THE SECOND STORY | September 4th, 2008

“Any body who jumps out of a perfectly good plane is not dealing with a full deck.”

That is a quote from my dear husband about 31 years ago. It was directed at me. And he’s the one that got me into flying which lead me to take the leap out of an airplane! If he were with us today I think he’d say much the same about bungee jumping.

The parachuting memories came flooding back after watching a video made a couple of weeks ago of Evan and some of his best buddies as they bungee-jumped at Whistler. It is posted on his blog. And as good as it is, his observations are even better. Absolutely incredible!

When Sutter and I had a trip of a lifetime traveling around the South Island of New Zealand nearly three years ago, we quietly and intensely watched jumpers at the home of bungee jumping. But we stuck to our plan to fly gliders the next day in one of the most popular advanced sites in the world. I have a friend who flies and trains there so knew about it.

So why did I jump out of an airplane all those years ago? Well, I was teaching glider flying at the time and flying some high performance sailplanes. I’d strap on a chute and knew the basic theory of how to get out of a the plane if some disaster hit…but theory and reality are not the same.

Thus a group of us decided to go to Antioch and take the training and make a jump. At the end of the day it was too windy for us to jump so they told us to come back any time and we’d finish it all up.

I bet three weeks went by before we showed up again. We were given a quick refresher course and stufffed into a Cessna. This is long before the sleek chutes used today for tandem jumps with an instructor. These were with big, honkin’ round miliary chutes and we jumped out with a static line, a length of cord attached to the airplane that would yank the chute open once the line was fully extended after the jumper exited the plane.

When the instructor yelled “NOW!” I looked back at him in disbelief as I held on for dear life to the edges of the opening where a door once was on this craft. What did he really mean? “NOW!” Oh, he meant get out. Leave. Adios. Buh-bye.

Shoving myself out and with the wind screaming in my face I attempted to holler the mandatory count to 4. They told us if we got that far and the chute wasn’t deployed by the static line, it was time to go to plan B. I got to 5. Oh s…t. Right at that moment the world jerked to what seemed a stop as the chute burst open and filled wildly. Next instruction – look up to verify that’s what really happened.

From 9,000 feet it was all downhill. What a view! Finally locating the ground target (we never saw an aerial of what that looked like), it was a bit disconcerting that it was so small. But I played with the risers and spun around a bit, hit the ground on my heels, fell back on my butt, then fell back on my head which was protected by some puny helmet. I collapsed the chute, gathered it up before the wind caught it and dragged me over the field, and gave it back. Once we all realized we had completed the course, we drove home.

I think it was a few hours before Carl even bothered to ask how it was. Outwardly he was not impressed. And while I never jumped again, at least I had some experience behind my words when I talked to students about the real thing. And I had a new appreciation of how to act/react in an emergency should it be necessary.

I’ve thought about the differences between bungee jumping and parachuting.

Parachuting: exiting a perfectly good airplane without a full deck of cards into incredible winds generated by the forward motion of the plane; controlled flight in the form of drifting; higher altitude; longer ride; more equipment; more expensive; some training involved.

Bungee jumping over water: leaving a lovely view from a solid platform; a brief briefing; a quick drop; the water can break a fall; a most bizarre (I imagine) feeling of falling head first to earth/water; the rush of the bounces.

What they have in common? No logical useful purpose. Shoving off when everything in you says ‘who thought of this anyway.’ The thrill of the thrill. Saying you did it.

As is commonly said in the aviation industry “flying is hours of sheer boredom interspersed with moments of sheer terror.” (Ah, more stories for another time.) But isn’t life the same? All in all, a blend of thrill with blah with awe. Finding balance. No regrets.

Real estate this week in Alameda…

Active listings 213, 217 last report

Pending listings 63, 64 last report

Highest priced new listing Click Here to View Listings

Lowest priced new listing Click Here to View Listings

Tuesday Tour Click Here to View Listings

New 11 Click Here to View Listings

Price changes 8 Click Here to View Listings

Pending 10 Click Here to View Listings

Sold 10 Click Here to View Listings

BOMs (back on market) 1 Click Here to View Listings

Expired & Withdrawn (some show up as new) 12 Click Here to View Listings

Listing Awards this week…remember-this is only my perspctive!

Another slow week…two properties I tried to see (since I hosted a Broker Tour property this week and was trying to catch up), the agents just couldn’t figure out how to get them shown.

Winner of the Week Click Here to View Listings got to give it to my listing on Waterview (price, location, size) see also Facelift.

Cute, Charming Click Here to View Listings

Bang for the Buck Click Here to View Listings also see Facelift – too bad fees are so HIGH!

Got Me a Makeover not this week

Get Me a Facellift Click Here to View Listings Click Here to View Listings

Grand Dame not this week

Get Me to Rehab Click Here to View Listings haven’t seen this but you can just tell…plus a buyer has to write an offer subject to inspection which means you write the offer just to get in, then back out or revise it based on what you see. Tells me we’ve got a tenant issue.

I’m Out of Rehab not this week

Looking for trends…how about the calls are coming about values on homes to see if a tax challenge is viable? That’s a trend until 9/15. Give a call if you want comp info.

Have a nice weekend! Marilyn

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I arrived in Alameda in 1973, as a new bride...with husband Carl Schumacher, both of us from Newport Beach. He was embarking on his career as a Naval Architect (i.e. yacht designer) under Gary Mull. Please see the 'ABOUT ME' page in this website! to see how it has all turned out! I'm so blessed!

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