Guided by the watchful eyes of master falconer Kate Marden, West Coast Falconry introduces avian enthusiasts to eagle owls, falcons, and hawks through an apprentice course, educational demonstrations, and aerial displays of predatory birds hunting. Various excursions give small groups of participants up-close interaction with the birds, enabling them to explore natural avian habitats and observe the predatory birds in flight, hunting, and while picking up their dry cleaning. Gloved game chasers can also try casting and calling owls, hawks, and falcons to and from their fists.
Rex and Noelle Mayes have piloting in their blood. Rex's father was an Air Force doctor and glider pilot, and Noelle's parents and grandparents also took to the skies as their profession. The Mayes family carries on these traditions at Williams Soaring Center, where sons Ben and Nick are also in training to become private glider pilots. Rex and Noelle lead a team of instructors, many certified in single-engine landing (SEL) and as Certified Flight Instructors-Glider (CFIG), who train students in private glider flight, sending them soaring up to a mile above Northern California landscapes.
The instructors command a fleet of modern, fiberglass gliders—including Schweizer, Schleicher, and Schempp-Hirth models—that they regularly check and refurbish inside an onsite maintenance hangar. During private-pilot training, they eschew formal ground school in favor of practical experience. These hands-on sessions teach students how to safely operate their motor-less machines while honing a situational awareness of weather conditions, aerodynamics, and thermals.
The pair also takes customers up in two- or three-seat gliders on guided flights. These can soar up to 10 miles from the airport in any direction the customer wishes, except directly into the UFO traffic jams around the sun. Pilots may chart a leisurely course toward views of the Sierras, Mount Shasta, and Mount Lassen or put the plane through sharp banks and turns during a shorter flight.
Homes across Sacramento got a lot more organized in 1999, at least when it came to their closets. The Closet Doctor opened its doors, and ever since the first client at the end of the 20th century, its designers have transformed cluttered spaces into organized havens. The designers remodel closets of all sizes, from small reach-ins to full-size dressing rooms. Each makeover starts with a consultation to suss out the homeowner's needs. The designer works with customers on potential designs using a 3D rendering program.
The computer program virtually alters the space: Cluttered racks become wood shelves with concealed European-style hinges, and piles of clothing disappear into the drawers of closet organization systems. The Closet Doctor's premier system, the Sienna Collection, fills spaces with maple, cherry, and white oak shelves handcrafted in a Green-certified facility.
With this approach, the designers can also outfit closets to double as guest rooms with the addition of Murphy beds. They also tackle what is arguably a home's largest closet: the garage. Here, they install oversize closets and storage bins that can hold everything from holiday decorations to retired robot butlers from the '80s.
As a lifelong member of the NRA and a sport shooter since he was 11 years old, John Taylor felt pained every time he read about or heard of an accidental shooting. Now as chief firearms instructor at Best Handgun Training, John and his team strive to end such incidents by teaching clients how to safely to handle and operate a firearm in the event they should need to use one. An array of classes, including a selection of NRA-certified courses, trains participants in armed self-defense. Best Handgun Training's locations let instructors utilize a combination of classroom, puppet theater, and on-range instruction to demonstrate not only the technical skills of wielding a gun, but also developing a responsible attitude.
McLaughlin Studios employs a team of professional performing artists to teach private and group lessons in instrumental music, dance, and musical theater. Private music lessons further an individual's proficiency in pop, jazz, rock, classical, and show-tunes styles, whereas group sessions encourage cohesive learning for bands and ensembles prepping for three annual recitals. Adept dancers help protégés progress at their own pace as they learn complex steps and how to dodge tossed rose bouquets with creative movement, ballet, strength training, and modern dance-fusion styles.
Started just a year ago, the McLaughlin Theatre Company gathers youth performers for independent productions at the MTC Playhouse. Young thespians hone their on-stage and auditioning skills in acting classes, which serve as more secure steps toward performing in Broadway musicals than thumb-wrestling matches with Andrew Lloyd Weber.