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Seriously, dumpster diving is a lot of fun. You get to apply all sorts of body skills that don't come in handy all that often, there's the thrill of the hunt, the chance of doing good work and getting filthy (come on, you miss that in today's world, right?), the recycling, the imagining other people's lives...

Read more... )
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Hi, I'm blogger Madeline F. You may remember me from such posts as, "Honk twice is you realize that your car is on fire", and... ...Damn it, I should have held off for this intro.

Hand signals! Nice ones! )

And, continuing last post's one-post trend, I have a completely different bit of info to convey here: my uncle is looking for an IM client to suggest for his work. He says: "Years ago there was a client (Trillium, I think) that could talk to all the major IM flavors. Is it still the pan-client-of-choice, or is there a better one out there now? Do any of them allow interoperability w/ texting to/from cell phones? (We're deploying our whole group all over the country full time for the next several months, and we need a universal way to keep in touch realtime.)" I don't chat, but I know some of you do. Any suggestions?
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This is an amazing hang-gliding story, and I think the conclusions Camacho draws at the end are enormously applicable to non-hang-gliding endeavours. This was posted three days ago; I've copied it over here from the Sonoma Wings bulletin board so it's easy to find.

Quick jargon orientation: XC = cross country; LZ = landing zone; PG = paraglider; "bag it" = pack their gliders back into their bags; "sled ride" = no going up (thermalling), just straight flying down like you're on a sled on a hill; "vario" = variometer, a gadget that beeps when you're going up or down and lets you know how fast you're rising/falling and how much altitude you've gained/lost; "flare" = when you tilt your wings up to make them into big air brakes to slow yourself for landing. The "No Fly Zone" was because Bush was in town last weekend, and heaven knows, a hang glider might kamikaze into Air Force One.

Setup: The Sonoma Wings are an active group; I think they have money and time, and most beneficially to their flying, they live near 3-4 really great hang gliding sites, in the area of California about an hour or two north of San Francisco. I did hang gliding for a few years a couple years ago with the Berkeley Hang Gliding Club, and I met some of the Sonoma Wings guys, who seemed very friendly. I'm not sure if I met Ernie, the president of the club, or not... All the guys I did meet were 40ish guys with a bit of a pot belly; sane, reasonable guys, with a bit of the love of the daring: like most hang glider pilots. So that's who I imagine is telling this. Here's his tale, in his words.
Ernie Camacho launches into clouds at St. Helena )
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)
See how much I love you? I wrote this story up last week, and I carried the bytes one by one by hand to a place with internet so I could present them to you... This is a story of hang gliding, true as I heard it.

* * *

Hang glider pilots are prohibited from flying at night by FAA regulations. When I first started, I asked if they sometimes ignored this for fun, like they ignored the reg that keeps you below 20,000 feet. No, came the answer, for hang gliding is a long graceful exercise in What goes up Must come down, and you want to be able to see where you're landing.

Also, the thermals die down at night.

This is a story I heard from a pilot a couple years back, and it's got an extremely amusing moral. He started thus: There are three types of people in the world. There are people who don't even notice poison oak... They could cook hotdogs on spits of poison oak and go blithely on. This is about 15% of the populace. There are the normal people, who encounter poison oak and itch and bitch; these are about 65% of the populace. And then, he said, there are the people like me, who are deathly allergic to poison oak, such that even a touch will cause the affected skin to fall clean off.

I was flying at Big Sur, he said. Growing up in Colorado, I saw hundreds of TV commercials for "Big Sur Waterbeds"... Surf crashing and spouting in the face of craggy cliffs. Green wooded hills and valleys. Apparently, in the fabled land of California, this place actually exists. And you can hang glide over it.

Alas, it cannot help but be right next to the Pacific Ocean. The pilot's tale )


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Madeline the Edifying

October 2011

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