Mounts at Oshkosh and Colleges.

Builders,

In the last few days we have had a number of questions on ordering and picking up mounts at airshows and colleges. We are always glad to save the builder the shipping on a mount by delivering it in person to an event. A few guidelines make the process work smoother, and several of the letter’s questions can be covered here.

We have two different categories of mounts. Some we build in big groups just to have available, others are in small groups or done one at a time. For the most part, the Zenith 601/650 mount (4201-A) and the Zenith 750 (4201-B), we build in groups 4 times a year. Typically, we have several extras heading to a show like Oshkosh, but the surplus does not last there, I rarely have one making the return trip in the trailer. If you would like to pick one up, it is best to order it in advance.

The second group is built less frequently. We weld Pietenpol mounts(4201-C) 2 or 3 times a year. We will occasionally build one extra to bring to Brodhead. We don’t generally have extras hanging on the wall. Most of the other mounts are one offs, and we build them at any time of the year because there is no economy of scale with them. If you would like one of these, I will be glad to make it, but for obvious reasons, custom mounts have to be paid for before we get started.

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Above, a 2011 photo showing a large cross section of the mounts we make and bring to events. Scoob E examines the pile powder coated Motor Mounts that we produced. The front row is two KR-2 Mounts with a PA-15 Vagabond for Scott Statz’s project. Behind it is a Zenith 750 Mount that we delivered at a College, followed by a Flybaby mount for Bill Rotenberry. The last row is Russ Mintkenbaugh’s  PA-22-108 based Wagabond Mount, and the white one is for Bryon Stewart’s modified PC Cruiser.

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If you would like to be assured of picking up a mount at an event, ordering it ahead of time from our website is the best way to go. Every now and then I will have a guy say “I ordered one from you months ago”, and he is referring to sending me an email with a name like “RV6Fyr” that said “I want a mount for my project, see you at Oshkosh” I think most people recognize that I can’t build an motor mount for a guy who I don’t have his name nor know what plane he is building.

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If you have a special project or consideration, send me an email with your thoughts and please include a phone number and a good time to call you back in the evening. I will be glad to cover details on the phone at length. -ww

Henry Kissinger defends his new Heavy Metal album

Newsflash:

Former National Security Advisor to President Nixon came out with a strong defense of his new Heavy Metal album Rage with the Machine.”  The album’s lack-luster sales have been attributed to the fact Kissinger knows nothing about music and has never played guitar before walking into the studio. Still, fans of the genre are expressing great disappointment, saying they had expected much more from the 90 year old on his debut recording.

Henry Kissinger Shankbone Metropolitan Opera 2009.jpg

Kissinger in the studio: He laid blame for the weak sales with the producer Kayne West, saying that West failed to appreciate Kissinger’s artistic message, especially on the tracks I did know Dick and Dinner with Mao , which Kissinger upheld as “Free-form masterpieces, yet to be appreciated.”

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Ok, I made up that story to illustrate a point. Nearly everyone understands that expecting Henry Kissinger to make a good Heavy Metal album, something you might put on the shelf next to Sabbath, Zeppelin and Metalica, is a total joke, and no reasonable person could expect great music from a 90 year old guy who worked for the State Department.

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Then please tell me why people express shock and disappointment when they find out that their favorite Musician / Actor / Celebrity doesn’t have a brilliant position on Geo-Politics? I have no answer for this. Several times month people send me forwards from the internet pointing out that some celebrity holds some political or social position that most people associate with Genghis Kahn or a kindergartener.

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Many of the senders have had their sensitivities offended, finding out that a favorite artist is some type of imbecile. Not me. I start off with the premise that I can appreciate their art, but they are just as likely to be stupid as anyone else.

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I like optimistic people, but if you are one of the people who were disappointed Justin Biber turned out to be a moron, they let me suggest a little less optimism may be in order. If you are one of the people still surprised that Barbara Streisand falls short of the Teddy Roosevelt honor roll of self actualization,  I want to say it’s OK to stop hoping.  I like some Mel Gibson movies, but I go to the theater knowing he is an alcoholic and a bigot, just like other everyday alcoholics and a bigots I have had to deal with in the rest of my life.

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I don’t expect these people to be any more enlightened than anyone else. In most cases their lives are little more than a revenue stream for a media company and a bunch of “assistants” and “life coaches.” They don’t even get the benefit of the reality checks that you and I enjoy from our neighbors when they respond to our opinions with “What the hell are you talking about?” When I feel generous, I just feel sorry for them.

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Being wealthy isn’t a guarantee of happiness, and in many ways it seems an impediment to theirs. The people who are famous young are rarely educated, nor have time to read, and when they travel it is with an entourage rather than a humble guest. They are surrounded by people telling them they are gifted and brilliant. For these reasons, they are perhaps even less likely to have anything enlightening to say.

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Most people shouldn’t feel smug about dumb things celebrities say on politics and world affairs. Many people have put little effort into being informed or open minded themselves. I was recently treated to a 20 minute diatribe of how segregationist Governor George Wallace was “A typical Republican,” the speaker, who had given that symposium many times before, was unaware Wallace was a life-long Democrat. This goes on from all camps. Few people praising the US constitution can even tell you how many articles it has; perhaps half of Republicans cannot identify Lincoln as their parties first President; Few Democrats understand FDR sent US Citizens to internment camps; It’s endless. Even though we are in the “information age, ” it seems to have little bearing on how informed people are. For every person who read 15 books last year, there seem to be 50 who spent 500 hours watching the brand of TV news that challenged their opinions and biases the least. Put a camera and microphone in front of these people and they might sound just as foolish as typical celebrities.

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A large part of what I love about aviation is how the solutions are unique, but the physical laws they work within are defined; there are absolute measurements and known and provable ways of achieving results. Planes don’t look alike, but they work for the same reasons. Physics isn’t written in any language, and it isn’t subject to corruption nor lobbying. Two people who both love planes, from different countries without a common language can both love the same plane, and it will fly equally well in either man’s country, regardless of political or social factors. I actually like the fact the stakes are high here, I am not afraid because the rules of flight are not arbitrary.

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This said, I have trouble with people want to apply the same thinking, the need for absolutes, tests and universal laws,  to humans, not just machines. When it comes to human freedom, faith and life, I don’t think there is one ‘right way’ or ‘best result.’ I place no value on getting people to think alike on human issues. The only persons who’s mind I want to open is my own, and I have long since found that reading books is far more productive on this than arguing with people or listening to celebrities. While I may know a bit more US and social history than average, my conclusions are no more valid than anyone else’s. The only person’s life I feel entitled to run is my own.

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This website has nearly 500 stories on it, and our traditional site has 2000-2011 documented on a weekly basis. You could look through every page of it and not find a single word on how I vote, what faith I am, or any comment on a social issue. Not one paragraph on it. Yet many people write to say how moving some of the topics have been. Notice in 15 years of writing, I have never run out of topics that bring aviators in homebuilding together. This is proof enough that we have far more that unites us than divides us. This is the basic reason why the only had and fast rule we have at Corvair Colleges is: No talk of politics nor Religion.