Baksteen

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Everything posted by Baksteen

  1. I had fifty-odd jumps when I had my first reserve ride. To add insult to injury, I landed in a ditch. My ankle was swollen and some ligaments were damaged. I did not need crutches but was to walk slowly and try not to limp, since limping is a "habit" you then need to unlearn. I went back to jumping when I could walk normally again and when the ligaments had healed in the opinion of a physical therapist. The physical therapist advised my to use sports tape on my ankle, which I did and which worked fine. I was very nervous during the plane ride up, but after exit the anxiety left me as I got stable and I felt great. This is over a decade ago. The ankle is not troubling me very much any more. I also sustained a serious shoulder injury from when I had to land in turbulent conditions on rock hard dirt fiveish years ago. The PLF did not go picture perfect, but had I attempted any other kind of landing I am sure I would have needed a noisy taxi with blue lights on. I took a short spell off jumping, but not very long. Five years later, shoulder still gets stiff and sore occasionally. Then the injury to my knee, which was by far the worst for my skydiving career. I had to leave off jumping for approximately half a year. Again, no crutches, but walking normally was not an option. I had to take short, slow steps and be very aware when walking. Stairs were out of the question. I slowly built back to walking normally and now, two years later, the knee still occasionally likes to give me a reminder that it was injured. When I got back to jumping, I PLF'd the entire training season (~100 jumps) no matter how good the landing. The irony is that this was not a skydiving injury at all, but that I sustained while in our f*rst ballroom dancing competition, when my wife and I had a collision with another couple.
  2. Baksteen

    covid-19

    What Fauci is saying according to what you quoted is not that the devt. process could have been done faster, but that the current development process, which you habitually call "dragging our feet" acutally is a really fast development. Vaccine development normally takes years, if not decades. The COVID vaccine reached its final stages in a fraction of this time. This was achieved by enourmous money grants to several or even many companies and institutions around the world. This translates in state of the art equipment, enough(?) manpower in all stages of development and testing and also into very large initial clinical trial-groups. Another factor which greatly improves the timelines is that the authorities at an FDA-level are doing their review in parallel to the development of the vaccine; they look over the shoulder of the scientists, so to speak. Normally they would wait until all data of one or even all clinical trials is/are available, which is a way more cost-effective method. This last bit is poorly explained, I'm aware, but I get lost in translation once more.
  3. Well, not approximately zero. At least over here the intensive cares were being overwhelmed early this year with severe COVID-cases, causing delays and postponements in for instance 'regular' surgeries. Those COVID-cases did arrive, however.
  4. Well, I do not have any inclination to sift through all the political tripe in here, so I post this in the first "post-election lawsuit" thread I could find. But I found this an interesting read: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-fundraising-insigh-idUSKBN27R309 The article is mainly targeted against the lawsuit-fundraiser of the replublicans, but mentions in one sentence that the Democrats are no saints either.
  5. Baksteen

    covid-19

    (emphasis mine) Well, that's the kicker, isn't it? A fit-test takes about 30 min and costs a lot of money. No way that everyone everywhere is able to get a properly fitted facemask.
  6. Baksteen

    covid-19

    Well, there is the alternative that Russia claims to be developing. That one incidentally has the added benefit of boasting about a whopping 92% effectiveness, over Pfizer's mere 90%. It's great.
  7. I would compare tandem with a person jumping in the water with a life vest on while the attendant keeps the person above water with a long stick. :) I do not recommend tandems since most often they are just carnival rides. the good TMs aside (who will protest this rather grim picture I'm painting), there are any folks who will not give you a good introduction in skydiving anyway, since the less time they spend with a passenger, the more chance they have of churning out one extra jump and hence earn extra cash. If you (not you personally) are just looking for the experience of skydiving with minimal preparation and commitment on your part, by all means do a tandem and call it quits. If you are inclined to think that static line/AFF is your thing, just go for it. Which program you should actually choose depends on you and what is available to you. I was drawn to the more gradual progression of static-line. In hindsight I think I would not have done very well with AFF since there are more tasks to complete on a single jump. Also, I didn't have that much cash to invest upfront - and that is not even taking into account the price of a 'redo' of one or more levels. So, only for the small group who likes to have their toe in the water before making the plunge I would say that maybe a tandem is of added value for you; carnival ride or no.
  8. Baksteen

    covid-19

    I was just thinking of that. It induced birth defects in fetuses - even at one single dose administered to a pregnant woman. I'm sure I also read somewhere that it remains (temporary) residual in the body and that males are not immune from transmitting the birth defects either. Before this was found out, thalidomide was prescribed widely to pregnant women to combat morning sickness among other things. IIRC correctly, the problem was left- and right-oriented molecules - mirror images of each other (I'm not sure of my translation). At that time these were chemically indistinguishable from each other, but the consequenses were extreme. At Westerly: Large infusions of cash help shortening the timelines in drug research. But the in vivo studies take time. Nobody wants another thalidomide out there. Sure it didn't kill you - but even though it protects the 'taker' of the drug against the targeted disease I ask: are the consequences worth it?Google "thalidomide" and "baby" for images before you answer.
  9. I have always considered low pull contests to more of a "right down over here" kinda situation.
  10. I never did a tandem before signing up for the static line course and never regretted it. My reasoning back then was simple: Fourteen years ago, a tandem cost €200, while a five jump static-line course cost €335,-. If I did the tandem first and wanted to keep jumping I'd 'lose' more money than when I just went for the static-line course and decided after one jump to call it quits. Nowadays both the course and the tandem are much more expensive - that much more money which could go to extra jumps after you finish your course. Also, jumping by myself would allow me to do all the fun stuff myself, instead of having someone do that for me.Lastly, though many on here will disagree with me, tandem jumps are most often treated as nothing more than a carnival ride by both the tandem master and the tandem passenger. Is a tandem jump awesome? Sure. Is it comparable to jumping all by yourself? I doubt it. Can it be a great introduction to skydiving? It very much depends on where you make the tandem jump. You at least have to let them know about your intentions. Am I old school? Definitely. And more to the point, how much money you can invest upfront.
  11. A sport rig being left in a plane by a jumper is highly unlikely. The bailout rig being left by the pilot less so. I can't get my head around a jumper "forgetting" their rig, especially for a week - even second hand gear is worth easily $2000 in total and that's discounting the sentimental value. As for student gear, I'd expect the people in charge to take equal care of at least accounting for all the dropzone's assets.
  12. For me, skydiving is just something I do, and I present it as such to my non-skydiving friends and acquintances. I don't often start talking about skydiving of my own, but I don't really hide the fact that I jump and answer any questions people have got, as far as I am able. "Questions" here meaning anything between "did you hear about fatality X" and "did you go jumping lately". What I have found to be an effective way of dealing with stereotypical "whuffo jokes" is taking them seriously and countering with corrections about things really work in the skydiving community. After a few moments people get interested despite themselves and start asking serious questions. However, despite the above, I mention skydiving on my resumé. First since I do volunteer's work for my club, second since it allows me to talk about risk mitigation, third since it makes me stand out and fourth since every minute I have to talk about skydiving is a minute less answering difficult questions. As a rule, I don't talk people into jumping. I might give a little push if that's what I think is needed, but over 90% of the decision and the motivation to sign up for the FJC needs to come from themselves - not from me. That's the only way to get people into jumping and keep them into jumping for more than a few jumps.
  13. It's "feet together and angled slightly to the side" (translation difficulties). Also, you obviously must flare before you touchdown, keeping your hands together near your crotch, your elbows tucked in etc. That way you are able to make the roll in the flying direction. Based on the quoted picture you would face plant, hard. All in all that has nothing to do with the PLF in general and everything with the quality of the picture. I've had a student once who during FJC insisted that sliding it in was better than PLF. I made him stand on a table and asked him whether he'd like to land on his ass. When he said no, I asked him why it would be a good idea to do so when jumping from 1 km instead of from a table. A second student didn't discuss but just landed on his ass a few times. He'd get a talking to, promised to do better but was stubborn. After a few jumps he had to be taken to the hospital with a fractured tailbone. Personally, the PLF allowed me to jump earlier after recovering from a knee injury. No problem at all rolling the entire season.
  14. Baksteen

    covid-19

    It's approximately 3/8 of a cornucopia.
  15. And you know this how exactly? During the early stages of the FJC there is occasionally a student who out of habit says 2000 meters instead of 2000 feet. But that is easily rectified. Moreover, unlike the Iranian example above, Dutch altimiters, course material and teaching consistently use feet. To my knowledge there has never been an incident, near inicdent or even occasion where a Dutch student indicated they were confused about when to open their parachute due to having to make mathematical conversions. You pull your main at 3000 feet (which is when the needle is pointing at 3000 feet). Later, you learn to estimate the altitude for yourself and you KNOW you're at approximately 3000 feet. But nobody is taught from a young age how to estimate altitude, especially when suspended in mid-air or falling.
  16. You'd be wrong. :) In the Netherlands, skydivers use feet for altitude. We teach students that their hard deck is 2000 ft, without confusing them with conversion factors.
  17. Baksteen

    covid-19

    Interesting article, with more in the links. Unfortnately I haven't got the time to read it in depth at work, but at first glance it looks like Fords' reaction to the swine flu was the exact opposite of the international COVID-response.
  18. Baksteen

    covid-19

    I'd turn you down. All that cash would be eaten up by the bills I'd need to pay if I broke my leg. Especially if I was subjected to the American healthdon'tcaresystem. As to vaccines and "what could possibly go wrong", do not forget the potential risks to the next generation. Thalidomide comes to mind.
  19. Baksteen

    covid-19

    He owned his mistake, apologised deeply and emotionally and is allowed to stay on with a reprimand. Populist opposition moved to dismiss him, but got little support from serious parties. Populists also demanded that all Corona related fines and cases were dismissed, to which the minister replied that that it would be a funny old world if court cases would get dismissed because he himself made a mistake, no matter how severe.
  20. Baksteen

    covid-19

    The Dutch minister of Justice and Safety, who is one of the three figureheads of the anti-Covid campain in the Netherlands has been photographed while at his wedding at times not observing social distancing. The press were having a field day. Then new pictures came out with him actually shaking hands and hugging his mother in law. It will be interesting to see how he is going to defend himself in the coming debate.
  21. Baksteen

    covid-19

    I'm talking about political rallies or sports matches, where a lot of cheering by a lot of people occurs. Why is cheering bad? Because it is a disturbance of the air like singing. See the choir practice from earlier this year where one sick singer infected 40(?) others. As for food, I could shop immediately after work like most people do. Instead I wait until seven, when most people are having dinner and the supermarket is a lot more quiet. Also, I shop only once or twice a week. As for public transport, I have changed my working hours to avoid the rush hour (or what's left of it).
  22. Baksteen

    covid-19

    I do not dispute that. But many people seem to believe that the benefit IS binary: I wear an mask, so I can't get it. For instance, when the BLM demonstrations were occurring, cities and protest organizers worked together (or at least tried to) t ensure that the demonstration took place in a large enough area to make social distancing between protesters possible. That worked reasonably well after the first few protests. An article in a leading Dutch news platform reported that at the demonstration in Amsterdam too many people showed up spontaneously., so not enough distance could be kept. The authorities held the organization responsible and said that for future demonstrations better planning was necessary. The article then concluded by saying "even though many protestors were wearing masks". And don't get me started about the people who do not cover their noses , remove their mask to eat/drink in crowded situations etc etc.
  23. Baksteen

    covid-19

    Maybe, maybe not. I agree that in a tight corner masks are better than nothing at all, but some people seem to view face masks as some kind of anti-COVID deus ex-maskina: wear a mask = you can't get infected. And that I do disagree with. Not hosting gatherings were a lot of people congregate in the first place does a lot more for stopping COVID than merely wearing masks.
  24. I'm going to partially disagree here. While tunnel teaches all the skills necessary for a successful freefall, it does nothing to actually teach you what it is like to be out there; actually falling towards the planet. As instructors we need to be very careful to not fall into the trap of OK-ing experienced tunnel staff for too much, too soon. They're still students with individual and maybe unique needs. To the OP, as others have pointed out you do have an extensive toolkit for successfully making that first freefall. If you feel that this toolkit alone is not sufficient, there is no shame in quitting. The first jump (your tandem) merely happens to you. After that, you start experiencing the jumps more and more. With the knowledge and experience you have so far, you have to make a decision. Also consider this: In the tunnel, you da man. Every student looks to you what to do. You know how things work, teach people to fly their body and probably can do stuff that most other people, skydivers included, can only look at in admiration. Then you go to the DZ. Now you are the student. The feeling of control you have in the tunnel is gone. You have to accept this not only intellectually but subconsciously as well. Finally, I would submit that "I continued for no other reason than because I did not want to look afraid" is one of the worst reasons to continue jumping.