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  1. Damn. I am ashamed to have overlooked this thread. I jumped with Mark back in 2008, when I was a hundred jump wonder, with almost no FS-experience over 4-way. So it may be better to say he jumped with me. :-) I'm from a small Cessna DZ and this was the first time I jumped from a twin otter. I did jump from caravans previously, but unlike in the Netherlands back then, the Perris Otters had benches. For the life of me, I couldn't figure out the loading order. No matter where I was in the formation, I always seemed to end up in a (to me) illogical seat, where others would need to push past me from both sides. Until I overheard Mark telling one of the other Perris organisers to "put the Dutch guy in the cold seat. He won't notice". Which was very funny and true enough. The only way I could cope with the California heat was because I could look forward to the next jump, when the door was raised slightly and cool air was allowed into the plane. As I recall they kept a shoe in the plane for exactly that pupose. Mark also made a great impression on me by telling me the following: Mark's coach at the time forgot Mark's lead vest and had to go back to fetch it. This caused Mark to miss the flight that would become the Perris crash.
  2. Kliff was on my first CReW jump in the US. It's now almost 15 years and hundreds of CReW jumps later, but I still have very fond memories of that day. BSBD.
  3. OK, so in order to protect the life of the mother, US-citizens are now allowed to shoot anti-abortion oriented politicians and "power brokers" (for want of a beeter word)? That's an unexpected turn for the good.
  4. Fluent in English or nearly so. I can make myself understood in German, though reading/listening is a lot easier for me. I know the bare essentials in French (Donnay mwoh beer sil voos play, Carson) and can say at least "thank you" in Polish and Rumanian :-)
  5. I got spanked only once, when I was about ten-ish. A single smack on the bottom, not even that hard, but all the more shocking for the fact that it happened at all. I clearly remember that even at the time I had to admit to myself that I really, really deserved it.
  6. That's ironic on a sad and very deeply disturbing level.
  7. Issues/things like this embarrass me to be a white person, let alone a straight white male in his forties. Happens rather a lot lately.
  8. So.. basically you went to a Pinball boogie, thinking it was just going to be a few days of fun, maybe play a game or two, drink some cheap beer... and came back home and ordered a complete new rig?
  9. I very much doubt it. I was bullied relentessly as a kid. Anyway, I went on to do some volunteer's work with kids for 28 years. In my experience bullies will always find a new stick to hit with. The accent you speak with, your skin colour, hair colour, gadgets, whether or not you have hit puberty yet, which sports you (don't) play, which team you support, what your mum packed you for lunch, being the teacher's pet, not liking what your bully likes - or liking what your bully likes, not being as good at X as your bully - or being better at X as your bully .....just to name a few.
  10. Eliminating the obvious: Are the bottles touching the back or side wall of the fridge or is your fridge very cold? Is the beer heavily carbonated?
  11. Yes, I held the flare as I was taught and I made an adequate PLF. What with the adrenalin of a first jump on the one hand and lacking any frame of reference whatsoever on the other, I didn't notice anything untoward. Also this was sixteen years ago (damn - when did I become a dinosaur?). But in hindsight I am glad my (then) 85 kg ass was suspended under a nicely forgiving and easygoing Manta 288 rather than something smaller and snazzier. :-)
  12. I can relate. There happened to be video in the LZ during my first jump, the cameraman having ironically dcided to shoot over the shoulder of the instructor on duty. I never saw the signals this instructor gave me (visual signals at the time) and therefore I flared when I judged it time. Due to circumstances I never got to see the video until I had 30 jumps or so. I actually gasped out loud along with the people in the video when I saw myself flaring at treetop height. :-)
  13. I've been offline for a while, but I still would like to answer (sarcasm or no) :-) There is a lot of chest beating (echoed in this thread) about all the aid going to Ukraine, monetary and otherwise. Last week it became apparant that though the EU donated approximately a billion of aid (monetary and otherwise), they also bought for 35 billion of energy from Russia. Mind you, that is since the war started. Also, buying more weapons (for Ukraine) is pretty useless without Ukranian fingers to pull the trigger. Putin can win by sheer numbers.
  14. I don't know. I still feel that "our side" is emphasizing Russian incompetence a lot in this conflict. Not this article specifically, but more generally speaking (no pun intended). Could be part propaganda.