Tuesday, October 6, 2015

[fiction] Darkside

Tell me what I'm supposed to do
With so much lost over loose ends and you
You don't know

And tell me how I'm supposed to fill
Our journey's nightmare butcher's bill
Cause you don't know

And I don't think you see the ghosts that trail me from the work undone
And I don't think you can stomach justice dispatched from a gun
And I don't know how to escape the web that gold and lies have spun
You can't solve it while we're on the run

So leave me at the dark side
Alone and free's the only way to fly
So leave me at the dark side
Alone and free's the only way to fly

And I don't think you see the ghosts that trail me from the work undone
And I can't go far enough to lose their interest in the long run
You can't solve it while we're on the run

So leave me at the dark side
Alone and free's the only way to fly
So leave me at the dark side
Alone and free's the only way to fly

And I don't think you see the ghosts that trail me from the work undone
And I don't think you can give up your old life under the sun
You can't solve it while we're on the run
So grab you're gear and run

Friday, October 2, 2015

The Home Gym Option

The backstory:  I'm pretty fucking skinny.  In high school ...blah blah blah girls.

So why a home gym?  According to everything I've read and heard from people who know how to lift, there are really only 4 or 5 lifts you need to do.  Thats the good news.  The bad news is that they are full body lifts that require power racks and you can't use gym machines.  Also these lifts are typically done by the real weightlifters who grunt too much and scare off the good customers who just screw around on the machines a little and buy $10 smoothies.  If you're lucky, a gym might have 4 power racks and they'll always be busy.

Anyway, this point is, this time, I'm going to go all in.  So the home gym option should remove ALL the obstacles.  No travel time.  No shower/locker room bullshit.  No getting judged by planet fitness assholes who will call me a lunk.  The living room is open 24/7.  And the rack will always be available.

This plan has actually been brewing for months;  the opportunity for having a power rack in the living room was a major reason I moved in with this roommate.  The only reason for this post is to remember all the shit I need to buy.  So.  Here is the home gym option.

  • Power rack - $429
  • Power bar - $318
  • Plates - (one each X  [2.5, 45]) - $304
    • actually roomate suggested 4 plates of 2.5, 5, 10, 20, and then 4 of 45
  • Weight Rack - $41
  • Bench - have one from high school
Stuff we're not sure about:
  • gym mat -- probably not for under the rack - $105 x 2
  • plywood - IDK how much - $200 ?
  • carpet - ?

The bonus is we can put my video projector on top of the power rack.

Total:  $1502.

In conclusion, and I just want to make sure I start saying this while I'm still not "ripped" or a "meathead" or whatever --  fuck Planet Fitness and everyone who tolerates those shit heads.

Actually this isn't going to happen right away; we have to figure out how to do all this.  My roomate is pretty concerned about the floor, and rightly so.  Hopefully maybe we'll have this set up by end of Oct.  Maybe.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Building on Quicksand

When do you think it is appropriate to push for changes to the core feature set?

A certain other founder thinks that the appropriate time is during the final test pass.

And now we're talking about it.  A lot.

I hate this project.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pot Bags

While looking at my pots and thinking about what a pain in the ass it would be to wrap them in bubble wrap or whatever and then make them fit awkwardly in a big box, I started to wonder if it would be more efficient via both time and space if I had a custom shipping canvas/bag for each pot.

Here is a blurry picture of my favorite pot that I used to use when I had an adequately sized kitchen connected to a gas company that didn't demand to see a copy of my fucking lease:

Mmmmmmm Top Ramen.

After spending 2 - 5 minutes searching Amazon for pot bags, I decided that I was the only person in the universe that wanted a custom-fitted travel bag for each pot that I own.

I set out to make one, and made a prototype with printer paper and tape.  Then I looked at it and briefly wondered how I could possibly still be single.  The prototype turned out ok, but it was clear that with whatever design I used, keeping the bag closed would require a latch of some sort, and it had to be something other than tape, because I was planning to use tape to connect the pieces of fabric, because I don't know how to sew.

Fun fact:  one of the salsa girls I knew in Philly was a badass fashion major and made me a trumpet case that strapped onto my back like a guitar so I could ride with it on my sportbike to the alumni concert.  Since the Trumpet is the greatest and best instrument in the universe, and since motorcycles are the awesomest mode of terrestrial transportation, I was unbelievably cool.  Sadly she stopped dancing and became married and boring years ago.  I miss her.


So I didn't really know what material I should use, but I figured that since "moving blankets" are what people use for moving, I couldn't go wrong.  For closing the bag, I decided on velcro, because that seemed like the least amount of work.  I happened to have some black duct tape to connect the pieces of fabric, which is awesome.  Add a pair of scissors and you're good to go:

That's the "moving blanket" in the top right.  Top left is a huge strip of velcro that was neatly rolled up before I got to it.

So then I sat down and set out to actually make the pot bag.  I had an idea for a design that would be better than the prototype, but I really didn't feel like making another prototype.  Or really putting much effort into it at all.  So I just kinda put the pot on the moving blanket and cut the shit out of the blanket, and taped it with the duct tape, and then slapped the velcro on it.  Here is a blurry picture of the final bag:

It has um...I don't feel like describing it.  So it looks like shit, but I'm actually pretty happy with how it turned out.  I think it will do an adequate job of protecting the pot and protecting other shit from the pot.  Here is a picture of the pot in the bag:

So the handle is sticking out, obviously.  I couldn't figure out a way to deal with it without doing a lot more work.

I made a second pot bag for another pot, and that one looked even shittier because my patience was running out.  Then I gave up and just used packing paper / bubble wrap on the rest.  They all went into the same moving box.  So I don't really know what I accomplished here.  I guess if I move like 5 more times, I will have broken even, you know, as far as the time it took to make the bags vis a vis the difference in packing times with and without the bag.

Even if it doesn't save time overall, though, I do believe that anything you can do to shorten packing time is actually extra valuable, because packing time has a huge impact on how easily a move will go.  In fact if I can ever force myself to finish making these for all of my pots and other large cooking shit, I could probably cut the packing time for those items in half, or more.

Glassware and dishes and shit are another story.  I might just get rid of them.  For some reason I only have one large plate left anyway, and I can't remember the last time I used it.  Shot glasses are a huge pain in the ass.  It takes a ridiculous amount of time to roll them in bubble wrap.  I'm thinking maybe of getting foam, and cutting shot glass shapes in the foam.  Maybe in a suitcase.  It would be like one of those assassin's gun briefcases from the movies, except instead of a rifle and clips, this suitcase would hold a bottle of captain and shot glasses.  Man that would be cool.

p.s. If you found this post because you're a narcotics officer and it contains the words "pot bags" please go fuck yourself.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

On Hoarding

Dragon's guide to Do I Really Need This?

If I throw this away, will I need to buy another one?  If the answer is yes, then maybe don't throw it away.  Unless it takes up a lot of room and costs like a dollar.

Have I even used this once the whole time I lived in this apartment?  Infrequent use can be a strong clue that maybe you don't actually need it.

It is still packed in the same fucking bubble wrap from the last time I moved?  Seriously.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

The Climb

I managed to get two large tasks done yesterday.  Well, one large task and one medium task.  Well...one large task and most of a medium task.

The move is looming.  It will be consuming more and more mental resources, and time.  I really with I had access to a woodshop;  I want to design custom shelves where each shelf is basically a separate trunk  that stacks on top of one another.  That way all you have to do it unstack them and put the lids on them, which is a lot faster than moving objects off of the shelves and into boxes and moving the boxes and the shelves.  The key here is, I think, to make the lids have the same locking patters as the shelves themselves, so when in shelf mode the lids can be stacked in between the shelves they belong to.  Unfortunately my power tool experience is limited to a standard drill, a dremel, and a chainsaw.

If I had time maybe I could at least 3d print a prototype.  Oh and obviously there would have to be a locking mechanism with the lids.

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Damage Control

Two Steps Forward

I did manage to accomplish an enormous amount of work Thursday and Friday morning.  Took a huge chunk out of the remaining list.  It is still very doubtful that we could launch by end of Sept, but I did an amazing job of closing the gap.  Mostly it happened because I wrote a bunch of tasks down on a whiteboard, drew lines between them...and then just sort of sent myself loose in the code and worked on all of them at the same time.  Not the sort of trick I can do in my day job, but I'll keep it in my back pocket.

Two Steps Back

Unfortunately I then discovered that the HTTPS cert that I'm paying for doesnt work on older android phones, so I'm fucked.  That alone could cost me an entire day.  Or more.  The only way to fix this without a lot of work is to convince the service I paid to sign with an older cert.

I Told You So

We've had a legal problem brewing for a year.  One of the other founders really liked this person that I'll call Sheila (after the Tank in Red vs Blue).  The founder thinks Sheila is a big deal in the industry.  To us she would be a marketing person.  I don't have the ability to verify how big of a deal she is.  I do know that a year ago Sheila thought her marketing impact would be too big to measure.  She wouldn't accept anything based on commissions because the people she told were going to tell other people.  She expected a cut of the profits.  We started working with her without anything in writing.

I've been telling this other founder that this is a major problem, but the other founder didn't believe me.

Fast forward to recently...this other founder and Sheila have sort of been working on some marketing shit where Sheila promotes us.  Nothing really explicit in writing of course.  And then Sheila went off and started this campaign offering our potential customers 6 months free.  Without really getting our consent first.  Fun fact:  we currently cannot offer 6 months free.  Implementing a coupon code system would take up valuable time that should be spent on thinks like getting SSL working, preventing injection attacks, preemptive database fixes, devices testing, adjusting the layouts for small screens...

So.  After all of us getting on a call, it turns out the damage is done.  The unauthorized promotion ran to its end.  Fortunately, even though a "huge" amount of people (5 or 6) showed some interest, no one has tried to take up the offer.  Because of the way it was structured, we will be in the clear in a few days.  Our official plan is to just hope that no one takes the 6-months-free deal, and if that falls through, I am in charge of dealing with it.

On the bright side, Sheila agreed to stop doing anything for us unless we have something in writing.  So that is a huge win.

Also this other founder feels bad for ignoring me for so long when it turns out they were so incredibly wrong.  Sadly mere vindication does not exactly make it any easier to implement a coupon code system from scratch.

Aaaaand now this other founder is bitching at me because I didn't sound friendly enough on the call with Sheila;  apparently I sounded like I was annoyed about something....