On my way to work

Japan is not only Tokyo with its crowded street crossings and neon lights. It’s also the old countryside, small traditional (and not so traditional) houses with rice paddies or vegetable farm in the backyard.

I live in Tokyo (technically not but almost in the city limit) but I work in a factory way out in the countryside of Saitama prefecture, 50km north of Tokyo. This is what I see every morning from the window of my train.

My new camera for snowboard sessions

dmx-ca9I bought last week the new Sanyo Xacti DMX-CA9 which is one of the first waterproof HD video camera on the market. Got it as soon as it came out to capture the last snowboard sessions of the season.

The form factor is not bad. The grip could be better as with the screen opened, the handle part becomes pretty thin with sharp edges. A finger shaped handle would be nice, it would probably make the unit butt ugly but who cares? It’s a sports camera. When the screen is closed, the grip is perfect, but you cannot shoot with the screen closed.

Menu is horrible, looks cheap and aliased like it was adapted to a better resolution screen without creating higher resolution icons. Navigation in the menu with the buttons is a pain because of the waterproofing which makes those buttons less responsive (but I guess it can’t really be helped).

So yeah, for my hands and eyes used to the beauty and luxury of Nikon DSLRs and Ricoh GR Digital, the camera has a slight after-taste of cheap consumer electronics. But then, it enables me to take videos like this without any fear of falling down and ending up with a wet bricked camera:

So all in all, I’m pretty happy with my new toy. I’m going back for one last snowboard trip next monday and I will probably spend the whole day (or as long as the battery holds) taping jumps and tricks at the snowpark.

Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible: don’t miss it

Joss Whedon’s pet project, in answer to the writer’s guild nonsense, came out yesterday: Dr. Horrible’s sing-along blog. A mini-series exclusively for internet and for free, done on the cheap with his friends.

It’s a mix between Pinky and the Brain, Mistery Men and a video blog, executed musical-style. It’s brilliant, especially since I was a big Doogie Howser fan as a kid (Neil Patrick Harris) and burned through Whedon’s Firefly series in a straight 2-days stand.

Act 2 will come out July 17th and Act 3 on July 19th. Catch it while it lasts!