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On Sunday, I skipped out on doing my taxes for an hour or so and took my kite to a nearby park for its first flight of the 2009 season. The wind was good, but the space at the park is rather confined by trees. I actually had a run in with one of them, luckily, the kite was very low to the ground so I could pull it down without reaching. The are some less treed areas of the park, but they don’t get nearly as much wind as the ‘V’ shaped, treed area at the top of the hill. It was very calming and relaxing following my somewhat stressful Saturday.
Archive for the ‘Kite’ Category
This year my family’s annual trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina with one of my best friends from back home’s family was in August. I got back about a week ago but I’ve been too busy with moving to write up a post. The trip was fun, but I was too busy flying my new kite, watching the Olympics, and playing some Diablo 2 to take out my camera. I did take out the camera during my flights there and back.
First things first, in the Boston airport under some of the seats they now have new electric sockets for charing phones and laptops. They also have usb charging ports, so those of us with the right cable can use those and free up the electric socket for someone else:
Week of fun at the beach.
Last Sunday I went down to the beach with some of my room mates and some friends of there’s. We went to Quincy on the south shore. As you can see from the panorama it was not very far from Boston, but it took us over an hour to get there. The South Shore Expressway was closed one exit before the one we needed to take so we ended up getting off of it 2 exits before we needed and winding our way through the city. We didn’t have a gps or a detailed map so we tried to stick to the big roads on our non detailed map, but we failed at that. It was quite the adventure. I got see a whole new side of Boston including Jamaica Plain, Roslindale, and Hyde Park. This is the route we took on the way there.
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It wasn’t the best beach, but it was perfectly good for kite flying. There was a good bit of clouds moving through the area brining with them enough wind to break my strings, again. But it was a lot of fun. It was my first really successful kite flying near Boston. I’ve taken my kite and attempted to fly it around here before but I failed because there wasn’t enough low to the ground wind to combat my shortened strings. Yesterday I found, after some running around, a local store that sells kite string like items. I picked up 150 yards of 36 lb. nylon string. I’m not sure exactly how strong my old string was, it was what came with the kite, so I’m guessing 30 or 50 lb. The store was closing so I just got what the shopkeeper recommended. I know the old stuff wasn’t nylon. I hope this stuff will be strong enough, at least to get me through till August when I’m going down to the Outer Banks. The $25 fee for a second checked back makes bring a kite down there too expensive, so I’m going to buy a new nice one there and mail it (or pay the $25 to fly it) back home. Here is another view of the beach because I really enjoy playing with making panoramas:
On September 14th, Randall Munroe decided to go kite flying again, despite that he still hasn’t posted pictures from the last time, and his timing circuit was broke. The real reason for the event was that a girl from back in Virgina had come to see him that weekend, and they needed something to do. Wow it must be cool to have people, including me, drop what they are doing to go hang out with you and your friend. This was part of my really busy week, possibly the busiest yet in Boston. But hey, 3 dinners out in one week all with different people is the way I want every week to be, anyways there are some pics and some stories to share. Click on the picture for the story.
- Also, now that there are like a million pictures of him on the web I don’t get to feel exclusive for being able to pick him out of a crowd. I do like how my video of the countdown tracks his entrance when people on most of the other videos are asking him to show himself. I do feel that I should have said, “hey Randall” when he passed, not “How’s it going,” just to alert those who could hear me. You know, provide a service and contribute knowledge wiki style.
- I also don’t get to daydream about being confused for him just because I’m walking around MIT with a kite. Not that that would have ever happened. No sarcasm, it really never happened, I am not that cool.
Today was a different in a good way day. There was an actual fire at work, something small in one of the semiconductor labs in my building. It was a bit strange, the first fire truck arrived, and then a few minutes later a second one, and then a third. By the time the third one showed up 10min into the ordeal we knew it was not a drill or a farce. The whole thing took maybe an hour and a half, but it canceled the 2:00 meeting that I decided I should goto. That, of course, got me off the hook that I personally hooked myself on, and it was a good thing.
When I got back to the office there was an e-mail about flying kites with camera’s over Boston with the guy from xkcd. Which, having missed the first time around, I was determined to goto. I ended up driving all the way to campus (default reference for the word campus has been changed to MIT’s main campus; consider this the memo), which violates my rule of not driving closer to the city than my apartment. But I was running late as it was and it was hot and humid and unhappy out so I drove, which also meant I wasn’t conspicuously carrying my acrobatic kite on the T (which I would totally do now, just hours later). It took me too long to find a parking spot where I could reasonably believe that I would not be towed or ticketed, but it was worth it as my car was still there when I went back for it 5 hours later. Not 5 hours of flying kites, a group from the kite flying went to dinner and then to play guitar hero at an MIT dorm. Not my first time in one, see the fireworks post. But this time I met a lot of new people, including some of those responsible for the hack at the xkcd @ MIT talk. Everyone was quite friendly, and well I’m sure I’ll be wishing I’d even attempted to goto MIT for undergrad if I hang out with MIT undergrads any more. I think I can deal with that.
So the kite flying, well I showed up a bit late, but just in time for writing on the kite in case it was lost, complete with URL, email, and of course a comic, of a kite being flow with the URL and email on it. On the first test flight the kite crashed into Simmons Hall, but it was able to relaunch from there with only some manipulation of the line and was safely recovered. That building, by the way, uses 1 foot square windows to make it seem huge and far away, its a very interesting illusion and it works well. Meeting Randell was cool, I didn’t actually meet him at the MIT talk because, I was rather busy that day, and he was swamped with adoring fans. Today he was really interested in meeting everyone.
Eventually there will be pictures at http://xkcd.com/kite/ from this run of the kite. As you will see from the pictures the kite few much father into Cambridge than it did last time. By all estimates the kite got higher than the first attempt, and definitely more string was let out. In the end it crashed onto the track/football field which was out of sight from the athletic fields, but recoverable!
Next time they go kite flying, which may be this weekend if it occurs before I have to leave for Vegas for work on Sunday, I am going to be flying my little acrobatic kite, that I keep in my car at all times. Yes that’s right I get to spend my birthday in Vegas on the office dime, score! I really need to decide how I plan to protect the kite for my trip (via airplane) to the Outer Banks in a few weeks, any suggestions? This post really feels like I could just do a lot of free association and delve off into many other topics, but I think I’ll just save those for another time.