Thursday, July 31, 2008

As long as I have been shooting pictures, I have never been able to capture an image of a hummingbird. They are illusive, beautiful little bundles of energy, and are very, very fast. When my Mother was alive, she use to have all kinds of beautiful flowers around our pool. She had so many hummingbirds around there, you couldn't count them all.
I devised a plan to accomplish what has been eluding me all these years. Surprisingly enough, my plan worked. Apparently, there is a nest of them close to the house. I was able to observe a mother & Father, and 2 juveniles. However, I was only able to capture 3 of them in a shot.
Love it when a plan comes together ! ! Hope you enjoy them, as much as I did while taking them.

Here's Lucas's new blogspot addie. You might remember him as the birdwannabe that's been posting all the videos on the online contests. His latest one is for Full Throttle. My favorite is the "Fury". Taste just like one of those old Orange Nehi's. Of course, that's kind of dating myself.

He is going to be posting from the competition in Texas.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Our favorite video contestant birdwannabe is at it again. And, this time, is even better than the last. I see great things for our sport, coming from this young man ! He is really getting the sport of Hang Gliding in the publics eyes ! ! ! Kudos to you, Lucas. You have my vote.

I hope everyone that reads this, takes the time to register & vote for which ever video you like the best. By registering on the site,,, you have a chance to win $25,000. just by doing so. What can it hurt?!

Thanks for your time!

I took the above picture today, in one of our new flower beds. This was the biggest Tiger Swallowtail that I've seen in quite some time.

Today was my 14TH year soberity birthday. Only by the grace of God, my good friend & Sponsor Jim S., and all my friends of AA. Oh, btw,,,there's going to be a party, I'm bringing the beer !! !! hahaha! don't mean I have to drink it,tho'.

Okay everbody, this is the big one!

I have entered, along with the help of some friends, a video in the "What would you do for a Klondike Bar" video contest for $100,000 ! ! ! !

If you login and vote YOU have a chance at a random drawing for $25,000!

Please login and help me make it to the semi-finals (top 12) for a chance at the big money. It's worked before, I got 3rd in the Lipton contest, and barely missed the Grand prize in the Sync contest (got 'First Place') and my Full Throttle video is doing well ( But this is the big one!


Then search 'Lucas' or 'Hang Glide' and my video should pop up several times in the different categories. I submitted my video to each category so it would have the best chance. Click the Klondike Bars to give it a rating and make a comment if you feel like it. Again, you have to sign up to rate, but that also means you have a chance at $25,000 so its not a bad deal!


Monday, July 28, 2008

The Women of Lookout are really having a great time. They have a bunch of stuff going on. Doris & Jen sent out a couple of emails, and in hope it reaches more than just the local email list I am posting them here. Who knows,,,it may make it to all the competition that is going on right now, Women's & Rigids Worlds competition. Thanks to the OZ report, everyone is able to keep up with their blogs. I would cheer on Linda, however, the last couple of times she was in this neck of the woods, she spanked a bunch of us, and proper. What a great pilot. So, guess I will root for Corinna, or Jamie,,,just kidding. Good luck to all the Ladies. Maybe they will make it south for some of the festivals around here!

Hello all-
Plans are constantly moving forward for the 2008 Women’s Hang Gliding Festival (September 25-28).
It’s going to be a fabulous event.
If you are interested in volunteering during the event, please email Dale Kernahan Stokes at
We’ve hired a great band for Saturday night. Priscilla and Little Rickie will be playing. They also play every Wednesday at Las Margaritas in Chattanooga , so check them out.
You might see Stacey Murdoch wondering around with a video camera in the next couple of months. She’s doing interviews, so female pilots…be prepared!
More news soon to come. You can also check out for more info or to register for the festival.
Jen Richards

Ladies Clothes Swap----

Want to clean out your closet, sick of the same old t-shirts? Bring unwanted clothing items to the pavilion on Tuesday evening, July 29th,between 6 and 8 PM, for a clothes swap.
Everything is free, including the soup and sandwiches that will be served. Stop by for a fun ladies evening out.
Left over items may be donated to the Women's Shelter.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

It was a not-so-good day for a couple of the pilots here at Lookout.
The first one I would like to tell you about is a buddy of mine, which also is my dentist. Bill T., who lives in Birmingham, has been flying for many, many years. He is a Hang 4, tandem instructor rated pilot, and a very good one. He had a fight today. It was between his tandem glider, the tow dolly, and gravity...he lost. From what I understand from talking with the towing ground crew, his keel/wheel got hung up in the keel cradle, and gravity kicked his arse. Why he had his tandem set-up glider, sitting in a dolly to begin with, I don't know because I wasn't there. Right now, he is feeling NO pain in a hospital tonight after surgery. He broke his collar-bone, and the Doctors put in a plate & 7 screws. He should be up and about in short order. When I talked to him tonight tho',, he was,,,mmm, doing swelling, or swimmingly? No pain to be sure. Please keep in your thoughts & prayers.
The second turn of events, I got to see unfold right in front of me, literally.
Here's the situation. A pilot on his new Sport 2, first flight. Had been towing a Falcon 195 for a while. There's a lot of seasoned pilots around, end of the day, baby-butt smooth conditions. Light & variable at about 1mph. Nice time of the day to take an evening glass-off in your new glider, about an hour before sunset.
The Dragonfly gets into position, the line is drawn tight, pattern is checked for any air traffic, all clear and the signal to Go is given, the tug powers up. On the roll out, Mack(the pilot of the glider), just barely lifts out of the dolly,a couple of inches max, apparently releasing the cart as well, then settles back lower in front of the dolly. At which time, I believe that's when the handle of his chute caught on the bolt head on the dolly, or on the ground itself. The pins were checked as part of the checklist before hooking up to the line. At the time that he rose out of the cart, he was flying a little faster than the cart, and by hooking the chute handle on the bolt head, or pushing down on the ground, it pulled the pins, and opened the parachute bag. Thankfully, he was only a few feet off the ground. All of us that was standing around watched as the white bridle laid on the ground unfurling before our eyes. Every one of us was yelling to the top of our lungs, release, release. Of course, he couldn't hear any of us over the noise of the tug powering down the field. About that time, the bridal pulled tight on the chute, it partially inflated, the weak-link broke, he got pulled to the right, about 6 feet off the ground, nose pointed downward, a release with one hand, and a whack, and a broken------downtube. I would call him a lucky man. This is just my observation on this, others may have other versions, however, the results will be the same. Like I said, amazing what can change in a few minutes, or a few seconds in our great sport. You had better stay frosty, to be sure !
After watching that, there was only one thing that I could do.... I took a nice evening glass-off, of course. Short & sweet to 2,000ft. I was disappointed, because the clouds on the horizon blocked what was going to be a great sunset. I was hoping to get a nice pic to post, however, it was gone by the time I got to altitude.

The process of the work going on at our house. Quiet a change from the start. Will post a couple about the "Great Wall of Dade County" soon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A good friend of mine sent me this story below. I suggest that you click on the link, look at it, and see why that I joined it as well. I don't know how to get it done, but I do believe that there are people out there that do, and are in the process of doing it. I will help in my own little way, if I can.

Former Vice President Al Gore just issued a powerful challenge to America.
You can watch it at

In his groundbreaking speech, he challenges the United States to use 100% renewable energy in 10 years. It’s a bold, critical goal if we are going to solve the climate crisis for ourselves and future generations. I hope you will watch the clip and join the We Campaign. It’s free and easy -- and it’s a powerful first step in meeting Al Gore’s challenge to solve the climate crisis. Find out more at

Thank you!

Friday, July 18, 2008

This pretty day lily is growing outside our backdoor. I'm glad it's a perennial.
I wish I had recieved this email a very long time ago. I fought road rage for many years. Finally, I came to grips with my problem, and got it under control. This little story sure would have helped in my fight. I hope that it can help others with a real problem that a lot of people have.

One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport. We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us. My taxi driver slammed on his breaks, skidded and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us. My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean he was really friendly.So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? That guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!' That is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally. Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day. Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so.............Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't. Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!

Monday, July 14, 2008

The Valley sure does some pretty, and strange things after a good rain.

There is alot of enjoyment watching the developement of the "Lookout Lake".

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Happy Birthday to Roscelle ! He had a great party this evening. A Mexican dinner was served. Great Chicken fajitas with all the trimmings, and the cake seen below. The people in the picture with him, are all the folks that served and helped with his meal. My lady, Wendy, is the one in the Hilfiger shirt. She hates her pictures, however, this is my blog and I like to show her off, so....
Part of the party crowd, after the rain had stopped.
Dan showed up on his trusty steed. Wonder if there's a law about riding a horse under the influence?
Dan let Kid Dave ride his horse for a while. However, he is not the avid rider that Dan is. Kid Dave is over the Tow program here at Lookout Mountain Flight park, and while he is one of the best tug pilots around,,, his riding skills have yet to be honed to perfection. If I were to put a caption with this one, it would have to be: Where's the stick ? Just kidding, Dude!

A friend of mine, Allan Bradford, called me to ask a favor. The Republican party was having a get together on the square to do some politicking for the primary election coming up. Asked if I would bring the hang glider simulator for the crowd. I brought it, however, due to the weather & a couple other factors, we weren't able to make it happen this time. At least the flying community was represented, and lots of questions were answered about our great sport. I do love Wuffos! Use to be one myself.

Spectacular sunset last evening.

Looked like we might actually get some of the needed rain, however,,,didn't happen.

It was even incredible while I was waxing the Jeep.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Great Sunset this evening after/during/before, and in between the up coming storms !

Oh, if you love dogs,,,, you have got to see this ! ! ! !

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Claire had her presentation this evening at the Library, for the Trenton Art Council.
Bob Dombrowski, president of the Art Council, spoke at the meeting this evening. He thanked Claire for her joyous art work.
I particularly liked the bees and little stuffed animals that hung from the ceiling in the room, that we were using.
During the slide presentation, Claire shared with us her thoughts, and procedure in the making of the banners. A lot of time was devoted into the designing,making, and showing of each piece.
Representatives of the Art Council presented Claire with some flowers also.

She did a fantastic job with her presentation and artwork. I admire her talent. A lot of the hang gliding community owns & displays her work in our homes. I, for one,, love my pieces !

Monday, July 07, 2008

Below is a picture of Lucas & Eric Donaldson talking about their next XC flight. This shot's taken from our July 4th party on Saturday night.

Lucas has a new video contest he's entered into. It's for Full Throttle. My favorite is the Fury. Tastes like an ole' Orange Nehi

He is doing a LOT to help get our sport of Hang Gliding into the public eyes, in a very positive note. Below is the link, and it would really help out if you went and rated all of the videos. It's the video that says, of course, Lucas, Ga.

If you're bored: check out my new video contest submission and rate it at:



Sunday, July 06, 2008

I sincerely hope that everyone had a safe, funn, and enjoyable 4th of July !
Most all of the fireworks displays went on during Friday nights activities.

Saturday night is when the party got started. With Great food, 2 kegs, a good DJ (Teresa), and alot of funn folks !
There were lots of people dancing, allll night long. They even had a Conga line for a while. I don't think Gordon ever stopped dancing. Amazing feat in the heat!
I have lots of other pictures that will be posted, of the party & fireworks. Stay tuned, will let everyone know when that transpires.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy July 4Th to everyone. Be safe, and have some funn! Here are just some of the pictures that I took this evening. Will post the rest later.
The pictures from Flights for Charities, Sheriff Cannons fund raiser, Roadie Joel's birthday party, and Roger & Debbie's retirement party are all posted on that terrific webmaster, Dan Barker. I have a link to his web page. Look over to the right index and click on "LOTs of Pictures", and enjoy all the shots that I took at those activities. Thank you Dan.

The fireworks war was in great form tonight ! Scott fought a valiant fight.

The only caption that I could come with for the one below is: Inbound ! Think they had him surrounded.
I think this is, by far, the coolest fireworks picture I have ever taken. HOW I got it to look like this? I have NO idea, but I'll take it !

Do you remember hearing older folks talking while growing up, that "those were the good ole' days"? Well, guess what,,,,, we are making, and living the good ole' days to be remembered right NOW. Remember to thank a soldier, or a Veteran for this way of life, and holiday.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

July 4Th is almost upon us already. Can you believe July 1st is the middle day of the year? Where does the time go? Here's a couple of fireworks shots from last year. I hope to get some better ones this year!!!!!!!! What ever you do-----do NOT drink & drive! Have someone do it for you. If you can't find anyone, and you live close,,,,call me ! I will come and get you, AND take you back to your car/truck/van/golf cart, the next day. I don't want to lose anymore friends this year!!!!!!

Since this weekend is going to be a huge party,,thought I would pass on the plans for it, from our social director,,,Doris.

"Since Friday is the 4th of July (bet you already knew that), we will be having a cookout on both Friday and Saturday nights. Friday night, we will be serving deli sandwiches and pasta salad, kegs are being donated by Roger, to celebrate his birthday, and Zack, in honor of making Hang 3.

Saturday night, BBQ, hot dogs and hamburgers are on the menu, LMFP is providing two kegs, plus disc jockey "Sister T" (aka Teresa, who is currently on our training hills) will be cranking out some dance music.

We now have log benches placed around the bonfire, made by Ozzy. Hopefully, this will help preserve our plastic chairs, which suffer breakage down at the bonfire.

Happy 4th of July,


Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Some great flying going on here at Lookout Mtn.

Greg Heckman flew 110miles in his Sport 2!!! New best XC record from Lookout!!!
Jeff and Lucas had bests as well @ 50miles!!!
Eric Graper 88ish miles !!!

Here is a shot from the last weekend. The gust front was 48.5mph. It didn't rain near enough that day tho. The gardens/ crops still need a bunch.

Here's an update on Claire's artwork for the City of Trenton.
Trenton Arts Council
ArtBo Gallery
Claire Vassort
"Eyes to the Sky"
The artist will talk about the concept and making of the latest
in the series of artist banners for the city of Trenton.
Tuesday, July 8 2008, at 6:30 pm
Trenton Library
Courthouse Square
Hope you can make it !