Before And After Photos

Age 56. I need some help.

I don’t have an after photo yet, so here’s the before. This is age 56, photo taken on June 10, 2017. I’m on a scuba diving adventure aboard the Cee Ray dive boat. In the cup is orange juice, and on the plate is a sweet roll. Tons or carbs are eaten between dives, as this particular activity really sucks the energy out of your body. I’ll get another pose like this in 90 days and we’ll see how things are coming along.

Personal Chemistry Evaluation

Visited with Dr. Sadeghi on Friday, June 9, 2017. She has ordered certain chemistry evaluations as part of my complete body makeover. As we age, our hormones also age. To my friends who are following my progress, I am providing a complete transparent play by play. Many are curious as to how this will all play out, as am I, especially. I will keep everyone up to date.

Here are the tests ordered:

DHEA Sulfate

IGF-1

Free Estradiol

Free T3

Free Testosterone

Sex hormone binding globulin

AM Cortisol

Complete metabolic panel

CBC with diff

Hemoglobin A1C

NMR LipoProfile

PSA

Testosterone, total

Thyroxine T4, Free

Vitamin D, 25-Hydroxy

To support the above, the following diagnosis codes have been provided: 

E29.1 — Testicular Hypofunction

R63.5 — Abnormal weight gain

R68.82 — Decreased libido

K22.2 — Esophogeal obstruction

G47.01 — Insomnia due to medical condition

E66.9 — Obesity, unspecified

R53.83 — Other fatigue

Blood will be drawn on Wednesday, June 14, at 10:30 a.m. I will be fasting when the blood is drawn. Results of these tests will determine the cocktail prescribed, and my own work on my self will determine my personal health outcome. Stay tuned.

Cru Cafe Opens

The grand opening of Crü Cafe is Friday, June 2nd. We stopped by today for a soft opening. Had sandwiches, coffee, and pastries. There’s a large heavy wood table for 8, smaller tables for couples or singles.

An enviting couch is placed with a low table in front of a faux fireplace. This could be very comfortable in the winter months, and was certainly looked good on this particularly warm summer-ish day in May.

Music in the styles of Frank Sinatra and Harry Connick Jr. played on the sound system.

The owner, Izell, was a Marine and served in Afghanistan. Supporting our wonderful American-owned businesses here at home is a pleasure. Her daughter brought food and drinks to our table, was very personable, and along with her mom was willing to accommodate the desires of two somewhat choosy individuals.

I made the suggestion to include lemon bars, because they’re my favorite, and I would stop by often just for those tasty delights. Hopefully they follow up and include them in their mix of pastries, sandwiches and hot and cold beverages.

Crü Cafe is located in Mission Viejo, in the old Von’s shopping center on Los Alisos, just down the road from the Ayres Suites you can see from the 241 Toll Road. It will a good place to stop at early or late. Very nice environment, food was excellent, and service fantastic. I know they’ve signed a 5 year lease, so wishing them every success. So far, excellently done.

Click here for their Facebook page. 

 

Calculating Dive Weight

Divers must add weight to overcome the natural buoyancy of their exposure suit and air cylinder, the air in their lungs, the type of water they’re in, and their experience level.

A nice calculator exists at Dive Buddy dot com. Just plug in the numbers, and you will be shown the amount of weight you need to overcome buoyancy. Try it out. It’s at least a starting point. You may need to experiment with adding or subtracting weight during your various dives.

The calculator allows for your weight, experience, exposure suit, scuba tank, and water type.

Click here to visit the Dive Buddy calculator.   (Link opens a new window.)

Why Choose Sea Stallion Scuba?

I was looking for a place close to home to do my scuba training. A place that would fit my schedule, be easy to work with, and have some personality. A shop where I could get my questions answered, even the ones I didn’t know I had.

I picked Sea Stallion Scuba after typing “scuba training” into Google. It came up as a location close to my workplace, and not too far from my home. Thinking it would be worth checking into, I stopped in after work.

Jules greeted me with a cheery hello. At first she thought I was an instructor looking for a new BC. Not sure how that happened, but after giving her proper info, she quickly understood I was a total diving newbie looking to get started.

I must have spent a solid hour just asking questions. She answered every one of them and never put any pressure on to make a decision about anything. Just cheerfully went about sharing her passion for diving.

Fortunately for me, there was nobody else in the shop that day. Maybe not the best for them, but for me, having her undivided attention was crucial to my success.

Before I left, I purchased a mask and snorkel. I felt I needed to begin a pact with myself to “do this.”

The next day, I was back. I signed up for classes and a boat dive off Catalina. And bought a regulator.

Then I bought a wetsuit, a BC, fins, gloves, booties, my Octo, and a computer. I mean, I did a total dive package, purchasing like a crazed person. I didn’t want to do my training in rented gear.

Overall, Sea Stallion took in nearly $4,000 from me alone. I was happy to hand over the money.

The bottom line is simple. If Jules had not been as gracious and sweet as she was, I may not have pulled the trigger like I did. I don’t know what I would have done or not done. Sales is a funny thing. The customer often doesn’t know what is really wanted or needed. Sometimes the customer just has cash to burn, and wants the best stuff. Other times they may be on a budget.

Regardless of the customer’s means, what is most important is that the sales person, Jules in this case, treats them with decency and makes them feel important. There is a desire to be treated well, and to strike up a relationship with the dive shop people, that can only be met by people who sincerely care about other people. Or, if they really don’t give a shit, they fake it really well. I can see through the fakery, however, and so can others.

I highly recommend Sea Stallion Scuba. In fact, one of my work mates is using them for her training now. And a couple of other friends are going on the boat dive to Catalina, at my recommendation. See how one thing leads to another? I’m sure Sea Stallion Scuba will benefit from Jules’ exemplary actions over and over again.

Finally, I should mention Steve. He was just as helpful, and knows the technical stuff inside out. A great guy. Should you visit the shop, I hope you find your experience to be as great as I have found mine.

First Scuba Tank Purchase

Stopped by the scuba shop today and bought a new steel Faber 80 cubic foot tank. Looked into the brand, and discovered they’re made in Italy, with hundreds of thousands of cylinders made.

Why steel instead of aluminum? Primarily because steel doesn’t change buoyancy as it is depleted of air, like aluminum does. With aluminum, the diver becomes more buoyant as air is used up in the cylinder, making it a little more tricky to achieve consistent buoyancy throughout a dive.

Steel tanks have thinner walls, but are heavier before you get in the water. This doesn’t really affect me, and wasn’t a concern when I was considering steel vs. aluminum.

So now my system is complete. All I need to do is show up for the next beach dive and get it done. As soon as my knee is healed, I’ll be in the water.

Now I just need to find some great stickers to put on the new tank to really make it complete. My name and phone number are probably a good idea as well.

 

XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank Features

  • XS Scuba Faber High Pressure Steel Tank
  • Nitrox Ready Up to 40%
  • Most Widely Sold Cylinder Type
  • Great Buoyancy Characteristics:
    Buoyancy Full: From -2.42 lbs. to -9.41 lbs. (-1.1 kg to 4.3 kg), Size Dependent
    Buoyancy Empty: From -1.2 lbs. to 2.35 lbs. (-0.54 kg to 1.1 kg)
    Buoyancy Better for Back Inflation Style BCD’s (Wings)
    Shed the Lead
  • Weight: From 28.3 lbs. to 42.4 lbs. (13 kg to 19.4 kg)
  • Diameter: From: 7.25″ to 8.0″ (10 cm to 20.3 cm)
  • Height: From: 20.8″ to 26.85″ (53 cm to 68 cm)
  • Construction:
    Deep Drawn Chromium Molybdenum Steel
    Triple Protected Zinc Sprayed
    Epoxy and Polyurethane Painted
    Round Bottom Cylinder
  • Note:
    All Faber Cylinders Meet Certificated Specifications of US Department of Transportation (DOT) with Special Permit Number 13488
    Meet Specification of the Transport Canada (TC) with Special Permit Number SU7694-237
  • XS Scuba PVD Pro Valve
  • Standard Yoke Outlet with Spin-Out DIN Insert Converts to 230 bar (3,336 psi) DIN Outlet
  • 1/4″ Hex Key Wrench Removable DIN Insert
  • 3/4″ – 14 NPSM Standard Inlet Threads
  • 1.5 Hand Wheel Rotations from Fully-On to Fully-Off
  • 5/32″ Hex Key Dip Tube Included
  • Tough Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) Finish
  • Same Finish Found on High End Watches and Faucets
  • Durable Scratch Resistant Finish gives Valve a “Tech Look”
  • Service Pressure: 3442 psi (240 bars)
  • New Unique Color Coded Safety Hand Wheel
  • Red” Valve is Completely Of
  • Green” Valve is Completely Open and Ready for Divin
  • Chrome Plated Durable Brass Valve Stem
  • Teflon Coated Valve Seat
  • O-Ring Sealed Bonnet
  • Easy Grip Rubber Hand Wheel

Atomic Venom Frameless Dive Mask

This is the nicest mask I’ve ever owned, and simply the most comfortable mask, too. Vision is outstanding. Quality exceptional. And did I mention comfort? Wow.

The info below is from the Atomic Aquatics website. This is, indeed, eye candy, just as they say it is.

One other thing. It has a coolness factor described as “wicked” by many. Mostly marketing, but all the same, I like where the company is going with their products. Except for my BC and exposure suit, my equipment is made by Atomic Aquatics. It’s just great stuff.

Received this mask on Monday, May 8, 2017. Burned the lens to remove silicone mold release agent and treated with anti fog goop.

 

Knee Arthroscopy

It was 12 years ago that I had my first arthroscopy on the left knee. At that time, the meniscus was found to be torn, so it was trimmed. The pain I had before the procedure was gone.

On Friday, April 5, 2017, I had another knee arthroscopy on the same left knee. The pain had come back–for the last 5 months on and off at first, then every day, and aching at night when trying to sleep. Plus there was an unsettling popping from time to time when accidentally twisting and flexing the joint simultaneously.

The procedure went extremely well. Anesthesia was the best ever, with no residual drunkenness. Pain was never really an issue, and I didn’t get the Norco script filled. Just took a single Aleve, then a couple of Tylenol tabs six hours later. That’s it.

Kept a lot of ice on the knee Friday and Saturday. And a little ice on Sunday, which happened to be my birthday. I probably could have picked a better time to have this done, except when the doc says, “I have time Friday” which is two days away… well, there’s no time like the present to get this done.

Had to cancel my dive trip to Catalina on May 14, but it’ll happen again on June 10, so I’m planning on it. Should be 100% by then.

My Dive Gear Catalog

Get everything together in one place with purchase dates. Regulators, BCs, and such have to be checked on a regular schedule. Some are annual, some are every two years. Here’s my list.

Equipment List

Atomic Aquatics Frameless Mask — APR 4, 2017
Atomic Aquatics SV2 Snorkel — APR 4, 2017
Atomic Aquatics Blade fins — APR 11, 2017
Atomic Aquatics Blade split fins — MAY, 2017
AquaLung booties — APR 11, 2017
Atomic Aquatics Spring Straps — APR 11, 2017
AquaLung SolaFX Semi Dry dive suit with hood — APR 14, 2017
Atomic Aquatics B2 Regulator — APR 14, 2017
Atomic Aquatics Z2 Octo — APR 14, 2017
Atomic Aquatics Cobalt 2 dive computer — APR 14, 2017
AquaLung Dimension i3 buoyancy compensator BC — APR 14, 2017
Faber Steel 80 cu ft Tank — MAY 11, 2017

Have also purchased a complete Shark Skin suit and hood, plus Wetsox which you put on your feet first, then pull on your wetsuit. They make getting that rubbery thing on much simpler, and provide additional warmth for the feet. The Shark Skin adds an additional layer of warmth under the main suit. Shark Skin socks are also available, so I picked up a pair as well.

A couple of dive knives and a wheeled case in which to store all the gear, and I’m ready. At some point, a good underwater light will be obtained. For now, I’m all set.

Crescent Bay Laguna Beach

I decided to get down to Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach to see what it’s all about, since the dive class was cancelled, just to check it out. 

The dive class was cancelled due to high surf, but my legs still work, so I checked it out. About that “high surf”… well, there were a few 3 footers that came crashing through, but I think it would have been possible to get through with the right timing. I guess it’s too much risk for the newbies, so when surf is 1-2 feet, that’s when we’ll go again.

There’s a nice easy approach with no steps to this beach. There’s also an approach on the north end with steps. Either way works. For me, I’ll choose the steps. Less chance to slip when carrying 80 pounds of gear. I can’t imagine falling down loaded up with everything. Something would probably break, most likely me.

The beach seems nice enough. It was morning, around 8 a.m.  and the tide was beginning to come in. I didn’t stay too long, just long enough to have a look around and take some photographs, which appear on this page.

Photo below is looking to the south. I don’t know who’s in the picture. Some local person most likely. Or a visitor form Kansas? I also wonder who lives in the home perched along the edge of the cliff. So many cool places.

Check this out. The place is out of this world. Conjures up all sorts of stories in my mind.

Looks like a good place to dive from. Easy access, and the reef appears to be easy to reach as well. Being stuck on the surface for the time being, due to recent knee surgery, this is the best I can do until the wounds are healed and I can get in the water.

Photo below, looking north. Reminds me a bit of Dana Point, the way the earth juts out into the ocean.

At least I know where we will be diving from now, and carrying the gear won’t be an issue. The steps below are one way up or down. I think I’ll use the steps instead of the path because the steps are just easier for me.

After exploring the beach and the approach to the beach, it was time to head back to the car. Since I’m recuperating from surgery, I had to ride shotgun in this beast. Oh, it’s such a chore to ride in the Corvette. It would have been easier to get into the car if the curbing wasn’t nearly at the same level as the floor of the car. Anyway, I made it. My journey to Crescent Bay is complete for now. Next time I go, it will be with my gear for my first ocean dive.