Saturday, January 28, 2012

Top 10 Most Wonderful Reactions to the Wind-Scooter

10.  It's another guy on a skateboard who's taking in my skills and then asks me, "Dude, can I try that?!"

9.  Tourist with a camera  who stands and watches for a while and then asks me, "Do you mind if I take a picture of you?"
"Hey, that's great! You know I love it! LOL!"

8. Success: You've "Made it in the Shade" if you get "Quack! Quack!" from the passing Duck Tour vehicles. I pause, place it above my chin, and let out a hearty, "Yeah!"

7. A local rush-hour traffic-cop, smiles, and stops traffic for me to sail across the street. 
"Thanks, Officer!" 
"No problem. You have a good wind today." He's got the happy grin.
"Yes that I do." I yell back and laugh as I catch the next gust.

6. And, speaking of BPD, once a Special Forces black van called out to me near Trinity Church from their loud-speaker blasted,"Hey, Scooterboy, pull over!" 
I calmly pulled over. I thought, "okay, now I'm in for it." But then, I saw them pass by laughing and waving to me. I guess they just needed to assert right-of-way. No problem. LOL.

5. A few people, with that appreciation for things entrepreneurial, stop to ask me details about design, engineering, effectiveness of the sail, the best conditions, best locations, and at what stage of the process of invention I stood, etc.
"Well, you see, it's still in design/patent-pending stage. I'd probably get further along with this, but I'm having too much fun."
"Yes," they agree. "It looks really like you're having a good time."
I am. 
And, all of this leads me to......

4. I know I listed it as one of the "most curious" of reactions (see previous post #9), but when someone suggests that I could make lots of $$$ with the Wind-scooter "maybe go on Shark Tank or something and get some serious investment going." I actually view it as an opportunity to explain something pretty important.
I start outlining a scenario: "Okay, so I meet with lawyers, patent-attorneys, investors, have offices, get into manufacturing, production, liability and distribution issues, city ordinances, and spending all my time in business. All the time, however, I'd be wishing I was right here, in Copley Sq. right here! riding the wind. I'm happiest here. My billions of dollars are discovered in the smiles of children, passersby, seniors who marvel, and the sheer delight I have with the day's wind carrying me in a wonderful state of freedom and joy." Perhaps, the wealthiest people might wish they had the happiness I've found, carefree and liberated.

3. A waitress observing from her position at the restaurant's al fresco corner, called out to me. "You're my hero!" 
I couldn't let this go by. Odd praise, really. I had to ask her what she meant. She went on to explain how depressed she'd been, that seeing me "brought meaning into her life."
Wow. "Meaning?!" She certainly added to this 'meaning to my life.
(By the way, she was young, very attractive, with a wonderful smile. That the Wind-Scooter is a, for lack of a better term,  'chick-magnet' is proven by the number of young women, very attractive, smart and clever, college-age, younger or older, who giggle and laugh and say, "Awesome!" as I bow and wave and smile old trick, that tipping of the hat. Guys, it works.)

2. The US Postal Service driver who always waves and reminds me, "Hey, Scooterdude, I know you're around cause everyone is smiling." 
(Nice. And, it does seem the case, although I may be only noticing it while I'm riding but it seems there are more couples kissing when I ride past them on the sidewalk or store windows. The music I'm listening to often adds a wonderful soundtrack to this living romantic comedy.)

1. Above all, there is one special moment that comes to my mind when I think of my favorite reactions. I'll never forget the time I was near the John Hancock Tower and I spied several interesting people approaching me. Turns out to be a family with Mom, Dad, brothers and sisters and dog in tow. One of the boys gets excited to see this strange guy with a plastic bag on his scooter and runs up and yells to his family, "Hey! Check this out!" 
"Okay, I'm on!" I say to myself as I prepare to perform my act again. The stage is set. I'm ready for this approaching audience. I lift my Wind-Scooter up and balance it on my chin with a "Ta-Da!".
There are the predictable "oohs" and "ahhs", but there was suddenly, a different, small and delicate voice saying something softly directly behind me. This little voice sweetly called up to me, "Oh, Thank-you. Thank-you!" 
I carefully lowered my contraption down and looked. There, behind me, was a girl of 7 or 8 years looking up at me with the sweetest smile. "Thank-You!" 
I looked down and noticed she had some kind of contraption herself, a heavy, metal brace supporting her twisted knees and tiny off-set feet. She swaggered a little this way and that to try and get a better view of the sail. "That's wonderful. Thank-you." I also noticed that her parents and family were beaming with delight as well. 
I could only say, "Well, thank-you for thanking me!"
She added, "You're good at that!"
"Well, everyone is good at what they love. You're good at what you love." I responded and shook her hand, and the brother took another picture of us.

It still brings tears of joy to my eyes. I mean, ? "Thanks?"!


No one had said THAT to me before.


Yes, truly the most unique and wonderful of reactions.

Making it look easy.

Art in action, skills movement, through spaces.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Top 10 Most Curious Reactions to the Wind-Scooter

10.         While breezing past some pedestrians, there comes the curious question from some spectator, “Hey, does that thing actually work?!”

9.        Someone always volunteers the great insight, “Hey, you should patent that! You could make lots of money!”

8. There’s always some trace of arrogance in the comment,”Hey, you’ve got a hole in your sail, ha ha ha. You’ll never get anywhere with that!”

7. There’s the odd question, “Hey, are you actually trying to fly?!”

6. Some people may think they’re actually offering constructive criticism by suggesting that the Esplanade or Castle Island would be a better place to “do that!”

5. Certain security guards, park rangers or other uninformed (did I mean ‘uniformed’? don’t think so.) personnel will, on surprisingly infrequent occasion, give chase and insist that “There’s no skateboarding, roller-blading, or bike-riding here! Go and take that somewhere else!” (Wind-scootering too?)

4. There’s the ‘deer-in-the-headlights’ reaction when a pedestrian crossing against the traffic light steps right in front of the Wind-scooter, stops and, stunned, waits for there to be a collision. Fortunately, both my skill and the braking feature of the scooter secures my immediate halt. I look intently at the pedestrian in the middle of the road, while I ( and the rest of the traffic) wait for him/her to regain composure and cross to the other side safely. “Please, could you now get out of the middle of the road. Thank-you.”

3. The road may first seem fairly clear of traffic, yet one car or taxi seems to wish to make a point by speeding up behind me and honk that Scooterdude should pull aside and let the car have all lanes. “Get off the road, whacko!” However, given the congestion of city traffic, it’s usually only a little while longer when I pass the same car which is now stopped at the next traffic-light.

2.         When performing some tricks with the scooter, like balancing it on top of the chin, there’s sometimes someone with a kind of death-wish who sidles up dangerously close. He stands oblivious, surveying only the other people and sights around the area, curiously intent on some intimate(too intimate!) contact with the performance.

And, finally, the most annoying:

1.        Someone yells from the back-seat of a passing car,

                                      “HEY!                 GET A JOB!”      

Saturday, January 14, 2012

America's Cup Asks "What's Your Most Damaging Capsize?"

40 MPH Gusts!

One of the best days of the year for Urban Wind-Surfing!
Fantastic conditions again, dry, clear and moderate Winter temperatures, and reasonably open traffic.

I consider it full-star day when I’m able to enjoy a dozen or so perfect ‘rides-on-the-wave’. (These are runs which are steady and fast, smooth and free of traffic and continue for at least two city blocks.) I was enjoying each run as a perfect ROTW.