It seems the biggest event in the year here in CA is Halloween , people prepare months in advance, creating vast tableaus outside and making stagesets out of ther front yards.Life size ghouls and fantams are erected on pully strings , lights are hung ,fake cobwebs are hung on trees and costumes are planned to meticulous degree. There was clearly a case of "keeping up with the Jones " in our street as the family that usually reign supreme re Halloween campery were out done this year by the Scotts who live opposite them. For the last month each time I drove past these two residencies , each had added a new scary gimmick or sound effect. By the time halloween came along the scotts had turned their garden into a graveyard , along with mist and sound effects , moving creepy figures and dismembered body parts. Children were scared to go trick-or -treating there. My children had permanant outfit crisis for about a week and we had numerous trips to "arghhs" the costume shop and rite aid to add new bits to their costume so as not to feel "Less Than " on the big day. The big day ended up being a non stop sugar highs and a "Super market Sweep " along several streets- the general attitude being fill your pockets with as much as youcan as quick as you can. You can imagine the next day the level of crankiness was high . I was just releived it was over. Now we have the writers strike to deal with . Philip has down ed tools and is off to the CBS picket line . we dont know where the next penny is coming from, hey ho, more will be revealed. I may have to start painting peoples pooches.