The Boston Diaries

The ongoing saga of a programmer who doesn't live in Boston, nor does he even like Boston, but yet named his weblog/journal “The Boston Diaries.”

Go figure.

Friday, July 04, 2003

Blow Stuff Up

Spring, the Kidlets and I were invited to my friend C's house for Fourth of July celebrations. The Kidlets spent the time swimming, Spring spent the time attempting to catch a nap, and I spent the time hanging with friends, some of whom I haven't seen in several years.

The highlight of the day's festivities were the fireworks! C had obtained several boxes of the “slightly questionable” mortar-type fireworks—the type that go up several hundred feet and explode in a shower of colors. Once it got dark, it was time to set up. Mark (also a friend of C's and who caught a ride there with us) helped set up the lanching platform for the mortars.

[Big Bad Shells] [Mark on the Launch Pad] [Various mortaresque fireworks] [Slightly larger fireworks]

Things started out calmly enough—one mortar at a time. Pretty soon confidence was gained to attempt the simultaneous launch of two, three, four mortars at a time, showering the area with fireworks. But as Spring said, “I've never done fireworks that there hasn't been at least one dud.”

And boy, was the dud spectacular.

[Launch pad after normal firing—note the number of tubes] [BOOM!] [Launch pad after The Incident—note the missing tube]

No one is quite sure what exactly happened, but at attempt was made to light six mortars at the same time (ah, gotta love blowing stuff up!). All six fuses were lighted. A couple of seconds of anticipation go by. Hilarity ensues as one of the mortars is either stuck in the tube, was put in upsidedown by mistake, or didn't have enough ooomph for launch. Once it became apparent that it wasn't going to explode a few hundred feet above our heads but right in the middle of the street, people start scrambling for cover as we are caught within the blast radius of a live, “slightly questionable” firework.

It wasn't quite as bad as the picture makes it out to be (digression: I had set the digital camera for long exposures, on the order of a second or more, so having a live firework go off aproximately 50′ away basically overexposed the image—still, it's darned impressive) and luckily, given the circumstances, no one was hurt. And since the Kidlets where there, this is something we can bring up the next time they get “fireworks fevor” (the Younger is especially vulnerable to this infliction).

[FIRE!] [Another firing of fireworks]

The show continued on, and afterwards, we cleaned up the spent fireworks, tore down the launch pad, said our goodbyes and went home happy that we were able to celebrate our freedom by blowing stuff up!

[Firework I] [Fireworks II] [Fireworks III] [Fireworks IV] [Fireworks V]

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