IMHO, when you hear Buddhists or mindfulness people say something like, “Life is like a dream,” one thing they mean is that more than 99.99999% of the stuff going on in our minds are thoughts about the past and the future. (Past happiness and regrets, and future hopes and concerns.) Because the only thing that’s real in the present moment is what’s actually happening in only this moment, anything that’s outside of this moment is in a strict sense no longer real.

Being old enough to know what a record player is, I like to think of mindfulness and “being in this moment” as being like the needle on a record player. Your mindfulness is the needle, and you’re only playing whatever musical notes are under the needle at this instant. What’s already gone by the needle is the past, and what’s coming at the needle is the future.

Along this line of thinking I like Eckhart Tolle’s two quotes, “The present moment is all you ever have” (you know that’s true if you’ve ever lost consciousness, not knowing if you’d ever open your eyes again), and, “The whole essence of Zen consists in walking along the razor’s edge of Now.”

(Note: I wrote about this a few days ago in a short post titled, Go beneath the story ... meditation is the tool for that.)

With two or three weeks left in the regular season, the Broncos were facing possible elimination from the playoffs. (A lot of people were saying it was “probable,” not “possible.”) But they kept working hard — “grinding,” as they like to call it — and won the Super Bowl. Never give up.

A couple of days ago I received an email about these guided meditation practices on Michael W. Taft’s website. I’ve only listened to the first two so far, but if you’re interested in meditation, they can be a good resource.

Phil Jackson released this message on Twitter after the release of head coach Derek Fisher.

When he refers to the seven principles of sound offense, you can read about those here and here.

Mr. Jackson also added these comments when speaking to the NY Daily News: “Someone has to match the style about the way we do things,” he said. “And there’s a certain style that I have that I think that works and have found to work before. I don’t know if all those people measure up to that because I don’t know them enough. But that’s an important aspect to it. We’ll find that type of person.”

Charley Rosen, a longtime close friend of Phil Jackson’s, tells what he knows about Derek Fisher’s firing and Kurt Rambis.

Note: This code is currently a work in progress. I know of possible approaches, but I don’t know of a perfect working solution yet.

I’m currently trying to find the right way to find the current monitor size, when you’re writing a Java Swing application to work in a multiple-monitor configuration. I always use three monitors, so I can test this pretty easily.

“What is it on this planet that needs doing that I know something about, that probably won’t happen unless I take responsibility for it?”

This is a quote from the book, Wherever You Go, There You Are, by Jon Kabat-Zinn. (The image comes from this page.)

If you’ve never heard him speak, DeMarcus Ware seems like a truly great guy, a real leader and team-builder. I suspect he’s one of the quiet MVPs behind the Denver Broncos Super Bowl championship.

(Image comes from this page.)

“Courage doesn’t always roar.” I just found this image in a folder on one of my computers. I don’t remember where I took this photo, but I think I took it at a small restaurant in Boulder or Louisville, Colorado. The text comes from Mary Anne Radmacher.

“Engineers who don’t need to be managed are worth paying extra for.”

~ Adrian Cockcroft (How Netflix gets out of the way of innovation)

As a quick note, if you ever need to use a Java TimerTask, you can define one like this:

class BrightnessTimerTask extends TimerTask {
    public void run() {
        // your custom code here ...

and you can then instantiate it, create a Timer, and schedule the task like this:

I like to listen to audiobooks when I drive around the country, and on my last drive back and forth to New Mexico I listened to the Pema Chodron audiobook, When Pain is the Doorway.

At some point in the book she talks about the storylines that constantly run around in our heads. I can’t remember if she was talking about a specific painful experience or just about storylines in general, but when I got to my hotel I made these notes about what she said: “Go beneath the story ... that takes a while, and meditation is the tool for that, to let go of inner dialog and come back to the direct experience.”

That reminded me of something else I read in another book, which is probably Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now. In that book (or whatever other book I’m remembering), the author said that 99.99999% of everything in life is a dream, because everything you are thinking about at this moment has either happened in the past, or it’s something that you want to happen in the future (or fear will happen in the future). The only thing that is not a dream is what’s really happening in the present moment, and of course the present moment lasts for only an instant.

If you haven’t experienced it already, once you really experience “the present moment” you’ll find that the last paragraph is correct. (As an anti-pattern of this, earlier this morning I was shaving and thought, “Oh, I should post that story I read a little while ago on Facebook. So and so would like that.” If you are ever thinking like that, you are clearly not in the present moment.)

This blog post titled nanomsg postmortem and other stories is so good I wanted to share this part of it on “politics and technology.” The whole thing is a great read, as is this other article titled Requiem for Nanomsg. Both articles tell a fascinating story about software development, “politics,” and leadership.

This image is from a great blog post titled Requiem for Nanomsg. If you’re interested in the “social development of software,” aka, open source software, that post and this earlier post titled nanomsg postmortem and other stories are both excellent reads.

I saw someone use the word “chimera” a few days ago. I had a ballpark idea of what it meant, but here’s the precise definition, courtesy of the Google search results. The second definition is about what I had in mind.

“All we do is work.” ~ Gary Kubiak, head coach of the Denver Broncos

All season long I watched the Denver Broncos team, and especially their defense, and wondered if they could keep doing it. In Super Bowl 50 they answered that question with a, “Yes we can.” Amazing. Congratulations.

The image comes from this page.)

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face.” ~ Mike Tyson

(Two years ago the Denver Broncos got punched in the face. Yesterday they punched Carolina.)

This is a song called “Furnace Room Lullaby,” by Neko Case & Her Boyfriends. It’s included as a special feature on The Gift DVD (the movie released in 2000, featuring Cate Blanchett, directed by Sam Raimi, written by Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson). It’s an unusual song that I might expect to find on a David Lynch movie.

“He screams at you, hollers at you, makes life unbearable until you’re about ready to quit, and then he starts being real nice to you and makes your life enjoyable for a while.”

Someone talking about Steve Jobs, right?


It’s Jerry Kramer talking about Vince Lombardi, in 1967.

Thinking about a conversation earlier today: I still have no idea why some women stay with their husbands, even when their husbands are real jerks.

Today’s conversation has little to do with me, it wouldn’t affect my life at all, but after the conversation I kept wondering, “Why does she stay with this guy?” It’s like people assume the worst, that life will only be bad after a separation or divorce. Well, guess what, there’s another option: Life can be better after you move on. There’s no law in the universe that says it has to be worse.

You really can do all of those things you dreamed of doing — such as moving to Alaska, as I did. You can have both male and female friends without worrying about jealousy. Maybe you’ll find someone new, or maybe you’ll find that you like it better alone. Oh, and if the guy is verbally abusive as this one is, think of how joyful it will be to come home without some jerk yelling at you.

Right now you’re making a choice to stay with some abusive guy, so you’re making your life what it is. Don’t blame that decision on someone else. But guess what — you can also make your future life better. It’s your choice.