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Posted by slopemeno | May 07, 2008 @ 01:23 AM | 14,144 Views
I got the chance to see The Breeders at Slims here in SF last week. Simply brilliant...

I've seen them four times previously from 2001 on...twice at Slims, the Fillmore (amazing show) and at 19 Broadway in Fairfax. Lineup changes, addiction, rehab...none of it matters. They ROCK.

Did I mention I shook Kim's hand?
Posted by slopemeno | Jan 20, 2008 @ 01:34 AM | 12,307 Views
Well, as usual, Reed was right. At the Jartfest, we started talking about work, and flying, and the big days.

"It should be a Mavericks style call-out" Reed said. "Drop what you're doing and get to the slope".

We had a bit of a dry run at Vollmer and Rattlesnake on Thanksgiving. We had some decent winds, but I thought it might be light so I brought a Gentle Lady rather than my Higgins plane...big mistake. It was rockin'. The lift was huge. Infopimp took some good video, and I think the die was cast.

So we got some good south winds, and I PM'd BillO, Checkenbach, and a few other guys. This spot is an under-the-radar-special, but i figured these guys could keep it under their hats, and had the chops to fly at a really good spot. Unfortunately, the wind sorta clocked around to the SE, which makes this spot less-than-stellar, but we all got some good high-speed passes in. Best quote of the day was BiilO, as I came blasting through the compression-zone with my Alias "..don't hurt me Tony"

Then new years day rolled around. I headed out to Tilden but I brought some heavier planes. I flew my Shredder at Vollmer, then BillO called from could hear the wind blowing in his phone. I put away the Shredder and scurried down to Rattlesnake. It was blasting and freezing. It was amazing air. I flew my Destiny, and my Starlight there, but the starlight was in reverse the whole flight. I kicked myself...I should have...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Nov 13, 2007 @ 12:14 AM | 12,558 Views
SO, who was the guy who was taking pics of his wife with the planes covering her..bits? I heard he started his own site or something? Enquiring minds want to know.
Posted by slopemeno | Sep 04, 2007 @ 04:28 PM | 11,194 Views
Well, three days off is a treat. I flew Saturday and Monday, but I slept most of Sunday away.

Traffic on Saturday was pretty light considering the Bay Bridge was closed for retrofit. The lift was a waiting game. I got to Four Corners at noon, and ran into Joe S. Tick Point was in heavy, slow moving fog. We talked for an hour until the wind came up, and I flew my Star-light for about an hour. The lift was mediocre at best. Finally- the fog cleared at Tick, so we jumped in the cars and went down there.

At the coast, the wind was barely moving, and it was super hot. I was able to fly my Starlight and Shredder, but landing the Shredder was a chore since there was nearly NO wind coming across the slope to help you slow down. I flew some loose formation with Dr. Dan and his Katie 2. Dan is primarily a gas/electric flyer, but we wont hold that against him....will we? It was fun showing him the fast line in some light air. I left a little early since I could feel a good sunburn coming on. Bashed the tail of my Sparrow getting it out of the car...gotta make a new tail for that plane.

I cut out the pallet for the fuse servos on my Miraj, and adjusted the pushrods to make sure they were close to fitting. I'll have to fill up a BUNCH of holes in the sides of the fuse from the previous owner making what looked like a few attempts (four, and I guess he was happy on the fifth, since there were no less than TEN holes in the left side of the fuse) to get the pallet...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Jul 23, 2007 @ 11:53 AM | 11,037 Views
Had a GREAT weekend of flying.

Saturday 7-20 I went out to Tick to find it ducking in and out of the fog...I flew my Slope Scale Me-109 for about 1/2 hour until it diappeared for about 10 seconds in the fog. I guess grey was the wrong color to paint it. I flew my Destiny for a bit until the it too did the Houdini thing on me. I though...I wonder how Civic Center is today...hmmm, winds out of the north, thats good...and I was on the road. From the coold fog of Tick Point to the sizzling inland temps of Civic Center.

man, when I stepped out of the car at the parking lot at the top of Oakdale, you could just *hear* the heat. Bugs buzzing, water evaporating...I took my Shredder and Starling in my wing bag, and carried my Destiny and Star-light in my hands. Man...(panting...grunting..) that hill never gets any easier. i should have brought some water. It must have been 90 degrees in the shade going up the Rubicon to the landing zone. I took my time and got there in about 20 minutes, with a couple/dozen breaks on the way up.

I tell ya, there is NO BETTER FEELING in the world than breaking out onto the fire road at this place. You're soaked in swaet, your legs are super pumped up from the climb, and you step out onto the fire roadand that cool breeze coming up the slope hits you like a blast of A/C. Ahhhhhh- thats MUCH better.

I flew my Star-light first, since its the lightest. I figure if anything will fly, this one will. I soon had it up about 1000' over...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Jun 21, 2007 @ 08:36 PM | 11,007 Views
well, take it from me...A whole glass of Diet Coke will mess up your keyboard.
Cant they put a sneeze-shield on these things?
Posted by slopemeno | May 20, 2007 @ 08:55 PM | 11,062 Views
May 20th 2007. Bright sun and strong winds at Tick Pt today. I flew my CSD ME-109, My Hillbilly, and my Destiny. The highlight of the day was John Higgins dropping by and chewing the fat for a few hours. It's always nice to see John and hear what he's working on.

For those of you who dont know who John is, he makes the "Rodent" sloper, which is a ply sheeted fiberglass bullet of a sloper.
Posted by slopemeno | May 13, 2007 @ 01:28 AM | 10,410 Views
Mach Dart in action
Posted by slopemeno | Apr 29, 2007 @ 01:02 AM | 10,263 Views
Willie in Reno. Great show- if you havent seen him...GO!
Posted by slopemeno | Apr 11, 2007 @ 12:55 AM | 10,191 Views
No, seriously, lets talk about this for a second.

What IS it with the Maura Tierney/Kim Deal/Picabo Street look? I dont freakin' get it..Why would three people be able to play either one of each other in a made-for-tv-kinda way, yet be totally unrelated?

Sometimes I wonder.

You kids under 25 just go back to reading the devilscries thread, you'll find it more entertaining...he speaks to your demographic.

Anyway, yeah, its like you could have Maura Tierney play any one of these three, including herself, and, I suppose Kims twin sister Kelley.
Posted by slopemeno | Apr 09, 2007 @ 01:24 AM | 10,354 Views
How many good days do you get?

I was kinda struck with this though today as I was flying at this amazing slope with Longdollar, Joe S, and SSCB. Figure 52 weekends in a year, plus a few vacation and, uh, "sick" days, so lets say 104, plus, lets say 10, so 114 flying days in a year. You probably didnt start flying until you are 20, and lets say 70 is a nice round number of years, so 114 x 50= 5700 days? And out of that how many are standout?

Today was one of those. The spot we were flying in Marin was SUCH GOOD AIR it was beyond description...but here goes: Joe Strakowky's Mach Dart was a missile... He came screaming down from about 1000 feet and slashed past the DS groove out into the still air in the backside...127 mph on the front side! He would whip a 180 and come rocketing back out onto the front side at about 110 mph.

I ds'd my Destiny and Starling...slowly..carefully. I got my Destiny specked out, and got up to 117 mph diving and whipping back into the backside...Gotta come up with a catchy term for this...slingshotting er sumpin'.

Longdollar flew his Eagle F3B plane that screams like a 737 going around the DS circle. He let me fly it on Saturday and I have to say thats the most accurate flying plane I've ever flown. REALLY precise and placeable- If you fly it into a bank and leave it there it holds that andle as the energy state decays slowly...amazing.

This was a great weekend.
Posted by slopemeno | Jan 11, 2007 @ 01:28 AM | 10,568 Views
Well, heres whats up with my P/O so far (thanks for the kind comments, btw)
I called Kaiser and they got me in to see a Dr. pretty quickly, considering how stupid I was. Dr Virk was very cool, and told me some stuff I didnt know about P/O-such as: It actually makes your blood vessels leaky, which is why you leak yellow fluid from the really bad areas ( I had one blister behind my ear that I could HEAR oozing- yeah, drrrrrrip!) And then theres the whole histamine thing, so they put me on two allergy medications, and a course of steriods for a week, The steroids started working today when I took the first batch this morning. My face was pushed out 1" on the right side, and that went down in about 4 hours. My eyes are still red though. And I have this hump on the inside of my right arm that looks like its fluid.

All told: DID NOT lose the Shredder, so thats a plus.

Paid: $31.00 for co-pay and drugs.

Lost two days of workd-paid sick time: BONUS-

So It was windy today but I resisted the urge to head out to Tick Pt and fly. Instead I drove over to San Leandro and went to my favorite cheap-n-cheesy Chinese food place "Jasmine's" (in the Floresta Plaza). Pot Stickers, Hunan Pork, and chicken fried rice, with a 32 oz diet coke for $7.00

I used to live in the Eastbay, so its always a little wistful and bittersweet (hey, is this the freakin' Eastbay he's talking about? Yes, yes it is..)to go there. I moved down there with a company I worked...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Jan 08, 2007 @ 04:56 PM | 10,344 Views
Yeah, you know the story...

I was flying at Eastside Four Corners, minding my own business, enjoying a weak but workable thermal with my Shredder (what an amazing plane.. Mark Grand is a GOD!) and, so what do you do when you have five-hundred feet of altitude at your fingertips?! Dive! Speedrun! Buzz the LZ! Hey, its kinda sinky down here, uh, crashing on the left...

Well it was all over before you could think about it, so, collapse the antenna and go searching. I spent about 45 minutes below the lip, around the tree thats down the hill, but no Shredder to be found. My boots are starting to fill up with wood debris and my hands are bloody from raspberry vines (ya hate 'em, right?). No plane. I walk over to the hard left of the hill. No Shredder anywhere..

Roger Jennings (aka SSCB, or "slopestud crybaby") called me on the cell phone and said " I see it!". The Shredder had somehow followed the contour of the slope all the way to the far, far left. If you know the hill (Homestead Hill on Google Earth) theres a damp/dry creekbed that runs north from the left-side LZ. Its overgrown with what must have been dormant PO. I struggled downb to it for about 15 minutes, and got the Shredder. No damage, thank god.

NOW- here comes the tricky part. I tried to go back the direction I came, but it was just too overgrown and steep. I made it about 50 feet and had to pause. I was making such slow headway it would take me an hour to emerge. The only...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Nov 07, 2006 @ 02:50 AM | 10,342 Views
Back to my blog...
Man, lots of great scores lately. I got a bunch of CR stuff. Contender, Turbo and Climmax fuses. I need to get a bunch of cores cut so I can build them, so I guess its time to get Les Hovarth on the phone..

My sisters husband, Allan Dey died at age 49. He left two children, Alexander 6 and Christine, 9. He's been in and out of the hospital for years with heart problems, but it finally caught up wuth him.
I went to the funeral last Sunday, and ran into a bunch of my friends from the old days. In a way, I miss the hell out of those people, but on the other hand, I'm glad I moved out of that area. The methamphetamine use had done a number a bunch of those folks, and a couple in particular were shells of their former selves. The region I used to live in seems locked into a downward spiral of white-trash townie behavior. The best thing that ever happened to me was getting out of that area...I guess I miss what those people used to be, but I didnt miss what they had become.

On a much funnier note, I used to work with a friend, and he used to cap on one of the speed-addled charachters I just descibed. Doug loved to come up with a new bit every day about some of these poor suckers. I was talking to one of the funeral-goers who had been a close friend years ago, and hes said something that made me laugh so hard..."Mmmmm Bud, you 'member my Aunt Creepy?..."

Doug would have rotated at about 2000 rpm in his grave over Aunt Creepy.

Aunt Creepy..geezus, I couldnt laugh about it then since I had just stepped out of a funeral but h my gawd I laughed so hard about that today at work... Aunt Creepy? AUNT CREEPY? Bwahahahahah. I havent laughed like that in YEARS!

So, all in all it was a really bitter-sweet experience. I had been feeling nostalgic for the old days and for the people as I had known them- then.
I miss them for what they were, but to see them now, wow, glad I moved out. Really glad I moved out.
Posted by slopemeno | Sep 08, 2006 @ 01:30 PM | 10,881 Views
Another crushing week at work...gotta make some changes there.

I was in British Columbia and Alberta from the 25th thru the 5th of September. Man, what amazing country. Stayed at 3-gorges, Lake Louise, Bow Valley, and Banff, then flew back out of Calgary. I would seriously consider living there. In Banff theres a gondola ride to the top of Sulpher Mtn and you could *easily* fly there, but it would be a foam-only proposition since its trees and rocks at the top. The views there werent bad either...and I aint talking about the counrtyside. Canada has more beautiful women per capita than anyplace I've ever been.

So, it was nice to lay off of flying for two weekends and not have to deal with the same old grind. When I got home my cats were actually happy to see us, not like the last time where the looked at us like we bombed their houses for a week afterward.

I need to finish my Quick-Flick-II. I was able to score some laminating film, so if anyone in the Bay Area is building something similat and needs a couple a feet let me know. I need a change of pace from the usual 60" slopers.

If anyone is interested in a HobieHawk I have a fairly clean one for sale. I'd prefer not to ship it, truth be known, so hopefully someone in the bay area will read this and let me know.

I was able to get out and fly on Labor Day, and that was nice. Longdollar, Joe, Slopeflier33 and myself spent a pleasant afternoon tearing up the sky.
Mark aka "longdollar" was ripping it up with his 2 meter Blade. It was nice to fly my mach Dart side by side with 2 others, and it seems like my performance wasnt hurt by the crash/repairs. I really like that plane; it just has amazing, predictable handling.

I'm building a Rodent for a guy, Matt. We'll see if this is something I would consider doing more of. Kinda buildy, but I really love the whole Higgins plane thing. His should come out nice from what I've seen so far.
Posted by slopemeno | Aug 18, 2006 @ 11:58 AM | 8,169 Views
Man- what a week at work. Just too busy to take a deep breath.

I finished the repars to my poor little Mach Dart last night. I stuffed that plane in back in July. I was showing my wife what outside snaps look like, and, well, I got 2.5 rotations when I only wanted 2, which left my going downwind, right in front of the slope, at about 20 feet of altitude, at a dead stop. I did the best i could to get it turned back into the wind, but I pancaked into the slope (hard) on the right wingtip and nose. The Mach Dart has a central wingbolt and a small sacraficial bolt at the TE. Well, since I had all the right-roll I had held in, the right wing tip hitting the ground snapped the rear wing bolt, causing the plane to do its imitation of a pair of scissors. The wing rotated 90 degrees and did the following damage:

Destroyed about 6" of the inboard end of the right aileron. mangled it.

The trailing edge of the right wing sliced thru the bottom skin of the v-tail on the right side. The v-tail got all sorts of cracks in the center section due to the forces.

The fuse broke right behind the trialing edge

I stripped a set of gears in the right side JR-341 servo.

Well, the tail wasnt super hard to fix. I was able to taper the skins out toward the cut, and layed on some uni-d carbon, feathered it out, layed on a layer of .75 oz glass cloth (love that stuff), and bondoed (bondod?) the heck out of it to make it look as close to stock as I could.

The tailboom...Continue Reading
Posted by slopemeno | Aug 13, 2006 @ 08:44 PM | 7,281 Views
Been flying my CR Raider lately. Lots of fun but I think the horizontal stab is under-volume. It hunts quite a bit in pitch.

Flew at Los Banos with Bruce (slopeflyer33) and it was decent, but really hot. Seriously hot. I brought a carfull of planes. Its a fun place to fly but dang thats a long way to drive for some average slope lift.
Posted by slopemeno | Jun 07, 2006 @ 02:54 AM | 6,710 Views
Bloggy-McBlogerson...Man, Ive been so busy with work that I dont really appreciate the flying on the weekends anymore...
Last weekend I flew my Mach Dart, My destiny, and my Shredder. Man, that Shredder is a great flying plane. Big, carving lines that dont seem to lose any energy. I had a bit of an accident on landing; I slid juuust too far on the janding, almost did a touch-and-go, but blew over at the edge and cracked the tailboom. Soaked it with CA, bondo'd, and painted it.

Got in some amazing thermal action with the Mach Dart at Four Corners on Sunday. Screaming dives and passes, and some gargantuan loops followed.

Since I'm on this twist-wing-thing lately, I PM'd Oronator who had some Contender plans, and managed to work a deal for the Woody Contender plans. I've been looking for these plans for over two years. Cant wait to build/fly it.
Oran also threw in two sets of CRTurbo fuse kits, which is awesome, since I have a set of wings and actuators for the Turbo left over. My old Turbo-S was a great flying little plane at a mere 14 ounces. I'd love to build another for the convenience of a 54" wingeron that flies in next to no wind. It was a fun plane that didnt last too long in my hands...I was a little early in the learning curve, I think I bought it in 1996?

Planes under construction right now are the Higgins F-20, Jart,Higgins R-3, and a ground up rebuild of a AeroMod "MiraJ" that Steve Situm donated to wet my F3F appetite. Heavily crashed, but totally rebuildable with a set of joiners and some TLC. Oh, and a K&A Mini-1 that Ive been building since 1997 too. man, am I the worlds slowest builder or WHAT?
Posted by slopemeno | Mar 20, 2006 @ 01:42 PM | 6,303 Views
Blog update: I got to fly Reeds Jart a week ago and it was so sweet. Definite treat-time. I was flying at the "Big-W" slopw site after work on Wednesday, 3-15 and screwed up a landing with my Zipper, which meant a climb down the side of a 400' cliff to retrieve it.

Flying weekend of 3-18, I flew my Alias, and just about every other plane I own. Alias, Mach Dart, Destiny, Zipper, Hillbilly,Sparrow, and Turbo all flew. The sole exception was my Genesis since the wind was coming up. Its a struggle to get that many planes in the car. Crashed the Zipper because I launched with a broken horn I didnt see.

On 3-19, I brought only three planes: Destiny, Mach Dart, and the Turbo. Poor Turbo.... That plane is my go-to crasher I guess. I've pulverized that plane so many times, and, uh, I did it again. It had been needing all the down trim available, so I landed and changed the trim via the clevis. I turned the clevis the wrong way, however, and the thing was flying around in a near-stall. I lost control and it went in hard, breaking the fuse into three pieces.
I tried piecing it together, and made a mess of it, and in a fit of pique broke it over my knee. I took my time on the second attempt, and tacked it together with CA. Once I got the major alignment issues corrected (and they were many. Five major fuse rebuilds had left it looking like a banana, with a right bend) I tacked some uni-directional carbon in place with CA so I can handle it without breaking it again. Tonite I'm going to go crazy with some major uni-d repairs on the inside and outside of the fuse. I'm so freakin tired of major rebuilds of this plane, but it flies so sweet when the lift is about 20.
Posted by slopemeno | Feb 23, 2006 @ 04:27 PM | 5,744 Views
Well, I had tuesday off as a kinda, "get over the travel" day after my trip to my Dad's place in PHX. I went out to Tick to try to test fly the Genesis. Veeeery still out there, just big thermals floating up the hill. I flew the Mach Dart and I was suprised how well that thing flew as an ersatz hand-launch. I say fan-the-rudder-servo on 60"ers, and I'm right...No rudder servo and it cored small thermals perfectly. Still havent got to wring it out at speed, but hopefully this weekend will have some promise-the weather is coming in.

Anyway-the Genesis. The lift was maybe 5mph, and very sporadic. I waited until the wind seemed to be near-peaking (has anyone here ever screamed those words? "I'm PEAKING!"...anyway...) and chucked it off. I was a little tail-heavy, probably due to all that Krylon. Other than that it flew beautifully, responding to lift as though it was a handlaunch with what-ever-that-syndrome-Abe-Lincoln-had...was. Anyway, you get the idea. Cored small thermals well, responded to lift RIGHT NOW. It signalled lift with its tail suddenly lifting noticeably. It didnt pylon turn as well, so that had me scratching my head, so maybe I need to try to program the non-thermal setting more towards a snap-flap, non rudder setting.
The landings was pretty much a non-event. I had taken a shot in the dark on the crow/ele settings, and got fairly lucky. Since there was nearly no wind across the LZ it landed a touch fast, but , sheesh, whats a guy gotta do to get 15 mph around here anyway? Cant wait to wring it out on an Eastside day. Ive flown Slopeflyer33's and its rocksolid. Glad I bought it.