Thursday, May 10, 2012

weapons of mass distraction

I will admit that although sometimes I look at my friends with their little girls and think, "That must be fun," I cannot pretend that having a mess of boys isn't usually a lot of fun, too.

I mean, I grew up with two brothers. And a dad with guns. We climbed trees, built forts, had sword fights and wrestle matches. Sometimes I dressed up as a princess. Other times I dressed in camo and spent all day out in a cow pasture pretending to be a lost soldier trying to find his way home while avoiding landmines. As I've gotten older, I've definitely embraced my girly side more (okay, in all honesty it's probably more like an awkward side hug) but there is still quite a bit of tomboy in me.

So today when my boys and I were talking about trebuchets (um, I LOVE those things) vs. catapults, I decided to go online and look at some trebuchet plans. And an all-day weapons-building bonanza began.

First off, we tried the pencil-launching paper crossbow.

pencil crossbow

It's surprisingly strong, and I can see how it would have been really powerful if the trigger had worked. We tried everything to get it to release the string but in the end I just carved a nock in the end of the pencil and we held the string with our thumbs, lifting it to release. It only launched about 15 feet (the video claimed it go about 100).We even tried building a second one to see if we'd messed something up somehow in the process, but the trigger didn't work on that one either. So we gave it three out of five stars.

Secondly, I made a teeny tiny catapult. I seriously long for the day when I can finally afford the supplies to build a nice, smallish trebuchet, but in the meantime catapults are still pretty fun.

pompom catapult

This little guy launches a pompom about 20 feet, which is pretty awesome for its size. It definitely gets 5 stars for performance, plus it's kinda cute, isn't it?

Lastly I worked on an old staple from my childhood--the rubber band gun.

rubber band gun

I remember getting snapped in the butt quite a bit by my brother's gun when I was a kid (ah, good times) so how could I deprive my beloved children of such a lovely opportunity for well-intentioned mayhem?

take aim

The ones we made as kids were slightly less awesome than this--pretty much a 2 x 4 with a notch cut out of the front. I tried to make this one look a bit cooler, and it works great! Nice snap, and it can shoot about 20 feet. I give it 4.5 stars.

stickem up

All in all a good time was had Now I should probably go make dinner or something else practical.



Lynz said...

Woo-hoo!! My Papa (grandfather) was the master of this sort of thing when we were kids. GREAT fun!! I remember lying with him for aaaages with a trap made from a soil riddle and a peg with string tied to it trying to catch a live sparrow. *g*

P.S. Sorry, awkward side hug? With THOSE nails?!? That's a full on smooch of the girlie side!!

Jennifer R said...

I agree on the nail comment! Cute - and way girlie...almost too much for me to pull off! :) Hee hee
Love the gun - Send your boys over here to take out these annoying squirrels!