Einsiedeln, 2020

- Travel
Last weekend we hiked from Einsiedeln to Brunni as part of Via Jacobi’s stage 5. We did this same hike four years ago, but this time we had sun with us from the beginning. The intense contrast with the previous time reminded me of the impact that changing my perspective about certain things has had in recent times. Another thing that was different this time was that I kept my attention more on the trees, the breeze, the grass, and the sky, and less on the planned destination, which, by the way, we didn’t reach.

Hike in Adliswil during COVID-19

- Travel
Earlier today we went for a walk in nature. I don’t know if it’s because it was the first time in weeks that we go out not to get supplies and not for a run, but we had a fantastic morning. We saw a fire salamander and a slowworm for the first time. We noticed plants that must have been there all the time but that we had never noticed before, like horsetails, yellow archangels, herb Robert, carpet bugle, red clover, guelder rose, field scabious, wintercresses, onobrychis, bird’s-foot trefoil and hawksbeard.

Listening to my intuition

For years I have tried to make decisions using logic and reason, and I have developed the habit of ignoring my intuition. With intuition I mean thoughts that pop up, seemingly out of thin air, and in an unpredictable way. Recent experiences have helped me realize that ignoring this voice is a mistake, and I think the main reason I developed that habit is that I have spent the last twenty years writing software.

Notes on Jerry Colonna interview

(Full interview & transcript) On feeling shitty & busy: Questions to ask yourself to figure out why bad things happen to you: What am I not saying that needs to be said? What am I saying that’s not being heard? What’s being said that I’m not hearing? If you’re busy at 30 to 50 it means that something isn’t working because you shouldn’t need to be so busy. What internal need are you trying to met by all that busyness?

Packing for a Vipassana meditation retreat

I recently came back from a 10 days Vipassana meditation course. This is what I brought: 1. Original packing list Packing 50l hiking backpack 3 packing cubes Clothing Pair of jeans Belt Sweater Pair of yoga pants 1 Long sleeve t-shirt 4 Short sleeve t-shirts 4 Pairs of boxers Wind jacket Mid-layer jacket 2 Pairs of socks Leggings Sneakers Slippers Hat Gloves Neck gaiter Bedding (meditation center requirement) Towel Duvet cover Pillow cover Bed sheets Toiletries 3 Travel-sized bottles of shampoo 3 Travel-sized bottles of body soap Electric toothbrush Electric toothbrush charger Toothpaste container 2 Toiletries bags Antihistamines Hand cream 1 Pair of contact lenses cleaning and storing solution Tongue scrapper Contact lenses Shaving razor Nail clipper Lip balm Misc Wallet Keys IPad Phone 3 USB cables 1 USB wall charger Water tumbler Sleep mask Ear plugs 2 Pairs of noise cancelling headphones That’s 63 items.

The Rise of Tiamat

Here are some scenes from my first session as a player in more than 20 years. We are playing the official The Rise of Tiamat adventure. To be continued… (or not, it took me ages to draw this, and the style is mockman@’s). Lessons learned: Being a player is awesome. Whether you play a published adventure or a homebrew matters much, much less than I imagined.

My favorite books and movies of 2018

2018 is about to end, but before it does, here are the books and movies I enjoyed the most this year. Books: Awaken the Giant Within by Tony Robbins. Self-improvement from first principles. While some meditation techniques and philosophies like Vipassana and stoicism teach you how to become robust to emotions and thoughts, Tony shows how to use them to your advantage (antifragility). I find both approaches complementary and I’m getting great results from both.

S08E06 – Mountain Caves

Previously on Zhymballa The heroes arrive at Pelor’s Academy and they convince Mabur, the headmaster, to lend them some paladins in exchange of the heroes finding out what happened to two missing brothers who should have arrived days ago. The heroes start the search right away because of the heavy snowstorm that is buffeting the region. During their search, the heroes find a cave with a pentagram and poisonous plants but with no people.

S08E05 – The Lowoack Brothers

Previously on Zhymballa The heroes frustrate two attempts to kill Davos and capture the assassins, two dragonborns members of a mercenary group hired by a Ridgeport merchant called Falgrom. On their way to Pelor’s Academy, up in the mountains, the group endures a strong snowstorm that doesn’t prevent them from reaching their destination. Flash-back — “Bharash, you’re not a good dragonborn” After setting his clan’s shrine on fire, a twelve year old Bharash gets scolded by his father who expels him from their village until the boy is willing to follow the clan’s rules.

S08E04 – Interruptions

Previously on Zhymballa The heroes return Gighur and the rest of the kidnapped villagers to Rockbreach and they accept Minnesota’s offer to cleanse the abandoned monastery from goblins and undead in order to join The Caretakers Syndicate. Getting more muscle Still at the party, the heroes regroup to plan their attack. They barely escaped with Salazar, their tank, alive, so they decide to get more muscle at the Academy of Pelor, where Salazar trained to become a paladin.