Micro R/C model aircraft - experience the wonder of flight - Indoors!
Long Long ago as a child, c1978 we would take the bus downtown on Saturday mornings for some downtown shenanigans (bus fare was 10 cents!). We would head to the Army and Navy Department Store and look for cheap toys - pea shooters were a favourite. Parachute men with slingshots. Spiderman Webshooters. We would patrol the downtown alleys and one time we found a bunch of discarded flourescent light tubes and we had some dangerous "light sabre battles" - we were bad boys, but not really. Kids in those days would run around all over the place - we'd learn on our own. Can you imagine letting your 9 or 10 year old kid take the bus downtown alone or even with a couple friends from grade 3 or grade 4? We did that. Often we would head over to Hudson's Bay Department Store and this is where a big part of my passion for indoor flying started.
"Bay Days" would be held often on Saturdays at the Hudson Bay store, and they would give out "Free Helium Balloons" to all the kids. We were about 10 years old and we would head over and get a free helium balloon. The rule basically was "one balloon per person" and we had to respect that. But the desire to have MORE balloons was pushing us towards a solution.
The Bay had fairly high ceilings - maybe 15 feet high - I don't know for sure. But - we would look UP! Guess what we would see. Balloons on the ceiling! Little kids with mom would inevitably let go of their balloon and it would end up on the ceiling. SO - we would get a long string and let our balloon levitate up to the ceiling next to the abandoned balloon and swing our "rope" of string around and around and around. If we got enough twist on the line, we could manage to pull the lost helium balloons off of the ceiling. Somehow the clerks and managers of the Hudson's Bay Store didn't mind us doing this sort of salvage work. Between the 3 of us we would end up with maybe half a dozen helium balloons each! We were stoked! It was awesome to feel the pull of the helium balloons - a mysterious force pulling upwards! How did it work?
We would have all sorts of fun playing on the elevators and jumping up and down to feel zero gravity in our guts and we would be awe-struck at the microwave oven displays and we were so happy to eat microwave bacon samples. But eventually all these balloons pretty much forced us to catch the #5 bus back home.
I'm sure my friends did similar stuff with their helium balloons mostly, but maybe I was really focussing on the idea of neutral buoyancy. I would take wads of paper and scotch tape and whatever and add this ballast weight to my bunch-o-balloons and when I would achieve a perfect neutral buoyancy I would always get a special feeling about it. I loved it. I was always fascinated to see this thing in my living room just hovering there. I'd blow air at it and see how it reacted, how it had a delayed reaction as the invisible air took a few seconds to reach the floating bunch of balloons. I'd put a green army man on there if I had enough balloons and this was fun to play along with GI Joe's type imaginative play adventures. My memory of my childhood is a bit crystal clear - I can tell you what I did yesterday as well, but anyways I thought I would share here some of what caused me to have a strong passion and a strong interest in flight. More stories later.
Fast Forward 18 years and I had earned a University Degree (B.Sc.Adv. Human Physiology), a D.C. and a D.Ac. as well. I had been in clinical practice for a few years, but in my spare time I would be doing entrepreneur type stuff - buy and sell, and I had my first website around c1993 - a virtual garage sale, selling circus posters, Inuit soapstone carvings, and even illegal overweight, undersized golfballs!
What would you do for the rest of your life for free? I'd ask myself this question a fair bit. Fishing, Toys, Antique hunting, Mad Science?
My website had some interesting sales revenue - basically reselling antique items. I had a digital camera in like 1991 - soon after my first digital camera I got an Apple QuickTake 100 digital camera maybe in 1993 or 1994.
Lynx was the way to go on the World Wide Web.
Mosaic came out with the possibility of graphics! Wow - now my digital camera could be a useful thing! Prior to that, you'd have to conceive of taking photo's with a Pentax 35mm camera and then searching the city for these cool companies that could do Kodak Photo CD or drum scanning etc. I was an Apple Fanboy from way back (Apple IIe c1981), so I already had a lot of friends in the computer world and I was already a lifelong computer nerd. Still am.
Anyways - yah - a friend of mine was a doctor who flew way up north, and he called me one time to ask me if I still was interested in Inuit art sculptures because he found some guys at the bar who couldn't wait for the government igloo stamp on their sculptures, and just wanted to sell them on the spot. I said to my friend wow - ok buy them all up to $1000.00. He said "whoa, that's too much, are you serious?" I said yah might as well, this is real soapstone from joehaven way up north, and really not many people get to go up there, get it all and I'll take digital photo's and put it on my website and sell them to make some money!
To be continued