Friday, October 26, 2007

Of Harmonicas and Gyroplanes

One could suppose that playing the harmonica while at the same time flying a fragile and unpredictably unstable ultralight gyroplane could be a plausible multi-tasking act.

But trying to master playing a harmonica while concurrently trying to learn about flight and flying from scratch, or from the ground up (pun intended), is appearing to be quite a daunting and irritating task.

While learning the basic factors to be considered in flight, which are lift, weight, thrust, and drag, are considerably easy to visualize, learn, and remember, one has to be extra careful not to throw in the factors of blow and draw. Huh? Well, the last two represent motions of the mouth when playing the harmonica. Blow is when one exhales on the holes of the harmonica, and draw is when you suck in air from the holes of the harmonica.

Concurrently reading materials for both activities could easily lead to a hair-pulling confusion on which lessons apply to which. Let me see, circular breathing. Is that a lesson pertinent to plane take-off or what? Well, dullard, that is a difficult process in harmonica playing where one learns to exhale and inhale at the same time. What? Yes, inhale from the nose while exhaling or blowing on the harmonica in your mouth. Now, make sure the notes do not break or are interrupted. And adding to my learning misery is my stubborn inability to learn it, even while I am feeling faint and dizzy earnestly trying to acquire the skill. I may have to pay with countless fainting spells before I can get the handle on this tongue-twister of a process.

And speaking of handles, is this the gyroplane lever that controls the tail rotor, or the collective lever that controls pitch and forward flight? Oh, gee.

I have been gathering during the past weeks the initial materials (pictured here) necessary to start my late-term journey toward first mastering a musical instrument before singing the blues or flying to the great beyond (more unfunny puns), to add to the number of musical instruments that I have mastered which numbers none; and secondly, in a dogged pursuit to acquire an ultralight gyroplane, toward learning how to fly the damned dragon fly.

With harmonica playing, I am confident I have collected all necessary materials to insure some amount of progress. The literature with a plethora of practice songs has all been printed out and compiled in one neat folder with each page protectively enclosed in plastic, the latter to preclude any liquid damage from abundance of salvia extruding from my mouth while blowing and drawing on that silly thing. I have even on a previous trip purchased two additional harmonicas just in case. Just in case, I get too mad and start throwing the thing around. Or instead of using my soft kissable mouth, I start using my grated teeth on it. And You-Tube has been a welcomed harbinger of basic lessons galore, thanks to man's innate nature to show off on a grand scale, video yourself and publish on the net. But then again, maybe it is man's inborn desire to teach others of skills passed and learned. Now, the only thing I need is a live teacher to slap the back of my stubborn head and point me to the proper ways to play the harmonica.

But compared with flight and flying, it is much like night and day. This is much more involved, and requires one to be conversant with physics, possessed of workable understanding of the vagaries of winds and weather, adept at not throwing up during flight, and etc., which decidedly I am none of those.

Then after this, if I am lucky enough to safely clear this obstructive thicket, I would need to circle around and look for a cheap-enough flight school to get some basic training on flying. Hopefully, it includes getting the chance to fly solo on a gyroplane. Silly, it will have to be solo, it is a one-seat gyroplane that I am contemplating.

So far I have collected several books and more are forthcoming from Amazon. But right now, I am still way up in the clouds and in the thick of a fog (more puns, hehehe) unable to see ground and know where I am at.

But tomorrow is another day, another new day for a renewed look at the flight plan.

Up, up, and away . . . . while blowing and drawing..