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Oct 24, 2013

Diving on the Dykes | Episode 182

Last Sunday, I broke in a new rig on the Dykes.

Off the coast of New Jersey, there are many shipwrecks within reach of our small diving community. This particular wreck is very close to the coast and in quite shallow water, relatively speaking.

With my other camera in a new housing, I shot some test footage which came out well. Smaller rig, but heavier in the water as there is very little air in it.

More to experiment with soon, but so far so good:

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Oct 18, 2013

Learning to hover | episode 181

Teaching your young to fly might be simple if you're a bird. Teaching someone to breath underwater and move about comfortably can also be the most natural thing in the world even though humans may not be designed for immersion.

Aquatic Ape Theory aside, I've had some students lately that seem more at home underwater than they are on land. It's fun to watch them 'take to the water' and experience that feeling that is somewhat like weightlessness.
I had two students (see video) last night who experienced they joy of submerging beneath the surface of the local swimming pool's water, and learning how to hover.
Watch them as they overcome their battle with buoyancy:

Learn to dive with Pete

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Oct 9, 2013

Ban Leaf Blowers, and a poem

Aren't leaf blowers infuriating?

Nobody likes a leaf blower except the wanker using it. There are all manner of websites published by angry people who consider their lives to be noisy enough without these machines that should require a permit for commercial use only.

Here's the simple google search for "Leaf Blower Ban"

I feel somewhat powerless, so I wrote a poem:

Ode to a Leaf Blower.

Leaf Blower, Leaf Blower  please break down
At least malfunction and burn that clown
Perhaps 20 pounds of noisy mass
Could go up in flames of exploding gas

Please make that guy out there feel
His fingers get caught in the fan belt wheel
Our peaceful gain would be his loss
A bloody stump shown to his boss

Health and the Environment:
A Grand Jury convened on the subject of leaf blowers in California, concluding that, “Considering the evidence…the health hazards citizens are exposed to from two-cycle leaf blowers outweigh the possible benefit they provide.” The Grand Jury went on to recommend that all cities within that county initiate a phase out of leaf blowers.

Most professional gas leaf blowers use a two-stroke engine - a major polluter because it burns oil in addition to gas. The exhaust, along with the particulate matter that is blown into the air, lowers air quality, and foists noise pollution upon anyone within a few blocks’ radius.

According to the California Air Resources Board the types of air pollutants emitted when using a gasoline-powered leaf blower for half an hour are equivalent to those emitted from 440 miles of automobile travel at 30mph average speed. Compared to an average large car, one hour of operation of a leaf blower emits 498 times as many hydrocarbons, 49 times as much particulate matter, and 26 times as much carbon monoxide.

Read More about the health hazards caused:

Dave Astor wrote a fun article at the Huffington Post.

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Oct 3, 2013

A New York Fishing Story (true) | Episode 180

An afternoon supermarket run with the wife in the chevy to Fairway, threw the fishing rod in the back.
My wife went in to the supermarket alone as she loves it and I hate it... so I'm just the driver.

Fishing for the pure novelty of it, I would never eat anything that comes from upstream;

The old guys ten feet away had caught a couple of big ones, and had already sliced and spiced....

I caught a snag.... hmmm there goes my lure.... but no! It comes loose... sort of.... and I hoist it slowly up to the surface.
It was very heavy, as the murderer had put the gun in a sock and the sock had filled up with Hudson river sludge.

I was relieved it wasn't a head....
It was a .38 automatic nickel plated hand gun. One slug missing.

I took it to the 34th Precinct, cops gave me a hundred for it. Guns for Cash, no questions asked.

Went to the supermarket and bought some fish.


Oct 2, 2013

SCUBA diving : an adrenaline sport? | Episode 179

Extreme? Yes, diving involves an environment that is alien to us these days, and we require a system of life support to be able to survive it.

Last night while teaching in a New York swimming pool, I watched a scuba student (also a ballet dancer) experience elation as she broke free from the force of gravity. She became a mermaid right before our eyes. The other instructor wrote on his slate: "You're a fish !" to which she replied only with a smile and kept swimming.

Diving can be one of the most serene experiences of your life, especially with a bit of training to get you to the 'effortless' level. Sure, there is adrenaline involved, but still, scuba diving is kind of like a mirror image of skydiving.

Here is the video from last Saturday's dive inland at a water filled quarry. The girl is wearing her tanks 'sidemount' style.

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