Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Bye Jack

To say my family is complicated is a bit of an understatement. One example is Jack. He was raised as my grandfather's little brother, but was i fact his nephew. Don't ask me why, they did strange things like that back then.

Whatever the reason it left some bad feeling amongst the family. He wasn't accepted as a sibling, and wasn't treated as a nephew. He was an outsider. Now I'm the first to say there are more than our fair share of bad apples in my family, and Jack certainly had his faults....but he was always good to me.

I will miss you uncle Jack, I hope at last you've found your place.

Sunday, 19 October 2008

Building steam boats for dummies

Almighty D and I were talking last week, not about anything specific, and we got onto lollipop sticks. It turns out that Almighty D has been saving them and wanted to do something with them, but didn't know what. Obviously my first thought was a desktop Ballistae (big crossbow), but that wasn't enough. Then somewhere in the depths of my memory a spark connected with another spark. Toy steam boats!
Or more precisely pop pop steam boats. For those who don't have a clue, these are small boats powered by a candle and water, the expelled steam makes a pop pop noise.
That's the idea sorted, just one snag. Neither of us know how to make a model boat let alone a steam engine no matter how simple it is.
Yay for the Internet. We now have plans for the boat, and most importantly, plans for the engine. Then snag number two popped up. We don't have enough lollipop sticks.
The simple solution is to by packs of lollipop sticks or sheets of balsa wood, but that would be to easy. So there we sat, 2am with a half constructed Ballistae, vowing on pain of death not to buy materials. Instead we plan to recycle as much as possible. Now I know this seems very eco-friendly, but the truth be told it's because we wanted more lollipops.
All this week we will be collecting various bits of left over crap to construct a proto-type. Best to try it out before we ruin the main thing. So I will be putting together the engine, rummaging through bins and scrap boxes, sheds and junk yards to find the right kind of copper piping and aluminium sheeting. Almighty D gets to eat lollipops......bugger.