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May 08, 2009

I’ll just stay down, thanks

Up Here's a fun Friday video: Lileks demonstrates exactly how yours truly feels about heights.

Well, not exactly. I wouldn't have made it six or eight feet off the ground. Heck, I wouldn't have made it within twenty feet of the chair.

(Image courtesy of James Lileks)

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Dan Gill


Gina Dalfonzo

Yep. :-)


Gina wrote: "how yours truly feels about heights"

So this is why every time Allen walks by, you're grateful to God that you're not that tall? ;-)

Kim Moreland

Gina, You think you have it bad--I get vertigo while watching some movies. However, one of the items on my must-do-before-I-die list is hot air balloning.


So the trips to GodBlogCon are a mystery. They're held in Vegas, a **looong** way from D.C. Don't think Amtrak goes that way, and it's quite a trip by car. That leaves going at 30,000 feet.

Does PFM pay for First Class seats, where the liquid anaesthetic is complimentary?

Or could we easily find where Gina sat via the fingernail marks in the armrests?

Gina Dalfonzo

Oh, I'm just fine in a plane. At least, since 9/11 I get the occasional tremor, but that's not height-related.

Similarly, my dad, who's also nervous about heights, can not only pilot a plane, but also jump out of one. (Not at the same time, of course.)

Go figure.


When I was in elementary school my next-door neighbor was a former paratrooper. He didn't mind flying as long as he could jump out halfway through; hated the landings.

And I'm trying to let someone *else* hijack yet another simple joke into deep water, to morph this into a discussion of the irrationality of all fear except the fear of God, but drat - just failed at it, didn't I.

I was afraid that would happen.

Jason Taylor

Just don't tell your neighbor that paratroopers are obsolete and there have been hardly any decent jumps since WWII except for commando raids.


Jason, my wife's cousin was an Army Ranger who chased Noriega out of Panama, jumping below 500 feet.

That said, I like the idea of unmanned drone missions. Keep our guys safe; troops are precious.

Jason Taylor

LeeQuod my dear old friend, perhaps you read the word HARDLY, and the words COMMANDO RAIDS. The first means "rare, but not absolutely never". The second includes actions by Rangers who are optimized for such things.

In WWII they did jumps that included several divisions at a time. In point of fact the results were overestimatated before hand. While the temptation to have a large number of men "teleported" into the enemies vulnerable area was attractive, paras could not carry enough equipment with them to make them as formidable as would be desireable, or mobile enough to carry out a proper exploitation once on the ground. There were successful jumps but there were failures and pyrhic victories and much of the time paras were just used as infantry.
After WWII the heliocopter pretty much made the parachute obsolete though it is used in special circumstances(just as the bayonet, or for that matter the horse is used in special circumstances).
However small jumps by special forces have not become obsolete because there are circumstances when choppers are not desireble(it's the noise, I believe).

Panama was, if I recall, intended to overwhelm the defenses and quickly decapitate the government. It was reasonably well done, but it was as much a coup as an invasion. I would have to look it up, but jumping would have the advantage of getting a large number of troops there quickly before they were aware of it.

However in most cases the heliocopters advantage of being able to land precisely, carry more supplies and return to headquarters to bring back more men and equipment makes it preferable to jumping.

So you need not worry about heights LeeQuod. You are not likly to have to jump.

Jason Taylor

Actually, I always found mountainering scarier to contemplate then parachuting; you have to keep calm for several hours along the cliff rather then jumping and be done with it.

Jason Taylor

What do you think of that idea, Gina? Do you think Mt Everest would be scarier or jumping in a parachute would be?

Ben W

I don't think Mt. Everest would be too bad - check out pictures of Mount Huashan instead:
Just looking at that trail makes me cling to my chair.

But parachute, definitely.

Jason Taylor

Wow! That is a picture! Fortunately there was someone else besides me to take it.


How about I just stay on the ground and let you guys do all the climbing and jumping? :-)


Well, you've been a remarkably good sport about all the ribbing over your phobia, Gina. (As good a sport this time as you almost invariably are, I might add.) I'm done razzing you...

...for now, over this. ;-)

Jason Taylor

Cheer up Gina, and think of something that will uplift your spirits.


My spirits are just fine, thanks -- it's the rest of me that wants to stay down! :-)

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