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Welcome to Omnibits for Sunday, 24 August (Day 0)
Day -1 (24 August)
It's Sunday evening in Prostejov, where I've frozen my toes off my
first two days here. A lot more clouds and rain than sun, though we did
get a little bit of blue late in the day.
I arrived midday yesterday after a mostly uneventful drive
from Banja Luka that started at 3:40am. The only "event" of note was
getting pulled over a quarter mile from my departure point by The Man
-- waived me over on foot via flashlight.
I rolled the window down and he said something in Bosnian. I
replied "English? Do you speak English?" He looked at me in a very
frustrated tone and said something else I didn't get a word of. "I'm
sorry, I can only speak English," was all I could come up with. After a
brief pause he lifted his right hand up, making a drinking motion, and
said (I think) "drinking?"
Ah. A sobriety checkpoint.
I said "No, sleeping!", making the sideways prayer with my hands.
He paused a moment, brightened his face, and said "Okay!" while waiving me on. 7.4 hours later I was in Prostejov.
Random travel notes:
1. I drove through 5 countries getting from BL to Prostejov --
Bosnia & Herzegovina (can I count that as two?), Croatia, Slovenia,
Austria, and of course Czech Republic.
2. In each of them I passed exactly one Ikea next to the highway.
3. In each of them I passed exactly one McDonald's. Except CZ, where I stopped counting at six.
4. Gas is expensive as hell in Europe -- except B&H, where
it is cheaper than in the USA. It cost 40% less to fill my tank there,
compared to Italy or Austria. Small wonder then that I saw northbound
travelers refueling in Austria with portable gas cans from their
5. Since I arrived in Vienna on 6 August I have seen exactly
one pickup truck, in a small agricultural town between Vienna and Brno.
It was a large Chrysler, dirty as hell and hauling a trailer. Musta
been a Texas expat.
6. Slovenia is a fricking beautiful country. Southeast Europe
has some thick, tall pine forests, but the combination of forests,
hills, and small towns reminded me of mix of a southwest Colorado
(Durango) and Bandera, TX.
Anyway ... I've been looking forward to this meet for a long time.
Ten years, in fact: my last FS World Meet was the Mondial in
Rejika (ree-AY-ka), Croatia in 2004. Since the new OmniSkore!HD came
online in 2012 it has been used at the FAI World Cups in 2012 (also
here in Prostejov), Banja Luka (August 2013), and Dubai (December 2013
-- not technically a World Cup, but FAI sanctioned), but this is the
first FAI event for the new OSHD that is a World Parachuting
And as you know, the WPC is the big kahuna, the grand poobah, the casino royale
of skydiving competitions. What baseball players would refer to as "the
show". It is a real privilege to be here, and it is especially
rewarding to get reacquainted with old friends, some of whom I haven't
seen in 10 years or more.
As you'd expect I've spent my first 1.5 days here frantically setting
up equipment and getting ready. I had the two judging systems (one each
for FS and AE) set up and ready to go within two hours of my arrival,
but the rest of the equation has been a real task. We're trying some
new technology at this meet, doing some ambitious things with the
public presentation part of OSHD, that have required some creativity
and old fashioned "field engineering" to get in place.
But it's looking good. Out in the competitor's area, 100
meters from the building where the judges work, there's a JukeBox
(on-demand replay of judged jumps), two "DZ TV"s for live judging (one
each FS and AE), and the laptop copy stations. At the end of the
aforementioned building is a large patio with two more very Sharp
(captial "S") HD TVs, which will also show live judging.
I'm looking forward to seeing how this works because OSHD's
signature "DZ TV" product has been re-invented for this competition --
it is no longer a direct output of the computer in the judging room;
instead it is a real-time recreation of the same picture via a remote
computer and UDP multicast, and because it is based on playback of the
actual HD video instead of a screen capture, the picture quality is
MUCH better. The organizer has provided some top shelf televisions for
this job (most sponsored by Sharp), so I have high expectations, and I
hope the competitors do too.
And speaking of high expectations ... the talent here is
beyond amazing. I hope the draw comes up with a half dozen really slow
rounds, not just because they will separate the good teams from the
great teams, but also because a few of the remaining rounds will be suh-MOKIN.
World record material, the stuff that makes you pound the refresh key
and send me hate mail when you're not seeing the score six milliseconds
after the jump. (Yeah, you know who you are!)
Tomorrow is official practice, hopefully the weather will
cooperate and maybe I can snag a few photos. Thanks for visiting, and
p.s. send comments, corrections, requests etc to me ted c
wagner at gmail yada com. I'll do my best to keep up with them. Send
complaints at your own risk :)
Day 0 (25 August)KompoZer has a serious bug: it will not open a file with a comma in the path! WUWT?!
11am on Official Practice day and we finally have all then computers up
and running -- two scoring systems, two copy stations, two JukeBoxes,
two "DZTV" servers, one database server, and this laptop used for
NetPost. It was a lot of work getting all the kibbles & bits needed
for all the displays (one PC monitor, several DVI-D-VGA adapters, and a
laptop power cable had to be hunted down) but they're all finally up
FS Judges practicing.
The organizers outfitted a VIP lounge very nicely. This is up on the second floor.
The restaurant/bar downstairs.
Outside manifest, on the terrace; two large Sharp monitors will show live judging, another is to the left of the door.
Common area, left ...
Common area, center ...
Common area, right ...
The UK ladies creep ...
The competitor's "DZTV" viewing area; Aristics left, FS right
The manifest TV and JukeBox station
The copy stations are busy already
The UK tent across the street from the US tent
The USA 4-Way ladies in their team tent
opening ceremonies just started under party cloudy skies. Competitors
meeting at 6pm with the competition draw, then I give the
videographer's briefing when that's done.
It was 43 degrees
F at my hotel when I left it this morning. Unfortunately the forcast is
for rain the next two days so the teams may be spending a lot of time
at their hotels, followed by Bryan Burke style calls on Thursday.
7:10pmThe creepnados begin!
I'll have the draw and finalized team numbers posted within the hour.
Final team lists and The Draw posted to the results pages! (Click on a
round number in the header row to see the draw for that round.) You are
allowed to get excited now!!!
Back to the hotel for me now to
get a bleeding edge rest advantage on tomorrow's weather hold madness.
When I get there I'm going to try to post some photos from the opening
ceremonies, I didn't get a lot but hopefully something to share.