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My Dog Went Flying - Almost
Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:04 am
[ Mood: Amused ]
[ Currently: Reading Phatomflier's blog ]
In the course of reading Phantomflier's Blog about his resent and tricky winter launch, I wrote up and posted the following true story that happened just yesterday (3/12) in response. It seemed like maybe it deserved it's very own entry in my blog . Enjoy.
* * * * *
This old pilot went up to the local (Hammondsport, NY) launch yesterday and it was blowing straight in - but also fast as all get out (20+ mph with gusts up to 30). Rather than think it might get good, eventually, I didn't even put the glider on the rack.
My goal? I just wanted to see what my Rav4 could handle by way of the possible snow drifts on the (still snow covered) dive into launch. Better to actually know I can drive in since I'd rather not have to walk in the 1/8 mile. That is, . . . if a good day does come along before the snow melts.
Well, in the course of this little adventure I almost had my own not quite launch disaster!
To begin -
Last week we had some freezing rain and sleet fall on top of the existing snow base. It then got cold again and snowed a bit more. Well, up on the H-Port (slot) launches, the snow has been blown away leaving the bare, hard, very slick icy layer.
(BTW - The launches at H-Port are like the Ellen-V road launch, but natural and with no guard rail or highway behind. In other words, pretty flat to start, but then a quick, steep drop off.)
The Scary Part -
Well, my dog was with me, and since there was typical snow in most places, he was running around in normal control, until, . . .!
Well, he decided to run right up to launch and, . . . hit the bare icy layer and, . . . just kept going . . . over the edge!!!!
Luckily he didn't go too far down the slope before stopping at some soft exposed brush. And he was completely fine also, so no need for anyone to worry.
Oddly, he tried to come back up the same way he went down and in so doing was trying to scramble back up the icy lip of launch. His feets was a movin' but he wasn't gettin' no where - fast!
I had to (carefully!) walk to one side of the icy launch to get him to come to me sideways as opposed to straight up the slickest part of launch.
The Moral of the Story -
Like Phantom, perhaps my dog should have briefed his wire (or, in this case, Leash) crew before attempting to (not) launch!
Otherwise, spring is not too far away!
Posted By: Wingspan34 2 Comments (Post your comment)
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Evil HG Photo
Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:18 am
Anybody notice the undersurface image on the glider in Steve Messman's Jan. '08 The Wrong Color Of Wing article?
I'd completely missed it till today. I'm sure such a hang glider exists, but it's curious this image was used with an article that paints some number of HG pilots as being prejudiced against (hateful of, or speaking evil about) PG pilots.
Does this "death's head" image further taint Messman's supposed message of "can't we all just get along"? Of course, there's the "hang gliding is a death sport" connotation, as well.
Anyone know who the pilot is, in that photo, and confirm that they actually have that image on their HG? Not that that makes it any more acceptable to use that particular image with that particular article. So, what do you think, was this image choice mere coincidence? I'd say it demonstrates an act of very bad taste, at the very least.
Posted By: Wingspan34 8 Comments (Post your comment)
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Messman, Galvin and the Bogeyman!
Thu Jan 24, 2008 8:19 am
[ Mood: Neutral ]
[ Currently: Watching The _____ hit the fan. ]
|Prejudiced is not a synonym for racist. Racism is the most obvious example of prejudice, but a poor one for an already emotional issue. Putting words in Mr Messman's mouth does not help the community. You had a valid issue, that you twisted into a bogeyman. Stop doing that and I will have no issue with your PG posts. . .
Here is a cited (Jan. '08 HG&PG Magazine, page 78 ) quote from Steve Messman's article, The Wrong Color Of Wing.
Paragraph #1 - The Wrong Color Of Wing by Steve Messman, staff writer HG/PG mag 1/08
"I was a child of the fifties, but really, a product of the sixties. Those decades brought some rather difficult times for this nation. I remember one such aspect of the times because of the beach my family used to frequent. Besides the fun times, the fast boats, the skiing, the BBQs, and the sun, there was a dark side. One Sunday at the beach (we always went after church), there was a line waiting to get past the dude we had to pay. The long line was caused by the beach owner and a group of people trying to get into the beach. Soon, that carload of people left. I never saw them again. When my family finally arrived at the booth to pay, I remember that my dad asked what the problem was.[u] [u]The answer: The folks in that car were the wrong color. I also remember that I asked my dad why that was a problem. And then, I remember the answer all too well. "Would you want to swim with them?" " [emph add]
So, Tom could you read this and evaluate for us what is going on in this brief introductory story of Mr. Messman's?
In the mean time, here's my (tentitive) evaluation -
Would I be accurate in stating that Mr. Messman describes this as happening in the 1950s or 60s? And that Mr. Messman refers to these two decades as "difficult times for this nation"?
Would I be in error if I said that he describes that some group of people who ""were the wrong color" were disallowed from entering Mr. Messman's community(?) beach? Would I be stepping over your line to say that "the wrong color" people Mr. Messman refers to were most likely black people?
Is it pushing things over your line to presume that these "wrong color" people were excluded from Mr. Messman's local beach, because this beach was (effectively) a "whites only" area (in the "difficult" 1950's or '60s)? Is the effort to keep people of different races from associating, or even being in the roughly same area, definable as racist? Perhaps you would prefer to limit the definition of such an exclusionary practice to a form of simple segregation along racial lines.
Would I be wrong in stating that, historically, in the US, largely prior to the Civil Rights movement of the 1960s, efforts to segregate people on the basis of racial differences was motivated by racist ideology? If it helps, I will supply a definition of "racist ideology" for you (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racism ). This brief Wikipedia article includes the following statement:
"By its strict definition, "superiority" or "inferiority" are not implied.
However, in contemporary usage, the word has come to imply
them, or readers or listeners may infer those aspects, which now
makes the word almost synonymous with bigotry or prejudice.
Like many other socio-political terms, it is not unusual for this
word to have evolved or expanded from its original dictionary
definition." [emph. add.]
In the above statement, both bigotry and prejudice are, "in contemporary usage", tied to (almost synonymous with) racism. Therefore, someone who is prejudice in such a way as to exclude others based on their race is, according to "contemporary usage", justifiably seen as racist. Surely you wouldn't argue that "synonymous" does not mean "equivalent to" or "the same as" - or at the very least, "intimately associated with"?
(EDIT: Oopps! I forgot you make the opposite claim in your above quoted statement (i.e. "Prejudiced is not a synonym for racist"). Hmmmm. . . Maybe all I needed to do was cite this racism article? )
Steve Messman's whole The Wrong Color Of Wing article is premised on a presumably true childhood incident clearly and unmistakably involving racial prejudice (i.e. racism)! In fact, it is his initial lead in point! As such it creates the foundation upon which all his other "conclusions" hang. In news essay language, Messman's first paragraph is known as "The Hook". A hook is used to grab the reader's attention. But it can not be separated from, or be discounted as being intimately linked to his over-all, fundamental, message. That being that (some vaguely defined group of hang glider pilots) are prejudiced and "racist-like" in their exclusionary treatment of paraglider pilots.
One of the most GLARING bits of evidence for Messman's intent is his out of place, even nonsensical, transference of racism due to someone's "wrong color" into both his title as well as his often repeated catch phrase "wrong color wing". He uses this mechanism to give the same identity to each practice (i.e. white racism of the '50s and '60s and current HG wingism (my term)).
Obviously, NOBODY excludes pilots (of any sort) because of the literal color of their glider's canopy or sail. Messman purposefully uses this inappropriate juxtaposition of the word "color", intentionally, and I contend, with malice of forethought. For that, I see his whole article as a true and clear example of one paraglider pilot's personal bigotry towards a segment of hang glider pilots he neither truly understands or respects.
No HG pilots that I know of base their negative impressions/conclusions of PGing technology in any way on anything other than easily understood and undeniable facts about the very real nature of collapsible canopy flying wings. Therefore, these HG pilots (all the one's I know) simply can not be referred to as "prejudiced". They both know and judge correctly.
I firmly believe this to be the case with most "anti-PGing" hang glider pilots. For that reason, I find Mr. Messman's claims of "prejudice" to be based, not in sound knowledge and judgment, but, rather, in his own (PG biased) misconceptions and prejudices. I further contend that the evidence (demonstrated in his 1/08 article) supports a reasonable conclusion that Mr. Messman is, in fact, a prejudiced, HG "bashing" bigot.
Not sure if that shoe fits? See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bigotry
|Just the facts without the histrionics please.
How about a simple recognition of the facts as based in an experienced, intelligent analysis? I'm a writer and know Messman's tricks and tools. Every good writer knows them. However, most are ethical enough not to misuse them - as did Mr. Messman.
And here (in the above quote) is one more example of a (pro PG?) HG pilot defaming a well reasoned critique, by way of baseless, intentionally inflammatory, rhetoric (i.e. use of the extreme term "histrionics").
Strategy: If you can't form any valid responding argument in support of your own case, Defame Your Opponent! ( )
Here's another great quote:
"If you can't put two and two together and get four,
you shouldn't be in this math class."
Posted By: Wingspan34 1 Comments (Post your comment)
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Friday Aug 25th, 2007
Sat Aug 25, 2007 8:20 pm
[ Mood: Sleepy ]
[ Currently: Watching Letterman ]
This is my first blog log. No flying to tell about. Today it was hot and muggy with the wind from the SW. I have been working some on the HangGliding.Org WiKi site. All for now, I am tired. Sad news about Mike Onorato.
Posted By: Wingspan34 0 Comments (Post your comment)
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