March ReefBox Unboxing! Better Late Than Never!

Wow.  I am so behind on these.  I’ve just been so incredibly busy, what with work, getting ready for a year’s worth of dive trips, and Phoenix Comic Fest on the horizon, I just haven’t had a chance to sit down and review the cool stuff I’ve been getting from ReefBox.  Divers, if you’ve got the money, sign up for it.   It’s like getting a little present each month to yourself.  Yeah, there’s redundancies, but the difference between a failed dive trip and a successful dive is redundancies. The night before you get on the plane or hop in the car, and you don’t have something, you’re going to be angry.  Don’t be angry, get ReefBox.

And if you’re just starting out diving, over the past 3 months (YES I’M THAT FAR BEHIND), I’ve gotten stuff I would have loved as a new diver.  It’s win-win.

So the March ReefBox was the “Dive Boat Essentials” box.  Behold!

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February ReefBox Unboxing!

So, subscription services are all the rage these days.  Everything from food to dog toys, it’s like getting a little gift (that you paid for) once a month.  I really like the concept, and about a year and a half ago, I signed up for the Waterman’s Pack (which was meant for fishermen, surfers, and SCUBA divers), and happily, signed up to get a box in July, which was timed for Shark Week (check out my Shark Week reviews here at Nerdvana!). It was a box curated by Andy Casagande IV (the Shark Week veteran photographer and diver), and a portion of that month’s profits were donated to my friends at Shark Angels, who I wound up diving with 8 months later in Fiji.  I got a nice little dive knife, and a few other things, including a print of an Andy Casagrande shark encounter.

And then a month later then ditched the fishermen and SCUBA divers portion of it, and started going marketing directly to watersports.  I kept going for a month and got a tshirt and hat, but not really my thing, so I cancelled it.

And then thanks to the miracle of Facebook Targeted Advertising…  I found ReefBox!

reefbox
Promotional image/ReefBox.Com (used under Fair Use guidelines)

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To Save the Ocean, Start at the Ballot Box (Part I)

First off, it’s good to be back!  It’s been over 4 months since my last post, and as much as I want to blame the fact I’ve been busy (which I have been), and work (which there has been a lot of), and travel (ditto – in 2017, I dove two oceans, two seas, and a lake), the truth is I’ve been overwhelmed by events and needed a mental health break.

I’ve been overwhelmed by the sheer pace of everything that’s been going on with the oceans. For every story of hope and goodwill (did you see the story about the people saving sea turtles from the recent cold snap?), there’s fear and hopelessness.  That for all the work we’ve done (and many of you have helped out with!), it could all be for naught because of the American lust for profit.

I’ve also been wrestling with the ideas of political purity versus political expediency.  Basically, how does one reconcile what they want out of politics versus what they can get?  Many people have made some persuasive arguments about propping up the American two-party system does not affect change, but all the while, while engaged in this existentialist wankathon, one party, and only one party, has been plotting the systemic destruction of the one thing on this planet I truly care about.

And I might have remained in this bullshit fugue state for this wake-up call by the Trump administration.

Chyron.jpg
Like an alarm clock made of a Civil War cannon.  

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Poem: The Consequence of Technology Unchecked.

SHARKNADO 5: GLOBAL SWARMING — Season:2017 — Pictured: (l-r) Tara Reid as April Shepard, Ian Ziering as Fin Shepard, Cassie Scerbo as Nova Clarke — (Photo by: James Dimmock/Syfy)

Here’s a poem from “Chumming the Waters” (available in my new shop!) that touches on the themes which seem to be dominating the week, which include anthropogenic climate change (and our government’s steadfast refusal to acknowlege it), devastating storms, and as always, sharks.

I give you The Consequence of Technology Unchecked!
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The Sharks Want to Thank Rep. Kyrsten Sinema!!!

As you may or may not have known, I’ve been lobbying local Arizona Congressmen and women to co-sponsor, and ultimately shepherd to law, H.R. 1456, the Shark Fin Sales Elimination Act.  My local Congresswoman, Democratic Representative Kyrsten Sinema was a particular target of my efforts, as she was the lone holdout Democrat from Arizona’s Congressional delegation, and my own representative in Congress.

Together at last…

I’m happy to say “was” because while you were watching Shark Week,  Rep. Sinema agreed to co-sponsor the legislation!
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Florida Diaries, Day 2: WHERE MYSTERY ABOUNDS!!!

I’m pretty sure every kid, when they first start paying attention to the world beyond the sandbox, gravitates to the Mysterious World – the world beyond the veil, populated by unicorns, sea monsters, Bigfoot, Atlantis, and fairies. My parents wouldn’t buy me the Time-Life “Mysteries of the Unknown” collection (currently selling for close to $400 on Amazon!) and I always felt like I missed out on my true calling, as a wild-eyed conspiracy theorist, because of it.

https://i1.wp.com/www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/11/conspiracy_theory_psychology_people_who_claim_to_know_the_truth_about_jfk/51970887.jpg.CROP.promo-mediumlarge.jpg?resize=525%2C375
Oh, but for $19.95 a month.

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Florida Diaries, Day 1: Die, Lionfish, Die!

This is an Indo-Pacific lionfish (from the genus Pterois) from one of my 2017 dives off of Fiji’s coral coast.  Even though I don’t have a red filter on my GoPro and I’m using natural light at about 60 feet down, it’s I think the video conveys the beauty of the animal as it hovers in perfect balance, display its’ delicate fins in a threat display as I approach it.

If you’re not familiar with the lionfish, it’s a predatory reef fish and on those delicate fins are spines which can be used defensively to deliver a painful sting.  As stated by divemaster Mike Ryan to Erin Spencer in National Geographic:

“It won’t kill you, but it’ll make you wish you were dead”.
Continue reading “Florida Diaries, Day 1: Die, Lionfish, Die!”