June 30

Relationship Tree

So I heard this analogy once. I don’t remember exactly where, or the exact quote, but I know the gist of it.

Relationships are like a tree. Now, you, you’re the tree. The trunk.

You’ll meet people that are like leaves. Some fall off right away, some hang out for a while before falling away. But they all eventually fall away.

Then you’ve got branches. Branches are tougher stuff, they bring some leaves with them, but they stick around longer. But after a while, branches can fall away, too.

Sometimes you get somebody that’s like a trunk. You end up a tree with two trunks. Like when you get married, your significant other becomes that other trunk. But sometimes, after a long time, that extra trunk can fall away too.

Then you’ve got roots. Roots connect you to the earth. They hold you down, keep you rooted. They’re the ones that are there when all the leaves and branches and extra trunks fall away.

If you’re really lucky, you’ll have a lot of roots in your life. Hold on to them.

November 20

The Thing About the Apocalypse

A thought struck me last night, about the apocalypse.

It seems like there’s a fair number of people that would “like” to live in a world with zombies. Or something like the world of Mad Max. Where things are simpler, albeit more brutal.

But those are post-apocalyptic settings. After the apocalypse hit.

Nobody wants to live at the start of the apocalypse. Or during it.

Because the apocalypse means lots of people die. It means watching friends and family get sick and die. Or become monsters of one sort or another.

Getting to the post-apocalypse means people had to live through it. It means people had to witness the apocalypse happening, survive through it while everybody was dying, and come out the other side.

But hey, maybe I’m wrong. It’s not like this pandemic is really an apocalypse. Right?

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October 22

Updating an Old Blog

It’s pretty clear I haven’t updated this site in a long time. Time to change that.

There’s a couple of things that I need to do. On this site, on my server, and maybe in life: limit the things I’m using, and use those things more often.

I’ve removed a couple of my websites. Not very well, honestly, but they’re gone now. I’ll work on giving them a more graceful “death” when I have more time. I don’t think they were getting that much traffic anyway.

More updates!

I’ve been writing a bunch of sh*t in my journal (a.k.a. diary). Which is fine, whatever. But a lot of that stuff could have instead been posted online, because it’s interesting, and it’s not really what I consider journal-worthy.

It’s clear I need to get back into programming on the side. I’m not sure how I’m going to get that done yet… but I’ll figure it out.

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September 16

So Far Behind…

I think I’ve over-committed myself.

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).

TL;DR:  Stay tuned.

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September 1

Spaghetti Code

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.

In fact, since I have so much code that’s open source, pretty much all my mistakes are out there for people to see.

Anyway, down to the point.  As a programmer, every time you build something with spaghetti code, or in some way that is ugly and difficult to maintain, you acrue technical debt.  And that adds up FAST.

So, for PHP, you should separate code from HTML–you can use a Templating engine to do that.  Or a framework like CS-Content, or CakePHP, or a myriad of others.  Test on different servers, different versions of PHP, and/or do the continuous integration thing.

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February 19

Beware the five o’clock stupids

My brain gets a little “squishy” after working on something for awhile.  Pounding away at the same thing gets a little monotonous.  Over.

And over.

And over.

And over.

And over.

And oevr.

And orev.

And voer.

Adn over.

And oevr.

And OVER.

AND OEVR.

AND OEVER.

ADN VEORE.

AND OEFER.

(see what I did there?)

Wait… what do you mean you can’t find /lib/std++.so?  WTF IS THAT?  Oh… shit…

At 5:00, relative to your timezone.  Stupid strikes.  BEWARE THE FIVE O’CLOCK STUPIDS.

November 21

The Fight of My Life

There was this guy.  I used to hang out with him.  He was big, fat, lazy, and stubborn.

He was the guy that always told me that I couldn’t do it.  That I couldn’t go to the gym.  I couldn’t work out anymore, I couldn’t keep up  He was the guy that shoved that nasty, greasy “fast” food in my mouth every morning, telling me it was good and that it was normal and that what we were doing was normal, because everybody else was doing it.

He was the guy that taught me the secret of not being ashamed of how much I ordered: just order for two.  If I made it seem like I was ordering for myself and another person, I didn’t have to be ashamed at how much I plowed down.  Two thousand calories in a sitting wasn’t that much.  Just toss that second 32-ounce pop… unless you want it in case of a refill.

Today I beat the hell out of that bastard.  I smashed his head between the bars of the butterfly machine sixty times.  I dropped my feet on his head after every pull-up, all sixty of them.  I kicked, screamed, grunted, and groaned that nasty bastard out of my life.

I told him that two thousand calories wasn’t even as much as I should eat in a day, let alone one sitting.  I told him that I don’t really like those nasty hash browns from Burger King, or those ridiculously sweet cinnamon things, or those soggy sandwiches.  I told him I was done with that shit, that I’d had it and I was moving on  I pushed him away and told him to never come back.

Who was that guy, you ask?  If you haven’t figured it out by now, that guy was me.  It was the me of 2013.  It was the me that almost killed me.

Toward the end of 2013, I was in a death spiral  My blood sugar was out of control, with my “lows” barely hitting what should have been the upper limits of OK.  I was taking mood stabilizers to combat the roller coaster of emotions that I was wreaking upon myself, medicine that ended up destroying my memory.

I was laying in bed with my wife.  And I started crying.  Just to myself, praying she would hear me, hoping she wouldn’t.  She asked me what was wrong, and I told her I couldn’t remember.

I’d had a blow-up that night while playing a board game that involved remembering things and trying to guess who answered what: I tried writing it down, but I couldn’t remember the answers long enough to get them to the paper, so I’d write it down wrong.  And when someone joked that I couldn’t remember shit, I flew off the handle.  He was my best friend, but that sudden burst of adrenaline nearly blocked that out.  And the sad part was that this friend knew how to handle himself… if he’d gotten hurt, it would have been because he didn’t believe I’d do something like that.  And if I’d gotten hurt, it would probably have broken his heart.

So we sat there in bed, my wife and I, going over the events of the night.  She had to fill in a lot of gaps, which upset me even more.  Then we started piecing things together, figuring out what had brought this on, and realized it was my medication.  We looked at the side-effects, and one of them was memory loss… in fact, in the long list of side-effects, there was only one or two that hadn’t affected me.  I stopped taking them altogether, and got an appointment with my doctor right away.

Now, my doctor is an awesome guy.  He’s been our family doctor since I can remember… I think he’s been my doctor for at least two decades now.  Anyway, we explained the problem, and told him that we thought the problem was actually from my blood sugar being all out of whack.  And he agreed.  He told me a bunch of things that I didn’t want to hear, but needed to.

I decided I was going to change my life.  Not “right then and there,” but over the course of a few days, or maybe weeks, I’m not sure.  I got a membership to the YMCA, and started going on a regular basis with one of my best friends.  I decided I wasn’t going to live to eat anymore, but that I was going to eat to live.

Toward the beginning of the journey, I stumbled across a website called “Nerd Fitness,” which talked about this “Paleo Diet” and how to get in better shape.  I kept reading the articles, trying to find that punchline, thinking to myself, “jeez, at some point, he’s gotta hold something back for whatever he’s trying to sell me.”  But that never came.  Good old Steve Kamb wasn’t trying to sell me anything at all.  This website, all these articles, these PDF’s, these videos, they were all there to help people like me learn how to get into shape on their own.

I paid to join the “academy” there on my birthday.  It’s funny how excited I was about it: a year prior, I’d have thought something like that was worse than getting ugly/non-fitting socks.

In fact, it’s kinda bizarre that I was having so much fun getting into shape.  I played racquetball weekly.  I went to the gym three times a week, lifting weights and riding a stationary bike, and walking.

So here I am today, just freshly having beaten the crap out of the old version of me.  I’ve logged more than 100 visits to the gym, despite not having logged much of anything for the first few months.

When I started, I couldn’t do a single proper push-up, even on my knees; now I can do ten in a row.  I couldn’t do a pull-up, even with over 100 lbs of assistance; now I can do them unassisted (not very many, but still).  I used to worry about not fitting in at the gym, now I help friends to fit in.  Now I move an order of magnitude more than when I started, and I have fun breaking a sweat.

Whatever you do, do something.  Just start moving.  Don’t sweat the small stuff, but make sure you sweat.  Don’t worry about what other people think.  Just do what you do.  Be the change you want to see in others.

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October 9

Who I Am

Okay, take a deep breath.  Here it comes, kicking, clawing, and yowling.

Are you ready for it?

My name is Dan Falconer.  I’m a geek.

I have a lot of websites.  Right now, they’re all mine, and there’s not a clear reason for many of them to exist.  Here are those websites:

  • CrazedSanity.com — completely home-grown, every line of code written from me.  Built from the ground up by me.  My handle (minus the “.com”) for most everything.
  • CrazedBuzz.com — my WordPress site.  Where I go to write stuff and not worry about digging into code if the blog post won’t save.  Same as my Xbox Live handle (because “crazedsanity” wasn’t available)
  • Buzzkill.org — my other website… mostly just like CrazedSanity.com, replete with all the blog posts from said website, but with a few (very VERY old) unique pages.
  • BuzzkillProductions.net — the exact same site as Buzzkill.org.  EXACT SAME.  It exists because of… reasons.
  • TTORP.crazedsanity.com — the Table Top Online Role Playing web application.

The other places I “own” or otherwise lurk:

  • GitHub.com — where I store a bunch of code repositories.
  • BitBucket.org — where I store more code repositories (many of which are hidden)
  • Facebook — where I pretend to be social… but only because it has “networking” in it.
  • Google Plus — the other social networking site… that I really wish would get more traction than Facebook.
  • Deviant Art — where I post my doodles and stuff.

There’s more than that.  But let’s face it, this was a total over-share.  You’re welcome.

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