In 2006, Stanley moved off the front porch onto a swanky new scaffold in front of the house. “Stanley’s Cage” as it came to be known was screwed-together 1/2″ black pipe, and had to be built with one set of legs longer than the other to accommodate the hill.
We also introduced our first startle prop – who came to be known as “Grim”. My first foray into pneumatics!
There’s a really funny story about how the night before Halloween, I was still figuring out how to hook up the air lines and valve to get the proper effect … jump up quickly, then slowly drop back down. Becky had just finished “dressing” him in his new cloak and had gone to bed, leaving me to my mechanical wizardry. Unfortunately I got the connections on the valve backwards. Instead of popping up very quickly, then returning much slower, I turned on the switch, and Grim sloooooowly rose and extended his arms. “Uh oh, I got it backwards”, I thought, and figured maybe if I just turned off the power… WHAM! Grim slammed himself back down into a crouch so hard that he bounced and flopped forward onto his newly decorated face, which in turn scared me into flicking the switch again and he slowly extended, dragging his aluminum frame on the carpeted living-room floor. Then contracting again with destructive force when I removed power again.