Sunday, May 28, 2006

Adventures in Astrophysics

Okay, so we already talked a bit about our trip to the Aquarium. What was NOT mentioned was a small side-trip we made to the American Tin Cannery. See, we got to our parking spot, and I was woefully under-prepared for the amount of change that the parking meter would require, so we needed to make a small jaunt to the nearest ATM and change machines.

Too bad ATM machines can't dispense $2.00 in quarters. All I needed was $2.00 in quarters, and instead I got a $20.00 bill with a $2.00 charge for the ATM! I wonder how many people parking on the streets outside the aquarium are doing the same thing I am!

So there I am, with a $20.00 bill in hand, and no quarters. What to do? Look for the nearest "junk" retailer to spend as little as I can to break my $20.00 into smaller bills. Otherwise I'm stuck with $20 in quarters. No thanks!

We wander a bit, up and down the escalators, and spend a few minutes in the coin-operated kiddie ride area. Then I spot the place, Windborne Kites. Lots of cheap stuff, and lots of really fun kite-related stuff. We spend about 10 minutes looking for fun and cheap stuff, and then I spot the perfect item: the Arrowcopter. This $5.00 item is the answer to my trouble, and with tax, gives me four $1.00 bills, SCORE! The claims of the Arrowcopter were too much to resist: flights of upwards of 300 feet in the air, with some reports of MINUTES for the aircraft to land back to earth. My curiousity (and desire to expedite our planned trip to the aquarium) got the better of me, and I bought it right away, not really expecting much performance out of it.

Back to the car, stocking the parking meter accordingly, I stuffed the Arrowcopter into the car to lighten the load into the aquarium. The girls were pestering me the whole time back to the car about when we were going to go out and try it out. I promised them we'd go out after dinner and try it out...

So, we had dinner, and it was time to take the new toy out for a spin. I loaded up Hannah, Bethany and Caleb, and we drove over to nearby Schoonover Park, with vast open spaces ideally suited for our "adventure".

We go out into the middle of the field, and I find myself a good spot for the first shot. Throw a few blades of grass into the air to determine the wind direction, and then give her a good launch. Up, up, up she goes, and catches the breeze, and soars some 100 yards across the field, nearly catching in a tree on the other side. I had no idea it would float so much in the wind!

Then each of the kids take turns with it. Even Caleb gets in on the action, and has a blast. In fact, after a small mishap where the toy smacked his little finger and cut him a bit, he turns out to be somewhat of a natural at it, launching it some 100 feet in the air on his second try!

Hannah and Bethany have a blast chasing it down while still in-flight and doing their darnedest to catch it mid-flight. Hannah is just a bit more coordinated, so has a bit more success.

We had a blast the twenty minutes we were out. And for the help it provided in giving us a great parking spot for the aquarium, I say it was one of the best $5.00 toys I've every purchased!

1 comment:

  1. It's called an "arrowcopter" because you shoot it into the sky like an arrow but it floats down like a helocopter. ~Bethany~

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