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A man can't just sit around

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Jul. 2nd, 2011 | 11:59 am
mood: coldcold

Happy Lawnchair Larry Day, everyone!

On July 2nd 1982, Larry Walters, better known as Lawnchair Larry, tied fourty-five weather balloons to his lawnchair, strapped in and filled them with helium, and ended up climbing to 15000+ feet and floating about for several hours before ultimately managing to make it safely to the ground again — but not before startling several commercial airline pilots and causing a blackout in a residential neighborhood.

When he landed, cops and journalists were already waiting for him, and this is what he said to one of the journalists who asked why he went on that flight:

A man can't just sit around.

Words to live by! Whether it's useful or crazy, do something with your life: you've only got one, so you'd better make it count. If you can look back at your life and say "it's been a wild, fun ride — I've done some mad shit, and I enjoyed it, and I'd do it again in an instant", you've been successful. Don't just sit around.

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Comments {9}

moonhare

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from: mondhasen
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:11 am (UTC)
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*snicker* he had it his way.

I should heed his advice. I've less tomorrows to put things off to than when I was younger. ;o)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:25 am (UTC)
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Yeah — he could truly say "I did it my way". And how many people are there that make government agents say things like "We know he broke some part of the Federal Aviation Act, and as soon as we decide which part it is, some type of charge will be filed. If he had a pilot's license, we'd suspend that. But he doesn't"? ^^

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Moth

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from: moth_wingthane
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:45 am (UTC)
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I love that quote so much. Not just because of the truth of it but, but also the fact it's such a massive understatement in relation to his flight.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:57 am (UTC)
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Yeah, it really is a bit of an understatement, isn't it? ^_^ But the attitude is spot-on: get out, and do something. And if you've had the idea of using helium-filled balloons to fly for 20 years, go ahead and do it.

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Shoggoths Away

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from: explodingbat
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 09:12 pm (UTC)
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Excellent idea you have here, it hadn't occurred to me to make Lawnchair Flight Day a public holiday you're right that's totally what we should do. Fuck revolutions and wars, we should be celebrating the things that make us great.

How did he cause the blackout btw, was that the landing?

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:29 pm (UTC)
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Thanks! I really agree, yes.

And yeah, he apparently hit some powerlines while landing and caused the blackout that way; I don't think anything happened to him (or his lawnchair), though, fortunately.

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Shoggoths Away

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from: explodingbat
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Me too (obvs), i've written about it but that's really all we can do and just hope that the idea catches on, the way π Day did. I'm totally with you that this kind of thinking is something we (as a species) should be promoting, and proud of.

Yeah, i read the wiki page just after posting my earlier comment,.. sounds like poor Larry had a sad end :[ hopefully something good can still come of his exploits, tho.

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jul. 2nd, 2011 11:20 pm (UTC)
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Aye, he did, unfortunately. I wish I knew why he committed suicide in the end — but I guess we may never know.

It would be nice if it caught on, too. I got the idea last year, but the day'd already passed, so I only mentioned it on the anniversary on his death; this year, OTOH, I remembered. ^_~

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Shoggoths Away

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from: explodingbat
date: Jul. 3rd, 2011 12:11 am (UTC)
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Um i also posted it to a scifi forum where i hang out under a different name.

Can't think of anywhere else to promote it atm, but hopefully the idea'll spread. A holiday dedicated to taking risks, seeking adventure and the unexpected, or even just trying something trivial but completely new / long contemplated seems like a great idea!

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