Monday, May 23, 2011

Some Other Spring - Part IV

Okay, almost up to date! Woo Hoo!  As some of you know, I'm writing a novel.  It is not high literature, it is supposed to be just a "fun read," i.e. trashy, and/or mind jello.  I have no delusions of literary greatness.  In any case, I most recently needed to figure out now to blow up a truck on a five to ten minute time delay only using what was available, after my idiot character blew someone away without planning ahead as to how to get rid of the body.  So I had talked to my mom (apparently, you don't want to cross my mom), and she had suggested using baling twine (novel is set in rural Maine) as a long wick into the gas tank of the truck.  So that's how I wrote it.  But I began wondering if that would really work.  So I mentioned to my assistant at work that I might want to run down to an Agway at lunch to see if I could talk someone into giving me a foot of baling twine.  She thought her husband might have some, so on Friday she brought me in four different kinds of rope and twine.

Coincidentally on Saturday we had a meeting of my writing group, the Misplaced Modifiers, at Mary S's house.  So I packed up the samples, a metal bowl to put water in, some metal tongs, and one of my Jetboil PCS's, and at the meeting Mary gave us the go ahead to burn stuff in her driveway. 

This is me lighting up the Jetboil to use as our ignition source.

Mary Kate is getting ready to document our first rope being burned.

First rope, cotton clothes line apparently.

Burns in the flame of the jetboil.

But smoldered out quickly.

Next we did some twine that wasn't baling twine, but looked like a similar material.  (Did some research on the Internet.  Did you know there are Internet forums on haying?  Me neither. Anyway, found out that traditional baling twine is made of sisal).   It burned in the flame, and burned for a little after, but went out quickly.

Then we tried the rope, which looked like it was made of plant fiber, so I split the plies down, until we got it to the size of baling twine.

It didn't burn so well either. 

We also had a bit of plastic rope, which none of us thought would work, but we burned it anyway, and we were right. It melted nicely though.

So then we decided to get serious and luckily, Mary S had some gasoline around.  So we took some more of the rope, split it down again, and dipped it in the gasoline. 

I decided to be somewhat safety conscious and used the metal tongs to hold it over the Jetboil.

It burned much better, but still went out fairly quickly after it had run through the part where we dipped it in gas.

So anyway, the consensus was that it probably wouldn't have worked for the amount of twine that I had laid out.  So now I have to investigate other ways to blow up a truck on a time delay. 

On Sunday, we went to have dinner with Mary Kate and Daniel (pizza, with fake cheese for me and Mary Kate and real pizza for Shawn and Daniel).  The reason that we went is that I had run into Mary Kate and Daniel at NH Sheep & Wool, and was told that Daniel was thinking about spinning.  I, as a fiber enabler, of course, offered to teach Daniel to spin if he wished.  So apparently it planted a seed, and Mary Kate called me to set up a time to do it. 

I have today off because I've been burning the candle at both ends, and I haven't taken a vacation day since December.  So I was going to do all kinds of things today, but I think the blog catch up is enough.  Kiwi has been so bored by all this blogging that she's figured out how to walk around on the bottom of her cage.  

So that's it for now.  Hopefully, I'll get back in a regular schedule. 

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