Thanks for looking in, this is the home page of Pete and Julie Shew.
We are originally Brummies, but have lived in Essex for many years, followed by three years in Bedfordshire and, since 2003, in Brigg, a market town in North East Lincolnshire. (http://www.brigglife.co.uk and http://www.briggbash.org.uk/)
We have been married for 36 years, and have two adult children, a son and a daughter, who have both left home. Over the last fourteen years we have been active skydivers in the UK and abroad.
PlaySkydiving .. (check out the POPS-UK page ). I have been jumping since 1989 when I started at the same time as Julie at Ipswich, UK. I gained my Cat 10 and the 200 jumps needed for my FAI D licence in 1994 (D10029), and currently am doing 30 to 50 jumps a year. There is very little as relaxing as jumping out of a plane at 13,000 ft on a warm sunny day.
I had my first, and only, reserve ride in 1995 when I lazily dropped my pilot chute into the burble after a fumbled attempt at deploying it. When nothing happened I decided that it was time I got something else over my head. It reminded me that there is danger in the sport, something easy to forget when one gets used to the reliability of the equipment.
I sometimes hanker after the good old days, so I decided I had to try an old Paracommander parachute. Click for story and pictures Once was enough.
Computing/electronics .. Steve Ciarcia said that his favourite programming tool was a soldering iron. I see the two fields as interlinked, but I use the computer as my favourite electronic component. I have recently rebuilt out private phone exchange using PIC microcomputers for the "smarts".
Orienteering/running .. Once in a while I like to get out there in the mud with a compass and a soggy map. Road running is less fun, but I find I need to do something active to offset the hours spent in front of the computer (see above) and prepare me for skydiving (also see above).
I have been working and playing with computers for most of my life. My first real contact was in 1968 when I became a trainee programmer learning PL/1. I soon migrated to IBM S/360 assembler which dominated my programming career. During the first ten years I was wrapped up in telecommunications, these days something that is taken for granted, but trying to get a 1200 bps link between Holland and Finland in 1970 was a major problem.
I have witnessed and participated in many waves of computing, mainframes, distributed systems, midrange systems and of course PCs and LANs. Lots of changes but somehow, under the covers, Windows 95 and IBMs MVT 25 years ago have a lot in common. Plus ca change ...
I was made redundant at the end of 2003 after a takeover of the small company I was working for. Just a year too early, but I decided to retire anyway. Now for some serious gardening, skydiving, scuba diving, holidaying, ... and of course playing with computers and web pages - see links.
Skydiving .. I started jumping at Ipswich in 1989 when I should have been old enough to know better. It tends to be a summer hobby as I am now old enough to object to feeling cold. We went to Florida a couple of years ago and had a wonderful time. It helps us to keep current with our skydiving and is a welcome break from the British winter. We have made lots of friends through skydiving. At the moment my hero is Barry Joss who attended last year's Czech Boogie and cheered me up when I was missing Peter. Nick and Kate did their first balloon jump. It was great to share in their excitement.
The milestone this year has been our son Nick who ten years after getting cat 8 in Dunkeswell and then giving up the sport, returned, with the help of Kate, his sister and Hinton in the Hedges staff and jumpers. He now has cat 10. I am not sure, but I think we are the only family four-way jumping in UK.
Non skydiving .. My other major hobby is gardening . This has taken second place over the last few years. I now have to be able to organise the garden to almost look after itself during the summer. We now have a new house and new garden which I am sure will keep me occupied during the winter.
Sewing is one of my much neglected skills. I now have more time at home and have started to make stretchy covers for parachute rigs. We cover our rigs when travelling abroad. They look inconspicuous and we rarely draw attention to them. Hence we have been able to take then on commercial planes with little or no trouble. I am trying to get the courage to make a freefly suit. At least I will have a family who can jump test it!