Friday, July 3, 2009

The Fourth of July Parade in Redmond Oregon

It started last fall when the neighbor hit a root with his aging riding mower. "I can fix it," he said, and he's a resourceful guy. "You'll never find a new shaft for a 20 year old mower," I replied, and I won that one. I was doing figure eights in the driveway when Linda came home from work that day.

Months of effort later, with significant help from my friend JD who furnished the pressure tank and the wand and inspiration, we have the Parade Entry #64

Shooting water was always at the core of the endeavor. Shooting it surreptitiously came later.

The water exits the wand at about 7' from the ground, a few degrees from vertical, meaning it is heading forward. It goes up to about 16 feet then returns to ground about 21 feet downrange.

I can drive the tractor at walking speed, extend my hands sideways, palms up, in an, "I'm totally innocent" sort of gesture and nudge the trigger with my left shoulder and someone may get wet. If I go much faster than walking speed, I get wet, running into my own bullets as it were. Either outcome is good for a laugh.

It will be 90 degrees for the parade. I expect a hero ribbon, but it's more likely a certificate that says "participant."

Total cash outlay for the project--less than $100, including the $50 to get the busted mower in the first place.

My friend Chris has taken his tractor-type mower and made it into a 9 foot long dragster. Photos of that one later.

Time to line up. And try to find a place that's not behind the mounted posse. Or a float with a lot of water-soluble crepe paper.

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