riggerrob

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Everything posted by riggerrob

  1. I still give students a "complete" score if they pull the dummy handle during line-stretch. I emphasis that the goal is pulling the handle DESPITE distractions like deployment.
  2. It is amazing how the term "hack" has changed over the years. Initially it simply meant to cut with an axe. Then it transofrmed to a sloppy cut with a dull axe. Then it changed to any job done sloppily. But more recently, computer "hackers" have adopted the term to describe their ability to "hack" into computer systems. Many computer "hackers" are malicious, but a newer generation has modified the term to mean clever improvements to computers and a wide variety of other equipment. Say "hacking" an old delivery van into an apartment on wheels. Now these entrepreneurs often use the term "hack" in the same sentence as "make."
  3. Term limits help to officially retire judges before they turn senile.
  4. First, keep your hands and toggles close to your chest, where they are stornger. Secondly, practice flaring with both hands on both toggles. Do a series of practice flares up high before you try to land with this new method. This will eliminate most asymmetry. Thirdly, ask a friend to video some of your landings, then ask a local coach to criitque your technique on video.
  5. Is Europe suffering from shortages of gasoline, diesel, natural gas, electricity, etc.?
  6. Brent, That difference explains the population gap between first-world and third-world birth rates. Since first-world nations have good health care and public sanitation, infant mortality rates are low and most families are confident that both their children will grow to adulthood. Since 2 children is less than the replacement rate (2.2 children per woman) populations are declining in first-world nations. This also means fewer working-age people to support ever-larger numbers of retirees. Meanwhile, many third-world nations have poor public sanitation, few medical clinics and high infant mortality rates. Hence most families have 6 or more children in hopes that a couple will survive long enough to support their parents when the parents are too old to work full-time. Most of these countries are also too poor to educate even half their children through elementary school, hence the Taliban bans girls studying in public schools. With better health care, more children survive in third-world nations, but they have difficulty finding work in stagnant economies. Hence they try to emmigrate to second or first-world countries where they can find work. These immigrants take menial labor jobs that native-born first-worlders are too arrogant to do. Immigration is the only way that first-world nations can keep up the numbers in their labor force.
  7. I freely admit to understanding very little about quantum physics. I have a pretty good grasp of Newtonian physics. I have also read many articles about quantum physics, but when quantum physics clash with Newtonian physics, I get confused. Perhaps the problem is that I am a visual learner and have seen very few diagrams of quantum physics that I can grasp at a glance. Please note that I am not dismissing quantum physics. I would like to better understand quantum physics, but am currently baffled.
  8. I wrote a church sermon entitled "Religion or Science? What is your best guess?" It outlines how in olden days, when anyone did not have a logical explanation for something, they replied "Because god wanted it that way." Theologians refer to this as "God in the gaps." Some debaters and theologians got stuck on rigidly reinforcing the written words of god(s). Since the Enlightenment, scientists have experimented and invented many new explanations for why the world is the way it is. Most of those explanations have been confirmed by other scientists who repeated those same experiments and achieved similar results. However, I must caution you that many concepts that were accepted as scientific "fact" a few centuries ago are laughed at today. Furthermore, some of what we agree on as scientific "facts" will be laughed at in another 20 or 30 years. For example, I am still skeptical about much of the "quantum" science currently accepted by physicists.
  9. "Nomadland" I am currently reading Jessica Bruder's book "Nomadland." I also saw the documentary by the same name a few months back. They detail the lives of a new class of Americans who live in tents, vans, truck campers, converted buses and even Winnebagos as they move from one seasonal job to the next. Many were middle-class until they were bankrupted by divorce, closing factories, etc. How many dz.commers have lived and worked out of a van parked beside a DZ?
  10. Ask a local instructor to watch you practice DRPs. Sometimes you have to adapt your technique to adjust for different harness-student configurations. For example, I teach my students two different methods to find their BOC handle. I tell them to practice sliding a hand down the right side of the container. I also teach them how to grab their own ass, then slide their hand up until they feel the handle. Then I get them to practice both techniques while laying on the ground and let them decide which technique works best for them. Then we practice their chosen method a few more times to burn it into long-term memory. During later practices, I encourage them to imagine wind noise, etc. By the way, where are the main ripcord handles on your school's student harnesses?
  11. Baluchistan overlaps the southern provinces of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Their loyalty is to other Baluchis first. I doubt if the average Baluchi has ever visited Kabul, mush less consider himself am Afghan citizen. Afghanistan is doomed to fragment into a series of semi-autonimous tribal homelands, with even the Taliban fearing to enter some of those tribal homelands ... much the same as Alexander the Great invaded a few thousand years ago. It is difficult to unite a country with mountains that steep, passes snowed-in for months every year and far too little water for serious agriculture. Note the most of Afghanistan's "green zones" follow irrigation systems gifted by Russia or the USA.
  12. When was the last time that any army's generals did not have a clue about what their private soldiers were doing "in the trenches?"
  13. Bill Mayer said it exactly! North Americans have no idea how much we are spoiled with our soft lives, etc. I had a "soft" childhood in Canada, then visited: Austria, Belgium, Bermuda, Cuba, Denmark, England, France, Greenland, Italy, Luxembourg, Leichtenstein, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Puerto Rico, Spain, Switzerland, USA, etc. but now am glad that I live in Canada with our excellent socialized medical system. I also find Canadian police to be boring ... the way all police should be. Canadian politicians are also boring ...
  14. Hah! Hah! This reminds me of an ad from a military clothing store. They advertised "commando underwear" and posted a photo of a naked man with his crotch blurred out. Hah! Hah!
  15. Back in 2012, Canadian Liberal Justin Trudeau won an amateur show boxing match against Conservative Senator Brazeau. Brazeau dominated the first round by closing the distance and pummeling his opponent. But Trudeau used his 3 inch longer reach to pummel Brazeau during the second and third rounds. Monday morning, Brazeau suffered the humiliation of a haircut.
  16. Sometimes riggers throw out the "20 year rule" because they are tired of arguing with customers about why they should not squeeze one more season out of their faded, frayed and filthy rig. Since they customer has been jumpoing the rig the whole, time, they do not notice its' slow deterioration. During the same year, the rigger has inspected hundreds of other containers that are in far better condition. Perhaps the rigger is just weary of sewing patches on top of patches. I told one DZO not to send his old Vector tandems to me because I was tired of patching them. Thankfully, he replaced them with some half-life Vectors. P.S. I started jumping tandems in 1986, so am so old that I have jumped tandems without drogues. I consider Vectors slow to repack, but in the air they fly pretty much the same, especially after they have been updated to ZP canopies. Yes, I am so old that I started jumping when F-111 was the "hot" new fabric. Nowadays I only jump ZP mains.
  17. Boring! Like you, I am not a patient person. I started packing student rigs to relieve the boredom. On a busy day, that means barely having enough time for a sip of water. Ask any tandem instructor if he/she is bored, while pushing to do a dozen tandems per day. They barely have enough time to grab a sip of water before running th catch the nest flight. Their greatest challenge is eating granola bars - in the airplane - without dropping crumbs down their students' collars. Hah! Hah! P.S. When you find evening gab sessions around the bonfire boreing, just earn a rigger's rating. By the time you have finished all the minor repairs needed to launch the first load (Sunday morning), other skydivers will have eaten all the pizza, drank all the beer and deflowered all the virgins. The last thing that riggers worry about is sexually transmitted diseases! Hah! Hah!
  18. Today, BBC broadcast video or brawls in the Parliaments of Armenia, Taiwan, Turkey and Ukraine. In other news, a Maori member of the New Zealand Parliament was escorted out after performing a haka (war dance) during a rousing debate. Thankfully, North American politics are comparatively boring.
  19. If you want to fly to the silly side, just open both your main and reserve to practice solo biplanes, side-by-sides and down-planes. Hah! Hah!
  20. When Aerodyne reformed - and got a bunch of R&D funding - they hired the best designers from Parachutes de France, ergo Icons look like P. de F. Atoms. Back during the 1980s, P. de F. led the world with zero-stretch suspension lines, zero-porosity fabric, tapered canopies, etc.
  21. Performance Designs discards nylon thread that has been sitting on the shelf for more than a year or three (I forget the exact number). They say that nylon thread gets stiff and brittle if it sits on the shelf too long.
  22. We wonder what the Taliban will do with Pashtun traditions like "tea boys" and "man love Thursday."
  23. It is easy to rub cadmium plating off of MIL-SPEC hardware. Nickle-plating lasts longer. The worst corrosion - that I ever saw - was on four rigs from the Amazon Jungle of Brazil. First, they returned a pair of student Telesis h/c to Rigging Innovations. All the hardware was rusted. I suspect that Amazon soil is acidic and contains plenty of iron oxide. We replaced all the hardware and most of the harness webbing. The second pair of rusty harnesses were on Softies that were returned to the Para-Phernalia factory. Again, we cut off the harnesses to sew in all new webbing and hardware. These days, I recommend stainless steel hardware for everyone. SS corrodes at a slower rate and only produces grey/black oxide that is far less abrasive.
  24. After our team-mate died (cancer) a bunch of us POPS got into the habit or meeting at this grave on the anniversary of his birthday. We'd bring a bottle of wine, share stories and sing bawdy songs around his tomb-stone. Every so often we we'd fill our wine glasses and toast our dear departed jump buddies. We always filled an extra glass with wine and poured it on the grass over Old Bill's grave. After a few rounds, Old Fred said "Old Bill hasn't changed a bit, He's still a fast drinker!"
  25. riggerrob

    Emphazima

    Discuss your emphezema with an FAA flight surgeon (aero-medical examiner) and ask if you can train in a high altitude chamber. I did the Canadian Armed Forces high altitude indoctrination training many years ago when I wrenched on CF-18 fighters. Back then I also did a handful of tandems from 19,000' MSL.I recognized the symptoms of hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels) and sat as quietly as possible durind the ride to altitude. When my physically un-fit (fat) student was unable to help me, I carried him the length of a Dornier 228 cabin and heaved us out the door. My vision narrowed and I started seeing spots. Below 10,000' my blood oxygen levels improved and I felt fine. Back then I used to run 20 kilometers to cure a hang-over. Just because I did something that stupid - when I was young - does not mean that I will repeat it these days. These days you can buy inexpensive ($50) pulse oxymeters that clamp on a finger. They measure both blood oxygen saturation levels and heart beats. The fanciest pulse oxymeters record data for later analysis. Blood oxygen levels should remain between 90 and 100 percent. My blood oxygen level is consistently 96 percent no matter whether I am sitting or hiking up a steep mountain. Heart pulse should range between 60 and 180. 60 beats per minute is a normal resting pulse, while 180 bpm is a sprint. The best pulse oximeters also display heart beats ... even irregular heart beats. Note that pulse oximeters do not measure blood flow to fingers when you are cold (hypothermic) or suffering hypoxia (low blood oxygen levels).