Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

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More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
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The World
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Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Thursday, July 18, 2002
Tonight, we had another outage with our cable modem. This time, it took only a half hour to resolve. There was no lengthy hold times to reach support. Maria took my call initially. Angela (second tier, ticket number 1900728) resolved the issue (she had to key in my cable modem's MAC address back into their system).

For Jenn and I, this represents a "rash" of outages (we just faced a two-day outage last week).

This picture made me think of Accordion Crimes, by E. Annie Proulx. Her wondrous book about the many lives a single accordion had touched still resides in small places in my brain.

La Moderna Association has created a home for lost pictures, and it's tantalizing. Like many folks, my house has plenty of photographs, stashed in various nooks and crannies. A majority of them are lumped into a box. Some are in albums. Some are still in their photo lab envelopes, tucked into a shelf.

I sometimes wonder if I'll ever "organize" them. Perhaps with a scanner. Perhaps with some album indexing software. I suspect this is a project that will remain in a formulated state, but never executed. Or executed partially. I'm thankful that Mia's pictures of growing up are on a web site with some organization.

Sunday, July 14, 2002
I first read about the man trying to break the world record for highest free-fall in Sports Illustrated. It's deeply fascinating to me.

When I was in college, one of the fool-hardy things I did was go for a tandem sky-dive. The sky-diver that I was attached to was casually eating a burrito before our take-off to 10,000 feet. I remember signing and initialing a lengthy disclaimer form (there was a lurid clause that the company wouldn't be liable if I were to somehow hit a plane on my jump). I didn't feel like I was falling. Only when we landed did I feel the earth rushing towards me. Point Break emphasized this fearful feeling.

Michael Fournier will jump from 25 miles up. That's 132,000 feet. From that height, he requires a pressurized space suit and helmet. He will break the sound barrier.

The Sports Illustrated article said that Joe Kittinger did his record-breaking jump in 1960 as an Air Force test pilot, primarily to test "bailout and recovery equipment for future spacemen." His record has been in the books for four decades. The two others who tried to conquer this height have died in their jumps.

Mr. Fournier is set to go in September. I'll be watching.