Well, boys, you're in luck. Have at it!

Prompted by a discussion on chat about being given credit for projects, I was happy to find that I'm still listed for a project I did at Skidmore in 1998. Sure, the code sucked, but the web interface was a fine change from the original FORTRAN program that only accepts single-letter, uppercase commands, which all have overloaded meanings depending on where you are in the program.

It's really hot here: apparently it hit 97F during the day, which makes the 62F office seem maybe not so bad. I just got an actual project from work, after screwing around for just under a week, doing research and playing video games, while everyone else scrambled to put a big website together. I did my share of scrambling for that website, but it was about a month ago. The new project should be fun, even though I have to work with SOAP, the Simple Object Access Protocol, yet another in the pea soup of acronyms I do my best to ignore, since they're almost inevitably ideas re-introduced and refined from somebody's doctoral dissertation in 1971. Really. I don't think there's been a genuinely new idea in software development in at least two decades, which is okay, for the most part, as the old ideas get polished and further abstracted and more things are made possible by advances in hardware. For example, XML, the markup language used by SOAP, uses so much CPU time, memory, and network bandwidth, that even ten years ago it wouldn't really have been feasible (and in fact we in the trenches argue even now about whether it is feasible and what exactly it's appropriate for). So the overwhelming majority of these "new" technologies are not interesting.

The bright side is that I planned for this sort of thing--processing XML data somehow--in a project back in March/April, so I have a framework to put everything in.

I am sticking to the computer, the floor, and the pillows I am leaning back on.

I have the house to myself this weekend, since Jeff is off in the mountains, and the loved one has jetted off for a family gathering. It takes a long time to get late when it's just me (and I decided to rest and not do aikido tonight), something I'd forgotten, since I last lived really alone in summer 1999. I still don't think living alone is a very good idea for me. I have a hard enough time with my runaway mind when I'm with other people.

It's a moment-by-moment effort to stay present and relaxed. In aikido last night I was doing better by focusing and moving more slowly, but then Kelly reminded me that I have hips I should really be using instead of my arms, so I got a solid two minutes of feeling like I knew what I was doing. The thing in aikido is that you need to move your whole self, your body with all limbs attached, from one place to another. I'm somewhat lazy, fairly strong, and certainly rather large, and I have long limbs, so especially with someone Kelly's size (6-8 inches and 80 pounds smaller) I can have some effect with just moving my arms, without moving my body.

Moments are explosive with newness and possibility. The world is exciting not because there's something happening or we're being entertained, but because the world is and we are part of it, and the infinite phenomenon that is the Universe flows out of nowhere in each instant. As Shunryu Suzuki said, we create the Universe anew each time we stand up. We, and the things we touch, have an incredible realness, far beyond--outside--our names and ideas about them. We all extend out from the fabric of reality.

More training. The events of our lives shape us on the inside, like our spirits are some lump of clay that gets pushed and pulled and molded over time. Shugyo, constant daily practice, does something more durable than sudden experiences, hammering us into shape a little more each day. If you try to make a clay pot quickly, it can have air bubbles and can crack in the fire. Shugyo works a little bit at a time, meticulously working out all the air bubbles, rounding the corners, smoothing the sides.