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meditation timer 0.1

Eventually, I'd like a command line interface, to abstract the following code to this call:
>>meditation.rb bell / 15 / gong
require 'win32/sound'
include Win32

base = "sounds\\"

#files from http://freesound.iua.upf.edu/
bowl = base + '2166_suburban_grilla_bowl_struck' + '.wav'
gong = base + '19547_tobi123_Klangschale_weich_ff' + '.wav'


"meditation.rb bell 15 gong" it is... rev. 3 and I stayed up way too late for such a silly thing.

sleep(60) # give a meditator the time to sit down

ARGV.each do |arg|
  puts "parsing" + arg
  case arg
    when "gong"
    when "bell", "bowl"
      sleep(arg.to_i * 60)
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Fancy new cushion

I bought a new meditation cushion ("Gomden"). So now I have to meditate and get some enlightenment, or I'll feel like I waste a pile of cash.

Speaking of psychology, this week-end I finished Why Smart People Make Big Money Mistakes--and How to Correct Them: Lessons from the New Science of Behavioral Economics. It's brilliant! Everyone should read it. It's old enough now that it should be in most public libraries. Several practical recommendations on how to think of money should make it immediately useful to most people.
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King Sunny Ade and Manu Dibango's track "Hi-Life" is the perfect soundtrack right now.

I worked over-time to start cracking a problem I wanted to solve: quantifying social influence in a viral marketing campaign. I have a data set, I got results but not enough time to make a pretty graph. I identified the top 2% of most influential people in our target market. I feel slightly evil.

So I'm a geek working for an advertising company. Last week I got asked the classic... "so how do you see your role inside the company?"

We basically didn't have an entry interview when the companies merged. I'm a coder that doesn't take kindly to noisy surroundings (a temporary situation while offices are being re-jigged), bureaucratic expectations (think meetings and 9-to-5 seat warming). My job is so abstract most don't know what I do, so they can't measure my productivity.

That naturally got people nervous.

A frank discussion followed that question, which gave me much to think about. I am craving stability, I'd like to stay in Quebec and the colleagues are a fun bunch. I had a few ideas of where I could add value, but somehow I couldn't find the common thread, couldn't boil it down to a sound-bite.

The internet disrupts traditional communications and branding. There's no better place to be helping that disruption than in a growing and dynamic agency. Especially when that agency has incredible sales people, an established client base and a willingness to find out what the geeks can pull off.

So I'm going to be the geek that proposes disruptive ways to make a lot more money. And I think this is going to be a lot of fun.
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I got my alpha account to freebase, and filed a couple bug reports this week-end. If you don't know what Freebase is yet, follow that link.

Answers came in today. One bug report was legit, the other was my not quite understanding Metabase Query Language.

I feel like I did when I started learning about SQL, overwhelmed and confused. It's not a comfortable feeling, but I'll try to grok this technology.

So why put myself through that again? MQL seems very powerful. And I think this could be the "Next Big Thing" (TM).

The real test will be after I get the hang of MQL, if I can manage to add data programmatically. My data is more valuable if I can query it against other data. It should spawn a virtuous cycle, since the more data there is inside freebase, the more appealing it becomes to add more.
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More CD's and a tea-ball

I just bought used copies of Goldman's En Passant, and Johnny Clegg's Shadow Man. Old stuff I had lost and really wanted to hear again.

After the toaster-oven and ironing board, I'm now buying things like tea-balls and nut-crackers. My home life is starting to feel settled and normal. Routine, even. That "settling" energy is a by-product of my deciding to stay in Quebec.

I discussed this with Ellen K. She pointed out that since she's known me, I have never had a settled home base. After twelve years of a vagabond lifestyle, buying a tea-ball takes on a whole new significance. I would never have guessed that a $2.99 purchase would feel so grounding.
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Sarko president

Lots of separatists here in Quebec are disappointed Ms Royal didn't get elected president. Ironically, her mildly supportive statements in favour of Quebec helped torpedo her campaign.

If there's anyone looking at this through a smart gender/politics prism, I'd like to hear about it. My gut feel is that Sarko looked presidential while Royal didn't, and that it's next to impossible for a woman to remain in her gender role and act presidential. If sexes had been reversed, it would have been a slam-dunk for Royal.

There are some interesting news I wish I had more time to dig through. It was Le Pen's last dance, and I've no idea what will happen to France's now splintered extreme right-wing parties.

Since I like predicting the obvious: French politics are going to get weirder. The Socialist Party (Social Democrats) will slowly slide into irrelevance unless it really groks both the environment and civil liberties, aligning itself onto the 'bright green' school. The center party and the greens will duke it out for disenchanted voters, helped by openings to proportional representation.
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sick, working from home

I expect to be deliriously happy any hour now.

There's a roll of toilet-paper on my desk, and some diluted orange juice. It wouldn't be possible without music and work to stay busy.

Getting sick is just the body's way of forcing me to a meditation retreat. If the mind doesn't wander while the body produces its natural pain-killers it really isn't all that bad. One of these days I'll just preempt it and go sit on a cushion for a few days.