Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Balloon Releases 21 And 22.

Balloon release numbers 21 and 22 happened just this morning as two new bouquets were set free on Greens Road in Humble, Texas. The first were let go by myself, three balloons and postcard as shown in the four images below.

The second round was a large bunch of 9 balloons and Rigo got into the fun, freeing them into the sky. We both nervously watched as they barely cleared the buildings, then floated upward.

Both bunches floated southwest into a beautiful blue sky on this cool morning, the last day of the year... December 31, 2008. Let's keep our fingers crossed that they are found.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Man Ties Engagement Ring To Helium Filled Balloon. How Romantic. How Stupid!

Lefkos Hajji thought it would be quite the romantic gesture to tie his sweetheart's engagement ring to a helium filled balloon- the unbearable lightness of being... married, or something like that. Walking out of the jewelry store with the 6.000 English pound ring (that's over $8,000 American dollars), a gust of wind did the oh so predictable. I love how the newspaper has a sidebar with a "Wedder" Forecast, explaining that upper winds were at 40 MPH and the ring should be somewhere over the North Sea, but if Lefkos wants to redo the balloon thing, winds are less now, so less chance of a gust. Read the whole stupid tale here.

Balloon Releases 19 and 20!

Tonight we reached the 20 mark on releases, with 19 and 20 going up and away on a gentle breeze, headed in a southwest direction awat from 1960 Road East.

The first one I released actually rose so slowly that it became tangled on a power line. YIKES! I was already envisioning the electric company sending me a big bill for some strange repair. I mean, my name and address are on the postcard! Here you can see the lower balloon, to the left, it is caught on the line.

Luckily the plucky little aeronaut freed itself and soared away to new heights. Whew, big sigh of relief. You can see them both headed away in this shot. Remember to let me know if you release any balloons so I can log the. E-mail me if you want any instructions on participating here, or want to include Balloon Release blog information.


Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas Ballooners, One And All!

Merry Christmas
to all Balloon Release readers,
and have a
Happy New Year.
Keep your eyes open and the balloons you hope to find will appear.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Ballon Releases 14, 15, 16, 17, And 18

That's right, tonight five more bundles went out. The local PO was out of postcards so they flew away with self-addressed and stamped envelopes. It was a quick release in the dark Atascocita night on December 22, 2008, as it is about 25 degrees with a cutting wind, and I was ill-clothed to be out. The balloons soared awaw at a low angle, barely clearing the trees, than over the golf course and northward, flip-flopping in the icy, turbulent wind. Maybe they will reach Canada? Or Massachusetts?!

Monday, December 22, 2008

I Mailed A Card To Balloon Finder Landon!

I wanted to say that I mailed a really cool card to Landon in Newton, TX who found the first balloon. Read about Landon's balloon find here.

I wanted to post an image of the card but with hectic Christmas ahopping and wrapping I wrote a letter, sealed it, and shipped it without remembering. Sorry.

I did include a nice letter explaining the whole scenario, why it took so long to answer his card, and cool details like the balloon being found on my birthday. I also told him to ask his parents and then visit the blog.

I invited Landon and I invite you--- Send up a balloon with a card attached and let us know. If found, super let us know ! ! ! It's why we are here. Wouldn't it be neat if the blog caused hundreds of balloons all over the world to be released?

After the holiday break I am going to promote the idea to teachers, I think it would be a fun project, and there is plenty of opportunity to educate about science, meteorology, geography.

Hopefull we can get a few more airborn this week. I'll keep you informed.

Alan Mizell

Friday, December 19, 2008

Balloon Releases 9, 10, 11, 12, And 13. A HUGE Release day!

In addition to the three boquets released earlier today, an additional five air mail balloons wers sent aloft this evening. The release occured in Atascocita at about 8:30 tonight, December 19, 2008.

Five large bundles of balloons wait in the Christmasy living room to fly away and make a new friend, hopefully far, far away.

The postcards with postage are in zip-lock type baggies, and to protect the card from having the sun bleach the ink right off, I wrap them in a piece of paper. I inscribe a little note on the paper to attract attention. Writing 'secret note', 'air mail', 'read me', and 'a message for u' on the paper, I couldn't help but think of the 'drink me' card Alice in Wonderland finds.

That's a big bundle of all five bouquets, tangled badly. What a putz.

Goodbye balloons, goodbye. It's always so cool watching them drift off, wondering where they might land, how far they might go. Tonight they drifted eastward, toward Louisiana.

Lexi caught one last glimpse of them in the darkness. I have a suspicion that two I released simultaneously became entangled, but it is the kind of thing there is no altering of, so no worries.


Balloon Releases 6, 7 And 8. A New Person Releasing, A New Release Location.

More balloons were set free today, this time by a co-worker's daughter, Ashlyn, from a new location just south of Humble, TX on Greens Road. Three bundles in total were released on December 19, 2008 between the hours of 3 and 4 PM.

Preparing to let them go...

People can't help but smile when they let a balloon go aloft...

Up, up, and away. Yeah Ashlyn!

Three balloon messages in the air, the highest one just visible in this shot. Let's hope Ashlyn has a balloon returned, and believe me, if she does you will hear about it here.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

A Few Words About Releases, E-Mail Notification, Contests

If you are interested in Balloon Release I know the found balloons are the real interesting part. With so many blogs and our busy lives, it's hard to check to see what has been found, if any. So I have set up a special e-mail address where you can join and receive an e-mail ONLY when a balloon is found! The address if Simply send an e-mail to me, write Join in the subject line or body of mail and whenever one is found, you will receive a notice with a link to the post!

Also, just a reminder, if you are intrigued by the idea and want to play too, please release a balloon yourself. Send me pictures, location, date, time, whatever, and I will work up a post and add the balloon to the listings. Also interested in 'message in a bottle' releases, and balloons or bottles found.

One other big future plan is when the blog reaches 100 followers I will release 100 balloon messages, one for each of you, coded in your name. Maybe the ones that are found will win a prize!

If this sounds like fun you might also enjoy the Picture Puzzle to be posted on Robot Nine on December 26, with a used book as the prize for the winner. Make sure you play.


Balloon Release 3, 4 And 5 From Atascocita, Texas

Tonight we released balloons 3, 4 and 5, again from Atascocita, Texas. Not quite as dastardly weather as last night but still kind of misty and moist. The balloons tonight drifted up Eastward, exactly opposite from last night, heading Louisiana way. Unless some upper cross current tricks me.

This is the three bunches with postcards in the house before being set free outside. The postcards are in zip-lock baggies.

The postcard has some basic information asking for location and time found, and hopefully some contact information. It would be nice to have some cards printed specifically for the releases, so I will place that on the list of things to do.

If you wish to receive an e-mail ONLY when a balloon is found, which is the fun part of the project, just drop a line to me at Write in the subject line or text "Add to found list. I will only send a note with a link to the post when and if a balloon is found.

Hope to hear from you all, drop me a line, leave a comment, follow the blog, or release a balloon and share the photos, location, time and such with me to post here.

Alan Mizell

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Balloon Release 1 and 2 From Atascocita, Texas

Tonight was the Official Balloon Release Inaugural Ball. OK, I took some balloons that were left over from the apartments I work at and attached a note and released them. Luckily I had two postcards at home as the Christmas rush had the lines at the PO twenty deep, even at 8 PM at the 24 hour post office we have here in Humble, TX. Below I am holding the two bouquets and Trixi my faithful companion is on a leash and by my side.

Sorry for the image quality but it was night with a puny and cheap digital camera. Seeing how faded the postcard that was found was, I wrapped these in a sheet of paper to prevent bleaching by the sun. Then the postpaid cards addressed to me were placed in zip seal plastic baggies. I punched a hole in the outer edge so water cannot get in and tied them to the string hanging from the balloons. Foolproof!

My daughter Lexi caught this dramatic image just as Balloon Release number one left the frame of the viewfinder. The bright specks in the picture are drops of drizzle, as it happened to be raining misty drops, and fog was very low, the balloons quickly vanishing in the grey. Both bunches drifted away to the West. Maybe to Katy? San Antonio? El Paso? Los Angeles? Tahiti?

Lexi released Balloons number two just after this shot. Dad was not talented enough to catch the balloons in air, that shot was totally black. Oops...

Both releases were mad tonight, December 17, 2008 at about 9:00 PM from the 8300 block of FM 1960 in Atascocita. Hopefully someone will have a Christmas surprise and find these soon. Keep your fingers crossed.

Have You Ever Released A Balloon? Was It Found? Here's The Story Of Our First Balloon Release Find!

Welcome to Balloon Release. You may have already read this first story in a post I wrote over on Laid Back Think Tank a few days ago. I have released balloons in the past with a note attached and have had two returned to me. This is the story of one of them, the most recent.

It has been a long time coming because the balloons were actually sent aloft from Atascocita, TX back in February of 2008, and a letter came in the mail from the finder, but somehow I carelessly misplaced the reply. Just the other night I jarred my desk causing some papers to slide along the back side and down the wall, among them the envelope! As you can see it had taken a toll while it sat on the desk, suffering through notes and coffee cups, before hiding.

I had originally sent a postcard with my address as the receiver with a note on the back side describing the project. The postcard as returned was bent, dirty, weathered, and I guess it was just luck the address was visible as the reverse side was totally faded. The finders luckily placed it in an envelope and returned it to me.

Not just any little letter was good enough for the kind-hearted finders, they saw the adventure that the balloon note carried with it. 12 year old Landon Kelly found the balloon on his grandparent's farm near Newton, TX, and they sent a super-awesome Western themed card with the perfect image, a young lad with his dog and horse reading some mail that seems to have arrived in the more conventional fashion.

Inside the card Landon and the adults wrote a very nice letter which I have transcribed below, or you can click on the image for a better, larger view.

Landon's text is in red, his grandparent's in blue...


My name is Landon Kelly And I'm 12 yrs old. I found your balloon in our pasture in newton tx

Actually, in his Grandparent's pasture (Will and Donna Barrow) March 12.

Was fun to find your card. Hope you enjoy ours. We live in Newton, TX on a 40 acre farm. We are very close to the Sabine River, which divides Louisiana and Texas. Hope you are having a fun and blessed Easter.

The balloon was released in the 8300 block of FM 1960 Road East in Atascocita and landed in Newton, Texas, a distance of 142 miles! Hey, for now, that is a Balloon Release Blog record!

It was quite disappointing losing the letter before I could answer it, so finding it was so excellent. Strange, it was found on March 12, and they sent greetings for Easter. Now that I have found the letter I am sending them back a long letter in a huge Christmas card. I will keep you posted on their answer.

I will soon post the story of our latest release so I hope you will stop in often and check out what's been sent aloft or found.

Alan Mizell
Atascosita, Texas