Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cellphone Envy Among Fish - What's Next?

Yesterday when I was visiting my friends at PTI and getting my cellphone replaced, Darryl mentioned that he had just read my blog and wondered if I left my cellphone in the fishbowl for Ralph. At that point I had taken the cellphone back out, I just put it in to take the picture. But then after I got back to my office, I got to thinking, why not? I bet Ralph was enjoying being the only pet fighting fish with his own personal Motorola Razor cellphone. I'm guessing that in addition to Ralph enjoying the novelty of it, it would also make a great conversation piece. Although that would also mean that I would have to tell the story of how it wound up in Ralph's bowl in the first place, and I would continually have to admit to being absentminded enough to take my cellphone diving in the first place. And if you don't know how my cellphone wound up in Ralphs bowl, you'll have to read the post about it yesterday. But Ralph was staring across the desk at the cellphone that once was his with those sad fish eyes of his, so I figured what the heck.

After a couple hours I noticed that Ralph was swimming up to numbers on the phone, and he kept repeating the same pattern. I thought it was very strange, but all the sudden it dawned on me, I wondered if he was trying to send text messages. I mean do any of us really know how much a fish that sits on our desk day after day learns from us? Maybe the reason we have never really learned their abilities is that we've never bothered giving them cellphones before. So I finally started trying to figure out what he was spelling, and the best I can make out, he was saying "mor fud pleez". So maybe his spelling wasn't the best, but Ralph was trying to ask for more food please. Maybe I should set open books in front of his bowl so he can work on his spelling a bit.

So I gave him some more food, and I figured as long as I was at it, I should probably give Tempy some more food too. For those of you who don't know, Tempy is the beta fish in the bowl next to Ralph. Then Tempy came flying up toward his food, but instead of eating it, he started flicking it all out of his bowl, as if he was upset with me or something. I stared in at the tempermental little fish wondering what his problem was. It seemed like he kept doing head nods toward the cellphone in Ralph's bowl. Could it be that Tempy was jealous? Was this the first documented case of cellphone envy among pet fish? I guess you know what I did next. Yup, that's right, I went out and bought Tempy his own Motorola Razor cellphone. After all, I couldn't be showing preference to my fish. So what if his name is Tempy, which stands for temporary, I think he's gotten over that by now. So now all seems peaceful in the fish world on my desk. Tempy and Ralph text back and forth all day and seem much happier about things.

But then I got to thinking, what if some of the evil Dive Masters out there start spreading word among the turtles and nudibranchs that my fish have their own cellphones? Will they be jealous and demand their own before they let me take their pictures in the future? What if one of those dastardly Dive Masters tells one turtle that I've taken way more pictures of one of the other turtles and I've hardly posted any of them? Am I going to have to start watching my back while diving from now on? Just how far will this go? And really, just how jealous and materialistic are fish, turtles and nudibranchs? Have I started a trend that I will live to regret? Will Ralph and Tempy start spying on me for the devious Dive Masters and text them with insider information on me? I think you can see that I may have opened a can of worms that would have been better left closed. Well, I'll let you know of any further updates in this story, but for the time being, if I were you, I wouldn't be giving your pet fish his own cellphone.

p.s. - In the interest of accuracy, I have to admit that I didn't give Tempy a brand new cellphone, I bought him a second hand phone and kept the new one for myself. The rest of this amazing story is more or less true. Well, I do have fish named Ralph and Tempy on my desk, and Ralph does have his own cellphone in his bowl now. However much of the rest of the story you choose to believe is entirely up to you.

Shrinking The World Through Blogs

I've always enjoyed reading, going way back to my elementary school days. One of the highlights of school for me was getting the book order forms and seeing what kind of new adventures I could embark on through the magic of books. I would always devour every inch of the Weekly Reader, and would even be known to go through quite a large number of books in the library. Reading was always a way for me to escape the small northern Michigan town I grew up in and to discover magical places like Narnia, Camelot, the deep, dark continent of Africa, and yes, I would even go diving with Jacques Cousteau occasionally by reading articles about him and his exploits in various magazines.

Reading has always been a way for me to learn about new places and things, a way to crawl inside somebody elses head and to find out what makes them think and feel the way they do. I would disappear for hours on end in elementary school and junior high in my bedroom as I would read about the brand new adventures of going to the moon. I felt like I was actually a part of King Arthur's Round Table as I read about his adventures with Sir Lancelot. I believe that much of my formative education did not take place in schools, but rather sitting in my room pouring through hundreds and hundreds of books.

I still really enjoy sitting down with a good book and losing myself in it for hours on end. Now my tastes have changed to authors like John Grisham, Clive Cussler and Tom Clancy. But my main problem is finding the time to devote endless hours of just immersing myself in a book. That is a big part of the reason that I've come to really enjoy blogs. I can go through dozens of blogs and learn a wide variety of things in my spare time, 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. Some of the blogs I read are just because I really enjoy the persons style of writing, such as Tami's Seaweed, Sand and Sunsets. Of course I also really enjoy her pictures as photography is becoming one of my newest interests. I also really enjoy reading Lewie's Swim, Bike, Run Saipan blog, partly because I work with Lewie and this gives me insight into the other side of him. But I'm also discovering that he's a great writer and has a real knack for putting some interesting things in his blog. I also enjoy reading my wife Kelli's - Kelli on Saipan blog. Believe it or not but I even learn a few things about her from reading her blog, and that's always a good thing.

But I also really enjoy discovering new people I've never met and their blogs. Such is the case with Kyle and Svetlana. He's an American married to a Russian living in Russia. Their blog tells about their interesting life and gives me a whole new perspective on some things. I met him through Link Referral and Blog Rush, and we've exchanged blog links. That's the cool thing about the internet is that it lets you meet people you never would have had access to any other way.

One of the comments I get all the time after new people have read my blog is "Thanks for showing me a brand new underwater world that I never would have experienced any other way". People can experience what I see diving every weekend just by reading my blog. The vast majority of them will never have the experiences I have or see the things I've seen, but now they can share in them through my blog.

Blog Rush is a tool that let's you check out different blogs whenever you feel like it. You'll see the widget for Blog Rush just below the About Me section on the right side of my blog. It will have several different blogs listed that you can click on and check out. It's a very cool way to discover what else is out there. It's also a great way to promote your blog to a much bigger audience that you might not have access to otherwise. If you'd like to sign up for Blog Rush, click on my widget where it says "add your blog posts for free". It only takes a minute or two to sign up and then you don't really have to do anything else. Reading is truly a great gift, and experiencing each others blogs can be a magical experience, have fun exploring!