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Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Subdeacon Joe

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As I have grown older, I have become agoraphobic (I just looked at the word otto insists I need to use, but it did not look right. I looked it up. That's not the word I meant. You go to hell otto) ACROPHOBIC.


I will look at a picture like that, and remember Richard Gere in Pretty Woman. His hooker is sitting on the balcony railing, but he will not go close to her, because he is afraid of heights. I see people standing at the edge of great heights - sometimes at an unprotected edge, and sometimes with a low, less than waist high, "barrier" - but I will not go and join them. The closer I get to the edge of a drop, the more I get the desire to jump off.


Aside from apparently not being able to read, the people in that picture are just total morons.

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I used to be fearless about heights but have grown more acrophobic over time.  Now I get neryous in the middle of a football field.


But strangely I don't have a problem with airplanes.  Hmmmmm, come to think of it I have had an occasion to get on a plane since a convention trip from Los Angeles to Atlanta and back.  That was a year after the Atlanta bombing.  I don't remember the year ( maybe 1995 or 1996?), but it's been more than a few.










Edited by Forty Rod SASS 3935
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I grew up in the family oilfield, using hereditary technology that was state of the art when that pale eyed old lawman with the ice-pale eyes still rode the mountains in Firelands County.

Lengthy lecture and multiple photographs omitted (see how much time I saved us both?) -- but at the wellhead, a Pulling Pole was erected.

Limbed off tree trunk, tall and straight, guyed off in six to eight directions with 3/8" galvanized wire line; these Pulling Poles have steps nailed on them.
I used to coon up the pole with a snatch block in hand and a chain over my shoulder, wrap the chain around the apex and hang the crown pulley; we'd use a single shiv block at top and bottom, with a farm tractor to pull with, to pull rods from the thousand foot deep Berea strata well: we'd use the crown pulley to hoist a two-shiv block, with a two-shiv chained to the bottom, for pulling the two inch tubing.  Further lecture omitted for reasons stated above.

I thought nothing of climbing that pole, one handed, on 2x4 or 2x6 steps nailed at the center, the apex was 25 to 30 feet off the ground.


Now, like the good Subdeacon, I'm more than content to let "Them Young Fellers" handle roof work.

And climbing oilfield poles.

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Within the past three months 3 Internet "influencers" have fallen off cliffs while taking selfies.  I guess they are trying to influence people to be an idiot.  Of course they already teach that in the schools.

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Back in 68 & 69 I used to be the designated mast head light bulb changer. That’s a story for another time. Now I have to hang onto a third leg (pole, tree, or a wall) to look up at the mast. Not climbing up there anymore. At least I can still perambulate without falling down. I just keep an eye on the ground to make sure it doesn’t wander away.




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Thanks @Alpo 

Now I have a word that describes my phobia. ;)


Just yo be sure, not that I do not trust Alpo, I DDG’d “Acrophobia definition” and got this:




1. An abnormal fear of high places.

2. Morbid fear of great heights.

3. Fear of heights.

* The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.



I am not sure why the say “abnormal fear of heights” as it infers anyone that doesn’t fear heights is normal. :D

I guess maybe they mean “extreme fear of heights” and normal people just have a run of the mill fear of heights. :lol:

That photo @Subdeacon Joeposted reminds me of a trip I took to Yosemite with 3 friends. We were “rock climbers”. I actually got into “Rock Climbing” to get over my fear of heights. We hiked out to Dewey point and Glacier Point and I stood on the very tip of each to look down hundreds of feet STRAIGHT DOWN to the valley floor. I stood their for what seemed like many minutes. I tried to calm my nerves and have a logical internal discussion with myself about how “Standing here is no different than standing in any given place. It’s like standing on a floor some where and the space you occupy is safe. The space to your left, right and behind is safe. The space in front of you doesn’t matter. It’s just a space that you aren’t in.” - I had this little discussion at the recommendation of some hippie type rock climbing instructor at a rock climbing and outdoor shop called Adventure 16 in SoCal. 
His recommendation did not work…at all!

The whole time I stood there my phobic brain was screaming at the rest of my brain to GET THE HELL BACK FROM HERE! I could literally feel dark gravity forces or unseen demons pulling me into the chasm. I was petrified. 
The second time I did it my friend Dave came walking up behind me. I turned my head and said “Get away from me!” He laughed and said something about “what’s your problem?” He got closer and I sat down and reversed crabbed my way away from the edge. 
My friends all laughed at me and told me not to be such a wimp until they apparently saw the look on my face. 
They later apologized. They also later told me that I only spent a few seconds at the edge of each point, not minutes.
The thing that baffled them is I was the only one that wasn’t rattled about walking through an area where bears sharpened their claws on trees and the marks were very prominent at 10 and 12 feet from the ground. (I had my Colt 1911 in my backpack - not that it would do much good against a bear of that size)


When I was younger I seemed to have no fear of heights. Working with my Dad on roof jobs didn’t really bother me. I started working for him at age 8 and up until I was 17 I climbed around on many roofs, scaffolds and trees. He was a general contractor that also trimmed trees. 

I think my fear reared it’s ugly head the day I sat precariously on the very edge of a slate roof 50+ feet from the ground holding onto about 1/2” of the slate shingles with my finger tips with my feet in the gutter…that had pulled away from the facing board when I planted my feet in it to stop my fall when I slid down the roof. The gutter was not quite 3 feet out with my feet pushed against it and my tailbone was the only part resting on the roof and I had a death grip on the shingles edge that literally bruised all my finger tips. 
My Dad rescued my with a wooden ladder that he and his crew had to set up as I held on for dear life looking straight down on the shrubbery brow wondering if would break my fall or pierce me with jagged limbs as I slammed into it and bashed my head on the concrete edge of the basement window box…


Since that day I have had a severe fear of heights. I am also Claustrophobic. I got myself trapped in a pipe when I was a kid trying to find a new way to sneak to the creek to go fishing, but that is another story I have told here before and doesn’t need expanding on here now. 

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6 minutes ago, Whiskey Business said:

Not agoraphobic yet I do not want to get a Darwin award.

I see otto visited you. Agoraphobia is a fear of crowds. aCrophobia is a fear of high places.


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56 minutes ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

What is it if you fear crowds in high places?

Acrobat-phobia :lol:


Fear of performing on the trapeze in front of live audiences. ;)

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17 hours ago, Larsen E. Pettifogger, SASS #32933 said:

Here's one.  She was cute but not to smart.  She went over the side to a rocky death.





I'd need to have one hand on a wall just to do that on a flat floor!  And then, I might still fall over.

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We saw these Darwin candidates at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and the precipice edge of Dante's View in Death Valley.
Both are very long drops.
The fall from Dante is straight down the side of the mountain 5575 feet to Badwater Basin.. the lowest point in America.

I shot this well away from the precipice edge where the candidates were balancing for their selfies.


2017.09.07 Death Valley.211-224.dante.landscape.dodge.burn.flowerpower.vivid.720pix.png

Edited by bgavin
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