Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Coming Kite Events in the Chico Area

Sunday, March 6th: 1st-Sunday-Of-The-Month Kite fly at Wildwood Park from noon til 4 PM.

Sunday, March 20th: Chico Kite Day at Community Park from noon til 4 PM... there'll be hundreds of kites in the air!

Sunday April 3rd: 1st-Sunday-Of-The-Month Kite fly at Wildwood Park from noon til 4 PM.

And...Celebrate the Sky all month during April.

Friday, February 5, 2016


The weather's just gonna be too nice to stay indoors all day on Sunday. I'm setting my DVR and going to the park for a few hours. Join me if you can.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Happy Birthday Ben

Benjamin Franklin was more than America's "First American" and a Founding Father. He was an author, scientist and inventor... truly a renaissance man.

Here's a link to the best account I've run across concerning his experiments with kites and electricity.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

I Got Braggin' Rights! ...'til Next Year

It took a few months, but now I can make the final post about this year's Washington State International Kite Festival (held each August in Long Beach, WA).

On Friday the organizers held the Mystery Ballet event, and I decided to enter. Mind you, I hadn't competed in any stunt kite competitions for over 20 years, so I decided to do it just-for-fun. I had brought my Goblin 6-pack of long-tailed stunters; they're very colorful in the sky and a dream to fly... very stable. There were at least 19 entries, mostly pairs or individuals flying two-line or quad-line kites. In Mystery Ballet you don't knew what piece of music you will have to fly to for up to four minutes; it's announcer's choice. Well, I got lucky! There had been lot's of hip-hop and pop music played until I got out on the field; the announcer asked if I was ready, I nodded in the affirmative, and on came the theme from The Pink Panther. I was very familiar with the piece (I'm 72 after all), and the Goblin was the perfect kite to fly to it. I flew for four minutes, making the kite dance to the rhythm with aerobatic stunts and flying very low to the sand with all those multi-colored tails streaming behind. I could hear clapping and whoops and hollers from the crowd over the music, so I knew it was a crowd-pleaser; but... did it please the judges?

Here's part of my routine, shot by Mike Hagen, who was also my 'pit crew.' A big thanks to you, Mike; you made everything go smoothly, without a hitch.


It wasn't until hours later that I found out I had placed 2nd... 2nd??? I was stunned!

As you might have guessed, this was the highlight of WSIKF-2015 for me.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Perlan 2 Glider Preps for Flight Tests

Perlan 2 has already made its maiden flight. Now it's being readied for further tests before attempting to soar to 90,000 feet over the Andes Mountains in Peru.

Testing is being done practically in my own backyard; Minden is up in the High Sierras near Lake Tahoe. For more on this highly sophisticated sailplane go to Flying Magazine.

Here's a video of the maiden flight of Perlan 2...

Monday, September 21, 2015

Thursday August 20th, 2015 - Day 4 at WSIKF

Due to the loss of our internet connection at the cabins where we stayed, I wasn't able to post each day at the festival. It's been 4 weeks since the festival, so... here's a selection of photos from day four thru day seven. Enjoy!

Cat Gabriel & Jim Day launch a rokkaku train kite for judging

The Crow... creator unknown

International guests of the festival, Max & Sylvia Da Fonseca
Cardoso of Brazil and Washington kitemaker, Louis DeWolf

Max & Silvia make their beautiful kites out of paper & wood
(a new one for each festival they travel to)

These bols are about 3 stories tall

The early morning breeze was just strong enough to inflate
them, but not make them rotate

By noon the bols were doing their thing

The giant kite field on Friday

Mass ascension of delta kites
(left to right - my rainbow delta, Rhonda's Brasington delta
& the new delta she won at the WKA auction)

Four deltas on one line... kinda like a mobile in reverse

They constantly change position, just as a mobile does
when there's air motion

Here comes the Parade of Colors

My Cody and a few others flying in the mist during
the mass Cody ascension

Two custom Codys - makers unknown

Mike Hagen, Rhonda Davidson, Cat Gabriel & Jim Day
at the mass ascension of soft kites

A few of the soft kites being flown Sunday morning...

My patriotic foil & a foil that's on fire!

Two runners & a soccer ball

Stay tuned for at least one more WSIKF 2015 post.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Wednesday, August 19, 2015 - Day 3 at WSIKF

Day three at the Washington State International Kite Festival was all about the Red, White and Blue. And as Mike, Rhonda and I have a fair amount of patriotic kites, line laundry, flags and banners between us, we decided to enter the "Paint Me Patriotic" camp display competition. While everyone else's camp was mostly about feather banners, our camp had it all: windsocks and feather banners on the ground, a kite arch of 18 kites and four kites above it all. We even had the American flag flying from Mike and Rhonda's 19 foot delta kite. Our efforts were rewarded with a second place ribbon.

Two of the other patriotic displays:

8 banners side-by-side form the American flag 

This was the day WSIKF put on their Foster Grandparents Fun Fly event (eleventh annual, no less) designed to give young kids a chance to experience the joy of kite flying with an experienced kiter. Several dozen kites were constructed by some of the experienced kitemakers (Rhonda made 15 of the little deltas), and the kids that participated got to keep the kite that was given to them.

Another event for the kids was the Candy Drop.

First they haul up a really big kite...
something that can lift a big bag of candy up high.

A bag of candy is pulleyed up to the kite line
and then released for the kids to scoop up.

The kids got to make kites in the afternoon; also, there was awards given to the best camps set up by kids.

Two more events were held in the afternoon... the Individual Rokkaku Battle and Senior Ballet. Somehow I didn't get any photos. Maybe I can get a few photos from Mike Hagen to post.