Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Kent Couch’s 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

In 2006, Kent Couch had to parachute out of his lawn chair, after having popped too many balloons. And in 2007, he flew 193 miles to the sagebrush of northeastern Oregon, which was a little bit short of his goal. After the 2007 flight, Couch stated, “I’m not stopping till I get out of state.”

Television Report: The 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

The 2007 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

Lucky Number Three: Soaring Up, Up and Away

This was Kent Couch’s third balloon-powered lawn chair flight. Riding in his lawn chair that was supported by a rainbow array of more than 150 helium-filled party balloons, Couch took off last Saturday in his third attempt to fly from central Oregon all the way to Idaho.

Couch kissed his wife and children goodbye, and patted their shivering pet Chihuahua, before his ground crew gave him a push so that he could clear surrounding light poles and a coffee cart. Then, clutching a big mug of coffee, Couch rose out of his gas station’s parking lot into the bright blue morning sky, cheered on by a crowd of spectators.

Using his trusty BB gun to help him return to Earth, the 48-year-old gas station owner flew his lawn chair powered by helium-filled balloons more than 200 miles across the Oregon desert, landing in a field in Idaho. Couch created quite a sensation in the tiny farming community of Cambridge, Idaho, as he touched down safely in a pasture where he was soon greeted by dozens of the town’s residents.

Crouch Makes Preparations for His 2008 Lawn Chair Flight

Television Report: The 2008 Balloon-Powered Lawn Chair Flight

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

Good Morning America Interview After the Successful Flight

Music Audio: The Fifth Dimension/Up, Up and Away:

Lucky Number Three: Festively Soaring Up, Up and Away

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Talk about Whether Larry Craig Should Stay or Go: A Discombobulated Debate

Larry Craig: I am NOT GAY.  Remember, I’m NOT GAY.  NOT GAY.

Senator Larry Craig (NOT GAY-R) of Idaho: The Toe-Tapping Bathroom Menace

The slogan of the Idaho Hall of Fame, which Larry Craig will enter next Saturday, is “Idahoans on Loan to the World.” Nobody really wants to be installed next to Craig, but two fellow inductees will find the ceremony especially awkward.  Gov. Butch Otter has been waiting six weeks to name Craig’s successor.  He released a long list of all the Idahoans who’ve expressed interest in the job and had reportedly settled on a replacement just in time for Craig’s announcement that he’s not resigning.  Another inductee, Lt. Gov. Jim Risch, desperately wants Craig’s seat and will soon announce his intention to run in 2008, even if Otter doesn’t nominate him.

The Idaho Hall of Fame was right to worry that the concept of “real life heroes has been lost,” although when it set out to find inductees with “pages of life experience to inspire our up and coming generations,” Larry Craig’s pages weren’t exactly the kind it had in mind!  It’s organizers were looking for achievements denoting fame, not actions smacking of infamy.

And the Senate Republicans just can’t seem to catch a break.  The colleagues they hate to lose are retiring, and the one guy they desperately want to retire and go away isn’t budging.  John Ensign, who has the unpleasant task of heading the Senate Republican Campaign Committee for 2008, doesn’t mince words: “Senator Craig gave us his word.… I wish he would stick to his word.”  Like most Idahoans, Craig’s colleagues in the Senate take his backtracking personally.  If a man’s word is his bond, it’s time to call the bounty hunter.

The Hardball Debate: Should He Stay or Go

Chris Mathews’ “Hardball” panel members recently debated whether Senator Larry Craig (NOT GAY-R) of Idaho made the right decision in choosing to continue the rest of his term in the Senate.  The debate entailed what must be one of the more confused, bewildering discussions to appear on television in recent times.  Who is saying what about whom and why and on what grounds, etc., etc.  Just see h0w long you can follow the simulated logic in this one:

“Hardball Debate” about Larry Craig:  Should He Stay or Go?

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