Now that's more like it! Perhaps since my previous meal had been so disappointing, my breakfast at Waffle House the next morning seemed like the best meal I'd eaten in a long time. It was delicious and perfect in every way. The only thing that would have made it better was if Pearl Fryar had been there to join me.
I'm noticing a theme here.
After quietly paying the tab and retreating to the car, I scurried off to Phoenix where I planned to spend the night. I saw with relief that there was a Waffle House the exit before my motel. That would go a long way toward making up for the unfortunate Quartzsite poisoning.
"Hey! What are you kids doing out there?!"
"Don't lie to me - I can smell smoke!"
"Aw mom, we're just making thermite...."
"Not again! I told you kids that was the last Etch-a-Sketch I was going to buy you and I meant it!"
After witnessing the unleashing of all sorts of toxic clouds into the crisp desert air, I moved on to the next seminar: black powder rockets. I've taken this class before at the PGI conference in Gilette and I absolutely loved both the class and the teachers (Kurt Medlin and Steve Majdali), so there was no question whether I'd be attending or not. Those guys are so knowledgeable that I could sit through that course 20 times and still learn something new. Plus they're really nice and funny.
I knocked my rocket out in no time flat and walked out to the magazine on the rocket range with a wonderful fellow named Antonio that I met in class. He's a Vegas performer that uses colored fire, so I talked his ear off in the 15 minutes it took to walk out to the range and back. One of the things I really enjoyed this year was how many wonderful folks I met. Everyone is so nice and most seem to feel really comfortable being themselves, knowing like-minded individuals are about.
Here are a few shots of us helping make the pyro effects. Below is one of the spinning pinwheels. You can see two rockets, and that's a type of fuse called quick match (burns around 60 feet a SECOND) that has the two leaders going into middle where the fuse has been totally exposed so it's just essentially gun powder on a string. As soon as any lighted pyro hits the very middle, it lights the whole thing up and it starts spinning like crazy, making a beautiful round nest of sparks.
With a bunch of happy pyros on the assembly line, it didn't take long to get everything prepared. Now came the hard part - waiting until dark so we could start shooting!