the right pic is of the two easily-replaceable parts I've already easily-replaced, the inner shaft/hub assembly (snapped the hub in an emergency landing) and the left landing skid, in what I have determined is a whole series of video-game related errors. let me explain: for 20+ years I have learned to steer things on screen with my left thumb. the controls mimic life, and the left stick is throttle (collective-equivalent for up-and-down) and rudder, and the right control is cyclic (for direction along the ground plane). which is all well and good when I'm concentrating, but when I start to get panicky because I'm going to run into something, reflex takes over and I jam the left control and that so far has not been even accidentally the correct thing to do. anyway, the hub is dead, but the skid I repaired with a drop of cyanoacrylate and a piece of heat-shrink tubing. looks kinda cool, actually, and maybe functional... the skids are fairly brittle ABS plastic, I'm thinking about putting heat-shrink leggings all the way around to act as shock absorbers.
yes, I know. boys and their toys. well let me tell you, I have lots of play-time to catch up on.
saturday night, donato surprised me with a trip to gyu-kaku and a bunch of friends (counter-clockwise around the table: me, donato, irene (his mom), jon, marie, becky (ashley's sister), ashley, shane, gabe, dave, leticia (noso's fiancee), noso (donato's cousin), emily) and gift bags! and very embarrassing photo books. and many plates of raw meat, and lovely presents for me (thanks everyone!).
then almost everyone relocated to tiki-ti for cocktails. by far my favorite place to drink in LA. you have to get there early to get a seat (the place might be 500 square feet), but it's worth it. several drinks (I think the hawaiian twist is my new favorite, tastes kinda like an orange julius—and it's totally ok to drink fruity drinks there, it's all they serve!) and then everyone headed home. straight to bed, asleep by like 12:30.
oh yeah we saw borat with dutton friday night... it was good, but not great. rather, it wasn't as funny as I expected, but it was very telling, assuming all the footage is as candid as it's made out to be.
we got a doughboys fix for breakfast yesterday with juan. crashed the helicopter some more (nothing broken). dave & gabe came over with the da vinci code (24% rotten, but it wasn't that bad, if you had appropriate expectations) and I made daiquiris a la AB + jeremy, i.e., no "neon sissified slushies".
and I'm already frustrated with my problem of the day, which is just a continuation of the problem of last week. but today is the day that particular hump is going to be overcome, one way or another.