Not much. Always something. Mostly good.

Month of Mu - Week 2


Remove distractions, then fill with the person I want to be.

Previous part:

Last Week

  • Breathing meditation twice each day.
  • More breaks to walk outside.
  • Read a physical book (the amazing The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood)

I had two really good work days (Tue and Wed), one day bad for work but great for learning (Thu), and one pretty bad day overall (Fri).

What went well

  • Meditation almost every day
  • Did more reading than previously
  • Good morning routine on the good days
  • Found myself listening to and enjoying podcasts

What didn't

  • Fewer breaks, instead of more
  • Early distraction on Thu/Fri led to poor work days
  • Zero time practicing martial arts

This Week

  • Use 50-10 time boxes each day.
  • Take breaks away from the computer. Make break activities part of daily planning.

Month of Mu - Week 1


Remove distractions, then fill with the person I want to be.


Mu (Chinese: wu) can have many translations when applied to the famous zen Dog Nature koan. David Hinton's No-Gate Gateway suggests "absence" as appropriate to the meaning of the koan.

A monk asked Master Visitation-Land: "A dog too has Buddha-nature, no?"
"Absence," Land replied.

Possibly: "You're asking the wrong question, bud."

Set up

We all have our distractions. I may not ask the right question, but maybe I can remove the wrong ones. For the whole month, I'm eliminating the worst offenders, the flickering demons: the shiny objects to my OCD-ish-ness.


  • I've canceled Netflix. I can always come back to it.
  • No Facebook. No Facebook notifications.
  • No news, no YouTube. In short, no TV-like media at all.
  • No movie soundtracks.


  • I still use Facebook as my messaging/texting app.
  • Scan Morning Dew daily for articles, because it's part of my career.

This Week

  • Breathing meditation twice each day.
  • More breaks to walk outside.
  • Read a physical book (the amazing The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood)

Why Am I Doing This, Again?

My wife put it best. I used to be actively creative, and now I passively take in creativity (in the form of movies and TV).

I think this negatively affects my work productivity, my mood, and my marriage.

I'm reclaiming (the best of) my life.

A Sports Bag First Aid Kit


I recently got a bug up my butt about having a first aid kit in my karate bag. And, if I ever get back to it, my fencing bag.

Fortunately, I haven't seen too many injuries, partly because at my first dojo, Hudson Centers for the Martial Arts, our top rule is "Safety First". We did have an incident where a student's foot got cut on some glass left over from a party the space was rented to. They didn't clean up, we did, but missed this little sliver. There she is, bleeding, and another student says, "I'll get my first aid kit." He was a Boy Scout, so, yeah, "Be Prepared," and we were proud of him.

And I was a little embarrassed. Where was my kit?

I researched what others recommended, especially for the martial arts, and realized that an off-the-shelf kit wasn't going to satisfy me. Below is what I ended up with. Many items are bought in bulk. I recommend that several people in a club contribute to the cost, share the bulk items, then create their own kits by filling in the rest.

Here's a link to a Word doc with labels you can print and cut out.


There are two competing realities for a first aid kit:

  1. It probably won't be needed more than once a year.
  2. When it is needed, it must be ready-to-go for anyone.

To me, this means the kit's items should be:

  • Easy to identify
  • Easy to open
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to reseal (unless one-use)

If instructions for an item aren't clear, print better ones on small paper, tape the paper using packing tape (poor man's lamination), and affix to the item.

For identification, if using a bottle or bag, print labels or write in clear, capital letters using a Sharpie. If necessary, replace the label with white, "laminated" paper.

Imagine you have to tell someone, "go to my karate bag, in the front left pocket there's a plastic First Aid Kit." Or what about, "In my bag, there's a First Aid kit with glucose tablets."

Keep in mind that you'll want to check and refresh the kit once a year.


I've linked to the items I purchased.

Check at home! Don't buy it if you already have it!


  • Hard plastic, approx 8x6x3.
  • Withstands abuse
  • Stays closed
  • Easy to label

A plastic pencil box like this one at Michael's is perfect.


I found 3-dram plastic bottles to be the perfect size.

Label with:

  • Brand Name
  • Use, such as ("pain", "diabetic", "dehydration")
  • Dosage
  • Expiration Date

Other Items to Repackage

Ideally, use small, ziplock plastic bags.

  • Nitrile gloves
  • Q-Tips
  • 1 inch heavy bandages

My Kit!

Various pictures showing the kit at various stages. The medicine list changed slightly based on some feedback. I substituted aspirin for ibuprofen.


The Israeli bandage is a high-compression device used to help control severe bleeding. It is not an anti-coagulant. I taped the sides to make it fit better, without affecting opening it.