Family


So. My family is playing “Apples to Apples.” In short, a card with an adjective is drawn and each player selects a card from his hand that contains the closest noun or phrase that matches the adjective.

So the adjective card drawn is “Senseless,” and my eight year old plays “Democrats.” :-)

Click on any of the pictures to zoom in.

Lukas Fishing

Memorial day at Hyner was great, as usual. Lukas’ new favorite past-time is fishing and Danny and he spent some time doing that. Unfortunately they only caught a frog, and that with their hands.

In the anthropomorphic spirit of some recent and very creative posts about flying at Hyner:

Joshua preparing for
his first tandem flight

On Saturday Hyner rewarded the faithful with plenty of great soaring. And this to the dismay of that adulterous contingent; those that spurned her early beckoning for the calls of another. She confirmed the proscription on such infidelity; it’s been said before: “never leave a soarable site.” :-).

Hang check
Joshua’s launch

On Sunday, still bearing the wounds of prior betrayal, she determined to frustrate the concupiscence of the unfaithful, providing only a tease for those that expected more. However, after the appropriate nuptial preparations, and though she spent her time sulking in a silent soliloquy, she allowed an aerial virgin to consummat his relationship with a short and unforgettable descent.

Ashley’s landing

On Monday, with the departure of some of the unfaithful (as well as some of the faithful), Hyner was in a forgiving mood and from her aerial bounty, gave many their hearts desire without prejudice for prior actions. And in her ecstasy gave birth to yet another nascent pilot in Ashley.

Snakes

Well, it certainly doesn’t have the eloquence of Bob’s posts, but … :-)

Once again a great weekend of flying, friends, camping, firelight, port, prunes, and wildlife. I’m looking forward to the next round.

Additional Links:

  • Complete Memorial Day ’06 Hyner photo album
  • Labor Day ’05 writeup – “How to crash a hang glider”
  • Hyner Labor Day ’05 photo album
  • Joe Satriani

    Last week was a rare treat for me. Two of my favorite guitarists were in town. On Wednesday night my son Danny and I went to see Joe Satriani at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia (actually Upper Darby, but close enough). Satriani’s been a favorite of mine for years; I saw him play the same venue on his “Flying in a Blue Dream” tour in 1989.

    Several years ago I was in Florida on vacation with my family and our trip coincided with Joe Satriani’s appearance at “The House Of Blues” in Orlando. Since my wife doesn’t really like him and my kids were too small to go, I passed. I regretted it later; the venue is great (I had seen Kenny Wayne Shepperd there a year or two before that while on a hang gliding trip to Wallaby Ranch). The next year we were in Florida again on vacation and Joe Satriani happened to be playing in Clearwater. This time Danny, at eight years old, went to the show with me.

    Danny is tough to read; he rarely gives away what he really thinks about something and this time was no exception. When the show was over I wasn’t sure how to tell if he liked it or not (asking him would have elicited a simple ‘yes’ regardless of whether or not he actually liked it). This time, however, I didn’t need to say anything. He looked up at me as we walked back to the car and asked, “can I get a guitar?”

    This past Wednesday, with Danny turning 10 in a few weeks, we went again and Joe didn’t disappoint. As a matter of fact this was, by far, the best show of his that I’ve seen (and I saw the first G3 tour). My biggest complaint of his music has been the narrow range of style within which most of the songs fall. If I don’t mix his music in with that of other musicians, I usually get tired of him in about 20 minutes. But in his latest album he’s somewhat more varied and definitely more refined. I really like the course his latest album is taking and I think it will be his most popular yet.

    Rik Emmett

    That leaves me with the second guitarist. Rik Emmett has been my favorite guitarist for a number of years now. I wrote a review of a show that my wife and I went to in 2004 (which can be found here). Where Joe Satriani’s range of styles is narrow, Rik Emmett’s is so diverse as to cover everything from jazz to rock, classical to blues. There are some songs that defy classification like most of those on his “Swing Shift” and “Handiwork” albums (“Handiwork” is my personal favorite) being a fusion of different genres. On Saturday he played in the Downingtown High School auditorium. It amazes me whenever such a talent produces such a small turnout; but it didn’t seem to dampen the quality of the music. Rik and Dave Dunlop accompanying him on the guitar put on a fantastic show. My wife and I took the entire family.

    Ginger, Mr. Emmett, and me

    Some time back, my wife and I had been talking about getting away to a Bed-n-Breakfast for a weekend, when we heard about a special event that was being scheduled around an appearance of Rik Emmett in Concord New Hampshire. We decided it was a perfect opportunity to get away. The event included a “fireside chat” with Rik scheduled for Friday night and the Concord show scheduled for Saturday. It will be one of the most memorable events we’ve attended. Rik sat in the lounge of the Inn and played guitar and answered questions until late in the evening. I took a bunch of pictures and always inteneded to do a page and a writeup but never got to it. So here is a link to the photos I took that weekend.

    Finally, I had heard the Joe Satriani is always trying to get Jeff Beck to tour as part of G3. I love Jeff Beck and have seen him a number of times but I’d like to see Joe tour with Rik Emmett. I think an ideal G3 would include Rik Emmett, Joe Satriani and Jeff Beck – although I’m not sure either Joe Satriani or Jeff Beck could handle not getting the top billing … :-)

    I meant to get this out sooner. The weekend was October 22nd and 23rd. I had wanted to write more about the weekend but never got around to it. I decided to finish this post up and get it out before it fades from memory completely.

    With too much work and not enough time to do it, I took a couple of days off to chaperone a trip to Potter county PA for Joshua’s (at 11, he’s my oldest) school, The American Academy. One of the teachers at the school has about 350 acres there and periodically invites students up on chaperoned trips. My side of the phone conversation went something like:

    “you’re looking for a chaperone for a trip to Potter county to stay at a house on 350 acres?”

    “is that 350 open acres or wooded?”

    “is that open acreage kind of flat?”

    “is there an area with low cut grass or unplowed field?”

    “is the area clear of obstacles like tree lines?”

           — and of course —

    “can I bring a hang glider with a motorized harness?”

    It was a short flight with about 10 kids and a couple of adults as spectators, but for about 10 minutes Joshua was the center of attention as he was peppered with questions from all of the other kids that watched me take off in my “Fred Flinstone” ultralight. Conditions were actually really nice. I managed to turn the engine off after a climb to only about 1000 feet because of how solid the thermal I had caught was.

    For a former video of one of my launches, take a look here.

    Joshua and I had a great time with the rest of the weekend hiking, playing laser tag, and target shooting. Joshua even got to fire a 12 gauge … once … where he received first hand experience of Newton’s Third Law and an accompanying bruise on his shoulder.

    When my oldest was about five or six, I can recall my family and I watching some children’s television show in which the narrator asked, “what is the difference between these people?” The show went on to picture two different individuals in different occupational dress. One was a doctor and one was a construction worker. Also, one was black and one was white (though I don’t remember which was which). I can remember my kids calling out the differences for the minute or so that the segment was on.

    “He’s got a hammer.” … “He’s got cap and mask.” … “He’s got tools in his belt.” … “He’s got one of the things you listen to your heart with.” …

    As I watched I was waiting for one of them to notice one had darker skin than the other. As parents, we never really found a reason to discuss racial differences, so we never did, and to my kid’s minds, race wasn’t a distinction that made enough of a difference to be noticed, even when asked to enumerate differences. I marveled when I realized this. I recall getting angry at the future multiculturalist that would presume to tell my kids that it was a distinction that mattered, that is, one of ‘essence’ rather than of ‘accident,’ to use the terms in an Aristotelian sense.

    Several years have passed since then. We home-schooled our three children for much of that time and have recently put them all in a Classical Christian school. In the car the other night we were talking about our family’s national heritage. We were telling our kids that they were at least one quarter Irish decent and one quarter Italian decent (since I am half each). My wife is a mutt (as I had been slapped several times for repeating) so we were also identifying some of the numerous other nationalities they partake of.

    At one point in our conversations I quipped “I think you guys have a little bit of everything … except perhaps African and Chinese. … but if Joshua [my oldest] would just marry Sasha [one of his classmates] then our family tree would cover at least one of these.” At which point my middle child Danny, who also knows Sasha well, asked, “Why? Is she Chinese?”

    I guess my kids have yet to be influenced by that multiculturalist I dreaded. One day, when that person tries to set my kids straight, I think it’ll be them that will need to be pitied.

    You see … Sasha is black.

    “… and now you know … the rest of the story.”

    Speaking of ignorance once again, Yow! I suck at Boggle. I wish I could blame it on the wine but I’ve only had one glass. 3 whole points that last round while Ginger just got 16. … :-)

    Next round, 5 points for me – Ginger 17, Josh 3. I quit!

    As we often do, my family and I headed up to Hyner for Labor Day weekend for some camping and hang gliding. All in all, we had a great time.

    On Sunday I got to about 5000 feet over launch and got an arial view of my friend Ken blowing launch (not that it was very entertaining at the time). Being the good sport (and great pilot – minus his last (attempted) launch), we had a good laugh (at his expense, of course), and shared a glass of Port or two (or ten) around the fire.

    In retrospect this should be a lesson in how dangerous pressures from other pilots can be. It’s been said “Hang glider pilots eat their young,” and apparently their prune eating, Geratol swigging elders (OK, OK, Ken’s not that old) also.

    (more…)

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