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User avatar
By wonderwind_flyer
#384515
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This thread is running in several directions at the same time but getting back to the original posting and the mention of $60K being spent for website renovation is worrisome.

I ride a 10 year old $295 bicycle that is very functional and efficient. I can cruise for miles and miles on it. My bicycle requires minimal maintenance and is much more reliable than a go-kart made from lumber. The trusty bicycle provides 85% of my transportation needs.

The 4 employees of the USHPA deserve applause for the work they perform but it is important to keep in mind that 10,000 members is a very small percentage of the 320 million people in this country. A $60K vehicle for an online presence for our small group seems excessive. Building professional websites is not as difficult or costly as it used to be thanks to the availability of flexible templates.

For all of us who contributed to the RRG it is very important to know that USHPA is spending member dollars wisely.

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User avatar
By mgforbes
#384523
We've run our "bicycle" about as far as it can go. The chain, bearings and tires are all worn out, the frame has cracks and we've been using volunteer labor and sticks we found on the side of the road to splint the broken parts. We've been riding it very carefully, carrying it over minor bumps and going slowly to minimize stress so it doesn't collapse in a pile of rust.

Our website and database infrastructure dates from the late 1990's. It's built on long-since-obsolete technology that's no longer supported. While we've been able to keep it running way past its expected lifespan, it doesn't last forever. At this point it's a house of cards and touching any piece of it, even for a minor change, is fraught with peril.

Julie is an experienced software project manager whom we were very fortunate to hire. She brings the skills we need to do this overhaul, and the contacts in the industry who know how to do it right. AND she got us a good deal on the work!

The new bicycle is not something fancy or exotic, but it's built with current generation technology that's modular, broadly supported, open source and well tested. It should hold up well for many years under heavy use.
User avatar
By mgforbes
#384525
Just to reiterate....most of this is not about the public-facing website. It's about all of the stuff underneath that makes it work, and the database overhaul, and the linkages between them. Making a few web pages is the easy part.
User avatar
By SeeMarkFly
#384558
mgforbes wrote:The reason why we can run an association serving nearly 10,000 members with only four staff people is because things are so highly automated behind the scenes.

MGF
What app are you running?
User avatar
By Jason
#384589
[quote="mgforbes"]Just to reiterate....most of this is not about the public-facing website. It's about all of the stuff underneath that makes it work, and the database overhaul, and the linkages between them. Making a few web pages is the easy part.[/quote

well, 60k for automation, split among 10,000 members is 6 bucks a head



i don't see what the uproar is about
By Comet
#384613
mgforbes wrote: I once built a go kart out of some wheels and scrap lumber. That shows there's no reason why cars should cost $25,000. See the analogy?
MGF

Mark, if we extend your analogy: Since we almost lost our driving privileges entirely, we don't need to be buying a $60,000 car. Maybe we should be content with the car we have.

People are getting distracted by the $60,000. The more important issue is that instructors are considering dropping their ratings due to the costs of the new program.

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Attachments
20080829wood_bike.jpg
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timber2.jpg
timber2.jpg (37.01 KiB) Viewed 1815 times
User avatar
By Mavi Gogun
#384615
Comet wrote:Since we almost lost our driving privileges entirely, we don't need to be buying a $60,000 car. Maybe we should be content with the car we have.
Is this the 'royal we'? I wouldn't take you for one who associates.
Comet wrote:People are getting distracted by the $60,000.
Talk'n about yourself in the third person- never a good sign. YOU invited fixation on the figure in your first postl- and now play the hypocrite, posting pictures buttressing blather about.... the $60K. While the impact of our insurance woes ARE worthy of address and consideration, that ain't what you bring. Would that you had something constructive to contribute- but, no, nothing.
User avatar
By mbadley
#384633
Towing is a lot like mountain launches - in that they can be completely different from each rig to each operator. I have been on several rigs and they all have had some 'common' things as well as some 'particular to this rig' things. There are some universal ideas that I think will help anybody considering towing.

1) Observe the rig in operation many times before EVER putting yourself in the pilot seat.
2) If possible, be part of the towing 'crew' that helps set the pilot up, operates as an 'observer', drives the truck, etc. All under supervision, of course.
3) Learn as much as you can about the operator of the rig, experience and attention to detail. See if he reacts differently with various pilots - or if it is the same routine for all (which is better and means he won't cut corners on you).
4) Attitude! Is the tow rig there for YOU or for your DOLLARS? (personal grind for me)
5) Safety! If it don't look good and they're a bunch of go-for-its... well, who's going to the hospital - them or you?
6) Trust! It's really amazing how fast things can go to SH*** while towing. Will your tow operators help or hurt you? Sometimes all you need is a bit of confidence boost, other times you need them to say 'not going to happen today, that's OK'. Towing really requires you to relinquish some control over your flight to others - you really have to trust them.

My NUMBER ONE RULE about towing is "If for any reason it isn't going 'according to plan' GET OFF THE TOW." Don't try to 'fix' anything - just pop the release and find a good place to land it. You can generally see trouble happening before things go south, but when it goes south - you run out of time to do anything very quickly.
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