Sunday, July 09, 2006

"3" is a magic number

You know it was a good weekend when bandages limit me to only one hand while typing up my blog.

For the last two months Misseswether has been following the exploites of a family bicycling from Florida to Washington (the state, not the cesspool). The family consists of the dad, mom, and their 6-yr old daughter bicycling across the country.

All on the same bike.

Misseswether has been facsinated by their adventures and has been begging me to get a tandem bicycle. I admit, it looked like a lot of fun. It'd be like back in the days when Misseswether and I would spend the weekend exploring Texas on my motorcycle, except that Miniwether could come along and in-theory there'd be a lot less bug-eating... Of course, I was also a bit trepidatious as I still vividly remember all the close calls I had on that motorcycle.

You may not believe it, but people drive like @$$holes EVERYWHERE, not just where you live.

Anyway, I gave in part-way.

Missewether picked up this "trailer-bike" for a sweet deal at Target. It's an "InStep Pathfinder" and it's sweeeeeet! It clamps on to my bike via a nifty universal joint and Miniwether can either help me peddle or just coast. She usually prefers to coast (groan). It's made quite a stir in the neighborhood, everyone smiles and waves at her as we peddle by. Miniwether feels like a princess in a parade when riding it. Once the weather cools down and Miniwether has more experience Misseswether plans on us all making some long trips through the backroads and byways of Texas. It should be fun.

But right now it's too dang hot to be outside much. Luckily a nearby park has a great water fountian in which Miniwether likes to play. We've been going there on Saturday mornings. The park also sponsers a farmers market so it's a win-win situation. Miniwether splashes for an hour, then we pick up some fresh corn on the cob and a sheep. Yummy!!!

Okay, I know this is an adventure blog, but this is too cute to leave out. Miniwether had her fingernails painted for the first time this weekend. She had been wanting them painted for months and I finally made a deal that if she brushed Meowether-2 she could get her nails painted. Luckily, the cat loves being brushed, so he was okay with the deal, even with Miniwether's random-directional brush strokes. Soon he was clear of loose hair (hopefully reducing his penchant for vomiting up hairballs) and Miniwether was giggling joyously as Misseswether painted her nails. It was just too dang cute.
painted-1 painted-2

By now you are going, "Tell me about the hand you goober!" (am I right, Jen?). Well, in my defense, it mostly happened like I planned...

Only a lot faster.

Uh, and maybe the flames were a bit bigger, too.

The plan was this:
1. Wait until dark.
2. Place mostly empty 1-gallon bottle of Purell hand sanitizer (67% ethanol) in the middle of my neighbor's driveway.
3. Drop a lit firecracker into the mostly empty bottle of Purell gelled alcohol.
4. Run out of range of the big, blue fireball I hoped to create.
5. Watch big blue fireball appear.
6. Continue watching as my neighbor runs out of his house to find his driveway engulfed in globs of flames.
7. Have good laugh with neighbor.

The plan was going smoothly up until step #3. It turns out even though the ethanol is gelled it has a very high vapor pressure. This resulted in the empty portion of the bottle being very rich in ethanol vapor.

Translation: the ethanol fumes ignited as soon as the lit fuse of the firecracker came into contact with them. Unfortunatly, the lit firecracker was still in my hand. As soon as the firecracker's burning fuse moved over the bottle's opening a burst of flame shot forth like a jet engine's afterburner. It was really cool, except for the resulting 2nd degree burns on my thumb and first two fingers. It also sped up the rate at which the fuse was burning. Luckily, I'm pretty good at throwing my body out of harm's wa...KABLAMM!!

The fireball turned out to be less spectacular than I expected. Most of the ethanol had been consumed in the first fire. The firecracker mostly just shot really hot, really sticky goo around. Potentially useful, but not very awe-inspiring. My neighbor didn't even come out to see what the noise was.

My hand:

So anyway, I'm ending this weekend with three bandaged fingers, a three-year old daughter going on thirteen, and a funky three-wheeled bicycle-thingy. Cool!

3 is a Magic Number.

Adventure! Excitement! 3!

1 comment:

Timdog said...

I was searching the web looking for information on the Pathfinder bike trailer and came across your blog. I bought one a day ago and have a question but don't know who to ask, so as someone with experience could you help?

I just want to know is the trailer supposed to follow in a straight line, or is it supposed to pivot left and right like most trailers? The manaul did not address this issue. It is adjusted somewhat tight now but still pivoting slightly and wobbling as a result. I need to know if I should loosed this to allow it to pivot freely, or tighten it to keep it straight. My son thanks you and your daughter in advance for any help in enjoying this.
Tim (