Craig Maloney snapl@identi.ca

Just another Linux / Ubuntu / Python hacker. Host of http://openmetalcast.com and co-host of http://lococast.net

  • Open Metalcast Episode #153: Modern Medicine FTW

    2017-04-25T04:45:23Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/EYu_ADbDEks/)

    Greetings fellow inhabitants of this great ball we call “Earth”. I have spent the past few days on allergy medicine, antibiotics, and nasal steroids so if this episode seems a little extra-punchy there’s a good chance that’s the reason. It’s also a somewhat shorter show than normal, but what’s in there will likely damage your speakers with it’s intensity. Everything in this episode is more packed than my sinuses. We’ve got music from Wombripper, Tiempos De Ira HC, Technickill,m Ekstasis, Vazio, Dew of Nothing, Nuclear and Kaballah waiting to shake loose any crap that might be hanging on in your earholes. It’s a guaranteed prescription to give you the maximum allowable dose of metal without a prescription in an easy-to-download format.

    We have a special promo for Ekstasis’ “Wirklichkeitsraster” album. Save 20% off of the price of the digital or physical release:

    • Digital: Head to http://geisterasche.bandcamp.com, add “Wirklichkeitsraster” to your cart, and use the promo code openmetalcast3 to save 20% off of your purchase.
    • Physical: Head to geisterasche.de, add “Wirklichkeitsraster” to your cart, and save 20% with the promo code openmetalcast

    This is a limited-time offer so hurry on over to claim your copy.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or hop on stage to provide much-needed air guitar support. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #153 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #153 (OGG)

    Greg Grossmeier, Sotitrox likes this.

    >> Craig Maloney:

    “[...] Eterno vazio by Vazio from Vazio [...]”

    xD

    JanKusanagi at 2017-04-25T08:51:06Z

    Craig Maloney likes this.

    Eternal Empty by Empty from Empty.

    \m/

    Craig Maloney at 2017-04-25T23:52:34Z

  • [Blog] Regrets

    2017-04-11T16:32:30Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/AoMCUdO6Xuc/)

    I try not to dwell on certain decisions that later turn out to be bad moves, but one that keeps popping up is my insistence on putting a hard disk drive on my Atari 800XL computer.

    Let me explain.

    Putting a hard disk drive (HDD) on my Atari 800XL was not cheap. It was around $800 back in the 1990s (which is around $1,400 in 2017 money). Contrast that with the Amiga 500 which was released in 1987 at around $699 and it seems like putting a lot of money into old technology. And indeed it was. By the time I'd purchased the Black Box, the cables, and the SCSI drive / enclosure (40MB) it was around $800 for the whole kit. But I was bound and determined, as this was running my BBS and other assorted goodies (terminal program, etc.).

    So why the regret? Seems like a pretty cool purchase, right?

    Unfortunately I was also going into computer science at the time. And the 8 bit processors were rather long in the tooth by the time I was purchasing said HDD kit. The Atari 800XL also didn't have 80 column screens so I had to use a software-emulated terminal in order to connect to the school's VAX and Sun SPARC station computers. And the C compiler that I had purchased (Deep Blue C) was pretty weak in an era where better compilers existed for the IBM compatible machines (and the Amiga).

    So my one regret is not taking that money and plopping it into a 16 bit computer. Who knows if it would have changed my course much? Perhaps I wouldn't have been so eager to get onto Linux when I graduated college. But it's something that pops into my mind from time to time.

  • Open Metalcast Episode #152: Death By Algorithms

    2017-04-11T04:00:11Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/Tp-zQgjqiUU/)

    There are many algorithms that are now monitoring and making decisions in our lives. We’re constantly bombarded with algorithms telling us what we should like, where we should drive, and what food would be best for us to eat. But here at Open Metalcast we hand-select all of our metal releases from internet-sourced bands from around the globe. Bands like Timetrap, Bloodgod, Oracle, Nemsis Sopor, Mursa, Tromort, Mystic Moss, and Alpha Brutal. Our carefully trained technicians select only the finest blend of Creative Commons Metal for you listening enjoyment. It may take a little longer than an algorithmic selection but we like it that way and hope you will to. Now available in your local podcatcher/

    We have a special promo for Nemesis Sopor’s “MMXL” album. Save 20% off of the price of the digital or physical release:

    • Digital: Head to http://geisterasche.bandcamp.com, add “MMXL” to your cart, and use the promo code openmetalcast2 to save 20% off of your purchase.
    • Physical: Head to geisterasche.de, add “MMXL” to your cart, and save 20% with the promo code openmetalcast

    This is a limited-time offer so hurry on over to claim your copy.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or share these artisinal bits with your friends. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #152 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #152 (OGG)

  • 2017-04-07T18:24:48Z via p To: Public CC: Followers

    And second coding interview done. Nothing like coding in front of an audience to make you go back to your primal coding instincts. Seriously though, is there any value in watching someone stream-of-consciousness-code? Or is the whole point to get you so stressed out that you revert to your primal coding?

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

    Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) shared this.

    Having been on both sides of this (I once endured an interview that was ~8 hours with half of that being white boarding exercises), I don't think there is much value in live coding or white boarding. By the time you bring the candidate in to do that, you probably have a good idea that they are capable of programming. Yet we persist in these exercises for apparently a lack of better ideas. I feel your pain...

    Charles ☕ Stanhope at 2017-04-07T18:37:30Z

    Scott Sweeny, Craig Maloney, Christopher Allan Webber likes this.

    Funnily enough this was the first time I'd been exposed to this company. It was an elaborate "hello". Much like Rimmer deduced in Red Dwarf when their legs were broken.

    Craig Maloney at 2017-04-07T18:42:16Z

    @snapl@identi.ca well if you can do anything at all that's probably a good sign. Might be a judge of temperament more than anything else

    dw at 2017-04-07T22:28:16Z

    I guess. But it feels artificially stressful to me. :)

    Craig Maloney at 2017-04-08T19:41:52Z

  • [Blog] Why companies want a convoluted tax system

    2017-04-05T19:58:03Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/UmnrZlkg_pk/)

    I can see why companies in the "tax preparation" service are reluctant to just let the government figure things out:

    • Fee for the software (because navigating the tax code is for chumps).
    • Fee for the state versions (because just filing federal is for chumps)
    • Fee for e-filing the state version (because the state thinks paper is for chumps).
    • Fee for using a credit card for paying large tax bill (because carrying around a large wad of cash for paying the govt. is for chumps).

    No wonder they want lobbyists to ensure that the tax code isn't changed.

    Charles ☕ Stanhope likes this.

    in Canada the libreplanet-on chapter has an effort to create a free software solution compatible with Canada's tax rules https://libreplanet.org/wiki/Group:LibrePlanet_Ontario/FLCTPSP the mailing list archive recounts some of the hurdles they face regarding E-Filing "certification"

    George Standish at 2017-04-05T22:48:53Z

  • [Blog] Try, try again

    2017-04-01T05:00:06Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/W9R6y0YZlOM/)

    So the "re-reading K&R" book thing got side-tracked again. This time around life happened again and I got side-tracked with the other things that took precedence. But the one thing that I would like to be my constant companion is the willingness to keep trying and keep at things until they work. If nothing else I will be my endless source of amusement.

    I haven't completely decided on what I'd like to work on for April. Front-end Development is calling me, but I also want to work more on REST development. Plus I also discovered the Phazer library which looks really cool for developing games. And there's the old stand-by of just letting myself try something small like meditation for 15 minutes a day.

    Perhaps the one thing I can work on is just letting myself work on one thing at a time. It's hard to choose when you feel like you need to work on everything at the same time.

    Charles ☕ Stanhope, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) likes this.

    Choosing is the toughest for me...

    Charles ☕ Stanhope at 2017-04-01T19:23:04Z

  • Open Metalcast Episode #151: Keep Away From Open Flame

    2017-03-27T19:20:14Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/3w6wI_YCVlI/)

    Sometimes when putting together an episode I don’t want to stop putting together the music. Everything flows together so well that jumping in would be an intrusion. But there’s lots to talk about with this episode so hopefully you’ll listen through to the end.

    We’ve got a show packed with music by Frostreich, Tromort, the latest by Allochiria, Advent, Wrack, Human Collapse, and Aeon Aphelion. It’s a show you won’t want to miss!

    We have a special promo for Frostreich’s “Join the Wind” album. Save 20% off of the price of the digital or physical release:

    • Digital: Head to http://geisterasche.bandcamp.com, add “Join the Wind” so your cart, and use the promo code openmetalcast to save 20% off of your purchase.
    • Physical: Head to geisterasche.de, add “Join the Wind” to your cart, and save 20% with the promo code openmetalcast

    This is a limited-time offer so hurry on over to claim your copy.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, or head to the shows. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #151 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #151 (OGG)

  • Open Metalcast Special Episode: Club Metal #18

    2017-03-27T03:42:18Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/HOFLGilMRpQ/)

    Artwork by Posthuman Studios; illustrated by Danijel Firak. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial ShareAlike License

    Cortical stacks scrambled. Can’t get a decent thought together. Must warn the others about the delivery.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, or head to the shows. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast Club Metal #18 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast Club Metal #18 (OGG)

    Charles ☕ Stanhope likes this.

  • Open Metalcast Episode #150: One Five Oh

    2017-03-14T03:10:53Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/3QBmz6pDxug/)

    Welcome to the 150th episode of Open Metalcast, where we’ve been exploring the world of Creative Commons Metal Music for lo these many episodes. I’m sure there’s a way to check to see how many songs and bands we’ve uncovered together but frankly I’d rather concentrate on bringing you the best in Creative Commons Metal Music. And this episode delivers on that promise with music from Dismalfucker, Dancerobot, Mortals Path, Cuerno, Cerderben, Vukodlak, Constrictor, and netra. There’s something for everyone in this episode. Here’s to many more episodes ahead!

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or walk in to their Skype conversation like you just don’t care. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #150 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #150 (OGG)

  • [Blog] Re-reading K&R

    2017-03-01T18:26:17Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/jH98wjU78wY/)

    I think for the month of March I'm going to try an experiment. Something that I've long wanted to do, but something that has gone by the wayside more often than not.

    I'm going to read through Kernighan and Ritchie's classic book "The C Programming Language".

    I liken this to reading books when you're younger vs. when you're older. "The Lord of the Rings" is a great example of this. When I read it as a youngster it was a mystical and fanciful world. When I re-read it (around the time of the movies) it started off mystical and fanciful but with my older eyes I could see things I'd missed before. I'd missed what Tom Bombadil represented (though I still do not care for that character in the slightest). I'd missed that the over-arching theme is that the world of magic is still dying, and that the quest of the ring was whether it ended in fire or in quiet contemplation.

    So what does this have to do with K&R?

    First off it's a classic text of programming. You can't mention the C language without someone piping up "K&R". As I mentioned in the last post there's also a certain comfort in hanging around in the C language. Plus I've never read the book all the way through. Something always happened to keep me from reading the book and I feel that I've done it a disservice by not making my way through all of the pages. Plus I'm not the same programmer that I was back then. I've grown with wisdom and I understand more of how computers work. Granted the version of C they present is not modern C, but I have other books to help me make that transition. And GCC / GDB are much better tools than when I last played with them.

    How far will I get? Who can say? But I feel like I have to try.

    Jason Self, Charles ☕ Stanhope likes this.

  • Open Metalcast Episode #149: Chaotic Neutral

    2017-02-28T03:39:30Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/E5mvo93hmBI/)

    Welcome friends to the 149th episode of the podcast we humbly call “Open Metalcast”. In this chapter our hero discovers that the old man in the tavern was indeed a sorcerer who sent him in search of the best in Creative Commons Music. He scoured the internet and discovered eight new tracks, which he stuffed into his knapsack and dragged back into town. Feast your eyes upon such treasures by the likes of Human Ashtray, Maleek, BloodeviL, Tinnitia, Sunvoid, Lacrima, Death of a Poet, and Isyocel. It’s a 42 minute journey that only requires your headphones, your podcatcher of choice, and a place to listen to it. Chips and beverages optional.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or buy copies for all of your friends. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.
    Open Metalcast #149 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #149 (OGG)

  • [Blog] Comfort Code

    2017-02-20T04:00:27Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/kzKuFArtzCc/)

    Last week I found myself doing something I haven't done in a while.

    For some reason I got it in my head that I needed some comfort. And part of that comfort was re-learning the C language. Now, I have no immediate reason to learn C. None of my job prospects seem to want C (at least not at the dabbler level) but here I was pulling out my C books to give it a whirl again.

    Part of the reason is because there was a sense of comfort to me in sitting with just a compiler and a debugger looking at code flying by. I wasn't doing anything strenuous (just some Fibonacci sequences, or variable passing) but watching gdb change values and looking at the stack frame gave me a sense that I was in control. That I was changing something.

    Too often I think developers sit back and take code for granted. Not that our thoughts become code without effort (Lord knows there's a handful of developers who have ever had something work the first time without wondering what the hell went wrong). No, I mean that we just assume that the building blocks that we piece together will always work and we won't have to think too deeply about what goes on under the abstraction layers. I think pulling back the abstractions and peeking in to see what's happening can be a comforting experience. It's a gentle reminder that no matter how convoluted the outside world gets that we have the ability to pause and see that there are still some rules that apply. That there are places where we can derive joy from seeing an integer variable increment from a 1 to a 2.

    Maybe I'm crazy for finding comfort in this, but I can't deny that it works.

    j1mc, Charles ☕ Stanhope, James Dearing 🐲 likes this.

    I'm doing a similar thing right now with HTML and CSS. Making a web site from scratch just because I want to. No WYSIWYG editors here.

    James Dearing 🐲 at 2017-02-20T04:13:05Z

    Charles ☕ Stanhope likes this.

  • Open Metalcast Episode #148: Dunbar’s Number

    2017-02-13T23:00:18Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/npXO_VcLutk/)

    According to Wikipedia (who is never wrong) Dunbar’s Number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. Dunbar put that number at 148, which is usually rounded to 150. Whether that’s true or not is not ours to debate here, for our purpose is to provide you with the finest Creative Commons Metal the Internet has to offer. And we have nine bands we love in this episode, including Skinlepsy, a return of Narada, Mycelia, the latest from AATHMA and Santo Rostro, Talsur, Aethyr, netra, and a dip into the archives with Goat Father. So while you may only be able to have meaningful relationships with 148ish people you can still relate to 58 minutes of the best Creative Commons-licensed metal. Just remember to write every now and again.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or give them a backrub. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #148 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #148 (OGG)

  • [Blog] Writing a Snake Game in Pygame

    2017-02-10T17:00:12Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/ByU1NDEZ-TA/)

    I'm mulling over making a quick series on how to write a "snake" game in Pygame. Part of this is because I've been stalled on writing this down in the book about Pygame and game development / design and I'm thinking this may be an approach to uncork the bottle of inspiration. Because writing in the book? That's hard. But writing a blog post? That's simple, right? (Don't answer that; I don't want smarter me to wake up and say they're the same thing. :) ).

  • [Blog] Cleaning up the blog a bit

    2017-02-10T15:00:13Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/32iErZfjw7Y/)

    I realized the blog was getting a bit crusty around here, so I cleaned up a few pages. I've put as many of the MUG presentation videos as I could up in the projects page, and added the slides for the Penguicon Presentations from 2015 / 2016. I'm probably going to update a few more of the pages because they really don't make sense for the current layout. (Breaking links? That's why I'm here. :) )

    Also added some scripts that I use in my daily GTD / todotxt routine into a github repo so if you want to play with them you're welcome to them.

    As always, if something doesn't look right please let me know. I probably missed a few things along the way.

  • Open Metalcast Episode #147: Salt the Earth

    2017-01-30T21:00:11Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/OpenMetalcast/~3/MBsxNGRe3T0/)

    It’s mid-wintertime here at Open Metalcast Headquarters. Part of the fun of winter is the snow that inevitably shows up during this time. One of the ways to counteract the snow in this climate is to put down prodigious amounts of salt on the roads. The salt is pretty corrosive and gets everywhere. So, what does this have to do with Creative Commons-licensed metal music? Consider this show an assault in the making that will scatter metal music in your ears (See what I did there?)

    We have a great line-up of music from Cirrhose Atak, Technickill, Brokenhead, Vera, Thesauros, Space Unicorn On Fire, and Vihmana. We also have a sneak-preview of a massive 45 minute black metal opus from Obitus, which is available for pre-order from Hypnotic Dirge Records.

    It’s a show you won’t want to take with a grain of salt. Or miss for that matter.

    Please support the bands in this show! Buy a T-Shirt, buy an album, head to the shows, or shovel out their car during a snow storm. Whatever you can do to help these bands keep making music, please do it!

    If you have any suggestions for Creative Commons licensed metal, send me a link at craig@openmetalcast.com.

    Open Metalcast #147 (MP3)

    Open Metalcast #147 (OGG)

  • [Blog] Upgraded to Pelican 3.7.1

    2017-01-24T00:50:27Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/dAB6XC06HqA/)

    Finally upgraded to Pelican 3.7.1. Had a few issues related to summary fields in the feeds. If something doesn't look right please let me know. Thanks!

  • [Blog] Pepper & Carrot, Rea, and Fate-based Magic

    2017-01-21T19:00:12Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/7ehDVK38pUk/)

    The Chaos and Evolotions Impossible Triangle, by David Revoy

    One of the issues I've had with working on the Fate-based version of Pepper & Carrot is how the magic system works. Magic in Pepper & Carrot is manifested in potions and spells (moreso potions than spells, but that's another story). So in the case of episode 20 there is no show of preparing the potions: potions just happen, and the story moves from there. The only time we ever see Pepper preparing potions is in episode 1 and episode 4 (and to a certain extent episode 2 and episode 3). The group makes potions in episode 9. We also see the efforts of making way too many potions in episode 12 and Pepper working on her potions classes in episode 14. In each of these cases there's very little in the way of showing how Pepper and the rest of the cast manifest the magic into making these potions. They just do it and the story continues. Even in the cases where she's cast spells there's very details on how Pepper summons up the strength to cast powerful spells (episode 18 shows this in more detail).

    In an earlier incarnation of the Pepper & Carrot wiki it mentioned Rea hand how Rea worked inside the universe. Rea is short for "reality" and witches could use Rea to bend reality to their will. It defined Rea as something that a magic-user would need to cast spells. Rea could be acquired by putting effort toward working on a task, or could be purchased through potions and other materials. The wiki specifically stated that it was a unit that could be measured, so you could tell how much Rea a person had. It sort of worked for the fiction, but it didn't set well with me. And when it came time to put that into game terms it made even less sense. Was there going to be a box for "Rea" that someone would need to track? Potions to recover Rea? Costs for casting different spells? How many points would one need to create the black hole in episode 12? How much Rea would one need to make any of the spells in episode 11 work?

    The more I thought about it the more I didn't like where I was headed with tracking Rea. What started as an integral part of the characters looked like it could turn into a mess.

    A recent article by Johan Herrmann did some digging to the Rea concept. It tried to make sense of Rea in more scientific terms, and gave David and I some food for thought on what Rea really is.

    One of the thoughts that percolated was the idea of Rea being something that you're just aware of. I compared it with caffeine. Most folks know when they've had enough caffeine (headaches if you haven't had enough, jitters if you've had too much). But few folks really pay attention at the milligram level to see how much they've ingested. (There are some who do, but most folks aren't as mindful of their consumption. I know I'm not as mindful as I should be.) So if we take the caffeine metaphor and extrapolate it to the Witches of Hereva we start to see where we can mold it to the fiction. Witches in Hereva instinctually know when they are running out of Rea and do what is necessary to fix the issue. Much like the gravitational pull of coffee for me in the morning, a Witch of Hereva would know when they need to come up with more Rea.

    How does this work in the game then? Instead of Rea being a number or a box that requires a statistic it then becomes a complication that can be pulled out (either on a bad roll, or when the GM wishes to extract a fate point from the character). It becomes a story beat that characters become aware of when it makes sense to the story. Picture a grand battle where the cast of Pepper & Carrot are up against some big baddie. They're firing off spells, consuming potions, and wreaking havoc. And then the thrilling climax comes along where Pepper is about to deal the fatal blow to the big baddie. Everyone is waiting for the conclusion to this battle.

    Which is more appropriate? Looking at the character sheet and realizing you have a 0 in your Rea stat? That's boring. There's no drama in that. You're just left with "I can't cast any more spells because my Rea is at 0". What's more exciting is casting the spell, rolling the dice, and having to take a complication "Running out of Rea". Because in the fiction when the Chaosah Witches ran out of Rea at the end of The Great War really bad things happened.

    The other problem with defining Rea as a unit is the underlying metaphor of Rea. Rea is akin to shaping our own reality through effort, emotional engagement, and love for one another. Rea is generated every time David completes an episode of Pepper & Carrot. Rea happens when the translators translate the episodes into a myriad of languages. Rea is in the people engaging with the comic; coming up with new games, fan artwork, and theories about how the whole thing works together. It's a disservice to Rea to make it a simple stat on a character sheet.

    After some discussion I re-wrote the page for Rea in the Pepper & Carrot Wiki. I'm sure it'll need some more clarification as the episodes progress but I'm happier with where it is. I also think it makes for more interesting stories to put Rea more into the underlying fabric of the universe rather than something that needs active tracking. And it's also opened up how I can think about Rea in the Pepper & Carrot Fate-based game. Now the only thing keeping players from casting amazing spells and producing potent potions is dice rolls, aspects, and Gm discretion. That's more in-line with the fiction of Pepper & Carrot and the underlying philosophy of the comic and the comic-making process.

    I can't wait to write this up in the game itself, but I wanted to get some of the underlying ideas out so I had a record of them to re-read and understand.

    (Pepper & Carrot and the Hereva universe: created by David Revoy, with contributions by Craig Maloney. Corrections: Willem Sonke, Moini, Hali, Cgand and Alex Gryson. Artwork: David Revoy. Released under a Creative Commons Attribution, CC-By license. This article and the ideas in it are released under the same license as Pepper & Carrot / The Hereva Universe.)

  • [Blog] Learning Challenge: Addendum

    2017-01-21T16:48:05Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/024e-J7N4wo/)

    Last night I was looking for some details on Z80 assembly and I decided to look at my blog. (Surely there was somewhere that I had a screenshot of a safe memory location for ORG). As I wandered through my previous learning challenges I noticed a pattern:

    • I had a tendency to abandon them about mid-month because something came up that I felt was more important to work on.
    • I think I've only finished one of them (Z80 Assembly).
    • The unprocrastination challenge sort of drifted into the miasma of being laid off.

    I was a little surprised by these results. Surely I had to have some success somewhere. Yes, but not quite as much as I'd thought. The blog entries showed my thoughts at the time and most of them said the same thing: something else came up that circumvented what I was doing.

    Part of this is my natural desire to have several large projects running at the same time. Currently I have projects for learning JavaScript better, writing the Fate-based Pepper&Carrot RPG, updating the license extraction script for Open Metalcast, and finishing up the release of the Pygame Photobooth. I'd be happy as hell to count any one of those projects as complete, but right now they all have some equal precedence. And my reasons for finishing each of them are pretty much as equally valid:

    • I want to learn JavaScript and front-end web development better so I can expand my work options.
    • I want to finish up the Fate-based Pepper&Carrot RPG so folks can play around in this magical and wonderful world.
    • I want to finish up the Open Metalcast license extraction script so it pulls out the license information quicker so I don't have to hunt for it as much.
    • I want to add the finishing touches to the Pygame Photobooth so others can use it better.

    There's also other projects that I have that I consciously moved to my Someday / Maybe list because I know that I won't have a chance to work on them in the upcoming weeks.

    Reading through those learning challenge posts reminded me that I've been noodling around with the Pepper&Carrot RPG for a while now. At the time I thought this was something that I could whip out in a few months. I was a tad mistaken in that assessment, but it also got me working on the Pepper&Carrot Wiki and got me involved in some of the world-building of Hereva. So I'm getting there, but a lot slower than I would have liked.

    So what have I learned from this? I've learned a few things:

    • I need to not worry so much about working on one thing at a time for one month. It's rare that I can concentrate an entire month on something without wondering why I'm not working on the other things.
    • I need to do the work with no expectations. I recently re-read "The Effortless Life" by Leo Babauta. In there he talks about living a live without expectations. I can't know what I want to work on later this evening, so rather than try to force the issue I'm trying a tactic of just showing up and seeing what I'm passionate about working on.

    I may do learning challenges in the future, but I'm also not going to get upset with myself if they don't pan out. I'm human, and my inclinations change from moment to moment. Learning is a process, and learning is also about changing behaviors. I'm working on being more mindful of what my mind is telling me and recognize the difference between procrastination and "I'm just not interested in this anymore".

    At the very least I'm going to keep on being a practicing human being. I'm planning on documenting my progress here so others can see. Who knows who might be reading this late one night?

  • [Blog] Unprocrastination challenge: Check-in #2

    2017-01-21T06:00:11Z via Spigot To: Public

    (http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/CraigMaloney/~3/oYe4kMakTbo/)

    Even though I'm laid off I'm still trying to work on The Unprocrastination Challenge. I'm trying to keep myself on as many routines as I can even though my tasks aren't accountable to anyone but myself. If I don't hold myself accountable then I'll be drifting along, and that's not good for myself and the things that I want to get done.

    Overall I've not been as good blocking off the Internet using Block Focus, but I have been able to pause and give myself the breathers that lead me to want to be on social media. Recognizing that I'm feeling overwhelmed by my thoughts and my desires to keep myself in comfort. Pushing myself outside of my comfort levels is how I'm going to grow.

    I have some more thoughts on this, but I'm keeping this short so I can collect my thoughts on how to break my cycles of procrastination.