Another Brief Update

  • Didn’t go to see William Gibson. Did enjoy an evening at home, watching Dirty Harry with Laura. We’ve been watching a whole lot of iconic-but-not-necessarily-good films lately.
  • Did go scuba diving, finally, on Sunday.  Laura got to try a new, much smaller, wetsuit, which fit.  We went to Brackett’s Landing (aka Edmonds Underwater Park) with Cindy and several other people, but the visibility was terrible enough that we gave up after the first dive.  Which leaves me with 49 dives under my belt. (I’d been hoping to hit fifty — guess that will happen next time.)  Other than the poor viz and a long surface swim, it definitely seems like a promising dive site, given how close it is to home, and the size of the few fish we could see through the murk, cabezon and lingcod alike.
  • Next Thursday, Laura is abandonining me vacationing in Chicago without me for two weeks, to celebrate her unemployment, and see old friends. Wish I could join her, but I’ve got stuff to do. Heck, I might even be traveling for work myself for a week of that time.  I’ve also got a long list of my own projects that I need to address.
  • I’m constantly torn between my deep-seated desire for stablity and my wild yearning for radical departure. This day, this week, this month, this year are no different in that respect. Just throwing that out there.
  • I’m still trying to find more people who want to go scuba diving in Seattle on a regular basis, either with both me and Laura or just a singleton needing a buddy, as Laura and I have somewhat different dive appetites at the moment.
  • The six-month-old home theater experiment has been a success, so far as reducing attendance at movie theatres: the only film we’ve seen together in the theater since December was the new Indiana Jones movie.  (During my last month of business trips, my colleagues and I saw some forgettable schlock horror film and Laura got to see Cecil B. Demented presented by John Waters himself.) If we previously went to the theater about twice a month on average, at something like $40 with snacks and drinks for the pair of us, that’s $40 x 12 = $480 we’ve saved, about one-third of what we spent on the improvements. (The cost of staying at home is a DVD or Blu-Ray rental, which given our pre-pay at the video store is less than two bucks apiece.  Even including our entire video block in the cost of the home theater, it’s still better than 25% of the way to payback.)
  • Work manages to be challenging, and to provide lots of opportunities for both company and personal improvement. A lot of the time it feels like treading water or worse, but I do feel that other people frequently recognize my accomplishments.
  • I’m putting enough time and energy into work that I’m not able to write effectively. I just don’t have the time. I have a full story drafted in a notebook that I need to type, edit, and perhaps rewrite; I have another story about one-third done, a story that I’m really excited about but just don’t have time to complete. Perhaps I’ll get to finish it when Laura’s out of town.
  • Almost finished watching Season 5 of The Wire, which is without a doubt the best television show ever. I’m more than a little sorry to see it end.
  • Maybe writing in bullet points lets me say more, since I feel less compelled to explicitly connect my thoughts to each other. The connections are there, but more oblique.
  • Saw Tonx and Emily for dinner the other night. It was good to see them, and I’m looking forward to their return to Seattle in the coming months.
  • I’m bummed by my growing inability to reach out and connect to my larger circle of friends, scattered across at least this hemisphere. It’s almost entirely my failing that I’m so bad at keeping in touch, despite really really missing a whole lot of people, and wanting to enjoy their company, if only virtually. But of course, the longer I let these things lie, the more challenging it is to reconnect.
  • Laura’s back from her evening walk/jog session. Time to go do other stuff now.

Back in the saddle…

Last week I returned from Hawaii, and into a whole lot of catch-up at work. I also had to clean up the blog site: although I’d upgraded to WordPress 2.5 already (2.5.1 now), before I’d done so, some nasty stuff had been inserted into one of my blog posts, getting my site branded as an attack site.

Now, that was probably the correct action to take, inasmuch as my site was an attack site during that period of time. But would have been too much to ask to send me mail identifying the problem — or, at least, when I submitted a review request on the site to identify the problem in advance, to avoid a back-and-forth where I fix one problem only to have another one identified before my site status can be returned?

Also, I discovered that my metablog had become stuck, due probably to a prior disk-full condition, and wasn’t posting all of my stuff. Further, changed the RSS feed address, and either I missed it or they didn’t bother to tell me, so that wasn’t showing up, either.

Now that it’s fixed, you can see that I’ve been identifying all of the Mac dive log software. I’ve become interested in getting an air-integrated computer (with hose and console, probably, rather than wireless, due to the substantial cost difference) and tracking my air consumption at depth. I figure that Laura wants to get Nitrox-certified, and as long as I’ll need a new dive computer for that (yes, I will, that’s how old my dive computer is), I might as well track air consumption too and upload log data.

Unfortunately, the list of air-integrated dive consoles that play well with Macs is fairly limited. Suunto and Uwatec would be my only choices. I like what I’ve read about Suunto (though it sounds like the original Cobra, otherwise my best choice, is perhaps overly conservative), but know next to nothing about the Uwatec Smart COM. Reviews and opinions welcome.

Dive this weekend?

Anyone up in Seattle want to dive this weekend, perhaps on Saturday afternoon? Laura’s unable to dive for health reasons, and I’d really like to get in the water.

I wasn’t thinking anything too strenuous: perhaps looking for the Octopus down at 86 feet at Redondo, or checking out a supposedly very easy dive near Steilacoom.

Mail me if you’re interested.

A week without scuba diving…

… is confusing, disorienting, and a bit depressing. Even if it gives me much more time to get errands done. And even if we did check out possible entry points at Myrtle Edwards.

Poor Laura had swimmer’s ear and, in the name of health and good sense, we took the weekend off of diving.

It feels like a step backwards; last weekend we did our first dive together without an instructor/divemaster, using our own tanks. It was a very good dive. I liked it.

Next weekend, if Laura’s feeling better by then, maybe we’ll go down to 86 feet at Redondo, and go looking for the octopus. Or maybe we’ll go down near Steilacoom, to a site in our big book of local dives. Or maybe, if we’re feeling up to it, both.

The compulsion I feel to dive again, and soon, is amazing. I forgot that I felt this way coming back from Bonaire, but I didn’t keep it up and I let the fire gutter out. Well, it’s back. I’m not sure how much diving we’ll be doing in Hawaii — at least four days, possibly up to six days, at least two dives per day — but it doesn’t seem like enough.

More Stuff Here / Scuba Stuff

Well, based on the business and politics over at LiveJournal, I think I’ll be doing more blogging here. I’ll still read there, and may link to here on occasion, but (since I’ve got this thing running anyway) I think that this will be my primary blog.

This weekend, Laura and I planned to not scuba dive. Last weekend, the five Advanced Open Water dives wore us the heck out. Somehow, though, it doesn’t feel right to not dive this weekend. Plus, we just bought high-pressure steel tanks today: two 80 cubic foot tanks for Laura, two 100 cubic foot tanks for me. It’d be a sin not to try them out, wouldn’t it? And since we’re moving from aluminum to steel, we need to adjust our weights for buoyancy, and why wait to do that?

We were waffling on the tanks, but the fellow at Underwater Sports up on Aurora gave us a very fair price for them — as good as anything we were finding on the Internet. And so seeing as Craigslist just wasn’t turning up used high-pressure steel tanks, we decided to spring for it.

We’ve never been diving before, just the two of us without a divemaster or instructor. Assuming that we can figure everything out, we’ll probably just go to Redondo, where we’ve been a fair number of times. That’ll give us an experience we’re somewhat familiar with, to transition more easily.

So, it looks like we will be diving tomorrow, at Redondo, after doing the farmer’s market in Ballard. (With any luck we’ll put something in the crockpot to have ready when we get back.)

We’ve spent a bloody fortune on dive gear this year, but almost all of it should last us for many years to come. Over the number of dives we’re hoping to do, it’ll amortize out quite nicely.

We really only need one last piece of dive gear. I’m still trying to talk myself out of it, and hopefully I’ll succeed. But the car’s developed a ripe funk in the last week, and those rubberized floor mats are beginning to sound really attractive. If the Lysol doesn’t kill the dead-sea-creature smell emanating from the trunk, we may be forced to take drastic measures.