New Year’s Day with the San Diego Kite Club, Part 2

Banners in the breezeWell, I didn’t quite finish my post from the other day so here’s “Part 2” – after watching the synchronized kite fliers, the wind picked up a bit and the banners started fluttering a bit more, which is always a good thing at a kite festival. I was particularly fascinated with the red white and blue set that resembled an America flag (pictured on the left). If one looks closely (double click on the photo for a larger view), it’s possible to see some of the goodies set out for the raffle located to the right of the flag banners. Mentioning “raffle,” shortly after I took this picture, I went back to watch my boy work more on his kite when, rather suddenly, our friend Iris, ran up to me to make sure I received my final set of raffle tickets because the drawing was about to begin. Last year, my boy and I did exceptionally well (we won several kites!) so I purchased the same number of tickets this year. While we didn’t win as many things (not that it matters) we still won! In fact, of the two items I had hoped for the most, one was a Cody box kite. Cody’s are very stable American kites that have been around for a long time and were originally invented by Samuel Franklin Cody (no relation to Buffalo Bill). Interestingly, these were used as a man-lifters (yes, they were big). While Cody’s resemble box kites, they have an extra set of wings that make them look rather bat-like. The Cody I won isn’t very big but that doesn’t matter – it still looks cool. Then, my boy had the winning ticket for a “Kite Dynamics Kite Building and Experiment Kit” which can be used to about a hundred different kites, as well as many variations. Again, too cool!

At the conclusion of the raffle, there was also an auction in which we managed to get several more kites at a steep discount from what they would cost retail – we won a box kite, a stunt kite, a Prism Triad, and a “cube kite.” All in all, it was a very inexpensive (but great way) to build our collection.

My kite archMany people usually leave right after the auction but, as there was still sunlight to fly in, we stayed a bit longer. I managed to get my kite arch up with the help of Dan, current president and one of the founding members of the San Diego Kite Club (they were a bit tangled and he helped me undo the mess). Fortunately, the wind came up enough so that the arch could go up for a short while. Unfortunately, the breeze died out but that was merely a signal for us to call it a day. After packing up my kite arch, I decided to take a quick video of my banners with my carp and my Catherine’s Wheel attached. Sadly, one of my banner poles broke so I was only able to put up two of my three banners. I was very happy; however, that my Catherine’s Wheel which worked like a charm. 

Once the car was packed up, I took my boy to Belmont Park where we spent the evening on the bumpercars before heading home. As always, I can’t imagine a better way to have some fun than to be with him.

The Kite Regalia

Kite RegaliaGosh, flying kites is FUN! Yesterday was very hot (I just hope it doesn’t get humid like last year) and decided to take my boy to the beach. Of course, I brought far too many kites but happened to have all but one of my own creations; the only one missing was my first kite, the square flake. As it turned out, the beach was packed (but, because I paid for an annual pass to go to State Beaches as it is much more cost effective) but, because the beach are is so wide (we went to Huntington Beach), there was still a lot of real estate to set up shop. 

So. . . guess what I did (just one guess now)?! I set up my full regalia of kite creations! I’ve got to admit, it’s quite a thrill to see everything up in the air. I had my new kite arch, my banners, my carp windsock, my bol, as well as my entire flock of duck windsocks. Just as exciting was the fact that there was a good, strong steady breeze. The only bad thing is that I forgot my KAP rig (darn!) – both the weather and my kite display would have been perfect for KAPing. Oh well . . . maybe next time! 

Fortunately, I did have my cameraMother, Child, and Kite Arch and managed to get quite a few ground-based photos. Digital cameras are absolutely wonderful in that you can take as many photos as the memory card will hold and, of course, there is no need to develop anything. As a result, I know take a lot of pictures and shift through them to find the ones I like. Yesterday’s photos were not exception – I managed to get quite a few that I liked (more than I normally would). In addition to numerous views of my compete set of flying things, I had several favorites; including a photo of a mother with her child who decided to park themselves on their backs directly under my kite arch. Double clicking on the picture will open up a larger version on Flickr. Once there, look at the larger photo sizes in order to view the mom with her kid. I can’t think of anything more flattering than to have something like this occur! 

Pelicans and the ArchIn addition to the wonders of enjoying the beach on a warm summer afternoon and flying kites, I’m always thrilled when any wildlife show up – in this case, a flock of pelicans flew by and, as luck would have it, I had my camera too! While I only got a couple of photos and didn’t really have time to set up my camera, I did get a couple of shots. My favorite is the view of the pelicans flying past my arch. 

While the pelicans were only around for a few moments (long enough to fly by), my own flock of Line of Ducksducks managed to stay pinned to the sky. I’ve been amazed at how stable the ducks are – they actually stay right-side-up while they’re flying. There must be something inherent in their design that allow them to remain that way. Bol

Another one of my favorite photos happens to be one I took of my bol. I didn’t realize it until I arrived Through the Eye of the Bolhome, but the hole in the bol (no, I’m not attempting to be a poet), was centered over a life guard tower. I didn’t catch this until I was editing my pictures to post on Flickr. I cropped it in order to highlight the neat view! 

Finally, I was thrilled with the picture of the “duck tails” – a composite of my duck windsocks Duck Tailsbehind a partial view of my arch. In addition to the pun (which is intended), I thought it made for a rather interesting shot.

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).