Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Its over

Christmas is not my best time of the year. But with peoples orders I get to stay busy and make something that will make others happy.

I finished all my rock work for peoples Christmas gifts. Thought I'd share some with ya.

Now that I have finished these maybe get back to some glass blasting.

I buy the whisky and take the lable off and blast what ever people want on it.
Hope everyone had a great Christmas and has a HAPPY NEW YEAR.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's that time of year again, sooooo..............


About 2 weeks ago, I was looking around the Web for the BIGGEST sky
rocket that I could get shipped to me via common freight carrier.  I
located a fireworks importer in Wisconsin who had this mondo sky
rocket--biggest thing I had ever seen--called a Sky Dragon.  These things
are 48 inches tall and are mounted on a 1/2-inch wooden dowel. Pure
aerospace engineering.

I plopped down a bunch of money and had him send me two cases of these
things.  They arrived at the freight dock a few days ago 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 was surprised that the
Buncombe 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 shits.  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 bitch.

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 pattern
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 (ie where all three try to get through the same closed
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

He and I both sat down on the driveway and proceeded to take it apart. It
was a standard issue big-ass Chinese sky rocket.  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
nosecones and a big handfull 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 maching gun".
Dang....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 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

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
My hand holding a lighter next to a 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 dumbass."

The fuse burn time was in the 1/1000ths of a second range.   The pile of
little popper thingy's 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 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. O well.  After all, if your dad isn't gonna teach you how to
get your ass blown off, who will?

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Sat. Nov. 27th.

Well I did get the drain unstopped but I hurt my back lifting the damn elec. snake out of the truck. The guy at the rental place told me I needed a snake for a 4 in. drain. That snake should had been mounted on a trailer. It took all I had to get it out of the truck. Now this is where the dead brain cells fall into place. Instead of going around back & seeing what size drain I had and then unloading it. I just unloaded it and then checked. Guess what? Its too damn big for my drain. So now I'm stuck trying to get it back in my truck. I grabbed it & gave it a all I had. The only thing I felt was a nice little pain in my lower back. Here I was standing in my driveway staring at this damn thing wondering how in the heck am I going to get it back in my truck and letting my back try to get back in place. Well my ole buddy Bob is backing out his drive & looks back and sees me staring at this big mass of steel. Ole Bob backs down the street and asks if I need some help. Now you see I weigh around 220, ole Bob about 120. He gets out of his car and comes an gets on one side & me on the other. We give it a lift and my side is the only on moving. Ole Bob looks at me an says damn that thing is heavy. No sh-t Bob. Well he goes and gets his wife & between the 3 of us we get in the truck. I take it back & tell the guy at the rental place that its to big & he gives me one about half the size. It worked great had it unstopped in 5 minutes.
  Now I walk around staring at my feet. Maybe I will be able to straighten up again one of these days, probably about the time the wife stops the sink up again.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Wed. Nov.24

Woke at 6.00 this morning ran cleaned the smoker up & got a brisket smoking by 6:30. Should be done around 6:30 tonight. Then I have to put a damn turkey on & smoke it. I hate turkey. The only thing I have not tried to make it taste good is to roll it & try smoking it like that. I just would not feel right going into the store & my ole buddy that owns it asking me what the hell I need rolling papers for. Oh I'm just going to smoke me some turkey.
 I have a gripe today well I usually have more than one. My other half thinks a dang garbage disposal is a wood chipper. She stops the sink up about every 2 months putting something in there. So I'm off to the rental place to get a electric snake.

How would you like to be the owner of this pizza place.

Mass. pizza parlor stiffed by fake Dylan rep

AMHERST, Mass.—A man wearing a Bob Dylan backstage pass who ordered 178 pizzas from a Massachusetts pizza parlor has left the restaurant blowin' in the wind. The man walked into Antonio's in the college town of Amherst early Saturday morning shortly after Dylan performed at the University of Massachusetts and ordered $3,900 worth of pies.
He said he would return in several hours and deliver them to Dylan's crew. But he never returned and the manager called police.
Restaurant employees stayed until 5:30 a.m. making the pizzas.
Antonio's owner Walter Pacheco tells The Daily Hampshire Gazette his workers had no reason to doubt the man worked with Dylan but "got taken."
Pacheco said he gave some of the pizzas away, but had to throw out most of them.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tues. Nov. 23rd

Reading some papers online an came across this one.

Autopsy: Teenager found in Fabens shot self 9 times

The mystery surrounding a teenager found dead next to a burning truck in Fabens last month led deputies on an investigation fit for a TV crime show.
When deputies responded to a vehicle fire about 1:30 p.m. Oct. 2 in the sandy terrain and bushes of San Felipe Park in Fabens, they found the body of Christopher Morales, 19, lying in a fetal position next to a .22-caliber rifle. They also found 78 bullet holes in his burnt truck and nine bullet wounds on his body, deputies said.
Detectives immediately said there was nothing to suggest that his death was linked to drug cartel violence. Two days later, investigators at the Medical Examiner's Office agreed.
They concluded that Morales shot himself with a rifle and ruled his death a suicide on Oct. 4, according to Morales' autopsy report.
On Morales' cell phone, detectives said they found pictures he took of a fake kidnapping. They also found video footage of Morales buying a gun at Academy Sports & Outdoors. Detectives came to the conclusion Morales planned his own death, possibly as a way to hurt his 17-year-old ex-girlfriend, deputies said.
Morales' parents could not be reached for comment.
For Morales, the turmoil began when his Socorro High School girlfriend broke up with him, according to witness statements. Not long after the break-up, Morales, a former Radio Shack employee, bought a high-tech smart phone and used it to send her text messages from "spoof" numbers, sheriff's records showed.
He texted her about 100


times a day from various numbers. His ex-girlfriend did not suspect he was sending them until the night she received a message from her grandmother's cell phone as her grandmother sat next to her, according to her witness statement. The girl then peered outside and saw Morales' truck parked near her grandmother's property, the statement said. Every time she received a message on her cell phone, a light lit up in the truck, her statement said.
Not long after that night, Morales sent his ex-girlfriend a message telling her goodbye.
Then, on Oct. 1, he went to an Academy Sports & Outdoors store and bought a 17-shot, .22-caliber rifle for $159.95 and a box of .22-caliber bullets for $9, according to a store video. He made the purchase at 10:17 a.m., the video showed.
After that, Morales rented a room at an East Side hotel, deputies said. While he was there, he took a picture of himself awash in blood and strapped to a chair along with a message that said a local criminal group had kidnapped him, deputies said. He sent that picture to his ex-girlfriend, deputies said.
The next day, deputies found his truck on fire and him lying dead next to it.
Detectives spent three weeks after Morales' death collecting evidence and conducting interviews. One of those interviewed said Morales was a fan of "Criminal Minds" -- a TV show about a team of investigators for the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit, according to a witness statement. Morales believed it was possible to commit the perfect crime, the friend said.
During their investigation, detectives found only Morales' fingerprints on the gun. Their investigation also showed that only Morales' shoe prints were in the area of his body and the truck, detectives said.
Morales was able to shoot himself nine times before he died because a .22-caliber gun is not a high-powered weapon, medical investigators said. Those investigators recovered several bullets and a bullet fragment from his body. The bullets were all embedded in his upper torso, according to Morales' autopsy report.
"If you have a lower caliber gun, it's not going to do much damage when it goes in ... that's why some people live when they get shot," said Annabel Salazar, lead investigator for the county medical examiner.

Now ain't that something.

While we are on the dumb subject might as well give a few more.

Men hold up NY pizza makers, flee with wrong dough

NEW YORK—Police in New York City say thieves held up the owners of a pizzeria and then fled with a bag of full dough—the kind that crusts are made of. Police say Salvatore LaRosa was charged with robbery after surrendering to police.
According to court papers, LaRosa and an accomplice followed the owners of Brothers Pizzeria on Staten Island. After donning masks, the papers say, they pointed guns and demanded the men turn over a bag they believed held the day's proceeds.
But instead, the bag was full of pizza dough.
LaRosa was released on $1 million bail on Monday. His attorney, James Froccaro, declined to comment.

Police: Robbery suspect tries to flee on lawnmower

AIKEN, S.C.—Police in South Carolina say a man attempted a slow getaway by lawnmower after robbing a convenience store. Aiken County sheriff's deputies told The Aiken Standard the man left the store on a riding lawnmower Thursday morning but didn't get far before he was arrested.
Capt. Troy Elwell says Ricky New has been charged with assault and battery, first degree and armed robbery.
Investigators say the suspect beat a store clerk with a stick during the robbery. New was being held at the Aiken County jail. It wasn't yet known if he has an attorney.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sat. Nov. 20

Woke up this morning thinking about family. I have lost my whole family in the span of 3 years. Funny they all thought I would be the one going first. I was pretty wild growing up and really didn't think I would make it pass 40. There are times I wish I had a time machine just to go back and relive some of the good times we had. Upcoming holidays always make me think about family.

 Sitting here thinking about what I need to do today. Have some rocks I need to blast, a few for ole Ben & one for customer. About have enough to set my equipment up. I need to go buy a slab of limestone for another project that has been on the back burner. I'll draw them up today and start blasting Monday.
 Its hard working out of my garage every time I open the garage door its like cattle coming to feed. I have neighbors coming from all directions. When I get that slab of limestone I'll need one to help me unload it and set in my blaster.
 Speaking of neighbors one just showed up.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Nov. 19 Friday

Ole Ben In Texas has been after me to start a blog. So I thought I'd give it a shot.

Me I'm just another ole fart waiting for my other half to retire so we can move out to my place out by Big Bend.
I go out quit often and enjoy the peace & quit. I have some Javelina that hang around the place. They keep me company while I'm working.

If I'm not working I'm 4-wheeling with friends


When I'm home I mess around with some wood working or my rock working or some photography.


I mess around doing all kinds of things. I don't like to set still. 

I guess I best get a move on set still to long. Be back later.