Think it’s hot where you are?

We had spontaneous combustion in a playground (link has video)!

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39 Comments

  1. Anna

     /  August 14, 2007

    Hey, all I know that it was 110 in the car yesterday when I got out of work, and by the time I got home the thermometer still showed 102. With the A/C on.
    I am more than grateful for airconditioning…:-)

    Reply
  2. Alex

     /  August 14, 2007

    a) Mulch/wood chips = kindling.
    b) Polyethylene/polypropylene big playground parts = solid gasoline.

    A + B = Potential Fire!

    There have been some people in my field of work (fire safety engineering) trying to set up fire codes for playground equipment. This might just give them what they need.

    My suggestion is to lead the call for the return of the old metal slides.
    You know the ones – the ones that would give you heat blisters on your ass when you slid down them during the summer! Now that’s building character which is what our children really need!! : )

    Reply
  3. Madeleine

     /  August 14, 2007

    I totally agree with that. Since when are combustible wood chips safer than good old-fashioned sand? Yes, I know nasty things like needles get hidden in sand (I was an urban kid) but really, I have fond childhood memories of sand up my nose and heat blistered legs from those old metal slides (which were probably covered in lead based paint – granted). Today’s kids are sadly lacking in opportunities for character building discomfort…but hey, at least they’re “safe”. 🙂

    Reply
  4. Alex

     /  August 14, 2007

    The metal slides in my neighborhood (air force base housing) were a particular challenge that no kid in my neighborhood shied away from. These slides were great – the type which was a spiral slide and you had to climb a 1.5 story ladder to get to the top. Once at the top you knew that the metal was going to be hot (no paint at all on these) and that right before the bottom you need to move your body to the left to avoid cutting your pants open. Most of the time I got it, but one time I wasn’t fast enough and sliced open the side. No blood thankfully but despite this and many other kids who did get cut on it, they didn’t take down the slide until the mid-90s. But at no point during any of this was anything used other than sand at the bottom. So I still don’t understand this fascination with mulch.

    So…some things I miss and now that I have kids of my own I do sometimes understand why a parent will get hysterical if their kid gets cut or hurt on the playground, even if the kid thought it was fun and is content with a band-aid and an excuse for a hostess cupcake to “feel better”. Hell…somedays I want pity and hostess cupcake. : ) But for the most part I let my kids have fun and rough-house in the back yard and stay nearby if they hurt themselves.

    Reply
  5. Anna

     /  August 14, 2007

    We lived in one of those high-rise apartment buildings in Budapest that were from the nicer concrete kind; it was a standalone amongst small cottages, a couple of four-storey apartment buildings and right next to a military base. We had a fenced-in courtyard with grass, a sandbox and slides,a swingset, two seesaws and a jungle gym part of which was really useful when playing Star Wars. I got scratched and bloody on my knees and elbows a couple of times, I fell out of the swing twice–still, my parents never thought about telling me I could not play.
    That stupid plastic slide melting really made me smile…maybe they’ll bring back the old ones indeed…

    Reply
  6. Mike

     /  August 14, 2007

    That would be fun. I too have fond memories of the old cast iron playground equipment. We just had grass though, not much sand (it always got washed away or grown over). I have to admit though that the new wooden fort-like playground equipment looks awful fun.

    Perfect for Cavalry and Indians that is. Politically correct or not, my kids will learn that game, and they will play the 2nd Cavalry and not the 7th.

    Reply
  7. Alex

     /  August 14, 2007

    I’d start another thread that sounds like the Monty Python “Four Yorkshiremen” sketch about the old playground equipment, but it wouldn’t get us anywhere other than trying to one up each other.

    Okay Mike – so you’d have them play 2nd Cav now, but what did you play back then? When I was a kid in Germany (1976-1980) it was Star Wars too on the playground, but in the US it was a mix of “cops and robbers” or later “G.I. Joe” – but then we were all Air Force brats. For my kids its usually Pokemon battles – go figure.
    I’m curious what culturally you played in the Midwest.

    Reply
  8. Zathras

     /  August 14, 2007

    Sand? Grass? At our playground in Dallas the surface was asphalt. My knees were on permanently skinned status from age 6 until 9. When they put in sand I thought–what a bunch of weenies. All because a kid broke a couple vertabrae falling from the slide.

    Reply
  9. And with all that, I can still get away without running my A/C. Go soffitts and ceiling fans!!

    Reply
  10. Alex

     /  August 14, 2007

    Mr. Zathras,

    Luxury. Before they put in the kind metal slide we had granite stones we played on at the old broken glass recycling warehouse down by the mill while my parents worked 24 hours down at mill and when they got home they would beat the love of jesus into us.
    If we were even allowed to play that is.

    Your turn. : )

    Reply
  11. Mike

     /  August 15, 2007

    We had tough…

    No, I am not getting into that arguement. I would win because how can you beat having a full machine shop to play with, along with several small motorized vehicles and your own lake and access to a river? And then there were the several “off-limits” buildings we had. Plus the chemical storage building, the pump farm for desiel and gas, the grain elevator, the hog sheds (with hogs) and the easy access to BBguns (and other types of weapons as we grew older).

    For those not in the know, I grew up on a 600 plus acre farm so my playground was a bit extensive. If you want to compare real playgrounds I would have to put down the school and the town playgrounds which were more in line with your standard issue stuff.

    Culturely we played Star Wars too. But we still did lots of soldiers and Indians (the US Military trail went over my house and farm so what do you want?). Since the original Union Pacific Trans-continental railroad also went by my house, much of our games involved attacking or defending trains. Hell, we even ambushed real ones, not that we could ever stop one. We evolved out of Indians to Communists by about the 5th grade. Or the Japanese (I was the only kid who had ever heard of the Bataan Death March in my school, and I am talking grade school), ether one worked.

    Come to think of it, this may be why my uncle has occasionally remarked on me being a bit culturally insensitive. I disagree, if you have a train obviously the Pawnee Indians will ambush it.

    Reply
  12. Anna

     /  August 15, 2007

    Okay, here’s one for you guys: which one of you played Greek Gods and Goddesses in 1st grade on the school playground? ‘Cause that’s what I did, teaching my schoolmates the names and heavily censored stories…I still remember the list of names scribbled on the asphalt with school chalk.

    Reply
  13. Alex

     /  August 15, 2007

    No – can’t say that I played that one. I didn’t discover Greek mythology (or any mythology for that matter) until coming back to the states at the age of 9. Despite being near a bunch of old roman sites in Germany for four years I didn’t clue into all of this until much later.

    However – I did know about some old Rhine river folk tales that I heard when we went on tours off the base.

    Reply
  14. Oh, I”m pretty sure that once everybody I know has got themselves munchkins, what we’re really going to be playing over at my place is Mongols and Indians….every kid has his bow and arrow and the adults are all Franciscans or something…

    Reply
  15. Anna

     /  August 15, 2007

    SPIES, all Franciscans are SPIES! Clearly they should be shot with arrows and…oh, hi…sorry…

    Reply
  16. Mike

     /  August 15, 2007

    How about we have an “alternate reality”? My kids get to be Grantville…

    Reply
  17. Mike

     /  August 15, 2007

    How about Romans and Gauls? Or we could have them play “Austrian-Hungarians and Ottomans”?

    Reply
  18. Madeleine

     /  August 15, 2007

    I think I vote Romans v. Gauls personally – I’m sure we can find some fur pelts and axes for the wee darlings *somewhere* around here … 🙂

    Reply
  19. Anna

     /  August 15, 2007

    CLEARLY it needs to be noble Hungarian border castle defenders against evil marauding Ottomans, it’s obvious…:-)

    Reply
  20. Happycrow

     /  August 15, 2007

    No no, my sweet. Noble Hungarian border castle defenders dueling Ottoman and Persian honorable cavalrymen, distracted by evil pernicious Austrian tyrants!

    With were-buffalo! Or something like that.

    Reply
  21. Happycrow

     /  August 15, 2007

    Madeleine, have I told you about my new take on RenFairs? The DarkAge Fair?

    Reply
  22. Madeleine

     /  August 16, 2007

    Oh – you haven’t but I’d love to hear about it. Bring back the bad old days, I say!

    Reply
  23. Mike

     /  August 16, 2007

    Oooooooooooo, I got another one. “Guns of the South”, but instead lets have the Union get the AKs.

    Reply
  24. Anna

     /  August 16, 2007

    UGLY…::shivers::
    You are a bad man, Major.

    Reply
  25. I think kids should play Aztecs versus Nazis, myself. Aztecs don’t get any guns, but they get to sacrifice all their prisoners.

    Reply
  26. Anna

     /  August 16, 2007

    And Nazis get the Lost Ark? Or the Spear of Longinus? Or they just got to burn books in the back yard…?

    Reply
  27. Madeleine

     /  August 16, 2007

    If any kid of mine plays nazi book burning, I’m whacking him (or her) with an axe, a big, scary axe…
    Ok, fine. A big scary axe full of gentle reprimand and parental concern. Yeah. That’s it.
    In other words, Go Aztecs! (shudder – I can’t *believe* I just wrote that).

    Reply
  28. Anna

     /  August 16, 2007

    Okay, mine will be Conquistadors in that case. 🙂 I do NOT want and Aztec temple in my back yard, thank you very much…

    Reply
  29. Alex

     /  August 16, 2007

    And I thought it was odd that I let my kids play Pokemon battles and an occasional live action game of Mario Kart in the back yard.

    Geez….why not do the following? Pick your favorite kid as the English and then your not so favorite as the Irish and let the English slaughter the Irish over and over and over again.
    Then again, your kids will be coolest ones in the neighborhood every Halloween. Either that or everyone will call them Wednesday and Pugsley. Not that there is anything wrong with that – I think I would get along great with the Addamses.

    Reply
  30. The Adamses are fine. Just a little old-fashioned.

    Besides, the Nazis were pikers compared to Stalin and his thugs. The Commies murdered more people before the war began than Hitler managed to bring down counting the war, if my numbers are right. (25MM vs. 22MM)

    “Son, go put on your Commie hat. You know what you did.”
    “But I don’t wanna spanking!”

    Reply
  31. Mike

     /  August 17, 2007

    Well, I intend to encourage my kids to play the game I always did. Human Army soldiers versus dinosars.

    How can you possibly go wrong with that?

    Reply
  32. That depends on whether your kids learn to create cyborg dinosaurs with bazookas molten off of little green army men…

    Reply
  33. Ooh, oo! Even Better(TM)!

    How about Mara Salvatrucha versus pre-Cambrian insects?

    Reply
  34. Velociraptors vs. Zombies

    Reply
  35. Anna

     /  August 17, 2007

    Nah. Ancient Egyptians and mummification. We actually did that with a frog…::sheepish look:: Okay, I left before the brain was totally extracted with the help of improvised hooks made out of paperclips…the boys from the highrise apartment building continued though, using the tissue paper and kleenex I provided for them.

    Reply
  36. Mara Salvatrucha Zombies vs. pre-Cambrian insect-riding velociraptors?

    Reply
  37. Anna

     /  August 17, 2007

    Our kids will be prematurely educated, I see…:-)

    Reply
  38. Mike

     /  August 17, 2007

    How about AK47 armed Unionists versus mummified Velociraptors on Harleys?

    Reply
  39. happycrow

     /  August 18, 2007

    Hrm… the Unionists had better have big clips. And we’ll have to teach the kids to ride bikes early.

    Otoh, I’m still a big fan of the simple physical weapons for building hand-eye (hopefully, not poking them out).

    Zombie pre-Cambrian phalanxes vs. Mummy velociraptor skydivers!!

    Reply

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