Please Note: We will be traveling the last two weeks of April and beginning of May. We'll be checking email and phone messages but April 14th is the last day we can process orders.

April 1
War, Pestilence, and Mushy Peas...

As crazy as our kite travels have been these past ten or fifteen years, I sense we're heading into one of the most unusual - and possibly stressful - six weeks ever.

Thursday morning I leave for France. Susie is staying in the office to handle your calls and shipments. But then I return on the 14th to grab clean clothing so we can both fly out on the 16th for China. We're leading a group of 20 to Weifang. The plan is to return on the 28th, only to leave again for England on May 1. We come home on May 7 so we can get some rest at the office.

If you have questions, requests, or orders, please try to email them to me. I'll be checking every day while on the road. We can still process whatever you need. But we can't actually ship between the 15th and 28th.

April is always a bit crazy, but this year is unique. This year we have the war, the pestilence, and the threat of mushy peas.

War: Berck France is one of my favorite festivals. I've been going there for ten years. But I've never been during an actual shooting war.

Berck Festival

Of course, no one is shooting in France, but some folks are concerned just the same. One American team has already dropped out of the World Championships. And then there is all this fuss about Freedom Fries, Freedom Toast, and Freedom Dressing. I hear that the dressing and toast were actually named after the American who invented them. I'm not worried about the reception I'll get in Berck. I'm worried that someone will mess with French kissing while I'm gone.

Pestilence: A kite tour of China is a life-changing experience. We were planning on Shanghai, Weifang, Qingdao, and Beijing. But then this darned flu-thing broke out. The hard part is deciding who to believe -- the news reports (which tend to focus on the sensational and oversimplify the situation) - domestic health advisories (which lean toward conservative - let's protect ourselves - and we don't like the Chinese this week anyway) - and the Chinese news (disease?? what disease??).

Weifang Festival

The World Health organization web page reports 834 SARS cases in China and 34 deaths so far out of a billion people. So proportionately, someone in China is as likely to get SARS as someone in the States is to get elected to the US Senate. Weird odds. But we're watching the news and hoping things get better. The epidemic seems to be in decline now. BTW - There are now 59 cases but fortunately no deaths in the USA.

Weymouth Festival

Mushy Peas: Between China and France, we've already received news of five schedule changes and two flight cancellations. And we haven't even left the ground yet!!

If the airlines don't go broke, the war doesn't spread, the plague doesn't infect us all, and if no one steals our passports, we'll plan to finish out the month in beautiful Weymouth England.

Last time we were there, Susie and I sat down in a pub for a plate of fish and chips and a bar fight broke out a few feet away. There were mushy peas everywhere! So you never know when violence or mayhem may strike.

I'm not trying to make light of any of these serious situations. We are not reckless people. The safe thing would be to stay home. But despite an increasingly complex world, cocooning ourselves in Neotsu Oregon just doesn't seem the answer. So barring more serious news in the next few days, we'll be planning on completing each of these trips. Watch for news, photos and regular updates as our adventures unfold.

Be safe! Be happy! And live well!

April means it is National Kite Month! If you are planning any kind of kite gathering, workshop, or presentation this month, be sure to register at It costs nothing and you qualify for prizes, free posters, and lots of fun!

Also, if you join the American Kitefliers Association, we offer a 10% discount on all your purchases (except sale items). As a member, you get a magazine, and liability insurance too! And if you join between now and July 4th, you also get a free American Flag. The annual dues are just $30. So join!!!

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