Saturday, April 13, 2013

Update: Siggraph 2013, a random trip, and mindfulness

My bro Matt said it's been a bazillion years since I've blogged and he's pretty much correct. Stuff has been busy and crazy lately but I can't elaborate :) But thus the non-blogging.

I got excellent news today though, our talk for Siggraph 2013 has been accepted!! This is my first ever Siggraph talk, and I'm really excited and pleased that we got in. I will post more details when I know about the schedule and when/where it's happening this summer. Awesome times.

I need a break, so I'm taking off soon on an un-announced, will-not-be-Facebooked-or-Blogged-as-I-go trip to somewhere awesome on the Pacific Northwest USA, it's gonna be a short trip but I'm intentionally not telling anyone about it (well, other than all of you, right now) because the main aim is to disappear for a few days, "disconnect" from tech stuff (email, blogs, Facebook, etc) for a few days and "reconnect" with tasty local food, meet some interesting volunteer workers, and go mountain biking through some epic trails on a crazy $5k dual-suspension bike I am gonna rent. Maybe eat some amazing food too, I bet. So that's the plan. I am gonna disappear from this virtual internet world for a few days, and only use my phone for Yelp and that's it. It seems crazy to go to these lengths just to "turn off" for a few days, but it seems like it's going to be a good plan to refresh and re-engage myself.

While on this topic, I've been reading about "mindfulness" a bit lately. My other "bro" Matt (I have an affinity for best friends named Matt) suggested this book.

Mindfulness book
This seems to be very interesting, and fits well with my newfound addiction to Yoga that started back in January. The stretching and exercise part of Yoga has been great and very beneficial at work, but I'm finding that the short discussions of "gratefulness" and "dedicating your practice to your self improvement" is totally up my alley. It seems like meditation is a useful tool for lots of people to deal with stress or just to help focus in this very busy world we live in. So I figure it might be worth a shot, and certainly it will be fun. I'm keen to read a little more about it first as well. This also kindof goes hand-in-hand with my reading about Positive Psychology lately, I guess that's where my interest in this stems from. Given the obvious benefits I've seen from optimism throughout many projects at work and in life, I think this mindfulness idea is similar in nature and thus worth some personal investigation.

Anyhoo, that's all for now. I'll be writing a paper journal on my random trip and I'll take some photos too. I'll post the usual full blog from the trip afterwards, along with photos and comments about the awesome experience. Looking forward to it. And mindfulness-style, I look forward to being fully present in the moment during that trip, and enjoying it to its very fullest. :)

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