Friday, October 8, 2010

Just another day in the life of...

 To tell my new story, I must first learn you some new stuff.  Some key points are important to understand before I can tell of my adventure.  So, the first vocabulary word is mooring.  A mooring is just something you tie a boat up to.  For the purposes of this story, a mooring is something very heavy at the bottom of the ocean with chains or ropes attached to some big floating buoys that we grab with a hook then wrap around the cleats on the boat so it doesn't float away. Go here for a picture.   A prop is the big spinny thing under the boat that makes it go vrooom!  It's really just short for propeller.  So, it's a big underwater fan.  Got it?  Good, try to keep up.  It gets more difficult now. Bio-luminescence is when living things glow.  For our particular purposes you will need to learn about bio-luminescent plankton, click here to learn more. Here is a video that shows it, mine was green though, not on.

Next you need to know about ocean currents.  This one is kind of self explanatory so if you need help click on the link, otherwise, continue reading on.  Ok, I think that covers most things that you might need to know.

So...last night was just an average cocktail cruise.  Only had about 35 passengers on board.  The only thing out of the ordinary was the excessive wind.  After the sun had gone down and the drunkenness had reached it's apex we were heading back into the harbor when the captain asks me to come up to the wheelhouse.  This is where he tells me in a quiet yet slightly elevated tone that "we hit a mooring and it's wrapped around the prop".  Ah crap, is all I could think of as I hurried downstairs to change into my swimming trunks and get my snorkel gear.  I always carry that stuff on all the boat trips for just such emergencies.  To date I have yet to have a night time emergency, only day time get in the water emergencies.  So my heart was a thumpin' somethin' fierce for sure.  We set Tera on 'distract the passengers' duty.  To her credit the little dance show she put on worked wonderfully as the only person on board who even seemed to notice something was amiss was the little 8 year old boy who quietly asked me, "why are you going snorkeling?"  "I'm just going to make sure the dolphins are ok!" I said.  Earlier that day we had dolphins following us playing in our pressure wake and the little guy was really worried that we would run one over.  We opened the gate and I looked down into the ocean.  Now we weren't moving, the captain had turned off the props and we were unintentionally tied up to a mooring.  But when I looked into the water, it seemed as if we were going at least 10 knots (a little faster than 10 mph).  The current last night was ridiculously strong.  Later, even most of the captains were talking about how they haven't experienced a current that strong in years.  So now I am getting into the ocean during the dead of night, under a 70 ton boat, in a 10 knot current, a two inch blade in one hand and a dying flashlight in the cut a three inch line off a five foot steel prop of death.  I was kinda freaked out...nothing of it though, had to be done.  So I jumped in.  This is when I first noticed one of the most amazing spectacles I have ever encountered. plankton.  Imagine laying on your back on the clearest night looking up at the stars, now take that picture and you'll have an idea of what I was looking at with my face down looking into the pitch black ocean.  Tiny glowing lights, millions of them, were floating all around me, sparkling just like stars.  Honestly, it was beautiful.  I have seen this bio-luminescence only once before, from the beach.  But it took me several seconds to remember what I was doing under a boat clinging onto a rope for dear life with a knife in my hand.  I came to my senses and got to work.  To remain in place without getting washed away in the current of doom I had to ditch my light (tied to my wrist) and use my left hand to hold on to the line I was trying to cut through.  The first thing I noticed was that this knife was definitely inadequate.  So I surfaced to tell the captain I needed a different knife.  This one was a leatherman with a serrated blade.  Much better.   Back under the boat.  Thanks coach for all those two a day workouts, I really needed that lung capacity last night.  Anyways, there was so much tension on the line when I finally cut through that I got taken on a little ride, remember I was holding on to it...  That was the scariest part of the night.  Although sticking my arm through a prop that big with a boat full of half drunken passengers, any one of which could have thought it fun to try driving the boat and throttling up the prop, was a bit unnerving.  Not to mention tiger sharks! (please click on that one and compare their description to my current circumstances.)  Anyways, I made it back to the boat, (thanks again coach) just to realize we were still not loose.  There was one more line to cut, so back under I went.  This time though I held on to the prop itself, (I'm a quick learner) instead of the line to be cut.  I could actually feel the boat jerk loose when I cut us free.  This created the new danger.  About 100 yards away was a sail boat on it's mooring directly down stream from us.  So I had to climb up the rescue line we had been using and get on the boat before we drifted into the sail boat, I got about half way up when the captain grabbed me and pretty much threw me on deck, he then ran up to the wheelhouse to start the engines and take us to safety.  Aside from a few strange looks of confusion as to why their bartender was in a swimming suit and sopping wet, still no one seemed to have a clue what had just happened.  Sweet moves Tera, sweet moves.  I dried off and went about the business of the cocktail cruise.  Crisis averted, danger surpassed.  The only casualty of the night, was that mooring line...Luckily I knew the captain of the boat who's mooring we had just mutilated so when we found them to tell them what had happened they weren't too upset.  In fact, they were all just astonished that I actually got in the water.  "That's pretty #$@% sexy!"  I kid you not, one of the girls on that boat said that to me after hearing me tell the story.  Even though at the end of the night we went out in the dinghy to fix what we could, their (the Pacific Whale Foundation boat Ocean Discovery, Dad and Derrek, we went out on this boat last year) mooring was no good, luckily they had an extra mooring they could use.  Now, only a day later...I find that I am somewhat of a legend in the harbor.  I guess the Pac Whale people are quite the gossipers.  People I've never met were asking me if I'm that crazy SOB who jumped in the water last night.  Apparently it was really dangerous or something...whatever.  I got this!  Yeah right, that scared the crap out of me.  But being a mini celebrity is pretty cool, and bio-luminescent plankton...that's cool stuff!  So it was totally worth it.  How about a raise?  Anyways, just another day in the life of Dallon!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

♪"For a three hour tour, A three hour tour..."♪

One of the many...We see spotted, spinner, and bottlenose.

Yesterday, I was lifeguarding at a place called Mala Wharf.  It is one of the snorkel spots we go to on our cruise.  We'd only been there a few minutes when my co-worker Raquel starts screaming gleefully at me that there are...wait for it...dolphins!  Right behind me!  They were a couple hundred yards away, so a bit too far to send all the snorkelers out there, but we had an extra crew on board to help lifeguard so I paddled my board out to sea to swim with the dolphins!  There must have been hundreds of them and I was right in the middle of them!  There were three dolphins in particular that took notice to me, after all the others had swam away these three would swim right up to me, just a few feet away then swim away, circle around a bit then come back in close for a good luck at me.  I am not sure who was more giddy, me or them?!  It was only when I felt too guilty for ditching everyone back by the boat that I climbed back on the surfboard and paddled back to the boat.  The whole thing though was one of the most amazing experiences EVER!  We see dolphins all the time on our snorkel and cocktail trips, and once before I've been in the water with them, but that time I just got a quick glimpse as they quickly swam by.  This time, I could have reached out and touched them and it lasted about ten minutes.  It was awesome...and this is my job!

working hard, saving lives.

Speaking of my job...I think I am going to stay a bit longer this year than I did last year so that I can work the whale watching tours.  Whale season officially starts December 15, but they have been known to show up as early as mid November.  Whales and dolphins!  Yippee!  Also...I get really good health insurance through my job, and I'm still super stoked on surfing.  Don't worry though, the Utah powpow will pull me back.  I miss my beanies and jackets!

I have to show the passengers how to do it safely first!
Cindy with Honu.

It is now cruise ship season here in Lahaina.  This means that on any given day there 1-2 ginormous cruise ships moored in the channel.  Since I work in the harbor these days get quite crazy.  The tenders are back and forth all day between the loading dock and the ships, but there are only three loading dock spaces and it's pretty busy already.  We have to wear special IDs and the dock is just like an international terminal at an airport.  Security guards everywhere.  The average age of all people in Lahaina probably goes up about 50% as the population triples on these days.  The cruise ship passengers always come out on our snorkel trips and it's a lot different from normal due to the elderly average age, the diversity of languages, and the (unfortunate) decline in the amount of fabric worn by the portly gentleman on board.  But everyone so far has been very nice and they seem a little easier to please than our normal crowds.

Under the boat.
Did I mention I work on a boat?  And swim with dolphins and turtles and bikinis every day?  Well I do, and it's the golly darn coolest!
"Would you like a cookie?"

I taught him everything I know...LDS bartenders, that's a laugh ya?!
Know what else is cool?  Northern swells on Maui!  Seasons in Maui are measured by where and how big the swells are.  Today, there was a massive north swell and the Bay, Shitty's, S turns, were all going off!  I am not quite ready for overhead waves at the bay but i went down there anyway.  It was a full on party, people lined the the ridge above the bay in beach chairs with video cameras galore.  I'm pretty sure I saw Dusty Payne too...I WILL surf the bay this year, just gotta wait for a training day before I go out on a day like today.  Honolua Bay...look it up, it's a spot on the women's pro tour.  I did go out on my longboard today though, caught some of the best waves of my life! 

Cindy on the slide!

I do it all!
 I lost my camera, so these photos are all kinda old, but enjoy.   Aloha my friends, keep it pono.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Nice guys finish last...

 At the end of writing this I am starting at the beginning, as a guy who has not even attempted to dive into the dating pool, not even dipped my little toe in it in almost three years...I admit to having very little grounds upon which to write this.  But, I offer here my opinions and limited experiences in hopes of helping those to whom I refer to as "girls these days".  Please note that I intend here absolutely no hidden messages, agendas, or personal plugs.  So...

What's the deal with girls these days?  All I hear from the XX chromosomes is how there aren't any good guys out there.  I understand that you are sick of guys who are as deep as the kiddie pool, popped collar pompousness,  muscle flexing cell phone self portraits, and dates where you can't get a word in because he won't stop bragging about his car, job, six pack, hotness of his ex, and how good of a missionary he was  Well, let me help you out ladies...

The first thing we need to do is change your definition of a "good guy".  OMG he is so hot! ;)  NO!  Just because a guy is charming and confident when he first meets you doesn't mean he is "good".  In fact, the most likely scenario is that he is just good at convincing you he is something that he really isn't.  Of course confidence and knowing what to say is attractive, but beware of these smooth talkers.  They are confident and so smooth because of their extensive experience in getting what they want from you, which is not likely to be the same as what you want from him.  Some guys are jerks, it's science.  But don't fret, believe it or not, they are not ALL jerks.  The chances are that there are a few guys in your life that you would consider a BFF, or besty.  What are his qualities that make him such a good friend?  Does he do nice things for you because he cares and not to score booty points?  Does he listen to you when you are whining about that jerk of a boyfriend you have without criticizing?  Is he honest?  Hopefully the answers are yes, because he is your FRIEND.  This is a good guy, and I would dare say that MOST guys really are actually good guys.  The good guys though, are not the aggressive ones with the amazing flattering skills.  So you really do already know what a good guy is, it's just realizing that a good guy's qualities are deeper down and may take a while to dig themselves out.  This is also true, unfortunately, for the bad guy qualities.  There are red and green flags to look for that give subtle hints as to which side of the force he is on.  Don't ignore these!  Just because he hasn't been mean in a long time doesn't mean he is a saint now.  Even someone that has no idea about the story of Star Wars could tell you after Episode One that Anikan was on a path to the dark side. Don't make Padme's mistake.

So, second, you need to know what to look for and how to recognize a "good" guy.  Start with those same friends.  Chances are you are in the friend zone due to circumstantial events.  But, you never know where these could go.  Remember, everyone wants to spend their lives with their best friend right?  Now, there may be a matter of physical attractiveness here, let me challenge you to expand your standards here, expand but not lower.  It is one of the most important parts of a relationship, but it is scientifically proven (probably) that the better you get to know someone, and the more good things you learn about them, the more attractive they become.  So when you first meet boys, don't wright any of them off on looks alone.  The good boys are camouflaged behind their average looks, plain clothes, and humble (shy) personalities.  This is why it seems to you that there are no good guys.  Because the bad guys are the ones working so hard for your attention and saying all the right things while the good ones are stumbling over their words, are too embarrassed to talk to you, and may feel a bit insecure because they don't drive jacked up pick up trucks.  They're hidden in the social shadow...but they are there.  Avoid hot guys that know that they are hot, these guys are used to girls throwing themselves at them.  But they may be complete idiots when it comes to how to treat you. (italics added)

Third, how do you find them? You might have to put in a little more effort to find a good guy.  Don't get me wrong, I am fully invested in the notion that if he wants a date, it's his responsibility to make it happen.  But there are things you can do to make it easier for him.  Remember, nice guys may be the shy guys.  So, if you are even remotely interested but he just won't make a move.  Give him a big smile and some eye contact.  Try talking to him first, even a little flirting.  Anything to give him the confidence to make a move.  You need to help him get past that "I could never get a girl like that" attitude.  Help him believe he has a chance.  DON'T play the hard to get game.  The nice guys don't know the rules to that game.  Also, try changing your "places to meet guys".  Bars, tanning salons, loud parties, and abercrombie and fitch, are all out, gyms probably not that great either.   Try your friends, a grocery store, a hardware store, your church, in the crowd at a game or concert, on the ski lift, your place of employment, anyplace people go where they aren't already in the mindset of trying to impress everyone else that is there.

And finally, remember that you are not in high school anymore.  Who cares where he works, what he drives, if he's rich, if he can bench press a toyota, or what other people will think of him.  What matters is how he treats you, how he makes you feel, and will you be happy every day with him.  Remember what's really important and you'll find your "good guy".  I promise.  He exists.  My very last bit of advice though, is that this all goes both ways...I hope this doesn't offend you, but good guys, well...they are looking for "good girls".  The best thing you can do to find him, is be worthy of him. 

In closing, know that all I have said here is of course circumstantial.  That abercrombie model driving the porsche on his way to the tanning salon may just be the greatest, nicest, sweetest guy ever.  And that shy, funny, plain, nice kid may actually be the next uni-bomber.  In the end (but hopefully closer to the beginning) it's up to you to decide.  But please, until you've tried something different from whatever you are doing now, stop complaining that there are no "good guys" out there.  The "good guys" are sick of hearing about it...but of course, we're good guys, so we'll keep listening.  So for the three girls that I intended this advice for, I hope it helped.  Too bad I doubt you will ever read this.  For those of you reading this, you are married and I just wasted 5 minutes of your bad.  Now I must go, I've got a date with a nice girl.  She is a 6'8", full epoxy, Pyzel wave shredding babe.  We are going surfing.

Dallon's Guide to Staying Not Fat.

All you need to know about staying thin.  Part One of One.

First of all, eat whatever the heck you want whenever you want.  You don't have to count calories, or carbs, or grams of anything.  You don't even need to know what that nutrition stuff is.  In fact, take an online nutrition class in college with all your roommates so you can get the quiz answers from them and not actually learn a single thing. 

Second, you have to have good jeans.  Make sure you buy ones with holes in them so people will think you've had them a really long time.  And make sure they have tiger stripes on the thighs so you will be invisible in the jungle, Get really uncomfortably skinny ones too because we all know everyone wants to see you try to move in those things.  Don't forget though...crack kills, hanging your but out is so last year.   wait...crap. 

I mean...Second, you have to have good genes.  Try changing your mom and dad to get better ones if yours aren't working out.  Most government agencies and federal courts can help you out with this one.  Lucky for me, this wasn't necessary.  Thanks mom and dad for the awesome genes!

Don't worry so much about exercise, it's not very fun.  You'll get plenty of exercise from your everyday lifestyle.  For example: Brushing your teeth: shoulders.  Pushing elevator buttons: biceps.  Reclining your lazy boy: triceps.  Getting out of bed: abs.  Driving around the parking lot ten times to get the closest spot possible: calves and arms.  Ladies, toilet hovering is a great hamstring workout. It's also a good way to compete with the boys to see who can get the most urine on the toilet seat.  So just keep not doing everything your not doing and enjoy the benefits!
Eat super chewy food, like the fatty strips from prime rib, and charleston chews.  If you burn so many calories from smiling, think of what all that chewing will do!  Keep track of your chewing routine.  I find that circuit training of 3 sets of 10 chews with a one minute break between sets works best.  Don't chew too much too soon though, you don't want to pull a muscle.  Also, don't eat heavy foods like watermelons.  Those suckers are heavy!  You'll gain like 100 pounds if you eat a 100 hundred pound watermelon.  I recommend light foods like cheetos, doughnuts, cotton candy, and marshmallows.  Pick all that nasty heavy stuff out of your Lucky Charms and just eat the marshmallows.  Those are the lucky parts anyway so it's a win win. Don't be fooled by food that claims to be "light" though.  Light yogurt is just as heavy as regular yogurt, Bud Light weighs just as much as Budweiser.  It's all a marketing scam but don't let them get the best of you!  And on that same note, budweiser will actually make you stupider if you drink it, I mean, those idiots don't even know how to spell wiser.  Just don't drink it.  So...When choosing foods at the store, weigh them at the produce section scales to find the really light stuff.

Finally, when you get bored, go eat.  In the simple act of getting out of your chair (abs and legs) opening the fridge (arms and shoulders) and then chewing vigorously you will have added a bonus workout to your day.  Eat some cake to celebrate!  You deserve it.

All this has worked for me so I'm sure it will work for you!  I actually weigh LESS now than I did in high school!  Except for the jeans part anyway, that crazy tiger thought I was a tiger...boy was it awkward when I had to take my pants off to prove I wasn't...Now of course these are just basic guidelines to get you started, you'll probably want to consult someone else for additional information.  Good luck!

Oh I almost forgot!  Some sort of recalled prescription drug that destroys your ability to process food normally (accutane worked for me) is a great way to never gain an ounce.