Sunday, August 26, 2007

Trebuchet Part II: The Thursday Test Run

Thursday night I packed up my car full of trebuchet parts and projectiles only to find that the two A-frames are too big to fit in my little VW Golf. So I did what any reasonable person would do in that situation; I gave one to Colin, one to Trevor, and explained to them, in less detail than they would have liked, how to get to the park.

The rest of us got to the park early and scouted out a spot to test our brand-new, medieval siege toy. We decide on a quiet little spot next to a volleyball game at the corner of the park. We figured here we would be out of the way of the big soccer crowds who might get a little suspicious and call the park authorities. As it turns out, we were being a little more paranoid than was necessary. The volleyball crowd showed a lot of interest in our test runs and later, the park ranger walked right by us as we were setting up our ten-foot, projectile weapon of plasticness.

After the first few throws went backwards, sideways, straight into the ground, and nowhere at all we finally got the hang of it. We adjusted the string lengths, made a new sling, and added weight. We got the baseballs going 75 feet or so--a far cry from our goal yet enough to get us all really excited about the following Saturday. We'll spend next Saturday in the same place, tweaking, test, and seeing just how far we can get this thing to go.

After it got dark we all went out for dinner at Jose's. This was pretty lucky because just as it was getting dark, it began to rain pretty hard. We walked over to Jose's, parked our giant A-frames just outside the restaurant, and went in to wait out the pouring and thundering. As luck would have it, it ended just before our dinner, making for a much more comfortable trip home for Colin and Trevor.

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