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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

How to Celebrate the REAL Magic of the Holiday Season



The smell of turkey and stuffing wafts through the air, kids dressed up in their Sunday best eat black olives off the tips of their fingers, a football game on the TV is the background noise to the chatter of family and the laughter of children. A warm fire crackles in the fireplace and the table is arranged with the good china and linen napkins. After all of the anticipation for this day and all the good it brings, it is important to remember to be thankful for the things you have — from family and food, to health and home.

Our appreciation for an abundance of food, family, warmth and laughter is made even greater when we consider those less fortunate. The holiday season always reveals generous hearts. From canned food drives and holiday meals at homeless shelters, to monetary donations and toys for tots — this is a time of year that people not only celebrate and give thanks for what they have, they also reach out to those in need. The spirit of giving and kindness warms the hearts of all involved.



This year Sub Sea Systems is participating in the “Warm the Homeless Drive” sponsored by one of our freight and logistics providers, AIT. Last year we participated by donating gently used coats and sweatshirts, and through the combined efforts of AIT and their clients, 250 coats were given to the homeless in Sacramento, California. This year, AIT is collecting new and gently used blankets and tarps. “The tarps provide some form of protection from the cold, wet ground,” explained Josh (our AIT representative).

There are many other ways to help those in need. From small, local efforts to large-scale operations — you can be sure to find a way to give back.

We have rounded up a few organizations you may be interested in, but you can always reach out to your local schools, shelters, churches and food banks to find out ways you can support your community.

Toys for Tots 



The Toys for Tots Program, established by the U. S. Marine Corps Reserve, collects new, unwrapped toys. The toys are given to less fortunate children for Christmas to deliver a message of hope.

Operation Homefront



In collaboration with the Dollar Tree, Operation Homefront collects toys, gift cards and other items and gives them to military kids to show our nation’s appreciation and support for our military families.

Feeding America



Food banks provide food for families in need all year round. You can find canned food drives during the holidays or you can organize your own event.

Save the Children



From school supplies, medicine and mosquito nets, to funding education, or providing families with goats and chickens; Save the Children wants to give every child a chance.

Whatever you choose to do — pay for someone’s coffee behind you, donate blood, or serve the homeless a holiday meal — spreading cheer and giving back is what makes the holiday season so special.

And while children anticipate the turkey and pie, Christmas stockings and pretty packages — while they write letters to tell Santa what they want and they imagine what they might be opening on Christmas morning —it is important that the real magic — appreciation for what they have, compassion for those who have not and the desire to help those in need — are qualities that are demonstrated and nurtured.

We have created a printable Thanksgiving placemat that will help kids think about what they have to be grateful for and what they can do to help others in need — while they color the fun illustrations and enjoy their holiday meal.

Click the image below to download the printable file (prints at 11x17)




Happy Thanksgiving!


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Friday, November 18, 2016

Black Friday Finds for Everyone on your list




As Thanksgiving rapidly approaches and we plan our decorations and seating arrangements, decide between ham and turkey (or both), and scour the internet for recipe ideas — we are all aware, in the back of our minds, that Christmas is creeping up. What does this mean? Shopping, Christmas lights, shopping, Christmas parties, shopping, Christmas trees, shopping, baking, shopping, wrapping, decorating, crafting and did I mention shopping? We all know it will be a busy and expensive lead up to the big day, but fortunately another ‘holiday’ happens the day after Thanksgiving— you guessed it: Black Friday!

Traditionally an American holiday, Black Friday has begun to infiltrate other countries seeking to reach an American audience. Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving; every year retailers stock their shelves with electronics, appliances, toys & gift baskets and they offer incredible discounts! Many people plan their Christmas shopping around Black Friday — circling ads and waiting at the doors for stores to open. If you do it right, you can save a lot of money!

There is excellent Black Friday specials planned across the board. From huge sales at major retailers to impressive discounts offered at small local boutiques, you will be sure to find the perfect gifts for your friends and family (and maybe even something for yourself)!


Here are our Top Finds for Black Friday


For the Cook:



Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer
Kohls $199 and $45 Kohls cash


For the Gamer:




Xbox One S budle with Minecraft Game
Target $249.99 and a $40 Target Card


For the Kiddos:




Hatchimals
Walmart $48.88 — only available on black Friday online or at door 6pm Thursday. Hatchimals are sold out everywhere and they retail for $250.00!


For the Photographer:




Any GoPro items
10% off through Sub Sea Systems — must receive an email order between 12am and 12pm Pacific Standard Time Friday November 25th —Email keenan@subseasystems.com


For the Leisure Seeker:


FunCat
10% off any kit or item — must receive an email order between 12am and 12pm Pacific Standard Time Friday November 25th — Email keenan@subseasystems.com


For the Adventurer:




Sea TREK Adventure
Deals available at:

Miami Seaquarium
Sea Trek Reef Encounter — 2 for 99$

SeaLife Park Hawaii
Shark TREK — $69.99 (includes park admission)

Xcaret
Sea TREK — Xcaret total (Admission+buffet+Sea TREK) $151.20
Also, sign-up to be the first to receive black Friday deals

Xel-Ha
Sea TREK — Xel-Ha total (Admission+buffet+Sea TREK) $116.10
Also, sign-up to be the first to receive black Friday deals


Have any great deals you want to share? Add in the comments below!

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Friday, November 11, 2016

Sea TREK at OdySea Aquarium is Officially Open!




Situated in the desert in Arizona with bathroom sinks that look out into a shark tank and 1000 lb globe aquariums suspended from the ceiling — OdySea Aquarium is a modern marvel. Over 30,000 creatures (500 different species) call this massive complex home. Curious sea turtles, graceful stingrays, frisky otters, mysterious sharks, and friendly penguins are just a few of the inhabitants.

OdySea Aquarium boasts a 3D IMAX theatre, touch pools, a penguin exhibit, a Rivers of the World exhibit, and an escalator ride down into the Sharks of the Deep — among others.

One of the most impressive and innovative features at OdySea is the Living Sea Carousel. The Living Sea Carousel is a circular, theater-style carousel that slowly rotates and reveals different exhibits including the 'Open Ocean', 'Sea Turtle Reef', 'Sea Lion Sound', and 'Shark Waters'.



A Sea TREK Guide in the 'Open Ocean' aquarium acts as the Master of Ceremonies and welcomes guests to the carousel tour; while the remaining round-about experience is conducted by an entertaining, scripted video.

Moreover, we are proud to offer a Sea TREK tour in this prestigious and state of the art facility. Sea TREK adds that extra special touch. There is no more immersive experience than interacting with sea creatures under the water!



Carl Hanson, Sea TREK Manager at OdySea Aquarium, has been with Sea TREK since 2011. He started out as a Guide at Miami Seaquarium and shortly thereafter moved up to the level of a Sea TREK Training Coordinator. Now he manages a staff of 10 at the newest Sea TREK location in the world — Sea TREK at OdySea. We asked him to share his thoughts on OdySea and the Sea TREK experience being offered.



“My team and I are very excited to bring this incredible program to the desert. OdySea Aquarium is the first aquarium to feature many things that have never been done before, and Sea TREK here is also a completely unique experience. We are the first Sea TREK to feature marine life exclusively from the Indo-Pacific region of the world, and not only do we operate Sea TREK tours, we also have an exhibit where guests can interact with a Sea TREK Guide. While the guide is in the water, guests can ask us anything from “What did you have for breakfast?” to “What is that thing on your head?” Using DiveLink communication we can speak with the guests and enjoy great interactions. We look forward to bringing the amazement of the Earth’s oceans to the American Southwest.” — Carl Hanson

Learn more about OdySea Aquarium and Sea TREK on www.odyseaaquarium.com and www.sea-trek.com

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Friday, November 4, 2016

5 Easy Ways to Improve SEO



SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization. Search engines such as Google and Bing use web crawlers, spider or bots to crawl the web. They follow links and check keywords and content to decide each web page’s ranking. 

Your web page needs to come up on the first search page (preferably ranking number one) when a relevant keyword is searched. Determining appropriate keywords is very important when designing and writing content for your website. 


Keywords

Good keywords include words like California (your location), diving and eco-tourism (your business type), helmet diving (your product type), and SeaTREK (your brand name)… think about what you would type in a search engine when looking for a business similar to yours. Make sure to include these keywords in your text — organically. Too many repetitions of a word can result in a lower ranking. The algorithms that Google and other search engines use are very smart… trying to ‘cheat’ will not serve you well.

It is also a good idea to use keywords in your titles and use the heading tags in the proper hierarchy — h1 tags are more important than h2 etc.


Images

Any images on your website should include alt tags. This is for accessibility purposes, and it helps the search engine to find your site using the content of your images. It is also helpful to name your images with a relevant description using dashes (-) in place of spaces. Do NOT use underscores (_). 



Make it Mobile Friendly

Use css media queries to detect screen size, and design your site to work well on mobile devices. More and more people search the web using their mobile devices, if your content doesn’t look right or behave correctly — people will leave your site and you will lose potential business. You can also look into AMP and see if it is right for you.

Content

Not only is it important to have really well written, keyword-rich, entertaining body text — it is very important not to duplicate content. Search engines want originality and duplicate content will result in lower rankings. Do not copy anything word for word. 

Creating content on the web that links back to your website is also extremely important. Fresh and engaging blog posts are a great way to keep your audience engaged and increase your page ranking. See our guide to setting up a blog for tips and tricks on getting started.

Meta data

Meta data is data that only the search engine utilizes — it does not show on your website. There is a keyword meta data tag, but its relevance in ranking has lost its luster. The more important meta data tags are title and description. Google uses these to preview your site on a search page. 

There are also ways to indicate to Facebook and Twitter what image and description will show up if someone shares a link to your website. 

Bonus

Ever wondered how some websites have star ratings and display more information in their search engine results? Try using Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper 

Do you have any tips or tricks about SEO that you’d like to share? Add them in the comments below.

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Friday, October 28, 2016

Terrifying Legends from Around the World




Sub Sea Systems has contacts all over the world, and we are intrigued by the unique qualities of every different location and culture. From food and fashion to architecture and festivals — the diverse nature of our world is captivating. To celebrate Halloween we wanted to share some folklore from just a few of the countries where Sub Sea Systems has a presence.

So grab a blanket (make sure your feet are covered), and turn on the lights — for you are about to read about a few horrifying, legendary creatures — the kind that make you wonder what went “bump” in the night…

La Llorona (Mexico)



The legend says that La Llorona (the weeping woman) was one of the most beautiful women ever seen. She was named Maria. She was very prideful, and although she was a peasant, she intended to use her beauty to marry into wealth. A rich and wild ranchero saw her loveliness and tried to court her, but Maria knew that she had to seem unattainable to ensure that the ranchero would desire to marry her. She refused gifts and showed him no attention until he became determined to make her his bride.

Maria and the ranchero married and had two children. They seemed happy for a time, but the wealthy ranchero became restless and resented marrying below his station. He began to leave Maria and the children for months at a time and when he would return he would only speak to his children.

One day, Maria saw her husband coming into town driving a carriage seated next to a beautiful, well-dressed, younger woman. He stopped the carriage to speak with his children— did not even look in the direction of his wife— and then abruptly snapped the reigns to leave Maria in the dust.

Maria’s anger was immense, and in her jealousy she directed it toward her children. She grasped their little bodies and heaved them into the river. Once she realized what she had done it was too late. Her children were swept away.

Maria’s misery was boundless and her sorrow drove her to commit suicide.

After her body was buried people began to hear crying in the night. Then people began to see her ghostly figure — always searching for her children.

Now, all children are told to stay away from the river. La Llorona will seek them out, and seeing that they are not her children, she will become infuriated —dragging them into the river, never to be seen again.

The Bunyip (Australia)




The Bunyip is a ghastly creature that hides in the swamps, riverbeds and billabongs of Australia. Bunyip is an aboriginal word that means devil or evil spirit. The accounts of the Bunyip vary widely, but always in common is the creature’s appetite for human flesh, especially the sweet flesh of women and children. And the screaming roar that is so loud it creates a ‘sonic boom’.

Some accounts of Bunyips describe a beast with shaggy fur that stands 15 feet tall on land and swims like a frog in the water. Others say it has a head like a crocodile a face like a dog and flippers like a seal. There are so many different descriptions that it is unclear what the Bunyip looks like, but wandering the Australian waterways at night with a man-eating beast that could be lurking in the dark and makes a sound so loud that it causes a ‘sonic boom’ sounds like a scene from a nightmare.


Knockers (U.K.) AKA Tommyknockers (U.S.A)




A Knocker is a mischievous spirit of the underground that stands about 2 feet tall and resembles a human. It has long arms and a grizzled appearance. Knockers live in mines and dress similar to the miners who work there. They are said to carry pickaxes and shovels and be helpful to mineworkers — unless they don’t like you.

Knockers make knocking sounds to indicate where a lode might be, or to warn of a cave-in. Some say they are spirits of miners who died and remained in the caves to help other workers avoid the same fate.

Do not cross a Knocker though… they have also been known to knock and knock and knock on supporting timbers to cause cave-ins and crush everyone.

When miners began to come to America they brought the Knocker lore with them and the creatures became known as Tommyknockers. They play pranks on miners: throwing rocks at them, misplacing tools, blowing out lanterns and in some cases causing so much fear that mines had to be closed. Men always saved a little bit of their lunch and threw it into the mines as a peace offering for the Tommyknockers, hoping to bring good luck — and avoid the bad.

The legend has mostly died out, but recently on an episode of Ghost Adventures the team visited the Colorado gold mine and caught “knocking” on audio. There are still some believers out there. If you are ever in a mine and hear knocking you better hope the Tommyknockers like you.

Jikininki (Japan)




The Jikininki are human eating ghosts that wander the land at night digging up freshly buried corpses and consuming their flesh. They are thought to be humans who have been punished for living greedy, selfish lives.

Jikininki look like cadavers with rotted skin covered in gaping wounds. Their eyes glow red and their fingers end in long sharp claws. Their hair is mostly gone revealing a glistening, decayed scalp. You shouldn’t see one unless you are visiting a graveyard at night — when the Jikininki are feeding.

Jikininki only take their ‘true’ form at night. In the day it is said they live among us and lead normal lives — how well do you know your neighbors?


There are legends and creatures that terrify and torment humans all over the world. Each one has its own unique story — let’s just hope that’s all they are… stories.

Do you know any legends from around the world? Please share in the comments below!

Happy Halloween!

To learn more about these legends click the links below:

La Llorona

http://www.latam.discovery.com/shows/historias-de-ultratumba/la-llorona/

http://remezcla.com/lists/culture/13-terrifing-spooky-and-awesome-latin-american-horror-monsters-legends/

http://www.legendsofamerica.com/gh-lallorona.html

http://anitasnotebook.com/2014/03/scary-story-of-la-llorona-the-weeping-ghost-by-the-river.html

The Bunyip

https://weirdaustralia.com/2011/12/09/bunyips-serpents-other-creatures-lurking-beneath-our-waters/

http://www.phantomsandmonsters.com/2016/04/the-bunyip.html

The Knockers (Tommyknockers)

http://www.darylburkhard.com/tommyknockers.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Knocker_(folklore)

http://www.bbcamerica.com/anglophenia/2013/03/move-over-nessie-five-mythical-british-beasts

Jikininki

http://theunexplainedmysteries.com/Jikininki-Demon.html

http://anomalien.com/2015/07/jikininki-one-of-worst-mythological-demons/comment-page-1/

http://unexplainedmysteries.org/post/66123429089/jikininki-demon-one-of-worst-mythological-demons

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Friday, October 21, 2016

Dog Blog 2 — #OfficeDogs


In our previous Dog Blog we introduced our original 2 office dogs Cali and Oliver. In this blog we are proud to introduce the newest member of our team — Gunner the Chocolate Lab.

Employee Profile


Gunner Mayfield


  • Chocolate Lab
  • 28.2 lbs
  • 13 weeks

Loves riding shotgun with his head hanging out of the window, swimming and terrorizing his doggy co-workers.

Sub Sea Systems’ youngest EVER intern has taken up tutelage under Cali the Boxer and Oliver the Cockapoo to learn the Human Resources ropes so he can pull his (ever changing) weight around here.

Safety First!

Gunner started working at Sub Sea Systems just a few short weeks ago at 8 weeks old (he is only part time so don’t worry). At that time he weighed 11 lbs — only 3 pounds more than Oliver! Today he weighs 28.2 lbs, and every day he packs more on. Soon he will outweigh Cali! So, even though he’s the baby, he will be the biggest dog at Sub Sea!

Gunner is a people and dog lover. He likes attention any way he can get it. His big beautiful eyes have all the ladies in the office in love, while his growing size and future career in bird hunting have the men talking about how big and strong he will be.

Gunner's favorite place to be
Gunner’s personality is either over the top enthusiastic or calm and mellow. He is all play all day —until it is lights out and he sleeps like an angel. He loves to chase anything that moves — from pouncing ice cubes to stealthily sneaking up on his toys — Gunner shows his potential for being a great bird dog and Sub Sea employee.

A video posted by Cali & Oliver & Gunner (@cali.oliver.gunner) on


Besides his Mom (Natasha Sundby) and Dad (Keenan Mayfield — FunCat Product Director & Sea TREK Field Operations Specialist) gunner loves Cali the Boxer. The two will roll around and body slam each other for hours. Cali is taking her mentor role very seriously and patiently teaches Gunner every day.

As Gunner grows and learns it is apparent he will become an integral part of our team here at Sub Sea Systems Corporate Headquarters’. Eventually he will grow into those paws of his.

Follow Cali, Oliver and Gunner on Instagram!



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Monday, October 17, 2016

Best Halloween Costumes Under the Sea


Are you dressing up for Halloween this year? Are you helping your kids decide on their costumes? What about your K9 kids?

We have curated a selection of under the sea costumes that will impress. From off the shelf to complete DIY — there is sure to be something that will inspire you.


Jellyfish DIY




This Jellyfish costume is simple and fun. Adults and children can create this cute sea creature costume in minutes. (You don’t have to go with neon orange — try pink or blue or even rainbow.)

Click here for the tutorial


Shark Attack




These little sharks are adorable! Add in an adult with a surf board and some fake blood and you have a shark attack! Try creating this DIY shark hoodie for a quick and easy transition from kid (or adult) to shark!


Sea Monster




This whimsical costume is sure to be the only one at the party. Etsy is a great resource for original costumes if you don’t want to DIY.



Deep Sea Diver




This costume is sure to dazzle the neighborhood. Super easy, because it is right off the shelf!


Angler Fish DIY




An eerie costume makeup from the deep sea — this angler fish makeup tutorial is absolutely incredible. Using black light paint and excellent makeup skills, you can transform yourself into one of the creepiest creatures in the sea.

Stingray DIY




This is so cute and original. The tutorial tells you how to achieve the spotted effect. You do need some sewing skills to add the details. Your little stingray will be swimming in candy with this fun DIY.


Fiber Optics Sea Warrior (DIY for the technically inclined)




This costume is dazzling and dramatic. A lot of details and intense work and you can be the most illuminated trick or treater on the block (this one is sure to win a costume contest)!

Baby Mermaid




Cuteness overload! You can order this adorable baby costume on Etsy or you can search for a pattern online and learn to crochet!


Doggy Walrus




HAHAHA! This is so cute! Click this link to see more awesome dog costumes under the sea.


Adult Mermaid


There are too many amazing mermaid costumes to choose just one, so check out this fantastic Pinterest board and see what you like. Combining ideas always makes everything better!



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