Another maiden voyage

Kites and you-know-whoIt’s been a busy week since I last posted – I’ve been preparing materials in order to sue the Los Angeles County Child Support Services Department for their theft, fraud, and other vile actions. I did; however, get down to Doheny State Beach where I sat on the grass for a couple of hours in order to add the tails to my arch kite.

To say that I was pleased with the results is an understatement – I was absolutely thrilled with the results! I still can’t believe that I’m actually making so many cool kite things – sewing has turned out to be a bit easier than I imagined and I’m having a ball with it. If nothing else, it’s great Kite Arch Maiden Voyage“therapy” and is quite inexpensive (far, far cheaper than buying kites).  It only took a few moments after I launched the arch (I was a bit worried as I had read that arches can turn into a tangled mess if they’re not launched properly) before others started coming over to comment. One guy offered to take my picture, using my cell phone, while holding on to the end of the arch – granted, the clown in the photo kind of spoils the picture (grin) but the kites sure look great! 

As I alluded above, I had no problem launching my kite arch – the picture shows the arch in its full glory. It also shows how they were constructed – each kite has one spar (the vertical one), and the horizontal “spar” consists of Dacron line that is sewn across the back. I used Dacron tape to make the spar pockets (note the kite near the bottom left) and surveyors’ tape is attached to the bottom of each kite, using Velcro, to serve as a tail. Kite Arch The breeze was somewhat irregular; however, and the arch would go up – and come down. One of the interesting things is that the arch would self-launch when the breeze would pick up again. As a result, there where times when only a part of the arch would be aloft while, at other times, all of them would reach towards the sky and pull the line taut. As always, I had the most fun watching others enjoying the kites – seeing their reactions is almost as fun as flying.

90 Feet of Kites!

Another sleepless night 🙁 but I put it to good use – I’ve just finished my first kite arch! All in all, I’ve got thirty Eddy (diamond) kites spread out over approximately 90 feet of line! It took me most of the last week (maybe more) of sleepless nights to complete it and I just finished adding the vertical spars to them (there are no horizontal spars as the line that is sewn onto each kite serves that purpose). All that needs to be done now is to add a small tail to each one before it’s maiden launch. I may take the arch with me to the beach tomorrow (I’ve got an appointment near there that I need to attend first) and may attach the tails down there. Anyway, I just wanted to announce that the arch is essentially done! Hopefully, it won’t take too long to attach the tails – I’m going to use florescent surveyors’ tape for them – and if I’m succeed, I’ll try to post a picture of the maiden launch (assuming the it’s successful). Anyway, I’m excited about my latest creation and can’t wait to see it in the air. Too fun! Now, if I could just get some sleep. . .

Tai Chi and Banners

After the horrible past few days, I had a great opportunity to try something new today – a Tai Chi class (really!). A few weeks ago (June 9th), as usual, I met an interesting person while sending my banners on their maiden voyage (my blue one wasn’t quite finished as I still hadn’t added the stars I had planned) – a Tai Chi instructor by the name of Ryan – at Doheny State Beach. Ryan and I chatted for a fair amount of time as I was flying and also let him fly my Rev 1.5 (it’s almost as fun to watch others as it is to fly myself). As Ryan indicated he liked my banners (okay, I’m proud of them), he asked me to come by one of his Tai Chi classes he was going to hold that was planned for today at the same place (Doheny State Beach). As I can ALWAYS use some more stress relief and certainly never tried before, I thought I’d go. He also asked me to bring my banners.

As usual, it was tough getting up this morning (between the stress and my sleep disorders, it was next to impossible) but I managed just the same. I got there just before ten and put up my banners. Not only was there a light but steady breeze but it was also a beautiful day. I’ve also got to admit that Tai Chi was really great – very relaxing and I can’t think of a more beautiful place (or day) to do it!

Following Tai Chi, most folks stuck around and socialized. I had brought my fighters with me again and spent quite a bit of time flying my Fandango, along with letting others give it a try. I think I might now have the hang of flying fighters (at least as a beginner). It was great fun watching others struggle and then learning how to fly the Fandango too. After that, I took the video attached to this entry to show them blowing in the wind. Stupid me, I forgot to bring my mallet and had to pound the stakes into the ground with a rock (which is the reason why they’re leaning so much in the breeze – I couldn’t get the stakes down as far as I wanted). I certainly hope I can do this again soon – it was a terrific way to spend the morning. Unfortunately, I came back and slept another seven hours. Oh well…

I think I might start finishing my arch kites. While the kites themselves are done, I haven’t added the spar pockets, made the spars (each kite only has one – the vertical one), or sewn the kites together (they’re sewn to the line that also serves as the horizontal spar).

My Fighter

I’ve been quiet lately – too quiet. I often allude to some of the stressful things in my life, which kiting helps relieve, but I don’t really say much about it. I’m going to break the silence now (at least on this blog) to note that one of the things that I’ve been fighting for the past year and a half is the fact that the Los Angeles Child Support Services Department (LACCSSD) has been literally stealing my money based on their entirely fraudulent claims that I’m “in arrears” on my child support. Not only have I never missed a payment in seven years but I’ve actually over paid. In fact, after the subhuman creatures from LA County started harassing me, I even obtained a court order that PROVED I had overpaid. That; however, hasn’t stopped the cretins from garnishing my wages, trying to get my teaching credential revoked, stealing two years worth of tax refunds, stealing my unemployment checks when I’ve been laid off from my part-time job over the summer, refusing to provide an accounting of all the money they’ve stolen from me, and a lot, lot more.

Having spent countless hours writing to countless people and agencies, the Los Angeles County Fraud Unit finally picked up on my complaint (good for them) and has opened an investigation. As it turns out, they’ve already found a MAJOR computer problem whereby the LACCSSD has been waiting three months (actually MORE) before posting payments. Of course, that hasn’t stopped LACCSSD from stealing more – two days ago, one of LACCSSD’s shysters tried to blackmail me into sending them even more money (they OWE ME!) as a condition for fixing my credit report which they destroyed a full year ago. Even though LACCSSD’s latest bogus audit finally shows that I was overpaid at that time (which the court had long ago determined), they are trying to extort more money from me as the condition upon which they’ll stop their fraud. I reported that shyster to the bar association. Anyway, I’ll rant about these monsters later (and on my other non-kite related blog). Like I said, I’m currently lining up an attorney to sue the Los Angeles County monsters in Federal Court. BTW, LA County just lost in Federal Court for doing the exact same thing to another father just a few months ago. Again, I’m lining up an attorney to sue them at this very moment.

That explains just one (of SEVERAL) of the horrible things that I’m dealing with right now – that explains why I’ve also been so silent. While I haven’t flown at all for the past couple of weeks, I have been working on an “arch” – I’ve just about finished thirty kites (I still can’t believe that I’ve actually made them) and will be assembling them soon. I’ve had horrible sleep problems for the past couple of weeks (hardly sleeping at all and when I finally pass out, I sleep forever) so I’ve worked on my arch. Today, after church, there was a good breeze which cried out of a bit of flying. Church started one of their special summer Saturday night activities (they had “Luau Night”) so I hung out for the music and Polynesian dancing they had before going to a park, across the street to put up my fighter.

My Fandango

The last time I flew, was at the monthly San Diego Kite Fly for June (I didn’t take any photos) where I actually managed to learn how to get my fighters (the Hoopty and the Fandango) up in the air – what a thrill! Anyway, I had both of those with me today and spent some time getting my Fandango up. While it was getting late, I still had fun. I only had my cell phone with me but did manage to get one picture of my Fandango. Double clicking on the photo will display a larger version of my kite. In addition to the one picture I managed to get, I also captured a couple of videos – again, these were taken with my cell phone so their not of the greatest quality. As you will note from the video I’ve added to this blog entry, my kite managed to get away from me (I accidentally lost my hold on the line!). Fortunately, I trampled after the line and managed to step on it! One of the very interesting things about fighters is that they are quite small. They are intentionally built so that they are unstable. The way in which they are controlled is to pull on the line when the top of the kite is pointing in the direction you wish the kite to go. By letting the line loose, the kite will spin out of control (intentionally) and once it’s facing the desired position, you pull on the line again. It’s really quite fun! So far, I haven’t built one yet (I’m working on my sewing skills with my kite arch) – but making my own fighters is certainly on my list of things to do. Hopefully, I’ll get a reprieve from the other horrible things going on so that I can fly more. Right now, making kites is how I’m using my time when I can’t fly (i.e., late at night) and am not dealing with attorneys (during the day).

Oh, almost forgot! Towards the end of my brief flying experience today, a tree ate my Fandango (ugh!) Fortunately, I had the poles I’m using with my banners (I finished putting stars on my blue one but haven’t flown it since I did that). I was able to fish my kite safely out of the tree!

Bol, carp, and banners

Bol, Carp, and Banners
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

Pictured here are my bol (the parachute thing), the carp windsock and blue banner that I made at the Junction Kite Retreat, along with two other banners (the red and white ones) that I made last night. All of them are quite large (the bol is eight feet in diameter, the carp is about five feet long, and the banners are approximately fifteen feet tall).

While the winds weren’t great, there was enough for all of these flying goodies. In addition, I was able to fly my Rev 1.5 SLE (I just bought a lighter set of spars so that the Rev essentially becomes a 1.5 SUL (which weighs less and flies in lighter winds). As usual, I met the nicest people while flying – a park ranger approached me with the idea of putting together an annual kite festival at Doheny (wouldn’t that be great?!) and I met another guy who was interested in the banners and gave him an introduction to the Rev.

Hata Fighter KiteIn addition to the above, I also tried flying some of my fighter kites. So far, I can’t get either the Fandango or the Hoopty to fly – both of them spin like mad but that’s about it. I did get a Hata up and had a great time with that. It’s not very fast but I was able to keep it aloft for a very long time. I’m sure that I’ll be making some of my own fighters in the very near future.

I’ll be flying many of these tomorrow at the San Diego monthly kite fly.