OpenVPN – Creating ovpn files

After doing so many “things” with OpenVPN and going through so many great tutorials over the years I’ve collected quite a few ways to get things up and going.

Creating users is usually the biggest pain, so for ease of getting up and going on Ubuntu using easy-rsa I just run this as root (sudo su):

Creating the iptables is covered a lot of other places but sometimes I find it easier to just have a gist for such things:

Sid Meier’s Starships – First Impressions

It was a happy coincidence that my vacation happened during the release of Sid Meier’s Starships. With a few games under my belt the initial reaction is summed up nicely as: that is one fun little game.

The turn based nature of the game gives it a go-and-wait feeling that would feel great on an iPad if it saves the state- sadly my current iPad is not up to specs to play so I was reduced to playing on my gaming rig. As it is on the computer the feel is fine- the only gripe I found myself having was actually do to with camera panning with the arrow keys; if that’s not minor I’m not sure what is.

Possibly the best overall aspect is the multiple win lanes- depending on how you feel like playing you can win the game differently. Though that did lead to a rather humorous point where I won a Wonder Victory while trying to go for dominance; on the turn I was going to assault the home world I bought a  wonder since it filled out a blind spot on my ships and instead it triggered a win. Whoops?

The core of the battle system feels like a board game of spaceships done right as a computer game. Many times it feels oddly translated but I could imagine this being an actual board game to compliment the digital game. This is much higher praise than the simple two sentences would make it seem.

Overall, a great game and well worth the cost!

Comic Pull List – 2015 Start

Not a lot has changed from last year. Though I did drop all of the Hulk books since they got a little “meh” as time went on. New Warriors from Marvel came and went, it was a good little series I’m sad to see it go. These are all down from my monthly high in 2012; now I get less on a week to week basis, but I’ve been supplementing with more trades. As I make new storage options for the books I may go back up and get more of the “indie” stuff now that most of the IDW, Boom!, etc stuff I was reading ended.


  • Batman
  • Batman & Robin
  • Batman: Detective Comics
  • Batman: Eternal
  • The Flash
  • Grayson
  • Future’s End
  • Deathstroke
  • Batgirl (Trades)


  • X-Force
  • Amazing Spider-Man
  • Hawkeye (Trades)
  • Moon Knight (on the cusp…I miss Declan)


  • Transformers
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Gaming Backlog: Take 2

I’m not going to replace anything since I’m still working on the last one. I will be adding to it though!

  • Pokemon Omega Ruby
  • Pokemon Alpha Sapphire
  • Wasteland 2
  • World of WarCraft – 10th Anniversary Achievements (Complete 2015-01-02)
  • Marvel Heroes – Prestige back to 60 & 3 Geared Characters
  • Xenoblade
  • Mario Kart 8
  • New Super Luigi U
  • New Super Mario Bros U
  • LEGO Batman 3
  • LEGO Marvel Superheroes
  • Defense Grid 2 (complete 2015-03-09)
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Civilization: Beyond Earth – Complete Achievements (complete 2015-02-20)
  • Planetary Annihilation
  • Space Run
  • Magika Expansions
  • Transistor

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=
echo '' >> .buildpacks
echo '' >> .buildpacks
git add .buildpacks
git commit -m 'Added multi-buildpack nginx and python'


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.


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