Thursday, 15 April 2004

Yes, I jumped out a perfectly good airplane.

Yes, it was a blast.

Yes, I will do it again.

Want to see? Click here. It was a bad hair day, but hey - what the heck. These day's they're all bad hair days. Not enough to go around anymore. :-)

If you ever happen to be in the Southern California area looking for a fun weekend, check out Jim Wallace's skydiving school in Perris. Jim, Gail Sims and crew are truly awesome. Jim has more than 17,000 jumps and more than 276 hours of free-fall time in his career - Number one in the entire world! He's the one in the yellow t-shirt in the video. And on top of that, he's a really great guy. Gail's also a world-record holder.

In fact, I had more fun this past weekend than I have had in a long time. Not only did I do the free-fall thing, I also had the opportunity to spend a few hours walking and climbing all over the USS John C. Stennis, a *huge* aircraft carrier, with my friend David, who is stationed on the ship. He's also the one I went skydiving with (we both had birthday's this weekend, and it seemed like both the best and craziest thing to do to mark the occasion). We spent four days pretty much just wandering around southern California with no real plan. Unplanned time - wow, what a concept, and quite a relief from the usual!

I also purchased a replacement for my digital camera that was stolen last year. I managed to find a Nikon D70 kit, which was quite a challenge because they have not shipped very many since its release a couple weeks ago, but we found one out in the middle of nowhere. It's a great camera, but more on that later. In fact, it was that camera-finding detour we took that routed us through the skydiving capital of the Western Hemisphere, or maybe even the whole world: Perris, California.

Our original plan had been to go to California Adventure up at Disney - that was going to be our fun for the weekend - you know, roller-coasters and stuff. While driving between the town where I bought the camera and Anaheim, David looked out the window and saw a bunch of parachutes. Now, understand that he works on the flight deck of an aircraft carrier and pretty much anything that flies is cool to him. So, since we didn't actually have a real plan or any kind of schedule to follow, we decided to take the nearest exit and check it out. Within 30 minutes, we'd decided Disneyland/California Adventure was for wimps, and that we were going to jump out of an airplane instead.

So, that's what we did. Captured on video for all to see. It was great.

And then we went ahead and drove to California Adventure, anyhow. Heh. This new Disney park is pretty cool - the big roller-coaster there is damn fast and they have some good fast-action rides. They closed at 10, so we ran over to the Disneyland park and did the obligatory Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean rides (classics and still great).

I wished I could have spent another week in California, but my Mom's birthday was Tuesday and she turned 60 (happy birthday, Mom), so I flew there from Cali and got to spend a couple of days catching up with family.

It was a great weekend. Not sure I can match that one again, but I am sure I will try sometime. Pictures coming soon.

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Thursday, 15 April 2004 16:23:32 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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Ok, so on April 29th, I am going to be arrested as part of a fundraiser for the Muscular Dystrophy Association - you know, Jerry's Kids.

I need your help, so I can get out of there and back to work, and so MDA can do its great work. What I need from you is one or both of two things:

  1. Make a donation. Comment here or email me (greg-AT-greghughes-DOT-net) and we'll figure it out. Cash, check, credit card, whatever - and it's tax deductible as allowed by law. I'm not going to ask for specific amounts, but I'll be donating probably $50 to my own cause to get things started. I need to raise at least $1800.00, and not much time to do it (that's what I get for going on vacation eh?). HELP!
  2. Post a link to here (that's from your blog. BLOGGERS FOR MDA! :-) Cool idea eh? Let's see how much we can raise for them that way! Alternatively, email people you know (no email spamming though, please).

Help me, help them, help help help! Sure would be cool to see the community turn out for this one!

 - greg

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Thursday, 15 April 2004 11:19:46 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Sunday, 11 April 2004

While heading for Disneyland, we changed our mind and stopped short. Found something that beats Disneyland hands-down. Got out at 12,000 feet, flew through the sky, pulled the cord at 5,000 feet, landed standing up. Fun way to spend your birthday when you're starting to feel your age, I highly recommend it! :-)

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Sunday, 11 April 2004 15:18:10 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Saturday, 10 April 2004

Found an open network. Skipping Disneyland, gonna do something more exciting. Film at 11 - April 11th that is.

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Saturday, 10 April 2004 20:40:43 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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At the gas station in Tecumunga or some name like that. Filling up the tank, $2.45 a gallon. Wow.

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Saturday, 10 April 2004 13:05:27 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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 Wednesday, 07 April 2004

I've decided to go have a little fun, so I'll be traveling on a birthday whirlwind trip for the next week. My birthday falls on this Sunday (also Easter), my friend who is in the Navy and happens to be in port in San Diego this weekend has a birthday on Monday, and my mom's birthday (60!!!) is on Tuesday. So, I'm off to California Thursday night to spend the weekend hanging out there, then over to New Mexico to spend my mom's birthday with her, take her out to dinner, get her something nice.

If I can bring myself to spring for it (dunno when I got so freakin' cheap on some things) I may pick up a new digital camera to replace the one that got stolen last year, and in that case maybe I will have some pictures to post from the trip. We'll see.

For those of you who work with me, you know how out of character this vacation thing is, so please - don't call me, I'll call you. :-) And thanks to Mike and Debbie for watching the animules for me.

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Wednesday, 07 April 2004 21:43:14 (Pacific Standard Time, UTC-08:00)
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