Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Perfect summer night!

Last Friday evening,my friend Doris and I went out to Fremont to show support for a friend of ours, Michael Jones, as he displayed his hot air balloon, Emerald City Express at a “balloon-glow” event for a church fundraiser, ice cream social/fun fair (I guess?). I took lots of pictures and even drew one! 

 A “glow,” I learned for the first time that night, is when the balloons are inflated but never leave the ground, and the operators shoot flames up inside them to make them glow - a lovely spectacle for the crowds.  But because of the winds, the four balloons were only vertical at one time for a very short period of time. The crowds - especially the little boys and the little boys disguised as grown-ups - were excited about it all anyway. I got a good upper-body workout out of it - when inflated, those things want to FLY DAMMIT and we had six people hanging onto the sides of the basket with Michael and his niece standing inside it. That was 20 minutes of strain, let me tell you. And the wicker basket sides are like a cheese grater - my knees show the evidence. But it was grand fun, I’m so glad Doris called me and invited me. I ate a hot dog, and an ice cream cone, so it was perfect. Good company, too.

(I told Michael to strike an intrepid pose. I think he needs an aviator cap, goggles, and a white scarf, don't you? Or maybe a top hat.)

Michael’s niece Heather Jones, Michael, his nephew Allen Jones and *his* wife, Kat - the ground crew that night.

These things attract attention even when they’re lying down!

The giants are awaking…that’s Michael’s beauty in the front; Emerald City Express! I was trying to walk and take pictures at the same time, dummy me.

Looks scary, but everything’s OK. You can feel that heat from 150 feet away, though.

Now there are THREE waking giants.

After that, I got busy trying (feebly) to help get Emerald City Express vertical, and keep her on the ground. The three balloons (the fourth was deflated before the other three got vertical) were only vertical for a few minutes; once they were standing up they interfered with the wind such that the middle one was bobbing around impinging on the other two, so there was only a brief Glow display and I wasn’t taking pictures. 

But it was a grand evening complete with hot dog and ice cream, what could be better? Oh yeah - a yard sale - and Doris and I hit the one on the main drag heading toward the fun fest on the way there.

Then on Sunday I hosted another Game Day for my buddies Linda, Sharon and Doris. We had a great time playing a new game that I got by supporting its Kickstarter campaign, called "paperback." 

As usual half the fun was figuring out how to play the darned game. I think some developers forget their customers aren't all experienced gamers. But we worked it out to our satisfaction and it IS a really fun game. Then we played a game of Forbidden Island - I think that's one of the group's very favorite, so far. Food was et, and a good time was had by all. 

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