I’ve been doing various fireworks shows for the past few years and each year I always end up having to recreate the list of things I want to bring along with me to the shoot. Instead of constantly updating and forgetting and such, here’s the list of everything you’d want to bring with you if you’re shooting a show.

This is pretty exhaustive and will probably need to be adjusted for based on the shoot. For example, sometimes you have to dig trenches so you’ll need a shovel… but if you’re not digging, no shovel required. Obviously if you’ve got more than one person, you may need to adjust quantities. Also, sometimes the company you’re shooting for will provide some equipment. Here we go…

  • Tools
    • Shovel
    • Rake (like, one of those wide plastic ones for raking leaves)
    • Pocket knife
    • Pliers (if you have a Leatherman tool, use that)
    • Cordless drill with screwdriver bits
    • Hammer
    • Large marker (like a Sharpie)
    • Masking tape
    • Flashlight
    • Continuity tester
  • Clothing
    • Leather work gloves
    • Firefighter turnout or other flame-retardant overcoat
    • Knee pads
    • Sunglasses
    • Hat with brim
    • Foam ear plugs
    • Helmet (motorcycle or firefighter)
  • Sustenance
    • Water
    • Gatorade
    • Energy drinks
    • Dry food - crackers, granola bars, etc.
  • Amenities
    • Cooler (for your food/drinks)
    • Camp chair
    • Camp table
    • Shade shelter (one of those four-metal-legs-and-a-tarp things works great)
    • Moist washcloth in plastic bag
    • Digital camera
    • Book/magazine
  • Health products
    • Excedrin Migraine
    • Ibuprofen
    • Pseudoephedrine (or other decongestant)
    • Sunscreen - SPF45 or better
    • Moist towelettes
    • Bug repellent

net comments edit

Sandcastle, the documentation generator for XML doc comments in .NET, has released its source code on CodePlex starting with the May 2008 release. It had gotten booted from CodePlex for not releasing the source, so they released it.

Somehow I don’t think releasing the source is going to help anything. It’s still crap that you have to run like 10 different commands and have a specially-tailored configuration file to get docs to render and that they leave it up to the community to fill such a huge gap with projects like Sandcastle Help File Builder. I’ve had to set up Sandcastle in several builds now and I always dread it because it’s such a nightmare even with helper programs like that. Sigh.

In my travels through Walla Walla this weekend, I found a store with possibly the most awesome name ever: Hot Poop.


I think it’s a music store of some nature. Here’s the whole store front:

The full Hot Poop store

I can only imagine people talking about the store. “Hey, man, you wanna check out Hot Poop?” “No, I poked my head into Hot Poop yesterday and didn’t see anything I needed.” Oh, hellz yeah.

personal, cats comments edit

Welcome Kai and Stanley

We were out running errands today and decided to stop in at the Petco because today was the day the local shelter brings kitties in to show (and hopefully find homes for) and Jenn wanted to see what sorts of kitties were out there.

The result of that trip is that we now have two new 10-week-old kitten brothers we’ve named Kai and Stanley. They’re gray tabbies and very playful. Xev, our six-year-old brown tabby, is still taking some time to get used to them, but otherwise they’re really making themselves at home. (Xev doesn’t like to play nearly as much as these wild stallions do, so they’ll keep each other busy and she’ll still be able to participate and have friends so she won’t be lonely.)

Tomorrow will be their first full day at home, so this should be interesting.

(Oh, and bonus points if you know why our cats are named Xev, Kai, and Stanley without Googling it.)

Walla Walla Fireworks 2008

The fireworks shoot this year was once again in sunny Walla Walla, Washington.

We left Hillsboro a little after noon on Thursday, July 3 and got up to Walla Walla around 5:00p. We checked in to the Super 8, which was way better than the Travelodge from last year, and had dinner with the rest of the crew at the local Applebee’s.

Friday the fourth found us hauling gear off the truck and setting things up around 7:30a. We had another good crew this year, a total of ten of us. The setup went pretty quickly and we checked, double-checked, and re-checked everything as the day went on, just to be sure everything was hooked up safe and ready for action.

At 10:00p the show started. It was electrically fired and Greg was at the helm. I stood by in case any of the shells failed to go off. It’s a good thing I did, because we had a couple that the electronic firing didn’t catch, so I ran out there with a high-tech solution - a road flare (fusee) attached to a stick - and hand-lit the couple that didn’t go off. The show went off great and we had a good crowd cheering us on.

After the show, we loaded the equipment up on the truck and did a first run at cleanup, making sure nothing dangerous was left behind, and headed back to the hotel.

Saturday the fifth we checked out and were back at the field for final cleanup by 9:00a. Cleanup was a couple of hard hours raking and picking up shell casing fragments, then took on the four-hour drive home. (We actually went straight to Jenn’s sister’s birthday party without stopping at home, so it made for a bit of a long day.)

The weather was about 20 degrees cooler this year and it was way better that way. Thank goodness, too, because I don’t think I could have stood it much hotter.

I think next year we’re going to see if we can get a show a little closer to home. Walla Walla’s a good show, but it being a three-day-affair is a little much for us. It’d be nice to get something local, like the Oak Hills (Beaverton) show. We’ll see what happens.

I posted some pictures of the setup, but I didn’t get any photos during the show. Actually, I got video of the shoot, and I’m going to see if Greg can cobble it together with his video and produce something really nice. I’ll link to it when it’s up.