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    Perris Valley
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    Freefall Photography
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  1. That's hilarious! Seriously... Good karma for you having the strength in walking away. My sympathies for the very deep cut he must have made concerning your friend. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  2. Good on both of you. Keep telling them. Maybe if they hear it enough times, they will stop and think. Friends don't give up on friends. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  3. Friends take care of each other. Always. Even if it steps on egos. Even if it might be entertaining to watch them f-up. Even if you know they might get mad. Even if it means you don't get laid. Even if it means you are put out a few bucks. I can only hope this is a troll and you are not seriously unsure of what to do. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  4. I love my Havoc. I fly in all orientations with it and have no problems with my contacts. I used to jump the Z1. I tried all sorts of glue/adhesives to keep the liner in place but was often annoyed at it coming loose. If you get a Z1, keep an eye on it (I hope they have come up with a solution for this issue). The Z1 visor flew open a few times and the lens got fubared on a horny-gorilla when the visor opened. I was extra careful to latch it securely on that particular jump. I promptly switched to the Havoc. The extra benefit, for me, is talking to my student. Standing in the door or leaning out to spot, I can still communicate effectively and zip it shut right before exit. The closure system is very secure, even if I don't push it 100% of the way down. The benefit of an open-faced helmet in-the-door and full-faced in freefall. Visibility is excellent with the Havoc. I can see my handles and the shape of the back allows me to look up at my canopy. After a few tries you can learn to open the visor one-handed. Don't forget, also... The Havoc just looks "different." A few cool kids I know even have them in red. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  5. I do not consider accepting tips for excellent service "whoring." Definitely. Many students recognize their Instructors are more attentive than others. Many recognize some Instructors are more experienced and appreciate when you recognize anxiety levels and the sources of those anxieties. That's great! Too bad that is not the standard in our industry. Even in nursing - where bedside manners are part of the teaching process - professionals who "go the above and beyond..." are part of a promotion process where they are compensated for this - with raises. It is not standard in our industry to compensate instructors with greater experience/skills with raises. I'm sure there are skydivers lurking out there who have saved money because they had an experienced or insightful Instructor step in and prevent them from having to repeat student jumps. I've had students who recognize this and have shown their appreciation by saying so (to myself or my employers), offering me beer or other things. I am also certain there are skydivers reading this who knew their anxiety levels were higher than other students around them - on tandems, on AFF, as static-line students, or other times. I am also certain they have seen Instructors who are "good with really nervous students." Those Instructors should be cherished and appreciated. Once again... Tips are not expected but always appreciated. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  6. Tipping is a gesture of gratitude for service. Skydiving IS a service industry. Just as a bartender or waitress is paid for their TIME, Instructors and coaches are paid for their TIME. Not for their service. This is the only avenue an attentive or insightful Instructor can be compensated for their talent and courteous service. Most students easily recognize a coach and Instructor that goes above and beyond the minimums to help them have a good experience, succeed when Instructors who are giving the minimums fail to help them achieve their goals, or simply go the extra mile when it may not be part of their job - but it is the right thing to do. Those students often tip me. I do NOT refuse this gesture of gratitude - it is part of my livelihood! It is sometimes the only thing that feeds me! It is NOT expected but it IS always appreciated! I am a professional. It treat my students and my customers with respect and professional courtesy. If you are not familiar with the subtleties of teaching students, you may not recognize some of them require more time, energy, and talent to teach. As a professional, I deserve to be compensated for this. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  7. I'll ditto the previous responses... Protec. Sexy little things, they are. Even come in various flavors. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  8. I don't want to take anything from the dealers. It wasn't their decision to integrate a battery that is either difficult to find or expensive. Dealers are the people that are selling the Neptune and the Pro-Track. My role is to take some of that Customer Service role from the already underpaid gear store staff and shift it to someone who has a direct role in the interests of that particular product. As an additional note... Field Reps are not just here to update firmware, replace broken units, teach users how to take advantage of features, and change batteries. We are also here to keep our ears open for what users really want. The greatest advantage of the Neptune is its adaptability. It is still evolving as a skydiving instrument. The feedback of jumpers has been the driving force behind the direction software changes have taken. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  9. Oh, you mean the guys that sometimes have the $10 batteries in stock? Sorry, couldn't resist. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  10. Neptune! More features, waterproof, comes in kewl colors, more versatile, and a few bucks cheaper. L&B customer service is quite excellent. Alti-2 service is also exceptional - and they are $3.50 in postage away - not $35.00! And if you have a kickass Field Rep (like the peeps in Elsinore and Perris do), you don't even have to pay for shipping on a defective/broken unit. My $1/50... Which is heavily biased as an owner of multiple Neptunes and a Field Rep. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  11. If you had paid a few more bucks and got it from Ritz with the Ritz warranty, they'd fix it. Even if you dropped it from 13-5 and the pieces were smaller and more numerous. Just a thought for anyone who is trying to pinch a few dollars buying from the cheapest supplier... - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  12. Lew and I will be so jealous of you guys! Give everyone there a big wet kiss from me! Especially, Joe (Siete-Cinco), Scott (Ganja), Keith (Pendejo), Jeff (Darkwing), Jack (Homophobia), Robin (Anellos), and Jason (Papachulo). Give all of the ladies out there a big hug, too! I wish I could be there to see the looks on their faces when you give all those dudes big tongey kisses! - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  13. I agree with Mike. If you are in an area where you have competition, they very well might make this a selling point to jump with them... "We allow you to get a video of your FIRST skydive..." Make no mistake. Even if a customer is referred to you by word-of-mouth, they often still "shop around." - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  14. There are 10 kinds of people in the world... Those that understand binary and those that don't. I am working on a more elegant solution. I am hoping our internet access will come in the form of a wired connection. Nixing the 2.4GHz point-to-point would eliminate the interference with the 802.11 AP's. If anyone has a few yagi or other high-gain omnis that connect to a Linksys AP, that would be all we need to extend the coverage through the tent. That would be simpler than the bridge configuration. If we need more coverage, we can build a reflector on-site (from a Pringles can or other reflective trash) to shape the coverage as we need. - Cajones - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.
  15. Do you have a preferance to full face/open face? You can't go wrong with the Bonehead helmets. I use a Havoc (full face) for fun jumps and AFF, a Flat-Top Pro for video (and have owned several other BH camera helmets), and a Pimp Daddy for tandems. Exceptional quality, outstanding customer service, good looking, and killer comfort. - Cajones The laws of physics are strictly enforced.