Monday, July 30, 2007

Lessons from up north

We were at a pretty cool place on Saturday.

One of the demonstration was of the muzzle-loading riffles we gave to the Native Americans so they could dominate one another and help us wreak havoc...

A few phrases we use come from use of those guns.

"sideburns" refers to the place where men's hair would catch on fire when the riffles were used in a line...

"going off half-cocked" refers to the fact that the riffles have a two-stage cocking mechanism, so going off half-cocked was going off before you were ready..

"flash in the pan" comes from the two-stage use of gunpowder. Most of the gunpowder goes down the muzzle, but it gets ignited by a smaller flash, in a pan... the spark must pass through a small vent hole, and having a 'flash in the pan' indicates that it didn't do it's job igniting the powder in the muzzle.

We did things other than the fort -- we hiked up a really pretty river to some amazing waterfalls, we went to look out over the lake from a really high cliff face and we had high tea at one of my favorite hotels.

Sunshine's take on the lake was "damm, that is a BIG lake".

2 comments:

Jon said...

Re: Sideburns.

Uhm, no. That sounds like a back-formation. They were named after US Civil War General Burnside, who favoured them.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

I'm not so sure about that -- as the fort I was visiting was from the time period before the Civil War...