Chances are, if you're reading this you've heard about my Xbox 360 hardware troubles. About a year ago I had the infamous Red Ring of Death problem. I had to send in my 360 for repairs. I remember it being quite painful as my 360 was out of warranty and I had to cough up the money ($140) to fix it.
A couple of months later, Microsoft extended their warranty from 90-days to 1 year and then 3 years. This warranty was apparently done retroactively and covered my 360. As a result, I was sent a refund for my $140 that I had spent on my system and a new warranty was tacked on to my system from the date when the console was returned to me. All of this was surely done to avoid (or maybe just to stave off) any hardware related lawsuits.
So a year goes by, my 360 is running fine and I'm enjoying all the amazing games that have come out for it.
Then, at the start of this last summer, some strange things started to happen...
This has been a long time coming, it's been something that I've been thinking about for a while now. Basically, around 6(ish) months ago I stopped being interested in leading up events over there. Couple this with the fact that ClanAM's success was kind of hampering my enjoyment of the game (every time I'd log in, I'd get a billion people sending me /tells or otherwise making a big deal out of me being there... it's flattering to be sure, but it also gets tiresome really quick) and you can see why I've needed a good break.
Well, my break came in the form of my 360 breaking down... again. If you recall, last year I had a RRoD that cost me my 360 for around a month while it was in for repairs. Well, I've got another problem with it. This time, it's not any RRoD issues, but what I am getting are glitches and crashes whenever any XMA audio-file is played. Basically, whenever I play games like Bioshock or Burnout Revenge my system starts glitching out and will eventually crash.
Anyway, being without my 360 and unable to play FFXI has made me realize it was a good time to make a break... So I did.
So, I've mentioned before that I suffer from some sort of insomnia. It's been that way my entire life. Recently, I've been trying various medicines and things to help me sleep better. I said a couple of weeks back that I've tried various things like Ambien, Lunesta and herbal remedies like Kava. Nothing has worked.
My big problem isn't staying asleep, as is the case in a lot of insomniacs. Once asleep, I'm good. My problem is falling asleep. I fight sleep every step of the way so even the most harsh medicines are less than effective simply because I can overpower them with my will and desire to not sleep. This isn't a conscious decision or effort, it's not something I can control and I usually am not completely aware that I'm doing it.
Anyway, because I have also had a tendency towards medicines affecting me very strongly, especially in the form of side effects (for example, Paxil, Zoloft, etc. all gave me severe tremors and vicodin makes me severely "wonky"), and because medicines that do work for me usually work too well (resulting in me effectively losing the next day due to excessive grogginess) my doctor decided to have me try Sonata which had relatively few side effects and has a biological half life of about an hour (meaning it should be mostly out of my system by the next morning even if I do have bad reactions).
The problem? Sonata is expensive... and my insurance company didn't want to pay for it. Read on for more...
Just saw a trailer for the new straight-to-DVD schlock-fest Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! and all I can say is I can't wait for this bitch to be released. Strippers versus zombies? Who doesn't like that? Losers, that's who...
People who know me know that after my 8+ years of being a Vi/Vim user I left that world of arcane commands and time wasted on endless configuration tweaking to use editors that got the fuck out of my way and just let me focus on editing. Well, one of the editors I do tend to use a lot now is Nano. However, there's been barriers preventing me from using Nano "full-time" (e.g., on everything I edit from source code to configuration files). Because of these barriers I was only using Nano when I wasn't otherwise at a desktop (where I was just using Kate). Specifically, the barriers for general Nano usage were:
Lack of real undo/redo commands. Honestly, this problem is pretty universal among text-based editors, so it's more of a gripe than anything else. It's only slightly better in Vim and Emacs where they at least have crippled undo/redo commands. Yes I know you can get undo/redo-like behavior in Nano using other features, but that's not the point.
A lack of good syntax highlighting for languages I use frequently (like Python). If you search for Python syntax highlighting and Nano you get a lot of links that contain code similar to what you find here. The problem? Well whoever originally did that syntax code obviously doesn't code regularly in Python using Nano... because it's about as broken as it can be.
The first problem is one I just kind of have to wait until Nano upstream fixes (mainly because I don't have time to get up to speed on Nano dev and hack on it myself). It has an easy workaround, but it's still an annoyance.
The second problem, however, was something I could do something about, and, due to recent frustrations with Kate, I was finally spurned into starting a Nano Python syntax highlighting rewrite. more...
So last week my wife and I were lucky enough to find a Wii at a local video game store. We were already getting a lot of stuff, so we didn't actually get any games for it at the time. Thus, all we've been able to do with it is play the fun (if shallow) Wii Sports and goof around with the various free features of the Wii.
One of those features is the ability to create Miis. A Mii is a digital avatar you can create for use in various Wii games. For example, your Mii can be used in the Wii Sports games. When you box, you box with your Mii persona. If you have enough Miis defined, you can play the Wii Sports baseball game and all of your Miis will be on your team. Additionally, your Miis can leave your Wii and go out to visit other people's Wiis (so your little Mii can show up sometime in the future on someone else's Wii Sports baseball team). It's all pretty cool stuff.
Anyway, my wife and I proceeded to make our own Miis... and everything was good. At least, for a while...
I really dislike my insomnia. Technically, I'm not even sure if you can call it insomnia though.
For one, I just don't get tired. In spite of the Paul Simon reference for the title to this post, I don't feel "crapped out" and I certainly haven't yawned tonight/this-morning.
For another, whenever I try to lay down and rest that's when my brain really starts going. Laying there in the dark with the complete and total lack of stimuli my thoughts consume me. I think about projects I'm working on, try to solve problems I've encountered, even worry about sillythings.
So what do I do? Well, I try to read, but that never works. Even the most dry material is fascinating enough to keep me awake.
Other times I get up and play video games or watch TV, even though I know this will suppress melatonin production in my brain (which helps regulate the so called "biological clock") and make it even harder to sleep.
Sometimes I get so determined to have sleep that I take sleeping pills. I've tried everything from over the counter medicines like Unisom, to herbal remedies like Kava, to prescription drugs like Lunesta and Ambien. Nothing works. None of them make me the least bit sleepy, and most give me severe hang-overs the next day.
And some nights I just don't fight it. On nights like these I may start out in bed but then eventually get up after a few hours of laying there in the dark with my eyes wide open. When I get up I may play video games, read, or (as I did tonight) work on stuff. Tonight in particular I've been wrestling with Swarm and doing a fairly massive rewrite of clogged.
The logic of just not fighting it is that, eventually, you should just get tired and fall asleep naturally... At least, that's the aim.
But all that goes out the window when you glance at the clock and see that it's 4am and you're still going strong with no sign of exhaustion whatsoever. In 4 hours it will be 8am... and damnit if your body wont spring awake at 8am no matter how recently you fell asleep. I'm well aware of things like polyphasic sleep patterns, and the well documented cases of people (usually scientists or highly intelligent/creative peoples) operating on small periods of sleep per day. The problem is, I fret an awful lot about my lack of sleep and I worry that maybe it's doing me substantial harm.
Anyway... all of this ruminating on the topic of being wide awake at 4am reminded me of the following TED video:
So I've been reading the latest and final Harry Potter book (I'm a nerd, I think we've established that). At the time of this writing I'm around 50-80 pages from the end (I only stopped last night because I needed sleep). I'd wager if I didn't have work and family responsibilities I'd very likely be done with the book by now, seeing as how I've been devouring it.
Anyway, for those of you who haven't yet read it, or who may have just started, I have a great little drinking game for you...
Those of you who have talked to me in the last 4 months or so (or hang out in the FGIJ IRC channel) know I've had a little pet project that has been nagging me for a while. I actually started some of the preliminary work for this stuff a year or so ago, but was too busy to do much with it beyond theoretical garbage and test code. The project actually arises from general displeasure I've had over other issue/bug tracking systems out there.
It's late, and I'm entirely too tired to go into the details now (that will come later), but the basic gist of it is I'm working on a distributed/decentralized issue tracking system called "Swarm".
I normally wouldn't make a post concerning this without going into more detail, but I just got the Swarm site online and wanted to point it out. There you'll find links to the source code (which has been online for several weeks now, but would have been easily missed since I never referenced it anywhere :-) as well as how to subscribe to the mailing list.
New features: * support for symlinks * improved tag handling * improved merge handling of file and directory renames * improved named branch usability * numerous improvements to commands * generic pre- and post-command hooks * improved Windows support * basic BeOS and OpenVMS support * numerous bug fixes
New extensions and contributions: * extensions can now be specified in .hg/hgrc * new convert extension with CVS support * new graphlog extension * improved patchbomb extension * example FastCGI script
I really hate travel... especially air-travel... and especially air-travel these days. Air-travel always sucked: piling people into tiny little compartments like we're sardines, seats always made for people MUCH shorter than me, smashed against hairy soap-salesmen from Minnesota with bad body odor who want to spend the entire time in the air talking about how damned fucking interesting the soap business is.... BAH.
But then you add in the extra idiotic stupidity... I mean security measures, and air-travel goes from unbearable to downright hellish. You get frisked, scanned and sniffed (the latter is especially annoying as it is accompanied by a significant amount of "puffing" as the machine tries to dislodge particulates off of you).
So I'm here sitting in the airport, my trip really hasn't even begun yet, and I was just frisked and felt up by a smelly geriatric with the warmth and personality of a sterile metal operating table who has a penchant for discussion how damned great America is and how much he supports the troops and our President. My laptop case was run through and my laptop was powered up only to confuse the pig-faced little troll who had never seen GRUB before and had no idea what Linux was, only knowing that it was suspicious enough to detain me. Surely, with my luck, my razor will turn on in my checked luggage and it will be held by some golem luggage thrower thinking it's a bomb.
But all of that isn't the worst of my suffering, hell no. What's worse is that after all of that, I get to sit here, next to a fucking young couple with two fucking screaming girls who let their damned girls run all over the place screaming and giggling without telling them to "shut the fuck up you're disturbing people!"
Listen, dipshit, any sound that comes out of your child this side of a muffled breath is too much. To me, whether the sound is an estatic proclaimation of glee or the horror-shrieks of someone bleeding to death, it is the same thing when it emanates from the gullet of your prepubescent punk. I don't go all cooey and gaga over every utterance of your nescient neonate. In fact, the mere presence of your child in the room with me makes me all irritable and cranky.
And I get 8 hours of this shit today, with 4 hours of layovers. Fucking joy. more...
I've used TiddlyWiki in the past with things like the documentation for my ASAV Gateway that I've given in talks and presentations. However, I don't think I was ever really using it effectively before now.
In case you don't know, TiddlyWiki is this handy-dandy little Wiki that is entirely self-contained in a single HTML file. All of the Wiki-functionality it has is handled client side in your browser instead of server-side. This means that (unless you set up some complicated authentication system via web interface) all of your Wiki changes will be local only.
On the surface, this may not seem very useful, but that's only until you alter your perception of what a Wiki can be used for.