Sunday, August 25, 2013

That being said, I got my certification today

My SCUBA instructor grabs me at about 20 feet and has me ascend with him while the rest of the class stays below. After we get to the surface this exchange occurs:

Me: "Hey. Whatssup?"
Him: "There's blood in your mask."
Me: "Awesome."
Him: "Not awesome."

Seems I just gave myself a nosebleed while equalizing. Either that or the nanobots in my bloodstream have received the kill code and are beginning the zombie apocalypse with me as patient zero. Again.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

And the backs of my hands are sunburned

Day one of open water dives.
My instructor, who bears more than a passing resemblance to Ted Raimi (although he points out, rightly, that he usually gets "Harry Connick Jr.") assuaged my one concern which was to let me go really slowly to depth. It just takes a while for my ears to equalize.
In practice this meant that I went down to the 24' platform with the former company member of the San Francisco Ballet* as she has similar concerns to me. So we go slow.
I certainly have to hydrate better for tomorrow.
Even in the quarry the water was not particularly cold although we may go deeper tomorrow and will need hoods and gloves.
You know that whole thing where I learned how to use dive tables and such? I think we don't do that at all in the PADI Open Water Diver certification. I mean zero. Nothing. Nada.
This morning it occurred to me that I'm doing this solely to impress my friends. I'm lookin' at you, Joe Chapman.

*I say this in order to make my life seem more glamorous. Is it working?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Andrew Bellware

It has been presented to my attention that I need to include my name [Andrew Bellware] any time I blog in order to Andrew Bellware have my name come up (Andrew Bellware) on a Google -- Andrew Bellware -- search for Bellware {Andrew Bellware} first.

I am in desperate and deep competition with cousins of mine for this #Andrew Bellware # contest wherein the victor is awarded one (1) Internet.

Tags: Andrew Bellware. Bellware, Andrew

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Every once in a while I like to remind that my blognitude is multifurbicated. is the "official" blog of Pandora Machine, the film company. is whatever random thing Andrew Bellware is saying (and making his dad complain about because it causes too much email with posts about, you know, whatever I say on here.) is the blog for music and suchly, including the band Diatomaceous Earth

Monday, August 19, 2013

Table Dive

So I feel more comfy with my dive shop now that I called them and got the guy who was interested in, you know, helping customers to talk to me about what the open water dive is all about. Because otherwise I was just going to cancel and go through another shop (see comments below).
From what I can tell, the whole thing where I studied how to read dive tables and calculate my pressure group based on how much time I've had in-between dives and such is completely irrelevant to the first level of open water diver. I can't understand why that would be true but apparently it is.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Type Like an Animal

Ed, Todd, Scott, Drew
The single funniest line the entire night was when we got into Scott's Mustang I was laughing too much to say my address into the GPS voice recognition system. Disgustedly Scott took back the GPS and said "I'll just have to type it in like an animal."

Friday, August 16, 2013

Silent Running

I just had the most frustrating customer experience at my local dive shop, PanAqua. I came in to get fitted for and to rent and buy the gear I need for my open water dives. At first I was being helped but then another customer came in so the two people working decided to swap customers.
This meant that the woman helping me decided to take time out to call someone and tell them how incredibly busy she was. You know, rather than actually getting me checked out. So busy. Oh. So busy.

Getting information was like pulling teeth. And it's a real problem when you don't know what you don't know. Meaning, that I realized I didn't know stuff, but I didn't even know in what categories I didn't know stuff. So: the dive computer. Never touched one before. Are we planning dives with this thing? It only has two buttons. The cover is scratched up to the point where it's a tad difficult to read. Is there some sort of manual for it? One I can read? Somewhere? Who knows?
I seriously and fundamentally have no idea what I'm doing next weekend. I mean, is this safe? Should I be looking into another dive shop for my open water dives?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Bun Air

The HEED is an emergency air device for helicopter crews.
Scubapro makes a full-face mask for under $600 (without regulator).

Friday, August 09, 2013

Done with the pool

The whole SCUBA process is pretty amazing. They have really made recreational diving about as stupid-proofed as possible. Every part of the gear and the system has been engineered and thought through so that literally a child can do it (PADI minimum age for the basic SCUBA certification is 10 years old.)
I have found a new love in my life. The 2nd-stage regulator. I love the regulator.

I mean, if you don't understand what I'm talking about, let me put it in a way you can understand.
With the regulator you can breathe underwater.
You can breathe. Underwater.
The regulator is simply a brilliant and marvelous invention. But here's the thing. Breathing underwater with a regulator is not actually the weirdest and most whack experience when learning SCUBA. No. Breathing from a free flowing regulator is the most whack thing.
Essentially if your regulator is free-flowing (no longer behaving like a demand regulator but rather just spitting out air like crazy) you can't keep it in your mouth. So you have to drink the air from the regulator. Underwater. Nothing's in your mouth, you're just breathing from a stream of air being cupped in your hand.
That is a counter-intuitive feeling.
You go through a crazy amount of air when you do that. I lost 800lbs of air pressure in my tank from a 30-second free flow. So if you're free-flowing you should be thinking about getting to the surface.
I cannot over-emphasize how good the advice from Joe (below) is. Be the fish God intended you to be.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

"Y" Because We Love You

My Mac keyboard died. Specifically what happened is that I spilled water on it and the "y" key just up and died. Typing emails without the letter "y" became interesting. But I got a new keyboard today. Rejoice.

Here is a by-no-means-complete guide to Theatresource folks who have Fringe shows this year. Fact is that so many people have been through or done shows at Theatresource that you'd be hard-pressed to get a final count.
Coinstar. It's a coin depositing thing in supermarkets. Nominally they charge a fee but they don't charge a fee if you get, for instance, an Amazon gift card in the amount of change you put in. And for me that's pretty much just like getting cash.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Saturday, August 03, 2013

Joe Chapman's advice on SCUBA

Don't forget rule numero uno: breathe! Or your head will explode.  Also, when scuba diving, the surface is your enemy - get as far below it as possible.  Let yourself sink, and love the deep. Above all, remain relaxed at all times. Don't fight with bouyancy, especially in a pool - just settle to the bottom, relax for a bit, and then start tapping a little air into your bc to figure it out. And when sinking, GENTLY valsalva - GENTLY! 
Too many people turn learning to dive into a stressful fight - don't!

Be the fish god intended for you to be. As long as that regulator is feeding you air, you're a fish. Flash a thumbs up to the instructor(s) a lot - it makes them feel like you're not dying and they'll leave you alone.  (Yeah, you're gonna want to use the "okay" sign, even though, technically, it should be the sign for "deadly 3 tentacled octopus!") But if you have to pee, use the thumbs up then surface and make your way to the nearest restroom because if you pee in the pool while breathing compressed air then you could explode and as I've stated earlier - big mess that nobody likes.

Also, BREATHE! Or you'll explode, and nobody wants to clean up that mess.

Also, keep your cell phone in your BC pocket, and if you have any questions while you're below, call me.

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Marco Pillow

This is a delightfully bizarre video by Sketkh Williams, who was a zombie in Earthkiller:


Picture taken by my sister this morning.
(Left to right) Dad, Iona, Sir Winston, Meydl.