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Everything posted by airbigdaddy

  1. Wow, it took me more than a year to reply. My apologies. I'm not on much anymore. I still may get around to reaching out to them to ask them what the hell, but in the meanwhile, I'm guessing it's still there. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  2. I have two Pulses. While not quite as much fun to fly as my Stilettos were, I switched over mostly for the sweet openings. (I'm usually jumping camera.) I now have a couple thousands jumps on a Pulse, and I find the flare to be just fine (always have). It takes a little getting used to, but I don't at all agree with the folks who say they don't flare/land well. Now, if they would only start making the bottom skin in a color OTHER than white ... . :) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  3. Sorry for the slow reply; I'm rarely on Life just slowed down a tad recently, so I'm hoping to make some headway on this soon. I'll post an update if anything comes of it. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  4. Yeah, I missed the sarcasm, but my point still stands. There are LOTS of folks who think a 1.5 on an elliptical at somewhat low jump numbers isn't that big of a deal these days. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  5. Honestly not trying to be an ass: Is a 1.5 wing loading on a Katana at 400 jumps really what people are considering conservative these days? While it certainly isn't the most aggressive downsizing I've ever seen, I wouldn't call it conservative by any stretch. I think it's just another sign of the times of what people's definitions of what "conservative" and "aggressive" are. While I did swap out to fly a Pulse from a Stiletto a while back because of the openings since I'm almost always flying camera, I was always amazed at how people saw my 1.6 wing loading on an elliptical canopy (the Stiletto) somehow "super conservative" (even given the fact I had a decent number of jumps already, roughly 2,000-plus, when I first started jumping them). Ironically, most of the people playfully giving me shit back then (and even some here and there these days too) were guys I had personally seen get loaded into (or worked on until they got loaded into) an ambulance as a result of a botched landing on their highly loaded canopies. (This is definitely not a jab at the poster's downsizing schedule or an attempt to get on a soap box; it's just an observation on how perceptions seem to truly have changed tons these last couple decades on what a typical "conservative" approach is to downsizing.) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  6. Just wanted to get a straw-poll reaction to this. (Some of you may have already seen this, since Lara from Blue Skies Magazine ran a brief blurb about it.) A jumping buddy of mine was in Israel (he's from there) and ran into a gigantic billboard for a restaurant with my ugly mug on it. Thing is that I never gave the restaurant the pic, nor did the photographer (freefly badass Matt Hill). At first (and still somewhat), it was just kind of funny, but I'd be lying if I said it doesn't piss me off a tad that they took a pic of me and blasted it across a building without permission. Taking it even further, they've got me on their friggin' takeout bags, menus, their website, etc. (Yes, I realize that the photographer owns the image, and if anything, HE should be pissed off, but does that give them the right to use an image OF me commercially?) Please know that while a few of my best friends are lawyers, I absolutely hate how litigious our society has become. (I live in the U.S.) But, even with them in Israel and me back here, it seems like they surely violated SOME sort of law, no? Not trying to go on a witch hunt, but just wondering how much, if any, say the photographer and I have to what they do with a stolen image. As for a guess where they got the pic, I'm not sure. It has been run (with permission) in a U.S. mag before (for no compensation, just as a donation for an article on our DZ), and it has been on Facebook (albeit lower-res), so I'm not positive where they would have gotten a high-enough-res version to blow up to billboard size. I have heard that if someone alters an image a certain amount (like they did with the colors of my jumpsuit and by flipping the image) that perhaps what they did wasn't illegal. I haven't reached out to the restaurant yet because I'm not yet sure what my approach should be (i.e. Pissed off? Curious where they got the pic? etc.). Just curious what you all think. Thanks. (I will say there is sweet, strange irony in the fact that I'm a 23-year vegan, and they're using me to advertise a burger joint.) (Original image attached.) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  7. Where did you get that information? Unless things have changed unbeknownst to me, that is not true. While they may try and lean toward picking member over non-member pics, there's no ban on printing non-member pics that I know of. Fairly off topic, but thought I'd point that out. Just my $.02. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  8. Great read. You're still making Skydive Orange proud, even after all these years. :)
  9. Afternoon, Spot. Glad to see you in here. I figured (and hoped) you might show up. :) I figure I had ruled out C by trying a second card (and since the issue occurs with on-board memory too). I'm assuming rather than trying to get B fixed, it's better just to try and pick up a replacement 150 on Ebay, no? I just hate buying shit from anywhere online other than reputable folks like B&H, but it does look like a place called BestTopTronics has a good reputation, so perhaps I'll go that route and buy an open-boxed one (unless you think sending it to a Sony repair center is a better route and won't end up costing near what a new(ish) one would cost). Thanks for weighing in. You da man. Edited to add: Oh, and I'm assuming all those possibilities you listed obviously only have to do with the 150 and the visible glitching (save the altitude comment you mentioned that I'm guessing applies to just the 110), right? So, if I read your response correctly, any guess what's up with the 110 and its buffering issues? -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  10. I could probably make this into two threads, but maybe it will be my lucky day, and someone will know a fix for BOTH issues. I've had my Sony HDR CX-150 for three years. It has performed pretty much flawlessly until just a few days ago. I suddenly started noticing the occasional glitch (see screen shot as an example) in my video clips. They aren't there constantly, but they appear every few seconds. I tried reformatting the card (a Sony 16GB Mark2 PRO Duo), tried using another card and even tried on-board memory as well. Same effect each time. Just to rule things out, I switched to recording in SD mode (720x480), and there are no glitches. So, it's only there when recording in HD mode (and that includes any of the HD settings, such as HD FH, HD HQ, etc.). I figured it may have been a writing issue when dealing with so much info on the fly, but odd that it's doing it with on-board memory AND memory cards, I think. Thoughts? Maybe the camera is just shitting the bed, but I hope not. I can only really find used CX-150s out there, and you never know what you're going to get. (My box/helmet is a RAWA made for a 150, so I'd rather not have to buy something different if I can help it. Now, problem part two. A fellow jumper had a freebie CX-110 he got somewhere a while back that he didn't need and was kind enough to give to me. So, I've always had it on the shelf as a backup. I had tested it numerous times on the ground, and it seemed to work perfectly. So, when my 150 starting screwing up, I was able to easily fit the 110 in my box, and up I went. Well, the 110 shit itself in freefall and shut off a couple times (maybe why someone gave it to my friend for free, I suppose), recording very little video. I was able to recreate the issue on the ground and got "Memory Buffer Full" or some similar-sounding error. The little bit I could find on the internet suggested that the 110 may not be good for high altitudes, much vibration or both. Thoughts on that? Just sucks I had what I thought were two perfectly functioning cameras a couple days ago, and now I only seem to have half of one (meaning one that will only work well in SD). Sorry so long-winded. Just wanted to provide enough info for possible unfucking by the masses. Thanks for any help. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  11. It wasn't a slam on your product at all, or a slight against you or the help you were kind enough to give me in the past. I really do appreciate the help you gave me regarding P.A. In the past, I was simply on the fence about which way to go (since, as you could likely tell from our phone conversations, I knew very little about non-linear editing at the time), so I was shopping around and asking questions everywhere. What it came down to was simply that another video guy here, one who has been doing video at Orange even longer than I have (meaning before 1995) went with a trial version of Swoopware and liked it. Since I knew I'd have "in house" tech support since he had more familiarity with that software than I, he and I both bought full-blown, fully priced copies of Swoopware together. It was no more a slam on you or P.A., or a sign of unappreciation for your volunteered time, than it would be to buy a PC after discussing a Mac with a Mac person, or vice versa. Hope that clears things up. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  12. Oh, and to add: I assume everyone else who is using it here and likes it is also paid or incentivized? That would be news to them too. If you've got a beef with the developer or the software, that has absolutely zero to do with me, so please don't drag my character into it. Along the same lines: You enjoy flying certain gear, but if I became a believer in a story (that had nothing to do with you) that implied the manufacturer of your gear of choice was a piece of shit for some reason (whether the story was true or not), I wouldn't go publicly calling you one of their paid or incentivized lackies. Instead, I would focus my attention and energy on what it was I had a problem with in the first place. Fuckin'-A, I try and write a review about something that I thought others might find helpful. In typical fashion, even THAT gets fucked. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  13. @DSE: Huh????????????? Maybe there's some background I'm unaware of that led to your comments about it being a ripoff, but on a completely separate note, how in the hell did you come up with the fact that I'm "paid/incentivized" by them at all? In fact, I take that as a bit of a slam. While you and I may have never met in person, we've worked together here and there from afar, and we know a good number of the same folks, so I would guess you likely have a good guess as to my character. I take offense to the fact that you think I could be "bought" to sell something I didn't believe in. I bought the product, I think it works well for me and the other people using it here, and I figured I'd pass that on to anyone else looking for editing software. Nothing deeper than that. Sorry to dissappoint. I suppose if I had written a glowing review of my P.D. Pulse (which I've done before publicly), you'd tell people I was a paid spokesman for them too? (And, no, I have no sponsorship at all by P.D.) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  14. I'm kicking myself for just now getting around to this. I wanted to share my outstanding experience with Swoopware's TandemVids software. I've been using it for my tandem videos for about a year now (so, I've probably edited about 600 tandem videos with it), and I couldn't be happier. I mostly burn standard DVDs and pics (on the same disk, which saves money by only using one disk per customer), but I burn a good number of AVCHD (high-def videos) for tandem students I know, as well as experienced jumpers whom I film on fun jumps and AFF students in our program that I shoot inside video of. The software is very reasonably priced, not too hard to set up (though it does take a bit of time to fine-tune it exactly the way you want to put out videos that are truly “yours” and not just run-of-the-mill), and once you DO have it perfectly ready, it takes no time at all to spit out quality videos, without having to babysit the computer. I'd guess I spend roughly two to four minutes actually at my computer per video (two minutes when I'm in a hurry, and spending the extra time adding additional slow-mode sections that aren't already built into my templates when I'm not slammed for time), plus a couple extra minutes when pictures are part of what the customer buys (not a necessary step since the software auto-grabs the pics, but I like to delete any shots that aren't great). Then, after that, I leave my video room to do other things, and about five minutes later, everything is completely done. (Other guys at our DZ have faster render and burn times, but that's how long my system takes.) So, from start time to stop, it's between seven and nine minutes total for just video, and between nine and 11 minutes for video and stills. (Like I said, I could just have it burn ALL the pics I take and save myself a couple minutes per edit, but I hate sending students home with any “test shots” in the plane or any others I take that aren't high quality.) As computers get faster and cheaper, getting REALLY fast render and burn times gets more and more accessible, even on a budget. I don't pack for myself, and though it's a tad tight, I can do a back-to-back, edit two videos and pics for two different customers, interview my next two customers, and be on my way, all in 20 minutes if I have to. The software will auto-upload students' videos to YouTube if you like (and you can even have it use different, royalty-free music compared to what you give the student to take home, and it then auto-generates an e-mail with the YouTube link to send to the customer. Of our eight vidiots who typically work here, six of us are using it, and I've yet to hear anyone say he or she isn't completely happy with it. Our plan is to require ALL of our video staff to be able to upload to YouTube and/or offer AVCHD/Blu-ray by the beginning of next season, and while this software isn't the ONLY way to do so, it certainly seems like the perfect fit. I have no idea if the Mods will pull this since my post looks like I'm trying to run a free ad for this software, but I wish another videographer had told me how great it was a while back since it makes my life so much easier and puts out a much more professional-looking product than when I was doing linear edits before. Edited to add: I've had AMAZING customer support/tech help from the guy who created the software. Very responsive and helpful, and not at all annoyed by stupid-ass questions. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  15. A: Shit video, but if they're willing to pay for it, that's their decision. B: At least when the sidespin happens because the student is too busy de-arching, head tilted down and hands out so he can get a "great" exit shot, the GoPro will act as a black box to let investigators know what caused the sidespin in the first place. As I posted in a similar thread a bit back: "Two quick points: Take them for what they're worth. (To play fair, I've only got about 1,000 tandems under my belt, and I have since retired from doing tandems about a year and a half ago.) 1. To those who mentioned having the student wear a camera as an option: As a T.I., I personally would not want my student bringing along a camera. While it would probably USUALLY end up OK, the last thing I want is my student trying to be Steven-fucking-Spielberg when he or she should be arching and/or keeping their hands on their harness for exit, etc. I've done enough tandems and filmed more than enough of them to know they do stupid shit even when their only job is to arch and keep their hands in until tapped, etc. Do I want some aspiring Tarantino trying to catch a great shot on exit when he should be helping me prevent a sidespin? No thanks." -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  16. Two quick points: Take them for what they're worth. (To play fair, I've only got about 1,000 tandems under my belt, and I have since retired from doing tandems about a year and a half ago.) 1. To those who mentioned having the student wear a camera as an option: As a T.I., I personally would not want my student bringing along a camera. While it would probably USUALLY end up OK, the last thing I want is my student trying to be Steven-fucking-Spielberg when he or she should be arching and/or keeping their hands on their harness for exit, etc. I've done enough tandems and filmed more than enough of them to know they do stupid shit even when their only job is to arch and keep their hands in until tapped, etc. Do I want some aspiring Tarantino trying to catch a great shot on exit when he should be helping me prevent a sidespin? No thanks. 2. Sure, I think handcam CAN be done safely. But anyone, even someone with thousands of jumps and an assload of tandems under his or her belt who thinks it doesn't take a LOT of practice and attention to detail is only fooling him- or herself. In videos and in person, I've seen talented T.I.s forget to tell the student to put on his or her goggles, not spend nearly as much time double-checking harness fittings or their gear, initiate line twists on deployment trying to get a great opening shot and just, in general, not be as on-the-ball as normal since he or she was fucking around with a camera. So, CAN they be done safely? Sure, I suppose. But I do think it adds a lot to an already busy job, and taken lightly, is much more likely to bite the tandem pair in the ass than the possibility of an EXPERIENCED outside videographer causing a problem. I'm a huge fan of the (at least in the U.S. to my knowledge) requirement that anyone accompanying a tandem pair in freefall have at least 500 jumps. And if that person happens to be a douche, please don't allow him or her to go along with you in freefall. So, can an outside camera person, particularly an inexperienced one (who shouldn't be there in the first place) pose a problem? Sure. But I think the chance of T.I. who hasn't thought things through before bringing along a camera who might be overly distracted causing an issue greatly outweighs the chance of a TALENTED outside videographer doing the same. Just my $.02. Lastly, I echo the comments that while the handcam footage under canopy is amazing (except when the WHOLE canopy ride is included on the edited product, which to me, gets old in a hurry), 99 percent of the freefall handcam footage I've seen is not great. Will it work? Sure. But I don't think an up-the-nose or profile shot with no great background or change of angle is ideal. Not slamming it as an option, but I can't be convinced that the FREEFALL footage from a handcam will ever touch outside video. (Do I shoot outside video? Yep. But It's not my sole source of income or my only skydiving discipline I enjoy, so I really am not slamming it just because I like making money doing it.) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  17. While I certainly agree that video is FAR from absolutely necessary on an AFF jump, and any AFF instructor worth a shit should be able to give an accurate and descriptive enough debrief from memory to be useful to the student, I don't agree that an AFF instructor should never wear a camera. I've worn a camera (not a GoPro, rather a very low-profile and small camera on the left side of my helmet that is built into my helmet) on roughly the last 700 of my 1,500 AFF jumps. AFTER I give a student the normal debrief without the video, we review it together, and then I always give him or her a free copy to take home as well. I've gotten quite a few verbal thanks and e-mails saying just how helpful this was on top of the standard debrief. So, not at all necessary, and any student or instructor who says that learning can't take place without video is, in my opinion, misled. But, assuming the camera setup is virtually snag-proof (obviously NOTHING is completely snag-proof) and the instructor has enough AFF jumps under his or her belt before adding a camera to the equation, I think it's extremely helpful. And before anyone can answer back with a "But the student might be distracted" line, while that might be possible on some coach dives, I've never once had a student in an early category pause during the skydive to look over at the camera while I have my harness-hold to say hello to it. And as for whether or not it's a distraction to me, I'm pretty sure it's not. I've worn camera on about 4,000 jumps total, and while I do worry about getting a good shot while filming OUTSIDE video on jumps where I'm not acting as an instructor, I really do just turn the camera on and forget about it while flying inside as an instructor. (And, no, I don't jump with my ring sight or still camera when working inside as an instructor, so those snag-friendly elements are not present.) Just food for thought. You don't HAVE to have video, but if it can be included safely and by a qualified instructor, it sure is a nice perk for the student. Yes, it would be nice if they could all afford outside video on every jump since it's such a great training aid, but that just isn't feasible for most. Plus, though outside video gives a much better angle, it tends to be a distraction for some students, especially if the camera flyer is not head's up enough to get out of the student's face if the student isn't going through the dive flow according to plan. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  18. Like I told you, Junior: Plan your trip around Skydive Lost Prairie's boogie. You can't beat the sights or the vibe. Now, if you're going JUST for jump numbers, you wouldn't want to JUST do LP, as it tends to get windy in the afternoons. For just racking up a bunch of jumps, hit the likes of SDC, Eloy, Elsinore, etc. Just keep in mind that with big vacation-destination DZs like these come a ton of other folks like you who are unfamiliar with everything local, and a lot of lower-time jumpers go to these spots to do and fly shit they're not ready for, so keep your safety sensor on full tilt at all times and your head on a swivel. Have a great time. If you do anything stupid, don't tell them who taught you how to skydive or where your home DZ is. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  19. I'll ask my buddy to pass those on. Thanks. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  20. This guy is still active under the same name. He had a buddy of mine ready to Western Union him the $1,500 he overpaid in the $4,500 check he sent. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  21. Here she is again. (See attached.) -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  22. I have to cry bullshit on this. First, there are certainly more pictures of better-known skydivers submitted (because proportionately vidiots jump with the best jumpers more than they do with Joe Jumper). Second, with Joe Jumper making 50 jumps a year, and the "world champion" making 500, wouldn't you think there might be better odds of a great shot being captured of the "champ"? But despite all that, there have been plenty of lower-time and lesser-known jumpers on the cover over the years. Or, if I'm wrong, then I'm sure there are all sorts of everyday jumpers who have been on the cover who will be excited to know that they are now classified as world champions. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  23. Thanks for clearing that up, Howard. You're always good at setting the story straight before the rumor mill hits full speed. Otherwise, people would quickly be convinced that our USPA dues are soon going up to pay some overdue bill that some National Skydiving Museum curator from 20 years ago failed to pay. I'm glad to know that, once again, some people's hints at USPA's "horrific fund management and leadership," or something routinely along those lines, are unfounded. p.s. I hope you're well. Long time no talk to. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  24. They're always looking for writers. Feel free to contribute something so it sucks less. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."
  25. *** Yes, of course, we know ... Parachutist sucks, USPA sucks ... It all sucks. They're all out to get us. The men in the black helicopters don't really want us to skydive. -Lambert- "It's better to be looked over than overlooked."