Sunday, September 23, 2007

Transport For Comfort

Is it a plane? Is it a bird? Is it Supe…..?

No, silly. It is a gyrocopter, or an autogyro, or a gyroplane, or, err, a rotaplane.

Needless to state, heavier-than-air Homo sapiens has always been fascinated and intrigued about flying. Many a youngster’s dreams have been woven into episodes of being able to fly through flimsy air.

Of course, man has done most anything that strikes his many capricious fancies and whims, typically by inventing machines to accomplish them. He will even go beyond altering man’s exterior environment to make realities of those dreams. If given the opportunities, he will even invent or devise whatever means necessary to actually change man’s physical or mental constitutions in this pursuit, bound and limited most of the time by the perimeters of ethics and morality.

But enough of and away with the ethereal musings. Over time man has generally attended to with sterling successes in satiating his many wishes and fantasies, whether as necessities or simply as conveniences.

For God’s sake, we have planes and/or flying machines of various shapes and sizes to enable him to fly, or lift him from the ground and bring him places.

But that is not the attendant question. The more relevant question is how many of the vast numbers of humanity in the planet can afford to own a flying machine for his personal uses. On land, a vast number of us can travel faster than the fastest animals using a wide array of machines – bikes, motorbikes, cars, trucks, boats, jetskis, etc. And a vast number of us can own those land/water vehicles for our personal uses.

But a flying machine that we can use at the strike of our fancy or need? A flying machine one can keep in your garage or load up in your pick-up truck like a kayak for your skyward excursions? Now, that’s a great possibility. Easily translatable to reality.

Hoverhawk Corporation here in the US can provide you with the precious key to open up your own dreams of flying on your own, in your own little plane, transporting you anywhere you want to go.

For as little as 15k dollars plus shipping and handling costs, you can own the cheapest model which can be delivered to any location you desire, packaged and requiring some assembly before use. Most cars in the market today cost at least that much and most garages (and curbs) are filled with two or three cars to a family. Making one wonder why this addictive bias toward land travel does not carry over to the equally innate love of free flight in thin air. Like a soaring bird traveling to any part of the globe, unfettered by the bounds of the very limiting constraints of geography. Where one does not need roads, or valleys, or land or water, for land/water obstacles that may present some difficulty in scaling or navigating can be conquered by simply flying over them.

So the adventure begins. First item on the menu, learn about flying and its dynamics and when done, take some basic short-time flying lessons.

So excuse me, while I attend to those. Till then.

Sounds Around Town

At the onset of dusk when the slowly fading light of the sun starts being pushed out by darkness, I typically prod leaden feet to make lazy steps out of the front door and position myself to enjoy nature’s dramatic closing of day for night. During this transitional time of late summer, the particular time would be when 7 PM is announced by the ever-reliable grandfather clock with the booming chimes.

When that front door opens and ushers in the vista and the sounds of outdoors that’s when creepy nostalgia and a bit of melancholy commence. Extruding some somber kind of aloneness and solitude. Thankfully the compelling though muffled drone of freeway sounds generated by the constant stream of vehicles from a distance, rudely jars one to reality and dominates one’s aural attention. The constant drone from I-205 which guides east-bound travelers toward Stockton and ultimately Sacramento, almost never abates, from earliest morn to past midnight.

Pointing my face west, I let eyes feast on an artfully clouded sky that continues to source out whatever light that still lingers on.

And had I gone out earlier, this same skyward orientation would have awarded me with the attention-grabbing sunset where old Sol begins to descend to the mountain-tops in the distance, past one of the neatly-trimmed parks that punctuates our four-year old development, clearly defined and framed by a high perimeter fence. Thus, as one gazes at the fast changing skyscape, above the freeway din one’s attention is quickly co-opted by the faint shouts and tiny shrieks from children frolicking in the now barely visible park, under protective mantle exuded by eager watchfulness of matronly ladies close by, a number of them dressed in their flowing native saris.

Also, I tarry at my fixed gaze to await for the passing of the car of the wife as it wraps around the western end of the park and points homeward, at about this time, too.

Turning right from the same front-door vantage point, I extend my squinting gaze to the end of a short road that skirts left and can’t help feeling like I am in some kind of dressed parade, stiffly seated in the reviewing stand presiding over an array of stocky sentinels, neatly color-coordinated in differing pale shades of beige, brown, and gray. In reality it is simply the illusion occasioned by the pale light on the houses that populate both sides of the street.

Apart from these now all to familiar sounds, Tracy is still essentially a quiet town, still doggedly clinging to the homey feel of the old farming town that it once was. Though, no more cocks crowing. No more birds chirping on treetops. Replaced by the continuous drone from the distant freeway, constantly reminding one that certain places around here are never asleep. And the many new houses dotting its once farming landscape? Another mute witness to an old town slowly receding to history.

Inevitable transitions for a growing region, a growing state, and an equally growing country.