The Flight of the Foxies
The boys and girls up at the Fox work hard to make everyone in Riverside/Avondale feel well fed in the morning. They scramble around a tight little dining and service area while a handful of hipsters slave away in the kitchen washing dishes, making waffles, and prepping the menu items. The result is one of the best breakfasts in town. It is consistent and their wheat toast is the best in town.
So when those Foxies cut loose, they may come across as a little crazy, but I would argue that it they are actually just far more enamored with science then you may at first suspect. Take the morning I spent helping chronicling one of their recent experiments, for instance. The Hot Air Trashbag.
When I finished my breakfast I wandered around back to see if any of the Foxies wanted to take a smoke break and I found Ian Chase, owner of the Fox, with mad scientist eyes as he scrambled to test and retest his hypothesis. Ian was certain that he could create a vessel that would attain a great loft. The evidence leading to his certainty was hanging from a high tree over this expensive Avondale neighborhood. A wilted, sag white trash bag sagging between branches and slightly masked by Spanish Moss.
"We're lucky that one didn't catch the whole neighborhood on fire."
So Ian, Josh, Mark, Ien, and the rest of the Fox breakfast crew were intermittently coming back and fine tuning this next craft, each with their individual specialties. Josh was something of the Fuel Technician as he advised Ian on how much sterno to place into the cup.
During this flight attempt they had changed the fuel compartment from a styrofoam cup, which they found melted when in flight, thus dripping flaming sterno dangerously down from this altitude onto the crew below. So during this test flight they switched to a grape soda can cut off at the bottom.
Here we see Ian and his flight test crew as the bag fills with heat, eagerly anticipating a successful launch. Inside a server will occasionally come back to partake in a cigarette break and cheer on the ambitious project, announcing that someone needs a waffle as they retreat back into the melee.
As the bag fills with hot air, it becomes obvious to Ian and his crew that the heat source is not close enough to the opening of the bag, so he adjusts the wire harness to increase the effectiveness of the fuel delivery system.
After adjustments are made, Ian readies the launching pad and begins launching preparations.
The crew looks on with baited breath as the bag, bulbous with hot air, tugs gently on the metal basket. Orders are being screamed out of the back door, but the crew is rapt and ready.... Nothing. In a disappointing fervor, Josh proclaims the wire harness is too heavy and slumps his shoulders as he returns to work. Ien suggestes that the tow line they attached, to keep it from disappearing into the trees like the last test flight, may be what is restraining it.
Ian snaps into action and feverishly cuts wire harnessing away, trying to minimize the weight to just a more simple harness suspending a tray of Sterno, without the grape soda can. He is trying to do this without burning himself and without compromising the heat of the air still filling the bag and making it bouyant.
The bag wants to go. As the Sterno fills it with more hot air, it skips along the parking lot, taunting the crew. Ian heaps on another load of Sterno and suddenly she goes airborne.
After enjoying this elation for a brief moment, Ian realizes that the rest of the crew has gone inside to work and they were missing the joy of their struggle - the big payoff. Ian snapped open the back door and screamed "We have liftoff!"
Josh and Mark came out first to see the Hot Air Trashbag as it poked higher, finally clearing the rooftops.
When Ien came out to indulge in a cigarette and hopefully enjoy the spectacle, the Hot Air Trashbag was moved by a breeze at the high altitude and it shifted direction, moving hauntingly closer to the buildings. Ian struggled to reel in the guideline, to hopefully change its course from the nearby tress and buildings, and the sudden jolt made the basket tilt and drip flaming Sterno down on Ien like napalm.
Finally, similar to their first launch experiment, the Hot Air Trashbag came to a final rest between the branches of an overhead tree. Mark climbed on top of the walk-In cooler to retrieve the glorious vehicle, now reduced to a simple melted and tormented piece of trash. But had it not been for the devotion and dedication the Fox's flight crew, this piece of trash could never have known such great heights.