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Trebuchet
2013-Sep-03, 02:13 AM
September has arrived, and it's time for my annual invitation to join me at the two Pacific Northwest pumpkin tossing events. As far as I'm concerned, NOTHING beats seeing pumpkins fly through the air and explode on landing.

Snohomish Pumpkin Hurl (http://www.festivalofpumpkins.org/default.asp). This one is September 14 and 15, less than two weeks from now. I am SO not ready. Fortunately I'm just using the exact same machine as last year so I just have to find all the extra gear. This event has a pretty extensive medieval faire associated with it, including full contact jousting so if you're into that kind of thing, or just like pretty horsies, it's the one for you. Unfortunately, they charge for both admission and parking but I can get you in if you sign up for the pit crew and are willing to show up quite early in the morning. I can still get you into the pits later but you'll probably have to pay.

Burlington Pumpkin Pitch (http://www.burlington-chamber.com/events/harvest-festival/). This one's Friday September 28 (Setup and Test) and Saturday September 29 (Competition). It's the better of the two events for hurling, usually, and admission and parking are free. There'll be an SCA presence at this one too this year, but I doubt if they'll have the jousting. Pit access is much more controlled at this one. Give me a PM if you'd like to be on the crew list.

Tobin Dax
2013-Sep-03, 05:23 AM
Hopefully I'll be able to make it to these events some day, Treb. Late September would be a great time to be back on the Northwest, but it won't fit my schedule.

Buttercup
2013-Sep-03, 12:02 PM
Burlington Pumpkin Pitch

I read that with a "B" on "Pitch"... :confused:

Pumpkin --what??! ;)

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-03, 02:37 PM
Maybe it's better if you make it into a Bumpkin Pitch instead. In fact, I kind of like the sound of that!

Buttercup
2013-Sep-03, 02:38 PM
Maybe it's better if you make it into a Bumpkin Pitch instead. In fact, I kind of like the sound of that!

Yes, that could work! That's actually nifty; you might suggest it. :)

Even if I am officially opposed to the wanton destruction of pumpkins.

Swift
2013-Sep-03, 02:41 PM
wanton destruction of pumpkins.
Recipe for pumpkin wontons (http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pretty-pumpkin-wontons)

jfribrg
2013-Sep-03, 06:24 PM
Good luck, but I won't be there to watch. 3000 miles is a bit much for a weekend of "NASCAR without the cars". I am planning to attend the one in Delaware. The 2 hour drive is more reasonable.

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-03, 06:54 PM
Good luck, but I won't be there to watch. 3000 miles is a bit much for a weekend of "NASCAR without the cars". I am planning to attend the one in Delaware. The 2 hour drive is more reasonable.

That's probably more like Nascar than ours! We have five or six machines and crowds up to a couple thousand. I'd love to make it to Delaware but like you say, 3000 miles. If I ever plan a trip I'll have to try to find some contacts to get me into the pits.

Buttercup
2013-Sep-03, 08:37 PM
Recipe for pumpkin wontons (http://www.tasteofhome.com/recipes/pretty-pumpkin-wontons)

:)

Those look good. I'd like to try the goat cheese wantons too. Heck...peach pie wantons!

But back on topic (the senseless slaughter of innocent pumpkins).

BigDon
2013-Sep-06, 11:27 PM
I just realized something.

Shouldn't watermelons be more ballistically sound projectiles?

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-07, 01:58 AM
I just realized something.

Shouldn't watermelons be more ballistically sound projectiles?

Probably, but where's the challenge in that? They might not do as well with the G-forces at launch, either.

John Mendenhall
2013-Sep-07, 02:30 AM
I just realized something.

Shouldn't watermelons be more ballistically sound projectiles?

It doesn't matter if the watermelon hits the ground or the pumpkin hits the ground, the result is much the same.

Now the other great Delaware non-event aside from Separation Day (New Castle is 200 years older than the U.S.) is the Hummer's Parade in Middletown on New Year's Day. The only rule is that work on floats and costumes cannot be started until after ringing in the new year at midnight. This results in an hilarious parade that looks like nothing in good taste is the only rule. Probably only topped by the Mummer's Parade in Philly.

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-07, 03:13 AM
I have actually tossed a watermelon, just once. I was giving a demo and the host (a schoolteacher) provided a watermelon. I had a small machine with 20 pounds of counterweight and about a 4 pound melon. As I expected, it went about 20 feet backward, with a semi-satisfying splat. The kids were picking up pieces of melon and eating them.

Hlafordlaes
2013-Sep-09, 10:07 PM
You know, Mr. Treb, if we ever did have a general gathering of the CQians, I'd wish for it to coincide with one of your pumpkin events. Sounds like so much fun.

(Today is my wishful thinking day.)

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-09, 11:29 PM
Saturday is looming! Hope to see Gillian there, perhaps LookingSkyward at Burlington two weeks later. The machine just got loaded in the truck! I'd actually post a picture of that but, you know....

LookingSkyward
2013-Sep-10, 08:00 AM
Hoping to get to Burlington! Work is kinda crazy right now, and if I'm on call I won't be able to come.

Cougar
2013-Sep-10, 01:03 PM
September has arrived, and it's time for my annual invitation...

That's nice of you, Treb! I'll have to make it up there one of these years.

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-11, 12:16 AM
I got a rather panicky e-mail from the Snohomish organizer this afternoon because on of the two large competitors has dropped out. She's looking for people with trebuchets. It's a bit late for that! Fortunately there's a lot of other stuff at this event. I've got three different machines loaded in my pickup (one small, two dinky) so if she can find some volunteers at least maybe they can play with the dinkies.

If you like horsies, come on out. They'll have full-contact jousting! http://www.festivalofpumpkins.org/the-pumpkin-hurl.asp

NorthernDevo
2013-Sep-12, 03:54 AM
You know, Mr. Treb, if we ever did have a general gathering of the CQians, I'd wish for it to coincide with one of your pumpkin events. Sounds like so much fun.

(Today is my wishful thinking day.)

If it happened; I'd be in! :)

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-13, 05:56 PM
Tomorrow in Snohomish (http://www.festivalofpumpkins.org/the-pumpkin-hurl.asp)! And Sunday too. Just wish I felt more prepared. I do know I need to go to the hardware store and get some extra rope. And some quick-links. And anything else that catches my eye.

Hoping to see Gillian this weekend, as well as Dana Hunter from FreeThought Blogs.

Cougar
2013-Sep-13, 07:28 PM
Tomorrow in Snohomish (http://www.festivalofpumpkins.org/the-pumpkin-hurl.asp)!

May your pumpkins fly farther than the other guy's pumpkins!

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-15, 12:46 AM
May your pumpkins fly farther than the other guy's pumpkins!
They did. At least farther than the other guy I was actually competing against.

I just flew in from Snohomish, and boy are my arms tired. Well, actually, I drove and the Snohomish event is on Ebey Island, but my arms are still tired. As are my legs, back, feet, and everything else. It was a good day.

No Gillian, unfortunately but there's always tomorrow, and I know she has other things on her mind lately!

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-16, 06:55 PM
I was even more tired last night! And then I had to load up. Fortunately I was able to recruit some help.

The weekend was a blast despite the weather. Very little actual rain, but humidity was about 110% all the way through, resulting in a sort of constant mist. It was the sort of day yesterday where it was a little too cool without a jacket, but a little too humid and sweaty to have it on. And the threatened thunderstorms held off (except for a couple of distant rumbles) until about 5:00 PM after I got home, at which time the skies well and truly opened up for about three hours. I know you midwesterners are used to that but trust me, we Puget Sounders are not!

I think my favorite part of these events is just interacting with the crowd, especially the kids. I had along two little machines for hurling mini-pumpkins at my assistant/scarecrow, "Jack". (I'd post his picture, but you know....) I've been doing that twice a year for about five years but yesterday was the first time I ever actually hit him. I even got to educate the Viking announcer as to how slings work and why my torsion catapult does not have a bowl on the end of the arm. He passed that on to the audience, along with explaining that the horns on his helmet are not authentic and that "viking" is actually something you do, not who you are.

ETA: Here are a couple of videos by Dana Hunter of Freethought blogs, who likes her some horsies! She says she'll have hurling up later, as may I.
Lance tips touch (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XNfJ6BvhuMg&feature=c4-overview&list=UU0CWcN4HbAoNg_Tf-mEU_PA)
Free Lancers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg2QWnLGZsI&list=UU0CWcN4HbAoNg_Tf-mEU_PA)

Note that all the knights, except one, are women. Also note my hairy arm intruding into the frame in the second video.

On a serious note: Saturday morning I realized that just nine months earlier I had been lying flat on my back in Harborview Hospital, unable to do anything for myself, connected to tubes and monitors. And I was lucky to be there: I could so easily have been dead or paralyzed. Now I'm nearly fully recovered, able to spend two full days in the field, having fun, walking considerable distances, and doing quite a lot of physical work. I am SO dang lucky! Thank you, doctors, nurses, and most especially my wife! And thanks to the board here, who provided a huge amount of moral support.

Buttercup
2013-Sep-16, 06:59 PM
On a serious note: Saturday morning I realized that just nine months earlier I had been lying flat on my back in Harborview Hospital, unable to do anything for myself, connected to tubes and monitors. And I was lucky to be there: I could so easily have been dead or paralyzed. Now I'm nearly fully recovered, able to spend two full days in the field, having fun, walking considerable distances, and doing quite a lot of physical work. I am SO dang lucky! Thank you, doctors, nurses, and most especially my wife! And thanks to the board here, who provided a huge amount of moral support.

:) Glad to know it.

(110% humidity; I vague recall such a thing - ugh)

HenrikOlsen
2013-Sep-22, 11:47 AM
Free Lancers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zg2QWnLGZsI&list=UU0CWcN4HbAoNg_Tf-mEU_PA)
This link is for some reason a cat with a ball rather than some knights.

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-22, 02:21 PM
This link is for some reason a cat with a ball rather than some knights.

Well nuts. Let's try again.

Free Lancers (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aK3ILEdFZ_Q&list=UU0CWcN4HbAoNg_Tf-mEU_PA)

And since the thread's been bumped, the next event in Burlington, WA, is coming up next Saturday. I'm hoping to see LookingSkyward there!

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-27, 11:50 PM
Since I just posted something here that belonged in another thread, I will edit that out and put it where it belongs!

Meanwhile, today was setup day in Burlington. I tossed a couple just to see if the machine still worked after sitting in the rain for two weeks (it does) and tried tossing one with the baby machine. That went backward so an adjustment is in order. Competition is tomorrow. The rain mostly held off today but the forecast for tomorrow is not encouraging.

LookingSkyward
2013-Sep-28, 12:52 PM
Very sorry that we won't make it this year, Treb. We have a nasty week-long cough that we don't want to be sharing.

best,
dave

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-28, 02:17 PM
That's ok. Weather is poor anyhow.

swampyankee
2013-Sep-28, 05:49 PM
...nothing in good taste is the only rule. Probably only topped by the Mummer's Parade in Philly.

You've not heard of the Mermaid Parade in NYC?

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-28, 11:15 PM
I threw 714 feet!!!

Oops, sorry for shouting, I'm still a little excited. Of course, the 40 mph tailwind didn't hurt at all, nor did the very small pumpkin or the extra weight I added for the last toss. I still only got second in class because they apparently used total distance of three shots and the other two weren't near as good, especially the first one when I forgot to enable the wheels on the machine. It doesn't matter, because
I threw 714 feet!!!

Oh, and the weather was pretty poor, until just about when we got done hurling when it became downright awful. There's a church near the field with a Sunday School building that looks like Noah's ark. I thought we might need it!

Did I mention I threw 714 feet!!!

ETA: Where'd my giant font go on those last two? It was there when I hit post, I swear!

Tobin Dax
2013-Sep-29, 01:05 AM
Cool! Way to go, Treb!

Gillianren
2013-Sep-29, 01:10 AM
We're very proud of you, even if there was no way we were taking Simon to an outdoor event in this. Mommy would have chosen to be there. Simon does not even have rain gear yet. His rain gear is "being tucked inside Daddy's jacket."

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-29, 03:07 AM
I wish I could have been tucked inside someone's jacket this afternoon when it got nasty!

grapes
2013-Sep-29, 01:54 PM
714!!!! You and...Babe Ruth!

LookingSkyward
2013-Sep-30, 02:45 PM
DANG! Sorry I missed it!!

Buttercup
2013-Sep-30, 03:00 PM
Speaking of pumpkins, I paid a first visit to our new (and only) Dunkin' Donuts store an hour ago. Hoped for a pumpkin donut or pumpkin crumb muffin.

All sold out. Fresh batches not yet on the shelf. :cry:

Ah well. Maybe I'll go smash a real pumpkin in revenge! :mad:

Joking.

Trebuchet
2013-Sep-30, 04:57 PM
Here are a few pictures (http://www.thehurl.org/tiki-view_forum_thread.php?forumId=1&comments_parentId=26201&comments_per_page=1&thread_style=commentStyle_threaded), including my longest shot. Be patient, The Hurl site is very slow.

The one of my machine is interesting as it shows a front wheel off the ground. I've never seen that before, usually it's the back that comes up. I'll see if I can get a picture or two of my own resized and uploaded today but I need to use the other computer for that and the cat has the chair occupied.

Trebuchet
2013-Oct-01, 01:40 AM
At last, I have some pictures of my own to upload!

18605

Firing line at Burlinton. Six competitors, three display models are visible.

18606

The "big boys" at Snohomish.

18607

Knight! This guy also built a 60 foot trebuchet a few years back.

18608

Cute enough for ya'?