Archive for August, 2006

Reiki at Toronto Pagan Pride Day – August 19, 2006

Friday, August 18th, 2006

MM,

For those who are in Toronto or the GTA, the Toronto Pagan Pride Day will be tomorrow, and your local webmistress (yes, that’s me) will be available, though wandering around, to give reiki treatments upon request. If you make it out for the Pagan Pride Day, be sure to ask for Cassandrah if you would like a reiki treatment, completely free!

Here are the details of the Toronto Pagan Pride Day, as posted on a few of the yahoo message boards:

Toronto Pagan Pride Day
Saturday, August 19, 2006
Wilket Creek Park, firepit 1
(At Eglington and Leslie)
From noon ’til after dusk
At harvest time, our pagan and pagan-friendly communities come together to celebrate the rich heritage and diversity of Paganism in Toronto.
With workshops, children’s activities, musical performances, bardic competition, and more it’s an event for everyone! Bring a blanket or a chair, sunscreen, comfortable footwear, and an open mind. Come to celebrate our community, come to dance and come to enjoy.
Opening Ritual at 12:00 p.m.
Workshops, children’s activities from 1:00 to 5:00 pm
Sacred Circle Dancing from 2:00 to 5:00 pm
Harvest Ritual at 5:00 pm
Drumming and a bardic competition are scheduled for the early evening.
For more information and workshop descriptions, please see our new website:

www.torontopaganpride.com

MM, MP, and BB!
Cassandrah
Your local pagan webmistress
Brigid’s Flame

Running and Gym Day – August 17, 2006

Friday, August 18th, 2006

MM,

I went for another run yesterday. I ran one mile in 8 minutes 7 seconds – a little slow, but I was feeling a little bloated.

Later that day, I went to the gym for some more cardio and some weight training.

First, I did the elliptical (I was going to use the bicycle, but they were all taken). I did 10 minutes on the elliptical, then went to do some weight training. I figure 18 minutes in total for cardio was good enough that day.

Leg lifts
Pull-ups (aka chin-ups, military and parallel)
Dips
Leg press
Hamstring flexor (called seated leg curls)
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Seated row
Seated chest press
Pectoral fly
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift (this is called the shoulder press)
Back extensor

Free weights:
Situps (on a incline bench; worked out the obliques as well by doing double punches during the situp)
Bicep curls
Weighted squats

Martial Arts Documentary – Fight Science!

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

MM,

This is for all the martial arts fans out there. National Geographic Channel will be airing a documentary on Sunday, August 12 looking at the science behind martial arts. Some may recall XMA: Xtreme Martial Arts, which took a look at how a martial artist can do some of those amazing feats, as well as explaining the body mechanics involved when a martial artist is fighting. Fight Science is a new documentary being shown on the National Geographic Channel that looks at many of the same things as XMA; however, it is hoped that it will give a less “flashy” perspective on martial arts. This is something definitely worth watching for any martial artist. An understanding of how our bodies move and react is essential to being a good martial artist. From this perspective, the documentary should help martial artists become better at what they do. Check it out.

For those who aren’t martial artists, but are just curious, this documentary should strip away much of the mystique and mystery of the martial artist (yes, we are people too!). At the same time, you should gain a greater respect for the martial artist as we do endure much to achieve what we have achieved, and we continue to endure much every time we train.

Sadly, I don’t have the National Geographic Channel, but hopefully the documentary will be floating around for download after it airs. I’ll be looking for it.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

Gym and Running – August 8 to 14, 2006

Tuesday, August 15th, 2006

MM,

Okay, it’s been a while since yours truly has been working out. However, as you can see, some things were more urgent. I did manage to get some gym time and running in.

Tuesday, August 8, 2006

This was a light workout day to break to non-working out for about two weeks (except for lots of walking). Below is a list of workouts Nathan and I did (at some point I think I will just set up a spreadsheet tracking my exercises, weight level, and repetitons):

Leg lifts
Pull-ups (aka chin-ups, military and parallel)
Dips
Leg press
Hamstring flexor (called seated leg curls)
Hip adductors
Hip abductors
Seated row
Bar pulls (I think this is called the lateral pull-downs; it works the muscles next to the scapulae on the back)
Seated chest press
Shoulder fly
Shoulder lift (this is called the shoulder press)

Free weights:
Situps (on a incline bench; worked out the obliques as well by doing double punches during the situp)
Bicep curls
Weighted squats

Saturday, August 12, 2006

I went for a mile and a half run. It was a while since I ran, and I was missing it. Anyway, it seemed hard for some reason, but it turns out I did the run in 12 minutes 1 second. πŸ˜€ A very good run – the same time as last time, even though I took a break from exercising for a few weeks. Sometimes a break is a good thing.

Monday, August 14, 2006

I went for another run. I decided to run at least a mile and a half, see how I felt at a mile and a half before deciding if I wanted to run another half mile. I actually did fairly well. I ran a mile and a half and decided to keep running the extra half mile for a two mile run. My hamstrings were a little tight at first since the weather was overcast and a little cool, but I warmed up soon enough and the hamstrings loosened up a bit. They were getting a good workout though, I could feel the muscles working. I ran a mile and a half in 12 minutes 1 second again (marginally faster though: compare 0.1 to 0.6 seconds, but I’ve been rounding my seconds up), then continued running a half mile. The time for the half mile was 4 minutes 28 seconds. I slowed down a bit after the mile and a half. My total time for two miles is 16 minutes 29 seconds, my best time for the two mile run so far. πŸ˜€

I have not been in the do jang for almost a month now. I hope my Master doesn’t think I’ve left TKD. I still plan on training, but just too much to do right now. I need to finish up some writing projects, and might be starting a new one.

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

My New Laptop and Debian GNU/Linux

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

MM,

Well, it took me a few more days to get everything onto my new laptop. First I had to install all the applications I wanted that could run on Debian GNU/Linux and Gnome. So far, things work nicely, but I’ve had to tweak applications here and there to get it to do what I want. After I got the right applications working, I then had to transfer my files over. All of this took some considerable time. Next, I had to log into WindowsXP and install some of my games on there. I don’t play many games, but I have a few just so I have some leisure activities once in a while. Anyway, these games don’t run on Debian GNU/Linux – they needed to be installed on Windows. I ended up taking some time installing my pinball games, and then had to play them a bit to make sure they all worked fine. When I was done installing all my games, I had a few more files to transfer and then I was done. Yay. I can now enjoy my new laptop, but…

I’m now running Debian GNU/Linux instead of WindowsXP. This means that I have to get used to some of the applications on here. I primarily do work online nowadays, but I still do much of my document production offline. For document production, OpenOffice is available as a free application. I tried the first version on my old laptop running Windows and wasn’t impressed. I stuck with using MSOffice95 for a little while longer. OpenOffice has since released a new version that seems to work better than the first. It seems to have nearly the same functions as MSOffice95. Now, I’m a fairly expert word document user. I know how to do everything from your basic document to doing form letters to using macros to inserting tables, charts, spreadsheets, and graphics. MSOffice95 admitted allows you to do this stuff easily. Supposedly though, OpenOffice is the newest favourite for word documentation, and Nathan assures me that it works just as well as MSOffice95. I will have to see though. I have not had time to do any of my bigger documents to see if it works the way I’d expect. The big plus with OpenOffice is the free capability to export your word documents in PDF format. This is great because you won’t need Adobe Acrobat anymore (the newest Windows version takes up a whole load of disk space).

I still have to tweak my email application. I can download the emails, but I’m having issues sending email out. I think in the end, it might just be easier checking email online instead. For now, I’m just leaving the email application installed until I figure out what to do about the loads of email addresses I need to check often.

Aside from a word document application and something to download my email, I don’t need to adjust to much more. (For MSN users, there’s aMSN or you can just use GAIM.) XMMS is the player you use to play mp3 music files. You can get plugins to play other music files like mpc. The player works nicely and looks nice (it has a bunch of skins that can change randomly with each song it plays). To watch movies, mplayer does a good job. It’s best run through the terminal though. The GUI is a little confusing – I’d need to spend more time fiddling with it to get it to work. I haven’t checked to see if my DVDs work, but I expect it should or at least shouldn’t be too difficult to fix (besides I have a resident computer expert at home – Nathan. ;)) BTW, the laptop sounds great with headphones or speakers (like all laptops you WANT external speakers or headphones).

Gnome has a lot of packages that you can install. The nice thing about Debian GNU/Linux is that if there’s an application you need, you can go to the Synaptic Package Manager, search for the appropriate application and install it. You don’t need to look around for special software. If there’s a Debian version of an application, you should be able to find it on Synaptic. The other bonus I found out is that I don’t need a separate FTP application to upload to my website. :) This is easily done through the file manager. First you set up your FTP server on the file manager (just go to “file”, “connect to server”). Once that is done, you can find the server directory in your file manager. FTP is done just like transfering files on your hard drive.

Debian runs much better than WindowsXP. I can multi-task on my laptop and it won’t crash on me. WindowsXP already has given me problems with the few stuff I have installed on there. I’ve partitioned my disk drive into 30 GB for Debian GNU/Linux and 10 GB for WindowsXP. The 10 GB for Windows seems like a waste, but there are some applications I can only run on there. I’m just appalled that for the Windows operating system alone, it takes up so much disk space. No wonder people are switching to Debian GNU/Linux. It is fairly easy to switch too. The neat thing is that you can do things using the GUI (graphical user interface) or using the more traditional terminal (remember DOS?). This is nice because with a terminal you can use specific commands to get the computer to do what you want while with a GUI sometimes you’re stuck doing only what it gives you. It’s great to have to option of doing something more than one way.

Okay, that’s my little review of using my new laptop and Debian GNU/Linux. This is a change, but it’s all good. I was getting bored and annoyed with Windows. Change is good. Something new is good. It keeps me on my toes and life interesting. πŸ˜€

BB,
Cassandrah
Brigid’s Flame

P.S. This blog entry is a follow-up to a previous entry, My New Laptop – Acer Travelmate 2428

Short Message for Spammers

Tuesday, August 8th, 2006

This message is for those “lovely” spammers who like to hit my blog every so often.

Spammers, just because I said that people can comment on here does NOT include you. I do have a spam filter application on the blog, so your message won’t get through. In addition, if your message is not caught by the spam filter, I can mass delete spam attempts through my moderating options. Sheesh, don’t you people have anything else to do than waste other people’s time? Get a life.