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Everything posted by Airman1270

  1. Oops... we were talking about ages: 24 at the time of that first exit. Jon
  2. I wanted to jump since I was a kid, jumping off the swing and pretending to pull a ripcord. In 1979 an old classmate happened into the store where I worked and mentioned that he & a friend had jumped earlier that year at a place near Albany, NY (about four hours away) and were going to try again. I said "wow", etc., and they invited me along. Went, trained, got weathered out. The following week I borrowed Mom's car & returned, got weathered out. (They never jumped again.) Returned the following year with a friend, retrained, got weathered out. Two years later (1982) retrained, jumped, broke my ankle. Came back the following year, jumped, did the PLF correctly, stayed with it... Have frequently thought about how much easier life would be if one day I decided I didn't want to do this anymore. Cheers, Jon
  3. Thanks for the input. I tried to make use of some of your advice yesterday, Don't know how well I did, but I had the container closed in 45 minutes! A new world record. The first jump this Saturday will demonstrate whether Zero-P & I have much of a future together. If not, well, I took my old Strato Cloud out of storage and hooked it up to my Wonderhog. Just have to get the round reserve repacked and I'm ready to manifest... Skies, Jon
  4. The system you desire (perfection) is impossible. The next best system is that provided by the free market, That is, people are free to earn money, keep most of what they worked for, and spend it on life's needs. Our system is currently impeded by the kind of government you're praising. High taxes reduce our spending power and increase the cost of the very services you complain are not accessible. Furthermore, this secular humanist mentality (the belief that perfection can be achieved if we only impose enough laws & regulations) has resulted in a system in which doctors can be prosecuted and/or sued not only for gross negligence, but for simply failing to prevent less-than-perfect results. This increases the cost and reduces the supply of medical services, as doctors are forced to raise their prices while other would-be doctors size up the social landscape and decide to do something else with their lives. You do not have a "right" to every possible medical procedure. There comes a point where you must accept that life ends in death, sooner for some than for others, under a wide variety of circumstances. Even so, our system is committed to doing all it can to provide as much health care as possible to all who need the service. We can't eliminate all crime, accidents, and tragedies from the human experience, but we can move much closer toward that goal if we can figure out how to eradicate the secular socialist mentality from as much of our society as possible. Your socialist system is notorious for providing some basic services to everyone, at much higher overall cost that you would pay if you were not so brutally taxed and were not conditioned to regard with contempt the suggestion that you pay your own way in life. But when things start getting desperate, where does the world turn for state-of-the-art medical care? Last I heard, it wasn't Canada, Britain, Sweden, Cuba, or France. Cheers, The Uninsured Jon S.
  5. After 20+ years of packing F-111, I'm now trying to figure out how to pack Zero-P. After five jumps, the results are: 1) Packed alone, took five hours; sloppy job, beautiful opening... 2) Got some help; took around 90 minutes; nice opening, a few line twists... 3) Got more help; same results as #2 minus the line twists... 4) Packed alone in the grass at sunset while drinking; Took about an hour. Beautiful opening... 5) Packed alone while the kids watched/helped/got in the way/made me feel guilty for not playing with them; took three hours. Ugly opening... I know this will get better. People have told me the material becomes easier to work with after some 50-100 jumps. However, I don't even make 50 jumps a year so this could take awhile. Meanwhile, we have an "all you can jump" boogie coming up this weekend and I have to make at least four jumps each day to make it cost-effective. Any suggestions? (I don't do "packers.") Thanks much. Cheers, Jon S.
  6. There's lots to be said in favor of insurance, but I think it's a bit harsh to make unkind comments to people who have none. I don't have a "regular" policy, but I do pay extra for USPA's death/dismemberment coverage. The fact that many policies will not cover injuries sustained in certain activities makes it much more difficult to take the subject seriously. Two years ago I had a bout with bronchitis. The doctor visit & drugs cost me about $150. It would have cost much more than that to have maintained a policy which would have covered these expenses. Perhaps we should reconsider all this hyperventilating about the percentage of citizens who are "uninsured." This does not mean they lack access to health care. It would be far more cost effective to limit policies (especially for people who ride the taxpayer payroll) to coverage for catastophic events, and pay for the routine stuff out of your own pocket. We don't use auto insurance to pay for oil changes, nor do we expect the homeowner's insurance to cover light bulbs & lawn care. Why do we demand that the health insurance cover office visits and prescriptions?
  7. Highest - 23,000'. Lowest exit - about 1900' (I know, I know... did a 5 second delay to boot.) Lowest opening - Around 400' following a hard reserve pull. Cut away around 2000'. flipped over stable and tried to pull several times before grabbing it with both hands. Expected a handshake & praise for keeping my head and saving my life; instead got kicked off the DZ.
  8. It appears part of the problem is this whole attitude toward "recurrency", which ASSumes you'll forget all you've learned if you stay on the ground for more than a month or two. Sure, you have no business getting on a night 24-way, but if you've graduated from the student program, you're capable of making a safe jump following a layoff, without enduring redundant "retraining" or spending a bunch of extra money. Due to various factors, including money and long day trips to distant DZ's, my student career spanned 53 jumps in over two years. I was a good student and had few setbacks, but it wasn't unusual for anywhere from two to six weeks or more to pass between jumps. Even when I had less than 20 jumps I was able to pick up where I'd left off, without all this hand-wringing about "recurrency." After graduation, I continued to average fewer than 40 jumps per year. It is possible to enjoy this sport and advance. albeit slower than your peers, even if you can't spend every weekend at the DZ, but it's not always easy trying to convince people who make more than 200 jumps per year that you're not necessarily a hole in the ground waiting to happen. Cheers, Jon S. A-9459