Our guests in their clever 1940's costumes enjoy a little radio-active cake. Notice the matching, atomic hat? Cool.
First, let me explain I am appalled that we are the only country to have actually dropped atomic weapons on another country. Two, not just one. I wasn't around back then so, of course, don't understand the sentiment involved. It's just wrong.
But on to my Halloween atomic bomb story.
It was Halloween, otherwise, it would just be your plain old atomic bomb story. We knew how to throw Halloween parties. We had an actual hearse in the front yard, a coffin hanging from the hearse, etc. None of this cardboard cutout stuff, mind you, the real deal death wagon and box.
Really cool costumes too. The friends we hung with were almost all into science fiction conventions and costuming. Not the Spock ear crap, but intricate, medieval weapons, armor, or fantasy boots, clothing, etc. Good costumes. Weird stuff, but good costumes. Made even better after about 2 or 30 drinks.
And as with most of my pre-recovery parties, there was far more booze than pretzels.
A friend of ours had invented a strange Halloween concoction he called "Strange Brew" after the infamous Cream song. And strange it was. It had ALL the white liquors in it. Pineapple juice, lime sherbet, Sprite and the crowning glory - chunks of dry ice. And as Engineer Scott used to say, "It's green, Captain!"
Now, if you swallow a big chunk of it, dry ice will PROBABLY screw you up, if not kill you. The Brew Master was pretty careful with it though. He would put it in one tennis ball size chunk at a time for a couple of hours before the party. He prepared the "Brew" in a 5 gallon industrial paint can festooned with biohazard symbols and warnings. But what made Strange Brew a legacy throughout sci-fi-dom in the Midwest was the constant stream of steam it put off that trailed over the lip of the can on all sides, down the can and across the floor. Like a scene from Swamp Thing. When we made Brew in our room at sci-fi conventions, there was no need to advertise the fact that we were having a party, the steam trailing into and down the hotel hall was advertising enough. The fans POURED into our room. They loved us.
But this particular evening, we're in my house on Chippewa. The lights are low. The Brew is flowing. The costumes are great. The neighbors are pissed. And oh yeah, forgot to tell you one important thing, this particular batch of Brew has been prepared in a large cast iron witch's cauldron in the middle of my living room. Hey, we broke tradition ONE time for the sake of authenticity.
So anyway, the party is in FULL swing, and the Brew-Master discovers we have a 10 pound block of dry ice left, but not much Brew. So we decide to WOW the crowd with home-made pyrotechnics.
It is at this point that I MUST insert the obligatory - DO NOT ATTEMPT THIS AT HOME. WHAT YOU'RE ABOUT TO READ WAS DONE BY UNPROFESSIONAL DUMB ASSES AND YOU COULD GET HURT OR DIE AS YOU'LL SEE - READ ON. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED!
I boil a couple gallons of water.
He puts the 10 pound block of dry ice in the cauldron.
We call all the guests around to watch as the Halloween Ice Follies begin. The anticipation builds. Ooooooo ...!!!
We didn't plan on what happened.
When the boiling water hit the giant, 10 pound Snowball from Hell, it got pissed. REAL pissed.
Have you ever seen any of those Discovery Channel films where they show atomic explosions? The blast starts as a vertical column, goes straight up, but rises faster on the inside of the column than the outside so it curls under creating the infamous mushroom cloud? It did that. Ours was ceiling height, 8 foot tall, by about 12 feet in diameter. And with all the weird lighting we had in the house anyway, it was spectacular. It rose in a vertical column, curled over on itself and made an incredible mushroom cloud!
We stood there stunned. Actually friggin' stunned. It was the COOLEST thing I'd ever seen. Well not really, but pretty damn close. Silence. Utter silence. No one expected it to be that incredible. We're talking Hollywood shit! Then we all started clapping (those guests wearing fur animal hands began thumping).
But the Snowball from Hell wasn't done.
Next, it went into exact reverse.
Silence again as we watched.
The mushroom cloud sucked back in on itself and collapsed back into the cauldron. Then it spilled across the floor in all directions.
And that's when all the coughing and dizziness started.
Every guest in the house RAN gagging from the approaching cloud like a scene from the movie The Fog. We HAD to get outside because the mushroom cloud had sucked the oxygen out of the house. We were passing out. Serves us right.
So there we stood in the front yard, bloody nurses, ghouls, warriors, pirates, all coughing and hacking next to a hearse. My wife, the Brew-Master and I waited a bit, aired out the house and we allowed everyone to return. But the party just didn't have the same zing as it did during the explosion.
At least we didn't get arrested. Interesting considering the Mayor was my next door neighbor. Once again, true story.
I'm an artist, so a bit off-center. My latest hobby is one from my childhood: model airplanes. But as boys get bigger, so do their toys, these are radio controlled. Some are smaller, some are are pretty darn big. But there are REALLY big ones available - I want those, of course. If you're ever looking for me, I'm either downstairs rebuilding planes or out at some field flying (or wrecking) them.
I've been plagued since birth by an imaginary villain I refer to as the Crazee Magnet. These are the chronicles of the Crazee Magnet and a look inside my extremely screwed-up way of looking at life.
These are always in a constant state of repair/disrepair. So there are only two or three flying at any one time.
E-flite Carbon-Z Yak 54
My absolute favorite plane to fly.
Great Planes Reactor Bipe .61
Been building this for a year. Saito 125 with Pitts smoke muffler. Should be sweet. Long, chunky biplane 58 inches long, 48 inch wingspan.
E-flite Pitts Model 12 15e
Gorgeous plane. First "real" plane I ever bought.
Hangar 9 P-51 PTS
This is a BEAUTIFUL, easy to fly plane. Wingspan is just shy of 5 feet so it has a real prescence on the field. My favorite nitro plane.
Great Planes Shoestring
Throwback to the older days of racers. GORGEOUS, foam with sheeting wings and fiberglass fuselage. Got an electric motor in it (Skorpion) big enough to power my KIA! Not ready to fly this one yet. Taking my time on the build.
Great Planes Combat Corsair
Still under construction.
Hangar 9 Twist
Old trim scheme - MUCH better than the new one below. I have both though.
Hangar 9 Twist
New trim scheme. Boring.
E-flite F-15 Eagle
My first jet. Under construction. Retractable landing gear are WAY COOL, but are driving me nuts trying to set them up! Twin EDF motors scare our dogs. Scare me too!
If I ever get this plane finished and can learn to keep the plane above ground, I'll be flying this one as a pylon racer. Will have Thunder Tiger Pro .40 up front.
E-flite P-40 Warkhawk
This tiny plane is a BLAST! With only a 25" wing span and 21" in length, I can fly it across the street at the park. It's fun doing imaginary strafing runs on trash cans and other such targets of evil.
Under construction. Will have OS 55 up front.
Parkzone P-51, modified
Awesome foamie! I've replaced the motor with a Power 10, 40 amp esc and 2200mAh 3s. It moves.
Parkzone F4U Corsair
Constantly flying and breaking this beautiful foam bird.
Parkzone T28 480 size and UMX
Have both of these. I did most of my newbie training on the larger one. EASY plane to fly.
Great Planes Extra 330SC
SUPER FUN to fly!!! Unfortunately, I flew it into the ground. It not fly no mo.
Electrifly Yak 54
Flew great until the manufacturer's crappy clevises failed. Boom. It's a mess.
Parkzone Edge 300
Ooops. This one hit a goal post. The goal post didn't move. The plane did. In about 6 different directions. Gone, probably won't be replaced. Pretty squirrelly plane to fly.