Happy Birthday

I have several SolidWorks topics in my little notebook that I have been intending to blog about for some time now. There was a great user group meeting last night that deserves a good write up (not to mention the SWUGN Summit and the last user group meeting – both of which have a significant amount of notes in the aforementioned notebook.)
No, this one is for my oldest son who is celebrating his birthday today. I could go on and on about any of my boys, so I’ll try to avoid that and keep this brief.

To put it as succinctly as possible, I am really, really proud of him.
He took up photography, and has had his pictures published in different papers.
He took up creative writing, and has already had a number of his writings published.
This is one that he wrote after my car accident – http://www.indigorisingmagazine.com/2011/03/poetry-by-connor-blacksher-i-used-your.html
Here are a few others from the Ink, Sweat, & Tears site –
(I could keep with the SolidWorks theme and mention his sense of humor – he cracked me up one day with the following text message “Inventor Sucks” – He was working with it in school, and that was all he needed to say to make my day.)
Last month I was lucky enough to share one of the most memorable experiences of my life with him. My dad has been skydiving for most of my life. I grew up around it, and consider it a “normal” hobby. I had avoided taking it up, because I knew that I would get hooked and it would end up consuming all of my free time and money – o.k. truth be told, I guess that I wasn’t willing to give up any of my other hobbies. I had always wanted to jump, but managed to suppress the urge. Then my brother got married while skydiving – both he and his wife had already been jumping for a number of years prior to the wedding – this rekindled my interest (as well as my wife’s.) I managed to put it off for a few more years, when my oldest son stated that he would like to give it a try – my wife and I both exclaimed “Whenever you are ready, we’ll jump with you!” This was mentioned to my dad, and we immediately started hatching a plan for a “family jump.”
To say that it was amazing is quite possibly the greatest understatement that was ever uttered. For our jump, the veteran jumpers (my dad, my brother, and my brother’s wife) were going to shoot video during the jump with us (my wife, my oldest son, and myself.) Since we don’t have the 1000’s of jumps under our belt that they each have, we were paired up and securely buckled to our tandem partners for the jump. It was everything that I hoped it would be and more, and I was lucky enough to share the experience with family. The associated press picked up the story in the papers and the TV news came out to cover the event as well – apparently it’s not every day that three generations decide to jump out of a perfectly good plane. You can check out the newspaper article here – http://journalstar.com/news/local/article_725113c4-91b0-5e3b-93f4-7b38fa5ce2d6.html
This one’s for you Connor – Have a Great Birthday!

Big smiles at 13,500 feet
Perfect ending to a great jump - that's Grandpa shooting video!