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Crowley

Getting To Know You July

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4 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

 

Does a quarter stick of dynamite count?

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1 minute ago, NebulousMissy said:

 

Does a quarter stick of dynamite count?

Absolutely!!

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7 minutes ago, Crowley said:
9 minutes ago, NebulousMissy said:

 

Does a quarter stick of dynamite count?

Absolutely!!

 

Hokay. So...

 

I was not involved. This is a third hand story. This was a decade before I was even born.

 

My uncle and his friend were kids. Somehow they found a quarter stick of dynamite because it was early 70s and now they had a quandary. What to do with it? More specifically, what will they blow up with it? Holes are easy to make, that's no fun. If they bury it to see how far the dirt flies there's a chance they bury it too deep and it doesn't blow up right. Also no fun. They're 8 or so, old enough to know that holding it while it goes off will take their hand off so that's out. What to do? Have to blow it up IN something otherwise that's just an explosion, that's boring. 

 

An empty tin can was their choice. They decided to light the dynamite off inside the tin can like a redneck rocket to see how high up the can would fly.

 

I don't know what happened next. Not really. My uncle has never said. All I know is everyone else in the neighborhood heard an ear-shattering, earth-shaking BOOM that led them all to the empty lot where my uncle and his friend stood in the open looking up with the stupidest "whoa" faces imaginable.

 

50/50 that the can disintegrated. Also 50/50 that the can made low orbit.

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4 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

Many moons ago, after a successful raid of Indiana's fine firework emporiums, my crew and I had gathered enough crackers and bottle rockets to last us a good long while. Of course being highschoolers, we soon got careless and started leaving boxes of them in our cars. (this was due to our other hobby of hunting each other in the woods with pellet guns. This was before airsoft was a thing and none of us could afford paintball gear. So we set a firm limit that nothing used could exceed 500 fps, no headshots,and bundled in several layers of clothing on these jaunts. The rockets were used for suppressing fire and the crackers were used as gernades. Over the years that we were doing this the only injury received was when Moose slipped in a stream and sprained an ankle. So we got off rather lucky.)

Anyway one on of our late night trips to the 24 hour resturant attached to the truck stop, one of the passengers in the second car got bored, and tossed a lit pack of crackers out the window. What she hadn't thought about was the folks in car number three, who were a bit put out over having explosives lobbed at them. There was a great deal of profanity launched from car three over the CB, and I glanced in the mirror just as they had pulled up next to car 2 and then heard over the radio a ferocious bellow of "BROADSIDE!" as several bottle rockets peppered against the driver's side and went spinning off flickering into the night. 

Car 2's driver luckily had their window closed, and the girl who'd thrown the crackers first had unbuckled her seat belt and perched herself on the shotgun side window, hurling several more packs at car 3. (which missed entirely) 

Car 3 then pulled ahead of car 2 and the backseat passengers began responding in kind. 

I was having a great deal of trouble keeping car 1 on the road at this point because I was laughing so hard. Both groups were now speaking pirate and the original car 2 was discovering that the laws of physics were very much against them when it came to trying to attack original car 3. This went on for most of the trip, only ceasing when we began getting close to civilization. 

Over the course of our meal, friendly elftalk was exchanged by both parties and it was obvious that this would now be a thing for the rest of the summer or the firework supply ran out, whichever happened first. Rules of engagement were devised. This was to only be a "backroads in the middle of nowhere at ungodly hours" type of thing. The last thing we needed was someone seeing this and calling the law on us. (the local cops of course had a rather good idea of some of the shinnanigans we got up to, but thankfully didn't have the nessessary proof to do much more than give us a stern talking to. The unspoken deal was that we kept things in certain bounds and didn't give them probable cause, and they'd look the other way unless they had to. I found out years later that they knew far more of our activities than we assumed but since these were things they themselves had done at our age, they got a laugh out them just as much as we did. I miss the old days.)

 

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In my defense, I was poorly supervised.

I grew up on the Mexican border, and one of the first things you learn about the border, particularly in the early seventies, was that the GOOD fireworks came from Mexico; one could procure them there easily and cheaply, or sometimes they could be bought at little roadside tents over on the Texas side, if you knew where to look.

I grew up with M-80s that could turn a steel trash can into a steel hula skirt; you'd upend the trash can, slip the lit firecracker under it, and run like hell. Knew one guy who caught shrapnel from doing this. 

M-80s could stay lit, even when submerged in water; this made them ideal for disruptive pranks at school, in which you'd flush the toilet, and during the flush, drop the lit cracker into the swirly water, and casually stroll out of the restroom, trying hard not to be seen; when the thing went off, it would make every water pipe in the building howl like a werewolf with indigestion, and most every toilet in the building would erupt like a geyser due to the sudden jump in water pressure. 

Knew a guy who got rather badly burned when his shirt caught fire during a battle where the combatants were shooting roman candles at each other. 

As I grew older, I learned that fireworks could be disassembled to obtain black powder, which could be collected and tamped to form actual explosives; it didn't help that Mexican fireworks were ridiculously cheap. My chums and I would gather black powder, make bombs, and go out to this empty field where years earlier, someone had dumped an old washing machine. We had a goal of actually lifting the entire machine clear of the ground, either with a single charge, or with multiple synchronized charges; we did a fair amount of research to make this happen. It was harder than you'd think; more often than not, we'd tip it over or send it tumbling, but lifting the whole thing clear of the ground was a trick and a half.

We mourned that washing machine like a beloved dog, the day it finally came apart due to sustained explosive abuse. Seriously. I can still get misty about the thing, forty years later.

We actually built an electric rifle that fired modified bottle rockets, with a battery and trigger that would instantly launch the rocket. We came a cropper later, when we tried to modify it to be clip fed; we'd never heard of "chain firing," but oh, my, we saw it that day and then some; miracle none of us got hurt. It was an interesting lesson, particularly when we learned the same problem had historically plagued the early gatling guns.

The bottom line was that I spent a good ten years doing remarkably irresponsible things with explosives, and aside from an occasional minor burn, I never got hurt. I'd LIKE to say it's because I was responsible and safety conscious, but in truth, there were more than a few times I just got lucky.

At this point, I will fast forward by twenty years. One day, I was out on the driveway with my little girl, who was beside herself with excitement; we had obtained a bag of fireworks.

Her mother did not approve. Then again, her mother was not there at the time, and I understood the magnetic draw of fire and bangery better than her mother did. I was prepared to be indulgent, but we would learn and discuss the proper safety procedures for handing Class C Explosives, you got it, kid? And we went over safety procedures, and she was furiously nodding with each bullet point, eager eager eager to light something UP!

The first item I pulled from the bag was a four pack of Spinning Whizzers, these little round aluminum fan blade looking things. You lit the fuse, and they'd spin and whiz and launch into the air, and burn out in about two seconds, but they'd FLYYYY! And I put one down to demonstrate. No, no, sweetie, Daddy's doing this one; watch carefully. Once it's lit, you get AWAY, FAST, because it might rocket straight up and smack you in the FACE, capeesh? You can do the next one...

And I lit the Spinning Whizzer.

And it sat there, and FZZZZZZZSSSST, spun and sprayed sparks, but didn't GO anywhere. My daughter and I exchanged looks.

And the thing suddenly rocketed straight up in the air; sure enough, if I hadn't moved, it'd have smacked me in the face. 

But then it hovered in midair, a good fifteen feet up... and then suddenly FZZZZZZZZST sideways, a good fifty feet, directly into the rain gutter on the side of the house. Which was full of dry leaves that had been accumulating all summer. By the time I got the hose, they were burning merrily, and it was the effort of a few minutes to soak down the gutter, roof, and side of the house to the point where I felt safe stopping for a minute to go get the ladder to check the damage. Some soot damage inside the gutter, and some burnt leaves, nothing major. Hadn't touched the roof or the side of the house.

I descended the ladder, much chastened. Jeez, if the wife'd been home, this'd have been a disaster...

And the Kid pipes up, "So can I do the NEXT one?"



 

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6 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

 

Not really fun but had a mortar fall over and almost kill me and friend. Had supervising adult not noticed and stomped it out in time it would have been bad.

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Doc, we used to take the gunpowder from shotgun shells to make bombs. When my buddy and I decided we had outgrown action figures, we popped their heads and fulled them with powder, used firecracker cords to light em. Good times, can't believe I have all my fingers.

 

Our version of 'war' was also with bb guns (with a "1 pump" rule that every ignored and used 10 pumps), bottle rockets, firecrackers and roman candles.

 

I laugh at the safety stuff kids today have to live with. The 70s was one giant rusty jagged exploding death trap for kids. And it was awesome.

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57 minutes ago, CashWiley said:

Doc, we used to take the gunpowder from shotgun shells to make bombs. When my buddy and I decided we had outgrown action figures, we popped their heads and fulled them with powder, used firecracker cords to light em. Good times, can't believe I have all my fingers.

 

Our version of 'war' was also with bb guns (with a "1 pump" rule that every ignored and used 10 pumps), bottle rockets, firecrackers and roman candles.

 

I laugh at the safety stuff kids today have to live with. The 70s was one giant rusty jagged exploding death trap for kids. And it was awesome.

 

I find your reasoning very difficult to argue with.

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8 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

Biggest fireworks display I ever saw was in 2008 during the Quebec City 400th anniversary event. City was packed, and the fireworks literally filled the whole sky (from my POV at least).

 

An early memory of a fireworks display proved to me that I got childhood memories of when I was 2 years old. My family lived in Ottawa, we bundled up late in the neighborhood to watch the fireworks, and still remember not liking the sound of the explosions and covering my head with that old orange blanket. The fireworks were for Canada Day (still called Dominion Day back then), and occurred on July 1st. My 3rd birthday was in late August, and we moved to Aylmer (now Hull-Gatineau) the following spring when there was still snow around, so I know any other fireworks would've been in a different location than what I remembered.

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On 7/1/2018 at 8:41 AM, Crowley said:

Question for Sunday, July 1st:  We're halfway through the year! If you had a goal for the year, are you still on track? If not, what's your next step?

 

My primary goal for the year is to seek comfort and aid when I need it and provide for others when they do. It's tough going, but I think I'm accomplishing my goal. Next step is to end the atrocities committed by ICE.

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9 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

 

Hello, I'm new *waves* ::D: and here's a firework story from Bonnie Scotland

 

7 years ago in the Highland town of Oban, everyone was very excited about the annual bonfire night fireworks display. When it started, people were understandably impressed as the sky turned white with the truly impressive amount of fireworks in the sky. There was no gaps between the fireworks, just sheer, unrelenting noise and light. This continued for 50 seconds, then.........nothing.

 

Someone had made a terrible mistake setting it up, considering it was supposed to last half an hour :D

 

 

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On 7/2/2018 at 6:30 AM, Crowley said:

Question for Monday, July 2nd:  Do you know the story of Mrs. Malaprop? Do you use or accidentally employ malaprops? Do you insist on the more formal spelling

 

*Thanks to @TGP for today's question!

I played Faulkland in a production of The Rivals. I was so unlikable the audience nearly refused to let us finish the play.

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On 7/1/2018 at 5:41 AM, Crowley said:

Question for Sunday, July 1st:  We're halfway through the year! If you had a goal for the year, are you still on track? If not, what's your next step?

 

 

  • Hobby Goals
    • I'm working towards painting a ridiculous number of minis this year (150), I'm way off track for this one due to real life stuff. Hoping I'll hit at least 100. Next step is find more time to paint one project at a time rather than jump around from thing to thing and not finish any of them. If I finish Shadows of Brimstone this year I'll probably exceed that goal.
    • Haven't touched the Shelf of Shame. Plan on doing that once I finish current projects (7 single minis in various states of done, 1 wave of Shadows of Brimstone to do.) 
    • Organizing has gotten much better. Much progress made in the last couple days. Long way to go still but much better,
  • Personal Goals
    • I'm working towards getting healthy. This one is going slower than painting is. Next step is to start working out regularly.
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8 hours ago, TheMandolin said:

 

Stupidly, my brother and I used to "battle" with fireworks. The name escapes me right now. Not bottle rockets but similar. Inch wide tube about 12 inches long and it would shoot 5-6 streaks of fire works out of it? You were supposed to put them in a tube on the ground but we would hold them and shoot them at one another. We did this every summer and it was incredibly dumb. I got burned a lot. One year his pants caught on fire because there was one charge left but he thought it was empty and pointed it down near his feet. It turned out fine and at the time was hilarious but now as an adult, I'm just like, "where were my parents!"

 

 

Also @Glitterwolf YIKES!!!!! 

 

My brother and I tried to build a rocket car out of a toy truck and a rocket engine. Fortunately the flamethrower we built was unable to ignite the rocket engine.

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10 hours ago, Crowley said:

Question for July 3rd: Any fun stories involving fireworks? If so, share! 

I'm sorry, but one of the stipulations of my plea agreement was that I was never to discuss the events of the evening of REDACTED. You're just going to need to use your imagination.

 

Come on, you can do better than that. No,no. Bigger. BIGGER. BIGGER.

Yeah, now you're getting close.:devil:

 

 

Aside from the usual 'blowing up anything that didn't move fast enough' stories that a lot of folks have already shared, and not counting the big boy fireworks (actual explosives when I was in the military), this is what I've got:

 

About 15 or so years ago, I was flying somewhere or other on a late flight and we were coming in for landing. It was NOT the 4th of July, or any other holiday that I can conceive of shooting off fireworks for. Anyway, we were making our approach when I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye. I decide to check outside and peer through the window, a little apprehensive about what I'm gonna see.

 

(Yes, I HAVE seen that Twilight Zone episode)

 

Happily, all I saw was night sky, and all the lights from way down on the ground.

 

And then, BAM!!! The entire night sky turns reddish orange. A few seconds later, I see the streak of another missile leaving the ground; thankfully, the gunners on the ground don't seem to have their sights adjusted properly as it turns the sky a bright shade of yellow a good distance away.

 

"Who the hell is SHOOTING  at us?!? WHY are they shooting at us?!!?"

 

After a few seconds, I realize that it is a fireworks display, and that it's actually not really all that close to us. (At least, that's what I was telling myself. I double checked my seat belt just in case the pilot decided he wanted to try evasive maneuvers, though.)

 

I was able to check out the show for another few minutes until the pilot changed course. It was kinda neat to see fireworks from that perspective, but it was just ever so slightly unsettling, too.

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