So this is not goodbye, but actually better…

Well, I have decided, that I am NOT a blogger. Considering it has been at least 18 months since I have posted anything, I am no longer going to post.  In fact at some point, my entries will be taken down, with just a welcome and redirect for folks to see pictures of my kites.  I find that during the pandemic, at times, posting here, while no one read it, was cathartic for me. But the pandemic is over, and well, the real world is back, which is fantastic. But because of this, I find myself less and less looking for something to capture my interest, as there is ALWAYS something for me to now be doing. I like that, and quite enjoy getting back to normal. I am not good at telling the world my thoughts or feelings, and would rather just post pictures. So expect these soon to just have notices that I posted new pictures, and the small entries of my thoughts will be gone. I appreciate those who have read my site, but I am, as I said at the beginning of this, just plain not a blogger. Jeff – July 2023

What to do when you forget your pilot kite

Bubbles the Purple Fish, on his own to fly without a pilot on October 13 2019 at One Sky One World, LaVista NE.

So getting ready on Sunday morning, I was packing kites, the day did not look the best for Charlie the Dog, since the winds would shift during the day, and the soccer fields at the LaVista Sports complex have permanent aluminum benches, and bleachers. I really wanted to get him out, but with that forecast, I also like to keep my kites in one piece. So I decided, to take my other collection of aquatic creatures – Bubbles the Purple fish, The peace fish, and the rainbow squid. as I gathered a few more items, and take the to the garage to pack up, I managed to forget a very important piece to any day you decide to fly show kites; a pilot. Whats a pilot you ask? It’s a medium to large kite with enough pull to allow you to anchor other kites off the single line. This kite basically acts like an anchor to keep the show kites from wandering out of the area on their lines. If you are all by yourself, this is not as important, as when you are flying with others – a wandering kite causes damage, and most of your other kite pilots around will not be very impressed or appreciative of you taking their displays out of the sky. Needless to say, LaVista is one of these fly’s.  Well, after getting everything packed up, you guessed it, I forgot a pilot. When I unpacked, I discovered that I did not have a said pilot kite. I asked to borrow one from a friend, and he gave me one of his secondary kites to see if I could make due – unfortunately, it did not work. So, what did I do? I rolled out a shorter line, and allowed Bubbles to wander all around since I was lucky to have a full soccer field to myself. Well, that didn’t leave me much ability to put anything else up, since I would need to babysit the kite all day. However, what did come back out of it, was yet another life lesson; Adapt.

As I was sitting there, watching the kite, travel around, up and down, back and forth, virtually swimming, I found many people were impressed with the, “Swimming” Bubbles was doing. Out of nowhere, Bubbles became the hit of the fly. I sat back and again, at 52 thought to myself, yet another life lesson: How to adapt, and make the best of a situation. maybe it’s because I am getting older, maybe it’s because I was just plain tired, but I sat back and realized, I just let the day happen, and even though my plan did not go as I wanted it to, it was still a good fly, and none of the spectators knew that I didn’t get things to happen as planned. And quite honestly, they didn’t care. So I pretty much at one point laughed to myself and thought, no matter how old you get, you can always learn something from life daily. Am I still a control freak? Yep. Am I more aware of my need to be in control? Yep. Am I trying to better focus on letting go? Sure, but I can do a better job. Sunday was a perfect example to me of where I just need to some times, let things take their course, and not always be in control.

The day ended up with pizza with the club, and enjoying some chatter before heading off back home, and ultimately to Philadelphia again. One of these days, I will learn the best way to finally let go and allow everything to just happen, I hope though, maybe each day I am getting closer to that goal.

Learning to adapt, or How to fly kites at a festival when you have none.

So it has been since spring since I have posted. A few reasons: 1) Laziness 2) Lack of things to say 3) Flying was a flop this year. and finally, My kites were lost on their way to the festival in Frejus France.

So I attended a festival this fall in Frejus, France – a nice small town just west of Nice and Monaco. On my way over, my friends at Air Canada proceeded to lose my very brightly colored blue kite bag, and could not get it to me in a reasonable amount of time. (5 days?) Well, I landed in Rome, Italy, on Wednesday morning, and proceeded to the baggage claim, and no luck. The bag was not there. This is exactly why I always carry on my clothes. That was the bad news. The good news, I was going to tour Italy from Rome to Frejus (Look it up, it takes the southern coastline of Italy and France) with my friend Moreno. We went from Rome to Genoa on Wednesday. Spent the day in Turin, and toured Juventus Soccer Stadium and museum on Thursday, and then proceeded on our way Friday morning to Frejus.

The trip, was fantastic, how often do you get to combine you trip to Europe, with your two favorite past times, and in turn, enjoy some fantastic scenery the entire trip? The answer, simple, NOT OFTEN. SInce I did not have my kites, I helped my friends from Gubbio fly all of their kites. In all honesty, they had more than plenty, and my kites would have easily crowded the field, so in a way, it all ended up for the best. I also received a kite fro my friends, and hand made character – that was pretty cool. Somehow on the trip we discussed song lyrics, and I think I just blew the entire country of Italy collective minds. We were singing along with the radio, to Dire Strait’s “Money For Nothing” and the Lyric “And your Chicks for free” came up. I caught my friend singing in english,  “You Get your money for nothing, and your CHECKS for free” Well, in all honesty, that lyric made a lot sense. But it was wrong. So I proceeded to tell him the correct lyric, what do you know, ALL WEEKEND, it was a topic of conversation. Next topic, “Whats a Chick” part two of my lesson to my Italian friends.

The festival had no wind Saturday morning, a great afternoon of flying, and then, rain all day Sunday. We still had a great time together, and still enjoyed the company of each other, I sampled, and brought home with me, more of Moreno’s “Italian Moonshine” (Home Made Limoncello) He dropped me off at the Genoa airport on Monday afternoon, I flew back to Rome Monday night, was reunited with my bag at my hotel, and then proceeded to fly home on Tuesday morning.  It was a great trip. I loved my time in Turin, I enjoyed hanging with my Italian friends, and most of all, I cherished the Saturday afternoon of flying on Saturday. Who knows where my next trip will be, but I know this; It will always include my friends from Italy.

Flying Italian

So I had the opportunity to go back over to France for a weekend, to go flying. I had the chance to hang out with my friends from Gubbio Italy, as well, and get a chance to “Fly” Italian! First off, the Italians have an incredible ability to create some very favorable characters, that are not copies, or nock offs, and they are fantastic. One of their most recent is the BoneFish. This creation looks like a Fish Head and skeleton, in cartoon depiction, and they make them in any color you can imagine. They fly all by themselves, but for the festival and tight quarters, they were always on a pilot. I learned a lot from my Italian friends, mainly that yes, you can fly very high, and make a much steadier pilot. Well, to be exact, over 2.5 spools, and over 800+ feet in the air. While I was a bit shocked by this, (I normally only fly at 300 ft.) I told my friend Moreno, “In America, if you fly over 500 feet, you have to have a license on the object, so I only fly at 300 feet.” he looked at me and said, “Yes, in Italy, we cannot fly over 100 meters as well, or you get in trouble” I took by the unsaid smile, and twinkle in his eye, that hey, we were in France, and anything went, since we did not know the laws, so to speak. So of course, I asked the dumb question, “What is the length in France?”  the response I received with a devilish smile and a school boy giggle was, “I am sure its the same in France”. This pretty much summarized my trip, a lot of fun, and a lot of mischief, however, nothing that would get us in much trouble.

I learned that getting up at 8 AM did not mean you would be to the flying field by 9:45, but you would make it before 10:00. I also learned that while we may have gotten to the field “On Time” the Italian ability to find room to fly was no problem. The easy going weekend, always found us sharing pilots, or sharing line, or at times, combining line, to go very high to get stable winds on the beach. A great lesson in cooperation. An even better lesson in friendship as well. If you take a look at the pictures page, you will find many new pictures up from this festival in Martigues, France. It was a small town outside of Marseille, and was very near the airport. Which made getting to and fro my flights very easy. I left Omaha o Wednesday afternoon, and returned the following Monday afternoon, as one of my co-workers said, I took a long weekend to Europe.  That long weekend was exactly what the doctor ordered. I was able to enjoy a great time, with good weather the entire weekend. I enjoy flying in Europe, but for that matter, I also enjoy flying in the USA as well. It was just interesting to think that there were flyers there from Italy, France, Turkey, Tunisia, Malaysia, India and Brazil. Its not often you get an opportunity to be able to enjoy such a situation, and have great food, as well as wonderful friendship that knows no international boundaries.  More on that maybe later this week.

If you look at the picture to the left, you will notice blue sky, but if you look really close, yes, Virginia, there is a kite way up there. Probably illegally, and I am sure an Italian and an American broke all kinds of international laws that day considering air space, however, on that day, for those hours, we really did not care 🙂 Have a great day. – Jeff

Italy in March


Prism Snapshot 1.9 flying over the Roman Theater in Gubbio, Italy

Prism Snapshot 1.9 flying over the Roman Theater in Gubbio, Italy

In 1997, I could have never thought that a hobby such as kite flying would ever lead into such travel opportunities that have been afforded me over the last 5 years. With the last two festivals I have attended being on opposite ends of the earth, but both were special just the same. Getting the opportunity to travel to Gubbio, Italy, and participate in their annual spring fly was special, while Gubbio is a very small town in north Umbria, the history is absolutely incredible.  The kite club has an admirable membership. With many members and their wives participating, the Kite club had quarters not only served as a kite storage and making facility, but also a place that had a full kitchen complete with all the facilities to make fresh pasta. This club is not only a flying club, it definitely is also a social club.

A couple of fun loving kids enjoying the Gubbio kite festival

A couple of fun loving kids enjoying the Gubbio kite festival

While the fly was semi rained out, it did not stop us from still flying, if I came a half a world away to fly a kite, by god I was going to. On two days filled with 50 degree temps, fog, and rain we still managed to fly what we all brought. There were other guests from Germany, and France that also attended the festival. Each day were never fully rained out, as each day there was enough clear skies to dry everything out, and get it packed up before the rains came again.

Making friends in Gubbio was special, and something that I will carry with me the rest of my life. I will return to Gubbio, and I will also meet these friends at other festivals in Europe when my schedule allows.

Large foil kite by the Gubbio Kite club

Large foil kite by the Gubbio Kite club

The Kite club’s website is: