My grandpa is awesome. He grew up on a farm and eventually came to be a nuclear engineer in the Navy during WW2. After that he started an engineering company which he ran for over 20 years (with my grandma taking care of "people matters" and money stuff, and occasionally another employee or two for awhile) out of his basement, making moisture gages, devices to test the strength of concrete, and other things. Apart from collecting tractors, pushing a strange form of conservativism that doesn't really fit on today's political landscape, and having built a lake in his backyard (on the top of a ravine even), he's known in my family for having built several potato cannons and occasionally shooting them to scare off geese that get near his lake. I remember taking lots of long walks through the woods near his house with him when I was younger. Behold his (second) letter to a public works group where he lives:
This is a follow up to my letter of May 15, 2007 regarding our clogged culvert and long term drainage ditch soil/debris buildup. I recognize that the ditch and culvert are not my property, but their shoddy condition does impact my property along with my neighbors. It has been XXXX weeks since my last letter
detailing these complaints all ranging back approximately three years. So
with no response to my efforts I propose the following:
I have read much about shaped charges long used in warfare and engineered demolition work, but have never use them except when influenced by demon rum on July fourth activities. I speculate that about four pounds of gun powder at one end of your clogged culvert, which end would be sealed with a temporary concrete plug, would, in effect, serve as a crude artillery piece. When detonated, all debris in long term residence in your ditch would be discharged at some velocity and considerable noise. I suspect a soil barrier at the"muzzle" end would catch all discharged debris.
Please note that I am not a skilled explosives person and would appreciate any help offered to fine tune my speculation.