As promised here are some fantastical screen shots of my particle system in action. The particles are currently white opaque 3x3 quads. As ugly as you can get. But you get the idea. In the first shot the firework rocket is being launched from the bottom of the screen where it arcs and then explodes into 8 pieces as seen in the second shot. It's a little easier to see in the video if not less exciting.
The VideoHope it works.