Posts Tagged ‘biplane’

Double Flight

21 March 2009

Dear J-

When we were little my brother and I used to put together LEGO planes — pretty simple affairs, really, a 2×12 beam serving as the body, the one propeller we had to spare on the front of the lucky party’s plane, tail stabilizer consisting of a 2×4 plate on the back with a 2×2 plate jammed in sideways, and, depending on the historical re-enactment we were going for that day, anywhere from one to three wings (2×8 plates forming the left and right wings, 1×1 blocks as needed to support).  Our triplanes were especially fragile and, in the absence of glue and structural design calculations, ended up making some kind of spectacular mess underfoot (LEGO pieces are surprisingly sharp).

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I always thought it remarkable (at the time, aggravating to no end) that he always had an answer for the things I thought were upgrades.  I’d pull out a 2×14 beam for the fuselage, but that made me a bigger target.  I’d strap on jet engines, but then my wings would burn off.  I’d add a fourth wing, but then I became top-heavy and unstable, crashing even faster.  Somewhere between first and fourth grade, I reasoned, they taught you all these aeronautical design criteria, and the wisdom to deploy it as needed.

I still have every confidence in him, my quick-witted brother.  It’s impossible for me to see him without some measure of awe, for all he’s done, for all he’ll do.  It’s not just understanding that low-level monks need a steady stream of giant ants to be open-hand slapped (he may have put me up to picking that character class, but he didn’t have to keep that monk alive), or standing up to university computer lab administrators (demonstrating the easy touch used to move the avatar in Ultima IV); it’s the synthesis of experience and knowledge that’ll keep him successful in all he puts his mind to.

Mike

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