wade
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When it really comes down to it, I have a lot of fun doing a lot of things. I've dabbled in a bunch of hobbies including cabinet making, harmonica playing, rock climbing, paintball, classic car restoring and racing, aikido, and model rocket building. On top of all that (or, more accurately, as a substrate to all of that), I always have some sort of medium-term geeky project going on like experimenting with Linux on an iPaq, organizing an open-source software project, or working on a home automation system in Perl. Still, some things have stayed consistent over the long haul and I've tried to detail those, below.

Family

First and foremost, nothing puts a sloppy grin on my face like spending time with my wonderful wife and daughter and anything I do is made that much better by doing it with them. Pretty much, all of the non-technical (and some of the technical) activities that are on this site are done with my family. You can find more info about them on our website.

Travel

My wife and I started traveling together before we were married. We slowed down, briefly, when our daughter was born but, now, she travels right along with us. We tend toward the independent approach -- preferring to do our own research, book our own reservations, and travel by ourselves. We carry backpacks and eat the local food and, these days, even manage to stay relatively healthy while doing so. We've been lucky enough to get to do some really fantastic trips, over the years and they've included some really cool experiences include seeing the sun rise over Everest, white-water rafting the Grand Canyon, having penguins crawl on us in Antarctica, sucking-down yak burgers in Tibet, cage diving in Mexico with great white sharks, and hiking through ancient, vine-encrusted ruins in Cambodia. On the other hand, we had our lives threatened in the souks of Fes and Karen spent three days in the hospital in Ecuador.

You can see pictures of some of our trips on our website.

Scuba

My family learned to scuba dive, together, before we went on a trip to Australia. We figured we would do that one trip and that would be the end of it. Well, we were wrong and ended up getting moderately serious about diving. Many of our trips, now, center around scuba and I even like to do cold water diving in Southern California with my Dive Matrix and ScubaBoard buddies.

A few words about sharks -- my family and I absoltuely love them. We have travelled all over to dive with as many different species of shark as we can (we're at something like 17, so far) and we've never felt threatened -- not with great whites, not with tigers, and not with bulls. They're not nearly as dangerous as shark week would have us believe.

My family all dives with very similar gear configurations -- all pretty run-of-the-mill. We wear jacket-style BCs (I use a ProQD, the girls use an Elan and a Diva), we breathe with Mares Axis and Akros regs (bottom of the line but, really, we've never had any trouble), Suunto Vyper computers which we've all put on retractors, and UK SL-4 dive lights which we've all bungied to our BCs like cave divers. We like Akona beanies and, when the water is warm enough, Aeroskin dive skins. I like to carry EMT snips instead of a knife.

We're pretty paranoid about being lost at sea so we carry dye packs, tank lights, air horns, safety sausages (I just love that name), and signal mirrors. In addition, we have a single McMurdo Fastfind Plus PLB and dive canister that one of us always has. Our daughter wears it when she dives with us and my wife wears it otherwise. I carry it when I'm diving without them.

Photo

Karen and I, both, enjoyed photography before we met. We've taken some classes and do the odd photo safari around town but, mostly, we just take our pictures while we're on vacation. I did some flirting with professional photography, acting as a gopher for a buddy of mine who works free-lance -- I even got a couple pictures published in European Car magazine but that was several years back.

I've gone through a few film cameras (always Canon) but, now that I've gone digital, I'm not going back. I'm currently using a Panosonic FZ-28; it takes great pictures but has minimal zoom and uses memory sticks that get frazzled when they go through airport X-ray. My ideal camera is an SLR-like camera because they're light, small, and relatively inexpensive. Unfortunately, they don't make one with an 18mm equivalent lens, something for which I grew an affinity when I shot film. At this point, I guess I'll have to go full SLR, use a screw-on doubler (halfer?), or wait for the camera of my dreams to appear on the shelves.