Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Catch Up

Okay, here goes...

When I last left you, it was the eve of my return to the world of SCUBA. Well, I went to the course and in actuality, I probably didn't need to go. We breezed over the high points of dive tables and then hit the pool. Although it had been 2 years since my last dive, I shot through the skills in about 20 minutes and just like that, SCUBA had its claws into me again. I don't regret taking the course though. I would rather relearn all of those things in the pool at the dive shop than bobbing around in 6-foot swells, choking on boat exhaust.

The down-side is that I'm now spending every spare moment searching through online $CUBA stores for a dive computer and gauges and drooling over dive videos on YouTube. My friend and dive-buddy Brandon are trying to plan a trip for sometime in the next few months but can't seem to nail down a date. Man, I can't wait.

Moving on... my girlfriend's little sister flew into town the other night and we've been having fun entertaining her. She's 15 and is so happy to not be spending her days babysitting like she normally does. Aubry had to work Sunday, because her coworkers are selfish and wouldn't cover for her despite the fact that she had just covered for one of them less than a month ago. So, I took little-sis out kayaking. We had a good time.

Then last night we took in a Tides, minor league baseball ,game. I'm not sure her sister enjoyed it as much as we did, but I think she was entertained. We didn't have great seats so we moved to get a little closer to the action and have more room. It wasn't 10 minutes later that a ball landed within 5-feet of Aubry's little sister. Unfortunately, she froze and the guy behind us nabbed it. I even called it before the game that she was going to catch a ball since she never goes to games and we go all the time. Oh well, maybe next time.

Friday, July 18, 2008

SCUBA Returns

Okay, here goes...

One of the benefits of growing older is having more experiences to draw from. And as a person trained in the area of science I routinely look for pattern, repetition and habit. Over the past 5 or so years, I've noticed that I do not take full advantage of a situation where I may find myself. Let's take a look at the data shall we?

I lived for about three and one half years in Vermont. And while there I did take full advantage of the winter season (since that's my favorite). During the summers I did do a fair amount of hiking and kayaking but there was an area of summer where I neglected. Fly fishing.

Let's fast forward a few years to South Carolina. Now I know what you're saying. What the fuck is there to do in South Carolina? And to be honest, I completely agree. I did some hiking year round and played golf whenever the opportunity arose but I didn't really get around to fly fishing until the last few months there. And even then I didn't truly take full advantage.

Between Vermont and South Carolina, there was probably more fly fishing withing an hour's drive than I will ever see again. And now here I am in coastal Virginia within a 5 minute's drive of the ocean, at least 2 hours away from anything close to a trout stream and a severe jonesing to wet a line in a stream. Damn it!

This is only one example of how I have pissed away some good opportunities in my life. None of which have really been life changing or something I will go to my (cremated) grave wishing I could go back and change. But they are enough to make me say, "Damn it!" twice in a blog.

So, as they say the first step is to acknowledge the problem. Well, that happened a few weeks ago and I took my first step the other day. You see, within an hour's boat ride of where I live there are dozens of sunken boat wrecks; mostly from WWI and WWII.

While in South Carolina, my pal Brandon convinced me it would be a good idea to enroll in a SCUBA class. That was one of the best things I have ever done. I only have a dozen dives under my weight belt but I love it. There is something about the weightlessness, exploring a place that such a small portion of the world's population has ever seen and of course getting to collect all the cool gear that just gets me all excited.

All of this to say I signed up for a SCUBA refresher course the other day. A Rusty Diver course as they call it. That's what I plan on doing this evening. Getting reacquainted with my old friend SCUBA. Hopefully I'll be wasting all my money swimming around in the Atlantic this summer.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

At The Helm

Okay, here goes...

Let's get a bit more serious, shall we?

While most of us were drinking beer and eating grilled foods under the guise of celebrating our country's birthday, Senator Jesse Helms was drawing his last breaths. And I can't say I'm all that broken-up about it. Helm's was one of the last bigots to walk the halls of Washington; at least one of the last men to do so openly.

This past week I've been reading and hearing many of my fellow Americans go on and on about how great Jesse Helms was. Well, have you seen this re-election campaign TV ad? Take a look at this video he put out and tell me what you think.

Luckily, someone in the media has a descent pair of cajones. Once again, Roland S. Martin has hit the nail on the head with his article on Sen. Helms. If you're ever in need of a good, honest political commentary, you cannot go wrong with Martin. He seems to always say what I, and I'm sure a lot of Americans, are thinking. Be sure to read Martin's article, and any others that he writes. Good stuff.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Logging Miles

Okay, here goes...

So, I arrived home after work the other day to find a box full of bicycle accessories on my frotn porch. I decided that if I'm going to be spending more time on my bike I should get some goodies for the little guy. I tore into the box like an 8 year old on Christmas morning. Inside I fould all sorts of shiny, new toys.

After unwrapping my new bike tool I set about clamping and zip-tying all of my new stuff to my bike. And when I was done, I was ready to take on the world. I set out on a trip around the block to test my handiwork.

The sunlight glisened off my new detachable, LCD headlight and shimmered across the reflectors of my 3-setting taillight. But the most beautiful thing was my new wireless computer. I started out a 10mph pace to see if it would work. Then pumped it up to 20 and everything flowed together like a moutain stream. The world slowed and kids on the sidewalk stopped and stared in awe.

So I've learned that my trip to work is a little more than I thought. It is a 5.2 mile roundtrip. I also figured out that I average about 14mph on my trip to work. Now I don't know where this falls on the competancy meter but I feel pretty good about it.

I waited until Tuesday to start my odometer reading since it was the 1st and I want to see how many miles I can fit into a month. However, I didn't ride today because of the smoke from the wildfires in North Carolina was blowing in and I forsee this being a problem throughout the summer. I did miss my morning bike ride though.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Drunken Loser

Okay, here goes...

A few things come to mind for today's blog. First, the pool party.

Friday night was a blast. Well all met at Dennis and Allyson's for a pool party/farewell for a co-worker. Many beers and much food was consumed. I lost 3 games of beer pong. Which led directly to me not remembering some key points of the night. I think I had a good time.

And now the bad news. If you reference one of my entries from last week, you will notice a picture of Uga VI; the winning-est of all University of Georgia mascots. While I was reliving my college years with beer, drinking games and general revelry, Uga VI was passing on. He succumbed to hear failure Friday night and will be missed.

RIP Uga VI, hopefully your son will carry on the tradition.