Narcissus' Echo

Thoughts, tears, rants, ruminations, hopes, fears, love(s), and prayers of just another being passing through this wracked sphere...

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A round peg in a world of square holes...

Sunday, July 03, 2005

Coolest dog ever

And it's a Bulldog too!

Move aside, Tony Hawk!

I had this unusually big and fat, Boxer by the name of Rex. When he feels tired during a walk, he would just sit down, and no amount of pushing, pulling on the leash, threats, pleas, or bribes with dog biscuits, would get him to lift his 125 lb butt until he decides to move again--and I am not about to attempt carrying the fellow. So, if anyone recalled occasionally observing a tall (1.87m / 6' 2"), lanky young man sitting by the side of Upper Bukit Timah Road in Singapore, with a large panting Boxer in the 80s and 90s, now you know why...

Been looking at compact digital cameras lately. It's probably going to be a Canon. I am shying away from a SLR at the moment as the marine housings for SLRs are rather expensive. That, and I am not totally comfortable diving with 3 to 4 tanks, managing (breathing) gas switches, and manipulating a large, 2-handled SLR marine housing--all while dodging currents, and avoiding being entangled in kelp. Forget about a buddy coming to my aid, I mostly dive solo (I am trained to do so) and have to be self-sufficient. There is very little out there that is more liberating and relaxing than driving right up to an isolated beach, gearing up to the whistle of the wind, the cries of the sea gulls (no mindless chatter from dive buddies or clueless newbies), walking down the expanse of virgin sand, and spending the next 2 to 4 hours under the waves in a kelp forest, alone in the Pacific Ocean. Sometimes, if I am lucky, I am even treated to the spectacle of a sea otter prying an unfortunate abalone free from the sea bed...

2 years go, whilst diving in the South China Sea, in the waters off Pulau Redang in Malaysia, I was treated to a most curious sight: a family of giant Puffer fish (file photo) observing me.

The trio ranged from 2 feet to 4 feet in length, and about a foot wide in girth. As the sea bed was sand all around, I let all the air out of my BCD (Buoyancy Compensator Device), sank down and sat there, at 57 feet, watching them as the adult (Daddy?) Puffer fish taught junior how to execute backflips and hover upside down vertically. The other adult (Mommy?) Puffer fish kept an eye out for predators. All too soon 20 minutes had elapsed, my breathing supply began to run low, and it was time to bid goodbye to the Puffer fish family, and swim back to shore. They should really begin stocking twin 80 / 90 / 100 cu. ft. tanks at resorts. (Then again, most recreational divers do not know how to manipulate a set of twin tanks with an isolation manifold. Besides, their BCDs aren't equipped to handle more than 1 tank at a time anyway.) With my present set, I could have sat there for an hour and a half or so. On my next trip to P. Redang, I am either going to lug my own twinset(s) or a closed-circuit rebreather (8 hours worth of bottom time, regardless of depth. hubba hubba hubba!) along. [Rebreather FAQ]

Divers hanging on to a descent / ascent line to the 7 Skies wreck in the South China Sea (nice current, eh? I like the "clothes on a line in a stiff breeze" effect--in retrospect, of course. Notice how rapidly the divers' exhaust bubbles are swept away...):

Here is a picture of my genius ex-neighbor, Julio, attempting to dive on the cheap (I guess he wasn't kidding when he said, "Never underestimate what you can do with cinderblocks"):

The last time I heard from Julio, he was talking about how TV repairmen overcharge and he was going to repair his 48" projection TV himself...

Missed out an deal on the Canon SD500 7.1 Megapixel DIGIC II for US$300 delivered. It is sold out now and the next lowest price is US$439.99. Bummer. The WP-DC800 marine housing, albeit rated only to 100 feet / 30 meters, is an extremely affordable US$179.99 and is sufficient for most of the recreational-level diving in the Monterey Bay Area. The SD500 uses a SD card instead of the CF card though. The CF cards are more robust and reliable as they contain an embedded chip which manages housekeeping for the data. Other memory cards do not possess this feature.


Blogger crufty said...

That dog has a better sense of balance than me!

2:53 AM  
Blogger -ben said...

that Bulldog can skateboard better than me. The one and only time I stepped on a skateboard, I fell flat on my a55...

11:47 AM  

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