I haven't been away, but busy. Yesterday, we took a break and went to The Red Bull Flugtag, which, my German tells me is fly day, or day for flying. Red Bull puts these on all over the country - I believe there have been 35 so far. The event is one in which teams try to fly off a ramp with the river/lake below. They are judged on creativity, distance flown (most don't fly), and, I think, theme. Judges vote and the public can text message votes too.
We arrived early, brought a blanket - thank god we had read the online info as we were going to bring a hard sided cooler (prohibited) collapsing chairs (prohibited) and food (prohibited). Can't say how hot it was, but I can say I forgot my hat which was a BIG mistake. Noggin pinkin!
Naively we parked and were to shuttle in, though the bus lineup guy said - hey the shuttle is going to take you only 4 blocks. We hoofed it. That's Red Bull talk. I've never had Red Bull - isn't that 'make your heart go faster' stuff?
I brought my camera and long lens expecting to get close enough to... oh, but wait, we weren't alone. About 85,000 others had the same good idea (actual crowd estimate, which I believe.)
Red Bull must have spent a couple hundred thousand dollars on this event. Giant LCD TV screens, lighting (it would run till 9:15PM or so), Pro TV, hosts, monster sound system (which only seemed to play bass... LOUD BONE SHAKING BASS.
Here's everyone standing within each other's sweat zone and they are... watching the TV.
The teams would dance around, then push their flying machine over the edge where it would crash into the water. Goofy fun in the city that proclaims, "KEEP AUSTIN WEIRD!"
I got a few pictures when not blocked by tall dude, dude in hat, dude with sun umbrella. All in all they had about 28 teams... we left after the first 3 or 4 but it was a nice try.