Hey everyone! All…. two of you…. three?
Been a while. My creative sparkplug has not been firing as of late. It’s been odd here, what with summer and people saying “Eh, I’ll do it later” with their roofs.
Funny story, kind of. Interesting at least:
Fourth of July rolled around (yes, two months ago… 174 years in internet time) and I found myself in beautiful Modesto, CA.
Don’t go there.
Why was I there? Well! Just visiting friends who, because of work, had to move there. I chose to be there instead of down here in the sprawl of Los Angeles due to drunk driving in terms of volume- that and I hadn’t seen these folks in a while. Fireworks are also legal there.
It sounded like an aerial military bombardment on the 4th.
The part of this that has relevance to roofing occurred the day before when my friend and I were talking out and about in his neighborhood, the Not Bad part of town. It’s rather Salt-of-the-Earth up there, what with American flags hanging all over the place, maybe a Confederate or two, which added to the flavor of it all, if only in a bitter way. But the most interesting thing was the house we saw which had a layer of military grade ballistic fiber atop the roof.
If you are unsure as to what that is: it’s a fabric used by the military to cover places they especially don’t want bullets to find their way into. It’s not 100% bulletproof, per se, but better than nothing. I also don’t think it’s available for civilian purchase. I could be wrong. I imagine there’s a lot of 2nd Amendment supporters in that area, which naturally tends to be accompanied by former/active military service, as well as an enthusiasm for military-grade stuff. When there’s a will, there’s a way, right?
We didn’t speak to the owner of the home, but me being the deductive type, gleaned the following probable cause of that: a Central California town with a bad meth problem and poverty meets legal fireworks. Okay so, along with fireworks going off are other sorts of loud-noise making devices… maybe… guns? And guns shoot bullets. In this case, a drunken revelry with legal incendiary devices could naturally, in a few cases I imagine, be met with the urge to fire your gun in the air. Bullets go up, and then they come down, eventually, somewhere else.
You’re not going to find too many gun owners who would endorse this kind of behavior. But then there’s the occasional reckless/don’t-care exception, of which you only need one in the scenario of firearms.
In a nutshell: I imagine this person, who felt the need to cover his roof in a material that is made to discourage bullets from continuing their course of travel, may have had a few cases where one (or more) did.
Also, with fireworks being legal and people being drunk, some fireworks might tend to go off not nearly as high as they should. And we witnessed a few of those out there- the high-end mortars made for fireworks shows being launched from a backyard nearby going off 50-80% lower than they should have, showering the local area and bright, pretty, flaming phosphorous. For example:
This isn’t mine, I found it elsewhere… but it’s pretty awesome.
I wondered about that, if ballistic fiber was good against fire, and I imagine it probably wasn’t. No structure fires were seen by me in that period of time, though.
I relayed all this to Tom and he told me about how he used to collect bullets he found buried in roofs, pretty much all closer to/in the limits of Los Angeles proper. He used to collect them and put them in a bag, but has since (sadly) lost them. A lot of times in that area, small leaks would come come from them, a bullet found buried in a roof.
He told me a story from when he started roofing about how one of the guys working on the first crew Tom was a part of had found an anti-aircraft round, something fired from a legitimate military anti-aircraft gun, buried in the roof of a warehouse that had been standing since before World War II. I couldn’t find a picture online of said type of bullet, but imagine, for a moment, if you will: take your average military grade assault rifle round and (I’m probably more right than sarcastic here) multiply it by about 50.
The prevailing theory on that one was when we were at war with Japan, the West Coast was ready for an invasion. One little event in all that consisted of the military thinking we were under attack here on the West Coast, so they fired their anti-aircraft guns in and around the area of Los Angeles for a few minutes. And, as it goes, bullets go up and come down. In this case, really high. The higher they go up, the further away they tend to land. In the case of this one, in the roof of a warehouse down near the Long Beach area.
So yeah, food for thought.