About this site and Doug Reeves
It's people and the
journey taken, not
'likes', technology or features, or tracking users
than you make.
Respect and civility.
Foster a sense of
Try to lead by example.
primary role in world:
husband / father
computer this and that
25% airplane stuff
(some simulated / some real)
wings and guitar strings
That's me on the left in 1974ish. Blue jean cutoffs, Beatles
haircut and a cracked finger (dodgeball). Hand-me-down
bike that was a little too big in front of our garage that was
converted into another room. Shirt said 'DYNE O MITE' and
had a picture of Jimmie Walker from 'Good Times' on the front.
He does Medicare commercials now.
Ewing in the middle (still close friends). Mike Guest on
the right (passed in his 30s). He had an X-15 Estes rocket that I thought was
pretty much the coolest thing on earth. Aviation/Space bug
name is Doug Reeves and I started and run this website.
As you might suspect, there is a
what is going on here:
(started back in 1996 and branded as 'VAF' online)
puts the spotlight on Van's RV kitplanes and the people who
build and enjoy them.
It's a laid back, civil, non-corporate place to
virtually hang out with other people who, like yourself, like
the idea of
leaving the Earth's surface occasionally in a Van's Aircraft RV.
politics talk allowed by design.
you think this type of web site should stay online, please send
in your honor system $25USD each year. VAF
is how I put food on the table for my family. Those who
along with the advertisers, quite literally put food in our mouths and
a roof over our heads. Easily an eight hour a day job,
out over the whole 24hr day in little thirty minute bites. An unconventional career
with everything-on-the-line financial risk, but the perks are meaningful:
Some background on the site:
back in '97 with the
RV White Pages and some 3rd party
message board software, the site found its online
footing. Later, as the weaknesses in the message
board app became apparent, I created several Yahoo groups - one for each model to give the community a
little more flexibility. A couple of years later
when the I.T. department (of my then day job) blocked access to
all Yahoo stuff (like most companies were doing at the
time), I couldn't approve messages fast enough
for people's needs and still keep the spam out. Shortly thereafter I researched, purchased and
current forum software (and deleted the Yahoo
groups I had created). The newest incarnation of the site's forums
hopefully make the hobby, in some small way, more personal.
became my full time job in 2007.
HQ: $36 table bought at Target 30+ years ago - our first
'dining room table'.
for posting in the VAF Forums can be cliff-noted with 99% accuracy
with a simple "Don't be a D-bag", but you should take a
moment to familiarize yourself with them. These rules are
required due to the high eyeball traffic seen here...high volume
forum sites need structure due to the wide demographic makeup of
its participants. As a contrast, read the comments section
of any news site (any story) to see what happens when there are
no enforceable posting rules.
"You can stand out on a
street corner handing out $100 bills and someone will still call you an
-- friend of Jim Pappas
has been a very conscious effort on my part to make everything
on the site
visible to everyone,
without requiring any kind of registration or login. While you do need to login
to the forums to actually POST a message, any
unregistered 'lurker' can
see it all. Unlike almost every other aviation
I do it this way specifically to put a no-hassle spin on
the experience and to quasi-reinforce to viewers that we
represent something that is more community than clique.
me this hobby in its purest form is one person, one plane and
an empty airport. But there are those occasions when your
passenger makes you realize what you were put on this Earth for
(I wrote this after a flight with my son):
my hope that if you come to the site regularly, and
consider yourself a regular viewer, you will adhere to the
honor system that I've requested and will send in
$25 donation some time during the year. I have enough usernames and passwords to
keep track of, and have enough people trying to pressure
me into buying things. I don't want to be that guy.
I currently live north of Dallasw,
yoga instructing wife,
son (when not at SMU) and chihuahua 'Moon Dog'. Above all else I care
about my wife, family and friends. I am Blessed
beyond words and hope to never forget how lucky I am to have the
friends I have.
Thank you for stopping by and reading this.
Kindest and best,
Doug Reeves (and family)
About Tracking Visitors:
VansAirForce.net is not a social media
site. YOU DESERVE YOUR PRIVACY and you will most certainly
get it here! I don't track your interactions with
this website. There are no
'analytic metrics' going on behind the scenes. I wouldn't sell
the VAF reader's contact information for a million dollars,
and at least for me,
that Google/Facebook/Twitter/Instragram/Snapchat/etc have been
to track mouse moments, keystrokes, your lon/lat (and
potentially sounds) breaks squelch on my comfort level.
get why companies use social media to promote their products, it
just makes me a little squeamish how the social media companies
use people's data.
studies suggesting heavy social media use and its ties to mental
illness are something else that raises a flag with me (sources).
"Addictive Nature." "Fragmented attention."
"Underlying background of anxiety."
have purposely laid out VAF's content delivery in a way similar
to a newspaper - something you check for five minutes a day. Or
not. Skip a day! You're not going to miss anything if you're
registered and know where the 'New Posts' link is.
There are no 'attention engineers' here working full time to
maximize the amount of time you spent visiting (it's a thing...4min
I think we're going to be hearing more about in the near future,
is that there is a fundamental mismatch, between the way our
brains are wired, and this behavior of exposing yourself to
stimuli with intermittent rewards throughout all of your waking
hours. It's one thing to spend a couple of hours at the slot
machines of Las Vegas, but if you bring a slot machine with you
and you pull that handle all day long from when you wake up to
when you go to bed, we're not wired for that. It short circuits
the brain and we're starting to find that it has actual
cognitive consequences. One of them being this sort of pervasive
background hum of anxiety. Now the canary in the coal mine for
this are students from college campuses. If you talk to mental
health experts from college campuses, they'll tell you, that
along with the rise of ubiquitous smart phone and social media
use among the students, came an explosion of anxiety related
Dr. Cal Newport
feedback loops and social media's effect on mental
health and cognitive ability is a real thing. It's
tearing at the fabric of society, and it's worth some of
your time to research. If I come off to you as Don
Quixote titling at windmills, then I would venture
to guess you haven't given much thought to the link at the beginning of
this paragraph. Cocaine, slot machines and social
media.....they all target the same part of the brain.
If I've done my job right, VAF should allow you to touch RV base
for a couple of minutes, then spend the remaining 99.99% of your day
living your life. I'll have no idea what you're doing. ;^)
So, when potential
advertisers contact me and ask 'how many clicks do you get?' I
just say 'I think a lot. Maybe ask some RV owners
around you if they've heard of the site'. If you
have, for example, a widget ad on VAF over on the side of the
page, chances are when it comes time for an RV builder to
purchase a widget, they have scrolled past that ad daily for a
few years. They know where it is...
might be wrong, but it just seems less intrusive this way.
IMHO, you deserve your privacy.
At least you'll get it here in my infinitesimally small corner of the
grabs showing various websites and the number of trackers blocked in
the DuckDuckGo app.
You deserve your privacy. You'll
get it here.
No trackers being blocked on VAF BECAUSE THERE AREN'T ANY!
Not so much everywhere else...
Enter a URL into this
website to see what tracking code is running in the background
Facebook shows 'clean' explained here)