Dive Report 17: Bean Ledge – Squam Lake, NH

7/24/05 – Daniel from Scubaboardand I pulled anchor from the Marina in Holderness and headed for Bean Ledge, which sits somewhere between Sandwich and Center Harbor and is marked by nearly a half dozen buoys due to the rocks that dot the shallows in the area. We anchored on the south-western side of the ledge and swam north along the ledge, deep the shallow and observed many small bass and one large dead trout. We ascended and swam along the surface back to the boat.

  • Max Depth: 62ft
  • Dive Time: 20m
  • Visibility: 20ft in the shallows, less at greater depths

Adsense and Facial Hair – yes, they’re related.

I’m thinking about putting adsense ads on the front page of callblog. Heres the issue: I use the free version of Opera, and it’s unobtrusive google text ads are always the same or very similar to adsense ads on the page I’m looking at. When I’m looking at individual entries, the ads are usually related to the content of the entry in some way. When I’m looking at callblog’s front page, the ads are for beard and goatee trimmers. Granted, I do have a pretty sweet goatee. I’m just not sure why google obsesses over it so much.

That being said, bring on the wacky beards!

beards, goatees, chin beards, mustache, adsense, google, beard contest

Spiegel Grove righted by Hurrican Dennis

In June 2002, the 510 ft USS Spiegel Grove was set to make diving history by becoming the largest ship ever scuttled to form an artificial reef. Highly anticipated by divers, it was hoped that the Spiegle Grove would provide an alternate site for SCUBA diving and therefore reduce traffic on the fragile coral reefs around the Florida keys. Unfortunately, the ship was a little over-anxious to get underwater and began to sink prematurely, capsizing and coming to reset with stern sitting on the ocean floor and the bow floating on the surface. It sat in that position for a month until engineers were able to lay her to rest on her side on the sandy ocean floor where she sat for the next 3 years. Further efforts were made to right the ship, but all failed.

Enter hurricane Dennis, whose winds caused 20ft waves that drove ocean currents much faster then normal, and as luck would have, imparted enough force to flip the Spiegle Grove right side up. Before and after pictures can be found at spiegelgrove.com. More information on the history of the USS Spiegel Grove can be found at The University Of Indiana’s Spiegel Grove page.

Scuba, Spiegle Grove, Hurrican Dennis, Key Largo

Firefly on Sci-Fi

Cancel your appointments and mark you calendars for this Friday night. At 7pm the Sci-Fi Channel will bring Joss Whedon‘s Firefly back to the small screen. Its first time on TV, in 2002, Firefly was totally porked by the Fox Network, who’s executives decided it would be good to play the episodes out of order and at different times each week. The show was canceled before all the episodes had even aired.

Fast forward to December 9th, 2003. Firefly is released on DVD and it rockets to #1 on Amazon.com’s best seller list. Fast forward again to 2005. On September 30th, Serenity, a movie based on Firefly will be released, and a comic book series chronicles the time between the end of the series and beginning of the movie.

Some of you may be perplexed. Normally, “failed� television shows aren’t made into major motion pictures. The thing is, Firefly is really, really good. The only reason that it’s not still on TV is because someone at Fox set out to destroy it and nearly succeeded, but I really enjoy watching the series and I even installed a corner tv wall mount to watch it comfortable. It takes a pretty amazing show to put corporate America in it’s place, and Firefly has done that. It’s risen from the dead. Do yourself a favor and give it a chance this Friday. Then, if you find yourself a newly converted browncoat (slang for a Firefly fan), buy the DVDs, encourage your friends to check it out, and go see Serenity on September 30th.

World Freediving Record

A little dated, but late last month, a Dutch gentlemen by the name of Patrick Musimu smashed the no-limits free driving record by taking a big breath, riding a weighted sled down to 209.6m below sea level then being pulled back to the surface by a balloon. The whole trip took just under 3 and half minutes and he did it while fighting off an intestinal infection. I think I can speak for the whole world when I say “Holy freakin’ crap, that’s deep!”

Judging from Musimu’s letter to the freediving community [found here], it’s gone to his head (not that I can blame him for that), but I think I’d still rather train with Umberto Pelizari at the Apnea Academy.

My New DVD Burner

Today UPS delivered my Sony DVD+/-RW DL Drive from PC Connection. Sad to say, it’s my first ever DVD drive. Sadder to say, I have no computer in which to install an IDE optical drive. While I haven’t used this new drive, I have seen the same model in action at work, at it performs like a trooper (after you update the firmware, anyway). Also you get the option of a futuristic beige/silver bezel or a sleek, professional black bezel, although if it is the biggest PITA to switch. This is a “while supplies last” item, and for $39.95 after rebate, plus shipping it’s a steal for a brand-name drive with these specs in a retail box.

On another note, Hypothermia, which aparently has butt-tons of give-aways (since that’s all I ever see them do), is doing a donation drive for Child’s Play an organization set up by the dudes at Penny Arcade that gives video games and video game systems to children’s hospitals. Oh, and your $5 donation gets you a chance to win a sweet-ass Penny Arcade themed gaming powerhouse of a computer, if you’re into that sort of thing, or need some incentive more then a warm cuddly feeling to donate a few American dolarini’s to a good cause.

Dive Report 16: Rocky Bound Pond – Croydon, NH

July 3rd, 2005. Started the day by snorkling close to shore, recovering numerous spent fireworks, a couple of golf balls, a clorox bottle full of sand, and a brand new rubbermaid lighter (which the neighbors quickly claimed). Next on SCUBA, I explored the (only slightly) deeper waters further from shore and saw little other then the soft mud bottom.
Other Facts:

  • Surface Temperature: ~80F
  • Water Temp: ~70F
  • Visability: ~7ft
  • Bottom Time 18 minutes
  • Max Depth 12ft

PAX

As if to mock me, Tycho from Penny Arcade announced today that the preregistration period PAX has been slightly extended. I would’ve been all over attending, were it not held on the other side of the country.

I’ve been out of the gaming loop for quite some time. The most exciting game in my life right now is The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, a game that came out nearly 5 years ago (10/2005)! There have been just as many Zelda releases since it came out as there were before it came out! I am playing the version ported to the cube, so I’m not entirely behind on console gaming, but PC gaming? Criminy, the last PC game that I bought anywhere near the release date was Neverwinter Nights and that came out June of 2002, although I probably didn’t buy it until July.

I’m thinking of picking up a low-end business PC with a Athlon 64 in the upper 2 or lower 3GHz range, slapping 2 gigs of RAM and a high end ATI card in it and rounding off the package with a 17″ LCD display. Once I got that hardware, I wouldn’t even know what to do with it. I’m not sure what the kids are playing these days. A quick look on some gaming sites reveals names like Guild Wars, Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, and Star Wars: Republic Commando. I’m not sure which direction I’d want to go. It seems that these days most games are played multiplayer over the internet. Last time I had a computer capable of playing modern games, I was still on dial-up.

Anyone reading this looking forward to a game that I should be in the loop on? I hope to release mass pwnzage on the world in the coming months.

Dive Report 15: Stinson Lake – Rumney, NH

July 2nd, 2005. Kicked around and blew some bubbles off a friend’s camp on Stinson lake in Rumney, NH. Started off the season with a bang by dropping a fin as a shuffled towards deeper water. After recovering and securing it to my foot, I headed for deeper waters. There wasn’t a whole lot to look at, but there were logs on the bottom, with at least 2 standing upright. I managed to recover 6 golf balls and sighted one anchor, but I wasn’t equipped to bring it back with me or mark it’s location.

While perhaps not the most interesting place in the world to dive, I can think of at least 3 more dives that I’d like to do here.

  1. Recover the anchor
  2. Explore the big rock by the boat launch. This could probably be done on just a snorkle and still be just as fun
  3. Explore the deeper waters outside of the cove

Other Facts:

  • Surface Temperature: ~80F
  • Visability: ~10ft
  • Bottom Time 18 minutes
  • Max Depth 22ft