Tuesday, April 29, 2008


I completed the 8-10 day course in just 4 days. I am sitting, with a beer looking at the water relaxing for the first time in the 12 days I have been here. I am not taking any books to my room, or reading or studying anything tonight!!! It will be my first full nights sleep in awhile. The IE (Instructor Examination) with the PADI Rep isn' until the weekend, so I am going to start the MSDT (Master Scuba Diver Trainer) program tomorrow. The good news, although it is a lot of learning, it is a lot more relaxed and fun and includes a lot of diving. For the Deep and Wreck Specialty Trainer certification I am going to dive the DUANE tomorrow.This is a pic of the Duane before she ended up on the sea floor. Many people say it is their favorite site in the keys so I am looking forward to it.

Shout out to myself:
My Instructor is a Platinum Course Director with PADI (highest it gets). He was taken over 300 instructors through this program. Today he told me:
"You are one of the better candidates I have ever seen, if not the best I have ever had."

That made me feel good. Adult beverage and relaxation time!!! (at least until 8am when the next course starts).

Monday, April 28, 2008

IDC Update

Well I finished my divemaster on Friday. Completed all the skills, staminia, practical exercises, real course audits, projects, and took the exams. The exams were 8 tests totalling 160 questions (I scored 97%) that are difficult.
So Saturday I started the IDC (Instructor Development Course). Tom Witmer is my instructor, and I can not imagine a better one. We have flown through the course since I am the only student. We complted 4 days worth of the course in the past 2 days. My brain is full and I am still exhausted. We start 7:30am and finish about 6:30pm. I have some dinner, then do homework til about 12:30 or 1am. It is tiring, but very fun and rewarding at the same time. The PADI rep flies out on Friday-Sunday May 4-6) for the Examiniation (3 days worth) so wish me luck.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Long day

Yesterday was an exhauting day!!! I don't remember the last time I was that exhausted at the end of the day. We stayed the night at Sea on a mooring ball of the Benwood (see post below). I woke up at 7am and started my stamina skills. There is a 400 meter swim (bathing suit only), 800m (mask, fins, snorkel), 15 min tread (hands out of water), and a 100m tow (towing a diver, both in full gear). While most Divemaster students go to the pool to do these, I was at sea in 3-4 foot waves. I was swimming in between 2 mooring balls 100m apart, but dive boats kept coming and made me swim around them. So I bet my 400m was over 500m. You need 12 out of 20 points to pass (based on time), and I received 13. Just squeaked by. I am sure I could have gotten a 17 or 18 in the pool or canal.
After those skills, I ate a sandwich, then did 2 more dives on the Benwood to finish the mapping project. Then a dry suit dive. At the end of the dry suit dive I was told that we were to do the rescue assessment before we got out of the water (dry suit has very little mobility, and I was carrying 8 pounds of extra weight). Wore me out!!! I got my victim (dad) to the boat, and fireman carriend him up the ladder.
Then we did our 20 demonstration skills, followed by my favorie exercise the course. We had to go down, and completely switch all gear (SCUBA unit, Maks, fins, weights). The catch is we had to do it while sharing one air source (buddy breathing). So we are exchaning all of our gear while passing back and forth the regulator. Needless to say, I didn't breathe much. It was a great high stress exercise (the whole not breathing thing takes a toll too).

So I am all done with the course. I am studying today, and will take my exams. Tomorrow I start the Instructor Development Course.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Divemaster Update 2

Well as I type right now, I am about 7 miles off shore on the Atlantic Ocean. We are tied up to the dive site in which I am doing my mapping project for my Divemaster class. I did two dives on it this afternoon, and will get started on it again first thing in the morning. The mapping project will take at least 6 hours (underwater). I have to take every measurement of the wreck and do a complete report. I will post it here when I am done (next week some time). The wreck is the Benwood. It was running lights out back in 1942 to avoid Uboats and colided with another ship. Over the past 66 years it has become an amazing artificial reef and has more fish life on it than any other site in the Keys. Unfortunately all the time spent on it I am ignoring the life to complete my map.
With the rocking of the boat, I am going to sleep like a baby tonight!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Quote of the day

Although I am staying on a yacht that costs more than most make in a lifetime, it is still a boat and the shower probably puts out about .0000003 gallons per minute. So I go use the marina shower (which is located at the Ramada Inn Pool).

Today after we got back, I was on my way. I hear a little girl, no more than 6 or 7 ask her mom:

"Mom, when is happy hour?"


Divemaster Class Update

Well this update is why I am not updating. I have been soo busy everyday and have been exhausted at the end of every day. The last two days I was working on the dive boat from 8am-6pm. Had some students from hell I was working with Monday, and had some dream students I was working with today. So it all balanced out. In addition to working with the students I was loading tanks and equipment for the boat (anywhere from 12-25 divers (that is 24-50 tanks each trip, two trips a day) and my back and some muscles I didn't even know I had are sore.
Haven't even got my camera out and have been studying every night. So no real time for updates, and I don't see that chaning anytime soon. Maybe, but not likely.
Enjoying every minute of it

Saturday, April 19, 2008


I have got jet lagged pretty bad before. Crossing the atlantic, things like that. Never before just traveling in the US. However, the weeks preceeding my departure my averge bed time was approx 4am (PST). Now here in Key Largo, my wake up time is 7am (EST). Yes for all you math geniuses tha is the same time. So I have been waking up when I am used to going to bed. First couple nights have been rough and have been sluggish the first few days. Hopefully I will adjust soon and be reenergized (like a frickin bunny with a drum).
Today is off to the pool to simulate demonstrating skills for students. All of the skills you master and become second nature have to be slowed down and exaggerated so the student knows what the heck they are supposed to be doing. And most of the time you are underwater, so no talking....communication through hand motions (Jessica would be good at it). Guesstures or charades anyone???

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I'm off

I am headed off to Key Largo for 23 days. I will keep you posted. Looking forward to the IDC.

Gonna miss baptisms this Sunday of two very special people. Check out their video's this POST at patamo.

Claire sings on my kids worship team at church and I love her to death. Gianni has become a good friend over the past few months since we moved back. Way to go guys!!! I am proud of you and sorry I will miss it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Monday, April 14, 2008

Motto of the Week

"Your procrastination and laziness does not equal my emergency!"

I do not know how many times I have thought this in the past few days, and really wanted to say it to clients. But I always go for "Oh no problem, I will take care of you."

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Nocturnal By Necessity

Well it is about 5am on Friday night (I guess that would be Sat morning wouldn't it) and am I am finishing working for the night. People ask all the time "how can you work those crazy hours?" Well I do it out of necessity. I count on 10pm-4am as my money time. The wife goes to bed, and I have 6 solid hours of no breaks, no phone ringing constantly, no errands, no appointments, no meetings, NO INTERRUPTIONS!!! In one of my normal 10-4's, in one night, I can get more done than an entire Monday-Friday 9 to 5 normal person work week. I have been pulling the 10-4's the last two or three weeks (minus a few nights I wasn't feeling well) and that ensure's I can complete all of my client's returns in a timely manner and not have to hire an office assistant or helper. Anytime I get busy I will go into nocturnal mode. I get energized at night too so that helps. I get all my work done while everyone is asleep, and then sleep while they are trying to bug me. Well, I better get to bed before the sun comes up, I don't want to melt or anything.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

New Wine Cellar

I have been wanting a new wine storage solution for a long time. This is the vinotemp 500EC (will store approx. 450 bottles). I bought it from Costco online. It was about the same price as other retailers (however freight shipping was looking at about $600 where Costco's price included delivery, more on that later).
When we lived in Texas (and had 6 bedrooms for the 2 of us) I had a bedroom that I kept my wine cases in. It was not an ideal long term storage, as the room was kept at 70 degrees, but it worked. I kept my long term storage wines in my two wine fridges. Since we moved back to CA, the wine cases have been in the garage for the winter, but I had to do something before the warm weather comes. I am excited.
As you can see my collection is growing. When I first started, the only good wine I had (usually a bottle or two at a time) I wanted to save for a special occasion. Now I can go to the cellar and get an AWESOME wine on any given night. However, I have not opened a bottle at home in some time. With wifey pregnant, I have no one to enjoy it with. Come stop by if you read this and know where I live and want to try a great wine.

Delivery ISSUES!!!
So Costco had the free delivery, but it had a few issues (Costco uses independent moving companies for delivery). The company called and scheduled delivery. Great!!! They give me a 4 hour window and I make sure I am home. About 2 hours AFTER the window had gone by they call me. This is what the lady said "After everything that had to go out today was loaded on the truck, their wasn't enough room for your unit." Wait a minute. Why am the last priority??? Why is my delivery less important than everyone else's? And why are you calling me 2 hours after it was supposed to be delivered? Wouldn't you have known it hours before if it wasn't on the truck? Now since I work at home, it isn't a big deal. But they don't know that. I could be a normal person who had to take time off work to be home to accept delivery. P'd me off. So they schedule for the next day. Get a call the next day (at least this time it is before the window) that said the driver quit and walked off the dock. OK??? So they schedule for the next WEEK and it finally came. At least it is finally here (and yes I wrote to Costco telling them how this delivery company represented them).


Sunday, April 06, 2008

First Outfit

I don't know if you remember your first outfit (well I am sure mine is in one of the many boxes my mom has recently brought me with everything I encountered from birth to age 10), but this is our child's. Yes our kid is still -5 months old, but this is his (opps did I say HIS) first outfit. Thought it is fitting as I burn the midnight oil doing tax returns (In case you can not see, it read's "tax deduction").

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Old Man

So this is the solution to one of our marital problems. If you know me, you know you can call Chad at 3am, but you should never call him at 7am. Many times I work til 3am (or later), and when I am not busy, will read, or do whatever until the same time. My wife is in bed at normal people hours. I need at least an hour of TV (history channel, Seinfeld, The Office, or Sportscenter) to unwind before I can sleep. This is our solution so I do not wake my wife up. I can have it as loud as I want, and she can't hear a thing. I have seen these advertised for more than a decade, but the target audience is always at least drawing Social Security. Well I guess I am an old man now!!!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

A cool pic

My wife took this pic at an A's and Giant's game back in 2005. I just came across it in one of her scrapbooks and thought it was really cool. Thought I would post it, because I never post anything that cool. (ignore my unibrow please)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

This is a Blog Post

Nothing to say this week.  It Last week of March to First week of April is always my busiest week of the year.  So I have been consumed by tax strategies and all kinds of boring stuff I won't post here as I do not want my readers (or reader) to fall asleep.  Have had a few good eating breaks, but that is about it.  See you next week.