Delta 4 Launch, January 20th 8:59 PM Eastern @ Titusville, Florida

After watching a television newscast, a friend had suggested going out to the coast to watch a night time launch from Titusville. Reluctantly, I had agreed for an evening excursion for the Delta 4 Launch set for 8:40 PM. Arriving early, we had parked on the soft shoulder next to the bay. People had started to populate the surrounding area with launch time approaching. With 8:40 PM arriving, mission control had temporarily stalled the launch due to solar activity.

For a few moments, the crowd had become restless with the notion of a scrubbed launch; however, one of the nearby bystanders had returned from his vehicle AM radio reporting an update launch of 8:59 PM. There was some trepidation from onlookers whether the vehicle would go up or not.

On the last minute of their launch window, NASA had launched their Delta 4 rocket. The light had illuminated the darkened sky. Moments after, the rumble of the rockets had filled the humid breezy cool air. Eventually, the booster rockets had detached into the atmosphere. Falling into the darkness, they had appeared as red specks in the horizon. One child had remarked the distant man made flames appearing like an evening star.

It was a star beyond a physical definition. It had represented the very best in man’s aspiration in enlightening self through education.
Some had wondered why we need a space program in a downed economy. I had fostered a simple reason, a feeling of hopefulness for what tomorrow brings.

To get details on the next launch from KSC and best location for viewing checkout: http://www.launchphotography.com/

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A return to Lake Lily Park @ Maitland, Florida

On the mend from surgery, I had opted for a returning drive up to Lake Lily Park @ Maitland, Florida. Over the past year, I had ventured across most of the state of Florida. Most destinations had offered a greater degree of seclusion and natural brilliance than this city park; however, on this Monday, I had only wanted to escape the confines of my bed. The goal for the day was asserting my mental independence over physical disrepair.

Heading out at noon, my vehicle had voyaged into Lake Lily’s parking lot. Exiting my Explorer, I had gingerly moved toward the perimeter of sidewalk wrapping around the lake. After making one lap around Lake Lily, I had stopped because of lack of hydration in the noon time sun. That notwithstanding, I had achieved a very rudimentary goal with pretense of another return.

On the following Tuesday, I had committed to hitting an hour walk. With some discomfort but, an increasing tempo of footsteps, I had achieved my target time. Putting aside the rehabilitation of my body, I had also encountered a multitude of underappreciated views. Perhaps being less mobile than normal, I had enjoyed the passing sights of squirrels, turtles, fish and ducks. I was also reminded in even such limited liberation, the solace of the mind nature brings.

I hadn’t decided where my next walk will be but, glad to reacquaint myself with local favorite in Central Florida. It was more than a return to a physical location but, one of solace.

More Information:

Lake Lily Park is located @ 701 Lake Lily Drive, Maitland, FL 32751.
Hours: 8:00 am – 10:00 pm
Farmers Market is held on Sunday mornings.

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What do scars tell us?

Some say scars build character, others maybe misfortune, for myself I had believed these markings tell us about our own story. Having come out of initial recovery from hernia surgery, I was thinking exactly what do these new etchings mean? For my story, I had looked back to my first big physical trauma.

One day leaving the military grocery store in the UK, my mother and I were headed to the parking lot.  As with many children, I had wanted to treat this rudimentary chore as a chapter in a whimsical fantasy. For most young boys, most had periodically idolized Superman and his super strength. So in my best physical impersonation, I had decided to pry off one of the car doors from the inside out. Now, the visual counterpoint were tiny preschool boy hands wrestling with modeled sheet metal. If Superman had crushed cars, so could I. Unrelenting, I had become entrenched in a battle against this unwavering construct. On the other hand, my mom had focused on efficiently loading up the day’s groceries in the trunk. Then, the slam of the car door had brought reality to a screaming halt, literally. Under the door hinge, my left hand had laid.

Awaking from the shock, I was walking with my mom through a courtyard at a hospital. Looking at my left ring finger, it was dolled up in cotton gauze. Under the gauze had existed the bloody bludgeoned shortened fingertip. If I hadn’t told, you might not had been any wiser to this scar. The only physical challenge I had ever experienced, learning to play guitar with a little more effort on the frets. In reflection, it was small penance in embracing my childhood ethos of Superman. From my mom’s point of view, she had felt enormously guilty about the mishap; however, in retrospect accidents and boys had seem inseparable facts of life.

Looking at the incisions from repairing two hernias, I had thought of how this experience compares to the first. In certain sense, the same spirit was at play. Men and boys had always wanted to reach beyond their grasp, sometimes reality. Looking at the some of my other noteworthy scars, from my right wrist, left forearm, and right knee, all had echoed moments of being more than ordinary maybe, even super. Scars in themselves were just a reminder of the body’s frailty.

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Surgery, stand and deliver!

Before this year had started, I knew the day would roll around for my hernia surgery. The important part of the adventure was confronting any loss of mobility post the procedure. For myself, a loss of mobility had meant a loss of freedom to randomly travel wherever on a whim. With any luck, I had hoped to work through recovery in a reasonable amount of time. On this Friday, I had thought to ask you to assert your own freedom to explore the world we live in. Face some fear that had held you back from enjoying living. As I had set this to autopost to WordPress at the time of my procedure, consider your day without such a constraint, stand and deliver!

mr. mister

Hear More:
Stand and Deliver by Mister Mister (Youtube)

Valentine’s Day, whatever we deny or embrace, for worse or for better!

Love like refracting light had come in various hues whether a crush, platonic friendship, paternal instinct or a long-term relationship. Earlier this week, I had recalled my connection to my mother through the distinct perspective of a childhood embrace. Some of the biggest moments in my life were colored by other shades of this very word, love.

One weekend while going to Florida State University, by coincidence, I had caught up with a childhood friend from the Bahamas. This interaction had sparked the possibility of reaching out to my estranged father in Asia. At that point, I hadn’t spoken to my dad in a number of years. I was so angry with disappointment of the dissolution of his marriage to my mother. Topping it all off, was his reckless spending of my college fund. I had recalled thinking, “How do you forgive something like that?” Then I had remembered all the good times growing up on military bases. I had remembered the smell of coffee, doughnuts and slight odor of cigarette smoke when hugging his side. With that perspective, I had decided to write an open letter detailing missing him. I wasn’t sure if he would respond; however, the act of popping the envelope into the mail was a cathartic one. It had afforded solace through forgiveness in place of anger.

In the end, I hadn’t ever heard from my father until receiving word from an uncle of his unexpected death years later. In my mind, that open letter was therapy for closing out a portion of the past. Before my father’s service, I was given the duty of providing his eulogy. I had again recalled some of those great memories of playing chess, fishing and snorkeling off the Bahamian coast. This mental anchor had provided strength in gathering words in a difficult time. By letting go of the anger before, I was able to bridge an emotional gap from estrangement. Like my mother had said,”He was still your father!” I was grateful to express my love for him then and others down the line. Whatever life had tossed your way, for better or worse, your better man or woman, for fearlessly saying you love someone. The only epic fail was allowing anger from preventing saying otherwise.

Read More:
Pat Benatar (Wikipedia)

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Padi Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Class @ Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

In the middle of January, I had signed up for Advanced Open Water class down at Seminole Scuba @ Lake Mary, Florida. Fresh off a cold and a possible new hernia, I had pushed myself to hit the road with my scuba buddy in completing this upgrade to my diving repertoire. During our adventure, we had hit the following underwater areas off the Ft. Lauderdale coast.

1. Rebel
2. Oakland Ridge
3. Hog Heaven
4. The Caves
5. Tenneco Tower
6. Barracuda Reef

On the lessons learned front, I was treated to a reality check on a few different technical items. One, I had definitely needed a thicker wetsuit for managing my threshold for hypothermia (i.e. 3mm vs. 5mm). According to our instructor, Johnny G. Thomson, I was shaking like a tree on a windy day. Some might say not a big deal but, this had definitely kept me from fully enjoying the dives. On the physical front, I was eating up my Nitrox like a drunk sailor on shore leave. After the first day, I had thought I easily lost a few pounds looking in the mirror just from the extended exposure.

Second, having to switch to a spare air cylinder due to overconsumption of Nitrox, I had forgotten to switch the mix on my dive computer down from 31% to 21%. That oversight had forced my Viper Air to lock out reading my PSI. At that point, I was a bit frustrated and crestfallen. During that process, I had also unexpectedly experienced moving down from Nitrox to normal air mix. I had suggested skipping that switch if at all possible. A normal air cylinder definitely had a stale dry aftertaste. On the plus side, I had picked up a tip on modifying my regulator for better air management. Additionally, I had kept in mind to ask for a bigger tank on rental the next go around.

Third, on buoyancy, I was down to a body weight of 150 pounds. This was a swing of 10 lbs. from taking Padi Open Water class. Eight pounds of weights in either salt or fresh had seemed much for managing my buoyancy with the least amount of effort. I had targeted to cut this in half for my next outing.

Fourth, never leave your personally verified Nitrox cylinders unattended on shore or charter boat. Despite the personal labeling, I had one fellow diver pulling my buddy’s and my personal cylinders without our knowledge. Either through being lazy, or just being rude, I was extremely pissed off by the potential of coughing up money for a missing cylinder. On top of that, we had depended on the lowest Nitrox mix for our deepest dives. What was this guy thinking?

As far as the big picture stuff on the trip, I had continued growing to love being out on and in the open water, whether deep or at night. Every dive so far has had a different pay off. It was cool to finally get below 100 feet; however, the emotional payoff on this dive trip was the accommodating staff from Seminole Scuba and my dive buddy. Their passion for diving had shone through any technical challenges for myself. Sometimes it was more beyond the wildlife you encounter but, the comradery. To that end, I had looked forward to planning my next dive post my hernia surgery.

Dive! Dive! Dive!

Padi Advanced Open Water @ Ft. Lauderdale, Florida @ GarzaFX.com

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Padi Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Class @ Ft. Lauderdale, Florida @ GarzaFX.com

Padi Advanced Open Water Scuba Diving Class @ Ft. Lauderdale, Florida @ GarzaFX.com

Sponsored by Seminole Scuba

dolphintall

Get to know Paul Shepherd and his competent team at Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida, whether getting certified or making a once in a lifetime trip like AFRICA 2014.

Scheduling Exchange mailbox moves in bulk with the Get-Mailbox -Database powershell command

Over the years, I had opted to skip database maintenance with moving mailboxes to new databases. Back in the old days, I used to copy mailbox after individual mailbox; however, with powershell and Exchange 2007 and above, you can schedule whole database worth of mailboxes at a time and multiples thereafter.

1. An Exchange server or system running Exchange Management Tools 

2.  Create an account with Organizational Admin permissions and Domain Admin permissions (i.e. powershell@garzafx.lcl)

3. Open powershell and run Set-ExecutionPolicy RemoteSigned to allow running your own scripts.

4. Create a folder labeled c:\scripts to store your scripts.

5.  Copy and paste the below into script file into a file labeled mailboxmoves.ps1. Modify database and server group as necessary.

#START SCRIPT
#Adding Exchange Snap In to execute Exchange CmdLets in this scriptAdd-PSSnapin

Add-PSSnapin Microsoft.Exchange.Management.PowerShell.Admin

#MOVE MAILBOXES

Get-Mailbox -Database “garzafx\A2013” | Move-Mailbox -BadItemLimit ’10’-TargetDatabase “garzafx\ A2014″  -Confirm:$False

Get-Mailbox -Database ” garzafx\B2013″ | Move-Mailbox -BadItemLimit ’10’-TargetDatabase ” garzafx\B2014″  -Confirm:$False

#END SCRIPT

6. Ensure you have adequate log space on your system and free space on your target drives.

7. Create a scheduled task labeled: mailboxmoves.

8. Run under service account (i.e. powershell@garzafx.lcl).

9. Select option to,”Run whether user is logged on or not.”

10. Choose, “Run with highest privileges enabled.”

11. Select trigger options (i.e. every day, 9PM) and verify status, enabled.

12. Under Actions tab, select,”Start a Program.”

13. For Program/script enter: C:\Windows\system32\WindowsPowerShell\v1.0\powershell.exe

14. Under Add-arguments,”-file -Command “& ‘C:\scripts\mailboxmoves.ps1′”

15. Click OK and enter credentials when prompted.

16.  After the scheduled task runtime, verify no mailboxes reside in your old databases (i.e. get-mailboxstatistics -database myexchangeserver\agarzafx2013). Then proceed with file and folder deletion.

NOTE: You can schedule as many database mailbox moves, just be mindful of time of day and storage, otherwise you might inadvertently take information stores offline.

Read More:

How To: Schedule PowerShell Script for an Exchange Task  (Exchange Server Share)

ps

Shark dive @ West Palm Beach, Florida

Inquiring about suggestions for my next dive, Paul Shepherd @ Seminole Scuba had floated the idea of a forthcoming shark dive down in West Palm Beach, Florida in mid-January. For some odd reason, I was enamored by this thrilling prospect of viewing these animals while diving. I hadn’t voyaged into the water with a shark since seeing one back in the Bahamas as a teenager. One of the requirements for this dive boat excursion was taking the Padi Advance Open Water class. In lieu of Advance Open Water class and Nitrox training, Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures had offered an introduction to Nitrox. Nitrox for the uninitiated was a different mix of oxygen to nitrogen. Standard air cylinders carry 21% oxygen, a Nitrox cylinder had normally ranged from 32% to 34% oxygen with some variation. This increased oxygen formulation had enabled longer dive times, less fatigue and shorter surface intervals. One important downside for Nitrox was possibility of oxygen toxicity at certain depths.

Hitting the open waters on the charter boat Wet Temptations, the congregation of divers had started gearing up while receiving our pre dive briefing. The first new check on this adventure was learning how to verify the Nitrox mix. This process had sounded easier than done with the boat bouncing up and down in the surf. Looking back at stats from my Suunto Viper-Air dive computer, I had lost anywhere from 300 to 500 psi across different cylinders learning to get a readout. With 15 minutes until drop off, the crew had thoughtfully reminded us to get ready our BCDs and regulators. The inexperience of being on my first dive boat was exhilarating with the call of “Dive! Dive! Dive!” Descending on the first of three dives, I had approached around 85 feet in depth. Right out of the gate, I was treated to sights of a turtle, a wreck, a stoic barracuda and a fleeting bull shark. Despite any previous apprehension of sharks, the event was extremely serene. The big excitement for myself was on ascending in the water column. Taking the 15 foot safety stop, I had run low on air consumption. Additionally, I had struggled with getting caught in my reel line for my safety sausage while climbing back onto the boat.

Before arriving at our next dive spot, the wind had placed a chill across my body generating hypothermia. Luckily, the vessel had a hot water hose and snacks for mediation of the surface winds. The second dive was equally calming with a bounty of lemon sharks. Now, what I had come to discover lemon sharks really don’t pose much of threat to humans. They had tended to go for smaller prey (i.e. parrot fish etc..), specifically for the probability of success. Watching the various approaches of lemon sharks, they had seemed curious but, equally cautious. At no time had I felt any sensation of being threatened. On the third dive, we had seen a few more lemon sharks coming into proximity of a reef. The same emotional refrain had repeated.

The importance of this dive was having a new appreciation for this misunderstood seafaring creature. Despite that new perspective, I had still garnered a healthy respect for sharks in their natural habitat. After all, I was only a surface dwelling mammal. This was without question, one of the most enthralling experiences of my life. To that end, I had wanted to say thanks again to Paul Shepherd @ Seminole Scuba for another fracking great recommendation and a shout out to the attentive crew from Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures.

Now can someone get me another breath of Nitrox!

Read More:
Lemon Sharks (Wikipedia)
Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures (scuba-adventures.com)
Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures & Marine Life Art Gallery (facebook.com/JimAbernethyScubaAdventures)

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Image courtesy of Jim Abernethy’s Scuba Adventures & Marine Life Art Gallery: https://www.facebook.com/JimAbernethyScubaAdventures
Sharks! Dive! Dive! Dive!
Image courtesy of renegade399

Sponsored by Seminole Scuba

dolphintall

Get to know Paul Shepherd and his competent team at Seminole Scuba in Lake Mary, Florida, whether getting certified or making a once in a lifetime trip like AFRICA 2014.

Across the Universe Happy Valentine’s Day Mom!

While in elementary, I had remembered immersing in pages of books with graphic illustrations of the planets in our solar system. My mom was never a fan of anything science fiction or science fact related; however, one thing she had always enjoyed profusely, my explanation of how much I loved her. In my response, I had stretched my out my arms to their furthest expanse saying, ”I love you from the planet Mercury to the planet Pluto.” That familiar exchange of affection had seemed big enough to fill my existence through the edge of the Milky Way.

Cherishing those memories now, I had reflected on friends and other peers living through their mother’s passing. Life had never seemed to offer convenient times for interrupting with bad news. A few weeks ago, my mom had come down with this year’s seasonal cold eventually leading to admission into to the hospital. Luckily, she was on the mend and off to Vegas by the following weekend. Funny thing, I was a bit frantic about being unable to reach her for my weekly Saturday morning call. I hadn’t felt such anxiety since my childhood. A childhood that was filled with obsessing about my parents dying. Maybe it was fear of nuclear war during the 1980s or a separation phobia. Who knows? Who cares?

One thing that hasn’t changed since childhood that distant memory. That reverence still fills my heart expanding across my existence. Nothing summarizes that feeling better than the Beatles song, Across the Universe.

johnlennon

Happy Valentine’s Day from tu adorado tormento (your beloved torment)

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Read More:
Our Solar System (NASA)
Across the Universe by the Beatles (Wikipedia)

Hernias and someone drinking a little too much beer?

Two months ago I had travelled out to southern California for work. Upon my visit, a friend of mine, pointing to my stomach, had mentioned, “Someone drinking a little too much beer?” Much to my chagrin, I had stated, “Only my belly button.” After about a month, I had noticed my navel protruding more than ever. It had crested with bluish tint and tender to the touch. On New Years’ Eve, I had decided on sending a picture to my general practitioner for some feedback. He had responded “umbilical hernia.” At first, I was writing off the protrusion as more cosmetic than a functional issue. For over two years, it really hadn’t bothered me much until getting the seasonal cold this past January. With each respective sneeze and cough, pain had bellowed through my chest cavity with a greater degree of discomfort but, still manageable.

Somewhere along the way in January, I had also noticed another protrusion in my lower pelvic area while working out. Maybe it was from doing leg presses or just lifting something incorrectly (i.e. a scuba tanks). Regardless, the mental toll of having two hernias, especially a lower pelvic one, really had lowered my spirits. I had wondered, “If I had surgery, how long until I recover to go run, hike, swim or scuba? Will I be the same man afterward?” In my 40s, I had really started to ponder every new ache with the progression of aging. I had started to channel, Stone Temple Pilots’,”Half the man I used to be.”

Now at first, I had written off a decision for surgery until later in the 2014. I had really wanted to focus on getting more reps scuba diving with a friend; however, I had figured, ”Why not schedule an appointment for a medical consult?” Two days before my appointment, I had gone out for Karaoke with a buddy. While there, I had an unexpected shift in my lower abdomen while going to the restroom. A sharp pain had begun emanating from my lower torso feeling like someone literally kicking constantly  in the groin. With the pain increasing in severity, I had opted to bail on my friend at the bar in lieu of rest. Choosing to avoid a repeat of the previous night outing, I had chosen to skip the next morning at the gym. I had grown fearful of what might inadvertently occur. I was wondering if my intestines might pop out like the many ghastly depictions online including a story from Dwayne Johnson aka The Rock.

This past Thursday, I had finally caught up with my surgeon for a consult. Much to my surprise, he had mentioned the recovery time should be quick, even for activity like scuba diving or the gym. With that appraisal echoed by my family doctor, I was ecstatic. Now, all I was waiting on scheduling the surgery and getting back to a full range of activities. If you had a hernia before, what was it like? How long did it take you to return to a fully functional battle station?

Read More:
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson on Hernia Surgery: “Those Were Sexy Times” (US Weekly)

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Down the West Orange Trail Apopka-Vineland Outpost @ Orlando, Florida

“There is nothing more beautiful than a tree.” – Joyce Kilmer

Moving onto the paved trail known as the West Orange Trail from the Apopka-Vineland Outpost, I had pondered the similarities between people and trees. Each respective organism had embodied the potential to bloom into a beautiful dynamic sight. With both organisms, each had matured under the seasons and the sun. Each were also equally vulnerable to any neglect or harsh environmental conditions.

With my second trip out to the West Orlando Trail at the Apopka-Vineland Outpost in as many years, I had picked up a friend for an afternoon walk. Approaching the parking for the trail, I had taken a wrong turn going up a gravel side road. For a few moments, I had thought a perched O.P.D. vehicle would peel me off for a moving violation. Luckily, just a quick U-turn had redirected my vehicle into the proper parking area without earning a ticket.

With a few years passing by since our last conversation, my friend was ecstatic about voyaging out into the green overhang up this 22 mile trail. Walking through the cool breeze of Monday afternoon, he had talked with jubilation about getting a fresh start after losing his job and a long term relationship. By his own admission, some of his recent “bad luck” were just bad choices.

Making our way up the paved walkway, we had seen open fields of golden bushes and palmettos. Behind those fields had laid the pale blue sky with the fading sun and a scattering of cirrus clouds. This backdrop was a calming contrast to my friend’s recent troubles. Continuing our conversation, we had whimsically shifted to nature of personal etiquette, growing older, and relationships. With all those subjects, we had both evolved from personal experience.

In our different journeys, we had struggled to find the answer to the question, “Do you know who you are?” To that question, I had responded recently to a friend “Yes!” In my mind, I had thought, “What’s inside me? A part of the American mythology, freewill.” For each person, we had the opportunity to manifest our own destiny and leave the world in our wake. For each of us, we had roots, limbs and leaves for baring our soul.

Read More:
West Orange Trail (Trailink)

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