So our 3/4 family vacation went well. We left for the U.P. on the 17th. I'd intended to leave as soon as I got off work, but I hadn't been able to pack what with work and all the other traveling that I'd been doing, so instead I rushed home to pack, then did a few errands, including a Hobby Lobby stop for some model rocket supplies. We met up with madtechie2718 and P. at the Silver Sands motel and convoyed the rest of the way the next day with frequent stops for waterfall tourism. We saw Agate Falls, Bond Falls, and a couple of others whose names I don't remember. They were really beautiful. P. was an angel for putting up with M2. Children are not her favorite, and he had been warned to not pester her too much, but 7-year olds will be 7-year olds, and much like a cat he decided that the person least likely to want him around was the person he most wanted to be around. I take some comfort in the fact that he could have been MUCH worse behaved than he was. I've seen him do it... ;) Berzerker was fun- I had my own projects this year- several fuel-air bombs (flour and flash powder), the venerable pool chlorine-brake fluid combination, and a stuffed plush pig that we re-stuffed with a rocket engine and flash powder to see if pigs would fly. While we did determine that with a rocket of a given size they won't indeed fly per se, they will come off the launching rail and spin in the sands while the rocket fires. They'll also blow up rather nicely. I bought a cheapo kite and a kids fishing pole (Pirates of the Carribean) and had fun with it for a while on a windy day. It inspired me to pick up a double line delta kite at a kite store on the way back home. :) Saturday night was the fireworks display- several of us had picked up stuff at Morin's fireworks in Baraga, and we set them up and lit them off. Pretty.... :) Sunday night a group of us took a sunset cruise on the lake on the Isle Royal Queen. It rained a bit, which chased folks inside for a while, but overall it was a nice cruise, especially when the captain took us up very close to an ore transport ship that was headed for Duluth. drsulak turned to me and said "That's the makings for a LOT of thermite there..." Made me wish that madtechie2718 had brought the pirate flag that he'd had flying from the antenna of his SUV earlier that week. We could have taken them... :) Drove home on Monday, worked Tuesday dayshift. Last night I went to see "Hairspray" with a friend, which I rather enjoyed. John Travolta did a decent job with Edna Turnblad- she was much more dignified than I was afraid she might end up, and the relationship between her and her husband was really sweet. I was, however, relieved that I didn't have to watch John Travolta and Christopher Walken suck face. That would have been more suspension of disbelief than I could have mustered. Also, they did a great job with his "fat suit"- it didn't look just the same as as all the other fat suits I've seen, putting all the weight on in the same places. Edna had curves, and looked damn fine when she cleaned up! I'm off today (which is nice because it's my birthday) and most of tomorrow- work a night shift starting tomorrow night. Re: my birthday, thank you for all the kind birthday wishes. I don't think of it as turning 40, I think of it as turning 10 for the 4th time. :) Today M1 stopped through town on her way back south from visiting with boppa_bill and I had lunch with them and my SIL (who bought for me in honor of my b-day) at Chili's in Ankeny. We then stopped over so that M1 could say a quick "hi" to ericcoleman and then ran down to the Social Security office to order a new Social Security card for her so that she can get a bank account. Now I'm back off to bed for a while in order to stay up all night tonight prepping for tomorrow's overnight shift.