Night Hike

Tehran city lights from mountain heights at night

Tehran city lights from mountain heights at night” by Mehsen is licensed under CC BY 4.0

A while back my cousin suggested that we go on a night hike to the Tochal peak like we did a few years back. I agreed on the spot since I’m always up for a good hike. We planed on starting the hike on 6 P.M., August 15. A night with near full moon shinning all night. Hiking under moonlight is an unmatched feeling. As we ascended, we talked and catched up with each other.

We didn’t make it in time to get into and spend the night in the Shirpala shelter. We rested behind its shut door a bit then carried on.

I spent some time taking pictures of the night sky.

Night sky and Orion constellation

Night sky and Orion constellation” by Mehsen is licensed under CC BY 4.0

Finally at 4 A.M. we decided that we are too sleepy to go on; and the moon was setting too. We slipped into our sleeping bags and dosed off quickly afterwards.

One and half hour later we woke up because we were freezing. We lighted a bush and savored the heat! As soon as the fire was out; we started moving not to freeze again.

Burning bushes in Tehran mountains

Burning bushes in Tehran mountains” by Mehsen is licensed under CC BY 4.0

From then on we continued (rather slowly) till we reached the top. All through the hike we met amazing people and felt challenged all the time.

Night hike album on Flickr

Here’s a song to set a good mood :)

▶ Play “Chris de Burgh - The Same Sun” on Youtube

1472508008 - Tehran  

Summer Update I

It’s been a long time since my last post here. Mainly because I haven’t been practicing freewriting lately. I’m not as passionate about writing as I used to be a few months ago. It may be since I’m not currently reading any work of fiction.

This is the first post after my university exams and I want to focus on what I did on the first 13 days of summer. Starting a whole new category (Update).

As you can see in this post, written during last semester’s exams, there’s always a flood of new ideas on a variety of things you want to do during exams that you can’t afford to do then and there; because you have to spend as much as you can on studying. In the same post I presented a solution to get rid of those thoughts during exams, and not being bored afterwards. The idea was to write them all down. And that’s basically what I did.

These days I’m going through that to-do list. A lot of them don’t look that appealing now, but some of them are still looking good. This list saved me from boredom and inaction so far.

Traditionally I spent summers doing nothing. I was and still am an expert in that. Not Patrick-Star-level, but impressive nevertheless. By nothing I don’t mean leisure activities like watching movies or hanging out. Nope. Pure nothingness.

But this year there was a long overdue change. Now I have stuff to do and lucky for me I like those stuff.

A brief update on what I did so far:

  • Kept a journal; which is why I’m able to list these things in the first place. Unfortunately my memory is incapabale of remembering all these stuff on it’s own.
  • Watched a video of Guido van Rossum; author of Python language. Reza, a close friend, recommended it and I’ll forever be thankful for it. It touched me and truly changed how I see the world. He told me he had similar feelings about the video.
  • Started learning Python 3 after that and fell in love with it.
  • Had long, deep conversations with a few of my friends. Something I rarely did in the past; but now I find vital; specially for mental well-being.
  • Read an interesting biography of Elon Musk. It was motivating with an enjoyable and easy-to-read writing. Totally recommended.
  • Went on a road trip with family and had a splendid time.
  • Spent a day in a startup accelerator in Tehran, and observed the atmosphere and the work flow.
  • Started drafting a lesson plan for a ‘everyday *nix’ class.
  • Went to a gathering with many of the old and late friends and had a blast.
  • Started learning to sing in a choir. Sina, A good friend of mine, was kind enough to tutor a few of his friends and started an amateur choir. He chose ‘Moon river’ as our first song to rehearse. I’m singing the Tenor part.
  • Tweaked a Jekyll theme to support right-to-left languages for a friend’s blog. It’s a really nice, minimal, and overall well-made theme. I’m considering using it for this blog too.
  • And a lot of other insignificant things that don’t look like much, but are the first steps for doing significant things down the road.

Hopefully by listing these here, I’ll motivate myself and maybe you to do more, to do greater! We all can be a bit better, a bit happier, every passing day.

1467578451 - Tehran  
1494443963 - edit

What a Time!

It amazes me every time I think about how enabling computers are. When used correctly even a very underpowered one can be a powerful tool to do incredible things. Coupled with the Internet, everyone with a PC has unlimited information at disposal, and can also contribute with information of one’s own. Each time I think about the possibilities the more excited I become.

What a time to be alive!

1463704809 - Tehran

Ég gaf ykkur von sem varð að vonbrigðum

… þetta er ágætis byrjun.

~Sigur Rós

▶ Play “Sigur Rós - Ný Batterí” on Youtube

1462178163 - Tehran

Backing up your entire Google account data

Today I Learned Google provides users a simple way to archive and download all of their data on Google. Including Gmail and Drive.

Few days ago someone approached me with a problem, “My Gmail ran out of space and I need all my emails, they contain important data.”

Instead of doing what I usually do and telling him he should have thought about a solution before the matter getting out of hand, I looked around for solutions. This resulted in finding a thorough how-to on backing up Gmail using a command line tool named gmvault on lifehacker.

It turned out to be a very good tool and did the work alright. But I looked for other ways too and that was when I stumble upon Google takeout which lets you create an archive of all your data on Google services.

So my archive got ready in an hour, and my attempts to download it on a VPS failed miserably. And by miserably I mean after a few tries I encountered an error saying: “Sorry, you have already downloaded that archive the maximum number of times.”

Looks like the only way to download them is to do it on a modern customer browser. Which is reasonable since the archive contains A LOT of sensitive data and is unencrypted. But with my Internet connection and prices, downloading with a web browser is practically impossible. Oh and to worsen the situation, once I tried to download it on Chrome I faced a 403 error presenting itself in XML format to me. The joys of using the Internet in Iran!

1454326119 - Tehran

Untitled I

Way past midnight I contacted a friend and I’m glad that I did.

We share a lot of feelings and thoughts. I consider myself privileged and lucky to have been found by such friend. There were a lot of —renowned— people who were deprived of this gift. Sad for them but lucky for us, those people found solace in papers and pens and now a lot of us can read what left behind and feel connected.

I’m also grateful about the technology that enables us to talk to each other this late at night and over such considerable distance.

I long to see him again in person.

1453162734 - Tehran  

Back, in style

It’s been a while since I practiced free writing. And not-so-coincidentally It’s been the same while since my last exam. The struggle is real people!

Anyway, I wasn’t exactly a worthless piece of some usually-brown matter in the past few days. I finally settled on middleman1 as my static site builder of choice to host these writings and actually did go all the way of implenting it. Which wasn’t a cake walk by any means. The commands from the official documentation didn’t work for me!2 Someone should write a good getting started on this thing for people who are not familiar with ruby. To be real someone probably have done already, But I didn’t happen to stumble upon such thing. By the way I just —in the middle of typing— decided to link to the project3 that actually finally made it work the way I wanted it to after a day of dealing with errors. Be this a thank you to those people.

1454183955 - Tehran
  1. middleman is an static website builder written in ruby. 

  2. I should have appended bundle exec to the begining of the commands in the doc for some reason. 

  3. middleman-casper is an elegant theme for middleman. As of writing, this blog uses this theme.