Wednesday, April 26, 2017

The Flying Machine

A principal of Century Aviation in Wenatchee opened my eyes to the subtleties of flight. During a recent tour of the hanger where she and her partner restore vintage aircraft, Karen Barrow said she had learned aeronautical engineering off the cuff over the course of a career that started with flying lessons and volunteering at a restoration facility. Time brought her hands' on experience with the full history of evolution of the wing. As she gently indicated one of the elements of the wing of a Curtis F, the only one in existence, she mentioned that Curtis had replaced the earlier man-made wing that deformed in imitation of bird technology with the simple aileron.

As we examined the structure at eye level, Karen described the subtleties of its wooden elements, linking marine considerations of flow with those of currents of air. The math is beyond me, but the efficiencies, I believe, are not. I see no distinction between the flow of water and air and the flow of work in a household. It is like choreography: you can break or you can glide. Each has its applications. 

Inspired by Karen's tour, I hit the attic yesterday for a stem to stern edit. Here's the plan: evict anything that is easy to pick up at a nearby store. It's cost effective to let someone else's staff handle ordering, storage, and organizing. Using their services is like having an extra hand under the roof. I cook simply and for the in-house deli, so it's trivial to serve one of the six small meals recommended for knowledge workers by the corporate athlete strategy. We feast in a favorite restaurant that's a short walk away. Most procurement is done by mail order delivered to a shipper's concierge service. I let them do the packing for things I send out. The shipper is a cost-effective replacement for a personal motor vehicle.

These simple changes in practice save me thousands of dollars a year and irreplaceable hours on Seattle's crowded streets -30-

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