by B.J. on 8/26/2003 08:16:00 AM Print this post

A Day for the Books. Or not for them.

I learned a lot of sciency stuff today, more applicable to the daily grind than the stuff at the California Science Center.

First, it began with a pop. Literally.

The alignment of Cheryl's car felt funny at the 101. But we only noticed the burning rubber at the 60 towards Pomona about 4 miles later. She called her personal Firestone employee, Kevin, and so we waited at Atlantic Avenue in East L.A. for like 30 minutes, fumbling for the first 5 minutes on how the tire-changing worked.

So here's what I learned: With a flat on Cheryl's car, Kevin brought his own bag of tools, jacked up the car, and unscrewed the bolts. He got the spare tire and then screwed it back on. Simple as that. Except I forgot how he positioned the jack. And I already knew he would have to jack up the car and unscrew stuff. But I guess I stamped the idea in my head, and now I have an idea of what to do when I get a flat.

Then it was boogeyboarding at Huntington Beach. You have to ride the wave, they said.

Kevin let me borrow his boogeyboard.

So here's what I learned from trying to boogeyboard: First off, basketball shorts don't make great trunks. They just don't.

Secondly, I gotta actually stay on the boogeyboard to ride it.

Thirdly, a question from observation rather than something I learned. Is it me or are the waves from a salty beach a little more broken than the ones on a non-salty beach ? This beach had green and salty water. Maybe it was due to the power plant next to it.

Most of the LA County Beaches I have been to from Venice to Santa Monica to Will Rogers to Zuma to Hermosa all had one wave after another rather than a a whole lot of them breaking and starting.

After wondering about the many waves of that beach for a second, our flimsy bonfire was next.

I burned Chicago-style Lays Chips, generic marshmellows, water bottles, pepsi cans, and last but not least a high school Literature book that was supposed to be a present for the birthday celebrant, but kept the fire alive for another 30-40 minutes.

In your face, you stupid lit book you.

I spent most of my time poking the objects in the fire with one of the sticks that held the marshmellows. And through all that tinkering I learned quite a few things:

First, Aluminum is some tough shit to burn. It can also be toxic.

Secondly, plastic water bottles melt quickly without any water. With water in them, it sizzles the bottle creating a hole and squirting other shit.

Thirdly, hard wood is tough to burn. Other. types. of. wood. that are not hard wood. work. (?)

So all in all, by tinkering with shit, I learned more, meaning that information is accessible in my head, than I ever could with books. But relevant-to-life books are still the next best thing.



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