Monday, April 1, 2013

You Know What? Flying Is Weird.

I was sitting outside yesterday morning, mainly because it wasn't raining and it wasn't cold.  It might be the start of the "Drinking Coffee Out on the Deck in the Morning Because the Cat Wants Us to Go Outside" time of year.  Yes, the cat will hang out by the sliding door and meow at us after we're awake wanting us to open the door so he can go outside and sit on the deck with us.  Although I don't think we really factor into his thinking aside from having to open the door for him.  So there we are, enjoying our coffee and I see a vulture circling on air currents and thermals.

That's when I start thinking about Pilotwings.  Until I had been playing Pilotwings Resort for the 3DS extensively, I felt like I could never get the hang of hang gliding (pun not intended or noticed until after I wrote that) regardless of the Pilotwings game.  In Pilotwings 64 I could never figure out the right balance of gliding between thermals, circling and watching the beautiful scenery.

So there I am, looking up at this circling vulture and after it circles a few times, it flies a different direction (aren't all directions different after a circle?) then rises while circling as it comes in contact with another thermal.  How do they know where the thermals are?  I get that it's some bird intuition-sense-it-through-their-feathers/brains/esp-something-or-other-that-I-don't-fully-understand, but it's still kind of amazing when I think about it.

That's probably one of the reasons why I will never go hang gliding.  If I were to be convinced to go, even on a tandem glide, which I'm pretty sure is required if you've never been before (like sky diving), I would be pseudo-panicking because I wouldn't be able to see where the thermals are and we would end up just circling our way back down to the ground.  Like, how do you know where they are in the real world if they don't look like this:
That's my fear anyway, maybe along with hang gliding old women dressed as clowns carrying sharpened rusty knives in their teeth.  But that's something else entirely.

You also cannot tell, but I had just taken an hour long break to put together an Ikea bookshelf.  I went looking for my collection of 3DS games [I wanted to take an in-game picture of a thermal in Pilotwings Resort, because that's one of the few 3DS games where you can take in-game pics) in a pile that was birthed after cleaning up the apartment, was unable to locate it and thought, "If all our video game stuff was centralized, it would be easy to find stuff" and "I should clean up that corner where our video game stuff is stacked/piled."  So when I first started, Conklederp asked if she could help and this popped into my head:
I didn't want this to happen, but I ended up needing Conklederp's help so she did, and it only took, at most, an hour, probably not even that long.  I've got carpentry and cabinet making running through my blood on both sides of my family, so I know how to build shit.

So I did all that and then I have now come back to finish.  Again, birds can fly and that makes them pretty awesome.  Ducks can swim and fly, which makes them awesomer.  Dippers, are just too fucking much and are probably in the process of taking over the world.  What's that, you haven't heard of Dippers?  That's part of their plot too and so far, it's worked.

Smoke & Mirrors

1 comment:

  1. Holy shit, Dippers *are* awesome!

    You know what I like about ducks is when they take off from the water, and the flap and sort run furiously and you can hear them slapping the water. Ducks are basically quacking boats, they crack me up.

    I'm glad you brought this topic up, because sometimes when I'm sitting at the train station, watching birds fly, I notice their different flight patterns, and think there could be a really sweet flight simulator based on different bird flight styles.

    Like, there are these little birds that sort of bounce through the air, from tree to tree. It seems like they don't have much endurance. Unlike Geese, who fly for miles and miles in 'V' arrangements. And then there's seagulls, who look so silly when they dive after fish.

    Yes, I think it would be totally badass for an ornithologist, an aerospace engineer and a game designer to get together and design a series of bird-based flight simulators, and then they could give me a free copy of the game and I could play it.