue after a volcanic eruption or large fire. Instead, it refers to the second full moon in a month. The first full moon in August 2012 was on the first day of August.

According to the original definition of a blue moon, the August 31, 2012 moon wouldn’t count. The historic definition from the 1937 Farmer’s Almanac required that there be four moons in a season for the third to be called a blue moon. Because the full moon in September occurs after the equinox, it would not count as the fourth moon.

However, James Hugh Pruett noted in Sky and Telescope Magazine in March 1946 that sometimes there is an extra full moon in a year, making for 13 full moons in a year. Pruett called the second full moon in a month the Blue Moon. The Farmer’s Almanac has now adopted Pruett’s version and classified the August 31, 2012 moon as a Blue Moon.

There are a number of beliefs that surround the full moon. Werewolves transform from humans into wolves under the full moon. Ghosts and vampires are more active. Others believe that there is an increase in lunacy among people and an increase in dog bites during the full moon. While I cannot confirm them scientifically, I wouldn’t be doing justice to Funtober if I ignored them. So be careful on August 31st.

The Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival has announced the design competition for the poster that will be featured at the 43rd Annual Half Moon Bay Art & Pumpkin Festival in Half Moon Bay, California. The total prize pool for the competition is $2100. The winning artist will earn $1000.

The deadline for submissions to the contest is September 21, 2012. There is a $20 fee for your first entry. Three additional entries may be submitted for $5 each. You can get additional details at the Coastal Arts League and the Miramar Events website.

The submitted posters will be displayed in the Coastal Arts League in October 2012 and the winner will be announced on December 1, 2012.

The 2012 Poster Design Contest was won by Rebecca Coffman of Portland, Oregon. Her design featured an old fashioned pickup truck with a giant pumpkin in the bed. It is parked next to the ocean as the sun is setting.

Good luck entrants!

As I was at the mall this weekend checking out some clothing deals, I stumbled upon one store that had already started there Halloween displays.  It was only one prominent table in the home accessories section, and one pegboard in the pet section, but there it was.

As you can see on the right in my award winning photo of the table display, there are a number of witches, ghosts, skeletons and and skulls for your home.  I really wanted to buy a few and start decorating.  BUT IT IS ONLY AUGUST!  How dare they tempt me!

I guess I have been living in a box the past few years about these things.  When I started planning Funtober, I assumed that stores would start putting up their Halloween displays in August.  I guess I thought that Halloween would be setup after the all important back to school rush had ended.  I also thought that Oktoberfest and pumpkin ales would hit the stores in September.  What a mistake I made there!  They actually become available in July.

In defense of the retailer where I was shopping, it was a pretty small section of the store.  And you don’t really need to buy any home accessories for Halloween.  But, still.  Why weren’t they playing christmas music, too??

On a side note, the dog Halloween display was pretty cute in the pet section:

I might as well finish this post off right: Happy Halloween!


London has been the focus of the world for the past two weeks because of the Olympics. But Hollywood movie and costume fans will refocus their attention on London this Autumn as, just prior to Halloween, a London museum will reveal a fantastic collection of costumes from some of the world’s most popular movies.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London will house a Hollywood Costume exhibit featuring 100 movie costumes from Dorothy Gale (The Wizard of Oz) Scarlett O’Hara (Gone with the Wind), Indiana Jones, Darth Vader (Star Wars), among others. There’s a detailed discussion of some of the costumes that will be exhibited, including John Travolta’s costume from Saturday Night Fever, in the Daily Mail. It is truly an amazing collection that ranges from the recent Dark Knight movie to costumes that are more than 100 years old. Tickets for the event, which runs from October 20, 2012 to January 27, 2013, are 14 pounds (about $22).

There’s no doubt that the costumes in the exhibit are of significant historical and monetary value. At the end of July, the headpiece from the Chewbacca Costume used by Peter Mayhew in Star Wars was sold to a collector at a Profiles in History auction for $172,000. It’s a shame that the Chewbacca headpiece won’t be paired with the Darth Vader costume in the exhibit. Regardless, if you are in London this fall or winter, be sure to stop at the Victoria and Albert Museum for the collection of costumes.

I have never tried to time a trip to coincide with the peak fall foliage of a region. But if you are planning a vacation in advance, you can’t rely on my favorite method, which is looking out the window. Normally, you would do well to look at charts and maps online that indicate the average time of peak fall foliage for your destination. This year, however, the leaves might change colors a bit earlier than they normally would due to the hot, dry summer conditions.

I’ve mentioned the impact of the weather on corn, apples and pumpkins already this year. But a recent newspaper article brought the impact of the weather on the tree leaves to my attention. When plants are stressed because of heat and drought, they shut down chlorophyll production in their leaves earlier that they would otherwise. They then lose their green color and the red, orange and yellow colors that we enjoy throughout autumn are visible.

The last hot, dry summer was 2010. On August 30, 2010, the Boston Globe ran this article about how some leaves were starting to change colors in New England due to the summer weather conditions.

But, before you book that trip early, you should also know that the timing of the leaves depends on September weather as well. So it is still too early to say for sure when the brilliant leaf colors will peak. But if I were booking a vacation to enjoy the colors of the countryside, I wouldn’t count on fall foliage peaking late in the season in 2012.

Pyramid Breweries is giving one lucky person a trip to Munich for Oktoberfest 2013 in Munich. The winner of the sweepstakes will win roundtrip airfare for two to Munich, a five night hotel stay and $2,000 in spending cash for the trip.

You can enter once per week from now until September 30, 2012. The winner will be drawn on 10/03/2012. The contest excludes residents of 16 states, and Pennsylvania was one of them, so I wasn’t able to enter. But you can enter and take me with you! Visit http://www.pyramidbrew.com/oktoberfest-contest to enter.

While you are at the Pyramid website, be sure to also take a look at their Oktoberfest beer:

Pyramid has been brewing in the Pacific Northwest since 1984.  They have alehouses in Seattle, Portland, Sacramento, Walnut Creek and Berkeley.

I started Funtober to ensure that I have more fun in my life.  And I’ve been working pretty hard on the website in the past few weeks.  Halloween is less than 90 days away now.  So I spent the past weekend on the beach in Ocean City, Maryland for a little rest and relaxation.

While on the Boardwalk, I stumbled upon Trimper’s Haunted House, a five minute ride originally built in 1964 by Bill Tracy.

It seems that I can not get away from Funtober at this point.  Although the London Olympics are making there best effort to distract me from my work.

The plan for August 2012 here is to get the costume shop online.  You may have noticed that there are already a few products up in toddler costumes, baby costumes and dog costumes.  But there’s no checkout button yet.  Sorry!  I’m still setting up the payment gateway and I want to test the costume supplier before taking the first customer order.  Please bear with me.  It will be ready to go for the start of Halloween season on September 1st.