No Excuse, Sir

No excuse for not putting updates on here in anything like a timely fashion. But what are you gonna do about it? Well I suppose you could stop reading. And I would miss that. But hopefully you’re all using RSS, so keeping up with infrequent updates is easy.

The most noteworthy thing going on in my life right now is Dive Master training. This is a fairly large piece of work, but luckily things are pretty flexible with how and when you can do it. It covers a range of areas, including theoretical knowledge, application of that knowledge, developing practical skills to demonstration quality, and assisting with dive courses, both in the pool and in open water. Lugging heavy tanks around for students, writing exams, mapping out underwater topography, all sorts of things.

I’m only just getting underway with it. I’ve passed 3 exams (out of a total of 8), assisted out with an Open Water course, and read a heap of stuff in the DM manual, and the (surprisingly interesting) “Encyclopedia of Recreational Diving.” I’ve also been practising the 20 skills I need to perform to demonstration quality. I’m afraid I’ve got a long way to go with some of those. I’ve also started swimming, to try and improve my swimming times to somewhere near the required times. Again…a fair way to go. But that’s OK. I’ve got time to work on it, and Anna is at a similar level to me, so at least I’ve got company on the journey.

I was assisting with an Open Water course on Sunday, which was good fun, if a little tiring. It’s quite a different take on the course, watching other people. I think that seeing demonstrations of all skills repeatedly will help my own technique. Watching others shows you typical mistakes too.

It’s not all diving though. On Saturday the Auckland MTB Club organised a ride to Waiheke, an island in the Hauraki Gulf here. It was a great day – I could ride from my house to the ferry terminal, onto the ferry, ride around Waiheke, then get a ferry home. No need for the car. We went on a bit of a tour, then rode around the MTB track, before having a nice BBQ and beers in the park. Then over to a beach, a swim, and home! Superb.

I’ll be back at Waiheke this weekend too, for a Hens party, of all things. Very strange.

Being Amish

Just over two weeks ago I moved house. I’m now in a much larger apartment, in a complex with a pool. Right beside Victoria Park, close to a great supermarket, and an easy walk to the dive shop. It’s all a bit step up from my previous place. From a one-bench kitchen with two crappy elements, to a huge kitchen with a 5-burner gas hob, and 900mm oven. My bedroom at this place is about the size of the whole old apartment. So all good. It is a bit further away from work, so now I’ve started riding to work, but that’s all good – gives me some more exercise.

But for some reason I didn’t get around to getting my phone and Internet connection sorted out soon enough. I had thought it would be straightforward, but it ended up taking two weeks to get things sorted out. I have a phone and Internet package with Vodafone – this is a problem, since Telecom operates the last mile. Dealing with extra players just makes things more complicated, and slows things down. At one point Vodafone said “your phone line is pending disconnection – you should ring Telecom and find out what’s happening.” So I ring Telecom, and after trying to explain that I am not a Telecom customer, nor do I want to be, they work out that there is no problem with my line, and Vodafone should be able to deal with it. Grrr.

Eventually things got sorted out, and I am back online! It was like being Amish, being disconnected from the Internet. You don’t realise how fundamental it is to the way you do things. Contacting people, looking up things, checking Google Maps for directions to somewhere…it’s a good thing that Section 92A has been delayed, you can’t go shutting off people’s Internet connections without following some sort of due process.

So maybe there can now be a resumption of these sporadic missives…but I need to fit it in around my latest project – becoming a Divemaster. But that’s another story.