The Next Jacques Cousteau ??

I had promised to post some pics of H-T’s marine adventure to Florida, and we finally got the CD, so I’m following through (for once)… how many points do I get???

71  Scuba Diving in Weeki Wachee



This was their underwater signal to each other that everything was okey-dokey





116  With his group leader




H-T’s underwater version of “Home Alone”






OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA            Swimming near some eel grass…H-T told me that this stuff traps dirt in it, and helps purify the water…cool, huh?


Up close and personal with a manatee







belly  They roll over to get their bellies scratched


Waivers Are Making Me Waver

Do waivers make you nervous?  I had no idea I had a phobia of waivers until this week, when I’ve had to sign a BUNCH of them for H-T’s manatee trip.  Yep, this is the big week, and obviously that means time to sign away H-T’s life so that no diverone gets ((((shudder)))) sued or something.  They need waivers for his travel, waivers for his scuba dives, waivers for his snorkeling, waivers for his medical treatment, and back-up waivers just in case the first set didn’t cover something like a dolphin randomly jumping into his speedboat, knocking him from his seat and against the cup holder, giving him a concussion and a permanent beer-can-shaped ring on his forehead. 

As if I weren’t nervous enough sending my 12 year old off on a trip 11 hours away, with people I barely know….let’s throw in some legal waivers which detail every possible scenario H-T might encounter during his first adventure away from home!! Here is an actual paragraph from one of the waivers they sent me today:

“Hypoxia, hypothermia and drowning are also a danger when diving.  Hyperbaric injuries require treatment in a recompression chamber. Diving trips for fun, training and/or certification may be conducted at locations remote from a recompression chamber facility. It could take long time to reach a chamber facility, and I still choose to proceed with my diving activities.”

I’m not sure, but I’m pretty sure that, as I mom, I have cause to panic if I don’t even understand the injury OR the treatment my darling son is subject to.  And checking the box in front of this statement just makes me feel neglectful.  It’s like they want you to chicken out, and refuse to put your child through the unspeakable torture of that LONG drive to the recompression chamber thingy. 

I’ve had a hundred second thoughts as I’ve read through these legal papers this week.  I can’t believe I was dumb enough to ever agree to this.  H-T is scheduled to leave on Thursday, and I would almost rather brave his disappointment than risk getting him “recompressed.”  I keep getting visual images of them poking holes in him like a balloon and rolling him up from the bottom to make sure they get all the air out.

I’m gonna need lots of good thoughts and prayers this week, friends, if I’m going to push through my fears and actually go through with this exercise in parental torment.   I’m thinking of having them sign a waiver that says if I have to sign one more waiver, they are going to have to monetarily compensate me for all anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications I consume during the full time period of the trip. 

They may make very little profit on this excursion.

Just Keepin’ It Real

Have you been following the dead spy satellite story this week?  Right at this moment, there is a broken satellite floating out there in space, carrying about 1,000 pounds of hydrazine fuel, and we are preparing to blow it into smithereens with a heat-seeking missile.  This concerns me greatly.  Not because I’m worried we could miss, and that the thing could soon be hurtling toward earth, ready to toxicate our systems with lethal gas fumes, but rather because of the waste. I mean what a shame that we can’t somehow fix that puppy and put it to good use.I’ve been thinking about this lately because H-T is preparing to go on a field trip.  At 11 years old. Without me.  (did you catch that last bit??)

You see, H-T is a bit obsessed with life science in any form, and is thrilled at the idea of tagging along on an excursion of students who are heading to Florida to swim with and study manatees.  All this would be impressive and even noble if it were someone else’s kid.  But it’s not.  It’s my H-T, who has hardly ever spent a night away from home, much less 10 hours away, with people who can’t possibly know just how he likes his volume on his portable DVD player or how to get the earphones on his Nintendo DS perfectly snug against his ears.

So that brings me to the spy satellite issue.  I can’t figure out why someone hasn’t gotten the bright idea to create a satellite that will track preteens who have the overconfidence to think they can survive five days without their parents.  I mean instead of blowing this thing to high heaven, couldn’t we possibly just tweak it a bit, and adjust it to a specific frequency, and then implant small beacons into the necks of each of our pre-adolescent children so that they could be tracked at every moment on specially made parental radar units?  I mean doesn’t that sound much simpler and less costly? 

And think of all the additional uses.  I mean talk about making things easier for Santa!  Who’s been naughty?  Have the elves check the spy-cam.  End of story. 

I think I’ll phone up the president today, and get this ball rolling.  After all, it’s only a couple months until H-T heads to Florida.  I would imagine the implants might need to be fine-tuned, and that might take a week or two.  And of course we will probably need a second mortgage on the house to be able to afford the parental radar unit.  Resistant-Techie might even have to cough up a kidney to make sure we have enough to pay for the specialized satellite feed. But when I’m seeing H-T take his first dip with a manatee on that fuzzy screen, it will all be worth it…

Guess I better get busy. Anyone have George’s cell phone number?