Burning down the house

(Watch out)

So many drafts, some stories and pictures from the last PyCon at Bahía Blanca.

I was happily hacking on the kitchen the other Saturday when I hear a strange noise coming from the garden.

To my dismal surprise I see that the shed is on fire and part of the roof collapsed. I went in to take out a propane can to avoid an impending catastrophe and called the firemen (lucky us, they are a few blocks away).

We lost the roof, tools, vinyls and books on an adjacent room but nothing that can’t be replaced. Still fuck.

Some pictures of PyCon at flickr (not mine) https://www.flickr.com/photos/70871182@N04/sets/72157677377824525

Always look on the bright side of life.

(scheduled to be auto published on June 1st. Probably I’m not around yet)

A lot happened these months.

Earlier this year I was officially stamped as being depressed. The downhill started before but I just snapped around mid January.

I used to live and breath by technology (well I still do but to a less extent), but lately I lost all joy and pride on what I was doing. Standing in front of my computer gave rise to a paralyzing anxiety. I knew exactly what to type, either because it was plain simple or I wrote it before on my notepad on the park, but the mere act of getting to the action part wasn’t working for me. I also spent way too much time doing crappy stuff for others on it, missing on my friendships, health, family and time for myself.

I also have a bad habit of not saying no. Saying yes it’s a different matter, but the net result was a very unhealthy overcommitting.

In a very bold move I decided to cut everything, no halfsies. I stopped answering the phone, every non urgent mail (if it wasn’t something urgent it’s still there, I’ll get back to you. Promise), all the social channels.

I let down a lot of people on the way but it let me really focus on what I care about.

It also gave me a bit of peace, I’m still crippled but not like before. During the last years I did all I could to build procedures, tools, documentation in order to be non essential. The bus factor on many of the things I’m involved with it’s still high but at least I don’t have that much pressure over my shoulders.

I disappeared into a black hole, things didn’t broke (well, most of them) and people somehow got around my absence. Being non essential is great, that feeling of freedom is quite good.

Today it’s June 1st and I am officially back online. I wrote a lot of stuff in this period, I don’t think I’ll ever publish most of that, while being technically correct the form reminds me of emo cries from the 90’s.

Why do I even bother…

I tell you it’s for your own good people but no, you keep doing the same horrible things.

While bisecting a nasty bug I land into a monster commit:


$ git show --stat THE_COMMIT_HASH
commit 123456789A04a0d558749337badc0de9deadbeef
Author: root
Date: Tue Aug 4 09:10:16 2015 -0300

THE PROJECT NAME.-THE AUTHOR HANDLE
(files changed...)
38 files changed, 865 insertions(+), 657 deletions(-)

And this is one of the smaller ones. It updates vendor libraries, adds middlewares to our api, changes the authentication scheme and does some touch ups to the web frontend. I couldn’t care less that it was committed as root but the log message is murder to my eyes.

How hard is to understand that doing this is bad for everyone? It’s very easy to do this instead of making a couple of extra commits but when things break you come crying asking me to fix them and instead of being a simple task I have to sift through mountains of unrelated stuff.

You are more than welcome.

Jinxed

Yesterday I cheered because I had to wait about 15 minutes instead of the typical 40 – 60 for the privilege to board a bus home, if you can call that dirty rotten wheeled can a bus. The fare is about 10 times the one of the train or its replacement buses, the units are gross and very poor maintained but their seats don’t murder my back as much as the others do. So I suck it up.

Just as we were exiting the highway and before entering into the city the engine stops with noises that lead one to believe it either run out of fuel or some air got into the diesel lines. For all I care it could be both.

Fuck.

Shelling out.

I was re-reading (again, I forgot how many times) one of my favourites writings of Scalzi, “Being Poor”.

It opens with the line “Being poor is knowing exactly how much everything costs“.

A couple of months ago I changed my phone for a new one. I’ve switched from a flip-phone (a Sony R306) to a Motorola MotoG. On the way I lost five days of runtime on a single charge and that peace of mind that I can bump it into everything without caring that much or that I can leave it unattended on a table and no one will part with it (and also the AM radio).

On the other paw, it is developer friendly, has a ton of shiny and distracting things and syncs without a hitch.

Back again to what made me think of it.
It is advertised as a cheap entry level phone and it kind of is on other countries. At the exchange rate and taxes back then I paid a fair price compared to what it would cost had I bought it on an foreign shop.

However, it is not (at least to me) worth what it costed if I only wanted a phone to IM and talk instead of a development tool. It was more or less the same amount of money that I spend on three months of food. Many people earn less than that sweating blood on never ending days.

On a few minutes I traded money worth three months of food for a device that fits in my palm. It was an investment that paid for itself in a few weeks but I still feel quite strange.

Jinxed.

So, my car sort of appeared.

Without its five tyres, the stereo and speakers, (ok, a cheap one but enough to listen some music), the ashtray and cigarette lighter. Among other things were missing some clothes (a hoodie I really liked and spares for a couple of days), a mix-cd one of my best friends made for me and a cheap spray of vanilla with a touch of chocolate. At one point the ceiling was dismantled because now it feels quite loose. Someone cleared the odometer and made about 100Km after that. Someone else decided that it was funny to cut the drivers seat belt. Oddly enough, the fire extinguisher and the jack were spared.

It was also filled with ashes. That brought back memories of a past I thought long forgotten. No matter how many cans of disinfectant I used or how hard I scrub I still felt dirty, dirty deep inside me. Like it was written with fire on my soul.

I also wrote ‘bribes’ for the first time on my accounting books.

On top of that my laptops power brick died but it was just a matter of a quick splice near the strain relief.

Yay.

Things are looking different today…

Clearly I’m a glutton for punishment.

Today I decided that I can’t have enough and it was time to upgrade my distro so I can play with newer things (and also because google was nagging me to use an updated browser).

I did a dist-upgrade and that not only completed without a hitch but I also had a bit more of free space afterwards. Previously I hammered the thing and then just gave up all hope.

I’m starting to like this new future were things work like they should.

Now that I jinxed it I went full steam with a do-release-upgrade. It is downloading 3277 files at the blazing speed of 20 kB/s.

Let’s see if I still have a working machine by monday.

Things I hate this month.

Printers and insurance companies.

So, it happened that I needed to print something at the last moment and the printer refuses telling me that it is out of toner. The funny thing is that it ‘knows’ this just by counting the amount of pages printed and I can certainly tell it is not true, as it still feels quite heavy. But, if I command it to print a self test page it cheerfully goes on. I am just one bit flip away of using it but no time to play with its innards.

Almost two months after I was rearbumped both insurance companies (Copan and Federación Patronal. I despise you.) play dumb and try to put the blame on each other. And I am getting increasingly impatient and angry.

Meanwhile, our car is still wrecked. I’m just going to fix the lock on the trunk so it closes properly again. Lately I was thinking on selling it and buy something more family-friendly (and comfortable) and performing all the needed repairs costs way more than what the increase on the sale price can be. I don’t really care what the broken windows theory says about it.

Shafted.

A wonderful rainy night of July I stop as the semaphore turns red. The car behind doesn’t and stomps on my back. So does the one behind it. I file complaints against both insurance companies. After a month and a half both decide that it is not their responsibility and start playing games. Meanwhile the back of my car is still trashed.

So, Copan and Federacion Patronal, even thou you treated me well when doing all sorts of boring paperwork at your premises, I do not like you. Not a single bit.

Ayer me olvidé una zapatilla en tu casa…

… no sé qué pasa .

Most of the times I sleep at someone else’s place I forget something, like a sock or a handkerchief. Some do that on purpose to have an excuse for coming back but I’m a different kind of creep. I’m just Clumsy.

Last weekend I forgot an Ankh Cross.

It’s been a while since I had time to make something, take pictures and write about it so I’ll just post some old ones from the making of said cross. The rest can be found at flickr.

Ankh made out of scrap aluminum from a hard disk

Title courtesy of Mostruo! – Tu culpa

The root of all evil.

I just love when I forget to add ‘volatile’ and the compiler happily optimizes away a chunk of code.

After staring for a while at the screen trying to figure out why it doesn’t work as expected I went for a quick nap. When I got back I noticed several warnings about it that were invisible to my eyes before.

Installing Flumotion on Debian Jessie.

Being on the edge sometimes hurts.

I grabbed https://github.com/inaes-tic/flumotion and https://github.com/inaes-tic/flumotion-ugly

just to be greeted with

AttributeError: 'EPollReactor' object has no attribute 'listenWith'

Instead of force-installing an older (<=11) python-twisted I fetched http://twistedmatrix.com/Releases/Twisted/11.1/Twisted-11.1.0.tar.bz2 and http://twistedmatrix.com/Releases/Web/11.1/TwistedWeb-11.1.0.tar.bz2.

Uncompressed, did python setup.py build && python setup.py install.

And the thing worked.