if you could really imagine something being different, like actually see if differently, like a full-blown hallucination — if you really saw it after just thinking about seeing it, like wondering, "can I imagine those two colors switching places?" and then your brain answered "yes", and switched the colors in it's "mind's eye" perception.. that could be really scary, like "holy crap.. can I make it go back? did other stuff change just now and I didn't notice it? do I now think that males and females, and I just don't realize it, and from now on people are going to think I'm using the wrong word, and I won't for the life of me be able to tell why?" — I feel like it would be good to be able to imagine things that well, though I'd like to be able to control it and understand it, rather than accidentally wreaking havoc..


I tried to form an LLC called GL519,
but was rejected because the name was too close to someone else.
I then successfully formed GL312.
Now here is a bottle of 312 beer,
which I purchased because it used the same number.
It was good.

I do several types of meditation.
One type is "decompose",
where I take an object,
like a bottle of beer,
and try to think of stuff related to it,
where it came from,
what it "means",
and so forth..

When I'm done,
I increment a number in a google doc.
So far, I've "decomposed" 14 objects.

My other types of meditation are:
"relax", where I try to relax my body;
"imagine", where I try to imagine something as well as I can, the feelings and sights and such;
and "observe/focus", where I simply keep my attention on something, like breathing, or a bottle of beer, but without trying to think of stuff related to it, but rather just seeing what's there.

I do these meditations for 5 or 10 minutes. I started with 5, and now I'm up to 10. I suppose I'll increase that number as I get better.. I feel I could probably do 15 now.

lucid dreaming

after 50 or so failed attempts — since I started keeping track — I've had 3 successes this week, 2 of which were this morning.

some notes:
  • all of these successes take the form of me counting while also letting my mind wander, but keeping a train of thought focussed on counting as a way of sort of staying awake, and at some point I fall asleep, enter a dream, and then realize I'm in a dream. So, in a sense, they're all failures of the WILD technique, since I'm not actually aware of the transition from awakeness into dreamness, but I call them successes because they happened as a result of attempting a WILD.
  • in previous attempts, I put a lot of effort into relaxing my body, so much that sometimes my arm would fall asleep, which was quite painful, and sometimes I even tried to press on after my arm fell asleep in case that was meant to happen.. however, I've never succeeded when a body part fell asleep, and I've had now several successes without even trying to relax too much, but rather focussing on my imagination, and letting it wander as it does before falling asleep..
  • I think the most crucial point may be maintaining an intent to wake up in the dream, rather than the counting..
  • In the dreams, I notice that some things are very realistic, and some things are like computer graphics
  • I can feel things in the dreams, and I can hear things, including talking, and people will respond if I ask them things. I can also see colors, but I'm not sure I've smelt or tasted anything.
  • I can control the dreams in the sense that if I want something to happen, something more-or-less like that will happen pretty soon thereafter
  • Sometimes my minds eye is in my body, and sometimes I have no body, or I'm outside it
  • although I'm pretty darn conscious in a lucid dream, I feel like there is still a difference — my current guess, though I haven't remembered inside a dream to test this, is that whereas I usually have a sort of separation between my mental world and the physical world, inside a lucid dream, I don't.. so I can't really think things through before making decisions, at least, not in the same way.. I can think a little bit.. I'll need to try having a visual thought that is not manifested in the dream world, and see if I can..
  • I'm not sure what wakes me up from the lucid dreams — I know sometimes I've purposely tried to wake up from them, but other times, I want to maintain the dream, but fail, and I'm not sure why
  • often when I think I've woken up from a lucid dream, I haven't actually — I'm in another dream but don't realize it
some notes about the dreams themselves:
  • I recall talking to my mom and sister, and then walking to go outside, but when I got to the door, some animals — a cat and a dog — wanted to go outside too, and I let them go ahead of me. While outside, I recall looking at some gnarly part of a tree, and it seemed quite realistic and 3d. Then I walked to the glass wall of the greenhouse I was apparently in and touched the glass, and I felt something poking me from behind, like a plant, and decided there was a person there instead, who turned out to be my sister
  • I was at my grandmas house, and remember thinking "this is too realistic, this can't possibly be a dream", but then tested whether it was a dream by checking how well gravity worked, and I noticed I could float a bit, which made me realize it was a dream.. I looked around a bit, and then woke up
  • I don't remember how this one started, but I remember looking at the moon, and deciding to go to it, and I was flying toward the moon, and it was getting very big, but I noticed at some point that my mind couldn't fill in the details, sortof like zooming in too much in an image, and I decided to fly back to earth, and I remember flying toward Arizona, and I knew where Arizona was, but as I flew closer, I didn't know exactly where Phoenix was, so my mind sortof skipped a bit of the transition and I landed, but when I landed, everything was textured, like a computer, being flat, and I was walking on a flat textured surface, and I decided I wanted it to be non-textured and more normal, and it became so, but I "woke up" after that.. And I was sitting at a poker table, and it was my turn, and I didn't remembering going there, so I asked with some concern "how long have I been here?", and another player said "about 15 minutes", and I asked "is this my first hand?".. I'm not sure what they said, but I went on to say "I don't remember coming here, I don't remember anything up till just now". they didn't seem as concerned as myself, but it seemed so real that I was pretty sure I wasn't dreaming, but I thought I'd take a look at my cards which might reveal if I was dreaming if they were too extreme, and I did have 2 kings, 2 queens and an ace, which is a moderately extreme hand, and also not a Texas hold'em hand, which is what I thought I was playing initially, but neither of these things clued me into the fact that I was dreaming. I gave the dealer my ace, hoping for another queen or king, and I could see the top card he gave me was a queen, but he gave me five cards total, which I didn't understand, and the game kind of veered away from actual poker from there, but I never realized it was a dream until I woke up for real (assuming that I am awake ;)

Palm Springs is hot in November.

Also, it is very windy sometimes. The other day, a gust blew my hat and glasses off.

this is the sort of buzzer you get when you're told to wait, so you can walk around.

this one is safe to touch..
I'm kindof over getting told to throw my hands up in the air
so there



I walk a mile in your shoes
now I'm a mile away
and I've got your shoes

~Kings of Leon


image recognition

Someone pointed me to this demo.
I uploaded some photos from my phone, and it knew what each of them was:

..well, except the black volkswagen beetle, which was my rental car in Maine — it thought it was a limo.. but that's pretty close.

Then I uploaded a picture I found of a bug:

..I would have been impressed if it said "bug", but it said Damselfly, with Dragonfly as it's second choice. I thought it was a dragonfly, and was already impressed, but when I looked up damselfly I discovered it was right. It recognized what was in the image better than me.

So that's where we're at. Apparently computers are pretty good at knowing what pictures are of..

I took a picture of this truck in front of me..

..it had this fish..

..which is like the super secret fish sign used by christians to know if other people are christians.. now, I think the cross for the eye kindof gives it away.


silent alarm

I meditate with a timer that buzzes when I'm done. I had written my own timer, but if it goes too long, the phone falls asleep, and it doesn't buzz. I spent a while trying to fix this issue using phonegap, but failed, so far.
So I downloaded someone else's app called "SilentAlarm" , and it had been working great, but during one meditation I didn't feel the alarm go off.

I thought maybe I had just not noticed it, so I spent the next meditation focusing on my hand holding the phone, with my eyes closed.. and toward the end, I got a text message, which vibrated the phone and I looked at it, but the time was already down to zero, and I thought it too coincidental that the alarm would have gone off at exactly the same time that I got a text message.

So, I spent the next meditation focusing on the numbers counting down on the timer, and I noticed that I had a lot of semantic associations with the numbers, and it was hard not to read the numbers in my head, so I decide to try looking at it upside down by rotating the phone — and of course Android tried to "help" me by rotating the display — and when this happened, the countdown stopped!


a friend emailed me a photo of myself taken while they were reading my blog,
perhaps one day someone will take a photo of me while reading this entry :)

I was looking the other way, and my friend startled me when they got into my car. They were apologetic, but I told them it was fine — being startled is like sneezing, I can't control it, and it isn't necessarily a bad feeling, to me.



> git push heroku master
Counting objects: 5, done.
Delta compression using up to 4 threads.
Compressing objects: 100% (3/3), done.
Writing objects: 100% (3/3), 290 bytes, done.
Total 3 (delta 2), reused 0 (delta 0)

-----> Node.js app detected
-----> Resolving engine versions

       WARNING: No version of Node.js specified in package.json, see:

       Using Node.js version: 0.10.21
       Using npm version: 1.3.11
-----> Fetching Node.js binaries
-----> Vendoring node into slug
-----> Installing dependencies with npm
       npm WARN package.json untitled@0.0.1 No repository field.
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/connect-mongo
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/express
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongojs
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongodb
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/connect-mongo
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongojs
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/express
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongodb
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/connect-mongo
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongojs
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/express
       npm http GET https://registry.npmjs.org/mongodb
       npm ERR! Error: connect ECONNREFUSED
       npm ERR!     at errnoException (net.js:901:11)
       npm ERR!     at Object.afterConnect [as oncomplete] (net.js:892:19)
       npm ERR!  { [Error: connect ECONNREFUSED]
       npm ERR!   code: 'ECONNREFUSED',
       npm ERR!   errno: 'ECONNREFUSED',
       npm ERR!   syscall: 'connect' }
       npm ERR! 
       npm ERR! If you are behind a proxy, please make sure that the
       npm ERR! 'proxy' config is set properly.  See: 'npm help config'


It's 12:20am Pacific Daylight Time.
I just posted a HIT on MTurk.
I go to preview it, and I see this:

..it's fine..

today has just been full of computer craziness..

when I save screenshots to my desktop, they disappear after a few moments.. as it turns out, I think Dropbox is moving them to a Screenshots folder..

Gimp doesn't let me type. I tried to create some text, and any letter I pressed was interpreted as a hotkey rather than text. I ended up copying an image of a word I wanted from the internet instead. In fact, when I opened the save dialog, I couldn't type a file name either, so I had to save my file as "untitled" and rename it in the finder..

MongoHQ doesn't support db.eval, which I've started to use heavily, so.. I'm not sure what to do about that.. currently I'm running my own mongo instance on EC2..

the fibers module for node wouldn't install from npm earlier.. the error was something like "can't find sys/types.h".. apparently it's because I upgraded to OS X Mavericks, which broke gcc, so I needed to reinstall the command line utilities..

for a little bit Sublime Text wouldn't let me click anywhere to type — no cursor would appear, and if I did type stuff, it would appear at the very beginning of the file.. eventually it started working again..



my ec2 instance id is i-52bad834.. hehe