I’m going to be making some changes to the server. I recently had my server “hacked”, which was basically just some skiddie finding a way to post one of those pharmaceutical spam ads on a couple of my WordPress sites.
I’m taking this time to figure out a couple of things. The plan is:
find a way to deploy + update WP sites via git (including initial setup)
work on a better CMS for Crazed(Sanity) sites
update my “deploy” system to work with GitHub and generic git (not just BitBucket.org)
That’s actually quite a bit of stuff. It’s going to take a while to get this all setup. It’s equally possible that I’ll post about impending downtime as I am to simply just do it: pretty much all my sites are (extremely) low traffic. So, there, I said it.
There’s two kinds of family. There’s the kind that you’re forced into at birth, and there’s the kind that forms out of close relationships.
Some people think that “real family” somehow are more important than anyone else. They believe that the family you’re bonded to through DNA–your blood relatives–should be held in the highest regard, forsaking everyone for them.
Sometimes blood relatives have a strange sense of entitlement. They think that because DNA connects you, that somehow they’re automatically more privileged. They deserve more from you, and should be given more slack. That they automatically have a place in your inner circle.
But here’s the truth, at least the way I see it.
The family that has formed around you are sometimes more important. They don’t have the same sense of entitlement: in order to get into your inner circle, they had to prove themselves. They fought for you. Bled for you.
I posted something on Facebook the other day, with a couple of pictures (last year vs this year) and a brief statement that I’d gone from 324 lbs to 287 (37 pounds lost). A co-worker asked me how I’d done it, and I gave a short answer… which later I realized was far too short.
So what has changed? What did I do to get here?
That’s a good question. And there’s a lot to think about, and I probably won’t give credit where it’s due, but I’ll try.
I started going to the gym. I got a membership at the YMCA, went there with a buddy (thanks, Prophet), and put my nose to the grindstone.
I logged every trip to the gym, with very few exceptions. The only way you can see change is if you track it.
I started seeing some changes, added some muscle and lost some weight…. but I needed more.
I added racquetball to the mix, because it was fun and got me moving. Even though Prophet (and later my son) kicked the snot out of me, I had fun.
I learned to sweat, and to enjoy sweating. I learned that it was okay to huff and puff, to have to stop to catch my breath, because that pounding in my chest was my heart telling me I was still alive.
I found this awesome website jam-packed with information, called Nerd Fitness. No pushy sales, no need to buy anything to get help. It actually took me a while to figure out what there was to buy.
I started investing in my health: I gave up going out to eat every morning so I could afford a gym membership. I asked for–and received–a membership to the “Nerd Fitness Academy”, a one-time fee that’s turned into the best investment I’ve made.
Logging stuff was a huge thing, so I finally took an interest in an awesome little app called My Fitness Pal. I used it to track food intake, and to track carbohydrates, so I knew how much insulin to take. Insulin and blood sugar levels have all been logged religiously in a cool little app called OnTrack by Medivo.
The graphs above show what tracking progress really means. The one on the left has all the individual readings, while the one on the right uses daily averages. They cover slightly different time frames, but that little gap–the funny little line between October & January–is when I started caring. When things started turning around. That was the end of 2013, into the beginning of 2014.
When my knees started giving me problems from walking too much (especially with stairs), I got myself a bike. When I started, I could barely get around the block… now I feel like I’m slacking if I only get 15 miles a week. I only feel really accomplished when I hit the 4 mile mark on a single ride, though I generally limit myself to an hour a night.
So that’s what I’ve got so far.
It wasn’t a simple thing. It wasn’t some crash diet. No “juicing” or 90-day crash diets.
I hope you enjoyed reading about it. Feel free to ask questions or whatever in the comments below.
It’s not abnormal for me to be lagging behind updates by a day or two. I don’t check social media on my phone–Facebook Messenger slipped through the cracks, but it hasn’t gone off more than once every few weeks–so I usually don’t know if Stan Lee posted something about me (yeah right) or if there’s some crazy new Mime-related humor.
I’m having a hard time keeping up on the things that matter. Coding projects. Paying attention to my wife. Beating the kids on a regular basis. Keeping bills in line.
Bear with me. I’m going to spend some time re-organizing things over the coming days and weeks, hopefully to get a better line on the top priorities. I’d like to get Project Hobbit Walk to a better place. I’ve got doodles to upload to Deviant Art. I’ve got pictures to force upon the world (or at least my friends). And TTORP needs to get to a better place (the website blows).
That’s right, there’s an actual, honest-to-goodness technical term called “Spaghetti Code.” Basically, it’s code that’s all tangled up in itself, not elegant at all. It does not look or smell tasty… imagine the worst experience you’ve had with that stuff they served back in school. You know, with the green “meat.”
I avoid that shit like crazy.
I’ve written some of that shit. Somebody smarter than me once said, “in order to make good choices, you must first have made plenty of bad ones.” And I’ve made plenty of those.
I’m in the midst of a fairly large code refactoring–which basically means that I’m changing some of the code and cleaning it up. A lot of the changes are done so that I can get unit testing done, including some automated testing.
The idea is that, whenever I make a change to the code, there will be an automated process happening that ensures nothing broke.
The major part of that is done. I’ve still got some updating to do, but a major milestone is out of the way.
Sometimes a puzzle presents itself to you. Sometimes you’re aware of the puzzle, of it’s nature, and sometimes you just have this little… thing, this irritating little itch that you can’t seem to scratch.
Solving the puzzle can be straightforward. The answer comes to you in a moment, in a flash of brilliance–or common sense–and then you move on. But then there are those puzzles that take longer. Hours. Days. Weeks. Months. Even years.
“What the hell are you talking about?”
I solved one of those puzzles. It was a puzzle I’d been working on for years, one that I was only casually aware of, but it was really digging at my (crazed)sanity.
This particular puzzle was one whose nature was in programming.
“I’m not a programmer. This is gonna suck.”
I won’t get into the details; hell, that would bore the crap out of me. And I’m the one that’s excited about it.
With programming puzzles, you’re almost never sure if it’s truly complete. With a real puzzle, you’re told straight out of the box that there’s 250 pieces and it’s 15″ x 15″. With programming, it might be five pieces, and be 50′ x 50′. Or it could be 50,000 pieces, but only be a few inches wide and a few feet long… it’s just impossible to know. And when you get to a point where you think, “gosh, I think it’s done,” you realize there’s a whole bunch more pieces that suddenly showed up.
And the other thing is, sometimes there are pieces of the puzzle that you don’t even realize are pieces. You hold onto this little bit of information, because you know it’s important, but it just doesn’t seem to have correlation… until all of a sudden, you go, “holy crap, this thing here hooks onto this other thing…”
The emails for Project Hobbit Walk are functioning again.
I know, I know, you’re excited. And why not? I am!
But there’s a lot of work to do, so I’ll keep this brief. It seems like there are a few discrepancies between the data I’ve gathered and the data on the sheets. It’s a rather small discrepancy, and I’d guess it is probably an issue with data not being pulled from a particular day… or something like that.
Anyway, I’m working on it. Stay tuned. Or don’t. It’s up to you.
So for a while now I’ve been running a roleplaying game with a couple of friends. I’ve been running it over email, since one of the players is on the other side of the world–literally, he’s in Japan–so we have differing timezones. Getting together hasn’t been particularly easy.
The email system started out just fine. More than fine. I finally whet my appetite for storytelling. I got a lot of writing done. Vivid imagery was had by all. And I imagined this particular game–played out before, many years ago–in a whole new way. It was awesome.
Then, for many reasons, it stagnated. Updates stopped happening. I stopped pushing, players stopped pushing, we just…
We just… stopped.
I figured the real way to get this done was to have a forum. A bulletin board system, where we could post stuff, and everyone would get email notifications, and that would somehow fuel the game. Somehow a forum would give our game the proverbial “kick in the pants” it needed.
I searched high and low for something I could use that was already built. Software I’d used before, new stuff, easy stuff, hard stuff…
All the things I had to install myself made big promises that completely failed to get fulfilled.
One promised this simple interface that was all “Web-two-point-oh-ish,” easy to use, easy to read. I used a production version of it, it was awesome… but completely exploded when I tried to install it. For reasons that completely baffled me.
The next one was an “oldie but a goldie,” one that seemed pretty simple back when I’d previously used it. It seemed like I could just set it up, configure some permissions, and go… and after a week of fiddling with permissions and settings and having locked myself out more than a few times, I gave up.
So then I tried taking a really simple piece of code for forums and modifying it myself. “Hey,” I thought to myself, “this way I can tie it in with TTORP directly! Total win!” Nope. I tried a couple of them, but they both required a monolithic amount of work to get the minimal amount of functionality that I required.
Right now, I’ve got a forum setup that my users were supposed to use. And it’s imposed limitations on the game that I didn’t foresee: I can’t set any sort of permissions, so either you can see the forums–all of them–or you can’t. That means I can’t have separately stories going for each player that others can’t see.
I’m not sure what I’m going to do to fix this yet. Maybe I’ll go back to email. Maybe I’ll try to perservere with the current forum. Or… maybe… something else.