Archive - December 2003
----- 12.21.2003 --------
We, the staff here at robgirard.com (me) would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and all the best in the new year. Is it really that time a year already! I've been so busy lately that it's come out of nowhere! But that's OK because my trip is that much closer :) Can you tell I'm getting excited about it? I finished my PADI course for scuba diving last week. I wrote the test monday and finished my final pool dive on Wednesday. Speaking of "pool", we're off until January 5th. More appropriately, I'm off until the 26th :) We've actually been winning lately. Things are going to change, I can feel it... rat-ta-tat-ta-tat (BECK). I went for a work out up at the gym and it felt great not to be rushed! No pool to run off to. No one to meet up with. No studying to do. Ahhh... it feels good! And I had to go and ruin my relaxation with an update! Naw, I enjoy these... it just feels like I don't have much time for them these days. Well, I'm relly not sure when I'll have a chance to post next. I'm off to Windsor to see the family on Christmas Eve (in 2 days!!!) and then I'm only back for a couple days before New Year's Eve. After in a quick blur after that, I'm off to Australia! :) I'll try and post again before I leave, but if not, keep checking anyway. I plan to have some updates from down under :) Depending on how equipped their Internet Cafe's are, I may be able to get some pics up as well! I guess that's all for now. All the best over the Holidays, be merry (and safe!). See you all in '04! Ciao!
----- 12.14.2003 --------
This past wednesday I had another "pool" session to prepare me for my PADI Open Water certification in Australia next month. I have to admit, it was a bit of a drag. Unfortunately one of the students was a little slower then the rest of us. To make matters worse... she was my "buddy" which made things increasingly frustrating during the exercises. And our instructor wasn't our regular one, "Mo". No... our instructor that night spoke really slow to us like we were a bunch of kids. Someone mentioned she's a grade 5 teacher. That would explain a lot. Anyway, the stuff we're doing underwater really isn't rocket science. I'm not going to kid you and say I know it all, but the time spent on some of the simplest things was ridiculous. Sure, I understand slowing down the pace to slowest student, but at some point, you've got to pull that student aside and let the others move on. We're paying for this too! Anyway, our regular instructor has promised me I woudn't be paired up with the ummm, errr, "problem student" this week. That's a relief! She made me really nervous! I don't think she's comfortable in the water. In fact, floating in the deepend, she kept grabbing at me and my hoses and stuff to stay afloat in one place. Not cool! My training in the water tells me to get away from someone who's reaching for you, like a drowning victim. Always distance yourself with an object between you and the person to protect yourself. In this case, it would have been with my foot. Trust me, I was tempted to kick her away. Blame it on an unconscious reaction of self-preservation. And then underwater, she kept reaching for my gauges to compare air. Don't touch my equipment underwater! Psycho! Anyway, this week will be better. As for the classroom portion, our last night is tomorrow. That's write... exam time tomorrow. It shouldn't be too hard, but I don't want to jinx myself so we'll leave it at that. Wish me luck :) I can't wait till the scuba stuff's over. As fun as it is, I feel overly busy adding 2 days of activity to an already busy lifestyle. Oh well... that'll make my vacation that much better with less to worry about :) Speaking of which, I've planned a little more. As is, we fly into Brisbane and arrive the 5th. On the 7th, we're flying to Cairns. That evening, we're staying at the Global Palace Hostel. Early on the morning of the 8th, we meet up with Cairns Dive Centre for our 3 day liveaboard, where I'll finish my open water certification. That'll bring us to the 10th. We'll probably stay in Cairns that night, then head out the next morning on our adventure south. I can't wait! Anyway, I'll keep you posted. Well, I have one more chapter to read, so I'll end here. Take care all!
----- 12.07.2003 --------
Am I on vacation yet? It's really starting to feel like January just won't come quick enough! I've been really busy lately with work, workouts, and PADI classes. Speaking of which, wednesday was my first class in the pool. It started out w/ a brief swimming test which was easy enough. All we needed to do was 10 lengths, any style. There was no time limit, but you couldn't stop. Then we had 10 minutes of treading water. This was easy as well. Actually, it was interesting because my BMI (body mass index) has changed. I've always been a floater in water. Not any more :) If I take a deep breath, I'll stay on the surface, otherwise I'm a rock. This means my workouts are start to pay off since muscle will sink & fat will float. I'm finally tipping the scales in my favour for a change :) After the test we put on our masks, snorkels and fins. After a couple lengths of the pool to practice different strokes with the fins (flutter kick & froggy-style), we did some "skin diving". That was easy enough... dive to the bottom and come up properly with your hand outstretched so you don't bump your head into anything that might be on the surface. Then you need clear your snorkel. With a purge valve, clearing it's a piece of cake. Finally we got to get on our wetsuits and set up the gear. We did various tasks underwater but never left the shallow end. I really wanted to go booting around the pool, but I'll have to wait until the class. Oh well... something to look forward to :). Thursday we had our company Christmas party at the Royal York. I may have bitched about last year's, but they certainly made up for it this year. I had a blast! I took friday morning off ahead of time to play it safe. The office was a sight for sore eyes on friday. I'm pretty sure everyone had a great time. I had such a good time that I stayed in Friday night. I was beat! Saturday (yesterday) I met up with my buddy Dave to do some Christmas shopping. I turned out not to be very productive, but we had fun. Then last night we went out w/ my new Neighbour Michelle and a couple of her friends. We went to a few bars around the city I had never been to before. I had a wicked time! And that brings us to today. Today I felt like a bag of smashed ass. Oh ya, a nice hangover was kickin! The problem with PADI class on Monday night is that used to be my Arms & Shoulders night for working out. So, I moved them to sundays. That's where the problem was today. I was supposed to workout with a friend, but that fell through. Somehow, and I've yet to figure out how, I got my lazy ass off the couch and went to the SKydome for a workout. It wasn't one of my better ones by any stretch, but atleast I went. I'm feeling MUCH better for doing it now. Anyway, that pretty much brings us to now. I'm just about to throw a chicken in the oven. A few weeks back I tried a "Roast in a bag" from Grocery Gateway. You just put it in the oven, bag and all and pull it out and cut it up 75 minutes later. I've started cooking them every weekend. It's nice to have a good home-cooked meal on Sunday. By no stretch is it Mom's cooking... but it does the trick :) Speaking of which, I'm already drooling at the thought of this year's Christmas dinner. Mmmmm... Anyway, I better go now. I've got a bird to roast, a salad to toss and some rice to boil. I invited my neighbour over for dinner so I'll put in a little more effort then usual. I like cooking for more then just myself... One more thing. I just checked my email and was sent this funny 12 STI's of Christmas song. Too funny! ENjoy!
----- 12.02.2003 --------
I can't believe it's December already! It's safe to say that now I'm really excited about my trip to Australia! 1 month and counting! I can't wait! While I'm on the topic (which quite possibly will be every update this month :), I had my first PADI Open Water class last night. Tomorrow night is a pool session... It'll be great! The class is going fine, but it's a little slow. I read everything ahead of time, like I was supposed to, and then we covered it all in a video. It was a really snoozer, but it got me anxious. Breathing underwater rocks! And some of the scenery in the video was great, but probably nothing compared to what I'll see in the Great Barrier Reef. I've picked up a mask and snorkel for the trip. I needed it for the class and I figured it will come in VERY handy since I'll be on the coast the whole time I'm in Australia. Wow... only 1 month. I can't believe it! I'm sure this month will drag on in my anticipation, yet fly all at the same time. How can it now fly? I am soooo busy these days! From an already active life, I've just added two more days to it! Mondays and Wednesdays are now my scuba days. These were my workout days so I had to shift them back a day. Now I'm busy every day of the week except Saturday! Oh well... it's good for me and I think I may even be seeing some progress. However everytime I think I'm progressing, the very next day sometimes all this extra effort seems like a big waste. I know it's not, but it can be frustrating and tiring trying to achieve the goals I've set. Well, I did hit one of them... I gained 10 lbs since I started. As far as I know, it's all where I wanted it too :) Bonus! I'm in week 9 now... just 3 1/2 to go. Can I put another 5 lbs on? We'll see :) Speaking of which, I'm off to the gym. It's a leg day... the least favorite of exercises. Even though they're probably the best for me. In fact, I'm pretty sure they've already helped my squash match. OK, that's incentive (I need some, right?). K, hope all is well with everyone... bye! Oops... one more thing. I've got lots of new links on my links page! Be sure to check them out!
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