You can't please everyone

Craig Maloney - Sat, 02/17/2018 - 00:27

There's the old saying "you can't please everyone". Usually folks take that to mean that there are certain people who will never be pleased with what you do so don't bother trying to reach them. But there's a secondary way to read this phrase that I'd like to explore and that's the idea that it is exhausting to please everyone and everything that you really care about.

Over the years we accrue many friends, acquaintances, interests, fandoms, and things that mean something to us. And for the most part we can keep on top of engaging with each of these things. But over time we gain so many of them that we can no longer keep up with them in the same way that we used to engage with them. Those few hours with someone at a position we've held become sporadic contact because our job changed. That really cool thing that we found on the internet lead to several other really cool things on the internet and now engaging with all of them becomes physically exhausting.

We have to step back and realize which interactions are still bringing us joy and which ones are there because we feel an obligation to keeping these connections alive.

But there's the tendency to want to keep everything alive; to keep all of the plates spinning with the same intensity that we had when we first engaged with it. But keeping all of those plates spinning wears us out. We can't keep spinning all of them at the same time. Eventually the plates won't have enough momentum to keep going and they wobble and fall off their posts.

And that's OK, as long as we are conscious of which interactions we're letting go of for now. As long as we know which ones we want to keep and engage with them fully we can be OK with the ones that are no longer bringing us joy.

(This post is just a few notes to myself to remind myself that it's OK not to be all things to all people all the time. It's OK to let things go and let the plates fall where they may. And perhaps someday when I'm ready those unbroken plates can take the place of the other ones that have lost their momentum).

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well Lived Life: Checking In

Craig Maloney - Wed, 02/07/2018 - 22:12

2018 is in full-effect and January has already sped on by. Where has the time gone. Last I checked in it was Christmas-time and much like my neighbors that leave their Christmas lights up way too long I managed to leave the last post up for far too long without checking in.

Figured I'd check-in with my progress on Designing a Well Lived Life and the intentions that I have for 2018:

  • Writing more / designing more: Unfortunately I've been a little busy at the moment with work-related things so this intention has taken it in the teeth. It's been a bit of frustration to me with how little I've managed to create but I am thinking of ways to make this more of a priority. Also I've been procrastinating on one major project that I need to complete sooner than later that's related to my current infrastructure so that's been taking precedence.

  • Programming more: I've done a little bit here and there to help sharpen my skills but this too has taken a back-seat.

  • Engage more with people, not things: This has been helped a bit by some of the social activities I have (Coffee House Coders, MUG, etc.). Also I've been culling my social media presence to only a few different services (I've completely cut off Twitter and deleted my account).

  • Blogging more: Ummm... Here you go. blush.

  • Getting out of debt: Slowly but surely. This has been the area that I've been most focusing on, and it's still a bit of stress for me in how long the journey will be. But I'm starting to see some small results.

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: Not much to report on this at the moment.

  • Physical health: haven't focused on this.

  • Kindness: I've been more kind to myself and hopefully this has extended to others.

  • Mindfulness: I've been working on meditating but I've also noticed areas where my mind is not present in the moment.

So there's the first of the promised check-ins. Hopefully I'll do this on more of a monthly basis.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Merry Christmas!

Craig Maloney - Sat, 12/23/2017 - 09:43

Wishing you and yours the best of the holiday season and a very Merry Christmas!

(Made with TIC80 and love. Click on the tree to see the full version.)

(cartridge)

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well-Lived Life - Twitter Evacuation and my mental health

Craig Maloney - Fri, 12/15/2017 - 22:40

As part of my "Designing a Well-Lived Life" I've decided that instead of letting my Twitter account just go dark that I'm going to go completely toward deactivating the account. I've already protected my Tweets so only those who are following the account will see this post there and then I'm removing feed2tweet. On 2017-12-31 I'm deactivating the account for good (or earlier, but the definite drop-dead date is 2017-12-31).

I'm putting my social media attention into Mastodon simply because it's been better for my attention. I can't use Twitter without using Tweetdeck and even then I need to have retweets turned off or it's a complete shit-show. And I find that my brief interactions with Twitter make me want to punch something. Watching the tweets about Net Neutrality being repealed made me angry and feel helpless to do anything. Which lead to more browsing on Twitter looking for hope. I can't handle that anymore. I've logged out of Twitter and now I'm wondering if there's anything redeemable at all.

I don't expect everyone to follow me over to Mastodon; frankly the older I get the more I realize that the only people I have complete influence over is the person looking back at me in the mirror. But I can do my part and not give aid, comfort, and content to those who do nothing but abuse that privilege.

I'm here at https://octodon.social/@craigmaloney. Follow me there if you wish.

Honestly I wish there was a way to help folks realize there are better alternatives to Twitter, but habits are hard to break. While I can't help everyone's suffering I can sure as heck help the one who I know is suffering the most from his interactions on that site.

Goodbye Twitter. We had fun, but now you're causing me harm and I'm done.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Designing a Well Lived Lfe

Craig Maloney - Thu, 12/14/2017 - 23:36

I'm currently enrolled in Leo Babauta's "Designing a Well Lived Life" course, and one of the things that was mentioned during the webinar was about some of our intentions for the upcoming year. These aren't resolutions per se because they're things that I intend to work on throughout the year, but I wanted to share some of the ones that I came up with initially (and will likely be added to in the coming months).

  • Writing more / designing more: I'm finding one of my main sources of stress this past year was in not finishing up my game designs. Part of that was because I felt a dichotomy between my job search and my desire to work on the games that were percolating in my head. So my intention for the year is to put more effort into working on and finishing the game designs that I am working on, starting with the Pepper&Carrot RPG.

  • Programming more: My chosen career path is that of a programmer so what better way to celebrate that than by programming more and getting some of the ideas in my head out into the world. Also learning my craft better is important to me and I desperately want to get back to some of the more theoretical and hairy bits of computer science. Yes, this means more Scheme in the future. ;)

  • Engage more with people, not things: I'm finding myself getting more and more frustrated with social media so I'm turning off Twitter for now (frankly because it's a hot mess) and focusing more on meaningful interactions with people. So I'm focusing more on Mastodon (where I find more positive interactions). This also means not checking social media as much and creating more of what I'm terming "sacred spaces" where I'm allowing myself more time to focus and not be distracted.

  • Blogging more: Part of not being part of social media means I'm going to spend more time blogging about my progress and other topics of interest. This will allow me to engage more with folks with longer-form articles and will also allow me more time to write down my thoughts and be more coherent with them. It'll allow me to go for more of the longer game instead of the short dopamine hits of social media.

  • Getting out of debt: Frankly this last year of unemployment did wonders for our banking account and I want to get us back to where we're paying off our bills as best we can. That means scaling back our financial commitments as well as not buying every new thing that comes out on day of release. This also means finding ways of earning money that aren't susceptible to the whims of the job market and finding multiple means of income (see game design focus above).

  • Supporting creators in sustainable ways: This means helping out the folks that I admire in sustainable ways that don't put us both in jeopardy. Patreon recently did weird things with their fee schedule and then walked that back. I'd like to find better ways to help keep those creators able to support themselves and by extension help them to create the stuff that I enjoy (and can also use in my own creations).

  • Physical health: I need to do more outdoor activities and ensure that my body doesn't decide to crap out (throwing the above intentions into doubt).

  • Kindness: This applies both to others and to myself.

  • Mindfulness: Appreciating the moments as the occur and being fully present in that moment.

I'm sure there will be others but these are the biggies for now.

With that said I'm logging out of Twitter and Tweetdeck and revoking my access to Twitter via Rainbowstream. I'll be engaging more on Mastodon ((http://octodon.social/@craigmaloney) so you'll find me there. Note that I don't expect anyone who is currently on Twitter or other social media to follow me on Mastodon. I understand that Twitter is a habit and if that works for you then that's fine. I'm more doing this for my own sanity and well-being. If you want to follow then please do it because you want to, not because of me. Maybe I'll be back someday but for now I need to break the habit of checking Twitter and this seems as good a time as any to make the break.

I hope you'll join me in looking at ow to create better habits for the upcoming year and invite you to share your progress, whether in the comments here or on your own blogging platform.

Here's to a designing a well-lived life together.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Pale Blue Dot

Craig Maloney - Sun, 12/10/2017 - 10:10

Last night JoDee and I watched a documentary about the Voyager Space Program called "The Farthest: Voyager in Space". It walked through the history of the program to present day: the discoveries, the photos, the science, and the troubles with the program. It's a great watch if you're even remotely interested in the Voyager Spacecraft.

One of the interesting pieces was the (now famous) photograph that Voyager took of Earth as seen from just past Neptune. The mission didn't have that part in mind and Carl Sagan and others thought it would be an interesting perspective for folks to see where Voyager really was in relation to our Earth. Sagan even escalated the issue to the administration of NASA to get the photos. The counter-argument was that the photos had no scientific purpose but eventually Voyager was re-programmed to take the shot.

And in those brief photographs we saw for the first time how tiny our planet is compared to the rest of the solar system. How unremarkable our planet is.

It became one of the quotes Carl Sagan was best known for, and the basis of one of his books: "A Pale Blue Dot".

It's interesting to see how something that had no scientific purpose, that had active opposition up to the highest levels of NASA, became one of the elements that cemented how important the Voyager Space Program was (and is). One last look back at our solar system before we permeated outside of it and pupped our bubble to see what lies beyond.

I think Carl Sagan's greatest achievement was in humanizing science; in keeping that sense of perspective about where our accomplishments are taking us. In turning around Voyager's cameras we got a glimpse of our own world from a place we never dreamed we would be, and the humbling sense that we are truly a pale blue dot, a mote of dust in the cosmos.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

NFS Strangeness - Duplicate inodes / file names

Craig Maloney - Sat, 11/25/2017 - 10:18

I just noticed some strangeness in a NFS mounted device on my Ubuntu machine.

I have duplicity running on my machines to back up to a few Synology Diskstation RAID devices. Recently I noticed that Duplicity was complaining about an assertion error. I now realize that it was complaining about having two files with the same name on the drive.

I did some digging this morning and noticed that two files were sharing the same name / inode. I did a ls -i and got the inode of the files (they were the same):

root@lister:/mnt/backup_music/backup_files/music# find . -inum 9306120 ./duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz ./duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz

Huh. What's going on here?

I immediately thought "well, I'll need to fsck the disk" but then I rmembered that you can't fsck an NFS mount. So I logged into the Synology Diskstation to see if it was showing two files. To my surprise the Synology didn't show anything was awry.

After a little poking and prodding online I wondered what would happen if I renamed the file:

mv duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz.old

and then rename it back:

mv duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz.old duplicity-full.20171011T090009Z.vol4554.difftar.gz

That seemed to work. ls -i shows one file.

But here's the strange part: That find command? Still shows two files pointing at the same file.

I'm wondering if it'll survive a re-mount / reboot.

[Time passes]

Yep. Looks like there's still something in NFS that thinks there's still two files with the same inode, but only one file in ls.

I'm a little stumped on how to ultimately fix this (save for a complete "nuke it from orbit" reformatting. And that's no guarantee that it won't come back.

If you have some ideas on what's going on (I'm pretty sure it's a buggy NFS issue as this has shown up before) I'd love to know. Better yet: if you know how to fix this that wold be awesome as well.

Update: Found a work-around for this:

  • Copy the file to another location (I used rsync to copy it to /tmp, which removed it from the device completely)
  • Run rm on the file to remove it.
  • Copy it back using rsync
  • Unmount / remount the drive.

Seems things are back to normal. Will report back if something changes. Thanks to daddo in the #linuxjournal channel for the idea on how to work-around this.

Update: No, it didn't work: it created a new file / new inode and then exhibited the same issue with duplicate inodes for that file.

What the @#$%#%^#!

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Scared of Search

Craig Maloney - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 08:37

I'd like to thank Google for making me afraid to do a search on something that I'm mildly curious about.

"Hey, we noticed you looked up SNK games. HERE'S 1500 NEWS ITEMS ABOUT UPCOMING PLAYMORE SNK RELEASES BECAUSE YOU HAVE SHOWN INTEREST! ARE YOU NOT PLEASED?"

"Hey we noticed you searched about Twitter's API. HERE IS THE CURRENT POLITICAL CLIMATE RELATED TO TWITTER! ARE YOU NOT PLEASED?"

Argh!

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Fair Trade Magic

Craig Maloney - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:36

Just realized I've been bamboozled into thinking that Fair Trade is somehow a magic weapon against taking advantage of people.

So I looked up whether or not some of the Hawaiian coffee I like is fair-trade certified.

And then it hit me. It doesn't need to be Fair Trade certified. It's in the USA. Fair Trade doesn't mean anything in this context.

Sometimes we need to check our brand-loyalties, even if they're brands we like.

Categories: LugNut Blogs

Halloween Demo

Craig Maloney - Tue, 10/31/2017 - 12:03

I made a quick Halloween demo on the TIC-80 computer. I started development on my Android phone and then moved it to the computer.

You can view it here: Halloween Pumpkin Demo (alternate link)

Hope you enjoy!

Categories: LugNut Blogs