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    Mojo 280/Fox 285

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    Eugene Skydivers
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  1. Thanks for the kind words, all. I really appreciate them. It does seem like just yesterday doesn't it? And yet sometimes it seems like I have to call Josh and do a night of drinking because so much has happened that he doesn't even know about.... It's a strange dichotomy... on the one hand I'm coming to terms with the fact that he's gone and on the other hand I'm having a hard time remember that he's not just on a long trip or busy skydiving or working or something... I wonder if that ever gets easier. Given current trends I expect that more peace and serenity are to come... although that doesn't necessarily answer the question. If anyone wants to talk, PM me, we can talk on the phone or online, your choice. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  2. Time is an interesting medicine. A common saying is that "time heals all wounds" implying that the magical medicinal powers of time is a panacea for any and all ailments. Medicines are tools which allow the injured an opportunity to rebuild what was lost and to regain their vitality, strength, and courage even after substantial damage. Some damages are purely physical, some are mental, some are emotional and yet others are moral and the prescriptions for each type can vary radically. Time can be a powerful healing force for some types of injuries but sometimes it can exacerbate the damage in other situations. On this three year anniversary of the world's loss of Josh, I'd like to take a moment to reflect on the nature of time and it's relationship to healing. Three years ago the world became markedly poorer when Josh left it. Those of us who are left behind mourn the loss of our friend, companion, brother, son, family member, lover, and fellow human being. The ceremonies, funerals, and fellowship aided the grieving process in terms of grappling with the shock of such loss, but even a year afterwards I still found myself blinking and occasionally having to remember Josh is gone. To some extent the shock, the pain, the ongoing confusion seemed, in a small way, like loyalty to a departed friend. It was the mental 'Lest we forget' flag that would strike emotional chords of loss, sadness, and desires to cope with what had happened. Some might argue maintaining that sense of loss is akin to keeping a candle lit for one's friend. The ever present candleflame in the dark, lighting the memories of good times shared with overtones with this present sadness. The romantic ideal of keeping a mental and emotional state of mourning is simultaneously a testament to the importance of the friendship and by proportionality the significance of the loss as well as the desire to come to terms with the loss, cope with it, and move forward in life in one's own way. But what does this have to do with the effect of time? Time passes and we grow. We have new experiences, we fill our lives with beauty, with friends, with art, with life, with fun, with sadness, with risk and reward. We endure through the hard times and we celebrate the good times. As we continue to fill our lives with new things, the pains of the past can become duller. Perhaps this is how time heals all wounds... it doesn't actually heal them, it simply makes the pains so dull they are unnoticeable. But how? Is it by accumulating more and more good memories, good times, personal gains and achievements, new senses of balance in life that buries the original sense of loss? Is it by gaining new perspective through experience on how to view the loss of the past? Is it by distraction and having advanced to new stages of life that allow short and long term memories to fade and thus the loss to lose significance? Ahhh, if that's the case doesn't it seem as though time is our enemy? As though it slowly eats away at our ability to remember and understand the formative and important people in our lives? To lose the details of what happened, when, and where, and how, only to have the bright distinct lines of a person's influence on our lives to become blurred and muddied in the rains of time, until only a semi-gray color emerges from the once beautifully decorated canvass leaving us with only an 'impression' versus specific details and meaning? Or perhaps that's exaggerating the situation... After three years, I still have Josh's closing pin around my neck (thanks), and continue to think about him. Certain triggers remind me of good times we shared more than others, certain BASE objects, Highland Park scotch, wind conditions at a cliff, among other things, and I'm coming to feel much less pain regarding his loss. I'm coming to enjoy the good times we had, but sometimes I really wish he was here. I'd love him to be a part of what's going on in my life right now, and I can only hypothesize where his life might have gone. The future that could have been can be a gorgeous fantasy picture to paint, and it can also be a haunting vision. Despite the general tone of the above, I'm doing relatively well with regards to this loss. I can't say I'll forget today, or what happened. I think Feb 10th will always hold a sad place in my life. But, now more than before it's a sadness that doesn't lead down a chasm of long term sadness and frustration. It's less substantial and more sane in terms of its overall effects on my mood and life. It's a strange day and definitely a hard one for many of us. If anyone out there feels they are the only ones noticing today, rest assured you aren't. Many of us are reflecting and thinking about this day, what it means and how it changed our lives, three years ago. I hope that time is your ally and is providing perspective, new insights and encouragement as to all the wonder and beauty Josh provided the lives of those around him. I hope that those insights, new perspectives, and discoveries improve over time, and that the hurt and sense of loss dissipate. But... I can still see his face, still see his smile, remember his voice, and the good times we had. I still miss him, -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  3. Hmm, not sure its "abhorent and demeaning" to tip riggers. In fact it's often a thankless job with skydivers constantly bemoaning costs, times, and the encouragement to spend the time and money maintaining their gear. I can't think of a rigger that wouldn't appreciate the added kindness that comes with a tip in the form of cash, a cold (or hot depending on where you live) beverage, or just a kind word. Then again, I can't think of any other professional I've worked with that didn't appreciate that same thing. Doctors were once medical students, entrepreneurs know what it means to be broke from time to time, and most any other professional went through a period of training where the hours were long, the pay was small, and the respect was minimal. I don't think anyone ever graduates from the enjoyment of a 'tip'. But that's my $0.02. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  4. Happy Birthday Brother. Heading out to celebrate it now. Looking forward to raising a few glasses to you. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  5. heheh nice :-) If you get into town give me a heads up and we'll catch a beer. Otherwise I'll plan to see you at the DZ either this weekend or next. That extra altitude is pretty appealing. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  6. You're just a buncha hosers, eh? -=Raistlin (newly Canadian) find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  7. I'm planning to get out to the DZ soon, not sure if I'll do the boogie or not, but it'll be nice to get some air time. I have a friend who needs to go do their first tandem, and Lj and I need some CRW time. :-) Are you downtown? Where in the city are yea? -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  8. Beautiful! The ones at Canada Place weren't nearly as interesting, but nonetheless were nice. Neat to know another local jumper ;-) -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  9. I'm trying to get a gift for a friend, although I'm having some trouble. She's been playing the same Takamine guitar for the past 20 years and now has her eyes on a Takamine Limited Edition 2006 guitar. Although for the life of me I can't seem to find one. Curious if any of you guitar players can point me in the right direction as to where to find one, and if possible at a good decent price. Thanks in advance. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  10. Always strikes me as strange how often homoerotic references get brought up... -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  11. You never need a reason 'not' to jump... ...but you really should have a reason for jumping if you're going to jump. Otherwise your jumping is pure risk. That is to say risk without any potential benefit. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  12. Like hell... ;-) -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  13. Tracy, (Space) Coming from you, I consider that a compliment of the highest quality. Thank you. Be well. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  14. You really like that jump ;-) I remember jumping that particular span for the first time. I did it in the pouring rain, and had a heck of a time climbing out, as I couldn't find any kind of real trail. It was heck of a lot of fun though. :-) I should get back there this summer. -=Raistlin find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;
  15. "One becomes a critic when one can no longer be an artist" --Flaubert Gustave. And then there are those people who never were, or ever will be artists... simply critics. I'm constantly amazed at the inverse relationship between experience in the sport and one's willingness to loudly criticize others. Many new jumpers are respectful of those who have been jumping longer than they have. Some seek the wisdom of those who have survived many years in the sport because they want to know more about the history of the sport and how to learn from the mistakes others have made over the years. However the loudest critics of the sport (and veteran jumpers) seem the be non-jumpers and new jumpers. Many (new) jumpers go through phases of jumping: the newborn careful first few jumps phase when they're appreciative of the guidance of their seniors, the growing up phase where they start taking more and more risks in order to develop their skills, the adolescent phase where they start making friends in the community, get to know others, develop online and offline popularity, and start touring the circuit, acquiring jumps, and then the teenage years, where they are the baddest ass people around, they wear their base number on their shoulder like a badge of honor, let the entire planet know that they are of the elite clan of adrenaline junkies, and post every moment of their 'ultra sick' footage on any venue that they can. Their 'non-jumping' friends often fall into the background or get tired of hearing about how 'this building is soooo jumpable'. Some never leave this stage. They make their occassion jumps, or perhaps just strut around the dropzone wearing their 'badass BASE rig' and remind skydivers how dangerous BASE is. After watching a few more additions to the fatality list these jumpers remind themselves that they're the 'good' jumpers who won't end up dying because they're so good. Then after a few close calls, they realize that they can, in fact, die in this sport. Most sober up, either from their own close calls, or when one of their truly good friends die. Some never do. It is amazing, though, how those who have been in the sport for a number of years, lost friends, attended their funerals, had close calls themselves, and acquired numerous jumps from numerous objects, are criticized by those with far fewer years in the sport, far less experience, and far less knowledge. Those who eventually grow up, and are individuals of integrity, will look back on such comments with shame and apologize for them. (note that both components are necessary). One can learn a lot about a person by listening to how they talk about others. -=Raistiln find / -name jumpers -print; cat jumpers $USER > manifest; cd /dev/airplane; more altitude; make jump; cd /pub; more beer;