Sunday, December 30, 2018

Forbes 2019 Day 2

Similar windy conditions today, so the safety committee delayed everything by 20 minutes and then another 20 minutes.  So we ended up starting around the same time as yesterday - pretty late.  The task committee wanted something slightly more challenging, so they set a dogleg with the first leg straight downwind and the second two very much cross wind.  After the second 20-minute start delay, they decided it was getting too late to go with the original task given the relatively long crosswind leg, so they shortened it slightly.  It was a good call as, even then, there were only around 15 at goal.  

I drove all the way to goal with very little in the way of mobile phone coverage only to arrive at goal and find that my team had all landed short.  Pippo came down at the tow paddock for a second tow, but landed downwind in the middle of a dust devil and broke an upright.  We sped back to the house and got him a new upright, but he didn’t get back into the air until the end of launch.  So he was way behind the gaggle.  He and Vanni managed to get less than 10km short of goal.  But, poor Tyler landed quite short and had to wait out in his field for nearly three hours before we got back to him.  He had a great story about facing (or more like screaming and running from) a snake snuggling up to his harness.  It sure was a beautiful spot though.  

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Forbes Flatlands 2019

I’m back in Oz at the Forbes Flatlands again.  Missed last year, but it’s good to be back in the hot, dry, super consistent conditions this area offers.  It all got started yesterday with a dogleg downwind and then crosswind to the town of Stockinbingal.  With pretty strong wind in the morning that was predicted to settle down a bit, launch didn’t open until 2:45.  Even then, the north wind was anything but light.  But the task call may have a little light - 34 of the 39 open class pilots flying made goal.  This might be the smallest Forbes Flatlands I’ve been too.  There are 44 in the open class and 8 in the sport class.  It’s a pity, because conditions are looking great for the entire week and we’ll likely get eight task days.  Whew...that’s tough on the drivers here.

It’s fun to see Mario Campanella here with the Dutch team.  He seems to pop up at comps everywhere, but this is his first time at Forbes.  Unfortunately, his glider made it, but his harness did not, so he didn’t get to fly yesterday.  Hopefully it arrives today and he’ll get in the air.  

So far, today looks quite similar to yesterday but with the added complication of a lot of high cloud.  A front is pushing through and we’re not entirely sure what it will bring other than slightly cooler (high of only 37C/99F) temperatures.  

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Bringing it Back

I was running past the Thursday beachside farmer's market this morning and bumped into my UPS driver.  He gave me a big hug and we caught up on what we've both been up to for the past year.  He is the example I always use when I tell people how much I enjoy the community I live it.  Even though I'm not home nearly as much as I would like, when I come home, it feels like home.  This is the first place I've ever lived - and I mean ever - where I know all of my neighbors and many other random people in the community.  I know the manager at my Publix supermarket, I know my UPS driver and I know the guy that works at the post office who asks me every time I walk in where I've been on my latest travels.

It struck me what a contrast this kind of interaction is with what we have become accustomed to in the age of social media.  About six months ago, I deleted my Facebook account after getting tired of spending too much time scrolling through political and religion stuff I didn't want to have anything to do with and spending far too much time on my phone in general.  Since then, I've had friends from various parts of the world call, text and email me asking if everything was ok.  A former work colleague called to check if I had run off and got married after seeing that I disappeared from Facebook and I hadn't posted anything on my blog for a while.   Nope, no marriage, just a happy, busy life.

Funny thing is that there is something I really miss about Facebook and that is the diary/journal like quality of our FB timeline.  Between Facebook "memories" and occasional flipping back through old posts, I could look back on my life, good times, bad times, fun, passing of friends and family, silly pictures of a travel adventure, etc.  It had become my daily journal/scrap book that my blog once was.   That made me resolve to get back into the habit of updating my blog more often.  I've had so many trips and amazing life events over the past year that I wish I had blogged about.  
So, the quick catch up goes like this:  After my mom's passing at the beginning of last year, I've become even closer to my exceptionally beautiful family.  Dad and I have been able to travel together on several super cool trips including road trips to visit my baby girl and playing in the Gulf of Mexico with my nieces and nephews.  I also got to hike into the crater of a volcano in Martinique, roam around my bucket list city of Buenos Aires and ride a camel in the 116 degree heat of Morocco.  But, the highlight, by far, of my recent travels was the nearly month long trip around Ireland with my dad, sissy and brother in law.  Sissy took a DNA test that, to our surprise, revealed that we're 66% Irish!?  This was news to all of us and dad decided we absolutely must go back there in honor of mom.  We went to all of her favorite places from our last trip there and we even spread some of her ashes at Blarney Castle, the Cliffs of Moher and the Karrick foot bridge in Northern Ireland.  Dad and I are already talking about going back again this summer.