News and Updates
12/9 - When I gave blood earlier this week the Tri-Counties Blood Bank suggested I call them back later in the week to find out what type of blood I have. I just called and they informed me that my blood type is O-, the universal blood and encouraged me to come back sometime for another donation.
12/9 - Irene just walked into the office with a bandage around her left arm and a smile on her face. She just gave blood. Thanks Irene for going big - that's awesome! You are the 9th pilot donor to give blood and you just earned a 10% bonus. That makes 9 blood donors so far - Doug, Bob Hurlbett, John Kloer, Bo Criss, Bob Anderson, Hansford Cutlip, Robb Milley, John Scott and Irene Revenko.
12/9 - Hey Bo,
Thanks John! Thanks for going big, you are our 8th blood donor. Beyond helping your fellow man, we'll put a 10% bonus to your scores. Way to go. As far as Google Earth goes, talk to Dean, Ben or Tom Hampton - they are the gurus.
12/8 - It was suggested to me that I re-emphasize the 3 rules I spoke about at both club meetings, and I thinks it's a great idea going into the final weekend given the competitive nature of most pilots.
#1 Fly Safe Please don't over-extend your abilities or the weather conditions at a higher risk than normal. Stay away from the powerlines. No top landings. Also drive safely - no speeding up Gibralter Road!!!
#2 Get Pledges This event's main purpose is to help the Santa Barbara County Red Cross and victims of Hurricane Katrina. I'm hoping all participants take on raising $100 or writing a personal check to help the cause - especially medallion winners!
#3 Have Fun It is an event designed to challenge any pilot at a variety of levels. You pick what you want to achieve. We will be awarding great sportsmanship.
12/8 - Word on the street is - John Greynald had a great flight on Sunday. John tagged 5 turnpoints on the Lap Race. John is our current Hang Glider leader in this Challenge #4 - Congratulations John! He is also leading the Race Course Challenge #3. John completed the course in 56:12 minutes. Nice work!!!
12/8 - I got an e-mail from my good friend Bill Belcourt today. He is the current US Paragliding Champion. He is also a manager at Black Diamond Equipment, which designs and produces excellent climbing and outdoor equipment. Bill is interested in helping us out and will be donating some nice gifts for our awards ceremony. Thank you Bill Belcourt and Black Diamond Equipment for your support and sponsorship!
12/8 - Doug has sent me and Dean his flight information from last Sunday. Dean will need to confirm this information, but it looks like Doug had a 3:23:24 hour flight and tagged the 2 turnpoints - Westbowl and Thermal Factory - 3 times before landing. If confirmed Doug could be leading in the Duration Challenge #5 with a flight time of 3:43:44 with his 10% blood donation bonus and also could be leading the Turn Point Challenge #4 in the Paraglider division. Again we'll need Dean to confirm - but Congratulations Doug!
12/8 - Irene has submitted her first Google Earth flight image from her flight last Sunday. She had to steal some PC time to get it, but it was worth it!
12/6 - From Bobbie:
Thanks for creating this fund-raising contest. Tonight as I watched the news on TV, I saw a report on hearings held today in Washington, D.C. regarding the response to Hurricane Katrina. It was heartbreaking to hear the stories and they can really leave you feeling lost about trying to help people so far away. I am very grateful that your contest has given me the opportunity to raise money (as of tonight $910) for the Red Cross and those impacted by the hurricanes. I am confident that I will reach my personal goal of raising $1000 – I hope that it makes some small difference in someone’s life.
12/6 - From Robb Milley:
For yesterday, 4.4 miles from Alternator to Parma, plus I gave blood today in Thousand Oaks (#44394). I'm going to send the files to Dean now...
12/6 - From Hansford Cutlip:
I donated blood today at the Tri-Countries Bloodbank Bloodmobile, which was collecting blood at Raytheon as part of their normal rountine.
12/6 - From Bob Anderson, the 2006 SBSA Treasurer:
I spun the wheel and won a coffee mug...gave blood, then had cookies, peanut butter & bread sticks, cranberry apple juice, and Gold Fish pretzels...
Tri counties likes my blood.
Thanks Robb, Hansford and Bob for going big and we'll add 10% to your longest flights - putting Bob further in the lead for Category 1 - 3 longest hang glider flights. That makes 7 blood donors so far - Doug, Bob Hurlbett, John Kloer, Bo Criss, Bob Anderson, Hansford Cutlip and Robb Milley.
12/6 - Check out Skippy's photos from last weekend here. Thanks Skippy!
12/6 - Terry Taggart posted his flight today. He flew 15.9 miles on Sunday from the Eliminator to La Conchita. Congrats on a great flight.
12/6 - Happy Birthday Bob Stratton! Thanks for being a sponsor and participant of the event and glad to hear you 2 great thermal flights last Sunday from Alternator.
12/6 - Ben sent me a Google Earth image of his first big XC flight here in Santa Barbara. Ben had a 7.9 mile flight last Sunday and his farthest flight is about 10 miles down in Brazil last spring. Ben sounded hooked on the phone. Thanks for sharing your enthusiasm and your flight.
12/5 - I gave blood today for the first time ever. It was relatively painless and I've rewarded myself all day with sweets. It was an interesting experience. I called the Tri-Counties Blood Bank at 965-7037 and made an appointment for 11:45. I drove down to 902 Laguna Street in Santa Barbara. The receptionist took my name, had me show her a picture ID, and took a bit of information. She had me spin the give-away prize wheel and I received a stainless steel travel mug, so things were looking good.
I next met Marcia who took my blood pressure and performed a finger prick to test my blood for anemia. She then began to ask me about 60 questions. We stopped on the question "Have you been out of the country in the last 3 years?" I explained my obsession with Brazil and we pulled out a gigantic world atlas. I explained my travel route, mode of transportation, and the beautiful cumulous clouds I've encountered there. Apparently areas near the Amazon are a hot spot for Maleria, but I was pleased to find out that the CDC thinks the route I took and the places I've flown were not at risk. So we got beyond the geography lesson of the day and it was time to donate blood.
It was a very casual pace and one other guy was giving blood for the first time in 20 years. About 30 people donate blood each day on average at that location, but some of those are donating to themselves for an upcoming surgery. So I relaxed in the chair for about 5 minutes before they found a vein in my left arm and started sucking about a pint of blood. The actual process only took about 10 minutes and then it was time for the treats - apple juice and Grandma's Cookies. They bandaged me up and sent me on my way all in about an hour.
12/5 - Played around with some GPS software for Macintosh - "FlightTrack". It's freeware and you can download it here. I was able to download my tracklog from yesterday, import a 3D topomap and view the flight in 3D mode. I think I will be able to download better topomaps as I learn more about the program, but it's a nice answer for us Macintosh users. Thanks Chris Grantham, Kevin Dumain, Dean Stratton and Irene Revenko for helping me get to this stage.
12/5 - Reports have been coming in all day that pilots enjoyed their day yesterday. Check out the flightlog page for a detailed report here. John Scott posted his first SBXC flight yesterday and did it with authority. John flew 30.0 miles from Nordoff Peak to the "T" just past Cieniguitas LZ. Nice job. Ben Haug was extremely happy with his first major XC flight in Santa Barbara with a nice 7.9 mile flight. Irene and Jim Maddox flew from the Alternator to Santa Claus Lane. Tony De Groot flew from the Eliminator to Carpinteria High School. Hansford went farther East than he has been in Santa Barbara and posted an 8.7 mile flight. Bob Stratton posted his first 2 flights of the event from Alternator to Cieniguitas. Dean and I flew into Ojai, posting 26.6 miles and 30.2 miles. Congrats to everyone that enjoyed their flights!
Bob Hurlbett top landed near the Powerlines and had a malfunction on his relaunch attempt that put his glider in the manzania. It took a couple hours to get out of the weeds and by that time the wind had gone catabatic. So he started hiking. Kevin Dumain and Benson drove up as far as they could and hiked in to help carry out Bob's pack as the sun went down. So Bob reported that everything is OK, just a little sore today from the hike. Thanks Kevin and Benson for helping Bob out!
12/4 - We have collected $1540 for the Red Cross so far. Pledges will be tallied up until the awards ceremony on December 18th - 5:30 Aaron Luckett's house. We've got one last weekend of competition coming up then it's time to gather all of the pledges. Thanks everyone!!!
12/4 - Finally a good Santa Barbara XC day!!! Of course John and Tony had some great flights last week in Ojai, but today Santa Barbara was working also. At least 6 pilots went more than 20 miles today crossing the Gap between Santa Barbara and Ojai. John Kloer, Bob Anderson, Tony Deleo and John Scott took off at Nordoff in Ojai and flew into Santa Barbara. Dean Stratton and I flew from Alternator in Santa Barbara and landed in Ojai. Many others had exceptional flights including Irene Revenko, Ben Haug, Bob Hurlbett, and Jim Maddox. We will await the e-mails to see how everyone did. Check out the Flightlogs here. Check out the pictures from this weekend here.
12/3 - Too much north wind. It never really blocked well enough to get a recommended flight. 2 visiting pilots from NY flew from the Alternator, but I heard that the flights were a bit spanky. Bob Peloquin, Stephan and I took drove to every launch in the Santa Barbara range hoping for a miracle. We were close at the Alternator and VOR, but a very slight wind from the north prevented launching. I took some pictures along the range that include some RC pilots over at Naps Castle area. Click here to see the day.
12/3 - I spoke with Roy Beisswenger on the Ultra Flight Talk Radio Show last week about the SBXC Challenge. We talked about the 7 ways to win, I asked for Remote Sponsorship and I mentioned a few pilots in the event. You can now hear an archive here.