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Everything posted by skybytch

  1. Husband has been an AFF I for 20 years, I/E for over 10. We've talked about this stuff quite a bit. BITD, the cert course was a test and you best not fuck it up. You likely weren't at your home dz, you probably didn't know the evaluators (who's job description included being assholes) and they ramped up the pressure to 11. Your only jumps at the course were evaluation jumps. With rare exceptions, if you went home with a rating you earned and deserved it. Yes, there were flaws in the system, but it produced excellent AFFI's. Today the courses are usually held at the candidate's dz. Often one or more of the evaluators are local jumpers.The first few days are practice jumps. A candidate doesn't start doing actual eval jumps until they are "ready". A candidate could do all of their practice jumps and all of their eval jumps with the same evaluator. While the course material may be exactly the same, the pressure put on the candidate is far less than 20 years ago. I'd submit that in many cases the candidates are too comfortable throughout the course. Being an AFF instructor isn't always comfortable and fun. Becoming one shouldn't be either. Practice jumps and evaluation jumps should be done with different evaluators. Each evaluation jump should be done with a different evaluator. Evaluators should not be from the candidates dropzone. Perhaps a return to the old method of the cert course being the test - if you need practice beforehand, take a pre-course. Show up at the cert course ready to have your ass handed to you. Candidates flying skills.There's a big difference between belly fliers and freefliers, Belly fliers can usually pull an exit without funneling it; linked exits to belly are challenging for those who primarily freefly and you can't learn or practice exits in the tunnel. What wasn't so obvious to me is that many freefliers and those who have been primarily camera fliers or TM's have issues closing on a spinning student and even with staying close enough after release - they aren't used to being that close to anybody in freefall. There are some folks who are chasing the AFF Examiner rating primarily to have it - as in I have all the other ones, this is the last and most prestigious one to have. Others are doing the bare minimum to keep the rating (one course every two years). Neither of these groups add anything to the examiner pool in terms of quality - if you aren't doing at least a couple courses per year, are you really current at skydiving like shit? (that's a joke btw - it's way harder than it looks to skydive that bad) Can't blame the examiners for rating a candidate who meets the standards. Even if the examiner has a bit of a question in the back of their mind, the minimums were met. Can't pass Bob and fail Steve if they both met the same performance standards because you think Steve might not has what it takes in some intangible way. C's get degrees. How does an examiner keep the "got a feeling about this one" candidate who meets the minimums from being rated without it looking political or personal? Every skydive has video. These things can be checked. I'd hope that all examiners have zero desire to rate someone who they don't think has what it takes. I'd hope that all examiners have the ability to tell when someone doesn't have what it takes. Regardless, they have to rate someone who meets the minimums. If you know an Examiner, talk to them about your concerns. It's likely they share some of them.
  2. Doing a downplane with Jamie. He wouldnt let go. I had enough time to flare so I guess it wasn't too low when he finally did, but yeah. Lesson learned.
  3. Nice! Missed one by a few hours awhile back. Still waiting for one (or a Freefall or a Sky Kings) to pop up semi-local.
  4. Exactly! But I came back home and drove across the country to buy the equivalent of two complete new rigs instead of just ordering one. And made the mistake of playing a few others while I was buying it. Speaking of which, anybody looking for a good used Tacoma, Corolla, and/or Yamaha XT225? Godzilla is calling me...
  5. We have! Our visit there was one of the things that convinced the husband to get our first machine. :)
  6. Absolutely. The videos, animation, artwork and music are awesome for old farts who remember the TV series fondly (Adam West is Batman, there is no other!). The game play is totally different than our other machines, much more laid back than the adrenaline packed fast playing madness of the Black Knight series - different designers. Unfortunately I got to play the seller's other machines... and now I might want a Jurassic Park...
  7. A gun helped tremendously with the rabid skunk in our driveway that I had to kill when I was 18. We didn't have cell phones back then either. We have skunks and mountain lions cruising through our property all the time. We've seen them. The dog regularly gets skunked; we're pretty sure a mountain lion got two of the chickens. Never seen a bear, but a gun isn't going to do me much good against a bear anyway. It's not always about the human's life. My son is a cattle rancher. Without a gun, it would be impossible for him to put a severely injured animal out of it's misery when he's way back on the ranch, or to kill the coyotes that are often the cause of those injuries. I accept that you have no need for a gun and that many other people have no need for one. Can you accept that many people like me DO have a need for one? Is there a place in the whole gun debate for someone who owns and needs a gun yet also supports nationwide background checks, registration, training and licensing and even a ban on assault weapons? Or is either ban guns or be a rabid gun nut? I wonder sometimes...
  8. I agree 100%. A federally issued license that requires background checks and training prior to issuance and renewal.
  9. In suburbia, sure. But we don't live in suburbia. We don't have (human) neighbors right next door. Our cell phones don't work when we're in the upper clearing. One person's definition of need can be very different from another's. Risk is increased by having guns in the home. Risk is increased by jumping out of airplanes. We chose to live where we did, we accepted the risks involved in protecting ourselves. We chose to skydive, we accepted the risks involved in enjoying ourselves. Should skydiving be banned because it's risky?
  10. I've dealt with a several serious bouts of depression. Last time I went through it, I asked my husband to change the combination on the safe - and he already had done so. It's more likely that I have to use one of my guns to resolve a situation with a wild animal than with a human. But I'd be stupid to not be prepared for either one. Do I need an AR or an AK with a 30 round magazine to protect myself? Nope. Totally okay with a ban on military style weapons and definitely a fan of nationwide mandatory registration. Do I need a semi-auto non-assault rifle or handgun with 10 rounds in the magazine (or 6 in a double action revolver - technically semi-auto)? When the closest cop is up to 30 minutes away and I'm alone on my property... yes. Yes I do.
  11. There is currently a movement aimed at reducing suicide among veterans. I'd say it needs to be something that we all do for our families, our friends, our communities. For Billy and his family. For JP and his family. For me. Maybe for you.
  12. It's that close?!? Monday may have a new plan...
  13. Heh. We were there in November. Bought our 2nd machine from a guy just down the road.
  14. LOL! Heading to Oshkosh for the EAA Museum and Kettle Moraine State park for some hiking. And some cheese somewhere.
  15. That's what I what looking at doing. So what's good to go see in the area? I've never been there and I'm going to have a couple days to play tourist. Obviously cheese and a Great Lake, but what else?
  16. Boogies can be hazardous to your financial health. You go thinking it's just going to be a few days of fun, maybe demo a new main or two, drink some cheap beer... and you come back home and order a complete new rig. We went to a pinball festival in October, played a bunch of games and fell in love with one. In November we drove to North Carolina from California and bought one.Crazy? Yeah, but we've played the shit out of that machine already, we have no plans to sell it anytime soon and it's got a great story attached to it now - plus it's already worth about $1000 more than we paid for it.. We went to a pinball festival on Saturday, played a bunch of games and fell in love with one. Either Wednesday or Thursday, I leave to drive to Milwaukee to buy a Batman 66. We could each have a new rig for what this thing is going to cost. Happily, pinball machines are appreciating in value these days, unlike skydiving gear, so it's really an investment. Really it is. So anyway, do I know anyone who lives along I80 between Reno and Wisconsin? Happy to buy you lunch, coffee or a beer in exchange for some conversation and an hour or so break from the road.
  17. Why the snark? Because skydiving will look bad if something goes wrong? Because it isn't you getting paid (I get that, I wish I was good enough to get some of that Red Bull $$)? You mentioned Tom Noonan earlier. Luke is not providing some guy with too much money an "extreme experience". He's a professional stuntman doing an impressive stunt. If he fucks up, no paying customers will be injured or die. Huge difference. I'll be watching.
  18. Somewhere in a box I think I have one. It's kinda rusty though. How much you payin'?
  19. Introduce people to other skydivers? Actually I am less of a skydiver than I used to be. Happens when you don't jump anymore.
  20. My bad, this one wasn't a reefer, he just left the thing idling. The shitty reefer was at a rest stop in California. The nights, they all run together now. It was a long ass trip.
  21. Judging by the 10 to 20 trucks parked on every on/off ramp along I40, I believe you. They were stacked butts to nuts at one rest area in Texas (which, btw, has some of the nicest rest areas in the US). But it's okay to bother folks in RVs. Gotcha. I get your point completely, but truckers who do this kind of thing make all of you look like jerks as far as I'm concerned. You aren't doing professional drivers like yourself any favors by defending those who lack common courtesy. I was a skydiver but I am also a raging bitch. Doesn't mean all skydivers are raging bitches... but anyone who knows no other skydivers might think so.