After a round of mini-partner yoga at the beach, we checked in to our Venice Beach place. Studying and taking quizzes for a few hours, we took our final exam around 11 at night to finish the classroom portion of the PADI open diver qualification. Getting an 85% on the exam (Erica got 92%), we fell asleep around midnight.
Morning arrived quickly and after breakfast we headed to the dive shop – filled out forms, took ANOTHER quiz, were fit for equipment, bought some gear, packed a bag of gear each and loaded them in the car. Our instructor Jason gathered us and briefed us on all the dive signals and the agenda for about the first half of the contained water skills before running out of time.
Grabbing a burrito and driving to the pool, we all gathered and after some gear replacement and repair started with the first skill- getting our equipment ready. We put together and broke down the gear five times in a row. In all, there were more than two dozen diving skills plus the tasks like getting our gear ready.
The last one, after five hours in the pool, was to swim 16 laps. We did this without the wet suit and with our goggles, snorkel and fins. It was getting dark, the lights were on and it was pretty cold outside. There were no breaks during the day. No stopping to drink water. We peed in our wet suits.
The next day we returned all the gear and Jason admitted that it was the first time EVER that he was able to complete all the skills in one day. We all admitted to passing out early. Usually the contained water portion is divided over two weekends. Jason was able to compress the schedule by consulting with the shop owner Beth about how to sequence everything. We couldn’t do that as next Saturday, we depart for Bangkok. We talked about trying to knock the open water test out before leaving. It looks like we could only do that as a private course and so wait after 12 December, when we fly in to Phuket.
Looking to get the classroom and contained dives completed before leaving for Thailand, I found Eco Dive Center’s PADI Open Water REFERRAL Course. This fits in to our travel schedule and is the same price as the eLearning offered alone by PADI.
Within minutes of purchase, Eco contacted me to confirm my email address and sent a gift pass to start the eLearning. I’ve completed the Introduction section. It’s the second time I’ve participated in distance learning, and so far I like the experience.
The audio transcript is available on the left, main content animates on the right. At the end of the slide, icons may show at the bottom for additional content. While the transcript does not highlight as the audio plays, and the tab name doesn’t match the purpose, I found it reasonably intuitive to figure out what was happening. Two of the three icons also perplex me, can you guess which ones?
As the content plays the first time, scrubbing and fast forward is disabled. After seeing the content, these are enabled. It took a little while to figure out that the progress bar could be scrubbed, as there isn’t a visual indicator. I just used the mental model of other players and took a guess.
In all, I’m excited to gain the knowledge needed to breathe underwater and become Open Water certified!
BillyWitchDoctor.com‘s chant was going through my head as I started this post:
I’m going to give blogging another go
You can find out why I blog, so I’m not going to get into that. Yet it’s gone dormant again, missing out on a large chunk of my time helping to start Comakers with Jeff Patton while traveling the globe with my wife. We’re complete vagabonds at the moment, but we’ll leave that to another story.
Agile related content will be posted on Comakers
I’m going to separate out Agile and business related stuff on the Comakers blog. I hope you check it out and think about signing up for our newsletter!
and this will get personal
And I’m not sure where it’ll go. Or with what kinds of media and technologies.
At the moment, we travel all the time. Sometimes for pleasure and soon to Thailand for a few weeks. Like I did for New Zealand, I’m going to post things about the adventure here. You should let me know what you think. I’m both nervous and excited to attempt to keep journaling about experiences, as well as hopefully something for you to enjoy. Thanks for reading!
Our house from February to June, 2007. I’m trying to save this off as iGoogle is shutting down. I had a Google map widget to with this address to remind me what it was. Decided to store it here, along with the stories of our trip. Glad it came to me to save it here as I never thought I’d be posting in this category again. Oh.. and the embed isn’t working for me in Safari, although it is in Chrome.
View Larger Map
What do all of these tales have in common? They started out as an idea that led to a small change. These changes could be implemented easily, cheaply and quickly when there was complete buy-in from everyone that the change was necessary and for the better.
Of course, I didn’t always find myself in a better place. One result had us building a product that became attractive for an acquisition, while our related labor cost did not. Many of us lost our jobs to promote the sale. Another consequence of success was having a senior executive in our organization determine that formally sponsoring Agile was no longer needed. We were invited to look for work in other parts of the organization for awhile, or had to leave the company entirely.
Yet there are times when I did help make things better. The best improvements I’ve been a part of happened gradually, required patience, and added up over time. This helps remind me that I can improve my current situation. I need to help the team see the problem clearly and suggest ways to validate proposed solutions.
If we have a shared perspective of the current situation, then we can agree on how to make it better. We will need to check in frequently, and constantly re-validate the understanding and approach.
I would like to thank Erica Young, Ken Clyne, Ronica Roth, Ann Konkler, Bob Gower, Jeff Patton and Ben Carey for their comments, advice, and encouragement.