Monday, June 30, 2008

New Feature For My Blog

While others may have different uses and motives behind their blogs, mine is strictly for entertainment and enjoyment purposes. It's something that I can do to share my love of diving with others, to share my photography and now to share some music as well. I've added a Youtube box right under my links, right now I'm featuring Basia with her song, Drunk On Love. I put it there so you can listen to the music while reading my blog if you like it, all you have to do is click on the arrow icon in the box. If you don't want to listen to the music, no biggie, just don't click and you are welcome to read in silence. But since you can't really see the full screen on the side, I decided to share it full size in this post so you can see the whole thing anytime you like. And I'll probably also switch the song from time to time, but right now I'm in a Basia mood. I hope you enjoy it!

You may want to start it and then pause it right away until it fully downloads, then play it, that way you can listen to it uninterrupted.

North Dakota Does Exist and Other Interesting Facts

A while back I did a blog talking about all the various places in the world that I have had readers to my blog from. I found it interesting that I had readers from every single state except for North Dakota. I concluded that everyone must have left the state and nobody bothered turning out the lights when they left, what else could account for the fact that I had readers from almost everywhere else? Well today I finally had a hit from Minot, North Dakota, so it's official I have had readers from all 50 states.

I also had my highest readership 2 days in a row a couple weeks ago. No it wasn't a post on monkey sex, or nudibranchs as surprising as that may be to some people. It was from a post I did about Kelli wearing a half cast splint on her leg after fracturing her knee cap while slipping walking across to the rock in the Grotto. There is this thing called the Brace & Cast Forum online that evidently deals with braces, splints, casts and the injuries they are used to treat. Someone had found my blog and written something about it in German, and the next thing I knew I was getting hits from all over the world of people either reading about Kelli's experience or looking at this picture of her wearing her splint.
I guess it just goes to show you never know what will grab people's attention, but since my blog is not really about winning any contests or having the most number of readers, I don't really care that much about those results. My blog will continue to be about diving and pictures of critters under the sea, no I won't be seduced by the numbers offered by the brace & cast enthusiasts. But the important thing is that we have determined once and for all that North Dakota does indeed exist.

Logging Dives & Dive Computers

I managed to get in 6 dives over the weekend that almost got me to my goal of 30 dives for the month of June, I wound up with 29 dives in June, which puts me at 119 for the year so far. So barring any unforseen complications I should be able to easily hit 200 dives for the year. To non-divers, they are probably saying "so what?". But most avid divers realize that for anyone who doesn't dive for a living, 200 dives in a year is a pretty remarkable achievement, and this will be my 3rd time to get over 200 dives in a year.

I wish now that I had always kept better records of all my dives, but sadly I didn't log any of them when I first started diving. I didn't start logging any of them at all until about 10 years ago, so I had missed recording the first several hundred dives that I had done. Now I have a dive computer that downloads all the information from my dives to my laptop computer, so all I have to add is the location, people who dove with me and my comments. It's a great way to make sure that you stay on top of your dive log. When you just have a book you write everything in, you tend to get busy, and forget to update it. Then by the time you finally get around to it, you've forgotten most of the pertinent information. With my dive computer, which also doubles as my regular watch, I always download all the dives on Monday morning after my weekend of diving, then I add all the other information. It's great to be able to look back and remember dives and people who have gone with me in years past. There are many awesome dive computers out there to choose from these days, but if I were giving advice on which one to get, I'd highly recommend the Scubapro Xtender. You can buy the computer and the download kit to let you download all the information onto your laptop or home computer for about $500. I have never had any problems with the computer and got over 250 dives on the computer before I had to replace the battery. Using a dive computer is essential for the type of diving I do these days, but it's also essential for recording valuable dive information and making sure I keep a detailed log of all my dives. If keeping records of your dives is something you've gotten out of the habit of doing, I'd highly recommend you start it up again. One of these days you'll want to look back and remember, and your dive logs will serve you much better than your memory, I can guarantee it!