I figure maybe I need to change up the kinds of stuff I’m blogging about once in a while……
Otherwise, my wonderful readers might decide to turn off their computers and go do something more constructive, or something they enjoy better.
And I would hate to be responsible for something that horrible.
Of course, your idea of a really interesting post– and mine— might be vastly different.
While you might expect a good post to contain all kinds of fascinating tidbits and factoids, fancy illustrations and diagrams, and useful stuff like that —
To me, well, a good post can contain just about anything —
— a little something to make me laugh, cry, shrug, or ponder.
( But then, ask anybody I hang out with – they’ll tell ya – I’m easy. )
Everybody’s got their own levels of what is , and what is not a good post.
It’s the same thing with dangerous sports.
What might seem dangerous to me, might seem like a mere bag o’ shells to you.
Everybody has their own ideas of what is,
and what is not— stupid…… err… I mean— risky.
I’m not saying I haven’t done my share of dangerous sporting activities……
The crazy shit I did in the Navy notwithstanding,
I’ve paddled Class V whitewater without a life jacket,
scuba dived in a cave with a defective regulator,
jumped from stupid high heights without a parachute,
drove a late model race car 90 mph around a mud track,
deadlifted cars and truck suspensions,
pulled trucks, buses, even airplanes….
I’m over 50 (a bit) and I still powerlift four or five times a week.
Sure, people say I’m crazy.
But some sports are just too dangerous for me.
And today, I thought we might talk about a couple.
Right after I agree to be Courtney Love’s sex slave during one of her acid flashbacks.
High Altitude Low Opening – or H.A.L.O jumping,
is a parachuting technique, previously reserved for the military,
and now all the rage among rich schmucks with nothing better to do,
which consists of jumping out of an airplane at altitudes upwards of 60,000 feet
( the upper atmosphere- about 16 miles above the earth’s surface)
since the air is too thin at that height to support a chute –
free falling until you’re close enough to the ground to pull the cord.
‘jumping out of a perfectly good airplane into the stratosphere and then fall’ thing.
But I guess I will try.
Remember, there’s precious little oxygen pressure at that height – so you gotta wear a breathing device.
It’s sorta like deep sea scuba diving with no water…. but you’re also falling at terminal velocity.
They don’t call it ‘terminal’ velocity for nuthin.
And baby, it’s cold up there… at that altitude, it can be 60 below zero.
Oh, and lets not forget the ever present chance of your chute simply choosing not to open.
* splat *
The funeral home’s gonna have their hands full —
making your frostbitten, oxygen-starved corpse look “life-like”, I’ll tell ya.
Not me, buddy.
Gimme good ole terra firma.
If I gotta go in a crazy way, let it be with fifteen redheads in a vat of jello.
I gotta say, though… they named it well.
Chances are good you’ll be wearin’ a halo soon after your decision to try it.
And while we’ve got our heads up in the clouds-
-here’s one, even I might be willing one day to attempt.–
assuming the right combination of technology, testosterone, and temerity comes together at the right time.
It’s called a wing suit.
Now, you might seen my post on this subject, but for those of you who didn’t….
This is a special outfit that allows the human body
to become an aerodynamic airfoil,
and the newest variation even has jet engines strapped to the wearers’ feet.
In other words, you can fly.
You still gotta use a parachute to land.
You can jump from an aircraft, or from the peak of a mountain or bridge.
It’s as close as man has come, so far, to Leonardo Da Vinci’s concept of a flying man.
It’s cool as hell.
It’s also dangerous as hell.
There’s so much stuff that can go wrong , it’s just a matter of time before you trade those suit wings for angel wings.
Assuming that’s the direction you’re headed.
So much so, that in the mid-90’s, I never missed a local PRCA event.
In 1996, I even met local favorite Jerome Davis, a North Carolina resident, who was the PRCA 1995 Champion Bull Rider, at one of these events.
The mid-90’s was a rough patch for me.
I was having a rough time professionally and personally.
And, I wanted to try it soooo bad.
After all, you only gotta hold on for eight seconds.
How hard could it be?
Then, in 1998, Jerome was permanently paralyzed in a bull-riding accident in Fort Worth.
All of a sudden, all my enthusiasm for the sport went out the window.
To think that this young, powerful, skillful rider could get so messed up by one tiny little 800 pound bull.
Man, you talk about raw power –
you watch one of these bulls up close and you will see all of nature’s force concentrated in that bovine.
By the way, Jerome is still involved with Pro Rodeo, and is a breeder of champion bulls.
A tough guy….. brave as all get out.
And still an inspiration to me in several ways.
But not to ride bulls.
Swaller the Glop
Ok. I’ll admit, I’ve played this before , at the Daytona Rally , 1979.
— in a big ole open air tent,
Pool all the alcohol you have among you, of whatever type –
—- vodka, gin, whiskey, tequila, whatever —
mix in copious amounts of fruit juice, jello, motor oil, or other flavorings,
put it all in a big pot,
and then dump a whole load of it down yer gullet…..
gulping hard and fast to get as much of it down as possible before nature has the last laugh.
Before I did this again………
I think I’d rather make that HALO jump.