Random Thought Thread


I went to church last night and met with the youth group to talk about the model rocket launch and stargazing event that I’ve been trying to get together for a couple of years. There’s still a detail or two to work out, but now I have a firm date commitment. The challenge now is that the date in question is in twenty days, and I’ve got a complex model rocket boost glider that I’m trying to get built and trimmed in time.

The evening itself was great. I got to interact a bit with the kids, and it was invigorating, if exhausting. And I was so keyed up afterword that I was late getting to sleep, and I only got about 4 1/2 hours thereof. I’ll be napping this afternoon…


The ICBC company doesn’t have that kind of access to USA citizens driving records, nor should it. Your response surprises me, you really would want a foreign government to have that kind of access to your govt driving record and insurance info?


I finally got to do the model rocket launch and stargazing event that I’d been trying to make happen for over a year with the church youth group. We didn’t have a large turnout (six kids; we had as many adults with me, Mom, the two ladies who oversee the youth group, and the couple who hosted us), but everyone seemed to have fun; I certainly did.

I shot off an even dozen rockets (well, nine, with three of them flying twice). The first damaged a fin on landing, and precluded using it again that session (I’d planned to use up some other old engines with it). I had a new boost glider which was unsuccessful at gliding (it augered in both flights, but while it corkscrewed on the way up, at least it didn’t shed a wing, or break when it hit the ground; and now I have some idea of how to try to fix the glide). A tiny rocket I had shed its drogue streamer and dented the mouth of the body tube where the nose cone goes in a little.

Other than that, everything flew pretty well. I had a tumble-recovery model which had gone up and down like a dart and broke a fin a couple years ago. I’d modified it to kick back but retain the expended engine to try to destabilize it, and the modification worked exactly as advertised; nothing broken. My ancient (actually, most of what I have is either late-'70s-to-early-'80s or made from parts thereof) Centuri Centurion went up slow and graceful as usual, and I caught it on the way down (on a second flight with a more powerful engine, it drifted just outside the yard into the corn).

I flew three other parachute models (I caught two of them; the other went into the corn (but easily located)) including a 1/35th scale model of a Mercury Redstone (I caught both pieces of that one, and they both landed in the yard this time). Perhaps the star of the show was a pop-pod boost glider. It had displayed an undesirable flight characteristic the previous time, and I’d modified it to try to correct it (successfully, as it turned out). I flew it first with an A-series engine; the pod and nose cone (on separate streamers) separated cleanly, and after a few whipstalls, the glider still had a little altitude to settle into a glide. I repeated it with a B-series engine, and it got a good deal more altitude, separated cleanly, and the glider did a lot more graceful gliding (lots of hang time) before landing in the weeds (but easily recovered).

Then I put away the rockets and broke out the telescopes. There had been plenty of clouds during the day, and it was still kind of hazy that evening (there were still a few cirrus clouds about). But it was clear enough that I was able to show everyone both Jupiter (with three of its Galilean moons) and Saturn (its rings are at a great angle for viewing) in all their splendor. I was also able to show what I think was the Lagoon nebula (not sure, because the hazy sky and light on the horizon didn’t reveal much of the nebulosity (it was definitely a nebula, with a bunch of stars in and amongst it)).

It was an exhausting but enjoyable experience for me, and I pray an edifying one for the kids.


Hello, is this thing on? The RTT, that is. I can’t tell where I’m at in the thread…


This topic was automatically closed after reaching the maximum limit of 10000 replies.