Building My House

I have always wanted to build my own house. I am retired now, so I have the time. I found some land, designed a house that would fit the land and my needs and got started. I am doing all the work myself, so progress will be fairly slow. To read this blog from the beginning, start with the oldest archive and read posts from last to first.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

One of Life's Little Detours

My daughter and I are kindred spirits; we both love doing new and exciting things. So, when I got an email from a workmate at my last job (before retirement) asking me if I was interested in going skydiving...the answer was obvious. And when I asked my daughter if she wanted to go...again, same obvious answer.

So 14 of us showed up at Skydive Houston (Texas) one Saturday morning. When we arrived at 8am there were already at least 50 people there; and all of them jumping from the same airplane (some days it takes 12-15 plane loads to get everybody airborne). The plane is a Dehavilland Twin Otter and can carry about 10-12 passengers (depending on weight).

We jumped tandem (two people in one chute) from about 14,000 feet. Ground temperature was 95 degrees; air temp on leaving the plane was 32; chilly, but the adrenaline rush will keep you from getting cold. This altitude yields a one minute freefall, falling at about 136 mph. The freefall is very noisy, with the air rushing past you and makes really big dimples in your cheeks. You would never hear your instructor talk, so all signals are given by hand taps to shoulders, waist, etc. About the only signal given is just before chute opening; when the instructor wants you to cross your arms over your chest so you don't punch him out. At 4000' the instructor opens the chute and in just a blink your feet swing thru from a belly down freefall position to an almost upside down position. But, one second later you swing back down into a normal almost vertical position. Then things get a lot quieter as you descend for about 5 minutes to the ground. The instructor let me steer the chute some. Turns are easy; just pull the riser in the direction you want to go.

Landings are easy; you just put your feet out (shown in pic) and slide in, first on your feet, then sit down and slide on your butt. You end up sitting on top of the instructor.

We had a video made of each of us. It still gives me goosebumps everytime I watch it.

Now, back to housebuilding.


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