story

Why are you here? (Talkeetna, Alaska)

When I first moved to Talkeetna, I sat down to sign the lease with my new landlord. The conversation went like this:

Her: So, why are you moving to Alaska ... hunter?

Me: No.

Fisherman?

No.

*pause*

Right-wing nut job?

No.

*pause*

You’re not here to write stories about the town for tv shows, like those Northern Exposure people, are you?

*she starts taking off her shirt, which I eventually realize is so that she can breast-feed her baby*

Um ... no.

Why are you here?

Tell the truth and worry less about the consequences alvin March 18, 2017 - 11:54am

A quote from this article by Guy Kawasaki about Steve Jobs:

This experience taught me that you should tell the truth and worry less about the consequences for three reasons:

1) Telling the truth is a test of your character and intelligence. You need strength to tell the truth and intelligence to recognize what is true.

2) People yearn for the truth—that is, telling people that their product is good just to be positive doesn’t help them improve it.

3) There’s only one truth, so it’s easier to be consistent if you’re honest. If you are dishonest, you have to keep track of what you said.

The Mirror of Truth and Mulla Nasrudin

There used to be a magical mirror, called the Mirror of Truth. If someone looked into it and said a lie, they would die immediately. In the land where it existed, everyone from kings to merchants was subject to its justice. One day Mulla Nasrudin came to this land and was brought before the Mirror of Truth to test his honesty. He declared, “I am telling a lie.” Nothing happened. “I think I broke your mirror,” said Mulla.

(I don’t remember where I read this, but I just found it in some old notes and thought I’d share it here.)

A Christmas Story alvin December 4, 2016 - 10:34am

(From time to time I write little stories that have nothing to do with programming or technology; this is one of those stories. So, if you’re only here for the technology stuff, you’ll want to skip this one.)

I’m standing in the kitchen of a friend’s house at a Christmas party, making myself a drink while talking to a friend named Angie. This was nothing unusual; she and I were always talking about something. We became friends during our last year in high school, and we’ve been talking every since.

In retrospect it’s obvious that I have feelings for her, but I guess you could say that I didn’t appreciate her back then. After high school my ambition took me away to college, and then to a series of jobs in different states. By the time I decided to move back home, she was married and had two young children.

While we talked all the time, this kitchen conversation was unusual. I don’t remember how it started, but Angie did ask me about something I rarely talk about: my parents getting divorced in high school.

The Hero’s Journey

If you’ve never heard of The Hero’s Journey, Wikipedia states that it’s a “common template of a broad category of tales that involve a hero who goes on an adventure, and in a decisive crisis wins a victory, and then comes home changed or transformed.” The concept was originally introduced by Joseph Campbell in The Hero with a Thousand Faces, in 1949. This image comes from thewritersjourney.com.

The Taoist story of the old farmer

When my candidate loses an election like this, I feel like Al Gore in 2000: I want to sit on the couch, drink beer, eat pizza, grow my beard, and wonder what the hell happened.

While it feels horrible now, Al Gore turned his lemon into lemonade. He works with Apple and Google, is pursuing his passion in environmental activism, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2007.

All of which makes me think of this old Taoist story.

Android: How to go back to Google App stories after closing the Now card

I like the “Google” app on Android — the thing you see if you swipe right on the Android home screen. But a weakness of it is that you can’t get back to a story easily. For instance, this morning I followed a Google Now card to see a story about Tom Ricketts and the Cubs, closed the story, then thought, “Wait, I meant to look at XYZ in that web page.” Once you close a story like this the Now card disappears, and you can’t get back to it easily (which is the weakness).

Solution 1: Going back to Google Now app stories on Android 7

I don’t know if this is the only way to do it, but as a solution, one way to get back to the story on Android 7 is to follow these steps: