Work to live, live to work.

Hey everyone,

A note that I’m still alive. I’m doing some miscellaneous things on the internet. You can learn about my streaming video games on the various platforms over at my gaming blog, Play the Game.

For those that want to know the other parts of my life. I’m still single. I’m still living alone. I work as a programmer at a major enterprise. I don’t mention their name now because in no way do I want to come across as a representative of that company. My thoughts on this blog are my own. My hobbies are my own. They don’t own me, and I don’t live and breath with them….

Except for a week ago. I’ve always said to myself that I wouldn’t be that guy that lived to work. I worked 75 hours last week. Sadly I don’t think I got done everything I honestly should have in that amount of time. Seriously. I always doubt myself, this isn’t new to me. I really should have gotten my project done at work. I didn’t however.

That said, I am developing for a hobby as well. Many projects on the mind, but the one I was focusing on until recently was a chat bot for the Twitch platform, although I had ideas to throw it at Mixer (what was Beam) and integrate services like Discord as well. The primary function at this time is to serve sounds triggered by chat. For instance, a “!sound no” would push a sound of “no no no” over my stream. In itself, it’s not useful, but it could be entertaining, and it engages chatters. You can really try and find more out as I build up the site over here. I am calling the bot Alfred.

As for other things, I’ve paid for game making courses and need to spend some time on that. I thought about streaming some programming as well. Either developing Alfred, or developing my own basic games. I haven’t committed to either yet.

Naturally, during the summer, school has taken a back seat. This time it may be more permanent than I thought would happen. I’m not a great student, apparently. Enjoying school wasn’t an option apparently. Oh well, I have the job. I’m looking to succeed in that field. I think I’m doing well.

Anyway, that’s a quick update. I’ve got many updates, and little time to deal with it. School stopped. Work is a little overwhelming.

BLUBoT Reviews – Rant

Well, today I decided to log into the Google Play console for my Android applications. I did so to unpublish a Twitch specific application. I decided to focus on a Windows application instead.

While in the console, I saw that BLUBoT was still there, of course. No reason for it not to be. For those that don’t know, I’m a nerd. I programmed robots under a National Science Foundation grant, attached to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. While I did so, I created an Android application that utilized the bluetooth chip HC-05 connected to a CEENBoT and allowed you to drive the CEENBoT around from your phone. Very cool accomplishment on my part.

That said, I decided to use a PS3 remote control interface for the mechanism to control it. Makes sense? Why re-invent the wheel. The rant comes from the fact that people don’t read. Right in the description, it says that the application is not for a PS3 connection, which is technically impossible. Yet people download, try to connect to the PS3, and fail to do so. Then return and leave a one star review for an application that they mistakenly downloaded and wasted their own time.

To be clear, I did not mislead the intent of the application for more downloads. Seriously, there are no ads, the source code for it is online and I have no reason to troll for downloads. Yet, it’s been downloaded nearly 100,000 times. Cool… I guess.

It’s very hard to innovate when the general public can’t even understand simple concepts like reading what an application does before downloading it. No wonder malware on phones is a big issue when a bug is found in the Android OS, or iOS. (Apple users are not immune to this, fanbois).

The best part are those reviews that say “Works great on my PS3!” Wait…. what? I shake my head…

Anyway, it’s 1:30am, I work in the morning. Time for bed… Got any of your own review situations that make you think the world is doomed? Comment below!

290.6….. Long time coming

The phrase long time coming doesn’t even do it justice. I’ve always been, for lack of a better term, conscious of things and people around me, and never really caring. I’ve done what I wanted, and I don’t hurt anyone around me, I don’t cause waves, things like that.

Needless to say, what I have ignored was myself. I’ve existed and as long as I was breathing, can wake up, and can do what I want for the most part, I was content. Note, I used content there. Not happy. This is a problem now.

Perhaps this is my midlife crisis? I don’t have the money to buy an expensive car, house, or anything. I’m only 30 in September, and hopefully that’s not saying my midlife crisis means I’m going to die at 60. Frankly, though, I’ve been having trouble coming to terms with my inability to be happy. Not really having it diagnosed, I could say I suffer from anxiety, depression and general laziness. Looking back, I can easily see how I might be more of an immediate reward person, than a long term. Even in my marriage, which now has been terminated, had the bumps of this immediate reward. I have no savings. I eat what I want, which typically means fried foods, snack all day, drink soda. Right now, I’m focusing on the diet and sedentary life. I have thought about it tremendously over the last few months, and even years sometimes. I’ve always wanted to get back into shape, whereas that shape isn’t round.

To be fair, I’m six foot five. My normal weight was 270 pounds. This is heavy for most, but with my frame, I carried it “well”. I never did feel amazing. I felt OK, or sick, but never amazing. My mentality of immediate reward has probably made me suffer this. I’ll eat what tastes good now, regardless of how good it is for me. I know I’m not alone. America is battling obesity and that problem is spreading across the world where we have enough food for ourselves. Those that don’t have enough eat what they can, but never having a choice.

So what? I’ve gotten habits that I haven’t broken in 29 years. It’s gotten me rotten teeth that affect my self-esteem, a mentality that I’m not worth much because I feel like crap more than normal, and this has now perpetuated to social situations, emotional situations and I find it hard to even get out of bed anymore. So what can I do about it now? I need to hold myself responsible (no one will do it for me reliably) and consider things. I just need to be reminded, it seems, that I’m not alone, that I need to do this for myself, and simply put, I’m not happy with where I am and this is why.

I’ve joined apps to help me work out, track what I’m eating, but it’s so easy to let them slide. Part of my posting this on this blog, which unfortunately doesn’t get read nor updated often, is a social accountability. Peer pressure is real, and many apps work to include that. Few have the time, desire or courage to keep others accountable. Perhaps this is a cry for help? I don’t know. I just hope it helps me, and it’ll be great if it helps others.

Thoughts? Comments? Leave a word.

Thoughts on the Hackers Manifesto

The Hackers Manifesto, known as The conscious of a Hacker, was written in 1986, the year of my birth. While still older than I, I think it still applies. The question came up from Hak5 ( on if something like this, written so long ago, applies today?

The Hackers Manifesto, linked here, reads as follows:

The following was written shortly after my arrest...

                       \/\The Conscience of a Hacker/\/


                               +++The Mentor+++

                          Written on January 8, 1986

        Another one got caught today, it's all over the papers.  "Teenager
Arrested in Computer Crime Scandal", "Hacker Arrested after Bank Tampering"...
        Damn kids.  They're all alike.

        But did you, in your three-piece psychology and 1950's technobrain,
ever take a look behind the eyes of the hacker?  Did you ever wonder what
made him tick, what forces shaped him, what may have molded him?
        I am a hacker, enter my world...
        Mine is a world that begins with school... I'm smarter than most of
the other kids, this crap they teach us bores me...
        Damn underachiever.  They're all alike.

        I'm in junior high or high school.  I've listened to teachers explain
for the fifteenth time how to reduce a fraction.  I understand it.  "No, Ms.
Smith, I didn't show my work.  I did it in my head..."
        Damn kid.  Probably copied it.  They're all alike.

        I made a discovery today.  I found a computer.  Wait a second, this is
cool.  It does what I want it to.  If it makes a mistake, it's because I
screwed it up.  Not because it doesn't like me...
                Or feels threatened by me...
                Or thinks I'm a smart ass...
                Or doesn't like teaching and shouldn't be here...
        Damn kid.  All he does is play games.  They're all alike.

        And then it happened... a door opened to a world... rushing through
the phone line like heroin through an addict's veins, an electronic pulse is
sent out, a refuge from the day-to-day incompetencies is sought... a board is
        "This is it... this is where I belong..."
        I know everyone here... even if I've never met them, never talked to
them, may never hear from them again... I know you all...
        Damn kid.  Tying up the phone line again.  They're all alike...

        You bet your ass we're all alike... we've been spoon-fed baby food at
school when we hungered for steak... the bits of meat that you did let slip
through were pre-chewed and tasteless.  We've been dominated by sadists, or
ignored by the apathetic.  The few that had something to teach found us will-
ing pupils, but those few are like drops of water in the desert.

        This is our world now... the world of the electron and the switch, the
beauty of the baud.  We make use of a service already existing without paying
for what could be dirt-cheap if it wasn't run by profiteering gluttons, and
you call us criminals.  We explore... and you call us criminals.  We seek
after knowledge... and you call us criminals.  We exist without skin color,
without nationality, without religious bias... and you call us criminals.
You build atomic bombs, you wage wars, you murder, cheat, and lie to us
and try to make us believe it's for our own good, yet we're the criminals.

        Yes, I am a criminal.  My crime is that of curiosity.  My crime is
that of judging people by what they say and think, not what they look like.
My crime is that of outsmarting you, something that you will never forgive me

        I am a hacker, and this is my manifesto.  You may stop this individual,
but you can't stop us all... after all, we're all alike.

                               +++The Mentor+++

Now, it certainly does intimidate some into thinking that the term “hacking” means criminal aspects. Exploration of a system, for instance, without permission certainly is illegal. My argument into the application of something like this was a little more broad. Engineers solve problems. Hackers are nothing more than (dark?) engineers. While the focus of “hackers” are computer security, the term originally meant doing something that a system didn’t intend for us to do. This meant taking a device created by someone for the purpose of entertaining a child, for instance, and making it do something that interests someone other than a child. Maybe hooking it up to the net and chatting with friends, adding a wire and programming it. Hacking a furby comes to mind, the annoying little pricks (furby’s not the hackers).

The term became known as computer security criminals by mass media. While hackers did explore systems they weren’t meant to, rarely did they do damage. They just got into a system because they can. That’s why you can “hack” linux with hitting backspace 28 times, because a hacker checked it out. Fact is that this isn’t a viable option to “hack” into a bank. It simply means that you can control a box (computer) in a way that wasn’t intended. It’s a bug. It’s a bug that needs to be fixed and would have been left for more malicious purposes (by the NSA, or criminals alike) if it hadn’t been explored and publicized. Of course, I believe in the rule that once you have physical access to hardware (through social engineering or theft), all bets are off anyway. This is why your workplace may post signs that say “No tailgating”. As a note to those that don’t see these or don’t understand these, “tailgating” is someone walking in with a person who scanned their badge or is other authorized, without presenting their own authorization. If you’ve worked in places that had work badges that required to be scanned before going into a building, a social engineer might walk in behind you, taking advantage of your desire to be nice by holding the door open for them.

The hackers manifesto did detail a mindset. This is my argument, and why I feel it’s a timeless piece of writing. It shall apply in digital ages, just as much as it did in the analog. It’ll apply in the quantum ages as well. It’s a mindset of exploration. We have seen this mindset in humans before. From the time we left our caves, to the time we launched into space to walk on the moon, or send a probe to the far reaches of the universe. To this day, we continue to explore, with SpaceX perfecting its drone landing pad in the middle of the ocean, just so they can be more efficient.

So why did I start in on this rant? Because Hak5 asked… does it still apply? I’ll be looking forward to other opinions while I observe the Facebook post and continue to observe the slightly darker side of the internet, Computer Security. Feel free to discuss here as well!

Gearing up for class

Well, it’s that time of year again. Class starts in about two weeks. I’m currently working at First Data, and will continue to do so for the foreseeable

This semester I’ll be focusing on data structures for programming, history after the civil war (American), Physics and some Calc II. Should be fun…. not. I’m honestly not looking forward to it but it has to be done. And I have to do well from here on out.

Truth is, I almost lost my financial aid because of my apathy toward things. This summer has been no different it seems. I’m hoping to be on the right path to fix it. Most of the apathy is when I get up in the morning though. I’m a night person, through and through. But my physics class is at 8:30 in the morning two days a week.

Once again, I’m going to try and maintain a streaming schedule, but this weekend seems shot. I’m staying with my step father to help around the house, and their internet doesn’t support a decent upload. I did, oddly, bring my desktop though, so I could have something to do when I’m not doing oddball chores here and there.

Going back to school, I’ve already ordered my books, and they’re waiting for me at the bookstore. The physics class didn’t post the book to the bookstore, but I’m hoping I already have it from the time I withdrew from the class before. I’m also hoping my online history class opens up on Blackboard soon so I can look at the syllabus and see if there’s any chance of working ahead. The sooner I can get done with that class, the better.

Anyway, the end of summer is near. How was your summer? Do anything fun? Leave a comment below.

What’s new?

Greetings reader,

I haven’t had much going on recently. Thought I’d detail what’s going on, and what’s to be expected soon.

August 24th is the start of the school year for me. I will be taking 15 credit hours, out of a max 18. 12 is considered full time. This fall semester will consist of an online American History class, Data Structure programming in Java, Calculus 2 and Physics 1. For those that don’t know, my major at the University of Nebraska-Omaha is computer engineering, so most of these are prerequisites for other classes, with the exception of the history class.

I bring this up because I feel like it’ll be a workload to balance between those classes and the part time job I have to hold. Meanwhile, I have other goals as well. I have lost my car, since the fuel pump went out and I did not make enough money to fix it. I’d like to replace that. For now, I have a bicycle and don’t go anywhere anyway. This might be a savior when it comes to homework.

One other aspect of school to mention is the fact that I’m still vice president of the UN Robotics club (formerly PKI Robotics). This organization focuses on creating robots for competition and just exploring technology around us. This year, we want to compete in a NASA competition, but have yet to decide what that will be and how to fund it.

Another goal of mine is to start my Twitch stream at regular intervals. This depends entirely on workload from the others. For those that don’t know, Twitch is a platform to which gamers can broadcast their gaming to the internet, incorporating a social aspect through chat. The idea is to share games among gamers, create a community and some even have a goal of supporting themselves with gaming on a full time basis. I’m not wanting to do this full time, but if I could make enough money off of it to support myself through school, even better.

One of my ultimate goals through my hobbies is the creation of a video game that people actually want to play. I’ve started a website at AGS to get myself and a few others going, but it’s been sitting idle for the better part of a year. Hosted on the same server as this website, it’s been an idle project as much as this website has been. Pay more attention to that website for details on the game and the influences of the game.

One item I haven’t mentioned in a while, and I’m not sure I will continue, is the idea behind the Play the Game blog. PTG, as it’s become known, has also been idle. It originally started out as a blog about EVE Online to try and draw new players into it with tips, tricks, and discussions about EVE Online. I stopped playing EVE Online a bit, and thus wanted to convert it into a general gaming blog. Who would have thought that it’s more fun to play the game than to write about the game? So, with that, I doubt it’ll continue to be a goal of mine as I already have a lot on my plate. If someone wants to submit articles and use the site, I wouldn’t mind a few authors to submit content to it. I’ll just play an administrator and small time author if a game ruffles my feathers enough for me to write about.

So that pretty much explains where I am, where I want to go and what to expect from me on the internet. Thoughts? Comments? Let me know below!

First Post… Again

Technology is a fickle mistress. She likes to work her own way, but only based on what you tell her literally.

I love technology, but sometimes it doesn’t love me. This is okay though. There were changes made to configurations last that made me hate the setup of the previous server. It made it impossible to recover any data that was not really that important.

After some exploration of stats, I found out the old site wasn’t getting much traffic anyway. I don’t blame anyone but myself for that. Frankly, I don’t update as much as I should. So what did I do? I erased it all. I’ll be looking at new formats. This will be a place for my applications to receive attention, such as support notices and news, and professional expansion and networking to happen.

This is very much my personal blog. Opinions will be stated, and not everyone will like them. That’s okay. I want discussion, that’s part of networking. As you get to know me, you’ll find professionally as well as personally, I’m a pretty okay guy! I hope to get to know you and hope you get to know me.

Thanksgiving 2014–Travel from hell but worth it

Greetings folks,Tire damage shown

It’s really been a while since I have updated. Thought I’d give it a go with the trip up to Sioux City from Omaha this weekend.

Keep in mind, I’m safe, no real damage done to anything, but the following is true in every way I can think of.

Friday I started to travel toward Sioux City. I started early because I wanted to meet up with a friend, but not early enough to be honest. I get about 25 minutes away from Omaha and my vehicle starts shaking. Considering I’ve needed an oil change and back brakes for a long time now, I thought that it was one of those things. Turns out my back passenger tire blew out, the side of the thing shredded like a popped balloon. I got the spare tire out, a jack I didn’t even know I had (thankfully I did), then turned around and got it jacked up. Problem now was that I couldn’t get the tire off. Thankfully it was a day that it was above freezing in  Nebraska/Iowa. I’m sitting there kicking the tire, doing what I can to get the tire off without hopefully damaging my own body. It wasn’t coming off. Years of rust built up and cemented the thing.

Thankfully, George from Missouri Valley stopped, while I had a friend of mine on his way as well. This is a complete stranger that stopped for me as well. I want to take a moment and note that I try to stop, but rarely can help, when I’m on the road because people need help or like to be helped here and there. Thankfully I’m not alone. After a few minutes of trying to use a sign post that was in the grass next to the rode to hit the tire off, he decided to drive the ten minutes or so to get a proper hammer. When he returned, we got it off and the spare tire back on in minutes. I was on my way to Sioux City shortly after.

I get to Sioux City, visit my friend that I’m staying with and we have a good rest of the day. Not much productive accomplished, but still pleasant. The next day, we go to leave and I realize I don’t have any heat coming out of my vents. There is heat, but there’s no thrust behind it, sort of like when steam comes off a pan but goes nowhere. I’m thinking great, fan behind it or something isn’t working (there are other, more educated theories behind this, but my inexperienced non-mechanical mind things fan). At this point it went from 60’s to about 10 degrees in less than 24 hours. Normal for the region, but still miserable.

Alright time for me to return to Omaha on Sunday. I’m paranoid already for the two failures. I go check my tires, sure enough one was down to 10 psi. The others were low as well. As I was filling the last one, I noticed a slice like mark on a tire. I’m thinking, “Great, it’s going to blow on the way home, and I have no other spare.” I stopped by Sears, thinking I don’t have money and could possibly apply and receive a Sears credit card to get replacement tires and pay off the bill with my tax return. Automotive was closed. Sundays are not the best times to need any help. Either way, I decide to say oh well, nothing I can do. I start driving home.

The temp isn’t that great, 10 degrees again, high winds. I find out that if I hit a few bumps, I actually get some push behind my heat, and so it takes the edge off the cold for me. This makes it bearable, but I also am paranoid because of that slice on the tire. Really gambling here, because I don’t want the tire to pop, but HEAT! Oh well, I grit my teeth, keep driving at 55 miles per hour, because of my spare being a donut that shouldn’t be much higher than that. I’m monitoring my engine heat, just in case I’m low on coolant (thus lacking heat?). I get home fine.

A few things I want to mention at this point. My back brakes needed to be replaced (emergency brakes?) and I’m at least +500 miles on this oil, due for an oil change (scheduled for Tuesday), and now I need two tires, would like to replace the hub cap on the shredded tire (damaged it with the sign post), fix my heat, my power steering isn’t that great at retaining fluid, low washer fluid even though I just put some in, transmission has something wrong with it, and I’m missing knobs for my heat on the dashboard. After all repairs, I’ll have a brand new car effectively.

I debate selling it, but who says I’ll get better on the next car? Live and learn. I still consider the trip a success. Worrisome, but what’s life without worry? I’ve had a lot of fun.

How’d your Thanksgiving go? Not American? How about your general weekend? Or tell me about your worse travel experiences.

Divorce, School and Projects, Oh My.

Greetings readers. I wanted to post an update as to what’s going on, my current projects, et cetera.

July 31st is fairly easy to remember, and even more so since that’s when the judge signed the decree dissolving my marriage. I believe I have to wait 30 days yet before it’s official, but this date is what will be marked down as far as divorce. That being said, I still haven’t seen my soon to be ex-wife for more than a year and a half, which she claims to have seen me at a Wal-Mart in my home town when I was visiting a friend. I wish the best to her, she is still an excellent woman and while we may not get along, she is far from deserving a horrible life and I hope she finds her happiness.

With the end of that chapter, I also have the start of another chapter upon me. August 25th is the start of my next semester of my college classes. I’m excited because it should be a mixture of easy classes but also classes that, while challenging, will be classes I want to learn. Data structures to improve my programming, composition II to improve my writing, and over all it’ll be a leap in the right direction as far as my degree goes! Computer Engineering is always challenging, but what can one do? If it’s worth doing, it wont be easy.

Admittedly, however, I am looking for another job. I had the opportunity to work as a civilian contractor, but with the divorce not being anywhere near final, I had issues for the security clearance. I emailed the folks that direct the position, so we’ll see. It’s been a while since I’ve “turned it down” reluctantly. I wouldn’t be surprised if they had it filled.

While my personal life winds down back to a normal, my professional life needing a change, and my schooling continuing on the path of success,  I also want to detail some of my hobbies. As far as programming goes, I have wanted to update the program used by many EVE Online players, called EVEMon to use the new EVE Online API calls, since it is open source and the maintainer is busy. I’m having a hard time doing serialization with XML objects in Visual C#, but that’s what learning is for. I also have updates I want to process to my BLUBoT app, which is a Bluetooth control app on Android for the CEENBoT I work with. It’s been open sourced, but it’s got a few bugs that, while not show stopper, becomes annoying. I also have a few ideas for a few more Android apps, but they’re simple enough that it just takes some thought and searching.

What have you been up to? Anything you got going on?

Procrastination – How to Solve It?


Hello all,

It seems that I have yet to update any time recently so I thought I’d upload my thoughts here… primarily as procrastination to my real task today.

I’ve been invited to do a third beta test for the Elder Scrolls Online. I’ve recently grown tired of this as the content available is limited and I’ve been through the majority of it in the first test, except PvP which I have little to know interest in.

On another game related note, I’ve been streaming my games sometimes at Twitch. Most of my gaming antics can be found at

I’ve gotten my taxes back, and partially paid some bills while wasting the rest of my money. Weeks before my taxes, I was notified that I had WON a Google Glass (MSRP $1500 USD). I’m sure you would think like I did and say hey… that’s a scam. Thanks to the folks at however, I received it and it works and legit. I vetted the email, remembered entering into the contest on their website, and I actually won. Then after I got my taxes, I told myself I’m going to buy one thing I’ve had my eye on relentlessly but never had the money for. I bought myself an Oculus Rift. The technology is amazing! I’ll have to do a full write up, but keep in mind that its a developer version. I really want to get my hands on EVE Valkyrie. You can find more information about it at their website.

Otherwise, I’m still in school. I’m procrastinating homework at this time, largely because I did a good chunk of it yesterday (Homework on a Saturday? Unheard of!) Also it’s a topic that I am not confident in at all. Calculus I. Why am I not comfortable in it? Largely because I can’t seem to wake up these mornings to go to class and can’t bring myself to do homework that isn’t collected. I don’t know why this is a problem for me. I worked 9 – 5 some days, or even earlier and had few issues waking up. Perhaps because I’m paying to be there instead of getting paid to do so. Either way. It needs to stop.

As a part of the school system, I was asked to co-found a robotics club. Partnering with Luke, a freshman this year, we have it recognized by student government and have had a few meetings. The interest, however, seems to have waned from our first meeting. Going from about 15 in attendance, we are now down to three at one meeting, and four at another, including myself as VP, Luke as President, and then a couple of people that we’ve given them roles for Secretary and Treasurer. We brainstormed on how to get members involved again. Most of the problem is likely the time we’re choosing to meet, which no one is answering our questions on when it would be best.

As far as work goes, the lab I work in is winding down. Not without a final project however. I’ve been tasked to complete the project that interfaces a Bluetooth module with the CEENBoT. Doing this in the form of an Android app that controls the robot. I’ve been running into difficulty, primarily with the Android side of things, but the hurdle I’m at now is trying to find out why the serial communication seems to misalign, so to speak, the messages. Unfortunately I should start looking for another job. Perhaps I’ll post my CV up on the website as additional exposure.

That’s my life as it is right now. My question to you is how do you stay motivated for tasks you don’t otherwise find fun? Leave a comment below!

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