My Best Friend’s Death

A person really close to me died in November 2012. His name was Jim and he was the closest thing I had to a dad.

We met in 2001 at an internet cafe; I was a 15yo nerd going there for cheap and late night internet access and he went there for conducting business and training people to fight. I eventually started joining in on the fighting lessons. The internet cafe burned down not too long after that so Jim and I started going to a boxing gym every Sunday for years.

The usual pattern – meet around 7am on a Sunday at a cafe he ran. I worked as a prep cook and got the place up for the week while he did adult things like counting money. After that we’d walk for 30 minutes to the gym and beat the shit out of each other. He taught me to box and fight in a Greco Roman style we nicknamed “hug and slug” due to the close nature of the style.

He is the reason I love classical music, hold defense of others as a core value, and developed my self of self worth and respect. He taught me how to drive a car. He was constantly telling me Army Ranger stories from his time in the service, and was a large influence in why I decided to choose the Army after high school.

I left for the Army in mid-2003 and stayed in contact with him, visiting him when I was home every year or so.  I eventually got out of the active service in 2010 and settled in California. Jim, with his now-family, was up in Seattle and finally made the move to Southern California in 2010ish. We made time to hang out once a quarter or so, but nothing along the lines of the previous frequency; he had a family and I was busy was school.

I was in Georgia when I got the news that he fell ill. He was boogie-boarding in San Diego and must have got some contaminated water up his sinuses, because he was in the hospital within 2 days in critical condition.

I spoke with him the day before he went to the hospital and he was complaining about sinus pain. I got a call the next day from his wife, asking me if I wanted to say any last words to him because he was in a coma and doctors were not hopeful he would recover. I don’t remember my exact words, and I got to speak to him for about 2 minutes when his wife asked me if I was done because I was talking quietly. I remember feeling numb the rest of the day. I was not able to attend his funeral because he was not legal family.

The one thing that sticks out to me the most about his death in relation to my emotion is the jim_moolack of emotion I feel I express compared to what I’ve seen other people express in similar situations. I remember briefly crying about his death but I think I was trying to cry about it because I thought I was supposed to; I remember thinking how strange it was that I was not more upset (to say the least).

The only physical things I really have left of him are this video I made in 2004ish, this comment he left on one of my math posts, a Citizen watch he gifted me before I left for the service, and a Seahawks cap.

I don’t think I ever really sat down and thought about all the ways he affected my life. I really miss him a lot.

Questioning Emotional Reactions

I was encouraged to start writing about my emotions as a means to facilitate my emotional expression regarding loss and grief. I’ve never kept a journal nor really taken the time to really think about how I feel about certain things, and I think this is going to be beneficial exercise.

Starting to do the above was actually the motivator to moving my site to a new host, which was quite a bit of fun and will save me about 120 a year on hosting fees, so a plus on multiple levels.

I’m going to tag posts related to this subject with ‘therapy’ so they’re easily searchable (or avoidable).

move to a new domain complete

Decided to stop paying so much for a shared hosting solution and do something a little funner and harder. So .. welcome to the new host! Glad I did it because I got exposed to security hardening, dns configuration, ssl certificates, and other hosting-related things.

Next goal is to set up a simple mail server to replace the functionality from the previous host. That isn’t really up yet, but it will be as soon as I figure that out.

That’s pretty much it for now.

1994 Honda Civic Brake Light Won’t Turn Off

If a car you are working on is experiencing a symptom where the brake lights won’t turn off, one possible issue could be the brake switch. It is located on the brake pedal. Inspect it for missing parts, such as the nipple not sitting properly in the groove or is completely missing.

If it is not seated properly, you’ll notice a depressed switch which the brake pedal would normally press. Fix that part. I repaired it using a bolt with two nuts, one on either side of the part of the metal used to mount the nipple item.

Information for this post was gathered from a post. I’m writing this to archive the data in case that forums data is lost, as years-old posts tend to become. Hope this helps somebody.

Raspberry Pi headless setup

If you’re banging your head on your keyboard because your Raspberry Pi is pingable but connecting via ssh gives you “Connection Refused” errors, read on.

Buried in an hour of frustration was this post on stackexchange:

All you need is to place an empty file named ‘ssh’ onto the boot (FAT) partition of your SD card (no need to mount ext3). Tested with 2016-11-25-raspbian-jessie-lite.img.


Tested this with RASPBIAN JESSIE LITE/Pixel release 2017-04-10. Hope this helps someone save some time.

Some Opening Principles and Chess Strategies

Quick List of Chess Strategies:
*  Avoid Moving a Chess Piece Twice During the Opening is a good chess strategy.
*  It is Better Chess Strategy to Develop the Knights before Their Respective Bishops.
*  A good chess strategy is to Develop Both Knights before the Queen or Bishop.
*  A good chess strategy is Do Not Develop your Chess Pieces Exclusively on One Side.
*  A good chess strategy is as a Rule Do Not Play a Piece beyond Your Own Side of the Board in the Opening.
*  A good chess strategy is if You Have Castled Do Not Permit the Opponent to Open a File on Your King.
*  A good chess strategy is to Avoid Pinning the Opponent’s King’s Knight before He has Castled, Especially When You Have Yourself  Castled on the Kingside.
*  A good chess strategy is to Avoid Making Exchanges which Develop Another Piece for the Opponent.
*  A good chess strategy is to Avoid Exchanging Bishops for Knights Early in the Game.
*  A good chess strategy is to Avoid Premature Attacks.

Continue reading “Some Opening Principles and Chess Strategies”

Python: write a function to create an image of a circle

I’m having a lot of difficulty figuring out the logic behind assignment 6.3.

I’m attempting to visualize the solution as a grid. I generate a list within a list to contain the information I will later use to code an image.
For example, if the radius is 3, the off states would look like this:
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0]

With the intention of turning on the corresponding pixels to the circle function I am to create:
[0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0] 
[0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0]
[0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0]
[1, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0, 1]
[0, 1, 0, 0, 0, 1, 0]
[0, 0, 1, 0, 1, 0, 0]
[0, 0, 0, 1, 0, 0, 0]

Obviously, a radius 3 circle is not going to look very defined, this was just a demonstration. I then intend to parse through each row and use the setPixel() function to activate the pixel in an EmptyImage object.

My trouble is figuring out how to get my function to encode the map of pixels..

I think I am doing this in a much more complicated manner than intended. Any advice?

Code thus far:

from cImage import *
from math import pi

radius   = 3
diameter = radius*2
pixel = Pixel(80,80,80)  # grey pixel

column    = []
for i in range(0, diameter+1): #allow for an odd number of columns


map = []
for i in range(0, diameter+1): #allow for an odd number of columns


for i in map:

# All this spits out is the circumference, stuck here.
def myCircle(thisRadius):
circumference = 2 * pi * thisRadius
return int(circumference)


#win    = ImageWin(“circ”, diameter, diameter)
#cirImg = EmptyImage(diameter, diameter)

Revert Spotify to Pre-latest Update and Prevent Upgrade [Windows]

If you don’t like how the latest Spotify update works, I’ve searched about the internet and found a method to upgrade down to version 0.9.7… and to also prevent automatic upgrades. This works for Windows.

  1. Download the old version you wish to use. I found this to be a great source:  linky
  2. Install that version, and exit Spotify when it auto loads.

Next, follow these instructions (found at linky):

  1. Go to C:/Users/<Name>/Appdata/Roaming/Spotify
  2. Make a new empty text file
  3. Name it Spotify_new.exe
  4. Right click the file and make the file read only
  5. Make a new empty text file
  6. Name it Spotify_new.exe.sig
  7. Right click the file and make the file read only

That’s it. Enjoy the radio functionality and other features for which you pay [one way or another.]