December 4th, 2011

#3082: Dang, what a day that was

We started around noonish.

First stop, the new Culver's here in town for food. Bit on the spendy side but good.

Second, Ace Hardware. $30 later we walked out of there with the parts needed for a spud gun.

Third, the grocery shopping I put off far too long. Though they weren't on the list I bought ammunition (potatos) and propellant (hair spray) for the spud gun.

Once home with the groceries put away, we repaired to the garage to construct said spud gun...and discovered that we had to go back to the hardware store for PVC cement, as the bottle I bought in 2004 had disappeared. Of course. *sigh*

Anyway, so I showed my nephew how to use air tools and let him do the cutting and shaping. I did a bit of cleanup work on some pieces for him but otherwise he did nearly all the assembly work; and I only cemented one of the joints on the thing and had him do the others.

I put the ignitor assembly together for him; and once it was done I stuffed a rag down the barrel, sprayed in some hair spray, put the breech plug in, held it up, and said, "Give it a smack!"

The cannon went THWACK! and fired the rag 25 feet. It would have gone farther if it hadn't run into the house. My nephew was grinning ear to ear.

...so then we headed out to VHQ (Sailor V's abode) for some artillery practice; and here we ran into a bit of a problem. The day was getting cooler now--it was about 3:30--and I think the main issue was the cold air: it was under 50° and the volatiles in the hair spray weren't vaporizing properly. In summertime, it's hard for the thing not to work. But with it being colder, achieving ignition wasn't as easy.

But when it worked! Upon firing you can feel a gush of hot gas coming out past the ignitor. It's not burning hot but it reminds you you're dealing with a deflagrating explosive.

So while my nephew made spudlets, Sailor V and I got his quad running; then I showed the nephew how to ride it. He drove it around the yard a bit while Sailor V and I chatted, and then my nephew took a turn too fast coming back into the driveway and rolled the quad. He got a few scrapes but was otherwise unhurt. He wasn't going fast--I had not showed him how to upshift, so he was only in first gear--but the thing's got a soft suspension and he hit the corner just right.

There were also some fireworks involved.

...so then it was getting on towards parade time, so we packed up and drove back to Crete. I actually got a parking spot at the church (which is on Main street) and we went in for the "Souper Supper" thing. After eating, we went back outside to await the parade.

The parade was pretty good, if a bit choppy in its presentation. The MCs were back. *groan* But this time I wasn't standing right under a speaker, and it was much easier to ignore the blabbering, so that'll be my game plan from now on.

Same MCs, too, but at least this time the one last year whose only adjective was "wonderful" managed to use the word only twice this year. (I counted.)

I had intended to amble around a bit and look at the ice sculptures and see what else was what, but by this time I was fain to exhausted, so once the fire truck with Santa aboard had gone past we just returned to the bunker.

Pretty much we got back here and I collapsed into bed. I was asleep by 8 and slept until about 1 AM; I'll be going back to bed in a while but I needed food. (Ham and cheese on a bagel. That'll do!)

My nephew was effusing about how much fun he'd had today, though, which is what I had intended to accomplish. The kid's had all kinds of guck thrown at him--much more than anyone ought to--and I've been wanting to do something like this for him in order to try to help him get past the crap.

So, mission accomplished.

* * *

As for me: I noticed that having a kid with me made everything more accessible. People chatted with me instead of looking askance at me. At that, my nephew is 16, but being middle aged I think someone aged 18 or even 22 looks like a kid, so that's no biggie.

None of this was exactly a chore for me, except the grocery shopping part. I enjoyed teaching him how to assemble his gun, and I'm pretty sure he enjoyed doing it; and we had a blast out at VHQ.

* * *

Starship Troopers is apparently going to be made into a movie again.

It's hard to see how anyone could do worse than Paul Verhoeven did...assuming that the writers of the new version begin with the source material and don't merely do a remake of The Verhoeven Extrusion.

I will not make any bets, and I won't be seeing the new version in the theater. I'll probably rent the DVD.

* * *

As a bonus, the rain they predicted for this evening held off until after 8 PM.

* * *

Anyway, I have chuch (and choir) at 8:30 this Sunday morning. Choir is having extra practices for the next couple of weeks so we can learn the Christmas songs we're doing on the 18th. I'm looking forward to all of it.

...but right now I want to log on to WoW and hack some stuff, if only for half an hour or so. See you!

#3083: I'm still worn out

Yesterday took quite a bit out of me. Mainly it's my arms and legs that hurt; but I'm also feeling pretty tired.

This morning I woke up before 7, and at 7 I got up and cooked sausage gravy, biscuits, and scrambled eggs. My nephew and I demolished the food, and then we went to church.

I had a good time; he had less of one, but I told him that was my engineering consultant's fee for helping him build his spud gun and he thought that was a fair trade. Heh.

Anyway, now we can chill for a few hours. I'm hoping that my brother or sister-in-law or some combination will come down and pick him up; but if not, I'll haul him back up north.

* * *

Very large unexploded bomb found in German city. Take that, you filthy nazis!

...er, 70 years late, I guess.

* * *

The sausage I bought apparently had very little fat in it, because it sure didn't leave much grease behind. I had to get out some of the bacon fat I'd frozen a few months ago and use that to have enough fat to make gravy.

The gravy therefore didn't have quite as much sausage flavor as I would have liked, but it was still damn good.

It took me some time to make breakfast, but damn was it worth it. I'll be doing this again...if I can find sausage that has enough fat in it that I don't have to pad it with bacon grease.

* * *

So it's Sunday, and I think I'll take a nap or something.