personal

On yoga, effort, and life alvin April 13, 2019 - 8:15am

Working with yoga is often interesting. You stretch and twist and focus, trying to be very conscious and aware of your movements, and then one day in the middle of a twisting pose you see your left foot coming out from behind your right ear. At first that’s a real surprise, a shock. You think, “Well, that can’t be my foot over there”, and then you realize it is your foot, and with that comes a strong sense of accomplishment, and maybe a little smile.

Then you do the same pose in the opposition direction, but twist and stretch as you might, your right foot doesn’t come out from behind your left ear. You know you can’t push it any more, at least not while doing the pose properly, so you realize you have a little imbalance. You accept that you have some work to do, but it’s a good thing, so you push on.

I think life is like that too, or can be like that. If you enjoy the struggle, if it’s a worthy struggle — a path with heart — the effort comes willingly, and with its own rewards.
 

Namaste

The long road back alvin January 11, 2019 - 10:25am

I’m glad to say that I’ll be going back to regular consulting work again very soon. If you’re interested in the gory medical details that led me to quit consulting work (and write five computer programming books and a couple thousand blog posts), here you go:

New book about Tiger Woods

I just received a BrainFood email with this recommendation about this new book about Tiger Woods:

“Even if you don’t like golf, this book is hard to put down. One of my working hypotheses is that people with extreme abilities are not balanced. Attempts to address the imbalance usually cause them to lose some or all of their advantage, which contributed to the outlier success.”

Toger Woods book

There’s probably a well-known psychological theory about this, but I had the same thought many years ago. A recent example for me is that Bobby Petrino was once considered an offensive genius in college football, but since his personal scandal he seems much more human. A “balanced” life seems to take away from the obsession that makes certain people great about what they do.

Meaning of the word “reticent”

Today’s word of the day is reticent. Per Google, it means, “Not revealing one’s thoughts or feelings readily. ‘She was extremely reticent about her personal affairs.’”

A Christmas Story

[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.

I could feel her staring at me

A nice man who works at the local Walmart shared this story this morning while I was checking out:

“You know, I’ve been married 54 years.”

[long pause. you can tell he’s thinking about something.]

“One time, a long time ago, I was sitting on the couch, watching tv, and I could feel her staring at me. I mean I could just feel it. So I turned and looked at her and said, ‘What?’”

“She said, ‘You know what.’ I said, ‘No, I don’t.’ She just got up and walked away.”

“You know, to this day I still have no idea what I did.”

[long pause]

“I think sometimes in a relationship you just have to say, ‘I’m sorry,’ even if you don’t know exactly what you did or didn’t do.”

Stories alvin November 22, 2014 - 11:06am

From time to time, usually in the winter months, but not always, I like to write little stories of fiction. “Flash fiction,” I’m told they are called.

Here’s a short list of stories I’ve posted here recently:

Dream of Columbo, Kojak, and the guy from Hawaii 5-0

I’m sitting in the large back seat of a car with Columbo, Kojak, and the guy from Hawaii 5-0. We’re hungry, so Columbo is driving us to this restaurant he knows.

We take a right at a corner, and Columbo pulls forward about four parking spaces and parks the car. As he pulls through the empty parking spaces I see the pavement as though I’m a hood ornament on the car, looking down over the front of the car. I don’t wonder about that, but I do wonder why he didn’t take the first parking spot, which would have been closer to the restaurant, whose entrance is on the corner.