Monday, August 25, 2008

Facebook == Lamebook

Lots of error messages and annoying feature does not a good website make.    Case in point, something I've been seeing all night:

a whole lotta ajax errors; when you send a message, make a comment, or even pick your nose this is what you get...

apparently someone's panties are in a bunch...  sigh.

Friday, August 22, 2008

a quick diversion + it made me laugh...

Guaranteed what? on TwitPicI love super silly stupid things that makes me laugh.  I especially enjoy pictures or signs that cause people to respond with a "huh?!?"

Take for example, exhibit A to the left, titled "Guaranteed what?" taken by Chasity Forrester.  This picture just made my Friday morning.

I know, I know...  doesn't take much to please me. 

Anyway, here are some good quotes about laughter...  try to remember them as you finish your work week out.

"Seven days without laughter makes one weak."  ~Mort Walker

"Laughter is an instant vacation. " ~Milton Berle

"The most wasted of all days is one without laughter."  ~e.e. cummings

"Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. "
~Victor Hugo

"I like nonsense -- it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living.  It's a way of looking at life through
the wrong end of a telescope... and that enables you to laugh at all of life's realities." ~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Leather Collar w/ Bone

No, it is nothing S&M related or anything crazy.  Although, I know that I have a couple of very sick and/or resourceful friends who would come up with interesting uses for this...  it's a collar... for a dog.

Let me correct that...  it's a *$78* collar...  FOR A DOG!


RGBM: A Brief Overview

[This is a re-post of a blog entry I made on August 1, 2005, over 3 years ago... wow.]

More dive computers are incorporating the Wienke Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM) Algorithm.  What is it and is it worthwhile for recreational divers? 

New research concerning decompression sickness (DCS) are finding if a diver adds a deep stop and a slow ascent to the traditional 15 feet safety stop, a larger margin of safety is introduced against DCS .

Dr Bruce Weinke, a NAUI Instructor trainer developed the RGBM as the next evolution of diving models based on studies of bubbles and the it's effects under pressure.  He theorize, much like the governing of on ramp to highways with traffic lights, adding a deep stop at half your maximum depth helps bubbles dissolve back into tissue for release out through the lungs at a faster rate than the traditional three minute safety stop at 15 feet.

Counter intuitive, you think?  But yes... according to this theory, staying at depth longer can help reduce nitrogen content faster than traditional diving models.

  • In general, the model suggests the following:
    Stop for one full minute at 1/2 your maximum depth.
  • Execute a slow ascent (30 feet / minute) to 15 feet.
  • Perform 15 feet safety stop as normal.

Obviously, there's much more physics and decompression theory involved to help back these findings, however they aren't addressed here.  You may find more information online or in Dr Wienke's book, Reduced Gradient Bubble Model in Depth.

If wanting to integrate deep stops in your diving profile, one must consider the following:

  • All dives are decompression dives
  • There's a difference between mandatory deco stops and safety stops
  • All diving profiles are models, based on thoery.

So, is it worthwhile?  That's for you to decide. 

As I work through my diving education, I've learned it never hurts to be more informed.

[2008 Update:  We have integrated this as part of our diving training procedures and practices.]

Monday, August 18, 2008

Practice makes perfect.

[This is a re-post of a blog entry I made on February 27, 2005, slight changes, including an annotation.]

Picture from The only way to get better at anything is to practice, practice, and practice. This philosophy is universal, but here I’m talking about SCUBA diving, specifically your buoyancy.

One of the first skills we develop as divers is buoyancy control. Yet, there are so many certified divers out there who clearly have not mastered this basic however vital skill. Out of the many possible reasons for this, one stands out most: heavy weighting. Whether it is the excitement to get down quickly or just a misunderstanding of how weight plays a role in SCUBA diving.

Bottom line, too much weight is never a good thing.  Being overly weighted causes fatigue, higher air consumption rate and unnecessary safety risks.

Being negatively buoyant at surface will expedite your descent, but it will hamper your diving and your enjoyment. Divers with too much weight will require more air in their BC to achieve neutrally buoyancy. As a heavy weighted diver descend to depth, they will have a difficult time compensating to the change in pressure and will usually bounce up and down searching for that “neutral” sweet spot.

An initial test for proper weighting can be done at the surface. With your regulator in mouth completely deflate you BC, relax and begin to breathe slowly. When your lung capacity is full, your eyes should be at water level. If you sink with lungs full of air, you’ll need to remove some weight. Once you completely exhale, you should sink. If you do not sink, add more weight. This should give you a good start point.

(For you new divers, the most important word in that last paragraph is “relax”. When excited or put into a new environment, people tend to hold their breath and breathe shallow. Full lung capacity can make you anywhere between six(6) to 12 pound positively buoyant.)

The one thing to note is that the proper weighting for SCUBA diving is being able to hover at 15 feet with 500 psi in your tank and no air in your BC.[1] Aluminum tanks begin to be positively buoyant once capacity is less than 1500psi (this is also known as “corking”) and will affect your buoyancy. Consequently, this will require the need for additional weight to the amount found when testing your buoyancy at the surface with a full tank.

When returning from your dive, take special note of your buoyancy control to see if additional weight is needed.  The recording of this information should be a standard line item in your individual dive logs.

As you dive more and more you’ll get a better understanding of how much weight you specifically need to dive comfortably. As you change your equipment configuration (i.e. exposure suits, aluminum versus steel tanks, etc.) you should always test your buoyancy to insure proper weighting.

When teaching students we say, "add a knife to your equipment, check your buoyancy."  Though we say it jokingly, we're somewhat serious.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

A meme...

So, I found this meme from

Zoe of Girl with One Track Mind, who got it from

Mike of Troubled Diva, who got it from

Cliff of This is This, who got it from

Claire of Moon in the Gutter

<the meme>

1. My uncle once: owned a cock-fighting arena.

2. Never in my life: have I gone to jail.

3. When I was five: I lived in New York City and had a dog named Lucky.

4. High school was: bitter-sweet.

5. I will never forget: Cenote diving in Mexico.

6. Once I met: Natalie Gulbis.

7. There’s this girl I know: who is going to save the world.

8. Once, at a bar: racked up a $400 tab.

9. By noon, I’m usually: ready for a drink.

10. Last night: took Benadryl and fell asleep.

11. If only I had: the guts to take more risks.

12. Next time I go to church: I’ll light a candle for them.

13. What worries me most: is not having enough energy to get back up again.

14. When I turn my head left I see: Snowball.

15. When I turn my head right I see: The Vivster.

16. You know I’m lying when: I smile.

17. What I miss most about the Eighties is: Reaganomics and leg warmers 

18. If I were a character in Shakespeare I’d be: Petruccio.

19. By this time next year: I'll be on some island in the southern Caribbean.

20. A better name for me would be: daddy.

21. I have a hard time understanding: people.

22. If I ever go back to school, I’ll: be taking it more seriously.

23. You know I like you if: I joke with you.

24. If I ever won an award, the first person I would thank would be: Sher.

25. Take my advice, never: drink on an empty stomach, or get naked once you decide to drink on an empty stomach.

26. My ideal breakfast is: fried eggs, sausage and rice

27. A song I love but do not have is:  Mylie Cyrus's "See You Again".  I'm joking...  Sting's "Fields of Gold" from his VH1's Storyteller performance.

28. If you visit my hometown, I suggest you: bring a gun or some bodyguards.

29. Why won’t people: accept one another.

30. If you spend a night at my house: you'd have a good time.

31. I’d stop my wedding for: an Atlanta Braves game.

32. The world could do without: Mylie Cyrus. 

33. I’d rather lick the belly of a cockroach than: lick it's bung hole.

34. My favorite blonde(s) is/are: Marilyn Monroe and Hellga from American Gladiators.

35. Paper clips are more useful than: the French and/or Politicians.  (They both pretty useless in my book.)

36. If I do anything well it’s: probably an accident.

37. I can’t help but: have a good time.

38. I usually cry: when I'm exhausted.

39. My advice to my child/nephew/niece: always do your best.

40. And by the way: I really like gummy bears.

</the meme>


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Thursday, August 14, 2008

So, you want to be a technical diver? Preface

If you are remotely aware of the sport of SCUBA diving, you are familiar with the image of people stuffed into wet suits, their face hidden behind a regulator/mask and a large amount of weight donned onto their back.

If you are a SCUBA diver, you know there's a love/hate relationship with your wetsuit, the mask is your window into a new world, the regulator provides you the air you need to survive and the hefty burden on your back becomes weightless once you descend into the water.

SCUBA diving is an enjoyable hobby.  It opens up a whole new world to explore and experience.  However just like every other sport, proper training, equipment and mentality is vital to keeping the sport safe for yourself and your dive buddy.

The first step in the world of diving, is an Open Water certification.  This life time certification allows you to dive within the recreational limits set by the World Recreational SCUBA Training Council.

The criteria which defines a Recreational SCUBA Dive (RSD) are as follows:

  1. The breathing gas is either compressed air, or an oxygen enriched air breathing mixes of 21-40% oxygen.
  2. Diving is always with a buddy, never solo.
  3. Diving Depth does not exceed 130 feet.
  4. Depth-Time profile does NOT require a mandatory decompression stop.
  5. No other specialized training beyond the basic open water is required.

Additionally, there are many speciality certifications designed to enhance a recreational SCUBA diver's experience.  These courses allow divers to gain more knowledge, better prepare them for different underwater environments, as well as encourages them to continue with the sport.  In actuality, these courses actually create better divers, because divers can't improve unless they are constantly practicing the skills that they've learned. 

So, what happens when you want to go to the next level?  What happens when you want to go deeper and/or longer?

It goes with out saying that advancing your dive education requires additional training;  however, additional factors also come into play when a diver wants to exceed the boundaries of  RSD.  These factors include changes or additions in regards to diving equipment, discipline, maturity and a realistic understanding of one's own personal limits. 

There is some debate on what constitutes a Technical Dive.  In general, the following types of dives or situation is universally accepted as a technical dive:

  1. Diving within an overhead environment
    1. cave diving
    2. wreck diving
    3. ice diving
  2. Diving to depths greater than 130 feet.
  3. Mixed gas diving >40% O2 (nitrox) or trimix.
  4. Diving with specialized equipment such as a O2 re-breather.
  5. Diving a depth-time profile require one or more mandatory decompression stop.

If any of diving scenarios peaks your interest, then maybe Technical diving is for you.   Over the next couple of weeks, I hope to outline all the different aspects of technical diving that I've been running into as I pursue my diving education.  The goal is to share my thoughts concerning the next level of this sport,  as well as simply journalizing my adventure.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Football Season....

Originally uploaded by Knight Diver
can't wait... can't wait... can't wait....

Oh this year is going to be good...

Here's a picture of Vivian's first visit to the horseshoe. She loved it.. I can't image how Christian will handle things.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Camp Ocean - Clean and Preserve with SCUBA

This is a project I've been thinking about for awhile. I stumbled across the Members Project website and thought I should take my idea to the next step.
Take a look and if you think it's a good idea, please nominate my project for consideration.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pictures of you...

A photograph never grows old. You and I change, people change all through the months and years but a photograph always remains the same. How nice to look at a photograph of mother or father taken many years ago. You see them as you remember them. But as people live on, they change completely. That is why I think a photograph can be kind.

-Albert Einstein