It’s official: Termination dust has appeared in Anchorage, Alaska. (Image from this Twitter page.)

After scoring a lot of runs during a 19-day homestand, the Chicago Cubs went on the road, and in back-to-back games they got to face Madison Bumgarner and Clayton Kershaw, and scored two runs in two games. Other Cubs teams may have panicked at this point, but this Cubs team seems to have a good attitude about the experience. Image from this article.

This is an except from a story titled, The Taboo of Enlightenment, on

When I was 20-23 years old, I lived in this apartment building in Texas. I’m not sure about that red/brown tree in the foreground, but the big green tree in the middle of the building was there way back then. Thank you Google Maps for the opportunity to look back in time (without having to travel 1,000+ miles).

Acting is something I do,  but it’s not who I am.” ~ Floyd “Red Crow” Westerman, speaking to Darren Burrows off-camera on the Northern Exposure set.

Mr. Westerman played “One Who Waits” on Northern Exposure, and Mr. Burrows played Ed Chigliak. I found this quote in Mr. Burrows’ book, which can be found on the website.

I don’t mean to brag, but if you have the mug ...

This short article shows how to write a command-line timer in Scala. There are simple ways to do this as just a regular Unix/Linux shell script, but I wanted to use Scala, in part so I could try to remember how to use the Java sound libraries. (I also initially thought about writing this is a GUI app, but decided to just make it a command-line app.)

I wanted a simple command-line timer, so I wrote one in Scala.

When I was a freshman in college I ended up living in the girls’ dorm (and sneaking out every morning). I’ll skip the details of that story, other than to say that one of my “roommates” was named Kristy, and “Love the One You’re With” by Stephen Stills was one of her favorite songs:

This is part of a great story by Pema Chödrön about what her teacher, Chögyam Trungpa Rinpoche, told her when her life hit rock bottom. From this article on

A few people I’ve talked to recently who have (or had) cancer told me they can clearly remember the moment when their doctor told them that they had cancer.

In my case I do remember the conversation with the doctor, but that was more of a formality. When I picked up the phone to talk to her, I already had a pad of paper and a pencil in hand, and I was ready to write down the details she was going to tell me. In my case I was pretty certain that I had cancer when I saw the ultrasound results.

There is some talk in this Rolling Stone article that Bruce Springsteen was on the verge of failure when the song “Born To Run” was released. Springsteen acknowledges that, but also adds, “I don’t know if it would have finished us — because what the [bleep] else were we going to do?”

I tend to look at that as perseverance: “Okay, you don’t like my work? Well, I’m not going anywhere, I’m going to keep working at it.”

When I first went to college I wasn’t a Springsteen fan at all — I barely knew who he was — but then I heard Hungry Heart, and became a fan. These days Born To Run, Hungry Heart, Badlands, Thunder Road, Pink Cadillac, Brilliant Disguise, and Secret Garden are some of my favorite songs. And Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town is one of my favorite Christmas songs/performances.

There are many nice cartoons/illustrations in Eckhart Tolle’s book Guardians of Being: Spiritual Teachings from Our Dogs and Cats, and this “Shtop Thinking” cartoon is one of my current favorites. (The book is a collaborative effort between Mr. Tolle and Patrick McDonnell, artist/illustrator/cartoonist who may be most well known for his “Mutts” cartoons.)

“The path to our destination is not always a straight one, Ed. We go down the wrong road, we get lost, we turn back. Maybe it doesn’t matter which road we embark on. Maybe what matters is that we embark.”

~ Leonard speaking to Ed on Northern Exposure, via Return to Cicely

“I preach heavily about present tense” ~ Cubs manager Joe Maddon, intentionally or unintentionally speaking about mindfulness

In some ways Scrivener is a bit of a klunky, older-looking Mac OS X application, but I started using it two days ago, and it has helped me organize my ideas, so for that I give it credit. It’s intended to be used by writers who want to write books, and as I said, it does help with the organization aspect, and that is helpful. It’s better than a pile of files in a directory that you manually try to keep in order, that’s for sure.

As shown in the image, I’ve finally come to the realization that I can’t write a book. But I can write a few sentences, and then a few pages, and eventually a chapter on a given topic. And then I can write another chapter, and then another. But to sit down and say, “I’m going to write a book,” no, that’s too hard.

“What should be done eventually, must be done immediately.” ~ Jeremy Foley, commenting on the proper time to fire coaches.

That’s a pretty good quote for other situations as well ... though I’m still going to wait to take the garbage out until the bag is full.

I just used this code in a Unix shell script to add a 20% black border to every image in the current directory:

Because most of the people I know have a really hard time facing death, it’s hard to recommend Seeking a Friend for the End of the World to them. But hey, it’s a quirky love story, and I liked it. It’s currently playing on Netflix.

Having lived with many great dogs (and a couple of cats), I just orded this book by Eckhart Tolle. The few pages I can see on the Amazon preview look great. It looks to be more about “mindfulness” and “spirituality” than “religion,” which suits me well. I’m looking forward to it.