Saturday, June 7, 2008

One more chapter

I take the written portion of my dive test tomorrow.

I have one more chapter to read in the big book, but I have mastered the small book and the dive tables.

I hope.

The dive tables tell you how much nitrogen you have in your body after a dive to a certain depth for a certain amount of time.

They help you figure out how much time you need to allow between dives and how deep and for how long you can dive repetitively so that you do not exceed the nitrogen limit.

They were easier than I thought.

I was fearful of math. But there really is not math involved.

But there is that test.

And there is the worry that my wetsuit will not be done on time.

I had this worry from the start. But it was compounded today.

I went to the dive shop before heading to work today to pick up the gear for tomorrow. They are not open at 7:30 a.m., so we get the stuff a day early.

While I was at the wetsuit place Monday ordering my suit, one of the dive shop guys came in.
He said hi, dropped some repair work off and left.

When I saw him today, he said he was hoping my suit was done on time because JMJ can be a little slow.

I told him that I asked the guys at JMJ several times about the suit being done in time for the June 14 dive. They assured me it would be done June 13. Cutting it close, but doable.

Then the dive shop owner said "Oh yeah, they do great work. But they are not fast. You need to call them every other day to make sure they are on top of it."


I was planning on calling Monday anyway. They are not open weekends.

Maybe I will take the time tomorrow after the class to bake some cookies or something and go over there.

Maybe putting my face in front of them again will help get things done on time.

Fingers crossed...

Friday, June 6, 2008

My stampy friends are making cards this Sunday.

Of course, I have a diving class that day, so I am going to miss it.

But in order to get all the great cards they will make, I have made cards for everyone and will drop them off Saturday with Kathy, the hostess.

I wanted to get these done before I got too far into my week.

So I busted them out last night in a mini cardmaking frenzy.

Little bits of paper were flying, let me tell you.

Anyway, I am pretty happy with how they look.

I had them without the yellow backer, just on white. They needed more to tie in the yellow in the flower and the ribbon. So I added the yellow backer.

And that was that.

Flower - Stampin' Up
Words - Papertrey Ink

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Who am I? Who are you?

Who are You?
Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not.
(x)Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
( ) Watched someone die
(x) Been to Canada
(x) Been to Mexico
(X) Been to Florida
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
(X) Gone to Washington , DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(X) Played cops and robber
(X) Recently colored with crayons (Do colored pencils count?)
(X) Sang Karaoke
(x) Paid for a meal with coins only
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(X) Made prank phone calls.
( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(x) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone you care about
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Been skinny dipping outdoors
(X) Gone to the movies

1. Any nickname? Not that anyone has called me to my face.
2. Favorite drink? Hmm... So hard to choose. Probably a nice cold beer is the best all-around drink.
3. Tattoo? None
4. Body Piercing? Ears, but I don't wear earrings because they hurt.
5. How much do you love your job? Um. Yeah. I used to really love my job. Now I like it OK some days and do it out of necessity the rest.
6. Favorite vacation spot? Florence, Italy.
7. Ever eaten cookies for dinner? Nope.
8. Ever been on TV? Yes
9. Favorite salad dressing? Blue cheese.
10. Favorite pie? Key lime
11. Favorite holiday? Halloween
12. Favorite food? If I had to pick an ethnicity... Japanese. If I had to pick just one food item... potato
13. Favorite smell? garlic cooking in olive oil
14. What do you do to relax? sleep
15. How do you see yourself in 10 years? Oh man. I take pass on this one.

Did you?

I have voted in every election I was able to since I turned 18.

I voted today. And not by absentee. I like to go to the polls. This time it was in a pool house at a senior community near my house.

I like to get my sticker, darn it!

It was city council, a couple propositions, one city measure and a bunch of judicial stuff.

Nothing presidential. We already had our primary ages ago.

So, do you vote?

Do you think it is important?

Do you do your research on the candidates or just vote for the incumbent or along party lines?


We have already established that I vote.

Because I do think it is important, even if there is not a presidency involved.

And I do try to research the candidates and issues. Sometimes this gets to be a pain.

Especially when there are several judicial seats up for grabs. Those I did not do research on. I had my own method of selection that I will not share. No, I did not automatically pick a women if that was an option. And no, it is not totally random.

But on candidates, I try to read what the local papers have to say. I read the candidate statements. Because it may just be a city council race, but I live here.

So I vote.

It adds up, in many ways

Regulator (hoses), weight belt (strap, blue weights),
mask/snorkel (clear), fins (yellow), tank, bc

Scuba requires a lot of gear, of course.

There is the tank, which is key because it holds the air.

There is the regulator, which is key because it is what gets the air from the tank to the mouth and then the lungs.

There is the bc, which is the vest-like thing that holds the tank on your back and inflates to keep you afloat at the surface and neutrally buoyant when under the water. Which is key because if you just sink, you will scrape along the bottom. So you want to be neutrally buoyant, or just sort of floating in the water, above the bottom.

There is a weight belt, which some people need and some don't. I need it to help get me under the water and not popping back up to the surface.

There are the fins, which propel you in the water.

There are boots, which you wear so the fins don't kill your feet.

There are gloves to keep your hands warm.

There is a hood to keep your head warm.

There is a mask to cover your nose so you can breathe and to cover your eyes so you can see.

There is a snorkel that attaches to the mask. You can use this at the surface of the water so you don't need to use the air.

There is the wetsuit, which helps keep you warm. No, it does not keep you dry. Hence the name wetsuit. A drysuit is a different animal and not something you need for diving in most places.

Did I forget anything? I sure hope not.

I had the second class Sunday. We started in the pool again. We reviewed some of the stuff from the first week.

Then we learned to take the gear off at the surface of the water and get the gear back on. The gear being the bc/regulator/tank combination.

We also learned how to get the weights on and off in the water without too much struggle.

After that we went over what to do if someone runs out of air under water. There are gauges on the tank to tell you how much air you have. Common sense says to just check the gauge.

But should something happen and the air runs out, this is a good lesson to know.

The regulator, which is what attaches to the tank, has a few hoses. One hooks to the bc so that can be quickly inflated with air from the tank. One is your primary air source. The other is called an alternate air source. It is another mouthpiece to be used in an emergency.

So we practiced one person running out of air: how to signal that, how to get the alt air source and the process to get you and the buddy to the surface, how they manually inflate the bc vest, how you keep them afloat until they do that. Basically, how they don't drown.

Like I said: A good lesson to know.

After the pool we went back for a few more hours in the classroom.

It is getting close to the end, which means the check-out dives.

So yesterday I went to order a wetsuit.

The lessons were to include the use of all the gear, including a wetsuit, for the check-out dives.

But the guy at the shop said right from the start that he would not have a rental suit for me to use.

First of all, I am too tall. Sure, there might be a man's suit that would be long enough.

But then there is that whole pesky problem of me being a woman. Which means, you know, boobs.

And the suit has to fit.

So I bit the bullet yesterday and went to JMJ Wetsuits in Torrance and ordered a custom suit.

It will be a close call, but said they will have it ready for me the day before the first dive.

It will be a very bad thing if they do not have it ready.

Because the water here is cold. No wetsuit, no diving.

There is one more class at the pool, then we hit the beach.

The beach dives will be off of Redondo.

Everything I have heard about the beach dives is that they can be awful.

I am told there won't be much to see, that visibility can be bad, that the water can be choppy making it tough to get in and out of the water...


But it must be done.

Catalina Island, approximately 25 miles off the coast of Long Beach/San Pedro.
This picture was taken from Del Cerro Park on the Palos Verdes Peninsula.

The next day we dive from a boat. For this we head to Catalina Island.

I have been told that there will be more to see here. Which is cool. I know it will still be cold though. And my main focus will be on passing.

This whole exercise is pointless if I don't pass the written test and the dives.

It's going very fast, but I feel confident.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Go, Sami, go!

I added a link to the Links I Like section over there on the side.

This is a link to SamiGo, a new blog by my friend and colleague Samantha.

Sam is a fun, smart and has an infectious laugh.

She is not afraid to share her opinion, which is one of the things I like about her.

She is an animal lover, a vegetarian, an adventurer and an Italian.

All fine things to be in my book.

So far she has shared stories about living in Italy, getting a new Mac, going to the dog park and all those other seemingly mundane things that add up to one interesting person.

Give it a gander if you are so inclined.