Friday, March 31, 2017

Sky diving

For my birthday, Diana took me to an indoor skydiving place at the beach. You get a few minutes of training on the position you'll try to maintain--chin up, arms and legs half extended--and the hand signals your instructor will use, mainly to tell you to straighten or curl your legs. Then you get a jumpsuit and helmet and line up at the wind tunnel. The fans are at the top of the building, so you're not looking down at whirring blades--in fact, you're not looking down at all, because you're keeping your chin up. When your turn comes, you go to the door, lean forward and lie down on the wind. Get into position and stay there. It doesn't feel like snorkeling, where you can just drift and pay attention to what you're looking at rather than what you're doing; and you're feeling normal gravity, just lying on air rather than on, say, a deep sponge rubber mattress. You hang there for a minute with the instructor correcting your position and making sure you don't drift into a wall or something, and then he guides you to the door. Hands on the outside of the doorframe, curl at the waist to bring your feet forward and down, and you're standing up outside. On the second flight, we soared up to the top of the tube, about ten meters. Dropping back down was just enough free fall to get queasy for a moment, but then you get to the steel net at the bottom and soar back up. Fun time.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


I've finished an introductory art class at the Museum of Contemporary Art. Charcoal, pen and ink, brush and ink, sketch and wash. Main thing I learned was that I don't (or didn't) put use enough dark areas; adding deep shadows for contrast makes a better effect.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Anniversary pics

As her gift for our 29th anniversary, Diana got a professional photographer to take several portraits of her--looking quite adorable--and print them on canvas. We'll send one each to Willa, Mom & Dad, and Josh&Gwen, and that leaves two for here.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

And the Kitchen Sink

Valentine's presents for Diana: card, roses, salted caramel chocolate, dinner, and the kitchen sink. Literally. Kohler K-5832-5U-0 to go with the impending new countertop.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Virginia Beach weather

Monday, shovelling snow at 12°. Today, walking on the beach, 70°.

Sunday, January 8, 2017


It was predicted we'd get up to 14 inches of snow, but what we actually got was about five, although there was a nice bout of freezing rain first to get a layer of ice under the snow.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Go Karting

I unexpectedly found myself overseeing a 10yr old and 6yr old, and their mother asked if I'd take them go-karting. There is a kart place on the outer ring of Lynnhaven, so we went; and the minimum age for a driver is 8, so I ended up as a co-pilot for the 6yr old in a side-by-side kart.
$20 and a Groupon gets you two races at ten minutes each. You put on a "head sock", a neck brace, and a helmet, and squeeze into the kart. They give you a briefing on red flag, yellow flag, etc, but in fact the only signals we got were "when the lights flash, take one more lap and pull into the starting row." The attendant pulls the starter cord and away you go. The helmet restricts your peripheral vision quite a bit, so if you don't look over your shoulder, someone can be right behind you and you won't know it. The karts can hit 45mph and (when someone slightly more expert than I am is driving) can drift and do a bootlegger reverse. Steering takes quite a bit of effort, although the attendant said the single seaters are easier. At the end, you get a printout which shows your fastest lap and average time per lap (yes, the ten year old beat my Fastest Lap by about half a second).