Far too many things to do and not nearly enough days left. Could we put Xmas back to February please?
Shifting factories! What a performance, but it has to happen every few years or the business disappears under a mountain of stuff that isn’t useful for anything, but is too good to throw out.
Peter Lynn Kites has been in the same building since 1990- and has grown out like a weed into adjacent buildings as well.
This shift is long overdue, should have happened 5 years ago but Ashburton has been in such a sustained boom (unemployment under 1%) that we’ve been unable to get sustained interest from a builder until the last few months.
Shifting takes longer and costs more than anticipated though- not least because it’s an opportune time to replace and fix things that have been annoying everyone for yonks.
Whew there’s an accumulation of junk in the old place- or there was until last weekend when we had an auction. Not just kite junk either, ‘things’ emerged out of the long grass from every direction, about 300 lots.
As usual with auctions, some good stuff went for a song- like a set of drawers that sold for just $2,- which Elwyn will never let me forget.
And also as usual, some rubbish went for heaps- like an old magneto that I was optimistically expecting $20 for that went for $200- which I countertop her with.
Anyway it’s done, the decks are cleared and the move is underway- except for the so called ‘archive’, above the old office where 30 years of kite memorabilia and prototypes are stored.
I’ve made a start on this, have a new and more accessible site organised and have begun to sort and shift.
Two things found so far are an original Jalbert ‘Para-Foil’; 2.5m chord x 5.1 m span, and a machine we made for braiding line back in the bad old days.
Bought back memories this did.
Before 1984, NZ had tight controls on imports. “Import licenses” in reality were licenses to print money, and the key to successful business in those days. Providing customers with quality products and good service at acceptable prices was neither useful nor necessary.
Braided nylon line cost more then than Spectra does now. New cars could be immediately resold for a premium, and still sold above their purchase price after 2 years- but you had to ‘know the right person’ so as to ‘get on the list’ in the first place.
What corrupt nonsense it all was, what a great thing free trade is- and isn’t it unbelievable that the Greens get any support at all for their anti-globalisation ideology.
Anyway I digress- yes really I do, because while this re-organising is going on- and on – and on, I’m not getting the kite development done that’s just waiting there to be had.
One thing that has happened though is that the third prototype KiteSled is completed and has been tested- on the last remnants of Mt Hutt snow for ’05. We had some wind also.
It was a complete success, and a surprise for me. Because I’m mostly in the northern hemisphere when it’s winter here, I hadn’t actually had a decent session on the KiteSled until this time.
It’s smooth, levels out bumps and ripples like they’re just not here, like magic!- and the faster you go, the more solid and stable it becomes- the reverse of buggying or boating. From their sessions in the Snowy Mountains (Australia) earlier in the year, Ben and Pete had described these effects to me, - but I never believed them. It is like this though, believe me.
For the Mt Hutt session, Chris and I also used a top secret hush hush, not yet to be disclosed AP C Quad- it was after the ski season officially finished so we had the slopes to ourselves.
With wind straight up the mountain, it was possible to start off on the level then power up the slope as far as kite pull would allow- like to 30degrees on one occasion. Then you could make a 180 and run back down slope, with the kite fully depowered and trailing behind. The residual kite pull seemed to have little or no real effect on speed. Who needs a ski tow then? Shares in Doppelmeyer will crash when this news gets out!
Seasons greetings and Merry Xmas and to you all.
Dec 1 2005