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 first homemade kite – a Square Flake

My Square Flake in the sand
Originally uploaded by Bassoon Man.

I can’t believe it but I’ve just made my first kite – it’s called a “Square Flake” as it is made from six squares and kinda-sorta-maybe looks like a snowflake. As soon as I finished it, I went down to the beach (Doheny State Park) in order to see if I could get it airborne. As usual, there wasn’t any wind but I was able to get the kite aloft for a minute or two at a time. It really does fly! (Double click on the photo and you’ll be taken to my Flickr page where you’ll find more pictures of my Square Flake).

Of course, this means that I’ll have to make even more kites but I now know that I’m capable of doing that. All in all, I’m very excited about this “creation” and am looking forward to seeing what else I can make.

Waiting for some wind

Well, it was another completely windless day. Due to daylight savings time, the sun is now up later so I took a quick jaunt to Doheny State Beach (at Dana Point) to try and fly the Rev 1.5 (which is also an extremely low wind kite). Of course, there was no wind again (this is getting to be rather unreal) although I managed to get the kite up for about 30 seconds – that was shear bliss! Anyway, I tried for about an hour and a half with essentially no luck before the sun began to set. While the temperature was in the low 80’s (perhaps a record high for the day), there wasn’t even the slightest ocean breeze – ugh!

Anyway, in honor of the incredibly horrible flying conditions, I’ve now decided to add the weather to my blog – current conditions at John Wayne Airport (the closest National Weather Service Station) may be found on the right side of this blog. Even now, very, very early in the morning, the NWS is reporting zero winds. I’m just hoping and praying for a change in the very near future – I want to fly, in addition to getting my new remote controlled KAP rig airborne. The lack of wind is getting to be ridiculous. I also heard on the radio that this is, apparently, the driest year on record for Southern California. I don’t know if that is true, but it sure seems like it. Keeping my fingers crossed for some wind.