Monday, July 16, 2012

Skydiving for Dad's birthday

For Dad's birthday last year, Mom told him she'd send him skydiving with me and Nate. Andrea decided she'd also go with. We finally got around to it this weekend, though Nate opted out.

We went to Westside Skydivers in Winsted. It took a while for us to finally get through the queue of jumpers. In the meantime, one of the awesome staff members (whose name eludes me) took my camera and got an awesome action shot of Jacob and Reed ready to jump out of the plane:


We got ready for our jump in the hangar. The boys had been pretty squirrely. You can see on my hand the altimiter that let me know when to pull the rip-cord.

Currently at two feet above ground.


We got in the plane with a total of about 15 people. It promptly fell backward with too much weight in the rear. Not exactly a great sign. We unloaded, shifted people around, and took off. Dad brought his digital camera with him and snapped a few nice pictures.

Me and my jumpmaster, "Mini Mike."

Andrea and Ron.

We jumped from 13,000 feet and fell for nearly a minute at what I figure was shy of 90 vertical miles per hour. All of us had altimiters on, and when we hit 6,000 feet, we each pulled our own rip-cords to deploy the parachutes. Unlike my first jump, the cords didn't get wound up. Mike and I floated back to the ground and had a nice smooth landing. Andrea and Dad both loved jumping, and neither of them were freaked out by it.


As I did last time, I took a video of this jump with my handy-dandy $15 helmet camera, and again, as with last time, the camera was tilted slightly up, leaving most of the awesome stuff just south of the camera's frame.

The full album of pictures we took is available within my Google+ albums.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Shireys are Moving to the Emerald City

It's now official: our little family is moving to Seattle, Washington. Now for the back-story.

A little over a year ago, I had applied on a whim to Amazon.com. They found my resume to be not horrible. They called me, they interviewed me, they interviewed me again, they asked me to fly out to Seattle (which I did), they interviewed me in person, and they offered me a job... Which I turned down.


Andrea, somewhere near Westlake Ave.


Fast forward this May when Amazon solicited me for a position doing machine learning. Again, they called me, interviewed me, flew me out, and offered me a job. While I love the people with whom I work at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, I felt that I needed to find a position doing something more fitting my personality and passion. It was an extremely difficult decision that I discussed at great length with my awesome wife, my very supportive parents, and somewhat surprisingly, my very understanding and encouraging boss at LexisNexis.

The Space Needle. And us.

After nearly six years at LN, I will be sad to go, but we're looking forward to the adventure of the Emerald City. After only a few days of discussing with friends and family, we've already had a great outpouring of support, for which we are very thankful.

This picture looks somewhat familiar.
So long, and thanks for all the fish!