Having Scottish* ancestry can have consequences at times...
...like the apparently inescapable genetic programming by which hands are very reluctant to reach into pockets.
Of course, the Scots aren’t the only nationality with a reputation for being canny, the Dutch are also renowned for arms that become inexplicably short on occasion.
Anyway, I’m blaming a combination of ancestry and long association with the Dutch for a decision we made a few months ago to build a computer controlled laser kite cutting table rather than buy one off the shelf.
So, the laser head itself was ordered from the US, (second hand of course), and duly arrived.
Unfortunately it was damaged in transit and wouldn’t fire. The suppliers said it was the shippers fault and the shipper said it was the suppliers fault because the packaging was inadequate and their insurance company wouldn’t even acknowledge they existed- and, at our end, Elwyn said that Jenny was sorting it, Jenny said Chris was and Chris said it was up to Elwyn. After 3 or 4 months of all this duck shoving- during which I played my usual supportive role by yelling at everyone indiscriminately-, and with all other avenues exhausted, it was last resort time.
Yep, time to read the manual. So there was Chris, innards exposed (the laser’s that is), the book propped open in front of him, poking around with a pointed thingy to see what flinched.
No joy, sniff- er, sniff, SNIFF?- and what’s with that neat hole through the wall into the bathroom with smoke coming out of it that wasn’t there a minute a go---------!
Problem solved!- and nearly another one solved as well, ‘cos unless some way is found to wipe our so called beach house off the face of the earth within the next month or so, chances are that a new kite development centre will not rise phoenix like in its place before next winter- and this will really be a problem.
And an embarrassment: Being kiteboat building season and all that, I had occasion to sort through some early photo’s, and came across pictures of a monohull I’d built about 1992 and completely forgotten about. It had forward steering, and an anti-heeling kite attachment system that is near to exactly the same system I developed last year for the latest monohull. It’s bad enough inventing something then later finding out that someone has beaten you too it- but doing it to yourself!! I must be losing my marbles, but maybe they’re still there somewhere. If only my arms were longer maybe I could find them.
*McLeod’s of course-. There can be only one.
Ashburton, Nov 1 ‘03
On the R and D side, Chris is pushing hard on the kitesurfing kites while Pete’s been working on settling in the new Farc 2’s, designed specifically for buggying, kite mountain boarding and snow kiting. Dan Eaton and Dave have been here from England for the last 2 weeks critiquing these for us. (That is, they’ve been out on the beaches buggying and boarding every daylight hour with giant grins on their faces and muttering unprintable comparisons with ‘home’, seasonally adjusted of course.
Flag kites in all their variants are my focus at present, although I have a new catamaran kiteboat at the plug stage and hope to do some long overdue refinement of other single line designs before next northern season
Oh, and we’ve been trying out some kites in a new material:- Aluminium. Yes really, can’t walk around here without tripping over them just now- but I’m not allowed to talk about this.