Charged Up!

According to this article you can generate 25,000 volts of static electricity on a slide (maybe more, that’s the highest their equipment went). I’m here to attest that sounds about right!

But let’s start at the beginning. Yesterday Zane was up early and ready to go. The day promised to be a hot one so I dressed him a bit lighter and then filled his tummy with a hearty breakfast. After kissing mommy (he’s becoming a real kisser lately) and saying “goooobye” we were off. First stop was the Glenn rd playground (movie below) where we were the only people around (except for a biker sitting on a picnic table talking on his cell phone). Zane hit everything once with another long ride on the spinning cup. I finally had to take him out of it, reminding him that he wouldn’t be able to walk for a while. He kept trying, comically, and I kept catching him.

The playground is next to a big skate park, which was also empty, so we headed over and crawled and walked and slid all over the ramps and half-pipes. Afterwards Zane looked like a chimney sweeper and there wasn’t any water to rinse him off. We headed out for another playground hoping to find some kids to play with. On the way I remembered the 5 college book sale at the High School so we headed over for a look.

You wouldn’t think there could be so many book people in a small area like ours but the parking lot and surrounding lots were overflowing with cars and the inside was jam packed. We parked a couple blocks away and walked over, stopping at the high school playground along the way. It’s a HUGE playground, with at least a half dozen slides in a variety of sizes. There’s also a very large curly slide which must be 15 feet or higher. Zane, of course, headed straight for it.

A lot can happen when you slide down that much plastic. Your body has time to turn around, flip over, and generally end up sliding in directions and on parts of your body you hadn’t planned on. I went down the slide right behind him, face first so as to help keep him straight and slowed down if needed. It was a lot of fun, but I also got a couple skin burns from rubbing on the plastic and Zane had at least one surprising bonk. But the real surprising thing was the amount of static electricity we generated. There’s a metal bolt near the bottom that I used to “drain” our charge and it was never a pleasant experience.

Here’s a view of the two sets of stairs going up to the slide, not shown is the third set of steps that bring you up the first five feet.

We then wandered through the book sale for a half hour, Zane taking charge and setting our course the whole time. We might have bought a couple kids books if it weren’t for the huge lines, as it was Zane sat down and read through a heavy equipment book. Then it was back to the playground for a while. He found a small plastic truck and that made going down the huge slide even MORE fun. Finally we were able to leave the playground only to head off to our THIRD playground.

I’m pretty sure we set a record for playgrounds visited in a single morning. The next playground was our old standby at the CCB. We overheard one memorable exchange from a couple boys playing hide-n-seek with their Mom,

“I found you!” (to his brother)
“Now you have to find Mom”
“I know, where is she?”
“I dunno”
“She’s HUGE, where could she hide?!”

Needless to say he found her.