My Hobbies

Hobby Web Surfing
"Twenty years ago, I learned how to surf, but you had to have a surfboard and drive all the way to the ocean (45 miles) to be able to surf. That was back then, as of two years ago I learned a new surfing technique that I could do at home without having to drive to the beach and I could do it without a surfboard! That's when I really became interested in the Internet and the World Wide Web. I already had a computer and a modem so that I could get email from Compuserve, but I hadn't yet tasted THE INTERNET. Now, since I've become a regular Web surfer or what ever you want to call it, I've browsed here and there and before I knew it, I was a regular Web crawler."

Some of the places you can find out more about "Web Surfing" are:

I learned Igo from a friend of mine about 17 years ago. At first, I didn't understand the game. But my friend insisted that I try anyway. He constantly kept at me to learn some of the more basic moves of Igo even thought I didn't understand any of them at all. Then I started picking up a little experience after several games (of course, loosing each time) and I began to feel that I sort of understood the game, at least enough not to chuck it out the door.
As I continued to play, I began to realize that you must be either on the offensive defense or defensive offense each and every move. Every stone placed had at least several reasons for being placed where it was. The first objective was to gain territory, but you didn't place stones anywhere, you gained territory by strengthening your stones.
At first, I placed one stone after the next and created a fine wall that the opponent couldn't break, but then when I looked at the territory I had surrounded as opposed to that of my opponent (and friend), I realized that he han area that was 4 or 5 times larger than my iron curtain, but I also noticed that very few of his stones were actually attached. (i.e. there was one or more spaces in between the majority of his stones.
Well, "That's Easy!" I thought; then I too started opening up gaps between my stones when all of a sudden my friend (and opponent) started dropping his stones in between my stones where I had opened up those gaps. Aha, a new technique was in order. There were places where you could open up one or two spaces and the opponent wouldn't dare enter and others where he would immediately split up.
Basically put, if I was invading close to his territory, the likehood that he would interfere would increase. If I place one of my stones right next to one of his stones, he would retaliate and I ended up giving up that stone that I placed right next to his. Some times I didn't realize this until after I had 8 or 10 stones in the vacinity of his territory and lost the whole block of them to him.
But, in the course of learning the above, I finally realized that playing "Igo" is very much like I live my life. I don't have only one objective and only one way to do things. I always leave myself options just in case things don't always go the way I originally planned them. They rarely went my way when I was younger, but I also lost a lot at "Igo" too. Now that I've had quite a few years of planning my life, things are going quite a bit more the way I had planned, albiet not always 100% the way I wanted them to be. Likewise, my "Igo" has improved as well such that now, I occasionally beat my teacher (with him on the guard all the time).

Some of the places you can find out more about "Igo" are
all listed on this link page, so click here to jump to that page.
It hardly ever snows in Sanford, Florida (my birthplace); and even if it does (once every 60 years or so), there is never enough to snow-ski on. Therefore, when you talk about going skiing in Florida, everybody assumes that you are referring to water-skiing.
After I moved to Japan, nobody ever spoke about water-skiing as boats and docking berth rental are too expensive. Even for those who can afford a boat, they usually only look at boating as a cruising sport or for fishing, you hardly ever hear any mention at all about water-skiing.
Because of this, when you speak about skiing here in Japan, everybody assumes that you are talking about snow-skiing and it is quite popular here.
It took about a day-and-a-half to get used to snow-skiing as the snow boots lock your ankles in place. Ever since I was born, whether roller-skating, skate-boarding, surfing, water-skiing, or what ever other sport I did, I always had use of my ankles for balancing myself. Therefore, learning to shift my balance point into my knees and hips instead of ankles and knees, took a little bit of time.
I first learned how to Bogen which is to point your feet inward in a V shape to keep you from going to fast. When you wanted to turn, you just placed more weight on one leg than the other and you turned in that direction. This is really quite easy once you find your new balance point (about 4-5 hours of getting tired of crashing and wiping the icesicles off of your moustache), it's also quite tiring even after you learn how to balance yourself as you use a lot of leg muscles in ways that you normally don't use.
On my 2nd day of skiing, I realized that only beginners were doing the Bogen-style of skiing; just looking around you saw only a very few had a happy faces that were Bogen-ing (because it's so hard on your muscles). On the other hand, those who were skiing with both legs parallel instead of a V shape, all seemed to be quite happy. I therefore asked my friend to teach me how to parallel ski which is to keep both feet parallel to each other. My friend said that it was a bit early, but that if I was willing to learn, that he would teach me.
To both of our surprise, I was parallel-ing in no time at all. I went faster and faster each time as I caught the hang of it. Wide and narrow turns were much easier on the muscles as well.

Some of the places you can find out more about "Skiing" are:
  • Orlando International Water-ski Center
  • International Snow-Ski Club of Zurich

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