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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Return of the Son of Rocket Lobster Strikes Again

So I used to be Rocket Man. That was what some folks in Garnder addressed me as anyway, until about five years ago. It started out as a fun thing to do with my kids, turned into a semi-obsession, then I got kinda distracted.

Well, distracted around the time my kids started to try and get out of going flying. I enjoyed it myself, even did it without them some, but once they started resisting launches I started flying a lot less. Then I got more into cycling, met someone and remarried, and uh, stuff.

I'd been unwilling, though, to get rid of the stuff. My flying stock, my motors, my range box. I kept meaning to get back into it, it was so fun. I took a kid from the neighborhood flying I think around four years ago, and that went great but then I hadn't been back since. My nephew, though, turned five this spring and that's the perfect age to start. I mean, if you can't have fun at a model rocket launch, there's something dead inside you, but the great thing about five year olds is they are never dead inside.

My nephew couldn't come this week, and my neighbor's kid didn't answer the door (a freshman in high school now I think he was still asleep at 10:00 a.m. on a Saturday, that's normal). But I dragged Mo out and we went to the KCAR club launch at Shawnee Mission Park.

Which was awesome. There was even a rocket made out of a pool noodle and the cap from a L'eggs pantyhose container.

For one thing, it let me sort out my range box and figure out what I hadn't found. Like my launch rod, or Mr. Creosote (I swear I still have a flyable version of that but I couldn't find him). Plus, I learned that the 12v battery for my launch controller is dead, glad I found that out before I dragged a five year old out to a park, got everything set up and then said, sorry, maybe some other time. But of course, the club's launch controller was working so I could still fly.

Plus, at the club launch there are so many rockets to see, so many people launching. I cam with four rockets to launch, but there were dozens on hand. There were also little kids, some of them brand new to this, and their excitement was infectious.

Three of the four rockets I brought had never flown before. The other one, Hatful of Hollow, my Smiths themed punk rocket, I have flown dozens of times. It's a smallish rocket, a size I normally loose quickly but this one has stayed with me a long time. One of the maiden voyages, my Mozzie (an upscaled Estes Mosquito than can handle a 29mm motor, suitable for a Level I high power certification I toyed with years ago) escaped on its first flight, tipping into the wind and going cruise-missile style into the beyond on an E motor. I searched in vain for it, it was a $40 kit, more like $50 if you factor in the rip-stop nylon parachute and reusable wadding. Shit. And I had neglected to even Sharpie my phone number on it so it's gone forever (only one person has ever called me after finding one of my rockets so that's a low percentage play anyway).

I did replace the 12v battery for my launch controller but I think I'll try to get my nephew out for the next club launch. It's so much more show than I can manage on my own.

And I do think Mo enjoyed the outing. She answered in the affirmative to questions about that before and after, and for the No Factory, that says something.

I can't believe I stayed away so long. It was great to see Bob, Blake, Dave, all these old friends and make some new ones.

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