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De La Soul

Veekend Video: Pye Rockets in Flight

by Dave on August 15, 2009

in ,Veekend Video

Way back in October, 1999, my company at the time decided to take the team to Maine for a good old-fashioned jump from 10,000 feet. We brought everyone with us, from senior management to the 20 Indian programmers on “loan” to us from our sister company in Chennai to the early-twenty-somethings like myself. I paid to have my ridiculously-rapid descent videotaped and about a year ago I digitized it, edited out the awful techno-music they’d dubbed over it all and uploaded it to YouTube – but I don’t think I ever mentioned it here on PITF. So with no further ado, enjoy 225 pounds of Pye hurtling towards Earth…

“Mom, Dad – All is forgiven.”

I edited out all of the promotional material the skydive company weaved in (it was originally over 10 minutes) and dubbed in a little De La Soul – the aptly named track: “Fallin’”. Enjoy my hard to hear but still brilliant one-liners like “See you on the ground”, “Mom and Dad all is forgiven” and my personal favorite, “See you in the next world”. There’s also a definite Chris Farley-influenced head jerk right before I shake the cameraman’s hand at the end, and at least one of my famous De-Niro face pulls. Possibly simultaneously.

Half of us had to sleep overnight in tents due to high winds canceling any more jumps around 4pm on the Saturday. Kyle, Gus, Colin and myself decided to rough it until Sunday and spent a memorable evening around the campfire getting to know the staff of New England Sky Dive – many of whom were from other countries. One Australian lad entertained us by lighting “devil sticks” on fire and then swinging them precariously close to his face. He escaped injury, but the worst bang-up wasn’t to happen until the next morning.

Most of the remaining BrainGEMmers jumped out of the same plane around 9am the next morning. Also on our plane, who jumped last, was a cool girl named Sarah we’d gotten to know the night before. She worked at the air field and was conducting her very first solo jump. After we’d landed safely on the ground, we watched in horror as she drifted off course and slammed into the side of a house several miles away. After we finished shitting corbels, we were told she was OK and began the long drive back to Boston. The next morning, however, Kyle found a news article online describing the death of a young female skydiver at that very location. It turned out to be a false report, but for several hours we were gutted and even went to far as to call SDNE to find out where we could send flowers.

In closing, you haven’t lived until you’ve jumped out of a rickety prop aircraft at 12,000 feet with a 7-foot German tied to your back.


When I last wrote a Quizzlet 2 weeks ago, I mentioned that the site,, from which I used to mine the questions, hadn’t been updated in 4 months. I emailed the woman who owns the site and offered to take it over myself. I received no reply, and when I checked a few minutes ago found that it’s been taken down completely.

I sorta feel like the ‘movie bad guy’ whose object of affection jumps off a cliff rather than become his girlfriend. I can’t think of any specific cinematic examples, but I know they exist. A little help, people? Regardless, looks like I’ll have to write them again myself this week. As always, please feel free to contribute your own answers in the comments!

Appetizer: What is your favorite John Belushi SNL skit?
I know a lot about the history of SNL, and I enjoy talking about it so perhaps I’ll make this a regular Quizzlet question. I knew the answer to this before I wrote the question so I was relieved to actually find this clip online – although I’m not able to embed it. Click the image to watch it.

“Little Chocolate Donuts have been on my training table since I was a kid.”

My favorite element is definitely the lit cigarette. And the facial expressions are unmistakably Belushi. All told, fitness was a very different pursuit in the late 1970s. My friend Doug Triconi first turned me on to this skit by talking about and reinacting it a million times before I ever actually managed to catch it on a re-run. I was happy to discover recently that it’s featured on the SNL Best of John BelushiDVD.

Soup: What does Thanksgiving mean to you?
Obviously it’s a time to reflect on your life and appreciate the people in it. I like to also physically enact this by getting myself to Concord, Massachusetts and hanging out with all my old high school friends once a year. I skipped it in ’07 and really, really missed being there – So much that I wrote about it and created a Ghosts of Thanksgivings Past photo gallery to share with everyone I wouldn’t be seeing. So, fully repentant, on Sunday I’m throwing wee Shep in the Charger and heading on down to MA for a week. Mon/Tues/Wed I’ll be in the office. Tuesday night Janet is hosting a birthday party for our dogs (also siblings) Rhubarb and Shepherd. It’s a family-friendly party that will allow me to spend some time with all my little North End buddies like Griffin, Maya, Bella and Lorenzo – and they’ll finally get to meet the pups they have heard so much about and been giving me drawings of for the past year. I have a bunch of them on the bulletin board over my desk right now.

Wednesday night Matt is having a bash at his house (which also happens to be right beside the high school) that we’ve used Facebook to invite 3 grades of early 90s CCHS students to. It’s going to be awesome. Thursday morning we’ll drive to Bedford for the big football game, our hands wrapped tightly around Dunkin’ Donuts cups spiked with Kahlua. Then I’ll eat with Jim and his family and likely end up back at Matt’s for more silliness in the evening. Maybe Papa Razzi on route 2. Maybe the Makaha – the suspense is killing me. Friday I have tickets to the noon Bruins game and will be hitting the Garden with Detroit Velvet Smooth, The Hammer, John David, J-Mac, Greg and a host of other old pals. Friday night DVS and his lovely (and likely hesitant) wife are hosting a gathering at their pad in West Acton. Saturday is earmarked for movies, New London Style grinders and recovery. Sunday I’ll be returning home after a week of professional productivity and sentimental sousey socializing. Jealous much? My liver isn’t.

Salad: Who is your favorite band of the moment?
We all have our all-time favorite bands well established, but my favorite group of the moment is definitely De La Soul. My previously-declared love for Q-Tip’s The Renaissance has encouraged me to have one of my own in regards to hip-hop. The two albums I’ve been spinning all week are De La Soul is Dead and Buhloone Mind State, the latter is gravely underappreciated and thoroughly excellent. Here is my favorite track off the 1994 album, Breakadawn.

“Yo, I don’t know who’s been on this mic but this thing smell awful here.” – ‘Stone Age’ from Buhloone Mind State

Main Course: Feel any better about Obama?
Not really. As I have stuck my neck out and said (it’s not a popular opinion within my social sphere) I am worried about national defense under Barry’s administration – but I plan to give him an ample chance to prove himself before I start whinging about it like every other unqualified hack in the blogosphere did about Bush for nearly a decade. I am showing remarked restraint thus far.

Dessert: What is your favorite vintage arcade game and why?
The first game I really obsessed about and would beg my father to drive me into Ottawa every weekend to play was the incredibly difficult (even today) Spy Hunter. Maybe it was my love of all things Bond in 1984 that caused me to dig it so much, but I did. In spite of the fact that once you switched into the high gear setting, your car flew up the road so quickly that – at 10 years of age – you had a better chance of remembering PI to the 300th decimal point.