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Jake Shelton: "It's important to rinse all your gear after you're done diving."

  • JAKE SHELTON
  • Scuba Diving Instructor
  • Owner of the Diving Locker Dive Shop in Pacific Beach

Shelton's equipment

The first thing you want to do when you're getting ready to dive is hook up your dive gear. You don't want to do it after your wetsuit's on or you're roasting. So you put your dive gear together first and you make sure that it's working. After your dive gear's hooked up, you put your wetsuit on, you put your dive gear on, and then you head into the water.

You want to spend as little time as possible on land with your wetsuit on and your dive gear on your back. Once you're in the water, it gets a lot lighter, so you want to get ready as close to the water's edge as possible. Getting ready for diving only takes about six or seven minutes, and after you get done diving, you can take off your dive gear at the water's edge, then walk back to the car and take the wetsuit off.

It's important to rinse all your gear after you're done diving, get the salt off of it. All the stuff gets rinsed off and dried and then you spread it out and hang it up and pack it away for the next time. You also have to spray the metal stuff — the regulators and computers and lights — with silicon spray so it won't rust.

I really like my drysuit, which is exactly what it sounds like. It's a dry suit. It keeps all the water off you so you stay totally dry. It means you can get dressed up in nice, warm, fuzzy underwear at home, go down to the dive site, leave your clothes on, and just put your suit over them. That's a lot more comfortable.

There isn't any equipment that I wish I had. I own a dive store. I've got all the toys I want! But the things I have that I never use are my knife and my emergency backup tank. I always carry an extra tank with an extra regulator, just in case mine goes bad. But so far, in 18 years of diving, I've never had to use it. The knife I have just in case. You wouldn't fight a shark or anything with it, but maybe I'll have to cut myself out of fishing line someday — you never know!

Michael Early: "My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand."

  • MICHAEL EARLY
  • Owner, Michael Early Construction Company

Michael Early's equipment

I've worked in construction for almost 30 years, starting with geodesic domes I built in Michigan at the age of 15. My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand. I know where all my parts are, I don't even have to look. I can just grab anywhere and I know what I'm going to find.

So you put your bags on first, because you're going to need all those hand tools. Beyond that, you have to decide what tools are going to be necessary for the job. Certain tools you'll need to have with you, and everything else you can just leave in the truck.

I'll walk under ladders; I don't have any of those issues. But my green hammer has to be with me at all times. Everybody laughs about it, but it's been with me for 20 years. I do everything with it, and I can't lose it, or I actually freak out.

I only leave my tools lying around after work if the job site's really secure. Otherwise, you'll get ripped off. I've had stuff stolen on jobs in this town. For instance, we're in another room, in a big house in Hillcrest, and we come back, and a chop saw's stolen. So I advise all my employees, every day, to spend the extra 15 minutes, roll their tools up. Otherwise, sure enough, another tradesman will steal them. And in this business, that's your life, you know? You make your earnings based on what tools you own.

My green hammer is one of my favorite tools, of course, but another one of my favorites is my Porter-Cable four-and-a-half-inch trim saw. That's a tool. I do everything with it. I can do it all with this little thing, like cut finished panels with it. But I own a lot of tools; I have thousands of dollars in tools. I used to like to get tools for the fun of it. But now that I'm managing a construction company, I want to see how much I can do with the least amount of tools. So I'm kind of working it backwards and trying to be more efficient. If your team's portable, you can grab a couple of things and do more with less.

I have one tool I never use -- a $300 electric pocket cutter, a special tool for making frames of cabinets. I use one that was $10, one you clamp and use with a screw gun. So that's a good example of a tool that I wanted and got but didn't really need, and now that I have it, I don't like it.

You never sell your old tools. I've done it before, but when you sell them, you go, "Gosh, I wish I had that staple gun back." On the other hand, when you acquire a new tool, you can't really get the money back for it. I have this thing called an electric shear, which you use for cutting metal. I haven't used it for three years. I'm going to use it again in the next couple of days, and then I probably won't use it again for another five years. But it's a $200 tool, and I'm glad I have it.

Mark Serritella: "At the end of each set, I take a notebook of the jokes I just did and put a star next to the ones that worked."

  • MARK SERRITELLA
  • Comedian

Mark's equipment

I've been doing comedy for six years, and my comedy show runs every Tuesday at Lestat's Coffeehouse in Normal Heights. So I write all week long and go through my jokes, list them, and I categorize them by women, politics, inventions, animals -- you know, whatever themes seem to be emerging in the jokes that I'm doing. Before each show, I rehearse them once or twice. I used to rehearse all week long, probably 50 times. But lately, I've been doing my rehearsing about 20 minutes before each show, running through it twice, just before I go onstage. Even the new material. I write new stuff all the time, and your brain just becomes more attuned to memorizing stuff.

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