Steven Universe

Ninth consecutive post.

I watched several more episodes of Steven Universe yesterday. I would like to take this opportunity to recommend this show to… pretty much everyone. It’s one of those shows that looks like it’s for kids, and would probably be very good for kids to watch, but also addresses a lot of big important things that grown-ups need to think about more often too. It really is a show for all ages. I think I’m only a little over halfway through the first season, but it’s really awesome.

Some of the episodes will probably hit you right in the feels. So, be ready for that.

There are several shows I like quite well, but I think this one might have actually made itself my very favorite of all so far.

Today was more Mordor

I played more Shadows of Mordor today. I got to the second major region. It’s kinda fun when you can start “branding” the orcs. I often like games where I get to have minions.

Hmmm… some title would be useful.

Seventh consecutive post!

Did some cleaning today. UFYH seems to be useful. I’m almost to level 3 in Habitica. I bought the training sword and the leather helmet. I’m keeping enough gold on hand to get a healing potion in case I need it. I will hopefully do more cleaning tomorrow as well.

Didn’t finish preparing my RP tumblr yet. Didn’t end up working on it today. Maybe will tomorrow. Not sure yet.

Welp, here goes!

I’m finally working on starting a roleplay blog on tumblr. I’m kinda nervous. I’ll post a link when it’s vaguely-ready.

Another Post

I looked at Engintron more closely today. What it says it does looks useful, but looking at the script itself raises a few concerns. There’s a lot of “wget –no-check-certificate” happening in it, which is often a warning sign, but then I noticed that in the function used to install the “ui”, it basically disables cPanel’s AppConfig. For “compatibility with newer versions”, instead of actually learning to register with appconfig, it changes a cPanel setting so that it allows unregistered things to run as root. So not only does the plugin not register itself correctly, it without even warning of it disables checking anything else. That seems very “strange” to me. I was hoping that after they fixed the open proxy issue that it would be mostly-fine–that maybe that had been a one-off issue they had forgotten or didn’t know how to check–but it looks like security might not have even entered their thought process in the first place.

I probably should submit bug reports for these things, but if their first response to a new security feature in the panel interfering with their plugin is to disable the security feature (rather than learning how plugins are supposed to work with the feature) I don’t exactly feel confident that they’d bother to fix it.

I’m kind of disappointed. It sounds like a lot of the features would be very nice, and could be better than the other ones I’d heard of so far, if it didn’t have this problem (and “polished” a few other small things to not require manual configuration).

I’ll definitely want to look more closely at nginxcp before trying it again too, in case it has any hidden “surprises” too.

Updates

Day 4, I think?

There was a brief downtime earlier today while my server was being upgraded. Now it has 64-bit CentOS 7, which means cPanel can finally resume updating! It looks like version 58 really did fix PECL for php 7. I wasn’t fully sure if they really would, since they’ve misestimated arrival times of features a few times recently, but I was able to install APCu successfully. So currently this blog is using php 7, with dso (with mod_ruid2 installed), zend opcache, and I have wordpress plugin WP-FFPC installed, which uses the apcu to cache even more things. While configuring things I did a few gtmetrix tests. With php 7 and dso/mod_ruid2 (without the opcache or apcu) it loaded in 1.2 seconds. With opcache enabled it was 1.0s. With WP-FFPC enabled with nearly-default settings and apcu installed, it was down to 0.8s. I temporarily enabled cloudflare to test, but with the settings it had stored that brought the load time up to 1.1s. 0.3s is a lot when it was otherwise down to 0.8. I bet if I looked at the settings more carefully I could get the cloudflare value down a bit more, but that’ll be something to do another day. I have a bit of other tweaking to check on and redo (or do differently) in the server, and it’s probably also getting to be time to recheck how I want my plugins configured. Remake my “child theme” so I can have my Project Honeypot links again and continue the crusade against spammers.

One thing about EasyApache 4 though is that mod_security is flagged as conflicting with mod_ruid2. So you can’t have both installed. But, even with EA3, certain types of modsec rules don’t work when mod_ruid2 is enabled (and the log rotation gets… “wonky”).

At some point I might look at nginxcp more closely, in case that can squeeze a little more speed out yet, but last I looked it had a lot of problems with cent7. More recently I’ve been interested in Engintron, but it can be hard to configure “correctly” for not-terribly-uncommon setups (like if there’s any domains on Cloudflare, or if any sites have a Dedicated IP). I feel like Engintron has a lot of potential, but might not quite be “ready” yet. Nginxcp I used to be a huge fan of but I don’t know if they actually fix problems. I haven’t checked recently, so for all I know it might be a lot better now, but last I was following it, it seemed to be progressing very slowly, which wasn’t encouraging with all the changes needed to work with cent7 using systemd.

I’m slightly disappointed that the Let’s Encrypt plugin is only for domain certificates rather than also including the hostname certificate. At some point I need to retry putting a certificate here on my site, but I’ll want to be extra careful after what happened last time. At least this time I’m not trying to use the apache jails, which somehow is still in “EXPERIMENTAL” status.

The new Path of Exile league is starting soon! It sounds like it will be fun, and I’m glad they’re keeping the Prophecy mechanic. I’m thinking of playing a flame totem hierophant for my first character in the new league. It sounds like a good basic idea for a build, that doesn’t rely too heavily on having specific unique items.

Hi again

This is, if I’m still counting correctly, the third day in a row I have posted.

I spent most of the day playing Shadow of Mordor. My cat used to sit on my lap when I played it when she was a kitten, and today she sat in my lap part of the day when that’s where the sunshine was. But, I think trying to play it too close to bedtime makes it harder to sleep. I think it’s a bit too adrenaliney for right before bed.

I still like Habitica so far. I added a couple tasks to it today. I didn’t make my bed though, so I’m not getting both my dailies today, but I am writing here so that’s one of them.

I’ve been asked what PHB stands for. It stands for Pointy-Haired Boss. The name is from Dilbert. Among their most notable characteristics, after not knowing what they’re doing, is susceptibility to buzzwords. But a lot of things, even though they are buzzwords, the words really do have a meaning, and can actually be useful. But the buzzword form becomes uselessly meaningless. Like SEO (Search Engine Optimization). There are some things to do or not do, but most people who loudly claim to be experts in it are probably either making things up, or read things written by someone making stuff up.

And, I have been asked how I made the last paragraph cut off, on the main page. Inside WordPress, on the page where the post is being edited, if you’re in “Text” mode, one of the buttons across the top says “more”. If you click on that, then it adds a “more tag”. Everything after that tag does not show up in the version of the post on the main page, but does show up on the page for the post itself.

Didn’t get as much done today as I wanted, but I at least made this post. And, the game I was playing is fun, and I’m making some progress. Tomorrow is a work day.

UFYH and Habitica

I don’t remember how exactly I found the page, but I am really liking UFYH so far. It’s on tumblr. For those of you who don’t like certain types of words, let’s pretend for now that it stands for “Un-Fail Your Habitat”. That, hopefully, preserves the internetly-informality of the original. It’s purpose is to help motivate to do things that need to be done. It primarily focuses on cleaning, but can apply to other areas as well. The most basic premise, is that no one and no environment is beyond help. Everything can be improved. You don’t have to fix everything all at once, but if you can do a little bit of fixing every day, it will continue to get better. Even if you mess up sometimes, just keep working on it and it will get better. The site does make somewhat-frequent use of profanities, “as the kids do these days”, so those of you who don’t like reading certain words probably don’t want to use this specific site. But if that’s not a problem for you, and you have trouble getting started on things, or maintaining focus on things, this site might help you. For those who want it, the full link to the site will be under the “more” tag, so that those who don’t like seeing certain words can more easily avoid it. But I haven’t figured out how to hide it when on the post view instead of the main page. It looks like I would need either a plugin or a theme or learn some css to do so. I’m adding that to my list now, but that doesn’t fix this post (yet). So if you’re already on the post page, skip the last paragraph if you don’t want to see it.

I notice an interesting similarity between how it says to break up the work into small pieces with frequent breaks, and the “little and often” idea prevalent in all of the Mark Forster systems. What this site adds to that, is its insistence that no one is beyond help. That just because yesterday didn’t go as I wanted it to, that doesn’t make today hopeless. At least in certain moods, that’s a very important thing to remember. The word choice in the site (at least with the tone in which the words are used), to me adds a level of informality and relaxedness that also helps.

UFYH also has an Android app, which I mostly like so far. It does cost about a dollar, so if you only use free apps, you probably don’t want it, but I had some credits saved up from the google survey thingy. The app has, among other things, a timer preset for the “20/10″s (twenty minutes working, followed by ten minute break), a “Random Motivation” function, and a to-do list. I thought at first I’d get a lot of mileage out of the to-do list, having it so close to the motivator and timer, but recurring things don’t show any indication of having been done when you check them off. This is mentioned in one of the first few reviews on its page in Google Play, but I didn’t realize how big of a deal that would be until I tried it myself.

I still very much like the website. I followed it on Tumblr. And the app itself isn’t a whole waste of a dollar either; the motivator and the timer and the random challenge so far seem like they will still be useful to me. But it left me wondering what to do for a to-do list. There are so very many to-do list apps everywhere and even picking one sounds itself like a project.

But I noticed in Google Play some recommended apps, that seemed to follow this “gamification” idea that seems to have become popular when I wasn’t looking. It sounds like such a buzzword, worthy of the pointiest of PHBs, but the idea itself seems to have a lot of merit (as long as the buzzwordiness doesn’t get out of hand). So, when I did a basic google search for to-do apps, and one of the earlier articles mentioned Habitica, its name had already some small glimmer of familiarity, from having seen it in the suggestion list next to the other app I had.

Basically the idea is, one of the reasons people like games, is getting rewards for doing stuff. So this application takes real life, and makes it into an RPG. You add tasks to your list, either as one-off things, recurring things, or things you just want to do generally more or less often, and then when you do (or not do, for “bad” things) them you get XP and gold. When you don’t do (or do, for “bad” things) them, you lose HP. If you lose all your hit points you lose a level. If you get enough XP (experience points), you get a new level. Gold is used to buy equipment. There also exist gems, which can be purchased for real money, but the things bought with gems are strictly cosmetic, and there are in-game ways to earn them too. At a certain level, you get to choose a class (Warrior, Mage, Healer, or Rogue) which will give you access to skills. Skills are even more useful in quests. In order to do quests, you have to join a party (but if you really don’t want to interact with other people, you can have a party with only one person in it). Basically, the whole group progresses in the quest when anyone in the group does things they set out to do, but also the whole group has penalties any time anyone in the group fails to meet the expectations they created for themselves. In this way, you and your friends can help keep each other motivated and accountable to work towards goals. And, if you get sick or go on vacation or for some other reason have a good reason for not doing your usual things, you can Rest at the Inn. While resting in the inn, you don’t take any damage for missing your tasks, and if you are in a quest your party members don’t take damage for your missed tasks. (But you do still take damage for your party members’ tasks if they are not also resting, so you will at least want to check on your character in case you need a health potion.)

I like Habitica so far, but it’s definitely far too early to tell for sure how much of an effect it will have on me working towards my goals. But it sounds like it fits in a gap I feel like I have, to help me remember and motivate myself to actually do the things I’m wanting to do.

I didn’t accomplish very much today, but I feel like part of it was vaguely useful. I plan for the next bit of the evening to play some Shadow of Mordor. Though probably (hopefully) not very long, since I don’t want to get my sleep schedule off too far.

Here comes the more tag, before I go, but if you’re already on the page for the post itself it doesn’t make you click to see after it. Remember, if you don’t like to read profanities, you probably want to stop reading before the next paragraph starts.

Continue reading “UFYH and Habitica”

Trying Again

It has been quite some time since I posted. Over a year and a half it looks like.

I’m currently planning to try getting into an actual habit of writing. So, my new “rule” is, at least one post per day. Every day. Doesn’t have to be much, doesn’t have to be profound, just something. Sometime before I go to bed at night, I have to have logged into the site, typed some words, and posted them.

They say it takes about a month for a new thing to become a habit. Since my schedule is a two-week pattern, I will round to two fortnights. An extra fencepost for good measure, that makes 29 posts, of which this is the first. Ideally, I will continue writing daily after that. But twenty-nine days is how long I will be keeping count.

I was thinking of saying that if I write in my tumblr, for example if I get started with roleplaying there, that I would let that count as a daily post. But now I think instead, even if I do write there, I can at least log in here to say that I did it. I’m not requiring a lot in these daily posts, just that they exist, so if I just say “Hey, everyone, I did a tumblr post,” that’s already as long as the post here would have needed to be anyway.

Of course, knowing me, the posts will inevitably be much longer than that. Brevity is often not my strong suit, and I often write huge walls of text. I think my previous posts here demonstrate that well enough. But I’m not requiring any specific length, for this purpose.

I also plan once I get going, to use this as an anchor-habit for other habits. Once I’m already writing here regularly, I can use this to talk about other habits I’ve started working on and how well those are going. Especially if I think people are reading it, maybe I’ll have more motivation to do those things.

I have probably-too-many anti-spam plugins (I really dislike spam a lot), so if you try to comment and it doesn’t work, or if anything else in the site doesn’t work, you can email me at the probably-obvious admin email address. I’m also on gmail and tumblr and twitter and facebook and my name is always “skaryzgik”. I don’t check all of these things with equal frequencies (some of them quite rarely indeed). If you need to get in touch with me and one way doesn’t work, try another.