Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ballistics and Jesuit Education

I dreamed of parabolas last night. Arcs tracing a path from artillery to target. I need no help from Carl Jung to figure these out. We went camping on the weekend, with Crash and the Boy and an assortment of their friends. We went white water rafting, we ate camping food, we tied knots, we slept in tents, we forewent showers and we practiced many new skills, most of them having to do with shooting things or fire or both.

Crash has known MacGyver since kindergarten, though they are now in different high schools. I'm cooking dinner on Saturday night when I notice MacGyver carefully cleaning the Saran wrap which had been over the brownies, then scrounging up a rubber band and an empty Gatorade bottle. "What are you making?" I wondered as he started cutting off the bottom of the bottle with his knife. (Meanwhile, I'm sitting on my maternal urge to say "don't cut yourself with that knife!" as it is clear the young man is expert.) "You'll see."

He puts a long stick in the fire, blows it out, then sticks it into the open mouth of the bottle. (Now I'm sitting on the nerd's urge to say, "Be careful you don't burn a hole in the bottle.") I'm still clueless as to what the device he's created will do. He taps the smoke filled bottle on the saran wrap and voila, a perfect smoke ring comes out. Cool!

Cooler yet were the artillery made from ziploc bags. (Instructions for the device shown in the photo are here for the curious.) The downside of these? The ammunition. Do not use rocks. Marshmallows. We have plenty. You will not lack for s'mores. It's a good thing Crash has a hard head (to match his hard bones).

Wondering why this post is tagged Jesuits? MacGyver is getting a good Jesuit education. It's where he learned to build that ziploc projectile launcher. AMDG.


  1. I have to tell you - I love how far and wide-ranging your blog posts are. What a wise mother - I would have so totally let all those admonitions out. At regular intervals, in fact.

    Where did you go camping? My family is loyal to a couple of public campgrounds in the Adirondacks within walking distance of the river that is a mecca for fly fishermen....

  2. cool that you survived Saturday's deluge. we were quite happy not doing a craft show that day.

  3. Sabrina - we went to Jim Thorpe, by Mauch Chunk Lake! A lovely public campground...

    My tongue definitely has bite marks :)

    And Stratoz, it was nice to be safe and snug in the tent while it rained, and I will admit of relief that it didn't continue too far into the morning (since I left my rain gear home....)

  4. I love this and can totally picture your face while he's crafting this device. I believe it would look a lot like mine in a similar situation. I often try to restrain the warnings until just the right moment, hoping it's not too late by the time they are uttered. Sounds like a great time!