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Welcome to my home page. I became blind at birth. I started programming computers at a young age. I also earned my general class amateur radio license, KA3TTT, a hobby to which I have returned with great joy. I practice Qigong and consider myself a Taoist. I use Linux as my desktop and Android as my mobile OS. I eat gluten-free vegan meals. For the rest you'll have to read my blog. To comment on what you read here, visit Disboardia, my bulletin board system.

An Unexpected Journey

April 15, 2013

I just spoke at the first RubyMotion conference in the magical city of Brussels, Belgium. RubyMotion allows a developer to write iOS apps in the Ruby programming language. It came onto the scene last May and has already attracted a loyal following. The conference gathered enthusiasts from around the world. I explained how a blind person uses an iPhone, how developers can make their apps more accessible, and about my own journey learning to write apps. The speech went over well, and the trip makes quite a story.

This makes up the first part of a trilogy giving a blow by blow account. I believe in gonzo journalism, in other words the idea that truly objective journalism doesn’t exist, so you may as well just throw yourself into it and give a completely subjective account. If you would rather skip ahead to the technical details of the conference, you may go to the second part. Otherwise sit back, open a nice Belgian beer, and enjoy.

For me, it all started in early December when I got the mass mail about the conference. “Yeah, right, like I could go to Belgium.” I thought, and my pinky finger reached for the delete key. Suddenly a higher priority impulse came through my brain. “Why not? Hold on!” it implored, and my finger recoiled.

I stopped and seriously thought about it for a few minutes. I figured it couldn’t hurt to find out more information. A discussion had started on the mailing list and I chimed in. A guy named Ryan replied and said he’d go and could help me. Then Laurent, the creator of RubyMotion and organizer of the conference, emailed me himself. Someone had directed him to my post, and he assured me they would do whatever I needed. He also felt very excited about the idea of a talk about accessibility, and encourage me to strongly think about it.

Now this had started getting interesting. I had gone from almost deleting the email, to strongly considering giving a talk. And they cover some of the cost for a speaker. And they would have vegetarian food, belgian beer, chocolate, and waffles. And I would get to meet a lot of amazing people, and maybe turn a few of them onto the importance of making their apps accessible to VoiceOver. Goddess had spoken. It would happen. I had to do it.

For a little while I sort of forgot about my little Belgian fantasy and went about my business, which largely involved learning RubyMotion. Details needed filling in. I had no idea how I would get there, who I would go with, or what I would say. The whole thing seemed like too much to think about.

In January I joined Indy Hall. That totally changed my life. On that first day I learned of Philly Cocoa, a local group for Mac and iOS programming. My mind raced at the prospect of giving a version of my speech in front of this group. It would give me a way to practice before going half way around the world.

You can read what happened next. The main speaker bailed, so Mike, the organizer, needed a topic. The pieces slid together like a puzzle. I gave my speech that night and it went over well. Mike described the audience as spellbound. I considered this a good sign and submitted my proposal to speak at #inspect.

I felt so nervous and excited. I tried not to think about it, though did start improving my speech just in case. Then a few wednesdays later I went back to Indy Hall, got a chair massage, and while writing another article I got the email I had waited for. They had decided to accept my talk. It had really happened. I would go to Belgium!

This immediately set a chain of events into motion. First I had to figure out if anyone would go with me as a guide. My sister Ashley had just moved home, so she made a logical choice. Of course she accepted. I also had some packing and getting ready to do. And it wouldn’t hurt to brush up on RubyMotion more.

Somehow we did all of these things. I got luggage together and my mom helped pack. My sister got some nice clothes from our aunt. And at the last minute my brother had the suggestion to buy a nice outfit or two. I got a suit and a more casual business outfit with a cool corduroy jacket. I also bought a New Trent battery pack, which gives six full iPhone charges. I felt prepared…sort of.

While attending another talk at Philly Cocoaheads, I realized that I needed slides. I feel accustom to hearing my code, but of course most people see code. I panicked slightly, then remembered all my friends. First my friend Rachel tried to make slides, but ran out of time and sent me what she could. People said they needed work, so I posted a frantic message to Indy Hall’s mailing list on Friday, with two days to go. A member named Adriano responded and volunteered to help me. He does advertising and visual communication for a living. I came into Indy Hall and we met briefly. As you will read he worked for hours and even missed a train home to complete them. Hopefully this article will get him a little business.

Speaking of business, I needed new business cards. My buddy Nick, who runs Wingnut Art helped me in the past and did again. We whipped up AustinSeraphin.com and he made a business card design to go with it. He made a graphic of Grade II braille which says my name, a cool little idea I thought. We wanted tactile business cards to give the full accessible experience, but the UPS truck didn’t come in time. I picked up some free temporaries on my way home from Indy Hall.

I also had my speech to think about. I gave a rehearsal in our condo’s common area. People liked it but gave some valuable suggestions. Make it less technical and more personal. Emphasize what a difference the iPhone has made in your life and in the lives of the blind. Add more humor. And get better slides. With these harsh but true words I left for Belgium, having very little of an idea what to expect.

Ashley and I said good bye and made it to the airport two hours early. This gave us time to get a last reasonably good meal in America. We found our way to the Cita Bistro. I had a veggie burger and we drank beers. I could see the appeal. I felt calm and ready.

When I checked into the gate on FourSquare, the tip said: There’s nothing like a new beginning. We boarded the plane with our backpacks and some neck pillows we had bought in a shop in the airport. Ashley recommended them and they really did save the flight. At first we sat on them to break them in, then we put them behind our heads and they helped so much.

I took out my iPad to hear some music. I had spent a day copying things over. And of course since I have iTunes Match, none of it actually copied. This really bothered me. It seems to go against Apple’s “It just works” philosophy. If I copy music into my “Automatically Add to iTunes” directory, and if I have my iPad set to sync, then shouldn’t it just copy the music over? No, it puts it…in the cloud. So after all that I had far less music than I wanted. I cursed iTunes Match and tried to enjoy what I had. In the past a music collection could take a bag in itself, now it could fit on a tablet or phone. Pretty amazing.

The food sucked of course. We made the right choice eating beforehand. When they served breakfast, they gave us bagels instead of pastries. Why? We comforted ourselves with the knowledge that we would soon eat far better.

After seven hours we landed. We got our baggage and found a cab. In Belgium, the cabs actually have nice cars. We got a Mercedes Benz. It kind of reminded me of Uber.

He practically gave us a tour on the way, pointing out historically interesting buildings. This always amazes me about going to Europe. You can walk down a road or see a building which humans have used for hundreds of years. We saw the EU Parliament building. I asked what he thought of the European Union. He said most Belgians like it, because it brings a lot of jobs to the area.

We finally arrived at Le Meridien Brussels, our home for the next eight days. They hadn’t prepared our room yet, so we waited in the hotel’s cafe. To my delight, they had raw chocolate croissants. I fell in love with Brussels with my first bite. Ashley noticed the open pubs. In America they don’t open until eleven. Not here.

After a fine breakfast we made it to our room. Except they didn’t give us too beds, so we had to wait. We napped then moved to our new room, the one we would stay in. We rested some more then went down to the hotel’s restaurant.

We had amazing meals. Ashley had veal. I had celery risotto. And of course more beer. For dessert, Ashley had a raspberry chocolate cake and I had a 100% Belgian apple pastry with chocolate sauce. I also had some sweet wine. I felt satiated.

After that, Ashley suggested going out. Why not? We wandered around, and found the Delirium Cafe. It seemed like quite the happening place, according to FourSquare at least, plus they held the world record for the most beers served in a venue. I had drank a Delirium Tremens back in America, so had heard of the brand, but this blew us away. I had a local blond ale and a raspberry beer which would go well with the summertime. We came back to our room where I listened to music and rested. We had arrived.

Before I continue, I have to mention the communication situation. We spoke to several AT&T representatives, as well as friends, and they all said to just keep my iPhone in airplane mode and not even worry about trying to get a cell plane for only nine days. This article agrees. Because of this decision, I could only communicate when I had access to wifi, which happened much more rarely than you might think. I came to consider it like a commodity.

The hotel wifi didn’t let us sign in with the standard way. They had to give us a pre-paid access code. It change daily, and renewing it became a maddening occurrence. At least they paid for it.

Finding wifi in public proved almost impossible. Very few places offered it. This would plague us throughout our journey. Delirium did offer it, as did one or two restaurants, but nowhere else. This made me feel disconnected. I have really become used to the constant connection. Its absence began to make me feel cranky.

The next day we woke late. I wanted breakfast. We ended up at a nice local hotel cafe, where I had a spectacular omelet. They didn’t make it like they do in the States, they just scrambled the eggs, then put the ingredients on top of it. I got mushrooms and potatoes, and asked for garlic as well. That with some Earl Grey made a perfect breakfast. We walked around and bought some chocolate at a local shop. Then we came back to the hotel.

We sat on couches and relaxed. We ordered beer, and they brought us these wonderful goblets of Leffe Blond. “Can we drink it on the couch?” asked my sister. “Of course.” replied the server. For us this summed up the whole feeling of the place. Of course you can drink beer on the couch. Of course you can have beer brought to your room. Of course…

We met a woman named Chris from New Jersey. She works for Godiva. My sister wanted her to get her a job. We saw a Godiva shop but dismissed it, because we had it in the States. Chris informed us that it tastes different here, more bitter. THis intrigued us.

Before I left I had emailed a friend who lived in Brussels. He introduced me to one of his friends through email, and we met that night for dinner. He had reserved a table at a vegetarian restaurant, which suited me well. I don’t even remember everything I had, a buffet-style assortment of goodness, but I enjoyed it all. Stefan really helped make the trip even better!

We thought we had beaten jet lag, but the next day we woke up at 05:00 in the afternoon. We had woken up earlier and had breakfast downstairs, but then we went right back to sleep. This threw us off, we had to go to the RubyMotion Speaker’s Dinner at 07:00. We showered and dressed. I put on my new casual outfit with the cool corduroy jacket.

It always feels cool to walk around a new city. Ashley noticed the architecture immediately. They have a lot of older buildings, and they don’t just keep making everything new like we do in America. I could use echolocation to at least see the differences in their shapes and sizes. All the streets had cobblestone. Philadelphia has some so I felt used to it, but they had it everywhere.

The email said to meet them in front of the Grand Place. We just had to go across the street, and we stood in front of the Grand Place, wondering what would happen. I wondered if they would see me. I heard a group of people speaking English so thought I’d ask. “Is this the RubyMotion group?” “Yes!” I had found them. It had actually happened.

And with all the background out of the way, you may now continue to read about the actual conference in the second article in this trilogy.

Braille Street Art

March 13, 2013

Recently, I began chatting with an artist friend of mine. We met when Indy Hall did their Jellyweek event at National Mechanics. She enjoys doing street art, creating bumper stickers and pasting them on public newspaper boxes. I immediately felt attracted to the subversive nature of the art. It didn’t take us long to realize that I could put one of these stickers into a good old fashioned Perkins brailler and create braille street art.

I would like to think we have done something novel, but not entirely. I found an article about a project in Portland, Oregon. In this case, the message says: “You don’t need to be blind to see that the writing is on the wall.” Excellent! I’ve also seen sculptures with braille plaques on them, and they do have a blind garden somewhere around here. Still I can’t escape the feeling that we have done something special.

We just made these stickers in a few minutes as a totally grass roots operation. The first sticker says “Aaron Swartz died for you!” This references the suicide of an internet freedom fighter arrested for making public domain documents available to the masses free of charge. The FBI wanted to drop charges, but a United States attorney named Carmen Ortiz wanted to send a message, so sentenced him to thirty years in prison. Swartz hanged himself on the anniversary of his arrest. I’d say Ortiz sent a message all right. We also did a special one with another message at the bottom: “I love whistleblowers.” In the future we will have a raised heart instead o the word “love” as they do in print, but this served as a functional prototype for now.

After doing this I began to feel inspired. I next made some with Max Keiser’s slogan: Buy silver, crash J.P. Morgan! The theory goes that J.P. Morgan has a massive short position in silver. If even 5% of the world’s population buys a single coin of silver, this will make the resource scarcer, thus forcing up the price and making it impossible for J.P. Morgan to recover its position. This would then force them to go bankrupt.

Some people do not believe this and question if it will work. Others feel certain it will. Either way it makes a good conversation starter. Besides, owning silver serves as a very real hedge, and offers a way to strike back against the globalist banker parasites which attempt to rule our world. And if you would like to buy some, check out my friends at Liberty Gold and Silver.

Lastly, my friend does a lot of stickers about animal rights, so I did one which said: “Love cats. Always adopt.” We both love cats, so I felt happy to do this. I adopted my cat from the SPCA and couldn’t have asked for a better animal friend.

For the prototype we used freely available postage stickers. She writes her slogan in the blank space. Fortunately I could braille wherever, leaving her the space to write. The combination of print and braille worked very well, and we quickly had them done.

At the bottom of the sticker she wrote “Braille Street Art” to alert sighted people. When we began discussing this idea, I realized a challenge. How would a blind person know to read the braille? We don’t just go around feeling every surface. Hopefully this will encourage a sighted person to point it out if traveling with a blind person.

I didn’t know this, but street artists frequently use symbols to sign their works. My friend uses a pair of cat ears. We wondered about a symbol for me, and decided on the glyph for my Mayan birthday. She quickly fashioned an approximation, good enough for now. So it has her cat ears, an X like a multiplication symbol, and my Mayan glyph. Artists doing a collaboration use this “a X b” style of symbol.

Finally I showed her the top left corner of the stickers so she could affix them properly. Nothing sucks more than seeing an upside-down braille label on something. From my point of view they looked perfect, or should I say they felt perfect. I left the top part of the sticker blank for writing, vertically centering the braille more or less. They use grade II braille, which uses contractions. A blind person will know that another blind person had to make the them.

We gathered up the stickers and headed out to the #NotAtSXSW party at Drink Philly. We discussed where we wanted to apply our masterpieces while in the cab. We suddenly knew exactly where to go. We slightly changed our destination and ended up at our old friend, Indy Hall. The City paper box in front of it made a perfect target. She made some final adjustments to the stickers while I smoked a pipe. Then in a flash it happened. The box now had two subversive stickers affixed to it. I felt them. Aaron Swartz died for you! Buy silver, crash J.P. Morgan! This made me feel empowered, and a certain new type of giddy thrill. Now I understood the attraction to creating art, especially this type of art, and I wanted to do more.

wpid-OutsideIndyHall-2013-03-13-00-44.jpg

The deed done, we headed over to Drink Philly and had a wonderful night networking and chatting with a cross section of Philadelphia’s wonderful tech/startup community. We decided to post a photograph on Twitter and already it has gotten some mentions, so people like what they see. I feel fantastic!

Stay tuned, because we will have plenty of more braille street art. Perhaps you will see it or maybe even feel it. And if you do chance upon it while with a blind person, kindly point it out to them. I can only imagine the weird sensation a blind person will have reading these rousing slogans. We simply don’t encounter braille in a public art form like this very often. Before this I had never encountered graffiti, or street art. Now a whole new world of expression has opened up to me. I wonder what we will do next. By the way, that bastion of truth Wikipedia defines street art as “specifically visual art.” Not anymore!

Community BUilding and Coworking

January 31, 2013

I just attended yet another great talk put on by PANMA, the Philadelphia Area New Media Association. For me it all began with PANMA. I first attended the talk entitled Links as Language. While there, everyone told me I had to go to BarCamp. I did, and ended up giving a speech which went over very well. Everyone told me I had to check out this place called Indy Hall. I did, and it changed my life. Now Indy Hall would come to PANMA to give a talk about community building and coworking. Full circle!

I took an Uber there. That worked out well, I got there with minutes to spare. I met another attendee and we found our way to a different room in the very prestigious Wharton School of Business. While getting situated my friend Christine enthusiastically came up to me and gave me a hug while saying hi. It felt so good to see her. We met at the previous PANMA event but I forgot to text her to see if she would attend this one, so it came as a pleasant surprise. We settled down and the talk began.

Reed, the treasurer, started out by saying that usually they have more technical talks, and tonight would go a little farther. He introduced the panel:

  • Alex Hillman, cofounder
  • Johnny Bilotta, Principal, GUIwerks
  • Eric Steele, developer, Principal, iamericsteele.com
  • Ahava Zarembski, CEO, Yesod Strategic Consulting Group
  • Brian Glick, Supply chain IT executive
  • Maya Northen, Owner, Chimera Travel LLC
  • Adriano Martino, Italian Label Advertising

Alex founded Indy Hall in 2006. At the time coworking spaces didn’t even exist. He met Johnny on the PANMA list, going back to my full circle theme. They founded Indy Hall, one of the first national and international coworking spaces.

In 2005 a guy named Brad Neuberg used the term coworking to describe a collaborative workspace. before that he and his friends would meet at local places to work and socialize together. They’d call this a Jelly. I learned some of this backstory during Jellyweek.

They treat Indy Hall like an open source project. One speaker described it as beautifully organized chaos. You can feel it when you walk into a place with positive energy. At a show and tell, someone told how they improved milk conditions in Kenya. People actually do things here. The speaker also said that walking into Indy Hall feels like walking into a micro-world.

Some wondered about the trend of coworking, and it really does feel like that. We believe it shows us a lens into the future. Coworking will become working. A coworking space does not have the hierarchy and competition of a traditional office space. People can work next to each other instead of getting forced to work next to someone. We do not work in offices with closed doors. We can overhear each other’s conversations. This leads to more opportunity for collaboration.

Coworking represents a product of generation X. A speaker pointed out that our generation has that gift, we can dream of bigger structures. Indy Hall attracts a special kind of person: cool and kind, self-driven but open to people. We have a culture of dreaming big and sharing. We all work (or would like to), we understand the value of money. This keeps things grounded. People don’t just show up to hang out (although you can), we actually come to get things done.

Indy Hall has a distinct Philadelphia spirit. We want to make Philadelphia a better place. “What happened to the visionary element? This was Ben Franklin’s turf! We had the first computer!” exclaimed a speaker. It excites me to think that we have a tremendous opportunity in the next economic boom. Philadelphia can become a trade town once again through technology and a thriving small business scene. These efforts to better the city have grown over the last few years from a blip on the screen to having beers with councilmen at City Hall.

It all started with some people showing up at a common place with a laptop, something to do, and a positive demeanor. They did that for at least six months. This let them test the waters and get the feeling of coworking. Now Indy Hall has around 250 members, and a 10,000 square foot space. It draws creative intelligent people like an magnet draws iron filings. It makes up part of the greater effort to renovate the city.

They got into the business aspects, which I didn’t understand as much but wrote down anyway. When asked about the funding, Alex described Indy Hall as 100% bootstrapped. Unless you only have the community as your investor then you will have outside forces to answer to. They didn’t want that. That also explains why they run it as a for-profit business instead of a nonprofit. Having a for-profit does not preclude doing good will. He likened their business model to raising a barn for a newcomer to a farming village. The farmer’s individual barn will benefit the community as a whole.

Alex used a great dated metaphor, we all come together like Voltron! And yes, I remember the cartoon. My brother and I watched it together. We preferred the version with lions if I remember correctly. “And I’ll form the head!”

At every stage the members come together to solve problems. They wanted to work in the Old City due to its central location, but instead of worrying about the higher cost, they just scoured Craig’s List and found a space. They approach every inflection point like this. Money was never the object. They could have gotten a bunch of funds and gone crazy with a big space, but chose not to. All the money comes from members, and they have town hall meetings twice per year.

Alex warned of those who see coworking as a trend to make money. “If the whole point is generating profit then you’re not profitable.” He also gave some good advice to those starting a coworking space: run the numbers out further. It became far more successful than they could have imagined.

Someone asked about security. If needed they can provide a monitor that faces the wall, which solves most problems. If you have concerns, try it for a day. Also, if you have an important conference, just don’t go that day. Most concerns turn out more theoretical than practical. Someone won’t look at your data with a hundred eyes looking at them from an open floor plan!

Here again we see the difference in this attitude of extreme self-autonomy. In a coworking space, security becomes everyone’s responsibility. Alex said if someone shows up we can’t trust we will know within five minutes. Another speaker compared it to someone showing up dressed at a nudist beach. Despite a large open space with thousands of dollars of computer equipment just inside the door, they have had only one theft in six years.

Finally the subject turned to the membership options. They have several levels, from the basic membership which costs $25/month, to a full-time membership which costs $275/month. Full-time members get a key, and need three full-time members as references. This also helps with security. They’ve only thrown two people out: a thief and an extremely mentally ill person.</p>

Interestingly, a correlation does not exist between how many days someone works to how much they contribute. I only showed up during the day on Wednesday to get my chair massage and cook. Other than that I have gone to every night owl session and all of their events open to all members. That has kept me busy enough.

Alex mentioned something called Dunbar’s Number, which he put at 149 (Wikipedia says 150, whatever). This refers to the maximum number of social relationships one individual can have. Indy Hall has grown past this with its 250 members now. Yet, relationships remain stable. This happens because of the growing number of sub-communities, such as the Philly Cocoaheads group I went to. Night Owls and the newly formed Engineering Core make up others. This self-maintaining pattern keeps the whole group alive.

They closed by mentioning the word I heard so many times, and have experienced myself: serendipity. Having a bunch of creative and intelligent people together in an open space causes good things to happen. Cross-pollination occurs, and people find new connections which could not have existed before. This gives a true sense of magic about the place, the reason for everyone’s enthusiasm, including my own.

To illustrate this point, I would like to share with you my Indy Hall story. I went to Indy Hall one Monday and got their free tour. While there I met a guy named Mike who runs Philly Cocoaheads, a group for Mac and iOS programmers, and they would meet there on Thursday. I had begun thinking about giving a talk about RubyMotion and accessibility, a topic relevant to his group. I really wanted to give this talk at the first RubyMotion conference in Belgium, but felt a little intimidated. I wondered about perhaps giving the talk at Cocoaheads sometime in the future.

I felt so impressed with my free visit to Indy Hall that I became a member and went to the wednesday night owl session. While there, I sent Mike a message on Twitter. He came down and I ran my idea passed him. It turned out his speaker bailed, so he gratefully accepted my proposal. The next day I showed up and gave a nice little speech.

This wednesday I showed up for a day of fun. While there, I received an email that they have accepted my speech at the conference! Cocoaheads and Indy Hall gave me the perfect platform to test my talk, and it certainly helped get it accepted. In a very real way, Indy Hall has changed my life forever! And I haven’t even belonged for a month! Thank you PANMA for yet another great talk. It made me feel proud to live in Philadelphia and belong to Indy Hall.</span>

Lovely Lentils

January 30, 2013

I love this recipe. You just throw a bunch of stuff together in a pot and it makes a great meal. I just made it for the Indy Hall night owl session, and everyone loved it, even people who don’t normally like lentils. In the past I made it with honey, but this time I used maple syrup. Both work wonderfully. I didn’t create this recipe, I’ve seen it in many places, such as here. Of course, I added my own little twist by increasing the garlic. This recipe serves four.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup Lentils
  • 2 Cups Water or Stock
  • 2 tbsps Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsps Soy Sauce
  • 2 tbsps Honey or Maple Syrup
  • 1-2 tsps Fresh Ginger, minced
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 Small Onion, chopped
  • A vegetable of choice, carrots, potatoes, or other winter vegetables work well
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a casserole dish. Cover and put in the oven at 350º for 90 minutes. Serve with rice and bread. Some beer doesn’t hurt either.

Enjoy these lovely lentils!

Chair Massage

January 30, 2013

I love Indy Hall! Every week something new happens, usually from members just doing things. They call it JFDI. Today, the good people of Healing Hands Massage gave chair massages to members. A ten-minute session cost $12.50, so I signed up for two. I had never had a chair massage before, or for that matter any kind of massage.

I had no idea what to expect. I imagined sitting in an office chair while someone massaged my shoulders. I really didn’t know. I made my way to the conference room. Rachel showed me inside and introduced me to Denise, who would give me my massage. Rachel asked if I ever had a massage and I said no. “Then you’re in for a treat. They’re addictive.”

Rachel showed me the special chair Denise would use. Forget the office chair. This chair had a raised seat to sit, arm rests and a place to rest your head with an open space for your face. It felt very plush, and reminded me of a pool toy, albeit better constructed. The relaxed atmosphere and Indian music probably also contributed to this impression. I knew I would have a fun time.

The massage went pretty much as I expected, but words really don’t convey the benefit. She asked where I carry stress and I said my shoulders so she started there. She massaged the muscles in my neck and back. She worked on each arm, letting it hang down as she massaged all the muscles and even the reflexology points on my hand. It felt great. I felt some strain in my wrist I didn’t even know I had just go away. She massaged the back of my head, my occipital lobe which has received so much work. That felt so awesome. She also spent some time on my hips. I didn’t even realize I had tension there, probably from sitting a lot, and it felt good to have that removed.

The twenty minutes passed quickly. It felt like the perfect length. I stood up and oriented myself and could feel the change. I had some brief conversation about their work.. Healing Hands reminds me of Reiki, which they also do. I asked if they’d do this again, and they said as long as we have an interest. Hallers take note.

I stepped outside to enjoy a smoke in this unseasonably warm sixty-degree day. I felt right with my place in the world. I walked back inside, and smelled the ubiquitous scent of fresh coffee. I gave in and had a cup of La Colombe, apparently quite a good brand. As I sipped it Adam said: “Be careful, it’s addictive.” Kind of like a chair massage.

Epilog: As I wrote this article, Dropbox synced the directory and the entire article vanished! I silently cursed Dropbox and wrote a testy tweet. Good coffee! And I still feel so relaxed from the massage, even after this incident. All computer people should try a chair massage. It compliments a sedentary job so perfectly. And to cap it off, while finishing up this article I got accepted to speak at the RubyMotion conference in Belgium! I feel fantastic!

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