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  1. Carrol put the "home" in the phrase "home DZ". I remember having his gumbo for dinner at night and then waking up in the morning hung over as hell, and there was Carrol already cooking breakfast for the survivors. It wasn't a business; it was just something he loved doing for his friends. "Just put a few dollars in the jar for groceries". Carrol gave a lot to the sport, and those who remember his accident know the price he paid. And still he smiled through it all. I will miss seeing his smiling face (although sometimes he showed a LOT more than just his face). Moshe
  2. Skydiving was a great publication, and Mike's editorials were always worth reading and re-reading. Let me add one note about Mike's personal integrity. When he decided to stop publishing, I figured I was out $20 for the unused part of my subscription - no big deal averaged over the 20 years I was a subscriber. And then a few weeks later I got a check in the mail with a note apologizing that it took so long to send out the refunds. In retrospect, I wish I had saved the check instead of cashing it. That piece of paper and what it said about the man was worth more than the face value.
  3. Since my reserve was repacked on Feb. 1, I have the dubious distinction of being one of the first people whose reserve data card says, in big red letters, "Cypres affected by service bulletin C20113, read and follow". So I did check it before each jump. But I think the bulletin is useless. If it can fail between jumps, why can't it fail between takeoff and landing? And what are you supposed to do if it fails? The marketing guys who wrote the bulletin did not say "Don't jump" (read it carefully - it's a masterpiece of corporate fluff pretending to be a technical bulletin). But you can't turn it off if the light won't blink, and if the failure mode is an unintentional firing, doesn't that expose everyone on the plane to an unacceptable risk? I don't care if it doesn't fire - it's only a backup. But firing when it is not supposed to should be cause for immediate grounding, which Airtec can't do because they don't have 10,000 spares sitting around yet. My bet - in a few months they will recall all units. And they'll do it a lot faster if a Cypres takes down an airplane.
  4. Damn. Billy 3 added character to whatever DZ he was at. He always liked to talk about a great 8 way we did with Mad John years ago, flying diamonds around the sky. He'll have to do that jump with others for now.
  5. Sex Ed is a good analogy. There are still a LOT of people who think abstinence only is a good policy. We all know where that leads. The other extreme is equally unacceptable to the vast majority of people; I'm not about to give my kids lessons in how to use condoms and then turn them loose. The right answer is a combination of guidance and education, and access to the right means to help so that breaking the rules doesn't lead to death (AIDS, abortions, or skydivers killing themselves). I wouldn't call this "tacit approval", it's "I really don't approve but I don't want to see you mess up your life when a little advice could help you survive". By the way, the FAA does not close down DZs, for breaking BSRs, you need to break the FARs, and even then they will fine the owner/operator and ground airplanes but they don't directly close DZs. And your facts on Hollister are badly garbled - you are mixing details from 2 or 3 separate events. Let's keep this discussion polite, as Bill started it, and not get into pointing fingers at specific DZs. I like your general points.
  6. Great list, but you are fighting a losing battle against technology, stupidity, and the great world of social media. 20 years ago "jumping a camera" involved a helmet with 40 pounds of gear. We didn't need rules, only truly dedicated masochists got into camera work. Then Handicams, 8 mm, miniDV, etc. and cameras are down to a pound or two. Today it's the GoPro. Fight it all you want, the next step will be a clip on device the size of a coin sending data wirelessly to a receiver in your pocket. It's not 5-10 years away, it's possible now - there just isn't a big enough market yet. Wait for the next Facebook - "MeTube: All my life, on the Internet, all the time!" - and you won't be able to tell people they can't have their camera on all the time. How do you regulate that? I think it is (sadly) unavoidable that focusing on the dive and ignoring the camera will move from common sense to BSRs to part of the FJC in the next few years. So maybe instead of telling newbies they're not allowed to jump cameras, we work on teaching them how to do it safely. That's how everything else in this sport has evolved. Remember "no square canopies with less than 200 jumps?
  7. You have to admire the sheer gall of someone who calls to complain about airport noise 166 times in a year - and they live at an intersection called AIRPORT. Every time I think people could not be more self-centered, stupid, and arrogant, someone like this turns up to show me I'm wrong. Thanks, Julie Palmer!
  8. I have not kept up with the rule changes in a very long time and I've killed a lot of brain cells during those years, so I could be remembering this incorrectly, but I thought it had to do with the signatures required in your logbook. In the old days, when you only needed 200 jumps for a D, you needed to get all of your jumps witnessed (signed) until you had a D-license. After that, your own logbook entry was sufficient. And the second you weren't required to have your jumps co-signed, you stopped asking for signatures - it made you look like a newbie. So it was really impractical to get a 1000 jump award or higher without a D; even if you got signatures, the USPA Conference Director (yes, that's what they were called) wasn't going to check 1,000 entires to make sure they were all signed. Just a guess, but maybe that's how it evolved into a requirement that you have a D. If that's the case, the rule should technically allow you to get the award with an A if every single one of your jumps has been signed by a witness. Have they? I could be totally off base on this, but if that's the case don't assume I'm an idiot - it's just because I'm OLD. No, that's not the same thing.
  9. Billy Joel. Angry Young Man. From "The Stranger" Nice. I have to find my vinyl copy and listen to it as god intended it to be heard.
  10. 500 feet? Sounds like Montana 4-way with Mad John.
  11. So let me ask the obvious question. Why should electronic voting get the membership more involved than the current method? Is it so hard to put a stamp on a letter? Yeah, I know, it's like old people, it's not kool, you can't vote on your iPhone. But this is skydiving. This is life and death. If you can't put a freaking 43 cent stamp on an envelope, are you really going to take the time be an educated, responsible e-voter? Or are you just going to vote for the guy with the kool sponsors? I have voted in every USPA election since I joined in 1988. The $4 I spent on stamps in 22 years haven't bankrupted me yet. I have spent time talking to every candidate who ever ran in my region, and many of the national directors as well. That time was not wasted, whether I voted for the person in question or not. I am not opposed to e-voting, but I really don't see it making a huge difference. If 90% of us can't bother to sign a piece of paper and stick it in the mail, I don't think a whole lot more people are actually going to participate just because it's on the interwebs. It's not the last step putting the piece of paper in the mail that matters -it's the thought process that goes into deciding who and what you want to vote for.
  12. Come on, Tim - Q has made a career out of the tongue shot. I don't think I'd recognize him in freefall if his tongue wasn't sticking out. But at least he has the sense not to wear purple sneakers.
  13. Great news! Even for those who don't like Bill, this is great news. The vultures need to see that it's hard to sue a drop zone for injuries that occur during routine skydiving operations. Once that line is crossed for any reason, this sport is in serious trouble. I know some of those with an axe to grind will jump in and say this was not a "routine skydiving operation" Guess what? I'd rather leave that judgement up to the jumpers and DZOs, not the lawyers. See you when the sun comes out....
  14. There are still people who remember the Barish Sailwing. Although the single sheet design was quickly replaced by double sheet (ram-air) we all use today, he was influential in the early development of aerial sports. There's a nice photo of a 1966 Barish paraglider and a few quotes from Dan Poynter in the NY Times obituary. Blue skies, Mr. Barish. Thanks for helping get us into the sky.
  15. Heading over Altamont Pass on the way to the DZ the wind tried to push my truck off the road. I figured that was a pretty clear hint I shouldn't be jumping. (Altitude at the top of the pass is about 1000 feet).