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  1. 10 points
    Personally? It guides my morality and worldview. I didn't know anything about how people in sub-Saharan Africa lived, and imagined they were all poor, ignorant people who lived in poverty and misery. Then I spent a month there and learned they were some of the happiest people around. When I told them I was a skydiver, one of the kids pantomined an entire RW skydive, including throwing a hand-deploy at the end and releasing the brakes. They all spoke three languages. I thought the US was a good influence there. And I discovered in the cities and larger towns that everyone hated Americans, because they'd come in and steamroller over local businesses, homesteads and farms (often literally) in the name of profit. "It never their fault" one guy told me, who explained that Americans always blamed their boss, or the shareholders, or the (Niger) government for whatever trouble they caused. But when you got to the smaller towns, the only Americans people had seen were Peace Corps volunteers. And they saw Peace Corps volunteers as sometimes misguided, sometimes clueless, but clearly there because they were trying to help. And thus I was welcomed with open arms. And that taught me that ultimately it's what you do, not what you say or what you profess to believe, that determines your morality and how you are seen by the world. I thought I was "woke" and really understood people. Then I managed a transgender woman and realized that I really didn't understand much of anything, and I never would, since I'm a straight cis middle aged white guy. But that that was OK as long as I could accept that her point of view was as valid as mine - even if it didn't make sense to me. I've known people who were great guys, would do anything for you, who turned out to be pedophiles. I've known miserable people who would curse you and never say a good word about anyone - but years after they were gone, I found out they'd been supporting several families and paying for their kid's college education for no reason other than he thought they deserved a chance. From that I learned to not judge people so quickly. True of Barack Obama, too. (Or as you preferred, Barack HUSSEIN Obama.) But I bet you don't think that the reaction to his name defines his significance.
  2. 9 points
    He's out of the ICU now but still hospitalized.
  3. 8 points
    Hooray. Good news. I got a job offer today! It’s not quite what I was after, but with so many people unemployed right now and companies having a freeze on hiring just finding a job is a godsend.
  4. 8 points
    Yesterday, this post had over a hundred views and no responses after 6 hours, and this was a good thing. Then all it took was added bait from the second most ignorable poster on the entire forum, and you all had to take a bite. This was a great opportunity to leave him shouting into the void, and you failed. Every one of you should be ashamed.
  5. 8 points
    Hello To ALL..... Just checked in here, to find this thread.....Thanks to Each of your for your posts and good wishes......The worst Is now Over. I was discharged on Oct 20th.. " They turnt me Loose " " said I was Well " …. And I AM.... I had gone to Skydive The Falls on Saturday September 14th and after a bit of a wind hold it calmed down and they started sending up loads. I enjoyed a Nice 2 way from 12 grand with a long time buddy....The view of Niagara Falls during the climb to altitude was Fantastic . While Packing my rig afterwards, I found it to Be, a bit of an effort.. and I had to stop 3 times and sit to rest...… Hmmmm. Got home that night and was just feeling wrung out... No real pain, no numbness, but I felt lousy..It was around 10 or 11 pm and Nancy had already gone to sleep. I saw NO value in waking her and having her SIT in an E R waiting room, wondering and Waiting,,,, so I wrote her a note , left it where she could Easily Find it. and said " I am going to the hospital " Got there in a few minutes because it is only a couple of miles away. It was NOT busy and they took me in quickly. They did an EKG on me. and the next thing I knew they were calling for an anesthesiologist AND a surgeon !! Yikes !!!! Well they did a big time bypass on me , had me on a heart pump and a respirator throughout... I was out of it for a few days... and feel terrible about putting my FAmily through those first few days, post Op... I got great care from the doctors and nurses and a few in particular were top shelf, in their encouragement and insistance that I "get UP and get Moving"... I was walking around and improving each day, by about 2 weeks post op and little by little they removed the trach... and the drainage apparatus and the nasal feeding tube and got me back onto swallowing and a bit of a sense of normalcy... I have been Home now for 10 days or so, and I am pain free and no longer need the walker I had been using. Kind of glad we are coming into the end of the year as I am on a hiatus from work and will be doing Physical therapy and building up my appetite the next few weeks. I lost 22 pounds and was Under 170, for the first time since high school..... Anyway things are improving. I am proud that I Did NOT ignore my sense of malaise and instead sought medical care...... I was told I was getting close to a cardiac arrest..... Follow your instincts my Friends No One is bulletproof and certain issues CAN sneak Up on us... I feel blessed that in addition to Great Friends and Family, I also have a Guardian Angel or Two... sitting on my shoulders... Thanks skymama,,, for initiating this thread. I am glad that I checked in here,,, to Find it.... skydive often, skydive safely, skydive with friends . jimmytavino uspa # 9452 A3914 D12122
  6. 7 points
    It's a simple solution really. Name all the bases and put up statues in honor of those 3,520 Medal of Honor recipients. Of those, 90 of the MoH's went to 89 African-Americans (Sweeney was awarded twice). Who's gonna take exception to an MoH recipient.
  7. 7 points
    We'll miss you Gary. He was a rock of stability on the USPA BOD.
  8. 7 points
    Nobody's jumping right now, right? A suggestion. While stuck on the ground, don't forget about your brothers and sisters who have no work at the moment, and little hope of getting any work in the next few months at least. Might be a great time to send that AAD off for service, have that little cosmetic repair done on your rig/jumpsuit/canopy, go ahead and get that repack done since it's only a month or so out. Your rigger will appreciate the work. Bring a bag of groceries to an instructor or three. Check in on them. Lots of them won't ask for shit - offer it. We are family.
  9. 7 points
    1. JoeWebs asked you if the highest earners should pay a higher percentage of their income than the kid with a lemonade stand? 2. The child within me only saw the words "lemonade stand," so I went on a tangent about how horny old assholes were trying to shut us down at garage sales way back in the 2015s. 3. Kallend said that horny old assholes aren't part of the government and that my comment was irrelevant to the question. 4. Gowlerk then said that my comment was a good way to avoid answering the question that Weber was asking you. 5. I told him that since you hadn't logged in yet to see the question, it was doubtful that you were avoiding it. 5. Then I told Webs about how they were talking about lemonade stands on Wheel of Fortune. 6. Damn you for making me repeat all that. 7. Everyone in this thread is now dumber for having listened to it. 8. I award myself no points, and my God have mercy on my soul.
  10. 7 points
    I have an update from Jimmy's daughter (October 19th). She said he is making great progress. He is eating solid food now and his trach is out. He is able to walk with the help of a walker. He is anxious to leave the hospital and go home but he still needs some rehab. They are hoping he can head to rehab next week!
  11. 6 points
    When you claim that George Will is of the far left you lose all credibility. The uncomfortable truth for you is that Will actually represents what you merely claim to be. A conservative who actually has the integrity and the balls to call out the torrent of unnacceptable behaviour from those who currently control his party.
  12. 6 points
    Anyone who compares a Havok to a performance suit clearly has absolutely no experience with acro flying.
  13. 6 points
    There are no flames. There's a small flame. It will be gone in a few days. But there is no fire. It's a Chinese flame. Once it rains in the spring the flames will disappear like magic. The flames are a Democratic hoax. I removed all the sprinklers and fire alarms because you can get them back very quickly when you need them. I am the best at putting out fires. All the firefighters say "how do you know so much about this?" Maybe I have a talent. Fire at the mall is very small. Macy's sale looking very good to me! Obama started the fire. The CDC is overestimating the risk of flames. They are like a warm campfire. If we lose only a thousand houses to the flames I will have done a great job. The lying liberal media are exaggerating the extent of the flames to make me look bad. We have to put away the fire hoses and reopen the mall. Demand your FREEDOM TO SHOP! LIBERATE! Billy Joel started the fire, even if he denies it. Check it out if you don't believe me. I know, you're going to report "Trump is lying" again but that's because you are a terrible reporter. Terrible, no good mayor tells people to not go into mall because small flames are warming it up. I've heard the effect of gasoline is very powerful on fires. We're going to try that, putting gasoline on the fire. The extinguishing effect is very strong, almost a cleaning. I only asked the firefighters to try putting gasoline on fires. I never said put gasoline on the fires. I was being sarcastic when I said put gasoline on the fires. I always said this would be a big fire. Obama took all the sprinklers and fire alarms. We are the best at rebuilding malls, and I never said anything different. I am putting my son in law in charge of putting out the fires. He started a barbecue last year so he knows all about it. The CDC is exaggerating the number of deaths from the fire. Some people were going to burn themselves anyway. Look, it's very simple. No fire alarms, no fires. If we weren't so good at detecting fires we'd see a lot fewer fires. I was the first to say this was a dangerous fire.
  14. 6 points
    It’s not so much about “Trump” as it is about being a Republican and its assault on the institution as a whole. You'll note I haven't been as engaged on here as before. We’ve all been around long enough to know that everything is cyclical. At no time during Obama’s era did you hear me say any of the vile things that you guys are saying now. Never called you an Obamette, uneducated, or the litany of other expletives directed at some’s value system as a whole. Never heard me say, “Piss on his grave, anyone with a thinking brain, if my guy was guilty of raping 47 women . . .etc.” I think the worst you’ve heard me say is, “I hate Hillary.” And, I had strong reasons as to why, but those fell on deaf ears, never mind the facts, because she was just the right person for you guys at the time. But again; I did not attack you personally as being uneducated, or hope to live long enough to piss on her grave. She represented your institution and philosophy. Even if she had won, in time, she too would have been voted out or left the office. I have sided with you guys on gun control and yet; you completely ignored the tactical point of “Well-regulated” and the ammunition I served up for your side to become more successful in your campaigns towards gun control. And, your battle cry remained “Ban.” Never mind that a fork or a baseball bat can be an assault weapon. I guess I’m fortunate enough to have been in weapons long enough to know that we shouldn’t be scared of the tool as much as the person wielding that tool. That is the real issue. We differed in opinion on healthcare, not so much on the point itself, but its deployment. We have a “social” healthcare system in the U.S. It’s called the VA. It can be a lifesaver at times but is fraught with process issues. My point has always been – “Fix that” and then you have a model to point to and say – it works. Until graduates of John Hopkins or any of the other prestigious medical schools have graduates applying to work at the VA; then something is wrong. Until they can excel in research as much as other institutions, then something is wrong. Until they can perform a live-saving cardio-thoracic surgery or even a knee replacement without farming it out to the private sector; then something is wrong. Due to education on this site; I changed my views on “Climate Change” to the point that I can’t even read the age-old thread without throwing up my hands and thinking even one of my own doesn’t get it. The environment here has changed so much that things that would have used to get you a ban doesn’t even merit a “One warning” anymore no matter which side. The value on here has degenerated from us knowing each other and having some modicum of respect to become another faceless soul on the internet left to defending personal attacks on one’s value system and if you don’t believe in their way; you must be an idiot. Well, this idiot is done with the verbal lashings that would be considered anywhere else other than the Internet to be - verbal assault. The US is a Banana Republic. Give me a break. There was a time when no matter what side you were on; we were patriotic enough to have shut that down; rather than amplify it. Trump? Well, there is a lot of people that believe he is right about one thing. We, as a nation; have to do something more about producing & manufacturing more goods here in the U.S than we do movies and fast-food franchises. That we shouldn’t be doing “business” with a communist country, much less have our entire supply steam interrupted. If that in of itself does not give us a wake-up call, then there are those of us that do believe we are doomed and our whole way of life jeopardized. That industry has to change to provide more jobs for the middle-class. That the middle-class is the backbone of this country. One cannot continue to complain about the inequities of wealth while not championing the need for more well-paying jobs that are based on production and competition, rather than legislation to increase the minimum wage. That used to be one of the primary tenets of the Democratic party. You know. The whole FDR thing of creating work programs, to produce, to give people pride in a work ethic. A lot of Americans believe the world needs to be a level playing field. If we are to lose jobs (entire industries) in steel, coal, cotton, aluminum, technology, automobiles (Harley for God’s sake) etc. or whatever because of EPA standards, then those same standards need to apply to the rest of the world. And, when people buy products from a communist country that have any of those elements that used to be “Made in America,” they get angry. Especially, if they or a member of their family lost their jobs in that industry. California alone has lost almost a million middle-class jobs to China. To hope that our children learn to respect and honor Veterans, Firefighters, and the like and to “follow” them rather than the Kardashians or Justin Beibers. Hell, most kids these days can tell you the exact location of a Kardashian in Wyoming, but cannot locate Belize on a map of Central America. Trump may not be the man, but he does represent the sentiment. I may not like or agree with the man on all things, but I do know that he is the only one saying these things – and, that’s what America wants to hear. That is why he has the base he does. But, I ramble. I guess I am left with some wonderful memories of times spent with Nigel, Wendy, Bill, Wendy, Turtlespeed, et.al. But, it is just memories and not a reflection of the interactions on here. Peace.
  15. 6 points
    By not posting on DZ.com?
  16. 6 points
    i called my senator, shelly capito, and told her that her constituents wanted to hear the evidence and was assured that she wanted to hear the truth, but she voted no for witnesses. i became galvanized at that point, and when i got home, i registered the domain CapitoHasGottaGo.com, hosted a page, and registered a pac so that i can help put her out. i have been in contact with her opponent, richard ojeda, so that i can see if we are on the same page as far as issues. i have listened to his interviews and read his views so a confident that we agree, having both been combat engineers and airborne soldiers, although he was a major and i a staff sergeant. fitting if you ask me. as soon as i get the ban account opened on monday, i will get a paypal button up for tax deductible donations if one were so inclined.
  17. 6 points
    If you're thinking there are too many candidates in the democratic field, use this handy flowchart to narrow your options down.
  18. 6 points
    Gary Peek was found dead in his house yesterday morning. Concerned neighbors asked for a wellness check because they had not seen him around in recent days. Gary took an early morning walk every day. A few weeks ago Gary was in a car accident were his SUV rolled 4 times. He was treated and discharged by a hospital. No one knows, at this time, if this had a relationship to his death. Gary was a long time USPA Central Regional Director. In fact, he had the longest tenure of the current board members. Gary served on the Safety & Training committee during several of his terms. He chaired the Constitution and Bylaws committee last term. He was a strong advocate for the needs and concerns of small DZs and many were in his region. Gary also served on the Group Membership committee during several terms. Gary was also a prolific speaker at the PIA Symposiums. He gave talks on various subjects, including opening forces that he measured with custom strain gauges and recording devices that he engineered. He was also one of the test jumpers. One year he made a bunch of itty-bitty LED circuits with a 555 timer chip that could plug into expired CYPRES batteries and give a light show with blinking LEDS. Gary was well versed in the happenings at every DZ in his region. He called, emailed and visited the DZs frequently. After he bought his Cessna, he was able to visit the DZs more often. Gary posted in rec.skydiving and DropZone.com. He wrote several articles for DZ.com. Gary was instrumental in getting me a gig as a load organizer at the WFFC in 1996. He also recruited others as LOs for the WFFC. After I bought an arduino, Gary helped me with my tinkering with microprocessors. He even brought back issues of Nuts and Volts to the board meetings. He told me who the the best electronic component distributors were. There are a bunch more stories about Gary and the board, electronics and jumping. Gary Peek will be missed by many, as he touched so many people's lives, whether you knew him as a jumper, an electronics guru or board member. Blue Skies Gary Peek. RIP
  19. 5 points
    A quick project for tracking basic data during flight. This is a garage project I made out of own curiosity. Not tested in flight yet, if you decide to do it you're doing it at your own risk. There are advanced solutions on the market like Dekunu One or Aon X2 and if you can afford them I encourage you to use professionally made equipment. You'd need: * Car GPS speedometer (I used this one because its shape and size are already almost snag-free: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000265066382.html * Powerbank (with least capacity and smallest size possible - in the prototype this one was used: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32945597181.html ) * 850 mAh battery (ideally 2000 mAh, but unlikely they'll fit inside the case) * Small switch Assembly is pretty straightforward: unsolder USB ports on both GPS and powerbank, solder switch and battery. Additionally I flipped the capacitor (it's under white tape on the first photo) - put it on the opposite site of the board to give some room for powerbank's charger. The device is mounted on a rig using velcro strap with a loop. So far I tested it on the ground on a bike and the speed is pretty accurate - +/- 1 km/h to what smartphone GPS shows Even with 850 mAh battery the device help up for around 8-10 hours (screen constantly on) which is quite impressed actually. Talking about the battery - attentive reader might notice that it got swollen - probably because powerbank's changer is for 2000 mAh, while battery is 850 mAh. That's a critical flaw because swollen battery has high risk of explosion as pressure changes during climb to the altitude. If I ever decide to use it for actual tests, the batteries will be replaced with non-chargeable lithium batteries just like in audibles (powerbank's module would still nicely convert that into a constant 5V supply). Meanwhile I'm doing some more research to find safe chargeable batteries. Now, what this thing can do: * Display current ground speed (both metric and those other, inferior units). Speed alarm can be set at as high as 200 km/h, so I'd assume device can measure at lease that much * Display one of 8 directions ( N/NE/E/SE and so on) - yeah, it's pretty basic, but better than nothing * Display distance covered, accuracy 100m * Display few other stats, but those are useless for WS flying * Oh, yeah, you can change colors Again, this is a garage project. I'm only sharing the fruits of my curiosity and taking no responsibility for what you might do with it.
  20. 5 points
    I'm getting this almost every day. I do wonder if people accessing the site via mobile and leaving their browser running on their phone is keeping a connection open. Maybe try a timeout option that closes connections if they're inactive?
  21. 5 points
    Because done properly, it's not just testing. You test positive, you isolate and the people you have contact with get tested. Those who test positive isolate and the people they've had contact with get tested, etc. Compared to the alternatives of locking down everyone and having no economy, and locking down no-one and seeing huge numbers of infections this is a good thing. I've gotta be honest, at this stage of the game I really wonder how someone who appears to be interested and has been actively discussing the subject for months doesn't have even a passing awareness of the concepts involved.
  22. 5 points
    If it requires belonging to some group, no. If it means I'm against fascism, yes. If it means I think all government, or all conservatives, or all police, are evil, then no. So 2 out of three means a "no" vote. But then I'm not real big on formal groups that seem to demand allegiance. Wendy P.
  23. 5 points
    Your reply is a perfect example of why I said things have not changed here. That is genius.
  24. 5 points
    Give me a fucking break. After the 8 years of "make sure nothing he does gets any cooperation" as the publicly stated goal of the Republican senate, you really think that's going to happen? This wasn't a case of "they don't suggest anything we can work with," it was a case of "no matter what they suggest we're against it." And McConnell has promised more of the same if a Democrat is elected this year. Wendy P.
  25. 5 points
    MooooOOOOooOOooOooOooOoooOOOOOoo :-(
  26. 5 points
    Anyone crying about petulance or decorum or tantrums from any part of the Democratic party can fuck right off. This is the bar that has been set, it's the new normal now, deal with it. They played nice and tried to do the right thing for years, and nothing changed. Trump didn't slow down one bit and no-one in his party has held him accountable, so why the hell would the D's continue to be the "nice" guys? It's almost like one party gets to do whatever they want and the other one is just supposed to take it. Same reason people are always saying the Dem's need to reach out and bring the moderate R's across to them with more conservative approaches, but will NEVER contemplate that maybe the R's should be trying to attract Dem's. "Meet me in the middle, says the unjust man. You take a step toward him. He takes a step back. Meet me in the middle, says the unjust man."
  27. 5 points
    And this is who so many are okay with occupying the office of the PRESIDENT. "Heard it somewhere and it seemed right to him." He is in the office that has all the resources at his disposal. ALL of them. Anything he needs to learn/understand, there is SOMEONE (or many someones) who will appear in short order to explain it ad nauseum and ad infinitum. Answer all the questions until the matter is understood. "seemed right" is not the guesswork that the occupant of the most powerful position in the country (and most of the world) should just be spouting off. Let's not even get started on the comment that he doesn't have good judgement. [facepalm] All the accomplishments supporters want to point to? I'll admit, some things enacted in this administration have been good. Getting started on prison reform, for example. Great first step in that process. However, no one has convinced me that THIS guy is the only person in the country who could have signed those bills, or negotiated anything. In a different perspective: his incredibly short list of accomplishments are vastly overshadowed by this incredibly MASSIVE pile of damages.
  28. 5 points
    Hey, this is serious. To any Qanon believers, I want to take a moment to emphasize that drinking bleach is very, very bad, and you should not do it under any circumstances. I know I've had my differences with Qanon folks over the years, but let me, as a liberal, be frank with you. Do not drink bleach. The scientific elites are in agreement here, it's a bad idea. Liberals - from Hillary Clinton to Barack Obama to Nancy Pelosi to AOC - all agree that it's a bad idea to drink bleach. I think you'll find most Hollywood celebrities also agree that drinking bleach is wrong. So don't do it, Q army. We, liberals, are telling you not to drink bleach. Please. Don't.
  29. 5 points
    A theist is someone who believes that one or more gods actually exist. An atheist does not have a belief in a god, not necessarily that a god or gods don't exist, just that there is not enough evidence to warrant a belief that a particular god does exist. The burden of proof is on the theist, or a god, to prove that a god exists, not on an atheist to prove that a god doesn't exist. As to the question of morality, atheism is not a world view or a system of morality. It is simply a rejection of the claim that a god has been shown to exist. Therefore, your question of atheism and morality is highly biased and leading, in other words, preaching to the choir. Those who do not believe in a god, and therefore, don't believe the teachings of religion based on faith are free use other means of evaluating morality across the strata of human experience, culture, science, philosophy, and logic for the common good and well-being of society. As a corollary, those who do not believe in the divine nature of religious scripture, say the Christian Bible, are free to read it objectively for what it is, an incredibly immoral, contradictory, and absurd collection of archaic stories that illustrate why atheism is the superior position. If you'd like to see the ignorance and dishonesty of people trying to defend the morality of their religious beliefs, may I suggest checking out the YouTube channel - The Atheist Experience. The Atheist Experience is a call in show, usually hosted by Matt Dillahunty, where theists try to argue for the existence of a god, and generally prove themselves to be in denial of and ignorant of the immorality of their own beliefs. The show also does an incredible job of explaining where atheists get their morals from, which is the question you originally asked, but something tells me that you weren't really looking for an answer!
  30. 5 points
  31. 5 points
    Some people don't finish AFF. Some people never get their license. Some people get their license and drift away soon after. Some people jump for a year or two and then disappear. Some do it until they decide to become 'responsible' and quit. That may be their own decision or they may have 'help' with it. Some jump until they realize how much time & money it takes to stay current and reasonably safe, or to progress beyond 'sorta good'. Some jump until they get hurt, or see someone they know get hurt or killed. The danger isn't 'real' until then. So they quit. Some become Tandem Instructors (or packers or even DZOs), then get burned out by the grind. Of course, some of us keep on despite all of the above and refuse to quit.
  32. 5 points
    Hi guys, I'm developer of Skyduck - the new mobile app for skydivers. I'm trying to make the best app for skydivers, so I need your help. First of all I need your feedback. Now it is in open beta test and available for iOS devices (iPhone 6 and higher except iPhone SE) DOWNLOAD FROM APPSTORE What it is now? • Easy-to-use automated skydiving logbook • Jumps digital signatures • 3D visualization of jump • Detailed statistics on a graph • Vertical/horizontal speeds Blue skies, Igor
  33. 5 points
    Atheists are better christians than evangelicals.
  34. 5 points
    You must be one of those losers who have spent your life playing this game and now you think you are a "professional". I have news for you. Skydiving is not has never been a profession. Especially tandem skydiving which does not even require much skill. Get off your high horse.
  35. 5 points
    The sport has lost a true ambassador as well a one hell of a nice guy. Blue Skies, Gary
  36. 5 points
    before you put on your helmet rub some Vagisil on your face, it will fix you right up. lol
  37. 5 points
    That's like saying you get your insurance through the ACA, not Obamacare.
  38. 5 points
    Kind of like saying "Bless her heart" in the South... Wendy P.
  39. 5 points
    I went home today. Hop and pop from 6k with my awesome hubby. Almost got blown off the plane because I forgot about the prop blast. Perfect exit, perfect deployment, almost perfect landing. If only the winds hadn't gotten all weird, I'd have done at least one from full altitude. But that's okay. There's always next weekend. Life is good again.
  40. 4 points
    Robert, I know you're not a skydiver, but if you thought this was funny you should look for a video called 'Good Stuff' by Joe Jennings.
  41. 4 points
    Oh please. We're well into the "horse smoothie" phase.
  42. 4 points
    I can fill in a little more of the history. Skydive Arizona moved from Coolidge to Eloy in April of 1991, and that's when I became increasingly involved in management and Safety and Training. There had already been some experiments with skysurfing, and I put together the 1993 meet because I realized there were enough skysurfers out there, and why not do it? We were trying to raise our profile; 1993 was when we hosted our first World Championships in FS, too. I had already met Pete McKeeman, who had started the World Freestyle Federation. His main goal was to get skydiving on TV and he succeeded to some extent with the WFF. He had word that ESPN was looking for sports to put into a new extreme sports show and was trying to sell them on Freestyle. At the '92 WFF meet in Eloy, Bob Hallet put on a display of skysurfing. The ESPN guys were kind of funny, they looked like college football coaches and knew NOTHING about skydiving. But they liked the look of skysurfing! Pete took me on as safety/loadmaster/cat herder for the X-Games, and I worked five out of six of them. (The first one, over the spectacular setting of Newport, RI is one of the best skydiving memories I have, and I've got a lot!) Don't forget that the X-Games Skysurf team was awarded an Emmy for the aerial photography one year. Besides the team camera flyers, a lot of the jumps had outside freefall camera, and the Eagle Cam chase helicopter delivered more spectacular footage. When skysurfing was cancelled, Pete gave us the word like this: "The executives say we're the best team they have worked with, but we just don't sell Slim Jims and Mountain Dew." Skysurfing was driven almost entirely by television. The famous Pepsi Goose commercial, shot over SDAZ with Troy Hartman, made it all the way to the Super Bowl. Almost everyone taking it up hoped to score on TV. But it never became popular with skydivers in general. I once took a phone call from a journalist looking for a story on skysurfing and she asked me how many people did it. "Oh, worldwide, maybe thirty." "What, I thought it was really popular! Is the small number because it's really hard, or really dangerous?" "No. Most skydivers see no reason whatsoever to tie their feet together with a stick. That really interferes with what you can do." I'll end with some safety comments. In all the jumps I was present for, the only serious injury was when Patrick de Guayardon and Eric Fradet did a tandem board jump. It got a little sketchy, so they decided to cut away. One system released slightly before the other, then the second system only released one binding, which pretty much tore up the knee of the victim. But he eventually got away clean. The biggest concern was boards falling on something - farmers, airplanes on the ground, cars, whatever. Not as bad as a skyball, but they would definitely do damage, even with a pilot chute to slow them down. But the perception was interesting. At the X-games immediately after that year three competitors died in non-Skysurf accidents, the whole crew was taken into a meeting by Pete, saying we would be asked about it. He made it clear that he couldn't tell us what to say, but he asked that we try to explain the circumstances did not involve skysurfing. But it was kind of weird. When we mingled with people from other events and they found out we were from the Skysurf unit, they were like "Wow, these guys are REALLY extreme. I only broke my arm in the half pipe." When the X-Games dropped Skysurfing, recruitment largely stopped. The media moved on to other fads for commercials. You can't run a Nationals or World Meet without at least 30 plus competitors in an event without losing a lot of money, so I was one of the voices begging USPA and the IPC to drop it. They did, and that pretty much killed Skysurfing. By the way, at the World Championships in Eloy where Eric Fradet won gold (after being second so many times in so many meets) I checked with the French Head of Delegation about something I suspected should be brought to the attention of the crowd at the awards ceremony. He was then, and still is as far as I know, the only person to ever win gold at the World Championships in two totally different events: 4-way Open and Skysurf. Bryan Burke, now retired from SDAZ
  43. 4 points
    The whole Q fantasy is premised on the idea that there will be "military tribunals" in which all of the people that they don't like (which - wow, amazingly coincides with well-known people who criticize Trump, funny, that...) will be tried and executed, without judicial review (because that takes too long). So, basically, they are advocating that we throw out the Constitution and due process. People who believe in this nonsense are not just delusional, they stand against what our country actually stands for - democracy, rule of law, and due process. They're openly supporting dictatorship. That's why I make a point of mocking them every chance I get. I know many of you all pet Ron on the head and say "oh, you have such kooky beliefs, but we'll tolerate it because you used to be a skydiver", but man, if someone went around supporting the idea that people ought to be extra-judicially tried and we should defer all power to the President, most of you would call that fucker out. I'm glad, at least, to see there's been literally no support for his insane nonsense in this forum. The Q fantasy is not just delusional - it's anti-American. The idea that they try to wrap themselves in the flag is such utter fucking bullshit. What makes me smile lately is that all of their bullshit predictions have consistently failed, and even the gullible ones are starting to realize it's just a masturbatory fantasy.
  44. 4 points
  45. 4 points
    Well....there is no real need for a skydiving HoF. Skydivers are not famous outside of skydiving. It is a vanity project and is completely unneeded and unjustified. Successful HoFs are revenue generators because the public has large enough numbers of people who are interested. No one gives a shit about skydivers, but some of us like to think what we do is special. These people need to get over themselves.
  46. 4 points
    It’s actually no surprise that evangelicals embrace Trump. Their whole ethos and belief system relies on ignoring the overwhelming evidence of facts to embrace a fictitious storyline. The USA has a religious fundamentalist problem and it isn’t the muslims! With every passing day I feel that my views that the USA is closer in ideology to Iran than it is to most of Europe. Especially as you venture into the Bible belt.
  47. 4 points
    A jumper with no license is called a student. You would need to enter the student program and be assessed from there.
  48. 4 points
    Just talked to my father, also a Naval Officer and Vietnam Vet. He was confused about my assumption that he's an expert on Trump's Charlottesville comments but wants to verify whether I'm arriving on Friday or Saturday morning so they can make dinner plans.
  49. 4 points
    I get really confused when you post this "Patriots in control" saying, and here's why. I served in the US Navy for 5 years, my wife for 6, and both of us are vehemently opposed to Trump's policies (rather, lack thereof), and were either of us to run for elected office, we would definitely fight tooth and nail to keep the Trump agenda from ever coming to fruition. So...what makes a patriot? I don't think that word means what you think it means. Patriotism is the vigorous love of one's country, which is a quality that I and my wife have, yet I think you're conflating that with blind support of all things nationalistic. It is not. Our country is not a perfect union; we are on the ever-changing path toward a more perfect union. The implication there is that we must continue to change for the better indefinitely. If not for that constant march toward a more perfect union, we'd still have slavery. Women would never have been given the right to vote. Segregation would still be legal. "Witches" could be burned at the stake. You could beat a woman so long as the rod used was no thicker than your thumb. Lynchings would be commonplace, as well as other hate crimes, and go unpunished (still have a long way to go on this one; police brutality toward minorities is much too common). So...what does patriotism mean to you?
  50. 4 points
    All that has changed for me since Trump was elected is the contempt I feel for those who continue to defend him.
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