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Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 Trebuchet for Chunkin' Pumpkins

The idea was to build a trebuchet.   This is a catapult type device with a sling that throws objects like dead beasties over the castle walls in the days of knights and non bathing.  A television show of the '80s, Northern Exposure, gets the credit for Count Ferrari's enthusiasm.  That particular device threw a piano a LONG way.

Our device only has to hurl an 8lb pumpkin 800' for us to win. is a very fine website with some math behind a predicted performance.  Just plug in the numbers and adjust to see how far you can throw an object.

There is a competition in Burlington, put on by the Parks and Recreation division.  There is another competition in Snohomish within a week too.  Both of these contests attract 5-8 different trebuchets and we intend to enter the contest that tops out at 800'.  There is another contest to 1600' but for our first run at this we will go for the 800' contest.
Lucky Dave with his head cut off for security purposes.

I mentioned my pursuit to my disc golf friends from Anacortes and Bellingham and they were instantly in!  We talked about resources and since Lucky Dave worked at Marine Service Center, he mentioned they had quite a bit of scrap steel from yacht delivery cradles.  I went and talked with the owner, Jim Rard, and he also had been planning to build a trebuchet for some years and this was the impetous he needed to get going on it.

Jim Rard of MSC looking at the 27' mast section for our throwing arm.

In the yard of Marine Service Center in Anacortes were all the ingredients for our creative, if bent, minds.  We found a platform that is roughly 6' x 10' built of welded 2x4 steel members and even has feet under it for easy forklift pickup.

Additionally, we found an axle system in a set of wheels used for some sort of caster like application.

The axle in the rough.

The axle minus the wheels.

The axle sitting on our platform.

Count Ferrari cleaning out the old
grease from the axle.

Many steps and designs were gone through but we are working with the guiding principle of K.I. S. S.  (Keep It Simple Stupid).  We originally had an A frame of steel but discarded that for a vertical post that is stayed with SS cable and turnbuckles to fit our nautical theme.  (There is a contest for theme and one for the crowd's choice as well).
Cole messing about on the platform.
The axle assembly is slated to be approximately 10' in the air between the two stayed towers of 4x4 steel.  We are hoping to melt down lead to power the beast as MSC has a melting pot just for the lead forming.  Lead is very heavy per cubic dimension.  708 lbs per cubic foot!  Jesse, Jim's 17 year old daughter, calculated the plate weight of 18" dia plates 1" thick to be 104 lbs.  So if we had 20 of those we would have 2000lbs + powering the pumpkin in a very small compact load.  We figured the weight of each plate to be the most we would want to pick up.

We have high hopes as Jesse manipulated the numbers we had, weight of mast, weight of plates, height of axle, length of sling, etc... at the virtual trebuchet website mentioned above and she came up with a theoretic distance of 1100 feet!  We shall see how accurate that predictor is when we finally get it built.
Jim on the left and the Count on the right,
both checking the spar section.
It weighed in at 125 lbs or 4.5lbs per foot.

Count Ferrari and Lefty are both growing white pumpkins at their estates.  We are hoping to produce many 5-8lb pumpkins.  The white pumpkins are superior since the wall thickness is far greater than the orange pumpkins.  For practice we are hoping to find some 5-8lb bowling balls.  We can reuse these easily.  There just happens to be a nice flat field next to Marine Service Center for testing, or we can just throw floating things into the bay!

The contest in Burlington is the 3rd week of September and the Snohomish contest is one week this side or another.  We hope to be throwing by May and totally dialed in by August.  Our theme is being worked on by Hawkeye and Jesse.  Pictures to follow.

The rigging is donated by Counter Current Marine owned by Ian Sloan.  Stranger,owner of Joyful Creations is sewing up the sling and will be doing the You Tube for us.

That is all for the nounce.  More to follow soon.

Submitted by Count Ferrari

Sunday, March 20, 2011

2011 Spring GHEDI

This article is about the spring Griffin Hill Equinox Disc Invitational tournament.

The invites went out and the weather was ordered.  The players showed up and all was good.  If you care to read some details check out the rest of the article.

First arrival was my trusty Score Keeper, Mephistopheles, or as he is known on the record board, Doorman.  He showed up at 9:00AM after calling in at 8:58 AM to say he was close to on time.  WTF?
The Doorman with his aids to scoring... Coors light and
spiced Kraken Rum.  (No doubt bribes)
The rest of the players were all there by the 10:00 AM tee off time.  We had 14 players in all.  There were two groups of 4 and a group of 6 that all teed off for the initial round on the 18 hole pitch and putt.  The most unfortunate issue was Count Ferrari's camera battery was not charged for the start... images are incomplete.  It is assumed there might have been some lapses in the photographic mind of the Count.
Lefty on the right.

Lefty scores a -6,  CF suspects sandbagging for some reason...

He was instrumental, working with Doorman, in setting up the players in working groups using a deck of cards for the random selections.

Oz, on right, conversing with the Count

Other players include Oz, from Lake Stevens and new to the course,  with a -12 winning the singles round and taking home the way cool disc trophy on the stump.  This guarantees his invitation for next fall!

Other players from Lake Stevens came in two rigs and added 6 to the total making it a VERY competitive field.

The group from LS donated about 10 discs to the trophy pile so lots of plastic was won by all!

They were asked to come up with Disc Names by the Scorekeeper so that is how they will be named in this blog account.

Big Bubba Belly scored a -6, Air Bounce a -9, Eye with a -7, BA with a -9, and Cajun with a -10.

Returning players had the Rear Admiral Papajani with a new personal best at -4, Polisher moving to a +1 as  new personal best score, Count Ferrari playing well with -10, Doorman with a -6 (taking 10 strokes off his play from last year), Astroman  to a -4 and personal best, and Hawkeye shooting his usual good round at a -10 (also a personal best for him).
Sparky the wonder dog.  He ran out and back for 27 x 6 drives..
He slept well that night.

Just a note to those reading about the GHEDI for the first time.  The format is as follows.  A singles round is played on the 18 hole course.  Scores are then recorded and teams are built with the best scoring teaming up with the worst score and then playing best disc on the 9 hole course.

The teams bravely went out to play around 11:30 after taking a couple of breaks at the clubhouse.  The sun was out for the entire day but hand warmers were passed out by BA in the morning and were nice to have.

In 7th place for the team competition were Count Ferrari and Astroman scoring a -1, which would have been tied for 2nd in most GHEDI tournaments.  Not so this spring.
Astroman driving off Hole 8 tee on the 9 hole course.

In 6th place, we had Rear Admiral Papajani eyeing his partner Cajun.  We know why and warned him.  They managed a -2.
The REAR Admiral contemplating (what else?, a rear), Air Bounce in middle talking
with BA and Eye, and Doorman scoring.

In 5th place with a -3 (which would have won any previous GHEDI) were Bling and Eye.
Blingster eating some of his marvelous veggie Chili!

In 4th place after a 3 way tie for 2nd at -4 and decided with a sudden death playoff on the 18 hole course, were Oz and Polisher.

In 3rd place, getting served on hole 5 for the playoff were Planet Kevin.  Hawkeye and Lefty getting their groove on but not quite enough to get to the 2nd place trophy.
Hawkeye slurping up some posole without looking.

The 2nd Place Trophy was awarded to BA and Doorman.  After scoring a bird on hole 5 to take the playoff for 2nd place!  Doorman was later seen stashing the trophy in the back of BA's Suburban and covering it up to make sure it went home to a safe place and also assuring BA of an invitation back to the fall GHEDI.
Big Bubba Belly on left, BA with a disc, Air Bounce, and Lefty
standing on hole 13 tee for the 18 hole course.

First place was taken by two newbies to the course from Lake Stevens.  Air Bounce (feeling NO pain at the end of the tournament but not having to drive so no worries) and Big Bubba Belly.  They managed to take home a hat each and a marker disc.

An ACE was made by Lefty during the tournament on Hole 8 on the 18 course which got him some award (undocumented).  The Rear Admiral got a ACE* on hole 16 using the stroke off rule on the STOP sign/ net target.  In post tournament play Count Ferrari and Cajun got an ACE * on 16 and Count Ferrari also pulled an ACE on 2 on the 18.  NOTE:  This is the first time best disc was played on the 18 and CF and Cajun played an incredible -15!
Teeing off of hole 4 on the 9.  If you hit a horse you add a
stroke!  No strokes were added keeping the GHEDI
as an option  for playing once more.

Other awards:

Nutcracker:  Awarded to BA for being hit by a disc but reawarded to Air Bounce for massive blood from climbing over fences to discs on the road!   A guarantee of a invitation to Air Bounce for the fall.
BA stuffing his Cake Hole.  

Fatal Attraction:  Air Bounce
Air Bounce getting into the Jumblaya (sp).  However you spell
it.  IT was good!

Most Regular: (middle of the pack finish, tied with Bling but cut cards for the award)  Eye
Eye devouring the cornbread with the tortilla soup.

Traveler:  Astroman  (I think he gets to keep this one now after getting it 3 times in a row)

Best Dressed:  Astroman for his golf foul weather boots with golfing cleats.

CTP #4:  ($13) Cajun

CTP #10 ($14) Oz  (the dollar discrepancy was no doubt due to the treasurer being Albainian)
Oz chowing down after throwing well!

Most Improved:  Doorman (improved 10 strokes)

Most Well Equipped:   Polisher ( for carrying around more than 8 beers at a time)

UP in Smoke:  Hawkeye (for polluting the awards ceremony at just the right time)
Hole #1 and #9 target  This is a Glacier target.

2nd Place:  BA and Doorman with BA taking home the trophy.

Straight Shooter:  Hawkeye (who had to drive to CA. with his newly won sawed off .22 cal rifle in his van)

This concludes the report on the Spring GHEDI.  Submitted by Count Enrico Alfredo Ferrari, one day after.