Jeff Clineff - All The Words
Ramblings of a Roaming Consciousness
Aerodynamics

“The time has come”, the walrus said, “to talk of many things.”


 Specifically, Aerodynamics.


 That’s right little ones, summer is soon upon us and with it comes dreams of vacations.  Whenever we go to the Outer Banks of North Carolina we always make sure to stop in at Kitty Hawk Kites.  If you have never been, you MUST go. Their main location is directly across from Jockey Ridge and it is a two story wonderland of kites and toys. They have all kinds of kites from the simple regular kite shaped kites to the complex box kites or WWII biplane and triplane designs. 


 A few years back I bought a parafoil kite from there. A parafoil kite has no frame. It is made of a space-age fabric that is almost completely resistant to tearing. It is a beginner kite.  It is 20 inches wide by 32 inches long and can be flown in wind as light as 6 miles per hour.  It is very lightweight and can be rolled up and stuffed into it’s nylon carrying case. It is colored in hues of bright orange, red, green and blue and it came with a beautiful, multicolored, multiribboned, 15 foot tail.  The image of this beautifully colored kite and its massive flapping tail framed against the backdrop of a clear blue sky is a sight to behold. Or so I’m told. The only time I recall being able to get this stupid thing to fly was during Hurricane Dennis.


 On the other hand, my 120 pound, 13 foot trampoline will soar to the skies on wings of eagles every chance it gets. Rebuilding after our last flying trampoline encounter (see post below) we tied it to a tree. Unfortunately, we needed the rope for something and forgot to replace it. Recently the winds came again and my wife asked me to go out at 11:30 at night and check the trampoline. Seeing that it was no longer tied up and not knowing where the rope actually was, I grabbed a few electrical extension cords and tied it to the side of the playhouse.  The next morning we found the trampoline upside down in front of the playhouse, the net enclosure frame bent and the base in its all too familiar Pringles potato chip shape.  It now sits in pieces in the backyard and my Saturday will consist, at some point, of me putting it back together again.  On the plus side, I have actually gotten good at that so it should go fast.


So little ones, if you are walking the beaches of the Outer Banks this summer and notice in the sky a beautiful, multicolored, multiribboned, 15 foot tail attached to what looks like a 13 foot trampoline, that will be me. Come by and say Hi.

2008-04-04 16:19:57 GMT
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