Take me HOME
Project "Hobbit Walk" - Updates!
Wednesday, February 04, 2015 11:30 PM

There are updates on Project Hobbit Walk.  Check them out.

Countdown Until the FCC Vote on Net Neutrality
Tuesday, February 03, 2015 12:36 PM

Project "Hobbit Walk" - The Teaser
Friday, December 19, 2014 03:21 PM

It's an application.  It is fitness based.  And it's awesome.  Nerd Fitness, Fitbit, IFTTT, and Lord of the Rings.

Go to CrazedBuzz.com and read about it

UPDATE: there's some prelimnary details posted as well.

Into The Cloud
Tuesday, August 26, 2014 10:42 PM

All of the CS servers have been moved into the cloud.

Or... did they get moved into the Digital Ocean?

Everything seems to have gone smoothly.  There was a mild hiccup in the transition, due to a blunder with a configuration file... but I must say, I'm quite pleased.

I was pretty anxious at first.  Moving to the cloud felt like I was losing control of things, because the server wasn't sitting behind my chair, whirring away.  Now I realize that whirring was more of a nuisance than anything, and my wife is very happy to be rid of the noise (the servers are still there, just powered down).

But I'm very happy now.  I have just as much control now as I did before... more, in fact.  There's a pricetag now, but I guess I was offsetting that before with time spent administering to the servers.  And I really like not having to worry about the servers when we blow a breaker (which happens much less often now).

Anyway, the move is done.  I still have some little things to take care of, but at least now I've got some experience with the Cloud.  So, yay for experience, and stuff.  I'm sure you're thrilled as well.

Plans for TTORP
Tuesday, April 08, 2014 11:01 AM

I've got plans for TTORP, or "cs-battletrack" as it's called on GitHub.

The major plan is to make TTORP available for anyone to use.  There's a few things that need to be addressed first.  So here's that list.  Feel free to comment.


  1. Registration System (a better one)
  2. Lost Password Option


  1. SSL (https)
  2. More Admin Stuff
  3. More Authentication Options (OpenID, Google, Yahoo!, FB, etc)
  4. Help

I'd like to find a way of advertising TTORP's existence.  I have no monies.  Thoughts appreciated.

State of the TTORP Address
Thursday, April 03, 2014 10:22 AM

TTORP (Table Top Online Role Playing) has been updated again (version 0.9). 

NOTE: Screenshots will be forth-coming.

How Much Has Changed?

The last version that was active on CrazedSanity.com was 0.7.19.   Now, according to Semantic Versioning, that isn't really a big change... except it is.  Since it has not yet become "stable"--which happens at version 1.0--any "minor" version change (the second number, in our case it is now 0.9.4 instead of 0.7.19) is actually a big one.  The code is undergoing a ton of changes.

The last version change did quite a bit.  The codebase shrunk a lot: the libraries (the code behind the scenes) shrunk to 50% of their original size.  The code became a lot easier to read and maintain, and there were quite a few fixes and updates that happened.  There are probably new bugs, too... if you want to look at or report 'em, go check out the GitHub page.

Upgrades (The Highlights)

  • Deleting stuff: you can now delete weapons, armor, gear, feats/special abilities, and even skills!
  • Create new skills: you can create new skills just like weapons, armor, etc.
  • Automatic Updates...
    • Melee and ranged totals update properly
    • Ability changes are new reflected in the associated skills!
  • Gear now has a "quantity" column, and a "line total" column.  If you have 9 chunks of lead, just enter the individual weight, and TTORP will do the rest!
  • Gear location can be cleared now (previously, changes would be ignored until at least one character was in there)
  • In-progress changes no longer get overwritten... mostly.
  • Skill class/cross-class checkbox works (again)

Known Issues

  • A skill's associated ability cannot be changed (#44)
  • There is no "fly speed" field (#38)
  • Errors aren't displayed to the user (#34)
  • Updates reset changes in progress (#42)

Help Wanted

I hate to sound like a broken record (like a broken record... broken record... broken...) but I'd still very much appreciate some help.

You can:

Write up some documentation!  There's a wiki for TTORP (a.k.a. "cs-battletrack") that can be filled with words and pictures!  Just contact me so I can put them up, or create a GitHub account and do it yourself! 

All help is much appreciated!  So are financial contributions, FYI.

Monday, March 17, 2014 01:12 PM

Here's a new screenshot for TTORP, now that it's had some updates and fixes.  Click for the bigger image.

While You Were B*tching...
Wednesday, January 22, 2014 09:00 PM

While you were bitching about not having enough time, I've been busy.

I hosted seven websites.  Not for work, but for me.  In my free time.

  • crazedsanity.com
  • crazedbuzz.com
  • buzzkill.org
  • buzzkillproductions.net
  • cs-project.com
  • project.crazedsanity.com
  • crazedlime.com

(yes, some of them are broken)

Did I mention that I also host them?

  • 24x7 server maintenance
  • ~98% server availability
  • DNS hosting
  • Apache + NGinX
  • PostgreSQL & MySQL databases

I've been writing code and sharing them with the world.

There are 22 repositories available on GitHub.com alone.  There are actually several that are private on BitBucket.org as well.  Some of them are conceptual, some are libraries.  And at least three of those repositories have been around (not necessarily on GitHub) for over a decade.

I've been writing books.

Hundreds of pages.  Thousands of hours of research, planning, and play-testing ideas to get it right.  Hundreds of notes, scraps of paper, and drawings to map-out some pretty complex concepts to make sure it all works together.

I've Come to a Realization...
Monday, January 06, 2014 08:21 PM

I was reading something today from Nerd Fitness.  I find them to be really motivating, even if some (okay, ALL) of the posts are pretty long.

Anyway, a couple of the points in there really struck a cord with me.  Namely, there was something in there about how you should really work backwards: figure out what you want to do, and then figure out the steps to get there.

Sure, I've gone through this before.  And I figured out what I wanted to do... but then, somewhere along the line, I got side-tracked.  And for the past year, I've been running on that track, trying to find a way to... well, a way to make it fun.  And I've been working really, really hard to make it fun.  Maybe it's been more than a year.

What was the realization, you ask?  I realized I don't want to write code for a living.  It's just not how I want to spend the rest of my life.

Now, that doesn't mean I don't want to write code at all.  No, no.  I'd like to write the code that I want to write when I want to write it.  If it happens to make money, that's fine, but I'm not going to go at it from that angle.

"Dude, I already told you that."  Yes, there have been several people that have told me that I probably don't want to code for a living.  Or that I shouldn't go at a code-based project looking for money, but I should go at it from the perspective of enjoyment.  Whatever, that's fine, you told me so, get over it.

What do I want to do?  Well, I really want to tell stories.  I really, really, really love to tell stories.  Running D&D games is fun, because I get to tell stories in ways that are interactive, and really gets the players involved in it.  But I love writing/creating stories even more.  So, to that end, I've decided that I'm going to concentrate on my main novel.

Unnamed - From Ages Past
Thursday, December 05, 2013 06:42 PM

So this... "story" is something I just recently found.  It's from way, way, WAY back in my high school days, I think.  Should you manage to guess who wrote it, and for whom it was written, I will buy you a brand new gold watch (as long as you pay for it).  I have intentionally left the slight grammar mistakes/typos for... historical value.  Or something.

    What do you call it when a certain man fills all his free time with thoughts of a certain woman? He longs to be with her when they are apart, and wish they could be together forever when she is near to him.  Chaos fills his thoughts and emotions when they are apart, but that certain woman soothes the disorder with her presence, her aura, her laugh, her very breath.

    What do you call it when a certain man sees a certain woman in the place of movie stars, of models, even in the place of strangers?  He sees a beautiful woman on the street and is reminded of that certain woman. A model in exotic lingerie, a movie star in a beautiful dress, even a strange lady in pants and a shirt become that certain woman, and they are together again, if for but a moment in time.

    What do you call it when a certain man longs for his relationship with a certain woman to grow into something more?  He wonders if he is obsessed, but his fears are elated by the insight of his closest advisors.  He wonders if it is nothing more than a simple crush, but knows that, if it is, it could be much more.

    This certain man has been close to asking the hellish question that dwells in the bowels of his soul, but has instead been crushed by the news of another's relation with her.  Everyone close to him knows the relationship is right for both of them, yet he fears a loss of trust if it should go awry.  He knows he could be everything that certain woman needs, but wonders if she would ever give him the chance to prove it.

    And as each new boyfriend pulls closer to the heart of that certain woman before inevitably breaking it, that certain man pulls farther and farther away.  He feels that a wonderful chance has been set before him and is ruluctant to let it slip away, but that certain woman continuously gives him mixed signals.  Maybe she is hiding her own feelings, and feels the same way for this man.  But it seems she is pushing him away, and it seems the pushes are getting stronger and stronger with time.  This man wonders how long he can hold onto her before he must let go...

    He wonders if this is the right thing to do.  He wants to ask her, but has too much to lose from a rejection.  He knows, deep in his heart, that she will figure ou tthe riddle of this certain man's identity.  The clues are there if she looks close enough.  If her feeling are the same, her heart will be her guide to this certain man who awaits her approach at the end of the lighted tunnel of her dreams.

State of the TTORP Address
Monday, September 02, 2013 05:46 PM

Time for another update.  This one, however, is about a planned upgrade: System-Defined Skills.

Basically, this means that there will be a pre-defined list of skills to choose from, so it can be selected instead of having to type it in.

Why?  Well, in future versions, maps and certain screens can have some actions defined, so the system will say, "If the player does X, then they must roll skill Y".  And defining that skill is much easier when there's a definied set of skills, instead of trying to guess... guessing gets pretty messy if one player misspelled a skill.

Anyway, I'm still playing around with the idea.  Here's a mockup of what the setup screen might look like:

With comments!

If you are interested in helping with this, or providing feedback, please check out the Issues page on GibHub (or look at this issue directly).

Podcast - Off Topic
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 08:20 PM

The podcast is available on SoundCloud for a limited time or as a direct download (from my Google Drive account if the link stops working... well... I don't know what to say).

State of the TTORP Address
Monday, May 20, 2013 09:55 PM

Alright, TTORP (a.k.a. "cs-battletrack") has had enough changes that an update is in order.  In working out some bugs, I've noticed some features that I'd forgotten about, and probably never told anybody else about.


  1. Weapons, Armor, Gear, and Feats/Special Abilities now use a dialog to create new records (there are "Add" buttons now)
    • after the record is added, that part of the page is reloaded (without a full page refresh)
    • only the name need be entered; things like weapons and armor (that have more fields) can be updated afterward
  2. modifying values in weapons & armor no longer leaves them red and unmodifiable, so reloading the page is no longer required
  3. saving happens automatically
    • after a 2-second delay, changes are automatically saved (on a per-field basis)
    • no need to click out of the box
    • notes will also save automatically: should alleviate problems of losing a lot of changes after typing for a while and (for instance) closing the page
  4. the character listing page shows more information, sorted by campaign (see screenshot; click for larger view)

    Click for larger view

  5. Lots of miscellaneous improvements
    • total weight (for gear) automatically updates (on the fly)
    • max cross-class skills calculated (see known issues)
    • putting something into "XP Change" will automatically update "Current XP" (after the 2-second delay)
    • total AC and AC from Armor (labeled as "Armor") automatically calculated (see known issues)
  6. Name of campaign (if any) is displayed; the campaign description is available by hovering your mouse over it

KNOWN ISSUES (not necessarily complete):

  1. total AC and AC from Armor changes don't show right away, reloading the page will show the proper values
  2. max cross-class skills doesn't show correctly until page is reloaded
  3. There is no way to delete record:
    • weapons
    • armor
    • gear
    • feats/special abilities
  4. there is no way to upload a character picture
  5. class/cross-class skill checkboxes don't work

Would you like to help?

You don't need to be a programmer to help me.  All you need is to have a little bit of time, have a computer (you can obviously check that one off the list), and be able to type and formulate coherent thoughts.  Here's some of the things you can do:

  1. help with bug testing
    • use the application
    • write down problems, possibly with some helpful info:
      • screenshot
      • your username
      • character sheet it happened on
      • time/day
    • email me, or put an issue on GitHub's issue tracker (you'll have to create an account, but it's painless)
  2. go to the issue tracker on GitHub
    • tell me if an issue sounds cool, or is important to you
    • only give constructive criticism
    • add stuff you think is important (tag it as "enhancement")
    • tell your friends to comment on it

Update May 20, 2013:  I've updated the sheet so that class/cross-class skill checkboxes finally work.  It actually uses an image instead of an actual form input.  Yay!

Update September 02, 2013:  The class/cross-class skill checkboxes apparently still don't work, under some conditions.  Apparently once they're unchecked, they won't check again.

More TTORP Updates, Still Buggy
Friday, May 17, 2013 12:19 AM

I've updated the TTORP (Table Top Online Role Playing) system on CrazedSanity.com.  It's still buggy, but it should be at least a little more user-friendly... but apparently only a little.

For the most up-to-date information on the project, take a look at the project on GitHub (there's an issue tracker that is also helpful).

I've sorta fixed adding new records... sort of.  There are now "Add" buttons for weapons, armor, gear, and feats/special abilities.  Updates to the fields work as poorly as they did before--in other words, changing the field will leave it red and non-modifiable until the page is reloaded, even though the changes were actually saved.

Also, there's a bit of a glitch after adding records.  If you attempt to modify a record after having added one, the page basically seems to not care... reloading the page fixes that (see previous bug).

It's a work in progress.  Help would be very much appreciated, even just with testing changes and narrowing bugs ("I can't update the weapons after adding one... but it sort of works when I try after reloading the page").

Why Coding Is Hard
Thursday, May 16, 2013 04:48 PM

Writing code is a difficult thing, sure.  Or at least it can be.  Reading some stuff on the 'web today gave me a little different perspective on things, especially where it comes to some of the things I'm working on.

The website was for Synergy, an application that allows sharing keyboard and mouse across different computers.  The part that really caught my attention:

"...struggling with staying focused and motivated. Developing software on your own is hard; much of the fun comes from solving problems with people, then running off to furiously hammer out a ton of code, and having someone to show off to. Its impossible to bounce problems off a wall."

That's pretty much exactly how I feel about most of the applications I'm working on.  Since I'm the only developer, it gets a bit frustrating that I don't have someone else to talk to about that cool thing I just implemented.  Ugh.

Where My Head's At, Plans, and Stuff
Friday, May 03, 2013 11:48 AM

(NOTE: This is an email I sent out at the end of last year, and I thought it was blog-worthy)


I'm just sending you this email to try to explain why I am the way I am, why I've said (or not said) stuff, and maybe some insight into my intentions.  If you don't read it or never respond to it, I guess I just don't care.  It is what it is.  I'm even going to put little section titles so it's a little easier to read.

Making a Business

I've spent a lot of time working for other people.  It's been great, I've learned some cool stuff, and I've even had the chance to build some cool stuff on the side.  It just feels like I could do so much more.  It feels like there's an opportunity to create a new company that believes all the stuff that makes (part of) other companies I've worked for cool to work for.  A company that does the cool things that I've always thought other companies should do for me or other employees.  And I'd really like to build that company with my friends--not business associates, *friends*.

Maybe I haven't communicated this desire properly.  Maybe I'm too wordy, and the goals just get lost when someone decides it's just too long to read.  But to me, it seems like I'm the only one that has this desire, and if that's the case, so be it.  I want to build the company that I want to work for, a company that gives me the financial freedom I've always wanted, that allows me to give back to all the people that have in some way helped me get to where I'm at.

I'm going forward with building this company.  It might take some time, and I have some things to do before I can make it official, but I'm going to do it.  I don't know what it's name is, and at this point I'm planning to be the only person involved.  If you're interested, let me know, but... well, I'm not waiting for anybody but me: get on the elevator now, or crawl up the ladder later, or look up from down below, doesn't much matter at this point.

TTORP, Stinky Monkey ("SM"), and Other Ideas

I'm not giving up on TTORP yet.  I like TTORP, the ideas it has created, and the plans we've made.  I'm proud of the character sheet, with all it's bugs, and the campaign system.  There's some tweaking that needs to be done to make it stable, but that's no different than any other good web application.  And the idea of building an online mapping system that works with the character sheets and tracking battles is just really fun to think about.

I'm not necessarily giving up on SM either.  I think it's a good idea, and it could be really fun to work on.  I don't even care if it makes any money at all anymore, as long as it's cool.  If it becomes a monster that requires a bunch of attention and stops making me happy, I'll step away.  Since it's open source (or at least intended to be), it should be pretty easy for another developer to take over.

I'm going to push forward with CS-Project.  It might get a different name, but maybe not.  I like working on it, I like storing information about my own projects in it, and I'd really like to have it to the point where someday I'll be proud of how it looks (instead of just some of the concepts behind it).  It is my intention that it will form the basis for many other opportunities, maybe even some that are actually profitable.

The Itch

I've had this feeling for a while, this little itch that no amount of scratching will fix, the feeling that there's something more.  Maybe working on one of these applications will finally fix it.  Maybe getting my book finished/published will be the cream that sates it.  Maybe starting my own company will fix it.  I just don't know.

My point is that... well, I don't want to feel mediocre any more.  I want to make a sustained, substantial and tangible impact on the world around me.  Something that goes beyond my friends and family.  I don't want to be on the cover of some magazine or be on TV... something where I can just be walking along somewhere one day, minding my own business, glance something that other people are all talking about, and say, "yep, that was me.  I did that."

Closing Thoughts

Let me know what you think, where your heads are at.  If I've peaked your interest, or offended you, or got you thinking about something, let me know.  Or don't.  But don't chime in with something completely unrelated, I get side-tracked easily enough as it is.  :)

When Reinstalling My Laptop (Stuff I Can't Live Without)
Wednesday, May 01, 2013 09:55 AM

The title might be a little weird, but the purpose is to have a list of things that I absolutely can't live without.  Generally this list would only come into play after I've reinstalled the OS on my laptop (happens at least once every few years, depending on how many problems I have with it).

This might help you (or others) to see new applications and such that you may not have otherwise thought about.  Or maybe it will give you more insight into me.  Or maybe... maybe it's just a list for me.  Who knows.

NOTE: these things are primarily for Linux.  I abandoned Windows over a decade ago, and haven't looked back, except for when it's required for work.  I've never had a chance to work with a Mac, so I honestly don't care about them.  Anyway, don't be surprised if these don't work on something other than Linux.

ON TO THE LIST, JEEVES! (todo: add relevant links)

  • KeePassX -- encrypted, secure password database application
  • Wuala -- Cloud storage/sync
    • re-establish Pidgin history sync (use "~/.purple/")
    • re-establish sync for KeePass files
    • import key (for signing software, encrypting stuff, etc)
  • XMind -- Mind Mapping software
  • Pidgin -- IM client that handles multiple protocols (Yahoo!, Jabber, Gmail, Facebook, etc)
  • Misc. Packages...
    • Gnome (because I can't stand Unity)
    • OpenSSH Server
    • fuse -- mount userspace filesystems
    • sshfs -- SSH Filesystem
    • AssoGiate -- to set custom icons for things like XMind and KeePassX files
    • Vim (the full package, not "tiny") -- terminal text editor
  • Firefox...
    • X-Notifier -- for Gmail notifications
      • do NOT enable "keep session for links"
      • @CrazedSanity.com emails
      • @BuzzKill.org emails
      • @Gmail.com emails
    • Flashblock
    • Firebug -- for development/debugging
    • Feedly -- RSS News Reader
    • Pocket (Formerly Read It Later) -- like bookmarks, but different
    • Web Developer -- for debugging stuff on websites
    • GreaseMonkey
      • automatic reload script -- for my company's "Team" site, because it's authentication is broken
    • Sync
      • re-associate for bookmarks, passwords, etc
  • Chromium (the open source basis for Google Chrome)
  • Tomboy Notes
    • enable SSH sync
    • connect to "~/tomboy_sync/" on webserver
  • More Development Stuff...
    • Eclipse IDE
      • PHP
      • Javascript
    • Git
      • re-establish ~/.gitconfig
      • update email address (so home account doesn't have work email, etc)
    • Subversion
    • Git-SVN -- to push Git stuff into SVN repositories
    • NginX (webserver, pronounced "engine-X")
    • PHP5+
    • PostgreSQL
    • Apache (for stuff that doesn't work as well natively in NginX)
  • Personal Docs (from BitBucket.org)

What I Want
Thursday, February 21, 2013 08:04 PM

... to feel like I'm really contributing to something noble, instead of just helping some other business to make more money.

... to know that the emails I spend hours composing are actually being read, not disregarded because it's too long.

... to feel challenged, not frustrated.

... to feel excited, not desperate.

... to feel appreciated, not used.

... to feel a sense of accomplishment when I come home at night.

... to know that my emails get read, not ignored because they're too long.

... to be able to get angry at something and be heard, not asked if I've taken my pills.

... to know that my working 40+ hours a week is appreciated, not just required.

... to not feel guilty about telling people that my wife is a homemaker.

... to feel accepted by my peers, not disregarded.

Managing Passwords
Tuesday, February 05, 2013 11:13 PM

The other day, one of my co-workers walked up to me and had me login to a server.  I pulled up the screen that asked for my username and password, where I promptly typed the username... and then stopped.

"What's wrong?  Don't you remember your password?"

My simple reply: "I don't know my password."

So, if you're at like most people, you manage passwords in a few ways: your browser, and by using one (or maybe two) passwords.  Not me.

I'm one of those people that has a lot of accounts on a lot of different systems.  More accounts than most, easily close to or surpassing a hundred just for myself, and many of them must be changed on a fairly regular basis.

To cope with this, I use a password safe.  It creates random passwords for me that I don't have to (necessarily) remember, and as a bonus helps me to keep track of where all my accounts are.  Check out KeePass if you're interested (the article has a link to the application).

Monday, January 21, 2013 10:40 AM

Ever struggled with the blame game?  You know, when the boss comes in, freaking out about why something isn't done, or why it's taking so long?

Well, worry no more!  With S.E.A.N., you've always got somebody to blame!

"Uh... Somebody will do it... Everybody will do it... Anybody can do it... Nobody did it."

Somebody, Everybody, Anybody, Nobody.

Thanks to Prophet for telling me about this one.