Rather than traveling to far distant places on the opposite side of the planet, due to the current global situation we’re forced to find places to visit close to home in order to satiate the desire for adventure. Dog Mountain trail is roughly a 6 mile hike round trip, but with a somewhat torturous elevation gain of about 2,800 ft. It’s located in Washington along the Columbia River Gorge and only about an hour from home.
Month: July 2020
I’ve had this issue that has plagued me for the past couple of years that I never truly spent more than an hour trying to solve. When using a bluetooth mouse on distros like Manjaro, LMDE, and Linux Mint, I’ve ran into this problem where whenever I reboot my machine, I would have to repair my bluetooth mouse every single time. The only time I didn’t have this issue with running Debian 10 and Windows.
I recently stumbled across a post in r/ArchLinux where someone was complaining of the exact same problem. I tried one of the recommended solutions and it surprisingly fixed my problem.
Open a terminal and launch
bluetoothctl, run the commands
agent on and
pair <MAC>, and
connect <MAC>. The MAC address can be found by opening up your bluetooth manager and searching for the device in question. Note that I had to unpair my device from my bluetooth manager and repair it with bluetoothctl. It took a couple attempts, but was eventually successful.
After completing those steps, open up
/etc/bluetooth/input.conf and add the line
#UserspaceHID=true. Reboot your machine.
Violà! After rebooting my machine, my mouse automatically connects every time. I also discovered a handy new tool I can use in the terminal!
If meditation and the study of free will has taught me anything, it’s that I am not my thoughts. Spending any amount of time on this, you’ll discover that consciousness precedes thoughts.
I’ve been meditating on and off semi-frequently for the last year and a half. I’ve always been curious about the nature of my own mind – the very reason why I got my Bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology. Meditation was something I had been somewhat interested in trying throughout my twenties but I never dedicated any time to doing so. Also, being the skeptic and atheist I am, there is a TON of new age woo woo nonsense surrounding the practice (and the term “spiritualism” in general) which was an initial turnoff.
I started meditating seriously when Sam Harris released his book “Waking Up: Spirituality Without Religion” and ultimately his guided meditation app “The Waking Up Course”. Currently, I’m halfway through the book, but I subscribed to the course for a year and completed all fifty of the 10 minute introductory sessions. I also participated in the daily meditation where I tried 20 minute guided meditations. Finally, I decided to give guided meditations a break and explore twenty minute silent, self-guided meditation on my own.
Throughout the end of May and the entire month of June I silently meditated 30 to 40 minutes every day for a collective total of 24 hours and 5 minutes. Throughout the last month I discovered several new insights about my own mind.
The mind is a very busy and noisy place. The most random thoughts come to the surface of consciousness, seemingly to emerge out of nowhere. Our consciousness becomes aware of what seems to be a never ending stream of thoughts – going from one thought to the next ad infinitum until we sleep (though one could also argue that it may not necessarily stop at sleep).
It’s while meditating where I realized that I (we) have no control of our thoughts – we have absolutely no control of thought appears next or what stupid song gets stuck in our head. I was originally exposed to this idea from another one of Sam Harris’ books called Free Will which I’ve written briefly about before.
One of the goals of meditation is to clear your mind of thoughts if just for a moment and really experience the moment. Anyone who has ever tried meditation knows that this is easier said than done, but focusing on the ins and outs of the breath helps. However, when I realize that I’m lost in my own thoughts, I’ll take a step back and look at the thought. These thoughts tend to have a common theme: planning for the future, reviewing the past, or social situations and relationships.
Ultimately, we’re in a state of constantly needing and wanting things. When we obtain that thing that we need or want, that feeling of achievement is short lived and we then move on to the next need or want – an endless cycle that leaves us in a perpetual state of feeling unsatisfied (or “suffering”, but I feel this word is a bit excessive for most needs and wants).
Another realization I’ve made is that we are not our thoughts and do not necessarily need to identify with them. Our thoughts simply appear in consciousness, yet we often identify ourselves as the thinker of our thoughts despite the fact we are simply the observers. I think dissociating myself with these thoughts that come packaged with endless wants and needs is an understanding that I’ve needed.
I think that I have much more to explore. I’ve yet to meditate for more than an hour other than a half a dozen sensory deprivation float sessions. I’ve also been considering a silent meditation retreat once this global pandemic cools down.