LLog – 20170114

I have been thinking about the algebra problem I helped my 14 yo with.  Thinking in a ‘meta’ over principle context, Algebra right now, in these beginning stages,  is about learning to recognize a problem and name or categorize it (polynomial, etc) and know what algorithm to apply to it – and in the next levels to take a problem and break it down into something that a familiar algorithm can be applied to – break it down into something that can be named or categorized and that a known algorithm can be applied to.

Programming is essentially the same.  Framing a problem in such a way and breaking it down into pieces that can then be coded.

LLog – 20170110

I remembered a mantra this morning during my meditation that I had used a lot in the past: Accept(inhale)  Release(exhale)

I find such mantras helpful while attempting to maintain focus on the breath.  This one has such a plethora of implications as well, from the physical acceptance or noticing of tension and then the subsequent release of the muscle.  It can also refer to negative thoughts or emotional states.

The idea is based off previous thoughts around improv, stimulated by a TED talk which I cannot find right now (It was part of a TED radio hour podcast)!!  However I did find this NPR article which describes what I was attracted to – the basic principles of improv:

First: say yes. No matter what the audience or improv member throws out there — go with it. Second, it’s not about you, it’s about the group. The group will create something greater than the sum of its parts. … And third, don’t think. Don’t let your head hold you back; improv is about impulse

This TED talk has some more excellent principles as well which apply so well, or which are also principles of, meditation.  Such as listening.

Another interesting area these principles will apply is when I finally start playing RPG’s with Owen, hopefully dragging the other kids in.  I need to look at playing Castles & Crusaders as an episode of improv, not the telling of a preconceived story.

LLog – 20170107

Had a bit of a headache the last 13 hours or so, woke up still there and meditated and felt a lot of tension in my jaw. Once I let that go the headache was gone. Noticing the jaw brought me back to the eyes where I usually think to release based on a technique for relaxation and focus that I read by Gurdjieff many years ago. That fact has stuck with me for almost 30 years!!!

I found this quote after a quick Google search:

The fact that the eyes are accumulators is useful for a person who knows how to relax the eyes, and to bring consciousness to them. It means that the person can use the accumulators more intelligently, and, with a little further knowledge, gain access to the large accumulator, because the eyes have an indirect connection to it.

If I remember correctly the reference I am remembering was referring to Gurdjieff’s ability to recharge his energy and function on very little to no sleep, partly by not wasting energy on unnecessary tension, and also by access to some larger store of energy outside of himself.  I assume that is the reference to the ‘large accumulator’.

LLog – 21070105

Reading Sitepoint’s HTML5:Basics .  The discussion of the ‘structure’ of HTML 5 was giving me a hard time because I keep associating structure with CSS.   But I am now thinking of ‘structure’ like laying out all the parts of a bicycle. That’s your document, each part is a piece or element of the over all structure and each is a structure as well. You may have an idea of how to put all those pieces together but someone else may come along and put them together differently or even change the size of some pieces but the structure of each piece stays the same. A wheel is still round, the handlebars are still the same shape. CSS is what changes the look, how the pieces, the structures, are arranged.  HTML 5 is the structure of each piece and the overall structure of the document, such as what is the main piece, what structure is a footer.  I could also think of each element of the document being like a house – a structure – and CSS is what arranges the houses into neighborhoods.

LLog – 20161223

I’ve noticed a return of a familiar feeling that comes upon me during the holidays – something I forget until it rears its ugly head.  Some kind of existential angst, a stain on everything I look on and think about.  People or things that I have been admiring or working on become less desirable, more suspect in motive or value.  I feel constantly agitated as well, with the smallest inconvenience feeling like a major annoyance.

I’ve been able to look at it more than other times for the most part.  Also, I’m trying to insert the practice of gratitude, which I’ve heard mentioned lately from several different sources.  That has helped tremendously.

My goal isn’t to be happy per se, because that would be staying in a state of awareness just as false as this feeling of existential disgust.  I’m not sure what my goal is now that I write that, which may be a part of the problem and definitely not a route to a solution – if a solution is even needed.

The best thing about the holidays of course is that they end, so there’s that.

LLog – 20161220

Working on the child template for this blog – getting only the two latest entries for the learning log to show on the page and making sure no learning log entries show in the blog section. I’m also working on adding some color with a color for each category and using this to stylize the “entry-footer” section next to the blog posts on the index/landing page with a gradient colored box that has the entries category in it. I may further stylize this with a picture and then I am going to use that color scheme for each blog post so that the post’s colors correspond to the category. I’m not sure yet what this will look like but I do want to keep it minimal.

Messing with the template is a reminder of how slow I am right now doing even the simplest things with WordPress. It’s also difficult to find that balance between tweaking the look of the site and working on actual content – I haven’t done a post for too long now.

A decent amount of time has been going into Xmas as well. Buying electronics and setting them up is a bit time consuming but rewarding – we are on track to become a fully nexus-ified household!!

About the Learning Log

Note: As you can see the naming convention is generic, however the tags are listed at the top so you can easily see what the entry refers to.

I’m starting a new post format which I’m bringing over from my wiki. The Learning Log is a journal of quick entries documenting whatever projects I may be working on and quick thoughts and notes about the things I am reading and listening to.  The entries will be by date, only showing two at a time with plans to give the log it’s own archive page.

I want to give it a more central location since I hope to start putting more time into it.  More importantly I wanted to be able to add tags so that I can track progress better and get better views of what kind of things I am spending my time on in the long term.  So I think it would be very helpful to be able to go back a year or two and see what kind of subjects I was tagging.  Unfortunately MoinMoin just doesn’t have a tagging method built in.

There will be a short amount of time where I will be putting in back dated entries.

LLog – 20161217

I’ve been working on trying to get SuperGrub2 to work in VirtualBox so that I can mount and use USB devices that I need quick access to, and well to just do it because I can access the Linux file-systems through the Debian VM I use, but have had no success quite yet. It’s not recognizing the USB drive, which seems pretty hit or miss even when mounting to the Debian VM.

The diet is going well. Still following the ketogenic method. I am in month 4 (started the end of August), with plans to continue until month 6 with a strict under 30 regimen and then I will start either cheat days, or switch to Tim’s Slow-Carb plan – esp. if I can get Katie on board. Weight loss stands at about 30# with a goal of 10% body-fat (seeing my abs).

I started cold conditioning this past week (ie standing in the shower and turning the water to cold) and have realized I need to move gradually with more research on breathing techniques. When the water reaches its coldest I start feeling like I am going to pass out. I’m also going to start using an ice pack on the neck and traps during work. The plan is to work up to 3-5 mins of cold at the end of the shower before bed and then rinse after waking. I am sure the water is far colder out of the tap right now than it will be in the height of summer. I should use a thermometer and check.