That was the night that they painted the Sky....

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by CRC, Sep 25, 2008.


  1. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Warning: Put your drink down before continuing to read... :)


    Subtitled:

    Dad teaches kids about the safety of Fireworks.....



    Some things are meant to be passed on to our sons. About 2 weeks ago, I was looking around the Web for the BIGGEST skyrocket that I could get shipped to me via common freight carrier. I located a fireworks importer in Wisconsin who had this mondo skyrocket.... biggest thing I had ever seen.... called a Sky Dragon. These things are 48 inches tall and are mounted on a 2-inch wooden dowel. Pure aerospace engineering. I plopped down a bunch of money and had them send me two cases of the things.

    They arrived at the freight dock in a few days and I had to drive the van over to pick them up. Two boxes each 2 feet by 2 feet by 4 feet in size containing 80 rockets each. The "Class 4 Explosives" sticker on the side of each box was a real bonus. I am gonna have to save them for the scrapbook.

    That night, me and the kiddos had a gen-u-ine rocket launch ceremony. I placed one of these beauties in a liter-size glass bottle, and the bottle fell over. "Hmmmm. this thing was waaay too big." I looked around the shop for a pipe to set it in, but realized that the only dirt I could drive the pipe into was in plain sight of my neighbor's house. I knew he was a cool guy, but I didn't want him to call the cops.

    You see, "projectile-type" fireworks are totally illegal in this county. I am surprised that the [edit] County Sheriff Department wasn't waiting for me at the loading dock when I picked these things up. Anyhow, I finally rigged a launch pad by prying up one of the driveway drain grates with a crowbar and sitting the stick into the deep pit. Looked sorta like an ICBM silo with its hardened lid slid aside.

    I asked which of my three kids wanted to light the fuse, but all took a few steps back and politely declined. Chicken-[potty word]s. Kids just aren't made the same nowadays. They fulfill their danger quotient by shooting bad guys in video games. About as far from real danger as you can get, if you ask me. I told the little weenies to stand back as I bent to light the device with a Bic lighter.

    The lady at the fireworks importer promised me that these things would NOT make any noise. I told her that they HAD to be relatively quiet so I could shoot them off in my neighborhood without causing undue alarm. She said I wouldn't have any problem. I emphasized the particular legal problems I would have if there were any type of loud report at apogee. I emphasized the fact that I lived right next to a National Park and that any type of firework that was discharged or assumed to be discharged on that property would get me sent before a FEDERAL judge right before I got sent to the COUNTY judge.

    She again assured me I would have "no problem".... that lying XXXX.

    That rocket engine had a burn time about as long as any I had EVER seen, and the ascent echoed off the surrounding trees. Diamond shock patterns extended from the back end. It kept going and going and going. When it hit apogee at about 1000 feet, the rocket disintegrated into a huge shower of silent red sparks. Pretty cool, I thought.... until the shower of sparks burned out and suddenly transformed into a cloud of extremely bright and loud explosions.

    The kids scrambled into the back door "Three Stooges style" (i.e., where all three try to get through the same door at once) and left me standing in the smoking haze waiting for the cops to arrive. The dogs that live along our street were all barking their heads off at the apparition they had just witnessed in the night sky. That ended the fireworks test for the night.

    The next day, my oldest son Doug and I decided we were gonna "neuter' one of the rockets so it wouldn't make any noise. I took him into the closet where I store the gardening tools and he saw these two huge cases of fireworks standing there. The kid went nuts. He wanted to open BOTH boxes so he could see what all 159 rockets looked like lined up next to each other.

    This kid has promise.

    I told him: "Since mom only thinks I have a few of these things lying around, maybe that wasn't such a good idea." He mulled that over for a few seconds, then gave me a real big smile in agreement. We pulled one of the rockets out of the box and re-locked the closet door. He and I both sat down on the driveway and proceeded to take it apart. It was a standard issue big-ass Chinese skyrocket. I bet they used these to kill people 500 years ago. As I sat there taking layer after layer of paper off, his brain was filling with the details of construction. Tissue, cardboard, plastic, fuses... etc.

    Realizing that he was mentally storing the design for some future project sorta made me shudder. All I was thinking was the fact that this thing was probably put together by a political prisoner in a hellhole somewhere who is probably gonna get executed so they can sell his internal organs on the transplant market. Probably not too far from the facts, but I managed to do a bit of explaining to him from the standpoint of aerospace engineering regarding how the thing worked. Doug is probably the only 4th grader in the U.S. who can now describe the principle of thrust using a control volume model.

    The rocket was pretty simple. It had a very large booster engine topped with a warhead that contained the red sparkly things that exploded. Removing the warhead was as simple as giving a quick twist, and I assumed the neutered rocket would fly higher without the payload. I was correct.

    Doug and I did a daylight 'stealth' test and were able to add about 50% to the altitude attained the previous night. We decided to modify four more rockets and put them aside in the closet for easy access. When this was done, Doug had a jar full of stuff that came out of the warheads including: 12 fuses about 3 inches long each, some paper, 4 plastic nose cones, and a big handful of these little black balls about the size of
    12-gauge buckshot that turned out to be the "red sparkly popper things."

    It appeared that the outer layer was a simple gunpowder coating designed to quickly burn off as red shower of sparks. I surmised that the inner core had some kind of magnesium thermite that gave off an intense white light and a loud bang. Pretty cool if you ask me. Lots of energy packed into one teeny little ball.

    I didn't want to see the popper thingies go to waste, so I told Doug we were gonna put them in a hole in the ground and set them off. He gave me another big smile. It's amazing how kids think alike.... even when separated by 30 years. As I was digging a shallow hole with my hand, Doug asked if it would be alright to put an army man next to these things so that "When they go off, it would look like he was getting shot with a machine gun." [potty word]... exactly what I was thinking. I agreed and he ran off to his room to dig something out of the mess. He returned in about 3 seconds, out of breath and holding a cheap plastic imitation of Robert E. Lee on horseback and a Civil War cannon. I pointed out that they didn't have true machine guns in the Civil War, but we would overlook this for the purpose of the demonstration. He handed me the action figure and I placed it and the cannon next to a rather large pile of black beads from which a few of the fuses extended.

    I guessed or figured that three inches of fuse would take 2 seconds to burn, so I had at least that amount of time to stand up and take a few steps back. I neglected to recount the night before... when the warhead ignited IMMEDIATELY upon reaching apogee.

    Tricky Chinese....

    They had installed extremely fast-burning fuse in these things and that fact totally escaped me. I squatted next to Robert Lee and gave a short eulogy. Doug laughed. I took the trusty Bic lighter and placed it next to the fuse.
    One flick got the lighter going and THIS IMAGE IS ONE I WILL REMEMBER FOR A LONG TIME. My hand holding a lighter next to pile of explosives. There is usually a short but noticeable mental pause that occurs immediately before something bad or really stupid happens. It is where that little voice in your head says: "You dumb-ass." The fuse burn-time was in the 1000ths of a second range. The pile of little popper thingys immediately ignited into a tremendously brilliant ball of fire. All I could think was..."th... th...thermite..."

    Unfortunately, when they are viewed at ground level, these little popper thingies become REALLY BIG POPPER THINGIES and have a tendency to jump up to 15-feet in every direction from their point of ignition. I instantaneously became engulfed in a ball of fire that sounded a lot like being in a half-done bag of Orville Reddenbacher's microwave popcorn. It was all over about as fast as I could snap my fingers.

    After the smoke cleared, Doug started laughing his butt off. That meant I was still in one piece. (Doug does not laugh at dismembered limbs) He said I jumped about 10-feet, an action that I do not remember. I checked my clothes for burn marks, and found none. He checked my back to make sure it was not on fire. No combustion there.

    The driveway was peppered with black holes where the concrete had been scarred from these things. A close one. Another REAL close one.

    My mind ran the tapes again to re-hash what it had seen. All I remembered was being inside something akin to a 30-foot diameter... flaming dandelion. Whew! We examined Ol' Robert E. at ground zero. Instead of a machine-gun peppering, he got nuked. He and the horse he rode in on.... and his cannon too.

    One side was untouched, but the other side was arc-welded. Real warfare! Doug examined it real quiet-like and then started laughing again. I assume he will remember the finer points of the lesson as he grows older. When I now speak of "almost being burned beyond recognition" he will have a slightly better understanding of what I mean. I hope that this vivid image tempers the knowledge he now has regarding rocket construction. Oh well. After all, if your dad isn't gonna teach you how to get your ass blown off, who will?
     
  2. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    This is a new keyboard. The other one was drowned.
     
  3. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    [ROFL][ROFL]

    That was GREAT. I remember doing stuff like that as a kid, only without the "adult supervision"
     
  4. Tracy

    Tracy Insatiably Curious Moderator Founding Member

    [LMAO][applaud][LMAO]
     
  5. andy

    andy Monkey+++

    thats awsome!
     
  6. gunbunny

    gunbunny Never Trust A Bunny

    Yeah, that brings back memories of smoking holes alright!
     
  7. poacher

    poacher Monkey+++ Founding Member

    THANK YOU!!!!!

    That brings soooo many good memories back involving my cousins, myself and mass quantities of fireworks. Also brings up the point that they don't make M-80's anywhere near as good as they used too.

    Take care Be safe Poacher.
     
  8. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    VIDEO!!!????shokedOSB



    ( YOU OWE IT TO US NEXT TIME YOU PLAYwith explosives!)besides its great americas' crispiest home video material...
    veryfunny writeup![touchdown][touchdown]biglaffbiglaffOSB roflmao _
     
  9. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Not me, but I saw this a while back

    <object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/y9uL8iRL6nI&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/y9uL8iRL6nI&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>
     
  10. Seawolf1090

    Seawolf1090 Adventure Riding Monkey Founding Member

    Cool!
    All I ever managed to do was blow up two plastic model tanks, and blow the lower windshield chrome strip off of Uncle Jerry's brand spanking new Olds 98..... [lolol]
     
  11. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    T3, Kurtiss and a couple of others probably got the reference in the title of the thread..It's a Buffett song that he wrote about being out of the country and they let him participate in lighting the fireworks on a holiday....Huge party, huge display, and he was just tickled to be able to light it....So he told a story about it...



    The Night I Painted The Sky
    Jimmy Buffett, Russ Kunkel, Jay Oliver, Roger Guth, and Peter Mayer


    Verse
    I CAME FROM THE NORTH ESCAPING CONVENTION ,
    THE MODERN INVENTION THAT WON'T LET ME BE....
    TO THE SHORES OF ST. MAARTEN WITH MY DICTION ADDICTION
    TO RESTART THE FIRE ......A DREAMER'S REMEDY...


    Verse
    INDEPENDENCE DAY AND ALL I REMEMBER..
    WAS A MIDNIGHT RAINBOW THAT FELL FROM THE SKY...
    AS I STAND ON THE BEACH I SLOWLY SURRENDER
    TO THE CHILD IN ME WHO CAN'T SAY GOOD-BYE.....


    Chorus
    THE ROCKETS IN THE AIR
    AND THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
    PUT AWAY THEIR DIFFERENCES FOR AWHILE.....
    OH I AM STILL A CHILD WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING WILD
    THAT WAS THE NIGHT I PAINTED THE SKY....


    Verse
    I DUG IN THE SAND LIKE A BOY, ON A MISSION
    AND THERE IN MY HANDS A PYRO'S DELIGHT....
    A BOMBADIER, A NIGHTTIME MAGICIAN....
    I SPARK THE SKY AS THE ROCKETS FLY FROM VIEW....


    Chorus
    THE ROCKETS IN THE AIR
    AND THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
    PUT AWAY THEIR DIFFERENCES FOR AWHILE
    I AM STILL A CHILD WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING WILD
    THAT WAS THE NIGHT I PAINTED THE SKY


    Verse
    OH THE MORTARS THEY ROAR IN ANTICIPATION...
    PRECEDING THE SIGH OF THE UPLIFTED EYES ....
    IT SHOWERS US ALL IN SULFURIC SENSATION
    THE COLORS SHINE IN A FIERY RHYME TONIGHT.


    Chorus
    THE ROCKETS IN THE AIR
    AND THE PEOPLE EVERYWHERE
    PUT AWAY THEIR DIFFERENCES FOR AWHILE.....
    I AM BUT A CHILD WHEN IT COMES TO SOMETHING WILD
    OH THAT WAS THE NIGHT...
    THAT WAS THE NIGHT....
    OH THAT WAS THE NIGHT I PAINTED THE SKY...
    PAINTED THE SKY
    PAINTED THE SKY
     
  12. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    [lolol]8,500 bottlerockets:shock:
    "Northcom"[camo]?
    bring it on, they don't stand a single chance in the trailer park![beat][whipem][gone][elim]
     
  13. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    "CRC"I should know better than questioning "parrothead#1" are you sure its "diction addiction" or is it "fiction addiction" ?? :)
     
  14. CRC

    CRC Survivor of Tidal Waves | RIP 7-24-2015 Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    I think it's Fiction.....copied the lyrics off a site.....NOT Margaritavile.com


    Didn't read them...just posted them... :oops:
     
  15. Tango3

    Tango3 Aimless wanderer

    I like this one too !! Ever mention I'got my capt tony's hat!!! On our last trip!
     
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