Hughes Family: October 16, 2013 – October 31, 2013

October is pretty much all about one thing… Halloween. And I guess that’s okay if you like Halloween, but it’s not one of my favorite holidays. Too much candy, crazy costumes, piles of pumpkins and enough Halloween themed events to make your head spin (which would be very appropriate, given the holiday). Ah well! I’m a party pooper… what can say?


Fall is underway and winter is visible on the horizon. Leaves change, leaves fall, children are at play. Leaves gone, cold comes, inside the children stay.


Chloe dressed herself up as a zombie quite a few times this month. Here are a couple of highlights from her newest game. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, Mike received his Bear award.


Cornbelly’s! The kids love their annual visit to this backwards celebration of corn stalks and hay. There’s always plenty to do- slides, mazes, paintball, wagon rides…


hot chocolate, caramel popcorn, the corn box (like a sand box, but with corn!) and so much more. The adults usually hit Cornbelly’s as well but I was sick this go around. Next year!


The Sabins held their annual Halloween party- it keeps getting bigger and better each year (eventually they will have to move to accommodate this party). In addition to the usual outrageous decorations and exciting activities our generous steam punk dressed  hosts provided a Waffle Love truck and Rachel took family pictures of the attendees! Our little one was very grumpy and this year we retired early, but come 2014 we will be back with an unholy vengeance.


This year the kids decided to buy some fancy higher end pumpkins. The ghost pumpkins were really cool, but this green one (Mike’s) turned out to have skin that was about two inches thick. It was so difficult for me to carve that I ended up not even doing my own pumpkin.


I think all the kids had fun going out trick or treating. This was the first year that Chloe really understood what was going on (although she didn’t really notice when all her candy disappeared). Mike and Claire ate everything you see here, while Gabe opted to trade out his candy for cash (“I don’t want to get sick” he wisely said).


Fran gets pretty festive for Halloween. Nail decorations and special spooky treats abound-pumpkin shakes, ghost toast, swamp smoothies, seaweed octopus soup and dry ice beaker brew (I wish I could cram more pictures in here, but there’s only so much room).

It’s funny to me that the month of November isn’t overshadowed by Thanksgiving. I guess it’s just not that cool of a holiday (it’s certainly got nothing on Christmas). I leave you with the text of this wonderful internet meme that I’ve seen a lot lately: Black Friday – Because only in American do we wait in line and trample other for sale items one day after giving thanks for what we already have.

Tacoma Tunes

When I bought my Tacoma I got the non-JBL equipped truck since I knew I wanted to gut the stereo. I was actually surprised by the stock headunit – in a good way – and decided to keep it (I really like the interface). Since I’m sick of doing the installs myself I took it to CSD Audio. Travis recommended components, built the sub box and did the install.

For the fronts we used Focal K2 Power 165KR speakers and the rears got Focal Performance PC 165’s (both are 6.25″). The front speakers are powered by a Mosconi Gladen One 240.2. amp and the rears are driven off the stock stereo.


One challenge in the Tacoma is the lack of space for things like a subwoofer and amplifiers. We selected two shallow mount Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 10″ subs. The subs are powered by a Mosconi Gladen One 120.2. amp.


Behind the rear seats are some shallow storage compartments. The first compartment is now occupied by a custom CDS audio sub box (the seat can be up and the subs still work fine) and the second compartment houses both Mosconi amps.


When I saw the old speakers I was shocked at how small the magnets were and the flimsy construction. They didn’t sound half bad!


The current setup sounds very good- it’s a huge improvement over the stock system as well as the JBL system in my last Tacoma. The Focal speakers are detailed with a nice crispness. Right now they are still in their break-in period so I’m hoping some of the mild harshness I hear will dissipate. The Pioneer subs don’t have the kick of the JL Audio subwoofers I’m accustomed to, but they’re more than acceptable. Overall I’m very happy with the upgrade, although I may need to tweak some of the settings down the line.

Stock Headunit
Focal K2 Power 165KR Speakers (front)
Focal Performance PC 165 Speakers (Rear)
Mosconi 120 x 2 Amp
Mosconi 240 x 2 Amp
2 Pioneer TS-SW2501S4 10″ subwoofers