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So this reads like a list of crap I pulled as a kid. 

Boot hitched cars in the snow and on skateboard, check

Shot others and was shot by a BB gun, check 

Had access to large quantities of small explosives that were not age appropriate or really just regular appropriate, check 

Shot rifles, pistols and shot guns in areas where guns should not have been fired, check 

Rode dirt bikes at unsafe speeds through fenced farmland at night, check

Lawn darts, check

Took fraternity brothers 'cow tipping', check 

Had same frat brothers pee on an electrified fence, check

Mardi Gras, check 

Bailed out the aforementioned frat brothers at Mardi Gras, check 

Was told by a priest that I, a) looked like monkey fucking a football, b) had no respect for human dignity and c) was doused in holy water at my brothers wedding as he was blessing the rings I held. check 

Put a dart in my brother's hand while throwing them at a basketball in the basement, who knew they would rebound. check

Ran behind the mosquito as well, check

Drove way to stupidly in a 73 caprice classic that was a gift from grandfather when I turned 16. I am not sure he thought about giving a car with a 454/4 barrel to a 16 year old when gas was still south of $1.00. check

 

All in all I am lucky to be alive.

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On leaving trade training in the RAF.. it was traditional to do Something, though the something was quite difficult as the authorities were looking out for it. We also had a block inspection first thing in the morning, so the evening before was  somewhat busy packing,  cleaning and polishing everything, before moving out after the parade..

A previous course managed to get someone inside the gate guardian replacing the dummy, the gate guardian is the Old aircraft parked at the entrance gate on most RAF stations..  He was sat there suitable attired then as a car came in, he waved, it put the car driver off so much he crashed off the road. The occupant had to run for the barrack blocks, so as not to be apprehended.

Another course painted various rude words about officers on a radar Scanner. in white on a dark green Scanner, even though it was painted over, in the right light you could still see it years later when I came back on another course...

What did we do..? well one of the blokes on a previous drunken episode had come back from town with an ENORMOUS Bra and Panty set, well more like rent a tent.. He claimed stolen from a washing line..

During the night this got run up the station Flag pole and with a big heave jammed up there, sadly it then chucked it down with rain and our parade was held in a hangar, not on the parade square..

 

 

 

 

use 

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On 1/8/2022 at 10:03 AM, Willin' said:

Dancing in the mist when the mosquito control truck cruised our neighborhood in South Jersey. Sometimes we'd chase it for blocks, with huge groups of kids from other neighborhoods screaming in and out of the dense cloud with us.

One time my Dad shouted at me to not do that ever again, that stuff is poison. 'Well why are they spraying it up and down the street then, Dad?'

No answer.

holy shit I remember those sprayers in north jersey,  i first started to see them during the gypsy moth invasion...  I was told by other kids that they had been doing it for decades... ddt...     and yes kids, following the trucks and people wonder why we have so much cancer..

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As with others, there are many unsupervised "just get home in time for dinner" stories that include near death experiences, minor and a few not-so-minor transgressions, and varying levels of skill, stupidity, and naivete.

In terms of what can't be done now due to increased monitoring and security, I relayed the following stories to millennials who were dumb enough to follow me to Keen's for Scotch after a company party. (Well, I first told them that they are the first generation to be more boring and less adventurous than the prior generation)

Empire State Building stories (I worked on the 77th floor from 1993 - 2001)
We'll start with a mild story and get more interesting:
The windows open all the way - or at least they did from 1993-2001. You can imagine the antics. Many objects found their way out. The little army parachute guys made it to 23rd and 2nd. The worst object ejection was unintentional. An easel from our classroom was sucked out the window when the classroom door was opened while window on the other side of the building and there was a strong breeze. No fatalities were reported and we hoped it landed on a building, but it was never seen again.

Around 1995, we started hosting webcams so people could see the view from the 77th floor and we could imitate competence in the new and interesting world of the Internet for the masses. It was initially placed on the window sill and worked great during the day, but interior lights against the dark sky outside would cause reflections on the window. We learned from that and mounted them above the hung ceiling. All was good except, unbeknownst to me, my friend was staging a new camera on the window sill the night I brought a young lady up to the office. Yup, I was an amateur porn star (well, actor) for that night's viewers.

Around 1994-1995, the minimal security that was added after the 1993 WTC bombing was already relaxed. The 77th floor gave me access to the stairwell that went up the 86th floor observation deck. The doors had no locks or alarms. During some after hours exploration I got onto the 86th floor hallway where, when moving away from the observation elevators and crowd, I found another stairwell door. That stairwell got me up to ~90th floor that is the base of the narrow tower structure that goes up to the 102nd floor for the mythical dirigible dock (now observation room). Thinking I might get up the 102nd floor, I opened a door slowly. I felt, heard, smelled, and saw the city. (the fully opening windows teach you that the city feels and sounds different at that height) The door opened to the base of that tower and I was able step out into the open while clinging feebly to the base of the tower. Not being comfortable with heights, this of course scared the life out of me but was a tremendous rush. Looking out on NYC and beyond in the open air at that height while the camera flashes and murmur from the observation deck below added some context is in the top 10 thrills of my life. I did this 3 more times. On my 3rd trip, NewsCopter 4 was continually circling and I was sure I was spotted until it circled below me. While an odd feeling to look down on the helicopter, it was also a relief and I got back inside. At the point, I figured I should stop. That lasted a few weeks until I had a few in El Torito and took and other trip up. Stepping out there impaired was scary enough for me to stop for good. For those that say pics or didn't happen, I did try that on my second trip, but there was very little space to stand on and I couldn't get myself to lift a bulky camera (still film in those days) while clinging to the building. Embarrassingly, I got so scared trying to do it, that I just dropped the camera. I realize there are people who could be in that spot and happily work along or even do acrobatics, but I'm at the point now where walking across the golden gate bridge and looking down has me nervous even though there's the railing and a solid bridge below me. Doing this with no safety measures of any kind was a tremendous rush.

Getting back to my initial point above, the casually curious person could never do that today. The amount of physical security, cameras, and tracking would prevent you from getting there or bust you after you did. To do what was just a little adventurous 25 years ago now requires spy-level skills.

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11 hours ago, Ed Lada said:

Darts.jpg

Oh man....I had several lawn dart calls back when they were popular. Most not too bad, more visually impressive than dangerous (head wounds always bleed a lot) but there was one really ugly one.....it involved midnight drunken dart throwing.....naked as it turns out..... and an eye socket. Knarly................

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2 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

We simplified this "stupid shit" concept a bunch.

Drugs.

When I was a medic we had an abbreviation we would put on the field patient chart...........TSTL..........until somebody asked (after years of the practice) what it meant. When they found out the answer was "Too Stupid To Live"..........they made us stop.

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44 minutes ago, Point Break said:

When I was a medic we had an abbreviation we would put on the field patient chart...........TSTL..........until somebody asked (after years of the practice) what it meant. When they found out the answer was "Too Stupid To Live"..........they made us stop.

My trauma nurse friend had one too DDWT (Darwin Didn't Win Today).  I don't know if she ever charted it, but her workmates were well aware of the acronym.

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Not me, but my son.  His senior year of HS, he and two friends went to the rival HS in the middle of the night.  They worked out a plan in which they would triangulate their locations on the baseball field in the front of the school.  In doing so, they were able to spray the name of their HS, using RoundUp in 60 foot tall letters.  This was 2 weeks before "the big game".  Very slowly, their rival's name appeared in the grass visible from every room in the front of the school.

He was in the Class of 2017.  It's still visible on Google Earth.

Screen Shot 2022-01-10 at 11.02.34 PM.png

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3 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

Not me, but my son.  His senior year of HS, he and two friends went to the rival HS in the middle of the night.  They worked out a plan in which they would triangulate their locations on the baseball field in the front of the school.  In doing so, they were able to spray the name of their HS, using RoundUp in 60 foot tall letters.  This was 2 weeks before "the big game".  Very slowly, their rival's name appeared in the grass visible from every room in the front of the school.

He was in the Class of 2017.  It's still visible on Google Earth.

Screen Shot 2022-01-10 at 11.02.34 PM.png

My mother did sort of the opposite of that when I was a kid.

Okanagan helicopters regularly flew over our place to get to the hills where they trained new pilots.

Those were the days of piston engine Bell 47's so it was noisy.

She finally got fed up and spread white nitroprill fertilizer in a big fuck off on the large north lawn.

It was counterproductive though because the lawn settled into a very dark green fuck off which lasted for 2 or 3 years - the choppers would fly over and hover to show the new pilots. :D

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10 hours ago, Point Break said:

When I was a medic we had an abbreviation we would put on the field patient chart...........TSTL..........until somebody asked (after years of the practice) what it meant. When they found out the answer was "Too Stupid To Live"..........they made us stop.

Not terribly spectacular but terribly stupid.  We had a guy come into  the ER one night with a couple if severely lacerated fingers.  Asked him what happened.  He said he was cleaning the exhaust fan above the stove.  I gave him a puzzled look, and he said; "I know, I know it was really stupid of me.  I should have turned the fan off first."  :lol:

I guess he thought it would be quicker and easier to leave the fan on and hold the rag up to the spinning fan blades.

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On 1/6/2022 at 3:42 PM, White Lightning2 said:

Things we did....

I remember Gran telling us to go play in the dirt .........

 

unquestionably smart when you think about it .

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Just remembered one of the dumber shit things I did once while visiting a friend in about 7th or 8th grade. We hid beside the house and as cars went by on the street would shoot electrical staples at the hubcaps using a jury rigged slingshot thingy. Sometimes we'd hear a loud clank from a direct hit, sometimes a thud from a body shot. Looking back, the scariest were the duds, when you heard nothing. Did it go in an open car window? Hit a pedestrian down the street? Hit a tire and ricochet?

We never knew and probably didn't care.

Oh yeah, that and going out during Christmas time and stealing Christmas lights (the old style, larger glass incandescent ones), from beautifully decorated houses like it was mischief night before halloween. We'd run laughing down the street smashing them as we went, sometimes being chased by angry homeowners.

Dumbshit!

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1 hour ago, Willin' said:

Just remembered one of the dumber shit things I did once while visiting a friend in about 7th or 8th grade. We hid beside the house and as cars went by on the street would shoot electrical staples at the hubcaps using a jury rigged slingshot thingy. Sometimes we'd hear a loud clank from a direct hit, sometimes a thud from a body shot. Looking back, the scariest were the duds, when you heard nothing. Did it go in an open car window? Hit a pedestrian down the street? Hit a tire and ricochet?

We never knew and probably didn't care.

Oh yeah, that and going out during Christmas time and stealing Christmas lights (the old style, larger glass incandescent ones), from beautifully decorated houses like it was mischief night before halloween. We'd run laughing down the street smashing them as we went, sometimes being chased by angry homeowners.

Dumbshit!

Throwing snowballs at passing cars, and one night lying in a vineyard, picking bunches of unripe grapes, squeezing them in our hands to make them juicy and hurling them at cars passing by below the elevated vineyard land, in retrospect weren't our finest moments. 

I'll take some small comfort in the fact that we never hurled rocks or concrete blocks from highway overpasses on to vehicles.  Even we weren't that stupid.

Forgive me Father, I have sinned...

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1 hour ago, Ed Lada said:

Throwing snowballs at passing cars, and one night lying in a vineyard, picking bunches of unripe grapes, squeezing them in our hands to make them juicy and hurling them at cars passing by below the elevated vineyard land, in retrospect weren't our finest moments. 

I'll take some small comfort in the fact that we never hurled rocks or concrete blocks from highway overpasses on to vehicles.  Even we weren't that stupid.

Forgive me Father, I have sinned...

If you hadn't, he would have died for nothing.

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I grew up with my Nana right next door. I haf a bad cold in the spring when i was about 6, went to the back deck in my pj's, hung my head over the rail, plugged one nostril and shot an allarming volume of snot onto the grass below, and repeat. Took several lungfulls to complete. I didn't notice Nana on her deck, she was having her morning smoke, standing at her rail, at that time we were the same height, about 4'6 or so. Atta boy! Get it all out! In her beautiful Swedish accent. She was a tall woman in her early 30s, she lost 9" in one year due to her sawbones over prescribing a new drug at that time for her arthritis. Cortizone. 

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Snow caves and igloos, anyone? My brother and I were extra energetic igloo builders when the heavy snow firmed up, although we never quite got how to get the roof to slope toward the center. Not for lack of trying. It's amazing we didn't suffocate under all the failures.

Just got a reminder of a sad event from a while back. My buddy's son was an up and coming high school snow boarder in New Hampshire back in 2000. Their team took a bus trip to a meet at a New England ski area, arriving after dark with the intention of the team sleeping on the bus overnight in the parking lot. Rob and a mate, avid snow campers, decided to dig a snow cave in a mass of snow piled up by the plows in the parking lot and sleep inside instead. Later that night the plow came by on clean up and collapsed their cave. The bodies weren't found until the next morning.

How many times as kids did we do that in plowed berms? It's a miracle we survived.

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A friend from secondary school fell out of a tree, , he spent a year a month and a little bit in a coma..

When he returned to school he was put back a year..

Most here would be hard put to beat this guy. I knew him when he ran a local garage, he was in the same class as my dad at school.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peopleswar/stories/00/a4117600.shtml

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hmmmm, i dont know how the hell I am still alive.

- born at 27 weeks, in the mid 60's. Lucky to make it through.

- 2 yrs old: dragged ratsak bait trap out from the back of the fridge and had a meal. Hospital visit where the doc tried to make me throw up, so a bit his fingers hard - he needed stitches.

- 6 yrs old: 'accidentally' started a fire in an outbuilding while i was in it. Took off fast, lucky to make it out.

- 7 yrs old. Stuck my finger in a 240v sewing machine light socket while repairing for mum. Didnt check it was live. Woke up on the other side of the room, having been thrown against the wall. Funnily after that I dont mind quick shocks, although 240 is a lot harder than 110. Again lucky, plus having respect but not fear of it enabled me to do a lot of work in electronics and electrical engineering.

- 8 years old, almost lost a few fingers when the large toothed saw blade came out of the cut (deadwood / forest floor) and my father pulled the blade while i was putting the blade back into the cut - silly me. 

- 9 yrs old, concussion, cuts / bruises / sprains from riding over the edge of a railway embankment, 30 mins ride from home in the country. Coulda been a lot worse. usually rode the back roads and along the railway tracks through the forest (i knew when the trains ran - mostly)

-10 yrs old: riding down a steep gravel road at high speed. brakes failed at the bottom and i had to lay the bike and i down on the gravel before crossing the busy highway right at the bottom. That hurt - a lot, and for quite some time.

- 11 yrs old: riding and ploughed into the side of a car backing out of a driveway - was doing about 40 mph. That hurt. Broken front tooth / concussion / should have been worse.

- 13 yrs old: tried to jump over / down a double ledge on a hill side. Landed pointing down, front wheel first. Snapped the handle bars. Forks bent back, bike totalled. 6th grade piano exam in 3 weeks... hmm somehow the left fingers recovered just enough from the crush injury.

- 18 yrs old and a similar aged friend.: 700 mile bicycle ride over 10 days, middle of summer, carrying tents, all gear. At least 3 NDE along the way, including beer cans being thrown at us from overtaking vehicles, being accidentally pushed by my friend in an accident that came within 1 foot of taking us over a 1'000 foot drop. Beating the cars down Mount Buffalo was a blast though. 

- 22 yrs old: doing 300 miles one night, no foot brakes due to an earlier incident with a tree, and we were on a deadline. Averaged 60 mph - well it was overnight, and on country roads I had driven once or twice before. Friends in car to keep me awake. The owl turned the windscreen white with some sort of cream when it hit hard. Lucky it didn't break through.

- Living as a single in my mid 30's had a high stress interstate consulting role with lots of travel, and quite sick for 8 weeks. Decided to go to the local hospital - something didn't seem right. Airway had closed by 90% from strep throat, apparently i probably would not have woken up the next morning if I had stayed at home.

Then there are the sailing incidents - close enough to sinking a cherub (chine failure) with a friend, in the middle of winter, without wetsuits and on the very cold waters of lake learmonth in Ballarat. Took an hour to get to shore - with both of us having high medium hypothermia. Fairly major incident off Tasmania, with gale force winds / high seas / fouled headsail fully out / rocks just 45 mins away. Made it out with 15 to spare.

This is getting too long, so skipping another 3 decades. Always pushed the boundaries a bit. The usual incidents, but nothing spectacular.

2 months ago - Getting t-boned by a hummer h2 who was doing 40mph when he went through the stop sign. He didn't brake at all. Hit the metro van i was driving on the passenger side, threw it to the left about 40' feet, hit an embankment and rolled to the right. A few broken ribs, rebroke foot fracture, critically high BP. Both vehicles written off. Showed docs / nurses photos of the crash (had been taken and sent to me while i was in the ambulance, and they dont know the heck I made it out with the few injuries i had. So many scans and xrays - they were thorough!

So anyway - it has made me who i am, for better or worse. I cant imagine living life swaddled in cotton wool. I do have a colleague who is near retirement, who was a Texas rodeo rider - that's the sort of stuff I was not interested in, because I knew that would hurt like hell as i got older - and he sure is paying the price for it now.

 

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8 minutes ago, dfw_sailor said:

hmmmm, i dont know how the hell I am still alive.

- born at 27 weeks, in the mid 60's. Lucky to make it through.

- 2 yrs old: dragged ratsak bait trap out from the back of the fridge and had a meal. Hospital visit where the doc tried to make me throw up, so a bit his fingers hard - he needed stitches.

- 6 yrs old: 'accidentally' started a fire in an outbuilding while i was in it. Took off fast, lucky to make it out.

- 7 yrs old. Stuck my finger in a 240v sewing machine light socket while repairing for mum. Didnt check it was live. Woke up on the other side of the room, having been thrown against the wall. Funnily after that I dont mind quick shocks, although 240 is a lot harder than 110. Again lucky, plus having respect but not fear of it enabled me to do a lot of work in electronics and electrical engineering.

- 8 years old, almost lost a few fingers when the large toothed saw blade came out of the cut (deadwood / forest floor) and my father pulled the blade while i was putting the blade back into the cut - silly me. 

- 9 yrs old, concussion, cuts / bruises / sprains from riding over the edge of a railway embankment, 30 mins ride from home in the country. Coulda been a lot worse. usually rode the back roads and along the railway tracks through the forest (i knew when the trains ran - mostly)

-10 yrs old: riding down a steep gravel road at high speed. brakes failed at the bottom and i had to lay the bike and i down on the gravel before crossing the busy highway right at the bottom. That hurt - a lot, and for quite some time.

- 11 yrs old: riding and ploughed into the side of a car backing out of a driveway - was doing about 40 mph. That hurt. Broken front tooth / concussion / should have been worse.

- 13 yrs old: tried to jump over / down a double ledge on a hill side. Landed pointing down, front wheel first. Snapped the handle bars. Forks bent back, bike totalled. 6th grade piano exam in 3 weeks... hmm somehow the left fingers recovered just enough from the crush injury.

- 18 yrs old and a similar aged friend.: 700 mile bicycle ride over 10 days, middle of summer, carrying tents, all gear. At least 3 NDE along the way, including beer cans being thrown at us from overtaking vehicles, being accidentally pushed by my friend in an accident that came within 1 foot of taking us over a 1'000 foot drop. Beating the cars down Mount Buffalo was a blast though. 

- 22 yrs old: doing 300 miles one night, no foot brakes due to an earlier incident with a tree, and we were on a deadline. Averaged 60 mph - well it was overnight, and on country roads I had driven once or twice before. Friends in car to keep me awake. The owl turned the windscreen white with some sort of cream when it hit hard. Lucky it didn't break through.

- Living as a single in my mid 30's had a high stress interstate consulting role with lots of travel, and quite sick for 8 weeks. Decided to go to the local hospital - something didn't seem right. Airway had closed by 90% from strep throat, apparently i probably would not have woken up the next morning if I had stayed at home.

Then there are the sailing incidents - close enough to sinking a cherub (chine failure) with a friend, in the middle of winter, without wetsuits and on the very cold waters of lake learmonth in Ballarat. Took an hour to get to shore - with both of us having high medium hypothermia. Fairly major incident off Tasmania, with gale force winds / high seas / fouled headsail fully out / rocks just 45 mins away. Made it out with 15 to spare.

This is getting too long, so skipping another 3 decades. Always pushed the boundaries a bit. The usual incidents, but nothing spectacular.

2 months ago - Getting t-boned by a hummer h2 who was doing 40mph when he went through the stop sign. He didn't brake at all. Hit the metro van i was driving on the passenger side, threw it to the left about 40' feet, hit an embankment and rolled to the right. A few broken ribs, rebroke foot fracture, critically high BP. Both vehicles written off. Showed docs / nurses photos of the crash (had been taken and sent to me while i was in the ambulance, and they dont know the heck I made it out with the few injuries i had. So many scans and xrays - they were thorough!

So anyway - it has made me who i am, for better or worse. I cant imagine living life swaddled in cotton wool. I do have a colleague who is near retirement, who was a Texas rodeo rider - that's the sort of stuff I was not interested in, because I knew that would hurt like hell as i got older - and he sure is paying the price for it now.

 

How old was your mother when she had her stroke?

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Growing up in Southern Calif in the 50's and 60's was the greatest time and place for a surf grommet. Surfed almost everyday. At 12 we were camping out at the beach from fri till sunday when somebody's parent would come pick us up. When we got our driver's license, our surf territories went from Black's in San Diego to The Ranch above Goleta. So many perfect waves and if no waves there was always skateboarding, bicycle racing, water balloon fights, flying birthday cakes, making hydrogen dry cleaner bag bombs, pimping beer, taking LSD and going to Disneyland with my boy scout troop. Like many others here, the list is endless. I like the look on my nephews face when he asked what I did as a kid.

The thing I did back then I value the most was using my surfboard building skills to make my racing bicycle to compete in the World Speed Championships. I'm the 12th bike in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FAzcEPMi14

dog.jpg

PL.Coyote.jpg

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A neighbor got a new refrigerator and put the huge cardboard box it came in out on the curb for the garbage men to haul off. My buddies and I dragged the box to the closest of our crews house to see just what we could do for fun with the box. Of course the first thing was to all climb in in laying on its side and fold the flaps of the open end up. The kid whose carport we had dragged it to thought it would be fun to let go with a big fart and see how long it took to evacuate the box. After it had aired out and we all climbed back in we closed the flaps and wouldn't let the farter back in despite his promises to not do his deed again. He was making a huge fuss and his Mom came to the door and he was whining to her but when we told her about his 'fart in the box' she agreed with us and told him he deserved being banned from the box. We could hear him sobbing after she went back inside and it wasn't long before we could hear a fine stream of something hitting the sides of the box. At first we thought he was pissing on the cardboard so we stayed put inside until he ran out of urine. When the sound stopped instead of smelling piss we could smell something more like lighter fluid from the grill sitting on the carport! Next thing you know the little bastard struck a match and set the box on fire! It took way less time for us to evacuate the blazing box than it did when the fart happened. Mom came back to the door just in time to see us rolling out of the box and her son trying to put the lighter fluid and matches back in the utility room. He got a real whipping when his Dad came home.

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10 hours ago, SloopJonB said:

How old was your mother when she had her stroke?

She did have high BP, bit that was from the emergency prem birth.

Somehow she hung on for a long long long time. It's hard to bite my tongue. My Dad went way too early, while I was in my early 20s. 

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On 1/16/2022 at 2:57 PM, oldsurfer said:

Growing up in Southern Calif in the 50's and 60's was the greatest time and place for a surf grommet. Surfed almost everyday. At 12 we were camping out at the beach from fri till sunday when somebody's parent would come pick us up. When we got our driver's license, our surf territories went from Black's in San Diego to The Ranch above Goleta. So many perfect waves and if no waves there was always skateboarding, bicycle racing, water balloon fights, flying birthday cakes, making hydrogen dry cleaner bag bombs, pimping beer, taking LSD and going to Disneyland with my boy scout troop. Like many others here, the list is endless. I like the look on my nephews face when he asked what I did as a kid.

The thing I did back then I value the most was using my surfboard building skills to make my racing bicycle to compete in the World Speed Championships. I'm the 12th bike in the video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FAzcEPMi14

dog.jpg

PL.Coyote.jpg

No Fair! Looks like you're up in the high desert where the air is thinner.

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3 hours ago, Willin' said:

No Fair! Looks like you're up in the high desert where the air is thinner.

Exactly, Good eye!

 First speed championship venue was on a buffalo ranch in Colo, but the buffalo wouldn't stay off the road. They now hold the championships in Battle Mt Nevada. High altitude, flat road, no wind, no drafting, 5 mile run up to the 200 meter speed traps. Good fun! These days the kids are hitting 80+ mph.

bm02403.jpg

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17 hours ago, RedTuna said:

611.jpeg

At about the age of 8 or 9, i played darts (the real ones with a dartboard and sharp arrowhead ) with 2 friends, that ware about 1 and 2 years older. 

The dartboard hung on an nail at a wooden power pole at the dirt road. Just before the last dart should be thrown by friend #1, the nail fell off. 

Friend #2, wich wasn't the brightest candle in the candlestick, offered to hold the dartboard for the one last throw.

So it happend. #1 holds the Dartboard with both hands, trying not to wiggle.

Friend #2 throws his dart and hits.

Hits Friend #1 right between the eyes. Luckily #2 didn't throw very hard, so it only bleed a lot.

Don't ask, why we did this. Maybe its about beeing boys of a certain age...

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A friend decided he wanted to make a pipe bomb out of match-heads.  Bent over one end of the pipe using a vise and hammer.  Filled it with match-heads, and went to bend over the other end.  Used the vise and then the hammer to finish the job.  It went off in his hand and he lost parts of 3 fingers.

Therefore, this is something I DIDN'T do.

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2 hours ago, Bus Driver said:

A friend decided he wanted to make a pipe bomb out of match-heads.  Bent over one end of the pipe using a vise and hammer.  Filled it with match-heads, and went to bend over the other end.  Used the vise and then the hammer to finish the job.  It went off in his hand and he lost parts of 3 fingers.

Therefore, this is something I DIDN'T do.

I worked with a guy at IBM who blew himself up at age 12 - spend the rest of his life on crutches.

And he was far from stupid.

It has to be a guy thing.

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When I was in junior high, a friend and I made bombs from steel pipes, and from used CO2 cartridges.  We used "target gunpowder" ('cause that's what we could get) and underwater fuse (mail-order from New Jersey).  Big bangs, lots of shrapnel, and very destructive.  We never blew up anything that would cause harm, or that someone would miss. 

We also made a cannon with one-inch steel pipe (or a bit bigger?), again with underwater fuse and target powder.  We used paper towels as wadding and shot sections of broomstick or steel rebar.  Good range and power, and we could usually hit the target (generally a sheet of plywood).

But my favorite was to get long sections of flimsy plastic bags from the local dry-cleaning outfit (these were hollow tubes of plastic film that the cleaner would normally heat-cut and seal to the necessary length for bagging the cleaned apparel).  We took a five-foot section, tied off both ends and filled it with natural gas from the fireplace gas fitting.  Natural gas, unlike propane, is slightly lighter than air.  We taped an igniter (match heads wrapped in toilet-paper) with a time-delay fuse, and let it go.  Nice big slow fireball -- not explosive, it would take a while for the air to mix with the gas as the burning balloon would start to spin.  The most exciting launch was one cold dry night, when the released balloon started chasing my friend's static-charged sweater.  He hit the dirt, I pushed the balloon off him, and it ended up in a tree.

Strangely enough, we were never injured, and to this day we have between us the regulation 44 fingers + toes + eyes.

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Guys under the age of ~25 or so are just plain stupid. Methinks adolescence is where Darwin planned to remove the low-hanging fruit. If this wasn't the case there would be significantly less war in human history.

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3 minutes ago, valis said:

When I was in junior high, a friend and I made bombs from steel pipes, and from used CO2 cartridges.  We used "target gunpowder" ('cause that's what we could get) and underwater fuse (mail-order from New Jersey).  Big bangs, lots of shrapnel, and very destructive.  We never blew up anything that would cause harm, or that someone would miss. 

We also made a cannon with one-inch steel pipe (or a bit bigger?), again with underwater fuse and target powder.  We used paper towels as wadding and shot sections of broomstick or steel rebar.  Good range and power, and we could usually hit the target (generally a sheet of plywood).

But my favorite was to get long sections of flimsy plastic bags from the local dry-cleaning outfit (these were hollow tubes of plastic film that the cleaner would normally heat-cut and seal to the necessary length for bagging the cleaned apparel).  We took a five-foot section, tied off both ends and filled it with natural gas from the fireplace gas fitting.  Natural gas, unlike propane, is slightly lighter than air.  We taped an igniter (match heads wrapped in toilet-paper) with a time-delay fuse, and let it go.  Nice big slow fireball -- not explosive, it would take a while for the air to mix with the gas as the burning balloon would start to spin.  The most exciting launch was one cold dry night, when the released balloon started chasing my friend's static-charged sweater.  He hit the dirt, I pushed the balloon off him, and it ended up in a tree.

Strangely enough, we were never injured, and to this day we have between us the regulation 44 fingers + toes + eyes.

That's what keeps them coming back for more.

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13 minutes ago, gptyk said:

Guys under the age of ~25 or so are just plain stupid. Methinks adolescence is where Darwin planned to remove the low-hanging fruit. If this wasn't the case there would be significantly less war in human history.

Not stupid because some of this stuff is hard to come up with, now lacking the ability to foresee the results/consequences, yes the under 25 males do have that problem

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Lab assistant at school made a potato cannon out of 3" PVC and an igniter.  Had a chamber in which he tried various "fuels".  Was nearly to the point of getting a spud to clear the far end zone on the football field.  After repeated firings, it exploded next to his head.  He came in the building bloody.  Mentioned he was going to stop by Home Depot and get some threaded black steel pipe for the new version.  Thank God his family talked him out of it.

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Years ago I saw a report on life expectancy for those who had reached 60 years old.   The life expectancy of women was just slightly greater than that of men - a much smaller gap than the normal number quoted for the overall population.   That's because most older men have stopped doing (as much) stupid stuff as younger men.......

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Hydrogen dry cleaner bag bombs.

Good thing it had a long fuse and floated up as high as it did before it blew cuz it stopped a high school friday night football game in it's tracks, sent folks in the bleachers into full panic and caught the attention of lots of squad cars. Even being as high up as it got you could still feel the heat from the explosion on the ground.

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2 hours ago, oldsurfer said:

Hydrogen dry cleaner bag bombs.

Good thing it had a long fuse and floated up as high as it did before it blew cuz it stopped a high school friday night football game in it's tracks, sent folks in the bleachers into full panic and caught the attention of lots of squad cars. Even being as high up as it got you could still feel the heat from the explosion on the ground.

Was it pure Hydrogen, or did have enough Oxygen mixed in so you had an explosive mixture?  I used to make H and O using electrolysis and pure H was disappointing.  Eventually I wised up and ran house-current AC to my electrodes and got a combined mix of H and O -- big bang when ignited!

Speaking of "things I did" (I don't think I've mentioned this one here -- in this thread anyway) I made a carbon arc using the carbon electrodes taken from D-Cell batteries.  Used a pencil sharpener to put a point on the electrodes, and wrapped extension cord wires around the electrodes.  Made a wooden holder for the 'trodes, plugged it in (110VAC, 50 Hz), and drew a big fat yellow sputtering arc -- until the fuse blew.  Bigger fuse, longer duration arc, another blown fuse.  Put a nickel in the fuseholder socket, and ran that thing until the extension cord started smoking.

Lucky I didn't burn down the garage.

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11 hours ago, valis said:

Was it pure Hydrogen, or did have enough Oxygen mixed in so you had an explosive mixture?  I used to make H and O using electrolysis and pure H was disappointing.  Eventually I wised up and ran house-current AC to my electrodes and got a combined mix of H and O -- big bang when ignited!

Speaking of "things I did" (I don't think I've mentioned this one here -- in this thread anyway) I made a carbon arc using the carbon electrodes taken from D-Cell batteries.  Used a pencil sharpener to put a point on the electrodes, and wrapped extension cord wires around the electrodes.  Made a wooden holder for the 'trodes, plugged it in (110VAC, 50 Hz), and drew a big fat yellow sputtering arc -- until the fuse blew.  Bigger fuse, longer duration arc, another blown fuse.  Put a nickel in the fuseholder socket, and ran that thing until the extension cord started smoking.

Lucky I didn't burn down the garage.

Back in my theater days I occasionally ran a Super Trooper carbon arc spotlight.  Those things were sizzling, smoking beasts that could throw a beam of white hot light about 400 feet.  We would use welders gloves, open the side panel, take out the stubs of the spent carbon rod, clamp in a couple of new ones and strike an arc again.  The spots had a transformer/rectifier that would turn the 110 AC voltage into 37 volt DC at 45 amps.  Nowadays it's all civilized with Xenon spots and the like.  

We had Buddy Rich and his band play a show at my college.  My friend and I were running the follow spots for the show.  After we got the stage set up, my buddy and I went to the back of the auditorium, put on our headsets and fried up the spots, shutter closed.  The stage lights came up bright, the band started cooking with jazz number, and then Buddy in the back on a riser launches into a drum solo.  Well, he's the star of the show so we crank the shutters open and light up Buddy from both sides.  Suddenly the road manager is screaming in the headset. "GET THOSE SPOTS OFF OF THE STAR RIGHT NOW OR HE"S WALKING!"  Bam, we close the shutter and we look at each other like WTF???  You would thing the road manager would have imparted that atypical information to us before the show started.  We spent the rest of the show lighting up the other band members solos, being careful not to annoy 'The Star'.  

 

strong-super-trouper-carbon-arc-spot-light_1.jpg

strong-super-trouper-carbon-arc-spot-light_1_6400b1a28246ae5eb32d0fba8a7af5b0.jpg

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On 1/21/2022 at 11:13 AM, Bus Driver said:

Lab assistant at school made a potato cannon out of 3" PVC and an igniter.  Had a chamber in which he tried various "fuels".  Was nearly to the point of getting a spud to clear the far end zone on the football field.  After repeated firings, it exploded next to his head.  He came in the building bloody.  Mentioned he was going to stop by Home Depot and get some threaded black steel pipe for the new version.  Thank God his family talked him out of it.

Even as recently as the 1980s we were making tennis ball cannons by taping soda/beer cans together after removing both ends. These were the old, thicker cans with lipped, flat ends that you could remove with a hand can opener. Five or 6 in a row for the barrel and the final one, the ignition chamber, you left the ends on. One end you made 5 or 6 openings around the circumference with a church key, the back end remained unmolested.  Somewhere in that last can you drilled a hole large enough to squirt in some lighter fluid, then just shake it up to vaporize the fluid.

Tennis balls fit in those cannons perfectly. All you had to do was point it and have someone hold a lighter up to the small hole and pow, instant soft projectile. Fast enough to sting but too soft to poke an eye out.

Of course, once they started making the newer, thinner cans it was all over.

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and a squirt of lighter fluid on the tennis ball was highly amusing....most of the time. 

sometimes it was terror trying to extinguish the forest fire before it got out of hand...

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We used to make match-guns, using one of the spring-style wooden clothespins.  It was kind of like this:

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The difference is that we didn't do any carving or other modifications to the wooden pin, and for ammo we used wooden "strike anywhere blue-tip" matches, with the matchhead facing the spring "firing pin".  The spring hit the matchhead and ignited it as the match was being launched.  The flaming match would go 10 or 20 feet -- lots of fun for nighttime battles!

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Apologies, not a story that risked life or limb, but stupid shit just the same:

One day during my junior year in high school I was feeling “restless” (ie, bored with school) so I did what I usually did in those circumstances: got up to mischief.

When I stopped at home for lunch I noticed a couple of Kowalski kielbasas in the fridge waiting for supper. “The Idea” sprung to mind remarkably fast, so I grabbed a fishing pole with big treble hook along with one of the kielbasa and headed back to school. I’d known the various ways to access the school rooftop due to my inquisitive nature about places that were off limits so I snuck up the access thru the auditorium since nothing was going on in there and it was right next to the parking lot.

Once on the roof I hooked the kielbie to the line and dropped it over the side, trolling and dancing it along outside the windows of the math and English classrooms below. It only took a few seconds before I heard howls of laughter from the open windows; I kept it going for a few minutes before reeling it in, tossing the sausage across the roof and stashing the pole behind a HVAC unit across the roof for later retrieval. Made it down speedy quick undetected and showed up for shop class late; after the next two class periods word had spread thruout school about the dancing kielbasa and speculation about who’d done it. Somehow my English teacher, who was a quirky and hip guy at the time (mid-70’s), zeroed in on me, telling me it was definitely something I would do. He thought it was hilarious and didn’t push the issue so I escaped penalty. At school anyway.

My mom was pissed that half of dinner was missing, especially since we didn’t have much and the kielbasa was a rare treat. I was a puss and didn’t fess up, so all four of us were grounded for a week even though she was pretty confident it was me.

I came clean at a class reunion many years ago when someone brought up the incident, everyone said they’d suspected it was me all along.

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