Thursday, October 23, 2008

Punkin Chunkin

This day found me taking lunch at Winterbrook Farms.

Sure, there's farm-like stuff there.

And a giant teepee.

With a big kettle in it.

Umm . . . and a skeleton pirate . . . so it's like Disney all over again?

There is a corn maze for big kids.

And there was a hay bale maze for little kids. Unfortunately it didn't survive the big kids. As it turns out, that doesn't
detract so much from the fun for the little kids anyway.

My coworkers arrive.

We are all here for the main attraction: the pumkin cannon!

And its sidekick . . .

The apple cannon!

The apples come out of here.

This is where the apples go.

Things look less bad for the target from the side.

You line the target up from here.

Apples away!

These are the pumpkin targets. Notice they are larger.

You line up the targets here.

The business end of the pumpkin cannon.

The ammunition.

The pumpkin cannon is a breech loader.

The cannon charges.

Pumpkin away!

A fluffy white cloud in the sky? No! That's pumpkin chunkin power right there!

I wasn't the only one taking pictures. And I do like to take pictures of people taking pictures.

And here's what we were taking pictures of.

Pumpkins captured in mid-air are fun to watch. The Green Goblin would be proud. If he weren't dead . . . stupid Spider Man movie . . . .

I could watch them fly through the air all day. The Hobgoblin would be proud. If he weren't dead . . . stupid Spider Man movie sequel . . . .

These pumkin-bearers mean business!

More pictures being taken. They're missing the pumpkin though!

He's put down the camera and picked up the pumpkins.

And away they go!

Sometimes far away . . . oops . . . .

Tragically, not all pumpkins are able to earn their wings.

More ammo has arrived!

These pumpkins are ready to go!

And there one of them goes! This pumpkin looks kind of polished, oddly.

A closer look at the ammunition revealed this sport is something like the sport of geocaching.

Yup. There is a spider. He might just be in for the ride of his life.

One last cannon blast, aimed at the sky.

It launches the pumpkin far, far away. It's the barely perceptable speck above the top of the ship at the bottom of the picture.

Presidential helicopters. I thought it best to aim away from them. Their response would probably not come in the form of a pumpkin.

The farm does do business apart from launching pumpkins in the air. Although it's hard to imagine why.

They raise turkeys. These were almost brand new.

If you ever watched Dirty Jobs, you might have seen that not every bird makes it off the farm. This guy is just sleeping, though.
I watched him get up after this.

Attitude is everything! This bird was not happy I was taking his picture. This picture makes me laugh almost as
much as the baby goat picture.

Thursday, October 23, 2008 

Category: Life

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Out On The Bay Again

The weekend after my high school reunion, I went down to Essex with my friend Chex. He wanted to check out the recently repaired GPS system in his brother's boat before he shipped it overseas to him.

The boat was stored in a warehouse like this one at the Sunset Harbor Marina. He had no problems getting the boat out. I was really impressed with the friendliness of the guy who loaded the boat into the water.

Here's the boat on its way to the water. Well, and Chex on his way to the boat.

Here's a better picture of the boat being lowered into the water.

The forklift had solid white rubber tires. Odd huh?

A beach, of sorts, with boats parked next to it.

We were leaving just as these people were getting back. Yeah, we kind of got a late start. Those people were very nice and friendly, too.

So this is the cabin inside the boat. Longtime readers may recall that we took Chex's brother's old boat out into the bay, too. This boat is much bigger than that one and the cabin is much, much nicer. The weather was a lot warmer on the last trip, however!

You could, if you wanted to, live in this one. It's got a bathroom, with a shower, and a kitchen. It's also got a stereo system, shown here, and a flat panel TV on the other side, which I forgot to take a picture of. Oops!

Here is Chex, enjoying his brother's boat!

Off we go, no wake behind us.

Eventually we turned the engines on . . . but we didn't set any speed records getting anywhere. Most of the time we were trying to figure out where we were since the GPS system was still not working. We still had the basic GPS on the boat and we also had my own Garmin handheld GPS.

We had ambitions of reaching Annapolis, but there was no way that was going to happen. We set off way too late and like I said, weren't really sure where we were going. Eventually, though, we did get into a position where we could see, way off in the distance, the Bay Bridge. We probably could have made Annapolis before dark, but then we would have had to sail back in the dark, and neither of us was game for that.

Most of the trip we spent looking for buoys like this one and trying to guess which way the next one was that we needed to find. I got a lot of practice reading the navigation charts Chex had bought. It didn't help that one of them, believe it or not, was wrong. It had the wrong coordinates. That really messed me up for a while until I figured out that it had to be wrong.

So with daylight on it's way out, we headed back to the marina. The bad news for these gulls is that we were not fishing.

We paused briefly before returning the boat to the dock, so I took this picture of some ducks, which wisely gave us a wide berth.

Here we are almost to the dock. These are the fronts of the boats that are parked at the beach. We made it back in one piece once again. I hope his brother is enjoying his new boat! If he keeps this up, maybe next time he'll buy one we can just sail to him!

Sunday, October 19, 2008 

Category: Life