Tuesday, October 17, 2006


There is something about fast-moving projectiles that fascinates the Male of the Species.

Some people satisfy their Projectile Jones with guns, which are eminently suited to the task of propelling chunks of metal at very high speeds. This property makes them extremely useful for those occasions when you might need to make holes in various objects.

Guns work by forcing projectiles through a cylindrical barrel through the force of rapidly expanding gases, gases which are produced by a chemical deflagration. Boyle’s Law and Newton’s Laws pretty much handle the rest.

Others prefer to use projectiles which carry their own motive force with them. Rockets!

And who else but “Bombs Bursting In Air” Yabu - he of the Fireworks Arsenal That Could Level An Entire City Block And Which Almost Caused Him To Get Arrested In Helen, Georgia - would think to bring a Rocket to the Hysterics at Eric’s?

Yes, Yabu brought with him a Rocket - a veritabobble Estes model rocket - the better to entertain the Fine Peeps who came out to celebrate Eric’s birthday this past weekend. Proof positive that, within the skull of every Weapons-Loving Fireworks-Hound Male lurks the perfervid brain of a Nerd.

Trust me on this. I know.

An Estes model rocket! Gawd, did that bring me back to my Snot-Nose days.

Of course, forty years ago, you had to build your Model Rockets from scratch. Even if you purchased your rocket in kit form, you still had to do all the gluing, painting, etcetera. It could take days or weeks to make a rocket in flight-ready form.

Not anymore.

Now, you can buy a ready-to-fly model rocket, complete with safety ignition system and easy-to-assemble launch pad. All you have to do is snap the pad together, stick the engine in, install the engine igniter, shove in some recovery wadding, and Bingo! - you are ready to go. It’s the Perfect Pyrotechnic for a bunch of drunken bloggers, most of whom should not have been trusted with anything more complicated or hazardous than a Nerf Bat at this particular stage of the proceedings.

The damned thing - a Max Trax, in case you’re curious - even came with a snazzy built-in electronic altimeter. Not only that; it also came with a little note that said, “Sometimes the altimeter will fail to function even if the battery is installed correctly and you have followed the instructions to the letter. What can we say? It’s a cheap made-in-China piece of shit. So sue us.”

And, sure enough, the altimeter crapped out...disappointing the Altitude Handicappers.

But aside from the nonfunctioning altimeter, the Rocket o’ Doom worked perfectly, soaring to about 700 feet in its maiden voyage. Thanks to the almost completely windless conditions, it touched down within 100 feet of where it was launched.

Right on Eric’s frickin’ roof. Johnny-Oh had to scramble up and retrieve it for Shot Two.

The second flight landed even closer - a mere 20 feet away. We never had it so good when we were kids.

Recondo32, Yabu, Zonker, Jimbo, and Bodyguard Ken admire the Flight Operations.

Is that a Nose Cone in your pocket, or are you glad to see me?

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