Tuesday, November 25

Alice in Wonderland ... and zen

I enjoyed reading this today (because it's a perfectly good example of the rational way we make distinctions):

Zen master John Daido Loori of the Zen Mountain Monastery uses this in his teaching:

The caterpillar said, "One side will make you grow bigger and the other side will make you grow smaller"
"One side of what? The other side of what?" thought Alice to herself.
"Of the mushroom," said the caterpillar.
Alice looked at the mushroom, trying to make out which were the two sides of it, as it was perfectly round.

(taken from the wikipedia page on koans).

Monday, November 24

The Free Reiki sessions at the Body, Mind and Spirit Exhibition

We did it.

Through the weekend there was the Body, Mind and Spirit Exhibition in Nicosia.

On Saturday, we had a room for three hours, giving people free Reiki. We had chairs and people would come in and sit on them and wait.
When we finished with one person, we would move on to the next, asking a few questions, explaining what we are doing, then having a short Reiki session with them. In the end, we would talk about the experience, answer some questions, and give them some written material on what Reiki is.

At the end, I felt very tired (I think the others were too) but the sense of accomplishment was there.

I don't know how to describe it really.

My pleasure, my sense of fulfillment is usually a simple thing (do something, get satisfaction).

In comparison, this was amazing.

Five minutes before we started, somebody came and asked if they were in the right place to find out about Reiki ... and I thought 'Hey, somebody might be interested in this ... '; but the room was always full, so full that after three hours with six Reiki masters, we didn't have the time to finish with everybody.

Then, there was the fact that we had something to offer, something people wanted to receive, sometimes so much that they came back for more.

There was answering the questions, the dialogues that came out of it, the sense of accomplishment.

There was the smiles of the people receiving this, and the people not wanting it to end.

Maybe it was all of those, or something else.

Maybe it was simply Reiki.

Whatever it was though, I think it will bring a smile on my face for quite some time now.

Whatever it was, in the end, we did it.

Friday, November 14

randomness on the tubes

The most important thing I read yesterday was a small piece called Zen is Boring (spirituality).

L sent me a very interesting piece on regular expressions engine implementations (technical, with code in classic C).
Thanks L!

I also found a story on paying a bill with a spider drawing (funny).

Nike has some googles expanding the field of vision, called hindsight (weird).

Also, here's an article on improving your charisma (interesting).

And in completely unrelated news, I just found this comment in our code today:
        case WAIT_OBJECT_0:     // look ma' no brakes :-)

Tuesday, November 11

eeebuntu on Asus EEE PC 1000H

I received my eee late last evening and installed eeebuntu today. The process was relatively straightforward, once I had all the pieces.

The pieces:
- eeepc iso image (torrent)
- UNetbootin: A windows application for turning a Linux distro CD image into an installable setup to be used with a flash drive.
- A 1/2Gb USB flash drive. I used a U3 Cruzer Micro, so in order to get a bootable USB drive I had to remove the U3 smart application from it. I did that with the U3 Launchpad Remover.
- The alternate kernel image (a kernel having the eee drivers compiled within. You can get those from here, but if you download them separately (like I did), follow the instructions from here
- The software configuration. This is a script doing it's magic, after the HW support has been set. The script can be found here.

1. Get the ISO for the eeebuntu system.
2. Download UNetbootin. Within the application, choose the second option (Diskimage), load the ISO, then plug in the USB device and click OK.
2.a. In my case, I was using a Cruzer Micro USB drive. The device is seen as a read-only CD, and it mounts an extra partition for random access. To disable this, I used the U3 Launchpad Remover from U3.com.
3. Plug the USB device into the eee PC and restart (keep pressing F2 for the boot menu), follow the ubuntu setup.

At this step, you should have a functional linux installation, that unfortunately doesn't do that much.

4. Copy the specialized kernel image to the USB device and install them. This only takes a few minutes, and the instructions to do so are here. You should make sure the laptop is wired to the network for the second part (Setup the Repository). Wireless network should not yet be functional.

5. Install the SW settings. The instructions for doing so can be found here.

6. Reboot.

7. There is no step 7.

The instructions were put together based on the eeeuser forum.

Friday, November 7

zen story

A student went to his meditation teacher and said, "My meditation is horrible! I feel so distracted, or my legs ache, or I'm constantly falling asleep. It's just horrible!"

"It will pass," the teacher said matter-of-factly.

A week later, the student came back to his teacher. "My meditation is wonderful! I feel so aware, so peaceful, so alive! It's just wonderful!'

"It will pass," the teacher replied matter-of-factly.

(taken from here)

a new favorite word

I wrote about favorite words before (see cruft and Hexakosioihexekontahexaphobia).

The new word of the day is Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis. Wikipedia claims it to be the longest word in the English language, and it apparently means a lung disease caused by the inhalation of very fine silica dust causing inflammation in the lungs.

So ... can anyone make a phrase that contains this word three times?

Wednesday, November 5

The US Elections Are Over a.k.a. Pedros

In a bar in Mexico, there was a Mexican drinking Tequila (of course!). All of a sudden, he heard someone yelling from outside:

Pedros, Pedros, somebody is stealing your horse!

He dashed outside, then suddenly stopped and realized:
Hey, I don't have a horse! He went back inside and got a new glass of Tequila.

Ten minutes later, he heard another voice yelling outside:

Pedros, Pedros, somebody is robing your house!

He dashed outside again, then suddenly stopped and realized:
Hey, I don't have a house! He went back inside and got a new glass of Tequila.

Ten minutes later, he heard another voice yelling outside:

Pedros, Pedros, somebody is kidnapping your wife!

He dashed outside again, then suddenly stopped and realized:
Hey, I'm not Pedros!

So ... what does that have to do with the US elections? Nothing much ...

... except that I knew very strongly who I was going to vote for ... and I'm not American.

Damn media! :-(

Good thing it's over though.