Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Here I Sit...

... one month on. Yes, one whole entire month ago. I arrived in the Cayman islands to pursue a dream that had remained elusive for far too long. Now, here I sit on the front porch of the house I live in, lovingly dubbed the Olive Garden, enjoying a stiff Rum and Coke. Dave Matthews is serenading me through my laptop speakers as I contemplate just how lucky I am. It's a daily occurrence. I stop, think about where I've been, where I'm going, and just smile.

   This house is called the Olive Garden for two things I guess - It's drab olive colour, and the "jungle" that grows thick around it could be misconstrued as a garden. I find it quite relaxing. I snapped this self portrait on the last days off I had.

   I love working here. I get up in the morning everyday, and though I may be tired, once I walk across the road to Ocean Frontiers, I am excited. Always looking forward to my first dive of the day. Meeting new and interesting people. Even when I am not diving, and I'm stuck on surface watch, looking out at the expanse of the Caribbean Sea knowing that below the boat the ocean floor drops to well below 6,000ft I am thrilled. There are mysteries down there, and new adventures waiting for me, new divers I train, or experienced divers. We get to live the dream together. It's just everything I've wanted.

   I work hard, long days, with sometimes 4 or even 5 dives a day, but what is the alternative? Shoveling and wheelbarrowing. Or being stuck in an office. Or a classroom. I'll take my long days on a tropical Island thanks!

   Last weekend I went to town with some coworkers in their Jeep. This vehicle is not like my jeep. It is a late 80's Jeep TJ that survived Hurricane Ivan, but would have been better off succumbing to the forces of nature. It does not have a roof. It has lots of rust. The rust though, allows the water deposited in the interior from storms, to just leak out the holes in the floor. It kind of makes sense... In a skewed tropical state of thinking. I enjoyed the sea breeze tussling my hair. Until it rained. Hard. We got very wet. I guess the upside is I was no longer as hot. Oh! And we went to the bar to get dry! That is where things took a turn for the worse.

   Very quickly, we got to the pub, ordered drink and wings (it being Wing Wednesday). We had both BBQ and Hot. The hot weren't too bad. All day they had been egging me on to try to "Suicide" Hot Wings. I though if the Hot weren't too bad, and the Suicide were only 2 notches up the heat scale, how bad could they be? And, if you eat all 6 you get them for free. Easy peasy.... I thought. First, the bartender scoffed. Then she brought out the Liability Release and Waiver. I was scared. When the wings arrived my strategy was to eat them as fast as possible. Only six little wings! One and a half later, I was done, finished, crying. Ready to Vomit. Or commit suicide to make the pain go away. The pain lasted well into the night. The boys got their laugh, and I paid for my wings.

   On a nicer note, I came home one night last week to a friendly little creature hanging out on my pillow -

Very brave, and much cuter than this lovely surprise I found in the hallway of the house on morning. Just one of the many joys of living here!
If you weren't able to gather from my last few paragraphs that I am blissfully happy, perhaps I need to practice the art of writing more often. I'm very comfortable here, and I fully believe that island life suits me. It's quiet, but one can still meet great people and have a great time. I do foresee in the far future needing a change, though. If I had one "complaint," it would be the lack of a true, discernible Caymanian culture. To me, it just seems to be a mixing-pot of English, American and Jamaican. I have yet to find any thing that stands out to me as unique. 

   In contrast, while in Thailand, you find the people have their own style of cooking. Their own language, beliefs. There is no other Thailand. I can't find anything in the cayman culture that stands out to me. I think, after my time here, if I am still looking to work within this industry or some aspect of it, I'd love to work somewhere in the South Pacific. While flying to and from Australia I had stop-overs in Fiji, and they as a country and culture, seemed unique! They were not a country that was just colonized and assimilated...

   Oh well, I'm sure I can last here a few years, with diving (and a career) this breathtaking... ;)

These photos and a few other new ones available here.

Speak Soon,

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


So I'm shit at keeping this updated. But I just don;t care to write anymore... I'm too busy enjoying life. Sorry. How can I make it up to you? Photo's you say? Really? That's all? Okay - click here.

2 new albums - One of my afternoon diving yesterday. Photo's both above and below the water. The second is just snapshots of the area and bars!


Sunday, July 18, 2010

A New Frontier

Ocean Frontiers. My current place of employment for the foreseeable future.

I arrived here ok, if not tired on Friday to stormy weather and a quick tour of the area and my accommodation. The house is nice, if not a bit dirty, but that's fine. I can live with the scenery - tropical plants, hammocks, and our household puppy Maryposita. She's a cutie! I have pictures for later when I can use the shop internet from the building itself. I'm currently across the road, up a drive way and behind a concrete wall. Oddly enough the connection isn't very good. I have a room to myself with one set of bunk beds, and no new staff for the next few weeks, so the room is all mine! There's a girl living next door in a room to herself, and one of the cleaning lady's lives in the other end of the house with her young daughter, who is such a sweetie. My favourite bit? We also have a kitten that live with us! He doesn't have a name yet, but we're quite fond of each other!

Saturday I sat around and watched some more tropical thunder storms and lighting while listening to thunder BOOM over head. Was pretty boring... I just wanted to get to work! I managed to snap a few pictures of our pets and the house... will get those up when internet picks up.

Had my first day of work today... Was long, tiring and hot, but not nearly as long tiring and hot as hard landscaping in the Shuswap! The diving is amazing, the people are nice, but it is the busiest week this place has ever seen, so I'm a bit lost. I just keep busy, keep asking for things to do... Will expand on the work later when i have the energy and a touch more Battery life left.


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Salmon Arm,

I dedicate this video to you.

Warning: Language!

Sunday, July 11, 2010


...I bid you adieu. I say goodbye to you after near a year together. You kept my face warm. You made me look well beyond my 22 years. Well, I think you made me look gosh darn handsome if i do say so myself (I know at least one girl who would agree). Most importantly, having you around my chin allowed me to avoid my least favourite bit of morning routine: shaving. It's bittersweet, but I'm back with my razor... I'm sorry, I had to!

You see, I've gotten a new job that sounds absolutely wonderful. Having that job requires me to keep up a professional image, not to mention the fact that having a clean shaven face allows my dive mask to seal better. Important when spending hours in the water teaching others Scuba. Yes! The rumours are true. I've accepted a job in the Cayman Islands with Ocean Frontiers. There, I will be Dive Instructor/Boat Crew/Front Desk Guy. To say I'm excited is an understatement.

This is what I spent 6 months on the Great Barrier Reef and 7 months in Poo-Hole Pattaya training for. This is what I'm good at. This is my passion. I've taken a few detours over the past year and a half, but I'm finally within reach of my dream. Don't forget now, these dreams were but seeds in my head 3 years ago when I began my own Open Water training (learning to dive). Now here I am, embarking on a venture that may see me working and living in the Caribbean for possibly up to 7 years. No more Poo Hole. No more Detours. No more Beard. A new chapter.

As of this coming Thursday July 15th, I will once again be a true expatriate (for a while), and life will be be far more interesting to write about. So, I promise to keep this blog updated, regularly, with further tales of my escapades above and below the surface.

I guess I should go shave again - stuff grows in quick over 3 days!


Monday, May 17, 2010

I'll be back...

Okay, now that I'm back into my own apartment (a different one - more on that later) I'll get back to writing. I am slowly getting the urge again now that my laptop is back on a desk.

Lots to catch you all up on, but not enough time right now. Its bed time, as early rising for work in the a.m.!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Copper Island Diving

So, it's been a while again, I know. Things are just now starting to get interesting in this town. No longer do I work, go home, eat, read, sleep - with slight variations. Thursday night I joined the owner of Copper Island Diving, Paul, his girlfriend, and his full time instructor Sherri at the pool to practice cold water skills, and to brush up on some teaching.

Friday morning was a beautiful day to work. The sun was shining, and temperatures were supposed to reach 22 degrees Celsius! Our boss took us out for a big breakfast at 6am, as he does some Fridays, then we headed out to the farm where we were finishing up our job for the week. By 10am, I was done work and at home. I phoned the Dive shop to see if I could join them teaching a group of High School students in the pool. My assistance was welcomed with open arms, and I packed up my still wet dive kit, then hopped in the jeep and went down to the shop. We packed up 13 tanks and enough kit for 10 students, then made our way to the pool.

All the students had a classroom session on a Friday past, so we worked with them, helping them assemble their gear, kit up, and enter the water. Once in the shallow end of the pool, we did the usual "Try Dive," or "Discover Scuba Diving" skills, the mask clear and regulator remove/replace. We did a bit of buoyancy practice and confidence building swim in the shallow end, then we made our way to the deep end for a bit of a play. There's a was a bit of up and down, and some fins to the face, but everyone had a blast, and we spent  a good half hour just swimming around, watching the kids try and get their buoyancy down as they swam about and tossed the underwater frisbee around. It was so much fun, and great to be back into an Instructor position, as intermittent as it may be.

This coming Tuesday night an Open Water Diver Class is starting, and I'll be sitting in on that, seeing how SSI does things! It will basically be an orientation for the students, and a bit of an explanation of the equipment, before they get in the pool on Thursday. I'm looking forward to it! One step closer to being both a PADI and SSI Instructor. AND, at some point I may even be able to work at the shop on Saturdays, manning the front desk, doing sales, that kind of thing.

Check out the shop's new website here. The site is still under construction...

Will be Drysuit diving next weekend if all goes well!

Speak soon, Brock

Saturday, March 27, 2010


Not sure if any of you have heard of Chatroulette yet. It's an interesting concept, with limitless interactions available. I recommend reading this article at CNET.com to get a feeling of what the site is about, and to see a few videos of it in action. I think the whole idea is phenomenal. Random meetings with total strangers anywhere in the world. If you need a good laugh, watch both the YouTube Videos embedded in the article. So funny!

I'm too chicken to try it, are you?

Sunday, March 21, 2010


While I sit here tapping away at the keys of my laptop, I want you to know I am enjoying a piece of nearly the best cake I have ever tasted. This is not your usual Superstore frosted cake. You know the kind. Halfway through a piece you realize the frosting tastes like what you'd imagine Diabetes tasting like, and you start to scrape it off or pass it on to a young child. Preferably the child of someone else. This cake... the frosting is that fancy Fondant stuff they apply in sheets, and it has little flowers stamped on it. Its sweet, but not too sweet. The cake itself... Chocolate. Fluffy, moist, rich. I had a piece for breakfast, and surprising even myself, I saved this one for later. Later being now! The cake is from my Boss' wife's birthday party I attended last night.

The party was an uneventful one. Took place outside, around a wonderful fire. The alcohol flowed freely enough to let the conversation flow as freely. A variety of snacks were set out for the night, and the cake arrived with a tray of matching cupcakes. I had 2 of them. It was a nice little party, with a nice little hangover had by all this morning.

I spent my day on the couch watching a movie and reading a book. The movie was City of God, and I have been hearing mention of this movie for a while now. One of my friends even described it as the best film he had ever seen, and I nearly agree with him. City of God is now up there among my top favourite films. Not the top, but damn near close. It follows the rise of gangs in the slums of Rio de Janeiro from the 60's though the 80's, and we see the story unravel through the eyes of narrator Rocket. Rocket aspires to avoid the violence and crime around him to one day become a professional photographer. The whole film has a grittiness about, a roughness... One particular scene of excessive violence against a young "Runt," the children gangsters, was particularly intense. I highly recommend you see this movie now! ASAP

The book? Blindness, written by Jose Saramago. It was made into a film not too long ago, and I wanted to see it (ironically enough, the film was directed by the director of City of God!), but decided to read the book first. Its the tale of a wave of blindness, affecting a few citizens of a city. This blindness is apparently infectious, so all those affected are quarantined in an abandoned mental institution. As their numbers grow, with the army waiting at the gates to kill any of those attempting to leave, food running short, and tempers short, let the mayhem begin. So far, a good read.

We're working in Revelstoke for the first few days of this week. Its about an hour away, so my day is starting at 6am tomorrow. Fun. I do get paid for the drive there though... I'm looking forward to having a new guy working with us. He starts tomorrow, and from the sounds of it, he and I will be working on a few projects alone this week. He's my age, so will be a good change from working with 2 older family men! We'll see how he works out though. Our work is not for everyone. Matt has had guys walk off the job after 3 hours!

Okay, I need to get off here so I can get back to my book before I crawl into bed super early tonight. Up just after 5 tomorrow!

See you soon, B

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

It's about bloody time...

Actually, it's been ages. For the first time in my entire blogging career I actually procrastinated. That led to more procrastination, which brings me to this point - Trying to squeeze 2 weeks worth of stories into one writing session. It feels like homework now...

So in the past 2 weeks I have:
  • Hung out with my little sister while she was here visiting. We took my Jeep out for a spin in the mud after I had it worked on again at the mechanic. She got to drive - 
  • I've fully moved into my own Bachelor Pad. It. Is. Awesome. I've got it all set up how I like it, with my very own book case with all my own books out of their boxes. I've printed out an array of photos from my  various travels of the past 4 years, all mounted in some nice collage like frames. I'll take some pictures of the various rooms when I get a camera.
  • I spent half of last week and the weekend with my mom, her boyfriend, my sister and her boyfriend in Sun Peaks while they worked a conference. I got to ski Friday and Saturday. I. Was. Awesome. If I'm never able to dive, I'll sell all my kit and buy some skis and go be a ski bum. It is so much fun, dodging trees, making fresh tracks in newly fallen Snow. 10cm worth. Its another lifestyle I could see myself gravitating towards. I also drank lots, and hung out with my Aunty Nette, who I have not seen in 6 years! Good week/weekend all around.
I think that's you all about caught up. Having my own place that lacks both Cable and Internet (still, leading to my procrastination) has allowed me to start catching up on some long overdue reading. Now, I've been a Dive Professional since late 2007 when I became an SSI Dive Control Specialist. In 2008, I became a PADI Open Water Scuba Instructor. It's far too easy for someone of my age to feel near invincible in a sport where pushing limits is the norm, though frowned upon. Once becoming a "Pro," it was far too easy to believe I knew it all, and that I could handle any situation like many of my colleagues. Simple to forget that holding an Instructor Card, like a Driver's License, should only allow you to go out and gain experience.

All new dive professionals need to pick up this book, and read it through cover-to-cover - Diver Down: Real-World SCUBA Accidents and How to Avoid Them. I'm only half way through, but I have learned invaluable lessons on nearly every page. The author has a way of writing that makes even the most mundane bits of information (Cave Diver Certifications) an exciting read. The book is divided into short chapters, each dedicated to a single incident. As a pro, I was able to identify with each situation, some hitting too close to home and seeming all too familiar. Go get this book now, especially if you think you know all there is to know in the dive world.

Then, pick up this book - The Last Dive. I began this one a few weeks ago and finally finished it in Sun Peaks over the weekend. Though not nearly as well written as Diver Down, this book delves deep (bad pun) into the history and origins of the more extreme segments of our sport, cave diving and tech diving. Bernie Chowdhury has a habit of repeating himself every few chapters, as if the reader would have forgotten the science behind something, which I found annoying. He does offer an excellent story mixed with a mystery, leading to a terrible accident can't help but know is coming. It's his chapters dedicated to the accidents that truly bring the book alive, and any pro would be foolhardy not to read this book. Especially if you still feel invincible after reading Diver Down. Maybe not the best read for anyone interested in becoming a diver...

As is my usual, here is a song I love RIGHT NOW. The Artist, Phoenix. The song, 1901. It's from that super cool Cadillac Commercial. Enjoy -

See you soon, hope to write sooner, B

Friday, March 5, 2010

I'm workin' on it!

I'll write a full blog post soon. Really, I will! I've been super buys this week sorting out a place to live. I found a nice suite for $525 month, about a 5-10 minute walk from my Boss's house where I start work every morning. I've spent most of the week moving boxes over, setting things up, and trying to scrounge up some furniture with help from my family. Should be ready to move in this weekend, as I managed to get a queen size mattress, box spring, bed frame, desk, dresser and coffee table for $55 at the second hand store! I'll be buying myself a nice sheet set tomorrow and 2 more pillows, then I just need to do a grocery shop on Saturday.

Very much looking forward to having my own space for the first time, ever! Exhausted now and must sleep after a very tough (physically) week at work, and late nights getting my place ready.

Will right more soon, promise!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Crazy Cat Lady

Well, it has been a few buys days. I'm currently in the process of trying to find my own place, and it's been interesting to say the least. First place I checked out? Yes, Crazy Cat Lady. I kid you not. I should have backed right out of the driveway when I saw 2 cat-scratch posts in the window, and 2 hair covered cat beds sitting outside the front door. The house was nice, if not a bit messy. The stench of cat wee did hit my like a brick when I first walked in, and as soon as I was warned to keep my door shut to prevent one of the cats spraying on my belongings, I realized it probably wasn't for me. Oh! Crazy Cat Lady's 98 year old mother also lives in the basement. My kind of company! Partay!

   I checked out one nice guy's place, but he was a bit older and we'd have to share the kitchen and entryway. Very nice place, with lots of room to myself, but if I wanted to live with my dad, I'd stay here. The winner though, would have to be my visit to a brand new, two floor home, with huge bay windows looking down the length of Shushwap lake's Salmon Arm (the arm of the lake, not the city) with mountains framing the view. Beautiful home, but she was older than my Grandmother, and seemingly a whole lot stricter. Once again, not my thing! Today I went to Blind Bay, about 20 minutes away to see about a room to rent in a split level home. Very nice.  Two guys in their early 20's live there full time, and the homeowner is 30ish, and splits her time between Kamloops. I had the choice of a very small room for $375/month, or a Master Bedroom w/Ensuite, newly renovated for $575 a month. Newly Reno'd to the max. Stunning place. Almost a lake view from the huge deck with BBQ, and a large backyard. I think the single thing holding me back from jumping on it is the 20 minute drive, and the amount of fuel I'd end up paying for this summer for all the back 'n' forth. I've got a full 1 BDRM Suite to look at tomorrow not far from here (my Dad's house) and even closer to my Boss's house, where I start work each morning. Maybe that will end up being perfect? Cross your fingers for me!

   Feeling EXTREMELY Patriotic at the moment with all the GOLD our country has been winning lately. Our athletes have turned "Blown The Podium" back into the intended "Own The Podium!" We're currently one of 3 Nations to have ever won 13 Gold Medals in the Winter Olympics. Along with us are The Soviet Union in 1976 and Norway in 2002. Finger's crossed for tomorrow's Gold Medal game against the Yanks!

   Another quick note: My Windows 7 Release Candidate (RC) is about to expire, so I'll be wiping my computer clean and starting anew with an old version of Vista, then possibly upgrade to Windows 7 Full. I may be out of contact for a while if the copy of Vista I got fails to work!

   Okay, time to get back to my book. I've (slowly) started reading The Last Dive, by Bernie Chowdhury. It's been on my "Must Read" list for quite awhile, and I'm happy to be finally digging into it. Not exactly an uplifting story, but one with a great lesson. I'll let you know what I think of it as I get deeper into it.

   While reading my book, I plan to listen to my new favourite acoustic artist, Joe Purdy. I imagine most of you may have heard this song, either from the DAWN Soap Commercial, or an older episode of LOST. I leave you with Wash Away (Reprise), by Joe Purdy. Enjoy,

See you later, B

Thursday, February 25, 2010

A little bit of Affirmative Thought

"The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it." - Moliere

   The wheels are turning... I'm thinking... Party. Memories. Friends. One night in June... Whitehorse, YT.

You in?

Monday, February 22, 2010

The Future Awaits

I, yes me, have spent the last 2 hours looking at... wait for it. Deep breath now... Oh the tension! University Courses. *GASP*

Yes. After 5 years of traveling the world, diving, working, living, I feel it's finally time to possibly, maybe, think about continuing my education. After a tough first week back at work, I had a few things to think about. Now, I love traveling, and losing the freedom to get up and leave at any point in my life to jet off to some distant tropical island scares me. But there are only so many times one can do that and return to what feels like a go nowhere job.

Don't get me wrong, my current position with Rampton Rockworks is okay. I make a great wage, get along with the people I work with, get fit, and receive 3 months off every winter. Sounds great, but for how long do I want to carry concrete blocks, dig, and generally wear my body out? It doesn't seem to provide much of a challenge, mentally, just being a labourer. My boss has been doing it for well over 16 years, and as far as I can see, he'll be doing it for that much longer. As long as his joints hold out. It'd be an excellent trade to learn, and I could work outside everyday - just like I promised myself I would do in my youth. I used to think I would do well in the trades too, I just feel... There has to be more. I want to know more about the world I love to explore.

Every trip, my book collection grows, and I want to devour more. I want to read all the classics, the books that have defined eras in their pages. Changed the way we look at humanity, the planet, the holocaust, ourselves. I want to know WHY. WHEN. WHO. Sadly, I get home from abroad and priorities change. The TV is on. The internet is readily available, distracting me for hours with articles on the latest DSLR's, films, or Olympic standings.

Thankfully tonight the blasted interweb took me on a path first to Okanagan College. What about some upgrading? But wait, I could do an Associate Arts Degree in English for 2 years in Kelowna, then transfer to a larger University for another 2 years. Sweet! In my excitement (1hr 45min ago) as I went to say Good Night to Dad and Colleen, I mention all this to them. Dad, the genius he is, recommended I look into UBC Okanagan. It looks like an even nicer school, and I could do a full Bachelor of Arts Majoring in English. School would provide me with the opportunity to discover all the things I want to unearth.

And I'm sure I'd still find the time to have a party or two, along with meeting new and interesting people...

I just have so many options available to me -
  • Work for the summer in my physically demanding but well paying job, then go teach diving somewhere beautiful, but return in the spring to work another long season at the same physically demanding but well paying job to pay off incurred debt. Or, if I was lucky, move onto another beautiful locale and keep teaching diving.
  • Work for the summer in said Job, then go to New Zealand on a Working Holiday Visa for a year, with a few side trips over to Australia (which I must visit again). Then, not sure. Maybe have to return to said Job.
  • Work for the summer in damned Job, attend University in September for 4 years, then get a career. Perhaps as a writer, for an esteemed publication such as Scuba Diving Magazine, Sport Diver, DIVER or something in the travel/adventure vein. At the very least I'm sure I could secure myself a journalistic position with the Salmon Arm Observer.
The world is my oyster, and I have an abundant amount of serious thinking to do. The Future Awaits...

See you later, B
If you have any worldly advice that you think I may benefit from, please email me. DAMMIT! I was meant to start reading my new book tonight.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Favourite Song Right Now



...is Work. A means to an end. The end being dive instructing once again in a beautiful, warm, tropical, sub-tropical, toasty, or otherwise non-frozen place. With little to no heavy lifting, digging, loud machinery (except compressors, compressors are ok), or the word Flip. It was fine last summer when I was dating a great girl who frowned upon the use of the most common curses, but we're men. Big strong, loud, mud covered frustrated men. And this year, if I'm frustrated, I want to let out my frustrations how I see fit, even if that means dropping the "F-bomb". The real "F-bomb", not FLIP!! Can you tell I had a bad day at work?

   I've finally decided on a name for my Jeep. I've been trying to think of one since I got it, but the only thing that has managed to stick in my head is Bullwinkle! The few photos my Dad Mike had of the Jeep had that name in the file, for whatever reason. So, I shall now impart upon you the first New Adventures of Brocky and Bullwinkle!! I know, I impress myself at times...

    I got off work early yesterday, thanks to a cough due to cold. Well, not really, despite my sad physical state, it was the continuous pouring rain that put an end to the fun of carrying paving stones. I came home, had a nice long hot shower, then promptly headed for the Walk-in clinic. Nearing 3 weeks with this cold, and I'd had enough. But that's not the interesting part of the day. After the doctor, I went and sourced/priced out a few parts for Bullwinkle. No luck. That was okay, because I knew of a great old logging road that went past a large gravel pit. Maybe, just maybe, there would be some mud there. Sure enough, farther up the road, I found some. Then I found a field with some trees, abandoned fire pits, old ammunition and wet grass. Some of the trees, the fire pits, and the ammunition are still there. I made the grass into mud! Honestly, it was just an opportunity to test out the 4x4! Bullwinkle got mighty covered in mud after many, many laps around the little Mud Track I made myself, as did I... and the interior, when I foolishly left the window open for a lap. No matter, the goofy grin plastered on my face stayed for many hours after! Plastered on like mud to a jeep... I'd take photos, but my camera managed to find the floor too many times.

Good news, I've reached a milestone for myself. I don't think I can say it any better than this kid -

See you soon, B (&B)

Monday, February 15, 2010


Well, I'm going to make this quick as for the first time in 3 months, I must be up for work in the morning and it's getting on 10 o'clock. Definitely not too excited about that. I was making my lunch earlier this evening, and it finally hit me I'm back in the real world. It is great to be home though, and I have decided Salmon Arm is my home. It's a beautiful place... all of BC is. I drove my Jeep from Vancouver down the Coquihalla Highway to Salmon Arm and I was impressed by the scenery after every bend in the road.

   The Jeep. I love it. I spent about an hour in the driveway today just tinkering with it. It needs a few things fixed, here and there. A screw tightened, a screw replaced, ball joints replaced and a wheel alignment. All with time though. Extremely liberating to just be able to grab my own car keys and drive my own vehicle into town on my own schedule. I'm proud to be the owner of such a nice truck. My Mike Dad was telling me I could sell it in the fall before I went traveling again, but after 4 days with the thing, I do NOT want to let it go. It's such a good vehicle for me. I cannot wait to start tossing some dive gear in the back.

   Speaking of dive gear, my first day back in town I stopped into the Local Dive Shop (LDS), Copper Island Diving. I was inquiring about doing a crossover to become an SSI Instructor to go along with my PADI rating. Being dual certified would make me that much more employable next winter, and I'll be able to work with the LDS on weekends and evenings throughout the summer. I really need to stay active in the dive community as much as possible.

   All I need is some super warm wetsuits to keep me warm. A drysuit will just be too pricey! I'm sleepy, and it's going to be a loooooooooong day tomorrow,

See you later,
Brock M. Kelsch
OWSI# 496457

Friday, February 12, 2010

Three Things: Golden Retrievers, Karma, and Thanks.

Golden Retrievers? Huh? Yes, an odd thing to speak of in a blog intended to chart the path of my adventures, but please bear with me. Years ago (I'm terrible with the dates) our family lost one of it's dearest members. Pelly, our faithful Golden Retriever had to be put down, due to cancer. We had him oh... 9 years? A wonderful dog and it was devastating to lose him. This isn't about him though... I don't think.

   I'm not a religious man. Spirituality? Karma? Existentialism? I guess I have a "pick 'n' mix" take on that aspect of life. Well, I'm starting to believe that perhaps Pelly is looking out for me, or that he as least sending me a sign from time to time that I'm on the right path. I have not one, but two occurrences to back up my crack pot theory.

1. December (or November) 2008, Koh Samet, Rayong Province, Thailand. Tara and I were escaping the seediness and noise that was enveloping us in Pattaya. The trip was also meant as a nice romantic getaway for the both of us, as she had to return to England not long after. We were a new couple, and a few days on a secluded beach in a wooden bungalow away from various pollutions (noise, air, prostitute) was just what we needed. I was head over heels for this girl, and life was just... perfect. One day we forced ourselves off the beach and headed to the north end of the island. The National Park end. We hiked around, took some photos, watched some fishing boats. It was picturesque (honest, I have the pictures!). Out there, at the far end of the island, a dog appears.
Not your typical Thai flea bitten, scabies ridden, patchy, gross looking mutt you'd fear to touch with 39 1/2 ft. pole. This was a stunning Golden Retriever. Out in the backwoods, of some small Thai Island, here is a brilliant dog. Clean, happy, just looking around for something to eat in the rocks and grasses. In the moment of snapping this picture I thought of Pelly, and how he seemed to be saying to me, "This is a happy moment, don't forget it." Something along those lines...

2. January & February 2010, Pattaya, Chonburi Province, Thailand. The Bum hole of Thailand. You've all listened to me describe it many times over, and to be honest I'm running out of descriptors. If you don't know what Pattaya is about yet, read back through my posts. So, I'm in Pattaya, but still managing to have the time of my life. Great friends, okay diving, but I feel most importantly, a great outlook on life. I was, quite honestly, high on life. Over the course of a few weeks, going about my business (my business being teaching diving, drinking, and socializing), everything was grand. I had passed the mental hurdle of not only being shafted by the shop manager, but also being newly single. I had made a select few, great new friends (preciosa...), and I was soon on my way to Koh Chang. There he was again. Another beautiful immaculate Golden Retriever. I saw him in the morning on my way to work. I saw him at 3am in the morning outside a Beer Bar. I saw him wandering happily with a female companion. The universe/god/Pelly/my own overactive imagination just letting me know life was good, and the world's not such a terrible place. Crazy? I'm not a psychiatrist. I'll leave the diagnoses to Alison!

   A quick note on Karma - Walking Street, 3am-ish, all my friends lost. Getting money out of the ATM so I can have another drink or 2 and keep dancing in the club. Standing there outside 7-11 entering my PIN and a small boy comes up next to me and starts begging. So here I am, drunk Farang (foreigner) getting out 5,000Baht, and this cute starving kid with big eyes looking into my soul. I can give him the last 100Baht I have in my pocket, can't I? That's what, $3? $3 and a bus ride home. Nothing in the big scheme of things. So this little munchkin runs away 100Baht richer, and... the ATM won't give me my money. I'm stranded on walking street, chump change in my pocket, all my friends lost to the wind (or nudie bars) and no one answering my texts. Luckily, I have a drunken glow about me, a positive attitude and I'm feeling good about my good deed. Let's try the next ATM! I begin my trek up Walking St., hoping to stumble upon help or another bank's machine. Not 5 minutes up the road (that's not very far on walking st, with all the people and the state of me), I bump into my good friend Casey, on his way to catch a baht bus home. A ride home, and he pays for me! Totally worth 100baht. Wasn't much of a short note, eh?

   The Past Few Days - Not much has happened really, in the way of activities. We've explored some more book shops, watched a few movies. I've wrestled with my youngest brother Creighton. Little savage he is... I think his best move is when he grabs a finger, any finger, and snaps it backwards near it's breaking point. That one, or the pinching. I told him pinching is a girls move, but then he snapped my pointer finger back till it popped. Um... hmmm... anything else... Oh! YEAH! My Dad Mike just gave me a 1998 Jeep Cherokee! Needless to say I was speechless. I couldn't find the words...

   Perhaps through this medium I can try and better express my thanks. Thank you. The gift of a vehicle, any vehicle is above and beyond what a scummy backpacker such as myself would expect after 4 years of traveling the world and living in a basement, only making/spending enough money to fund his next trip. The gift of a vehicle that will allow me to have Adventures this summer... Diving, Camping, Hiking. I'm already plotting where to go and what to do. The independence I will gain from having my own set of wheels... it makes me so happy. Just as long as I don't spend too much on fuel! Once again, Dad, Thank you. I'll be sure to fill this blog with the tall tales of my experiences. Not unlike what I've done the past 3 months!

Thank you, See you later,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

What to do...

Oh, Canada! Yes, I made it home. My mom picked me up at the airport with her boyfriend Bert and his two boys, then it was onward to his house for a bite to eat. After I was sufficiently fed and the boys were attached to their PlayStation 3, we headed to the local pub for a few drinks and a few more tales. I really enjoyed getting to know Bert that little bit more, as our meetings have been few and far between. A very interesting man, who really, really needs a new job! Upon returning to the house, Bert went to bed, and mom and I got comfortable on the couch and sat up talking until well near midnight. I slept like a log, then rolled myself out of bed at 9, hoping to avoid Jet Lag as best I could.

I'm at my dad, Mike's house in Richmond, now. Great to see not only him, but my two younger brothers as well. I don't see the little rascals near enough. Last night... In bed by 10, but awake by 3am. I tossed and turned, drifting in and out of sleep until 8am, when i dragged myself out of bed. So much for being in this time zone! Today we lazed around, then drove around scrounging around a few Used Book Shops. I scored a few old Diving Manuals. I get a kick out of them, and I'm slowly building up a little collection. I love seeing what equipment was top of the line in 1976, and how terrifying the seas were!

So I know I'll be struggling to find things to write about the next while. Technically, I'm still a Yukon Expatriate, so the basis for my blog hasn't changed. On the other hand, I am no longer (for the time being) traveling abroad. Those of you living vicariously through me may not be able to find what you came looking for. The others, those of you trying to stalk me on Facebook and not finding near enough information about my current affairs, will be pleased to know I will do my best to keep you updated here. Stalkers.

I miss my Hammock - (tried uploading a pic of me being very chilled out, but not working right now)

See you later, B

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Home James...

The last week and a bit... has been something. It's what traveling is all about for me. Chance meetings of great people, nights of drunken revelry that, despite copious amounts of alcohol, stay in your memory forever, and moments/hours/days that take your breath away. A great deal of excitement went down, a whole load of chillaxin was done, and some sweet diving was dove(?).

Sadly, now I am off home. Currently, at this very moment, sat in a cafe in the Taipei Airport, Taiwan. Freezing my nads off as well. Why did i decide to travel in shorts and a t-shirt? Not really sure what to blog about... I know there's probably a furor of excitement awaiting photos and details of my time spent on Koh Chang. I need to... absorb it all. I was, more than once, on the edge of missing/changing/canceling my flight home just to stay there, be a beach bum, and actually get into teaching some diving. It's a brilliant place...

   Life, though... Thinking logically (without a certain Viking whispering certain ideas in my ear), I know the smart thing to do is go home, start work, get myself sorted, and, if I'm still wanting to teach diving in a few months time, go do it. But I'd do it properly. I'd get a JOB. No more Mermaids Dive Center. I've had enough of them. Why pay to work for them? Sounds ass-backwards to me. Sort myself out a nice bungalow... out on the boats everyday... *sigh* That was the dream just over a year ago. I need to remind myself every so often I only get to live this life once.

   A moment you realize you are truly alive: dancing like the world isn't watching, in a club at 4am, in Walking Street Pattaya, on top of a speaker the size of a SMART car, reminiscing about a months worth of great experiences, buzzed on Vodka Lipo, and managing to find the mental capacity to phone your mom and yell at her how awesome you are. Heck yes.

   Life isn't about how many breaths you take, but how many times life takes your breath away.

See you soon, B
Oh, my camera died. One too many drops onto a hard marble floor apparently... SD card is still good though, so no pictures lost! Speaking of LOST, I still have 4 hours untill my flight is supposed to board. Luckily I have downloaded the 1st 2 episodes of LOST Season 6!!! WOOOOOOOOO!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Departure - 07:15 to Koh Chang

I'm off tomorrow! The mini-bus is coming to get me at 7:15am and then it will be nothing but beaches, sun and SangSom. I'll be back to Pattaya on the 6th for a night, then onward to BKK International morning of the 7th. I won't be taking my computer with me, as i think it will be safer here at my friend's Condo. I will be able to use Pookie's computer if need be to drop a blog post or email... mostly to let you know what stage of Comatose I am in.

Off to pack and sort out all my Stuff. More packing! Yay!
See you later, B

Sunday, January 31, 2010

An Early Return

As foreshadowed in my previous post, I am indeed returning to Canada earlier than planned, though not by much. On February 7th I'll be flying Bangkok to Vancouver, that's about 2 weeks sooner than my previous flight of February 23rd. The earlier return is due to various factors, the greatest being MONEY. No Complaints, No Regrets.

   This leg of my trip has become something I didn't expect. The plan was to come here and dive and teach, and do not much else. After being shafted by the shop manager one too many times (he gave away courses I wanted to teach), I realized there was no reason to stress. There is 6-9 months of intense physical labour waiting for me when I get back to Salmon Arm, why worry about working my butt off? I've made friends, told jokes, drank well into the early hours of morning, visited walking street -

If you still have no idea what Walking Street is about, I found this video for you all. DANGER - Ladyboy at 00:42!!

   I've made this trip to Thailand a proper holiday, for me and me alone. Good lord it has been fun. Dad, you thought I had stories from last time?

   So tomorrow or Tuesday I'll be leaving Pattaya. I' catching a bus 3 hours south to an Island called Koh Chang. My Best Friend (have I have not seen in over a year) is down there at the moment. We're going to spend 5 days laying on the beach, drinking, telling stories, diving, riding motorbikes, exploring, and most likely manage to cause some mayhem in between our otherwise busy schedule. He has warned me to bring a camera, as I won't remember any of my time there. Pookie is the nefarious bastard that would buy me trays of SangSom Coke. You can see where the trouble could lie... On the 6th of February we're going to catch a mini-bus back up to Pattaya so he can see everyone here, I'll grab the rest of my stuff, and in the morning of the 7th I'll head on up to Bangkok to fly home.

   Upon landing in Vancouver, my Mom will pick me up, so we can spend the night at her boyfriend's place. Few days with my Dad Mike and my little brothers, then back to glorious Salmon Arm!
   As promised, photos of me diving the Hardeep, courtesy of Darran C.
See you later, B

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Happy Birthday Vikki! Oh, and a Night Dive.

Yesterday, I made it. I finally got to do a night dive. I've been meaning to do one since I first arrived, but something has always gotten in the way. Teaching, sinuses, hangover... a variety of ailments or responsibilities. We went out on MM3, my favourite Mermaids Vessel. It's smaller, there's usually less customers, and it's just so peaceful in and around the islands down in Samae San.

   Darran, an intern that was here during my last time at mermaids is here now on holiday, and we had the great luck to dive together. Our first dive took place in the afternoon on the Hardeep Wreck. It was... stunning. The diving in this part of Thailand can be a bit crap at times but, on the rare occasion, the visibility is good, and you see a few things that make descending to 27m in a dropping 20 current worthwhile. We found 2 blue spotted rays, a few angelfish, butterfly fish, but the majority of the dive was just spent exploring the larger open areas of the wreck. After 25 minutes, we made our ascent up the line and boarded the boat. Not even 20 minutes after being back on board, dinner was served.

   Masaman Curry, steamed rice, fried chicken and spicy pork. So good. We had a while longer to wait until dusk, so the group of us divers lounged on the sun deck and bullshitted back 'n' forth and the semantics of British English and Canadian English. They're chips, not Crisps! The boat was moved to our second dive site, Shark Fin right before sun set. I managed to snap this photo:

No idea why they call it Shark Fin...

   Darran took a few pictures of me during our wreck dive. Will be sure to get them off of him before he leaves on Friday.

   So after returning from the night dive, I skipped back to my hotel room, ditched my gear, showered, changed, and picked up Darran on Pat (my motorbike). We made a b-line for the bar, Shooters, where our lovely friend Vikki was holding her birthday celebrations. Shooters  is located on Soi Whitehouse, off Jomtien Beach Road and it is right across from what was the Original, True, Mermaids Dive Center where the 3 of us (and many others) first began their dive training. The bar is conveniently, located not 5 paces across the road.

   The night carried on in spectacular fashion. Bound to happen with copious amounts of cheap alcohol, great friends, wigs, a horn, flaming Sambuca, lei's, a passed out Master Instructor and dancing.

Happy Birthday Vikki!

See you later (possibly sooner than later actually), B

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Kit Bus Ride

I've been trying to Upload this for a few days now, but the internet has been sktechy! It's pretty self explanatory - a ride on the back of one of our kit buses fro the Pier back to the shop.

Friday, January 22, 2010


I imagine you would like to see some photo's of where I am? What my life is like? You ask, I deliver -

Here is the surprisingly not bad view from my room's balcony, as of last night. 

This is one of Mermaid's Kit Buses... I Kia Pickup with a canopy, benches, and a place to sit! I had a great shot of the interior of the kit area but I accidentally deleted it right after I took it, and the truck had moved on! Try and snap one tomorrow...

Here's a lovely picture of Traffic from the back of the Truck, and one for my mom!
My bare feet dangling over the tailgate! Rode like that the whole 45min journey to Samae San. Quite comfy. Just don't kick your feet out. Showing the soles of your feet to a Thai is considered very rude.

Here's everyone on the forward deck of MM3 with all their kit ready to be assembled on the tanks.You can see some of the other boats and the pier in the background...

Last, but surely not least, the view from the top sundeck on MM3, on our way to the dive sites.

Well, that's all for now. Will try and take some more pictures over the next few days... I'd like a few of Pattaya, it's bars, stray dogs/cats, people, dirt. It's a unique place. Hard to express how "unique" through photo and word alone... i really think you need to smell it!

See you later, B

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's War

I'm at war. I'll finally admit it. At war with the goddamn bloody bugs. I hate them. I hate their sneaky ways, their ugly tiny faces. I really, really hate that they eat me alive while I sleep. The ants have been gnawing on me from my first night onward, the bites covering my body will prove it. I'd post a picture, but the little red dots on my shoulders, arms, hands, and stomach don't make for interesting viewing. I first struck the ants with an Insecticide Chalk. Literally a stick of "chalk," used to draw a line of insecticide across any entryway the little buggers can get in. I also drew a nice thick line around my bed. That hasn't worked as much as I'd have liked.

   Now that I've become accustomed to the heat, I can sleep with the A/C off (it's just cheap) and the balcony door open. This, while stunting the bite my wallet would take at the end of the month, has allowed the ever nefarious mosquito into my room to take a bite... out of me. All the while I try and get the beauty rest required for exhausting days spent diving. This turn out to be difficult when the blood suckers buzz in your ear and nibble on one's flesh. Today, I expanded my arsenal. Mosquito coils, check. Ant poison/trap thing, check. More/THICKER chalk lines around everything? Well no, not yet. But when I return to my room... watch out! If none of the above lessen my plight, I will succumb to buying, and in turn smelling, like Off! I know, hot, DEET, sweat, and ocean.

   You haven't the foggiest idea how good my room is going to smell. To be honest, the mosquito coils are masking the smell of stale-ish dive gear... Sadly, the Lavender Gel air freshener I purchased for my bathroom isn't doing the best job of covering the foul stench of sewage. Keeping the door shut contains the lavender/pooey stench yet when actually in there trying to either shower/wash face/brush teeth/shave, I just have to live with it. Fun. Dunno about you, but I have always felt cleanest when smelling sewage in the shower! Not.

   So, after that lovely glimpse into my life, here's more interesting news. The Deep Spec I was team-teaching went well. Completed sans difficulties. I manged to certify two out of the four students who ended up finishing the course. We started with five, but the allure of the bottle and a group of rambunctious interns was too much for one. Good though, being drunk/hungover is the last thing you want to be for a dive to 40m (131ft for you imperialists). The 2 students I certified have also offered me to certify them as Master Scuba Divers, which requires no work on my part beyond checking out that they have 5 specialties, are rescue divers, amd have over 50 dives. Then I sign the paperwork! Score.

   Tomorrow Mike (the Instructor I'm working with) and I begin teaching Navigation. This spec takes a day, 3 dives. The following 2 days will be spent doing Search and Recovery. Fun courses to teach, but tough. There's a lot of logistics involved, and loads of stuff I've forgotten. So, I must get back to studying. I'm just waiting on a lovely Red Curry, Medium spicy, on rice, from my favourite Thai restaurant. Jealous? All for about 2 bucks.

See you later,

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I got to dive! 3 days in a row now! Waking up Thursday morning, my sinuses were clear. Still apprehensive, I left Pattaya on board Mermaids 4 (MM4), and headed out towards the far Islands. Setting up all my new kit was, as usual, exciting. I'm still trying to figure out where I want all my stuff clipped to. So many more options now! During the two dives, I tagged along with an Instructor who was teaching The National Geographic Specialty. I was worried I may have been all over the place with my buoyancy, but there was no issue (once i added 2 extra kilos to my pockets!). It was like I had not stopped diving for yes, an entire year. I think my buoyancy may in fact be better.

   Day 2 consisted of helping a different instructor teach Discover Scuba Diving (DSD) to a family from Britain. We made 2 dives again, and I mainly worked with the mother of the family. I even got to sign her off as a Discover Scuba Diver! That's 1/5 of a "Cert" in PADI's eyes...

   Today I made 2 fun dives down south of Pattaya out of the village Samae San on Mermaids 3 (MM3). We did one dive to the Hardeep and out looking for a reef, and the second dive we penetrated the wreck from bow to stern. Swimming through old doorways, corridors, cargo holds, the engine room, and even a section of a boiler, it was an exciting dive. Tomorrow though, the real fun starts. I'll be team-teaching new interns a variety of Specialities over the course of the week with one of the instructors I worked with earlier on. They are somewhat tougher courses to teach, but they are quick. Quick means more "Certs," faster! I will be very busy while the courses are happening, so my updates may be few and far between for the next bit.

   On another note, I bought a new Backpack today. Mine finally bit the dust. One of the shoulder straps was literally hanging on by a thread, and the main zipper has been losing teeth quicker than a hockey player. Still, it's served me well. I bought it over 3 years ago when I worked at Staples. This new one will fit the purpose of world traveler a touch better i think. Much more comfortable for hiking, and loads of places to strap and snap things to, while still providing a nice cushy place for my laptop. I also like the layout inside much better.

   See you later, B


Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Well, here she is, my sweet set of wheels. I call her... Pat!

Been doing a bit of riding around on it, as my sinuses are still giving me trouble. I blew my nose a few times today and it was bloody, yay. First few days back in this dump and no diving. If things don't improve tomorrow I'll be going to the doctor for some anti-biotics. Always a bonus that they hand them out like candy here!

   Just finishing up some stuff here at the shop then off to my room to watch a movie. If I'm lucky sleep will come early, and I'll be magically healed for diving tomorrow!

See you later, B

Monday, January 11, 2010

Return of the Baht Bus Man

I made it. I'm back in Pattaya. And? Mixed emotions. Yesterday I got off the plane exhausted, found my bags, and then found my taxi driver. It's an odd experience traveling 14 hours in a plane at 880km/h and not feeling like you've gone anywhere. Then, hop into a car driven by a random Thai man down the motorway at 160km/h for an hour. You can really feel the speed - despite wanting to pass out, I didn't sleep a wink!

   I arrived here at the shop at about 3 in the afternoon and started to chat with Sheena and Terry, the South African couple that run the shop. We had a good catch-up, I got told where my accommodation was, then I went outside to find my old friend Chris. From there, I found my room (hurting - just ugly, but hey, it's busy season), had a shower, then went for some dinner at the little Thai place right behind the shop. The lovely thai lady that runs it remembered me! Within minutes my dish, Pad-Gra-Pow-Moo, was in front of me and I had an ice cold fanta. Made the rookie mistake of asking for it Medium Spicy, then pouring all my chilli's into as well. Ow.

   The rest of my evening consisted of catching up with those still around I knew, and gossiping about all the new interns. SangSom cokes were ordered... okay, one. And some red wine! Just a glass. Nothing crazy this time around. Around 8pm I hopped on a baht bus (a truck you jump on/off of - public transport) and headed to downtown Pattaya. Not so much for entertainment purposes, but I wanted to stay up to at least 10 pm. I wandered the shops and stalls for a bit, then caught a Baht Bus back home. Sleep came easy after over 24 hours with limited sleep on a cramped Airbus...

   I've spent my morning in a theory class reviewing some physics, and after re-learning the Constants of some of the equations most of it came back! Possibly doing a wreck dive and night dive tonight sinuses dependant. Nose is clear, but feeling a bit of pressure in the ol' sinuses. Woot. All that time in dehydrating aircraft sure kills the nose.  Keep your fingers crossed for me.

   Well I'm off to buy some batteries for my Dive Light and sort my gear out. Wishing you all the best.

See you later, B

Ps: Will try and take some pictures of Baht Buses, Gogo girls, and all the other unique things around Pattaya for your perusal...

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Well i made it to Sri Lanka, Just waiting for my connecting flight to Bangkok in 3 hours. Feeling very tired after a late night (date night with Tara and packing) and a 10 hour flight. Definitely looking forward to the shorter trip to BKK. I think I'm over these uber long haul flights. Calgary to London is easy, with the nice larger planes and no need to look forward to a connection in a starnge country where 15 yr olds dressed in army fatigues have to carry uzi's. I now remember telling ymself LAST time i flew to/from Thailand that i was sick of these trips! Looking forward to getting to Pattaya and having a shower and a drink in the ar with some old friends. Will do a proper post soon if i can find Wi-fi. This hurting computer terminal is giving me tennis elbow.

See you later,B

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

A little bit of worry

I've commented before on England's inability to cope with the smallest bit of snow on the ground. Okay, I outright poked fun at the entire nation. I should have known better - "If you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all,"

   It has now snowed for nearly 24 hours, an eternity in this country. I worry only because I am supposed to fly on Sunday morning and the forecast does not look conducive to clear runways at Heathrow. Woohoo! At this moment, very happy I had the foresight to purchase additional Travel Insurance for flight cancellations, et. al. Stranded once again whilst trying to depart a country I've grown bored of! Don't take that the wrong way, I love England. It's beautiful, quaint and all that... It's just time to go. There's not much to do here on my budget. Being snowed in does not help at all.

   Tara and I had plans. Great, intricate, meticulous plans. We wanted to actually get our lazy bums out of bed before noon and go do something. Anything! She needed to take in some dry cleaning, find a shoe shop, do some banking. I needed to... get out of the house. Maybe drop some Moolah on an SD Card for my new camera (still lost in eBay limbo). F.Y.I. - those fancy, complex plans we had for waking up early? Just a second alarm clock across the room you can't tell to shut off. Didn't work. Tara woke up, went and made herself a coffee. I moaned and whined and stayed in bed. After seeing the 5in of snow, she came back to bed as well. Effective.

   In the boredom that overcomes one on another day inside, I began to search for some new tunes. A new band, or "Super Group", as some have dubbed them, I'm listening to are Them Crooked Vultures. They've received the moniker of Super Group not because of their music, though that would be a plenty good enough reason. It's due to who is in the band:
So far I'm only on my first good listen through the album in it's entirety. I'm enjoying it, and the standout for me has been the instrumentation. I've never been a huge fan of Homme's vocals. I think Grohl would have been a stronger choice, but I imagine he's been dying to be back on the drums. And the drums are good.

   Next on my iTunes list is the new album from Jared Leto's band Thirty Seconds to Mars. This Is War is their sophomore debut, and I hope it's as entrancing as A Beautiful Lie was. What else have I been keeping occupied with? The original Grand Theft Auto and GTA2. I used to have the #1 on my PlayStation. When I found out Rockstar Games had them both for free download, I had to have them! Good easy fun when waiting for flights...

   Will keep updating on the weather and flights. Hope everyone's 2010 is going great, see you later.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

And a few other things -

Some of you may have noticed I added a Traffic Feed to the right side of my blog. I've been surprised to see how many people actually come here to read this thing. Would you mind posting a comment so I know somewhat know who you guys are? Just curious! Cheers.

   I'm starting to get excited about Thailand now. My flight is less than a week away, and I had to buy a few items for my trip today, sunscreen being one of them! Looking forward to being in the heat once again, and having the ability to jump into the ocean when things get too hot. I'm still a bit nervous about having to teach again. I feel it's been far too long since I last had the responsibility. My past instructors are being supportive though, telling me, quite literally, to just dive right back in. Will be sure to spend more time in the water and less time in the bar this trip... It will be tough to avoid my nemesis SangSom.

   See you later, B

It's about that time. Time to...

...Ramble On - Led Zeppelin

Leaves are fallin' all around, time I was on my way
Thanks to you, I'm much obliged for such a pleasant stay
but now it's time for me to go, the autumn moon lights my way
for now I smell the rain, and with it, pain
and it's headed my way
Aw, sometimes I grow so tired
but I know I've got one thing I got to do

A-ramble on, and now's the time, the time is now
Sing my song, I'm goin' 'round the world, I gotta find my girl
On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day
Ramble on, gotta find the queen of all my dreams

Got no time to for spreadin' roots, the time has come to be gone
And though our health we drank a thousand times
it's time to ramble on

A-ramble on, and now's the time, the time is now
Sing my song, I'm goin' 'round the world
I've gotta find my girl
On my way, I've been this way ten years to the day
I gotta ramble on, I gotta find the queen of all my dreams
I tell you no lie

Mine's a tale that can't be told, my freedom I hold dear
How years ago in days of old when magic filled the air
'twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, mm-I met a girl so fair
but Gollum and the evil warg crept up and slipped away with her
her, her, yeah, and ain't nothin' I can do, no

I guess I'll keep on ramblin', I'm gonna
Sing my song/Sh-yeah-yeah-yeah-yeah, I've gotta find my baby
I'm gonna ramble on, sing my song
Gonna work my way all around the world
Baby, baby/Ramble on, yeah

A-do-do-n-do-n-do-n-do, my baby/Baby
A-ramble on, baby
A-do-do-do-do-do-do-do-de-do-de-do-de-do-de-do-de, yeah, yeah/
I can't stop this feelin' in my heart
Everytime I feel I will leave, I really gotta part
Gotta keep searchin' for my baby/
Baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, babe
I've gotta keep a-searchin'for my baby
My, my, my, my, my, my, my baby/
Yeah-yeah, a-yeah-yeah, a-yeah-yeah
My, my, my, my, my, my baby/
Yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah, yeah-yeah
Ooh, my, my, my-my, my-my, my-my, yeah/
I can't find my bluebird, I'd listen to my bluebird sing
but I, I can't find my bluebird
I keep a-ramblin' baby/ Ah, ah, yeah
I keep a-ramblin', baby/I keep, keep, keep, keep, keep
Babe, babe, babe, babe/
I keep a-ramblin', baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby, baby
My, my babe
Bay-ya-by/A-goodbye, goodbye, a-goodbye, baby
Well, something's wrong

Saturday, January 2, 2010


I have eaten way too much. I have done nothing but eat and eat and eat in Britain. We just had a new years Lunch with Tara's family, her cousin, and his wife. Starter, turkey, potatoes, veg, wine, cheesecake, ice cream, and chocolates. Stuffed.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!

Well, from me, to all of you, a happiest new year! I hope everyone had a great New Years Eve, and that 2010 brings you the all the best. Any resolutions?

   I'd say if I were to have one, it would be to live 2010 to the fullest.  No regrets. I've done a pretty good job of that in 2009, and I'd like to keep it going. Oh! One more. Dive. More. Much more. Whatever I end up doing for the majority of this year, I need to set myself up so I can get under the water as much as possible. And stay there for as long as possible. I missed out on diving way too much in '09. As my departure for Thailand gets closer (9 days now), I'm getting more and more excited.

   Yes, the diving is poo. The city is loud, crowded, and filthy. But it's diving, and for near 2 months I can be under the water almost every day. I'll even eventually be able to teach people to dive again! I can be out on the ocean looking at the sun and tropical islands. I'll be seeing old friends, and meeting many new ones. Oh... Did I mention I get to go diving everyday? That'll be nice.

   I don't know if I've mentioned it recently (don't care, my blog), but I've been enjoying the music of Dave Matthews very very much these past few months. My boss, Matt, put me onto him earlier in the summer. The tunes are just so good. I first fell in love with his solo album Some Devil. It's slower, moody, and has a lot of emotion. Then, I heard Big Whiskey and The Groo Grux King. It was more upbeat album with Dave and his full Band. I listened to it non-stop. I made a few road trips to Vernon, and listened to it on repeat the whole way! I have always believed an Album is good if you can listen to it for days or weeks on end and not want to listen to anything else. That has happened with the Album I purchased off iTunes for Christmas, Dave Matthews & Tim Reynolds: Live at Radio City Music Hall. Genius, absolute genius. It's become the soundtrack of my trip. YouTube wouldn't let me Embed a video of Dave and Tim, but here's one with the full band. Great song though. Look for the same song done by Dave and Tim!

On another note, Our new year's eve was quite quiet. We were meant to head to London for a costume party, but we didn't get costumes in time. I've also managed to catch Tara's cold, a stain of the MAN-FLU. I've spent the last week telling her she gets no sympathy, as I received none when i was sick last. Now, no sympathy for me! Good start to the new year! I will fight it hard. Vitamins, rest, liquids. I don't need a cold for traveling or diving!

Happy New year, and see you later,