Saturday, December 27, 2008

Fly Me to the Moon

This is the Mercury rocket I built for our grandson, Ayden. He doesn't have it yet so don't tell him!

The guitar shows the scale. It's 6 feet tall. It's made out of stuff from Home Depot. The body is 8" air conditioning duct, the capsule is a duct reducer, the fins are carved out of wood, the nose cone is a basement drainage screen-cap-thingy, and my favorite, an empty caulking tube (the red tower) is supported by dowel rods. The blast deflector that you can't see on the bottom of the engine is some air-vent doo-hickey that has really cool tabs that I bent to make it look like a nozzle. It took like 45 trips to Home Depot to figure what to use. The people there were always very helpful and asked if they could help me. What could I tell them? I'm building a Mercury Rocket. No. I just thanked them and cryptically replied, "Uh, no thanks, you wouldn't believe me if I told you what I was doing anyway." Now that I think about it, they probably went home at night and watched the news waiting to hear about some serial killer that built a weird contraption strictly from Home Depot parts. Never thought about that. Oops. Wasn't me. Just a rocket.

And now that it's done, I'm not sure how to get a 6 foot rocket in a 4 foot Kia. Hmmmmmmm.

Idea, I'll strap it to the top of the Kia and Sue and I can wear space helmets and pretend we're floating in space while we're driving. We can hang some Tang bottles from fishing line too, soundtrack to 2001 blaring on the CD player. Cool.

Now if I can just figure out how to get it on my daughter's Air Force Base without getting arrested for possession of an unlicensed thruster and orbiter...

Friday, December 26, 2008

Oh, holy CRAP! Thanks NATGEO!

You wouldn't believe the things I'm learning while on vacation. LOTS of useless TV facts. Last night (at 3 am) I watched a program about Giant Snakehead fish invading our rivers. Next time you go skinny dipping in California, New York or Minnesota - Willie and the Boys (or Amy and the Girls as the case may be) could come up missing unless you wear body armor.

Tonight I plan on watching the life-cycle of the Tibetan Donkey. It's a 3-parter.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My favorite gift from my wife

Probably the finest and rarest set of handblown artglass clowns you will ever see because the little glass companion clown (we shall call him BoBo) hasn't been broken or lost. The little clown fits on top of the big one for bedside storage. And no, it's not for sale, so don't bother asking.

I will cherish it always, darling. At least until one of the diseases in the book you got me gets me.

A Gift from My Wife

So far I've identified 7 diseases. I don't think I'll live to see tomorrow. Farewell.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

How to properly wrap a Christmas present

It would be helpful at this juncture if you would start humming something like Frosty the Snowman to yourself as you read this... OK... doing it?... go:

1. Arrange all your materials before you begin. You will need:
- Wrapping paper (no, wax paper is NOT a substitute, though aluminum foil DOES have a festive feel if you find yourself in a last-minute pinch)
- transparent tape (duct tape is NOT a good substitute, nor is chewing gum)
- scissors
- a prefab bow (you don't EVEN want to try to make one of these suckers on your own)
- box for the present
- and the present, of course

2. Have a shot of bourbon. It will help set the holiday mood.

3. Roll out the paper and set the box on the paper. What? The paper keeps rolling up on itself? Have another shot of bourbon. This won't help keep the paper flat, but it will calm your nerves. Really, this is a simple task.

4. Set the box on the edge of the paper and as you roll out the paper, simply slide the box down the length of the paper. Voila!

5. Where the hell are the scissors? Did you look under the paper? There they are.

6. Cut the paper as straight as you possibly can.

7. OK, now fold the paper up until both sides overlap. What? The edges of the paper don't meet let alone overlap? Oh, crap you cut it too short! Have another shot of bourbon.

8. Repeat steps 4 through 7, but this time, roll out enough paper to wrap a Toyota.

9. OK! So now the paper overlaps. The next part is simple. But you should probably have a shot of bourbon to prepare yourself. Follow closely now, it's pretty easy: Crease the edge of the paper along the edge of the box, but fold the edge at exactly a 45 degree angle and then fold that edge at a 90 degree tangent to the perpendicular edge of the edge upon which you're working. Tape down that edge to the box. Now repeat that with the edge that is 180 degrees opposite of the edge you've just completed. When done with those two folds, if you've calculated your 45 degree angles precisely, there will result an equilateral triangle at the base of the side on which you are working. Simply fold that flap up 90 degrees and secure it with tape. You've just completed one side.

10. Have another shot. YEEHAA!

11. Look at the other side of the box, yes you get to do that side too. Repeat step 9.

12. Sure, do step 10 again too. YEEHAA!

13. Almost done! Try to remove the sticky paper from the back of the bow. Can't do it can you? Go get the sharpest knife in your kitchen. Try to insert the knife between the sticky stuff and the paper backing. Oops, now you've cut yourself. Have another bourbon as you bleed on the bow. And the package.

14. Stick the damn bow on the package, blood and all.

15. There the damn thing's all done.

16. Look over on the coffee table and notice that the present is NOT inside the box your just wrapped.

17. Finish the bottle of bourbon, wrapping the present in aluminum foil. It IS festive.

Merry Christmas, EVERYONE!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Math Problem

How is it that when my first daughter was born, I was 25 times older than she was?

But when she was 5, I was only 6 times as old she was (30)?

It gets worse, or better depending on how you look at it.

When she was 25, I was only twice as old as she was (50).

If my math is correct, when I'm a 100, I think all three of my daughters will be older than I am. It's about time.

Metamorphosis 5