Tag Archives: skydiving

Post #500!

500 posts

This blog is nearly four years old (I started on July 4th, 2011). This post makes it exactly 500 posts here on Logos Con Carne. To commemorate it, I’m giving myself the 500 Odometer Award (which I built myself from various electrons I had laying around).

As part of the party, this post consists of miscellaneous odds and ends that have intrigued me lately. I’ll leave it to you to decide which are the odds and which are the ends.

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Interactive & Solo Sports

sportsI was tempted to call this Sports Thoughts, which would have been a great title, but which also would have implied a connection to the previous four posts. And there isn’t one. At all.

Instead, this one ties back to a post from last June: Digital & Analog Sports (which, obviously, you should go read now). That one mainly explored how sports can be grouped in terms of continuous (“analog”) versus interrupted (“digital”) play. It also touched on how sports can be viewed in terms of their MacGuffin (often some type of ball, but sometimes a puck or “birdie” or some other object), and it considered their field of play (location, size, configuration).

This time I’ll explore sports in terms of opponents and teams.

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The CASA Boogie

The other entry for Skydiving Saturday is another USENET post I made to rec.skydiving in August 1999.

And there’s a nice connection to posting these in August as I did with the three last year describing the first and second Tandem jumps and the first AFF jump. The girl friend and I made those two Tandem jumps in August of 1997, so August is the month it all began.

While we started AFF school that September, and finished the following March, the day of jumping described below (one of our most fun times as the drop zone) took place on a very hot day in August of 1999. A lot of things started to go downhill after that, so in a number of ways this represents one of the high points in our lives. It was definitely one of those days to press in your memory book.

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AFF Graduation!

It’s Skydiving Saturday at Logos con carne! I’m working on the upcoming TV Tuesday, so this weekend I’m going to coast a bit with some easy posts and archive excavations.

It’s also a good time to enjoy the end of lazy summer before we go back to school. After all, Logos CC is also about philosophy and computers and science (oh, my).

There are many meaty topics on the grill for later, but for now it’s free fall time!

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My First AFF Skydive!

The post two days ago told the tale of the first time I (and my new girlfriend) jumped out of an airplane, and the post yesterday was about the second skydive.

Both those jumps were tandem jumps. We were securely attached to professional Tandem Master skydivers who did all the work. We were basically just along for the ride. I’d say it was the ultimate “E” ticket, but only old-time patrons of Disneyworld would know what that means. Suffice to say it’s the coolest carnival ride you can imagine. And after you’ve jumped out of an airplane a few times, even the wildest roller coasters seem a bit tame.

As I mentioned in the first tale, when they saw how much we loved jumping they immediately began whispering in our ears, “AFF. AFF.” When we came back for another, the whispering got louder!

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My Second Skydive!

Yesterday I told the tale of my first skydive with then new girlfriend (and now ex-wife). We both loved our first jump so much we came back a week later for second jump.  I wrote the original version of these stories about a year later. The versions here have been slightly revised to fill in some details, obfuscate some names and improve (I hope) the quality of the writing.

So sit right down and you’ll read a tale, a tale of a fateful trip. (And ironically, for those who caught the reference, the round-trip driving time to Hutch is about three hours.)

Tandem Jump #2

So, on August 16, 1997, (our official one-month anniversary of our first meeting) CN and I again made the 90 mile drive to Skydive Hutchinson.  This time the weather was much nicer.  On our first jump, clouds had moved in during the day, so we were only able to get up to 7500 feet.  This time we would get our full 10,000 feet, the normal jump-off altitude!

And this time, I would be the star of the video.  Last time we’d flipped a coin, and CN won, so she was the focus of the video.  We determined that when we returned, it would be my turn.

Little did I know, I was in for more than my money’s worth this time!  It turned out that my Tandem Master, Kerry, would have to ditch our main chute and go for the reserve, so I kinda got two skydives in one!

Bye-bye!

There goes CN with Tandem Master Shawn, on her second exit from a “perfectly good airplane.”  Shawn also has become one of our treasured skydiving pals.  A font of information and good times.  Little did we know this first week how much John and Shawn would change our lives.

Wheeeeeeeeeeeee!

And here I come!  This time I’m attached to Kerry.  And again, our incredible camera man, John A, captures the plane leaving us behind.

John is a truly incredible skydiver, and one of our main teachers in the sport.  Over the months, as we’ve struggled, he’s seen us grow and learn and also become one of our favorite skydiving friends.

Hey, Look at ME!

Falling through the air at about 120 miles per hour is beyond any experience you can imagine.  Nothing I’ve ever experienced comes close.  In the five or six seconds, you go from 0 to 120 miles per hour.  After that, your speed is constant, so you feel no sense of falling at all.  Just flying with a 120 mile per hour wind coming up from the ground at you.

Which, incidentally, any time you see skydivers in the movies or TV talking during free fall…  Forget about it.  That 120 MPH wind makes conversation impossible.  Any communication is done with hand signals (or taps or tugs on your body if in physical contact).  You could maybe pull it off by screaming directly into somebody’s ear, but not otherwise.  A good example of It’s Totally Not This Way is the skydive in Point Break.

Sproing!

Chute’s out, but wait!  Something isn’t quite right.  The slider didn’t come all the way down the lines. The chute was sort of flyable, and Kerry considered riding it down, but being the crazy guy he is, decided a cut-away would be more fun.

All he said to me was, “Are you ready to arch again?” (Arching, putting your body in a backwards-bow, is what you do when you’re falling belly down. It’s the stable position for basic free fall.)

I said, “Sure…”

And then the floor vanished under us!  TOO COOL!!  Two free falls for the price of one.

When Shawn told CN, “See that yellow ‘chute over there? That’s their reserve,” CN knew at once I was having a GREAT time!  And she was completely right!

To make it more obvious that a skydiver has deployed their reserve chute, those chutes are usually solid white or (in the case of tandem rigs, yellow).

Thumbs Up!

Here I am back on the ground with Kerry.  You can see the yellow reserve chute on the ground behind us.  Kerry joked to the camera that I’d asked what all the handles on his rig were for, so he decided he’d show me.

Because of the extra free fall due to cutting away the main chute, we didn’t make it back to the drop zone’s landing area.  We are, in fact, standing in a farmer’s field.  The drop zone, and the airport it abuts, are surrounded by soybean and corn fields.  The farmers are used to the occasional off-target landing.

John followed us down and landed in the same field, so I got my terra firma picture, but CN’s off at the drop zone.  (Amazingly, on the video, you can watch John fly to and grab the tandem reserve’s free bag out of the air!  Quite a stunt, and it saved trying to find that small piece of somewhat expensive gear.)


My First Skydive!

Walking to the plane, the plane!The next several posts are trips down memorex lane. They recall one of the most exciting times of my life. I’d just started an incredible relationship with a girlfriend who later became my first (and so far only) wife. That the marriage didn’t last but a small handful of years and that we’ve been divorced at least twice as many years doesn’t at all detract from the wonder of joy of those early years.

It was in that setting that I (we) tried skydiving for the first time and fell (pun definitely intended) in love with it. These posts (which were first written back then and have since been slightly revised) are about those experiences.

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