Blast Damage

blast damageAnother 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!

Floatplane3This 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.)

Floatplane2The time that I’m thinking of, we’d spent the day fishing, and had made and eaten dinner (extremely fresh fish, a nice rice side dish and a veggie). A pretty ordinary day, really.

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.

flying-inThis 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.

camping1We 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 scene of the crime. I mean, "Our Lab!"

The scene of the crime. I mean, “Our Laboratory!”

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.

frozen DMDAgain, 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 drink this stuff like it was made outta soda pop!

I drink this stuff like it was made outta soda pop!

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.

DMD volcano

The rest exploded out in a mighty blast of icy “mountain dew lava”!

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!

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts. View all posts by Wyrd Smythe

10 responses to “Blast Damage

  • heysugarsugar

    Great little story there hon 🙂 now that Tardis is starting to look gooooooood ! you need the police sign now and you need a Dr….what Dr will you choose ole Sugar wonders? 🙂

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Well… isn’t the logic: My Tardis, therefore me Doctor?

      If you’re asking which Doctor is my favorite, I have to first confess I only became a big fan after the new series came out, so I’m not very up on the previous Doctors (something I intend to rectify in my pending retirement). But in the new era, I have a strong leaning towards Tennant, but Matt Smith is running a very close second. I’m decidedly “eh” on Eccleston.

      Glad you liked the camping story; I’ll be writing more about those camping trips one of these days!

      • heysugarsugar

        Tennant is my favourite Dr , not keen on this new one. I grew up with the original series and used to be terrified of the DarlIcs ! Btw I am typing this on a touchscreen tablet in work and after press reply this will probably look illiterate ! ( I hate touchscreens but that’s another story) yeah great story..carry on the good work ! Ps I would make a great traveling companion for the Dr 🙂

      • Wyrd Smythe

        Is there something about the new one that bugs you, or is it more a matter of missing Tennant? I really did miss Tennant, but Smith has really grown on me.

        Well, when I get my Tardis Engines installed, I’ll swing by and pick you up for a brief jaunt through Time. And Space.

  • reocochran

    I did think that the blast from the DMD was funny! We do lose track of time sometimes. I also think the Tardis is unique and cannot wait to see the finished product/depiction.

    • Wyrd Smythe

      The thing is, several times the thought popped into my mind, “It’s been a while; I should check on that soda. I’ll do that as soon as I finish this.” But each time, when I completed the current task, I forgot to check the soda. So a little while later I’d have the thought again. I finally had the thought when I wasn’t right in the middle of something, and that’s when the fun happened!

  • charmarie221

    is (I hesitate to ask, because it’s like a beacon for cluelessness shining from my keyboard) that from Dr Who? because I THINK that’s what my son designed as a birthday cake for his gf’s brother a couple of years ago… cake from scratch and a dowel rod were involved… and much blue dye… I’ve not yet seen a pic, though I hear it was well received

    • Wyrd Smythe

      It is indeed! A much beloved icon to Whovians. The fun thing is, once it’s done I’ll have a 3D Tardis I can photoshop into anything! Or I can put it onstage in my 3D virtual theatre. (Do we geeks know how to party or what!) [If you go back a post to my reply to “R” I explained a bit more.]

      Nice to see you drop by!

  • charmarie221

    I just finally posted a blog earlier today discussing our illness wracked January… kept me offline longer than i usually am

    • Wyrd Smythe

      Seems to have been a lot of long-lasting crud going around! I had a touch of it myself! Hope all are feeling better now. (I’m very behind on reading other blogs… finding it hard enough to post my own and keep up with comments.)

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