Don’t always be materially productive

This is something I ran into for a long period of my life. I recently started a friendship with someone and they expressed that they suffer the similar condition, so I wanted to share my experiences and how I got past it.

It comes down to work and not being able to spend time creating something, or writing something from scratch.

Whenever you have extra time, you’re always thinking about the other things you could be doing. Learning something new to further your career, working on some extra work to try to make more money, and so on.

I used to be really stuck in this loop. I had ideas for stories I wanted to write, or games I wanted to develop, but I couldn’t do it. Whenever I would maybe have the time to work on it, my brain would always be whispering, “You should be doing this other thing, or you should be learning this other thing. Writing stories is a waste of time. Developing games is just a waste of time.”

This is related, although it doesn’t seem like it. One time, my wife bought a canvas for me to paint. I’ve never painted on a canvas in my life up until this point. I decided to paint a science-y kind of picture, just a star field. I did this and it took about two hours, and I was happy with the results. I realized several months after that that during the creation of it, I had none of those whispers of self doubt in my head.

There is fundamentally no difference between painting a picture, or writing a story, or developing a game. I am a software developer, and the way I create is writing software. So, creating a game and working on that game is a form of art. Art doesn’t necessarily have to have a financial end, that’s not the point of art.

Once I realized this, I found out that I was able to work on small side projects that would in all likelihood not make any money. Whenever the whispers would start to happen in my mind, “You should be working on something that makes money”, etc, I could just remind myself that I am a human. It is important for me to make art.

If you have similar whispers, I encourage you to remember.. You are a human! Art is important, and your medium can be whatever you want it to be.

Library not found for -lssl error when trying to pip install things

Issues when trying to run pip install mysqlclient in OSX 10.12. I was getting:

ld: library not found for -lssl
clang: error: linker command failed with exit code 1 (use -v to see invocation)
error: command 'clang' failed with exit status 1

Steps to fix:

* brew uninstall mysql
* brew install mysql-connector-c
* brew unlink mysql-connector-c
* brew install mysql
* xcode-select --install
* env LDFLAGS="-I/usr/local/opt/openssl/include -L/usr/local/opt/openssl/lib"

I hope this helps someone else! 🙂

The Dishonor of Kaln

"Quickly, my Queen, we must away!"
the white-cloaked young Knight calls;
sounds of battle grow ever close
down grey stone-pillared halls.

"Protect my Love, and keep her safe"
ordered his Sovereign Lord.
Yet rash heart yearns to stand with King,
to wield unbloodied sword.

Red-robed Queen walks with hurried poise,
guards try to not show fear,
all stop and as one group they froze,
at unearthly scream quite near.

Swiftly they go through stone-arched gate,
towards stables where escape await.

Within stable, hearts fill with hope,
welcome scent of fresh straw.
As all make ready to depart,
Knights fervor does still gnaw.

Escape in sight, the Knight did speak,
"I must defend my King."
The Queen upon her horse looked down
and sadly touched her ring.

"If you must, you must."she quickly said
and spun around her steed.
With clear command, "Onward!" she spoke.
They rode away at speed.

Towards throne room and King, Knight does head,
Where glory, honor lie ahead.

Round last corner, young Knight turns,
into a ghastly scene.
Knights and guards litter the floor,
Of Throne room once serene.

Dark-armored figures press forward,
toward fearless sword-drawn King.
As Knight rushes towards desperate fight
Kings sword halts in mid-swing.

He shouts "You should have kept her safe!"
Face shows his trust betrayed.
Distracted thus, his heart is pierced
Ran through by black-swords blade.

The young Knight pales; what has he done?
Towards Queen and duty he doth run.

Footfalls echo in empty halls
as Knight retraces route.
With sword in hand, his keen eyes scan,
aware of foes about.

With caution peeks in stable door,
no enemies inside.
To Queens escape, southern moon gate.
Upon black steed he rides.

At silvery gate he leaps from horse,
the steed, in protest neighs.
He runs past bodies, broken spears.
In shock he stops, dismayed.

On road, Queens robe is torn in parts.
In tatters, matching Knight Kaln's heart.

How to get the final url after redirects

Sometimes, you have a link. And you want to save the actual, final url that link points to. A great example of this is trying to archive something on twitter. You’ll want to store final urls for ones that are tweeted, not their url shortened one.

Anyway, I wrote this really quick in PHP and it works!

$d['initial_url'] = '';
$ch = curl_init();
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $d['initial_url']);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_URL, $d['initial_url']);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_RETURNTRANSFER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_AUTOREFERER, 1);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_HEADER, 0);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_TIMEOUT, 50);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_MAXREDIRS, 10);
curl_setopt($ch, CURLOPT_FOLLOWLOCATION, 1);
$d['final_url'] = curl_getinfo($ch, CURLINFO_EFFECTIVE_URL);

This outputs:

    [initial_url] =>
    [final_url] =>