Another quickie today (makes a nice break, right?), mostly just dropping by to show you my (work in progress) TARDIS. I think you’ll agree it’s looking a lot better than it did yesterday. I’ll show you that in a moment, but I have a mildly amusing story to relate first.
At least I find it mildly amusing, but then I find it mildly amusing that my fingers insist on typing “amuzing” every… single… time. One of my mental block words apparently (or a sign of encroaching senility). It (by which I mean the story, not my spelling) reminded slightly me of a similar story.
A time when I participated in events that led to Blast Damage!
This story happened many years ago on one of my annual fishing trips. Excuse me: one of my Annual Canadian Fly-in Camping & Fishing Trips. I haven’t told you much about those, yet. They were eight-to-ten-day-long rough camping trips into the Canadian wilderness.
They’d fly us in, drop us off and then come back to fly us out. And where they’d drop us off was just wilderness. No camp, no nothing. We flew it in on the plane or did without. (Actually we figured out a way around that, but that’s all gist for another time.)
Once you’ve cleaned up and done any other chores or tasks, the evening is yours until you decide to crash.
[I'm generally of the "sleep when I'm dead" thinking, so I tend to be the last one down and—surprisingly—often the first one up.]
Small aircraft weight limit and space restrictions be damned, we bring in beer. It goes well with the very large bonfires we enjoy building in the evenings. And if you want to imagine it may have played a role in the following, I won’t contradict you.
This particular year we decided to put on our scientist lab coats and investigate the properties of fire applied to various items deemed no longer required and hence “testable.” We tested a variety of items.
You know that warning they put on cans of bug spray about not disposing by incinerating? Well, we wondered why. Just what happens when you do incinerate an empty can of bug spray.
It turns out to be mildly interesting. From your place of safety behind a large rock you first hear a little “tink” noise. That’s the sound of the curved bottom popping out so it curves outwards. Then you get a pretty decent “pop!” as the can blows.
We thought those scientific results were quite valuable. We then wondered about the warnings regarding flame and the bug spray itself. Very flammable it said! Scientifically speaking, we calculated that a full can of bug spray might make an interesting test.
Well,… we heard the “tink.”
Then the fire blew up. And out.
That business about putting out a fire by exploding it really does work.
The coals were hot enough that it started back up right away, but for a while there, that fire was out cold! And we were laughing our asses off!!
Turns out there was a “blast radius” where embers had been blown by the blast. Mostly of no account, but my nylon camp stool had a few holes in it that were forever after referred to (with a fond smile) as “blast damage.”
Which is all a very long story to explain the specialness of the term, “blast damage,” to me. I thought of it due to something that happened this evening; a surprise event that cracked up this time, too.
Again, bear with me for a bit of background. I like putting part-empty plastic bottle of (Diet) Mtn. Dew [all kinds of trademarks, no doubt] in the freezer. Later, you can fill it with soda for a very icy drink. There’s no risk with a partially empty bottle—the air space cushions the expansion of the ice.
Ice, as you may know, is powerful; very, very powerful. It turns mountains into beach sand, not to mention playing havoc with our roads every winter. I’ve seen a photo of ice bursting a metal sphere it was trapped in. The article said steel shards were driven several inches into a concrete guard wall.
I had an encounter with the power of ice today! I came back from the grocery store with new DMD and wanted a cold one. So I tossed two in the freezer.
Full bottles aren’t as risk-free—not much air cushion. I know for a fact that cans can burst and spray soda slush all over the inside of your freezer. But those bottles are made of very tough plastic; you have more leeway.
I want a cold soda, of course, but what I’m really hoping for is the super-cooling effect. Done right, the soda drops below freezing but remains liquid. Being compressed in the bottle helps. When you take it out, any slight disturbance causes the freeze to trigger, and you can watch the bottle freeze over a period of a few seconds. It’s a very cool sight (pun most certainly intended).
Today I got distracted and left them in the freezer too long. One just got very cold, but the other was about half-frozen.
I was curious, and I wanted to just crack the cap on the frozen one to get a sense of how much pressure there was. Once you hear the hiss, you can tighten the cap, and no harm done. I don’t like fizzy soda, so I often shake soda to get rid of the CO2. I’m an old hand at the game.
And I’m not a complete idiot; I did this carefully over the sink. Should have been pretty much a non-event. (I’ll warn you now that the “event,” such as it was, doesn’t really warrant all this build up. If you were getting tense, no worries, nothing bad happened.)
The funny thing was, at first, the cap was frozen in place, but once I cracked the seal it turned awfully easily. A bit too easily, if you catch my drift. That was puzzling, so I kept unscrewing it. And it kept coming off smooth as silk.
I actually had the cap off the bottle in my hand and was looking at the mouth of the bottle wondering, “Huh?” when I saw the ice plug rising slowly (but gaining speed) out of the mouth. Just as I realized what was about to happen, it happened.
Ice plug removed, about half the bottle of very cold DMD slush volcanoed out of the bottle where it hit my hand (which very much wanted to put the cap back on the bottle). That didn’t hurt, but it did make the slush go flying everywhere!
I spent the next hour finding little puddles of Diet Mountain Dew in the weirdest places!
So that broke up the day a bit!
But as I said, I mainly dropped by to show you how my TARDIS is coming along. Definitely better than yesterday! It still needs the “Police Box” sign across the top (I have some artwork for it), and the blue lamp on top needs work.
The inside is a whole other matter!