Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Plugged in

Got some new gear recently, notably a new mouse and headphones.

The headphones are Sennheiser HD500s, which, from the research I did, looked to be the best headphones I could get without getting astronomically expensive. They are certainly the best headphones I've ever used, but they make me realize that I really need to get a decent sound card for my main computer. Plugged into my Klipsch ProMedia 2.1 speakers they sound terrific. They are an open design so they won't be the best choice if you want isolation from the person next to you. The HD500s also score well on comfort; they put almost no pressure on your head and I've worn them for hours with no discomfort.


The new mouse is a Logitech MX1000 cordless mouse. I initially wanted this mouse as a more egonomic upgrade to the Logitech OEM optical mouse I was using before, but I soon found that this mouse was leagues ahead in every way. This mouse has a high resolution laser sensor instead of the LED sensor on most optical mice. This makes the mouse much more smooth and acurate especially on surfaces that a standard optical mouse just can't handle (polished surfaces, glass, paper, etc.). So, not only is this mouse way more comfortable that my old one, but it's much better too. Going cordless was an added bounus. A rechargable non-replacable Lithium-Ion battery powers the mouse and can go about a week between charges. Three battery level LEDs let you know when to put the mouse on its charging base station. I have yet to get the multitude of buttons working as a newer version of X.org is needed.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Squiggley lines and flashing dots

The Not so Idiots Guide to IPSec looks to be an interesting read. Okay, okay it's really called An Illustrated Guide to IPSec, but I liked my title better. Anyway, it's got squiggley lines to help you understand IPSec so it can't be all bad.

On to flashing dots: If you stare at the center of this image for long enough something amazing will happen.

(Illusion via Random Good Stuff)

Monday, August 22, 2005

All jazzed up

So I took my second ever Jazz dance class this sunday, and wow what a difference from the first time around. I was much more comfortable this time around and am much more comfortable at the Intro level at this point. The difference between the intro level and level 1 was not so much the material covered, but the pace at which the material is covered. In the intro class much more time was taken to go over and correct different movements.

Now that I have found a class that I am comfortable with, I really feel that Jazz dance will help me improve my overall dance abilities as well as being another weekly event that I can look forward to.

The dance center is located in the heart of downtown Vancouver. I really ejoyed a sunny Sunday walk through the city, and I don't think riding the Seabus could ever get boring. This particular day I saw barges, cruise ships, a helecopter landing, and a seaplane landing; not to mention the spectacular views of the harbour, downtown, and the north shore.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Deep in Deep Cove

I guess it's called Deep for a reason. I spotted this megayacht complete with helicopter while visiting Deep Cove.

The area also has some beautiful houses and great scenery.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Danced my socks off

Last night I had the privilege of running the Israeli Folk Dancing group that I go to on Thursday nights. This meant teaching both the beginner and intermediate group as well as running the dance session. Our usual session leader/teacher was at a conference in Seattle and was expected to arrive at 8:00pm that evening. Her flight, however, was delayed and she didn't make it back until 9:30pm.

This was the first time that I had ever taught a dance class and run a dance session, so the whole evening was a new experience for me. I have to say that my experience last night has brought my respect for dance teachers and session leaders to a whole new level. I was less physically tired than I usually am after a night of dancing, but by the end I was mentally exhausted.

One of the most challenging aspects of the evening was to be able to vocalise dance steps during teaching and dancing of a new dance. I had a hard time separating my feet and brain to the extent where I could call out each step of a dance. Not only that, but breaking down a dance into teachable segments is quite difficult and at one point I completely lost the dance I was trying to teach for the intermediate group. I had the dance when the music was playing, but as soon as I tried to teach the steps .....

At any rate, the evening went pretty well for the most part. I'm very glad to have had the experience, and I know that I have a lot of work to do before I could consider myself proficient in this area.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Out and about

Visted Grandville Island recently. It was a beautiful sunny day and I took a load of pictures. Grandville Island is always a fun place with artists, shops, street performers, and large market.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Aunt in town

My Aunt is in town for the next three weeks or so. Lots of fun taking her around to see all the sights and sounds.

So I tried out a Jazz dance class tonight. It was quite challenging with the pace and style of dance being completely different than anything I have done before (I do Israeli dancing 2-3 times a week). Despite the fact that the class was advertised as a introduction/level 1 it was really more of a level 1 class according to the instructor. I really need an intro level course :) Next on my list of dance classes to try is Hip-hop.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Interesting weekend

On Saturday I went to the Powell Street Festival. This event is all about Japanese Canadian culture. My Karate Sensei was part of an Iaido demonstration which I unfortunately missed. There was a Kokoro dance performance in the afternoon which was quite interesting. I'd never seen this type of dance before, and I was impressed by the focus and strength of the performers. By an interesting coincidence this group practices at the same dance studio that I plan on checking out this week or the next.

In the evening I went to a dinner with a group of my sisters friends. For dessert we watched one of the Celebration of Light fireworks events.