A test launch

Okay, I was finally able to take some video of our water bottle rocket launch. I have to tell you it was a little loud when I actually launched it. I was able to get a decent shot of the parts used.

parts.jpg

Looks simple enough, right?

That is all the parts, after being cut to size. The hard part was actually getting the valve to fit right on one of the end caps. I had to use a step drill bit.

step-drillbit.jpg

The end result was a nice super snug fit that won’t let any air out. There was no glue or cement required.

I had to make a few modifications to the pipe that took in the bottle because it wasn’t as thick I had expected. I wound up using some thread tape to thicken it up and that worked really well. I also got a rubber grommet and a small rubber gasket to make a better seal where the end of the bottle rests.

The end result is a really airtight bottle that can withstand up to about 60psi with no water. That’s what I’ve managed to test so far. As you’ll see in the video it does a great job for our project.

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On delay

Today, I added the final touches to our water rocket launcher. I wanted to practice one or two launches with Sal but the wind decided not today. It’s been super windy for the last two hours now and I’m sort of liking it.

I like it because it’s a welcome change. I don’t because all the pollen and dust is being cast everywhere and making me sneeze more than I would like. Oh, and because I’m not going to launch the rocket when the wind is as strong as it currently is.

The good part is that I decided what our next project will be though.

Again, it will have to wait to be revealed because I want to take photos of the process and I like to build the suspense.

The time thing

In my last post I talked about a project Sal and I were working on. I finally managed to complete it and he had some fun with it. Let me rephrase that. We both had fun with it; even Jamie got a small kick out of it.

He’s happy with it.

There is one thing that is driving me crazy and that is the fact I can’t get a decent video for me to share. A lot of that is because I need some time to set things up.

Yet.

I think what I’ll do is complete the project and then post not just photos but a video in the end. If you really want to know, we built a bottle rocket launcher out of PVC. I searched a few places and read up on how to build one. Many of the sites I looked all shared a few common things.

The parts

They all shared the same common parts needed to build our little project.

  • PVC pipe ( half-inch )
  • PVC fittings and caps
  • Cement – for gluing
  • Tire valve
  • Zip ties
  • Tape

Now, this is just a super simplified list of things used. I will be making a final one – hopefully this coming weekend – that is a bit more elaborate and can be launched from a safer distance based on something I found after I had already made our project. This last and final one will be customized and painted.

Yes, I will happily share those photos once I get the final project all completed and maybe even a small how-to guide since I’m sure there will be some people who would like to make one as well.

What’s next?

As for the next father and son project, I’m not quite sure what yet but I do know that it will a fun one. He may just use a Dremel in the next one…

Family Projects

The last 300 or so days have been cool to us. One of the things I love doing is having little projects with Sal. One of our first ones was making a treasure chest and map. The map was super quick to make and he got a good kick out of making his own treasure map. The chest was a little harder only because it was me that did a lot of it. The staining left a mark on us, you could say.

Sorry, I love me some good dad puns here and there.

Over the years we’ve had other small projects. He loves to create and I love to teach him those things. To expand his mind and ability. Last year I wanted to make something for him but never got around to it. This year, I’m changing that and am getting a part list ready for our next project. The downside is that I can’t tell you.

You’ll just have to find out once it gets posted and those images shared. That won’t be for a few weeks though. I will try to keep posting some potential details about this since it is a fun little thing that almost any kid can do and they can have fun from it as well.

In the meantime, back to trying to find all the pieces and reading things about this project.

One decade later

About ten years ago, I stepped foot on a yard. It was a good yard. It was great yard. It had chairs, a fence, some flowers, food, friends, and family. I walked a small path toward an arch. There stood Lilly. Minutes later, Jamie was walking with her dad down an aisle.

I was getting married, ya’ll!

That was ten years ago on April 19. Ten.

10!

A lot has changed and a lot has happened since then; many trips were taken, lessons learned, memories made and shared together. We have a child, for crying out loud. Well, he does most of the crying but still, you get the idea.

Over the years we learned a lot about one another. We learned how to drive each other crazy, make the other laugh, cry, angry, and sometimes a bit uncomfortable in public. The one thing that hasn’t changed is how we feel at the end of the day. Jamie said this and I feel it’s quite right.

We always find a way back to each other.

It really is crazy to me that we really do. I’ve said it before that we are opposites when it comes to certain things. It is very true. There are days when I’m happy and she’s down; other days when I’m down and she’s up.

When I start to think about all those years it blows my mind that we are nowhere near what others would perhaps call perfect. I’m so thankful for that. The thing sparks my interest is we both want to keep working on our relationship. It’s always, always, a work in progress.

I’ve seen a few friends struggle with their relationships and fail. Yeah, it sucks. The thing to remember is that is takes two people to make a relationship work but all it takes is one person to let it fail. We all have our good days and our bad days. It’s who we choose to share them with that can truly make a difference – at least for me it has been.

I can honestly say that I wouldn’t change any of it. Yes, we both had our ups and downs but without those we would not be where we are now. I’ve learned from it all.

The biggest reason is our kiddo. That little pain in the butt and minor headache from having to repeat the same thing thousands of times is all worth it. To see his smile and hear that laugh makes this ten year adventure all the worthwhile and that much more fun. It’s the little trips we often take to the beach, to a park, just the three of us that make me the happiest.

I know that we can achieve two things for him. The first one being a camping trip. He wanted to go camping a few years back but I think either this year or next we can try going to Yosemite and camp for a weekend. And no not “glamping”. Actual, make a tent and use sleeping bags on the ground, camping.

The second being a trip to Hawaii. He’s been fascinated by volcanoes for a long time and will still ask when we are going to Hawaii. I want to make this happen for him. I do. I will. Jamie and I both want to go back since we’ve only been there once. We do talk about it from time to time but it gets put off. Things happen.

As I do begin to truly look at the timeline of our marriage and relationship it is insane only because we have been together for thirteen years.

That’s a lot of time.

That’s a lot of months, weeks, days, hours, and seconds spent together. The super cool part – to me – is that I can still remember our wedding day like it was yesterday. It really was a great day.

I remember that some of the flowers didn’t bloom, I remember that we kept all the presents at her grandfather’s house because we left for Napa shortly after all the people had left. Okay, only like 4 people stayed and helped clean up.

One of the more memorable parts was that our friend Diana was the one who caught the bouquet and is now married. Her and Tony – our long time friend – have been together for almost the same time as we have. We’ve known one another for that long. Crazy!

One other thing that is very memorable is that our “honeymoon” was a quick visit to Napa. All we did was go to a Subway, get a couple of sandwiches, head back to the hotel, and watch something random. I think it was Mythbusters. The next day we went and saw a random movie, walked around downtown for a bit, looked at random thrift shops, and then made our way back home.

We like simplicity a lot of the time.

In a few weeks, it will be the anniversary of how long we’ve been together, a week after my birthday and a few weeks after that, Sal’s birthday.