Thursday, August 14

Thursday brought rain and a cold front (high 50s/low 60s! Hallelujiah!) which curtailed our activities somewhat. Even so, we all attended one last afternoon class to cram in just a little bit more learning before the classes started winding down.

Just before the sun set that evening, Mark and I went for a walk through a storage area where a bunch of old tanks were stockpiled behind our motel. They were all painted the same shade of soothing emerald green and made a nice sea of color as we walked about in the golden light. Plus, we saw a bunch of female jackalopes hopping around.

After dinner, we headed back over to the Cam-Plex so we could shoot off our class projects. First we stopped at the C line so the boys could light the tourbillions they had made. A tourbillion looks a lot like a stick of dynamite, with the fuse coming out the middle. It's got physics that make it eject force on the two ends as well so that when properly made, it lifts into the sky with a cone of sparks supporting it. Both Kurt and Marty's tourbillions worked perfectly and were absolutely gorgeous.

To shoot off the 6" shells we had made on Wednesday, we had to move over to the B firing range. Think of B as standing for big boys, if you like. When we arrived, there were all sorts of folks out there, some with shells as large as 12 inches. It was enormous fun to be close to the firing line and watch all the huge shells go up. For anything larger than a 8" shell, the safety officer had everyone go behind the steel magazine trailer for protection, and it wasn't an overly cautious request, either - let me tell you. Several of the shells burst early, one "unknown" shell going up in an enormous fireball (COOOOOOLLL!!!) as it fired from the mortar. When it came our turn to light our shells, Kurt went first. His shell lifted perfectly, but unfortunately failed to explode, hitting the ground with a dull disappointing thud. Marty's shell was next and I followed, both our shells bursting just as planned. Kurt was nice enough to get mine on video:

Once again, heavy drops of rain began to fall, signaling an oncoming deluge, so we piled in the minivan and headed back to the hotel. Marty and I took the valuable opportunity presented by the late hour to affix an editorial phrase to the curious light fixture that topped the staircase nearest our room. Because the stairwell acted as a sort of heat sink for the ice machine and several other vending devices, the temperature at the top of the stairwell was excruciatingly warm. I'm sure when a blizzard was raging outside, it felt pretty good, but with the temperature hovering in the 80s, it felt more like a stroll through the Gobi desert every time we had to go to the car.

As such, Marty and I used some post-it note letters I found at the drugstore earlier in my journey to make our point. I stood guard for surprise guests while Marty lined the letters up and stuck them to the plastic. I got the giddy rush of a high school band prankster every time an unidentified sound echoed through the entryway.

It sure doesn't take much for me to have fun, does it?

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Robert said...

That was awesome! I've never seen a firework do what yours did.

Robert said...

This is the best blog ever!