Mont-St-Pierre Highlights


In July 2009 I took a trip to Mont-St-Pierre with some friends to participate in the annual hang gliding festival held there.  What a neat place, and what great people!  Special thanks to Harry and Roxanne for the drive and their wonderful company.  Thanks to Lindsey and the Chew family for our day hike on an iffy flying day.  As always it was great to be in the air with Harry and Lindsey at a wonderful site and to get their wise input into hang gliding there and in general.  Flying there is no sweat for a hang 3 like me, just make sure you talk to the locals about the peculiarities of all the launches as well as micro-meteorology to be mindful of.

I had several flights during the course of our stay in Mont-St-Pierre; most were sledders.  On our last day before the trip back I had a 90 minute flight working the ridge over launch.  The lift band is quite narrow, a lot smaller than what we're used to at Ellenville, so you need good gaggle skills to stay up.  Toward the end of the flight I saw a small squall moving east along the coast toward launch and eventually some of the local pilots standing on launch indicated that I should head for the LZ and land.  I later discussed with some local pilots and was told that the LZ can get really hairy when squalls move through, so this was a safety issue.  On my flight it was not a problem but better safe than squashed.  This flight was a great way to conclude the trip and I really got a chance to appreciate the special quality of the site.

My feeling is that as Ellenville ambassadors we made a good impression.  Don't be surprised if we have some Canadian visitors at our site in the near future!


Harry clowning around.


Harry and Roxanne

Moon over Mont-St-Pierre

Moon over the valley

Sunset at Mont-St-Pierre

Sunset on the beach

Panorama of the ramp launch, Mont-St-Pierre

Panorama of the ramp launch at Mont-St-Pierre, at center. 

Panorama of Mont-St-Pierre LZ, originally uploaded by falcon170ct.

Here is a picture of the landing zone at Mont-St-Pierre.  The peak with the main launch is in the center of the frame.

To see all of the pictures I took on this trip, click here.

Video highlights of ellenvillers at Mont-St-Pierre

Below are a few of the many videos shot on this trip.  There is a link at the bottom for the rest of the videos.


Lindsey makes a landing


Harry makes a landing


On this flight I land in the bushes and relearn the value of not going brain-dead when setting up my approaches.  The camera is pointed in kind of an odd angle but you may notice me popping the glider over a large bush at the very end then parachuting down into the bushes; the grass there was up to my chest.  The good news is, all of my landings after this one were great!


One of my first flights off of the east launch... Lindsey gives me encouragement while Harry records the video (thank you gentlemen!)


Lindsey makes a low transition and a nice landing.

Here is the full playlist of videos from the trip. There are 54 videos in all, and include a number of launches and landings, as well as views of clouds over the mountains and other scenes from the area.

BlogEngine widget update: Quotations

Here is a revised version of the Quotations widget for BlogEngine.NET 1.4.5.  This version of the widget includes miscellaneous bug fixes and enhancements:

  • The "lastshown" field is now hidden (reserved for future use)
  • Clicking the "cancel" link when editing a quote now works properly
  • Added paging to the gridview
  • Text wrapping fixed on the quotation textbox
  • Fixed bug when last item is deleted (5.02 kb)

Vista 64 + Palm = no joy

Well, I'm close to being fed up with trying to get my Palm TX to play nice with Vista 64.  This is the third time in six months I've had to uninstall Palm desktop, clean the registry, etc ad nauseum; and I still can't get hotsync to work.  So it seems I must ditch the Palm or ditch Vista 64.  Looks like I'll be performing an OS install this weekend.

Just for fun, here's an error I got to click through about a dozen times when I reinstalled Palm desktop:


Sounds like a conundrum to me.


Does anyone really need a dictionary in their pocket any more?

Palm has some things on sale on their website, including this dictionary - thesaurus for $9.95 after a rebate:

Ten years ago if I had seen something like this, I would have thought it was really cool (and it probably would have been a lot more money). But in this day and age, is something like this more trouble than it's worth? Even if I was a prolific writer, I'm not so sure:

  • Most writers will have a laptop or desktop computer
  • Most people with computers are connected to the Internet and can access or, two of my favorite language sites
  • Most computers have a built-in thesaurus
  • It makes more sense to use available tools on the computer (assuming one is writing on a computer) where, for instance, one can leverage the clipboard, than to switch to a handheld device

I suppose if you do your writing on the Palm (or other handheld), then yes, it is a good place to have a lookup tool. But as much as I like my TX, Graffiti is a poor substitute for a good keyboard (I still haven't gotten used to Graffiti 2).


Latin is forbidden on xbox?

I tried changing the motto on my xbox gamer tag to "Ad astra, per aspera." It means, 'To the stars, through hardship.' But xbox doesn't like this:


I can understand disallowing expletives, but latin? I'm guessing they must be screening with a white list, since none of the words are english. Pretty lame.'s warped sense of humor

I'm getting some error messages from SQL 2005 when I try to run a stored procedure from an assembly I've put together (specifically a System.Security.HostProtectionException).

Sooo... I googled a line from the exception message, "The demanded resources were: SharedState" and didn't get a lot of hits. I haven't tried in a while, so I gave that a whirl. Here's a screen shot of the results:


If no one can help me with the HostProtectionException, can someone tell me what the connection is to vampires?


Building a new computer: power supply

I've installed the power supply, made by Enermax. The PSU has a large fan on the bottom, and the cage for the PSU is in the bottom of the case. Initally I installed it right side up, but realized that airflow to the fan was very restricted (a 1/2" high chamber open only on one side), so I yanked it out and flipped it over.

I love this case. It actually came with a manual (another first for me)... has pull-out drawers for the hard drives - see the two rings in the lower right.

Next step... the motherboard.


Building a new computer

Everything has arrived for the new computer I'm building. The components arrived in two packages... these pieces are the PC case, power supply, CPU, fanless cooler, motherboard, memory, two hard drives and video card.

My initial reaction on hefting each piece has been "wow is this heavy" or "boy is this big" (the fanless cooler is gargantuan... initially I wasn't sure if it would fit in the case but now I don't think it will be a problem).

What pushed me to build a new computer? About a month ago my hard drive kicked the bucket, taking with it my personal files, which I had not backed up in about 16 months. Rather than just buying a new hard drive, I decided to completely overhaul my system (of course I'll be backing up my files very regularly after learning my hard lesson).

The parts I decided to get are all pretty bleeding edge. The machine will be very overclockable, though I plan on running a conservative profile initially. I'm also upgrading to Vista, a move which I have to confess I'm nervous about.

I'll be posting my progress regularly.