Monday, July 12, 2010

Urban Assault Scooters

The latest in urban assault vehicles. The Cannon mounted Vespa Scooter! Fight hippies and zombies, fully mobile and legal in all 50 states ! (come on Miles, I know you want one).
I'm sorry to say after attempting to read the information on this, in French, it's not an urban assault vehicle, but an idea of the French Military, the ACMA Troupes Aeról Portées Mle. 56. This was essentially a militarized Vespa scooter outfitted with a 75mm recoilless rifle. The rifle could be fired effectively on the move by the better gun crews, but it's probably easy to sight in and aim when your target is bent over laughing. Used by the French Airborne in my parents generation,, they were often dropped out of airplanes with parachutes, which, no matter how I think of it, reminds me of a Monty Python skit. Or other somewhat humorous weapons.

Such as the potato gun. Did you ever build one? We certainly built one or two in our adolescence. Some PVC pipe, a BBQ lighter, some of Mom's Aqua Net hairspray (which could actually be used on hair if you like hair that will withstand a hurricane or a volley of .45 shells) Some are simple, not much more than said pipe and some propellant. Others, quite sophisticated.

Big or small, all spud guns propel projectiles down their barrels using pressurised gas in the same manner as a gun (although at a much lower pressure). The way the basic, non military, civilian spud gun does this is By the combustion of a gaseous fuel-air mixture; this is generally called a combustion launcher, and its pressure is limited primarily by the energy density of the fuel-air mixture (less than 100 psi (7 bar) with all safe fuels). Pretty simple really.

The last one I built. Well, we quickly got bored lobbing taters over the trees so I got the bright idea to launch someones Barbi, ala, the Flying Wallendas. It was a good idea, in theory. Barbie wearing her best spangled bathing suit,was ready to fly. Except somewhere in the launch Barbi. . . . well, Barbie lost her head. And a small female member of the family was NOT happy about it, and snitched us out. Barbi was retired to the Barbie Dream House on full disability, living with a Ken doll the dog had gotten a hold of and gnawed a little, watching TV, and voting Democratic so she'd had that steady supply of stimulus checks. I, however, was grounded for a week.

It was almost worth it.
But today I have real guns, and I've learned a lot about shooting safety from my shooting instructors and regular shooting practice with some folks that know more than I ever will. But that still leaves that age old question. What to do with the potatoes?

How about a nice bowl of Yukon Golds mashed with a hint of bacon and garlic served along some some barbecue ribs (directions in comments).
click to enlarge, if you dare.
Forget the zombies - you might need a weapon to fend off your hungry friends.


  1. Awesome Potatoes :
    Cook up two pounds of Yukon golds until tender in salted water. )from cold temp about 40 minutes) Mash with 1 clove of chopped roast garlic, 1/2 stick of butter, 1 to 2 tablespoons of bacon fat, and just enough hot milk to get the consistency you want (about one cup) Sprinkle with your choice of sharp cheddar and chopped bacon (hey, what happened to the bacon? It was right here on the counter?)
    This is also good with some scallions and parsley mixed in)

    Best ribs ever (a Rangebuddy classic).

    1 packet of Curley's pre cooked barbecued ribs (from Costco)
    1 crock pot
    bottle of your favorite hickory smoked barbecue sauce (Kraft is good and cheap)
    Options for sauce to spice it up if you wish:
    1 teaspoon ancho chili powder
    1/4 teaspoon dried jalapeno
    1 teaspoon honey
    1 1/2 teaspoons apple cider viniger
    dash of white pepper

    Open packet of ribs. Place in crockpot. Pour sauce (doctored or undoctored with seasoning) over ribs, cover and cook on low 5 hours).

  2. You make me laugh. Thanks. I always need a good laugh. Those ribs look delicious, too. ;)

  3. Dang, Brigid.. the tater recipe is making my stomach growl. I'm putting this on my menu for the weekend. I'll probably add a couple or twenty extra roasted garlic cloves :)

  4. Paladin - this was made for friends with kids so they were a bit milder, but normally I'll add, 3 scallions, SEVERAL cloves of garlic, some chopped parsley and half a pound of bacon, cooked and chopped and a couple cups of good sharp cheddar.

  5. Did you say Aqua Net? That in itself reveals a lot.
    Like maybe growing up in a time where cable was non existant and the only remotes were Dad telling you to change the channel to one of the few available!
    When all games were interactive and usually ourdoors!!
    A simpler much better time!!
    Our "spud guns" were steel(yes steel!!) pop cans or beer cans, taped together. A little Aqua Net and a tennis ball, yes they fit and BOOM!! Plus you made the littlest ones fetch the ball! Great fun!!
    Except the time we hit old lady MacDonald's....nevermind!!

  6. shoot that dam vespa, imagine what would happen to the crotch, diappear, ship em off the the ally quaida as a new secret weapon of mass destruction. Made in france for the middle east.

    now for some chow, thanks

  7. Went the PVC pipes a few times but wanted a little more power. So we removed the valve from a 20 lb LPG grill tank and refit it with a 1/4 turn ball valve and a 3 foot length of pipe just a little bit bigger than a golf ball. Charge up the tank too 100psi, jerk open the valve and try to keep your eye on the ball! It was a booger to try and aim though as the tank didn't lend itself to holding up too your shoulder! Bad business actually. Feel free to not post this one as it might give someone of the younger persuasion the idea to try it!

  8. cryeliBrigid I am going to have to stop reading these wrightings. I have put on five pounds just from reading would not be able to get out the door if I was eating also.
    Really enjoy your post.

  9. "3 scallions, SEVERAL cloves of garlic"

    ... and you thought only the plaid PJs were Celtic birth control!

    It sounds good, though - another recipe for YD to try once Grandma has flown back to the Midwest.

  10. OHHHHHHHH, I so want one! That would teach the Harley riders not to pick on me when I park the scooter next to them!

    I would be the only one on my block with one!

    How cool is that!


  11. Ah yesssss.....Spud Guns.

    Our favorite propellant is Right Guard Spray.

    Still build 'em, still shoot 'em.


  12. I'm hungry now. It's 8:00 PM and I haven't had supper!!! I laughed at Barbie's ultimate fate... Poor dear haha!

  13. Yet another recipe to try. Looks great. I know that assault vehicle would look good next to Og's cushman :)

  14. God how I miss being able to have Garlic Mashed Potatoes regularly! (My wife has become diabetic and I am in the 'borderline' zone)

    Anyhow, as kids 1960's we had a neighbor who decided to build an improved version of a potato gun. He was about 12 at the time - built it in a 2nd floor unused bedroom so his mom wouldn't catch on.

    Unfortunately for him, the explosion was one that the whole neighborhood noticed; nevermind that mom wasn't at home at the time. She had reports from everywhere, including police and fire personnel who were summoned by a few of the more tense neighbors. Oh yeah... and then she had to go to the hospital emergency room to collect the lad after they patched his hand back together.

  15. Shouldn't the recoilless rifle be pointed toward the rear to cover the retreat?

  16. Gee, and I thought the first picture was a treatment for hemorrhoids.

  17. Paul in the wildernessJuly 13, 2010 at 12:33 PM

    An old friend of mine, who I'll call Danny, was into model rocketry.
    He also had a 'Big Jim Sports Camper'. We duct-taped 4 rocket motors to the back of the camper and strapped Big Jim and Big Josh in. (we also put an old milk-carton full of gas inside) It only went about 30-40 m untill the ejection charges in the rocket motors blew it into a small fireball. There were no survivors.

  18. Back in the day when tennis balls actually came in tin cans we would tape cans three end to end with the last two having removed the bottom. A small hole in the first can at the base, some lighter fluid...swirlled around of course...insert tennis ball and ignite. Fun for the whole family! Unless of course you were on the receiving end of the fired tennis ball.

    Being from a small town with lots of tennis courts, there was no shortage of tennis ball cans or tennis balls so...war often broke out between rival factions (aka your buddies). Close range direct hits could result in nice welts but no one was ever REALLY hurt. Ahhh, memories.


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