I have a photoshoot tonight for the SPCA. It is a black-tie event at a war museum. Open bar (volunteers cannot partake) and food available. I will be there a few hours shooting. Should be interesting. I’ll have shots to post tomorrow after we see how it goes!
Tonight was meditation night 3 of my intro to meditation series. I was meditating on emotion. After a long day, big meal and a beer, my emotional state was relaxed and sleepy. This led to observation of a heavy head. I felt strange heavy waves sweeping across my head from back to front, like deep electrical pulses. I caught myself headed towards dreaming and came back, observing what that experience was like. I felt my dry and heavy eyes behind their lids. It was really interesting to explore sleepiness so deeply and showed how amazing rest can be. This practice gets more interesting every day.
Tomorrow we learn to meditate on our thoughts. This is the pinnacle for me. I have wanted to get there for some time. I think I can flesh a lot out once I start this. I have been doing all of these self improvement practices for so long now, but I think this will be the most valuable.
Finally went back to Epcot. It’s been almost 2 decades, long overdue. Made it all the way around the tiny world.
First we got into the park and the space ship ride. You are in a cockpit and it feels like the rocket takes off, sends you to Mars, and give you the full package, vomiting and all. Then we did a pretty race car thing sponsored by Nissan… Clearly one giant ad to climb inside of. Then we went on a ride that was hang gliding around the world. Finally the good stuff, we toured the around the world and drinking while I took pics and Cody shot video with his new GoPro.
Check out some of the photos here.
My first dive was awesome (and my second). We went to Blue Grotto first thing this morning. I got up and 4:30 and on the road before 5:30. I was the first one there, at the gate at 7:30am.
The second ones were Robert and his wife (I forget her name). We talked for a half hour before they all showed up and the gate was opened. We set up at the picnic table and went to sign the waiver and watch a video about the cavern.
Once we got back and suited up, I was the first down the steps to the water. I got in before the whole group even made it down there. It was really cold at first, but after a minute or two it wasn’t bad. Pepe the resident turtle was hanging out by me.
Once we were all in, we dove to the first platform at about 15’. We all met there, then moved on down into the cavern. I had no defogger for the first dive. I couldn’t see anything. My tank was also low to start.
We all took turns poking our heads into the dive bell. It is a pocket of air (pumped in from the surface) that is in a bell on the roof of the cavern. This was really cool. After that, we moved down to 60’, Peace Rock. We sat there and looked into the dark cave. It goes to about 110’. We aren’t certified for that. The group continued to follow the cavern, but I was at 1500PSI, which is 1/2 a tank. You have to turn back at that point. So I turned to John, my dive buddy, and gave the signal. We swam back to the first platform and waited for the group.
After everyone else got to the platform (about 5 minutes later) and decompressed for 3 minutes, we surfaced, that was dive one. A couple issues, but not bad.
We went to the picnic tables and hung out talking for about 45 minutes. The instructor, Rocky, had another class with him. They were doing dives between ours. We needed 30 minutes anyways to reduce our nitrogen levels in our blood.
We suited up after the wait and hopped back in. Someone let me borrow some defogger at the bench, so my mask was crystal clear this time. There were big catfish and a couple other kinds under the dock. We did drills on the 10’ platform this time (mostly just flooding our mask with water and clearing it.). Then we dove back to Peace Rock at 60’. This time I had plenty of air. Me and John cruised around the whole cavern. It was incredible. I was holding the roof, looking at the shells in the wall, and blowing bubbles, watching the trail follow the wall 60’ to the surface. After a while, we went back up to decompress. The whole experience was amazing.
Next week we dive in the Gulf. This will be pretty wild. All kinds of things live out there, who knows what we will see. Can’t wait!
The brain is inconceivably complex, so much so that trying to understand its mysteries through a network of equations is like trying to collect the sea with fishing nets. The brain has more trees than the jungle, more streets than a great city, is more plastic than the desert’s sand, more changeable than the waves of the sea. And who would hope to reduce the endless wavering of the dunes, the bustling traffic of the market, the tangle of leaves and animals in the jungle canopy, to a series of equations, or worse, to a set of numbers?
A little Friday marketing department humor
Another evening in paradise
We got to the hanger around 10am. Karl answered the door. The first thing he said was “Aw man, what time are you guys supposed to go?” He was a little quirky. He said he had to do something for 15 minutes. We went upstairs and watched a DVD on flight. The office was like a small apartment in the top of the airplane hanger. Karl was talking to his girlfriend/wife about “Well guess we aren’t going to make that flight to lunch”. He came in after about 30 minutes. He told us about himself and showed us pictures from his flights on Facebook. He was an ex-marine pilot and flew his first plane at age 12. This guy was a character.
We went out into the hanger. There it was, the Lancer. This thing can seat 6 and looks like a luxury car from the 90s inside. The A/C didn’t work well. I sat in the back with my camera gear. Dad sat in the pilot seat. Karl said “You sit there, you’re flying this thing”. I was a little nervous now.
From takeoff through the whole flight, dad had the controls. I shot a lot of pictures. Karl gave a lot of instruction. About half way through, flying over the beach, I started feeling real sick. My face went numb and tingled. My whole body tingled. My hands seized up. I was frozen. I felt like I would throw up or black out. I asked what to do and Karl said to move up a seat. That helped a little.
We landed safely. It was a pretty fun ride. We went back up stairs and Karl told us about becoming a pilot for about 30 minutes. That was it. Dad had flown his first plane. After, we realized, Karl never took the payment certificate, let alone even got our names…