OS X Mavericks and PyLibMC

https://gist.github.com/tekton/9943256


brew install libmemcached
easy_install pip
pip install virtualenv
virtualenv VENV
source VENV/bin/activate
export CFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
export CPPFLAGS=-Qunused-arguments
pip install pylibmc

Comics Pull List in 2014

Remapping my comics pull list after catching up on most stories. May switch to digital for some of them, but I prefer supporting my local comic book shop as it were.

There’s a chance I’ll be dropping Justice League, but the Lex/Batman dynamic is entertaining for now. The only confirmed so far from the big two are Detective, The Flash, New Warriors, and X-Force; Daredevil, Batman, and Captain Midnight will probably make the list. All Transformers and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are on the list already, too.

I’m still not sure how I feel about Spider-Man; even with Peter coming back I’m not sure if it will stay in my pull list. I will probably give it the first 6 issues again to see if I like it enough to stick with it. Same with Ms. Marvel and Red Hood.

Aside form the pull list there’s a few I get as trades: Hawkeye, Gambit, and World’s Finest.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Ending

DS9 is probably my favorite Star Trek show; I really wish they had done at least one movie with that crew. I recently re-watched the ending and, I know this will cause some to declare heretic, it’s probably the best done ending of all the shows. The next closest is TNG, and that’s something to think about for another article, but it only wrapped up one story line I feel while DS9 wrapped up pretty much every major story line or left them in a place that made sense- except Jake, but they seemed to abandon that character early on early. Back to the ending, the villains introduced in the beginning are swiftly and completely dealt with, there’s no ambiguity as to their fates at this point. O’Brian starts a new chapter, Worf has a real send off, Ezri and Julian are left together, and Quark is the last real Ferengi in the Alpha Quadrant- just the way that things had been building up. Odo and Kira finish their relationship in the best way it could have ended, and the Station keeps spinning- alone and yet surrounded.

In normal tradition there’s so many other things to go over but I’m stopping it there. Every new beginning comes from some other beginnings end, and this one was good on both counts.

2013 :: Year in Review

2013 was an interesting year. My wife and I had a lot of good and some not so good things go on; she got full time at her job, my company moved to Irvine, I got injured and had back surgery, and we adopted a horse.

The move from LA to Irvine has been great for pretty much every part of my life and health (apparently even though I grew up there I’m not used to the smog and pollution concentrations in LA anymore). While I’ve had more time for a lot of things like being home, games, side projects, etc I seem to have lost as much time and drive for writing. Part of this is due to helping write code and documentation at work since moving on to being Director instead of just lead engineer. My goal at the beginning of 2013 was to write something every day- writing is a hobby that I quite enjoy. While I was taking a train every day it was easy to set aside time for writing every day; about 45 minutes as a matter of fact! February brought some really hectic times at work and then March brought moving the development team to Irvine and my promotion which combined took out the time I had previously used to write a lot. I still have about 14 things in variously edited stages that I’d like to get out at some points: ranging from Aaron Swartz to Pokemon games to project management tips and tricks to programming articles.

Possibly the biggest impact on my year was back surgery: L5 disc exploded while sprinting. One of the best surgeons on the west coast did my surgery; it went well and I’ve been healing pretty well. Even with how quick my recovery as been it’s still been a recovery from major surgery. It’s meant not doing a lot of activities, changing sleep schedules, not working out for a few months, and a lot of lingering pain. This process has made me start to wonder how long my disc had been slipping or had broken and I just didn’t notice- it’s very possibly it happened in high school. On the plus side I’ve learned a lot about how to take care of myself and started making even more strides to living healthier.

This coming year will have a lot more scheduling issues with the addition of a horse to the family and new hobbies like wood working. Taking it all one day at a time and working to live by James 4 more:

Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit”- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, “If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” – James 4:13-15 ESV

heroku, nginx, Python, Gunicorn, and Django

I just had to do this for a project at work and realized there wasn’t a lot of good direction out there for how to do it; here’s a minimal approach to getting you working with nginx in front of django requests via gunicorn. Most of the work is really done by ryandotsmith, this is just for Python instead of Ruby.

Buildpack directions

heroku config:set BUILDPACK_URL=https://github.com/ddollar/heroku-buildpack-multi.git
echo 'https://github.com/ryandotsmith/nginx-buildpack.git' >> .buildpacks
echo 'https://codon-buildpacks.s3.amazonaws.com/buildpacks/heroku/python.tgz' >> .buildpacks
git add .buildpacks
git commit -m 'Added multi-buildpack nginx and python'

gunicorn.conf

import multiprocessing

def pre_fork(server, worker):
    f = '/tmp/app-initialized'
    open(f, 'w').close()

bind = 'unix:///tmp/nginx.socket'
workers = multiprocessing.cpu_count() * 2 + 1

Since New Relic has a free tier, and it’s so easy to use, I’m adding it here, too.

Procfile

web: bin/start-nginx newrelic-admin run-program gunicorn -c gunicorn.conf AppName.wsgi:application

I’m not dead yet…

Not dead yet, just debating on what I want to write on and/or do; plus a really busy work schedule.

I am coming up on one year of trying to get in better shape spiritually, emotionally, mentally, and physically. So far I feel partially successful at all of them, but not really high on any of them or really low (which may be the bigger accomplishment!), Maybe I will find some time between overtime and performances to catch up on the backlog of blog ideas that I have; especially the ones based on notes from re:Invent and programming things I’ve been thinking about recently.

FTL: Fastest To Lose?

FTL has a cool RNG based nature; it’s also its downfall I feel. Many people have been playing, streaming, praising, and damning this game for months. I finished it a few months ago but forgot to note it, so I picked it up again while recovering from surgery. Easy went down fast, it’s amazing how much those asteroid fields help with shield! At that point, around 2am, it was time to start Normal. 2am, on recovery drugs, stuck on my back, starting Normal FTL. What could go  be better and less frustrating? Knowing the pain I was getting myself in to really just made it more hilarious; had to keep quiet a few times to not wake up my wife from laughter at how ridiculous things were. After a few false starts I got through it again at about 4am blissfully happy to have had something to keep my attention off the pain for two hours. Thanks FTL!

Scribblenauts Limited

The original Scribblenauts was amazing; couldn’t put it down! I had decent hopes for Unlimited, but knew better than tot expect the same game with new levels even if its what I really wanted. What I ended up staring at on load wasn’t what I was expecting at all though. Instead of “levels” it was small issues to deal with everywhere on the map. While I understand the idea they were going for it was rather jarring and detracted from the general sense of accomplishment the previous game had. No longer could it be the game I picked up for 90 seconds between compiles, or the game in the background I tabbed to on occasion; now it was something with a very real time commitment. Which brings me to the (oddly) limiting factor: there’s too many things to do all at once. What sounds like a great idea ends up being such a distraction that I wasn’t fully able to enjoy the game. Thats said, the increased dictionary and larger scale of what you can do once you get over the screen shock is pretty awesome. So if you have the time, and the patience, check it out.

And yet it moves…boringly…

I got through “And Yet It Moves…” (AYIM) while I’ve been stuck unable to move post surgery. The game starts pretty creative, but the novelty wears off pretty quick. Unlike Portal which changes things up and keeps you in with the narrative AYIM just gets more and more convoluted with every passing level. I don’t know why but I just couldn’t quite get in to this game; I know a lot of people that love it and I’m glad they do, it takes these types of games to keep the industry fresh and moving! Will I play again? Probably not. Do I think everyone should at least check it out if they have the chance? Yes.