Wednesday, December 11, 2013

On Open Source

I haven't been feeling well lately. I have had a sinus infection and the steroid that I am taking is keeping me up at nights. On the plus side, I have had a few hours each morning to work on an open source application that I am developing.

It is nothing groundbreaking, just a simple utility that does a simple thing (more details later). I am releasing it under the GPLv3. I smile when I say that because this is my first open source project and I have been constantly impressed, since my introduction to Linux, that guys and girls all over the world write code and give it away freely to benefit anyone who can use or enhance it for their needs.

It is this willingness to share and collaborate that has changed the world so dramatically over the past few years. It is an exciting time to be alive!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Just sit.

Well, I made it. Thanks to a heaping helping of good old fashion peer pressure, aka encouragement, I attended my first formal Zen service at the Atlanta Soto Zen Center (ASZC).

I have had it on my calendar every Sunday since we moved to Atlanta back in February. Now, that is not very long so, you may think "big deal, you made it within a couple of weeks".

However, my interest in sitting a formal practice goes back years. I attended a newcomers orientation with the group in Athens but, I could never bring myself to attend a service.

I had been intimidated by the three 25 minute periods of zazen separated by 5 minutes of kinhin.

How could I make it? The longest I had attempted on my cushion at home was 15 minutes.

The support that I received from my friends and the ASZC orientation were enough to give me the confidence to "get over myself".

Here's to my many mindful moments past, future, and of course present.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Panther Creek Trail to Yonah Dam

My brother-in-law, Steven, and I went on an excellent backpacking trip over the weekend. We hiked the Panther Creek Trail to Yonah Dam and back the next day.

The terrain to the main attraction, Panther Creek Falls, is well marked with moderate terrain and just a few technical spots. The trail beyond the falls is the opposite. It is marked but, only in the opposite direction and isn't well maintained or frequently used.

Unless you really want to see it, don't go all the way to the Dam. It is an extra 2 miles along a road (dirt for half and make a right onto paved for the rest).

The park there is day use only and posted no camping. We were able to find one (unofficial) place to camp on the way back to the trail but, it was far from ideal.

If you do want to go past the falls stop when you find Davidson Creek w/ a metal bridge and double back for camping or plan to camp in the parking lot or open “tree farm” field.

Happy trails!

Friday, April 05, 2013

On Tagging

Does anyone remember when the concept of "tagging" first hit the scene?

No, I am not talking about spray paint on a dumpster. I am talking about the list of comma separated words, hash tags, or whatever to signify what the thing that you are working on is about.

This post so far may be tagged: tagging, graffiti, pontification, etc. IIRC, it was hyped that tags were going to completely replace the folder metaphor.

Instead of locking an item away in one category e.g. "Bills" like you would in a physical filing cabinet. You would classify them with more granularity e.g. "Bills", "Power", "Georgia Power".

In actuality, they never replaced folders but, depending on the on the context, they can complement them. They can be used to great affect or, of course, be abused.

My worst abuse of tagging, by far, is within Evernote. At present I have 464 tags. It is as if they don't have a search feature and that I am trying to index it all myself. Now, there are several quirks (read peeves or bugs) that contribute to my trouble within Evernote. For example, if you begin to type a tag and misspell it, both the corrected and misspelled words become tags because it creates the tag before you click save on the note.

Within the last year or so, I have developed what I consider to be a productivity ninja habit of "Super Tags". I have a set of tags that I use everywhere. They are the collections of apps on my iPhone, folders for my web browser bookmarks, and becoming (hopefully) the main tags within Evernote as I wade through all of the detritus.

I don't plan to use these exclusively but, primarily and I will use as few sub-tags as possible.

At present, my "Super Tags" are: Health, Food, Travel, Productivity, Hobbies, Finance, Reference, Social, and Entertainment. I admit it, I have a tagging addiction.

Keep me honest on this blog to help keep them to a minimum.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Resurrection and Demarcation

It has been 2 years and 3 days since my last post.

What happened? Well, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, and a litany of other sites have pulled me and all of my friends who were "social bloggers" away to these platforms.

There are of course a whole world of bloggers who are still blogging as well or better than ever but, my use had been to keep up with friends and vice versa. There are better methods for that now.

So, why am I back, well, all of the phatic communication, has left me yearning for a chance to write in more than 140 characters.

I have chosen to keep my blog intact and to continue where I left off. I could have cleared it or come up with a clever new name or central topic but, I would rather keep my history as it is and write about "now" as it happens. Just think of me as:

a man on a path ...