December 18
Rain, Rain, Rain....

If I've seemed cranky lately, the reason was on the front page of the Oregonian Newspaper yesterday. We are now at 30 straight days of rainfall. Susie and I are thinking of building an ark!

Rain Record

We've also had more than eight days with windstorms over 40 mph and two power outages that lasted more than five hours. Since we have a well and the water is pumped electrically, that means that in an outage, not only do we miss showers, we also have to collect rain-water to flush the toilets....

But enough complaining. We've got news on our newest products and the names we chosen! But first, let's put the whole naming game in perspective with an excerpt from Peter Lynn's latest newsletter:

What's in a name? Everything, or nothing? Shakespeare was in the nothing's camp- "A Rose by any other name would smell as sweet" Eastman, the founder of the Kodak company was also - he selected Kodak as their brand name precisely because it had no previous meaning-and because it was snappy and easily recognizable.

On the other hand, some things ARE the name - which is why names themselves can be saleable things even before they have a product attached to them.

I think names for kites do matter a bit. They should be short, different, and to some extent descriptive (hence Peel, C Quad, Arc etc). If possible they should also have a second meaning or association. Maybe a bad name doesn't sink a good kite but a good name can enable faster acceptance.

Here, finding names for new kites is a sort of ritual...

Chris Brent's latest design, an Arc variant, has just been christened. Because the chord looks fairly parallel, it's working name during development was the "P-Arc". However, as soon it was out in public, Dave Kay (a Christchurch kitesurfer) pointed out to us why this is not a perfect name - by spelling it backwards.

Here at GKPI, naming products is a bit of a ritual too. Lately, we've experimented with including you folks as well.

Our recent surveys and contests have been fun -- and it has been interesting to watch the process. One morning, all of the options for the "Granny Hat" had exactly the same number of votes. Several other times, we watched as just one person would log on, but ten or more votes were cast.

The truth is that we still learned something and got great suggestions. But as we said at the outset, in the end Susie and I would choose the name we thought best, no matter how the voting went.

Jellyfish Spinner

"Granny Hat / Jellyfish" Our new 15 foot spinner with the six helix-style legs produced lots of interesting suggestions. "Roots" and "Jester Drogue" drew the best voting response, but in the end, we settled on "Jellyfish" .

We thought the name was just a little more descriptive, and perhaps more definitive. We also thought that one of the other names might confuse people with Martin Lester. Now if we could just stop calling it the "Jester" by mistake!

The Jellyfish is a wonderful spinner that can be used as either a drogue or line art. We have them instock now for $85 each. And as soon as the weather clears, we promise a better picture.

"Thorn / Starburst" Not quite a bol and not quite a drogue, the big "Crown of Thorns" is an amazing device. We are making two sizes -- a 12 spike and a 24 spike. Each spike is three feet deep so that the smaller model is about ten feet tall and the larger one about eighteen feet.

Initially we shortened the name to "Thorn" but discussion continued, Susie still found that awkward. Must be her Catholic upbringing. One night over dinner I blurted out ""Starburst" and she thought that was perfect.

Starburst Ring

The Starburst Ring will be selling for $175 and $350. We can do either rainbow or a two or three color combination.

Both the Jellyfish and Starburst are great new creations by Charlie Watson of New Zealand. Charlie also designed the 3-Leg Drogue . We are delighted to be producing some of his best creations under an exclusive license.

"American Flag Streamers" Sometimes names are easy. We could have come up with something fanciful like "Old Glory in a Bag", but just didn't seem right.

Since the first flight test, we have tweaked our Flag Set by changing the proportion of the blue field and moving the stripes a bit closer together. The result is more rectangular now, and still about 50 by 75 feet.

The streamer set weighs in at just 10 pounds, and in an 8 m.p.h. breeze, the Sutton 252 took them up with no trouble at all. Click here for a short video of the flags in flight.

As you know, we are offering American Flag Streamers sets now for $399 each. Custom colors are not available.

American Flag Streamers

That's all for this week. Stay dray -- stay warm -- and stay happy. And whatever you celebrate this time of year -- celebrate it well!

Don't forget that we have a good supply of Frank Schwiemann's white Ghost or "Pyro" Deltas in stock. We have just taken delivery of several Martin Lester kites as well. Watch the Update and the Factory Update for news of discounts or special products in stock.

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