Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Luck dictates success in America. When a test is about to be taken in school, the student is told “good luck”, as if some mystical outside factor will determine the outcome. The appropriate response is typically, “Thanks. I’ll need it.” In the Japanese culture, the student holds the responsibility for success. “Do your best,” are the words of encouragement. The response is, “I must do my best.”

The Japanese word Osu is made up of two kanji, "o" meaning to "push" which symbolizes one hundred percent effort and "su" means to "endure". Combined, "osu" is a pledge to do one's best and endure. This symbol, which represents the discipline and self-respect of martial arts is also said to signify patience, respect and appreciation.
In order to develop a strong body and strong spirit it is necessary to undergo rigorous training. You must push yourself to what you believe to be your limit, when you want to stop and give up. When you reach this point you must fight yourself and your weakness and you must win. To do this you must learn to persevere, but above all you must learn to be patient. Just as students of martial arts take the personal responsibility and push themselves to do their very best in order to win, we all can "push and endure" through any of life's challenges in order to gain personal success.

This osu kanji design is available on t-shirts for children and t-shirts for adults and teens. Also see it on other great gift ideas such as mugs, greeting cards, tile coasters, pillows, greeting cards, journals and more.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

If anyone is out there reading this blog I implore you to get out and vote on November 4th for Barak Obama and Joe Biden. The alternative is just too frightening to imagine. The thought that Sarah Palin could end up a heartbeat away from the Presidency should be enough to get even the most apathetic citizens into the voting booths – one would hope. I for one intend to cast my ballot for the democrats (not a big stretch for me, I'll admit, since I am a tried and true democrat. But, hopefully even the republicans will see just how dangerous it would be to have McCain & Palin in the White House.

Aside from her lack of knowledge of national and international affairs, her stand on environmental issues is less about protecting the environment than protecting her own interests. Here are just a couple of her positions:

• She filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne's decision to list the polar bear as threatened under the Endangered Species Act.

• She issued a statement of opposition to a ballot measure that would have provided added protections for salmon from potential contamination from mining, an action seen as crucial to its defeat.

• She wants to prevent Beluga Whales from being listed as endangered.

• Global Warming: She apparently does not believe that the shrinking of the summer sea ice in the Arctic is human-induced or any cause for alarm

• She approved and expanded Alaka's aerial predator control program which shoots wolves from the air and hunts bears from the air and kills them upon landing.

• Palin aggressively opposed the "clean water initiative" on the August ballot in Alaska (which then failed), favoring instead foreign mining company desires for fewer government regulations controlling their toxic effluent into salmon streams.

• She refuses to push Exxon to pay the goverment for the unanticipated environmental injuries from the 1989 oil spill. 20 years later the case is still unresolved while Exxon gets record profits from Alaska.

• Her admiistration has not approved any money to improve shipping safety through the Aleutian Islands.

The future of our world, our environment depends on NOT electing McCain & Palin this November. Please support Barak Obama and Joe Biden for the sake of the planet.

I've added some pro-Obama t-shirts to my shop, one specifically for scuba divers. Please take a look and show your support.
These images can be found at Wear My Dive Art!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

It's a rainy Saturday afternoon so I'm doing laundry and trying to catch up on all the errands that I can't get to during the week. I was sad to hear about the passing of movie great, Paul Newman. He'll be missed by millions.

I'm really pissed at Facebook. They have blocked me from sending messages and adding friends for an undetermined amount of time. This happened with no warning (although they do say in their FAQ that they warn you before blocking. There is no outlet within Facebook to contact the administrators to question their decisions. Apparently I was sending the same message out too many times. What I was sending was a post about a contest that American Express was holding to give money to the charity that gained the most votes. My post was on all the scuba related stores on Facebook asking that they vote for saving the sharks on Cocos Island. I did not know any other way to get this message to the most divers and I didn't know that Facebook considers this wrong. Had they just told me I would have stopped. Now I cannot send any messages, post to any walls, or add any new friends. They say it is temporary but there is no indication as to when this "penalty" will be lifted.

Am I the only was that is frustrated by the lack of ability to contact the administrators of Facebook?

Well anyway if you are interested in helping the sharks on Cocos Island go toThe Members Project and vote for them. You must be an American Express card holder to vote. Thanks.

Sorry for the FB rant but I am frustrated.

Monday, September 22, 2008

On my last dive trip to the turks and Caicos (I go there a lot) I had a very special last dive. I was swimming along thinking how nice it would be to end my 10 days of diving with one more turtle sighting. Within seconds of that thought I saw my dive buddy Alain give me the hand signal for turtle. I couldn't believe it! This sea turtle swam with me for several minutes, eating up all the video space on my camera's SD card. It was so beautiful to experience until he got stuck within some coral. I watched while my dive buddy gave the poor guy an assist after which he swam for the surface to catch a breath of fresh air.

There really is something to the concept that the universe will give you what you ask for if you only put it out there. Now I think I should have been wishing for mantas all week!

You can now follow me on Facebook

Friday, August 15, 2008

These are a couple of photos of Lionfish that I took on my last dive trip to the Turks & Caicos. These fish are native to the Pacific and are causing havoc in the Caribbean. It's believed that they got introduced into these waters in 1992 after Hurricane Andrew destroyed a private aquarium and released six of them into Miami's Biscayne Bay. Here's a link to the msnbc story

Wear My Dive Art!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

This past July I took my annual trip down to the Turks & Caicos to dive with Club Med. On this trip I was to complete my 300th logged dive. That should have made it special enough (I like to celebrate milestones). On the day of my 300th dive my buddy had arranged for everyone to swim up to me under water and hand me a little rubber duck. I didn’t catch on to this until the 4th duck was handed to me during our safety stop. Along with the ducks, the Club Med Scuba team made me a cake, literally. I was covered in eggs, cocoa powder and flour upon arriving back at the dock. After a few not very attractive photographs & a shower, I was looking forward to my 301st dive.

The most memorable of my 9 days of diving this trip however occurred on dive 310 at a dive site called Grouper Hole. This was my last dive of the trip, a shallow second dive of the morning. I always get a bit nostalgic on my last dive of each vacation and look for something really special to remember while waiting for my next dive vacation. I was thinking to myself that I’d really like to see one more turtle on this trip. Moments later I looked at my dive buddy who was giving me the hand signal for turtle. I couldn’t believe it… I wished for a turtle and like magic, one appeared. And then he proceeded to swim with me, side by side, allowing me to photograph and video him up close for a quite some time until he seemed to get stuck between two pieces of coral. He just stayed still stuck and not moving until Alain, my buddy lifted his front flipper, allowing the turtle to swim free and head toward the surface for a breath of air.

It was one of those magical encounters that can make even a skeptic believe in a greater force at work. I don’t know whether it was the power & energy of my thoughts that brought the turtle to me or just a coincidence, but, I’d prefer to believe that on some level the turtle and I connected and he came to make my last dive of the trip into a special memory.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

New scuba diving t shirt designs as well as a new surfing tee have been added so come check them out!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Happy April! Spring is definitely in the air and today it looks like it is going to show its' face finally. I'm almost ready to put my skis away and start thinking about going under (water, that is). Beneath the Sea was very productive for me. I met a lot of people, made some good contacts and added a hooded vest to my dive gear!

Here are a couple of shirts that might get you in the mood to go diving. You can find them at the Dive Humor section of my shop Wear My Dive Art!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Ahoy all you scuba divers! Happy Tuesday. For those of you in the New York area, this weekend is Beneath the Sea: The largest consumer dive show. I can't wait to go and check out all the new stuff this year. If you haven't been it's a great way to meet other divers and get information about gear and destinations as well as the opportunity to buy at great discounts.

I've added another t-shirt to my growing online dive t-shirt shop. This one is a cute cartoon of a Pirate with the words "Captain Jack's Scuba Shack" "Walk the plank and dive!" You can check out the styles and other items available with this design at Wear My Dive Art! or, at my other shop on Zazzle.

Friday, March 14, 2008

There is a saying among divers, "Take only pictures, leave nothing but bubbles." I think the original quote was more land based (…leave nothing but footprints) but the ecological message of both sentiments is the same. The oceans will only remain a beautiful and natural resource if we, as visitors respect the reefs and its inhabitants. In keeping with this I've added a new shop to my line of dive t-shirts and gifts. See a couple of the images below and if you want to see the rest of the available styles and products, please visit theNothing but bubbles section in my shop Wear My Dive Art!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Here is a new design that I've added to my dive shop. Divers Fly is the name of the design. Oh I know you may think that divers swim but if you're a scuba diver and have ever felt that wonderful neutrally buoyant feeling you'll know it's as close to flying as we're going to get. Not to mention the feeling of flying through a drift dive. So I've come up with this tattoo inspired design of a pair of angel wings with a dive flag heart in the middle. It is available in several color variations so come take a look and pick out your favorite. Click here to go to all the shirt and gift options at the store.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

I was recently told that parents are always looking for cool and interesting t-shirts to buy their kids. Who knew? :-) So, with that in mind I started to focus more on my Just Kids section of my shop. Although most of my designs all include kids items, I've put a selection together that will make it easier for parents to zoom in on just what they might be looking for. So com check out the latest designs added. Below are a sampling of the newest kids sport designs. These focus on cute animals skiing and scuba diving.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

While I love to scuba dive, anyone who knows me knows that my other love is skiing. When the snow falls I'll be skiing! So I've addeda new section to my shop called The Ski Shop
Come check out my designs (some of which are pictured below).

Monday, January 14, 2008

I've just posted a cool lens on Squidoo that you might be interested in Get great color underwater without a fancy rig.
I share some easy to follow tips on how to use custom white balance to bring color back to photos underwater without the use of a flash. Come check it out!